Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Guest Author Carrie James Haynes

Welcome Carrie James Haynes, author of the historical romance, DAUGHTER OF DECEIT. She's here today to chat about how romance never goes out of style--especially historical romance.

Romance Never Goes Out of Style!

You've heard it. Romance novels are worn out, exhausted with the lack of fresh material, and over done. The world of publishing has been inundated with all sorts of romance from contemporary to historical. I beg to differ. Romance will never go out of style.

Romances are read to confirm that love really exists. For a moment in time, a reader finds love between the pages of a novel. Reading a romance is an escape from the reality of the world around us, far away from mortgages, bills, kids' appointments, work issues... It also reminds us why we fell in love and the feeling love gives us. When we pick up a romance, we don't have to flip to the end of the book to know that everything will end happily.

Arguably, though, there is not another genre more competitive than historical romance. Why? For the same reason, women love romance. Historical romances transport us to a different time and place. Most of us have a Cinderella complex and dream of our Prince Charming and happy ever after. History allows different scenarios than what we women experience today.

Marriages of convenience or arranged marriages fascinate us. In these stories oppressed women search for the love of their life, finding it in the arms of their 'prince', undoubtedly rich and handsome. Their happily ever after!

But how hard is it to come up with something fresh and original in historical romance? This desire to come up with a unique storyline has lead to influx improbable plots and so many discrepancies.

Can a fresh story still emerge out of the midst of Regency romance? I believe so. Daughter of Deceit holds many refreshing elements. A forbidden love, mystery, and suspense.

"Love is the emblem of eternity; it confounds all notion of time; effaces all memory of a beginning, all fear of an end." Madame de Stael, French-Swiss novelist.

Someone wants Alyce Hythe dead…

Shunned from London society for being the daughter of England’s most notorious spy, Alyce Hythe desires only to clear her father’s name. For years, she has been hidden away from all prying eyes, given a new identity and told to forget who she was. But strange things have been happening causing old rumors to once more be whispered. 

Long has Lord Julian Casvelyn lived with guilt brought on when his brother was murdered by England’s most infamous traitor. But one eventful night has changed everything Lord Julian believed about his brother’s death. Never did he suspect the woman he has just saved from certain harm is the daughter of that man. Now Julian is caught in midst of a conspiracy and desire for that woman.

Thrown together by fate, the two search for answers long denied them and along the way discover a love that can free them both.

Thankful she could breathe again at least for a moment. She turned to stand by Lissa, but instead she froze upon the sight. The last person she ever expected to see this night stood in front of her.
His wide mouth curved into a vague smile which could easily turn hard she suspected. He looked quite striking, handsome and elegant in his crisp black and white evening clothes. His dark eyes darkened intensely upon her. Before she had a chance to protest, his arm gripped her elbow firmly.
“Oh, no, my dear, I think not,” his utterance carried a hard edge which startled her. “I have long tried to gain an audience with you and have been reputed one way or another. If you choose to make a scene, it will not bode well for you. You may have been hiding in the nest of the Arungdon, but I can guarantee you that legally you are still the ward of my grandfather and I…”
“Please, Lord Casvelyn, you do not have to resort to threats,” she turned her head to see if any other's attention lay upon them, but none seemed interested. Her gaze shifted back to him. “What, pray, could you have to talk to me? Charles did send his appreciation for you saving me. He assured me he had taken care of the situation and the magistrate...”
“Come. Come. Miss Rufford…or should I say Hythe. I believe there is much we could talk of.”
She glanced back over her shoulder as he edged her along beside him. “Where are you taking me? It will not be proper…”
He cut her words short. “No one will see, I can assure you. I have arranged how I can I say this a few minutes where we will not be disrupted. Then you can rush back to your lordship.”
She watched Lord Casvelyn nod to a man in front of him, a tall man tawny hair and blue eyes. The man nodded back. Immediately, she felt herself being flung into a side door, closing tightly behind her. She could only imagine why Lord Casvelyn thought it necessary to have a guard at the door.
The room was small, quaint in appearance. There was no fire lit nor candle only the moonlit shone in light. He gestured to her to sit upon a settee. She hesitated, but then complied. To her dismay he sat beside her.
She found it difficult to catch a breath with him so near. He stared at her in a manner which made her remember all too well being in his arms with his lips upon hers.
“Now will you please explain yourself so I can rejoin Charles.”
“Ah, yes, the love of your life. I have heard. Unfortunately, I tend to doubt your proclamation of feelings.”
She stared at him and he returned it. He sat close to her, too close. She scooted back but he moved, allowing only her a scant space between her and this man who made her skin shiver with just his touch. “How dare you,” she uttered under her breath. “You don’t know me. Charles and I love each other greatly…”

“Do you?” he asked in a low voice. “Are you in the habit of sharing kisses with another while in the deep throbs of love for another? Come. Do not think I have forgotten having you in my arms. Kissing you, touching you...if not interrupted, perhaps it would have lead to more than...”
She slapped him, hard, and attempted to rise. He thwarted her with his two strong hands, pulling her down to him.
“You are no gentleman!”
“Perhaps,” he answered her, but his voice softened. “Perhaps.”
His hands released her back to her seat. What did he do to her that made her act as if she had not a reasonable thought in her head?
"Tell me, Miss Hythe, what are you up to? What plan do you have? Don’t think your friend, Lord Tregilgas can save you. If I so desire, I can have you escorted out under my care.”
“You make no sense, Lord Casvelyn. You come to me with demands that I return with you. Why should I? True, Colonel Tolworthy is my guardian, but in truth I barely know him. I have been on my own for a great deal of time of my life. Why should I be a burden to him now? It is only a few months more than I will not be.”
“Listen to me carefully, my dear. I had no knowledge that you still resided within England until three weeks ago. In all I find the whole of the situation unacceptable. I’m trying to rectify this. Believe me. I believe you are in danger.”
“Then do not worry about me. Charles has seen to my safety. You may question me, but I trust Charles. He would never allow harm to befall me as I would never allow harm to him.”
“Answer me this. Do you know no matter if you hold your father is innocent, the world does not? No matter if your young Marques holds to you, you are walking into social damnation, fair or unfair. It will not be pleasant. How long do you think it will take for someone to figure out who you are? I would wager it will not be long. And then there is the matter of the threat upon your life?”
“You are mistaken that I am trying to run from my name. I am not. Since my father’s death, I have faced his disgrace. No one thought it necessary to inform me how my father died until I was seventeen. All I knew was that he was dead. Not until Charles told me. He has been my only true friend, my Lord. I have only once visited my father’s grave and it was only through Charles I did so. Do you know what it is like to see your father’s grave ostracized from holy ground for they deem he committed suicide?”
“I know lost. I feel it every day. I dealt with my brother’s death knowing that the fiend that killed him also lay in the ground. But with your words you uttered to me, I find myself questioning all about my brother’s death. And with those words, I questioned the wisdom in allowing you this Season.”
As he spoke, he astonished her with his movement, transforming her back to that night, that room, that embrace. He moved closer, so close it seemed she could no longer claim air between them. His arms encircled her and pulled her face upward toward his. His touch startled her. She looked at him in surprise. She saw his intent, yet made no resistance. Wanting to protest, her body rebelled against the thought.
A gasp escaped her lips as he lowered his head to hers. His lips moved against hers, firm yet yielding. She melted into the sensation his kiss inflicted, the thrilling excitement and warmth flowing through her body. Her mind told her to resist though her body paid no attention to the warning. Instead, she responded to him. Gently he prodded her lips with his tongue to part. Slowly as if giving her time to get used to the idea, he slipped his tongue inside.
Within her a voice called to her to be sensible. He was dallying with her, no more, no less to prove his point. Yet, she ignored the voice choosing instead to surrender to the want within her and parted her lips fully to admit him. An intimacy flowed within her, so wonderful, awakening parts of her body she didn’t know were alive.
His arms tightened around her as pleasure cascaded through out her body. His kiss lingered. He didn’t stop with one. He kissed her again and again, astonishing her and evoking shivers that flowed down her body. A series of pleasurable sensations left her crying for more. He kissed her again, more aggressive, more demanding. Within her she had long lost any rational thought for he had her mesmerized.
She felt his hand move up and down her back. Her skin felt hot with his touch. His hand moved upward until it cupped her nape, caressing her. She could not believe what his meandering touch did to her. His lips descended down her chin to her neck. A cry escaped her when his lips found a sensitive spot which sent vibrations cascading through out her. Sensations she had never known yet desired. She had never been held in this way by anyone. Never had she felt so alive.
The next moment he held her head in his hands as if she was his captive. He ravished her mouth. Shock tensed through her. She could feel the need within him for her submit. Then as if reason took hold, he drew back. His eyes never left her widen eyes. He reached over and in a slow gentle motion caressed her face.
“Tell me now of this undying love you have for another,” he said demanding an answer from her.

Click here to purchase DAUGHTER OF DECEIT on Amazon

Monday, February 13, 2012

Guest Author S.G. Rogers Chats about Romantic Fantasy

Welcome author S. G. Rogers, my Twitter friend who is visiting today to talk about fantasy, romance...and a little magic, too. Great to have you here, S.G., and thanks for sharing this wonderful form of writing with us.
A Magical Cherry On Top

Throw an extra dollop of magic on top of a classic love story and you’ve got romantic fantasy. Imagine Pride and Prejudice with Mr. Darcy as an arrogant wizard and Elizabeth Bennett as a fetching, but non-magical, love interest. Hmm…and wouldn’t the beautiful grounds at Pemberley be that much more exquisite if enhanced by all manner of fantastic plants and magical creatures? Romance, when edged with a bit of whimsy and imagination, takes on yet another dimension. With the best romantic fantasies you’ll find yourself transported not only by the journey to ‘happily ever after,’ but also by the world itself.

In Clash of Wills, fantasy is woven seamlessly into the story at first. As the tale unfolds, however, magic becomes a more central part of the tale. Nevertheless, the focus is always on Princess Samantha and Prince Wills:
When an unconventional princess meets a footloose prince, a battle of wits begins…

Princess Samantha’s magical compass will help her locate her long-lost brother, but only if she manages to escape her royal parents for a few weeks. When an unwelcome suitor comes to call, Samantha seizes her chance. She beguiles the prince into taking her north, intending to abandon him at her earliest opportunity. Unfortunately, his captivating good looks and charming manner present an unforeseen complication—especially when she is forced to accept help from the very man she has deceived.
To maintain his bachelorhood, handsome Prince Wills is not above deception. Although reluctantly entangled in Samantha’s scheme, he vows to protect her…until a lie threatens to destroy their alliance. Can his powerful attraction to Samantha overcome his mistrust? And can they survive a dangerous quest to the wild and magical Uncharted Region?

The spring squall became more intense, and the temperature on the mountain fell rapidly. Frequent thunderclaps frayed her nerves. She kept striking the flint, hoping a spark would catch hold, but gusts of wind foiled her efforts each time. “Burn!” she cried. “Just burn.”
At her command, the fire pit suddenly burst into robust flames, creating the heat that Wills so desperately needed. She dragged him closer to the warmth. Blessed relief flowed through her when he stopped shaking and his color began to improve. She brushed his hair back from his handsome face.

“You’re a good man, Prince Wills,” she murmured. “You’ll make a good king someday...if you survive this misadventure.”
While Wills slept, Samantha rebalanced their packs to more equally distribute the weight. Then she stood at the far end of the lookout to watch the storm. Icy rain blew into her face and soaked her tunic. She gritted her teeth against the cold.
“Are you insane?” Wills’s voice rose above the howling gale. When he felt Samantha’s fingers, he gasped. “You’re freezing!”

He draped her coat over her shoulders and all but yanked her toward the fire. “What did you think you were doing?” he scolded.

“You needed the coat more than I did.”
“That’s nonsense. You could die of exposure up here!”

Wills folded Samantha into the warmth of his arms. They clung together until the sensation returned to her fingertips. “Thank you, Wills,” she murmured, finally. “That feels much better.”
He brushed his lips against hers. “Thank you for taking care of me.”
She responded with a whisper of a kiss. “You’re welcome.”
The developing romance between Samantha and Wills is enhanced by the fantasy, but not overwhelmed. And, after all, isn’t true love magical anyway? ~ S.G. Rogers

Romantic fantasy novella Clash of Wills is available February 29 from The Wild Rose Press. To learn more about S.G. Rogers, visit:
S.G. Rogers' Blog
S.G. Rogers on Facebook
S.G. Rogers on Goodreads
S.G. Rogers on Twitter
Buy CLASH OF WILLS beginning on February 29th Clash of Wills buy link

Thursday, February 9, 2012

LOVE DELIVERED: A Nook Lovers featured Cheap Read!

Love Delivered is the featured Cheap Read today at Nook Lovers! $2.50 and a virtual trip to summertime. :)
Click here to go to Nook Lovers site.

Friday, February 3, 2012

5 Hearts from Sizzling Hot Book Reviews for BENEATH THE SURFACE!

I'm excited to share the 5 Heart review of Beneath the Surface at Sizzling Hot Book Reviews

Beneath the Surface by Joya Fields

A mysterious metal box with what looks like red hair, red human hair, floating out from the seams, lies Beneath the Surface of the ocean, off the Florida coast. Brooke Richards is vacationing in Florida with her best friend Linda and Linda's boyfriend Jeff when they happen upon this grisly discovery. Throwing the three friends into the path of a psychopathic killer bent on making sure that the box is never recovered.
She's fighting to stay independent--he's determined to protect her no matter what...
Brooke Richards survived the earthquake that took her parents and most of her leg, but she needs time to regroup. A trip to Florida for a state-of-the-art prosthesis and to visit her best friend Linda seems ideal. But the trip turns traumatic when Brooke witnesses Linda's boat disintegrating in a fiery explosion.
Police Officer Garrett Ciavello believes the blast was intentionally set to hide something Linda found on a dive. When Brooke offers her expertise in underwater archeology, Garrett accepts her help with the investigation. But since his fiancée's death years ago, Garrett has become overprotective, and as they are drawn to each other, Garrett realizes he will risk anything to keep Brooke safe.
Brooke is fiercely independent. Garrett is fiercely protective. Will they heal each other's wounds and find a killer...before it's too late?
Garrett Ciavello is a detective with the Flagler police department. His cousin Tessa has been missing for two months. Tessa has red hair. Before Garrett is able to question Brooke and her friends, Linda and Jeff are injured in an explosion on their boat.

Garrett and Brooke team up to find the metal box and expose the killer. Even though danger lurks around every corner, Garrett and Brooke can't seem to deny their attraction for each other.

Beneath the Surface is a gripping, emotional tale. Full of twists and turns, page turning suspense and heart breaking drama. I think Joya Fields did a marvelous job of portraying the conflicting feelings of someone with such a visible physical disability. We get to see Brooke's insecurity about her prosthesis, her determination to be independent, her strength of character, and her indomitable spirit. Garrett is such a wonderful character, too. Racked by guilt, trying so hard to control his protective instincts, but so accepting of Brooke's disability that you almost feel it doesn't even show up on his radar. He is protective of Brooke, because he cares for her, not because he feels she is at all diminished by her disability.

I did figure out who the killer was (before Brooke and Garrett did) but I wasn't positive I was right, and it didn't diminish my enjoyment of Beneath the Surface. I loved watching Brooke discover that everyone needs to lean on someone sometimes, and it doesn't mean you're weak, only that you're human. I highly recommend Beneath the Surface to everyone who enjoys romantic suspense.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What is a best friend? Besties forever!

What sort of things do best friends do together? How do you find a best friend? Sometimes all you have to do is look around.
We're chatting about besties, including how Brooke, the heroine of BENEATH THE SURFACE, and her bestie Linda are there for each other through good times and bad.

Leave a comment at Long and Short Reviews blog to win an Ebook of BENEATH THE SURFACE!

Click here to view the Long and Short Reviews blog.