To C or Not to C, That is the Question

Guest Blogger-Jolyse Barnett

Hi all! I’m Charly, Rebecca’s assistant. We thought it’d be fun to do a ‘Romance: The Good, the Bad, and the Disastrous’ theme with guest bloggers throughout the summer months. Every Monday and Thursday, we’ll have a guest blogger talk about fun stuff like horrible dates, good dates, etc. Some bloggers will have a contest, and some won’t – it’s totally up to them. If there is a contest, I’ll randomly draw a winner from the post comments, send the winner’s email address to the guest blogger, and they’ll take it from there. Rebecca will jump in and blog when she can. For now, enjoy as we play!


JO_HeadShot1I was in the middle of revisions for my second book in my small town contemporary romance series when I got stuck. I was reworking a section where my hero was in a mood, annoyed with his man part for acting up whenever he thought about the heroine and how it was disrupting his daily routine. You know, the typical hero problem. Anyway, the scene was in the hero’s perspective and he was mulling over the situation when I got to the place where I’d need to write the word he’d use for it. Hmm? I know what I’d call it, but what about him? Would he use the medical term? I hope not. I avoid that word. It’s sort of like the word moist. Ick. That left me with slang. But which term to choose?

As you might’ve guessed by the title of this post, I chose the C word. Yes, that one, the term made popular in erotica and now gone mainstream. Some of you may not blink twice upon seeing it, others may pause and say, oh, okay, depending on who uses it how and where in a particular story, while others may screech to a halt and not finish the book. I get it. Readers have generational and cultural differences that cause them to react differently to the same word. Believe me, I pondered long and hard over the C word before I chose it. (No pun intended here nor anywhere else in this post. Seriously.)

To put my ultimate decision into perspective, here’s Exhibit A: I was reading a book by one of my favorite romantic comedy authors and noticed she used the C word throughout her novel. I was surprised, as it’s not a word I’d seen much anywhere outside erotic romance prior to that story. Had I missed the romance author memo about this newest trend? I did have to admit that I’d also been recently cautioned by my lovely editor to tweak my twenty-something characters’ dialogue to ensure it reflected their ages. If I recall correctly, she wrote something about one of their conversations sounding like they were channeling their grandparents. Ouch. I know I’m not as young as I once was, but I’m not that old either. We’ll label my editor’s feedback as Exhibit B. Then there’s Exhibit C, an email from my publisher sharing marketing stats indicating readers want more descriptive love scenes (i.e, the more graphic, the better).

Those factors led me to more research. I turned first to my twenty-something daughter, away from home, but always available via text. Gotta love technology. Keeps me from missing her to the point I can’t breathe. Since she and I are very busy and very close, I figured she’d know where I was coming from when I got right to the meat of it: You know a lot of guys at med school. Can you ask them what they call their man part? Now, before you think I’m a prude or are wondering why a young woman at med school can’t tolerate reading penis in a text from her mother, understand that I purposely didn’t use the word to avoid tainting my survey results. I’m a professional, you see.

Daughter responded immediately. TMI, Mom. No can do. Sorry.

Maybe I should’ve prefaced my question with more information. Why not? It’s for my book.

I figured, but no. I’m not going to ask my friends that. Love you though.

Love you too, I responded, realizing at that moment that perhaps I’d raised a very old-fashioned-minded girl like me. Not that it’s a bad thing, but it meant I’d have to brave asking someone else for the answer I so desperately sought.

Many authors use social media to ask questions related to their writing quandaries, and I agree it can be a great venue for certain topics, but I hesitated posting a question on my VERY public author page about men’s private parts that some may construe as an invitation to send me pictures or diagrams along with their favorite terms. No, thank you. I wanted the information, but not at the cost of my vision.

I know, I know, my significant other would’ve seemed like the most logical person for me to approach before going to such lengths everywhere else. However, at that late stage in the revisions process, I’d sadly overstayed my welcome with my soulmate in the can-I-ask-you-a-quick-question-about-my-book department. Not to mention he has been known to remind me on occasion that I’m the romance writer in the family, not him. So I sucked up my discomfort, evaluated all the collected data, and inserted that four-letter word into the story, reassuring myself Mom and Dad would forgive me. I was doing my job, staying relevant in a changing world. It’s not like my hero was yelling it in the schoolyard or even thinking it in the presence of others. So there the C word stayed, on page X of my manuscript. I was okay with it. Really.

Until one day a few months later…

My husband was bored (or so he said), and he read my newest release while I was away at a writer’s conference. The morning after I returned home, we were enjoying a breakfast of eggs and bacon in our sunny kitchen as a couple when he asked, “Why’d you use the C word in His Kiss?”

I stopped mid-bite. “I was writing in the guy’s perspective.”

“Guys don’t call it that,” he replied, rolling his eyes.

“Yes, they do.” I set down my fork.

He laughed. “Maybe that’s what women think guys call it or want to call it themselves, but I’d never use that word, and I’m a guy.”

I couldn’t argue with that. “You’re a middle-aged guy. My hero was thirty. He’d use it.”

“Did you ask a thirty-year-old guy?”

I scrunched my nose at him.

“Yeah, I didn’t think so,” he said, knowing me all too well. “I just don’t get why you wouldn’t have him call it a dick.” He smiled over the rim of his coffee mug.

“Oh.” In my quest for the perfect term, I hadn’t given that one much consideration. “Are you sure?” I asked, not one to let things go until I’d analyzed them to death. “I thought about that word, but couldn’t imagine a guy referring to it that way. It’s so…normal, derogatory even. Don’t you guys call each other a dick when you’re ticked off?” I tried not to fret over ticked and whether that word would be used by a thirty-year-old guy.

“Trust me. That’s what guys call it.”

Our sixteen-year-old son walked into the kitchen. “What’re you two talking about?”

“Nothing,” we answered.

A few weeks later, my husband arrived home with a bunch of his golfing buddies, guys we’ve known since we were teens. You know, like family. The topic of my writing came up and they asked about the latest release. I used the opportunity to conduct a follow-up study and asked them what they would call it—to themselves, not anyone else. They all gave the same answer. Every. Single. One.

Now, just because they all agreed with my husband doesn’t make him right. It could’ve been an elaborate set-up, for all I know. None of those friends are thirty either. If they were, I certainly wouldn’t have been bold enough to ask. The guys I do know in their late twenties or early thirties are either my nephews or my nieces’ husbands. Wouldn’t that be a great conversation starter at the annual family picnic? Oh well. I suppose I could ask a friend to survey random guys in the appropriate age range for me, but that seems so grade school.

FYI – I’m writing another book. This one doesn’t include the C word. I’ve graduated to the letter D.


A country girl at heart, contemporary romance author Jolyse Barnett is living her own happily-ever-after in Long Island suburbia with her real-life hero, two incredible children, and furry feline that thinks she’s a dog. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys a fulfilling day job and exploring the world one getaway at a time. Connect with Jolyse and find all her book news at


“I’m here for you Abby. You’re not going to scare me away.”

Was that a catch she heard in his voice? She opened the truck door, plopped onto the leather seat, and promptly burst into tears. Great, he’d totally ruined everything. He was too damned sweet. With her luck, she’d fall for him like she had from that infernal machine. Hard.

~ Quote from One More Sunset


One More Sunset:

HIGH RES ONE MORE SUNSETSome people run for exercise. Others run for fun. Abby Stone spends most days running for her life.

After Abby Stone’s ex-boyfriend shows up at her new hideout and she uses a bottle of wine as an impromptu weapon, calling the police is out of the question. His family has a knack for erasing charges and pesky restraining orders. Desperate, she prays for help. A magical suitcase appears and she’s compelled to play an unsettling game involving a sexy, kind stranger while staying one breath ahead of her stalker.

Dylan Reece has overcome tragedy and enjoys life as a single Key West handyman and fisherman. Yet Abby’s sad, wary eyes hold secrets and a chance for his redemption, if not more…

Will the magic of their love be enough to save them?

Kindle Amazon Nook iBooks


Jolyse Barnett GIVEAWAY PRIZENow it’s your turn! What’s one of your embarrassing moments OR a time when you didn’t follow your gut and later regretted it? Leave a comment for a chance to win…

One lucky commenter of this post will receive a signed paperback of my newest release, One More Sunset, AND a selection of romance books I gathered in New York City at RWA15 (see photo) PLUS bonus swag (some not included in picture—it’s a surprise).

Can’t wait to hear your stories!

*US residents only, with valid mailing address. My apologies to international readers.

Posted in Guest Blogger | 37 Comments

How I Met My Real Life Romantic Hero

Guest Blogger-Rachel Harris

Hi all! I’m Charly, Rebecca’s assistant. We thought it’d be fun to do a ‘Romance: The Good, the Bad, and the Disastrous’ theme with guest bloggers throughout the summer months. Every Monday and Thursday, we’ll have a guest blogger talk about fun stuff like horrible dates, good dates, etc. Some bloggers will have a contest, and some won’t – it’s totally up to them. If there is a contest, I’ll randomly draw a winner from the post comments, send the winner’s email address to the guest blogger, and they’ll take it from there. Rebecca will jump in and blog when she can. For now, enjoy as we play!

author picMy name is Rachel Harris and I write love stories. I obsessively read love stories. I’m addicted to happily-ever-afters and the giddy moment when two flawed characters meet for the first time and you as the reader just know that a wild ride is set to begin. Here’s a look at how my own true life “meet cute”….and how fate let it happen at just the right moment.

My husband and I met after 9/11. As a student at LSU, I’d been under the impression that everyone would skip classes that horrific day, glued to the television, huddling with friends and talking to loved ones, so imagine my surprise when I returned to class later that week to discover only two of us had skipped. Now, it was a senior level broadcast journalism course so in hindsight I guess it makes sense that people went to get that take on the unfolding events, but that was so not where my head was that day.

My teacher paired the two of us skippees together for an assignment, and that weekend I had to meet my partner to pick up the video camera we were sharing. He was eating dinner at a restaurant with his roommates and told me to meet him there, and apparently, after I left, one of them suggested he ask me out, which he later did, asking me to bring along a friend for his roommate.

A few days later, we met up….only pretty early on in the date, we switched dates 😉 His roommate and I just clicked. We were dancing in the living room (ahem, to an NSYNC CD I’d brought along with me, ha!) and laughing, and soon, I felt like I had known him for years. We stayed up all night talking and by the end, he told me he wanted us to be exclusive. I agreed, not wanting to see anyone else, and a couple was born.

Only, when we spoke the next day on the phone? He had to admit that he couldn’t QUITE remember my name–was it Rebecca? I laughed and said no, it was Rachel….and, his was Danny, right? He laughed and said no, it was Gregg.

I found that hugely amusing, first that we were “going out” and didn’t know each other’s names—although we could’ve told you each other’s childhoods and family histories—and also because I was a former Full House nut and instantly thought of Wake Up San Francisco.

Later on, we also learned that we had gone to the same elementary school for a year (we were a grade apart), that we’d lived in neighboring dorms for a year, and that we’d actually lived across from each other my sophomore year in an apartment complex. He and his roommate always held big parties, assuming everyone knew they were invited, and my roommate and I used to strut our stuff in front of his apartment, waiting for an invite that never came! Good thing, too, because quite honestly, neither of us were quite ready for each other at that point in time.

The best part though was that Gregg once carried groceries into that old apartment for my mom when I wasn’t there. She’d had a key, since she paid the bills after all, and was stocking my fridge while I was in class. He saw her lugging groceries to and from the parking lot and stopped to help her out. He remembered all that after meeting her again….for what we’d thought would be the first time.

photo 1Now, Gregg and I are married with two beautiful daughters, and he inspires every one of my romance heroes. In particular, he inspired Tyler Blue in Accidentally Married on Purpose, not only because of the guitar playing (that was one of the tricks he used to woo me back in the day!), but because he leaves me Post-It note messages on my mirror…just like a certain country music super star hero.


New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Emotion, vibrant settings, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing.

An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!


AMOP Burning



AMOPOne ring plus one wild night equals one crazy love

Sherry Robicheaux loves men. She loves love. And she loves an adventure. So when she meets a mysterious man while working backstage at a country music concert in Vegas, she’s all about what’s happened in Vegas staying there.

Country music superstar Tyler Blue just wants a weekend of anonymity…though there’s something about the spunky waitress with the streaks of purple hair that tempts him like no other. Until the next morning, when they both wake up with fuzzy memories…and rings on their fingers.

Convincing Sherry to maintain the ruse for his public image isn’t the hardest part—it’s reminding himself that their time spent playing husband and wife in her small town of Magnolia Springs can’t last. Tyler’s first love will always be music—and the road is no place for a sweet downhome girl.

Amazon B&N iBooks

Posted in Guest Blogger | 17 Comments

The Mormon Mama Yentas and a Machine Gun

Guest Blogger-Tana Lovett

Hi all! I’m Charly, Rebecca’s assistant. We thought it’d be fun to do a ‘Romance: The Good, the Bad, and the Disastrous’ theme with guest bloggers throughout the summer months. Every Monday and Thursday, we’ll have a guest blogger talk about fun stuff like horrible dates, good dates, etc. Some bloggers will have a contest, and some won’t – it’s totally up to them. If there is a contest, I’ll randomly draw a winner from the post comments, send the winner’s email address to the guest blogger, and they’ll take it from there. Rebecca will jump in and blog when she can. For now, enjoy as we play!

0010Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far—well, actually, it was about eight years ago, right here in northern Idaho—two friends hatched a diabolical plan.

I met Cindy at church. We got each other. We clicked. We went together like New Year’s Day and Jenny Craig.

One day Cindy pulled me aside and said, “You know, Tana, I have this son who needs to get married, and I understand you have a daughter who needs to get married. We should see what we can do about that.”

This conversation took place in this country, in this century, by members of a sub-culture not generally known for arranged marriages, but there it is. Her 28-year-old son and my 24-year-old daughter were, as yet, unmarried, and we shamelessly intended to change that situation if we could.

Mormons, like those of some other Christian faiths, tend to marry youngish. (Abstinence is a great motivator, I guess.) Being unmarried in one’s mid-to-late twenties is certainly not uncommon in our world, but it is a time when our young people are at least beginning to look toward that goal.

My daughter worked at the Mission Training Center, in Provo, Utah. Cindy’s son was a Reserve in the Marines, who was studying to become a chaplain, by way of a Criminal Justice degree. (Don’t ask me how those things relate. It’s the military. Who knows?)

So the great and diabolical plan was to have son email daughter—which he agreed to do only after a photo was produced and daughter was deemed datable. He got nothing—crickets—in return. She was not interested in starting a long-distance relationship cooked up by her mother. Imagine that. (Ungrateful wretch.) So that, it seemed, was that.

machine gun

machine gun

Until my co-conspirator learned that daughter would be coming home for the Memorial Day weekend. It was time to dial up the diabolical a notch or two. Why would anyone not want to go on a blind date arranged by one’s mother? What could possibly go wrong with that?

Evidently, Cindy decided that son might resist, considering he’d been frozen out once already by this datable girl in the picture. His mother enticed him with a machine gun—or rather the opportunity to try one out at the local shooting range. He liked the idea so much, he asked if he could bring a date. She vehemently declined, “No! This is a family activity. Your dad and I want to spend some time with you before your deployment begins!” He should have smelled a rat and run like the wind, but…machine gun. Totally worth compulsory time with the parental units.

Daughter, on the other hand, gave in to the idea, after a monumental matriarchal guilt trip, but complained all the way to the range. She was too old for this and could not believe I was making her do it. Bwahahaha! I’m still laughing.

I knew son was catching on to his mother’s plan, about the time daughter was bending over the bench away from us to shoot—a vantage point for displaying a fine asset to its best advantage. He tapped me and asked, “So, how old is your daughter?” He’d not yet made the connection that this was the girl in the picture. (Even with ear protection on, daughter heard enough to turn and glare at me.)

By the way, she shot circles around him—I mean, her target looked amazing compared to his. He might have been distracted at that point.

His parents, her parents, and the two victims themselves, followed the machine gun adventure with dinner together. That wasn’t awkward at all.

But something must have worked out, because they went on a couple of outings on that long weekend.

She went back to Utah. He went to training before deployment to Iraq. He called, emailed, and generally pursued her. She generally made his life hell by politely evading his pursuit—while he was still in the States.

Before flying out to Iraq, I saw him again. He asked if he could talk to me. He said he’d tried and she shut him down in no uncertain terms.

I don’t know what you could call it, other than “mother’s intuition” or “nosy-rosy-overbearing-mother-audacity,” but something prodded me to tell him not to give up. I felt like I knew daughter well enough that what was coming from her lips was not what was inside her heart. Or maybe I was just being a romance writer and believer in happily-ever-after. Whatever.

He kept trying.

It wasn’t until he was on the other side of the world that her heart changed. Once he was in Iraq, she knew she loved him.

Within a few months of international emails and phone calls, he had proposed and she had accepted. A few months after that, he returned home and they had their first kiss—and their second date. Two months later they were married. And last month, seven years after their wedding, they welcomed their sixth child. (They weren’t youngish anymore. They both wanted a large family. They were making up for lost time.)

So, yes, this romance does seem like it’s from another century or another country, and it does have a happily-ever-after.

Never underestimate the power of two Mormon Mama Yentas and a machine gun.

Thank you Rebecca and Charly for the chance to guest blog!


Tana Lovett has written the first story in a series of Small Town Contemporary Romances, called AS LONG AS THERE IS CHOCOLATE, which will be submitted shortly, per a number of requests. She can be found at and on Twitter and Facebook by that name.



…is a small town contemporary, romantically funny novel of about 95,000 words.

Romancing the Stone meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding … in Mayberry

Kate Hannity opens a gourmet chocolate shop across the street from the deli run by Gio DiMarco, or, as she secretly calls him, Fabio the Sandwich Boy.

He attracts women like a weepy-day carton of Ben & Jerry’s, spelling nothing but trouble for Kate. Of course, things are seldom ever as they seem.

She’s sworn off relationships, believing her baggage to be “crammed way too full of crazy”, and she vows to be “happily independent before happily ever after.”

Together they open a room, sealed for over thirty years, and discover the truth behind an interrupted adventure and presumed death. They go on a scavenger hunt, searching for the remains of Gio’s grandfather, who never returned from a climbing excursion decades before.

Will Kate learn to overcome her deepest fears? Will Gio convince her that she’s the love he’s waited for? That remains to be seen. All they know is that every day’s a good day AS LONG AS THERE IS CHOCOLATE.

Posted in Guest Blogger | 20 Comments

Kissing Frogs

Guest Blogger-Julie Mulhern

Hi all! I’m Charly, Rebecca’s assistant. We thought it’d be fun to do a ‘Romance: The Good, the Bad, and the Disastrous’ theme with guest bloggers throughout the summer months. Every Monday and Thursday, we’ll have a guest blogger talk about fun stuff like horrible dates, good dates, etc. Some bloggers will have a contest, and some won’t – it’s totally up to them. If there is a contest, I’ll randomly draw a winner from the post comments, send the winner’s email address to the guest blogger, and they’ll take it from there. Rebecca will jump in and blog when she can. For now, enjoy as we play!

Julie Mulhern - photo credit Larry Levenson

Photo credit Larry Levenson

In the mid-nineties I was in my mid-twenties, and I was, to put it mildly, tired of kissing frogs.

As most women can attest, frogs don’t always look like frogs. So, I instigated a weed-out policy, three simple rules applied on the first date.

Manners were important. Did he open my car door? Did he eat like a gentleman or a pig at a trough? The thought process was that I wanted a man whose mamma had raised him right.

I looked at his shoes. I like shoes. A lot. If his were run-down and in need of replacement, he probably wasn’t going to support my shoe habit. Deal-killer.

Finally, when he picked me up, had he taken the time to clean his car? I was stepping into his space for the first time. If it was filled with flotsam and jetsam—wrappers and cans and discarded mail—he wasn’t thinking long-term. And if he was, did I want to be with a man who kept a sea of White Castle wrappers on his floorboards?

It was springtime and the weather was balmy. My date and I dined al fresco at a restaurant on the Country Club Plaza and watched teenagers dressed for prom pass by on the sidewalk. Beautiful young women tottered on high heels. Handsome young men looked miserable in rented tuxes. The kids looked so…hopeful.

My date and I lingered over drinks and talked about our own proms (probably a short discussion, since I can’t remember my date or where the dance was—and not because of drinking—it was just that forgettable).

After dinner, we went to a party hosted by one of my customers (I was a banker at the time). My date earned points for going with me, since he knew no one there. We stayed long enough not to be rude, long enough for me to chat with my customer and sip a diet soda, long enough for “John” to have another drink, long enough to step out onto the balcony and admire the view.

We left and climbed into John’s immaculate BMW. Or was it an Acura? I’ve forgotten. But the next part of the evening I remember well—perhaps from the adrenaline jolt that accompanies seeing police lights in the rearview mirror.

John pulled over and a police officer peered through the window. “Sir, would you step out of the car?”

“What’s the problem, Officer?”

Did I mention that John was a lawyer?

“Please step out of the car.”

John stepped out of the car.

John recited the alphabet.

John left out “W.”

John failed additional tests and was loaded into the back of the police car.

“How much have you had to drink tonight?” the officer asked me.

“A glass of wine with dinner. That was several hours ago.”

The officer instructed me to follow him to the police station in John’s immaculate BMW (or Acura).

I sat in the waiting room for hours. In case you haven’t spent hours in a police station ‘round midnight, interesting people are there–people who probably have bad table manners, definitely have bad shoes, and most likely haven’t cleaned out their cars since they bought them (if they bought them). Many of them don’t smell good.

Finally, an officer came out to the waiting room and sat next to me. “Do you have any cash on you?” she asked.

“Thirty dollars.” At the time, thirty dollars would get me a cab ride from anywhere in the city to home. I always had thirty dollars when I went on a date.

“Mr. Doe needs to make bail.” She quoted me a four-figure sum.

“Can’t he give you a credit card?”

“Mr. Doe is carrying an American Express card. We only take Visa or MasterCard. Do you have a Visa or MasterCard?”

Call me heartless, but I was disinclined to charge $1,000 on my Visa (already groaning under the weight of my shoe habit). “Um, no. This is our first date.” And that cab money home was looking better and better.

The officer stared at me. “You’re kidding.”

I shook my head.

“What are you going to do for your next date? Rob a bank?”

At the time, it wasn’t funny.

Working through an intermediary, John communicated that he kept a MasterCard in his dresser. I was to go to his house, rifle through his belongings and return with plastic the police would accept.

So I drove the immaculate BMW (or Acura) to John’s immaculate house, turned on lights until I located his bedroom, opened his dresser drawer (filled with boxer shorts and a lifetime’s supply of condoms) and found his credit card. I returned to the police department, handed over the card and asked them to call me a cab.

The police officer looked apologetic. “Mr. Doe is not allowed to drive.”

It was three in the morning. Surely the gin he’d been drinking had worn off. Besides, he hadn’t been that impaired. If he’d seemed at all drunk, I wouldn’t have gotten in the car with him in the first place. “Pardon?”

“People arrested for DUIs can’t drive away from the police station. You’ll have to drive.”

I was tired. My contacts felt as if they’d been glued to my eyes. I wanted to curl up in my bed and sleep until Monday morning. I plunked myself back into one of the uncomfortable molded plastic chairs in the waiting room and waited.

Thirty minutes later, John appeared. He didn’t say much.

A police officer followed us outside to John’s immaculate BMW (or Acura) and I climbed behind the wheel.

I drove myself home, parked, and handed John his keys.

The man with a drawer full of condoms glanced at my apartment building and a slow grin lit his face. “Should I come up?”

That question was the impetus for the fourth rule in my lexicon: “Don’t date idiots.”


Julie Mulhern has been married for twenty years to a man with impeccable table manners, Cole Haan loafers and a clean car. She is the author of the Country Club Murders, a 1970s set mystery series. Book two, Guaranteed to Bleed, releases on October 13th. She also writes the Haunting series, historicals that mix turn of the century New Orleans, voodoo, murder, and romance. The first book, A Haunting Desire, was a 2014 Golden Heart© finalist and was released July 28th.



Trula took a deep, bracing breath of humid air then looked up at her house. Eulie Echo sat hunched on the front stoop looking like a pile of abandoned rags. Only her bony hands, moving back and forth, smoothing a thin layer of brick dust onto each step, gave her away. In the last moments of purple light, her wrinkled skin looked as dark as India ink, and the feathers and chicken bones tied in her hair rattled like black magic.

“The gentlemen will be here soon, Eulie. Are you almost finished?”

“Evil spirits walkin’ the streets tonight, Miz Trula.” Eulie’s head bobbed with each word. Her sightless eyes settled on something beyond Trula’s shoulder.

A slight breeze ruffled the thick air and Trula shivered. The blind woman was seldom wrong. “I know. I sense them, too.”

~ Excerpt from Haunting Desire


AHauntingDesire2A Haunting Desire:

Murder in the streets. And passion in the shadows…

New Orleans, 1902

A killer walks the streets of New Orleans, eviscerating men and leaving them in the streets, and for madam Trula Boudreaux, it’s bad for business. Trula needs help but she’s not prepared for Zeke Barnes, the charming would-be savior who darkens her doorway-or the yearning he awakens. For while Trula knows well the delights of lust, she avoids love at all costs…

Investigating the killer was one thing, but Zeke can’t help but be enchanted by the gorgeous mystery woman who runs an exclusive brothel. Caught between his duty to protect the city and his clear-as-day desire for Trula, Zeke sets about capturing Trula’s heart-or at least a place in her bed. But with every moment Trula resists, Zeke falls into greater danger.

For his investigation into the haunted city and madam doesn’t just risk his heart but both their lives.

Amazon B&N iBooks Kobo


What are your dating rules? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of A Haunting Desire.

Posted in Guest Blogger | 106 Comments

The bad…that ended up great!

Guest Blogger-Jenna Rutland

Hi all! I’m Charly, Rebecca’s assistant. We thought it’d be fun to do a ‘Romance: The Good, the Bad, and the Disastrous’ theme with guest bloggers throughout the summer months. Every Monday and Thursday, we’ll have a guest blogger talk about fun stuff like horrible dates, good dates, etc. Some bloggers will have a contest, and some won’t – it’s totally up to them. If there is a contest, I’ll randomly draw a winner from the post comments, send the winner’s email address to the guest blogger, and they’ll take it from there. Rebecca will jump in and blog when she can. For now, enjoy as we play!

0024I’d painstakingly shopped for the perfect dinner dress, painted my nails, and took great efforts in completing my makeup and hair. The occasion? A first date with a very handsome man! To say I was nervous was an understatement.

I learned we were going to a beautiful restaurant about 30 minutes away in a quaint town. The drive there was uneventful, filled with quiet talk. My jitters had ceased way before we arrived at our destination. The restaurant was originally a house, built in 1851, that was converted into a restaurant in 1963. It held six separate dining rooms on two different floors, and is currently a Michigan Historic Site.

The atmosphere was lovely with the lighting and table settings adding to the restaurant’s charm. Wine was served, our orders placed, and I was pleased that the evening was off to a great start. I may have jinxed myself in that train of thought though. I can’t remember what I had ordered—probably steak.

What I do remember is reaching for my fork that rested on my plate. Instead of grasping the fork, my hand hit it at just the right angle. The fork went airborne. As if in slow motion, I watched in horror as the heavy silver flatware twirled through the air, barely missing the next table. My simultaneous thoughts were: (1) glad there wasn’t any food on the fork, (2) thankful I didn’t impale anyone, and (3) not only was this the first date, I was confident it would be our last.

How wrong I was! Guess my date didn’t mind being with a klutz—we’ll be having our 30th wedding anniversary in October!


Jenna Rutland lives in a small Michigan community with her husband. She has two grown children and three granddaughters. While her days are spent working as a medical transcriptionist, her nights are filled writing contemporary romance—stories of love, laughter and happily ever after. Guess which occupation is more fun?

She is a member of RWA and is a board member of Maumee Valley Romance Authors Inc.

Jenna takes pleasure in spending time with her family. She also enjoys reading, gardening and loves the challenge of a new recipe.

Jenna welcomes the chance to connect with writers and readers. For more information, head to her website, and hang out with Jenna on Facebook and Twitter.


jfa small picJust For Appearances:

Hot man for hire…

Rachel Clarke is a single mom with three boys, and she needs help. Now. Unfortunately, her only option is John MacDonald—her high school sweetheart and the disgraced hometown hero who’s just returned to Lake Bliss. He’s perfect for the job. He cooks, he cleans, and he’s amazing with kids. He’s also still far too sinfully hot for Rachel’s comfort…

Rachel is just as gorgeous as John remembers. But in order for his new youth activity center to be a success, John needs Rachel’s help to earn the town’s trust back. In exchange, he’ll take care of her boys for the summer while she works. Except keeping their relationship strictly business is harder than he imagined. But summer can’t last forever, and when it ends, so will their arrangement—and John’s time in Lake Bliss.



Do you have a bad that ended up great? Leave a comment for one of 2 chances to win a Kindle copy of Jenna’s first book, Just For the Summer.



Posted in Guest Blogger | 3 Comments