Wishing all of you a very Happy Easter full of friends, family, and moments of love and joy to unite us during these rocky times. I also hope you take time to enjoy a good book, take time for yourself so you can be there for others when they need you. Thanks also to all those who take the time to read my thoughts and share your own as I look forward to growing our book community.
Thursday, April 18, 2019
A career-minded woman finds herself attracted to a younger co-worker in this fun and flirty romance set in the world of medicine. Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Oh, Baby! by Jill Blake, then learn even more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour. You’ll also hear from Ms. Blake as she discusses the older woman/younger man trope which will have you wanting to add this contemporary tale to your bookshelf. In honor of this standalone story make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 bookstore GC too!
Fast forward to the new millennium. Women make up nearly half the U.S. workforce. Over 70% of women who have children under age 18 work outside the home. In fact, moms are the primary or only source of income for 40% of households with kids under 18! And guess what? Today’s popular literature—including the romance genre—is finally reflecting that. The balance of power has shifted. Women are no longer weak and passive, waiting for a hero to rescue them. Heroines have come into their own. They are strong, smart, outspoken, and willing to go after what they want.
Which begs the question: what do today’s women want? Well, I can’t speak for all women, but I can tell you what I want—and, by extension, what the heroines I write about want.
First off, respect and recognition in the workplace. Compensation on par with what men get. And in our personal lives, we want love—from partners who understand and appreciate us as equals.
This is why the older woman-younger man trope works. Especially today. The heroes in these books came of age in a world where women are no longer the “weaker sex.” These heroes expect women to be strong and confident, because these are the very qualities that make a woman sexy.
Oh, sure, I know what you’re thinking. What about all those older heroines who are going through tough times and periods of self-doubt, who worry about what their friends, or family, or society might say about an unconventional pairing? That’s the beauty of romance, or at least well-written romance: the road to happily-ever-after is littered with obstacles that must be overcome, and in the process, the characters learn and grow and become stronger, better people.
That’s what happens with the couple in my latest contemporary romance, Oh, Baby! The heroine is a thirty-nine year old surgeon who sees everyone around her pairing up and having babies, and wonders if she’s missed her chance at happiness. At this point, she’s more interested in having a baby than in finding Mr. Right. At least until a younger colleague piques her interest and sparks her libido. Too bad they’re all wrong for each other…or are they?
Lena Shapiro. Successful surgeon. Dutiful daughter. She sacrificed her personal life to build her career and take care of her mother and sister. Now thirty-nine and single, she watches her peers pairing off and having kids, and wonders if she missed out on her own chance at happiness.
Assigned to mentor a visiting colleague, Lena finds herself falling for the man instead. But Adam Sterling is all wrong for her: he’s too young, too arrogant, and too willing to push personal and professional boundaries. And he’s leaving L.A. for a job on the opposite coast.
With the date of Adam’s departure looming ever nearer, will Lena retreat to the safety of her familiar solitary life, or will she take a chance on an uncertain future with the man who might make her dreams come true?
Adam folded his arms across his chest, blocking her way. “The world won’t grind to a halt if you cut back your hours or take a day off once in a while.”
“I know that,” Lena said, glancing at the clock. “I’ll make some adjustments. But right now I feel fine, and I still have patients to check on.”
“Are you kidding me? You’re still hooked up to an IV.”
“Which the nurse is about to remove. Dr. Goodman said I’m good to go. He didn’t specify where.”
“Because any reasonable person getting discharged from the ER would go home.”
“I’ll go home after I finish rounding,” she said.
He glared at her, then cursed, pivoted on his heel, and strode out of the room.
Lena stared at the privacy curtain that continued to sway in his wake.
Where was the feeling of triumph at having won the argument? She should be glad that Adam was finally gone. But all she felt was deflated.
“Here we are,” the nurse said, bustling in with a clipboard. “We’ll go over your discharge instructions after I get that IV out.”
Minutes later, Lena was alone again, pulling on her clothes. There was a cursory knock, followed by the squeak of wheels.
“Your carriage, Princess.” Adam pushed the wheelchair toward her.
She blinked against the prickle of tears. Damned hormones. “I can walk.”
“Not to your car,” he said. “Hospital policy.”
“Your patients are all taken care of,” he said. “Your partner will see the post-ops shortly. He said you should go home, and congratulations on the pregnancy.”
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A native of Philadelphia, Jill Blake now lives in southern California with her husband and three children. During the day, she works as a physician in a busy medical practice. At night, once the charts are all done and the kids are asleep, Jill writes steamy romances with smart heroines, sexy heroes, and guaranteed happy endings.
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Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Big misunderstandings abound in this tale of a couple torn apart by lies as one woman’s dream of HEA leaves her homeless after her hockey player boyfriend leaves to find greater fame. Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Crossing the Line by Carla Swafford, then add this first installment in the Atlanta Edge Hockey series to your bookshelf!
Atlanta Edge's hottest Russian hockey star made a big mistake. Now he must find a way to apologize big time to the girl he left behind in the States.
I've been a puck bunny most of my life. So when Roman Volkov, up and coming hockey star with the Atlanta Edge, takes me home and treats me like a queen, I believe I've found the man I can love. Then one morning, I wake to the news that Roman has left me behind while he plays in Russia. His agent takes pleasure in kicking me out of Roman's house. I don't believe anything the sleazy man says. Roman is good to me. No way will he treat me like this. So I go in search for the truth and I discover so much more.
I'm suffocating on the third line when the season ends. So when I get a call from Russia in the middle of the night to participate in a high-profile tournament, I go for it. I'm certain a gold medal will launch me into the top line with my team back in the States. No sooner than I arrive, I call Kitty Summerville to explain why I left without waking her. She's not answering. Has my ambition destroyed any chance of a future with her? When I return, my sexy kitten and I will have a long conversation.
Only, I want to know why is she living with my Coach, and his wife and family?
Carla Swafford loves romance novels, action/adventure movies, and men, and her books reflect that. And that’s not all, she’s crazy about hockey, and thankfully, no one has made her turn in her Southern Belle card. She’s married to her high school sweetheart and lives in Alabama.
A plus-size woman, and successful seller of wedding gowns, gets her chance to connect with the sexy man who starred in many of her teenage fantasies in this sweet and sensual small town romance. Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The Perfect Dress by Carolyn Brown along with hearing from Ms. Brown and her discussing her inspirations for writing this book. In honor of this charming contemporary romance make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 Amazon GC as well as a digital copy of this book!
MS. BROWN’S REAL LIFE INSPIRATIONS BEHIND THE PERFECT DRESS...
Hello, everyone and thank you for inviting me to your site today!
My granddaughter is getting married this fall, and she’s not one of those size six girls who can walk into wedding dress store, try on a dozen dresses and find the perfect dress—especially when she has her heart set on a black lace dress for her wedding. When we began to shop for her dress, I wished for a custom wedding shop that catered only to women who wore a size fourteen or larger. So I created one called The Perfect Dress and set it in the little town of Celeste, Texas. This summer I plan to bring my old Singer sewing machine out of retirement, and make my granddaughter’s black lace wedding dress—just the way she and I will design it!
The Perfect Dress is not a real place so don’t go to the local doughnut shop in Celeste and ask about it, but the town, the characters and the shop were all very real to me while I was writing about it.
Speaking of characters let me introduce you to Mitzi. She’s and her two plus sized friends, Paula and Jody, have dreamed of putting in their own plus-sized wedding dress shop for years. Now it’s a reality. They’ve bought an old two story house at the edge of Celeste and hung out their shingle.
Jody is a thin vegetarian now, but when the girls were in high school, she was a big girl just like her friends. She’s living proof that a woman will do anything for love, but when love goes awry, she’s sure glad that she’s got Mitzi and Paula to support her.
Paula is carrying a big secret. The three women have shared everything since they were little children, but she can’t talk about her secret, not when both her friends are in the middle of drama themselves. She has to be the strong one to share Jody’s sorrow and Mitzi’s happiness.
Fanny Lou, Mitzi’s grandmother, is an eccentric old gal with lots of advice that she’s not one bit shy about spreading around. She’s the mother role for all of them, constantly popping into the shop with a box of doughnuts, or the local gossip.
Lately Mitzi has been feeling like maybe her ‘perfect family’ is missing someone... perhaps the perfect man. She hasn’t seen him since high school, but that doesn’t mean that Mitizi’s heart doesn’t go pitter-patter for this awesome single dad. Graham towers above Mitzi, who is almost six feet tall. He has twin girls, who are also plus sized. He feels the sparks, too, but questions whether Mitzi could ever love some big guy who already has teenage daughters.
There is definitely a gap between the teenager girls, who help out in the shop, and Fanny Lou, the granny, and the three best friends. But true friendship knows nothing about age—it’s love, support, and unflinching loyalty towards each other, no matter what the age.
In the small town of Celeste, Texas, Mitzi Taylor has never quite fit inside the lines. Nearly six feet tall, flame-haired, and with a plus-size spirit to match every curve, she’s found her niche: a custom wedding-dress boutique catering to big brides-to-be with big dreams. Taking the plunge alongside her two best friends, she’s proud they’ve turned The Perfect Dress into a perfect success.
Just when Mitzi has it all pulled together, Graham Harrison walks back into her life, looking for bridesmaid dresses for his twin daughters. A still-strapping jock whose every gorgeous, towering inch smells like aftershave, the star of all Mitzi’s high school dreams is causing quite a flush.
For Mitzi, all it takes is a touch to feel sparks flitting around her like fireflies. She can just imagine what a kiss could do. Graham’s feeling it, too. And he’s about to make that imagination of Mitzi’s run wild. Is it just a hot summer fling, or are Mitzi’s next designs for herself and seeing her own dreams come true?
Mitzi rushed back to the sewing room, where the hum of two sewing machines filled the air. “Graham Harrison just came in the shop to set up an appointment for his two daughters. He said they only live a few houses up the street from us. He looked like a bull in a china shop sitting on that pink sofa. And of course he didn’t even recognize me, but I sure knew him the minute I laid eyes on him.”
At the mention of that name from the past, work jolted to a halt.
“All the girls in high school swooned over him, including Mitzi, but she hasn’t told us if he’s still as sexy as he was back then.” Jody took a bowl of salad from the fridge along with a plate of vegetables that she stuck into the microwave to heat.
“He’s aged very, very well, and I’m having cookies,” Mitzi said.
“Smart girl,” Fanny Lou said. “Life is short. Eat dessert first. So you had a little crush on Graham?”
“Everyone did,” Mitzi answered.
“Not me. I was always in love with Lyle,” Jody said.
“Well, according to what I heard at the church bake sale today, Graham moved his daughters here to Celeste because they were being fat shamed down in Greenville. One of them knocked a girl on her butt, blacked both eyes, and bloodied her nose with one punch. It was the last day of school and they said they were going to suspend her for the first two weeks of next year for fighting,” Jody said.
“She should get a medal, not suspended,” Mitzi fumed.
Fanny Lou took a gallon jug of sweet tea from the fridge. “Who all wants a glass?”
Three hands went up.
She filled four glasses with ice and then tea and carried them to the table. “I remember when he went to work for his dad at the Cadillac dealership—right after he and Rita got married. His dad gave him a job on the lowest level, and he had to work his way up. Rita was furious because she thought they’d get a big house and a new Caddy every year. Stupid woman figured since his folks had money that he had an open bank account.”
Paula took the ham and cheese containers from the fridge while Mitzi pulled a loaf of bread from the cabinet. “You eating with us, Granny?”
“I’ll eat with you and Paula, but I don’t want any of that stuff Jody is having. I don’t eat fake meat. I’ll eat what I want and die when I’m supposed to. Slice some of them tomatoes I brought in here earlier. And I’d rather have bologna instead of ham and mustard instead of mayo,” Fanny Lou answered.
“Me, too,” Paula said. “I want one like hers.”
“I was thinking the same thing.” Mitzi set about making three sandwiches.
So Graham was divorced and raising girls on his own. Bless his heart for getting them away from a school that bullied them because of their size. Mitzi could relate to the girls. But then, so could Jody and Paula. She’d always figured that Jody adopted her own modern-day hippie style to combat those feelings of insecurity. Paula had retreated into superstition. Mitzi had just plowed her way through emotions and other kids, spending a lot of time in the principal’s office for fighting.
She pushed all that to the back of her mind, put the sandwiches on plates, and carried them to the table. “Y’all know that this job for Ellie Mae could turn into a big thing. I bet her older sister will be the maid of honor and her mother will want a fancy dress.”
“That’s what you’re in business for, isn’t it?” Fanny Lou said. “Man, this brings back memories. Friday night was bologna sandwich night when I was a kid.”
“Why?” Jody asked.
“Because Mama always cleaned house on Friday, and she didn’t have time to make a big meal,” Fanny Lou answered.
“Funny how an hour of beading takes forever and our noon hour goes so fast.” Jody pointed to the clock.
“Good Lord!” Fanny Lou finished off her sandwich and grabbed a cookie. “I’ve got an appointment with my CPA at one and it’s a fifteen-minute drive to Greenville. See you girls later. You have my permission to flirt with Graham, Mitzi.”
Mitzi’s cheeks began to burn. “I had a teenage crush on him. I’ve grown up since then.”
Fanny Lou winked as she headed for the door. “Paula, since you live with Mitzi, I’m putting you in charge of being sure she takes her birth control pills every morning.”
Mitzi felt even more heat in her cheeks. “Granny!”
“When you get old you get to say whatever the hell you want to.” Fanny Lou closed the door behind her.
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Carolyn Brown is a New York Times, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a RITA finalist with more than ninety published books. Her genres include romance, history, cowboys and country music, and contemporary mass-market paperbacks. She and her husband live in the small town of Davis, Oklahoma, where everyone knows everyone else, knows what they are doing and when...and reads the local newspaper every Wednesday to see who got caught. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young.
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Tuesday, April 16, 2019
From Book One...
She's searching for her true mate. He's trying to find the true love who's taken over his dreams. Tragedy strikes. Can love bring them together?
Once upon a time...
Destiny is on the run. She knows settling for the shifter that her parents wanted her to mate with, wasn’t going to work for her. Being a wolf shifter, she could feel the pull to her mate. The shifter her parents have picked out is hateful, mean and disrespectful.
As Destiny fought the push from her mother to accept Voss, she knew that she was going to have to leave to find the mate that she has been dreaming of since she was 18. Three years later, she is still searching, but she knows that she is getting closer to finding him.
When she finally she finally sees him across the street she is determined to meet him that very moment.
Luke is the person she has been dreaming about, and he has been dreaming of her too. Yet before they can reach each other...
Join Destiny and Luke as both of their worlds collide, and set in motion a series of events that threaten to tear them apart.
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BREY KING – My life as a passionate writer has been hanging around for a while. However, in 2015, I took the leap and self-publishing my first book. I’m so glad that I did because the characters from my books have come to life for me and my readers.
Key to my writing technique is being open to where my characters lead me when I create my ideal writing environment. I love to build in humor that actually makes you laugh out loud along with a little bit of drama spice. The funnier and dramatic I can make my characters, the better for my books.
My hope is that you will check out my books as they become available and then support me by leaving a review. Your feedback and comments are important to me!