Archive for June, 2012

Playing nicely with others on an anthology…

June 29, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Contests, Guest Blogger, Latest News 9 Comments →

When Jami Davenport, Cristal Ryder and me decided to do an anthology together, I wondered what it would be like. Our stories didn’t interrelate, but they did all spring off

PDEone of my stories, so they all had to make sense for that. Then we each had to do edits, approve the cover, write the blurbs, and set up the promotion. That’s a lot of things for three very busy authors to coordinate.

Yes, a lot of things to coordinate and still like each other at the end of the process.

Here’s how you do it: communicate, communicate, communicate. And then communicate. And communicate some more.

Oh, and pick a great publisher (aka Sybarite Seductions) and great editors (Michele Jensen and Lori T. Peaks). Those help too. ;-)

How did we communicate? Well, since Jami lives in Washington State, I live in New York State and Cristal lives in Ontario, Canada, we communicated through e-mail. Your mileage may vary, but it worked for us.

What did we do if we had a difference of opinion. Well, being erotic romance authors, had we been in the same area we would’ve simply stripped down, gotten in the mud, and settled the problem. But we’re not in the same area, so we had discussions. Lots of them. And we usually took the advice of the person who had the most interest in the decision or the most at stake. That made things easier too.

In the end, we did what was best for the anthology. And now that it’s releasing, we’re totally excited about how it came out, and we hope you guys take a chance on it! You won’t be sorry (we hope).

GIVEAWAY!!!! 

One lucky commenter will win a book from my (Cassandra Carr) back list. If you Tweet or FB the blog post, just leave the URL in a comment for another entry. 

Sybarite Seductions: http://www.sybariteseductions.com

Cassandra Carr: http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com

Jami Davenport: http://www.jamidavenport.com

Cristal Ryder: http://www.cristalryder.com 

Summer Enjoyment

June 28, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 5 Comments →

I love the summer. The sunshine tempts me to go out and have some fun. It’s so much fun to enjoy what is around you. The kids playing in the street, man walking with his dog or the laughter of the woman walking with her friends. The list goes on and on.

I’ve been taking walks around my neighborhood to unwind and just take in the beauty of the day. I turn on my MP3 player, put it in my ear and off I go. My MP3 is filled with some of my favorite music and I have play lists for various moods I might be in. When I’m taking my walks I like to have music that makes me want to groove and move.

So far this summer I’ve been listening to my music, walking and taking in the scenery. There is nothing better than taking a moment to just enjoy life. Enjoy what is around you. So far it has been a summer of enjoyment.

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

Blog: http://www.mckennajeffries.com/blog
Updates 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.

New Release – Gnomeless!

June 28, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 3 Comments →

jzl_sl110_.jpg 

I am thrilled to announce the second book in my Gnome Novel series has been released on Amazon!

Blurb:

Veronica Miller is a plumber on a mission–buy out her dad and the family business is finally hers. One big, handsome problem stands in her way. And it’s not a clogged toilet. 

Jack Reid is the boy she mooned over in high school. He’s back in town, but he’s no longer a boy. Ten years ago he broke her heart, skipped town and never came back. Now he’s a big shot lawyer in Florida whose uncle feigned a health crisis to trick Jack into coming back into town.  Upon arrival Jack finds his uncle is gone, he’s homeless, and forced to be roommates with the one woman he could never resist.  

Jack discovers his lust hasn’t cooled for the sexy Veronica, but neither has her heart forgiven him.  A sex-toy educational party, romance novel writing gone awry, Goldie’s meddling, an escape artist snake, a strange stalker in a fluffy pink coat, a house fire, plumbing gone awry, bitter cold, and a smart-faced garden gnome all conspire to force Jack and Veronica to work through a decade of baggage, disappointment, and unrequited lust while figuring out the mystery behind the stalker.  Hilarity ensues on every page of this sequel to Gnome On The Range.

Get your copy today:

Gnomeless

Gnome On The Range

Jennifer Zane
www.jenniferzane.com
@jenniferzane

Gnomeless picks up where Gnome On The Range left off. It’s winter, it’s freezing, and it’s downright zany in Bozeman, MT. Here’s an excerpt:

Gnomeless

CHAPTER ONE

When little girls play make-believe with their dolls, most pretend they’re mommies or princesses or teachers. Have little tea parties with them, play dress-up. That’s what my sister, Violet, did with hers. Me? I played plumber with mine. I dressed my little Betsy Wets-Alot up in a pair of gray coveralls stolen from a male test pilot action figure I’d found at the toy store. He’d been tossed, naked, into the back of my closet until my sister found him and used him for the groom in her pretend weddings.

Not only did I dress my self-wetting doll in menswear, I ran a straw down the pants leg to divert the faux pee away from her anatomically-incorrect little body. No potty for her. I was five and knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I, Veronica Miller, wanted to be a plumber. Just like my father.
Now, over twenty years later, I’d fulfilled my childhood dream. I was the plumber I’d longed to be, working with my dad. Soon to be working on my own. One last payment to my old man stood between his official retirement and my small business owner status.

I smiled to myself about this almost-upon-me momentous occasion while lathering my hair in the shower. I squealed when the spray of water I was standing beneath went cold and quickly rinsed out the strawberry scented shampoo.

“Stupid hot water heater,” I grumbled to myself as I yanked back the plastic shower curtain and stepped out into the steam filled room. I longed to get back to my own house as Violet’s plumbing system needed some serious work. Even in the thick humidity, goose bumps popped out all over my body as I quickly toweled off and snuggled into my ratty, yet wonderfully comfortable flannel robe.

While I leaned over and rubbed my wet hair with a bright pink towel, I heard it. The sound of a key in a lock, the front door opening. I froze in place upside-down, staring at my knees between the edges of the robe, towel tangled with my long hair. Since I was a plumber, not a law enforcement officer, I lacked the training to keep panic at bay. That hot, adrenaline-induced fear rose up inside me between one heartbeat and the next. I swear the little wet hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Help. I needed to get help, but my cell was in my purse, which I’d dropped by the front door, one room away. No house phone.

I stood up, flipped my dark hair back over my shoulder, held my breath and listened. Rustling and a little mumbling was all I could make out. Who was in the house? Sure, they must have a key since I hadn’t heard a window break, but the only other person who was supposed to have one was Violet, and she was in Utah.

I tiptoed over to the door, bit my lip and winced as I turned the knob and hoped it didn’t squeak. I slowly opened the door as I held my breath. Peeking into the bedroom, I saw nothing out of the ordinary. Barely made bed, dirty clothes tossed haphazardly at the wicker hamper. Something heavy thumped onto the floor from the vicinity of the front door and I looked in that direction as if I had x-ray vision and could see through the wall to the person in the living room.

I squeezed through the small gap I’d made in the bathroom doorway, afraid if I opened it anymore, the old hinges would give me away. Breathing as quietly as possible, which was pretty hard in panic mode, I bent down and grabbed the first thing I could get my hands on to use as a weapon. What I held didn’t register. I knew it was solid wood like a baseball bat and as good as I was going to get for protection.

Violet’s house was small, with only one floor and a scary basement I rarely visited. Living room, kitchen, bedroom and bath. That’s it. Which also meant there wasn’t anywhere to hide.

For breaking and entering, the guy wasn’t Mr. Stealth. It was the middle of the afternoon, he’d come in the front door and he was awfully noisy for someone being where they weren’t supposed to be. Even if he was the worst robber ever, that didn’t mean he wasn’t dangerous.

My palms were sweaty as I peeked around the door jamb into the living room. His back was to me and he appeared to be looking down at something he held in front of him, probably a cell phone. It appeared he was texting, or reading one. Tall, around six feet, maybe a little more, and solid. He wore jeans and dark leather shoes. His black jacket was a lighter weight than one would expect for the dead of winter in Montana in the throes of a bitter cold snap. A gray knit cap covered most of his dark hair.

I didn’t recognize him, but I wasn’t in the mood to wait for him to turn around and see me. I decided to use the element of surprise. I tiptoed over to him and whacked him on the arm with my wooden weapon. Hard.

Thwack!

I’d aimed for his head, but nerves and slick palms messed me up and I hit his shoulder instead. The reverberations tingled in my fingertips.

“What the fuck?” Mr. Intruder said, his voice deep, full of surprise, the cell phone dropped to the floor at his feet. He raised a hand to his upper arm.

As he started to turn to face me, I hit him again, this time on the back of the head.

Crack!

It wasn’t the sound of his skull breaking, but my weapon instead. The wood broke into two, one piece clattering to the floor.

Intruder grunted, fell to his knees with a thunk, then fell face first onto the floral area rug in front of the fireplace, his face turned toward me.
I stood there motionless, stunned, holding half of my broken weapon. Huh, varsity softball had paid off. It appeared I’d hit a home run. I looked down at the prostrate form on the floor. One leg moved a little, which, combined with some groaning, indicated I hadn’t killed him. Even with his eyes closed, I instantly recognized him.

“Oh, shit,” I whispered as I knelt down next to him. The thick wool of the carpet was scratchy against my knees. Why hadn’t I known who it was before I knocked him unconscious? I should have been relieved an axe wielding mad man wasn’t trying to kill me, but I was too surprised instead.

It was Jack Reid. The guy I’d been in love with in high school who I hadn’t seen in over ten years. Ten years where I’d often fantasize about him, about what could have been. I’d often dream about the moment he’d come back into my life, but this definitely wasn’t it. Sure, when he’d gone out with Violet instead of me senior year I’d wanted to kill him, slowly and painfully for doing so, but I’d envisioned strangulation or a pummeling of some kind. Now that I’d possibly killed him, at least knocked him completely unconscious, with—I lifted my broken weapon—the Triple Smacker paddle from my box of sex toys for the toy party I was hosting tonight, I realized the anger and bitterness at his long-ago rejection hadn’t gone away.

How dare he barge into my life again, unannounced, when I wasn’t the least bit ready for him! I wanted make-up, a killer dress, some fuck-me heels on, my hair done, with a hot guy in love with me on my arm when Jack saw me again. To make him see what he’d missed out on. Then I’d crush him beneath my stiletto heel before my lover shifted my attentions elsewhere.

But a robe and tangled, wet hair? A sex toy paddle? Revenge and maybe a little payback would be nice, but a felony conviction for assault? Oh boy.

Dropping the broken paddle onto the floor, I leaned over Jack and gently probed the back of his head. No brains gushing out, no blood seeping from beneath his hat. One huge goose egg of a bump though. I winced, thinking about the headache—maybe concussion—he might have.
Man, he smelled good. Woodsy, clean, male mixed with the fruity scent of my shampoo from my hair tangled about my face. His scent was sexy in an unconscious sort of way.

“Jack, Jack wake up,” I said, gently moving his shoulder. “Jack!” He had to wake up because I couldn’t live with myself being known around town as the woman who killed Jack Reid with a Triple Smacker.

After another groan and a few moans, he rolled onto his back, blinked his eyes a few times and stared at me. At first, unseeing, then with focus.
Boy, even knocked practically unconscious, he sure looked amazing. Ten years had done the man a lot of good. His face was more rugged, jaw more pronounced. It could have been the five o’clock shadow at two in the afternoon that helped with that. He had a fabulous tan. The kind you get from living in Florida. Lips I’d dreamt about kissing when I was sixteen still looked appealing now. His dark hair that peeked out of his cap had a little curl. His blue eyes, even unfocused, were just as I remembered. Longing, once forgotten, flared back to life.

He just stared at me, looking me over as if I was a space alien. I couldn’t tell if he was confused or just addle pated. “Jack, say something.”

He blinked. Smirked, but quickly winced.

“Um.”

Oh God, had I caused him amnesia?

He cleared his throat. “Nice breast.”

I glanced down at myself, one breast was definitely out there for Jack to see, my nipple hard. I yanked at the side of my robe that was glaringly open, my hand at my neck holding the lapels together.

“Is this how you treat all your boyfriends?” His blue eyes had cleared, weren’t quite so foggy as a minute ago. “A kiss hello would probably be better, although maybe that’s not your way.” His gaze dropped to my chest.

My mouth fell open as anger flared. “You’re not my boyfriend. You lost your chance ten years ago,” I said tartly.

Jack leered. The smile he gave me couldn’t be described as anything else. “So you flash everyone who comes through the door, or just me?” He lifted a hand and rubbed the back of his head, winced.

 I felt my cheeks burn hot at the thought of my epic wardrobe malfunction. It was completely and utterly mortifying, and on top of that, he was being a complete jerk about it. “Only ones I bash on the head first.”

Meet Diva Jefferson

June 27, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 9 Comments →

Today, we have an interview with historical romance author, Diva Jefferson, about the journey of publishing. Thank you to everyone who submitted their questions on Facebook. Now here are the answers. Enjoy! :)

1) What do you do when you have to kill off characters you love? Although, I write in the romance genre, I’ve also killed off characters that I’ve gained an attachment to. Of course, I don’t necessarily “love” all these people but they’ve added enjoyment to the story and furthered the plot. Since I’m working on a sequel, in order to heighten the circumstances, one of my favorite characters from the previous novel was killed in a carriage accident. As the hero’s uncle, he was a pivotal part of the story, but sometimes in order to up the stakes for the characters, death is an integral part of the plot.

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2) How are you marketing your work? What have you learned through the process? Authors all prefer different ways to promote their books. Since To Love An Irishman is my first traditional release, I’m working more on my platform and connecting more closely with readers all over the world through the internet. I participate in giveaway hops hosted by popular blogs and when my book first launched I went on a blog tour. Of course, I could be setting up signings in local bookstores, but I’ve learned that platform is more important in the beginning stages of publishing. Besides, touring requires time and resources that I don’t have.

My advice to those new to publishing, develop a solid marketing plan before your book is released, and then promote at least once a day. You could always do more, but I don’t know about you, I’d rather have time to write more!

3) How did you find an editor you like to work with? Actually, I did not get to choose my editor. My publisher, Black Opal Books, has a great number of on-staff editors who cater to your every need. They aren’t too pushy and they understand what it means to maintain the writer’s voice.

Usually if you decide to traditionally publish your work, an editor is part of the package. Sometimes they are hired on by freelance writers or someone dedicated solely to editing, but in most cases you get what you bargain for.

4) How did you get published? Why did you decide on this particular publisher? Like every author out there, I received my fair share of rejection letters. Writing friends in my Celtic Hearts Romance Writers group posted a link to a website called Savvy Authors. They are a site dedicated to writers who help other writers. Once or twice a month they hold a pitch your book opportunity where agents and editors read queries/pitches from hopeful authors. They respond within a week to those who they choose to represent or in my case, ask for full/partial manuscripts. For budding authors, this is a great opportunity to reach out to people you usually cannot touch.

Around April of last year, I participated in a few of these pitch events. One pitch went to an agent and another went to an acquisitions editor for Black Opal Books. Although, I didn’t hear back from the agent, I did receive an email from the editor asking for a full manuscript. I sent it almost immediately afterwards, and waited for a reply. Let’s just say, I received a contract offer from BOB and accepted the terms.

I chose BOB because they were new and gave me a great opportunity to grow with a small press. Of course, we all shoot for the sky, but sometimes it’s better to land among the stars then to not try at all. You know? They are expanding their horizons, giving their authors more options for their books, and giving authors an opportunity for success. So far, I’ve met wonderful people through my publisher, and I’ve gained more experience than I can ever hope for. J

5) How hard was it to get a publisher to read and like your book? As I mentioned before, there are website like Savvy Authors who help people find a home for their book. My best advice for those who haven’t made a sale, make sure you edit your manuscript the best you can and write a great query letter. When those two tasks are done, usually all it takes is an email to showcase your work to an editor/agent. In the end, what publishers/agents look for is great storytelling and a unique voice. If you have both, you will have a sell. No problem. Good luck with all your endeavors! :)

BOOK BLURB

She is left with an offer she cannot refuse…

Upon his death in 1823, English nobleman, Lord Peyton leaves his daughter Lady Aveline with two choices—stay single and inherit only a small farm in Ireland, where she might just be able to eke out a living, or get married and live in luxury, inheriting all his wealth and property. Fiercely independent, Aveline heads for Ireland only to run afoul of her father’s farm manager, the devastatingly handsome Ciaran O’’Devlin. Alone in a strange country, Aveline yearns for love and friendship, but Ciaran offers only criticism and disdain. Confused and angered by strange visions and her growing attraction to Ciaran, Aveline is determined to make the farm prosper—despite the insufferable Irishman.

He has a secret he cannot reveal…

Ciaran mistrusts Aveline’s intentions and refuses to admit that a willful, English woman now owns the farm that should have been his. Although he insists Aveline should go back to England, he cannot deny their budding passion. Yet, he knows—even if she doesn’t—that nothing will come of it. Not only can’t a poor Irishman marry an English noblewoman, but when Aveline learns of his past, she’ll want nothing more to do with him. Ciaran has always known that each decision carries a consequence, but it’s only when he stands to lose Aveline that he realizes what a heavy price his past decisions may have.

WHERE CAN I BUY TO LOVE AN IRISHMAN?

Black Opal Books All Formats
Amazon Paperback/Kindle
B&N Paperback/Nook
Smashwords Ebook
All Romance Books Ebook

AUTHOR BIO

Diva Jefferson was born in sunny Orlando, FL. Later, she moved to South Carolina where she currently resides. She lives with her amazing cat named Muffin and her fiancé, Connor. She has a colorful relationship with the romance genre. She’s been writing for over ten years and wouldn’t trade it for the world. She is a member of the National Romance Writers of America, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop. She truly believes that life is a journey worth making.

You can find more information about Diva Jefferson and To Love An Irishman by visiting her website, http://divajefferson.com or her blog at http://diva-jefferson.blogspot.com, as well as Twitter and Facebook.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR GENA SHOWALTER NTRODUCES SOME FIENDISHLY DIVINE ANGELS

June 26, 2012 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News 10 Comments →

 We are giving away 2 copies of Gena’s Showalter’s Latest book – WICKED NIGHTS.

How do you enter? Go to Gena’s Webpage

 Come back here and tell us in the comments section something of interest you found on her page. We will be picking winners on July 4th.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR GENA SHOWALTER

INTRODUCES SOME FIENDISHLY DIVINE ANGELS

WICKED

NIGHTS

July 2012

Angels of the Dark

From the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author who brought you the Lords of the Underworld comes a dark and seductive new spin-off series. WICKED NIGHTS (Harlequin HQN, July 2012, $7.99 U.S./$9.99 CAN.) is the first book in Gena Showalter’s exhilarating Angels of the Dark series featuring heavenly beings poised on the brink of destruction.

Leader of the most powerful army in the heavens, Zacharel has been deemed by the One True Deity as being nearly too dangerous, too ruthless—and if he isn’t careful, he’ll lose his wings. But this warrior with a heart of ice will not be deterred from his missions at any cost…until a vulnerable human tempts him with a carnal pleasure he’s never known before.

Accused of a crime she did not commit, Annabelle Miller has spent four years in an institution for the criminally insane. Demons track her every move, and their king will stop at nothing to have her. Zacharel is her only hope for survival, but is the brutal angel with a touch as hot as hell her salvation—or her ultimate damnation?

WICKED NIGHTS

GENA SHOWALTER

$7.99 U.S./$9.99 CAN. ISBN-13: 978-0-373-77698-6

GENA SHOWALTER

Gena Showalter is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author whose books have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines, as well as Entertainment Weekly. Her novel Red Handed has even been optioned by Sony Television. Critics have called her books “sizzling page-turners” and “utterly spellbinding stories,” while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise.” Her mix of humor, danger and wickedly hot sex provides wildly sensual page-turners sure to enthrall.

 

“Combining passion, humor, pulse-pounding action and just plain fun, Gena Showalter’s books are always a refreshing escape!”—New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian

 

“With a fascinating premise, a sexy hero and nonstop action, The Darkest Night is Showalter at her finest, and a fabulous start to an imaginative new series.”—Karen Marie Moning, New York Times bestselling author

 “A world of myth, mayhem and love under the sea!”—J. R. Ward, New York Times bestselling author, on The Nymph King

 “One of the premier authors of paranormal romance!”—Kresley Cole, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“I love her books!”—P.C. Cast, New York Times bestselling author of the House of Night series

Giveaway – Author Mary Jo Putney

June 25, 2012 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News 9 Comments →

We have one copy of the Rake and a copy of No Longer a Gentelman to giveaway. How do you enter? Just comment to this post and let us know if you have ever read a book by Author Mary Jo Putney. Haven’t read her yet, but would like to try out her stories? or are you a hard core fan? let us know! We will be picking winners  June 30th.

“An enduring classic…a towering landmark in romantic fiction that is quite simply the very best of the best.” —Romantic Times

“No one writes historical romance better.” —Cathy Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author

Romance and wartime espionage mix delightfully in the fourth Lost Lords Regency (after Nowhere Near Respectable) from bestseller Putney….The unusually balanced and sensitively depicted romantic duo, suspenseful adventure, and well-researched historical background make this a must for Regency fans. —Publishers Weekly starred review

 The Rake
By New York Times Bestselling Author Mary Jo Putney

A man’s past doesn’t have to map his fate, especially when a woman holds the key to his destiny in this timeless novel by New York Times bestselling author and legend in historical romance Mary Jo Putney…

Disinherited and disgraced, Reginald Davenport’s prospects cried for a dire end. But fate has given him one last chance at redemption—by taking his rightful place as the heir of Strickland, his lost ancestral estate. Davenport knows his way around women, yet nothing prepares him for his shocking encounter with Lady Alys Weston.

Masquerading as a man in order to obtain a position as estate manager of Strickland, Alys fled a world filled with mistrust and betrayal. She was finished with men—until Strickland’s restored owner awakens a passion she thought she would never feel. A passion that will doom or save them both…if only they can overcome their past.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Jo Putney was born in Upstate New York with a reading addiction, a condition for which there is no known cure. Since 1987, Ms. Putney has published twenty-nine books and counting. Her stories are noted for psychological depth and unusual subject matter such as alcoholism, death and dying, and domestic abuse. She has made all of the national bestseller lists including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly. Five of her books have been named among the year’s top five romances by The Library Journal. The Spiral Path and Stolen Magic were chosen as one of Top Ten romances of their years by Booklist,published by the American Library Association.

The Rake
Mary Jo Putney
Zebra Historical Romance; March 27, 2012

352 pages; U.S. $7.99; CAN $ 8.99

ISBN-13: 978-1-4201-1727-1

http://www.maryjoputney.com/

 “Intoxicating and not-to-be missed.” —Romantic Times (4 ½ Stars, Top Pick)

“Rich with historical detail and multifaceted characters.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Exquisitely and sensitively written.” —Library Journal, starred review

“Romance at its best!” —Julia Quinn, New York Times bestselling author

No Longer A Gentleman:

The Lost Lords #4

By New York Times Bestselling Author Mary Jo Putney

Grey Sommers, Lord Wyndham, never met a predicament he couldn’t charm his way out of. Then a tryst with a government official’s wife during a bit of casual espionage in France condemns him to a decade in a dungeon, leaving him a shadow of his former self. Yet his greatest challenge may be the enigmatic spy sent to free his body—the only woman who might heal his soul.

Cassie Fox lost everything in the chaos of revolution, leaving only a determination to help destroy Napoleon’s empire through her perilous calling. Rescuing Grey is merely one more mission. She hadn’t counted on a man with the stark beauty of a ravaged angel, whose desperate courage and vulnerability thaw her frozen heart. But a spy and a lord are divided by an impassable gulf even if they manage to survive one last, terrifying mission….

 No Longer a Gentleman

Mary Jo Putney
Zebra Hisorical Romance; April 24, 2012
352 pages; U.S. $7.99; CAN $8.99
ISBN-13: 978-1-4201-1723-3

http://www.maryjoputney.com/

Write What You Know, Or Fighting Fate, by Louise Clark

June 25, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 4 Comments →

 Write what you know. An English teacher in grade 10 told me that. That was a while ago, but I’m pretty sure creative writing teachers are still saying the same thing.

I write contemporary romance, which I think can fall into the category of writing what you know. But I also write historical romance set in seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century England. Though I’ve visited England, I don’t live there and of course I have no experience of life two or more centuries ago. For these stories, I am clearly not writing what I know.

In my latest book, Fighting Fate, a time travel paranormal, I’ve combined the contemporary and historical, so I’m somewhere in the middle. The story takes place in contemporary Boston and my heroine works for a high tech company. Write what you know? Contemporary world – check. Location, Boston – I visited specifically to scout out sites for events in the story, so yes, check. Job in a high tech company in my recent past? – Check. Time traveler from 1772 to the twenty-first century? Well, no. Time travel can’t happen.

But wait. If it someone could travel from the past to the present, or from the present to the past, what would the be the result? He would be out of place, unaware of everyday customs and events we take for granted. While a man from the twenty-first century who was visiting the eighteenth could probably chop wood for the fireplace, he’d be amazed at the difficulty and slow pace of travel from one place to another.

The trick to writing what you know for a time travel romance like Fighting Fate, would be to learn about the time period my character lived in, in this case the eighteenth century. The research would include discovering as much as possible about the ideas and events of the time, as well as customs and expectations, then use the information to create my character. That is, after all, what I did when I wrote my historical romances.  By reading extensively I felt that I knew the people of the time period and so how they would react to a given situation. Why not use the same technique for my time travel? Made sense to me.

In Fighting Fate Andrew Byrne is a time traveler visiting the twenty-first century. In his own time the year is 1772. His home is in pre-revolutionary Boston. He doesn’t know that he and like-minded others will soon rebel against the British. He doesn’t know that there will be a long and bitter war. Or what the result will be. But Faith Hamilton, living in the twenty-first century knows. And that knowledge makes Andrew’s visit to her time period very complicated, causing Faith no end of trouble. To make sure Andrew not only copes with modern technologies like computers and cars, but doesn’t learn too much about the crucial events he will soon be involved with in his own time, Faith enlists the aid of co-worker Cody Simpson. And that is when the romance . . . and the fun . . . begins.

Write what you know. Hmmmm. Maybe that grade 10 English teacher was on to something.

Pick up a copy of Fighting Fate at

Kindle

Kobo 

Fictionwise

BNebook 

Lachesis Publishing Inc

Win a free ebook of Fighting Fate! The winner will selected on Friday from those who leave a comment .

Splendid Summer Reading and Loving Amazon by Mary Matthews

June 24, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Latest News 9 Comments →

During the long days of childhood summer, I rode my bike to the library to check out books every week.  My Dad insisted that I ride my bike.  Okay, now I agree with him that it’s good to get physical and mental exercise.  And, no, it’s not more fun to go to work instead of summer camp.:)

From biking miles for a print book, to pushing a button on my Kindle and downloading a book in under a minute, one thing hasn’t changed: I love being transported by a good book.  Ebooks and print books are different ways of taking the same journey to another world.

I love Amazon because it’s connected writers and readers in a way never before possible.  And if you read my blog, www.splendidsummer.com , you know I’m patriotic.  Part of Amazon’s beauty is it’s inherently American.  We’ve always been a country without barriers.  Amazon offers equal distribution online for all.  You can be an independent writer or a publishing house and have the same opportunity to distribute your book on Amazon.

I adore my Kindle.  On Kindle, we can read classics for free.  If we find an author we like, we can download all her books immediately.  And, I suppose we could easily read on Kindle while riding a stationary bike.  My Dad would approve:)  It might be even be fun to have a Kindle attachment that measures pulse rate.  Wouldn’t it be cool to know if an awesome suspense novel could raise your pulse?

But that doesn’t mean a print book can’t still catch my eye:)  Ebooks and print books can both deliver a great story.  After I wrote Splendid Summer, I couldn’t wait to return to its 1920s world of glamour and mystery.  So, I wrote Emeralds, Diamonds, and Amethysts.

In Splendid Summer, the Roaring Twenties are rocking again. Magical White Cat Tatania helps her human operatives solve mysteries without missing a nap. When Grace Wentworth loses her last living relative and all her money, hot Detective and WWI Aviator Jack Brewster gets the case. Grace is learning to lead her own life instead of just following it around. Startled by Grace’s lack of deference to him, Jack recognizes his romantic equal.

undefinedEmeralds, Diamonds, and Amethysts is about a secret code. And when a special collection of emeralds, diamonds, and amethysts disappears, Magical White Cat Tatania will direct her human operatives, romantic Roaring Twenties Detectives Grace Wentworth and Jack Brewster to its location without missing a nap. The Roaring Twenties rock again while Grace and Jack romp through another adventure.

I’m going to give away Kindle copies of Splendid Summer and Emeralds, Diamonds, and Amethysts and a $15.00 Amazon gift card to one commenter.  Tell me about the most recent book you liked.  And did you read it in ebook or print book format?  I wish you all splendid summer reading!

The Temptation to Write too Much

June 20, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 2 Comments →

 solsticenights.jpg

 There are two natures to the Short Story: The Independent and The Companion.

The Independent is a self-contained universe. The story requires all world-building to happen within its narrative. Everything that is known is revealed.The End is truly The End of the story.

The Companion stands on its own weak foundations while relying on a larger story for its structure. The Companion was an outlet for authors. All the details and scenes that were cut from the novel for pacing’s sake could be harvested into a short story. The Companion Short is challenged to fit within the confines of being both worthy of standing alone while referencing the parent story. Here the author faces the temptation to write too much. It is tempting to include every character description, every back story; to include the complete history because the writer wants the reader to know what is happening. It is a very tempting trap. If the writer crosses into ‘Too-Much-Information’, he will bore the reader that is familiar with the referenced work and confuse the novice.

The current trend is to write short stories with the purpose of releasing them as ‘FREE READS’. ( I am guilty of this) The ‘free read’ is a phenomenon that matured with ebooks. Intentionally writing a short story as marketing targets two distinct audiences: The Established Fan and the New Recruit. The Established Fan will read the Companion Short because hopefully they enjoyed the full length story and want more by the author. The New Recruit is taking a chance on a ‘free’ story.

I encountered this unique challenge when I decided to write ‘Chaos Children’. It follows chronologically after my debut novel “Solstice Night”. My novel is a paranormal romance set in present day Detroit. I spent a lot of time developing my characters, their backstories and what I refer to as the ‘rules’ for my world. Even though the supernatural being in my book exist in the ‘real world’, certain parts of their physiology and history had to be written to exist within our world. Most of the decisions I made, did not end up in the final draft. ‘Chaos Children’ let me refine what I started in my notes and drafts. I pushed my characters a bit more and I didn’t feel obligated to write a ‘happy-ending’ the same way I do writing a full length novel.

Writing ‘Chaos Children’ helped me to analyze my story both as a new reader and someone with familiarity. It was an interesting experience being re-introduced a world I built.

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If you are interested in my short story, please visit Smashwords for a free download of ‘Chaos Children’

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/173305

Author Bio

Originally from rural West Virginia, B.C. currently lives in Tennessee with her husband. She studied architecture and landscape architecture, earning degrees in both. She loves creativity in all its forms: art, music, literature, etc. B.C. has always enjoyed storytelling, but until recently never put one of her stories to paper. Writing began as a way to relax during graduate school. No one knew she was writing until her first novel, Solstice Night was under contract. She writes stories that she would enjoy reading, such as fantasy, sci-fi, mystery and paranormal romance. Now working full-time, B.C. still finds time to write every day….well, almost.

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The History of My Bad Ass Hero

June 19, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 14 Comments →

When I started brainstorming Heaven Scent, I knew I wanted it to be set in the northeastern colonial states.  Yet, in my mind, the men of 1848 Boston just weren’t bad ass enough to inspire me.  So, my hero had to be different.

Living in Texas, of course, my mind strayed to the Texas Rangers – Los diablos tejanos! (The Texan Devils!).  Ah, now there were some bad asses.  Strong, tough, brave – the Rangers were like a militia of sorts, charged with stepping up and assisting the military in times of war, and protecting Texas citizens from desperadoes and Indians.  They were, in a way, a semi-official form of law enforcement.   They were a constant in a State that was continually fought over by the Mexican, Texas and United States governments.

So, how did I convince a reader that my hero from the elite Boston Brahmin could be a bad ass Texas Ranger?

Well, much to my delight, the Rangers were from all over the world and many walks of life.  According to Charles M. Robinson III, author of The Men Who Wear the Star, not only did the Rangers include farmers, ranchers, cowboys and such, among their ranks were doctors, lawyers and even poets! 

Can you picture one of these guys reciting poetry?

Photo compliments of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum

Not so much.  And my idea of a hot hero looked a little more like this:

So, I took my rebellious, womanizing hero, Rafe, plucked him from his comfortable, Harvard Law school and Brahmin high society, and sent him out to see the country.  He runs into Tennessean and future Texas Ranger, John Coffee “Jack” Hays on a Mississippi riverboat, and the two end up in Texas, as Rangers.  According to the Texas State Historical Association, Jack Hays’ Rangers “gained a reputation as mounted troops with revolvers and individually styled uniforms, who marched and fought with a noticeable lack of military discipline.” 

Combine the second picture with one of Jack Hays Rangers and I had my bad ass hero.  J

So, after spending ten years in Texas, Rafe returns to Boston after his father’s sudden, mysterious death.  You can imagine how he stands out amongst the other men of Boston high society.  His etiquette is a little rusty, he hates to wear cravats, he sports a tan that only dock workers get away with, and my oh my, can he fill out a pair of trousers like no other.   How could my heroine, Tarin, not be attracted? 

But, he arrives home with a secret he will reveal to no one – especially Tarin.  And she is trying to achieve a lifelong dream by helping Dr. Samuel Gregory open the first female medical college – she can’t afford any distractions.

I don’t know about you, but if picture number two was standing in front of me and filled out his trousers like no other, I’d say “what college?”   J

Rafe and Tarin’s story, Heaven Scent, is available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.   

I hope you will pick up a copy and let me know what you think!

Also, throughout the month of June, if you like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter, you will be automatically entered to win a $25.00 Amazon gift card!   See my website for more information:  http://www.sophiegreyson.com/News.html .

And finally, I will be giving away a free download of Heaven Scent to one commenter!  Make sure to say howdy!

Sophie

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