Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'm on vacation! No, really, I mean it this time. I'm not going anywhere special, just liberating myself from my laptop. Well, ok, that's not entirely true; I'll still be writing new posts Tuesdays @ "Unabashedly Bookish," at BN.com, so I hope you'll join me there.

RBTB'll be back in bi'ness July 6th with a visit from Hank Phillippi Ryan, a pal I've long wanted you to meet. Then, July 7 I've got some cool RBTB news to share.

In the meantime, feel free to stop in every day to tell us about the books you're just loving! If you've read books you're not crazed for, feel free to talk about em elsewhere. :)

When I come back, I'll randomly choose one commenter to win a 12-pack of romances!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Feature Review: "Knight of Desire," By Margaret Mallory

Announcement Tomorrow, June 20! Plus: Winner Round-Up below.

Do you remember that cute guy in "Lord of the Rings?" Oh, don't ask me which movie, but it was the guy with the kind of strawberry-blond hair who almost gets immolated on the pyre, but gets saved. A real cutie warrior. I think that's the guy; strapping, but fair-skinned and British-but-gots-some-Nordic-conquerors-somewhere-in-his-family-tree looking.

Yeah. He was hot. But it was so long ago that I saw the movie, I can't remember all the details. Kind of like what happens in those romances where the heroine experiences her first kiss from a hooded, young, chivalrous hero on some dark, hazy night, then meets up with him years later, drawn to his hard body and rough-yet-clean-shaven good looks, but recognizes not a blessed thing about his countenance.

Sort of like what happens to Lady Catherine Rayburn, heroine of Margaret Mallory's sigh-worthy new medieval, "Knight of Desire," the first fine historical tale in her new "All the King's Men" series.

The King in said series, is Henry II -- or maybe Hank V before he's got the crown -- and Lady Catherine's committed what almost amounts to treason by sending Prince Harry info that her husband's turned traitor. On the very day the prince's men foil her husband's plot, his slayer -- and the man who's been awarded the lands Catherine's long cherished -- arrives bloodied from battle and demanding she marry him or accept accommodations at London's famed Tower.

No fool she, Catherine chooses nuptials, but foils at every turn her lusty lord as he attempts to consummate the marriage. Is our hero, the ridiculously honorable William FitzAlan -- and doesn’t adding Fitz to a name ratchet up exponentially the hero’s desirability quotient? -- disheartened? Well a little, and at times, he acts so jerky, he’ll probably catch some flack online.

But once Catherine steps back for a breather – and FitzAlan is treated to some humble pie we-women-stick-together style -- she begins to see an alliance with FitzAlan might mean a rebirth of her youthful dreams of self-determination. Yet if he learns how her plans to help King and country could find them branded traitors, the fragile intimacy they share will shatter – along with the lives of their countrymen and Prince Harry.

“Knight of Desire,” is a treat for the historical romance fan who’s been craving a little more place-and-time meat with her sexy love story; the folks who really made the history make this story burst with character and life. It hearkens back to the days when historical heroines worked with what they had to save the day, and heroes didn’t have to appear or be written weakened so the women could shine.

Oh, you know the books I’m talking about, I just can’t remember the titles or authors.
Sheesh. Well, remember this: The next in this series is “Knight of Pleasure,” and I’m already dying for it, as you will be when you --

Buy the book.

How do you feel about real figures from history playing parts in the romances you read? What do you think of medievals/what are some faves? And who was that LOTR guy, anywayz?
***
Prize Winners --
Monica Burns: bookeroo; Laurie
Tessa Dare: margay
Janice Maynard: lyoness2009
Wrap Up: If you've not rec'ved a prize from me that we've corresponded about, please send me a note at mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com. We've lost 3 packages in the mail in the last 10 months.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monica Burns GuestBlog: B(C)FF*

CONTEST TODAY!!! 1 LCB wins a copy of "Dangerous," and another LCB wins a copy of "Mirage" courtesy Monica! Non-US rezzies win e-copies. Pls. include email addie in comment or profile to enter.

From Monica: Some of you Bellas I’ve had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face, LeeAnn, Evie, JulieO, MaryKate, Rach, Stace, KateP, Portia and others. And there there’s Queen Bella who I met way back when, 2005 I think. QB, has it really been that long? For those of you I’ve yet to meet in person, I’m certain we’ll meet one day. It’s inevitable that women who love romance will meet and become friends.

That’s what I thought we’d chat about today. Friendship. Meeting women like the Bellas is something I never dreamed of when I first started writing/reading romance. Growing up, I had no one to talk to about romance books, and I sure as hell couldn’t tell anyone I was writing romance. People laughed at me all the time for reading “those sappy” books. My grandmother, who loved romance, was 1000 miles away. And back then, they didn’t have unlimited calling plans! LOL I wonder what my grandmother would think about my upcoming Berkley Sensation, "Kismet." It might have been a bit too risqué for her, but we’d definitely have something to talk about *grin*. (See why here.)

So imagine my delight, when I discovered there were readers and writers of romance on the Internet. It was like hitting the Mother Lode. I mean I’d finally found a place I could call home. I felt like Altair, the hero in my current print release "Mirage ." Altair didn’t really belong anywhere at all until he met my heroine Alex. When these two got their happy ending, he realized he’d finally come home. Home to a woman who was his best friend/lover forevah! Naturally, they go through a lot of shitake mushrooms to get their HEA, and there’s lots of excitement to be had in reaching that final ahh…sensation. But the key moment for me in "Mirage" is when Altair knows he’s really come home. Friendship’s like that.

Here on RBTB and in other sectors of the romance community, I’ve developed friendships with others who love talking romance and having thoughtful, funny, warm and insightful debates about the genre. As a writer, I’m lucky to know so many with whom I can share my love of storytelling. I get a kick out of sharing my excitement with people who understand why I’m pumped about any new story I write. You understand and want more when I tease you with tidbits about my alpha heroes. Who else but friends will listening to me wax ad nauseam about my 2010 paranormal series set in places like Chicago, Rome and Venice. Who else will “get” the line that sword play for survival and loving is a given with these alpha males. I’ve been deeply enriched by being able to share my love of romance with so many. And you, Bellas, are part of that wonderful tapestry that encompasses all my romance community friendships. Thank you for the friendship.

So tell me as a romance reader or writer, have you developed strong, lasting friendships in the romance community? Ever met a cyberspace buddy in person? Were you nervous when you met face-to-face? Have your cyber friendships evolved to daily emails, phone calls or weekly Starbucks meets if you’re in the same town?

*Best (Cyber) Friends Forever
***
Historical romance like Monica's rocked the Historical Novel Society's North American conference last weekend. Check out Michelle's take on why HNS respects romance here, and if you love historical romance fiction, think about joining this awesome group.
***
Click here for agent/author Deidre Knight's important article on e-publishing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

HIStory, Sex And The Sueded Elbow Patch Blues

OK, the Historical Novel Society's North American conference has been over for two days, and I'm feelin' a little bummed. Imagine, 2 days of nuthin' but hanging with nice people who love historical fiction books, including historical romance! Plus, fun times w/ Bellas Jade Lee, Carrie Bebris (remember her back-in-the-day iview as Jane Austen?) and Babs Vey (in the photo w/ HNS conference chair, author and Booklist hist fict reviewer Sarah Johnson), as well as Lauren Willig and Bella Loretta Chase's best pal, Susan Holloway Scott.

And, ok, Shame on me. I expected tweed-and-suede-elbow-patch types and was welcomed by warm, laid-back smarty pantses from around the world who think romance books are every bit as legit as any piece of historical fiction written. Plus, you gotta dig their Late-Night Sex Scene Reading… Read more.
***
Tomorrow: Welcome back to RBTB Bella Monica Burns who wants to talk cyber friendships and offer up a fun contest.
***
Encore! If you're interested in digital publishing, please read this thoughtful piece by FOB Deidre Knight about RWA's stance on e-publishing. The learning curve for understanding digital mediums can be pretty, um, long and curvy. But some of us have been singing the same song since even I started back in '05, so it's really time to understand digital's legit, good for authors, readers and romance, and worth looking at very carefully.
Encore due! Babs and I have long been trying to convince everyone we're nemeses. Since nobody's buyin', we've come up with a new motto: Trust Babs n' Michelle; We won't throw you under the bus. That's got a nice ring to it, I think.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Janice Maynard GuestBlog: Saint And Sinner

CONTEST TODAY!!! One LCB wins an ARC of "Mating Game" and a Lori Foster/Dianne Castell Get-Together Goodie Bag from Janice! Please make your email addy available in comment or profile to enter.

From Michelle:
Our Bella Janice Maynard first visited after she made the erom scene w/ a lervely little number, "Suite Fantasy," which intro'd us to her sassy n'sweet style of HEA erotic romance. With her new "Mating Game," she's kinda kicking up the sexual stakes -- and the plot intensity -- some notches, as she explores what used to be forbidden territory in romance. I think she succeeds, and readers who've been clamoring for true contemporary heroines in 'trad' romance can rest a little easier tonight, know wha'm sayin? Please give Janice a big 'ol "I didn't think nice Southern girls did
that" Bella buongiorno...


From Janice: A big, heartfelt thank you to Michelle for inviting me to guest blog today!! And an even bigger, good old southern howdy to all you wonderful Bellas!! I always love the interesting chit chat when I get to drop by…

I gave today’s topic long and hard consideration (get your minds out of the gutter!), and I want to us to talk about the good girl/bad girl dichotomy. Or to paraphrase, Disney – Lady and the Slut.

I have to be honest – I came by my sexual experience the old-fashioned way… I married my high school sweetheart at age nineteen (between our sophomore and junior years of college) and on May 30 we celebrated our 34th anniversary. (Yeah – now you know – I’m 53.)

Although I adored the "Sex and the City" series, those women and their antics were as foreign to me as pod people. I grew up in an area of the country known as the Bible belt, and one reason so many kids around here marry young is that living “in sin” or simply “sleeping around” were not (and maybe “are” not) considered to be the actions of well-brought-up young southern ladies.

So you can imagine my floundering when my editor and I put our heads together about a heroine who essentially “tries out” three potential mates in a rather short amount of time. The forced marriage is, of course, an old plot device, but in "Mating Game," the heroine really has no good alternative to her actions. The grandmother (who raised the heroine) has recently died and has imposed a seemingly cruel and manipulative restriction on the inheritance. The heroine has to be married in thirty days. If she is not, she loses the antebellum home where she grew up and hundreds of acres of land, all of which have been in her family for at least 150 years.

Nola, my heroine, is willing to consider the outlandish requirement, but she doesn’t want to get divorced immediately, so she wants to choose the man who has the best potential to be a lifelong mate. And that includes sexual compatibility… which she hopes will eventually lead to love.

There are three potential candidates: her current lover (who is a marriage-shy playboy), her high school sweetheart (who she later finds has reason to despise her), and a third man, a stranger (who seems to be manipulating her).

In the midst of all this sexual excess, Nola suddenly becomes the target of an unknown killer… and circumstances combine to show her that any one of the three men in her bed might be dangerous.

I certainly couldn’t write this heroine from any personal experience. She is willing to have sex with three men, all within a month. If you decide to read "Mating Game," you’ll have to be the judge of whether or not Nola falls into the lady or slut category, and whether or not the end justifies the means.

So I ask you - Can a heroine be “free” with her body and still be a traditional romance heroine? Is it realistic to think that a woman might be attracted to three different men for different reasons? Can a 21st century woman separate sex and love? And does a fictional woman get license to do things we wouldn’t???

I can’t wait to hear your answers!! -- Janice M.
***
Encore! Way back when, we discussed at RBTB the phenomenon of the LiberTina. Definite food for thought in terms of this discussion and the reality of women gettin' they's own like the boys do...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

That's What She Said

The very contemporary heroine of Janice Maynard’s new erotic romance, “Mating Game,” needs a husband, like, yesterday -- and isn’t afraid to try the goods before she buys, as it were. Nola Grainger’s on the fast-track to the altar ‘cause granny’s left her everything with one catch: Nola’s gotta marry to get the loot and, more important to Nola, the family home.

But are we ready for sweetie-author Janice Maynard to write a nice-girl heroine who’s not monogamous on her way to HEA? Get to know the slightly naughtier -- yet still emotionally satisfying -- side of Janice Maynard’s erom when

Bella Janice Maynard GuestBlogs @ RBTB tomorrow JUNE 12!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tessa Dare GuestBlog: DARE To Play The Regency Dating Game!

CONTEST TODAY!!! One LCB wins a 'graphed copy of "Goddess of the Hunt" courtesy of Tessa. Pls. make your email addy available in your profile or comment to enter, or check 2 see if you won.

From Michelle: Tessa Dare's lovely debut novel, "Goddess of the Hunt," drops July 28, but she returns to RBTB today to introduce the series and get us ready for the Regency Dating Game. Plus, she's talking childhood sweethearts and telling a story I don't quite remember the same way she does. Please DARE to offer her a warm, "I dare you to admit your Screech crush!" Bella buongiorno and toss her a Dating-Game air kiss...mmmwwwah!

From Tessa: Bellas, thank you so much for having me! It’s so exciting to be back here at RBTB.

I can’t even begin to tell you about my debut novel without first sharing what Michelle did for me, once upon a time. Back in early 2007, I was an aspiring author with a half-finished manuscript and a complete ignorance of how the publishing industry works…but by virtue of winning a crazy little contest, I scored Michelle’s invitation to come guest-blog here. Because Michelle is a gracious hostess, she read the excerpt of my then-work-in-progress I’d posted on my website, and she very politely said, “Oh, I can’t wait to read the whole book.”

So I said, “Can I send it to you?”

I still can’t believe I asked that. Really, if I’d known then what I know now, I never would have had the guts. But amazingly enough, Michelle said yes! I sent my manuscript to her, and she read it that very week, and then she sent me an email saying she’d loved it, and invited me to call her. She then talked to me on the phone for almost an hour, giving me all sorts of encouraging praise and much-needed suggestions. I knew then what generous advice she was giving me, but I didn’t realize until much later just how rare it is for anyone to offer that give that kind of time, effort, and encouragement to a completely unknown unpublished author. I will always be grateful to her for that.

Several months later I sold that very book to Ballantine, and now "Goddess of the Hunt" is releasing next month (July 28) as the first in a back-to-back trilogy of Regency-set historical romances.

In "Goddess of the Hunt," Lucy Waltham has been in “love” with one of her brother’s best friends since she was a girl. When the dashingly handsome Sir Toby Aldridge plans to marry another, Lucy snaps into action, determined to snag him first. She might lack for beauty and grace, but no one can match Lucy for determination or daring. When she sets her sights on a target—or a man—she will have him.

There’s just one problem. Toby’s the wrong man for her entirely. And it takes several heated arguments and some very hot interludes with her true hero, Jeremy Trescott, the Earl of Kendall, before she can let go of that girlhood infatuation and embrace a woman’s desire.

Now, I love a childhood-sweethearts romance just as much as the next girl, but I’d guess most of us are pretty lucky we didn’t choose our life partners in the sixth grade. I can’t help but wonder, if I could have married my dream man at age ten or eleven, who would I be with today? Maybe one of these guys…

Yes, that’s Ricky Schroeder in his "Silver Spoons" days. And Matthew Laborteaux, who played Albert in TV’s "Little House on the Prairie." A year or so later, I developed a powerful fixation on Corey Haim. Obviously I had a clear set of requirements for husband-material in my pre-adolescent imagination, and it began and ended with one word: Dimples.

So who did it for you, back when you barely knew what “it” was? (Yes, this question may date you.) David Cassidy? Elvis? A New Kid on the Block? And just what it is about those dimples?
***
"Profiles in Courage: Recovery and Romance" explores novels in which heroes and heroines with addictions work to find intimacy, love and passion while maintaining the emotional balance necessary to remain healthy. Check it out here, please!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Gonna Hafta Face It

Critics not intimately familiar with the genre long have attacked the romance construct as codependency glorified. Yet many of us who’ve lived the trials and triumphs associated with loving someone with an addiction appreciate that today’s romance reflects the courageous nature of recovery by depicting it as warts-and-all heroic. Read more...
***
Tomorrow: DARE to play the Regency Dating Game with Tessa Dare to celebrate the release of her debut, "Goddess of the Hunt!" Check out her GuestBlog as an unpubbed here.
***
Emma Holly winner: grammyd. Congrats!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Emma Holly GuestBlog: Family: Can’t Live With ’Em; Shouldn’t Let ’Em Bite Your Neck . . .

CONTEST TODAY!!! A 'graphed set of Emma Holly's new FitzClare Chronicles series, beginning w/"Kissing Midnight" goes to one Lucky Commenting Bella, courtesy of Emma! Please make your email addy available in your profile/comment to enter.

From Michelle: I love today’s GuestBlog from Bella Emma Holly almost as much as I adore her new FitzClare Chronicles series and “Kissing Midnight.” The book’s a hot, heady adventure, clever and wry, with a perfectly cool new setting for a historical romance: post WWI London. The June – August series? Think of it as a Summer of Love,
upyr style: Instantly gratifying indulgence with a bite. Please offer our pal Emma a warm Bella buongiorno…
From Emma: What makes a family? Most people would agree it’s more than blood. Lots of folks have blood relatives they don’t speak to - or friends they’re closer to than real siblings. Since I find the latter more interesting to write about than the former, I decided to let Edmund Fitz Clare, the vampire hero of "Kissing Midnight," create a family that was made up of voluntary bonds.

No one, certainly not the other members of upyrkind, consider it Edmund’s obligation to adopt a trio of humans who were orphaned in the last Great War. Edmund doesn’t need immortality - hello, vampire! - and he already has two human descendants who have been changed. No, when this seeming professor of history rescues Ben and Sally and Graham, it’s because he wants a family to love.

That, I think, is the secret to his nonstandard parenting success.

Edmund wants to love his children. Not to raise them to be paragons. Not to keep them safe from their own mistakes. Not to swaddle them forever in cotton wool. (Okay, he would like to do that, but he refrains.) He wants to love them. That’s his idea of proving he’s become a better man than he used to be. To him, loving his family isn’t his obligation, it’s his privilege. So what if he risks immolation just to walk his youngest girl to school? Never mind how hard it is to keep the secret of his true nature from their curious eyes. He gets his fulfillment from watching them grow up to be themselves.

In return, his children adore him back. They might think their night owl father is eccentric, but they sense the unconditional nature of his affection, and they feel fortunate to have his care.

They feel fortunate to have each other, too, because they don’t share blood ties, either.

Before Edmund ever showed up at the orphanage, middle child Ben went hungry to save Sally from starvation. Edmund’s eldest, Graham, appointed himself both the younger pair’s protector. These children chose each other as much as Edmund chose them. In truth, them choosing each other inspired Edmund to adopt them all. It would have taken a harder-hearted vampire than Edmund ever was to leave any one of them behind.

So here is this voluntary family, grown up now, not perfect by any means, but each aware that they are lucky to have someone to love and be loved by. As a storyteller, the Fitz Clares’ dynamic was a pleasure to explore. What would put the most pressure on these voluntary ties? What wonderful or terrible decisions might the adoptees be driven to as I pushed them to their limits? How could I help them, fictional characters though they were, fully recognize the treasure they had in each other?

Answering those questions propelled me all the way through "Kissing Midnight" and two other books. It provided me one of the most rewarding writing experiences I’ve ever had. Edmund was already a favorite of mine; I’d written about him in "Catching-" and "Courting Midnight," but his children came to tug at me just as strongly. Edmund’s mortal love interest did as well, in part because Estelle’s life embodied the very issues I was sorting through. Her blood parents met their obligations without really loving her. To me, it was no wonder she fell in love with Edmund and the rest of his brood.

Naturally, I’m hoping lots of people will love my creations. If they do, I know the Fitz Clares won’t be the first made-up family readers have fallen for. Understanding that, here’s my question for you, Bellas: What fictional families have had you jonesing to be adopted? What, to you, gives a family circle an irresistible glow? I’ll be waiting to hear what you say!
***
Check out an adults-only excerpt from one of the Bellas' fave "Kissing Midnight" scenes here!

Friday, June 05, 2009

It Never Gets Old

A sword. A shield. A query: Boxers? Or Highland Glory?

Yes, Bellas, that was indeed the question last night, confirmed this morning on the Reader/Writer Get-Together loop. Seems I wasn't the only one to catch a glimpse of kilted, war-painted-and-readied Highlanders here at the Cincinnati North Marriott last night. I'd chalked up my men-in-kilts sighting to fatigue from being up since 4 and driving 6 hours.

But, nope. Seems Get-Togetherer Pam saw bunches o' Highlanders, but couldn't get satisfaction on either clan or commando queries. Ah, well. Maybe tonight'll prove differently. You know I'll be on the story.

In the meantime, I'll be interviewing a bunch of pubbed, newly pubbed authors, editors/agents and industry 'luminaries' to help Lori Foster produce some get-together video. Last night, had a really fun dinner then total girl-talk fest -- decadent dessert and Irish coffee which the bartender assured me was "traditional, because it was prepared to the instructions of the Irish gentleman seated at the bar." Apparently, those instructions include mostly alcohol and about a thimbleful of coffee. I think I saw wee fey folks on the way back to the hotel, so it must have been authentic, all right.

Anywayz, my partners-in-dessert, Dianne Castell and Janice Maynard, say hi and send their best to you! I'll be sending more updates and news from special Friends of Bellas like Marjorie M. Liu and Emma Holly!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Toni Blake GuestBlog: Everybody Needs One Reckless Summer

From Michelle: Toni Blake's new "One Reckless Summer" is more than just a good-girl-sorta-reunites-w/-bad-boy-from-her-home-town-years-after-high-school kind of romance. As if that weren't enough for us round here! It's a "delayed 'coming-of-age" kind of romance, which lots of good girls can relate to. And it's especially hot n' tender, hallmarks of Toni's emotionally charged, sensual romances. Please give Toni a "Feels so good to be bad!" Bella buongiorno...
From Toni: In my new book, "One Reckless Summer," (Book 1, Destiny Series) Jenny Tolliver is a lifelong “good girl” who returns to her hometown of Destiny after a painful divorce to regroup and figure out what’s next for her in life. She has no idea that next big thing will be the town’s ultimate bad boy, Mick Brody, who no one has seen for the past dozen years. But when Jenny and Mick meet in the woods one night, two worlds literally collide, and Jenny is soon drawn into a very reckless summer – not only romantically, but in other ways, too.

As a lifelong good girl myself, I can tell you that there’s more to most of us goodie goodies than meets the eye. And that every now and then, we break out of our safe little shells and do something unexpected and maybe even a little bit wild. When Jenny does this, she does it in a very big, dramatic way, which made her loads of fun to write about.

But whether big or small, my question for you today is: Did you ever have a reckless summer? Or even a reckless weekend, or a reckless night? And if so, were there any repercussions? Did you have any regrets? Would you do it again if you had the chance? If you never had a wild, reckless experience, do you wish you had? And what would it be?

I hope you find this topic as juicy as I do, and that maybe it will whet your appetite to pick up a copy of "One Reckless Summer." If you want to learn more or read an excerpt, just visit my website at www.ToniBlake.com. You can also find links there to me at MySpace, Facebook, Goodreads – all the hot hangouts (except Twitter, because a girl has to draw the line somewhere if she’s going to find time to write books) – and if you want to join on my online reader group, just click here. We’d love to see you there!

Meanwhile, I can’t wait to hear about your own personal reckless summer!
***
Toni, many of the Bellas, about 300 romance lovers and I will be heading this weekend to the Lori Foster/Dianne Castell Reader & Writer Get-Together! We'll say hi to everyone for you, and try to get some dish, too!
***
Hot for romance virgins? Or do you hate em? Check our my new column at "Unabashedly Bookish," "The Age of Innocents" here, please.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

(I) Like A Virgin



44 year old feminist romance columnist seeks heroine desiring deflowering by alpha male in historical novel. Must tolerate obligatory post-coital proposal after eagerly exchanging virtue for a delicious memory to cherish the rest of the lonely, yet self-determined spinster life she’ll choose for several chapters as nod to readers’ 21st century sensibilities. Apply within.


***
Toni Blake GuestBlogs here tomorrow!
***
Don't forget: Sign in at b/n.com and the Book Clubs section to comment at "Unabashedly Bookish!" Like a comment or post? Give it a laurel.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Carly Phillips GuestBlog: It's Your Lucky Day!

CONTEST TODAY !!! Carly's giving one lucky commenting Bella a copy of "Lucky Charm," Lucky series book 1!

From Michelle: It's been too dern long since Bella Carly Phillips's been in the RBTB digs! But she's bey-ack w/her super new "Lucky Streak" and Lucky series: Sexy brothers, family curse, spunky chicks, trademark Carly anything-can-happen-on-the-way-to-love romance. Please give 'er your warmest, "Curses! Those Corwin boys're hawt!" Bella buongiorno...
From Carly:Hi, all. I’m so excited to be here today. A special thanks to Michelle for bringing me and a wave to the Bellas! Hope everyone’s having a very LUCKY day. Why? Because my new book "Lucky Streak" which is in stores now is all about LUCK!

And sometimes, thankfully, luck pays off for me! I definitely don’t like to presume good things will happen, I like to hope. I’m afraid of jinxing something. Can you really do that? I rarely tempt fate. But it’s an interesting concept, isn’t it? Luck?

LUCK is fickle. And yet many of us believe. When I ask myself why, I realize it’s because of HOPE. It’s the possibility that Lady Luck will step in and pick us up that provides a ray of hope. LUCK causes us to play the lottery, pick up a heads up penny, read fortune cookies, and many more crazy, superstitious things. It was the concept of LUCK that drove the idea for my new LUCKY series and book two is in stores now!

Fortune hasn’t been so kind, however, to the men in the Corwin family. And Mike Corwin is the latest to cross her path. Where? LAS VEGAS! The good news is that Mike, a police officer, awakens after some hard partying in Vegas $100,000 richer and married to Amber, the gorgeous woman he met the night before. The bad news: His last name is Corwin. The really bad news is that Amber's a consummate con who took his money and ran. Seems the family curse has finally hit him.

But to Amber, Mike isn't business as usual. Something about her new husband softens her steely heart, even as she betrays him. And Mike, first hell-bent on divorce, welcomes a second chance to defy the curse... and turn his run of bad fortune into a lucky streak!

Of course I wanted to extend LUCK to my readers so I’ve created an on-going contest which encompasses all three books in this series for those who read them. I call it the “Lucky You” Contest! Six lucky winners will receive a special gift!

Still feeling lucky? Enter the "Lucky Streak" Reader Contest courtesy of (me) and HQN books! One winner will receive $1,000 to spend anyway they want! Plus...There’s also my monthly contest (a beautiful, LUCKY necklace); the sizzling book video – you should see and hear the hero! And of course the book itself, "Lucky Streak" in stores now!*

So, after all this talk about LUCK, what do you all think? Does it exist? Can you create your own luck? Or does luck follow you? Tell me YOUR thoughts!

*To get deets on the "Lucky" contests and Carly's books, visit CarlyPhillips.com!