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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Reviews for Friends


Sometimes friends read my books and give me a great review.  I sometimes wonder if they are giving a biased review because they know me, or if they really think I'm that good. 

Many friends will ask me to reciprocate, and I do, but sometimes I just can't give them as good a review as they gave me.  I feel horrible about it, but I believe I must be honest.  Am I being too tough a critic?  Should I be nicer?  I feel like if I'm not honest then I lose my credibility as an author.  

I have suffered a lot of angst over reviews I give friends.  Should I just decline the offer to read their books for review?  I have read many books by friends who are wonderful authors, and I love to tell them so. 

What to do?  What to do?  Do other authors feel this way?

Thank you for listening to me, and I hope I get some great comments to help me.  I am really in distress. 

Sandra K. Marshall
http://www.eirelander-publishing.com
http://www.sandramarshallblog.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/sandra.marshall.98

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Interview of Author Tori Scott

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Tori Scott.
Latest Book: Chemical Attraction
Buy Link: http://amzn.com/B008Y25QIW

BIO:
Tori Scott has been seriously writing with an eye toward publication for 12 years, though she's been spinning tales and writing poetry since elementary school. She is a former Golden Heart finalist in the prestigious RWA writing contest, a winner in several regional contests, a finalist in the International Digital Awards, and a semi-finalist in the Best Indie Books of 2012. She lists several publications among her accomplishments, including a featured Christmas story in Woman's World magazine.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: I love all of my characters. My favorite across all my books, though, is probably Jake Reilly of Blue Moon over Texas. Jake suffers from a condition common to a lot of men…the inability to voice those all important three little words. Though he feels deeply, voicing those feelings is another story. I tend to fall in love with all of my heroes, but Jake is a little more special than the rest.

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: I would love to see a movie made of Lone Star Justice with Drew Barrymore playing the part of the heroine, Maddie Cooper. Maddie is strong and independent, yet vulnerable when it comes to her daughter, Brandy. Maddie left her small town as a pregnant teenager, returning years later as a judge. But in spite of her success, she once again feels like the daughter of a killer as soon as she drives across the county line.

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: Again, for Lone Star Justice, I would love to see Ashton Kutcher play the role of the hero, Rand McCade. Rand is the sheriff of Greendale Texas and he takes his job seriously. He cares about the people who depend on him and is determined to keep them safe. But sometimes circumstances get between what he wants and what he gets.

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: My readers seem to think characterization and dialogue are my strongest points. For me, I just try to write characters with real life issues and real life responses to their problems. A lot of the dialogue comes as I'm laying down to sleep. It just starts running through my head and I have to get up and go back to the computer to get it all down. Most nights I finally get to sleep around 4 or 5a.m.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: I'm hoping to someday write a thriller. I have some suspense in several of my romances, and a romantic suspense, but I love reading Allison Brennan, Lisa Gardner, Lisa Jackson. I haven't tried it yet because I haven't come up with an idea that hasn't been done. Or at least I haven't come up with a new twist on an idea.

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: Facebook. I gave up on MySpace, I never remember to blog, chats take up a lot of time and require a lot of focus, and Twitter is only good for sound bites. I love Facebook because I can really connect with my readers, reconnect with old friends, and keep up with my kids who are spread out across the country.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
When I remember to blog, you can find me at http://toriscott.blogspot.com or, on the second Wednesday of every month, at http://authorsofmainstreet.wordpress.com/.
On Twitter, I'm @ToriScott.
On Facebook, you can find my fan page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tori-Scott/242425259118042.
My Amazon author page is www.amazon.com/author/toriscott.


BLURB:
A hot and sexy office romance with a twist!

When Keara Dane succeeds in developing a love potion that actually works, she finds herself in a world of trouble. From her sexy boss who'd ordered her to drop the project, to the geeky lab assistant who embarrasses himself over her, to getting kidnapped for the formula, Keara's world is turned upside down and inside out. In the process, she learns that maybe, just maybe, dreams do come true.

Riley Vaughn knew Keara had completed the formula against his orders when she spills some on herself and he's overcome with lust like he's never known before. Once the effect wears off, he's going to give Keara a piece of his mind. Until then, he's going to give her a weekend of passion like nothing she's ever experienced.

EXCERPT:
Riley's gaze locked on the droplets of liquid glistening against Keara's tanned skin. Funny, he’d never noticed what beautiful hands she had. Strong, sexy hands that could take his length and stroke it perfectly.

His gaze moved to her face. Her eyes were wide with horror. She almost looked afraid of him. But she had no need to be. He loved her. He’d do anything for her. Didn’t she know that?

Before she could react, he took the bottle from her and moved it to the lab table, out of reach. He eyed the desk behind her, gauging its worth as a make-shift bed.

He needed her, right now. He didn’t care who might walk in. If he couldn’t sink himself into her, he’d go mad. With a shaky hand, he cupped her cheek and lowered his mouth to hers.

She moved her hands to his chest.

"Yes, that’s right. Help me out of these clothes."

But instead of unbuttoning his shirt, she shoved him away. "No. You don’t know what you’re doing."

"Yes, I do," he insisted as he moved closer and reached for the bottom of her shirt. "I’m trying to get us both naked." He needed to see her naked. Now. He'd go mad if he had to wait another moment to feel her breasts in his hands.

"There's something I need to tell you, Riley."

"Later." He lifted the hem of her shirt.

Keara slapped at his hands and retreated behind the desk. "You don’t want to do that. Not really."

"Oh, yes, I do. Really."

"What about Mallory?"

Riley rounded the side of the desk. "What about her? I’m not in love with her. She’s just convenient. For a few baubles a month, I have a ready date and an occasional sex partner."

Keara had suspected as much for a long time, but there was no way Riley would have admitted it if he hadn’t been mentally impaired by the love potion. If he remembered this conversation once the effects of the love potion wore off, he’d fire her for sure.

Just as he would when he figured out she'd kept working on it against his orders.

"Come on, Keara. Quit playing games. We’ve been hot for each other for years. It’s time to admit it and get on with the next step." Riley pulled his tie loose as he dogged her steps around the desk. Now he was unbuttoning his cuffs.

Keara’s heart rate sped up as he moved his long, elegant fingers to his collar. He was going to strip, right here in the laboratory, and there was nothing she could do to stop him.

Eyeing Riley warily as he moved steadily in her direction, she backed toward the door. She had to protect his reputation and her invention. Knowing she was defeated, she turned the lock and flipped a switch on the wall that would light up the "no admittance " sign on the outside of the lab. Looked like her fantasies were about to come true.

Riley's hand slid up the wall beside her head and he leaned forward, his eyes lit with passion. This was what she'd always hoped for, so why did it feel so wrong? Riley was hot for her, had eyes only for her, and she wanted to slip under his arm and run away.

"What's wrong, Keara? Am I moving too fast? Or not fast enough?"

Keara grabbed the life preserver he'd tossed her. "Too fast. Way too fast. You're in a committed relationship, and I'm not the kind to move on another woman's territory." There, that sounded convincing. Right?

Riley chuckled and nuzzled her neck. "The only thing committed in that relationship is my credit card." His lips traveled to her ear and his tongue began to trace the outer edge, sending a shiver through her.

She slipped under his arm and escaped the drugging effect of his closeness. "If you're serious about this, then first you have to go break things off with Mallory. I'm not going to be the other woman." That should give her a few days to find an antidote, because she was pretty sure he wasn't going to give up his blonde beauty that easily.

Without saying a word, Riley crossed the room and picked up the telephone. Keara's jaw dropped as she listened to his side of the conversation and realized that, just like that, Riley was a free man. Now what was she supposed to do?

From the look on his face, she had a pretty good idea Riley knew exactly what she was supposed to do.

He crooked his finger in her direction. "Come here."


Anything else you’d like to add?
Just that I love the holidays, and I'm celebrating this year by releasing a Christmas novella called The Christmas Wish (based on my Woman's World short story) and the third Lone Star Cowboys book titled The Bluest Eyes in Texas. They should both be out by mid-December.

Thanks for having me here! I'd love to hear from readers on Twitter or Facebook.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Final Push for The Nanowrimo by Janice Seagraves

Final Push for the Nanowrimo 
by Janice Seagraves 


With only a few days left of the Nanowrimo, it's time for the final push. Unless you already finished, most will want to put their writing into high gear and pull all-nighters to make up the word count.

Here’s some tips from me. These techniques can also work for you if you’re trying to finish a manuscript:

Give yourself permission to write a sloppy first draft: we’re writing for speed here. Write sloppy and forget grammar until December first.

Time yourself: You can set a clock for twenty minutes and write as fast as you can until the alarm goes off.

Write a hundred words at a time: I've done this quite a bit and it works well. When the clock is ticking down to midnight and you want to get your words in as fast as possible. Leave the Nanowrimo website open and keep yourself logged in. Then write a hundred words at a time and post it. Seeing the numbers go up helps to keep you encouraged to write more.

Introduce a monster, a murderer or a natural disaster. Nothing makes the word count add up than danger.

Change genres: If you’re working on suspense change it to romance. If you're writing romance add some horror elements, or mystery, or paranormal. How about werewolves in space or a vampire? I've seen it done.

Take a page from the Soap Operas: Add a missing or unknown twin, or a secret baby, or have one of the characters get shot. Hey, it worked well for Larry Hagman’s (J.R. Ewing) career.

Take a chance and go for it!

---------------------------------------------------
Janice Seagraves's website: http://janiceseagraves.org/
Janice Seagraves's blog: http://ladyjanice.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 26, 2012

Welcome Cherry Adair, NYT Best-Selling Author!

Interview with Adele Dubois

--Contest Alert!--

Cherry Adair is giving away a FREE copy of one of her ebooks! Winner's Choice of her new romantic suspense novel ICE COLD or a title from her back list. Leave a comment and be automatically entered to win. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to win a title by one of the industry's top romance authors! Winner will be announced in the comments section on Thursday, November 29.

Don't forget to check her author page at http://www.romancebooks4us.com for more information about Cherry and her books!



Q: What would you most like readers to know about your books?
A: I can summarize what I write quickly – Running-chasing-shooting-wild monkey sex- running-chasing-happy ending . . . Repeat.
  
Q: What was your first break in publishing?
A: After writing 17 full manuscripts, and having many near misses- I sold THE MERCENARY on my own in 1995. Five years later my career really started with my first single title KISS & TELL.

Q: Tell us about your writing process. When do you do your best writing, and where?
A: I write best at my desk, in my office. I loathe first drafts (and that’s an understatement!) So the first draft goes at a snail’s pace. But once I start layering I can’t be pulled away from my keyboard, and I tend to write around the clock, only sleeping when I can’t keep my nose from falling onto my keyboard. When at that stage of the book I’m giddy with excitement, and it takes wild horses to drag me out of my office.

Q: Which character from your books is your favorite?
A: My favorite character is always the one I just finished writing. I fall madly in love with my hero – until the next one comes along.
  
Q: Tell us a secret about yourself that you haven’t shared with other readers.
A: I wish I had secrets – unfortunately,  I‘m an Aries, and tend to tell anyone everything. lol.
  
Q: Is there something you want to write about that you haven’t yet?
A: My interests are really diverse, there’s always something that strikes my fancy, but so far (fortunately) I’ve always been able to integrate my current passion into which ever book I’m currently writing.
  
Q: What do you do to relax? Any favorite hobbies or pastimes?
A: My first love, of course, is reading. Anything and everything I can get my hands on. One of the drawbacks of being a writer is not being able to read as much as I’d like to. I would love to tell you that I sky dive naked, or SCUBA dive with Great Whites, or that I’m a barefoot triathlete – but alas, that would all require sweating and far more exertion than I’m willing to expend! Lol.

I adore writing athletic, gung-ho characters, but none of them are the real me. Give me a tall, iced Snapple, a fabulous book, or a great movie and I’m a happy camper.

Oh! I am a killer – of snails in my garden. But that’s it in the excitement department I’m afraid. All my activities are vicarious and saved to put on the page.

*****
I’m thrilled to be back in my counterterrorist T-FLAC world after several years’ absence. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the underwater adventures in my Cutter Cay series, and following the numbers to risk and danger in my Lodestone books is a blast, but T-FLAC operatives are near and dear to my heart, and always will be.

Terrorist Force Logistical Assault Command was conceived on a very long, very smoky return flight from Italy many years ago. Eight T-FLAC, and six T-FLAC/Psi books, and two new series later, I’m back in the world of terrorists and hot sexy espionage. I had SO much fun writing this book, it was like being back with old (incredibly sexy lol) friends.

If you haven’t read any of my books – let me sum them up quickly for you. Running-chasing-shooting-wild monkey sex-action-adventure. A little over the top-a lot sexy.

Ice Cold is no exception. You’ll find some familiar faces in this adventure, as cyber-geek Honey Winston and seasoned operative Rafael Navarro confront an ice cold tango determined to bring T-FLAC to its knees.

Here’s a little taste to whet your appetite. . .

Cherry




BLURB:
T-FLAC operative Rafael Navarro will never allow another woman to suffer the consequences of his dangerous life. But in a world where a terrorist can do more damage with a keyboard than a bomb, he needs the expert help of a cyber-geek. And fast.

Fellow operative, and cybercrimes specialist Honey Winston prefers computers to people. But when a serial bomber threatens the world’s financial infrastructure, she’s forced to work closely with Navarro, whose notorious skill in the bedroom is as legendary as his dexterity defusing bombs.
Honey and Rafael must fight sparks hot enough to melt their resolve, and push beyond fear itself, as they join forces in a bid to race the clock before a sinister and lethal bomber proves just how much they both have to lose.

T-FLAC is back, and the timer is counting down in the most pulse-pounding explosive op yet—

EXCERPT:
Montana
January 8th

Her assailant came out of the darkness hard and fast. T-FLAC operative Honey Winston hadn’t heard a damn thing. She let out a hiss of indignation as the man got his shoulder into her belly and tackled her full force before she even realized she wasn’t alone with the corpse. The Mag light went flying one way, her Sig. the other. The light winked out.

Darkness.

Pain.

Damn it to hell.

Twisting to counter the attack, her booted foot slipped on slick, bloody flagstone. Off balance she hit the unyielding floor with a thump. The intruder straddled her, pinning her in place.

Honey shot out both hands, grabbed her attacker’s muscled forearms and tried to wrestle him off her hips. Son of a bitch was immovable. She bucked, trying to wedge a leg between their bodies for leverage. No go.

She didn’t need the smell of death, just feet away, to remind her this guy meant business. She’d barely discovered Jack’s body before the killer returned. Why had he come back? Do to her what he’d done to her boss. A gruesome, violent stabbing that spoke volumes of vengeance, not to mention sloppy workmanship.

If she shifted a few feet she could – maybe- reach out and grab the Ka-Bar sticking out of Jack’s chest. Maybe. But the body was six or seven feet away to her left, and right now- out of reach.

The guy was heavier and a lot stronger than she was, to level the playing field, she had to get a weapon. Surging her hips upward, she managed to shift his weight to her chest. Hard to drag in a decent breath with him compressing her lungs, but it gave Honey the mobility to jackknife her legs up and twist her ankles around his neck.

Slamming her feet, crossed at the ankles, into his face elicited a low grunt, but she didn’t hear the crunch of bone she’d hoped to at least break is nose. If she could get the right leverage, and the right angle, she could stab him in the chest with her five inch heel. Using every bit of strength in her legs, torqueing her body, Honey tried to roll him over so she could have the upper hand, if not the upper foot.

Son of a bitch didn’t budge.

She tightened her ankles around his neck, using the strength of her thigh muscles to maintain the hold as she tried to pull him off backwards. Her lethal heels were tantalizing inches from his throat, but crossed, she didn’t have the power to twist her feet for the right angle to be useful. She’d been trained to kill an opponent this way, but this guy knew the same tricks. That told her a lot. His hand shot out, fingers closing around her windpipe. Pain exploded in her throat and silver stars swam in her vision.

Ignoring the pain and the ability to drag in a much needed breath, Honey dug her short nails into his inner wrist, using her free hand to grab his thumb. Twisting it gave her a few seconds to drag in a breath.

His elbows pressed down on her forearms, forcing her hands harmlessly away and bringing back the sparkling Galaxy of stars.

He was strong, dangerously strong. Even with her ankles wrapped around his throat he managed to stagger upright and lurch to his feet. She swung-head down- between his spread legs, then dropped and rolled before he could grab her again.

Using the momentum, she shot to her feet and rammed her elbow into his jaw. Heard his teeth snap. He countered by twisting her arm over her head, his fingers manacling her wrist as he jerked her body up with him.

Honey kneed him in the balls. Or almost kneed him in the balls, her knee slammed into his upper thigh.

“Coño!” In a lightning fast move he grabbed her knee and flipped her back to the floor. From the time he’d entered the dark house to the moment he had her pinned- for the second damned time- to the floor was mere moments.

She was good, damn good. He was marginally better. Pissed her off. She dismissed the bone-jarring, silver star inducing slam to the unyielding floor and fought gravity to regain her footing. Tricky in stiletto-heeled boots. She was like a damned turtle on its back, with him crouched over her, restricting her movement.

Something hard pressed into her left butt cheek. Could it be. . .? Like the fabled Princess and the Pea, she’d landed on her gun. Now we’re talking!

Standing over her, he twisted her arm until she hissed in a breath of pain. Then, still crouched beside her, he jammed a weapon against her throat. “Up. Slow and easy,” he said. “Hands on your head,” his voice came velvety soft and lethal in the darkness.

It occurred to Honey that the garbage detail would be there any minute in response to her call. But unless she got the upper hand right now, by the time they arrived there might be two bodies to clean up.She never asked, or waited for, help. Tonight would not be an exception.

“No more fun and games.” Strong fingers manacled her upper arm and he hauled her to her feet like a bag of horse feed. “Up.”

Honey’s cheeks burned with anger and- hell yes- embarrassment. She was a trained operative, for god’s sake, yet he’d managed to get the drop on her. Several times. “Don’t hurt me,” she pleaded, pitching her voice higher and thinner so she sounded frail and girlie. His hesitation was slight. Most men didn’t like hurting woman. It was yet another tool in her skillset. The son of a bitch underestimated her, and she used his hesitation to her advantage.

By the time she was vertical Honey had her weapon digging into the underside of his chin.

Standoff.

“Wanna see who can pull their trigger faster?” she asked coolly, not flinching as the muzzle of his weapon dug into the flesh beneath her ear. He shifted, and like Siamese twins they moved together, neither letting up on the pressure of muzzle to carotid. He had the advantage of height and weight, but she was a lot more determined to stay alive.

The manacle of his fingers on her arm suddenly withdrew, but before she could act on it, the overhead chandelier blazed to brilliant life.

Honey blinked up at him. Although they’d never met, she instantly knew who he was.

The Spanish Stallion. “Navarro.”

He looked like he owned the damned planet as he glanced from her face, to Jack’s corpse, then returned to her. A shudder of awareness shimmied through her body.

She disliked Rafael Navarro on sight.

For a moment she remained where she was, muzzle pressed to his jaw. Then dropped her hand as he did the same.

They stared at each other, their breathing slightly elevated by the exertion. His black eyes ate the light, and were completely unreadable.

His lean face was tanned, indicating he’d just returned from sunnier climes. The three inch scar, running from the corner of his left eye and slashed across his cheek, didn’t distract from his rugged good looks, in fact, Honey was sure, the scars only enhanced his sex appeal. He looked like what he was. A warrior. Nose aristocratic, dark eyes deeply set. Glossy, almost stick-straight, black hair brushed his broad shoulders. He wore dark-washed jeans and a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up his muscled forearms. He was all about dark and foreboding and looked as though he’d never smiled in his life.

He was a hotshot. A breaker of rules. A maverick.

She was methodical, by the book, and liked order. And men who bothered to shave. At least at the start of an op.

“Winston?” The Spanish in his voice was there only because she expected it. His black eyes flickered again from her to Jack’s body sprawled nearby in a pool of congealed blood.

Thirty-seven knife wounds, and only the last the killing blow, made for a great deal of blood. A male of Jack’s size would have approximately ten to twelve pints of blood in his body. It looked like ten gallons of blood on the floor. She looked away. And damn it, the only other place to look was at Navarro.

Honey took a step back mirroring his movements as they both holstered their weapons and paused to assess the other. Tucking a probably imaginary, stray strand of pale blonde hair back into her elegant ponytail, she was annoyed to find her heart beating a little fast as his obsidian gaze skimmed over her. “Obviously I didn’t kill him,” she told him coolly. “Given the eight inch disparity in our heights I would’ve had to use a stepstool.”

“I’m sure there’s one around,” he said dryly. “Question is; who did?”

Since it was clearly a rhetorical question, Honey didn’t bother responding. She’d track down Jack’s killer personally. She had some free time due. . .None of Rafael Navarro business. “We all have enemies.” Not Mr. Stallion. He was admired and fawned on and fated and treated like the prodigal son when he deigned to come into HQ. Herself excluded, everyone wanted to team up with Navarro.

“Enemies don’t stroll into our homes twenty minutes from T-FLAC HQ and stab us multiple times. Unless you didn’t share something in the dossier?”

Honey’s dislike of the man went down two more notches.

She supposed some women would think his height and broad shoulders attractive. Certainly the clerical staff at HQ gave him second and tenth looks on the rare occasions that he came to Montana. Ha! He’d eat them for breakfast then spit their hearts out between his strong white teeth.

Navarro had a reputation that had nothing to do with his- admittedly sterling- rep as a bomb disposal expert. No matter how hard Honey tried not to listen to gossip and the oos and ahhs of it all, it was hard to miss hearing what a great kisser/lover/stallion the Spaniard was.

Catherine Seymour, her mentor and trainer, had once confided in Honey that Navarro had made her come just by kissing her.

Honey gave a mental snort. As if. Narrow-eyed Navarro was observing the body, giving Honey a moment to look at him. The bump on the bridge of his otherwise straight nose indicated it had been broken a time or two. The razor-thin, three-inch-long scar, starting at the outer corner of his left eye, and slightly indenting his cheekbone gleamed white in the bright light.

“Sloppy. Rushed. Personal.” Honey observed out loud. “House is empty.” She avoided looking too long at Jack’s body. Her supervisor lay dead on the slate entry hall floor at her booted feet, perforated by dozens of knife wounds. Overkill. The Ka-Bar, eight inches of carbon steel still embedded in heart. “I did a thorough sweep.”

“How long have you been here?”

The left sleeve of his white shirt had come unrolled. Honey itched to tidy him up. Not that she wanted to touch him. She most certainly did not. She liked order. He was anything but. She shoved her fingertips into the front pockets of her tailored black wool pants. “Seven minutes. I was taking him to the airport to meet you. He was dead when I arrived.”

“Yeah. I see that. Did you call it in? Yeah. I’m sure you did.” Navarro cocked a brow giving her time to jump in and let him know if she’d had time to do so.

“Yes, I-” Honey swallowed hard, the only indication that she was in any way moved by the violent death of the man she’d work with for five years. She’d seen plenty of dead people. Plenty of bloody, gory deaths. She’d caused some of those deaths herself in the line of duty. She’d never been affected this deeply. Not that Rafael Navarro would get even a hint how deeply she was affected now. She did her job, didn’t fraternize with anyone she worked with, and minded her own business.

“Recognize the weapon?”

“I gave him that knife for his birthday last year- “ Too personal. None of his business. “What are you doing here?”

“Control notified me that Jack’s wife called in to say he had the flu and couldn’t meet me.”

“He’s divorced.”

“Yeah,” he agreed dryly. “I know. It sent up a red flag. That’s why I’m here. What do we know?”

“I counted thirty seven stab wounds but I’m sure there’re more,” she told him. “The one to the heart killed him. The others were for show. The alarms were disabled.” He’d known the killer and opened the front door to him. He’d been expecting her. . .

Grabbing a slouchy black leather tote from a nearby table, she removed hand sanitizer and wipes and proceeded to methodically clean the blood from her hands. The adrenaline rush was starting to fade and Honey was annoyed to find her hands shaking. She didn’t want Navarro knowing how freaked out she was over Jack’s violent death.

She turned to find him watching her. Before she thought it through in her usual methodical way, Honey reached up and grabbed the front of his shirt, tugging him down to eye level. His eyes were almost black, even illuminated by the overhead chandelier.

“Kiss me,” she demanded twisting her fingers into the soft cotton to yank him closer. He angled his head, and obediently pressed his mouth to hers. His lips were firm and cool. He tasted of something dark and unknown.

She did not climax.

ISBN# 9781937774516
Available Now!

BIO:
New York Times bestselling author Cherry Adair has carved a niche for herself with her sexy, sassy, fast-paced, action adventure novels which have appeared on numerous bestsellers lists, won dozens of awards and garnered praise from reviewers and fans alike.  She hates first drafts, has a passion for mentoring unpublished writers, loves Facebook, is crazy about Pinterest and loves to hear from readers.

Find Cherry Adair on her website: http://www.cherryadair.com

On Social Networking Sites:
http://www.facebook.com/CherryAdairAuthor
https://twitter.com/CherryAdair
http://pinterest.com/cherryadair

Food for Your Thoughts


How about a little mustard with your red herring? Not interested in playing around with your food? Have no fear, as long as you don’t swallow it—because it really doesn’t exist or, at least, it doesn’t matter, You see, for us mystery writers, or in my case, one who pens them in an on-again off-again fashion, red herrings are wild goose chases that are staged in our mysteries, diversions intended to draw the reader’s attention from the real problem or matter at hand. These red herrings can be in the form of people, incidents or other clues you think are linked to solving the mystery, when in fact, they have no real significance. The trick is mixing the false clues with the real ones.

Hitchcock was famous for using red herrings, especially a special one, a plot device knowm as the MacGuffin or McGuffin. A McGuffin something that drives the whole plot, or at least how you get into the story but is really irrelevant to the outcome. For instance, in Psycho, Janet Lee runs away with a suitcase of money, and you think the whole story will center around why she would sacrifice all for it and how she’ll get caught. In fact, you get into a half hour of the movie before, horrors, she’s murdered. Now what? So much for the money. It is never mentioned again. Her real purpose in the movie is to introduce the twisted horrors occurring at the motel and in the house beyond.

In my mysteries, I like to send the reader down multiple paths with regard to the person responsible for the murders and reason(s) behind them. Sometimes, even the obvious reason isn’t the reason at all. The mystery may not even be the most important thing in the story. For instance, in Coming to Climax, there are murders occurring and all seems to point to the hero being a target. There are akso multiple subplots happening all at once. But the real theme of the book is love lost and found again through insurmountable odds. In my latest novella, A Murder in Every Port, the murders are a backdrop to a much more important theme, is Roxie’s love invincible, or can a five-day cruise change the course of her future?

Next time you read a mystery, see if you can find all the red herrings the writer uses and can you tell who done it way before the end?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bobbye Terry also writes as Daryn Cross when she pens fantasies--but under her real name she writes mysteries and romances. Her latest, The Shadow Knows, is in the Briny Bay Mystery Series. The fourth in the series, A Murder in Every Port, debuts in February.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE BOND?


Who Is Your Favorite Bond?


This is the fiftieth anniversary of the first James Bond movie. There’s been a lot written about which Bond actor is the best one and which film is the best. I thought I’d weigh in with my own favorite Bond. Before I reveal him, let’s talk the Bond franchise.

The twenty-third Bond film, “Skyfall,” has just been released and it’s already the best-reviewed of all the Bond movies. Some critics believe Daniel Craig is the best Bond ever. I tend to disagree. Maybe that’s because I hated, hated, “Quantum of Solace” so much that it soured me on Craig as Bond.

However, I’ve recently seen “Skyfall,” and liked it. It’s entertaining, bloody, violent, with touches of humor. I didn’t love it, but I enjoyed it and look forward to the next one. I like Craig better in this one than in the two other Bond films he did. But he’s not my favorite.

I’ve seen all the movies. When the first one, “Doctor No,” was released in 1962, it was amazing. We were still a sexually repressed society, so seeing Ursula Andress emerging from the ocean in that bikini was shocking and naughty. So was her name, Honey Ryder. The coolest moment in that film was when Bond was asked his name for the first time and he said, “Bond. James Bond.”

Who could forget the gold-plated body in “Goldfinger?” Or Oddjob’s hat?


We all know Sean Connery was the original Bond. He made five films before George Lazenby played Bond in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” That didn’t work out too well, and Connery was back in 1971’s “Diamonds Are Forever.”

Roger Moore took over in 1973 with “Live and Let Die.” Paul McCartney’s theme song for that film is, in the opinion of many, the best theme song ever. I agree. But Adele’s title song in “Skyfall” is a close second.

Moore made Bond films over the next twelve years, with Connery coming back for his last stint in 1983’s “Never Say Never Again.” The last of Moore’s films was 1985’s “A View To a Kill.” I remember not liking that one much.

Timothy Dalton starred in two movies and that was the end of him. Pierce Brosnan became Bond with 1995’s “Goldeneye.” He starred in four movies before Craig took over in 2006’s “Casino Royale.”

There you have it: a short Bond history. Just as each of our romance heroes puts his own stamp on our books, each one of these actors brought his own brand to the Bond part. Connery was sexy and suave and very sure of himself. Moore played it tongue-in-cheek, winking at the audience and letting us in on the joke.  Apparently Lazenby and Dalton didn’t bring much because they’re just blips on the Bond screen. Brosnan was more modern and likeable, not quite as suave as Connery or as amused by it all as Moore. Craig is very dark and serious.
 
So, who’s my favorite? It’s Roger Moore. I love the humor he brings to the franchise. Who doesn’t love a guy with a sense of humor? I think Moore as Bond is sexy, daring, and lots of fun. He’s a hero I’d like to spend time with.

Who is your favorite Bond and why?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Guest Blog: Katalina Leon: Why Are Women Readers Interested in M/M Romance?


I have to confess that if someone had told me fifteen to twenty years ago that books would go digital, vampires would remain top sellers and women would fall madly in love with male gay romance, I would have said I think you’re mistaken.

I like being surprised and those three trends have genuinely surprised me, especially the warm embrace women readers have given to male gay/ bi-sexual romance or M/M. The popularity of M/M continues to soar with new devotees joining the ranks everyday.

Who knew that would happen and why did it happen?

I’m going to throw out a few of my thoughts and opinions about the current popularity of M/M romance and I BEG YOU TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS WITH THE REST OF US IN THE COMMENTS

First, let’s state the obvious women are not the only ones reading M/M. Gay and Bi-sexual men love it too and I strongly suspect a lot of straight men sneak a peek, just because it’s nasty hot willy-spanking stuff.

Why?

Because M/M sexuality tends to be frank and to the point. There’s lust, tenderness and romance but it’s male-centric. For the most part it is free of the overwrought tropes used in old style romance novels, which for many readers translates into variety. An M/M storyline can break free of a predictable path and take the reader somewhere else.

Second: M/M romance is inherently Heroic(pun fully intended!) The lovers involved usually take great risks by simply daring to approach a desired partner. Threat of punishment, rejection or exposure is often present. That amount of sexual tension delivers the emotional drama we romance readers crave! When love is declared taboo, risks are taken, forbidden realms explored and hearts are put in harm’s way—you get great story telling that not only turns readers on, it may also leave them weeping in sympathy.

Third: We learn about our hidden selves by looking beyond ourselves. Compassion is a beautiful teacher. M/M romance acts as a mirror to the slippery forbidden realms of female sexuality. M/M often reflects a raw sexuality and makes no apology for pursuing partners who are prized purely because they thrill the heart or deliver immense physical pleasure. Female fans of M/M love seeing male characters brought to their knees, made vulnerable and their loving sides exposed. It’s a paradox but it’s often true that we never see ourselves more clearly than when we are looking at someone else and feeling compassion for them.

Forth: From a female POV men are often the mysterious other country. A million bad jokes have been made about the differences between Venus and Mars but deep down I think most women remain curious about what male sexuality would look like, if women weren’t looking. M/M romance opens that door and allows women a peek into a forbidden world that in the end may look strangely familiar. Love is love and after all is said and done, male or female, it’s still a human heart.

What do you think of M/M romance? Are you a reader, an author or even a critic of M/M, please share your opinion. I love getting comments and I will try to respond to any or all of them with a detailed answer.

Claimed By Dragons
Bag Of Tricks Book 2
Amber Skyze and Katalina Leon
Genre: Erotic-romance, paranormal, dragon-shifters, ménage polyamory.
Publisher: Loose Id Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-61118-903-2
Word Count: 92k
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs
Loose Id
All Romance eBooks
Amazon



BLURB:
In an odd Wiccan shop in Salem, Jael pulls an unusual stone from a witch’s wish bag. Little does she know her wildest dreams of adventure and a torrid affair with two gorgeous co-workers are about to come true—in spades.

Jael’s dreamy boss, Roarke offers her the assignment of a lifetime: a photo safari to Mount Kilimanjaro. The African scenery is stunning but the unexpected arrival of her two office crushes, Roarke and Kypton ignites her passion. Just as the trio is getting steamy at a beautiful waterfall, danger intervenes forcing the men to reveal their secret. They're dragons. And now, to save her life, they have no choice but to abduct a startled Jael to their mountain lair on Kilimanjaro.

In the dragons' love nest, Jael learns the truth about their origins and explores all the erotic possibilities two eager lovers can offer. Love awakens, but the guys are being stalked by a covert group of dragon hunters and withholding a life or death secret that will push Jael’s courageous heart and commitment to the limits.

Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices, menage (m/m/f).

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/F9iN7Ajq4o4">http://youtu.be/F9iN7Ajq4o4

About the Authors:

BIO: Katalina Leon
I’m an artist, an author, mother and wife. I write for Loose Id Publishing and Ellora’s Cave. I try to bring a touch of the mystical and a big sense of adventure to everything I write because I believe there’s a bold, kick-ass heroine inside all of us who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.

Night Owl Reviews Author page
Seven Sexy Scribes blog http://sevensexyscribes.blogspot.com/?zx=9dc4c582426b5efe
Katalina’s blog http://katalinaleon111.blogspot.com
Ellora’s Cave http://www.jasminejade.com/m-569-katalina-leon.aspx
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/katalina.leon.142

BIO: Amber Skyze
From a very young age, Amber Skyze began making up stories–the only child syndrome. Telling tall tales to all her friends she never dreamed of putting words on paper. In fact if anyone asked her if she would write when she grew up, she’d have laughed.

It wasn’t until raising children and reading all those romances that she decided–hey, I can write these. HA! Easier said than done.

When not crafting hot, steamy tales, this New York transplant now resides in Rhode Island with her husband, four children (who force her to work a day job), and three dogs.

She currently writes for Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id and is self-published.

http://www.amberskyze.com/
http://amberskyze.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Invitation to the ultimate girls night out


What happens when seven crazy authors, good friends, get together for a girls only weekend with chocolate wine and whipped cream vodka? You get the Sassy Seven Authors, a bunch of new series, and the idea for the Naughty Sleepover, a weekend that’s the ultimate girls night out. In our latest series The Naughty Sleepover, all the stories are based at The Menger Hotel in San Antonio, Texas, where our Naughty Sleepover is being held in February 2013. And all begin in the historic bar where Teddy Roosevelt met with his Rough Riders.
So first about the event. The weekend begins with a Decadent Chocolate Hour (sponsored by Decadent Publishing, of course!) that actually runs all evening and proceeds next day through a discussion with a Dom, a “special toys” party and male dancers in the evening. (Think Chippendales.) Plus we have two very special hunks who will be your hosts for the weekend.
All in good fun and a chance to go wild in a friendly environment. Check it out at www.sassyseven.com/naughty-sleepover. We even have a payment plan for registration so your budget is safe. Hope to see all of you there.
And now for the stories.

Sugar Girl by Nicole Austin 
A guy walks into a bar... And finds the girl he shouldn’t have left behind. Their differences kept Candy and Jeremiah apart until finally, the road lead them back where they belong. But in the harsh light of the morning after can she really hold on to a shooting star? 
 Say Yes by Regina Carlysle 
All work and no play is no way to live and J.D. Stone aims to change that after a chance meeting at the Menger Hotel. When the lonely rancher meets sassy photographer, Melissa Bell, the sparks fly and passions burn hot enough to incinerate them both. 
Spank ’Em Cowboy by Samantha Cayto 
Tara hopes to survive her sister's wedding without a wardrobe malfunction. Rob spots the voluptuous filly and cuts her from the herd. And when she craves someone to take the reins, he knows he's the right man to saddle her up for the ride of her life. 
 More Than You Know by Cerise DeLand 
One redhead. One bartender. Lots of laughter. A desire so tender that the sheets they burn up together could set the hotel on fire. But can he intrigue a woman who’s older? What if he never lets her out of bed? Will she still want him tomorrow? 
 Overnight Sensation by Desiree Holt 
Pulled together in a crowd by an instant attraction, Abbie and Sam are powerless against the incendiary combustion that consumes them and turn a chance meeting into an overnight sensation 
 Blame it on Texas by Allie Standifer 
Everything's supposed to be bigger and better in Texas, right? Sexy plus size model Serena Morgan isn't convinced until Texas country star Kale Winters takes her in a night of passion. Come morning will Kale convince Serena he's the real deal or Blame it on Texas? 


 When a Lady Meets a King by Brenna Zinn 
Lady Pembrook went to great lengths, traveling thousands of miles and assuming a false identity to satisfy her fantasy of a one-night stand with a real Texas cowboy. But when a mysterious stranger in dark sunglasses threatens to expose her scandalous behavior, a handsome King comes to the rescue. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What Am I Thankful For?

As one might expect, I'm grateful for many things about my successful writing career. I've come a long way since I first started a few years ago and my countless loyal fans are the reason I continue to put out love stories dear to my heart, whether historical or contemporary.

However, this year I'd have to say I'm thankful for something completely different, though relative to the publishing industry and the precious written word that keeps it running. I hope you'll continue to read on, as this post is not about me. Some of you, may even find it helpful, if not encouraging.

For many years, my daughter has struggled to read at her reading level and we couldn't figure out why. In the years past, we have performed every test imaginable: ADD, a learning disability, eye strengthening therapy, tutoring, you name it. All of these examinations always came up short on an answer -- some even a misdiagnosis. From the time she was in first grade, reading had become a utter chore and a bitter task in which she no longer held much enjoyment. As an author, an avid reader, and a mother, it broke my heart to watch her struggle because she's always had a love for books.

Fast forward seven unfruitful years...she is now in eighth grade and, although she finds a series of books she likes to read every now and again (like The English Roses by Madonna, books by Bill Wallace and Mary Downing Hahn, and How I Survived Middle School), she still doesn't read at her grade level.

Finally, her grammar teacher, God bless him, came to me with concerns about her reading/writing skills (or lack there of) and educated me on the possibility of dyslexia. He put me in touch with someone who could test her and gave me the date of an upcoming seminar the school was hosting. Feeling overwhelmed, I actually cried in his office that day. I couldn't help feel like I'd failed her as a mother because we weren't able to get her the help she needed at an earlier age.

After our conversation, I went home an emotional wreck and did some research on the topic. In visiting several reputable sites about the specialized learning disability, I then realized all the signs were there but I was totally ignorant to the glaring clues. On a lighter note, I also found that NY Times Best Selling Author, Debbie Macomber lives with dyslexia, along with many other famous people. It truly was an eye-opening and awe-inspiring moment to know my daughter was not alone and that many successful people had achieved their dreams despite this hurtle. I finally felt as if there was hope for my daughter too. 

Immediately, we had her tested and recently received the diagnosis of dyslexia. While I was still consumed with mixed emotions, I was also relieved to finally have an answer to all her questions of "Why can't I read?" or "What is wrong with me?" and the gut-wrenching question "Why can my little sister read faster than me?"

To my surprise, my daughter took this news in stride and has since made it her personal goal to read ABOVE her grade level. She has worked harder than I've seen her and in a matter of a few weeks (along with a new reading program at her school), she's gone from reading 66 words per minute to 150, while still comprehending the material. It's the most amazing thing to see her proud of her accomplishments and to know she will do great things in her life because of it.

This is exactly what I am thankful for this holiday season:
  • There are still dedicated teachers out there who care enough about their students and take the time to provide them with the extra help they need.
  • There are many role models who've openly come forward and shared their personal experiences and struggles with dyslexia so the children (and adults) struggling to read are not frustrated or ashamed by the challenges they face with the written word.
  • And most importantly, that my daughter didn't let this get her down or use it as an excuse not to chase her dreams. She's taken this "obstacle" and used it as her fuel to succeed. She no longer feels "stupid" or "incompetent"  when she's doing her homework. And she has this tremendous desire to overcome this challenge and prove to those around her that it's only just another mountain to climb.
If you, or anyone you know is struggling to read and write, or has been diagnosed with dyslexia, here are a few online resources with loads of information, direction, and answers about the language-based learning disability.


and for those in the Cincinnati area:


Just to make you go "Hmmm..." here is a list of other famous people who have dyslexia that you might not have known:
  • Albert Einstein
  • Thomas Edison
  • George Washington
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Walt Disney
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Beethoven
  • Bruce Jenner
  • Greg Louganis
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Orlando Bloom
  • Henry Winkler
  • Robin Williams
  • Kiera Knightley
  • Charles Schwab
  • Debbie Macomber
  • Agatha Christie
  • William Butler Yeats
  • Steven Spielberg

I want to thank you for reading this post in its entirety. If anything, it's been therapy for me to get it off my chest and to hopefully help someone else who might be going through the same.

Thanks for giving me the chance to express myself and for lending the proverbial shoulder for me to lean on as I begin this unknown journey with my daughter.

Have a very blessed and memorable Thanksgiving!

Renee Vincent
(Historical & Contemporary Adult Romance)
From the daunting, charismatic Vikings, to the charming, brazen Alpha male heroes of modern day, you'll be whisked away to a world filled with fast-paced adventure, unforgettable romance, and undying love.
Visit my website at http://www.reneevincent.com/

Gracie Lee Rose
(Lighthearted, Fancy-free Women's Fiction)
For those who love to read fun, wholesome, and endearing romantic stories that your mother, sister, friends, and daughters can enjoy.
Visit my website at http://www.gracieleerose.com/

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Guest Blog: Emma Paul: Writing in Color...

Writing in color is exactly what I strive for when I sit down to work on another story.

Did you ever hear someone say, “Wow, that story just jumped off the page!”

No? Well okay neither have I. Although I have heard stories described as “vivid”, “imaginative” or “colorful”.


What exactly makes a story 1. Vivid, 2. Imaginative and 3. Colorful.

Well, I honestly do not claim to be an expert on the formula that puts these three components into writing, but I have been told that I create some pretty vivid, imaginative, colorful stories.

I think that makes me a bit qualified to let you know how I Write in Color…

Definition of Vivid: producing a strong or clear impression on the senses sharp, intense ; specifically producing distinct mental images < a vivid description.

Basically, that means we need to make the story “Jump off the page”, heh…

One thing I’ve learned, is that action really does speak louder then words.

How does this work in a story?

For me I find that writing an action before dialogue, creates an “impression” or image of the scene unfolding. Something that I feel Dialogue tags just don’t do. Also it eliminates the need for the “as” sentence to put the scene in motion.

For example, read this dialogue scene:
The shop’s door was left unlocked, yet Amy knew she locked it the last night after her shift. Walking to the phone, she noticed the register drawer opened and the candy display scattered all over the floor.

“Hello Mr. Parker, it’s Amy, I think someone broke into the store last night!” She said frantically as her eyes darted around finally seeing the evidence of a robbery.

Okay so this scene, written like this, does tell us quite a bit of what is going on. We know Amy works at the story. She was the last to leave. Mr Parker is her Boss. And there is evidence of a burglar. It tells us all this but does it really paint a “vivid” picture of what the author is trying to show?

I certainly don’t think so. Let’s try this:
The shop’s door was left unlocked, yet Amy knew she locked it last night after her shift. Walking to the phone, she noticed the register drawer opened and the candy display scattered all over the floor. Her eyes darted around the store. Knots twisted in her gut, when she saw shattered glass mixed with gooey puddles of spoiled all over the tiled floor. Digging her phone from her purse, she shakily dialed her bosses number.

Hello, Mr. Parker, it’s Amy I think someone broke into the shop last night!”

Notice by adding a few descriptions and reactive motion to Amy’s character, now makes the scene visual. It paints a better picture of how Amy reacts both physically and emotionally. The scene now gives a “vivid” picture of what Amy is experiencing as she experiences it.

Definition of Imagination: the faculty of producing ideal creations consistent with reality, as in literature, as distinct from the power of creating illustrative or decorative imagery.

Okay without being too complicated, bringing imagination into a story, is introducing an unexpected element into the scenes. Setting the scene so, our characters must use their wits to navigate through the plot.

For example, we already know that Amy works in a store of some kind and she has just walked into a mess supposedly because of a robbery.

Let's add a little imagination and see how Amy reacts.
Hanging up the phone, Amy senses that someone is watching her. She quickly grabs the bat hidden under the counter underneath the register. Her heart hammers inside her chest. Slowly she approaches Mr. Parker’s office at the rear of the store. With a white-knuckle grip on the bat, she slowly elbows the door open and charges in, her weapon raised above her head, ready to clobber the unsuspecting thief. Just before she nails the first blow, Amy comes to a screeching halt and freezes to her spot, shocked and confused.

See how I wrote the scene, to suggest that the burglar was still in the store. We can both feel and see how Amy reacts to this unforeseen problem. Then at the end, I toss in a strange twist.

Finally we come to “Colorful”:
I don’t think I need to give definition of what colorful means in literature. Making our writing colorful is part personality, part imagination, and part voice. Every thing I write has a lot of my personality woven into through my narratives, scenery, and of course dialogues between my characters. I’ve learned form reading my favorite authors that the more we connect with our readers on a cognitive level, the more appealing our stories will be to them. Creating characters and situations that people can see themselves in, and relate to gives readers a chance to live vicariously through our words as writers.

When I can do this for my readers, then I have done my job as a writer. Plus there is no bigger compliment then someone living vicariously through your characters.

BIO:
Emma Paul lives in her own little fantasy world…well at least when she is creating the fantastical tales that seem to manifest every second of every day within the confines of her mind.

She is happily married with children, and loves writing and sharing her imagination with anyone willing to read or listen to her stories. Her hope is to bring happy feelings into peoples lives by giving them a way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Her wild, imaginative, and sexy tales will take you away to far off places where anything is possible and romance is hot.

BLURB:
Rumored to be a demon, Damien has been cursed by another demon to remain behind the walls of Darkhaven castle for eternity, unless he can say the True name of the demon that cursed him. Unfortunately, part of the curse is that he is unable to speak the name let alone remember it. At first Damien reject’s the Millers request. Then he catches a glimpse of Elise and is intrigued. He summons her to him and gives her the power to complete all the tasks Duke DeMumart sets for her. But there is a price to pay...

Publisher: Sizzler Editions, Genre: Paranormal/fantasy erotic romance
BUY Links:

 

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