Diamonds & Hearts Available Today

Diamonds & Hearts is available today!

The book is 99 cents through the end of this weekend, before it goes up to full price of $2.99. This book is a contemporary romance and its lots of fun. It’s got mobsters, diamonds, and lots more.

Here’s the blurb. Grab it now for 99 cents or read it free in Kindle Unlimited.  Here’s the blurb:

“Diamonds are pieces of charcoal that handle stress exceptionally well.” -unknown

Onyx Neel’s life should be coming up roses.  After a turbulent childhood with a father who was a diamond thief, she’s found peace and happiness as a teacher helping guide children. But everything shatters when she learns her brother’s cancer has come back, and only an expensive treatment can save him. Onyx knows only one place to get the money, but going back means returning to a life she’s tried to forget?

Ryan Harper is the epitome of spoiled, wealthy playboy. He’s constantly in trouble, and it’s only ratcheted up since his sister died a year ago. With his reckless behavior having spiraled, he’s in real trouble now. He owes a mobster big money for gambling debts, but he’s out of cash, when he loses access to his trust fund.

When Ryan and Onyx turn up seeking help from the same mobster, the criminal has a proposal: a trip to India and a risky heist that will result in a payday that gets them both what they need.  Thrown together and under pressure, Ryan and Onyx embark on a mission for diamonds, but they will discover much, much more.

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Why we’re so in love with celebrity couples

Source: Pixabay

I saw this interesting article last night discussing dream celebrity couplings. It’s a celeb writer’s pic for the couples that have been talked about but who aren’t actually together.

And while the article is somewhat fun, sort of like fantasy football, but with romance, it got me thinking about why we’re so obsessed with celebrities. While they’re people, just like the rest of us, they’re bigger than life movie personas and the Hollywood money they earn makes them seem of interest. And of course, Hollywood studios spend lots of money trying to convince us these people are awesome and to be admired. While the studio systems of the 40s, 50s and 60s ( one that had studio heads working hard to perfect the image of stars and sell them as the coolest version of the people we know; people we’d love to hang out with and might aspire to be) is gone, the idea persists that these are people we know and love and would connect with personally.

And if we know and love someone, we want to see them happy. And what better way to see them happy than in love?  So, I think we see love with our favorite celebs and just want it to work. We constantly want to know if they’re happy in love, so we can enjoy the feeling of our friends in love.  And when their love life goes kaput, our gossip urge takes over.  Not necessarily our urge to spread gossip, our urge to know gossip.  We can commiserate with their misery, and know that yeah, they are just like us. They can have as wicked a love lives as anyone else’s. But, of course we secretly want their love lives to succeed. Because it means that there are real people out there who do have it all.

I don’t subscribe to any celebrity gossip sites, but I do follow the celebrity news that makes headlines. I love John Legend & Chrissy Tiegan. And as a Buffy lover, it makes me happy every time I see Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze together looking happy. Like so many others, I was so sad to see Jennifer Garner & Ben Affleck break up. Mostly because she seemed so nice and down-to-earth.  As an All My Children fan from childhood, I was disappointed recently to hear Josh Duhamel (who played Leo Dupres on AMC) and Fergie were separating.  Again, it made me sad. I adored Josh on AMC and he seemed like such a nice guy on the show that I felt like he’d be a nice guy in person, so I just want him to have a nice happy love life.

Alas, the love lives of celebrities mirror the love lives of real people, because celebrities are real people. If we want happily ever after, we have to watch movies or read romance novels. It’s a good thing I like both. 🙂

Diamonds & Hearts Available for Pre-Order

My newest book, Diamonds and Hearts, is available for pre-order.  The book publishes Sept. 20.  It will be available on your e-reader on the 20th, if you order it now.  And it’s just 99 cents through the pre-order phase.

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They say that diamonds are pieces of coal that handle stress exceptionally well.
Onyx Neel and Ryan Harper are both under extreme stress. Onyx needs money to help pay for an expensive medical treatment for her brother, while Ryan owes a mafioso nearly a million dollars.
When a proposal that will cure both their money woes tosses them together in a foreign land, watch how they handle the pressure.
Will their mission to steal diamonds end up stealing hearts?  
Get Diamonds & Hearts exclusively from Amazon.

Real-Life Loves from Pre-School Get Married Years Later

Don’t you love those stories about kids who meet at a really young age, and one says, I’m going to marry you, and then 20 years later it happens?

That’s how it goes in books and movies, but rarely does it go that way in real life, right?

Well, you’re in luck if you want a real life sweetheart story, featured on Elite Daily. Matt and Laura had known each other since pre-school, and Matt knew then he wanted to marry her. Somehow (imagine that) they lost touch, but reconnected in high school, and they’ve been going strong ever since.  He proposed, she said yes, and now they’re married. Quite touching. It’s a great real life story with pictures (read it here).

One of my favorite stories in my Romance:Trysts collection is Tristan & Blair. It  involves a guy who fell in love at 8, and his attempts to reconnect to the past.  It plays on the same theme, except it’s fiction, and fully of steamy love scenes. If you haven’t checked out the collection, give it a shot. It’s available on Amazon and other retailers.

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Source: Pixabay (The photos I took with my phone weren’t very good, so I found these contortionists, which gave a feel of the kind of stuff we saw.)

Authors get this question a lot.  And it’s a question that it’s easy to kind of shrug and say,  “I don’t know. They just come to me.”

But that’s probably not the answer most people are looking for.  And since I had a great idea for a story this weekend, I thought I’d talk about the most common place that authors, particularly me, get story ideas from: life.

I live in the Washington, DC, area, so over the weekend, I took my daughter to the American Folklife Festival, which focused on circuses. It was a great deal of fun and while we were watching a flying trapeze act, I though the circus would be a great place to set a romance novel.  I’ve got some ideas percolating at the moment, and hope to be able to write something for the fall. The point is, a lot of ideas are like that. They simply come when you’re out enjoying life and you see something interesting and go, that would make a great story. Once I had that in mind, I watched and listened for anything useful I could glean. We attended a great session on the language of the circus, and learned some interesting phrases that are particular to the circus, as well as customs. For example, you’re never supposed to enter clown alley (where the clowns put their makeup on) without permission. If you do, they’ll pelt you with powder socks (the appliques for their makeup). So, that kind of thing was quite interesting and full of fodder for a book.

In terms of my fairy tales, which are retellings of old classics, I obviously look to old classics for inspiration. The tales are old and they’ve traveled so well because the base of the story is excellent. I just add a few finishing touches to make the story different for those who loved the original, but want to see a slight twist on it.

That’s all for today. Hope you’re having a fabulous week.