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Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop – cover reveal

Talented writer friend Isabella Anderson has revealed the fabulous cover of her soon-to-be-published novel – Cards from Khloe’s Flower Shop.

New Romantics Press is happy to share her cover with you

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Blurb: As the owner of a successful florist shop, Khloe Harper trusts her instincts. She has a strong bond with her family and friends, but after being betrayed by her last love, she’s kept herself at arms’ length from romance. When dashing entertainment attorney Derek Thomas walks into her store, Khloe’s interested is piqued. What at first seems like a business relationship quickly turns into romance, and Derek slowly plucks away the petals she’s been hiding behind. Just as Khloe lets down her guard, she discovers that Derek may not be worthy of her love after all…

Frumpy Connie Albright has a faux fascination with an imaginary man named Walt, sending herself flowers from him to feel less out-of-place with the “mean girls” she works with. Gabby Lewis, a recently widowed senior, isn’t ready to give up on love—which means releasing herself from survivor’s guilt and taking a chance on finding happiness and companionship again.

As these stories intertwine through flowers and cards sent from Khloe’s shop, the three women begin to learn that love can only truly blossom when you trust your heart.

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Author Bio: Isabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. While Isabella doesn’t blog a lot, she focuses her time on featuring other writers, along with working on her next book.

She created Chick Lit Goddess to share the love of the following genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Romance, and Romantic Comedies!  She loves featuring authors and their books, and has a book business, Goddess Book Tours. Currently, she lives in Dallas with her husband. She enjoys spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, and can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading.

Isabella’s short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design is her first novel.

If you’d like to learn more about her, then these links will take you straight to her website/blog/Facebook page etc.

Find the books:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Isabella-Louise-Anderson/e/B00IWCNQFO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 isabella (2) - Copy
Isabella Louise Anderson
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Passion, Tenderness, Love – or 50 Shades of Greece

Mags pic 2And now for something completely different to follow June Kearns’s thoughtful and humorous Romantic Lurve – or 50 Shades of Beige.

Greece is oh so not monochromatic beige or grey. Her colours are intense, sublime –

Adam wished he could paint, sea-jade, sapphire, fir-green, brilliant white, Cal an ideal model . . . creamy skin deepened to tawny gold . . . hair bleached lighter by the sun, caught the afternoon light. She lolled like an odalisque in the prow of the boat. He wished he could paint like Matisse . . .

The scent of earth-rooted herbs from the rocky shoreline was intense, an invisible umbilical cord connecting them to their Earth Mother.

Beguiling to the eye, Greece is a feast for all the senses.

They ate their first Greek salad of the year dressed in rich olive oil . . . tomatoes flavoured by the hot sun, cucumber crunchily refreshing, slices of sweet red onion, succulent olives and tart green peppers topped by a slab of creamy-sharp feta sprinkled with basil. They drank white wine full of fruit with an aftertaste of honey.

. . . She wanted to be alive to the sounds and smells of Ithaca, schurr of sea on shingle, those unrelenting cicadas . . .  feeling the sun’s warmth on her body.

[From Twins of a Gazelle]

Mags pic 3Surrounded by such sensuality, such fertility, little wonder Shirley Valentine didn’t dream of “being bent over the hostess trolley and beaten on the bottom with Woman’s Weekly” [see 50 Shades of Beige]. Instead, she swam naked in water like silk on the skin – you perhaps know how it feels. Afterwards, dried by the sun’s warmth, she chose to have hot sex with Costas on his boat. And, finds out who she really wants to be, just as Calista does in Twins of a Gazelle.

In our culture, our attitude to sex seems ambivalent. We cloak our uncertainty with humour, and, prurient, veer between being curious about its sterile mechanics – pornography, BDSM, ‘I **** hard.’ – Or, afraid of feeling too deeply, inhibited settle for something almost asexual. Fondness steeped in a superficial sentimentality which has little or no bearing on the rough and tumble (no pun intended) of a sexual being.

Where’s passion – ardent love; sexual desire; an enthusiastic interest or direction of the mind; [Chambers Dictionary].

Mags pic 1Where’s love for another so intense, “You love her because everything about her makes your heart sing.’ Will was never so emphatic. . . . ‘Is that how you feel about me?’ ‘Since I set eyes on you,’ he said, returning her kiss. [From Last Bite of the Cherry]. Something so fierce to begin with it will sustain a relationship “in sickness and in health”, through all subsequent trials – paying off the mortgage, rearing children, learning to tolerate one another’s irritating foibles.

MetaxaIn my opinion, during the first throes of passion, the mutual pleasure and enjoyment of each other’s naked bodies is a given with no need for the titillation of concealment. If, when I write about love-making and sex, I try to make what happens integral to who the characters are and will become. Love scenes which do raise the temperature, and arise out of the natural progression of the plot. I appreciate June’s point ‘that what floats my boat, may well scupper yours’, but I very much hope I don’t cause my readers to cringe with embarrassment. Only they can say whether I do or not.

A thought to leave you with – “To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.”  [Marriage and Morals, Bertrand Russell 1929] No chance of that if you surrender to 50 shades of Greece. And afterthought, passion can also mean suffering. By ’eck, so can love, and then some.

Mags Cullingford

Romantic Lurve – or 50 Shades of Beige

Miss PiggyRomance, in one form or another, is threaded through all our books at New Romantics Press. Lately, we’ve been discussing how one reader’s sublime is another’s ‘cor blimey!’

Apparently, there was no such thing as romantic love until after the 12th century. Until then, knights regarded biffing each other as pretty much its own reward. After that, they needed an explanation for all the biffing, (if they couldn’t think of one, they asked a minstrel to make something up) and sagas of battle moved to tales of courtly love.

Sublime? So, what about the ‘cor blimey!’

E.L. James’s erotic bestseller has sold 100 million copies, and still counting. It’s women who are flocking to see the film.

Vileda MopAllegedly, before the launch, B&Q sent a memo to staff, warning of a possible increase in demand for certain products. These would be from customers recreating their own Fifty Shades experience. What were  they expecting? People stringing themselves up in the shelving section and spanking one another with Vileda mops?

Have I seen the film? Noo. I always feel a teensy bit self-conscious watching that sort of thing – a voyeur looking through a keyhole. There’s a sort of agony of embarrassment and my hand keeps creeping up to cover my face – as if a week-old kipper is being wafted around.

I often skip the more palpitating passages when reading, too – especially when it starts to sounds a tad gynaecological.

“I don’t make love. I ****. Hard.”

(Ooh, heck. Move over Heathcliffe.)

Those words from the film sound less erotic to me than the Victoria Wood song about turning off Gardeners’ Question Time in the hope of being bent over the hostess trolley and beaten on the bottom with Woman’s Weekly.

I’m not quite of the same mind as the film reviewer, who said 50 Shades made her want to rush for her pinny and start polishing the silver.

I admire people who write about sex and erotica well. It takes skill to get it right. I just know that I’m not one of them.

I’ve taken heart from writer Joan Didion who suggests that concealing something, can heighten its impact. She says: “It’s like dressing. If you’re covered up, it’s sexier than if you’re not.” (Discuss?)

I heard a theatre director say recently that sex on stage is a notoriously tricky thing. A little, he said, goes a long way. It’s the suggestion of sexiness, apparently – not the act itself – that raises the temperature in an auditorium.

Raising the temperature! That’s it! That’s what I’m always struggling to achieve in my novels. But I appreciate that what floats my boat, may well scupper yours.

So, what about  you? What do you think? Comments in plain brown envelopes, please!

I’ll leave you with another quote from Victoria Wood: ‘Orgasm? I haven’t blown my nose since Wednesday!’

And to cool things down, here’s a picture of myself at 5, dress tucked into knickers. (I still wear a similar voluminous sort which may go some way to explaining my own views on this topic.)

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WHEN I FALL IN LOVE . . .

The New Romantics 4 write romance in its many forms . . . romantic adventure/suspense, romantic comedy, historical romance and dark romance with a soft centre. It being Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d share the moment when our hero and heroines experience the coup de foudre which will change their lives . . . forever.

Read our extracts and let tell us . . . when did you know that you’d met the love of your life? 

Love

June Kearns

20s Girl Cover MEDIUM‘Take care of my heart, I’ve left it with you.’  Edward Cullen

True Love? Romance? Ha! Rare as hen’s teeth in England after the First World War. After a trip to Texas, (The 20’s Girl), Gerardina Chiledexter is sure she’s had her one and only glimpse of both.

Back home, she confides in her friend, Prim:

Minutes ticked by.

Then, a slow, slow shake of Prim’s head. ‘Oh … my … Lord.’ She folded arms across her chest.

‘What?’

‘You admire him, don’t you?’

‘No! No, not in that sort of …’

‘You do. You’ve fallen for him.’

Silence.

‘Well …’ Gerry  sighed ‘… what if I have? Nothing happened.’ A few lovely moments of closeness and understanding, a frisson of pleasure. Nothing more. ‘It’s the land that Coop loves, the Circle-O.’

‘I knew it. Oh, Gerry …’

Fallen? Gerry was thinking. Is that like casting yourself over a cliff? Out of control, tumbling, floating through air? How do you get back, then? Can a person ever recover?

If only he hadn’t kissed her.

She could have stayed as she was, a frustrated spinster, in her narrow monk’s bed. Like Prim and most other women here. All those slowly breaking hearts, under buttoned-up layers of woolly cardigans.

Must stop thinking about it, must, must. Such a bad idea. But thoughts kept running away, out of control. She’d forget, eventually, of course she would.

‘Mmmn, yes,’ she imagined herself saying, eons later, ‘of course. I remember it now. There was someone once. That man, the man with no last name. Wrong time, wrong person.’

How long would it take to reach that stage, that blessed blur of not remembering? Until then, whenever the urge to think of him came over her – his touch, his mouth, that kiss – she’d have to lie down and wait, until it passed.

Whatever it was, it was over. The end.

‘Anyway …’ she said brightly, to Prim. ‘I’m here now, aren’t I. I’m home.’

Home. With rain pecking at the windows and the entire rest of her life stretching out emptily, in front of her.

Never again, she said to herself. Never again.

Heart

Adrienne Vaughan

A Change of Heart Movie star, Ryan O’Gorman arrives unannounced on the island of Innishmahon, hoping to rebuild the relationship with the love of his life Marianne Coltrane. Marianne can’t believe he’s turned up, assuming their troubles are in the past, and though she’s never been happier to see anyone in life, she doesn’t want him to know that …just yet.

 “You mean you don’t want me here,” his voice was harsh in his throat. He laid a hand gently on her shoulder. It branded like an iron. She swallowed. She could smell him. He moved closer, his musky sea-scent filled her nostrils. She could not breathe. She ducked under his arm and found sanctuary by the kitchen door. She opened the top half, letting the breeze cool her. He came to stand beside her, following her gaze out past the little windblown garden, the gate to the lane and the sliver of sea beyond. Grey clouds broiled above the Atlantic.

“Marie,” he whispered, “tell me you want me back.” She did not answer. He stayed there, looking out to sea. She stole a glance at him as he watched the horizon, the breeze lifting his hair, thumb prints of tiredness stamped beneath his eyes. He caught her looking at him, and moved to block her view, lifting her chin with a finger, eyes burning into her.

“Well?” he lowered his mouth to hover over hers, she tasted his breath. She stepped back, slamming the top of the door closed.

“You’re wet. Go and shower, we’ll talk later,” she dismissed him.

“Did I do the wrong thing?” he asked again.

“Yes, Ryan you did,” she replied.

“Don’t you love me then?” he spoke quietly.

“Yes, Ryan I do,” she told him, avoiding his eyes.

“Gotcha!” he shouted, making them all jump. “Knew I was still in with a chance, can’t resist me, mad about me, that’s obvious.”

She picked a cushion up and threw it at him.

“Don’t get carried away, boyo, we’ve a lot to discuss, things we should have agreed before now, before this.” She made a gesture encompassing them all.

He gave an involuntary shudder.

“Shower!” She pointed at the door.

He left, attempting a sort of squishy samba, she rolled her eyes as he sashayed up the stairs.

“God loves a trier,” she told Monty, who was waiting patiently for his soup.

lovers

Margaret Cullingford

Last-Bite-of-the-Cherry_Cover_SMALLAugust 1973, Monica Sommers, eighteen years old, and Will Ackroyd, twenty one, are on their way to Florence, Italy on Will’s motorbike stopping off to spend a week on the French Riviera:

At last Cap d’Antibes, unerring, Will found their quaint little hotel . . .

Monsieur, comme vous voulez, un chambre avec un grand lit.’ . . .

‘You specifically asked for a double-bed?’ Monica said

‘Ah, bliss.’ Sitting on the side of what looked like a comfortable modern divan, Will undid his boots and kicked them off, then flung himself backwards, bouncing as he landed flat on his back. He closed his yes. ‘No road winding in front of me.’ A few seconds and he sat up looking concerned. ‘I’ll see if we can swop for singles, shall I?’

She turned away to pull open wider the tall window, push back shutters, lean over the wrought iron balustrade, breath in warm Mediterranean scents, wormwood, rosemary and pine. There room overlooked a secluded garden vibrant with scarlet geraniums, magenta bougainvillea, and white jasmine. To her left, an awning shaded a terrace where the hotel guests could sit and eat. Swivelling round, she inspected their room, white walls, white linen, white-matt painted armoire, dressing table, except the white wasn’t white. In early evening the room shimmered shades of pale apricot, its shadows tinged amber.

She looked across at Will. He was watching her, wary. Wet with sweat his curls clung tightly to his head, his face flushed with heat, beads of perspiration glistened on his upper lip. He was beautiful.

There’s a small hotel . . . Softly, she sang the opening lines of a song she remembered from one of her father’s old 78’s.

Will’s smile of relief only made him more beautiful. She rushed over, and pushing him backwards, threw herself onto him. He responded to her kiss with such hunger, she was taken by surprise.

flowers

Lizzie Lamb

Boot Camp Bride

There was a certain something about him; an air, a manner of just being that set him apart from the other men in their Paul Smith suits and two-hundred-pound shoes. It was almost as if, like her, he was here under false pretences. Then she assured herself that it was his clothes – battleship grey linen and silk mix trousers, loose-fitting jacket and white Sea Island cotton shirt – that made him stand out. Nothing more. Except – perhaps – his Byronic good looks. Charlee grimaced. If she was beginning to think in clichés, it was time for her to put down the empty glass and head for the cloakroom.

She was intrigued by him, by his mood switches and sudden change of tack. There was a story here, one the journo in her wanted to investigate. Why, for example, did he have a long, grey cashmere scarf wound loosely around his neck in this overheated room. Affectation? How come his eyes were dark-circled beneath his tropical tan – as though he was recovering from a long illness? Why, despite his obvious youth and vigour did he look world-weary – as though he’d been there, seen it, done it – and had worn out the tee shirt?

‘You walked off without giving me a chance of a rematch,’ he said smoothly, looking over Charlee’s shoulder at the photographs of the exhibition. His warm breath stirred the tendrils of hair on the nape of her neck and a tiny shiver of reaction travelled the length of her body. Charlee put the frisson, and the goose bumps in its wake, down to the fact that the gallery was cooling now that the evening was almost over and the big doors were wide open.

Midsummer Madness with the New Romantics 4

Midsummer Madness with the New Romantics 4.

 

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