Guest Blogger — Shelley Munro

Earthquakes, Art Deco Napier and New Zealand

Earthquakes have been in the news recently in my home country of New Zealand, since another large one struck Seddon in the South Island yesterday. Aftershocks rippled through the region and into the Wellington area of the North Island. Luckily for me, I live in Auckland and have yet to experience the earth moving in this manner. We have fields of volcanoes in my city, but that’s another blog post!

Napier-Masonic Hotel exteriorBack in 1931 at 10:47am an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck the seaside town of Napier in the North Island of New Zealand. Fires broke out and soon destroyed the buildings that had survived the earthquake. 157 people died in Napier due to the earthquake and the resulting fires.

Instead of rebuilding the Victorian-style town immediately, the locals formed a planning committee and made a careful plan for their new town. After much research, they decided to build in the new Art Deco style. This was a practical decision because the buildings were square in shape and robust. Most desirable should there be another earthquake! The Art Deco style was also cheap to build, which was a must in the current economical climate of the depression. The third reason for choosing Art Deco was that it was very fashionable.

Napier-Colenso BuildingThe Market Reserve building was the first of the new Art Deco style structures to be constructed after the quake. The builders were instructed to use rivets on the steel frame instead of welding in the normal method. The planning committee wanted as much noise as possible to send a message of hope to the residents. Rebuilding had commenced!

These days Napier is a modern town, but the Art Deco buildings remain as a feature and bring lots of tourists to the area. My hero and heroine in my contemporary romance, One Night of Misbehavior visited the Napier area for a weekend, and like me, the heroine rather liked the plain, blocky style of the buildings and the decoration that comes from intricate zigzags, starbursts and Egyptian and Mayan designs on the facades.

Napier-MusiciansMy hero and heroine visit the Art Deco store to purchase clothes to wear to a 1920s costume party. The Art Deco flavor of Napier is enhanced with music, souvenirs, cars and costumes. Even the fountain is an Art Deco design to blend with the town buildings. Visitors can take a walking tour around the different buildings or do a self-guided tour. It’s a pleasant walk with lots of cafes and pubs along the way when you require a break. There’s also a long stretch of beach to amble along, and if you’re a fan of wine, the local wine-growing region shouldn’t be missed.Napier-vintage car

If you’re ever down this end of the world, I highly recommend a visit to Napier, or if a trip to New Zealand isn’t on the cards, grab one of my New Zealand set books and do some armchair traveling instead. J

New Zealand is a beautiful country. If you were to visit New Zealand what part would you visit first? What would you like to do first?

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Shelley Munro is tall and curvaceous with blue eyes and a smile that turns masculine heads everywhere she goes. She’s a university tutor and an explorer/treasure hunter during her vacations. Skilled with weapons and combat, she is currently in talks with a producer about a television series based on her world adventures.

Shelley is also a writer blessed with a VERY vivid imagination and lives with her own hero in New Zealand. She writes mainly erotic romance in the contemporary, paranormal and historical genres for publishers Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. You can learn more about Shelley and her books at the following links:

WEBSITE: http://www.shelleymunro.com

BLOG: http://www.shelleymunro.com/blog

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/ShelleyMunroAuthor

GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/ShelleyMunro

PINTEREST: http://www.pinterest.com/ShelleyMunro

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/ShelleyMunro

NEW ZEALAND SET BOOKS: http://www.shelleymunro.com/books-by-theme/#newzealandsetting

 

One Night, FINAL200x300Shelley’s Latest book: One Night of Misbehavior

He wears his scars on the outside. She keeps hers safe inside.

Charlotte Dixon ignores her stepmother’s edict and, in an act of disobedience, attends one of the social events of the year—a masquerade costume ball. Charlotte’s naughtiness escalates when she dances and smooches with a sexy mystery man. The night of anonymous passion that follows makes her yearn for a different life, but the next day she’s back to her dull routine of household management.

Advertising tycoon, Ash Marlborough is about to set a private investigator on the trail of his nameless princess when she waltzes right into his place of work. Charlotte is shocked to meet her masked man in the flesh, and even more perturbed when he asks her out on a date. Despite craving another night of sexy loving, she doesn’t have time for a man, not when she wants to reinvent herself and grasp a new, improved life with both hands. But Ash knows what he wants, and he’s determined to win the heart of his princess. Let the dance of seduction commence.

Warning: Contains a conniving stepmother, selfish stepsisters, a grandmother with fairy godmother tendencies and a sexy masked man who is willing to face them all for the love of a good woman.

Purchase link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CB8801A

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Like Oil and Water

palms-on-the-beach-wallpaper

It NEVER looks so peaceful!!

Let’s face it…

After starting this blog entry three different times, I have to to admit, I’m not a summer person. I don’t like the heat. I’m not a fan of humidity.

My stories don’t often include The Beach…or boats, towels, pails, or pina coladas.

Once in a great while. That’s it for me. Like my story, Dark Summer, which takes place in Belize, during the late summer months. And also, Flashback, which is an early summer story set on the banks of North Carolina.

Give me a cozy cabin story, anyday. A hike through high altitudes when the rest of the country is sweltering, but I am enjoying wonderful 70 degree air. That’s me….

I remember being a kid and visiting Lake Michigan, during the winter months. Snow banks, ice, and COLD wind, blowing off the water.

Sybils_Cabin_Winter_Rear_2There are many things to like about summer, and I can enjoy a summer day just as much if not more than a winter day [when my husband’s with me], but over all, I’m a fall/winter kind-of-gal.

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Guest Post — Christy Gissendaner

Summer…is there anything better? The humid days and sweltering temperatures of the Deep South are quite an experience. Not even Vegas in 106 degree weather can compare. Trust me, I’ve been there! But there is one thing I love about summer and that’s the summer blockbusters. Independence Day? Armageddon? Yes, I was sitting there on the front row on opening night.

            This year, I haven’t made it to the theater as much as I would like. Fast and the Furious is actually the only movie I made it to this summer. But oh…how it was worth it! When The Rock was added to the franchise in the last movie, I thought nothing could top it. But as the movie drew to a close on the last minute of the latest, I got the shock of my life.

I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen the movie, but they topped it. They fricking topped it. All I want to know is how long I have to wait until the next one. Three of my top five actors sharing the big screen? Testosterone, baby, and I can’t wait!

I’m still under the impression that the producers are somehow tapping into my brainwaves. Seriously…all we need is LL Cool J and Justin Timberlake to make a cameo and I’d be in hog heaven.

Hear that Hollywood big shots? I want LL and Justin. No need to perform undercover mindreading on me. I’ll just put that out there for ya’ll.

So what is it about this franchise that makes bank? There’s a science to it I’m sure. Hot cars? Check. Hot girls? Check check. Hot men? (fanning self) Do I really need to answer that? But there’s got to be more, right? Certainly not the unbelievable, never happen in a million years, stunts. Right? I’m still chuckling over the fact that a car could bring down a plane. Although I guess it’s understandable. If you told me The Rock and Vin Diesel were in a plane a few feet above my head, I’d probably do whatever it took to bring it down too. ; )

So are there any other fans of Fast here? If so, let me hear your excitement. And, as the hubby constantly reminds me, we haven’t seen near enough movies lately. What’s your pick for the best summer blockbuster?

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coverC.GissendanerA Touch of Sin
Out of Bounds Book One

Book Description:

Julie Hendricks is a thirty-year-old workaholic who goes to her friend’s bar to meet him for a drink. It’s her first night out in years, and she envisions a normal evening. Instead, she meets Sin, a sexy karaoke DJ who’s not what he seems, and her idea of normal goes completely out the window.

Sin is actually Taliesin, the Welsh god of music and wisdom. For fun, he helps his old college football buddy at the local bar, Out of Bounds. His buddy’s prim friend captures his attention, and he soon reveals more of himself than he usually does.

Julie’s attraction to Sin is immediate, even though she doubts she could ever please a god. When her friend’s business is threatened, Julie must help hunt down the enemy while resisting falling in love with the dangerously intriguing Sin.

http://www.lsbooks.com/christy-gissendaner-c81.php 

Christy Gissendaner is a romantic comedy author and believes that laughter and love should go hand in hand.

Christy lives in Alabama with her husband and three sons. She is always hard at work on her next novel, but in her spare time she loves blackjack, karaoke, and anything resembling a vacation!

To find out more, please visit

http://christygissendaner.webs.com

http://www.twitter.com/christygis

http://www.facebook.com/christygis

http://www.goodreads.com/christygissendaner

~*~*~

Don’t forget, every comment is entered to win a GC to Amazon! + a copy of Nina Croft’s July release, Losing Control.

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Wedding Reads

file000353140187Happy June!

I love that we here at the Heart-Shaped Glasses blog picked “weddings” as this month’s theme.

I happen to be a June bride! In fact, my anniversary is tomorrow…

(just sayin’)

As a reader and writer, I think “weddings” make the perfect backdrop for a romance. Who doesn’t like a wedding? Neurotic brides, beautiful dresses, love, romantic proposals, jealousy, friendship, crazy families, stress—there are so many interesting facets to them.

Now, put all those things in a fiction book and you can really have a lot of fun as a writer!

My next book I plan to write will incorporate a wedding. My heroine’s mother is getting remarried—to my heroine’s ex boyfriend’s father! Needless to say, the wedding will be a perfect opportunity to bring my hero and heroine back together again (whether they like it or not) 🙂

Do you like to stories that involve weddings too?

Well, here’s a rundown of some of my favorite wedding reads:

**Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin  (one groom but the best friend has the hots for him–chick-lit)

**I Do, but I Don’t by Cara Lockwood (about the crazy mishaps of a wedding planner–chick-lit)

**Save the Date by Tamara Summers   (YA book about a girl who has four sisters planning weddings–really fun!)

**Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson (about a wedding photographer and the competition she falls for)

**The Brides Quartet Series by Nora Roberts (I especially love this one! All four books were very romantic as the characters created weddings for other people)

Ah, so much drama to be had! I hope you get to check out some of these books this month for yourself. And if you’re a writer, I hope our theme inspires your own wedding story!

Are you a June bride? Do you have a favorite fictional wedding read?

**Also, don’t forget all commenters this month have a chance of winning our $5 Amazon GC Giveaway!

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. Check out her latest sweet romance: WRONG BROTHER, RIGHT MATCH.

Those first days of summer vacation

For those in the U.S. today is Memorial Day, a time reserved for honoring all the men and women who passed away in military service. Parades, special ceremonies and cemetery decorations are often scheduled as a way to show our respect and to memorialize those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect and preserve our freedom and our nation.

For many, this is also the final day of a three-day weekend and the unofficial first day of the summer vacation season.

This month we’ve been talking about firsts here at Heart-Shaped Glasses—everything from first kisses and dates to first adventures.
As for me, I’m eager to hear all about your plans for the first days and weeks of summer vacation.

After a particularly long winter, I’m excited to finally see the sun and feel these warmer temperatures. The school year has ended so we’re no longer helping the little ones study for final exams or state standardized tests. The smells of freshly cut grass and charcoal grills and grilling meat wafts through the air. Everyone seems to be gardening, so beautiful bushes and flowers are blooming everywhere and fresh vegetable plants are just starting to peek from the red earth.

We’re making plans to visit family and friends we haven’t seen in a while and a trip to the coast to swim in the ocean and build sandcastles isn’t out of the question.

These first few weeks of summer vacation are stress-free and full of promise and excitement as we make plans for our well-deserved and long-awaited summer vacation.
So what are some of your suggestions? How do you and your loved ones spend your summer vacation?

About Tina Vaughn

Tina Vaughn is an award-winning journalist and contemporary romance author who's always dreamed of being a writer. Her writing career began in elementary school when she wrote her friends' love letters to their boyfriends in exchange for Mickey Mouse ice cream bars. After spending nearly fifteen years as a journalist and newspaper editor, Tina remembered she preferred fiction to fact and began writing what she loves most...steamy contemporary romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband and daughter, and is known for commemorating milestones with silver jewelry, tattoos and/or ice cream.

First Kiss: Bliss or Miss?

Hi, all! Jennifer here. I’m so happy thrilled to introduce fellow Entangled Pub author Robin Bielman as our guest blogger today!

Robin has a new Bliss romance out called Kissing the Maid of Honor, so be sure to check it out as well as the bottom of this post to see her fun giveaway that will be going on next week!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi everyone! I am so honored and delighted to be the first guest on Through Heart Shaped Glasses! Thanks so much to Jennifer and all the HSG gals for having me here today.

First Kiss: Bliss or Miss?

Since this is a month of firsts, I thought I’d talk about The First Kiss. That moment when you lean in, ready to lock lips with that special someone for the very first time ever. Your heart is racing, your stomach is quivering, your head is spinning. You make contact and then one of two things happens: you don’t ever want to stop or you can’t stop quickly enough.

My first kiss was a big ‘ol miss.  I’d been crushing on this boy forever. He was a black belt and one of the junior instructors at my younger brother’s karate studio. I’d go all the time to watch my brother just so I could secretly stare at this too-cute boy. He was sixteen and so cool, and I was fourteen and well, not. When he called me and asked me out, I thought I’d die. (This was also my very first date, and I had no idea he’d even noticed me.) He took me to the movies and held my hand the whole time. It was nice. It was sweet. On the drive back to my house, I started to get nervous, though. I wanted to kiss him. I really wanted to kiss him. But I was worried I’d do it all wrong.

Well, he walked me to my front door and I didn’t have time to get nervous because he proceeded to immediately shove his tongue down my throat. There was nothing romantic about it. Nothing sweet. The wet, sloppy assault had me reaching for the door handle and hurrying inside. Gross! I thought. And my image of this boy was forever ruined.

We never went out again. I ditched the karate studio for tennis and homework.

In my just-released novel, KISSING THE MAID OF HONOR, a first kiss plays an important role in the story. A fun role because it stirs up conflict. And desire. Wishes, too. Do I wish my first kiss had been bliss? Hmm… I’m not sure. I mean everything happens for a reason, right? I will say future kisses were much, much better.

What about you? Was your first kiss Bliss or Miss?

 

 

*Special note: Next week my publishing sister, Jennifer Shirk, and I are having some fun with our Bliss releases from Entangled Publishing. We’re hosting a Bliss Kiss War in honor of her book, KISSING KENDALL, and my book, KISSING THE MAID OF HONOR. We’ll be blogging, Facebooking, and giving away a $20 GC! We hope you’ll check it out!*

 

 

About KISSING THE MAID OF HONORKissingTheMaidofHonor_cover5 copy

Sela Sullivan is resolved to be the best maid of honor ever, even if it means tolerating the best man. Insufferable, too-handsome Luke Watters is not only the guy who humiliated her at a kissing booth in high school, but he also happens to be her best friend’s older brother. Positive he’s the same arrogant jock, Sela vows to focus on her duties and steer clear of the frustrating—and frustratingly tempting—Luke.

 

As a world-renowned extreme-sports photographer, Luke is used to undertaking life-risking adventures. But risking his heart for the beautiful Sela Sullivan, who clearly still hates him for his rejection all those years ago? He didn’t see that coming. Sela inspires a passion he’s never known, and the more time they spend together, the more he craves her. But can he prove to the maid of honor he’s become a man of honor?

BUY LINKS:

Amazon:

Barnes & Noble:

iTunes:

Kobo:

 

Robin in velvet pastel haze 620About Robin Bielman… Robin Bielman lives in Southern California with her high school sweetheart husband, two sons, and crazy-cute mini Labradoodle, Harry Dresden. When not attached to her laptop, she can almost always be found with her nose in a book. She also loves to run, hike, and dip her toes in the ocean. Writing is a dream come true, and she still pinches herself to be sure it’s real.

She is also the author of Worth the Risk and Yours At Midnight from Entangled’s Ever After line. She loves to connect with readers. Visit her online:

Website/Blog: http://robinbielman.com

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/RobinBielman

Facebook: http://facebook.com/robinbielman or http://facebook.com/robinbielmanwriter

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/robinbielman

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. Check out her latest sweet romance: WRONG BROTHER, RIGHT MATCH.

  • OUR LATEST BUZZ!

    The first two books in the Cupid's Cafe series release in June by Lori Sizemore and Landra Graf *** Lori Sizemore's Infamous released on December 14. *** Julie Jarnagin's Cowgirl in the Kitchen is available now. *** Bethanne Strasser LETTERS FROM HOME from Entangled Publishing is available now! *** Nina Croft's latest books, Her Fantasy Husband, a hot contemporary romance from Entangled's Brazen line, and The Order Boxed Set, a compilation of the three full length novels, plus a new novella, exclusive to the boxed set, both released in April 2016 *** Debora Dennis's holiday novella, CUPCAKES & CUPID is available.