romance

Of course I’m blogging today, it’s Valentine’s Day… the most romantic day of the year and what kind of a romance writer would I be if I didn’t acknowledge this day for lovers?

When I decided to start a writing career I could have chosen a different direction… children’s books, science books, text books… any number of genres were open to me as long as I had the drive to write about them.

But I chose romance. Why? Because I’m a sucker for love and the happy ending. I enjoy nothing more than getting swept away as the hero and heroine find their way through a sticky maze of conflict to end up in each others’ arms and find that fate meant all along for them to end up together. *sigh*
 
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Wow, it seems romance chat is hitting the airwaves hard and I’m loving it! Unfortunately not always with a positive twist … which I’ve never understood. Here’s my view. If a book has characters working on a relationship (and who isn’t?) then it can fall into the romance genre. They’re likely trying to save the world, bring down the bad guy or save a man/woman from themselves, but still … it’s romance. Not every romance is a Harlequin category. But I think that’s what readers are thinking when they say they don’t like romance.

Just the other day I was chatting with a guy who was surprised to realize romance was so much more than English Lords seducing the naive virgin Countess in hopes of stealing her land. He went so far as to say that perhaps romance writers actually seem to love men and may actually be advocating for wonderfully naughty things to be done to them.
 
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Yes I’m an author. I love writing books. It’s what I do. But as I’ve said over and over and over again, being a writer also means I am the publisher and the marketing department for my books.

It still eludes me exactly what makes a best seller in this market. It’s not only a great cover and catchy blurb. Not just wonderfully well-written story and great reviews. It’s not social media and guest blogs. You know how I know that? Because none of that is working for me. Been there. Done that. Have the bruises to prove it.

So I’m trying something again. I’m giving away one of books for FREE. That’s right, “BLIND HER WITH BLISS” is now free on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, KoboAll Romance Ebooks, and iTunes  How long will I keep it free? I’m not sure.
 
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Okay, I know I’m a romance writer and I write about kissing all the time. But really, if you read any of my descriptions (like many romance authors) there are a lot of generalities in the description of kissing. But the one that I’ve been reading a lot is the … “wow, he was a wonderful kisser.”

Seriously? What the heck does that mean?

Nina’s confession #573 I’ve kissed like 4 guys in my life. The first one was in 6th grade when I was caught behind the trees on the playground and got sent to the principal’s office. My first French kiss was with a summer fling with a young man from Canada. Yeah, that always kind of cracked me up. Then there’s Mr. Nina. We kissed when I was 14 and well … we were both too young and inexperienced to know what we were doing. Thirty-some-odd years later our kissing is really nice. Sweet and gentle or flirty and quite naughty. But we’ve grown used to each other. It’s comfortable.

I know there’s an art to kissing. You can find research all over the Internet with advice–mostly for teens. But I’m sure this is something single adults must discuss … don’t they?

I mean there has got to be all kinds of kissing techniques … isn’t there?

Mr. Nina is usually pretty understanding about my forays into research for my books. But even he wouldn’t be that understanding if I decided to do some personal research into different techniques men use for kissing. So that means I need to turn to you all! What makes a really good kisser (and I mean of either sex)? Soft lips? A gentle tongue? Oh, I really want to ask some graphic questions, but I already sense those snickers from all of you.

Just consider this like scientific research for me. I’d really like to know what you consider a really nice kiss. It could be sweet or hot or just comforting. Tell me about it. I’m dying of curiousity.

IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! When the concept of this firefighter box set stole into my brain back in May, this day seemed a loooong way off. But it’s finally the release day for UNCONTROLLED BURN, my firefighter novel found exclusively in the INTO THE FLAMES anthology.

I’ve picked 13 of my favorite passages from the novel. Please enjoy:
Uncontrolled-Burn-e-reader

1.  The smile was reptilian, as if Satan himself had taken possession of this wayward soul.
 
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renee_logoI’d like to extend a warm welcome to romance author, Renee Vincent. Renee’s slipped in to share one of her diary entries … I do believe she’s stopped by to share a little something with her Viking heroes.  😉

Dear Diary,

I have a confession to make. While I’ve tried to stay true to the Vikings in my life, I’ve found someone new. Someone just as big and bold as Dægan and Gustaf Ræliksen, but without the sword. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it. Believe me, I tried to avoid him, but the temptation to find out more about him was too great. I caved. It all started with just a simple glimpse into his world and bam! I was hooked. And now, I’m totally in love with this man.

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I love to talk. I don’t mean just the usual dialogue that happens between friends and neighbors or a phone conversation with my sister. Nope, I’m talking industrial sized, get the earplugs out, run for the nearest exit, Nina’s opening her mouth kind of chatter.

Seriously. Mr. Nina once bet me that I couldn’t carry on a one-sided conversation for the duration of a three hour car trip—once. The poor man’s ears were bleeding by the time we arrived and I was still going strong. LOL! I have no trouble finding things to talk about.

Marketing on blogs, twitter and facebook are not a problem for me. It releases some of those pent up words. But I digress. This post isn’t really about social media and marketing, it’s about how much I love to share.

So it’s no wonder when I finish reading a really good book, I’ve been known to send the author a note to tell her how much I enjoyed the story. But then I’m quick to give compliments as well. All of us hear so few good things in the course of our day, I like to be that little piece of happiness (and it goes back to my need to chat with everyone) that brightens someone’s day. But I’m an anomaly I’m sure.

It seems like so few readers are willing to write a review for a book they love, let alone pen a quick note or email to their favorite author.

And I wondered why. Is it a new trend created by a generation that would rather text a brief message 40 times a day before sitting down to write a newsy letter? Has it always been this way? I’m curious, have you ever written to an author? Have you thought about it and didn’t for one reason or another? Let me know. I’m curious like that. Because trust me authors love to hear from readers.

I’m hanging out today on the beach with Jane Ormerod talking about favorite authors and drinking Mai Tais.

You can also visit me at a new Logline Blog. Where they’re featuring BLIND HER WITH BLISS (which is still FREE at Amazon and Barnes & Noble)

And I don’t know if you’ve been having trouble accessing my blog and website, but there seems to be something amiss in the coding somewhere. My webmistress (whom I absolutely adore) thinks the problem is somewhere in the blog files on GoDaddy. Unfortunately she doesn’t work with WordPress and the wonderful person who did the original coding is no longer in the business. I’m working hard to find a new blogmistress. In the meantime, be patient if you can’t seem to find me. I’m still here and hopefully will have the problem corrected soon!

And in other promotional news:
DANGEROUS AFFAIRS, the Tilling Passions anthology is now available in PRINT!

Back Cover Information:
BLIND HER WITH BLISS
She’s trying to find herself. He’s attempting to hide. Together they’ll discover a truth that threatens them both…

Investigating the death of her best friend, uptight accountant, JULIE TILLING, discovers an erotic world of adult nightclubs and Internet intrigue. When shock jock DAMON COREY rocks her world in a wild night of lust, she wonders if she’s found love…or the key to solving a murder.

DECEIVE HER WITH DESIRE
A woman determined to protect her heart. An agent hell bent on proving himself. One night that will change their lives forever…

Landscaper, DEIRDRE TILLING had no way of knowing that attending her friend’s party would throw her into a dangerous world of corrupt businessmen and police stings. Of course her sexual romp with undercover DEA agent, AYDEN SCOTT only pushes her deeper into the drug smuggling ring running up the Maine coast. As the heat rises between Deirdre and Ayden, one thing becomes painfully obvious…their relationship has jeopardized his mission and now someone wants them both dead.

CHEAT HER WITH CHARM
He’s got a secret past. She has dreams for their future. Together they have a problem that may just kill them both…

Floral designer, MEGHAN TILLING, has been in love with her fiancé since college. With her business, his promotion and a family illness, she’s finding the demands on her time are keeping them apart. PETER MADDOCK loves his fiancée with a fierceness that claws at his soul, but finding answers to his past becomes an obsession he can’t ignore. When bizarre accidents threaten Meghan’s life, he wonders if his secrets have finally caught up with him. Can they both discover the truth without paying the ultimate price …their lives?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hope you’ll check it out. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

I’d like to welcome guest romance blogger, Phyllis Campbell.

Heart thumping, palms moist, she settles her shaky fingers on the keyboard. Millions of thoughts run through her mind, those that aren’t very good…at least that’s what her momma had told her as a young girl. Squeezing her eyes closed, pictures of half-naked men float through her mind and her mouth turns dry. SEX! No, it couldn’t be time to write the sex scene, could it? Her religious leader would certainly kick her out of church for fear of a bolt of lighting spearing down from heaven. What about her parents? Would her own husband disown her? Her poor children would have to walk down the streets with their head ducked from now on.

But she’s a romance writer. It needs to be written!

She swallows the lump of fear lodged in her throat and takes a deep breath. Once her eyes are open, she focuses on her story. Reminding herself it’s a natural thing, she proceeds, her fingers fly across the keyboard as if they had a mind of their own. His masculine scent of leather and spice fills the air, consuming every breath she takes. In her head, the scene unfolds, the hero sweeps the heroine off into another world where seduction and passion rule. Seeking fingers, curious kisses…

The more she writes, the wider her grin spreads. Her heart now beats a different rhythm. Her palms are moist for entirely different reasons this time. And in her chest…love grows. This excitement is the thrill she needs –the energy that gives her the courage to continue and not be afraid.

I don’t know about most writers, but I’ve certainly experienced this a time or two (or three or four) since I first started writing. Those who don’t read romance stories label us as ‘smut’ writers. All we think about is sex – twenty-four hours a day. My husband tells me this numerous times…and it isn’t for flattery. (grin) But there’s a bigger picture. The overall picture that nobody sees but romance writers. We aren’t writing about sex – we’re writing about love.

I write Sensual…don’t you just love that word? It rolls across your tongue like a lover’s passionate kiss. Makes you want to deepen your voice in a sexy tone, lower your lids half-mast and part your mouth. Maybe even swipe your tongue across your dry lips…

Okay, I’m getting carried away again. I need to get back to the point of this article. As a writer, when will you know it’s time to write the sex scene? I can’t believe how many times I’ve been asked this question. Do you know what I say? My answer is this… Listen to your characters. Between them and the theme of the story, that will tell you when. For my stories, my characters must have some kind of attraction between them, and as the story progresses, this attraction becomes the theme of my story. I LOVE to tease the reader—and yes, my poor characters get affected as well. They want it. Badly. They almost get it, but then something happens to make it not happen. Pretty soon they’re playing that sensual, teasing dance again and even take it a little farther…but just before they get what they want, it’s snatched right from under them. Finally I’ve created the build-up. I’ve made my reader WANT it to happen as much as my characters do. So now it’s time… Or is it? Like I said earlier, the characters are really the ones who’ll let you know when they’re ready. And when they are… WATCH OUT! It’s a fun ride for all!

Now let me tell you about an awesome Christmas anthology titled – “A Summons from His Grace.” This has three short stories, but it gets better. It’s part of a four-part collection. There is also “A Summons from Yorkshire”, and “A Summons from The Castle”, and “A Summons from The Duke.” The cool thing about this is our characters are all related. The Duke of Danby has summoned his children and grandchildren to Danby Castle for Christmas. Each story tells about those who made the trek—and why—and how they fell in love.

Please enjoy this EXCERPT:
As much as Calvin knew she really shouldn’t be in his room, he was reluctant to tell her to leave. Being close to her like this reminded him of how he enjoyed touching her—how he had cherished their first kiss and couldn’t wait for another one.

And here she stood in her nightrail. It was as if the stars aligned perfectly in the heavens and fate was on his side, because even the companion wouldn’t be disturbing their privacy tonight.

“Calvin, you shouldn’t say such a thing.” The tone of her voice wasn’t as sharp as it had been moments ago.

“I can’t help it. With you so near, it makes me want to touch you.” He bent his head closer to hers while his hands continued to hold her face.

She clutched his hands, and for a second he thought she meant to remove them. But she didn’t. Desire coated her blue eyes as they rested on his mouth. His heart jerked. She wanted this as badly as he did, despite her words earlier. Perhaps she was as confused as he was. But unlike Dorothy, when Calvin became confused, he didn’t cover it with anger.

He brushed his lips across hers. Hesitating…prolonging the excitement building inside his body.

“Calvin,” she whispered. “Why are you doing this to me?”

Smiling, he slid his hands down her neck as he rubbed his cheek against hers. “Pray, tell me what exactly I’m doing?”

She closed her eyes. “You’re making me want things that aren’t possible. You’re bringing my body alive, something that’s never happened to me.”

He kissed her eyelids. “Dorothy, my lovely, this is a new experience for me as well.” He slid his lips across her cheek again. “Because my body has never burned so much for a woman.”

A small moan came from her as she searched for his mouth with hers. When their lips met, he crushed her in his arms, kissing her soundly. Her arms hooked over his shoulders as she held him tight.

He caressed his tongue with hers, and she responded so passionately it nearly had him dropping to his knees. Moving a hand between their bodies, he cupped her breast, which elicited another moan from her. Under his palm, her nipple beaded, and he became aware of just how naked she was under this gown. Eager for more, he broke the kiss to move his lips over her chin and down her throat.

“This should be wrong, but it feels too good,” she muttered.

*** CONTEST ***
For a chance to win Gift Cards, books, and even a KINDLE (see my website for prizes), leave a message on this blog or on my website – http://phylliscampbell.blogspot.com

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Phyllis Campbell is an award-winning, multi-published and best-selling author of romance; from the dark and mysterious hero who sends shivers up your spine to the feisty heroines who somehow manage to keep them in line. She’s been published with several small presses since 2006. Most of her reviewers have given her the title of “Queen Of Sexual Tension”. Married with kids (and three grandchildren), Phyllis has lived in Utah all of her life and enjoys family activities when she’s not writing her next sensual story.

I’m actually recycling one of my favorite posts from last year. Not only because it got a lot of reaction and started some great discussions, but because I just don’t have the energy to pull something new and exciting from the well today. The Pierce house has been thrown a major curve ball and we’re kind of reeling from the impact not sure what’s going to happen next. Add to the fact that I’m trying to push through the edits of the third book in the Tilling Passions series and I’m just a little overwhelmed. Don’t worry, I’ll be back on my feet by the end of the weekend. In the meantime, please enjoy the post and all my Friday eye candy!

Okay I’m going to admit it. I LOVE the male torso. There is nothing sexier than those deep ridges accenting a sculpted abdomen. Can’t you just imagine running your hands over all the warm skin or better yet…licking along every rise and fall?

No?

Well maybe it’s just me and maybe it’s because I’ve become rather fanatical about the male torso since I started writing. (That’s my excuse. Actually I grew up on a beach and my fondness for the shirtless male came at a very young age…but I digress.) In my stories I don’t have the luxury of a picture to show the detail. It’s the description that drops the reader into the arms of my hunky heroes. The words that create the visual stimulus that makes a reader sigh with satisfaction. I know you’re thinking “well DUH, way to state the obvious Nina”.

But here’s my confession as I’ve gotten older it seems I’m moving farther in age from those really hunky young guys that totally make me drool. But I’m okay with that. It seems though many around me aren’t. Some get squicked out with the whole “he’s too young for me” thing. Well, yeah, that’s true. But I’m not talking about sleeping with the guy, just admiring him. Beauty is ageless in my opinion. And a great work of art whether it’s a brand new painting or a classic by Renoir should be enjoyed at any age.

I do have the added curiosity of REALLY looking at men (and women) now to see the subtle nuances of an alluring body. It gets kind of boring (for me and the reader) to paint every man or woman with the same broad brush strokes of the cliched descriptions. It’s the newness, the fresh angle that keeps the words flowing for me and (hopefully) the pages turning for the reader. So I stare and I admire.

That’s just how I see it. It has nothing to do with the young man’s age or whether it’s appropriate for me to be with him. It’s about the beauty of the package. (Okay … now YOU need to get your mind out of his pants and back to his chest.) I meant the WHOLE package. Is it really so wrong to outwordly admire someone who is the same age as your children? Or am I way off base here?

I’d love to know how you see it. And while we’re at it … what part of the anatomy catches your attention?

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