Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Year Traditions by Bambi Lynn

It’s been nearly 2000 years since Julius Caesar introduced Leap Year. At the time, each month had either 30 or 31 days except August, which had only 29. Easy enough to add an extra day every four years. Not to be out done by his predecessor, when Caesar Augustus took over the empire, he added two days to his namesake month. February lost out to this battle of the Caesars.

Many Leap Year traditions have developed in the last two millennia, none more widely practiced than that of women proposing marriage. Irish legend tells us that St. Brigid made a deal with St. Patrick that would allow women to propose to men, a way to balance the roles between men and women the way Leap Day balances the calendar.

If a man refused the marriage proposal there would be hell to pay, or least a stiff monetary penalty. This spawned another tradition. Any man who makes such a refusal must purchase the offended woman twelve pairs of gloves, so that she may hide her bare ring finger and thus her embarrassment at not having an engagement ring.

Yeah, right.

So are you thinking of proposing to your man today? Here are some tips from Match.com on how to do it right.

Most likely, your honey would prefer a more private setting for your proposal. He might feel uncomfortable that you’re bucking the trend and may not want to share the moment with a crowd. Besides, something intimate would be so much more romantic.

Keep your proposal fun, light-hearted, and flirtatious. Taylor towards what he likes, not what you like. If you create the proposal you’ve always wanted, you could feel resentful afterward that you had to do it all. Make it all about him!

What if he says ‘no’? Don’t panic. Ask him calmly for his reasons. Maybe you can work together to set a date to become engaged.

But of course this would never happen in a romance novel. Happily Ever After is understood from Page One! I’d love to share some of my favorite Happily Ever Afters with you. Please visit my website to learn more about me and the romantic stories I write. Do you love free books? Sign up for my newsletter to receive a copy of the Bambi Lynn Starter Library.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author: Bambi Lynn

Title: Lucan

Genre: Historical Scottish Paranormal

Heat Level: Three Flames: Sensual and explicit love scenes

Blurb:
Neala Comyn, wife of a powerful laird, wants to end the pain and suffering of an abusive marriage. She is a woman without hope, believing God has forsaken her. When she is kidnapped by a rival laird who claims to be a god himself, her faith is further shaken. Could Lucan Munro be the salvation she has prayed for? Or will her sins condemn her to eternal damnation? Lucan Munro, has the power of a Celtic god. He can conjure his heart’s desire from thin air. But can he save the woman he loves from a demon hell-bent on claiming her soul?

Connect with Bambi online at Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads


Author: Susannah Sandlin

Title: Wild Man's Curse

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Heat LevelTwo Flames: Sweet with some love scenes, more sensual and euphemistic

Blurb:
The bones said death was comin’, and the bones never lied. While on an early morning patrol in the swamps of Whiskey Bayou, Louisiana wildlife agent Gentry Broussard spots a man leaving the home of voodoo priestess Eva Savoie—a man who bears a startling resemblance to his brother, whom Gentry thought he had killed during a drug raid three years earlier. Shaken, the agent enters Eva’s cabin and makes a bloody discovery: the old woman has been brutally murdered. With no jurisdiction over the case, he’s forced to leave the investigation to the local sheriff, until Eva’s beautiful heir, Celestine, receives a series of gruesome threats. As Gentry’s involvement deepens and more victims turn up, can he untangle the secrets behind Eva’s murder and protect Celestine from the same fate? Or will an old family curse finally have its way?

Susannah is also know as Suzanne. Connect with her online at Website, Blog, Facebook, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest


Author: Meda White

Title: Home With My Heart

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Heat Level: Two Flames: Sweet with some love scenes, more sensual and euphemistic

Blurb:
The year is 1984. The hair is big and the stakes are bigger. Dixie Johnson has three daughters, two jobs, and one bookie who won’t let her rest until her deceased husband’s debts are paid. Widower Dan Baker has a vision for expanding his business, but with three sons, too little time, and a one-night-stand with the woman he intends to hire, it may never happen. Dan quickly realizes Dixie is essential to more than his bottom line and life takes them on a journey that can only lead to one place. Home. This contemporary romance contains Southern Gothic elements. Home With My Heart is the prequel to Play With My Heart and tells the love story that made the Southland series possible.

Connect with Meda online at Website, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon

Monday, February 22, 2016

"Are you f---ing with me?" And other ways to accept a marriage proposal

"Are you f*#$ing with me?" Checking the ring to make sure it was real may have been gauche, but after the pranks he'd played on me in the past, I was not falling for the mack-daddy of practical jokes.

After three years of courtship and an ongoing game of "Sucker" where he'd fooled me more times than I could count, Jim had kneeled on one knee and asked me to marry him. His half-cocked grin threw up more caution flags that a pile-up at Talladega.

"Seriously, are you f*#$ing with me?" Why weren't there 24-hour jewelers? Or at home lie detector tests? Or truth serum sold at Publix? He was not going to take advantage of this girl's gullibility again. No sir. Not this time.

With a wink and jerk of his head toward the stairs he responded, "I could be if you'd hurry up and say yes, Miss-soon-to-be-Mrs. Potty Mouth."

He always loved my eloquent command of the English language.

And that is how I became engaged to my husband.  That is the real version of how it happened. Hand to God.  While there was a cleaner, more acceptable for prime time version that we shared with friends and family, my husband prefers the true tale. So do I.

Sometimes there are banana peels instead of rose petals. Not every romantic moment comes with violins as the soundtrack. In my life, they usually come with a laugh-track. Like my husband's conversation about chainsaws with our minister as I walked down the isle or how my husband knew I was "the one" because I quoted the Simpson's monorail song to him on our first date.

How about you? What funny romantic experiences have you had? What is the favorite story you've heard from friends and family about that perfect moment gone awry?

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Making of a Love Triangle, er, Quadrangle, er, Quintangle, er, Sextet?


Suzanne Johnson

Once upon a time, a young woman…well, okay, a middle-aged woman….sat down to write a story, never really expecting to do anything with it except exorcise her inner demons left from living through the destruction and revival of New Orleans in Hurricane Katrina.

She had a story that, she thought, was filled with important themes. That things we love can disappear in an instant, with no warning. That we are all stronger than we think. That people who make good leaders in times of prosperity often make the worst-possible leaders during times of disaster. That there are always those who will take advantage of others’ adversity. That “family” is what we make it, not necessarily what we are born with. That you never know how much you love a person or a place until you lose it, or almost lose it.

Lo and behold, that book, called ROYAL STREET, got published. It was unleashed upon the world in 2012, and what did many reviewers focus on? The deep themes? No. It was The Love Triangle.

To which I responded, “Huh?”

Many readers, I learned, abhor love triangles. But ROYAL STREET wasn’t about a love triangle, I argued to deaf ears. It was a fantasy novel; it wasn’t even a romance. There was nothing romantic about it. (Well, okay, there was that scene in the laundry room.) DJ only crushed on Jake because her world had turned insane and he was so normal.

But suddenly, here came “Team Alex” and “Team Jake” and, yeah, okay, unintentionally, I had created a love triangle.

Feeling misunderstood, I decided to get rid of the love triangle and put it to rest with the
second book, RIVER ROAD. I would do this by having DJ explore her feelings for Jake but realize they weren’t going to work, and I would heat up her relationship with Alex. To keep readers’ minds off romance, damn it, I’d increase Jean Lafitte’s involvement in the story (because DJ has always insisted that wasn’t going anywhere) and introduce some merfolk. DJ’s one attempt at a date with Jake turned into a disaster. Alex upped his game.

All fixed, right? No, by gosh, reviewers complained: I had now created a LOVE QUADRANGLE. Not only had the French pirate been taken seriously as a suitor, but the grouchy tattooed merman Rene Delachaise had somehow gotten into the game.

Huh?

I wrote blogs and answered emails and protested to anyone who’d listen (which was no one) that this was NOT A LOVE QUADRANGLE. I had never felt so misunderstood. I had to fix it.

With teeth-gritting determination, I embarked on book three, ELYSIAN FIELDS, determined there was going to be nothing—NOTHING—that would perpetuate a love quadrangle. I had Jake infect DJ with the loup-garou virus and then run like a big old chicken to the Beyond. I had Alex and DJ take their relationship to a new level—they had SEX, for God’s sake. I made it perfectly clear that DJ and Rene are in no danger of becoming a couple. They’re too much alike. I brought in a beautiful, despicable elf named Quince Randolf, aka Rand, as a mystery element—a creature of unknown species involved with Dj’s best friend.

O.M.G. Now, somehow I had created, with Rand’s addition, a Quintangle. How could that possibly be? DJ was sleeping with Alex. Yeah, she ended up married to Rand in some elven sort of way but she hates him. Not “pretends to hate but really wants to jump his bones,” but hates.

This simply had to stop. So in PIRATE’S ALLEY, I found Jake someone to be engaged to, and DJ is happy for him. Problem solved. DJ sits down with Jean Lafitte and says, plainly and clearly, we are nothing but friends. Problem solved. DJ and Rene continue to be good friends but very clearly are not involved with each other—she helps him get dressed for a date with someone else. Problem solved. Rand is so despicable even his own mother couldn’t love him, plus he got another woman pregnant. Problem solved. DJ and Alex are arguing like blazes, but they say the “L” words to each other. Problem solved. After introducing all of the new species into the multiverse of the series except the fae, I brought in Christof, the Faerie 
Prince
of Winter, and his insane brother Florian. Their antics helped bring DJ and Alex closer. Right?

Sigh. I think it worked. Jake has his own woman. Christof has shown an interest not in DJ but Eugenie. Rand is so awful, no one wants to see DJ with him. They’ve still not given up on a DJ-Jean liaison. They seemed to have accepted Rene as a platonic friend. Alex is again the front-runner despite being so pig-headed that readers now would rather see DJ with no one than with him.

It took me five books but I no longer have a love triangle squared or whatever. 

Except DJ and Alex are so incompatible….

Stay tuned for book five, BELLE CHASSE. What comes after Sextet….The Love Septet?




Friday, February 05, 2016

Celebrating Our Authors #MakingMagic #Books #FridayFeatures #BelieveTheHype @SouthernMagicRW

Welcome to the first Features Friday where we celebrate the releases of Southern Magic authors. Please share with anyone who loves books.

The first flirt of the week is by author Meda White.

Title:
Home with my Heart

Genre:
Contemporary Romance

Heat Level:
Two flames--Sweet with some love scenes, more sensual and euphemistic


Blurb:
The year is 1984. The hair is big and the stakes are bigger. Dixie Johnson has three daughters, two jobs, and one bookie who won’t let her rest until her deceased husband’s debts are paid. Widower Dan Baker has a vision for expanding his business, but with three sons, too little time, and a one-night-stand with the woman he intends to hire, it may never happen. Dan quickly realizes Dixie is essential to more than his bottom line and life takes them on a journey that can only lead to one place. Home. This contemporary romance contains Southern Gothic elements. Home With My Heart is the prequel to Play With My Heart and tells the love story that made the Southland series possible.

Meda's books can be found here.

Release Date:
February 10, 2016

Website

Social Media:
Facebook
Twitter
Amazon



The second flirt of the week is by author Susannah Sandlin.

Title:
Wild Man's Curse

Genre:
Romantic Suspense

Heat Level:
Two flames--Sweet with love scenes, more sensual and euphemistic



Blurb:
The bones said death was comin’, and the bones never lied. While on an early morning patrol in the swamps of Whiskey Bayou, Louisiana wildlife agent Gentry Broussard spots a man leaving the home of voodoo priestess Eva Savoie—a man who bears a startling resemblance to his brother, whom Gentry thought he had killed during a drug raid three years earlier. Shaken, the agent enters Eva’s cabin and makes a bloody discovery: the old woman has been brutally murdered. With no jurisdiction over the case, he’s forced to leave the investigation to the local sheriff, until Eva’s beautiful heir, Celestine, receives a series of gruesome threats. As Gentry’s involvement deepens and more victims turn up, can he untangle the secrets behind Eva’s murder and protect Celestine from the same fate? Or will an old family curse finally have its way?

Susannah's books can be found here.

Release Date:
April 5, 2016

Website

Social Media:
Blog
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest