Category Archives: romantic comedy

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Nikki Ashton

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Recently, I asked both authors and romance readers to come to me with their responses to this big question: “What Does Romance Mean to Me?” I was genuinely interested in what made us all tick, what continued to draw us to the genre. Why do we love “love” so much? I wanted to dig deep into the heart of each person. And I’ve gotten some incredible feedback. Today is the next post in this series.

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Nikki Ashton, who has a few things to say about the question at hand.

I’ve seen many articles and musings from scholars and writers that say romance novels can’t possibly qualify as books and that if you read such ‘escapist trash’, it’s pretty sad. Well, that is their opinion and they are entitled to give it; after all, we live in a free world. I, for one, disagree, mainly because I’m a romantic and a writer of romance, but also because I believe it’s a matter of taste. For example, I don’t like Jazz music. I simply don’t enjoy it or feel any sort of emotion from listening to it – I just don’t ‘get it’. However, I would never suggest those that do listen to it are sad; we simply have different tastes and they have poor hearing (sorry…poor excuse for a joke).

Created by Freepik

Romance, however, does evoke lots of emotion in me. Romance actually makes me a little giddy, to be honest, and because I believe in fairy tales and happy ever afters, there really wasn’t anything else I could end up doing but becoming a writer of that genre. Even as a child, I had a crush on Prince Charming and desperately wanted Troy Tempest and Marina from Stingray to get married and have lots of babies (anyone younger than 45 probably won’t get that). I even believe that the celebrity ‘love affairs’ that are publicized in magazines are going to last forever. Yes, I am a true romantic, because for me romance and love means a happy ending.

I have often wondered why I’m a romantic and did consider it was because of my parent’s broken marriage. Instead of their divorce making me distrust love, I desperately wanted the two most important people in my life, at that time, to regain those feelings for each other. When they didn’t, I craved it for everyone else instead, if only to prove that true love really does exist. Alternatively, I might be a romantic because I’m a Pisces. Who knows? What I do know is that life should have a happy ending and if the best way to do that is to create it myself, then I’m all in.

Created by Freepik

It’s true to say that due to my idealistic disposition, my characters are people that I wouldn’t mind spending time with or, in an ideal world, I would love to be like. Yes, they veer towards the more romantic version of a human being. The women tend to be pretty and feisty with killer bodies and beautiful hair, while the men…well the men just tend to be hot and sometimes a little domineering, in the best possible way.

Created by Pressfoto – Freepik.com

Some may say that is a failing in my writing. After all, life isn’t like that – not everyone has the perfect body or a beautiful face and I know that, believe me I do. But I write romance and if you look up a synonym for romance, you would possibly find the following:

Invention, concoction, trumped up story or fantasy

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m proud to be a romance writer and proud of the characters and stories that I create. My books will never send you a life-changing message, or be thought-provoking, or even win a literary prize, but they might just make you smile and put a little flutter in your heart. So, if you too are a romantic, or even if you’re not, why not give them a go? You might just like them.

So, what does romance mean to me – well, it’s everything good and happy and props to it, I say.

 

Nice! I couldn’t have said it better myself… 😉
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Nikki! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio

Nikki lives in Cheshire with her husband, two dogs and lovely mother-in-law who supplies her with endless cups of tea. She writes romance with a touch of humor and lots of love, and hopes that she puts a smile on her reader’s faces.
Her ambitions of becoming a writer started at the age of 10 when she started writing poetry at school, and was given the honor of reading one of her poems to the rest of her year group (a truly embarrassing experience that she will never forget).
Nikki is grateful for the wide variety of strange and wonderful people in her life, otherwise she’d never know what to write about! She is currently talking to family and friends, finding out their innermost secrets in readiness for her next book.
Although all Nikki’s books are stand alone stories characters do make ‘guest appearances’. So, the best order to read them is:

Guess Who I Pulled Last Night
No Bra Required
Get Your Kit Off
Rock Stars Don’t Like Big Knickers
Rock Stars Don’t Like Ugly Bras
Rock Stars Do Like Christmas
Cheese Tarts & Fluffy Socks

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

So, I put the question to you as a reader today as well. What does the word ‘romance’ really mean for you? Is ‘romance’ a driving force in your life? How have your beliefs about romantic relationships informed your own relationships? Perhaps seeing other couples (parents or friends) were some kind of influence. By reading romance novels, does that help to reaffirm things for you?

If you’d like to participate in this special feature, please contact me at marieannlavender@gmail.com and I’ll schedule a spot for you. As you can tell from the schedule on the right hand side of the page, we’re getting booked fast, but don’t hesitate to join in! You do not need to be a writer or author. We want to hear from anyone. We’d love to get your take on how you feel about romance, and why you keep reading our books! ♥♥♥ 

Thanks again, Nikki, for giving us your take on what romance has come to mean to you. Lovely! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when the company Dating Connections visits us on June 1st! Yay! 🙂

We may have other posts before then, though.

Have a great week, everyone!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic comedy, Writers, Writing

Teaser from CHASING GINGER, a work in progress…

Recently, I’ve been working on something that is a little different from what I usually write. Chasing Ginger is a BBW romantic comedy, as well as book one of The Misfits Series. I am eager to share this snippet with you. In the post, I’ve included some character pictures (Colin Egglesfield is the closest celebrity image I can compare Lance to, so just deal with his hotness…LOL).

Anyway, let’s bring on the romance, right? 😉

Here is the teaser:

A scream tore out of her as someone snagged at her hair, and she yanked away. The pull on her scalp was nothing compared to the panic she felt now. She doubled her efforts as she raced down the sidewalk, her feet pounding in her matching green heels.

Please, please, God. I’ll never use a dating site again if you just get me out of this right now.

A hand shot out, grabbing her arm, and she screamed again.

“Sweetheart, come on,” a male voice coaxed. “There’s no time.”

The voice was soothing. Ginger instantly calmed and found she was led up a set of brief stairs into a large building. Inside, she backed away from the glass a little, breathing a sigh of relief as she saw the group of men pass by.

By now, she could barely breathe and her forehead, upper chest and lower back were sweaty. Her feet and legs ached. She felt like she did at the gym, exhausted, practically passed out, draped over the handlebars of the treadmill. Her breaths hitched in her chest. And she really wasn’t kidding about the boob pain. She winced, passed a hand over her face, and then turned to confront the new threat.

He was a looker, for sure, with dark, spiky hair and really nice blue eyes. He had handsome features and somewhat full lips that were made to be kissed. Get ahold of yourself, Ginger. The man wore a gray business suit. He’d obviously just come from work. And Jesus, he was tall and muscled.

His eyes widened as he took in her appearance.

“Not you too,” she moaned. But hell, for all she knew, maybe he’d never seen a perspiring green marshmallow before.

“Are you all right? Why were those men chasing you?”

She nodded and managed, “I don’t know.”

Because she didn’t. They hadn’t warned that InstaSin would be like this. And it was only day one. Extreme sexiness? Check, if the response she’d received was any indication. Grounds for a restraining order? Nope. They certainly hadn’t covered that in the description of the drug.

“Well, you’re safe now. I think they’re gone.”

His eyes were kind, she decided. And he didn’t look like he was sizing her up for a kink room or a coffin at all. Maybe InstaSin wasn’t supposed to work on every male. Duh, Ginger. If that was the case, there would really be a problem. Thank God. She could breathe a little better now.

“Thank you for the rescue,” she offered.

He smiled. “Anytime. Are you sure you’re okay?”

She nodded. “I think so. I…I mean, yeah. I’m good.”

“Honey, I’d be surprised if you were okay after that.”

“A little shaken at first.”

“Understandable.”

She detected a slight twang in his speech, and realized he was the consummate Southern gentleman. As the image of her as a Southern belle, trussed up in one of those huge, ruffled gowns, came to mind, she burst out laughing. Then she sobered as she caught his frown. “Ah…uh, sorry. Private joke.”

“I wish I knew the punchline.”

She couldn’t contain a smile, and knew she was blushing. The redhead’s curse. God, he was just too damned cute. Like one of those hot movie stars she couldn’t help fanning herself over. Maybe Henry Cavill? There was one fine man. And Chris Pratt wasn’t too bad either, at least in a rugged space cowboy kind of way. She cleared her throat.

“Right. I should let you get on with the rest of your evening.”

Yeah. First stop? Visiting her doctor friend, Laura Preston, whom she knew would still be at work this late. She wanted her take on that red pill. “I really appreciate your help. And you’re right. I should go.” She began to push open the swinging door.

“Wait.”

She tensed, then slowly turned back, measuring his steady gaze. He certainly didn’t look crazed, like those other men had been. “Yes?”

“Will you let me drive you home?”

 

“Oh. I…I’m not going home.”

“Then to the destination where you’re heading. Look, after what happened, I’m really worried about you. It’s not safe to be alone. And even if you insist, I’d rather make sure you got there in one piece.”

“Well, I suppose that would be all right.”

He nodded. “We can go out the back exit.” He reached in his suit pocket and used his cell phone. “Yeah, Frank? Pull the car in the parking garage, will you? We have a guest.” He nodded. “Thank you. See you in a few.” Then he pressed a button and shoved the phone back in his pocket.

Her eyebrows rose. Car? Guest? The man was speaking a different language. Maybe he’d just been talking to security or his valet, for all she knew.

“Come.” He offered his hand once more, this time waiting on her.

She glanced at it, considering. Geez, she was about to accept an offer from a complete stranger. This was what people warned you against. What if he was secretly a serial killer, or was a closet Dom or something? She shuddered. No way would she ever let someone Fifty Shades her to death.

“You can call me Lance. I promise you can trust me…ah, I don’t know your name, Miss.”

She nodded. “Maybe it’s better that way.”

A look of disappointment crossed his face. At least, that’s what she thought it was. “Very well. I respect your wishes. I’d still like to see you safely to your destination.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

“Of course.”

She took his hand then, knowing full well she was putting her life in his hands. But, there was something about him that made her trust him completely. It was his eyes, she thought. Everything in that gaze was genuine, full of concern for her circumstances. His grasp was firm, yet not harmful as he tugged her down the corridor to an elevator, pressing the button.

She glanced at him warily and he offered a reassuring smile.

“It’s all right. We’re just going down to the garage, where my driver is.”

“Oh.” She glanced at the elevator. It was a shiny gold, maybe made of brass or gold-plated. It couldn’t be real gold, right? But, it was still fancy. And he had a driver. How odd. Maybe he was an important man? She glanced down at his reddish brown dress shoes. Damn, were they Italian leather? More to cover the silence than anything, she ventured, “A driver, hmm? You must be special.” When the elevator dinged, they climbed in separately and she waited while he pressed ‘B’. The doors closed and the car shifted.

The man named Lance shook his head. “No, not really. I have my own company, nothing more.”

“So humble,” she murmured. “You realize that’s no small thing.”

“Perhaps. I try not to flaunt it as some people do.”

“That’s admirable really. I work for the owner of a company.” When she realized how stupid that sounded, she laughed and found herself blushing once more. “So foolish. I meant that I’m his assistant.” Little more than a secretary really, she didn’t add.

“Oh, well, that is important. A CEO is nothing without his assistant.”

She glanced away, nodding.

“That’s not what you want to do, though, is it?”

Ginger looked back at him. “I’m not sure what you mean.”

“I can see it in your eyes. You respect your boss, but he probably doesn’t treat you well or you’d be more content.”

She frowned.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to press.”

“No, he’s, ah…a good man.”

“But, you want more than that position?”

She shrugged. “I always wanted to sing.”

“On stage?”

Ginger didn’t answer.

“Why didn’t you?”

She shook her head. It wasn’t like she was going to tell him her dark truths, even though her shortcomings were obvious.

“Well, maybe it’s possible now,” he commented as if she hadn’t ignored his question.

“I wish that it was more than anything,” she murmured.

“Do you really?”

She avoided his gaze, pinning her eyes to the floor. It was marked in a black and white Harlequin pattern. God, she thought. It was pure marble. This really was a ritzy building. She hadn’t even paid much attention to where she’d ended up. He really was lowering himself to help her out.

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Filed under Authors, BBW or Curvy, Contemporary, Fiction, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic comedy, Writing

New Release Feature: Excess Baggage by Laura Barnard

cesI am pleased to announce a great book release by Laura Barnard, an author I met during my journey! Her romantic comedy, Excess Baggage, officially released today!

Yay! That’s awesome! :) Congrats on your new release! 😉

When a new book comes out, it’s always an exciting time for an author!

Laura is giving us a look at her modern romantic comedy, Excess Baggage, today.

Such a great cover!

This is the blurb for Excess Baggage:

Stuck in a dead-end relationship, Erica Bennett finds herself daydreaming of her first holiday romance. She was fifteen, it was exciting, new and full of possibilities…and Jack Lawson was hot as hell. That kind of thing leaves a mark.

So when her friends suggest a girls holiday to Luna Island, it’s exactly what she needs to take her mind off things. What she doesn’t expect is to spot Jack – a much older, hotter version of him – across the hotel lobby.

Their attraction is still there and it isn’t long before sparks fly, but fifteen years is a long time. They aren’t the same people they were back then and besides, it’s only a week, right?

Is it a second chance at something real or will their excess baggage ruin their shot at love after they leave Luna Island?

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

What people are saying about this book:

“An absolute must read this summer!” – Lady Living in Bookland

“Quintessential British humor; I felt like I was on a girls holiday with my own chicks.” – Perusing Princesses Book Blog

“Almost made me pee myself, I laughed so hard!” – Shelly’s Book Corner

Goodreads Reviews

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  myBook.to/ExcessBaggageLB

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/excess-baggage-laura-barnard/1126290214

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Excess-Baggage/Laura-Barnard/9780995655423

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/excess-baggage-10

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/excess-baggage/id1231279481?mt=11

Wow! Love the hotness here. ♥♥♥

 

Thank you for telling us about your book, Laura! I know I can’t wait to read this romance! 🙂

Win a SIGNED PAPERBACK and Amazon voucher (details below)…

♥♥♥ EXCESS BAGGAGE RELEASE DAY GIVEAWAY! ♥♥♥

Head on over to Laura’s Facebook page to enter her release day giveaway, and have a chance of winning a signed paperback of EXCESS BAGGAGE and a $5/£5 Amazon gift card!

Woo hoo! Sounds great! 😀

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book!

Author Bio

Laura Barnard lives in Hertfordshire, UK and writes romantic comedy or ‘chick lit’ as it’s so often described. In her spare time she enjoys drinking her body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of her face and drooling over hunks like Jamie Dornan, Ryan Gosling and Leo Dicaprio.

​She enjoys wearing yoga pants and reading fitness magazines while sitting on the sofa eating chocolate. She’s a real fan of the power nap, loves setting her friends up together and, of course, READING!

​She writes not to get rich or famous, but because she LOVES writing. Even if one person tells her they enjoyed her book it makes the midnight typing worth it!

She’s an Amazon best seller and also the winner of Favorite British Author 2016 – Two Peas in a Pod Reader’s Choice Awards and Favorite Romantic Comedy Author 2016 – Obsessed with Books Indie World Awards.

Author Links

Website:  http://www.laurabarnardbooks.co.uk/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/laurabarnardbooks

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BarnardLaura

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Laura-Barnard/e/B00E4WTI26/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3490836.Laura_Barnard

Pinterest:  https://uk.pinterest.com/barnardlaura/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/laurabarnardauthor/

 

Thanks again, Laura! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, new release, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Writing

New Release Feature: The Boy Friend by Mika Jolie

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Mika Jolie, an author I met during my journey! Her romantic comedy, The Boy Friend, officially released yesterday! Yay! That’s awesome! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

When a new book comes out, it’s always an exciting time for an author!

Mika is giving us a look at her modern romantic comedy, The Boy Friend, today.

Hot cover!

This is the blurb for The Boy Friend:

According to the law of attraction, women and men can’t be friends.

Contrary to this myth, my friendship with Coriander Phillips does not rest on unrequited love or un-actualized lust. We’ve been inseparable since the day I pulled one of her pigtails and she punched me in the gut.
She’s hilarious, fun to hang out with. Together, we’re like peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, wings and beer. A match made in heaven.
She’s the bomb.
Did I mention she’s smokin’ hot? I’ve checked her out…maybe once or twice. Hey, I’m a guy.
Seriously, no awkwardness, no secret yearning for our relationship to escalate beyond the purely platonic. I’m the boy friend—the loyal shoulder she cries on, the dispenser of coffee, sympathy, hugs, advice, and affection with no expectations.
Until the invisible line between friends and lovers became blurry.
Now I want more. I want her.
All I have to do is convince her we can be more than friends.
Right?
If only it were that easy.

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

What people are saying about this book:

“Yes! Yes! Yes! OMG…..I loved Dean and Moonchild!! And my favorite subject…friends to lovers!”

The kiss, though!!! WOWSERS!!! MY toes curled while reading that scene!!

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B071YL3LMD

Wow! Love the emotions here. ♥♥♥ I can personally vouch for this one, as I was a beta reader!😉

Thank you for telling us about your book, Mika! I know we all can’t wait to read this romance! 🙂

 

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this wonderful book!

Author Bio

Mika Jolie lives in New Jersey with her Happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer bunnies. A sports fanatic and a wine aficionado, she’s determined to balance it all and still write about life experiences and matters of the heart. Let’s face it, people are complicated and love can be messy. When she’s not weaving life and romance into evocative tales, you can find her on a hiking adventure, apple picking, or whatever her three men can conjure up.

Author Links

Website:  http://www.mikajolie.com

Blog:  http://mikajolie.com/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/mikajolie.author/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MikaJolie1

Amazon Author Page:  http://amazon.com/author/mikajolie

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8294433.Mika_Jolie

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MikaJolie

 

Thanks again, Mika! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, new release, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Writing

New Release Feature: Cupid’s Arrow Anthology by Solstice Publishing

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Solstice Publishing, my very own publisher!

solstice-publishing-logo-2016

This special romance collection, Cupid’s Arrow, officially released yesterday! Yay! That’s awesome! :) Congrats, everyone, on your new release!:)

When a new book comes out, it’s always an exciting time for an author!

Here’s a brief look at Cupid’s Arrow, just in time for that special romantic holiday tomorrow.

Valentine’s Day is filled with romance and special relationships. The sweetness of a couple coming together is perhaps the best part of this very special day. Will these couples share that very important first kiss?

cupids-arrow-cover-vol-1-001

Fun cover!

This is the blurb for Cupid’s Arrow:

Will Millie be a victim of, hot, passionate, and fleeting war kisses?

Romance has no age barrier

The biggest mistake of Aly’s life could turn into the promise of new love…

Can love be rekindled after a lifetime?

Victorian diary surprises modern bride

Just when she thinks she’s through with love, Cupid aims his arrow at Nixie again.

Support your local bartender, Stacey Jennifer Longacre at Tough Luck Lounge.

There is nothing sweeter than pure, unrequited love.

Sweet romance, the moments leading up to the first kiss, a spark of love between a couple. E.B. Sullivan, Archimede Fusillo, Marie Lavender, K.C. Sprayberry, Debbie De Louise, M.A. Cortez, Lois Crockett, and Leah Hamrick team up to bring you eight tales of love in its early stages.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B06X3VCF3V

getBook.at/CupidsArrowVol1

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/cupids-arrow-vol-1/

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6933779

Wow! ♥♥♥ This sounds like quite a romantic set of tales!😉

As an extra special added bonus, we also present When Jack Trumps Ace from Solstice Publishing Author Debbie De Louise!

when-jack-trumps-ace

Here’s the blurb:

Jackie Riordan’s in trouble . . . 

When her jewel-thief father is caught in the middle of a heist, Jackie makes her getaway to his ex-jail pal’s apartment. A man called Ace, who lives in an upscale neighborhood of Chicago. What she doesn’t count on is falling in love with him and becoming his partner in crime. She also doesn’t expect to compete with Ace’s old flame or deal with his cat Roxie who causes her allergy attacks.

All bets are off . . .

After Jackie discovers clues left by her father which lead her to a treasure that Ace may have stolen, she contemplates her next move. Should she trust Ace and believe her father gave him the money, or head home to her mother, a religious hypocrite who would have no qualms about ratting out her own daughter to the cops?

Things that sparkle aren’t always Diamonds . . . 

Before Jackie can decide who the good guys really are, she finds herself atop the Willis Tower carrying her father’s ashes in her pocket and aiding Ace in the largest jewelry heist of his life. Things go terribly wrong, and Jackie’s only choice seems to be to walk away from Ace or face imprisonment.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B06X8ZZCTH

Fascinating! ♥♥♥ It looks like a wild ride!😉

 

It’s great to find out about these two romantic books! I know I can’t wait to read them! 🙂

 

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of the awesome Cupid’s Arrow Anthology!

cupids-arrow-cover-vol-1-001

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Filed under anthology, Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Historical, Historical Romance, Love, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Romantic Suspense, short stories, Writing

New Release Feature: New Year, Baby! – Philadelphia Love Series – by author Lilly Christine

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Lilly Christine, an author I met during my journey! Her romantic comedy, New Year, Baby!, officially released at the end of October! Yay! That’s awesome, Lilly! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author!

Lilly is giving us a look at her new, funny contemporary romance, New Year, Baby!, which is part of the Philadelphia Love Series, a great set of holiday novellas, today.

new-year-baby-cover-web

Great cover!

This is the blurb for New Year, Baby!, the first book in the Philadelphia Love Series:

There were magical, moonlit kisses on the Schuylkill, when she was a freshman and he was a junior. . .

After years of friction, hipster filmmaker Jerk Derek and uptight divorce lawyer Pit Bull Mollie face off on a holiday commuter flight. Mollie can’t forgive him, so why is Derek still trying? It’s some weird kink! Sparks from the past turn explosive, and then combust, leading to the New Year’s Eve fireworks of a lifetime!

A little more about the rom-com series and Lilly’s take on it…

nyb-graphic-teaser

I first fell in love with Philadephia as a child. Born there, I remember learning to read via Sesame Street, playing in Fairmount Park and our cozy city-block stone house with the deep front porch. We moved to the country before I was five, but I could explore all the city had to offer on visits  to grandparents and aunts. Wanamakers, City Hall, Independence Hall, Betsey Ross House, Ben Franklin Press, the Zoo and the Thanksgiving Parade were childhood delights.  It’s been great fun to set my Philadelphia love series in that city. I hope you are transported.

And here is an excerpt from New Year, Baby! to tease you with.

Mollie couldn’t help it. Her laughter turned to giggles, then snorts, so she had to pinch her nose to contain herself. Derek just smiled, lowering his lips to suck foam from his draft IPA. Mollie’s eyes followed the tousled hair to his neck, his sexy, man smelling, broad muscular neck. The buzzy glow that warmed her stomach burned a little hotter, and she couldn’t help glancing at his wrists, those perfect man-wrists, clad in the grey lambswool sweater he’d pulled over his t-shirt, thick beneath the cuffs of his thick, worn leather jacket.

Mollie felt her knees clench.

What am I doing getting blitzed with Jerk Derek?

10:17 pm

“Boy’s Club?”  Derek was enjoying the pleasant buzz Mollie Ireland gave him, especially after a few beers.They were on the street now, waiting for a cab. “You pinned me as a Boy’s Club guy?”

“Undoubtedly,” Mollie said primly, busily tucking her scarf snugly into the collar of her double breasted sky blue merino wool coat.

“That’s right, you’re a lawyer,” he said, realizing the problem. “The practice where you work is inundated with Boy’s Club types, eh?”

“It is,” she admitted ruefully. “And I was married to one.”

“Who did you marry?” he asked.

“Win Calloway.”

“Oh, God…Win Calloway? How long did that last?”

“Two years. It was my starter marriage. I got a lot of really nice china and serving pieces out of it, which, of course, I never use.”

Looking disarmed and defenseless, her breath encapsulated in white puffs against stark night air, Mollie shivered, so Derek took his black wool watch cap from his jacket pocket and pulled it over her copper curls, down past her ears. Corkscrew tendrils streamed from it at odd angles as Mollie’s curious, pensive hazel eyes gazed at him from her heart-shaped face. Nervous now, she licked her lips, then caught the upper one in her teeth.

Something stabbed at his chest.

Mollie was no pit bull. Mollie looked a lot like the girl he’d kissed on the dock. Prettier, if that was possible.

Steering her towards the cab, Derek felt his smile broaden. After three old fashioneds and two draft IPA’s, he was feeling pretty good. “I’m sorry that things went south with Win Calloway, but after him, you should recognize me as Most Definitely Not Boy’s Club,” he told her.

“You are so Boy’s Club, Derek,” she asserted. He held her elbow as he grabbed the cab door. “You just don’t see it. Boy’s Club boys never do.”

They were in the cab now; space was tight. Mollie was lush and warm next to him, her hair coiling against his chin. He couldn’t understand how five feet five inches of non stop curves could be so sober after five drinks. The cabbie loaded her bag in the trunk, and when he got behind the driver’s seat, Derek gave the cabbie his address.

Mollie was not just sober. She was lucid, and if he wasn’t mistaken, she was warming up for a fight. Recognizing the gleam in her eye, he braced himself. Mollie raised a hand. Sticking one expensively gloved finger up at a time, her words came in condemning rapid-fire. “White-Educated-Good Looking-Way Too Confident-Oozing with Charm. That’s not Boy’s Club?”

All five of her fingers were in the air, but her voice sounded amused. “Admit it,” she charged, giving him a little grin, rolling her hazel eyes. “You’ve gone through life absolutely fawned over by mothers and teachers and nurses and secretaries.”

That was true. But, still. “It doesn’t make me Boy’s Club.”

They were at his corner now. He grabbed Mollie’s attache and his camera from the cab, and after the cabbie got her bag, they headed towards his place. Pulling her own suitcase, Mollie walked a straight line, her red bow- festooned pumps click-clicking on the sidewalk. “The females you come in contact with never say no. Guys like you always get your own way, Derek.”

He laughed, slipping the key in his lock. “If you say so.”

Mollie’s brow furrowed. “Wait. What are we doing here?”

Derek sidestepped the real question. “This is my place. I’m opening the door.”

“No, wait.” She waved a gloved hand in front of her face, foggy. “What time is it?”

“Just nine-thirty,” he lied, switching the light on. It was quarter to eleven. “I thought I’d feed you.”

“Oh, you thought?” she said, the ‘aw’ of the word thought too soft, almost slurred. “Like you thought you’d feed me three drinks on the plane and two more in a dive bar near Thirtieth Street Station?”

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01MG69KQX

Print Version:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/1519035926

Wow! The sparks are really flying here! What an interesting story! ♥♥♥ This looks like a fun ride!😉

Thank you for telling us about your book, Lilly! I know I can’t wait to read this romantic comedy series! And I look forward to seeing the sequels to New Year, Baby! 🙂

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Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book!

new-year-baby-cover-web

Author Bio

lilly-headshot

Lilly Christine’s debut novel, Crashing Into Tess, won TRW’s 2013 “Catherine Award”,  was a 2014 finalist in DRW’s “Best First Book”, and “Best Contemporary” categories, and is the first in the popular McGreers Series. Lilly returns to her birthplace for the setting of “Philadelphia Love!” an exciting new urban rom-com Holiday Novella Series! In 2017, look for Valentine, Baby!, Sing It, Baby! and Independence, Baby?

Lilly currently resides in Reno, Nevada. When not writing, she can be found walking her Daschahuahua rescue puppy on the Truckee River.

Sign up for Lilly News

I’m always available for book-signings, readings and appearances, especially to benefit my reader’s favorite animal shelters and rescues. Contact me at LillyChristine13@gmail.com, or find me on Facebook!

Reader Reviews are Important! If you enjoyed “New Year, Baby!” please post a reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBook and Goodreads. “Like” the Philadelphia Love FaceBook Page and find me on Twitter @LillyChristine1.

Author Links

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/3sg8X

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lilly.christine.71

https://www.facebook.com/PhiladelphiaLove1/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lillychristine1

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Lilly-Christine/e/B00GLY93A2/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7276542.Lilly_Christine

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/lilly-christine-a4839bbb

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lillychristine1/

 

Thanks again, Lilly! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

 

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Holiday, new release, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Writing

A to Z Reflections

As some of you may already know, I put myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging during the month of April.

A2Z-BADGE_[2016]

Basically, it required participating bloggers to do a post every day focusing on each letter of the alphabet. Sundays were the only excluded days. As you can imagine, this was a lot of work.

So, what really compelled me to take on this challenge? Well, I have to give my talented author friend, Devika Fernando, some credit here. Last year, she took on the challenge with her blog and absolutely nailed it. Check out one of her posts here!

Therefore, this year it was with courage and a bit of fear that I said, sure, what the hell…I’ll try it too. I decided to use a rating system for each book I covered, almost like a book review but not quite the same.

scoring-heart-rating

To make a long story short, the experience was actually fun! 🙂 I not only got to revisit some titles on my shelf I hadn’t looked at for awhile, I also found some new books I wanted to try.

I hope you found some interesting reads as well. If you missed my A to Z Challenge posts, here they are in order:

 

–  Awakening the Fire by Ally Shields

Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts

– Courting the Countess by Barbara Pierce

Devil’s Embrace and Devil’s Daughter by Catherine Coulter

– Elsewhere by Linda Lee Williams

Face the Fire by Nora Roberts

Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

Heart of Gold by J.R. Ward

Identity by Cleo Scornavacca

Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts

The Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts

Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

Martha’s Way Series by Mika Jolie

No Longer A Stranger by Joan Johnston

One Illicit Night by Sophia James

– Playing with Fire by Devika Fernando

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

Raising Landry by Andee Michelle

Sisters of the Night by Linda Lee Williams

To Tempt A Scotsman by Victoria Dahl

Unhallowed Ground by Heather Graham

Victory Lane by Shelly Davis

Weather the Storm by Jean Ferris

X-Treme Dating by Cathy McDavid

You Make Me Feel Brand New by Chicki Brown

Zenith Rising by Marilyn Campbell

 

Perhaps you’ll find some interesting romance books in there, ranging from contemporary to historical, paranormal to fantasy, comedy to multicultural, even a time travel/science fiction. It was so much fun to participate in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, to see your comments and interact with you (many thanks for the shares and reblogging!), and to check out other bloggers’ sites who were part of the challenge. Here is a full list of the 1,348 participants this year. And to do my part, here are some links to a few other blogs from the April A to Z Challenge:

 

Thanks again for sticking it out with me during the challenge. I’m always happy to see some friendly faces around here. Please stay tuned for future posts on any random thoughts about love, articles or advice on romantic relationships…

Unsplash, Pixabay, 2016.

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and, as always – our favorite topic – learning about new romance authors and their book releases!

Have a wonderful May, everyone! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, Love, Message, Multicultural/Interracial, Mystery, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Reviews, Romance, romantic comedy, Science Fiction, Time Travel, western, Young Adult

A to Z Challenge: Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

As you know, I’m putting myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging for the month of April.

A2Z-BADGE_[2016]

For these posts, I’ll be giving an I Love Romance Blog score, not an official review, for books currently on my shelf at home (I know readers must wonder what books inspires us as authors) or ones that are on my TBR list (what I want to read so bad I can’t stand it!). For each book, I will give the blurb, a few lines from the text, then why I liked the book or why I’d want to read it. And for fun, I’ll give a heart rating!❤

This is my scoring system:

I hope these A to Z Challenge suggestions will help you find a new favorite author, or further cement your love for one, if that’s the case.

Let’s jump into our next book, shall we?

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

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Genre: Romantic Comedy

Blurb:

Lizzie Nichols has a problem: she can’t keep anything to herself. And when she opens her big mouth on a trip to London, her good intentions get her long-distance beau, Andrew, in major hot water. Now she’s stuck in England with no boyfriend and no place to stay until the departure date on her nonrefundable airline ticket. Fortunately, Lizzie’s best friend and college roommate, Shari, is spending her summer catering weddings in a sixteenth-century château in southern France. Who cares if Lizzie’s never traveled alone in her life and only speaks rudimentary French? She’s off to Souillac to lend a helping hand!

One glimpse of gorgeous Château Mirac—and of gorgeous Luke, the son of the château’s owner—and Lizzie’s smitten. But thanks to her chronic inability to keep a secret, before the first cork has been popped Luke hates her, the bride is in tears, and Château Mirac is on the road to becoming a lipo-recovery spa. Add to that the arrival of ex-beau Andrew, who’s looking for “closure” (or at least a loan), and everything—including Lizzie’s shot at true love—is in la toilette . . . unless she can figure out some way to use her big mouth to save the day.

A few choice lines from the book:

He has to be here somewhere, he
swore he’d be here to pick me up–
Oh
my God, that can’t be him, can it? No, of course it’s not. Why
would he be wearing a jacket like that? Why would ANYONE be wearing
a jacket like that? Unless they’re being ironic. Or Michael
Jackson, of course. He is the only man I could think of who would
wear red leather with epaulets. Who isn’t a professional
breakdancer.
That
CAN’T be him. Oh, please God, don’t let that be him….
Oh,
no, he’s looking this way…he’s looking this way! Look down, look
down, don’t make eye contact with the guy in the red leather jacket
with the epaulets. I’m sure he’s a very nice man, it’s a shame
about his having to shop for coats from the 1980s at the Salvation
Army.
But
I don’t want him to know I was looking at him, he might think I
like him, or something.
And
it’s not that I’m prejudiced against homeless people, I’m not, I
know all about how many of us are really only a few paychecks away
from being homeless ourselves. Some of us, in fact, are less than a
paycheck away from being homeless. Some of us, in fact, are so
broke that we still live with our parents.
But
I’m not going to think about all that right now.
The
thing is, I just don’t want Andrew to get here and find me talking
to some homeless guy in a red leather breakdancing jacket. I mean,
that is so not the first impression I want to give. Not that, you
know, it will be his FIRST impression of me, since we’ve been
dating for three months, and all. But it will be the first
impression he’ll have of the New Me, the me he hasn’t met
yet….
Okay. Okay, it’s safe, he’s
not looking anymore.
Oh,
God, this is awful, I can’t believe this is how they welcome people
to their country. Herding us down this walkway with all these
people LOOKING at us….I feel like I’m personally disappointing
each and every one of them by not being the person they’re waiting
for. This is a very unkind thing to do to people who just sat on a
plane for six hours, eight in my case if you count the flight from
Ann Arbor to New York. Ten if you count the two-hour layover at
JFK–
Wait. Was Red Breakdancing
Jacket just checking me out?
Oh
my God, he WAS! Red leather jacket with the epaulets totally
checked me out!
Oh,
God, this is so embarrassing. It’s my underwear, I KNOW it. How
could he tell? That I’m not wearing any, I mean? It’s true I don’t
have any visible panty lines, but for all he knows, I could be
wearing a thong. I SHOULD have worn a thong. Shari was
right.
But
it’s so uncomfortable when they go up your–
I
KNEW I shouldn’t have picked a dress this tight to get off the
plane in — even if I did personally modify it by hemming the
skirt to above the knee, so I’m not hobbled by it.
But,
for one thing, I’m freezing — how can it be this cold in
AUGUST?
And
for another, this silk is particularly clingy, so there’s the whole
panty line thing.
Still, everyone back at the
shop said I look great in it…though I wouldn’t have thought a
Mandarin dress–even a vintage one–would actually work on me,
seeing as how I’m Caucasian, and all.
But
I want to look good, since he hasn’t seen me in so long, and
I did lose those thirty pounds, and you wouldn’t be able to tell
I’d lost all that weight if I got off the plane in sweats. Isn’t
that always what celebrities are wearing when they show up on Us
Weekly
‘s “What Were They Thinking?” page? You know, when they
get off a plane in sweats and last year’s Uggs, with their hair all
crazy? If you are going to be a celebrity, you need to LOOK like a
celebrity, even when you’re getting off a plane.
Not
that I’m a celebrity, but I still want to look good. I went to all
this trouble, I haven’t had so much as a crumb of bread for three
months, and —
Wait. What if he doesn’t
recognize me? Seriously. I mean, I did lose thirty pounds, and with
my new haircut, and all —
Oh,
God, could he be here and not recognize me? Did I already walk
right by him? Should I turn around and go back down that walkway
thingie and look for him? But I’ll seem like such an idiot. What do
I do? Oh, my God, this is so not fair, I just wanted to look good
for him, not be stranded in a foreign country because I look so
different my own boyfriend doesn’t recognize me! What if he thinks
I haven’t shown up and just goes home? I don’t have any money —
well, twelve hundred bucks, but that has to last me until my flight
home at the end of the month —
RED
LEATHER JACKET IS STILL LOOKING THIS WAY!!! Oh, God, what can he
want from me?
What
if he’s part of some kind of airport white slavery ring? What if he
hangs out here all the time looking for naïve young tourists
from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to kidnap and send to Saudi Arabia to be
some sheik’s seventeenth bride? I read a book where that happened
once…although I have to say the girl seemed to really enjoy it.
But only because at the end the sheik divorced all his other wives
and just kept her, because she was so pure, and yet so good in the
sack.
Or
what if he just holds girls for ransom, instead of selling them?
Except that I am so not rich! I know this dress looks expensive,
but I got it at Vintage to Vavoom for twelve dollars (with my
employee discount)!
And
my dad doesn’t have any money. He works at a cyclotron, for crying
out loud!
Wait,
what is this booth? Meet Your Party. Oh, great! Customer
service! That’s what I’ll do! I’ll have Andrew paged. And that way,
if he’s here, he can come find me. And I’ll be safe from the Red
Leather Breakdancing Jacket, he won’t dare kidnap me and send me to
Saudi Arabia in front of the pager guy —
“Hullo, love, you look
lost. What can I do for you, then?”
Oh,
the booth guy is so nice! And such a cute accent! Although that tie
was an unfortunate choice.
“Hi,
I’m Lizzie Nichols,” I say. “I’m supposed to be being picked up by
my boyfriend, Andrew Marshall. Only he doesn’t seem to be here,
and–“
“Want me to page him for
you, then?”
“Oh!
Yes, please, would you? Because there’s a guy following me, see him
over there? I think he might be homeless, or a kidnapper, or the
operator of a white slavery ring–“
“Which one?”I
don’t want to point, but I do feel I have a duty, you know, to
report Red Leather Breakdancing Jacket to the authorities, or at
least to the Meet Your Party booth attendant, because he DOES look
very odd in that jacket, and he IS still staring at me, really
rudely, or at least suggestively, like he still wants to kidnap
me.
“Over there,” I say,
nodding my head towards Red Leather Breakdancing Jacket. “That one
in the hideous jacket with the epaulets. See him? The one staring
at us.”
“Oh,
right.” The Meet Your Party booth attendant nods. “Right. Very
menacing. Hold on, then, I’ll have your boyfriend over here, giving
that git the thrashing he so richly deserves, in a second. ANDREW
MARSHALL. ANDREW MARSHALL, MISS NICHOLS IS WAITING FOR YOU AT THE
MEET YOUR PARTY BOOTH. ANDREW MARSHALL, PLEASE FIND MISS NICHOLS AT
THE MEET YOUR PARTY BOOTH. There? How was that?”
“Oh,
that was great,” I say, encouragingly, because I feel a little
sorry for him. I mean, it must be hard to sit in a booth all day,
yelling over a loudspeaker. “That was really–“
“Liz?”Andrew! At last!Only
when I turn around, it’s Red Leather Breakdancing
Jacket.
Except.Except that it WAS Andrew,
all along.
And
I just didn’t recognize him, because I was distracted by the
jacket–the most hideous jacket I’ve ever seen. Plus he seems to
have had his hair cut. Not very flatteringly.
Sort
of menacingly, in fact.
“Oh,” I say. It is
extremely difficult to hide my confusion. And dismay. “Andrew.
Hi.”
Behind the glass of the
Meet Your Party booth, the attendant bursts into very, very loud
laughter.
And
I realize, with a pang, that I’ve done it.

Again.

My Score:

OMG! How embarrassing. Still, you can’t help feeling sorry for the girl. And seriously, who can’t be attracted to this book? Not that you can physically be attracted to a book, though I’ve heard some people like the smell of new books. Oh, geez…I have to blame Lizzie’s character for making me babble. 😉

Well, anyway, this one sounds hilarious and irresistibly cute! I love when a good comedy is paired with a romantic tale! And, ooh…Lizzie gets to go to France? This girl is jealous.

Sign me up, though. I’ve always wanted to travel all over the place.

I just added this title to my Amazon Wishlist, and it looks like a real winner! 😀

I give it four hearts, for originality and I can’t say ‘no’ to a FMC (female main character) who sounds as clumsy and as weird as me! LOL.

four hearts

Oh, and it looks like there are two more books in the series! 😉

babble sequels

 

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Readers, Reviews, Romance, romantic comedy