Guest Post:Gina Maxwell

Going from romance addict to publisher author

Unlike most authors, you won’t find anything in my bio about writing my first book in the 2nd grade or always knowing I was meant to write. I didn’t even like reading until around 7th or 8th grade when I discovered the fantasy genre. But I still couldn’t tell you the names of the books I read, much less the authors. Part of that (maybe most of that, actually) is due to having the worst memory of any 35 year-old in the history of ever. The other part is that I’m fairly certain that although I really enjoyed reading, it wasn’t anything that “shaped” me as a person.

Sometime in high school I discovered romance novels, and that was the end of reading any other genre for me. I could choose one that had action, history, suspense, horror, paranormal, or mystery…but it also had, at its core, a love story. So I no matter which sub-genre I chose, I still got my HEA fix.

In college, my friends and I formed an unofficial group we called the Smut Club. We devoured romances and then traded them with each other like sharing our favorite candies. “Oh my God, you’ve got to try this one. It’s amazing!” I enjoyed years of reading every romance I could get my hands on, until I became a mom and had to give it up for the safety of my baby. When I get into a good book, I lose all track of time and the world around me fades away until all that exists for me is the characters and their story.

I didn’t pick up another book until my kids were in school and I only worked part-time, so I had plenty of time to kill. Opening that first book was like coming home. The happiness I found from immersing myself in a story again after so long was addicting. And so began the second chapter of my reading addiction, of which I’m still in and have no intentions on letting it end. Ever.

One night I was lying in bed after finishing one of Gena Showalter’s books and in complete awe of how affected I was by her characters. I started thinking, “If I were to write a book, what kind of characters would I like to see together?” That’s when the main characters of my first book (releasing Summer 2013), Desires of the Soul, popped into my head and wouldn’t leave until I started writing their story.

At first it was just a hobby; another way of immersing myself in a story. But the more I wrote, the more I wanted others to read my story. At some point I made the decision to try my hand at publication. I figured it was a long shot, but I had nothing to lose by trying. So I spent the next three years learning as much as I could on how to write fiction well, and after fourteen major rewrites and countless smaller revisions, DotS, was good enough to sell.

On March 7, 2012, I signed a contract with Entangled Publishing for my paranormal romance trilogy and a couple weeks after that signed a contract for what would become my Fighting for Love series for the Brazen line.

It’s been a crazy ride, but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. I’ve never been happier, and it all started with the love for romance novels.

Seducing Cinderella

by Gina L. Maxwell

Entangled Publishing – July 2012

He’ll teach her the art of seduction…for a price.

Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Andrews’s chance to reclaim his title as light heavyweight champ is shattered when he’s injured only months before the rematch. To make sure he’s healed in time, his trainer sends him to recuperate under a professional’s care—Reid’s best friend’s little sister, all grown up.

Disorganized and bookish Lucie Miller needs some professional help of her own. She’d do anything to catch the eye of a doctor she’s crushed on for years, so when Reid offers seduction lessons in exchange for 24/7 conditioning for the biggest fight of his career, Lucie jumps at the chance.

Soon Reid finds himself in the fight of his life…winning Lucie’s heart before she gives it to someone else.

Title: Seducing Cinderella

Author: Gina L. Maxwell

Genre: Category – Contemporary

Length: 277 pages

ISBN: 978-1-62266-949-3

Release Date: July 2012

Imprint: Brazen

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Author Information

Growing up in small town Fort Atkinson, WI, Gina L. Maxwell, formerly Bisbee, could often be found onstage in the latest theatrical production, performing with her high school show choir, or holding office in her local FFA chapter. She dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps in the entertainment business, of enabling her audience to forget about life for a few hours as they enjoyed the stories she told through her love of singing, dancing, and acting. It wasn’t until her sophomore year in college when she realized she had no acting talent to speak of and her dream needed some adjusting. Another ten years would pass before she discovered a different means to accomplishing the same dream.

Within those ten years Gina married her high school sweetheart, had two beautiful children, and moved more times than she cared to count. In 2009 she started writing as a hobby while her kids were in school, and it quickly became an obsession she couldn’t stop, and then a dream to publish stories of love and passion for romance addicts just like her.

Three years later, her dream came true when she signed with Entangled Publishing for a total of seven books in two of their imprints.

Her Fighting for Love series with MMA heroes debuted July 20th, 2012 for the digital Brazen imprint with the first book, Seducing Cinderella,and reached #9 on Barnes & Noble’s best seller list in just seven days.

The first book in her paranormal romance trilogy, Desires of the Soul, is set to release both digitally and in mass trade paperback in Summer 2013 for the Entangled Select imprint.

When she’s not writing or wrangling plot bunnies, Gina keeps busy with her wonderful family and their ever-growing extra-curricular schedules. Thanks to their immense patience and support, she’s able to do The Thing She Was Meant To Do and live her dream of bringing a little romantic fantasy to the world, even if only in the pages of a good book.

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Review: When You Wish Upon a Duke (Wylder Sisters #1) by Isabella Bradford

When You Wish Upon a Duke

Series: Wylder Sisters
Published by  Ballatine Books on January 1st 2012
Source: Netgalley
Genres: Historical
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Rating: 4 out of 5.

In a sparkling new series filled with irresistible charm and sizzling romance, award-winning author Isabella Bradford introduces us to the eldest of three Wylder sisters—unruly country girls whose passion for life leaves their London suitors breathless.
Raised in the Dorset countryside, Lady Charlotte Wylder doesn’t care one bit about well-bred decorum. The dark-haired, blue-eyed beauty would rather ride a horse than attend a stuffy ball. So when Charlotte learns that she is to leave immediately for London to wed the Duke of Marchbourne, a perfect model of aristocratic propriety, she is less than enchanted with her arranged marriage.
But to her delight, their first encounters are brazenly flirtatious, and their wedding night burns with passion. March’s broad shoulders and dark countenance make Charlotte want to rip every button off his waistcoast. She may even be falling in love with her new husband. Yet whenever their desire boils over, March reluctantly pushes Charlotte away. Will past secrets and present misunderstandings mire their marriage in scandal, or serve to strengthen a bond that is destined to last a lifetime?

When you Wish Upon a Duke is a twist on the old arranged marriage story. The girl doesn’t know  about the arrange marriage and is in the dark  until her intended ‘s  lawyer arrives at her at the country estate.  Charlotte Wylder is eighteen and has reached the agreed age for the contract her father signed with Duke of Marchbourne when she was a baby . But since then things have dratic change. Her father died resulting in the title being inherited by a distant relative . Her mother move the family to Ransom House in the country where the girls lived a sheltered life until the arrival March’s lawyer to organising the nuptials.  

I love Charlotte reaction is a shock that a Duke has sent a lawyer  and she enganged and her mother has been keeping a secret from her.  Charlotte is the oldest of the girls and can remember the happy times where she had more gowns  than most grown woman and secretly wishes that she will have a marriage like her parents and her intended seems to have the same ideas.

James Augustus FitzCharles, third Duke of Marchbourne needs this marriage to strength his family name as he has a  rather  disreputable background . His  great grandmother was the king’s favourite mistress and in return he gave a title Duchess and it hasn’t been lived down in the ton. His father contract with Charlotte is something he has now from a child  and has expected to make something out of it to strength his family name . He doesn’t see it as a formal transaction he wants to be whim of fate that dictates his first meeting and  what a first meeting it is.

Dianna’s Charlotte younger sister has a cat named Fig who has a habit of climbing trees but doesn’t come down. Charlotte has always had to climb the trees and rescue Fig to the dismay  of her mother so she done in secret to please her mother but when  the cat escapes in to the trees after the carriage is stoped  and the ladies have ventured out.  Her great aunt has taken over the family affairs to help Charlotte with the upcoming marriage and March is counting on  them stoping on this part of the road on the way to London so he could meet her.

What a sight beholds hem. Charlotte up  a tree and her breast exposed to him and  he does the gentleman thing and tries to help her but ends up in trouble himself and leaving him satisfied with the meeting and injured while Charlotte’s mother and great aunt aren’t happy.

So March is enthralled with her and soon as possible heads to London to find his intended and speak to her privately to the dismay of her great aunt who thinks that they are up to mischief and gets the marriage ceremony speed up to the delight of March who is enchanted by Charlotte.  With her family go back earlier and not knowing  anyone else expect her aunt . Charlotte through herself in the parties of the ton with consequences that may ruin her.

I love the pair of March and Charlotte , two people who fall in love with each other hoping for a marriage on the same basis but unwilling to tell each other. In addition, the things they do for each other, Charlotte getting herself painted to surprise March was a highlight of this book but I love how the author took the opportunity to use it against her by the villain by comparing to infamous portirat of his great grandmother . There are many opportunities in this book and the author takes them up and enchants you to the very end. 

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