Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Regan Walker's Best of the Regency with author Janna MacGregor - Interview & Giveaway!

Hi, all! It’s Regan here with another Best of the Regency author. My guest today is Janna MacGregor, who is here to answer all my questions. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She tells me she was born and raised in the “boot heel” of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels.

Janna is the mother of triplets (oh, my!) and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers.
Janna is the mother of triplets (oh, my!) and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers.

 
Hi everyone! I’m so delighted to be here today as Regan’s guest on the Best of the Regency.

The Interview:

What was the first story you remember writing?

Hmm, that’s kind of a hard question, as I don’t recall writing much fiction before I started my debut novel, The Bad Luck Bride. But I wrote a ton in day job. I’m an attorney, and we’re always thinking and writing about arguments.
 
What drew you in to write Regency romances?

My darling mom was an elementary school teacher. Every Friday, she’d come home with a huge brown grocery sack of romance novels she traded with the other teachers. One day I found a Barbara Cartland romance and devoured it. I never looked back, and to this day, I still prefer Regencies to any other genre.

Who’s your favorite villain?

That’s easy. Lisa Kleypas’s Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent, from The Devil in Winter. That man will fascinate me for all my days.

How is it working with hot guys and sexy women all day?

Exhausting! Seriously, it’s such a treat to write these characters stories and think up scenes and plots for these special and (to me) fascinating people. They never cease to surprise me with their actions and conversations!

What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?

Anything with a hero and heroine who butt heads with one another. Forced marriage or marriage of convenience is my absolute catnip. Who can resist a story where a couple is thrown together and must discover a way to scrape out a life together? (The Bad Luck Bride is a marriage of convenience story with a twist. In order to avenge his sister’s death, Alex must convince Claire to marry him.) Overall, I love a good Regency and will never turn my nose up at a contemporary. I especially love any Christina Lauren or Laura Trentham novel, and will drop everything to start one of their new stories.

Tea or Coffee? And how do you like it?

It’s not even close call. Coffee, the blacker, the better.

What three things are, at this moment, in your heroine’s reticule?

A half-crown, a handkerchief, and a letter from fiancé number four dumping her.

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

I have two that are tied. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder and Chocolat with Juliette Binoche. I make it sound like I’m a chocolate fiend, but I’m not. I promise!

[Regan’s note: It’s perfectly proper to be a chocolate fiend.]

Fairy Tale or Action/Adventure?

Fairy Tale. I’m a sucker for a good story particularly if there’s a love story in the mix.

What’s your favorite fairy tale?

Hand’s down-Beauty and the Beast

Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?

Yes. I Ain’t Superstitious – Howlin’ Wolf, Superstition – Stevie Wonder, Spooky – Atlanta Rhythm Section, Witchy Woman – Eagles, and Black Magic Woman – Santana.

It’s pretty eclectic, but Lady Claire Cavensham, the heroine of The Bad Luck Bride, would so understand.
 
How did you come up with the idea for your book?

The inspiration for my story is Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, who happens to be the great-great-great-great grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II. Like Claire, the heroine in The Bad Luck Bride, the countess was an heiress worth approximately six-hundred-thousand pounds—an unbelievable amount of money back then. She had little control over her marriage or her own life. Unlike Claire, the countess didn’t have a happy ever after in her marriage as she married a controlling fortune hunter. But, I kept asking myself…what if Claire was an heiress whose father had the foresight to give her control over her own fortune. What if with all that money, she was unhappy? What if she met a man who was worthy of her love but had to change himself in order to understand the great gift he’d been given in her love? That’s where I got my story

What’s the best present you’ve ever received?

I have triplets, and right before they left for college, they gave me a pug puppy so I wouldn’t be so lonely. With Pollie by my side and a good romance to read, I hardly missed them! No, that’s not at all true. I missed them horribly. But during that time, I started devouring all the romances I could. Within a couple of years, I had my debut novel, The Bad Luck Bride written. In a roundabout way, I guess Pollie is responsible for all this! 


 
The Bad Luck Bride is the first in a new Regency romance series.

All were shocked at the announcement of the “cursed” Lady Claire Cavensham to Lord Alexander Hallworth, the Marquess of Pembrooke, especially since she is already engaged to another unfortunate Lord. Perhaps she will make it to the altar this time with one of these fine gentlemen! ― Midnight Cryer

No one is left breathless at the imperious pronouncement of her engagement to Lord Pembrooke more than Claire. She hardly knows the dangerously outrageous man! But after three engagements gone awry and a fourth going up in glorious flames, she isn’t in a position to refuse...

Alexander requires the hand of his enemy’s fiancée in marriage in order to complete his plans for revenge. It’s his good fortune that the “cursed” woman is desperate. However, what begins as a sham turns into something scandalously deeper...

 "Full-bodied romance...with intelligence and heart." ― Cathy Maxwell
"Captivating characters and a romance that sizzles." ― Eloisa James 
"Will leave you swooning." ― Sabrina Jeffries

Read an excerpt:

Alex smiled in earnest. “I would never allow you to be humiliated in front of society. I’m trying to help you.” Somehow, he had to convince her of that fact, then the idea of marrying him would be much easier to accept.
She blinked rapidly, then turned back to him and, for an instant, appeared startled to see him there. “That’s very gallant, my lord. Truly, thank you for the effort. But I must leave.”
This night could not end with her escaping, so he tried another tactic. “You need to protect your Wrenwood estate and your wealth from lechers who would feed upon your vulnerability. Not to mention stop that ridiculous curse.”
“I have two.” She held up two gloved fingers.
“Two? Two what? Curses?” No one at his club had uttered a peep about another curse.
“Estates. I have two estates, Wrenwood and Lockhart.” She returned his stare.
Her answer was unexpected, but his business experience had taught him to show nothing. The report from his private investigator had not mentioned additional properties. Thoughts were percolating if she chose to disclose this information.
A razor of lightning split the sky. She flinched and took a step closer to him, but her reaction had nothing to do with him. It was the storm.
Her gaze darted to the exit of the alcove, then she returned her attention to him. With a slight shrug of her shoulders, his evening jacket fell into her hands. She offered it to him. “My lord, good night.” Outside their hideaway, the voices of a man and a woman floated in the air.
Alex put his hand on her shoulder to prevent her escape. “Will you give me some assistance? I seem to have lost my valet.” He quirked an eyebrow. “Besides, if you leave now, whoever is out there will see us.”

On Amazon, B&N, iBooks and Kobo

Keep up with Janna on her Website, Twitter and Facebook.

Janna’s Question for Readers: Do you believe in curses or are you superstitious? What’s your favorite superstition or curse?

Comment with your email. Two lucky winners will receive autographed copies of The Bad Luck Bride.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Get Lost in Happy, Texas with the Toughest (and Sexiest) Cowboy

Get ready for brand new series and the Toughest Cowboy in Texas from New York Times Bestselling Author Carolyn Brown.

The Spark of an Old Flame

Last time Lila Harris was in Happy, Texas, she was actively earning her reputation as the resident wild child. Now, a little older and wiser, she's back to run her mother's café for the summer. Except something about this town has her itching to get a little reckless and rowdy, especially when she sees her old partner-in-crime, Brody Dawson. Their chemistry is just as hot as ever. But he's still the town's golden boy-and she's still the wrong kind of girl.

Brody hasn't had much time lately for anything other than ranching. Running the biggest spread in the county and taking care of his family more than keeps him busy. All that responsibility has him longing for the carefree days of high school-and Lila. She may have grown up, but he still sees that spark of mischief in her eyes. Now he's dreaming about late-night skinny dipping and wondering how he can possibly resist the one woman he can never forget...


Here's an excerpt

   Lila picked up a basket filled to the brim with hot French fries just as the door to the Happy Café opened. The hot western sun silhouetted the cowboy in the doorway, but she’d recognize Brody Dawson anywhere—in the darkest night or the brightest day.
   The energy in the café sparkled with electricity and her chest tightened. She gripped the red plastic basket to keep from dropping it and slowly inhaled, willing herself to take a step toward the table where a couple of old ranchers waited for their order.
   “Well, well,” Brody drawled. He closed the door behind him and slowly scanned her from the toes of her boots to her black ponytail. “The wild child has returned.”
   “But not for long, so don’t go getting your hopes up,” she smarted off right back at him.
   In a few long strides he slid into a booth and laid his hat on the space beside him. He filled out the butt of his jeans even better than he had when they were in high school and his chest was an acre wide. Lord, why couldn’t he have developed a beer gut and two chins?
   She carried the order to the other end of the café and set it down between Paul McKay and Fred Williams, two ranchers she’d known her whole growing up years.
   “I’d forgotten that they called you the wild child, Lila.” Paul grinned.
   “People change,” she said. “Anything else?”
   Fred squirted streams of ketchup across the fries. “Nah, we’re good for now. Might need some more tea before we leave. You should wait on poor old Brody. He looks like he’s spittin’ dust.”
   “Yeah. I’m dying over here,” Brody called from across the small dining room. “How about a glass of half sweet tea and half Molly’s fresh lemonade?”
   “Anything else, Your Highness?” Lila asked as she turned to face him and made her way to his table.
   His sexy grin and that twinkle in his baby-blue eyes made every hormone in her body beg for attention. But then she reminded herself that she didn’t have to impress Brody Dawson. She was not that girl anymore. Oh, but to kiss those lips one more time just to see if they still made her knees go weak. No! No! No! Yet her fingertips went straight to her lips to see if the memory made them as warm as they felt.

Meet Carolyn
With more than 3 million copies of her books sold, Carolyn Brown is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a RITA finalist. She’s won the National Reader’s Choice Award three times, the Bookseller’s Best Award and was awarded the prestigious Montlake Diamond Award for selling over a million books.  Her books include romantic women’s fiction, historical, contemporary, cowboys and country music mass market paperbacks. She and her husband, Charles, a retired English teacher, live in Davis, Oklahoma,, which only has one traffic light. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. When she’s not writing, Carolyn likes to sit in her back yard with her two tom cats, Chester Fat Boy and Boots Randolph Terminator Outlaw and watch them protect the yard from all kinds of wicked varmints like crickets, locusts and spiders.


Thanks, E.E., for asking me to stop by your site today and talk about my brand new hot off the press release, Toughest Cowboy in Texas. It’s the first book in the Happy, Texas series and will be followed by Long, Tall Texas Cowboy in September and Luckiest Cowboy of All in January. There really is a Happy, Texas out in the panhandle where the ground and sky meet each other on the flat horizon. It’s a part of the country that has stolen my soul and I love that area, so having the opportunity to set a series there was amazing.

I understand that you have questions for me. I’ve got coffee in one hand and a doughnut in the other so I’m ready.

E.E.: Here goes! I love listening to music while I write. Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?

Carolyn: Oh, yes, ma’am! I listen to country music when I’m writing and it means a lot to the characters who are living, breathing souls in my world when I’m telling their story. The songs that I listened to and mentioned in Toughest Cowboy in Texas include: “17” by Cross Canadian Ragweed, Blake Shelton’s “Boys Round Here” and “Straight Outta Cold Beer”; “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas” by Alabama; “Sideways” by Darryl Worley: “Red Neck Woman” by Gretchen Wilson; “Feels Like Love”, “Never Knew Lonely”  and “Which Bridge to Cross” by Vince Gill; “Heaven’s Just a Sin Away” by The Kendells; Jennifer Nettles, “Unlove You”; “Check Yes or No” and “So Much Like My Dad” by George Strait; Sammie Kershaw’s “Don’t Go Near the Water”; Tracy Bryd’s “Holdin’ Heaven”; Rascal Flatt’s “Broken Roads”; “H.O.L.Y” by Florida Georgia Line; and “Rockin Chairs,” By Dolly Parton. I have to admit that “17” was the one that was the theme song for the whole book.

E.E.: What sound or noise do you like?

Carolyn: I love the sound of the ocean. I can sit on the beach and listen to it all day. Some of my best stories are hatched when I’m listening to the waves splashing up on the sand.

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

Carolyn: I love Steel Magnolias. There’s laughter and tears and it touches my emotions. I watched it three times in one day when it first came out.

E.E.: What’s your biggest vice?

Carolyn: Food wise that would have to be fresh bread right from the oven, slathered in butter with maybe either homemade strawberry preserves or else honey. But my biggest vice has to be my writing. When I first started in this business, I wrote under a pen name so that it could be my vice and no one would ever know who I really was. But my sister was so proud of me for finally getting published after twenty years of rejections that she fired an article off to three newspapers. It’s still my vice because I’m addicted to telling stories even though I now write under the name that’s on my birth certificate.

E.E.: Who is your favorite villain?

Carolyn: Oh, honey, that would be Boyd Crowder of Justified. I love Raylan Givens in that television series but it’s the first time I think I ever fell in love with the villain, too. Boyd was such a character that I didn’t even want to see the actor play another part in other movies or series.

E.E.: Fairy tale or action?

Carolyn: Depends on my mood and whether I’m reading or watching something. Got to admit that I do love a good romantic movie like The Longest Ride but then I really like something like The Shooter or the old Lethal Weapon movies, too. Reading wise, I’m an eclectic reader who will read anything from the back of the Cheerio’s box to Faulkner and love it all!

E.E.: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met?

Carolyn: In a heart beat! My husband that everyone knows as Mr. B. It takes a special person to be married to an author who always has voices in her head and who needs one more hour to write her way out of a scene. While I was getting established in my career he worked as a high school English teacher and then in the evenings took on other jobs so we could raise three kids together. He’s my real-life hero for sure.

Now it’s my turn. What is it about a cowboy romance that just flat out melts your heart?

C'mon, GLIAS readers, tell us why you love cowboy romances? Don't forget to enter the raffle for your chance to win one of two copies of Carolyn's new release, Toughest Cowboy in Texas.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 29, 2017

WHEN DANGER BITES

USA Today bestselling author, HEATHER LONG, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime.

From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family.



Website | Facebook | Amazon   | Twitter: @HVLong

Blogs  | Previous GLIAS interviews

WHEN DANGER BITES
Bravo Team Wolf, Book One


It's can't miss military romance shifter style! When Danger Bites introduces the wolves of Bravo Team and to Kaitlyn Amador, the corporal suddenly assigned to their team. Who are these wolves? Where do they come from? Each wolf is a volunteer, sent by his pack, to serve for a term of three to seven years. Their work protects the packs, and the country they share. This isn't the first Bravo Team WOLF, but they are the best...

Meet the Captain of Bravo Team WOLF!

Captain Jasper “Jax” Raymond - Rocky Mountain Pack - Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska - Alpha Dominic - The captain of the unit, Jax is an easy-going wolf who enjoys the camaraderie he’s developed with the team. While not all their packs get alone, they put aside pack animosities to rely on each other. Though they are also Marines, they choose their captain among themselves in a battle of dominance—so that makes Jax their biggest badass.

MEET HIS TEAM

Lieutenant Kurt Marquet   Lieutenant - Palisades Pack - California, Oregon, Washington, Alpha Edison – Kurt’s a bit of a pickle. He’s tough, and willing to face off against Jax when needed, but he’s also Jax’s best friend. Kurt has a few secrets of his own, including a female from home he keeps avoiding.

Lance Corporal Troy Norton - Granite Pack - Montana, Wyoming, ND, SD - Alpha Brenna – Troy’s a down-to-earth guy.. Like most wolves, he dislikes change. Unlike his team mates he doesn’t adapt as swiftly or as easily as they manage.

Private Patterson - Great Lakes Pack - Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana – Patterson’s an enigma. He likes to go with the flow, avoiding conflict unless the team has a target.
Private Jeremiah Benning - Everglades Pack – Florida – Southern to his roots, Jeremiah likes to kill folks with kindness. Don’t be fooled by his manner, this is a wolf who hunts alligators for survival.

Sergeant Carlos “Cage” Castillo - Guadalupe Pack - Texas/Mexico - Alpha Reuben – Cage has a tough relationship with his alpha father. He wants to be the best and judges his successes and failures far more harshly than anyone else.

Sergeant Stephen "Silver" Lance - Cumberland Pack - Tennessee, Kentucky – Silver’s charm is more than an psychological technique. Once he’s decided on something, he doesn’t back down. He’s the perfect ally to have in your corner.

Private Butler Garrison - Silvertip Pack – Canada – Butler’s a tough wolf, but he’s also a polite one. Maybe its his Canadian background, but he’s just as likely to apologize while ripping someone’s arm off as he is to be efficient as possible with dispatching their enemies.

They’re Bravo Team WOLF – Weapons of lethal force, they tackle the impossible missions and go where they are needed most!

Need a few more reasons to read military romance with a shifter bite?

How about:

·         Wolf military heroes are not your average hero – some characteristics come with uniform like insane sexiness, honor, respect, and dedication. Add a wolf to the mix and you get a kind of ferocious loyalty and wildness intrinsic to pack dynamics. The physical fitness you expect with the uniform turns into a primal perfection with a wolf.
·         These heroes and heroines train to save the day – from obstacle courses to forced marches to suspending from helicopters, these Marines train how to track, achieve, and kill if necessary. The wolf aspect gives them an edge, but they still have to work together.  They will put everything on the line to serve their country, and their packs. Just imagine what they will do to save the one they love?
·         The intensity of the conflicts – wartime or peace, you know a strong military and shifter romance hinge on the conflicts they must survive at home and in the field. Separation. Loss. Adjustment to civilian life. Measuring their more primitive pack response against the rules and laws of the military. It can leave these heroes and heroines between a rock and a hard place.
·         Complicated emotions are at the heart of every story – Whether you heard about PTSD and survivor’s guilt, these characters live with it. Every day, and it informs their relationships from family to friends to teammates and of course, their lovers. No is more demanding on themselves than these guys and gals.

·         Hot bodies are a given and it wouldn’t be a romance without them. This doesn’t mean they are perfect—because they are also flawed. Some may have emotional scars while others physical scars. They are all weapons—and none more so than the shifters. They can use a knife, their gun, their muscles or their claws—whatever gets the job done.

Are you ready for When Danger Bites?



PREVIOUS RELEASES by HEATHER





SPACE COWBOY SURVIVAL GUIDE
First in the series
READ A LITTLE, BUY THE BOOK

GHOST WOLF
Wolves of Willow Bend, 12

READ A LITTLE, BUY THE BOOK



SOME LIKE IT ROYAL
Going Royal #1
READ A LITTLE, BUY THE BOOK





"I love these cause they are sexy, classic, and fun!"

ANGI'S back next Thursday with
KATIE KENYHERCZ
Get Lost on Facebook
or our Facebook Readers’ Group: The READERS’ SPOT

HEATHER wants to know:
Whether you love shifters or military romance, Bravo Team WOLF embraces all of the above.  What do you love about military romances or shifters? Or in this case, both?