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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Touching Readers and Building Community



I have some exciting news. Recently, I've been thinking about how best to serve my readers and thier needs. The result has been the formation of my first reader's group. Here, readers get to be on the front lines, helping me pick character names, telling me what they prefer in a hero (tattoos - yes or no?) and chat with each other about my books. This is been incredibly exciting and rejuvinating for me. These lovely ladies have kept me going, even on days when I felt like crawling back under the covers and hiding. (I know some of you writers know what I'm talking about.) In exchange for their help, I offer up gift cards, swag, and other great prizes from my author griends. Some day, it's my hope to meet each of these wonderful ladies in person.

As a reader, I got to meet one of my favorite authors once -- Terry Brooks. I remember standing in the long line and having no idea what I was going to say to him when I finally reach the front. I had read all of his books, many more than once. In the end, I told him that his books were the reason I had become an avid reader (They were. I started reading the Shanara Series in fourth grade). He told me that it was the highest compliment a reader could give an author. Back then, I had no idea how powerful my words had been. Now, decades later, I can see the conversation from his point of view and understand his comment much better.

Are you a reader who has met an author? Tell me about the experience  in the comments below. If you're an author, tell me about one of the most memorable times you got to meet one of your fans. I'd love to hear from you!


NOW UP FOR PREORDER: A brand new erotic eserial described as a modern-day, erotic Downton Abbey.






Leo Perconti's  life is spinning out of control. As head of his family’s hotel conglomerate, it’s his job to save his family from bankruptcy. At the center of his turmoil is Karin Norell, a quiet, alluring intern who compliments his dominating personality and lets him feel in control once more.

As Karin explores her passion her feelings for Leo deepen. Unfortunately, Karin and Leo come from  different worlds, and when the two worlds collide, the cost can be devastating. As the service staff at The Palazzo rise up against the Perconti family, both Leo and Karin are faced with losing what each of them holds most dear. Together they must learn that true power comes from vulnerability and trust that can only happen when you let your insecurities go.

Preorder Part One Here: Amazon,  Barnes and Noble







Monday, September 29, 2014

Travel In The Fifties

Author, Sandra K. Marshall worked for an airline before she became a published author.   


She's going to tell you about traveling by air in the 50's even though she didn't fly for the first time until 1962; the year she graduated from high school.  Before that she traveled vicariously by reading books set in different locations, and she wanted to visit all of those places.

All of her published books have been set in the state of Missouri where she lives now.  Some day she'll write stories set in the exotic countries she's visited.

 
Back in the 50s, flying was magical and marvelous. Air travel exploded into its Golden Age, and airplane trips weren't just a means of getting to your vacation -- they were a vacation in themselves. Passengers dressed in their finest to fly. They lined up for group photos before boarding. Riding an airplane made them feel like a movie star because it pretty much took the salary of a movie star to do so.  But not everything was so rosy. If you took a flight in the 1950s...  Turbulence could snap your neck.

Early commercial planes were powered with pistons, not jet engines. As a result, they were loud, vibrated fiercely, bumped like crazy in turbulence and were grounded often due to weather (things got smoother after the first commercial jet debuted in 1952). In the 50s, pressurized airplane cabins were relatively new to the scene. And a non-stop flight? Not likely -- getting across the country could require multiple layovers.

You had insane amounts of legroom.  
 
Coach seats had three to six inches more legroom than they do today -- 1950s economy class looked more like business class does now. And first class was clearly about as spacious as a modern hotel room.

Your flight attendant wore a girdle and had a weight limit.

Flying was an over-the-top luxury experience, and leggy, chatty "hostesses" were part of the show. Some airline's required hostesses wear high heels at all times -- only after takeoff could she switch to flatter shoes. Hair had to be short enough so as not to touch her collar. A flight attendant manual mandated that stewardesses be single, stay under 125 pounds, and maintain "high moral standards" during employment.

 
You paid up to five percent of your salary for a ticket.

In the 50s, a flight from Chicago to Phoenix cost $138 round-trip -- that's $1,168 when adjusted for today's inflation. A one-way to Rome would set you back more than $3,000 in today's dollars.

Lobster counted as airplane food.

These were coach meals.
With commercial plane travel a new market, airlines struggled to one-up each other by offering the fanciest meals. One vintage ad lists TWA's "full meal" to be served in-flight: soup, meat, salad, vegetables and dessert. Real glassware and roast beef were typical sights.

Smoking was totally acceptable... and for much longer than you'd think.  (this is the one thing I wouldn't like).

During the 1950s, smoking (of cigarettes, pipes and cigars) was totally acceptable in the air, but strangely not in the terminal (they were afraid cigarettes might ignite the fuel fumes). "Confusion and resentment" ran rampant when a law prohibited smoking on short domestic flights decades later, in 1988. It wasn't until 2000 that a law mandated all flights to and from the U.S. be smoke-free.

You were handed a postcard as you boarded.

Flying was so utterly rare that passengers felt compelled to document every moment on postcards with pictures of the plane or in-flight meal, to show their less lucky loved ones what the newfangled experience was like.

"The tradition at the time was that you would use your in-flight time to write people you knew on the ground, describing your flight," historian Guillaume de Syon explained.

You drank (LOTS) for free.  (We did this in the 60's and 70's, too.)

Alcohol was another popular form of in-flight entertainment: passengers were served as much free alcohol as they could drink, and it was not uncommon to come off a flight totally hammered.

Of course, the free boozing tapered off as air travel became less of a luxury industry and more of a commercial one. But in those early Golden Days, people just poured themselves scotch after scotch.

You didn't show ID.

Even as late as 1970, passengers made it onto planes without ID of any sort -- a quick look-over from security did the trick. Showing up at the airport 30 minutes before your flight was totally fine, and well-wishers could walk right up to your gate where you boarded via stairs, not jet bridge. Passenger screenings wouldn't become mandatory until 1973.

Baggage claim was even more excruciating than it is now.

In the early 50s, you'd wait for a skycap to organize everyone's luggage on a counter. One by one, passengers pointed to their suitcases, paid him a tip and collected their bags. Thank heavens for the first conveyor belts!

A lot of this information came from Geoff Alcock's article - Flying Used to be Magical & Marvelous...  Okay, folks, Mr. Alcock may think flying in the fifties was fantastic, but I think flying in the sixties was really luxurious.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Guest Blog: Adrienne deWolfe: Fall in Love with the Wedding Prayer from SEDUCED BY AN ANGEL

When my characters fall in love, I fall in love. That’s the beauty of writing a Romance!

Usually in my novels, my characters get married off-scene. But I felt like I “owed” it to Sera in Seduced By An Angel (Book 3, Velvet Lies) to let my readers celebrate her marriage. After all, Sera waited for 13 years after the publication of His Wicked Dream for me to “get around” to finding her the right lover.

Or as Sera likes to describe the outlaw, Jesse Quaid: “A dashing stranger who is worthy to be kissed!”

The relationship of Sera and Jesse has to survive all kinds of trials, including a life-threatening flood, a treacherous love triangle, and a murderous bounty hunter. I didn’t actually set out to write a wedding ceremony into the book, but the idea started to grow on me-- especially after the outlaw, William “Cass” Cassidy (Jesse’s best friend, who tries to seduce Sera) leaves Kentucky for his own romantic adventure (which you’ll get to read in Devil in Texas.)

My inspiration for Sera and Jesse’s vow-sharing came from the traditional Cherokee Wedding Prayer. In the novel, Sera is a preacher’s daughter, and her true love, Jesse, is part Cherokee.

Needless to say, lots of complications revolved around such a union in Kentucky in 1882! Thanks to the closed minds of that era, I decided to make Sera and Jesse sneak off to get married, creating their own, private ceremony at Ywahoo Falls, in present-day Daniel Boone National Forest.

Ywahoo Falls is a sacred Cherokee burial ground, and Sera (who is clairvoyant) can see the ghosts of hundreds of Cherokee squaws and school children frolicking in the water. Other than Mother Earth and Father Sky – and my readers, of course! – no one else is invited to witness the wedding vows that Sera and Jesse share.

The Cherokees follow a matrilineal custom, which means that a groom leaves his Clan to marry into his wife’s. The mothers of the bride and groom are extremely important to the traditional ceremony. Since no humans were invited to Sera’s and Jesse’s ceremony, I had to get creative! I won’t be giving away any spoilers here, but let’s just say that Sera and Jess have a VERY interesting wedding processional!

I tried to make other parts of the Cherokee Wedding Ceremony authentic: Sera and Jesse burn 7 types of wood in their wedding bonfire to represent the seven Cherokee Clans; they each dress in Native American attire; they hand-make gifts to exchange with each other at the ceremony; and they hide themselves away in a special place, which Jesse adorns with furs and blankets for his bride’s romantic wedding feast.

I know it sounds sappy coming from the author, but . . . every time I read this scene, I get tears!

Sera’s and Jesse’s Native American ceremony celebrates love and life, and the interconnectedness of all living things. I want to thank Marianne for sharing the Wedding Prayer from Seduced By An Angel on the Romance Books '4' Us blog. May it inspire you to give and receive love today in new and profoundly beautiful ways!

Wedding Prayer
Seduced By An Angel (Book 3, Velvet Lies Series)

Great Spirit, hear our prayer.
Before Father Sky and Mother Earth,
And all the wonders of the world,
We offer our deepest gratitude for Your guidance,
For the day that You helped us find each other,
For the moment when You reunited our Spirits,
And for this sacred morning now,
When we pledge our lives in love.
We ask that Father Sky embrace us,
That we may always know His wisdom
as we walk the Good Red Road.
We ask that Mother Earth nurture us,
That our union may always know plentitude and peace.
We ask that Sacred Fire warm our hearts,
And keep our love-flame burning bright.
We ask that Sacred Water purify us,
That we may always honor each other’s Truth.
We ask that Sacred Wind breeze us through the storms,
Refreshed and renewed in the commitment to our love.
Great Spirit, we pray that we may live
In harmony with your creations:
With our Cousins who are Feathered, Furred, and Finned,
With the Stone People and the Green Brothers,
And with all the Powers, both seen and unseen,
That orchestrate this world.
Great Spirit, we ask for Your blessing,
That we may find happiness with each passing season;
That our love may deepen with each rising sun and star;
And that we may always know Your truest guidance
As we walk each day as husband and wife.
Great Spirit, before You
And all the majesty that You have created,
We seal these marriage vows.
Aho!

BIO:
Adrienne deWolfe is a #1 bestselling author of action-packed Historical Romance novels, where feisty Heroines buck the conventions and true Heroes must be wickedly funny. Currently, she is writing Devil in Texas, the first book in her new Romantic Suspense series, The Gunslinger and the Redheaded Sleuth. For sneak peeks of her sassy ladies and sizzling rogues, visit http://ebookdiscovery.com.p8.hostingprod.com/AdrienneDeWolfe


Follow Adrienne deWolfe
Social Media:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/AdriennedeWolfe
Facebook: http://facebook.com/Writing.Novels
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/AdriennedeWolfe/boards
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/109088666107201832076/
Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/Adrienne_deWolfe
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Adrienne-deWolfe/e/B000API9SA

Websites:
http://WildTexasNights.com
http://writingnovelsthatsell.com/
http://magicmayhemblog.com/

Purchase Adrienne deWolfe’s Books:
Velvet Lies Series
http://ebookdiscovery.com.p8.hostingprod.com/AdrienneDeWolfe.html
Wild Texas Nights Series
http://ebookdiscovery.com.p8.hostingprod.com/AdrienneDeWolfe.html
The Secrets to Getting Your Romance Novel Published (Series)
http://writingnovelsthatsell.com/the-secrets-to-getting-your-romance-published

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Finally Autumn by Janice Seagraves



September 23rd was the first day of fall. Yay!

Photo owned by Janice Seagraves and taken by her daughter


I’m so tired of the heat in Central California. Yesterday and today it has become cool, finally. In the seventies, but that’s down right chilly for us.

Last night, I actually shivered and today my knuckles are stinging a bit. Although the stinging has more to do with the clouds in the sky and first heavy dew than the coolness. For the first time in months, I feel moisture in the air. My eyes have been so dry, it’ll be nice not to have to put drops in.

Not a lot of fall color in California. We’re known more for our lovely spring display than anything else.

But, ah, autumn.

I have been so looking forward to this. The smell of fallen leaves, the cooler temperatures, finally being able to wear my long sleeve shirts and pants. I can take walks again without overheating. Make soup on a cold day, bake chicken, lasagna, enchilada pie, and cinnamon rolls and cinnamon toast. Using the burning pit in the front of my house and making s’mores.

Photo owned and taken by Janice Seagraves


I’m looking forward to the first rain of the season. Weather, how I love you. Come to me clouds, rain down on me. I dare ya.

What is your favorite thing about autumn?


SyFy Romance. Excerpt, Matrix Crystal Hunters - Just after a rain:
Walking over, she tried not to smile. He gave her a leg up into the saddle. Sitting on the big animal, she could feel every bruise and muscle strain from the day before.
“Hurts?”
Maya nodded, biting her lip. “I can feel my butt bones. They’re sore.”
“I can only promise you that it will get better with time.” He rechecked the straps for the stirrups, making sure they were the right length for her and set her feet in them. “All right. You’re all set.” He led Brawley over to the two snags. Untying their leads, he handed them to Maya, who ran the rope around the high saddle horn. “Here you go. Same as yesterday, allow me and Zareth take the lead, then follow us.”
“Okay.”
He looked up at her, a slight frown troubling his handsome features. “I never asked, but what does okay mean? You seem to say it all the time.”
She tried to think of an equivalent in his language. “It means the same as all right or yes. Or you can use it to say everything is fine.”
“Oh, I see. Hmm, okay.” He grinned like a little boy.
She laughed. “There, you got it.”
“Okay.” He walked over to Zareth. “You okay, you big, nasty beast?” His mount snapped at him, but Vach jumped out of the way in time. “Guess not.”
He got on his sherakey, kicking him into a canter. When Vach got far enough ahead, Maya leaned forward in the saddle, the leather creaking loudly. Brawley took his cue to start trudging up the path after his master.
The trail seemed to go on forever. Puddles reflected the dark gray sky. The air had a fresh-scrubbed smell, which contrasted with the earthy scent of the damp ground.
Several hours later, Maya checked her watch. Twelve o’clock. Which could mean it was closer to ten, since the Zeeman day had twenty-two hours and her watch used Earth’s twenty-four hour cycle. A hooded Zeeman stood not far off, staring at her. She stared back, wondering if it was a herder. But where was his flock?
Several more Zeeman-shaped figures were standing in a group, not far away, but their cloaks didn’t appear to be being stirred by the fretful wind. Maybe they weren’t Zeemen at all. Statues of some sort?
Later, she spotted one ahead of her, near the road. As she rode closer, she saw that it was a stone pillar of some kind. Zeeman-shaped, but much larger, maybe ten to twelve feet in height. She looked it up and down, trying to find carvings or letterings, but there were none.
She turned over the possibilities in her mind, finally coming to the conclusion that these must be the roots of long dead trees and bushes encased in limestone jackets. A few miles down the road, more of these pillars filled the landscape. The standing stones seemed to be watching her, from out on the flat plane. A shiver went down Maya’s back. Creepy.
Vach waited for her at the next rest stop. His nasty sherakey had been tied up at the far side, with a bush to chew on. Brawley made his way into the clearing, and Vach held his arms up, so he could help Maya dismount. She pulled a leg over the huge saddle horn and slid off into his arms.

Vach caught her, laughing. “Got you.”
****
US, Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FJ10W26
UK, Kindle: http:1380662336//www.amazon.co.uk/Matrix-Crystal-Hunters-ebook/dp/B00FJ10W26/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=&sr=1-3
US, Trade paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Matrix-Crystal-Hunters-Janice-Seagraves/dp/1492709751/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
UK, Trade paperback: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Matrix-Crystal-Hunters-Janice-Seagraves/dp/1492709751/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_t_1_KKW6

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Matrix Crystal Hunters is now on Smashwords:
****


Friday, September 26, 2014

Halloween - Bringing my Muse to Life

I LOVE the time around Halloween. The world around me is growing crisper and more colorful, the sweet smell of cut grass is augmented by the spicy scent of burning leaves, and magic thrums on the air as the days grow cooler and night birds dip and swirl in a last ditch effort to feed before settling down for a long Winter.

During this time of year my muse often gets inspired to write sexy, dark paranormal fiction. It happened to me again this year. I really wanted to write a vampire story to release this Halloween season but I wanted to do something different. Something I don't think anybody else has done. At least not that I'm aware of. So I created my Sangui, royal vampires from a distant planet who are forced to escape to Earth when their planet is destroyed by a plague. I'm so excited to be able to share this fun, new take on the vampire romance.

Here's a little taste of my soon to be released novella, Sangui: Alphas of the Blood:

He’s an elite vampire from a distant planet…an Alpha of the Blood. But he’s no match for one spunky and opinionated Earth woman!

The Alphas of the Blood are an elite, alien race of vampires. They escaped a devastated planet that was overrun with plague-infected beasts and came to Earth for a chance at a new life…a new beginning. The change is bitter-sweet for Zeenon Akba, who lost much of his family in the plague wars and fears his only brother might have carried the infection to Earth with him. But when Zee stumbles upon a pretty human female being stalked by an infected, he’s determined to help her, even if it means killing his own brother. Aware of their many differences and his need to find a blood slave for his mate, Zee doesn’t intend to lose his heart to pretty and spunky Brooke Carlin. So why can’t he get her out of his mind?

~~*~~

“Are you her husband?”

Zee stared at the woman dressed in loose, brightly colored garb that was covered in small cur and other furry creatures, unsure how to respond. He thought a husband was like a mate, only less permanent. “I haven’t determined that yet.” He went on quickly when the woman frowned. “I am considering it, but she has not indicated a preference.”

Far from clearing things up, Zee realized he was making it worse when the woman’s scowl deepened. Though he didn’t know the correct response, he had to assume there was a reason she was asking. He figured it was important, somehow, that he be a husband.

He sighed. “I am her mate…erm…husband, yes.”

The woman’s frown wobbled and then cleared. “I’ll need her full name, date of birth, residence, and a health history." She handed him several sheets of paper clipped to a board. “Do you have insurance?”

Zee frowned. He barely knew the luscious human’s name and that was only because she’d managed to murmur it to one of the med techs as she was wheeled away. “Insurance?”

The woman lifted a thin, blonde eyebrow. “No insurance?” She expelled a breath as though Zee had somehow let her down and shoved a different board with different paper toward him. “Okay, just sign right here.”

She was very judgmental for a woman covered in mongrel cur.

Zee took the slim writing object and scrawled his customary Z on the page where she’d indicated. Unfortunately it was in Sanguinese and probably looked a lot like the gibberish on the walls in the warehouse district looked to Zee. To distract the intrusive female he asked, “I’d like to see her.”

The woman gave him a smile that didn’t reach her eyes. “As soon as you give me the information I need you can see her.”

Zee nodded and reached out, placing his fingers over the spot between her neck and shoulders and pinching. The woman’s eyes rolled up in her head and she slumped over in her chair. Zee caught her head before it slammed into the countertop, lowering it gently. “I apologize.”

He turned away, smiling at the woman and small child approaching the counter. “She is very tired, it appears.”

The young mother glanced at the slumped figure and frowned. Zee strolled toward the double, swinging doors through which the lovely Brooke had been wheeled. He would find her himself. Her delightful scent was etched forever in his memory.

Alongside the intoxicating taste of her lips.



Book Page: http://www.samcheever.com/sangui.html


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Guest Blog: Em Petrova: Inside The Boot Knockers Ranch

I’m a reality show junkie. If it’s on, chances are I’ll tune in at least once. Ink Master, Project Runway, American Idol. And The Voice.

The Voice is one of my favorite shows and it isn’t because of the talent. Nope, I watch for the judges. Adam, Blake and Usher Mmm Mmm Mmm. Anyone agree with me?

Watching them push their buttons to fight over a singer, arguing to get that artist on their team…it ignited an idea for me. The Boot Knockers Ranch series was born.

These cowboys are authentic. They know how to handle animals and work hard to keep the ranch beautiful and running smoothly. The upside of so much hard work is chiseled, tanned bodies. The Boot Knockers need these bodies to woo the ladies, because they’re also sex therapists.

Women come from all over the country and pay a fee to stay a week on the ranch. They can enjoy massage, hot tubs, and two swimming pools. But they’d probably rather partake of the semi-naked corn-hole tournament, the weekly BDSM munch or rip through mud holes on the back of an ATV while clinging to a mostly naked cowboy. And don’t forget the final rodeo every week.

There’s an epidemic going on at the BKR though Cowboys are falling victim to lady guests and even each other. Excerpt of BODY LANGUAGE, now available from Samhain: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/body-language-p-73611.html

BLURB:
The Boot Knockers Ranch, Book 2
If there’s one thing that Damian Vince can do well, it’s read women. With his trademark wink and sexy drawl, he’s the most wanted cowboy on the Boot Knockers Ranch, a spa where sexually challenged women come to get charmed out of their uptight panties.

He’s also the ranch’s bad boy—he hates to admit he’s had his mug-shot taken more than once. But now he’s on the right path, ranching and fulfilling women’s desires.

Prim grade-school teacher Ruthie Johansson prays Damian will be able to fix her strict upbringing that’s left her leery of men and intercourse, though her body aches for both. Once she sets eyes on the muscular, auburn-haired Damian, she throbs only for him.

As they get skin to skin, her instinct touches something Damian’s been struggling to hide from his fellow Boot Knockers. A secret he’s spent a lifetime keeping buried beneath bar brawls and a bad attitude. But with Ruthie’s gentle coaxing, he just might give overcoming it another try—as long as they do their homework in bed.

Warning: Contains a bad boy with a vulnerable underside, a squeaky clean woman who wants to get dirty, and a secret shame only love and compassion can heal. Prepare to drool while he parses her sentences…one sexy verb at a time.

BUY BODY LANGUAGE
Amazon
Samhain
B&N

BUY PUSHIN' BUTTONS book 1 of The Boot Knockers Ranch
Amazon
Samhain

Thank you for reading! Please enter my Rafflecopter
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Em Petrova
~hardworking heroes—in bed and out~
Website: http://empetrova.com
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4342760.Em_Petrova
Amazon Author Page
Blog: http://hardworkingheroes.wordpress.com/
Facebook Fan Page
Twitter: http://twitter.com/empetrova

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What about the Cat?


WHAT ABOUT THE CAT?



Do you need closure in the books you read and the movies you watch? Does it bug you when you’ve invested a few hours in a movie but you don’t get a sense of closure and leave the theater or turn off your TV feeling unsatisfied? Many TV series will end the season with a cliffhanger that has you hungering for the new season to start. I understand that. It’s much like ending a chapter of a book with a hook. But what I’m talking about is a movie with a beginning, middle and end, only there’s not so much of an ending.

How do you feel when you read a book or story and there’s no real closure? I thought about this recently when a friend told me about a serial story she read. There was no ending, and you had to buy the next installment to see what happens. My friend was upset and said she wouldn’t buy the next one because she wanted an ending to the one she read. I agreed.

I want a satisfying ending to the movies I watch and the stories I read. And I want the authors to tie up all loose ends. A few years ago, I read a book by one of the top selling mystery authors in the country. I’d never read any of his books, but since a friend gave it to me, I felt obligated to read it. This one was written in collaboration with someone else. It was okay, not great. There were three different mysteries intertwined. In two of the mysteries, the crime was solved and we found out who the villain was. The third story was left hanging, as if the authors forgot about that thread. It was just dropped. We never learned “whodunit.” I wanted to throw the book across the room. I’d read through the whole thing and I didn’t get closure.

A while back I read a book by one of my favorite authors (I don’t want to name names here). He writes suspense. This book was great with an intriguing premise: that Hitler won WW2. However, much as I love this author and as much as I enjoyed that book, the ending left me hanging. Did the protagonist die to sacrifice himself for the greater good? The author never said. I suspect he left it open on purpose so the readers could come to their own conclusion. That bothered me. I wanted to know in no uncertain terms what happened to the hero.

On a related topic, a playwright whose name escapes me, famously said something like this: If you have a gun in the first scene, you’d better use it by the last scene. If you put a character, an animal, an item of importance in the story, you’d better let us know what happens to that character, animal, item. Don’t insert someone or something, give it importance, then forget all about it.

Case in point: years ago I read a romantic suspense by one of my favorite romance authors. This book was very good. The heroine had a cat who figured prominently throughout the story. At the end, the villain set fire to the heroine’s house. The heroine escaped, and the ending showed her getting medical attention, the hero by her side, and the bad guy in custody. But no mention was made of her cat who was in the house with her. I kept wondering, “What about the cat?” Did it die in the fire? Did it escape? I read and reread the last chapter trying to find the cat, but nothing. It would have taken just one line to let us know. Something like, “Fluffy had escaped too, and was her usual playful self.” This was in the days before the Internet. If I read it now, I’d find a way to contact that author and ask her about the cat. Some may think I’m a crazy cat lady, and maybe I am, but the heroine’s cat was woven all through the story and given importance. And then it was dropped.


A top-selling crime author who lives in my area writes a weekly column for a local paper. Recently, she gave a very moving tribute to her elderly neighbor who’d died. She’d talked about him and his cat in other columns. In her tribute, she never mentioned the cat. I contacted her through her website and asked what happened to the neighbor’s cat. She wrote a very nice reply saying she’d taken the cat and it was living with her and her menagerie of pets. Then, a few weeks later, she wrote in her column that she’d had so many people write her to ask about the cat and she wanted to assure all of us the cat was fine and living with her. So, I’m not the only one who asks, “What about the cat?” We readers want closure.

I just finished a terrific book by another favorite author. The book was great, and I couldn’t put it down. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book that captured my interest the way this one did. In the book, the heroine has a cat whom she loves very much. When the heroine is in jeopardy, the hero wants to take her to his hotel to protect her. But she doesn’t want to leave her cat. He tells her a cat can stay alone overnight. True. Then, the story goes on and the heroine is living at the hotel for at least two days and nothing is said about the cat. Again, I’m thinking, “What about the cat? Doesn’t she have to feed it and clean the litter box?” Finally, the hero says he’s taking her back to her place to feed the cat. And the heroine goes something like this, “OMG. I forgot about my cat.” I love this author, but I think she messed up a little here. If that heroine loved her cat as much as the author made us think, she wouldn’t have forgotten about it. I wonder if her editor realized nothing was said about the cat and inserted that. At the end, when the hero and heroine are in Hawaii together, the heroine thinks about the friend who’s watching her cat. At least in this book, I got closure. The cat was okay.


Despite my emphasis on cats, I do have a bigger point. Give the readers closure, a satisfying ending, and if you put in a pet or a friend or an item and give it importance, don’t drop it from the story. Readers like me take notice. You don’t want your readers asking, “What about the cat? Or the dog? Or the necklace? Or the friend?”

What do you think? How do you feel about books and movies without proper endings? Have you ever wondered after watching a movie or reading a book, “What about the (insert name here)?” Can you tell us about them?

Now, for a bit of promo, and I promise closure. 

Luke's Temptation, Redemption, Book 3, is available for pre-order at Amazon for the special pre-order price of 99 cents through the pre-order period that ends Sept. 30, 2014. Books 1 and 2, Logan's Redemption and Franco's Fortune, are also on sale for 99 cents through the pre-order period.


Danger and desire brew a volatile mix as two wounded souls fight to stay alive and find love.

Anita Santisi is an independent, successful businesswoman with a wounded heart. And some very bad people after her. Break-ins, home invasions, and attempted abductions have turned her comfortable life dangerous. Can she trust her mysterious, sexy new neighbor, Luke Corrado, or is he behind the criminal acts?

Special Agent Luke Corrado carries his guilt like a loaded Glock. A woman he loved was murdered because of him. Now, on a new undercover assignment to protect Anita Santisi, he’s determined to redeem himself. What he doesn’t expect is that Anita will tempt him to let down the barriers around his heart.

As Anita and Luke find themselves in ever-increasing danger, they must fight to stay alive. Will they open their hearts to each other before it’s too late?



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Interview of Author Sherry Ewing


Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Sherry Ewing.

Latest Book: If My Heart Could See You
Buy Links:
Amazon
iBooks
Inktera
Kobo
Nook
Scribd

BIO:
Sherry Ewing is a self-published author who writes historical and paranormal romance novels to awaken the soul one heart at a time. Her debut historical romance, If My Heart Could See You, hit Amazon’s top ten bestseller list only two days after the paperback release. Always wanting to write a novel but busy raising her children, she finally took the plunge in 2008 and wrote her first Regency. She is a national and local member of Romance Writers of America since 2012 and is currently editing her to be released soon second novel, For All of Ever. When Sherry is not busy writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist.

Q: How did you celebrate publishing your first book?
A: I celebrated with my mom and daughter with a very nice bottle of wine.

Q: What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
A: Since I have a day job, my writing doesn’t start until the evening. I write when I can but don’t have a specific word count I strive for each day.

Q: What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
A: Every month I attend my local Romance Writers of America meeting that I joined in 2012. It gets me inspired to write. I have an extremely supportive chapter and am thankful to be associated with this group. I also attend the yearly conference if I’m able.

Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: Sometimes both but I’ve been listening to Whisper of a Thrill from Meet Joe Black. I seem to do my best writing with this on in the background.

Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: My daughters have chosen the majority of my character names. I like that they’ve contributed to my work.

Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: Have at least three books ready to go, or for editing, before you start your publishing process.

Q: If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?
A: Never give up on your dreams. It may take a while, but if you want it enough, it will happen.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing that you haven’t yet tried?
A: My critique partner and I have a contemporary rolling around in our heads.

Q: Any part of a book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle, or end?
A: The sagging middle drives me nuts and always has me wondering if my manuscript is good enough or if I should scrap the whole thing.

Q: How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: At the moment I have at least another five stories going on inside my head of where I want my characters to go. No lists, no writing them down, but I have told my older daughter my ideas since I’ve passed the writing gene down to her!

Fun Stuff:
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: I love Christmas and watching the faces of my kids when they open their presents.

Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I sometimes break out into random dance and I snort when I laugh too hard.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: An airline stewardess.

Q: Favorite food.
A: Sushi.

Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: The birth of my children.

Q: Favorite drink.
A: A nice red wine.

Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: Chilly winter nights

Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: Standing on the battlement wall of Bamburgh Castle in England.

Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: The ability to time travel.

Where to Find Me:
Website & Blog: http://www.sherryewing.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sherryewingauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sherry_ewing
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Ewing/e/B00LP3CVXK
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8382315.Sherry_Ewing
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/SherryLEwing

BLURB:
When you’re enemies, does love have a fighting chance?

For Amiria of Berwyck, defeat does not come easily as she watches her home and clan being ripped asunder. When the very enemy who has laid siege to her home demands her fealty, she will do whatever it takes to protect her people including a hastily concocted ruse that quickly begins to unravel. All too soon, she starts to question whether she can forgive herself for betraying those she has sworn to protect.

Dristan of Blackmore, champion knight of King Henry II, has a reputation to uphold as the Devil’s Dragon. After his invading army conquers Berwyck castle, he sets out to manage the newly claimed estate by training its knights in the art of proper defense. At first, everything appears as it should be, or is it? Betrayed by those he believed he could trust, he must first set aside his anger before he can make room in his heart for love.

Together they are tied by an unspoken bond. As they begin to rebuild the land and unite their people, forces beyond their control attempt to tear apart their fragile truce and only time will tell if love will forever bring them together.

EXCERPT:
Merciful heavens, what was she to do? His words hung in the air between them, and her consciousness frantically screamed to find an answer to give him and quickly! Yet, no rebuttal came to her frozen mind as Amiria stood there in total indecisiveness. She knew she could not allow him to get too close on the off chance he might recognize her, even though her face was clean from the grime and mud usually gracing it these days. ’Twas the words he uttered, haunting her as he had spoken them to her once afore, although she was now in a different guise.

“Somehow, I do not think giving you my name would be in my best interest, my lord,” she said quietly and took but an instant more to gaze at him afore her eyes became downcast. Her mind was racing, thinking of only how to escape the predicament she now found herself in with no horse to hasten her journey.

Dristan gave a soft chuckle at her words. “Mayhap not, but ’twould please me to know it just the same.”

“It matters not to me if you are pleased, so I will keep it unto myself I think,” she retorted sharply.

“I see a task afore me that I might coax it from your lips,” he prompted, taking a step in her direction. For each footstep he advanced, Amiria took one in the opposite direction towards the forest ’til he halted.

“Call it as you see fit, but ’twill still not gain you what you seek.” Amiria watched as he laughed out loud, but she could not find the humor of the situation from her words she had spoken.

“I do so love a challenge,” he argued humorously.

“Do you?” she asked sarcastically. “And what, pray tell, do you achieve if you should know my name, my lord?”

Dristan looked on her with a slight smile set upon his handsome face. “Why I achieve the name of a beautiful woman I would like to know better.”

She contemplated him again, wondering at his ploy. “And how know you I am beautiful with just one glimpse of my face?”

“Anyone with eyes in his head could tell, fair damsel, you are indeed a fine looking woman.”

“They say beauty is not everything, my lord Dristan. Perchance I have a shrewish nature, as I have been told such afore.”

“Somehow, I think not.”

“Do you?” she repeated the same words of but seconds ago.

He interrupted her. “Besides, ’tis not fair you should know who I am, but I am not granted the same.”

“Any and all would be a fool not to know the Devil’s Dragon of Blackmore now claims his lair in Berwyck Castle.”

“Then you have heard of me and my reputation has proceeded me,” he cajoled.

“Aye, my lord, I have indeed knowledge of you.”

“I see you do not fear me, as some do upon first encountering me. Why is that, I wonder, when you in truth do not know my nature?” he questioned honestly.

“I fear no man,” she answered, as she raised her head defiantly with a flip of her head, “or beast for that matter!”

Dristan threw his head back and laughed. It sounded pleasant to her ears. “Well said, damsel. Mayhap in you I have finally met my match! Still you have me at a loss mistress...besides not giving me your name, that is.”

Monday, September 22, 2014

In how many languages can you say COCKED AND LOADED?

Pretty soon it will be a lot of them because the foreign rights have just been sold to a company that will translate it into multiple languages for the Far East and Europe. Am I excited? Are you kidding? I'm still smiling!

And here's a taste of this hot, sexy western for you.

When Jamie Randall kicked the dust of Amen, Texas from her heels, she swore neither the town nor the bad boy she'd given her virginity to would never see her again. Yet here she is, returning under a cloud of disgrace, not a penny to her name or a soul to welcome her--least of all the sheriff. Jamie Randall—a decade hadn’t lessened the bitter taste of her name. Zane Cameron had only been good enough for sultry summer sex. But the local hell raiser is the sheriff now and determined to run her hot little body off the worthless piece of land her father left her and right out of his sleepy little town. Just as soon as he scratched a twelve-year-old itch.  Explosive passion changes Zane’s mind, but before they can explore their feelings, strange events threaten Jamie and it becomes obvious someone else wants her out of the way.  Dirty money, cold-blooded murder, and deadly secrets interfere with Zane’s plans to convince Jamie to give him a second chance.



He closed the last little bit of distance between them, his eyes burning into hers like twin torches. Then his mouth was on hers, just like the day before, burning her, sucking the life out of her while infusing it back into her body. She wanted to hit him, push him away, but her traitorous arms wounds up around his neck and clung to him, holding his head to hers. Her panties were already soaked, and that old familiar quiver raced through the muscles of her cunt.
His tongue probed her mouth, taking, taking. There was nothing gentle about this kiss. And to her shame she gave as good as she got. She couldn’t have moved away if her life was threatened, not even when his hands slid down to reach under her T-shirt and cup her breasts through the thin cotton of her bra. One touch of those rough-silken lips and those big hot hands and her brain simply melted away.
His tongue had a life of its own, probing into the recesses of her mouth, licking, tasting, teasing. His fingers pinched her nipples just hard enough to cause a shiver of pleasure-pain. She hung onto him for dear life, drowning in the sensations that assaulted her body.
The harder he tugged on her nipples, the more he plundered her mouth, the weaker her legs became until she wasn’t sure she could stand at all if she took her arms from his neck.
When every bit of breath had left her lungs, he lifted his mouth just a fraction, tracing the edge of her lips with the tip of his tongue. “Jamie?”
“Mmm?” She forced her eyes open.
“You using your old bedroom?”
“What? My bedroom?”
He extricated himself from her grip and lifted her in his arms. “Your bedroom. I’m going to fuck the life out of you, and I don’t want to do it on that ratty old couch.”
She could barely focus enough to from clitoris to vaginal opening and back, gathering the cream she knew was gushing from her. He lifted the finger to his mouth and sucked on it.
“Taste good, too. Just as I’ve remembered point toward the stairs. “Yes. Same room. Second door on the right.”
Later, when her brain kicked into gear again and she could pluck one rational thought from it, she’d wonder why she hadn’t just ordered Zane Cameron out of her house. He certainly wouldn’t take her by force. That wasn’t his style. No, even after all this time, he knew just which buttons to push and how to push them, and in an instant all her defenses were down. But at the moment, all she could think of was how good he felt next to her and the explosion his kisses had set off in her body.
He held her against his chest as he took the steps two at a time. Using his foot, he pushed the door to her room open and in seconds had her flat on her back on her clean white sheets, legs dangling over the edge of the bed. She opened her eyes again to see him staring at her with a look of intense hunger on his face, and instantly heat warmed her blood.
With hands that shook slightly, he pulled the T-shirt over her head, disposed of her bra, and stripped her shorts and panties from her, tossing everything to the floor. Then he bent her knees and spread her thighs wide, exposing her to his ravenous gaze.
He drew in a deep, ragged breath, and let it out slowly. “God, Jamie, you have the most gorgeous cunt in the world.”



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