The One You Fight For Cover Reveal!

I'm so excited to finally be able to share Taryn's cover with, y'all! Today USA Today's HEA blog is revealing the cover of The One You Fight For along with four other new covers coming out from Amanda Heger, Kait Ballenger, Samantha Chase and Connie Mann!

Pop on over to the HEA blog to see Taryn's cover. I'm so in love with it, y'all! The model looks so much like how I imagine Taryn--so much so that I ended up changing the hero's hair color to match the guy on the cover with her, lol. Shaw was originally dark-haired but when I saw this cover option, I was like welp, guess he's going to turn blond! Plus, the guy on the cover is hot so no hardship. ;)

Click here to see the full cover along with the rest of the cover reveals!

And if you want to make sure you don't miss the release, the book is now up for pre-order!

Guest Author Maggie Wells on Writing Kickass Heroines

Happy April! Hope everyone had a nice weekend. I'm in the final stages of finishing up book 3 in The Ones Who Got Away series (The One You Fight For), which is already up for pre-order! So I'll be in the writer cave all week, but today I have a special treat for you. Maggie Wells is stopping by to tell us about her new release in her Playing for Keeps series and about writing strong, kickass heroines. I really love this topic because I agree with her that we're harder on the heroines than we are the heroes. When I wrote By the Hour, I knew I was going to get push back because the heroine was a villainess in the first book, but she had good reason to be a bitch for a while (in my opinion) and had a journey to make, so I'm all for the tough woman getting her romance. : )

Take it away, Maggie!

Guest Author Maggie Wells on Writing Kickass Heroines

Take it away, Maggie!

I write women I know. Or want to know. Some readers fall in love with my characters on first sight. Other heroines, they can never quite warm to. I get that. Believe it or not, I’m okay with that.

We all know women come in all shapes, shades, and sizes. I am a vertically challenged (but still the first woman in my family to break out of petite inseams, thankyouverymuch), pinkish-white, middle-aged woman. You probably know someone who fits that description, but I will bet all the money in my wallet (heh) they can’t fit my backstory.

I am the seventh child and one of two girls born to parents of Irish and German-American descent. I was raised in a middle-class, middle-America household. Dad worked hard to provide for us, and mom worked harder as a homemaker. I was given an excellent, if not always appreciated, Catholic school education. I attended university close to home, joined a sorority, and wound up with a degree in Political Science that has proved to be woefully underutilized in any of the six career paths I’ve followed since graduation. Pretty typical, right?

Oh, did I mention that my parents were alcoholics? Yeah, that shapes a person a bit. But I'm not damaged because of it, just cautious around alcohol. And, in spite of the booze, my family is freakishly functional. I had three serious romantic entanglements before the age of twenty-one, then dated sporadically through my twenties. I was a bridesmaid nine times. I considered myself comfortably settled into my singledom by the age of thirty. Then, I met my husband. A twice-divorced custodial parent of two kids under ten.

What could be more perfect for a nice Catholic girl?

I believe a person’s backstory shapes their humanity. There are a multitude of factors that play into our chances for success. Genetic traits passed on at birth, family ties, friendships and support networks. Then we add in education, environment, romantic and sexual identity, career choices…It goes on and on.

But every one of these factors force us to confront and adjust who we are and what is important to us. I went through all of this to say, you can’t duplicate me.

Yet, we like to try to fit our fictional heroines into tiny little molds. We call them archetypes, because that sounds cooler and more writery, but basically, they are character sketches. We want them to be relatable. Perhaps we want them to be just like us, or come with qualities we aspire to have. But sometimes those sketches bleed into one another or blur around the edges.

We all have stories and characters we gravitate toward. I like to read about women who have confidence in some things, but maybe not everything. I write some who make life choices that boggle my mind even as I’m putting the words on the page. There are some I’d love to be more like one type, but they stubbornly refuse to conform. Others, who are pretty much my doppelganger.

As a writer, I want the words I write to mean something to someone. Even the silly jokes. Because I never know who is reading. That person may really need a laugh that day. Or, perhaps, a reader sees something of herself in a character someone else might see as tragically flawed. This is why it’s important to me to write women who don’t always fit the mold. Maybe they didn’t spend their childhood playing with baby dolls and dreaming of their wedding day. Maybe, like me, they did, but that family life didn’t unfold the way they originally envisioned.

Doesn’t make it better or worse, just makes it different.

Our life stories can be plotted using two simple markers—decision or indecision. Of course, as a writer, I tend to write action more than inaction. No one wants to read a story where life simply happens to a person, right? But we all know inaction can have as potent a result as action.

Me, I’d rather see my heroine make the wrong choice than no choice at all.

As readers, we can be pretty darn judgmental about some of the things heroines do. But we forgive an awful lot in our heroes. I know I do. When will we as romance readers and writers start extending the same level of forgiveness and understanding to our heroines?

I am a work in progress—as a person, as a writer, and as a reader. I love characters who refuse to stop evolving. When I started writing the Love Games series, I wanted to write romance with a seriously feminist bent. Stories that would showcase kickass women who happened to be hitting some of those critical moments of decision/indecision smack dab in the middle of life.

You know, that time in life when younger people think we're supposed to have life all figured out?

When I started writing Millie Jensen, I knew I'd found a kindred spirit. I also know that Millie's manner and some of her choices may not sit well with readers. But that's okay. Millie is her own person. Just like me. And you.

I'll tell you a secret, most of us don’t have it all figured out. Even at my advanced age. So, when do we start accepting ourselves as flawed, but still pretty damn awesome? At what point do we start cutting women—real and fictional—a break?

Meet Millie and her fantastically flawed friends in my latest release, PLAY FOR KEEPS!

Mixing business and pleasure is a dangerous game…
Tyrell Ransom, the new men’s basketball coach, is ready to whip his team into shape and start winning some games. But when compromising photos of his soon-to-be-ex-wife with one of his players go viral, everything comes crashing down. With reporters thick on the ground, Ty and his team need some serious damage control―now
 

When public relations guru Millie Jenkins arrives in her leopard-print cape to save the day, things really heat up… Soon they’re going to have to work double time to keep their white-hot chemistry out of the headlines.

Grab your copy at:

Amazon ~ Apple ~ B&N ~ Google Play ~ Kobo  ~ Powell’s ~ Books-A-Million ~ The Ripped Bodice

 
MaggieWells1.png

About Maggie: 

By day, Maggie Wells is buried in spreadsheets. At night, she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. The product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt, you only have to scratch the surface of this mild-mannered married lady to find a naughty streak a mile wide. Maggie has a passion for college football, processed cheese foods, and happy endings. Not necessarily in that order.  

More Maggie: 

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook 

 

I'm a Double RITA Award Finalist!!!

Just popping in to share my good news. Today is the day romance writers wait by their phones with bated breath, hoping to get a call from the Romance Writers of America (RWA) because today is RITA call day. The RITA is the romance community's equivalent to an Oscar.

I was lucky enough to win one last year for NICE GIRLS DON'T RIDE and this year, I've had two books final!!!! I'm super excited. This never, ever gets old. I'm over the moon.

Off the Clock is a finalist for the Best Erotic Romance of 2016

and 

Wanderlust is a finalist for the Best Mid-Length Contemporary Romance of 2016

I'm so beyond thrilled. And the Wanderlust nomination is extra special to me because Wanderlust is the first romance I ever wrote. I wrote it before I had an agent or book deal, before I wrote Crash Into You (my debut novel) and it lived "under my bed" for years. When I revamped it and Berkley decided to put it out last year, I was so happy to finally see my first book baby out there. I never expected it to get a RITA nomination on top of that. :)

The awards will be given out in July at the RWA national conference so I'll keep you posted. But for now, go check all the finalists. If you're looking to add new books to your TBR pile, this is a great place to start. RITA finalists are judged by other romance writers and we're a picky bunch, so this is a good list to find your new favorite read. I know I'll be buying a bunch of these. :)

Happy reading!

 

BY THE HOUR Cover Reveal & Pre-Order is Live!!!!

Y'all have been enormously patient with me as I've transitioned the Pleasure Principle series to indie pub. Thank you so much! But I'm happy to report that I can now reveal the cover (woot!) AND it's up for pre-order for only $4.99!!!  I'm so excited, you guys!

Grab your copy: Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | B&N 

Also, THIS WILL BE AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK, but there is no pre-order option for that, so print will be available on the day of release, April 25.

But, first, what do you think of Lane's sexy cover? :)

And here's what the book is about:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Off the Clock comes a story of love, hate, and the fire that ignites when the two collide... 

Dr. Elle McCray has a plan. Work hard. Be the best. And do it alone. After her ex-husband’s betrayal, she’s learned being feared is a hell of a lot easier than being humiliated. So when trouble personified, Lane Cannon, dares to flirt with her, she shuts him down cold. Too gorgeous. Too cocky. And his job as The Grove’s sexual surrogate is to sleep with patients. No, thank you.

Former escort Lane Cannon has spent enough years with people looking down on him. Stupid. Trailer trash. Rent boy. He’s heard it all. He’s worked too hard to shed his past to let some haughty doctor cut him down. But something about Elle’s ice queen act has his dominant instincts perking up and his body taking notice. He can’t walk away.

After an evening of verbal sparring turns into a night of steamy hate sex, Lane’s ready for round two. But Elle proposes a business deal. How better to keep things strictly physical than to pay him for his services? 

Lane wants her, not her money. But he’ll play along in exchange for one thing—all the control. It’s only supposed to be a dirty little fling between colleagues, but these two are about to learn a lesson in love…by the hour.

Pre-order your copy now and Lane will be in your life without having to remember what day it's coming out. :) 

PRE-ORDER: Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | B&N 

MY BIG NEWS: The ONES WHO GOT AWAY Series has sold to Sourcebooks!

If you've been hanging around here lately, you know I've been hinting for a while that I had some big news to share. Well, I finally can talk about it! Yay!

I've sold a three-book contemporary romance series to Sourcebooks!!! 

Here's the official announcement:

From Publishers Weekly:

New York Times bestselling and RITA award-winning, Roni Loren’s THE ONES WHO GOT AWAY, a contemporary romance series following the survivors of a school shooting twelve years later, damaged souls who discover they are worthy of receiving and giving love, to Cat Clyne at Sourcebooks, in a three-book deal, for publication in 2017, by Sara Megibow of KT Literary Agency.

I'm so, so excited to be working on this new project and am thrilled to partner with Sourcebooks to do it. Tackling school violence as part of a romance is a little out there, I know. But when this idea came to me, it was one that wouldn't leave me alone. I really wanted to explore the idea of how people heal and find their HEA after not just tragedy but after being part of something that defined their existence both privately and publicly, when you're labeled as a "survivor" or in this case, The Ones Who Got Away.

But be assured, this will still be what you've (hopefully) come to expect from my books--emotional romance, sexy/steamy times, and humor to balance out the heavy stuff. Though, note that these will be contemporary romance not erotic romance. 

I don't have a set release date yet, but the tentative plan right now is for the first to release in the Fall of 2017. The books will be available in both ebook and mass market paperback. I can't wait to start this new journey! :)

Also, this does not mean that I'm shutting down my other series or erotic romance. I'll blog more on the details of that tomorrow. But for now *throws confetti*

 

Holy S#!t! I Won a RITA!!!!! (oh, and I have a book out tomorrow)

*insert all the curse words* I did it y'all!

This past week was the Romance Writers of America conference, and the big event that wraps up the conference is our version of of the Oscars--The RITAs. I was nominated for two this year, which was a huge honor in and of itself. But then this happened...

Okay, so I thought *maybe* I had a chance at the erotic category (where BREAK ME DOWN was nominated) because it only had five nominees and the odds were better. But the Best Novella category was first of the evening and had like ten nominees from all different genres. I was not prepared to say the least. The first words out my mouth as I heard the word "Nice" and my table erupted in screams were, "Oh SHIT!" Lol. Always so eloquent, right? Then I was shaking all over and in some weird out of body state as I walked up to the stage.

I had a speech prepared. I couldn't read it. I choked up on stage and announced that I was going to cry. I forgot to thank everybody I meant to except my husband, mom, editor, and agent. But despite me completely having a breakdown in front of a giant ballroom of people and the live stream on internet, it was the BEST THING EVER. I can't even tell you how amazing it is to bring one of these home. I don't do this for awards, but man, they sure are nice. :)

And so since I forgot to thank you, my readers, I'm saying it now. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For reading my books, for your enthusiasm, and for all the kind words you send me. I couldn't do this job if it weren't for you. So I share the lovely RITA with you. ;)

*hugs* (Oh, and if you want to watch the RITAs and see my complete freak out, I think they're going to upload it to YouTube at some point and will share the link.)

In other news, WANDERLUST will be out tomorrow! And it's only $3.99. So if you haven't already, go grab you a sexy rockstar. ;)

About the book:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Loving on the Edge series and Off the Clock, a story of sex, love, rock & roll, and a reporter who’s about to learn a new meaning for staying on top of her assignment... 

Restaurant critic Aubrey Bordelon is never at a loss for words to describe her meals in the fancy restaurants of New Orleans. But after her magazine’s high-profile music reporter falls ill, she finds herself out of her element and in a sea of screaming fans awaiting Wanderlust’s lead singer, Lex Logan. The sound of his voice gives her goosebumps, and the stage presence of the hard-bodied rock star takes her breath away. So when he pulls her onstage for a sexy stunt, she knows she’s in real trouble.

Lex doesn’t want to pretend that the sparks on stage between him and Aubrey never happened, but it certainly makes the fact that she’s writing a story on his band all the more dangerous. The last thing he needs is some nosy reporter revealing their problems to the world. But the sexy Southern belle doesn’t give up easily, and soon he’s wondering if the best way to chase her off the story is to coax her into his bed… 

PRE-ORDER THE BOOKAmazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play 

That's all I've got for you today! Hope you have a great week!

Cover Reveal of WANDERLUST!

I love cover reveal days. :) And today is particularly special because this is a contemporary romance I wrote a long time ago (and revised 3000 times since, lol). If you followed me on Blogger way back when, you might remember me talking about WANDERLUST. But the point is, I have been imagining covers for a Very. Long. Time. (since 2008) And I have to say, I love what Berkley came up with. It's got the rockstar thing but is also sweet and sexy and romantic. And I love the summery tones.

Here it is!

About the book:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Loving on the Edge series and Off the Clock, a story of sex, love, rock & roll, and a reporter who’s about to learn a new meaning for staying on top of her assignment...  

Restaurant critic Aubrey Bordelon is never at a loss for words to describe her meals in the fancy restaurants of New Orleans. But after her magazine’s high-profile music reporter falls ill, she finds herself out of her element and in a sea of screaming fans awaiting Wanderlust’s lead singer, Lex Logan. The sound of his voice gives her goosebumps, and the stage presence of the hard-bodied rock star takes her breath away. So when he pulls her onstage for a sexy stunt, she knows she’s in real trouble.

Lex doesn’t want to pretend that the sparks on stage between him and Aubrey never happened, but it certainly makes the fact that she’s writing a story on his band all the more dangerous. The last thing he needs is some nosy reporter revealing their problems to the world. But the sexy Southern belle doesn’t give up easily, and soon he’s wondering if the best way to chase her off the story is to coax her into his bed… 

You can pre-order your copy for only $3.99! And this is not a novella, it's a 60k word novel. :)

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play 

So what do you think? :)

Teaser Tuesday: CALL ON ME is only a week away!

 

 

Guess who's only a week away? Pike! So today I thought I'd give you a peek at Pike playing drum, the heroine Oakley, and for those who've read YOURS ALL ALONG, a little cameo by Devon.

 

Excerpt:

“So,” Devon said, obviously searching for a change in topic, “you know a guy in the next band?”

“The drummer. He’s the one helping out with that music project at Bluebonnet. He gave us tickets, thought Reagan might have fun.”

Dev’s eyebrow arched. “Right. Because he thought your kid might have fun.”

“It’s not like that.”

“Uh-huh.”

Guitar chords blasted through the speaker for a moment as the crew on stage did the sound check. Oakley turned her head as the big screens on the side of the stage lit up with a publicity photo for Darkfall—the wind making the screens ripple and the bodies in the picture come to life. The crowd cheered.

“Look, mom!” Reagan shouted back at her. “It’s Mr. Pike!”

“I see, baby.” Boy, did she. The larger than life image had Pike staring down the camera with his bandmates. Badass. Tough. Beautiful.

“Which one is he?” Devon asked, following her gaze.

“The blond.”

“Whoa,” he said low enough for the kids not to hear. “You had that guy over for pizza and managed keep your clothes on? You have more restraint than I do.”

He had no idea. “I have no interest in being a groupie.”

“Can I be one?”

She shoved his shoulder. “You’re such a tramp. I’m so telling Hunter when he gets back in town.”

“Tell him. He’d agree. But seriously, is the guy a jerk? He looks like he has high potential to be an egomaniac. I don’t want that kind of guy around my baby sister and niece.”

She frowned and dragged her eyes away from the picture. “Oh, he’s got an ego, all right. He’s entirely inappropriate most of the time and a shameless flirt. But I wouldn’t say he’s a jerk. He’s kind of, I don’t know, weird and manic and…funny.”

Devon tipped up the bill of his hat, eyeing her with a sly smile. “Oh, so we have a mad crush then?”

“What? No.”

“Oak, you’re here in the Texas heat at a hard rock festival. You don’t even know these bands. And a few weeks ago, when I asked if you wanted to take Reagan to see that 80s cover band, you told me she was too young for concerts.”

Oakley crossed her arms. “Rae has since proven her maturity.”

He smirked. “Bull. Shit. You’ve got the hots for this guy.”

“He’s not my type.”

Dev shook his head and draped his arm around her shoulders, pulling her close so the kids couldn’t hear. “Come on, don’t freak out about it. You work too hard and spend too much time alone. This could be good for you.”

“An ill-advised hookup with a drummer who will drop me as soon as he gets bored could be good for me?”

“Exactly. Look, I know I’m your brother and shouldn’t be saying this, but there’s nothing wrong with a finding yourself a hot, temporary fuck buddy.”

“Dev!”

He laughed. “Oh, don’t be such a prude. I mean, yes, you’re right. The guy’s probably not boyfriend material. But you’re a grown woman and deserve some fun. You know we’re always happy to have Rae over if you need a date night.”

“I think you just flunked big brother school.”

He gave her shoulder a pat. “Okay, fine, want responsible brotherly advice? Use a condom. And don’t let him take video.”

She poked him in the ribs. But before she could respond to his comment, the lights on stage began to flash and the crowd surged forward, excitement like a contagion moving through them.

“Come on, mom! Let’s get closer.” Reagan grabbed her hand and dragged her with the flow of the crowd.

They’d already been pretty close to the stage, thanks to the special passes Pike had sent, but now they were only a ten or twelve rows of people back on the far left side of the stage. Bodies pressed close to them and she couldn’t help but get caught up in the fervor of the crowd.

She pushed onto her toes, knowing the drummer was almost always the first one to come out.

“Is that him?” Dev asked.

“Where?”

Devon pointed to the other end of the stage, and Oakley froze up the moment her eyes landed on Pike. Tight gray jeans, combat boots, and a black sleeveless T-shirt that showed off his ink. All swagger and sex and guyliner. Pike waltzed onto the stage like it’d been built just for him. He lifted his hand in greeting, earning screams from the audience, then hopped behind his drum kit. He put in his earpiece, raised his drumstick, and leaned over to his mic with a cocky smile. “Y’all ready for us, Dallas?”

The crowd erupted. Sound exploded from his drums.

And Oakley forgot to breathe.

Good. God.

The rest of the band ran onto the stage, adding guitars and vocals to Pike’s heavy rhythm, but Oakley barely heard the words.

All she could do was stare. Pike took command of the drums like he had a personal vendetta against them, banging hard and violent but with a sharp-edged grace that made it look like moving art. Every part of his body worked in perfect rhythm—muscles flexing, tattoos dancing, sweat flying—and the expression on his face wasn’t far from what she’d imagined he looked like in the throes of sex. He was taking the songs in his fists and making them his with every swing of his drumsticks.

Oakley swayed on her feet, the pounding beat taking on an erotic edge, vibrating though her and invading her like a drug.

He looked possessed.

He sounded amazing.

And she was toast.

She felt the urge ride up her throat and she couldn’t stop it. Her hands went up with the rest of the crowd and she screamed Pike’s name like a goddamned groupie.

Fucking. Toast.

***

Pre-order so that Pike is waiting for you next Tuesday!

B&N | Amazon | Kindle UK | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

 

Your Invitation to Eden Is Here - Enjoy Your Stay (And Win Stuff!)

 

Today is the official release day for the August Invitation to Eden releases, including mine, Blurring the Lines!

Check out all three because each give something a little different. Mari Carr is giving you sexy suspense, Steena Holmes is giving you sweet contemporary, and I'm giving you steamy contemporary with a paranormal twist.

Also, we've got prizes! Don't miss out on the huge contest where you can win one of three End of Summer prize packs. (Enter below.)

 

 

Blurring the Lines by Roni Loren

A year has passed since Gretchen lost her fiancé, but she still can’t sleep. Or paint. And her new home in New Orleans is either haunted or she’s finally going crazy.
Her bet is on the latter.

So when her best friend, Burke, offers to sweep her away to a private luxury island for a break, she can’t say no. Maybe if she can be someone else for a few days, the ghosts of the past will quiet. At least for a little while.

Burke knows what she’s going through. She lost her fiancé, but he lost family. He gets her in a way no else can. But lately she’s noticing things she shouldn’t about her former fiancé’s younger brother—his sexy smirk, that spicy Cajun accent, and the way he looks at her when he thinks she’s not paying attention. A week alone with him? Dangerous. If she blurs the lines between them, she could ruin the only friendship that means anything to her. She could ruin it all.

But the island of Eden has its own agenda. The island knows what you need. That’s what the invitation says. She just never imagines it will grant her the one wish that could destroy them both.

Kindle Nook Kobo iTunes


Rough Draft by Mari Carr (Big Easy, Book 4)

Capture, bondage and fantasies fulfilled. It’s all fun and games until someone gets killed.

 Bestselling crime novelist Jett Lewis is stumbling over a wicked case of writer’s block, his fast-flowing words having run dry. His publisher’s screaming “deadline”, the fans are ready to riot, and Jett just wants to disappear. His friend Carissa suggests he get away, clear his head…get laid. And she has just the ticket. Literally. Two passes to Eden, an exclusive island paradise. Recently sans girlfriend, Jett convinces Carissa to go with him, and the resort is more than either of them bargained for—especially when the simple beach trip turns to murder. Thrust into a plot sinister enough to rival Jett’s books, the couple embarks on a search for the killer. The most shocking revelation of all might be their mutual attraction…and how much Jett and Carissa love working undercover.

Kindle Nook Kobo iTunes


Return to Sender by Steena Holmes (Return to Sender trilogy, Book 1)

Lauren Summers is the stable sister, the one who runs the family company while her sisters take off and travel the world. One weekend a year she hides herself away and mourns a love she lost six years ago. That weekend is now, except she’s being whisked away to a mysterious island despite her protests. After being pampered with luxury, massages and the best chocolate a girl could taste, she starts to realize that its time she left the past behind and moved forward with life, and maybe with love. What she doesn’t know, is that someone from her past has other ideas…

Kindle Nook Kobo iTunes

 

CONTEST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Happy reading!

Invitation to Eden Contest - Win $100 Gift Card and Books!

I'm busy, busy writing FOREVER STARTS TONIGHT, the Jace/Evan/Andre follow-up novella, but I wanted to pop in and tell you about the awesome contest I'm doing with the other Invitation to Eden authors. It's only open for a week I believe, so enter while you can! : )

And look how pretty all the covers look together. : )

Hope you have a great Monday!

CONTEST!!!

SIGN UP for your own INVITATION TO EDEN, a brand new series from 27 of the biggest names in Romance.  Sign up for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card and a ton of awesome prizes from the authors in the series by joining our Eden Newsletter, Facebook Page, and Bookclub Page!  We look forward to seeing you on the island paradise of Eden, where anything … and everything can happen! 


(Note: this contest app is not mobile compatible and you must enter on a regular computer!)