Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Writers Wednesday On Hiatus

Unfortunately, my blog will be on hiatus for a time, due to ongoing technical issues. I'm hopeful the graphic posting problems can be solved quickly so the great guests can return with all the covers and other photos they'd like to share.

Thank you all for dropping by. Hope to see you again real soon.

God Bless.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Writers Wednesday: Lynn Crain

The technical situation with posting photos hasn't worked itself out completely. But we do get to see the terrific cover for our guest, Lynn Crain's, latest work. And I very much appreciate her. She waited so patiently and kindly 'in the wings'--in Vienna, Austria, where she's lived for the past three years. Welcome, Lynn. Please tell us a little about your books.

I’ll tell you about my current book and my next project both...they’re sci-fi romance...one’s erotic, the other one hasn’t told me what it is yet but I’m thinking sensual in nature.

The erotic sci-fi is called THE HARVESTER and it’s about a woman who used to be a harvester of men for her mother. Now she’s on Earth working as a body guard for a rich and powerful man in Las Vegas, Nevada until her rival starts lands here to claim the planet.

The WIP is called UNLIKELY PARADISE and it’s about a journalist who gets caught up in moe than she can handle. She’s find her big story but it puts a very powerful man in a bad light therefore he wants her dead. He’s the owner pleasure planets, all called Bliss, and has her sent there to be made into a pleasure bot. Thankfully, a marine decides that should not be her fate.

What draws you to the sci-fi genre?

I love to write science fiction romance, erotic or not, because I’m a scientist by training. Also, it has a history to it that nothing else does. What other genre predicted certain things and they actually happened? None that I know of at this moment. With this genre, you can take the current science discovery and twist it into something you can use.

Would you share an excerpt?

Here’s one from The Harvester!

Book Excerpt:
Leaning down, his breath reminded her of the sweetgrass that grew on her home planet of Tyrsati, heightening her senses even more. “Sweetheart, I see how you want me...it’s written all over your face.” His voice purred in her ear.

Sky gasped and pulled back to get a better look at the man in front of her. He reminded her of the gods of Vada. He was tall, well-muscled, dark hair brushing the top of his shoulders and had the most incredible violet eyes she had ever seen. Guess the optics weren’t wrong. He would fetch an exquisite price on Texra and her mother would be extremely proud for her acquisition. She shook her head to clear the cobwebs.

“Nice eyes, sweetie – hang around after the show – I’ll make it worth your while.” His voice hit a resonance with her and her whole body flushed. It had been years since she had reacted to any man. Now her emotions and body betrayed her for an insignificant being on an outer planet. She shook her head. This planet was no more insignificant than any other, including her own but she knew if she didn’t get herself under control, the Harvester in her would take over. Old habits die hard.

“Don’t let his demeanor fool you, luvey. He just wants to get into your pants.” Another deep voice reverberated close to her ear.

She glanced over her shoulder and again her breath was nearly taken away as she looked into the bluest eyes she’d ever seen in the galaxy bar none. The sky of Octa couldn’t hold a candle to the color that swirled in their depths.

“Ooo, Jaxon is right about the eyes. Very cool green.”

“Contacts,” Sky managed to get out for the second time this evening, her voice low.

“And a sexy voice to boot. Very nice.” He twirled away to join his companion on stage. He was just as nice looking as the first guy but just a little shorter. His shiny hair swung around his jaw line as he moved and her hands ached to run her fingers through it and over his body.

She sat there stunned as the people at her table laughed and clapped her on the back as if she’d done some sort of fantastic feat. While her time on this planet had been very thrilling, in her old life working for her mother, their performances had to be impeccable or their fate might be worse than death. She vaguely wondered just how she’d rate them.

Sky did her best to smile and act as if what happened was one of the most exciting things in her life when in reality it brought back some memories she’d rather forget. Folding her hands in front of her, she closed her eyes and steadied her breathing. She opened her eyes slow and caught a glimpse of a targeting laser. The light was in a part of the spectrum that no one of this planet could even see but her optics caught it.

Scanning the crowd, she allowed her eyes to whirl, not caring who saw. There were not supposed to be any Harvesters on this world as it had been declared too primitive to even be included in the Alliance of Planets. She came here because she knew this was the one place her mother wouldn’t think to look. Now, she knew another Tyrsatian walked the same world as she did, occupying the very same room.

Maybe it was time to see just what type of trouble Angela got herself into. Leaning across the table, she quickly gave Jayne her phone number and said her goodbyes to all the others present. Rising slowly, she didn’t want to alert the other Harvester but she was just far enough away and at a weird angle to not see who it might be. Moving quickly to the back wall, she moved to where she stood way behind the woman but close enough to see who it was.
Jesata Ardik. Of all the Harvesters to show up on her new home planet, one of the most relentless in the business had to land on her new home.

This wasn’t going to be easy. She had to delay her from marking them because once they were marked, it didn’t matter wherever in the universe they were, they would be considered fugitives until captured and sold to the highest bidder. Meaning, she wouldn’t be able to get them off world without the help of her mother.

The idea of her being a Harvester. Sounds intriguing. What’s your next project?

I’m working on completing UNLIKELY PARADISE and doing the edits of some of my traditionally published books for my publishers. Right now I have about five irons in the fire. I’m completing a couple of novellas, starting a new series, plotting out a bigger urban fantasy that’s laced with lots of science, trying to get an agent to get my 100K novel sold and out the door plus lots of smaller projects.

My goodness, you really are a busy lady. What one tip would you offer writers?

If you really want to succeed in this business, learn everything you can about the business portion of writing then never give up on your writing. Learn something new every day. And write, just write. Sorry, I know that was more than one but they’re all connected! LOL!

How do your stories ‘come to you’ at first--through characters, setting, story line?

My stories come to me in a variety of ways. Sometimes it’s a song, a picture and characters name. Sometimes I’m in a cafe here in Vienna, Austria, and something clicks so I have to get my impressions down on paper. I have an idea file with over 180 ideas in it. Some I will never use, others I keep going back to because I know I want to write the story.

I’ve heard that Vienna can be very inspiring. LOL. Any special place you like to write?

I love my office. It has a great view and I write here most of the time. I also like taking a notebook and going to the cafes here. Many days I get more done out watching people than I ever would at home.

Do you have challenges with finding writing time?

I’m a full time writer, so most of the time I don’t have those challenges. BUT this last spring I was really ill and the challenge for a while was to just get out of bed after my hospital stay. Then it got to be, just get up and sit at the desk. Next it was just get up and sit at the desk, play with the internet. It took me almost two months to work up to actually sitting down and writing again. Part was just finding my brain and the time when I wasn’t trying to sleep...LOL!

Thanks so much for being here today. Best of luck with your new book. I hope you’ll come back again.

You are very, very welcome Barbara! Here’s every place you can find me


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

No Writers Wednesday

Due to technical difficulties, no Writers Wednesday is posted.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Writers Wednesday:Jannine Corti-Petska

We are so lucky today. Guest author Jannine Corti-Petska is giving away an e-copy of her short story, MINE TO KEEP. So be sure to leave your email along with your comment.

Jannine, your Italian medieval book was released in July, and your story is in an anthology came in August. Could you tell us about both of them?

I’d love to. In July, DANTE’S FLAME, book 3 of my Italian medieval series was released. Here’s the blurb:

Alessandra Podesta writes illicit tales unsuitable for a young lady. Exasperated, her father sends her to visit relatives in Naples to curb her wild imagination. But in her undying need for adventure, she toys with the affections of her tutor and is forced to marry him. When she unknowingly falls into a dangerous game of supremacy between two countries, she trusts the wrong people and endangers her life.

French tutor Dante Santangelo is secretly aiding the French in maintaining their rule over Naples. When he is manipulated into marrying the visiting cousin of the Valente Family, he seizes upon the perfect opportunity to infiltrate the family, who are under suspicion of helping the Spanish. When Alessandra's life is in jeopardy Dante must choose between love and duty. Will he offer up his life to save Alessandra? Or remain duty-bound to the French?

In mid-August, MINE TO KEEP, a novella for The Wild Rose Press’ Love Letters series was released. Here’s the blurb:
Lady Elizabella Aldrich receives notice of an inheritance in Padua, Italy. Arriving from England, she discovers another heir lays claim to the castle. An unreasonably handsome Italian rogue stands between her and the castle she’s inherited.

Leonardo Da Mitri never met the noble who included him in his will. But after one look at Lady Eliza he relishes the challenge of defeating the beauty to make the castle his own.

Astonished to learn they must wed and remain married for a year, it soon becomes apparent someone does not want the nuptials to take place. As Eliza fights her growing desire for Leo, he fights for his life. Will he walk away from his inheritance—and Eliza? Or is he willing to risk everything to stay married to the woman who has claimed his heart as hers... to keep?

Both of these stories sound great. The setting and era has been a favorite of mine for a long time. What draws you to this genre and area?

First and foremost, I’m Italian. So there’s a natural desire to write stories set in Italy. As for the medieval period, there is something romantic about brave knights and “playboy” nobles. Although only one of my stories, KNIGHT’S DESIRE, has a knight hero, the others are somewhat similar to the My Fair Lady concept, except my heroes are usually the wealthy noble and the heroines have no noble bloodline and come from a lower-class background. Yet they are all intelligent and very-well educated.

Would you share an excerpt of MINE TO KEEP?

Of course! In this scene, Elizabella and Leonardo learn that in order to inherit the marchese’s castle, they must marry and remain married for a year…and a day.

“There is naught I can do. The will is binding.”

“There must be a way to unbind it.” She tapped her toe on the floor and stared at the wall over his
head. Just what was she thinking that set her features askew?

“My apologies, for I am certain there is naught either of us can do to change our situation.”
Leo observed her closely. He’d never seen so many expressions skitter across a woman’s face before. She ran through every one of them, settling with a quiver on her lips that spoke of tears to follow. Crying women were his forte. Comforting them usually led to carnal pleasures. He frowned as he stared at the signorina. He tried to bring to mind the women from his past, but all resembled Lady Elizabella. Unwilling to delve into the reasons his mind betrayed him, he stepped closer to her, old habits coming back to mark his undoing. “It appears you and I will soon be husband and wife.”

Shock widened her eyes. “Are you gloating?”

“What reason would I have to gloat? I know not what else we can do to remain unmarried. If we must follow the marchese’s stipulation, then I shall do my best to be a good husband.”

“Think you I will allow you husbandly rights?”

She didn’t have to sound appalled. “They are part of a marriage.” One more step toward her, then another until they were toe to toe. “Neither of us is ghastly to look upon. We might discover that we enjoy the privileges matrimony brings.”

She tilted her head back and glared up at him. Damn her stubbornness. Could she not understand that once the year passed, they could negotiate which of them would inherit everything the marchese had left behind? To be sure, she’d never adjust to castle life, for she was brought up spoiled, as were all noble children.

Leaning in to whisper, he found their close proximity too much to bear. Unwise as it was, he circled her waist with one arm and pulled her to his body. She opened her mouth to protest, but Leo seized her lips, kissing her as if he’d not kissed a woman for quite a long time. She tasted sweet, boldly delicious. A groan died in his throat. She rested her hands on his hips, more than likely to balance herself. She needn’t be fearful, for his hold was made of iron. He wasn’t about to release her until he took his fill. Yet he began to understand that he wanted more, wanted to caress her womanly curves, cup her breasts, run his hands up and down her legs. He groaned again, but this one died at their lips.

The tautness in her body eased, and she leaned into him. He capped the back of her head to hold her to the kiss while his tongue slipped just past her lips then teeth, encountering her gasp. Leo refused to let her go. Kissing was one thing, but he feared the sudden urgency, the need to bare her to his view. The control over his desire she could make him lose.

Her hands wandered to his back, tentative. Perhaps she was frightened she’d succumb to his exploration. Was she afraid she might beg him for more? Gladly would he accommodate her, but she’d no doubt wake up from the euphoric state she’d lapsed into and slap him soundly should he even try to remove any part of her clothing. Leo released her lips and kissed a path down her graceful neck, losing himself in the pleasant scent drifting out of her pores. He glided up to her mouth again, perched to sink his tongue into the moist cavern. A loud gasp from across the room doused his rampant lust.

“Get your hands off Lady Elizabella immediately!”

Leo snapped his head up. A red-faced dandy near the door drew his sword, pointing it with authority. “Who the hell are you?”

“Baron Geoffrey Camden, and that woman is my fiancé

I can't wait to read this. What’s your next project?

I’m currently working on TEMPT NOT MY HEART, book 4, and the final book, in my Italian medieval series. (Although, I’ve been contemplating a new series with the children of the heroes and heroines from four-book series.) This story takes place in Siena around the time of the Palio, the famous horse race held twice each summer.

The hero, Niccolo, who was a secondary character in book 1, THE LILY AND THE FALCON, is the cousin of that book’s hero Cristiano de Medici. He finds himself in an unreasonable predicament the moment he checks into his hotel. Sabrina, the heroine, jumps into his bed. Moments later, her father and fiancé barge in. Of course, her father announces that she and Niccolo will marry come morning. The fiancé is outraged, but Sabrina isn’t. She accomplished what she wanted: not to marry her pompous fiancé. Niccolo, however, loves all women and a marriage wasn’t in his future…at all.

There’s intrigue surrounding the Palio, and secrets and finger-pointing. lies, evilness, and a harrowing ending. The reader will see a new side of Niccolo that they’d never dream was there, not from THE LILY AND THE FALCON, or his brief appearance in book 2, SURRENDER TO HONOR.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Since my first draft goes directly into the computer, I usually write where my PC is located: in my office—a little room crammed with bookcases and over 2000 research books, a few desks and other things—where two people standing in it is a crowd! If I’m stuck on a scene or chapter beginning, I’ll take my pad and pen and write at the kitchen table or outside under the patio. Normally, that’s the length of writing a sentence or a paragraph, sometimes a full page, to get my brain back on track. Then I’m at my computer again.

I do have a laptop gathering dust—rarely used it. It was too heavy to carry around. I have a netbook, but the keyboard is too small for my chubby fingers. Whatever I type looks as if it’s in Russian, lol. And the screen is much too small. I need larger print.

Any challenges with finding writing time?

On paper, I should have all the time in the world to write. No kids at home, closest grandkids about 40 minutes away. I so have 3 demanding Rat Terriers with abounding energy. I have to keep them busy throughout the day. Above all, I’m a wife, mother and grandmother first. I will drop everything—and even give up writing, if I had to—when it comes to my family…dogs included.

Plus, I think I have A.D.D. lol. I can’t sit in one place for long and always get sidetracked. A fly on the wall will capture my attention. Concentrating on one thing at a time seems impossible for me. I’ve been like this my entire life but no one diagnosed A.D.D. way back when I was a child in the 50s.

Summers are the hardest on me. I wilt in the heat, have headaches almost daily, and get very depressed. I have more energy and find more time to write in the colder months.

This must have been difficult summer for you, then. The heat has been oppresive in so much of the country. Thanks so much for being here today, Jannine. I hope you’ll come back again.

Thank you. I’d love to!

You can find Jannine and her books here:
Website: http://www.jcortipetska.com/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jcortipetska
Facebook: www.facebook.com/janninecortipetska

To buy Jannine’s books: DANTE’S FLAME--The Wild Rose Press


The Wild Rose Press


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wrtiers Wednesday:Alana Lorens/Barbara Mountjoy

Welcome. Today’s guest is an author who is multi-published in a variety of genre, including non-fiction. Please help me welcome Alana Lorens (aka Barbara Mountjoy). Alana has been a published writer for over 35 years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at the South Dade News Leader in Homestead, Florida.

Her list of publications includes the non-fiction book 101 Little Instructions for Surviving Your Divorce, published by Impact Publishers in 1999, stories; A CUP OF COMFORT FOR DIVORCED WOMEN, in December 2008, and A CUP OF COMFORT FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS in June 2009.

Her Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series (as Lyndi Alexander) is available from Dragonfly Publishing; THE ELF QUEEN in 2010, THE ELF CHILD in 2011, and THE ELF MAGE in 2012.

Her newest release (as Alana Lorens) is SECRETS IN THE SAND, in the Crimson Rose line from The Wild Rose Press. CONVICTION OF THE HEART is her sixth published novel, which will be followed in July 2012 with SECOND CHANCES, a women’s fiction with romantic elements story. The Wild Rose Press is also publishing her contemporary romance novella THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE later this summer.

When she’s not busy writing, practicing law or teaching, she takes care of a husband and a bunch of kids and blogs on a variety of subjects, including autism, science fiction and life at Awalkabout. Wow, Barabara, that’s quite a lineup. There’s a lot to talk about, but would you start by telling us a little about your latest release?

SECOND CHANCES is about an Iraq War Veteran and some of the problems he faces. PTSD and domestic violence--not just a women's problem. Domestic violence is often a touchy topic—even those who are trapped in the middle of hell don’t like to bring it up or talk about it.
I can tell you from twenty-five years of experience that men who are victims, like the Iraq War veteran Rafe Johnson, in SECOND CHANCES, are even more reluctant to bring this into the light, even if it might mean they could get some help.

For some, the issue is that they are engaged in a same-sex relationship, and for many reasons they are reluctant to expose themselves to public regard.
For others, they are terrified to admit they’re being “hit by a girl.” Like in Rafe and Susan Johnson’s situation, she’s suffering from a horrible case of PTSD, brought on by an experience that happened to her when she too was a soldier serving in Iraq. Even though she beats him, he loves her dearly and wouldn’t hit her back. He tries to understand, but she keeps getting more and more out of control, striking out first at him, then at others outside the marriage. Finally the situation deteriorates to the point where Rafe has to do something, before someone else gets hurt.

I’ve had a few male domestic violence clients in my career, and I truly feel for them. One poor guy had his ex stalking him, day and night, and by the time he came to see me, he’d fallen so low that he wouldn’t even take out the trash without a shotgun in his hand. I’m sure you can imagine how many ways that situation could have gone bad. Finally we filed for an order of protection, and the court was able to convince this woman to get a grip before someone got killed.

BLURB: Inessa Regan, a 10-year associate at a Pittsburgh law firm, gets a pink slip when the economy tanks. Insecure, her pride wounded, she flounders helplessly until she meets Kurtis Lowdon, a man 15 years younger than she, an Iraq War veteran with cancer. He helps her take the first steps back from the pit of despair after she loses everything that defines her.

First as her client, then as her landlord, then as her partner, Kurt shows her the power of believing in oneself. Their journey is tainted with secrets from Kurt’s own past, as well as some of the horrors of war that have followed Kurt and his friends home from overseas. When his cancer returns, she must take control of her own life and fight to survive. His battle teaches her how to live; and she risks everything she holds dear to save him.

EXCERPT: Rafe and his Army friend Kurt are meeting with lawyer Inessa Regan to try to sort out his situation:

"I shoulda looked out for her. No one would have t-touched her if I’d been there!”Kurt walked around the desk to put a hand on Rafe’s shoulder.“Can’t change what’s done, Rafe. What’s important now is your current situation.” He took a seat on the desk. “Rafe says Susan’s been violent. I’ve seen the bruises. But he won’t retaliate—he feels responsible."

“She’s ch-ch-changed. She’s a whole d-different p-p-person!” Agitated, Rafe ejected from his chair and started pacing. “She was never like this with me, not before I was sent Stateside. After she got home, she was damned moody, man. We got into it at least twice a week, sometimes about nothing.

“She quit going to c-counseling after she lost the last job, just like all the others, always a fight with co-workers or a boss, and then it’s done. Seven months now we’ve lived mostly on my disability.” He turned to Inessa, gaze intent. “Living with her’s like living outside the wire, you know? I couldn’t stay anymore.

“When I told her I was leaving, she shoved me down the stairs. I had two broken ribs. I would even have let that go, ‘cause I know she’s had a bad time. But since I been home with my parents, she won’t leave me alone. She threatens me, threatens them, follows me all the time.

“I’m not worried about me, I can take it. Damn her, my parents have nothing to do with what happened to me, or to her! My mom’s too scared to go out into the back yard to water her flowers. I can’t let her do this.”

Inessa, not exactly sure of the military slang, but understanding the deep-simmered bitterness in his tone, considered the options.“You might have filed an action for protection from abuse. You didn’t.” Her fingers stopped tapping on the keys.

“Pride?”Kurt scoffed, “Would a judge believe Rafe was a victim? When he’s trained to kill someone with his bare hands? When he outweighs her by fifty pounds and stands over her by six inches? Really?”

“If he had broken ribs, he’s got medical proof. Better than he said, she said.” Inessa knew many male victims of domestic violence didn’t come forward because it wasn’t “manly” to get beaten by a girl. They also got an icy reception in a system that had sanctified the victimization of women. Women had shelters and support groups; men had their buddies’ couches and alcohol.

“Didn’t go to the hospital,” Rafe mumbled.“What?”A guilty look passed between the men.“Top fixed me up. Ace bandage for a couple of days, then just took it easy. Coupla pain pills, no fast moves--you know.”Inessa shook her head. “Medication prescribed by his own doctor, at least?”Kurt put on his best good-little-boy smile. “You don’t really want an answer to that.”

Very powerful, Barbara. It’s obvious this is a topic you’re passionate about.

Domestic violence happens to people of all social classes and incomes, and to both women and men. If you or someone you know is in a bad situation, here are some websites that might be able to help:
This article from the Mayo CLinic
: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/domestic-violence-against-men/MY00557

Men's Resource Center of Western Michigan has a quiz to let men know if they might be in an abusive relationship: http://menscenter.org/self-assessments/am-i-a-victim-of-domestic-violence/Men Web: http://www.batteredmen.com/The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence : ncadv.org

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Today I’m happy to welcome Emily Ryan-Davis, a versatile young authorwhose work spans genres from erotic to urban fantasy to paranormal. So glad you’re here, Emily. Please tell us a little about your most recent book.

I just turned in an erotic romance novella to my Ellora’s Cave editor so I’m in edits, of course. Right now I’m also working on three separate things (ahhh, my brain!) and they’re all very different. My primary project is PAINT IT WHITE, book two of the gothic urban fantasy/paranormal romance series I launched in July with PAINT FOR BLOOD.

I’m trying to decide how much trouble I want to write myself into with the series. Dessa Collier, the heroine of PAINT FOR BLOOD, has a vampire love interest who is seriously unhappy with her at the beginning of book two. When I was drafting the first chapter of the new book, an intriguing character named Evander Willows popped into Dessa’s story. Willows is a Louisiana shapeshifter with some supernatural issue that’s going to carry the book (no, I haven’t figured out his issue yet--such is the life of a pantser). I think he also has some compelling sexual chemistry to offer a woman whose lover is hovering in uncertain “friend? enemy?” territory.

Research is taking me into post-hurricane New Orleans and all the supernatural chaos I can cook up.

My other projects are an erotic paranormal novella (werewolves! Lots of them!) and an erotic contemporary ménage, which will be available this holiday season.

What draws you to these genres?

I’ve always loved the romance genre, but after several years of dabbling here and there in a variety of subgenres (futuristic, historical, contemporary, paranormal, and even gothic) I’ve concluded I’m really drawn to…all of them. It’s the emotional intensity--two people can be irresistibly drawn to one another regardless the time frame or the world on which they reside.

What truly draws me to romance and all its subgenres (mostly steamy and erotic, I admit it) is I’m not only allowed to write about that magnetic attraction, I’m required to do it. Talk about a dream job.

Would you share an excerpt?

Absolutely! Can I share two? I have two very different books out right now and I can’t decide which is my favorite.

Please do. I know the readers will love it.

This is from PAINT FOR BLOOD, which is a novel about a housepainter from Georgia who, at 27, discovers she inherited more from her parents than attached earlobes and blonde hair.

“You told them to hide me.” Accusation edged her response. “Do you know I didn’t see the sun for almost a year? My grandmother had severe arthritis. It took months and months for her to carve each of those beads and paint them. I spent all that time waiting underground.”

“You needed protection. When I found you… you needed someone to keep you safe.”

She turned her face away, rejecting him. “I needed to see the sun.”
Her lips parted, and she drew a ragged breath. Her memory bled sadness like an open wound even though her dark period was long ago. He understood. He’d made peace with the night, but warmth and light were cravings he still harbored.

“Why didn’t you kill me that day?” she asked.


“Do you regret your choice?”

“I regretted letting you go.”

“You tried to find me. To kill me?”

“Yeah,” he admitted. “And to taste you again.”

And this excerpt is from NAKED & UNLEASHED, a steamy erotic romance about a pair of New Yorkers who find they have more than being New Yorkers in common. (Note: This novella is a “dubious consent” story that’s not for the faint of heart, but that I hope conveys genuine love even through its dark themes.)

Backtracking through his apartment, she peripherally admired Mikal’s taste in décor. He trended toward a minimalist look with clean lines, wide-open spaces and a crisp black-and-white color scheme. Her favorite thing about Mikal was his blunt, direct approach. Even his environment was without subterfuge. A speck of dust couldn’t hide beneath the high set of his chairs. With the secrets she kept lately, she should have been uncomfortable surrounded by such transparency.

She stopped and stood still in the center of the enormous living room, moving nothing but her eyes. Nowhere to hide. She could flatten herself to the floor and squirm beneath the sofa but he’d find her there. She could crouch low and turn herself into a ball of limbs behind one of the high-backed chairs but he’d find her there too. The narrow gallery beyond the living room didn’t offer sanctuary, either. The unframed prints mounted on the walls wouldn’t hide her. Wouldn’t save her.

Nowhere to hide. He’d catch her if she ran.

Wetting her lips, she glanced up the stairs to the silent floor above. What would she have to do to make him chase her?

Very interesting pair of works, Emily. What’s your next project?

After I finish the second book in my gothic urban fantasy/paranormal series, “Dessa Collier: Vampire-Maker,” I’ll be moving on to the third book in the series. Beyond that, I haven’t planned too far ahead. I’m someone who operates on impulse and inspiration, so while right now I’m excited to get back to Dessa’s dark, angst-ridden and sometimes-scary paranormal world, who knows what I’ll feel like writing after that.

Maybe I’ll return to my futuristic world and write another “Manporium” tale, about a woman (or a man!) who genetically engineers a perfect mate and has to cope with the problems that arise from such a method…or maybe I’ll finally get around to writing the Russian ice fae novel.

Or maybe I’ll knit a pair of socks. I haven’t knitted in a while and new homemade wool socks would be awesome.

I don’t know…that Russian fae novel sounds fascinating. You can knit later. LOL. Do you have a tip you can offer writers?

Just one tip? Alright, if I have to choose just one, I highly recommend writers brace themselves for evolution. Their writing interests will change, the publishing world will change, what’s hot now will be cold tomorrow, what was cold yesterday will be hot next week. Writers who prepare themselves to be varied and adaptable will have a much easier time of it than writers who decide they’re going to write one thing and one thing only, and aren’t open to alternatives in either story types or publishing opportunities.

Very true. But for some of us (OK, me, perhaps) that might be easier said than done. I know I’m pretty much rooted in historical. So for all this writing--so you have a special place you like to work?

I don’t really have a special place beyond any place I can find that allows me to settle into my head and focus. Lately that means I escape my infant, husband and animals by fleeing to Starbucks (bonus! coffee!) but beyond that I’m flexible. I’ve written books from the living room sofa, from my bedroom, from my home office, from other peoples’ sofas--as long as I can ignore and be ignored, I’m good to go.

With a baby, I’ll bet you have challenges with finding writing time.

Challenges? Oh yeah, I have them. My little boy will be eight months old on August 11, and he is a crazy handful of wild little-boy energy. He started crawling three days after his six month birthday, started pulling himself up a week later, and now he fills his days with climbing, guinea pig and kitty chasing, and mommy loving. I’m afraid he’ll be walking by Labor Day!

Of course I have other demands on my time, but I resigned from my six-year position as a music lesson studio coordinator/manager at the end of May in order to write and child-rear, but I had no idea how much child-rearing would run over writing.

I know other authors do it with children, pets, jobs, family obligations, several books due at a time, but I can’t seem to get my act together. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything, but I’ve been seriously thinking about hiring a mother’s helper or personal assistant, something I never thought I’d even consider.

Still, it sounds as if you’ve found a way to meet all the demands, although having an assistant or helper would be wonderful.

Thanks so much for being here today. Much luck with your writingI hope you’ll come back again.

I had a great time! Thanks so much for your cyber hospitality.

Visit Emily here:

Web Site: http://www.scorchedsheets.com/
Blog: http://emilyryandavis.blogspot.com/
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/author.emilyryandavis
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/emilyryandavis
Newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/emily_ryandavis
Email: emily@scorchedsheets.com

PAINT FOR BLOOD buy links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Gothic-fantasy-paranormal-romance-ebook/dp/B008J7MR4I/
BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/paint-for-blood-emily-ryan-davis/1112100208?ean=2940014621397
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/204481
All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-paintforblood-874390-139.html
PAINT FOR BLOOD September 3-7 blog tour information:

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Writers Wednesday: Catrina Barton

Today I’m happy to welcome a young mother and writer, Catrina Barton. Hi Catrina. Please tell us a little about your book, a YA paranormal.

I'm currently working to finish my first full length novel DANGEROUS TEMPTATION. Here is the blurb: Seventeen year-old Kaitlin Sinclair's world is turned upside down when she moves to Indonesia, and discovers the secrets that threaten the existence of the enchanting Cadmon and his people. She dives into a foreign culture, full of mystique and dangers everywhere she turns, where keeping her heart safe might prove as impossible as staying alive!
This genre is hugely popular right now.What draws you to it?

I have always been fascinated by shape shifters, ever since I was knee high. I've recently gotten into YA, because they are quick, easy, fun reads.

Would you share an excerpt?

Love to. Here you go:
“So, this is where you’ve been.”
“Katie!” Payne’s startled eyes opened and he sent her a sheepish look, as he tried to push the pouty girl away.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” She crossed her arms over her chest.
“It’s not what it looks like.” He pulled the blonde’s arms off his neck as a flush crept across his cheeks.

“Oh? Because it looked like you shoved your tongue down her throat.” She glared at the blonde in her tight top. “Get out of my face, Janice!” Kaitlin glared until the cheerleader’s eyes widened and she scurried off like a frightened mouse.
Her glare settled on Payne, who rubbed the back of his neck and stared at the ground, with the tips of his ears red.

“I didn’t want to, Katie, honest.” His eyes rose to her and he put on his apologetic look, the one that usually made her melt.

She gave a derisive snort and angled her body away from him.

“She forced herself on me.” He pushed off the wall, and moved towards her.

“She’s a cheerleader. You’re a quarterback. Don’t give me that bullshit!” Her hands balled into fists at her sides. If I wasn’t one warning away from suspension, I'd go kick her ass! She shot him her fiercest glare, with one hand on her hip. It always sent their classmates scurrying out of her way.“We’re supposed to be dating exclusively, or so I thought.”

"We are.” He took another daring step toward her. “Honestly, Katie,” he wrapped his arms around her waist. “I’d never do anything to hurt you.” His voice sounded so sincere.

She closed her eyes and inhaled slow, deep breaths as she tried to reign in her temper.

She blinked when his lips pressed against hers and his tongue entered her mouth. Oh no he didn’t! She bit down.

He pulled away, tongue bleeding. “What the hell?”

Her hand connected with his cheek. “How dare you think you can stick that in me after it’s been in someone else’s mouth?” She flexed and un-flexed her hand, fighting the urge to sock him in the jaw.

“Calm down, Kaitlin.” He grabbed her by the upper arms, fingers biting into the flesh.

"I'll show you calm," she drove her knee up between his legs. His fingers loosened before he fell forward, writhing on the ground.
He won’t be using that anytime soon. That thought brought her little comfort as she stormed away and climbed into her pickup. She gunned the engine and squealed the tires as she took off to the store.

This sounds great. A guaranteed exciting read.What’s your next project?

I have big plans for another book in the Caspians Series. DANGEROUS TEMPTATION is just the first book.

What one tip would you offer writers?

Don't fret the bad reviews. Learn from your mistakes and improve your craft. it will make your next book much better.
How do your stories ‘come to you’ at first--characters, setting, story line?

It depends on the story The Caspians novels have been in my mind since I was a kid. Figuring out the characters was hard, because I needed just the right balance between them, while keeping them realistic.

Is there a special place you like to write?

Alone, surrounded by nature, but most times it's at my desk.
Wouldn't it be great to have a lovely office beneath a huge weeping willow tree beside a stream? As it stands now, though, do you have challenges with finding writing time?

Balancing being a wife, mother, Kung Fu Instructor and writer can be tough. But if you want something bad enough, you have to make time for it.

Kung Fu instructor? Wow. Good luck with DANGEROUS TEMPTATION and the rest of the Caspian series. And thanks so much for being here today. I hope you’ll come back again.

Thanks for having me visit.
Catrina can be reached at:
Facebook Author Page:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Writers Wednesday: Jean Rosenow

Today I’m happy to welcome a dear friend Jean Rosenow, whose wonderful book has just been released. Until work took her away, Jean was a member of our local critique group. We’ve all loved this story from the very first, and we’re so happy that it’s now out. It’s a beautiful story of compassion and love, first chances and ‘at last’ chances.

Thanks, Barb! I’m honored that you’ve asked me to drop by today.

Please tell us a little about the book.

The original title was PERSONALS. It started as a short story, published by Grit Magazine in 2004, and I thought that was the end of it. The characters, however, wouldn’t leave me alone…they had more to tell. When their story began to unfold in my head, I assumed it was simply the tale of Ira and Emma and their introduction through the Personals column, but then Rodney came into the picture and stole the show.

What drew you to this story?

People I’ve known and loved. We are only a generation or two away in history from routinely institutionalizing people with developmental disabilities. Some older adults, especially in rural areas, are still living with and being cared for by aging parents or other family members. Nowadays there are more options for supervised independent living without abrupt separation from family, and I hope that I’ve left the impression that this is the direction Rodney is heading. Also, I don’t feel that enough authors write for people into or past middle age. Many of us Baby Boomers no longer want heroes who are strapping young studs with six-pack abs and an inexhaustible supply of testosterone. We’re seasoned enough to value loyalty, respect, good manners and a gentle heart. Our heroes come with graying hair and a twinkle in their eye and they love us in spite of, or perhaps because of, our own signs of aging.

And I recall your saying how interesting--and rewarding--you found it that men who read the short story in the magazine dropped you notes saying how much they enjoyed Ira’s tale. Would you share an excerpt?

Sure. This scene takes place in the kitchen out at Joe’s farm when Ira first shares his dilemma with his old friend - that he has found a woman who just might be ‘the one’ through his personals ad, but she didn’t include any contact information…identifying herself only as the ‘Plain Woman’.

“Have ya et?” Joe asked. “I’ve got brown beans and light bread. Cooked ‘em yestiddy and there’s plenty left fer the two of us.”

“Sounds good. Why don’t we put them on the stove? I’ve got something I want to show you while they heat up.”
“What is it?” Joe asked as he took a Dutch oven out of the refrigerator and transferred some of its contents to a saucepan. “We’ll let these heat slow so they won’t scorch. Nothin’ worse than scorched beans.”

He shoved a pile of newspapers and machine parts to the far side of the
table and then pulled a plastic container of margarine out of the refrigerator and placed it in the middle with a loaf of white bread. He pulled his pocket knife out of his pocket, opened the blade and swiped it on the leg of his overalls before quartering a white onion, which he placed on a saucer and then he opened a can of fruit cocktail. He spooned the contents out in equal portions into custard cups and poured the syrup over the fruit, before asking “Say, do you like the cherries?”

Ira knew that Joe favored the cherries himself and so he said “No. Oh no, I never do eat the cherries.”

Joe poked through the fruit with a spoon and took all of the cherries for himself. “Well, what was it you wanted to show me?” he asked.

Ira felt the letter in his pocket and was suddenly loath to take it out and show it. It had, after all, been written to him alone. He had a sudden intuition that the Plain Woman wouldn’t like to know that he had shown her words to someone else.

“Oh, it wasn’t anything important, now that I think about it. Let’s just eat this feast you’ve set and then go check on those pigs again.”

Joe looked at him sharply and Ira avoided his eyes.

“Oh, look at you,” Joe said. “You’re keepin’ secrets. What’re you up to, anyway?” He pulled the pan of beans off the stove and set it directly on the table, then got a big spoon from the drawer to dip with.

“Help yerself. Maybe you’ll feel more like talkin’ when yer belly’s full. Ya ain’t leavin’ here until ya do, ya know.”

“Are we eating out of the same pan?” Ira asked, annoyed at the rush of heat he felt creeping up his neck.

“Oh, I forgot to get bowls. Here, let me wash a couple.”

“You might get a couple of spoons while you’re at it, too. And a knife for the butter.”

“My, ain’t we fancy today,” Joe sniffed, carrying the still-wet bowls and utensils to the table.

Ira busied himself filling his bowl with beans and then he spread margarine on a piece of bread. He folded it in half and took a bite of it, looking out the window as he chewed.

“Well, will you look at that. I do believe yer blushin’. Now I’d say this ‘unimportant thing’ yer not gonna tell me must have somethin’ to do with a woman to make ya color up like that. Ya ain’t gone and got yerself a galfriend, have ya?” Joe grinned hugely, looking at Ira. He took a bite of his own bread.

“Not exactly,” Ira sighed with resignation. He knew Joe would never let the subject drop until he had ferreted out every last detail.

“Remember those Personals ads we looked at while you were in the hospital?”

“Yep. Don’t tell me ya went and answered one. Ya did, didn’cha?” I knew ya would, ya rascal! I just knew it!” Joe laid his spoon down and gave Ira his undivided attention.

“Not exactly.”

“Well then, exactly what?”

“I wrote one.”

Joe hooted with laughter and slapped his thigh, leaning back on two legs of his chair. “Ya wrote one. If that don’t beat all. And then what happened? Did anybody write back?”

“A few did,” Ira replied cautiously.

“And you’ve picked one out, ain’t cha?”

“I might have.”

Joe’s chair came down on all four legs with a bang.

“So who is she? Have ya called her? Have ya taken her out courtin’?”

“That’s the problem. She didn’t sign her name. I don’t know who she is or how to find her.”

You have definite way of creating memorable--and realistic--characters. I recall someone very like Joe when I was young. What’s your next project?

I’m working on a novel set in the lumber boom of the late 1800’s. The lumber industry has always been an important source of income here in the Ozarks…especially during the westward movement. Cities needed lumber to build homes and businesses and the ever expanding railway system needed ties…lots and lots of ties. Jobs were created and Ozarks families could finally afford what they needed to make their lives a little easier. But what about the eco-system? How would the removal of all that virgin timber affect life for future generations? How did it affect the men and women who worked for the lumber companies? Was it a rape of our native collateral…or did it open the door for management and protection of our natural resources?

This will be a wonderful story. All too often we overlook local history, which is in danger of being lost. Good luck with the novel. What tip would you offer writers?

Keep track of your ideas…even the little ones. I keep a wicker basket on my desk – it’s full of gas receipts, scraps of paper, etc. with clever phrases I’ve heard, memories, sights, expressions – anything I might use later – written on the backs of them.An organized writer would categorize these and keep them in a neat filing system, but this works for me. And it’s fun to reach in sometimes and pull one out just to see what ideas or memories it can evoke.

How do your stories ‘come to you’ at first--through characters, setting, story line?

Usually setting, occasionally a character will come out of nowhere, but without the proper setting, I can’t find their stories.

Is there a special place you like to write?

Curled up in ‘my’ chair in the living room if there’s no one else home, or in my office if there is…I’m easily distracted. LOL

Sounds like you might have some challenges with finding writing time?

Heavens yes! Working five days a week, spending quality time with my husband, the boys and my friends, keeping the house reasonably livable in the midst of a massive remodel, keeping everyone fed so they don’t gnaw off a leg…writing time just has to fit in whenever there’s a minute or two to spare.

LOL. You are so conscientious, and I know your grown men appreciate all you do for them. But we all hope you can find time for your writing and that next story.Thanks so much for being here today. I hope you’ll come back again.

Anytime, Barb. I’m thrilled that you invited me.
Visit Jean website at http://jeanrosenow.com/ and her blog at http://roamingtheozarks.blogspot.com/

Here are buy links for her book.

Or the short version: http://tinyurl.com/d36peu6

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Writers Wednesday: Johnny Ray, Master of the Romantic Thriller

Please help me welcome the Master of the Romantic Thriller, Johnny Ray. But Johnny's involved in much more than writing. He has a special Facebook page devoted to fans of Romantic Thrillers. And-- he just sent me a ‘news flash’ about a brand new project. Johnny?

I have just started a blog talk radio station, which I am excited about. Stop by at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/johnnyray. But today we’ll talk about writing.

All right. Let me do a little more introduction, here. Pretend we’re on radio. LOL.

Johnny has a passion for life and adventure that he loves to share with his readers. He lives in Clearwater, Florida, where he works full time as a writer, and he can be often found in one of the hundreds of coffee shops along the beach working on his next novel. Sounds like an ideal life, if you ask me. You’ve got a great writing ‘brand.’ How is a romantic thriller different from a romantic suspense?

Thanks. Actually, I think it would be good to explain the difference between a mystery, a suspense, and a thriller. In a mystery the novel is about a crime where someone is trying to solve the “who did it”. In suspense it is about trying to decide “what might happen”. Finally, in a thriller it is about “stopping something from happening.”

An excellent distinction. What draws you to this genre?

Many people say they write romantic suspense, but few call their work romantic thrillers. In fact, most writers don’t write these. However, they are what I love to write. In many ways, I am helping to develop this genre. On Facebook, I have started a group called HOOKED ON THE ROMANTIC THIRILLER, which is open to everyone.

Would you tell us about your latest release?

HER HONOR’S BODYGUARD is a good example of a romantic thriller. Someone wants to remove by heroine from her seat on the bench, and by force if necessary. In order to save her life, the hero has to work through their old relationship and admit their love in order to determine who it is that wants her removed or dead.

Do first loves ever really die? While reunions can take many forms, there is always one question that has to be answered sooner or later—what happened?

Vance had always been extremely proud of Noella, and just because his life had been ruined, he saw no reason why she had to have the same faith. When his dad died, leaving him and his mother penniless, he dropped out of law school and ended his relationship with Noella, but in doing so, he stopped a scandal that could have ruined her family. These secrets he would never let her know.

Ironically, years later, he would have never guessed she would be instrumental in ruining his career with the Tampa police force. After Noella finished law school and started pursuing her goal of working up the ranks in judgeships, she never considered inviting another guy into her life.

As such, when someone attempts to threaten her into vacating her seat on the bench, and by force if necessary, she knows of no one else she really trust as much as Vance, who now has a successful bodyguard and private detective business.She knows that Vance might hate her for her part in having him dismissed from the police force, but what he will never know is that she actually saved him from going to prison.

Additionally, she now thinks he was framed, and perhaps by the same people who are threatening her. She had to talk him into taking her on as a client . . . but would he agree to her request?As the number of attacks on her life increases, Vance soon has no choice but to offer her his protection, and in spite of everything, when they see each other again their old attraction for each other returns.

She wants the truth. He wants the truth. However, making the ultimate sacrifice is not always easy to understand, whether given or received.

Ultimately . . . could they now trust each other with these secrets? While their lives depend on discovering the truth to their past, these truths are locked in deep secrets that could also destroy them.

Sounds very exciting. And I like your question, "Do first loves ever really die?" We romance readers say, "No." Now, what’s your next project?

I have several in the mix. However, I think an international romantic thriller with the tentative title of FOR LOVE AND REVENGANCE will be next and maybe as soon as a month from now. This is a double spy thriller that covers the globe.

What one tip would you offer writers?

Make fiends along the way, and develop a system of keeping up with them.

Good advice. Especially finding a way to keep in touch. Do you have a special place you like to write?

Every morning I write in coffee shops along the beach. Where I live consist of four islands, which are about 35 miles long, and we have hundreds of coffee shops, so this is a great place to write.

How do your story ideas come to you? Which do you visualize first, characters or plots?

I always go with plot first, then I start to interview characters. I think this is true of most thriller writers.

Is there anything you haven’t been asked that you’d like to share with us?

I have a blog http://www.sirjohn.us/ that you can follow for updates, and there is a place on it where you can sign up for my newsletter that will let you know when I have a new release.

On my blog, you will also see a list of my media connections under media connection. I love to connect on the internet. On Twitter I have over 75,000 followers.

Here is the link to Johnny's latest novel http://www.amazon.com/HER-HONORS-BODYGUARD-ebook/dp/B008550EV2

Thanks again for being here, Johnny. Best of luck with your new release.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Writers Wednesday:Toni Sue VerSteeg

Be sure to comment for a chance to win a $10 gift card for Wild Rose Press, courtesy of Toni Sue Versteeg, today's guest.

Welcome back to Writers Wednesday after a two-week vacation. Hope everyone's Fourth of July was terrific. As the first guest for the second half of the year, I’m happy to welcome Toni Sue VerSteeg, a fellow Ozarks Romance Author (ORA). Her latest book SECRETS OF THE SAPPHIRES is just out from Wild Rose Press. Congratulations, Toni Sue. Please tell us a little about the book.

I have always been fascinated with Medieval England and castles. Bodiam Castle is on my bucket list. I WILL go there one day, unless The Big Guy calls me home first. The ultimate would be to travel back in time (hence, the fascination with time travel) and actually see what life was like back in those days. I know I’d miss my comfy bed and tooth brush, but I’d make the sacrifice to see everything with my own eyes, touch the castle walls with my own hands, even witness the stench of the moat with my own nose. Hahahaha! The CIA in this book was actually born from finding a medallion in my Great Aunt Francis’s things after she passed away. It named her as a founding member of the CIA. Rumor has it that she spent some time in Germany during WWII. My imagination went wild, and the Paranormal Division was founded…in my mind.

Fascinating. Hope you will be able to find out some information about your great aunt at some time. And--I love medieval England, too. I’m thinking--road trip for us next summer. (Real time, of course. Too many things I, like you, would miss about modern day. LOL) Would you share an excerpt from your book?

Absolutely! Here’s a scene I loved writing. As a new agent team, they’ve just recovered from a whirl-wind discovery class on one another and are sent to a castle in England to find the time travel mechanism. Undercover, they’ve each invented ways to annoy the other, knowing that neither would risk blowing the mission to object. Nia finds a way to vent a little pent up aggression:

Spying a pair of crossed fencing swords displayed over a desk, Nia’s eyes widened. She couldn’t help pulling them off the wall, holding one out toward him. “Ready to get your ass kicked again?”

Garrett raised a brow. “No one’s ass got kicked that day.”

“Oh, I get it. The last thing I’d want to do is embarrass you.” She tried to keep a straight face. A renegade, cynical smile crept across her lips.

“Hey, I was only trying to save you from the embarrassment. If you don’t care, I don’t care.” He held out his hand, and she tossed the light sword to him handle first. Plucking at the guarded tip, he added, “Since there will likely be no blood shed as a prize, I say we duel for something.”

“And what would you have in mind?” This time her brow rose.

“Perhaps a friendly wager?”

“Perhaps.” Scanning him from head to toe, she tried to size up his motives. “Winner gets to make the loser do something, like, I don’t know, stop smacking my ass and calling me sugar lips?” Nia placed her free hand on her hip and aimed her sword at him.

“You’ll have to pick one or the other, my dear, because those are two separate things. All this time I thought you liked that, too. Huh?” His face scrunched in sullen disappointment for a brief moment before his smile returned. “And if I win, you have to do something I ask,” Garrett answered, his head bobbing in agreement.

“Hmm, what might that be?”

“I’ll decide that after I win.” Lunging toward her, sword at the ready, he announced, “En garde!”

Their blades clashed over and again, each fighting to best the other. Nia was very impressed with his prowess behind a sword, though she’d be hard pressed to admit it to him. Finding herself backed into a corner, she squatted and jumped backward to the desktop, praying it was as sturdy as it looked.

Garrett, his eyes wide, stepped back with a hand out in front of him. “Someone’s done this before.”

Narrowing her gaze, she pointed her sword at him and uttered in her worst Spanish accent, “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.”

Laughter filled the room.

“So, you know the film?” Nia placed her free hand on her hip.

“None other than the Princess Bride.”As she hopped from the desk, to the sofa then to the floor, she looked down her sword at Garrett. “I’m impressed.”

“With my fencing skills?”

Thrusting at him, she was immediately blocked. “With your knowledge of chick flicks.”

Waggling his brow, he chided as he fought, “I’m familiar with many things chick related.”

Nia held a hand up, stopping the swordplay, and rolled her eyes. “You know what I mean.”

“Fine,” he conceded, arms splayed wide, “I’ve sat through that particular movie on more than one occasion. In my own defense, it was with a different woman each time.”

Nodding, Nia added, “Of course. You wouldn’t want one of them thinking you actually liked the movie or anything, would you?”

An impish grin graced his face. “Something like that.”

She shoved her blade forth. “So, you’re a lover, not a fighter then?”

Matching her strokes, he shrugged his shoulders. “Can’t I be both?” Winking, he blew her a kiss. Catching her off guard, he landed the tip of his blade on her chest.

Nia looked down at the gold, rounded nub pressed directly between her breasts. “Cheater.”

“I believe that diversions are acceptable in any kind of fight. Sort of the nature of the beast there, sugar lips.” Snapping his sword vertically in front of him, he then sliced it through the air at his side to end the battle.

“Okay, I guess I can’t call you puddin’ anymore then, huh?” Meeting him at the wall, she reached up and replaced her blade over his. She turned to find him standing right behind her, pinning her firmly against the stone surface.

“I had considered having you call me studmuffin or something manlier. Suddenly I have other ideas.” His chin dropped and he winked at her.

Her breath caught in her chest as he lowered his face toward hers. She swallowed hard, her brain fighting for control, screaming at her about how big of a mistake this could be. Other parts of her anatomy were now vying for power, gaining critical ground. Heat flushed her face and pulsed through her body.

The mint of his breath wafted with his words, “Just one kiss.” His head tilted; she could feel the warmth of his lips on hers.

Love it. I can’t wait to read the entire story. The book is right here on top of my TBR pile.

What’s your next project?

I’m busy working on the sequel to SECRETS OF THE SAPPHIRES. It’s tentatively named COMING BACK TO BITE YOU and stars Nia and Garrett. This is a continuation of their story and wraps up the loose ends from SECRETS.

Great. So I’m hoping this current one, SECRETS, is really the first of, perhaps, a series set in the CIA Paranormal Division.

What one tip would you offer writers?

Well, I’m sure most everyone has heard it before, but it bears repeating. NEVER give up. Writer’s Block happens, bad reviews happen, even bad stories happen, but there will be a reprieve if you keep honing your craft, keep telling your stories. No one else will tell them quite like you.

Such good advice. We all need to be reminded of it occasionally. Sometimes, the “down” periods can siphon off that forward energy and the faucet trickles down to drops.

Thanks so much for being here today, Toni Sue. Please come back again soon.
Visit Toni Sue at her website: http://www.tsvbooks.com/  or her blog: http://www.tsueversteeg.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Writers Wednesday: Katherine Grey

Please help me welcome historical author Katherine Grey, whose Regencies are available from Wild Rose Press. I love Regencies, Katherine. What draws you to that genre?

I’ve always liked history. History and English were my favorite classes in high school so when I first discovered romance novels, I automatically gravitated toward historical romances. A friend introduced me to the wonderful works of Georgette Heyer. From that point on, Regency romances became my favorite type of historical romance to read. I also started reading a lot of non-fiction about the Regency period. I find the whole time period fascinating, not just the lords and ladies of the Ton, but the “regular folk” of the time as well.

Heyer was a such a wonderful story teller. I loved her books. Would you tell us about your latest, THE MUSE?

THE MUSE is part of the Love Letters line published by The Wild Rose Press. The hero, Blaine Hobson, was a secondary character in my novel, IMPETUOUS. I had such a hard time keeping him from taking over that book that I ended up sending him off to France for a good portion of the book. At that point, I knew I’d have to write his story which led to THE MUSE.


Noted poet Blaine Hobson counts the Prince Regent among his patrons. But ever since the socialite he wished to marry took her life, he has been unable to compose a single line of poetry. With a sonnet commissioned by the Regent due in a few weeks, Blaine spends his time alternating between trying to write...and wishing he had the courage to join his beloved in the grave.

Raised in an orphanage with her sister, seamstress Emma Tompkins lives with the guilt of her sibling’s death. Accidently finding a suicide note penned by Blaine, she resolves to keep him alive at all costs. Vigilant, she returns each day, pushing her way into his home--and losing her heart.

Can Blaine forget his beloved and return the affections of the seamstress? Or once finished with his work, will he cast Emma out of his life forever?


The wind picked up, causing the skeletal tree branches to scratch against the sky. Leaves skittered along the ground, crackling like sheaves of paper as they shuffled against the gutter. Clouds raced across the sky, obscuring the moon more and more often.

Emma looked up at the inky darkness. No stars in sight. She didn’t consider herself to be superstitious, yet she had hoped to send a wish to one of the stars watching over the night. She needed reassurance that she’d done the right thing leaving Mr. Hobson alone. The guilt of Penny’s death nearly crushed her. She wasn’t certain she could withstand another death on her conscience. Not when she could have done something, anything to stop it.

She quickened her pace at the sound of footsteps behind her, scanning the darkness as she hurried along. There was no one about. She tightened her grip on the front of her cloak, trying to hold it closed against the harsh wind. The thin garment did little to keep out the cold.

She glanced behind her as she passed an alley, careful to give it a wide berth. Lazarus had told her of men who pulled women unfortunate enough to be out alone into alleys only to sell them later to a procurer for some of the worst brothels in London. Why hadn’t she remembered that before setting out?

So intent on watching the alley, Emma walked right into a stone wall. At least that’s what it felt like.

Two hands gripped her arms. She looked up at her captor, her heart in her throat.

And...and...who is it? Don't leave us hanging like this. LOL. The story sounds great. What’s your next project?

I just signed a contract for a full length novel featuring Lazarus. He plays a large part in THE MUSE and captivated me even more than Blaine had while I was writing that first book. (Lazarus is briefly mentioned in the above excerpt.) I’ve already started working on edits requested by my editor so that’s my focus right now.

That's great, Katherine. Good luck. What one tip would you offer writers?

When you receive a critique that you don’t agree with, don’t automatically discount it. Set it aside for a couple of weeks then come back to it and look at it again. With time and distance, you may be able to see what the person who gave you the critique was trying to say. If you agree with the comments, then make changes. If you don’t, then ignore it and move on. But if you’re getting the same type of comments then it’s not them, it’s the story and changes need to be made. Of course, I’m talking about constructive critiques, not ones given just to tear the writer down. (Yes, I have had some of those.)

I don't understand people who are so destructive. Thinking of something more positive: Do you have a special place you like to write?

I like to write at the dining room table. It gives me plenty of room to spread out my research notes, thesaurus, my book on word origins, and I don’t feel closed off from my family. Though I do have to make sure I sit so I can’t see the TV in the living room or I don’t get any writing done.(LOL)

How do your story ideas come to you? Which do you visualize first, characters or plots?

This is a hard question to answer. I get story ideas from all sorts of places ranging from newspaper or magazine articles, a line from a song, a conversation with a friend or family member, even a snippet of overheard conversation while waiting in line somewhere. In nearly every case, the characters have come to me first. They slip into my mind and whisper in my ear at the most inconvenient times so I’ve started carrying a small notebook wherever I go so I can jot down what they say.

Thanks so much for being here, Katherine. Come back again, when your next book is out--the one about Lazarus.

Thank you. I would love to.

Visit Katherine at her blog – http://katherinegrey.blogspot.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Katherine-Grey/265375626827267?sk=wall
To buy Katherine’s books:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Writers Wednesday: Lynn Cahoon

Hi everyone. Help me welcome Lynn Cahoon, whose very first book THE BULL RIDER’S BROTHER, was released June 4 from Crimson Romance. Lynn’s a chapter mate from St. Louis and fellow blogger at New Kids on the Writers Block.

Congratulations, my friend. What did you do to celebrate Release Day? Chocolate? Dinner out? Shopping?

This is a good question since I’m writing this pre-release day. I think I’m bringing home dinner from my favorite Chinese place. And having spring rolls. I never have spring rolls even though I LOVE them. Like most debut writers, I still have the day job.

Yes, we need that day job. Please tell us a little about the book.

THE BULL RIDER’S BROTHER is a small town, secret baby, homecoming, reunion story. (Say that ten times fast.) Lizzie’s a strong, determined single mom who never reached out to James, her baby daddy, for help. When he shows up in town, his brother in tow, Lizzie has to decide if letting him into her life is worth the pain and confusion of a readymade family.

The setting is a fictional version of a lovely little town, nestled in the Idaho Mountains. THE BULL RIDER’S BROTHER is based on the town of Riggins, Idaho. The first weekend of May, the rodeo comes to town and takes over. It’s a party and everyone is invited.

Knowing that I wanted to write a small town story based in my home state of Idaho, the Riggins rodeo seemed like a terrific jumping off point. Then, like all good stories, I started wondering why? Why would people stay in the little town? What happens to the kids who graduate from the high school? And the four friends who became my main characters started talking about their lives.

Would you please share an excerpt?

Sure, short and hot. LOL

“All the better.” James slid an arm down her legs and swung her into his arms. He kissed her soft and slow. “Ready for this?” He waited for her answer before he took the next step on the stairs.

“This doesn’t mean anything.” Lizzie leaned into him placing her hand on his chest, drinking in his smell. Sweat, salt, and a hint of Stetson, memories clawed up to the surface wanting to overwhelm her. “It’s just sex.”

“I don’t know what you’ve been doing the last six years, but sex means something to me.” He stopped again on the stairs and waited for her to lift her eyes to his. “And don’t call it sex, Liz, we’re making love. Don’t you remember?"

What’s your next project and when is it scheduled for release?

A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL, a paranormal novella, is scheduled for release from Lyrical Press on November 19. I’m so excited about this upcoming series.

Currently, I’m writing the sequel to THE BULL RIDER’S BROTHER, called
QUEEN OF THE STAMPEDE. Cross your fingers my editor loves it as much as she did book one.

Once I’m done with that, it’s back to writing witchcraft and suspense as I write the second in the Magic Council Series.

Goodness, you have your next months organized. What’s your writing schedule like?

See above day job comment. Actually, I write most mornings for about an hour. My goal is 1000 words a day, sometimes it even happens. My writer/mentor and I chat almost daily on what we’re doing in the writing realm. And I’m a big believer in baby steps. Writing a novel is overwhelming if you really think about the word count. But I can write 1000 words. Or 500.
In addition, I’ve given myself permission to schedule and attend writer retreats. Since my available time is so short, convincing myself that spending travel time to meet up with writer friends is valuable took some practice. But last month I drove to Nashville to attend a book signing and spend some quality writing time.

Believe me, as a writer, there’s lots of times you doubt yourself, your work, everything. Having that one or two friends you trust totally, gets you through the valley of despair. And you have to spend time to develop those relationships.

Next month, I’m taking off work to do some events for a traditionally published author friend and we’ll have a mini writer’s retreat in between the chit chat.

I so agree about the importance of friends you can trust travel with you on the writing journey. And I really like your outlook on writing daily, even in small increment. What advice would you offer writers?
Join a local writer’s group. (Big props to MORWA here-the St. Louis based RWA chapter. The programs are amazing and the critique group is a learning opportunity even if I’m not reading.) Take advantage of the opportunities to network. This is a big one, and hard, oh so hard, for me. My first MORWA meeting I sat in the parking lot and had to convince myself to go into the meeting. But it was the best move I’d made to support my writing.

Take risks with your writing. I hear so many people talking about the one book they’ve written. I’d written eight books before I sold one. Then I signed two contracts in one month. A Member of the Council, my novella that’s coming out in November was written as an experiment to see if I could write hot paranormal.

And one last word, focus. I know, that contradicts the take risks advice above. But you have to finish a project before you can send it. Last April, I got overwhelmed. I had several unfinished projects, several revise and resubmit requests, and had been receiving a lot of rejections. At one of my writer retreats, my friend advised me to step back and work one project at a time. A year later, I’ve sold two of those projects and have more in the hopper.

Wonderful news. How do you manage to generate such a list of ideas?

Growing up on a small farm in rural Idaho, I guess I was like Lizzie, my heroine in The Bull Rider’s Brother, looking for a way out to the big city. But life takes you on roads you don’t expect. I was born in Nampa, Idaho. My father died when I was a baby, leaving my mother a widow with five kids. When my mother remarried, we moved back out to the country, less than a mile away from the dairy farm where I was born. My graduating class from Kuna High School was sixty three strong.

I’m still not living in a big city; my new home town sits on the Mississippi river and was the site of the Lincoln Douglas debate as well as the honor of being the most haunted American city. The McPike Mansion is right down the road from my house. But I love all the story ideas that keep floating into my head while I’m walking my two Poms.

Thank you for being here. Please come back again. Best of luck.

You can visit Lynn at:
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