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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Interview of Author Kelley Heckart

Today I'm please to present an interview of romance author Kelly Heckart!
Latest Book: Beltaine’s Song, Book Two: Dark Goddess Trilogy
Buy Link:
http://www.king-cart.com/Awe-Struck/category=Kelley+Heckart/exact_match=exact

BIO:
Kelley writes Celtic historical romances with fantasy/paranormal elements. Her stories reflect her passion for history, storytelling and the supernatural. Inspired by the ancient Celts, her tales are filled with fierce warriors, bold women, magic, conflict and romance.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: I don’t think any part of writing is easy. How hard it is depends on the story too. Some stories come together easier than other stories do. I think most writers will say that the middle is the hardest to write because you have all this space you have to fill in with something that will keep the reader interested.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: In Beltaine’s Song my favorite character is Domelch. She is an ancient vampire turned warrior queen. She is strong and sticks to her beliefs no matter what the cost. I admire that in a woman.

Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your heroines? Tell us about your heroine.
A: Angelina Jolie. The heroine in this latest book is an ancient Greek vampire turned warrior queen. I think only Miss Jolie could pull that off.

Q: What is your favorite romance book that you’ve read?
A: My favorite romance novel is Knight in Shining Armor—I can’t even think of the author’s name right now. It will come to me later when I am in the shower or something.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: I want to write a horror novel. I read more horror novels growing up than romance so it’s something I have been thinking about lately.

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: Facebook, because it is easier for me to use—everything is there on one page—simple and straightforward.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com Check out my long hair hotties!
http://twitter.com/CelticChick
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604

BLURB:
For each of them, spring's song has a different meaning.

Aedan and Domelch must battle earthly foes—enemy kings and traitorous allies. For the first time, the arrival of spring heralds the sound of a harsh battle horn as their foes close in. Through all this turmoil, can their love survive?

For their son, Gartnait, spring brings with it the promise of new love and the thrilling sound of the battle horn, putting those he cares about in danger.

EXCERPT:
King Galan and King Morcant, along with their advisors, listened intently as Aedan told them the news of King Conall's death. Domelch sat next to him, feeling relaxed.

“I need to know for certain that both of ye will support me in fighting for the kingship of Dal Riata.” Aedan's expression grew serious. He carefully watched each king, his gaze unyielding.

Galan met Aedan’s unwavering stare. “I am with you. I have waited for this moment to finally move against Bridei.”

Galan's warrior marks flickered in the lamplight, marking his many battles and kills, a reminder to Domelch of his great experience as a Priteni warrior.

“As am I. I see many advantages to aligning myself with the king of Dal Riata.” Morcant smiled, his fox-like face looking keen in the lamplight.

“I must request that your advisors leave the room before we continue,” Domelch said, looking at the two monks who appeared stunned by her request.

“This is most unreasonable,” sputtered Talgorm, Galan's advisor.

“I agree.” Morcant's advisor glowered at her.

Galan held up his hand, putting a halt to their protests.

Morcant looked bemused by it all. “I have to say I am quite curious as to what must be so secretive that our advisors have to leave.”

“Is it necessary that they leave?” Galan looked at her with a questioning expression, a reddish brow arched.

“Yes.”

“If Galan has no protest to this, I will allow it.” Morcant turned his attention to Galan, folding his hands in front of him on the table.

“Talgorm, wait for me outside,” Galan requested.

The two monks left, grumbling and giving her dark looks.

“Well, please do not delay. I am most eager to hear this,” Morcant said, his face filled with curiosity.

“For this alliance to work, it will require an oath of fealty, a blood oath,” Domelch stated. “This is not Aedan's doing. I am the one who requires it.”

“An oath of fealty I can well understand, but a blood oath? You do not trust your own brother?” Galan's pale green eyes flashed with amusement.

“No.”

Galan looked taken aback. “Dear sister, have I ever given you cause to distrust me?”

“Dear brother, I know of your impulsive nature. Besides, a blood oath will also ensure that Aedan keeps his word. We all have much to gain here. If we are to become an invincible power, we need to work together and have absolute trust. The ancient blood oath will ensure that trust on all sides.”

Morcant looked on with a mixture of amusement and admiration. “An ancient blood oath. Most clever indeed.” He looked at her with admiring eyes, glancing at the other two kings, pondering his answer. “I will take the blood oath.”

Galan groaned, giving his sister a wounded look. “As will I.”

Galan's wounded expression recalled memories within Domelch of when they were lovers back when she was Cardea and she rejected him for Aedan. Having those memories sometimes confused her as to who she was now. Only Galan could arouse the demon within her and now she would be seeing more of him.

The feeling unsettled her but she shook it off, producing a dagger and motioned for a servant to bring the cup of mead. One by one, the three kings held out their hands. Domelch sliced their palms with the whetted blade, dripping dark red droplets into the golden mead, swirling like a maelstrom of blood and fire. She spoke words in Latin, waving her hand over the cup. The scent of human blood, sweet and intoxicating, filled her senses. Like a haunting melody, it weaved its spell into her soul, filling her veins with a hunger. She stiffened, terrified by her dark thoughts, thinking that part of her long dead.

Solemn-faced, each king took a drink of the crimson-laced drink, saying, “I vow complete fealty to my blood brothers as long as I shall live.”

Quiet descended on the hall, the shadows retreating to the far corners. She thought she heard the ancients whispering, their presence filling the hall. A ripple of dark wings stirred the fire, sending a chill breeze against her cheek. Their cold talons stirred the fire, raising and lowering the flames as if in acknowledgement of the ancient blood oath. It was not an oath to be taken lightly. If broken, the penalty was death.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for the interview. I would also like to let readers know that I am part of a free reads blog called Truly Madly Deeply Romance Authors. It’s a blog that has a new free read each week. http://trulymadlydeeplyromanceauthors.blogspot.com

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

When you're out of touch with your characters...

Stopping and restarting a work in progress is a challenge for me and not something I can do as easily as I once could. When I have to a WIP on hold to edit, or judge a contest or work on a time-sensitive story, when I return to it the momentum I had going on has faltered. Going back a chapter or two, or picking random chapters to read often sparks a, Oh yeah, NOW I remember where I was going with this, but not always. Then I pick up where I left off, generally at a slug's pace until I "feel" the book again.

Because retrieving this feeling or momentum isn't always a given, I've taken to answering a list of questions about my characters, just to get to know them again, reintroduce myself in a way. Doing this has become a valuable tool to reestablishing a connection with my heroes and heroines, and quite often I learn something brand new about them that I didn't know when we first met.

My vocation is........ My mother taught me....

I laugh about........ I wish I could.........

My father taught me........ My view of men came from....

My view of women came from.... My favorite memory from my childhood is....

My worst memory from childhood is.... My greatest fault is..........

Men usually............ Work is my............

The place I've always wanted to visit is....because....

When I look at myself in the mirror I see....

I sleep when I'm........ My favorite holiday is....because....

I'm afraid that someday I will....... The greatest influence in my life is....

My mother............ My father..........

Women usually........ No one knows better than I do that....

My greatest weakness is that........ My worst fear is that........

I am happiest when....

And the list could go on and on. If you don't already have one and encounter the same roadblocks I do when you have to step away from one project to work on another, maybe this list will help you easily revisit your story and cast of characters.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fool Me Twice

Hi Everyone,

I'm so sorry to be so late. I totally forgot I was supposed to post a blog today.

Today, I want to tell you a bit about the duet, Fool Me Twice, written by fellow author, Sandra Sookoo and A Fool's Fool by me, Sandra K. Marshall.

Blurb for Remembering Andy Devastated after her fiancĂ© dies in Iraq, Claudia Foster packed up her life and moved to the city of Indianapolis. She wants to lose herself in the noise, sights and sounds of a place so foreign from her upbringing that nothing could remind her of her guilt surrounding Andy’s death. But fate has other plans.

Daniel Sorenson has put all thoughts of his brother Andy’s death from his mind just to get through the day yet running into Claudia again stirs up all the hidden feelings he has struggled so hard to hide. How can you love the girl who was supposed to marry your dead brother? As the two share their grief, they also share something deeper: laughter.

But is it enough? Or will they spend their whole lives simply remembering Andy and never embrace the love that could be theirs if only they could have the courage to reach for it.

A Fool's Fool blurb

Pranks are carried too far.

Kathy O'Reilly, a strong-willed woman doesn't allow men to walk over her or anyone else. When one of the co-owner's of Gagsters, Norm Jokes, is allowed to get away with playing pranks, she speaks up to her boss.

Jason Barrone, co-owner of Gagsters is attracted to his assistant and will not allow his best friend to cause him to lose her. Jason wants them to be friends because he doesn't want to have to make a choice of who goes and who stays.

To learn more about these two stories go http://www.eirelander-publishing.com/ and read excerpts there. Other buy links are http://allromanceebooks.com/product-foolmetwice-525509-149.html http://1placeforromance.com/romantic-fiction/foolmetwice/prod_3885.htm. Also at Amazon, Smashswords and B&N.

You may learn more about Sandra Sookoo at her website, http://www.sandrasookoo.com/, or look her up on Facebook or Twitter.

You may learn more about me at my website, http://www.skaymarshall.com/ or my blog, http://www.sandramarshallblog.blogspot.com/.

Have a good week.

Sincerely,

Sandra K. Marshall

Monday, March 28, 2011

Interview of Cover Model Cristian Letelier












Today it’s my pleasure to present an interview of multi-talented Cristian Letelier! His career encompasses many avenues; cover model, actor, dancer, TV fitness host, personal trainer, volunteer speaker for “Heal the Bay”, (nonprofit environmental organization). His resume lists a variety of items: book covers, television/film/theatre, commercials, etc. Definitely a man of many talents!

Where to find information about Cristian Letelier:
http://www.cristianletelier.com
http://web.me.com/cristianletelier/Zen_Bootcamp/Welcome.html

Cristian Letelier Video Reel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSCv-u-2zu4


CONTEST: Leave a comment, with your email address in the comment box, for a chance to win a Romance Books R Us hat, tote, and tee! Contest ends midnight 30 March.

Q: You have a Masters Degree in Marine Affairs. Have you had a chance to use it? What are your other two undergraduate degrees in?
A: I've worked as a spokesperson for Heal The Bay, a non-profit in CA. I'd love to use my Masters further in the future. My undergraduate degrees are in: Marine and Environmental Studies and International Relations (SIS) School of International Service, both from American University in Wash. DC. My Masters is from University of Southern California, USC.

Q: With all the directions you've taken with your skyrocketing career, is there one job you've thought about trying but haven't attempted?
A: I'd love to have my own show about the Ocean, something like Jacques Cousteau had.

Q: You've traveled all over the world. Where would you like to go that you haven't visited and why?
A: I'd love to go to India. I hear it's magnificent and a spiritual experience.

Q: You've got an impressive list of movie credits. Tell us about them and what movie role was your favorite. A: Tell us how you prepared for your part.
I've been very fortunate to work in the industry as much as I have. I'm always up for more though. My favorite role to date was that of Jordon in "First Strike. " I loved this role because I got to kill a lot of ninjas, do tons of martial arts and ride horses all at the same time. This was a very physical role. I have trained my whole life, pretty much, to be able to to ride and fight like that. Of course eating right and getting plenty of sleep are priceless once your actually shooting the film, as the hours are extremely long and exhausting given the number of stuntmen and actors you have to fight every day.

Q: With all the celebrities you've worked with on TV and in movies, who impressed you the most and why?
A: I was most impressed with Dolly Parton, I was one of the Aggies in the "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas". She was so kind and classy. Goes to show some superstars really are just plain nice and sweet people after all.

Q: General Hospital. How is working on a soap opera different than doing a movie?
A: Doing a soap opera is a bit boring really. The set never really changes. You're usually inside on a sound stage. To me they're really not that challenging as an actor. Once you know your character you can sort of play along as if you were that individual. If you've been on a while you can even change a line here and there provided the writers are your pals. Films are more exciting, you have more time for takes so your work is a bit more meaningful. Usually you shoot in a variety of places. I will say though that when I was on General Hospital, everyone recognized me a lot more. Everyone apparently watches them!! I even got upgraded a couple of times on flights, cause the flight attendants would know who I was. Always made me smile.

Q: You've been on lots of TV shows. Tell us about them and which one was your favorite. Is preparing for a TV role different that preparing for a movie role?
A: Yes I've done a lot of episodic TV. One of my first jobs in LA was on Fantasy Island. I was a Lava Lava boy. I lived on the Island. The girls were beautiful as well as the sets and wild birds. Ricardo Montalban was a gifted actor. I loved watching and working with him. Usually the preparation required for a TV role in contrast to a film role really depends on the role. In general though TV is more rushed and you have to sometimes go with the flow more. In a film for example, you might be able to do an extra take or two if you feel inclined, whereas in a TV show, good enough and moving on, are usually on the directors mind and lips.

Q: You hosted a Spanish-speaking ESPN fitness show that aired in 32 countries. Is there a difference in preparing for a fitness program than a TV or movie role?
A: The ESPN fitness show and body conscious roles in general differ in that they, without fail, seem to do the ab shots right after lunch. This means that you have to plan your meals accordingly. I can't tell you the number of times this has haunted me. Right after that piece of cake you here, " We're back, get ready for the no clothes shot."

Q: What's the competition like for modeling, TV, and movie roles?
A: The competition for these roles is so incredible, that if you actually stopped and figured out the statistics and probability factors, you would just never do it. It may have been Dustin Hoffman who said that making it in the entertainment industry is an accident. You really have to be a bit out of your mind to ever even try. Guess I'm just nuts, what can I tell you.

Q: Tell us about being a Chippendale's dancer. Did you travel?
A: Yes , we traveled the world. Australia, New Zealand, Africa, London, Paris, Amsterdam, all of Western Europe, Singapore. If I add the modeling, the list goes on and on Athens, Barcelona, Hamburg, Taipai... Of course being a Chippendale's dancer abroad was like being a rock star and then some. We were superstars. In France I had my own commercial. In Singapore they did a TV show about me. It was really incredible. Living out of a suitcase for years at a time however is quite exhausting and you do get homesick after a while no matter how great the place is, except for maybe Ibiza, Spain.... what a place!!

Q: You're very athletic. What one sport is your favorite to do and why?
A: I'm very athletic. I have a training business. I love to surf, ski, snowboard, skate, scuba dive. Pretty much all sports. Probably my favorite, however, is horseback riding. I just got back from Chile, where I'm originally from, and I went riding in the Andes for 4 days with the tents, mule teams, and everything. It was awesome. Swimming naked in crystal clear rivers with waterfalls that seemed like natural spas. Condors and not another living person for hundreds of miles. Paradise!!

Q: Do you have a daily exercise routine you follow?
A: My exercise routine is a combination of swimming, weights, running, gymnastics, yoga, martial arts, sports, dancing, and I do love women...

 
Q: You have a wonderful and long resume of your fabulous career. What will be added next to your list of accomplishments?
A: I may be doing a commando film next. It's still in the works.



Q: Favorite food?
A: My favorite food is sushi


Q: Favorite drink?
A: My favorite drink in Kangen water. I just bought a machine they're awesome. Negatively charged, micro clustered , alkaline water you make at your own home. When I saw the island of plastic in the Pacific twice the State of Texas I knew I had to stop the crazy plastic bottle mania. Let me know if you want one, best thing I ever did for my health and that of my clients.

Q: What would you consider to be the most romantic place in the world...just so we might get some travel ideas?
A: I really love Ibiza. Santorini, Greece, is quite awesome as well, especially if you like black sand, beaches, and sunsets. They say that's where Atlantis may have been.

Q: Anything else you'd like to add?
A: It's been a pleasure doing this interview, hope you enjoy life to the fullest and live every moment as if it were your last. Life is short, take risks, love hard and live large.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Celtic Romance At The Movies



My name is Cornelia Amiri and I write Celtic/Romances in the unique periods of the dark ages and ancient times so very few films are similar to my books. But lately there have been two movies which are like my two latest Celtic/Romances.

The Eagle is set in 2nd century Scotland about the 9th Legion Hispana. My book Druid Bride has the same setting and it included some of the history of the Picts and their clash with the 9th legion.

Here is an excerpt of Druid Bride that includes mention of the IX Hispana:

Breathing deeply, her heart still hammered as she ran down the hill toward the chief. The gods bestowed their foresight, handed the Caledonians a victory, but only if Calach heeded her vision, or the advantage would be lost. Now or never, together, the tribes had to move as one. As she called for Calach, the villagers ran toward the chief’s wheelhouse. She combed her fingers through her hair. She must look a fright—no food, no mirror, and no bath for three days. But it was well worth the insight the gods gave her.

Before she made it halfway to the chief’s wheelhouse, Calach—with Brude at his side—rushed up to her. Brude looked at her with a seductive gleam in his eyes. He didn't seem to even notice her disarray. They stood in the middle of the village with the entire tribe and the visiting chieftains.

“Hail druidess, what message have the gods brought forth?” Calach pierced her with an intense gaze as he waited for an answer.

“Hasten, you must raid the camp of the 9th Legion at once. Now separated from Agricola, they are vulnerable, but only at night. The gods granted me foresight of the attack, and we were the victors.”

Brude pulled her into his arms and spun her around. “You will bring us a victory.” He pressed his open lips to hers in a warm kiss of celebration.

Like fire on her mouth, she’d hungered for his wet, delicious kiss. What happened to the crowd that had clamored around them? No Romans, no chiefs, just Brude holding her in his warm embrace against his broad, throbbing chest. She and Brude. What else could there be?

Click here to see a trailer for Druid Bride.

The movie Red Ridng Hood recently came out and there are many similarities between it and my paranormal/erotica/romance The Wolf and the Druidess.

Both stories are taken from ancient legends. Red Riding Hood is from a legend over 700 years old and The Wolf and the Druidess is from a much, much older myth. The heroines in both are beautiful women who wear long cloaks and hoods. Both tales are historical stories. They both meet a wolf who shapeshifts a man, the difference is my wolf transforms to a god.

Here is an excerpt of The Wolf and The Druidess:
From the eerie silence of the forest, a haunting howl ripped through the air. She stopped in her tracks. It sounded too close. A wolf hunting. There was better game than her. Knowing there was nothing for her to be afraid of, she remained brave, yet her body trembled. With her next steps, she kept her footfalls as light as possible, walking stealthily on the path, to not draw the beast’s attention.

When she came upon the clearing, she held the torch out and gazed at the large, smooth stones, piled one on top of the other. Her mother’s cairn lay in a pool of dried leaves. Her throat tightened and she swallowed back a sob as she moved closer. She couldn’t breathe. Heat radiated from the grave as if her mother stood there. Seren bore a hard stare at the stones as if to call forth the image of the tall woman, with a compelling oval face framed by shoulder-length brown hair.

“Mam...” Her voice choked. “I have brought a basket of Samhain treats.”

Though her mother didn’t appear, she knew she soon would. Her body quivered, not from fear but from joy bubbling in her. She shone the firebrand on an old oak stump in front of the cairn and plopped down on it. Seren stabbed the end of the torch into the ground, so she had light. Facing the cairn, she called out to her mother’s spirit.

“We have a lovely feast.” Seren pulled out a large red apple. She stood, stepped forward, and stooped down to set it on the pile of stones.

When she straightened, she gasped. There, by the oak, facing her, with naught between her and it, but the cairn, loomed a white wolf with pink-tipped ears. Seren stood transfixed. Her heart hammered at the look of hunger in his amber eyes, glowing like a Samhain fire.

Fighting her fear, she remembered her druid training, her knowledge of wolf lore. In a soft, soothing tone, she spoke. “Wolf, we live in peace, you and I and your kind and mine. On this eve of Samhain, it is best you stay with your pack. For those who appear human, this eve, may not be.”

She smiled and he seemed to grin back, but the flash of his white, jagged teeth roused her fears even more. She didn’t want those fangs sinking into her flesh. She took a deep breath. “Do not chew on me, there is better meat for you in the deep dark woods.” His pink tongue, hanging from his huge mouth captured her gaze.

As the beast jerked his neck back and howled, the haunting sound reverberated in the air. Slow and quiet so the wolf wouldn’t become alarmed, she took one step back. He wiggled his nose as if smelling her. Seren shivered as she gazed at his long snout. The looming wolf took one step closer. She could not outrun him. If she managed to trick him and get away long enough to hide, he would sniff her out.

“Wolf, look what I have for you.” Pulling out a black pudding link, she tossed it toward him. It landed in a patch of grass at his side. “Food.” She smiled. “Eat your food, wolf. It is good.”

The white wolf never turned its head. With his gaze fixed on Seren, he stared hungrily, as if he thought of her as a delicious treat. Seren blinked and wondered if it was all the tall trees amid the darkness and the shadows in the night that caused the beast to appear as if his form shifted. She clutched her chest. Her heartbeat quickened as the wolf’s fur and muscles twisted. The beast’s body emitted sounds like the creaking of joints but much louder. Watching the wolf’s body expand while other features contracted made her stomach lurch. She slid her hand from her chest to her belly. A voice in her head told her what she saw couldn’t be real. She blinked, yet still the wolf changed before her eyes, his gorgeous white pelt shortened until it transformed into bronze tinted skin.

A tall man with cascading golden hair and eyes the gray-blue of a stormy, summer sky stood nude before her. Seren blinked again. The man fluttered his hands in front of his body and suddenly he was clothed in an opened white, gold-speckled druid robe and plaid pants covered his trunk-like legs. Heat emanated from him.

She gawked at the lush bronze skin of his bare, muscular chest beneath his robe. “Druid robe...shape shifted from wolf to…” As realization dawned, she dropped to her knees. ”God Gwydion, it is you?”

Speaking of movies and great romance books, I took Sunday afternoon off and went to see Jane Eyre. Loved it. Well worth seeing. They did an excellent job. Fantastic casting. True to the book. You gotta see it. So, I hope you all see some great movies and read some fantastic books, and for more on Druid Bride and The Wolf and The Druidess please visit CelticRomanceQueen.com

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oh, So Feelgood

You know that saying about not appreciating something until you’ve lost it? A lot of people, including myself, have had that epiphany about love. And the moment you no longer have love, what do you do? Let thoughts of it consume you. Yearn for it. Ache for it. Do anything to have it again…

The thing about love is that no matter how much we say we aren’t looking for it, don’t want it, we do. It’s an inherent part of who we are as humans. We need that closeness to another person. The people who do not crave that closeness, who do not care anything for their fellow man, who can murder them and feel no remorse, are the deviants. Those of us who want to be loved are the norm.

Now, granted there are those who would do anything, manipulate and lie and hurt others to have love. Those people are deviants too of a sort. Usually, what’s wrong with their pysches can be fixed whereas the murderers cannot. (Yeah, I don’t think you can rehabilitate a cold-blooded murderer.) Still, the majority of us aren’t killers or liars. Most of us sit and wait for love to happen and get panicked if it doesn’t.

In my case, I’ve had love. Several times. Different men. If the relationship I’m in now doesn’t work out, I rather have the sense that I’ve used up my allotment of love. But I suppose it could happen again. I almost feel like I’m too old for love, but in my heart I know that’s not true. None of us are too old for love. Just because our hair has turned white doesn’t mean our emotions stop.

In my books, the inhabitants of the Darkworld (except for the humans) all have pre-destined mates. Someone played matchmaker, uncaring of sexual preference. The “gods” have chosen for them and they must either accept their mate or remain alone. In the case of the dragons of the Darkworld, finding their mate is a distinctive part of who they are. It’s more than just cultural. Their mate truly is part of who they are.

When a Darkworld dragon finds their mate, the clock starts ticking. The long the two of them go without actually mating the more pain they find themselves in. The pain grows incrementally until one, or both, of the dragons goes insane from it and dies or kills themselves. Not a pretty thing at all. Yet on the other side of the coin, those dragons who embrace their mate, find their lives enhanced immeasurably. Their dragon clan mark becomes two dragons, usually entwined. The can easily share thoughts and feelings telepathically with their mate. Their sexual drive increases, as does their sexual stamina. And their built in birth control is deactivated once they mate. Yes, you got it… only mated dragons can get pregnant.

For the vampires, the Acerbians, of the Darkworld, mating isn’t mandatory. However, when a vampire meets their mate, they often dream of them and the dreams take on a surreal quality because they can sometimes be shared dreams if their destiny is strong enough. Once the vampires share blood – bites – they become bonded. Bonded bloodmates don’t have to both be vampires, although the bond tends to be strongest between a couple that is vampire-vampire. If one half of a two vampire bonded couple dies, the other vampire could starve to death. Usually, they chose to end their life as well and follow their mate to the Afterworld. Death by starvation is a horrendous fate after all. If the vampire half of a single vamp bonded couple is left alive, the same thing applies. Vampires are very dependent upon their mates.

In the next installment of the Tales of the Darkworld (due out the first week of April) an vampire and a Magia (someone of the magical race) are mates. The vampire is happy to have a mate and looking forward to their future together. However, the Magia (the wizard) has issues. He has enemies. He has doubts. He's afraid taking a mate would make that man a target. So he walks away.

The self-sacrificing wizard of Breathe Me In thinks he's given up his chance of happiness to keep his mate safe. In reality, he's just fed his own fears. Lucky for him, his mate is a fighter and willing to do whatever it takes for them to be together. We should all have a mate like that!

I suppose I came up with these ideas because I’ve lost people I’ve loved in the past. It would be nice to have that bond of love that cannot be broken even by death. It would take away a lot of the uncertainty in life and that fear of being alone and unloved.

People ask me all the time where I get my ideas. I always say, “Oh, here and there. From just about anything.” I suppose the truth of the matter is that my ideas are born of my heart. The things I want and need and wish for. The things I dream about. I spend a lot of time alone in my head and creating worlds where happiness reigns supreme and love always wins gives me comfort. Makes me believe – if only for a little while – that maybe I can have that too. Because, as I said, the truth about love is that we all need it. And finding someone to fulfill that need can leave you feeling as if nothing else in the world matters. Because really, nothing else does. If you have a mate, a life partner, someone to always be there for you, no matter how you might stumble in life, that person will be there to comfort you and love you. Their love will make all the bad stuff shrink to nothing.

Love is a powerful thing. It’s no wonder we all crave it like addicts over drugs. It’s no wonder we all write about it and readers are driven to buy the books. Nothing beats the feel-good of love. And that’s the truth.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Guest Blog: Marsha A. Moore: Pirate Tall Tale

First mate on the pirate ship, The Black Hawk, reports in on tall tales told in Tears on a Tranquil Lake. Tis written by a great lass and fine storyteller, Marsha A. Moore.

I be called Black Sam, in the honored rank o’ first mate on the privateer vessel, The Black Hawk, under the command of Captain Raphael. The Hawk sails under colors o’ the Jolly Rodger and our own hawk on a red field.

The Captain be sweet on a new mermaid we pulled aboard the other night, saving her from the chill o’ cool winter surface waters. Just turned, she be so green, not knowing even to go deep into the water below to protect herself. But fer all the trouble, she be a lovely lass named Ciel, with long golden hair, shapely woman curves, some right pretty blue scales and flipper, if ye have a likin’ for her fish tail. I be thinkin’ Captain likes all her parts, the way he be hanging after her. He looked the fool a tryin’ to get her to join us for a trip down to the pirate waters o’Tortuga.

Ciel and me got to be right good mates, helpin’ me tease Dogbone, our head galley cook. Was hard to keep her aboard though – always wantin’ to swim off with dolphins! *guffaws* Pardon me, remembering her leap-froggin’ with them always brings me a hearty laugh. The trouble that lass could find, even a run in with some evil voodoo!

But her worst trouble be with that merman, Meris, who turned her into a mermaid. Seemed he thought he owned the lass. She believed him too, and put her square in the midst of a struggle tween Captain and him. Poor lass, her head all spun crazy like with the two o’ them wooing her day in, day out. If it weren’t fer me position to serve Captain, I might o’ thown me beret in the ring too. Just so-te-speak, since me cap’s always on, to cover me bald spot. Instead, I tried me best to help the pretty mermaid decide. Took her forever and about wrenched the hearts out o’ those two men.

An I won’t be tellin’ ye who the lass picked! Ye’ll just have to save yer doubloons to get yerself a copy of this tall tale.

BIO:
Marsha A. Moore is a romantic and a writer of fantasy romance/soft erotica. She loves being creative and enjoying the creativity of others in all art forms. Her other artistic pursuits include watercolor painting and drawing. She moved from Toledo to Tampa in 2008 and is happily transforming into a Floridian. Crazy about cycling, she usually passes the 1,000 mile mark yearly. She is learning kayaking and loving it. She’s also a yoga enthusiast and never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at new stories with toes wiggling in the sand.

BLURB:
What a surprise for a young woman, to find herself suddenly transformed into a mermaid.

Ciel’s first thought – track down the merman who changed her and make him reverse his magic.

Unable to find him, survival in her new world becomes paramount. She eagerly accepts help from a dashing pirate captain who takes a fancy to her, lavishing her with finery. When her merman does show up, he competes for her affection. One look into his eyes makes her life more complex -- he is her soul mate.

Which man will she choose – pirate captain or merman? Which life – human or mermaid? Caribbean adventures and dangers chase Ciel as she searches for decisions and the key to her happiness.

Warning: This book contains Haitian vodou, sultry wenches, foul-mouthed scalliwag pirates, overindulgence of fine Caribbean rum, and amorous encounters on deserted beaches.


Links to Marsha and her books:
http://www.marshaamoore.com
http://www.marshaamoore.blogspot.com
http://twitter.com/MarshaAMoore
http://www.facebook.com/marshaamooreauthorpage
http://www.goodreads.com/marshaamoore
Muse It Up Publishing
Barnes & Noble
Amazon  

Coffee Time Romance
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http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/item/SW00000041344/Moore-Marsha-A./Tears-on-a-Tranquil-Lake/1.html

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Everyone Needs a Wife

Even though there's some snow and rain falling outside right now (I'm writing this a day in advance of its posting), the family can't get enough wintry weather. As you read this, I'm driving to the mountains for the last ski vacation of the year.

What makes this especially interesting is that, next month Avalon Books will release the first of my Nobody trilogy: Nobody's Darling. The idea for Nobody's Darling came about after just such a spring ski trip. Allow me to explain. When my family goes on vacation, we don't stay in hotels. We rent condos so that we have plenty of room and a well equipped kitchen. The upside: I'm never without coffee. The downside: I'm still in charge of laundry, cooking, and cleaning...even on vacation! This probably explains why RWA's National Conference is my true vacation every year.

Anyway, a few years ago, after one such family vacation, we came home to a beautiful spring day in our neighborhood. While Dad took the kids on a long bike ride for ice cream, I unpacked the car, started the laundry, picked up the dog at the kennel and bathed her, and the thought suddenly struck me.

***I need a wife.***

An idea was born. In Nobody's Darling, April Raine runs a parenting services organization. Her employees stay home with sick kids, schlep children from one sports practice to another, help with homework, pick up dry cleaning, bake cupcakes for bake sales, and handle lots of other tasks that pile up for working parents. Television's famous "Dr. Jeff," believes businesses like April's actually do more harm to families than good. To the delight of a daytime talk show's audience, April and Dr. Jeff will spend a month in an isolated cabin full of recording equipment in the Adirondacks in an updated battle of the sexes. When the dust settles, who'll come out on top? The mom? The doc? Or will love prevail?

Here's one of my favorite scenes, based on an actual episode in my own wacky home life:

He paced the kitchen behind her until the constant back and forth sent an army of annoyance marching down her spine. When the pacing continued for nearly thirty minutes, she considered tying him to a chair.


Just when she decided to retrieve the excess clothesline, he popped his head across her writing pad. “I think I’ll make tuna salad for lunch.”

“I’m very happy for you.”

“Would you like some?”

“No, thank you.”

“Okay then.” He straightened and walked to the pantry.

Relieved at having him occupied with some task, however lame, April returned her attention to her letter. “…I don’t know if you’ve seen any of the television footage (unless Dad or Lori taped it for you) because you should be in school, but so far, I’m holding my own against--”

“Oh, for God’s sake, where is the blasted tuna?” Jeff’s noisy fumbling in the pantry broke her concentration. “You’d think with a cabinet this deep, someone would have thought to mount a light inside.”

Slamming her palm on the counter, she rose from her stool, abandoning her letter for a quieter time and place--maybe a foxhole in Afghanistan.

“Move,” she ordered, emphasizing her demand with a quick nudge of her elbow to his chest. A split second later, she held the can before his face. “Right here in the front, Jeff.”

“Well, I probably moved it into the line of sight while I was digging in the back,” he mumbled.

“Uh-huh.”

Men. She’d never come across one who could find an item in a pantry, closet, or garage unless it sprouted arms and waved with wild abandon.

While she watched him, impatience growing, he spun around the kitchen, that same puzzled look never leaving his face. “Where’s the can opener?”



Exhaling on a sigh, she opened the utensil drawer and pulled out the necessary item.

“What’s that?” he asked, turning the can opener over in his hands as if it were an ancient relic from an archaeological dig.

“A can opener, silly!”

“Don’t we have an electric one?”

She shook her head. “‘Fraid not.”

“Well, then, how do you use one of these things?”

Lips twisted in a smirk, she took the opener and can from him. “Here.” She clamped the jaws of the opener around the can’s rim and cranked the handle a few times. “Just like this. You think you can take it from here, Doctor?”



“No need to get snotty,” he replied. “I’ve just never seen one of these before.” He took the can from her. “Thank you. I’m sure I’ll be fine now. Go on back to your letter.”

April knew better than to even try. Returning to her seat, she waited patiently and counted to herself.

One… two… three… four… five--

“Oh, for God’s sake!”

She’d reached five before the next catastrophe struck. Not bad.

“What do you need now?”

“I spilled tuna juice all over myself trying to take the lid off.”

He not only got the fishy liquid on himself, he spilled smelly droplets all over the floor. The floor she’d scrubbed clean yesterday.

“Okay, Jeff, you win.” With another exasperated head shake, she grabbed a roll of paper towels and knelt to wipe up the mess. “Go change your clothes before you have every cat for miles howling outside our door. Then you can start a fire for us while I make your lunch.”

“Oh, no, you don’t. You just want to make me look inept in the kitchen.”

“You’re doing a fairly good job of that on your own,” she replied. “Now go.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guest Blog: Amber Kallyn: Walking the Straight and Narrow

There seems to be a general consensus that writers are either plotters (who outline) or pantsers (who just sit down and write where the words take them). Yet, from everyone I’ve talked to, I disagree. I think most writers are like me.

Hybrids.

You wouldn’t believe how many types of outlining I’ve studied (and tried to use). From 100 page outlines of each scene including bits of action and dialogue, to scene cards, character interviews and biographies, plotting webs...

You name it and I’ve probably tried it.

It’s an interesting experiment, to say the least. And I can honestly say that by trying each one, it has made me a better writer.

Not because these ways to outline worked for me, but because each way I tried, I found a nugget of gold that did work. That I could take and incorporate into my own style of planning a book - novel or novella or short story.

I’m a hybrid: I outline to the point that I have a list of sequential scenes to include. Sometimes I’ll have a really good line or two of dialogue.

Then I sit down with a notebook, and for each chapter, I write a few bits, sometimes a whole sentence of what should happen. Then I play the what-if game and continue on writing chapters and ideas.

When I sit down to write, I have the list on paper, but the act of writing it has also made my subconscious nibble and expand on the original ideas I listed.

As I’m writing, each idea is expanded into an actual chapter, with characters and setting and everything.

Sometimes it feels like magic. (Of course, other times it’s like pulling teeth, but...)

And my skimpy outline isn’t set in stone - but rather a river I’m walking along and sometimes, something shiny catches my attention and I detour. Usually, I find my way back. Sometimes, I find a new, bigger river to follow, lol.

I’ve also finally realized my biggest stumbling block. I have to know the characters.

I’ve written a couple novels where the character didn’t flesh out in my mind until the end. Talk about rewrites. But it worked for me then.

The more I write, the more my style and process changes. I find now, I can only write the first few chapters and then I have to know who my characters are or they start wandering aimlessly, no matter I have my little road map.

My outline needs to ferment a bit before I start writing. You know, that subconscious nibbling thing? It has to have time.

That’s one of the ways I get to know my characters.

Q4U: Do you outline? If so, how?

BIO:
One of those rare breeds, Amber Kallyn is an Arizona native who can trace her family's history through six generations in the state. She lives with her sexy husband, and their four very active children. Included in the menagerie are two cats (though there's always room for more) and two dogs. We won't count all the fish. She also writes urban fantasy under the name Higley Browne.

BLURB:
Love will Blaze when a nymph and a dragon must work together to stop a fiery catastrophe.

When someone comes after the rock band Brianna Jones works with, she must not only embrace the fire nymph within herself, but also the growing desire she feels for bounty hunter and dragon shifter Tyler Dragos. Together, they will try keeping not only the band members, but Bree safe from the dark mage hounding the Dragos Clan.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Black cats can be very romantic




In December I got tired of fighting with my PC all the time and decided to treat myself to a MAC. Can I just say I love it? And I seem to write faster. But there's one problem: my smallest cat, Bast, all black like the original Bast, has figured out she can now get up on my keyboard tray and lie down here while I'm trying to write. Sometimes she even rolls over and tried to lie on the keyboard itself.
I've talked to her about this and finally told her she needs to figure out how to help me write. So what do you think she said?
"But Mom, I already inspired Black Cat Fever and Pretty Kitty.
Hmmm. So she did.
"So how about giving everyone a taste of one of them," she said, staring at me with her cat's eyes.
"Well, okay then," I said.
So here it is. Just a little taste.
Blurb:
Aisha McClellan has more trouble than she knows what to do with. A born cat-shifter, part human, part leopard, at the age of eighteen when she was just coming into her first heat, a rogue member of the pack attacked her and traumatized her, leaving her unable to shift. Cast out by her pack, she makes a half-life for herself on the outskirts of both human and shifter societies, moving from city to city, seeking some kind of attachment. She’s been in San Antonio for about six months now and has taken to hanging out at The Litter Box, a bar where cat shifters go to relax. Several times she’s allowed herself to go home with someone she’s met there, but it’s always a disaster, and after that she’s careful to avoid them. Her best friend is the bartender, Max Rogan. One night when she’s drinking too much he coaxes her story out of her. He is appalled at how she’s had to live and what’s happened to her.
Excerpt:

When her dance partner slid his hands up her rib cage and brushed his thumbs against her breasts she’d had enough and jerked away from him. He grabbed her arms, tightening his hold on her, anger in every line of his body. Taking a deep breath she broke his hold on her, she pushed her way off the dance floor and made her way back to the bar. She had to laugh when she got back to her bar stool. Someone—Max, of course—had put a crudely lettered Reserved sign next to her drink. Ignoring the dirty looks from the customers forced to stand, she hitched up onto the stool again and waved at Max, filling an order at the end of the bar.

He smiled and winked at her. God, that wink was so utterly sexy. If anyone could kick start her pheromones it would be him, but she had as much chance at that as she had of winning the lottery. Since she’d found out about The Litter Box she’d taken to hanging out here several nights a week. Hoping to find that one person who could help her get past her trauma. Make the act of sex so arousing that she lost herself in the climax and finally, finally came into full heat and shifted.

She’d tried, god knows. She’d probably fucked half the clientele of the shifter bar. But they all left her cold. Incomplete. Most of them didn’t even care that the orgasms she had were faked. Assholes. Why did she even bother again and again. It always ended the same way. Afterwards she couldn’t even stand to talk to them.

Only Max had been a constant. Sexy as sin Max Rogan who had become her best friend. The only person who knew her sad, pathetic story. The one who always kept a watchful eye on her. The one she could always count on.

The man who never saw her as anything but Aisha, vodka stinger on the rocks.

The one she really, really wanted more than any of the others.

You can read more about Pretty Kitty and my other books at www.desireeholt.com

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bring On The Sunshine!

Today, as I sat outside my farm, thinking of what to post this month on Romance Books R Us blog, I couldn't help but be taken by the sights of my newly blooming garden right outside my house. Most everything is still in its dormant stage, waiting for its grand moment of emerging from the ground or greening up. But out of all the plants taking their time in blossoming, one cluster of flowers was proudly standing tall amid all the brown and bare vegetation -- my daffodils.

In gazing upon their bright yellow color and fresh green foliage, I realized that spring is finally here. And soon the rest of the flowers would follow, filling  my garden with assorted sprigs of color and life.

By now, you're probably asking yourself, "What doest this have to do with writing?" Well, for me, it has everything to do with writing. This garden was planted in memory of my sister, Lindsey, and she was the sole inspiration for my writing career. Without her words, my dream (like my dormant flowers) would never have bloomed. Without her, I would still be trying to finish my first romance, over watering it at times to help the flow of the story, feeding it flowery adjectives, only to prune it back to the point of starting over.

Lindsey was not some Miracle Grow fertilizer. But she was the necessary sunlight, an integral part of any beautiful love story that had been missing from my manuscript all along -- writing from the heart.

So today, with the celebration of spring and all its wonders, I wanted to share, with my readers and fellow authors, the garden that represents it all for me. The place in which I can get lost when I need to be found. The paradise in which I can immerse myself when I need a little break. The little slice of heaven that reminds me not to forget the basics, the essentials of life we sometimes overlook or take for granted.

Whether you're writing that next best seller or simply spending precious time with your loved ones, don't forget to add a little sunshine. You'll be surprised at how well things will bloom for you.

Wishing you all a very blessed spring,
Renee Vincent

Author of the Emerald Isle Trilogy
Book 1
Book 2

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Imaginary Friends

By now you've hopefully met Marc and Amber from All She Ever Wanted, and Steve, Angie, Brad, and Emma from Wild At Heart:)

What you may not know is, Tammy and Kevin from Teacher's Pet will hopefully soon join them on virtual bookshelves, as well as Courtney and Dustin from Appetite For Desire, arriving in September (see Kenzie's Place for the new cover).

My other friends include:

Natalie and Brian
Katherine and Trent
Tori and Travis
Thalia and Rick
Ashley and Keith
Misty and Cory
Becca and Mark
Cara and Austin
Tricia and Brock
Krystal and Josh
Jessica and Luke

Sometimes they come to me in dreams, either sleeping or daydreams. Songs on the radio causes them to start talking, either to me or to each other. News items can have the same effect.

When I learned to read, sometimes the characters from whatever book I had finished would 'continue' telling me their story, including me into the new chapters as a friend, or maid, or even a little sister. The first time I paid attention to this, I was Beau's younger sister, the rebellious one, in The Flame and the Flower. Yes, I realize he's still a baby at the end of the book, but hey...what happened after he grew up? What happens twenty years later, when Brandon and Heather are watching their daughter prepare for her 'coming out' ball? Did anyone not ever think of that?

Right now, everyone has been pretty silent. Probably since Steve, Angie, Brad, and Emma are being promoted and scrutinized by more than just myself and critque partners, lol:) And Tammy and Kevin, and Courtney and Dustin are waiting in the wings to be edited

But once everything calms down, I have a feeling one set of characters will want their chance at center stage, and things will click into place once more.

Who are YOUR imaginary friends, and how many are clamoring to be heard?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Interview of Beth Walker: Secret Cravings Publishing


Today I'm happy to present an interview of Beth Walker and Secret Cravings Publishing! SCP has another imprint: Living and Learning.

BIO:
Beth Walker. Submissions editor and partner of Secret Cravings Publishing.
I've been in the publishing business for several years as an author myself and when I was approached with the ideas presented on making SCP an author friendly publishing house, I jumped on it. There are too many houses who lack communication and allow feedback from their authors on how to make the house a success. I've been involved in running several successful business over the years and I am currently the go to person for most everything with SCP. In the coming months, we are looking to hire someone to do the administrative stuff for us, to take some of the pressure from my shoulders on the every day things.

Website: http://www.secretcravingspublishing.com

Q: What's one important thing you've learned about your job as you became moreinvolved in it.
A: It's extremely rewarding. I love helping authors make their dream come true to be published, but we don't take every manuscript submitted. We are trying to find the best books and the most talented authors in the industry and so far, we have a wide variety of new and established authors who write for SCP.

Q: What do you consider the best way for an author to do promos?
A: I think the best thing an author can do to promote themselves is getting their name out there. Whether it be on facebook, twitter, or myspace, the more readers see your name, the more apt they are to look up your website and check out your books. Vary up your excerpts from your books as well. Readers may not like the first one or it might not trip their trigger, but if you put another one out there, it might catch their attention.

Q: Conferences and conventions. Do you attend any and how do you decide which ones to go to?
A: We are a very new publishing house so we haven't been to any yet. We are planning on attending Lori Foster's Get Together in West Chester, Ohio in June this year and we'll be taking pitches from authors during the conference. So far, we are looking for the best opportunities to get the name of the company out there amongst the writers and readers. Money is a huge factor in which ones we attend, but we do encourage our authors to attend anything they would like.

Q: What’s the one most important thing a reader/author should know about your business?
A: The biggest thing for a reader is that our goal is to put out the best product for their money. For an author, it's how author based we are. Everything in the publishing industry revolves around the author. If the author is happy, they'll send more stories in and they will be more inclined to aggressively promote their book.

Q: Chats. How important do you feel it is for authors to take part in chats on loops or at other romance sites?
A: I think it's very important for the authors to interact with the readers where ever they can. Chats on most of the loops seemed to be more interaction between the authors and not so much with the readers. I hope more reader get involved. I love chatting with an author. It makes them more real to me.

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. Where do you appear?
A: We are on facebook under Secret Cravings Publishing and on Twitter under Secret Cravings. We have also opened a readers loop at secretcravingspublishing-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Feel free to join the loop and talk to your favorite authors. We will have discount, contest and all kinds of fun things going on, exclusively for our readers loop.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Pat's Day, what else?

How great I’m blogging on St. Patrick’s Day, one of the most happy of all our holidays. Naturally, loving research as I do, I had to go digging around to find out all about it, and found lots of fun stuff.

Of course we all know it started out at a religious holiday in the Roman Catholic Church, but has spread to Protestant churches also, particularly in Ireland. Named after St. Patrick, of course, who lived from 387-461 A.D. It became an official feast day in the 17th century, but had gradually become a secular celebration over most of the world. Did you know it’s celebrated in Argentina, Montserrat, South Korea and Japan, among many others?
Montserrat??? Yep, this tiny island is known as the Emerald Island of the Caribbean because of its founding by Irish refugees. It’s one of the few places in the world where it’s an official holiday.

Some interesting tidbits you might or might now know:

The three-leaved shamrock was used by St. Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish. His chasing the snakes from Ireland is pretty debatable, to say the least.

The biggest celebration is in Downpatrick, Ireland, where St. Patrick is rumored to be buried. Their festival lasts a week, with almost a hundred floats, bands and performers

The shortest parade in the world takes place in Dripsey, Cork. The parade goes all of 100 yards between the village’s two pubs.

The longest running parade in Canada takes place in Montreal, whose flag has a shamrock in one of its corners. Their first parade was in 1824.

In New York City, parades have been held since 1762.It also boasts the oldest civilian parade in the world. In a typical year the thousands of marchers include police, firefighters, military groups clubs and associations and there’s well over 2 million spectators.

The Chicago River is dyed green each year for St. Patrick’s Day. I’d love to see that, since the river runs through the heart of town. Found a beautiful picture of the green river on Wikipedia, though, if you want to see it.

The north White House fountain has been dyed green for the last two years. I’m writing this the day ahead of the holiday so check the papers for today. It probably will be again.Found lots of great cartoon pictures, but wasn't sure of the copyright on them. Just Google if you want to see some cute ones.

You'd better be wearing green today, if you don't want to get pinched! Or the leprechauns will get you. I think I'd take the leprechauns!

Interview of L. K. Below

I'm please to present an interview of romance author L. K. Below!

Latest Book: Stone Cold Kiss
Buy Link: http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_12&products_id=334
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vd71xOHj2ik

BIO:
L. K. Below lives in Iqaluit, Canada with her supportive boyfriend and fat cat. Always one to be swept away in a story, she loves to create new worlds and be captivated by new characters. She writes romance and fantasy under L. K. Below, whereas her young adult works are published under her full name, Lindsay Below. Visit her online at http://www.lbelow.net

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: No, not at all. As I write, each has her own appearance, which I try hard to convey on paper, though the character the reader visualizes may not be identical to the one I envision. But each has her own appearance, and each has her own voice as I write.

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: I’ve been told repeatedly that emotion is my strongest point, that I can really get across the emotion of a book.
I’d like to think my strongest point is in world building and researching. Why? Because all too often, I end up spending too much time doing that and another idea runs away with me before I can even start on the book. I have many fully-fleshed out worlds and a lot of research on historical periods whose stories I still intend to get back to…when I have the time.

Q: What is your favorite romance book that you’ve read?
A: Hmm, let me break that down into subgenre. For historical, my favorite book is So Worthy My Love by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. There’s just something about the book and the characters that I absolutely adore.
For paranormal, my favorite is Dark Needs At Night’s Edge by Kresley Cole. This book is the love story of a ghost and a vampire. An unlikely pair, but the way they (at first) couldn’t completely be together drew me in completely. She does a good job with many of her books, but I’ll never forget this one.
And for contemporary, my favorite is actually a book by my critique partner. Forever in Lingerie by Gina Gordon (which, yes, is out) has irresistible characters. While I have read many more of Gina’s books before and since, this one seems to stick with me.

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: If I’ve got a mysterious source of electricity, I’m probably writing. I write obsessively. Yup, I’m definitely a workaholic.
And kudos to the handsome man, but I’ve got my own at home :) One who doesn’t mind putting up with my workaholic tendencies, though he occasionally puts his foot down.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: Personally, I’m still trying to find the one thing in writing that no one has done before. I know, I know, an impossible task. But I did recently try my hand at an erotic story in verse. I’m offering it for free http://www.lbelow.net/lkbelow/books/free-reads/his-smoldering-eyes
As it is, I already dabble in romance (all subgenres, all heat levels though I write more erotic than not), fantasy, and young adult -- the last under my full name, Lindsay Below. I love to write what I love to read, which is just about anything with a captivating story.

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: Oh, that’s a tough one. I have to say, I don’t do MySpace and I barely have a handle on Facebook. Chats are great, and I’m a Twitter addict, but blogging is my favorite. I fill my blog with almost daily posts - yes, I have a lot to say. I can celebrate my triumphs that way and laugh at my failures. I can write about absolutely anything on my mind, and while I’ve never been one to keep a diary for long, I find blogging to be liberating. Especially considering that I get to bring my characters out to play every now and again :)

Tell us where to find you:
Website - http://www.lbelow.net
Blog - http://lbelow.blogspot.com
Twitter - http://twitter.com/LBelowtheauthor
Fan Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Official-L-Below-Fanpage/355586159614
Lyrical Press, Inc. Author page - http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=authors&authors_id=174

BLURB:

One Kiss…

Dangling over the parapet of a castle, Kelsey Donovan doubts her decisions as she battles with her fear of heights. How will kissing the Blarney Stone change her life? But as the arms of a sexy Irishman close around her, she begins to change her mind.

Can it lead to a lifetime?

When Seamus McKinley rescues a tourist gripping the Blarney Castle for dear life, he never expected her to grab hold of his heart just as tightly. But can he convince her to meet him halfway?

EXCERPT:

As his hands closed around her waist, he cut off her tirade. His large, warm palms spanned her sides, making her feel protected and safe. And, to be honest, more than a little horny. With her eyes screwed tightly shut to avoid looking at the ground, images passed across her vision, decadent images of the things he could do with those delightfully long fingers.

Then he started to pull her up, away from the Blarney Stone.

“Not up!” she screeched. “Down! I still haven’t kissed the stone!”

“That’s what I mean,” the stranger grumbled. “Ye might for a second think that I didn’t come up here to hold Yer Highness as ye kiss a wall.”

“It’ll only take a second,” she snapped. “Just make sure I don’t fall. Please,” she added in a whimper.

Thank God, after a long sigh he began to lower her down again. Once he’d stopped, holding her steady above the opening, she peeked through her lashes at the stone.

“Is this the right stone?”

“Yes, the one right in front of your pucker. Go on and give it a kiss, already.”

She would have glared at him if she could, but in her current position, he wouldn’t be able to see it. Instead, she thought of quipping, What, am I that heavy? But she decided she didn’t want to know the answer to that question after all.

Time to kiss the rock, she thought. Closing her eyes, she leaned forward, trying not to think about all the other people who had pressed their lips up against this very same spot. The blood rushed to her face, pounding in her temples until she was sure her cheeks must be hideously purple. Thankfully, the stranger wouldn’t be able to see her face the way she was bent over.

Although, with the way her sweater was riding up, he might be able to see her bra if he angled her the right way…

Kiss the rock already! The sooner she did, the sooner she could be upright again. Drawing a deep breath, she swooped in.

Just before her mouth made contact, the stranger drawled, “Ye ken it’s not Saint Paddy’s Day, right?”

Souring, she grumbled, “Yes. What does that have to do with anything?”

His hands shifted, as though he shrugged. “Most people give the stone a kiss on Saint Paddy’s Day. For luck.”

With a jolt of alarm, she asked, “Will it not work if it isn’t St. Patrick’s Day?”

“It’ll work, lass. Ye just won’t get the extra luck.”

Kelsey slowly let out her breath. “In that case, I don’t need the luck. I’ll do it now.”

She ducked forward, but again he interrupted before her lips could make contact. “Are ye sure, lass? Won’t be no second chances. Once you kiss the stone, the stone be kissed. And Paddy’s Day is only two days away.”

“I’m not coming back here. And besides,” she added under her breath. “I have a very important meeting on the seventeenth. One that can’t be missed.”

One that would make all her trouble here worthwhile.

“If yer sure…”

She nodded her head, even though he couldn’t see.

“Get on with it, then.”

Rolling her eyes, she swung forward and pressed her lips to the stone. Finally. Oddly enough, she didn’t feel any different. Maybe the stone’s powers were only superstition after all. She tried not to think of what that would mean for her promotion pitch in two days.

“I’m done,” she said, once she had dangled in the air long enough to know her face must be a gruesome shade of purple.

“I know,” he said simply.

“Pull me up!”

“I haven’t decided whether or not to leave ye here. Seems to me I’d best be far away afore ye think to use your blarney tongue.”

At his words, alarm ripped through her. He would leave her hanging there. Without thinking, she released the cold iron bars to grip his arms instead. “Don’t you dare leave me!”

“Och, lass, I was just teasing.”

“It’s not funny!” she screeched. “I’m–”

He lifted her to safety and she saw his face for the first time. Brown hair framed his superbly chiseled face and lips. Light stubble coated his cheeks, just enough to make her shiver in delight at the thought of feeling it between her thighs. He wore only a t-shirt and a pair of low-slung jeans, showcasing his long, muscled legs and a flash of his flat stomach. Here she lay, next to an Irish sex god, and by golly did she ever wish they were doing something a little less innocent. If she kissed him now, would he take her here on the castle parapet? His body hovered just out of reach, his heat blanketing her. She began to throb between her legs. Her fingers curled into her palm as she contemplated grabbing hold of his thick hair and bringing him closer.

Wait, what was she thinking? Jerking away, she stood. She hadn’t come here to be seduced by him–or, given her thoughts, to seduce him. Her main reason for flying to Ireland had been to kiss the Blarney Stone, and now she’d done that. Tomorrow, she would leave, just like she’d planned, and she would never see this sexy stranger again.

Why did that thought bring an ache to her chest?

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for having me! ly: "Courier New"; font-size: 12pt;">**The “here” should link to: http://www.lbelow.net/lkbelow/books/free-reads/his-smoldering-eyes

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Lakota Heroes...



I am back at work on my third in a series of Native American Heroes...

I found my hero in a dream three nights ago, and I got up to get him on paper (or should I say, on word.doc).  He is one of the men from my past. Patterned after a wonderful Native American man who caught my imagination and made my pre-teen heart go pitter-pat.

I wrote several short stories about him in grade school, Jr. High School, and High School, but I never managed to get him exactly right. Of course now that I write erotic stuff, I can make him as hot as he should be. LOL!

When I was a kid in school, I had a wonderful teacher who migrated into my little home town from California, met the man of her dreams, and stayed to teach school.  The first time it really snowed, she got so excited, she excused the whole class to go out and run around in the big fluffy flakes, catching them on her tongue and her try to grab them in her hands. Unfortunately, the Principal saw us, and we all had to go back into the classroom while she got a stern lecture. But the spontaneity of that wonderful moment will never leave my mind. 

She was my favorite teacher, hands down.  And the man she married was a full blood Goshute who worked the railroad. I saved the tiny little piece of wedding cake that she put into tiny white boxes for each of her class. I broke off the icing, of course...no use letting good sugar go to waste, right? But I had that bitty box for many years. I may still have it, buried away in my storage unit in my old old old stuff.

But I digress...it was her love of Native American Lore that led her to her hubby, and led me to a greater love for the many wonderful tribes that surrounded me where I grew up. Some of my best pals were NA kids, and when we played cowboy and Indians, I always got stuck with the cowboy part, when I wanted desperately to be Chief Snake in the Grass. Sigh.

So now I am resurrecting that marvelous Native American man I drooled over so many years back. I am going to have this finished as I resolved, within the next week.

See you later...
Fran Lee

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