Hello lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Meg Benjamin and her new book, “Running on Empty”! For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above.
Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card. Also, come back daily to interact with Meg and to increase your chances of winning!
Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you lots of luck in this exciting giveaway!
Running On Empty
by Meg Benjamin
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Ronnie Ventura has every reason to distrust Fairstein Productions: she’s had run-ins with their shows before. But Fairstein’s newest reality show offers Ronnie a chance to redeem herself from looking like a blonde bimbo. All she has to do is win a modified triathlon. Simple, right? Except this is Fairstein, and nothing is ever simple with them.
Ronnie’s boss at the Blarney Stone bar and café, owner Ted Saltzman, is a lot less convinced that another Fairstein show is just what Ronnie needs, particularly when he’s head over heels about Ronnie himself. But she’s determined, and he’s a man in love.
Ted becomes her running coach, which fans their budding romance to a fever. But can Ronnie’s newfound confidence stand up to the usual Fairstein plots? And can Ted find a way to keep his true love in Salt Box if Hollywood tries to steal her away again?
“How do you think your team will do?” Cam asked each of them.
“Are you kidding?” Constance gave him a fierce smile. “We’ll murder them. They don’t stand a chance.”
“We’re the team to beat.” Misty gave him a cool smile. “We’re trained, we’re rested, we’re ready. They’re going down.”
Ronnie glanced at the two of them, feeling her irritation spike. You knew what this would be like. You can’t blame anybody else. “We’re good,” she said flatly. “We’re very good. We’re going to surprise you. And everyone else.”
Constance snickered. Ronnie watched the camera swing her way. Clearly, Constance was a pro at getting time on camera, which she’d expect from somebody fighting for space on the Lovely Ladies of LA.
“What’s on your training table?” the announcer asked, then pushed the microphone in their direction.
“Complex carbs,” Misty said quickly. “I love me some quinoa.”
Constance snorted. “Protein shakes. Low fat, low carb. Lots of steamed chicken.”
Ronnie shrugged. “Balanced diet. More protein than anything else, but some carbs for muscle and fat for endurance.”
“Yeah, you look like you could endure a hell of a lot,” Constance sneered.
This time Misty snickered.
Ronnie raised her chin, but she kept her smile in place. Aunt Dolly had been on the pageant circuit for years—she’d taught Ronnie a lot about dealing with competitive jerks. She widened her smile in Constance’s direction and let her accent slide down south. “Bless your heart, don’t you worry about it. I’m sure you’re doing just fine for your weight.”
Making It Believable: Writing Romantic and Intimate Scenes
Every romance author I know has been asked at least once about writing love scenes. “Do you have to be in the mood?” is maybe the most common question, and it’s a fairly easy one to answer: No. Writers who have to be in the right mood to write will never get anything done. The rest of us just soldier on and hope for the best.
Love scenes always grow out of the characters themselves, reflecting the kind of people they are. But my favorite tool in developing any kind of love scene is longing.
You know what I mean by longing, right? Hero and heroine see each other, are attracted, wonder what it would be like to be together. All of this takes several chapters while readers share in the growing magnetism. Sometimes one or both characters have other attachments (usually to unlikeable characters) that have to be dealt with before the two can get together. Sometimes there are outside forces like jobs or serial killers keeping them apart. But the longing and the related tension build slowly over the number of chapters it takes to get the H/H into a position where they can actually go to bed.
It’s all a formula, of course, but formulas are the backbone of pop fiction. And this particular formula has maintained its popularity because it works. In a sense, it’s the formula of daydreams. Seeing someone in a movie or TV show or even on the bus who looks really cool, and fantasizing about what it would be like to be with someone like that. But it also plays into a sort of universal human need to connect, to have a relationship that grows and changes and finally gets somewhere.
In Running On Empty, Ronnie and Ted circle each other for the first several chapters. They’re obviously attracted to each other (so obviously that the other characters tease them about it), but each is a little nervous about making the first move. They work together. He’s her boss. And there’s always that central worry: will he/she want me as much as I want him/her. When they finally do get together it’s because Ted is comforting Ronnie after a traumatic day at her reality show. Comfort becomes something else when it becomes clear the need is mutual:
His hand moved to the side of her face, almost without any conscious design on his part. Her skin felt like satin, soft and warm. Velvet eyes, satin skin, a smile like…Ronnie. He didn’t have any metaphors for that. He rubbed his thumb across her upper lip, feeling it pucker slightly beneath his touch.
His cock was straining, heat throbbing in his veins. She’s vulnerable. Don’t take advantage of her, you jerk.
Ronnie stared at him wide-eyed, almost like a child. Defenseless, exposed. Leave her alone.
And then she moved forward swiftly, bringing her hands to the sides of his face, and kissed him.
Of course things develop quickly from there! Longing helps to increase the sexual tension, and for me that’s what romance is all about—anticipation, knowing something’s coming and knowing it’ll be good. Longing. I recommend it!
Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her Konigsburg series for Samhain Publishing is set in the Texas Hill Country and her Ramos Family Trilogy is set in San Antonio’s King William District. Her Salt Box trilogy takes place in her new home the Colorado Rockies. She’s also the author of Going Up In Flames, part of the Sapphire Falls Kindle World series. Meg’s books have won numerous awards, including an EPIC Award, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers, the Beanpot Award from the New England Romance Writers and the Award of Excellence from Colorado Romance Writers.
CONNECT WITH MEG:
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BOOKSTORE BUY LINKS FOR MEG'S OTHER BOOKS:
To purchase Meg’s books, you can visit her author page at:
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Meg’s books are also available through iBooks and other venues.
ADDITIONAL BOOKS BY MEG:
Venus In Blue Jeans ISBN 9781605043692
Wedding Bell Blues ISBN 9781605046303
Be My Baby ISBN 9781605048437
Long Time Gone ISBN 9781609281083
Brand New Me ISBN 9781609283070
Don’t Forget Me ISBN 9781609288259
Fearless Love ISBN 9781619212404
Hungry Heart ISBN 9781619222274
Salt Box Trilogy:
Finding Mr. Right Now ISBN 9781619229570
Love in the Morning ISBN 9781619230729
Promise Harbor Wedding:
Bolted ISBN 9781619214293
Ramos Family Trilogy:
Medium Well ISBN 9781101599648
Medium Rare ISBN 9781101622575
Happy Medium ISBN 9781101622568
Sapphire Falls Kindle World:
Going Up In Flames ASIN B01FV7OAYI
Meg Benjamin will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
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This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions. Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.