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Cookie Swap with Romance Writers Weekly

romance weekly

bowWELCOME BACK! We’ve got a LOT going on today! Not only are we all posting some of our favorite recipes, but we’re throwing a party over on Facebook. Tons of authors, tons of giveaways, lots and lots of fun. It’s running all day, so get over there and join the fun! Just click here: Romance Weekly’s Stocking Stuffer Christmas Event

If you’ve just clicked over from Katie O’Connor‘s place, welcome welcome! And if I’m your first stop of the day, don’t forget to click all the way through for tons of other blogs all featuring the same thing today…

COOKIE SWAP!

I mean, I know, right? Cookies. Romance writers. Holidays. COOKIES.

I could be in heaven. Sigh.

First, a little bit about the…uh…okay, I’m cheating a little. Technically, my cookie isn’t a cookie. It’s more of a candy. That’s okay, right? It still works? You won’t string me up by my toes and flog me with a wet noodle?

Thanks.

Anyway, a little bit about the recipe I chose. If you know anything about me at all, you’ve probably figured out I am super-close with my grandparents, and that I just recently lost my grandpa. For the first twenty-two years of my life, they lived about forty-five minutes away from us. My sisters and I spent every weekend over there, my entire family would gather in their beautiful house for holidays, and some of my best memories from childhood involve that house and my family.

Every Christmas, without fail, my grandma would make me (and yes, I say me. Unfortunately, I had to share, but we all knew they were MINE, and I was only sharing because I had to) these wonderful peanut butter candy rolls. Basically pure sugar, I could binge on them like nobody’s business. Those candies were always one of my most favorite parts of the holiday season, and I waited all year long for them.

Okay, I’m done being sentimental. You’re probably drooling just waiting for the recipe, right? (You should be. Trust me, these things are heaven.)

pb candy

Peanut Butter Candies
one pound box Confectioners sugar
6 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
7 t. milk
peanut butter for spreading

Mix the butter and sugar together, adding in the milk one teaspoon at a time until it almost forms a ball.

Once you have your ball, you want to roll it out into a nice rectangle, about 9 inches by 14 inches, and it’s about it’s somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. (No, this recipe is not precise, that’s part of the fun of it. Some pieces will be thicker than others and that’s okay.)

Spread peanut butter on. Now, starting longways, roll the dough into a log, pinching the ends together. Don’t worry if the dough cracks or peanut butter starts to ooze out. Like I said, they’re not going to be perfect. After you’ve finished rolling the logs, using a sharp knife and starting at the edge of one roll, cut bite size pieces. (If you need to make more pieces or want smaller bites, you can cut the dough long-wise into two.)

Yummy, huh?

So, that’s it for me. Make sure you click over to Veronica Forand‘s page to see what goodies she’s serving up!

And, as always, don’t forget to leave a comment. What’s your favorite holiday goody?

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Snowy Days, Steamy Nights COVER REVEAL!

SDSNBoxedSetFinal

Steam up your snowy nights with this new anthology of six deliciously sexy romances by the following bestselling and award-winning romance authors:

FROSTED, by Katy Regnery
GROUNDED, by Kate Forest
MELTED, by Jennie Marts
REKINDLED, by Susan Scott Shelley
SMITTENED, by Jamie Farrell
SNOWED, by Veronica Forand

FROSTED (Katy Regnery) – When Grace Luff’s children send her to a Silver Wings weekend at a luxury resort, they are hoping that the 56-years-young widow will meet a man to lift the loneliness she’s endured since the passing of her husband over three years before. Grace, who barely remembers how to date, doesn’t expect to meet anyone special, so she’s surprised that the owner of a local ski rental shop, Tray Bradshaw, makes her heart leap with interest and attraction. When a rogue snowstorm traps the pair in an abandoned cabin, they’ll get to know each other, and discover that it’s never too late to change…or fall in love.

GROUNDED (Kate Forest) – Biologist Julia won’t tolerate another frigid Chicago winter studying the frozen Great Lakes. But with every hour of her flight delay, her chance on a research voyage in Florida slips further away. Jeremy must get to Florida to sever the noose-like obligations of his family’s boating business so he can become curator of a Chicago museum. Stuck in an airport, waiting out the snowstorm of the century, can two travelers headed for opposite paths find love while trapped in Concourse B?

MELTED (Jennie Marts) – Painful memories from long ago resurface when Emily Wells travels to Colorado to clean out her family’s vacation cabin for its new owner. Strongest among them? Her recollections of Logan Chase, Emily’s first love, to whom she gave her heart one magical summer, only to have it broken when she never heard from him again. Logan had never forgotten that summer romance and can’t believe it when he finds Emily packing up the little cabin that he has recently purchased for renovation. Despite the passage of years and their stormy history, Emily and Logan can’t deny the fierce attraction that still sizzles between them…Will one snowy night together be enough to melt her frozen heart and give them both a second chance at love?

REKINDLED (Susan Scott Shelley) – Actress Gemma Norwood and carpenter Adam Hudson are thrown together four years after a gut-wrenching break-up. Both are looking to make major changes in their lives, but after one kiss, rekindling their relationship is all that matters. When family obligations and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities threaten to tear them apart again, the warm glow of a happily-ever-after seems as impossible as starting a fire in a snowstorm.

SMITTENED (Jamie Farrell) – Dahlia Mallard is determined save her ice cream shop by getting country music superstar Billy Brenton to attend her risqué flavor-tasting event. But the closest she can get to Billy is his drummer, the womanizing Mikey Diamond. The more she gets to know Mikey, the more she wants to save him from his bad boy ways. When he discovers she’s using him to get to Billy, will she still be able to have her ice cream and eat it too?

SNOWED (Veronica Forand) – Lorena Rubio’s life is turned upside down when she’s kidnapped by Andrés “Con” Conesa, right hand man for the drug lord who murdered her sister. Con, who is deep undercover for the FBI, must keep her at a cabin in the snowy Sierra Nevada Mountains until the rumor that she’s provided specifics about his drug cartel to the police is confirmed or denied. Their attraction ignites in the middle of this frozen hideaway, but Lorena is unwilling to offer her heart to a criminal. When the cartel boss arrives and wants Lorena put on ice for snitching, Con must decide whether or not to blow his cover for the woman he craves beyond reason.

*All stories included in Snowy Days, Steamy Nights are either short-story or novella length, giving readers the perfect opportunity to “meet” a new author or enjoy a sweet treat from a present favorite.*

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: January 2, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-9909003-2-0
ASIN: B00PWQ8B8A
Number of pages: 325
Word Count: 120,000
Cover Artist: Marianne Nowicki

To pre-order your copy of Snowy Days, Steamy Nights, click here.

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Review: Flirting on Ice by Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley

Mr. Perfect has found his kind of trouble…

Professional hockey player Zac Elliott is in top form. He’s having the best season of his career, the local fans can’t get enough of him, and he’s in the middle of the most successful contract negotiations of his career. When the sexy little spark between Zac and the team owner’s daughter blazes to life, no matter how forbidden, he can’t resist.

Philanthropist Heather Ryan can’t keep her hands off of Zac. If her father finds out, it could end Zac’s career and ruin her reputation. What they share is deeply passionate and intensely private…until the press exposes their illicit relationship.

Now the fans have viciously turned against Heather, Zac’s game is faltering, and even his team has deserted him. The only way out of the penalty box is for Zac to play hockey like life—and love—depends on it…

Flirting on Ice (Entangled Lovestruck)Flirting on Ice by Veronica Forand

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. Sweet and charming from the beginning, I loved that though Zac was team captain and all alpha male, he didn’t need to be an ass or tortured to prove it. He cared about her, genuinely cared for Heather from the first second, and did everything in his power to juggle what he NEEDED for himself with what was best for his team. This was my first book by both these authors, and I have to say, I was charmed and blown away by it. I absolutely loved every second of this story.



View all my reviews

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Romance Writers Weekly #lovechatwrite #3questions

romance weekly

Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’re doing something different. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

Welcome back! This week we’re getting to know a little bit more about the process each of us go through when dealing with characters.

How much free reign do you give your characters during a story?

Wait. You mean I’m supposed to have some control over them? Ahem, sorry. Just let me wipe my tears and I’ll be back to my normal stoic self.

Anyway, while I try not to admit it (and rarely out loud), I write better when I let them do what they want. When they want. How they want. For example, I never intended to write paranormal romance. My first novel was a contemporary romance, and my second was romantic suspense. But whenever I tried to write the follow up to the romantic suspense, it was never right. And then, one night, I picked up the first book in Christine Feehan’s Carpathian series. By page five, my characters had revolted, flipping everything I thought I knew about them on its head–turning my nice, normal characters into dragon shifters. A year later, The Dragon’s Heart was completed and contracted by Lyrical Press.

So…yeah. Not much control, really.

Have your characters ever done something so out of the blue that not only changed your story, but changed the tone and maybe even the genre you were originally going for? (Like your contemporary romance turned into a spicy paranormal)

Constantly. This story I’m working on now was supposed to be my first attempt at an erotica novella. While the heroine was a medium, it wasn’t supposed to be anything more supernatural than that. But by the fifth chapter, the hero (who was supposed to be a true-crime author) had turned into a demon hunter, and my nice little novella had turned into a full-length novel.

Do you have one character in your head that is sort of boss over all the rest? Or do you decide who to work on and when?

Emma. Emma frickin’ Rowan. A 5’2 X-rated pixie and fantasy artist, with no fear instincts and an ability to see people–beings–as they really are. The heroine to one of my strongest, scariest dragon heroes, she is by far the most stubborn, realest, most pain-in-the-arse character in my head.

While I’m aware it’s my subconscious that’s created her, Emma is the most alive voice in my head. She keeps me on track, and while I’d love to think it’s to keep me writing and growing as an author, I’m 99% sure it’s just to make sure her story with her dragon gets done in a timely manner.

In all honesty though, I spend a lot of time on character development. Before and during a story, I’m digging into their heads, their pasts, their history and their futures. I know everything about them by the time a story is done, down to their favorite song and how the rest of their lives are going to play out. Because the stories I’ve loved reading, the ones I’ve really fallen in love with, are the ones where the characters jumped off the page. So real you knew the author loved them. And that’s my goal as an author. To create characters my readers will love. Because if I don’t know them, if I don’t love them, how can I expect a reader to? The best books are the ones when you finish, when you finally close the story, you remember the characters forever.

Those are the stories I want to write.

Anyway. So now that all you readers think I’ve gone completely nuts, I’ll hand you off to the wonderful Jeana E. Mann. I’m sure she’s a little more normal.

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to leave a comment! Let me know which characters you’ve loved over the years, because they were just so real they hopped off the page and into your hearts.

~Eden

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Romance Writers Weekly #bookboyfriends Nov 3, 2014

romance weekly

Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’re doing something different. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

This week we’re talking top three #bookboyfriends courtesy of Sarah Hegger! Make sure you leave a comment letting me know your favorites, I’m always looking for new heroes to love.

Soooooo, I expected this to be easier than it turned out to be. After all, I devour books. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that while there were a massive number of romances that I love, narrowing down book boyfriends wasn’t so simple. Because, as I’ve figured out over the last few months, there is a difference between heroes that you love and heroes that you looove.

ransom Number one, however, was pretty much a no-brainer for me. Because…. Brodick Buchanan

In the dark days after the death of Richard the Lionhearted, lives and lands would fall into upheaval at the hands of a power-hungry British ruler and his violent minions. One victim of the scourge is innocent Gillian, who is a mere child when the cruel and ambitious Baron Alford slaughters her father and tears her family apart. Alford, determined to recover a jeweled box for the despotic King John, is furious when the precious treasure slips through his fingers—only to be lost for more than a decade.

Now a beautiful young woman, Gillian finds the key to resolving her past in handsome Scottish chieftains Ramsey Sinclair and Brodick Buchanan. With the cunning and courage of the daring Scotsmen, and with the friendship of a new ally, Bridgid KirkConnell, Gillian at last fights the unscrupulous Baron Alford, laying claim to her home, her family, and her father’s reputation. But in the presence of the mighty warriors, Gillian and Bridgid discover that desire can be a weapon of conquest, betrayal can slay trust in a heartbeat, and the greatest risk of all is to surrender to unexpected love.

*Swoon* I mean, you’re swooning, right?

Admittedly, this book has some faults. Gillian has some kinda childish momoments, especially when she and Bridgid get together. But all that aside, I want to talk about Brodick. Rough around the edges, surly and loyal to his core, the Highlander loves Gillian so completely that it takes my breath away no matter how many times I read this story. He constantly challenges her to be better, not because he feels himself inferior but because he holds himself to such a high standard and Gillian’s spirit is as ferocious as his own.

What I love about Ms Garwood’s writing, especially in this story, is that she doesn’t rely on everyone else telling us how surly and un-friendly Brodick is. She shows us, but his personality is so layered, so deep and he loves Gillian so much that there is no stopping yourself from falling head over heels in love with him.

nr_borninshame Number two…Murphy Muldoon

A talented graphic artist, Shannon Bodine’s life revolved around her job at a prestigious New York advertising agency. But her world was turned upside down whe she learned the identity of her real father: Thomas Concannon. Respecting her late mother’s last wish, Shannon reluctantly traveled to County Clare. There, her loneliness and shame melted away in the embrace of the family she never knew existed. And amid the lush Irish landscape steeped in mysticism and legend, she discovered the possibility of a love that was meant to be…

Murphy is the complete opposite of Brodick in almost every way. Sweet and charming, and yet his possessiveness is somehow sexy and breathtaking instead of overwhelming. He knows Shannon is his the second he lays eyes on her for the first time. And never, not for a second, does he waver in his feelings for her, and his determination to keep her with him. When it comes down to it, and he sees no way out, he’s willing to walk away from everything he loves and makes him who he is to stay with her.

aft Number three… Brent Mason

Brent Mason and Hayden Winstead can’t stand each other. She plans exclusive parties for her rich family’s charities. He’s a rough and tumble cop who rigs explosives for a living. Could two people be any less suited for conversation? They think not and prefer to keep it that way.

Unfortunately, their two best friends are deeply, disgustingly in love. Forced together, the mutual attraction simmering beneath the surface of Brent and Hayden’s non-relationship grows with every argument until it explodes into a scintillating night of mind-blowing sex. And it won’t be the last, as far as Brent’s concerned.

Hayden has a secret, though. Her father’s company is relying on a merger to save them from financial ruin, and only Haydens marriage to the CEO’s wealthy son can secure the deal. If she’s to protect her family, she’ll have to forget Brent. And he has no intention of being forgotten.

My FAVORITE thing about Brent was the way he could let Hayden be in control during sex and yet he never, ever lost even a second of his ridiculously HOT maleness. This book made me a permanent fan of Tessa Bailey’s for precisely that reason– the complexity of what she does with Hayden and Brent. Somehow him letting Hayden be occasionally in control didn’t take away hispower or control. After all, he still had his mouth. And dear. God. Above. THAT MOUTH.

But beyond the sex, Brent is constantly fascinated and drawn to Hayden. Every time he sees a new side to her, something else inside of him softens and brings out the best parts in him. And, let me just say, that any time a 6’5 explosives expert can sing ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ at the top of his lungs to win his woman, I’m probably going to love him forever.

So those are my top three right now. What are yours? Sound off in the comments, then pop over to the awesome Jami Denise’s blog to see who she loves. Jami Denise

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