This blog is for those 18 and older.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

When The Bad Guys Get Their HEA

Recently I watched the movie Suicide Squad. Didn't know anything about it at the time, wasn't expecting much out of it, and thought if nothing else it would be an entertaining afternoon. What I didn't expect was for it to take place in the notorious Gotham City, nor for it to have a love story in it. Not your normal love story, mind you.  There was no chiseled handsome man and a winning beauty on his arm. Blah! No, this was the Joker and his psycho girlfriend Harley Quinn.

I loved it!

It was messy, chaotic, and entirely wrong . . . yet it was quite perfect. For them. And for me to shift my loyalties from the Dark Knight to the Joker, Harley, Dead Shot, and the rest of the misfit crew was astonishing. Not that I'd be loyal for long. They do need some redeeming qualities to make them turn from bad guy to hero (some of them did).

Either way, it was refreshing to get into the darker mindset for a brief time and see glimpses of good still trapped in them. And, while I still think they need serious meds and jail time, I'm left with empathy for them. If only that could happen on large scale in the real world, we might not have so much hate but understanding.

On that note, I promised myself to someday sit down and write a story in a POV I'd probably be uncomfortable with. One that may or may not have a HEA. Because not everyone gets one and not everyone deserves one.

But that's for later.

Right now, I'm plotting my way through Fearsome Foursome, a Mars Cannon novel, which should release in October.

Until next month!

Harley Quinn and Puddin (AKA the Joker)



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What's In A Name?


         Have you ever read a story and for reasons you couldn’t explain, the hero or heroine’s name just didn’t fit the character? And other times, the name was just so right, you couldn’t imagine that character being called anything else?
         Choosing a name is difficult. If an author is lucky, the characters themselves will tell you what their name is. In most cases, this name will stick. Sometimes not. In my current work in progress, my heroine has changed her name a few times (or rather, I’ve changed it because the more I came to know her, the more I knew the name I saddled her with just didn’t work—fortunately for me, I keep a list of names that have spoken to me at one time or another).
         The same goes for pets that might inhabit the story. Since I write a lot of westerns, I have horses to name. These horses are special and constant companions to either my hero or my heroine or both. They take on their own personality, sometimes very much in keeping with their names. In A Kiss in the Shadows, the hero’s horse was named Resolute, which suited both horse and rider perfectly. In my current work, the hero’s horse is named Traveler…again, appropriate for the character.
         When I’m choosing these names, I can pretty much go with what I want. Not so in real life. My DH and I are planning on getting a puppy (a German Shepherd, because that’s the breed near and dear to my heart) once the hot Phoenix summer is over. We currently have a four year old female and she needs a companion (we lost our Daisy a few months ago so Schatzie has been the only dog in the house…is she spoiled? Well, yes, she is, but she’s a good girl and she deserves it).
This is my Schatzie. Isn't she beautiful?
         Choosing Schatzie’s name was really easy. I knew what I wanted (Schatzie is German for sweetheart and it really does fit her personality) and my DH had no problem with it. Choosing a name for this new puppy has been a little more difficult. I have a list. There are 28 names on this list…and my DH doesn’t like any of them (though he hasn’t offered one of his own). Out of these 28 names, there are five that I really, really like so….I thought my DH and I could pull names from a hat. What do you think? It’s worth a shot, and maybe, the next time I’m having difficulty choosing a name for my hero/heroine, I’ll use the same method.

As always, happy reading!
Marie

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Angi Morgan with a Little Inspiration and a Giveaway!



A LITTLE INSPIRATION
by Angi Morgan

GIVEAWAY ALERT

Cowboy inspiration pictures keep me going from book to book. I rarely write a hero who rides a horse, but they certainly are great inspiration. 

I AM AN ABS GIRL.

Yep, give me a set of nicely tanned abs and I’m in heaven. So I find an inspiring set of abs to use as my laptop backdrop. I tile the picture and stare at it throughout the writing of the book. And let’s not forget the screensavers…


 

My Garrison Travis inspiration is Dror Okavi. He’s a personal trainer (at least I think he is from his website). I didn’t need to know that while writing. I just stared at his picture and imagined him riding a motorcycle for BULLETPROOF BADGE




 






The Jesse Ryder inspiration is from Rob Lang Images on Pinterest. He’s got lots of yummy cowboy pics for every season! I love this shot with the barbwire fence in the background. The openness of the picture was perfect for SHOTGUN JUSTICE which takes place in the panhandle of Texas. 



 




Anthony Catanzaro calls himself the Superman of personal fitness. I fell in love with this tan. Goodness. This picture was the Bryce Johnson inspiration for GUNSLINGER. Ironically, Bryce is sunburned during the story.




 






My Josh Parker inspiration had two images. I couldn’t discover who this model is. I loved the aviator shades with the hat!! My second image is of a REAL dad taken by a friend in a Walmart parking lot. We stalked him through the store and asked his wife’s permission to take the photo. I cropped his baby girl out, but my hero for HARD CORE LAW is the father of twins. There was something about the way this giant man took care of his baby while his wife shopped that struck a chord with me.

I hope you find your own inspiration…even at Walmart!



HOW DO YOU GET A RANGER TO BREAK THE LAW…

…KIDNAP HIS KIDS

The twins were all Josh Parker had in this world. So when they were kidnapped, he couldn't rely on his Texas Rangers star to get them back safely. Or involve Tracey Cassidy, the only person he trusted to care for his children. A family of criminals was asking him to break the law if he ever wanted to see his children again. But when Tracey caught wind of his plan, she knew no matter how big Josh's heart was, he had a future with his twins to look forward to. They needed their father. And this was one burden he wouldn't have to shoulder alone.




Catch photos from the other TEXAS RANGER: ELITE TROOP series on A Picture a Day. HARD CORE LAW is available in stores and online: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Google


ANGI MORGAN writes Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love. Her work is a multiple contest finalist and Publisher’s Weekly best seller. She drags her dogs –and husband– around Texas for research road trips so she can write off her camera. They now have a map with highlighted roads they’ve traveled. Every detour somehow makes it into a book.

Website  Amazon  Facebook   FB Fan Page   Twitter @AngiMorganAuthr     

Check out A Picture A Day, my newsletter or my monthly Giveaway

~ ~ ~

Josh is afraid of losing those close to him…

WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST FEAR?

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Friday, August 19, 2016

PASSION OF SLEEPY HOLLOW by Lexi Post is up for Pre-order!

Passion of Sleepy Hollow 
by Lexi Post

Now available for Pre-order!
Releases September 14th


Recluse Braeden Van Brunt is not happy to be the Headless Horseman…until he meets Katrina Van Tassel, owner of the Sleepy Hollow Inn, whose allure bewitches him from the front desk into the bedroom. When he discovers Kat and the village of Sleepy Hollow are cursed to exist only in the present day for one weekend a year, he realizes the sacrifice he must make if he wants to keep her.

Katrina Van Tassel lives between slivers of time. She thought she was through grieving her betrothed’s death, but her dreams flare to life when his mirror-image arrives requesting a room. Drawn to Braeden, she is taken to greater heights of intimacy than she ever imagined, but she can’t be sure if her heart is with him or with the love from her past.

Knowing he must conquer both time and ghosts to keep the only woman he’s ever loved, Braeden must put the past to rest. But the dead won’t rest in Sleepy Hollow.




Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Pocketful of Diamonds by Nicolette Pierce




To fall in love with a thief has its price.

Ian’s willing to pay the price of his heart and his time. 

Ian Miller has found a true belief in helping the people of a third world society in Sierra Leone through mining diamonds and donating the revenue to make a better life for the people.

Gwen visited the village with another project in mind.  She came to steal the diamonds, more than once.

The problem with this, other than loss of revenue to Ian, was he also lost his heart and she disappeared.  He berated himself for wanting a thief and used the excuse of finding the diamonds to reconnect with Gwen.

The aching heart mutually disturbed Gwen.  When she returned to Ian’s village, she dreaded the idea of another theft.  

From there, things get heated between Gwen and Ian along with other diamond thieves. 

Every thief has a story.  Gwen’s dramatic life and her reason for becoming a thief causes Ian to fall more in love with her.  Unimaginable but the heart will do funny things.

The story was full warm and intense scenes and great imagination!  I have to admit that I was tickled to meet the pygmy hippo and feisty monkey acting as silent counselors.  The rituals of the village of Sierra Leone gave a living quality to the villagers, and I wished for the best outcome for everyone I met along the wayJ

 

Happy reading,

Dawn    

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cathy McDavid and the Timeless Appeal of the Cowboy Hero plus a Giveaway!


Guest Author: 
Cathy McDavid

Seriously, just before sitting down to write this blog post, I happened to watch COLORADO SUNSET, a movie starring Gene Autry from 1939. I decided the character he plays isn’t so different from the cowboy heroes of today. Well, maybe except for that singing part. He’s handsome (by 1939 standards), he’s strong, his moral compass points north, even if he’s a little flawed, his job inspires the respect and admiration of others, and he’s not afraid to take on the bad guys.  Perhaps most importantly, he makes the heroine feel safe and, by the end of the movie, loved.  

Buy link:   Amazon
 
Not much has changed. If I were to describe the hero in my most recent release, HAVING THE RANCHER’S BABY, I could say pretty much the same thing. Cole Dempsey is handsome (by anyone’s standards), he’s strong, his moral compass points north, even if he sometimes has a little trouble keeping on track, his rodeo champion career inspires the respect and admiration of others, and he’s not afraid to battle the bad guys for his family’s ranch or Violet Hathaway’s honor. Most importantly, he makes Violet feel safe and, by the end of the book, loved.

Since the beginning of motion pictures, Hollywood has recognized the universal appeal of the cowboy heroes, a tradition carried on in later years by television. The same holds true for romance novels, be they contemporary, historical, sweet, or erotic. This particular hero type has endured for, literally, more than a century. He strikes a lovely and undeniable chord on our heartstrings, and we’re incapable of resisting him. But, then, who wants to? Certainly not me.

If you’ve attended a rodeo, you can understand the attraction of the cowboy hero. What these men attempt is incredible (I’m by no means excluding the gals — that’s a topic for another blog post). No one gets on the back of an eighteen-hundred-pound bull without having nerves of steel and the courage to match. I frequently use bull riders and bronc busters as the heroes for my books, there’s something about them that appeals to me as a writer and to reader fans of western romances. And as long as I’m going to research for my books, it doesn’t hurt having to look at all those great pictures of swoon-worthy guys wearing Stetsons and Wranglers — is it just me or did that sound like a book title?

I’m convinced there’s a reason my publisher recently changed the name of my line from Harlequin American Romance to Harlequin Western Romance, focusing entirely on contemporary cowboy romances. These are the books selling the most, the ones the readers want. Sure, they like the other elements, such as family and babies and spunky heroines. But, come on. It’s the cowboy hero on the cover that gets us to choose the book in the first place.

I want to thank Lexi Post for having me here today. To show my appreciation, I’m offering three free copies of HAVING THE RANCHER’S BABY! Just enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win. Three winners will be chosen on Saturday, August 20th.

Here’s to riding off into the sunset together with the man of our dreams. For me, it’s the cowboy :)

Warmest wishes,

Cathy McDavid

About Cathy:


Since 2006, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathy McDavid has been happily penning contemporary western romances for Harlequin. Every day she gets to write about handsome cowboys riding the range or busting a bronc. It a tough job, but she's willing to make the sacrifice. Cathy shares her Arizona home with her own real-life sweetheart and a pair of overly needy pets. Her grown twins have left to embark on lives of their own, and she couldn't be prouder of their accomplishments.



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