Tuesday, May 17, 2016

2016 RONE Awards! Woo!

I'm just an author, standing in front of a reader, asking you for your vote.

2016 RONE Awards Week Five - MEN LIKE THIS by Roxanne Smith

I have been waiting for this moment and, at long last, the 2016 RONE voting polls are open, and my debut romance is on the list! MEN LIKE THIS is in this week's voting round in the Contemporary Sweet category. 

If you've got a sec, hop onto the InD'tale website and please vote.

Monday, November 9, 2015

What A Decade Can Do

There's a lot of mixed emotion when you turn 30. For me, it's an official leave of my youth. I don't feel comfortable referring to myself as a 'little blonde girl' anymore. Not that I'm not young at heart and free of spirit--30 isn't a reason to become a fuddy-duddy, by any means.

Yet, there is a difference in being a woman versus being a girl. Being a young adult versus being an adult. A world of difference.

For instance, ten years ago, on my 20th birthday, I was getting drunk at a bar because they wrongly assumed I was celebrating my 21st birthday. Now, I wonder now where I ever found the nerve. Today, I' d be wary of being caught. More conscious of the consequences.

You could say I've learned to put thought into my actions. I've learned to consider what might come next. Who else I might affect--it never crossed my mind that the bar manager might get in trouble, or the waitress who served me might lose her job. I've learned there's a time and a place to take advantage, and it shouldn't be at the expense of someone else.

I've learned some tough decisions, you'll make alone. Sometimes, our choices aren't understood by others. And that's okay. I don't answer to others, at the end of the day. The only person, besides myself, that I will ever owe an explanation to is my husband. If he understands and supports me, that punches the card, folks. Because another thing I've learned is that a marriage is a tag-team fight, the two of you versus life. No one else is in the ring with me the way my husband is, and no one can possibly understand my personal struggles as a person, a spouse, or a parent the way he can. If he has my back, I'm good. If he doesn't, it's enough to make me reconsider.

Just because I owe my life partner an explanation doesn't mean he'll like what I've got to say. The hardest thing I've ever done, he disagreed with. He supported me despite it, which I think is at the heart of a good marriage.

I've learned, also, the importance of making those hard decisions with a clear head and heart. Take your time. Think it through. Understand the consequences, and if you're willing to suffer them. There is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and in the last decade I've done both. Sometimes, your decisions will hurt people you love. Sometimes, you have to make them anyway, for your own sake.

Because I've learned I'm important, too. My happiness matters. And I will pursue it. But I've learned to do so without causing needless damage. I'm lucky to have been forgiven for the times when this was not so. I've also learned forgiveness can't be assumed.

In youth, we take much for granted. Not everyone can look past your transgressions. Not everyone can see when you've changed. I'm a different person than I used to be, but I've also accepted that some people will always see me as they once knew me. It's not in my power to change how others feel about me. I've learned to let things go when I don't have any control over them. I've learned some battles aren't mine. Move along.

In the last decade, I've lost both my parents and experienced my child being diagnosed with a life-long illness. I've learned loss, the kind of deep grief that doesn't heal, and empathy on its deepest level. My biggest fear is no longer that I'll wake up with a monster zit between my eyes or a cold sore on my lip. Or that I might be getting a little thick in the thighs. Fuck those little things. I just don't want to have to say goodbye to anyone else I love too soon. The rest is magic. The rest is beautiful. It's all a gift, from the zits to the cellulite, to the asshole who double-parked in the last two available spaces at the mall.

I've learned I can stand on my own. I gave up security for the unknown. I gave up steady income for a retail gig. This isn't a regret of mine. It's one of the most important things I've ever done. We're told to be grateful for what we have. And I never pretended that I lacked for a thing. But while you should always understand what you have, you should also understand the needs of your heart. Recognize and accept when those needs aren't being met. You can't bury a malcontent that goes that deep. That's your heart trying to tell you something. Be brave enough to follow it. I felt all my choices had been taken from me, so I took what couldn't be given. I didn't like my place in the game, so I reset the pieces.

I walk around with that knowledge in my back pocket. I have the power to reset my course if I don't like where I'm headed. Right now, I'm exactly where I want to be. I'm not here out of obligation or blind circumstance. My life is mine by choice. My place in it, my choice. I've learned what I'm made of, and I've learned the power of taking my future into my own hands.

But I've also learned how to steer--you don't have to upset the game if you take the time to scout ahead. Know where you're going before you get there. If you don't like it, it's much easier to gradually change course than to rip yourself from a rut once it's dug.

I've learned to step away from the role of victim. I refuse to spend my life living somewhere I don't want to live, or falling prey to impulses that bring me down, and bemoaning my inability to change any of it. I can change anything. I've learned what it means to dedicate myself to a cause, whether it's moving to raise my kids in a better place or quitting smoking so I can set an example. I've learned to take responsibility. A world of excuses, and there isn't one strong enough to justify being mediocre when I can try to be awesome.

I'm not perfect. I'm not a sitcom mom, with all my shit perfectly together. I yell when I'm angry. I use bad words. I'm impatient. I'm strict. I have high expectations. But I am the best version of myself that I can be for my kids, in spite of my flaws--flaws I openly acknowledge. When I overreact, I apologize. When I'm angry, I try to explain why. If they fall short, I tell them why I care so much. I'm open about my fears; the addiction that runs in our family, the pitfalls of making the wrong friends. Just like my choices are mine, their choices will be theirs. When the time comes, I won't be there to choose their actions for them. My job comes down to preparing them to make the right ones. To me, it's important they understand their own power. Ultimately, their futures are theirs to determine.

I've learned that sometimes life is like driving, and it's not so much what you might do, as much as what some other idiot on the road might do. Shit happens to you as often as it's your own doing. Disease happens. Marriages fall apart. People move. I've learned to accept that there isn't always a choice. Sometimes, you just have to deal.

I know someone older than me will read this and think, "Got life all figured out at thirty, do ya?" By no means of my vivid, over-active imagination do I believe I have figured out life. But I've made some forward progress in figuring out me, and knowing yourself is at least half the battle. Knowing yourself means avoiding the snags that always tend to trip you up, or even the company that always seems to spell trouble. I've learned what I'm capable of, and also what I suck at. I firmly believe it's a strength to know your weaknesses.

There's been much joking around about my turning 30. The middle child, the babies of the family aren't far behind me. And it's a weird thing, getting old. Becoming the adults, when just yesterday we were still 'the kids.' But I've seen what a decade can do. I've scouted ahead, and I like the path I'm on. When I turn around to see the road behind me, it's rutted and broken, with lots of dead ends and roundabouts. I'm not sad to leave it behind. I'm armed with experience, a self-assuredness I lacked at twenty, and the road ahead seems much smoother and easier to travel.

But then, I've seen what a decade can do.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Reader Appreciation Giveaway

The Holidays are here, and MEN LIKE THIS is specially priced at 99¢ for a limited time. I've decided to run a Giveaway alongside the sale to show my appreciation for those who have spent that hard-earned buck on my book, and their precious time to read it.

The prize is a $25 Amazon Gift Card, and winning it's as easy as sending me a link to an online review you've left of MEN LIKE THIS or writing a new one. The review can be long or short, good or bad, and left on any site of your choosing. (Though, I'm partial to Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes & Noble.) This does also include reviews for my new release, RELAPSE IN PARADISE.

To enter, send a link to your review to thissmithrox@gmail.com. The contest runs through 12/5 and the winner will be chosen via random (dot) org.

Truly, I'm grateful to those supporting me, and all the other struggling authors out there.  Without readers, who would we write for?

Happy Reading and Good Luck!
Roxanne Smith

MEN LIKE THIS. Available now on Amazon for 99¢.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

99¢ Sale

Fabulous news! Lyrical has extended the 99¢ sale on MEN LIKE THIS to last through December 5th. Get it while it's hot!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

What's New


Lots of exciting things happening. Right now, RELAPSE IN PARADISE, book two in The Long Shot Romance series, is up on NetGalley. If you're not familiar with NetGalley, it's a place where you can request unreleased books free of charge in exchange for an honest review. Publishers use it to drum up excitement for an upcoming release.

RELAPSE has also earned its first 5-star review from Nerd Girl Official. Pop on over there for a peek of what to expect.

Right now, my publisher, Kensington Books, is giving away a paperback copy on Goodreads, but hurry because time is running out! Giveaway ends 9/30.

Finally, mark your calendar for November 16th, when I'll be a guest on Rachel Brimble's blog, RACHEL BRIMBLE ROMANCE.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

You're Invited!

Hello Readers!

I have a lot of fun news for you, so buckle in.

First, THIS is happening on September 1st...

Kelly Moran is celebrating the release of her latest contemporary romance, ALL OF ME, A Covington Cove Novel. There's bound to be tons of giveaways and a good time had by 
all, so make sure you stop by and join the party, by going here!

Speaking of giveaways, something else happened while I was away, off enjoying my summer....

Beautiful, touchy-feely paper. Mmm. Forget new car smell. It's all about that new book smell for me. If you're at the party, you'll be getting a chance to win one, along with some fun swag.

Finally, the cherry on top...

MEN LIKE THIS, the digital version, goes on sale just in time for the big party, at the fabulous price of 99 cents.

That's right. 99 cents, beginning 8/29.

I'd be remiss if I didn't remind you that you can also preorder the next story in the Long Shot Romance series, RELAPSE IN PARADISE, which releases November 10. Just look at that gorgeous cover.

That's it for *big* news, but there's plenty going on behind the scenes. Edits on the third and final book in the series are underway. I'm shopping a brand new, unrelated manuscript, TO THE STUDS, as I type, and I'm waist-deep into the first draft of a new romance series set in a small coastal town called Dusky Shoals.

Hope you all had a fabulous summer, and I can't wait to see you at Kelly's Facebook party!

Keep Reading!

Thursday, July 2, 2015


I've been quietly rubbing my hands together in anticipation of this. Finally, the cover for the second installment in the Long Shot series has been revealed! And. It. Is. Glorious.

I love the color scheme, the bright text on the black and white, and I love that the artist has found models that represent the characters so well. (I'm already excited for the third book, and I haven't even turned it in yet.)

If you've read the first book, MEN LIKE THIS, then you'll know Emily's job is corporate something-or-other, and she favors low heels, a smooth bun, pin stripes...and she's a smidge snobbish, wouldn't you say? So, what happens when I pit her against a beach-bum guy with long hair, tattoos, and life off the so-called grid? And, of course, Boston Rondibett has a heart of gold, which throws a nice little kink in Emily's assumptions.

RELAPSE IN PARADISE releases on November 10. (A balm to the fact that I turn 30 the day before.) Preorders are already up and running. If you loved Jack, you'll adore Boston. Catch the blurb below to found out more ;)

As always, thanks for reading!

Preorder links:

Barnes & Noble
Google Play

Still stinging from her recent divorce, Emily Buzzly heads to majestic Hawaii to soothe her wounds. But once she arrives on Oahu, Emily discovers that a man she assumes is a beach bum is in fact her personal tour guide, hired by her sister. With his long hair and tattoos, Boston Rondibett is everything Emily detests—despite his sun-kissed surfer body. And with her straight-laced, executive persona, Emily is everything Boston rebels against. But both have a lot to learn about making snap judgments…
As it turns out, Boston’s real job, the one he truly cares about, is running his soup kitchen and homeless shelter. Embarrassed by her assumptions, rather than lazy beach days, Emily soon finds herself feeding the hungry, and even involved in the search for an AWOL soldier. And to Boston’s surprise, she’s loving every minute of it—and he’s loving seeing her loosen her chignon and be the admirable, beautiful woman she is. As each works through the challenges of the past, these two very different people just might find their hearts are on the very same page…

Monday, May 4, 2015

What's Sex Got To Do With It

Obviously, the answer is everything.

Sex has everything to do with it. Sex IS it. Sex sells, right?

I'd like to amend that oft-said statement with this:  Good sex sells.

You'll find, if you've read MEN LIKE THIS, that the sexy time all happens behind closed doors. That's not to say it isn't spoken of, thought of, or occurring within the story. But as far as the action goes, you're left to your imagination to come up with the fun bits.

I'm not against sex scenes, as a rule. I don't have a religious or moral reason for leaving out these steamy happenstances. Rather, I look at it like I'm doing my readers--and my ratings--a big favor.

Writing is a thing that takes practice, and so it follows that writing a sex scene--a good sex scene--is something one shouldn't come at without a certain tool-set. Because no matter how much sex you've had, how good it was, or how well you can play out the fantasies in your mind, putting that shit on paper is a whole different animal.

I blame words. For all our words, there are only so many that work well here. A sex scene can range from flowery and poetic to clinical and rigid, and it all comes down to whether the author got the words just right. There's that elusive middle ground--sensual, but not too ridiculous when it comes to naming various body parts. (If the word "mound" is used, I just can't take a scene seriously.)

And until I can get the words just right, until I write a scene that's so good the words sort of fall off the page, and you're left with just the feels (sexy feels, if you're doing it right) there won't be sexy time in my books. Not on scene.

But I have turned up the dial, so to speak.

With every book I write, outside of the Long Shot series, which I believe each book ought to maintain the same heat level, I turn the knob just a fraction. More importantly, I've made sure that when it happens, it happens to move the plot forward. Sex for the sake of sex just isn't in my wheelhouse, and I don't think it ever will be. For instance, a dominant woman in the throes of fighting feelings she doesn't want to have might give into sex with an edge of anger, a rough surface to an act that can run the gamut from sweet and sensual to straight-up violent. And later, she might allow herself to be vulnerable, which would change the tone considerably. Not just a sex scene, but a scene like any other that demonstrates something about the character, or helps her grow in some way that, as readers, we're able to see, feel, and comprehend.

Sex is a vital part of our lives, and I don't intend to leave it off the page forever. But what I do promise, is that when I'm ready to go there, I've put in the work to make it a worthy read.

And on a finishing note, it's worth mentioning one of my most favorite and well-written scenes comes from Susan Elizabeth Phillip's "Ain't She Sweet."

MEN LIKE THIS is on sale at Amazon right now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I've come together with the awesome folks at Lyrical Press to set up a fabulous giveaway to promote the release of MEN LIKE THIS!

A $50 Amazon giftcard is up for grabs, and it's easy to gain entry to the giveaway. Visting my Facebook fan page or following me on Twitter gets your name in the hat.



OR, to increase your chances of winning, you can leave a review of Men Like This on Amazon or Goodreads and get your name entered three times.

The contest will run for the next 29 days. You can visit my website www.roxannesmith.net to enter, and also to keep track of the countdown!

MEN LIKE THIS is available beginning 4/14 on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Like-This-Long-Shot-Romance-ebook/dp/B00ONTR8HM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1429029134&sr=1-1

Monday, April 13, 2015

What I Should've Said

My mom passed away this past February.

We spent the next month trying to figure out what came next. A collaboration of people, aunts and uncles, cousins, grannys, and friends, all trying to sort out how to find closure or say goodbye to someone who didn't want a funeral.

My dad didn't have a funeral, either. Both my parents loathed the idea of a black-clad congregation crying over them, cringed at the thought of their bodies on display in attire they'd never dream of wearing in life.

In the end, a small church service was held. A spray of red roses and a photograph replaced the casket. My brother wore his official Army uniform, which is what soldiers wear to funerals. He didn't do it for that reason, but because Mom never did get to see him in his official uniform and would have loved it. I cried a little, seeing him. My mom would've cried, too. She was so proud of him.

Many didn't wear black, myself included. I also wore my mother's necklace that holds my father's ashes. She would've liked that. Sort of like he was there.

Finally, we come to the point. Besides the preacher who presided over the service, there were four speakers. All three of my brothers got up and spoke about Mom, and Granny told a story about an angel she saw when she and my mother were driving through a thunderstorm years ago. I did not speak.

Some people asked me casually why I didn't; others thought it might be rude to inquire. So, I'll tell you the why:  I was physically unable to tell my own kids about either one of my parents' passing. My husband had to give the news. It's like the words freeze in my throat, and my heart seizes. I simply can't. The minute Spencer, my younger brother and the first to speak, opened his mouth, I started crying. I didn't want to get up in front of everyone and be unable to say what I wanted to. After all, I'm a writer, not a speaker.

So, I'm saying now what I ought to have said then, and I'm doing it with the correct medium.

My mother had a tendency to repeat herself. Over and over, she'd tell you the same story. Growing up, I heard over and over again this particular thing:  "There's nothing in the world that could make me stop loving you." She'd pause. "Except murder. If you killed someone, I don't know that I could forgive you."

Basically, short of taking someone's life, there's nothing she wouldn't forgive. It was her way of explaining to us how much she loved us. She'd forgive any trespass, even if it took time, and love us despite anything--if we were gay, did drugs, robbed banks, voted Republican. She'd be disappointed, hurt, maybe angry. But she would love us despite it.

When someone dies, the first thing we do is start looking back and analyzing our relationship with that person. Every argument, every shitty thing you ever said, every time you might've been better, spoke better, been nicer, had more patience. While in Georgia, I heard so many people mention regrets. We all had something to feel guilty for.

And if you're one of those people, I'm telling you to cut that shit out. Right now. Because I don't think Mom reserved that kind of fierce love for her kids alone; I think she loved her brothers, sister, and mother to the same standard--short of murder, she forgave you. And I know she'd be upset with any of us who lingered over old regrets. She loved us too much to want that. She wanted her life celebrated, not her death mourned. And so she'd tell us to think of the good times, and let go of the bad. And so I will endeavor to do so in spite of my own guilt over decisions I might have made differently had I known how little time she had left.

And now, as to celebrating her life. Let me just say, my parents got around. To a world-traveler, it may seem humble, but it's certainly not a life one would regret. Mom and Dad got out there and made tracks.

From four-wheeling in the wilds of southern Georgia to camping in the Smokey Mountains. Mom had been to the Grand Tetons of Wyoming, and Pike's Peak in Colorado. Walked the streets of Juarez, Mexico and rode through Canada. She'd seen the big skies of Montana and the swamps of southern Louisiana. Partied it up at Cheyenne Frontier Days and Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco, Pearl Street mall in Boulder, CO, Disney World and Disneyland, the badlands of South Dakota, Mount Rushmore, Washington, D.C., the alien crash site in Roswell. She ate at Emeril's in Orlando and the original Morton's Steakhouse in Chicago. Gambled in Las Vegas, skied in Colorado, and gave birth to twins in Kansas City. She got a tattoo in Cancun, Mexico and did it all with four kids and a successful marriage of over thirty years.

And that's just the stuff she did after she turned 30.

My hat off to you, Mom. I can only hope to do so much. I turn 30 this year, so I'd better get the ball rolling.

In conclusion, my parents lived, filled in every corner of life they could. They reached out, grabbed it, and so my brothers and I inherited incredible, lasting memories I wouldn't trade for anything. My parents left this world with nothing, but managed to give us everything.