Posted in Giveaway, Guests, Talking with

Talking with: Heather Thurmeier

Today I’m talking with Heather Thurmeier. Her newest contemporary romance, The Wedding Hoax sounds like a lot of fun. HeatherTWH_500

What types of books do you enjoy reading? What is on your nightstand?

-I have sort of eclectic reading taste. Of course, I love to read romances (paranormal, NA, and contemporary), but I also love dystopian and adventure. Give me a treasure hunt or a horde of zombies and I’m set for the night!

You are amazingly prolific. How do you make time to write?

– I write when the kids are at school. As soon as the bus drives away, my office hours start. I try to get as much done then as I can. Sometimes I will have to work when they’re home, but I try not to. I will bring my work to after school activities is necessary so I can watch dance class and answer interview questions at the same time. (cough) Once in a while I will work at night after bedtime, but usually by then, I’m so darn tired, I can’t think straight! I know that feeling!

What is your favorite part about being an author?

-The freedom! I love the freedom of being able to write on my own schedule. No one tells me when I have to get my work done. I might have a deadline, but I still choose when I sit down and get the work done. It allows me to still be the stay at home mom I want to be, to run to the school on a whim when the kids fall in a mud puddle and need new clothes. (That happens more often than you might expect!)

-The other thing I love about being a writer is getting to live in new worlds all the time. I love getting into a new world of characters and having them in my head while I write their story! It’s so fun to research new places and imagine experiences I’ve never been through in my real life.

If a celebrity did the audio book reading, who would you pick and why?

-Oh, mmmm… I can’t even answer this question without smiling. If you know me in real life, it’s no secret that I have always loved Bruce Willis. It doesn’t matter that there’s a huge age difference. That man is sexy… his lopsided smile, those eyes, and that voice. *happy sigh* He’d definitely be one of my top choices to read The Wedding Hoax. I could totally listen to his voice for hours.

Nice pick. Before we find him and ask if he’ll do the audio, let’s play “Dump the purse” – what’s in yours?

-Oh God. This could be a dangerous game for some people! LOL. But for me, it’s pretty tame. There’s the basics: wallet, sunglasses, tissues, tic tacs, pens and keys. Then there’s the few extras for writing that go everywhere with me: ear buds, business cards, and my idea book. It goes everywhere with me since you never know when inspiration might strike.

Let’s take it to a bar with your hero and heroine, what are they drinking?

– Not surprisingly, they enjoy my favorite drinks. Cole would be drinking a Rye and Coke. For those of you who don’t know, Rye is Canadian whiskey. It would be Crown Royal, to be exact. But in the book, it’s rum because the editor felt that was more commonplace. Daisy would be sipping a strawberry margarita. Delish!

My kids built a time machine out of Legos. When and where are we headed and why?

-We’d be off to the future! We already know what happens in the past, so I see no reason to spend time there. But the future is a mystery and I’d love to know what it was like. But since I don’t have a time machine, I guess I’ll have to become a vampire so I can live forever and see the future in person. And becoming a vampire is probably less painful than a Lego time machine.

Dessert time! Give me your “either—or” answers

  • Chocolate, fruit or other? CHOCOLATE! Is there any other answer?
  • Warm or cold? Cold. It’s easier to warm up than it is to cool off.
  • Buttercream or fondant? Buttercream. Fondant is strange.
  • Cookies or brownies? Brownies. Yum.
  • With nuts or without? Probably without.

Heather, what is The Marriage Hoax about?

A satisfying category romance from Entangled’s Lovestruck imprint…

HeatherTWH_500To save their companies, they’ll plan the fake wedding of the century…

Meet the bride…

Daisy Willows is a wedding dress designer who longs for her own happily-ever-after. In the meantime, she’s struggling to keep her business going even as she covers her mom’s increasing medical expenses. So when a bridal show expo owner offers to help her out, she can hardly say no. And all it takes is Daisy pretending she’s back with her playboy ex. And that they’re engaged…

Meet the groom…

Cole Benton works for his father’s bridal magazine, which is on the verge of downsizing. All he really wants is a crack at an outdoor lifestyle magazine, and if he has to fake-marry Daisy to make it happen, he’s definitely in. Now Daisy and Cole are playing up their fake engagement, shopping for rings, and even kissing upon request. All of which is makes it a whole lot harder to remember that their big white wedding is a big white lie…

Buy Links:





That’s a beautiful bracelet, by the way. Thank you, but it’s not mine. It’s a give away inspired by my heroine Daisy!

Daisy bracelet   Fab! Here’s the Rafflecopter link. The giveaway runs through October 20th.

You can find Heather online at








Posted in Talking with

Talking with: Sarah Ballance

Today I’m talking with Sarah Balance about Forsaken, her latest release from Samhain publishing.

Forsaken72lgSarah, what inspired you to write this book?

If you ask my husband, he’ll say the idea of this book was born solely to aggravate him, LOL. I don’t remember where I got the idea, but this plot is hinged on a rare gun owned by the heroine. Going in, I knew nothing about guns, but my husband knows ALL THE THINGS. I spent a couple of hours trying to find the right weapon for the job (read: asking him question after question), not realizing what I needed wasn’t so much a rare gun, but a rare caliber. ERMAGERD. Once I got past that little detail, the book practically wrote itself. And my husband decided to stay married to me, LOL, so all is well.  Always good.

What types of books do you enjoy reading? What is on your nightstand?

I have always kept piles of Harlequin Intrigues (category romantic suspense) on a shelf by my bed, while my kindle is full of books from Entangled Publishing. (They are, without exception, SO GOOD—so good that I auto-buy pretty much everything they publish.) When I’m not on a tight deadline I’ll read a book a night. I don’t mean to, but if I don’t read between writing and attempting to sleep, my mind just goes crazy with ideas for my work-in-progress. Then I get wrapped up in the story I’m reading and can’t put it down until I turn the last page.

Tell me about your favorite place to write. What makes it special?

My favorite place is inside the cabin of our boat. The marina is SO peaceful, and the creak of the ropes and the slap of water against the hull make for perfect background noise. SO much better than listening with one ear as my kids tear down the house.  (Not really, but sometimes I wonder!)

How do you make time to write?

I usually do so after dinner. We are a homeschooling family so I spend most of the day with my children, which means at the end of the day, taking time for myself is pretty much a guilt-free endeavor. My kids range from ages 4 through 16, so they’re all old enough to understand that I need to be left alone unless there’s a true urgency. If my husband has to work he usually takes kids with him, and if not my older kids help watch the younger ones. It’s getting easier, but a couple of years ago it was tough! You are busy and productive.

 What is your favorite part about being an author?

The flexibility. I’m a full-time author and can literally work anywhere. My husband (who also has some flexibility) and I love road trips and have made it a mission to take our kids to see all 48 contiguous states, and over the course of our travels I’ve worked pretty much everywhere. There’s something incredibly inspiring about the changing view, and the fact that I can share the astounding beauty of this country with the kids and be paid at the same time is a blessing for which I am truly grateful.

Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to know more about your book.

FORSAKEN Forsaken72lg

Her past is back to haunt her—and this time, it’s got a gun.

When Gage Lawton finds his brother shot to death on his back porch, every shred of evidence points to one person: Gage’s ex-lover, Riley Beckett. The only gun in town that fires a bullet of that caliber belongs to her.

Certain the shooting is payback for his part in the loss of her parents, he abandons his promise to stay out of her life and confronts her, his rage backed up with a revolver. Yet when she steps through the door, all thoughts of revenge burn to ashes.

A year after Riley unwillingly walked away from Gage, she enters her home to find him sitting in the dark, gun pointed at her head. One look into those achingly familiar blue eyes reminds her how wrong she was to let him go. But now there’s more standing between them than their heated past.

A twist of fate—and a hail of sniper bullets—puts them in the cross hairs of a killer, leaving Riley with just two slim options: trust her greatest betrayer, or face a murderer alone.

Warning: Prepare to get caught in a crossfire of profanity, danger, and desire. Intense violence may trigger the desire to wear body armor…and take it off. Very, very slowly.

Find ForsakenSamhain Publishing | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes 


Sarah and her husband of what he calls many long, long years live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids). To learn more about her work in contemporary, historical, and supernatural romance and romantic suspense, please stalk accordingly. FIND THE AUTHOR HERE:   @SarahBallance     Facebook      Website     Good Reads     Pinterest

Posted in Talking with

Talking with: Bethany-Kris

Today I’m talking with multi-published author Bethany-Kris about her latest release, Spray Paint Kisses. I love the title, the cover, and the concept, so I had to find out more. I’m now in awe of how she juggles family and her writing life – you will be too!

What inspired you to write this book?

spraypaintkisses2Spray Paint Kisses was inspired by my spouse’s small town and a young man I seen while stopping at a store who had his hoodie on and black spray paint stained to his hands. There had been some serious vandalism going on in the town, and my mind started making up its own story, only the characters were older and past the “bad” stage, so to speak.

What types of books do you enjoy reading? What is on your nightstand?

Oh, I read a wide variety of genres. I just finished an erotic romance and now I’m currently re-reading Stephen King’s Just After Sunset. Nothing like getting the creeps after something gets you hot and bothered, I guess.

Tell me about your favorite place to write. What makes it special?

I don’t have a favorite place because I have two sons (aged 4 and 2) and my third son is due mid-November, so I just write whenever I have the chance to. Usually I prefer the kitchen table, as the house is open concept and I have a clear view of 65 feet all the way to the other end of the downstairs. I need to have that leg up on them. 😉

How do you make time to write?

Time is invaluable when you’re a mother to young children. Things get sacrificed a lot in my house to make time for my writing. I’m don’t cook, and I’m not very adept at cleaning, either. Hubby stands in for those chores and I do the laundry because he’s confused about how to push the “stupid buttons”. Needless to say, my spouse is a big help for time. I also write late into the night when the kiddos are sleeping and I need privacy for the more … interesting scenes.

What is your favorite part about being an author?

Being able to tell a story and having someone read it. I’ll always be able to write, but I might not always want to share, or be able to, for that matter.

Let’s play “Dump the purse” – what’s in yours?

Keys. Wallet. Hair pins. Prenatal vitamins. Paperwork I should have mailed a month ago. Diapers for the youngest—just in case. iPod. Gum and lip chap I just threw out because God knows how old that is. Garbage (I should really clean this out more often). Small notepad and pen because I write lots of dialogue in it and transfer it over later.

If your hero or heroine were babysitting my kids (age 6 & 10) what would the night be like?

They’re pretty young themselves—22 and 21. Chances are, you’d come home to a clean house because Summer would make sure it was good. She’s polite that way. Make sure there isn’t any paints—especially spray paint—because Gage would be teaching the kids his trade as that’s the only way he knows how to connect with kids. My daughter will be sure to find the paints then.

We’re at a bar with your hero and heroine, what are they drinking?

Budweiser beer for Gage. Any kind of wine cooler for Summer, she’s not a picky girl.  spraypaintkisses2


Spray Paint Kisses by Bethany-Kris


He’s left his mark everywhere. She’s still trying to find a place to leave hers. Gage Masselin is a graffiti artist whose life has revolved around his art, and focused entirely on his career. He’s never needed a muse to get his inspiration flowing, so when an unexpected blonde-haired beauty knocks him out of his zone, he knows he’s in trouble. Summer Davey is just a traveling girl with a gypsy’s soul. The one constant she has is her need to keep moving on. She’s never stayed in one place long enough to plant roots, never mind finding a man with spray paint kissing the tips of his fingers to make her heart beat faster. She inspires him. He’s the first thing to ever feel like home. Sometimes the hardest things to find in love and life are the easiest to lose.

Buy Links



Evernight Publishing:



Add Spray Paint Kisses to Goodreads TBR


Author’s Bio

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother of two young sons, two cats, and two dogs. Between barking dogs, snuggling cats, playing children, and a spouse calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

You can find Bethany on line at





Evernight Publishing:



Posted in Talking with, Writing

Talking With: Liv Rancourt

Thanks so much, Lola, for the chance to be a guest on your blog. I had to answer six questions – can’t color in the lines, either – but I’ll try to keep my answers short. 😉Between the Sheets_highres cover

What inspired you to write this book?

Between the Sheets is a story about the shenanigans at a weekend retreat for music teachers. Most of the significant people in my life are musicians, and some of the most influential teachers I know teach music, and the story is my way of saying kudos to them. I did my best to create characters who are real and human and sexy (some of them, at least), who also happen to be music teachers.


What types of books do you enjoy reading? What is on your nightstand?

I’m all about the romance, with some creepy paranormal/horror mixed in. Recent favorites include The Quick by Lauren Owen (shivery fun!), Liberating Lacey by Anne Calhoun (title = goofy/Hunter = HOT), and A Private Gentleman by Heidi Cullinan (fabulous historical m/m action). Last night I started Charlaine Harris’s new one, Midnight Crossroad, which features one of the minor characters from the Harper Connolly series. Only about a third of the way through, but it’s too much fun so far!!


Do you listen to music when you write?  If so, what?

Sometimes, not always. I don’t create an individual soundtrack for each book, but I do usually have Pandora playing, and I’ll often identify a theme song for whatever I’m working on. For Between the Sheets, the theme song is something bluesy and rocking, like Tom Petty’s American Girl or maybe Tumbling Dice by the Rolling Stones.

What is your favorite part about being an author?

Making shit up!!

Excuse my outburst, but I love to let my mind wander and dream up new ways of messing with my characters. The getting it down on paper thing is a bit more challenging, but it feels good when it’s done.


If a celebrity did the audio book reading, who would you pick and why?

In my dreams, Benedict Cumberbatch and Orlando Bloom would wrestle for the right to do the narration, because they have such lovely….voices.


We’re at a bar with your hero and heroine, what are they drinking?

Randy’s got some history with the demon drink, so he’s having Coke. Maggie’s got a beer, because she’s that kind of girl. She also plays first base on her coed softball team, and her favorite band is Albannach (Scottish drums and pipes). Randy thinks bagpipes are hard to take at the volume Maggie likes to play them, but he also thinks she’s the prettiest thing he’s seen in a long time, so he keeps his mouth shut. He does sometimes turn the stereo down when she’s not looking….


Dessert time! Give me your “either—or” answers

  • Chocolate, fruit or other?
    • Duh, chocolate.
  • Warm or cold?
    • Warm, as in on-a-beach warm.
  • Buttercream or fondant?
    • Fondant.
  • Cookies or brownies?
    • Cookies. I have a short attention span, and there are more varieties.
  • With nuts or without?
    • Mostly without, though I do make exceptions.

Thanks again, Lola!

You’re welcome.  I had a chance to read Between the Sheets and loved it.  For readers wanting more, here’s the blurb.

Between the Sheets_highres coverLife for music teacher Maggie Schafer has been full of flat notes lately. Sick of being single and celibate, she vows to get her groove back at the upcoming Western Washington Choral Directors Annual Retreat. 

Too bad the only guy who seems interested is a pompous dork who thinks he’s God’s gift to women—and the music education world. When he gets a little too arrogant and crosses boundaries, gorgeous pianist Randy Devers swoops in to run interference. After sharing a shockingly hot kiss in front of the whole conference, Maggie and Randy come up with a plan to pretend they’re dating.

However, the more time they spend together—and the more physical their “pretend” relationship gets—the more she wonders if there could be anything beyond just smoking chemistry and a friendly agreement between them.

Maggie’s got history, Randy’s got baggage, and they’ve got a weekend to get their rhythms in sync and figure out how to turn their solo lives into a beautiful duet.


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Liv Rancourt writes light, funny, contemporary romance and urban fantasy. Her novel Hell…The Story was a 2014 Amazon Livselfie_4.27.14Breakthrough Novel Award quarterfinal entry. Previous publishing credits include Forever & Ever, Amen, a paranormal romance from Crimson Romance, and A Vampire’s Deadly Delight, an urban fantasy novella from Black Opal Books. She has also contributed several short stories to the Ten Tales series edited by Rayne Hall and she is represented by Margaret Bail from Inklings Literary Agency.

Liv’s day job is as a neonatal nurse practitioner, and she’s taken care of small and sick infants for almost thirty years. Before she got serious about writing, she spent her free time fronting a rock band and hanging out in the church choir. Currently, she lives in Seattle with her husband, her two kids, and a slightly addled menagerie.

She can be found on-line at her website & blog (, on Facebook (, or on Twitter (



Posted in Books, Decadent, Talking with

Talking with Sara Daniel

I’m delighted to have fellow Decadent Publishing author Sara Daniel visiting today.  Like my last guest, Tara Quan, Sara penned a modern fairy tale. Read on to learn more about Sara and Once upon a Marriage and be sure to scroll all the way down or a link to a giveaway.

OnceUponaMarriage_200x300What inspired you to write Once upon a Marriage?

My favorite school assignment ever was modernizing and retelling a fairy tale (sophomore English – Aced it AND got extra credit – Thanks Ms. Seckler!), so when Decadent Publishing put out the call for a retelling of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale, my hand immediately shot in the air.

Tell me about your favorite place to write. What makes it special?

I have a giant comfy chair in my living room with a view out my front window where I do most of my writing, although in perfect weather I’ve been known to take my computer outside. An outside view is a must for me, and did I mention how comfy my chair is?? I often feel stiff after sitting at a desk or table for a couple hours, but I could sit and write in my chair all day (and often do).

That sounds like a nice place. Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what?

I write in silence, and if the house isn’t quiet enough, I keep a pair of noise-silencing headphones (from a NASCAR race!) nearby. I’m happiest and most productive when I’m alone with my thoughts.

When you’re not at the races, how do you make time to write?

I write when my kids are in school. Everyone leaves the house, and I make the long commute (LOL!) to my favorite chair. Now that it’s summer, I try to keep the same routine, but I also accept that I need to be flexible for my family and to recharge my muse. My summer productivity is always lower than in the school year.

Mine too! What is your favorite part about being an author?

I get to live out my dream of writing stories all day while having the flexibility of being there for my family whenever they need me.

I love that too. Dessert time! Give me your “either—or” answers

  • Chocolate, fruit or other? Chocolate
  • Warm or cold? Warm!
  • Buttercream or fondant? No frosting, please!
  • Cookies or brownies? Tough choice, but I’m going with cookies.
  • With nuts or without? Usually without, but sometimes nutty is better.


Once Upon a Marriage

Time is running out for Armina Keer to have the baby she’s always wanted. Before she can move on with her life, she needs her estranged husband to sign their divorce papers. When she can’t get him to respond, her meddling uncles arrange for a trip to his inn. Despite vowing to guard her broken heart, she has to settle the past before she can have a future.


Ian Keer might not deserve a second chance with his wife, but he’s not going to give up one either, not with the immediate flaming attraction still between them. While her uncles’ antics wreak havoc on life at The Inn, he offers her the ultimate gamble: Spend the night with him, and afterwards he’ll sign the papers if she still wants to leave.


With everything riding on one night together, Ian must convince her that their love is strong enough the second time around, and Armina must decide if love is worth sacrificing her dreams.

Buy links:

Amazon   Barnes & Noble   All Romance ebooks   Decadent Publishing


Sara Daniel writes what she loves—irresistible romance, from sweet to erotic and everything in between. She lives her own happily-ever-after romance with her hero husband. Connect with her online at: SaraDanielheadshot

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Sara is offering a rafflecopter giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card.
Posted in Blog Hop, Books, Decadent, Talking with

Talking with Tara Quan

Hi Lola! Thank you so much for interviewing me today. I’m really excited to show off the cover for my upcoming Beyond Fairytales release, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

OperationOwl_300x450On that note, let’s get started. What inspired you to write this book?

Lots of different things. First off, this book was written in answer to Decadent Publishing’s submissions call for fairy tale adaptations, and I was assigned The Owl by Brother’s Grimm. At around the same time, I was feeling a bit glum about having to leave D.C., so I decided to channel my energy into writing a romance set in the capital area. Dulcis in fundo (Last but not least), my Italian class did a field trip to the National Gallery, which turned out to be the perfect place to set the opening scene of my story.

What is your favorite part about being an author?

Well, I love writing, so there’s the perk of actually liking one’s job. On top of that, it’s the most mobile career imaginable. My husband’s employer requires us move to a new country every now and then (as I type this interview, the movers are packing us up for the 4th time in 5 years). I’ve been very lucky at finding work in both the UAE and Pakistan, but job-hunting every time he gets new orders isn’t a viable long-term solution. Being an author means making a lot less money, but it’s a steady career as opposed to an unending chain of short-term positions. I can certainly relate – although my husband’s job keeps us domestic.

If your hero were babysitting my kids (age 6 & 10) what would the night be like?

Hmm… Zack is a bit of a geek, so they’d likely be playing video games into the wee hours of the night. Since your kids are on the younger side, he probably won’t go for a first-person shooter, but there are always party games like Rock Band, Guitar Hero, or something on the Kinect/Wii.

We’re at a bar with your hero and heroine, what are they drinking?

Zack is a beer guy. Having gone to MIT for college, he’s developed a taste for the various permutations of Samuel Adams, the seasonal ones in particular. Maya Jain, the heroine, was inspired by an Indian friend of mine. She prefers wine with food, but at a bar she’d go for a Belgian Ale such as Stella Artois.

Last but not least, it’s dessert time! Give me your “either—or” answers

Chocolate, fruit or other? – This is a tough one. The part of me trying to be healthy will have to answer: fruit (persimmons and mangoes, if at all possible).

Warm or cold? – I get cranky when the temperature deviates from a comfortable, non-humid, 68-75F. But if I had to pick between the two evils, I’d go with warm (I tend to hibernate in winter).

Buttercream or fondant? – Buttercream for sure!

Cookies or brownies? – Cookies (Oatmeal Raisin, please).

With nuts or without? – Depends on the nut, but without is always the safer choice.

Great picks. Thinking of which, Operation Owl looks like a great read. Where OperationOwl_300x450can readers get it?

Operation Owl

Five years ago, Maya Jain kissed her best friend only to have him run out of her dorm room and leave the state. When he shows up in Washington, D.C., a wanted fugitive sought after by every branch of the US government, she can’t bring herself to ignore his plight. As their physical relationship picks up where it left off, she decides it’s time to make him see her as more than the bespectacled, bookish girl he once called “Owl.”

After being accused of espionage and treason, Zack Strong needs a forensic accountant to help clear his name. Not knowing who he can trust, this white-hat hacker has no choice but to ask his former best friend and math tutor for help. Together they unravel a cyber conspiracy at the Barn, an NSA facility tasked to intercept electronic communications. But as they traverse the nation’s capital to avoid capture, Maya insists on letting their simmering sexual tension take its natural course. Even though he’s never been able to shake the memory of their one kiss, he refuses to let her give up her life for a man with no future.

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy, Multicultural

 Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | AllRomance | Decadent | GoodReads

About Tara Quan   TaraQuan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, Tara enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Armed with magical powers or conventional weapons, her characters are guaranteed a suspenseful and sensual ride, as well as their own happily ever after. Learn more at

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon

You can join Tara as she tours the internet and maybe win a gift card.

Click the picture to go to the Rafflecopter Giveaway – $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash




Posted in Books, Talking with

Talking with Tara Mills

Today I have the lovely Tara Mills here to answer the tough questions and tell me more about her latest release, Sexual Politics, now available from Beachwalk SexualPolitics_MediumPress.

What inspired you to write Sexual Politics? I heard an interesting Behind the Music story on CBC Radio 2 one day. The wife of Former Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, caused a scandal when she disappeared for seven days and seven nights without word to hang out with the Rolling Stones in New York City. When Margaret was eventually located, at their hotel with them, eyebrows shot even higher. Under pressure to return to her waiting husband, she promptly flew home and announced she wanted to get her own apartment in NYC and commute back and forth to Ottawa.

This story made my mind race. It wasn’t exactly your typical political scandal where the husband cheats and the stoic wife stands at his side, a rock, even if a bitter one. I started to think about how I could play with the traditional script. Whether Margaret was innocent or not, the speculation remains. It inspired me to create Justine and the chaos that results when you flip the norm on its edge.

 I remember hearing that story and the interesting gender flip. What types of books do you enjoy reading? What is on your nightstand? I read everything, fiction and nonfiction alike. At the moment, I’m finishing The Cuckoo’s Calling, the detective novel penned by JK Rowling’s alter-ego, Robert Galbraith.

Tell me about your favorite place to write. What makes it special? My office is in the large dormer off our bedroom. The room opens to my left. There’s a large double window to my right looking down out driveway and into the woods, and behind me are two large, full bookshelves. It’s a very pleasant and bright place to work.

Sounds beautiful. Since a musician helped inspire this story, do you listen to music when you write? If so, what? No. I want absolute quiet while I write. I need to be in my zone. No distractions. I do like to find songs that seem to capture my stories though. I’ve usually got one or two picked out for them and I will listen to them when I want to get into the proper mood.

Let’s play “Dump the purse” – what’s in yours? Believe it or not, I only carry a little coin purse with a little cash and my ID most of the time. That’s it.

I’m impressed! If your hero or heroine were babysitting my kids (age 6 & 10) what would the night be like? I think you’d come home to find Sean and Justine have taken a lot of wonderful pictures for you. They’d get the kids to dress up and pretend. Most beautiful of all though, would be the portraits he took that capture their true personalities. Sean’s hired!

We’re at a bar with your hero and heroine, what are they drinking? Champagne or wine. Nice

Dessert time! Give me your “either—or” answers

  • Chocolate, fruit or other? Chocolate
  • Warm or cold? Cold
  • Buttercream or fondant? Buttercream
  • Cookies or brownies?   Brownies
  • With nuts or without?  No nuts.

Perfect! Let’s run off  and get dessert before my kids stuff a chair into that tiny coin purse, but first, please share more about Sexual Politics and let my readers know where to find you.


Is the scandal worth it? Only she can answer that. For two years Justine Hubbard has played the supportive wife role for her husband in public…and nowhere else. Senator Gary Hubbard’s philandering ended her love for him. But sometimes there are reasons people decide to maintain the illusion of a happy marriage when the relationship is over. Living a lie until after the election wasn’t an issue—until she met Sean O’Donnell. She can’t fool the perceptive photographer. He understands her. He wants her. After feeling invisible to her husband, that’s an intoxicating discovery. But having condemned her husband for his hushed affairs, it would be hypocritical to give in to her desire for Sean. All it would take is a whisper of scandal for her husband’s political enemies to bring him down. She wouldn’t dream of sacrificing Gary’s career, their causes, and her own good name. But how can she stay away from Sean now that she’s fallen for him?

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The senator put his arm around his wife while she stood, frozen, her smile brittle on the edges. “Justine is a big patron of the arts. I’m glad she found someone interesting to talk to tonight. She hates these functions.”

Sean smiled tightly, noting her discomfort. “She’s not the only one.”

“Yes, well…” The senator rubbed his hands together. “The sooner I get out of here, the sooner I can get home.”

Sean felt the next perfunctory kiss was for his benefit. His heart went out to her.

“Don’t wait up,” the senator said to his wife.

One more insincere handshake with Sean and the man was gone.

She seemed to shrink, as if letting go of the tension took an inch off her height. “I think he forgot to call for my car.”

“I’m just about to leave. Would you like to share a cab?”

The corner of her mouth twitched and she nodded, her lovely hazel eyes shining, though not a tear fell.

They ditched their glasses and headed to the atrium. Twice his hand strayed automatically toward the small of her back as they walked. He had to remind himself not to touch her.

Collecting their coats, he helped her into hers then slipped on his own, winding his slate gray scarf around his neck.

He didn’t hesitate to offer his arm on the way out. Her high heels demanded it. Even though the sidewalk had clearly been shoveled once already, snow continued to fall, the scattered salt leaving circular patterns of melt amidst the slick. The doorman waved a cab forward and opened the door for them. Sean helped her into the back then slid in after her.

The doorman shut them in as Sean adjusted his long coat on the seat around him. “Let’s drop you off first.”

“All right.” She leaned forward and gave the cabbie her address.

* * * *

Justine was hyper aware of O’Donnell’s hand resting on the seat not eight inches from hers as they rode across the city. If they both stretched out a pinky, they might even touch. Beyond handshakes, she hadn’t touched a man in so long. Gary no longer counted. He only touched her in public. After his second brief affair, she’d insisted.

Her life, her marriage, her husband—all of it was a sham.

Glancing surreptitiously at Sean O’Donnell as he watched the scenery pass, she was struck by how handsome he was, in a completely natural way. There was no hint of product in his hair to tame and control the wayward curls flaring out behind his ears. If anyone gave Gary’s hair a little pat it would shift on his head like one solid, perfect helmet.

Even though it was faint, she could smell Old Spice coming off her quiet seatmate. It made her smile. Ah, memories. Back in the day, she used to love that aftershave. Gary only wore expensive cologne.

Sean cleaned up nicely, but she could tell he was as uncomfortable with the public side of his life as she was with hers. There was something genuine about him. After living with a facsimile of a human being for seven years, that was an attractive quality to have.

The cab turned onto her street and she began to worry the purse in her lap. Their ride had taken no time at all. They pulled to the curb in front of her townhouse and she started to open the clasp on her purse for her share of the fare. That’s when Sean O’Donnell finally touched her bare hand, stopping her.

“It was on the way,” he said.

“Thank you.”

He exited the car then held the door, assisting her out. “I’ll walk you up.”

Afraid it would feel too much like the end of an awkward date, she declined his offer, though she appreciated his consideration. “That isn’t necessary.”

“Don’t forget, the Russell Gallery. I hope to see you there, Mrs. Hubbard.”

Flattered, she laughed softly. “I’ll be there. But please, call me Justine.”

She liked how his eyes crinkled at the corners when he smiled. “Sean.”

“Thank you for the ride.”

“My pleasure. Goodnight, Justine.” He stood there, silent and seemingly unaffected by the large, fluffy snowflakes settling on his hair and shoulders.

“Goodnight, Sean.” Feeling a blush coming on, she hurried up her front steps and slipped her key in the lock. He was still watching over her from the open car door when she turned on the light and stepped into the foyer. Lifting her hand, she gave him a final parting wave.

Nodding once in return, he dipped his head and got back into the taxi.

As the car pulled away, she fell against the door and turned the deadbolt, her heart racing in a thrilling and inappropriate way.


About the Author, Tara Mills

I’m a pampered wife, adoring mom, incurable romantic, and a contemporary romance novelist. I’m also a lousy driver and have OCD tendencies. I’ve been called perky and cute most of my life. Can’t help that. I’m a morning person. Yep, that’s proven incurable too. If you enjoy stories with heart, heat, a bit of suspense, and plenty of humor, I’ve got a story for you.

Please visit my website Tara Mills Romance for some awesome reads and my quirky blog. You can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, or follow me on Twitter.

Posted in Books, Talking with

Talking with Tessa Berkley

Today I’m welcoming author and friend Tessa Berkley to the blog to learn more LordHeartless200 (2)about her newest release, from Decadent Publishing, Lord Heartless.

Lord Heartless is a bit of a departure for you. What inspired you to write it?

I’ve always been a fan of history. I grew up watching the historical drama’s on Masterpiece Theater. In the past few years, I’ve become addicted to Downtown Abbey. So when I decided to write a historical other than a western, it seemed quite natural to pick the Victorian age.

Now that I know your viewing habits, what types of books do you enjoy reading? What is on your nightstand?

I enjoy contemporaries, western and ranch themed books, as well as historical novels. I have read a few paranormals, but I’m not really into shape shifters. Currently on my night stand are three books, Marin Thomas’ The Cowboy’s Destiny, Kristin Higgins Waiting on You, and Hope Ramsey’s Inn at Last Chance. The one real rule I have, is that if I am writing in a certain genre, I won’t read that genre until I’m finished. So looking at what is on my night stand, you can tell I’m working on a historical. :o)

Unless you’re shifting into paranormal. (Yup, that’s giggling you hear). Tell me about your favorite place to write. What makes it special?

My favorite place to write is sitting in my huge comfy chair by the windows, away from the television. I can so easily be distracted. So when its writing time, I’m away from the stimulation and can concentrate on what my characters are saying. I will admit, the best place for me to plot is in the tub. It’s one of the few places I can go and be alone. The down side of this, is by the time I’m finished bathing, the ideas may have scattered.

When will someone invent a completely waterproof notebook? They have water proof speakers. Thinking of which, do you listen to music when you write?

I love Broadway musicals. Lord Heartless was written listening to Richard Burton and Julie Andrew’s version of Camelot. Other songs on my playlist are: The Band Perry, Luke Bryant, Justin Lynch, Brooks and Dunn, and Zac Brown Band. I just loaded Tim McGraw’s latest the other day. It’s giving me loads of ideas to work with.

Ideas are good, so how do you make time to write?

Making time to write is very important. It’s one of the best things a writer can do for themselves. Try to make it happen the same time every day. Just like your job, you have to sign in to work. Many of us are not able to spend 6 to 10 hours a day writing. The everyday mountain of bills sitting on my desk attests to this. I will write early in the morning. Rising, getting that cup of tea and sitting down with my notebook to put down ideas I need or want to cover. Then when I get off work and after the dishes are done, I don my writer’s hat and hit the chair. It’s not always easy but I do my best to spend a few hours working each day on MY job. We all know that no book can be written if we don’t sit down and write.

Amen. I hope  you find more time to work in the coming months. In the meantime, where can readers find you?

Tessa Berkley Bio

Tessa Berkley lives on a small five acre farm in Tidewater, Virginia. A graduate of Old Dominion University, she spends her time herding her grandchildren and spoiling her pets. She loves to hear from readers.





LordHeartless200 (2)Lord Heartless

An arranged marriage may be the death of Lord Landon Montague, who has earned his rude moniker, Lord Heartless, through the distaste of the Ton. When he makes plans to collect on a debt from Lord Charles Gilbert by foreclosing on Holly Grove, Gilbert commits suicide. Only then does Lord Montague learn that Lord Gilbert has left a nineteen-year-old daughter, Juliet, at his mercy.

Lady Juliet Gilbert has suffered the stigma of suicide as best she could. But losing her home and the servants who have raised her and stood by through her father’s drinking would be the last straw. Unable to secure a position, Lord Montague’s offer of marriage gives her hope. All she must do is produce an heir. But arriving at Broadmoor proves more taxing than she anticipated for her dark Lord already holds an heir conceived out of wedlock.

Will this doom any hope of finding happiness and label him forever Lord Heartless, or will London’s society have its last laugh on Shakespeare when Montague wins his fair Juliet?

To purchase your copy of Lord Heartless please use the links below.


Posted in Books, Talking with

Talking With Becky Lower

Today I’m delighted to have Becky Lower here to talk about her contemporary romance Voice of an AngelVoice of an Angel

So Becky, what inspired you to write this book? Voice Of An Angel was inspired by two things. First was the movie, Eddie & The Cruisers, one of my all-time favorites. The lead singer of a rock band fakes his own death to get out of a bad contract. Great sound track. Second was the very real life of a folk singer in the DC area who died way before she should have, and whose music is still being sold and heard today. I kind of mashed those two story lines together to come up with Evelyn Hammer’s own unique tale.

As a fan of some singers who died way too soon, I’m intrigued. How do you make time to write? I like to write in the morning, which has never been a problem since I began to take writing seriously. My little dog usually joins me in the study and finds the spot where the sun is, or curls up on her rug behind the desk. But my sister has just moved in with me. She has her own space in the house, and I’ve warned her not to talk to me in the mornings when I’m working, but she has lapsed a few times. I raise my hand, don’t lift my eyes from my computer, and she backs out of the room with an apology. I’ve been able to cut down on my part-time job since she moved in, so it’s been a blessing to have her here. And, I do take time in the afternoons to go to the movies or just sit and read with her.

Sisters. Mine is an aspiring fiction author. What is your favorite part about being an author? I love the process of writing. Especially when I can get into the zone and just lose myself in the story. And I love it when some new-to-me reader loses herself in my stories. Makes it all worthwhile.

I have lost myself a few times in your wonderful Cotillion Ball historical series. Thinking of lost, let’s play “Dump the purse” – what’s in yours?  A cell phone with no minutes left, a change purse that’s about thirty years old and showing it, used tissues, my name badge from my part-time job, and a notepad and pen, in case I overhear a bit of conversation or talk to someone about something interesting. Never any money.

 I’m always hopeful I’ll find some, but I know where the money really goes. My kids built a time machine out of Legos.  When and where are we headed and why? Since I write historic romances as well as contemporary ones, I’d set the time machine for 1830 in the American west. Maybe we’ll run into Jedediah Smith.

Adventuring with Jedediah Smith would be fun, but then I’d miss out on dessert time!  Give me your “either—or” answers

  • •          Chocolate, fruit or other? Cake. I like cake.
  • •          Warm or cold? Warm, about ten minutes out of the oven.
  • •          Buttercream or fondant? Buttercream. On cake.
  • •          Cookies or brownies? Brownies, if cake isn’t available.
  • •          With nuts or without? Nuts, of course. And sprinkles.

Yum! Before we rush out for dessert, would you share more about Voice of an Angel and how my readers can get in touch with you?

Voice of an Angel

Voice of an AngelMax Bainbridge is an ace newspaper reporter who gets all the biggest assignments, most recently covering the fighting in Afghanistan. When he is shot on the battlefields, he is operated on and then flown home. The nurse responsible for his subsequent care is Evelyn Hammer, a 35-year-old woman who ran for her life, and from the musical spotlight, when she was 17 and on the cusp of fame. Her new identity has been in place, and impenetrable, ever since. Over the years, she’s found singing is a more soothing way to wake people from surgery, and they are usually so foggy they don’t realize she’s been singing to them. Until Max, that is.

Evelyn knows she’s breaking one of the cardinal rules of nursing by dating a patient, but she can’t resist Max. What begins as an innocent affair with a definite expiration date when Max leaves for his next assignment becomes a real threat to unmasking Evelyn’s hidden identity. Max can’t control his journalism instincts as one clue after another emerges and he realizes he doesn’t know the person he’s fallen in love with.

Only by uncovering Evelyn’s secret past can they move forward with their future. But her past is still there, and threatening. Some secrets are better left alone.

Buy Link:

More about Becky Lower

Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it present day middle America or on a covered wagon headed west in the 1850s. Contemporary and historical romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and is an active member of the Northeast Ohio RWA. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. She loves to hear from her readers at Visit her website at