GUEST POST: First Comes Love by Shira Anthony

I am delighted to host Shira Anthony to talk about her book First Comes Love, one of the titles launching Dreamspinner Press’s Dreamspun Desires imprint. I am enormously excited about this new line—my own contribution will be out in July—so I’m happy to host Shira.

All About Dreamspun Desires:

First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony

FirstComeMarriageFSBuylinks: Dreamspinner: Amazon: All Romance: Barnes & Noble

Thank you, Kate, for hosting the first stop on the First Comes Marriage book tour! For those readers who may not already know, First Comes Marriage is the second book in the brand new Dreamspun Desires line of gay category romances from Dreamspinner Press. Be sure to read to the bottom of the post for an excerpt from the book, as well as the Rafflecopter giveaway.

Dreamspun Desires are inspired by the old category romances I grew up with. You remember, the Harlequins and Silhouettes that used to be shipped monthly on subscription. Happily-ever-afters that were light on the angst and all about the slow burn. Tropey romances that featured millionaires and naïve virgins where the ending was a marriage proposal.

Well look out old-fashioned romance, because Dreamspinner Press has upped the ante. Will you get all those great tropes like mistaken identity, enemies to lovers, rich man/poor man in these books? Yep. But you’ll also find a more modern take on love and most of these books have some smoking hot sex scenes (not like the old Harlequins I used to read!).

Jesse Donovan’s a billionaire businessman who needs to get married or he’ll lose control of his company. Chris Valentine is a struggling novelist who works as a barista to afford New York City rent. When Jesse comes to one of Chris’s readings at a Manhattan cafe, he gives Chris his card. The last thing Chris expects from Jesse is a marriage proposal!

I can’t tell you how much fun I had writing this story! It’s definitely a departure for me, since I gravitate toward angsty stories. But I think I’ll be writing more along the lines of this book, and soon! If you, like me, read the old category romance novels, I think you’ll find that First Comes Marriage feels very familiar. But I think you’ll also find a few twists on the old formula, and I’m not just talking about the gay marriage aspect of the story. Happy reading! –Shira

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 Blurb:

Their marriage was supposed to be all business….

When struggling novelist Chris Valentine meets Jesse Donovan, he’s interested in a book contract, or possibly a date. The last thing Chris expects is a marriage proposal from New York City’s most eligible bachelor!

Jesse’s in a pinch. To keep control of his company, he has to marry. So he has valid reasons for offering Chris this business deal: in exchange for living in a gorgeous mansion for a year, playing the doting husband, Chris gets all the writing time he wants and walks away with a million-dollar payoff. Surely Chris can handle that. He can handle living with the most handsome and endearing man he’s ever met, a man he immediately knows he wants in the worst way and can’t have. Or can he?

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Excerpt from Chapter Six:

Now, standing in the conference room of Windview Enterprises’ corporate headquarters near South Ferry in Manhattan, one of the matching platinum bands Jesse had bought for them in his pants pocket, Chris wondered if he’d wake up from the dream. The floor-to-ceiling windows looked out over Wall Street and the East River through the forest of high-rise buildings.

“Do you, Jesse Chase Donovan, take Christopher James Valentine to be your husband, in love and in friendship, until you are parted by death?” the judge asked.

“I do.” As Jesse slipped the ring on Chris’s finger, he met Chris’s gaze with such intensity that for an instant, Chris could almost forget the entire ceremony was a ruse to ensure the future of Windview remained firmly in Jesse’s control. Damn the man for being so attractive. Damn him for being a nice guy, because that was the worst part of it. And the part that had you agreeing.

“And do you, Christopher James Valentine, take Jesse Chase Donovan to be your husband, in love and in friendship, until you are parted by death?”

Chris swallowed hard and prayed he didn’t look as incredibly nervous as he felt. “I do.” His hand shook as he took Jesse’s hand and put the ring on his finger.

“Congratulations, Chris and Jesse,” the judge said.

Chris caught Val’s eye for a split second, and he half expected her to urge him to kiss Jesse. But it was Jesse who took charge and blindsided Chris with a kiss.

It started sweetly enough, just Jesse’s lips against his, but instead of releasing Chris, Jesse pulled him tighter against him and pressed his tongue into his mouth. Jesse tasted fucking amazing. Chris didn’t hesitate—their tongues tangled and danced. This close, Jesse smelled good and felt even better. Chris was barely aware of slipping his hands around Jesse’s back before resting them on lean hips. He didn’t think twice as his body and Jesse’s responded in kind.

Someone giggled—Chris recognized Val’s voice—and Jesse pulled abruptly away. Their eyes met for a split second, and Chris thought he saw a mixture of desire and surprise in Jesse’s deep blue eyes. The next thing Chris knew, Val had thrown her arms around him and only his racing heart and tingling lips told him he hadn’t imagined the entire thing.

“Oh, Chris,” Val cooed. “You really did it!”

“Yeah” was the only response Chris could manage. He was still thinking about Jesse’s mouth.

“I guess I was wrong about him being straight,” she whispered mischievously.

Chris was thrilled when Terry grabbed him in a bear hug, because he had no idea how to respond to Val’s comment. He also wasn’t sure if he should be pissed off with Jesse for the show. He supposed if this was going to work, Jesse needed to make the marriage look real. Still, how difficult would it have been to warn Chris that he had that up his sleeve?

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All about Shira

Shira Anthony is a complete sucker for a happily-ever-after, and rarely reads or writes a story without one. Never a fan of instalove, Shira likes to write stories about real men with real issues making real relationships work.

In her last incarnation, Shira was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as “Tosca,” “Pagliacci,” and “La Traviata,” among others. Her Blue Notes Series is loosely based upon her own experiences as a professional musician.

Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs and when she’s not writing, she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 36’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.

Interested in hearing Shira sing? Here’s a link to a live performance of Shira singing an aria from Puccini’s “Tosca”: http://www.shiraanthony.com/wp-conten…

You can subscribe to Shira’s monthly newsletter for updates, free fiction, and subscriber-only contests here: http://www.shiraanthony.com/newsletter/

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Where you can find Shira

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shira.anthony
Goodreads: 
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4641776.Shira_Anthony
Twitter: @WriterShira
Website: 
http://www.shiraanthony.com
E-mail: 
shiraanthony@hotmail.com

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Giveaway:

First Comes Marriage is all above love and romance, and Shira’s grand prize is a dozen red roses for your sweetheart (or whoever you think deserves it!). First prize is a $10 Dreamspinner Gift Certificate.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog Tour Information

Book Tour (1)

Coming Up in 2016

As we all come down from our holiday highs, I thought it might be fun to give a little sneak peek at what’s on tap for 2016:

Books:

CX0PPFfUkAEz8LzMy Gilded Age historical, Ten Days in August hits shelves in March. It’s one of Publisher’s Weekly’s top ten romances for the spring, and I gratuitously stole this photo from someone on Twitter because the article is behind the paywall now. (PS: There’s a Goodreads giveaway where you can enter to win a copy of the paperback. You have until the end of the month to enter!)

Then in July, my Dreamspun Desires book, called The Greek Tycoon’s Green Card Groom, will be available for you all to get your grabby hands on.

Also sometime in the summer, Dreamspinner is putting out a shiny new edition of The Boy Next Door.

I’ve got one other secret thing up my sleeve, too, but you will have to wait for news on that. 😛

Events:

Convention season gets going a little early for me this year.

I’ll be on a panel on diversity in romance for the Queens Library on October 19.

I’ll be a featured author at Coastal Magic in Daytona, FL, in February.

I’m teaching a workshop and doing some fun reader things at the Liberty State Fiction Writers Create Something Magical Conference in New Jersey in March.

And I’ll be at the RT Booklovers Convention in Las Vegas April. (More about my RT schedule when the date gets closer, but I’ll be easy to find there, let’s say.)

RWA in San Diego is currently in the Maybe column.

So that’s a quick glance at what’s on tap, at least for the next six months. Plus lots of writing, hopefully.