Thursday, June 30, 2011

Coming Attractions for July 2011

As summer kicks into full swing here in the United States, the temperatures rise at a steady pace. Not to be outdone by Mother Nature, July is scheduled to be another sizzling month here at The Romance Dish. Check out what we have in store for you.

On July 1, Andrea provides her much anticipated New Releases list for July, so grab your money and head to your favorite bookstore.

PJ blogs about her experience at this year’s Romance Writers of America Conference on July 6. I can’t wait to hear all about it and to see all of her pictures!

Andrea gives you a sneak peak at August releases in her Make Your Reservations on July 7.

On July 10, Trish Milburn/Trisha Mills dishes on the latest in YA news in the Teen Menu. It is always fun to see what new YA books are coming out.

Author Jane Graves stops by on July 12. Jane’s latest book, Black Ties and Lullabies, was released on June 28, and you can check out Gannon’s review here.

As if the temperatures are not hot enough, Buffie reveals her latest Hot Dish on July 15.

On July 16, our Stock Up Saturday reviews will be posted. It’s a great way to get a quick review on several books all on one day.

PJ interviews author Christina Brooke on July 19. I bet they talk about Christina’s latest release, Heiress in Love.

On July 20, author Jenn LeBlanc visits with us. Jenn’s love of photography and romance has combined in her illustrated romance novel, The Rake and The Recluse.

Anna Campbell will be on July 24 to share what she has been reading lately in her Second Helpings blog.

On July 28, we welcome historical author Mia Marlow. Mia is celebrating the release of her novella, A Knack for Trouble, in the anthology Improper Gentlemen.

As always, we will have plenty of reviews, blogs and giveaways during the month. Hope to see you around a lot!!!!

~ Buffie

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Guest Review - - Silk Is For Seduction

Silk Is For Seduction
By Loretta Chase
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: July 26, 2011

I consider any time that Loretta Chase releases a new book cause for celebration, and when the release is the first of a new series, it’s even more exciting. When the new series is linked to Lord Perfect, my favorite of Chase’s Carsington books, my exhilaration is uncontained. If you haven’t already reached the conclusion, I will admit to being an unabashed Loretta Chase fangirl. While I do like some of her books better than others, I count her among my never-fail authors. Silk Is For Seduction with its combination of humor and emotional punch reinforced her status.

Marcelline Noroit and her sisters, Sophie and Leonie, are members of the DeLucey family, the Dreadful DeLucey branch whose lack of ethics has long scandalized English society. Although Marcelline and her sisters support themselves honestly as dressmakers, they are willing to use the celebrated DeLucey wit and charm to achieve their goal of making Maison Noirot the premier dressmaking establishment in London. Marcelline has no doubt that her designs are the best, but she needs one influential patron to showcase Noirot gowns. Who better to fill this role, Marcelline reasons, than the affianced bride of the 7th Duke of Clevedon, Gervase Angier? To this end, Marcelline goes to Paris where Clevedon is spending his last days of rakish freedom before returning to England and making official his engagement to Lady Clara Fairfax, eldest daughter of the Marquess of Warford, Clevedon’s former guardian.

After a week of following Clevedon to learn his ways and whereabouts, Marcelline arranges to attend the opera where her prey goes with the intent of seducing his way into the bed of Madame St. Pierre. When Clevedon first sees the mysterious brunette beauty, he determines to meet her. When he meets her, he forgets “about Clara and Madame St. Pierre and every other woman in the world.” The attraction between the duke and the dressmaker grows through a series of meetings in Paris, on board the ship that takes them back to England, in the Maison Noirot and beyond. Even when continuing to see her jeopardizes her reputation, his relationship with Lady Clara, and the life he expects to lead, Clevedon cannot forget the mysterious Marcelline.

This book succeeds on several levels. First, the relationship between Marcelline and Clevedon is compelling. Although their sexual chemistry is powerful, their emotional connection is even stronger. He proves himself the best of heroes. One of those perfect moments occurs when he says to her, after all her secrets have been revealed, “Life isn’t perfect. But I’d much rather live it imperfectly with you.” Sigh! I particularly relished the realism mixed with the romanticism. These two people recognize that they may never win the acceptance of the ton, that their marriage may always be regarded as an unpardonable misalliance, but they are willing to pay that price to be together.

Then, there is the fact that Marcelline is a self-made woman. Self-made men, although still a minority in historical romance among all the titled heroes, are not uncommon, but self-made heroines are rare. I love Marcelline’s pride and confidence in her gift and her ambition to be “the greatest dressmaker in the world.” Clevedon’s pride in her achievement and his determination to help her achieve her goal made me cheer. And the epilogue made my top five list.

As the first book in a series, Seduction in Silk, in addition to succeeding as the story of a particular hero and heroine, must introduce secondary characters that hook the reader without overshadowing the protagonists. Chase does a superb job of this task as well. Sophie and Leonie are distinct and engaging personalities, and I’m certain I will not be the only reader hoping Lady Clara will be given her own HEA. Then, there’s Chase’s secret weapon, Miss Lucie Cordelia Noirot, who just may be the most winsome female child in historical romance since her distant cousin Olivia Wingate won hearts in Lord Perfect.

Originally posted June 7, 2011 at Just Janga

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review -- Black Ties and Lullabies

Black Ties and Lullabies
By Jane Graves

Publisher: Forever
Release Date: June 28, 2011

Take a no-nonsense, strong-willed bodyguard, a millionaire bachelor, and one impulsive night and you have the recipe for a fun contemporary romance that will keep you entertained from start to finish.

Bernadette Hogan's job is an interesting one, to say the least: bodyguard for Texas's most eligible bachelor. Yes, he's handsome and stinking rich, but Bernie thinks he's also a royal pain in the butt! Who knew that "pain in the butt" would push Bernie's buttons one time too many, leading to a moment of indiscretion that would change their lives in ways that could never begin to imagine.

Jeremy Bridges is a self-made man, a multimillionaire who earned every dollar with hard work and ambition. But he gives the impression that he's a devil-may-care, live-for-the-moment playboy. Is there anything wrong with enjoying the latest big-breasted, blonde, Botoxed babe who's making herself available? Jeremy's all for it, but for some reason it annoys his dependable bodyguard Bernie. Jeremy's fun-loving life changes when a home robbery goes awry and he and Bernie are locked in his safe room. Tempers flare, passion explodes and soon thereafter Bernie drops the proverbial bomb when she tells Jeremy she's pregnant...with his baby. Can this free-wheeling bachelor change his ways and become a responsible father to his unborn baby and a loving husband to Bernie?

Black Ties and Lullabies
is the kind of book that just make me feel good; the kind that makes me laugh and sigh with a sense of satisfaction only a happily-ever-after ending can bring. Bernie and Jeremy are polar opposites in so many ways which, of course, leads to lots of laughs and a bit of a rocky road on the way to their HEA. Bernie feels the need to always be responsible, for herself and for caring for her mother, so it's hard for her to admit how nice it would be to have someone share some of her burdens and love her for herself. For all of his carefree ways, Jeremy has a lot of baggage from his childhood, so it will take a special someone to make him realize that he is capable of love. I really loved watching the evolution of Bernie's and Jeremy's relationship.

Sweet, funny, poignant, sexy---Black Ties and Lullabies is all that and more. Treat yourself to a few hours of pure delight and pick up a copy.

~ Gannon

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review -- Everdark

The Dark Ink Chronicles, Book 2
By Elle Jasper
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Release Date: June 7, 2011

Tattoo artist Riley Poe thought she knew Savannah's shady side---until her brother was taken by a cult of vampires. Allying herself with hot-blooded vampire Eli Dupre, she got her brother back. But her courage---and her one-of-a-kind blood type---made her an irresistible temptation for some very bad bloodsuckers.

After barely surviving an ambush by enemy undead, she has inherited certain traits of her attackers: heightened senses, lightning reflexes, unreal strength. Eli trains Riley to use her new vampiric tendencies, teaching her control and skills she's never imagined needing. But when a new trait---a telepathic link with a rampaging vampire---manifests itself, Riley knows she has to put her new skills to the test to stop the killer before he strikes again.

Long used to taking care of herself, Riley has trouble asking for help, even from the powerful vampire she loves...

I was captivated by the vampire world that Elle Jasper created when I first read book one in The Dark Ink Chronicles, Afterlight. My fascination for the characters and setting have not lessened, if anything it has grown while reading Everdark. Riley Poe is in deep: deep in action, danger, and ever deeper in love with her vampire lover, Eli Dupre, although she has yet to tell him. Riley now has "tendencies" thanks to the DNA she now shares with the strigoi vampires who attacked her. Added to her new powers, she also shares a telepathic link with one of those vampires, Victorian Arcos, who "visits" with her when she's dreaming and often when she's awake. Although no one else trusts him---and Riley initially agrees---Victorian is slowly convincing Riley that he's not the monster his brother Valerian was. Said brother, Valerian was killed by Eli, but it seems that he may have found a way to continue the carnage he wreaked in the past. And Riley has the unfortunate luck to be linked telepathically with him as well, and witness, through his eyes, the violence he brings to his victims. She knows that she must find a way to stop him, and she is going to need help from Eli, his family and hers.

Everdark picks up right where Afterlight left off, so it really is essential to read this series in order (I'm anal about that anyway). One of the things I love so much about this series---besides the smoking hot scenes with Riley and Eli---is that Elle Jasper writes so descriptively that I feel like I'm in the story. It's like watching a movie, each scene so vivid and real that my heart pounds with excitement and fear. I can feel the heavy humid air of Savannah and Charleston, smell the salty air, and feel the hair on the back of my neck stand on end as if someone was right behind me. And I must confess that I wouldn't mind a very sexy vampire like Eli sweeping me off my feet. Of course, Riley is kick ass in the most literal sense of the word, but when it comes to Eli, her heart just melts. And that, my friends, is why I love romance, no matter what form it takes.

There is quite a cliffhanger at the end of Everdark, one that had me yelling, "What the...????" Thank goodness there was an excerpt from Eventide (book 3 in the series) to calm me down....and of course, have me clamoring for more of Riley, Eli and the rest of the gang. When it comes to waiting for new books in a series, patience is not my strong suit, but I know, without a doubt, that Elle Jasper will make it worth the wait.

~ Gannon

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mark the Date

Don't miss these LiveStream events from the Romance Writers of America (RWA) National Conference in New York City next week.

Tuesday, June 28th
11:30am - 12:30pm

Bestselling author and Dish friend, Christina Dodd has scheduled a live video chat on Facebook.  This is a great opportunity to ask Christina about her historical/paranormal/romantic suspense books, her fabulous library, her determination to achieve sweat every day or maybe about that mysterious standing stones fire circle her husband built in their back yard. To attend, log into Facebook, "like" Christina's page, post your questions and at the appointed time...start chatting!  Click on this link to join the chat on the 28th.

Thursday, June 30th
4:00 - 5:00 pm

HarperCollins/Avon is hosting a Historical Romance Readers' Tea at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in NYC during next week's RWA National Conference.  Some of the authors in attendance will be:

Katharine Ashe, author of Captured by a Rogue Lord

Gaelen Foley, author of My Irresistible Earl

Stephanie Laurens, author of The Reckless Bride and
Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue

Sarah MacLean, author of Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart

Miranda Neville, author of The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton

Maya Rodale, author of A Tale of Two Lovers 

Join your fellow readers (like PJ!) and favorite authors by tuning in to the festivities at  See you there!  Well, okay, I won't see you but you'll see me! *grin*

Let me know if you have any specific questions you'd like me to ask during the Tea!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane?

by Anna Campbell

No, it's a SuperRomance!

As I said last month, I've been on a bit of a Harlequin kick lately. And I must say it's been blissful. There have been all those Sarah Morgans (check out last month's review if you missed it - highly recommended reads!). There were a stack of India Greys and the wonderful week where I managed to knock over five Liz Fieldings in a row.

As you've probably gathered from the title of this piece, I've also read some great SuperRomances so I thought I'd share a couple of them with you. I'm delighted to say that all these books are still available from Amazon.

Since I discovered Aussie Sarah Mayberry a couple of years ago, she's moved into the position of a must-buy for me. I love her books - they're full of so much heart. And her books are heartbreakingly real, full of people you could imagine meeting and liking if they lived next-door (as in fact, the hero and heroine here do). I think that's one of the strengths of the SuperRomance line - these wonderful love stories are based so closely in the here and now. You KNOW I love a larger-than-life story like a passionate historical or a Harlequin Presents - but occasionally it's nice to touch base with the everyday and discover it can be as magical as any romance featuring arrogant dukes or managing millionaires.

In HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, widower Joe Lawson is seeking to put down roots in Melbourne for him and his kids after a really rough couple of years. He falls in love with his free-spirited neighbor Hannah Napier who hasn't had an easy time of it lately either, what with her fiance dumping her just before the wedding in favor of her sister. All she wants to do is leave the humiliations of the past behind and get outta Dodge (well, Melbourne). Joe and Hannah are just so darn likeable so you cheer every uncertain step they take toward love. The first date scene in particular is poignant. You'll love this!

I reviewed another Karina Bliss (WHAT THE LIBRARIAN DID) back in June last year. At the time, I commented on the rich emotion and the wonderful cast of characters, not just the hero and heroine (this was the rockstar going back to uni and falling in love with the outwardly-repressed librarian, lovely story!). There's equally rich emotion in HERE COMES THE GROOM and you'll fall in love with the residents of this small New Zealand town. They perform like a Greek chorus on the increasingly madcap courtship of childhood best friends Dan Jansen and Jocelyn Swann. Barry, the owner of the local menswear store, is a particular favorite. I was snickering into my morning cup of tea when I read his scenes and you will be too.

Friends into lovers is one of my favorite themes and this is a lovely exploration of that often fraught process. After facing tragedy in Afghanistan, ex-Special Forces officer Dan returns to his home town determined to establish a family and a fulfilling life. An essential element of that life is his childhood friend Jocelyn who runs the local newspaper. Jocelyn has had trauma of her own to deal with in the past years (trauma Dan doesn't know about and when he finds out, it's a heartbreaking scene). She's unwilling to risk the one stable relationship in her life for the possibility of romance with Dan, especially as she recognizes that he's still shell-shocked from his army experiences. When Dan sets out to change her mind, there's some wonderful comedy but at the heart of this book, it's a moving story of healing and forgiveness and love finally brought out into the open. Recommended!

Two of the authors in this review are already auto-buys for me. Molly O'Keefe was a new writer to me when I picked up THE SON BETWEEN THEM.

One word - wow!

The tone of this one is darker and more intense than a lot of Supers. And the story was really unusual - don't be fooled by that secret baby tag on the front. Yeah, there is a secret baby but it's handled in such a different, intriguing way, you'll be drawn in from the first page.

Sam and J.D. (Sam's the heroine and J.D. is the hero) have been in an uncommitted but passionate relationship for years when suddenly everything in their world tuns upside down. It's not just the existence of their child, it's events in the outside world that suddenly impinge on their affair and threaten either to destroy it or to carry them towards an emotional fulfillment both always believed beyond their reach. Sam is my favorite sort of romance heroine - she's smart and capable and strong and she acts like an adult in even the most trying of circumstances. J.D. is a genuinely tortured hero and he's gorgeous. His unforgettable struggle to emerge from the dark into the light will touch your heart. Molly O'Keefe was a major discovery for me.

So what's been your genre of choice lately? Are you a SuperRomance reader? Can you recommend any other authors I should try in this line?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Let Freedom Ring!

My country ‘tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim's pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!

I can’t help feeling full of pride and patriotism whenever I hear this song, along with America the Beautiful and Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA (which I’m listening to as I type this blog!). I’m ashamed to admit this, but when I was in school, I didn’t enjoy learning about history. While I liked American history, I didn’t love it; and I absolutely detested world history...which is kind of ironic since I love reading historical romance. *g* But in recent years, I have come to really appreciate our country’s history, thanks in part to my son’s avid interest in it. At 11 years old, his knowledge and passion of American history and its presidents is incredible and astounds me. He has inspired my husband and me to learn more, and his zeal has even rubbed off on our seven year old daughter. So, where do you think we went on vacation last week? Why, Washington DC, of course! And since our country’s birthday is fast approaching, I thought it would be fitting to share with you a little about our trip to our nation’s capital.

Jefferson Memorial

“I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” – Thomas Jefferson

The Jefferson Memorial was the first monument we visited and I got chill bumps when I looked up at the statue of our beloved third president and read the above quote circling the inside of the dome. Thomas Jefferson accomplished so much in America’s beginning that it is only fitting that he received an amazing memorial dedicated to him. If you haven’t been to Washington DC, or haven’t visited the Jefferson Memorial, you should really make an effort to. It is a must see!

FDR Memorial

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Next up was the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. Since my son had recently written a biography book report on FDR, and we had visited his Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia, this spring, we simply had to see his beautiful memorial for ourselves. It was even more beautiful and bigger that we imagined and undoubtedly suits our longest serving president.

Lincoln Memorial

“...that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” – Abraham Lincoln, from his Gettysburg Address

The Lincoln Memorial was the monument that we were most looking forward to as Abraham Lincoln is my son’s all-time favorite president. He did a speech about Lincoln for 4H this year and has at least eight different books about our 16th president. To say that we were inspired and filled with hope at seeing Lincoln immortalized in white marble would be an understatement. It is by far one of the most breath-taking sights I have ever seen. I got chill bumps again. In one word: amazing. And the fact that my son was on cloud 9 made my heart sing!

World War II Memorial
“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.” – Harry S. Truman

We saw several other memorials, such as the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, but the one I most longed to see was the World War II Memorial, which commemorates the sacrifice and celebrates the victory of “the greatest generation”—which is an apt description as my 91 year old grandfather served in World War II and I consider him one of the greatest men I’ve ever known. The memorial features granite columns, bronze panels, 4,048 gold stars (representing the more than 450,000 American lives that were lost), and numerous inspirational quotes carved in stone. It is a remarkable tribute.

Ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz

Visiting at least a few of the many museums that Washington DC has to offer was on our list of things to do. We went to the Air and Space Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Natural History, and while we enjoyed all of these, our favorite was the Museum of American History. It is an absolute must see for anyone who appreciates any or all aspects of American History. They have everything from the top hat that Abraham Lincoln wore to Ford’s Theatre on the night he was assassinated, to the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, to the 1903 Winton—the first car driven across the United States, to Julia Childs’ kitchen. We learned so much and if we ever go back, we plan to visit it again.

Other highlights included:

The Washington Monument

The Washington Monument, which is dedicated to our first president. We went inside and up the elevator to the top. The view from all four sides was simply magnificent!

The National Archives

The National Archives, which houses the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. More chill bumps.

Ford’s Theatre, the place where President Lincoln was assassinated. On display in the museum are the clothes Lincoln was wearing that fateful night, one of the pillows his head was laid upon, and the gun that John Wilkes Booth used to kill him.

Arlington Cemetery, where greats like Audie Murphy and Presidents John F. Kennedy and William Howard Taft are buried, along with the Tomb of the Unknowns. Big chill bumps.

The White House

And, of course, I have to include the White House, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the busy Union Station. Not to mention the many statues, memorials, and monuments placed throughout the city, including our favorites of Benjamin Franklin and Ulysses S. Grant. And when we left DC, we made sure to stop by Mt. Vernon to visit the home of George Washington and see his and Martha’s tombs. That was something really special. All in all, it was the trip of a lifetime and as my kids put it: the BEST vacation ever!!

So, dear readers, have you ever visited Washington DC? If so, what were your favorite things to see and do? If not, is there a place that you had wanted to visit and were finally able to? Tell me about it!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Guest Review - - Heartbreak Creek

Heartbreak Creek
By Kaki Warner
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: July 5, 2011

The world that Edwina Ladoux was reared to inhabit is gone. All that remains of the once prominent Whitney family is “a weed-choked cotton plantation sold for back taxes, her father’s watch, and a graveyard full of new markers.” There’s no place for Southern belles in a Reconstruction Louisiana filled with carpetbaggers and desperation, and so Edwina agrees to marriage by proxy to a man she knows only from his ad in the Matrimonial News and the tintype he sent her along with a bank draft and railroad vouchers that will get her to Heartbreak Creek, Colorado. With a mixed bag of memories and her half-sister, Prudence, the offspring of Edwina’s father and a Rose Hill slave he loved but could not marry, Edwina sets out to meet her new husband—and her new life.

Declan Brodie has no idea what’s in store for him. A widower who needs, as his ad specified, a “sturdy English-speaking woman to help with mountain ranch and four children,” Brodie finds himself instead with a too-thin beauty whose only skill is sewing and who is ill equipped to care for his uncontrollable children. He’s not too sure of her sanity either, and his attraction to her is making him question his own.

Edwina and Declan have agreed on a three-month trial, and amid chaos and confrontations, conversations and kisses, the two fall in love. There’s a memorable moment about a third of the way into the book when Edwina recalls her life before it was shattered by war and recognizes the promise of her new life:

In better times, Edwina had worn gowns of lace and satin and brocade. She had adorned herself with costly jewels, rather than a single garnet ring that had once belonged to her grandmother. She had walked down elegant staircases under fine crystal chandeliers that shimmered with the glittering light of a dozen candles. Yet now, as she descended the uncarpeted staircase of the rustic Heartbreak Creek Hotel, dressed in an outdated frock and a borrowed shawl and wearing a simple ribbon in her hair, she felt as shaky and breathless as a debutante headed to her first ball.

As Edwina, the displaced Southern belle, becomes Ed, the ranch woman, she falls in love with the Brodie children as well. Just when it seems that happily ever after is within reach, the first Mrs. Declan Brodie reappears. While Ed and her no-longer husband are dealing with this complication, Lone Tree, an Arapaho obsessed with his need for revenge against Declan, proves a more deadly threat to their happiness.

Heartbreak Creek is the first book in Warner’s Runaway Brides series, and based on the series debut, I expect the new series to be as stellar as her Blood Rose trilogy. Edwina and Declan are wonderful characters, smart, courageous, and genuine. Each has an interesting history, a balance of strengths and flaws, and a rich sense of humor. Both have their reasons for being wary of marriage, but gradually, through emotional and physical intimacy, they learn to trust and to love one another. Watching them become more together than they are separately is a delight.

Warner also includes a colorful assortment of secondary and tertiary characters. In less skillful hands, the Brodie children might have become an inseparable blend of incorrigibility, but Warner makes big brother R.D., trickster Joe Bill, quiet scholar Lucas, and indefatigable Brin distinct and endearing personalities. Pru is perhaps the most compelling among the secondary characters because the reader knows there is so much more to her story than the blend of strength, intelligence, and vulnerability that we see in this first book. Maddie Wallace and Lucinda Hathaway are also fascinating characters, as is Thomas Redstone, Declan’s Cheyenne friend. Add to these some quirky locals, Heartbreak Creek itself (a mining town in danger of becoming a ghost town), and a West where, despite the laughter and tenderness that fill this book, danger—from nature and humans—is real. The result is another extraordinary book from Kaki Warner, who may be turning those persistent rumors of a Western romance revival into fact.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today's Special - - Karyn Gerrard

We always enjoy welcoming debut authors to The Romance Dish but it's even more thrilling when that author is one of our long-time posters!  Karyn Gerrard has been with us from the beginning so we take extra pleasure in celebrating Timeless Heart, her debut time-travel erotica novella from Evernight Publishers.  Karyn is here today to blog about time travel in movies and is generously giving a copy of Timeless Heart to a randomly chosen commenter from today's blog.  Please give Karyn a very warm welcome!


I have always love the time travel concept in either books, television or movies. There are so many variables and directions you can go story wise with Time Travel. It is fantasy all the way, you have to suspend your disbelief and go with it. Scientists will say on paper the concept of time travel is feasible, but in reality? No.

But think of the possibilities! I asked at a few other blog visits if a stunning hunk of Regency virile masculinity asked you to go back to 1821, would you go? Most said 'no way'. They couldn't give up the creature comforts, or the more important things, like a flush toilet. Some said they would if they could travel back and forth.

So when crunch time comes in this fantasy, and it always does, what is the time traveler to do? Stay in the time he is in? Or if he can, go back to the time period he is from? The hero in my novella, "TIMELESS HEART" has this same conundrum. The heroine is also faced with a decision, does she go with the hero, or beg him to stay?

So that got me thinking about some of my favorite time travel movies, I will only touch on a few.

Time After Time was released in 1979, with Malcolm McDowell and David Warner. Malcolm plays H.G. Wells himself, and the plot cleverly works in 'Jack the Ripper' (as played by one of my favorite underrated Brit actors, Warner) Jack steals the time machine and lands in 1979 San Francisco and continues with his killings. H.G. Wells is hot on his heels, and enlists a spunky banker (Mary Steenburgen) to assist him.
Like any good Time Travel, this has suspense, drama, adventure, and yes, romance. Does Amy the bank teller go back to Victorian England with H.G Wells? I won't give it away.

Another favorite is the three-hankie weeper, 'Somewhere In Time'. I just have to hear the lush music score from John Barry and I choke up.

It was panned by critics when it was released in 1980. This is an unabashed love story first, with Fantasy and drama thrown in. There is no time machine used here, Richard Collier (The late Christopher Reeve) travels through time using hypnosis. When he meets actress Elsie McKenna (Jane Seymor) A heartbreaking romance unfolds, one of the most achingly moving love stories put to screen.  The film's message, that love is such a powerful force it can punch a hole through time, resonates.  The ending here? Get the Kleenex.

I love the 'Back To the Future' Movies. (1985-1990) The three of them are so different, the first was light-hearted fun, the second, much darker, and the third, I really like. The 'Old West' back drop works, it can incorporate the adventure and suspense aspect, and also throw in a romance. The love story between Doc Brown and the school marm, Clara was sweet and touching. The ending ties the three films together and it was entertaining and fun.

Just a snippet of a few of my favorites. Do you have any favorite time travel movies, or books, or television shows? Or if you like, answer that question above, about the Regency hunk asking you to go with him to 1821, can you do it? (go with the fantasy here, you're young, unattached!) Or is flush toilets, running water and penicillin just too hard to give up?

One lucky commenter will win a PDF copy of my ebook novella TIMELESS HEART from Evernight Publishing.

www.karyngerrard,com AUTHOR SITE

Buy Timeless Heart♥ HERE Evernight Publishing

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's Dad's Day!

Any man can be a father.  It takes someone special to be a dad. ~ Author Unknown

I love this quote. It is so true! My dad and my husband definitely fit the “someone special” category as they are both my heroes. My dad is the type of man who doesn’t ask for much and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He’s always been there for me when I need sound advice and disciplined me when I needed to get back on track. As our family’s Mr. Fix-It, he is the one I call when I need help fixing something with the house or our vehicles. The fact that he and my husband are great friends is a wonderful bonus! This leads me to my husband, Dennis, who is an incredible example and a wonderful father to our children. He works very hard and even though he works long hours, he never fails to spend quality time with our kids. He doesn’t hesitate to play video games, go to the pool, drive to a museum, or just hang out at home. As long as we’re spending time together as a family, that’s all that matters. I am very blessed to have these two amazing men in my life!!


So many things make up a wonderful Dad, but I think the one trait all great Dads have in common, other than love, is spending time with your child. I witnessed this just last week while on our beach vacation. My husband and I have two boys, both of whom love to have their father's attention. While we were at the beach, my husband Doug made sure to give each child their own time with Dad. Whether it was throwing the ball over and over and over again with our oldest child or sitting for an hour making sand turtles and castles with our youngest son, Doug made sure each child received some one on one time. I know the boys appreciated it and could feel their father's love in his actions. I know I will treasure the memory!


What makes a man become a good father? Is instinctual or is it taught? Nature or nurture? My father and husband are perfect examples of how both can be true. My father had a less than ideal childhood. His mother died when he was just a toddler and his father was not a very stable person, so my father spent his formative years living in various foster homes and later living with his maternal grandparents. Needless to say, he did not have a positive role model to follow when it came to being a father, but for him it must have been instinctual. He was very involved with us when we were growing up: giving us piggy back rides to bed, taking us swimming, teaching us to love watching football (hey, we were all girls, and we all love football!), going to countless chorus concerts, and plays, and so many more things. I’ve always been amazed that my dad, in spite of his difficult childhood, was such a good father. Since losing my mom last year, it means even more to have him in my life.

My husband is an example of nurture vs. nature. He had a mom and dad who were always involved in everything he did, as well as grandparents who spent a lot of time with him. As an only child, my husband knew he wanted to have more than one child----isn’t he lucky we have three?! As a naval officer, he spent more time away from home than any of us wanted. There were missed birthdays, anniversaries, sporting events, school programs, and even chicken pox (I’m pretty sure he wasn’t upset about missing that one). But he made up for it while he was home, spending as much free time with our kids as he could, even letting me escape for a few “girls only” trips. We finally made the decision four years ago that the Navy had had enough of his time, and so he retired after 21 years of service. Now he has plenty of time to coach football, attend dance recitals, concerts and play Mr. Mom when I go to various conferences. I’m blessed to have married such a man, and I hope our children know how lucky they are. Our two sons will have a wonderful example to follow.


My dad was my champion.  As first-born, I had him all to myself for five years until the first of my four brothers was born.  And, as his only daughter, we had a special bond that only strengthened over the years.  He introduced me to football, dressed me in University of Michigan sweaters before I could walk and taught me the words to "The Victors" (his university's fight song) before I could read but, years later, when I chose to attend his school's fiercest rival, he supported me with love and pride...and a good-natured rivalry on game day that was almost more fun than the game itself. He encouraged my love of reading and my love of travel and worked hard to make sure I had opportunities to indulge both. He taught me to spread my wings, embrace change, live life to the fullest, approach the unknown with enthusiasm rather than fear and face death with dignity and grace.  He wasn't perfect but he was the perfect dad for me.  He died seven years ago and hardly a day goes by that I don't think of him...and smile. 


Who are you celebrating this Father's Day?  We'd love to hear about him (or them).  

This post was inspired by Janga's beautiful tribute to her father at 
Thanks, Janga!