Posts in Reckless & Royal
Between the Covers: Wrong Prince, Right Lover

WRONG PRINCE, RIGHT LOVER is a story I developed to be part of a boxset featuring Royal & Reckless heroes and heroines. I’d toyed with creating a fictional kingdom before, but I never went through with it due to other publishing demands. Now I had a chance to revisit the idea and I’m so glad I did!

First, I dusted off a star gazing and astronomy guide to come up with unique names for my hero and heroine’s countries: Menkara and Valdoria. Menkara is Ilsa van Winnsen’s home and once possessed the now free country that Santiago de la Fuente must rule now that his older brother has suddenly died in a freak accident. I set these former warring nations’ countries in a Mediterranean Sea climate and voila. I had two kingdoms and a my characters must come together prevent another war from breaking out.

Ilsa has been engaged to Santiago’s older brother, Javier, her entire life as part of a peace negotiation. She’s eager to go through with the marriage, but Javier’s sudden death puts everything in peril. Enter the sexy younger brother Santiago who wants her to go through with the bargain. She agrees, but after overhearing Javier tell Santiago he isn’t attracted to her and is merely doing his duty, she’s deeply hurt. She’d hoped for more. And no way will she let another de la Fuente man break her heart again.

 Ilsa might be able to protect her heart from Santiago, but she’s not going to be able to resist this sexy prince who is now Valdoria’s King.

Ilsa might be able to protect her heart from Santiago, but she’s not going to be able to resist this sexy prince who is now Valdoria’s King.

But Santiago has a secret. He’s always wanted Ilsa. Now he’s got her and he’s going to find a way to make her fall in love with him. Unfortunately, the reasons for his brother’s death are mired in a conspiracy. One that could cost him his kingdom and the woman he loves.

So, out of one nugget: a fantasy kingdom added to a marriage of convenience trope, I have a story that becomes more interesting with twists and turns and intrigue. Plus, these characters have a real chance at love and happiness because unlike his older brother, Santiago is thrilled to be her husband. Even better, he’s willing to abide by this virginal bride’s wish to take it slow with sexy lessons in the bedroom until she’s ready to consummate their marriage.

Trust me. The lessons are super sexy and Ilsa’s no prude, much to Santiago’s surprise. When these lessons culminate in a passionate, sexy honeymoon on the beach, they’re more than physically drawn together, real love blooms.

 A gorgeous, fictional kingdom set in a Mediterranean paradise. Welcome to Valdoria!

A gorgeous, fictional kingdom set in a Mediterranean paradise. Welcome to Valdoria!

Why? Because Santiago is a man of honor who knows the best way to gain Ilsa’s heart is to earn her respect and trust. Ilsa’s drawn to the man who is taking his country into the modern age with her by his side as an equal partner. Together, they’ll change the course of their future and their children’s futures by changing the archaic agreements forged in the past. By joining forces, they’re stronger and that is what leads to their connection on all levels—physical, mental and emotional.

Romances can be sweet or spicy, but no amount of sugar or hot sauce will make the love between the two characters realistic and believable if they don’t earn it on a deep, emotional level.

These are the kinds of stories I love to read and these are the kinds of stories I like to write regardless of where they fit in the romance sub genres.

Here’s a peek inside right after their first sexy lessons:

She stood, walked over to him and placed her hand on his shoulder. “But in the meantime, we’re fighting an uphill battle against the traditional holdouts. I doubt they’ll budge on the progressive direction you want to take Valdoria if we don’t answer the questions surrounding Javier’s death.” 

And would he ever be rid of his brother’s ghost? Still, her voice was soft, steady. Reassuring him. His muscles relaxed and the knot in his belly loosened, but Santiago had no doubt he’d have to fight, to claw his way out from under his brother’s shadow. “There’s nothing I can do to accelerate the investigation,” he said. “But we can’t wait for the coroner’s results to close the deal. I won’t lose this opportunity—I’m going to the council now. Convince them to vote for this change even if it takes me all day.” He might drag the entire council and country into this century without their full respect, but he didn’t need their approval. Hell. He’d lived without it so long, he’d learned to move on with only his own approval. 

Until Ilsa.

She’d been a stunning partner in the bedroom. And she’d become a welcome support in an otherwise hostile environment. Time would take care of making her a true lover, partner and wife in the future.

Wrong Prince, Right Lover is on preorder for only .99 until it goes live on January 22, 2019. If you love reading emotionally compelling, sexy and intriguing stories, now is a good time to grab your copy of this one with all the romance, passion and page turning suspense bundled into a short, fast read!

Available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Apple

Digging Out of Distraction: Perseverence Pays Off

I haven’t had a lot of time to blog lately—despite the best of intentions. Life sort of happened in a big way. I’ll share what happened to me in a Healthy Writer Blog post. But today isn’t about when bad stuff happens… it’s about when GOOD STUFF HAPPENS!! And boy did something really good happen to me in Romancelandia!

Wait for it… wait for it… drum roll please… the ROYAL & RECKLESS boxset that I was a part of as an author with 22 other authors HIT the USA Today Bestseller list THIS WEEK!!! I’m over the moon. I am officially…

A USA TODAY Bestselling author!

Yes! It’s official. But I honestly didn’t believe it until I saw this in today’s USA Today website:

 This is the screenshot of where the ROYAL AND RECKLESS Boxset landed on the list yesterday! I’m still in shock… it’s surreal… and it’s AWESOME!

This is the screenshot of where the ROYAL AND RECKLESS Boxset landed on the list yesterday! I’m still in shock… it’s surreal… and it’s AWESOME!

Yes. I hit a list with 22 other authors in an anthology. I’m very proud of all of us because we worked really hard to make this happen. We wrote kick butt stories, had a Royal & Reckless Party room with guest author takeovers, ran ads, did newsletter swaps, ran more ads, grew our followings on BookBub and Amazon, ran more ads, hosted more takeovers, supported each other and kept plugging along for over four months to get to this point. At times the work was overwhelming and took precedence over all other writing projects.

BUT ALL THE HARD WORK PAID OFF AND IT WAS WORTH IT!!

Does this mean I’m any different today than I was yesterday? In some ways, yes. Writing is a lonely art and the romance industry has seen many ups and downs. Sometimes it’s enough to make this romance author want to run to the hills with a jug of wine and stay there indefinitely. This isn’t an easy industry, but I keep slogging away at this thing called “crafting a romance” because I love writing the stories. But there are days… days when I feel like maybe it isn’t worth all the time and energy I’m putting into this gig.

But then something magical happens when I need it the most. Something like becoming a USA Today Bestselling Author and then I am motivated to try again even if I don’t know when the next magical thing will happen.

So on days when you’re feeling like tossing in the proverbial towel and running to the hills with a jug of wine for an indefinite period of time, don’t… hang on and keep writing… magic is waiting just around the corner!

XX

☆*´¨`*:☆ROYAL & RECKLESS BOXSET: Spotlight on Author Sylvie Stewart☆*´¨`*:☆

I'm so excited to host one of the Royal & Reckless Boxset Authors on my blog. Sylvie Stewart graciously sent me a lot of information about her journey to publication and more. And best of all, y'all get a sneak peek at her fun cover and her story BETWEEN A ROCK AND A ROYAL for the fabulous boxset today! Even better, you can PREORDER ROYAL AND RECKLESS now!! 

Excerpt

Mister Awkward had officially left the building and Prince Charm-Your-Panties-Off was back and getting down to business.

I’d been going back and forth in my mind about how far I wanted to take things with Leo, but I eventually decided to go with the horny part of my brain that rationalized he’d already been all up in my lady bits, so I may as well check out the other ways Leo Baxter could rock my world.

He was off to a killer start. His warm, demanding lips collided with mine and I didn’t hesitate to wrap both arms around him and pull him in. He was back to the white t-shirt and jeans and his feet were bare, a small detail that I found both adorable and sexy. I never really thought I had a type, apart from my misguided foray into bad-boy land, but Leo’s whole sexy-nerd thing was doing it for me big time.

 

FIND SYLVIE!!

http://sylviestewartauthor.com

http://facebook.com/SylvieStewartAuthor

http://instagram.com/sylvie.stewart.romance

 

AuthorpicDiagMed.jpg

Can you share a little about your journey to publication?

I must have started writing a dozen books by the time I was in college (which are so painful to read now – LOL). Then life moved on and I didn’t think about it much until I hit my forties and my kids started school. I’d just put down the fifth book in a row that I couldn’t bring myself to finish reading. I was frustrated that I wasn’t finding any satisfying reads (I just happened to be in a rut at the time—I know the world is filled with tons of fabulous books. Unfortunately, none of them were on my Kindle at that moment). I sat down at my computer and figured I’d take a crack at writing a book I’d love to read. Everything took off from there and it’s been better than I ever expected!

What authors do you like to read?

I have a special love for Kristen Ashley. I want to have her babies. She writes in so many different sub-genres that there is always a book of hers that fits my mood. I also love how she does her own thing, regardless of what anyone might say.

Do you have a favourite genre in books (to read and/or to write)?

Romantic Comedy all the way!

Is there a genre you’d like to try writing and haven’t yet?

I’m toying with the idea of Romantic Suspense and Westerns, but they’d all have to be funny too.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I want so badly to be a plotter, but the pantser in me keeps getting in the way!

Do you have a favorite character in your books?

That’s so hard. It’s usually whoever I’m writing at the moment, but Fiona from my Carolina Connections series holds a special place in my heart. And she’s the most fun to write—that’s why she keeps cropping up in all the other books, I guess.

What makes a great romance hero?

I love the guys who show some vulnerability. The whole cocky alpha thing can be really hot, but I love it when a hero opens himself up.

What makes a great romance heroine?

I love a woman who gives as good as she gets!

What is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?

This one is hard too! But this review is a definite favorite: “Fun, fulfilling and fast-paced, Sylvie Stewart’s latest book, The Spark, is also a masterclass in how to write a strong, sexy heroine with a hint of vulnerability that a reformed playboy hero simply can’t resist.” – After the Rain Comes Sunshine Blog

How do you balance writing with other aspects of your life?

In a word, terribly. LOL

What do you like best about being a writer?

Getting to do what I love and sharing it with all the readers out there. It’s like a little club—I love it!

What do you like the least about being a writer?

I never feel like I’m “off.” My brain is always working on a new story or thinking about the ten-mile-long to do list waiting for me.

If you had one piece of advice for aspiring authors, what would it be?

Get involved in the author community first so you can get your ducks in a row. Then start thinking about publishing. I did it in the wrong order and have regretted it since.

Steamy romance, erotic romance or erotica – what is the difference in your view?

Steamy romance, to me, is when it’s story-driven but there’s hot sex in it. Erotic romance is when there’s an interesting story to follow, but more than half the book is sex scenes with very detailed descriptions and sexual adventures outside the “mainstream.” I classify a book as erotica if removing the sex scenes leaves no real story. Just my opinion.

Tell us more about your upcoming title in the Royal and Reckless Collection.

My book for the Royal and Reckless boxed set is called Between a Rock and a Royal. It’s really fun, steamy, and sweet all a once. Ruby is a North Carolina girl who likes wearing heels and working on cars, and she’s unfailingly loyal to her family—which gets her in a jam. Leo is a prince visiting the U.S. with his brother, and the two of them end up on an adventure that puts them in Ruby’s path. Sparks fly between Ruby and Leo, but they’re both keeping secrets. I love the chemistry between those two!

Can you please share the blurb?

Two foreign princes, one local girl in a serious jam, and a ’65 Mustang headed for Georgia. What could go wrong?

LEO: My brother likes to think he’s the clever one, and I usually let him. He’s the crown prince, after all. But he’s cocked things up royally this time, pardon the pun. It will take some quick thinking and a heavy dose of luck, but I’ll pull us out of it. Even if it means putting my trust in a stranger … a tempting stranger who carries a wrench and an attitude.

RUBY: I knew before I even agreed that this would be a bad idea. But given my circumstances, I had little choice but to take these two rich country-club rejects up on their offer. A ride in exchange for the money my uncle and I owe. How bad could it be? I’m sure I’ll survive and hopefully fix my problems in the process, but my heart might not be so lucky.

 What appeals to you about writing a story featuring a royal?

I actually never planned on it. Most of my books are about “regular folk.” But it’s been a fun departure—so much so that another book featuring Leo’s brother is in the works!

Why do you think readers love stories featuring royals?

Let’s face it—most people who read romance have seen Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding more than once. And the fact that they got divorced hardly even matters! It’s the fantasy. If we actually knew any royals, we probably wouldn’t be interested in reading romances about them - LOL