Best Places for a Meet-Cute

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By Annabeth Albert, author of CONNECTION ERROR

In my new Carina Press release, CONNECTION ERROR, computer game programmer Josiah and navy SEAL Ryan meet on a plane. This is often described as the “meet-cute” of a story—the moment when the main characters stumble into each other’s lives, often in adorable, humorous, or awkward ways. In movies this is often accomplished by one character doing something embarrassing right at the exact moment the love interest appears. This got me to thinking about the all-time best places—and worst—to meet the love of your life. And I’m eager to hear what you think!

Best places for a meet-cute:



This one is so classic it’s almost cliché, but I know several happy couples who started as a chance encounter in the stacks at a bookstore or library.

Natural Foods Store


Don’t laugh! Wandering your local equivalent of Whole Foods is a great way to meet crunchy singles. Again, I know people that have met this way.

Volunteering for a campaign or cause.

‘Tis the season for political staffer romances, but this also applies to volunteering for a shared cause like the humane society.

On transit.

Between the train and the platform. #thisisonfacebook #whocares #mindthegap #londontube #london

A photo posted by Anna (@annaperchuk) on

Okay, I’m partial to this one because there are elements of meet-cute involving transportation in all three #gaymers books, but I love books and movies where people meet on the bus or the train, and I know several real-life romances that started that way.

Coffee Shop

I wrote a book featuring this trope, and it’s one of my very favorites. Whether coffee shop patrons or staff, there’s something adorable about meeting at the neighborhood coffee spot.

Worst places for a meet-cute:

Dentist’s office

Numb mouth isn’t a good conversation starter!

Running a marathon.

I actually know a couple that met this way, but hot, sweaty, and breathing hard… Wait. Maybe this one should go on the best…

Plumbing aisle of the home improvement store

#plumber #Lego #suds #plunger #blockage

A photo posted by Julie Rutherford (@julie.rutherford) on

Swapping drain clog stories isn’t conducive to romance for anyone other than the truly fearless.

Frat party

Oh I know, lots of people meet at college parties. It’s as much a cliché as bookstores and coffee shops. But loud, noisy, revelry isn’t my cup of tea.

Eye doctor’s office

Like the dentist, it’s hard to feel sexy while blinking at the sun with dilated eyes!

What do you think? Additions or subtractions to my list? Where did you meet your current partner? What meet-cute locations would you like to see more of in stories?


lgcover.9781459290679CONNECTION ERROR by Annabeth Albert

#gaymers, book three

It’s typical of video game programmer Josiah Simmons to be the last one on the plane on the way to the biggest meeting of his career. Though he’s (mostly) coping with his ADHD, he can’t handle another distraction. But he also can’t ignore his rugged seatmate—especially once he learns the military man’s a fan of his game.

Ryan Orson refuses to let his severe injuries pause his career as a navy SEAL. He’s got hours of grueling physical therapy ahead of him, and no time for anything that might get in the way of his return to active duty. But that doesn’t mean he’s above a little first-class flirtation with geeky-cute Josiah.

When a delay strands the pair in St. Louis, they agree to share a hotel room and a night of gaming. Neither expects their new connection to move to the next level in the light of day. Opposites may attract, but is this game over before it’s even begun?

Book Three of the #gaymers series

This book is approximately 66,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Find out more at

To Snoop Or Not To Snoop

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By Emery Harper, author of PERSON OF INTEREST

That’s not a question, I snoop.

Me personally, I am a natural-born snooper. Have been for as long as I can remember. When I was a tween/teen babysitter I would snoop through the kitchen and the living room and definitely the bathroom at the houses I sat.

It was always interesting to see the different “stuff” that other families had. (Never once did I take anything—just a lookie-loo.) I did draw the line at snooping in the parents’ bedrooms—that’s just creepy.

You’d think I’d outgrow that, but no, left alone, I will check to see what’s in the drawers and nooks around me. Doing so, I discovered one friend’s affinity for crossword puzzle books. She has them hidden all around her house. Weird thing, I’ve never once seen her doing a crossword. Ever.

Another friend is afraid of running out of toilet paper. (It’s a quirk, but I still love her.) She has in upwards of twenty rolls stashed in each bathroom—okay, so in this case, I did snoop in her bedroom/master bathroom, because once I realized there was a TP-hoarding trend going on I had to know how far it went. (It went far—if there’s ever a shortage of TP in the world, I’m headed to her house!)


Snooping has also been a boon to my friends. Okay, only once. A friend had me follow her boyfriend one time—to see if he was really where he said he’d be. I followed him for about five minutes. Unlike Celeste Eagan from my new book PERSON OF INTEREST, I decided I wasn’t quite built for tailing an actual human being (and because it looked like he was really headed for work). Celeste takes snooping and the fine line between investigating and stalking to the next level.


She tries to clear her ex’s name in a murder charge—she can’t have her daughter’s daddy go to jail—and in doing so gives the police (and the killer) a reason to focus on her instead…


0816_9781488020117_PersonOfInterest_WebPERSON OF INTEREST by Emery Harper

A Celeste Eagan Mystery, book one

Follow the zany antics of Celeste Eagan: prep school theater teacher by day, amateur sleuth by night. The first book in a new series from author Emery Harper, full of mystery and mayhem.

Just last week, I was a regular single mom and drama teacher at Peytonville Prep with a semi-normal life. The only real drama I had to deal with involved my football-coach ex and his hussy girlfriend. And maybe deciding if I should take that full-time principal/actress job at the local playhouse.

Everything changed when I discovered my boss hanging in his office. The suicide turned out to be a murder and my ex went suspiciously MIA. I tried to find some answers, but all that got me was labeled a person of interest by the attractively uptight Detective Shaw Muldoon. Not exactly the way I was hoping to interest him, if you know what I mean.

Now my life is plenty exciting, if you count a stint in jail, several attempted break-ins, more dead bodies and the odd exploding car. Did I mention I also have my own personal stalker? It’s becoming pretty clear that if I don’t unmask the killer soon, my life won’t ever be boring again…it will be over.


Born in Alaska, relocated, reared and still residing in North Texas, Emery Harper started writing at a very young age—pretty much before she knew what writing was. She’s always had stories running around in her brain—doesn’t everyone?!? She penned several short stories, poems and one attempt at a novel when she was still a teen, but it wasn’t until she was pregnant with #4 boy-child that she seriously developed her manuscript chops.

A little murder, mayhem and maybe a twist and turn keep her plenty occupied in her make-believe worlds, though she is often grounded quickly from any one of the four boy-childs who live in her casa along with the man-child who’s been her personal hero for over twenty years.

My Inspiration for Inspiration, Iowa

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By Jen Doyle author of CALLED UP

Authors often talk about characters and scenes coming to them. I, for one, remember that first moment of Nate Hawkins appearing in my head with such vivid clarity that it’s almost as if he were real. In the case of the CALLING IT books, however—and, specifically, the town of Inspiration, Iowa—it was more than just the people. It was a whole combination of things that built up the universe perfectly in my head. Here are a few of them.

  1. Sunsets and Sunrises in Iowa Cornfields

Going back to my fan-fiction days, Iowa has always been a source of inspiration. So it probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise that that’s where these first books are set. But while doing some specific research to ground the town of Inspiration, I came across some gorgeous photos. You can see some of these on my Inspiration, Iowa Pinterest board. I particularly recommend checking out the work of Larry Lindell (whose photos form the basis of my vision of the view Nate sees from Mama Gin’s kitchen in CALLING IT) and Jim Ruff (whose photo “Iowa Sunset” makes an appearance in CALLED UP).

  1. Baseball Movies

Baseball movies are a whole other source of inspiration. From “There’s no crying in baseball!” to “If you build it, he will come” (mind out of the gutter!) to “I believe in the soul…” (and, um, other things I can’t mention in this blog post), baseball movies have played a big role in my fictional life. And although Max Deacon isn’t a professional baseball player, the game figures prominently into his life both as a player and as the coach for his nephew’s little league team. In a way, in fact, CALLED UP has more about baseball than CALLING IT does. At the same time, the small town nature of Inspiration plays an even bigger role as well. The movie Field of Dreams happens to be the perfect mixture of the two, and whenever I hear James Horner’s score for Field of Dreams a feeling comes over me that is both peaceful and profound. So if you need a little bit of mood music, cue up the music on YouTube, settle in, and start reading.

  1. The Music Itself

It’s definitely not mellow, though. CALLED UP opens with Salt ‘N Pepa and closes with AC/DC, so those songs play a role, although the true inspiration for Deke and Fitz was more along the lines of Luke Bryan and Cole Swindell. But what it all truly came down to was Philip Phillips’s “Home,” because when it comes down to it CALLED UP is all about home and what that means. And how—and with whom—you find it. What’s your inspiration? How do you define home?

0816_9781459294356_CALLED_UP_WebCALLED UP by Jen Doyle

Book two

Jen Doyle delivers a home run of heart, heat and plenty of laughter in this contemporary romance, perfect for fans of Jill Shalvis’s Pacific Heat series

There’s one thing Max “Deke” Deacon can always count on besides his old high school teammates: Angelica “Fitz” Hawkins. But no matter how much Deke might secretly fantasize otherwise, a relationship with his best friend’s sister is off limits. Until one unexpectedly smoldering encounter has Deke and Fitz giving in to the feelings they’ve both been fighting for far too long.

Fitz knows for a fact that it is not better to have loved and lost. After losing her parents, she’d rather lock up her heart and throw away the key than endure that kind of pain again. If that means giving up any hope of a lasting relationship, then so be it.

But with Deke, Fitz feels dangerously close to falling in love. She can’t risk another broken heart—especially if it means losing one of her best friends for good. Now it’s up to Deke to convince her that the safest place she could ever be is right here with him.

This book is approximately 100,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Find out more at


Jen Doyle has an M.S. in Library and Information Science and has worked as a librarian, an events planner, and an administrator in both preschool and higher ed environments. For more information, see

Spotlight on Hollywood Hot Mess

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Do you love reading about the latest celeb gossip? You absolutely cannot miss Hollywood Hot Mess, the juicy new series from Evie Claire. Learn more about these new releases below and prepare to be sucked in!

About Hollywood Hot Mess

Hollywood Hot Mess

lgcover.9781460397466Hollywood’s hottest mess gets a shot at redemption—and a chance to star alongside Tinseltown’s most sought-after silver fox. But when their on-screen acting becomes a scorching-hot, forbidden offscreen romance, she discovers he’s hiding a dark secret behind his carefully crafted public image.

All the dirty details of former child star Carly Klein’s fall from Hollywood grace were tabloid news…and they only knew about half of it. But now she’s sober and grasping at the last chance to revive her flatlined career.

Devon Hayes is Hollywood royalty. Branded the sexiest man alive, granted his first shot at producing, he’s living a life most only dream of. But his offscreen reality is more like a nightmare and makes the twisted tales in his movie plots look tame.

When Carly and Devon are cast opposite each other, Carly is pretty sure Devon is an asshole. Devon is certain Carly is a spoiled brat. But with chemistry that would make a nun lust like a schoolgirl, these two are DTF. Classic.

As their broken parts begin to pull them together, on-screen love turns…could it be? Into the real thing. Faced with the prying paparazzi, vindictive agents and career-ending secrets, Devon and Carly have already sacrificed their souls for fame. Living a lie in public is a small price to pay for ecstasy in private…for now.

Carina Press | Harlequin | Amazon | Barnes &  Noble | Google Play | Kobo | iBooks

Total Trainwreck

lgcover.9781460397473In a town where every illusion comes with a price, a girl can have love or fame. Carly Klein wants both. The A-list drama continues in this compulsively readable follow-up to Evie Claire’s Hollywood Hot Mess

Hurricane Carly hits the big leagues and her offscreen drama hits DEFCON-level F*ck

From tabloid trainwreck child star to award-nominated starlet, Carly Klein wants it all. And being silver fox Devon Hayes’s f*ck buddy isn’t cutting it anymore. The gloves are off as she comes out swinging for the man she loves.

Devon Hayes, aka the sexiest man alive, is the toast of Tinseltown as half of a Hollywood power couple HeaVon—but he doesn’t want to be. Yet his A-list showmance lover will stop at nothing to keep their marital sham alive. So when Carly and Devon’s scorching connection off set threatens his soon-to-be ex’s dynasty, a sh*tstorm of trouble is unleashed.

But pussing out isn’t in Carly’s DNA. Through sex tapes, murder and epic Hollywood takedowns, Carly and Devon will be together and HeaVon will burn in Hollywood Hell…

Carina Press | Harlequin | Amazon | Barnes &  Noble | Google Play | Kobo | iBooks

Which Romantic Suspense Hero Would Save Your Life

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