Sep 29, 2013

Blonde Heroes: Love Them or Avoid Them?

What do you think about blonde heroes? If you're reading a book and the hero is blonde, are you less interested in him than if he'd been dark-haired?

There's a rumour in romancelandia that readers prefer the tall, dark and handsome type. In fact there are stories of blonde heroes turning up dark-haired on their covers so as not to scare the readers away.

I've been thinking about this rumour lately because my October Desire, Countering His Claim, has my first ever blonde hero, Luke Marlow. The image in my head for Luke was Rupert Penry-Jones (from Persuasion, Spooks, etc). This is him in his Persuasion costume with co-star, Sally Hawkins:

Image: BBC website

However, had I wanted another actor as inspiration, I wouldn't have had to look far. In fact, there are so many blonde potential-heroes that it makes me wonder if we have different expectations for heroes in books to heroes in movies, or whether the rumour is simply not true. In the spirit of healthy debate, I've gathered photos of some of those blonde potential-heroes for your consideration...

Chris Hemsworth

Image: Wikipedia

Owen Wilson
Image: Georges Biard

Alexander Skarsgard
Image: Gage Skidmore

Simon Baker
Image: Angela George

Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, aka, James Marsters
Image: Wikipedia

Captain America, aka, Chris Evans
Image: Marvel Website

Ryan Gosling
Image: Wikipedia

Ryan Reynolds
Image: Wikipedia

And this is how the Desire art department portrayed Luke Marlow on the cover of Countering His Claim.

There were many more examples I could have given, from Jensen Ackles to Paul Newman, from Dan Stephens (Matthew in Downton Abbey) to Jude Law. What do you think? Do you have a soft spot for blonde heroes, or do you prefer tall, dark and handsome? 

Sunday Smooch - An Enticing Debt to Pay - Annie West

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from AN ENTICING DEBT TO PAY by Annie West, but first ...

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Falcon Crest

Can you please contact melaniemilburne(at)gmail(dot) com to receive your copy of Never Say No to a Caffarelli. 

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from AN ENTICING DEBT TO PAY.

Dial R for Revenge…

Forgiveness is a foreign concept to wealthy investment trader Jonas Deveson. Someone has been stealing from him. He's got a good idea who it is and she's going to pay….

Seeing the harsh lines that bitterness has carved into Jonas's handsome features, Ravenna Ruggiero knows he'll never see the shades of gray in her actions.

Jonas blackmails Ravenna into working as his housekeeper to pay off her debt, but living under the same roof leads to unexpected yet forbidden temptation, and Jonas is no longer sure who is being punished!

Scene set-up:
Jonas and Ravenna aren't quite strangers but they're definitely enemies when they meet again. Jonas believes she stolen from him and is infuriated at her refusal to show guilt. Ravenna is busy protecting her mother, the real focus of Jonas's fury. Tensions and tempers run high till Jonas finally snaps and reaches for Ravenna, responding to the high octane attraction they both feel.

Slitted now, her eyes had a glazed look that told its own story. She swallowed convulsively, drawing his attention to the slim length of her pale throat. The collar of her dark jacket sat loose, giving her an air of fragility at odds with the pulse of vibrant life he felt as she arched against him.

He’d pull back soon. In a moment. When he’d allowed himself a single taste...

Cinnamon and feminine spice filled his nostrils as he dipped his head, nudging aside her collar and nipping gently at the sensitive spot where her neck and shoulder met. She shook in his hold, her hand grasping his between them as if for support.

‘No. Please I-’

Her words cut abruptly as Jonas laved the spot, drawing in the sweet taste of her warm skin.

Too late he realised his error, as he angled his head hungrily for a better taste, pressing kisses up her arching throat, past the throbbing pulse, up to the neatly defined angle of her jaw.

She was addictive. Scent or taste or the feel of silky soft flesh, or perhaps all three, had Jonas ignoring the voice of reason and losing himself in the moment. In the luxury of caressing Ravenna.

He’d never come across a woman who tempted him so easily.

Her free hand cupped the back of his neck, holding him close and he pulled her tight against him, enjoying the slide of her body as she bowed back to give him free rein.

He stroked his tongue along the scented skin behind her ear and had to tighten his hold when she slumped against him as if her knees had given way.

She was so responsive, inciting a surge of arousal that swamped all else. Blood roared in his veins, primal instinct taking over. His focus blurred, his mind racing frantically with the practicalities of getting her horizontal as soon as possible.

He nipped lightly at her ear lobe and she turned her head restlessly as if seeking his lips.

Triumph hummed through him as he pressed a kiss to the corner of her lush mouth.

One quick taste then he’d find that preposterous gilded sofa and treat them both to sexual release so intense it would shatter them to the core. Already he was hard as a rock. Carrying her across the room would be torture but he wasn’t letting her go till he’d had his fill. Till they were both limp and the urgent hunger gnawing at his vitals was appeased.

His ears rang with the force of his blood rushing. He ignored it and tilted his head to take her mouth.

Except her eyes were open now and that dreamy expression had faded. Stark horror flared instead in those dark gold depths.

Jonas frowned. She wanted him. He knew it. He felt it with every muscle and sinew as she pressed herself against him. Yet-

The ringing sounded again. This time he realised it came from somewhere outside his head – the front door.

In this book Ravenna stands up (most of the time) to a furious tycoon, bent on revenge, to protect her mother. To be in the draw to win a signed copy of ENTICING, just tell us who or what you'd stand up to protect, maybe a person or a place or a right.
Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from 'Countering His Claim' by Rachel Bailey will be posted!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

Sep 27, 2013

My kitchen nightmare...(Finally finished!!)

On January 28th this year we started the kitchen renovation.  Last Thursday (September 19th) they were officially finished. I'm pretty sure kitchens don't usually take that long to be renovated- it's not as if we had new walls built or even a change of appliances- we only had the cupboards changed... or at least that was the plan. But as with all best laid plans, things don't always go the way you intended!

Here's how it went for us:

Old kitchen- yellow, tatty and in need of a spruce, spend many weeks/weekends choosing new colours and styles...

Kitchen dismantled:

New granite and shelves/cupboards added

Start to fill up shelves from 'storage' (aka lounge floor)

Discover tipped over bottle of olive oil on carpet!!!!! DISASTER!!

Call insurance- who send a man round but he can't get the stain out so we need new carpet- and they will pay! (As it happens we have matching carpet coverage so they completely re-carpet the whole house while they're at it!)

BUT- have to spend weeks and weekends debating colors.....

PLUS, if we have new carpets, then we need new lounge blinds that match carpet and new kitchen as it's open plan, spend more weeks and weekends debating colors....

Discover chip and cracks in granite: PANIC!


I think it'll be a while before we do anything else to the house... how about you? Any renovation nightmares? Do you love renovating? 

Sep 25, 2013

Life-long story telling

I've just spend a wonderful few days with family, celebrating my father's 72nd birthday. At the heart of the celebration were my two "nieces", five and eight years old. (They're not exactly blood relatives, but our families have been celebrating birthdays together since their Mum and I were younger than they are now, so they qualify. Also, I've changed nappies and given baths and supervised homework, so I figure I've earned the "Aunty" designation.)

I was conscious of the fact that the whole weekend was full of storytelling. Our family doesn't get together terribly often, as we're geographically spread around, so there's lots of the "what's been going on" kind of stories that needed to be told. Then, like many dads, there's nothing my father likes than a long, drawn-out joke with a terrible pun as the punchline. There were also bedtime stories to read (I'd forgotten how wonderful and twisty that Doctor Seuss prose is.) And there were plenty of kids' stories too, often starting with a breathless, "Guess what?"

One of the new artworks destined for my refrigerator...
I asked my eight-year-old niece to write me a story because I was interested to see what sort of thing she might come up with. (Okay, so it might also have also been motivated by the need to keep her occupied while we prepared a birthday dinner for 12...)

She wrote me the most wonderful adventure tale. It was about Emily, a (nice) monster who lived in a cave by a river and who was out one day playing with a ball with her brother, Jack. But then the ball accidentally fell in the river! Jack went in after it, even though Emily told him not to and then, oh no, he started to get swept away! But Emily thought quickly and found a rope and threw it to Jack so he was able to climb out. And everyone chorused, "Hooray!" (She didn't know how to spell "chorused" but she gave it a good try.)

I know everyone thinks their own child (or nephew/niece/cousin/etc) is the smartest, most brilliant child in the world. But seriously, my author's little writing heart glowed and thumped as we read her story aloud. A gusty female protagonist! A hero's journey! A satisfying, happy ending! Awesome word use and vocabulary!

I'm going to start training her now to see if I can turn her into an author.

Reading her story got my mother telling another story. About the time when I was a similar age and I wrote a story on the back of a cardboard box at my parents' shop. They were part of a franchise and I wrote a story about how it had been founded -- a fantastical tale about pirates and deserted islands, apparently. And the head of the franchise visited their store and he saw it, and he told them he was going to see how it could be used as part of their advertising campaign. Which never happened. But still -- perhaps it was a foreshadowing of my future double life in PR and romance writing??

My favourite bedtime story over the weekend was Dr Seuss's "Yurtle the Turtle" -- so much fun to read out loud. Do you have a favourite you like to read to the littlies in your life?

Sep 23, 2013

I Dedicate This Book To.....

This morning I woke to a lovely FB message from an author I don’t know about Driving Her Crazy. She scored it in a goody bag at a conference and freely admitted that as a staunch Presents reader, she never would have picked it up to read it otherwise. But she loved it! In fact she neglected her own writing that day because she just had to finish my book. It was so nice of her to take the time to write and tell me about it too – we authors have fragile egos and affirmation like this is such a pick-me-up. Like all the doubts and insecurities and hard slog of sitting down and writing 50+K words is all actually worth it!

She mentioned also how much she liked the dedication. Which gave me the idea for this blog. I too love dedications. It’s the first thing I turn to when I open a book to start reading it and if there’s not one I feel a little cheated. I feel like I get to know a little something about the author through dedications or acknowledgements.

I know they’re incredibly important to me as a writer. I spend a lot of time thinking about my dedications and they all mean something. Often they’re very deep and personal. For example, I dedicated How To Mend A Broken Heart - a book about the emotional fallout in a relationship after the death of a child - to a friend of mine who had lost a child. I dedicated The Devil and The Deep to my baby niece that none of us got to hold or know when she passed stillborn from this world during the writing of the book. Top-Notch Surgeon, Pregnant Nurse, which deals with adoption, was dedicated to my BFF who understands intimately the heartbreak and sacrifice of entrusting your brand new precious baby to a complete stranger. 

And then there’s the one from Driving Her Crazy mentioned above.

Anyone who’s been following my public Facebook weight loss saga will understand how personal it was for me.

And finally I thought I’d share this one from my Oct 1st release from Momentum – Holding Out For A Hero 

“For my very own hero, Mark, who has never slayed a dragon, leapt a tall building in a single bound or caught a bullet in his teeth, but would if I asked him.”

What about you? Do you like dedications too? Ever read a really good one you’d like to share?

Sep 22, 2013

Sunday Smooch with Melanie Milburne

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Melanie Milburne, but first ...

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -Mary Preston!

Can you please contact Soraya at Soraya.lane (at)yahoo (dot) com to receive your copy of Patchwork Family In The Outback.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Never Say No To A Caffarelli by Melanie Milburne ........

Poppy Silverton is as untouched as the leafy English village where she runs a tearoom. But her home, her livelihood and her innocence are under threat… 
Rafe Caffarelli is a mouthwatering specimen of Mediterranean manhood. He’s a playboy 
billionaire and determined to buy Poppy’s historic dower house. 
Poppy will not give up the only thing that remains of her childhood and family. She’ll fight Rafe—and her attraction to him—all the way. And be the first woman to say “no” to a Caffarelli!

    He held her gaze for a long throbbing moment. ‘I meant what I said about the rent. I don’t intend to make any changes to the arrangements you made with John Underwood.’
    She flashed him another caustic glare. ‘Am I supposed to thank you or kiss your feet? Prostrate myself before you? Go on, lay one finger on me and see what happens. I dare you— Ommph!
    His hands had grasped her upper arms so quickly she didn’t have time to do much more than snatch a quick breath before his mouth came down on hers.
    It was a hard, possessive kiss, a hot fizzing pressure against her lips that made them tingle as if high-voltage electricity was passing directly from his body to hers.
Poppy had intended to fight him, but somehow as soon as his mouth connected with hers her lips softened and became totally pliant, melting beneath the fiery purpose of his. She opened to his command and tasted the full potent heat of him, the bold thrust of his tongue going in search of hers with erotic intent. He explored every corner of her mouth with spine-tingling thoroughness, leaving her breathless and barely able to stand upright.
    But even more mortyifying, she gave a soft little whimper of approval just before he broke the connection.
    It was of some slight consolation to her that he looked just as shocked as she felt. His eyes were almost black and a frown had appeared between his eyebrows as he dropped his hands from her upper arms and took an unsteady step back from her.
    Poppy tried to think of something witty or poithy to say but her mouth was still hanging open in stupefaction.
    He inclined his head in a formal nod, his expression now unfathomable. ‘Thank you for the tea lesson. It was very…’ He paused over the choice of a word. ‘Entertaining.’
    Poppy let out her breath in a flustered rush once he had gone. She knew the battle was far from over.
    It was just beginning.

To go into the draw to win a signed copy  of Never Say No To A Caffarelli  as well as Book Two- Never Underestimate A Caffarelli leave a comment to this question ......

What is the one thing you would do anything to fight for or keep in your possession? And—just for Poppy’s benefit—do you prefer coffee or tea?

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and another smooch will be posted!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

Sep 20, 2013

Guest Author Spotlight.....with Jane Porter.

Bestselling author Jane Porter has been a finalist for the prestigious RITA award four times, has over 12 million copies in print .  Jane's novel, Flirting With Forty, picked by Redbook as its Red Hot Summer Read, went back for seven printings in six weeks before being made into a Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear.  September 2012 brought the release of The Good Woman, the first of her Brennan Sisters trilogy, followed in February 2013 by The Good Daughter, and book three in the series, The Good Wife, is slotted for release in September.  A mother of three sons, Jane holds an MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco and makes her home in sunny San Clemente, CA with her surfer husband.

Jane Porter on the web:
Website  Blog     Facebook    Twitter    Author Page

Jane, please tell us about you latest release?

The Good Wife is the third book in the Brennan Sisters series and its Sarah Brennan’s story.  If you’ve read the first two books in the series, you’ve met Sarah already and you know she’s the youngest Brennan, beautiful, smart, and strong. But even though she acts like a tough cookie on the outside, on the inside, she’s vulnerable girl and still madly in love with her husband Boone.
Sarah is the sister who has it all – two beautiful kids and a gorgeous, sexy husband, Boone Walker, a professional baseball player.  They have a comfy, well-off lifestyle thanks to Boone’s success but living apart for most of the year, due to Boone’s schedule puts a huge strain on their marriage.   Sarah loves her husband fiercely but he made a mistake three years ago that she’s still finding it hard to forgive him for.  Now Boone is facing yet another career change and it makes things even more tense for their marriage until Boone gives Sarah an ultimatum.  Either get over the past to forgive and forget, or they go their separate ways.  Sarah has to decide if her marriage is worth keeping or if it’s time to walk away.

What are you writing at the moment?

It’s a single title romance about a ranching family, for Montana Born Books, and the first book in the Shanahan Brothers series about rugged, gorgeous cowboys.  For those of you who’ve read y Harlequins, you may remember the Shanahan brothers briefly from Hollywood Husband, Contract Bride.  I’m loving every minute of writing and working on this project! 

What is the most rewarding thing about being an author?

My readers.  First and always, it’s my readers who make this such a rewarding profession and I love their support and enthusiasm for my stories.  Second, I love that through writing and books I get to live larger than life.  I love creating and sustaining different worlds and peopled with complex, emotional and passionate characters.

You’ve visited Downunder for our Romance Writers of Australia conference. Do you have any special memories of Australia?

I love Australia and so do my boys.  Australia was their first overseas trip so it’s special to us.  Since our first trip there, I’ve taken them to so many other places but every time we talk about a new trip, they always ask to go back to Australia.  I love the friendly people, the gorgeous colors and inspiring settings, the beautiful beaches and the whole relaxed attitude… and I adore the Australian accent!  There’s so much beauty in Australia and each time I’ve been there, it’s given me more reasons to fall in love!

Here at LoveCats we adore our furry friends…..are you a cat or a dog person? Or maybe both?

We have two gorgeous dogs, Abi and Church.  Abi is an English Bulldog with the sweetest personality.  We adore her.  Church is a Bull Mastiff.  He’s huge and considers himself my 4th son.  He tries to sit on a couch like humans and when that fails, insists on trying to climb into my lap to cuddle.  He’s enthusiastic and boisterous and such an important part of our family!

Thank you Jane for visiting LoveCats! 

Yvonne's winner

Hey LoveCats!

The lucky prize winner from my "continuities" post is Lucy Waterhouse! Congratulations, Lucy.

Please email me, yvonne at yvonnelindsay dot com, with your postal details and your choice of book from my backlist!

Sep 18, 2013

Have you ever wondered about continuities?

Down Under Edition
Hi, it's Yvonne here! :-)
I have a book out this month with Harlequin Desire, SOMETHING ABOUT THE BOSS…, which is part of a continuity. A continuity is a fun project. Our publishing house draws together a string of ideas and develops an overall story arc, usually with some secret, mystery or question running through it like an unravelling thread, and each book within the continuity brings the reader closer to finding the answers or discovering said secret.
They can be a lot of fun to work on and it’s a collaborative effort between a group of authors—in this case, chosen by the publisher—who have to each flesh out the skeleton of their story and their characters bearing all the other stories and characters in mind. Did I mention that this can be challenging? Juggling balls has never been my forte and when I’m working on a continuity I’m forever screening back through previous emails and the story “bible” to figure out details like who looks like what and how where they live is furnished.
North America Edition
The Texas Cattleman’s Club: The Missing Mogul continuity is set in the town of Royal, Texas and while there have been previous continuities under this banner this one sits quite happily on its own if you haven’t read the previous series. To help me research SOMETHING ABOUT THE BOSS… I bought the whole previous series to get a taste of the world I’d be writing in and I loved it! 
You can get your own taste of Texas with the current continuity, or just with SOMETHING ABOUT THE BOSS…
So, do you guys have any questions about continuities? I’m working on another one now (juggling, juggling!) All questions will go into a draw for one lucky winner to receive a copy of a book from my backlist of their choice (stock permitting.) Ask away!

Sep 16, 2013

Legends on LoveCats....... with Anna Jacobs

We're delighted to have the fabulous Anna Jacobs visiting us on LoveCats DownUnder today. 

Please tell us a little about your journey to first getting published? 
     It was in the pre-Internet days. I was in Australia, aiming at the UK market, because my books were set there, and I was restricted to snail mail. I sent out the first two or three novels several times and got increasingly nice rejections over the years. But I had no one to talk to about it, so I was flying half-blind.
     I’d probably have got published more quickly nowadays because of the improved information flows. Also, I had a full-time job and teenage children. My concerned husband once asked gently, after a few years of this, ‘What will you do if you don’t get accepted? I said fiercely, ‘I will get published.’ I was thoroughly addicted to story-telling by now.
      I joined the Romantic Novelists Association of England, because they had (and still have) a New Writers’ Scheme, where you could get your novel critiqued by published novelists. When I was in London, I went to a talk given by a well-known agent, Bob Tanner. So at least I knew the name of one agent now.  
I kept submitting and entered one book into a competition run by an Australian magazine and publisher. I’d forgotten about the competition until I got a phone call a few months later to say I was one of the three finalists and they’d like to fly me to Melbourne for the presentation night. My husband came too. Naturally. He’s my soul mate.
      I came second, with a prize of $10,000 and publication. I don’t think I stopped smiling for a month. I cared far more about the getting published than the money. The bright joy didn’t last. I then came down with chronic fatigue syndrome, new management at the publisher abandoned the competition and its previous winners, so I had to start again. But that’s another story . . . Suffice it to say that the agent who’d given the UK talk took me on, and I’m still with Hodder & Stoughton who bought the first book he submitted for me.
      Basically, I haven’t let anything stop me writing.

How many books have you had published so far in your career? 
     64 novels (as of July 2013), plus 9 French textbooks, two how-to books, a lot of short stories and about 20 poems. I’m producing three novels a year now. Practice might not make perfect, but it makes you faster, that’s for sure.  

The world of publishing is ever evolving, how have you stayed on top of trends and continued to give your readers what they want?
      I keep an eye on the world and I do have a Master of Business which helps in the decision making sometimes. In the late 90s I abandoned my fantasy novels written as Shannah Jay and concentrated on my historical novels, which sold far more copies. After a few years, I started writing modern novels as well.
I tried ebook publishing in the late 1990s, but it didn’t take off then. I made more money by writing an article about it than by selling ebooks.  In the past few years, I’ve gone back into epublishing with my early novels, to which I have the rights back. I’ve established myself now as a writer of longer romantic novels, whether historical or modern. They deal with relationships, families as well as lovers, always with heart warming, happy endings. There are often two or more romances in a novel, because I like to write longer, complex tales.
      As they say these days, I’ve developed a ‘brand’. I don’t write sexy or gruesome novels, because there is a solid core of readers who don’t want to read that sort of book, and anyway, I tried writing sex scenes and didn’t enjoy it at all. I like to enjoy what I do. You only have one life.

 What has been the highlight of your publishing career so far?

      The highlight of my career was and is giving pleasure to readers. That comes before everything else. Novelists don’t write in isolation. We like to be read by people. I’ve always been open to readers contacting me, well before this current promote yourself like crazy era. It gives me great joy to hear from them, especially the ones who’ve emailed to say that my books have helped them through bereavements or other bad times, or the ones who say that I’ve have been the first novelist they’ve ever managed to read and they now love reading. Some particularly touching emails have brought tears to my eyes.
      Winning the prize and getting my first novel published was wonderful, of course. I already had several textbooks published but who reads them willingly? Winning and getting short-listed several for the Romantic Book of the Year awarded by the Romance Writers of Australia was great too. And let’s not forget the story-telling. I just love telling stories.

 Which of your books is your favourite, and why?
      I’ve been thinking about this recently in another context. I couldn’t single out one book, but a few have been special to me. My favourite books aren’t always the books that sell best, though.
 ‘Envoy’ – fantasy novel, written as Shannah Jay, taught me so much about tension, and is still a cracking tale that I’m proud of.
‘Salem Street’ – my first historical saga – went on to a 5 book series and is still reprinting from 1994.
‘Change of Season’ – my first ever modern novel, how I enjoyed writing it.
‘The Trader’s Wife’ – the series I didn’t intend to write till Bram, the hero, haunted my   dreams and nagged me into telling his story.
‘Replenish the Earth’ – a quiet, 18th century rural tale, very gentle yet telling.
‘The Corrigan Legacy’ – modern, the nearest I’ve come to writing a literary novel.

 Are you a plotter or a pantser?
 I can plot a story, but I find it hard to stick to the plot, especially if I get a better idea of how things happen. I usually develop the setup situation and agree it with my editor, then do the research. I write and rewrite the first two chapters till I know my characters, then I just go for it. It’s they who pull me through a tale. 
Lately, I’ve been writing for a third publisher, where they insist on me providing a synopsis. So I’ve had to plot – sort of. I’ve found that with all the practice I’ve had at writing novels over the years, I can half stick to their synopses – but not fully. Again, if I get a better idea for how the story works out, I use it. They don’t seem to mind. So maybe I’m now a hybrid writer? In writing, as in publishing/self-publishing.

 What’s the one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
      Do not sling your first novel out for sale on the Internet as an ebook. You will regret it one day. Write two or three novels (or more!) before you do that, as you’ll learn so much and be able to polish your first novel to make it a more professional standard. This is a very complex craft and one novel does not a novelist make! I practise what I preach. I have an early novel that I haven’t tried to rewrite because it was just too trite a plot. It was well worth writing because it taught me so much, but RIP now.

 What do you love most about being a romance author?
      I love bringing my hero and heroine gradually together and letting them find happiness, after sorting out some problem or other. I feel I understand what makes a happy marriage because I’ve been married for 51 years to my own hero, who is both husband and best friend. (We got married young.) We don’t live in each other’s pockets, but our love runs deep. I try to get something of that togetherness into my romance stories.
I don’t usually stick to one hero and heroine per book, either, and I like that. There are often two or three romances in my stories, so the supporting cast of characters can go away happy too. You can’t have too much love.
     I love writing the epilogue or final chapter. Warm, fuzzy endings are an Anna Jacobs trademark and if I don’t bring happy tears to my own eyes as I write, I haven’t done the ending well enough and I go back to it and rewrite it.
     It’s also pretty nice having such warm, supportive romance writers’ organisations and fellow writers. 

Thank you Anna for joining us today and sharing your wonderful journey! 

Leave a comment and go into the draw to win a paperback copy of The Traders Wife!

For more information about Anna and her wonderful books please visit her at 

We'll be highlighting another Legend in November!

Sep 15, 2013

Sunday Smooch with Soraya Lane

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from  Patchwork Family in the Outback, but first ...

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Erin DeLuca

Can you please contact anna(at)annacampbellinfo to recieve your copy of A Rake's Midnight Kiss.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Soraya Lane

The final piece of his family puzzle? 
Arriving in Bellaroo Creek, teacher Poppy Carter isn't quite prepared for the hard task ahead of her. But a school under threat and a class of unruly children is a breeze compared to single father Harrison Black, who's proving more of a challenge than she could ever have anticipated! 

Since his wife abandoned him and their children, Harrison has learned the art of keeping his distance—and new teacher Poppy doesn't seem to understand boundaries! But when a storm traps them both together, Harrison begins to wonder whether Poppy just might make the perfect addition to their little family….

 [Harrison and Poppy are stuck at his ranch during a storm, and she has just told him why her marriage ended.]

          “I guess we have more in common than we realized,” Harrison said, his voice soft now, soothing to the thumping of her head and the shaking of her hands.

            “Yeah,” she muttered, crossing her arms.

            But it was too late. Harrison had already seen her hands shaking and he was stepping forward and reaching for them, taking them from where they were folded and holding them in his. His palms covered the top of her hands, turning them slowly, fingers interlacing with hers.

            “You know what I’m wondering?” he asked, pulling her so slowly toward him that her body was obeying without her consent.

            “What?” she whispered, staring at his hands instead of his face.
            “How any man could ask another woman to his bed when he already had you to come home to.”
            Poppy didn’t believe him, not for a moment, but his words still put a smile on her face. “I don’t believe you, but thanks,” she said, braving his gaze and wishing she hadn’t, staring at him now like she was stuck in the web of his eyes, hypnotized with no chance of reprieve.
            “If you don’t believe me, then how about I show you?” Harrison’s voice was so low, so husky, that she was powerless to resist him.
            His hand left hers abandoned and slowly reached for her face, his palm cupping her cheek, fingers tucking beneath her chin and raising it. Poppy complied, more because she couldn’t not than because she consented.
            Harrison dipped his head, eyes dropping from hers to her mouth, and she did the same. Because his lips were moving toward hers, and she wasn’t going to pull away.
            His mouth was inches from hers, his breath warm against her skin, but still he hesitated, like he was waiting for her to accept, to make the final decision.
            Hell yes. The words ran through her mind at the same time as she stepped toward him, just one step, but enough for their bodies to touch and their lips to meet, in a kiss that stole her breath away and made her hands snake around the back of his neck. Her fingers found their way into his hair as his hands enclosed her waist, holding her still as their mouths danced, as his tongue so gently played against hers.

            So what if she’d promised to stay away from men? Harrison Black had been on her mind since her first day in town, and if she didn’t get this out of her system now? Then she’d probably never get a good night’s sleep ever again. Besides, maybe she didn’t need long term. Maybe one night was enough. 

If you had to escape your life, would you escape to the city or country?

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a new smooch will be posted!