Cover Reveal for Virtual Match Sequel

My readers met Ronnie Shay on April 1, 2016, and they delved into her online romance with Marcus Jordan. Who knew geeks could give girls heart palpitations?

(Uh…ME. I’m married to a computer engineer. I know my handsome, hunky geek quotient.)

The biggest complaint from readers of that early story: it ended to soon.

When my publisher introduced a new line of e-book only novellas, I made some changes to Ronnie and Marcus’ story and submitted it with a new title Reality Meets its Match. My Virtual Match-sters launched the new line with grace (if not gracefulness, Marcus is a bit klutzy you know).

But the new readers weren’t any happier about the way the book ended. “We want to know more.”

“Things were just getting started with them.”

“What happens next?”

And by the time the novella released with Roane, I had drafted a sequel.

Now I’m happy to share with you the amazing cover for the next installment of Ronnie and Marcus’  romance, Reality Bites.

 

Release Date: July 24, 2017

Blurb

Ronnie wanted a Virtual Match, until she fell for the guy on the other end of the texts and emails.

After real-life dating for only a few weeks, things start to heat up. Ronnie’s crazy family gets crazier, and her therapist gives her an ultimatum.

Marcus teeters on the edge of falling in love, but when he learns Ronnie’s secret, he’s afraid of moving too fast. The idea of life without her terrifies him more than anything, but it seems like she’s closing him out. After all she’s been through (and going through), he can’t blame her.

Ronnie runs back to the safety of her career, but can her heart ever be free from what Marcus has awakened? And will he let her go?

Still haven’t read book one? Get your copy here.

Now available

At this time, I’ve got the third novella planned out but I’m not writing it until closer to the release date. AND those who sign up for my newsletter (click here if you want to do that) will get a few teasers from both the second and third books, maybe even before my publisher reads the third one.

If you would like to sign up to help me get the word out about this new book, please click this button.

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WINTER FAIRY TALE Releases Today!

WFT_Cover

Winter Fairy Tale

Contemporary Romance
By: Laura Lamoreaux and T.L. French
Publisher: Roane Publishing

 

Sometimes, to remember all that is best and bright about love, you must go home.

After being dumped by her boyfriend of two years, there is nothing that Sarah Jepsom dreads more than going back home to her marriage-obsessed mother.  To make matters worse, it’s for her little sister’s fairytale wedding on none other than Valentine’s Day.  The only positive note is it will also be a chance to see her dear friend Mark for the first time in a year.

Sarah’s Bridezilla sister Valerie takes it upon herself to invite Sarah’s old high school boyfriend to be her date for the wedding. Nathan is set on renewing their relationship, but old feelings remind Sarah why it didn’t work the first time. When Mark confesses his long-held feelings for her, Sarah is angry and convinced that romance is not for her. Then, her father reminds her of all that is best and bright about love, that can often be found right under our noses.

Buy the Book here

Meet the Authors:

LAURA LAMOREAUX

Laura Lamoreaux is a licensed clinical psychologist, and drew from her work in therapy to show what living with a mental illness is really like. Her writing partner provided all of the teaching details included in the story.

Connect with her on Twitter – @laura_lamoreaux

T.L. FRENCH

T.L. French is a Junior High English teacher. Connect  on Twitter : @ticilsmith

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A Behind the Scenes Look

AccidentalValentine_Cvr (1)When I wrote “Dream Architect,” I just sat down and started writing. I knew it couldn’t be longer than 12,000 words, but when my word counter showed I’d reached 12,000 words, I wasn’t finished with the story. So I wrote until it was finished.

The result is – several thousand words were cut from the first draft. Two of those scenes are being made available to you.

The scene where I introduce Dylan Cutright is a freebie for anyone who signs up to receive my newsletter. I will only send these to announce release dates or special events. I can’t imagine more than four of them per year.

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The other scene gives you a deeper look into Ashlin Taylor’s family dynamics. One of her biggest problems is that she’s trying to make her family happy. This is a New Adult romance, and I will bet many in the 18-22 age bracket still struggle with the same issue.

Without further ado…

Ashlin Taylor stared at the two story house where she spent fifteen years of her life. While her fingers twirled her sable hair, mixed memories frolicked. She chased the happy ones, but they flitted away like butterflies. With a huff, she opened the car door. Dinner at her parents’ house offered more of the usual pressures. Maybe this evening would be atypical.

Her twelve-year-old sister flung open the door before Ashlin’s hand reached the knob. Her greeting, “Do you have a date for Saturday night?”

“Someone I know, I hope.” Benjamin Taylor responded from his place in the recliner. His slipper-covered feet, crossed at the ankles, jittered with his words.

Nope. The status quo remained solid.

“Let her in.” Ashlin’s mother rounded the corner from the kitchen, wiping her hands on the skirt of the apron she wore over her slacks and sweater.

Ashlin hung her purse and coat over the back of a chair, giving her mother a quick hug. She didn’t have to feign interest in her sister’s plans to sleep over at a friend’s house on both Friday and Saturday.

Soon, the table was set and they took their places, two empty chairs signaling the absence of her older brothers. While the dishes were passed, her mother shared information about the various acts performing at the fundraiser, one of which was the band Nicole wanted to support. Ashlin nodded, happy to be a bystander. As usual, her father concentrated on cutting his food into precise bites and listening to the news still blaring from the living room.

After dinner, Ashlin cleared the table.  While her mother carried the cup of decaf coffee to her father, her sister ran to get her sewing projects. Water drowned out the sound of her parents’ voices.

Once Ashlin had inspected the neat seams on her sister’s handmade dress and assured her it was blue-ribbon work, she and her mother were left alone with the sink full of dishes.

“You must be so proud of her,” Ashlin said.

“She surprised us, arriving so long after you, but yes, we adore her.”

“Not what I meant, Mom.”

“Oh.” Her mother crossed the kitchen to replace the serving tray in its proper cabinet.

“She sews and knits and is completely excited about 4-H. All the stuff you wanted me to do.”

“Yes, she shares many of my interests,” her mother said, sighing. “But she can’t cook as well as you do. And she’s a natural disaster when it comes to organizing anything.”

A smile twitched Ashlin’s lips upward.

“But she fits the mold you and Dad have pushed me in to.”

“We haven’t pushed you into anything.” Her mother’s hand stilled on the lid she was drying.

“Really? A job at Taylor and Sons, a date with every guy you know. The constant conversations about when I get married.”

“Don’t you want to get married?”

Ashlin squelched the monstrous sigh that swelled in response. Somehow the conversation always managed to return to that subject, while never focusing on how controlled Ashlin felt. She gritted her teeth. Tonight would be different.

“Sure. When I find the right guy. Until then” – and boy did that seem like it was years away – “I would like to pursue a career.”

“Your uncle says you’re the best assistant he’s ever had.” The pan clattered as she stowed it with the others. “I thought you liked that job.”

“The job’s fine, but it isn’t what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

“Of course not,” her mother said, patting her arm. “You’ll get married, have children and move forward to the next phase.”

“Why can’t the next phase be college?”

The cupboard door where her mother had placed the last saucepan swung shut. Ashlin drained and rinsed the sink. The gentle touch on her elbow surprised her. She shut off the water and faced her mother.

“It can, I suppose, but shouldn’t you have started that right after high school?”

Ashlin tamped down the frustration somersaulting behind her ribs. She would not raise her voice.

“You mean when dad asked if I wanted to work at his office or Uncle Mike’s?” They stared at each other. “And then tossed all my college catalogs in the trash. That’s when I was encouraged to go to college?”

“Maybe not encouraged, but we never said you couldn’t.”

Ashlin’s chest heaved with her expelled breath.

“Then I suspect you’ll both be happy to hear I’ve enrolled in the design and drafting program at the community college.”

Her mother blinked several times. The black pupil’s contracted within the greenish irises. Ashlin awaited the imminent explosion.

“If that makes you happy,” her mother said. The balloon of tension between them withered. “Do you really want to work once you have children, though?”

The fluttering spark of stress flared to life. Ashlin widened her eyes to avoid rolling them.

“I don’t have children, Mom. I don’t know if I’ll ever have children, but I know I want to design houses.”

Without pause her mother exclaimed, “Of course you’ll have children.”

And just that quickly, the conversation returned to the topic at the forefront of her parents’ mind.

Listening to Nicole bemoan another failed plan with Vincent probably would have been preferable.

Sound intriguing?

Buy a copy of the anthology here and find out what happens when Ashlin meets her “Dream Architect.”

Join the blog tour.

Today, join Written Love Reviews to read an excerpt from one of the stories and meet the featured author.

And, of course, there’s still time to enter the giveaway.

My Review of Accidental Valentine

Accidental ValentineAccidental Valentine by Varied Authors

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yes, I have a story in this anthology. If you think that means I will give it a five-star review, you haven’t been following my blog very long.

I have very strict requirements for a five-star story. If you want to know more about them, check out this earlier post. Generally, when I give a book even a four-star review, one of these essential ingredients is missing.

In all fairness, I’m not going to review my own story. Do I think it deserves five stars? What do you think? I will, however, give the other stories a rating.

Don’t forget to check out the Blog Tour. For author interview questions, check out Sheryl Winters today and In the Pages of a Good Book on Tuesday. Also, Author Lynn Burke reviews the book, features one of the authors and has an excerpt at her site today.

Guiding Hearts by Claire Gillian

I enjoyed this story. It had enough of a whimsical feel to it – with the matchmaking GPS – that I kept reading to the end without stopping.

I didn’t feel like the characters were very well-drawn. A few important facts were thrown our way, but not enough for me to believe their motivations.

It is the only story that takes place over the scope of a year. I did like this aspect because it made it more believable.
In the end, the dialogue felt unnatural. The resolution was over-explained. I felt like the original premise got lost in the shuffle. I still give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Better Latte Than Never by Katrina Sizemore

This was a New Adult romance that took place on a single Valentine’s Day. The characters were old friends from high school. It shifted between two perspectives, which makes for the best romances, I think.

I had a hard time gauging the age of the characters. The few references to time seemed to contradict each other. Because of the immature responses they had, I placed them around 20.

The point of this story was excellent. The plot and premise were well-designed. The tension kept my interest, but in the end I was still thinking, “Could we just talk to each other already?”

It was my second favorite of the four stories, though, and I give it four out of five stars.

One Hot Angel by Jaylee Austin

There were just too many ideological disagreements between me and this story for it to get a fair shake from me. Apparently, an angel fell in love with a human and wanted a chance to keep her from dying. This could be accomplished if she fell in love with him.

The way to make her love him was all about sex. This is the only story in the anthology with explicit sex and offensive language. I was shocked by that because it is classified as a “sweet” romance anthology.

The fact that heavenly beings use physical lust as a way to someone’s heart is wrong on too many levels for me to recount. The woman in the story was shallow and I couldn’t relate to her motivation for destroying her ex-husband.
In the end, it is a two-star story in my book. The story and characters fell short, so it wasn’t just the overall premise I found lacking.

Rock My Bones by Wendy Sparrow

This story is the crown of the collection. I wasn’t sure if I would come away with a positive feeling about the anthology until I read this story.

The two points of view had a distinct voice and flavor. The idea that both of the characters wanted each other in advance made the fact the story happened in a day believable.

The museum setting was unique. The professions of the characters wasn’t cliche. The sexual tension was strong and I was surprised at the forwardness of the female character (Shay – I love that name).

Still, the dialogue was snappy. The inner thoughts true-to-life. The characters and setting believable and well-constructed. It made me laugh aloud several times.

It’s exactly the sort of story that can make a cynic believe in romance again. It gets a solid five out of five stars.
Where does that leave the anthology? I would give it four stars. Overall, the stories delivered on their promise. Don’t take my word for it, though, buy your copy here, and judge for yourself.

Will you read this anthology and leave a review? I would love if you left your first impressions as a comment here on my blog.
View all my reviews