The Perks of Being a Wallflower in Historical Romance by Christy Carlyle

I relate to wallflowers in fiction. Could be because, way back in the Stranger Things era, I kind of was one.

If you time traveled back to the 1980’s, you’d find me somewhere in the cluttered rush of a high school hallway. I wasn’t the cool girl or the super fashionable one. I was bookish and bespectacled, though I did have an elaborately decorated locker.

There weren’t any fancy balls in my life, no Empire gowns or chairs at the back of a room full of elegant dancers. I was just quirky. I didn’t fit in any of the cliques that existed at my high school. Maybe I was a bit of a loner. I certainly never got an invite to the prom.

Maybe that’s why I’ve never defined wallflowers as the shy unassuming girl, but the unique one. Sure, she might prefer books to most people, or be awkward when she means to be […]

By | 2017-12-20T19:04:52+00:00 December 21st, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts|Tags: |11 Comments

Give Me Your Hands If We Be Friends: An Alexis Hall guest post (and giveaway!)

So let’s talk about handjobs.

By which I mean, let’s ramble discursively about the problematically different weights that our culture attaches to different forms of sexual activity and how it relates some of the choices made in the structure of How to Blow It with a Billionaire.

I will confess, one of the many things I felt slightly apprehensive about when I turned in the manuscript for Blow was that its emotional climax takes place in a scene where the only sexual contact is a handjob. The thing about writing is that it’s very much an exercise in navigating expectations, and I’m pretty sure one of the usual expectations is that your payoff is going to involve a bit more than a guy touching another guy’s dick for a bit. But stay with me. I think I knew what I was doing. I mean, I hope I did. Oh dear.

Romance, at its core, […]

By | 2017-12-12T09:29:11+00:00 December 12th, 2017|Categories: giveaways, Guest Posts|Tags: , |15 Comments

What the World Needs is a Queer Nora Ephron by Lilah Suzanne

A kiss can lead to so many unexpected things…especially one that takes place under the mistletoe. Join authors Killian B. Brewer, Pene Henson, Erin Finnegan, Lilah Suzanne, and Lynn Charles as they explore the most tantalizing literary kisses and their lasting impact in books in this new series, Standing Under the Mistletoe with Interlude Press. Every day from December 4th to December 8th, HEA USA Today, The Book Smugglers, LGBTQ Reads, All About Romance, and The Mary Sue will feature a new article from each author of the LGBTQ+ holiday themed collection, If the Fates Allow (out now from Interlude Press).

This is the one for All About Romance. Woo hoo!

I’m cheating.

I know, I know. There is an unbreakable rule in romance novels and that rule is: No cheating. That and, of course, the all-important happily ever after rule. I have to admit that I have always had a tendency to […]

By | 2017-12-06T21:25:33+00:00 December 7th, 2017|Categories: Guest Posts, Queer romance|3 Comments

The Trouble With Supermen …. A Guest Post and a Giveaway by Shannon McKenna

Anyone who’s ever read my stories might have noticed that I like to endow my heroes with somewhat freakish abilities, whether it’s amazing combat skills or photographic memory or super-keen senses, or whatever. The result of their unconventional upbringing and intense overcompensation for something. I just go for that. It gives me no end of thrills.

So this time around, I supercharged it. For my latest series, The Obsidian Files, I’ve dreamed up a band of escapees from a secret research facility.  Unscrupulous scientists trying at all costs to create supersoldiers. My renegade heroes rebelled and fled, refusing to let themselves be used. Twelve years later they’re still trying to stay under the radar, living the closest thing to a normal life that they can achieve with their fake identities, keeping their abilities a deep, dark secret. Always living under the ominous shadow of recapture.

I could not wait to play around with actual […]

By | 2017-11-25T17:12:38+00:00 November 29th, 2017|Categories: Authors, giveaways, Guest Posts|Tags: |21 Comments

Dashing All the Way–A Guest Post and Giveaway

Best-selling and critically acclaimed historical romance authors Celeste Bradley, Eva Devon, Elizabeth Essex and Heather Snow heat up this Christmas with four never-before-released novellas guaranteed to make your holiday season merry and bright.

Today they give us a behind-the-scenes look at what inspired their new Christmas anthology, Dashing All the Way.

Elizabeth Essex:

“Welcome, and thank you for joining us at AAR today. We’re happy to be here to share how our anthology came to be. Last Christmas I had a blessed break in my writing schedule, and actually got to enjoy all the things I love about the holiday season—decorating the house and tree, and baking cookies and pies while singing along to Christmas carols!

And right there in the middle of a chorus of “Jingle Bells,” I thought ‘I should write a Christmas novella while I’m in the Christmas spirit, rather than […]

By | 2017-11-25T17:01:37+00:00 November 26th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Christmas, giveaways, Guest Posts|Tags: , , , |43 Comments

A Guest Post and a WONDERFUL Giveaway from Rachel Grant

CATALYST (Flashpoint #2) is the first book I’ve written in which the setting is a place neither my husband nor I have visited. I tackled this problem with research. Lots and lots of heartbreaking research.

Having achieved independence from Sudan in 2011, South Sudan is the world’s youngest democracy. But South Sudan isn’t a success story of free elections and political autonomy, of a thriving populace emerging from sixty years of war. No this is the worst example of what can happen with a nascent government undermined by corruption, tribalism, and other factors too complex to delve into here. Civil war broke out in South Sudan in 2013. It is estimated that up to 300,000 have been killed in the war. In a country with a population of 12 million, over 3.5 million have been displaced, creating a refugee crisis within South Sudan and the surrounding countries. Fighting has decimated crops and existing […]

By | 2017-11-20T17:32:37+00:00 November 20th, 2017|Categories: Authors, giveaways, Guest Posts|Tags: |21 Comments

Expanding the Whiskey Verse: A Guest Post and a Giveaway from Layla Reyne

In Tequila Sunrise, releasing November 13, the focus shifts from Agents Irish and Whiskey to Melissa Cruz and Daniel Talley, two secondary characters from the original series. I’m thrilled to expand the Whiskey Verse, first with their story in an action-packed holiday novella, and then next year with Nic and Cam’s trilogy. When I started writing Agents Irish and Whiskey, I didn’t see either spin-off coming, but sometimes those pesky, loveable secondary characters want their stories told!

Mel and Danny were truly a case of “where did that come from?” as I wrote Single Malt. While Aidan and Jamie were falling in love in the foreground, Mel and Danny were flirting their way to a relationship in the background. As I wrote the scene in Single Malt where Mel and Danny show […]

By | 2017-11-13T14:12:53+00:00 November 13th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts|Tags: , |3 Comments

A Guest Post and a Giveaway by IK Velasco

Whenever I get asked the question, “What is one interesting personal fact about you?” I will usually say, “I’ve lived in three countries.” I’m the child of immigrants – born in the Philippines, grew up in Canada, and now live in the US.

My mother’s side of the family is mostly in North America. My father’s side still reside in the Philippines. We had been living in North America for 10 years when we finally went back “home” to visit. I was 19 years old and no longer felt a connection to my country. It was hard enough assimilating to the language, culture, etc. hanging on to my heritage seemed like a fruitless, unimportant thing.

That year, I came back to college in Canada and found the Filipino Students’ Association. The members were all like me – 2nd generation immigrants with varying connections to our mother country. We learned and performed native dances, ate […]

By | 2017-10-21T16:37:07+00:00 October 21st, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts|2 Comments

Jennifer Wilck on capturing time

Photographers capture moments in time, whether they photograph people, events, nature or objects. Their photos evoke emotions. A baby or a puppy makes you smile. The ocean crashing against the shore fills you with wonder. A war image might make you cry or strike out in anger. While a picture might be worth a thousand words, it’s the feeling you get when you see the photo that provides that connection, that makes you care.

Writers do something similar. We use words to create images and feelings. Sure, we can tell the reader what is happening—John walked across the room—but it’s the emotions we evoke that keeps that reader turning the page—John’s footsteps echoed across the floorboards in the empty house as he waited for his wife to return. One of the first things we are taught is to “show, don’t tell” and the words we choose help us to draw the reader into […]

By | 2017-09-04T08:40:23+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts|18 Comments

The End of a Series by Layla Reyne

A few weeks ago, one of those Facebook reminders popped up in my feed, highlighting my tweet from last July when we announced Agents Irish and Whiskey. A year ago, I was celebrating with friends in San Diego before my first RWA National Conference. My first writing conference of any kind. I don’t think I ever fully grasped the saying “time flies” until that reminder message. I can’t believe all that has changed for me, and Aidan and Jamie, over the past year, as three books and A LOT of explosions later, we reach the conclusion of the Agents Irish and Whiskey series. Is it bittersweet to finish my first series? A little. Is it a relief? More than a little, not that other projects aren’t already in full swing. Am I happy with where AIW is ending? You bet!

Aidan and Jamie deserve a break after all they’ve been through the past […]

By | 2017-08-15T04:58:10+00:00 August 14th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts|Tags: , |3 Comments