Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Why Tarot cards inspired our brand new series

Linda Jones and Linda Howard share insight into their experience of writing their new novel Frost Line. They divulge why a spark of genius on an escalator and an interest in tarot cards led to creating this amazing new paranormal series.

Frost Line

Linda Jones: Confession time: I own several decks of Tarot Cards. I pull them out infrequently, but they do sit in a special cabinet, and I have favorite decks and a few instructional books. In the past several years I’ve done a few readings for friends — and for characters. You might call it a hobby. So, Linda Howard and I are familiar with the basics. We know the Major and Minor Arcana, and understand the basic meanings for most of the cards. We were at a conference in New York, walking back into the hotel from yet another trip to Juniors (cheesecake!), talking about our next project.

Linda Howard: Figuring out our next project was going nowhere, because neither of us had any idea what we wanted to write. Maybe the Junior’s cheesecake was inspirational, but as we were going up the escalator, out of the blue I said, “What if Tarot cards came to life?” No, I had nothing beyond that initial remark. I hadn’t even been thinking about Tarot, it was one of those musing, inane comments I sometimes make. But LJ (Linda Jones) acted as if she’d been struck by lightning. She gasped and turned around, eyes big, and I knew the words had resonated with her. We stared at each other, which is kind of dangerous when you’re on a moving escalator.

Linda Jones: The words I remember most from that escalator ride were Linda Howard’s, “I can see a woman stepping out of a card, but I don’t know which one.” I did. I immediately said, “Strength. It has to be Strength.” I saw it, in that moment. I saw a woman stepping out of a huge Tarot card. A foot, a leg, a wisp of a white dress. Now and then writing brings these fantastic moments that are gifts from the blue. This was one of them.

Linda Howard: We were giddy with excitement, at the way this idea had fired our imaginations. When we were in workshops we weren’t paying attention to the speakers, but instead were researching names, looking for the perfect ones. We kicked around ideas for the hero. He couldn’t be subservient to the Major Arcana, so we came up with a different kind of being, a universal type of cop who could travel freely between all the worlds — because the Major Arcana couldn’t. Somehow we ended up back at Junior’s (more cheesecake!) and I was so electrified I had chills racing over my skin.

Linda Jones: And so it began. Even though we were familiar with the Tarot when that initial idea came to life on the escalator, much research was involved. I know a lot more about the cards than I did when we began. When the research starts, you never know what detail will come into play, what might spark yet another idea.

Linda Howard: I couldn’t begin to count the back-and-forth e-mails as we tried to nail down the world-building, the contradictions, the inevitable, “Well, that just isn’t logical!” details that we had to make logical (or at least acceptable) because we both skew highly analytical/logical in personality tests, which is an interesting twist when we’re writing paranormal. As far as the physical surroundings in the book, we tend to see them in mirror images, so I’ll have a character running left and LJ will have that same character running right, going to the same destination. This has happened in every book we’ve written together; eventually we’ll learn to sketch out floor plans and neighborhoods to circumvent this type of thing :-). As much work as the actual writing was, though, the bolt of lightning excitement we felt at the dawning of the concept made it all worthwhile.

A Chat with Kirsty Moseley and Samantha Young

Sam and Kirsty
It’s been an amazing week in publishing with the release of Samantha Young’s
The One Real Thing and Kirsty Moseley’s Fighting to Be Free. We’re excited about the start of both new series and to mark the occasion Kirsty and Samantha agreed to give us a little window into their world.

What’s a typical day in the life of Samantha Young/Kirsty Moseley? 

Samantha Young: About two years ago, after suffering the worst jet lag ever upon returning from a book signing in Australia, I discovered that my brain is far more alert early in the morning. So instead of writing at night I get up around 6am, let the puppies out “to do their business”, make a coffee and dive into writing. I’ll write about 3.5K to 4K words and then get ready for the day. I take the dogs out, I run errands, I work out, and then I come back and answer emails, social media notifications etc. Early afternoon I’ll write a few thousand words, and then take the dogs out again (they rule my life!), and have some chill out time with the family over dinner. At night I usually get back on social media to do some promotional stuff. 

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Kirsty Moseley: Well, I have a child so that pretty much guarantees no lie in! After breakfast and school run; there’s the minimum amount of tidying that I can get away with and then the laptop is fired up. Takes at least an hour, maybe two to catch up on my emails and social media before the word doc gets opened and I *hopefully* get some words written! I usually forget to eat lunch when I’m working, but the coffee is always flowing! Then 3pm is school run time. After dinner, if my son doesn’t force me to beat him on the PlayStation (I am pretty beast!) then it’s usually a bit of TV (Hollyoaks is a must see in the Moseley household) or reading. Bedtime is usually with an audiobook of some crime or thriller novel because they are the best to listen to late at night! To be honest, I’m just a normal mum who hides from the housework by pretending to work really hard on my novels… lol


If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be? 

Kirsty Moseley: Salt and Vinegar crisps. Easiest choice ever. They have to be Walkers though.

Samantha Young: Cake. Madeira Cake. Victoria Sponge. Double chocolate gateau. Lemon white chocolate cupcakes. Cakes. Cakes. Cakes. I’m a certified cake fiend. Cake can only be given to me in small doses and in limited amounts annually.


What was the last TV programme that stole your breath? 

Samantha Young: Game of Thrones. I forget that it’s a TV show and become incredibly invested in it and the characters (which considering the track record of short life spans in GRR Martin’s world sets me up for constant heartbreak). Thankfully I have friends and family who are just as invested. We talk about the latest episodes like this stuff is really happening. 

Kirsty Moseley: The ending of The Walking Dead season 6, I mean, come on…. what…. no……


What was the best romance you’ve read recently?

Kirsty Moseley: Reap by Tillie Cole. I was late joining the Scarred Souls party so now playing catch up. Can’t wait to dive into book 3!

Samantha Young: Definitely Reaper’s Fire by Joanna Wylde. I love me some Reapers MC! Her MC world is so authentic and well-researched, and the chemistry between her characters seeps out of the pages. I lose myself in that world, which is all I can ask for from a good book.

Thanks to both Samantha and Kirsty for answering all our questions, and for writing such fabulous books.

If you want to be in with a chance to win this pair of fabulous books, check out our competition here

An introduction to the Dark Desires series – Zara Cox

Porn Star

Q: What’s the single most important thing we need to know about the series?

A: There are heroes, and then there are the anti-heroes who power the Dark Desires series. These men, their stories and the women they fall for, are unlike anything you’ve read before. They will leave you stunned, turned on, drive you out of your mind and have you begging for more!

Q: In five sentences or less tell us what the series is about. Go:

A: The Dark Desires series centres on complex characters with complex and often self-destructive lives resulting from traumatic pasts. The male characters especially have deeply disturbing personal and often morally bankrupt issues and go through a roller coaster journey of self-discovery that leads them right to the edge of their endurance. They aren’t afraid to reach for the nearest high—be it sex, a game of twisted revenge, a little blue pill, or (when all else fails) a bout of head shrinking. Of course, being a romance at its core, the women these men get involved with are the only ones who come within a prayer of offering true redemption, while grappling with issues of their own. But from start to finish, their psychosexual journeys offer a thrilling, insanely addictive ride!

Q: Who’s your favourite character?

A: Quinn Blackwood aka “Q”, my gorgeous anti-hero. He’s beautifully, insanely complex, unapologetically dominant and embraces his self-destructive side wholeheartedly.

Q: Give us a hint about what’s coming next!

A: BLACK SHEEP tells the story of Axel Rutherford, another gorgeous anti-hero with a past littered with underground crime, a father who wishes him dead, blackmail and a childhood sweetheart turned vilest enemy. Oh, and he’s the owner of exclusive member’s only club called THE PUNISHMENT CLUB. To find out what happens there, make a note in your diary for BLACK SHEEP!

If you like SYLVIA DAY’S THE CROSSFIRE SERIES you’ll love Porn Star. You may think you know QUINN BLACKWOOD. Trust me, you don’t.

Exclusive early excerpt from Fighting to Be Free by Kirsty Moseley

fighting to be free carouselWe’re just one day away from the release of Kirsty Moseley‘s Fighting to be Free and we have a early excerpt to help you get through these last few hours!

THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT moments in life that shape the way you see yourself. Some sort of shift in the balance, a throwing off the equilibrium. Moments that, in hindsight, you can look back on and pinpoint as exactly when things changed either for better or for worse. This was that moment for me. Everything hung in the balance; everything was uncertain, undecided, and unwritten.

This was my second shot, my chance to come out of the darkness and into the light. With every cell in my body I was planning on fighting to be free of this life, even if it killed me.

The trouble was, it was out of my hands. Maybe I would try my hardest but wouldn’t be accepted; maybe I would never be good enough. Society had its ideals, and a guy like me didn’t fit in with those at all.

Every now and again something comes along that ignites your desire to be the person you strive to be, the better person. When I stripped everything else away, peeled off the dirty, raw, and damaged layers, all that was left was hope. Hope for a better life, for a brighter future. Just hope for a chance.

Suddenly, with that fire in your belly, a what if becomes a possibility. What if you threw ideals out the window? What if you dismissed everything you ever knew? What if the bad guy could be the hero of the story for a change?

I guess what it all boils down to is this: My name is Jamie Cole, and I’m a murderer.


Get your copy now:


Katee Robert on mafia stories

kr_aip_cover_web_0716There’s a new mini trend hitting all over the place right now—mafia books. It seems like every time I turn around, I’m hearing about an author selling a mafia-based series or seeing another release with that theme. It’s so exciting! Yes, I’m totally biased. I have a mafia series, and I love reading them. They’re like catnip to me.

I have a theory on why these types of books have become so increasingly popular. Contemporary romance has been going strong for several years now. We’ve seen billionaires, MMA fighters, motorcycle gang members, and men in uniform, and readers have consumed them by the legion. But, like with anything, the wheel eventually turns. I think contemporary is going to be around for a while yet, but it’s starting to take on darker tones that are more in line with romantic suspense than what we’ve seen in the recent past.

That’s where mafia books come in. They are naturally in a darker vein, because the characters who populate these types of stories walk through parts of life that aren’t pretty and are sometimes downright scary. It’s the perfect setting for anti-heroes to flourish, and I think readers are really responding to that type of man—and the type of woman to make him rock back on his heels and give him a run for his money.

I had always wanted to write a mafia book, but it was one of those things that kind of sat in the back of my mind and never went anywhere. Then one day I was driving and suddenly had this scene in my mind. It was of a woman in a strip club, confronting her fiancé and ending up killing him in self-defense. I may or may not have broken some speed limits while hurrying home to put it to paper. But once I had it down, I had to start thinking about the greater world she’d live in—and what kind of hero a woman like that would end up with.

And so Teague was born. I knew he was one of seven children, and that unlike some of his siblings, he despised the life he’d been born into. This was a good man moving in a very bad world and doing his damnedest to survive—and keep the people he cared about alive.

As soon as he and Callie met on page, sparks flew, and I could barely write fast enough to keep up with the story as it unfolded in my head. The rest, as they say, is history.

Katee Robert is the author of the O’Malley series.

Ashley Antoinette on LUXE

LuxeWhat’s the single most important thing we need to know about the Luxe series?

The Luxe Series is written to be just as addictive as the drugs the main character uses. It was my intention to make every single page explosive and incredibly pleasurable. It’s definitely not your average coffee table read. It’s sinful, exciting, and is one of those books you grip so tightly that you wrinkle the pages as you anticipate the main character’s next move.

In five sentences or less tell us what the series is about. Go:

The Luxe series is about a girl named Bleu who wants it all. She is an extraordinary girl with beauty and wit to match who tries her hand at selling drugs to pay for college. She becomes a player in a dangerous game, she’s too smart for her own good. When begins to overindulge in the fast life of luxury, money, and drugs, her dreams get derailed. Bleu becomes addicted to the very drugs that were supposed to help her escape her life at the bottom.

Who’s your favourite character?

Noah is my favorite character in the Luxe series. He has a love for Bleu that helps her defy all odds. He is her strength.

Give us a hint about what’s coming next!

A love triangle with one imperfect girl and two perfect men are waiting in book 2!

Elizabeth Hoyt Covers her Maiden Lane Series in 60 Seconds

We’re about to publish Duke of Sin, the 10th title in Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series. So, we thought: What better time to get the lowdown on all things Maiden Lane, and who better to tell us than Elizabeth?

And, Elizabeth delivered! Read on to get up to speed on the most important things about Maiden Lane, Elizabeth’s favourite bits and a hint of what’s to come.

 peanuts snoopy delight

  1. What’s the single most important thing we need to know about the Maiden Lane series?


I have it on good authority (readers!) that Maiden Lane is addictive. 😉


  1. In five sentences tell us what the series is about. Go:


Finding redemption through love. The friction between opulence and destitution. The importance of family. Sexual tension through swashbuckling and wordplay. Moral choices.


  1. What’s your favourite book in the series?


Duke of Sin, which sounds a bit coy, but it’s true. This book is slightly different from my other books. The ‘hero’ is a villain – and he STAYS a villain. The heroine in contrast is a morally upright housekeeper who challenges him and doesn’t let him get away with anything. They are perfect for each other.


  1. Who’s your favourite character?


Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, the hero of Duke of Sin. One, because he’s such a complex character: there’s a contrast between the flamboyant, sinister persona he presents to the world and his interior self, and THAT contrasts to what he’s concealing about himself from himself (if that makes any sense).

Also, on a purely practical level, he’s a ‘wordy’ character, which is great fun to write. 😉


  1. Give us a hint about what’s coming next


I’m working right now on Alf’s book: Duke of Pleasure, which will come out in late fall 2016.


  1. Complete the following sentence: If you like x, y and z, you’ll love the Maiden Lane series


If you like sensual love scenes, complex characters and enthralling stories, you’ll love the Maiden Lane series.


Duke of Sin is out May 31st, 2016






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MaryJanice Davidson author note

isbn9780349412788I love Shaun of the Dead. It is, possibly, one of the finest movies in the history of cinema, second only to Starship Troopers. It’s got everything: a clueless hero, a puffy sidekick who can imitate an orangutan, Bill Nighy (my old man crush), a super nice mom, a nerdy bespectacled frenemy in love with the hero’s ex, Queen on the soundtrack (is there a more beautiful sight than a bunch of British twenty-somethings whacking a zombie with pool cues while Don’t Stop Me Now blares in the background?), debunked dog myths (“Dogs can look up!”), and innocents getting hit by darts.

Oh, and zombies. Lots of zombies. I love everything about Shaun of the Dead, but I love how they handled zombies the most. Their love for the genre shone through virtually every minute of the film as they poked fun at themselves and the genre, and I never once felt like they were mocking me or the movies I like: we were in it together. It was the first movie I ever thought of as a conscious gift to the audience: here’s something we liked, we think you’ll like it, too.

So: this book. My editor and I love the romance genre (not atypical for writers and editors who work in the romance genre, and thank goodness). We love historicals and paranormals and contemporaries and regencies. We love the silly stuff and the BAMF stuff and the sexy stuff. We love kick-ass heroines and damsels who need to be rescued every twenty minutes. We love alpha heroes and beta heroines, and we love it the other way around, too. (We’re dirty girls, and so flexible, too!) We love heroes who are SEALs and farmers and sheriffs and doctors. We love heroines who are biochemists and Vikings and captives and wardens. We love third person and first person and audio and electronic and paperbacks and classic hard covers.

And the romance tropes, oh God, the tropes. We love those most of all; for us, tropes make the romance.

For the uninitiated, Wikipedia defines tropes as “the use of figurative language—via word, phrase, or even an image—for artistic effect such as using a figure of speech.” Did that help? Because it didn’t help me even a little. I had to keep reading: “The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works.” Oh. Okay. That’s a little better, Wikipedia. Stop trying to impress me and just define stuff, okay? Maybe with pictures next time? I like pictures.

A trope is, when you’re watching a new show about a cop who’s set to retire next week/month/year, you know that cop will never retire. It’s when the slutty pretty teenager in a horror movie says “I’ll be right back!” and you know she’s toast. It’s knowing the hero and heroine who at first loathe each other will fall in love. It’s a way for the writer to let the reader/viewer know what to expect without having to, you know, write. (Shut up! We’re doing the best we can.)

A trope is the thing that brings you back to the same genre again and again, because the stuff you loved in the first book will pop up in other books and you’re always chasing that feeling, the giddy excitement of reading about a hero and heroine, or hero and hero, or heroine and—you get the picture, whoever they are, you know they are destined for love, and you want to watch. (Not in a creepy way.) Even more: you want to fall in love, too.

And while we were listing our fave tropes (and everyone in the office was getting in on it, and when I mentioned it to my book club they couldn’t wait to list theirs, too) my editor said, “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a book that paid homage to the romance tropes? Not in a mean way, like the Scary Movie movies.”

“In a fun way,” I replied, “like Shaun of the Dead.” And wouldn’t it be great, we thought, if the audience was in on it?

And that’s how Danger, Sweetheart came about. A romance novel that pays respect to romance novels, where the readers are in on the joke. Unless you skipped my Author’s Note, in which case I cannot help you.

For those of you in a hurry, I’ve listed all the romance tropes used in the writing of this book at the end, so you can peek and see if any of your favorites are there. Dunno about you, but I can never resist a hero with a high fever, all delirious and adorable, being tended to by a (reluctantly) adoring heroine. I also like the fish out of water trope, and the first sex is perfect sex trope. I even got to have some fun with tropes I find annoying (I’m looking at you, Hero Keeping A Big Secret).

If you’re new to the genre, this is a fun place to start because: tropes! I’m basically throwing you into the deep end but, unlike when I was tossed into the deep end at the helpless age of twenty-seven, I think you’ll enjoy it.

Other things you might want to know (or things I want you to know and your feelings on the matter are nothing to me, nothing!): no tropes were harmed in the creative process. Also, I’m am not as gross as readers might assume: it really did rain urine in the bathroom at the Plaza Hotel and Casino, courtesy of a leak one floor above. I did not make that up. God, I wish I had made that up. “Urine” and “rain” and “hotel” are three words that never belong in the same sentence.

The t-shirt Natalie wears (“One by one the penguins slowly steal my sanity.”) is a thing! You can get it at Amazon. As I did. As I did. And the pink skull leash sported by Margaret of Anjou also exists in real life.

Finally, as of this writing, you can’t hop an Amtrak from Las Vegas to Minot, North Dakota. This is a crime against humanity. Long train rides rock. Minot does, too (my bias: I was born on the Minot Air Force Base).

Love Wanted in Texas

Theisbn9780349413532 moment I set out to write the Love Wanted in Texas Series I knew it was going to be special not only for me, but for the readers as well. This series has been so incredibly fun to write. Diving into the original Wanted characters again and their kids has been an experience I will forever cherish. I think reading the stories of the kids growing up has also been a fun journey for the readers as well. We’ve gotten to see them born, watch them grow up, walk along with them as they learned life lessons (some hard, some not so hard!), and cheered them on as they started families of their own. Talk about full circles!

Now that we are nearing the end of the LWIT series, I find myself with mixed emotions. On one hand, I’m happy to see that each character has had their story told and given a happily ever after. It’s also somewhat refreshing to know that I’ll be moving on to newer projects and exploring new things that I’m excited to share with my readers.

On the other hand, I’m sad to let go of these characters. I’ve come to love each of them so very much. They may be fictional, but they feel like my own family. There are times I often think of them when I’m driving and I find myself coming up with a scene in my head! I have no doubt letting them go is going to be very difficult and very emotional to say the least, not only for me, but for those who have invested in these characters as well.

With the release of Loving You it has given me a chance to stop and reflect on all six books in this series as well as the WANTED series. To be able to write these families has been a pure joy. Thank you for sharing this journey with me!

Happy reading!


LOVING YOU is published tomorrow – available in ebook here