Helen’s Newsletter

Writing

Summer Fire Boxset

20 cover SF 900x600 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Fire: Love When It’s Hot

21 ALL NEW Contemporary Romance stories by New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Bestselling authors.

Love when it’s hot? So do we. Especially when we’re writing about gritty alphas, angsty bad boys, sizzling attraction, and unrequited passion. So loosen your buttons, turn the fan to oscillate and join us for this steamy, groundbreaking bundle of summer tales that are hot hot hot.

Sizzle by Gennita Low. Spies, Lola and Jake, fall hard for each other. Is their love strong enough for one assignment that would risk everything?

Just One Summer by Stacey Mosteller. When Harvard bad boy Reece meets good girl Abbi on Cape Cod, he forgets about his punishment and focuses on corrupting her instead.

Sinful by R.J. Lewis. Two different people from two different worlds find their lives colliding in the most sinful way.

Summer Storm by L. Wilder. VP Guardrail’s life has always been his MC club. It’s up to him to fix a wrong, but he wasn’t expecting Allie to take him by storm.

A Season in Gemini by Victoria Danann. The first time sexy biker, Brant Fornight, saw Garland St. Germaine, he knew she was going to turn him inside out. And she did.

Solstice Burn by Kym Grosso. Love and temptation flare in a tropical paradise. When Chase rescues Penny, she learns to embrace her inner fantasies.

Sun Burnt by Cat Miller. Kesslyn inherits a ranch, but the city girl is unsure she’s up for the challenge. Can her sexy foreman rope her into staying forever?

Big Girls Don’t Cry by Mimi Barbour. He’s everything she’s ever wanted in a man. And she’s nothing like the girl she wants to be. Something’s gotta change…

Killer by Clarissa Wild. Secrets could kill you. He murdered her husband. She’s the prime suspect seeking justice. Only one of them can win.

Rodeo Romance by Teresa Gabelman. Jake McCabe had one rule. Never date a client. Trisha Summers had a new rule. Never date a man again. Rules were meant to be broken.

Irish Kisses by Helen Scott Taylor. Ten years ago he said he loved her, then he left and broke her heart. Now he’s back, and he wants her again, but can she trust him?

Sweet Surrender by Victoria James. Cade showing up on her doorstep is not what Julia wants-but this bad-boy is back and ready to convince her that this time is forever…

Husband for a Week by Mona Risk. A Sicilian vendetta, a fake husband, and a matchmaking grandmother complicate Jonathan and Isabella’s lives. Can love conquer all?

A Man for Hire by Patrice Wilton. Jordon’s ex-boyfriend is bringing home a bride. To save face she hires a hot guy for the weekend. Sparks fly–can this be love?

My Mile-High Mistake by Linda Barlow. Six years ago, she yearned for her sexy, forbidden high school teacher. Now she can’t resist his temptation at 35,000 feet.

Heat Lightning by Joan Reeves. Her husband found her, claimed her, rescued her. His touch makes her throb. Her body knows him, but she remembers nothing about him.

Tan Lines and Salty Kisses by Danielle Jamie. Becca and Parker have a second chance at summer romance. The spark is hotter than a Georgia July. Can it withstand news of his secret?

Someone Exactly Like You by Terri Marie. Cameron Barron’s plan was solid. A few lies, a disguise, and an apology to Chastity Newberry… What could possibly go wrong?

His Promise by Lorhainne Eckhart. A love they thought would last forever. A promise forgotten. Until one summer night.

Summer Rhythm by Brandy L Rivers. Doug never could resist Chloe. She always runs. Will this time be different or is their summer rhythm destined to repeat.

Anchor by Nicole Blanchard. I thought it was a weekend from hell, until he showed me a little piece of heaven.

 

Released on May 26th.

Available for pre-order now!  Amazon US, Barnes & Noble, KoboAmazonUK, iTunes

 

 

Sweet Romance Reads

SRR

Come and join me and a group of other romance authors who write sweet rather than steamy romance. We have started a new group called Sweet Romance Reads. If you have a FB page, pop over and Like our Facebook page to keep up to date with all the SRR news, special offers and events. You can also follow us on Twitter to hear our news or chat with us on Goodreads. You can also find more information about the group on our website.

New Contemporary Romance Coming September 24th!

 

I’m excited to announce that my first release from Carina Press is due out on September 24th. For those who have read my other contemporary romances, I’m sure you will enjoy this story set in a small English town and the Italian Amalfi coast.

Finally Home

As manager of the charming Greyfriar House Hotel, Melanie Marshall loves her job and spending time with her young son. But she can never forget what she ran away from: her late husband’s crimes and her own terrible guilt. Though lonely, Melanie can’t afford to let another man into her life.

But when her boss, gorgeous hotel owner Jack Summers, returns from his supposed wedding without a ring or a wife, Melanie discovers there’s more to him than she ever thought. For one, the ex-soccer star is her son’s idol. But the closer she gets to Jack, the more she pulls away. She can’t share her past. Ever.

For too long, Jack’s protected his scarred heart by letting gold-digging women make him think love didn’t matter. But a sweet single mother and a soccer-crazy little boy change everything. He knows Melanie has secrets. Secrets she’ll have to share if he’s to help her realize she’s finally home.

Available as an ebook on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.ukB&N, Carina Press

Setting Research

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy.

One of my great pleasures in writing a new story is researching the setting. If I’m really lucky I get to visit the place I plan to set my book. In pursuit of research, I’ve visited Ireland twice for my paranormal series, the Italian Amalfi coast, which features in a contemporary romance, Finally Home, due out from Carina in September, and the Island of Jersey in the English Channel for Unbreak My Heart.

The setting research for my most recent release, Oceans Between Us, proved a bit of a challenge, as the story included so many places. It starts in London, then moves on to a small Cornish fishing village. I had no problem with these settings as I live in England. The action then goes to New York, a city I’d love to visit, but haven’t yet. I had to depend on the Internet for my research, and my son’s observations as he’d recently visited NY. My hero and heroine finally end up in his home town on the Italian Riviera in Riomaggiore one of five small towns that make up the Cinque Terre or five lands. These are beautiful multicolored towns that are stacked precariously up the cliffs in small bays on the rocky coast.

I would have loved to physically visit this area of Italy as it looks stunning, but time and finances didn’t give me the chance. Instead I turned to the internet again for details on Riomaggiore. What a treasure trove of information there is available to writers on the web! I even found a video shot by a tourist who’d walked around the town, giving a virtual tour.

Romance Hot Buttons

Of the tropes found in romance fiction, if you are anything like me you’ll have certain hot button plot devices or issues that you’re drawn to. I’ve discovered from analysing the films and books I enjoy that my hot buttons are reunited lovers, especially childhood sweethearts who are parted and then find each other again, the classic Cinderella trope, marriage (or engagement) of convenience,  friends to lovers and unrequited love. I also love babies and children in sweet romances. Most books and films that include these elements in the plot appeal to me.

One of my favorite films is Pretty Woman, a classic Cinderella story. More unusual is the reverse Cinderella story like Notting Hill where the roles are switched. Hugh Grant is the Cinderella Character to Julia Roberts rich and famous actress. I still enjoy it this way round if it’s done well, but I prefer the man as the ‘Prince’.

In addition to those I’ve already mentioned, there are many other much-loved romance plots that have been done numerous times but never get old (as Harlequin will vouch for!). Here are a few I can think of, but I’m sure there are many more: secret baby, amnesia, man in love with best friend’s younger sister, the ugly duckling, kidnapping, mistaken identity, reformed rake/playboy, revenge, forbidden love/Romeo & Juliet, tortured hero, boss/secretary (probably falls under Cinderella), Beauty and the Beast. Many of the best romance novels seem to take one of these tropes and give it a twist to keep it fresh.

I also have to admit to loving heroes who have a nerdy side even if they try to hide it. And something that gets me every time is a hero who reveals his vulnerability. I love a wounded hero!

What started me thinking about classic plots devices was the realization that I’d included most of my favorites in my latest release Unbreak My Heart, without setting out to do so. At its heart, this is a story of childhood sweethearts who are reunited and rediscover love, but I blended in an engagement of convenience, friends to lovers and Cinderella.

What are your favorite romance tropes to read and write? Are they the same? Are there any you don’t like?