Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Get Lost in Four Unforgettable Classics from Jill Marie Landis

Sometimes the best stories to get lost in are those classics you just can't forget. Such as these four historical romances from New York Times Bestselling author Jill Marie Landis. 

You'll want to add these books to your Must Read (or Must Read Again) list, especially if you long to be swept away into sumptuous settings with fascinating characters and poignant love stories. When it comes to the best in historical romance, Jill Marie Landis delivers the whole wonderful package.

Can a proper lady coax a rugged cowboy into surrendering his heart?
     Prim and proper Jessica Stanbridge is a brilliant woman who hides her beauty behind a pair of thick, wire-framed spectacles. She travels to the wild west in search of historical artifacts, but instead finds an ornery but gorgeous cowboy who agrees to serve as her guide.

     Rory Burnett hides his passion in his secret poetry, but he can't disguise his growing desire for the determined young beauty...or his fear that Jessica's quest might lead her into deadly danger. As the spark of passion between them flares into an irresistible flame beneath the sizzling heat of the desert sun, Rory and Jessica must decide if the promises of the past are going to lead them to destruction--or to a future in each other's arms.

"A gifted writer...able to enthrall readers and touch their deepest emotions."--Romantic Times

Available in eBook or Paperback
Until Tomorrow 
Can two yearning hearts learn to beat as one?
     Dake Reed is a jaded soldier traveling home from the Civil War when he stumbles across an ambushed wagon--and a helpless newborn in need of a mother.
     The last thing Cara James expects to see is a lean and handsome stranger riding across the lonely prairie with a baby in his arms. She's nothing but a backwoods girl with sky-blue eyes living on a Kansas homestead making rag dolls and dreaming of a better life.

     Desperate to find someone to share his burden, Dake uses his thick-and-sweet-as-molasses drawl to coax Cara into leaving everything behind and joining him on his journey. As Dake and Cara travel to a place they both hope to call home, Cara dares to dream it's not just the child who needs her tender touch, but the man.

"In Until Tomorrow, Landis does what she does best by creating characters of great dimension, compassion, and strength."--Publishers Weekly


Available in eBook or Paperback
Jade
Can a mysterious beauty win the heart of the most eligible bachelor in San Francisco?
     Jade Douglas is a determined young woman who risks all to travel to San Francisco in the late 1800's to learn the truth about her father's mysterious death.
     J.T. Harrington is a handsome, rugged rancher who has just inherited a vast estate. When he finds the radiant beauty on his doorstep, he is tempted to ignore his vow never to love again and offer Jade both his name and his heart.
     Before their scandalous wedding can unveil the secrets of the past, J.T. and Jade find themselves torn apart by a dangerous deception, but brought together again by a desire too powerful for either one of them to deny.

"If you love historical romance, you'll adore Jill Marie Landis." -- New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah

The Orchid Hunter
Available in eBook or Paperback
Can an English lady raised as a "wild orchid" ever be truly tamed?
     When Trevor Mandeville leaves behind the drawing rooms of London and journeys to an island paradise in search of a rare orchid, he comes face-to-face with an even more shocking treasure. 
     Stolen from her family at a young age, Joya Penn has spent most of her life running wild and free. Trevor tries to resist her charms, but soon finds himself captivated by the deliciously innocent--yet wildly seductive--young creature with eyes as blue as a mountain lake and blonde hair rippling down her back in an untamed mane.
     Given her first taste of desire by the handsome adventurer, Joya believes all her dreams have come true when Trevor agrees to escort her back to London. But her uninhibited ways quickly throw his entire household--and his heart--into delightful chaos.

     As Joya despairs of ever being the sort of "proper lady" Trevor could love, Trevor begins to wonder if he's finally found the treasure he has been hunting for his entire life...in the forbidden paradise of Joya's arms.

"Jill Marie Landis is fabulous!"-- New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

For a complete list of books by Jill Marie Landis, check out her website
Follow her on Twitter: @jillmarielandis

Meet Jill Maire

JILL MARIE LANDIS writes novels that earn distinguished awards and slots on such national bestseller lists as the USA TODAY Top 50 and the New York Times Best Sellers Plus. She is a seven-time finalist for Romance Writers of America's RITA Award in Single Title Historical and Contemporary Romance as well as a Golden Heart and RITA Award winner.

She resides in Hawaii with her husband. When she's not writing or sitting on the beach reading, she enjoys visiting with family and friends, raising orchids, working in her garden, occasionally quilting, but most of all dancing the hula. 

Her recent releases include the “Tiki Goddess Mysteries” set in Hawaii from Belle Books. MAI TAI ONE ON, TWO TO MANGO, and THREE TO GET LEI’D, and the latest, TOO HOT FOUR HULA. She also has her Irish Angels Series, inspirational historical romance from Zondervan. 

The last several weeks have been a whirlwind for Jill Marie. Over the past four months, Amber House Books (under the direction of publisher and bestselling author Teresa Medeiros) has re-issued four of Jill’s backlist historical romance titles in both ebook and trade paperback formats. I finally caught up with her and had a chance to chat.

E.E, Can you tell us a little bit about your reissues?
Jill Marie: Until Tomorrow, Past Promises, and Jade, from Amber House are all historical romances from the mid-to-late 1800’s, Victorian-era stories set in America. The fourth, The Orchid Hunter, begins on a tropical island off the coast of Africa and ends in Victorian England.

E.E. Among those four stories, do you have a favorite? Why?
Jill Marie: Although it’s always hard to choose a favorite, I think The Orchid Hunter is my choice out of the four, not only because of the tropical setting, but because it’s also full of humor. The heroine, Joya, was one of my all time favorites to write because she is truly a duck-out-of water. The laughs start once she comes face to face with the rules and restrictions of Victorian society.

E.E.: Do you see American-based historical romances making a comeback? If so, are you planning to write more?
Jill Marie: I think they are back, especially Westerns, for the inspirational and the “sweet” romance audience. I thought about revamping the reissued novels for a nano-second but taking them from “hot” to “sweet” would have entailed giving all the characters entire lobotomies and reworking all the plots. All four books received great reviews back when they were first published and Until Tomorrow was my first big USA Today Bestseller which put me on the RWA Honor Roll. I fell back on “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

E.E. What's on your TBR list? 
Jill Marie: I’m actually looking forward to previewing a new title by E.E. Burke! [Note from E.E: I swear I did not pay her to say that.] I just finished reading Dreams of Joy, by Lisa See, set in China in the late 1950’s. It’s a sequel to her book Beautiful Girls. I really enjoyed them both. They’re historical but not romances.

Today, Jill is giving away one eBook of each of her FOUR titles. Just leave a comment and enter the raffle.

Question for our readers: What is your favorite setting for historical romances and why?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 17, 2014

Lizbeth Selvig on What Good Guys Wear (And Do)



Hi Everyone!
It’s been quite a wild ride the past five weeks--I've had two book releases in that time, and I'm still not sure I believe it. Here I am shilling yet again to you our amazing GLIAS readers, this time for GOOD GUYS WEAR BLACK, which was released last Tuesday. Before I say anything more, though, I need to thank you for supporting me and all of us here at Get Lost in a Story. It’s so nice to have such a great home with writers I admire and friends and readers I love and appreciate!

But, on to some fun stuff about GOOD GUYS WEAR BLACK. I’m particularly proud of this book, and the comments I’m getting so far have been truly uplifting. The story started out in my imagination as no more than a novella about a minor character from my first three books, but it morphed into a full-length book dealing with several themes that seem to have touched people: What makes a family? What’s with banned books in this day and age? What’s it like to raise a child dealing with autism spectrum disorder (in this case Asperger’s Syndrome)?


 Here’s the back cover blurb to give you a little idea of the story:


Dewey Mitchell loves three things:  fixing old cars, football, and family. Although an illness robbed him of his NFL dreams and his hopes for a big family of his own, he’s made himself content working the family business and coaching middle school football. But when  his town’s vibrant new librarian and her young, emotionally-challenged son burst into his ordered life, Dewey finds himself inexplicably drawn to the fascinating woman


Boston-born Rose Hanrehan had no idea how different living in a small town would be. But she’s determined to start fresh for her son, who deals with Asperger’s Syndrome, without her overbearing parents judging her every move. Of course, sometimes her new neighbors seem to be equally closed-minded. And there’s one new neighbor she can’t seem to avoid… in fact, the handsome Dewey, despite his black hat and buried emotions, might end up being the only reason to stay in Kennison Falls.


Neither Dewey nor Rose is looking for love, but what they’re starting to feel can’t be anything else. Will the longtime bachelor and the free-spirited librarian let themselves fall? Or will their differences get in the way of their happy ending?

Rose’s son is Jesse, or as he says, “Jesse Loren Hanrehan. I’m named after my grandpas. Don’t call me Jessica.” Jesse’s challenges with Asperger’s syndrome manifest themselves in ways both big and small. He has a crazy-smart brain that can focus on and retain facts about his favorite subjects. His favorite things in the world are fire engines, and he knows makes, models, and specs on almost any engine he sees. Jesse also fixates on words, phrases, ideas, and things he decides he wants. He doesn’t have great social skills or good large motor coordination. He doesn’t like playing sports. 
All of this affects both his mom and Dewey—who Jesse admires in a way that confounds everyone.  Rose, because she’s a single mother, has grown very over-protective, to the point where sometimes she loses perspective on how to deal with her son. Dewey, because he’s always dreamed of having his own family of rough-and-tumble future football players, certainly has no understanding of a kid who can’t even catch a football.
But unique and special Jesse of course wears Dewey down. Here’s one of the craziest “guy scenes” I wrote between Dewey and Jesse. Warning: it’s about peeing in the woods—Rose was scandalized; hope you’re not! LOL.

EXCERPT:
“Come on, Mom.”
Jesse already sat astride the cutest little horse Rose had ever seen. This one was something called a Fjord pony—a buff-colored animal with a black-tipped mane that stuck straight up from its neck like the bristles on Marvin the Martian’s helmet. And its name was Thor. How sweet was that?
She’d have been content to take pictures of Jesse in his boots and little riding helmet sitting all by himself on the horse and call it good, but no such luck.
“Yeah, come on, Mom,” Dewey called from the back of a tall, gray horse named Rafe.
Rafe was big enough that he actually took up Dewey’s height and solidness. Rose had to laugh. Dewey wasn’t nearly as adorable in his helmet as Jesse was in his. In fact, she’d looked at herself and Dewey together in a car window after they’d put on the required helmets and thought they looked like alien nut cases. But she couldn’t argue with safety.
“You’ll be fine, Rose. I guarantee it.” Jill, beside her, gave her a confident grin. “Step on the mounting block. Tampa’s an old pro at this, she won’t move until you tell her to.”
Seconds later she was in the saddle. It was big, cushioned, and surprisingly comfortable. She grasped the saddle horn and forced her shoulders away from her ears.
“Are you sure we should be doing this alone?” she asked. “Don’t most riding places make you go with a guide?”
“Every one of these horses knows this trail blindfolded,” Jill said. “And Dewey knows it because he helped us clear it. Rafe’s main job around here is to lead kids around on Thor. And Tampa here, she’s cured a lot of people of their horse fears. Just let her follow. Take your time and have fun. If you’re not back in two days, I’ll send out the search and rescue.”
“Will you send a fire engine?” Jesse’s eyes lit.
“You want me to?” Jill asked.
“No!” Rose laughed. “No rescues. We’re coming back on our own.”
“Yes, we are,” Dewey replied. “Come on, cowpokes, let’s hit the trail.”
It wasn’t so bad. Fifteen minutes out of the old farmyard, Rose found herself trusting Tampa’s steady, cheerful walk. She didn’t rush, nor did she lag. She kept her nose beside Thor’s saddle and bobbed her head in a soothing rhythm. Jesse chattered on and off and held reins that were attached to sides of the bridle rather than the bit to keep him from  pulling on Thor’s mouth. Dewey led the way, holding Thor’s lead rope in one hand. He rode like an honest-to-gosh cowboy, and noticing the sexy, almost suggestive way his legs draped around his horse’s sides had as much to do with Rose’s diminishing nervousness as anything.
“Y’all doin’ okay?” He turned in his saddle to check.
“Fine until I heard that fake Texas accent.”
“Ouch. Here I thought it was so authentic.”
“Do you want me to lie to you? What kind of lesson does that teach?”
He let roll a genuine belly laugh. “Sounds to me like you’re doing fine, Madam Librarian.”
“Okay, I admit it, this is kind of fun. You having fun, Jess?”
“Cool.”
High praise.
They rode quietly a few more minutes until Dewey nearly shocked the helmet off her by starting to sing. His voice, a deep, slightly scratchy baritone, nonetheless stayed in tune.
“Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…”
He sang until he got the dogies movin’ through rivers and streams that were swollen, and by the time he got to the chorus, Jesse was laughing. “Git ’em up, move ’em out, Rawhide,” Dewey bellowed.
His absolute abandon, something she’d never seen or expected to see, given his almost pathologically even-keeled personality, wormed its way into her heart, helped along by Jesse’s giggles. For the first time, she saw a man who might break the mold. Someone who could love her son for the strange and wonderful little person he was.
Forty minutes into their ride, they left an open grassy field and entered a stand of woods, bright golden and scarlet leaves whispering softly, getting ready to fall. The path was gorgeous, the air sweet with the scents of leaves and pine and earth.
“I have to pee.”
Jesse’s blunt announcement shattered the magic woodland spell. Dewey sputtered.
“Jesse!” Rose half-covered her mouth. “That’s not polite.”
“But I do.”
“Well, you have to wait until we get back.”
“Why?” Dewey stared at her. “We’re in the woods.”
“So?”
“Please don’t tell me the kid has never watered a tree in the woods.”
“Urinate outdoors?”
“You and your ultra-proper words,” he teased. “For cryin’ out loud. Stop the horses. The boy’s education is sorely lacking.”
“Don’t you dare!”
“Rose. Clearly, grandpas who are senators don’t go camping and teach their grandsons how to do this. It’s one of the few perks of being a guy, so stop, dismount, and get over the fact that your son has the equipment to pee in the woods.”
She wanted to be appalled, but he was right. She’d never had brothers. Her father was about as far from outdoorsy as one could get.
“Fine.” She moved up beside Rafe, pulled back on Tampa’s reins, and the mare halted. “But I guarantee you, this is not his style. He’s not a woodsy, grubby kid. He’ll want to wash his hands.”
“Stop fussing. Leave the guy stuff to the guys.”
He grinned, swung his leg over the back of the saddle to dismount, helped Jesse off, and aimed him toward the woods. He turned back to Rose and kissed her quickly. On the lips. Making her stupidly weak and acquiescent. “We’re going to whiz in the woods. Girls can do it on that side.” He pointed. “Use a leaf.”
“Eeew!”
He kissed her again.
She waited only a few minutes before Jesse came charging out of the woods, laughing like a little howler monkey.
“Mom, Mom, I watered a seedling by spelling my name.”
“Oh dear…” Rose covered her mouth to hold back a choking laugh. “Words cannot express my pride in you.”
“I didn’t look, but I think Dewey wrote the whole alph—”
Dewey swept in from behind and clamped a hand over his mouth. “Private boys’ club information there, champ. Trust me, she doesn’t want to know.”
Jesse struggled and broke free, still laughing. He clomped back to Thor. Dewey leaned in and kissed Rose again. And once more. “He rubbed his hands off on a basswood leaf. I’ll make sure he washes when we get back. Okay?”
“You are without a doubt a whizzing genius.”
He grinned, looking delighted and insufferably proud. “I keep telling you. He’s a boy. You have to treat him like a boy.”
She forgave him the cute little bout of arrogance. In all honesty, she was happy, relieved even, to have him role-modeling for Jesse. He still had no idea what Jesse could be like when he lost his emotional rationality, but there was no doubt Jesse listened to Dewey like he did very few others.


I don’t know if that makes Dewey a hero or not—it certainly did in Jesse’s eyes. As you’ll find out in the book, even after this ages-old male bonding experience, Dewey has a LOT to learn and accept about both Rose and Jesse. I hope I got it “right” in the book.  I know very well that dealing with emotional challenges is no easy task and certainly not always fun and games. So far, reactions have been very kind. I hope anyone who reads the book will eventually let me know what she/he thinks!
Jesse might have lots of challenges, but he doesn’t always know it.   

What about you, though? What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your life? Or, conversely, what’s the funniest challenge? Or the funniest thing you’ve ever taught someone to do?  I’ve got a signed copy of my last book BEAUTY AND THE BRIT and a surprise gift card for one commenter today.

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