Valentine’s Day Blog Tour – Guest Post from Kristan Higgins

Today I’d like to welcome Kristan Higgins, the author of the recent Now That You Mention It as well as the absolutely marvelous Blue Heron series. (Anything for You was my personal favorite).As this is a Blog Tour for Valentine’s Day recommendations, Kristan is here to tell us her favorite Valentine’s tradition. And don’t we all remember the dread of having to give Valentine’s to every kid in the class?

Pizza, Books & Valentine’s Day
by Kristan Higgins

Here’s a little secret I’m somewhat loath to admit—I hate Valentine’s Day. When I was a kid, we’d have to give every single one of our classmates a card, and I’ll confess: Joey L. did not deserve a Valentine from me, no sir. Nor did Kate M., who was always mean.

Even then. the holiday smacked of forced good cheer. When I was in college, the poor lad I dated would give me a gas station rose, or worse, write me a poem and then read it to me, and I’d sit, twitching, waiting for the recitation to end.

As a young married couple, McIrish and I once made a Valentine’s Day reservation at a lovely Italian restaurant. That night, the servers were harried and forgetful, and the restaurant was mobbed with couples feeling the pressure to be romantic. No one was proposed to, though I’m pretty sure one young woman was waiting, because she got more and more tense as the night went on (eavesdropping is one of my great gifts). The food, which was usually so good, was mediocre, and McIrish and I decided not to go out anymore. These days, I usually draw McIrish, my sainted husband, a cartoon of the two of us. Some grown-up snuggling may ensue. Sometimes I make him pudding or crème brulée in the heart-shaped ramekins we got as a wedding gift.

Truthfully, the best Valentine’s Day I can remember was when I was living alone, working in a strange city, no friends. A bouquet of flowers arrived at my workplace, signed “From Your Secret Admirer.” I immediately called my dad to thank him, and, bless his heart, he played dumb.

When I got out of work, I went home to my little apartment, got a pizza from the restaurant below, and read a book. A romance novel, of course. No pressure, no expectations… just me with two of the great loves of my life: pizza and a good book.

About Now That You Mention It

One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.

Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There’s only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn’t necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.

With a tough islander mother who’s always been distant and a wild-child sister in jail, unable to raise her daughter–a withdrawn teen as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was–Nora has her work cut out for her if she’s going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family.

But as some relationships crumble around her, others unexpectedly strengthen. Balancing loss and opportunity, a dark event from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise…and the chance to begin again.

This post is part of a TLC book tour. Click on the logo for more reviews and features.

Valentine’s Day Blog Tour: Guest Post by Edie Harris + Giveaway

Harlequin 2016 Valentine's blog tour image_800-x-400

As part of the Valentine’s Day Blog Tour, I’m hosting Edie Harris, talking about the latest book in her Blood Money series, the very appropriately titled Crazed. Because the characters, the plot and the adrenaline-drenched story are all crazed, as a man discovers that the wife he thought was dead is alive, well, a DEA informant and about to marry a drug-kingpin in Medellin. The story is a thrill-ride a minute, and adds even more danger to the series.

How do I know? I reviewed Crazed for Library Journal, and I was thrilled form beginning to end. You will be too, especially if you start he series at the beginning with Blamed.

A Wilder Love Story

A guest post from Edie Harris, author of Crazed: A Blood Money Novel

Every time the brutally cold Chicago wind blasts me in the face as I walk to my corporate office, I have the following thought: If Laura Ingalls Wilder could survive The Long Winter with no electricity and no grocery stores, so can I. Every single time.

You’d be surprised at how much of my Midwestern life has been shaped by Laura Ingalls Wilder from the Little House on the Prairie books. I started reading the fictionalized-yet-autobiographical Little House books with my mother when I was in kindergarten. We read most of the titles together, until I was old enough to manage the narratives solo. When I reached These Happy Golden Years–the story of Laura’s courtship to Almanzo Wilder–I had no idea I was reading a romance; all I knew was that the description of Almanzo’s attentive yet subtle wooing of Laura made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

I was ten years old. The next year, I would read my first two romance novels, both set in the American frontier: My Darling Melissa by Linda Lael Miller and Legend by Jude Deveraux. In fact, my first full-length romance novel was a western, Wild Burn (2013), and to-date, as an author, it remains “the book of my heart”…and it’s a romance that, indirectly, owes much to the Wilder love story.

Almanzo Wilder, who’d saved their small town during The Long Winter by traveling miles to buy wheat for starving settlers during a blizzard, was already a local hero in 15-year-old Laura’s eyes. At age 25, he began driving her from her teaching job home to her parents every weekend. Teaching ends, sleigh rides begin, followed by outings in his horse-drawn buggy…followed by calling cards, handmade valentines, and social outings. After three years of charged glances and exciting hand-holding, he offers her an engagement ring and finally, finally, they kiss.

Be still my fluttering pre-adolescent heart! As young as I was, I imprinted on that type of hero. The steady, capable man, whose quiet but unwavering love and support of his woman strengthens her in all her endeavors. The man you can’t shake or tempt away, but whom you can always, always depend upon.

My current series with Harlequin’s Carina Press is a thrilling, action-adventure romantic suspense, and, on the surface, nothing like Wild Burn–or These Happy Golden Years, for that matter. But deep down, each hero I write mirrors stalwart Almanzo in the most basic of ways, and for that, I must thank Laura Ingalls Wilder, buggy rides, and kisses on the prairie.

About the book: 

crazed by edie harrisCrazed: A Blood Money Novel: Casey Faraday was a soldier before he was a spy, but family always came first, no matter what.

When a member of the Faraday clan is snatched off the streets and dragged halfway across the world, it’s Casey who follows the kidnappers’ trail to South America. Thrust into the heart of the cartel he barely escaped during an undercover assignment four years earlier, he’s unprepared for the shock awaiting him on Colombian soil.

Ilda Almeida—the only woman to ever tempt Casey into madness, the beautiful wife he’d mourned for years—is very much alive. And keeping a secret that will forever change life as he knows it.

Casey can’t control his hands—or his heart—around Ilda, but neither can he abandon his rescue mission. When cartel violence turns the jungle into a bloodbath, he can only protect one family: his.

edie harrisAbout the author: EDIE HARRIS is the author of cinematic, compelling, James Bond-esque romantic suspense. She studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Iowa. During the day, she does corporate things and subsists on caffeine and pastries. Her nights, however, belong to the world of romance fiction. Edie lives and works in Chicago.


Harlequin is graciously giving away a prize pack of ALL the books featured in this tour, plus a limited edition Harlequin notebook and a $50 Apple Gift Card to one lucky contestant.
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This post is part of a TLC book tour. Click on the logo for more reviews and features.