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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Guest Blog: Cathryn Cade: At Home in a Story

If you've ever moved, you know what my summer's been like--stress central! I quit my teaching job in western Washington, and moved with my husband back home to Montana. We're just outside Montana's capitol city, population 50K, with my dear Mom. She's tickled to have us here, but until my husband gets her new house built, we're sharing a house and kitchen. No matter how much two women love each other, that is going to lead to stress. It just is.
 
So where to go when it's 95 outside and I need some time alone? Why, you guessed it, girlfriend. We've been here a week, and I've already finished two great books on my Kindle.
 
And now that I'm recovering from packing up an entire household, saying goodbye to friends and the Pacific NW, driving a pickup and boat across 2 1/2 big western states and 3 mountain passes(!!) while following my DH in the moving truck ... I do believe I'm ready to introduce you to my other favorite place on earth - Hawaii. You can't get much different from the wide open spaces of Montana than tropical, lush, humid Hawaii, but I love them both.
 
My Hawaiian Heroes series, contemporary paranormal, debuted in April with Walking in Fire. Readers say the story is like a steamy, romantic mini-vacation to Hawaii. Cheaper than a plane ticket, too!
 
July 31st, Hawaiian Heroes II; Rolling in the Deep continues the sexy, tropical adventures of the Ho'omalu family, tasked by Pele herself as guardians of their Big Island. I hope you'll find this story a dreamy, steamy escape from the stress of your life, whether it's a move, a difficult job, or just your little darlings home for the summer.
 
Here's a bit about the book to whet your appetite! And if you'd like to read the book for FREE, please take a moment to comment, and let me know what your summer is like. I'll do a random drawing, and 5 people will receive a FREE e-copy of the book. Be sure you leave your email addy, or that RB4U has a way to contact you.
 
Aloha!
Cathryn
 
BLURB:
Desire as deep and dark as the sea…danger as close as a heartbeat.

Daniel Ho'omalu’s intimidating physique, tribal tattoos and mane of black braids frighten most women before they get close enough to discover he likes to play rough. Pile on his perilous vocation as one of a secret society of island guardians, and he’s painfully aware he may never find a mate.

One look at Daniel, and Claire Hunter knows she’s found the man of her sensual dreams. Without hesitation she sinks her teeth into the challenge of landing the big Hawaiian in her bed. But while he clearly wants her, he won’t bite back.

Daniel is certain the beautiful haole is too young and innocent to handle his dark sexual needs. Despite their determination to ignore each other, the island casts its spell, and in one explosive night, Daniel learns that Claire is more than a match for him in every way.

When Daniel must leave her side and dive to the depths of the sea to foil a gang of drug smugglers, Claire trusts that their powerful bond will bring her lover back safely to her arms. But his vow of honor to protect his people could be the one thing that breaks her heart.

Product Warnings: 
Big, hot, tattooed Hawaiian hero who likes it rough—in bed and on the beach. Going deep takes on a whole new meaning in this tropical heat wave.

BIO
Cathryn Cade considers herself incredibly blessed to live in the Big Sky Country of Montana. She and her husband share their property with family, a golden retriever, a few cows and the various deer, antelope and elk that wander through their hay fields. From her computer, Cathryn looks out across the prairie at the rugged Rocky Mountains. With not much effort, she can visualize the cowboys, Indians, settlers and vigilantes who once rode the range--some from her own family.

Cathryn's fate was set from the moment she picked up her first book--The Little Red Hen. She hasn't stopped reading since. She wrote her first stories on ruled paper, with large crooked letters and plenty of eraser smudges. She began writing romance when she was home with two little boys in a very small town in the Rockies, had read every romance in the local library, and wanted more! In 2008 she published her first book with Samhain, and hasn't looked back.

When she's not inhabiting her fantasy world--um, when she's not writing, she is usually reading, quilting or trying a new recipe. In the great outdoors, she enjoys boating, hiking and exploring her home state's colorful history in museums and ghost towns. She and her husband also love Hawaii, and on their yearly visits love to snorkel, stroll on the beach and fantasize over mai-tai's about how to make the Big Island their second home.

Cathryn spends way too much time on the internet, and can often be found chatting on Facebook, Twitter, or email. She loves to hear from readers. Stop by her website to read fabulous reviews of her books, and enjoy her Free Reads.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Promoting Your Work





How To Promote Your Work Effectively



Many people think that writing the manuscript is the hardest part of the journey, or that it ends upon final editing and production. They are dead wrong. In fact, the hardest part of being an author is selling to the different mediums available.  When it comes down to it, your “Baby” is your pride, blood, sweat and tears, who better to advocate it’ merit than yourself?

This is where time management comes in. Most authors are doing edits on other works, or working on new books, in various degrees of being finished. In between dead-lines, researching the next work time has to be made to promote what’s yours.  So…Your book is ready, about to hit the sites, and you’re just now beginning to promote. STOP.

When your book is in final stages, promoting is important. Sites that allow excerpts and book covers are always looking for what’s coming soon. Go ahead and give a heads up to alert the readers, so that they too can budget the next book they want to buy.

Mediums



Blog Talk Radio- Quite a few authors and other professionals in this industry have blog talk sites.  Inquire around to find who is looking for guests and the genres they’d like to interview.





Video Trailers – There are artists and mediums that create video trailers for authors. If your pub house doesn’t have one in house or on contract ask around to find out who makes them and the fees they charge. The range is from fifty dollars to one-hundred-twenty-five dollars. There are also links that teach how to do one on your own-broken down in simple step by step instructions.





Blog

Hold a blog once a month let everyone know what’s going on in the corner of your world.




www.multiply.com

WebSites- Depending on your budget, websites are a great way to showcase your work and show what’s coming up soon. There are web designers who build from scratch, or sites that are easy to set up and free.









Yahoo Loops

Trinity and her co hosts have daily lists on what loops are accepting promo and on what days during the week. Although they have the lists, it’s a good idea to read the rules before posting.




Posting Covers on Loops

Upload your book cover at  www.tinypic.com

Get the html website code and copy it.

Go to the yahoo loop site you wish to paste it at.

Click on Rich-Text Editor

Scroll to the bottom of the page

View HTML Source

Click the above box and past the code into the body of the post.

Unclick the box after pasting it and your book cover will show.

Then you can paste in your blurb and excerpts.





If you find it’s too much for you or you simply can’t find the time- hire out to promo sites.

There are many promo sites out there here’s a few



http://honeybunnypromos.blogspot.com/




Promote Yourself On



Yahoo Loops



Review Sites – Google your genre. My list is too long to include.



Your Personal Blog



Peer Blogs



Review Site Interviews



Yahoo Loop Interviews



Yahoo Loops looking for Book Covers to paste on their home pages



Chats



Interacting with readers and authors during Blog Tours



Paste Your Third Party Distributor Sites



Facebook



Twitter



Myspace



Multiply.com


Pintrest

Good Reads

Shelfari

Vista Print  - When I have spare change I take advantage of their ‘free items’ and pay only for shipping and handling. I try to order 500 business cards at a time. Then I pick a generic postcard from them and use it. Instead of paying for the back to be inscribed with blurbs or book covers on post cards. I use the ‘free’ stamp and have my website inscribed on it and stamp it instead J

I’ve taken cards to urban clothing stores, coffee houses, night clubs, the library, Laundromats, etc. find out in your area where you can leave your promo material. I do it once a month while I’m out doing errands.



Contests



Hold a contest every other month or whenever you have a release going out. Keep in mind--- you have to keep track of e-books won. Ask your pub to inscribe the winners name and email addy on the pdf for tracking purposes.

Have small gift baskets of things found cheaply in your area as special contests. Chocolate is always good!

Example- I’m from Kansas, The Wizard of Oz is big here, and there are tons of tourist things for it so it’s a fun theme once and awhile.

Chocolate is always good too.

Ask your fellow authors to mail you promo cards and business cards so that you can promote them too.

Send promo items to Review Sites.



Personal Newsletter

  Mail Chimp

        Search Google for free banners and graphics or purchase one!

Use your word program to create a News Letter and save it as a pdf file.

Email me and I’ll walk you through it www.mahalialevey.com


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Compromise

Compromise is very important in life.  You might think I am talking politics, but I am not, even though it does apply to our Congress.  Smile.  For relationships to survive it is necessary to have some give and take.  No one person can have everything his/her way. 

In our stories, the heroes and heroines will think alike on some things, but will have major differences on others. They will need to discuss their disagreements, or they will not get together, and if they are already a couple they will not remain one.

Life is full of conflicts. To write a book that will hold your readers attention; use disputes you are familiar with because you will feel closer to the character.  I have always used others experiences instead of my own, but I think you can get deeper into your characters if you know how they feel.  I'm going to use this idea in my next new story.  I'll even see if I can implement some of this thought in the present romantic suspense I'm writing. 

People who can't compromise and aren't tolerant of others make great secondary characters, but they can't be the hero or the heroine.  Not unless you can show them changing in their actions and their thought process, so they can have a happy ending. 

Do you agree your characters and the people around you in real life need to find the middle ground in their lives?

Thank you for reading.

Sandra K. Marshall
http://www.eirelander-publishing.com
http://www.sandramarshallblog.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Guest Blog: Dyann Love Barr: Texting the Old Fashioned Way


I love dialogue. It’s the best way to salt all those pesky details of the backstory into your work in progress. My writing is dialogue heavy, but there are times when a character’s body language can say as much as words. Is your hero standing, slouching, getting ready to take on dragons with his muscles bunched, his teeth bared? The reader knows the minute a main character tenses, things are going downhill, fast.

So, how would a woman in the eighteenth or nineteenth century express herself through a few slight movements of her hands? The smart phone was a long way off and she couldn’t stroke a few keys to set up a booty call. Her life was spent walking the fine line of society’s mores. The strictures placed upon her made it difficult to communicate with a man who caught her eye. The clever woman of the time devised ways of getting the message across to the man she fancied, or to reject someone. I like to think of it as the eighteenth and nineteenth century version of texting.

Here’s a scenario to illustrate what I mean.

Our heroine sits on a small damask covered chair waiting for the hero to walk through the door of the assembly hall. The music swells into a waltz. She reaches for her fan in anticipation of seeing the man who has haunted her dreams for the last few weeks. He makes his appearance and she raises her fan. He asks her for a dance. What does she do? Or maybe it’s the villain of the story who wants her for her inheritance.

Let the games begin.

THE FAN PLACED NEAR THE HEART:  “You have won my love.”
THE FAN RESTING ON HER HEART: “My love for you is breaking my heart.”
A CLOSED FAN: “When may I be allowed to see you?”
THE NUMBER OF STICKS SHOWN ANSWERS THE QUESTION: “At what hour?”
THREATENING MOVEMENTS WITH THE FAN CLOSED: “Do not be imprudent.”
HALF-OPENED FAN PRESSED TO THE LIPS: “You may kiss me.”
FAN WITH THE HANDLE TO LIPS: “Kiss me.”
HANDS CLASPED TOGETHER HOLDING AN OPEN FAN: “Forgive me.”
COVERING THE LEFT EAR WITH AN OPEN FAN: “Do not betray our secret.”
HIDING THE EYES BEHIND AN OPEN FAN: “I love you.”
SHUTTING A FULLY OPENED FAN SLOWLY: “I promise to marry you.”
DRAWING THE FAN ACROSS THE EYES: “I am sorry.”
TOUCHING THE FINGER TO THE TIP OF THE FAN: ”I wish to speak with you.”
LETTING THE FAN REST ON THE RIGHT CHEEK: ”Yes.”
LETTING THE FAN REST ON THE LEFT CHEEK: “No.”
OPENING AND CLOSING THE FAN SEVERAL TIMES: “You are cruel.”
OPENING AND CLOSING THE FAN SEVERAL TIMES, QUICKLY AND INPETUOUSLY: “I’m jealous.”
DROPPING THE FAN: “We are friends, or I belong to you.”
FANNING SLOWLY: “I am married, or don’t waste your time, I don’t care about you.”
FANNING QUICKLY: “I love you so much.”
CARRYING THE FAN CLOSED AND HANGING FROM HER LEFT HAND: “I am engaged.”
CARRYING THE FAN CLOSED AND HANGING FROM HER RIGHT HAND: “I want to be engaged.”
HITTING HER HAND’S PALM: “Love me.”
OPENING THE FAN WIDE: “Wait for me.”
PLACING THE FAN BEHIND THE HEAD OR MOVING HER HAIR AWAY FROM HER FOREHEAD WITH THE FAN: “Do not forget me.”
PLACING THE FAN BEHIND THE HEAD WITH THE FINGERS EXTENDED: “Goodbye.”
FAN IN THE RIGHT HAND IN FRONT OF FACE: “Follow me.”
FAN IN THE LEFT HAND IN FRONT OF FACE: “I’m desirous of your acquaintance.”
FAN HELD OVER THE LEFT EAR: “I want to be rid of you.”
DRAWING THE FAN ACROSS THE FOREHEAD: “You have changed.”
TWIRLING THE FAN IN THE LEFT HAND: “We are being watched.”
TWIRLING THE FAN IN THE RIGHT HAND: “I love another.”
CARRYING THE OPEN FAN IN THE RIGHT HAND: “You are too willing.”
CARRYING THE OPEN FAN IN THE LEFT HAND: “Come and talk to me.”
DRAWING THE FAN THROUGH THE HANDS: “I hate you.”
DRAWING THE FAN ACRSS THE CHEEK: “I love you.”
PRESENTING THE FAN SHUT: “Do you love me?”
CLOSING THE FAN: “I wish to speak with you.”

All the heroine needs is a wave or snap of a fan to tell either man her true feelings.

Here’s another scenario, using a different fashion accessory—the ever-present gloves. They were used  to send coded messages to the men who flocked around her. When fans weren’t practical, our heroine has to make do with another type of code to express her true feelings.

Our heroine wears a pair of gloves to the ball, or she might be riding in Hyde Park, Rotten Row, the 18th century meeting place popular with the upper-class Londoners. Everyone makes an appearance during the weekend evenings, and at midday, either on horseback or in carriages. Intrigue and romance abounds. A handsome man asks to call the next day. What’s our heroine’s answer? Does she tell the hero what’s in her heart? Dash the hopes of the fortune hunter?

Here are a variety of ways our heroine might use the gloves to answer the men’s queries.

BITING THE TIPS: "I wish to be rid of you very soon!"
CLENCHING THEM, ROLLED UP IN THE RIGHT HAND: "No!"
DRAWING HALFWAY UP LEFT HAND: "Indifference"
DROPPING BOTH OF THEM: "I love you"
DROPPING ONE OF THEM: "Yes"
FOLDING UP CAREFULLY : "Get rid of your company"
HOLDING THE TIPS DOWNWARD: "I wish to be acquainted"
HOLDING THEM LOOSE IN THE RIGHT HAND: "I am content"
HOLDING THEM LOOSE IN THE LEFT HAND: "I am satisfied"
LEFT HAND WITH THE NAKED THUMB EXPOSED: "Do you love me?"
PUTTING THEM AWAY: "I am vexed!"
RIGHT HAND WITH THE NAKED THUMB EXPOSED: "Kiss me"
SMOOTHING THEM OUT GENTLY: "I am displeased"
STRIKING THEM OVER THE SHOULDER: "Follow me"
TAPPING THE CHIN: "I love another"
TOSSING THEM UP GENTLY: "I am engaged"
TURNING THEM INSIDE OUT: "I hate you!"
TWISTING THEM AROUND THE FINGERS: "Be careful, we are watched!"
USING THEM AS A FAN: "Introduce me to your company".

I love these fun facts, although a question has occurred to me. If everyone knew these maneuvers with either the fan or gloves, nothing was really a secret.

So, think about the implications of the heroine dropping a pair of gloves, or furiously fanning her face after a country dance. She might land in a lot of hot water. The possibilities to add a touch of humor or the horror of a social faux pas in the ballroom are limitless. Here’s one of my favorite examples. Have fun.

And check out these other fascinating websites:

BIO:
With the maiden name of Love, how could I not write romance?

I live in western Missouri with my husband and our cat Spook, who thinks he actually owns the house. We're just the servants who came with the property. I'm a former chef, and my hobbies include sewing, belly dancing, acting, and playing video games with a vengeance.


I am a member of Romance Writers of America and my local chapter, Heartland Romance Authors.


BLURB:
Alex King wants to follow the family tradition and marry his perfect wife on Christmas Eve. There’s one little hitch—his bride dumps him at the altar. He wakes up in Vegas with a hangover, a ring on his finger, and in bed with Zoe Hillman, his best friend. She’s overweight and plain, nothing at all like his image of the perfect wife. So begins the shortest Vegas marriage in history.


Zoe loved Alex from the moment he walked through the law firm’s doors. He can charm the panties off any woman, but he’s never tried it with her. The chance to grab for the gold ring is within her reach until everything blows up in her face. Now, five years later she returns to Kansas City with triplets in tow and a brand new look. Catering Alex’ next wedding should prove interesting.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Why Do Women Writers Feel Guilty by Janice Seagraves


Why Do Women Writers Feel Guilty?
By Janice Seagraves

There’s a writer I know who says she feels guilty every time she works on her next book, because her three sons are eating microwave popcorn for dinner. I’ve seen a photo of her sons, and they don’t look starved to me. And I know for a fact she spends time with her boys. She even plays World of Warcraft with them and got addicted.

So why is she feeling guilty?

As women, we are taught to be a good mom we should spend all our waking hours worrying and fussing over our children, husband and home.

Here’s the deal, if your kids are big enough to work the microwave and can get things from the frig, then they’ll be fine for a few hours without you. Same goes for the husband or significant other. No matter how much they complain, they are not helpless and won’t starve.

My daughter knew I had an open door polices for her when she needed to talk. She’d sit down in the chair next to mine and wait till I got to a stopping place, and then we’d talk for a bit. Afterwards, she’d go back to her homework, and I went back to writing.

I’ve done all the important stuff: Holidays, birthday, field trips, shopping trips, and girl talks. I cook dinner most nights (Unless I guilt my hubby into doing it), and we eat together as a family.

I’ll admit there are days when the laundry piles up to the ceiling, and cleaning the toilet has become a waiting game of whose going to crack first, me or my husband.

When I started on this journey to be a writer, I knew there would be some sacrifices. One of these might be that the dust bunnies get another year’s reprieve, and the only thing that gets dusted is my laptop. But that’s okay—I’m writing the next book.

-------------------
Janice Seagraves lives in the same small town that she was born in raised in. She resides in a hundred year old house (not kidding) with her husband and daughter. They are owned by an overly affection cat and a Jack Russel that's in love with daughter (still not kidding).

Janice's website: http://janiceseagraves.org/

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guest Blog: L.K. Below: Every Girl Deserves Her Prince


I am fascinated by fairy tales. So, naturally, they tend to sneak their way into my stories. To give myself an outlet, I decided to create a book (or two!) integrating my favorite tales.

The books sprouted from a fun, saucy idea. An invert of the tale, "Princess and the Frog" in which the heroine, on Halloween, dresses in nothing but green paint and finds her prince at a racy Halloween party. That idea morphed into book one, Never a Princess, Always a Frog.

The idea for book two, Beauty in His Bed, hit me out of nowhere. I'd been looking for a way to tie in two halves of the story, a link between the characters in New York City to some bold characters in New Orleans. Then my muse unveiled Amy Somers to me.

Amy is definitely in need of a prince. Self-conscious about her weight, and burned from a recent breakup, she retreats to New Orleans to forget about the man she thought she would marry. There, she meets her Cajun prince.

Seb may not have princely motives, but he definitely can't resist Amy from the moment he sees her sleeping in his bed. And he is just the man she needs to boost her self-confidence...if he can chip away the ice shielding Amy's heart.

Are you as enchanted by fairy tales as I am?

CONTEST ALERT: Tell me your favorite fairy tale for a chance to win Beauty in His Bed. Bonus points if you can guess the fairy tale that inspired the book!

BIO:
L.K. Below indulges her love of fairy tales a bit in each of her books. From scornful first meetings to heated encounters, she believes that every character deserves a happily-ever-after. The Modern Fairytales series embodies that ideal even more, each centering around a fun, flirty fairy-tale-turned-reality for the inner princess. Visit her online at www.lbelow.net


BLURB:
Upon finding a gorgeous woman in his bed, Seb wakes her with a wicked kiss…and it just might lead to forever.

Devastated by a breakup, plus-sized Amy Somers retreats to New Orleans to visit her longtime friend. But when her friend delivers the key to her apartment and sends Amy on ahead, she doesn’t realize that the apartment belongs to someone else.

Upon coming home to find Amy asleep on his bed, Sebastien Babineaux entertains lusty thoughts. Bent on seducing her, he never expects to lose his heart -- or to work so hard to keep Amy by his side.

Beauty in His Bed is now available from Lyrical Press, Inc. Read more or buy it at http://bit.ly/BeautyInHisBed. Visit L.K. Below online at www.lbelow.net

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top Ten Things I Love About Summer




It’s summer time and the livin’ is easy, to paraphrase the song. How do I love summer? Let me count the ways, paraphrasing Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Sitting in my air-conditioned house while the temps outside hover near 100 has me thinking of all the ways I love summer. Of course, air-conditioning makes summer a tad more enjoyable. Here’s my David Letterman-inspired Top 10 List, in no particular order:

1.  More time to write. My TV shows are in reruns during the summer. I’m a TV junkie and I’m not afraid to admit it. A writer acquaintance once told me that to be successful at writing I’d have to give up all TV. She’s more successful than I so maybe she was right. However, I don’t see why I should give up something that gives me pleasure. TV watching allows me to relax my body and mind, and I get ideas for stories too.

2.  The sun. It shines in the summer. I live on the East Coast so the sun is a rare commodity most of the year. Yay, sun! I love that shining orb. Just seeing the sun in a cloudless sky lifts my mood. Sun makes people want to get out and do things and it improves their attitudes.

3.  The beach. Or Shore if you’re referring to New Jersey. I’ve lived most of my life a 90-minute drive to the Atlantic Ocean. The beach and ocean are a big part of summer here. I don’t get to the beach much nowadays, but I went to the Jersey Shore most summer weekends when I was in my twenties and thirties. Snooki, The Situation, and the rest of the “Jersey Shore” cast have nothing on me and my friends. Good times. Although I spent almost every weekend at the Shore in those days, I didn’t get tan. There are two reasons for that: I don’t tan no matter how hard I try; I was indoors, in the bars, most of the time. Like I said, good times.

4.  Tans. See above. Most people look healthier in the summer with their golden tans. I’m the exception.

5.  Clothes. I wear fewer of them in the summer. It’s so nice to get up in the morning and throw on a tank top and a pair of shorts and some sandals. In the winter I wear thermal tops under my long-sleeved shirts, sweatpants, socks, warm shoes, and a jacket. In the house. Our house is surrounded by mature trees so it’s always cool, actually cold, in the winter. It’s so much easier to dress in the summer.

6.  Sandals. Love them. I once helped launch a revolt where I worked because our company wouldn’t allow us to wear sandals and wanted us women to wear pantyhose and closed shoes all year round. Yuck. Our revolt was successful. The company never again tried to force us to wear pantyhose and closed shoes in the summer.

7.  Pedicures. My favorite toe color du-jour is green. I wear toe rings too. Sometimes I paint my toenails blue. Painting my toes bright colors and wearing toe rings help me feel a little bit edgy. I like the feeling.  

8.  Beer. I’m usually a wine drinker, but there’s nothing like an ice-cold brew on a hot day. Give me some fresh oysters and clams with that beer and I’m in summer heaven.

9.  Less people where I live. Most of my state’s population is in the southern part of the state at the beaches or at the Jersey Shore. I stay up north most of the summer. The roads up here are less crowded and so are the stores and restaurants. You can walk into almost any restaurant and be seated right away. Whereas in the winter, the most popular restaurants have long waits. In the summer, I get to try restaurants I can’t get into during the winter.

10.  Air-conditioning. I love the heat. I love the sun. But I sure do love my air-conditioning when things get too hot.

What don’t I like about summer? My list only has six items:

1.  Sweat. Not a ladylike thing.

2.  My hair. Those of you with curly hair always complain about frizz. I challenge you to have my hair--straight and flat with not an ounce of body. Want to know what happens to my hair in the summer? Within minutes of styling it, it falls flatter than the proverbial pancake. In fact, pancakes are fluffier than my hair. Next time you complain about your frizz or curls, remember this--it could be worse. You could have my hair.

3.  Humidity. We have lots of it here. It’s what makes us sweat and gives us bad hair days.

4.  Mosquitoes. Enough said.

5.  Swollen fingers. I can’t wear most of my rings because of the heat and humidity. I love rings and usually wear at least three on every hand. Now I’m down to one or two on each hand. Bummer.

6.  Food spoils faster. I keep an ice chest in my trunk during the summer. When I food shop, I put the frozen foods and perishables in the ice chest for the ride home. Even though I live fairly close to the supermarket, food spoils quickly in the heat. One of the few good things about winter is that I can go food shopping in the morning, store the food in my truck, stay out all day, and when I get home, the food is still cold and the frozen stuff still frozen.

Even the hottest summer is better than winter, in my opinion.

So, what do you like about summer? What don’t you like?


Sunday, July 22, 2012

It’s Not 50 Shades Greyer, It’s 100 Percent Hotter!!!!!



With all the publicity about the Fifty Shades Trilogy one would think erotic romance has just been discovered like the New World.
Not true!
Erotic romance has been around since Fanny Hill, Lady Chatterly’s Lover and Pearl. And today it’s one of the biggest sellers in romance fiction. And I am so excited to be a art of this growing market.
Ellora’s Cave copyrighted the term Romantica when it opened its doors more than ten years ago and blasted open the bedroom door with it tastefully crafted erotic romance. Others followed. And now Total-e-bound has taken the Fifty Shade phenomenon one step further. Clandestine Classics are red hot versions of classics like Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. And my own selection, Northanger Abbey.
Trifle with an author’s voice? you cry in dismay.
Not at all. The five authors selected to launch this exciting series have been very careful to maintain both the author’s voice and style as we weave highly erotic scenes into the original manuscript. Implied sex is now vivid and scintillating and hopefully as arousing for the reader as for the characters in the novels.
So what’s the debut list to choose from?
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Sierra Cartwright
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Amy Armstrong
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen and Desiree Holt
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne and Marie Sexton
A Study in Scarlet by A. Conan Doyle and Sarah Masters
The series is creating quite a stir, with media from the London Daily Mail and the BBC to The New York Times, Fox News, The Hollywood Reporter, CNN and Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC discussing it. The news has gone viral. Did I pique your curiosity? I hope so. 

And here, for your tasting pleasure, a tiny bite of Northanger Abbey:
Darkness impenetrable and immovable filled the room. A violent gust of wind, rising with sudden fury, added fresh horror to the moment. Catherine trembled from head to foot. In the pause which succeeded, a sound like receding footsteps and the closing of a distant door struck on her affrighted ear. Human nature could support no more. A cold sweat stood on her forehead, the manuscript fell from her hand, and groping her way to the bed, she jumped hastily in, and sought some suspension of agony by creeping far underneath the clothes. To close her eyes in sleep that night, she felt must be entirely out of the question. With a curiosity so justly awakened, and feelings in every way so agitated, repose must be absolutely impossible. The storm too abroad so dreadful! She had not been used to feel alarm from wind, but now every blast seemed fraught with awful intelligence. The manuscript so wonderfully found, so wonderfully accomplishing the morning’s prediction, how was it to be accounted for? What could it contain? To whom could it relate? By what means could it have been so long concealed? And how singularly strange that it should fall to her lot to discover it! Till she had made herself mistress of its contents, however, she could have neither repose nor comfort; and with the sun’s first rays she was determined to peruse it. But many were the tedious hours which must yet intervene. She shuddered, tossed about in her bed, and envied every quiet sleeper. The storm still raged, and various were the noises, more terrific even than the wind, which struck at intervals on her startled ear. The very curtains of her bed seemed at one moment in motion, and at another the lock of her door was agitated, as if by the attempt of somebody to enter. Hollow murmurs seemed to creep along the gallery, and more than once her blood was chilled by the sound of distant moans. She began to wish for Henry Tilney to find his way secretly to her room to help allay her nervousness.
When the door to her room opened slowly she searched frantically for something with which to defend herself, not knowing if it was ghost of human who trespassed. When she saw Henry slip into the room, fingers to his lips, she poofed out a sigh of relief. Had just thinking of him conjured him up?
“What are you doing here?” she whispered as softly as she could, noticing that he had divested himself of all his clothes save a thin pair of breeches and a loose shirt.
“I feared the storm would disturb you and wanted to ease you through it.”
“But—But—But what if someone sees you walking around like that?” Her fingers gripped the bedclothes.
“General Tilney and my mother are long fast asleep,” he whispered back, “and I hope the same for my sister. However, since she sleeps two doors down we must be careful not to do anything to call her attention.”
“And what would we be doing?” she asked.
With a smile Henry approached the bed and eased himself down on top of the covers next to her. “I hope many things,” he told her. “I have felt this strong attraction between us from the first moment of our meeting and I have seen in your eyes a like feeling. If I am mistaken please advise me of it and I will leave a once.”
Even as the blood stirred within her and her pulse rate accelerated, she felt compelled to offer at least a token protest. “I assure you that I am still an innocent, an unsullied and respectable female.”
His hand cupped her cheek, turning her face to his. “My dear sweet Catherine, I am fully aware of that. I would take no advantage of that if you bid me leave. And if you bid me so I will be gone and this will be as if it never happened. But understand that you have my full respect as well as a number of other emotions that far surpass it. From our first meeting I have dreamed of being the one man to show you the pleasures of the body. I care for you so much. Please do not turn me away.”
She could have demurred further but she was so eager for his touch that it seemed to her a waste of time so she simply smiled and placed her hand over his. “And I have dreamed of the same things.”
Henry leaned his head closer to her face and placed his lips on hers. They were firm and moist and the touch was utterly pleasant. He brushed his mouth lightly over hers in a back ad forth motion, teasing her, until his tongue peeped out to trace he seam of her lips.
“Open your mouth for me, sweet Catherine,” he urged. “Let me in.”
She did so and when his tongue swept inside it filled her with a sensation of pleasure that danced through her body. Her nipples tingled and at once the sensitive muscles in her cunt trembled. She felt the liquid of her arousal soaking the crotch of her nighttime bloomers and had to press her thighs together. All this from a kiss! Imagine! But it was far beyond any kiss she’d ever imagined. Henry’s tongue touched the inside of her mouth everywhere, sliding over her own tongue in a movement that coaxed her to let hers dance with him. He thrust it in and out, mimicking the act of sex she and Virginia had read about and arousing her even more.
You can find all of the Clandestine Classics at www.total-e-bound.com.
And keep up with me at
Twitter: @desireeholt
Facebook: Desiree Holt



Saturday, July 21, 2012

And The Winner of Elizabeth Hoyt's Giveaway Is...

This past Monday, New York Times Best Selling author, Elizabeth Hoyt, was graciously at our blog for an interview, featuring her latest release THIEF OF SHADOWS. It was an immense pleasure, and honor, to interview her for this spotlight, (as you can imagine) and I appreciate all of you who came and left kind comments for her.

Now for the moment we have all been waiting for...

I put everyone's name into Random.org and the winner of an autographed THIEF OF SHADOWS is:


PC

email addy (ivegotmail8889 at yahoo dot com)

Congratulations to you, my dear! Please email me at rv@reneevincent.com to claim your prize!




Renee Vincent is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary romance.






Thursday, July 19, 2012

No Man Is An Island...

Life would get pretty dull if we had no one to talk to, right?

Remember the movie Castaway? Tom Hanks ends up painting a face on a volleyball and talking to him, even crying when 'Wilson' floats away after he's gotten over the reef in attempt to be rescued.

Humans are social creatures. And in order to write an interesting book, we have to have our main characters, but in order to understand them a little better, we need to see them interacting with friends and family. Enemies. People you pass on the street.

Secondary characters add depth to your story, and yes, even provide comic relief. I loooooooove Kelly Kirch's Puck character in Marriage Plot, and wish she would write another story around him. He was funny; he pursued his woman in the background, and was loyal to his friend Nicholas.



I was thrilled to learn two of my fellow authors actually bought and read All She Ever Wanted, and emailed me privately, asking for a sequel. Seems they were intrigued by one of the characters, mentioned late in the story, and want to see why he's the way he is.

They got their wish; I was beginning to write a story, based on an idea I had thrown at me by a former classmate, and wrote a few scenes. But it didn't really come together until I received the email. I went back, changed the main character's name....and suddenly, I couldn't seem to stop writing!  Class Reunion is in final edits and should be releasing sometime this year.

But honestly, can you imagine Harry Potter without Neville or Luna? How about Scarlett without Prissy or Mammy? Anny Cook's Mystic Valley without Tyger, Lyon, or any of the rest of Jade's children? Or even Came-A-Lot without Pansy the Tooth Fairy? Arbor University's Emery Hall without Bonnie, the Resident Assistant? Eureka's Cafe Diem without the customers?

Okay...bear with me...I feel a PBS flashback...'who are the people in your neighborhood...'

Everyone around you adds to your lives, whether you're conscious of it or not. Why should it be any different in the lives of the characters we're creating?

Who are some of YOUR favorite secondary characters? Think about that the next time you fall in love with a book.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Interview of Author Elysa Hendricks

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Elysa Hendricks.

Latest Book: THE SWORD AND THE PEN
Buy Link: http://tinyurl.com/sword-pen


BIO:
Elysa Hendricks is 5'6" tall. She has curly hair and brown eyes. She's a writer, a wife, a mother and a daughter. Everything else is subject to change without notice.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: The beginning is always the most fun and the easiest. At the beginning I'm free to try new things, I can experiment, attempt things that once the story gets going might no longer fit. Of course, I usually end up either cutting most of the beginning or totally rewriting it, so in the end I pay for the freedom.


Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: Around 2/3rds to 3/4rds of the way into the book I hit a wall. Even if I've written an outline/synopsis and know how the story needs to end, for me the ending is always the toughest part of a book to write. Is the black moment dark enough? Did I pull all the story elements together in an understandable way? Will the reader find the ending emotionally satisfying? By the time I've written, rewritten, polished and edited 60-70,000 words I'm so close to the story and characters I can no longer tell. This is where my critique partners and beta readers rescue me from abandoning my story.


Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: In my latest release THE SWORD AND THE PEN my favorite character has to be the hero Brandon Alexander Davis. At first glance he doesn't fit the hero mold. He's a writer, a bit neurotic, a hermit and totally out of step with the world. Only when his fantasy creation lands in his living room does he come to life himself.


Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: Oh, wow, that's like asking whether I think I'm pretty or not. Growing up I was taught not to brag, not to talk about myself or be prideful of my accomplishments, so I'm the last person to ask. I do think I tell entertaining stories filled with likeable characters and imaginative plots. But who am I to judge? The person that counts is the reader. What do they think?


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: Stranded on a remote island with a handsome man, who needs a computer? And if you have to ask that question you haven't read many romances. In fact, I think I'd have to hide the computer so the handsome man couldn't call for help or play some stupid computer game.


Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
I love hearing from readers and other authors. They can find me at my web site:
http://www.elysahendricks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elysa-Hendricks-Author/137316289643103
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=Elysa+Hendricks
ImaJinn Books: http://www.imajinnbooks.com
 
BLURB:
If your fantasy becomes your reality, what do you do?

It was time. After penning ten popular sword-and-sorcery novels, Brandon Alexander Davis was ready to move on. Ready to stop hiding in his fictional world. Ready to start living a real life. There was just one problem: as he plotted the noble death of Serilda D'Lar, his fictional creation, complete with mile-long sword, skimpy leather outfit and badass attitude, appeared in his study.


Was she nothing more than a crazy fan, or had Brandon finally cracked?


This warrior woman whom he knew so well, so strong yet vulnerable, was both fantasy and reality. She was an invitation to rediscover all he once knew--that life is an incredible, magical journey and, for love, any man can be a hero.


EXCERPT:
"Yeeek!"


At first Brandon thought the shriek was an electronic whine that came from his computer. Panic threatened. When was the last time he'd backed up his files? It had been during that bad electrical storm three months ago when he'd almost lost everything, the same time his writing troubles began. Fortunately the freak power surge from a lightning strike only fried his monitor; his CPU hadn't been harmed. He should have learned from the experience, but writer's block had driven him past rational thought. The idea of losing what little work he'd managed to accomplish these last few weeks made him choke in fear. He scrambled to hit Save.


"Hell, no! Roark doesn't deserve a chance to defend himself. And even if he did, I'm not stupid enough to give him the opportunity to skewer me. That's something Donoval the Honorable would do."


At the sound of the familiar yet condemning voice behind him, Brandon whirled. He slipped off his chair and landed hard on his tailbone. Pain shot up his spine and blurred his vision.


"What? How did you get in here? And who the hell are you?" He stared up at the woman and gulped. The sword in her hand pointed straight at his heart.


"You know damned well who I am."


The woman didn't sound happy-- and didn't look sane. She loomed over him. Her attire, a short, tight leather skirt, a leather bra, and knee-high boots left a lot of skin exposed to his view. The smell of leather, fresh air and warm woman teased his nostrils.


"What are you?" She poked him in the arm with the tip of her sword.


"Ow!" He scooted back, nearly under his desk.


"Warrior? Priest? Sorcerer?" She crouched down to rest on her heels, and stared at him. The position put her full breasts nearly in his face. "Definitely not a warrior." She pinched his arm. "You have muscle, but not enough to wield a sword in battle. No courage, either. Priest? Unlikely. They don't fear the sword. Only their god makes them cower. Wizard? Perhaps, but not one of any power, or else I'd be at your feet. So…you're the wizard's assistant most likely." As if satisfied with her conclusion, she rose to her feet.


"Get up. I'll not harm you. I wish to speak to your master. He and I have business to discuss."


Brandon eyed the woman warily. Though her speech and clothing were odd, she sounded and looked extremely familiar. Why? Was she a crazy fan he'd somehow communicated with before?


To be honest, she bore a striking resemblance to Serilda, if shorter. She was five feet seven or eight inches, rather than six feet, and she was less buxom and had softer features than the character he'd ultimately developed. Actually, this woman was more like how he'd envisioned Serilda originally, when he'd introduced her in Donoval's second book: an extremely feminine woman forced to survive in a harsh world by denying her nature. Hillary had convinced him that in her own books Serilda needed to be stronger and have more sex appeal, hence the height and the bigger chest. The change hadn't sat well with him, but the public-- men and women-- loved her, and the books had hit all the bestseller lists. As a result, he had a thriving series, a pending movie deal and cash in his once empty bank account. Success was hard to argue with.

Despite the trampy clothing and hard scowl, she was attractive. Short reddish blonde curls framed an elfin face. Dark lashes fringed large, cat-like green eyes. Sun-kissed skin covered high cheekbones, and her lips, though currently set in a hard line, were full and red.


"I said get up!" She grabbed his arm and hauled him to his feet.


He was surprised that, when he stood, he topped her by a good six inches and probably outweighed her by sixty pounds. That size difference gave him a bit of confidence, but the nasty-looking sword she held with such self-assurance negated it. One could never trust the actions of a crazy person.


"Who are you?" She looked him up and down then seemed to dismiss him.


He pulled himself to his full height and stared down at her. "Brandon Alexander Davis. This is my home."


Unimpressed, she laughed. "Brandon? What kind of name is that? Bran is what I eat to ease my bowels."


Heat crept up Brandon's neck. Being compared to a laxative made him angry, which helped push fear away. "Who the hell are you? And what are you doing here in that ridiculous costume?"


"Who I am and" -- she paused, and two spots of color stained her cheeks-- "what I wear is a matter I will discuss with your master. Where is he? Has he run to hide from me? It will do him no good. I'm determined to find him and solve this."


"I don't have a master. I live here alone." Damn! Why had he told her that? He eased back from the lunatic toward the phone. Could he hit speed dial for 911 before she skewered him? Then what? Even if he succeeded, it would take the police a good fifteen to twenty minutes to reach his isolated home. Could he wrest the sword away from her before then?


His size would be an advantage, but even standing at ease, the woman radiated strength and skill. The odds seemed against him. To win he'd have to hit her-- hard-- and he doubted he could bring himself to do so. The lessons of chivalry his grandmother had taught were too deeply ingrained. In that way, he and Donoval were of one mind. No matter how greatly provoked, men didn't hit women.


Although, the thought of wrestling with this woman was appealing.


"No master? Do not lie to me." The lunatic's fingers flexed around the hilt of her sword.


"Why would I lie?" he snapped. "It's obvious your beef is with someone else. If I knew who and where he was, why would I protect him?"


"Because you're a coward. A powerful sorcerer inspires fear if not loyalty in his minions. But you should fear me more than him," she warned.


"There is no him! I'm the only one here. And I'm not a coward." Being called one triggered something inside him. Having phobias about crowds, insects and small furry animals didn't make him a coward. Not really.


She gave him a thoughtful look. "Is it possible? Are you the one?"


"The one what?"


She ignored his question and studied him. Her intense perusal made him squirm.


"Why didn't I see the resemblance?" she murmured.


"What resemblance?" He didn't like the turn of this conversation. Come to think of it, he hadn't liked the original direction, either.


"To Donoval. You are him-- in form at least." A bit of fear crossed her features, though anger quickly erased it. "I'm loath to believe it, but you are the wizard. Did you construct me so you could play God in my world? Does it give you pleasure to toy with me?"


"What the hell are you talking about? Play God? I'm just a writer trying to make a living. I write stories for people to read and enjoy. It's just entertainment."

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