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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Interview of Author Mary Abshire!

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Mary Abshire.

Latest Book: Fighting Evil
Buy Link: https://www.nobleromance.com/ItemDisplay.aspx?i=256

BIO: By day, I am a government employee. At night, I am a Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Author. My interest in dark, mysterious, dangerous, and out of the ordinary started in my youth. I grew up watching sci-fi and horror shows. During my teenage years, I read Anne Rice and had a plethora of pen-pals. In my early twenties, I started writing for fun, but never pursued a writing career. Now that I am much older, I can. I started writing full-length novels a couple years ago and haven’t stopped. My addiction to writing just keeps growing, and growing, and I’m not so sure there is a cure. (At least my addiction is healthy and legal.)

I am a Pro Member of the RWA and Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter. I enjoy reading, writing, and chatting with others with similar passions. Drop me a line and I will respond.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: Naturally, I was ecstatic when I got the email for the first book in the series. Talk about a huge confidence boost! I ran downstairs and told my husband and daughter. They were just as excited.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: In Fighting Evil, the easiest scenes to write were the fighting scenes and when Jessie meets the VETOV. Dialogue and action seems to flow faster, easier, smoother.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: Well, I'm torn. I love my troublemaking demon, Jeremy. But I also love my noble vampire. I can never decide between the two.

Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
A: Oh no. I don't eat when I'm writing. But I do drink tons of water. Seriously, I'm a waterholic.

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: If I'm not writing, my head is pointed at a book.

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'd forget about the computer and spend all my attention on the handsome man. Living and breathing sexy flesh is much better than the virtual version.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: Mystery or suspense. I don't really know enough, in my opinion, to write such a novel. Besides, my heart and soul gyrate toward PR and UF.

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: Live chats are fun. Facebook is good too. I have a Goodreads account and I really enjoy chatting with people on Goodreads.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
http://www.facebook.com/mary.abshire
http://www.goodreads.com/maryabshire
http://twitter.com/maryabshire
http://www.shelfari.com/maryabshire


BLURB:
Half-demon Jessie Garrett's battles seem endless. While Jeremy, the demon out to win her heart, teaches her how to fight, Jessie's relationship with her vampire lover, Drake, reaches a breaking point. Adding to her struggles, she must defend her life against a group of vampires who consider her a threat to their existence. Held captive on a remote island with both Drake and Jeremy protecting her, she is tested in ways she's never imagined. Jessie fights back; only her actions do more harm than good. The group offers her a choice, but no matter what she decides, her life will change forever.

EXCERPT:
"Drake, I know what you think of Jeremy—"

"Yet you continue to make these deals with him. You continue to involve him in your life."

"I made the deal with him to teach me to fight because I was afraid at the time that you wouldn't protect me. I feared you were more loyal to your organization than you were to me. And to be honest, at times, I still am afraid."

"You should never doubt my loyalty. My concern is for you. It always has been." He reached forward and glided the back of his fingers down the side of my cheek. "I worry for you."

His cool fingers sent tiny chills down my neck. The delicate touch reminded me how much he cared and how loving his heart was.

"Once we are done with the VETOV, I want to get away from him. I really do." I took his hand and brought it to my heart while I gazed into the depths of his kind eyes. "I know you worry. Trust me when I say I have everything under control."

"If something ever happened to you . . . ."

"Nothing will. He wouldn't hurt me."

He gazed deep into my eyes, and for a moment, I wondered if he could see my soul. "I would do anything for you. Your life, your love, your soul—mean the world to me. My heart and soul aches when we're apart."

My pulse accelerated upon hearing his words. His heart was dead, but it still had feeling. God, I loved him. Why couldn't we just be together?

I brushed my fingers along the side of his face. "I miss you more than you could possibly know. I hate spending time away from you. I hate all of this—having to train with Jeremy and meet with the VETOV. I want it to all go away and just be the two of us."

He leaned closer. His cool energy caressed my skin like a feather light breeze. "I want to hold you in my arms for eternity, kiss you, and make love to you forever."

Deep within me, passion burned, wanting him to hold true to his words. "I would love to spend the remaining days of my life with you, in your loving embrace."

His gaze slid to my mouth. He grazed his thumb over my lips. "When we get back from meeting with the VETOV, I promise you, I will honor my words."

Never before had I wanted a man so much, wanted to be with him, love him, talk to him, and share every minute of my life with him. Never had I met a man willing to love me, the real me, the half-demon soul catcher. In my heart I knew, I had met the man I couldn't and wouldn't live without. I'd met my soul mate, my lover, forever and beyond.

I leaned forward and claimed his lips. His response was gentle, sweet, and the most tender, lovable, heartfelt kiss I'd ever experienced. Our tongues slowly and patiently stroked. Enjoying the moment, I wanted to savor every second, and I did.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, thank you for the interview! You're awesome Marianne :o)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Yessssssssss! I've Been Reviewed.



I happened to google my name last week and was simply tickled pink by a review I found for Taming Chaos a novella I'd written late last year. I remember being newish and still waiting like others in the pool of sites hoping to get picked up. This one didn't get picked up as much as some of my newer releases. I'd even forgotten I'd submitted it to this particular site. So when I got it and they loved it of course I was super exuberant!

Although reviews are subjective, I look for them not just for honest critique and praise for parts absolutely loved, I look for them because I know my name gets out even more. Sometimes we forget that sites work on their time not ours and we get impatient waiting to hear from the masses what they think of us.

The timeline isn't ours but theirs and many sites no longer supply the author or publisher with the link but look for the author to activate google alert or some other search engine that will pop up the review given.

I wanted to do a small post to say hey! Don't give up if you haven't heard back and are waiting for a review, especially if you're newer, sometimes it takes quite awhile to get a good steady roll of them going.

Keep track of where your baby has been sent and keep promoting and writing and the rest will fall in place. And when you by off chance recieve a nice notice like I did sit back and enjoy the moment!


Bitten By Books




Taming Chaos is a tale of acceptance. Darvon is rigidly stuck in his world of Order and Sere is overwhelmed and appalled by her two natures. They must come to find the necessary balance between Order and Chaos in order to fulfill their destinies and their love. The passion is raw and steaming, and their love is complex as they fight not only their own natures but also each other’s. The author has created an extraordinarily thoughtful treatise and joyous, lust-filled journey.

Full Review


I hope everyone is having a fantastic Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Work Habits of an Author

First, I'll be honest, I have used this blog before at my site. It's been a long time because some things have changed since I first wrote it.

Most mornings, I'm up by 7:30 (there are exceptions both earlier and later), I fix breakfast for my hubby and wash the dishes. Next, I fix my coffee and take a pill waiting thirty minutes before I can have breakfast. During this time I check email, visit Facebook, check MySpace, Twitter and Ning to read more messages and answer them. After that, I have breakfast and wash up the dishes.

Next, I shut down my main computer and boot up my laptop because that's where I do my real work. Write. I never read email or send email from my laptop. I do try to work on my website and blog from my laptop, so I won't be interrupted.

I re-read my work from the day before and make changes if needed, then I write. If I have two to four hours to write in, I consider that a good day. It's rare that I can write all day, but once in a while I'm able to, and then I'm ecstatic. There are times when nothing gets done due to life's interruptions.

It takes me a half hour to write one page, so if I write for two hours I can get four pages done. It's rare if I get eight pages done because it's hard to carve out that much time to write in.

Here are other authors work habit:

Author, Scott Spencer:

I work every day, from ten in the morning till I'm done with my pages. I try not to write beyond a certain point. It's my experience that if I write too much in one day it kills a couple of days work for after that. I like to keep myself to three or four pages a day.

Author, Gore Vidal:

First coffee. Then a bowel movement. Then the muse joins me.

LOL I had to laugh at that one.

Here are two quotes by James Thurber:

My usual method. . .is to spend the mornings turning over the text in my mind. Then in the afternoon, between two and five, I call in a secretary and dictate to her. I can do about two thousand words. It took me about ten years to learn.

I never quite when I'm not writing. Sometimes my wife comes up to me at a party and says, "Dammit, Thurber, stop writing." She usually catches me in the middle of a paragraph.

My belief is that everyone works differently, but we all have to write. There's no getting away from it even if we wanted to. Writers write, we may be unhappy writing, but we're even unhappier not writing. My husband started me on this path, and he had no idea the monster he was creating. Smile.

Author, H.G. Wells:

There comes a moment in the day, when you have written your pages in the morning, attended to your correspondence in the afternoon, and have nothing further to do. Then comes the hour when you are bored; that's the time for sex.

This was another quote that amused me. Smile.

Author, Truman Capote:

I am a completely horizontal author. I can't think unless I'm lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I've got to be puffing and sipping. As the afternoon wears on, I shift from coffee to mint tea to sherry to martinis.

Author, Annie Dillard:

I work mornings only. I go out to lunch. Afternoons I play with the baby, walk with my husband, or shovel mail.

As you can see everyone has different work habits. What is yours? This question is not just for writers, everyone is welcome to share their schedule.

That's all for today.

Sandy AKA Sandra K. Marshall
http://www.eirelander-publishing.com
http://www.skaymarshall.com

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Interview of Author Amber Kallyn

Latest Book: Dragos 3: Blazed
Buy Link: http://www.changelingpress.com/author.php?uid=145

BIO:
One of those rare breeds, Amber Kallyn is an Arizona native who can trace her family's history through six generations in the state. She lives with her sexy husband, and their four very active children. Included in the menagerie are two cats (though there's always room for more) and two dogs. We won't count all the fish. She also writes urban fantasy under the name Higley Browne.


Q: What's part of the  book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A:For me, the beginning is always the easiest to write. I usually let the idea ferment for a bit, working it over and letting my subconscious have a go at it. During this time, I write notes, and bits of interesting info -- whatever comes to me. By the time I sit down to write, the first few chapters are fleshed out in my mind and the writing goes pretty smoothly.

Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your heroines? Tell us about your heroine.
A: Ooh, a movie. Wouldn’t that be great? I think I’d like my heroine to be played by a young redheaded Isla Fisher. Bree Jones is a spunky woman. She’s had to be, as an orphan and a fire nymph. Her main problem is her stubborn self-reliance. She’s never had anyone to depend on, so she doesn’t know how.

Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your heroes? Tell us about your hero.
A: My hero would definitely be a spike-haired Zac Efron. Ty Dragos is a sexy playboy who’s never had a lasting relationship. He thinks it’s himself -- he just doesn’t have what it takes. So when he comes across Bree and has such a strong reaction to her, his life’s turned upside down.

Q: What's your strongest point as a writer?
A: I’ve kindly been told by a couple editors lately that they loved my voice. It’s one of those elusive parts of the craft of writing, and an important one. I like my voice, so I guess it’s developing :)

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: Hmm. Am I still married, lol. First, the handsome man brings me food and some homemade wine. Then, he fans me with a palm frond while I write. And write some more. A quick dip in the blue-green ocean to cool off, another snack, and some more writing. Then it’s time for me to pamper him ;)

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: I admit, I suck at social media. I never feel like I have anything interesting to say. Out of all of them, though, I use twitter the most. I spend about an hour catching up on the world in the mornings, then check in periodically through the day. The problem with it though is I’m normally reading, not tweeting. My goal this year is to start being more active and interacting with it. Let’s see how well I get there :)

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

http://twitter.com/AmberKallyn
http://www.amberkallyn.com
http://amberkallyn.wordpress.com
http://7evildwarves.wordpress.com
http://plotmamas.wordpress.com
Newsletter: http://amberkallyn.us2.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=9bed827b4341a86a763586053&id=cbae15a2b3
http://www.facebook.com/#%21/AmberKallyn
http://www.facebook.com/#%21/pages/Amber-Kallyn/119605398111010

BLURB:
Love will Blaze when a nymph and a dragon must work together to stop a fiery catastrophe.

When someone comes after the rock band Brianna Jones works with, she must not only embrace the fire nymph within herself, but also the growing desire she feels for bounty hunter and dragon shifter Tyler Dragos. Together, they will try keeping not only the band members, but Bree safe from the dark mage hounding the Dragos Clan.

EXCERPT:
Ghostly tendrils of awareness crawled down the back of Bree's neck, making the hair stand up and her skin itch. Someone was watching her. Bree worked around the stage, ignoring the rambunctious laughter and talking, glancing around the stadium every few minutes in hopes of catching her phantom watcher.

Running wires along the stage, she connected the charges for the band's pyrotechnics. This was the Grave Diggers' first of three nights performing in Phoenix.

The abnormally high temperatures had sweat trickling down her back. Between the heat she wasn't used to, the crowds, and loud noises echoing from the closed dome that wouldn't open until just before the show, Bree was surprised she wasn't losing her mind. As the sensation of being watched persisted, she stopped working and stared into every shadowed nook and cranny in the football stadium.

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

Then again, what was ordinary about thousands of fans hovering around hours before the show, all dressed up like gothic vampires, witches, werewolves and other supernatural creatures?

It was laughable, really. As if these humans had any idea what such beings were truly like. Vampires weren't pale, glittering creatures. And werewolves didn't just grow a bit of fur on their faces and hands, but shifted into real, if huge, wolves with blazing eyes and dangerous teeth.

As she headed toward the partitioned-off area doubling as backstage, a conga train of mummies decided to block the way, forcing her to stop. Nearby stood a trio of surprisingly normal looking people -- two men and a woman.

Her gaze landed on the tallest of the three. His short brown hair stuck up in fashionable spikes tipped with orange and purple. Clean shaven, his features were strong and masculine, with just a hint of softness. Bree had never seen eyes so amazingly blue. As she watched, his wide lips curled up at the edges, revealing a dimple on his right cheek. His body, long and lean, hinted at muscles just barely hidden beneath his blue jeans and faded red shirt.

He glanced up, and their gazes locked. Heat rushed through Bree, throwing all thoughts out the window. Her heart stuttered. Her breath hitched. The man's magnetism was strong. Fierce.

The other man, almost as tall and just as stunningly masculine, slapped Blue-Eyes on the shoulder. He shook his head, turning back to the little group.

Bree gulped down air. Just what the hell had that been about?

"O'Neil," Blue-Eyes said. "You ready for it?"

The other guy clasped the shoulders of a shorter woman standing between the two men. "You got that right, Ty." O'Neil pulled the woman to his side, laying his hand over the very noticeable bump of the woman's stomach.

The woman smiled dreamily. "We'll be just fine." Her eyes, as blue as Ty's, sharpened, and a scowl twisted her lips. "At least, we will be as soon as we get that information."

"Scott's parents?" Ty asked.

"I hate these dead ends we keep finding," the woman grumpily replied.

O'Neil hugged her tighter. "We tracked down the last lead, but it led here rather than to my parents."

"So that's why I got roped into this," Ty grumbled.

The woman turned a glare his way, stepping away from O'Neil and poking Ty in the chest with her index finger. "You sound like we're bothering you."

He glared back at the woman. His expression darkened, growing hard enough to force a shiver down Bree's spine.

The conga line of mummies ended, clearing the way to backstage. Bree hesitated. She didn't like eavesdropping, but neither could she bring herself to walk away. The pregnant woman might need protection from such an overbearing brute.

With a sigh and half a shake of her head, Bree turned back to the stage. She'd keep an eye on them. The woman had her own man there. If he couldn't take care of any problems...

Bree tweaked a connection, still keeping an eye on the group. If the brute dared lay a hand on the woman, well, she was on a first name basis with Commando Krav Maga. She'd yet to meet an ass she couldn't kick.

Her neck itched again, the hair on her nape standing to attention as goosebumps covered her arms. The watcher was persistent, she'd give him that. Working her way around the stage, she tried to act as if nothing was amiss. She was damn well going to figure out who kept staring at her. Then, she'd make them regret the intrusion.

Damn idiots.

Thanks so much for having me :) I loved answering the questions, as well as getting to play online trying to find a picture of an actor who’d fit my peoples, LOL.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Talking Romance with Lisa Kessler

My first post in and I was at a loss for words, so I decided to invite my very lovely friend, Lisa Kessler to the show to answer some questions about romance and publishing that are very hot topics right now!

1. What is it about romance that keeps bringing you back to it?

LK: I'm a sucker for watching two people take a risk to lean on one another. You have to be brave to "fall" in love. You have to be willing to let down your guard and give someone else the power to hurt you, but trust them not to use it.

I love watching the two people learn they're stronger together. It's that unity that always brings me back. I like characters who risk it all for a chance at Happily Ever After.

Maybe I'm an adrenaline junkie! LOL


2. Describe your experience with Entangled compared to self pubbing?

LK: My experience with Entangled has been exciting so far. There is a rush, similar to what I described above, when you know there is a tribe behind you that believes in your book. With self-publishing you have all the editorial and cover art control, but you're also a one-man publishing army. It's tough to be the author, editor, cover artist, publicist and web tech who uploads the book to all the ePub sites. Shew!

There are advantages and drawbacks no matter which path you choose, but I do feel like I was adopted into a fabulous publishing family when Entangled contracted my Night Series. I'm really excited about the entire team and the amazing authors and books they've lined up.

3. I saw your new cover recently, it's amazing. How did you feel when you first caught a glimpse?

LK: The first time I saw my Night Walker cover it was while we were waiting for a pizza! LOL I checked my email on my phone and saw the attachment. It seemed like it took forever for my phone to download it and display it on my tiny screen! :)

I loved the cover instantly and the tagline brought tears to my eyes. They really nailed the heart of the book! To say I'm thrilled feels like an understatement!


Lisa, thank you for helping me share my debut blog post and for sharing the love. We'd love to hear from our guest. Speaking of romance, have you seen a movie lately that fits Lisa's description of Romance? I'm thinking of the love story between the two kids on Transformers. Lol. I know, lame, but it has all of the elements. Have a great day everyone.



Night Walker will be released August 5, 2011 from Entangled Publishing





Across the Veil is available now!



Princess Talia from Summerland has been hiding across the veil in the human world for the past five years.

Starring in a hit television show as human actress, Natalie Thurmont, her charmed new life is shattered when the past comes knocking on her door.

"Across the Veil" won Romance in the Backseat book review's Paranormal Fight Club short story contest.

Short Fiction (6,000 words)


Excerpt -


Across the Veil – By Lisa Kessler



Her stilettos clicked down the dark alley as she did her best to run. Freaking shoes. At least her fall would look real. Hitting her mark, her ankle turned and gravity did the rest. She hit the pavement hard, knocking the wind from her lungs. The only thing between her face and a bad case of road rash was a large scuffed black leather boot.

“Cut! Print!” The director bellowed. “Nice job Natalie. I could see the fear and uncertainty on your face. Really great work today.”

Dillon removed his boot from under her face and offered her a hand. “Are you all right? The fall looked like it hurt.”

Natalie dusted off her jeans and smiled up at him from under her lashes. “It’s supposed to look that way, remember? It’s called acting.”

“Well you did an amazing job.” He chuckled. “You always do. So you want to grab a beer?”

“Nah, I need some quiet me time in my trailer.”

“Suit yourself,” he said as he walked away. She watched him go. Dillon looked amazing in his not-too-loose-yet-not-too-tight jeans.

Enough gawking.

Natalie turned around and made her way upstream through the production team toward her trailer. They’d been in Arizona for nearly three weeks shooting the special two-hour season premiere movie, and tomorrow she’d be heading back to her home in Malibu. She was ready to get out of the desert heat and back to a more temperate California coast.

But the climate changed immediately when she opened her trailer door.

A tall man with silver eyes and long blond hair got up from her couch. She gasped and shook her head in disbelief. “Faldo? What are you doing here?”

He raised a brow and glanced around her cramped living space. “I would ask you the same question, Princess Talia.”

She shushed him and pulled the door closed behind her. “I’m Natalie Thurmont now. How did you get across the veil?”

The corner of his mouth twitched, as close to a smile as Faldo usually got. “Again, I might ask you the same question.”

Talia rolled her eyes. “Why are you here, Faldo?”

“I need you to locate someone for me.”

Her jaw dropped. “You’re kidding. Why would you think I would help you? You’re the reason I crossed the veil in the first place.”

His silver eyes narrowed, and he raised his chin. “You will help me, Princess, or your life in this world will end.”

“You’re in my house, threatening me?” She crossed her arms shaking her head. “Not in this world. No way.” She pointed to the door. “Get out, Faldo. Now.”

His lips curled into a smirk that made her feel like throwing up. “Your mother worries about you. I will be a hero for finding you and sending the Sentinel to bring you back home.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

He started to reach for the door. “I most certainly would.”

“Okay wait.” Talia raked her fingers back through her hair. “Why do you think I can find whoever you’re looking for? I’m an actress now, not a private detective.”

His jaw clenched. “Because the Fae I am looking for is Keth.”

Her arm dropped to her side, and the glamour that usually glowed around her face faded, graying her flawless complexion. “Keth is here?”

Faldo cleared his throat, his posture stiff. “Yes. He crossed the veil shortly after you vanished.”

Her foolish heart leapt in her chest. Maybe Keth had come searching for her. But the false hope dimmed quickly. She’d been on a hit television show for nearly five years now. Her face was plastered on billboards and buses. If he was looking for her, she wouldn’t have been hard to find.

“Why are you trying to find him?”

“When he left Summerland, he took something that didn’t belong to him. I need it back.”

“That’s vague,” she said with a snort. “How am I supposed to help you if I don’t know what I’m looking for?”

“It’s best that you don’t.” He slid his fingers into the pocket of his button-down shirt and withdrew a tiny orange gem. It caught the light as he placed it in the center of her outstretched hand. “Slip this into his pocket or his bag. I will be able to find him. Anywhere.”

She rolled it across her palm. The surface was smooth and the gem itself was nearly weight-less. Her eyes turned up to meet his. “It’s enchanted?”

“Just be sure the stone is placed in his keeping. I will handle the rest.”

“And my mother?”

“Will never know we have laid eyes on each other.”

She closed her fingers around the tiny stone. “I don’t want to do this.”

He reached over to lift her chin. “If you want to stay here with the humans, then you have no choice.” His smug expression was back in place. He bowed his head. “Farewell Princess Talia.”


Bio -

I've published short stories in print anthologies and magazines. My story, Immortal Beloved was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award and is currently a part of the Dead Souls anthology from Morrigan Books.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

My eBook short, Across the Veil, is now avilabhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifle in all eBook formats.
Across the Veil - Available now! http://amzn.to/e98xZohttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gihttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.giff

My Night Trilogy: Night Walker, Night Demon and Night Child. Will be released later this year from Entangled Publishing along with a novella, Night Thief!

You can find Lisa here:
http://lisakessler.wordpress.com
http://twitter.com/LdyDisney
http://facebook.com/LisaKesslerWriter

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Did Bridget Jones Die?

Got your attention, didn’t I? Still, I’m asking a valid question. It appears that the oh-so-once-popular chick lit has now died on the vine. It didn’t even get a proper burial. No more new journals for Bridget. Then again, perhaps the claim is erroneous. Could it be that these books still exist but are masquerading under new euphemisms?

I did a Google search to see what chick lit is being called and read some interesting and somewhat comical discussions about how to term such a work-in-progress so an agent or editor will read and consider it. One writer suggested  “upmarket fiction.” Another one pointed out that upmarket fiction is meant to describe work that falls between literary and commercial fiction and chick lit isn’t really that “upscale.” That left me thinking the formerly designated chick lit was somewhere between the “how-to” instructions for your latest purchased gizmo (you know, the instructions you never read) and last week’s junk mail.

I finally came to the conclusion that “downmarket fiction” would be a more appropriate title, but that depresses me even more because it makes me think of the stock market and the current state of economic affairs. To name my literature in such a manner would doom it to never even being purchased, much less read.

Most of the posts I found agreed that former chick lit books were now being referred to as “women’s fiction.” What on earth does that mean? I don’t know what you think of it, but, honestly, I find that to be incredibly boring. It sounds like a department in a megastore. As a result, I think we need to rename this type of literature. While we’re at it, let’s try to get rid of the stereotypical heroine image of stiletto heels and frilly fru-fru or skin-tight outfits. How can we bring justice to the genre when it gives credence to its don’t-get-no-respect appearance?

One writer, Jon Eaves, said it better than me in a guest blog at Novelicious, http://www.novelicious.com/chick-lit-genre:
The cover will invariably be pale pink or baby blue. The title will be written in a curly, a whirly or even possibly a squirly font.  There will, without exception, be a smattering of either silvery stars or shiny red hearts or, in the worst case scenario, purple butterflies. The cover illustration will be a stylised colour drawing of the thin, pretty heroine wearing deep red lip gloss and very pointy shoes.

So here is my list of the top five must-haves in the new “chick-lit” yet-to-be-named:
1.      Independent, not some run-home-to-live-with-mom-and-dad sappy, spineless heroine.
2.      The heroine is a good friend but capable of having lunch or drinking a coffee-shop drink without her double-sided-tape chums.
3.      In at least one scene in the book, the heroine is dressed wearing flats or ratty slippers. Under no circumstances should she own any shoes or handbags with names the average American can’t easily pronounce.
4.      There is more on the heroine’s mind than the hero, the way she is going to spend her time off and the state of her friends’ love lives.
5.      The heroine is not in her twenties, slim with a fabulous wardrobe and living in the middle of the glamorous neighborhood of a metropolis.

Here’s to forty-year-old heroines with weight issues in suburbia who are divorced or never married with mortgages that swallow half their incomes and a desire for a night life they don’t have. Wait! I have the perfect name for the literature. Reality fiction.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bobbye Terry writes the new yet-to-be-named “chick-lit” as well as romantic comedies, cozy mysteries, suspense, fantasies and dystopian fiction. Her latest work is Rose, Book 1 in The Lipstick Girls series.  The sequel, Rusty, will be out in late June. Bobbye and Linda Campbell, writing as Terry Campbell, have a new cozy mystery short story collection, Slam Sisters of Serendipity, debuting through Eternal Press on June 7th.  For more about Bobbye, visit her at http://www.bobbyeterryromance.com/ and www.BobbyeTerry-MysteryHappens.com.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Interview of Author Em Petrova

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Em Petrova!

Latest Book: Isolde’s Wish
Buy Link: http://www.loose-id.com/Isoldes-Wish.aspx
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4vCuWLb1_w

BIO:
Em Petrova is a writer of hot, lover of all things coffee, devotee of books, and worshipper of the iPod.

She penned her first novel at the age of twelve, and after gaining an arts degree, has returned to her literary roots. She loves to dig deep into the souls of her unique characters and uncover their secret desires when she doesn’t have her nose in a great new read. You can find more about her sexy stories at http://www.empetrova.com

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: The sex scenes flow in my books. I get right into the characters and before I know it, I’m not only hot and bothered, but I have 5-10 pages written!

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: Like many other writers, I get stuck in the sagging middles. You’ve just laid out a bunch of threads, and at the climax you’ll knot them together. But in the middles, it can sometimes be difficult to start to weave them into a pattern. This is the time I plot the hardest using a method I made up called the Plot Target. I draw a circle in the middle of a blank sheet of paper, then draw a larger circle around it, as if it’s a bulls eye. Then I write the goal of my chapter in the center. Everything around the outer edge must push the story toward the goal, whether it’s dialogue, scenery, or a fight scene. This helps me tremendously, especially when I start to lose faith in my story.

Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
A: I’m a coffee drinker, so I always have a pot going and a giant mug at my left hand. I often tell people I have a sexy coffee boy named Hector who serves me in the buff. You know…for inspiration.

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: That depends. Do I know this hot guy? If not, I’d probably spend some time learning about him—his hopes and dreams, his interests and his faults. Then I’d jump him and use the inspiration to write later. ;)

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: Since I have four kids, people always ask if I write children’s books. I have to admit, the thought has crossed my mind, especially when I read the absolute crap that’s on the market for kids. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing titles, especially for school age readers. But there are some real bombs out there too.

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: My name is Em and I’m a Facebook addict. Yes, I flip to it countless times a day. To me, it’s a mindless activity, like standing up and stretching, but for the mind. When I’ve gotten my fill of intrigue, shared pics and videos, and reading about people’s successes, I jump back into my work in progress, fresh and recharged!

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
http://www.empetrova.com
For erotic romance, I have several publishers—Red Sage, Loose Id, Breathless Press, Decadent Publishing, and Etopia Press. For my mainstream work being released under the name Em Peters, I am at Whiskey Creek Press.
http://twitter.com/empetrova
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#%21/profile.php?id=100001140802024
My Books:
Runes: http://tiny.cc/rh5yl
Tattoo Dream: http://tiny.cc/lsxr3
My Sexy Valentine: http://tiny.cc/2w5ea
Isolde’s Wish: http://www.loose-id.com/Isoldes-Wish.aspx

BLURB:
With a wild boar on her heels and a naked man before her, Princess Isolde has no clue which danger is greater. When she trips and falls into the dirt at the feet of the axe-wielding warrior, giving her a very close encounter with his manhood, she battles her undeniable awareness of the sculpted man even after she finds he has a price on his head for attempting to assassinate her father, King Adlard.

The bold son of the man executed for sleeping with the king’s wife, Sadler attempted to avenge his father at a very young age. Now he’s faced with the temptation of King Adlard’s daughter and presented a fresh opportunity to right his failed assassination attempt.

But when he learns a powerful earl seeks the princess’s hand in marriage, Sadler realizes his passions run deep. Desperate to keep her from the arms of his enemy, he plans to steal her away from the kingdom and make her his own.

EXCERPT: ("R" for Language)
What the hell had she been thinking to run toward the loch? The cold mist seared Isolde’s lungs, and a bloody cry welled on her tongue, prepared to lick outward at the first sound of the demon creature on her heels. Her silk slippers dug into the soft earth with a squelching noise not unlike the beat of hooves. She strained to hear its movements in the wild tangle of underbrush. It circled her, herding her almost.

Nay. Best not to think of such things. Isolde had the upper hand. She could outthink any man in the castle. Certainly she could outwit this pig. Except the pig wasn’t wearing ten pounds of fabric.

Still, the voice in the back of her head told her it was lunacy to run toward the loch. What would happen when she reached the water’s edge? She couldn’t swim a stroke, and in this damned confining brocade gown, she’d sink like a stone.

Behind her she heard the drum of hooves in the thick foliage. Adrenaline shot through her veins, propelling her legs faster. Branches lashed at her face and plucked at her gown. Her fingers cramped from holding up her heavy skirts, and the high grasses stung her bare calves. The pines gave way to leafier trees, and soon she would break through the deep woods and onto the shores of the loch.

The beast closed in on her, grunting and gasping in a way that made her think of the men sawing logs for the castle’s new android horse paddock. These mechanical horses needed good, strong fencing that could keep their heavy metal bodies from escaping during a stampede, which frequently happened when they were frightened.

A flash of bristly black hair flickered in the corner of her eye, and she veered sharply left, away from it. The scream was poised on her lips now, ready to be released into the empty woods. Even her strongest bloodcurdling scream would bring no one. She was too far from the castle for even the field workers to hear.

And that beast had tusks like spears on it. She’d be killed for sure, even if she didn’t drown first trying to escape. Could pigs swim?

Back and forth she zigzagged through the woods, thigh muscles burning and forearms tense from holding the weight of her skirts. She fought to remain upright as she forged a path through the web of tree roots. Her throat was clogged with fear.

With a shriek that raised the hair on her neck, the wild boar rushed her. Its meaty body struck the backs of her legs. She pitched forward, releasing her skirts to instinctively catch herself and nearly breaking her neck as she tripped over the mass of spun-gold fabric.

Righting herself, she continued to bolt toward the loch, knowing no other course now, but hoping someone had left a mist boat moored there. The mist on the loch was thick enough to power a lightweight boat halfway around the perimeter of the country. If she could only reach a boat, she’d fire up the engine and race to the middle of the loch, far from the beast pursuing her.

The thunder of hooves bore down upon her. She lunged through a wall of vines, tripping and wheeling, blinded by greenery, branches scratching her face, heels over head, only to fall at the feet of a naked man. As she reeled past, she glimpsed his long, hard shaft boldly dancing between his thighs.

Isolde struck the muddy turf with a grunt, hair falling over her face. Her fingers sank into the dense soil, as did the side of her face. The warm, gritty sand cupped her forehead, nose, the crest of one cheek, and her jaw. She blinked up through the mess of hair drooping over her free eye in time to see the war dance of a man with a battle-ax.

He swung it with ease, though it weighed as much as a small tree. It swooped overhead with a whistling noise and slashed downward, sinking deep into the neck of the pig. A high, keening scream tore from its lungs. The man stepped gracefully forward and, with an almost casual flick of the ax, severed the pig’s head from its body. A thick rope of noxious blood spurted from its neck as its heart continued to pump.

Isolde’s heart knocked her ribs painfully. She lifted her head from the shore with a sucking sound and watched as the man proceeded to do a complex series of whirls and spins with the battle-ax, slicing the air so quickly, the silver blade burned a trace in her vision.

His tanned limbs shone with sweat. The bulging arms brought the weapon down again and again, hacking at the wild boar at his feet. Blood spattered his muscular thighs. His bare feet were black with muck.

She flicked her eyes upward once more, and she found her breath trapped in her throat at the sight of his stunning face. Long blond hair fell loose about his broad shoulders and sculpted chest. The nipples were set into the rounded pectoral muscles like two pale jewels. She saw with a start that they were actually pierced. Two pointed silver bars were fitted through each hard nipple.

Isolde’s own nipples puckered against the hot fabric of her gown. Before he took notice of her scrutiny, she allowed herself a quick peek at the sharply muscled abdomen and lower at the golden brown nest of hair cushioning the longest cock she’d ever seen.

She’d like to say it was the only cock she’d ever seen, but she had grown up with two brothers. Even her father, the king himself, had bathed before her when she was a child, stripping unselfconsciously and stepping into the metal tub.

The warrior’s flesh stood at hard attention, revealing a hefty set of balls beneath its taut skin.

The blade ceased to scream through the air, and Isolde looked up into the striking green eyes of the man. He stood stock-still, watching her, chest heaving from exertion, and small beads of sweat standing on the curly hair of his chest.

She daren’t drop her eyes to the cock but knew it was dancing.

“I always get hard, lass, whenever I wield this weapon. Ever hear of battle hardness?” he asked conversationally, as if he wasn’t standing there without a stitch on and she a maid.

She shook her head, dazed by the full, kissable mouth that was speaking to her.

“Whenever a man goes into battle, he comes out with a hard-on more often than not. My little friend here has seen so much battle in its time that it hardens like a rock at the first swing of the blade.” His eyes traveled over her hotly, and Isolde wondered how she might look after being chased by a wild boar two miles through the woods. Her hair waved into one eye, and she scraped it away.

“How did ye come to torment this beast?” he asked, cocking his head in a way that implied it had been her fault.

She shoved a hand into the ground, struggling to disentangle her legs from her dress enough to gain her feet and hopefully a little dignity.

“Do ye not know to whom ye speak?” she asked, swaying on her slippers. One was crooked, and she twisted her foot in the sand to right it. The side of her face felt tight with the drying dirt, and her lashes were caked with it.

But when his beautiful, full lips quirked into a crooked smile, she lost the sharp edge of her anger.

“Why, I’m looking at a princess, surely. The golden cloth ye wear is too fine for a common woman’s, and no milkmaid would wear rings upon every finger. The jeweled comb in yer hair is worth more than my life, I’d wager. And believe me; my life is worth quite a precious sum.”

Isolde lifted her chin at the slight disgust that had seeped into his tone when describing her finery. “What sum could that be for a man who owns no clothes?”

He dropped the ax into the sand and took two menacing steps toward her. He halted within inches, so near that his incredible heat washed over her. It kissed her breasts through the tight brocade and trickled down to squeeze the most intimate spot between her legs. Again that smile flashed, creating a deep line about the corner. “Why, Princess, I’m certain ye’ve heard of me. Posters with my picture line the streets from here to Edinburgh. And yer father, the king, is responsible for my fame, as he is the one to set the price on my head. Alive, I’m worth two thousand pounds. Dead, I’m worth more. Myself, I’d like to remain alive, if only to set eyes on yer striking face again.”

His foot inched forward, his toes bumping her silk slipper and releasing a surge of wetness in her sex. Isolde’s mind screamed to step back, to distance herself from this man, obviously a wanted criminal. If it was discovered that they were alone together, she’d be ruined.

The scent of clean sweat and warm musk penetrated her senses, sending her into a tailspin. The boar had been a warm-up in the face of this terrifying sport.

“Who are ye?” she managed to whisper through the deafening roar of blood in her ears.

He lifted his hands slowly to clamp upon her upper arms, right above the elbow. Heat burned through the fabric sleeves and scalded the flesh beneath. Her heart hammered, and she grew faint.

“Why, Princess, surely must recognize the most famous criminal alive? I am the man who nearly succeeded in killing yer father on the moors some years ago. And believe me; I intend to do it right this time.”

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for the opportunity to share. I love to hear from readers and forge new friendships!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ka-thump!

Have you ever seen the old 90's sitcom, Mad About You with Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt? Remember Murray the dog and the mouse? For those unfamiliar with the series, Murray and the mouse was a recurring joke from about the third season on. Seems Murray, their dog, was obsessed with a mouse inside the walls of their apartment. So much so that all either character had to do was say, "Go get the mouse, Murray!" and the dog would race across the room. Then off-camera, there'd be this sudden Ka-thump! to represent the poor dog hitting his head into the wall.

I was reminded of that this morning, thanks to my cat, The Skitten. (Yes, that's her name. Beats "Little Miss Bella Wigglebottom," which was our first choice for her.) Skit's an indoor cat. Although she's terrified of the Great Beyond she sees through the windows, she's also fascinated by the wildlife so near, yet so far. This morning as I sat with my coffee in the kitchen, Skitten pulled a Murray. A squirrel dared to prance across our patio, and Skitten had to get a closer look. A streak of gray tiger stripe later came the Ka-thump! as she hit the sliding glass door head-first.

Writers often run the risk of that Ka-thump! moment, when we're so focused on one detail in a plot thread that we lose sight of the big picture. How do we avoid it? Some of us use detailed outlines, a white board, or the sharp eyes of critique partners. Me? I rely on sheer luck. I'm weird that way. I like to live on the edge so I trust my muse to catch stuff I might miss while writing. Lucky for me, Gertrude (my muse) is on the ball!

Case in point: the other afternoon I was writing a scene for my current story. I have a deadline of June 1 so I'm about 10,000 words and 7 days away from The End, which means a lot of what I'm writing is to begin tying up loose ends. I opened a particular scene with my heroine alone in a room and then had someone come up behind her and say "Boo!" Not in a bad way (this is a lighthearted romance for Avalon Books). The entering character could have been one of many options, but I--no, correction--Gertrude chose a very minor character. Okay, I thought. I'll play. I continued writing the dialogue between these two and when I sat back, finished with the scene, I had this overwhelming, "Aha!" moment. Gertrude had just tied up an end I'd completely forgotten about. And because this is a very minor character, the timing was perfect. 

Lucky Gertrude gets to focus on the tiny detail while I keep an eye on the big picture. That's probably what makes us such a great team. If she didn't live inside my head, I think I'd buy her a drink to thank her.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Interview of Cover Model/Actor John Antorino!


Today it’s my pleasure to present an interview of multi-talented John Antorino. His career encompasses many avenues;  personal trainer, nutrition consultant, bodybuilder, model, actor. His resume lists a variety of items to include television/film, commercials, magazines, catalogs, etc. Definitely a man of many talents!

Where to find information about John Antorino:
http://www.johnantorino.com
http://icegrillusa.blogspot.com/2011/01/player-profile-john-antorino.html
http://therepublictv.com/cast.html#John_Antorino
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3016683
http://www.examiner.com/romance-novels-in-salt-lake-city/welcome-romance-lovers-cover-model-john-antorino-is-here-today
http://www.hunkymalecelebs.com/john_antorino
http://sexiestmen.com/2010/06/selected-photos-of-muscular-john-antorino
http://www.facebook.com/JohnAntorino
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/John-Antorino/111924588819474

Q: With all the directions you’ve taken in your career, is there one job you’ve thought about trying but haven’t attempted?
A: No not really. I am a go-getter. And do what I set my mind to and want to do. The next job for me I think will be, becoming a father. Will be my best job and best work yet too. From the heart. Hope not too mushy and too personal. I’m an open book and tell it like it is and what I feel. So….

Q: You are A.S.P.T. Phlebotomy certified, American Heart Association First Aid and CPR certified. Have you ever used these skills?
A: No. Just some things I got along the way while in the middle of my educational/college years. I wasn’t sure what I was really going to do back then. So I wanted to get as much experience, education, and as many certifications as I could. I enjoyed college and learning lots of different things. I’d like to go back to college now. Can I? Haha. I wish. Those were the days (Reminiscing).

Q: Did you use your BS in Psychology when you worked as a School Crisis Counselor? What did you do?  
A: Yes I did. I worked with kids with behavioral problems. Most came from broken fatherless homes. Single-parent homes. Some lived with their Grandparents. Some lived in foster homes. It was a very tough, yet rewarding job for me. Definitely had to have thick skin and patience for that job. Constantly being called names, swung on, and threatened. I enjoyed it though. My real true passion in life is actually helping others. Always been this way too. Even as a young kid.

Q: Your childhood was tough, but you had a loving mother for support. How did you help her and your twin sister?
A: Sure was. My Mom did a great job though. The best she could. She worked 2 jobs daily to support us. I never forgot that and that time in my life. Never will.
I was forced to grow up fast and at a young age. I would always stick up for them. Men that would stare and make comments or whatever. I was so protective. Even as a little boy. I’d fight grown men. I am still so protective of the women in my life. Always will be.
Now that things are all good in my life I am blessed to be able to give back and do for my Mom now. I have taken her on several trips. One, was her dream trip to Italy a few years ago. We’ll go back sometime. She’s surely my best friend and #1 fan.

Q: You’ve been a cover/magazine model. Is preparing for each of these different?
A: Yes, it depends on what type of magazine or what kind of cover. Sometimes I need to be a bit bigger and more muscular for the fitness and muscle magazines, and leaner for the book covers and the clothing/underwear ads I do. I try and stay pretty consistent though with my looks and the total package I present. I take pride in total proportion all around.



Q: Tell us about appearing in Playgirl.
A: Ahhhhhh well they were after me for a long time before I finally agreed to do it. It wasn’t something I ever wanted to do or would consider doing. But time went by and they were persistent. Offered more money. I talked it over with my agent, and finally Mom. They said go do it. So….I did!

Q: Do you have a workout routine? What do you do?
A: Yes of course. I workout twice daily. I do cardio and abs in the early AM. Usually 6AM. I do the treadmill, bike, and/or stepmill. Then go back to the gym in the afternoon to do my weight training. I train one body part per day per week. I workout just about everyday. I do weights 5-6 days a week. Depending on how I feel and what work I am doing or have coming up will decide if I have an off day. I work extremely hard in the gym. It’s my life.

Q: Do you have a special routine when preparing for auditions?
A: Pretty much just get mentally prepared. Know what I am going to say or do when I go in depending on what kind of role and what the circumstances are. If I have a script ahead of time. Have I read for the casting director before? It’s definitely nerve-wracking.



 
 
Q: I understand you like cars and toys. What do you have?
A: Oh boy. Yes I sure do. I look at it this way. I am not married and have no kids yet. So. Until then I will buy my cars and toys. Right now I have a few cars. I used to have 4 cars. 2 on each coast. Right now I have a 2010 limited edition Nissan 350Z, 2010 limited edition Mitsubishi Endeavor, and a 2010 Dodge Charger Hemi. Those are the cars. I recently got rid of my Mercedes and my Range Rover. I have a motorcycle- Custom Honda CBR954rr. And my waverunner- Honda Aquatrax 1300.

Q: Have you worked internationally before?
A: Yes I have. Actually early in my career I was blessed to have landed work in Germany, Italy, And Paris. And since been working all over the world. Been to Italy many times. I’ve done underwear ads and clothing ads there. I have done many ads in Germany. Some of the other places I’ve worked are New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa, London, Mexico, and Canada. To name a few.

Q: How did you become a romance book cover model?
A: I was always told I’d be perfect for book covers. That I’d be the ideal cover model. So, a photographer that shot them approached me. And here we are.

Q: You have a wonderful and long resume of your fabulous career. What will be added next to your list of accomplishments?
A: I am hoping soon to land a full-time role on a TV show. Or a larger movie role. As well as continue doing book covers and magazines.

Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: When you’re not working, traveling, or in the gym? I love to relax at home. Cook some nice meals. Watch a good movie. Do they still have those? Good movies. Haha. Man they make some really bad movies now. And TV. Don’t get me started on that. With all this silly reality TV junk. Sorry, rant. Watch some good sports. Go to games. Sit on the beach. Shop. Spend time with my family. Ride my motorcycle. Sleep. Eat.

Q: Favorite food?
A: Italian of course! Pizza. Meatballs. Etc…And Chinese food. Just wish I could eat these foods more often. I am usually on a strict diet.


Q: Favorite drink?
A: Water! I actually don’t drink alcohol at all. Never have before. Not even a sip. I basically only drink water. But when I get real crazy I like Snapple Iced Tea or Arizona Iced Tea. Haha. Yep!

Q: What would you consider to be the most romantic place in the world…just so we might get some travel ideas?
A: Hmmmm tough one. I’ve been all around the world. Probably Italy. Venice. Yes. So nice. Romantic for sure. Some places in Mexico I’ve been are romantic. Many islands I’ve been to are romantic. St Thomas. Aruba. You know what. It all just depends on you and who you are sharing the time with. Can find romance anywhere. Just have to have the right company and right mood.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Would like to thank you for asking me to do this interview. Thank all my family friends and my fans for their love and support and keeping my career and me going all these years. It’s been some ride. To say the least. And all your friends that are authors. Put me on more covers. Hahaaaa…..All the best to everyone. God Bless- John Antorino

Anyone wishing to contact John Antorino, feel free at his email: Superman530@yahoo.com
http://www.facebook.com/JohnAntorino
John’s fan page: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/John-Antorino/111924588819474

Saturday, May 21, 2011

To Whom Shall I Sign This?

Renee Vincent signing her book
for a fan.
Today, all day, I'll be attending a book signing in my hometown of Northern Kentucky, for the promotion of my latest release, SILENT PARTNER, and while I've heard some authors confesse that they do not enjoy signings, I, however, love them.

I am a "people" person. I always have been. And a book signing is an opportunity for me to personally meet some of my biggest fans. I not only enjoy getting the chance to meet those who've bought my books and personalize their choice with a special note and signature, but I also take extreme delight in meeting them and talking with them. If you ever come to one of my signings, you'll realize I love to chat it up. And isn't that what a signing is all about?

Authors Toni Blake & Lori Foster
I know as a romance reader myself, I would be so excited to meet some of my favorite authors and have that author talk to me as though I am the only one in line. I've had the opportunity to meet some of my favorite authors in the past and it will be a moment I will never forget because they took the time to get to know me. Sure, it may have only been for a few minutes, but those few moments in my life were special, sealed with that author's signature.

Author Donna MacMeans
& Renee Vincent
So, now I ask you....as a reader, do you enjoy standing in line to get a signature? As an author, do you get excited about signings, whether local or on a tour? Or are book signings simply overrated? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

BTW, if you are one of those who enjoys meeting your favorite authors, then come see me at Lori Foster's Reader & Author Get Together in June. I'll be one of the attending authors at the conference and I'll be signing all three of my books there too. Look me up...I would LOVE to meet you!

Find Renee Vincent online at:

*And don't forget that the first two books of my Emerald Isle Trilogy, RAELIKSEN and MAC LIAM, are both on sale now at All Romance eBooks (ARe) for 40% off! This sale won't last long so get yours today!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Guest Blog: Vijaya Schartz: What Prompted Me to Write SNATCHED

I've always enjoyed writing less than perfect and very human heroines with likeable flaws. But my heroines usually carry guns, swords, and often wear a uniform. They sometimes travel on spaceships. In this story, however, I imagined what would happen if you stripped a well adjusted modern female military officer of her entire support system, her entire world, and threw her into a totally alien universe.

Alien is the key word here. Alien abduction, time travel, parallel universe... my kind of story. She is snatched from her post-apocalyptic Earth battlefield by an alien ship. If you know my books, it's not so farfetched. Sci-fi is my love, my weakness. Even my husband says that I am a reincarnation from the future. But Zania is a tough girl. She doesn't give up easily. Military training is ingrained in her mind and body. So, she fights back. I love a tough girl.

Another favorite theme of mine is Human cunning against malevolent alien foes of superior technology. So the world where her abductors sold Zania is a contrast of advanced technology and wild jungles with man-eating tigers, and an illegal fringe dealing in forbidden entertainment, specifically combat to the death in the arena, like the gladiators of old.

So imagine the conflict of this modern woman, sold to an Amazon tribe of fighting slaves. Throw in a gorgeous Viking, a jealous Amazon queen, a would-be female lover, a rumbling volcano, crooked space traders, a slave revolt, and you have the perfect panacea for an action filled romantic adventure with plenty of conflict to keep you turning the pages until the very end.

BIO:
Born in France, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz never conformed to anything and could never refuse a challenge. She likes action and exotic settings, in life and on the page. She traveled the world and claims she comes from the future. Her books collected many five star reviews and literary awards. She makes you believe you actually lived these extraordinary adventures among her characters. Her stories have been compared to Indiana Jones with sizzling romance. So, go ahead, dare to experience the magic, and she will keep you entranced, turning the pages until the last line. Find more at www.vijayaschartz.com

BLUB for Snatched:
Snatched from a post-apocalyptic battlefield by galactic traders, Zania is sold to a clandestine ring of fighting Amazons on a planet lush with green jungles and teeming with deadly felines. She resents the gorgeous and overzealous Viking champion, Svend, who saves her life but too easily accepts slavery. Adulated by a woman who claims to know her, hated by the jealous Amazon queen who fancies Svend, Zania seeks escape. But Svend knows the price of rebellion. And on this seemingly peaceful planet, ruled and defended by machines, nothing is what it seems. Among the rumbles of a volcano threatening to explode, insurrection is brewing, and no one is safe.

Vijaya Schartz
Award-winning Sci-Fi, Guns, Swords, Romance with a kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com
Vijaya's paperbacks, kindle, and audiobooks at Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001JP7UJ4
Vijaya's eBooks at ARe:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Vijaya+Schartz
Vijaya's nooks at:
http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?WRD=vijaya+schartz&STORE=EBOOK&SZE=100&SRT=SA

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Does This Sound Familiar?

Once upon a time there was a girl named Katie, who had a father who was an astronaut, and who had his own spaceship. One day Katie learned she could move objects just by concentrating on them.

One day, she was out in the back yard, happily moving around rocks, toys, etc, when the air shimmered and a face appeared, appealing for help.


She ran to her father and asked him to take her to the Correli System. As luck would have it, her father had just gotten off the phone and was on his way to the spaceport to meet with two others who were requesting passage to the same system. Since school was out, the father agreed to take Katie along with him.

While en route to Correli, Katie accidentally let her power show, and the two passengers quickly realized she possessed The Force, and reassured her it was perfectly normal. The male, Luke, helped her hone her skills during the trip. The female, Leia, confided the reason behind the trip. When Katie revealed the vision she'd had, everyone was excited.


Upon arriving at Correli, the group was captured by the evil leader, Jabba. But before the guards could take them away, another guard announced the prisoner had gotten free. Jabba went to investigate; Katie and company ran the other way, found Han Solo, and escaped back to the spaceship. Katie and Luke used The Force to ward off the guards chasing them, and soon arrived at the Millenium Falcon. The three passengers expressed their gratitude, and transported over to the Falcon. Katie and her father headed back to Earth. The End.


What? It's full of holes? And what about the REST of the story, with Darth Vader, the Death Star, Yoda, etc?

Yes, this early attempt at sci-fi showed me (in hindsight) that I was destined for the romance genre.

Of course, I was only 15 when I wrote it, so of course it's full of holes! It's hard to research something in which you only have two hours a month to work on it, and going to the library during class is a no-no.

And obviously, three years later the REAL movie arrived in theaters and I realized everything I'd written did NOT match George Lucas' dream!

So what about you? Do any of your first attempts vaguely resemble the plots of past books or movies? Ever write your own sequel to anything?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guest Blog: Shoshanna Evers: Sensual vs. Erotic Sex Scenes - What's the Difference?

This is a topic I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately as I broaden both my reading and my writing experiences to include heat levels of all kinds. I love reading (and writing!) sex scenes, especially when it’s no-holds-barred erotic romance. The heat, the raw, graphic passion—and the words. Oh. My. God.

We’re talking about words I can write easily, but I can’t say aloud without blushing. I’m not even sure if I’m supposed to write them here, in this blog post. I can think of at least three words that start with the letter “c” that I happily put into every erotic romance sex-scene I write. I can also think of a few p-words. And an a-word or two. Then there’s the descriptive language that leaves nothing to the imagination…

In a non-erotic but still steamy romance, a lot is left to the reader’s imagination—and that is *not* a bad thing. After all, we’re all adults here, and we have enough experience to figure out what happens when the bedroom door closes. The author will give us just enough to let us know something wonderful and hot is happening, but leaves our own minds to fill in the details. And key graphic words are replaced with euphemisms.

In summary, in erotica I’ll write “pussy” and in mainstream I might write “her core”. On that note, I’d love to share with you my most recent erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave, titled Chastity Belt. Be warned – it’s dirty…and leaves nothing to the imagination. ;)

Thanks for having me here on "Romance Books R Us", Marianne!

BIO:
Shoshanna Evers writes erotic romance for Ellora’s Cave, and in November she’ll be published in the Berkley Heat anthology Agony/Ecstacy. She is a stay-at-home mom during the week, an advice columnist for a local newspaper, a registered nurse every other weekend, and an erotic romance writer on the opposite weekend. She does not sleep, preferring to spend her evenings doing “research” with her incredibly sexy husband. Shoshanna lives with her family and four dogs in a lakefront cottage in upstate New York. She welcomes emails from readers and writers.

BLURB for Chastity Belt

Georgia Hearn has found the perfect way to make easy cash—performing an interactive BDSM-flavored stage show at the exclusive Gentlemen’s Club. When handsome GC client Jonathan Syler goes up onstage and locks her into a chastity belt, it’s all supposed to be part of the fun. But Jonathan makes it clear he won’t be unlocking her anytime soon.

Now she’s at his mercy—and has no choice but to see him again, since he holds the key to her pleasure. Literally.

http://www.shoshannaevers.com
http://twitter.com/ShoshannaEvers
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001587442785
http://www.thewriterschallenge.com
http://www.jasminejade.com/m-660-shoshanna-evers.aspx

You can buy Chastity Belt from Ellora's Cave: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9270-chastity-belt.aspx

If you have a Kindle, you can get the MobiPocket format (.prc). For the Nook, get the ePub format. If you want to read on your computer, get the Adobe PDF. :)

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