All blogs are property of authors and copying is not permitted.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Interview of Romance Author Vicki Batman

Today I'm presenting an interview or romance author Vicki Batman.

Latest Book: Store Wars
Buy Link:  https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?keyword=vicki+batman&Itemid=1&option=com_virtuemart&

BIO:
Like some of her characters, Vicki has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm. The list is…endless.

Born in Dallas, a graduate of Texas Tech, she is married to Handsome, has two big boys, an attention-demanding cat, and two adorable puppies.

She has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories. She is a member of RWA, and the DARA, Elements, and RWA-WF chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.

Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"


Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: Screamed like an idiot. Scared the cat, too. It is kinda hard to party when there's no one at home, but her. LOL. Then I emailed and texted like a madwoman.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: I really like first draft. I put any and everything down and play a lot of what if?? That draft has a rush and momentum.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: Tracey, the heroine's best friend and business partner from Store Wars. I like her witty banter.

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: I needlepoint-I'm not fantastic and do a few novelty stitches here and there. I grew up with crafty women and sisters--Thank God!

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: Dialogue. And humor. Oops, that's two.

Q: What is your favorite romance book that you’ve read?
A: The one I finished and picked it up straightaway and reread is Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. OMG, the plane scene at the end is awesome. (I should read it now!)

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: Facebook is pretty cool because it is an easy way to stay in touch with friends and relatives. And it is instantaneous!

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Find Vicki at:
Website: http://vickibatman.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vicki-Batman-sassy-writer-of-sexy-and-funny-fiction/133506590074451?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vickibatman
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/vickibatman
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4814608.Vicki_Batman
Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Vicki-Batman/e/B005AY5ZN8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1343929464&sr=1-2-ent
Blogsite: http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com

Find Vicki's books at:
MuseItUp Publishing: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?keyword=vicki+batman&Itemid=1&option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Vicki-Batman/e/B005AY5ZN8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1342624559&sr=1-2-ent
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/man-theory-and-other-stories-vicki-batman/1108346172?ean=2940013707368

BLURB:
The competition heats up when Janie's old love returns to town to run his family's business.

EXCERPT:
"So what else turns you off?"

In one corner, imitation leather purses embellished with rhinestone crowns had been stacked on a glass and chrome shelving unit. Cheap, gemstone bracelets decorated a nearby display stand. I pointed to a shirt rack and said in a soft voice, "I'd never wear these clothes."

With a frown, Tracy cupped her mouth. "Me, neither. They're aimed for the nighttime crowd—if you catch my drift."

"I do. Yuck." Taking in the whole enchilada, I stopped when I spied the jean-clad backside of a male employee sweeping the floor. God, I hope he hadn't heard us.

I steered Tracy aside and whispered, "We'll have no problems with our store succeeding in the Depot District. We're better than the ones at the mall and all the other stores around here."

"I agree. Let's split up, take mental notes, and meet out front in fifteen minutes."

I peeled off to the left, and she went to the right. The man cleaning glanced over his shoulder and straightened. "May I help you?"

Instantly, my body froze like an icicle. It couldn't be—could it? Fletcher? As in my once upon a time boyfriend, Fletcher Babcock? When had he abandoned the bright lights of Big D and returned to Sommerville?


Anything else you’d like to add?
Would love for friends to visit the Plotting Princesses!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How Hard Is It To Write a Book?

Good Morning,

I bet that question got everyone's attention.  For those of you who are published you know the answer, but you newbies out there are going to get the cold, hard facts.  The URL below is hilarious, but there is a lot of truth in it.

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2012/08/the-publishing-process-in-gif-form.html

There is nothing easy about writing a book (so much to learn), hard to find anyone interested in your work, and if you do find someone who wants your story you can still be turned down.  Once you sell your book there will be edits.  When it's published you have to promote your book and hope it sells.

The answer to my question is that nothing worth doing is going to be easy.  Enjoy the URL above, and you'll know what you are in for even as you laugh.

Sandra K. Marshall
Auther at Eirelander Publishing
http://www.eirelande-publishing.com

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Trip to the Hardware Store by Janice Seagraves

A Trip to the Hardware Store
by Janice Seagraves

Life is interesting when you have children, especially a daughter. And mine has a real different mindset.

Not that long ago we went to the hardware store and looked at tools.

Photo by Janice Seagraves

Hubby said, “Help me find some nuts and bolts. I just need a couple. They’ll be loose in one of these drawers."

My daughter looked around and threw her arms in the air. “Why is everything named after a man’s body part, or sounds like sex?”

Me, arching an eyebrow: “What do you mean?”

Daughter: “I mean it’s all called ‘hard-ware,’ right? Think about that.”

Me: “Well, yeah.”

Daughter: “And dad wants me to find his nuts for him?”

Me, trying not to laugh: “Okay. What’s your point?”

She holds up several items. “Screws, bolts, and a rod.”

I smiled. “I suppose your right.”

Daughter: “Then there are names like Ham-her, Screw-drive-her, Joint-her, Compress-her and Fasten-her. It sounds like they doing something bad to a woman, ya know?”

Me: “I never thought of that.”

Daughter, shaking a finger: “And don’t get me started on power tools.”

Gulp, at this point I was afraid to ask.

Next we went to the checkout line, and it was one of those places where you check yourself out.

Then my daughter yells: “Dad, don’t go in there, your nuts are too small.”

I hate to admit it, but I just lost it. I was laughing so hard tears streamed down my face.

My husband, blushing badly, had to lead me out to the car.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Janice Seagraves website: http://janiceseagraves.org/
Janice Seagraves main blog: http://ladyjanice.blogspot.com/

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Let's Talk Erotic Romance




If you doubt anyone would ask an erotic romance author such a question, think again. Into the life of every such author shall fall at least one clueless reader with pointed questions. Many non-erotica fans will also say erotica and erotic romance are porn. Here’s my position on both views: whether something is smut, porn or erotica/erotic romance rests, in part, on the perception of the person. However, from the most unbiased view I can muster, I will add that it depends on the story and the emotional investment of the characters.

I believe erotica and erotic romance evoke visions of a story with a plot that piques a reader’s sexual interest by emotionally connecting that person to the characters and their situation. In other words, through the use of more than the graphical description of genital contact, the writer arouses the reader. Her tools include meaningful external and internal dialogue, full exploration of all the senses, and a well-paced story that leads to a satisfying conclusion. Whether the conclusion is a happily-for-now or a happily-ever-after scenario can depend on the erotica vs. erotic romance moniker. The latter term is most often associated with a true romance and not just a meeting between two people for sexual fulfillment.

Now, back to the original question, phrased more diplomatically: is my writing based on experience? Yes and no. Gotcha! Still, that is the truth. Sure, a lot of the sex scenes have elements of sex I have tried and situations in which I have found myself. That would shock many people who know me, as my sexual life has always been a private matter. I write just as many things, though, that have never happened to me. A lot of them are based on fantasies I have and yet others are based on fantasies I know readers prefer. Erotic romance is largely about satisfying fantasies, and they don’t always have to be true.

Based on my own experience, I can admit that I have been solely in single male/female relationships. However, I know people who participated in or have been approached about threesomes, many who work as professional white collar workers. As remarkable as some of the situations I describe in my works may seem, many are told where the fictional events bear a strong likeness to real trysts. Just as many don’t, but even when I write a scenario purely from my imagination, I frequently discover, when discussing it with a close friend or relative, that she has really done what I wrote about. Who knew? Plus, her actual escapade was far kinkier than what I dreamed up.

When all is said and done, this is what I know to be true:
• No two people are turned on by exactly the same thing.
• No matter how kinky the situation, someone has probably done it and/or craves reading about it.
• A writer will appeal to the masses when writing erotica, especially if its ménage, male/male or female/female relationships, and BDSM.

So tell me, had any good fantasies lately?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Interview of Author Judy Ridgley


Today I'm pleased to present an interview of a long-time friend, Judy Ridgley.
Latest Book: Vows of Revenge
Buy Link: Coming Soon at Amazon.com
Video: Vows of Revenge http://youtu.be/SKy3pnaDwEo

BIO
With the discovery that King Arthur was naught but a Celtic chief, J.F. Ridgley’s fascination with this historical character led her into the magnificent world of the ancients. She learned quickly that once you run into a Celt, you clash with the Roman legion. Finally, after many years learning about ancient Rome, Vows of Revenge became a reality. Ms Ridgley lives in the Missouri with her wonderful hubby and three dogs. Contact her at her website http://www.jfridgley.com. Or send her email her at jfridgley@jfridgley.com

A little note though…my author name is J.F. Ridgley. Kinda unisex or JKRowlinginsh, don’t ya think?


Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write?
A: The draft is usually the easiest part to write for me. I have the story burned into my brain by that point and am going crazy needing to see it come to life. But it’s not the prettiest draft ever born at that point, even though I love it.What is fun is having moments occur and having to research it and learn a bit more about Rome and the ancients. They were a crazy bunch for sure. Then on to editing. I enjoy that too. I love it when a sentence suddenly pops or a scene or character suddenly becomes clearer. Yeah, I’m a cheap date.

However, editing is a task and I’m not good at editing. I read too fast. I can read a math problem aloud and turn it into a stage play. And by the time I get to the finish edit, the book is memorized the book. I don’t realize I’m reciting rather than reading. Arrrrrgh

Q: What is the hardest part of writing for you?
A: Letting go and believing someone will read and enjoy it. The story can always be better. Like I said, I just keep finding something to change. So I want to ‘just go through it one more time’ as if that will solve my errors.

Q: Who are your favorite characters?
A: Like my kids, I love them all. I’m a good mother. But when I’m in the story, that particular hero and heroine get my full attention and we ‘party'. I swear my other characters fret in the back of the office, wanting my attention. Julius and his gladius has poked holes in my floor.

Q: If you were on a remote islands with a handsome man, a computer and a mysterious source of electricity…what would you do?
A: Oh well, write. Send pictures home of the island via Facebook of this handsome dude trying to seduce me. I’d pick his brain on ‘men-think and speak’ and have him fix my stupidities. We’d laugh a lot for sure. And of course, I’m sure he’d need sunscreen slathered over his back and chest occasionally. So, I’d see that taken care of. And take more pictures.

Q: What do you do when not writing?
A: Actually clean house like I’m supposed to be doing now. I started cleaning in my office and guess where that led? To my desk, computer, email, Facebook. When all that is done and I get to issues as pulling weeds…watering. Mindless work that allows for daydreaming and fixing plot problems.

I devote my nights to my true hero, Joe. We usually do nothing but check out the TV. That’s really boring, so I crochet or embroider something. Or we sit outside, eat, drink wine and work on a problem in my draft. Such therapy has titled at least three books so far. And of course, I love to read. What precious stolen time!!!

Q: Who is your favorite Romance author?
A: There are just way too many to mention one. And I like genres outside of romance like historicals. Rome in particular. One romance I didn’t like believe it or not was Gone with the Wind. Sacrilegious I know. I did not like the way Scarlett treated Melanie so I quit reading it. Never got over that.

Where can we find you?
My website: http://www.jfridgley.com
RPride website: http://www.rpridepublishing.com
My blog- Writer's Riding Right: http://www.jridgley.wordpress.com
My Roman blog: http://www.juliagaleriacasca.wordpress.com
Dreamin' blog: http://www.rpridepublishing.wordpress.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/judyfayridgley


This is Aelia’s jewelry that Lucianus gave her in Vows of Revenge. Genevieve Flynn, master jeweler and designer, has made this especially for Aelia…and for you. It is available at her website http://www.genevieveflynn.com. Many of my characters will be wearing Genne’s jewelry that you will also be able to have. Guys too. Alexius, Julius, and Calgacus will have something for you as well as their heroines.







This is the Iceni pendant that Kianna give Julius…designed by Genevieve as well. “As long as you wear this my soul will be yours.” Because of Kianna’s promise, Julius will not remove this pendant from his neck. A future prize in a drawing. http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=5742415355016995707





Be sure to sign up for my newsletter at my website because I will occasionally be giving away sets of my characters’ jewelry in a drawing along with a lot of other things as…


I will also be giving away the first Reader…meaning a scroll. The Kindle is not the first means that provides various stories to be read on it. The scroll was the first. Sign up by November 1, and you may also win your own scroll with your choice of one of my stories… so you can also read “like the ancients.”

BLURB:
Amid pirates, godfathers, and forbidden love, vows of revenge are made in the unforgiving world of ancient Rome. Trapped in an abusive marriage, Aelia Sabina does all she can to gratify her patrician husband Cassius Julius Gullus, but to no avail.

Martino Lucianus Drusus vows revenge against this patrician who stole his family’s land and attempts to destroy the beautiful Aelia. He saves Aelia from this fate worse than death and takes her to Amalfi where you live by your heart…not by Rome’s laws.

When Cassius discovers that Aelia lives and now loves Lucianus, he vows to finally destroy this plebe in Rome’s court where patricians rule and plebeians grovel.

But will he?

EXCERPT:
Late summer, Stabianum, Italy, 295 B.C.
“He’s coming! He’s coming!”

Aelia’s heart chilled as she twisted the iron wedding band on her left hand. He’s coming. She didn’t want her husband coming home.

Her seven-year-old son raced toward her, eyes glowing with excitement. A cold shiver slid down her spine as she squatted before him. “How far away is…your father?”

“Not far,” young Cassius gasped. She brushed away the beads of sweat clinging to the dark curls stuck to his forehead on this dry, hot summer day. “Not far, Mama. I saw the dust from the horses. There must be thousands with him!”

She studied the round beaming face of her son as she adjusted the childhood protective charm on his necklace. He looks so like his father. I just pray he does not grow to be like him.

“Do you suppose he’s brought the whole army with him?” she asked. An ounce of hope ignited in her heart. If Cassius brought his soldiers, he’d be too busy for her.

“I hope so, Mama. Maybe I can go riding with them.”

Aelia scowled. “Young Cassius Julius Gullus, you’ll do no such thing.” Gennadius, her master slave, only recently taught him how to ride. At seven, the boy considered himself quite the equestrian. “You are not to ride until your father says you may do so. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Mama.”

Aelia glanced at the boy’s personal slave, who stood nearby. “See that he is prepared to meet his father.” She looked down at her son. “Now go. Be quick. You must not disappoint your father.”

“Yes, Mama.”

The slave scurried off behind her son.

Aelia’s stomach tightened even more as she scanned the atrium, the formal greeting room, for some flaw, for some overlooked error, anything. All she saw were fresh white curtains ruffling over the doorways to the back garden. The hot sunlight beamed through the opening in the ceiling onto the pool filled with water trickling into the cistern below the polished limestone floor.

A breeze full of herbal fragrances drifted through the potted palms and ferns boasting no dead leaves. She gazed across the atrium through the four columns and studied the two couches before the tablinum, the official office that faced the vestibule where she stood. She went to one couch and straightened it an inch. Perfect. Everything must be perfect.

Her heart thundered against her ribs. Cassius’s letter had arrived last week and, in that moment, all joy faded from her soul. For the last three years, her husband had fought with Rome against the Samnites and now was coming home victorious. And Cassius Julius Gullus liked being victorious.

“Domina, is there any more you need?”

Startled, Aelia swung about to face her dark-skinned slave, one that her husband would not recognize. “Gennadius, do you think anything is set wrong?”

He looked across the atrium and shook his head. “I see nothing amiss, domina.” The smile on the dark Greek face gleamed. “Should dust even consider resting anywhere in here today, it would come at a cost.”

She scanned the room for vagrant dust particles. Cassius expected perfection. His perfection. “Then see that everyone is correctly arranged outside. We must exceed his expectations.”

The master slave bowed in submission. The waves of black hair gathered at the nape of the slave’s neck gleamed in the afternoon sun. “Yes, domina.” He backed and motioned to the slaves. “Go!” he ordered.

Aelia stiffened and curled her hands into fists as her body pulled erect. It was her task to please her husband and, after seven years of marriage, she found that with Cassius it was an impossible task. Except during his absence.

However, her mother insisted that this was the reason for a wife’s existence. “It’s your obligation as a wife to see to his comforts, to see that his household works to his pleasure, and to bear his children,” she said. “Never forget this.”

How could she ever forget? She had tried to please Cassius. Honor his house. Be the virtuous wife that he could respect above all others. Doing so had gained her nothing. But none of this mattered to Cassius Julius Gallus. All he wanted was control of everything that breathed.

Her hand pressed against the fabric of her cream-colored linen stola bordered with light green embroidery. The touch did nothing to stop her churning stomach. She walked through the ornate vestibule, past the lararium drifting incense taking her prayers to the gods to make her husband approve of all she accomplished during his absence.

Three years, years that had made her independent, but now she must become humble and submissive again. She had no choice but to relinquish everything to him. That concern paled against the knowledge that he would expect another son from her.

Aelia blocked her mind against what that meant. Yet revulsion flooded over her as she appeared in the walled courtyard.

“Halt!” A trumpet played the order over the sound of thundering horses as drifting clouds of dust poured over the walls. Aelia heard her husband’s commanding voice. Her heart stopped as the rustle of footsteps gathered, formed, and shuffled beyond the protective walls. The sudden silence did little to restart it.

She looked around for his son, her son, their son. He must be there! “Young Cassius?”


“Here, domina.” The boy’s slave stepped back as the washed and dressed child appeared.

“Is he here, Mama? Is he here?”

“Yes.”

She rested her hands on the small shoulders and scanned the straight lines of slaves waiting like human walls. A hot breeze whipped through the courtyard as each slave waited for their first glance from their dominus for the moment they must drop their gazes in submission. For new slaves like Eudokia and Gennadius, this would be their first time they would see their master, since both had been purchased during Cassius’s absence.

Aelia glanced at her personal slave standing behind her. Eudokia scanned over the palla and nodded. The gesture released a frail sense of confidence through Aelia. Nevertheless, she drew the cream linen shawl tighter around her. Cassius would be furious if any part of her remained uncovered in public. She didn’t want to endure his fury or such a beating ever again.

Her heart halted as her husband stepped past the opening gates. Young Cassius glanced up at her for permission to move, but her hands had frozen to his tiny shoulders. The boy squirmed beneath her grip as his father, little taller than she, appeared in the courtyard with all the importance of a king and all his officers.

All gazes other than hers dropped as Cassius Julius Gullus, citizen and patrician of Rome, inspected all before him.

His short, rusty brown hair gleamed with sweat from the polished helmet he carried at his side. His round face was tan. His drawn mouth matched the straight line of eyebrows puckered between his glowering gaze. His free arm, corded with muscle, swung at the side of his red tunic and chainmail shirt as he strode past the slaves, scanning, looking for an imperfection.

Aelia searched for any sign of appreciation or even joy. Anything that showed his approval.

At last, the challenging gaze came to her as direct as an arrow. It hesitated, and then lowered to the boy. She released their son to race toward him. The man broke form and squatted to accept the child into his arms.

“Are you my son, almost a man?”

“Yes, Papa. It’s me. I’ve grown. I can ride. I can even swim now.”

As the elder Cassius rose, he took the boy up with him. “Can you now?” It was a deliberate question, asked as if he’d been deprived of the information.

Mentally, Aelia raced through her husband’s letters. Nothing was said of keeping these lessons from the boy. Nothing. She was positive.

“Yes, Papa, come. I’ll show you.”

“Tomorrow, young citizen. I must honor your mother’s presence.” He lowered the boy to the dirt and focused on her. “Aelia Sabina, I greet you.”

Her soul braced. “Cassius Julius Gullus, I welcome you. May my husband find his home to his pleasure.”

He glanced behind her at Eudokia. Aelia noted the spark of interest flare in his eyes. “So many new faces.”

“I wrote you…about them. In my letters.” Or more like reports that she had sent monthly.

Cassius drew his attention back to her. “Yes. I got them.” He moved toward the doorway. Gennadius motioned for the door slaves to wash Cassius’s feet and stepped back to the doorframe, keeping his gaze downward.

Aelia’s heart lurched against her ribs as her husband halted and glared up at the black-faced slave who stood a full head higher than allowed. An eternity seemed to pass as her husband’s feet were washed and replaced with house sandals.

“Papa, come on.” The young Cassius grabbed his father’s hand to drag him deeper into the cool depths of the vestibule, breaking the torturous moment.

Aelia forced her steps forward. She nodded to Gennadius to release the slaves to their jobs and entered into the vestibule’s shadow. It enveloped her.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Coming books.
Threatened Loyalties
Messalina really wants to despise Alexius but he is making it impossible. But Alexius is willing to do anything to regain Messi’s trust and love, even if it may cost him his life, his future, even his family’s reputation. But will it?

Red Fury-The Revolt- Book one
The Iceni queen Boudica isn’t the only one revolting against Rome’s expectations. Julius Agricola has fallen in love with Boudica’s beautiful daughter Kianna. But will Rome allow this after what her mother leads her revolt?

Short stories that go with my books:
(cover coming soon) Birth of a Bully is from my coming novel Vows of Revenge. Aelia’s son has run away from his father. This is the real reason why...not the one he told his mother.


 

For the Family- based on Threatened Loyalties. There’s a reason everyone calls Viciria ‘the witch’…but behind her back. This story explains what happened to this woman and why she is so frightening and loyal to Jupiter Optimus Maximus.




The Chrysalis- based on Red Fury-The Revolt. Kianna’s sister was raped by the Romans who also killed her soul mate and he died in her arms. Now, Morrigan wants Roman blood, but first, like a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, this Iceni princess must become an Iceni warrioress.





 And another Short Story for fun…Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can’t Believe My Dog Did That
http://www.chickensoup.com/newrelease/covers_hr/i_cant_believe_my_dog_did_that.jpg

Well, I can’t believe my short story about Sualty, Chico, Sir Tom, and Smiley got to be included in this book. If I could have video taped this, I know it would have won America’s Funniest Video for sure.

My Boys’ Choir” will be in I Can’t Believe My Dog Did That coming out September 18, 2012



Friday, August 24, 2012

CONTESTS--LOVE 'EM, HATE 'EM OR WHO CARES?






CONTESTS--LOVE ‘EM, HATE ‘EM, OR WHO CARES?

The other week I was clearing out old papers from my office and I came across scores from contests I’d entered when I first started writing. I decided to take a trip down my memory lane, strewn with the remnants of contest failures.

I started writing back in the Dark Ages when traditional publishers ruled and we submitted hard copies of our manuscripts by snail mail. Computers were around then; it wasn’t that dark. However, I had a word processor and not a computer. I think there were two epubs then--Hard Shell Word Factory and New Concepts Publishing. If you bought an ebook it came in snail mail as a floppy disk (remember them?).

Writing competitions were very important back in those olden days. Contest wins and finals could get an author a publisher and an agent. Two of my original critique partners, who wrote as a team, were self-proclaimed contest sluts. They entered every contest they could, and they won or finaled in most of them. They typed up a list of all the ones they’d won or finaled in, and when they pitched to editors and agents, they showed them the list. Contests worked for them. They got an agent and a multi-book contract with Kensington. I’m no longer in contact with those writers and they’ve quit writing, which is a pity, because they were good.

In those early days I was desperate to final in a contest. I would pray that I would final every time I entered one. I didn’t necessarily have to win; I just wanted to final. I didn’t even come close, not once. Every time I got my results, I was in the dumps for weeks. Sometimes I cried.

As I was going through my old papers, I decided to Google the authors who’d finaled in the contests I’d entered. Almost to a woman, those authors went onto big contracts with print publishers. Most are still writing.

Although I had no contest finals, I managed to sell the second book I wrote, “A Catered Affair,” to Avalon Books, a small print press. But I wouldn’t give up the dream of snagging a contract with one of the Big Six and hiring an agent. Chasing that elusive dream, I continued to enter unpublished manuscripts in any writing competitions I could. My first contest final (at long last!) was the now-defunct PASIC. I had two manuscripts final in that one contest. A twofer! Editors from the Big Six read both entries and passed.

One of the books that finaled in the PASIC, “Logan’s Redemption,” was eventually contracted by The Wild Rose Press. I don’t know if the contest final had anything to do with my getting a contract. Before submitting to Wild Rose, I submitted Logan to a small print publisher that usually took twelve weeks to respond. I assume it was my contest final that got me a rejection from them in two weeks and not their usual twelve. Same thing happened with my paranormal, “Cursed Mates,” now published by Noble Romance Publishing. Cursed finaled in two prestigious contests. Several top epubs and print publishers rejected it in two weeks rather than their usual twelve. So, the moral of this story: Contest finals got me rejections quicker than if I hadn’t finaled.

Are writing contests for unpublished works still relevant? Things have changed in ways we couldn’t have predicted. There are many very good epubs out there now and there’s indie publishing. Authors don’t have to scramble and beat themselves up trying to get a contract with one of the big print publishers or with an agent. I’ve seen calls go out from many RWA chapters begging for more entries for their contests. It seems not too many authors are entering their unpublished manuscripts nowadays.

I’ve been talking about competitions for unpublished manuscripts. Let’s discuss published books. I enter my published books in contests solely to increase my sales and get my name out there.

Lately I’ve had some luck. Two of my books finaled in two contests each. I use the results in my promotions. Has my contest success helped sales? Haven’t a clue. I’ve seen no bump in sales for one book, but the other has had a nice sales jump. Was it because of the contest rankings? Who knows?

How do you authors feel about contests? Love ‘em, hate ‘em, indifferent? Do you enter contests for published and/or unpublished works? I want to hear from the readers out there too. Do you buy books on the basis of contest results? Do you care if a book has won contests? Many romance authors dream of having one of their books final in the RITA, RWA’s premier competition for excellence in books. Do readers know what the RITA is, and does it make a difference to them if a book is a RITA finalist? This inquiring mind wants to know.    


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Guest Blog: Sultry Summers: Ride the Tail of the Dragon!


Rode the Tail of the Dragon yesterday – and got nipped by the resident Dragon!


When I first came up with the inspiration to write Tail of the Dragon I was on the back of a motorcycle, on a little road that runs between North Carolina and Tennessee that has been called…Tail of the Dragon for several years now. Why? There are 318 twisting, sweeping turns in an eleven mile stretch of beautiful mountain roads near Fontana Dam. Surrounding that area there are other roads with great rides too. But this one stretch of road is exceptional and has gained a reputation for its challenging switch backs for motorcyclists. Many have ridden it, completed the short journey without incident and we have, others haven’t been as fortunate. Some have come away with a slight nip, others have gone to the hospital and sadly others haven’t come away at all. My book, Tail of the Dragon, is dedicated to all those who have ridden it come away with a great day’s ride and especially to those who didn’t make it. We rode it again on Tuesday and did get a minor nip, nothing to really mention. But a reminder of what’s there can bite you – even sitting still. If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast and in the area of Cherokee North Carolina, or the road known as The Tail of the Dragon, you might want to check this area out. But be aware of two things, the DRAGON, and the police, they patrol the area heavily, don’t speed and do be careful.

Sultry Summers 

BLURB: 
Danielle, riding her Ducati sport bike is ready to challenge a twisting, turning road known as Tail of the Dragon. Forced to stop because of a violent unpredicted storm she parks near the dam where the eleven mile stretch of road begins. But another challenge bursts from the weird, purple lightning storm in the form of a changeling dragon/knight.

Garnith, a changeling/dragon is locked in battle with an evil wizard while in his dragon form. Cursed by the evil warlock and sent unto another time and place as his flaming breath engulfs the wizard, Garnith emerges in the twenty-first century over Fontana dam in North Carolina. Swooping down to drink from the fresh water of the dam he accidently touches a power-line, and, injured begins to change. He manages to land on the overlook where Danielle has taken refuge. Garnith sloughs off his backpack before passing out.

Danielle is terrified but entranced with the creature changing before her eyes into a handsome, incredibly built, naked man. Drawn to the obviously injured man she opens his pack to find clothes, among other things.

Garnith wakes to see Danielle, dressed like a warrior in her colorful riding leathers, going though his pack. He catches the shirt she tosses to him while he enjoys the strange way Danielle is dressed. Where and when is this strange place the wizard has sent him?

Danielle and Garnith find chance has little to do with their meeting. Destiny has played a hand and soon both find the evil wizard has found his way into the future, in another life, to exact revenge on Garnith. The wizard discovers Garnith’s attraction to Danielle and will use her to his ends. Unless Garnith can stop him.
 
BIO:
I’ve written as Sultry Summers for several years now instead of writing under my given name. I prefer it that way. But I must admit it is great to see your name on a bookshelf. Having had that experience I can now settle in as Sultry. I write for enjoyment and escape, not for fame though I won’t turn it down.

Sultry was a product of an afternoon thunderstorm in Florida. I will tell the reader, though the thunderstorms in North Carolina rival those in Florida. The intensity of the lightning in the mountains is truly awe inspiring.

Since moving up to the Blue Ridge I’ve been more productive in writing if less active physically, the winters don’t motivate me to ride my bicycle as much, nor do the steep mountain roads. Lance Armstrong I’m not. But now I really have to watch the calories. Fortunately the area we now live in is a bit flatter and friendlier to biking and walking, the Little Tennessee River that runs through our property is wonderful to walk beside.

I am proud to have two new books coming out soon and a third already contracted for later in the year.

This one is a full length novel and one I’ve been looking forward to seeing it released for a long time. I have a couple of others just waiting their turn. That isn’t to say I don’t have a computer full of shorter length stories in line. I do! I invite you to visit my web site – I’ve re-vamped it complete with the pages for the new releases, except the book later in the year – those are coming.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

For Your Reading Pleasure

Hello romance fans! I'm super glad to be here, but realize you should be scolding me. I nearly forgot that today was my day to blog. *ducks down behind desk*

I do have a good excuse though...well, at least it's a plausible excuse: I've been stuck in my office writing under a pressing deadline. The book I'm working on is The Temperate Warrior and it's due to release sometime in December. I'm almost finished, so all of my focus has been on wrapping up subplots, character development, and of course writing the perfect ending to a gripping, plot-twisted love story. I apologize for getting so wrapped up in my WIP and not realizing what day it was.

However, all is not lost. In a panic to post something of interest, I decided to share an excerpt from one of my contemporaries so you'd at least have something hot and sexy to read. It's from Silent Partner and in this scene, Chloe has just agreed to dance with Grayson, but eventually it leads to a passionate, out of control, one-night stand. I hope you enjoy it.



I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this story and would love to see it become a movie. Another highly recommended read by Renee Vincent!"
"5 Star TOP PICK" ~ Night Owl Reviews

Renee Vincent's balance of the self-absorbed hero meeting emotionally challenged heroine is stunning because of her research into the heroine’s background. This book is a keeper."
"LASR BEST BOOK" ~ Long And Short Reviews 


Silent Partner

Excerpt:
Shit, it’s hot in here.

She doubted it had anything to do with the physicality of their fast-paced dance. For a moment, she started to blame the amount of alcohol she had consumed, thinking her body had finally absorbed it and was now feeling the unfavorable aftereffect. Once she felt his fingers move slightly across her skin, she quickly reneged on that theory.

The heat flushing her body was more likely due to the practiced man who held her in his arms and stared at her with an insatiable lust. It was, by no means, unfavorable. He was gorgeous, she admitted, and the only thing she could think of was how beautiful he must be when stripped of his clothing.

She imagined he was like a Greek statue—a modern day Adonis—his body chiseled, hard, and stunningly streamlined. Every part of him was straight out of an Acropolis Museum exhibit, from the beauty of his unforgettable handsome face to the perfection of his male physique. He actually made her want to try her hand at sculpting clay instead of painting.

She had never sculpted before, but it was easy to envision her hands molding over his chest and arms, kneading and shaping every bulge of muscle on his torso. She even dared to think of her hands forming the tight orbs of his cute little ass, how she’d enjoy spending a lot of time casting his entire body with precision, down to the finest detail of his supple lips and the slight shadow of facial hair around them.

Chloe found herself staring at his well-groomed goatee, though one could hardly call it that since it seemed more elusive than anything. His thin, dark mustache accentuated his full luscious lips, while the vertical strip of hair from his lower lip drew her toward his strong chin and jaw.

She could tell he must have spent a lot of time trimming his beard in that fashion and she assumed he did so because it was a part of him he wanted women to notice.

She noticed all right.

His mouth was so alluring, so inviting, so…coming closer!

Automatically, her face drew back. She stiffened and looked him in his eyes.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, a tinge of a smile creeping into one corner of his mouth. “Not into public displays of affection?”

What was wrong, she asked herself? She came here with the intent of forgetting her troubles. And letting Mr. Gyration kiss her would no doubt erase all memory of that. And then some.

Hell, he was making her forget things now.

Like the fact that she should not get caught up in this ‘player,’ because, frankly, that was all he was. She’d be nothing to him but another oat sowed, a tally on his board, a number on his scorecard…and come morning, he’d never think twice about her.

So, why did those reasons, all piled up, not come close to the height of her curiosity?

She didn’t know. All she knew was she wanted him more than anything. More than another shot of Patrón, more than trying to figure out a way to save her business. She had only one thing on her mind and that was him all over her.

As if he read her mind, he moved into her, backing her up until she hit the wall behind her, his body pressed soundly against hers.

“I’m with you on the privacy thing,” he said coyly. “Because once I kiss you, I’m not going to stop, and no one else needs to see me tear off your clothes.”

Did he really just say that?

A red flag flew up and Chloe swallowed hard, replaying his words. But she didn’t have time to protest. He leaned his head into hers, letting his nose nudge her cheek as he took in a long breath.

“Wait here,” he mumbled. “We forgot something.”

As he pushed himself from her body and left her standing in the dark corner of the club, she couldn’t agree more. They had both forgotten something all right—their self-control. Well, at least she certainly had.

When it came to Mr. Gyration, she didn’t know enough about him to assume anything about his reserve. Judging by the way he was with the other women in the place, she doubted he knew what that particular word meant.

She searched the dance floor, not really knowing what she was looking for. Perhaps she was looking for a reason to turn him down. Knowing how badly she wanted to take him up on his offer, it would have to be a big reason. Like an unhappy girlfriend left dancing alone, or a woman who’d have good cause to raise a stink about her being with him. But no one seemed to fit that criteria.

It was as if no one even knew she was there, waiting. Waiting for Mr. Gyration to return to her and take her somewhere private to….

…tear off her clothes.

Holy shit, what was she doing?

She had to leave. There was no way around it. Though her body screamed otherwise, she knew she must walk toward that distant club door and leave him in the dust. If she left now, she’d walk away with her heart unscathed and her dignity intact.

Yes. Leaving him behind was her best option.

She closed her eyes, trying to convince her eager body that it didn’t need the dark, sexy stranger’s kiss or his talented hands ravishing her to the point of utter pleasure.

Shit, who was she kidding?

The thought of him doing those very things only made it harder for her to skirt out. And unless the bald, muscle-bound bouncer came over and dragged her out of the club, she was not going to budge.

“Ready to steal away to my humble abode?”

Chloe’s eyes flashed open and Mr. Gyration was but a few inches from her, holding two full shot glasses, one in each hand—the ones they had left at the bar. He stepped forward, his lower half pressing against her. “You’ll have to snag the keys out of my right pocket,” he suggested, glancing downward, “if you want that privacy. I’d do it myself, but my hands are full.”

On purpose, she’d bet.

By the way he wagged his brows and smiled at her, yeah, she knew it was on purpose.

Come on, Chloe…where’s your sense of adventure? Reach into his tight leather pants and pull out his keys.

With another wave of heat flushing her face, she took a deep breath and lifted her hand, hesitating as her fingertips just breached the open seam of his pocket. She didn’t want to look at his face for she knew he was probably sporting that half-cocked grin that made her hot, and she was already sweltering with heat.

He bumped his hips toward her. “What are you going to do, sweet thing?” he teased. “Ball’s in your court…”

Little did he know his trifling dare was all she needed to shove her hand in his pocket and grip him in her fist.

His mouth flew open and his body shuddered from the bold contact. “…or in your hand.”

She countered him with an equally half-cocked smile, reveling in the feel of his strong erection filling her grasp. Indeed, he was as hard as stone, but no where near as passive as a motionless statue of marble. She felt him move against her, his pelvis jutting forward.

“Keys,” he reminded with a shiver.

Chloe reluctantly released him and fished for his keys. The pocket of his pants was deep but close-fitting, making it difficult for her not to graze him repeatedly in the process.

“You’re killing me, darlin’.”

On purpose, she elected inwardly.

Finally, she drew the ring of keys from his pants and held them up like a prize. She watched his shoulders relax as if he were relieved the torment on his body has ceased for the moment. But she didn’t plan to keep her hands off him for long. His body was too irresistible not to have thoughts of touching it, torturing him with sinful foreplay.

Yeah, running from Mr. Gyration was no longer an option; leaving him breathless, was.

He stepped back slightly and gestured with his eyes to a narrow corridor behind her to the right. “After you.”

Monday, August 20, 2012

Interview of Author Carrie Ann Ryan

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Carrie Ann Ryan.

Latest Book: Dust of My Wings
Buy Link:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
ARe
Kobo

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhWk1IpoYSk&feature=player_embedded

BIO:
Carrie Ann Ryan is a bestselling paranormal and contemporary romance author. After spending too much time behind a lab bench, she decided to dive into the romance world and find her werewolf mate - even if it’s just in her books. Happy endings are always near - even if you have to get over the challenges of falling in love first.

Her first book, An Alpha's Path, is the first in her Redwood Pack series. She's also an avid reader and lover of romance and fiction novels. She loves meeting new authors and new worlds. Any recommendations you have are appreciated. Carrie Ann lives in New England with her husband and two kittens.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: First, thanks so much for having me! And the easiest part for me to write ironically, was the new world. I’ve been so immersed in the Redwood Pack world, that it was nice for me to step back and create something new. It was nice to be able to find out what each new supernatural species did. Instead of werewolves, I have angels, brownies, demons, dragons…and well, just so many! It was great for things to just come together for me.

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: It depends, when I’m first starting and my characters are meeting, then they have distinct features. So much in fact, that I have specific photos and character profiles on my website that helps. But as soon as I’m getting into some of the nitty gritty, that tends to fade away as I get to know the inner-character, rather than their looks. It really just depends on what scene I’m in at the time.

Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
A: Yes! Hence why I’m not allowed to have that in the house anymore. When I plot, I bake. It’s a sickness. So I had to stop baking and buy more fruits and veggies. I think it’s actually hurt my process because it takes me longer, but my body appreciates it.

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: Reading. Yes, I know, it’s in the same realm. But I read at least a book a day, even with writing full time. I can’t help it. I love it. Also, I’m getting more into make-up since I now that I’m a full time author, I don’t have to work behind a lab bench anymore. So daily, I get to play around and see what I can come up with. Getting ready and feeling great has really led to a better workspace for me so I get more writing done.

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: Well, I suppose while that handsome man is off building us a hut or catching us some fish, I’d be reading. Sorry, I can’t help it. But when he comes back all sweaty and in need of a massage….*blushes* Well, you get the idea.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: I’ve been writing in paranormal now and plan to for the next couple of years while my three series are going strong. But I do have a couple contemporary (and even a western) romance series on my agenda.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
http://www.carrieannryan.com
http://carrieannryan.blogspot.com
http://heartthrobhaven.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carrie-Ann-Ryans-Author-Page/243643205647654
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002584098860
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5360266.Carrie_Ann_Ryan
Twitter: @CarrieAnnRyan

BLURB:
Humans aren’t as alone as they choose to believe. Every human possesses a trait of supernatural that lays dormant within their genetic make-up. Centuries of diluting and breeding have allowed humans to think they are alone and untouched by magic. But what happens when something changes?


Neat freak lab tech, Lily Banner lives her life as any ordinary human. She’s dedicated to her work and loves to hang out with her friends at Dante’s Circle, their local bar. When she discovers a strange blue dust at work she meets a handsome stranger holding secrets – and maybe her heart. But after a close call with a thunderstorm, she may not be as ordinary as she thinks.

Shade Griffin is a warrior angel sent to Earth to protect the supernaturals’ secrets. One problem, he can’t stop leaving dust in odd places around town. Now he has to find every ounce of his dust and keep the presence of the supernatural a secret. But after a close encounter with a sexy lab tech and a lightning quick connection, his millennia old loyalties may shift and he could lose more than just his wings in the chaos.

Warning: Contains a sexy angel with a choice to make and a green-eyed lab tech who dreams of a dark-winged stranger. Oh yeah, and a shocking spark that's sure to leave them begging for more.

Find it On:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
ARe
Kobo

EXCERPT:
The motorcycle vibrated beneath Shade as he pulled off the side of the road and parked. The rain pelted him, the cold seeping into his bones, but he shrugged it off. He was in northern Washington and this seemed to be the norm in terms of weather.

He lifted his leg and got off the bike, ignoring the stares of the women around him. They watched him stroll, his powerful legs leading to long strides. He’d tucked his wings into the slits into his back to hide the fact he was an angel, but he couldn’t hide his face or the fact that women seemed to fawn over it.

It had been a long time since he had a woman. Not since that were jaguar a century or two ago in a night of deep depression and loneliness for him. But the heat, claws and desperation and only served to fill a physical need that left him even lonelier than before. From then on he left his carnal needs up to his hand. Before the jaguar it had been even longer, but he didn’t want to think about her. The one he’d lost. She was long since gone.


Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you SOO Much for having me!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Daily Life and Fighting For Writing Time


"Mom, can I watch a movie on your computer?"

"Can I talk to you? I'm tired of looking at the back of your head!"

"Mom, I need the computer for homework..."


It used to be so easy. I'd fire up the computer (and let it 'warm up' for about five minutes while it loaded...I'd finish watching the news or drink another cup of coffee, or even do the dishes! Remember those days?) and bring up my MS Works document. Or WordPad. And turn on some music and let the words flow.

And then we got internet. Suddenly, I check my email and read everything my friends sent me. I'd write for a while, and check it again, wincing if an IM popped up (I finally learned how to 'be invisible' on the AOL IM!)

Total 'goof-off' time: 30 minutes, tops.

And...the phone wouldn't ring, because the internet was tied to my landline. My friends knew I was home because of the continuous busy signal.

Fast-forward six years.

I now own my own laptop; I get on, I check both of my emails. I delete quite a bit, thanks to certain SPAM, or a few friends who still insist on sending certain forwards I recognize. Others I briefly skim before hitting the delete button, or, if it particularly funny, I'll pass it on to a few choice friends on my list.  If there's been an interesting thread on any chat loop digest, I'll pop over and chime in. 

I've been neglecting my blog, but am attempting to blog regularly again. It usually takes me half an hour or so to post.   I used to also read every blog on my list, but that's changed in recent years, as my friends haven't been keeping up with theirs, either.  And I'm getting fed up with Blogger's word verifications; more often than not, I'll comment on the FB post rather than the blogger post.  And if I'm promo-ing someone, then I make the round of chat loops and social media.

Total 'goof-off' time: 2-3 hours. But wait...this is part of my job, so it doesn't count! It's the business side of my job, to connect with readers, get advice, and stay in touch with friends!

I get up to stretch, take a break. The floors could really use a vacuum cleaner; the pets need water. Sometimes I'll start the laundry. Put away the coffee maker, decide what to fix for dinner. Oh, it's noon? Time to fix myself some lunch.

I used to read while eating.  But now, since the spouse is retired, we run errands if he needs to, or if he's wrapped up in a TV show, then I can usually be found skimming FB again.

Then I log into Twitter and bring up my WIP.  Time to wordwar; we start at fifteen minutes past the hour and write/edit for forty-five minutes.  A 'good' day for me is when I can do this for three or four hours.  Sometimes I'm lucky if I can squeeze in one round.

My kids arrive home from school between 3 and 3:30.  The spouse has been picking up the youngling, and daughter now has her license.  And since we now have a granddaughter to look after from noon-three, I may not get anything accomplished until after Labor Day (daughter is expected to finish school by then).  But for now, it's supervise homework, then log him onto his educational website, to help with his reading.  And supervise the neighbor's kid, if he shows up, on the same website on the PC.  Then it's on to sports practice/dinner preparations

Sometimes after dinner I'll get lucky again and no one will be on the computer. I check the email and FB again.

So you be the judge...am I goofing off too much, or is anywhere from 600-1500 words a good average? If the words are flowing, I can knock out a book in about 4-5 weeks. If they aren't coming, sometimes it will be years.  If I'm doing self-edits, it takes me less time.

And darn it...where are the housecleaning Brownies? I'm working!

Sigh...off to clean the floors...I can't tell what color the carpet is anymore, and even the dog is complaining! (Just kidding!)


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Guest Blog: Sue Swift/Suz DeMello: What's a Romance? You May Think You Know, But...


The standard definition of a romance has been undergoing some change lately, but the definition of romance has always been changing.

Right now, most of us see a romance as a love story between a man and a woman that contains a happy ending, with the heroine going off with Mr. Right. But that wasn’t always the case.

Centuries ago, people married for reasons other than love. They married for money, status or property, and love was something found outside marriage. The most famous romance in our literature, Romeo and Juliet, doesn’t have a happy ending, unless your idea of a good HEA is uniting in heaven.

Other forms of art reflected the belief that love was found outside marriage. Medieval troubadours traveled from castle to castle and sang about the joys of courtly love and romantic love. Art often depicted the clash between marriage and love, such as Tintoretto’s Venus and Mars Surprised by Vulcan (1545).

When did romance change, and why?

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740) by Samuel Richardson, is often mentioned as the first romance novel. The main point, however, was not that the title character had found love but that her persistent rejections of the so-called hero’s attentions finally got her the prize: marriage.

A less moralistic novel, and one that’s often cited as the best of the genre, is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813). Despite its somewhat archaic style, it’s one of the most popular novels in English Literature, and for very good reasons. It doesn’t preach the way Pamela does, but instead reflects the real concerns young women had during the Regency: marrying well and marrying for love, or at least respect. Although arranged marriages for the purpose of uniting property or increasing wealth were still a custom in our culture, the desirability of gaining a life with a partner founded on love rather than money was taking hold, and is reflected in the literature of the time.

Each era has produced literature that’s reflective of the time, and romance novels reflect their eras, too. As the love ideal took hold, more romances were written that reflect the joy of love rather than its discouraging end, and cautionary tales took back seat to entertainment.

As time went on, and as mores altered, romances became steadily more erotic. The Flame and the Flower (1972) by Kathleen Woodiwiss is viewed as the first modern romance novel, even though it’s a sequel to Petals on the River. Both are quite racy compared to, say, Austen, and reflect changed attitudes regarding sex before marriage.

Our century

Perhaps the greatest changes have occurred in the last few years. First came chick lit, in which the heroine’s goal is not finding Mr. Right but holing up with Mr. Right Now. Then writers of digital romance broke the hetero barrier and started writing LGBT romance, which doesn’t require the love story to be between a man and a woman. I’m reliably informed that the biggest consumers of M/M romance aren’t gay guys but hetero females. Go figure!

BLURB: Temptation in Tartan

Set in 1748, my book reflects the mores and customs of the time. Widowed noblewoman Lydia Swann Williston travels to faraway Scotland to enter an arranged marriage with Kieran Kilborn, laird of his clan. She did not expect love but acceded to the arrangement hoping she’d find joy in children.

She also did not expect to find herself married to a blood drinker in a clan full of vampires.

But, being a book written in the 21st century rather than the 18th, the book ends happily after 90K words of trials and tribulations.

Here’s what some reviewers have said about Temptation in Tartan, which occupied the #1 spot on ARE’s bestseller list (historical-other) and sat in the top five for a week. These are customer reviews from Amazon.

4.0 out of 5 stars Temptation in Tartan July 13, 2012
I really enjoyed this story.

4.0 out of 5 stars Description does not do it justice July 8, 2012

I am not normally a reader of "romantica" - but I like Highlanders and I like vampires, so I couldn't resist a book that managed to combine those elements… If you need something a bit thrilling to tide you over while you wait for the next season of Game of Thrones, this book may be for you.

5.0 out of 5 stars A new author to add to my list of favorite authors June 20, 2012
By jmaze
Temptation in Tartan is the first book I've read by Suz deMello. It won't be the last. The book is well written, easy to follow and easy to read… I would highly recommend the book and I hope that she plans another book to follow in this one’s stead.



BIO:
Best-selling, award-winning author Sue Swift, a.k.a Suz deMello, has written over fifteen novels, plus several short stories and non-fiction articles. She writes in numerous genres including romance, mystery, paranormal, historical, contemporary comedy and erotica. She’s a freelance editor who’s worked for Total-E-Bound, Ai Press, Liquid Silver Books and Etopia Press. She also takes on private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in PW, Kirkus and Booklist, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, she resides in northern California. Her passion is world travel, and she’s left the US over a dozen times, including stints working overseas for many months. Right now, she's working on her next manuscript and planning her next trip.

Her blog is at http://www.fearlessfastpacedfiction.com. Find her reading picks @ReadThis4fun on Twitter, and befriend her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/SueSwift. Her sites are at http://www.sue-swift.com and http://www.suzdemello.com

Friday, August 17, 2012

Things I'd do differently!!!


Things I’d do differently if I were just beginning to write and hoped to be published.

1. I’d have my website up and running before I submitted my work to a publisher. I’d make the website bold and catchy, and reference it in my letter of submission. I would NOT wait until I was pubbed and needed it.

2. I’d have at least two friends ready to critique your masterpiece before I sent it to a publisher. Friends already authors are the best. Nobody, but nobody, can catch all your glaring errors by themselves.

3. I’d be sure I understand POV and be especially careful to stick to one point of view per scene. I didn’t at first, and still tend to blithely head-hop, not even knowing I’m doing the big no-no. My current editor, the wonderful April Chapman, is deadly on catching my errors. Yes, I know some of the most successful authors blithely ignore POV and head-hop all over the place. None of us are Nora Roberts, at least not yet.

4. This is tied to three. Check and recheck the rules of submission at the publishing house you plan to submit to.

Ellora’s Cave, where I’m lucky enough to have a new series going, will not permit the slightest change of POV. I’m just lucky I have a patient editor. A newcomer can’t afford to twist the rules in the slightest. But it’s also important to be sure your book is submitted in the right format, and right type, the right everything. 

5. Spend a lot of time perfecting your submission letter. Again, give them exactly what they want, plus a smidgeon of originality and humor. But don’t come off like a smart aleck.



Stormy Pursuit, the second book in the Passionate Pursuit series, will be out quite soon. It’s undergoing it’s last edits, catching all the nasty POV changes which I’m still bad at. Forbidden Pursuit has been accepted and I’ve sent in the cover art request. Dangerous Pursuit is in the hands of my beta editor. Haven’t named the next one yet but it takes up the story of the Erricksen family with the first grandchildren. Elves all, I’m sure they will have passionate and lives that make their elfish peaked ears show enough to enchant you all. 

Share buttons