Category Archives: Uncategorized

Worth the Risk is Back Revamped and Expanded & Free

worth the risk

 Worth the Risk was written as a prequel to Endangered, telling the story of how Max and Madeleine Delecoeur met and fell in love. I always liked the story, but felt I’d rushed it a bit, so I decided to expand it.

Recently, I’ve been reading and listening to audio romance books told in first person by both protagonists, and I decided I wanted to try that for Max and Madeleine.

The process of making the POV change takes longer than you might think, and so I decided to post the story in bit on Wattpad. You can read it free there.

Worth the Risk

There isn’t a woman in the world who wouldn’t want to get up close and personal with sexy, self-made millionaire bachelor, Max Delecoeur. Everyone woman except me. I know all too well about men like Max; rich, arrogant and willing to do anything and hurt anyone to achieve profits.

I’ll admit, initially I was amused at Madeleine Hainsworth’s dislike of me, until she accused me of business practices that involve child labor. Growing up in foster care, I’ve spent a good amount of my time and wealth on improving the plight of children.

Together, Max and Madeleine put their lives in danger as they trek through the jungle to expose child labor abuse, but as attraction and respect draw them together, will a chance at love be worth the risk?

When you’re done…do you want to read the next part of the adventure?

Get the next Max and Madeleine story, Endangered, for free as well. Click here for details.

Want Free eBooks?

Free ebooks from Jenna Harte

Who doesn’t like free?

I’ve long offered free ebooks to my newsletter subscribers and SweetHarte street team, but now several of these books are available to everyone on all major platforms including Amazon, iBooks, Nook and Kobo.

Check out my free ebook page for complete list of free ebooks.

 

Deadly Valentine

deadlyvalentinet128If you’ve been thinking about trying out the Valentine mysteries, now you have no reason to since you can get Deadly Valentine for free. You’ll meet Tess Madison, a chocolate and couture lingerie-loving lawyer making a new life in a small town, and Jack Valentine, the man from her past she never could quite forget. There is sizzle and suspense as they hunt down a murderer.

Ebook Versions of Deadly Valentine are FREE!

Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble Nook

iBooks

Kobo

Worth the Risk

worthriskcover150Looking for a short, quick romantic adventure? Worth the Risk available free on the major ebook retailers or through a subscription to my newsletter. In fact, subscribing to my newsletter not only gets you Worth the Risk, but the second book in the series, Endangered, as well.

Ebook Versions of Worth the Risk

Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble Nook

iBooks

Kobo

Where Story Ideas Come From

Where Story Ideas Come From

One of the most common questions asked of writers is, “Where do you get your story ideas?” Most authors I know answer this question with a shrug and say, “They come from everywhere.” Before I was a publishing writer, I hated that answer. Surely there was a better way to get ideas without waiting for the universe to present them.

In reality, they’re right; story ideas are everywhere. But finding them isn’t a matter of waiting for them to present themselves. Instead, it’s in noticing them because they’re always there. When asked where he got his ideas for his quirky characters and odd-ball situations, Carl Hiaasen said they were from the local newspaper. Stephan King said he got the idea for Mr. Mercedes after reading about someone driving their Mercedes into a crowded McDonalds. Suzanne Collins of Hunger Games fame got the idea for her series from reality TV. These authors where reading the newspaper, watching the news or reality TV and from that ideas formed.

My ideas come from unique places as well.  I just figured out the idea for book three in a cozy series I’m working on while searching Google on the equivalents between fresh and ground nutmeg. I got hooked on the show Airplane Repo and knew I had to have a character that was an airplane repo man. Recently, I had an entire short story come to me in a dream, but I think the trigger was a Facebook question about romantic Christmas gifts.

Sometimes I already have a kernel of an idea or I know I need to come up with the next idea for a series, but I don’t have the important details needed to create a full-fledged story. For example, in the Valentine series, I know each book needs a murder mystery that takes place in Tess and Jack’s circle of acquaintances. Using my cast of characters, I pick one for each book and try to figure out a plot. The idea about who’s murdered and why often comes from things I see or read in the world. I linked Tess’ first engagement ring to the Hope Diamond right around the time it was revealed that the blue stone was first the French Blue. This was helpful because at the time, I didn’t have a compelling reason for the ring to be so valuable that the bad guys would seek it out and kill to have it.

In the second Valentine book, Old Flames Never Die, I was stuck on how to make the crime work until I saw an episode of a forensic show on ID TV. Thank goodness I saw it, because it was the idea that made the whole plot work.

The idea for book four of the Valentine series (‘Til Death Do Us Part), came from the fascination fans have in the love lives of celebrities, especially those who have great on-screen chemistry. Luckily, I’d mentioned a celebrity friend of Jack’s in the first book, so I had a way to use this idea.

I’m fascinated by the prohibition era and have an idea of a cozy series set during that period. Interestingly enough, that idea started as a romance featuring a different couple set in contemporary times. Over time, it has morphed from the influence of watching Miss Fisher and Boardwalk Empire.

While some ideas show up while you’re busy living your life, some arrive while you’re writing. I have an idea for a vampire story, but the unique details of my vampire world came from my research on Romanian folklore. That research also helped me create a character for a new cozy I’m working on who loves fairy tales and folklore.

The point is, that while stories are developed, that initial spark of idea often comes from unusual and unexpected places. The unique plot twists and turns in stories often come the same way. If you’re a writer, the trick is to recognize and remember these ideas. That’s where keeping a notebook or having a note taking app on your phone can help. After that, it’s about asking questions to see where the idea can lead so you can flesh it out into a story or fit it into a book you’re already working on.

Drawn to Her Release Day Giveaways!!

Drawn to Her Release

It’s here! Drawn to Her, book one in the Southern Heat Series is finally available.

To celebrate, there’s a ton of stuff going on including a Kindle giveaway, free ebooks with every order (and pre-order), fun activities, blog tours and much more. Check out all the fun and activities in store today:

heartFREE ebooks with every purchase of Drawn to Her. EVERYONE who buys a copy (or pre-ordered) of Drawn to Her can also pick up the following for free:

  • How to Speak Southern – A fun and informative guide to the south to compliment some of the southernisms in Drawn to Her.
  • Worth the Risk – Delecoeur Adventure Book One
  • Endangered – Delecoeur Mystery Book Two
  • On the Rebound – Excerpt of Jim Cangany’s wonderful romance

Visit the Drawn to Her Goodie Giveaway page for details on picking up your free ebooks. You can pick up your copy of Drawn to her at your favorite retailers:  Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks

heartWin a Kindle, plus other great prizes, meet and mingle with other authors and have fun at the Drawn to Her Facebook party.  From 11 am to 7 pm eastern standard time, visit the Drawn to Her release party on Facebook to join in on all the fun, and  enter to win cool stuff, including a Kindle!

Review: A Thing of Beauty

A Thing of Beauty
A Thing of Beauty by Bianca M. Schwarz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve had to sit on my review of A Thing of Beauty as I worked to gather my thoughts about the book. I really enjoyed it, but have difficulty expressing why. At first glance, A Thing of Beauty is a historical romantic suspense, but it’s not your typical historical, romantic or suspenseful novel.

My first challenge was to get rid of My Fair Lady’s Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison in my mind as the characters Eliza and Henry. It wasn’t too difficult as the Eliza and Henry of Schwarz’s world are younger and a bit grittier.

In the beginning, Eliza escapes from a brutal step-father who has sold her to another man. She was found beaten and barely alive by Henry, who takes her home and nurses her to health. These two should be complete opposites; Eliza from a poor, barely educated family and Henry, from wealth and privilege. However, the two forge a friendship over books and a curiosity about the world. They also become embroiled a mystery involving sadism and sex trafficking.

Two things really struck me about the book. One was the contrasts. The world outside of Eliza and Henry is dark, violent, heinous, but the world between Eliza and Henry is wonderfully sweet and pure. Both of them have reasons to be bitter, jaded and untrusting (especially Eliza), and yet, they’ve retained enough of themselves to forge an incredible bond. And while Eliza is in the inferior position, her friendship and love do as much to heal Henry as his help healed her.

The second thing that stood out was the untraditional ending. It made me think of Jane Eyre and how I’ve always wondered if Bronte considered not having Mrs. Rochester die at the end, and if she hadn’t, would Jane have accepted Edward’s invite to be his mistress, now that Jane had her own source of financial security. In A Thing of Beauty, Eliza is faced with the same societal constraints as Jane. She needs marriage to provide a secure future, and a good marriage won’t come her way if she isn’t a virgin. But she tosses that aside for Henry. While she’s young and naive about some things, she knows exactly what she’s risking. Of course, this risk is lessened a bit through Henry’s help in security her family’s property (an inn), which provides her with income, but still, her choice to be his mistress will caste her in a low light in society.

In a traditional romance, Henry would find a way to marry her and they’d have their HEA. However, at least in this installment, that’s not what happens. While Henry is no hurry to marry, in order to introduce his illegitimate daughter into proper society when she’s of age, he needs to marry well, and that would not be the case with Eliza. Eliza knows and accepts this. So while you don’t get the love and marriage HEA, you do get two people who love and care for each other, who are together because they want to be, and that is romantic.

Of course, the die-hard romantic in me hopes that will change in further installments, but so far Schwarz is remaining true to the times in which the book is set, which adds more realism.

It should be noted that many parts of the book are violent and gritty, and that the love scenes between Eliza and Henry are detailed. I enjoyed all of it, but some readers who might not be expecting it might be be surprised by it.

I’m looking forward to future installments of the series and have my fingers crossed that Eliza and Henry will eventually have their HEA!

View all my reviews