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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Interview of RBRU Member Author Jean Hart Stewart!

Today it's my pleasure to present an interview of fellow RBRU Member Author and fellow Cerridwen Press author, Jean Hart Stewart!

Latest Book: The Third Rose
Buy Link: Red Rose Publishing
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/jswriter7

BIO:
I feel I’m very much a Californian although I was born in Ohio. California has been home for a good many years. Life changed drastically when I was six and my father died, incredibly from an errant golf ball. A dishonest insurance agent left us with little income and forced my sheltered mother to seek work, and she became a teacher. Her hours required me to be alone in the house most of the afternoon, and since I was forbidden to leave till my mother got home, I became an avid reader. The local library supplied most of the books and I fell in love with both Jane Austen and King Arthur.

Reading is still one of my favorite activities, although I often have to push it aside to make room for my compelling love of writing. My journalism degree wasn’t much use to me until recently. Marriage and raising two children pleasantly got in the way. After twenty years of being a real estate broker and with the kids raised I could finally devote my time to writing, my first love.

Few things in my life have been so satisfying, especially when all my books have a happy ending. Wonderful to make that happen. It only gets more interesting when a secondary character demands his very own book. Sometimes a new character is so noisy I just have to give in. Shouting inside my head gets my attention, believe me, and those guys usually turn out to be fun to write about.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I was stunned for a good two minutes, then ran to tell my husband. I did keep my presence of mind long enough to e-mail my editor and say the sequel to Druid’s Daughter was already written and would she like to see it? She said yes, I e-mailed it and so sold my first two books in two days. Then I REALLY couldn’t believe it.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: The opening chapter generally pops into my head, almost in its entirety as soon as I get the idea for the book. Not to say I don’t write and re-write it, but that first chapter is a joy. I put on the computer as fast as I can right. The rest of the book is never half that easy.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: The blasted soggy middle. Beginning and ending are easy. The advice that helps me the most is some I got from Mary Balogh. “When you’re stuck, make it worse”. That eventually works, although it’s sometime a sloggy path.

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: No, not at all. I generally sketch out the characters, both their physical and personal traits as part of my preliminary research. I sometimes do several weeks of research on the time period I’m writing in as well.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: I’d dearly love to write pure erotica. While my stuff comes close, as it’d rated highly sensual. Would like to do erotica just for the fact I haven’t, I guess. I’ve tried and it’s not easy, at least not for me.

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: I like them all, but am not as faithful as I’d like to be. If I have to pick I’d say chats because I sometimes learn a little about what a reader is thinking. I love to interact with my readers. They’re invaluable in learning what they like best… Or worst! Next would be blogs, and I try to follow a lot of those of my fellow writers, as well as the romancebooksrus blog.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
http://www.jeanhartstewart.com
Red Rose Publishing
Romancebooksrus blog
Jswriter@earthlink.net at Facebook, Twitter, myspace.
jswriter@earthlink.net, e-mail
Alternate e-mail address is jeanthedruid30@gmail.com

BLURB:
Sara accosts Lord Wolverton in his bedroom late at night with the intent to shooting him in the groin so he’d never again rape an innocent girl. Fortunately Wolf overpowers her, since she finds he is not the villain she seeks. They embark together on a hunt to find the real rapist. Then the spy Wolf is also seeking turns his vengeance on Sara. Wolf needs her help to decode a cryptic message about ‘the third rose’ and track down the spy. He fears for her safety and yet knows he needs her help.

The spy hunt turns desperate and Sara and Wolf find themselves hurrying to Brussels to join Wellington and save the General’s life. Matters come to a head at the Battle of Waterloo, with both Sara and Wolf proving their courage and their love. But will even extraordinary love and courage be enough to save them both?

The villain is unusually nasty. They can stop him, can’t they?

EXCERPT:
At last. The bastard had come home. He must have lit more candles, as the room became brighter. She could see a large man, elegantly dressed, stride across the room. Double drat! He moved out of her vision, and she did not dare part the draperies any further. She waited, breath suspended, as he re-appeared and sat on the bed. He arched one long muscled leg, bending over to tug at his boot. His face was in shadow, but his build was powerful, that of a more than adequate sportsman. His size didn’t worry her. A gun was a great equalizer.

He meant to take his boots off himself? She was surprised he didn’t require his valet to wait up for him. An unusual bit of consideration for a servant, one she’d not expected. She’d thought she’d have to stay hidden until the valet had come and gone. Perhaps this was better, since at least he was decently clothed. Not that she’d let any missish tendencies deter her. Actually seeing a large nude male might be educational.

Now was the time.

She cocked the gun and stepped out in front of him, the barrel pointed directly at him.

“You will please rise, my lord. I do not intend to shoot a seated villain.” She felt pride in the composure of her voice. She’d worried a little about that.

Wolverton did not appear unduly upset, although his eyebrows arched upward. He bent the long leg stretched on the bed and clasped both hands around his knee.

“A woman. How interesting. I admit you make a very fetching young man dressed in those breeches, but your voice is definitely female. Might I inquire why you have your gun pointed at me?”

She had to give him his due. His tone seemed as cool as hers, and she certainly must have been a nasty surprise. Although come to think of it, he probably often found women accosting him in his bedchamber. But surely for more pleasurable purposes, cad that he was.

“Stand up, my lord.”

Neither her voice nor the hand holding the gun on him wavered, as Joshua Sinclair, Earl of Wolverton, slowly placed both his boots on the luxurious Aubusson carpet and rose to his feet.

“Is there anything I can do for you, madam?” he inquired, as politely as if he were asking her if she took milk with her tea.

She shook her head slowly, carefully lowering the gun a trifle. What a shame he was such a handsome devil, but then she should have expected no less from a despoiler of virgins.

She was pleased to see him blanch a little as he realized where she aimed.

“Can I persuade you to raise your gun a little? I don’t mind being shot in the chest nearly as much as if you hit the most valued part of my anatomy.”

Anything else you’d like to add?
Just thanks for asking me. I love any interaction I can get with readers and other authors. So write me at one of my e-mails.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sun, sand and books

My daughter and I returned home from our Girls Road Trip 2010 last week. We made a round trip 2500 mile loop from our SW Missouri home to the north east coast of Florida, not far from where we lived for eighteen years. Can't get much more land-locked than smack in the middle of the USA and after three years of living here, we missed the ocean something fierce.


I had no worries that the beach town had gone through radical changes since I'd left it. I expected changes but nothing drastic. There were new houses and restaurants, a few more shops and more traffic that went along with the growth, but life in and around the Atlantic hadn't changed. That phrase, you can never go back home doesn't hold true for the ocean. One not crippled by human-made disasters is a safe place for the nostalgic person to return to. Tides, surf sounds, beaches, shells, sand crabs, sea birds. Every size, shape and age of people in and around the water. Five, ten, twenty years could pass before I get to the ocean again and when I do, I can feel confident that what I love about it will still be as I had left it.


I expect I will find the same beachgoing activities in a decade as I found last week. Walking, jogging, kite flying, castle building, eating, drinking, reading. I was so happy to see that reading is still favored by so many beach lovers. Educational associations, writer's loops and book purchasing statistics have raised concerns about the decline of reading in this country. We're told paper book purchases are down, ebook purchases are up. I expected to see either no readers or those who were reading to have the popular Kindle or other handheld reading device inches away from their faces. Like the Kindle television commercial with the couple sitting in cozy canvas chairs on the beach, their backs to the camera, each reading from a Kindle. In the week I spent oceanside I saw not a single one. Paperback and hardback books yes, but no handhelds. Not that it matters to me what method someone uses to read a book, as long as books are still being read. But I was surprised and pleased--no offense to those of you who use electronic methods to read--to see so many actual books being enjoyed.


I'm strictly old school. I have to hold a book, turn the pages with my fingers, see actual print on paper, use a bookmark from my vast collection to mark my stopping place. Apparently plenty of people agree with me. But even more important is they agree that a good book is a fantastic beach companion. And as writers, that is absolutely something for us to celebrate.


Polly



Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rejections

For a beginning writer a rejection of your work is the hardest thing to deal with. When I first started writing, I met the editors I submitted to at the conferences my RWA chapter had once a year. The very first editor, Wendi Corsi Staub, is a wonderful sweet person, and she sent me a two page letter explaining what I needed to do to improve my story even though she rejected my manuscript. This rejection letter gave me hope.

When I started getting form letters rejecting my work, I became despondent because I didn't know what was wrong. Sometimes I would quit writing for months because my spirit was so bruised.

I started entering contests thinking that was the way to find out what was wrong. I would send ten to fifty pages to a contest hoping that someone would validate me as a good story teller. I received low and high scores in the same contest, which was very confusing. There were judges willing to tell you what you were doing wrong and how to fix it. The problem was they would rewrite my work and send it in a different direction from where I wanted it to go.

It was so bewildering I became depressed each time and refused to write again. I even cried but later I would pour over their comments and make all the changes they suggested. It took many years before I realized that not everyone could be right.

This went on forever, and I wrote a story (not published yet) that I knew had the potential to make it. After ninety three rejections from agents I sat it aside. This time many of the rejections were positive. Some said they had liked what they read, but they didn't know how to market it. Others said they weren't taking on new authors because it was too risky in this economic climate. I read and reread the personal messages to keep my hope alive.

It was at this time I became hardened. A difference came over me, and I didn't even cringe or cry over the rejections. I knew this book was good, but I would have to come back to it another time. I will be dragging it out of the mothballs soon. I started another story, which kept getting negative feedback from contests and chapter members. Deciding to set it aside, I started another story. The same thing happened, and I sat it aside. It became a habit to start a project and not finish it, so I decided no matter the negative feedback (there was plenty) I would finish this one.

This book, The Catalyst, received lots of negative feedback too. I was told you have to put romance in it, you have to do this and you have to do that. Then, I found some ladies in the publishing industry willing to mentor me. I learned to stand up for myself. I also learned what I was writing. The Catalyst wasn't a romance, it was women's fiction and it was about the growth of a woman. The Catalyst was e-published in October 2008, and I self-printed it in the same year. Addiction was e-published in December 2008 and again in November 2009 by a different publisher. It was released in print July 1,2010.

If it had not been for my mentors, I would have been floundering forever trying to figure out what I was writing and trying to conform to the parameters placed around me.

You have to be resilient in this industry. Rejections are inevitable, and you have to harden yourself to it. If you can develop a tough skin early you'll build a career as an author much faster.

Have a great day.

Sandy AKA Sandra K. Marshall, author of Addiction
http://www.eirelander-publishing.com
http://www.skaymarshall.com
http://www.sandramarshallblog.blogspot.com
http://www.myspace.com/s_zinn_marshall

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Interview of Author Nancy Lee Badger

I'm thrilled to present an interview of romance author Nancy Lee Badger today.

Latest Book: DRAGON’S CURSE
Buy Link: http://www.whispershome.com

BIO:
Nancy Lee Badger lives with her husband in Raleigh, NC. She loves everything Scottish and still volunteers annually, with her family, at the New Hampshire Highland Games, http://www.nhscot.org. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, and Celtic Heart Romance Writers. DRAGON’S CURSE released today at Whispers Publishing. Visit her website: http://www.nancyleebadger.com and her blog http://www.rescuingromance.nancyleebadger.com for excerpts and more information.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: Though Draco is my tortured hero, I love Brianna. She has the power of premonitions and doesn’t want it! Her guardian forces her to keep her powers a secret as she toils as a servant for the members of a hunting party. She grows and evolves even as she is stalked by one brute and threatened by a dragon.

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: Absolutely not. Since I am writing about another culture, in another time, I need to give my readers a sense of the area and its people. Throw in the paranormal aspect, and I can go off the deep end. When I start plotting, I usually get a sense of my subject. I record hair and eye color right away, because it is easy to get confused…especially when I am writing and editing several books at once.

Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
A: I am a pill-popping diabetic which limits what food I can eat. Chocolate as a comfort food comes in the sugar free form and I luckily learned to drink tea and coffee sans sugar long ago. I just ate a clump of sweet green grapes while typing this, so fruit is good to have around. I also make frappes with no sugar added ice cream. I try hard NOT to let food inspire me.

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: My ability to learn. I have steadily worked at writing toward publication for three years. My first attempt was garbage. Oh, the plot and characters were wonderful, but the grammar, extensive backstory, flashbacks, etc. slowed it to a stop. I have since taken several on-line writing courses, attend workshops, make use of critique partners, and read, read, read!

Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: I would write steamy love letters to my husband, Richard and ignore the mysterious guy unless I could use him on my next book cover. Rich and I celebrated out 34th wedding anniversary on June 19th. He’s given me two wonderful sons. He works so I can stay home and write.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: I would like to write women’s fiction, a story based on journals and civil war letters handed down in my husband’s family. The journals are a day to day account of a woman’s rural life in Vermont after her husband left her with a large brood to join the Union Army. His letters to her are preserved. He died in Libby Prison in Richmond, VA. She remarried a neighbor as this was how life went on. It is important to show the strength American women needed in order to survive in the 1860’s.

Tell us where to find you:
Website: http://www.nancyleebadger.com
Publisher’s page: http://www.whispershome.com
Blog: http://www.rescuingromance.nancyleebadger.com
Facebook page: Nancy Lee Badger

BLURB:

Sometimes a special gift and an unwanted curse cannot keep destined lovers apart.

Brianna Macleod has accompanied a shipload of her guardian’s friends to a remote island off the coast of Scotland. She eludes these Highland hunters to keep her innocence…and her gift of sight. Her attitude against falling for womanly desires changes when she nearly drowns. Saved by the talons of a terrifying winged beast, she awakens—naked—in a cave, beside an unusual man.

Cursed by a vengeful witch to transform into a dragon at inopportune times, Draco MacDonald hides on this deserted island to live alone: until he plucks a servant girl from certain death. Fueled by jealousy, and tempered by fear for her safety, he succumbs to an unfamiliar desire to mate. Her kisses propel him to dare to make her his own.

Set in 1592 Scotland on the Scottish island of Staffa, the cursed hero battles a ghostly witch, a hunter set on rape, and his own growing desire for a young woman with premonitions of his death.

EXCERPT:

The urge to hunt finally propelled him from his sanctuary as he pondered why the witch neglected to provide night vision. He flicked his tail at the indignity of hunting at dusk, but such was life. He kept his distance from the hunting party, which was safely ensconced in tents for the night. With his astute sense of smell, their fetid stench filled the air while his nostrils flared in search of Brianna’s fragrance.

“To see her once more would go far in giving me the comfort of a good night’s sleep.” His words came out as a growl. Under his scales, muscles quivered.

He dipped below the cliff face as he swooped and glided, flapping his thin, leathery wings now and then to keep his bulk above the sea. He had filled his belly with two seals, and then plucked a seabird, that had the misfortune to fly too slowly, from the sky. Both filled his mouth with a taste of the salty waves, so he searched out his favorite fountain. With a few flaps, he lunged at the small cascade tumbling from the top of the rock face. He soared below the cliff’s rock-strewn edge, gulping mouthful upon mouthful of fresh water. After filling his belly to cool his throat, he roared with delight.

After returning his kisses, Brianna banished him to the silence of his own imagination. Then, he recalled Jean’s laughter when he kissed her under a tree.

Had she compared him to another?

Possibly Lorn, I should imagine.

Had she played him for a fool? Did she purposely lead him astray to fill Lorn with jealousy?

When Draco kissed Brianna, her sweet body leaned into his chest. Her delicate fingertips caressed his hair and shoulders with honest need and unabashed passion.

His human body, hidden beneath scales and claws, throbbed with a yearning he never dared to feel again. His time with Jean never progressed beyond light kisses. He would spend the remainder of his years alone. Catching an updraft, he flew up and over the cliff and froze in midair when the object of his thoughts suddenly screamed.

Brianna actually screamed at him. Her voice filled the night air with her terror. The vibration made his wings falter, and he tumbled end over end toward the sea.

His last conscious thought was guilt at the trembling in her voice and the look of fear plastered on her pale face.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I also write contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Nancy Lennea. Find out more at http://www.nancylennea.com and at http://www.nancylennea-inlove.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Celebrate Lughnassadh with Celtic/Romance author, Cornelia Amiri

Lughnassadh, pronounced LOO-nahs-ah, is the Celtic Harvest festival, celebrated July 31 or August 1st . A big part of Lughnasadh was the games, similar to the funeral games held at the death of a chief.

Here is an excerpt from Queen of Kings, set in Bronze Age Ireland, when a young queen Macha, about 15, beat all the boys in the chariot race, the horse race, and all the other events.

Excerpt:
The druid stood smiling from the contagious zeal and energy of the young girl bounding toward him. Her flame-red braids waved in the wind with her springy gait. Her budding breasts bounced beneath the blue woolen tunic dress and the plaid cloak pinned over it.

Her sweet adolescent face beamed with a bright smile as she called out in a tone breathy from running, “Druid Lasair, I beat all the boys my age.”

But before he could reply, a young warrior, his dark hair stiff and spiked like the mane on a racing horse, called out, “Congratulations, Macha. You drive a chariot almost as well as a boy does.”

She came to an abrupt halt and wheeled around to the young warrior. Macha’s anger crackled in the air around her, and her blue eyes blazed with fury. “I raced better than anyone.” She stepped so close to him her breath could be felt on his face. “And how fast or how well someone does something has nothing to do with their sex.” Her eyes gleamed with mischief. “Here, I’ll show you,” Macha said in a honeyed tone. She
drew her arm back and swung with all her might, ramming her fist into his jaw. He dropped to the ground.

As he lay in the dirt, gazing up at her with a groggy expression on his face, she said, “You see, even though you are a boy, you fell to the ground just as any girl would have. Even though I’m a girl, I put you there just like any boy could have.”

He raised himself up to a seated position. “What did I do?”

“Think about it.” Macha turned around and flashed the druid a bright grin as she walked toward him.

“Yes, I know. You won all the events.” Lasair wrapped his arms around her in a warm, congratulatory hug. When he released her, he pointed his head toward the young warrior, who still sat in the dirt, rubbing his jaw. “Macha, if you bruise all the boys, you may no longer have your pick to choose from for a Beltane partner next spring.”

Lughnassadh is also a great time for romance. For one, it was named after the sun god Lugh, a tall, muscular warrior with sky blue eyes and a hallo of golden light which blazed around his thick flaxen hair. He was also known as Lugh of the long arm because of his magic spear, which never missed its mark. That brings quite an image to mind, doesn’t it. In my Celtic/Erotica/Romane, Timeless Voyage, when my heroine, a Celtic lady pirate captain captures a Roman merchant, he reminds her of Lugh.

Here’s an excerpt from that scene in my Celtic/Erotica/Romance Timeless Voyage: Feeling heat on her neck from someone gazing hard at her, she wheeled around and spotted a shadowy figure. Rushing forward, with a flick of her wrist, she pressed her dagger against the man’s throat. The full moon glowed on her catch. His hair shone like spun sunlight that streamed down a stone smooth face adorned with deep sea-blue eyes. “Lugh, the sun god?”

The earth goddess (Tailtiu in Ireland and Blodeuwedd in Wales) was an important part of Lughnassadh as it celebrates the marriage of the earth to the sky, so hand fasting marriages were celebrated at this time. Also as fruit gathering was part of Lughnassadh, young men and women paired off to pick sweet, ripe bilberries and didn’t return until nightfall.

Here’s an excerpt of that from my latest release, Druid Bride:
Lughnassahd, one of her favorite festivals. She and Brude would pick bilberries together and stay out until dark. He would thread the dark berries they plucked together into a bracelet for her to wear that day. At least, he should. She imagined his lips on hers, pressing down, hot and wet, kissing her beneath the light of the white moon, his mouth and breath tasting of sweet, juicy bilberries. .

That’s the last excerpt for today but some ways you can celebrate Lughnassadh at your home are:
Make a centerpiece of dried wheat sheaves, whole grain breads, acorns, hazel nuts, and grapes.
Get the whole family involved in baking homemade bread.
Say a prayer of thanksgiving for the harvest or the bounty of food you have year round.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dammit Doll's Travels to HELL Then Orlando for RWA!

When you're stressed by writing, deadlines, edits, rejections, etc., why not have a Dammit Doll to use for your frustration? Many versions and varieties of Dammit Dolls and their "sayings" exist, and here's a basic part:
Just grasp it firmly by the legs
And find a place to slam it
And as you whack the stuffing out
Yell, "DAMMIT! DAMMIT! DAMMIT!"
A romance writing industry version of Dammit Doll, according to Mid-America Romance Authors (http://www.mararwa.com/Authors/dammitdoll.htm), has a history that goes like this:
   "Dammit became a writer in 1967 while on leave from the KGB. He defected as a member of the St. Petersburg's Olympic noodling team. Tired of luring unsuspecting catfish in the icy arctic waters off the European coast, Dammit began his quest for publication.
    He has nine hundred twenty seven short stories published in such gloried publications as True Defector, Stories of Noodling Champions, and Poetry of the Arctic Circle.
    A true romantic at heart he published several paranormal, historical, time travel, suspense romance novels before setting out to instruct the world on the proper use of the em dash. Once he caught the writing instruction bug it took hold like a tick on a hound dog. He is embarking on his fifth annual world tour with a signing at the Moonlight Madness Mid-America Romance Authors Booth."

 Here are two of Dammit Doll's best-selling books:
"Goal, Motivation, Dammit" (right) and "Writing Action Adventure Romance" (left).  As Dammit Doll suggests:
Don't just chase your dream, catch it, and then beat it into submission!
And here's a Dammit Doll adventure:
Dammit Doll "Delusional Dandy"...better known as DD...been very busy this month as he travels the world in search of writing ideas for his next 100 stories. But, this blog will talk about his trip to HELL...and back!

All great artists suffer as they create their masterpieces...whether it's a painting, sculpture, or romance novel...and DD is no exception. To get a true insight of what it's like to suffer pain (as in romantic rejection, separations, misunderstandings, heartbreaking partings), he braved a trip to HELL.

Heartbroken after his true love, Hoity Toity, dumped him for Prince Charming, DD's world fell apart. He couldn't eat, sleep, or write. Going to HELL seemed the perfect place for him to go and do his suffering for closure at the death of his long-time affair.

He packed a few items...clothing is optional in HELL...but brought along a non-meltable laptop so he could record his woes and anguish for future use in a book. Few people spoke to him while he was there...although some insanely wild chickens crossed his path...and that suited his demeanor. He was there to get in touch with his "inner feelings" while braving the heat. And, DD observed the suffering of those around him, inspiring emotional baggage to fill his head, thoughts, and cheap suitcase for his re-entry into the "real" world.

His next masterpiece of romantic literary fiction will be titled, "Love Equals Hell", a catchy phrase sure to gain tons of reader attention and interest.

For Dammit Doll's final adventure episode before appearing in Orlando, visit: http://gretchenjones.com
Once in Orlando, Dammit Dolls can be found at RWA's Moonlight Madness event on 29 July at the Mid-America Romance Authors booth. Stop by for your very own Dammit Doll!

http://www.mariannestephens.net
http://www.aprilash.net
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/romancebooksrus
http://sevensexyscribes.blogspot.com
http://flirtyauthorbitches.com

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Revenge" and a Full Plate

This past week, the second story in my Kismet series, Kismet's Revenge, was released in paperback from The Wild Rose Press. How did I celebrate this momentous occasion? By fighting with my computer's hard drive for a week, of course! Apparently, my trusty desktop--let's call her Della--had decided she'd taken about as much of my many documents, story lines, photos, and blurbs as she intended. In a nutshell, Della crapped out.

Ordinarily, this would be a bit of an inconvenince, but with my trip to RWA National in Orlando coming up next week (and all its obligatory paperwork: reservations, flights, transportation receipts, schedules, etc., carefully stored on Della's hard drive), inconvenience became apocalyptic drama. You see, in my local chapter, I not only serve as President, but I'm kinda the unofficial Control Freak in Charge. Which means, I not only had my information for National, but my chapter mates' stuff, and stuff for the chapter at large all stowed in Della's trusty megabytes.

I began treating Della with the usual disk maintenance. But defragmenting was impossible since I need a minimum of 15% free space to run that particular program. Current free space? 0%. Okay...deep breath...not a tragedy yet. I ran my virus software, malware, and crap cleaning software. After all that, current free space jumped from 0% to a whopping ...0%.

Yup. No change at all. Time to go into the Programs section and clean stuff out of there. I moved 138 files-- mostly WIPs and documents related to chapter business--from my desktop to my Yahoo group where I archive and store important info. (A side note: I highly recommend some kind of Yahoo group or Google storage thing for everyone. While I use Carbonite for storage of all my computer files, if Della should ever reach a DNR stage and I don't have the means to replace her immediately, I can access any of my important stuff from any computer anywhere with my Yahoo group. Best of all, it's free.) Okay...so 138 files deleted from hard drive and transferred to Yahoo group. Current free space...0%.

Hmmm...I'm sensing a pattern. Flipped my Auto Restore settings to 2-4, rather than the 15 it was set on as the factory standard. Current free space...2%. Yay! Progress. Back into other Program files to delete. In going through the actual C Drive, rather than the autopopulated list Della gives me in Add/Remove Programs, I found some files I hadn't used in eons. Old publishing files from programs that no longer exist for documents for an organization I'm no longer a part of. Still 2%. And we're only up to Tuesday of the week.

I removed--one at a time--the series of 4000 fonts I'd downloaded to Della when I was a newsletter editor. Kept only the basic. Up to 6%. On Thursday, I looked in my Music files and discovered something unusual. When I'd switched to a new I-touch from my loyal old MP3 player (which, after eight years of fantastic service, had gasped its last the week before), I had to transfer all my music from Windows Media Player to I-tunes. Approximately 500 albums, more than 3000 songs. (Yeah, I'm a music buff with extremely bizarre taste. I have everything from The Mills Brothers and Etta James to Lady Gaga and O.A.R.) But my I-tunes said I had more than 12,000 songs! Okay, I'm a music buff, not a crazy person. Opened my I-tunes to discover every song I'd transferred from WMP had replicated itself five times!

At this stage, I knew I was in serious trouble. So I broke down and bought Della a shiny new external hard drive, transferred all my music files over to that. Nothing else, just my music files. Current free space: 16%! Woo-hoo! We have lift-off! Finally defragmented, got in to my files for RWA National and quickly printed all the receipts, reservations, and handouts that I needed, tucked them into my annual "National" folder.

For the last 24 hours, I've been manually deleting the four extra copies of every song I transferred to I-tunes. The external hard drive is happy to help and Della, while weak, will hold out a little longer so I can shop around for her replacement and not buy something in the heat of panic.

So if anyone's been wondering where I've been this week, now you know. But I did manage to squeeze in an appointment with a tattoo artist. I'd take a picture of my new "pretty", but I'm afraid Della couldn't take the excitement. So if you'll be at RWA National and spot me there, ask and I'll be happy to show you my little masterpiece.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dammit Dolls/Writng/RWA in Orlando!







Have you heard of Dammit Dolls? Fran A. wrote a story about one on 20 July here at our blog. And, another episode will appear on 25 July. A list of Dammit Doll adventures and links is below.


Dammit Dolls description from http://www.dammitdollstore.com
"Do you get angry, get into arguments or just need to relieve some stress? A Dammit Doll is what you need! These dolls take on a personality of their own and certainly do relieve stress. You can confide in them, yell at them and beat them up. They never argue and are very forgiving and best of all; they never tell anyone your secrets."
A version of a Dammit Doll is above.


Mid-America Romance Authors (MARA) is selling Writer/Author/Industry Rep Dammit Dolls at Moonlight Madness on 29 July at RWA in Orlando. These dolls can be whacked against a table, wall, whatever, whenever you need to de-stress from the romance writing world! Each doll comes with an appropriate poem and you yell, "Dammit, dammit, dammit" while taking out your frustration.


MARA Links for Dammit Doll Episodes this month:
5th - http://jackiebannon.blogspot.com
9th - http://authorlyncash.blogspot.com
11th -http://web.me.com/elisabethburke/ElisabethBurke/Blog/Blog.html
13th -http://heathersonowbooks.blogspot.com
18th - http://carlacassidy.wordpress.com
20th - http://romancebooksrus.blogspot.com
25th - http://www.romancebooksrus.blogspot.com
27th - http://gretchenjones.com


Read different Dammit Doll adventures and get one for yourself!


Photo: http://www.craftbits.com/project/dammit-doll
http://mariannestephens.net
http://aprilash.net










Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Owned By Rome" excerpt Katalina Leon


This is an excerpt from “Owned By Rome”. In this scene Atellus and Rutila are traveling alone through the forest. They have clashed and been separated for many days on the road. Both have been injured physically and emotionally. Rutila has been starving. Atellus feeds her hoping she’ll stay with him and explain her actions but she gets flustered, tongue tied and unexpectedly flees his camp leaving him very disappointed but she returns later to say what she must. 
“…After he was certain she was gone, he packed away what was left of the boar for tomorrow and washed his hands and face at the river’s edge. The water was cold and his sleeves became soaked. He walked back to his fire, sat and watched it slowly die down to a dull red glow. He lay on his furs and started to untie the drawstring of his braccae, needing a rough moment of pleasure to ease his thoughts before sleep. His fingers worked to untangle the knot in the woolen drawstring.
“May I stay?” Rutila’s cautious voice floated softly from behind a tree.
He gasped in surprise. “Are you sure?” He bolted upright. His startled hands quickly abandoned the drawstring. He hated that his voice was riddled with alarm.
She stepped from behind the tree. The low-burning fire underlit her face and hair with a glowing halo of scarlet. She sat so closely beside him, her knee brushed against his thigh.
His breath caught from the unexpected but welcome moment of contact. He recognized this moment for what it was, a turning point. She had voluntarily wandered back into his castra and sat beside him. He knew if he pounced on her and devoured her the way his body begged him to, all would be lost. He knew just because he had fed her did not mean he had tamed her ferus nature in any dependable way. Some silent part of him remained on guard.
His fingertips reached out to gently stroke her hair. She had rinsed the dust of the road from her hair but now it was badly tangled. He rose and walked toward the pack that contained the ivory hair combs. He retrieved the ivory combs and sat behind her. “May I?” He didn’t wait for her answer before choosing a knotted lock of hair and carefully picking the comb through it. He worked slowly and diligently, untangling a few coppery strands at a time. “This might take awhile,” he whispered softly, and added more wood to the fire.

She bowed her head forward as Atellus patiently untangled her hair. The fire sparked and crackled as the new wood lit. It was almost too warm to sit near. Her face flushed. He had worked his way through her many snarls and was nearly at the end of his task. She sat calmly, though her mind was in utter turmoil. There was so much she wanted to say to him and there was nothing she dare say to him. Her ancestors would hate her if she spoke her heart to a Roman and she would hate herself if she didn’t.
He finished combing her hair and set the combs down. His palm adoringly smoothed the last strands.
She turned to face him.
His eyes reflected the amber glow of the fire. They seemed to silently plead with her to speak.
She brushed her fingertips across his face and leaned forward to kiss his lips.
His lips softly parted with a sigh.
She gently brushed her lips against his. “Atellus,” she whispered. “You’re a far better man than I gave you credit for. I was wrong about you.” She stroked her fingers through his wavy hair and felt his body tense, as if he didn’t know what to do next. She decided to act before her conflicted emotions stopped her. She tugged her woolen tunic over her head and laid it on the ground beside them. Her hands crossed protectively over her breasts.
His throat tensed. He reached out and moved her hands away from her breasts and looked at her longingly. “You owe me nothing for the food. I was happy to share.”
Her chin dipped. “I know.”
He lifted her chin with a fingertip. “You don’t have to be alone in the world. Let me take care of you. I want to.” He leaned closer. “Choose me as your dominus.”
She recoiled slightly at that word.
“I ask not as a Roman but as the type of man I am. I will never be cruel to you nor will I degrade you, but I need the security of knowing you are mine. I need to be the dominus.”
She shuddered at the shocking but tempting thought. Her next words were spoken so softly they were barely audible. “You used the word dominus instead of the more common term dominor, why?”
“You know why,” he whispered.
Her heart beat faster. A dominus was a husband and lover, a chosen one. It was much more than a brutish owner. A thrill raced through her when she realized she could meet him on these terms. He wasn’t demanding the use of her body or taking her freedom. He was asking for her. She could give herself to him willingly. They could agree on this and hold it secret between them. She longed to surrender to a greater soul. For fear she would change her mind, she lay down on the tunic and stretched her arms over her head, offering herself. Her breasts thrust upward. “For tonight only you are my dominus. Ask anything of me.”
“Anything?” His eyes glinted.
She drew a deep breath, feeling a twinge of regret for her hasty words.
“I want you to keep your eyes open and focused on me as much as you comfortably can. I want you to see the truth. I want you to see who I am. I will not have you mixing me in your mind with other despicable men.”
Her throat ached so tightly she was afraid she might cry. “I understand.” She heard a faint bustle in the underbrush and saw a badger had wandered to the edge of the castra.
The creature poked its striped head out of the brush, bared its jagged teeth and stared at her with riveting black eyes as if awaiting the order to charge.
She silently appealed to the beast. Go away, my friend. I thank you for lending me your spirit. You helped me survive the worse, but we are finished. She silently bargained with the combative animal. I don’t need your protection anymore.
The badger backed quietly into the shadows without incident.
“What’s wrong?” Atellus asked softly. “What are you looking at?”
“Nothing.” She glanced at him. “I’m looking at you.”

XXOO Kat “Owned By Rome” Katalina Leon available now from Ellora’s Cave Legend Line


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Hero On Canvas

Hello my fellow romance fans! I am so glad you joined me today as I wanted to talk about one of my favorite things: the hero.

When I read a book, of course I examine the cover to get an initial idea of what the hero should look like. But I absolutely love when the author gives you a more vivid description of his physical features as well as a deeper look into his character.

For example, in my historical, Ræliksen, I have a cover that paints an outline of what my hero might look like, but I also like to think I gave him more depth and color when I described him the first time my heroine, Mara, saw him:


There he stood; a monument of beauty and power, sturdy as the ground beneath him. He had long blond hair, a well groomed beard, and skin darkened from the sun. His hands showed scars and calluses from years of hard work, yet his clothes presented a different story, one of wealth and importance. His tunic was made of the finest wool, a lovely shade of cerulean with a tablet-woven braid around the neckline and hem, which came to rest at his knees. His legs were bare, save for his calves wrapped in the soft cowhide of his boots. His eyes revealed a sense of maturity and intrigue, yet even the darkness could not hide their color for they were as blue as the ocean he sailed. Before her stood a being that only one word could suitably describe.


Lochlannach,” she breathed.


And here is another when she gets to see his bare chest for the first time because of the rainfall that soaks them:


Mara peeked her head slightly over her shoulder, fully expecting him to still be naked. But he was covered, eyes tapered to slits and his hands on his narrow hips. The reddish hide hung low at his waist exposing his entire torso. It was longer than she imagined but just as well, for she had never seen an unclothed man before. His chest was relatively bare, exposing two small nipples and a thin layer of dark blond curls at his navel that ran down beyond the obscurity of the animal skin.

My favorite thing about romances is the distinct sketch of what the hero looks like (before and after the clothes come off). I love when an author goes into detail about things we might overlook when imagining the hero ourselves. Perhaps a scar faded with time, or a fleck of color in one eye. Maybe it's the cute way his belly button slightly protrudes from a rippled score of stomach muscles...(sorry, I'm drifting away with my own devious imagination.)


Anyway, to me, an author can never be too meticulous or exhaustive when it comes to painting the hero of the story. The more the better...

So now, I question your thoughts on the matter. Do you correlate the picture of what the hero is like from the cover with the details of the author's description inside? Or do you not pay much attention to either? Do you think authors can go too far in their narrative sketches, wanting some things to be left to the imagination? Or do you think some authors fail to paint the hero well enough?

I'd love to hear your opinions and, by all means, if you've read a great description of a hero from a book, please post it-- of course giving credit to the author along with the title of the book.

If you liked the eye candy posted here, then hop on over to my blog today as well. Every Wednesday I post a featured man who is likely to "wake you up" when coffee alone may not be doing its job. I'd love to see you there!

You an also visit me at http://www.reneevincent.com/

Ræliksen: Book One of the Emerald Isle Trilogy will be released from Turquoise Morning Press August 20, 2010! Mark your calendars!



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dammit Doll Travels by Reader/Writer Fran Abram

The Most Interesting Doll in the World

Name: Dani DaMmit
Occupation: World Traveler and Adventurer
Last Known Address: He could be anywhere!
Known associates: Sona Fabitch
Description: Chameleon – he has many disguises and can change appearance as it suits him.

Always alone but never lonely, Dani travels the world in search of adventure. He is a scholar and a gentleman, a rogue, a mercenary, and a gambler. He has the strength to scale mountains and forge flooded rivers, but he has a gentle side as well and has been known to comfort many a frightened damsel, sometimes all night long. He has taken many a beating, but he always picks himself and comes back for more.




Dani always finds trouble, and this time, trouble has him on the run. His latest escapade has put him in the cross-hairs of a dangerous cartel. MARA member Gretchen Jones has him in her sights.




 



Hiding in plain site on a Mexican beach, he has been discovered and is on the run again. MARA member Fran Abram found him under the palm trees of Cancun.




 
Who knows where he’ll turn up on his journey – from New York to Paris to Pisa. MARA member Barb Herrin spotted him near the Leaning Tower, just before the carabinieri caught up with him.




One thing’s for certain, Dani DaMmit and his pal Sona Fabitch are headed for Orlando. Be sure to look for them at the RWA National Convention. They’ll be putting in an appearance at the Mid-America Romance Author’s booth at Midnight Madness, 29 July. That is, if they can stay one step ahead of their pursuers. Follow their journey at http://www.thelandofmoo.com on 23 July!

To learn more about Dammit Doll's early beginnings and SUPER writing career, visit:
http://www.mararwa.com/Authors/dammitdoll.htm

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Story Behind The Story

I saw a question over the weekend asking authors about what inspired them to write their latest release. What is the story behind the story?

In All She Ever Wanted, I happened to be standing at the stove, making one of my favorite meals (beef strogganoff) when all of a sudden, I heard in my head the following scene:

“This is only for one meal, Marc, so don’t get all bent out of shape.” Amber kept her concentration on the stove.

Roger and June gaped at her. Marc drew himself up to his full six foot, three inch height, reaching Amber in two quick strides.

“Can I speak to you in private?” His voice dropped an octave.

Amber defiantly raised her green eyes against his onyx ones. “Just a moment; let me take this off the heat.” She turned her attention back to the stove. “Wouldn’t want dinner to burn and irritate you even more,” she said coolly. The food tended to, she lifted her chin and looked at him. “Well?”

A muscle twitched beside his right eye. “I said in private.” He grasped her arm and steered her to the pantry.

“I’m perfectly capable of walking by myself,” she said forcefully, wrenching her arm away and preceding him into the shelf-lined room.

“What the hell are you trying to pull?” he hissed.

“What am I trying to pull? Nothing, Marc! All I’m doing is filling in so your little dinner party is a success.” Amber balled her fists at the insult.

“You’re not even in the right attire.” His dark eyes blazed in contempt as he took in her appearance. “And what kind of chef wears dangly earrings when she’s on the job?”

“Oh, you like them? It just so happens I was at a family function when Ruth frantically called me. Don’t worry; I won’t leave the kitchen or embarrass you in any way,” she said with a touch of sarcasm. “I came here to do a job; if you’ll pull that stick out of your ass and let me go back to work, your dinner will be coming off the stove in a few moments.”

Marc and Amber would have kept going at this point, but I managed to silence them long enough for me to finish making dinner for my family and head to the computer to write down their argument. I came to a stopping point, ate dinner with my family, and returned to the computer to write the beginning of the chapter, in order to explain why they were arguing over Amber's sudden appearance in his kitchen!


In Teacher's Pet (still coming soon whenever I get a new editor!), I was challenged to write an erotic scene. I'd begun reading erotic romances, and trying not to blush at the buzz words, so to actually write words I was not entirely comfortable with, well, let's just say I was soooooo happy my kids were in school and not around when I was writing it!

I remembered my first encounter with a drop-dead gorgeous man at the ball field when my oldest son was practicing. I decided to watch the Girl's Softball game instead, and soon found myself mentally drooling over the man next to me. Six months later, I discovered he was my oldest son's history (and favorite!) teacher. I left that parent/teacher conference hoping and praying I'd sounded like an intelligent parent, because the other half of my brain was screaming at him to take off his shirt!

I'm also proud to announce that my first Kenzie manuscript has finally been accepted by XOXO Publishing. Titled Wild At Heart, it follows the lives of four people within a six day time line, and shows how lives can be changed forever with chance meetings. I've had issues with this work: One character, Steve, has just been released from prison, and is angry over what he perceives as prejudice toward 'felons'. He has no idea it was really about protecting his ex-girlfriend.

I was driving toward the nursing home in August 2007 when a news blurb about prison reform came on the radio. All of a sudden, 'Steve' is in my head, yelling "That's me! Write my story; I'm trying to show I've learned my lesson, but the town won't believe me!"

I started writing in longhand two days later at a Boy Scout camping trip, and on Sept 11, began typing it up and continuing. I finished it one month later on Oct 11th. I also had no idea my story would take place part of the time in Estes Park, Colorado. I'm hoping when the release date is announced, my family can afford a trip to have the release party at Nicky's Steakhouse, where a crucial scene takes place.

So....what's your story behind the story?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Interview of Reader/Reviewer Robin Smith

Today I'm happy to present an interview of Reader/Reviewer Robin Smith!
Photo of Lady and Shadow.

BIO:
I’ve never written a bio about myself. My name is Robin and over the years I have written poetry which can be seen on http://www.myspace.com/robbibird3 just click on the blog there. I have written reviews for http://www.mybookcravings.com under my own name and also for http://www.Romancejunkies.com  under the pen of ladybirdrobi. Somewhere there is a book that has one of my poems in it and I believe there is an audio book of that same title, which I can’t remember. I am disabled and do not work so I have all the time in the world to devote to my favorite pastime of reading.

Q: What type of genre do you enjoy the most and why?
A: I will read almost any genre except dark fantasy, horror and any with same sex graphic love scene descriptions. Lately though I’ve been focused on werewolves and other shape shifters in starring or back-up roles.

Q: What inspired you to read romance books?
A: I don’t really know why or when I first started reading romances. I just know that I enjoy it when an author can snag me and I feel as if I am the heroine.

Q: Do you read ebooks, print books, or both? Have you thought about getting an ebook reader if you don’t already have one?
A: I read both and I would love to have an ereader, the only reason I don’t already own one is they are too expensive for my blood.

Q: Besides those of us at “Romance Books R Us”, who are your favorite authors?
A: Favorite authors - hmm - I have so many but here are a few that come to mind Cassie Edwards, Kate Hill, Kate Douglas, Patricia Briggs, Bertrice Small, Lora Leigh, Bianca D’Arc and the list could go on longer if I continued to think about who I enjoyed reading.

Q: Do you visualize the hero and heroine as you read? Do you use the cover (if they’re shown) as images for them?
A: Do I visualize? I try to become the heroine in any given story I read, it depends upon whether the author has that knack to grab me. As far as cover images,sometimes I might use that as a jumping point but too many of them don’t match description in the book itself so no for the most part.

Q: Have you ever been to a writing conference/convention? If so, what did you think about it?
A: No I’ve never physically been to a gathering however, Lucy Monroe did do a Readers blog for an online during the last RT gathering.

Q: When do you read and do have “comfort food” as you read? 
A: At any time of the day or night because I have no job to interfere with my reading whenever I felt like doing so. I try to keep healthy snacks like fruit for those times because I am a diabetic and have to watch carb and sugar intake. If I am in a lot of pain I will pick up a book and hope that that author can snag me and take me away from the pain because my pain pills just aren’t strong enough to totally take the pain away.

Q: What kind of promo items (bookmarks, trinkets, brochures, etc.) do you enjoy receiving?
A: I love bookmarks, have quite a collection in a Ziploc baggie to keep them safe. I have magnets on the fridge. Signed cover flats are nice too. I have a big $10 express box from author island’s goodie box. I have them all but what I like most are the beaded type of bookmarks (not sure what they are called) because the author took the time to make it.

Q: Do you enter contests? What type of items do you enjoy getting if you win?
A: I am a contest entering junkie. I love getting anything book related or promo material like T-shirts, key rings, pens, notepads, journals, tote bags and of course, the autographed book itself.

Q: What one question would you like to ask an author?
A: Are you proud of the fact you write to the point that there is no need for a pen name because you don’t care if anyone knows what you do and are not embarrassed by what you write?

Q: How important is a cover when you’re looking to buy a book?
A: The covers are what usually draws my eye to a book and the back cover blurb or synopsis is what sells the book to me.

Q: Do you read blurbs and excerpts? Which one is most important in your decision to buy a book and why?
A: Yes I do and either blurb or excerpt will effect my decision. I know I have put books I would not normally read on my TBR mountain because the excerpt snagged me to wanting to know what happens next.

Q: Do you like reading first or third person books? Why?
A: I think I like first person because it makes it more personal to me as opposed to third person which is based upon that teller’s opinion about what happened and not based upon what actually happened to the person. If that makes any sense at all. I’m not always good with words and sometimes don’t use them right.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Not really but if anyone wants to know my opinion on something ask me and if it doesn’t upset me in any way I’ll most likely answer it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Too many things going at once


I've got too many balls up in the air and it worries me. I'm afraid I'm going to drop one of them with a big splat. I'm trying to rewrite one of my older books to a new format, which means cutting it by over 12,000 words. This is really hard to do, but for some hair-brained reason I'm having fun with the challenge. I'm working at that every chance I get.
Then I'm getting entries for my contest within the romancebooksrus contest and I want to answer every one. If any reader wants to take the time to follow the rules and enter I want to ackcnowledge and let her know I appreciate her time and effort. I'm also putting the finishing touches on two new books, one another long historical called "For Love and I are New" which I think is good. Of course I do, I love all my little darlings. The other book is an addition to my Mage series. It's about twins and the setting is London in 1934, so World War II is looming. The name Double Trouble would fit, as they're having big difficulties with their love lifes. Any suggestions gratefully considered, as I certainly want a more original name than the obvious one.

So I'm tackling too many things at once but enjoying myself. Here's the rules for the contest, so do enter. I think the questions are easy and so far, every entrant had gotten the correct answers.

My July contest.

WIN, WIN, WIN !!!!!!!

TWO e-book downloads from my backlist, winner’s choice, PLUS a Third Rose t-shirt adorned with the dramatic book cover.
Answers to these two easy questions are found on my website, www.jeanhartstewart.com.

1.What instrument does Kate play in Song of a Druid Princess?

2.In The Third Rose, why does Sara want to shoot Wolf in the groin?

My contest is in addition to the big one, Christmas in July, being held for a Sony e-reader by the romancebooksrus group. You must join the romancebooksrus group to win the Sony. We all know this is a great group and what a great prize!! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/romancebooksrus

Just shoot me the answers for my private contest to jeanthedruid30@gmail.com. All correct answers go into a pool for a random drawing.

GOOD LUCK!!!!

I'll end with a short excerpt from The Third Rose, recently released from RRP.

"His arms were somehow holding her again, as if he wanted to touch her while he still could. She prayed her seductive images were in his mind also. She leaned back against his arms and sighed.
“Josh, may I present my side of this without interruption. Just for two minutes? Please?”
He looked deep in her eyes, and evidently approved of what he saw, as the frown between his eyebrows eased. But he put her away from him and folded his arms. He leaned back casually against the wall, his stance as nonchalant as if they were discussing the menu for breakfast.
“Yes,” he said. “Two minutes. And I don’t know why I’m conceding even that much. There’s no way in hell you’re going with me.”
“A promising beginning,” she murmured. At his scowl she hurriedly backtracked. “No, I can’t waste my two minutes.” She breathed deeply. “If you go alone your purpose will be suspected at once, and everything possible will be done to stop you. Assassins will be sent out immediately and to several points. Half of London is now in Brussels. I hear the social life there is flourishing, and even some of the ton vacationing on the Continent are gathered there. We can put out the rumor I’m determined to sample some of the balls I hear are in progress. That I’ve insisted on it for the first step of our honeymoon, I’ll be thought flighty and selfish, but not unusual. I am the perfect diversionary tactic for you. At least your foes will stop and think. There, I took much less than two minutes.”
For the second time since he’d met her, Josh was speechless. Not quite as much as when she aimed a pistol at his most treasured masculine parts. Then he recovered his speech in time to make her believe he boasted perfect aplomb. Actually he’d been terrified the bloody gun would go off, accidentally or otherwise. Now he was terrified she was right. She’d made a good case, the last thing he wanted her to do. She’d become too precious for him to endanger in any way.
He knew many of the ton had migrated to Brussels. Letters were seeping back to friends and relatives, telling of the gay social life. The Duchess of Richmond was there, as were Georgiana Lennox, Lady Vidal, and much of the pink of society. Reports of Madame de la Tour du Pin’s large party and Carolyn Lamb’s arrival in a shocking state of undress were gleefully relayed. There were balls and fetes, theatre and opera parties as if war were not lurking over the horizon. Many of the party seekers had come to Brussels from Paris and other pleasure spots on the continent. The town was packed, with soldiers and generals, lords and ladies. It was all the rage to be in Brussels.
Her argument made sense. But more important, if she were with him he could protect her better than by leaving her behind. He had no idea how many traitors were involved in this despicable conspiracy."

Interview of Author Reana Malori

Today it's my pleasure to present an interview of romance author Reana Malori.

Latest Book: Dinner for Three
Buy Link: https://beautifultroublepublishing.com/xcart/Dinner-For-Three-EBOOK.html

BIO:
Reana Malori is a pseudonym for a chick with dreams of world domination. However, if that’s not possible, I’m willing to settle for being one of the best interracial romance / erotica writers on the market. As a true believer in romantic, my stories will always have a “happily ever after” even when hot and steamy bedroom scenes are included. I am first and foremost a fan of romance and erotica and have been an avid reader since the age of fourteen. I continue to write, my ultimate goal is to provide the reader with a way to live vicariously through my characters and escape into my universe, if only for a few hours.

I enjoy hearing from friends, so please feel free to email me at: reanamalori@yahoo.com

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I danced in my living room and yelled and screamed to my husband that it has actually sold. I was ecstatic. I had high hopes that it would sell, when it actually happened, I was over the moon.As a treat, my hubby took me out to dinner as a celebration that I had officially become an author.

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: They each have their own look and feel as I’m writing. Once I “know” how the character will look, they keep that form throughout the entire story.Even as I’m framing the story, the characters take on their description before the first word is typed. That will sometimes make it difficult to choose a cover for the book, but it usually works out okay.

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: Oh, that’s easy. I read, read, and read some more. Reading has been a part of my life since I was fourteen. As a teenager, full of piss and vinegar, this was my way to escape and enter another world. Whether it be a historical romance or contemporary. The only requirement was that it be a romance with a happily ever after. I currently have about 400 books at the current time, over the years, the number of books I have read is easily double that number.

Q: What is your favorite romance book that you’ve read?
A: Oh goodness, do I have to choose only one? I love reading books and have about 400 of them, both hard copy and e-book format and it would be extremely difficult to choose only one. I can expand the question a bit, I probably have three of four all-time favorites that I have read dozens of times and still have the same reaction to the book – I fall in love with the characters all over again. However, I’ll try to be good and focus on only two. Saving Grace by Julie Garwood is my all-time favorite historical romance. It has all of the elements that I absolutely love in a story, drama, romance, family, friendship, forgiveness, and a strong alpha male. My favorite contemporary romance is My Best Friend’s Girl by Dorothy Koomson. This was my very first interracial romance book, which I found on “accident” on “accident”. Every time I read this story, I still cry at some parts, laugh at others, and my heart rips in two at how the story unfolds. I have others, but these are my all-time favorites.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: Historical. I haven’t yet been inspired to write this type of story even though I love to read them. I believe historicals are a very difficult genre to write effectively. Although I know others are able to write them successfully, it can be difficult to make sure the dialect, dress, environment, and character expectations are all correct. One day I hope to write a historical romance, but that will be sometime down the road.

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: I really enjoy chats and blogs the best. I can really share my personality with the readers and share my thoughts and insight. It allows for more interaction and builds stronger connection. I do have a facebook page that I keep up-to-date with book covers, snippets of what’s going on in my life, and to say hello to everyone.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Absolutely!And I love to hear from new friends.
Websitet: http://www.reanamalori.webs.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#%21/profile.php?id=100000467958769
Another place where I’m very active is my Yahoo! Group, which can be found at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/reana_malori

BLURB:
Celina Jefferson never expected to find love and fulfillment with more than one man, especially not at the same time. Adrian Marshall and Jake Huffington were two men who knew what they wanted out of life, and right now, they wanted Celina. A game of seduction is underway as Jake and Adrian try to convince Celina that the three of them are made for each other.

EXCERPT:
His eyes didn’t miss anything, and when she walked in the front door he spotted her right away. She was beautiful, and he couldn’t take his eyes from her. Celina Jefferson, the senior staffer from MH Associates he and Jake had noticed earlier. She walked with such confidence. He could tell she knew exactly who she was and what she wanted—and wasn’t going to apologize for either. Her long dark brown hair fell in waves to the middle of her back, and he ached to run his fingers through it. Perfectly rounded hips that were a focal point of her lush body were connected to thick, long legs. His mind immediately conjured pictures of those long legs wrapped around his waist as he plunged inside her accepting body. And when she turned in his direction—oh gawd—yes, she was beautiful.

Never one to back down, he gave her a full-on stare. He wanted her to know he was interested and although she didn’t know it, he would give her the time of her life. Inappropriate? Yes. But he would be damned if he would back off. If given the chance, he would make sure she never forgot him or how she felt when he was inside her. Decision made, he grabbed his drink and slid out of his seat, intent on making his way over to the woman who’d captured his undivided attention all day.

Thanks for being here today!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I have been promoting my back list lately...


I began promoting my back list a month or so back, and today, I was pleasantly surprised to find a five star review on Her Own Set of Rules (9/09) over at The Romance Studio!

As an e-author, I have found that once a new release disappears from the new releases pages and scoots into the back list, sales drop exponentially. Once out of the spotlight, books wait to be discovered on your "author" page on the publisher's website, and seldom are found unless you have a new release every month or so. And even books that sell extremely well pass from view, and sales drop to a fraction of their former glory.

The book above, a hot menage, has subject matter that is close to reality...how marriages cool and sometimes fall apart for lack of communication and honesty between partners. Perhaps the blurb led readers to believe that there was no Happily Ever After. Perhaps even readers of erotic romance are nervous about books that touch on the subject of infidelity.

Many readers have mentioned that although they believe in "fuck on first sight", they do not want to read about a husband or wife cheating on their partner. But this book leads the reader through some personal and deeply moving problems between a married couple...and tells what they did to regain their marriage and their passion. This is what The Romance Studio had to say about Her Own Set of Rules...
The Romance Studio

Her Own Set of Rules

Fran Lee
Erotic fiction

Available from Ellora's Cave
ISBN: 9781419924132

September 2009


Her Own Set of Rules is a story about the marriage between Haley and Harry -- high school sweethearts. The classic jock and homecoming queen who marry after high school. Their lives have developed fine but they are in a dull rut. They both are wondering how they got to this place in their relationship where sex only happens on Saturday nights and ends so fast. Where is the heat and excitement they once had? Then one day Josh, who has loved Haley since he was young, returns to town looking all grown up and ready to demand that Haley notice him. Can this marriage last? Or adapt for everyone's happiness?

Fran Lee has written every married woman's fantasy. This story is pure hot silken pleasure to read and day dream about. Haley never expects Josh, the kid brother of her best friend, to return for her and she certainly never expected her husband to be open to more than a ten minute quickie. I promise you will re-read sections of this story and drool with envy. Fran Lee has written an over-the-top pure fantasy story that should be kept close to the bed side. This story is an easy and fast read that will leave you smiling at the end. I am looking forward to more fantasy created by Fran Lee.

Overall rating: 5 hearts
Sensuality rating: Explicit

Reviewer: Michele
July 13, 2010


To enter the drawing for a FREE copy of this book, please go to my website:


Click on the "Contests" link. Follow the instructions.

Here is the cover trailer...

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