Archive for August, 2009

Summer Reflections

August 28, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 3 Comments →

Summer has been a blast. Busy with family and so on. Also had a b-day. (grin) Another year and some reflection. I took some time to take stock on what you have planned for the rest of the year. There is so much possibilities. I’ve been exploring those moments of possibilities. I re-evaluated what was on my writing plans. I revamped the old plans into a new one. I’ve organized the books I want to complete before the end of this year and the time frame I want to complete them in.

One of the things that I’ve want to complete is a story that keeps nagging at me. So I finally had to sit down sketch out my thoughts in order. I’m still working on a title for the story. Now that the idea is down I can’t wait to write. With the concept done I’m ready to actually sit down and write the story. And yes it is about a family of sorts.

Various readers have mentioned to me that they like my work because I write about families. To me family is the corner stone of everything. No matter if you’re close or fight like crazy it’s all about the family dynamic. And not just the typical ones either. After all there are many types of families. Those by blood and those you choose to call family. The rest of this year I am writing books to help build my various families I have created and make some new families. Stay tuned for more on them.

McKenna Jeffries
…. sensual, edgy, unexpected

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Free Reads Site: http:/ /

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 Book.

My Kind of Love Scene (from a movie I watched)

August 27, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 5 Comments →

Two pirate clad lovers (male and female) are exchanging marital vows aboard the ghost ship, the Dutchman while battling pirates that had been turned to fish people.   As they speak words of love toward one another their swords are clanking against enemy swords and, blood is splashing and limbs go flying.  During all this madness they become husband and wife.  In the end, the male lover’s heart is cut out of his dead body, giving him life once more as the new Dutchman, and he hands his physical heart in a small treasure chest to his female lover to keep safe, for only destroying his heart will kill him “permanently”.  Oh, my.  I could see the grin on both the actors faces.  I mean, really.  He hands her his heart. 

This is my kind of love scene.  How romantic can it get!  And darkly humorous to boot!

Yes, I’m a fantasy girl—a science fiction girl—and a horror girl with romance, mystery, and thrills thrown in for just plain fun.  I’ve this thing for all things paranormal.  Give me a vampire.  Give me a werewolf.  Give me magic and other worldly creatures, and I’m a happy camper.   That’s my kind of world.  And it is what I mostly write about.  Now, there are two short stories I wrote that I had Romance on my mind when I wrote them.  Wicked Tale—Sasha encounters a gargoyle for her troubles.  And The Date—Jiffy experiences the date from hell when she discovers his name is Vlad and he believes himself to be a vampire. 

My latest novel,Vintage Blood & The Sacred Scepters, is set in a magical world where werecreatures, vampires, enchantresses, warlocks, and humans co-exist.  Brit Chambers, a gutsy Werecreature Consultant, has taken on the job of discovering the means by which to destroy the Sacred Scepters before a werecreature assassin finds them and uses them to rid the world of magic.  But she has another problem to rid herself of as well—she has become Lord Daison’s (Vampire) personal blood bank thanks to her best friend, a weretiger.  I am in the process of writing the second novel to the werecreature series.  I’ve decided to bring my sweet little parrot into the story, a Sun Conure that has the ability to transform into a Dragon.  I’ve also decided to bring in another Sun Conure to assist Lord Daison (Vampire) in winning Brit’s heart.  Not her physical heart, mind you.  But her love.  And he needs as much help as he can get. 

Now that I’ve finished talking about my novels, short stories, and my favorite kind of love scene, you may be interested in, well, about the romance in my life.  I had suggested to my husband of 21 years he dress up as a werewolf, but “no, no, no”.   He did not like the idea.  But he is Scottish, and looks great in a “Kilt”.  Great legs!  Great backside!  Oh, yes.  He has the entire outfit!  If only he’d pierce his ear.   

Read the Wicked Tale at

Download The Date at 

Making Light of Serious Stuff

August 26, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 10 Comments →


                           Making Light of Serious Stuff


                                    Donna Del Oro

         As a former high school literature teacher, I am so tempted to write this blog as a lecture, analyzing the components of humor in fiction and non-fiction writing. But what’s the fun in that?

         However, habits are hard to break, so here goes. Beyond hyperbole, or exaggeration, we all use humor to express ourselves, manipulate people or get our point across. When my husband asks me, “Where’s the ketchup?”, I always sigh and tell him, “In the file cabinet, under ‘K’”. That he sometimes takes me seriously is testimony to my deadpan expression.

         We are all exposed to, in our daily lives, at least one of the three types of irony, a device of humorous writing. My favorite, verbal irony, is also the lowest level, the most moronic—but sometimes the most fun! Verbal irony, or sarcasm, is the type of humor the Brits are famous for, although in its British form, it passes for “dry wit.” We Americans sometimes call it “down and dirty bull-shit” but it’s basically the same thing. I confess to using this device gleefully and often. Ever since high school, I have used and abused the low wit of sarcasm, proving to the world that you can take a girl out of the working class but you can’t take the working class out of the girl.

         My heroines in my two romantic comedies, OPERATION FAMILIA and HASTA LA VISTA, BABY, toss their sarcasm around with abandon.  It’s their confetti to celebrate the vagaries of life and their offbeat family members. When Dina in OF talks about her grandmother warning her to beware of “the one-eyed snake”, it’s with verbal irony that she discusses the exciting and illicit attributes of the one-eyed snake.  As a young, Catholic schoolgirl, she couldn’t wait to come across her first one; as a sassy woman, she wonders how she should “kill” it and join the nunnery. Her older sisters fall prey to the one-eyed snake’s charms but Dina doesn’t; she’s too smart and skeptical about the sexual powers of men. No snake charmer’s going to sweet-talk her into dropping her drawers, yet we find she’s just as susceptible as the rest of us.  Especially when the Hated One comes around.

         Finding or injecting humor into situations where there is none is a challenge. It often takes more than the simplest and most obvious forms of irony. Sarcasm is so common, after all; the entire planet uses it. Even four year-olds are adept at it. My grandson has told me more than once that old people don’t have to put on makeup because it takes too long to look young. How’s that for unintentional sarcasm (or maybe not), and from a four year-old?

         So we turn to situational irony.  To refresh your minds, class, that’s when an outcome in a story is the opposite of what one expects. Comedic stories are replete with this kind of irony. For example, the most recent romantic comedy, “The Ugly Truth”. We don’t expect the lovely, capable but anal-retentive control freak, Abby, to fall in love with the rough, uncouth, free-wheeling womanizer, Chad. Of course, most of the fun in that genre of movie comes from watching (or reading) how these polar opposites attract, repel, and finally end up together.

         Just as in OPERATION FAMILIA, my heroine Dina calls her ex-fiance “the Hated One”, avoids him like the Black Death, and is suspicious of his attempts to work his way back into her life. That he has a small daughter, who is learning disabled and irresistibly cute, tugs at her heartstrings. Later, however, the little girl’s jealous, possessive tantrums nearly scare Dina off. Teaching her that men with baggage should be weighed very carefully.

         What an opportunity to show that Dina’s just as stubborn and willful as the pampered little Daddy’s girl. Another scene on the golf course—a sport Dina takes up because she thinks it’s going to propel her into the middle class—has Dina breaking off with her old boyfriend (a self-absorbed assistant D.A.).  How she accomplishes this is by demonstrating to her latest in a series of bad-choices that golf has many unusual purposes. One of these includes displaying one’s scary, obsessive side by taking twenty mulligans to drive a ball over a pond.  She proves to herself that mind over matter is stronger, and her unwanted boyfriend decides Dina is certifiable. Thereby, showing Dina that she indeed can kill two birds with …uh, one golfball.

         When Sonya, my artist-heroine in HLV,B, feels distraught after her handsome, narcissistic husband, Earl, dumps her for his pregnant girlfriend, she naturally turns to her best friend for solace. Scott, her husband’s youngest brother and her best friend, helps Sonya make sense of the mess she finds herself in. For most of her life, Sonya has been blind to everything but beauty—including the duplicity of men. In time, and with compassion and true friendship, Scott teaches her that there’s more to a man than his dimples or biceps. To survive in a cruel, male-dominated world, Scott shows Sonya how to assess a man’s character. That character in people takes precedence over their beauty.

         Most writers are connoisseurs of human folly. Everywhere we look, examples abound—from our state’s legislature (California—need I say more?) to the way we justify a two-thousand-calorie meal by accompanying it with a Diet Coke.

         When Dina discovers her Mexican-born grandmother’s secrets—a baby son abandoned in Mexico sixty years before—at first she doesn’t want to get involved. But her grandmother insists that only Dina, who’s educated but knows nothing about Mexico, can save her longlost cousins from a vicious, Juarez drug cartel. We don’t expect Dina to rescue anyone, most of all herself, but indeed she does. Who aids her in this rescue is the family’s screw-up, Jesus, whose only redeeming trait up to that point has been his viable sperm. His ability to play the family fool, however, actually saves the would-be savior, Dina, from a fate worse than—well, you get the picture.

         Dramatic irony—when the reader or viewer knows something important that the characters in the story or film do not know—is another literary device we authors of comedy love to employ. In a bag of comedic tricks, it’s the biggest crowd pleaser. Look at the musical comedy, THE PRODUCERS. The audience loves the fact that they know the two conniving producers’ real intention is to have a show that opens and closes in one night, so that they can keep all the money they’ve raised. That the show becomes a Broadway hit horrifies the two con men—and delights everyone else.

         In HLV,B,  the reader knows how worthless Sonya’s husband truly is. She doesn’t see him as we do because a childhood trauma (a father who abandoned her) has effectively crippled her ability to see men as they are. She is a classic enabler and she suffers greatly for it. She’ll tolerate lying, womanizing Earl for he, at least, sticks around.  For the seventeen years of her miserable marriage, Sonya sublimates her anger and lack of self-esteem by throwing herself into her work as an art teacher and muralist.

         The extent to which she denies reality is laughable, but we also have the urge to shake her shoulders and force her to wake up and wise up. It takes a younger man, strangely enough, to make Sonya grow up. Reality is tough but living in denial of it is even harder, as she ultimately realizes. The truth finally strengthens her and her artistic skills make her proud and self-confident. But it’s love that makes her feel life, even with all its ugliness, is worthwhile.

         With the serious issues that confront my characters, I can either make the reader laugh or cry at their predicaments. I prefer to make my readers laugh for, in the final analysis, what’s more fun to do?

         Who was it who said, “Life’s a comedy for those who think, and a tragedy for those who feel”? Oh yes, the old bard, of course!

         Well, in my humble opinion, life’s too tragic and scary to take seriously! With humor, we show how resilient we really are!

Waking Nightmare

August 25, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 55 Comments →

   As the release date for WAKING NIGHTMARE approaches (Sept. 1) I feel a bit like I used to when I waited for my due date to arrive.  Certainly it feels like this book has been in the works forever.  No mere nine months for this particular baby–I sold the series in 2007.  That’s a long gestation!

When I sold The Mindhunters series to Berkley, Waking Nightmare was a complete.  But I also owed two books to Silhouette, and I work full-time.  My Berkley editor wanted to release the dark romantic thrillers back to back, so the books were scheduled for 2009.  At times it felt like this day would never come!

The Mindhunters series features a private forensics agency that consults with law enforcement on particularly puzzling or high profile crimes.  Headed up by the legendary Adam Raiker, a former FBI profiler, the agency includes some of the best criminologists in the country.  Each story features one of his employees investigating a case.

Waking Nightmare is the first in the trilogy.  Ryne Robel is a Savannah police detective on the trail of a sadistic serial rapist.  He’s requested another investigator for his task force and he isn’t pleased when his commander instead hires Abbie Phillips as an outside consultant.  She may be a brilliant forensic profiler, but Ryne needs answers, not psycho-babble and head games.

However, Abbie convinces him that head games are exactly what this elusive suspect is all about.  The seemingly random acts of torture are actually calculated to match each victim’s darkest fears.  And the stakes are rising.  While they study the devious psychopath, he’s watching them–the next objects of his terrifying obsession.

After writing twenty-five books for Silhouette Romantic Suspense, it was incredibly liberating to write the three Mindhunters books.  While they’re definitely romance, a gritty suspense is at the forefront.  The length allowed me to include a complex suspense with plenty of plot twists and a relationship that developed at a believable pace.  Ryne and Abbie have every reason not to end up together.  She’s only there for the course of the investigation and then she’ll be gone.  Neither of them are a good bet in the romance department.  And isn’t that what makes for a satisfying romance?  When two people defy all odds to find their happily-ever-after?

Book two in the series, Waking Evil will follow in October and Waking the Dead is released in November.  Check out my website at for excerpts, news and sign up for the monthly contests!

What makes a book work for you?  What does it take for you to find the romance between the characters credible?  Have you ever read books when you didn’t believe the characters should end up together?

I’m giving away a signed copy of  Waking Nightmare to one lucky commenter today!

The great comeback

August 24, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 20 Comments →

What a crazy year it’s been for me.  It began last March, 2008 with the release of the first book in my Passion series, Discovery in Passion, a paranormal ghost story, and for the next eight months I was releasing a novel every other month. Three books in the Passion series wasn’t much of a problem having them come out every other month but when I submitted Seducing the Darkness, a vampire story, to my then editor, I had no idea what the next few months would be like for me. Originally a standalone book, everything was supposed to be wrapped up nice and pretty at the end of Seducing the Darkness with the ritual used to blot out the sun broken and the sunlight returning. Then my editor asked me if I would consider making it into a series. Instantly, my mind began to work. What if, instead of having the sun come back at the end of Seducing he Darkness, I prolong it and have the hero and heroine recruit people to help them bring back the sun. And so the Darkness series began. So for the next five months I was glued to my laptop, busy writing five novels, back to back, without a break, plus editing, promoting my Passion series. And like that wasn’t enough for me, I agreed to write three more Darkness books. My schedule was full well into 2009 with releases. While in this crazy schedule of writing, having a release every two months and promoting, my father suddenly passed away. I took two months off to grieve and help my mother cope and when I came back I had to get my butt in gear to get my books written and in by their deadlines. There were times I would be up all night writing, as well as writing during the day when I found time. I joked with friends and family that my life was surrounded by darkness. It truly was. I was engulfed in vampires and a city of darkness day and night for months. I even dreamt of darkness and blood and death. Then in December, my publisher, Linden Bay Romance, sold to Samhain and things were kind of thrown into a crazy sort of turmoil. I had four Darkness books set to release into June of 2009 and my schedule was shifted just a bit from its original release dates. And then….May, all the authors from Linden Bay were told they were discontinuing the line and the authors who they did not want to keep would get their rights back. At this time, I had submitted a standalone book, Until Death Do Us Part to another publisher, Absolute XPress. I went to them to ask if they would take on all thirteen of my books and re-release them. To my joy (at the time) they said yes. I won’t get into all the details but things didn’t work out and I ended up asking for my rights back a few months later and took my books to a new publisher, Breathless Press.You might ask, why is she telling us this and who is she? Well, that is the thing. Before the sale, before taking my books to AXP, I had a good following, I was building a fan base and my name was becoming popular. Seducing the Darkness was in the top five best selling Dark Fantasy Romance novels on Fictionwise for two weeks, at the same time as Stephanie Meyers, Twilight. What an achievement, I thought and I was so overjoyed.But when I slipped out of the public eye for three months, all my efforts to build a name for myself were swept out the door. I learned very quickly that in this industry, even a few months out of the loop and lead to disaster. Now, it seems I am starting all over again. I still have my followers and my fans but as for being known, I am, but not at the level I was before. There are always new authors coming in with new books and if the older more seasoned authors don’t keep up, they can be left in the dust. I am still brushing the dust away as I push my way back into the public eye. But the hectic schedule I had in 2008 is nothing compared to now. I thought releasing a book every two months was hard, but now I’m releasing every week. But I am a fighter, and I love a challenge and so I will continue this crazy schedule because I love to write, I love to tell a tale and I love having others read my work.Passion Series:Discovery in Passion: Nothing is ordinary in the small town of Passion, especially the love.Wanting to start fresh, Cassie Evans relocates to the small town of Passion where she moves into the home of her dreams, complete with dreamy next door neighbor, artist, and handyman Thomas Healy. The only problem is, the house she bought just might be haunted.Thomas Healy lives a life of solitude and that suits him just fine. Then Cassie Evans moves in next door and begins to turn his peaceful live upside down. He tries to ignore her, but ignoring a woman as beautiful as Cassie isn’t so easy, especially when she shows up at your door, naked, begging for you to paint her. Thomas’ first mistake was to agree to it, his second was to take Cassie to bed, now she’s all he can think about.

When their blossoming love is overshadowed by a ghostly haunting, the curious Cassie launches an investigation into the life and death of her home’s previous owner, uncovering a mystery and attracting the attention of a killer. Where will Cassie’s discovery lead her, to the love of her life or to death itself?
 Welcome to the town of Passion.
Escape in Passion:Nothing is ordinary in the small town of Passion, especially the love.

Victor Davis is a man trying to escape the tragedy of his past. Several months ago, a bullet that was meant for him killed his girlfriend by mistake. Now struggling to move on, Victor’s taken over as the chief of police of Passion. Vic knows everyone in Passion, so naturally he can’t help but notice when beautiful stranger Julia Wilson moves into the small town.Mysterious and alluring, Julia came to Passion with one thing on her mind, avenging the death of her sister. Desperate to find the truth, and keeping her true identity a secret, Julia enters into an affair with the one man she thinks might be able to give her answers—Victor Davis.

Lust and love run rampant when Victor and Julia enter into a torrid romance. But Julia’s deception turns dangerous and secrets from Victor’s past soon threaten their fragile relationship. Murder, kidnapping, and an escape that you’ll never forget. Welcome to the town of Passion.Mercy in Passion: Nothing is ordinary in the small town of Passion, especially the love.

Wild, rebellious, and perpetually in trouble, Justin Davis was labeled the town troublemaker and an embarrassment to his father, the chief of police in the small town of Passion. When Justin was framed for a crime he didn’t commit, he impulsively left the town he’d called home, vowing never to return.For six years Beth Healy pined after Justin, the boy next door who she’d come to think of as her friend, and had wanted for a lover. Now an officer of the law, Beth is shocked when her pursuit of a speeding car leads her to the one man she’s been longing to find—Justin Davis—and after all these years, he’s finally come home.

Despite the sizzling attraction, Beth’s feelings of hurt and betrayal linger and acceptance and forgiveness don’t come easy. Justin soon discovers that begging for mercy and allowing Beth time to grow to love him again might be the only way to win her back. Then an enemy of Justin’s begins to threaten his life, forcing Beth to make a choice. Will she be able to put the past behind her and trust in the man that Justin is now? Welcome to the town of PassionSeducing the Darkness: Bk 1 in the Passion series

An outcast by her kind, Trinity Ford has learned to live on her own…not an easy thing to do when you’re a vampire.

Trinity was once a fragile girl. Being taken by a powerful vampire prince changed her. Discovering him in the arms of another woman changed destiny. Alone, she’s learned fast how to be tough, how to survive, and how to protect the people in her city from the evil that lurks in the dark. She was managing just fine, until Basil walked back into her life.

Basil Hawthorn has been the reigning prince of vampires since banishing his father to the Realm of Dark Mystics decades earlier. When a prophetic dream makes him realize Trinity’s life is at risk, he decides the only way to save her is to push her away. Doing so is not easy. Trinity is the only woman he has ever loved, ever will love, and he can’t seem to let her go.

When rumors arise of a plan to raise the King and blot out the sun, both Trinity and Basil know they must do everything to stop it. Even if it means working together. Despite the betrayal and the threat, they find themselves drawn to each other. Love has no boundaries, especially in the face of danger. But will they be able to stop the ritual before it’s too late?

Or will the darkness capture them both?

The Passion series as well as the Darkness series available at:

Until Death Do Us Part available at:

Shiela Stewarts Website:

Guest Author Joyce Morgan

August 20, 2009 By: mammakim Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 6 Comments →

The perfect leading man

            I filled out a profile for and when I put down what I was looking for in a man, I realized that it was one of the men in my novels.  In “Some Hearts”, my first novel, Adam was a bit of a schmuck, albeit a really good looking one.  He was afraid of commitment, (find a man who isn’t), but when he met his match, he wanted her.  Tall, dark, handsome, well built, drove a Porsche, played the piano, and has a great ass, but he lacked in the “ understanding of a woman” department.  Kelly was a bit of a ‘fraidy cat as well, but once she gave him her heart, she was in it for the long haul.  Adam’s problem lies in listening to everyone else but the one person that counts the most. Himself.   Kelly doesn’t ask for much, just for Adam to love her as she is.  She doesn’t expect Adam to be more than he can be, and she doesn’t expect him to change, she loves him for himself.  Adam however doesn’t know what he wants and when he figures it out, it scares him.  Adam isn’t sure how to deal with his discovery and the question remains, is he too late?

            Now in real life, I’m an independent woman raising two kids on my own and haven’t had much luck in the love department.  Hell, who am I kidding, I’ve had NO luck a’tall!(and that’s with a bishops blessing too!).  My leading man is the man of my dreams.  He is kind, loving, sweet, generous, intelligent, quirky, funny, talented, sensitive, has a great sense of humor, can keep me in my place, a good cook, (I hate to cook so this is a treat), loves music, opened minded to trying different things, strong enough to pull me out of my cave, gentle enough to put up with my temperamental tantrums, and mood swings,  understands my love for furry things and the need to bring them home, (strong enough to say NO you don’t!), Likes older cars and is not afraid to help me fix them, (or should I say fix them for me so i don’t kill myself),  doesn’t take himself  or me too seriously, has a healthy love and respect for the LORD, and likes to go to church occasionally,  likes kids and enjoys refereeing when necessary,  be opened minded to different kinds of music and doesn’t think everything I listen to sucks. Oh, and I would like to be somewhat important in his life.  This isn’t too much to ask is it?

            In my second novel, “Through the Dark Night”, my sister pointed out that the relationship between “Grayson” and “Anna” is a mirror image to my relationship with my ex-boyfriend.  Now David had reddish brown hair, dreamy green eyes and a killer smile, while Grayson is again, tall, dark curly hair, dark brown eyes.  While the physical attributes are important to the reader, the real attributes of the character are often what draws our readers in.  I do want a man like Grayson.  He is sweet, kind, loving, has a deep spiritual side and a great relationship with God.  He is funny, quirky, plays the piano, is wonderful with kids AND he can cook.(something EVERY woman dreams of !).  Throughout the novel he allows Anna to heal and to come to grips with what she as been through, he is first and foremost her friend, secondly her lover.  He gives her the space she needs, yet he isn’t very far away.  And when the tables are turned, she waits for him to catch up.  I was reminded of that song by Faith Hill, “If I Should  fall behind, Wait for Me”. Bruce Springsteen wrote it I think, but it says, that she’ll wait until he catches up.  Anna waits for Grayson, even though she thinks he is a lost cause.   She may “think” it, but deep in her heart, she doesn’t “believe” it.  THAT is what true love is.  Believing in what can’t be seen, but felt with every sense available.

            Will I ever meet my perfect leading man? Who knows, that lies in God’s hands.  I do enjoy writing an independent woman who doesn’t need a man by her side.  She enjoys a man by her side, but doesn’t NEED him to feel whole.  I think it takes a deeper sense of self to realize that your partner makes you want to be a better person, but you don’t need him to be a better person.  In “Some Hearts”, Adam comes to that conclusion by himself, he realizes that Kelly brought out the best in him and that he let himself down, and disappointed Kelly.  A few of my readers told me that Kelly was stupid to take Adam back, but I guess you’ll have to read the book to decide for yourself.

 In “Through the Dark Night”, Grayson and Anna…. Oops, its not published yet, you’ll have to wait and see.  😉  How’s that for a cliff hanger?

            Thanks for reading, and I hope you find your perfect leading man.

Joyce Morgan

My Top Four Reasons for Reading Romance

August 18, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Contests, Guest Blogger, Latest News 10 Comments →

Honestly, I could spout out a list of one-hundred reasons why I read (and write) romance novels, but really, every one of those reasons will eventually boil down to one of these four:

ONE: Falling In Love!

Whether I pick up a contemporary, suspense, paranormal, funny, serious, sweet, sexy, or so-hot-my-fingers-steam romance novel, it’s all about the love. Falling in love is such an incredible experience, isn’t it? From that initial moment of attraction, through all the ins and outs of dating, to actually falling in love with another person, there is nothing quite like it. When I read a romance novel, I get to fall in love all over again, every time I begin a new story.

TWO: The Best Escape!

Within the world of romance novels, there is nothing I can’t do while falling in love. I can chase down bad guys, cast magical spells, date a vampire (or a werewolf, ghost, pirate, etc), travel back in time, experience life in and/or on another world. I can do anything, be anywhere, experience everything…anything…I want to, and all the while fall in love all over again. Therefore, in my humble opinion, romance novels make for the best escape from our everyday lives. So when a day is especially tough for whatever reason, I can curl up on my couch with a romance novel and fall away into another life, another love, another world. 

THREE: The Emotional Journey!

The emotional journey for me is about much more than falling in love. It’s everything that happens on the journey to love. Whether I laugh, cry, or both, the journey itself is all about the emotions. Sure, maybe the hero and heroine are fighting for their lives, and I’m definitely interested in how they’ll beat the bad guys, but the real pull for me exists in the emotions the author puts on the page. The best books are those I can completely lose myself in, and for the most part, all of those books have been romance novels. Perhaps this is because romance novels are about falling in love, so the authors are already attuned to writing about emotion. Regardless, one of the reasons I read is because I want to feel something, and romance books tend to deliver on this, time after time.

FOUR: The Characters! 

Finally, I read romance for the characters. Who they are, what they want, how they’re going to get it…and somehow, at the end, find each other and fall in love. I’m so much more a character reader than a plot reader. What do I mean by this? If the characters are real to me, if I can see them in my head as I’m reading, if I care about what they’re going through, then I’m not as concerned if the plot falls a little flat here and there. On the other hand, give me a dynamic plot with flat characters, and that’s a book I won’t finish. So yep, for me, so much of what I need in a book is about the characters, and again, over the years and many, many books being read, I have far more romance novels on my keeper shelf than any other genre.

So, there you have it: my top four reasons for reading romance. What about you? Why do you read romance? I’d love to hear! Besides which, if you comment, you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of my debut novel, A TASTE OF MAGIC. I’ll choose a winner at random and announce who won within the comments on Wednesday, August 19th, so be sure to check back!

Tracy Madison


NEW from Paige Tyler – VALUABLE CARGO!

August 17, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 10 Comments →

Hey Everyone!

I’m so excited about my sexy, new sci-fi erotic romance, Valuable Cargo, coming out with Liquid Silver Books on August 17th and I’m glad to have a chance to blog about it here at Romance Junkies!

I don’t write a lot of sci-fi stories, so this one was a lot of fun to come up with.  It was also a little challenging, too.  In a sci-fi story, you have to spend a certain amount of time developing the supporting environment, like how the spaceship works, what the planets looks like, and how things are different than they are here on earth.  That can end up being a book in itself.  But you still have to tell an engaging story about a guy and a girl that a romance reader would want to sit down and curl up with.  So, you can’t spend so much time on the background stuff that the main story gets lost.  That said, I think I’ve pulled it off pretty well – if I do say so myself! LOL!

I suppose the best way to introduce you to the book is to tell you a little about how the idea popped into my head.  My hubby and I were up at the Marshal Space Center in Alabama doing some sightseeing when we came across this cute little model of the X-33, a sleek looking space craft that NASA was thinking about building to replace for the space shuttle. That got us talking about whether humans could ever travel beyond our Solar System.  Since it would take a really long time to go that distance, we decided astronauts would have to put themselves in some kind of cryogenic suspension or hypersleep during the journey.  It was right then that I knew I had the beginnings of a sci-fi story in the making!

After I played around with the idea for a while, years actually, I decided to make things a little bit more interesting by having the hero’s ship go off course after he puts himself in hypersleep.  Thanks to the malfunction, the computer doesn’t bring him out of hypersleep when it’s supposed to and Garrick, the hunky, six-foot-four, blond-haired, blue-eyed astronaut, wakes up seven-hundred years in the future to find himself on a spaceship full of beautiful women!

Mankind has changed a lot in seven-hundred years and they don’t make men like Garrick anymore, so as you can imagine, the women think he’s totally hot.  He’s only interested in one of them, though, Tanna, the ship’s sexy captain.  While Tanna knows the problems getting involved with Garrick could create among the crew, she can’t resist and finds herself inviting him into her bed, not to mention other interesting places!

Unfortunately, Tanna isn’t the only one interested in Garrick.  When I said they don’t make me like him anymore, I meant it.  Seven-hundred years in the future, six-foot-four, blond-haired blue-eyed guys are nonexistent and there are a lot of unscrupulous people who will do anything to get their hands on him!

I hope I’ve whet your appetite and that you want to read more about Tanna and Garrick!  If you decide to pick it up, let me know how you like it!  I love hearing from readers!


To her surprise, the derelict ship hadn’t been stripped at all. There were two old looking satellites in the hold, as well as dozens of containers. They were all marked with a series of numbers and letters that didn’t mean anything to her, so there was no way to tell what was in them.

Taking out her radiac, Tanna scanned the hold for radiation. If there had been anything really dangerous, the sensors on her ship would have picked it up, but she wanted to be sure. There was a little bit of reading around the satellites, but nothing significant. The containers were completely safe.

“This looks like old test equipment of some type,” Vi said from behind her.

Tanna turned to see that Vi had opened one of the containers and was looking at a collection of metal instruments. Tanna didn’t have a clue what any of it was, but it was ancient, which meant it was going to be worth some money.

Curious, Tanna made her way over to the box Vi had opened while the other girl and Leala went off to explore the control room. She had barely started investigating when Leala’s voice came through the speaker in her headset.

“Um, Captain, I think you should see this.”

Her brow furrowing at the odd tone in her engineer’s voice, Tanna immediately set down the piece of equipment she’d been holding and headed for the control room. Seeing Vi standing just inside a doorway on the opposite side of the room, she quickly made her way over to the woman.

Letting the light from her torch play about the inner room, Tanna saw that it was a joint galley and med-bay.

“What did you find?” she asked as she stepped into the room. “Something valuable?”

Leala was standing in front of a glass-enclosed container of some sort. From her vantage point, Tanna couldn’t see what was inside it, but there was a series of brightly colored blinking lights at the bottom of the unit.

The engineer turned to her with a smile. “Oh, yeah.”

Frowning at the woman’s cryptic answer, Tanna walked over to where her engineer stood, only to stare at the pod in stunned silence. Leala had wiped off the light coating of frost from the upper portion of the pod, and through the glass, Tanna saw that there was a man inside. A completely gorgeous – and from the parts she could see – very well-built man who, shockingly, appeared to be in perfect health. The pod container must be some type of hypersleep chamber, she thought. She had heard of those, but no one had used them in over five-hundred years, not since the invention of the faster-than-light Tachyon drive. That meant the ship was even older than they had thought, back from the days of sub-light space travel.

The fact that the man was still alive after so long wasn’t the only thing that made him unusual. Not only was he all beautifully sculpted muscle, but he was also unusually tall as well. The hypersleep chamber was at least seven feet long and the guy did a pretty good job of filling it up. That meant he was at least six-four or six-five. At five-ten, Tanna was as tall as any man she’d ever met, and taller than some, but this guy would clearly tower over her. She let her gaze run over his broad shoulders and muscular chest appreciatively. Damn, the guy was built. The hypersleep chamber must be equipped with some type of electro-stimulation to keep him in such great shape for so long, she thought.

Her gaze went to his face. She had been so distracted by his body that she hadn’t really spent much time looking at it before, but as she took in his square jaw and chiseled features, she decided he had to be the most attractive man she’d ever seen. She stared at his dark-blond hair, fascinated by the color. She hadn’t seen that many people with blond hair in her life. And most of the people she had seen had artificially colored it. She had no doubt his was the real deal. All at once, she found herself wondering what color his eyes were. They had to be blue, she thought. That would match his hair perfectly.

Glancing at the other two women, Tanna saw they were equally entranced by him, and she watched breathlessly as Vi began to wipe more frost off the front of the glass to reveal a washboard stomach and lean hips.

“Vi, that’s enough,” Tanna ordered abruptly, pushing the other woman’s hand away when she started to move lower.

Vi frowned. “I just wanted to see if he’s built like that everywhere.”

Tanna wouldn’t have minded seeing more of him herself, especially since the only men she had seen naked in a while had been the computer-generated ones conjured up in the holo-chamber on their ship. And they definitely hadn’t looked anything like him. But ogling a man while he was in a hypersleep pod just seemed wrong.

“Try to control yourself.” She glanced at Leala. “Do you think he can be revived?”

Leala chewed on her lip as she eyed the equipment. After a moment, she shrugged. “The chamber’s really old, but everything seems to be functioning properly. Sela would probably know more, though.”

Sela Fanaday was the salvage ship’s resident bio-system engineer, but she also served as their med-tech when they needed one.

Tanna turned her gaze back to the handsome man asleep inside the pod. “Is this ship safe enough to bring on board?” she asked Leala.

The girl shrugged. “I don’t see why not, Captain. The sensors didn’t pick up any hazardous cargo and I haven’t seen anything dangerous. There’s isn’t even any fuel left.”

Still gazing at the man, Tanna flipped over to the ship’s frequency on her radio and spoke into the headset. “Malana, we’re bringing the ship aboard.”

“Did you find anything valuable?” the first officer asked.

Tanna only smiled. Oh yeah, they had definitely found something valuable.

                                                      * * * *

Dear God, he was absolutely perfect, Tanna thought as she gazed down at the sleeping man an hour later. The blanket that Sela had carefully tucked around him left his chest and shoulders exposed to her appreciative gaze, and she had to fight off the almost irresistible urge to reach out and run her hands over his smoothly sculpted muscles. How many hours a day would a guy have to work out to look like this?

After bringing his ship aboard, they had transferred his hypersleep chamber to their own med-bay so Sela could examine him, which the woman had done once she had gotten over her shock at seeing their cargo. Since no one used stasis chambers like his anymore, Sela had to do some research in the computer archives to figure out how to revive him. Following the procedure she had found on the computer, Sela had slowly brought him out of hypersleep. Tanna had expected him to come awake right away, but the other girl had told her that wasn’t how it worked. It could take hours for him to wake up. According to the med-tech, though, his vitals were strong, which was a good sign. That didn’t stop Tanna from worrying, though.

Getting her crew to focus on anything but the man laying in the med-bay had been almost impossible since then. Especially after Sela had hurried to the shuttle bay and briefed everyone in great detail about her patient and those parts of his anatomy they hadn’t seen yet. Her description had brought the rest of the crew running to the med-bay so they could take a look for themselves. Sela was just about to pull the blanket down for a little show-and-tell when Tanna finally pulled rank and tossed the other women out of the med-bay, sending them back down to the shuttle bay to take a closer look at his ship and the salvage it contained. Anything to distract them.

A few minutes ago, Malana had called on the ship’s intercom to let her know they had located the class and ident-number of his ship. According to the database, it had disappeared in the year 2104. Other than that, the computer didn’t know a lot about it. Or him. Malana had found some uniforms in a storage locker, though, with the name Carlisle on them. There was a shoulder patch of a flag with red and white stripes and stars in the corner on one sleeve. There was another patch underneath that, this one with the letters ISEA. A search of that acronym had turned up the name International Space Exploration Administration, an Earth-based government agency that had conducted space research in the early part of the twenty-second century. Tanna shook her head. Well, whoever he was, he was going to be in for one hell of a shock when he woke up. If he woke up.

Tanna was just wondering if she should call Sela so the other girl could check on him again when the man’s eyelids suddenly fluttered open and she found herself gazing into the most incredible pair of blue eyes that she had ever seen. She’d been right about the color, she realized a little breathlessly. And they did go perfectly with his blond hair.

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Buy it at Liquid Silver Books!

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

Woohoo! Freedom Awaits!

August 15, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 5 Comments →

Hello fellow readers!

Its been a while since I have been able to blog but I wanted to say hello to all you lovely peeps! By the time you finish reading this I will be officially graduated! Yup, as of Saturday August 15, 2009 3pm CST I will be a Master’s degree graduate. *bows to the crowd*

Do you know what this means?

That until I start classes in January I will be able to write! *EVIL LAUGH* Oh the power the joy the glory. I can write my poor characters that have been screaming in my head for a chance to break free. And now they have 4 glorious months all to themselves to make themselves known.

Who here thinks there’s going to be a massive coup? Lol.

Though I would love to write more, I regret to say that right now I’m officially brain exhausted. The only thing that I’m looking forward to is sleep, sleep and more sleep for a bit.

And then with the recuperation, I can get back to my neglected work. Great huh?

Talk to you guys soon!!!!


It’s about karma, baby

August 14, 2009 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 28 Comments →

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all gotten that age-old question: “Why do you read romance? It’s all the same, isn’t it? Boy meets girl, blah, blah, blah …”  (Okay, so maybe the question hasn’t been phrased exactly like that, but you get the picture.


My usual answer is that I love knowing that no matter what two people have gone through during the course of a story (whether it be a book, movie, or otherwise), that they’re assured of getting their happily ever after at the end. That’s the promise of a romance novel, after all. But the other day, as I was driving to a booksigning with a very good friend, we got to chatting and I found myself answering the question in a slightly different way: I read romances because I want to believe that there’s an inherent fairness to life. I want to be able to trust that good things will happen to good people (and vice versa), and that if two flawed-yet-basically-good people endure seemingly unendurable trials, that they’ll be rewarded at the end with unimaginable good fortune.


That’s not a romance, you might be saying, that’s a fairy tale!  And it’s unfortunately true that in real life, it’s not absolute that the bad guys always get theirs in the end and the good guys always pair off, kiss, and ride into the sunset. But that’s where we circle back to the answer: That’s why I read (and write) romance!


The Keepers series (Nightkeepers, Dawnkeepers and my newest release, Skykeepers) is about a group of modern men and women who learn they must band together, find their destined mates, and learn to use their mage-powers in order to fight the rise of terrible Mayan demons intent on ravaging the earth on December 21, 2012 (the end-time foretold by the Mayan calendar).




From the back cover: Ancient prophecy holds that 12/21/2012 will bring a global cataclysm. Mankind’s only hope lies with the Nightkeepers, modern magic-wielding warriors who must find their destined mates and fulfill the legends to defeat the rise of terrible Mayan demons.


Sky KeepersIn Skykeepers, Michael Stone is a man with a dark secret that has skewed his magical abilities dangerously toward the underworld. Seeking redemption, he sets out on a perilous mission to save the daughter of Ambrose Ledbetter, a renowned Mayanist who died before he could reveal the location of a hidden library. The Nightkeepers must find the library before their enemies gain access to its valuable cache of spells and prophecies.


Sasha Ledbetter grew up hearing heroic tales of an ancient group of powerful magi who were destined to save the world from destruction. She never expected that her bedtime stories would come to life in the form of Nightkeeper Michael Stone, or that she’d hold the key to the warrior’s survival. As Sasha and Michael join forces to prevent the imminent battle, sparks of attraction ignite between them, and they’re forced to confront the unexpected passion that brings them together … and also tears them apart.




The magi (like the Maya before them) believe in the doctrine of balance, which roughly translates to “good and evil must, over the long run, equalize.” And in a very real sense, the hero and heroine (Michael and Sasha) balance each other out, with her being called on to level off the darkness in his dark, tortured soul. But at the same time they’re caught up in the larger events of the unfolding end-time war, and the interlocking prophecies governing the last three and a half years before the zero date of December 21, 2012.


Which brings me to the small, silly part of this post, which is to remind myself (and perhaps you) that although life isn’t fair in the larger sense, we can find everyday fairness if we look hard enough. My favorite recent experience along those lines? Sitting stuck in traffic while three cars whip by, doing forty or so in the breakdown lane … and then when traffic started moving once again, seeing those same cars pulled over on the shoulder while a ticked-off looking officer wrote up tickets.


So to close, I’d like to offer a link to a short excerpt of Skykeepers, in which Michael does the right thing, even though all along he thinks he’s the wrong man to do it … which is part of what makes him a hero!  Excerpt:


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