Celebrating Romance

is a collection of 10 romantic, personalized short stories selected as winners in YourNovel.com's first Romance Writing Contest held to celebrate our tenth year of business.
    There's something for any starring couple in each of these adventures: an unforgettable night in the City of Lights, as well as a week-long rediscovery of love in Paris, a cabin rendezvous, a mountain retreat, an Acapulco sojourn, even an outer space mission, a Southwest trip, discovery in Barcelona, fireworks and love in Maui, and vanquishing a curse on Oahu.
    An impressive six of the 10 winning writers went on to publish full-length books. Marcy Thomas and Gail Gibbs have written full-length novels for YourNovel.com. LuAnne McLane (with 13 novels under her belt), Lori Pepio, Janet Welch, and Regina Hammond all went on to publish books for other companies.

Here's a little video to get you in the mood.
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WILD excerpt

All excerpts in this column are done in the "WILD" version. Examples of personalization are in pink, such as man's and woman's names, cologne, eye color, etc.
    

• From "Cabin Fever" by Janet Welch of St. Joseph, MO, one of 10 stories in Celebrating Romance. In this story, the woman faces a stay-or-go, life-changing decision when would-be lovers meet face to face for the first time in his cabin:

    John released her hands and cupped her chin with one of his palms. His touch made something inside her tumble free. His green eyes captured her blue ones. She parted her lips to tell him her decision only to find his mouth touching hers. His lips were warm and searching. Ann felt the same searching inside her. John brushed against her lips, back and forth, coaxing, inviting.
     Ann opened. John tasted her, and she tasted him. She tugged gently on his bottom lip. His groan vibrated in all of her secret places. He pressed his chest against her, and she immediately felt herself press closer to him. His hand continued to hold her jaw, caressing her. His tongue teased. Her brain clouded with his scent, Old Spice. And she wanted more.

• From "Mountain Magic" by LuAnn McLane of Florence, KY, a story where a mountain getaway involves a furry visitor:

    He carried her into the bedroom and lowered her gently onto the quilt. Ann watched while he quickly pulled his sweater over his head and shed his jeans.
     Your turn," he prompted.
     Ann raised up to her knees, removed her red sweater and tossed it to the floor. She watched John's green eyes darken with desire. She was glad she had worn her favorite red satin bra and matching panties. Ann tried to tease him by undressing slowly, but after a few tortured moments, John growled and gave her some quick assistance. Within seconds, they were skin to skin on the big brass bed.
     After 20 years together, Ann knew exactly what techniques to use to drive John crazy. She used each and every one of them and threw in a few surprises.
     "I love you, Sweet Baby," she whispered and trailed her fingers lightly through his damp, black hair. Snuggling close to his side, she inhaled Old Spice, the scent he always wore because he knew it was her favorite.
     "I love you, too, Ann."

• From "Acapulco Nights" by Regina Hammond of Beaverton, OR, where love's flame ignites during a picnic outing to see the sights of this exotic city:

    "I bet you would look amazing laying on the bed covered with nothing but the moonlight," John softly whispered in her ear as he pulled her body close to his and closed the door.
     Ann could feel his rock-hard arousal pressing firmly against her thigh. "Are you sure you can wait until the moon comes out, Sweet Baby?" she purred in his ear, while she seductively ruffled his black hair with her fingers.
     "Not if you keep that up." His voice was ragged with desire, and his muscles quivered as he slowly began to back Ann toward the welcoming bed. As he gently laid her down, he eased her flimsy dress up over her hips, revealing a sexy pair of silk-and-lace red panties. "Honey, you look so amazing! How did I ever end up with a woman like you?" he asked as he hooked his fingers around her hips and slowly began to lower the small scrap of silk that had been covering her most private part. John tenderly began to kiss Ann's belly, working her dress higher and higher, finally revealing her bare breasts. His tongue traced circles over her sensitive buds. Moving his body over hers, John eagerly placed his mouth firmly on her soft lips.
     Ann's body responded immediately as she took in his sweet taste and his fragrance, Old Spice. After their mouths finally parted, she said, "OK, I guess I am glad we decided to take a vacation." There was a sexy laugh in her voice.

Other stories in Celebrating Romance are as follows:

• "Beyond the City of Lights," by Lori Pepio of Sterling, VA, where romantic, modern-day Paris blurs with that of Marie Antoinette's time in the mind of the woman, who like most, dreams of a valiant man coming to her aid.

• "Destiny in Paris" by Marcy Richardson of Plantation, FL, where, to re-ignite their passion, the hero "kidnaps" his longtime love for a romantic rendezvous in Paris, where she's to follow explicit directions as if they've never met.

• "Passion Among the Stars" by Gail Gibbs of Tyrone, NM, whose story, set aboard a spaceship, proves that love and romance have no earthly limits.

• "Fourth of July on Maui" by Kristopher Horton of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where the magic of this exotic island reveals itself to lovers who rediscover amour.

• "Ruby is the Color of Love," also set in Hawaii, by Jennifer Kalman of Quebec, Canada, involves a necklace, an ages-old curse, some shady characters and the knowledge that love opens the right doors.

• "Barcelona Treasure" by Andrew Kin of Los Angeles, CA, where the couple stumbles onto a treasure map during their getaway in this fantastic Spanish city.

• "Sizzling Southwest" by Dee Thorpe of Oviedo, FL, where fantasy and reality both steam up the action when the couple enjoy the wide open spaces of this beautiful part of America.

MILD excerpt

All excerpts in this column are done in the "MILD" version. Examples of personalization are in pink, such as man's and woman's names, cologne, eye color, etc.
    

• From "Cabin Fever" by Janet Welch of St. Joseph, MO, one of 10 stories in Celebrating Romance. In this story, the woman faces a stay-or-go, life-changing decision when would-be lovers meet face to face for the first time in his cabin:

    John released her hands and cupped her chin with one of his palms. His touch made something inside her tumble free. His green eyes captured her blue ones. She parted her lips to tell him her decision only to find his mouth touching hers. His lips were warm and searching. Ann felt the same searching inside her. John brushed against her lips, back and forth, coaxing, inviting.
     Ann accepted. John tasted her, and she tasted him. She tugged gently on his bottom lip. He pressed his chest against her, and she immediately felt herself press closer to him. His hand continued to hold her jaw, caressing her. His kiss teased. Her brain clouded with his scent, Old Spice. And she wanted more.

• From "Mountain Magic" by LuAnn McLane of Florence, KY, a story where a mountain getaway involves a furry visitor:

     He carried her into the bedroom and lowered her gently onto the quilt. Ann watched John's hazel eyes darken with desire. She was glad she had worn her favorite red outfit.
     After 20 years together, Ann knew exactly what techniques to use to drive John crazy. She used each and every one of them and threw in a few surprises.
     "I love you, Sweet Baby," she whispered and trailed her fingers lightly through his damp, black hair. Snuggling close to his side, she inhaled Old Spice, the scent he always wore because he knew it was her favorite.
     "I love you, too, Ann."

• From "Acapulco Nights" by Regina Hammond of Beaverton, OR, where love's flame ignites during a picnic outing to see the sights of this exotic city:

     “I bet you would look amazing laying on the bed covered with nothing but the moonlight,” John softly whispered in her ear as he pulled her body close to his and closed the door.
     Ann thrilled in the warmth of his lips on hers. “Are you sure you can wait until the moon comes out, Sweet Baby?” she purred in his ear, while she ruffled his black hair with her fingers.
     "“Not if you keep that up.” His voice was ragged with desire, and his muscles quivered as he slowly began to back Ann toward the welcoming bed. He laid her down gently and lovingly. He ran his hand over her blond hair and looked deeply into her blue eyes. Honey, you look so amazing! How did I ever end up with a woman like you?” he asked as he reached to take her into his arms. He pulled her close and tenderly began to kiss her neck. Her breathing increased and so did his. John eagerly placed his mouth firmly on her soft lips.
     Ann's body responded immediately as she took in his sweet taste and his fragrance, Old Spice. After their mouths finally parted, she said, “OK, I guess I am glad we decided to take a vacation.” There was a sexy laugh in her voice.

Other stories in Celebrating Romance are as follows:

• "Beyond the City of Lights," by Lori Pepio of Sterling, VA, where romantic, modern-day Paris blurs with that of Marie Antoinette's time in the mind of the woman, who like most, dreams of a valiant man coming to her aid.

• "Destiny in Paris" by Marcy Richardson of Plantation, FL, where, to re-ignite their passion, the hero "kidnaps" his longtime love for a romantic rendezvous in Paris, where she's to follow explicit directions as if they've never met.

• "Passion Among the Stars" by Gail Gibbs of Tyrone, NM, whose story, set aboard a spaceship, proves that love and romance have no earthly limits.

• "Fourth of July on Maui" by Kristopher Horton of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where the magic of this exotic island reveals itself to lovers who rediscover amour.

• "Ruby is the Color of Love," also set in Hawaii, by Jennifer Kalman of Quebec, Canada, involves a necklace, an ages-old curse, some shady characters and the knowledge that love opens the right doors.

• "Barcelona Treasure" by Andrew Kin of Los Angeles, CA, where the couple stumbles onto a treasure map during their getaway in this fantastic Spanish city.

• "Sizzling Southwest" by Dee Thorpe of Oviedo, FL, where fantasy and reality both steam up the action when the couple enjoy the wide open spaces of this beautiful part of America.