Golden Leaf Spotlight on Historical: Terri Brisbin

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than a month away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 17, 2014.

Spotlight on Historical: “Yield to the Highlander,” by Terri Brisbin (Harlequin)

Yield to the Highlander

Catriona tried to take a breath but could not. Aidan’s hands surrounded her still and she could feel the heat escaping from his body. She raised her head so she could see him from under the edge of the woolen cloak and found his gaze a penetrating one instead of the usual amused one. She tried to think of a humorous response to his admonishment so she could be on her way, but all thoughts of placating him vanished when his mouth took hers.

Hot. Hard. Wet.

Thoughts fled. Breathing stopped. The rain and everything else disappeared.

He pulled her closer then, tilted his face and possessed her mouth, sliding his tongue deep within and tasting her.

After a single, reckless moment of complete oblivion, she realized what he, what they, were doing and she pushed her way out of his embrace, wiping the back of her hand across her lips.

But that kiss could not be undone. The boldness, she expected from this brash, lusty young warrior, but she should have better protected herself from this kind of embrace and kiss. This kiss spoke of entitlement and forbidden passion and dishonoring herself and her vows of faithfulness. This kiss led to more. This kiss led to. . . .

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Terri and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

It’s not too late to register for the conference. Visit our website for more information. But hurry, registration closes October 4th!

 

 

 

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Romantic Suspense: Melinda Leigh

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is a month away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 17, 2014.

Spotlight on Romantic Suspense: “She Can Scream,” by Melinda Leigh (Montlake Romance)

She Can Scream final 200X300

Stalking used to be harder.

He read the display on his phone: OFF 4 MY RUN!

Thank you, social media, for a generation of young women compelled to report their every movement to the world. Though it felt vaguely like cheating, a player who maintained a demanding career and hobby appreciated the amount of information willingly floated in cyberspace. There was only so much time in a day.

He set his phone on his thigh, picked up his binoculars, and adjusted the focus. A dead leaf drifted from the red maple branches above his car and landed on his windshield. At the other end of the street, Madison Thorpe excited her parents’ bi-level house. She stepped out onto the stoop in between a pair of carved pumpkins.

Right on schedule.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Melinda and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

It’s not too late to register for the conference. Visit our website for more information. But hurry, registration closes October 4th!

 

 

 

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Romantic Suspense: Laura Kaye

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is a month away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 17, 2014.

Spotlight on Romantic Suspense: “Hard As You Can,” by Laura Kaye (Avon)

HardAsYouCan Cvr Final

“There’s one more thing I need to share,” Sara said. She stretched out on her stomach.

Showing Shane her scars. Letting him look his fill.

He knew battle-hardened warriors without that much courage and spirit.

The injuries were far worse than Shane had been able to feel. He hadn’t been wrong about the cause, though. Sara had been beaten. A boulder parked itself on his chest. “You okay?” he asked, brushing her hair away so he could see the whole canvas of her back.

She turned her face toward him. “I am now.”

“Will it bother you if I touch you there?”

“You really want to?” she asked.

Shane didn’t answer with words. Leaning over, he kissed the most gnarled scar just below her left shoulder blade. She gasped. “My beautiful Sara,” he said. As she trembled beneath him, he kissed each distinct mark he could make out. Twenty-two in all.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Laura and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

It’s not too late to register for the conference. Visit our website for more information. But hurry, registration closes October 4th!

 

 

 

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Romantic Suspense: Gail Barrett

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is a month away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 17, 2014.

Spotlight on Romantic Suspense: “A Kiss To Die For,” by Gail Barrett (Harlequin)

A Kiss To Die For

His pulse slowing, Sully closed his eyes, feeling oddly at peace despite the danger hounding their heels.  Maybe it was because she’d suffered as much as he had.  Maybe because she understood how deep a loss like that could sear.  But he realized that he liked being around Haley.  He respected her.  Admired her.

He was falling for her.  Hard.

His stomach sank.  He had no right to pursue her.  He was the last person she needed, unsuitable in every way.  She needed someone who could protect her, defend her, not an unstable wreck like him.

But he couldn’t seem to resist her.  Everything about her impressed him — her loyalty, her determination to safeguard others, her refusal to run from the enemy dogging their steps.

And God help him, but he wanted to feel that again, that idealism, that drive to make a difference in the world, that need to battle the bad guys and keep the defenseless safe.

To be the man that he once was.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Gail and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

It’s not too late to register for the conference. Visit our website for more information. But hurry, registration closes October 4th!

 

 

 

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Novella: Lynn Kellan

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is a month away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 17, 2014.

Spotlight on Novella: “Anything You Ask,” by Lynn Kellan (The Wild Rose Press)

AnythingYouAsk_w7500_750 copy

“You may now kiss the bride.”

Determined to keep it brief, Danielle flattened a hand on Hale’s white oxford shirt. Beneath her palm, his heart thundered like he’d sprinted from Oklahoma to be at her side. The taciturn expression he’d worn for the past few days cracked, revealing a poignant longing in his clear blue eyes.

“Finally,” he murmured, tracing her jaw with his blunt fingertips.

The gentle caress made her feel like someone tilted the courthouse floor, and she grasped his red silk tie to keep her balance. The instant his lips touched hers, the anxiety pulsing through her body diminished into an inconsequential echo.

His calloused hand cupped the back of her neck and he kissed her again, longer than before. Her eyes fluttered shut, seduced by the sensual thrill of having Hale Cooper’s bottom lip slide along hers.

She wasn’t supposed to like this, was she?

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Lynn and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

It’s not too late to register for the conference. Visit our website for more information. But hurry, registration closes October 4th!

 

 

 

 

In The Mind of Sandra Pesso – 30 Years of Happily Ever Afters

This week we’re jumping over the hump with our featured workshop presenter, Sandra Pesso!

Sandra will be giving a workshop at our conference in October. Work Your Social Media Platform Like A Rock Star! is just one of many fabulous workshops we have scheduled.

For more information on our conference, on how to register, and other popular questions, please visit our website at http://www.njromancewriters.org.

Please welcome Sandra!

How did you come up with the idea for Colors of Us?

The idea for my new release was born from a self-portrait created from friend and blogger, Michelle Willis.

How long did it take you to write Colors of Us?

It took me about six months to write. However, I also spent a lot of that time outlining the rest of the books in the McAvery Brothers series.

How much research did you conduct for Colors of Usand what was the most interesting thing you did while conducting your research?

I always do extensive research for each of my stories. Colors of Us is based in the trendy SoHo section of New York City so I spent much time there to nail the setting as accurately as possible. One trip was made to confirm which streets are paved and which still have the original cobblestone. Here’s a little known fact, I shot the background photo used in the background of the cover of Colors of Us.

Do you write multiple drafts or barely need revisions when typing, The End?

I’ll answer this with Ernest Hemingway’s quote: “The first draft of anything is shit.” I think of a rough draft as an artist’s sketch. The general idea is there but it’s still just ordinary. Layers of emotion and scene progression are necessary for the story to come to life and become extraordinary.

How do you make time to write?

My best friends are coffee and under eye concealer.

Who has had the most influence on your writing?

It’s not so much “who” as “what” has the most influence on my writing. I tend to find inspiration in the vibe of everyday life. Music, locations, even weather create and grow characters and plotlines.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Finish your book! So many writers ask me for advice on getting published but don’t have a finished manuscript. There’s a reason most publishers won’t commit to a book until it’s finished – it’s hard to finish! Take your book to completion, even if it’s not perfect. The exercise of writing a book from start to finish will help you do it again and again.

Why did you decide to become a romance author?

It’s all about the HEA, baby!

What was the most exciting thing that happened to you after you signed your contract – besides receiving your first check as a published author?

Honestly, the royalty check is just the icing. The most exciting thing about being a published author is hearing from readers who have dedicated their precious free time to read my work. Really, how awesome is that?

What do you want your readers to take away with them after reading the story?

The heroine of Colors of Us is a survivor of sexual assault. However, Colors of Us is not a story about sexual assault. It’s about moving on, healing and beating down the demons that hold us back. But most of all it’s a romance complete with an HEA because with ugly comes beauty and with hurt comes healing. I hope that message comes out loud and clear

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as an author?

Don’t write for the trends. Write for yourself or choose a reader and write for that person. You can’t be everything to everyone.

If you could choose anyone, past or present for a mentor, who would you choose?

My grandmother.

Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?

I read from my iPad’s Kindle app.

Tell us your latest news.

I’m taking Michelle, Hunter and the McAvery Bar crew on the road! I have a mini book tour planned and will be visiting Maryland, Las Vegas, and a few New Jersey locations and events.

What is your favorite music?

My current musical obsession is Ed Sheeran.

What is your favorite quote?

“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.” ~ Georgia O’Keeffe

If you were a millionaire would you still write?

Definitely.

Cat or dog person?

Dog.

Okay, get ready, we have our rapid response portion. Don’t think about your answers, just say the first thing that comes to mind. Ready?  

Favorite color: Red

Favorite number: 11

Favorite Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio

Favorite Actress: Emma Stone

Wine or liquor? Martini, please

Tea or coffee? Big fan of both

Decaf or caffeinated? Is this really a question?

Boxers or briefs? Boxers

Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla

Donald Duck or Goofy? I’m more of a Pluto gal.

Frozen (the movie) or Tangled? Haven’t seen either…I’ve been writing!

Channing Tatum or Johnny Depp? Oooh…I have to go with Depp.

Want to meet or attend Sandra’s workshop? Make sure you check out the information on our conference at http://www.njromancewriters.org!

Registration closes October 4th!

Sandra Pesso

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Novella: Jessie Clever

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than five weeks away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 17, 2014.

 

Spotlight on Novella: “Inevitably a Duchess,” by Jessie Clever (Someday Lady Publishing)

Inevitably a Duchess Jessie Clever Spy Series Novella

Jane held up the bourdaloue.

“Then what is this doing in your dressing room?”

Richard did not hesitate as he replied, “Waiting for you to make use of it.”

Jane’s hand faltered slightly at his words, and the bourdaloue wobbled in her grip.

“You acquired this for me?”

Richard nodded, finishing with one tea cup before starting to fill another.

“I had heard that chamberpots could be awkward for ladies, and I didn’t want you to be inconvenienced.”  He finished filling the second cup and returned his gaze more directly to her.  “I thought you had dire need of such facilities.  Why are you standing there having this conversation with me?”

The hand holding the bourdaloue dropped completely, returning to its place at her side.

“That is the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for me,” Jane said and was surprised to find her voice came out as a whisper.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Jessie and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

It’s not too late to register for the conference. Visit our website for more information. But hurry, registration closes October 4th!