Monday, September 8, 2014

Helen Lacey's New Novel ONCE UPON A BRIDE

MBB is delighted to welcome one of our favourite authors, Helen Lacey, back to the blog.  Helen writes rich, emotional stories for Harlequin Special editions and her latest release is ONCE UPON A BRIDE.  She's one of my favourite authors to interview as she always gives thought provoking and very insightful answers to my questions.  Please enjoy reading this interview and check out the book, which is a great read. There's a RAFFLECOPTER contest as well.


HELEN LACEY ON THE WEB:

Website   Blog   Facebook    Twitter     Goodreads

How do you come up with the ideas for new stories? 
It’s an organic process, I think. One book tends to lead to the next. New secondary characters come and go quietly while the hero and heroine aim for their happily-ever-after and once those characters capture my attention, I have to tell their own story. In saying that, I also get ideas from everyday life—TV, books, or simply people watching during my day job. Ideas are everywhere!

Does writer's block ever happen to you? 
I’ve never suffered from writer’s block. I’m a pantser and don’t do really detailed outlines. When I sit down at my computer I usually re-read a couple of pages from the day before and that pulls me back into the story.

How do you/would you cope if/when it strikes?
I think I would re-read the last book I wrote for starters. I’d look at ways to reconnect with my characters—perhaps do character profiles or a first person diary from my hero or heroine’s viewpoint. 

Of all the stories you've written, what's your favourite? 
That’s a tough question. I have to say the one I’m usually in the middle of writing tends to be my favourite. However....Once Upon A Bride holds a special place in my heart. I did a fair bit of research to ensure the hero’s past battle was real and resonated with readers. This connected me with people who’d been through similar battles and I was so inspired by the strength and resilience I encountered. It was very humbling. But I’m also loving the book I’m just about to hand in to my editor. It’s book seven and the heroine Mary-Jayne has been popular with readers throughout the series—I’ve had countless emails asking me when her story is going to be told and am happy to say The CEO’s Baby Surprise will be out in April 2015 

Oh, thanks for that bit of news.  I'll look forward to featuring that book on this blog.  I have one more question, Helen.  Do you live in your character's world while you write? 
For sure. The books I'm writing at the moment for Harlequin Special Edition are set in a small Australian beachside town called Crystal Point which sits at the Southern most point of the Great barrier Reef. Which is just like the town where I live with my husband and our menagerie of pets (Four dogs, two ragdoll cats and three horses) Because I don’t do extensive plotting and write organically it’s important to my writing process that I get draw deeply into my characters and the setting. 

ONCE UPON A BRIDE


Happily ever after…?

When Gabe Vitali escapes to a fresh start in Crystal Point, Australia, the former physician isn't looking for a storybook ending. For the first time he's living in the moment. His new five-year plan does not include serious relationships. But he doesn't anticipate his unavoidable next-door neighbor…and an undeniable attraction.

Bridal consultant Lauren Jakowski wants marriage. She's just sworn off love and sex! To avoid getting burned again, she's looking for safe and forever-after. But they're not Gabe's to give–for reasons he can't share with anyone, least of all this pretty complication.

Gabe and Lauren don't figure on a fairy tale. But fate has other plans….


Get this book here:

 Amazon

Amazon UK

Amazon Aust

B&N

Harlequin US 

M&B UK

M&B Australia

CONTEST:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 1, 2014

Review - TROUBLE HAS A NEW NAME by Adite Banerjie

No one in their right mind could possibly have blamed Rayna Dutt for hitting the tequila the night before she was due to fly out for her best friend’s society wedding at an exclusive resort. After all, she’d just been dumped and, to add insult to injury, dumped via SMS. It really doesn’t get any worse than that, does it?

The trouble with reckless behaviour, however, no matter how understandable, is the sad fact that there are consequences. One pays a heavy price for taking leave of one’s senses. Rayna almost missed her flight (unthinkable!) to the exclusive wedding venue resort. Then there was the cringe-making wardrobe malfunction which Rayna only noticed when it was absolutely impossible to reverse it (hideously embarrassing!!). How can this poor girl bear to go on? Then, when things couldn’t possibly get any worse, her ex turns up. With his new love, a Bollywood item girl, on his arm. If ever a girl needed a knight in shining armour to turn up and rescue her, Rayna does.

But knights in shining armour are few and far between when a girl needs them. There is, however, the handsome co-owner of the wedding resort, Neel Arora. And wonder of wonders, he appears to be single. Rayna encounters the man and his hard-to-miss magnetism and she starts dreaming up a plan. But will Mr. Neel Arora oblige the lady? Pick up a copy of this book and find out.
Read this story and you get a trip to the wonderful Andaman islands, a little known part of India. You’ll also get a chance to participate in the proverbial big fat Indian wedding, the drama, the colour, the excitement and of course, a touch of Bollywood. It’s all there.

The chemistry between Neel and Rayna is beautifully captured. I got quite lost in the story.

This story, however, isn’t all about glitz and glamour. Rayna may be a top model and Neel an up and coming entrepreneur. But they’ve both suffered tragedy in the past. Can they move on and build a wonderful future full of love and hope, together? This is the USP of this talented author. She can write a story which will lift a reader’s spirit and give them hope, without allowing the characters (and consequently the reader) to wallow in misery. And with this author there’s always a touch of glamour, not to mention the most wonderful sense of humour.



Thursday, July 31, 2014

HOLLOW by Ava Conway


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Blurb for Hollow: Girl, Interrupted meets Beautiful Disaster in this thrilling and sexy debut novel, in which a college student learns her perfect life is a lie and finds new love where she least expects it—a mental institution. Freaks, misfits and psychopaths. Those are the kinds of people found at Newton Heights Psychiatric Hospital, and high-society girl Lucy White’s new home. Freaks, misfits and Jayden McCray. Jayden has his own set of rules for life at Newton Heights, and in this contradictory guy Lucy finds a way to live with the events that left her cheating boyfriend and best friend dead and Lucy in the middle of the investigation into their demise. The problem? Jayden makes her want things she’s not supposed to have, blurring the lines between fantasy and reality and making Lucy feel more at home in Newton Heights than she ever did at home. But this isn’t how her life is supposed to be. Or is it? Excerpt: I framed his face with my palms and held his gaze. “You can’t hold yourself responsible for other people’s poor decisions.” He slid his fingers up over my wrists. His touch was feather-light, but his warmth seeped deep into my soul. “Ditto.” Tears flowed, and I was helpless to stop them. This was what life was all about, I realized. People were meant to be honest with each other and to trust, not to manipulate. I was more resolved than ever to own up to my mistakes and take charge of my life. This was what I wanted, what I needed. He leaned down and pressed his lips against mine. I closed my eyes and drank in his light, his goodness. Jayden’s biggest problem wasn’t that he tried to protect the entire ward—it was that he cared too much. There was nowhere for all of those emotions to go, nowhere he could find solace. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him close. As he tilted his head, I opened to him, eager to drink in his goodness. Let me be your sanctuary. I needed his emotions as much as he needed to give them to me. When he broke away, I was breathless. Breathless, but determined. He had shared a part of himself with me. Now I wanted to share a part of myself with him. While I wasn’t quite ready to share anything about my trial, there was something else I could offer him. “Lucy, wait.” Jayden’s voice sounded panicked as I reached for his belt buckle. For the first time in my life, I was making my own decisions. I was deciding to be intimate with Jayden in every way possible, and it felt wonderful. Freeing. I leaned forward to kiss him, but he moved his head at the last minute. “Lucy—I have to tell you something before we do this. It’s about my uncle.” “You’ve said enough.” He’d told me about the demons from his past. No one had ever trusted me like that before, not even Kyle. Trust like that deserved something in return. I didn’t need to hear more, and in that moment, I didn’t want to. “Kiss me,” I said. Before he could respond, I pressed my lips against his. I felt him hesitate, and then it was as if something gave way inside of him. Jayden tilted his head, urging me to open to him. I did and with a groan he invaded my mouth, exploring, tasting . . .
Hollow
Hollow is Ava Conway's first mainstream, new adult romance release. Ava also writes erotic romance under the pen name Suzanne Rock. For a complete listing of Suzanne's backlist, go here: Link The second book in the series, Shattered, releases January 5, 2015. Add to Goodreads: Link Purchase Links: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | GOOGLE PLAY | BLIO | BAM

Monday, July 21, 2014

TROUBLE HAS A NEW NAME - New Release from Indian Author Adite Banerjie


Maria's Book Blog welcomes Indian author Adite Banerjie, who writes for Mills & Boon India.  She's back with another great read: TROUBLE HAS A NEW NAME.

ADITE BANERJIE ON THE WEB:

Facebook  Twitter   Website/Blog



Welcome, Adite.  I wonder would you please share a brief description of your writing journey?
My journey as a fiction writer began about six years ago after I took a short screenwriting course and was completely hooked. I had been a journalist and a content creator for more than 15 years and I wanted to do something that was different yet similar. After doing a few more online writing workshops and lurking at fiction writing forums I finally mustered the courage to write a few spec screenplays. I was commissioned to write a screenplay and I had a ball doing it. Once I was more confident of my ability to write fiction, I decided to experiment with writing a novel. I shot off an entry to the Harlequin India Author Auditions contest and was very lucky to be among the winners. That led to a contract for two books – Trouble Has A New Name is my second book for Harlequin India. My first book The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal was published last year. So, it’s been an exciting journey and I’m looking forward to many more writing adventures! J

What moves you to write?
Stories! When I read a good book or watch a great movie with interesting characters and plots I feel motivated to write. I love the process of building a story world and peopling them with diverse characters.

Where did you get the inspiration for the book?
I’m a net-surfing addict and during one of my random surfing stints, I came across a travel blog with tons of beautiful pictures of the Andaman Islands. It was so picturesque I just knew I had to write a romance set in the islands. The other source of inspiration came from a news story I had read about young couples breaking up via text messages. So I combined the two and I had the premise of my story. 

I know I ask all my guests this, it's my favourite question.  Can you share a Tweet sized summary of your book?
Flying to the Andaman Islands for her best friend’s wedding couldn’t happen at a worse time for recently-dumped model Rayna Dutt. Perhaps the handsome hotelier Neel Arora can come to her rescue? 

What's next for you, Adite?
My next book is a romantic-suspense for Harlequin India and it is set in Rajasthan. Thank you so much, Maria, for hosting me on your blog! 

Delighted and honoured to have you as a guest, Adite.  I'm looking forward to the Rajasthan book, it's set in one of my favourite regions in India.  I've always found the Andamans fascinating too, to I'm delighted to be reviewing your new book. All the best with your current novel and the ones to come in the future!


TROUBLE HAS A NEW NAME


Will you pretend to be my fiance for the next few days?

Recently single model Rayna Dutt does not feel like flying to her friends big fat Indian wedding. But she does-and when a mix-up with room allocation forces her to share a luxury villa on Emerald Isle with the gorgeous owner of the hotel Neel Arora, best man at the wedding, things begin to look up. Until Raynas ex turns up with a new girl on his arm!

Hitting the panic button, Rayna searches for a solution.

Surely Neel wouldnt mind being her fake fianc? In an instant the attraction they share is at fever-pitch, but when scandal comes calling Rayna soon finds herself in more trouble than she can handle!


Get this book here:  Flipkart    Amazon  Amazon India

Harlequin

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IN BED WITH THE COMPETITION: Author JK Coi with a GIVEAWAY

Today, MBB welcomes author JK Coi.

J.K. Coi  is a multi-published, award winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance and urban fantasy, who loves writing dark, tortured characters that leap off the page and into readers hearts. Follow her on Twitter  and Facebook.

J. K. COI ON THE WEB:




The MBB interview with J. K. Coi:



 Can you share a short bio?

JK Coi is code name for the deadliest member of a super secret spy organization whose mission is to seek out and destroy mullets and meggings in the unsuspecting public.

Just kidding.

I’m really nothing special. I’m just a woman with a husband and a son, who loves to write. I also like to read, walk with the dog, and create things with stained glass.

What inspires your writing?

Little things. Everything. I find inspiration in the look two people give each other across a crowded room I happen to be in. Is that a look of anticipation or frustration? Maybe they’re in a new relationship and can’t wait to get each other alone, or maybe they had an argument on the way over. Sometimes just the way a woman fiddles with the pendant on the end of her chain can trigger something. What is she thinking? So many possibilities! J


 What made you press on with this writing project when things were  difficult?  Because they must have been, sometimes.

Yeah, every book has a few moments when you want to scrap it and walk away forever…well, maybe not forever. Sometimes I press on because I have to. I have a contract and it’s as simple as having to fulfill my contract. But even then, I have to finish the book because that’s just the way I am. I don’t like leaving things unfinished. I have a half a manuscript that I started about three years ago and I still think about it almost daily because it’s NOT DONE and that drives me crazy. Thankfully, even when it’s not working, I know that it can work. So, because I’m stubborn I’ll keep at it.

 Please sum up your plot in a tweet sized sentence.

Business rivals with a past meet again at a convention in Antigua…but the heat between them isn’t just from the tropical sun.

Future plans?

Well, there’s that whole super spy thing and it keeps me busy.

Honestly, I just want to keep writing. One of these days I’m hoping that I can support myself and my family with my writing so that I can do it full time. My big dream is pretty boring, but I want to be able to stay home in my pajamas, write all day, then make dinner for my men and cuddle with the puppy. I’m pretty much already there!

Thanks for having me today! I had a great time with your questions.


IN BED WITH THE COMPETITION


This rivalry is too hot for the tropics…

Elizabeth Carlson and Ben Harrison used to be friends, coworkers...and almost lovers. But that was before Ben proposed mixing business with pleasure. Elizabeth refuses to lose her heart to a hotshot tycoon with a cutthroat, take-no-prisoners attitude. Not with the prospect of starting her own company at stake.

Driven to succeed in all areas of his life, Ben couldn’t resist the temptation to make Liz his. But then she walked away, igniting a bitter rivalry. Competing for the same contract at a Caribbean conference ignites sparks too hot to ignore, and Ben’s determined to finish what they started, even if it’ll only last a few steamy, tropical nights.

Elizabeth’s resolve begins to crumble under Ben’s blatant seduction. Can she walk away from a hot island fling with the sexiest man she’s ever known with her heart intact, or will losing herself in Ben destroy everything she’s fought to achieve?

Get this book here:  Amazon

My apologies to the author and her publicist as this post appears rather later than scheduled owing to technical issues.  There's a giveaway for one commenter, so leave a comment before you go.



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Twelve Hours of Temptation with Shoma Narayanan

Today MBB welcomes Indian author and international Harlequin Mills and Boon author Shoma Narayanan.  Her latest book  TWELVE HOURS OF TEMPTATION is a lovely read and it's out right now.
Shoma Narayanan on the web:
Can you share a short bio with the readers?
I grew up in Central India in a small, sleepy little town – I trained as an engineer, but took an MBA degree after my BE, and ended up in Mumbai working for a bank.  I’ve been a banker for fifteen years now, a mom for eleven years, and an author for three.  Always a serial hobbyist, I was perhaps more surprised than anyone else when my writing hobby turned into a serious second career. 
Mills and Boon India runs an annual writing contest, and I was thrilled to be a winner when I entered the contest some years ago.  Even more exciting was being selected to be the first Indian writer to write for M&B globally – since then, I’ve written several books, and have loved every minute of it.  “Twelve Hours of Temptation” is my fifth romance novel for Mills and Boon.
What inspires you to write?
When I’m tired of talking, I turn to writing….But seriously speaking?  Pretty much everything.  People I meet, places I see, little incidents and snippets from everyday life.  The process of writing is incredibly fulfilling, and I love every stage, right from coming up with the plot and fleshing out the characters to writing the last chapter and then re-reading and editing the manuscript
What gave you the idea for your latest release?
I was driving down to Goa from Mumbai with my family, and was idly wondering what the trip would be like without the constant refrain of young voices from the rear seat saying “Are we there yet?” or  “My IPad is running out of charge!!!”, or (in terrifyingly meek tones), “If we don’t stop now I think I will be sick.”
So anyway, I came up with the idea of a young, talented copywriter on her way to her first ever awards ceremony in the company of her super-hot boss.  She’s got a phobia of flying, and the trains and buses are booked solid, so he offers her a place in his car.  The attraction between them is instant, but they try t resist it for as long as they can…to find out what happens next, you’ll have to read the book!
Can you sum up the plot in a Tweet-sized sentence?
Melissa finds her new boss Samir incredibly attractive, but she’s determined to resist temptation – until she figures out that he’s quite as tempted as she is..
What's next for you?


Maybe a linked series of books, or a full-length novel...I haven’t made any definite plans yet, but both of these are on the cards.

TWELVE HOURS OF TEMPTATION


Being chained to her desk is not how copywriter Melissa D'Cruz envisaged spending the night before her first major awards ceremony. No Cinderella moment for this award nominee—instead she's facing a night of deadlines! But Melissa is determined to get to the event…she just has to work out how….
New boss Samir Razdan catches Melissa burning the midnight oil and offers to drive her to the event himself. But the minute they set off Samir knows he's in trouble—because being this close to Melissa is already driving him crazy, and they've got twelve torturous hours of temptation ahead…!
Get this book here:  Harlequin.com    Amazon India    Flipkart India
Review by Maria Perry Mohan
Melissa D'Cruz is the most endearing heroine I've read in an age.  A talented young Goan girl who sometimes lets her heart rule her head, Melissa doesn't give a damn about what anyone thinks.  She's a wizard with words and she can play the drums with just as much skill when she's called upon to do it.   Samir Razdan is a Kashmiri Pandit who moves among the upper echelons of society.  He's Melissa's boss and no one ever imagines that this pair can get it together - until they do!
But can they last?  In India, community is everything.  Will your partner accept and love your culture?  And more to the point - will your folks accept your partner?  Melissa and Samir, a modern Indian couple, accept the challenge head on and let's see how they do it.  This is a modern Indian romance with a strong message.  A must for readers of romance as well as readers of contemporary Indian fiction.




Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ella Carey's Paris Time Capsule

I am happy to welcome debut author Ella Carey to MBB today.  Ella's book, THE PARIS TIME CAPSULE, is an intriguing story about an abandoned apartment in Paris which literally stood still in time.  I'm not going to give too much away because I want readers to get this book and read this delightful story for themselves.  I had a few questions for Ella......

ELLA CAREY ON THE WEB:

Facebook        Twitter          Author Page        Goodreads


Can you share a short bio?
 I love art, history, music and books! I am a tragic Francophile … always wishing that I was in Paris. I speak French, and have been to Paris a dozen times. I have a music degree in classical piano, and majored in English literature and history for my arts degree. I write women’s fiction, and my novel, ‘The Paris Time Capsule,’ has just been published. Other than that, I love walking with my dogs, two sweet little Italian greyhounds. They are always mistaken for whippets!

What inspires your writing?
 It’s odd how things come together. I will hear a story about something, or a person will inspire me sometimes. But, often it’s not until later on that I will think about turning these ideas into a story. Things come together, something that struck me as interesting might merge with a character that I had been thinking about, or, there might be an idea that I want to explore, as happened in my story ‘Another Life.’ I was besotted with the true story that inspired ‘The Paris Time Capsule,’ – although, perhaps it was just another excuse to spend more imaginative time in Paris!

What made you press on with this writing project when things were difficult? Because they must have been, sometimes.
 Ultimately, I think there are several things that kept me going with this novel. I was exploring ideas in which I believed. I was inspired and moved by the true story of the woman who abandoned her apartment in Paris for seventy years. She fled on the eve of the Nazi invasion in 1940, leaving her grandmother’s extraordinary story buried throughout the second half of the twentieth century until it was rediscovered in 2010.

But the real question remained unanswered. Why would you never return to Paris? Even after the war? And why would you keep your treasure filled apartment a secret?

I believed in my characters, Cat, especially, but I won’t give away which others, as that would spoil the story … although I have empathy for them all. Above all, I was trying to write something that would resonate, something that might inspire readers to think about certain things … and then, I was hopelessly involved with France. The novel is set in various places in that country. I don’t think I could have abandoned this novel.

Please sum up your plot in a tweet sized sentence.
 New York photographer Catherine Jordan inherits a treasure filled, abandoned apartment in Paris when a stranger dies. (Now, I’m going to cheat and write a second tweet: There is mystery, and there is love.)


Future plans?
 I am writing a second novel about ‘The Paris Time Capsule.’ One of the characters in the first novel has inspired it. I had an idea about which I wanted to write, this was something that struck me when I was in Berlin last winter - and the character in question suits this second story to a ‘T!’


THE PARIS TIME CAPSULE

The novel inspired by the fascinating true story and thousands of blogs. A treasure filled apartment in Paris was rediscovered in 2010 after it had been abandoned for seventy years. The owner fled on the eve of the Nazi invasion in 1940. But why did she never return to Paris? Why did she keep her apartment a secret?

2010:New York photographer Cat Jordan has always fought against her past, but when a stranger dies in Paris, Cat finds herself the sole inheritor of an apartment in the ninth arrondissement that has been locked up for seventy years.

A stash of love letters belonging to Marthe de Florian, one of the Belle Époque’s most famous demimondaines, and the appearance of the beautiful and mysterious Isabelle de Florian’s grandson leads Cat in search of the reasons why Isabelle kept her Paris apartment a secret until her death, and why she left her entire estate to Cat.

As Cat unravels the story, she too embarks on her own journey, realizing that the secrets in the apartment may finally unlock the future…

Get this book here:  Amazon    Amazon UK     

There's a surprise giveaway too.  Ella has a kindle copy of the book for one lucky commenter.  So please leave a comment to win.