Fool For Love Contest

 

Amendment:

I’m uping the stakes! Leave a comment on this post and you will receive a copy of your choice of

Love Potion Me, Baby

Can’t Buy Me Love

All You Need Is Love

or Brodie’s Bride!

All you have to do is leave me your preference and tell me your favorite kind of hero.

Happy Reading!

FFR2014Promo

Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing to win a copy of my romantic comedy Brodie’s Bride. Check out more about Brodie’s Bride click BRODIE.

Not sure what to comment? Finish this sentence: “My favorite type of romance hero is a …”

Be sure to check the main contest page for more chances to win.

http://crystalrainlove.blogspot.com/p/2014-fool-for-romance-contest.html

Cover Reveal: Blame It On Texas

I got this lovely just before Christmas but with all of the holiday rush and shuffle I decided to wait until after the new year to post it. Yes, I’ve had to sit on my hands to keep from hitting ‘share’ but here it is…the cover to my novella scheduled to release from Samhain publishing June 10, 2014. More about the story to come later. For now, it’s all about the cover!

BlameItOnTexas-ART(1)So what do you think? I LOVE it! Ritt and Shelby are some of the youngest lovers I’ve ever written (though they are too old for New Adult). The cover is fresh and lively. Just like the book! But I’ve said too much already. More on that later…

Spotlight on: Lie Catchers by Rolynn Anderson

Happy New Year! Yes, I know it’s the 6th. I have no defense. LOL School was supposed to go back today, but the cold and snow has the rock star home for one more day. As if I wasn’t behind enough already!

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions? I did. Among them to blog more, keep in touch with my readers, and ‘get out’ more even if only on the Internet. (You know writers can be kind of reclusive. After all, we have a bunch of people who talk to us constantly. Even if it is only in our own heads!)

In honor of my new resolutions, I invited my talented friend and fellow author Rolynn Anderson to join us today and tell us about her latest release, Lie Catcher. Be sure to stay tuned…there’s a blurb at the end. And you don’t want to miss this!

SUSPENSE NOVELS SPIKED WITH HUMOR

Amy Lillard is my hostess today, a writer whose signature line says: Live a little; Laugh a Lot; Love for a Lifetime. I write Suspense Spiked with Romance. Today in honor of Amy’s bent toward the light side, I’ll talk about the place for fun and funny in suspense novels.

Real people laugh, even in tense moments. Sometimes they giggle out of nervousness or guffaw at an irony raised by the situation. Amusing sarcastic comments and puns bubble out of our characters at the most unusual times. They’ll smile or laugh at each other during the roughest of circumstances. And the reader is relieved and smiles, too, happy about the brief let-up of tension, entranced by characters who react authentically to events brimming with suspense.

Remember the tumble-in-the-sheets scene with Ellen Barkin and Dennis Quaid in the movie “The Big Easy”? She’s a by-the-book investigator and Quaid is a cop well on his way to the dark side and surrounded by cops more dirty than he is. In a plot thick with suspense, their attraction to one another matches in intensity. The director chooses their first sex scene to be the most awkward, embarrassing and hilarious encounter I’ve ever witnessed. Not only is the event a relief of tension, but it shows the human side of both characters and a glimpse of the potential redemption of the Quaid character. This is funny, with a purpose.

Vonnie Davis, who writes light suspense, has a special skill at crafting characters who fumble in her Red Hand suspense series. Even Niko, the conscientious investigator in MONA LISA’S ROOM (http://amzn.com/1612172962), makes the reader chuckle when he bumps up against Aly, an American woman with disarming skills and foibles. Together, Niko and Aly stutter-step their way to solving crimes and finding love.
My newest release, LIE CATCHERS is darker than Davis’s Red Hand series, but, like Davis, I try to show my hero and heroine as real people. The recession has bumped my hero down from a Treasury office job to a gumshoe; she’s struggling to save a family business as well as find a niche in a hometown she once rejected. They both fumble at their tasks and make mistakes, enough to have us smiling and cheering them on to do better next time.
So thank you, Amy for the chance to talk about the light side of suspense. Clearly both of us relish the opportunity to laugh! Here’s more detail about my new release, LIE CATCHERS, Suspense spiked with romance and a sense of humor.

BLURB

LieCatchers_w7909_300Two unsolved murders will tear apart an Alaska fishing town unless a writer and a government agent reveal their secret obsessions.

Treasury agent Parker Browne is working undercover in Petersburg, Alaska to investigate a money scam and a murder. His prime suspect, Liv Hanson, is a freelance writer struggling to save her family’s business. Free spirited, full of life, and with a talent for catching liars, she fascinates Parker.

Trying to prove she’s a legitimate writer who cares about Petersburg’s issues, Liv pens a series of newspaper articles about an old, unsolved murder. When her cold case ties in with Parker’s investigation, bullets start to fly.

Parker understands money trails, and Liv knows the town residents. But he gave up on love two years ago, and she trusts no one, especially with her carefully guarded secret. If they mesh their skills to find the killers, will they survive the fallout?

http://amzn.com/B00HJDS1LG (Amazon Kindle)

http://rolynnanderson.com/ (Website)

What a fabulous cover! Thanks for stopping in today, Rolynn, and sharing your new book with us!

What do you say, readers? How important is humor in the books you read?

RELEASE DAY!!!!!

Balloons! Confetti! Tootie Horns and Streamers!! It’s Release Day for Ten Reasons Not To Date A Cop!!!!!

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ten-Reasons-Not-Date-ebook/dp/B00906D9NU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353421281&sr=8-1&keywords=Ten+Reasons+Not+To+Date+A+Cop

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ten-reason-not-to-date-a-cop-amie-louellen/1112616163?ean=9781619211711

Samhain: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/reasons-date-p-7063.html?osCsid=38ce57dc92cb655baf0aed4d31b7324c

Ten Reasons Not to Date a Cop by Kaylee Stephens

#1 Cops are never around when you need them, but always underfoot when you don’t.

#2 They can get a court order for anything they need regardless of how you feel about it.

#3 They wear asinine mirrored sunglasses so you can’t see their eyes or know what they’re thinking.

#4 They own handcuffs, even if they can’t find the keys.

#5 They have great lips.

#6 They have crazy dogs with issues.

#7 They’re arrogant.

#8 They can kiss. Boy, can they kiss.

#9They will get your family’s approval, even if they don’t have yours.

#10 They just might make you fall in love.

Top Ten ~ Humorous Books

I had the most noble intentions of writing a blog post about funny books, but (you knew that was coming, right?) there are some great books out there. Books that remain on my shelf even if they don’t make it into my hands but once a year. Books I cannot bear to part with. So why not do a Top Ten (you know how I love Top Ten Lists) about books that I think are a knee slapping good time? I came up with a few ideas. Most of these are older books but still worth a read if you can get yourself a copy.

Twenty-Nine and A Half Reasons by Denise Grover Swank

http://www.amazon.com/Twenty-Nine-Reasons-Gardner-Mystery-ebook/dp/B008FBXF4E/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1347206980&sr=1-1&keywords=twenty+nine+and+a+half+reasons

Getting Over Harry by Rene Roszel

http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Harry-Simply-Harlequin-Romance/dp/0373034482/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1347206919&sr=1-1&keywords=getting+over+harry

Men:An Owner’s Manual by Stephanie Brush

http://www.amazon.com/Men-Owners-Manual-Stephanie-Brush/dp/0671604139/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1347206868&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=men+an+owners+manual

Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Cruise

http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Rid-of-Bradley-ebook/dp/B000UH5Z4E/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1347206793&sr=1-1&keywords=getting+rid+of+bradley+by+jennifer+crusie

Please say I Do by Karen Toller-Whittenburg

http://www.amazon.com/Please-Harlequin-American-Romance-ebook/dp/B0056HUWA0/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1347206734&sr=8-9&keywords=please+say+I+do

I  was writing this list and more and more titles kept popping into my head. Then I reminded myself how subjective humor is and how many great books there are out there that I’ve missed (and maybe others have too) that are a knee-slapping good time. So I want to hear from you. What’s your all time favorite funny book? Heck, leave me two or three titles. Let’s share the laughter!

But Seriously…

I am proud to say that I write romantic comedy, but I can’t say that I am naturally funny. Well, maybe I am a little bit. But the decision to make other people laugh while my characters fall in love was a conscious one. Unlike drama, humor is very subjective. What’s funny to one person may not make another so much as crack a smile.

There are certain ‘rules’ to jokes, certain aspects that make them work. Usually. And timing is everything. But first you have to understand humor. Men and women laugh at different things. Amazing, huh? For example how many men do you know who love the Three Stooges? Now, how many women? There are a few of the female persuasion who enjoy a good slapstick, but for the most part that brand of humor belongs to the men. The best way I have ever heard it explained was, “Women will laugh at a man slipping on a banana peel as long as she knows he deserves the fall.” This so-called female humor requires a set up, then a follow through. The first part of the joke might not be funny, but the second time it comes in, well, that’s when the laughter starts. For example, in my new Romantic Comedy, Love Potion Me, Baby, Brice Van Sant drinks a cup of shampoo (work with me here) and ends up marrying the first woman he lays eyes on—Suzanne Rose. The next morning he can’t remember her name. Naturally Suzanne is upset; she thought he was her prince. Instead he turned out to be a “big, fat toad.” Later, when Suzanne is forced to have dinner with Brice and a elderly business colleague and his wife…

She looked to Brice. Lie, his eyes commanded. But Suzanne was already growing tired of this decent. Despite Melvin’s candid remarks, and Claire’s bossy, Mother-knows best attitude, she liked the Greeleys.

“He’s my little toad,” she gushed, very proud of the syrupy tone of her voice. At least her words were true.

“Toad?” Melvin and Claire screeched at the same time.

Brice smiled charmingly. Drat the man! “Just an affectionate nickname. Right, my little salamander.”

 

The rule of three—for some reason, three is a magical number. Designers will tell you to hang pictures in threes, everyone knows bad things happen in threes, but humor also relies on the rule of three.

“Attention everyone!” Ms. Marshall hiked up her second-skin designer dress and hopped on top of the nearest unoccupied table.

The room fell into an eerie silence. No one said a word. No one breathed. No one even chewed. “I’d like to tell you what a low-down, good-for-nothing, pond-scum-sucking bastard you work for.”

“Oh, snap,” Vanilla whispered.

“He’s untrustworthy. Non-committal. And he wears socks to bed,” Miriam continued. “Even during—”

“Oh, snap,” Vanilla whispered again.

“Argyle socks.” Miriam announced, as if that somehow transformed the act of wearing socks into a felony.

There’s also another ‘rule’ at play here—the rule of the unexpected—this requires some set up. Everything has to be in place for something expected to happen and then wham, the unexpected hits instead.

Silently, she lifted her head. She rose to her feet slowly, almost methodically. “Trick you? Trick you? Trick you, Mr. We-Were-Meant-To-Be-Together? ‘Oh, Suzanne, let’s get married,’” she mimicked. “‘I love you.’”

“I never said that.” How could he? He didn’t even believe in love. Love destroyed. “At least, I don’t remember saying—”

“You don’t remember?” Her voice rose in pure fury. “Allow me to help you recall. Last night you proposed. And I said yes.” She held up her left hand where a plain gold band, identical to his, sparkled in the light of the new day. “This is my wedding ring. This—” she made a sweeping gesture around her—“is the honeymoon suite. And this—” she picked up the pineapple from the breakfast tray— “is the fruit we were supposed to have for breakfast.” She drew back her arm.

Brice ducked just in time.

The large, edible missile went sailing over his head and crashed against the wall.

 

Some guys never learn. I like this ‘rule’ best. What woman doesn’t want to be the one to turn the rogue around? Now that can’t happen until the end of the book which leaves plenty of page space to teach him a lesson or two. And Brice, my friends, is one of those guys…

“An annulment, Suzanne. We can go back to Davidson and discuss the details. I can assure you I’ll provide you with an adequate settlement.”

The chiming ring of his cell phone cut the silence stretching between them. Somehow the melodic ring sounded shrill and out of place.

Her mouth opened and closed twice before he realized once again he’d said the wrong thing.

“Suzanne, I—” The phone rang again. “Oh, hell.” Brice snatched it up. “Van Sant,” he barked.

“Boy.” The gravely voice boomed across the phone lines. Great, justfantastic. “Do you want to explain to me why you missed our meeting last night? We had very important matters to discuss. Matters of the utmost importance!”

“Settlement? You mean, money?” Suzanne’s cheeks were ruddy with anger. “You want to pay me for being your wife for one night. Isn’t that a little like prostitution?”

“Boy, are you there?”

“Answer me.”

“Boy?”

With a shake of his head, Brice placed one hand over the receiver. He closed his eyes and then opened again, focusing his gaze on Suzanne. “If you’ll just be quiet for five minutes, I’ll pay you double.”

I hope you enjoyed this look into Humor and Love Potion Me, Baby. Long live the Romantic Comedy!

My Top 10 List of Favorite (Romance) Heroes

I thought I’d take the time today and talk about something near and dear to my heart: men. And not just any men, but romance heroes.

I shouldn’t have to say the words, but I’m gonna anyway: the heroes in romance novels are SEXY. They are alpha males, go-getters, men of action. They “take care of things.” They can hunt their own food, saddle break a horse, and close multi-million dollar deals while the rest of us are still eating breakfast. They can go into the wilderness with a pack of gum and pocket knife and build a mini-mall.  They are “those guys.” And we love them.

Today I complied a list of the Ten Sexiest Romance Heroes IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) and INPO (In No Particular Order).

1~White collar professionals—Doctors, lawyers, judges, and the like. These guys are powerful, highly educated, and confident to the point of egomaniac. Which we all know is a requirement to be an alpha-male. And power is sexy, right?

2~Performers (heh, heh) Sorry, I should have said actors, all romance heroes “perform” <g>. And they are the best looking, most charismatic of men. Am I right? And with an actor, you never know what’s behind his mask. Is it the truth he’s showing, or only what he wants you to see? Which one is real?

3~Men of God—There is nothing sexier than a man who is battling the desires of the flesh and the goodness of heart. Talk about internal conflict!

4~Athletes—Hard bodies. Need I say more? Okay, travel, wealth, and testosterone.

5~Firemen—If I have to tell you why firemen are on this list, then you have to turn in your ‘Girl Card’!

6~Bull Riders—These are men who jump on the back of a thousand pounds of meanness, tie one hand to the beast, and somehow think it’s a sport. That kind of confidence goes a long way, if ya know what I mean! <wink>

7~Ranchers/Cowboys—Yes, they are different than bull riders. These are the steady cowboys, not the love ‘em and leave ‘em kind. They’ve sown their wild oats and though they might not be ready to settle down completely, if the right girl comes along, they’ll sure think about it.

8~Millionaires—besides the money and the power (and the fact that if you’re lucky enough to marry one of these chaps, you’ll never have to do the dishes again) these heroes need the true love of someone who can see past their bank account to the real person underneath. What heroine wouldn’t want to be the one to save him from that?

9~Law Enforcement Officers—From the local county sheriff of the smallest town in Texas to the homicide detective in the big city, these men are sexy, sexy, sexy. I should know, I’m married to one!

10~Construction Workers—Ah-ha! Gotcha! Brodie is a construction worker. Read the excerpt below to see just why he’s…I mean they’re on my list.

(All right, you’re probably saying “what about add your favorite here?” Well, this is my list, you’ll get your turn.  Read the new excerpt from Brodie’s Bride, then leave me a comment about your favorite type of Romantic hero.

Brodie and Savanna have made their pact to spend the weekend together. A very important potential client, has invited the “family” man to Texas for the weekend to talk over contract negotiations. Savanna agreed with the plan in order to secure a non-questions annulment and save her father’s holdings. But the agreement is proving to be a little more than they bargained for.

“On Monday, after our appointment, you’re leaving.”

“I have to go home,” she said quietly, turning away from him to stare into the postage-stamp sized back yard.

“But we have an agreement for the weekend.  I think we should have some ground rules.”

“Good idea.”  Savanna clapped her hands, then rubbed them together as if she were ready to get down to business.  “Like what?”

“We only have two working bedrooms here,” Brodie said.  “Mine and Nan’s.  Do you mind sharing a room with me?”

Her pupils dilated, and he knew she was thinking about the scarlet room they had shared last night.

“My room has two beds,” he continued.  “We can be like Lucy and Ricky.”

She smiled.  “If it was good enough for the Ricardos, I’m sure I can handle it for a few days.”

“We may not so lucky at the Sullivan’s.”

Sobering, she nodded.  “If there’s only one bed there, we can just take turns sleeping in it.”

“Fair enough.” Brodie said.  “Now, as a married couple—especially at the ranch—we’ll be expected to act like a married couple.”

“Okay.  But only around others.  When we’re alone, we can act like we’re not married.”

“Correct.  But sometimes…”  He took a step closer to where she leaned against the porch railing.  “Sometimes married people hold hands.”

He reached out and took her fingers into his own.  Her skin was velvet soft and smelled so sweet, like the mountains after a rain.

“I—I don’t have a problem with that.”

“Sometimes married couples put their arms around each other.”  He placed her hands behind his neck, then slid his arms around her waist.

“That’s okay,” she whispered.  He watched as she swallowed hard.

“And sometimes married people kiss.  Just a peck here and a peck there.  Are you going to have a problem with that?”

“Huh-uh.”  She shook her head.

“Maybe we should practice,” he rasped, bending his head close to hers.

“Maybe,” she repeated before he brushed his lips across hers once, then twice.

His intent had been the small, nearly chaste kiss of old married couple, but once he got close to Savanna, once he could smell her sweetness and taste her heady essence, he couldn’t stop himself.

He pulled her close to him, gathering handfuls of her tank top, securing her to him.  Over and over he slanted his mouth across hers.  Over and over, deeper and deeper, until her whimper brought him back.

He released her, his breath rasping in and out of his lungs in hard painful gasps.

She grasped the edge of the porch railing, looking as disturbed as he felt.

With demonstrations like that, they may not ever convince Blair and Nan their marriage was an accidental twist of fate, but they would surely convince Red Sullivan their passion was for real.

Brodie ran his fingers through his hair, just one more gesture to keep from reaching for Savanna again.

“There,” he managed to croak.  “That wasn’t so bad, now was it?”

Buy it now~http://thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=4541

Thanks for coming by today! Ciao! <3–Amie

Breaking The Rules by Cat Lavoie ~ A Review

♥♥♥♥♥ YOU GOTTA READ THIS BOOK! ♥♥♥♥♥
When twenty-seven year old Roxy Rule’s best friend and roommate accepts a glamorous new job overseas, she expects their relationship to continue as it’s always been—carefree and easy—until they share a heart-stopping kiss moments before his departure. Overcome with mixed emotions, she fights the urge to over analyze the situation and resumes back to her normal life in New York City, working for an intolerable boss at a dead end job, creeping further and further away from her own dreams of becoming a professional chef.While things become more complicated between her and Ollie, Roxy is sure that nothing can come between two lifelong best friends—not even mild jealousy over a thriving career or a silly little kiss that meant nothing. In fact, it was such a meaningless and forgettable kiss that she convinces herself that it’s not even worth mentioning to her fiancé, although it is all she can think about.Roxy’s already topsy-turvy life only gets more complicated when her sisters Steffi and Izzie suddenly become her roommates. Steffi is six months into a pregnancy she refuses to discuss and Izzie is in the throes of a premature midlife crisis. Roxy tries to take control of her career, her love life and her sisters – but can she really handle it all? And can the Rule family keep it together – or break under the pressure?
~*~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~*~
I was really excited about reading this book. After all, it’s one of the first published by Marching Ink. (And it has a great pink cover). I was not disappointed. I literally had to put it down and go to bed–very unwillingly, but alas, I don’t get paid to read (yet) and duty was calling. What a great book! Breaking the Rules is as much a story about Roxy and Ollie as it is about Roxy and her sisters. Having two sisters of my own, I could totally connect with Roxy. And given that I too am the “middle sister,” love to cook, and well, that’s where the similarities end.
Funny and real characters, funny and real situations, great friends and crazy family members. Breaking the Rules has it all.  But make sure you have plenty of time, because you are not going to want to put it down. Kudos to Cat for giving us such a fun read and kudos to Marching Ink for bringing it to us! Thanks ladies! Your efforts are greatly appreciated. :)
~*~*~*~*~ About Cat ~*~*~*~*~

Cat Lavoie was born in the small town of Jonquière in Québec, Canada. At the age of nineteen, she packed up her things (mostly books) and moved to the big city of Montreal where she currently lives with her tempestuous cat Abbie—who is both adorable and quite possibly evil.

An incurable Anglophile since her university days where she studied English Literature, she can often be found daydreaming about her next trip to London. Since she’s an expert at the art of procrastination, Cat is easily distracted by cooking and home improvement shows—even though she’s not particularly good at either.

Cat grew up watching soap operas and legal dramas and—had she not decided to be a claims analyst by day and write chick lit by night—she would have probably become a designer suit-wearing lawyer. Or a character on All My Children (which is what she really wanted to be when she was twelve).

Cat is not sure whether she’s a geek or a nerd—and is afraid she might be both. Breaking the Rules is her first novel.

Cat blogs about the writing life and posts adorable pictures of Abbie over at the Catenabi Chronicles. Come say hello at: www.CatLavoie.com and follow @Catenabi on Twitter.

~*~*~*~*~ Connect with Cat ~*~*~*~*~

www.CatLavoie.com

http://www.facebook.com/CatLavoieAuthor?ref=stream

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6440914.Cat_Lavoie

 ~*~*~*~*~Buy Links ~*~*~*~*~

Barnes & Noble – Nook

Amazon – Kindle

Kobo

Amazon – Print

https://twitter.com/Catenabi

~*~*~*~*~ Cat On Tour ~*~*~*~*~

http://www.clpblogtours.com/2012/07/breaking-rules-by-cat-lavoie.html

Top Ten All Time Funny Movies

Recently I was asked about writing humor (since some of you read the post Funny is as Funny Does, I won’t bore you with the details) but it made me think about what I think is funny and why. Typical to my thought process, that in turn spurred me to decide to write a post about the movies I think are funny. A Top Ten List of the funniest movies–IMHO. (I *love* Top Ten Lists.) But as I sat down to write this post, you can imagine what happened. I blanked.

Oh, I can think of a few movies that I find hilarious:

The Full Monty

The Jerk

O Brother, Where Art Thou

MegaMind

Clue

National Lampoon’s Animal House

The Bird Cage

In & Out

Airplane

In case anyone is keeping count, that’s not ten. Okay, okay, it’s *nine* but since this is neither horseshoes nor hand grenades, well…you get the gist.

So I’m enlisting your help. What movie to you find so crazy funny that when you watch it, you laugh before the scene even develops? I figure (HOPE) that we end up with more than ten.

Oh, The Hangover. Well, that’s ten, but I still want to hear what makes you laugh. What’s your favorite comedy?