Winner of my April Contemporaries to Covet giveaway!

Woo hoo! Loads of awesome readers let us know what contemporary romance novels they’re looking forward to this month! I love seeing how vibrant the contemporary romance genre is. Makes me feel all happy inside.

The winner of the $10 book gift certificate for herself and for the author she mentions is…Cindy Overton!

In her comment, Cindy said:

Wow – so not a fair contest. I love all 3 authors. Read them all and loved them all but since I just finished Catch Me A Cowboy by Katie Lane – that’s who my vote is for. It was such an emotional ride. Laughed so hard on the first two and was brought to tears in Catch Me A Cowboy…

So Katie Lane should also get a $10 gift certificate BUT…Katie has very generously said she’ll give Cindy her gift certificate AND her choice of any of Katie’s books! (Cindy, it sounds like you might’ve read all of Katie’s books, but maybe you have a friend you’d like to introduce to her.)

How cool is that?? Talk about an awesome author. 🙂 Go give her some love on Twitter and her Facebook page (or, y’know, buy her books).

Friends, this week you can win Suzanne Johnson’s fantastic debut novel Royal Street. Imagine New Orleans after (the very unfortunately named) Hurricane Katrina. Now imagine the city filled with were-creatures, an undead pirate, and a wizard who’s supposed to keep the humans from knowing about them. Suzanne’s novel is amazing. Seriously – go try to win it! 🙂

Contemporaries to covet in April – and giveaway!

April is set to be an awesome month for fans of contemporary romance!

Those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while know that every month I highlight the contemporary romance releases I’m most looking forward to. Sometimes they’re books I’ve read advance copies of, sometimes they’re by authors whose novels I always love.

And to celebrate these releases, I give away a $10 gift certificate to one person who leaves a comment AND to the author she mentions in her comment. That way authors get a fun reward for writing such wonderful books. (See details below.)

This month, I haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of these books, but they’re novels I’ve looked forward to for a looong time.

Ready, freddy? Here they are!
Continue reading “Contemporaries to covet in April – and 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 Katie Lane giveaway!

Make Mine a Bad BoyThanks to everyone who commented on my interview with Katie Lane. The winner is…Maria D!

Maria, I’ve emailed you, so check your spam folder if you haven’t received it.

Hope everyone enjoyed the post and will think about buying one of Katie’s books – you won’t be disappointed.

And a big thanks to Katie for the interview!