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: BARGAINING WITH THE BOSS.

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: BARGAINING WITH THE BOSS.

Reading is Powerful

Recently, I got a lot of bad news. The kind that adds to my already not so great year thus far. When it rains, it pours and that kind of stuff.

I wasn’t sure how to cheer myself up. The books I’d been reading were all fine and dandy, but nothing of the page gripping caliber. Not since that lovely contemporary by Alyssa Cole earlier this year. So when I found myself out of Candy Crush lives, and wanting to do anything besides turn on the television or actually write words (avoiding writing like the plague at the moment) I opened up a book on my Kindle.

Side note: Before I started taking my writing seriously I reviewed books. One, because I liked it. Two, because I would get to read books from my favorite authors months in advance.

Back to the book, which is one of my review books for the month of May. I started it and immediately became enthralled. It’s been a little bit. I’d forgotten the thrill, the rush of emotion. The heart pounding and endorphin rush when the hero and heroine clash.  The anxious clench in the gut before the first kiss. The disappointment when they are so close, followed by the eager drive to read faster just to get to it. Beyond that, it’s the tiny bits of the story – the dialogue, the plot, the tropes, the active writing. Oh, and the conflict.

Regardless, somehow I forgot about those things in the last months of life events, publishing woes, and responsibilities. My , I fell into a rabbit hole of a story. Hours passed and I crawled into bed around 2am with still 50% left. 5 hours later I awoke and I wasn’t tired or exhausted. I was eager. Eager to dive in some more. Dive, drove, devoured is what I did. I finished the book in a little over 12 hours. Life interruptions influenced my finish time. Reaching the end, I was immediately eager to know the rest… and that is the power of reading.

What verbs do you describe with reading? What emotions do you like to experience when picking up a book?

About Landra Graf

Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.

Then vs. Now: 1950s version

Writing three stories set in 1958 was as much a challenge in many ways as it was fun and different. There was so much research to do, despite the fact that I’ve always loved the fifties’ movies and music. I had to learn the slang, the fashions, and all about old-school Las Vegas. I drew on books, websites, and people’s recollections. I thought I’d share a little then vs. now with you today because the second book in my Viva Las Vegas trilogy, My Big Fat Vegas Wedding, is on pre-order and releases Tuesday.

Cool It, Daddio

The way of speaking was very different. People spoke a little more formally in most instances and their slang was very different. We know words like dude, lit, and on fleek. We all know what these words mean–by definition, slang is a shorthand way of speaking that changes the original meaning of the word(s).

Back in the 50s, people didn’t say someone was crazy–they said loony. A depressing person was “bad news,” a cool person was “hip,” and a clock was a “face.” I looked at some of those words and the meanings have changed today (“deuce” was a 1932 Ford) and some have remained the same, like when someone is being a “drag.”

Be a Man

Gender roles. Wow, as much as we bemoan how women haven’t come nearly far enough in equality (and we haven’t), the 1950s were an entirely different beast.

Back then, women went to college mainly to land a husband (if they hadn’t already done so in high school). Their studies weren’t important because they weren’t really expected to work and, if they did, it was usually only until they were married. A woman’s place was in the home, making sure her husband had a hot meal and his slippers. (I’m sorry, but gag me–his slippers!? Okay, back to the post.) Check out Housekeeping Monthly’s “Good Wife’s Guide.”

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking.

Conversely, men were required to be masculine at all times. There was no place for crying or sentimentality in a man’s world. If someone stepped over the line, they were more likely to use violence to settle their differences. I’m definitely glad things have changed since then (albeit, again, not enough).

My Big Fat Vegas Wedding: Viva Las Vegas, Book 2

So, now, let’s talk about the book. It was fun to write alphas who could go a little farther into alpha territory without being a jerk because times were different. People had different expectations and ideas about what was acceptable. In this book, especially, my heroine is very much a woman of her time. Grace is classy, despite being poor, and has ideas about how to behave properly (which Dominic is constantly pushing her beyond). Here’s the blurb:

He needs roots. She needs money. A whirlwind wedding could solve all their problems…if it doesn’t bring the Vegas mob down on their heads.

Grace Winters needs a miracle in the form of cash. A young widow with a stack of bills and a dead-end job, she’d do anything to save herself, her son, and her mother from the street. Anything but gamble—the Vegas vice that got her husband killed.

Dominic Rosas needs a happy family—or at least the appearance of one—to buy out his father’s shares in the Lucky Star Casino, ousting the vicious man and avenging his sister. When he finds himself wildly attracted to a down-on-her-luck waitress with a stubborn will and a sharp sense of humor, a hasty marriage seems the obvious solution to both of their problems.

To Grace, Dominic seems too good to be true, a kind man with money to burn and an inner strength a world away from her gambling-addicted husband. They share a spark she’s never felt before, giving her hope that maybe this time marriage might work. But when she finds out he’s investing in the Lucky Star, the mob casino where her husband gambled away their future, the dream crashes around her. Dominic swears he can invest in the casino, avenge his sister, and keep her safe, but Grace fears she’s placed her bets on the wrong man—again.

Find it on Goodreads.

Want to pre-order?

Amazon | iBooks | Google Play | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

An Exclusive Excerpt

The house was small and old. The steps up to the porch were crumbling away. Dominic tried to get his pitch ready in his head, like he would for work, but the words all jumbled together. Odd, because he never got nervous before a big pitch.

Grace came back with two glasses. He took one and sipped because his throat had suddenly gone dry. Water with a faint taste of lemon did nothing for his parched throat. Somehow, he still pushed forward.

“I need roots,” he said.

“I don’t know what that means.” She shook her head. Of course she did, because that didn’t make any sense. He was starting at the end instead of the beginning.

He paused, trying to decide where, exactly, to begin. “Let me sum up what I know about you. Please, Grace.”

With a slow breath, she glanced inside the quiet house, then gave him a terse nod.

Okay, he could do this. “You’re a widow, trying to care for your son and mother. Your son is a handful, probably because he doesn’t have a father around.”

Her eyes flashed. He’d made her angry, but he was too far in to stop now. He went on. “You can’t seem to make ends meet, no matter how hard you try. And you always look fragile and exhausted. Am I wrong?”

“I’m not fragile. If I were fragile, I would’ve broken by now. But other than that…no. You’re not wrong. What is this?”

“Please, listen. Let me tell you about me. I have more capital—money—than I’ll ever use because my grandfather was brilliant at investing it.”

“How lovely for you.”

And, I’m trying to buy into the company my father uses for income because he tried to steal from my sister. Worse than that. He tried to have her put away.”

“I remember.” Her voice was soft as she picked up her untouched lemonade, then took a drink.

“They turned me down. They want me, but only if I’m married—a family man.” He took a deep breath. This was it. “I want yours. I want you.”

She stood, stumbling a little on the table legs. “That’s crazy. You should go.”

“No, it’s perfect.” He rose and took a step closer. “We each need what the other has. I can take care of all of you. I’ll buy you a nice house. You can pick it out. You said you didn’t want eventful, but I don’t believe you. You need eventful or you won’t make it.”

Still Not Sure?

You can read the first chapter here. Until next month, I’m wishing you all a happy and proper Spring (with maybe a little less snow?)

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.

  • Our LATEST Buzz!

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