Archive for October, 2009

Heroes of All Kinds

October 30, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 18 Comments →

I just have to share this story with ya’ll. My hubby was gone for a week, visiting family in OK. On the flight back he tried to upgrade to first class but it was already full. His assigned seat was at the very back of the plane. He made himself comfortable, sat back and waited for the plane to take off.

After a while he saw the stewardess walking his way with a younger man following her. They stopped when they came to my hubby and the stewardess explained that the man wanted to give up his first class seat to him, and thanked him for serving our country. You see, hubby was wearing this hat.

Hubby lied about his age and was only sixteen when he went into the service. There aren’t too many folks left in the world that can say they served in WWII. Hubby politely refused, and thanked the younger man. However, the younger man insisted and the stewardess helped hubby re-locate to a first class seat.

Nice story, isn’t it?

There are all kinds of heroes out there. They’re bigger than life in our books. The fire fighter, navy seal, mercenary. You hardly read about the shoe salesman who raised two step-daughters as if they were his own, or the single mother who paid for her child’s college tuition by working a second job as a night janitor somewhere. Yes, women are heroes, too! In fact, we’re all heroes in the eyes of someone.

No one really wants to read about a hero who sells shoes for a living, or owns a fish market. Nothing exciting about that. I know when I pick up a romance book I want a hunky man who lives by his own rules and takes what he wants. Someone who always seems to know what to do. And has an exciting history that sparks the imagination. I want the fire fighter, navy seal and mercenary! When I read a romance novel I want to lose myself in a fantasy, if only for a short while.

My latest hero is a modern day cowboy in The Cowboy Way. A torrid romance published with Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. It’s received rave reviews from Coffee Time (5 cups), Romance Studio (5 hearts), Romance Junkies (blue ribbon rating of 5), Night Owl Romance (4.5 hearts) and Whipped Cream Reviews (best book rating). You can read them all here.

Blurb – Arson and murder. An escaped convict driven by revenge complicates the lives of a sexy cowboy and the rancher’s daughter he’s determined to protect.

Excerpt -

“I want to talk to you.”

“Really? And here I thought you stopped to kiss me.” What was she saying? Baiting a man like Chase was dangerous.

There was a long pause. Something flickered in Chase’s eyes. His expression gave nothing away, though. Lacey began to feel nervous again, though for a different reason than the one back at the house.

“The cowboy way, ma’am?” His tone was soft, dangerous, carrying the subtle threat of an unspoken promise.

Lacey swallowed nervously. The cowboy way? That was twice he’d used that expression. She wondered what it meant. An explosion of heat uncurled inside her belly, as her imagination ran rampant. Of the two of them locked in a hot, passionate embrace. No longer was Chase’s mouth firm and unyielding, but soft and sensuous. His eyes darkened with smoldering intent. Yet instincts warned Lacey that Chase was just as dangerous now as he had been a moment ago, in anger. She tried to jerk the reins from his hands, suddenly afraid she was about to find out what the cowboy way was.

“Let go.” Misty moved nervously beneath her, obviously sensing her growing panic.

In the blink of an eye his expression changed. “Not until you listen to what I have to say.”

“You can’t bully me, Chase.” The wind blew at her loose hair, and she reached up impatiently to wipe it out of her eyes. “I won’t let you.”

He reared back his head and laughed at her comment. “And how do you propose to stop me? I could do anything I want to you right now and you wouldn’t be able to stop me.”

Lacey tightened her lips in frustration, even while the thought of what that something could be caused a tingle of excitement to zing through her. As his hard mouth curved upwards in a crooked smile that was sexy as sin, she wished she could wipe that arrogant expression off his rugged face. He was so sure of himself. The look in his eyes told her to go ahead and try. Well, she’d taken self defense lessons a few years back and wasn’t as helpless as he thought.

“Then maybe you should have warned me about you, this morning!” She jerked on the reins again, harder this time. When he wouldn’t release them Lacey reached out and slapped him across the cheek. She caught her breath, realizing a man like Chase might strike back. He didn’t look the type to turn the other cheek, or ignore a challenge. Their eyes clashed in silent battle.

Then without warning he reached forward and pulled her from her horse and into his arms. His gaze dropped to her mouth before returning to her eyes. “I think you need to be taught a lesson.”

“No!”

“Yes!” He hissed. He crushed her to him and slammed his mouth down on hers, locking any protest deep in her throat. Lacey struggled but it didn’t seem to matter to Chase. He over powered her easily, while managing to control his stallion’s nervous movements with ease and expertise. Lacey brought her hands up and pushed against his massive, rock hard chest. But it was like trying to move a mountain. She whimpered beneath his attack, becoming aware of things she didn’t want to notice.

She began to slip towards the ground and ceased her movements, bringing her arms up to cling to Chase’s neck. It brought Lacey closer to him. He growled, forcing her mouth open until he could slip his tongue inside. Unwillingly, she began to melt under his rough kiss, returning the thrust of his tongue against hers. A sharp need of desire uncurled inside her belly, turning her blood hot. She was afraid of not being strong enough to deny him if he should seek more than a kiss.

Lacey had never been handled so ruthlessly by any man before, no one had dared. And while she balked at his arrogance, she couldn’t deny the feelings he roused. The thrill of his mouth on hers, the feel of his whiskers against her tender skin and the taste of something sweet on his breath heightened her arousal. Her nostrils flared, greedily taking in the masculine scent of sweat, leather and horse.

Most of all his arousal.


Three (3) readers will randomly be chosen to receive a free download of this book. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. I’ll announce the winners a week from today (Friday 11/6) on my Romance with an Attitude Blog so be sure to check it.

I know it’s early but I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season this year. It will be here before you know it! Please check out my website at: www.toryrichards.com and join my monthly newsletter. The join my yahoo group icon is on my blog and website.

Tootles!

Bringing the Heavy (Metal) to Romance!

October 29, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 3 Comments →

One of the great things about writing while listening to Heavy Metal is the wide range of lyrics that come across my speakers from the various bands I’m jamming. Being a male romance writer, the supposed joke is that I’m not emotionally expressive enough, so in my writing life I can show the love I have to give.  For the record, I’m not talking about spandex bullshit metal like Stryper or Warrant.  Those guys aren’t metal.

Obviously this is just a bunch of crap but I’m not here to set the record straight on the Male romance writer.  Being a paranormal/Urban Fantasy/Kinky writer, I have to decide with my characters what their issues are and how they’re going to resolve them.  Listening to music helps keep me in that world until my writing is done for the day.  Writing dark stories with themes of trusting the self and our mates, having to get over old issues, learning to love and live again, those are heavy things.

Much of the Metal that I listen to deals with these themes, as well as jolted lovers and that helps me to build stories with worlds that are vast, images that appeal to all a reader’s senses and characters who are REAL.

What?  YOU don’t want real?  Shame on you!  Readers aren’t looking for characters that have their EXACT same problems, but rather I believe that readers want to see how characters deal with similar situations and get out of it to get that coveted HEA.  The fact that no one I personally know can relate to Echo from Echo’s Odyssey is probably a joyous thing since he’s an assassin for Feary.  Slipknot  helped create those feelings of loneliness and self betrayal. So did Sevendust.  Lyrically those two bands are some of the darkest out there because they deal with the scariest thing of all:  Self.

The theme of Echo’s Odyssey is that true love can conquer everything (sounds like any romance novel huh?) if the parties would just let it.

In Echo’s Odyssey, the wars of Faery are over, but for the assassin Echo and his lover Alexandrya, a new war is just beginning. They return to Faery expecting to be reunited with the third member of their triad, the princess Serenissa, only to find she and Faery itself are threatened by even greater peril.

Heavenly Bodies out now in Print!  BUY!

Dream Theater has been a new inspiration despite the fact that I jammed them when I was younger.  I lost touch with a them after the 4th album because it wasn’t heavy or dark enough for me.  But my brother sent me some newer cds of theirs and now I’ve got them in MP3 rotation as I plan out a new novel and work the followup to “I Will Submit to You, Master” while dealing with the typical trust issues in a BDSM novel along with her growth issues at being forced to look at her own reality.  Particularly just the flow of the album  Train of Thought because of ambience created by the band.

That’s what writers, do, we create ambiance using the flow of our words to create worlds readers escape to.  If I’ve done my job well, then I’ve taken you out of this reality and shown you another one.

Sascha Illyvich
Sascha’s Secrets…stories so hot they must be whispered
Listen to the UnNamed Romance Show – Mondays at 1 PM PST on Radio Dentata - where we talk with the hottest in romance today!

Back to Basics

October 28, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 2 Comments →

These last few month’s I’ve been busy working on some projects. It’s fun delving into world and new characters. Getting to know all about them and bring them to life. When I write that first word I get a thrill.

As the words unfold I get even more excited. Writing a book is like a painting to me. First I study the page. Decide how to lay my colors for the best picture. Each piece has to work with each other to create something great.

Lately I’ve had this story I’m working on. It is a story that came out of the blue so I didn’t sit down and plan anything. Just sat down and wrote. As I wrote the plot became more and more intricate. I like when it get intricate and complicated it keep me on my toes. So this story is flowing so well that I get up each day and can’t wait until I have a moment to write it. Usually I don’t go back and read a story over until I am done but I needed to make sure a thread I had written was correct so I went back and re-read the part. Before I knew it I was caught up in the story. LOL. I realized the story so far was real good.

Hmmm…this is a back to basics way for me. Let the thoughts flow and go as they will. My writing process has changed as I write each story and I love moving with it.

Next up there is a dream that keeps bugging me. I think it is calling out for a story.

Have a great weekend.

McKenna Jeffries
http://www.mckennajeffries.com
…. sensual, edgy, unexpected

Blog: http://www.mckennajeffries.com/blog
Chat Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/McKennaJeffriesList
Free Reads Site: http:/ /www.satinnotes.com/

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.

WHO SAID IT FIRST

October 27, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 14 Comments →

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eBay has engendered itself into our workplace.  As an overview, this phenomenon has taken our culture by Perfect Storm.  There it is, so common, that governor Sarah Palin used it to sell a state owned jet.  And its stock is considered by money people like Michael Nesmith as indicators as to the direction of our market.  We have five computers, of which, one seems to be a virtual eBay satellite.  As we have written previously, Zi buys!  He finds beauty to behold in treasures that unfold on his screen.   Yes, Zi got a few more shirts, today, didn’t need them.  The day ended up being quite interesting.  We’d be in the middle of discussing dialogue between characters, obviously he multi-tasking, and suddenly he’d yelp, “Gotcha!”  He won what he thought was beauty.  What’s thought to be one man’s discard is another man’s treasure. 

Margaret Hungerford wrote, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” She was an Irish novelist in the 19th century who wrote light romantic fiction.  However, this saying first appeared in the 3rd century BC in Greek. I find it ironic and inspiring that a romance writer would be attributed to that quote.  Every day we explore and sexplore beauty and its play in love and romance.   It is so dag-nabbit-snap-dragon easy to write about traditional beauty.  Easy to love a gorgeous woman.  It’s equally simplistic to adore a hunky man but give that dude a goiter and he ain’t dating.  We believe that love is goiter-blind, and will try to discover a deeper purpose in love. 

A movie from 1945 called The Enchanted Cottage played out this concept when what was considered a homely housekeeper falls in love with a scarred soldier.  He saw her as beautiful, and she simply could not see his scars.  In our new manuscript, LOVE LETTERS, our hero Rich Longar has a burn scar that is predominate on his face.  Our heroine Lauren Pike maybe a bit fleshy, hippy, zaftig, voluptuous, much of the Mae West character.  We found great pleasure in building their love-ship.  And aptly felt a certain requiting when it unfolded before us.   

You have to adore Mae West.  She once said, “A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up.”  Additionally, she stated, “A hard man is good to find.”  She is attributed with, “A man in the house is worth two on the street.” and “A man’s kiss is his signature.”  We simply adore M. West.  She said, “Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly”, “Cultivate your curves they may be dangerous but they won’t be avoided”, and “He who hesitates is a damned fool”.  Our last two are these, “I didn’t discover curves; I only uncovered them” and “I believe it is better to be looked over than it is to be overlooked”. Lauren Pike is Mae Westian in her sexually overt and vivacious personality as well as her curvaceous appearance.   

The question is would every man find her beautiful?  And the answer is simply, no.  The question is would every woman find Rich Longar attractive?  And the answer is simply, no.  There is a beauty that each holds that has to find synergy with the other.  As writers and especially as romance writers we have to seek that potential interconnect and grow its viability so the reader can feel their raw lust and love.   So every day the beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we are its agents.  

In KILLER DOLLS our heroine purports herself as a tad dowdy and our hero has deep emotional scars that hold him in abeyance to accepting love.  Neither perfect but perfectly matched.  We hope you enjoy the following excerpt.

EXCERPT

They got a room, asked to use the phone, storm had the lines down, asked about a cell phone and the clerk, a man of advanced age, looked at Taut as if he were an alien, paid in cash, parked out of view, and entered a nice but tacky cabin room.

“I see that shabby-chic is nouveau. The guest towels say… well used. Look, a bottle of shampoo. I used this stuff when I was a kid. It bubbles.” Letti was rambling and gently ranting to cover her fear. She now understood the gravity of the situation; it was real, though she did not know why two very evil men were chasing them. Nor why they had her dolls. Why? The dual whys came out in unattractive rumbling, its blasphemy a cruel sacrilege.

“I am sleeping where?” asked Taut. The room had one bed.

“Between me and the door… and that window.”   

 ABOUT AUTHORS

Their combined accomplishments include book publications in print and/or electronic versions of twenty-four titles, fifteen romance specific, ten manuscripts pending, EPPIE finalist for three books, Cecil Whig award, Hob-Nob Reader’s Choice Award, written over 500 shorts with numerous published in both nationwide and small press magazines, articles published in various local, city and statewide newspapers, including four as a Guest Columnist in addition to trade articles. Both are members of various writing groups. 

KILLER DOLLS IS AVAILABLE:  Unaware that bio-terrorists are using her handcrafted dolls to attack the innocent, Letti Noel finds herself falling for Taut Johnson, an undercover FBI agent.  Even as deceit is a growing barrier to their love, it’s the stalking terrorists that are a threat to their lives.  

We’d love to hear from anyone interested in what we do.  Anyone who writes us at angelicahartandzi@yahoo.com and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a GIFT and add you to any future mailings. 

CONTEST ~ Anyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for a free e-book.

Angelica Hart and Zi

KILLER DOLLS ~ September 2009         SNAKE DANCE ~ February 2010         CHASING GRAVITAS ~ July 2010

angelicahartandzi.com     ~     angelicahartandzi@yahoo.com

KILLER DOLLS can be purchased at Champagne Books ~ www.champagnebooks.com

 

Lionfish, Tigersharks and Sea Monsters, Oh My!

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

We’re getting close to Halloween, a holiday that, as a paranormal author, is near and dear to my heart, with its witches and monsters and endless possibilities. Thanks for having me and allowing me to indulge!

For thousands of years there have been legends and myths about sea monsters: Jules Verne, Moby Dick, the Loch Ness monster, whatever’s in the Bermuda triangle, sirens, Charybdis, Jaws, etc. We humans have had a healthy fear of the sea and in the first book of the series, In Over Her Head, I used the mother all of sea monsters–and I mean that literally–as the bad “guy.” Ceto, in Greek mythology, is the mother of them all, including Scylla and Medusa.

So when it came to the second book, Wild Blue Under, I couldn’t have Ceto be the baddy. She already had her turn in the sun, er, sea. What to do, what to do…

Well, when you only have one heir in line for the Mer throne, who better to make trouble but the guy who’s next in line if something happens to the heir?

Meet Drake Cabot. If you paid attention in middle school and know your explorers history, you’ll see Sir Frances Drake and Jon Cabot, both explorers from Queen Elizabeth I and her grandfather, Henry VII’s, reigns, in the villain’s name.

Lofty reputations to live up to, and Drake isn’t doing such a hot job of it.

So when he sees an opening to grab the Mer throne for himself when Rod, the heir apparent, strikes out for land to return Valerie, a half-Mer princess (who lives in Kansas and doesn’t know she’s half-Mer) to the sea, Drake sets out to not only thwart Rod, but to claim the throne for himself.

Sadly for Drake, he isn’t what you’d call adept at overthrowing a monarch, but he sure tries hard. He also isn’t the best judge of character.

Case in point:

     Drake zipped across his limestone foyer with two tail flicks and grabbed the electric ray by the neck, shaking it until the thing went limp. “You worthless hunk of chum. Do I have to do everything myself?”

     Oh, Hades, he’d just strangled his chief operative into unconsciousness.

     As the barnacle colony on the lintel abruptly shut up, Drake flung Gonzo’s inert body onto the pile of useless octopi outside his lair. Those damn suckers hadn’t been able to tear the netting between the manatee enclosure and the outside sea so he’d had Gonzo zap them as incentive. In his self-importance, however, the brainless torpere had ramped up the juice, killing the cephalopods.

     The ineptitude boggled the mind.

     Sighing, he started to shut the door when an eye blinked at him from the sandy floor. Oh, Hades.

     Drake flipped that stupid flounder over with the tip of his tail, the spotted body wiggling in a way it’d never been designed to. Tough. That’s what it got for thinking the entrance to his lair was a smart place to set up shop. Incompetents. That’s what he was surrounded with. Clownfish.

     Yanking the door shut with enough force to dislodge the conch family living rent-free on the roofline, Drake shoveled a fin-full of sand over the pile of ineffectual invertebrates.

     Why was it so hard to get manatees, those stupid sea cows, out of the way? All he’d wanted to do was set them free so they could scour the coastline for food and other floating sacks of blubber to their hearts’ content, thereby keeping them out of his business.

     A few inconspicuous rips here and there in the netting should have done the trick; he couldn’t believe the damn octopi had failed. Hades, if they could pry apart mollusks, a group of them should have been able to make crabmeat out of simple Human netting. But no.

     Morons.

     Drake kicked his tail, swimming above the reef. Sea anemones fluttered their tentacles, little fish darted after their next meal, a crab climbed to the highest peak and broke into song—until he got a look at Drake.

     Drake flicked a sand dollar at the crab, missing it by inches—that, the damn crustacean, and the whole scene, just making a mockery of his anger.

     At least JR was on his side. Despite the fact that Rod had made contact with The Hybrid, the albatross was the perfect hired hand. He’d do anything for the right amount of money, or whatever cause he was championing that day, and wouldn’t have a qualm about seeing it through to the end.

     Sure, it had required a bit of clandestine sleuthing through his father’s office, and a lot of finagling to shift that amount of diamonds from the kimberlite vault to the albatross, but it’d been worth it to land one of the ASA’s best operatives as his henchman.

     JR just better come through.

Drake, for all his bad-boy status, was a fun character to write. He has his moments of utter, What the heck??? But he also has his reasons. Anyone want to try to guess what they are?

Wild Blue Under comes out in November, followed by Catch of a Lifetime in February. The first book in the series, In Over Her Head, came out in June, 2009.

To celebrate the release of each book, I’m giving away a romantic beach getaway. All information is on my website, www.JudiFennell.com as well as a sneak peek at my new series, coming Fall 2010 from Sourcebooks.

Wild Blue Under by Judi Fennell

Wild Blue Under 

Judi Fennell

Sourcebooks, Inc.

November, 2009

ISBN#:9781402224270

Rod Tritone is all set to take over the Mer kingdom when his father retires, until the ruling council tells him he has to marry first. The council gives him legs for the duration of his mission, as well as his future queen’s address and phone number.

She’s Valerie Dumere, the daughter of a Mer father and a human mother who raised her in landlocked Kansas. When devastatingly handsome Rod Tritone shows up and tries to tell her about the kingdom under the sea, not only does she think he’s crazy, she’s determined that’s the last place she’d ever want to go.

Then a vicious squad of seagulls tries to stop the Mer Prince from inheriting his throne and Val finds out about her true nature. Now she has to make the choice of a lifetime—stay on land, or follow Rod to his underwater world…

What people are saying about Wild Blue Under:

“Fennell returns with another underwater adventure, her second story about the Tritone brothers. She’s proving herself to be a solid storyteller, and this tale is an enjoyable and pleasant read.”

-Devon Paige, RT BookReviews Magazine.com

“Wild Blue Under” is the second book of author, Judi Fennell’s Mer Trilogy, and the first of hers I have read and definitely won’t be the last! This book was such a fun, delightful read.” -Jaime, Revenge of the Book Nerds

“Judi Fennell is a bright star on the horizon of romance.” -Judi McCoy, author of Hounding the Pavement

“The best Mer book I’ve ever read.” -Rowena Cherry, author of Knight’s Fork

“Bubbly fun! Judi Fennell whips together talking birds, princely peril and a sexy Mer man in this sparkling ‘under the sea’ tale.”  -Virginia Kantra, USA Today best-selling author

 

About The Author:

Judi Fennell has had her nose in a book and her head in some celestial realm all her life, including those early years when her mom would exhort her to “get outside!” instead of watching Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie on television. So she did–right into Dad’s hammock with her Nancy Drew books.

These days she’s more likely to have her nose in her laptop and her head (and the rest of her body) at her favorite bookstore, but she’s still reading, whether it be her latest manuscript or friends’ books.

A three-time finalist in online contests, Judi has enjoyed the reader feedback she’s received and would love to hear what you think about her Mer series. Check out her website at www.JudiFennell.com for excerpts, reviews and fun pictures from reader and writer conferences, and the chance to “dive in” to her stories.

Fantasy Romance author Leanna Renee Hieber’s Halloween top ten!

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

Halloween is my favourite day of the year.

I consider all of October to be Halloween awareness month.

Here are my top ten things I must do in October:

1. Burn mulled wine and cider candles to get that wonderful smell in my home.

2. Drink mulled wine and cider (yum)

3. Listen to The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack.  Really loud.  And then find a screening.  Best in 3D! 

4. Tell a ghost story to friends! 

5. Write spooky stories…  (Oh wait, I do that all the time)

6. Stroll through graveyards.

7. Seek out vistas of changing fall leaves.

8. Read some Edgar Allan Poe

9. The Great Pumpkin Blaze! (www.historichudsonvalley.org)

10. Dress in an elaborate costume to celebrate the best day of the year!

I hope you’ll check out my fantasy fiction, particularly my debut novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, a ghostly, Gothic Victorian Fantasy that is perfect for Halloween!  Because of it’s recent recommendation and feature at True-Blood.net, the official Fansite for the HBO hit True Blood, Barnes & Noble is running a sale until the end of October and you can get the book at a 30% discount!  http://bn.com/misspercy

I’m also running a contest in honour of my Prism Award winning novella, Dark Nest, visit www.leannareneehieber.com/contests for details.

Blessings and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
Leanna Renee Hieber
www.leannareneehieber.com

www.twitter.com/leannarenee
2009 Prism Award Winner: DARK NEST
Now Available from Dorchester Publishing:
THE STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL TALE OF MISS PERCY PARKER – first in the Strangely Beautiful series the ghostly, Gothic, Victorian fantasy has begun!

Carly Phillips – I Love Contemporaries

October 23, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 32 Comments →

ROMANCE JUNKIES BLOG – LUCKY BREAK

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I’ve posted variations of this blog because to me, discussing contemporary romance never gets old. love to read and write contemporaries. I love to talk to others who read contemporaries and gauge what they have to say about current books and authors. Recently I got to thinking about the books I’ve written.

The Hot Zone – Sports Heroes

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The Chandler Brothers – Brothers and their mother who wants grandchildren

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The Costas Sisters – polar opposite twin sisters with an Atlantic City con family

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Ty and Hunter – 3 best friends, separated by a deep dark secret

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The many Temptations I’ve written over the years

THE LUCKY SERIES – 3 sexy male cousin plagued by a family curse.

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I don’t want anyone to think the word “curse” means the LUCKY series is a twist on what I write. Let me be clear. The LUCKY Series is NOT a paranormal series. It doesn’t pretend to be. What the Lucky series does, finishing up with LUCKY BREAK in stores tomorrow, is to touch on the notion that a curse can actually be many thing from a streak of bad luck to a self fulfilling prophecy – and how an affected family and those who love them suffer in the process. The newest generation of Corwin men want to find love and break the curse – but they don’t know how. Derek in LUCKY CHARM reunited with the love he let go in order to protect her from the curse and is now praying that she is his lucky charm. Mike in LUCKY STREAK found a woman adept at gambling and one willing to take risks, their love being the biggest risk of all. And up now in LUCKY BREAK is the last Corwin cousin, Jason.

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Jason is the most fascinating cousin because his long ago love is Lauren Perkins – of the same Perkins family whose ancestor supposedly placed the curse. The families are supposed to be enemies. Her grandmother wreaked havoc on the town and the Corwin family for years. Her sister is in prison for Arson, having perpetuated her grandmother’s legacy. So Lauren wants only to sell her grandmother’s old house and move on with her life away from the bad memories. But that’s not such an easy thing to do when Jason Corwin shows up in her life again. First he insists on being the one to renovate the house. Then he whispers sweet, sexy somethings in her ear … about staying in town. Soon a saboteur and the promise of hidden treasure changes everything – and one lucky break just might put an end … to the Corwin curse forever.

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In contemporary romance, I love humor!  What do you love about contemporary romance? What kind of hero and heroine? What sort of story?  Post for a chance to win a $25 gift

You can check out my brand new website,  see the LUCKY BREAK video, and much more at www.carlyphillips.com .

A Regency Halloween

October 22, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Contests, Guest Blogger 6 Comments →

Hi! Thanks for asking me along to talk about how Halloween was celebrated during Jane Austen’s time, it’s a great subject to talk about. Halloween is still a popular festival in the UK, and I know it’s very popular in the US, too!

The history of Halloween goes right back to the druids in England, so it’s been going for thousands of years. It was originally known as Samhain, meaning “The End of Summer”. It celebrated the harvest as well as preparing for the winter, which is why a lot of the Halloween traditions are about death and renewal, and why they often use symbols of the harvest. It was a time when the veil between the dying year and the newly arriving one was thought to be very thin, hence the belief that it was a time for spirits to walk the earth and supernatural things to happen.

Making lanterns was a popular pastime for Halloween, but in Jane Austen’s time they were cut out of turnips or swede, which are hard root vegetables, and a lot smaller than pumpkins. Turnip lanterns are still made in England today, although they are slowly being overtaken by pumpkin lanterns because pumpkins are easier to cut. But there’s nothing like the smell of a swede or a turnip as the candles roast the inside of the vegetable!

Once the lanterns were made, people could get down to the serious business of catching a glimpse of their future spouse. There were all sorts of ways of seeing the face of the man or woman you were going to marry, for those brave enough to try.

One way was to go to a river and dip your left sleeve in, then hang your shirt by the fire, putting the left sleeve closest to it to dry. At some time during the night, the image of your future spouse was meant to come and turn the shirt, as if to dry the other sleeve.

Another way was to walk three times round a haystack, and on the last time you would supposedly see an image of your future spouse.

Another custom was to take three dishes and put clean water in one, dirty water in another and nothing at all a third. Someone would then be blindfolded and led over to the dishes, where they would dip their hand into one of them. If they dipped it into the clean water, they would marry a maid or a bachelor; if into the dirty water, they would marry a widow or a widower; and if they dipped it into the empty dish they would not marry at all.

The fact that so many of the traditions revolve around finding a husband or wife shows just how important the subject was in Jane Austen’s time. After all, her books are about the same thing.

Elizabeth and Darcy have no need of these traditions in Mr Darcy, Vampyre, because they have already found each other, but Elizabeth has a close encounter with the supernatural at Halloween all the same. When she and Darcy stop for the night at a small tavern in the Alps, this is what happens:


Elizabeth went over to the window and prepared to close it, but her hand rested on the catch for a moment and she looked out over the tranquil, moonlit landscape. The lake was shining placidly in the silver light and, far off, trees were silhouetted against the white backdrop of the mountain. Hanging above it was a gibbous moon, phosphorescent in the darkness.

Her attention was attracted by movement close at hand and she saw the dark shape of a bird – no, a bat – heading towards the window. She closed it quickly, leaving the bat to hover outside. As she looked at it she was seized with a strange feeling. She thought how lonely it must feel, being shut out; being a part and yet not a part of the warmth and light within.

Then the bat turned and flew away and the moment was broken and she went back to the other side of the room, warming herself by the fire.

There was still no sign of Darcy.

She returned to her own room, and to her astonishment she found him standing on the hearthrug. She had not heard his footsteps in the corridor, but her surprise quickly gave way to a sense of anticipation. He had come to her after all. She went closer and she felt the tension in him, as though he was trying to hold back some great force by sheer strength of will. She shivered, but not with cold. She could hear his shallow, uneven breathing, and he leaned towards her . . .

What kind of Halloween customs do you have in your area? I don’t suppose you will be dipping your sleeves in the river, but whatever you do, I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween.

Amanda Grange

http://www.amandagrange.com/

Gerald Myers, guest blog, October 21st, 2009

October 21, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 3 Comments →

I’d like to begin by thanking Romance Junkies for inviting me to submit today’s blog.  Since this is the first time I’ve ‘blogged’ my offering may not be as polished as the more experienced participants, but having been a journal keeper off and on over the years I relish the undertaking.

In way of introduction, I’m a clinical cardiologist born and raised in Philadelphia who spent the bulk of his professional career in Pittsburgh, but decided to relocate to Northern Colorado in the summer of 2003.  Although medicine is my vocation, my passion has always been creative writing.  This ostensibly dates back to early adolescence when I attempted to write my own version of a ‘Hardy Boys’ book.

After dabbling with fiction writing in the late eighties and then intensifying my efforts during the next decade I was rewarded with the publication of my first novel, Muted Colors in the summer of 2001.  The work, though considered a medical thriller by the literary community, has at its crux an intense, passionate and decidedly dysfunctional relationship between my antagonist, a somewhat naïve psychiatrist, Marshall Levy and Dr. Rose Shaw an attractive geneticist with a rare congenital heart disease who befriends him and then insidiously morphs into his muse.  Rose, it seems, reveals a fascination I’ve always had with the ‘evil woman’ in contemporary fiction.

songofthesiren_frontcover.jpg

The success of this first endeavor has led to three subsequent publications over the last eight years.  The first, a psychological thriller, called Song of the Siren, is based on an authentic experience I had while driving back from Bethesda, Maryland back in the winter of 1981.  That’s when a young woman from Baltimore tailed me for 100 miles through northern Maryland and into Pennsylvania, before we both stopped at a Howard Johnson’s between Breezewood and Bedford, PA.  There, we shared a coffee and exchanged ‘stories’.  The next was an historically based espionage tale entitled Lethal Legacy that mainly takes place in the late 80’s, but has its roots in Nazi Germany.  And my latest is a coming of age offering set both in Philadelphia in the late 70’s and in Pittsburgh fifteen years later.  Featuring a gruesome murder and the intricacies of the Sicilian Mafia in the back story, my publisher insisted on calling it, The Frame.

the_frame_front.jpg                                                         lethal-legacy.jpg

As you may have gleaned, I find it challenging to explore different genres within the context of novel writing and the results have been satisfying.  And to make things more exciting, now that I’ve contracted a screenwriter to adapt Muted Colors (a work my daughter young-adult daughter affectionately labeled ‘soft porn’) into a screenplay, my avocation may soon be heading into a totally new realm.  I’ve been told that the adaptation may be ready for presentation at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City this January.

So, with that brief introduction, I encourage the reader to sample my work and let me know how it plays.  If your interested in obtaining examples of one or all of my novels, I’d be happy to provide signed copies.  Just contact me at geraldm651@yahoo.com.  The cost would be $11.95 plus S&H.  The titles are also available at my publisher’s website, sterlinghousepublisher.com and of course through Amazon.  And please, check out my new ‘fledgling’ website at geraldmyers.com.

Let me close by sharing that it has been a true privilege to share my thoughts with you today and I look forward to submitting entries in the future.

Literarily speaking

Jerry Myers

Steamy Darcy invites you to a Halloween contest

October 20, 2009 By: Romance Junkies Category: Contests, Latest News 20 Comments →

It will be Halloween soon and http://steamydarcy.blogspot.com    invites you to a fun, scary or romantic contest, depending on how you choose it. Here are the rules:

1. Open a Halloween story by writing a sentence in the comment below. For example, you can start with “The old manor house was once again occupied…”

2. Enid Wilson from  http://steamydarcy.blogspot.com  will select one of the sentences to write a Halloween short story. It will feature her favorite hero Mr. Darcy and we will post it here on 31 October, the Halloween day.

3. Bonus: leave a name (any name, it can be your name, your pet’s or even your enemy’s) in the comment too and tell Enid in a sentence about the person. For example, “Colin Firth is the hottest Mr. Darcy on Earth”.

Enid will select one name to put in the story too. Be warned, she may decide to have Mr. Darcy suck the blood out of the person….

4. You will get a mystery prize from Enid if your opening sentence or name is selected.

Contest opens to all readers. You have until Saturday 24 October USA west coast time to leave the comment. Come and join in the fun!

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