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Major photo HJHi Michelle, thanks so much for agreeing to join us on the blog today.  I really enjoyed meeting you at RomCon.  I didn’t realize we had such a vibrant author community in Colorado Springs.  Your measuring spoon swag was by far my favorite and most useful item of the weekend.

Hi, Toni. Thanks for having me on the blog – I’m excited to chat with you. I’m so happy you liked the measuring spoon – and I have plenty more (ha!) so if any of your readers need a cute addition to their kitchen supplies, they can let me know. ?

Tell us a little about yourself and your books?

I’m a native Ohioan but have lived in Colorado over twenty years. I love being near the mountains, but still consider myself a Midwesterner at heart. I started writing when my kids were babies, so it became such a gift for me to have an ‘identity’ outside of being a mom (although I love, love, love being a mom). But writing was something I did just for me. It still gives meaning to my life in that same way—plus writing romance it’s a lot of fun to spend all day crafting stories with happy endings. I’m a big fan of happy endings!

How do you decide on the settings?

For me the story always starts with the characters. Usually I know why they shouldn’t/couldn’t be together then the fun is figuring out a way to make sure they discover that they can’t live without each other. Community and secondary characters play a big part in my stories, so I’m typically write small towns or settings that have that kind of vibe—because no one lives life in a vacuum. My current series takes place in a fictional Colorado town – but I used some of my favorite mountain towns as inspiration.

What made you decide to start writing sweet contemporary?

It was most natural for my voice. I love reading historical romance and have a lot of respect for authors who weave in those details, but I’m drawn to telling stories that involve conflicts that could happen to me or my best friend. The sweetness comes more from the line I write for at Harlequin, Special Edition. There is a great range within that series and a lot of freedom, but they are sweeter stories in general.

What do you most admire about your characters?

Josh Travers is a former professional bull rider who retired after an injury and is now raising his almost-teen daughter in Crimson, Colorado. He’s working hard to make Crimson Ranch into a vacation destination to give his daughter a solid home. I loved that Josh was a true cowboy hero – strong, upstanding and trying really hard to make his life work. When readers meet Sara Wellens at the beginning of the story she’s a bit of a hot mess. Raised in Hollywood, she’s out of her element when she comes to Crimson after inheriting her grandmother’s ranch. But she’s perfect for Josh because she makes him see the world beyond the his little slice of life and she helps him have a better relationship with his daughter.

What’s next on tap for you?  (What do we have to look forward to!)

I have four books coming out in 2015 with Harlequin, three more in the Crimson series and I got my first chance to take part in a continuity, the Fortunes of Texas. 2015 is the 20th year for the Fortunes so I’m really excited to be part of it.

Dogs or cats?

I love them both (and own both) but probably dogs because my cat won’t let me dress her up and post photos to Facebook. ?

Wine or beer?

Beer – preferably served with wings. I’m a pretty cheap date.

Light or dark / red or white?

I’m embarrassed about how little I know about wine – I do like it bubbly and sweet. As for chocolate, I’m quite an expert. I love all flavors and mainly stick with dark these days. But with Halloween coming next month, I’m sure I’ll be sneaking Kit Kats and Twix bars from my kids’ treat bags.

Beach or mountain?

I love going to the beach – Colorado is such a land-locked state that the huge expanse of ocean is a big thrill. But the mountains are my favorite.

One thing you’d like everyone to know about you?

You know, writing is a pretty solitary activity, so it’s huge fun for me to talk to readers or other authors – either in person or online. Toni, meeting you and your friends at Romcon was one of the highlights of my weekend – just making those connections is such a blessing. So if your readers are online or social media at all, friend me. I love learning about what other people like to read, what they’re interested in, TV show recommendations – going online is a little reward I get for making my word count for the day – so the more people I can ‘talk to’ the better!

Thanks again for taking time to visit with us!

Thanks so much for having me, Toni! I’d love to giveaway 2 copies of A KISS ON CRIMSON RANCH to your readers. Just comment below for a chance to win.

A Kiss on Crimson Ranch cover HJ



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Today is the day – J. Kenner’s IGNITED is finally here and we are so excited to celebrate the release! You have got to get your hands on this steamy read!



He promised to take me as far as I could go—and I wanted to go to the edge.

My whole life has been a cover, a con, a lie. I was born into the grift, raised on the thrill of playing someone I’m not. As a rule, I never let anyone get too close—until Cole August makes it impossible for me to stay away.

Cole is tough, sexy, and intensely loyal, yet his secrets are dark and his scars run deep. Not many women can handle his past, or the truth behind his fierce demands. But something about him beckons me—and our desire is a game I must play.

I know he’s dangerous, that even his touch is trouble, but what is passion without a little risk?

Add it to your Goodreads list here!

Amazon| Barnes & Noble | Kobo |iTunes



He let go, then moved to face me. I missed his touch, but the trade-off was worth it. I’m not the kind of girl who swoons over hunky firemen calendars and I’ve only seen Magic Mike once. But as far as eye candy went, Cole was a walking, talking Milky Way bar, and at least as tempting.

“Really,”he confirmed. An easy smile bloomed on his face, and he shook his head slowly, with obvious pleasure. “I didn’t realize that working as a barista required such honed salesmanship.”

“I’m a woman of many talents,”I said, then fluttered my lashes.

“Damn right you are.”He drew in a breath as he looked at me, and try as I might, I had no clue what he was thinking.

“That was quite the commission you just brought in,”he finally said. “I have a feeling you’ll be getting Christmas cards from Tiki for the rest of your life.”

“I look forward to it. What about you?”I asked boldly, and blamed it on the wine. I met his eyes, and fervently hoped that mine really were a window to the soul, because right then I wanted him to see straight inside me. “What will I get from you?”

“That depends on what you want.”

“Want,”I repeated. Where Cole was concerned, what didn’t I want?

“I told you earlier that you owed me,” he said. “Do you want to call us even?”

“Do you?”

He was silent for a moment, and then one moment longer. “No,”he finally said.

I lifted my chin. “Good.”

His expression remained perfectly stoic, but he lifted his hand toward my face, then dropped it, as if he were a child who’d caught himself about to do something naughty.

“It’s okay,”I said, my voice almost a whisper. “I won’t break.”

“Don’t be so sure, blondie. I’ve been known to destroy even the most resilient things.”

“I’m not a thing. And you won’t destroy me.”I hesitated only a second, then took one step closer. The difference was only inches, but the air seemed suddenly thicker, as if my lungs had to work harder to draw in oxygen. “It’s okay,”I said again.

All around us, the party continued, but I’m not sure either one of us was aware. Instead, it felt as if we’d stepped into a vortex, and at least in our little corner of space and time nothing else mattered or even existed.

I held my breath, wanting his touch so badly I could taste it. And when he finally brushed the side of his thumb over my cheekbone, it was all I could do not to moan aloud.

All too quickly he took his hand away, leaving me bereft.

All too quickly he stepped back, forcing the world around us to come back to life.

“I just had to see if I was right,”he said.


“Your skin. It’s like touching a promise.”

“Is it?”I murmured.

“Tender,”he said. “And a bit mysterious. With layer upon layer just waiting to be discovered.”

My breath stuttered in my chest. “I didn’t know you thought that,”I said. “I didn’t know you thought about me at all.”

He was silent for so long I began to fear he wasn’t going to answer. When he spoke, his words cut through me, sharp and sweet. “I think about you more than I should.”

It was suddenly very warm in the gallery. Little beads of sweat gathered at the hairline on the back of my neck. I needed air, because it seemed as if all the oxygen had been sucked out of the room.

Somehow, miraculously, I formed words. “What are you thinking now?”

About J. Kenner

Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures.

Her most recent trilogy of erotic romances, The Stark Trilogy (as J. Kenner), reached as high as #2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries.

J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest




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Decklan Dare knows about the
unexpected loss of loved ones and for this reason, he values control in all
areas of his life. Amanda Collins enjoys the freedom she finds in casual
encounters without the emotional connection a relationship brings. They meet and
their physical attraction is mutual but both experience feelings that could run
deeper – if they drop their guard and let each other in. Decklan is first to
trust, but when he discovers the secret Amanda’s been hiding, will he forgive?
Or will he rebuild every wall before she has a chance to explain?




New York Times and USA Today
Bestselling Author Carly Phillips N.Y. Times and USA Today
Bestselling Author Carly Phillips has written over 40 sexy contemporary romance
novels that today’s readers identify with and enjoy. After a successful 15 year
career with various New York publishing houses, Carly is making the leap to
Indie author, with the goal of giving her readers more books at a faster pace
at a better price. Her Serendipity books will still finish up in
January/February 2014 via Berkley as planned. Carly lives in Purchase, NY with
her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her
Facebook Fan Page and website. She’s a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and
a mom. In addition, she’s a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to
interact with her readers.


it comes to family, Ian Dare gives his all but in relationships he offers the
bare minimum. Until one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant
and protective instincts. He will do anything to possess her … and does. But
any future with Riley must include him dealing his half-brother who is a
constant reminder of the pain he’d rather forget. 




Riley Taylor believes herself immune to domineering men – until
charismatic Ian Dare turns a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses
and she discovers she likes his brand of control in the bedroom. As their affair
heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined.
But Riley’s past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with
Ian’s dominance might just cost her everything. (love story, contemporary
romance, alpha heroes, beach reads, sports heroes, bad boys, billionaire)

Alex Dare, had it all — an all-star football career and his choice of willing
women — until a severe injury forces him into early retirement. Social worker
Madison Evans grew up in foster homes and knows what it means to have-not. She
isn’t impressed by Alex Dare’s wealth or charm. Not since she fell hard for him
once before, only to discover she was just one of his too-easy conquests. 




This time around Madison refuses to succumb to Alex so easily. But
Alex wants Madison. And if there is one thing Alex does well, it’s to get what
he wants. Can he convince Madison to take a risk and dare to love? 

After ending a
relationship to a cheating, domineering man, Isabelle Masters takes off in her
leased Mercedes, only to be arrested for grand theft and hauled to a local
police station. To her surprise, she is rescued by the most unlikely person
possible, Gabriel Dare, a man she’s been attracted to for far too long. Gabe
offers Isabelle freedom along with an invitation to Eden, an exclusive island
resort where everything and anything is possible.

Although Gabe yearns to possess Isabelle, he
knows all too well he must fight his primitive need to bind her to him, and
instead help bring out the independent woman she yearns to become – or risk
losing her for good.

A woman who needs to run her own life. A man who
needs to exert control. Can she surrender to his erotic demands without losing
her sense of self once more?



School is back in session and I have a few beefs:

1) Requiring high school students to own a calculator that costs over $100 dollars. Really? They can’t use the calculators at school? They have to have their own? I’m buying them used but still…

2) AP Classes. My boys have been reading all summer. There was no family vacation or even mini-vacation because of the number of difficult books to be read and papers to be written. When I asked the boys if they HAD to take AP classes they looked at me like I had three heads. “We want to get into a good college, Mom.”

3) Homework. Really? Homework lasts from when they get home until bedtime. And it’s never, ever done. All the studies that show that homework doesn’t help children to learn? Ignored.

4) Cafeteria food that makes the kids feel ill. I’m not going to complain about the fact that six foot tall juniors in high school are given the same amount of food as the three foot high first grader, because what does it matter when it makes them sick.

5) Soccer coaches that will only speak to their players and give the players a hard time when the parent tries to contact the coach.

6) It doesn’t matter what you say, what you offer to do, or how many parents agree with you. Nothing ever changes. I worked in that school for eight years and still I dread the first day of school. Thank goodness for the place I work now. Quiet, fun and full of art.

I’m sure I’ll think of more things as the weeks go on, but that is enough complaining for now.


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promises under the peach tree banner

The Farmer’s Daughter

One of many reasons I loved writing Promises Under the Peach Tree was for the chance to revisit an old farming community.  My debut book for Harlequin Superromance is set in a fictional town in Tennessee, in the general area of Franklin, but more remote. Readers will find lots of nods to old farmhouses, farm stands and the way of life I grew up with that is—wonderfully—experiencing an American Renaissance right now.

I grew up on a farm along the Hudson River, on acreage that my father’s family planted when he was a boy. There’s something wonderful about coming of age in that kind of environment, although I would have denied it strongly as a teenager. But in those magical years between five and ten years old, I wandered every path and trail that we worked, sometimes to help pick beans or tomatoes, more often to explore. There was always something interesting to see as the fields changed daily, and I got the chance to drive a tractor, mix planting soil with my bare hands (mud pies, anyone?), linger in a warm greenhouse, throw seeds in the ground off the back of a tractor (no clue why I loved that) or wander off while I was supposed to working, lured by butterflies or interesting flowers nearby.

You won’t see all those things in Promises Under the Peach Tree, but the memories are between the lines as the heroine fills an old barn with her belongings, filling the space between old cultivators and plows. It’s in the orchard when peaches are being picked, and in the hero’s point of view when the scent of peaches reminds him of his high school sweetheart. There are rambling farmhouses (are there any other kind?) and roadside stands where produce and jams are sold. All of these things are part of my past on a fondly remembered farm.

Even better are the hints of new “farmers” taking over the old family businesses.  I’m enjoying the trend of buying local and farm-to-table restaurants where the emphasis is on using the freshest possible ingredients for cooking. Decades after Farm-Aid, we see a resurgence in small farms. When Williams Sonoma carries chicken coops, you know that eating fresh is making a comeback! I hope my new book brings to life the world I remember growing up in. At very least, I hope it makes you hungry for fresh peaches and the sweet taste of self-sufficiency that a family farm instills!

This is my stop during the book blitz for Promises Under the Peach Tree by Joanne Rock. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 2 till 8 September, you can view the complete blitz schedule here.

promises under the peach treePromises Under the Peach Tree

By Joanne Rock

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Age category: Adult

Release Date: 2 September 2014


The trouble with Heartache

Nina Spencer swore she was done with Heartache, Tennessee, when she left the town—and her sexy ex, Mack—in her rearview mirror. But when her bakery business is rocked by scandal, she needs a place to regroup. What she doesn’t need is Mack Finley reminding her of peach-flavored kisses and the hold he still has on her.

Mack never forgot Nina—not that he didn’t try. Yet between caring for his family and organizing the annual Harvest Fest, he’s overwhelmed and he needs Nina’s help. They can work together without getting swept up in memories and the rush of brand-new passion…right?

You can find Promises Under the Peach Tree on Goodreads

You can buy Promises Under the Peach Tree here:

- Amazon

- Barnes & Noble

- Kobo

- Books A Million

- IndieBound

- iBooks

Joanne RockAbout the Author:

Three-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock never met a romance subgenre she didn’t enjoy. The author of over sixty romances from contemporary to medieval historical, Joanne dreams of one day penning a book for every Harlequin series. A former Golden Heart recipient, she has won numerous awards for her stories.

Learn more about Joanne’s imaginative Muse by visiting her online:

- Website

- Facebook

- Twitter

- Goodreads

- Pinterest

- Instagram

- Amazon page

- Google +

- Tumblr

- Youtube

- Joanne Rock’s Romance Wiki

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Promises Under the Peach Tree, with one US only and one international prize! These are the prizes you can win:

- Romance and More prize pack, which includes 4 classic blaze title by Joanne Rock, The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich, a keepsake vintage Harlequin notebook, sticky-note weekly calendar, lotion and nail polish (US only)

- Paperbacks from The Bookdepository of Shelter Me by Catherine Mann, Someone Like You by Karen Rock and Promises Under the Peach Tree by Joanne Rock (International)

You can enter the giveaway below:

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