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Monday, May 31, 2010

Interview of Author Lindsay Townsend

Today it's my pleasure to interview author Lindsay Townsend.

Latest Book: "A KNIGHT’S ENCHANTMENT"
Buy Link: http://www.lindsaytownsend.net/2008/04/knights-enchantment.html

BIO:
Lindsay lives in Yorkshire, England, where she was born, and started writing stories at an early age. Always a voracious reader, she took a degree in medieval history and worked in a library for a while, then began to write full-time after marriage.
Her first unpublished historical found her an agent and the second got a publisher in London interested. They wanted her to write with a modern setting, which she did – several romantic thrillers set in Greece, Italy or on Dartmoor in the English West Country - and enjoyed it, but historicals are really her first love. The books Lindsay is currently writing for Kensington are medievals, but she is also fascinated by the ancient world, especially Rome, Egypt and the Bronze Age.
When not writing or researching her books, she enjoys walking, reading, cooking, music, going out with friends and long languid baths with scented candles (and perhaps chocolate).

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I went out and bought a bottle of sparkling wine to enjoy with my husband!

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: I enjoy writing the beginning and middle of any novel. I like those sections because I’m learning my people and they’re fresh and surprising me. It’s as if I’m opening a gift to myself.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: I always find endings hard. It’s not so much the picking up and resolution of conflict or plot threads, or showing how my people have changed, but more the precise moment of when to write ‘the end’. I find saying goodbye to my characters difficult!

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: My heroes and heroines look very different in my mind as I write. I tend to picture them closely from the start and give them individual traits, habits of speech and dress and different secrets and goals so that they are all unique.

Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: Explore the island with the handsome man (whom I would know and love.) Ensure we’ve shelter and food and that no animal or person is going to disturb us. Make love, swim, write and join in with whatever my handsome man wants to do. Try not to keep checking my email!

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: I like blogs and chats best. I like chats because they’re easy and friendly and blogs because they can be so entertaining, informative and beautiful. I enjoy photos and pictures on blogs and find them inspiring.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!

My website:
http://www.lindsaytownsend.net

My blogs:

http://www.lindsaytownsend.net

http://lindsaysromantics.blogspot.com

My publisher pages:
Kensington Zebra:

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/catalog.cfm?dest=dir&linkid=2342&linkon=subsection

Siren-Bookstrand:

http://www.bookstrand.com/lindsay-townsend

BLURB:
A beautiful alchemist and a valiant knight join forces to free their loved ones - and find an explosive passion...

Desperate to liberate her father who is being held prisoner by the corrupt Bishop Thomas, Joanna of Glastonbury must use her skills as an alchemist to produce an elixir for eternal life. Gold is a key ingredient, and while panning for its rare gleam, Joanna struggles to rescue a boy who is drowning - until a knight comes to her aid. When Joanna lays eyes on the handsome man, a scorching desire is sparked deep within her.

Hugh Manhill is captivated by Joanna's stunning beauty. When he and Joanna discover they share a mutual hatred of the Bishop, they devise a daring plan to save their imprisoned family members. Their common mission strengthens their undeniable bond. Soon, neither can resist their all-consuming passion as they risk all for love...



EXCERPT:


April 1210, England.

“You come now,” said the steward Richard Parvus, his blue-robed bulk filling the doorway.

Joanna tried to reason with him. “Sir, this distillation is almost complete and I should not leave it. I will come soon.”

“Come now,” the steward repeated, staring at a point in the windowless chamber somewhere above her head and refusing to look at her or the room-full of stills, glass and earthenware vessels, star-charts and burning candles. He could not stop breathing, however, and his wide nose wrinkled in distaste at the heady scent of rose petals.

“My lord loves rose water,” Joanna reminded him, but Parvus merely snapped his fingers at her as if she was a hunting dog.

“Now, girl! Leave this - wreck and make haste! Our lord would have you as a scribe in his audience chamber now and none of your puffer's nonsense will delay him!”

"I am no -" Joanna stopped, refusing to dignify the insult of "puffer" -meaning a fake alchemist - with a reply.

As for the rest, she could leave it. The fire and candle light were safe now. It was a small risk and making rose-water was scarcely part of the great work of alchemy, but she disliked obeying the steward, who was forever trying to peer up her skirts and bullied everyone in this grand, unhappy household, even its priests.

And where was her lord's regular scribe?

She slipped round him, closing the door after her and ran down the spiral staircase. Reaching the landing of the first floor of the tower, she stopped, listening for the slightest sound in the room beyond that strong oak door. To her dread, she could hear nothing.

“Boo!” said Parvus behind her, laughing as she flicked up her skirts and sped on, rushing down the second spiral flight of the great stone donjon. She did not stop to remonstrate with the steward. Knowing always what was at stake she was suddenly desperate for fresh air and natural light, for the freedom to leave her work bench and walk with her father by the river and in the city.

Oh, my father! Will I ever see you delivered from these terrible men?

She ran down the rest of the stairs, deliberately not looking at the weighted trap-door set in the flags of the ground floor. She ran straight past a guard and out into the yard, into a day of misty sun and drizzling rain.

Shouts and catcalls at once assailed her as the rowdy prisoners in the three wooden cages in the center of the yard roared out what they wanted to do to her. After two days of this, their lewd persistence wearied her and their imprisonment was another dread. What if her lord decided to place her father in with these rough rogues? How long would he survive in their company, in cages open to the rain and cold? And what of her lord's other 'special' prisoners, held captive with her father in the stone tower of the donjon? If they were moved to these outdoor cages, how would they fare?

“Good nature, protect them,” Joanna chanted breathlessly, taking the outdoor wooden steps to the great hall two at a time. Inside again, she mounted another stairway leading to the private audience chamber on the second floor and prepared to run again, then stopped.

Ahead of her were five guards surrounding a stranger who topped them all by half a head. Even as they marched away the stranger glanced back, gave her a curt nod and addressed the captain leading him.

“Your men will be returned once I leave through the main gate.”

“As agreed,” the captain replied, “though our lord will not be pleased by your plucking them off the streets of West Sarum like so many fallen apples.”

“That is no grief to me,” said the stranger. “How much further?”

He was a rude fellow, Joanna decided, coming up behind the troop. Trying to slip by again, as she had with the steward, she saw him closer and liked him less.

He looked a thing of fire to her. Dressed in a long red tunic, he was as high-colored and as lean as a single flame, moving with the swift agility of a salamander. His hewn features were as sharp as freshly-forged metal, his charcoal-black hair was ruthlessly hacked short and, even at this early hour of terce, his jaw prickled with fresh black stubble.

He was hot and dangerous, Joanna decided, wishing to be past him. If he had snatched hostages from her lord's entourage before this meeting, that did not bode well. Now she was about to be admitted into her master's presence, she had hoped to plead with him, to ask for more than a month to complete her sublimations. True alchemy was the secret work of years, not days. But her lord was impatient and, thanks to this bad-mannered, fiery stranger, he would be in an ill temper.

Gliding by the first guard, she was making progress overtaking the troop when the door at the top of the staircase crashed open and two of her lord’s unruly hunting dogs bounded toward them, tails up and teeth bared.

Not again! Joanna reached into the purse belted to her waist and plucked out a handful of her hand-made sweets, which the hounds, though bred to attack the boar and stag, adored. About to cast them to the noisy beasts, she heard the stranger shout “No!” and then whistle: three loud, sharp blasts. At once the great white alaunts became almost comically docile, lowering their heads and whining softly, their claws scratching softly against the floorboards as they milled close to the nervous, stiffened guards and the striding stranger.

Without breaking step he bent, scratched both their ears and throats, and scolded her, “Sweets spoil them, girl, do you not know that yet?”


Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you to RBRU for allowing me to guest on their blog.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shopping Detours

Friday and Saturday are yard sale days here in SW Missouri. Tables, tarps and blanketed driveways are covered with need-to-get-rid-of belongings. A packrat's nirvana, and one that grows increasingly messy with every hour. Labeled, organized clothing becomes jumbled, household appliances are picked over, stuffed animals not passing lovability tests discarded in messy heaps, all that planning, sorting, labeling and arranging undone in less time than it took to make change for a ten.


The upside to the chaos? Money in the seller's pocket, more space in the house to fill with new whatevers and relief that it's over. Until next year.


If there is such a thing as a Shopper Gene, I was born without one. When I shop it's for a specific something and I don't stop looking until I find it. Yard sales are no exception. I stop at them only when I'm looking for books to resell at my secondhand bookshop. If there are none, I move on. Early in my writing career I discovered that I did possess a Shopper Gene. One. It lurked in my brain totally shocking my Disciplined and Goal-Getter side. Neatly stacked How's and Why's that had been foundations of my writing projects were being strewn about, examined, some saved, some discarded. Characters I hadn't considered, hadn't even imagined, began popping up in unlikely places and surprising times, some of their actions and behaviors nothing I'd personally experienced. Scary stuff for a Goal-Getter with a Plan. I discovered that veering off my strict writer's shopping pathway could lead to unexpected bargains. Now I look for those back streets, whip down them, poke through treasure piles and organize them just the way I like it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Animal Shelters

Hi,

I've been missing in action because I have been doing edits for the last few weeks. Next will come the galleys, then I'll be done.

Okay, now I'm going to get to what I'm blogging about. lol Oh, by the way, Marianne, thanks for reminding I'm supposed to blog today. My mind has been away, and I don't think I have it back yet. Wink!

With the economy like it is animal shelters need our help, and here is a way to help out without it costing you anything. Just go to http://www.animalrescuesite.com and click on give to the animal rescue and then click again. If you would be willing to do more that doesn't cost you anything at the top of the page there is a place to vote for your favorite shelter. You may have to type it in with the city where it's located to vote.

Now, if you really love animals there's a place somewhere there where you can ask them to send you a daily reminder so you can click every day.

Have a happy Memorial Day.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author of Addiction
http://www.eirelander-publishing.com/addiction.htm

Friday, May 28, 2010

Interview of Katalina Leon, RBRU Member Author!

It's my pleasure to interview Katalina Leon, a fellow RBRU author and someone I've known for awhile...and a fellow blogger at "Seven Sexy Scribes"!

Latest Book: ”Owned By Rome", Ellora’s Cave Legend Line.
Buy Link: Ellora’s Cave/Jasmine Jade http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-8348-50-owned-by-rome.aspx

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4kDkIaLYG0

BIO: I love to write and paint. The butterfly is one of my acrylic paintings. For many years I was primarily a painter. I started writing several years ago when I felt the need to fill a larger canvas and tell bigger stories without actually taking up more space! lol

I bought my first Ellora's Cave book in 2005. It was Jaid Black's "The Empresses' New Clothes". I  just fell in love with it's sexy naughtiness. I immediately ran back to the bookstore to buy more Ellora's Cave books. When I decided to begin writing erotic romance, I didn't even consider submitting my work anywhere else. I knew I belonged at Ellora's Cave and fortunately they felt the same way.

My editor is Mary M and I'm so grateful to have her advice and guidance. I encourage any aspiring writer of erotic-romance to approach Ellora's Cave and become a cavewoman or caveman! lol


Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I gasped and read the email carefully a second time to make sure I wasn’t mistaken about Ellora’s Cave offering me a contract! I immediately told my husband and my friends… They didn’t have to wait Very long to hear the news!

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: Believe or not I love writing the erotic scenes the best. If I’m not squirming in my chair, I revise. I love getting lost in the deep POV, emotional nitty-gritty. I get so carried away in the work if a family member or friend approaches my work area I jump up in alarm or cover the computer screen with my hands!

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: Hands down the blurb is the hardest part and it should be the easiest. I blow it every time.

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: No, no, never, never! All my characters exist as distinct individuals in my mind. I know and love them all differently and each has taught me something important about myself that I was grateful to learn.

Q: Who is your favorite character in you book and why?
A:  I never write about any character that I don't love. I tend to really love my  villains and bad-hats. I always want to redeem them and give them all the best lines! For months now I've been a little obsessed with Atellus my Roman magistrate from "Owned by Rome". That guy is really sticking with me. Emotionally, he gets put through the wringer and comes out the better for it. "Owned by Rome" was the first book I've written where the main POV is male for more than half the story. I loved writing the male POV and seeing the world and women through Atellus' eyes. It was a treat for me.

Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: The obvious answer is turn off the computer and go coconuts with a handsome man! The honest answer is I’ve been completely alone on a desert island with a handsome man and I can tell you-it’s not easy. My husband and I were great fans of the explorer Thor Heyerdahl in our teens. Before we were married we took a tramp steamer through the South Pacific with very little money and two backpacks. Sometimes we worked, sometimes we starved. We both got chased by horny old salty dogs. One day we ended up stranded on a sand atoll on the edge of the Cook islands, no food, no people, no idea how or when we were going get home. My husband got bitten by a poisonous spider, which left a crater in his arm the size of a half dollar. He was delirious with pain… It was a big adventure and not necessarily a romantic one.

Tell us where to find you
Please visit my website:  http://www.katalinaleon.com
And Blogs at http://katalinaleon111.blogspot.com
Seven Sexy Scribes (Of which you are one Marianne!) http://sevensexyscribes.blogspot.com
Ellora’s Cave Publishers/Jasmine Jade Enterprises
http://www.jasminejade.com/m-569-katalina-leon.aspx
Youtube channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/KatalinaLeon

BLURB:
On the edge of the Roman Empire, Queen Boudica’s rebellion has ended and a time of great tragedy has passed.

Atellus, a Roman magistrate living on the western frontier of Gaul discovers he’s no longer sympathetic to Rome and must now question every facet of his life.

A cunning Celtic woman with golden-red hair arrives in the slave markets defiant and angry family: a danger to anyone foolish enough to purchase her. As punishment for her willful destruction of Roman property she is to be offered as a sexual favor to guests at a lavish feast and put to death for their entertainment.

For Atellus it’s love at first sight. He rescues and takes ownership of her. Together they embark on an erotic and turbulent journey through a lonely Celtic forest. He soon discovers his beautiful slave is harboring a painful secret and must never again speak her true name. Suspicions rise that she is Celtic royalty and the last of her kind.

In the heart of the forest, two strong-willed lovers clash, fall in love and catch a glimpse of what the future can be if both can learn to trust and forgive.

EXCERPT:
Chapter One
Belgica, Western Gaul, late August, 64 AD

Atellus’ lashes flickered erratically in his sleep. She’s near and this feels like home. Tonight, as it did every night, the most beautiful sensation descended from above and washed over his sleeping body. The nocturnal visitation was purely feminine, loving and filled with desire. The sensation floated over him as if it were a spirit haunting the night, yet it felt so real it set his body afire. It called to him from the past, a painful reminder of all that was not present. He tossed fitfully on the. His body ached in his sleep, both from longing and exhaustion. He struggled to wake and pursue her. His lips parted. He tried to form words and call to her, but she moved away from him with astonishing speed. His heart raced as his eyes fluttered open to glance around the stark but practical cubiculum where he slept alone, sprawled across an empty bed. His calloused fingertips searched the woolen that covered his bare skin. She was not there. She was nowhere near. He came to the painful realization she was merely a creature of vapor and had not actually visited his bed. His mind had tricked him once again. The visitation’s warmth and softness, even her dark, perfumed ringlets had been nothing more than a compelling illusion of Morpheus, the god of dreams. His tense fingers dug deep into the blanket as his heart sank. A moment of disorientation swept through him to realize years had passed and he was in his compound in Belgica. A moment ago he had been convinced he was once again a young man living in Rome with her.

His body stirred uncomfortably on the bed. His hip hurt from riding all day and falling asleep on his side. He plopped onto his back, fully awake with his aching, hard thrusting against the lodix. The inevitable moment had arrived as it did every night. He found himself alone, hard and needing release. He longed for her but his hand wrapped around the shaft of his dolon instead. He took hold of his only intimate companion. His hand stroked its hooded head until the skin pulled tight. His palm slowly squeezed the shaft, making the blood rush. It felt good to ache so strongly for his one true amare, but she was more than a loved one. She was his pietas, his devotion. No woman compared to her. She was perfection in body, spirit and mind. She was his dove.

He took a deep breath and stroked. He could depend on waking in the darkest hours before dawn, thinking of her lush hips, soft eyes, and find himself desperately needing to do this. His fist grasped tightly as he thickened and grew warm in his hand. His testes rose and pulled tight. His fingers reached lower and gave them a harsh tug downward. He winced. The moment of pain sobered his thoughts. His adult life had been nothing but pain, so what was a little more? His desire for her was so strong he knew he could not stop it; he could only slow it. He wanted to go painfully slow and think of her. He wanted this act to last at least as long as he might spend with her, though he had never had her.

He forced himself to stroke at a leisurely pace, stopping often to tug down on his testes and grimace. He wanted to prove to himself he had some control over the passion that washed over him whenever it pleased. He had no control over his separation from her, but that would change. His hand took on its own slow, steady rhythm, broken only by the occasional brutal squeeze or the rough slap of his fingertips.

It was a warm night in early autumn, a sliver of moonlight poured through a slatted window. The harvest season had been grueling but productive. His reward was within sight. All rewards were within sight. Soon he would be with her. Revenge and his heart’s desire would be fulfilled. After years of waiting, longing, plotting and dreaming, she would finally be his.

He thought of her. His hand lazily stroked himself as he drifted into the twilight realm between waking fantasy and dreams. Dark, voluptuous Columba, regina of doves. She was the purest, gentlest most beautiful dove to ever flutter to earth and take the shape of a woman. Her eyes were liquid compassion. Her lips were rose petals, opening only to loving words. Her hair was a rippling night sky highlighted with sparkling stars. She was everything lovely about womankind and so much more. The gods had made her solely for him and life had been unjust to steal her away, but that too would change.

For all the betrayals and dishonesty committed against him, surely the god Jupiter would take his side and revenge would be granted. He was owed a lover for his bed, a companion, a wife and a mother for his future children, and he wanted them all in one woman. He had been lonely and patient for far too long. Tomorrow, he was leaving on a journey to fetch her and bring her home. Soon she would share his bed and his future. His fist sped as he thought of her smooth body surrendering beneath him. Once he possessed her, he would take her slowly and with great care. He loved her. He gritted his teeth and groaned softly as spilled into his palm. “Columba.”

Anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, "Owned by Rome" is close to my heart because it's really a tale of two conflicting cultures learning to see the strengths and beauty in each other. I researched as many letters from Roman legionnaires as I could find trying to get a feel for what it must have been like to be stationed far from Rome and yet charged with imposing Roman order on people who didn't want it. Most letters were mere snippets from buried garbage heaps but they were very telling. I feel every human story is a divine story filled with desire, learning and compromise. I really enjoyed losing myself in this metaphoric tale. If Russel Crowe, Hugh Jackman, or Clive Owen ever feel a burning desire to play the part of Atellus in the thrilling epic film version of my book... I hope they'll contact me directly or better yet fight for the part on my front lawn! lol

 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

As Timeless As Stone



In a day dream I had, a missing head was placed back on the neck of a statue which then came to life. I thought now there’s the beginning of a story and As Timeless As Stone was born. I love history and I often include historical figures in my work, As Timeless As Stone is no exception. The key secondary character is none other than the founder of Scientific Egyptology, Jean François Champollion, who is best known for his work on deciphering the Rosetta stone. He was also a loving father and husband and I included his wife Rosine Blanc and his daughter Zoraide as well. I am thrilled to bring them from the pages of history and place them in my story. Of course I love my handsome Parisian, Egyptologist hero and my ancient Egyptian priestess heroine even more.

My hero Ricard is an 18th century Paris gentleman, but underneath his top hat lies a mop of blond hair and the hard muscles of his chest and shoulders fill out his dark frock coat. You can feel the masculine heat radiating from his body as you peer into his piercing blue eyes. Ricard’s quirk is he’s bothered by the drudgery and hard lives of servants and the working class so he tinkers with brass and steam engines. He invented two brass robots, who help his cook with all household tasks though they have trouble going through doors and entrance ways, they both try to squeeze through together. The cook and Seshat find the brass men to be very noisy. The cook has told Ricard on many occasions to not even think about replacing her with a brass robot.

My heroine, Seshat is an ancient Egyptian priestess. A tall, alluring woman with smooth, golden skin and shiny ebony hair falling to her narrow waist. The defined bone structure of her oval face appears chiseled by the finest artist and thin black lines of kohl rim her brown, almond shaped eyes. Seshat has a hard time adjusting to 19th century Parisian fashions. She’s happy with a chemise but can’t understand why you would add anything to it, much less layers of petticoats followed by a dress. Also as a priestess she has some taboos and one of them is wearing anything that comes from an animal, such as wool. This causes a problem. There is a scene in the story where Seshat throws off all her clothes except for the chemise and runs down the Champs Élysée as Ricard, the couturier, and the police prefect all give chase.

The purpose of this fun filled fantasy is to sweep you away from the cares and woes of the real world as you share Seshat and Ricard’s rousing adventure spanning Ancient Egypt to 1830’s Parris.

Here is the blurb: Though society stands in their way, can love transcend time with the aid of robotics and ritual? In peril for her life, the Priestess Seshat turns herself to stone in ancient Egypt. Centuries later, Ricard, a dashing nineteenth century Frenchman, repairs a broken statue and reads its incantation--unprepared for the gorgeous flesh and blood woman who steps forth. Seshat is drawn to the brass robots Ricard creates and the glamour of the Victorian age, and most of all to Ricard himself. But the society of his day cannot accept a woman like her. How far will Ricard go to secure her happiness? Is their love strong enough to transcend time itself?

Links:
website: http://www.maevealpin.com/
trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQEOp9l9ZFA
Buy Link: http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=220

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hello

Hey y'all!

This is Donica Covey popping in to say howdy. My post today isn't going to be very long because I'm staying with my grandmother. Nanny's having a severe bout of ill health. She is unable to be alone right now so I'm spending most of my time here.

I do want to say how excited I am that in just a few days--June 8th--I have a new book, Cry Wolf, from Samhain Publishing! The cover is awesome and I have to admit I'm rather fond of this tale.



This second chance at love could get them both killed.

Fifteen years ago, denied the only woman he ever wanted as a mate, Remington Aldrich packed his few belongings and left home without a backward glance. Now the pack leader who ripped his world apart is on the other end of the phone, asking for his help.

Angela Martin, Remy’s first love, is missing and the trail has gone cold. She may have refused to defy the alpha and run away with him all those years ago, but Remy can’t stop himself from coming to her rescue.

Abducted by two men—one for his ghastly scientific experiments, and the other for his driving need for revenge against all Lycans—Angela despairs that no one will find her. Then she senses Remy nearby.

Together again and on the run from a killer bent on hunting them down, Remy vows to never again let Angela out of his arms. But first they have to survive—and fight against history’s tendency to repeat itself…

I'd love to spend more time with you but it's almost time to get my grandmother to doctor appointment number 1.

Have a fabu week!

See y'all soon!
Donica

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Interview of Romance Reader Kimberly C.

Today I'm happy to be presenting an interview of a reader! So often we only post interviews of authors or other romance industry people. But, without our readers, where would we be? We LOVE our readers and would like to know more about them.

Kimberly C. has been on my newsletter list and I appreciate her support! Welcome, Kimberly!
The peacefully sleeping cat's name is Loulou!

Q: What type of genre do you enjoy the most and why?
A: I like many genres but contemporary books are my favorite - probably because it’s easier to picture myself as part of the story. That being said I love books that are part of a series. I like getting to know a group of characters and watching their ‘stories’ develop over the course of several books.

Q: Do you read ebooks, print books, or both? Have you thought about getting an ebook reader if you don’t already have one?
A: I read both ebooks and print books. I own an Amazon Kindle.

Q: Besides those of us at “Romance Books R Us”, who are your favorite authors?
A: Lora Leigh, Maya Banks, Lorelei James, Rachel Gibson, Sherryl Woods, Robyn Carr, Ann Jakobs, Bella Andre, Jill Shalvis, Susan Mallery, Tymber Dalton, Jenny Penn, Susan Donovan and Susan Andersen.

Q: Do you visualize the hero and heroine as you read? Do you use the cover (if they’re shown) as images for them?
A: Yes.

Q: Have you ever been to a writing conference/convention? If so, what did you think about it?
A: No.

Q: When do you read and do have “comfort food” as you read?
A: I mainly read at night and during the day on weekends. I sometimes have comfort food as I read.

Q: Do you enter contests? What type of items do you enjoy getting if you win?
A: Yes, I do enter contests. My favorite item by far is gift cards/credits for purchasing new books.

Q: How important is a cover when you’re looking to buy a book?
A: The cover plays an important role in my final decision about what books to purchase. It can definitely sway my decision to either purchase or not purchase a particular book.

Q: Do you read blurbs and excerpts? Which one is most important in your decision to buy a book and why?
A: I usually read both the blurb and excerpts. Ultimately, the blurb is most important for my decision making. If the blurb is not good I likely won’t read the excerpt.

Kimberly, thanks for giving us an insight into what a romance reader thinks!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Interview of Author Imari Jade

Today it's my pleasure to interview author Imari Jade!

Latest Book: "Bayou Babe"
Buy Link: http://www.sugarnspicepress.com

BIO:
Imari Jade currently resides in Marrero Louisiana. Professional credits include “A Rose by any Other Name,” “Love Never Dies,” “Damnation,” “Wet” and “Unwrapped Gifts” with Midnight Showcase Fiction. “Body Heat and Oasis,” with Sugar and Spice Press, and “Death Takes a Holiday” with Carnal Desires Publishing. Imari currently writes for Midnight Showcase Fiction, Sugar and Spice Press, Carnal Desires Publishing, Moongypsy Press, Wild Horse Press, Siren-Bookstand and Eternal Press. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and EPICON.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I announced it on Facebook.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: For me the easiest part of the book is the beginning. Once I have the characters’ names and preliminary sketches I normally try to concoct the “cute meet.” Most of the time I open with dialogue or with one of the main characters doing something odd or frustrating that draws attention to them.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: Halle Johnson’s my favorite because she’s misunderstood and even though she is accused of heinous crimes she doesn’t fall apart emotionally.

Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as your hero? Tell us about your hero?
A: If Bayou Babe became a movie, I’d like to see Brad Pitt play the hero. Langston is a happy-go-lucky northerner who once worked as a tabloid reporter. He’s blond, handsome and has no problem expressing what he wants. He’s also a bit of a rebel and will go to the extreme to get a story. Once he gets something in his mind he’ll go to extreme to investigate and write about it.

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when you’re not writing?
A: Believe it or not, I like to watch anime. I’ve loved cartoons ever since I was a child. I have a very extensive collection that I horde from everyone. Watching anime helps me relax and I find they help me with my writing because most of them are very romantic and uncensored.

Q:What is your strongest point as a writer?
A: I think my strongest part as a writer is my ability to multi-task several manuscripts at a time. At this very moment I have just finished a new one and submitted to a publisher and I have two other ones I am working on. But I’m like that with every thing I do. If I’m cooking, I put a load of clothes in the washer and then hop on the Internet to check email.

Tell us where to find you:
Websites:
http://www.imarijade.com
http://www.imarijade.bravehost.com
Publisher’s page:
http://www.sugarnspicepress.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=12
Blogs:
http://www.imarijade.blogspot.com
Facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000077341527&ref=ts
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/imarijade
Myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/imarijade
Post a review of my books at GoodReads.com
http://www.goodreads.com

BLURB:

Tabloid writer turned photojournalist Langston Priestly drives to Louisiana to do a documentary on the bayou and the wetlands, but when he car runs out of gas on a dark road near the bayou, the last thing he expects to see is a beautiful, half-naked African American woman.
Voodoo priestess Halle Johnson’s life couldn’t get any worse…or so she thinks. The sheriff and everyone in town thinks she’s a murderess, her best friend is a nymphomaniac, the men in town assume that she’s easy since she lives alone, and now she finds a half-dead white man near her home. Common sense tells her to walk away and not get involved, but all it takes is one look at the handsome, unconscious northerner to get involved.

EXCERPT:

The sound of the drums led him away from his stalled car and down the lone dark stretch of road. The rhythm pounding a haunting and mesmerizing tune unlike anything he’d heard before. A bongo beat riveted through his body as he walked. He continued to a clump of woods that ordinarily he wouldn’t dare ventured into but his curious nature often talked his mind into doing foolish things. A big white barn appeared, sheltered beneath the limbs of old gnarled oak trees that seemed to touch the sky. The moon and billions of stars illuminated the structure.

A young black woman, dressed in white appeared and walked toward the barn. He could not see her face clearly from where he stood but she held her head high and proud like a Nubian princess. Long braided plats hung down her back and peeped from beneath a red bandana tied around her forehead. She was a delightful sight at two in the morning. Her lithe body and graceful walk reminded him of a wood nymph frolicking in a forest. The sight held him captivated and enchanted until she disappeared beyond the barn door. Langston scanned the area for a few minutes just listening to the music and waiting for someone one else to appeared. He stepped from behind the tree once satisfied no one would jump out at him. He walked over to the side of the barn and peeped inside one of the windows. There were twenty white-dressed African Americans inside. He looked around for the young woman. He had to get a good look at her. He gasped when he found her. She had stripped away some of her clothes. He sighed. She was simply lovely.

Langston’s eyes stayed glued to the young woman as she danced half-naked across the barn floor. His temperature rose several degrees when she turned and faced him. Their eyes met but not once did she acknowledge his presence or call attention to the fact that he spied on them. Nothing short of a shotgun blast could pull him from that spot anyway and he felt she knew this. Breasts like melons shook erotically with each movement she made. A snake slithered possessively around her curvaceous body. He gulped as he watched her roll her wide hips to a haunting drum beat. The people chanted, egging her on. He sighed. It made running out of gas in the middle of nowhere worth it. He stepped backwards and ran into something solid. Langston turned slowly. A behemoth of a man blocked his path. He was dressed completely in white like everyone else in the barn and carried one of the sharpest looking machetes he’d ever seen. The other man stared with a high level of contempt.

“What are you doing here stranger? This is a private event.” Skin the color of dark chocolate and his shoulders were so wide Langston could not see around them. Not in his wildest imagination could he fathom taking this man on in any kind of fight.

Langston stammered. “My car broke down.” Even at six foot, the man still towered over him. “I ran out of gas and started walking down the road. I heard the music and it lured me here.”

The man looked at him skeptically. “You’re pretty far off the highway. We don’t get many tourists out here.”

“I was trying to find a place called Madison. My boss sent me out here to do a documentary on the wetlands. I think I took a wrong turn somewhere.” He nervously ran his fingers though his short blonde hair. “I’ve been driving around for hours trying to get back to the main road.” He wondered if the behemoth bought it.

The man looked him up and down as if he tried to make up his mind whether to believe him or not. Langston had to admit that he would be a bit suspicious too if he caught someone snooping around his barn.

“Where is your car?”

Langston pointed down the dark road.

The man stepped back. “Wait here. I think I have enough gas to get you into town.”

Langston breathed a sigh of relief. The sooner he got the gas, the sooner he could find his hotel room and get some sleep. He didn’t know where he got the idea that it would be easy driving from New York to Louisiana alone.

The man walked away and Langston turned his attention back to the activity inside the barn. The dancing had stopped and some kind of ritual was about to take place. Moments later rosters and chickens were slaughtered right before his eyes. He blanched from the shock. He didn’t think he’d ever eat poultry again. He forced himself to look again. The young woman from earlier had returned completely nude this time, leading a shackled black man into the middle of the room. This is interesting. His forehead beaded with sweat and he knew it had nothing to do with the heat or the humidity. She had an ass that he would kill to touch and hips so wide they begged to be stroked. He shook his head to clear his thoughts. He had no right to fantasize over her like some sex starved teen. He felt ashamed. He was trespassing on private property and spying on something he had no business witnessing. The guilt quickly went away as soon as he felt his body stir. Like his mind, his cock could be talked into doing very foolish things. He glued his eyes back on the scene. The others continued to chant as she smeared both their bodies with blood. The sight appalled and intrigued him at the same time. He might have been an uptown boy from New York but he’d been around long enough to know a voodoo ritual when he saw one. He jumped at a sound behind him. The man had returned with a red plastic gas can.

“This should be enough to get you to town.” He still carried the machete and he still looked pissed.

Langston thanked him. “How far is town?”

“About a mile in the same direction you were heading.”

“What’s the town called?”
"Madison".
“Boy do I feel stupid.” He took the gas can and started to walk away. An agonizing scream pierced the night. He stopped and turned back to the window. The shackled man lay on the floor convulsing. Langston attempted to go to his aid via the barn door.

“Stop,” the man with the machete ordered. “It is forbidden to enter or interfere.”

"Something is wrong with that man. They’ve done something to him.”

“There’s nothing you can do for him. Go and tell no one what you’ve seen.”

Langston backed away and then ran away with the gas can as fast as he could.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Yes. Available and Coming Soon:
Hell and High Waters - Moongypsy Press - 5/23/2010
Pharaoh - Siren Publishing - 7/2010
In Love with a Dark Stranger - Midnight Showcase Fiction - 7/2010
Bitter Fruit - Phaze - 7/2010
Prophecy - Eternal Press - 6/2010
Something to be Thankful For - Total E-Bound - 6/10/2010
Cursed - Moongypsy Press - 6/2010
The Kiss of an Angel - Wild Horse Press - 8/2010
Bayou Babe - Sugar and Spice Press - 5/22/2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Katalina Leon's"Owned By Rome"

Blurb:
On the edge of the Roman Empire, Queen Boudica’s rebellion has ended and a time of great tragedy has passed.
Atellus, a Roman magistrate living on the western frontier of Gaul discovers he’s no longer sympathetic to Rome and must now question every facet of his life.
A cunning Celtic woman with golden-red hair arrives in the slave markets defiant and angry-a danger to anyone foolish enough to purchase her. As punishment for her willful destruction of Roman property she is to be offered as a sexual favor to guests at a lavish feast and put to death for their entertainment.
For Atellus it’s love at first sight. He rescues and takes ownership of her. Together they embark on an erotic and turbulent journey through a lonely Celtic forest. He soon discovers his beautiful slave is harboring a painful secret and must never again speak her true name. Suspicions rise that she is Celtic royalty and the last of her kind.
In the heart of the forest, two strong-willed lovers clash, fall in love and catch a glimpse of what the future can be if both can learn to trust and forgive.
"Owned By Rome" by Katalina Leon, Coming May 28th from Ellora's Cave Legend Line.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover...Or Can You?

I have a confession to make. The only time I look at book covers is a) when I'm browsing in a bookstore; b) when my friends post their new cover art; and c) when I'm filling out my own cover request forms.

The first time I looked through the Ellora's Cave site, the covers didn't really grab my attention; it was the title. The first two e-books I ever bought were Water Lust by Mary Winter and Sudden Desire by Lauren Dane. Why those two? I haven't any idea. I think I decided on two random titles and read the blurbs and excerpts, then decided to see if I would enjoy reading a book at my computer. I was instantly hooked. I've read both books at least four times, and they are saved on CD, because I had no flash drive at the time and certainly did not want my teenagers accidentally bringing up the files! That was either in 2002 or 2003, several years before I joined the online community.

I first began blogging in 2007, and joined my first chat loop. It wasn't long before I was reading interviews with other authors and captivated by spicy excerpts. I began a To Be Bought (TBB) list and read an average of nine to twelve books per month. But it was never the cover which made me say 'Ooooohhh...I want this!'

Here are a few covers from my early library and why I like/dislike it.


Here is a perfect example of a lousy cover. It was my first attempt; I filled out the form of what I wanted; this is what iUniverse cover gods sent. Being the first time, I looked at it and thought, "Okay; not exactly what I wanted, but what the hell..."

Not only is the title lousy (it should and will be renamed Love On The Rocks at a later time!), but during the first promo 'tour', everyone thought it was an autobiographical account of my life as an alcoholic. Nothing could be farther from the truth!







The first time I spotted this cover in a bookstore, I kept passing by it. About the third or fourth time, I picked it up; read the inside jacket, and put it back on the shelf. A year later my sister called and asked if I'd read it. When I said no, she raved about the storyline and how I could have written something like this. I bought it for my daughter, but read it first, and was instantly hooked on the characters. (I'm on Team Jacob, by the way:)







I did a much better job on my second cover; I picked out the photo, designed the AU logo, and while it's received some criticism, I like it and more importantly, readers likes it!

I hope I'll be able to carry the logo through with whomever publishes the rest of this series.










This is my good friend Anny Cook's first cover. At first, I assumed this is what she looked like (GRIN!), and I've read this story many, many times. In fact, I own three copies of it. One electronic; one signed print copy; another personalized print copy.







This is the first Cindy Spencer Pape book I ever read, and again, the cover is one my favorites. I'm looking forward to having a print copy, as I've read this one at least three times.
















This was Kenzie's first cover. While I'm not cracked up about all the green, and I would have liked the kitchen scene depicted better, I'm happy with it. It portrays Marc and Amber in a happy, reunited moment, and could be the moment when he formally asks her to marry him, not described in the book.









And finally, my best cover yet! I've had people tell me they'd buy this book strictly for the cover art. Valerie, kudos to you! Our minds were definitely in synch with this one!

This portrays Kevin and Tammy's second seduction scene in his classroom. She's fighting her feelings; he has been looking all over for his mystery lady. And when he finally finds her again, the sparks fly.


So what's your take? Yes, we all post our covers, hoping to drum up excitement for our upcoming releases. But in the end, it is still the relationship I have with online authors, as well as the blurb or excerpt, which ultimately affects my buying habits.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What are your Superstitions

My Grandmother and her Superstitions

I’m starting a new book where one of the heroines is charming, but ruled by her superstitions. There are two heroines since the two heroes are twins. This one is going to be fun. And it set to my to thinking a lot about my grandmother.

My grandmother insisted her grandchildren call her Kate. It was surely the only modern thing about her. She so strict I hardly dared call her anything at all. Once I came home from the corner store with a carton of root beer. I had to take it back because it had ‘beer’ in the title. I hope she’s in heaven but hasn’t bothered to check my current life style! Oh, and if one gave you a purse you better find some money in it, although even a penny would do. If we went out the door, forget something and turned back, we had to circle a chair three times and then sit in it for a moment for being allowed back out. Oh yes, and you didn’t give anybody a knife because that would cut your friendship in two.

The one thing I remember with pleasure is that she had beautiful white hair which fell to her waist when she set it free from its tight bun. She occasionally let me brush it, and as a child I dearly loved doing that. She seemed a little fey at times. Once when we were on a visit she took my mother aside and told her to get me to a doctor, something was wrong with Jean. We laughed about it on the way home but a few days later I suffered an acute appendicitis attack which necessitated an emergency operation.

Mostly she was such an aloof figure I had little interaction with her. But I certainly remember that austere woman who somehow had my best interests at heart.

I’d love to know your superstitions. We all have some, even if we try to dismiss them as nonsense. Come on, tell me yours. Please?

Interview of Amber Skyze, RBRU Member Author!


I'm happy to interview fellow RBRU Member Author Amber Skyze!

Latest Book: "Pretend With Me"
Buy Link: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-8330-pretend-with-me.aspx


 Bio:
From a very young age, Amber Skyze began making up stories–the only child syndrome. Had anyone asked her back then if she would write when she grew up, she’d have laughed. It wasn’t until raising children and reading all those romances that she decided–hey, I can write these. Then she discovered erotica and found her calling.
When not crafting hot, steamy tales, this New York transplant now resides in Rhode Island with her husband (the inspiration behind her stories), three children who force her to work a day job, and three dogs.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I squealed! LOL It was a Friday evening in the beginning of December around 7pm. I was sitting in my sunroom watching the first snow fall of the year with the DH when I got the email. My edits came an hour later. Because it was a Christmas themed story they wanted it out ASAP!

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: Dialogue. I find it easy to write conversations between the hero and heroine. I love creating banter.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: Sex! It’s difficult coming up with new ways to “do it”!

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: In the summer – floating in my pool. In the winter – reading.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: A shape shifter. I think you’re freer to explore different worlds and experiment with your writing.

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: Blogs. I enjoy interacting with other writers and readers.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
I have a lot of them! LOL
http://amberskyze.blogspot.com
http://sevensexyscribes.blogspot.com
http://goddessesofstorytelling.blogspot.com
http://www.jasminejade.com
http://amberskyze.wordpress.com
http://www.aspenmountainpress.com
http://www.nobleromance.com

BLURB:
After threatening divorce, Paige gives up her fantasy of hot sex with two men, especially when Tommy, the other man she wants to have sex with, is the reason for her divorce threats. When Paige confesses she’s considering leaving Jed to her best friend and owner of Freedom Fantasies sex club, life takes an unexpected turn. Paige finds herself pretending she’s having a hot, sordid affair.
Paige appreciates all the pleasures she’s unable to find at home. Being spanked in the corner, tied to the bed or getting it on in the shower, Paige experiences more orgasms than she thought possible. To heighten the excitement, her pretend lover brings in a friend…

EXCERPT:

She puttered into the kitchen. She grabbed two glasses from the cupboard and filled them with ice water from the filter. She was ready to head back into the bedroom when she ran smack into Jed.

He was still naked and wore a look of mischief.

“Bend over the table.”

“What?”

“I said bend over the table.”

She put the glasses on the counter and bent over the table as he instructed.

“You’ve been a bad girl.”

“I have?” She thought she’d been pretty damn good in there.

“You’ve been coming without me.”

So this was about her using the vibrator again.

“You weren’t interested in fucking me.”

“Are you being indignant?” He ran his finger down her spine, until he reached the crack of her ass.

“No, I’m just being honest.”

“I think you need to see what happens to bad girls.”

She didn’t think her body could take any more, but it fooled her. She felt her juices pooling at her lips.

“Maybe I do.”

“It’s about time you realized the error of your ways.”

“I’d do it again if my husband was neglecting me.”

She heard a drawer open and him rifling through it. What was he looking for?

Something to spank her with? It had to be the reason he had her bent over the kitchen table.

“I’m going to teach you a lesson about using the vibrator without me.”

Her face and body were pressed against the cold table. He held one hand on her back.

A smack crossed her ass.

“Ouch!” It was a wooden spoon. She’d been spanked by it before. She’d know it anywhere.

“Count for me, Paige.”

She didn’t want to count. She wanted to fight him, refuse her punishment.

He slapped her cheeks again.

“Didn’t you hear me?”

“Yes.”

“Then why aren’t you counting?”

“Two,” she spat.

“Don’t go getting all incensed, Paige. I can spank you and put you to bed all wet without another orgasm. I don’t think you’d like that.”

No, she wouldn’t like him heating her cheeks and leaving her hanging. He always gave her relief after spanking her.

The spoon met with her ass again.

“Three.”

“That’s my girl.”

He continued slapping her ass until he reached twenty. Her skin burned. She needed relief.

“Oh my wife loves to have her butt spanked,” he said, gliding his finger against her wet pussy lips.

“I need you, Jed.”

“And I need you,” he said, brushing his hard penis against her hot ass. “The redness of your cheeks makes me so fucking hard.”

“Fuck me,” she pleaded.

"Oh, I intend to, but not just yet."


Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for having me here today!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Interview of Fran Lee, RBRU Member Author!

It's my honor to interview Fran Lee, fellow RBRU member and an author friend I've known for awhile...and have watched her career grow!

Latest Book: “Nothing But Sex

Buy Link: http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-8365-50-nothing-but-sex.aspx

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIxB7_5DC6Q

BIO: Fran has written over 100 romance novels in the past 25 years—and last year she decided to stop hoarding them, and start submitting them to publishers. In the past year, ten of her novels and novellas have been published, and more are coming. Fran loves writing hot romance. And she loves hearing from readers. Contact her at: fran.lee.romance@gmail.com

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: almost fell off my computer desk chair. I DID A BIT OF DISCONNECTED SQEEEEE-ING. I called everyone I could think of. Then I cried. Overstimulation.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: All of it. It simply flows. Sex rolls off my pen easily and I simply roll with the flow. Dialogue is loads of fun, especially if I am thinking from inside the characters.

Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your heroines?
A: Sandra Bullock. She is amazingly sexy and funny, but she is also a woman who isn’t afraid to be a herself. In fact, she is the epitome of tomboy attitude in silk stockings.

Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your heroes?
A: Nope. Not going there. Most of my heroes are a combination of men, and I never picture the face of a celebrity when I write. David Chance in Out of her Dreams had the body of the Rock, but not the face. I find it distracting to picture a celebrity as my hero. Of course, if and when one of my books is made into a movie, I will change my mind. LOL!

Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
A: I nibble on salty, luscious cashews. Pure decadence!

Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: I guess I would have a nice long conversation with the handsome man. I would tell him jokes until he rolled on the sand laughing. I would write sexy stories and let him read them. If he found the stories sexy, but not me, I could handle it. However, knowing that most females can get to look a lot like a hot sex goddess when a guy hasn’t had a woman for months on end, I might get lucky. LOL! We could try blindfolding him.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
http://www.franleeromance.com
http://franleesromanceblog.blogspot.com
http://franleesbookreviews.blogspot.com
http://franleesensuousromance.blogspot.com
http://www.jasminejade.com/m-554-fran-lee.aspx
http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/145.html
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fran-Lee/132560860752
http://www.facebook.com/fran.lee.romance
http://twitter.com/franleeromance
http://www.myspace.com/franleeromance
http://www.youtube.com/user/dragonlady10

BLURB:
Lee Blackhorse is hardly Cougar material, no matter what her friends over at Tempt the Cougar say. A forty-two-year-old woman who lusts after her thirty-year-old weekend helper is just plain nuts. Or is it? She’s been secretly hot for the man for years.

Mike Running Elk is the hottest thing ever to don tight jeans and a second-skin t-shirt…and he has no problem seeing himself in the role of lover. In fact, if he can just get the hot-as-hell woman to realize he’s plenty old enough to ring her bells, he plans to do more than just clean her barn and mow her grass. He’s waited for her long enough.

When her Saturday helper appears at her door with an injured hand, Lee can’t pull her eyes off his naked, ripped chest. And from her heated gaze, Mike can’t believe she’s as oblivious as she acts. The ice has been broken and he intends to heat things up even more…

EXCERPT:

Mike swore foully as he caught his glove on one of the murderously long barbs on the roll of wire fencing that he was trying to move and he tugged his leather work glove off to find that the barb had made it through to his palm. He shook his head and shoved his hair back from his face with his other hand before he tugged his unused handkerchief from his back pocket and wrapped it around his hand, which did very little to staunch the flow of blood. Swearing at his own clumsiness, he headed across the wide work yard to the back porch and stepped inside, knocking on the inside screen door.

She appeared from the archway to the living room, her face pink and her lower lip caught between her teeth as she caught sight of him and he realized that he hadn’t bothered to pull his damn shirt back on. He saw the way her eyes darkened as they slid over his body and he felt a shot of anticipation run from his gut to his cock. Her lips were full. Her eyes were smoky blue. A small vein throbbed in her throat. And it struck him forcibly that she most certainly was as aware of him as he was of her.

But before he could wrap his mind around her reaction to him, she was hurrying up the stairs to the bathroom and he was following, his appreciative eyes on the lush swell of her generous, gorgeous ass as he held the tea towel tightly to his bleeding hand. Sweet Jesus, but he loved her ass. He had loved it ever since he’d first seen her, when he was just eighteen, and he had asked her if he could do some odd jobs around the place to make some cash every week. Right after his dad had died. Watching her walk around in tight jeans had made him forget a lot of the pain in his life back then.

She filled a pair of jeans like they’d been poured onto her. His mouth watered and his cock grew impossibly harder. Even the stinging pain in his hand couldn’t distract his attention from that ass.

As she entered the bathroom and stretched up to the shelf above the toilet to lift down the first-aid kit, he almost whimpered. Was she trying to kill him? If she didn’t stop wiggling around, he was gonna blow.

“I can handle it from here,” he grated as she opened the box and started to take the soaked tea towel out of his grip. But she shoved his free hand away and gently placed his hand in the sink, rinsing it with icy-cold tap water that nearly made him yell at the pain. He stared down at her bent head as she probed and cleaned the wound and each time her body brushed his, he almost lost it.

He lost track of what was happening with his hand as every drop of blood in his body raged into his groin, threatening to explode. Maybe that was a good thing, because his hand might stop bleeding.

“I still think we need to get you to the clinic and get this stitched. It’s way too jagged to heal right, and it’s still bleeding.”

Her words were lost in the hot muddle of his emotions and body. But when she looked up into his face, he forced himself to pay attention. “Hold this clean towel in your palm. Press it tight. I’ll get my car keys.”

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes! I am running a contest to win my latest Ellora’s Cave release, "Nothing but Sex", over at my website. Just look for the contest link on the main page.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Glam Life? HA!

A few authors touched on the subject of writing as a career lately. Most importantly, is it worth it? I have to admit I ask myself this question monthly when the royalty checks come rolling in. Some aren’t bad, but I certainly can’t quit my day job. My husband and children would starve.
Anny Cook stated she made somewhere in the ball park of 6k last year, writing FULL-TIME! Yikes. This woman is talented. Her stories are phenomenal. If this was part-time I’d say not too bad. Me, with eight books out by December 2009 I made around $1,100. Here’s the catch - $400 of that was for 2 Chicken Soup for the Soul stories. So really I only made $700.
I can tell you one thing. I get Google alerts on Release Day. Those alerts? Pirate sites requesting my book. The next day – YUP you guessed it. My book was uploaded and stolen many times over. I have no doubt Anny is feeling the pain of piracy too.
Most readers think of authors of living the glam life. I’m here to tell you that’s not so for most of us.
My glam life? Working 50hrs a week at the very stressful day job to feed my three children and keep a roof over our heads. Health issues that can be frightening at times. I won’t even get into losing my son at six days old. Well, wait there’s the stress of wanting a baby and not being able to carry another one to term. Can’t afford surrogacy or adoption. Every day my heart breaks for my husband who wants a child of his own.
I write to escape this glam life I’m living. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m thick-skinned and will survive. Otherwise I wouldn’t be in this business. I’m just trying to show people that US authors are REAL people with REAL issues. So next time you want to steal a book from us, realize this is what you’re taking away from us by not paying for the book.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Interview of Author Dawn Chartier


Today it's my honor to interview new author Dawn Chartier, an author who's joined Romance Books R Us Yahoo Group.

Latest Book: "Not An Angel", The Wild Rose Press.


 Buy Link: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/not-an-angel-p-4016.html?zenid=9d65096afe1946a15edaaf4797966b3a



Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGGHDXkSMZY

BIO:
Dawn Chartier was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, one of four children. She considers herself a Cajun-Coon-Ass, but has the accent of a New Yorker, or so she’s been told. The “unknown” and the “power of love” fascinate her. She grew up in her parent’s bookstore, but at the time she didn’t like to read. (Really!) It took a divorce (and a book-a-holic sister) for her to find the passion for reading, and a hurricane named Katrina to uncover her desire to write. After writing four manuscripts, Not An Angel, her paranormal romance found a home with The Wild Rose Press (www.thewildrosepress.com), and will be released in 2010. Currently, she is writing a romantic suspense series set in her home town of New Orleans. Dawn works part-time in the construction industry, and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She is one of the Co-Program directors for SOLA-RWA. With her husband, two daughters and two Golden Retrievers, she currently resides on the west bank side of the Mississippi river. Unfortunately, Dawn can’t cook to save her life. For more information you can visit her website at:  http://www.dawnchartier.com

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: When I received word that they wanted my book I wondered if they had the right person. I had to read the offer several times to make sure. Once the doubt was over, I shared the exciting news with my family.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write?
A: I think plotting is the easiest. Ideas come to me, but fleshing everything out in between is truly the hardest part. I have to make sure I have enough descriptions for the reader to see what I’m seeing, and to make the reader connect with the characters. Sure, the story is easy, but making characters come to life is not. You have to dig really deep to get to know them, and that takes a lot of time and energy. And now that I finished a few books, I find revisions are getting a “little” easier, but I guess that comes with practice. Just like any job, the more you do it, the easier it is and hopefully the better it is too. I hope I answered the question. (grin)

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you?
A: (see answer above) And another hard part of the book is writing “The End.” I’m always worried that I didn’t tie-up everything. And knowing I’ve come to the end of the story, and then I have to put it out there after it’s done is a little scary too.

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: Not at all. My characters all look and act different. Trace in Not An Angel, I found a picture of him on www.istockphoto.com. I kept his picture on my credenza the entire time I wrote. Then I submitted his picture as an “example” of my character to the book cover artist, and she actually bought the picture from the company. I was so thrilled, because he is such a hottie. I love my book cover. I got really lucky. The heroine I’m working with now, I’m using actress, Julianne Moore. I printed a few pictures of Julianne. In one photo she’s dressed up, and in the other she’s in jeans. In my novel, she’s a sexy red-head contractor, and Julianne fits the character in my mind. She feisty, yet lovable.

Q: What is your favorite romance book that you’ve read?
A: I have several favorite romance books, but I’ll have to go with "A Knight in Shining Armor" by Jude Deveraux. I don’t normally read a book more than once, but I have read this one several times. Something about the heroine, and the heartache she suffers. It grabs you and keeps you pulling for her, hoping she gets the hero at the end.

Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: Ha. At least you didn’t say with a “mysterious” man. (grin) Of course I would say the handsome man is my husband, and we would certainly find plenty of things to do. (No details) But then the computer would call my name over and over, and beg me to go write for at least four hours. Then days later I might send an email for someone to come rescue us. Maybe. Oh!! One thing this island must have is plenty of chocolate. Can’t live without it.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Website: http://www.dawnchartier.com
Publisher: http://www.thewildrosepress.com
Blog: http://www.dawntheauthor.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dawn.chartier
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dawnchartier

BLURB:
Kira McCoy wants to die. Losing her husband and daughter tragically left her without hope. Now her disturbed brother-in-law will stop at nothing to have her for himself. All she wants is to find peace, but instead finds herself on top of a bridge ready to end her suffering.

Protector of the Poryria, Trace Stuart is called to defend his race or embrace death. Defending humans is not part of the plan, but he cannot stop himself from saving Kira.

Realizing that he shares a special bond with Kira, Trace defies his Queen and rushes into the heart of darkness in order to rescue the woman he loves. Will Kira be able to reach past her own pain to pull them both into the light?

EXCERPT:

As he measured her, his gaze warmed the consuming chill that had invaded her body. She glanced down, holding the material out. Nothing she could ever afford. Standing next to him in his stunning black suit, gave her more confidence than if she wore plain clothing.

“I wouldn’t have picked it out for myself, but you have good taste.”

“I know.” Trace’s gaze traveled down her torso, to her exposed toes and slowly up to her face. “And you take my breath away.” He kissed the inside of her wrist.

Heat shot up her inner arm overpowering any nervousness she may have felt earlier.
She leaned into him and whispered, “You breathe?”

Trace half smiled. “Sometimes.”

She blinked. “Oh.” That meant sometimes he didn’t breathe either.

Trace stiffened, then glanced toward the entrance flanked with four massive columns. It took a moment before she heard footsteps in the foyer. Five men entered the parlor. All dressed similar to Trace, except their cold penetrating eyes made her worry. Scared was more like it. One man strode toward her, eyes narrowed, mouth pulled down in a frown. She swallowed, then took a deep breath and squared her shoulders. They will not get to me. I will be strong.

“He won’t hurt you. Will you, Dev?” Trace stepped forward and crossed his arms.

Dev smirked and stared through his long dark lashes. “Depends.”

An eerie rumble vibrated the room. Kira advanced toward Trace. The sound of a wild cat drifted in the air. She tilted her head, glanced at Trace and realized the noise came from him.

“Boys. Boys. Boys. Dev won’t touch her, but I might.” A slender brunette appeared out of thin air and stood directly in front of the other men. Oh hell.

Dawn, anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you Marianne/April for this fun interview. My first book was released on May 12, 2010 with The Wild Rose Press, and I hope the readers enjoy "Not An Angel" as much as I enjoyed writing it. Readers can email me and tell me what they think. My email address and updates are on my website. Thanks for reading my interview.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Irritating Errors

I totally need some reader advice. I need to know just how important accuracy is to you in a story you’re reading.

Some glaring mistakes really annoy me in books. I was reading a story once where the author was describing the hero’s Glock and referred to it as a revolver. But Glock does not make revolvers. Glock is a company that makes striker-fired pistols (and knives, some clothes, and a couple other gun tools…but not Revolvers!).

Author Lady must’ve assumed the words pistol and revolver were synonymous and could be interchanged. But nope. Revolvers are only a type of pistol with a cylinder full of chambers to put each bullet in. The bullets in a Glock pistol are stored in the clip that gets shoved up into the butt of the grips. Anyway, the point here is this little detail of calling a Glock a revolver bugged me…for like ever. I'm not quite sure why.

And now that I’m writing my own stories, I’ve approached a problem in a manuscript I just sold, an error I actually know about (I’m sure I’ve made tons of mistakes I don’t know about, but this one I do). It’s still in the editing phase, so it’s possible I can fix it, but the question I’m asking is…is this problem such a big deal that I NEED to fix it, cause I’ll have to cut an entire scene to do that and I’d really rather keep that cute scene if I could.

Guess I should explain what I’m talking about, huh? There’s this scene in my story where the heroine gets flagged down by a cop on the Las Vegas Strip because she’s scantily dressed and this area has problems with illegal prostitution.

Now the state of Nevada has legalized prostitution, but the city of Las Vegas has not. I thought I was being all smart by making this cop harass her because I thought she was in the city limits. But recently I’ve learned The Las Vegas Strip is technically NOT in the Las Vegas city limits, and there is most definitely prostitutes legally working the Strip.

So, how big of a deal do you find this error? I’d like to keep the cop scene plus the line, “We can surely find a wedding chapel somewhere close. We’re on the freaking Strip for crying out loud,” but I could change it if it was bothersome.

Honestly, would this kind of inaccuracy irritate you? What kind of author mistakes DO irritate you?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

11 May is "Eat What You Want Day"!

NOTE: CONTEST BELOW for "Eat What You Want Day"!

Food, glorious food. All kinds, shapes colors, tastes...to delight our palates. And, today you have an open invitation to eat whatever you crave...and not feel guilty about it! Calories don't count! You won't gain weight! No one will look at you and wonder why you're stuffing your face...again.

Okay. Maybe some of that's not exactly true. But, who cares? If someone went through the trouble of naming this "free-to-eat-what-you-want" day, why shouldn't you take advantage of it?

Do you crave something sweet? Chocolate? Anything with sugar?

Something gooey? Sticky? Salty?

This will sound weird...but I crave SALADS! Because of 4 stomach surgeries I've had, I can't eat raw fruits or vegetables. Now, this might sound like an open invitation to cram my face...and stomach...with carbs, proteins, and sweets, but I'm TIRED of those! I want to eat a fresh apple, tomato, peach, and sink my teeth into a wonderful salad with all the trimmings!

Alas, I can't eat those items mentioned above, so I'll have to come up with something else to indulge in for "Eat What You Want Day".

My choice is PIZZA...loaded with extra cheese that leaves stings hanging as I pull it apart to stuff into my mouth.

I love writing food scenes for my heroes and heroines. In "Gone to the Dogs" by Marianne Stephens, my heroine, Katie, eats many times, and although she worries about those extra few pounds, she satisfies her hunger and cravings.

CONTEST: LEAVE A COMMENT AND TELL ME WHAT YOU'D LIKE TO EAT ON "EAT WHAT YOU WANT DAY". BE SURE TO PUT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENT BOX SO I CAN NOTIFY YOU IF YOU WIN. PRIZE: PRINT COPY OF "GONE TO THE DOGS" BY MARIANNE STEPHENS, AND SOME OTHER GOODIES I'LL THROW IN. DEADLINE: MIDNIGHT ET 14 MAY.

Photos: Flickr: Bitman, rexipe, Josh.liba, skidder's photostreams.

http://www.mariannestephens.net
http://www.aprilash.net
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/romancebooksrus
http://sevensexyscribes.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Interview of Author Diane Farr

Today I'm happy to be interviewing author Diane Farr.

Latest Release Title: "Wicked Cool"

Buy Link: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-8304-wicked-cool.aspxVideo link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLwHvOAD_vQ

BIO:
Diane Farr was first published at the age of eight when the Bakersfield Californian printed one of her poems. She has lived most of her life with her nose in a book – sometimes reading, sometimes writing. She is a four-time RITA finalist and the winner of a Golden Quill, a Blether Gold award, and a Lifetime Achievement award from RT Book Reviews. Her May 2010 release, Wicked Cool, took First Place in the YA Division of the 2009 Focus on Writers contest.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you were a RITA finalist?
A: Okay, now this is actually a very funny story. The first time I got “the call,” the president of Romance Writers of America, Tara Taylor Quinn, happened to be a member of my local chapter.

So when she called me one March night, I assumed it had something to do with chapter business. It never crossed my mind that she was calling in her capacity as President of RWA! Tara said, “Congratulations, Diane, you’re a finalist in the RITA awards.” What I heard was, “Congratulations, you’re a finalist in the reader awards.” I had no idea what the “reader awards” were, but I was, naturally, delighted. “Oh, how wonderful,” I said. “How did that happen?” She must have thought I was nuts, but she carefully explained the awards to me – again, I’m hearing “reader awards” – while I made pleased sounds in the background. I finally asked, “So when are they given out?” Tara said, “At the national convention, on Saturday night.” Dismay struck me. “Oh, no!” I said. “That will conflict with the…”

And then it hit me. Yes, you idiot, it will conflict with the RITA awards. Because it IS the RITA awards, and you’re a finalist.

I cannot imagine what was going on at Tara’s end of the phone call. She heard me say, “Oh no, that will conflict with the …” followed by an indescribable, barely-human sound – somewhere between a choke and a scream.

I do not remember the rest of the phone call. I remember running in circles, whooping until I hyperventilated, but I’m not sure if Tara was still on the line.

She has kept a polite, but wary, distance from me ever since.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you…beginning, middle, end. Why?
A: They are all hard, for different reasons. The beginning is hard because you have to come up with an idea. Not just any idea – a GOOD idea. Lots of ideas are tempting to think about, but you have to figure out – in advance of writing the book – which ideas will sustain a book-length manuscript and which will peter out halfway through. My books always start with characters. I often come up with fabulous people who are just perfect for each other – that’s not the hard part. The hard part is coming up with some good reason why these two fabulous people can’t just meet, fall in love and get married. Because if they do, there’s no book! So there must be an obstacle, and it had better be a doozy. Then you get to the middle and encounter a long, hard slog. Usually the original obstacle, whatever it is, threatens to grow tiresome and repetitive. So you have to throw something else into the mix and, again, if it’s not the right something, your book falls apart.
Finally you glimpse the end in sight – and feel an overwhelming urge to gallop towards it, neck or nothing. So the hard part with an ending is reining yourself in, making sure you don’t trample important plot points on your way to the finish line.

Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
A: No, but I listen to “comfort music.” Classical, New Age or movie scores, mostly, because I can’t write to anything other than instrumental music. If someone starts singing lyrics, the words pouring into my ears distract me from the words pouring out of my fingertips.

Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: I miss my cat.

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: I’m a total Facebook addict. I play word games with friends and family all over the world – that’s what hooked me. My husband tells me that since I discovered Facebook, I would be happy if I were just a brain in a jar. He’s probably right. Especially if somebody would take the jar to the beach once in a while.

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: I hate to fly, but I put up with it because I love to travel. I also enjoy theater, which was my first love. Oh, and reading. Did I mention reading?

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
http://www.dianefarrbooks.com
http://www.wickedcoolbooks.wordpress.com
http://www.bestbyfarr.com
http://www.facebook.com/dianefarrpage
http://www.amazon.com/Diane-Farr/e/B000APO0CY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1272818554&sr=1-2-ent

BLURB:
Zara Norland has a problem. It’s getting harder to hide who—or what—she is. Which is pretty ironic, actually. Because Zara doesn’t know who, or what, she is. Her sixteenth birthday is just around the corner, and according to all the fairy tales and legends, something is about to happen. If you have unexplainable powers or a mysterious past—and Zara has both—something huge happens on your sixteenth birthday, right?

Zara has never found fairy tales particularly helpful. But she has a feeling that this time, the old legends are right on the money. Here comes trouble.

EXCERPT:
I saved somebody’s life today. And the awful thing is I shouldn’t have done it.

I am so mad at myself.

I’m also mad at the world and fate and The Great Whatever, for sticking me with this mess. It’s totally not my fault! I mean, okay, yes, I did it. But what else could I do? This whole situation is so unfair it bites.

Most of all, I’m mad at Donald O’Shaughnessy and his cheese-brained friends, for horsing around at the top of the tallest water slide in the park. I mean, honestly—get a clue!

The bottom line is, if Donald had had one single ounce of maturity, none of this would have happened. But who gets to suffer for it? Who is hiding all alone in her room, shivering with reaction? Who is scribbling panicked thoughts into a journal because she has no one to talk to? Me.

I bet Donald is surrounded by his near and dear. I bet the O’Shaughnessy clan is making a big fuss. I bet they sat around all evening, exclaiming and hugging and eating chocolate cake, overjoyed to have him safe and sound and all that.

Let’s face it. It sucks to be me.

Why did I do it?

I already know the answer, of course. I did it because I could. Somebody had to step up, and it happened so fast…

One second, Meg and I were standing at the bottom of the water slide, looking up. Meg—who, despite her general teensyness, has a much bigger voice than I have—was screaming at the boys to knock it off. Because the boys were way overhead, at the top of the platform, acting like over-caffeinated baboons.

And the next second, the safety rail at the top of the platform gave way.

It had never occurred to us that something bad might happen. From what I know about boys—which is, admittedly, not much—they ape the mentally challenged on a regular basis. Meg and I weren’t yelling at the boys because we were afraid someone would get hurt. We were just afraid we’d get kicked out of the park. We were yelling, but we were laughing too, you know? Until this happened.

The platform was about a hundred feet overhead. It might as well have been a mile. I saw a human form grab, miss, and fall. I saw red hair and bright blue swim trunks silhouetted against the sky. There was nothing around him but air.

And that was that. I risked everything, absolutely everything, for Donald O’Frickin Shaughnessy. I don’t even like Donald O’Shaughnessy.

There wasn’t time to think. I don’t remember making a decision—although I must have, of course, because summoning Power is never an accident. But I acted so quickly, Donald didn’t even have time to scream.

He plummeted—briefly. Very briefly. The instant I saw him spread-eagled and flailing against the sky, a flash of heat left my body.

The power arrowed into Donald’s torso like invisible lightning. His back arched like he’d been punched in the gut. He shot upward slightly from the force of the impact, then hung in midair for about a nanosecond. And then he drifted gently to the ground and landed. Unhurt.

On his feet, no less. I must admit, that was pretty cool.

The whole incident took about five seconds…probably the longest five seconds of my life.

Did I mention that the water park was crowded? Well, it was. School has only been out for four days, and everybody’s celebrating. So there were a lot of people there.

A lot of witnesses.

Excuse me while I jump up and pace for a few minutes.

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