Jane Graves

Black Ties and Lullabies
Grand Central Publishing
ISBN: 978-0446568470

A good girl can be bad for one night . . .
Bernadette Hogan doesn’t make mistakes. Not when it comes to caring for her mother, and not at her job protecting Texas’s most eligible—and infuriating—bachelor. Maybe that’s why she’s overcome with guilt after one tiny indiscretion: a passionate fling with her boss that’s left her confused, intrigued . . . and pregnant.

but can a bad boy be good for a lifetime?
To self-made millionaire Jeremy Bridges, women are like fine wine: if held for too long, they sour. But one wild night with Bernadette changed all that. She makes him laugh, she makes him think, and soon she’s going to make him a father. For the first time, Jeremy wants to be a one-woman man. So how can he convince the fiercely independent Bernadette he’s ready to change from partying playboy to dependable dad—and become the loving husband she deserves?


"You're every bit as possessive of me as you are of this baby," Bernie said. "And, for that matter, everything else within the sound of your voice. You need to work on that, Bridges. It's a real character flaw."

"One vice at a time," he said. "Let's deal with my jealousy issues first. Come closer."

The intensity of his gaze drew her in, enticing her to lean toward him.

"Closer," he said.

When she didn't move, he took hold of her arm and pulled her forward until their lips were only inches apart. Suddenly in his space, she felt every bit of the magnetism he held for the women of the world and realized she wasn't immune to it. She'd never be immune to it. No matter how maddening his arrogance could be, no matter now much she protested to the contrary, she'd be drawn to this man until her dying breath.

"Listen up, Bernie," he said softly. "Are you listening?"

He was so close now that she could feel his breath as he spoke, and each second seemed to drag on endlessly. The August heat, even after dark, permeated the car, adding to the feeling that everything was moving in slow motion.

"I'm listening," she said.

"I told you the truth. I was jealous. Don't ask me why, because I'm still not completely sure myself. All I know is that by time I left that museum, I'd already decided that if any man was going to touch you tonight…" His voice dropped to a near whisper. "It was going to be me."

~ ~ ~

Jane Graves is the author of eighteen contemporary romance novels. She is a seven time finalist for Romance Writers of America's Rita Award, the industry's highest honor, and is the recipient of two National Readers' Choice Awards, the Booksellers' Best Award, and the Golden Quill, among others. Jane lives in the Dallas area with her husband of twenty-nine years and a beautiful but crafty cat who rules the household with one paw tied behind her back.

~ ~ ~ QUESTIONS ~ ~ ~
ANGI: How often do you get lost in a story?
JANE: Every day, at least for a little while. I've been a bookaholic since I was four years old. But—here's the problem—my reading habits have changed considerably. I'm a real geek for the craft of writing, and the more I learned about it as the years went on, the more I found it hard to read as a reader instead of as a writer. I've read some great books lately, but instead of saying, "That was a wonderful story," I find myself saying, "That author did a really great job with plot and characterization." Frankly, it's pretty frustrating. I remember the days when I could immerse myself in a book and not come up for air until I turned the last page, and I wish I could get back to that. But maybe my examination of every book I read in minute detail is my own way of getting lost in a story!

ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading?
JANE: One of the Sally, Dick and Jane books. Am I dating myself? My brother brought one home from his first grade class. Even though I was a year and a half younger than he was, I learned to read that year by sitting on the sofa beside him and watching him learn to read. By the time I hit the first grade, I wasn't just reading stories. I was writing them. You'll find that a lot with authors—we get the burn to write at a very young age.

ANGI: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
JANE: The Ugly Duckling. How many people start out in this life thinking they're somehow not as good as everyone else, only to blossom into somebody wonderful they never expected to become?

ANGI: What turns you off like nothing else?
JANE: People who talk on their cell phones at the top of their lungs as if I'm remotely interested in hearing their entire conversation. I once sat in a Starbucks and listened to a guy arguing with his mother over the phone. Loudly."That's why nobody has anything to do with you, Mother! You're so rude!" Some people just aren't very self aware, are they?

ANGI: Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?
JANE: That's hard to say, because I can't listen to music when I write. I hear about how much it helps other authors get into the mood of a story, but I can't listen to organized sound and write at the same time. And if there are lyrics, my mind goes straight to them and I can't concentrate. That goes hand in hand with the fact that I'm a terrible multitasker. I'm lucky to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. White noise is fine. Somebody can be running a leaf blower right outside my office window, and it doesn't bother me a bit. A bomb could go off beside me, and I'd keep on writing. But music? It takes me right out of the book I'm trying to write.

ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
JANE: Believe it or not, I read the most when I'm sitting at my desk in my office. It isn't very often that I carve out time to go flop somewhere just to read, but throughout the day I'll grab a book or my iPhone where I've downloaded books and sneak in a few chapters. I read a lot of books that way!

ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
JANE: Last week, our ancient, decrepit dishwasher finally bit the dust. We got a new one. I had no idea they make dishwashers now that make NO SOUND AT ALL. You can't hear them running! After years of listening to all that banging and swishing and squeaking, the sound of dishwasher silence is truly a beautiful thing.

ANGI: What was the first story you remember writing?
JANE: When I was in the first grade, I wrote fun new adventures for Flicka from My Friend Flicka. I loved horses, and I loved to write. I also illustrated my books. The artist in me went by the wayside, but it looks as if I stuck to the writing.

ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
JANE: I have many, and they're all different. For instance, I loved The Shawshank Redemption. That's probably number one. But I also loved Enchanted. A prison movie versus a fairy tale. But for me, the genre is irrelevant. It's all about whether it draws me in and holds my attention. If I don't look at my watch for two hours, it's a good movie.
Oh—another favorite movie? Snakes on a Plane. People think I'm nuts, but I thought it was hilarious. In that same goofy, campy vein, my daughter tells me Zombies, Zombies, Zombies is worth a look, too. Zombies times three. How could that possibly be anything but a cinematic classic?

ANGI: Be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroine’s role?
JANE: We're back to my frustrating inability to read as a reader instead of a writer. I'm much more likely to admire the author's ability to create a realistic, fully-rounded character than I am to imagine myself as the heroine. Considering some of the wonderful heroes being written today, maybe that's a curse!

ANGI: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
JANE: Storytelling is way easier. When I'm just telling a story, people will forget my repetition, mundane word usage, and non-linear plot and just remember the guts of the story. Writing, on the other hand, is hard for me. Very hard, and very slow. When my story is set down in ink, copied tens of thousands of times, and distributed all over the world, I don't have the luxury of sticking in all that extraneous stuff I always do when I'm just telling a story.

ANGI: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
JANE: The hero of Black Ties and Lullabies is Jeremy Bridges, the womanizing multimillionaire from Hot Wheels and High Heels. I've received more reader mail requesting his story than any other character I've ever written. It's odd, really, because he was a villain of sorts in Hot Wheels, tempting the heroine in ways he shouldn't have. But I think what readers saw was a hint of something deeper inside him at the end of the book, and they were interested in seeing it revealed. When I was trying to decide who his heroine should be, I went with the woman who was right under his nose—his tough, no-nonsense bodyguard, Bernadette Hogan. After a night of totally unexpected passion, what could be worse for a playboy millionaire and a woman who's never even considered motherhood than to find out they're having a baby together?

And I hope you'll watch for

Heartstrings and Diamond Rings,

too, which will hit the shelves on September 27.

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: So, Jane, if cost wasn’t a factor…is there one place you’d like to travel? What would you do and why THAT location?
JANE’S GOTTA ANSWER: The moon. There I'll weigh one sixth of what I do on earth, so I'll never have to diet again. You did say cost wasn't a factor.

What trends do you see on the horizon where romance novels are concerned? What subgenres do you see too much of? Not enough of? If you could tailor a novel to your exact preference, what would it be?

Yes. I'll give away two copies of Black Ties and Lullabies.
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an electronic Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Website: janegraves.com
Twitter: @JaneGraves
Facebook: JaneGravesAuthor

DON’T FORGET to come back tomorrow for a fun interview with Young Adult author Rosemary Clement-Moore. Follow us @GetLostInAStory; Like us on Facebook/Get Lost In A Story and come back daily for your favorite authors and their give-aways. Every day’s someone different with lots of fun. ~Angi


  1. Welcome to GLIAS, Jane. Thanks for coming and the best of luck on all your books!

    You ask tough questions. I've never been able to predict where the trend in romance is going. BUT I HOPE there is more time travel and that single title romantic suspense comes back strong. The perfect book for me has lots of adventure, suspense, and laughter.


  2. Angi, I totally agree about time travel. What in the world happened to that? I LOVED it. One of my favorite TV shows way back when used to be Quantum Leap, if that tells you anything. Fortunately, what goes around always comes around, and I'm betting you'll see publishers buying them again soon. In fact, a few days ago a friend of my told me about the concept for a book she was working on that involved time travel, and I think I was more excited about it even than she was!

  3. I have the entire series of Quantum Leap on DVD. And yes, I watch it in marathons once a year. LOVE LOVE LOVE that show.

    I also have a time travel that I've been working on for years. It almost sold to Berkley...but the editor left. >sigh<

  4. Jane, welcome to GLIAS. Wow, is that a terrific excerpt or what. Love Millionaire stories -- and living vicariously --. I'll have to introduce you to my son in Fort Worth. He can quote Shawshank Redemption. Thanks for being here, and best wishes!

  5. Donnell,

    Shawshank Redemption. Love it! My favorite quote: "Get busy living, or get busy dying." If there's anyone left out there who hasn't seen that movie, watch it NOW.

    As for millionaire stories, this is the first one I've ever written. My good friend, Barbara Dunlop, writes fabulous millionaire stories for Harlequin Desire, but I've never ventured there myself. It's hard to throw obstacles in the path of a man who can solve 95% of his problems by writing a check. The story's in that other 5%, and sometimes that's tough to find!

  6. Angi, polish up that time travel, then hide and wait. I'm telling you, they're going to come back. And when they do, you'll have one ready to go.

  7. I hate to drive and so the trade-off with my husband is that I read aloud while he drives. My husband has driven many many miles while I've read Jane's books to him. We've read 4 of her stories so far and enjoyed the mix of humor, wackyness and romance she blends so skillfully.

    Christine Crocker

  8. Christine, that's so nice that you read my books on road trips. You AND your husband! Something about that really makes me smile.

  9. Hi Jane,

    Black Ties and Lullabies sounds fantastic. You are a new author to me, but I am definitely reading your books in the near future.

    I am a multiple-genre reader and where romance novels are concerned I see many trends emerging:
    In contemporary genres, I see small-town romances and cowboys hitting the scene. They are no longer Western men but have moved onto greener pastures and into the city. Or at least they are less rugged and more urbane. They have switched horses to motorcycles. I'm not sure how I feel about that. They may need to stick closer to their roots.

    Small-towns are making a comeback, I think readers are really embracing the interconnectedness and intimacy a community has to offer. Lisa Kleypas's newest series Friday Harbor, JoAnn Ross's Shelter Bay series, and Susan Wiggs's Lakeshore Chronicles represent this theme. Of course, authors like Robyn Carr and Sherryl Woods have successful careers covering this very theme. The subtle changes are in the characters themselves. They are not just alpha males, the wounded military man, the movie star cowboy, the heroic firefighter, they are ordinary man with who are every bit as special.

    The paranormal romance genre has been around for awhile now and with good reasons, people will always be fascinated with vampires and otherworldly creatures. The idea of lovers reuniting centuring later or being resurrected or just plain immortal is a surefire way to ensure a HEA. However, I think vampires are no longer the main attraction. There are shape-shifters, everything from werewolves, to jaguars to panthers. The lines have also begun to blur with the urban fantasy genre. In paranormal, world-building is substantial but the characters, their quirks and wit.They don't always need to have fatal flaws or be heroes. They just need to be show us things the reader can relate to and fall in love with. Perhaps, a man who cooks and cleans or who volunteers at the animal shelter. Worthy things that personalizes a story.

    I love all romances, it celebrates love from start to finish. When I read a book, I invest emotions and hope to fall in love with the characters, whatever the genre if that happens then it is a wonderful book. The special things is in the details of their everyday life. I love funny moments and convincing snarky banter and an adorable pet or two or three is something I can never get sick of.

  10. Very perceptive post, Na. Small town really is big right now, isn't it? I think it's that sense of community people are looking for, as you say. Those books seem to feature more "regular" people in their everyday lives, which is easy to relate to for the average reader.

    And I love that you love pets in your stories. So do I. The first book I ever sold was to the Harlequin Duets line (romantic comedy) which is of course gone now. But the hero was a regular guy, a veterinarian who ran a struggling animal shelter.

    Have you read Kristen Higgins? She has great animal characters. I love her books!

  11. Oops. Misspelled the author's name. It's Kristan Higgins. Gotta get it right!

  12. love your books and can't wait to read many, many more.

  13. I miss the time travel books and I also think there are two many paranormals these days but then again I am just not that much into the paranormals, so that may be my problem.

  14. Jane, yes I do read Kristan Higgins. She happens to be one of my favourite authors and I love her adorable canines. Her characters also have personalities that shine. Actually when I was looking at your book covers and reading the blurb I was reminded of her books :)

  15. Thank you for being around today Jane. Very interesting conversations !!

    We'll draw at the end of the day, so check back tomorrow to see who won, Jane's new release !


    You are the winner of BLACK TIES & LULLABIES!

    Send an email to GetLostInAStory@gmail.com with your information and I'll connect you with Jane.

    Thanks for stopping by and Getting Lost.