Monday, June 28, 2010

Book Review: Moon Sworn by Keri Arthur


Moon Sowrn
A Riley Jenson Novel, Guardian book 9
Keri Arthur
Release date-May 25th, 2010
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Obtained by self-purchase
Reviewed for Love Romances & More Blog
Buy at Amazon HERE

There comes a time when a series ends and the final book can either make or break it. In the Riley Jenson Series, we have seen Riley grow up, mature and find her place in a world where vampires, werewolves and other paranormal creatures reside. In the eight books before this one, she has wrestled with her desire for the whole white picket fence and kids dream with the fact she works for the Directorate & has to kill. With her twin by her side along with her vampire soul mate, this half vampire/werewolf is about to find her life to get a tad bit messy especially as a past foe comes back to finish what he started years before. Can Riley find the path meant for her or will she find herself dead?

I love Ms. Arthur's books and I am hoping in the future she comes back to Riley and her friends. I would love to know how her life has been and where it lead to. Ms. Arthur is a talented author who delivers a story that hits many emotions-be it laughter, sadness, joy and despair. Each time you pick up a Riley Jenson book, you are blown away by the force of it all. If you haven't picked up this wonderful series,then grab it and all the rest. I do recommend reading the books in order as each book capitalizes on the past one and alludes to past events in them.

Want to read my official review? Then click HERE and check it out at Love Romances & More



Getting to know author Charlie Cochrane



Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?

Not at all. Like many teenagers I dabbled with writing ‘slash’ (only it wouldn’t have been called slash then) but it was pretty awful. It was only as I hit my late forties I got into writing again (fanfic) and sort of took it from there.

Your work is very popular with readers and reviewers; how does it feel to have such positive recognition for your work?

Gobsmacking. Mind boggling. Seriously, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to getting a good review or receiving one of those lovely e-mails from a stranger saying “I really loved your story, because…” To open the inbox and find one of those waiting is the highlight of my day.

Of course I get negative reviews/comments as well, but that’s part of the game. The only proper public reply to a naff review is, “Thank you”, then you can go and swear and gnash your teeth in private. As my writing hero E M Forster said, “Some reviews give pain. This is regrettable, but no author has the right to whine. He was not obliged to be an author, He invited publicity and he must take the publicity that comes along.”


What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?

It’s as simple (and as hard) as making the reader want to turn the page and find out what happens next. Maybe that boils down to having characters you care about or maybe it’s just a cracking plot. Or the book’s hilariously funny, like ‘Three Men in a Boat’.


Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.

Lessons in Desire is the second of the Cambridge Fellows series of historical gay romantic mysteries and it’s in print on 6th July. I was inspired by all the wonderful holidays we’ve had on the island of Jersey. It really is a magical place, where you feel the weather’s always good, the food’s magnificent and you’ve almost stepped back in time. All those elements found their way into the book.

Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?

I love Jonty most because he’s gone through awful times and emerged whole and honourable. And he’s gorgeous. I pity one of his tormentors (his old House Master) because the man simply doesn’t understand what’s right and what’s wrong.

Do you get along with your muse? What do you do to placate her when she refuses to inspire you?

It’s a him, my muse. He can be placated with good music, sport, jelly babies and just writing about anything. Also, if I start scribbling/typing something not necessarily related to what I should be doing then he gets jealous and makes me focus again.

Do you have another book in the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects.

I have a Cambridge Fellows story set in 1919 that I’ve just finished and submitted. Otherwise, I have a short story coming out in an anthology and several projects I’m working on as the muse allows. 

 What is the most ridiculous thing that you have thought about doing to any of your characters but never did?

If I think of something ridiculous I usually do it (Jonty and Orlando rolling down a hill and thinking they’re going to die in Lessons in Desire springs to mind).

How do you keep track of your world building?

With difficulty. I do keep notes (to which I have to refer often) but my mind finds that uncomfortable. I like to keep as much as I can stored in my brain, partly because if I can’t keep tabs with who’s who and what’s where, how can the reader? (And does any of that make sense?)
 
Which author(s) is your favorite? And who has most influenced you work?

Patrick O’Brian probably heads the list. Talk about characterisation, world building and all the rest of it, because he had it in spades. And humour, too. I suspect consciously or subconsciously, he’s influenced my writing hugely, as have writers like Jerome K Jerome (for the right tone for my historical fiction) and Alan Bennett (for sheer invention and an appreciation of what it is to be English).

I also like ‘classic’ cosy mystery writers like Simon Brett and Ngaio Marsh – and for non-fiction, you can’t beat the thinking woman’s crumpet, Michael Wood.

 Do you feel your writing is character driven or plot driven? How do you balance these two elements?

Character, always. I only work from the vaguest plot outlines—getting from A to Z with no particular details about how we get there. I like to find out where my characters want to take me and if that means having to go back and rewrite earlier bits to keep a unity within the whole, so be it.

 What is your favorite movie of all time? The one where you can watch it and still get affected at the same spots each and every time?

Master and Commander. I’ve watched it a bajillion times and still get choked up when the young acting lieutenant gets killed. The best viewing has been on a big screen, under the stars in a park on the island of Jersey, with bats flitting around and shooting stars in the sky. Perfect.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you have with you?

Can I have a laptop with internet access and unlimited power? Or a satellite TV? (I have to be able to keep in touch with sport!) otherwise I’d like: the sweatshirt Sophia Deri-Bowen gave me, the one that’s absolutely wonderful to snuggle up in; paper, pens and pencils for writing and sketching; my black haematite necklace; and a huge supply of jelly babies. 

What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?

Anyone who vaguely knows me could probably guess that it would be watching sport on TV. Rugby, cricket, golf, we don’t mind. And it’s great camaraderie, sitting as a family cheering on your team, especially on cold winter nights.

If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend that they start with and why?

That’s really hard to answer. I suspect Lessons in Trust or Lessons in Power are my best books, but as they’re books 7 and 4 respectively in the Cambridge series, that might not be logical. Lessons in Love is the first in the series, so you could start there.

Where can readers find out what's new and how can they contact you?

My website is www.charliecochrane.co.uk, but I tend to update my blog http://charliecochrane.livejournal.com/ or facebook http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=100000878813798 a bit quicker. If you want to e-mail me, cochrane.charlie2@googlemail.com usually gets through!

*~*

Sneak peek into Lessons in Desire now available in print and e-book from Samhain Publishing


Jonty drew his hand down his lover’s face, across his lips. It was the first time they’d touched with any degree of intimacy since they’d left St. Bride’s. The caress made Orlando shudder afresh, as if they were touching for the first time. “We may have two bedrooms, but do we really need to use them both? It’d be easy enough to slip across before the early morning tea arrives, if we set your alarm clock.”

Orlando looked up, determined to refuse. He was still feeling skittish about staying in a suite of rooms with his lover. Sharing a bed was beyond any imagining although, ironically, the item in question was a glorious double bed such as he’d dreamed, on many an occasion, of sleeping in with Jonty. “I’m not sure I feel sufficiently recovered from the journey to want to do anything except sleep.” He studied his hands, the shirt he was trying to hang up, anything but his lover.

“That would be fine. I’m as happy to simply slumber next to you as anything else. There are plenty of other days for romance—we could just be fond friends tonight, or pretend to be that old couple we played cards with. Still very much in love yet beyond the thralls of passion.” Jonty gently touched his friend’s hand.

Orlando felt as if a spider was crawling down the back of his neck, and his discomfiture must have been plain. “What if we slept apart, just for tonight?”

They had reached the crux of why he’d been so keen not to come on holiday. He was frightened of taking their relationship outside the college walls, displaying it to the world. Within the ivy-clad, male-dominated locality of St. Bride’s, it had been easy to maintain a friendship which was more than close without raising a suspicious eyebrow. He’d spent little time with Jonty out of
Cambridge, apart from a visit or two to London, where they’d stayed in the relatively safe environs of the Stewart family home. To be with the man in a strange place was to put himself at risk of making a demonstration of his affection by an unguarded look or touch.

Any footman could walk through the streets of town in his bowler-hatted Sunday best, hand in hand with a parlour maid. A pair of dons could never be allowed such freedom; not in
Cambridge and certainly not on Jersey. If they ever were mad enough to be tempted, all they had to do was remember the law—two years of hard labour and public disgrace would be no holiday.

Jonty slammed down the toothbrush he’d been unpacking. “Oh, go and sleep in the bath if you want to! I haven’t the heart to put up with this nonsense. I’m going to sleep in my own bed, in my own soft pyjamas, with my own book. If you change your mind and decide to join me, make sure you knock, because I might just have found other company.” He spun on his heels, entering his bedroom with a slam of the door which caused the windows to shake.



Choosing Words-Writing & Alchemy by Kenneth Weene





 Choosing words

People often ask me when I knew that I was a writer. Now, I don’t mean, “When did I know that I wanted to be a writer?” which is a very different question. It’s the difference between a little kid saying he wants to grow up to be a fireman and the day the young adult dons his SCOT gear and doesn’t panic.
For me the fateful day was right after Christmas vacation my sophomore year of high school. It had been a different vacation than those I had known. That fall I had started at a boarding school, where it was hoped that I would get a better education than in our local public school system.
One of the many reasons behind this change was it allowed my father to take a sabbatical year off from his teaching job; he was on the faculty of the same public system that I was leaving. My parents were going to spend the winter in Florida. Even then it seemed like an unworthy way to spend a year that was supposed to afford either travel or education, but that was their goal.
Now, at the risk of revealing my age, which is easily in the senior category, I have to say that in those days Florida was far away and even exotic to those of us who lived in the Greater Boston area. Even though the Wright brothers had done their thing and Lindbergh, Post, and Earhart had long since left the stage, flying was still exotic, and average people didn’t go to Florida. Of course, Disney and the Orlando miracle hadn’t taken place so those who did go were mainly visiting Miami and the sun.
My brother and I took a flight out of Logan. It was our first flight. Since Eastern Airlines is long since defunct, I can mention that it was a flight out of hell. So badly was it managed that we arrived many hours late and our parents, along with other waiting greeters, were told that the airline has “lost track” of the flight. But, eventually we arrived, and I had instantly become a dedicated traveler.
There was much about that vacation that was memorable. From time to time I have drawn on it for parts of short stories and poems and even for brief bits of professional papers in my other career as a psychologist. However, I chose only one night spent walking on the beach for the inevitable “What I did on my vacation” essay that my English teacher had required us to write.

Why had I chosen that night? Because of the moon. So full, so bright, yet so eerie. It had been a moon of panic and archetypical thoughts, a moon made for histrionics and adolescence.
Mr. Williams had liked my essay. Easily I had received the highest grade in the class. However, he had criticized my use of adjectives. “Silver” he had written in the space above my words and taken off a few points. What had I written” The white gold moon …” I tried to remonstrate.
“Everybody knows that the moon is silver so that’s the word you use,” had been his explanatory response.
Now I don’t want to be overly critical. He was an admirable teacher, and I learned a great deal that year. But, he was not a writer. At that moment I knew that he was not. I also knew that I was. You see writers think about the words we use; we worry at them; we select them; we say them to ourselves and hear their sound; ultimately we cherish them. We do not use them because they are the words that are expected. At that time I could not have explained to him that alchemy was about gold and therefore that the motivational power of the gold was so much greater than the silver. I could not explain to him that the use of two words instead of a two-syllable word would give more emphasis to the sounds and thereby draw more attention to the phrase. I could not even explain that the unexpected makes the reader think. I simply walked away knowing that Mr. Williams was not and would never be a writer but that I, even at fourteen, was.
Thousands of words later - having written novels, short stories, poetry, and essays: I still celebrate the careful choice of words. I still listen for the sounds as the words leave my fingers and turn into electrons.
Here is a small excerpt from one of my short stories, End Game.

Michael stared at the popcorn ceiling and waited for it to descend – to press him into wine, the last unprotesting whine of death. It was, he iterated over and over in his head, “a consummation devoutly to be wished.” But the damn ceiling did what ceilings will do, it lay suspended above him like an astral plane to which he could aspire but which he would never reach. He lay splayed in comfortable crucifixion across their bed. Naked, semi-erect and incoherent he lay; and she, Merriam, lay next to him.

Could I have written this differently? Obviously. I have played on the homonyms wine and whine; I have deliberately referenced Shakespeare and particularly the painful indecision of Hamlet, which incidentally tell us that the character is intellectual. I coin a word, “unprotesting,” which your spell check will tell you should be “unresisting.” Unresisting does not carry forth the play on homonyms.
“Writers love language.” That is something I know at the core of being. Lots of people write things but aren’t writers. Like that English teacher of years ago, they write what is expected rather than cherishing the creativity of words. Ultimately to be a writer is to become an alchemist of words, we are trying to turn them into our white gold. 

Find out more on Kenneth check out his website and video trailers:

http://vidego.multicastmedia.com/player.php?p=nqm74a8k

Publisher-All Things That Matter Press-Click HERE to view 

Memoirs from the Asylum blurb:

What is it like to work inside a state hospital or to be a patient in such a hospital? What is it like to live inside the mind of such a patient? This tragi-comedic novel takes the reader inside the asylum, inside the worlds of three central characters: a narrator who has taken refuge from his fears of the world, a psychiatrist whose own life has been damaged by his father's depression, and a catatonic schizophrenic whose world is trapped inside a crack in the wall opposite her bed. This is the interwoven story of their lives, a story that includes love, sexuality, violence, deaths, celebrations, circuses, and surprising twists. As the plot unwinds, the reader learns a great deal about the nature of futility, frustration, and freedom. 

Buy at Amazon HERE or HERE at All Things That Matter Press

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sudden Devotion by Nicole Morgan (Adult Excerpt)

Sara is inexperienced with men, but finds her untapped sexuality is bursting beneath the pressure of lustful desires. Mitch works with Sara and knows office romances can go horribly wrong, but that doesn’t stop him from going ahead with his plan to seduce her. Soon, the two find themselves in an erotic game of pleasure. Their affair proves to be more than either of them anticipated. After only a couple of days their relationship intensifies into a firestorm of passion and they begin to fall in love.
    Claudia works with them both and isn’t happy when Mitch rejects her advances. Not willing to take no for an answer she uses every form of manipulation to drive the couple apart. Is their relationship strong enough to handle the betrayal that they believe to be true? Or will the thought of losing each other be the catalyst to keep them together?
 
Note: This book contains anal sex and menage elements involving only secondary characters.


Click HERE to buy from Siren-Bookstrand
Click HERE to go to Nicole's Blog


Adult Excerpt:


“Hard and fast! I want it hard and fast.” Her hips were rocking against his hand.
“Okay, I can do that, baby.” His voice still soothed her into submission. “What about number three?” He swiped his tongue down her slick entrance, moaning when he tasted her. “What should I do after I come in your sweet pussy?”
“No…I don’t…I mean, I want you to fuck me, but don’t come. I want…oh please, Mitch, I can’t concentrate.”
He chuckled. “Is my tongue distracting you, honey? I’ll stop then.”
“No! No, don’t stop.” She whimpered and bit on her bottom lip.
“Then you better tell me why. Why can’t I come in your sweet little pussy?”
“Because, damn it! I want to taste you after you’ve been inside me.”
Sara shouted at him, her frustration bringing out the animal in her.
He watched her as she bit out the words and continued to writhe against his tongue. She was completely lost in her arousal. Could he tell that she was no longer in charge of her body? Her desire had taken over. “Oh, baby. Do you want to taste yourself on me?”
“Yes, all right. Yes.” Sara was beyond any sense of reason or self-control. She only knew that she had fantasized about what it would be like. And now that he was here, she wasn’t about to lose her chance to get what she wanted.
Coaxing her along he asked her to finish, “Tell me, what would you do after you sucked all that sweet pussy juice off of my cock?”
Her whole body was on fire. She was going to come, and he’d barely even touched her, just occasional licks and kisses. No real friction or pressure. His touches were more teases than strokes. “Mitch, I want you to come in my mouth again.”
Mitch closed his eyes for a moment. Trying to hang on to the control that she had almost just broken. “Oh yeah? You’re such a sweet girl, honey. You liked that earlier today, didn’t you?” He looked up at her and watched her face as she fought against the orgasm that was building. “Then I’ll give you exactly that, Sara. But only if you do the same for me. You tasted me, now I want to taste you. I want to taste your sweet climax when my face is buried in between your thighs. Come on, baby. I want you to come for me.” Mitch dove in as he attacked her with his mouth and his tongue, devouring ever succulent nibble of her.
Darting his tongue inside her entrance, he moaned in delight at the sweet taste of her. The meal he had planned to make of her had barely begun, and he was about ready to lose himself in the ecstasy of it when she came. He hadn’t expected it to happen so soon. She screamed out his name and wrapped her legs around his head, bringing him closer to her.
Mitch had to laugh. She was just a flowing fountain of untapped desire. Even though she was shy, she changed who she was when she got truly hot and bothered. Then she completely let go. She had so many naughty sides to her, but she didn’t know what to do with any of them. He was thinking this as he drank up the last of her and knew that he was going to have quite a lot of fun with her.
Mitch looked up and watched her. His good girl hadn’t moved from the position he had put her in, no matter how much she squirmed her body. That was very good. She was going to be a very good student, indeed. He stood up while her eyes were still closed and stripped down.
“Stand up, Sara.” He waited until she opened her eyes. Then he held out his hand and helped her up before swinging her around. He placed her hands on the back of the chair and whispered in her ear, “Hold on, honey.”
He heard her moan at his half threat, half promise. The flush glow on her face told him that she was feeling every wave and jolt shoot through her body as he slammed into her. Sara was much different than any other woman he’d been with before.
He slammed his cock deep inside her and hit places he was sure she never knew existed, not even with her trusty vibrator.
Sara rocked into him and met him thrust for thrust when he felt her third orgasm of the day approaching. He saw she was struggling to fight it.
“No baby, don’t you dare stop yourself. Come for me.”
He watched her in awe as she threw her head back and screamed his name once again, all while her body convulsed in pleasure.
Mitch didn’t move. He stayed buried inside her as he waited for her body to come down. He watched her ass wiggle as she trembled. And wondered just how long he would have to wait until he could take her in that tight, little hole.
“Feel good, honey?” He waited, and she moaned her reply. “Good.” He fisted her hair in his hands and yanked her head back. “Now sit on the chair like a good little girl, and suck all of your hot juice off of my cock.”


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why I Love Good Bad Boys by Rie McGaha


     WHY I LOVE GOOD BAD BOYS! By Rie McGaha

I love good bad boys. Oops, don't I mean bad good boys? Nope, not at all. There is a difference, at least to my way of thinking. Bad good boys are the ones I don't trust. They're the ones who pretend to be good, kind, loving and caring, but they're really underhanded, sneaky, and probably snivel and cry when a good bad boy shows up! Now, there are also bad, bad boys who are just that. They're bad and don't care who knows it. They don't have anything good in them and wind up being the ones who beat the women in their lives, kick puppies and rob their grandmothers. Eeewww!  But the good bad boys, oh, give me one of them anytime.

A good bad boy is the one who is sexy, confident, loving, kind, protective, a little possessive, good in bed and the ones we love to love. They're also not afraid to be the tough guy when they have to be. They'll punch out anyone who disrespects a woman, kicks a puppy, or mistreats anyone who is unable to defend themselves. They might bend the law in their effort to do the right thing, maybe occasionally, break the law, but only when the law stands between them and their goal to do the right thing. These guys are the perfect man in every way, which is probably why they are written about in so many books.

Some of my favorite good bad boys are Thomas Jane, playing Castle in The Punisher (2004, Lions Gate Films); Mark Wahlberg as Max Payne in the movie by the same name (2008, 20th Century Fox); and Denzel Washington in everything he does, but most recently as Eli in The Book Of Eli (2010, Warner Bros.).

In books, I think Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series has some of the sexiest hunks with Kiss Of The Highlander, which introduces identical twins Drustan and Dageus MacKeltar. I have consumed each new book faster than the author can write them and absolutely love not only the brothers, but also the other men created in this series. Each one is more scrumptious than the next and I could lick them all from head to toe and want seconds!

These are the kind of men I not only love, but also married. Oh yes, ladies, I have my very own good bad boy in my bed every night. He is also just as scrumptious as the make believe men, but he's also very real. He is everything I've ever wanted, the one who treats me like a treasure, and protects me, loves me, takes care of me and the sex, well now…I don't want you to be too jealous of me! J He's a strong, strong-minded, physical kind of guy with a warrior's heart and soul, who still has enough little boy in him to be playful and carefree. That is something I lack and without him to pull me out of my adult doldrums, I'd probably be a hermit who never sees the sun.

He is also the one I model my good bad boy characters after. Even my first published book, Deadly Dreams, (Noble Romance Publishing),had elements of my husband in both the hero and the villain. I continued in that vein in Blood Line, (Noble Romance Publishing), and it's sequel, Ancient Blood, with the character Joshua Kaine. The relationship between Josh and his wife, Jessie, is very close to the relationship my husband and I share. He is also in my characters from Comes An Outlaw, (Silver Publishing), Closure (Champagne Books), One Good Man (eXcessica), and a few I'm still working on. As far as I'm concerned, I've found the perfect mix of good bad boy in the man I married, so why shouldn't I share him with the world through my characters? After all, he is the man we all love to dream of and fantasize about.




MySpace- www.myspace.com/novelsbyrie

*~*


                       ONE GOOD MAN by RIE MCGAHA (blurb)

          Allison Hamstead thought it was love, finally, after all the years alone, someone loved her in spite of the fact she was fat! Not that her size had ever kept her from being successful, but it had kept her far from personal relationships. She’d heard all of the fat jokes ever told, all of the things people in her office said behind her back, and she didn’t miss not having a boyfriend, or dates every weekend. Did she? But now she was in love and she couldn’t wait to introduce him to her best friend, Sarah. And what a mistake that had turned out to be! It wasn’t long before the love of her life and her best friend were living together and Allison was humiliated.
          Starting over is never easy, but Allison is determined to do so and moves far from Chicago to the warm waters of Biloxi, Mississippi where she accepts a position at one of the floating casinos. For the first time in her life, Allison feels like she’s truly at home.  She loves her job, she loves her boss, who is like a father to her, and she loves being a part of all the excitement going on around her. Except for one little thing…
          Her boss’s eldest son, Stephen, is probably the most handsome, gorgeous, and sexy man she’s ever laid eyes on…and he knows it! And for some reason he acts interested in her. Then her mother comes to visit and winds up dating her boss. Her accounts start showing large amounts of money missing. And her ex shows up unannounced and says he wants her back. Can anything else possibly go wrong?
          Absolutely!
         
 *~*

 
Closure by Rie McGaha (blurb)



 High in the hills above Albuquerque, New Mexico Detective Zachariah Ellison arrives at the scene of a murder, and not just any murder, but one that definitely falls into the “gruesome” category even for a seasoned cop like Zach. When another body is found murdered in much the same fashion, Zach knows he’s got a serial killer on his hands, and to top it off he’s got an assistant district attorney hounding him about the case. As Zach tries to investigate the crimes while sidestepping nosey Amy Logan, a third body is found and Zach hasn’t a clue as to whom the perpetrator might be.



Amy Logan has worked hard to put herself through school and pay for law school on her own and now that she’s secured a position as assistant district attorney in Albuquerque, she’s determined to do everything she can to be the best prosecutor this office has ever seen. And as if luck was following her, she’s been assigned to the biggest homicide case the city has ever seen. The only problem she’s having is the homicide detective who’s leading the investigation—Zach Ellison.

*~*



Comes An Outlaw by Rie McGaha (Blurb)

Jacob Dobbs is alive. That surprises him considering how many times he's been shot and the amount of blood he's lost. Forced to leave his brother, Luke, lying dead, Jake hurts both inside and out. As soon as he's up to it, he's going to avenge Luke's death and he knows just where to start. Ebenezer Franklin is a big fish in a little pond and has everyone in the town in his back pocket, but that won't deter Jake. As he sees it, Ebenezer is responsible for the shoot and the $5,000 taken from Luke in a rigged card game. But when Jake finally executes his plan, he didn't expect to run into a beautiful woman. Or to kidnap her. Now he has an even bigger problem—she doesn't seem too upset at being kidnapped!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Confessions of a Book Addict

I am at Alex Beecroft's blog today and for the first time, my inner book addict is coming out to play. Come on over and check out what she has to say and find out a little more about me. :)

Love to hear from you.

http://alexbeecroft.com/2010/06/guest-blogger-dawn-roberto-of-love-romances-cafe/comment-page-1/#comment-2434

Thursday, June 24, 2010

WRITER'S WRITE...WRITING PARTNERS FEUD



WHEN ANGIE CAME A-CALLING
By:
Angelica Hart and Zi

Not so long ago, our friend Angie asked us an assortment of questions, and we'd like to share. Also, we're adding a CONTEST to this week's blog:

CONTEST: Anyone who leaves a comment along with their email address will be entered into a drawing to WIN an e-book.

Want to join our mailing list? Write us at angeliahartandzi@yahoo.com and we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.

So, tell me what’s up? .

Angelica: I'm into a new health regime, limiting myself to only three cookies a day and one chocolate bar. Along, of course, with healthy fruits and veggies...bananas and corn. Ok...ok...I do know better but wouldn't that be grand if we could diet that way.

Zi: The CD Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Night Castle leeches at my sensibilities, pulling pristine thoughts of a sandy beach littered with love. Am I there? Of course, building sandcastles and inviting mistress and male to dance on its granite floor.

Please tell me about one of your previous releases?

A to Z: Have you ever wanted to be truly submerged in fantasy, taken beyond the realm of reality, and way past the looking glass? If so, SNAKE DANCE does just that. Something evil and sinister pulsates beneath rare and chaste. Something beautiful breathes where murk and dankness reside.

This story combines exotic scenes of an extraordinary, primitive, and distant planet. It's inhabitants have humanistic characteristics, of which some have noble souls and open hearts while others are heinous and dark. All of which reflects this culture of subjection and freedom seekers. The love and sex is raw and primal. This is a story not all dare read, however, we do dare you!

What are you currently working on?

A to Z: We are presently marketing our books, freshening our website, writing a number of recurring columns, blogging, putting the finishing touches on an irreverent fairy tale series and lamestorming for our next serious romantic project, and getting ready for our new release CHASING YESTERDAY, a sweet romance with a mysterious venue.

How did you two meet?

Zi: At an art show where Angelica had been exhibiting. I liked her work and asked about using her illustrations in one of my books.

Angelica: I read one of his manuscripts and unbeknownst to Zi, I sent it off to my agent. Zi was under contract within a few weeks. Afterward, we discussed doing a project together. Each of us bringing twenty ideas to the table. We couldn't come to terms on a single one. And then Zi wrote something enchanting and beautiful, of an angel who had no wings and a young man determined to help her, of a mage with six fingers, and a world that existed under the earth, and I fell in love with the story. I wanted to be part of that fantasy.

Zi: Once we began to write together we realized our work together was better than anything we produced apart. That's when we knew it was a fait accompli, we became writing partners and no longer create anything separately except Sunday French Toast!

Do you have differences? How do you work them out?

A to Z: Great question! The answer is every day! Every hour sometimes! Every other minute even! However, we always agree to agree, which sounds strange, but isn't. Individuality is the genesis of creative direction, therefore we already are aware that we must take the time to homogenize our ideas. The agreeing to agree means that if we don't agree, the idea doesn't flourish, never sees the page, and the page, the story is what matters. We fight for the story, for it to be the best it can be, that the reader's enjoyment is more important than our egos. So, we bicker and fight and, Angelica pouts...a lot...oft tells Mo to sic Zi... Mo yawns. It can sometimes be quite difficult, hard even. However, it's the hard, the fighting for the story, that ends up making the story special. The story always wills out.

Which of your hero/heroine best resembles you and why?

Angelcia: Jessy, a three year-old in a book called THE GARROTE FACTOR. She is tenacious, playful, fun-loving and, although it never made it from profile to book, she loves chocolate and apples with peanut butter. It's like I spit her out. Oh wait, I sorta did.

Zi: The crystal whip in a book titled STAG NATION: A VEXED HEART, the first piece we wrote. A stunningly beautiful weapon that if wielded correctly was precise and deadly, dipped in the honey of the summer marigold to sweeten my edge.

Do you remember the first guilty pleasure you purchased with your first check?

Angelcia: Nothing guilty about it...white out and typing paper. Yup, started writing back in the stone age when e-mail meant an empty mailbox, and a mailbox was this thing out by the curb in the shape of a box. Oh, yeah, we still have one of those but it's just for bills and Christmas cards.

Zi: A special edition encased model of my car. 1:18 ratio. Placed it on the shelf and dust it monthly.

If you could go anywhere in the world and in any time…where would you go? What would you do? And why that time-period?

Angelcia: Alaska sings a siren's song to me, kind of like that song Baku Ha’i from the movie South Pacific, expect Bloody Mary doesn't sing it. As for time-period, I am not a pioneer lady. I adore modern comforts, and I fear what the future might bring to the beauty of that grand land, so right now would work. What would I do? Breathe sharp, cold, clean air. Go gaga over the glaciers. Figure out if I can walk in snow shoes. And, if possible, (Hey wait, it's my fantasy...it IS possible) a dog sled ride. Oh, and a train ride...and...and.... Must stop here before I start to hyperventilate. (Whines to Zi: We have to sell a lot more books. I want to go to Alaska!)

Zi: Would have been fascinating to have been a fly, no, a roach in the room when Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio wooed and cooed. This man must have been a romantic, and I would have loved to have known his soul, his passion, the quality of his character, and why he loved her forever. Then I would have eaten their left-over cheesecake crumbs.

Angelica, what three words best describe Zi?

Angelcia: Noble...fun...brilliant...

Zi, what three words best describe Angelica?

Zi: Effervescent...ditzy (lower case d because she is mildly so) and brilliant (eclectically brilliant if allowed four)

Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Angelica: "Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality." Jules de Gaultier

Zi: "His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." Mae West

Thanks so much for chatting with me.

A to Z: This has been awesome. Your questions were wonderful and it was great fun responding to them. Again, thanks for stopping by. You are a gem!

If you’d like to find out more about us please visit:

www.angelicahartandzi.com
www.angelicahartandziblogs.com





Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Spice of Life with author Nina Pierce


The Spice of Life
Guest Blog by Nina Pierce

“Wow, Nina you’re a writer? What do you write?”
“Romance.”
“I love romance. Boy meets girl. Girl plays hard to get. Sunset moment when everyone finds true love.” *sigh* “I’d like to read yours.”
“Just a caveat…mine are spicy romances.”
“Of course they are. All romances are a little naughty.”
“Weeellll, it’s more than a little. Mine are true romances with the bedroom door wide open. There is no fade to black when it comes to the sex scenes.”
Heavy pause. Whispered response, “Erotica? Why didn’t you say in the first place? What’s your website?”

I can’t tell you that’s how all the conversations go when I reunite with old friends and tell them about my new career. But it amazes me how many women of all ages are enjoying erotic romance. This genre that began in the back rooms of small internet publishing companies a decade ago has exploded in the digital age and has now gone mainstream with Berkley, Harlequin, and Kensington, just a few of the NY publishing companies that are jumping into bed with this genre.

But what’s the allure? What fascinates women enough to seek out erotic romance books?

Well, for one it’s the quality of the storyline and the writing. Erotic romance is not pornography. Let me repeat that lest you become confused. Erotic romance isn’t about writing a story around one gratuitous sex scene after another. The character’s love story, as in all romances, is the primary push of the plot. The conflict of emotion and the tension between the central characters is high even if the relationship is consummated. It’s the journey of the characters to find—if not their happily-ever-after—at least their happy-for-now ending. The plot may be central to the character’s sexual awareness, but having lots of sex is not what’s driving the main characters.

Also, the length of erotic romances varies immensely. Harlequin’s Spice Briefs and EC’s Naughty Nooners can be as short as 5,000 words and all publishers accept erotic romance stories up to a full novel length of 90k and everything in between. This means there is something for every reader from the “quickie” to the satisfying “take-it-slow-lounge-in-bed-for-the-whole-weekend” story. 

Secondly, I think women are more in touch with their own sexuality. We know what we like and what gets our juices flowing and we’re not ashamed to seek it out. Our fantasy lives are as diverse as the authors and their stories. Want a vampire to seduce you? That’s out there. How about a little public sex? Oh, yeah available by the truckload. A little seduction with leather bindings and a ball gag? Bondage/Dominance/Submission/Masochism (BDSM) is one of the highest grossing erotic romance genres. Perhaps the idea of two men finding love through a vigorous sexual experience is what you’re looking for. The m/m erotic romance abounds. And of course the fantasy of multiple men intently focused on satisfying one female is growing exponentially. (That’s my personal favorite—both to read and to write.)

So what is it about erotic romance that draws you or makes you shy away? What component keeps you coming back to the genre as an author and/or a reader?

I want to thank Dawn for letting me hang out on her blog today. If you want to find out more about my erotic romantic suspense stories you can visit:
or follow me on


Nina’s newest release A Touch of Lilly, a futuristic ménage is available from Ellora’s Cave (http://www.jasminejade.com/p-8420-a-touch-of-lilly.aspx)

Blurb:
Ex-Chicago detective Lilly D’Angelo is part of a secret alien race living on earth. With a gentle caress she can elevate the sexual energy of any male. Apprehending criminals lost in an erotic fugue is almost too easy—until she uses her gift on the wrong alien. Kidnapped and shipped into deep space, Lilly barely escapes with her life. Now she travels the galaxy alone working as a bounty hunter and hoping to find a soul mate unaffected by her touch. 

Agent Dallas Sawyer works for QAL—deep space’s version of the FBI. After a disastrous mission that left a president murdered, his team member executed, and Dallas near death, he’s determined to take down the assassin targeting government officials. When a sexy human female gets between him and his goal, Dallas and his alien partner find themselves on the receiving end of some wild sex and a proposition that may very well blow up in their faces.

Because in deep space … true love can happen with just a touch.
  
Sneak Peek excerpt of A TOUCH OF LILY:


Lilly D’Angelo could have been walking into any of the seedier establishments lining Forty-fifth and Wester on Chicago’s south side. Except for the clientele, the tavern’s owner had managed to replicate nearly every detail right down to the blue haze and the soft crooning of a jazz band on the corner stage. The acrid stench and gruff hum of a Friday night crowd tripped Lilly down memory lane—a place she had no desire to travel at the moment.

Lilly pushed the sour thoughts of home out of her mind and focused her energy on the patrons at the bar. Morphing her features into her sexiest vixen pout, she moved gracefully toward the long bar on the other side of the room. Her voluptuous breasts, spilling temptingly from her silk blouse, led the way. The eyes watching her ass sashay around the battered tables were clustered on various life forms—none of them human.
Yeah, definitely not Chicago. Shit, this wasn’t even Earth for chrissake.

“Regent’s ale, straight up, hold the brenic.” She spoke English, hoping the two-headed Xerick behind the bar had a cochlear translator in one of those eight holes that passed for ears. Satisfied when one head nodded, she settled on a stool, making sure her fur jacket and blouse parted enough to offer a seductive view of her cleavage. Lilly shifted just enough to let the black leather skirt ride up her thigh and expose a little more silky real estate. Surreptitiously checking her image in the mirrored glass behind the liquor bottles, she was pleased she looked every bit the part. She wasn’t trying to attract anyone in particular, perhaps something on the less offensive side that could offer her a bit of entertainment to help fritter away the next couple of hours.

Lilly wasn’t a xenophobic bigot by any stretch of the imagination. But six months in deep space, working these kinds of joints, wasn’t really long enough to become accustomed to the scenery. The Nebulae Galaxy’s spaceports overflowed with aliens of all sizes and genders. Only that wasn’t really a fair term here in deep space.

Alien inferred the life forms didn’t belong. On the contrary, it was humans who were invading their territory. The treaties of 2253, signed well over forty years ago, had guaranteed the safe travel of humans in deep space. After the snafu of ’34, which saw the first major space disaster since light travel had been discovered, humans had insisted on protection for their species. They’d formed some bullshit board of security, guaranteeing humans could run roughshod over the universe like everywhere else. Though most people referred to them as the QAL, Lilly nicknamed them the alphabet mafia. At one point she’d actually considered working for them until they’d discovered who she was—or more specifically what she was. It didn’t matter. They could all go fuck themselves if they didn’t appreciate her gifts. Lilly had found a way to use her talents and still bring down the bad guys.

Of course in deep space, bad was a relative term.

There was the kind of bad that got a person lost on the ice caps of Dallas Eight without a backup plan. Or the bad that forced someone to stow away in the engine room of a Drikspa alien tanker bound for unknown destinations, praying not to get caught. Or the bad that got a human female imprisoned as a sex slave on the mining colonies of Krystallos Three, hidden from even the long arm of the QAL. Lilly shivered at that one. Even her talents wouldn’t free her from that kind of torture.

She was just happy to be here on Garalon Five where bad meant nothing more than crossing paths with every brand of space pirate, ex-con or fugitive looking for a new start. As one of the more recent colonizations in the Nebulae Galaxy, the G-5 government turned their collective back on past offenses on other planets and allowed anyone to start a legitimate business. It’s what had brought her here.




Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My baby is all grown up and off to Middle School

My baby girl, my first born, Emmalyne, "graduated" today into Middle School. Where I live, Middle school starts in 5th grade so today was a huge day for her. Lots of tears, hugs and cake as we celebrated her achievements and the end of another school year.


My daughter, Emmie, is second from right in pink tank top. This is her award for Exemplary Attendance.

*~*

Picture two is Emmie with her Graduation/moving up certificate.

*~*

This is Emmie's 4th grade class once they got their certificates.

*~*

Emmie's class in front of their class cake at end of awards day.


Getting to know Author Nicole Zoltack



Do you work on multiple projects at the same time?
Yes. All the time. I constantly go back and forth between two projects. That way, if I become stuck on one, I can work on the other. Most of the time, one project is a novel and the other is a short story.

What do you hope for your writing career in the next few years? Any goals that you have yet to obtain that you have set for yourself?
I hope to secure an agent and work up the publishing ladder to NYC publishing houses. Working on polishing up some query letters and I’ll start on the query-go-round.

When you're not writing, what do you like to do to just kick back and have fun?
Spend time with my family. I love to take my son to the park or to cuddle with hubby and watch movies. I also try to find some time to read in between too.

Do you ever experience writer's block? If you do, how do you cope with it?
Working on another project or skipping the scene that is giving me difficulty.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?
Oh yes. I read everything I could get my hands on. I enjoy reading just about anything and everything: fantasy, romance, historical, mystery, true crime, horror, YA…



Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.
My latest full length is Knight of Glory, the sequel to Woman of Honor. Knight of Glory delves more deeply into the fantasy aspect of the world. I wanted to create a world that was both medieval and fantastic and that was my inspiration for the book.

If you could have any vice without repercussions, what would it be?
Bragging. Maybe then I’ll be more likely to speak up to those reading from ereaders and just happen to mention that I’m an ebook writer.

If you could have been the servant to any famous person in history, who would that be and why?
Joan of Arc. Come on, you knew I was going to pick someone from the Middle Ages. J

Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?
I love Jenanna, one of the main characters from Knight of Glory. She’s very human and relatable. Even though she has her doubts about her self-worth, she’s also a strong person, and very loyal. She was a character I greatly enjoyed creating.

Do you get along with your muse? What do you do to placate her/him/it when she/it/he refuses to
inspire you?
For the most part. I worked really hard to finish my assassin story so I could pitch the completed
manuscript at the Lori Foster Get Together. Wrote 56K in 6 weeks. Ever since, she’s been on hiatus. Which I can understand the burnout but I’m pregnant and due the beginning of August and wanted to get as much writing done as possible before baby #2 is born so I’m more than a little annoyed with her right now. 

Do you have another book in the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?
Champion of Valor, Book III in the Kingdom of Arnhem series. Woman of Honor was more historical inclined with Aislinn and her knightly training. Knight of Glory was fantasy, especially with the introduction of other species (trolls and dwarves and selkies). Champion of Valor will have a slight religious feel to it. For people in the Middle Ages, their religion affected every single aspect of their lives so it’s only fitting to incorporate religion to some degree with the book.
I also have the skeleton of a plot thought up as the sequel to my assassin story.

Have you ever experience weird cravings while you write? If so, what kind?
Not really, unless silence or little to no interruptions count.

Where can readers find you on the web?


Excerpt:

Geoffrey slept and woke a short time later. The others still slept, and Jacob paid him no heed. He slowly climbed to his feet and stretched his back. Turning, he spotted a small creature in the near distance. Walking toward it, he realized It looks like a lost pony. Its fur was grey black, and its main dripped constantly. The fur seemed sleek, and Geoffrey reached out to find out if this was the case. The pony was cold, deadly arctic, and Geoffrey's fingers froze to it, he was unable to move his hand away.

"No! Geoffrey, you have to stop touching it!" Jenanna cried out. She gripped his arm and tugged hard.

He tried to turn his head to look at her, but even his neck muscles tightened, frozen. "I can't move!"

Jenanna pulled and yanked some more, but Geoffrey could not be freed.

The Kelpie neighed, a loud sinister sound, and its saliva dripped, turning into ice as it left his foaming mouth. It blew air out its nostrils, the breath turning to fog, giving the land an eerie, unearthly feel.

Jacob and Raulin rushed over. They attacked the creature with their swords, but the horse bucked and kicked, and even with such wild, reckless movements, Geoffrey remained attached.

"Take this, foul creature!" Jenanna shrieked, shoving a flame tree branch into the creature's side.

The Kelpie wailed and neighed. With a sudden rush of heat, Geoffrey collapsed. A loud splash sounded as the three surrounded his fallen form.

"What was that?"

"Not now, Raulin! Now is the time for a larger fire. Build one," Jenanna commanded. "And you, Jacob, the healer, aye? Do you know how to heal freeze burns?"

Jacob's face looked stricken in the pale flickering firelight. "I can try."

"Try isn't good enough. You must succeed." She knelt down and placed Geoffrey's head in her lap. "It will be all right, Geoffrey."

"S-so c-cold." Geoffrey's teeth chattered so loudly he barely heard his own voice. His body shook uncontrollably, the chills spreading from his hand to the rest of his body, lowering his core body temperature and slowly freezing the blood in his body. "God's T-teeth!"

The fire roared to life, greedily licking up the small remnants of grass nearby. "Good, Raulin, now go fetch my blanket." Raulin didn't even pause to nod.

Jenanna grabbed Geoffrey's wounded hand and tried to warm it with her own. Her fingers felt red hot, compared to his iciness, and her fingers kneaded his skin. "Quick, Jacob."

Jacob nodded and began to mutter incantations. He placed his hand above Jenanna's and Geoffrey's, and a bright yellow orange glowed from his hand.

As the cold moved closer to his heart, Geoffrey's shivering worsened. His body buckled from the severe shock cold waves.

Raulin returned and threw the blanket on Geoffrey, but it did nothing to help the nearly frozen knight. Jacob's voice grew louder, and the light responded, turning brighter. Jenanna moved her hand away, and Jacob laid his on Geoffrey's. Immediately, Jacob pulled his own away. "Too cold. My God, he's frozen!"

Link: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-69/%3Ci%3EKingdom-of-Arnhem-Book/Detail.bok

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