This blog is for those 18 and older.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

To Shave or Not to Shave

Every once in a while, I like to see a hero with facial hair. Oh, I’m not talking about big bushy beards like the men who used to be on the Smith Brother’s Cough Drop box, but rather a nicely groomed mustache or goatee or even a full beard, if it’s well kept. For some reason, I am attracted to this and I’m not sure why. 

I used to love watching men shave, which somehow doesn’t quite fit with the attraction to facial hair (and we’re not even going to discuss chest hair which I like on a man but you never see on a book cover) but I digress.  

I once heard that publishers don’t like heroes with facial hair because they didn’t quite look right on the cover of a book so it makes me wonder why there aren’t more heroes with beards or mustaches or both. Is it reader preference? Writer preference?         

I love Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott, but both must be sporting their mustaches (somehow, they don’t look the same without them, don’t you agree?). Hugh Jackman? Well, that’s unfair because he looks fabulous with or without.
What about you? What’s your preference? Do you like your heroes clean-shaven? With a five o’clock shadow? Sporting the scruffy look Don Johnson made famous? Or full on hairy face, like Hagrid in the Harry Potter films? Or somewhere in between?
Whatever your preference, I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for within the pages of a book!
Happy reading!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Guest Author Interview: Jennifer Wilck

Alexis: Hi Jennifer. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts. Thank you so much for coming. You have a new contemporary romance that is being released this month. Can you tell us a little about A Heart of Little Faith?

Jennifer: Sure, Alexis, and thanks so much for having me on your blog today. Here’s a short blurb about the book:

Lily Livingston is a widow raising her six-year-old daughter, Claire, in New York City. Devastated by her husband’s death three years ago, she’s in no hurry to fall in love again. Besides, trying to balance her career with motherhood leaves her little time for romance.

With a wheelchair instead of a white horse, and a vow against falling in love again as his armor, Gideon Stone is the last person Lily expects to sweep her off her feet. But when a business agreement forces the two of them together, that is exactly what happens.

As they navigate the minefield that fast represents their relationship, can either of them overcome the obstacles to find true happiness in each other’s arms? The answer is yes, but the bumps along the way demonstrate that neither of them can go it alone.

Alexis: I’m hooked already. I love heroes who aren’t physically perfect. I understand that this is not an inspirational. So why this particular title?

Jennifer: That’s a great question! I think there are misconceptions about that anytime the word “faith” appears in a title. Basically, the title refers to the faith that both Lily and Gideon have to find in themselves to love again, and each other to trust again.

Alexis: That makes perfect sense. So, where did you get the idea for this story?

Jennifer: I wanted to show that the obstacles we construct for ourselves are not always what they appear to be on the surface. Gideon believes that his physical body prevents him from finding true love, but really, he’s no different than any other person who has baggage from their past. And Lily has to learn that it is possible to love again, deeply, even though it might be with a different person. And that sometimes our greatest strength involves letting go and showing weakness.

Alexis: I can tell you put real thought into the themes of your story. I like it when I can find depth inside a romance novel :-). What are your favorite traits of Gideon and Lily?

Jennifer: I love how Gideon is with Claire (the six-year-old) and with all the kids at the Youth Center where he is a mentor. I also love how he is rock-solid dependable. I like Lily’s ability to find humor in a variety of situations and how she is able to empathize with people and put them at ease.

Alexis: These are wonderful traits. What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

Jennifer: That’s kind of funny, because after I had written the story, I realized (duh!) that I should probably speak to someone about life in a wheelchair, since I have no knowledge of that myself. The difficulty was finding someone I could talk to about it and ask questions, without being too personal or prying. I was lucky enough to find a guy on this Yahoo loop who was happy to talk to me (and thank goodness for email, because I swear I must have turned every shade of red asking things of this man that I really would only ask my husband!). He was very patient and understanding and answered all of my questions. That being said, any mistakes I made are my own!

Alexis: That must have been fascinating! Wow, you probably know more about a man’s life in a wheel chair than at least half the population! When can we expect the next book and do you have any other romance novels in the works that we can look forward to?

Jennifer: My next book is Skin Deep, also from Whiskey Creek Press, and it’s due to come out sometime in November. I’m currently working on another book, which is a contemporary romance with a Jewish theme. The story takes place around the holiday of Purim. That lends itself very well to the idea of hiding one’s identity, so the conflict is already built-in. There’s a single dad, with an adorable 6-year-old girl and a choir director with an amazing voice.

Alexis: So glad to hear you have more on the way. I think our readers will be looking for your work. I have found that all romance writers started out by reading romances. Who were some of the first romance authors you ever read?

Jennifer: Actually, I read a lot of the classics growing up—the Bronte sisters—and a lot of those teen/tween angst books, like the Sweet Valley High series. I think those paved the way for me. Certainly, sneaking a Harlequin or two didn’t hurt! Some of the earliest authors I read that I remember liking were Phyllis Whitney, Jude Devereaux and of course, Danielle Steel. My current favorite author, though, is Lynn Kurland.

Alexis: Why was it we always had to “sneak” those Harlequins? I mean, really, they weren’t so naughty :-) So, I understand you have a couple giveaways for our blog readers. Can you explain how they can win?

Jennifer: Yes, I do have one. Basically, readers can go to my website ( or my blog ( and tell me their favorite thing to do in the summer. I will draw a random winner on June 30 and he or she will receive a free copy of my book.

Alexis: Excellent! Thank you so much for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. We like talking about romance novels here and learning about the wonderful authors who write them :-)

Jennifer: Again, thank you so much for having me! I love hearing from people, so feel free to leave me a comment! Oh, and as you’ll see at the end of the excerpt, a portion of the sales from the book will be donated to the Dana & Christopher Reeve Foundation.

Alexis: Check out this excerpt from A Heart of Little Faith!


Gideon entered his sister’s crowded SoHo gallery in Manhattan and glanced at his watch. If he was lucky, he could make a quick appearance and leave. Garish paintings and semi-pornographic sculptures, coupled with snooty patrons and pseudo-intellectual artists, bored him. A mélange of overpowering perfumes blasted his olfactory nerves and he grimaced as he quickly tried to breathe through his mouth. He’d only come to support Samantha, and with any luck she’d be too busy with potential buyers to do anymore than register his presence, leaving him free to make a hasty exit. In the meantime, he needed to find something to eat before he starved to death.

Across the room he spied black-clad catering staff and made his way around half walls and columns to check out their offerings. At least he thought they were catering staff. With black continuing to be the customary dress code of New York art patrons, he could never be too sure. Still, silver platters were sure to give them away. Before he’d gotten halfway across the converted warehouse, a waitress materialized in front of him, offering champagne and scallops wrapped in bacon. Pendulum lights from above glinted on the crystal glasses, and the smoky scent made his mouth water. He snagged a glass of champagne and two scallops, and popped one immediately into his mouth. The ice cold glass chilled his fingers and provided a welcome relief from the warmth of the overcrowded room. The scallop melted in his mouth, leaving the taste of crisp bacon for him to savor. A little bit of heaven.

He saw Samantha and made his way over, past old gentlemen sitting on oversized ottomans comparing notes, willow-thin women chatting about the Hamptons and a few art students staring at the scene with longing. He waited until she noticed him. They said their hellos quickly, and she apologized as another group of people swept her away. He nodded his understanding and, with his duty complete, headed back the way he’d come.

He’d gone about twenty-five feet when something caught his attention. Surrounded by movement — the friction caused by the artist’s use of flashy, contrasting colors against stark white canvas, the undulating positions of the sculptures, or the constant swaying of people in the room — her stillness drew his eye. All other sights and sounds disappeared as he approached her. He no longer heard the chatter and laughter around him. His vision tunneled and all surrounding sights disappeared into a fog. His ears picked up only the sound of her fingernails tapping the crystal goblet and magnified it until her tapping became the beat of a song for him alone. The jasmine scent of her perfume floated toward him and made him think of summer vacations in a tropical paradise. Distracted by her, he didn’t notice those around him trying to get out of his way.

She stood motionless in front of a painting. The spotlight above illuminated her brown hair, turning it a fiery red tinged with gold, her skin a luminous peach. Her blouse, made of some gauzy material he couldn’t name, but longed to touch, draped gracefully over her shoulders and down her back. With the lights pouring down on her, he could just see the outline of her body. The barely there whisper of an outline attracted him more than any wet T-shirt ever could. Her black-flared pants hugged her hips the way he once had held a woman, gently but firmly.

He stared at her, bedazzled. He only intended to look for a moment, but she turned around and met his eyes. Caught red-handed he contemplated turning around, but that would be cowardly. He couldn’t continue to stare at her without appearing either moronic or rude, especially since he hated when people stared at him. He inhaled and tried to muster up a smile, when another man approached her. Breaking their gaze, she turned and smiled at him. Gideon inched closer. He heard her engage the other man in casual conversation before she gently excused herself. As the other man walked off, she turned back to Gideon and smiled. Her green cat eyes pierced his soul and made him believe she could see right through him. He continued to watch her, entranced.

“Hasn’t anyone taught you it’s impolite to stare?”

Struck by the irony of her question, he burst into warm laughter and shook her outstretched hand. Her soft cool hand fit completely within his hard, callused one and he closed his other hand over hers. He felt the delicate veins beneath her skin, her pulse beating in her wrist and wished to prolong the skin-on-skin contact for as long as possible. Reluctantly, he let it go.

“I’m Gideon.”


“Are you a fan?”

Lily stared at him blankly for a moment and blinked quickly. “Oh, of the artist’s?” She turned once more to look at the painting, tilting her head to the right. “Not exactly. He’s a little too…”

“Much? Bright? Vulgar?”

Lily laughed. “I see you’re a huge fan. No, maybe, I don’t know. The colors are cheery, if only maybe there weren’t so many. But looking at it does brighten my mood.”

“Bad day at work?”

“Terrible. But why are you here if you don’t like the artist?”

Gideon turned and pointed to Samantha on the other side of the room. “She’s my sister.”

Lily raised her eyebrows as she looked over at the gallery owner.

“Oh, Samantha’s my best friend. I didn’t realize you were her brother. So I guess she roped you into this too?”

He sat back and gave her what he hoped was a relaxed grin. “Brotherly duty, or some such nonsense. Apparently I pulled one too many pigtails as a child and this is my penance.”

Lily laughed. She has a great laugh, he thought. It lit up her whole face. “Samantha had pigtails?”

The two of them turned to look at Samantha, currently sporting short and spiky jet-black hair, with small rhinestone barrettes scattered throughout. “You’ll have to fill me in more later,” Lily added, as she stifled a yawn.

“What, is it my stimulating conversation, or these garish paintings that bores you?” Gideon asked, one eyebrow raised.

Lily apologized. “I’m sorry. I had a long day at work and I’m exhausted. I wasn’t even going to come, but Samantha begged.”

“She tends to do that. I’ve told her it isn’t a pleasing trait, but why should she listen to me? I’m only her big brother.”

Find out more about Samantha’s big brother in A Heart of Little Faith, available from Whiskey Creek Press this month! Part of the proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

To learn more about Jennifer, click here

To buy A Heart of Little Faith, click below.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Where Did She Get That Idea?

Have you ever picked up a book and thought, “Oh my gosh! Where did she get that idea?”

I recently picked up Burning Skies, the second book in the Ascension series by Caris Roane (absolutely loved the first book!). The first chapter totally blew my mind. Wonderfully inventive, so out of the norm from what you usually read and I couldn’t help asking myself “How did she think of that?”

Did something inspire her? Did she see something on the highway as she was driving that sparked her imagination? Did she close her eyes while she was at the keyboard and it just came to her? Does she have a muse who sits on her shoulder and whispers in her ear? Or a character so close to her heart that he talks to her (ask any author – it’s not unusual for them to hear voices in their heads)?

I ask myself these questions a lot. There are some fabulous story arcs out there, some wild and crazy ideas that surprise and pique one’s interest, some very interesting circumstances characters find themselves in. Wherever these ideas come from (whether muse or mysterious voice), I’m so glad they do.

Because isn’t that one of the reasons we read? To be surprised by the author?

Happy Reading!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Guest Author: Randi Alexander

New Release and Book Giveaway!

I want to thank the HEAT writers for letting me guest blog today. I'm Randi Alexander and I write cowboy erotic romance. My first book, Chase and Seduction was released May 27 from The Wild Rose Press' Cowboy Kink line.

I'm usually a fast writer, but sometimes when I write blogs I get a glob of sludge lodged between my brain and my fingers. I can usually come up with something really good twice a month for my blog on Wild and Wicked Cowboys, but the last few weeks, coming up with over 30 blogs for my blog tour has challenged me.

When I feel blocked, I pull out all my muse enhancement tricks. I meditate, sitting quietly for five minutes just breathing, concentrating on watching the ocean in my mind. Sometimes I'll watch an animated movie. Beauty and the Beast and Mulan are favorites for re-juicing my creativity.

It helps to read other writers' work, too. I'll open the most recent manuscript from my fabulous critique partner (who just happens to be Alexis Walker) and read a scene from the middle of the book. Alexis has helped me in many other ways, as well, and if you look at the dedication page of Chase and Seduction, you'll see her name there. (Thanks, Alexis!)

Audio books are great, too. Did you know that many libraries offer audio books to check out via download? I slide them onto my iPod, and take a long walk. The combination of visual and audio stimulation is revitalizing. Then, if nothing else works, I Google pictures of cowboys, country western stars, and steamy scenes of couples to use in video trailers. For some reason, cowboys get me going again ;-})

In Chase and Seduction, the heroine, Reno, is a writer, but she never seems to encounter writers' block. Must be the influence of that sexy cowboy, Chase! I'm excited to share with you the blurb for my book, as well as a sweet, happily ever after-type of excerpt.
Country music superstar/actor Chase Tanner has yet to be denied anything–and he’s never wanted anything or anyone more than gorgeous screenplay writer Reno Linden. So when the film they are working on is finally finished, Chase decides to turn up the volume on seducing Reno.

Reno Linden lived a quiet, rural life until she was thrust into the Hollywood scene when her book was adapted to film. Chase Tanner is larger than life, sinfully sexy and hell-bent on getting her into bed. Skittish after a failed wedding engagement, Reno risks the plunge into Chase’s arms, and is surprised that her good girl self can keep up with bad boy Chase.

Though Chase returns to his cowboy roots often, and Reno cherishes the time spent with him on his ranch, the two find their careers pulling them in different directions. Will their attraction survive the glitz and stress of fame?


Chase played for an hour and a half. A few parents stood in the back of the room, the mobile kids danced, the ones in wheelchairs wiggled and clapped, and everyone sang along. A few called out their favorite songs and Chase was hard-pressed to remember the words to some of them, but he’d gotten good at making them up.

Reno sat smack in the middle of the kids on a tiny chair, her knees nearly up to her chin. But she sang along, clapped, and talked with the children. His heart filled with emotion each time he looked at her.

Then a nurse popped her head into the room. “Bedtime, everyone. Say thank you to Mr. Tanner, and start heading back to your rooms.”



Chase stood and set his guitar in its case. “I’ll be back in a few days.”

One little girl with IV lines into her stomach started crying, and her mother picked her up and brought her to Chase. She asked, “Can she give you a hug?”

His throat choked shut, and all he could do was nod.

“Cassie, thank Mr. Tanner for singing for you.”

Cassie released her mother’s neck and grabbed a hold of his. Her little body felt like a warm, soap-scented bird in his arms. “Tank you for singing.” Then she kissed him full on the mouth.

A sweet-hot burn grew behind his eyes, and he whispered, “You’re welcome, Cassie.”

She stared at him, her tiny arms were light as feathers against his neck. She whispered, “I love you.”

“I…love you, too.” Chase blinked back a swell of tears as he handed her to her mother. They walked away, then he caught Reno’s gaze.

Tears ran from her eyes down her cheeks.

He watched her, unmoving, unable to breathe for fear the tears would leak from his eyes. In his side vision, he saw the princess castle, the toy trucks, and the pretend kitchen. He’d love to have a kid. Maybe two. A boy and a girl. When he imagined his own little girl, she looked a lot like Reno.

To celebrate the release of Chase and Seduction, I'm giving away, to one lucky *commenter, an e-copy of my novella Her Cowboy Stud. Just leave a comment today and we'll choose a winner tomorrow. *Commenter must be 18 years of age or older to win.

I'm also giving away a cowgirl hat to one subscriber to my newsletter. For more details, and to sign up for this contest, please go to my website, And while you're there, you can read the first chapter of Chase and Seduction.

Good luck, and thank you!



Buy Chase and Seduction at The Wild Rose Press Wilder Roses

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book Review: The Reincarnationist by M.J. Rose

This is a fabulous story of suspense and has been transposed into a TV series, Past Life.  The unique quality of the story lies in repeated lives of the main character, Josh.

Introduced to the possibilities of reincarnation, Josh visits an archeological dig in Egypt.  He finds himself pulled into the past where the dig’s mummified figure is alive and in danger.  His tangle with romance had never been completed with her.  He’s determined to keep the love of his life safe this time, even if it means sacrificing himself.  In the past and present.

His present romance is interrupted when Gabriella is more concerned about retrieving stolen artifacts from the dig.  Yes, stones again.  Old, colorful gems appear to have great significance in historical cultures.  A few murders throughout the story also cool the heat Josh is hoping for with Gabriella.

Rose’s novel is loaded with plot and subplots and not an idle moment.  Romance is twined in and out of the action and climaxes with an incredibly surprising ending.  If this leaves you breathless, the Reincarnationist is the first in a trilogy.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Guest Author Interview: Sidney Ayers

Alexis: Hi Sidney. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts. Thank you so much for coming. Your first book was an erotic romance I believe. Can you tell us why you moved to Paranormal Romance?                                                                              
Sidney: Thanks for having me! Wings of Desire, although erotic, still has some paranormal and fantasy elements as well. I’ve always planned on writing in both the mainstream and erotic genres, though.

Alexis: I think it’s great that you have been published in both :-) And your newest romance was released this month, Demons Prefer Blondes. How does this book fit into the Demons Unleashed Series?

Sidney: It’s the first book in the series. It stars Rafe Deleon who is a Paladin demon who’s sent to Earth to retrieve the Arca Inferorum (Chest of the Damned) before it ends up in the wrong hands. Lucy Gregory is an unsuspecting hairstylist who inadvertently opens the chest and unleashes a legion of demons and subsequently unlocks her own succubus nature.

Alexis: Wow! That is very creative. Where did you get the idea for this story?

Sidney: The initial idea came from a picture, but the story wasn’t completely mapped out until I attended the 2008 RT convention in Pittsburgh where I learned Judi McCoy’s Post-It Note plotting technique. Basically a group of people help plot scenes using Post-It Notes. A stack of Post-Its end up being pivotal scenes which end up connected into an entire book. It’s a fun and rewarding process.

Alexis: Ah yes, I’ve heard great things about Judi’s Post-it Note plotting process. So what are your favorite traits of Rafe and Lucy?

Sidney: Rafe is extremely devoted to the Paladin cause, yet he is also devoted to his family. Lucy is pretty sarcastic and down-to-earth.

Alexis: Okay, so being a paranormal, what kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

Sidney: I used a couple demonology books that I ordered online and also perused several websites to glean information. Most of the other stuff I just made up. That’s one of the bonuses of writing in the paranormal genre—You can make your own rules.

Alexis: Yes, I can see that as a definite plus. When can we expect the next book and do you have any other romance novels in the works that we can look forward to?

Sidney: Demons Like It Hot, the sequel to Demons Prefer Blondes comes out in December. It stars Serah San Germano, Lucy’s best friend, and Matthias Ambrose, a mercenary with a dark secret. I am currently working on book three, Demon Happy, which is scheduled for a June, 2012 release. I do have a short story available for Nook, Kindle and on Smashwords, "An Absolute Mess," which is an absolute nonsensical fantasy parody in the vein of Mel Brooks.

Alexis: This is great. A lot more of your work for us all to enjoy  When did you decide to infuse your romances with humor? Was it simply the way you wrote or a decision you made?

Sidney: It was a little of both. I decided to rekindle my writing passion by joining a round-robin romance novel contest sponsored by Avon. Several of us decided to use a few of our entries to write parodies. I sent our regency couple on several madcap adventures, including characters like Scooby Doo, Jason Voorhees, and Napoleon Dynamite. The Scooby Doo parody included the other great Napoleon. Hey, it wouldn’t be a Regency without some mention of him, right?

Alexis: Absolutely right. Well, thank you so much for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. We like talking about romance novels here and learning about the amazingly creative authors who write them :-)

Sidney: Thanks for inviting me Alexis. It’s been a blast!

Alexis: If you are interested in finding out more about Sidney’s books, got to I love the colors on this website, by the way :-)

And don’t forget to comment for your chance to win that $15 gift card to Amazon and a copy of Sidney’s Demons Prefer Blondes!

Check out this excerpt:

"Let's do this," Lucy said, pulling from their friendly embrace. With a quick lick of her lips, she focused her attention back to the chest.

As if a golden orb had surrounded it, the chest glowed. Regardless of what she knew to be wrong or right, her body ignored her conscience. Lucy took slow, almost sensual, steps toward the box. Her lips spread into a devious smile as warmth enveloped her. Never had she felt so alive—save for the day she dropped out of med school. Her stomach twisted in knots and her insides throbbed. She had to touch it, and no one would stop her.

Serah's concerned voice faintly echoed in her mind. "Lucy, are you okay? You're acting strange." She reached out to grab her hand.

"I am fine," Lucy gritted out, digging her nails into Serah's palm. "I know what I'm doing." The bad thing was she actually did, but she had no idea how she knew.

"Ouch, that hurts," she yelped and pulled her hand from her superhuman grip. "We should forget this, Lucy. Something isn't right."

Lucy turned to face her friend and narrowed her eyes, her glare challenging. With a wide calculated grin, she reached up to brush a stray hair from Serah’s brow. "No, Serah. Everything is just right."

With that, she slammed her palm into the handprint and closed her eyes.

Alexis: Did I mention that you may want to comment for your chance to win that $15 gift card to Amazon and a copy of this awesome book?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What would you be?

When you read a historical romance, do you find yourself wishing to be the heroine, wishing you could live her life? Wouldn’t it be lovely, for a short span of time, to go back in history and become an adventuress searching for lost treasure or a young woman hoping to find love with a peer of the realm? Who would you be?
I’ve never wanted to be one of those women who had to follow the rules…I would have found it inconceivable to have someone, even society, tell me what I could and could not do (which is why the heroines I write always break the rules). I could see myself as an adventurer or even a pirate’s love but mostly, I’ve always thought I’d make the perfect saloon girl (not a soiled dove, mind you, but an entertainer). You know, the one with the heart of gold who only has eyes for the rough and tumble cowboy or the lawman with a heightened sense of right and wrong. Or maybe even the villain of a story (villains can be quite interesting, don’t you think?).
This fantasy of mine (of being a saloon girl) has been with me since I first drove through Arizona and saw the vast wildness of the landscape. I could picture it all so vividly in my head. A lawman (who looks remarkably like my husband), coming back from transporting the bad guys to jail, just happens to step into my saloon and makes my heart go pitter-patter. I know. A bit crazy but….it’s there. In the back of my head.
And isn’t that one of the reasons we read romances? To live the life of another? To experience an adventure different from our ordinary, work-a-day lives?

Happy Reading,

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Guest Author Interview: Danielle Monsch

Alexis: Hi Danielle. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts.  Thank you so much for coming.  Your latest release is a type of paranormal fantasy mix.  Could you tell us a little about Loving A Fairy Godmother.

Danielle: Thank you so much for having me! I’m always thrilled to get a chance to talk about my stories. Loving a Fairy Godmother is about the Cinderella story from the fairy godmother’s point of view – that is, if the fairy godmother was also dealing with her own romantic escapades while trying to ensure Cinderella got her Happily Ever After.

Alexis: That sounds so fun! Where did you get the idea for this story? 

Danielle: Usually my stories start with the characters. In the case of Loving a Fairy Godmother, the character who appeared to me was Tiernan, the hero of the story. This is one of those instances where I have no idea where he came from, he just popped into my head fully formed. There he was, this dashing rogue with dimples, who told me he was the only fairy godfather around.

So I started wondering why there was only one fairy godfather, and the rest of the story followed.

Alexis: You have to love a guy that’s masculine enough to be the only man in his profession J What are your favorite character traits of Reina and Tiernan?

Danielle: I love the pride Reina has in her work and how fair she is in her dealings with everyone. She is one of those people who commands respect, even as everyone may fear her just a little bit. J For Tiernan, well, Tiernan is just perfect. He has this roguish charm, but he has integrity and a core of steel. And don’t forget the dimples! 

Alexis: Believe me, I won’t. What kind of research did you do for this novel?

Danielle: This wasn’t a research story beyond rereading fairy tales. J just wanted to create a fairy tale ending for that staple of fairy tales, the fairy godmother. 

Alexis: That was so nice of you. Do you have any other romance novels in the works that we can look forward to?

Danielle: I do! My second story was released earlier this month, it’s called Pleasure Satellite. It’s an erotic Sci-fi story and has been released from Ellora’s Cave. 

Currently, I’m finishing up my very first novel – a Sword & Sorcery Paranormal Romance - which I’m going to try to get print published. After that’s done, I’ve got a few more ideas for the epub market, including a FWB ménage, a saucy take on Greek myths about a foul-mouthed nymph who is given the assignment to seduce a virgin, and my own take on Little Red Riding Hood.

Alexis: Fascinating ideas. And your current novels sound exciting too. What is it about romance novels that attracts you as a reader?

Danielle: I love romance and am a proud romance reader – in all of its incarnations. I don’t think there is anything more gratifying to read about than these two (or hey, sometimes more) people doing this dance of feelings and emotions and exploring what they mean to each other. And what makes romance so great is you can do this exploration in a variety of ways, from books that range from sexually chaste to sweat-inducing, and in any sub-genre that catches your interest.

I love, love. I love people falling in love. I love the variety in which I can write that. To my mind, romance is the best.

Alexis: I completely agree with you! There is something about love that is so satisfying. Thank you so much for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. We like talking about romance novels here and learning about the creative authors who write them J

Danielle: Thank you so much for inviting me. I’m always excited to talk about romance novels. This has been a great experience for someone as new as I am, and I hope I get the chance to come back again!

Danielle Monsch is a Romantic Geek Girl Writing in a Fantasy World. You can find her on the web at,,

One random commenter will receive a copy of Loving a Fairy Godmother. Good Luck!

Alexis: Check out this excerpt from Loving a Fairy Godmother.

“Godfather Tiernan—”
“You can just call me Tiernan,” he interrupted.
She tried again. “Godfather Tiernan—”
“”Didn’t Sara just tell you that you had to follow my directions?”
That pushed her over the edge. “Do you truly think you are going to secure a HEA when you haven’t been able to do it yet?”
He let out a derisive snort, but immediately realized that was a huge mistake. Her face lost her usual look of annoyance crossed with bemused tolerance, leaving pure ice in its place. “This is why men should not be allowed into the Godmother program. None of you have any respect for Happily Ever Afters.”
“I never said I didn’t believe in HEAs” he began, but she cut him off.
“Every case you’ve been on tells me you don’t believe, or else you would have tried once, just once, to get one!”
His hands slammed on the table as he leaned across it, his face coming inches from hers. “I’ve never tried because I believe in love! Humans need love so much, who the hell was I to screw up two people in love to get them to HEA status? I could never forgive myself if two people in love missed out on each other because of my actions!”
All anger fled her face, and a hesitant, unsure look came over features. “What do you think a HEA is?”
He drew in a deep breath, sitting down once again. “I think happily ever after is a nice way to end a story, but in the world I remember, it’s a waste.”
Her hand was halfway towards him before she seemed to remember their roles, and she pulled it back to her side. “Love is wonderful, but only love alone is incomplete. You can love someone, but they can ultimately not be right for you. Even in love, people can still be led to believe the worst of each other, still hurt each other, still decide they are better without the other,” she began, her words hesitant, as if she was trying to define to herself what it all meant as much as to him. “But the Happily Ever After is so much more. It’s finding your perfect match, love purified, refined, to such an extent that it can never be sundered. With a Happily Ever After, men can achieve greatness, as can all the generations who follow growing up in its shadow.”
“And you think jeopardizing the surety of a love match now is worth it for only the possibility of a Happily Ever After?” he asked, his voice gentle, reverent, wanting nothing to break this intimacy their words were creating.
“I do. In your view, maybe that seems cruel, but in my view, there is no greater tragedy then two people who almost make this connection but fall short in the end.”
Such a hard exterior to cover such a tender heart. “I’m not sure if I can believe as you do,” he said after considering her words. “But I never want Sara... you... to feel as if I let you down. After we get this situation behind us, I want you proud of the job I do.”
And as his breath caught at the rare smile she bestowed upon him just then, he knew all she had to do was keep smiling at him like that, and anything she wanted, whether it be his beliefs or his blood, he would give her.
Her smile faded, and the moment ended. Reina cloaked herself in her position of authority as she handed him the file that had been sitting on her desk. It was already open to show a picture of a blond girl, pretty and vibrant with a mouth full of straight white teeth, all of which was evident even underneath the dirt. “I looked over this case earlier, before I realized what was going on,” she said. “It is a good, solid HEA case. There are several challenges to overcome, but also several sources of help for the client. It is about as perfect as a case can be for this purpose, as evenly balanced as I’ve ever seen. No one can accuse the council of favoring either side. The girl’s name is Cinderella. She lives with an abusive Stepmother and two rotten spoiled stepsisters. She is a very kind, generous girl—though a little too much of a doormat, if you ask me—but outside of that, not really any other character flaws. She is much beloved in her village, children and small animals flock to her daily. In short, we exist to give HEAs to mortals like her.”
Tiernan read the file quickly, then flipped the page and took in the photo of the male who would supply the HEA. “A prince, huh? That’s pretty standard.”
“Indeed, but for the most part, we don’t mess with the classics here.” The pointed look she gave him told him he was one of the exceptions, and she wasn’t necessarily thrilled about it. Ah yes, completely back to normal.
He returned that look with a flirty smile. “I used to serve royalty, Godmother Reina. Believe me when I say, sometimes the large crown is to compensate for something.”
“Oh really? Well, I assume we can say the same thing about your sword, eh, knight?”
Maybe not completely back to normal after all. The second those words passed her lips her eyes went saucer wide, and Tiernan couldn’t say who was more shocked, him or Reina herself. There was no way he was letting this pass. His voice coming out a low growl, he replied, “Why, Reina, I never knew you were interested in the size of my sword. Anytime you want a private viewing, I will be more than happy to oblige.”

Alexis: Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win this unique romance!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Guest Author Interview: Kim Watters

 Alexis: Hi Kim. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts.  Thank you so much for coming and giving away a copy of On Wings of Love.  Can you start by telling us why you write inspirationals?
Kim:  Wow. Great question. I think the inspirational market picked me. I tend to write a little sweeter story and characters. I was at an impasse with Harlequin, having submitted to Super Romance and American and kept getting rejections so I had a conversation with God. He gave me the talent to write, but I needed a little help in finding a home for it. The next day, one of my loops announced that the Love Inspired line was going to six books a month and looking for submissions. Duoh! Homer Simpson moment. It didn’t get any clearer than that. I revised the manuscript and added the faith element, which wasn’t a stretch since I’m a Christian, and viola. Within months I sold.
Alexis: I think there might have been just a tad bit of Divine intervention in that sale J I loved the blurb on your website about Home Sweet Home. Can you tell our readers a little about this latest release ?
Kim: Sure. It’s about finding a home for Abby and forgiveness for Cole. The blurb says it best though. As creative as I am, I’m brain dead right now.
“Finally ready to settle down, Abby Bancroft has just inherited a place to put down roots. But her hopes for a successful bed-and-breakfast are placed on hold when she learns that her grandparents' run-down inn is in serious need of TLC. So is Cole Preston, the handsome contractor who offers to help make her dream a reality. His past mistakes won't let him consider settling in the close-knit town. Yet as he and Abby work together to repair the house, they also begin to mend each other's hearts. And they just may find that consulting their hearts is what creating a home is all about.”
Alexis: Where did you get the idea for this story?
Kim:  After my last story, which dealt with the subject of organ donation, I wanted to do something lighter. I’ve always loved Victorian mansions and thought it would be cool to own one and run a Bed & Breakfast. Since I can’t really do that, I decided to write about it.
Alexis: Great idea.  I’ll have to keep that in mind for my own writing; things I’d like to do but can’t J So with this book, who did you have more fun writing, Cole or Abby?
Kim:  Abby. She’s had so many tough breaks in life that every time I turned around, she had something else that she needed to tell me about her past. I had no idea she was a life guard in LA, or that she never really had a permanent home until she inherited the mansion from her grandparents.
Alexis: Don’t you just love it when your characters have a whole past life to delve into? But this isn’t your first published romance. Can you tell us a little about your other books?
Kim: Sure. Home At Last was my first novel published by Avalon Books.
Stake Your Claim also published by Avalon Books revolves around a small mining community in southern Arizona.
On Wings of Love, my first Love Inspired novel, deals with the subject of organ donation as I mentioned above.
I’ve also written a few short stories and will be putting them up on Amazon soon.
Alexis: Which of the books you’ve written has your favorite hero? Heroine?
Kim: Not a fair question. I love all my characters, although I really have a soft spot for all my heroes. I mean what’s not to love about them? I instill them with all the qualities that make the perfect hero with a few quirks and conflicts along the way. As for heroine? All of them as well. I can’t pick one as there’s a tiny piece of me in each one of them.
Alexis: You are such a good Mom.  No favorites for you ;-) Do you have any other romance novels in the works that we can look forward to?
Kim: I’m currently under contract with my third Love Inspired. I don’t have a release date yet as I’m still writing it. The tentative title is A Father’s Love and it deals with a child with leukemia.
Alexis: Wow, you definitely don’t shy away from the tough subjects.  I admire that and I think our readers will too. Thank you so much for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. We like talking about romance novels here and learning about the great people who write them J
Kim: Thanks so much for inviting me here. I love to hang out with you gals. Especially if there’s a beach , a pina colada and cabana boy to go along with it. J
Alexis: But of course!!  “Cabana boy!  Another round of Pina Coladas for the author and readers please.” While the cabana boy is getting the drinks, check out the excerpt below from Home Sweet Home.
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."—Luke 6:37

"This is it?" Wide-eyed and a little confused, Abby Bancroft stared out the passenger side window of the Ford Escort parked in front of the large Victorian house. Her stomach churned as her gaze flipped between the obviously outdated brochure in her cold hand and the three-story wooden structure to her right in need of a new paint job and some other cosmetic work. If the outside reflected the inside, her vision of reopening the Bancroft Bed-and-Breakfast by the Founder's Day Festival the first weekend in May died a quick and painful death.

Disappointment pooled around her shoulders and matched the dismal early March skies. Puffy gray clouds threatened more snow in the sleepy town of Dynamite Creek in northern Arizona. The bare limbs of the tree standing guard by the long porch running along the front of the house looked more inviting than the empty windows that stared back at her. She should have guessed the house would be as welcoming as the people who once lived inside.

"Yep. This is it. We're here." Delia Wentworth, the receptionist from her late grandmother's attorney's office unbuckled her seat belt and opened the driver's side door. Frigid air blew through the interior, making Abby shiver inside her inadequate jacket and miss the warm Southern California weather. Here wasn't exactly the picture perfect place she'd expected to find as she sat frozen inside the car.

"It's really a great house. It just needs a little TLC," Delia responded enthusiastically before leaving the car.

"A little?" Abby's skepticism showed in her voice. She knew nothing about general construction, but she had eyes, unless something in her brain had gone haywire in the long drive between Los Angeles and Dynamite Creek. Maybe she needed a pair of rose-colored glasses like Delia wore because Abby didn't quite see the old Victorian in the same way.

Pulling her collar around her neck, Abby grabbed her purse, exited the car and walked to where the young woman stood. Abby held up the brochure and compared it with the house. Then she flipped the piece of paper over. The photo credit was from 1987. Figures. Over the years, beautiful and welcoming had morphed into dismal and uninviting. The yellow paint had faded over time and had begun to peel in several places and some of the porch railing sagged. And that was just what she could see.

A gust of wind frosted her legs and whipped a loose strand of hair into her eyes. Abby should have waited until May to collect her inheritance, but the letter from the attorney's office hadn't really given her much choice and she wasn't fool enough to walk away from a place she could finally call home. If she found a way to fit into Dynamite Creek.
Alexis: And don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of On Wings of Love.
To learn more about Kim Watters, go to