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.

Devin December: Epilogue

Devin DecemberThe original draft of Devin December had an epilogue from Devin’s POV, but my editor thought, and I agreed, that it was too jarring and different from the rest of the book and that it didn’t really fit. However, I am going to make it available to you all for your reading pleasure. You can also download a PDF to make your reading easier. Needless to say, spoilers abound.

Continue reading

Devin December is now available!!

Devin DecemberHappiest of holiday seasons to you and yours. Why not celebrate with some sweet and sassy romance? My holiday novella Devin December is ready for purchase from your favorite ebook store! Makes a great distraction from your family when they start driving you nuts!

Description:
A freak blizzard strands flight attendant Andy Weston at LaGuardia Airport on Thanksgiving. Tabloid reports about Hollywood It couple Devin Delaney and Cristina Marino breaking up in spectacular fashion keep Andy sane. And then Devin Delaney himself turns up at the gate Andy is working. Against all odds—and because there’s nothing else to do—Andy and Devin begin to talk, immediately connect, and, after Devin confesses the real reason he broke up with Cristina, have a magical night together snowed in at the airport. But the magic ends when Devin boards his flight home the next morning, and Andy assumes it’s over.

Then Devin turns up on his doorstep. Andy is game for a clandestine affair at first—who could turn down one of the hottest men on the planet? But he soon grows tired of being shoved in Devin’s closet. As Christmas approaches, it’s clear that this will never work unless Devin is willing to make some big changes. Devin has a holiday surprise in store—but will it be enough?

Some places you can buy it:
Dreamspinner
Amazon
B&N
All Romance

Holiday bonus: Well, kind of. I threw up an excerpt of my current work in progress up on Tumblr, so if you want a sneaky-sneak peek at a future book, check it out.

New York at Christmas—Sales, etc.

I’ve been procrastinating over the last couple of days by building this mega Christmas playlist, so I’ve been browsing Spotify for songs, and I’ve noticed there are a lot of songs about New York at Christmas. With good reason; New York has some magic to it at Christmas time. Truth be told, though, I’ve gotten a little cynical the last few years.

For example, this weekend, I went with my sister-in-law to the Union Square holiday market. It was mobbed. I always get nervous there because I got my pocket picked there once a few years ago. But we had a good time and found a lot of good gifts for our family members. Saturday was also SantaCon, an increasingly insane New York tradition wherein 20-somethings dress like Santa and barhop around the city—it’s like St. Patrick’s Day with Santa suits instead of green, and it goes on all day. It’s one of those things I used to find funny, but when we went to lunch, we saw a girl in a Santa suit already totally wasted… at 2 in the afternoon.

But big crowds and drunk Santas notwithstanding, there’s still some magic in the lights and the decorations and some busker playing “Silver Bells” in the subway, and that’s something I try to capture when I write holiday stories set in New York.

So, all that said, two announcements:

ChristmasinNewYork_DSPsite1. Dreamspinner Press is celebrating Christmas in New York by putting a bunch of romance novels set in New York on sales for $1 each through the 18th. So you can get your mitts on When the Planets Align, my angsty friends-to-lovers tale, for cheap!

You can also pre-order my upcoming holidays-in-NYC story Devin December from just about anywhere: Dreamspinner, Amazon, All Romance eBooks, etc. A flight attendant and a movie star get snowed in at LaGuardia in the first part, and get to know each other in NYC during December before they have to decide whether to step out of the bubble of the holidays together or let their holiday affair fizzle.

I wish you and yours a stupendous holiday season, no matter what you celebrate!

Devin December Preorder—’Tis the Season for Holiday Stories!

‘Tis the season for holiday stories! I cracked open my first holiday read of the season over the weekend. So I thought now might be a good time to let you all know what I’ve got on tap, and holiday stories from years past you can read right now!

Devin DecemberDevin December is up for preorder from Dreamspinner! (And at All Romance eBooks and hopefully everywhere else soon!) The book will be available 12/23! Here’s the blurb:

A freak blizzard strands flight attendant Andy Weston at LaGuardia Airport on Thanksgiving. Tabloid reports about Hollywood It couple Devin Delaney and Cristina Marino breaking up in spectacular fashion keep Andy sane. And then Devin Delaney himself turns up at the gate Andy is working. Against all odds—and because there’s nothing else to do—Andy and Devin begin to talk, immediately connect, and, after Devin confesses the real reason he broke up with Cristina, have a magical night together snowed in at the airport. But the magic ends when Devin boards his flight home the next morning, and Andy assumes it’s over.

Then Devin turns up on his doorstep. Andy is game for a clandestine affair at first—who could turn down one of the hottest men on the planet? But he soon grows tired of being shoved in Devin’s closet. As Christmas approaches, it’s clear that this will never work unless Devin is willing to make some big changes. Devin has a holiday surprise in store—but will it be enough?

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For holiday reads from years past, here is a list of things to help you celebrate a, ahem, McMurray Christmas:

My freebie “In December” about an encounter on the Empire State Building at Christmas is here.

Not strictly Christmas, but I’ve done the snowed-in trope before (it’s one of my favorites!) in Kindling Fire with Snow (available from Dreamspinner and most ebook retailers).

I have a “He was in front of me all along” short called “A Walk in the Dark” (which sounds ominous but is not) in the Dreamspinner 2011 Advent Calendar.

I wrote a little flash fic about love and karaoke called “Let Your Heart Be Light” for a blog tour last year.

That should give you enough holiday content to feat on for a little bit, hopefully! Now to decide if it’s too early in the year to put on Christmas music while I work or I’ll be sick of it by December 15. Hmm. Well, either way, have a great holiday season and HAPPY READING!

Across the East River Bridge, 2nd ed., now available!

Across the East River BridgeWant something to read while avoiding your family this Thanksgiving? How about a hot award-winning paranormal romance with some ghosts? I’m pleased to announce that Across the East River Bridge is out once again in a shiny new edition that has been lightly revised.

When historian Christopher Finnegan walks into a new museum in Brooklyn, he’s chagrined to learn its curator is his old academic rival, Troy Rafferty. Worse, Troy is convinced the museum is haunted and wants Finn’s help learning more about the ghosts. Finn and Troy have never gotten along and Finn wants to run screaming, but then Troy offers him an intriguing proposal: Troy will help Finn with a research project for his overbearing boss if Finn will help Troy solve a mystery involving two men who died in the building under mysterious circumstances in 1878.

Finn and Troy piece together the two men’s lives—and the quiet romance that grew between them—through diaries, newspaper clippings, and police reports. They’re both soon convinced the men were murdered. They’re also convinced the ghosts are real—even Finn witnesses paranormal phenomena he can’t deny—and that they’re capable of affecting thoughts, feelings, and actions. When Finn and Troy start falling for each other despite years of animosity, Finn worries he’s being manipulated by the ghosts to stay with Troy and solve the case. Troy is convinced the love between them is real, but he’ll need to figure out how to get rid of the ghosts in order to prove it.

Buy it from:
Amazon
Kobo
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
Apple iBooks

If you’re a reviewer and would like to request a copy of the book, please fill out this form.

I’m working on paperbacks, too, but those are lagging behind a little. They should be available from most online retailers by mid-December, if you’re looking for a hot stocking stuffer. 😉