I’m thrilled to announce that Once and Again is officially live! Once and Again kicks off my brand new Return to Briarwood series. It’s a sexy second-chance love story (with a double reversal-of-fortune twist!).

loved writing Caro and Jake. This couple has plenty of issues. Tons of baggage. Mountains of emotion. I’m usually pretty stoic while writing, but I have to admit that I cried while writing several scenes in this book (and even cried every time I had to edit them). I can promise you this: their HEA (that’s happy ever after in romance-lingo) is hard-fought, but oh-so-satisfying in the end.

If you’ve already ordered your copy of Once and Again, it should have been delivered to your readers/devices this morning!  If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, you can do so here:  AmazonBarnes and NobleGoogle PlayiTunes or Kobo (and begin enjoying immediately)!

I’ll be blogging from here to August 1st, so please join me at every stop, where I’ll be doing giveaways and contests. You can find the full schedule and follow along here.

And if you haven’t yet signed up for my newsletter, what are you waiting for? Newsletter subscribers got a free bonus scene to Once and Again! Don’t miss out on exclusive content and sign up now!

Those of you following me on Facebook may know that I’ve spent a good portion of January without hot water in my house, but it’s back now (finally!) and I have something great to share: today, RT (that’s Romantic Times, if you didn’t know) did an exclusive cover reveal for Once and Again, the first book in my new Return to Briarwood series which is coming this July! Once and Again_Barrett I. Love. This. Cover. Because it’s a second-chance-at-love story, my editor and I made the decision to show the younger Jake and Carolyn (pearls, but no tats) to straddle the old and the new. What do you think?

And I even have blurbage:

Growing up in Eastbridge, Connecticut, Carolyn Rivington was a young debutante who did whatever her parents asked. So when her father demanded that she break things off with the boy from the wrong side of the tracks or else, she did. Now Carolyn’s family is deep in debt. She’s no longer a member of the Briarwood Golf and Yacht Club, she’s an employee. And the tanned, tattooed, dangerously handsome stranger who saunters into her lobby isn’t just her new boss . . . he’s also her first love.

The last time he saw Carolyn, Jake Gaffney was in the back of a police cruiser, handcuffed and humiliated. But seeing her again stirs other memories: a blanket on the beach, the moon above their heads, and the most expensive bottle of wine he could afford. Now the tables have turned. As a real-estate magnate and Briarwood’s new owner, Jake doesn’t have to answer to anyone. But now that he’s back home, he’s finding it hard to live down his old reputation.  

Before they can move forward, Jake and Carolyn must face their pasts. But it’ll take more than sizzling chemistry for them to heal old wounds and return to the love they once shared.

You want pre-order links? I got those, too! From Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google PlayiTunes, and Kobo.

To celebrate, I’m giving away two copies of New Year’s in Napa, but there’s a catch: you must be signed up for my newsletter to win! So sign up (infrequent and non-spammy, I promise!) and I’ll give you the deets as to how to enter! You will also get exclusive content and first peeks of the books, so it is worth it!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2015 brings you health and happiness! I’m not in Napa today, but New Year’s in Napa was chosen as Fresh Fiction’s New Year’s Fresh Pick. Hooray!

Now here’s the part where I tell you what’s coming for me in 2015. Lots and lots of writing. And publishing! The first book in my Return to Briarwood series, Once and Again is coming this July. I’ll be going to a conference (or two). And I have some great ideas for future books. Ooh, I have so much to do, I can hardly wait!

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you: sign up for my newsletter. I’m going to do some huge giveaways and you’ll need to be on the list to be eligible to win!

Gale and Michele are our winners! Thanks so much for joining us!



Elisabeth Barrett: I’m thrilled to welcome Grace Conley, Addison James, and Gayle Parness to my blog today. They are three authors in the Candy Cane Kisses and Enchanted Embraces box set, which contains ten (count them!) holiday romances that range from paranormal to contemporary to new adult. Thanks for joining me, ladies, and of course the first thing I want to hear about are the books. Spill!

Grace Conley: Here’s the premise for Christmas Weekend: A Heart’s Delight Short Story: San Francisco cop Joe Maggiano runs into his long-lost flame on Christmas Eve – during a terrible fire! Will he and Gwyn be able to re-kindle their love over the course of a holiday weekend in charming Heart’s Delight, California?

Addison James: My contribution to our anthology is a story called The Holiday Fixer. It’s based on the holiday classic film, The Shop Around the Corner where two coworkers who despise each other in real life are unknowingly falling in love through anonymous letters. In my story, they meet anonymously on the online dating site they both work for called Coupling. She is the head of product development for the site and he is an outside internet security expert sent to protect the site from hackers. Sparks fly!

Gayle Parness: My story, Winter Solstice Wishes, begins and ends around a “murdered” Christmas tree. Elle, a lovely fae lady, has been a guest in Sasha’s home for six months, recovering from her mistreatment at the Faerie Court. Sasha, a sexy vampire, has fallen head over heels for Elle, but because of his troubled past doesn’t feel worthy of her. But it’s the night of the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, and the woodland fae have invited Elle and Sasha to celebrate with them. Perhaps this night will work its magic on two lonely, battered souls, helping them connect and find love.

Elisabeth: I love the fact that all of these books are written by NorCal authors. Are your books set in NorCal, too?

Grace: Absolutely!  In fact, what is currently known as the Silicon Valley used to be called “The Valley of Heart’s Delight,” back in the old days when the region was made up mostly of orchards and vineyards, rather than techno-googleplexes. Heart’s Delight, California is a fictional small town based on aspects of Los Gatos, Morgan Hill, and Santa Cruz. The first stories focus around the lives and loves of a tightly-knit family of vintners who are trying to build the next Napa.

Addison: I have one other book set in Northern California, also set in Silicon Valley called Pop-Tarts and Texting. I like cute geeks so Silicon Valley inspires me! My other books take place in other places I’ve lived: such as Boston, Edinburgh and Vermont.

Gayle: Winter Solstice Wishes is set in and around Crescent City, California, which is about as far NorCal as you can get. California offers up such a wide range of geographical locales, providing a wonderful palate for a writer seeking a good setting for their story.

Elisabeth: Where do you get your ideas?

Grace: I think all writers played spy a lot as kids.  I love observing other people and listening to them talk.  This might be through formal means, like interviewing a fireman, or informal, like eavesdropping on people in line to buy their morning coffee!

Addison: I usually get my ideas from real life. I hear a story, read something in the news and think, what if this happened instead of that, and what if… Kind of like that movie, Sliding Doors where the Gwyneth Paltrow character’s life changes based on whether or not she catches the subway train. I think, what if x,y or z happened instead of a, b and c, and write about it.

In this case, however, since there was a time crunch for the anthology, I took a plot from a classic film!

Gayle: I cheated. Both of my characters are supporting characters in my Rogues Shifter Series. Sasha, who’s been in all seven books, is one of my reader’s favorites so I thought I’d give him a girl to love. Elle made her first appearance in book seven. Both of them already had detailed backstories and were living in the same house, so it wasn’t too difficult.

Elisabeth: I know that this is Grace’s first published work, which is amazing! How did you decide to make your first piece a collaborative one?

Grace: I wanted to test out what people would think of the town of Heart’s Delight and its citizens, but the idea of indie publishing a short story all by its lonesome seemed silly…and a bit daunting!

I thought it would be so much fun — both for the authors and the readers — to get together a group of terrific Northern California writers and put out a holiday romance bundle.  I wrote notes to several author friends, and voila!  People can try out ten cool Contemporary and Paranormal writers for less than a buck.

The book is really a holiday card to our readers, written from the heart.

Elisabeth: Addison and Gayle, you two were both successfully indie published prior to this collaboration. Want to weigh in on the decision to do the box set? Was it more or less challenging than publishing solo?

Addison: I wanted to be part of the box set for a couple reasons. One is that although I’ve been published through small ebook publishers, I felt like I was missing something. Marketing, promotions, just in general how to sell a book is new to me. Also, writing is very solitary. I like being part of a team and that aspect of this really appealed to me.

Gayle: I almost bowed out. The fall was a busy time for me. I had a book already on pre-order, scheduled to release Dec. 19th that I hadn’t finished, let alone sent off to be edited. But after thinking it over, I decided I couldn’t pass up this opportunity for several reasons:

  1. Many of my Silicon Valley Romance Writers of America pals were doing the anthology and I love working with them.
  2. It gave me an opportunity to delve more deeply into two favorite characters’ lives.  I also got to spice things up a little since my regular series is a young adult series. Winter Solstice Wishes is not YA.
  3. The other authors involved were also top-notch and understood the importance of having a strong social media presence. I knew I could learn a lot from them.

And yes, it was more challenging in some ways than dealing with my own books where I answer to no one. (lol)  I’m one of those—Marketing? Sorry, too busy writing—kind of authors.  Social media posting, uploading, sharing, liking, and following had not been a daily activity for me in the past. Now I feel a bit more savvy in that department, and that’s not a bad thing in this connected world.

Elisabeth: What’s next in the pipeline for all of you?

Grace: More fun, sexy stories about the men and women of Heart’s Delight, California — I’ve been working on two back-to-back full-length novels.  I write alpha heroes with a sense of humor — the hero often ends up with egg on his face, preferably a whole carton of them lobbed by his heroine!  Hmm, now I’m thinking of writing a food fight scene…anyway, friend me on Facebook to hear more news about upcoming releases!

Addison: I am editing  a women’s fiction novel tentatively titled Second Chances about a woman who reunites with an old flame, and editing another one set in Silicon Valley about a four women in a book club, and their lives and loves.

Gayle: My new ebook, Breaking Out, Triad Series Book 1, is available for preorder and officially releases December 19th.  Woot!  It’s the story of a young male with a strong magical bloodline trying to survive in a dangerous paranormal world. You’ll be able to find it at all the normal vendors.

Elisabeth: Grace, Addison, and Gayle–thanks so much for joining me today! Candy Cane Kisses and Enchanted Embraces is available through early January, and you can find the book at all major e-tailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Apple, and Kobo

And here’s where you can find the authors!

Grace: Facebook

Addison: Website, Facebook, and Twitter

Gayle: Website, Facebook, and Twitter


GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away 2 copies of the anthology to two lucky commenters below who “like” the box set on Facebook here, and answer this question in the comments section: Are you a candy cane purist (peppermint only), or will you accept a substitute (spearmint, cherry, etc.)? Contest ends December 11 at 9pm PST!


New Year’s in Napa (West Coast Holiday Book 2) is out today! It’s a sweet, sexy, holiday story you won’t want to miss! Workaholic scientist Amanda Aligheri has a new year’s resolution: go to Napa, relax, and achieve some balance. The problem? There’s no chance to soul-search while tempting-as-sin winemaker Liam Flynn is around. Will one romantic, wintery week in Napa be enough for Liam to convince Mandy he’s the one for her, or when the new year comes will she forget about her resolution and return to Silicon Valley—and her research—without him? This e-book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo for only 99 cents!!

Hooray! Moran is our winner this week! Thanks to everyone who commented!


I have a very special post today. Jules Barnard, an all-around awesome woman and a fellow Roguer, asked me to help with the cover reveal for Blue Crush, the second book in her Blue Series which releases on June 3rd. Jules writes new adult fiction, and this series is set in Tahoe (yay!). I don’t get to do these too often, and even less frequently for a friend, so I’m quite excited. Without further ado, here is the cover:

BlueCrush Amazon GR SW

Gorgeous, no?

And Jules has been kind enough to provide the back cover copy:

Blue Crush (Blue Series, Book #2) 

On the cusp of a humiliating breakup from the safe, conservative boyfriend, who ended up betraying her, Genevieve Tierney moves to Lake Tahoe with her best friend after college to lick her romantic wounds. Earning cash at one of Lake Tahoe’s lucrative casinos before grad school in the fall and keeping a safe distance from cheating jerks seems like a good plan, until she meets the one guy tempting enough to drag her back down. 

Lewis Sallee is six and a half feet of perfectly sculpted mountain man, who captures Gen’s attention from the moment he walks in the door. Her play-it-safe approach to relationships flies out the window as Lewis’s presence awakens a sex drive she never knew she had. Lewis is in a complicated relationship with one of the most beautiful women Gen has ever seen, and despite all logical reasons to stay away—and she’s a logic devotee—Gen can’t seem to control her body’s attraction to him.  

Feeling like a magnet for the worst sort of guys, Gen’s desperate to win the battle for self-control around Lewis and put the sleazy casino men pestering her in their place. To boost her confidence, Gen steps out of her comfort zone and signs up for the Alpine Mudder, a gritty endurance race. But as she prepares for one of the biggest physical challenges of her life, her emotional strength is pushed to its limits when she needs Lewis’s help to train. He tests her willpower and has her fighting her body’s attraction—with her mind and heart not far behind.  


JulesBarnard_editedAbout Author Jules Barnard

Jules Barnard is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended UC Davis, whose college landscape often finds its way into her New Adult novels. She has a Master’s degree and spent many an hour running statistical analysis, until she realized her favorite part of the job was writing reports. She decided to cut out the math and add in some hot guys, and so began her career as a novelist.

Jules is a Northern California native living on the coast with her husband and two children. She has no impulse control around cupcakes and credits herself with the ability to read while running on the treadmill or burning dinner.




Yay, Jules!

And because this is a special post, I’m giving away a special book — one digital copy of the first in Jules Barnard’s Blue series, Deep Blue. To enter, just leave a comment letting me know what you think about the cover, and you’ll be entered to win. The contest is open to everyone and ends Thursday, April 17 at 9pm Pacific.

This week’s winner is Amy M! Thanks so much to everyone who  commented!


I took an (inadvertent) two-week hiatus from blogging to get my head together with respect to my current WIP. It’s still not there completely, but I’m getting closer. The book takes place in Napa, so visiting helped a lot. My friend Spence (of Tahoe trip fame) is always up for a road trip, so last week, I dragged her north to do some research. Another friend joined us for part of the time, and let me tell you, it was a huge treat to be up in Napa with two of my besties. We left Silicon Valley after I dropped off the Barrett pack at school, and it only took us an hour and a half to make our way up to Napa. It was like a different world. Relaxed. Low-key. Low stress, too. The weather was beautiful, and the vineyard-covered hillsides were breathtaking. But don’t let me tell you. Let me show you.

First, we stopped at the Oxbow Public Market. It seemed like a mini version of San Francisco’s Ferry Building with all the artisanal food stalls (cheese, bread, chocolate, pastries, etc. inside). We ate here twice, and both times I really enjoyed it.


The exterior of the Oxbow Market. Yummy food inside.

We stopped at Hess Winery and toured the art gallery. There we found this flaming Underwood typewriter. My friends encouraged me to take a picture with it (“Get closer,” they said, but I was a little afraid to, given that it was totally en fuego).


How I sometimes feel while writing.

We were able to see Napa at its best during this season. Unfortunately, the manuscript I’m working on takes place in winter-time, but I got what I needed from some friendly locals.


Quintessential Napa.

The cheese selections at the local grocers were outrageously comprehensive. People love their cheese. And their wine, of course. :)


Nom nom nom.

Last but not least, Spence and I toured Jarvis Wines, which had a secret underground cave. I took this picture surreptitiously, since I’m pretty sure photos weren’t allowed on the tour. Spence is in the background, looking suitably mysterious.


Sekret picture.

It was good to get away from SV for at least a little while, and it was even better to get my much-needed research done.  Now, onward with the writing!!

This week I’m giving away a copy of Midnight Secrets by Ella Grace, a romantic suspense story I really enjoyed. To enter, just leave me a comment letting me know if you’ve ever been to Napa and what you loved about it. If you haven’t been to Napa, no worries! Tell me what you love about Napa Valley wine. If you don’t drink wine, just tell me something funny. :) Contest ends Thursday, April 10 at 9pm Pacific. U.S. only, please.

And for those of you who read to the end, this is my 100th blog post! Yay!


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