Blog Tour Guest Post, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Someone Like You by Karen Rock

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I'm so happy to be able to have Karen Rock guest posted today for her tour for Someone Like You. She included an excerpt and there's also a fabulous giveaway! Go check them all out!!!

Someone Like YouSomeone Like You
by Karen Rock
Adult Sweet Contemporary Romance
Paperback, Large Print, 274 pages September 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming     
Summary

You can’t program love…or can you?

Kayleigh Renshaw has come up with the idea for a brilliant “compatibility app,” a new kind of matchmaking software. All she needs is a programmer to help her bring the idea to market…and she knows exactly who she wants. But Niall Walsh—a code whiz and her former best friend—has been avoiding her since he returned from Afghanistan. In spite of their history, and some sparks that go beyond friendship, he’s proving reluctant…. Is it her, or is something darker holding him back?
   

Naughty or Nice: Writing a "Sweet Love Scene
by Karen Rock

Harlequin’s newest category line: Heartwarming, promises clean, contemporary romance with emphasis on deep romance and emotional, rather than physical intimacy. As a YA romance author as well, the idea of creating a swoon-worthy love story without sex wasn’t daunting. I love the challenge of creating such intense moments without characters ripping off their clothes. With practice, I’ve learned to write heart-stopping, G-rated love scenes. Here are some tips for writing an unforgettable “Sweet” love scene that will make your readers melt:
1. External Dialogue- In addition to kissing and touching, dialogue from the heart, especially when it reveals vulnerability, and deep emotion, make the scene beautiful. 
2. Point of View. Chose the character you want to narrate this scene depending on who has the most at stake. His or her thoughts and feelings should reflect the intensity of the moment and give the reader new insight.

3. Touch- Clothes stay on and hands are touching areas that wouldn’t make your teenager blush to read it. Shoulders, neck, cheek, jaw, ears, eye lids, mouth (of course J) shoulders, clavicle, waist, back, sides, arms, hair, back of the head, sides of the face… I’m sure there are more, but that’s what I’d be comfortable reading out loud to my mom… so maybe that’s a good benchmark too. 
4. No closed door bedroom scenes. “Sweet” love scenes are meant to be felt and experienced. If the couple goes into the bedroom and closes the door- end scene- you’ve strayed from the wholesome aesthetic and left your reader without an intimate look into how these couples are together. I would rather keep the love scene appropriate and center stage then not described and behind a closed door. 
5. Visceral reactions- To keep the scene real and authentic, they should be included to the extent that would be considered PG or G. Feeling your temperature rise, your heart rate exhilarate, your pulse pound and breathing become faster is natural and works really well.
If you’re a writer, or interested in how the process works, I hope you found these tips helpful! Here’s an example of a “Sweet” love scene from my current Harlequin Heartwarming novel SOMEONE LIKE YOU:

     When he laid his hand along her face, he brushed her cheek as gently as a flower.
     “You’re beautiful.”
     “So are you,” she whispered back, although they were alone, surrounded in the fog rolling off the river. Her head felt light as a windblown leaf. She laid her hand against the firm plane of his stomach, feeling the muscles jump against her touch.
     She followed his gaze to his prosthetic leg, and her eyes met his for a breathless moment. “You’re perfect.”
     “Hardly that.” His laugh was unconvincing.
She traced his jaw then lowered her hand to his false limb. “To me, this makes you even more perfect. While it shows that you’ve suffered, it also means that you survived, for which I am eternally grateful.”
     He seemed to stop breathing, his eyes holding a desperate hope she shared. At last, he captured her hand and pressed a fierce kiss to its palm. “Then that’s all that matters.”
     “Good.”
     “Good”
     They grinned at each other like idiots and then, unable to help herself, she reached up and pressed her lips to his, loving his groan as she kissed him with all of the passion she’d denied herself. If this was what going with her gut and not playing it safe was like, then she’d give up her lists forever. They couldn’t keep her warm this way.
     When she trailed her mouth down his neck, she felt his rapid pulse at its base, tasted the slightest trace of salt on his skin. His hands roamed across her back and settled firmly on her waist. White air billowed around them, enveloping them in a world that included no one and nothing else.
     At last, Niall pulled back and gazed down at her, his expression both playful and tender. “I’m glad I’m a partner. I wouldn’t want you to think I did this for a raise.”
     She gave him a gentle kiss then pushed at his shoulders, encouraging him to lean back on the bench. He did, and she nestled into the crook of his arm again, resting her head on his biceps. “Whatever you’re making, double it.” She gave a contented sigh and snuggled firmly into the circle of his arms before she looked up. He smelled warm and rich, like sunshine and cider.
     The corners of his mouth lifted, amusement in his eyes. “Two times zero is still zero.”
     “We’ll make this work, Niall,” she said fiercely, not sure if she meant their start-up or their relationship. She was taking a huge risk with both. Was it too much for her to ask that both succeed?
     He pulled her close again when the wind turned chill and gusty, with fits and starts of rain that spattered down lightly then with growing intensity.
     “Yes. We will.”
     She smoothed back the damp hair that stuck to his cheek. “Promise?”
     He looked at her with heavy-lidded eyes and lowered his face to hers again, both of them heedless of the steady downpour.
     “Promise.”

About the Author

Karen Rock Head ShotKaren Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time author. With her co-author, Joanne Rock, she’s penned the CAMP BOYFRIEND series with Spencer Hill Press under the pseudonym J.K. Rock. She also writes contemporary romance for Harlequin Enterprises. Her wholesome romance, Heartwarming novels have won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the 2014 Golden Quill Contest. When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother’s family recipes and hiking. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch” though they know a lot about love.


Tour-Wide Giveaway

Autographed copies of WISH ME TOMORROW, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL, and SOMEONE LIKE YOU as well as a $100 Amazon Gift Card.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

16 comments

  1. Wow you had quite a week and quite a busy one coming up! Althea & Oliver looks interesting as does Prudence Pursued. Have a great week!

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  2. I'm a bit strange, (yeah well no big surprise there lol!!) in that I have to read a series all together .... so the answer is that Yes I have Eden's Root (to date) but haven't got round to reading it yet :/

    How sad and OCD is that ? :D But now I have all the books and the .5's inbetween :) I can start soon :)

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  3. I liked dystopians when I was in a YA phase, but now I'm more into historical fiction.

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  4. Nice haul! I also have The Walled City, though I'm not sure when I'll start it. And I have Witchrise on hold from the library. I wasn't a real fan of book one of that trilogy, but now that it's finished, I'll give them all another shot.


    Happy reading :)

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  5. Tracy Renee Snyder9/29/14, 10:26 PM

    havent read any of Rachel Fisher's books yet

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  6. How are you, Dena? I haven't been blog visiting for a while. Trying to catch back up after the RaT. :) I'll be over, even if late.

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  7. I liked All That Glows, but it's also my kind of book. I also liked the first cover MUCH better. I don't know why they switched it. :( Anyway. I'll be over...

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  8. I think I signed up for its tour too, but haven't heard if I got on it. I'll wish us both a spot. :)

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  9. Thanks, Pam! That cover was really cute - for Fine Art. I'm hoping to get a lot of books read before the end of the year.

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  10. I have all three of the Witchrise books to read as well. I hope we both end up liking the series!

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  11. Sherry Hoernig10/12/14, 7:23 PM

    I do like Dystopian. I haven't had the pleasure of reading any of the Eden's Root Trilogy as yet. Something I intend to do in the very near future. :)

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  12. Lol! Oh, I must be weird too then. I've got quite a few books, including series that I still need to read.

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  13. I like to mix it up a lot, obviously. I think it definitely helps me not get burned out. I do love historical fiction though too

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  14. I hope you enjoy them if you do get to read them!

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I love comments! I try to read and reply to them all. Feel free to agree or disagree and generally share your thoughts with me.