Giveaways at Ex Libris

Win Stealing Home by Jennifer Seasons - Open worldwide - Ends 12 April

Win Protecting What's His by Tessa Bailey - Open worldwide - Ends 12 April

Win the Date by Mistake anthology - Open worldwide - Ends 12 April

Win Operation Cinderella by Hope Tarr - Open worldwide - Ends 12 April

Win a $10 USD Amazon gift card+ choice of book from Erin Nicholas, Kelly Jamieson, Sydney Somers or Meg Benjamin - Open worldwide - Ends 12 April

Win all 5 Strangers on a Train novellas by Ruthie Knox, Serena Bell, Samantha Hunter, Meg Maguire and Donna Cummings - Open worldwide - Ends 19 April

Win Private Practice by Samanthe Beck - Open worldwide - Ends 19 April

Win The Practice Proposal by Tracy March - Open worldwide - Ends 19 April

Win a Kindle Paperwhite by Tracy March - Open to US/CAN - Ends 20 April

Win an iPod + prizw pack by Ophelia London - Open worldwide - Ends 21 April

Win a $50 USD Amazon Gift Card from Jennifer Apodaca - Open worldwide - Ends 23 April

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Guest post by Rachel Lyndhurst + Giveaway

I have recently read one of Entangled Publishing's latest Indulgence release, , and was enchanted by the descriptions. The places the story took place really came to life and were incredibly colourful, so when I "talked" with its author Rachel Lyndhurst, my first question was whether she has visited herself the locations featured in her novel since the settings were so vivid or if she based them on some meticulous internet research. Read on to hear about how the story came to life and what it is to visit the setting of a romance novel! (You could also win an Amazon gift card, so don't leave before entering.) 

Visiting the Setting of a Romance Novel
by Rachel Lyndhurst

Several people have asked me recently about the inspiration behind : in particular the setting of the Spanish Balearic Islands and how much of the descriptions and events were based on my own experience. So, with many thanks to Stella for hosting me today, I’d love to do exactly that.

I live on the south coast of England, where the weather is very changeable and this year in particular it’s been very wet. In fact, as I write, parts of the UK are continuing to suffer extreme flooding. It’s for this reason, and the fact that you can rarely bank on a dry summer here, that many Brits make a point of booking up a sunshine holiday abroad. Sounds okay doesn’t it, in these days of allegedly cheap flights and last minute deals? Just chuck some flip-flops in a suitcase, hop on a flight and look forward to that first effervescent cocktail by the pool … Yeah, except it doesn’t quite work out like that once you add a couple of small children to the mix.

Anyone who’s been on a flight with youngsters (or been forced to sit near them) will understand the extreme stress air travel can invoke. It won’t be long until they’re tired and whingeing, cramped and restricted, painful ears from the air pressure and then they develop a most unnatural interest in the horrible toilet to the rear. Mine wanted to visit every five minutes, I kid you not! Sometimes the little darlings actually vomit and I won’t go into the mechanics of changing very messy nappies mid-flight … So, like many other Brits, we’ve often chosen to go to the Balearic Islands because there’s sunshine, fab beaches and child-friendly accommodation within a two hour flight. You stand a chance of staying sane that way.

 is set in Spain and The Balearic Islands, which are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea. The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera and I’ve visited the first three with my young family. I’m still like a big kid myself when we go on holiday, fizzing with excitement and anticipation once the dreaded packing has been done and we’ve successfully checked in at the airport. I never flew anywhere as a child, so the journey is as much part of the experience as being at the holiday destination. This could be why I love picking my fictional heroines up and out of their everyday lives and putting them somewhere very exciting indeed, although I have yet to experience the joys of a private jets and superyacht myself. Or complimentary in-flight champagne …

Not many events in my personal life have made it into my books, but my travels to the Balearics have definitely inspired me. It’s impossible not to use the blue and gold horseshoe bays I’ve been privileged enough to swim in as fantasy locations. This picture is of Cala d’Or in Menorca. It means ‘golden cove’ and I used it as the basis for Ricardo Almanza’s Menorca retreat in The Spanish Billionaire’s Hired Bride.

Cala d'Or - Menorca

The beach is deserted in the book (because Ricardo owns it and it’s private), but that’s his house you can see at the top. It’s called Dizzy Heights because of its position on the rocks.

I’m in love with the Balearics, the blood red sunsets, crystal clear waters and huge sea pines are breath-taking. It’s impossible not to enjoy the ambience of lively town squares scented with garlic, wine and jasmine, while sipping a cold beer and watching swallows dive for insects. I love to close my eyes on rainy days back home and remember the soft wash of the tide mingled with Spanish radio music, the clank of fishing boats and distant laughter.

And then there’s Ibiza, allegedly the party capital of the world, as a complete contrast to the peace and quiet of Ricardo’s Menorca. There’s a lot more to Ibiza than all night parties and glow in the dark thongs, of course, but I used it as a location to kick off  because it’s a melting pot of nationalities, sexuality and cultures. My conveniently married couple also have a spectacular moment on the ramparts of Ibiza Old Town with the international paparazzi.

Ibiza ramparts

Quite a view from up there, I can tell you, and lots of steps, be warned!

I do hope I’ve captured some of the flavour of the Balearic Islands in , or at least enough to take my readers on a short, fantasy journey of their own. This is the last official stop on this blog tour and I’d like to offer a small giveaway of an Amazon voucher to one commenter of $15 or £10 is up for grabs to spend on whatever you like as an early Christmas gift from me via Amazon. Lipstick, chocolate, or maybe even an ebook … ;-)

Thanks for having me here, Stella!

I write full-time now my children are at school, but I'm still a teeny bit proud of my law degree and accountancy qualifications. I've also had a lot of fun in the past working in the space industry, pharmaceuticals, insurance, a supermarket, a bus station, a railway depot, and a lingerie department.

I live, and write, surrounded by laundry and old newspapers most of the time with my daughter, son and The Exec in Fareham, on the south coast of England. Sometimes I can smell the sea from my back garden and I have grand designs on a luxurious garden office one day. Or a castle, I'm not fussy.

When I'm not working, I do enjoy a good rummage through a decent antique shop, and popping into Sainsbury’s. Oh, and wine and expensive lipstick are non-negotiable .

I love to hear from my readers (especially the male supermodel ones), so please feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment on my blog.

Connect with Rachel at her website - - - Goodreads

He bought her with cold, hard cash, but can she stop him from stealing her heart?

Blackmailed to marry against his will, Ricardo Almanza needs a wife before he’s thirty, and time is running out. A notorious playboy, marriage is the last thing he wants, but his stepmother’s sexy, debt-ridden personal assistant is the perfect solution. He makes her a business deal she can’t refuse—one million euros for three months as his wife. He might even enjoy being married to her … if she doesn’t kick the crap out of him again.

Helen Marshall can’t believe she’s considering Almanza’s outrageous proposal, but she must help clear her parents’ debts or they face financial ruin. The small print on the marriage contract changes to read three months as his wife in every way—including in the bedroom. Has she gotten in too deep, or will she need a new contract addendum, extending their marriage forever?

Buy at - B&N -


Rachel has generously offered a $15 USD or $10 GBP Amazon gift card to a lucky commenter!

To be entered just leave a comment and answer Rachel's question: Where would be your dream setting for a fictional romance? 

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 12 December 2012!

Good luck!