Contemporary Romance · Fiction · Guest Posts · Uncategorized · Writing

Cover Reveal: “Melody In My Head” by Nikki Lynn Barrett


I’m excited to welcome romance Author Nikki Lynn Barrett to LaurieWriting today as she, Jameson (hero), and Melody (heroine) unveil the cover for the second book in the Love and Music in Texas series!

Here’s Nikki. Enjoy!

 Hi everyone! I thought I’d bring Jameson and Melody with me to help unveil the cover for their story.  The Melody in My Head should be out within a few weeks- late July or early August. This is book two in the Love and Music in Texas series. Book one, Baby Stetson, has been discounted to $.99 for a limited time. You’ll get your first glimpse of Jameson in Baby Stetson, and then get to know this sweet guitar player much better in his own story.

JAMESON: Sweet, really? You didn’t think that of me at first…   Glares

NIKKI: I know, I know…I’m sorry! How many times do I have to apologize?

JAMESON: Well, you wouldn’t have to if you’d just kept it quiet about your original plan for me, you know.

NIKKI: Good marketing? Laughs

JAMESON: Hmph….I don’t know about that.

NIKKI: Oh, don’t play the pouting card with me. Save that for Melody.

MELODY: I heard my name…Am I late?

NIKKI: Not by much, it’s okay. We’re about ready to unveil your cover.

MELODY: Oh! So I haven’t missed the fun part yet.

NIKKI: Nope, just missing Jameson grumbling at me.

MELODY: Why are you grumbling at our author, Jameson?

JAMESON: Because she must get a kick out of telling everyone that I wasn’t originally a good character in her mind….

MELODY: Wait….what?  I didn’t know any of this….

NIKKI: Okay, okay! Come on! I don’t always know how every character is going to play out!  You should feel lucky, Jameson. You won me over. I knew after awhile while writing Baby Stetson that I couldn’t keep you as a bad guy…and I even gave you your own story! So….stop picking on me about it now.  Besides, it worked out. Look at you now!

JAMESON: Yeah, after a lot of torture.

NIKKI: You sound just like Lucas…he pretty much said the same thing to me.

JAMESON: Maybe that should tell you something.

NIKKI: Oy vey…Okay, I think it’s time to show off your cover before I get ganged up on again by my characters. Sheesh!

Music and Love In Texas Series Book 2
Love and Music In Texas Series Book 2

MELODY: I love our cover.

JAMESON: hugging Melody  As do I.

NIKKI: I appreciate you guys coming with me to help show off your cover. Are you ready for the world to read your story soon?

MELODY: I’m a little nervous…okay, very nervous, but it sounds like this could be fun! 

JAMESON:I’m ready. We only interrupted you writing something else to write our story, so it’s only fair. 

NIKKI: You are persistent, I’ll give you that.

MELODY: Yes, he certainly is. Smiles

NIKKI: Anything you want to say before we go?

JAMESON: We’ll see everyone in a few weeks! In the meantime, check out Avery and Lucas’s story if you haven’t already. Maybe you’ll see right away that I’m not a bad character, even if our dear author didn’t.

MELODY: Jameson! You really are as bad as Lucas. Don’t tell her I said that.   Okay, well, like Jameson, I am excited about our story. Thanks for bringing us with to show off the cover!

NIKKI: Thanks for coming with me. I know you guys have some studio time coming up soon, right? To finish the demo?

JAMESON: Oh we do! It’s almost that time. We’d better not be late. We’re recording the song Melody and I wrote.

MELODY: I still get goosebumps at hearing my lyrics put to a song.

NIKKI: I felt the same way when I had someone help me put my own words to music. A beautiful feeling. See you later, you two. Good luck on recording. 


Melody In My Head Blurb  


Welcome back to Harmony’s Echo, Texas…..

Melody Roland is on the run from the one person she trusted completely. One who hid a dark past she could never have imagined. When a pregnant woman on the bus she’s fleeing on goes into labor, Melody rushes to her aide. Now she finds herself stranded in a tiny remote town just off the highway, with no way to her original destination. 

She’s alone, on edge, and unsure who to trust. Her instincts scream to get far away and fast. But how and where?

Jameson Grant struggles through the roughest year of his life. Suffering from the loss of his father, one grief stricken night, he made a mistake. One which cost him the only woman he’s ever loved. Each lonely day he’s faced with the constant reminders of how quick things can change. Throwing himself into the one thing he has left, his music, helps dull the pain he fights to keep hidden. His last salvation begins to crumble as things spiral out of control and he has no choice but to face the ‘music’ of his past. 

The last thing he needs or wants in his life is a woman with more trouble on her heels than the best of country music lyrics. But Melody sings a sirens call within him that can’t be ignored.

Jameson and Melody bond in ways stronger than either could have imagined, but one dangerous person from her past may threaten it all…

If she doesn’t flee before he can convince her to stay, and that some love songs last an eternity.


She shouldn’t have listened to them.



She really was going to be sick. Melody’s stomach clenched, her breaths came out on rasps, images she’d rather not have in her mind played over and over again as the sounds repeated.


Melody had to get out of here.  Go somewhere, clear her head. She forced herself to stop crying, dried her face. She hesitated before opening the door, hoping Jameson and Blaine were too busy to notice her. She didn’t hear them, and wasn’t sure where either of them were.


She made a dash for it. From the sounds of it, the two were still in the kitchen. Melody could go through the front door and get a bit of fresh air. As quick and quiet as she possibly could be, she managed to get out the front door without either of them noticing her.


The ladder still leaned against the house, from when she and Jameson climbed up there. The old wood creaked underneath her weight as she walked across the front porch. Carefully walking down the steps, Melody gripped the sides of the ladder. One by one, she climbed the rungs, pulled herself up onto the roof and scrambled up. She let her feet dangle over the edge as she let the tears flow again.


Patchy clouds hid the sun, and a cool, brisk breeze weaved through her hair, tossing it lightly. Melody pushed strands out of her face as her chest constricted with sobs.




 She gasped at the sound of Jameson’s voice. She stared down at him. He frowned, jumped onto the ladder and was at her side in seconds. He pulled her to him. Cupping her face, Jameson persuaded her to look at him.


“What’s wrong? I’m sorry. I heard the door and wasn’t sure what was going on. Then I saw you up here in tears…” Jameson cradled her to him. “If you need me to leave you alone, I will, but I had to make sure you’re okay.”


Melody liked this man. Way too much. He was always right there to talk to her. He had so much to deal with, but he always put it aside when Melody had something going.  She didn’t want to lean on him, she didn’t want to drag him into her screwed up world.


He knew the real reason she ran, so it was a little too late to keep him out. Damn it, why did he have to be such a great guy?  It was the wrong time! 


“I used your phone to make a long distance call.”


Jameson pulled away and chuckled. “Okay. So you’re crying up here because you made a long distance call?  It’s not the end of the world. We have long distance on our phone.”


Melody nearly laughed, but the gesture actually forced more tears out.  She’d said the completely wrong thing to start off with. Yes, that did sound foolish! Crying over a long distance phone call. If only it were that simple. Oh, if only. 



***Backstage Pass***


Fun Facts about The Melody in My Head, and the Love and Music in Texas   Book series



~ I used Keith Urban’s intense guitar playing for inspiration when I pictured Jameson playing the guitar. Yes, it’s no secret I have a huge celeb crush on Keith, but it’s more than that. He’s a talented guitar player and he puts his all in when he plays, and that’s why I used his image for Jameson…..Honest!

The song lyrics I incorporate in the story are mine. I am a lyric writer, and so I fit some of my own songs in the story as I see fit. 🙂


~ Book Three will feature Jameson’s sister, Blaine, and the keyboardist for Baby Stetson Randy. I started thinking about them while writing The Melody in My Head. That story should come out 2014.


~ So far, I have probably about 7 stories planned in this series.

I used to not read series- let alone write them! Now, I’m hooked!

I’m going to be working on a project- The songs used in the series, I’m going to try and get them to melody, find a band, and release a music CD with the songs.  (Yep, I’ll be singing them. I won’t burst your eardrums, promise!)

Romance Author Nikki Lynn Barrett
Romance Author Nikki Lynn Barrett







*** “Drawing The Line” Giveaway Winner ***


The winner of the contemporary romance novella Drawing The Line, by Kimberly Kincaid is………….


 ~Amanda Beaty Chambers~

Amanda, once you have claimed your prize, Kimberly Kincaid will send you Drawing The Line via e-mail with the address you’ve provided us when entering the giveaway. Enjoy your e-book Amanda!

Wondering what you missed? 

The giveaway has ended, but for anyone who missed the post before, foodie romance Author Kimberly Kincaid gives some great tips on what makes a hot hero and shares a blurb for her latest novella Drawing The Line.

To Read More On What Makes A Hot Hero Click Here

Have a great weekend everyone!



Contemporary Romance · Fiction · Giveaways · Guest Posts · Writing · Writing Tips

What Makes A Hot Hero? – by Foodie Romance Author Kimberly Kincaid

Portrait of young attractive happy amorous couple in bedroom

Today I am welcoming foodie romance Author Kimberly Kincaid to the blog and we will be giving away a free copy of Drawing The Line to a lucky commenter. Kick back and enjoy as she shares her insight on what makes a hot hero, gives you a peek into her novella with a blurb, and tells us a little about herself.

How My Hero Earned His Nickname

Jason Morgan, the hero in my latest foodie novella Drawing The Line, is a cop working a make-or-break case. Serenity Gallagher is the witness to a brutal crime. They meet at the hospital under some very…interesting circumstances (he walks in on her as she’s changing). Here’s how his nickname is born:

A wash of heat rode high on Serenity’s cheeks, although whether it was from having been stone cold busted in her underwear or from the piercing ocean-blue stare of the detective standing across from her, she couldn’t be sure. Of all the cops who could’ve caught this case, fate just had to dish up the one who ate lunch at her diner once a week and could probably charm the chalk out of the world’s stodgiest schoolmarm.

But Serenity didn’t do anything on a whim, ever. And she wasn’t about to buck tradition with a fast-talking detective, no matter how many nurses he flirted into submission.

“I’m not sure what you mean, Detective Morgan.” Serenity pasted an ill-fitting smile over her face, and ugh, even that made her head throb. Okay, so the chances that he hadn’t figured out her bungled escape plan were pretty nonexistent, but no one had told her the police would come talk to her here. And while Serenity had finally gotten in touch with her restaurant manager, Jules, and convinced her to go to the diner instead of coming to the hospital, Mac’s was still her responsibility. She needed to make sure the place was taken care of so she could go upstairs to get an update on Colin. He wasn’t just her friend, he was her employee, which made him her responsibility too.

          No matter how charismatically Detective McHot-Hot was looking at her.


Okay, so Serenity is being just a smidge sarcastic when she dishes up this nickname (that is, after all, part of her feisty style). But Jason’s nickname holds true for lots of reasons, and not just the physical. What makes a hot hero…well, hot? Here are four elements that work for Jason, and for hot heroes across the board in their own way.

He’s dedicated. Jason is cop, just like his father before him, and the guy just screams I’m into my job! Hot heroes have a passion for something, be it work (think cops, firefighters, military men, heck, he could be an accountant as long as it’s his thing) or play (thrill-seeking base jumper? Intense sculptor? Muscle car enthusiast?) Heroes who have a passion for something else will easily translate into heroes who have a passion for your heroine.

He’s good.Don’t confuse this with always doing good things, now. After all, nobody’s perfect. But at the center of every good hero, even amongst the flews, is inherent good. Sure our hero might rough up bad guys or have a dark past. But he’s redeemable, and he gives the heroine—and us—glimpses of that worthiness as the story progresses.

He’s got a third dimension.Jason’s third dimension is the splash of smart-alecky-ness that makes him mischievous. With this secret super power, Jason is able to put Serenity (who does NOT want to be in protective custody with him) at ease. Hot heroes have something unique about them that make them stand out, usually something that defines them even if they don’t know it (Jason uses humor as a cover for the serious side of being a cop). This makes them more real on the page, and it will keep readers reading. And swooning.

He’s flawed.This goes hand in hand with number two. While hot heroes are good men, they also have flaws. Real, believable issues that stand in between who they are and who they want to be. Jason’s flaw is that he doesn’t think he can balance love and the career he’s dedicated to, so he has trouble letting anyone past that cocky façade. As long as a hero has internal conflict, he has room to grow, to arc, to change. And when readers are privy to this transformation, they will feel invested in the hero as well as his happily ever after.

 So tell me, writer friends! What are your favorite attributes in a romance hero? Do you like them gruff and Alpha? Or are serious Beta heroes for you? Who are some of your favorites? One lucky commenter will win a free Kindle-ready copy of Drawing The Line, so don’t be shy! Tell all!

Drawing The Line Blurb:

When Detective Jason Morgan is tasked with keeping a local restaurant owner safe as part of a make-or-break case, he rises to the challenge. The job is his first priority, and he owes it to the memory of his father, a detective killed in the line of duty, to do it at any cost. But Jason never expected Serenity Gallagher to be so beautiful, so serious…or so tough to protect.

Serenity has moved from place to place at the whim of her capricious mother all her life. The last thing she wants is to leave the diner she finally calls home, even if it means being stuck with a sexy blue-eyed detective. But she’s the only witness to a horrible crime, and the man behind it wants her very, very dead. Going into protective custody means survival, no matter how much Serenity hates hiding.

As Jason and Serenity bide their time together, they are shocked to discover they have much more in common than the surface reveals. But keeping her safe is Jason’s number one priority, no matter how much he’s drawn in by the woman beneath the witness, and Serenity’s past makes it difficult to trust. As the stakes get higher and the spark burns hotter, can Jason and Serenity draw the line?

Meet Kimberly:

contemporary romance novelist, Kimberly Kincaid, “splits the difference between sexy and sweet.”
Contemporary romance novelist, Kimberly Kincaid, “splits the difference between sexy and sweet.”

Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2011 RWA Golden Heart® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. She has written two digital novellas, Love On The Line and Drawing The Line, about hot cops and sexy chefs, with a third novella, Outside The Lines, due this summer. She is also thrilled to have collaborated on a Christmas anthology with Donna Kauffman and Kate Angell, titled The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap, to kick off her Pine Mountain foodie series with Kensington this October. Kimberly’s first full-length novel, Turn Up the Heat, will follow in February 2014. She resides in northern Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters. Visit her any time at or come check her out on Facebook and Twitter .


To enter to win a free e-copy of Drawing The Line you must do the following:

Leave your name and email address in the comments section of this post

The lucky winner will receive a free e-copy of Drawing The Line sent directly from the Author via email shortly after the winner is announced on the Fresh Food Friday post Friday, June 7th. Giveaway ends on Wednesday, June 5th, at 9pm.