Macy learns the true identity of the man who’s been sharing her bed. #scifi #romance #alphamale #inbedwithbooks

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Macy Shaw’s perfect life begins to collapse when the lie she’s been living for the last six years surfaces. Continue reading

From Amazon Bestselling @kbbarrettauthor comes the third book in the ‘I Found You Series’! #romance #mafia #alphamale

New book alert! Continue reading

She sold herself to a Jelvia, and he wants full payment – SPIDER – #scifi #fantasy #over18 #epic #bookseries

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JELVIA: NOT HUMAN SPIDER Bethany Roberts was born into a privileged life, but all that was taken away when, at nine years old, a car crash killed her older brother, and her mother received life-changing injuries. Beth’s younger sister was … Continue reading

Researching Romance – Putting The ‘Ex’ Into Experience

Joanne Phillips
Have all romance writers led wildly romantic
lives? Have they loved and lost, had passionate affairs, endured multiple
marriages and nursed broken hearts? Possibly – but not necessarily. You don’t
have to have lived through heartbreak to imagine its devastating effects, or
have found the love of your life to be able to write touchingly about happy
ever afters. If writers had to possess first-hand experience of everything in
their novels, most crime authors would be locked up!
But romantic plot-lines, while inspired and driven
by imagination, still need to be authentic. Readers can spot a fake instantly,
and many an author has come unstuck trying to turn their hand to the romantic
genre, believing (mistakenly) that it is easy to churn out novel after novel
following a prescriptive formula. Today’s contemporary romances sparkle with
originality – to stand out from the crowd you need to apply the rigours of
research to your writing to make sure the romance rings true.
So where can you look for research material into matters
of the heart? Apart from the very young, most of us have a failed love affair
or two in our dark and murky pasts. In fact, most romance writers I know were
drawn to the genre in the first place by a need – conscious or otherwise – to
right the wrongs of the past, to work out their demons on the page. For romance
to do its job – which is to give the reader a powerfully emotional experience –
it needs to go deep. A writer must plumb the depths of their own experience to
find the emotions and unearth the words that will best describe them.
This isn’t an easy task. When writing is most
painful is when it is closest to the writer’s most challenging memories. I
recently cut an entire subplot in my latest novel, the sequel to Can’t Live Without, which saw one of the
characters suffering from post-natal depression. While I felt – and still feel
– this is an important topic which is often overlooked in ‘mum’ fiction, I was
too close to the subject to be able to write objectively. My daughter is only
four, and I have suffered from PND myself – while I might be the perfect writer
to bring this experience to life one day, that day has not yet arrived.
One of the wonderful things about writing romance
is that we can bring the good and the bad experiences from our past to life,
and then re-write them – often a very cathartic process! I have written about a
character based on a man who hurt me quite badly, and then had him lose
everything and become a figure of ridicule at the end. Oh, that felt good!
Before I met my husband, as a single woman in her thirties despairing of ever
meeting ‘the one’ I invented Paul Smart, the hero of Can’t Live Without, who has proved a massive hit with readers. Only
recently a reviewer said she ‘loved Paul and wished she could meet him in real
life.’ Could I have brought to life so vividly this fantastic romantic lead if
I hadn’t known how it felt to be single and lonely? If you delve deep enough
there are emotions buried that, while painful, may just be the seed of the
perfect romance – should you be brave enough to try.
A final thought: In my early thirties, insecure
and listening to my biological clock ticking away, I had a boyfriend say to me:
‘If you were anything special you’d have been snapped up by now.’ This was a
defining moment in my life (he became an ex very quickly after), and is
certainly wonderful material for a character in a novel! He will certainly
suffer at my author’s hand one day. That’s what I call putting the ‘ex’ into

Can’t Live Without 
How does it feel to lose everything you own?
Stella Hill is proud of the home she’s created for herself and her daughter. She’s worked hard to buy the very best of everything … But when she wakes one morning to find her kitchen on fire, Stella knows her life will never be the same again. 

At least she has Paul to lean on: Paul Smart, owner of Smart Homes, confirmed bachelor and unknowing recipient of a schoolgirl crush Stella never quite got over … When the charismatic John Dean turns up after sixteen years, Stella is determined not to fall for him again. Because now her heart belongs elsewhere. Or does it?

With a boss she’s half in love with, a teenage daughter about to go seriously off the rails, a spendaholic mother, and a house to rebuild, Stella’s problems are only just beginning. 

Can Stella put her life – and her home – back together again? And will she ever realise just what it is she really can’t live without?

Joanne Phillips lives in rural Shropshire,
England, with her husband and daughter. Since leaving school she’s had an
eclectic career, working as a hairdresser, an air hostess and a librarian. She
now writes full time.

Soon to be released on Valentine’s Day 2013 next year is her latest book – The Family Trap.

Contemporary Romance: Fantasy and Reality

Synithia Williams
Contemporary romance doesn’t have the added
drama inherent in other subgenres of romance. There are no sexy shape-shifters
or wizards to tempt a human female. No threat of scandal if you’re caught in an
embrace with the Viscount. And unless it’s a suspense, you’re not solving a
murder or avoiding being murdered. No, straight up contemporary romance
requires taking the mundane of dating and living in present times and make it
exciting, dramatic and romantic.

At first glance it may seem impossible to
make real life romantic. In fact, I had a co-worker say I couldn’t make
engineers sexy in my first novel, You
Can’t Plan Love
. But as a contemporary romance writer, I have to make real
life seem fun and sexy. All it takes is a big imagination and little fantasy.

A fantasy can make environmental engineers
sexy and even water quality conferences—which are usually dry as toast—seem
exciting. Throw in a few what if situations and the boring can become dramatic.
What if an environmental consultant worked for a tall, dark and handsome man?
What if that sexy boss made a play for her heart? And again, because this is
fantasy, she kind of wants it so it’s not creepy and a sexual harassment
lawsuit isn’t imminent.

This can work for the most commonplace of
experiences. A boring family dinner that occurs routinely every week or month
can be re-written in a romance with the added drama of an old love arriving on
the arm of your favorite cousin. This situation can go many ways. Let’s say
your heroine still loves that old flame. Did he show up to see her again? Is
the cousin aware of the relationship and brought him there out of spite? Or, is
the cousin unaware and fancies herself in love? That makes it kinda hard for
your heroine to restart a relationship with someone her favorite cousin loves.
There’s enough drama in that scenario to make a juicy contemporary romance. Sweet
or spicy, big city or small town it’ll fit any modern day location.

Most writers are always finding story
inspiration in everyday events, but contemporary romance writers need just as
vivid an imagination as a fantasy or paranormal writer to make the happenings
in day to day life—or the love life of an environmental engineer—sexy and
interesting enough to capture readers. To take reality, throw in a lot of daydreams
and fantasy and write a page turning contemporary romance is a fun challenge
worth taking.

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You Can’t Plan Love
Barnes & Noble 
After several bad
relationships, Kenyatta Copeland decides to control her love life with the same
discernment she uses in her professional life.

Knowing first hand the
heartbreak that comes when desire and emotion rule a relationship, Kenyatta
assumes marrying Brad Johnson will lead to a stable life. But as much as she
believes she can plan her future, it’s hard to ignore the way her boss, Malcolm
Patterson, ignites her passions with just one look. 

After Malcolm learns of her
engagement, he makes a play for her heart and reminds her that passion between
a man and a woman has its perks … but also its costs. 

When Brad suspects
there’s more than work between Kenyatta and Malcolm, he works harder to keep
Kenyatta by his side. 

Torn between her promise to marry Brad and her
irrepressible longing for Malcolm, Kenyatta must decide if she can live her
life in a passionless marriage of convenience or once again trust her heart.
Yet Brad isn’t as perfect as he seems, and by the time Kenyatta realizes this
it may be too late.

Author Synithia Williams
Synithia Williams has loved romance novels since reading her first one at the age of 13. It was only natural that she would begin penning her own romances soon after. It wasn’t until 2010 that she began to actively pursue her dream of becoming a published author. 

When she isn’t writing, this Green Queen, as dubbed by the State Newspaper, works to improve air and water quality, while balancing the needs of her husband and two sons. You can learn more about Synithia, and her novel, by visiting her website where she blogs about writing, life and relationships.

Her first novel, You Can’t Plan Love, was published by Crimson Romance in August 2012.