Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Reforming the Cowboy and Marisa Cleveland

Give a big, warm welcome to Marisa! She's giving her past self some writing advice.

Dear Three Years Ago Me:

It's September of 2010, and you "retired" from teaching back in June. You plan to write full-time, supergluing your fingertips to the keyboard, indulging in your wildest fantasies. But here's what the three-years-ago me should have done:

1. Get and train your Dragon. Since you've started using Dragon, your life is so much easier. First drafts fly from your lips to the computer's blank page. It took you about a week to really train the voice recognition software, but once you did, first drafts were smooth sailing. You tried out a couple different headphones and microphones, and you still alternate between the corded ones and the wireless, but you love it. You "write" and pace and sit and stretch and lie on the floor. So, yeah, don't wait so long to get and train your Dragon.

2. Buy stock in your favorite hand lotion. You will go through more bottles of lotion than you ever did while coaching gymnastics or living in the cold northern states. Lotion will keep your skin feeling soft, and even though it's not proven to anyone outside of then-you and now-me, lotion will help your fingers feel more nimble during those long stretches of revisions and more revisions and late night edits.

3. Enjoy every bit of this journey, because you will never be at a lower point or a higher one than the one you are at right now. You will have days when the words won't flow, but you will make them, because you have finally admitted that you are a romance writer (even though you still haven't finished writing a romance novel). You will have days of glorious triumphs, when strangers admire what you are doing and where you are going in life. Take the good and forget the bad - if you can figure out how. But remember, this is your journey alone to make, and comparing yourself to others might help you mark your progress, but don't let it destroy your dream. You will get there.

All my love,

Country singer Billy Hardy needs to get back on the charts. His manager assures him headlining the opening of a cafe in South Beach is his best chance at getting back to the big time. If he fails, his career is over for good this time.

Lacey Durant can't believe opening night includes the country singer she crushed on through college. And her customers agree he's dreamy. But his playboy reputation threatens her cafe's image and she can't afford that. She insists Billy stay with her so she can keep an eye on him, and thwart overenthusiastic fans.

Billy's charms and Lacey's sexy curves prove more than either can resist, but she refuses to be just another lyric in his well-known songs of heartbreak.

About Marisa:
Marisa loves to laugh, hates to cry, and does both often. She married her best friend, and her adult romance novels focus on sensual relationships developed through friendship. She loves to connect with readers.

Connect with Marisa:
Website: http://www.marisacleveland.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/marisacleveland
Facebook: http://facebook.com/marisacleveland00
Google +: http://plus.google.com/102206201174009013772
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/marisacleveland
Tumblr: http://marisacleveland.tumblr.com
Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/marisacleveland
YouTube: http://youtube.com/marisacleveland

Buy Links:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Love Lost and Found and Michele DeWinton

Despite our epic battle last week, I'm happy to welcome Michele DeWinton to the blawg. Give her a warm welcome!

Thanks so much for having me over. It’s going to be a crazy fun ride with the fab four Entangled Indulgence September release authors. Nothing like spreading the love about the Indulgence love! Sofia asked me what advice I would have given my writing-self three years ago, knowing what I do now? Here what popped up for me, hope you enjoy.

  1. Be in it for the long haul – because things can get rough out there. You might have a dream start (and I’ve had a dream ride really, my first book getting picked up by a main stream publisher and then when I ventured into romance having my first two books taken to the first publishers I shipped them too) but if you’re serious about this writing malarkey, sure as pigs love mud, it’s likely you’ll get rejected somewhere along the way. Try and take the good with the bad and just keep on keeping on.

  2. Write for yourself first, everyone else next – If you want to keep up this writing business you’ve gotta enjoy it. The moral of my story is that you don’t know where inspiration will spring from, or from what meagre beginnings your writing star will start shining. But you can keep pushing a passionate pen. You can float your dreams out on paper and let your characters dance with them. You can let the colour of some dark forest haunt your words or the light of morning warm them. And even if you don’t want anyone else to see them, those words will be all yours. Full of poise and personality and passion, you will have created something that no one else has. And you will have made the world just a tiny bit better because of it. Isn’t that fantastic.
  3. Be patient – time moves very, very slowly with publishing houses and even agents. The Romance world tends to be faster on balance than other genres in my experience, but just when you think everything is rocking along, sometimes things can come to a grinding halt. Don’t sweat it – it’ll still happen and you’re editor wont thank you for the million emails you send her asking BUT WHEN?

  4. Adhere to the fab four piece of writing advice someone once told you and you thought they were joking:
  • Write. There are very few full time writers who make a serious living from their craft, but the discipline to get up every day and make yourself get onto the page is the thing that will likely be the difference between you getting published and not.

  • Edit. Don’t send off the first draft of anything, short story, play, novel. Even if it is a piece of genius. Let it sit, just for a couple of days if that’s all you’ve got and then re-read. You’ll likely pick up something that could do with tweaking.

  • Create a team. I’ve been part of a writing group for the last few years and they are the only people who see my first drafts. Having an objective eye look over your work is invaluable.

  • Read. Everything.
Felicity Williams can't remember the last five years thanks to an accident that wiped out her memory. She fled her old life in hopes of starting fresh and found refuge working on a cruise ship. But her past is coming for her…
Rick McCarthy wakes after a climbing accident to discover that his business partner and fiancĂ©e has quit her job and disappeared. He’s trying to accept that she’s run out on him, but now he needs her signature to close a deal that could literally be life or death. He’ll go to any extreme to get what he needs…even if that means becoming someone else to win her back. But a little lie becomes a large mess when they’re stranded on a deserted island together, and old misunderstandings might ruin their chance at new love…

Michele de Winton loves sunshine, chardonnay, (preferably together), beaches, trees, great vegetarian food, steamy writing and happy endings. She’s been known to be an all round arty type and it's no wonder that her first romance has a little sparkle of the stage tucked into its pages. Being a writer was not was she was supposed to be when she ‘grew up' but then neither was being a dancer. Sometimes her performing past jumps out of the dress up box and requires attention. But most of the time she’s content to stay in her PJs. All day. And she also thinks that chocolate can solve pretty much everything. Her debut romance The Boss and Her Billionaire hit the top 100 Bestsellers on Barnes and Noble in its first week and continues to do well. Love Lost and Found is the second in that series. You can get in touch with her at:
Website – www.micheledewinton.com
Blog – www.micheledewinton.blogspot.co.nz
Twitter - @Micheledewinton
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6443966.Michele_de_Winton
Facebook (author page.) - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Michele-de-Winton-Author-Page/155966894515844?ref=hl
Facebook (author profile page) - https://www.facebook.com/michele.dewinton
Pintrest - http://pinterest.com/MDWinton/

Buy NOW:



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Winning the Boss's Heart and Hayson Manning

Let's welcome Hayson Manning to the blawg! She's talking music. 

Music I Write By

When I sit down and start my writing day, my seventh cup of joe sits on my desk, stare blankly at the screen, then I hit play and let my writing playlist soak into my soul.

Here’s my list of music that gets me where I need to be.

Yep. Glen Campbell. Showing my age here, but my mum loved him. My mum died suddenly a long time ago. She’d sing along at maximum volume as if she was twenty-one and leaving Galveston. I play that song, a lot, and it always makes me smile and feel that she’s beside me, singing loudly. It’s also guaranteed to clear the room of my moaning children, so I play it. Often.

Don’t Let me Down
Watching X Factor when it first came to the USA, I fell in love with the voice of LeRoy Bell. This song soaks into my soul and reminds me to believe in myself and to not let myself down.

Hold On
I was watching SNL – Saturday Night Live, and caught Alabama Shakes singing Hold On. It struck me deep in my gut. Brittany Howard sings with everything she has. She reminds me to let go and write with abandon, to dig where I don’t want to go, but where I need to. Write with everything I have.

Mary J. Blige and U2. The lyrics are beautiful and listening to them, I hear Bono ripping the words out of his heart. Mary J. Blige adds pain and emotion I can only hope to emulate.

Tongue Tied
This Grouplove song just makes me smile. I don’t know why. It’s my happy song.

Sung by George Harrison. Yeah, going old school, again, but the lyrics in this song and the way he sings it, you know he’s looking at his woman and putting himself out there. Don’t we all want that directed at us? I know I do.

What are the songs that move you?

Blurb Winning the Boss’s Heart
Mason Christian has twelve weeks to flip something old into something new, and then he's getting the hell out of Footsteps Bay - a tiny New Zealand coastal town. Not even his temporary secretary and personal assistant--the feisty, luscious Billie McLeod--will deter him, but there's no denying she makes him feel alive. More alive than he's felt in three years...
Billie has one dream: save enough money to finish her degree. That's why she's agreed to work for hard ass, all-business-no-pleasure Mason Christian--a man who has every intention of destroying through modernization the town's most cherished historical home. Before she can say 'see ya' she's signed on the dotted line and is contractually bound to be Mason's forty-second assistant. But working with male perfection every day is awesome with a capital A--as long as they can stick to a hands-off policy that gets harder every day...

Hayson Manning Bio:
Hayson Manning writes fun and flirty romances with alpha dudes and sassy woman. She lives in Southern California with her lovely sloth children, infuriating but much loved shoe-dropping husband, a tubby opinionated cat (as if a cat doesn't ever have an opinion). There will often be a foster dog parked on the couch waiting for their forever home. She loves a good glass of wine, dreams of winning the lottery, cries while watching Antiques Roadshow and is cannot speak she's sobbing so much by the end of Undercover Boss. She is also an expert at finding new and inventive ways to avoid exercise.

She'd love to hear from you at

Monday, September 9, 2013


The HOT KNIGHT and I are going on a digital world-wide tour.

September 10: Farm Girl Books
September 17: Long and Short Reviews
September 24: Simply Ali
October 1: Romance Novels in Color
October 8: Books and Other Spells
October 15: Susana's Morning Room
October 15: Reading In Twilight
October 22: Harlie's Books
October 29: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews

Don't miss out on the interviews and guest posts. There's a chance to win a $25 Amazon GC. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I'm Going to Be Everywhere

I'm making this the official post of where you can find me this next month. There'll be a lot of places so stay tuned.

First up, HOT KNIGHT IN PARADISE has it's first blogger review. Why, yes, I totally did a chair dance.

I was also interviewed by Romance In color.

I'm guest blogging here: http://goddessfishparty.blogspot.com/2013/09/hot-knight-in-paradise-top-five-reasons.html

Tomorrow I shall be chatting with Bettye Griffin. In case you missed it I wrote odes to my hero, Marshall, on Incy Black's blog.

ETA: There's a contest, a battle and half naked men on Facebook. Enter for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Bonus Excerpt: Hot Knight In Paradise

The next few weeks are going to be insanely busy. I'm actively trying to be everywhere. But as a pleasant surprise my fellow Indulgence releasers (yes, I just made up a word) are hosting each other:

Marisa Cleveland http://www.marisacleveland.com/ 
Michele DeWinton Romance http://www.micheledewinton.blogspot.com/
Hayson Manning http://haysonmanning.blogspot.com/

I'll keep ya updated on all my spots.

And since I will be everywhere with excerpts, interviews and behind the scenes info, it makes sense to let this be the first place where you get to read it first. I mean, what kind of author would I be if I didn't offer the first and an exclusive excerpt on my own blog? Let's not answer that question. On to the excerpt...
Leah grinned at him and jumped into the water. When she surfaced he stood at the rocks with his shirt half-off. Oh. He needed to come with a warning label. If and when her brain stopped misfiring at the sight of those golden-brown pecs and ridged stomach muscles, she might be able to come up with one. She dunked herself and stayed down longer than necessary to clear her head.
Bad idea. When she resurfaced, he was down to his low-riding khaki shorts. Half-hearted kicks put distance between her and the too-hot sight. She floated, to the waterfall, where bubbles foamed around the cascade of liquid. She had to get control of her wayward thoughts. So Leah tried, focusing on how she was broke beyond belief on top of being stranded for at least two weeks. Her mother’s silence…
Heat suddenly enveloped her back. Instinct, not want, made her lean into the warmth of Marshall’s chest and close her eyes. All thoughts of her mother fled and the wayward thoughts trickled back in. Hell.
His hands wrapped around her shoulders, and he turned her to face him. “Where’d you go?”
“To the other side of the pond.” The deadpan stare made her laugh. “Why won’t you let me play stupid?”
“You’re smarter than that.”
“What difference does it make?” she asked, frustrated. “We already came to an understanding that I would be here two
“As a back-up plan.” He raised his brows.
She started to swim backward, but he held her steady. “Have you changed your mind about employing me?” she  asked.
He blinked. “No.”
“You could give me the money outright,” she said, and again stalled to avoid the conversation.
He considered her. “Would you take it?”
No. “For all you know I could be lying. Why would you give someone you don’t know that much money without working for it?”
“You could be.” Marshall searched her face as he had the day before. “But you’re a horrible liar.”
He had her there. “How do you know?”
She sighed since he was partially right. “I got myself in this situation and I knew better.”
“The universe hates you?”
“Yes,” she said with certainty.
He shook his head, but pulled her closer. “Make your case. I’m interested to know what you could have possibly done to earn this kind of karmic retribution.”
She pursed her lips and the truth wanted to spill out. How would he look at her if knew the truth? She said, “Delores told me you are family by choice. How did you guys meet?”
“She had family here. I followed.”
Truth rang through the statement, but it wasn’t the full story.
“You’re smarter than the job you do. State your case, Marshall.”
He gave silence as his answer, so she ducked under the water and swam beneath the waterfall. The water acted as a curtain, hiding a miniature cave. The other side of the rock wall had to have an opening allowing the sun to come through, because the water glowed at the bottom. With her back to the wall, she waited for him, because she knew he’d follow.
He rose out of the swimming hole, droplets clinging to thick black lashes. Marshall jerked his head to fling the wetness from his face. “I’ve been thinking.” He came closer.
And because he had, Leah had to smile. “What conclusion did you come to?”
“We need to agree to another arrangement of sorts.”
Her heart kicked in her chest at what was surely about to come next. He wanted sex and not to barter. Not from the look that said he knew, already, all the ways he wanted her. Leah wanted to know them, too. With this man conversation bred lust.
She wouldn’t be here long enough for him to rip out her heart. The lust she could handle. “And what arrangement would that be?” she asked.
Marshall’s lids lowered, and he made a deep sound of need. “What kind of arrangement do you think I mean?”
Uncertainty made her choose the next words. “I feel as if we are playing an extended game of cat and mouse. Sometimes I’m the mouse.”
His nostrils flared and he looked like he wanted to eat her all up. “Do you like being the mouse?”
Nothing makes my heart lighter than subtle dirty jokes. All right. This book goes live on the 9th and from there it's zero to 60 mph. Put on your seatbelt folks.

*This book is currently up for pre-order
Buy links:

Six Things About A Hot Knight In Paradise

*This is a cross-post from the Southern Fried Chicas, but for those who don't follow that wonderful blog...

What could I tell you about a HOT KNIGHT IN PARADISE? Well, let’s make a list.

1. This was a come back to writing book. I’d spent a long time before writing this book worried about perfection. I went into this book finally letting go of perfection. I stepped back and let my characters have it. At some point they started to drag me along. So these characters came fully written.

2. This is a pure fantasy of the meet-the-guy-while-stranded.

3. And that guy, Marshall, is the one who you’d marry and totally take to bed. And not in that order.

4. Leah, the girl in this meet-the-guy-while-stranded, gambles, drinks, faces down a mugger, gets a job and place to stay all in twenty-four hours. There’ no TSTL here.

5. There’s a small community full of smart-asses.

6. If there’s nothing else that could sway you, then read the book for the bread and hammock scene. I’ll be honest and say the bread scene is probably why this book got contracted.

I’m sure there’s more, but I’ll leave you with the blurb. And the question, who’d you want to be stranded on an island with?


Stranded in paradise with no way to get home, Leah Smith needs a miracle, and fast. Instead, she gets Marshall Jackson, surely the sexiest man alive. Too bad he’s got an emotional wall around himself–and her only hope of getting off the island...

Marshall has a strict no damsels in distress policy, but there’s something about Leah that makes him want to break his own rules. He agrees to let her work in his bar until she earns enough to get home. But the more time they spend together, the harder it is to deny the scorching attraction between them. Soon hot island nights provide balm to their wounded souls, but will these two flawed exiles make peace with the past in time to claim the future they deserve together–or will paradise be lost?

*This book is currently up for pre-order

Buy links:


Sofia Harper started writing contemporary romance a long, long time ago. When Sofia’s not spending time with imaginary people in her head, she’s corrupting two little trouble makers. Currently she lives in California where the wine is good. She also going full-throttle on the ride called publishing. These two thoughts are not related.

Other places you can find me:
Website: http://sofiaharper.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sofiaharp‎
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/sofiaharper.author‎
Goodreads Page: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7154484.Sofia_Harper