Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Forever Contemporary Romance Tour And Giveaway


The Forever Contemporary Romance Blog Tour of authors Hope Ramsay and Bella Riley makes a stop here today to tell about their latest releases and a giveaway.

Hope is the author of HOME AT LAST CHANCE (ISBN: 9780446576109), the second installment in her Chance series. Bella is the author of HOME SWEET HOME (ISBN: 9780446584210), an Emerald Lake novel.

Thanks to both ladies and the good folks at Grand Central Publishing, I have 3 sets of books (each set includes a copy of HOME AT LAST CHANCE and a copy of HOME SWEET HOME) to give away. Please see the end of the post for the giveaway details.

Here’s a brief synopsis of HOME AT LAST CHANCEDear Reader, You won't believe what's happened. My son Tulane has come back home! You remember Tulane? He'd set out to find fame and fortune in the big, wide world outside of Last Chance, and I'm mighty proud. But that's not the half of it-Tulane isn't only back, he's brought a young lady with him. 

Now Sarah-she does PR for Tulane's stock-car team-she's from Boston, but she's just about the sweetest girl you could meet. I think she's meant to keep Tulane out of trouble after that story in the papers, but he doesn't want to talk about it. Anyhow, the Ladies Auxiliary can't wait to start matchmaking and introduce Sarah to our Reverend Ellis. But mark my words, Sarah is tired of being a good girl. And no one is better at breaking the rules and raising Cain than my son . . . 

Listen to me going on and keeping customers waiting. I best get back to work, but you come round again. The Cut 'n' Curl's got hot rollers, free coffee, and the best gossip in town.
See you real soon, Ruby Rhodes 

HOMEATLASTCHANCENow for some fun facts about Hope and her writing. 

* Hope didn't start out a NASCAR fan. In fact, when she first met her Georgia-born husband, she gave him no end of grief for sitting in front tube every Sunday watching cars go around in circles. Not to mention the fights they had over control of the remote when Hope wanted to watch the Redskins play on Sunday afternoons. But then Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs retired from football and formed a NASCAR team. When he hired the hunky Bobby LaBonte as a driver, all bets were off. Hope is a LaBonte fan for life, and it's only natural that Tulane look a little bit like him. 

* The first time Hope heard the song "Good to Bad to Worse to Gone," by the country band Riccochet, she knew she wanted to write a story about a preacher's daughter who excels at every naughty thing her bad boy lover has to teach her. 

* Hope's mother-in-law was really good at expressing her disdain just by raising one eyebrow. Hope's husband always referred to this expression as Mother's look. One time Hope tried to give one of her kids this look and the kid looked right back, shook his head, and informed her that her LOOK was inferior. "Mom," he said, "You look like you've got gas pains." This sassy comeback found its way into the opening scene of HOME AT LAST CHANCE

* When Hope was writing the scenes right after Pete's death, she wanted to find some humorous way to show Tulane's grief. She was stumped until fabulous critique partner told her a funny story about being a little kid at a funeral, banished to the kids table, where everyone was kind of bored. The kids started drinking soda pop, and petty soon they were trying to outdo each other in burping their way through the alphabet. This story was too good not to put somewhere in a book. 

* Hope is a big fan of the singer-songwriter David Wilcox. Wilcox's song, "Language of the Heart," is the one she plays every time she needs to write a love scene. The song is all about how what people say in words is different than what their bodies say when they are making love. Nothing could be more true of Sarah and Tulane in HOME AT LAST CHANCE. 

To read an excerpt from HOME AT LAST CHANCE, click on this link.
For a bit of background on Hope. She was born in New York and grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina. Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you'll find in Last Chance, South Carolina. Hope earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Buffalo and has had various jobs working as a Congressional aide, a lobbyist, a public relations consultant, and a meeting planner. She's a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart and is married to a good ol' Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes. She has two grown children and a couple of demanding lap cats. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar. 

Here’s a brief synopsis of HOME SWEET HOME: What if you can go home again? Ten years and two hundred miles. That's what separates Andi Powell from quiet, secluded Emerald Lake-and that's exactly how she likes it. But now her job brings her back to the hometown she's tried so hard to forget . . . and to Nate Duncan, the man she's never been able to. 

Ten years and two hundred miles. That's what separates Andi Powell from quiet, secluded Emerald Lake-and that's exactly how she likes it. But now her job brings her back to the hometown she's tried so hard to forget . . . and to Nate Duncan, the man she's never been able to.
Nate once looked at Andi with love in his eyes. But that was before she left him in the dust to pursue her big-city dreams. Now he's the town's ruggedly handsome mayor with the power to break Andi's career like she broke his heart. As the two clash over the future of Emerald Lake, the sparks that fly between them rekindle a passion neither of them can deny.

Andi may have left town looking for the life she thought she wanted. But could everything she needs have been in Emerald Lake all along? 

Here are some fun facts about Bella and her writing. 

* As soon as Bella started knitting, she knew she wanted to write aHOMESWEETHOME book with a yarn store in it. Lake Yarns from HOME SWEET HOME is that dream store come to life at Emerald Lake. The first thing Bella knitted was a fingerless mitten. Yes, just one mitten. One day soon, she plans to knit another. If only there weren't so many other lovely things to finish knitting first like shawls and sweaters and blankets…. 

* The old carousel in HOME SWEET HOME is inspired by a real carousel that used to reside in Bella's lake town. She found out about the history of this carousel while visiting the Shelburne Museum in Vermont with her family, which now displays parts of the carousel in its "circus" barn. 

* Before writing romance novels, Bella was a professional musician. Now, instead of writing and playing music, she listens to it all day as she writes. While writing HOME SWEET HOME, she was inspired by such songs as "The Gallery" by Joni Mitchell, the Sound of Music soundtrack, and Taylor Swift's latest album (particularly "Back to December" and "Last Kiss"). 

* At one point, Andi and Nate (the heroine and hero) are looking up at the clouds in the sky and Nate starts pointing out shapes that look like people and things, rather than just clouds. This was entirely inspired by Bella's husband, who sat with her on the end of the dock one day and showed her the magic of the sky. The very next day she wrote that scene. 

* HOME SWEET HOME centers on the community at Emerald Lake, a small fictional town in the heart of the Adirondacks. Bella is lucky enough to spend summers at her family's 100-year-old cabin on a lake in upstate New York. In fact, her lake has quite a literary tradition, as the late author John D. MacDonald also used to spend summers at his cabin just down the road 

For a bit of background on Bella. She has always been a writer. Songs came first, and then non-fiction books, but as soon as she started her first romance novel, she knew she'd found her perfect career. Since selling her first book in 2003 (under the name Bella Andre), Bella has written more than 20 "empowered stories enveloped in heady romance" (Publishers Weekly). Her books have been translated into German, Thai, Japanese, and Ukrainian, and two of her bestselling books have been Cosmopolitan Red Hot Reads. When she's not behind her computer, you can find her reading, hiking, knitting, or lunching with her favorite romance-writing friends. Bella and her fabulous husband and children divide their time between Northern California and a ninety-year-old lakefront log cabin in New York's Adirondack Mountains. To learn more about the Emerald Lake series, visit

Now for the giveaway details. To enter this giveaway, send me an e-mail ( Your subject line should read, “Win Romance Tour Set.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. Grand Central Publishing advises winners that they will be subject to the one copy per household rule, which means that if they win the same title in two or more contests, they will receive only one copy (set in this case) of the title in the mail. (Winners here have always be great about letting me know if they have already won the book somewhere else so another winner can be selected. However, this announcement is something that has to be passed along.) And, just so you know, I don’t share the mailing information or use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance at 1 of the 3 sets from the CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE TOUR is 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope I’ve snagged your interest in one or both of these intriguing romance reads.


  1. Went to read excerpt of Home At Last Chance. Thanks for sharing these books! I've been turned on to something new.

  2. Mason - Thanks for sharing these books. I especially found those facts-behind-the-stories really interesting. You've got a love it when an author's inspired by music :-).

  3. Mason - Thanks for another couple good leads.

  4. Those books seem very interesting and the covers are appealing.
    Thanks MASON


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