Thursday, July 24, 2014

What's a Twitter Chat? Who Can Go? #MFRWauthor #authors @kayelleallen

Twitter Logo  
Twitter chats are public conversations that take place on Twitter at a scheduled date and time. There are chats on every theme you can imagine. Here are several currently active chats that are of interest to authors and readers. The list is sorted by day.

Chats (by day of week)

  • Sunday 8-9 pm EST, #fantasychat -- Weekly chats for writers of fantasy.
  • Mon/Wed 4-5pm EST, #LitChat -- Connect Readers with Authors
  • Wed 9pm EST, #YALitChat -- For Young Adult Writers
  • Thur 9-10 EST, #kidlitart -- Weekly chat for illustrators, authors and author/illustrators. Topics announced in advance via @kidlitart
  • Fri 2-4 pm EST, #scifichat -- Science Fiction / Fantasy film, books, gaming. Moderated interactive format. Follow @scifichat for schedule changes and announcements.

How do I sign up for a Twitter chat?

  • You do not need to register.
  • Type the assigned hashtag (#) into the search bar on Twitter.
  • Under "Results for #(your hashtag)" click "All" to see everyone's tweets

How do I get started in a designated chat?

There are several ways:
  • Go to http://twitter.com sign in, and enter the hashtag in the search bar at the designated time.
  • Use the site http://tweetchat.com to follow along (instructions on site).
  • If you use a service such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, set up a column with the hashtag.

How do I participate?
Twitter symbol 

  • Anyone can participate by reading and/or writing tweets.
  • Writing tweets is not required; participants can simply read.
  • To take part by writing tweets, reply or tweet a message in 140 characters, including the chat's hashtag.

How do I find other chats?

Not all chats are registered. Some spring up over time as hashtags and interests evolve. But you can find registered chats on these sites.

Follow me on Twitter. I follow back authors and readers. http://twitter.com/kayelleallen

What chats do you attend? Feel free to leave the hashtag, day, and time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Egypt, Steampunk Style by Maeve Alpin



The release of my new Steampunk/Time Travel Romance had me thinking about the Victorians' love for ancient Egypt. I wondered why the Victorians were so fascinated and influenced by ancient Egypt. I came up with seven reasons:
1. The British seized over 5000 relics Napoleon’s Egyptologist collected. They sent them to the British museum for people to view in London
2. The Rosetta stone was translated in 1822. The meaning of the hieroglyphs were lost for so long but now their mysteries were revealed.
3. Cleopatra’s Needle, the obelisk Egypt gave England in 1819, was finally shipped to London in 1878 and erected along the Thames.
4. The Victorians enjoyed travel to exotic destinations. Egypt was a key spot they loved to visit.
5. 1882 -Egypt became a protectorate of Britain. The British defeated the Egyptian Army at Tel El Kebir and took control of Egypt.
6. The Egyptians obsession with the afterlife interested the Victorians due to their obsession with death. The Victorians observed seven stages of mourning with different types of clothing for each. They had a mandated two year mourning period for a deceased spouse. During the mourning period they draped mirrors with black crepe, wore lockets or brooches with a lock of the deceased’s hair inside, and they even had mourning dolls and tear catcher bottles. 
7. Formaldehyde was commercially produced in the 1880’s. Used as an embalming agent–deceased bodies were preserved much longer. This tied into mummification. 

So those are some reasons the Ancient Egyptian culture had a major influence on the Victorian era and also modern Steampunk. As indicated by the titles, two classic Steampunk novels include strong Egyptian influences: The Osiris Ritual by George Mann and The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. I highly recommend them both. And if you like hot romances, take a look at AsTimeless As Stone



Blurb: Little does Ricard know when he sets the broken head of an ancient Egyptian statue onto its body, the stone figure will transform before his eyes into the most beautiful flesh and blood woman he’s ever seen.
Seshat, an ancient Egyptian Priestess is newly awaken in 19th century Paris, after centuries as a stone statue. Though enchanted by the wondrous inventions of steam-servants and a steam-carriage, she is enthralled by the inventor, Ricard. He ignites her sensual desires and in a steamy night of carnal magic, Seshat transforms Ricard’s life forever. But how far will he go to secure her happiness? Is Ricard’s love for Seshat powerful enough to transcend time?

   ~          ~         ~

Maeve Alpin, who also writes as Cornelia Amiri, is the author of 19 books. She creates stories with kilts, corsets, fantasy and happy endings. She lives in Houston Texas with her son, granddaughter, and her cat, Severus. Please visit her pinterst board for As Timeless As Stone. 


 

Celebrate Christmas in July! Only .99!

SANTA TO THE RESCUE by Adele Downs


 Summary:

Firefighter Jamey Tucker knows three things in life to be true: An honorable man doesn't go back on his word, never hurts a woman, and lasting love isn't a myth. But with his recent move to a new job at the Appleton Fire station, the long hours don't offer hope of finding the love he’s looking for.
When Jamey meets beautiful pediatric nurse Heather Longhurst after hearing her sing Santa Baby in a supermarket aisle, he offers her a promise he discovers he can't keep. Heather has been betrayed by men in the past, making it hard for Jamey to gain her trust. Determined to find a way to win her heart, Jamey uses firefighter engine-uity and Heather's favorite song to prove he's got Christmas spirit she can believe in all year.

Only .99! Amazon Kindle Buy Link:

 Only .99! B&N Nook Buy Link:

Excerpt:

Christmas music played over the supermarket loudspeakers, punctuated by the occasional commercial interruption or cleanup request. A tune he remembered his parents singing to him as a child filled the air and Jamey hummed along. Though the song reminded him of home, the lyrics brought unexpected comfort instead of homesickness. It was as if his family had sent him a message to chase away his loneliness.

Though he wouldn’t spend the holidays with his parents or sisters for the first time in his life, the importance of his duty to his new job, and the need to make personal connections in this great new town, bolstered his resolve to make the most of the solitary holiday ahead.

Jamey turned down the bread lane and tossed loaves into the cart as another Christmas song played. It sounded kinda’ girly and sexy and he recognized Taylor Swift’s voice singing Santa Baby in Country music style. His favorite.

When he looked up, a woman further down the aisle grabbed his attention while she sang along. She bent her knees, did a little dip, and then wiggled her butt, which even beneath blue scrubs and a short winter jacket looked incredible.

Jamey halted dead in his tracks, hoping the gorgeous blonde wouldn’t see him and become embarrassed. Or stop.

She sang out, her voice smoky and hot. The subtle rasp in her vocals sent pangs low in his belly that ricocheted to his solar plexus and cranked up his heartbeat.

Her ponytail swung with her next dip and shimmy and Jamey’s mouth went dry. The woman continued on her way, oblivious to him behind her. After another sway of her ponytail, she turned the corner and disappeared out of sight. 

Jamey swallowed. Holy crap. He wanted to follow her, but that would be weird. Plus, if she figured out he’d done that, she’d take him for a freak. Definitely not a good way to make a first impression.

Grudgingly, he headed toward the peanut butter, jams and jellies section, remembering the guys waiting for breakfast. On his way, he glanced down each aisle, hoping to see the woman again, but having no luck. He finished shopping and headed to the checkout line.

A flash of blue cloth in the Express lane kicked up his pulse rate. Jamey headed toward the Fifteen Items or Less sign and did a fast count of the packages inside his cart. One, two, three, four, five… He’d probably be okay.

He picked up his pace to the checkout lane before someone else rolled in behind the beautiful woman with the blonde ponytail, sexy voice and adorable bottom waiting her turn there.

***

Coming November 2014 from Boroughs Publishing! 

HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY by Adele Downs


About Adele Downs:

Adele Downs writes contemporary romance inside the office of her rural Pennsylvania home. She is a former journalist, published in newspapers and magazines inside the USA, UK, and Caribbean.

Adele is an active member of Romance Writers of America and her local RWA chapter where she serves as past-president. She has written several articles for RWR magazine (Romance Writers Report), the trade journal of Romance Writers of America, and has presented workshops for writers. When she isn’t working on her current project, she can be found riding in her convertible or reading a book on the nearest beach.

Visit Adele Downs at http://adeledowns.wordpress.com
Like Adele Downs on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/authoradeledowns

Follow Adele Downs on Twitter! @Adele_Downs

Monday, July 21, 2014

From Now Until August: #Ink_Heart Authors Presents Summer Reads Double Boxed Set

If you haven't heard by now, I've joined up with a group of New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors called Ink Heart. And I'm so excited to announce that one of my books is in a boxed set release with them!

What's more is that you can get our Sexy & Sweet Summer Reads Boxed Set and the Steamy & Sizzling Summer Reads Boxed Set for $2.99 each.

That's 21 books for only $5.98!!!

But these great beach reads won't be around for long -- this deal ends August 1st!!!


Sexy & Sweet Summer Reads 
Available for only $2.99 at:

Falling Into Forever by Elena Aitken
Secrets cause Kari to run, Rhys is determined to catch her, can she find the courage to trust again?

A Daughter’s Place by CJ Carmichael
For the sake of her child, a single mother must face the father who disowned her, the ex-boyfriend who hurt her and the neighbor she's always loved in...

Tempt Me Cowboy by Megan Crane
Chelsea Collier is a good girl schoolteacher who’s never done a bad thing in her life, but bad boy newcomer Jasper Flint is definitely a bad thing worth doing…

His for the Weekend by Janelle Denison
After nine years apart, one forbidden kiss between past lovers leads to one hot weekend, but when their time together is over, will Rachel walk away from Luke again, or can he convince her to stay and be his forever?

Unspoken by Lauren Hawkeye
Once, Ellie Kendrick was the only thing that Dominic Gabriel wanted... now she’s back and her version of what happened between them so long ago makes him question everything he knows about himself as a man...

Weekend with the Tycoon by Kaira Rouda
When wealthy tycoon Blake Putnam invites employee Samantha Jones to a family wedding on Indigo island with no strings attached he knows it’s risky business, but neither of them expects what happens next.

Sweet Reunion by Melanie Shawn
Sometimes first love deserves a second chance.

The Start of Something Good by Renee Vincent writing as Gracie Lee Rose
Who knew Mr. Right lived right next door?

Where Their Hearts Collide by Zoe York
When the girl next door meets the man of her dreams...at exactly the wrong time.



Steamy & Sizzling Summer Reads 
Available for only $2.99 at:

The CEO's Fantasy by RG Alexander
Dean and Sara agree to a month of indulging their most forbidden fantasies--but when reality is better than his wildest dreams, will the CEO break his own rules to keep her?

Wicked All The Way by Shayla Black
When a gruff military man with a desire to control seduces a skittish divorcee bent on finding her independence, will she give in to more than their sizzling chemistry?

The Dom Who Loved Me by Lexi Blake
Sent to steal her secrets, he soon craved her submission.

The Male Stripper by Opal Carew
Her ultimate sexual fantasy brought to life....not one, but two sexy male strippers for one night of torrid passion she'll never forget.

Elemental Pleasure by Mari Carr and Lila Dubois
There is passion and power in three.

Grif by Bianca D’Arc
Grif is far from home when he meets a sexy, magical woman in desperate need of his help.

Web of Desire by Cathryn Fox
When the captive suddenly becomes the captor, Ally finds herself tangled in a web of desire—of her own making.

Allure by Nina Lane
In Book Two of the sexy Spiral of Bliss trilogy, Liv and Dean West's passionate romance is put to the test as they struggle with an unexpected family crisis.

One Hot Fall Term by Sharon Page
College freshman Mia fights to make a long distance relationship work with her gorgeous hometown boyfriend Ryan--but billionaire's son Jonathon plans to seduce her away.

Dare to Love by Carly Phillips
When a man who requires dominance falls for a woman who needs independence, can they survive the fallout?

The Great Escape by Suzanne Rock
Gianni loves dominating Sienna during her sessions at the Ecstasy Spa, but when his ex-lover returns and wants in on the action, all three of them uncover a bond that forces them change their views about love.

Through My Window by Jayne Rylon
What happens when a sex worker fall in love with a client but doesn't plan to quit her job?

Rocked by Cari Quinn and Taryn Elliott
Love definitely wasn't on the setlist.



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By the way, we were also featured at USA Today's Happily Ever AfterStop by and check out the books that I and some of my fellow Ink Heart Authors recommended for that perfect beach read!



Sunday, July 20, 2014

And The Winner Is...

Last month I blogged about my contest addiction that is more of a habit these days. And how my little novella, Pleasure Palace, was a finalist in the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards




Well, I'm happy to announce, we won! First place!


Pleasure Palace

Kelli Scott 

Audrey is desperate for a job—any job—after the breakup of her marriage. The unemployment office refers her to the historic Palace Theatre, affectionately called The Pussy Palace because of its X-rated offerings. She checks her pride at the door, if not her disdain for the raunchy establishment, but despite her contempt for the movie house, she’s compelled to stay when a couple of naughty spirits beckon her to play with them…and the hot guy who runs the projector.

The Palace Theatre has been in Mike’s family for generations, and he dreams of restoring the cinema to its former glory and showing epic old movies on the big screen. Tough to concentrate on goals, however, when his new concession girl has him distracted and a ghost has taken over his body and stolen his free will. At least Mike and the horny spirit have something in common—a desire to claim Audrey.

A Romantica® paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave


 
 







Saturday, July 19, 2014

Manga Recommendations #1: Shoujo

Between the excitement (good and bad) caused by Amazon's new Kindle Unlimited and RWA possibly changing the definition of PAN, I'm exhausted. Let's try for something totally different and completely off topic. Manga recommendations.

For those who don't know, manga are Japanese comics. Unlike American comics, manga are much more mainstream. They take up as much shelf space as other books in Japanese bookstores. They also have a home in most American bookstores now. Manga range in genre from children's books to hardcore XXX porn, depending on your fancy.

My recommendations for today will be coming from the Shoujo genre (ie - for girls/women). Basically the Romance novels of the manga world. And the term Shoujo is just as vague as Romance when it comes to defining the books included in the genre.

Note: A lot of Shoujo manga involve middle school and high school girls since they are the target audience...in Japan. That doesn't mean they are only meant for women in those age groups.

So without further ado, let's get this started. In no particular order...

** Mars by Fuyumi Soryo **

Kira is a quiet girl who just wants to draw while remaining invisible to those around her. Rei is a bad boy who loves to show off and be the center of attention by dating the most girls or racing the fastest bikes. When a chance meeting puts Kira on Rei's radar, the two enter into a relationship that will change both of them forever.

- Volumes: 15 + side story
- Setting: High School
- Sub-genre: Contemporary
- Publisher: TokyoPop (formerly)

This is one of my re-reads. I love this story. Absolutely love it. Soryo-sensei starts things off in the typical manner of boy-meets-girl and then dumps the reader in the deep end. Bullying, suicide, rape, jealous exs, murder, estranged parents, dangerous sports, and an uncertain future -- Kira and Rei face it all and still manage to end up together. It's an emotional roller-coaster. Just when you think things are okay another problem pops up. If you can find this series, I totally recommend reading it.

** Sensual Phrase by Mayu Shinjo **

Aine wants to be a lyricist. Sakuya is the head singer for the popular band Lucifer. Avoiding a car accident puts Aine is Sakuya's path and their whirlwind relationship begins. Aine is tossed into the world of entertainment and treading water won't cut it. She has to swim with the sharks or get eaten all while trying to maintain a relationship with one of the most sought after men in Japan.

- Volumes: 18
- Setting: High School
- Sub-genre: Contemporary
- Publisher: Viz

This is another re-read for me. In fact, Mayu Shinjo is an automatic buy/read. Sakuya is the type of alpha hero you love to love but hate at the same time. He's arrogant and a brat but he's had to become that way to survive. His blue eyes (the mark that he isn't full Japanese) sets him apart. What made him an outcast as a child makes him exotic now that he's a star. In fact, his whole band is comprised of men who have had to struggle in one or another -- a guitarist from an ultra-traditional family who sees his music career as a waste, a bassist who likes to dress like a woman, another guitarist who is in love with his step-sister.

The story follows not only Aine and Sakuya but the band members as well. They all struggle to have lives and loves while trying to make it big and stay there. I will disclose that this story does include some nudity and a rape scene, but don't let that stop you.


** From Far Away by Kyoko Hikawa **

Noriko is a normal high school girl until she is whisked away to a far off land where she is being hunted because she is the legendary Awakening. To keep the darkness inside him at bay, Izark wants Noriko dead but ends up keeping her safe and can't figure out why. And he has to keep doing it because he might have changed his mind but those who want to harness Noriko's power and his haven't stopped. Noriko and Izark's budding relationship will be tested again and again until the danger to both of them is resolved.

- Volumes: 14
- Setting: Fantasy World
- Sub-genre: Fantasy, Action
- Publisher: Viz

Yet another re-read. I devoured this story when I first got ahold of it. I love, love, love fish-out-of-water, thrown-across-dimensions stories. Love them. I have a few that I've written under my other name. Noriko and Izark are both strong-willed and vulnerable at the same time. They depend on each other, lift each other up, and keep each other safe/sane. They are both fighting for their lives and you can't help but be sucked into their struggle, rooting for them the whole way.

* * * *

And that's where I'll end it today. I could go on and on and on but no need to overwhelm you. I think next month I might do Yaoi (m/m) recommendations. Suffice to say, this isn't the last of my manga recommendations.

Happy reading,

Zenobia Renquist
Discover Different and Unique Romance & Erotica
http://about.me/zenobiarenquist
Daily Grind Series :: There's only so much mischief an exhibitionist housewife in an open marriage can get into from day to day...or is there? :: http://zenobiarenquist.com/bookshelf/daily-grind

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dragon & Carpal Tunnel

I probably posted a while ago that I had carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand in December. This hand is it about 97% and still a bit of numbness. But my right hand, and dominant hand is a whole other story. It also had carpal tunnel but wasn't severe as my left hand but I still required surgery on. The same surgeon did the right hand, and now post surgery, the hand is a bust. Who knows what went wrong? Or if it was the surgeon's fault. I could tell though when he was doing it, he was having some trouble a quote from him was "I'm having to dig deeper in this one". Not a good thing here as your surgeon has your hand cut open and knives inside. And yes, I was awake for it. Being real. This image was taken of my left hand 20 days post surgery. It's called a butterfly incision I was told.  
 So now, my hand is twice as bad as before the surgery which means I have to have a second surgery. Where's all this leading? Well as an author I need to type. As a full-time employee I need to keyboard and mouse. I can do none of that. So how am I writing this post? With Dragon software. I'm sure many of you heard of it, the voice recognition software that does the typing for you. You can see my headset under kitty. He sure doesn't make it easy to manage the cords.
My opinion of Dragon? I love it. I doubt I could ever go back to having to type on a keyboard full-time, not because of the pain in my hands which is there, but just simply the speed that I can write at now. Another huge bonus to Dragon is it doesn't make spelling mistakes :-) although it can hear your words a little cockeyed and type something you didn't say. The typo of the century is in the book I'm hoping Harlequin will be publishing in a dual set with my book She Wants It already contracted. In Anything For You, the hero takes the heroine to a bakery and buys a bunch of treats which is placed in a bakery box. He hands the box to her and what should have said "he handed her the box of goodies" was typed by Dragon "he handed her the box of herpes". Perhaps I should've left that for my editor to sort out :-) There's still a lot more to Dragon that I don't know, and have to learn. But, for now I'm delighted with how it works for me.

So, watch for news on my Harlequin release, which should be coming up this fall. Fingers crossed.

RWA! Who's going? I am. So if you're there, I'll be hanging in the bar and would love for you to come up and say hi.

You can find me at: