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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

#BookBlast: Love, Albert by @LyndaMSimmons

Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.

With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat - a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.

When she's not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she's found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her - like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!

Sometimes all love needs is a road trip, a rubber chicken and a touch of magic

Vicky Ferguson loves her husband Reid, always has, always will. But with two kids to think about, it’s time for the free-wheeling, sports car loving pilot to put his feet on the ground and lay down some roots. Reid can’t imagine life without Vicky but neither can he see himself pushing a lawn mower or driving a mini-van. They’re on track to a divorce neither one wants until a last request from beloved Uncle Albert puts them on the road together one last time. 
 “Which brings us to the issue at hand,” the lawyer said and opened a file. “I have here the last will and testament of Albert Ferguson. Handwritten but perfectly legal.” He leaned down and picked up Albert’s old leather suitcase. It was the only thing the old man ever carried – the true master of travelling light. Lyle set the case on the desk, undid the straps and slid back the zipper. Reached inside and came up with a pair of Groucho Marx glasses, complete with bulbous pink nose, bushy eyebrows, and a formidable mustache.
Reid sat forward. “Not the glasses,” he said, a smile already tugging at his lips.
Lyle nodded solemnly and put them on, carefully adjusting the nose over his own before picking up the paper again. The lawyer’s delivery was perfectly straight, if a bit nasal. “I, Albert John Ferguson, being of sound mind and body— ”
Reid glanced over at Vicky. She was staring at the lawyer, eyes wide, lips pinched tightly together, holding back her laughter.
“Do hereby bequeath all my worldly goods to my favorite nephew and niece, Reid Allan Ferguson and Victoria Ann Ferguson, to be used as they see fit. This includes one hand buzzer, one whoopee cushion, one pair of Groucho glasses.” He reached into the suitcase again. “One rubber chicken –”
“I’ll take that.” Vicky’s face turned pink when the lawyer paused and looked at her over the nose of the glasses. “For the kids,” she added, and turned to Reid. “Unless you want it.”
“Not at all.” He pointed to the suitcase. “But I’ve got dibs on the fly-in-the-ice-cube.”
“One fly-in-the-ice-cube,” Lyle continued, and set it in front of Reid. “One can of worms—”
“Snakes,” Reid cut in. “They’re snakes.”
The lawyer slid the can toward him and Reid popped the lid. Three long colorful snakes sprang from the tin and flew over the desk, squeaking as they bounced against the walls. “They were always his favorite.” Reid smiled at Vicky. “Do you mind if I take them?”
She held up the whoopee cushion. “Not as long as I can have this,” she said, and Reid understood why Albert had loved her, too.
“You can go through the rest on your own later,” Lyle said, taking off the glasses and setting them aside. “But in return for his worldly goods, Albert has a favor to ask.”
Reid raised his head. “A favor?”
“More of a decree really.” Lyle cleared his throat and resumed reading from the will. “In return for my worldly goods, Reid and Vicky must promise to take my remains to Seaport, Oregon. ”
The chicken’s head bobbed as she sat up straighter. “But I thought he’d already been buried.”
“Not quite.” Lyle lifted a plain white shoebox out of the suitcase and set it on the desk in front of them. “He’s been waiting for you.”
Reid stared at the box. “That’s Albert?”
“Ashes to ashes.” The lawyer picked up the box. “I know it’s not much to look at, but it’s practical, sturdy, and holds up to five pounds of loved one, no problem.” He looked from Reid to Vicky. “The point is Albert didn’t want a fancy urn because he wasn’t planning to spend much time in it anyway.”
Reid shook his head. “I don’t understand.”
Lyle smiled. “Your Uncle Albert wants to fly one last time.

One randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card during the tour.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Excerpt: Princess Curvy: A Curvy Girl's Italian Affair

Princess Curvy: A Curvy Girl's Italian Fling
Available January 15, 2015 but you can pre-order it now!
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon AU
All Romance
Barnes and Noble (no pre-order, sorry!)

“There’s a man in the retail shop asking if you’re available.” Violet set a drink in front of her. “He’s tall and handsome,” she added with a wink. “And if you don’t want him…”
Natalia frowned and sipped her iced coffee. “What’s his name?”
“Oh.” Violet smiled. “Mr. Clayworth. And he speaks proper English!”
She already knew that; she’d spent considerable time with him last evening. No, not as much as she wanted, but that man’s voice was deep and rich as sin and did all sorts of things to her insides.
“Send him up,” she said instead.
Half expecting Violet to accompany him back into the showroom, Natalia was surprised to see Adam walk in alone. Dressed in a charcoal gray suit instead of the black tie from last night, she was pleased to see he looked just as delicious in a suit as a tuxedo. The blue shirt against his dark hair and eyes did things to her.
“I truly never expected to lay eyes on you again,” she admitted. Standing from her desk, she debated crossing the room and shaking his hand. After that kiss? A simple handshake wasn’t going to happen.
Instead she leaned her hip against her desk and rested her hands behind her. The lavender pencil skirt hugged her curves perfectly, if she did say so herself, and the heels lent her just the right height to lean comfortably against the desk. The cream-colored top, chiffon over a tank top, hung off one shoulder and naturally drew the eye to her generous breasts.
Natalia was pleased to see Adam was not immune.
“I hope it’s not an unpleasant, or unwelcomed, surprise,” he said and stepped farther into the room. “After all,” he continued, his stance casual as he shifted on his heels, “you did leave Milan memorable.”
A tingle of pleasure started low in her belly and spread warmly through her. Keeping her voice professional, Natalia raised an eyebrow. “How can I help you, Mr. Clayworth?”
“While I’d love to say I’m here only to see you and ask you to lunch,” he said then added, “which I am. I’m also here to ask a favor.”

Monday, December 29, 2014

#Anthology Hot Highlanders and Wild Knights edited by Delilah Devlin

Delilah Devlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of erotica and erotic romance. She has published over a hundred thirty erotic stories in multiple genres and lengths, and is published by Atria/Strebor, Avon, Berkley, Black Lace, Cleis Press, Ellora’s Cave, Harlequin Spice, HarperCollins: Mischief, Kensington, Montlake, Running Press, and Samhain Publishing. In May 2014, she adds Grand Central to her list of publishers when Her Only Desire releases!

Her short stories have appeared in multiple Cleis Press collections, including Lesbian Cowboys, Girl Crush, Fairy Tale Lust, Lesbian Lust, Passion, Lesbian Cops, Dream Lover, Carnal Machines, Best Erotic Romance (2012), Suite Encounters, Girl Fever, Girls Who Score, Duty and Desire and Best Lesbian Romance of 2013. For Cleis Press, she edited 2011’s Girls Who Bite, and 2012’s She Shifters and Cowboy Lust. In 2013, she added Smokin’ Hot Firemen and High Octane Heroes.

Men devoting themselves to their true love through the art of courtly love is the ultimate in romance. Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors is filled with wild knights and Scottish warriors whose courage on the battlefield is outmatched only by their ardor for their ladyloves! Readers will unleash their fantasies of olden days where men wearing heavy armor or thick tartans sent a spirited young maiden’s (or lonely widow’s) heart fluttering. These bravehearts were prized for their physical strength and men were judged for their fierce loyalty and unshakeable honor. Crusaders, highlanders, Normans and Saxons, tournament fighters, vikings, and hunky Mongols astride stallions in search of adventure and love all populate the pages of this steamy read.
 “Pleasure in Surrender” by Delilah Devlin
After the lady of the keep bars her gates to the barbarian the king commands she wed, the half-Viking knight scales the walls of her heart
“Wicked” by Susannah Chapin
The strong-willed daughter of a Scottish Laird learns it isn’t her surrender her father’s most powerful but wounded warrior craves
“The Keeper of the Keys” by Axa Lee
A Briton queen learns to lay aside the household keys of her responsibilities and ask her Saxon warlord husband for what she craves
“The Maiden’s Kiss” by Layla Chase
A Viking warrior tempts fate and his own control when an Icelandic maiden asks to be tutored in the art of kissing
“My Loveliest Vision” by Renee Luke
Despite a daunting affliction, the lady of the keep will protect her father’s holdings from a resolute knight come to claim what he was promised
“The Invasion of Nefyn” by Lizzie Ashworth
A Briton woman risks rape and death at the hands of invading Saxons in hopes of a visit from her warrior husband
“The Promise of Memory” by Regina Kammer
A Roman slave finds freedom in fantasies of a knight in the imperial guard—a warrior who evokes memories of a long lost love
“On My Honor” by Beatrix Ellroy
When a wounded knight is offered sanctuary by a widowed healer, the pleasure she also offers may strain his honor
“A Hawk in Flight” by Connie Wilkins
The Lady of Aragotsotn paid tribute to the Mongol conqueror to save her people, but her falcon-fierce heart remains undefeated—though it might be won
“To Love a King’s Man” by Emma Jay
At the Highland Games of 1589, a young widow risks all for a chance to win the love of a bastard favored by the king
“The Bodyguard” by Jacqueline Brocker
As a ninja stalks through the palace corridors, the daughter of a samurai lord is drawn to her wounded, pensive bodyguard
“Broken Vows” by Anya Richards
A marriage of convenience leads to most inconvenient desires and a threat to one knight’s immortal soul
“Poetry and Amber” by Axa Lee
A mighty passion ignites along the Volga River between a Celtic witch and the Rus king to whom she’s been traded
“The Squire” by Cela Winter
While traveling in France, a knight’s secretive new squire makes him question everything he knows about himself
A randomly drawn commenter will receive:
$50 Amazon Gift Card
Signed copy of Smokin’ Hot Firemen edited by Delilah Devlin
Free ebook: Jarrod Bancroft Book II by Lizzie Ashworth
Signed copy of Duty and Desire: Military Erotic Romance provided by Connie Wilkins
MJ Fredrick will provide a free copy of one of her western books, print or ebook—reader’s choice
Signed copy of Wild, Wild Women of the West by Layla Chase
$5 Amazon gift card from Susannah Chapin
Signed copy of The General's Wife: An American Revolutionary Tale by Regina Kammer 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Holiday Etiquette: Merry Christmas! Now it's time to write Thank You Notes

I don't think I've ever written a thank you for a Christmas gift. I've thanked the person. But I've never written a note. Is it better to write a thank you than, say, call them?

Thank-You Notes

Write thank-you notes as soon as possible, preferably within two or three days.  Try to acknowledge holiday gifts before New Year’s Day.

-       The sooner you write it, the easier it is
-       Write the note as if you were speaking with the person
-       Keep it short and sweet
-       Personalize the note with the gift and giver
-       Focus on the positive and don’t mention any dissatisfaction with the gift

Is it necessary to write thank you notes to family members?

A thank you note is always appreciated, but a note isn’t needed if you’ve thanked someone in person for a gift—the most personal thanks of all. If you receive gifts from family members that you won’t see to thank in person, write them a thank you note, both to let them know their gift arrived and that you liked it. Remember that relatives from ‘the old school’ may still expect a written note even if thanks were given in person.

What about an e-mailed thank you note for holiday gifts?

While it may be all right if you and the giver e-mail each other frequently, it’s still no substitute for a handwritten note. Thanking the person the old-fashioned way will emphasize how much the gift means to you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Excerpt from Christmas Curvy: A Curvy Girl's Holiday Fling

Laura ran up to her room to get her coat with the promise of meeting Kamari at the ice skating rink in ten minutes. As she waited for the elevator to climb to the executive suites, Laura wondered if Kamari’s rooms were also on the same floor.
            She refused to think about the small, very slight, flip her stomach did and resolutely ignored it. Because this was all business. And since when was she interested in him? All right, that was the wrong question.
            It wasn’t a matter of being interested or finding him attractive or even of wanting to know him better. She did find him attractive—she had eyes attached to her brain, after all, and Tyler Kamari was a very handsome man with a brilliant mind. It was a matter of not doing any of the above because it was a supremely bad idea. Period. End of story.
            Quickly keying her door open, Laura grabbed her heavy black wool coat with a black faux fur trim. She double checked that her gloves were still in the pockets before leaving. Part of her wanted to take more time, to manufacture an excuse to leave Kamari waiting. Not out of some warped sense of letting the man wait, but because she had inexplicable butterflies in her stomach.
            Which was ridiculous, of course, because their relationship was strictly business. No matter how attractive she found him, theirs wasn’t that sort of relationship. She didn’t need messy in her life. She liked the orderly path she’d laid out for herself.
            And if she wanted a date…well… Laura frowned as the elevator doors closed behind her and began their descent to the lobby. She stared at herself in the shiny doors. Best not to think about dates. Or lack thereof.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Etiquette: Holiday Tipping and Gifting

This one gets me, I admit. Should you tip more at the holidays? Who gets a tip/gift? Is it necessary? At the end of the second page (Holiday Tipping is Really Holiday Thanking) there's an extensive chart on who to tip and what. They really put a lot of thought into this, and I, personally, appreciate it!

Holiday Tip vs. Holiday Gift

The holiday season is a budget stretching season for many. Between your gift list, holiday tips, parties, dinners out and  traveling, it's easy for expenses to quickly add up. One question we've often been asked is: What's the difference between a tip and a gift?

It can easily get confusing and it's important to make a distinction about whether you're giving someone a gift or a tip. Why? Professionals shouldn't be tipped--and doing so could be perceived as inappropriate. For example, a cash tip to your child's teacher or a government employee such as a postal worker is (in most cases) a prohibited practice. Gifts of small monetary value, however, are fine. 

Tipping is an end-of-year cash gratuity to a service provider such as your doorman, hairdresser, newspaper delivery person, baby sitter  or dog groomer, to thank them for their consistent and outstanding service.

Why does this get so confusing? One reason may be that you can give a gift instead of or in addition to a tip, a helpful tactic if you're strapped for cash. For more on this topic,
check out our tipping chart, complete with monetary recommendations here.

Gifting: A thoughtful present to recognize and show appreciation for family, friends, co-workers and other people in our lives.

We've received many questions about whether to tip or give a gift to teachers and health care professionals. These professionals fall into the gift category. Here's why:
It's wonderful for a child to want to give a gift to his or her teacher. It's also lovely for a parent to recognize a teacher's hard work. Books, gift certificates to office supply stores or other thoughtful items are welcome. Teachers are salaried professionals - a cash tip is not appropriate as it could be seen as "currying favor." Use this opportunity to teach  your child the basics of gift-giving etiquette, such as how to select a gift that someone would like and how to present it to the person.
Nurses or Health Care Professionals:
Cash gifts may be prohibited. Check with each institution's policy before giving a gift to a medical professional. At some non-profit institutions, a donation may be made in honor of a nurse or other employee. Health care professionals have told us they do welcome gifts such as platters of food or cookies that can be shared with staff. Gift cards, if allowed, are a great option too. Good choices include gift cards for the hospital coffee shop or area restaurants. If you select a gift for an individual, choose one that is meaningful to you and always accompany it with a hand-written note of thanks. 
Remember: Gifts and tips at the holidays, are optional (unless part of a written contract) and depend on your budget and relationship to the provider. Holiday tips don't replace consistent kindness and expressed gratitude throughout the year.

Holiday Tipping Is Really Holiday Thanking

The holiday season is traditionally the time Americans choose to thank those who provide them with year-round services. In these tough economic times it’s important to remember that holiday tipping is truly about saying thank you. With a little creativity you can accommodate everyone on your list this year without blowing your budget.

Here are some things to consider when you're deciding how to thank people, who you will spend money on, and how much you will spend:

  • Your budget: First and foremost, you shouldn’t feel obligated to go beyond your personal budget.
  • If your budget does not allow for tips, consider homemade gifts; and if you’re not good with crafts or in the kitchen, remember that words are always a great way to express your thanks for a year of good service.
  • Any gift or tip should always be accompanied by a short handwritten note of appreciation. (Two or three sentences will be enough.)
  • Do you already tip regularly? If you tip at the time of service, you may forego an end of the year tip, or give a more modest holiday thank you. You may also choose to give a small gift instead.
  • The quality and frequency of the service you receive.
  • Your relationship with the service provider.
  • Location: Tipping averages tend to be higher in larger cities.
  • Length of service: The number of years you’ve been using the service.
  • Regional customs.
  • Type of establishment: Is it deluxe or moderate?
  • When in doubt, ask: Call the front desk and ask what is 1) accepted by the company, and 2) typical for what they see from other customers.
  • Common sense, specific circumstances and holiday spirit should always be your guide.
  • Don’t buy into the thought that if you don’t tip you won’t get good service for the coming year. If you think you've had bad service for this reason, you might want to consider changing companies or speaking directly with a manager. 

#Interview with @SusieCWarren for Ruthless Perfection

Susie Warren writes contemporary romance. Besides being an avid reader, she spends much of her free time crafting intense and complex stories about falling in love. When she is not writing, Susie works as an administrator in a small, independent school while caring for three teenagers and keeping tabs on her inventor husband. With the launching of her first book, The Forgotten Heiress, she has slowly begun to navigate the social media realm.

Susie loves to hear from readers and responds to each email and Facebook post. Please reach out to her via Facebook or Twitter.

For more information on her upcoming releases, new excerpts and other related postings, or to sign up for free promotions, please visit

What is your story's heat level? How do you approach the sex scenes?
I think it is somewhere in the middle between a sweet romance and an erotic romance. It is reflective of a couple beginning to date in their late twenties or early thirties.  My characters are not having sex on their first encounter but they are also not waiting for marriage.

I’m getting more comfortable writing sex scenes. I approach the intimate details of their physical relationship with the idea that I want to give readers enough information to understand a deepening of the relationship without pulling readers out of the story.

How do you maintain activity as a writer when sitting at a desk all day?
I’m plagued by a weak lower back so I take Pilates classes and purchased a fabulous pedometer on Amazon. The link is on my twitter page if you are interested. Basically, I push myself to walk 10,000 steps by the end of the day. Other friends, who are not writers, have purchased it and found out that they walk 7,000 steps a day without trying. Not me. I walk about 700 steps unless I get on the treadmill or go for a walk.
What is it that you loved about the main characters in your story?
I loved that they kept putting themselves out there even when they were scared. Fear is a difficult thing but most people when challenged to confront their fear, will tell you that it was the best thing that they ever did. I hope to keep writing about characters that will push past their fear and find their happy ending.
What do you feel is your strongest type of writing? Humor? Angst? Confrontation scenes? Action? Sex? Sensuality? Sweet Romance? And why?
I’m interested in exciting plots and good dialog. I have a tendency to write the first draft in all dialog then have to go back and add in narrative. I have to remind myself to not limit conflict but to use it to push the story forward. I’m becoming more comfortable with writing sex scenes. Recently my editor said she felt the heat coming off the pages. I had to remind myself that this was a good thing.

Are you social media savvy? If so what do you suggest for others? If not, why not?
I’m getting there. I was a little reluctant to share too much at first but I’m beginning to find the balance between sharing interesting or insightful comments and boring readers. I would suggest listening to yourself and make sure that whatever you post, it feels helpful and informative and not just a pet peeve or rant.

What are some things from your life or things you have observed that you've infused into your stories?
Family dynamics. I come from a large family and I think that can shape who your characters become. As a parent, I’m always fascinated by the conscious and unconscious messages that parents pass onto their children.

If you had an unlimited budget, where would you like to visit for story-related research?
I’d love to go to Bora Bora. The images are stunning and it must be incredibly relaxing.

Any fun facts about the research for your book?
  • I wrote the opening scene after traveling to Martha’s Vineyard. It’s a beautiful, remote place and I could easily imagine a reclusive, well-known business owner seeking anonymity there.
  • I liked all the imagery around the marble. It is such a tangible, solid and beautiful element in the novel. By setting some of the novel in Carrara, there was the historical backdrop of the marble industry. There is inherent risk in dealing with marble and whoever worked in the industry had to be somewhat fearless and a risk-taker.  I used these traits when imaging the hero and heroine that would inhabit this setting.

Finally, tell us a little about your newest release!

The second novel in this series, The Exiled Jeweler, is coming out in December. It tells the story of Isabel Neri’s cousin, Emilia Berceto. She is a shy heiress to a jewelry empire and captures the attention of a celebrated business entrepreneur when she attends a gala at his mansion in Los Angeles. Images secretly captured of her partially nude are released to the tabloids and her overly protective family sends her far away.


She took the glass of cabernet sauvignon he offered her and tried to dispel the growing attraction she felt for him. She reminded herself he was just a man. A man who prized perfection over everything else.

“To your film.”

Taking a sip, Isabel noticed he held her gaze and she felt her heart skip a beat. She needed the project and reminded herself not to be charmed by him. He would be repulsed by her body if she ever let him get too close.

Isabel placed the wine glass on the table.

“I don’t know why you invited me here.”

Marc shrugged his powerful shoulders. He had removed his suit jacket and tie and looked less intimidating in a white button-down dress shirt and gray trousers.

“I’d like to get to know you better before we leave for Carrara.”

Isabel turned away from him. She felt underdressed in her white, button-down shirt and jeans. She had dressed for a long day of filming, not dinner with a perfection-seeking industrialist.

She glanced back at him and said, “There isn’t much to know. I’m a filmmaker from Boston.”

Marc took another sip of wine and his gaze seared into her. She felt her skin warm and resisted moving away from him. She was completely covered but suddenly felt exposed. Why did he have this effect on her? She normally held men at a distance, but she could feel herself being drawn to him.

“You hide yourself behind your beauty. You reveal almost nothing about yourself yet expect others to reveal everything.”

Susie will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Interview with Lucy Carey for Two Alone in Dublin

Lucy Carey, Lesbian and Bisexual Romance and Erotic-Fiction Writer

I am a 30-year-old bisexual author who writes the kind of fiction I think other LGBTQ women want to read.

As someone born and raised in Ireland, let me assure you: our country is beautiful…and so are its women.

I aim to introduce you to the best of both—the stunning scenery of the Emerald Isle and its funny, complex, gorgeous, lesbian and bisexual women. I hope you enjoy it.

What is your story's heat level? How do you approach the sex scenes?
On a scale of one to five, it’s probably a two. It gets a little hot and heavy at the end, past the PG13 stuff, but it’s not a sex-fest either! There’s only one sex scene in the story but it makes sense to the story.

As to the sex scenes, I approach them very cautiously. I know if I blush a little when I’m writing or rereading them, that I’ve got them right. That’s a litmus test that might be unique to me!

How do you maintain activity as a writer when sitting at a desk all day?
That can be tough. Turning off the internet helps—it is the biggest time-sucker in the world. I actually crave a typewriter again; I’d write epics if I had one. I get up regularly and take a walk around but not enough that I forget the way back to my computer!

What is it that you loved about the main characters in your story?
I loved that they were real women and true-to-life lesbians; it was very important to me that they—and their loneliness—felt realistic and recognizable to readers. I think for a “happy ever after” to mean anything, you have to have the characters face believable issues.

What do you feel is your strongest type of writing? Humor? Angst? Confrontation scenes? Action? Sex? Sensuality? Sweet Romance? And why?
I do angst a bit too well sometimes… Humor I also enjoy. I think they’re the parts that I’m best at and which read the most naturally when I write them. I’m a little bit Ancient Greek that way—I’m drawn to both tragedy and comedy!

Are you social media savvy? If so what do you suggest for others? If not, why not?
Yes and no, to be honest. I am in that I understand social media quite well; I get its benefits, I know how to use Twitter and Facebook etc., and I can see how it would be very useful for many authors.

But for me, at present, I don’t have the time to devote to doing it properly so I’m a bit sporadic with what and when I post, even on my non-author accounts. I’m also quite introverted when it comes to the internet and I’m very slow to put my life out there. For those reasons, I’m not the best at social media at the moment. I’m working on getting better at it though.

What are some things from your life or things you have observed that you've infused into your stories?
I think human nature is what I’ve observed most keenly and that comes across in my stories. I actually find it quite difficult to plot sometimes—it can take a while for me to make a story come together—but I never have a problem with figuring out what makes my characters tick. I spent a lot of time in my childhood observing people and wondering about what made people do what they did so I hope that’s been time well spent!

If you had an unlimited budget, where would you like to visit for story-related research?
Ooh, that’s like letting a kid into a candy shop! Can I cheat a little and say somewhere in the tropics? I’m sure I’d do a lot of great work on vacation…If that’s not allowed, I would love to enter a world I’ve never been—a court or a ranch or a cruise ship or something like that that’s completely alien to me—to inspire some new stories.

Any fun facts about the research for your book?
I have passed the "Crann an Oir (Tree of Gold)" sculpture (which Mariana sits beside in one scene) hundreds of times, but until I wrote the book, I always just thought of it as “the big gold lollipop”! (Google a picture—you’ll see why.) I researched it and discovered it was erected in 1991 by an Irish artist called Éamonn O'Doherty. I also learned that it was actually made of bronze, which disappointed me for some ridiculous reason!

Finally, tell us a little about your newest release!

It called “Two Alone in Dublin: A Lesbian Love Story” and it’s a story about an Irish college student, Susie, and a Brazilian coffee barista, Mariana, who are each relatively new to Dublin. They’re both lonely and under their own individual stresses and have almost given up hope of meeting someone. Then they bump into each other one cold morning in Dublin…


Mariana hadn’t worn this shade of lipstick in an age. She painted the brash, bright-red gloss around her full lips, rubbed her lips together and pouted. This was her going-out colour, a colour guaranteed to make her feel sexy and confident and womanly.

Had it really been so long since she had been on a date? she wondered. Despite this being her go-to colour for dates, it had been buried in the bottom of her makeup bag.

She checked her teeth for lipstick and, finding none, stepped back to look at her full reflection in the mirror.

She had chosen a form-fitting dress in a colour to match the shade of her lipstick and she adjusted the cups of her bra, to push her cleavage higher in its V-neck.

This, she thought to herself, must be what Susie had described as “putting your best foot forward.”

Lucy will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour