Release Day: Treasure Her Heart

Happy Book Birthday to me! Marin here, and I’m delighted to announce my latest release from Wild Rose Press, Treasure Her Heart.

This book is a prequel of sorts, and tells the love story of the parents of Jonathan (Stirring Up the Viscount) and Julia (Tempting Mr. Jordan).

A shy, late bloomer, the Honorable Judith Leslie survives her debut into Regency society despite ridicule of her height and her ruddy Scottish complexion from her more delicate contemporaries. But she surprises even herself when she boldly greets the eligible yet reluctantly marriageable Peter Tenwick, Viscount Caxton, at her first ball.

Their mutual attraction is instant, but when they speak to their respective parents, they learn that opposition to the union runs deep and personal. So deep that Peter’s father arranges for him to marry instead the worst of the ill-tempered shrews who have made Judith’s season so unpleasant.

In order to marry, Peter and Judith must not only overcome their parents’ objection but find a substitute suitor for Peter’s fiancée. Those obstacles become the least of their worries when Judith is kidnapped by a gang of smugglers and Peter must act fast to rescue his heart’s treasure.

You can find Treasure Her Heart in print and ebook at these online retailers:

The Wild Rose Press
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Apple

Excerpt: 

A man stood in the doorway. Tall and rugged, he was, in a word, astonishing. Fashionably mussed as if he’d just risen from bed, his dark blond hair hung over one eye, and he wore a self-satisfied smile suggesting he hadn’t been alone there. But it was his waistcoat
which drew everyone’s attention.

Having abandoned his post at the ballroom door due to the lateness of the hour, the butler sped to the newcomer’s side. After a whispered conversation, he turned to the assembly.

“Viscount Caxton,” he said in a tone conveying both surprise and disapproval.

Lord Caxton wended his way through the ballroom, nodding to many of the guests. He plucked a glass of champagne off a passing tray and stood near the mantel, his hooded gaze observing those who were observing him. Judith vaguely noticed her feet—somehow no longer sore—move of their own accord until she was standing just in front of him. She blinked, as much to clear her suddenly foggy brain as to relieve her eyes of the sight of his rather mesmerizing coat. She didn’t think she’d ever seen so many colors and fabrics in one place, not even at her modiste’s. He winked at her, his eyes twinkling with mischief.

He took her hand and bowed over it with a flourish, his hair curling around his bright purple collar. He kissed her hand, straightened, and winked again.

His touch sent tingles screaming up her arm. Judith was so startled she burst out the first thing that came into her head. “Wherever did you find that atrocious coat?”

The crowd surrounding him began to laugh, the ladies tittering behind their fans. Heat flooded Judith’s cheeks, but she was rescued from further embarrassment by her mother, who appeared at her side visibly quivering with indignation.

“My lord. Have you been introduced to my daughter?”

“I have not, but I should very much like to be, if this vision before me is she.”

Lady Grangemore cocked her head but did not immediately introduce Judith, a notable social gaffe most uncharacteristic of her. Finally, she said, “Lord Caxton, may I introduce my daughter, The Honorable Judith Leslie.”

Judith observed this exchange with wide eyes before her mother elbowed her hard in the ribs. Resisting a childish urge to poke right back, Judith instead curtsied to Lord Caxton. “I am pleased to make your acquaintance, my lord.”

“And I yours.” He bowed again, but Judith kept her hand safely at her side this time.

“I don’t believe I received your acceptance of our invitation, Lord Caxton.” Lady Grangemore straightened to her full height, regarding Caxton with a rather icy stare.

“Please forgive me, my lady. I did not believe I would be able to attend due to another engagement, but there was an unexpected change in my plans.” Lord Caxton’s smile was engaging, designed to charm even the most hostile mama. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to be doing much for Judith’s.

“How nice for us,” she said, in a tone suggesting quite the opposite. “Come along, Judith. There is someone else whom you must meet.” An obvious lie, since she’d spent an hour in the receiving line meeting every single attendee. Her mother grabbed her arm in a
fierce grip and tugged her away from Lord Caxton. She glimpsed over her shoulder, only to have him wink at her again.

She nearly tripped as her mother all but dragged her through the ballroom. “Mama, stop. What on earth is the matter with you?”

“You should have nothing to do with that man. He’s a rake of the worst sort.” Her mother wrestled Judith into a corner behind a potted plant and finally released her.

“Why did you invite him, then?” she asked, rubbing her arm.

“Because it would have been rude not to do so, but I dinna for a moment think he’d come. He hasna attended a ball in years.” Lady Grangemore’s native Scottish brogue only slipped into her speech when she was highly flustered or upset. Judith scrunched her face to study her mother, wondering what would cause such a reaction to one young man. Noticing her mother’s flushed cheeks, she
decided it was best to leave the subject for the moment.

“And it wasn’t rude to drag me away, leaving him standing there on his own?”

Her mother took a deep breath, and the redness in her cheeks faded. She waved her hand in dismissal. “He obviously cares little for social mores. Look at that ridiculous waistcoat he’s wearing,” she said in a harsh whisper. “It must have a dozen different colors.”

Judith peered around the plant, only to find him staring at her, an impish grin plastered upon his outrageously handsome face. “Ouch!” Her mother had grabbed her arm once more, pulling her back.

Studying Judith, she said, “You seem tired, darling. Perhaps it’s time for you to retire. It’s been such a long day.”

Curiosity overcame fatigue. “I’m not in the least tired, Mama. I believe there is one more dance, correct? And I just happen to have it open.” In an act of defiance she’d never even have considered at the start of this evening, she ducked away before her mother could stop her and strode back to Lord Caxton, who remained alone, sipping champagne.

She took a deep breath. “Lord Caxton, I realize this is terribly forward of me,” she squeaked. She cleared her throat, pushing her voice back down to her normal deeper tone. “I wonder if you might consider doing me the kindest of favors.”

He nodded, his expression amused. “If it is within my power, I should be delighted.”

“There is one dance remaining in the evening, and I find myself without a partner. As this is, after all, my debut, I should be most embarrassed to be a wallflower.”

“Perish the thought. Although I cannot imagine a more attractive bloom, whether you are in motion or not.”

Judith flushed and nearly considered abandoning this ridiculous flirtation. “Oh, my.” Having exhausted her store of clever repartees, rather limited to begin with, she feverishly waved her fan in front of her face, hoping she was sending an appropriate message.

He laughed, not unkindly, and tipped her head up with a finger under her chin. “What an innocent you are. I should be delighted to dance with you.” He glanced at something over her shoulder. “But we should take to the floor quickly before your mama comes back
with reinforcements.”

As the beginning strains of a waltz filled the air, Lord Caxton swept her onto the dance floor. He was a large man, but she was tall enough that they fit together as if two halves of a whole. He flashed a surprised grin at her, as if he were thinking the same thing. She
shivered as he placed his arm around her waist, her skin tingling under his hand at the small of her back.

As they spun around the room, Judith caught glimpses of her mother on the edge of the dance floor, lips pursed tightly together, rising and falling on her toes, fists opening and closing at her side as if she were getting ready to punch someone. Judith could almost
see the war between propriety and preservation taking place in her head.

The music slowed, and the waltz came to an end. Lord Caxton removed his hand from Judith’s back, leaving her oddly bereft. He kissed her hand once more,bowed gracefully over it. “Thank you for a delightful dance, Miss Leslie. I do hope we’ll meet again.”

“Um. Yes, thank you. I mean, you’re welcome.” As soon as the words left her lips, she wanted to call them back, but he was gone, his shoulders vibrating as he laughed, she was sure, at her idiotic response. She would not have been disappointed if the floor opened
up and swallowed her whole.

A fate made even more attractive when her mother’s talons dug into her shoulder.

“Come. With. Me.” Lady Grangemore’s voice was low, nearly inaudible, signaling anger so profound it didn’t require words.

Judith huffed out a breath, then obediently followed her mother to the front hall, where they bid goodnight to each remaining guest. As the last one left the house, Lady Grangemore turned to Judith.

“We will speak in the morning.” She paused, held up a long finger, and shook her head. “No, the evening. I will require an entire day to overcome my desire to ship you back to Derbyshire on the mail coach.”

She stalked up the stairs, leaving Judith in the hall, imprints of her mother’s nails on her skin and the gentleman’s hand tingling in the small of her back.

About Marin McGinnis

A lawyer in real life, Marin McGinnis feeds the more creative part of her soul by writing Victorian era romance and mystery. She's spent almost half her life in a tree-lined, unabashedly liberal suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. She's been married to the same great guy for over 20 years, and has one teen-aged son. They all live together in a drafty old house with their two standard poodles, Larry and Sneaky Pete. While her very first book will languish under the bed, the next book, Stirring Up the Viscount, won two contests in 2013 and was published by The Wild Rose Press in January 2015. Her next two books, Secret Promise and Tempting Mr. Jordan, are also available from Wild Rose Press. Marin currently serves as President of the Northeast Ohio chapter of Romance Writers of America and is hard at work on the next book. You can find her here, at marinmcginnis.com, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Best Ever Sci-fi Romance Tropes

Best Ever Sci-fi Romance Tropes

Uncontrollable, book three in my Beyond Human series releases this month. The series is a mixture of contemporary sci-fi and romance and contains some of my favorite sci-fi tropes. I won’t go into details as it might give away the story, but here are a few of the sci-fi tropes I love…that may or may not appear in my Beyond Human series.

  1. Time travel. My favorite TV program growing up was Doctor Who. I wanted to be the Doctor’s assistant (actually, I wanted to be the Doctor, but I was trying to keep my dreams attainable). I’ve been obsessed with time travel ever since. And there are so many ways to travel through time, whether it’s by a time machine, like the Doctor, or a genetic mutation as in The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Or through some sort of mystic tear in the fabric of time as in Outlander by Diana Gabalden or Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series. And my particular favorite—wormholes in space.
  2. The idea of telepathy fascinates me. How the human race would be different if we couldn’t hide our motivations, our thoughts, our nefarious plotting and planning. What if there was no need for torture, if the secrets of the mind could be found as easily as looking into someone’s eyes…? Some of my recent telepathy favorites are the TV series, Sense8, which follows a group of eight people from around the world who are all linked telepathically, and In Your Eyes, a film by Joss Whedon, where two seemingly unconnected people form a telepathic bond which allows them to share each other’s experiences.
  3. Space pirates. So if Doctor Who was my favourite TV program growing up, then Firefly is my favourite as an adult. Firefly was my inspiration for my Dark Desires series. I love the idea of a close knit crew having to do some shady things just to survive. I wrote Break Out, book 1, after watching Firefly for the first time. I wanted to write a space opera with space pirates and…vampires (My editor refers to the book as vamps in space)
  4. Genetic Modification. Scary and probably happening right now. Genetically modified heroes pop up in sci-fi romance all the time. I’ve even written a few. It’s an excellent way to get a larger than life, super hero and still be believable. A great example is Christine Feehan’s Ghostwalker series.
  5. Alien and human love matches. Who doesn’t want to fall in love with a stunningly gorgeous (usually) larger than life (especially certain parts of their anatomy) alien. And learn their weird mating rituals and strange customs… I love Ruby Dixon’s aliens in her Ice Planet Barbarians series—they are pretty gorgeous and easy to fall in love with. But what if the Aliens are not quite so attractive?  I recently read Cottonwood by R. Lee Smith. Absolutely loved it. Her aliens looked a lot like cockroaches, and she still managed to write a totally convincing romance—that is seriously impressive.

So what are your favourite tropes in sci-fi romance?

Uncontrollable is up for pre-order now and you can get it here!

 

About Nina Croft

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain. Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

Release Day: My Vegas Comeback

This month, my blog post just happens to coincide with my release day for the final Viva Las Vegas book: My Vegas Comeback.

In Vegas everything is a gamble, including love.

Ruby Kendall needs a chance to make a comeback. Her voice made her a legendary singer in Las Vegas, but a scandalous divorce from her scumbag manager has left her unemployable. She’s broke and desperate. But is she ready to take that chance with the man she loved but turned her back on eight long years ago?

Anthony Rosas lost the love of his life when he forced Ruby to choose between their love and her career. Now he’s finally ready to take a gamble on love. This time, he’ll support the very career that took her from him. But he wants to be more than just her manager. He wants back the dreams they lost.

They come together with a heated desire that the years couldn’t extinguish. But the odds are against them. In 1950’s Vegas, a divorced lounge singer is hardly suitable wife material.  Not to mention her abusive ex, his disapproving parents, and the fact that Ruby is all out of trust.

Can they beat the seemingly insurmountable odds and let true love win this second time around?

This is a story of reunion, of two people who have spent the last eight years knowing that they lost the love of their lives and feeling powerless to stop it. Ruby married her manager who became abusive and Anthony just became a playboy, trying to forget Ruby in the arms of woman after woman.

Neither were happy. Finally, Ruby found the strength and courage to leave her abuser, but he’s a powerful man in Las Vegas. No one wants to trifle with him by hiring the woman he refuses to let go of. When Anthony finds Ruby, drowning her misery in a cup of coffee, he goes all in. Oh, he knows she’d never make a suitable wife–she still wants fame, not keeping house and raising babies. And, the thing is, with his sister and brother in love and happy, Anthony wants to find a wife.

But, he just can’t seem to walk away from the only woman he’s ever loved. He entangles himself in her life in every way he can dream up and the explosions that lost love brings could destroy both their lives.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Come sing for me,” he said.

“Before we eat? I need to warm up.”

Shutting the door behind her, he took the bag and placed it on the table by the door where he kept his keys and wallet.

She shook her head. “What about our food?”

With a flustered sigh, Anthony took her by the arm and led her to the piano. He sat, ran through the keys quickly, then handed her the paper with the lyrics. He centered the staff sheet on his piano. “Sing that.”

“You wrote the music.” Her voice was breathless. If she were another woman, jewelry might elicit such a powerful response. But not Ruby—her heart lay with the melody. Settling on the bench beside him, she said, “Scoot over.”

He did, the two of them just fitting together on the seat. He began to play, and she opened her mouth, letting loose with the lyrics on longing for a man she could never have that she’d written days ago. The expected way to go would’ve been something fast, up-tempo, but Anthony knew slowing things down would make the song hit all the right marks.

When she finished she turned to him. Tears welled in her eyes before one plump teardrop coursed down her cheek. “You wrote me a song.”

“We wrote the song, Red. It was your words that made it beautiful. And your voice. I could listen to you sing all day.”

She tangled her hands together in her lap with a shake of her head. “Do you have any idea how much this means to me?”

So many things he could say. Something flippant, like, It’s no big deal. But it was a big deal. He didn’t share his songwriting with anyone, not anymore. “There’s nowhere for you to sing it, not yet. But I promise I won’t let you down. You’ll be playing your own songs in a packed nightclub before I’m finished.”

She lifted her head and gazed into his eyes. Her hand reached out to brush his cheek, and he went very still. “I believe you. More than that … I trust you. I always have.”

Saving him from having to come up with a response, she leaned into him and brushed her lips against his own. Her soft lips like a feather fluttered against his mouth, his cheek, his neck.

“Ruby, I didn’t … I wasn’t trying …”

“Don’t say anything.” She pulled back but took his hand. “You wrote me a song.” She said it again, as if the words held the secret to all the things between them, the things that had kept him from touching her like he’d wanted to since the first day at her apartment.

And because the song meant so much, she offered him everything, anything. Twining her fingers through his own, he took her mouth in a kiss. Passion flared between them like lighting a match, making him hard. God, how he wanted her.

Before he could think of anything, of the reasons this might be wrong, he pulled her onto his lap and trailed kisses down her swanlike neck. Her hair, when he pushed it over her shoulder, fell like a curtain to reveal the back of her neck. He placed kisses there with reverence. He could spend days worshipping her, and it wouldn’t be enough. As he brushed his fingers over her shoulders, he couldn’t be more grateful she’d bared them today.

Her eyes fluttered open, and she held his gaze. “Make love to me. Please, make love to me now.”

In a second, he was up, lifting her from his lap, an arm under her knees and one around her waist. He’d promised himself he wouldn’t touch her, wouldn’t push her unless it was her idea. Now, finally, it was, and all he wanted to do was stop time.

You can buy this book today online:

Amazon | iTunes | B&N/Nook | Kobo

Don’t forget: Book 1 is on sale now for only 99 cents!

My Fake Vegas Boyfriend can be found here, on sale, through the month of August:

Amazon | iTunes | B&N/Nook | Kobo

Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading this far. I hope you find a book you love (even if it’s not mine) and have a wonderful time reading it. That’s what it’s all about.

 

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

First Look at Catch Him if You Can! #romance #romcom

Hey, all! Jennifer here!

Mark your calendars!!! My next romance release, Catch Him If You Can, is coming August 13th!

Here’s a sneak peek!! 

Title: Catch Him If You Can

Author: Jennifer Shirk

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: August 13, 2018

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Series: Accidently Yours

Format: Digital eBook

Digital ISBN: 9781640636156

 

Synopsis:

 

Veterinarian Wade Roberts is done with love. But try convincing the elderly folk of Cape Harmony who are determined to play matchmaker. Now the young single women in town are bombarding him with baked goods and love notes, and being “taken” is the only way to stop the meddling grannies—which is why he needs a fake fiancée. Fast.

Arden Pearson loves planning weddings. Other people’s weddings, that is. After her own engagement ended in disaster, she prefers to live vicariously through her work. But when she needs to persuade a big client that she’s capable of planning the celebrity wedding of the year, she’s willing to go as far as pretending to be engaged herself to her best friend’s older brother.

Soon their ruse has everyone in town believing they make the perfect couple—including Arden. She’s always been nothing more than a kid sister to Wade, and it might take a village to convince him otherwise…

 

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

 

Pre-Order:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes

 

Excerpt:

Copyright© 2018 Catch Him If You Can

Jennifer Shirk

 

“I don’t understand what difference it makes if you’re married or engaged or whatever on how you do your job,” he said.

Her shoulders slumped. “Normally, it wouldn’t make a difference, until I received that bad press a few months ago.”

“The Bahamas Bolter?”

Yes,” she grumbled. “Anyway, it’s a long story, but these particular clients were hesitant to sign until I kind of sort of blurted that I was engaged.”

Wade snorted. “Seriously? It’s not like my clients think I need to own a pet to be a good veterinarian.”

“Exactly! Thank you.” She bit her lip. “Normally, I’d dismiss clientele who thought like that. However, they are pretty big clients, Wade. Huge. Huge enough that if all goes as planned, everyone will easily forget that wedding snafu I had a few months ago. I had no choice but to tell a teensy lie. And, well, since you had wanted me to pretend to be your girlfriend earlier, I figured…”

“You figured I could be your fake fiancé.”

“Yes. Will you?”

“Uh, here’s the thing. I wanted a girlfriend,” he said, folding his arms. “I didn’t say anything about a fiancée.”

“Oh, Wade, really?” She spluttered. “What’s the difference?”

“What’s the difference? It adds a whole other element to the charade. And besides, don’t you think you’re moving a little fast in our fake relationship? I had no idea you were so pushy. Fake boyfriends don’t like to be—”

“Okay, I get it!” She huffed. “So sorry I didn’t fulfill your time requirement to be fake courted properly, but like I said, this is an actual emergency.”

He took a bite of banana bread and chewed, pretending to think it over. “I don’t know…”

Arden planted her fists on her hips with a harrumph. “What don’t you know, Wade? Whether you actually missed out on the fake wooing or how unreasonable you’re acting right now?”

“Now, now. A short temper is not something particularly attractive in a fake girlfriend slash fiancée.”

“Well, maybe when a person’s career is in jeopardy and she asks a friend for help and gets turned down flat, she wouldn’t feel the urge to punch the fake boyfriend slash fiancé in the throat.”

He wanted to grin but didn’t dare. It was rare to have the upper hand with Arden—and he found he was quite enjoying this sudden little nuance, along with her begging him for help.

 

 

About Jennifer Shirk:

 

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Montlake Romance and Entangled Publishing. Her novel, FIANCE BY FATE—a 2015 Readers’ Crown Finalist—became an Amazon #1 best seller for Series Romance. And recently, Wrong Brother, Right Match, WON the Sweet Traditional category of the 2017 Golden Quill Contest and became a #1 Amazon bestseller for Holiday Romance.

 

She resides in a beach resort in NJ, so when she’s not writing or working on her tan, she’s taking care of her most treasured possessions: her husband, daughter and puppy (Sox).

 

Check out her website for News and Links: www.jennifershirk.com

 

And don’t forget to join her mailing list for a chance to win monthly giveaways and free ARCs: eepurl.com/Q6TH1

 

Connect with Jennifer:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  BookBub

 

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: CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN

Rolling With The Punches

Lori here today to talk about feeling overwhelmed. And then doing the thing anyway.

Last month, it seemed like the hits just couldn’t stop coming. My daughter had to have surgery that put her in casts on both legs, up to her knees. My dad was in the hospital twice for almost two weeks. And… there was a small glitch with my publisher. Without going into details, my trilogy (which only had 2 of 3 books edited and released) was suddenly mine again.

Long story short, I had to pay a good chunk of change to have the final book edited and copy-edited. I was able to design new covers (below) and the first two are widely available for purchase.

I’m in love with the new covers and can’t wait to reveal the final cover and release date later this month on my blog. (Hint: It’s this summer!)

Instead of just pimping out my books, though, what worked for me is really what this is about. I still love the stories, it was relatively painless to self-publish them, I enjoyed making the covers and I’ve gotten positive feedback on them. My daughter is doing great–she has these shoes that fit over her casts and, as long as there are no stairs involved, she can go anywhere. She always was one to roll with it. And my dad is out of the hospital and doing very well.

Life sometimes hands us a big bowl of lemons. It’s a cliche, but we’re often given more than we believe we can handle. But, do what you do to get through. I, personally, make lists and schedules. I figure a thing out from all the angles. Then I leap. That’s the fun part–okay, it’s all the fun part.

And I happen to like lemons. They smell nice and with just a smidge of sugar… lemonade.

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

Wedding Date for Hire on sale now! #99cents #sweetromance

Hi, all! Jennifer here.

June is a big wedding month–in fact even I was married in June! So it kind of makes sense that my publisher–Entangled Publishing–would put so many great “wedding” romances on sale this week!

You can check out the Barnes & Noble Forever Starts Here Sale right HERE

Lots of great titles to choose, including mine: Wedding Date for Hire.

Hope you get a chance to pick me up!

Happy reading!

Jennifer

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

ITunes

Kobo

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: CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN

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