Advance reviews of ROMANCE IMPOSSIBLE are rolling in!
"It’s a slow simmer of a romance, realistic in size and scope. Throughout there are tiny vignettes, excerpts of one of Dylan’s ‘cookbooks’, to illustrate his passion for food and cooking. The passion he contains for Jill is just as potent…It’s told from alternating point of view so we can wallow deliciously in the tension between these two strong characters.”
Join me on the 25th for an awesome Facebook launch party - flash giveaways all day, exclusive excerpts, and general decadence!
ARCs of Romance Impossible have gone out!
If you heard from me about ARCs earlier, you should have gotten a a few emails over the last couple days. If you haven’t seen them, check your spam folder, and hit up melaniemarchande at gmail if you still don’t see them.
A gift that’ll make you feel like a billionaire’s girlfriend
…for a couple hours, at least.
In conjunction with the Billionaire Romance Boxed Set, my friends and I are giving away an amazingly lavish prize for our readers.
A religious story, or a story about religion?
I just released my latest novel, Shelter Me, a few days ago. I’ve been on a bit of a roller coaster ride ever since, but one thing has stuck out to me as I go through the whirlwind of post-publication: people seem confused about what sort of book this is.
The confusion actually prompted me to add a disclaimer to the book’s product description on Amazon. It now says, in part:
While this is NOT a work of religious or inspirational fiction, it features characters who are deeply involved in a devout community. It is not written from a religious perspective, but it is, in a way, partially a story about religion and its effects on people’s lives.
While I have gotten a lot of positive feedback about the book, many people have questioned its genre and marketing. I was completely floored when I found out that some people read the book, and came away thinking that it was Christian or “inspirational” fiction! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that genre, mind you - it’s just not at all what I set out to write.
The story of Shelter Me is deeply personal for me, which is one of the reasons why I feel compelled to explain more about the book. I thought it would speak for itself, probably because it’s so close to me. I didn’t imagine that other people wouldn’t understand it as well as I did, which was certainly foolish on my part. What can I say, I’m still learning. :)
Like many Americans, I grew up in a religious community. One of the core beliefs was that any sex outside of marriage was a grave sin, and that dating was dangerous territory. The release of the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye was a game-changer for my generation of young Christians. Suddenly, instead of dating, we were supposed to “court” each other. Courting was more serious, more marriage-minded. Even if you were only sixteen or seventeen, you were supposed to be thinking about your future husband or wife at all times. If you felt attraction towards someone, you were supposed to decide, right then, to either shun that attraction, or let it grow into the sort of serious love that would lead to marriage. Sooner, preferably, rather than later.
Almost everyone I knew was married before the age of twenty. Many of them seemed happy, and many still do. But now, years later, I can look back and see some of the mistakes that were made. Of course, teenagers and young adults end up with broken hearts all the time. But most of them don’t have to deal with divorce paperwork and alimony settlements on top of everything.
Even when I was in the thick of it, I had a vague sense that this wasn’t really “normal.” I knew that most teenagers didn’t marry their first romantic partner, and a great deal of them got some kind of sex education other than “don’t do it.” But that simply wasn’t the reality for me or my friends.
One day, while reminiscing, it occurred to me that the pressure to marry young might create a star-crossed lovers scenario for two young people, trying to come to terms with their place in the world. It could be a really moving, heart-wrenching story if I did it right. And having grown up in that kind of community, I had endless experiences to draw upon.
I knew Marissa. Not her, exactly, but many girls like her. There was always, in every group, someone who didn’t quite belong. No one could really explain why; maybe she spoke more sharply or less often or dressed different or…Jesus’ commandant to “love one another” notwithstanding, the kids I grew up with sure could be catty.
And a lot of girls, ones like that especially - who’d never felt wanted, accepted, who’d always felt judged - they fell in love with the first man who came along. Often, he was older. Sometimes much older. They wanted someone to care for and comfort them. And their parents just seemed happy they’d found someone who could “provide for them.”
And Mark - without spoiling too much of the story, people like Mark are real too. You only need to turn on the news to see another story like his. Where there is innocence and naivety, there is always someone willing to take advantage of it, no matter what the cost.
When I saw this review for I Kissed Dating Goodbye, long after I’d written Shelter Me, I got chills. It could have almost been written, word-for-word, by Marissa. I already knew she was real, and there were thousands like her, but it really drove the message home.
I am admittedly not a reader of Christian or inspirational fiction. But I would be surprised if any books in that genre portrayed a story like this. The reader confusion, I think, might be attributed to the fact that the book is written in first person alternating perspective of two religious people, who are struggling to reconcile their faith with their desires. However, the intent was simply to portray the reality that these two teenagers live in. The thoughts that would be running through their heads - and the heads of anyone in their situation. The kinds of thoughts that I had, when I was like them.
I still maintain (and hope) that a careful reading of the book will betray that the frequent references to prayer, church activities, and strict morality does not make this a book with a religious agenda. It’s deeply troublesome to me that someone would feel tricked or betrayed by the marketing of the book, which does reference the religious setting, but apparently does not adequately explain how deeply it is intertwined with the characters’ lives. I want to be clear that is their reality, but it is not an endorsement of their beliefs (or an indictment of them), any more than a book set in Las Vegas portraying professional gamblers would be an endorsement or indictment if gambling. It’s simply their lives.
Hopefully, this makes the background of the book, and the intent, somewhat clearer. I do hope that anyone who might have written it off as something other than what it really is, will give it a second chance and discover what’s written between the lines.
Want a chance at a three-month Audible.com subscription?
Okay folks, I’m giving away a three-month subscription to Audible.com this week! All you need to do is sign up for my newsletter (or provide the email address you’re already signed up under, if applicable). You also have the opportunity to earn more entires by sharing the giveaway on Twitter and liking me on Facebook. (If you already like me on Facebook that counts as an entry too! It really couldn’t be easier.)
You can use one of your membership credits to buy my audiobook, of course, but that’s up to you. ;)
This is my post for the Insatiable Reads Hot Summer Romance Blog Hop! If you comment below with your email address, you can win an Amazon Kindle Fire or a $50 Amazon gift card. You also have the opportunity of entering my Rafflecopter giveaway for an additional $20 Amazon gift card. Thanks for stopping by!
Billionaire romance. You know it, you love it. Some of you, like me, probably write it. But what is it about these powerful, successful alpha males that we find so appealing?
Okay, so maybe I just sort of answered my own question. But as a writer, I get asked this a lot - what is it, exactly, that makes billionaires so appealing? Just taking a character and adding a few zeros onto his paycheck doesn’t magically make him sexier. (Well…no, it doesn’t.) It’s obvious that there are aspects to the billionaire archetype beyond just “a swimming pool full of money” that people are into.
1. Support and security. Okay, this one’s kind of obvious, but I think there’s more to it than some people might realize. Money can’t buy happiness, but the lack of money can sure buy you a lot of physical, mental and emotional setbacks. Money can literally mean the difference between life and death. There’s a stigma against women who consider financial security when they look for a life partner - “gold digger,” anyone? - but in reality, it makes sense to at least consider it. We can’t all marry billionaires, of course. But finding someone who shares your financial values, is responsible with money, and has the potential to accumulate a nest egg makes a lot of sense.
Can you think of any others? Share them with me in the comments! And don’t forget to leave your email address in order to enter the big giveaway.
If you love billionaire romance, check out my latest full length, romantic contemporary family drama I Married a Billionaire: The Prodigal Son. It’s a standalone followup to the Top 100 in Kindle and Nook store I Married a Billionaire, and I Married a Billionaire: Lost and Found.
More Daniel and Maddy?
If you’re subscribed to my mailing list you’ve already seen this, but I thought I’d post it here too just in case anyone missed it and is curious. :)
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about whether or not the Billionaire series is complete. The answer is “yes, but not really.” Don’t you love my decisiveness?
I’ve told a few people that there is a BIG hint towards the end of Prodigal Son about what the next series set in this universe will be about, but that’s as much detail as I’m going into right now. Suffice it to say, it’s a really fun idea and it will give you more of the same characters, though Danny and Maddy won’t be the focus of this new series.
At the moment, I don’t see myself continuing this same storyline. I am working on a completely different book in the New Adult genre right now, which is giving me a much-needed break to clear my head. I’m a big fan of letting things end at their natural point, rather than trying to extend them forever and ever…you know those TV shows that start out so good, and then by season nine you just want to put them out of their misery? Yeah.
Daniel and Maddy are happy now. While they’re obviously still going to run into obstacles and problems in their life together, they’re much more likely to be along the lines of “oh no, the dishwasher broke and spilled water all over the floor!” than, well…anything that anyone would actually want to read. The problem with a romance series is that eventually, the story stops really being a romance, you know? I’ve been getting some comments from people who jumped into the series with this book about how they felt like they were missing a lot of character development, and how it wasn’t really a love story. And they’re absolutely right. It’s very hard to write standalone series pieces for something like this, but I don’t want to limit my readership just to people who’ve already read the other books.
So in short, I don’t want to write what is essentially a serial - and I want to let Danny and Maddy have their nice, normal quiet life without injecting a bunch of drama for our entertainment. ;) Well…for now, anyway.
Those are my plans right now. They are, of course, always subject to change!
This book is a standalone followup to the Top 100 Kindle Store bestseller I Married a Billionaire and I Married a Billionaire: Lost & Found.
Writing billionaire tech mogul Daniel Thorne’s official biography is no small task. His wife Maddy isn’t quite sure how it fell on her shoulders - but she’s not exactly complaining. It’s given her a rare opportunity to learn about the details of Daniel’s life that he’s never shared with her before. After a rocky beginning, their relationship has finally settled into something comforting and secure. After a while, Maddy begins to reconsider her once-staunch decision not to have children.
Then, one night, a ghost from Daniel’s past appears.
His father, believed to be dead, has come back in hopes of repairing their relationship. Daniel is devastated by the years-long deception, and suspicious of his father’s motives in reappearing after so much time. Old Mr. Thorne has his reasons for disappearing, but how can he possibly repair a relationship that’s been so badly fractured by distance and lies? Meanwhile, Maddy gets some unexpected news of her own, and she realizes she must find a way to reach her husband and his father, to knit them all together into a family again.
- Excerpt -
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When Maddy Thorne agreed to marry her billionaire boss in order to keep him in the country, she never would have guessed they’d actually stay together. But over a year later, she’s still happily married to the slightly eccentric, maddeningly attractive Daniel. As he begins to come out of his shell and turn into the figurehead that his growing technology company needs, Maddy finds herself dealing with a whole new set of problems. And despite his newfound openness, he’s still keeping secrets. Even from her. But despite her misgivings and the ever-present prattle of journalists, really, Maddy can’t complain.
Then, a frantic late-night phone call changes everything.
Daniel has been accused of illegal insider trading. His assets frozen, he suddenly finds himself at the center of a media circus and a trial under a merciless judge with no way out. Maddy wants to support him, but it seems all Daniel wants to do is crawl back into his shell. In the midst of the chaos, Maddy receives an offer to display her drawings at one of the most influential galleries in the city. Pulled in two directions even as her life crashes down around her, will Maddy allow Daniel to keep pushing her away, or will she find a way to pull him back?