If you love passion, romance, and murder, you’ve come to the right place. I write the Valentine Mysteries that feature Tess and Jack, a passionate couple who seem to always get involved in murder. The first book, Deadly Valentine, reached the quarter-finals in the Amazon Breakout Novel Award contest in 2013 and received a review from Publishers Weekly saying: “Written with precision and care, this intriguing romance/murder mystery is a fun read that will keep readers guessing until the very end."

FREE Max and Madeleine Novella: Survive the Night Read the entire story here.

Writing Great Love Scenes

Writing Great Love ScenesIf you’ve checked out my About Me page, you’ll see I got started writing through fan fiction. It’s true that practice makes perfect, or at least better. My old stories, while having good plots, weren’t very well written. Particularly the love scenes.

I sometimes read other people’s fan fiction and I see that many of those writers have the same problem I did when I started. They have good plots, but the love scenes are too much like a play-by-play of a technical manual. Touch here, insert there. After studying my favorite romance authors, I’ve learned that what makes a great love scene isn’t so much the mechanics, as much as it is the emotions and sensuality. Some of the best love scenes in books don’t mention body parts hardly at all, and yet, they’re sexy and sensual.

Today, when I write love scenes, I start with the frame of mind of the characters. Are they making up? Are they feeling sad and lonely? Are they playful? Are they needing connection? In Survive the Night (free novella), Max and Madeleine have several love scenes. The first is about discovery and finally giving in to the attraction. The second reveals deeper feelings and yet a fear of sharing them. The reunion scene is all about connecting, filling the void at the loss they felt. So not only are their bodies touching, caressing etc, but their minds are at work as well. We can feel the longing and the desire, which increases the sensuality of the mechanics. At least that’s now I see it.

With the release of Fifty Shades of Gray, we’ve seen the popularity of highly explicit romances rise. Having read a few of these, I find my concept of a good love scene holds true. Yes these books show more and provide more diversity of positions, but ultimately, what makes them sexy and romantic is what’s going on in the characters’ heads and hearts, not just between their bodies.

What do you think? What aspects do you like best about a great love scene?

‘Til Death Do Us Part – Sneak Peek!

Happy Valentines Day! For the last few days, you’ve been able to get Deadly Valentine, book one in the Valentine mysteries for free. Plus, the next two books in the series, Old Flames Never Die and With This Ring, I Thee Kill, have been discounted 30% (only $1.99!). If you haven’t grabbed them, do so now. The special ends tonight!

To top off the Valentine’s Day celebration, here is a sneak peek at book four, ‘Til Death Do Us Part.

tildeath200In this fourth installment of the Valentine series, Tess and Jack are living in wedded bliss, until Jack’s childhood friend, famous actress Ava Dumont shows up in town to film a movie. Years ago, fans of her popular TV courtroom drama speculated on whether or not Ava and her handsome co-star, Reece Wilder’s off-screen chemistry was as hot as it was on screen. The question was seemingly answered when Reece married Ava’s nemesis, D-List actress, Amya Grosse. Now estranged and seeking a divorce, Reece has pushed to do a movie with a reluctant Ava. But, their highly anticipated on and off
screen-reunion is ruined when Amya turns up dead in Reece’s hotel room. Jack’s loyalty to Ava and Tess’ curiosity put them in the middle of a murder in which everyone they meet had a reason to want to Amya dead. Will they be able to discover the murderer or will ’til death do us part’ come much sooner than they’d dreamed?

Read the first four chapters of ‘Til Death Do Us Part!

Let me know in the comments below or at Facebook what you think.

Free Valentines!

deadlyvalentinet128With a name like Harte and book series called Valentine, it’s no wonder Valentine’s Day is popular around here. And to celebrate, you can get Deadly Valentine, Book One of the Valentine series for free now until Feb. 14, 2014. Plus, you can get the next two books in the series, Old Flames Never Die and With This Ring, I Thee Kill at a discount of 30% off (only $1.99) also until Feb. 14, 2014.

The Valentine books follow the lives of Tess Madison, a French-lingerie loving, chocolate connoisseur and her handsome leading man Jack Valentine. It’s just the right mixture of mystery, romance and fun!

And if you enjoy them, the fourth book, ‘Til Death Do Us Part, is in it’s final stages of editing. I’ll be giving away the first few chapters on Friday, February 14th. Watch for details, here, on Twitter or Facebook for a release date.

Review: Dark Witch

Dark Witch
Dark Witch by Nora Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I much prefer Nora’s In Death books (as JD Robb) and her stand alone suspense books, but I was intrigued by the premise of this book. Overall I enjoyed the book. I liked how Iona was enthusiastic and didn’t have much of a filter on her emotions. It’s a nice change from women who are attracted to men, but always trying to keep them arms distance. I got a kick out of Boyle, a man of few words and very settled in his ways, who is baffled at the attraction (and his inability to avoid it) to Iona. He doesn’t say much, but when he does it counts.

Because it’s a trilogy, you don’t get the big finish by the end, but you get one committed couple who still have work to do to defeat evil and help two other couples eventually get together. I will say I’m eager to read Conner’s story and of course, Fin and Branna’s.

After 200 books, Nora’s books sometimes feel like they’re recycled from older stories (i.e. I felt like the last Boonsville Inn was similar to Rafe McKade), but I still enjoyed the characters, the setting and overall story. If you enjoy a good romance, an Irish setting with folklore, a quest and a little witchery, then you’ll probably like this book.

View all my reviews

Interview with Tess Madison

Tess Madison is the romantic heroine of the Valentine Series. She’s smart, funny and doesn’t take any guff. She’s had a bumpy ride through life, but managed to make it through with the help of French lingerie, chocolate and of course, the love from Jack Valentine. In this interview, Tess answers questions about her relationship with Jack and the origin of her love of fine lingerie.

Q: Jack seems like such a perfect man. He’s handsome, sexy, rich, kind… so why did it take so long for you to open to him?

Tess: Probably because he was so perfect. That and the fact that by the time he’d re-entered my life, I’d give up on the concept of a love that lasts forever.

Q: Why would his being perfect be a hindrance?

Tess: He wondered the same thing. I once told him that he was too rich, handsome and confident. He answered with, “So you’d love me if I was poor, ugly and insecure?” The thing is, when I first knew Jack, all the women he dated were nothing like me. Tall, leggy, gorgeous. Several were models and one was an actress. I couldn’t get how he’d be attracted to me. But he wore me down, convinced me he was sincere.

Q: It’s not like you’re ugly. 

Tess: No. I’m alright. But in truth, that’s not what matters. Jack is a very handsome man, but that’s not why I love him. He’s smart, funny, has an optimistic attitude, he’s loyal, it’s his character that I love. But I’ll admit the packaging is nice.

Q: Jack says he loved you almost from the start. Did you have the same reaction when you first met him? 

Tess: Well… I was engaged to his friend at the time, so it wasn’t the same. But no one can meet Jack and not have a reaction. He has a presence and an energy that makes you take notice. I will admit that as our friendship grew, I had some guilt-filled moments of thinking of him, when I should have been thinking of my fiance.

Q: Do you think Jack was right in the way he handled things that night you went to him after discovering your fiance’s infidelity? 

Tess: In hindsight, yes. Odds are I would have still left and would have hurt him. I cared for him, probably even loved him by then. But my need for him wasn’t about that that night.

Q: How real of a threat was Daniel to your relationship with Jack.

Tess: If you’re asking if there was a chance I’d ever be with Daniel, the answer is maybe. But not once Jack entered the picture. If we’d never reunited, there is a possibility that I would have given in to Daniel’s advances. And it might have worked. Daniel is a great guy. But it wouldn’t be that all consuming passion…that soul deep love I feel for Jack.

Q: Considering your history, it was surprising that you weren’t more worried about Liv messing things up for you and Jack.

Tess: She did mess things up, but not in the way you mean. I trust Jack. I knew he wouldn’t betray me by having an affair. If he wanted to be with another woman, he’d break it off with me first. He wouldn’t cheat. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t feel betrayed by his loyalty to her.

Q: He is very loyal to people he cares about.

Tess: Yes, and I love that about him. But during that whole situation with Liv, his loyalty for her seemed to take precedence over me.

Q: When you reunited a man died, you got involved in murder with Liv, and even your engagement was fraught with trouble. Do you worry that mayhem seems to follow you two?

Tess: We have seen more than our fair share of murder, but a little mayhem and danger is well worth the price for having him in my life.

Q: Will you two have children?

Tess: Someday. Right now we love our lives the way they are. Children change that, not in a bad way, but in a way we don’t want to change right now.

Q: Where did your love of French lingerie come from.

Tess: I grew up going to private schools and then boarding school, where we had to wear uniforms most of the time. What I put on underneath was one way to have control and self-expression.

Q: But no one saw it.

Tess: Jack does. But before then, it didn’t matter if anyone saw it. I knew it was there.

Q: What about your fondness for old R&B tunes. You weren’t even born during Marvin Gaye’s heyday.  Shouldn’t you like more modern R&B?

Tess: I like some modern R&B, but the old stuff is really sensuous, sexy.

Q: It goes well with your lingerie.

Tess: Yes. I’ve really hit the jackpot when it comes to sensuality and sexy – lingerie, R&B and of course, Jack.


If you haven’t read Jack’s interview, you can do so here.

Do you have questions for Tess that weren’t asked. Ask in the comments below and she’ll answer them.



WARNING: Explicit Content
The Delecoeur stories are adventures featuring a romantic couple who sometimes do what people in love do. Part of this story maybe be considered adult content, so if you are not of legal age or are easily offended, you should click the exit button.