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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sad

I should be at the NEC RWA conference today…actually I should’ve been there yesterday. Only I’ve been down with another stomach bug which landed me in the hospital yet again. I swear the weather needs to improve and get rid of all the sickness. After spending a day in the hospital they sent me home with strict instructions for bed rest, along with more anti-nausea meds. I was told to drink plenty of fluids and believe me the DH is making sure I’m doing that. If I drown you’ll know why! Lol
So instead of mingling with some amazing authors, going to my agent appointment and joining in on the book signing I’ll be sitting home dreaming of next year. Not to mention that I missed out spending a night at the haunted Hawthorne Hotel.
The nice women on the committee said they'd still put my books out and make arrangements with the bookstore if someone wanted an autographed copy.
Reading and edits for Sex on the Beach are on the agenda for today – oh and I’m sure lots of water.
Wishing all my friends at NEC a fun filled date.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Guest Blogger - Cindy Spencer Pape



Please give a warm welcome to a multi-talented author and an all around great person - Cindy Spencer Pape

When was your first sale? June of 2006. So almost 5 years now!

What does your family think of your writing career? My boys are in college now—they mostly think it’s funny and kind of cool. They have no interest in reading my girly books but some of their friends, or friend’s mothers do. Mostly they like it when I get checks. My father is proud as punch, and when my laptop died between my first and second sales, it was my dad who rushed to buy me a new one. My husband is ENORMOUSLY supportive, and has put up with a lot of frugal years while I’ve pursued this career. But no, he doesn’t read my books unless I need help with a fight scene, military protocol, or something like that. He does a great job with out of the blue ideas though.

Who are your books published with?
So far: Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, The Wild Rose Press, Total-E-Bound, and Resplendence Publishing. My agent and I are working on revisions with one other new publisher and she has another full manuscript out on submission.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers? I do. I have one critique partner who reads nearly everything I write. We send snippets back and forth almost every day. I also have a local group, a mixed bag of Science Fiction, fantasy, horror, YA, and romance authors, who meet every other week. They’re wonderful for keeping me on my toes and not letting me fall into lazy ruts.

Where do you dream of traveling to and why? Everywhere. Seriously, one of my strongest beliefs is that the one who goes the most places, meets the most people, and tries the most things, wins. Unfortunately in my life, careers and finances have never cooperated, so most of my travels have been through books, my own and others.

Does travel play in the writing of your books? Often. I like setting books close to home, like my Urban Arcana series, set in Detroit, and my Geek Love series, set in a fictional small town in southern Michigan, but I also like to play with other places and settings. Thank heavens for tourism bureaus and other local information being available on the web.

What do you think makes a good story? In romance, particularly, you need a heroine you can relate to, a hero you can fall a little bit in love with, and a set of circumstances that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Also, the sex needs to be tempered with emotion. Love, not just passion, is at the heart of any romance story, erotic or otherwise.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? It varied from day to day. Even as an adult, I tried several other careers, from wildlife biology to politics before I settled on “author.”

What are your favorite TV shows? Right now? Castle, Big Bang Theory (what can I say, I’m a huge geek), Primeval, and Torchwood. And Jeopardy is a daily fix.

What songs are most played on your Ipod? Actually my MP3 player is a Sony, and my e-reader is a Nook. (wink) Probably Whiskey in the Jar and Fields of Athenry, just because those are songs I have on several different albums by several different bands. I listen to a lot of Irish pub music and Celtic punk rock.

What would we find under your bed? Dust rhinos. Lost socks. Random ponytail holders and pens—two things I leave everywhere. A box full of purses I rarely use, my husband’s mandolin, and a suitcase full of paintings done by his grandmother. Far more than we could ever find places for in the house, but we CAN’T throw them out!

Tell us about your current release. With pleasure! Photographs & Phantoms is a novella connected to my Gaslight Chronicles series at Carina Press. It’s available as a FREE download to celebrate this week being steampunk week at Carina. You can find it here http://bit.ly/f4Y09s. I had loads of fun writing it, and hope you enjoy the snippet below. Also, if you’re interested in my steampunk/fantasy world, the full length-novel Steam & Sorcery is also available from Carina Press. http://bit.ly/e8E6Lt

Where can we find you on the web?
Website: http://www.cindyspencerpape.com/
Blog: http://cindyspencerpape.blogspot.com/
Newsletter group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cspapenewsgroup/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/CindySPape
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cindy-Spencer-Pape-Books/102207923194253
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/cindyspencerpape

Anything else you’d like to say? Amber, thanks so much for having me here. It was great to meet you at Romanticon last fall, and I’m delighted to call you a friend!
Amber: Awww, I'm thrilled to call you friend too.

Photographs & Phantoms
A Gaslight Chronicles Novella
Available as a Free Download from Carina Press
April 25, 2011
Click here to pre-order.
Blurb: Brighton, 1855

As a member of the Order of the Round Table, Kendall Lake is overqualified to be investigating strange phenomena at a seaside photography studio. But since the photographer is related to the Order’s most powerful sorcerer, Kendall reluctantly boards a dirigible to Brighton.

Amy Deland is haunted by a shadow that appears in some of her recent portraits. In each case, the subject died within days of the sitting. Does she have her grandmother’s gift of foresight, or has she somehow caused the deaths?

As Kendall and Amy search for answers, their investigation draws them together in a most improper way. But it seems the evil presence in the studio is determined to keep them apart…


Excerpt: PG

A young woman in a simple but attractive navy day dress stood in the doorway, waving away the customers. She was hatless, with shining, honey-brown hair in a simply braided coronet. She looked up at Kendall and quirked one neat brow above a pair of remarkable eyes, so deep a blue they were almost violet, and lifted one corner of her full mouth into a half smile. “Good afternoon, sir. Why don’t I believe you’re here for me to take your portrait?” The accent was almost American, but softer and with a faint French overtone that matched the name Deland.

“Because your neighborhood tends to discourage clients with full wallets?” He found himself returning her dry tone and wry smile. A neatly lettered sign on the door said simply A. Deland, Photographer. “Or perhaps just because I’m a trifle older than the bulk of your clientele?” He’d glanced past her into the small foyer of her studio—most of the portraits hanging on the wall were of children, or families at the very least.

“True, though I do wedding and funeral portraits also, and landscapes. Perhaps you’re about to be married?” She crossed her arms under her rather impressive bust and leaned against the doorframe. The sailor-style blouse and slim hoops of her skirts allowed her more freedom of movement than the tight bodices and wide crinolines currently in vogue among Kendall’s social circle. Even in such understated clothing, he found her enchantingly feminine—except for the lines of strain that bracketed her soft lips and creased the corners of her eyes.

“Not that I’m aware of, Miss Deland.”

“And you are…?” Amusement twitched briefly at the corners of her lips.

“Sorry.” Good God, he’d been staring like a gobsmacked lad. He held out his hand. “Kendall, Lord Lake, at your service. I believe Lord Drood told you I was coming?”

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday

Blogger has been giving me issues for a few weeks now. I can’t change the font size or color…can’t use bold or Italics and yesterday it wouldn’t allow me to publish my post. I could save it as a draft, but no publishing it. So I wasn't able to wish everyone a Happy Easter.
I came to blogger because I found it easier to use than my wordpress blog. Now I’m not so sure. Maybe I’ll delete this blog and go back to wordpress.
Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. We traveled this past weekend and visited lots of my family. Now it’s back to work today.

Happy Monday.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Katalina Leon New Release

Today one of my dearest friends has a new release. She's on my auto-buy list. She always manages to amaze me with her intriguing plots and this book will be no different. Here's a taste of what you'll find in Sugar Roux Voodoo.



http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9273-sugar-roux-voodoo.aspx


Blurb:


New Orleans, 1834. Lark La Beau is a green-eyed beauty and respected beneficent voodoo priestess with the sometimes uncooperative gift of clairvoyance. Captain Valcour Curry is a debonair, larger-than-life buccaneer with ambition to burn and a taste for fine things. Following a whirlwind romance with Lark, he disappears at sea, leaving Lark with a riverboat and a child to rear—alone.
A guilty act of piracy causes Valcour to fall victim to a shapeshifting magician who practices the dark art of soul-swapping. For five years Valcour has been enslaved as an emotionless zombie with no memory of his loved ones or past. From dusk to dawn he is cursed to toil in the cane fields while the evil magician uses his soul to lure women and have his brutal way with them.
Lark will risk hell and journey to the oppressive Broken Oak Plantation to break the curse. It’s a terrifying place. Her only tools to call Valcour’s lost soul back to life are voodoo and the sensual power of love.





An Excerpt From: SUGAR ROUX VOODOO
Copyright © KATALINA LEON, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Chapter One
Mississippi River, New Orleans, October 1834
Lark reluctantly picked up the sad, little bundle of tattered fabric, human hair and tiny animal skulls and handed it back to her disappointed client. “I won’t do this and you’d regret it if I did.” She paused. “I know your heart’s broken, chere, but that sort of revenge is always wrong. I don’t do that kind of magic, so don’t ask.”
A bitter frown creased the woman’s face as she accepted the rejected juju bundle into her hand.
Lark allowed the disappointed woman a moment of silence to reflect.
The riverboat’s massive paddlewheel thunked loudly against the murky water of the Mississippi as it slowly steamed upriver.
The woman parted her lips to protest the returned bundle at the exact moment the shrill, double blast of the Sugar Roux Voodoo Queen’s steam whistle blew and drowned out her words before she could even release them into the riverboat’s elegant parlor.
Lark’s palm rose in the air, silently signaling the woman to hold her words until the whistle finished blasting. She reclined against the wingback chair, adorned with cypress armrests carved into the likeness of snarling lions’ heads. Her fingertips absently stroked against the lions’ polished heads as the whistles blew. She knew it was senseless to attempt to speak over them, so she waited.
Lark’s head casually tilted against the nappy, red velvet upholstery as she silently studied the offensive little bundle in the woman’s hands. She drew a tense breath, knowing once again she had been misunderstood and placed in an uncomfortable situation.
The whistle grew silent, but the lingering echo continued to ring in her ears. She leaned forward and gently confronted the woman. “Who told you I would do such a thing?”
“N-no one.” The distraught woman stuttered. “Everyone knows your name. You’re the queen of the river. Your reputation is legend. I know you could do what I’ve asked. You’ve helped many others. Why won’t you help me?” Fresh tears trickled down the woman’s cheeks. “I’ve been wronged!”
Lark rose slowly from the throne-like chair. Her aubergine satin dress and layers of crisp, horsehair crinoline crinkled softly as she stood. “I would never deliberately harm an innocent woman.”
The woman scoffed. “She’s not innocent. I can assure you of that. She’s a rouge- cheeked-help-yourself hussy!”
“I’m going to pour you a bourbon.” Lark spoke gently. “You’re going to drink it, and you and I are going to talk.”
She walked to an elegant, glass cabinet and removed a slender, cut-crystal decanter of amber liquid and poured a generous slosh into a crystal goblet that caught the flickering candlelight. A splintered burst of tiny rainbows cast against the lacquered walls of the parlor. She ceremoniously handed the bourbon to the anxious woman.
The woman eagerly accepted the goblet with narrowed eyes. “Did you cast a roux on this?” she asked hopefully. “Is the potion enchanted? Will this bring my man back?”
Lark sadly shook her head. “No roux. It’s not enchanted potion, it’s just good bourbon.”
The woman looked painfully disappointed but took a sip anyway. Her lips tensed against the bourbon, as if it burned. “I can find a way to pay you more if that’s the problem?”
“It’s not the problem,” Lark spoke firmly. “I never charge anyone. The most I ask of others is that they do a kind service for someone else in need.”
A dismissive frown darkened the woman’s face. “I’m the one in need.” She gulped the bourbon in a single swallow.
A moment of embattled silence settled between the women. The riverboat’s massive paddlewheel churned slowly beyond the partially opened window, carrying a stream of cool, moist air into the overheated parlor suite.
Lark’s fingers fussed with an errant hairpin and carefully tucked a falling curl back in place. Her glossy, chestnut-brown ringlets spilled over the crown of her head and spiraled past her shoulders.
The woman slumped in the chair, sobbing quietly and slowly rocking back and forth.
“Listen to me carefully.” Lark gazed at the teary-eyed woman fidgeting nervously before her. The woman had puffy, crimson rings surrounding her eyes from days of crying. Lark spoke calmly. “I don’t do the sort of magic you want with good reason—it ends up being bad for everyone—especially you.”
Defiance and disappointment burned in the woman’s eyes. “How so? Who’s going to know?”
“You must understand.” Lark delicately folded her hands across her heart. “I’m a sworn beneficent. I don’t hurt no one—ever. It is against my code of duty.” She paused. “I must warn you, seeking revenge against the woman who stole your man will most likely harm you. I strongly advise you abandon such plans.”
The woman bit down on her fist in anguish. “I don’t want her to suffer—much. I just want her dead! I want my man back. He’s my man. I had him first. Why won’t you help me?”
Lark moved closer to the woman and placed her hand on her shoulder. “Chere, she didn’t make your man leave you, he left on his own for his own reasons.”
The woman glanced up at Lark in utter desperation. “It’s unjust. I gave that man my youth, my heart and my trust. There must be something you can do?”
Lark slowly shook her head. “I wish there was, but love doesn’t work that way. It’s often unfair and others are always free to do as they like. It’s not right, but that’s the way it is.”
Lark leaned closer. “Can I tell you a secret? If you can forgive him and allow your heart to heal, you can be happy again, and everyone loves a happy person who knows how to forgive. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if a better man with a loyal heart came into your life and filled the empty space.”
The woman looked appalled. “I don’t want another man. I want my man. I gave him everything—he owes me!”
“I agree, he does owe you, but most likely it’s a debt you’ll never have the satisfaction of being repaid. You have to be brave and walk on without him.”
The woman collapsed in tears. “I’m afraid of being without him. Even when it wasn’t good, at least I knew I belonged to him and I had some idea of what the future held. Now I’ve got nothing!”
Lark gently patted the woman’s wild head of unkempt hair. Obviously, the woman had done nothing to care for herself in recent days. “I understand. I really do. I’ve had a man I loved more than my life leave me.”


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In a happy place

The paperwork is finalized for Sex On The Beach. My editor said I should receive edits right after Easter. I had to fill out the cover art request last night. In the space where they ask what do you consider are must-haves on your cover I simply stated: The beach and Angelo – topless of course! What?? I could drool over his body all day long. Yes, he’s young enough to be my son, well almost.
The DH just shakes his head at me when I tell him these things. At RomantiCon when he saw Angelo he said Oh I know him; he’s all over our house. :o) Yup! Though all the cavemen were super hot and friendly, I have a thing for tall, dark and ultra sexy.
With the cover art request behind and final proofs for Hit Me I’m writing again. I had another productive morning. It could be the kids are on vacation so my youngest is visiting family in NY. My daughter and her kids have been gone for two days. I have quietness to think.
Normally I need total silence when writing, but I’ve been listening to my IPod lately. It hasn’t been distracting, but comforting. I go through my phases I guess.
Now I’m going to finish reading Tessie Bradford’s Pampering Jessica. I’m halfway through and I’m loving the story. I’m determined to finish it this morning. Besides, Shoshanna Evers has a new book out today Chastity Belt. I love her books, so I want to read that….and Katalina Leon has a new release Friday so…
I hope my royalty check is big this month!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Special Guest - Cerise DeLand


Blurb:
What woman wouldn’t crave an annual erotic, exotic rendezvous?
With a demanding lover who’s proven over and over again that he’s as scintillating and devoted in bed as out, Corin Campbell tears open her instructions for her yearly tryst with her insatiable Mr. Jones. Eager to experience what heart-pounding excitements Mr. Jones has created for them both this year in Paris, Corin knows that the Chinese love balls, her leather outfit, the masseur, the caviar and the five exhibitionists are only prelude to hours of intoxicating delight in Jones’s arms. What can he teach her this year about the enduring charm of his loving and the delights only he can summon from her?

Dear Reader, This weekend in Paris offers nibbles of exhibitionism, BDSM, M/F and M/F/M/F/M. C’est bon!


Buy link: ME AND MR. JONES ~ http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9268-me-and-mr-jones.aspx

Excerpt:

But when she told the desk clerk she was here to join Mister Jones, he nodded politely as if he understood the nature of her appearance here. He must, she assumed, because he did not ask for her passport or any other identification, as most hotels did for security. Mister Jones, Corin concluded once more, had done a marvelous job of preparing the receptionist staff for her arrival.
“Mademoiselle, s’il vous plait, please follow this gentleman to your room.”
Grateful and eager as a cat now, she walked to the elevators and rode up in the gilded little cage to the designated floor. Would Mister Jones be here? Would she have to wait much longer to see him? Have him kiss her? Caress her? Tell her how he’d missed her?
“Mademoiselle?” the bellboy drew her attention as the doors swished open. Then, he led her down the corridor. At the end, he unlocked the door, deposited her luggage in a large closet to one side of the expansive foyer and led her to the sitting room. In the middle of the floor, he stopped short. She stood to one side of him, her nipples beading, her pussy swimming in fresh cream, her heart pounding.
“Is there anything else I may do for you, Monsieur?” he asked the man seated in the far corner in a large red velvet chair.
“No, thank you, you may leave,” said the rakish blond creature, yet his green gaze absorbed only her.
Long delicious moments passed as the bellboy left and the man in the chair took in her appearance from the tips of her black suede knee-high boots to the long black river of her hair, her pouting mouth and her eyes.
“You stun me,” he told her in that bass voice that rubbed her nipples raw with need each time he spoke so soft and low.
“As do you. Your instructions have been irritating, darling.”
One side of his mouth drifted up. “Is that all?”
“Never all.”
“Tell me then.” He threaded his fingers together, twiddling his thumbs. Self-satisfied bastard.
“Demanding.” She took a step forward. “Exciting. Inventive.”
“You were surprised?”
“I was.”
He nodded, his ash blond hair catching rays of the afternoon sun, his crisp white dress shirt brilliant in the lush d├ęcor of whites, black and regal red. “I am gratified.”
“Would you care to be more gratified?”
In assent, the other side of his mouth hitched up. Here was her Mister Jones with the grin that he wore only for her. The full appreciation of life that destroyed the stern-faced businessman and brought forth her lover. Corin’s Lover, he called himself on these rendezvous when he did not refer to himself as simply Jones.
She spun in a three-sixty to view their surroundings. The sitting room was sumptuous, even more so than the spa she’d left minutes before. The bedroom, she could see at one side, lay beyond. And the edge of a huge mattress beckoned. But she knew she could not, would not spoil their fun by running in and throwing herself on it. Mister Jones had worked so long to create this year’s rendezvous, she couldn’t simply tear her clothes off and beg him to fuck her. She would be a good girl, go along for the anticipation of fulfillment.
She strolled forward, a slow seductive roll of her hips, her pussy gushing in more cream at the sight of him. Her nipples hard with need at the mere hope he might soon lick her and suck her there. When she drew near him, she nudged his knees apart with one of her own and stood between his legs. Here she could inhale his citrusy cologne, the one he wore now always, the one she had had privately blended for him two summers ago when she went to Grasse in the south of France on a site research trip for a film that had failed to green light. The fragrance of the lime and cedar on his skin had her swallowing hard in need. Yet, she did not touch him. Not yet.
“What would you like first?” she asked him, her voice failing her because her desire for him was so palpable. This was his weekend, his commands ordered the events. “Shall I open the last envelope?”
“That is for much later, cherie.”
“What then?” She leaned over, drawing near to his wide slashing mouth and the temptation she always yearned to taste first and often. “Shall I kiss you?”
“Remove your street clothes,” he told her in a hush.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Peace and Quiet and hopefully Sunshine

The weatherman is promising sunshine today. I swear I feel water logged. We’ve had so much rain and snow the cover to my pool collapsed and is now sitting in the bottom of my pool. I can’t pull it out so the DH will have to work on that this weekend. I suppose now’s the best time to open the pool! LOL I know the weather isn’t warm enough for swimming but I can hope.
I love Thursday’s. The DH goes into the office and my daughter and her children usually get out of the house for the day. That means a quiet day for Amber. Work is normally slow – an added bonus.
I need some quiet to get writing done. I have one book out for submission and nothing waiting in the wings. I’d like to have something to sub soon.
Today I’m blogging about comfort zones over at Romance Books R Us
http://romancebooksrus.blogspot.com/2011_04_01_archive.html?zx=bbf49fd213523f58
Drop in and leave a comment.
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Contract

Monday I received a contract for a book I wrote last summer. I sent off the paperwork yesterday so hopefully I’ll be able to share the DEETS with you next week. Other than that the writing has been slow. I’m talking snail pace slow. It’s like pulling teeth to get this current wip written. Maybe it’s the characters, maybe it’s the plot or maybe it’s the dreaded dreary weather that won’t seem to lift. I know April showers bring May flowers, but I want some sunshine. We had a new landscaper here the other day to give us some quotes and I have pansies that bloomed again. He was totally surprised – so was I to be honest. He asked where I bought them and I told him either Home Depot or Lowes. He laughed and said super flowers. So currently my flower beds are half full. Not all of them came back to life. Once we get a break in weather I’ll plant some new flowers. I’m getting things ready to attend the NEC RWA conference at the end of the month. Time seemed to slip away from me and I’m just realizing I need to gather my promo stuff. Yikes! Less than three weeks away. You wouldn’t mind, but we’re traveling the weekend before to go see family in NY for Easter. Off to work the dreaded day job. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Guest Interview - LJ DeLeon

Give a warm welcome to my guest LJ DeLeon Tell us about your favorite character from your books.

Now this just a mean question. LOL All the characters, even the villains, are my children. Do you like one child more than another? Well, maybe, but you would never admit it. I will go so far as to say I love Sabina. She isn’t the nicest character, and I had to beat her into submission because she wants to take over not only each book she is in but also rule Earth. While she is a bad girl, she would say, “I’m not evil, I’m just written that way.” :o) In truth, her character arc is the one that shows the greatest change over the Warriors For Light series and has proven to be a favorite of my beta readers.

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

As an Army brat and then in my adult life, I’ve lived all over the world. England, Scotland, France, and Italy are my favorites. I love the history, food, and yes, people. I’ve been to Turkey once, and would kill to go back. It’s an interesting country, one of dichotomies. It’s religious yet outward looking, because it’s a trading society. If you’ve come to spend money, they open their arms.
Tell us about your current release.

The first three books in the Warriors For Light series are being released within days of one another. Warrior’s Rise, 3/22/11; Dragon Child, 3/25/11. In Warrior’s Rise Fae-human half-breed, Deva Morgan discovers her destiny is to lead the Army of Light against the Dark Lord of the Abyss and his minions, to save Earth and Otherworld from the forces of evil. Dragon Child continues the saga with the story of Steve, a wereleopard, and Moira. Sorry, I can’t tell you too much about Moria without giving a spoiler.

Tell us about your next release.

My next releases will be Absolution, May 2011. This is Luc’s story in the Warriors For Light series. I’ll also be bringing out a short novella about Marissa and Quinn in June. The Ultimate Game on 8/29/11. This is the first book in The Turner Conquests series. I’m also releasing two Warriors For Light books in late November 2011—Sophie’s Challenge and Kate’s Army and two more short novellas in September 2011 and December 2011.

Who is your favorite author?

The list of my favorite authors is long. Here are a few: Nalini Singh - The Guild Hunter Series and her Psy-Changeling Series; Marjorie Liu - Maxine Kiss Series; Ilona Andrews - The Edge and The Kate Daniels Series; Rob Thurman - Cal Leandros Series

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Keeping my butt in a chair and actually writing. It is amazing the things I find to do when I should be writing. A critical thing for me is to never write in a room with the TV or radio on.

What does your family think of your writing career?


They love my writing. When angry, I make the person a demon, kill them off, and find all my tension has disappeared. It is amazing how mellow one becomes when the source of their irritation is gone, poof. I mean demons turn to ash when killed. So, as the demon blows away in the wind, so does my anger.


Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I have both a critique partner and beta readers. My critique partner, is the fantastic author KH LeMoyne, who is a not only a Godsend, but keeps me on track. KH spots every weakness or overlooked point where I can increase the tension or emotion and haven’t. As for beta readers, I think it is critical to have readers who have never read your material. During the rewrite process, passages are cut, moved, or deleted. But your critique partner’s subconscious remembers this information and fills it in. The beta reader comes to the book clean. S/he has no knowledge. I have beta readers ranging in age from 23 to 67. One is a former fiction editor of 27 years. Another is a young man in his early twenties, doing postgraduate work in Japan, and is a lover of fantasy, paranormal, and anime. So when he asks, “When’s the next book?” I know I’ve hit the right note between fantasy and romance.

Plotter or Pantser? Why?

I am a plotter initially but a hybrid when I write.For Warriors For Light, I have plotted out the entire series. Yes, a few books have been added, but they are within the series arc. I don’t think you can write fantasy by the seat of your pants. It involves world building and, in my case, a multitude of character over the series, interacting at one point or another with each other. I have a series bible, a glossary, four worlds—Earth, the Abyss, Otherworld, and hIfreann, the Goddess’ domain where her archangel Paladins and the shapeshifting Saraphs—fire-breathing dragons—live.

What was the scariest moment of your life?


When I lived in Madrid, Spain and worked for the CIA as an Intelligence Analyst. This was during a period when terrorism was everpresent in everyone’s mind. While there, I witnessed three assassinations and experienced a homemade rocket style bomb next to the Embassy. They were targeting the roof of the Embassy. It landed on a car parked in front of the building and blew out the first floor windows. You never knew who was going to be next.


Warrior's Rise Blurb:


For Fae-human half-breed Deva Morgan life as she knows it changes on her thirtieth birthday. One moment she’s a barkeep, the next she is a warrior fated to save Earth from the Dark Lord and his demon hoard. Shunned by both her races, she faces a danger-filled quest with few allies. Too bad her powers haven’t fully emerged or stabilized. For Deva it is life or death, on-the-job training with her companion, Padraig O’Neal, a Fae warrior with a shadowed past. Can he quiet the storm raging inside her, help her harness the growing power within her, and provide a barrier between Deva and a fatal outcome? Will their love be enough to save Deva and stop the Dark Lord’s demons from entering Earth?


Dragon Child Blurb: A fire-breathing dragon, Moira O'Neal, was exchanged at birth for a Fae princess. Discovering the truth, she escapes the cage of the royal court and joins forces with the sexiest wereleopard on Earthworld. She fights the urge to mate and the trap that comes with it as they race against time to find the missing princess and a master of the black arts who covets her power. Major Steve Taylor, a wereleopard in the Army For Light, partners with the impetuous Moira in the middle a dangerous mission where failure means all their deaths. Worse, his leopard decides Moira is his mate, leaving the man at war with his cat.





LJ’s website: http://www.ljdeleon.com/

Warriors Website & blog: http://www.warriorsforlight.com/

Monday, April 11, 2011

Addictions

I have many. One reared its ugly head last week. In the midst of another round of sickness roaming through our house I decided to distress with Jewel Quest. I played so much I didn’t watch television, didn’t write, didn’t blog. I didn’t do much but sit on the couch with my laptop and that vicious game. Yesterday I played until I had to go to my sister in laws baby shower. I paused my game until I got home and picked up where I left off. I continued playing until my eyes and head hurt. I finally said enough is enough. I quit, took some Tylenol and headed to bed. I made a choice NOT to play again today. I haven’t written in a week. I’m letting other things fall by the wayside. It’s unacceptable. This morning I woke up and wrote 1200 words. Production! I have a new release today and it deals with additions. Delia the heroine has an addiction to shopping. She cures what ails her with retail therapy. Only her therapy normally comes with a high price tag – a good paddling from Scott her husband. Scott only spanks his wife when her addiction gets out of control. Scott and Delia were first introduced to you in the Spank Me Twice Anthology. My story is Rein Me In. This story is called Love Revisited – Scott and Delia. Its available today from Noble Romance. http://www.nobleromance.com Hope you enjoy the story. I know I had a lot of fun writing it!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Desiree Holt Celebrating 100 Books

I'm Thrilled and Honored to be part of Desiree's celebration. I've read almost all of her 100 books. Her books are one of the reasons I decided to write erotica. :o)


DOWNSTROKE will be available April 8th with Ellora's Cave

Leave a comment here for Desiree. I will pick a name from the commenters for a winner of a choice from Desiree's backlist. Then, after you comment, go to http://www.desireeholt.com/ and enter the contest for the refurbished Acer netbook. You will also find a list there of all the other blogs participating in this celebration. Be sure to visit them and comment for more chances to win.


Blurb:

It’s been twenty years since security specialist Charley Roper and country star Dallas Creed had their bitter parting. Now a killer has brought them together again, but neither is ready for a reunion—despite signs that their explosive chemistry hasn’t waned with time. She can’t forget the feel of his hands on her body. He can’t forget the hot touch of her mouth. When they finally tumble into bed, the sex is just as good as they remember, hot enough to singe the sheets. But is it enough? Thrown together during an exhausting, frenzied concert tour, with a killer nipping at their heels, Dallas and Charley find themselves on a hot, suspenseful, erotic roller coaster ride. Can he convince her to trust her heart to him one more time, to reach out for a richer, deeper, more mature love? More importantly—can Charley keep Dallas alive long enough for either of them to enjoy a second chance?


And don't forget about her other books. Here's a HAWT Cougar Book.



Blurb:
Book four of the Cougar Challenge series. Buying a ranch on eBay was the wildest thing Autumn Kelley had ever done. Past forty, she’d pretty much written excitement out of her life. But then she discovers the ranch comes with a foreman who makes her pulse pound and could give her an orgasm just by looking at her. As if that isn’t enough, he has a friend equally as mouthwatering—and the two of them take Autumn on an erotic trip that outdoes any fantasy she could ever have imagined. If sex with one hot boy toy is fantastic, sex with two at the same time is a whole new level of amazing. But what happens when Autumn inevitably has to come down from the orgasmic high?

Excerpt:


An Excerpt From: HOT TO TROT Copyright © DESIREE HOLT, 2009 All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc. Chapter One Dear blog friends, Okay, I’ve done it this time. What we talked about at the erotic romance convention? Totally changing our lives? I know I’ve always been the safe one. The prim and proper one. The one who held back. But we agreed to make a change and wait until I tell you the change I made. I bought a ranch on eBay! That’s right. A cattle ranch in South Central Texas. Cashed in everything I had, sold my condo, quit my job and headed for Bypass, Texas. And let me tell you, a more fitting name for a bump in the road could never be found. But I got to the ranch, finally, and I nearly turned around and left. The pictures on eBay must have been taken someplace else because the ranch is the sorriest broken-down place you’ve ever seen. I barely was able to find one bedroom to stash my gear. It does, however, have Mitchell Brand, the former foreman who would make anyone’s mouth water. I could barely keep from drooling. Six foot four of hot hunkitude, with dark brown hair, blue eyes, a rugged face and a body that you itch to run your hands over. So my experience is limited. So what? I’d be more than a willing student to this guy. I took him to dinner in the nearest big town, to discuss business of course—quit laughing—and all I wanted to do was lose myself in those eyes. That and rip his clothes off. Yeah, that’s right. Prim and proper me wants to have hot sex with the man of everyone’s dreams. I know one thing. The ranch might be a mess but with Mitchell Brand there I’m in the right place. Stay tuned. Autumn * * * * * No one had ever told her South Central Texas was hotter than any place in hell. Even with the air conditioner on—and thank god it was a new one—Autumn Kelley still felt beads of perspiration on her skin. She swiped at her forehead with her arm and brushed back the few strands of honey-blonde hair that had come loose from the ponytail holder. Bypass, Texas had turned out to be just that, a wide place in the road that people passed by, little more than an intersection with a combination gas station-general store-diner. And the ranch! Oh yes. Sweetgrass Ranch. Where she planned to start her new life, amid the cows and horses and young—but not too young—cowboys. She could hardly believe she’d been the successful bidder on eBay, scrambling to get the cash before the seller changed his mind, or went to the next bidder. The day she drove down the bumpy gravel road, more than a week ago and saw it in its too, too awful flesh she wanted to cry. Or maybe slit her throat. The buildings and land were in terrible disrepair, the few cattle and horses wandering aimlessly around not much better. It was so far from what she’d bargained for. What she’d spent a huge chunk of money for. All she could think at that first glimpse was, What the hell do I do now? Had she lost her everlovin’ mind? A lone pickup, covered with dust, was the only vehicle in the parking area. Any hope it might belong to Henry McClain, the rat who’d swindled her into buying this place, disappeared when she remembered he’d told her he wouldn’t be there. Probably off on some island spending my hard-earned money. Of course, no one buys a ranch on eBay unless they’re nuts, right? But she’d needed a change so very desperately. If she hadn’t pushed herself to go to that erotic romance convention, she might never have broken out of her shell. She’d still be dating men who just as often as not, couldn’t get it up, and didn’t believe sex and imagination belonged together. She’d be hiding from the world in her sterile condo and working at a job she hated. Never have had the courage to take this leap of faith. At forty-one she was stuck in a holding pattern, unable to move back, too chicken to move forward. Just like, in many ways, the women she’d met at the convention. They were all about the same, gravitating toward each other as if drawn by invisible strings. She’d felt very lucky to hook up with them. They made her want more from life than she had. The last day, giddy with their new friendships and probably one too many margaritas, together they’d made a pact. Each of them would do something totally out of character to give her life color and excitement, to embrace sexual experiences they’d only read about until now. To test the waters with younger men who would certainly have more staying power than the men they were all used to. To not only push the boundaries but maybe erase them completely. One of the women who happened to be internet savvy even set up a blog where they could post about what they chose to do and keep in touch with each other. Empowered by the doors unlocked that she’d kept shut for years, she’d come home and plunged ahead. And in the months during which their friendship had strengthened, she’d gathered the courage to take a leap of faith. But the beginning had almost been the end. She sighed, stretching her tired muscles, as that first day slammed into her again. * * * * * Looking at the ranch when she pulled up next to the house she thought, Holy shit. What am I getting myself into? Buildings in a sad state of disrepair. A few scrawny cattle nibbling in the pasture nearest the house. Two horses swishing flies with their tails in the corral. She wanted nothing more than to get her hands on Henry McClain. She climbed out of the SUV, brushed a few stray hairs away from her face and straightened her shorts and tank top as best she could. Henry had told her the ranch hands were keeping the place running, no worries. She had all the legal papers in a folder in the SUV. All she had to do was find someone, introduce herself and take over. Yeah, right. And then she caught sight of a hunk straight out of the wettest wet dream, the most mouthwatering specimen of manhood she’d ever laid eyes on, heading toward her from the barn. She hoped this was the foreman Henry had mentioned. Mitchell Brand. Just looking at him was enough to make her nipples twinge and her crotch dampen. Ohmigod! I hope he’s planning to stay. Wait. I’ll find a way. She was already composing an email in her head to the ladies. Well over six feet, with broad shoulders, lean hips and a build she could tell was solid muscle beneath the dark t-shirt and worn jeans that clung to every line of his body. Most of his face was shadowed by the brim of the western hat he wore but she could still see the square line of his jaw. The first thing she thought was, I wonder how old he is. On legs only slightly unsteady she walked across the gravel to meet the man, holding out her hand. “Hello. I’m Autumn Kelley, the new owner of Sweetgrass Ranch.” The sensuous mouth broke into a grin and a laugh rumbled up from somewhere deep inside him. “Mitchell Brand. Mitch. Good old Henry didn’t tell me that A. Kelley was a woman. And a gorgeous one at that.” Autumn made a face. “Good old Henry and I never met in person and I’m sure he didn’t care what I looked like.” “Tell me.” If she could have seen his eyes clearly she was sure they would have been looking her up and down. “Is it true you bought this place on eBay?” She sighed. “Yes. What gave me away, the idiot sign on my forehead?” Mitch Brand chuckled. “No, darlin’, not at all. It’s just that…” “It’s just that no one in his or her right mind would buy this place, right?” Autumn swallowed back the bitter taste in her mouth. “But I’m here, for better or worse. And it sure looks like ‘worse’ is the operative word.” “Well, then. Welcome to…” His grin widened. ”What’s left of Sweetgrass Ranch.” “Thank you. I think.” She looked around. “Where are the others? I don’t see anyone else here.” “Others?” She could hear the amusement in his voice. “Darlin’, I’m the only one here. Everyone else took their shit and split.” Darlin’? Oh, right. She was in Texas. He probably called every woman darlin’. The feel of his calloused palm against her softer one sent tingles the length of her arm. Still, she snatched her hand back from his and tucked both hands in her shorts pockets. It wouldn’t do to jump him five minutes after she met him. Would it? “I was assured by Mr. McClain that there was a full crew and this was a functioning ranch,” she told him. “He guaranteed me of that.” This time Mitch Brand threw back his head and laughed, a full-throated sound. “I’ll just bet he did. He said he’d find a sucker on eBay and I guess he did.” Heat crept up Autumn’s already hot cheeks. “You think that’s funny? You don’t see me laughing, do you?”“ With an effort he collected himself. “Henry’s been trying to unload this place for a year. Didn’t put a single penny into it. No self-respecting buyer would touch it.” “But the pictures,” she protested. “They were gorgeous.” She looked around. “Cattle everywhere. Men on horses.” The sick feeling in the pit of her stomach was growing worse by the minute. “Taken three years ago,” he explained. “I told Henry that would get him into trouble but would he listen to me? Not one word. And don’t think you can find him. He lit out of here the minute your check cleared the bank.” Autumn could feel perspiration gathering on her skin again. She felt hot, clammy and sticky and at a loss how to deal with her situation. “So why are you still here? Why didn’t you leave with the others?” He cocked his head, a grin of amusement still tugging at his mouth. “Well, darlin’, I’m in a little different position from the other guys who worked here. I made a good living as foreman of the ranch and I have a solid savings from my rodeo days. I can afford to take my time about my next move, so I decided to hang around and see who showed up. See if I wanted a part of it.” “A part of it,” she repeated slowly. “What exactly does that mean?” “First of all, let’s get out of this sun. It’s as hot as hell without burning up at the same time.” He took her arm and led her toward the porch, gesturing toward two ratty chairs. “Have a seat.” “You haven’t answered my question yet,” she pointed out. “All right, then. I will.” He tipped his hat back and she could finally see his face, a heart-stopping sight. Piercing blue eyes looked out at her from beneath enviously thick lashes, as dark as his hair. Deep trenches carved into his cheeks, giving his face an even more rugged look and tiny lines from the sun bracketed his eyes. He was definitely all male and as sexy as sin. For the first time in her life, Autumn wanted to leap at a man, tear off his clothes and hers and shout, “Fuck me!”

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Special Guest - Cersie DeLand



Fancy a pirate romance?


When American clipper ship owner (and the bastard of the English Stanhope clan) finds a stowaway on his ship, Mark Stanhope knows he must take her back to her father in London. (Copyright 2011, Cerise DeLand. All rights reserved.)

“If you turn around,” Sirena told him, “if you take me to London, I shall only run away again.” “You cannot live without your family, darling.” “You can! Why can’t I? Because I am a woman?” “That’s not what I mean.” He hated arguing with her. She rattled his senses. “I want you safe!” “Can you honestly say you think I am safe with de Ros?” she taunted him. She had him there. “Make no mistake, Mark Stanhope. You can tie me up and drag me back, deliver me, but one day I will escape them. My father. De Ros. I will be free. Even if you do not want me.” He jerked her to him. “Who says I don’t want you?” “You do! You’d take me back!” He shook her, her thighs molded to his through the thin trousers, chafing his willpower, rubbing him raw with his passion to taste her, take her, make her his own. “Hush. I won’t take you back.” I’ll keep you. “I’ll take you wherever you wish to go.” “Baltimore?” Bed? He stepped back, defeated by her determination and by his own craving to show her how he loved her for it. She had not declared she came here to be with him. She was here because she knew he was leaving England, she knew his ship was here in Dover and she bet odds he’d not find her aboard. His heart was sore, but his mind was clear on her purpose. “I’ll give you the freedom you seek. Every man and woman deserves that. It will be up to you to make the most of it.” She clutched his shirt, twisting it as she moved against him in an assault on all his reason. “What if I want simpler things?” This close, though she was dressed in plain colorless cloth and lacked the fragrance of camellias to adorn her, she was the most desirable creature he’d ever seen. “Such as?” “You. Now. Here.” Little do they both know that returning to England is not in their future. In fact, blown off course, they are taken by Barbary pirates. Imprisoned. Denied hope. Until Mark bargains with the pirate king, whom once years ago, he escaped from. Only now, the salacious pirate has a price in mind for Mark’s and Sirena’s freedom. Can Mark ask Sirena to perform these outrageous acts to free them both from slavery? Will Sirena see the worth in making love to the only man she has ever desired, no matter the method, no matter how many view her naked and willing and wild?





Do come see in my 4th in Regency series, STANHOPE CHALLENGE, THE BASTARD’S PASSIONATE PRIZE, already out at http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/ and soon to be at AllRomanceEbooks and Fictionwise!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Exhausted

Saturday was a fun day. Sunday a day from hell. It started off pretty good. I did the grocery shopping bright and early, my son came in from NY for a SHORT visit and we went to the local Home Show. We get home around 4ish and my youngest had a swollen finger. Red hot and ugly looking. Off to Hasbro’s. For a small state they have too many rules when it comes to kids. Back home I could’ve brought my daughter to any of the local hospitals, but not in RI. Nope you can only go to the children’s hospital. Okay well guess what? Everyone and their freakin’ brother were there yesterday. But because she had another infection earlier in the week I was concerned enough about the finger to wait it out. Wait it out we did. Six LONG hours. During which time the infection began working to two other fingers. Boy am I glad I stuck around. They injected her with antibiotics on the spot and gave her two pills. I could tell it was working because the knuckle lost some of the redness within the time of the IV. We didn’t get home until 11pm after a quick trip to McDonalds because none of us had eaten since lunchtime, except for animal crackers out of the vending machine. Someone will have to be on their death bed to get me back to that hospital again. Talk about 100 sick kids running around. Not a place for me to be, but I wasn’t leaving my daughter, even though the DH said they’d be fine. So today I have a ton of catching up to do and an overly busy day at work. No writing today. :o(

Friday, April 1, 2011

No April Fool's Here

Except ME...but more on that later. Okay so yesterday I teased. Today I’m proud to say we’re having a GIRL. All tests are normal to date and the issues I was having seemed to have corrected themselves. The DH wants to know if the ban on “other” things has been lifted. In fact he wants me to call the doctor ASAP and find out. The day was an exciting one right up until I hurt myself. This is where I give you your laugh for the day! I had opened the front door to get the mail and the granddaughter decided she wanted to make a run for it. It was raining and I pulled her back in. The screen door is broken so it won’t lock. I had to continue to hold the door so she couldn’t push out. I wanted to close the front door, but she wasn’t having any of it. So, I proceeded to drag her butt back into the house. Now remember I was still holding the screen door to keep her from barging out. I got her to a point where I could close the door and I did. Very quickly and very hard AND very much on my arm!!! Let’s just say my left wrist is NOT feeling up to par today. After I closed the door properly I was sitting on the stairs laughing and crying because it hurt like a son of a bitch and I was an idiot. My daughters being like their mother were laughing at me. The granddaughter on the other hand sat down next to me and kept kissing my leg because grandma had a boo boo and she felt bad. Today I’m bruised and embarrassed. I am excited because it’s Friday and it’s opening day for the Red Sox. I’m looking forward to the game this afternoon. Busy, Busy weekend ahead of me. Hope everyone has a great one!