Archive for January, 2009

Good Day Romance Junkies!

January 29, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 3 Comments →

Well Howdy there and how are ya?! Before I start, I wanted to give a huge thank you to Romance Junkies for the opportunity to be here!

So lets get this bloggin’ started!  I’m Mila Ramos and welcome!

Just to give everyone a little background about myself, I’m a Paranormal & Contemporary Romance Author.  My stories are character, emotionally driven work and I write from my soul capturing the emotions meant to stir the heart in endless ways. I love the dark and light side of romance, the beauty rising from tragedy, the magnificence of difference and the possibilities of what-if.  My works ranges from modern-day love to paranormal-science fiction quests at their best.

Now most people aren’t that big into paranormal stories, but oh are they the greatest ever in my opinion.  It is an area the work can be as mild as telepathy and as highly developed as an advanced race of beings that are slowly being exterminated for their ability to control the time continuum.  Cool huh?  I currently have five paranormal stories out; each unique in their own way, but showing just how in the paranormal realm anything is possible and nothing is untouched. There are excerpts and blurbs on my website to satisfy everyone heart galore.

On the contemporary though, I like to tackle the tough issues. I love writing about things that could happen in day to day life but the emotion that can come from a look, a touch, and best yet desire of what might have never been thought of.  I do so with a sarcastic flare but a strong character approach.

When asked what do I feel is important in a novel, what’s gets me as a reader and lover of romance?  It’s the plot, the characters developing, learning about their world, their own lives and being immersed in it. As a romance author, yes the sex/romance is just as important, but when it’s mixed with a great story. You’ve got one massive explosion of great writing.

Torrid TeasersIn my latest books from Whiskey Creek Press – Torrid Teasers 44, I bring two stories of unique women dealing with real issues as best as they can. Plots dealing with such sensitive issues are difficult, but can be done perfectly right if you know your characters.

In Smoldering Ember, Cassandra Vance is divorced from her husband Ethan and after several years the shame hasn’t diminished. Ethan though, returns in her life and in doing so, stirs a heart that hasn’t truly moved on.  She learns that some hurts are much deeper than she previous thought, and sacrifices aren’t just what one has to give up but what you are willing to protect.  Both Ethan and Cassandra are unique in their own way, and what I love about them is that from tragedy and misunderstanding an ember of their love still lived on. Sometimes with love that’s all it takes.

Touch of Fire deals with the character Kat O’ Brien, best friend to Cassandra Vance.  Though Kat has a supporting role in the previous book, she isn’t quiet sort of woman, she too has experienced her own type of eye opening experience.  Her journey is surviving domestic abuse to a life she always imagined; one she is proud to live.  In this story it’s that inner fire that Kat used to survive that she needs to make it one step further back into safety. But this safety has her crossing paths with her lost love, Ben.  In the short time they are together, the issue of sacrifice is one again visited but through a different set of eyes; sometimes that spark, that touch of fire can blindside you.

Both books are great, and I loved writing them. Touch of Fire particularly because Kat is a woman I can imagine walking around in current life and having a cup of coffee.

Though it’s a little different for paranormal characters, they each bring a different aspect of the people they were inspired from.  So a great many of these books do come from my own imagination, others from real life, but each and everyone of these are possibilities. It could happen, who knows if they are happening now.

Many of the readers and comments for my books, both paranormal and contemporary, love the original plot line as well as the tension of the main and supporting individuals. Each couple has their own great tension and defining moments and that’s what makes each of them special in their own way.

You can visit my website,, blog,, and myspace,,  for information on my books as well as excerpts.  Come by and read reviews, enjoy some music and then read for yourself about the different worlds, intriguing characters and their moments of life that are passion beyond words and stories beyond dreams.

See everyone February 15th when I come back and blog at this great place!

Gadgets Galore

January 28, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 4 Comments →

Okay I have a confession. I love gadgets. (grin) Get me near an appliance section or in a computer section of a store and my eyes glaze over and I want to but everything. LOL. I was looking around my office the other day doing some organization in my files and desktop computer when I decided to also organize my laptop. I haven’t really fiddled with it in a bit. As I did I realize I needed to make a trip to the office supply store. My heart started to race and I got a peep in my step. (grin) Did I mention I love visiting the office supply store? So off I went and when I got there I had to control my impulse to buy more than I needed. I was proud of myself I stuck to my list. So I had a nice conversation with the tech about external drives, wireless mouse, and wireless routers (yes I don’t have wireless on my laptop. I am so behind but I’ve been resisting it because I was trying not to buy any new gadgets).

After comparing the different offerings I got what I went for. I couldn’t wait to get home to hook up everything. First I got my new wireless mouse for my laptop all hooked up. Had a little fun playing with it. Next I tackled the external drive I also got for the laptop. I have one already for my desktop and love it. I got a portable external drive that is the size of a paperback book for my laptop. Got it all up and running. Since I wanted my desktop files to also be on my laptop I downloaded all my files from desktop to the external drive for my laptop then uploaded it to the laptop. Once that was all done I was happy. Since by that time it was late I decided to wait before hooking up the wireless. Plan to get to that sometime in the next few weeks.

So what new gadgets have you bought?

McKenna Jeffries
… sensual, edgy, unexpected

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Conquering Jazz

Conquering Jazz

What’s a woman to do when she unwittingly makes a tantalizing proposition to her best friend? Be brazen, bold and set some ground rules. Her offer. One night of carnal bliss. No emotion allowed. His counter offer. A continued affair to fulfill all their sexual cravings. His hidden agenda. Conquer to make sure their affair never ends.

Buy here at Liquid Silver Books.
… sensual, edgy, unexpected

Do You Believe In Fairies?

January 27, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 13 Comments →

Helen Scott Taylor

Hi, Helen Scott Taylor here. I’m excited to share that today is the release date of my debut Paranormal Romance, The Magic Knot. This book won American Title IV back in April 2008, and all these months later, it has finally arrived in bookstores. To celebrate, I’d like to share some of my thoughts on the paranormal world and fairies in particular.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to believe there are magical beings living alongside us in this modern world that we don’t know about? Beings of preternatural beauty with powers of which we humans can only dream. Beings that live life in tune with a natural world of spirit and magic that we have left behind with our dependence on modern technology.

Before I wrote my paranormal romance The Magic Knot, I pondered what sort of paranormal world I’d like to set my story in. So many authors have written fabulous stories about vampires and shape shifters I wanted to try something different. When I researched the fairy world, I discovered that according to the myth and legend of many countries and cultures, fairies include just about every type of magical paranormal creatures you can imagine. Fairy creatures include vampires and shape shifters. Some fairies are beautiful, some hideous, some benevolent, some malicious, and they come in all shapes and sizes.

Reading my research books on myth, legend, and magical creatures, I realised the fairy world provided a rich source of material to develop my own paranormal world, and the fairy world of the Magic Knot fairies was born in my mind. 

The Magic Knot is set in the South West of England in Cornwall, and in Ireland. My hero Niall O’Connor is half Tuatha dé Danaan and half leprechaun. (He gets rather touchy if anyone teases him about leprechauns!) The Tuatha dé Danaan are a romance writer’s gift: a race of tall, beautiful fairy people descended from the Greek gods who travelled to Ireland millennia ago. My heroine Rose is half-human and half Cornish pisky. The term pisky is from where the better-known pixies originated. In ancient folk law, piskies are small fairies, usually mischievous. In The Magic Knot fairy world, I have bent the rules and made them human sized. 

As the fairy peoples or ‘The Good People’ live in harmony with the natural world, my fairies are all associated with one of the four elements, earth, air, fire, or water. Both Cornish piskies and leprechauns are of the earth. So both Rose and Niall are earth elementals. But I had fun with the Irish fairy queen who is a fire elemental and wields fire to lethal effect. Niall’s father is an air elemental and can walk unseen through the air.

One of my favourite secondary characters is my own invention. Nightshade is a vampiric winged fairy called a nightstalker. He is human sized and he can defy the laws of physics and fly. His name derives from his ability to turn into a shade—like a shadow. For me, one of the most enjoyable parts of writing paranormal romance is dreaming up the world and the beings that inhabit that world. The Magic Knot is a contemporary set story, so the magical world is blended with our more mundane world. The hero Niall rides a motor cycle and plays the stock market using his leprechaun touch of luck to make money. 

On my website, I have a fun quiz where you can answer questions and find out if your element is earth, air, fire, or water. If you take the quiz, come back, and tell us what element you are and if you think it fits your personality. If you would like to read the first two chapters of The Magic Knot and sample my fantasy world, please go to my blog. Join Rose as she sets out for what she believes to be a normal accountancy job. She slowly discovers that in the mystical depths of rural Cornwall there is a world full of magical creatures she never even dreamed of. And she is one of them

The Magic Knot Book Cover 

The Magic Knot Back Cover Copy

What woman wouldn’t be attracted to Niall O’Connor’s soft Irish brogue and dark good looks? But Rosenwyn Tremain must find her father, and she isn’t going to let a sexy, stubborn Irishman and his motorcycle distract her. Rose’s intuition tells her he’s hiding something, a secret even the cards cannot divine. Her tarot deck always reads true, but how can one man represent both Justice and Betrayal?

Magic. Niall’s body tingles with it when he finds the woman snooping in his room. Rosenwyn might believe she’s a no-nonsense accountant, but her essence whispers to him of ancient fairy magic that enslaves even as it seduces. Her heritage could endanger those he’d die to protect, but her powers and her passion, if properly awakened, might be the only thing that can save both their families, vanquish a fairy queen bent on revenge, and fulfill a prophecy that will bind their hearts together with…THE MAGIC KNOT

Helen Scott Taylor

Time to Say Goodbye

January 24, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 2 Comments →

Authors write great prose we remember long after the book has been set on a shelf. Songwriters express the trauma with meaningful lyrics we hum for months, even years. Saying goodbye is a constant in our lives. Sometimes the end is coupled with sadness and pain. Other times it’s a euphoric feeling because the stress is gone.  

It’s inevitable there will be such a moment for us all and seems to happen when least expected. Lovers part, friendships fade, our children move on, and family members leave us. Yet we hang on, not wanting to let go Is it easier when you cut the tie? It is for me.  

FRENCH TICKLER book five, and the last, in my Naughty Ladies of Nice series is now available and my heart aches for dark and brooding Cisco along with Samantha and her smart mouth. How I miss their tension dealing with a murderer and Mafia kingpin.  

I think of passionate Henri and strong willed Rachel from FRENCH KISS, book four, and the fun we had on the beach when she woke in the arms of a pirate. 

FRENCH TWIST, book three, brought stoic Don who realized there was much more to life than accounting when Interpol agent Claudette involved him with the Russian mob. The terror we shared on the Eiffel Tower still thrills me. 

And what happened to Paul and his magnificent striptease that had Lisette hotter than a four alarm fire in FRENCH DELIGHTS, book two, which I can’t get the cover to post here?

And the one that started my road to heartbreak is FRENCH TART. Along with party girl Doni and buns of steel Mark, we proved that cooking class took on a whole new meaning when they discovered honey had better uses than sweetening tea.  

But do they ever think of me? Do they care that I miss them? Want them to at least acknowledge I was once a part of their lives? Probably not now that they’re out in the world, out amongst readers who laugh and cry as their stories unfold. I am forgotten, deleted from their minds faster than an unwanted computer virus. 

Of the nine books I’ve written and had published, not one of my babies, my children I slaved to create, ever thanked me or cared enough to visit.  

But I really can’t complain. I did recently receive an email from a lady who said God had sent me to her. Perhaps I’m confusing her with the Foreign Princess who emailed that her royal family had perished and she needed my help. All I had to do was give her my bank account number along with a few other pertinent facts and she would deposit thousands of dollars in my account so she could safely come to America. Of course she would split the funds with me for making it all possible. 

What could I say to these people I couldn’t say to the characters who stole my heart? For once it was easy. Goodbye

Sloane Taylor

Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell

Teddi Turns On 2009 EPPIE Finalist – Erotica

French Tickler

Librarian By Day, Naughty By Night!

January 20, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 12 Comments →

If you’re familiar with my books, then you know that I like to add some sexy spanking to all of my stories. I first read about spanking in Johanna Lindsey’s books and thought it was cute and sexy. Not to mention, really, really hot! In fact, it was her writing that inspired me to become an author myself.

Now sometimes, the heroine in my books gets spanked because she doesn’t do as she’s told, which usually puts her in some sort of dangerous situation. So the hero, who loves her like crazy, has no choice but to spank her. For her own good, of course! In other books, the heroine gets spanked simply because she’s being extra bratty. In that type of story, the hero, who again is madly in love with her, spanks her because he’s at his wit’s end and doesn’t know what else to do with her.

While it’s fun to write those types of stories, I wanted to do something a little different for my new contemporary erotic romance Librarian By Day. The heroine Jennifer has always wanted to be spanked, but has always been too shy to ask her boyfriend to put her over his knee. So, she has been living out her fantasies by writing erotic romances on the side. However, when her boyfriend Nik discovers her secret, he decides to help bring her fantasies to life!

Hope you enjoy the excerpt and the trailer!  And if you decide to pick up Librarian By Day, I’d love to know what you think of it!

Librarian By Day, Naughty By Night!

Shy, reserved librarian Jennifer Davidson has a secret side that few people know about.  She writes erotic spanking romances on the side.  She’s never been spanked herself, but when her boyfriend stumbles across one of her book, all that changes.

Nik Evans has always hoped there was a bad girl hiding underneath his prim, proper librarian, but even he is surprised when they begin to explore her fantasies and he finds out just how naughty she can be.

Soon, Jennifer is embarking on a sensual journey of discovery in which she learns that having her bottom warmed for real is better than anything she’d ever written about in her books.


Jennifer gave her boyfriend a worried look as she set her purse down on the table just inside the entryway of her apartment. Nik had been distracted all evening and she couldn’t help but wonder if everything was okay between the two of them. Even though they had only been dating for a couple months, she was really starting to fall for him, and she hated to think that tonight’s dinner was some sort of bizarre precursor to breaking up with her. Her heart squeezed at the thought.

Not that she should be all that surprised. After dating her for a while, most guys came to the conclusion that she was way too reserved, especially in the bedroom. She really wasn’t, though. She was just naturally shy, which meant that it took a little while for her to be comfortable enough to be herself with them. Of course, they usually didn’t hang around long enough to find that out.

Jennifer had felt comfortable with Nik right away, though, and the sex had been great between them from the start. Or at least, she thought so. Sure, she wasn’t quite as adventurous in the bedroom as the girls she read about in Cosmo, but she thought she did okay. But Nik’s behavior tonight seemed to indicate that maybe she was still being a little too tame. Darn it, why couldn’t she be more like the heroines in her books? They never seemed to have a problem holding a man’s interest. And they were never shy in the bedroom. Or anywhere else they had sex, for that matter!

But as Nik took her hand and pulled her into his arms for a long, slow, intoxicating kiss, Jennifer gradually felt her misgivings begin to disappear. A man didn’t kiss a girl this way if he was going to break up with her, she told herself.

When Nik lifted his head several moments later to regard her thoughtfully, however, Jennifer felt some of her unease return. Here it comes, she thought, and braced herself.

“You know,” he said, reaching up to gently brush her hair back from her face. “You kept me waiting quite a long time while you were getting ready earlier.”

Her brow furrowed, confused at his words. “I did?”

He nodded. “You did.”

She felt her face color. “I didn’t mean to. It’s just that I was running late at work, and then I had to stop at the store…” She caught her lower lip between her teeth. “I’m sorry.”

Nik’s dark eyes were appraising as he studied her. “I’m sure you are,” he said. “But I think you might need something to help you manage your time better so that you don’t do it again, don’t you? Like a spanking, let’s say.”

Jennifer blinked up at her tall, handsome boyfriend, sure she hadn’t heard him right.


He nodded. “A spanking,” he said matter-of-factly. “I’ve heard it can be a very effective way to modify bad behavior.”
Jennifer’s eyes went wide at that. Who was this guy, and what had he done with her boyfriend? Before she could think of something to say in reply, however, Nik took her hand in his and led her over to the couch. She was so stunned that she didn’t even protest when he sat down and gently guided her over his knee so that she was lying stretched out across his lap. Even if she hadn’t been robbed of speech, she wouldn’t have protested anyway. She had secretly fantasized about getting spanked for years, so much so that she had started writing about it, and tonight that fantasy was finally going to become a reality! But how had Nik known she wanted to be spanked?

Her pulse quickened as she felt her boyfriend firmly place one hand on the small of her back. The simple action was enough to send a little quiver of excitement through her, and she almost let out a moan. As eager as she was for this spanking, though, she couldn’t help but be a little nervous at the same time. Would having her bottom reddened sting as much as she had imagined? Would she like it much as the heroines in her books did? Would she get as turned on as they did? As her boyfriend placed his other hand on her skirt-covered bottom, she realized she was about to find out!

Romance Junkies Give it 4 Blue Ribbons!
“LIBRARIAN BY DAY definitely delivers by exploring fantasies that many women would never dare to admit to craving.  Jennifer and Nik complement each other beautifully especially since they’re both so willing to step outside their comfort zones and try something new.  I admit I’ve often wondered how or even if spankings would be something I’d enjoy, however I also believe it would depend on the partner and so therefore, I’ll live vicariously through Jennifer and Nik’s story and keep my own deep dark desires hidden – for now!”

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Read Chapter One! 

Buy it at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid!

For a sneak peek at my upcoming releases Vampire 101 and Animal Instinct, visit my Coming Soon page

And for more of my sexy erotic fiction, visit my website at

To join my mailing list to receive my newsletter, email me at with “add me to your mailing list” in the subject line!


“Stories so hot, they’ll make your cheeks blush!”

The Song Trilogy

January 20, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Latest News No Comments →

Before I begin I want to thank Romance Junkies for allowing me this opportunity.

I read a blog awhile back about how one author felt “the romance, the foundation of these novels” has falling to the level of just sex, sex and more sex. I found it interesting to read because I happen to share the same opinion. When I read a romance novel, or any book for that matter, I want to see a story with plenty of subplot. I want to see the characters develop and welcome me into their world as if I was one of them. I want a lot more than just erotic sex scenes.

When I started writing, I had no idea where I was going with my story – I just started to dabble with words and storylines. If anyone had asked me if I was planning on creating a trilogy, I would have told them they were crazy. But the thoughts kept flowing and flowing to the point that I had too many plots for just one book, which is how my three-part Song Trilogy was born.

It all began with Beyond Beautiful. Two giants of rock ‘n roll, Jenna Bradford and Scott Tenny, find love in spite of their world’s chaos and the emotional baggage each one of them brings to this sizzling relationship. Jenna finds out a horrific secret about herself kept from her since childhood, and Scott’s been dealing with his own demons for years. The love they share gives them the strength to help one another as they struggle to build their relationship under the pressures of their professional lives.

Sweet Emotions, the second volume, continues with Jenna and Scott as their lives take off in new directions. They continue to build a solid life for themselves and the child they bring into the world, while dealing with bitter truths involving each other. This book brings many emotions – of joy, sorrow and happiness – to an expression of love shared by these two with their family and friends on Christmas Eve.

Deuces are Wild, the conclusion to the trilogy, follows Jenna and Scott as they fight to find their way back to one another after a heartbreaking separation. This last of the series encounters betrayal, blackmail, kidnapping, even murder. The ending, I have been told, leaves readers in shock.

Some of the characters in my books are based on people I have known or still know today. Some events come from real life, especially those dealing with issues of abuse. I was able to put my background in nursing to use, bringing out medical issues as well. I could easily put myself into some of the situations based on experiences I either witnessed or was personally involved in through the years.

Many readers are drawn by the trilogy’s strong character development. They find themselves able to relate to these individuals and the issues these two dynamic people face as their relationship evolves and deepens. There is plenty of steamy sex, to be certain, but behind it all is a real story with real issues. Celebrities deal with many of the same situations as we all face; one of my goals was to make that quite evident.

Read my reviews, then read for yourself and see if you agree. You can visit my website,, for more information. Check out the catchy trailer too!

To Stand Alone or Not To Stand Alone…

January 19, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Book trailers, Latest News 4 Comments →

Sequel to the award-winning Beaudry's GhostThat was the question while I was writing my latest release, A Ghost of a Chance: Legends, Book 2.

Not wanting to frustrate readers who might happen across book 2 first, I tried my best to make AGOAC, the sequel to Beaudry’s Ghost, a book that would make perfect sense no matter what order in which the books were read.

But when you’ve got a hero & heroine from book 1 who haven’t quite played out the very end of their story yet – and insist on sticking their noses into the plot of book 2, thus becoming inextricable players in it – what’s a writer to do?

Put hands to the keyboard and hang on for the ride.

The result was a book that could be read first, but the reader’s enjoyment will be deeper if she reads book 1 first. Then you’ll know why the emotional arc of the starts out at such a high point and goes up from there. While book 1 ended in a HEA for the main characters, there were three secondary characters left dangling.

Book 2, A Ghost of a Chance, definitely ends in another HEA. It’s a romance, right? But there are still two characters hanging out there in the breeze. Not the least of which, a mysterious younger brother who has only shown his face once but persistently haunts my dreams.


Only one way to find out who this shadowy figure is. Put my hands on the keyboard.

Following is the blurb and links to an excerpt for my latest release, A Ghost of a Chance: Legends, Book 2. Happy reading!

One life hangs on the thread of her imagination…

Legends, Book 2: Sequel to the award-winning Beaudry’s Ghost.

Troy Brannon is a ghost with no time for heaven. Thanks to his well-intentioned meddling, he’s got a missing soul on his hands. Fortunately he’s learned a skill no well-behaved spirit should have—the ability to zip through time and space.

A side trip to revive a drowning woman should’ve been simple. But the moment he locks lips with Carey Magennis, she generates an inner fire he’s never felt before, alive or dead—and his ability to time travel disappears.

When the rising tide closes over Carey’s head, it’s the end—but only of life as she knows it. She wakes up haunted by the idea she no longer fits in, and by the sexy, lion-hearted ghost of the man who saved her. No one wants to hear about the strange things that have been happening to her since her near-death experience, least of all her image-conscious fiancé.

Troy realizes Carey accidentally stole his gift—and she has no idea the danger she’s in. Wherever her imagination takes her, she goes with it. Literally. Plus, that fiancé of hers has an agenda that doesn’t include her survival.

Saving her will be as dangerous to his mission as she is to his heart.

This title contains some gratuitous bad language; the sex of your dreams with a professional bad-ass hero; bloody Civil War battles; astral joy rides; and a heroine who “gets it” in more ways than one!

Read an excerpt


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Guest Author Kathryn Shay

January 15, 2009 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 29 Comments →


Good Morning, Romance Junkies.

I’ve blogged with you before, but for those of you who don’t know me, let me introduce myself. I’m

Kathryn Shay and I write for Harlequin Superromance and The Berkley Publishing Group.  I have 23 Supers and ten Berkley Sensations published; there are over four million copies of my books in print.  I write contemporary romance, sometimes with a bit of suspense thrown in.  I deal mostly with everyday characters like firefighters, cops, teachers and construction workers, but occasionally I have a TV chef, a senator or a secret service agent as the hero or heroine.  I like to explore social issues and I’m told my books are highly emotional, often tearjerkers, and have hints of humor.

This month I’m releasing A MAN SHE COULDN’T FORGET from Harlequin Superromance. It’s about Clare Boneli, local TV cooking show host and fairly famous cookbook author.  The story starts when Clare wakes up in the hospital with amnesia and doesn’t remember her name or the people who love her.  She has retrograde amnesia, which means she can recall procedural things, like driving or playing tennis, but not events in her past.  Two men, Jonathan, her lover, and Brady, her best friend, hover over her and Clare begins to realize the tension between them is unbearable.  There’s also tension between her and each of them, and it takes her almost the whole book to figure out why.

Do you as readers like amnesia plots? Love triangle stories?  What are your reading preferences?  Do you like reading about real life situations, such as how firefighters live and work, or do you favor glitz and glamour and how the rich millionaire’s existence. Or, do you prefer the genres of fantasy and science fiction, like the Harry Potter stories?

I’m a long time fan of science fiction, and Bradbury’s THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES and Asimov’s I, ROBOT remain among my all time favorite works.  I also used to read a lot about the rich and famous in works like SCRUPLES and


THE DOLLS.  However, at this point in my life, I like to read about real people in real situations.  It’s no surprise then that I write about them, too. 

My work is populated by teachers, lawyers, doctors, carpenters, builders, cops, book store owners.  And, of course, everyone’s favorite these days—firefighters. I like to show them in their jobs: how they teach a real class, go on a domestic violence call or fight a real fire.  I like to show how their work affects their lives and vice versa.  And I like for them to have troubled kids, in-laws who drive them crazy, that they hold grudges, have bad habits and exhibit basic human decency in a variety of situations. 

But I also think a writer can make a person who’s from another world easy to relate to, hence Clare in my current release.  She’s a lot like you and me, and of course the hero, Brady is the nice, normal guy we all want to have in our lives, even though he’s a famous illustrator.  As a reader, too, somehow J.D. Robb’s Roarke, or Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ football players all seem very real to me.

So tell me your reactions to my new book and your own personal reading preferences.

Kathy Shay

Growing up Italian by guest blogger, Jannine Corti Petska

January 15, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Latest News 19 Comments →


Ciao tutti! I’m Jannine Corti Petska. Today I’d like to tell you a bit about growing up Italian and how it influenced the stories I write.

My newest release is from Eternal Press. CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN is the first book in my psychic sisters trilogy. It’s set in Northern Italy, 1425, and has an absolutely luscious Italian count. I love setting my stories in medieval Italy because it’s a location I’m comfortable with and I know the culture so well.

My father was born on the Italian island of Ponza and is actually half Florentine. (The fleur-de-lys is prevalent in Florence. You’ll notice it all over my website.) My mother was Sicilian. Neither spoke English at first. My mom learned when she started school. My dad learned by reading newspapers when he came over from Italy in his twenties. I was born in New York (but live in Southern California) and was always surrounded by Italians. I grew up in an Old World environment.



Our culture is extremely family oriented–and no, I don’t mean the mafia! Back then the children came first, the women stayed home and cooked, and the men brought home the dough so their wives could keep on cooking. There was an abundance of pride, even if there was a shortage of jobs and money was scarce. We survived, taking in family members if necessary. We ate homemade Italian food, drank homemade wine, and thoroughly enjoyed conversation after dinner. In fact, after the table was cleared and the espresso, fruits and cannoli came out, we have been known to sit 3-4 hours talking and laughing.

I really miss those days. My mother, who never learned how to drive, was the epitome of the little ol’ Sicilian woman. She was in the kitchen drinking coffee and cooking before I woke up. And she was in the kitchen cleaning up or making lasagna for the next day. My father was a baker, so he worked nights and came home about 6 in the morning. My mother cooked him fish; steak; stuffed peppers; or fried peppers, potatoes and onions; or eggs and potatoes; a meal that was his dinner. I probably had the best breakfast of my classmates at school. I’d sit with him and eat. He’d lay out his moppine (dishtowel) on the table in front of him. His espresso to the left, his wine to the right, and his plate of steaming hot food set in the middle.

I could go on and on about life growing up Italian. There is so much to draw from for my stories. That I could write at all is amazing to me because I had a disadvantage. My parents spoke Italian in the house. My father never learned how to write English, but he could read, although not well. My mom read and wrote, but her English vocabulary was rather limited. At school, I was really shy, and I think it had to do with having very simplistic language skills. Surprisingly, I excelled in English. In fact, it was the only class I received straight As in (P.E. too!).

As you can imagine, it was natural for me to use Italian settings for my romances. And what better country? Italy is one of the most romantic destinations in the world. At first I chose cities where my family was born. Then I spread my geographic boundaries to other Italian cities and regions. Just because I’m Italian doesn’t mean I don’t do research. I research until my eyes pop. I want my books as historically accurate as possible. Unfortunately, scholars make that difficult at times. There are many aspects of Italian history that historians can’t seem to agree upon.

I have promised many that I’d put up my recipe for tiramisu. This is one dessert my family and friends expect me to make at the holidays. In fact, I make it quite often throughout the year.


6 egg yolks

2 cups white granulated sugar

1 1/2 pounds Mascarpone

2 cups cold espresso

42 lady fingers

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa.

I often double the first three ingredients to have thicker filling.

1.Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and pale yellow, using the whisk attachment of a mixer. (I do this by hand.)

2.Beat the Mascarpone into the egg yoke mixture until thoroughly blended, smooth and fluffy.

3. Pour the espresso in a shallow container. Dip half of the ladyfingers quickly in the espresso, one at a time, and place them very close together in a 9×13 pan.

4. Spread half the mixture over the ladyfingers.

5. Repeat #s 3 and 4.

6. Dust with the cocoa powder.

Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6-24 hours.

From experience, you don’t want to soak the ladyfingers in the espresso. Your tiramisu will end up soupy.

Below is the cover of my current release, along with a blurb and a very short excerpt. CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN can be ordered as an ebook through Eternal Press at Print book tba.

Take a cruise to my website, if you’d like, at


A new historical romance from

Jannine Corti Petska


Book One from the Sisters of Destiny Trilogy

Forced to the streets after her mother dies, Carina Gallo is desperate to survive and find her long lost sisters.

Consumed with locating his missing brother, Count Luciano Ruggero has forsaken his needs.

When Luciano catches beautiful and vulnerable Carina stealing from him, he takes pity and cares for her until she’s strong enough to work off her crime. Carina is forever grateful to Luciano, yet fears he will learn of her wicked secret and condemn her to burn.

Will Luciano and Carina find a way to feed the mutual passions they share, or will heresy and obsession with lost family destroy them both?


Carina sighed inwardly, truly amazed by the beautiful sight of her first lover. Count Ruggero’s long, well-proportioned legs reminded her of sturdy pillars. Her gaze drifted over the healing wound on his forearm then shifted to the blaze of desire turning his eyes dark gold. A thrill shivered through her body…until their monumental differences returned to afflict her conscience.            “You know not what you are doing, my lord.”            “No, angel. I know exactly what I am about to do.”            “But you and I cannot. You are a count. I am merely a peasant.”            He propped his hands on his hips. “Think you it matters to me?”            “It should, my lord. I am not worthy of your attention, amorous or otherwise.”            He showered her with a promising smile and stepped forward to help her remove her chemise. “When you and I are wearing naught, tell me of our differences, save for the obvious.”

            All she could do was tremble under his heated gaze.

A New publisher – a cool new CONTEST!

January 15, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Contests, Latest News 6 Comments →

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Absolute XPress invites you to enter our “New Year, New Contest” Contest.  Simply go to the website,, find the names of the romance authors and their current book title (hint:  there are 6) and then e-mail us with what you find. ( Please put “New Year, New Contest” in the subject of your e-mail.

Contest runs January 9th – January 31st.

WINNERS will be announced on February 2nd and will receive a 10% off coupon for their next Romance purchase from Absolute XPress.

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