Free! on Amazon Kindle, Dec. 25-29. Then just $0.99 or free to Kindle Unlimited readers.
The SF Romance serial Apparatta: The Claiming has been on hiatus this past year, but will return with new episodes in 2016.
Giftcard burning a hole in your pocket? It's time to get yourself something nice. And right now, all Red Moon Romance ebooks are under $5 at major retailers. Or if you buy ebooks through us at World Weaver Press, you can use the code WINTERSALE at checkout to get 50% off your entire ebook purchase.
Excerpt from "Fortune's Song" the second story of Luminous Dreams:
“Of all of them, you are the only one who has ever come to me willingly,” he said, his midnight eyes boring into hers. She could see the darkness draining from the irises, leaving just silver, strange and unnatural. She had known that he was other, but only now did she fully grasp what that meant.
She opened her mouth to speak, but her voice wouldn’t obey her.
“You came willingly,” he said again, reaching for her with his right hand. His palm came to rest on her neck, pulled her closer, not in a needy way, just steady, steady, ever so gently, until her wordless lips met his.
Her lips were parted still, and his tongue caressed hers, exploring and tasting, gently at first, but very soon hard and insistent.
“Willingly,” he said between kisses. His hands, until then just holding her, began to explore, sliding down her spine and lower still, cupping her behind.
She realized her hands were holding him also, if less tightly. And she wondered why she wasn’t holding him life vest tight. After all, was he not the most gorgeous man she had ever met? So what if he was old as song and cursed by the King of Shadows?
She decided to take what she wanted, pulling his shirt off like an explorer pushing back the borders of false maps to discover a new continent . . .
Read more of "Fortune's Song" in the collection Luminous Dreams by Alexa Piper.
Alpena, MI (November 30, 2015) – Red Moon Romance (Eileen Wiedbrauk, Editor-in-Chief) has announced The Naughty List, a holiday romance anthology, is available in trade paperback and ebook today. (And you might have even seen a sneak peek of it on Black Friday!)
PRAISE FOR THE NAUGHTY LIST
Six holiday romances, from sexy to sweet, prove love is better on the Naughty List.
A Christmas Maggie by Tiffany Reisz
All Daniel wanted for Christmas was to spoil his new girlfriend, Anya, make love under the tree, and ignore all his old heartaches. But the ghosts of Christmas past aren’t so easily forgotten, especially when Maggie, his late wife, shows up to remind him why the past should stay in the past, and why his Christmases-future could be the best of his life . . . if he can finally let himself live and love in this Christmas present. (A Christmas Maggie is the final story in the Daniel trio from the Original Sinners series, beginning with The Gift and followed by Daniel Part Two.)
Christmassy by Alexa Piper
When taotien Valerian and witchling Cora get together, sparks fly. But on the way to visit Cora’s family for Christmas, they encounter a supernatural predator that will not only test their individual powers and abilities, but also their connection to one another.
My Midnight Cowboy by Pumpkin Spice
If chocolate is the way to a man’s heart, then pastry chef Lucy Baker has the recipe for success. But will her culinary skills melt the most hard-hearted bachelor in Wyoming? A chance encounter on a New Year’s Eve flight leaves two strangers to discover unbounded pleasure and a hunger for sexual discovery.
In the Doghouse by Elizabeth Black
Nicky and Angela had just begun to add a little kink to their lives when, caught up in the influence of his dudebros, he forgot their anniversary and broke Angela’s heart. Angela wants Nicky’s strong arms around her again, but first she wants him to fight for her. Can one night, a paddle, and some restraints bridge the gap between them?
Winter’s Daughter by Doug Blakeslee
A child of the Fae—bound to winter and a promise given to her chosen mate. She must claim him before time runs out and all she loves in the world falls to ruin. A child of mortals—forgotten and discarded by the world, then torn from the most amazing woman he’s ever met. Trapped in the sort of fae-tale that rarely ends in happily ever after, are they strong enough to defy the odds and find love?
Stealing Time by Wendy Sparrow
As Father Time’s son, Zeit must sacrifice a mortal’s lifetime to the Fates each New Year’s Eve. Last year—inexplicably, really—he made an 11:59 substitution. The Fates are pissed and they’re after his mortal, Hannah. With the year ending, he ought to figure out why he saved her—and why he keeps doing it. Following an unlucky year, Hannah needs a week’s holiday in a lodge to unwind. What she gets are near-death experiences and a sexy immortal who can’t avoid kissing her, but might have to kill her. After all, even Zeit can’t hold back time indefinitely.
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Compiled by Cori Vidae.
A few months ago we shared a link on Red Moon Romance’s social media that purported to list the most romantic movies of all time. Everyone who read it had additions to make to the list those bloggers put together -- "How could they have forgotten . . . ? But . . . is my favorite! Where is The Princess Bride? Wow, there's a lot of Nicholas Sparks films on this list . . ." and various other Twitter sidebars that weren't directly in the conversation chain. So we're trying our hand at it. I sent an email out to all the RMR editors asking for their top five favorite romantic or sexy movies. Apparently, asking romance editors for just five romance-anything is a sure fire way to guarantee you get a whole lot more than five!
This blog contains our lists, which I think are enlightening as much for their length and explanations as for the movies on them.
Spoiler warning: Contains mild spoilers.
Asking me about my favorite romantic movies is dangerous--I could talk your ear off. And this is as short a list as I could make it. Honestly.
Top Picks (those movies I've seen too many times to count):
The Princess Bride: As you wish--need I say anymore?
While You Were Sleeping: I honestly have no idea how many times I've watched While You Were Sleeping. Sandra Bullock ends up accidentally engaged to a man in a comma, then she falls in love with his family... and his brother. I simply adore the large wonky family. The dialog at their family dinner cracks me up every time.
When Harry Met Sally: One of the more perfect romantic comedies out there, this one has perfected the long-form on-screen romance. I believe these characters in a way I can't always do in other films. The screenplay makes me say, without hesitation, that Nora Ephron was a genius. And let's not forget that four-way split-screen phone call!
French Kiss: Probably my favorite Meg Ryan movie (and I like me some Meg Ryan rom-coms!), in French Kiss, she starts with the perfect, safe life: she's a mousy teacher, engaged to a safe guy with a safe job, about to buy a house and start a family using the money she's diligently squirreled away by... well, playing it safe. Then everything goes wrong starting with her fiance going to a conference in Paris only to have him fall in love with some French goddess. And so the heroine hurtles across the big blue ocean, intent on getting him back... until she loses her money, suitcase, and dignity, and is left with nothing but the dubious aid of a French thief played by Kevin Kline. The narrative then travels from Paris through wine country to the Cote d'Azure to a conclusion that is equal parts funny and touching.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding: Much like While You Were Sleeping, the cornerstone of My Big Fat Greek Wedding is the outrageous-but-lovable family. There's also the transformative "make-over" which is always fun to watch in film, but became something I loved on multiple levels because the heroine isn't made-over by some fairy godmother type character, she undertakes her own transformation, becomes her own hero, without the help of, and sometimes in spite of, those around her. And her groom is charming!
Love Actually: All the interwoven tales in Love Actually were what first struck me. Many large-cast romantic comedies have attempted to copy the formula, but none of them really succeed the way Love Actually does. What keeps me coming back to this one is partly the spunky, brutally truthful humor of it--the little boy and Emma Thompson's blunt assessments delivered to Liam Neeson are spot on--and that each storyline is a love story. Each ends with love even if it doesn't end with the expected "happy ending" we've come to expect; some end with the love of family, the love of friends, parental love. The Ancient Greeks had six different words for love, and Love Actually does a good job turning all of them into a single romantic movie.
Pride and Prejudice: For my money, the 1995 BBC version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle is THE DEFINITIVE Pride and Prejudice film, no other version need ever be made or watched! It's beyond perfect. And even though this six-part mini-series comes in at roughly five hours long, I've seen it more times than I can count.
10 Things I Hate About You: I wanted to be Kat. Actually, I did my best to become Kat, adopting as much of her take-no-prisoners, suffer-no-fools, be-your-own-person, have-no-fear, confident attitude as I possibly could. The fact that she ended up with the adorable teen-age Heath Ledger was a bonus! When this came out, I was actually in a production of Taming of the Shrew, and lo and behold, not only is this an adaptation of the Shakespeare play, but there are lines of dialog lifted directly out of Taming and plopped right into a late-90s high school setting... and it works! So much love.
Dirty Dancing (teenage-me was over the moon for Dirty Dancing and dancing bad boy Patrick Swayze, and I could not figure out for the life of me, why my summer vacations never ended up this awesome), Sleepless in Seattle, Laws of Attraction, The Ugly Truth, Someone Like You..., Where the Heart Is (I don't say this often, but the movie is as good as the book), Must Love Dogs (the book is better), The Proposal, You've Got Mail, Mrs. Winterborne, The Holiday, Two Weeks Notice, The Wedding Singer, Fifty First Dates, (I'm not a big fan of Drew Barrymore or Adam Sandler except when they're together, that's when I can't get enough of either of them), The Butcher's Wife, Her Little Thing, The Decoy Bride (this is one of those tiny little films you might not have heard of but is delightful nonetheless--or perhaps because of it--and bonus: David Tennant in a rom-com), Penelope, Hitch, Sense and Sensibility (Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman), Titanic, Casablanca, Walk the Line, Gone with the Wind.
1. The Princess Bride
2. The Wedding Singer
3. When Harry Met Sally
4. You've Got Mail
5. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
6. Sense and Sensibility
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
9. Last of the Mohicans
10. Pretty Woman
My list is actually fairly similar to both Eileen's and Laura's... but in no particular order.
The Princess Bride
I refused to watch this for the longest time because I thought the title was dumb. Ha! I actually watched it when I was 17 because a guy told me it was one of his favorites and I wanted to impress him. He's long since part of my past, but the movie still remains a classic that we watch regularly. I remember being in college and it came on and the common room of the dorm filled up like I've never seen it - girls, guys, everyone wanted to watch that movie. I was amazed so many guys liked the movie. I even met Cary Elwes last September, AWESOME guy. I got a picture with him, multiple hugs, and he autographed a copy of The Princess Bride (book) for me.
How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days
I think it's because Kate Hudson's character is a journalist, but I was instantly drawn to this movie. I know she absolutely goes off the deep end, and I know it's beyond ridiculous, but I can't help but watch it every time it's on. It might have something to do with Matthew McConaughey's abs.
This is probably far-and-away, my favorite romantic comedy. I saw it for the first time back when I was like, 11, because my aunt watched it A LOT while her husband was out on sea deployment. It didn't make all that much sense to me then, but I always found the story good, even if the nuances made very little sense at the time. As I got older, it got better and better.
My mom told me she hated this movie, and actually walked out of it. Despite her scathing review, it had Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman, and I would not be deterred. I loved it. Instant classic, and whereas I would say I "force" my husband to watch it every Christmas... he knows it's not Christmas until I've seen the movie, and he often will kick off Christmas movie season with this movie just to make me happy. There are so many great lines in it, and, I have to say that every time I watch it, I beg Laura Linney not to answer the phone. I know she's going to, but I beg her not to anyway.
10 Things I Hate About You
Heath Ledger. Need I say more? God, he was wonderful, and I found myself so jealous of Kat.
A Knight's Tale
Another Heath Ledger movie. The movie itself bastardizes history, but it's just amazing, and the cast is phenomenal. Paul Bettany's Chaucer is awesome. I love the final way William wins over the prince, Jocelyn, and everyone else. (Side note, I'm often asked if this movie is where I got my daughter's name. It's not. My daughter was named after someone I know, however, I don't find it a bad thing that this movie features Heath Ledger saying her name a lot. In fact, she often asks to watch the movie "with me in it.")
Runner's Up... I would be remiss to not mention these... Two Week's Notice, Bridget Jones' Diary (the book is way better), The Wedding Singer, Clueless.
Shakespeare in Love
I love this movie for so many reasons, not least of all because it makes me ugly cry. Even though it doesn’t have a HEA ending, the love story is amazing and it evokes real emotion in me.
Again, not a typical HEA ending but I feel like the conflict, the emotion and the depth of affection portrayed in this movie is incredible.
The less-than-glamourous girl who doesn’t fit in not only gets to be beautiful she gets the guy. No one puts Baby in the corner. Nuff said.
While I really like this movie it’s probably not actually on my Top Five list but I felt like this blog post would be incomplete without including something kinky.
I resisted watching this for the freaking longest time. “Another romantic Christmas movie. No thank you.” but then when I finally sat down and watched it, I fell in love. I think Eileen described it best so I’m not going to try ;)
So there you have it. These are our Top Romantic Movies. What do you think? How does your list compare? What movies deserve a spot that we missed? Let us know in the comments.
Guest post by Alexa Piper.
I am somewhat exited; tomorrow is Luminous Dreams Release Day. I admit, being somewhat excited doesn’t sound like much, but that’s just because I don’t think I have fully realized that I will have a book out tomorrow. If I did, I would be scared and self-conscious, I’d have mood swings and I’d be snapping at people just because I was so phenomenally, incomparably, unbelievably excited…
All things considered, I think it is proper for a first time author to be somewhat excited.
I am trying to remember now how Luminous Dreams came to happen. Of course, Cori Vidae is in part to blame, but then so are the other people at RMR who are so great to work with. I want to check for any mean spirited Demons, Imps, and Incubi (don’t you just LOVE the Oxford comma?) under my bed now who’d be… displeased if I were to say anything negative at all about this publishing house of hot hot romance, but what would it matter? The demon who owns my writer’s soul and can make me feel it anytime he pleases does not hide under beds. (Yes, Valerian, I am talking about you!)
But back to talking about how Luminous Dreams happened.
The truth is, I don’t remember exactly, because the collection has many different starting points. Some stories and characters are old and have been with me for a long time, hiding in different shapes or rather, disguising their true shapes to make me work harder to get to the bottom of who they really are. This makes Luminous Dreams special for me, because a lot of the people in there feel like old acquaintances. It’s like I’ve known them for a long time. A character from “Candy and the Witch” for example has been a side character in another story before, and she was different then. Now, she is finally who she always wanted to be, or so it feels like to me. I am of course thrilled to find out what readers think about her and everyone else roaming through the pages of Luminous Dreams.
It was so strange to see patterns evolve in those eight tales. They are not really connected in the sense that they are all set in the same world, but there is a visceral connection here, and you can feel that. At least I think you can, and I hope that the readers will like it.
But speaking of dreams, this is Release Eve. I am a little sleepy now. I’m ready to hit the pillows now and get the Christmas morning vibe tomorrow, the feeling that something new is in your life that hasn’t been there before, a really cool present, wrapped up all shiny-like and lying half hidden under dew dipped leaves.
Addendum by the author: So, Reader, if you would like to try peeking into this little book that I have all wrapped up in dream-silk for you, nothing would delight me more, I really have to say. If you’d let me know what you thought about the characters or stories therein, I would be even more delighted, so please, feel free to share your thoughts below!
Alexa Piper enjoys writing, romance, and the paranormal. This said, becoming a paranormal romance writer seemed perfectly reasonable, but for Alexa, it is more than that; it's fun. Alexa's work has appeared in the Red Moon Romance anthology Demons, Imps, and Incubi and another story will appear in The Naughty List. Luminous Dreams is Alexa's first collection, and she hopes her readers will have as much fun reading it as she had writing it. Check out Alexa's online home (alexapiper.com) for all things related to her writing and be sure to follow her on Twitter @prowlingpiper.
By Anna Kyle
I’m a romance reader. Well, I’m a reader of everything but romances are my fav. Throw in a cowboy and I’m IN so fast I may or may not have knocked over a little old lady on my way to the check-out. What is it about the gritty West, the dust settling on a cowboy hat, the silhouette of a man alone against the backdrop of a spectacular orange sunrise that has kept this sub-genre alive and kicking for decades when others have fallen in and out of favor?
One. Cowboy heroes are smoking hawt. No gym physiques here. Their bodies are hardened by dawn-to-dusk sweaty work—riding, roping, fence mending, hefting saddles and bales of hay (and their women) with ease. They're scarred and broken, inside or out. There isn’t a woman alive who wouldn’t want the calloused hands of a good cowboy reaching for them. Throw in a crackling campfire and a star-filled night and hoo boy.
Two. Cowboy heroes are found in lots of genres. Science fiction (Han Solo anyone? Total hot cowboy . . . space cowboy if you must), historical, contemporary, paranormal. No matter where they are, cowboys are gritty and determined, resourceful and earthy. You won't find a CEO or a politician or a billionaire—that’s a different trope entirely. Cowboys get their hands dirty not from boardroom intrigue and deception but from sweat and blood and picking themselves up off the ground for another go; at the bad guy or at the woman they love who stubbornly refuses to admit . . . (whoops, don’t want to give anything away about my own Rough Edges submission).
Three. Cowboy heroes are inherently good. Even if the character is portrayed wearing the proverbial black hat, we readers know there is a heart-breaking reason for their misdeeds and the suffering it causes them and we can't wait for the heroine to unlock their white hat, or, at the very least, the gray one. Cowboy heroes make bad decisions for good reasons. That resonates with readers.
By Eileen Wiedbrauk.
I love speculative romance. Loving something is always personal, so I suspect the reasons you love it may be different than my own. And I want to hear those reasons in the comments! Until then, here's my love letter to the sub-genre:
Speculative fiction, whether sci-fi or fantasy or paranormal, is all about the what if? questions. Those wonder and awe inducing daydreams that have been a part of the stories we've heard and read since we were kids. What if we could fly? What if there are unicorns in another realm? What if there's a big red dog that wants to be my friend? What if there's something hiding in my closet, and does it want to eat me or play with me? What if I could command magic? What if aliens landed on Earth . . . and they looked like smoking hot men?
The questions may change in detail between when we're young and when we're adults, but the invoked awe and wonder doesn't.
Why does romance need to be in the mix of speculative what ifs? Why not? Everything's better with romance!
But more seriously, romance is also a genre of awe. Two disparate people come together against all odds and realize and express their love for each other. The romance novel, with its tight focus on character emotions and overcoming personal baggage within the course of a compact sweeping courtship, is in many ways more of a fantasy than fantasy fiction. It is the slaying of a different kind of dragon no less awe-inspiring. So the sliding together of tangible and metaphorical dragons feels not only natural to me, it feels like love.
The other day, the editors got talking about the first romance novels they picked up and read. Here are their stories of how their love affairs with romance fiction got started!
I must have been 13 or 14, and my parents skipped town for a long weekend, leaving me with my older sister and her new husband for three days. I had no idea what on Earth I was going to do during those days without my computer and stuff, after all, this was long before laptops, cell phones, and tablets, you know—in the olden times of the 19-somethings.
My sister led me into the guest bedroom/junk room to drop my stuff, and in the corner I noticed a stack of Harlequins as high as my waist. (This may not be that impressive, as I’m a short person, but let’s just roll with it.) To this day I’m not sure how she amassed a stack of books like that, she never struck me as a voracious reader, but I digress.
Catching my gaze on the stack of books, she said, “You can read these while you’re here, but I don’t think they’re your type of thing.”
Not my type of thing? I couldn't put them down the entire time I was there, despite the fact they were all pretty much the same. This particular series focused on cowboys, because, you know, that’s what Harlequin had a lot of in the 19-somethings. I managed to work my way through half of the stack before my parents returned.
I think I was also sworn to secrecy by my sister—I wasn’t supposed to tell my mom she let me read Harlequins all weekend. Sorry Mom, secret’s out.
My first romance novel was like my first beer—smuggled to a party to be enjoyed by a group of friends. It was Catherine Hart’s Night Flame, gifted to one of us by her superbly cool step-mother. We passed it around and giggled over the cover. Like any good romance, it fell open to the most relevant scenes. We took turns reading aloud in our best Romance Voices (sound effects optional). I did not excel at this; at fourteen, there were words I just couldn’t speak aloud. My friends insisted I take the book home, since I clearly needed it most. I read it overnight. Shout-out to my old literary friends, Night Hawk and Flame! You rocked my world.
Jean Ferris’s Into the Wind and subsequent two titles in the trilogy were part of a teen historical romance line called American Dreams. This one featured a young woman whose ne’er-do-well European father had sailed them to America and ended up running a cantina in a Mexican harbor. A series of events—shootings, kidnappings, fires, more kidnappings—led the heroine to be a passenger/prisoner on a privateer ship during the War of 1812. Raider Lyons, you are one of my first loves!
I read the first book in a day and asked to return to the bookstore for the second, which I also read in a day, prompting a third trip in as many days. At which point my mother got suspicious.
“Do these books have . . . sex in them?” She had this way of saying “sex” like the pressure that had built up while she hesitated forced the word out of her mouth with far more emphasis than necessary. I was quick to reply “No!” Then, “Well, it’s implied.” My mother: “Oh, like ‘and then they wafted into the bedroom’?” To which I heartily agreed. My mother nodded and left. Wafting was fine—we had cable after all.
But the first for-adult romances I read came out of a four-novella anthology called The Christmas Cat. I was probably 13ish because I remember reading these on the bus coming home from middle school. My mother had been in the habit of buying me all sorts of animal stories like All Creatures Great and Small and Cat Stories by James Harriet. This was no James Harriet. My mother loved reading mysteries and biographies, so I doubt she recognized the author names on the completely innocuous cover as romance writers. Inside were indeed stories of cats. Cats and sex as it turned out. Holy hot Lord of Misrule, Batman!
Somewhere, somewhere I still have all of these paperbacks because I don’t think I could ever knowingly give them up.
I’ve been reading romance for what feels like my entire life. The first one I remember (though the title escapes me) was a post-apocalyptic romance about a girl named Angel which I read in grade five. In grade six I moved on to Sweet Valley High and V.C. Andrews’ Casteel series (but I’m not sure they count as "romance"). The book I should technically talk about is P.S. I Love You by Barbara Conklin because I think it was the first straight-up romance I read and loved but...
Junior high is when I discovered historical romances *cough* bodice rippers *cough.* You know those covers with Fabio on them that are oh-so-mockable now? I could not get enough.
In fact, two titles from that period are still on my shelves today (though sadly neither has Fabio on the cover). The first, The Rope Dancer by Roberta Gellis, was my introduction to ‘medieval’ romance and the second is Summer Storm by Catherine Hart.
I read and re-read Summer Storm. Over and over. Hell, I was even going to name my future children after the characters within it. I’d be a little nervous to re-read this novel now--my ideas about expropriation and portraying other cultures have matured somewhat since the days when I last thumbed through those pages--but so far, though I’ve culled titles from my shelves dozens of times over the years, that one has never been added to the ‘Donate’ pile. I don’t think it ever will.
Tell us, what was your first time like with a romance novel?
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