Thursday, April 30, 2015

Introducing Mara Leigh

Hello, Get Lost in a Story peeps!!!!

I apologize for being gone for so long. :(  I missed you all!

Life has been crazy, but today I'm happy to be back and to introduce you to a new author, Mara Leigh. Mara (the pseudonym of a bestselling author in another genre) has recently published four short steamy stories in her first series, Fantasies Unleashed. Readers have called them hot, smart, feminist, masterfully written, and thought provoking.

But even better than that: Today one of her titles, HUMBLING THE BOSS,  is FREE for kindle, and another, DIRTY BUSINESS, is on sale for $0.99 (or less)!

Humbling the Boss


FREE today only!


The only thing Gina hates more than how her boss belittles her in front of her coworkers is how much he turns her on. When she discovers Fantasies Unleashed, she decides to fulfill her fantasy to humble her boss, hoping to get thoughts of him out of her system forever. Will playing out her fantasy banish her thirst for revenge, or make her obsession worse? 

Do you have a fantasy?  The men of Fantasies Unleashed will make your desires come true.

Download for free now!



Dirty Business


Vicky has been publicly dubbed the Ice Queen. 

While this helps in her male dominated industry, as a woman it stings. Appearing as the keynote speaker at a huge Las Vegas conference, Vicky secretly defies her public persona, fulfilling her fantasy to be secretly sexually aroused in public. 

But when one of the men she encounters wants more than sex, it brings all her assumptions into question, revealing new desires—and the possibility of love. 

Buy now. Sale ends today!


Get to Know Mara Leigh





Maureen McGowan: For readers new to you, what's your series about?

Mara Leigh: The series is centered around a Las Vegas based company called Fantasies Unleashed that's dedicated to fulfilling women's fantasies--making them come true. Each story centers on a woman having her fantasy fulfilled.

Maureen: Your novellas are really hot! Can you tell us how the Fantasies Unleashed series came about.

Mara: Thanks. :) I really wanted to explore women's sexual fantasies without the heroine (or the reader) feeling shame, or putting the characters at risk. I think a lot of erotic fiction shames women for having sexual thoughts and desires, and/or includes elements of dubious consent.  I wanted to avoid both of those things.

I often get the feeling that some authors of erotic fiction actually hate their own characters, but perhaps I'm not being fair... Regardless. I wanted to write stories about real women who simply want to explore their sexuality in a safe environment.

Originally, I was thinking of a Fantasy Island type set up. But I decided to eliminate the supernatural element and invent a Las Vegas based company instead. A place where women could safely hire men to make their fantasies come alive.

Maureen: Do the stories include romance?

Mara: Some are more romantic than others, and I suppose some of that is subjective, but I'd say they all contain an element of romance, and all have uplifting endings. None of the women regret hiring Fantasies Unleashed, that's for sure, and all of the stories published so far end with at least a promise of a happily ever after.

HUMBLING THE BOSS is arguably the kinkiest story I've published so far... and it might not be to everyone's taste, but it actually ends with the promise of an unexpected HEA.

BEDDED BY STRANGERS is about a married couple and is probably the most focussed on romantic love. The couple makes a choice not all married couples would make, but the husband's decision to fulfill the wife's fantasy comes entirely from a place of love.

Maureen: What's next for you?

Mara: I'm working on a connected series of novel length books, the first of which will be published later this year. They will be steamy contemporary romances, with elements of the glam fiction that was popular in the 1970's and 80's. Think Sidney Sheldon or Judith Krantz, or the TV shows Dallas and Dynasty. That kind of tone. I'm really excited about them, but can't say too much, yet!


Maureen: Now, on to the important stuff! What's your favorite love word?

Mara: Hug. It encompasses all kinds of love. :)

Maureen: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?

Mara: Music helps me focus and can help put me in the mood. Especially when writing the first draft of a novel or story. Florence and the Machine are in heavy rotation right now. As is Hoosier and the soundtrack from the 50 Shades movie. (Which I thought was way better than the book, for the record.)

Mara asks Readers:

Have you ever been to Las Vegas? Love it or hate it?

(I'll admit to both love and hate feelings about that city...)

Giveaway

One lucky commenter will win a copy of the Mara Leigh title of his or her choice. Or enter the Raffle copter for more chances to win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep in touch with Mara:

www.MaraLeigh.com
Amazon Page
Newsletter Sign up
@MaraLeighAuthor
Facebook Page

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Magic, Mages, and Rogues with C.A. Szarek

Rogue's Call cover

She’s on the run, but doesn’t know it…


Raised in the security of the king’s castle, Lady Elissa Durroc remembers nothing of the death of her family or how she survived it. As an elemental mage with control over all four elements, her powers are rare. And coveted by dark magic. None darker than the mage who killed her parents.


When the king learns the mage knows Elissa is alive, he orders her to Greenwald under the guise of choosing a husband. Her protection falls to Sir Alasdair Kearney, a knight whose prowess on the battlefield is rivaled only by his appetite for women.


Alasdair’s not sure what to make of being a glorified nursemaid, despite Elissa’s beauty and intriguing magic. The rogue has rules. Rules that don’t involve being tempted by his noble charge.


Elissa is drawn to the knight, even though he’s not on her list of suitors. Can she guard her heart and her magic? And when the dark mage comes after her, will it be too late to matter?


C.A.'s Facebook            Buy link            


Rogue's Call is the 3rd book in the wildly popular King's Riders series. It just came out yesterday! As C.A.'s friend I got to hear all about these books as they were being written and I couldn't be happier for their success and I'm thrilled to let you get to know C.A. better. And if you want to chat with her in person, er, over the web...she's really active and friendly on facebook. Bet she's there now.

She's a bestselling, award winning author of romantic suspense and epic fantasy romance, C.A. loves to dabble in different genres. If it's a good story, she'll write it, no matter where it seems to fit!

She's a hopeless romantic and always will be. Risking it all for Happily Ever After is what she lives by!

She's originally from Ohio, but got to Texas as soon as she could. She's happily married and has a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. 

She works with kids when she's not writing.






Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Get Lost in Sumptuous Historical Romance from NYT Bestseller Lorraine Heath

Lorraine Heath is one of my go-to authors. Whether she's writing about sexy cowboys or wicked dukes, I know I'll find a sumptuous romance that satisfies my need for a happily every after. Today, I'm beyond thrilled to be hosting Lorraine on release day for The Duke and the Lady in Red.

Here's a blurb and sneak peek:

When Rosalind Sharpe gains the attention of the deliciously wicked Duke of Avendale, she’s torn between her distracting attraction to the notorious rogue and the knowledge that he—rich as Croesus—is the perfect target for a deception that will put her swindling days behind her.

However Avendale is no fool. After he discovers the tantalizing lady packing up to leave London with his coins in tow, he confronts her with a scandalous proposition: she can have all the money she requires…for a week in his bed.

Desperate for the funds, Rose agrees, but on one condition: he must never question her motives. Avendale quickly sees beneath her mask and discovers she is more than passion and pleasure—she is everything he has ever desired. But claiming her requires he unveil her secrets and lose her forever. Unless he can put his own dark past aside and risk everything for a chance at love.

Excerpt:

She knew she was being watched. She could feel the gaze homed in on her, was aware of little shivers cascading along her skin. The fine hairs on the back of her neck had risen. But she gave no outward appearance that she was bothered by the scrutiny while inside her heart pounded with the fierceness of a regimental drum beating out the call to battle.

She’d overheard someone talking about an inspector from Scotland Yard who was wandering about. But he was supposedly a guest and not searching for her. She hadn’t been in London long enough for alarm bells to be ringing, for anyone to suspect—

“Champagne?” a deep voice asked behind her.

She would dearly love some, but needed to remain sharp and focused. Spinning around to decline the footman’s offer, she came up short.

The man extending a flute toward her was most certainly not a servant. Nobility, entitlement, privilege screamed from every pore, every finely stitched seam, every thread of exquisite cloth that cloaked his magnificent frame. His dark eyes blatantly assessed her, and the hairs on her nape quivered once more. So it had been him watching her. He possessed an intensity that was slightly unsettling, made her fear that he could see straight through her.

But if he could, he would be calling for that inspector who was around here, not offering her champagne. His gaze wouldn’t roam over her as though he were taking measure of every curve, dip, and swell while imagining how each would fill his hands.


If she had to guess this man’s rank, she would put him as duke. He wore power and influence like a second skin. She could make do with a duke.

“Heath excels at writing passionate, romantic tension, and this emotional page-turner showcases her stunning ability to delve into the characters’ innermost souls.” --Publishers Weekly starred review

Meet Lorraine

Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She's been writing about them ever since, for both adult and young adult readers. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards including RWA's RITA®. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.

Follow Lorraine:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/LorraineHeathBooks
Twitter: @Lorraine_Heath
Find her books at Avon

Now, let's get to know Lorraine better...

E.E.: What’s the first book you remember reading?  
Lorraine: Surprise! I don’t know the author but it was the first book I read all by myself. It was about a brother and sister who went to bed one night and woke up the next morning to a snow-covered yard.

E.E.: What sound or noise do you love?
Lorraine: I love the patter of rain on the roof or the windows. It’s such a romantic sound. When my husband and I were first married, we lived in a small apartment with an apartment above us. We couldn’t hear the rain on the roof so when it rained, we would move our mattress into the living room, open the balcony doors so we could hear the rain better, and snuggle. Maybe that’s the reason that when I’m writing, I play a thunderstorm CD in the background.

E.E.: What was the first story you remember writing?
Lorraine: I was seven. It was summer after second grade. I had a Big Chief writing tablet and decided I was going to spend the summer writing a story. It was called THE FISHERMAN AND THE MERMAID and it was about a man who went fishing in a small boat and caught a mermaid. Eventually they would fall in love—or that was the plan, but I didn’t finish writing the story.

E.E.: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Lorraine: Casablanca

E.E.: Who’s your favorite villain?
Lorraine: Hans Gruber from Die Hard, mostly because he was played by Alan Rickman. I’m a huge Alan Rickman fan.

E.E.: Be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroine’s role?
Lorraine: If the author has drawn me into the story, I tend to put myself in the role of all the characters. Whether I’m reading, watching a TV show, or a movie, I immerse myself in the world that has been created to entertain me. When I’m lost in the story, I don’t take a break to check email or twitter. I want to stay lost until I get to the end, so I very often read books in one sitting.

E.E.: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
Lorraine: I do have plans to write Rawley Cooper’s story and to finish the Rogues and Roses series—hopefully I’ll get to both sooner rather than later.

E.E.: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
Lorraine: I read everything. As long as it has a wonderful romance in it, I want to get lost in it.

E.E.: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
Lorraine: Start cleaning my office. I’m not sure why but when I’m writing and start pulling research books from the shelves, I tend to stack them around me rather than put them back. Unread mail piles up on my desk. I think maybe having the chaos around me keeps me determined to have order in the story.

E.E.: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
Lorraine: I don’t search out reviews although I will read the ones my publicist sends me. I understand that not all books appeal to all readers and that sometimes I will garner a less than stellar review, but the story is written so I can’t change it. I don’t let reviews influence my writing because every story is different and I have to take it where it or the characters indicate it needs to go.

E.E.: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
Lorraine: Tea—usually green tea with way too much sugar.

E.E.: What one thing about your hero drives his heroine crazy? And what one thing about your heroine drives her hero nuts?
Lorraine: It drives my heroine crazy that my hero seems to take his wealth for granted. It drives my hero crazy that my heroine won’t let him spoil her with little presents, that she won’t take anything personal from him.

E.E.: Cast your book using fairy tale and/or cartoon characters.
Lorraine: My heroine is Jessie from Toy Story 3, because she’s so brave and strong. It’s cliché but my hero would have to be Prince Charming from Cinderella because he won’t give up on them having their happily ever after.

Now, my question for you: Do you have any rituals that make getting lost in a story more enjoyable or relaxing? (Background music, candles, glass of wine, etc.)

Today, Lorraine will give away an autographed copy of her new release, The Duke and the Lady in Red to one lucky commenter.

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