Here's to more romance this Christmas and into the New Year!
Friday, 31 December 2010
Today to finish the Spotlight on Romance guest posts in December with a bang, I welcome Kristie Cook, author of the fantastic new romantic paranormal series: the Soul Savers series (Book #1: Promise and Book #2: Purpose). Those loyal blog followers who have been following Ex Libris already in the summer know how much I fell in love with Promise (as I couldn't stop raving about it).
As a late Christmas present Kristie shares with us an "enhanced deleted scene" of Book #1 Promise. Enjoy! :-)
In Promise, Tristan and Alexis spend their first Christmas together following the traditions Sophia, Alexis's mom, started years ago. It's a relatively short passage in the book, but reveals some insights into both Tristan and Sophia. The passage ends with the trio doing random acts of kindness on Christmas Day. Here's what happened later that evening. This is sort of a deleted scene. Parts of it were in an early draft, but I've also added to it, so not it's not exactly polished. But, keeping with December's theme on Ex Libris, I brought in some romance, which we can all use a little more of, right? *wink*
After spending the day helping others and our bellies full with way more food than three people should be able to eat, Tristan and I snuggled lazily on the couch while Mom sat curled up in her chair. Mom's cottage remained dark, only the colored lights on the Christmas tree lit, creating a warm glow on our faces. Mom had turned on the radio tuned to a station playing only Christmas carols. I leaned against Tristan's side, my head on his shoulder, and his finger twirled a lock of my hair as we gazed at the magical beauty. I sighed, the breath full of satisfaction.
"I think this has been the best Christmas ever," I said, my voice barely more than a whisper because I didn't want to totally ruin the peace.
"Hmm…yes, I'd count it right up there with the best of any day ever," Tristan agreed.
"I can't believe how much money you gave away today," I said with a little giggle. He'd really gone over the top with all the Benjis he randomly handed out.
"They need it much more than I do," he said, lifting one shoulder slightly in a shrug. Then he tightened his arm around me. "I have everything I need right here. Besides, it was…fun."
"Well, that's what Christmas is really about."
"Too bad not everyone realizes it. The world would be a better place," Mom said. "We do what we can and, hopefully, someone is paying attention and pays it forward."
"It's much better than I ever imagined," Tristan said. "Especially compared to an old man dressed up to get little kids to sit on his lap. That's just wrong."
I chuckled again. "That's not supposed to be the premise of Santa Claus. He's supposed to be good, too, you know, giving to little kids, especially the needy ones, without expecting anything in return."
"Yeah, well, the guy at the mall needs an education then." He thought for a minute, his fists clenching and his eyes narrowing. "I think next year I'll give lessons."
I put my hands over his and made him relax. "Um, let's lead by example, okay?"
He sighed reluctantly, although I could tell he was exaggerating, especially when he rolled his eyes. "If we must."
Mom rose from her chair, stretched and said goodnight, leaving us alone. Tristan and I sat quietly, the melody of Silent Night drifting on the airwaves and wrapping its peace around us like a cozy blanket. I fingered my pendant, still amazed that he'd given me something so beautiful and special.
"Thank you for my gift," I whispered. "Again."
His head turned, his lips against my ear. "Thank you for a wonderful first Christmas."
I tilted my head to look up at him, his face only an inch from mine. The lights reflected in his hazel eyes, making the usual gold sparkles a rainbow of colors.
"Is this really the first time you've ever celebrated Christmas?"
He didn't answer at first and I thought I might have crossed the line in asking about his past. I held my breath, hoping I hadn't upset him. But his eyes remained bright.
"I've witnessed Christmas celebrations around the world," he finally said. "But I've never participated in it. Much of it, especially here, is so material and seems so wasteful and silly."
"That's why we do it the way we do," I said. "It's not supposed to be about us."
"I like it this way."
He closed the small space between us and his lips pressed against mine.
"Me, too," I agreed as I lay down on the couch.
He hovered over me, his lips curling into a sublime smile. "Would it be okay if we made right now about us, though?"
"Definitely." I wrapped my arms around his neck, pulled him down to me and whispered, "Merry Christmas, my sweet Tristan."
His lips traveled along my jaw and he murmured against my neck, "Merry Christmas, ma lykita. I love you."
Here's to more romance this Christmas and into the New Year!
For every meaningful comment you leave on any "Spotlight on Romance" post (like this guest post by Kristie Cook) you receive 1 entry into the Mystery Romance Giveaway which will be revealed later.
Giveaway is open worldwide.
Thursday, 30 December 2010
Today I have two great blogging friends of mine as guests here at Ex Libris, these two girls always manage to crack me up with their banter, so I was jumping with joy when I convinced (=coerced) them to stop by and spend some time here. Please welcome Susi (aka The Geeky Bookworm) and Caroline (aka Pattepoilue from One Book Away From Heaven)!! :-)
Susi: So it’s officially Spotlight on Romance Month here at Ex Libris. And yes I do Love Romance.
Caroline: Thank you Stella for inviting us on Ex Libris today. I can safely say that romance is my favorite genre. You just have to look at my shelves to know it for a truth ;) It wasn’t always the case though, I used to think romances were...SILLY!!
Susi: Me too. I love this genre. I still remember how everything started. When I read my first Paranormal Romance novel I was sold and just couldn’t stop after that. But I kind of developed into a contemporary romance lover.
Caroline: See, that’s where we are different. Like you I started with Paranormal Romance, but I soon realized that my favorite genre was historical romance! *swoon* About 2 years ago, I read my first smexy Urban Fantasy (A Jeaniene Frost book). And there is just one step between Urban fantasy to PNR. I have no idea why, but at some point I decided I should read a Historical Romance, I remember which one...The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie.I was so ashamed to be seen reading this book. I kept making up excuses for reading it lol. But It blew me away! I was so sure I wouldn’t like silly Historicals...and here I am a year later, and Historicals are my favorites by far! *g*
Susi: I still understand why you like those so much. I’m always easily offended when the heroine is too un-independant or all virginal. I don’t like when they are so naive and most of the time they annoy so much.
Caroline: Ah yes I knew you’d give me the ‘virginal’ heroine card. lol I love that we are transported to another time, when it was really harder to get love. The rules of society, made marriage of convenience the norm and love was never a factor. I love that these heroine, had to be even more brave than us today, they had to play by the rules but be smarter than society and bend the rules discreetly. I’m also fascinated by the language of that time, whenever I read a historical I can hear an English accent in my head *g*
Susi: God I hate the language! So weird. And reminds me of English lessons in high-school. What is even weirder is that i was in the history class at high-school but I think my problem with Historicals is that they are mostly set in England. There are so many, at least for me, more interesting settings in our history. Where does this fascination with England come from?
Caroline: LOL I’m not talking Shakespearian language...I hate the Thee-thou talk. But it has a rhythm. I love it. *shakes fist in the air* You’d better say it’s great too! *gasp* Why yes, it’s the fact that it’s set in England that makes them so great! I looooooove the history of Kings and Queens in England. I think I know it better than the French history. So it’s a real pleasure to read Historicals set in those times *g* *planning on how to win you over* You’d better agree with me or I’ll kick your German butt lady! It’s funny because I have a harder time relating to Contemporary Romances.
Susi: At first I thought you said lick...LMAO and ohhhh why can it be harder to relate to a contemporary? For me that is the actual appeal of those novels. Familiar situations, people you can understand- who perhaps think like you would. No stupid rules about marriage and society. Just normal life with a bit of drama so to say. And I especially love those complicated ones with an actual deep story- a moral conflict that will keep you glued to the pages or something funny and light-hearted to entertain the hell out of you.
Caroline: I don’t feel like I’m escaping to another world when it’s day to day situations. When it’s set in our time, with people that could be us. It often makes me more sad about myself LOL. At least with Historicals or PNR you know it couldn’t be you! No regrets ;) I really struggle to read Contemps, well most of them, while Historicals just flow easily. I hate to break it to you Susi, but Historicals can ALSO be funny and keep you glued to the pages! *stick tongue’s out* Nia nia nia.
Susi: So okay now I want names. *looks stern* Tell me about funny Historicals I will love like a Megan Hart or Nora Roberts. Hah!
Caroline: Ah! This is tricky! Well...When Harry Met Molly by Kieran Kramer was very funny. Oh oh oh, I know Ten Things I love About You by Julia Quinn. How funny those were!! And I’d add The Duke and I by Julia Quinn....That last one is very hot! see? I can totally give you names LOL I’m not sure anything could rival Megan Hart in your heart LOL But Nora Roberts? Ah she doesn’t stand a chance! *g*
Susi: Oki I will read one of those but you have to read a contemporary in return.
Caroline: Alright lol, that’s a deal. Ok so if you wanted to convert me, which Contemporaries would you recommends? (remember that I cry easily) OH see? I knew I’d forgotten something...be it Historical or Contemp, I NEED a HEA. I really do!
Susi: I would say start the Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts. HEA ensured and OMG so funny, sweet and swoony. The first one is: Vision in White. So give me one I need to read.
Caroline: Wow this is a tough choice! So you need a Historical that is both hot and funny. So many could fit that description. It’s so hard to choose. Hummm ok The Duke and I by Julia Quinn.
So what is your favorite kind of romance story?
Are you more of a modern or historical romance lover? (say Historical say Historical!)
For every meaningful comment you leave on any "Spotlight on Romance" post (like this discussion post by Susi and Caro) you receive 1 entry into the Mystery Romance Giveaway which will be revealed later.
Giveaway is open worldwide.
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
The author I welcome today needs no introduction, Vivian Arend is a multi-faceted author who writes contemporary romances, paranormal romances and even erotic romances. The welcome note on Vivian's website says: "The tagline says Romance, Hot and Wild, and that’s just what you’ll find here. Vivian writes both contemporary and paranormal romance, and there’s plenty of story lengths and heat levels to choose from." (as you will see below when you take a look at her backlist). And what I find the most amazing is that Vivian wrote all these books since spring 2008! Talk about prolific! So read on to see what made Vivian write romances, check out her website (and books) and scroll down for your chance to win one of her novels. :-)
I write romance books. It’s not what I expected, or longed to do while I was growing up. In fact, I rarely read romance, although I read sci-fi, fantasy, YA—everything and anything I could get my hands on. When I first got published in 2009, someone teasingly asked why I ended up here, in Romancialand. I was as puzzled as them--and then it hit.
It’s the HEA. I can’t stand a book without a happily ever after. Even when I read fantasy, the quest has to finish successfully. In a mystery, the bad guy has to be caught and the mystery solved. And if there was ever even a hint of interest between them—the boy has got to get his girl.
Now it all makes sense. While I write both contemporary and paranormal, which allows me to play with people learning to fall in love both with and without magical assistance, in the end, it comes down to the end. Do they finish happy? In my books, they always do.
That’s a promise.
Lighthearted erotic paranormal - Granite Lake Wolves
Contemporary family/small town issues – Turner Twins
Paranormal wilderness ‘otherworldly’ sensation - Pacific Passion
Contemporary small town friends-to-lovers - Falling, Freestyle
Paranormal Christmas Cougar-shifter Chaos- Tangled Tinsel
HEA- all the way!
Vivian has offered an ebook copy of one of her ebooks (winner's choice) to one lucky commentator.
Giveaway is open worldwine and ends 9 January 2011.
To be entered leave a meaningful comment (no 'enter me please' comments will count) and leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.
So comment away, tell us why you read romance novels, or if the HEA is just as compulsory to you as to Vivian. Do you need your novels to end nicely with a good HEA in other genres too?