Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Bit About Bachata



Bachata is one of the Latin dances featured in Package Deal and one of my favorites.  Like its musical themes of romance, heartbreak and bitterness, Bachata has an eloquent history. With humble origins in rural neighborhood parties of the Dominican Republic, for many years Bachata suffered a bad reputation in its native country.  Bachata was considered too vulgar, too rustic and too beloved by migrants residing in shanty towns to be respectable. While its cousin, Merengue, enjoyed generous airplay and the limelight of posh clubs, Bachata lurked in working-class bars and brothels. 
 
Whether due to a social-cultural shift or the power of amazing music, Bachata has emerged from the shadows. It is also an easy dance to learn, the basic steps can be learned it a single lesson making it a favorite for club lessons. Many popular songs from “Every Breath You Take” to “My Girl” have been covered with a Bachata beat. Today Bachata’s cool, sexy rhythms are played throughout the world.

If you’d like to hear more check out the following site:
Pily & Bachata Real:

I was fortunate to see Pily & Bachata Real perform and they're amazing!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Author Interview-Mary Frame



What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a child, but other than some crappy, angsty poetry as a teen, I didn’t do much writing until my late twenties. I think I must have been going through a quarter life crisis, and wanted some form of escapism or a creative outlet. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. Which was a good thing, because I was really, really bad when I first started writing, and realizing that just made me want to work harder and improve those skills. One of my favorite things about writing is that no matter how far I’ve come, there’s always more to learn and more ways to push myself.

Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?)
Right now, I’m totally in love with Claire and Jamie from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I read the first book many years ago, and had to watch the Starz series when it was on. I love that Claire is a strong, smart heroine and Jamie is totally masculine, and yet has some unexpected attributes that make him sweeter than you might realize at first.
Tell me what inspired this story.

The storyline for Imperfectly Criminal came to me when I was writing the first novel, Imperfect Chemistry. Freya—who is the main character in Imperfectly Criminal—was a side character in Imperfect Chemistry. I really fell in love with her quirky humor and her open friendliness with Lucy (the main character in the first novel, who while very intelligent, is seriously lacking in social skills). I had an idea about Freya and a potential love interest, and it grew from there. 

What is one of your favorite romantic locales?
Well, I live very close to Lake Tahoe, and I don’t think you can get more classically romantic than the most beautiful lake in the world. However, I think you can find romance pretty much anywhere. It is what you make of it. I met my husband at a skeezy dive-bar, and while I would never ascribe romance to a place sticky with spilt beer and smelly with too many sweaty bodies, romance happened, nonetheless ;)

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? 
Both Imperfect Chemistry and Imperfectly Criminal are available in both ebook and paperback format. They are both stand-alone novels, but feature mutual characters. I love writing books that make people laugh, and creating characters that have unique voices. I also LOVE hearing from readers, so please don’t be shy and drop me a line! maryframeauthor@gmail.com 

Imperfectly Criminal Buy Links:

Imperfect Chemistry Buy Links:
Amazon
B&N

Saturday, November 15, 2014

All Dressed Up & Somewhere to Go

Wardrobe Tips for Dancing

While Latin dances are inherently sexy, you can still look hot without straying too far outside your comfort zone.  Remember that unlike other dress-up places like the office, you’re going to be moving.
Shoes
If you’re going to dance on a regular basis or are taking lessons, dance shoes are a worthwhile investment, especially considering the expense of a turned ankle or a wrecked knee.  Dance shoes are designed for comfort and easy movement. If the idea of dancing on spiky heels makes you anxious, look for shoes with a Cuban heel.
Dresses vs Pants
Either is fine—pants or leggings paired with a sparkly top can be as sexy as a slinky dress.  If the club is new to you, check the dress code before you slip into your favorite jeans.  Whatever you decide, your clothes should allow you to move easily.  As Joan Rivers once said, “Just because it zips doesn’t mean it fits.”
Bling
I favor sparkly bracelets that are either elastic or chain link so they lay flat on my wrist, they catch the light when I style without smacking my partner. Crystal or rhinestone earrings are also a must for me.  While many of the mall shops have plenty of bling, also look for vintage pieces at estate sales or even hidden in your own dresser drawer.  My vintage pearl drops—paired with a gold leaf bracelet from my mom—are a classy combination.  

Whatever you choose for your ensemble-- remember that you’re never fully dressed without a smile!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Invitation to Dance




In celebration of my latest release, Package Deal, the next series of posts will be all about dancing.

The biggest mistake people make about dancing is that they talk themselves out of it and stay home. They believe the dance floor is the exclusive realm of the “beautiful people”. As a plus-size 40-something gal, I’ve danced in Country and Latin clubs and I’ve seen people of all ages, shapes and sizes out on the dance floor from college students to grandparents.

I can hear the protests. “But I don’t know how.” The good news is that the more clubs offer free dance lessons, usually an hour lesson followed by open dancing. Club lessons are a good way to test the waters without investing in a lesson package.  Also, some studios have monthly dance socials open to the public with a brief lesson followed by dancing.  One savvy studio kept a full contingent of dance instructors on hand for their Saturday night socials—giving beginners an opportunity to practice with experienced dancers. As you can imagine this event was particularly popular with the ladies.

Plus dancing is a great way to meet people from all walks of life.  A couple of friends of mine make it a point to check out the local Salsa hot spots whenever they travel.  They recently went on Salsa-themed cruise and swear they’ll never go back to the midnight buffet and shuffle board routine again.
Hope to see you on the dance floor!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

New Release-Package Deal

I'm thrilled to announce the release of my third title and first book in my Rhythm & Romance series, Package Deal. I love Latin dances (Bachata, Salsa and Cumbia) and I had a blast writing this one.

Widowed attorney, Liz Grant, buries her grief in a deluge of paperwork.  On whim she takes a free dance lesson at the club Eclipse where the mojitos are cold and the Salsa is hot.  She falls for Salsa’s spicy rhythms and Patrick Cavanaugh’s sexy grin.  But can Liz handle the dramatic change of tempo in her well-ordered life? 
Patrick has all the right moves, but struggles to keep his balance as his adult daughter spins out of control.  Will their love survive off the dance floor?

Special thanks to my production team.
Editor:  Marian Kelly-http://www.ravensgateediting.com
Formatting by Stevie DeInk-http//www.steviedeink.com
Cover design by Harris Channing-http://www.authorharrischanning.com

Thanks so much ladies you all did an amazing job!




Sunday, October 12, 2014

Author Interview-Colleen Ladd



What inspired you to become a writer?
There have always been stories playing in my head.  Then, as now, there are rarely any moments of “down-time” from daily life which do not see characters running hither and thither in my brain.  The leap from thinking about them to writing them down came when I was a teenager and a book I loved ended in a way I didn’t.  I recently came across that book, with my hand-written “continuation” tucked neatly in the back of it, and oh my was I a melodramatic child…   The leap from writing my stories down to showing them to people was as simple as finding people interested in reading them, and from there it snowballed, as such things do.

Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?)
Naturally, as is true of most who work in the Regency period, Jane Austen’s characters loom large, especially Darcy and Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice.  But I also loved (and still love) the brooding heroes of the Brontes and their ilk – in particular the dark and surly Mr. Rochester, who was so perfect a foil for Jane Eyre’s determination.  Hmm…  melodrama might play a larger role in my romantic imagination than I suspected.  

Tell me what inspired this story.
In Regency times, if a peer was convicted of murder, his blood was considered tainted, and his title, lands, and everything he owned was forfeit to the crown.  He and everyone related to him suffered the price for his crime – which puts an entirely new spin on the trope of an innocent man unjustly convicted.  I started asking myself how far a man who loved his lands and saw them as something he held in trust for his family would go to avoid that kind of loss.  The only escape I could imagine was to flee before trial and somehow get himself declared dead.  But then what would happen when he inevitably wanted to come home?  It was a plus that this gave me an excuse to write a ghost story mystery without a ghost.  And with that set-up, it was clear what kind of heroine was needed – someone the match of the hero, who would do whatever it took to keep her home, even in the face of a “ghost” determined to drive her out.  Portia took everything I threw at her in stride, and I think I fell as much in love with her as the hero did.

What is one of your favorite romantic locales?
Oh, the dark and brooding house in the country, of course.  

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? 
The Lady’s Ghost and the next book in the series, The Duke’s Despair, are just the beginning of a web of Regency-set romances, all connected through the lives of the characters.  Secondary characters become heroes and heroines, the main characters in one book become supporting characters (and sometimes obstacles) in other books, and readers stand a chance of discovering why Lord X was holding up the wall at his own ball, or Lady Y flirted so egregiously with the hero only to dump him the next morning. 

For more about me and my books, visit me at:  www.colleenladd.com

After her husband's death, Portia Ashburne finds herself banished to Ashburne Hall, left to fend for herself in the crumbling old manor.

Ten years ago, when Giles, the previous Lord Ashburne, was accused of murdering his fiancee, he fled on a ship that was lost at sea.  Locals claim his spirit haunts Ashburne Hall.

Portia doesn't believe in ghosts.  She suspects the Hall's hostile caretakers of playing tricks on her.  When she sets out to prove it, she puts herself on a crash course with both Giles and the real killer.   Will The Lady's Ghost be able to save her?
Available from: 
Amazon:  
iBooks: