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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Accidental Affair by Leslie McKelvey (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Accidental Affair by author Leslie McKelvey!

Author Guest Post

Why am I Ashamed of Romance?

I will admit up front, I am a romance junkie. I love to read it, I love to write it, and I love to indulge in the fantasy that romance represents. Do I love to tell people I write romance? Oddly, I love telling people I’m an author (which I can actually DO now), but when they ask, “What do you write?” I always feel a little awkward. Why is that?

I suppose part of it is the stigma that people who write romance aren’t real writers (to which I say, pffft! YES, we are.). Part of it could be my “prudish” American view of sex and sexuality (nah, my hubby says no, wink, wink…). Still, when my publisher told me I write romantic suspense I was SO relieved and sort of excited. That sounds much better than “I’m a romance novelist.” Why? Why am I, for lack of a better word, ashamed of writing romance?

It really makes no sense when you think about it. Romance is the second most popular genre in the publishing marketplace, and even the most popular genre, thrillers and mysteries, often have romantic elements in them. The search for romance and love is a common and popular theme in movies, television shows, and there are dozens of magazines devoted to helping women find their perfect mate, or spice things up in the bedroom. Romance is a very important part of life.

One plausible explanation is the oft-heard, “that romance stuff isn’t realistic.” To which I say, “DUH.” That’s the whole point. I read to get away, to escape the world not immerse myself in it. Reading, for me, is like watching a movie in my head, only I’m the director, the producer, the editor, the sound engineer, and sometimes I even play a starring role. Does romantic fiction give people a distorted view of love and relationships? Perhaps, but there is a reason it’s called fiction. It’s not real. I think most people who read romance know and understand that you’re not going to meet and fall in love with your soul mate in 24 hours, but books have limits. Unless you want to write an 800 page tome you have to move the story along. Romantic fiction isn’t supposed to be a “how-to” manual or a relationship guide. It’s supposed to be like mental chocolate. It’s something to indulge in, but that can’t be all you eat (darn the bad luck!).

Maybe it’s my own personal issue. I would like to know if any other romance authors out there have ever seen the barely repressed eye-roll however. You know the one. That look of thinly veiled disdain some people get when they find out you write what my husband affectionately calls “trashy slut novels.” I know I have. Maybe they think I’m depraved in some sort of way, or not smart enough to write anything more intellectual. Maybe I’m not, but you know what? They’re not published authors, so maybe it’s more their problem than mine. Maybe it’s time I stop being embarrassed to tell everyone that I WRITE ROMANCE. After all, there’s a reason it’s the second best selling genre of fiction. I’ll bet every one of those people who looked down their nose at me have read at least one bodice-ripper in their day (the women, anyway). And you know what? It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

So, I write romance. I love romance. My characters love romance, and so do the readers. I know it’s mostly fantasy, but it also gives us something to hope for. It’s an ideal, perhaps an unrealistic ideal, but an ideal nonetheless. It can be sweet, steamy, or downright erotic, but love is at its core. To coin someone very famous, “All we need is love.” Oh, and chocolate…. :)

About The Author

Leslie McKelvey has been writing since she learned to write, and her mother still stores boxes of handwritten stories in the attic. Leslie read her first romance at 12 and was hooked. When her high school Creative Writing teacher told her she needed to be a novelist, she decided to give it a try. Finally, at the ripe old age of...forty-something...her debut novel, Accidental Affair, made it into print through Black Velvet Seductions Publishing. The publisher has also contracted two more manuscripts, which will follow Accidental Affair shortly.

Leslie is a war-veteran who served with the U.S. Navy during the Gulf War, and she was among the first groups of women to work the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. During her five years tour she was stationed at NAS Miramar and was an F-14 Tomcat mechanic and plane captain. While in San Diego she spent time on the carriers USS Independence, USS Ranger, USS Lincoln, and the USS Nimitz. The final two years of her enlistment were spent on Guam and her squadron frequently deployed to Japan and the Middle East.

She learned everything she knows about firearms and tactics from her police officer husband, who is a weapons expert, range master, and firearms instructor for one of the most highly-respected law-enforcement agencies in the world (and one he wishes her NOT to disclose). He is her biggest supporter and her unpaid consultant on everything law-enforcement and weapons related. She has three boys who keep her very busy and contribute daily to her growing number of gray hairs. Her oldest son is a United States Marine and the younger two have vowed to follow in their brother’s footsteps (OOH RAH!). She spends her off-time kidding...WHAT off-time?) reading, taking pictures, and sending lead down range (that's shooting, for those who are unfamiliar). One of her favorite scents is the smell of gunpowder in the morning....

Accidental Affair by Leslie McKelvey ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Goddess Fish Promotions

Book Review

Accidental Affair by Leslie McKelvey
Publisher: Black Velvet Seductions
Publication Date: October 31, 2012
Format: Paperback - 308 pages / Kindle - 485 KB / Nook - 848 KB
ISBN: 1936556448
Genre: Romantic Suspense

BUY THE BOOK: Accidental Affair

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Book Description:

Jack Vaughn is sure his life is over as he tumbles down the wooded hillside onto the deserted two-lane stretch of asphalt. Years of work ended with a single gunshot. Yet, it’s not over.

 A good Samaritan stops to help him, despite the danger he poses to her.

Laine Wheeler knows better than to stop for strangers on the rural Montana highway near her home, but her conscience won’t allow her to leave an injured man behind.

What she doesn’t know is the man is an undercover ATF agent tasked with infiltrating a domestic terrorist group. His cover has been blown and helping him will put her life in danger.

Though there is an instant attraction, Jack knows that beginning a romantic relationship with Laine would be both unfair and unwise. Yet the farther they run, the harder it gets to ignore the feelings that are surging between them.

Book Excerpt:

Laine Wheeler threw an arm across her dog’s chest and stood on the brakes as the rockslide tumbled quickly toward her. As the Range Rover shook, she discerned arms and legs flailing, and realized with alarm that it wasn’t a bunch of boulders rolling down the steep embankment.

It was a person.

The front end of the SUV dipped as it shuddered violently to a stop, and the individual landed in a crumpled heap not six feet from her front bumper.

Heart knocking against her breastbone, she exhaled sharply, then looked at Maverick, her half-dog, half-wolf sidekick who seemed as startled as she. Maverick woofed softly and put a paw on her arm. Laine took a deep breath, grabbed a handful of thick, gray and white fur, and turned her gaze forward.

The person hadn’t moved. She glanced first left, then right toward the tree line and wondered if there were more people where this one had come from. Both sides of the two lane highway were edged with ten foot wide shoulders hemmed in with 20 foot high embankments topped with thick pine and evergreen. When no other bodies came somersaulting down the embankment, she turned her eyes back to the unknown acrobat.

What the hell was going on? Her pulse ratcheted up a couple of uncomfortable notches. There were no lakes or rivers nearby, and the closest campsite was more than 20 miles away, so what was this person doing out here, literally, in the middle of nowhere? Staring at the rumpled figure she waited, but he, or she, didn’t move. Was this a carjacking?

An attempted kidnapping?

She gulped and frowned. She glanced at her dog, whose wise, golden eyes were fixed on her. “What do you think, Maverick? Is this a carjacking . . . in the middle of nowhere? And who’d want to kidnap me? My former in-laws?” A short, sharp laugh escaped her. “No, they’re happy enough I left Chicago.” Her gaze was drawn back to the person in the road. “Maybe they want you, Mav.” The dog whimpered.

Her brain worked at warp speed, trying to wrap itself around what she’d just witnessed. No matter which idea she entertained, none presented a reasonable explanation for the body lying in the road. She felt the adrenaline hit her bloodstream and took several deep breaths, then opened the door and stepped out.

“Stay there,” she said to the dog.

Laine took a step and stopped. What was she doing? The side of a deserted highway was no place to be a hero. She looked at the prone figure for a moment, debating with herself. A low, pained moan escaped the person, and the mournful, gravelly sound spurred her. She squared her shoulders. Right place or not, she wasn’t the type to run, and there was no way she was going to just leave an injured person in the middle of the road. She ran around the front of the Rover, looked down at the person for a split second before she knelt at their side. It was a man dressed in camouflage pants and a khaki shirt, and from the stained, disheveled state of his clothes it looked like he’d been rolling in the dirt well before his tumble down the embankment. He lay on his side with his back to her. He wasn’t moving, and the silence hung heavy.

She waited and as each second ticked off her alarm grew. She hesitated and then pressed two fingers into his neck to check for a pulse. It was weak and thready but it was there, and she sighed in relief. Grasping his shoulder, she rolled him onto his back. Dark red blood stained the upper left side of his chest and Laine drew back, startled. That she had not expected.

It took her a second to compose herself, and she reached for the collar of his shirt to get a look at the wound. Before she could peel back the material, his fingers snaked around her wrist. She jumped and fell onto her backside, her heart nearly exploding from her chest.

“Please.” His grip tightened slightly. “Get the bag and get out of here.” He spoke in a hoarse whisper. “They’re not far behind me.”

Her heart jumped and she glanced toward the tree line, imagining high-powered rifles and the sound of gunshots. “Who?”

“It doesn’t matter. Just get my bag and get it to the FBI.” His grip tightened. “What’s in that bag is more important than me. Get it and go.” He took a ragged breath. “Please.”

A finger of fear traversed her spine, but she shook it off. He had obviously hit his head on the way down the hill, and blood loss was no doubt affecting his mental faculties. “Don’t be ridiculous,” Laine replied, her voice much stronger than she felt. She glanced at the ridge again. “I can’t just leave you here.”

“They’ll kill you,” he croaked. “You have to get the bag and go . . . now!”

My Book Review:

Author Leslie McKelvey's debut novel, Accidental Affair is an intense romantic suspense story that hooks the reader from the beginning and takes them on a non-stop action packed thrill ride.

Written in the third person narrative and set in the small town of Evergreen Springs, Montana, this intriguing tale follows the suspenseful adventure of undercover ATF agent Jack Vaughn, who has spent the last eight years infiltrating the domestic terrorist organization known as CAG, Citizens Against Government. When Jack's cover is blown, he barely escapes with his life only to tumble down an embankment in front of Veterinarian Laine Wheeler's SUV. The dangerous game of bringing CAG to justice puts Jack and Laine's lives at stake as their adventure takes them to Denver to meet up with FBI Special Agent Ted "Bear" Bristol. Along the way sparks fly between them as danger lurks around every bend in the road.

This romantic suspense story has a great mixture of intriguing adventure, drama, action, and exciting romance that grabs the readers attention and doesn't let go until the thrilling conclusion. The characters leap off the pages, you can't help but feel for Laine, Jack, and Bear, these compelling characters are realistic with flaws, secrets, and desires, it's easy for the reader to connect and embrace them. This richly descriptive story has it all: witty dialogue, an action packed and intense storyline with a lot of surprising twists and turns, and a steamy romance added in the mix.

Accidental Affair is one of those romantic suspense books that is pure excitement and intrigue that keeps the reader sitting on the edge of their seats. It's the type of book that you won't be able can't put down until you find out how the story ends!

This is a wonderful debut novel for author Leslie McKelvey. I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $50 Amazon Gift Card

Author Leslie McKelvey will be giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky commenter during the tour. 

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The tour dates can be found here:


  1. Thanks so much for hosting me today, and for the wonderful review! I look forward to interacting with today's visitors!

    1. Hi Leslie! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. I really enjoyed reading Accidental Affair, it was an intriguing romantic suspense story that kept me riveted and turning the pages. :)

    2. I am so happy you enjoyed it, Kathleen! My goal as an author is to write readable romance (say THAT ten times fast), and I love to hear that people related with the characters and couldn't put it down. You've done my heart good today. Thank you!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.

  3. What an outstanding review. I really love the sound of this book.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, MomJane, and I'm pretty psyched about the review, too. Good luck!

    2. Hi MomJane! Thank you for visiting today and posting your kind comment, I appreciate it. :)

  4. Great review, thank you. I can't wait to read the book.


    1. Hi Rita! Thank you for visiting my blog and posting your kind comment. This is a really intriguing book, you're going to love it. :)

    2. Thanks, Rita! I'd love to know what you think of the book after you read it.

      And thanks, Kathleen! You sure are a busy girl!

  5. Thanks so much for the review!


  6. Congrats on your debut novel! Are you writing full-time?

    Do you really like the smell of gunpowder in the morning? Better than napalm in the morning!
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. Hey Catherine Lee! thanks for stopping by and visiting with Leslie. :)

  7. Well, I'd like to say yes, but the answer would be I write whenever I have the time. I'm married to a cop and have three boys (well, technically I have TWO now that the oldest is a US Marine), so I'm always busy. And I LOVE the smell of gunpowder in the morning. Any day is a good day when one is shooting.... :)

  8. Love & chocolate - I agree.


    1. Hi Mary, thank you for visiting with Leslie. I agree all we need is love and chocolate! :)

    2. Wouldn't it be great if love and chocolate were the two food groups needed for survival, and neither made you fat? Oh, if only....

      Thanks for stopping by Mary!

  9. Great review!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    1. Hi Natasha, thank you for visiting my blog and posting your kind comment. Good luck in the contest giveaway. :)