Winners of the Contemporaries to Covet giveaway!

April looks set to be a contemporary romance bonanza, judging by the comments on last week’s contemporaries to covet post!

The winner of a $10 gift certificate to the online bookseller of her choice is…Natalija!

Congrats, Natalija! Email me and let me know where you’d like your g.c. for: romancingkatrina[at]gmail[dot]com.

Natalija said in her comment:

I’ve become a huge fan of Jane Graves after reading “Black Ties and Lullabies” and I’ve enjoyed each of the books I’ve read so far, but my favourite has to be “Tall Tales and Wedding Veils”. I love books set in Vegas
Looking forward to reading “Cowboy Take Me Away”.

Have a great week!

That means that Natalija also won a $10 g.c. for Jane Graves! Woo hoo! I’ll contact Jane and let her know.

Thanks for entering the giveaway, everyone!

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


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.


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!”

Eleven romance authors I “discovered” in 2011 – & giveaway!

Mistletoe Madness 2011This post is part of the Mistletoe Madness blog hop. If you’re here for the first time, welcome! I blog about contemporary and historical romance, and I have weekly giveaways. (This one is an added bonus.) I hope you’ll consider subscribing and visiting again sometime.

I’ve heard some lovely stories about parents who mark their children’s growth by writing them a letter every birthday and recounting all the things they’ve learned to do.

I’m a bit too old for my mom to do that, so I measure my own growth in my own ways. One of my favorites is by reflecting on much-loved authors whose books I hadn’t read a year ago. These are authors who gave me the thrill of discovery and inspiration – what more could you ask for?

Here are 11 romance authors I “discovered” this year. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some of them, and I’m making it my resolution to interview the others in 2012.

1. Shannon Stacey: Heartfelt, funny contemporary romance

2. Jane Graves: Contemporary romance that tugs the heartstrings

3. Catherine Mann: High-octane military romance (Catherine will be here the week of December 26 giving away Hot Zone!)

4. Brenda Novak: Romantic suspense that’ll keep you up all night!

5. Katie Lane: Quirky, hot small-town Texas romance

6. Laura Lee Guhrke: Stunningly beautiful historical romance

7. Shana Galen: Absolutely fantastic historical adventures

8. Suzanne Brockman: Her contemporary romance Infamous made me cry.

9. Vicky Dreiling: Wickedly witty historical romance

10. Sarah MacLean: Laugh-out-loud-funny Regency romance

11. Joanne Kennedy: Fun and poignant contemporary cowboy romance


Since this is part of the Mistletoe Madness blog hop, there are a few ways you can win cool stuff.


Win a $10 book gift certificate and some chocolate on my blog. (Open internationally)

Chocolate stars ornamentLeave a comment below telling me an author you became a fan of this year. On December 23, I’ll randomly choose one commenter to win a $10 (or equivalent in your currency) gift certificate to an online book retailer. I’ll also send you this ornament filled with chocolate stars (fake tree not included), which will hopefully arrive in time for you to share them at a New Year’s party!


Enter to win a Nook! (U.S. only)

If you live in the U.S., you can also sign up for the Nook giveaway on PJ Schnyder’s blog, as part of the Mistletoe Madness blog hop. The Nook is loaded with books, so you can discover lots of new authors in 2012.


Visit other bloggers giving stuff away.

On PJ Schnyder’s blog, you can find links to all the other bloggers giving away cool stuff during the Mistletoe Madness blog hop. Go give ’em some love, and you could win cool stuff from them!

Who are your favorite new authors that you’ve discovered in 2011?

How a small community can smother your characters

As a contemporary romance writer, I know that series set in small towns and tight-knit communities are insanely popular.

But there’s also a danger that, as a series grows, those communities can begin to smother the vibrancy of later novels and their characters.

This isn’t just a danger with small-town contemporary romance. It can happen in any series that focuses on a particular community, whether that’s the ton in Regency romance or a fantastical world completely of the author’s creation.

Here are the ways communities can alienate me, the reader, and my thoughts on how to avoid it.

Continue reading “How a small community can smother your characters”

Winner of the Jane Graves giveaway!

Heartstrings and Diamond RingsThanks to everyone who left a comment on my interview with Jane Graves. The winner of Heartstrings and Diamond Rings is…catslady!

Catslady, I’m sending you an email, so if you don’t get it then please check your spam folder.

Everyone else, make sure you leave a comment on my interview with Jill Shalvis for a chance to win her latest, Animal Attraction – released tomorrow!

And a big, huge thank-you to Jane for the interview and giveaway!