This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Shannyn will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the combined set of tours (Virtual Book Tour). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Hi, and thank you so much for hosting me today. The topic for this blog post was much harder to write than I first anticipated. Like everyone, I have favorite authors, authors who are auto-buy for me. It doesn’t matter what they write; I want to read it. But narrowing it down to only 5 authors was tough. And then I had to choose a favorite book from each of them. It was like torture. After much consideration, and hours combing my kindle and bookshelves, I was able to develop a list.
1. Jennifer Crusie – I like pretty much everything Jenny Crusie has written, but I think my favorite will always be my first Crusie, Bet Me. I picked up Bet Me after seeing it recommended in many different places as a go-to book for contemporary romance. At the time, I hadn’t read a lot of contemporaries, and I had started writing my first, so I wanted to explore the genre. She had me hooked from the beginning. A strong, full-figured heroine who loves Krispy Kreme donuts and a man who loves watching her eat. The thing I remember most about Cal was his internal voice that kept pushing him towards Min.
2. Jill Shalvis – I love the Lucky Harbor series, but Head Over Heels is my favorite. Opposites attract is one of my favorite tropes and Sawyer and Chloe are about as opposite as they come. She’s a troublemaking free spirit and he’s a sheriff. Plus, there’s the complication of Chloe having asthma, which acts up any time she does something physical, which means Sawyer has to be creative when they get physical.
3. Shannon Stacey – Besides having a fabulous first name :-), Shannon also writes great families. I love the Kowalskis and Yours to Keep is my favorite. Sean is an army guy (and I love a man in uniform – doesn’t matter that he’s out, I know the uniform exists). Although the pretend fiancé/convenient engagement is not one of my favorite tropes, I adore this story. Sean pretends to be Emma’s fiancé and they of course fall in love. What made me fall for Sean, though, is that when he wants Emma to know something about him (like how he HATES broccoli) he leaves a sticky note where she’ll see it. We get to know Sean as Emma does, with the help of Post-its.
4. Julie James – I really like all of Julie’s books and she does a great grumpy alpha, but About That Night was different because the hero, Kyle, is smart (truly brilliant) but he doesn’t always think things through, which is how he landed in jail for hacking Twitter. In this book, he’s out of jail, but he’s known as the Twitter Terrorist and although it bugs him, he’s pretty good-natured about it. Kyle’s close to his sister, so you know he’s got to put up with a ton of teasing. I think what struck me with Kyle was that he was relentless in his pursuit of the heroine, without going caveman.
5. Ruthie Knox – Seriously, Ruthie is one of my new favorites. Her first book just released last year, but her writing is phenomenal. I’m not really sure if I could pick a favorite of hers. Ride With Me has a wonderfully cranky hero, and About Last Night has City, who’s a fabulous beta hero, and her novellas just grab me and make me want more. If I really had to pick, I think I’d go with Along Came Trouble. Caleb is a level-headed, assertive body guard who is assigned to watch over Ellen, who doesn’t want to be watched. I could really identify with Ellen because her greatest fear was losing herself to a man. It’s something that I can respect and understand and it made me want to cheer for Caleb that much more.
As you can see by looking at my list, my favorite books are chosen pretty much based on the hero. But my favorite writers grab me with the story and the way they turn a phrase to keep me clinging to each page, hoping the end doesn’t come too soon.
If you had to choose 1 author/book/hero, who would it be and why?
About the Author:
Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.
After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?”
So she did.
That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to professional author. She came to reading romance later than many, but lives for the happy ending because real life can be depressing. She writes contemporary romance because she enjoys the adventure of new love.
In her spare time, she loves to bake cookies and watches far too much TV, especially cop shows. She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.
Web site: http://www.ShannynSchroeder.com
Indy Adams values her freedom above all else. She works hard to support herself, moonlighting as a waitress while she fights for her first big sale in the Chicago real estate market. The last thing she needs is to be tied down, so she doesn’t think twice about declining her philandering boyfriend’s marriage proposal. Besides, she just landed a new client, a wealthy lothario—exactly the kind of guy who would understand her no-strings approach…
Handsome, rich, and charitable, most women jump at the chance to even talk to video game developer Griffin Walker, let alone date him. So he can’t understand why Indy wants nothing more than a few steamy nights together. Despite his romantic track record, Griffin longs for real love—complete with a home and family—and he wants it with Indy. But a blessing in disguise may lead them both to a life they never expected, and give Griffin a chance to show Indy that it’s okay to want more than a good time…
Enjoy an excerpt:
Indy arrived at a family dinner wearing her inappropriate barmaid uniform. She’s changed and is trying to avoid her father. (373 words)
Indy took one last deep breath, brushed her hair, and left the bathroom. She eased quietly into the kitchen in search of some alcohol.
Griffin stood leaning against the counter drinking a beer like he was waiting for her. He looked down at her gauzy white blouse and long black skirt.
Before he could comment, she swiped his beer and took a swig. Alcohol wasn’t going to help, so she returned the bottle.
As she bent over to grab a bottle of water from the fridge, Griffin said, “The other outfit would’ve given me a much better view.”
She spun around and leaned against the door. “If you like it so much, maybe I’ll wear it next time I show you a house.”
“I’d enjoy that.”
Flirting with Griffin definitely took her mind off the guests in the other room. She opened the water and drank.
“So what’s with the clothes? Those aren’t really yours.”
“Yes, they are. The General out there would throw a fit over most of my wardrobe. I’m keeping the peace for Quinn’s sake.” The cool water eased down her throat.
“So you pretend to be something you’re not.”
His statement shot through her—an arrow of truth—but she felt the need to defend herself. “I’m trying to prevent any ridiculous arguments. But he’ll start. He’ll bait me. I’ll walk in there, and he’ll say,” she lowered her voice in imitation baritone as she spoke, “Independence, that is more appropriate attire. If you acted more like your sister, you’d be married.”
“Wait. Your name is Independence?” Deep dimples bracketed his broad smile.
She nodded, his smile contagious. “I figured you knew. I was supposed to be John and child number two out there, Quincy.”
He choked on his beer. “You’re not serious. John and Quincy Adams? You made that up.”
She peered over the breakfast counter into the living room. “I wish. We ruined his grand plan for forming a family militia by being born with vaginas.”
Luckily the beer hadn’t made it back to his mouth or she would’ve been wearing it. He laughed so loud the din from the other room quieted.
“Now you did it. Our hiding place is ruined. Time to go play nice.”