Archive for July, 2012

Writing the Menage with Tara Lain

July 31, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 10 Comments →

Hi everyone! Thank you so much to the Romance Junkies for inviting me . I’m Tara Lain and I write the Beautiful Boys of Romance. Today I’m celebrating the release of my new novel, Genetic Celebrity. This book is a MMF ménage. And that’s what I’d like to talk about. Writing the ménage. I didn’t set out to become a ménage writer. It wouldn’t have occurred to me. My first book, Genetic Attraction, didn’t start out to be a ménage a trois. When I first conceived the plot, I expected it to be an older woman/younger man romance, but then one day I ordered a book by Jet Mykles called Heaven. It was my first male/male romance and I was hooked! I had to add another man to my book and, just that quick, it became a ménage.

Fortunately, I didn’t know that writing a ménage is hard, so I just plunged in. That was the start of something for sure. Of my eleven published books, seven have had at least one ménage scene. I guess I really like this dynamic. Here’s what I’m learning:

  • ·         Love between three people can be just as sweet and intense and passionate as between two – at least in romance novels! The real-life dynamics of a ménage are probably very tricky, but virtually everyone has harbored in their heart at sometime the thought that maybe, just maybe, they could love two people. Ménage stories play into this fantasy.
  • ·         Ménages make interesting plots. Simple, you have three people to play with, to make interact with each other, to provide richness and detail to your story. My new release, Genetic Celebrity mixes a brilliant young business assistant who is also an amateur chef, with a hard-driving modeling agent, and the gorgeous, androgynous street kid they turn into a top model. Tommy, the chef, is 25. Irish Catholic, and loves a simple life. Booky, the modeling agent, is 35 and Jewish. Shay Shaleen, the street kid, is only 20, and both informed and traumatized by his hard life. I have three very rich stories to play with in my book.
  • ·         Pronouns can be killers! Writing male/male stories is a unique challenge since both characters are called “he”. This is also true in MMF, but you now have another pronoun to add. At least there’s only one she!
  • ·         Sex between three people needs careful thought. The reader needs to know where each character is and what they’re doing. No one can be left out, so we have to see reactions from each character as well as actions.
  • ·         There must be good reason why each character loves the other two. Each must have his own story, depth of character, motivations, just as if it were a love story between two people.

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<!–[if !supportLists]–>·         <!–[endif]–>But, oh, it’s soooo much fun. A ménage is fun to read and it’s fun to write. So many yummy things can be done simultaneously when you have three people. Just use your imagination.  That’s what I did.  :  )

Before you read a scene from Genetic Celebrity, would you like a chance to win a $10 GC?  Leave a comment here WITH YOUR EMAIL. And, if you go over to Beautiful Boys Books and leave a comment with your email you can also win some fun SWAG. All the instructions for how to do that are at Beautiful Boys Books. But first, leave a comment here with your email. Winners will be announced on August 4th by email.

Here’s an Excerpt–

Excerpt: Genetic Celebrity by Tara Lain; MMF Menage with Food!

Available at Loose Id  Amazon

 Tommy Riley loves cooking and the simple life. But his passion for Angie “Booky” Edelson is anything but simple. Beautiful, ambitious, hard-driving and 10 years older than Tommy, Booky represents all the things Tommy has tried to leave behind. Besides, she only seems to love him for his food! Then Tommy’s boss brings home Shay Shaleen, a pierced, tattooed, androgynous street kid for Booky to turn into a top male model. Tommy sizzles for the beautiful guy but Shay gets caught up in the flattery of a famous fashion designer. Why does Tommy have to fall for two people who can’t love him back? Is there a recipe for blending with these genetic celebrities?

THE MUSIC CHANGED to something classical. Baroque, he thought. Tommy looked up from his program. The show had been incredible, in no small part due to Shay. Every outfit the guy wore looked even more special just because he wore it. All around them, people were still whispering about the amazing new model—the face of de Chauvigny. Booky was in hog heaven. How did he feel? Confused.

Every time Shay walked out on the runway, Tommy’s cock leaped. Yet he was sitting here with his thigh pressed to Booky’s, their fingers twining and his brain plotting how soon he could get his dick back in her. Maybe how he felt was normal. Hell, Shay was beautiful, and he had sucked Tommy’s cock. Really well. Of course, so had Booky. Tommy had gone from lonely masturbation to two fantastic hookups in a few days. It was lucky he didn’t have cock whiplash. Shay’s hadn’t been for real, but Tommy’s cock didn’t know that.

One of the female models walked out in a beautiful ruby-red evening gown. Sinuous and silky, it clung to her thinness like it was moving on its own. These women were beautiful, but he had no cock response. Booky, with her full breasts and cute round butt, did it for him down to the ground. The only model who turned him on was Shay.

Two more female models pranced down the aisle in gowns, their exaggerated walks and somber faces showing the clothes to advantage. They must be getting near the end.

Again the music changed subtly, this time to the Pachelbel Canon. The runway sat empty. The lights turned a little pinker, and a background of flowers came on the screen at the back of the stage. He could feel people holding their breath. He knew he was.

Out onto the stage walked Roan wearing a tuxedo to die for. The lights glistened off the sheen of the fabric and the shiny black hair that hovered around his face. People started to applaud. Technically it should be for the clothes, but Tommy knew it was for Roan. He was that famous in his own right, and this was his first appearance in the show.

He walked to the end of the runway with that graceful stride that made everyone else look clumsy, then turned and walked back to the place where he’d entered. But he didn’t exit. Instead, he stepped to the side and waited.

The lights came up a little more, and the music swelled.

The bride. Here comes the bride.

Shay.

The gown filled the stage, billowing white poufy stuff that shone like silk, as simple as a song. The high collar pushed up under Shay’s chin with a ruffle, and the slashed shoulders showed off his beautiful collarbone.

As he stepped out, people gasped. The pale hair piled on his head and fell in tendrils around his face. An embroidered veil covered the shaved side. His expression was…interesting. Bemused, with a slight smile as if he had seen himself and been just as mesmerized as the audience.

Someone whistled. Applause began and grew. He glided to the end to thunderous clapping that drowned out the music, then turned and walked halfway back until Roan came forward to meet him. Roan tucked Shay’s arm around his, and they walked again the full length of the runway, bride and groom, husband and husband.

Tommy felt wetness sliding down his cheek. His heart didn’t fit in his chest. Shay was so beautiful, and Tommy loved him.

Booky pressed a hand to his arm. “Are you okay?”

He swiped at the tears. “Yeah. They just look so…special.”

She beamed. “They do, don’t they?”

The place was going ape shit. When Roan and Shay got back to the head of the runway, they moved to the side. The parade of models passed in front of them, their jewels and satins sparkling. De Chauvigny stepped out at the end of the row, and Roan and Shay flanked him. He took both their arms and walked the runway between them to cheers, flashes, and applause. A man sitting next to Tommy was madly filing a story on his laptop, and fashion bloggers tweeted and texted in every corner.

Tommy wasn’t sure he could move, his cock hurt so bad.

***************************

Thank you again to Romance Junkies! If you would like to reach me on the web, here are some links:

Website   Author Blog  Book Blog  Facebook Page Amazon Page Twitter  Goodreads

A CONVERSATION WITH DEBORAH HARKNESS & a giveaway

July 30, 2012 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 13 Comments →

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Author Deborah Harkness is giving away a copy of he book a set of buttons and a tattoo. How do you enter? Just check out her interview and then add a comment for a chance to win. Winners will be picked August 7th. Make sure to either leave your email addy or to check back to see if you won.

Q: A Discovery of Witches debuted at # 2 on the New York Times bestseller list with publications following in 37 countries.  What has been your reaction to the outpouring of love for A Discovery of Witches? Was it surprising how taken fans were with Diana and Matthew’s story? 

A. It has been amazing—and a bit overwhelming. I was surprised by how quickly readers embraced two central characters who challenge our typical notion of what a heroine or hero should be. And I continue to be amazed whenever a new reader pops up, whether one in the US or somewhere like Finland or Japan—to tell me how much they enjoyed being caught up in Diana’s world.  

Q:  Last summer, Warner Brothers acquired screen rights to the trilogy, and David Auburn, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning writer of Proof, has been tapped to pen the screenplay. Are you looking forward to your novels being portrayed on the big screen?  What are your favorite casting ideas that you’ve heard from friends and readers? 

A. I was thrilled when Warner Brothers wanted to translate the All Souls trilogy from book to screen. At first I was reluctant about the whole idea of a movie, and it actually took me nearly two years to agree to let someone try. The team at Warner Brothers impressed me with their seriousness about the project and their commitment to the characters and story I was trying to tell. Their decision to go with David Auburn confirmed that my faith in them was not misplaced. As for the casting, I deliberately don’t say anything about that! I would hate for any actor or actress to be cast in one of these roles and feel that they didn’t have my total support. I will say, however, that many of my readers’ ideas involve actors who have already played a vampire and I would be very surprised if one of them were asked to be Matthew! 

Q: SHADOW OF NIGHT opens on a scene in 1590s Elizabethan England featuring the famous

School of

Night
, a group of historical figures believed to be friends, including Sir Walter Raleigh and playwright Christopher Marlowe.  Why did you choose to feature these individuals, and can we expect Diana and Matthew to meet other famous figures from the past?  
  A. I wrote my master’s thesis on the imagery surrounding Elizabeth I during the last two decades of her reign. One of my main sources was the poem The Shadow of Night by George Chapman—a member of this circle of fascinating men—and that work is dedicated to a mysterious poet named Matthew Roydon about whom we know very little. When I was first thinking about how vampires moved in the world (and this was way back in the autumn of 2008 when I was just beginning A Discovery of Witches) I remembered Roydon and thought “that is the kind of identity a vampire would have, surrounded by interesting people but not the center of the action.” From that moment on I knew the second part of Diana and Matthew’s story would take place among the

School of

Night
. And from a character standpoint, Walter Raleigh, Christopher Marlowe, George Chapman, and the other men associated with the group are irresistible. They were such significant, colorful presences in Elizabethan England.Q: In SHADOW OF NIGHT, we learn more about the alchemical bonds between Diana and Matthew.   In your day job, you are a professor of history and science at the

University of

Southern California
and have focused on alchemy in your research.  What aspects of this intersection between science and magic do you hope readers will pick up on while reading SHADOW OF NIGHT?
  A. Whereas A Discovery of Witches focused on the literature and symbolism of alchemy, in Shadow of Night I’m able to explore some of the hands-on aspects of this ancient tradition. There is still plenty of symbolism for Diana to think about, but in this volume we go from abstractions and ideals to real transformation and change—which was always my intention with the series. Just as we get to know more about how Elizabethan men and women undertook alchemical experiments, we also get to see Matthew and Diana’s relationship undergo the metamorphosis from new love to something more.  

Q: SHADOW OF NIGHT spans the globe, with London, France, and

Prague as some of the locales. Did you travel to these destinations for your research?    A. I did. My historical research has been based in London for some time now, so I’ve spent long stretches of time living in the City of London—the oldest part of the metropolis—but I had never been to the Auvergne or Prague. I visited both places while writing the book, and in both cases it was a bit like traveling in time to walk village lanes, old pilgrim roads, and twisting city streets while imagining Diana and Matthew at my side.  Q: Did you have an idea or an outline for SHADOW OF NIGHT when you were writing A Discovery of Witches?  Did the direction change once you sat down to write it?  A. I didn’t outline either book in the traditional sense. In both cases I knew what some of the high points were and how the plot moved towards the conclusion, but there were some significant changes during the revision process. This was especially true for SHADOW OF NIGHT, although most of those changes involved moving specific pieces of the plot forward or back to improve the momentum and flow. 

Q: A Discovery of Witches begins with Diana Bishop stumbling across a lost, enchanted manuscript called Ashmole 782 in

Oxford’s Bodleian Library, whose secrets Diana and Matthew are still trying to uncover in SHADOW OF NIGHT. You had a similar experience while you were completing your dissertation.  What was the story behind your discovery?  And how did it inspire the creation of these novels?A. I did discover a manuscript—not an enchanted one, alas—in the Bodleian Library. It was a manuscript owned by Queen Elizabeth’s astrologer, the mathematician and alchemist John Dee. In the 1570s and 1580s he became interested in using a crystal ball to talk to angels. The angels gave him all kinds of instructions on how to manage his life at home, his work—they even told him to pack up his family and belongings and go to far-away Poland and Prague. In the conversations,

Dee asked the angels about a mysterious book in his library called “the Book of Soyga” or “Aldaraia.” No one had ever been able to find it, even though many of

Dee’s other books survive in libraries throughout the world. In the summer of 1994 I was spending time in

Oxford
between finishing my doctorate and starting my first job. It was a wonderfully creative time, since I had no deadlines to worry about and my dissertation on

Dee’s angel conversations was complete. As with most discoveries, this discovery of a “lost” manuscript was entirely accidental. I was looking for something else in the Bodleian’s catalogue and in the upper corner of the page was a reference to a book called “Aldaraia.” I knew it couldn’t be

Dee’s book, but I called it up anyway. And it turned out it WAS the book (or at least a copy of it). With the help of the Bodleian’s Keeper of Rare Books, I located another copy in the British Library.
Q: Are there other lost books like this in the world?  A. Absolutely! Entire books have been written about famous lost volumes—including works by Plato, Aristotle, and Shakespeare to name just a few. Libraries are full of such treasures, some of them unrecognized and others simply misfiled or mislabeled. And we find lost books outside of libraries, too. In January 2006, a completely unknown manuscript belonging to one of the 17th century’s most prominent scientists, Robert Hooke, was discovered when someone was having the contents of their house valued for auction. The manuscript included minutes of early Royal Society meetings that we presumed were lost forever.  

Q: Unlike Twilight’s Bella and Edward—hormonal teenagers who meet in the halls of a high school—your leading characters Matthew and Diana are established academics who meet in the library of one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world.  This is a world where vampires and witches drink wine together, practice yoga and discuss philosophy.   Are these characters based on something you found missing in the fantasy genre? 

A. There are a lot of adults reading young adult books, and for good reason. Authors who specialize in the young adult market are writing original, compelling stories that can make even the most cynical grownups believe in magic. In writing A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, I wanted to give adult readers a world no less magical, no less surprising and delightful, but one that included grown-up concerns and activities. These are not your children’s vampires and witches.

LUCKY IN LOVE, AT LAST AND FOREVER AND A DAY by Jill Shalvis

July 29, 2012 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 9 Comments →

Thank you, Romance Junkies for letting me stop by. Hi, to all!  Hope your summer—and summer reading—has been terrific. 

 Mine sure has!  I’ve been traveling a lot.  In June, I was in New York for Book Expo America.  My days were spent with publishing colleagues, booksellers, librarians, bloggers, authors, and – my favorite – readers.  Next I headed to Anaheim for the national American Library Association conference.  I’ve often said that if I weren’t a writer, I’d want to be a librarian.  Best job in the world, getting to handle books all day.  Had a blast hanging out with my people.  J

 Oh and fyi, if you ever go to the Anaheim Marriott, good luck getting into your room.  The key cards have to be waved at a beam of light, and I’m a bad waver apparently.  But thanks to the cute guy in the room next to me who showed me the correct waving technique, I didn’t have to sleep in the lobby. 

 My travels also took me to Ohio for the Lori Foster Reader and Author Event.  Awesome.  I’ve never experienced anything like it.  Five hundred readers drove in from all over.  I did a panel on contemporary heroes, which quickly morphed into what makes a hero hot.  Readers had a LOT to say on this subject, as you might imagine.  Had a ball and am very glad no one taped that event.  Ahem. . .

 I’m back at home now enjoying my Lucky Harbor summer, with Forever and a Day about to hit the shelves (7/31, not that I’m counting it down or anything).  All’s good, with the exception of battling the raccoons for ownership of my kitchen.

 Best wishes and happy reading,

Jill

 www.jillshalvis.com/blog

www.facebook.com/jillshalvis

NATIONALLY BESTSELLING AND RITA AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR JILL SHALVIS CONTINUES HER LUCKY HARBOR SUMMER WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AT LAST, JUST PUBLISHED AS

A MASS MARKET ORIGINAL BY GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING

 

LUCKY IN LOVE, AT LAST AND FOREVER AND A DAY Continue Jill Shalvis’s
“Consistently Fantastic Series”*

At Last sparkles with genuine warmth and humor. Author Jill Shalvis has outdone herself with the

 Lucky Harbor books and At Last is a strong addition to a consistently fantastic series…a

joy to read… I absolutely adore Amy and Matt.”

—Wit and Sin

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis received the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Award for her first Lucky Harbor novel, Simply Irresistible.  Readers have returned again and again to Lucky Harbor in The Sweetest Thing and Head Over Heels.  Now, they’re enjoying a Lucky Harbor summer with her three contemporary romances, LUCKY IN LOVE, AT LAST, and FOREVER AND A DAY, appearing one a month for three months. The latest, AT LAST, just released June 26th, has already been highly praised by readers and reviewers alike.   RT Book Reviews calls it “a winner,” The Book Addicts says it is “funny and touching,” and The Eclectic Reader hails it as “wonderful.”

Buy Your Copies Today!

Let’s Get Personal with Scottish Weaponry

July 26, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 22 Comments →

Hi!

This is author, Nancy Lee Badger, and I am glad to be back as a guest of the Romance Junkies. My subject today is Scottish weaponry. Not broadswords, shields, or battle axes. No, I want to talk about the more personal weaponry found on any Scottish Highlander of the 16th century…or today. Weapons worn by the women might surprise you, too.

The most useful weapon is the Dirk, generally carried today by those who dress in Scottish attire while visiting Highland Games. You will find this very sexy weapon resting in a leather sheath with a loop, held at the waist by a wide leather belt. Ancient Scots who wrapped yards and yards of material around their bodies and up and over their shoulder also wore large leather belts to hold everything in place. A sheathed or unsheathed weapon was shoved (carefully!) behind the belt.

The word dirk came into use somewhere around the turn of the 16th century, close to when part of my book, MY HONORABLE HIGHLANDER, takes place. It is considered by some to be the modern term for the earlier Scottish bullock or rondel dagger. Since ‘dirk’ is a familiar term with my readers, I stuck with it. A dirk’s steel, double-edge blade can range in length from about 4” to 24” though the modern units are around 15” with a 4” hilt.

The dirk was widely used to kill, gut, slice, and eat wild game. It could cut branches, twine, and clothing rather easily. It sliced bread, too. Yum! Killing an attacker was also a widespread use as it was always at hand, either carried behind the belt or hanging from it in a sheath or small scabbard. An ancient Scot would rarely carry a broadsword or even a short sword, whether in his hand or in a scabbard across his back, when shopping in town, seeing to the farm, or gathering crops. Here is an excerpt from MY HONORABLE HIGHLANDER where my shero, Haven MacKay, spots my hero, Kirkwall Gunn:

Haven spied Kirk through the partially opened tent flap. He waited outside with his back to her and arms crossed over his massive chest. He’d set aside most of his weapons when they sat down to eat, but carried a long dirk at his hip. He stood erect, his shoulders back and his head twisting side to side, watching everything.

Leader of men, she thought.

Another weapon, one generally hidden from view, is the small yet lethal Sgian Dubh. Modern visitors to Highland Games, or kilt-wearing members of a marching band, hide the short knife in their kilt hose. These heavy wool socks are held up by flashes. The sheathed, single-edge blades range from about 3” to 3 ½” and sit inside the sock, beside the skin, quite easily. The head, or hilt, of the knife usually flares outward, giving the knife a stopping point, so that it does not accidently disappear down inside the wearer’s sock.

In ancient Scotland, wearers of leather boots would also carry a sgian dubh in their footwear or their armpit. The idea was to have a small weapon readily available to slice an attacker, and to cause enough of a wound to make an escape.

For this reason, it was common for women to own such a weapon. For them, a sheath on a leather lanyard or length of ribbon allowed a woman to slip the knife down the front of her bodice. I describe this in an excerpt from MY HONORABLE HIGHLANDER.

“Good. We’re both of Scottish descent and this place is swarming with Scots. Rich ones, too. The chieftain’s tent is bursting at the seams with wool kilts on silver-tongued devils sporting long, thick… daggers.” She giggled. Iona actually giggled?

“I can’t afford a dagger.” Admittance at the chieftain’s tent required a sizable donation and she didn’t wear the coveted ribbon to allow access. A smile tugged at her mouth when she thought how walking past the tent on her way to lunch would cost absolutely nothing.

“I figured you’d say something like that. Here.” She held out her open palm to reveal a small leather sheath. The handle of a knife peeked out.

“What’s this?”

“A dagger. Actually, this example is referred to as a sgian dubh and is small enough to fit in a pocket or down your…” Iona pointed to her bodice.

“Okay, I’ll bite. Why do I need a weapon?”

“Haven, you know how I worry. You’re always alone, ever since Cal left you and—”

“I left him! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

The next time you read one of the books in my Highland Games Through Time series, watch for other mentions of the weapons that kept the Scottish Highlanders alive. Check out this photo of an American of Scottish descent (my hubby) wearing the GUNN CLAN tartan. He is holding a dirk and hiding a sgian dubh in his kilt hose! (The animal in the cage is the famous ‘Wild Haggis’)

                                                

(Photo by Nancy Lee Badger)

BOOK BLURB

Bumbling present day herbalist, Haven MacKay, gets more than she bargains for when her love spell goes awry, is cast back in time, and meets her true love — Laird Kirkwall Gunn.

Kirk’s plans go slightly off course when he falls in love with a woman wandering through the Scottish Highlands. After all, he has pledged to marry another, from an enemy clan, in order to end a century-old feud

More PERSONAL STUFF about the author

Nancy loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of dirks and broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time.

Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic &Paranormal Romance Writers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. Nancy and her family volunteer each fall at the New Hampshire Highland Games. Find out more about these games at http://www.NHScot.org

Title: MY HONORABLE HIGHLANDER

Book #1 of the Highland games Through Time Series

Author: Nancy Lee Badger

Genre:  Scottish Time Travel

Length: 91,000 words

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WEBSITE: www.nancyleebadger.com

BLOGS: www.nancyleebadger.blogspot.com

www.RescuingRomance.nancyleebadger.com
Follow her on Twitter @NLBadger

and on Facebook http://on.fb.me/scmtx5

Bondage and Life by Lindy S Hudis

July 25, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 9 Comments →

Many years ago, when I was a poor and broke struggling actress, I took a job at a house of S & M. For any of you who may not know, “S & M” stands for Sadomasochism. That means – the technical definition –is “the receiving of pleasure—often sexual—from acts involving the infliction or reception of pain or humiliation.” I was not really into those types of sexual activities, at least at the time I was not, I was just a young and idealistic woman looking to survive in one of the biggest, meanest and toughest cities in the world. I just saw an ad in the “LA Weekly” – freebie newspaper in Los Angeles – that this place called  “Laura’s Lair” was hiring, and that there would be no actual sex involved. So, I thought I would check that situation out. I went to visit this ordinary looking house in Topanga Canyon.

When I knocked on the door, a very beautiful young girl opened the door. She was wearing a gorgeous red gown with matching red high heels. She explained to me that she was a “switch” and that is why she was wearing red. A “Switch” is just that – they switch back and forth from dominatrix (Dom) to submissive (Sub). Being the newbie that I was, I was immediately assigned to work in the submissive position – which was fine with me. I wore white, didn’t say much, and got spanked – a lot.  Even though I didn’t work there long, I gained a world on experience and was inspired to write my anthology of short stories that take place in a Los Angeles S & M house. The women were beautiful, mostly struggling actresses like myself, and the clients were not looking for sex, surprisingly. They just wanted something unusual, which a house of bondage can certainly provide.  So, my short story anthology “The S & M Club” was inspired by my very brief stint as a submissive in one of those wild and insane places. I have no regrets, I just learned plenty and was inspired to write about it, much like life in general. Now, bend over and let me spank your bottom with a cat-o-nine-tails!

To read an excerpt of The S&M CLUB click here . To purchase a copy at Kindle US , Kindle UK , Bookstrand , iBookstore, ARe and Lachesis Publishing Inc 

Summer in the PNW. By Calinda B, author of the Wicked Series

July 24, 2012 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 15 Comments →

Summertime in the Pacific Northwest means long, lingering twilights and too soon dawns. It means endless weeds to pull and lawns to mow as the daylight prompts the plant-life to flourish. The light and rain stimulate an abundance of verdant green everywhere. It calls to the coyotes to howl and the dogs to join in ancient communion. It beckons to lovers to play out their passion in pond-lined meadows and sun-filled bedrooms. It also means hanging out with friends above and below the sea, scuba diving. That’s how some of us roll in the PNW.

A day of scuba is generally a day of celebration, especially in the summer. Given the long daylight hours, we can drop into the deep at 5 p.m., ascend an hour later, partake in a good, festive meal and drinks reliving our deep sea adventures, and then head home while the light is still twinkling in the sky. A drawn-out twilight can last until 11 p.m.

Besides fun with friends, here’s what I love about scuba diving. For a short time I am weightless when I am immersed in the sea. I imagine myself to be like a sinuous seal or an object of flight, floating through the cosmos. I can pretend to be a Galaxy Dancer, much like the characters in my book. I float from creature to creature, anemone to sea star to coral to sponge. The colors and textures are sensuous and intoxicating. The ocean is a galaxy in its own right. The dangers associated with scuba diving are real. I must remain present and aware to the dynamic, ever-changing environment.

There are critters down there you see no-where else. On a recent night dive in Bonaire, a small island north of Venezuela, I rapidly snapped pictures of an octopus crawling along the wall hunting. He kept making a classis octopus maneuver – puffing out the turquoise and white webbing between his tentacles to make himself appear large and scary. I found it beautiful and mesmerizing. Further down the wall, an eel slithered along, hunting as well. All the colorful smaller fishes that adorn the reef during the day were gone, tucked into hidey holes to avoid being eaten. As we made our way down the reef, a couple of huge, 6’ large, shiny-scaled fish known as tarpons, pursued their dinner beside us, using our lights to help them find their quarry. Meanwhile, the sponges and corals burst into bloom, creating a visual display you don’t see during the day. At night, the reef explodes into a blooming, feasting, spawning hunting ground.

Loving the underwater world so much, it makes sense, then, that I would use the sea as a backdrop to my latest book, Wicked Whispering, Book III in the Wicked Series. The book revolves around a character name Kai Williams. Kai is a 6’5” experienced scuba diver with a wild, unruly mixture of golden brown hair, streaked with red. In front, there is one strip of light blond hair. His eyes are also strange – a smoky gray defines the edges of the iris which is lined with a sliver of pale mint green. A darker band of translucent green, flecked with robin’s egg blue and gold completes the array.

Kai thinks he is a freak and he is, in fact, quite different. He can sense the “signature” of mammals, feeling their presence before he can see them. He can look into a human’s eyes and see the individual’s longing and despair, hopes and dreams. And when he is around the magnificent humpback whale, he falls into an ecstatic rapture that consumes him, opens his heart and could cause him to lose his life while being deep in the ocean. As a result of all these different abilities, he’s pretty aloof around people, never allowing closeness to anyone. When he meets the beautiful young diver, Cassandra Evans, he has to make a choice whether or not to love. Fighting this choice, he comes face to face with evil, as well as an insistent whispering that threatens his sanity and the lives of those whom he loves.

His connection with characters from the first two books in the series, the beautiful red-headed Galaxy Dancer and ka’kriyayaga Chérie Abella Manhattan; Cameron Delaney Tyson, Chérie’s life partner and the bearer of the star dreamling, a ferocious feline creature from another galaxy; and the mysterious cosmos hopping “other half of Chérie” character simply known as Kayden, forces him to learn to accept himself and learn to love, at last. There’s mystery, mischief and mayhem accompanying them at every step making this a thrilling and satisfying read.

 The Wicked Series

by Calinda B.

 Series Information:

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: The Wicked Series

#of books so far: 3 + 1 short story

Publisher: Sumner McKenzie, Inc.Format: Ebook and print
 

A Wicked Choice:  When C decides she wants to have an earthly experience, there’s no telling what the consequences will be for the rest of the Galaxy Dancers, especially her beloved consort, K.

This 4150-word  humorous, sexy, tongue-in-cheek sci-fi short story is for those who want to dip their feet in the wicked world of the Wicked Series and for the fans of the Wicked Series who have wondered how the Galaxy Dancers came to Earth in the first place. Just blame on on a woman’s curiousity and desire for new experiences.

 Book #1 Blurb: A WICKED AWAKENING

Chérie’s just a small town girl living life the way she thinks it’s supposed to be. She’s got a great guy, a great job and a whole lot of things that don’t make sense. Like, why can’t she stick up for herself? And why did this mysterious guy walk up behind her on the dance floor, whisper “sexy girl” in her ear, make her body quake with sensation and then disappear? Who is this crazy old woman with eyes like an eagle and braids that blaze with fire who keeps dropping into her world? And where are all these bewilderingly vivid dreams coming from with the mysterious guy as the main attraction? Chérie wants answers. She finds these answers and more as she faces her past, and comes face to face with a future that is more remarkable than she ever dreamed possible.

Book #2 Blurb: A WICKED BEGINNING

 Cameron Delaney Tyson’s just an ordinary guy, living an ordinary life, trying to sort out his issues along the way — or that’s what he keeps trying to tell himself, that is. He doesn’t believe in the supernatural, thinks dreams are just daily recycling, and lives in the here and now. Meanwhile, a vicious star dreamling from another galaxy is tracking him, he’s trying to prove himself to the woman of his heart and soul and an ex-playmate is stalking him through sex magic and nightmares. What’s an ordinary guy going to do?

 Book #3 Blurb: WICKED WHISPERING

 Kai Williams hears voices…wicked whisperings that threaten his sanity…his life and livelihood…and his ability to love. When the whispering begins to destroy all that he cherishes, he does what any red-blooded guy would do: he goes deep into the darkness, deep into the sea that cherishes and nourishes his soul. There he comes face to face and eye to eye with evil and more heartbreak than he ever knew possible.

The WICKED SERIES Purchase Links:

 Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes purchase links can be found at Calinda’s website page: http://calindab.com/buy.aspx .

 Kindle purchase quick link: http://www.amazon.com/Calinda-B/e/B005DHC69S

Author Bio:

 The Fun Part: Calinda B was told early on that she should be a writer. She heard frequent praise for her writing, as well as her sense of humor. Scoffing at such admonitions and praise, she went on to pursue her life of adventure, chock full of the things that make up a well-rounded adventurous life: music (yup, she was a singer in a rock and roll band), dance (even performed hip hop in Russia), rock climbing (ever hung from a rock wall a few stories up? Yikes!), fire walking (taught high-ranking Moscow fire officials how to walk the coals), kayaking, scuba diving (she’s in love with sharks), travel, and falling in love again and again.

The Daily Grind: An award-winning web designer and certified SEO specialist, Calinda B has worked in the Internet industry as a web page designer/developer since the early 1990′s. She has also taught web site design and computer graphics at community colleges in Northern California. In addition to writing, Calinda B creates fine art and music, and enjoys scuba diving, kayaking, and bike riding. Calinda B makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with the love of her life and her two cats. She is currently working on the fourth book in The Wicked Series, tentatively entitled A Wicked Ending.

Social links: For more about Calinda B and her work, visit her website…

Or her blog…

Amazon Author page…

Follow Calinda B on Twitter…

Or visit her on Facebook here  or here…

 

Giveaway Details:

  • One randomly drawn commenter from the ENTIRE tour will win a $20 Amazon gift card.
  • Please leave a comment along with your broken up email addy.
  • Contest is open the duration of the tour (July 23 – July 27) and Internationally.
  • Winner will be randomly selected and notified via email.

 

Tour Stops:

 http://events.litconnect.com/the-wicked-series-by-calinda-b

 Remember, the more tour stops you comment on, the greater your chances of winning!

 

 

Will the Outcasts, Misfits, and Rebels Please Stand Up? by Alexandra Benedict

July 24, 2012 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 10 Comments →

I’m not the sort of person who stands out in a crowd. I’d call my style smart (I like shopping at Reitmans). I don’t have body piercings. I don’t dye my hair. Okay, I have a tattoo (shhh). But overall, I don’t sway from the norm. And yet, every one of my heroines is either a misfit or an outcast.

 I’m absolutely fascinated by characters who exist on the fringe of society. I really admire them for being unique and going against the grain. I don’t even like reading about characters who follow all the rules.

 That’s the sort of heroine in my historical romance novel A FORBIDDEN LOVE. First published in 2006 by Avon Books, the tale of star-crossed lovers is back in print. In it, Sabrina, a Gypsy, is hounded by bandits. Injured in a struggle, she is rescued by Anthony, Viscount Hastings, and brought to his estate to recover. At first she resists her attraction to Anthony. As a Gypsy, her people have very rigid social rules: one cannot marry a gadjo (outsider). The rules are no different in Anthony’s world, where an aristocrat can only marry a fellow blue-blood. But fate and love conspire to bring the couple together, and both must make a decision: to break with convention or to say goodbye forever.

 I love reading and writing historicals for this very reason. It’s a time of strict social mores and breaking a rule could mean ruination and ostracism. For me it’s a heart-pounding experience to explore a character’s choice in such an intolerant time—and the consequences of that choice. Again, I admire those who have the courage to step outside of the lines.

 How about you? Do you appreciate reading about characters who are outsiders? Or do you prefer reading about characters who stay within the strict confines of convention, yet still find ways to express themselves (and their love)? Please share your thought. One reader will receive a free e-book copy of A FORBIDDEN LOVE.

 purchase link:
(amazon)
(smashwords) 

YouTube Preview Image

 

 Cheers,

Alexandra Benedict

 www.alexandrabenedict.ca/


Romance Junkies always want more (so I’m going to try and give it to them)

July 23, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Latest News 6 Comments →

Here is the thing about junkies (romance, that is).

We always want more (romance, that is.)

After spending hundreds of pages struggling along with the hero and heroine, a simple Happily Ever After isn’t going to cut it for me.  I want to know what happens next.

If I was there for the tears and misunderstandings and angst of the courtship, I want to be there for the good times, and the honeymoon, and beyond.  (It’s the least they owe me, don’t you think?)

Maybe it’s because, in addition to writing romance novels for AVON and Dell, and figure skating murder mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, I also spent close to twenty years working for TV soap operas.  First for ABC Daytime, then Procter & Gamble’s “As the World Turns” and “Guiding Light.”  I got into the habit of sticking with “my” couple through thick and thin, be it a long-lost evil twin, a newly discovered child, or an inconvenient case of amnesia.

If I fell in love with a character, I didn’t want to set them aside as soon as the ink dried on the marriage license.  I wanted to move in with them!  (Or, at least, next door, where I’d still be privy to everything going on, but it wouldn’t be overly weird.)

I also wanted to have some say about what happened to them next.  (Hadn’t I been their biggest backer even when they couldn’t see that they were obviously perfect for each other?)

That’s why, when it came to my latest project, “Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga,” I took the two things I wanted to see in books, and did it myself.

“Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One)” is out now.  At the end of it, there is a link to a Message Board and to a Facebook Page, where readers are invited to tell me what they would like to see happen next in the story.

“Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume Two)” will be out next month.  In it, I will incorporate your suggestions, and ask for more.  And so on with Volume Three, Volume Four, etc…

The story will go on for as long as readers want it to.  These characters won’t be abandoned.  They will continue living their lives.  Right where you can continue seeing them.

As far as I can tell, very few authors are attempting something of this nature.  Yes, there are series but, not only are they finite, they aren’t interactive.  I’m going to try and pull off both.

Will I succeed?

I haven’t the slightest idea.

Will people like it?

I don’t know.

But, on the other hand, with this model, where my readers can speak directly to me, I’m sure I’ll hear about it either way in no time!

*   *   *

Alina Adams is the New York Times’ best selling author of soap opera tie-ins, figure skating mysteries, and romances, including Annie’s Wild Ride and When a Man Loves a Woman.  Her latest project is Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga.  In addition to turning her own backlist into enhanced e-books, she has produced enhanced e-books for others, including Dan Elish, whose middle-grade fantasy novel, The Worldwide Dessert Contest, now includes its own original musical score.  Learn more at http://www.AlinaAdamsMedia.com

Know what you Know by Patricia W. Fischer RN

July 19, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Contests, Latest News 10 Comments →

Write what you know.

Sounds like a good bit of advice and one I learn at one of my first San Antonio Romance Authors chapter meetings.

Write what you know.

What if I didn’t want to write what I knew because I didn’t like what I’d learned in medicine?

For ten years, I’d been a nurse, half of that I spent in the adult and pediatric trauma units. I’d seen things I couldn’t begin to explain because they were so awful, I’d just assume forget them. Other situations were tragic beyond believe and there were those that will end up on the Darwin’s list.

I’d been thrown up on, been up to my elbows in grossness, and pumped enough stomachs to last a lifetime.

By the time I finally left medicine, I didn’t want to have anything to do with it in any way in any form.

Now people were telling me to write about it? Yuck.

I did for awhile. I freelanced for publications like American Journal of Nursing, Dallas Mom, Hot Mom’s Club, and Nursing Spectrum. Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul 2 accepted one of my stories about nursing. More work kept coming in, but I wanted a break. I wanted to write something fun.

After writing too many articles about medicine, I decided to defy the odds and started a fiction project about an overweight, but smart heroine who meets a guy who loves her for who she is.

The title: Worth the Weight. The title alone was catchy, so I’d sell within the year.

That was 2004.

The more I wrote the characters of Megan Sayla and Jacob Dante, the more I realized I’d buried myself in my nursing world, the job, the stress of it all that I’d forgotten how much more I knew about so many other things. My writing ended up being stiff, trite, but not without humor. My critique group helped me improve, but it wasn’t enough to sell it. Rejection letters were plentiful and critiques from contests were brutal.

But I kept working and figured out why my book wasn’t working. Not enough of me was in it and I stepped back and figured out what else I knew besides medicine.

First, I’d read a tremendous amount of romance novels. Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught, had been my introduction into the fantasy world of heroes and heroines. A few years later, A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux. The book came at a time when I was trapped in an abusive relationship. The book gave me hope and I eventually left in one piece. I’d always wanted to return the favor that Jude Devereuex gave me. A book that gave someone the strength to reach their goals.

Second, I can quote movie lines and give you little know facts about pop culture, and multiple bits of useless information. This helped me form the character of Megan and give her a familiar feel to readers.

Third, I hated the scale. Ever since I’d hit puberty, I’d been obsessed with that number on the scale and on the tag of my jeans. I remember having fights with my mother about what sized jeans I should buy. I wanted to get the barely-able-to-button-strangle-me-to-death size, and she wanted to buy the actually-fits-and-you’ll-wear size. Since Mom paid for my clothes she trumped, but I carried the idea of needing to buy smaller than I actually wore into adulthood. For years, I had half a closet full of clothes I would eventually wear, when I lost the weight.

Fourth, I’d finally wised up about my health. Late last year, when the scale neared 230 pounds, I snapped. Nearing my mid-40’s and only standing 5’ 3”, I knew if I didn’t get a grip, I’d end up dying a whole lot earlier than I planned. That or I’d simply miss out on life and that was a living death for me. Determined to be successful this time, I started being far more mindful about what I ate and how much. I signed up for a pilot program developed Stefan Pinto, a friend of mine who’d lost weight and gone on to success in the modeling world. In three months, I lost thirty pounds and have continued to shed the pounds. By the end of the year, I’ll reach my goal.
After I realized all that, a strange thing happened.

For years, I’d had trouble getting Worth the Weight to where I’d wanted it for so long, I almost ditched the project. Problem was, I knew it was a good story and I knew it was a subject people could relate to, so why did I keep getting, Thanks but no thanks rejections?

With my new momentum of weight loss, my little manuscript, got a major overhaul. I couldn’t stop writing it, revising it, improving it and it worked.

In May, received word that Debby Gilbert of Soulmate Publishing LOVED my story and wanted to buy it.

Ironically, I got the word while sitting in line at Sonic, buying tater tots—not a weight loss food.

After hearing my book had sold, I knew those tots would never taste as good as my own victory.

Now I start the journey of writing the second book, The Weighting Room, far faster than I wrote the first and I love every minute of it.

Write what you know.

I’d like to add to that:  Know what you Know and embrace it.

Patricia W. Fischer’s first book Worth the Weight, comes out in Decemeber 2012 from Soulmate Publishing.
You can find her at www.patriciawfischer.com and her weight loss blog 40FitandFabulous.
S

Win an Arc of The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber

July 18, 2012 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News 17 Comments →

 

The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber

WE ARE GIVING AWAY TEN ARCS.

Want to win one? Go check out the preview for the book and then come back here and tells us by leaving a comment if you are a Debbie Macomber fan or if this is the first time you have checked out her stuff. And don’t forget to leave your email addy or come back to check to see if you’ve won. We will be picking winners August 1st. Good luck!

Check out a Preview of the Inn At Rose Harbor and download an excerpt today!

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber comes a heartwarming new series based in the Pacific Northwest town of Cedar Cove, where a charming cast of characters finds love, forgiveness, and renewal behind the doors of the cozy Rose Harbor Inn.

Jo Marie Rose first arrives in Cedar Cove seeking a sense of peace and a fresh start. Coping with the death of her husband, she purchases a local bed-and-breakfast—the newly christened Rose Harbor Inn—ready to begin her life anew. Yet the inn holds more surprises than Jo Marie can imagine.

Her first guest is Joshua Weaver, who has come home to care for his ailing stepfather. The two have never seen eye to eye, and Joshua has little hope that they can reconcile their differences. But a long-lost acquaintance from Joshua’s high school days proves to him that forgiveness is never out of reach and love can bloom even where it’s least expected.

The other guest is Abby Kincaid, who has returned to Cedar Cove to attend her brother’s wedding. Back for the first time in twenty years, she almost wishes she hadn’t come, the picturesque town harboring painful memories from her past. And while Abby reconnects with family and old friends, she realizes she can only move on if she truly allows herself to let go.

A touching novel of life’s grand possibilities and the heart’s ability to heal, The Inn at Rose Harbor is a welcome introduction to an unforgettable set of friends.

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