Love American Style: Explore Love in the City

More Love, American Style. This weekend on Get Lost in a Story we're celebrating romance in the land of the red, white and blue--past, present and forevermore. You'll meet authors who write romances set in America and get a peek at a favorite love moment from one of their books.

Yesterday, we visited Love in the Old West. Today we explore Love in the City with Vicki BatmanAlexa BourneLara Lacombe, and Tawny Weber

Vicki Batman

Award-winning author, Vicki Batman, has sold many romantic comedy works to the True magazines, several publishers, and most recently, to The Wild Rose Press. 

She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and several writing groups. An avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Cat fancier. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome Hubby. 

Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"

Find out more about Vicki and her books at her website. You can find her books at her author page on Amazon.

What's your favorite love story? 
Twice in my life, I’ve put down a book and instantly picked it up and reread it. Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux is one.

Why do you write romance? 
I write romantic comedy and romantic comedy mystery. It’s fun to develop relationships, to write attraction, and see it blossom and grow. And partly because it seems natural to write romance.

Here's an excerpt of a love moment from the romantic comedy collection, Bug Stuff...and Other Stories, an excerpt from “With This Ring”

   I entered the bar, but the place seemed deserted. Not a soul in sight.
     Then, the jazzy tones of Chris Botti lured me to the balcony door. I pushed open the portal and stepped across the threshold. Interestingly, a draped round table sat approximately six feet in front of me. Champagne cooled in a wine bucket with two flutes parked to the side. A crystal vase held artfully arranged, baby pink rosebuds, my favorite.
     How romantic.
     Still, nobody came forward.
     Perplexed, my fingernail grazed the hollow in my throat. What?
     I drew closer and touched the silky petals. Who?
     “You look...beautiful.”
     Alex, walking out of the shadows, startled me.
     “Thanks for coming.”
     His lopsided grin and twinkling eyes sent an embarrassing heat throughout my body. I asked, “W-Where's the other alumni?”
     “I reserved this spot.”
     “You did?” My brow narrowed. “Why?”
     Dropping to one knee, he lifted a box my way. A ring box. With a shaky hand, I took it and flipped back the top to reveal...an anniversary band.
     Standing, he removed the dazzling circle and lightly grasped my hand. “Katherine, the past ten years have been the best of my life. Would you marry me again?”
     My heart caught, then squished. A glow infused me from within. He slid the glittery ring next to the diamond solitaire he'd given me on our wedding day. I smudged away my freely flowing tears.
Stepping within Alex's embrace, his warmth blanketed me. I nuzzled his cheek and whispered, “I do.”

Alexa Bourne

Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romance writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance and is thrilled to have the chance to share her stories with readers everywhere.
When she’s not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV, and thinking about exercising. Okay, she also spends way too much time interacting with readers and writers on social media sites. But don’t tell her editors! Find out more about her and her books on her website, www.alexabourne.com.

What is your favorite love story?
One of my favorite love stories is the love that grows between Brian O'Conner and Mia Toretto in the Fast & Furious movies. Granted the romance isn't the focal point in the movies, but it is there and has played an important part in the series. (What can I say? I love action stories most and the romance is an extra treat!) I love how the romance between Brian and Mia has grown throughout the series and how they've both changed. Plus, even though there are fights, arguments and danger they still hold onto each other.

Why do you write romances?
Why not? Romances have happy endings. Who doesn't want a happy ending? Plus, I love watching love and companionship grow between two people that really had no interest in connecting.

Here's a love moment excerpt from her latest book, Wake Me.
Available from Amazon

     “You’ve got to go on doing good things, fighting for those who can’t.” After she picked up their bags, she shoved him toward the door. “You have to go back. I can’t be the reason you get kicked off the police force.”
     “It’s not just you.” He tugged the bag straps off her shoulders, dropping them to the floor.
     “You’re questioning whether I’m guilty or not. I think you’re starting to believe me, which isn’t good for you. I can’t handle all the responsibility of—” 
     “Sarah.” He set his palms on her shoulders. “Calm down.” He’d reversed their roles.
     Despair rose in her, while he stood by her side, relaxed.              “Why’d you do it for someone you barely know?”
     He shook his head. “I don’t know. I knew the moment I lied to my partner I’d thrown my career away, something I’ve worked hard for.”
     “I’m sorry.” She lowered her gaze. The man had given up everything for her. Damn. Not even her own family supported her like he did. The reality of their situation, of his sacrifice, humbled her. “So sorry.”
     “Hey.” He lifted her chin, brushed his thumb across her cheek. “My choice.” He kissed her forehead. 

Lara Lacombe

I earned my Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology and worked in several labs across the country before moving into the classroom. My day job as a college science professor gives me time to pursue my other love--writing fast-paced romantic suspense, with smart, nerdy heroines and dangerously attractive heroes. I love to hear from readers! Find me on the web, or contact me at laralacombewriter@gmail.com.

What's your favorite love story?  
Hmmm... Probably Jamie and Claire's story from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  I love reading the evolution of their relationship, from getting to know you to mad, passionate love and finally to a happy marriage.  I never get tired of those books!

Why do you write romance? 
I love exploring how people interact with each other, and how an initial attraction can deepen into something meaningful and true.  Plus, I'm a sucker for a happy ending! :)

Here's an excerpt of the first kiss between Alex and Jillian from my December release, LETHAL LIES:

     “I think that’s why I like you,” Jillian said, sounding a little shy. “You’re doing your best to stop the very thing that took my brother from me.”
     Guilt was a heavy weight on his chest. He had to tell her about his part in her brother’s death. She deserved to know the truth.
     “Jillian...” he began.
     She turned to face him fully and the words stalled in his throat. Her eyes were glassy with unshed tears, but the look she gave him was full of hope, as if he was some kind of superhero that would make things right in her world. If she knew the truth, she’d hate him. And after everything that had happened tonight, he didn’t think he could bear that.
     “Sorry,” she said, blinking hard. “I didn’t mean to start crying on you. But it’s the first time I’ve talked to anyone about Jason.”
     “It’s okay,” he said softly, reaching out to run his finger across her cheek. She stilled at the contact and he pulled away, cursing himself for having scared her.
     “Alex?” Her voice was barely a whisper, but he heard it as clearly as a shout. Jillian moved closer and he sucked in a breath when he realized her intentions.
     The kiss started out gentle; a slide of lips, the barest flicker of her tongue. I should stop this. He’d wanted to kiss her for hours, but given his role in her brother’s death, he didn’t deserve the privilege. And if Jillian knew the truth, she’d hate him forever for using her like this.
     He was on the verge of telling her when she deepened the kiss, sliding her tongue across his with a teasing flutter that sent all the blood in his body to his groin. Conscious thought evaporated in the face of her heated exploration and he surrendered to the flood of sensations, no longer caring what the future might bring. There was only now, only Jillian. Only this moment.
     And he would make it count.

Tawny Weber

New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling author of thirty books and counting, Tawny Weber has been writing sassy, sexy romances since her first one hit the shelves in 2007.  A fan of Johnny Depp, cupcakes and color coordination, she spends a lot of her time shopping for cute shoes, scrapbooking and hanging out on Facebook. 

Readers can check out Tawny’s books at her website, www.tawnyweber.com, or join her Red Hot Readers Club for goodies like free reads, complete first chapter excerpts, recipes, insider story info and much more. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. 

What's your favorite love story?
I love the Princess Bride.  Not only for its fun humor, but for the message of how strongly love endures. 

Why do you write romances?

I’ve loved reading romances as long as I can remember. There is always a message of hope in the books, no matter what sub-genre.  The power that love offers the characters inspired me.  So when my husband asked me what I would do if I could have any career in the world, out of the blue popped “I’d be a romance author”.  I hadn’t ever considered it before, but once he challenged me to try, I dove in.  With every book I write, I hope I bring that message of love, of hope and of inspiration to readers. 

Here's a love moment excerpt from her latest romance, A SEAL's Secret...

    “How do you do that?  You’re amazing.  You do the impossible and simply accept that it’s doable.  You must face insurmountable odds, but you have such an even temperament.  Then there’s everything you must have faced. But you still smile. Is it innate? Were you born with that confidence or is it something you’ve built over time, layer by successful layer?”
     When he could only stare, shocked to his core, Livi’s shoulders drooped a little.  She wrinkled her nose, then shrugged as if dismissing her own question.
    “I suppose it’s a crazy question, isn’t it.  I guess I’m just...” she hesitated before saying, “Fascinated by what makes people strong.  Probably a quirk of the job I do, I guess.  I’m always interested in building strength and how to layer more.  You’re one of the strongest, most self-assured people I’ve ever met.”
     That wasn’t what she’d been about to say, but he let it go.  Mostly because he was stunned by her words.
     “You humble me,” he said quietly.  “And you make me sound much more, much bigger, than I am.”
     This time when Livi’s head shake was emphatic, her brow furrowed in a stubborn frown. 
     “Oh, no.  You’re definitely all that.  When I first saw you at Roz’s, I called you Super Hottie in my head,” she told him with a shy sort of laugh.  “But it’s not a joke.  You really are a super hero.  You’re the leading man in that saves the world.  I don’t think it’s because you’re a SEAL, although I’m sure that adds to it.  I think its simply who you are.  Strong, confident, sure.” 
     “You’re mixing up personality with training,” he decided.  “I’m one of the best because that’s what being a SEAL means.  That’s what we’re trained for.”
      “If you weren’t a SEAL, you’d still be one of the best,” she argued.  “I’ll bet you were the best all through school, that you excel in whatever you do when you’re not being a SEAL, too.”
       Well, yeah.  Of course he did.  Why wouldn’t he? 
       Watching his fingers comb through the silky length of her hair, Mitch frowned.  
       He was one of the best.
       That wasn’t ego. 
       It was simply fact. 
       Because he expected it to be.  Because everyone else in his life expected it as well.  Mitch didn’t think he’d ever considered another option. 
      But neither had he ever considered it special, something to be admired to the degree that Livi seemed to think it deserved. He’d brush it off to great sex combined with a little hero worship, that’s not what he saw in her eyes.
      He wasn’t sure exactly what it was that he saw in those blue depths, though.   
      Confused, a little blown away, Mitch couldn’t find the words to tell her how she made him feel.
      So he showed her instead. 
      He pulled her into his arms, keeping kisses gentle, his touch tender.
      He wanted to show her how incredible she was, not talk about how special she thought he was.
      He felt her instant flare of passion, but worked to bank it.  He wanted her on simmer, not boiling over. 
      He wanted her to float on desire, not catapult into passion.
      He simply wanted her.
      With a gentleness and care he’d never realized he had, Mitch worshiped Livi.
      Worshipped her body.
      Her spirit.
      Her beautiful sweetness.
      As he did, he felt something shift. 

      But he felt too good to worry about it. 

What's your favorite love story? Share it with us, and be sure to enter the drawing. There are books from twelve authors up for grabs. 

This wraps up Love in the CityTomorrow, we'll find Love in the Country with Angi MorganLiz SelvigDonna Alward, and Love Forevermore with Kathleen Baldwin.

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  1. Love the books, ladies. Tawny, welcome back. You'll always have a special title here as our very first interview. Love ya, girl !!

  2. Welcome Tawny! Thanks so much for joining us today! And I'm loving all the excerpts.

    I don't think I can pick a favorite love story, there are so many great ones. My favorite fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast. Looking beneath the surface, learning to trust and overcome fear, risking love and being redeemed, these themes find their way into all my books. I'm eager to see what other stories are shared today.

  3. It's hard to pick just one. There are so many.

    I love funny and romantic stories though... So I'll pick Princess Bride.

  4. E.E. Thank you!!

    I love the Beauty and the Beast theme. I've seen it told so well by a lot of authors, Anna Campbell is one of my favorites authors who tells a great Beauty and the Beast story.

    Of course, Disney's is still tops in my book, though LOL

  5. Thank you so much to everyone at Get Lost in a Story for having me back! I love visiting and am so thrilled to be a part of your Love American Style celebration :-)

    Angi, big hugs cuz you rock :-D Wow, I forgot that i was your first *ggg* That is so cool!

  6. May, I'm with you :-)

    Funny and romantic are my go-to entertainment favorites. Actually, those are my go-to life favorites, too.

  7. Big squishy hugs, Susan and thank you!!!

  8. It's hard to pick just one since there are so many. I enjoy reading contemporaries and historicals as long as they have an HEA. I love Tawny's books, Suzan Tisdale, Lauren Smith, Victoria Roberts, Callie Hutton, and Anna Campbell just to name a few. Thanks for the giveaway!

    kscathy AT yahoo DOT com

  9. Hi All

    There have been so many great love stories I guess Cinderella will always be one of my favourite ones :)

    Have Fun

  10. All of the books in this series have been fantastic! I'm going to start reading this one in the morning!

  11. You had me hooked with the first book! Thank you to E.E, Burke for the introduction!

    1. You're welcome, Cindy. Happy to add to your TBR list. :))

  12. Thanks for sharing all these great books!
    jmartin77 @ roadrunner.com

  13. I'm not sure I can pick just one love story. I like romantic comedies and suspenseful romances, but if I read a romance there has to be an HEA.
    I like Cinderella. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. Love Tawny's books -A Seal's Secret is a must read. All of her Seals books are wonderful stories. For a classic romance, it has to be Gone With the Wind yenastone at aol dot com

  15. I'm not sure I could choose just one favorite love story, Tawny! Maybe Snuggle Puppy ;) And I love romance--I know I couldn't choose just one of those!

    fedora at gmail dot com

  16. An Affair to Remember and Sleeping Beauty! :)

  17. My favorite is Richard & Kahlan's love story from the Sword of Truth series.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com