Contemporaries to covet in April – & giveaway!

Happy April, everyone! I hope the sun is shining wherever you are. Today is the first day for several days that we haven’t woken up to snow on the ground. It actually felt a little like Spring – hallelujah!

Since today’s the first Monday of the month, I’m doing my special Contemporaries to Covet giveaway. I’ll tell you which contemporary romance novels being published this month I’m most looking forward to. I want to know what you’re coveting, and I’ll choose one person to win a $10 gift certificate for herself AND for the contemporary romance author she mentions.

Giveaway details are below, but first, here’s what I can’t wait to read this month!

Love Irresistibly by Julie James

HE’S USED TO GETTING WHAT HE WANTS…

Love IrresistiblyA former football star and one of Chicago’s top prosecutors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cade Morgan will do anything to nail a corrupt state senator, which means he needs Brooke Parker’s help. As general counsel for a restaurant company, she can get a bug to the senator’s table at one of her five-star restaurants so the FBI can eavesdrop on him. All Cade has to do is convince Brooke to cooperate—and he’s not afraid to use a little charm, or the power of his office, to do just that.

AND WHAT HE WANTS IS HER.

A savvy businesswoman, Brooke knows she needs to play ball with the U.S. Attorney’s office—even if it means working with Cade. No doubt there’s a sizzling attraction beneath all their sarcastic quips, but Brooke is determined to keep things casual. Cade agrees—until a surprising turn of events throws his life into turmoil, and he realizes that he wants more than just a good time from the one woman with whom he could fall terrifyingly, irresistibly in love…

My two cents
Julie James is one of my all-time favorite romance authors. When non-romance readers ask me why I love romance, she’s one of the authors I point them to. I don’t have many auto-buy authors, but she’s certainly one of them!

Publication date: April 2, 2013
Read an excerpt

Buy it at: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Powell’s

Continue reading “Contemporaries to covet in April – & giveaway!”

Contemporaries to covet in October

It’s that time of the month again – when we celebrate the best contemporary romances being published this month.

For those of you who are new here, at the beginning of every month I tell you a couple of the upcoming contemporary romances I’m most looking forward to. You tell me the same and one person will win a $10 gift certificate for herself AND for the author.

More about that below, but first here are the October contemporary romance novels I can’t wait to read.

The Marriage Trap by Jennifer Probst

The Marriage TrapTo satisfy his late father’s wishes, hot and single billionaire Michael Conte must find a bride—someone who will fit into his traditional family back home in Italy—and fast, so his engaged sister will be allowed to wed. With no intention of being tied down, Michael “proposes” to fiery, free-spirited photographer Maggie Ryan: if she will play the part of his fiancée during her trip to Milan for a photo shoot, he will keep away from her married best friend, Alexa, and stop making Maggie nuts with their too-close-for- comfort flirtations.

But once in Italy, sexual tension sparks the hottest no-strings- attached arrangement on any continent. Could marriage be the most enticing trap of all?

Publication date: October 2, 2012

Buy it on Amazon.com | B&N

My two cents

I’m probably the only person in the world who hasn’t read the first book in this series, The Marriage Bargain. It’s definitely on my TBR list, though, and I’ll be eager to see if the Marriage Trap is just as successful. Plus, who can resist a billionaire?
Continue reading “Contemporaries to covet in October”

Winner of the Roxanne St. Claire giveaway!

Barefoot in the SandMany thanks to everyone who commented on my interview with Roxanne St. Claire – and of course, to Rocki for her time!

The lucky winner of Barefoot in the Sand is…Natalija!

Natalija, send me your mailing address to: romancingkatrina[at]gmail[dot]com

Everyone, this week you can win Sherry Thomas’ latest historical romance, Beguiling the Beauty. Just comment on my interview with Sherry Thomas for a chance to win!

Review: Barefoot in the Sand by Roxanne St. Claire

The sultry Florida weather has nothing on Roxanne St. Claire when it comes to cranking up the heat!

Barefoot in the SandLacey Armstrong and her 14-year-old daughter barely survived when a Gulf of Mexico hurricane slammed into their home. They lost everything they owned.

Six months later, with only an insurance check and a dream, Lacey contacts an architect to help her rebuild her home and turn it into a B&B.

When hot-as-hell Clay Walker – son of the architect she wanted to hire – shows up and offers to do the work for free, Lacey is full of misgivings but eventually gets swept up in his vision of building a resort.

Unfortunately, the island Lacey lives on is firmly stuck in the 1950s with one family influencing all zoning decisions – a family that owns the only tourist accommodation on the island and wants to keep it that way.

I’ve been looking forward to Barefoot in the Sand for months, ever since I wandered onto Roxanne St. Claire’s website and saw she was bringing out a contemporary romance series. As a fan of her romantic suspense novels, I couldn’t wait to see what she would do with my favorite romance genre. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Continue reading “Review: Barefoot in the Sand by Roxanne St. Claire”

Interview with Roxanne St. Claire – & giveaway!

Roxanne St. Claire I find Roxanne St. Claire one of the most exciting romance authors writing today. Her thrilling romantic suspense series have garnered loads of well-deserved awards, but much more than that, she’s simply one of the most open, friendliest authors out there.

If you want to see how awesome she is, read her bio on her website. Funny and down-to earth – you’ll see what I mean. Plus, she’s a Bruin, and there’s nothing better to be. *ahem*

She’s giving away a copy of her upcoming release Barefoot in the Sand – which I just finished reading and LOVED. Welcome, Rocki!

Oh, thank you so much! How sweet you are to say all that and, yes, go UCLA!!!

1. You’re truly a multi-talented woman. This year, you’re branching out into new genres – contemporary romance and YA. What made you decide to go for it? And once you’ve conquered these new genres, will you tackle historicals and paranormals?

Barefoot in the SandI don’t know if I’m multi-talented as much as I am crazy in the head. I am almost 100% certain I will never write historical and my YA is ever-so-slightly paranormalish, so who knows?

While writing the Guardian Angelinos books, I was playing with an idea for a contemporary series set on a fictional island. When I turned in the last book on my romantic suspense contract, my publisher said they were hungry for more small-town contemps.

I sent them the proposal and they loved it, and I was really ready for a change to a new genre. Also while writing the Angelinos, I had an idea for a YA that took me by the throat and wouldn’t let go. (It’s my favorite genre to read.) I sold that concept to Random House/Delacorte and wrote the book (and helped with the screenplay – it’s been optioned for film!) right after I finished my last romantic suspense.

I think that story tells you that my creative juices were just ready to be poured into another glass. I’ve written a lot of romantic suspense and will certainly write more, but I needed a change and I’ve certainly enjoyed making it.

2. What excites you most about writing these new genres?

Don't You WishYoung Adult fiction is just so fresh in terms of voice and attitude and boundary-breaking. I have teenagers and they are always around (they tend to move in packs) and I just love the way they work. (Or don’t, as the case may be.) Writing DON’T YOU WISH was a blast from beginning to end.

The contemporary romances (I’ve written two of the four now) were a little more challenging. Having written so much suspense, I like a fast paced, action heavy plot, which is not the actual nature of an emotional, angsty (and yet still light and fun) small town romance.

The first book really challenged me but I’m very happy with the final product. I just finished the second one, which was a little easier to write, and I’ve really let my story get deeply emotional. I think I’m giving away Kleenex instead of bookmarks with that one!

3. In a previous life, you were Senior Vice President at the world’s largest public relations firm. What did you learn in PR that’s been the most useful in your writing career?

I was! It sounds so lofty, doesn’t it? I worked at Hill & Knowlton for many years and climbing the corporate ladder was great fun and very rewarding. Everyone assumes that makes me a super promoter of my books — not true! I’m the worst at doing my own publicity. But working in PR did teach me how to write on deadline, how to take criticism and edit (clients will kill you on a press release), and how to take arcane information and make it interesting to the masses.

All that has helped tremendously in this career. But I don’t miss panty hose, office politics, or endless meetings, that’s for sure.

4. I’ve lost count of how many books you have coming out this year, yet your quality never suffers. How long does it take you to write a book, and how do you organize your day to get everything done?

Kiss Me I'm IrishI average three books a year, but have had years with just one or two and a novella. Thank you for saying the quality doesn’t suffer — all the credit goes to the amazing editors I’ve had along the way.

It takes as long as it takes to write a book…which is to say, every story is different. One book can be a “gimme” that more or less writes itself and needs no revisions, another can rip your soul to shreds and require three complete rewrites to nail the story.

I work every day, all day, and rarely take even a weekend off. I do my best work under deadline and pressure, which is nice, since that’s pretty much my entire life. I have a VERY supportive husband who does all the shopping, cooking, house management, and child chauffeuring. He is my secret superpower!

5. One of your pre-novelist careers was in acting. Please tell me your appearance on Bosom Buddies exists somewhere online.

Uh, yeah, it does. It’ll cost a lot of drinks to get it out of me. But I can be bought.

Giveaway!

Rocki’s giving away a copy of her new release, Barefoot in the Sand, to one lucky person who leaves a comment below. I’ll randomly select the winner on Tuesday May 1st.

Good luck!