A cover make over!

by Lynne Graham

Dear Reader,

It’s usually a Presents heroine who gets to have a fabulous makeover at the hands of the gorgeous hero, but I’m thrilled to see my very own titles getting their own North American makeover!

These four titles, one of which is previously unpublished in North America, are some of my old favorites, and I am over the moon that they are now available for you to read. I am absolutely thrilled with the cover makeovers they have received. Although I, of course, loved my original covers, their brand-new twenty-first-century makeover is an absolute delight.

When I wrote these books, it was definitely a time when alphas could get away with being even more commanding than they can now. And I’ve always had a bit of a weakness for those brooding heroes!

Whether you’re after a demanding desert sheikh in An Arabian Courtship, or a beautiful Irish heroine in Emerald Mistress, the high octane attraction in An Insatiable Passion or a reunited love in The Veranchetti Marriage, I hope that these books have something for each of you.

I have my favorite, but like all good Presents heroines, I won’t kiss and tell! I would love to know which ones you like best!

Best wishes,
Lynne

Xx

EmeraldMistress courtship marriage passion

EMERAL_MISTRESS ARABIAN_COURTSHIP VERANCHETTI_MARRIAGE INSATIABLE_PASSION

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year…Planning the Next Continuity!

 by Laura McCallen, Editorial Assistant

It’s that time of year again…but not the time you might have expected. While others bundle up against the impending cold and the faint sound of festive music starts to invade life from every angle, the Presents team are thinking beyond Christmas and even 2015! Why, you may ask? Because it’s time to start planning the (destined-to-be-amazing) 2016 continuity!

Our 8-book continuities are a staple of our Presents schedule every year and so over the past few weeks the team has been busy brainstorming ideas and narrowing the options down as we try to find the concept that captivates, inspires and excites us! It’s one of our favourite parts of the job and so I thought I’d let you in on how we’ve kicked things off this time…

This year our continuity planning began with a pop culture questionnaire so take a peek at some of our answers below to find out what’s been capturing our interest this year. Spoiler alert: there’s nothing we love more than stories of weddings and royal babies!

What was your favourite song this year and why?

Carly: Happy by Pharell – remember hearing him say in an interview that he wrote it to ‘keep us all going’, which is what I also think our books do for people!

Laura: I’ve really enjoyed everything Sam Smith has put out – he’s the male Adele and you can’t help but be caught up in the emotion of his songs.

Izzy: Say Something I’m Giving up on You – it’s sad, but just lovely.

Pippa: Wonder by Emeli Sande because ‘we are full of wonder’ always reminds me of our fabulous Presents authors.

Jo: All About the Bass by Meghan Trainor – unbelievably catchy, uplifting and you can’t help but dance around when you hear it!

 What was your favourite non-Harlequin book this year and why?

 Carly: Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding – pleasingly familiar, like being wrapped in a safe warm blanket, and hilarious!

Laura: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green– powerfully emotional and witty all at the same time. It made me laugh out loud and ugly cry but it was the best book I’ve read outside work in the past five years!

Izzy: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – it’s engaging even though the storyline isn’t the kind that I would usually be very captivated by, but it’s so beautifully written you can’t help but get sucked into it.

Pippa: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – the feisty heroine is fun and the incredible sexual tension with the brooding Russian hero reminds me of our own Presents!!

Jo: Mr Mercedes by Stephen King – this author is the master of characterisation and I loved the incidental romance the retired detective protagonist has – just don’t expect a happy ending!

What was your favourite news story this year and why?

 Everyone: The second baby Cambridge and George Clooney’s wedding! No explanation needed!

So, now that you know what we’ve been reading and listening to we want to know what’s captivated you this year? We’re always looking for more inspiration!

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The Purchased Mistress

by Dani Collins, author The Russian’s Acquisition

Dani Collins HeadshotThere’s something deliciously wicked in the purchased mistress trope, isn’t there? If you read my August book, The Ultimate Seduction, you’ll know The Russian’s Acquisition isn’t my first ‘mistress’ book, but in The Ultimate Seduction, Tiffany is Ryzard’s mistress voluntarily. She doesn’t need his financial support and goes along with the relationship for her own reasons.

Here, Clair is far more vulnerable, although Aleksy doesn’t see it at first. He thinks Clair was his enemy’s mistress, but Clair was only protecting her former boss’s ego. He was impotent.

Once Aleksy discovers this, and realizes he can have what his enemy must have craved, he decides he must have Clair. She’ll be a ‘spoils of war’ kind of prize.

Clair might respond to Aleksy, she might have lost her job and the man she thought of as a mentor and protector, but she’s not so desperate she’ll just let Aleksy buy her.

Or will she? As an orphan with no family or other resources to fall back on, she is not only in a very weak position, she has a tremendous Achilles heel. Her boss was going to fund a charity to help orphans like herself. It’s on the brink of being launched when her boss dies and Aleksy tries to ‘claim’ her.

When Aleksy promises to underwrite her foundation, she can’t find the will to say no. But she’s a virgin, hardly mistress material. What will he do when he realizes?

I loved this blurb when I saw how the team in London had written it. What do you think of it? Do you love the purchased mistress trope? Why do you think it appeals?

BLURB:

The Russians AcquisitionTo:ClairDaniels@BrighterDaysChildrensFund.org 

From: Aleksy.D@DmitrievHoldings.com 

Subject: Contractual Offer 

You will find $100,000 in your charity’s account today, provided I find you in my bed tonight.  

Aleksy Dmitriev is after the ultimate revenge. Yet his plan backfires when he discovers that his new mistress, Clair Daniels, is a virgin who could not have been her former employer’s lover.

Revenge may be out the window, but that won’t stop Aleksy from enjoying the perks of his purchase…. But Clair is destined to be more than just this Russian’s acquisition!

 

EXCERPT:

He knew what he was doing to her. A smug gleam lit his narrowed eyes as his gaze dropped to her lips. He started to lower his head.

Jerking hers back, she gasped, “I haven’t agreed.” But did she really want to step onto the street at midnight with her meager possessions and become one of the homeless? Her few shallow friendships were all with people she worked with. They wouldn’t take her in for fear of losing their jobs. She didn’t have a cushion of savings, just a credit card she couldn’t pay off if she didn’t have an income.

Continue reading »

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Under the Microscope: Read on for an exclusive interview with Christos Giatrakos

by Lynn Raye Harris, author of Heiress’s Defiance 

If you had to pick your most public scandalous moment, what would it be?

I do not participate in public scandals.

Was there an even more scandalous event that didn’t make it into the press?

Oh, the press have surely made up many scandals about me. They are not true.  The ones that are remain private. And no, I’m not sharing them with you.

What is your biggest secret?

You seriously think I will answer that?  You do not know me if do you.

What do you love most about Lucilla Chatsfield?

She completes me.

What were your first thoughts when you saw Lucilla?

Isn’t this publication supposed to be clean?

If your house was on fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be?

Lucilla, of course. And if not her, then I’d save the computer – because it has all our photos on it and she is very attached to them.

What is the naughtiest thing you did at school?

Who knows? Got in fights? Do you not have better questions to ask me? I am a busy man and you waste my time…

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

I feel no guilt over pleasure.

What is your worst habit?

Some would say I am short with people. I prefer to think I don’t suffer foolishness.

What is your favourite film?

I built an empire out of nothing when I was in my twenties. And I’m still working. I don’t have time for movies.

What present would you put beneath the Christmas tree for Lucilla?

Whatever her heart desires.

How will you spend your first anniversary as a couple?

Once more, you annoy me with your impertinent questions. How do you think we’ll spend it? [Christos turns to speak with someone just out of sight of our cameras… He turns back, clears his throat…] My wife informs me I should say we will go to Greece, swim, eat, and play with our new baby. And that we are blissfully happy. [Christos’s thundercloud of an expression eases.] She is certainly correct about that. [He unclips the microphone at his lapel, stands] Are we done here? I believe we are done here. Thank you and someone will see you out.

[Christos disappears from our sight.  Interview concluded.]

 

About Heiress’s Defiance:

heiressdefianceWhen the heiress meets her match! 

Lucilla Chatsfield is the only person to lead her family’s dynasty. But when her position is usurped by the intensely arrogant but breathtakingly gorgeous Christos Giatrakos, she refuses to lie low—because Lucilla is playing for keeps!

Christos finds the Chatsfield heiress highly amusing, until she raises the stakes—risking his reputation and forcing him to act! Lucilla will be taught a lesson, but to do this Christos must return to a home that almost destroyed him. However, facing his past will test him almost as much as the beautiful Lucilla…

Welcome to The Chatsfield, London!

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The Chatsfield Uncovered! Read on for an exclusive interview with Lynn Raye Harris

lynnrayeharrisCreating a world as large as The Chatsfield must be very exciting – did you discuss the hotels with the other authors?

Oh yes! We discussed what was on each floor, the layout of the rooms, the décor, the robes, a signature scent. There were many ideas we tossed back and forth!

What was the most fun bit about creating this luxurious, scandalous world?

For me, it’s always spending time with the characters. Christos is my first Greek hero, and I had marvellous fun with him!

Did you do any extra special research for writing this book? A sneaky cocktail at an exclusive hotel perhaps?

I’ve had tea at the Plaza in New York and at the Ritz in London! It wasn’t specifically research for this book, as both were a couple of years ago, but I definitely drew on the experience.

What did you most love about writing your story?

Christos and Lucilla. They were so attracted to each other and tried so hard not to be!

When writing your hero and heroine’s story, did they surprise you in any way?

Oh yeah! I had no idea that Christos would drug Lucilla – or that she would slap him silly when she realised he’d kidnapped her! I also didn’t know about Christos’s mother until he took Lucilla to the ossuary. Believe it or not, I discovered it right along with Lucilla!

To your mind, who is the most scandalous Chatsfield?

Well, it has to be Gene because he’s the original scandal, isn’t he? And Liliana, who disappeared and has never been seen again.

heiressdefianceIf you could have given your hero or heroine a piece of advice before they started on their journey in your story, what would it have been?

Don’t be afraid to let go.

Name five things on your table when you write.

Water
Phone
Various notebooks with notes
Desk calendar
A picture of me and a few friends in San Francisco.

Do you listen to music when you write?

Sometimes, but not always.

What is your worst habit when writing?

Checking Facebook.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, could you share a bit about it with us?

I treat writing like a job and I work regular hours, just like anyone else who leaves the house to work.  I don’t leave the house, however.  And I get to wear pyjamas all day.  It’s the best job in the world!

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