Nov 27, 2017

New Site for Romance readers!

Have you heard about the new kid on the block?

It's a great place where romance readers can go and follow their favourite authors and read snippets from books, deleted scenes, teasers, scenes from works in progress. These outtakes are called Bites and, I gotta say, the way they're presented reminds me very much of Tumblr. Oh and it's very very pretty :-)

It's called Book + Main Bites. No....I have no idea why its called such an uninspiring name... but if you're a reader it's free and what better way to check out an author's work?

My profile is HERE and here's one of my bites as an example - (if you click on the images they'll come up larger)

See, what I mean by pretty? And at the end of each snippet there's even links to where you can find the book should browsing turn to buying.

Here's a list of all my bites and I'm adding to it daily -

I'm absolutely in love with the site both as a reader and an author - I've already one-clicked 3 books from reading Bites so I'm keeping my device well fed! But it comes with a warning - you can fall down a rabbit hole where you lose a few hours!

This is the main page where you can go to sign up and I urge you all to check it out.

And I'd love for you to come back here and let me know what you think!

Nov 26, 2017

Sunday Smooch with Clare Connelly

This week's smooch is coming to you from Clare Connelly, but first, the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Sarah Lehman, who commented over on Facebook. Sarah,  please get in touch with Amy Andrews to claim your e-book of Playing with Forever (one of the hottest books I've read all year!)  

Today's smooch is from INNOCENT IN THE BILLIONAIRE'S BED, a passionate story of forbidden desire and need... and the innocent lie that threatens to pull it all apart. I'll have a paperback copy of the book to give away to a commenter (anywhere in the world), either here or over on Facebook, where we are now cross-posting. If you don't follow LoveCats on Facebook, you've really got to wonder why? Ha! Lots of fun conversations happen over there - come join us!

Tempted by the tycoon’s touch…

Rio Mastrangelo doesn’t want anything from the father who never acknowledged him. So when he unexpectedly inherits an island paradise, he’s determined to sell it as fast as he can! But the potential purchaser who lands on his shores is not the spoiled heiress he’s been expecting—and her luscious body fills him with a rush of hot, undeniable desire.

Cash-strapped Tilly Morgan accepted a payment to impersonate her best friend, but she hadn’t bargained on sexy Rio. When a storm hits, trapping them together, there’s nowhere to run from their raging hunger—and passion threatens to uncover Tilly’s every vulnerability…

“I absolutely loved where INNOCENT IN THE BILLIONAIRE’S BED just swept me off to… This book will capture you heart, body, and soul and will leave you breathless.”

—NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Vanessa Fewings

The hero of this story, Rio Mastrangelo (whom I fell completely in love with while writing this story) is my 'Hero of the Month'. If you want to learn more about the inspiration behind the character, you can read about him here.

Here's what's happening in the scene you're about to read an excerpt from...

Stranded on a Mediterranean island with the man of her dreams, Tilly is trying to remember all the reasons she can't act on the desire she feels for her super-sexy, billionaire host. Only, a thunderstorm has struck Prim'amore, taking out the electricity generator for the small shack they're sharing, and an already flammable situation gets set to explode! When Rio goes to investigate the damage, Tilly insists on accompanying him, despite Rio's strong objections. He doesn't want Tilly to get hurt in the wild storm, but Tilly isn't a woman to be told what to do! This scene comes after a lot of resisting temptation and being strong; they're at breaking point and the storm pushes them over the edge...

‘What is it?’ she shouted. ‘Why do you seem so angry with me?’
‘Angry with you?’ He pulled the door to the cabin inwards. ‘You think I’m angry with you?’
‘You’re shouting at me!’ she yelled back. ‘Why?’

He shook his head; water droplets fanned out, splashing against the walls. ‘Because!’

‘That’s not an answer. What is it? I’ve already… I said I was sorry about yesterday.’
He closed his eyes for a second, and when he opened them she felt as if he was trying to get a grip on his temper. His eyes were a storm that raged as intensely as the one outside. He swore sharply—a sound that tore through the house as he moved towards her quickly, crushing her body with his far bigger one, pushing her back until she connected with the wall.

His kiss had the strength of an ocean. His tongue drove into her mouth, clashing with hers, his hands pushed at her shoulders and his legs kept her pinned to the wall.

‘I am not angry with you, cara,’ he muttered into her mouth.
The words came to her from a long way away. Her senses weren’t capable of absorbing anything but this—this feeling that was tearing her body apart with a need she had never known possible.
Her fingers pushed at his wet clothes; they stuck to his body stubbornly and she groaned into his mouth, pushing her body forward, needing closeness, wanting more. So badly wanting more.
He had far more success—tearing the dress over her head, breaking the kiss for the smallest moment possible in order to shift the fabric over her face. Her mouth chased him, seeking him, needing him, hating his absence. Her pulse was louder even than the thunderstorm.
His hands ran over her sides and she shivered.
‘You’re cold,’ he said, lifting his head.
She shook her head. ‘No.’
‘You are covered in goosebumps,’ he pointed out thickly, the words dragged from him.
‘Not cold.’ She shook her head and pulled at his shirt, bringing him back to her.
His kiss was everything that had been building up inside her since she’d arrived on Prim’amore. It was all the longing and wanting, the needing and watching. It swirled around them both, churning them, changing everything.
Her fingers tangled in his hair and he groaned into her mouth—a guttural sound that perfectly expressed what she wanted. He pushed at her, guiding her, pulling her, until she was through the door to her bedroom. But he didn’t stop. His body kept pushing at hers until she fell backwards onto the bed, a tangle of limbs and desire.
His mouth on hers was demanding; she gave him everything. But then he moved, dragged his stubbled jaw down her body, pushing at her bra so that he could take a nipple in his mouth.
His tongue flicked at it relentlessly, and the pleasure was so intense it was almost too much. She cried out, her hands needing to touch him, to feel him. She pushed at his shirt and finally he paused, so that he could remove it for her. She drove her nails along his back, feeling his supple skin as he turned his attention to her other breast, his fingers picking up where his mouth had left off. She arched her back as pleasure throbbed hard in her abdomen.
‘I am not angry with you,’ he said again, though she was no longer worried he was.
She nodded, words failing her. He brought his mouth to hers and his kiss was gentle. Slow. Deep. As if he could taste her soul and wanted to cherish her.
It was the most erotic thing she’d ever felt.
‘Rio…’ she whispered, her skin flushed, her heart thumping.
Rain lashed at the window and lightning struck, but it was mute to them. Only the thundering of their own need registered.

Here's my question for you: If you were going to be stranded on a deserted, tropical island for a sultry week, who would be your partner of choice and why? No real-life spouses allowed ;) 

Come back next Sunday when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced, and don't forget to follow us on Facebook so you never miss a LoveCats purr-post.

Nov 24, 2017

To gift or re-gift? — Kandy Shepherd

Today is Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving when shopping venues across the United States (and now online too) turn on a shopping frenzy with heavily discounted goods. The idea has now spread to other countries who don’t even celebrate Thanksgiving. Like the UK. And now Australia. (Where our traditional shopping frenzy day is Boxing Day, the day after Christmas Day.)

Being somewhat of a shopaholic I rather welcome another bargain shopping opportunity. Working at home on writing a book that doesn’t seem to want to end in spite of a looming deadline, I’m easily distracted by the cyber shopping mall that surrounds me. I have now done all my Christmas shopping—ninety-nine percent done online.

Which brings me to the vexatious question of re-gifting/recycling to someone else the unsuitable/unwanted presents you might receive. The body lotion in a scent you know will make you sneeze. The wrong size T-shirt. The book you’ve already read. I’m sure you can think of lots of examples. There’s the second-hand gift dilemma too. Does a present have to be brand new to be worthy of being a present? Would a pre-loved item do as well?

Does it matter if theyre recycled?

 Problems can abound if you choose to re-gift. You forget to take off the tag gifting the item to you with love. Worse, you re-gift the present to the person who gave it to you in the first place. Do you tell the recipient that the gift is recycled or pretend it was all your idea?

In an era of “too much stuff” I think recycled gifts are a great idea both for the planet and for over-stretched budgets. One of my most cherished presents is a small blue vase I admired in a relative’s house. I was thrilled when she gave it to me as a gift. She’s long gone now and I always think of her when I use it and how lovely it looked in her house.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any funny stories of when re-gifting went wrong? I’d love to read your comment!

Nov 20, 2017

Changing my behaviour with Stefanie London

About 6 months ago I decided to overhaul how I "consume" clothing. This is something that has been building for a while, like a niggling thought about something I knew wasn’t right in my life. There are plenty of facts and figures on the way that we over-consume fashion these days, but this article is a good start: or here:

The upshot is that back in the 50's the average woman owned about 9 outfits. From the above articles, people have an "average of 16 items only worn once and 11 still with the tags on" in their closets.

The increase in consumption has much to do with fast fashion and the low cost of garment production by fast fashion companies. Why spend $100 on one top when you can get 5 or 6 for the same price at H&M, right?

The problem is, the cost cutting not only effects the quality of the garment (meaning they degrade quicker) but the wages and working conditions for people making the garments as well as the environment (watch this The True Cost on Netflix for more info on this. Ne prepared, having a box of tissues handy.)

What am I doing about it?
1.     I've put myself on a temporary fast fashion ban. No H&M, no GAP, no Old Navy etc. It's been just under three months so far. Ideally, I'd like to go a whole year. I've realized that I actually need a lot less clothing than I'd previously thought.
2.     Taking better care of the clothing I own, learning how to mend things instead of replacing them.
3.     Shopping more carefully and thoughtfully when I do buy something new. I’m trying to choose more sustainable fashion brands or at least buying an item of high quality that I know I will use lots and will last me longer than one season.
4.     I am now learning to sew and knit. This definitely isn't me saying we should all make out own clothing, but to me it was a natural part of changing my habits.

The easiest thing you can do to lessen your fast fashion impact is to simply buy less, buy thoughtfully and buy better

quality. I feel that this is one of those things where small behaviour changes across larger groups of people will have massive impact. Try “shopping your closet” by creating new pairings of items you already own, or making a promise to finally get those jeans hemmed so you can wear them out instead of leaving them unloved in your closet.

Is this something you’ve thought about? How have your shopping habits changed over the years?