www.marilynbrant.com

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Final Mirabelle Harbor Book - Coming in September!

This fall, it'll be three years since I started writing the Mirabelle Harbor series, and the final book to wrap up the Michaelsen family's (and their friends') romances will be released then!!

To date, there are five books (Take a Chance on Me, The One That I Want, You Give Love a Bad Name, Stranger on the Shore, One Night Love Affair) and one crossover novella (Going for It) in this contemporary romance series. The final two novellas -- Rocket Man & Someone Like You -- will be combined into one book called Coming Home. (Story summary and cover to be revealed soon!!)

This has been such a fun journey as an author, and when I was writing the final pages of the last book, I felt myself missing these characters already... And yet, it's time to give them their happily ever afters, and it's time for me to begin a new project I'm just as exciting to write ๐Ÿ˜ƒ. Hope you'll be ready for that next adventure, too!!

If you'd like details on the Mirabelle Harbor stories, please check out the series page on my website HERE. Hope you're all having a wonderful May!!

๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’–

Monday, March 27, 2017

99-Cent Sale for ACCORDING TO JANE - This Week Only!

BIG BOOK SALE!!!!!!!! 

For this week only, the ebook edition of ACCORDING TO JANE is available on Kindle – Nook – iBooks – Kobo for just 99 cents!!  


If you haven't yet read my award-winning, bestselling debut novel, I hope you'll check out the links and grab a copy while it's discounted to $0.99 (regular price $5.99). ๐Ÿ˜Š If you've already enjoyed the story and would like to help spread the word, please share the buy links and sale news with other friends who you think may enjoy the book as well -- it's the only scheduled sale for the novel this year!

Here's a little bit about the story:

In Marilyn Brant's smart, wildly inventive fiction debut, one modern woman in search of herself receives advice from the ultimate expert in matters of the heart: Jane Austen. 

It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett's teacher is assigning Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. From nowhere comes a quiet "tsk" of displeasure. The target: Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who's teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten. Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, the author's ghost takes up residence in Ellie's mind, and seems determined to stay there. 
Over the next two decades, Jane's wise and witty advice guides Ellie through the frustrations of adolescence and into adulthood, serving as the voice she trusts, usually far more than her own. Years and boyfriends come and go--sometimes a little too quickly, sometimes not nearly fast enough. But Jane's counsel is constant, and on the subject of Sam, quite insistent. Stay away, Jane demands. He is your Mr. Wickham. 
Still, everyone has something to learn about love--perhaps even Jane herself. And lately, the voice in Ellie's head is being drowned out by another, urging her to look beyond everything she thought she knew and seek out her very own, very unexpected, happy ending...
ACCORDING TO JANE ~ A Novel About Pride, Prejudice & the Pursuit of the Perfect Guy

**Note: This book has adult language and content and is recommended for mature audiences.** 
.
WINNER of the Romance Writers of America's prestigious Golden Heart Award, the Single Titles Reviewers' Choice Award, the Aspen Gold Reader's Choice Award, and the Booksellers' Best Award.
Named one of the 100 Best Romance Novels of All Time by Buzzle.com.
A #1 Kindle Bestseller!
.
PRAISE for the Novel:
"Brant infuses her sweetly romantic and delightfully clever tale with just the right dash of Austen-esque wit." ~Chicago Tribune 

"Fresh, original, and lots of fun." ~Barnes & Noble Review 

"A charming book." ~Family Circle 

"A warm, witty and charmingly original story." ~Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author 

"An engaging read for all who have been through the long, dark, dating wars, and still believe there's sunshine, and a Mr. Darcy, at the end of the tunnel." ~Cathy Lamb, author of What I Remember Most 

"This is a must-read for Austen lovers as well as for all who believe in the possibility of a happily-ever-after ending." ~Holly Chamberlin, author of Tuscan Holiday 

"What an unexpected, uplifting, and urbane debut novel! To paraphrase Jane Austen's character Lady Catherine, Marilyn Brant has given us a treasure... Like Austen, Brant excels at characterization offering a heroine in Ellie Barnett that I could totally identify with, and a hero in Sam that is so endearingly flawed that any woman worthy of her worn out VHS copy of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries will be happy to swoon over. Subtly powerful and amusingly acerbic, you will be gently reproved into agreeing in the power of love to transform us all." ~Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose, editor of Jane Austen Made Me Do It

If you'd like to read an excerpt, check out this one on my website HERE!
ENJOY!! ๐Ÿ’•

Friday, February 24, 2017

One Night Love Affair is Here!


Just out today on Amazon and BN, and available for pre-order on Apple and Kobo (to be released March 1st), ONE NIGHT LOVE AFFAIR is finally here!!

This is the 5th story in my Mirabelle Harbor series, and it's a stand-alone romantic novella featuring Sharlene and Declan ๐Ÿ’•. I've been waiting so long to be able to give them their happily ever after, so it's a thrill to get to share this fast-paced and sexy story with you all!

Here are the details on the book and a short excerpt for you to enjoy:

After her first marriage ended in a divorce that left her heart in tiny shreds, Sharlene Michaelsen Boyd vowed to keep her distance from men, at least emotionally. An occasional one-night stand wasn’t out of the question, though, and with her closest friends hooking up with new loves, she finds herself in the mood for a little male company... Being the only sister with four brothers, not to mention the glue holding the Michaelsen family together after the death of their parents, Shar is used to being strong and in control. She’s a junior high English teacher who's persuasive, personable, and who knows just about everyone in the center of Mirabelle Harbor society, including her brother Blake’s super-sexy buddy, Declan Night.

As a former pro hockey player turned sportswriter and businessman, Dec has had his share of relationships, mostly meaningless, short-term flings. He always thought Blake’s little sister was a hottie, but he knew she was off limits—until one Friday night when the stars aligned and the opportunity to hook up presented itself. Shar’s intentions couldn’t have been clearer: This was for One Night Only. But, for the first time in his life, Dec wonders if, maybe, there isn’t something to be said for sticking with just one woman. Especially if that woman knows how to fulfill his every sensual fantasy.

Could one sizzling night turn into a love that has a shot at lasting forever? ONE NIGHT LOVE AFFAIR, a Mirabelle Harbor story.   

*Note: This is a steamy romantic novella with adult language and situations, and it's intended for mature audiences.*

Books in the Series:
TAKE A CHANCE ON ME (July 2015) - Chance & Nia
THE ONE THAT I WANT (July 2015) - Julia & Dane
YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME (Jan 2016) - Blake & Vicky
STRANGER ON THE SHORE (June 2016) - Marianna & Gil
ONE NIGHT LOVE AFFAIR (Mar 2017) - Sharlene & Declan
More coming soon!
Bonus Novella - GOING FOR IT (May 2016) Kindle Worlds crossover story - Tina Marie & Trevor

For info on each of the Mirabelle Harbor books, check out the series page on my website HERE!

Story Excerpt:

The only excuse Shar could give for what she said next was that she’d had half a bottle of wine at The Lounge, one jumbo margarita and three whiskey sours here at Max’s, and she hadn’t gotten laid in more months than she could count. Her ability to think straight was definitely impaired and her willingness to filter her thoughts was even more limited. 

“What’s stopping us from sleeping together?” she asked him. “I mean, Dec—” She glanced around the room. “Aside from you, there’s no one here that I’d want to pick up. You’re hotter than anyone else in the bar. It’s only because of Blake that I wouldn’t flirt with you.”

“Same here!” Dec banged the bar counter with his fist for emphasis, making their drink glasses rattle. “I would’ve hit on you in a heartbeat, Shar,” he sort of slurred. “Because you’re a seriously sexy woman. But Blake—man, he’d have my head. He told me, like four or five years ago, that he’d kick my ass if I touched you or even looked at you funny. And I believed him. So that was that. I mean—”

“Wait. My brother told you not to go near me? Not to touch me?”

“Damn right he did. Why do you think I never flirted with you? I’d already lost a couple of teeth in hockey games. I didn’t wanna lose any more.”

Shar sighed. “Well, Blake’s interference when it comes to you is ridiculous,” she said, feeling the full force of indignation hitting her. “We can make out or hook up if we want to and not be stupid about it or get overly attached or anything.” A statement that seemed to make perfect sense after multiple drinks and very few hours of sleep.

“I know, right? We should show ‘em how it’s done,” Dec suggested.

“Yeah,” she said.

"Yeah," he said back. Then he studied the almost empty whiskey glass in his hand, set it down, and eyed her warily. “Sharlene, do you really mean that?"

***

Wishing each of you a wonderful end of February, and here's hoping spring is right around the corner!! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

STRANGER ON THE SHORE is Available Now!


The newest story in the Mirabelle Harbor series is available in ebook and paperback now, and I'm so excited by this release!! For anyone who hasn't yet read the premise, here's the back-cover blurb:

On the verge of turning forty and having just lost her job, Marianna Gregory flees Mirabelle Harbor for the summer with little more than a suitcase, her beat-up car, and the blessings of her good friend Olivia Michaelsen. Her ex-husband is living a new life in California. Her college-aged daughter is spending her vacation with her boyfriend in Michigan. And the house Marianna once called her own finally sold, so she has nowhere to live in Illinois now anyway.
However, her wealthy sister Ellen owns an empty bungalow on the beach in Sarasota, Florida, so Marianna turns to the sea for a chance to go shelling, regroup, and figure out what to do with this new chapter in her life. She doesn’t bargain on having to face down several family crises while she’s away, nor does she count on meeting a handsome beachcomber who bears a striking resemblance to Elvis. Just as surprising is the craft project she gets roped into volunteering for and the new group of friends who might just change the way she views the world and her future.
The most unexpected gifts can be found where the land meets the sea. STRANGER ON THE SHORE, a Mirabelle Harbor story. 
**AVAILABLE NOW on KindleNookiBooks, and Kobo in ebook form, and in paperback on Amazon and B&N!!
A few lovely reviewers have already said:
“The summer on the beach and the stranger on the shore is more than a shallow summer read. Though light with characters who keep you in stitches, as only Marilyn knows how to write about, each one adds her piece of blessing to the recipe for a wonderful story with a magical ending.” ~Blogging Under the Shade Tree

“I have fallen in love with Ms. Brant’s Mirabelle Harbor series, and its characters. #4 in the series, Stranger On the Shore, is no exception. A FUN. Sexy. Perfect Summer read. For the beach. Or just a lazy Summer day.” 
~
Brandy


“This one just makes me crave the beach.”
 ~
Austen Coffee & Music

“Have thoroughly enjoyed the Mirabelle Harbor series and this story is no exception. Marilyn’s descriptive language makes you feel like you are at the beach feeling the sand between your toes…I highly recommend this story.”
 ~
Deborah
"Sincere and emotionally charged. This wonderful story had me in its grip and transported me to the delightful Sarasota...The descriptiveness throughout the novel was mesmerizing and brilliant." ~Vee

“I have enjoyed every book so far, and I am looking forward to what’s to come next.”
 ~
Gina Rose
**If you’d like to read an excerpt, I have one HERE and another one HERE.**
Hope you'll enjoy reading this book half as much as I enjoyed writing it!!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

GOING FOR IT - Out Today!!

In this crossover novella between my contemporary romance series (Mirabelle Harbor) and my friend Erin Nicholas's contemporary romance series (Sapphire Falls), my characters Trevor and Tina Marie have a whirlwind love story...

This is one of the launch books for Erin's Sapphire Falls Kindle World, which means it's a digital-only release on Amazon, but it's a standalone novella that can be read independently of either series. And it was a lot of fun getting to take Trevor (who's one of Blake Michaelsen's friends from YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME) on a road trip to Nebraska, where he could finally meet the redhead of his dreams!

Here is the summary of GOING FOR IT:

Mirabelle Harbor meets Sapphire Falls...

Journalist Trevor Cayne is working on the biggest feature story of his career, and he’s on a road trip from his home in the lakeside Chicago suburb of Mirabelle Harbor to Colorado Springs to get the final details. But a quick stop to see his grandmother in Sapphire Falls threatens to derail his carefully constructed plans. Between Gram and her friends, the weather whims of Mother Nature, and the most stunning redhead he’s ever laid eyes on in his life, he may not make it further than the western edge of Nebraska.  

Aspiring singer-songwriter Tina Marie Moran has vowed to leave Sapphire Falls for Nashville after this week’s big fireworks—she’s not even waiting for the Annual Town Festival to come to an end. She’s put her music dreams on hold for long enough and has no intention of postponing her plans yet again, least of all for another potentially untrustworthy man. But between her loving but meddlesome relatives and friends, a broken heart that’s in desperate need of mending, and a handsome stranger who can play her body like a virtuoso lead guitarist, she may find herself engulfed in a new passion that’s as strong as her love of music.


When it comes to their creative lives, both Trevor and Tina Marie know all about GOING FOR IT—but are they willing to put that same drive into what just might be the love of a lifetime?

Hope you'll enjoy it!!!

KINDLE EXCLUSIVE! Buy it here:
Amazon

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

You Give Love a Bad Name -- Out January 24th!!


I can't express how excited I am about this new release!! You Give Love a Bad Name, Book 3 in my Mirabelle Harbor contemporary romance series, will be available on January 24th, and it's up for pre-order on Amazon right now! (Kindle version is here and paperback is here.)

All of the books in the series can be enjoyed as standalone stories, and this one is no exception. Check out the back-cover details:

“Nothing but love, 24/7” is the slogan of Mirabelle Harbor’s only radio station, 102.5 “LOVE” FM. On the verge of turning thirty-five, local DJ Blake Michaelsen is well-known for several reasons: his very sexy on-air voice, his omnipresent family, his eligible bachelor status, and his reputation as one of the most impulsive men in Chicago’s northern suburbs. 

High-school French teacher and lifelong romantic Vicky Bernier is not at all wild about people who exhibit reckless conduct. (Blake.) Or men who have gigantic egos. (Blake.) Or grownups who still act like teenagers. (Blake, again.) She deals with enough adolescent behavior during the school day. Unfortunately, she’s the staff advisor to the Homecoming Committee, and they’ve chosen him as their DJ for the big fall dance. 

What happens when a man whose job it is to play love songs for a living is forced to admit his deepest secret—that he doesn’t believe in true love—only to discover that the one woman who might capture his heart is the same woman who distrusts him the most? 

No matter what you call it, with love there’s an exception to every rule. YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME, a Mirabelle Harbor story.

**I hope you'll all enjoy reading Blake and Vicky's romance as much as I enjoyed writing it! (And that you'll like meeting Blake's dog, Winston, too. ;) Here's a peek at a never-before-seen excerpt from the novel:

My friends and I settled our bill and stepped outside of The Lounge just as a ruckus was getting started next door at Max’s Pub.

“You asshole!” this dopey, burly, drunk guy screamed, ineffectively swinging at another drunk guy.

“You witless dickhead!” slurred the second guy. But that didn’t mask his identity. As soon as he spoke, I knew who it was. Everyone did.

“Isn’t that Blake Michaelsen?” Janet whispered.

“Yep,” I whispered back. I’d only seen him in person once before—at a big event at the radio station this summer—and it was, literally, across a crowded room. But Blake’s voice on 102.5 LOVE FM was one of the sexiest I’d ever heard. I listened to him on the radio all the time. And he was my friend Sharlene’s older brother, so I knew a few additional facts about him than I might have otherwise.

Like that he was impulsive.

And loud.

And kind of a manwhore.

Then again, he had a rep in town, so most women knew these things, too. It was just that Shar had actually confirmed them for me.

Blake landed a decent punch and sent the other guy stumbling. But Dopey Dude got back up.

Oh, boy.

Shar was going to be so pissed when she heard about this. And she would. Probably within three minutes or less. Gossip traveled at the speed of sound in Mirabelle Harbor.

There was more yelling between the men, along with a bunch of shouts from the sports-bar crowd surrounding them. It reminded me of the stupid hall fights I’d had the misfortune to have to try to break up at the high school. Dumb boy behavior at its finest. Guys who fought each other because they couldn’t rationally reason their way through a discussion. So foolish and immature. And, worse, so painful to the people who actually cared about these cretins.

Dopey Dude landed a crushing blow to Blake’s abdomen. He doubled over and fell to the pavement. Then the other guy started to seriously pummel Blake while the crowd alternately jeered, taunted, and screamed their encouragement.

I winced. Blake’s dark hair was matted against his forehead with sweat and, also, with some fresh blood. He had a gash across his cheekbones, dirt on his face and neck, and more blood dripping from the corner of his mouth.

And he was devastatingly handsome, even then.

Although, with the angry eyes and the snarl on his lips, he looked like the poster child for one the French revolutionary insurgents in Les Misรฉrables. If he decided to build a barricade, storm the Bastille, or lead the crowd in the first verse of “Do You Hear the People Sing?” I wouldn’t dare to stand in his way.

The fact that I couldn’t guess whether he’d be more like a hero or a terrorist in any uprising made me immediately uncomfortable, though. I hadn’t known he’d be like this. His sister could get a little fiery sometimes, but Shar had a marshmallow heart. Blake, by contrast, looked both self-destructive and vicious. Like he could quite effectively kill someone.

Finally, an officer came on the scene and broke up the fight. He ordered us all to leave, but I was rooted to the spot. I couldn’t take my eyes off Blake’s cut-up face. So many bruises, and he was even spitting blood.

Lisa nudged me. “Let’s go, Vicky.”

Before I could make my feet move, Blake looked up at me and our gazes collided. I kept imagining the shock Shar would feel if she saw her brother in this horribly battered, sweaty, and drunken state. She was very protective of her family. But nothing was going to protect Blake from the wrath of one massive hangover and the need for some serious first aid.

His eyes turned even darker and they narrowed dangerously as he continued to stare at me.

Christine tugged me away.

“They were like a couple of wasted jocks after a football game,” she observed on the drive home.

“I know. I was thinking the same thing. Like those boys that get into fights in the school cafeteria. With them, it’s all crazy levels of testosterone and impaired judgment, leading to damage of property and reckless endangerment of themselves and others. Imagine someone acting that way after being out of high school for fifteen years? It’s like they never got all the way through adolescence.”

Christine nodded. “Although I can’t say being a mature grownup all the time is a barrel of laughs.”

I smiled. “True. But anything is better than being forever seventeen.”

I remembered myself at seventeen and suppressed a shudder. That was one time of my life I’d never want to relive, and I had daily witness as to why in my classroom.

Though, if forced to be completely honest with myself, one of the main reasons I’d been drawn to teaching was to see if I could make high school a better experience for kids like me. For those quirky, quiet, culture-loving, rule-following bookworms who really wanted to learn. Not that I was so different now, really. It was just that, back then, I’d felt so alone. I hadn’t realized there might be others like me out there.

I said goodnight to Christine, went inside my apartment, and leaned against the door with a deep sigh. I should go to sleep, but I just couldn’t. All I’d be able to see behind my closed eyes would be Blake Michaelsen’s bloodied, infuriated face.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Being on the Set of "Chicago Fire" as an Extra!

I shared this story on Facebook earlier today, but I wanted to post it here as well because it was just such fun! :) 
The city of Chicago is home to some fabulous TV shows, including NBC's "Chicago Fire." A couple of weeks ago, I came upon their casting alert page for extras... Now, I've never done anything like this -- it's been 25 years since I've even been onstage in a community theater production, LOL -- but I really enjoyed this show and the others in set in the same world ("Chicago P.D." & "Chicago Med") and thought it was incredibly cool that they included so many locals as extras.
So, when there was a casting call at the end of November for a group scene with people of various ages and backgrounds, I submitted my picture and the required info. It was a totally spontaneous thing, and I knew there would be a lot of applicants. I wasn't at all surprised when the film date came & went and I didn't hear back from them... I was, however, utterly stunned this week when one of the casting people left a voice mail for me and asked if I was available to play a "paralegal" extra during their shoot in Chicago yesterday. I had to replay the message 3x before I believed it!! Of course I said YES!!
It was such a marvelous experience, and everyone involved -- from the actors to crew members to other extras -- were really nice and very professional. In the snapshot below, Mariana (far left), Sharella, Nancy, and I bonded over being lawyers/paralegals for the day. A couple of them had been extras before, so it was great chatting with them about the shows they'd worked on, as well as books and real-life stuff. For me, the realities of being on a film set, even in a teeny tiny capacity, were just fascinating. You all know how much I love TV. And all forms of storytelling. And actors!! So, truly, it was a feast of delights getting to see how a couple of short scenes were done from beginning to end.
A few observations: There was a lot of standing around and waiting, but I knew to expect that. There was quite a bit of repetition, too, as far as the shooting of each scene (for blocking, for rehearsals, for filming multiple takes and camera angles), but I expected that as well. What I hadn't expected were certain details I'd never thought to consider -- like needing to attach something to the soles of our shoes to muffle the sound they make on the tile. (In one scene, several of us are walking down a hallway, and all of the women's heels were clicking too loudly!) In the other scene, I was sitting on a bench in that same hallway with a male extra who was playing a lawyer, and he was explaining his notes to me -- silently. We were told that even whispering could get picked up by the mic, so we should only mouth the words of our conversation. And there was a crew member running around with a dozen rolls of masking tape in different colors. I saw him use a couple of them to mark spots on the tile for the main actors. And the sweetest lady with hair-styling products, who was determined to get my curly hair to stop frizzing. (A task I'd failed at for decades, by the way. So, she was pretty heroic, in my book!)
Anyway, I have no idea if I'll actually end up onscreen after the final edits are in...and if I am, I'll most likely be a passing blur with slightly tamed hair, LOL, but I had a blast!! I was told the episode we were shooting was for Season 4, Episode 12. The fall finale of "Chicago Fire" will be this coming Tuesday, December 8th, and that will be Episode 9. So, the one we were working on yesterday should air sometime in the New Year. I'll keep you posted!!
If you could be cast as an extra on any TV show currently on right now, which would it be?!