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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Introducing Myself

How yinz doin' out there?

Pleasure to be here. My name is Danielle Monsch and I am excited to introduce myself as the newest blogger on Sweet N Sexy Divas. 

I guess I should tell you a little about me, after all that's usually the point of an introductory post, right? I was born the seventh son of a seventh son... wait, scratch that, wrong intro.

More like I was born the eldest of three kids in the wilds of Pittsburgh, PA. Ah, Pittsburgh, home of the Stillers, potholes the size of mini moats, Primanti Bros. sandwiches, and guys proudly sporting non-ironic mustaches.

While in my heart I will be a yinzer until the day I die, these days I live in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest. It took awhile to get used to the never-ending greenness and air that doesn’t hold any of my cherished pollutants, but I’m managing. Learning the native language of the PNW citizenry is a little more difficult, with my blunt east coast speech forever smacking hard against their uber PC west coast vernacular. Maybe that’s why I tend to stay inside and write.

Oh yes, writing. The reason I’m here.

I write romance, mostly of the fantasy type variety. I use the term fantasy to encompass everything from paranormal favorites with vampires and demons and werewolves, to the sword & sorcery stuff with elves, dragons, and… well… swords and sorcery, to anything else including updates on mythology and reworkings of fairy tales and crazy alternate histories.

I’ve only been published for a short while. My first story Loving a Fairy Godmother came out in April, and my second Pleasure Satellite came out in May from Ellora’s Cave.

In the works now I have a full length sword & sorcery paranormal romance book that I am shopping around and hoping makes it to print. I also am working on more short stories for the epub market. No release dates yet, but hopefully I’ll have a few more stories released before the end of the year.

Outside of the books I am a proud geek girl who loves my anime and manga (Japanese cartoons and comic books for those who may not be familiar with the terms.) I have a great geek husband, and we are the very lucky parents of two amazing little girls.

You can find me on the web in a few places. My website, facebook, and twitter are all great places to go and friend me. Got to admit I haven’t been too active on any of them lately with summer vacations and family gatherings happening, but I will be getting more active in the next few weeks.

So I hope to see everyone often! My regular blogging day will be the 6th of each month, and I am looking forward to visiting with all of you here on Sweet N Sexy Divas!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Interview with Willa Edwards!!

Please give us your website addy, a list of your books and a short bio.


Willa Edwards has dreamed about being a writer since she was four years old. When she picked up her first romance novel at fifteen she knew she’d found her place, and she’s never looked back.

She now lives in New York, where she works with numbers at her Evil Day Job and spends her nights writing red-hot tales of erotic romance. When she's not at her computer, you can usually find her curled up in bed with her two furry babies, her nose pressed to her e-reader.

Buy Link: http://www.bookstrand.com/midnight-mirage

http://www.cobblestone-press.com/catalog/books/naughtylist.htm

Find me Online: www.willaedwards.com

Find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/willa.edwards

How do you usually come up with a story idea? Dreams? Writer’s journal? Eavesdropping on conversations? Newpaper?

I come up with my ideas all kinds of different ways. It’s often joked about in writing circles that writing a book is like giving birth to a baby. It’s painful, it’s difficult, but in the end our so proud of it, you love it more than might be natural. For me getting an idea is like a conception. It’s a variety of images, ideas, concepts and character traits swirling together until they make one complete idea.

This happens when my brain is most at rest, the least cluttered with what I have to do, what blog needs to be written, what chapters need to be completed, what tasks need to be done for my day job. The most common places for that are in the car rides back and forth from work and the shower. Something about both those places lets my mind rest and ideas to conform and float to the surface.

Who or what inspires you when your creative mojo is lagging?

Hearing other stories is my number one inspiration, especially real stories of love. When I feel my inspiration flagging, I watch television, a good movie or read an awesome book in the same genre as I’m writing. When I do that my mind usually starts spinning, thinking about all the ways I want to change the story to improve it or make it my own.

If that doesn’t work, especially if I’m stuck on a really specific problem, then usually a good long nap will help. Naps are like magic. They can heal and solve any problem.

What importance do you place on writing workshops? What workshops would you recommend to us?

I think writing workshops are great, and have taken a few great ones, but I think they should be used sparingly. Some people take every workshop in the world to improve themselves, and while I think that’s great, it takes time away from the only tried and true way to improve. To write. I try to take workshops on what I view needs to be improved, or what I’ve an editor says I have issue with in a rejection letter or critique. Not just take whatever comes my way.

I would definitely recommend to anyone want to write erotic romance, if you get the opportunity, to take Angela Knight’s Introduction to Erotic Romance. Not only is it an unbelievably informative workshop, but Angela is amazing, and very giving of her time for questions and help of any kind you need.

What person would you like to thank for inspiring you in your writing aspirations? How did this person help you?

I’ve been inspired by the strong women in my life. My mother and my grandmother. From my mother I learned to follow my passion. To work hard and keep striving until you get what you want. From my grandmother I’ve received unending support, and understanding. I dedicated Midnight Mirage to my grandmother. I still haven’t written the right story to dedicate to my mother. It would have to be really special to honor her with.

Have you ever used songs for inspiration?

I often use songs for inspiration. A song coming on the radio while I’m writing a certain work can often change the work, give me a different impression of the characters or another plot point. I have a soundtrack for each story, songs that remind me of the characters or their conflict. You can listen to the soundtrack of each work on my website.

I’ve also had several works that have been completely inspired by a song. My August release, Whatever You Want, Sir, was inspired by Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel, and features a very sexy pair of high heels, just like the song.

Do you play music when you write? If so, what kind? Or, do you have to have silence or background noise to set your writing muse free?

I always have some noise going on while I’m writing (excepting if I’m writing first thing in the morning, because that can wake up the fur babies and then my writing time will have to be put on hold to feed them). But I don’t tend to listen to music, I usually watch movies or television.

It’s funny how this sometimes informs my stories or characters. In one work, that I don’t know if I’ll ever return to, I didn’t even realize I wrote a sword fight into it, like the movie I was watching, until twenty pages later. I’ve also had a few characters changed or evolve similar to a television show character I was watching. When I notice it, it makes me laugh, but I think it has only improved or deepened the characters or story.

Do you read in a different genre than you write? If yes, why? If you read in the same genre that you write, do you feel that it influences your writing in any way?

I read a bit of everything, my own genres and others. I have such a voracious reading appetite I couldn’t discriminate like that. And I get some great ideas by reading other genres and thinking, how could I change that to fit my brand, or genre.

I think the more I read the better I become as I writer, especially the more I’ve gotten into the publishing scene, now I can see the great qualities of someone else’s writing and try to adapt it into my own writing, in my own way. But I don’t feel that reading someone else’s work can ever change my style or voice. I’m very comfortable in my own writer’s skin.

What is your process from idea to first draft?

My works always start as a little germ of an idea, usually a what if question that floats into my head. Like what if a woman wasn’t interested in monogamy, what type of love story would she have? Or what kind of men would be not only be interested in a ménage but actually capable of sustaining one regardless of general opinion? These questions float through my head until the characters and the plot find these questions, sometimes in long strains of understanding and sometimes in small pebbles of inspiration.

I wait until the words start to form in my head, then I hit the page, writing away until I have a complete draft. I don’t write chronologically, but instead write whatever comes to me as it arrives. Rarely do I write an outline, and I only do minimal character charts (which is actually a pretty new addition to my process and still kind of choppy).

I always consider myself the first reader of my work, and I want to be just as surprised as my readers by what happens next.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishments in your career so far?

Getting as far as 14th on the bookstrand bestsellers list has really been a source of pride for me. Especially as a new author to Siren Publishing, it’s a huge honor to be so accepted by readers and my new publisher.

If you won the big lottery, what would you do with the money? Would give any of it to charity? If so, which one?

The first thing I’d do is quit my day job. I’d love to buy a business, maybe a publishing company, do things my own way.

I would love to give money to charity as well. I’d pick charities the help people to better themselves. Single mothers trying to take care of their children and work, or families in unindustrialized countries trying to improve their situation. I’d also love to help out rescued animals, my own little fur babies were rescues, and I’d really love to promote people adopting rescued animals over buying animals from breeders or pet mills.

What is the best advice you want to give to a new writer?

My best advice to new writers is to try new things and find our own path. I wasted a lot of time trying to do what I thought writers did, trying to write how I thought writers write and trying to write what I thought others would approve of. It wasn’t until I tried to do my own thing and follow my own drummer that I really started to be not only successful in my writing, but love doing.

If you could choose an animal for a mascot, what animal would it be? What do you admire about this animal? Do you feel you have qualities similar to this animal? If so, what are they?

I’ve always love owls, so if I were to pick a mascot I would choose an owl. They are very smart, like me, and they enjoy the night time, which I do as well. My nick name at home has always been night owl, because I always stay up the latest and sleep in past everyone else (usually because it was the only way to get any time alone). And they often wear glasses, which I do too.

If money, education and fear factors were set aside, what three careers would you like to attempt other than writing?

I’d love to own my own business. To be my own boss. This bad economy has taught me a few things, and one is I’d like to be in charge of my own fate and not allow an employer’s the power to determine my place. Maybe run my own publishing company, bookstore or marketing agency.

I’d love to work for an environmental protection company of some kind. I don’t have any idea what I’d do, because the only thing I really know they need is engineers and if I could have done that I would have right out of the gate (my family is full of engineers, including my grandfathers, that’s right plural, both my parents, my little brother, and many of my cousins, I know my mother would have loved for me to be an engineer. Though she’s happy with my choice to follow my own passion). Protecting the environment is very important to me. I’m always telling people to shut off lights, save paper, water or Styrofoam cups. I’d love to be able to do even more to help our planet.

I would love to do something with animals. I’d be a horrible vet. I don’t do well in emergency situations, or with blood or other bodily fluids. Maybe I could run a shelter or organize a foster system for animals. Something to help them find homes with people who will love and take care of them. As each one of them deserves.

If money, talent and fear were no object, what big adventure would you like to have?

I’d love to tour the world. Spending months if not years in some places. I think it would take me a year to see everything in Paris and to tour Italy. I’ve wanted to go back to Ireland, England and see Scotland for some time. I’d love to see New Zealand and Australia. I’d also love to take my friends and family with me. It would be a pretty lonely trip without anyone to share it with. But that would take a lot of money and a lot of time, so I would definitely have to be extremely wealthy before the trip even started because no more money would be coming in during that time (except maybe some big royalty checks).

What characteristics do you like to instill in your heroes? What characteristics do you feel are necessary for a good heroine?

My favorite characteristic to add to my heroes is passion. Passion beyond the heroine. Passion in their profession or his family. I don’t think anything is sexier than a man filled with passion.

For heroines the number one characteristic is determination, the ability to go after what they want. Whether it’s in work, family, love or the bedroom. I think there’s nothing sexier than a woman demanding what she needs, especially from the hero (who is usually more than happy to give it to her).

If you had the power to change two things in the world, what would those two things be?

My first wish would be to make people more open minded. For people to longer care about how people love, whether they’re of the same sex, or different colors. To not care what people do, or write.

My second would be eliminating money so everyone could follow their dreams, and no one would have to waste their life or talent in a job they hated.

If could have a super power for a day, what would it be? Why?

I’d love the ability to clone myself in five other people. One to go to work, one to clean and cook, one to do promo for me and write blogs, one to run errands for me, and one to spend time with friends and family, so I could write. And then I could switch out with some of them when I was in the mood (but I’m afraid the maid me and the errand me would be stuck, because I have no interest trading with them).








Friday, July 29, 2011

First Blood

First Blood

With the sweltering July heat we’ve endured lately, I’ve often tried to imagine how it must have been for the soldiers during the Civil War, who marched and fought without water, wearing wool coats and caps, in the mid-day sun.

July 21st marked the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas or Bull Run. This was the first blood of the war, the first time ordinary farmhands, store clerks, bookkeepers and teamsters were forced to stand in the face of close arms fire while men fell dead and wounded around them.

Manassas, was actually a small railroad station about 25 miles southeast of Washington, at the junction of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad and the Manassas Gap Railroad. It was a simple one-story warehouse and several cottages surrounded by open farm country.

The strategic position of this railroad junction was immediately recognized by both the North and the South because of the access it provided to the interior of Virginia. As the Confederate Army converged on Manassas, McDowell marched his army from Washington. Not used to long marches, it took these new recruits two and a half days to make the journey.

The battle field centered around the intersection of Warrentown Turnpike and Sudley Road, where Bull Run Creek wandered through the east end of the battlefield.

Hoping to see a real battle hundreds of civilian sight-seers, politicians and their wives, rode out from Washington in carriages and barouches to join the army. They brought binoculars, picnic baskets and bottles of champagne. Many soldiers thought it was a good idea to have the members of the Senate and Congress, “come out to see us thrash the Rebs.” As one Connecticut boy said.

The Battle of Bull Run began at 5:15am on Sunday July 21, 1861 when a thirty-pounder Parrot gun, the biggest weapon in the Federal artillery, sent a shell across Bull Run toward the Confederate lines near Stone Bridge. A little past 9am, McDowell sent his men across the creek. On a hillside three miles away civilians waved their hats and handkerchiefs.

Federal troops quickly sent the Confederates running. Some of the men stopped to collect souvenirs from the Rebels who had fallen.

But in the center of the retreating Confederates was the brigade of General Thomas J. Jackson. General Bernard Bee, who was trying hold on to his frightened men, shouted out, “Look there is Jackson with his Virginians, standing like a stone wall!” The Confederate lines held and the name Stonewall Jackson stuck.

Union cavalry, wearing their brand new uniforms waiting to be ordered to the front were horrified as the first bloody wounded were carried to the rear. Some vomited from their saddles.

Fighting see-sawed back and forth across the hillside from 2-4pm. After marching and fighting in brutal heat without food or water for fourteen hours, the Federal troops were shocked when Confederate Reserves poured onto the field. Jackson told his men to “yell like furies!” For the first time Federal troops heard the sound that would echo across a thousand battlefields. Half shout, half foxhound yelp, veterans remembered the sound years after the war.

The Federal line broke and men retreated across Bull Run in every direction crossing at bridges, fords or any place a man could cross. Officers threatened to shoot them, but they didn’t care. Panicked civilians pushed and shoved to get away from the battlefield. Shawls and parasols were lost, some people were drowned

The situation in the Confederate ranks was not much better. By the end of the afternoon the brigades were so confused the officers could not get them lined up to pursue the disorganized Yankees caught up in the clogged roads.

Some 4,500 men were killed, wounded or captured in the battle the North called Bull Run and the south called Manasses.

In my Civil War short story, Redemption of a Cavalier, my hero, Wesley Cole had faced his first battle as naïve and inexperienced to the horrors of war as the men who fought that sweltering hot July day. That trauma shaped the man he’d become as the story opens.

Excerpt:
“Stop right there.” Though she tried to sound tough her southern drawl softened the hard edge of her command. “Put your gun down and leave this house.”
“Ma’am, I mean you no harm. I don’t know why you’re here but it isn’t safe.”
There was a long pause then from behind the door came an incredulous question. “Wes?”
Nonplused he stared. “Who are you?”
Slowly the barrel lowered, and the door swung inward. A young woman stepped out from behind it.
His mouth dropped open in shock. “Abby?”
She wore her wheat blonde hair pulled back into a simple long braid. Her dress was faded and patched, and hung loose on her too thin body. Her eyes were the same soft brown, but a few tiny lines around the corners lent her an aura of maturity he found more appealing than the bright-eyed innocence she’d had at sixteen.
He almost reached out to embrace her, but checked the impulse. Instead he latched onto the memory of Manassas, flogging himself with haunting images of the battle, grinding them like salt into his wounded soul, making certain he would never forget that what he’d done that day had torn their love apart forever.
She took a hesitant step forward, her brown eyes searching his face. “You’ve been well?”
“Disappointed?”
She gasped and stepped back as though he’d struck her. “Oh, Wes, can you ever forgive me for writin’ that hateful letter? We were all so young. We didn’t understand what war was. It was all supposed to be so glorious. Our boys were goin’ to fire their guns and send the Yankees runnin’ back north. No one was supposed to die. It wasn’t your fault. Matthew would have died even if you had been standin’ right beside him.”
“But I wasn’t was I?” Self-loathing laced his words with bitterness. “No, I ran to the rear and hid behind a tree snivelin’ like a Goddamn baby.”

To Purchase: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_135&products_id=384

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What Makes a Hero?

On and off during the last couple of years I've read that some men are afraid that books, such as the Twilight series, will give women and girls expectations that they can't possibly meet. They are afraid that their girlfriends or wives will want a perfect guy like Edward. Putting aside the idea that a vampire who sparkles in the sun, and doesn't have the control to do much more than kiss his girlfriend is perfect, the last thing men should be worried about is a fictional hero.

To be a hero to a wife, girlfriend, child or friend doesn't take supernatural ability. Yes, we love reading about men that kick ass and take no prisoners to protect their family, but it's the emotion behind that act of bravery that makes us crave that type of love story.

My husband installed a new water heater this summer, including rewiring the electric in the basement because it was a different type of heater than we'd had before. When he was almost finished I went down to hold the flashlight for him while he did the final wiring. He made a joke about his mad skills and how hot it was that he could do this type of work. We laughed about it, but later I realized that it IS cool, and yes, sexy, that he can give me back hot water without calling an expensive repairman. I also find it sexy that he is a good father, comforts me when I'm sad or stressed, and that he does little things like buy me my favorite kind of chocolate when he knows I had a rough day. All of these things combined make him a hero to me.

Rather than worrying about women having unrealistic expectations, perhaps guys should be focusing on truly getting to know someone and learning what makes them tick. If men really took a good look at our favorite romance novels I think they'd find that they CAN meet those expectations in their own way. Women aren't stupid. We know our man will never have supernatural strength to fight vampires or zombies. He may not have perfect abs or the ability to wield a sword, but that's okay. It's more about us wanting a man that we can IMAGINE would do those things if he could.

I think women simply want their own personal hero. For each of us this means something different and the man who figures it out is the one we'll love forever.

What do you think?

~Brenda

Brenda Hyde has been a freelance writer of home and garden articles for over 20 years, and now she's also writing paranormal romance through short stories and novellas. You can find her at the Wayfaring Writer blog here: http://moonsanity.blogspot.com/.

Find Your Own Dutch Treat




My latest novel, Dutch Treat was just released by Dreamspinner Press and I thought I'd give you an excerpt. I hope you like it. I spent 5 months working in the Netherlands and it was both an amazing and lonely experience. I used many of my experiences in this story, but I didn't come home with a dark, sexy European.

Blurb:

When Michael accepts a company assignment overseas, he doesn't count on being dumped by his boyfriend on the way to the airport. The breakup is a bad omen--Michael's time in Europe would be one long misery of loneliness and corporate backbiting if it weren’t for his friendship with his coworker, Stephan.

When he finds out Stephan wants more than friendship, Michael is torn. Even if he chooses to risk his one bright relationship in Europe for a chance at love, when this project is over, isn't his only choice to say goodbye?
Purchase from Dreamspinner Press

Excerpt:

“Is this your first visit to the Netherlands?” Johan asked. Both Hans and Johan appeared older than Michael, but both men were handsome. They had trim bodies and slightly graying dark hair, and eyes that looked at one another the way Michael hoped someone would one day look at him.

“This is my first visit to Europe,” Michael answered, pulling himself out of his examination of the handsome men. “I’m here for almost six months working on a project, and Stephan asked if I’d like to come along today.” He couldn’t help glancing at his host. “I haven’t seen anything yet.” Michael tried to keep the excitement out of his voice, not wanting to appear like some wide-eyed kid, but he doubted he was very successful.

“It is funny,” Hans observed from where he sat across from Michael, “but we’d never come to Bruges or most any place else if it wasn’t for visitors. We went to the South of France a few years ago to relax on the beach, and we’ve been to Tenerife and Malta, but otherwise we stay close to home.” Johan leaned close to Hans, saying something in his lover’s ear. Hans smiled before nudging Johan with his shoulder. “Bruges is a wonderful place to fall in love,” Hans said, looking at both Stephan and Michael.

“For goodness’ sake,” Stephan said softly before turning to Michael. “Hans has been trying to, uh, fix me up, for a while now.” The conversation continued, and Michael found himself staring out the window for a while, watching as the scenery steadily passed by the windows. Cities gave way to towns and farms and then turned back into city as they approached Rotterdam. They had to change trains and soon they were off again. “We’re about to cross into Belgium,” Stephan explained, and a short time later, they stopped to change engines and then they were on their way.

Everyone continued talking as they continued on, once again changing trains in Antwerp for a smaller train that wound through the Belgian countryside. “Things are different in Belgium,” Stephan explained. “The country is larger and has fewer people, so it’s wilder, more natural, I guess.” They passed through some small towns, and Michael noticed that Peter was equally enthralled by the scenery. The other guys let them marvel at what passed the windows.

“Bruges is coming up soon,” Hans explained as the train pulled away from a stop. “We should get ready to exit.” They gathered their things, not that there was much, and when the train stopped, they all got off and wandered through the old train station toward the exit. As soon as they got outside, Michael wished he’d brought a heavier jacket. The sun was shining, but the breeze was cool and went through his clothes. “The town center is this direction, and we’ll have to walk a short way,” Hans instructed.

“We should stop for lunch first,” Johan commented from the back of the group, and Hans laughed, saying something about his partner always being hungry.

Michael did his best to keep up with the group, but every time they turned a corner he saw something he’d never seen before: cathedrals, stores in buildings that looked like they had been there forever, and when they came to the square, Michael stopped in his tracks, looking all around him at the decorated buildings. “Michael, are you all right?” Stephan asked when he stopped for what had to be the millionth time.

“I’m fine. I just want to see everything.”

“You will, I promise. We’re going to have lunch, and then I’ll take you all around, and we can take a boat tour of the canals.” Michael nodded and shivered slightly when the wind blew through the square. “Are you cold?” Stephan asked, and without waiting, he opened the backpack he’d been carrying and pulled out a sweatshirt. “You can wear this if you want,” Stephan told him.
“Won’t you need it?” Michael asked, not wanting Stephan to be cold because he’d given him his sweatshirt.

“Probably not. This is perfect outdoor weather,” Stephan replied, handing Michael the sweatshirt. Michael pulled it over his head, grateful for the warmth and Stephan’s thoughtfulness.

“Would everyone like to sit outside?” Johan asked, walking toward a restaurant on the square. They all agreed. Johan spoke with the maître d’, and they were seated immediately at a table right on the square under an awning. Menus were presented, and Michael was relieved to see they were in both Dutch and English, although he forgot about it completely as he watched horse-drawn carriages pass and heard bells ringing the hour across the square.

“Michael,” Stephan said quietly from next to him, “do you know what you want?”

Michael had no idea, but took a stab and ordered the schnitzel when it was his turn to order. Food began to appear, and the conversation turned to the day’s activities. Peter wanted to go shopping, so after lunch Hans and Johan were going to take Peter walking down the shopping streets. Michael wanted to see things, so he and Stephan were going off on their own.

The food arrived, and Michael took a tentative bite before eating with relish. “It is good, yes?” Stephan asked with a smile.

Michael put down his fork, swallowing before answering, “It’s wonderful. I think I found a new favorite food.” They all chuckled lightly and continued eating and talking. When they were finished, they paid the bill and left the table, agreeing to meet back at the restaurant later that afternoon.

“Come,” Stephan told him., “I have something very special to show you.” Stephan had already begun walking, and Michael followed him out of the square and along a busy street to a huge church. “This cathedral is very important,” Stephan told him and walked toward the entrance. Michael paid the small entrance fee, and they stepped inside the massive building and toward an altar where people seemed to be congregating, snapping pictures. “That small Madonna and child,” Stephan explained, and Michael nodded, “is the only work by Michelangelo outside Italy.”

Michael gaped open-mouthed at the small marble sculpture. He could only get so close, but even from the distance everyone was required to stay back, he could see amazing details in the small work. “I heard about things like this, but never expected to actually see them.” He’d seen pictures in books of famous artworks, but to get to see one for real was amazing. “Is there more?”

“There’s lots more,” Stephan assured him as they moved away and wandered through the church, with its massive altars and large sculptures of saints, centuries old. “Do you like it?”

“Yes,” Michael answered, his head craned back looking up toward the ceiling towering overhead. “It’s beautiful.”

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pirates and Aliens and Sex, Oh My!



Hello everyone! My name is Christine d'Abo and I am a new addition to Sweet N Sexy Divas. I thought I'd give a brief introduction to who I am before I dive into my topic.

For those of you who don't know me, I've been writing erotic romance for four years now. I got my start with Ellora's Cave, but over the years I've also published with Samhain, and have upcoming releases with Cleis Press, Carina Press and Berkley Heat.

My writing career to date has been a wild ride. A lot has happened that I'd never expected and it has taken me places I am thrilled to have gone. When I first started out, I was writing stories mostly for my own sanity. I never thought anyone would read them, nor was I planning on sending them out. But the more I got into my stories, the more I thought I'd like to share them. The fact that anyone actually looks for my stories is flattering beyond believe.

I'm a sci-fi girl at heart and have been since I was a kid. I loved Doctor Who, Start Trek, Buck Rogers and any other show I could get my hands on. My parents didn't get where my love came from, but they certainly encouraged it. But when I started writing seriously, it never occurred to me to write sci-fi. Weird, right? And combining sci-fi and romance...who did that!?

Thank God I figured it out. :)

I can pinpoint when I first became fascinated with the idea of romance in space. It was an episode of Buck Rogers. Erin Gray's character was being seduced by a space vampire. When I look back on YouTube to see clips from the episode now, I think, "Dear lord, this is bad crap", but at the time I was enthralled.

My own space universes tend to have few vamps and more aliens. :) The pleasure at exploring ideas in my own playground where I make the rules has been a liberating experience for me. Sexy gay space pirates? Sure! Alien life bonds that result is smutty sex? Hell yes! Everyone has fun in my universe. :)

To date, I have two separate erotic romance sci-fic series. The Eternal Bond books take place on a human colony on the far reaches of space. My humans are far from perfect and their alien love interests stumble as much as they succeed. The colonists who live on Eurus fight themselves as much as they fight the alien invasions.

My newest series is called Bounty. Hot and dangerous, my space pirates as bad boys who find love where they least expect it. Book one in the series, No Quarter was my first m/m and I have to say I loved writing it. Now with more than a few under my belt, I have to say my love of m/m space romance is high.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

No Master is my most recent release. This stand alone book follows Korbin, the head of the pirates. His quest to save his second in command from falling back into the life of being a sex slave was a challenging book for me to write. I'm thrilled with the end result and I hope you will be too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

TIME PLAINS DRIFTER IS RELEASED...AGAIN!



Time Plains Drifter is a different kind of romance novel than anything I’ve ever read. I think that’s why I enjoyed writing it so much.

After being released in December of 2009 with an unscrupulous publisher, I took my rights back after only three months and spent the next year searching for another home for it. Just this past spring, it was placed with WESTERN TRAIL BLAZER, an imprint of PUBLISHING BY REBECCA J. VICKERY. This is a marvelous company that handles some much “bigger” names than I have, such as Peter Brandvold, Jory Sherman, and Madeline Baker, among others. Print books are important to me, although I understand that e-publishing is growing by leaps and bounds. I’m sure that WESTERN TRAIL BLAZER will prove to be the perfect place for Time Plains Drifter, and I’m glad to say I now have the sequel in the works.

That being said, let me tell you why Time Plains Drifter is so hard to pigeonhole and why that may be a bit scary in today’s market.

I knew Time Plains Drifter was going to have to be classified as a time-travel romance; that’s how the H/h meet one another. She’s from 2010—he’s from 1879. That was the easy part. The part that was a bit harder to work around was that he was dead. I just couldn’t get past the premise that Rafe d’Angelico was going to be the “paranormal element” of the story. I didn’t want him to be a werewolf, vampire, or shapeshifter. So that left angels, demons, zombies and so forth. I chose for him to be an angel.

Working with Rafe—an angel who didn’t want to be an angel—was a challenge. I told him he had a pretty good deal going. He told me, “I want to be human again.” In the end, I realized he was right, and that was the only way to resolve the issue of time-travel-paranormal-angel-demon-human issues.

Jenni Dalton, the heroine, was completely unsuspecting in all this. She went out on a stargazing field trip with seven of her high school students one night and they never came home. Instead, they ended up in Indian Territory, 1895; one hundred-fifteen years in the past.

Jenni’s got it rough, trying to deal with her seven charges, four of them the senior class troublemakers. It takes Rafe to bring them to heel and get them to toe the mark, until the gravity of their situation causes them to all make some surprising adjustments.

As Rafe and Jenni realize their growing attraction to one another is fated, they also understand there is no way anything can come of it on a permanent basis—Rafe is an angel, and Jenni is human.

The twists and turns that finally bring the book around to the HEA were the most fun to come up with for me. But the story itself, being so unique, is tough to categorize.

Time Plains Drifter is special to me because it’s the first project my daughter, Jessica, and I have had the chance to work on together. She designed the cover art. I absolutely LOVE what she did.

Time Plains Drifter was the recipient of The Reviewer’s Top Pick Award by Karen M. Nutt, PNR reviews. It also received a 4.5 star review from Romantic Times Magazine. I was selected as the recipient of the Honorable Mention—Best New Paranormal Author category in PNR’s PEARL Awards last year (March 2010), based on Time Plains Drifter.

The sequel has been a delight to work on, with a different twist than the first book, and some familiar characters will be the stars of the show this time around since the story is built around Rafe’s brother, Cris, and Jenni’s sister, Victoria.

Time Plains Drifter is now available in all formats, including print, Kindle, and Nook. Take a look at my Amazon page to order. (See link below.)
Cheryl's Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002JV8GUE

I’ve included the blurb and an excerpt below. Please leave a comment! I always love to hear from readers and other authors. Visit my website at http://www.cherylpierson.com
Enjoy!


BLURB:
Trapped in Indian Territory of 1895 by a quirk of nature, high school teacher Jenni Dalton must find a way to get her seven students back to 2005. Handsome U.S. Marshal Rafe d’Angelico seems like the answer to her prayers; he is, after all, an angel. In a race against time and evil, Rafe has one chance to save Jenni’s life and her soul from The Dark One—but can their love survive?

EXCERPT from TIME PLAINS DRIFTER:

He closed his eyes, letting the pleasurable feel of her wet mouth on his body wash over him, along with her voice. “Some things never change,”she’d said earlier. Her Oklahoma accent was a slow waltz to his mind, its lilting cadence urging him to accept what they had between them. Still, he couldn’t let it go. Couldn’t ever be dishonest with her, of all people.

“Don’t you want to know—”

She stopped him, placing two cool fingers across his lips, smiling at the tickle of his moustache against her skin. The smile faded as she absorbed the worry in his expression, the smoldering fire in his eyes, and made it her own.

“Not now, I don’t. You asked me—earlier—if I felt it. Whatever it is between us. I do.” Debating with herself, she hesitated a moment before coming to a decision. “I want you, Rafe,” she murmured. “I trust you.” She nuzzled his neck.“It doesn’t matter now, who—or what—you are.”

His hand closed in a fist around the shimmering satin of her copper hair, his chest filling with a sweet peace at her quiet words.

Dead...alive...Mexican...American...man...ghost...angel...

His mind churned as Jenni kissed him once again. Accepting him, for whoever he might be. She loved him. She hadn’t said it yet, but he knew it by the gentle way her lips grazed across his, then claimed his mouth completely, as if that was the only way she had to let him know how she felt. They breathed together, as one.

He answered her wordlessly, his tongue going into her mouth, fingers
splaying and tightening against her scalp as he pulled her to him.
She came across his bare chest, the stiffness of the material of her own blouse gliding with gentle abrasion across his nipples. He groaned in pleasure and felt her smile against his mouth. She made the move again as she lifted her lips from his, emerald eyes sparkling into his searing gaze.

“We’ll talk later,” she assured him.

“It’ll be too late to change your mind about me then,” he said, half-jokingly.

“I won’t change my mind, Rafe.”

The sweet sincerity in her voice and the promise in her eyes reassured him. He pulled her down silently. As their mouths melded once more, he rolled, taking her with him, changing their positions so he lay atop her.

She gasped, yielding to him, her cool palms sliding over the fevered heat of his skin, across his chest and shoulders. He began to unbutton her blouse as he kissed her, his fingers moving deftly. He pushed away the first layer of material with his customary impatience, then started on the stays of her corset.

She twisted beneath him at the loosening of the undergarment. He pulled her upright momentarily, whisking blouse and corset over her head, dropping them in a heap on the floor.

In silent invitation, Jenni lifted her hand to him. She touched his side, and he flinched slightly as her fingers lingered over the very place the Bowie had gone into him earlier that day. Even though a red scar marked the spot, there was no pain for him, and he saw no puzzlement in her eyes...only concern.

“Does it hurt?”

It was as he had suspected. She’d seen what had happened, how bad it should have been...but wasn’t. And she had accepted it, unconditionally. They would talk later, as she’d said, but somehow, he felt he would find the words he needed to explain things to her. He shook his head slightly. “No.”

A vulnerable uncertainty crossed her face for a moment. “Well, then, Marshal—what’re you waiting for?” He unfastened her skirt and petticoat, then made short work of the stockings and underpants.

God. Rafe swallowed hard, reaching to trace the faded tan lines across her shoulders. He moistened his lips, his teeth sinking into the lower one momentarily. His pulse raced as his gaze moved over her face—then lower, to her breasts, her flat belly, and the triangle of soft hair, below.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Guest Post with Kelly Jamieson!


My most recent book Power Shift is the fourth book I’ve written with BDSM themes. For those of you reading this who don’t read BDSM stories, let me assure you that all my books are very romantic, very emotional and very sensual stories even if there are scenes involving light bondage, domination, submission and yes, some ventures into mild sadism and masochism. When my characters have sadistic tendencies, they’re not sadistic just because it gives them pleasure to hurt someone. They’re definitely not cruel. Their pleasure comes from knowing that their partner needs, wants, even craves sensation, and that in giving it to her, they’re giving her pleasure, too.




I’m fascinated by the whole idea of the power exchange and who really has control in a relationship. In Power Shift, Gabe is a Dominant who wants to be in control. Has to be in control. It’s often felt that it is really the submissive who has the power, because she (and I say she only because my story features a male Dom/female sub) gives the power to the Dom. If the submissive doesn’t submit, the Dom can’t dominate. But even so, there can’t be submission unless the Dom uses the power. So it’s not just one giving something to the other—it’s an exchange.

The exchange of power is based on mutual trust and respect. Part of that respect is respecting the partner’s fears and doubts, needs and wants. It’s about connecting on a different level.

In Power Shift, for the first time I explored a Dom who needs to give up control. Reagan has an instinctive sense for what Gabe wants and needs. But Gabe is in denial. Gabe believes he has to be in control, always, and he refuses to give it up to Reagan. For a Master Dom, Gabe still has much to learn. As he says, the journey never ends. Gabe learns that there will be times when Reagan needs and wants to submit to him, to give up control. But there will also be times when she needs to take control, when he needs to shift the power to her. Does he need to give up the power —or does she need to take it?

The fluidity of this in a relationship where both partners are in tune with each other’s needs and wants struck me as a power flow. This endless flow of back and forth, giving and receiving, seemed to me more like a shift of power than an exchange. When both partners are open to each other, when they care and trust and respect each other, they know what the other needs and want to give it. Or take it. And if there’s love and commitment, trust and respect, it will balance and shift back and forth.

And that is what I think draws me to write stories involving BDSM ― the journey of self-discovery that makes for a character arc rich in growth and learning and, ultimately, makes for a deeply satisfying story.

Here’s a small excerpt from Power Shift:

He was silent for a long moment, his hand rubbing up and down her back in a soothing but sexy rhythm that started a tingle down low inside her again. “See. I was right.”

“About what?”

“About you. Being strong.”

“Thank you, Gabe.”

“That’s important to you, isn’t it?”

“Right now...it’s the most important thing.”

He nodded and the heat from his hands spread through her body, that fluttering deep inside intensifying into a familiar ache of desire.

She wanted to ask him more questions about his mother, about his business, about the woman who’d hurt him, but his hands on her skin were sending warm tingles over every nerve ending. He tugged her higher against his body and tipped her chin up so he could kiss her. His mouth slid over hers in a long, drugging kiss.

“I think you’re very strong Reagan.”

“Thank you.”

Then he drew back again. “But there’s something you should know about me.”

“Okay.”

“I like to dominate women. In bed.”

She snorted. “No shit. I got that, big guy.” When he didn’t answer right away, she lifted her head to look at him. He stared back at her, his mouth open.

“I don’t know if you understand,” he said carefully. “I mean I like to dominate. I’m into stuff like bondage. Floggers and canes.”

“Oh.” Her heart missed a beat, then sped up. “Really.”

“Yes. I like to be in control.”

“And once again, I say...duh.”

A smile tugged at his mouth and she touched his bottom lip with her fingertips. “Doesn’t that scare you?”

“Um...no.” She thought about it. “Is that why you spanked me?”

“I spanked you because you were asking for it.” He paused. “I’m not a sadist. I don’t hurt women just for fun. I only give them what they need.”

“I see.” Yeah, she saw, all right. Her instincts about him had been right. He was the last guy she should be involved with, if the last thing she wanted was to be trapped in another controlling relationship.

Here’s where you can find Kelly:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Kelly’s Yahoo Newsletter group

Nine Naughty Novelists

Sunday, July 24, 2011

So which season gets you more in the mood for romance?

Is it fall, with thoughts of back-to-school making you think of the new kids you would meet each year, inevitably falling in love with someone "over your pay grade", who wouldn't even notice you? Crunching through the leaves, enjoying the changing weather, feeling the chill in the air, making you think of hot chocolate and warm fuzzy sweaters?


Or is it winter, with all of those opportunities for snuggling against the cold? The drinks/food/camaraderie of holiday occasions? Ice-skating, sledding, snowball fights, then coming in with cherry-red noses, warming yourself by the crackling fire? Afghans wrapping around you and that special someone, to enhance the warmth generated by your mutual body-heat, which raises the closer you press your bodies together.

How about spring, with the excitement of the changing of the season, from one that makes you want to stay indoors all of the time, to one that makes you want to be outside feeling the warm sunshine on your face? Rebirth is an important theme in spring, and new loves are a perfect accompaniment to dodging raindrops in April, and walking through fields of flowers in May.

Then there is summer...which I have to admit, used to be the season I liked the least. But I got married in late June, on a hot, humid day, with thunderstorms threatening our outdoor dining arrangements, making the tent all but collapse a few times. Since then I have learned to love the sound of thunderstorms and enjoy the feeling of anticipation when the air is heavy with moisture and you can smell the rain before it starts. There's nothing like the sound of raindrops on a camper roof, lulling you to sleep with the knowledge that you are comfortable and dry. And while we are at it, when it's too hot to sleep, there's always that other fun bedroom activity you can do! You are already sweating anyway, so why not enjoy the lack of flannel pajamas and raise your body temperature so much that once you are done you will feel all cooled off?

Here's to summer romance, the kind that makes you remember hot, sweaty, sticky nights, along with the pleasure of resting in each others' arms afterwards.





In my latest book, Two For Tuesday, Marcus is reminiscing about back in college when he and Melanie were f**k buddies who gradually fell in love. What started out as a one-day-a-week-fling for them has become important enough to him for him to start an argument with her over her still seeing other men. Afterwards they made up with explosive sex until her roommate came home and threw them out of the apartment. They retired to his dorm room where he convinced his roommate to spend the night in the commons area, so they could have more sweaty, screaming sex.

Since Marcus didn't have anything to drink in his room, he snuck out into the hallway to fill a water bottle, then returned to find Melanie had stretched out on the bottom bunk, which he had told her was his bed. He joined her and despite it being a tight squeeze, they settled comfortably into each others' arms.
“I'm not sure if I can sleep like this all night, though,” Melanie said after a while during which they'd run their hands over each other possessively. “I'll get a crick in my neck from having it bent up to rest on your shoulder.”

They separated then, lying side-by-side on the small, twin bed. They lay in silence for a while before Marcus spoke softly. “Melanie? Are you asleep?”

“Almost. Why?”

“Did you really sleep with a professor and both of his sons?”

There was a snort of laughter. “Do you really want to know the answer to that?”

“I…I guess not. Forget it.”

Melanie turned to lean on his chest. “Marcus, look at me.”

He could barely make out her face in the moonlight streaming in through the window.

“It was the second semester of my first year here. I was sowing a whole lotta wild oats, what with feeling free of the restraints of living in my parents' house, and being able to stay out all night if I wanted to. I hadn't met you yet. It was years ago. There's no reason for you to be jealous of something that happened before I met you.”

Marcus pulled her face down to kiss her possessively. “I know that. I also know that there's a whole lot of men I could be jealous of, but hunting them down one-by-one wouldn't change anything. It's just that I love you so much. I want you to belong only to me.”

Melanie smiled so broadly with her face against his chest, that Marcus felt her dimples deepen.

“Well, I do now, mister. So you'd better be eating your Wheaties to keep your strength up. You're gonna have to work really hard to keep me happy, since I've never been able to get everything I want from just one man.”

Marcus sighed.

“Marcus?”

“What?”

“Think you're up for it?”

“Again? Now?”

“No, silly man. I mean, for the long term?”

“I'll give it my best shot.”

Melanie nodded, smiling again. “Good-night, lover.”

Marcus was the one to smile now. “Good-night, honey.”

He smiled even more broadly when she slapped him gently on the arm. Then she snuggled back into his side, and soon they were both asleep.


Find out more at: www.fionamcgier.com

Buy link: http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/torrid/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=589&zenid=21d5b183b8c0fcac4cfb49e0f2f2d4a3

Saturday, July 23, 2011

If you love to read, you'll love this!!!

Follow the trails and discover great new writers this summer. The free reads include short stories, serial installments, deleted scenes and book excerpts from published and unpublished authors. The Summer Reading Trail will run from May 1 through the end of July. New links will be updated on the first of every month, so you can enjoy a summer of reading. You are encouraged to explore authors’ websites and blogs, to take a moment to leave them a comment and to bookmark sites and visit often.


Just click on the below icon for the list of authors and their titles:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Interview with Taige Crenshaw!



Please give us your website addy, a list of your books and a short bio.


Taige Crenshaw is a multi-published author with books available at Ellora's Cave Publishing, Liquid Silver Books, Loose Id, Total-E-Bound and Summerhouse Publishing. Taige has been enthralled with the written word from time she picked up her first book. It wasn’t long before she started to make up her own tales of romance. With novels set in today, in alternate dimensions, or in the future she writes with adventure, fun sassy heroine’s, and sexy hero’s. Always hard at work creating new and exciting places Taige can be found curled up with a hot novel with exciting characters when she is not creating her own. Join her in the fun, frolic, interesting people and far reaches of the world in her novels. You can find out more about Taige at her website: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com or blog: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/blog.

List of your books

Summerhouse Publishing

Singleton Series

Hurricane, July/August 2011

Phoenix Intelligence Agency Series

Indigo Rain, March 2011

Silken Inferno, June 2011


Total-E-Bound

Blackstone Haven Series

Power of Attraction, January 2011

Power of Instinct, May 2011

Club Immortality Series

Lay Me Down, October 2007

Burning Touch, May 2008

Silk & Shadows, July 2009


Liquid Silver Books

Nefer Investigations Force Series

Onyx Moon Rising, August 2007

Seductive Pursuits Series

Body Cravings, October 2008


Ellora's Cave

Olympus Unleashed Series

Seducing A God, June 2007

God Style Temptation, January 2008

Print- Anthology, Includes Seducing a God: Naughty Nuptials, November 2009

Immortal Blossom Series

Carnal Awakening, July 2007

Rarities Incorporated Series

Golden Seduction, King of Cups - Torrid Tarot Series, September 2007

Shadow Dance, October 2007

Veils Rising, December 2007

Print-Combo, Book 1, 2 & 3: Rarities Incorporated, March 2008


Loose Id

Forever, I Do, February 2009


How do you usually come up with a story idea? Dreams? Writer’s journal? Eavesdropping on conversations? Newpaper?

I’ve dreamt about stories that appeared in a dream like a movie. Also I’ve seen things that inspire me. I am a people watcher and enjoy making up stories about people. Trying to figure out who they are.

Who or what inspires you when your creative mojo is lagging?

I take a break to recharge. I love to read or pursue something creative. Love to sew, draw and many other things. So I do one of those things and get my thoughts clear before going back.

What importance do you place on writing workshops? What workshops would you recommend to us?

Workshops to learn more of your craft is extremely important. However I would caution that you take the onfomrtaion you can use and leave the rest. Meaning not everything anyone says that this is the right or obnly way to do such and such is true/ As a writer you have to judge what workd for you.

What person would you like to thank for inspiring you in your writing aspirations? How did this person help you?

My mom and my big sis. From time I was a child they instiolled the love of writing in me. My mom used to listen to all my ideas and give her thoughts on them. It was invaluable. She passed away a few years ago I miss her impensilly. My big sis and I talk about books all the time. She listens to me as I talk about my books and undertanstds what ot means ot me. She is the ear that listens to my ideas now.

Have you ever used songs for inspiration?

Yes. I have a playlisyt I create for each book.

Do you play music when you write? If so, what kind? Or, do you have to have silence or background noise to set your writing muse free?


Sometimes. I have a playlist. If I don’t have music I have something playing on TV for background noice.

Do you read in a different genre than you write? If yes, why? If you read in the same genre that you write, do you feel that it influences your writing in any way?

Yes. I read every genre. Have lists of authors I love under each. And I do read in my own genre and no it doesn’t influence me.

What is your process from idea to first draft?

I come up with the characters then let them tell me their story. Once I have the characters in my mind I start to write their story. Then I write it. I usually do the first draft with everything in it weaving it that when I am done I have a viable first draft when done. Once done I go back to fill in any gaps and so on.

Have you ever given assistance to a struggling new writer? Has another writer ever come to your aide? How?

I have helped new writers. Having someone to give their thoughts is a great tool. One I got when I started. I remember when I started I had some authors who were very helpful to me and I do the same whenever I can.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishments in your career so far?

Writing each book. Each time I complete a new book it is an accomplishment. A gift to write it. And then have it read by readers who let me know their thought. All of that humbles me. And I am thankfully to be able to write and talk with readers who love to read.

If you won the big lottery, what would you do with the money? Would give any of it to charity? If so, which one?

Give my siblings who are close to me some of it. Set up a charity to get the joy of reading and writing out. Then buy myself a few things.

What is the best advice you want to give to a new writer?

Write. Write the book then sub it and write the next.

If money, education and fear factors were set aside, what three careers would you like to attempt other than writing?

Bookstore owner. Professor and Lawyer.

If money, talent and fear were no object, what big adventure would you like to have?

A trip around the world.


















Thursday, July 21, 2011

And The Winner Of My Quotes Contest Is...

Cynthia Arsuaga!!!

We had many entries, but Cynthia had gotten the most - about 8 correct answers! Woo hoo! Congratulations Cynthia! You just won a copy of my latest release, SILENT PARTNER!

A special thanks to all those who played and, or course, put a smile on my face with your great emails. Thank you for being such amazing fans! I adore you all!

And for those of you who were curious, here are the correct answers to the quotes:

#1 "It would take more than the words of a drunken adolescent girl to rob me of my desire for you."
King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) from "300"

#2 "Stop steaming up my tail. What are you trying to do? Wrinkle it?"
Bugs Bunny (speaking to Toro the bull)

#3 "The spoon. You licked and-and you put. You licked and you put."
Chandler Bing on "Friends" (speaking to Joey)

#4 "Hello. My name is Indigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
Um, you all should have gotten this one since his name was in the line haha (I just realized it was in there)
Indigo Montoya from "Princess Bride"

#5 "Sorry, not questioning your loyalties. Vampire solidarity. Rah, rah, rah and all that."
Josef Kostan from the TV series "Moonlight"

#6 "If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a might stranger: I should not seem a part of it."
Catherine from "Wuthering Heights"

#7 " Did you buy that dress to wear for me tonight?"
Stan (Alex O'Loughlin) from "The Back-Up Plan"

#8 "What do you want? I know what I want, cause I'm holding it in my hands."
Gerry Kennedy (Gerard Butler) from "PS I Love You"

#9 "Before we let you leave, your commander must cross that field, present himself before this army, put his head between his legs, and kiss his own arse."
William Wallace (Mel Gibson) from "Braveheart"

#10 "Tell me, Mara. Say that you hate this, that you want me not between your thighs. Say it.”
Daegan Raeliksen (my Viking warrior hero) from "Raeliksen"

Quotes And A Contest And A Prize, OH MY!

Hello, romance fans! Today, I'm doing something different. (I'm sorry if you were expecting the conventional blog post, but I wanted to mix it up a bit with a contest.)

The prize is an ebook copy of my latest release, Silent Partner. How do you win it? Just by sending me the correct answers of who said these lines in books/movies/TV shows/cartoons etc. Some are more famous than others. Whoever has the most correct, wins. (*squee* They are some of my all time favorite lines.)

If I there's a tie, I will randomly draw a name. Please write your answers in order using the numbers below and send it to my email: rv@reneevincent.com
*Contest ends tonight at 9pm EST.*

Feel free to leave a comment here, but do NOT write our your answers in the comments section. That would not be fair.
*And I will post the correct answers tonight, for those who are curious, along with the winner.

Good luck!

#1 "It would take more than the words of a drunken adolescent girl to rob me of my desire for you."

#2 "Stop steaming up my tail. What are you trying to do? Wrinkle it?"

#3 "The spoon. You licked and-and you put. You licked and you put."

#4 "Hello. My name is Indigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

#5 "Sorry, not questioning your loyalties. Vampire solidarity. Rah, rah, rah and all that."

#6 "If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a might stranger: I should not seem a part of it."

#7 " Did you buy that dress to wear for me tonight?"

#8 "What do you want? I know what I want, cause I'm holding it in my hands."

#9 "Before we let you leave, your commander must cross that field, present himself before this army, put his head between his legs, and kiss his own arse."

#10 "Tell me, Mara. Say that you hate this, that you want me not between your thighs. Say it.”


Visit Renee Vincent at:

Find your own Dutch Treat

My latest novel, Dutch Treat was just released by Dreamspinner Press and I thought I'd give you an excerpt. I hope you like it. I spent 5 months working in the Netherlands and it was both an amazing and lonely experience. I used many of my experiences in this story, but I didn't come home with a dark, sexy European.


Blurb: When Michael accepts a company assignment overseas, he doesn't count on being dumped by his boyfriend on the way to the airport. The breakup is a bad omen--Michael's time in Europe would be one long misery of loneliness and corporate backbiting if it weren’t for his friendship with his coworker, Stephan.

When he finds out Stephan wants more than friendship, Michael is torn. Even if he chooses to risk his one bright relationship in Europe for a chance at love, when this project is over, isn't his only choice to say goodbye?

Purchase from Dreamspinner Press

Excerpt:
“Is this your first visit to the Netherlands?” Johan asked. Both Hans and Johan appeared older than Michael, but both men were handsome. They had trim bodies and slightly graying dark hair, and eyes that looked at one another the way Michael hoped someone would one day look at him.

“This is my first visit to Europe,” Michael answered, pulling himself out of his examination of the handsome men. “I’m here for almost six months working on a project, and Stephan asked if I’d like to come along today.” He couldn’t help glancing at his host. “I haven’t seen anything yet.” Michael tried to keep the excitement out of his voice, not wanting to appear like some wide-eyed kid, but he doubted he was very successful.

“It is funny,” Hans observed from where he sat across from Michael, “but we’d never come to Bruges or most any place else if it wasn’t for visitors. We went to the South of France a few years ago to relax on the beach, and we’ve been to Tenerife and Malta, but otherwise we stay close to home.” Johan leaned close to Hans, saying something in his lover’s ear. Hans smiled before nudging Johan with his shoulder. “Bruges is a wonderful place to fall in love,” Hans said, looking at both Stephan and Michael.

“For goodness’ sake,” Stephan said softly before turning to Michael. “Hans has been trying to, uh, fix me up, for a while now.” The conversation continued, and Michael found himself staring out the window for a while, watching as the scenery steadily passed by the windows. Cities gave way to towns and farms and then turned back into city as they approached Rotterdam. They had to change trains and soon they were off again. “We’re about to cross into Belgium,” Stephan explained, and a short time later, they stopped to change engines and then they were on their way.

Everyone continued talking as they continued on, once again changing trains in Antwerp for a smaller train that wound through the Belgian countryside. “Things are different in Belgium,” Stephan explained. “The country is larger and has fewer people, so it’s wilder, more natural, I guess.” They passed through some small towns, and Michael noticed that Peter was equally enthralled by the scenery. The other guys let them marvel at what passed the windows.

“Bruges is coming up soon,” Hans explained as the train pulled away from a stop. “We should get ready to exit.” They gathered their things, not that there was much, and when the train stopped, they all got off and wandered through the old train station toward the exit. As soon as they got outside, Michael wished he’d brought a heavier jacket. The sun was shining, but the breeze was cool and went through his clothes. “The town center is this direction, and we’ll have to walk a short way,” Hans instructed.

“We should stop for lunch first,” Johan commented from the back of the group, and Hans laughed, saying something about his partner always being hungry.
Michael did his best to keep up with the group, but every time they turned a corner he saw something he’d never seen before: cathedrals, stores in buildings that looked like they had been there forever, and when they came to the square, Michael stopped in his tracks, looking all around him at the decorated buildings. “Michael, are you all right?” Stephan asked when he stopped for what had to be the millionth time.
“I’m fine. I just want to see everything.”

“You will, I promise. We’re going to have lunch, and then I’ll take you all around, and we can take a boat tour of the canals.” Michael nodded and shivered slightly when the wind blew through the square. “Are you cold?” Stephan asked, and without waiting, he opened the backpack he’d been carrying and pulled out a sweatshirt. “You can wear this if you want,” Stephan told him.

“Won’t you need it?” Michael asked, not wanting Stephan to be cold because he’d given him his sweatshirt.

“Probably not. This is perfect outdoor weather,” Stephan replied, handing Michael the sweatshirt. Michael pulled it over his head, grateful for the warmth and Stephan’s thoughtfulness.

“Would everyone like to sit outside?” Johan asked, walking toward a restaurant on the square. They all agreed. Johan spoke with the maître d’, and they were seated immediately at a table right on the square under an awning. Menus were presented, and Michael was relieved to see they were in both Dutch and English, although he forgot about it completely as he watched horse-drawn carriages pass and heard bells ringing the hour across the square.

“Michael,” Stephan said quietly from next to him, “do you know what you want?”
Michael had no idea, but took a stab and ordered the schnitzel when it was his turn to order. Food began to appear, and the conversation turned to the day’s activities. Peter wanted to go shopping, so after lunch Hans and Johan were going to take Peter walking down the shopping streets. Michael wanted to see things, so he and Stephan were going off on their own.

The food arrived, and Michael took a tentative bite before eating with relish. “It is good, yes?” Stephan asked with a smile.

Michael put down his fork, swallowing before answering, “It’s wonderful. I think I found a new favorite food.” They all chuckled lightly and continued eating and talking. When they were finished, they paid the bill and left the table, agreeing to meet back at the restaurant later that afternoon.

“Come,” Stephan told him., “I have something very special to show you.” Stephan had already begun walking, and Michael followed him out of the square and along a busy street to a huge church. “This cathedral is very important,” Stephan told him and walked toward the entrance. Michael paid the small entrance fee, and they stepped inside the massive building and toward an altar where people seemed to be congregating, snapping pictures. “That small Madonna and child,” Stephan explained, and Michael nodded, “is the only work by Michelangelo outside Italy.”

Michael gaped open-mouthed at the small marble sculpture. He could only get so close, but even from the distance everyone was required to stay back, he could see amazing details in the small work. “I heard about things like this, but never expected to actually see them.” He’d seen pictures in books of famous artworks, but to get to see one for real was amazing. “Is there more?”

“There’s lots more,” Stephan assured him as they moved away and wandered through the church, with its massive altars and large sculptures of saints, centuries old. “Do you like it?”

“Yes,” Michael answered, his head craned back looking up toward the ceiling towering overhead. “It’s beautiful.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Misconceptions and Wrong Conclusions



Recently I put my book Heart of the Wild up at Amazon, and offered it as a free read since I have another book, Sweeter Than Wine in the series and even another on the way to publication. Nothing strange about that. However, Heart of the Wild is a contemporary romance which I have labeled as such, and marketed as such for years.

Originally, Heart of the Wild was e-published by Writers Exchange Publishing.  It was marketed, blurbed, and excerpted as a contemporary romance. However, when designing the cover, I chose to put a bear on the cover. Now my reasoning since I'm the author was to make people aware of a character in the book, a rogue bear. The bear is important to the story as it bonds the hero and heroine together in their mutual love and respect for animals. So, Ole Blue, was a important character in the book and I truly expected people to follow this line of thinking when I wrote it some years ago.

But to my shock, recently a reader put a review up that astonished me. The first words of the review was, "This is NOT a shape-shifter book." Well, hello, I never advertised that it was, this was a foregone conclusion on the readers part that because it had a bear on it, it was a shape-shifter book. So alas, the reader was disappointed.

Perhaps I should never included the bear as a character or displayed him as one on the cover. But the cover was designed years ago when Shape shifter books were not as prevalent as they are now.

The blurb, the excerpt, the ads, nothing led anyone to believe it was a shape shifter book, it had never been categorized into the shape shifter genre. But because of the cover, which was an expensive cover and worked on extensively, had a bear on it, the reader misinterpreted it.

So now I warn you all. Be careful how you represent your book. Now days in the book world as authors we have to write the book, format the book, have it edited, and market the book ourselves in self publishing. We cannot out guess our readers and their expectations. We can only put together the best book we know how. It's a hard job getting a book out that everyone will love and pleasing the many hungry appetities of our readers. As a writer I can tell you I strive to bring quality reading with an uplifting story to you.

I am considering a new cover for Heart of the Wild, even though this particular cover took much work, money and thought, it is now misleading my audience, I'm thinking of changing it. My hero is a true Native American which I hunted for some time to find. Most females agree he's a hunk. But I'd like your imput. Should I change this cover? Let me know!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Burning From Within: Inside Kristal McKerrington, Takes Over Today

Hello All The Sweet and Sexy Diva's Readers,

Gosh its nice to be back on Sweet and Sexy Diva's today and boy do I have some news for you all. This past week we will saw the Release of my very own story, let loose on the world. I wrote it in the way that I hope will not make people feel sad for me, because all I wanted to do is inspire people. Show them how I got through the Rheumatoid Arthritics and Dyslexia, which is a common thing that I have to deal with on a day to day bases. I came out of the other side and have been able to deal with it.

Here is the blurb from the book and I hope that you will enjoy the teaser about what we will be talking about today.

Burning From Within: Inside Kristal McKerrington
Out Now
Kristal McKerrington, is a young twenty-two year old author, who opens up her heart and her life for her readers in hope to inspire and give hope for Rheumatoid Arthritic and Dyslexia sufferers out there. To show them that there is such a thing of getting your dream. She hopes that by writing this book that she can help raise awareness to all of the sufferers out there and help to show them that determination along with dreaming is all you need sometimes. Learn about this woman, who's over come the odds to become a full time, multi time published author.

I tell all in hope that I can inspire and help people out there, to understand that there is life outside the condition and learning difficulty. My book seems to be coming out at a really important time since people, who are diagnosed with the condition, some of them are now looking to end there lives early. There isn't just that, which makes me feel like now is the right time to tell my story, its also the fact that mild cancer drug treatments seem to becoming the norm for the Autoimmune systems treatments and that is in itself worrying for someone like me.

The mild cancer drugs don't just suppress your problem, these drugs over large portion of time can become useless in your body or in some cases be a reason to why the patients may die younger than maybe they should. There is also a high risk that patients can become infertile and leave having a family out of the question. I want to inspire and give hope to the long term sufferers out there.

Its not just the RA that I talk about, I also discuss the Dyslexia at length. How Dyslexia had an impact on my life and why I didn't let it take over my life. How I have since learned that it can in fact be a gift rather an a curse to, which many people feel like it is? This has become something I want to change along with people thinking that just cause it takes you longer to pick things up that your not as smart as everyone else.

There is a lot to my new book. I talk about how Wrestling became my strength. How we all fell in love with it in the Ward? How my ideals did not just inspired me, but showed me that I was strong enough to over come hurdles?

We have all ready received on review on the book so far and I have copied the link into the blog so that you can check it out below. http://newandgoodreading.blogspot.com/2011/07/book-of-week-7411_04.html
Exclusively, I have an excerpt from the book itself. To give you a taste of what the book has instore for you.
I want to reach out to the RA suffers out there that are about my age or even younger. To help them see that we can still have a semi normal life. Achieve dreams through being strong within yourselves by fighting the condition and dreaming. I would love to go all over the world some day where they can talk to me and I can say to them the words that helped me more times than not. To show them dreams are alive and can be reality.

'Dreams are meant to be dreamt. They can only be achieved from within us and I want to help as many of you as I can achieve those dreams as I can.' Kristal McKerrington.

The RA Association aren't the only ones I want to help. There is the Dyslexia suffers out there too who are having their endless talents missed due to the fact that either teachers, bosses, lecturers, parents or anyone else, because they don't know how to spot the learning difficulty and are missing out on discovering the few talents that are floating about this world. I want to end the hate and fear in school of kids who are different or treated differently by either teachers or students. I want to reach out and help lead the way for that group as well.

I want to do all this, because I care and I don't know who else is willing to do this, but I am. I believe and that is all I need to be able to help those out there.
I hope that today that you have enjoyed the insight into my latest release and I hope that you will feel inspired by what you have read here today. Its been an honour to be here again. I would like to thank the Sweet and Sexy Diva's Blogs for having me. I can't wait to come back next month to see you all again.
The book is available on XoXo Publishing's Store and over at Amazon. So please go and check out the book if you like the sounds of it. Love and hugs to you all.

Kristal McKerrington