Monday, September 10, 2012

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Monday, August 27, 2012

HarlequinJunkie has moved - New Website Info


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Monday, August 20, 2012

HarlequinJunkie has Moved - New Site Info


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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

HarlequinJunkie has moved!


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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Planning for Love by Christi Barth (Aisle Bound Trilogy #1)

Planning for Love (Aisle Bound Trilogy, #1)Planning for Love by Christi Barth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Blurb:
Hopeless romantic Ivy Rhodes and anti-Cupid Bennett Westcott
request the pleasure of your company for their disaster of a courtship

Wedding planner Ivy Rhodes is the best in the business, and she's not about to let a personal problem stop her from getting ahead. So when she's asked to star in the reality TV show Planning for Love, it doesn't matter that the show's videographer happens to be a recent—and heartbreaking—one-night stand.

Bennett Westcott admits he didn't handle his encounter with Ivy very well. But looking at her beautiful smile—and great body—through a camera lens every day? He can't be faulted for suggesting they have some no-strings fun.

The more time they spend together, the more Ben realizes Ivy isn't the wedding-crazed bridezilla he'd imagined. But if he doesn't trust himself to make a relationship last, how can he convince Ivy to give him another chance?

I have never been one for reading books about wedding planners ,I am more a bride and groom's road to the altar kind of girl. But with this one I was pleasantly surprised and very much delighted. The book was a perfect 10!

The book told of Ivy the super organized wedding planner and her sexy as sin one night stand photographer,Ben. Reading about these two tip toeing around each other after their super hot encounter heated up the pages and I could not get enough !

The blurb will give you a very good idea what is to come but what follows is more than just your average story of love. The extreme passion and pure emotion that the author packed into this one was simply put superb!

Favorite Quote:
"I don't know how anyone can stay dry eyed at a wedding." Easy. Know the divorce stats." 

It took me behind the scenes of what all goes into planning a wedding. I never actually thought about everything and all the little details that are needed to bring a wedding together for a bride and groom.

I adored the glimpse into the world of wedding planning and the unfolding relationship between between Ben and Ivy was explosive ! Having never read anything by this author before I can with all honesty say that I will definitely be a returning reader and I am glad to have been introduced to the author's captivating style of writing.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Marriage Worth Fighting For by Lilian Darcy

A Marriage Worth Fighting ForA Marriage Worth Fighting For by Lilian Darcy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Blurb:
I DO...AGAIN? When Alicia McKinley agreed to a whirlwind Las Vegas wedding, she'd been swept away by the sheer romance of it all. How could she not say "I do" to Michael James McKinley, the gorgeous doctor who offered her everything she'd ever dreamed of? Still, after years of coming in second to MJ's career, it was time to say "I don't" to the workaholic husband who took her totally for granted. But MJ is not a man who gives up without a fight. He and Alicia might not have a perfect marriage, but now that he knows what is on the line, he is determined to risk everything-including his heart-for a second chance with his wife!

I totally loved this book ! It was really a fabulous read that had me glued to my seat and I read this one in one sitting ! The story of MJ and Alicia and their two beautiful children had me inspired and entranced. MJ recons he has it all a beautiful wife,two gorgeous kids,a great job and that life could not be better.

That is until his world comes crashing down with such a force that it knocks the wind in his sails. He and Alica had a love that is pure and passionate which you will agree is everything every woman dreams of. So what could possibly tear them apart,you might ask?

The author took a couple each set as good,strong characters and mixed in the perfect amount of drama to bring forth a good old fashioned story of love conquers all if that love is strong enough. The emotion packed into the plot by the author had me really emotionally connected to all characters involved,I felt the pain they experienced and felt the joy when the author very talently takes the reader back to the past,so vividly that I felt like I was on a emotional roller coaster.

The book had depth,passion and reminded me that out there are couples that each have their own set of problems to deal with.

Whether your a first time Lilian Darcy fan or a returning reader you will be pleasantly surprised at just how powerful her writing can be.

Her Kind of Man by Elaine Cantrell

Her Kind of ManHer Kind of Man by Elaine Cantrell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Blurb:
Is it possible she’s finally found Her Kind of Man?

Ross Williams has been in love with Kara Cochrane since they were kids so when Kara's fiancé Brandon Miles cheats on her and calls off their wedding—Ross steps in to rescue the damsel in distress.

A heartbroken Kara just wants to get on with her life and hunky Ross provides her with a definite distraction—that is until she starts falling for him. Big time.

But a devastating family secret threatens to destroy everything that Kara holds dear—including her relationship with Ross

This was the first Elaine Cantrell book that I read and I was from the word get go very quickly interested. It tells the tale of Cara , a average woman who is about to embark on the life of her dreams,however life deals her more than one crucial blow that turns her life upside down ,and in steps Ross the sexy hero !

I really enjoyed this book,it had a life lesson to teach me that it is not to say the world will turn against you when you "fall". The characters were well placed and the scenes were very informative. The author had a very unique manner of laying out the facts and bringing it all together for the reader.

I particularly loved the character of Ross so funny and tongue tied at times and so sweet and passionate at other times. Cara was also a very interesting character so interesting in fact that I got completely hooked on seeing what she would do next !

The balance upheld by the author between the very thin line of dragging the scene out too far and giving the reader just enough to want to continue the read was perfectly upheld.

I look forward to the next offering from Elaine Cantrell.


Here Comes the Bride: A Loveswept Classic Romance by Gayle Kasper

Here Comes the Bride: A Loveswept Classic RomanceHere Comes the Bride: A Loveswept Classic Romance by Gayle Kasper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Back cover:
He looks like a man who breaks hearts for a living, observes Fiona Ames when she gets her first glimpse of Nick Killian. And his underwear is as wicked as his grin, she thinks as the silk briefs spill out of his suitcase and onto the luggage carousel. Fiona has flown to Las Vegas to talk her father out of his surprise wedding, never expecting to find an irresistible ally on the other side of the aisle. But a late-night strategy session with Nick inspires her own whirlwind affair.

Nick may not think Walter Ames is any match for his vivacious aunt, but Walter’s beautiful, blushing daughter might just be the match for Nick. Fiona’s a little uptight for his taste, but that’s not the only hitch—Nick doesn’t believe in love. A divorce lawyer by trade, he’s seen plenty of honeymooners turn into bitter enemies. Now, even as they try to silence the wedding bells of Sin City, Fiona’s fighting a battle of her own: convincing Nick that true love is no mirage.

With more sizzle than the Nevada sun, this delectable romance showcases Gayle Kasper’s talent for bringing together passionate characters and re-creating the magic of falling headfirst into love.

Here Comes the Bride is a page turner; full of warmth, passion, humor and compassion.

Highly recommended for lovers of contemporary romance.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Spotlight & Giveaway: Laura Kaye

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Breakout Author of 2011- Laura Kaye to HarlequinJunkie

Thanks for hosting me here at Harlequin Junkie today! I’m excited to talk books and heroes with you all! And look down below for a fun giveaway, too!

 For the Love of Tortured Heroes

I love a good tortured hero and adore reading stories featuring tortured heroes in them. Tortured heroes convince themselves that they don’t deserve happiness or that they’re too screwed up to ever find it again. And that’s fun to read because these men tend to be all hard angles and rough edges on the outside, but vulnerable and aching on the inside. They tend to be strong enough to overcome their inner pain, all while doing what needs to be done for others. And, tortured heroes are awesome to read because their redemption is so so satisfying to see—that moment when all the walls fall, when all the masks drop, when he lets all that raw pain rise to the surface to finally be healed. Gah! Totally love that moment!
And I love writing tortured heroes as much as I enjoy reading them. And I’ve got quite a few pretty awesome tortured heroes to share with you today!

Hearts in Darkness’s Caden Grayson…
Hearts in Darkness is a contemporary romance about two strangers who find love and acceptance after being trapped for hours in a pitch black elevator. After surviving a tragic accident that claimed most of his family, Caden Grayson has put up walls to keep others out, including using piercings and ink to warn others away. Talk about a guy who looks rough on the outside, but is a quintessential good guy on the inside…
Hair: Dark brown, but skull trimmed
Eyes: Brown
Build: 6’2” of hard and cut
Distinguishing Features: 2 piercings, 7 tattoos, 1 prominent scar
Occupation: EMT
Greatest Fear: Dark, enclosed spaces
Greatest Weakness: Inability to risk loss again
Heroine Who Redeems Him: Makenna James

Her Forbidden Hero’s Marco Vieri…
Her Forbidden Hero is a contemporary romance about close friends turned lovers—with a twist: Alyssa Scott is the little sister of hero Marco Vieri’s best friend and Army Special Forces teammate, and he knows her brother isn’t going to be happy about them being together, especially given the scars Marco bears from a mission-gone-bad. Moreover, Marco’s sense of honor refuses to let him claim love and happiness when the deaths of some of his teammates lie at his feet…
Hair: Dark brown
Eyes: Bright blue
Build: 6’3” of muscle honed by military training and hardened by warfare
Distinguishing Features: Badly scarred left hand and forearm
Occupation: currently, bartender; recently, Army Special Forces soldier
Greatest Fear: That he’s not the man he used to be and never will again
Greatest Weakness: Inability to forgive himself
Heroine Who Redeems Him: Alyssa Scott

Seduced by the Vampire King’s Nikolai Vasilyev…
Seduced by the Vampire King is the second in my Vampire Warrior Kings series, and it’s about finding what you need, even if it is the last thing you expected or wanted. Nikolai Vasilyev is a grieving vampire king who refuses to mate, and Katherine Bordessa is a human woman who fled her family to escape a supernatural destiny. When they meet on the mid-night streets of Moscow, Russia, Nikolai finds himself fighting his desire for Kate’s love and comfort, believing he lost the right to such things the night he let his two brothers die…
Hair: Long blond
Eyes: Sapphire blue
Build: 6’5” of hot-blooded, hard-bodied vampire
Distinguishing Features: He refuses to wear his most distinguishing marks, the ones that would identify him as the vampire warrior king of Russia. His body bears numerous tattoos that mark his royal lineage
Occupation: Vampire Warrior King of Russia, though he refuses to lead
Greatest Fear: Letting others down
Greatest Weakness: Anger
Heroine Who Redeems Him: Katherine Bordessa

West of Want’s Zephyros Martius…
West of Want is the second in my Greek-mythology-based Hearts of the Anemoi series, and it’s about a god who bears soul-deep wounds from repeated betrayals falling in love with a woman he nearly killed. Zephyros Martius’s greatest weaknesses are his desire for love and his inability to trust in it. So even being the strongest of the Cardinal Anemoi—wind gods the Greeks associated with the weather and seasons—hasn’t been able to protect his heart…
Hair: Brown tinged with gray at the temples
Eyes: Slate blue and glowing depending on his mood
Build: In human form, he is broad and muscled at the shoulders and trim at the waist, and wears a pair of jeans like you’ve only heard about
Distinguishing Features: He can manifest light from his hands and eyes
Occupation: Supreme God of the West Wind and Guardian of Spring
Greatest Fear: Being betrayed again, not being worthy of love
Greatest Weakness: Self-doubt
Heroine Who Redeems Him: Ella Raines

GIVEAWAY!:Two commenters who leave their email address will win their choice of one of these four ebooks: Hearts in DarknessHer Forbidden HeroSeduced by the Vampire King, or West of Want. Open to international! Good luck!

To enter the Giveway: Please enter your email in the Rafflecopter below and Leave a comment 
 So, which tortured hero would you like to learn more about and why? 

Thanks for reading!
Laura Kaye

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About Laura Kaye:
Voted Breakout Author of the Year in the 2011 GraveTells Readers’ Choice Awards, Laura is the bestselling and award-winning author of over a half-dozen books in paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with all things paranormal. A published non-fiction author, Laura’s work as an historian and training as an archaeologist help her create vivid and accurate portrayals of other times and places. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Tarnished Jewel of Jazaar by Susanna Carr

The Tarnished Jewel of Jazaar by Susanna Carr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Back Cover:
Jeweled veil weighing heavily on her head, Zoe Martin waits for her sheikh husband-to-be. The shame of her adoptive family, orphan Zoe has endured six years of being kept as a slave—now she's been sold into marriage…to a man known as The Beast!

Being discarded to the sheikh has one bonus—this could mean freedom! Zoe must play along with the three-day—and three-night—ceremony, but she isn't expecting the blazing attraction from just one stolen glance at playboy sheikh Nadir

My Review:
The Tarnished Jewel of Jazaar will put you through an emotional ringer as it leads you on a beautiful journey of perseverance, hope, trust and true love.

American teen Zeo is forced to move to Jazaar to live with her relatives when she is orphaned. At 15 Zoe is suddenly thrust in an oppressive male dominated society where her family considers her tarnished as she is not Jazaari born. Her rights and ambitions are stifled and her only escape from the cruelty she suffers on a daily basis is an arranged marriage to Sheikh Nadir.

Both Nadir and Zoe have ulterior motives for agreeing to the arranged Marriage, but what starts out as a means to an end for both of them blossoms into a wonderful romance much too both their surprise. I love the ending and the epilogue; both are very heartfelt and beautifully written.

Zoe is constantly plotting her escape throughout the book. I totally adored Zoe’s feisty personality; her defiance, her resilience, her courage and her supreme determination to achieve her goals.

What makes this book stand out are the two beautifully written characters in Zoe and Nadir,they are constantly conflicted between using the other to achieve their goals and doing right by the other.

Congrats Susanna on your debut Presents release, you sure have a Winner on your hands with ‘The Tarnished Jewel of Jazaar. This book had me captivated from start to finish and I would highly recommend this book.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Spotlight & Giveaway: The Tarnished Jewel of Jazaar by Susanna Carr

Susanna Welcome back to HarlequinJunkie!
Susanna is here today to celebrate the release for her Presents Debut 
'The Tarnished Jewel of Jazaar'

 Back cover blurb:
From one desert prison to another…

Jeweled veil weighing heavily on her head, Zoe Martin waits for her sheikh husband-to-be. The shame of her adoptive family, orphan Zoe has endured six years of being kept a slave--now she's being sold into marriage… to a man known as The Beast!

The stakes couldn't be higher… or more sinfully pleasurable!

Being discarded to the sheikh has one bonus--this could mean freedom! Zoe must play along with the three-day--and three-night--ceremony, but she isn't expecting the blazing attraction from just one stolen glance at playboy sheikh Nadir….

Sara: Tell us a few things about yourself.
Susanna: I have been a romance reader ever since I read a Harlequin Presents when I was ten years old. I’ve written sexy contemporary romance for several publishers and I’m currently writing for Harlequin Blaze and Harlequin Presents. I live in the Pacific Northwest with my family.

Sara: What inspired you to write your first book?
Susanna: My first print book, The Wrong Bride, was written ten years ago and it’s about a woman switching places with her twin sister on her wedding day. I like writing about twins because I am one and I think it really has influenced how I see the world.

Sara: Is this your first Presents Novel? What was your experience like writing for the Presents Line? Susanna: The Tarnished Jewel of Jazaar is my first Presents and writing for the line is a dream come true. Working for Presents is intense but I’m lucky to work with incredibly supportive editors. I’m in awe with the other writers. Not only have I read their books for years, but they are also remarkable, creative and professional women

Sara: Which heroine from your books is most like you?
Susanna: There is one trait that I share with all my heroines: perseverance. You need it when you’re chasing a dream.
Sara: If you were stranded on an island…
Susanna: I would need sunblock, my Kindle, and a Navy SEAL.

 Let’s talk about your new release “The Tarnished Jewel of Jazaar”

Sara: If you had to sum up “The Tarnished Jewel of Jazaar”, what would you say?
Susanna: It’s a marriage of convenience story about a woman who needs to escape and a man who needs her to behave.

Sara: What sparked the idea for your novel “The Tarnished Jewel of Jazaar”?
Susanna: This story was inspired by an Indian fairy tale I read many years ago. It’s about a woman who is sold into a marriage with a monster prince. I thought about this fairy tale when I decided to write a marriage of convenience story.

Sara: How did you come up with the characters for this book?
Susanna: I had the idea of Zoe. She’s an outcast and determined to escape a difficult life. She’s treated as a slave in a desert tribe and doesn’t meet the requirements of their idea for a perfect woman. She has a secret that could place her in great danger and she has tried to run away only to get caught. The only way to escape is to get married.

So then it was a matter of deciding what kind of husband I should find for Zoe. He had to be her biggest obstacle and her greatest challenge. I came up with Nadir, a sheikh who is also something of an outsider. He needs a suitable bride. Someone who is quiet, feminine and obedient. Everything that Zoe is not.

Sara: What were the challenges you faced in bringing this book to life?
Susanna: One of the challenges was going through a few sets of revisions. Each set forced me to rethink the story and make it stronger.

Sara: Are there any other books to be released in 2012? Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Susanna: My Harlequin Blaze, Suddenly Sexy, was released in June and readers can buy a print or eBook edition online. My next Presents, Her Shameful Secret, will be released January 2013.


"Come, Zoe." One of her cousins unceremoniously pulled her from her chair and her female relatives surrounded her. "It's time to prepare you for your wedding night."

Her wedding night. Her stomach twisted sharply and she battled back nausea. Her aunts smiled and giggled as they swept her out of the courtyard and up to the honeymoon suite. She hunched her shoulders as corroding fear, thick and searing hot, bled through her body. It pooled under her skin, pressing harder and harder, threatening to burst through.

It suddenly sank into her. She belonged to the sheikh. A man they called The Beast. She was married to him. Married.

Her married cousins were offering words of advice, telling her how to please her husband, but Zoe didn't hear a word of it. There was a desperate energy among the women. Their laughter was a little shrill, their advice raw and uncoated.

Zoe didn't resist as the women settled her in the center of the bed. She knelt on the mattress, her hands folded in front of her, her head bent down. She wanted to jump out of bed and run, but she knew all these women would bring her back and guard the bedroom.

She closed her eyes and took a deep, jagged breath. She heard the women leaving the room, the laughter harsh and they tossed her more marital advice. She had always thought her wedding day would be different. In her daydreams it had been full of laughter and joy, not to mention love.

The reality was much bleaker. Zoe slowly opened her eyes. She was marrying because she was out of options and running out of luck. She was taking a leap of faith, believing she could use this marriage to her advantage. But she might have given up more than her freedom to a man who was a dangerous stranger.

What had she done?

Susanna will be giving away 2 copies of her book The Tarnished Jewel of Jazaar
To enter the Giveway: Please enter your email in the Rafflecopter below and Leave a comment Telling us Which celebrity or actor do you think would be a good inspiration for a sheikh?
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Bloodlust by Faye Robertson

BloodlustBloodlust by Faye Robertson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Back Cover:
It had to be nuns.

Some vampires had a thing for B+. Some preferred redheads. Others preferred blondes.

For Jasper, it had to be nuns--and he's been regretting that since the day he bit Amabel de Woodville, almost two centuries ago.

She'd done something to him. Something that restored his conscience, pointed his moral compass straight north, and ended his career of seducing virgin nuns and killing as he pleased. But even worse--she'd gotten under his skin, and he hasn't forgotten the green-eyed witch who'd been immune to his charms.

When Amabel ends up in his office, still as young as the day they'd met and seeking a charity sponsor, Jasper has the chance he's ached for: to show her the pleasure that's haunted her dreams for decades. He's taken the virginity of a hundred nuns...but a vampire nun? That's new.

And Jasper has always enjoyed a challenge.

My Review:

Loved it! I devoured this book in under 30 minutes, it is that Good.

“Some men had alcohol. Some had narcotics. 
Women had chocolate, and occasionally shoes. 
Jasper’s weakness was nuns.”

The writing is Fab and the dialogues are Laugh out loud witty.

It's a fairly short read so I'm not going to say any more. READ IT, If you like Vamps you are in for an absolute treat.


The Legendary Playboy Surgeon by Alison Roberts

The Legendary Playboy Surgeon (Heartbreakers of St. Patrick's Hospital)The Legendary Playboy Surgeon by Alison Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Back Cover:
The man behind the reputation

Connor Matthews has to be the only surgeon ever to ride his motorbike into the E.R.! And Dr. Kate Graham is determined to disapprove, even if it made a sick little boy's dream come true.

Connor's love-'em-and-leave-'em reputation is hospital legend, so Kate's steering well clear. Although, Connor's sinful sexiness is coming critically close to cracking the shield around Kate's fragile heart….
Heartbreakers of St. Patrick's Hospital
The delicious doctors you know you shouldn't fall for

My Review:
I love how this story unfolds; it is light and flirty at times and deeply emotional and moving at others with a bit of adrenalin packing action thrown in at the end.

Conner Mathew’s is a sexy motorbike riding surgeon who delights in breaking the rules, a playboy rebel with a cause. Kate is his total opposite studious, serious a bit of a workaholic. As the story moves along we learn that both Conner and Kate have had rough childhoods and their past has shaped them into the people they are today. What starts out as a battle between to adversaries turn into friendship and develops into a beautiful romance.

I love Alison’s book, the writing is crisp and characters delightful. Kate’s niece Bella adds a nice touch to this story. I enjoyed reading this book and can’t wait to read Bella’s story next (Heartbreakers of St. Patrick's Hospital Series). I would definitely recommend this book.


The Boss and Her Billionaire by Michele de Winton

The Boss and Her BillionaireThe Boss and Her Billionaire by Michele de Winton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Back Cover:
He threw her inhibitions overboard.

Cruise director Michaela Western has everything she wants—everything except a sex life. But there are no secrets on cruise ships. She risked her job once for a dalliance with the Captain, and won’t do it again for a few minutes of toe-curling pleasure. Until a devilishly handsome new staffer with a body made for sin tempts her to walk on the wild side...

Investment billionaire Dylan Johns always gets what he wants. He is used to giving orders—not taking them—until he’s forced to go on hiatus from his investment company. To bide his time and carry out an old dream, he takes a job on a cruise ship—and ends up taking orders from his gorgeous, but uptight, new boss. He is determined to loosen her up with a fun onboard romance, but their no-strings fling turns serious and Dylan is forced to confess his lies.

When the affair threatens to shatter Michaela’s own career dreams, she finds herself caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

My Review
This book started out with a lot of promise...A shipboard romance between the Curise director and a billionaire moonlighting as a dancer on his forced vacation from his Family.

But, alas midway through it lost a bit of steam, the story seemed to move along a bit slow at times. I liked the shipboard romance, but once Michaela and Dylan's romance moved from the Cruise ship to Sydney it kinda lost me. I didn't care much for Dylan just up and leaving all the time without an explanation. To sum it up I was kinda disapponited that it did not live up to my initial expectations.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Spotlight & Giveaway: The CEO'S Unexpected Proposal by Karen Rose Smith

Today it is my Pleasure to Welcome Harlequin Special Edition author Karen Rose Smith to HarlequinJunkie!

Karen is here to tell us about her brand new release The CEO'S Unexpected Proposal 

Sara: If you had to sum up The CEO'S Unexpected Proposal….
Karen: My latest release is The CEO'S Unexpected Proposal.  Mikala and Dawson were friends back in high school. The night of the prom Dawson had been Mikala's white knight and she never forgot that or the way he made her feel. They are reunited at their fifteenth year high school reunion and Dawson asks Mikala, who is a music therapist, for help with his son.  As Mikala leads ten-year-old Luke on a journey to emotional healing, she leads herself and Dawson, too. But old wounds form scars that are difficult to forget. They have to leave the past behind to find love, trust and their happily-ever-after.

Sara:What sparked the idea for your novel “The CEO'S Unexpected ProposalKaren: Music can lift me up, energize and heal. I wanted to use all of those feelings in a book.

Sara:How did you come up with character in this book?
Mikala has a lot of me in her.
Karen: She appeared in my imagination almost fully developed. I added details to her background that would explain how she felt about the world and her relationships with people in it. 

Sara:How did you come up with the title?Karen: The title was one in a list I gave my editor and embodied themes in the book. My working title had been A DANCE WITH HER PRINCE CHARMING. 

Sara:What were the challenges you faced in bringing this book to life?Karen: The emotional content was, at times, challenging.  I wanted to make the situation and Luke's therapy honest and real.

Sara:Please Tell us  a little bit about yourself...

Karen: An only child, I delved into books at an early age. I learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew, and wished I could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though I escaped often into story worlds, I had many aunts, uncles and cousins around me on weekends. My sense of family and relationships began there.  Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in my novels along with couples finding true love.

As my couples fall in love I like to use different settings. Many of my first releases were set around my home town in Pennsylvania. Over 80 books later, I now enjoy settings like Northern Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming where the landscape can become as integral to the plot as another character. There is something about canyons, mountains and the ocean that give me a sense of awe and I like to bring that to my romances.

Readers often ask me about my past times. I have herb, flower and vegetable gardens that help me relax. In the winter, I cook rather than garden! And year round I spend most of my time with my husband, as well as my two cats who are my constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding me life isn't all about work. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Sara: What inspired you to write your first book? How long did it take you to publish your first book? 
Karen: I was used to an exercise routine of biking, swimming and aerobics when I started having back pain. I was confined to bed rest and I needed a creative and emotional outlet. I turned to writing. I wrote for six years and finished thirteen manuscripts before I was published. Then I sold two books in one week to two different companies.

Sara: How did you choose the genre you write in?
Karen: Relationships have always fascinated me. I read teenage romances, then Emilie Loring and Harlequins. It just seemed to be the most natural genre for me to write.

Sara: Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
 Karen: That depends on the book. In my latest release The CEO'S Unexpected Proposal, I knew I wanted to write about a heroine who was a music therapist. I developed the story around her. But in my ebook AWAYS DEVOTED, a mystery/romance, I thought about the story first then developed the characters around that.

Sara: What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us? Is this book part of a series?
 Karen: I'm working on two projects at once--a new series for Harlequin Special Edition--The Mommy Club (women helping parents in need of a helping hand), as well as a new mystery series for Kensington tentatively called Staged To Death. It's a 3 book series about a home stager who stages high-end houses. Caprice De Luca takes in stray animals, shops in a vintage store, likes to cook and loves her big Italian family, though they often interfere in her life.

Sara: Take us through a typical day in the life of “Author”
 Karen: Writing, tweeting, blogging, working on promo, gardening, writing, relaxing with hubby, writing

On a lighter note... 

Sara: Would you rather be ugly and loved or beautiful and lonely?
 Karen: Definitely ugly and loved.
a.  Rather find true love or be filthy rich?
 Karen: Find true love.

b. Invent an item that everybody uses or a song that everybody hums?
 Karen: I do have a practical side, too. If I invented an item everyone uses, I'd probably be rich! Everybody humming one song might not do that.:)

c.  Have a relationship with someone 10 years younger or 10 yrs older?
Karen: Ten years younger.

d. Be deaf or blind?
Karen: This is a tough one. For a few years, because of the result of a medication, I developed severe cataracts. I listened to TV rather than watched, listened to books on tape instead of reading. I couldn't see well across a room but I could hear voices, hear loved ones' words, develop listening skills to make up for what I couldn't see. I think I would rather be blind and stay connected to the rest of the world with words. 

e. Sing in the rain or dance in the streets
Karen: Sing in the rain. SINGING IN THE RAIN is one of my favorite movies.
Sara: If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Karen: Consistently Yours
Sara: Your favorite quotes?
Karen: Ralph Waldo Emerson.  "None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone."
"When it is dark enough, you can see the stars."

Sara:  What would your ideal career be, if you couldn't be an author? 
Karen:A songwriter
Sara: If you were a salad, what kind of dressing would you have?
Karen: Something creamy with a bit of zing.

Sara: Which super power do you like to have and why?
Karen: I'd like to be able to read other people's know their feelings and motives. But I'd also want to be able to turn it on and off so I wouldn't get overloaded!

Sara: What one thing that has happened in your life has made the biggest impact on who you are today?
Karen: My marriage. Because of it I have experienced unconditional love. I've also learned how to give it.

Karen thanks for this wonderful interview.

Karen will be giving away copies of her book The CEO'S Unexpected Proposal 
To enter the Giveway: Please enter your email in the Rafflecopter below and Leave a comment for Karen on your thoughts on the book or A proposal story if you have one to share.  

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Spotlight & Giveaway: His Unexpected Family by Robyn Thomas

ROBYN, Welcome to HarlequinJunkie and Congrats on the release of your debut Novel "His Unexpected Family"

Thank you to Sara for inviting me here today. Settles comfortably and sips cool drink as we chat. Pull up a chair, grab a drink.

Let’s start with your debut Novel “His Unexpected Family”

Sara: If you had to sum up ‘His Unexpected Family’ what would you say...
Robyn: It’s a story of redemption, acceptance and starting over.  It’s proof that sometimes amazing things can happen while your focus and energy is directed elsewhere.

What was the inspiration behind your debut novel “His Unexpected Family”
I watched Touching the Void and thought that the filming of it must’ve involved considerable risks. I wondered what sort of person would film an expedition like that, and how they’d differ from the mountaineers they were filming. What if they were a team and had worked together before? What if being delayed for a few days saved the life of the cameraman while both his brother and his best friend perished? I had a flawed hero on my hands, and I knew straight away that his penchant for extreme sports was going to be a problem.     

How did you come up with the characters for this book?
Oops, I’ve already answered for Cole. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t come up with Ren’s character in a deliberate manner. I made Cole wait for his story until Ren “arrived” in my mind, already named, recently widowed and with a newborn daughter. I was surprised to find that her life had been turned inside out by the same tragedy that had ruined Cole’s.  It gave the two of them common ground and opposing perspectives and a whole world of guilt to navigate through. 


Sara: What were the challenges you faced in bringing this book to life?

Robyn: I’m not a big fan of ordinary sports, let alone extreme ones. I had to familiarise myself with what there was to do, the mindsets of the participants, and the risks involved. I watched whatever I could get my hands on in the way of interviews and documentaries, and read up on survivor guilt.

What one Favorite Scene would you never cut from ‘His Unexpected Family’
I’d have to say the shaving scene where there’s plenty of shaving cream flying around but no sign of a razor.

Now that we know about your debut, it's time to get to know you....

Sara: Who is Robyn Thomas, what should we know about her?
Robyn: Robyn Thomas is the kind of person who wonders what happens to people after their current mishap or hardship has been on the nightly news. Did they recover, are they traumatised, will their life ever be the same again?

What you should know about me: if the book I’m reading doesn’t have a happy ending, I’m going to want to pencil one in.

Sara: What inspired you to be an author? How did you choose the genre you write in?
Robyn: For many years I read a lot and entertained the idea of writing something “one day.”  When an idea took hold and the characters in my head insisted on having their story written, I knew that day had arrived. April Fool’s Day was fast approaching so I made that my start date – a safeguard in case the whole exercise was a disaster. That first book was truly awful and will never see the light of day, but I was already hooked on writing. The guarantee of a happy ending made romance an obvious choice for me.   

Sara: Tell us about the “CALL”
Robyn: The call was an event in itself. I totally missed it! My lovely editor sent an email saying she’d like to acquire my book, and I eventually stumbled across – wait for it – a follow up email. I don’t believe I’ve ever made such a high pitched squeal of horror and disbelief.  I was thrilled, don’t get me wrong, but the most amazing news ever had been squirrelled away in some obscure spam filter that I didn’t even know I had. And it‘d been there for more than two weeks! When I finally got myself together enough to hit reply… I repeatedly got an error message.

I emailed my critique partners two words that are rarely coupled together, and got their undivided attention. Between all of us we got it sorted, and I managed to send a resounding yes (please) email to my editor! Thankfully, I hadn’t missed my chance to accept her offer.     

Sara: What are you currently working on? Are there any other books to be released in 2012?
Robyn: I’m currently working on another Indulgence that’s due to release in Fall 2012. It can be described as: Prince Charming never moved into Cinderella’s house! But mega rock star Jake Olsen is rewriting the script, complete with a fake yet headline grabbing engagement. Beth Carlisle’s insular life is shaken up and publicly dissected, but this modern day Cinderella has the ability to direct her own Happily Ever After.

Sara: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Robyn: I’m definitely a pantser. I like to have a clear resolution in my mind before I start, but I follow my instincts for the bulk of the story. My characters tend to be headstrong and I try to let them have free rein.  

Sara: What is the one thing you've always wanted to do, but never had the courage to try?
Robyn: This is it! Getting a book published and sharing it with the world.

Sara: If you were stranded on an Island…
Robyn: If I was stranded on an island I’d definitely need my family with me. My husband is the most resourceful person I know, and my sons want to be inventors. Can anyone say Gilligan’s Island?
Oh, and I’d want the contents of my hubby’s off road vehicle. We’d be able to start a fire, catch fish, drink fresh water, snack and rug up. And there’s a radio to call for help. 

Book Blurb:
Sometimes you have to take the leap…again.
Newly widowed with a new baby, Ren Jamieson is putting her life back together after her thrill-seeking husband’s death. But when she’s called to show a high-end property to a prospective client—a commission she desperately needs—she meets a man who makes her pulse pound like nothing she’s ever known…
Cole Matthews is more than he seems. Real estate is only part of the reason he’s in Australia – the other is to see Ren, and make amends somehow for the life lost. The last thing Cole expects is a woman whose humor, sweetness and sexiness give him a rush greater than any he’s ever experienced…
Torn between her growing feelings for Cole and the risks of loving yet another adventurer, Ren will have to choose between keeping her feet on the ground…and taking the most dangerous leap of her life.

Contact Robyn:

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