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Welcome Lynn Raye Harris!!

Please Welcome Lynn Raye Harris, USA Today bestselling author to Everybody Needs a Little Romance.  I first met Lynn through her blog in the Fall of 2009.  She was giving away a copy of her 1st book Spanish Magnate, Red-Hot Revenge, which won the Harlequin Presents Instant Seduction Contest, and I won!!!  I fell in love with her books and started following her blog and twitters.  While preparing for her blog I found out that she is also a fellow Arkansan by birth and lived her through most of her childhood.  It’s amazing how small the world really is. 

Please welcome Lynn!!

 I’m so thrilled to be invited here today!  Thanks for having me.  🙂  And I can hardly believe it’s almost November, y’all!  Seems as if I was in Orlando at the RWA conference only a month ago – though of course that was in July.  Part of what is making me think it’s summer is the weather, I’m sure.  We’re still in the 80s here in northern Alabama – and I don’t really mind it a bit.

But the leaves are falling and I know it’s going to get cold soon.  I’m not a cold loving girl, I assure you.  Brr!  Last year at this time, I was writing a novella (and a full length book too, but that’s another story).  And though my editor asked me for a sheikh, the setting was still up to me.  He could have just as easily have been an urban businessman in New York.  But I chose the desert. 

Maybe I chose it because it was getting cold and I wanted the psychological heat of the warm setting.  Or maybe I just wanted to write about sand. *g*  Whatever the reason, I wrote about a hot, dusty, dry place while the leaves were turning and the temperature was dropping at home.  It’s a year later, and I get to revisit that lovely warm place now that the story is available in stores. 🙂

King Zafir bin Rashid al-Khalifa, the hero of “Kept for the Sheikh’s Pleasure,” (Chosen by the Sheikh, Harlequin Presents 2-in-1, November 2010) is my first sheikh.  He’s as gorgeous and ruthless as you would expect a sheikh to be.  But he’s also deeply emotional, and he’s been hurt before.  When his ex-lover crashes into his life after ten years, he finds that he can’t quite let her go.  Not without tasting her one more time.

Dr. Geneva Gray is an archaeologist who once loved a prince of the desert, but who walked away when she realized they could never be together in the way she wanted.  Now, she’s been captured and given to Zafir as a gift—and the feelings she once pushed away are demanding to be dealt with before she can leave him a second time.

Naturally, nothing is as simple as either of them hope it will be. 

I love reunion romances.  I love the intense emotion and passion that are in that backstory, and I love watching the characters work it all out in the present.  Harlequin Presents novels are short intense reads anyway.  But a Presents novella has to be doubly so. 

Putting on the writerly hat for a moment, because I know there are writers visiting too, the best way I’ve found to pack all that deep internal conflict into a novella is to make it a reunion.  That won’t be true for all lines, naturally, but for Presents, where it has to be intense, choosing to give my characters a history really worked for the story.

There are always certain themes that pop up in Presents stories.  Revenge, reunions, blackmail, marriages of convenience, transformations (Cinderella), secret babies, etc.  I love them all to one degree or another.  But I am very fond of a reunion.  My first and second books were reunions.  This story is a reunion.  The next book out in North America (April 2011) is a reunion.  See, I have quite a fondness for reunions. 🙂

What’s your favorite theme?  Why?  If you’re a writer, do you find yourself writing that kind of story a lot?  If you’re a reader, do you always pick up certain types of books first?  I’m interested to hear about it!  And I’ll pick one winner from the comments to receive a signed copy of Chosen by the Sheikh!

 

Lynn Raye Harris is a USA Today bestselling author who read her first Harlequin romance when her grandmother carted home a box of books from a yard sale. She didn’t know she wanted to be a writer then, but she definitely knew she wanted to marry a sheikh or a prince and live the glamorous life she read about in the pages. Instead, she married a military man and moved around the world. She’s been inside the Kremlin, hiked up a Korean mountain, floated on a gondola in Venice, and stood inside volcanoes at opposite ends of the world.

These days Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome husband and two crazy cats. Since her debut novel came out in August 2008, Lynn’s books have appeared on the USA Today, Borders, and Nielsen Bookscan bestseller lists.  You can visit her at www.LynnRayeHarris.com to learn more about her books, read her sporadically updated blog, or just drop her a note.

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16 Responses

  1. Welcome, Lynn Raye!

    I do love reunion stories; in fact, I’m in the middle of revisions for the first reunion story I’ve written. I have to say that it does add complexity and demands you stay on your toes as a writer. I mean, these people already know each other so there is no discovery process…only discovery in the misinformation or misunderstanding of the past. Lots of layers to a reunion story.

    I read sheikh books long ago when I was a teenager. They always sounded exotic and romantic. The story sounds good. I always wanted to be an archeologist anyway. 🙂

  2. Hey Lynn,

    Welcome and thanks for joining us. I love your books and can’t wait for the next one to come out. I’ve even passed them on to my mom to read. She’s recently started reading again and likes the Harlequin books because they are always a fast read.

  3. Hello, Lynn Raye and Welcome! 🙂 My favorite theme is trouble, trouble, trouble. LOL Lots of mystery and suspense. I’ve tried writing a simple love story but my heroines always get into some kind of dangerous situation and need rescuing. I love to read reunion stories though. I don’t feel like second chances come around too often in real life. Can’t wait to read your books!

  4. I have been looking forward to your visit!!

    I followed your progress in the Presents Contest. I entered that year also. Didn’t final, but took that story, made my Italian Prince into a Texas cowboy and have a request for a full on that one from Susan Litman. I’m entering it into the GH before I send off the HQ. BUT I learned so much from entering that Presents contest and was THRILLED when you won.

    I had no idea you had Arkansas Roots. Where? But I shouldn’t be surprised…We Arkansas folks spread out..taking over the world. LOL

    Favorite theme for me is without the reunion story. I love lost love refound. I think it’s the romantic in me. Soulmates who find each other again.

    I’m not big on revenge stories.

    I also tend toward secret babies stories, probably because I don’t have children and never have to deal with the messy diaper/tables/floors, etc Still romantize the idea of kids, not the REALITY of children. *g*

    I like seeing an alpha male going up against an alpha female, each of them battling for supremacy until they realize that only by giving can they succeed.

    I am a huge category fan and as a writer, am targeting that as my chosen genre.

    Thanks for visiting today. We are thrilled and honored to have you here.

  5. Hi, Liz! You are so right about reunions adding complexity! There’s so much that went wrong in the past, and so much to work through now. I guess that’s why I love them. They are another chance to get it right. LOL about wanting to be an archaeologist! I did too at one time. And I had the help of a real archaeologist (fellow writer Rachel Grant), but then I had to cut all the lovely details she told me. Not enough room, of course!

  6. Hi, Heather! Thanks again for asking me to be here! And thank you so much for your kind words about my books. 🙂 I love that you’re sharing with your mother, too!

  7. Hi, Melissa! Well the truth is that I have a fondness for romantic suspense (with emphasis on romantic) — and that’s what I was writing before I sold to Presents! I like danger in a story. In fact, I do tend to incorporate the tiniest elements of danger in my books even now. I can’t get away with much — these aren’t suspense stories after all — but I do use a little here and there. 🙂

  8. Hi, Cyndi! Wow, you turned an Italian prince into a cowboy?! So cool! That must have made for some interesting re-imagining. And yet, so long as that alpha core is there, nationalities don’t matter much, do they?

    Yep, I’m an Arkansas girl. Born in the mountains, grew up around Jacksonville.

    LOL about romanticizing the secret baby. I don’t have kids either, so I keep them off stage quite a lot. Well, that’s necessary for Presents anyway. Good thing!

    Category is definitely challenging. I never pictured myself here, but I can’t imagine being anywhere else right now. I love the challenge of writing this short, intense stories. I always thought I’d need 100K to tell a story. Not true. 🙂

    Good luck with your GH entry and your submission!

  9. Hey Lynn! Waving at you from Alabama. 😉

    Reunion stories are always great because of the conflict that is already introduced right from page one. Love the way you weave that into your books.

    I tend to favor writing about conflict but conflict that’s introduced from page one. But then again, I write historicals and I have room for that. 😉

    I’m so looking forward to reading your latest book, even in novella format. Shiekh’s are so fantastically romantic, especially in the desert.

  10. Hi Lynn

    First off let me just say I adore your books there wonderful and passionate !!Reunion stories are always the best , the spark that the characters discover is still there , they fight it but in the end it always wins.

    It always glues me to the edge of the page (lol) to want to know , how do they know each other , why did it not work in the first time and why are they thrown back together this time and long and what will it take for them to realize that being together and never wanting to part is inevidiable!!

    I am also a fan of marriages of convenience but reunions are always the best.

    Thank you for writing amazing books and for giving us the chance to win a signed copy of Chosen by the Sheikh!

    Have a wonderfull day

    A fan

  11. A beautiful second chance romance, Lynn Raye!

  12. I write paranormal, so most of my stuff has dark elements. Because of that, I love tortured heroes (and heroines for that matter!) and themes of redemption.

    Reunion stories can be similar to those because the “tortured” and “redemption” aspects are along the same lines as past hurts between the couple and them trying to work through those issues. Regardless, I definitely go for the “love heals all” type of stories. 🙂

  13. Hey, y’all! Sorry, I was out running some errands this afternoon or would have replied sooner!

    Kathy, it’s great to see you here! And yep, that’s what I love about reunion stories too – instant conflict. You just can’t escape it because they broke up in the past for a reason!

    Hi, Desere! Thanks for all the lovely comments about my books! I’m so glad you enjoy them. 🙂 I try to make them a passionate as I can! Oh yes, I do like the marriage of convenience story too! My April book is both a MOC and a reunion. I can’t wait for that one to come out!

    Marilyn, thank you!

    Hi, Jami! I absolutely adore tortured heroes! I think Presents are about as dark and tortured as you can get without adding in those paranormal elements. Or at least they are for me! My editor likes to say I write dark and edgy. I hope so! 🙂

  14. Hi Lynn and welcome to the blog!

    I love a good reunion story!! In fact…I have on in the mixing bowl, ready to start writing soon. But even more than a reunion, I LOVE a friends-to-lovers

    thanks for visiting with us today! *waves from south arkansas!*

  15. Hi, Keri! Another Arkansan! Cool. I landed at the Arkansas blog. 😉

    Oh yes, friends to lovers is so cool too! I also love the younger sister of the hero’s friend who grows up and gets all gorgeous — and he suddenly doesn’t know how to handle it because he always thought of her as a little sister too. Perhaps that’s a Cinderella. But I love it!

  16. Your Welcome Lynn

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