Donna Alward's Blog: The Chocolate Box, page 13

January 6, 2015

PatchBlackshanks


A couple of years ago I came across the idea of choosing a word for the year. The word is meant to encompass an abstract concept and to signify an area in your life that you want to focus on, improve or embrace. Things like courage, tolerance, kindness, geniality, freedom etc.


For 2014 I chose “Proficiency.” I was cheekily channelling Lady Catherine De Bourgh from Pride and Prejudice who claimed that if she’d ever learned to play the pianoforte she’d have been a “true proficient.” Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t have to become a true proficient in anything, but I had to aim for proficiency and work towards it, especially in two areas—my romance novels and in my PhD. I’m happy with the progress I made, but this year I want a new word (as I fear a continuing focus on proficiency will create too much pressure).


So I’m searching for a new Word For The Year. I thought Balance would be a good focus, except…well, I don’t actually believe it’s going to be a particularly balanced year. It’s going to be a year for hard work. Now, it’s hard work I’m choosing to do. It’s work I want to do. I plan to make great inroads into my PhD this year. Obviously that doesn’t mean relaxation or fun and frivolity are off the agenda (I’m not crazy!), but while balance is admirable goal and all, we might save it for 2017 or 2018.


PenInk


What I do want to focus on this year is working hard, but savouring that work—enjoying it and the journey it will take me on. I don’t want rush through it as fast as I can just to tick it off my to-do list. So…do you have a word that encapsulates that for me? Mind you, Work Relish does have a particular ring. ;-) Maybe Work Appreciation is better? Or simply Education?


Do you like the Word-For-A-Year concept? If you do, what word would you choose for yourself?


www.michelle-douglas.com

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Published on January 06, 2015 17:40 • 19 views

January 5, 2015

Happy 2015, Chocolate Box readers!


Exciting news to share. I have a new book out!  This is my 35th book (that number includes four novellas) and marks my return to Harlequin’s Romance line. I had four books out through Harlequin’s now-defunct KISS line as well as a couple novellas through Entangled Publishing and Harlequin’s digital program. It’s good to be back. I am hopeful readers of the line haven’t forgotten me!


Here’s The Heir’s Unexpected Return in a nutshell:


Kellen is used to having things done a certain way. His way! Thanks to his status, he’s also used to the people around him deferring to his needs. Brigit may manage the island resort that has been in his family for three generations, but she’s not very good at taking orders. Especially when they come from him. If he expects pampering, he won’t get it from her. Has the prodigal Faust heir met his match…for life?


And now for the excerpt.. Enjoy!


 


Chapter One


9780373743223_LPFat thunderclouds rolled overhead and spat rain like machine gun fire as wave after wave battered Hadley Island’s sandy beachfront. As it was on one of the barrier islands off the South Carolina coast, the sixteen-mile-long stretch of pristine shoreline was used to the abuse. Mother Nature’s fury, however, was no match for the emotions roiling inside Brigit Wright.

Unmindful of the worsening storm, she continued to walk. In the pocket of the yellow rain slicker she wore, she fisted her hand around the already-crumpled piece of paper. Printing out the email hadn’t changed its content.


Miss Wright, I will be arriving home the day after tomorrow for an extended stay. Please have my quarters on the main floor ready.—KF


Two curt sentences that still had her blood boiling.


Kellen Faust, heir to the Faust fortune, was returning—coming “home” as he’d put it—to continue his recuperation after the skiing accident he’d suffered four months earlier in the Swiss Alps.


If the news reports she’d read about his fall were even remotely accurate, then Brigit supposed she should feel sorry for him. Along with a concussion, dislocated shoulder and broken wrist, he’d snapped his ankle, mangled his knee and shattered the femur in his right leg. Four months out and the man was still in the midst of a long and very painful recovery. Even so, she didn’t want him here while he did his mending, potentially meddling in the day-to-day minutia of running the exclusive Faust Haven resort. Brigit preferred to work without interference.


Kellen’s family had a large home outside Charleston, as well as an assortment of plush real estate holdings sprinkled around Europe. Why hadn’t he picked one of those places to do his recuperating? Surely they would be more accommodating to Kellen’s large entourage and the other assorted sycophants who enabled his Peter Pan-like existence.


Why choose Faust Haven? This wasn’t his home. It was hers, dammit! Just as Faust Haven was her resort, the name on the deed notwithstanding. While he’d spent the past five years hotfooting around Europe, living off what had to be a sizable trust fund and enjoying the life of the idle rich, Brigit had been hard at work turning a tired and nearly forgotten old-money retreat into a fashionable, five-star accommodation that offered excellent service and amenities and, above all else, discretion, in addition to its panoramic views. As such it was booked solid not only for the current calendar year, but for the next three. Brigit had made that happen. And she’d done so without Kellen’s help.


Now the heir was returning and he wanted his quarters readied. His quarters? During the time she’d managed the resort, Kellen had never set foot on the island. It was Brigit’s understanding that he hadn’t visited the island since he was a boy. So she’d made the owner’s private apartment on the main floor her own, and had turned the manager’s rooms into a luxury suite that commanded a handsome sum.


Where was she going to sleep now? She might go to bed after most of the guests were tucked in for the night and rise long before they awoke, but that didn’t mean she wanted to bunk on one of the overstuffed couches in the lobby or the big leather recliner in the library, no matter how comfy she found it to be for reading.


Muttering an oath that was swallowed by the wind, she stopped walking and looked back in the direction she had come. The cedar-shingled resort stood three stories tall—four, really, given the pilings that raised it another twelve feet above sea level to protect it from flooding. Natural sand dunes dotted with clumps of gangly grass buffered the structure from the worst of the Atlantic’s abuse.


Home.


Kellen might refer to it as such, but for Brigit that truly was the case. It was here she’d come after her nasty divorce. Pride battered, feeling like an epic failure. The sea air, the sense of purpose, both had played a key role in ushering her back from the brink of despair.


Her gaze skimmed the balconies that stretched out from every room to maximize the view. Even though it was early afternoon, the lights burned brightly in the windows, beacons of welcome to any guests who had braved the worsening weather and boarded the last ferry from the mainland before the storm halted service. Once travelers reached the island, of course, they would still have to navigate the winding roads over the hilly center of Hadley Island to the eastern shore where the resort was situated. But even accounting for the slow going, those guests would be arriving soon.


With a sigh, Brigit headed back. She had a job to do and she would do it. Right now, her priority was to see that all new arrivals were comfortably settled in their rooms. Once that task was accomplished, she would work on figuring out her own accommodations for the duration of Kellen’s stay.


By the time she reached the resort, any part of her body not covered by the slicker was drenched. She had hoped to have enough time to change into dry clothes and do something with her hair before the first guests arrived, but a full-size black SUV was pulling up under the covered portico at the main entrance as she came around the dune.


The driver hopped out, as did another man, who came around from the vehicle’s passenger side. Both were big and burly. Bodyguards? It wasn’t a surprise. A lot of the inn’s guests were important people—Hollywood A-listers, business magnates, politicians. Before either man could reach for the handle, however, the rear passenger door swung open.


Brigit covered her mouth, but a gasp still escaped.


Kellen Faust. The heir was early.


She’d never met Kellen in person. They exchanged emails and texts a couple times a month, and occasionally a phone call. But he’d never come for a visit. Now here he was. In the flesh. And he wasn’t at all what Brigit had expected.


Every photograph she had seen of him—and the guy turned up in print and online media reports with as much regularity as the tide—showed a handsome young man with sun-lightened brown hair, deep-set hazel eyes, a carefree smile and a body honed to perfection under what had to be the capable tutelage of a well-paid personal trainer.


Meanwhile, the man trying to exit the SUV’s rear seat was thin, borderline gaunt, muscles withered away from long hours spent still and sedated. The dark smudges under his eyes made it plain he hadn’t been getting much sleep as of late. He remained good-looking, but if his rigid posture and pinched features were any indication, he was far from carefree.


Vital, healthy, fit? None of the descriptions she’d seen in press clippings applied to the man now.


“I’ll get the wheelchair, Mr. Faust,” said the man who’d come around from the front passenger side.


“No! I’ll walk,” he bit out in an angry rasp that carried to Brigit despite the howling wind.


“But, Mr. Faust—” the driver began, only to be shouted down.


“I said I’ll walk, Lou! I’m not a freaking invalid!”


Kellen swung his left leg out the door without too much effort, but when it came to the right one, he had to use his hands to manipulate the limb over the threshold. Then, lowering himself to the running board first, he eased to the ground. He held a cane in one hand. He used the other hand to grip the door frame. Unfortunately, neither support was enough to save him. A mere second after both of his feet hit the driveway, his right knee buckled. The man he’d called Lou caught Kellen under his arms before he hit the pavement. Ripe cursing followed. The other man rushed forward, as did Brigit, determined to help.


“Who in the hell are you?” Kellen bellowed, shaking off the hand she placed on his arm.


She pushed back her hood and offered what she hoped was a professional smile. Wouldn’t it just figure that she looked her absolute worst for the occasion? Despite the rain slicker’s hood, her hair was damp, and the bangs that she was three months into growing out were plastered against her forehead. As for makeup, she doubted the little bit she’d applied that morning lingered on her eyelashes and cheeks now. Her feet were bare, her calves spattered with wet sand. It was hardly the professional image she’d planned to portray when she first made his acquaintance.


“I’m Brigit Wright.” When he continued to stare as if she were something to be studied on a slide under a microscope, she added, “We’ve spoken on the phone and via email for, well, several years. I manage Faust Haven.”


That news elicited not a polite smile, but a snort that bordered on derisive.


“Of course you do.” His gaze flickered down in seeming dismissal. Although he said it half under his breath, she heard him well enough when he added, “I had you pegged right.”


So, the man had preconceived notions of her, did he? That didn’t come as much of a surprise. And to be fair, she entertained plenty of her own where he was concerned. Still, it irked her that, after a mere glance, he could so easily marginalize her—both professionally and, she didn’t doubt, personally.


Brigit cleared her throat and drew herself up to her full height of five foot six. Since he was hunched over, it put them nearly at eye level. When their gazes connected she didn’t so much as blink. Using her most practiced “boss” tone, she told him, “I wasn’t expecting you. Your email, which I received only this morning, said you wouldn’t arrive until the day after tomorrow.”


“I changed my mind.”


“Obviously.”


“I was in Charleston visiting…” His words trailed off and his expression hardened. “I’m here now. I trust that’s not a problem, Miss Wright.”


“None whatsoever,” she assured him with a stiff smile. “I just wanted to explain that your quarters, well, they are not ready at the moment.”


“Am I expected to wait out here until they are?” he demanded irritably.


Standing under the portico, they were protected from the worst of the rain, but the wind pushed enough of it sideways that it splattered them every now and again.


“Of course not,” she replied as heat crept into her cheeks. What was she thinking, keeping a guest of his position, much less his current condition, out in the elements? She turned on her heel and marched toward the lobby entrance, calling over her shoulder, “Right this way, gentlemen.”


You can buy the book in stores and online at retailers such as Amazon.
And, of course, I’d appreciate any positive reviews you give it. A girl’s gotta make a living. :-)

 

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Published on January 05, 2015 17:40 • 29 views

January 4, 2015

Woo! It’s the first “real” workday of 2015. I’m pumped. I had a great holiday, even though I did work. I didn’t break any speed records, but I did get a lot done just the same.


I love the new year. It seems like the perfect time to “get things in order”. I don’t make real “resolutions” as such, but I do see it as a fresh start, and I usually have things I want to achieve in the year ahead. Some of these are work related, some are personal. But one thing I LOVE doing is organizing and making lists. I’m weird that way.


In order to have an accurate picture of what office supplies I needed to start 2015, I cleaned my office. I cleaned out my desk drawers, did filing, updated my accounts, and started my tax detail for the accountant. I got pens for Christmas, and I bought a box of paper last fall, so all I really needed to supplement my supplies was large envelopes and some postage forms. Oh, and I keep a binder with cover flats in it, so I made sure that was up to date as well.


I went through my e-mail program and deleted emails I no longer need to keep.


I also inventoried my TBR – my to-be-read pile. And while it goes against my “finish everything” instinct, I took out about a dozen books that have been on my shelf for a long time and are still unread. They’re likely to remain that way, so I have a box started for a local charity who sells used books as one of their fundraisers. All my other books are numbered and as I finish one, I cross it off and add it to Goodreads.


Then there’s the basement. We tackled it too. I moved around some things so the “cat corner” is better situated, and I vacuumed, and went through a lot of my author copies. Right now I have boxed up books for RWA to take to Book Expo America, and also a big box of books for a conference in the US for their goody bags. That whole corner of the basement looks MUCH better.


And I managed to add to my wordcount in TWINS UNDER THE RANCHER’S TREE, and worked on a proposal for a new series for St. Martin’s. As well as ate chocolate and watched a lot of movies and oh yes – that “check things off the list” tendency was also found in my TV watching as the husband and I watched the final season of Sons of Anarchy in its entirety and got it off the dvr.


I’m not always this organized, but I do like starting the new year with that whole “fresh and clean” idea. It would probably make my husband happy if that translated into my housework as well. But hey. No one’s perfect. :)


www.donnaalward.com new-year-contest


Oh yes – and right now I’m participating in a contest with Susan Mallery. She’s giving away a whole bunch of books by various authors – you don’t want to miss it! Just head on over to www.SusanMallery.com and the deets are in the members only section. It’s free to sign up. :)

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Published on January 04, 2015 17:35 • 18 views

January 3, 2015

CONGRATULATIONS to the following people who have won a Chocolate Box desk calendar:

Gerd Duerner


Crystal Napper


Elizabeth Gaasenbeek


Carol L


KV



Each winner has been contacted by e-mail for their mailing details. Thank you to everyone who share the last week with us and HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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Published on January 03, 2015 07:23 • 11 views

January 1, 2015

It’s the last day of our Year in Review, and today we’re looking at the year ahead, and our hopes and aspirations.


And of course – don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a desk calendar!


Shirley Jump: A vacation! I have five more books to write before May 1, and I am definitely looking forward to at least a week off after that!


Kate Hardy: My first book coming out with a new publisher. Can’t say too much just yet, but as soon as I can start talking about it, expect me to be my usual bubbly self!


Susan Meier: I have this vague sense that 2015 is going to be a fantastic year. Not just for me, but for all the Chocolate Box writers.  I’m hoping it’s going to be a fantastic year for the whole world. :)  Wouldn’t it be nice for the whole world to have a good year? That’s my wish.


Donna Alward: I get the feeling that 2015 is going to open up some new options for me, and I’m really looking forward to that – without killing myself writing so many books in a year! Phew! And I’m soooo looking forward to the RWA conference in New York in July.


Samantha Hunter: More travel!  I’ve waited a long time to travel, something I have wanted to do forever, so very excited about this. And then setting books in these locations, as well, of course. But along with this, I also want to focus on being more content and happy, productive at home. I think the two go together. :)


Fiona Harper: My next book, The Doris Day Vintage Film Club,  is coming out in April. I’m such a Doris fan that I can’t wait!


Liz Fielding: I’m planning to write a new series in 2015. I’ve been busy gathering stuff for my “mood” board and thinking about stories – stand alone for each book and stories that will continue through the series It’s very exciting!


Michelle Douglas: Writing more books!  I’m also looking forward to making some solid progress on my PhD. And then there’s a little matter of a beach holiday that I’m planning for February. Happy sighs.


Barbara Wallace: I declared 2015 the year of Barb.  (Truthfully, I declare that a lot of years)  I’m not sure what this means exactly, but it means I’m going to make sure I have a great year both professionally and personally.  As for what I’m looking forward to – I’m really looking forward to spending a lot more time with hubby!


Jackie Braun: This is the year I branch out and try something new as a writer. I find the prospect both exciting and a little scary. The unknown always is. But no pain, no gain…and all that. :-) Happy 2015!


Abbi Wilder: Publishing more stories, without a doubt.


 

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Published on January 01, 2015 17:02 • 24 views

December 31, 2014

Lots of good stuff happened in 2014, but it’s impossible to come through a year and not struggle with something. The great thing about adversity is that people generally come through with a greater understanding and strength, so here’s what challenged us this year!



Barbara Wallace: My biggest struggle was with loneliness and isolation.  I found myself feeling very alone, despite all the social media contact.  In fact, in a way, social media made me feel more isolated.  I’m working on ways to get myself out of the house and have more contact with people without losing my productivity as a writer.


Susan Meier: My mom has been sick the past few months. For the first time in her life, she seemed a little too tired to fight. It doesn’t matter how old you are. When your mom is sick, you’re ten again — worried what your life will be without her. I’m happy to say she’s improved. But it was a lesson well learned. I will appreciate her much more from here on out. :)


Donna Alward: Burnout…I totally took on too much at the end of 2013 and into 2014, and I really paid the price. But I’m happy to say that I’m pacing myself much better for 2015 and am pretty excited about the projects I’ll be working on!


Kate Hardy: I’ve spent ages trying to find a diplomatic answer for this. Um. Let’s leave it that there are some very selfish and unpleasant people in my life, and their behaviour has made things much harder than they needed to be this year. It’s been a massive drain on my time, so it’s been difficult to do my work and I’ve been late for nearly all my deadlines. I’m very fortunate that my editors have been very understanding about the situation.


Liz Fielding: This year has been difficult. My husband’s health hasn’t been good and I’ve found writing difficult.  I’ve also found the weight creeping up. Serious new year resolutions involved here!


Michelle Douglas: Last year my sister moved interstate. We’re really close and she used to live less than a 5-minute drive from my house, now she’s 7 hours away! I miss her enormously. We make up for it with insanely long phone calls.


Jackie Braun: I lost my mother in January. I got to be at her side when she took her last breath, which I found fitting since she was there to witness me take my first. Both of my parents are gone now.  That reality has brought about a lot of self-reflection.


Abbi Wilder: Confidence and control. I realized the problem with moving forward in a story was my inability to let go of the story. I’m very much a Type A, I have to have control of the reins person and sometimes you just have to let go. Forget about what you want to happen and see where it takes you.


Shirley Jump: Definitely balancing everything. I get to December and think WHERE did the year go? I feel like I have twelve million things left to do and not nearly enough time to do them!


Fiona Harper: Not having enough hours in the day and the kind of drama only teenage children can produce!


Samantha Hunter: Future plans, how I want my writing and my life to go forward, though I have some of that worked out now. It’s a work in progress. :)


 


** Don’t forget to comment to be entered in the draw for our Chocolate Box Desk Calendar!

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Published on December 31, 2014 17:00 • 27 views

December 30, 2014

We’re not all work and no play around here. We have lots going on in our lives that doesn’t have to do with writing, so here are a few things near and dear to our hearts that made 2014 special! (And yes – please comment! We’re drawing for a desk calendar every d2014-09-18 16.49.58ay!)


Samantha Hunter: Going to London! The first of future international trips,  it completely reset my reality and perspective on life — and that’s not an overstatement. :) 2015 will include Paris and hopefully Lisbon — so exciting!


Michelle Douglas: Ooh…something good that I’ve done for myself this year is to take up yoga. I’m loving it!


Liz Fielding: The arrival of my grandson on October 16th. He is just gorgeous and he’ll be with us for his first Christmas (along with his Mum, Dad and two big sisters! Can’t wait.


Kate Hardy: Seeing Robert Plant in Cambridge – I was right at the front and it was the joint-best gig of my life! (OK, so it’s joint with the last time I saw him, but… I’ve adored this man for 35 years and it’s still a thrill to hear him sing.)


Barbara Wallace: It actually happened very late in December 2013, but it took effect this year.  Tattoo earned a ROTC college scholarship.  Full tuition for 3 years.   AND I got to take my dream trip to England and Paris – can’t forget that! (See pic to the right- that’s me with Chocolates Fiona Harper and Kate Hardy, and also the lovely Caroline Anderson, at tea!)


Susan Meier: My son and his wife gave us our first grandchild, Max. He is (of course) the most adorable child in the world. We babysat today and, at six months, he now plays with us. You can’t even believe the rush of joy he gives us.


Donna Alward: We brought a new furbaby into our home. I wasn’t convinced at first, but our new cat Romeo has been wonderful. He’s a snuggler and very affectionate, and I love that. He has his little quirks too, and he’s a great playmate for our other cat. Pets make lives richer. :)


Jackie Braun: My oldest son graduated from eighth grade (Catholic school) and in the fall started high school. It seems like only yesterday we got the call from Catholic Social Services telling us we were parents. Today, he is heading toward five-nine and wears a size 13 shoe. While he can drive me insane–because, of course, he knows EVERYTHING–I can’t imagine life without him or his younger brother. My husband and I are truly blessed.


Fiona Harper: Visiting Venice to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary.


Shirley Jump: So many things this year! I think my coolest thing is workout related—I started swimming in the ocean with a training team, and adding that to my running *almost* makes me a triathlete. It was pretty cool to overcome a fear of swimming in the open water (after all, there are sharks out there!) and to get faster and stronger.


Abbi Wilder: My day job at a major health insurance company. My new boss and co-workers have been uber supportive. Couldn’t ask for anything better than that.

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Published on December 30, 2014 17:16 • 15 views

December 29, 2014

For today’s Year in Review question, we’re talking about our careers and authors and our biggest highlight on the work front! (PS – Don’t forget to comment so you’re entered in the draw for a Chocolate Box desk calendar!)IMG_0190


Barbara Wallace: This was the year that I pushed myself to bring my book to the next level.  I tackled more complex emotional issues, and strove to make my books deeper.  I’m really proud of that. (Editor’s note: Barbara also won the Bookseller’s Best Award!)


Susan Meier: This year I ventured into ebooks. I got to be funny and write about things that I’d never written about before. Like former Marines and competing funeral homes. I branched out and I feel that all of my writing is better for it.


Donna Alward: Seeing the release of my first single-title length book, THE HOUSE ON BLACKBERRY HILL. It was honestly like having my very first book released all over again, I’ve wanted it for so long. And getting my 25th book pin from Harlequin.


Kate Hardy: Winning the RNA Rose Award for ‘Bound by a Baby’ (and getting a hug from Darcey Bussell when she presented the trophy!).


Liz Fielding: Finalling in the RoNA Rose, the UK Romantic Novelists’ Association annual awards, with Tempted By Trouble. Sharing the day with the other finalists, especially mates Caroline Anderson and Kate Hardy and seeing Kate receive the award from the fabulous Darcy Bussell. And finishing a book that fought me every word of the way.


Michelle Douglas: I had 4 books released this year, which was a bit frantic but great fun too. The other lovely thing was receiving a CataRomance Reviewer’s Choice Award at the beginning of the year for First Comes Baby…


Jackie Braun: This was the year I finished up most of my commitments, as in contracted books, and cleared the deck to figure out what I want to do next as a writer. I’ve got some exciting possibilities ahead of me in 2015. Tune in here. I’ll keep you posted!


Samantha Hunter: Finishing up a long Blaze contract, and being very happy with how the books turned out. Look for them, starting with ROCK SOLID, in February 2015!


Abbi Wilder: Two things again: Joining the Chocolate Box Writers and reaching the finals in a Harlequin contest.


AskMe_Why_re_MarieShirley Jump: Being invited to do an anthology with Marie Force, Jodi Thomas and Virginia Kantra, that comes out July 2015 (ASK ME WHY). It’s like being invited into the cool kids club! I’m so excited!


Fiona Harper: Seeing The Little Shop of Hopes & Dreams in the top 10 on iBooks.

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Published on December 29, 2014 17:53 • 11 views

December 28, 2014

Welcome to our Year in Review! Our first post answers the very difficult question, “What was your favourite book of 2014?”


Please leave a comment to be entered in a daily drawing for a special Chocolate Box desk calendar!


Ready? Here we go!


 




Susan Meier: Kristan Higgin’s THE PERFECT MATCH. I laughed out loud.


Barbara Wallace: THE ASHFORD AFFAIR by Lauren Willig.  More literary fiction than romance, but still captivating.  I also loved Karen Foley’s RITA nominated FREE FALL.


Michelle Douglas: It wasn’t written in 2014, but this year was the first time I’d read it: NOBODY’S BABY BUT MINE by Susan Elizabeth Philips. Fabulous characters with great conflict.


Liz Fielding: It’s quite difficult to think back. I loved WHAT THE DUKE DARES by Anna Campbell, but then anything she writes is great. I recently read THE LAST PRINCE by Kirsty McCluskey and loved it. It’s horsey (and I’m not), it has a slightly old fashioned feel to it, although it’s contemporary. There’s a touch of the Prisoner of Zenda’s about it and I couldn’t put it down.


Samantha Hunter: Laura Florand’s THE CHOCOLATE KISS! I love this entire series, but this one is my favorite because of the hero — he’s so very different from most of the heroes you read in romance, and extra-wonderful for that reason. I also enjoy Florand’s writing enough to read and re-read these books, which is not usual for me.


Kate Hardy: I’m torn between THE MEMORY BOOK by Rowan Coleman (made me cry buckets – beautifully written) and THE CROSSING PLACES by Elly Griffiths (liked it so much that I bought the rest of the series and can’t wait for the next one to come out).


Donna Alward: SWEET SPOT by Laura Drake. I need to pick up her next books too, because I loved it that much. I’m not usually a fan of marriage in jeopardy stories, but this was superb, and really hit on some great emotions. Laura’s got a fab “voice” too…a little bit homey, a little bit sassy.


Jackie Braun: Ooh, this is hard. I read so many good books last year. Of course, for the most part I was on a dystopian kick, so I’d have to say James Dashner’s MAZE RUNNER tied with Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT for top honors. I also loved Shelly Thacker’s paranormal/historical romance HIS CAPTIVE BRIDE, which I read years ago. It was rereleased as an ebook with some new content. Wonderful story!


Shirley Jump: CAROLINE MAN by Virginia Kantra. I love all her books!


Fiona Harper: IT’S RAINING MEN by Milly Johnson.


Abbi Wilder: This is always a hard question for me because 2014 isn’t totally over and there are still so many books I want to read. But, if you go by what I read in 2014, there were two books that really stuck with me this year. THE TROUBLE WITH VALENTINE’S DAY by Rachel Gibson and THE HOUSE ON BLACKBERRY HILL by Donna Alward. And, I know, it was the hero that did it for me. Honorable, unassuming, and just someone I wanted to continue to read about.


 


 

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Published on December 28, 2014 17:50 • 8 views

December 25, 2014

bigstock-Christmas-Tree-189434 smallOn the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

A Big Fat Royalty Check


On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

A Two-book contract and a Big Fat Royalty Check.


On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Three Contest Finals, a two-book contract and a Big Fat Royalty Check


On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Four Great Reviews, three contest finals, a two-contract, and a Big Fat Royalty Check


On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Five Uninterrupted Writing Hours!

Four great reviews, three contest finals, a two-book contract, and a Big Fat Royalty Check


On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Six books to read, five uninterrupted writing hours, four great reviews, three contest finals, a two-book contract and a Big Fat Royalty Check


On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Seven days of exceeding word count, six books to read, five uninterrupted writing hours, four great reviews,three contest finals, a two-book contract, and a Big Fat Royalty Check


On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Eight weeks on the bestsellers list, seven days of exceeding word count, six books to read, five uninterrupted writing hours, four great reviews, three contest finals, a two-book contract, and a Big Fat Royalty Check


On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Nine awesome writer friends*, eight weeks on the bestseller list, seven days of exceeding word count, six books to read, five uninterrupted writing hours, four great reviews, three contest finals, a two-book contract, and a Big Fat Royalty Check


On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Ten great story ideas, nine awesome writer friends, eight weeks of the bestseller list, seven days of exceeding word count, six books to read, five uninterrupted writing hours, four great reviews, three contest finals, a two-book contract, and a Big Fat Royalty Check


On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Eleven more writing hours, ten great story ideas, nine awesome writer friends, eight weeks on the best seller list, seven days of word counts, six books to read,

five uninterrupted writing hours, four great reviews, three contest finals, a two-book contract

and a Big Fat Royalty Check


On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Twelve months of health and happiness, eleven more writing hours, ten great story ideas,

nine awesome writer friends, eight weeks on the bestsellers list, seven days

of exceeded word count, six books to read, five uninterrupted writing hours, four great reviews, three contest finals, a two-book contract

AND A BIG FAT ROYALTY CHECK


*Nine awesome writer friends=my fellow Chocolate Box mates


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Published on December 25, 2014 16:24 • 18 views