Welcome! Kick off your shoes, get comfy and join in as we chat about books, romance and the ups and downs of everyday life.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Coming Attractions



I love October with her cool nights, crisp mornings, the clean scent of the air and the beautiful, vibrant colors of changing leaves.  I love the fact that October brings Georgia Romance Writers' Moonlight & Magnolia conference, college football Saturdays, pumpkin patches and the treats of Halloween.  I especially love hanging out with the terrific readers who visit us here at TRD and our great line-up of guests.  









Wednesday, October 1st brings the Anna DeStefano blog tour to The Romance Dish.  Anna's newest story, Here in My Heart: A Novella releases September 30th. 









Debbie Mason returns Thursday, October 2nd for a Q&A with PJ. It Happened at Christmas, the third book in Mason's delightful Christmas, Colorado series releases on September 30th. 










On Friday, October 3rd, Andrea brings her list of October new releases. You won't want to miss this as there are lots of terrific new titles out this month!











Theresa Romain joins us on Monday, October 6th for a Q&A with PJ. Season for Desire, the fourth and final book in Romain's popular Holiday Pleasures series, releases on October 7th. 








Suzanne Ferrell blogs about small towns when she visits on Wednesday, October 8th. Close to the Fire, released September 25th, is the third book in Ferrell's terrific Westen series.











Jeanne Adams will be here Wednesday, October 15th to blog about her new book, The Tentacle Affaire, A Slip Traveler Novel. A visit from Jeanne always guarantees a good time! 










Monday, October 20th brings Tracy Solheim back to TRD with a blog to celebrate release day of her holiday novella, Holiday at Magnolia Bay












Anna Campbell rounds out the month on Friday, October 24th with another look back at a favorite book in her monthly column, Second Helpings. 





As always, we'll also have book reviews, spotlights, giveaways and a few surprises. Hope you'll join us!

What are you looking forward to this October?




Monday, September 29, 2014

Review -- He's So Fine

He’s So Fine
Lucky Harbor—Book 11
By Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Grand Central
Release Date: September 30, 2014






As the captain, chief navigator, and mechanic of Lucky Harbor Charters, Cole Donovan can certainly hold his own while in the water. So, when he falls into the harbor after getting shocked while doing some electrical repairs on a boat, it’s not a big deal. Apparently, the crazy woman who jumps in to “save” him thinks it is a big deal. After thrashing in the water for a bit, Cole manages to get her out of the water, but not without agitating an old shoulder injury. While attempting to warm them up, he realizes that the woman is his pretty neighbor.

Olivia Bentley thought she was helping Cole. After all, she saw the spark and then saw him fall into the water. Evidently, she was wrong. She feels bad that she caused him to hurt his shoulder, but she isn’t sorry to get so close (and get a peek!) as they are warming up. It would seem that Cole didn’t mind it either, because he shows up to check on her soon after. At first she believes that he’s just being neighborly, but he continues to show up for various reasons. Olivia knows that she could easily fall for a guy like Cole, but also knows that she shouldn’t if she wants to keep her secret safe.

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Jill Shalvis’s Lucky Harbor series. In it, she has created notable characters that I care deeply about and placed them in an unforgettable small town setting that this reader would love to visit. Plus, she includes secondary characters that are hilarious and add that extra something to make each story even better.

But let’s talk about my favorite part of this particular book: Cole. Oh, how I love Cole. He is honest, frank, and as his partner and friend Tanner puts it, “He’s a straight shooter, our Cole.” He’s a sexy nerd who can fix anything with duct tape and a screwdriver. You know, like McGyver. He wants to help Olivia by fixing little things here and there in her vintage shop, Unique Boutique. How sexy is that? I think poor Cole just wants to feel needed by someone while he is recovering from hurting his shoulder. And even though Olivia is hesitant to let Cole into her life, when he does things like that, he is hard to resist. When she sees him with his family, she is floored because they are on the opposite end of the spectrum as her family. Cole’s mother and sisters are loving, considerate, and devoted to each other whereas Olivia’s family members are selfish and use Olivia as a cash cow. It’s no wonder Olivia comes to Lucky Harbor to get away from them! I would, too! Readers find out Olivia’s secret fairly early on in the book, but I won’t spoil it for you. I will say that I am so glad it wasn’t a clichéd secret. It was one I haven’t read before so it was refreshing. Cole’s friends—Sam (from It’s in His Kiss) and Tanner (from next month’s One in a Million)—play huge roles in this story as do their heroines. And what’s a Lucky Harbor novel without the amusing antics of Lucky Harbor’s resident busybody Lucille. I love her! And after reading this one, I have a feeling she will play an even bigger part in the next book. I can’t wait!

He’s So Fine is another great addition to Ms. Shalvis’s Lucky Harbor series and a book that I highly recommend!


~Andrea

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Roxanne St. Claire Winner






The winner of a print copy of
Barefoot in White and Barefoot in Lace is

Janice Hougland

Congratulations!
Please send your full name and mailing address to
theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Karen Hawkins Winner






The winner of a copy of How to Pursue a Princess and 
a Cinderella slipper key ring is:

Made4books

Congratulations!
Please send your full name and mailing address to us at
theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com



Saturday, September 27, 2014

Review - - What a Wallflower Wants


What A Wallflower Wants
Wicked Wallflower Series-Book 3
By Maya Rodale
Publisher: Avon
Release Date:  September 30, 2014



I have been a fan of Maya Rodale and her books ever since I read her debut The Heir and the Spare back in 2007. From the start, I was taken by her smart writing and lively and entertaining characters. In her Wicked Wallflower series, we meet three best friends, Emma, Olivia, and Prudence who are running up against a deadline to find husbands.  So, in order to find and attract a husband in time, they engage in all sorts of schemes and shenanigans to get their happy ever afters. What A Wallflower Wants is the final book in the series, and we finally find out what Rodale has in store for Prudence. Rodale’s books are known for their humor, wit, and charm. But her latest book is a bit of a departure for her. What A Wallflower Wants is a bit darker in tone and deals with the painful and sensitive topic of rape and sexual violence.

Prudence Merryweather Payton has been deemed “Prude Prudence” and “London’s Least Likely To Be Caught In A Compromising Position” by the ton. But no one knows about the incident with The Beast that happened four years ago that haunts her still and rendered her “ruined” and “unmarriageable.” It has also left her deeply fearful and distrustful of men, and understandably so. But still, she is expected to marry and Prudence can’t figure out a solution to her dilemma. Until she meets John Roark, Viscount Castleton, and they end up stranded together at a rural inn.

What I love most about Rodale’s books are her heroines. Rodale heroines push the boundaries of “acceptable ladylike behavior” all in the name of love and living the best and most fulfilling lives they can. Rodale heroines learn to toss aside silly restrictive rules that don’t make sense, even if society deems it “shocking” and “scandalous” because love is worth it. Prudence definitely learns this lesson to wonderful effect. Prudence learns to reclaim her past and body. She learns to forgive herself and heap the shame and blame on the one who deserves it-the perpetrator. Prudence also learns that she is a woman of strength and courage who should give herself more credit.  I really loved the way Prudence gradually opens up to John and her friends, finds her voice, and learns to fight for what she wants, instead of passively letting life happen to her.  I admired Prudence’s strength and resilience, and you can’t help but want her to get the fairy tale happy ending she’s convinced isn’t in the cards for her.

John Roark, Viscount Castleton, is a man with a plan. He is determined to make it to the Great Exhibition to meet the men responsible for the Difference Engine in an effort to make secure his family’s future. He is also a man with secrets-huge secrets that have potentially devastating consequences. But despite that, we see from the beginning that he is a good man who is caring and sensitive. He sees into Prudence and can tell that she is wounded, and that rouses his protective instincts. His compassion, understanding, and sensitivity towards Prudence makes him hero-worthy for sure. His core of decency and goodness made him very attractive and appealing. John won me over with how hard he worked to gain Prudence’s trust, and showing her how a real man treats a woman.  I especially loved John teaching her self-defense. However, I will admit that the fallout from John’s deception was wrapped up in a neat little bow, perhaps a bit too neat for some. But, it is definitely not outside the realm of possibility, and thus it was believable to me.

As with all of Rodale’s book, What A Wallflower Wants is an excellent enjoyable read that I recommend highly. It is a sweet and tender love story that will definitely tug at your heartstrings. You can’t help but root for Prudence and John despite the overwhelming obstacles between them. These are two people who want more out of life, even though society tells them they can’t/shouldn’t have it. The fact that they overcome those odds together through faith, love, and trust makes their happy ending together all the sweeter. And in true romance tradition, the villain (and there is definitely a vile villain in this story) gets what’s coming to him.  

The Wicked Wallflower series also has three fun sexy contemporary novellas that tie into the books. If you haven’t read the Big Bad Billionaire novellas, I definitely recommend those too!

~Lisa  

The e-ARC of What a Wallflower Wants was received from Avon as part of the Avon Addicts program.




Friday, September 26, 2014

Today's Special - - Roxanne St. Claire

I'm delighted to welcome New York Times and USA Today bestselling and Rita® award winning author Roxanne "Rocki" St. Claire to the blog today.  I'm a long-time fan of Rocki's books and, in my opinion, her current Barefoot Bay series is some of her best writing.  I highly recommend all of the books in the series.  In addition to being a terrific author, Rocki is one of the nicest people around and an author who greatly appreciates her readers. 

You can find information about Rocki and her books at her website and connect with her online at Facebook and Twitter.



Welcome, Rocki!  I’ve been enjoying your Barefoot Bay books so much.  Each one makes me laugh, makes me cry and touches my heart in a profound way but your newest, Barefoot in Lace- book 2 in the Barefoot Bay Brides trilogy - has set a new standard.  In fact, it may just be my favorite of all the books you’ve written. Please tell our readers what they can expect from this book.

Wow, thank you! Barefoot in Lace was not an easy, breezy book to write (though I hope it reads that way!) so that compliment means the world to me.  Readers can expect a trip back to Barefoot Bay, my fictional island on the Gulf Coast of Florida.  Like every book in the series (loosely broken into three “sub” series – the original Barefoot Bay quartet, the Barefoot Bay Billionaires, and the Barefoot Bay Brides), this novel stands completely alone as a romance about two damaged souls who are healed and made whole by love.  Readers can expect an emotional ride, some laughs, some tears, plenty of romance, and visits from characters they may already know and love.  Oh, and a few lovely chapters in the south of France, just to liven things up a bit!

Gussie and Tom are both weighted down by emotional baggage.  What is it about these two that convinced you they could overcome their obstacles and find a happy ending together?

They “got” each other from the very beginning.  These are two people who, on the surface, are not at all what they seem to be.  Gussie is a wedding stylist who works for the Barefoot Brides, the destination wedding consultants based in Barefoot Bay, and she longs for a family to replace one she lost when her brother left home years ago.  Tom, an elite professional photographer, has experienced exquisite sadness and loss, but has coped by draping himself in a shroud of solitude.  When he’s given the guardianship of his twelve-year-old niece, he finds himself in an impossible situation – unable to reach her, unable to leave her, unable to return to his life alone.  Enter Gussie, who needs a wedding photographer ASAP, and seems to have a natural rapport with Tom’s niece.  They strike a deal, get very close, and begin to peel off layers (and clothes!) to discover…oh, you know.  A happy ending!   But it’s a tough road to getting there, I promise.

A tough road it may be but well worth the journey!

I’ve shed a few tears in more than one of your books but this story had me sobbing like a baby.  Do you have the same emotional reaction when you write the stories?

I’ll be honest – if I don’t shed a tear while writing a book, something is wrong.  Yes, I have an emotional reaction.  There are two scenes in particular that always make me tear up, no matter how many times I polish and revise – and in the course of writing a book, I can read (and rewrite and revise and improve) a scene at least twenty times!).  I’ve been getting a lot of email about those scenes, so I know my reaction matches readers, which is so reassuring!

Let’s talk about you a bit.  We’re just about to kick off the new fall TV season.  What new – or returning -shows are you looking forward to watching? 

OUTLANDER!!! I am absolutely breathless about the new series on STARZ.  I can almost not talk about how amazing it is.  I’d never read the book (not a huge historical fan – at least I didn’t think I was) but I heard some buzz about this show and was delighted to discover we actually have STARZ on my TV. (Who knew?) I watched about five minutes and was immediately invested.  After the second episode, I bought the book and DEVOURED it.  I watch every episode at least twice and each time I’m more blown away by this incredible storytelling.  The production is stunning, the acting superb, the writing perfect, and…Jamie.  Sam Heughan is all of the above. 

Like you, I hadn't read the books either but I've fallen in love with the STARZ production of OUTLANDER.  It's exquisite!

I love to be surprised by characters in the books I read.  What would readers be surprised to learn about you?

That’s a tough question, since I’ve been an “open book” for ten years, sharing much with my readers. Oversharing, perhaps.  Maybe they would be surprised to learn that one of my hobbies is taking sunrise pictures and turning them into “inspiring” wallpaper that I give away for free on my website! Go to this link and be inspired by the breathtaking sunrises I enjoy every morning.  http://roxannestclaire.com/blog/?page_id=2034

What beautiful photos and how generous of you to share!

I’m a huge fan of college football and here in the south, tailgating is an important part of the experience. Let’s say you’re hosting a tailgating party and can invite ten couples from your books, who would you choose and why?  What favorite dishes would you serve?

Well, first of all, it would not be a tailgate party and it might not be a football game.  I’m not really a fan (though I am a Gator Mom and there are fans around me) but we love to host barbeques – and that counts as a southern tradition, right? I would be tempted to invite all of the Bullet Catchers and their beloveds (there were eleven books in that series, so we’d have to make room for an extra couple and, by now, a few babies).  That way, we could PLAY football (there’s often a game of touch football at Lucy Sharpe’s estate on Sundays, readers may recall) and admire teams up close and personal.  There are TEN Barefoot Bay books (or will be when the third in the Barefoot Brides comes out early next year) so that would make a very fun party, too.  On the beach and barefoot, of course!

Barbeques work just fine and I love the thought of all the Bullet Catchers back together! 

As you mentioned above, the third book in the Barefoot Bay Brides trilogy will be out next year.  Will you be returning to Barefoot Bay after that?  I admit, it’s become one of my favorite fictional places to visit!

Thank you so much – you are always welcome to kick off your shoes and fall in love! Barefoot Bay is constantly growing – there’s a minor league baseball team moving in, you know.  And some excitement brewing off shore that could make a splash, too.  I’m definitely writing another trilogy set in Barefoot Bay, and am just now starting to plan out those books for 2015.  Stay tuned!!

Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Rocki.  Would you like to ask our readers a question?

YES! I am considering adding a little suspense and intrigue to my contemporary romances. Not a lot of dead bodies or darkness, I assure you, but more like a romantic adventure with a bit of danger to balance out the drama.  I’m thinking a touch of mystery layered into the love story, but with the core story focused on the developing romance.  Is this something contemporary readers like?  Please give me your opinion, and one winner will get print copies of BAREFOOT IN WHITE and BAREFOOT IN LACE!


Thank you for having me here today!!! xo

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review - - The Songbird's Seduction

The Songbird's Seduction
By Connie Brockway
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: September 16, 2014






Sometimes I think writing a book review is much like cooking a restaurant review:   I’m using the same craft to critique that at which the artist should be most skilled.   Not such a problem for me if said artist is mediocre.   I can comfortably pit my writing against theirs.  But a GIANT problem if said artist is that rarified breed of the best the industry has to offer.  

Let’s just say, dear book lover, that in this specific review of Connie Brockway’s The Songbird’s Seduction, I feel like I’m cooking you a TV dinner in the hopes you’ll somehow understand that Brockway’s book is a Michelin-starred restaurant.  

So there will be book quotes in this review. 

Because Brockway’s writing speaks far better for itself than I surely can.

And here’s where I squirm to give you broad strokes of the basic plot, which in no way speak to the sparking characters—one of whom is my favorite to date—nor do my broad strokes do justice to the entertaining dialog or adventurous plot:  

Experiences that would make a lesser woman bitter have made Lucy Eastlake--a young operetta singer in London--optimistic, charming, and refreshingly wise.   Orphaned at a young age, Lucy hopped from one house to another, finally settling in with two of her great-aunts, whose finances have been plummeting.   There is hope on the horizon, however, as a great fortune is to be granted to one of Lucy’s aunts, if Lucy can just get her to a small town in the Pyrenees to claim it.

Professor Ptolemy Archibald Grant has made himself into everything a professor should be: honorable, conservative, and predictable.  The problem is, when he’s asked by his grandfather to escort Lucy Eastlake and her aunts on their journey south, everything about the sparkling young singer brings out the opposite in Ptolemy.  Suddenly this tweedy scholar is hurtling 10 feet onto ferryboats, sneaking out of hotels in the middle of the night, pretending to be a gypsy, and fighting village brutes.   God forbid everything Lucy’s bringing out in him is his true self.

Once setting eyes on the gorgeous professor, Lucy sees him.  Not the him he’s trying to present to the world but the real man underneath.  And now Lucy’s doing everything in her power to show “Archie” a joyous time.   Because when you love a man, even one who’s planning to marry another, joy is a pretty strong thing to deny.   Love even more so.  

The Songbird’s Seduction has everything I want and expect in a Brockway book: original characters who are both astute and humorous, original writing, and a romance arc that encompasses the heart of what is important in life… at just the right pacing.  

What’s more, there are bits of sage wisdom sprinkled throughout the book, all present to show why Lucy is forever on my list of favorite heroines:

“[Lucy] couldn’t even console herself with the age-old excuse that she was in love and she wasn’t thinking.  Because wasn’t loving someone, really loving someone, actually thinking more?  Wasn’t it putting another’s best interests ahead of your own, making their happiness your priority?”  

Rarely is love twisted to show a person using their head.  

Or how about this bit of wisdom:

“[Archie had] been distracted by her, as though he saw in her something he recognized but couldn’t quite place.  Something he’d almost forgotten.  She knew, because she’d had the same sensation, except she remembered what it was she saw in him:   a feeling of being recognized, understood, and accepted.   Which is why he always knew when she was acting: because he knew, on some deep ineffable level, who she was when she wasn’t.” 

If that doesn’t speak to the true nature of love, I don’t know what does.

You can see why Lucy is the best Brockway has to offer, why this book resonates so deeply even while it makes a reader laugh. 

Speaking of laughter, there are too many instances where Lucy fairly sparkles off the page and you find yourself giggling in an empty room.   One such instance is the following when Lucy is thinking of the woman Ptolemy, the hero, intends to marry: 

“[Lucy] stared glumly at the road ahead, her conscience prickling annoyingly.  Fine, she supposed she ought to spend some time, at least a few minutes, considering that other woman’s feelings.
            She tromped along and considered them.
            They didn’t change a thing.”

Lucy is the sort of person who gently assumes people love her and so they do.   It’s a quiet kind of confidence and expectation that people line up to meet…. including me.   But Lucy doesn’t do it in a way that is arrogant.   No,  it comes from a place honed out of her personal tragedy.   It comes from charm fashioned out of the mess of pain.   And I’ve taken a lesson from it.

Do not miss this book.   It constricts your heart, makes you laugh, and introduces you to characters you wished graced your life in ways that extended well beyond the page.  

And if Lucy Eastlake were flesh and blood, I wouldn’t be attempting to write this review right now because she and I would be at one of those Michelin-starred restaurants having lunch.     Only the best food for the best sort of person!  

But there’s another part of me that thanks all that’s holy she lives in a romance novel.   Because I’d truly hate for her to have anything other than a happily ever after. 

J Perry Stone



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Search Is Over!

by Anna Campbell

I've been on a major Nora Roberts kick lately. I even blogged about it over with the lovely Romance Bandits. You can see my post here: http://romancebandits.com/im-in-the-mood-for-love-and-nora/

I've enjoyed all the books I've read by the great Nora, but I must say my favorites so far on this glom have been her single title stand-alones. I absolutely loved THE WITNESS and NORTHERN LIGHTS and really enjoyed WHISKEY BEACH. Her stand-alones tend to be longer than her series single titles and often have a strong mystery/suspense plot. They also include a rich cast of secondary characters.

Another to add to this wonderful list of Nora Roberts favorites is THE SEARCH which I picked up thanks to some recommendations for further reads on that Romance Bandits post. I devoured this one pretty much in one sitting - a bit like the way the dogs, who are such wonderful characters in their own right in the story, wolf down their dinner!

THE SEARCH  was published in 2010 and is set on a fictional island in Puget Sound off Seattle. By the way, one of the things I absolutely love about NR's books is the way she writes about places. The setting is always such a vivid part of the story and rainy, isolated Orcas Island is no different.

The heroine Fiona Bristow has come to this wild and beautiful place to set up business as a dog trainer and to escape the horrors inflicted upon her by the Red Scarf Killer. It's taken her years, but Fiona has finally found some peace after all the pain and tragedy, in working with the dogs and playing an important role in a search and rescue team.There's even the possibility of romance with laconic furniture designer Simon Doyle who needs help with his delightful puppy Jaws (cute, huh?).

But the Red Scarf Killer hasn't forgotten that Fiona is the only woman to escape him and while he languishes in prison, he hatches a brilliant but cruel plan to use an apprentice to finish off this woman whose mere existence challenges his evil ego. Even as Fiona falls under the spell of the first man to touch her heart since the Red Scarf Killer murdered her policeman fiance, danger looms closer and closer and threatens to steal not only her happiness but her very life.

Talk about high stakes!

While the suspense plot of this one is really edge of your seat, it's the characters that make the book special. Fiona has been to hell and back and as a result, she's strong, she doesn't put up with any time wasters, and she goes after what she wants. This is a heroine who is perfectly capable of rescuing herself (even as a young woman when the RS Killer kidnaps her). She has a strong moral compass and a guarded but deeply loving heart that until she meets Simon, she mainly devotes to her canine charges.

Simon is a wonderful creation - such a bloke! He doesn't talk when he doesn't feel like it, he's focused on his work, he definitely doesn't want to fall in love. But he meets Fiona and he's a goner. Always lovely to see the strong, silent type struggling with feelings that he doesn't welcome for one minute but which he can't escape. And Simon's a man who when he commits, REALLY commits. Watching the relationship between these two strong, independent souls as it grows and blossoms is a really emotional experience. For me, the love story was the heart of THE SEARCH.

So if you're looking for a great read that's likely to keep you turning the pages into the wee small hours - not to mention the chance to meet some great people and some seriously appealing pooches - I'd recommend THE SEARCH.

Are you a romantic suspense reader? Do you have any recommendations?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Today's Special - - Karen Hawkins

I'm delighted to welcome Karen Hawkins back to The Romance Dish today.  I recently read Karen's new book, The Prince Who Loved Me (it's out today!) and was completely charmed. I highly recommend it.  Karen is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 30 novels who is well known for her humor, her heartwarming stories and her love of shoes. For more information about Karen, visit her website and connect with her online at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.  



Hi Karen!  Welcome to TRD.  I just finished reading the first book in your new The Oxenburg Princes series. What an absolute delight! Please tell our readers what they can expect from The Prince Who Loved Me.

Oh, thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I grew up loving Cinderella and her fairytale ending, and that gave me the idea for this book. I wanted THE PRINCE WHO LOVED ME to be all that a fairytale should be, but a little more … more humorous, and – hopefully – even more romantic.

This book is labeled as Cinderella with a Scottish twist.  What draws you to Scotland as a writer and why do you think the setting resonates so strongly with readers?

I think writers love Scotland as a setting for the same reason readers do: braw men in kilts, lilting accents, lush green valleys with blue lochs set against purple snow-capped mountains, a castle around every corner . . . what’s not to love about Scotland? I’ve been four times now and wish I could go again. It’s the only place I’ve ever been where I feel homesick when I leave.

Will the other books in the series also have fairy tale themes?

Yes! I’m writing the second book now, and it’s based on Robin Hood. I’m still mulling over the third book, but I’ll let you know once I’ve decided.

Bronwyn and Alexsey are so realistically drawn that they fairly leap from the page and their scenes together sparkle yet they are vastly different and would seem to be an impossible match.  What is it about these two that convinced you they belong together?

Thank you! They worked so well for me. Some books are a fight to get written, while other flooooow. And this one floooooowed. Alexsey and Bronwyn were very different people, and grew up under vastly different circumstances, and yet they were both curious in nature, and were inquisitive and passionate book lovers. Those two traits made them take a second look at one another . . . and then another look . . . and then another . . . and then – well, you know what happened then! J

Without giving away spoilers, what is the one scene that you would never cut from the book?

Where Bronwyn overhears Alexsey talking in the foyer with his friend and being a bit of a pompous arse, but instead of just being angry with the prince, she decides to make him pay for his impertinence. I won’t tell what that impertinence was, but I feel that scene shows the reader just how much Alexsey will have to grow before he’s equal to Bronwyn, and just how much of a match she is for him, too!

Books have an important role in this story.  What do you enjoy reading when you take time away from writing your own books?

I read a little bit of everything. For fiction, I read more romance than anything else (Suzanne Enoch, Connie Brockway, Sabrina Jeffries, and Christina Dodd are some of my favorites), but I also love fantasy, thrillers, and mystery. For non-fiction, I love history books and biographies. Right now, I’m reading a biography of George Washington, which is simply fascinating as he was a figure during the Regency era, too.

Your characters always manage to surprise me in some way.  What would readers be surprised to learn about you?

I’m glad to hear that! I hate being predictable. Readers would probably be surprised to find out I’m a huge Green Bay Packers fan even though I’ve never lived in Wisconsin. I have a cheese head hat, a jersey (GO, #12!), Packers earrings and necklace – heck, I even bought stock in the team, so I can say I’m an ‘owner.’ As an ‘owner,’ I’m working on a proposal whereby the team comes to Fan Appreciation Day without shirts.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

Here in the northern hemisphere, we’re feeling the first stirrings of autumn, which means it’s time for some of my favorite things: homemade soups and stews, football, fresh-from-the-tree apples and Halloween.  What are your fall favorites?

Football, yes, yes, YES! And I love a good bowl of chili. Oh, and I’m a huge, HUGE fan of pecan pie, which is heavenly with a cup of coffee on a chilly night. Oh, and in the autumn, right at the peak of leaf season, I love taking walks while the leaves waft down. To me, nothing is more like a fairy wonderland than a fall-colored forest.
Sigh. I can see I’m going to have to visit my parents in Tennessee soon. We don’t have such spectacular season changes here in Florida and I’m going to need an autumn fix.

What’s next for the Oxenburg Princes?

I’m currently writing the second book, THE PRINCE AND I, which will be out next summer. It’s a retelling of Robin Hood but with a fun twist, and is set in Regency-era Scotland. I’m making it full of swashbuckling, romantic scenes that pay homage to all of the Robin Hood movies I’ve seen – and now I can honestly say I’ve seen them all!

Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Karen.  Would you like to ask our readers a question?

Thank you for having me! I would love to ask your readers for some suggestions as to which fairytale the third Princes of Oxenburg book should be based on. I’m making a list, and I could use some new ideas!

Okay, readers, let's hear those suggestions! Karen is generously giving away a copy of How to Pursue a Princess and a Cinderella slipper key ring.







 


Monday, September 22, 2014

PJ's Birthday Winners





PJ's Birthday winners are:

Package of Books

Amri715

Quilt Lady

Bonita

Trish J

Sharlene

Marcy Shuler

Elizabeth Michels' books

Maggie Robinson

Please send your full name and mailing address to us at

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com




Caren Crane Winner









The winner of an e-copy of Tiara Wars by Caren Crane is

Connie

Congratulations, Connie!  Please send your email address to us at

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Tracy Solheim Winner









The winner of a signed book from Tracy Solheim's back list is

jcp

Congratulations!

Please send your full name and mailing address to us at

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Kieran Kramer Winners







The winners of a copy of Sweet Talk Me by Kieran Kramer are

Erin

and

dstoutholcomb

Congratulations! 

Please send your full name and mailing address to

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Who's Your Birthday Buddy?






It's that time again! Another year is in the books while all the excitement, anticipation and joy of a new year of adventures looms on the horizon. The celebratory tiara is polished and packages of books sit waiting to wing their way to new homes.  Do you know what that means, dear readers? Of course, you do! Hang the streamers! Blow up the balloons! Grab a drink and a cupcake and get ready to
celebrate because...it's my BIRTHDAY!




I'm always excited to find someone who shares my birthday, especially someone I know.  Julie Anne Long is one of my favorite historical romance authors.  The books of her Pennyroyal Green series hold special places on my keeper shelves and there's a big red circle around March 31 on my 2015 calendar. That's when her next book, It Started With a Scandal (isn't that cover simply gorgeous?) will be published.  Happy Birthday, Julie!  Wishing you a day filled with sunshine, smiles, good friends and great books!










I also share a birthday with my Uncle F.  I didn't have the opportunity to meet him - he died at two years old - but I always felt a special bond with him, as if I had my very own guardian angel watching over me from above.  Considering the near misses I've had during my life, Uncle F has been one busy dude. Happy Heavenly Birthday, Uncle F!








Sophia Loren turns a glorious 80 years old today.  Beautiful, sensual and comfortable in her own skin, Sophia continues to age with dignity and grace; not complaining of getting older but embracing each day of life and all it has to offer. That's how I want to approach each day I'm given in this life. Grazie, Signora!  Buon Compleanno!











Philip Phillips was born on September 20th.  If you're not a fan of American Idol or Top 40 music, you may not know Phillips but I daresay you'll recognize his debut single, "Home." I don't buy a lot of singles but I downloaded this one the first time I heard it.  Happy Birthday, Philip!





I've been a sports fan for as long as I can remember and for much of that time my NBA basketball team of choice has been the Boston Celtics.  It doesn't make a lot of sense considering I grew up in Michigan but there you have it. I'm proud to share my birthday with the long-time coach and president of the Celtics, Red Auerbach. In addition to his 938 victories and 16 NBA championships and ever-present victory cigar, this Hall of Fame coach was also a ground-breaker. He drafted the first African-American player into the NBA in 1950 and sent the first African-American starting five out onto the court in 1964 - bold moves in 1960's America. Auerbach died in 2006 but his legacy lives on. Happy Heavenly Birthday, Coach!




Juan Pablo Montoya is a Columbian race car driver who has the distinction of being one of a small number of drivers to have participated in NASCAR, CART, Formula One and IRL racing. It's fitting that we share a birthday considering the fact that my teenage dream was to be a race car driver. I never made it to the race track but my passengers (a/k/a younger brothers) would tell you it was a dream fulfilled none-the-less. *grin*








Last week I discovered that one of my favorite new historical romance authors is also a September 20th birthday buddy! Elizabeth Michels sparkles and so do her wonderful historical romances.  If you haven't checked them out I enthusiastically encourage you to do so.  They'll leave you smiling as bright and beautifully as their creator! I asked Elizabeth if she'd like to share a few thoughts on this, our shared birthday.  Of course, she responded with an enthusiastic "YES!" So, without further ado, heeeeeeeeere's Elizabeth!

*Twirls onto the blog singing, Happy Birthdaaaaaay toooooo youuu!!!* What a wonderful day! The leaves are changing colors, it’s finally cute boots weather, and not only is it PJ’s birthday, but it’s my birthday too!  What? We share a birthday?  That’s crazy.  Or was that just my reaction?  When I discovered I shared this fine day of birth with such a lovely lady, it made me curious who else arrived in the world on September 20th.  Apparently, George RR Martin and Sophia Loren are celebrating today too.  And, they’re next up on The Romance Dish! Just kidding.  But, I’m here, and I’m excited to announce a giveaway of two signed copies of my books in honor of this fabulous day! I hope you have fun reading Desperately Seeking Suzanna and How to Lose a Lord in 10 Days or Less! I have big, sparkly plans to write a little, shop a little, and go to dinner with my family.  It’s a special Birthday dinner where I will dip things in cheese and chocolate, but not at the same time.  Happy September 20th and Happy Birthday to PJ, George, and Sophia!


Thanks, Elizabeth! A very Happy Birthday to you too!

For those of you who have celebrated previous birthdays with me, you know how much I love presents.  For those who are new to the Dish, here's how it goes:  since I'm the birthday girl I get to choose the presents and because giving gifts gives me great joy, the recipients of my birthday presents will be you, my favorite readers! Six randomly chosen people who leave a comment on my birthday blog will receive a package of books from my book stash and one person will receive signed copies of Elizabeth's books, Desperately Seeking Suzanna and How to Lose a Lord in 10 Days.  (U.S.addresses only)  For my international friends, I'm giving away a copy of What a Duke Dares by Anna Campbell and Snow on the Bayou by Sandra Hill. 

So tell me, dear readers, who shares your birthday? 

Do you have any special traditions you follow in celebrating your birthday? 

Do you usually have a birthday cake? What's your favorite flavor?  

Thanks for helping me celebrate my birthday! 

~PJ