Friday, November 14, 2014

Move Over Fabio! There's a New Cover Model in Town!

I’m sure we all remember the sexy, Italian stallion of male models, Fabio, His chiseled face and rippling pecs graced the covers of countless romance novels. Coincidentally, before I became a romance author and he catapulted to stardom as the face of the bodice ripper novel, our paths crossed back in the eighties, at a nightclub on Long Island. I was trolling the place with a group of my friends, when a very large man in a shadowy corner waved us over. At that point, none of us knew that he was on the verge of becoming a household name. He was just some guy autographing glossy photos of himself and trying to garner female attention. My friends and I declined his photos, laughed and walked away, not at all interested in fawning all over him. Now twenty plus years later, while I happened to be trolling the halls of the Renaissance Hilton at the October NJRW Conference, I had the distinct pleasure of crossing paths with a new male cover model, the gorgeous and charming John Antorino. I admit I felt a slight jolt of deja vu as I watched him chat up a slew of adoring females, sign autographs, give hugs, and pass out postcards and book jackets with his sexy photo emblazoned across the front. But this working actor, and cover model was more than just a pretty face. Not only was he an absolute sweetheart and extremely approachable, he impressed me with his wit, candor and genuine gratitude for all his good fortune. He was so engaging and down to earth, I almost forgot that steamy pictures of his naked torso as well as him in various states of undress, were displayed on a table right under my nose, but I somehow managed to look into his eyes the entire time.
This Jersey boy has graced the covers of many magazines such as: Men's Fitness, Men’s Exercise, Muscle & Fitness, and yes, Playgirl. He's in a new HBO series called, “The Knick,” where he plays an Italian immigrant worker as well as a show on the History Channel called, “Escaping the Holocaust.” This smoldering actor has also been featured on TV shows such as “Lipstick Jungle” and “Lights Out.” His film credits include, “Sex and the City 2.” It was a true pleasure getting to know John and not for his washboard abs, although I can appreciate that kind of pure, male beauty as much as any red-blooded female. Honestly, I found his complete lack of ego or any trace of arrogance refreshing. The fact that he cooks and adores his mom impressed me even more. Even though John isn’t on the cover of my new novel WITCH HUNTER, release date is November 19, I certainly enjoyed the experience of interviewing him and would highly recommend checking out his website. www.JohnAntorino.com

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Romancing Halloween Blog Hop

Thank you for joining me on the Romancing Halloween Blog Hop. For a chance to win an e-copy of my novel, WITCH HUNTER, an erotic, paranormal just leave a comment on the blog about your favorite Halloween movie between October 25 and midnight EST on November 1. 

Halloween is my favorite time of year and makes me think of crisp nights, haunted hay rides and candy corn, not to mention magick. I've always been fascinated with witches and ghosts, and scour books in the paranormal genre. Those brimming with legend and lore are even better! 

My new book, WITCH HUNTER is chock full of witches and demons, and is set in the fictional town of Ravens Hollow, where magickal creatures co-exist with humans, and not always peacefully. Ravens Hollow emerged as a sanctuary where witches eventually settled after the Salem Trials. These strong women cultivated spells and charms around the town and honed their magick to protect themselves against future enemies. Eventually, this knowledge was passed down to future generations of witches through spell books known as Grimoires. 


So it wouldn't be exactly a stretch to say that when the Harry Potter books and movies came out I was hooked, not only by the characters and the great story lines, but by the lore surrounding Hogwarts. JK Rowling has a flair for submerging the reader into the world she creates, one in which I frankly never want to leave. My goal was to create that same level of fantasy in my novel, WITCH HUNTER only for adults.


Excerpt from WITCH HUNTER
Willow took a sip of her margarita and glanced down at Alex’s big hands, tanned and sprinkled with a smattering of dark hair. Funny, she never found a man’s hands sexy. Suddenly her mind filled with images of Alex trailing those big, masculine hands over her body. She wondered if he fit the stereotype. Big hands, big… 

 “You never did answer my question. Are you considering taking me up on my offer?” The sound of his voice pulled her from a host of fantasies. Willow dug her nails into her palm to get her head back in the game. She shouldn’t be thinking about this man in such a raw, sexual way. 

“Why not? My car’s parked in the back.”She probed through the nearby crowd to check if Alex came here with bodyguards. A virtual cacophony of conversations invaded her thoughts, but nothing about protection for Alex. Once she got him alone, she’d take her chances and pray she wouldn’t be outnumbered. 

“Then let’s get out of here. Unless of course I’ve got some competition.” He motioned over her shoulder to the incubus whose head now lolled forward over the bar. "I think you’re flying solo here.” She’d set her trap and let the consequences be damned. She rubbed her finger along the rim of the glass and licked off the salt. 

She lifted the glass to her lips, savoring the tangy flavor of margarita mix along with the zing of tequila as it slid down her throat. Headrush. No surprise there, she couldn’t remember the last time she’d slept or eaten in the past forty-eight hours, existing on a combination of raw nerves and pure adrenaline. 

“You missed a spot.” He ran his thumb along the seam of her lip. He put it to his mouth and licked. “Mmm, sweet.” Her plan didn’t involve foreplay…but damn he was hot. In another time and another place she would be seriously into this guy. Too bad I might have to kill him. 

Tell me your favorite Halloween movie and enter a chance to win a free copy of my ebook, WITCH HUNTER. Release Date,  November 19, 2014.  
Click on the link to my newsletter and get all the latest news about my upcoming release. 

The lucky winner will be chosen at the end of this blog tour on November1. 
Discover more Romancing Halloween Blog Hop authors and see what treats they have waiting for you. Click a name below to join in the fun, read excerpts, and win prizes! Oct 25th - Nov 1st
Please click on the link below to hop to the next blog. 


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Monday, October 13, 2014

It's all in the setting

Some say setting is everything and can even be another character in your novel. One of my all time favorite shows, True Blood takes place in the fictional town of Bon Temps, in  northwestern Louisiana where humans co-exist with vampires, wolves, witches, shifters and a host of other magical creatures. This gave me the idea for the setting in my novel, Witch Hunter. The story takes place in the fictional northern New Jersey town of Ravens Hollow, and much like Bon Temps, a variety of mages try and co-exist with humans, and not always peacefully.

Sometimes a dark and spooky setting can make all the difference in the 'wow' factor. Think of the book, and the film Rebecca. Can you picture Manderlay anywhere but off the Cornish coast of England? 

 I mean just the whole gothic look of the place was enough to send a chill down your spine. 


When I think of other films with scary settings, The Shining automatically comes to mind. The Overlook Hotel in Colorado was the setting for one of the scariest films of all time in my humble opinion. Would you be as terrified of Jack Nicholson's character yelling, "Here's Johnny," (granted he's wielding an axe at the time)if the hotel was in NYC rather than out in the middle of nowhere? Even the season, the dead of winter, makes it creepy, the snow, the ice and the isolation factor, all add to the overall characters sense of desolation, which makes it even scarier. 





Who can forget the stormy night when Janet Leigh's character drives up the winding road  that leads to the Bates Motel in Psycho? The dilapidated house where Norman converses with his dead mother is enough to make even the most seasoned horror film enthusiast shake with fear. I still cannot take a shower alone without locking the bathroom door.   





Don't you want to tell her to turn around and go back from where she came?Jail would be way better than this!
How about you? What are some of your favorite creepy settings?






        

Monday, October 6, 2014

Romancing The Inn

So I've taken a little hiatus from blogging, but now I'm back and I must say I've missed it a great deal. If you've read my last post way back in May, then you know I'm obsessed with ghosts and haunted inns. Book two in my Ravens Hollow series features a medium that is forced to banish a spirit from a haunted inn and wouldn't you know, she falls madly in love with the sexy, brooding innkeeper. 

Last week, on the recommendation of a newly married friend, I went to visit the gorgeous Wolverton Inn located in the quaint city of Stockton, NJ. This lovely B & B is definitely not haunted, in fact, the place is brimming with beauty and romance. Light and love practically emanated off the crème colored walls. 

From the charming out of the way locale, to the lush gardens and luxurious rooms, not to mention the gourmet food, I was inspired to come back with my husband and get lost in the dreamy setting for a couple of days. The minute you pull up the long gravel drive, you get the sensation of peace and tranquility.

As I walked up the stone path and gazed upon the gorgeous, three story stone house for the first time, I let out an audible sigh. I almost expected Heathcliff to come strutting out the front doors with his shirt half open and his hair blowing in the wind. In my opinion, the place is the perfect setting for a romance novel.

The lovely, innkeeper, Carolyn, led me into a cozy sitting room decorated with antique furniture, cozy throw pillows and a vases full of colorful flowers. Ah beauty! Sunlight streamed into the large open space through a set of French doors that led to a charming patio, a perfect spot to enjoy a snack, a kiss, and a glass of wine with your lover. 

I wasn't at all surprised to find out that the inn was listed in a 1000 Places To See Before You Die.  All of the rooms have king size feather beds, fireplaces and large jacuzzi tubs. There's no TV and children aren't allowed.

Are you getting the picture yet?

Their romance packages include a couples massage, along with candles, body butter and scented bath oils.  If that's not enough to get you in the mood for love then you must try the breakfast in bed. Need I say more? How does crème brulee French toast and cinnamon waffles with maple syrup, ice cream and sweet berries sound? 

So here's my question, when was the last time your significant other asked you to go away for a romantic weekend? When I proposed this idea to my lovely husband of twenty-three years, his first question after he gaped at me like I was from another galaxy far away, was, 'do they have Sports Center?' Hmmm.

When was the last time you had an overnight away from the kids, the dog, the soccer games and the carpool to just focus on your relationship?

So like the characters in our favorite novels, how do we keep the romance alive? Let me know, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter!  And by the way, if you do get the chance to go to the Wolverton, trust me, you won't be disappointed.



Thursday, May 29, 2014

A ghostly Encounter

Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of visiting the Logan Inn, located in the quaint town of New Hope PA. If you haven't been, I strongly invite you to spend the day and shop at the vast array of colorful boutiques and magick shops or sample some of the areas most eclectic cuisines. But the best part of New Hope, in my humble opinion, are the people you encounter while walking down the street. There's nowhere else in the world where you can freely gawk at weekend bikers cruising down the strip in their flashy hogs, followed by an elderly drag queen parading by in her stilettos and feather boa.

Now if you enjoy the arts, The Bucks County Playhouse can't be beat. But if you're into the outdoors, simply walking or biking  along the canal and admiring the lush scenery, works just as well. 

Beautiful Bucks County, and New Hope in particular, have always been known for supernatural activity. Take a walking ghost tour and learn about New Hope's vast haunted history. One doesn't have to look any further than the Logan Inn to get a taste of spooky. The inn is considered to be one of the most haunted places in America. 

You would never know upon entering the beautiful building what lurks beneath the walls. The restaurant, which has a lovely heated terrace that can be used year round, as well as an elegant dining room is both quaint and inviting. But the fascinating history is what intrigued me. The inn is one of the oldest in the country, dating back to 1722 and is reputed to have had guests ranging from Revolutionary war soldiers, to Hollywood entertainers some alive and some dead.

While I personally didn't encounter any ghosts, I did get a tour of the place. The inn was a pit stop during the Revolutionary War when the soldiers would march from Valley Forge to New Hope. A three day journey during a harsh winter caused many deaths. As a result, bodies were stored in the kitchen basement because the ground was too frozen to bury them outside. All of the soldiers, except one, were cremated. 

According to the staff, and many eyewitnesses, the ghost of the lone soldier who escaped a fiery demise, can be found sitting at the lobby desk. While I wasn't invited to venture below the main floor, I was told that some of the staff cannot go down to the basement without feeling a heaviness in their chest and a sense of dread in their soul. 

Cries and moans are often heard echoing from the walls, making the Logan fodder for many discussions involving the supernatural, as well as a popular tourist attraction. 

I did learn that the Logan has a resident ghost by the name of Emily Lutz. Emily lived and died at the Logan and her ghost is said to be seen in room Six. 

Accompanied by Jason the manager, I walked through the room hoping to catch a glimpse of something, a shadow perhaps, or even a burst of icy cold air ... but nothing. Many guests report smelling an overwhelming scent of lavender upon entering the room, but I personally couldn't report having this experience. Charles and Elizabeth Lutz, the original owners, were both fond of lavender and even adorned their clothing with the fragrant flower.


Other spirits taking up residence there include; the ghost of a little girl who fell into the nearby canal and ended up dying on the tavern floor, and an older gentleman in a black top hat. 

I was interested to find that the inn is listed on the national registry for historic places and was visited by entertainment luminaries such as the Marx Brothers, Oscar Hammerstein and Dorothy Parker to name a few. I encourage you to visit the Logan Inn and have a drink at the bar or stay in room six if you dare.

Have you ever visited a haunted place? I'd love to hear your experience!


 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Witches, Mediums and Ghosts ...oh My

Long before I ever wrote my first fantasy novel, I had more than a passing interest in the paranormal. I grew up in a sleepy town in Connecticut where haunted houses and ghost sightings were commonplace. Ironically, our neighbor in the apartment building next door, loved to dabble with her ouija board and used to invite my friends and I over to demonstrate her prowess.

The board spelled out a gruesome tale of murder, greed, and deceit at the hands of a well respected surgeon. Allegedly, he was also a key player in the Great Brinks Job Robbery from 1950. His step daughter overheard a conversation implicating him in the robbery, so he murdered her to keep her quiet. My neighbor swore that a blonde wispy presence came to her in the middle of the night, claiming that the stolen money was in fact hidden under the apartment building where we lived. This was a lot for my seven year old brain to take in, but instead of being scared, I was intrigued. From that point on, I became fascinated with ghosts.

This same neighbor used to dress up as witch on Halloween and bake giant cakes shaped like black cats with whiskers made of licorice and Dots for eyes. Everything about her was fun and magical. Even if the ghostly girl and the Brinks Job tale were made up, her place was a great escape from the chaos of my dysfunctional household. I will always be grateful for the time she spent with me and the way she sparked my imagination. 

I had another childhood friend whose grandmother lived on the other side of town. We used to ride our bikes to her quaint, haunted cottage and fill up on juice and chocolate-chip cookies while she regaled us with stories about the ghost that kept her company at night.


I couldn't seem to get away from ghost stories:

After we moved from Connecticut to New Jersey, a group of my friends and I used to venture deep into the woods of Assunpink Lake for the occasional bonfire. It was literally out in the middle of nowhere. Needless to say, the spooky stories ensued, along with the beer. 

Everyone seemed to know the tale involving a beautiful woman who was killed on her way to her wedding. She'd been the passenger in a head-on collision that had severed her body in half on the road leading to the lake. Rumors abounded about a ghostly presence in a wedding dress who haunted the surrounding woods. Although I never did catch a glimpse of her, I was always drawn to the creepy allure of the place. The fact that there was a crematorium up the road, only added to the overall experience. Despite the spooky stories, I always got the sense that she was looking out for us kids to make sure we were okay, so that we didn't meet the same fate.

Do all of us have spirit guides, angels on the other side who look out for us?I'd like to think so.

My next novel is about a medium who's been talking to spirits her whole life. Do you think this is a gift some are born with or can this ability develop over time? Maybe some people know how to use a different portion of their brain than the rest of us. Or perhaps this is a genetic gift handed down from one generation to the next.

Next week I'll be doing a bit of my own ghost hunting for research purposes. I plan on visiting the Logan Inn in New Hope, PA to talk to the staff who have all seen and heard a presence that goes by the name of Emily. Apparently, she has a fondness for one room in particular and many claim to have seen her shadow on more than one occasion. I wonder if she died there or perhaps she was murdered and can't move on. I can't wait to get the scoop. I'm going to write my next blog about my experience. 

So what about you? I'd love to hear if you have any ghost stories you'd like to share.


 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What's Your Talent?

I always thought it would be cool to have a special talent or gift. Unlike my kids, who both play a variety of sports, and classical piano, I have very few talents to speak of, except perhaps one. I have a photographic memory for faces ... strange I know. 

For some unknown reason if I meet someone once, no matter how briefly or how much time has passed, I will remember them. My brain just automatically kicks into gear and I will stay up all night trying to recall how or where we met. My mother has this talent for remembering birthdays. She can still recall the birthdays of my friends from kindergarten.  

Before you accuse me of being a savant, I wish I could say that I've fortified this unique talent over the years to find wanted criminals or work with the FBI, but unfortunately none of the above has panned out. At this point, the best I can hope to do is create unique characters in my books that have some type of special gift or talent that can actually be used to help people in some way. 

In my novel, Witch Hunter, the heroine, Willow McCray is a psychic who is haunted by premonitions of the future and dreams of the past. She can also read minds like most people read the newspaper simply by touching a person's hand. In her case, this gift is both a blessing and a curse. She works with a secret agency and uses her gift to hunt down and stop a killer. 
I think most of us love to read books that feature characters with some type of unique gift or talent.
I recently read Blue Dahlia by the great Nora Roberts.
The main character, Stella, a nursery store manager is fastidious in her desire to organize things and follow the rules. This becomes an annoyance to the hero, a landscape architect who is a a bit of a slob and can't be bothered with boring details such as paperwork. For all their differences, these characters have something in common, an ability to create beauty out of flowers and plants.This gift draws them together on a spiritual and emotional level. 

As a writer, I love to immerse myself in the lives of the characters I create and imagine what they think, feel, and experience in their daily lives. How do they cope with their fears, and inner demons, while opening their hearts to love?   

In the Sylvia Day series Crossfire, 
(If you haven't read this series yet, you need to. I promise you won't be disappointed) the heroine, Eva Trammel falls head over heels in love with the deeply troubled hero, Gideon Cross. Her acceptance of his questionable past and controlling behavior never falters. She loves this man for who and what he is, risking everything to be with him. Her unfailing belief in their relationship is her unique gift and keeps us turning the pages and this is what makes us root for their HEA.  Their love is so pure, so passionate and romantic, it makes our hearts sing and our souls weep. Imagine what life would be like if we could all experience that kind of euphoria on a daily basis?

So how about you? What character traits do you admire in your heroes and heroines?Any traits you dislike? Are you especially drawn to characters that have special talents or unique gifts?

I have a character in Witch Hunter who's a medium. She communicates with spirits and delivers messages to their loved ones to help the grieving move on. She's modeled after Teresa Caputo of The Long Island Medium fame, minus the lacquered, bleach, blonde hair and french manicured talons. 

How about characters in film?

I love characters that have special powers like Peter
Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man.


Not only can he leap tall buildings at a single bound, he can spin one hell of web both literally and figuratively, just ask his girlfriend Mary-Jane. His gift, in my opinion, is his bravery and his beautiful heart. He's always willing to risk his life to help a stranger. 

On the other end of the character spectrum is Woody Grant from the film Nebraska.
 He may not have supernatural powers or be able to scale the side of a building, but he has conviction and won't let anything get in the way of his goal. Despite his wife's verbal attacks, he never waivers from his desire to get to Nebraska so he can claim the winning ticket to a sweepstakes. Even when he's accused of being crazy, senile, and just plain stupid, he completes this life changing journey and eventually settles some old scores from his past along the way. I admire a character with such determination and chutzpah.

What gifts or talents do some of your favorite book or movie characters possess? I'd love to hear.
  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Do Ya Think I'm Sexy

You must remember Rod Stewart's song from the eighties. Do Ya Think I'm sexy? I'm curious, what makes someone sexy? In this case I will focus the topic strictly on males, the ones rippling with testosterone.This is a purely subjective topic and can stretch the limits of what one person finds intriguing, hot, or sexy versus another.

We have man candy Mondays. 

How about Hot Men on Hump Day?

In my new book, Witch Hunter, my hero, a sexy special agent is modeled after the gorgeous Joe Manganiello of True Blood fame. In my humble opinion, he's the epitome of hunky male beauty. He's confident, sexy and brimming with charm.
Tell me this man is not gorgeous. I dare you!

Who do you think is sexy?

What's on your book shelf? If you read romance, I'd love to know who you picture as the male lead in the story.What type of physical and personality attributes captures your imagination? I'm going to borrow a little from David Letterman here and create my own top ten list. In no  particular order, here's my ten:



10-Marc Cuban:


I find the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and the hot head on Shark Tank incredibly sexy and not for his money. In fact, that might even be a detractor. He's brutally honest, sincere, and has an abundance of confidence that borders on arrogant and I for one find incredibly appealing!



9-  Kevin Costner:
The man is a classically handsome and like a fine bottle of wine, he gets better with age.I fell in love with him in Bull Durham when he painted Susan Sarandon's toe nails in the bathtub. He's well into his fifties and still hot!


8- Ryan Reynolds

Yummy, right? His boyish looks, golden skin and hair make him sexy, but in an accessible way. I loved him in Best Friends because he truly seemed like a guy you could hang out with and he'd make you fall over laughing. He's also the inspiration for the hero, in my next novel.


7- Russell Crowe

Ah, the twinkle in those blue eyes. The sexy accent is enough to make us remember why we love him. Has anyone seen, Gladiator? Need I say more.  He was also super sexy and charming in the film, A Good Year. If you haven't seen him as the cut throat business man who falls head over heels in love with a beautiful french girl you should.

6- Bradley Cooper


This hottie first came on the Hollywood scene in the TV series, Alias as Jennifer Garner's journalist friend Will. I had never seen him before the show, but fell instantly in love with his intelligence and sexy persona. And yes the glasses didn't hurt! When I saw him in the first Hangover movie I laughed my ass off. I can't  resist a guy who's that gorgeous and funny to boot.



 5- Will Smith
I've had a crush on this dashing funny man and serious actor since the movie, Hitch. He's the guy you would want to get wooed by. He's the guy who takes you out on a wave runner to Ellis Island, kicks you in the face, knocks you in the water, and you still want to see him again. He would just make the whole thing fun, and adventurous. He's a combo of sexy and adorable.



4-Michael Fassbender


If you haven't seen this intense, sexy actor in the cult classic, Shame I suggest you do. Mind you it's not for the superior plot or character growth at the end of the film. The film, in a word, was strange. But Michael walks around nude in the first five minutes and yes, I do mean full frontal. Later, when they show him in his boxers, it looks like he has a full-size python in his pants. Wow! If I didn't think he was sexy before (The accent and the blue eyes does it for me) he got my attention big time after that!

3-Liev Shreiber
Naomi Watts you're one lucky lady. This phenomenal actor seems like the epitome of intelligence, quick wit, and pure hotness all wrapped up in one sexy package. Besides, he's always carting those adorable tow headed boys of his on his big, broad shoulders. I mean, you have to love a a guy who adores his kids, right? The abs don't hurt either! Nice!

2- Dr. Drew Pinsky
Okay, Okay I know you weren't expecting this one with all the other hotties in the line up. I don't know what it is, but there's something super sexy about this guy. Maybe the glasses and the wavy grey hair does it for me. Or perhaps it's his ability to truly want to help other people in need. But there's something incredibly hot about the man in my opinion.

1-Javier Bardem



By god just the name is hot. I absolutely loved him in Eat, Pray, Love! What woman didn't melt when he cried after saying goodbye to his son? He was also sexy as hell and complicated in Vicky Christina of Barcelona, wooing not one, not two, but three different women. Only Javier could have the charm and sophistication to  attempt such a feat and make us root for him. He's sexy all the way.

So tell me what your thoughts on hump day hotties and who are some of your favorites? I'd love to hear!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Fifty Shades and Beyond

Long before EL James, exploded on the publishing scene with her debut novel, Fifty Shades of Grey also known in some circles as mommy porn, many authors came before her and penned their own brand of erotic romance.

As a teenager, I can still recall sneaking into my sister's room to peek at her very worn and tattered copy of The Harrod Experiment. It didn't matter that some pages were ripped, or missing. This was hardcore sex like I'd never read it before.


Sex in the 70's
The truth is sex sells 

Think back to those impressionable teenage years when all of us were curious about our own sexuality. What were you reading? A steamy Jacki Collins novel perhaps? Or maybe a deliciously wicked Sidney Sheldon paperback? And who didn't have a copy of, The Happy Hooker under their bed? I know I did, and read every titillating word.


But there's more to the story

There are so many wonderful sensual, authors on the market today who write what could be considered erotic romance. These are stories ripe with passion, wit, love, emotional turmoil, and hot sex as an added bonus. 
Here's a list of some of my favorites:
Sylvia Day, Anya Bast, Kresley Cole, Emma Chase, Alice Clayton, Christina Lauren, and Maya Banks. 

When people ask me what my book is about I give them my tagline,  In a  desperate attempt to catch a killer, an MBI officer hires a notorious felon to come work for the agency. In the midst of the investigation, they succumb to the dark edges of desire, placing both their lives in danger. The next question that typically follows is usually,"Wow it sounds steamy like Fifty Shades of Grey?"
To which I reply, "Not exactly. (grin there's no pseudo S& M stuff  in it ) But I do like steamy! Do you?"  


What was once coined as The Bodice Ripper Novel is a thing of the past. The romance genre has evolved over the years to include the exploration of relationship's across boundaries and between same sex partners, Now the book shelves and the e-readers are full of stories about M/F/MM/ F/F or even multiple partner relationships and believe me, the list goes on.

The Proof is in the Numbers

Within the ever changing and flourishing publishing world, romance still captivates the market with over fifty-five percent of sales in this popular genre. So I encourage you to jump right in and test the water. The choices are endless, from sweet to scintillating, and everything in between. Whether you're into Amish love stories, steamy westerns, or hardcore erotic romance, there's a book, and an author for you.

A word of advice, don't be too quick to judge a book by its cover. Erotic romance for example, isn't porn. It's also not a story just about about sex that focuses only on whips and chains, handcuffs, or the random fetish to the exclusion of the story itself. These are tales about love and commitment, overcoming inner demons, and self-acceptance. Characters must learn to grow and change and take a chance at love and work toward that happily ever after, not to mention get tortured along the way. It's one hell of a ride I encourage you to take!

Who Doesn't Want To Fall in Love 

My dream is to make my readers experience that heady sensation of falling in love when they sit down to read one of my books. Many years back, I read an article about a research study conducted on the brain by a Harvard scientist. Apparently, the emotional center of the brain can only sustain the falling in love feeling for up to three years, max. After that, those intense feelings grow and change into something deeper, less flighty, and the brain stops releasing large amounts of dopamine in the process. In some cases, people end up engaging in flirting, internet relationships, and extramarital affairs, simply because they're addicted to the dopamine release.


Can you become Addicted to the Euphoria ?

Like the song, some people can indeed become addicted to love. So here's a cure to prevent less divorce,( I wish it were that easy) pick up a romance novel and fall in love. Who knows, maybe you can even practice and experiment with what you read about on your partner. Trust me, there's nothing that compares to that feeling of bliss, even for a little while. 
Okay, I know, romance isn't only about hearts and flowers. There's so much more to this vast subject matter. 

Another Side of the Coin

Back in October, I attended The Poplar Romance Authors Symposium at Princeton University.
https://www.princeton.edu/prcw/


I was intrigued to hear so many perspectives on the origins of the romance genre from academics, to NY Times best selling authors, as well as a sociologist's unique perspective. As a society, we've come so far in overcoming negative perceptions about self sufficiency and the equity between the sexes. So let's continue to evolve and grow. So why not pass the word, romance is alive and well.

Here's to falling in love!