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Sunday, September 30, 2012

WooHoo! New Contract!

I am SO happy that MAREK'S NEW WORLD has found a second home! It was originally part of the "GOT WOLF?" contest anthology for The Wild Rose Press but when we authors got the rights back it was back out on the inquiry circuit. I am pleased to say we now have a signed, sealed & delivered contract with NOBLE PUBLISHING.  Don't know when it will be out exactly - will keep everyone posted.

It's a contemporary rural paranormal romance set in NW Montana, in Kootenai Nat'l Forest.  The heroine is a wolf-shapeshifter and a park ranger. The hero in a time-traveling Native American warrior sent forward in time as guardian of a demonic "reynak."

Mini-Blurb:
When park ranger Cheyenne Rafferty's truck is destroyed in an earthquake, she didn't think her day could get any worse. Until she runs afoul of a demon from the ancient past - and the Native American warrior sent forward to guard it. 

Marek awakens to a world changed beyond all understanding--to a people unprepared for a battle with a demon from ancient legend...

I would love to see this as a Halloween story, although it's set in early spring. New publisher, new edits - new cover. Very exciting stuff. New life for a story I've always loved!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

MURPHY'S LAW AND SOME EXCITING NEWS

Hello everyone.
The New Romance Writers conference was in mid-August and just before it I had a burst of submitting – a book called The Bachelor Prince.  Just after conference I got 3 offers for the same book from 3 different publishers.  My oh my it was a tense time, waiting, wondering what to do, but in the end I was ecstatic to receive an offer from Entangled Publishing for my Bachelor Prince manuscript.  It was a fun day.  You know how they go, you’re out all morning busy doing ‘normal’ stuff, i.e. not writing related and then I had to pick up a couple of writer friends – we meet weekly to talk about our works-in-progress.  Well… says I – “can I just check my emails on your computer before we go”
So I duly checked them – without my reading glasses I must add, and low and yippee behold there was confirmation of a contract offer from Entangled.  There was much jumping up and down, squealing, and crying, this repeated when I had to get my girlfriend to re-read the email as I couldn’t focus without said glasses.
Then of course I had to reply too, I typed, she spell checked my typing – I really must remember to take glasses with me EVERYWHERE!
The afternoon was spent with my writer friends who really are the ones who REALLY understand what this all means, and of course downing a bottle of champagne for lunch!  So much fun.
Since then it’s been a hectic couple of weeks doing the revisions requested – 12 hour days for 11 days straight.  But it’s done and dusted now, until the next round LOL.
But it’s great news and I’m very excited about it all.  No release date yet, but I’ll yell it from the loudest rooftop when I hear.
But now I get on to Murphy’s law.  When a person is not busy (am I ever not busy???) Anyway, here I am in my revision cave frantically spending hour upon hour hunched over the keyboard and what do I want to do.
Housework.  Yes.  Sad I know, but I was craving housework, wanting to fluff and move furniture around.  Why is it that you want to do what you can’t do when you don’t have the time to do it?  It’s like housework became part of the ‘grass is greener’ syndrome.  Does that make me one sad puppy, wanting to do housework?  I even imagined myself in my little apron dusting.    Yes, definitely sad.
So now the revisions are off and tomorrow is a FREE day what will I do?
Housework – maybe.
I was thinking about paying bills
Na… maybe I’ll read a book

So the question is, am I normal?  What do you do when you have down time from your hectic life?  And do you have a craving for housework when you’re busy doing other stuff?  (Really I’m sure I’m odd on that score!)

Happy reading everyone

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shameless Promotion

My newest steamy novel Temptress of Time releases October 5, 2012 at Ellora's Cave.


Swept away into past lives she does not remember, erotic romance author Diane de Bourgh is thrown together with two men—her masters, her jailers…her lovers.
Compassion. Compromise. Control…and letting go. These are the lessons Diane must learn before she can find contentment. Two noblemen, Walker Mornay and Adrian de Vesay, are swept into Diane’s journeys through the Medieval, Tudor and Regency eras and their own passionate past lives. Masters of Time, they see themselves as Diane’s tutors and resent the fact that she has an agenda of her own—to control them and, perhaps, to control time itself.
They, too, must learn lessons of the heart, especially those of relinquishing control to win a woman—body, mind and soul.

Excerpt
San Francisco, California
Present day
Diane de Bourgh stared at the cover art for her next medieval romance and felt her heartbeat double. The artist must have invaded her dreams, drawing not only two physically perfect, warrior-like specimens, but their faces too. The dark-haired man had the face of a fallen angel—cynical and weary. The blond looked like the kid-next-door—open to any adventure that might come his way. Devil and angel in the bodies of sculpted gods, hewn not by chisels but by long hours of training with sword and mace and shield and by even longer hours on the battlefield.

What made her heart race like a horse hitched to an old-fashioned fire engine was the certainty that she knew them both. She could have met them at a release party her publisher had hosted, but since she made it a point to arrive late and leave early on those occasions, she doubted they’d met there. She despised promotional conferences, attending solely because they increased sales. Besides, the way she reacted to the men was so intense, so visceral, that were they to appear in her home office she wouldn’t know which one to throw herself at first. Given that they both looked accustomed to doing the ravishing, she doubted they’d have any problems in the sex department.
She was the problem. She had difficulty making choices and when she did…she usually made the wrong one. On the other hand, if she met up with one or both of them, she might learn more about true passion and real love—emotions she found it difficult to write about with any degree of honesty. She did feel aroused—on occasion—but it felt more like an itch that needed scratching than a precursor to undying commitment.
With these two, however, she’d bet her last dollar they’d make the choice for her— just like her medieval hero tried to do with her spirited heroine. While her heroine had to live within the morés and conventions of the time period, Diane always imbued the young women in her books with spunk or wile or feminine charms that made the hero realize his chosen mate wasn’t a carpet upon which he could tread with muddy boots.
She glanced at the cover art again. The pair seemed so much like her chauvinist heroes, she vowed that if she ever met them in their own milieu, she’d teach them a thing or two about how to treat a woman.
Reaching out to shut off her computer, a wave of dizziness caught her off-guard. Nausea roiled in her belly and bile bubbled in her throat. The room spun as if an earthquake had struck, but it didn’t stop. It spun until she blacked out, lost in blessed darkness.



Available October 5, 2012
Ellora’s Cave
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance e-books
ISBN: 9781419935619

Monday, September 24, 2012

When Life Lobs you a Curveball....

Greetings sweet 'n sexy gang!

My upcoming release: PARADISE HOPS is a stand-alone, brewery based novel that I'm reluctant to even label as "romance."

Sure it has the requisite "boy meets girl" basic story line but after that I take it down a side street that, while extraordinarily HOT, is very much not the typical plot arc.  Life has handed my heroine, Lori Brockton a ton of lemons. What she does with them may or may not lead to her happiness.

I think I'm doing more and more of this because I like bringing what feels like a dose of reality to my fiction. I prefer reading stories that feel like they could actually happen and so more and more I find myself writing them as well.

A couple of my Beta readers claim this is my best book yet....you can find out for yourself on October 15, although it CAN be pre-ordered here.

I'm going to treat you to one of the hotter moments in the story....but first! Click HERE For the Trailer ('cause I can't make the embed code work grrrrrrrr)



and the Blurb:
-->
 A brutal attack left Lori Brockton convinced she was damaged goods. By the time she emerges from hiding two years later, ready to run her family's famous brewery, she's determined to be independent--never rely on anyone ever again. Nearly a year of working in every corner of Brockton Brewing Company, from warehouse to pub, front office to kitchen, teaches her all she needs to know about the business. Then, she comes face-to-face with masculine perfection in a suit and her world is rocked in more ways than one. Garrett Hunter is the new Brockton business manager who takes one look at the beautiful, sad young woman and his entire existence coalesces around winning her heart. 
But standing between Garrett and what he believes is his true love, is a six-feet six-inch blond-haired bad boy brewer.
Eli Buchannan is a craft beer rock star, recently hired by Brockton to drag the company into the 21st century. He brings innovation and attitude plus a prima donna ladies man reputation.  But he's sworn off anything resembling commitment, personal or professional, after getting burned at his last job on both fronts. 
Garrett Hunter is “The Perfect Man” -- handsome, successful, stable, eager to settle down. Eli Buchannan... is not.  Compelling, smoking hot, creative and elusive, he represents everything Lori Brockton should avoid.  But just as she makes a difficult choice, a drastic life-changing shift occurs, and nothing is ever the same again.
And now the Holy Shit I Need a Shower excerpt:


She ignored him for another hour, busying herself with cleaning, then running the filter for a new batch of dark lager. When a hand touched her arm, she jumped, and the safety glasses slid down her nose. “What?” Eli gestured for her to follow him out of the cooler. She did so, all the way into the office at the back, nerves jangling at the memory of their one encounter there. His face radiated anger when he turned to her.
“What is it?” She slid her arms out of the coverall she’d been wearing now that she was back in a room with normal temperatures. The usual buzz and hum of her libido did its song and dance. She kept plenty of
space between them, determined not to let him near her again. Things with Garrett had been great. She had no reason whatsoever to want anything else. Of course, she still had not told him about the Institute.
When Eli gripped her upper arm she gasped, jolted out of her mental deflection, and stared at his hand, then up at him. “Why are you selling?” He bit each word off at the end, precise and clear. But she still didn’t get what he meant. His proximity, his touch, and the words coming from his mouth simply wouldn’t square in her brain. She pulled out of his grasp.
“Selling what? What are you talking about?” She stepped away, ears buzzing and heart pounding. Attempting to control her breathing, she crossed her arms over her chest. Her hardening nipples irritated the crap out of her behind the thin cotton of her bra and T-shirt. He frowned and dropped into his chair. The dog’s head emerged, and he scratched it distractedly. She perched on the desk across from him. Garrett. Garrett. Remember what you have Lori. Don’t be a dumb ass, impulsive... Oh, my Lord....
In an eye blink he’d risen, pulled her to her feet, and was kissing her, sweeping into her mouth with his tongue, the hard rasp of his beard against her face bringing tears to her eyes. He maneuvered them back into a corner, flipped off the lights and kept kissing her, pressing his tall, hard body into hers. They stayed silent, lips and hands all over each other without words or explanation. He popped the button on her jeans, shoved a hand into her panties and fingered her swollen clit with a groan against the skin of her neck. She propped a foot on a chair, tilted her hips, gave him access as she tugged his long hair loose, let it tumble around his face and shoulders.
“Eli,” she mumbled into his mouth. “Please. I need you.”
“Not half as much as I need you,” he pressed into her body, reached high inside, keeping his thumb against her clit. “Lift up your shirt,” his low, growly voice made her shiver, but she did it. God help her she lifted it up, reached back and released the clasp of her bra and cradled his head as he licked, and sucked and finger fucked her until she groaned and came all over his hand. Her whole body trembled, wouldn’t stop shaking as he put his fingers in his mouth, then into hers letting her taste herself.
His next kiss was gentle. He held her close until she calmed. “I’m sorry,” he said, and stepped back, running a hand down his face. The regret she saw in his eyes brought a tinge of anger to her lusty energy. If he asked, she’d do anything he wanted. Right then. In the office.
She let the wall hold her up and looked him up and down, licking her lips at the sight of the huge mound under his zipper. “I’m not.”
“Well, you should be.” He turned from her.
Fury flared in her chest. How dare he judge her. “Fine. You’re the one who....” He whirled around to face her, his eyes alight with something she’d never seen in them before. Hope.
“I’m the one who gave you what you wanted.” He stepped into her space again lips near her ear. “That’s all. Nothing more or less.”
“Okay,” she put a hand to his face, relishing the rough beard under her palm even as she slid her other hand down, running it along his denim-covered cock. He sucked in a breath and closed his eyes. “But, something tells me there is more.” She ran her tongue over his full lips. But he pulled away, out of her arms. Anger rushed back in to fill the void he’d left. “Fine. You want to play games with me?” He started to speak but she kept talking. “Mission accomplished. Nothing more is necessary. You proved yourself. Now,” she sat, determined to make this be the last time she asked. “What are you talking about selling? Who is selling? What?”


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Western Steampunk Romance


Who doesn’t love a good western romance, add Steampunk to the mix and you have a real winner. There are two new TV shows set in the U.S. during the Victoria era. Both with tall, dark, handsome heroes I’m crazy about, southern gunslinger, Cullen Bohannon with Hell On Wheels, 
and N.Y. City Police Detective, Kevin Corcoran from Copper. 
 The popularity of these shows leave no doubt that 19th century American men, bad boys who shoot guns, make hot heroes.

There are great western romances and great westernpunk romances. For anyone not familiar with the term westernpunk, one of the greatest examples of westernpunk is the old television show, Wild Wild West. All the 19th century high tech spy gadgetry made that western, Steampunk. Even though James West and Artemus Gordon didn’t fly on an airship, they lived in the luxury compartment of a steam powered train.

That wasn’t the only western film with Steampunk influences before Steampunk was cool. In the 1967 movie, The War Wagon, with John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, the duke robs a horse drawn wagon armored with metal sides and a Gatling gun mounted on it because the man who built it stole John Wayne’s character’s land.

Keep in mind people wore goggles in the west on wagon trains to keep the dust out of their eyes. And of course trains run on steam. Nineteenth century locomotives were bigger than life with huge grills in front and towering smoke billowing out. Their long, powerful iron bodies were adorned with decorative brass, gleaming in the hot western sun as they cut across the wild, spacious west. They emitted an orchestra of musical sounds, including the steam whistle and the chuffing noise of the train. All of these things add to the ambiance and settings of Westernpunk stories. After all the premise of the TV show Hell On Wheels is the railroad, as it is in Devon Monk’s novel, Dead Iron.
As you can see the American west makes as good a setting for Steampunk as Victorian London does. Cherie Priest (Boneshaker) and Devon Monk (Dead Iron) have had great success with using the west for their Steampunk takes. For a Steampunk romance with a hot, wild west, paranormal bad boy, I recommend Wilder’s Mate by Moira Rogers,  It’s a fun, steamy westernpunk read.

Feel free to visit my Celtic/Romance & my Steampunk/Romance  websites for excerpts and new releases. Please leave comments on any westernpunk romances or western romances that you’ve enjoyed and recommend.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

SHE'S FURRY YIFFY, New Cover!



I like to experiment with my writing by taking risks. When the opportunity came around to submit to groundbreaking new anthologies from Cleis Press and Delilah Devlin, I jumped at the chance. Happily, my vampire short story The Crystal Altar and shape-shifter short story She's Furry Yiffy, featuring duel heroines, were accepted for the award-winning collection GIRLS WHO BITE and its newly released follow-up SHE-SHIFTERS. The books are offered in both trade paperback and e-book formats.

The Crystal Altar and She's Furry Yiffy are also available separately for .99 at major online book outlets.

I'm pleased to say SHE-SHIFTERS has received fantastic reviews, as did its predecessor GIRLS WHO BITE, which won the Cata Romance Reviewer's Choice BOOK OF THE YEAR Award.

I wanted to give my short stories great covers, and asked cover artist Crystal Posey to create something original for She's Furry Yiffy. Do you like it?

Buy She's Furry Yiffy for .99 on Amazon!
Buy The Crystal Altar for .99 on Amazon!

Also available at Barnes & Noble and Smashwords!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What goes through my mind during Yoga


I took up Yoga a few years ago, but it didn't work out for me. For some reason the instructor strongly recommended I enroll in another form of exercise program as she felt Yoga wasn't for me.

The nerve!

Okay, I may know the reason she suggested this and for the first time ever (so she says) gave me a full refund. I didn't mean to express my thoughts out loud, and it wasn't my fault a few giggles and laughter in the room disrupted the flow of the class. Hey, I can't control the reaction of people around me.

A few months ago, I decided to try anti-gravity yoga. Great fun until you injure your shoulder and are told to take up a less strenuous yoga class. I did love being upside down and pretending I was part of the Cirque de Soleil troop. However, I had to give up that class and at the anti-gravity yoga's instructor's suggestion, I now attend a Hatha Yoga class.

Hatha Yoga is all about breathing exercises, meditating and gentle poses.

Okay, I can do that. Easy stuff. Right?

Well, turns out, I can't quite master the: Clear your mind and relax part of this class.

Here are some of the things that go through my mind when we're supposed to be meditating.

Admit it, those of you who practice meditation and Yoga, you probably have these thoughts as well. Right?

Thinking, why do they call it Jay walking? Who is Jay? Makes me think of a Jay bird and as far as I know, you can't arrest a bird for flying through a red light.

Thinking of birds, who came up with, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” Has anyone ever witnessed a bunch of chickens cross the road?

Thinking that I’m going to have to Google the synonym for synonym when I get home. Curious to see if there’s such a thing.

Cripes, did the lady next to me not read the sign in the gym that says: No scent makes good sense? I think I’m going to puke.

Wait, did I just say that out loud? Shit. Okay, I can cover this up. I'll smile and pretend it wasn't me.

Time for the downward dog pose.

They really should have a sign in this room that says, “Warning! Asses directly in front of you may be closer than they appear.”

I'm such a bitch.

Time to sit, clear mind and meditate.

If an orange is called an orange because of its color, why don’t we call bananas, yellow? "I sliced yellow on my peanut butter and toast?" Nah, that doesn't work. I get that.

Now, I'm hungry.

That guy's yoga mat smells like grapesScratch and sniff yoga mats? That's stupid.

Grapes. Now, I'm really hungry.

Major fail on the clearing of the mind, but at least I'm acting like I'm meditating.

Why do Pizza places promise to make and deliver the pizza in 30 minutes or less? Who wants half-baked pizza, driven by a maniac who could mow down an innocent bystander just so you can have pizza in 30 minutes?

Stop thinking about food! Keep pretending that you get this whole meditation thing.

Why do people say, "Little pitchers have big ears." I've never seen a pitcher with any ears. Kids don’t look like jugs. While I’m thinking about it, I really hate it when men refer to boobs as jugs. It’s not like they're full of beer.

That thought made me thirsty. I need to sneak in a water break. But then I’ll have to pee. Okay, back to clearing my mind and meditating.

Did the instructor just say, "Breathe through your legs?"

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

Damn, I think I may have said that out loud?

Hmmm, maybe not. Instructor hasn't reacted. Unless of course her eye roll was her Yoga-way of telling me to shut up. Back to my version of meditation.

Why is it called buttermilk? There is no butter in the milk.

Stop thinking about liquids.

Why do they call the Mexican Fast Food place, Taco Bell? Sounds like it should be a phone company. What does a bell have to do with tacos?

Again with the food thoughts. Stop.

When someone says, let’s agree to disagree, but what if I don’t want to agree with that? How would you answer?

The mouth breather next to me is getting on my nerves.

I know, I'm being a bitch again.

Why do men hate asking for directions? Okay, I know what you’re thinking: "Dumb question just like the rest of your nonsensical stream of consciousness blog."

Bite me.

Did I say that out loud? Back to my relaxing yoga thoughts.

What time is it? Where’s the damn clock in this room? How much longer do I need to sit in this pose and breathe through…what did she say this time? "Concentrate on breathing through our toes?"

Seriously, lady, W.T.F?

Shit, I said that out loud.

Note to self: Next time place mat in the back of the room.

Yoga instructor getting up and tiptoeing toward me.

Uhm, yeah, now’s a good time for that pee break.

Namaste…..Ohmmmm….


Selena is the author of the contemporary romance, WHAT A GIRL WANTS and the soon to be released, short story, TEMPTED BY AN ANGEL.

Genre-defying, witty, humorous, suspenseful, romantic and sexy— words used to describe Selena’s novels. A self-professed foodie and chocolate guru, Selena loves to dance with her dog, sing into her hairbrush and write in her PJ's. In love with her family, friends, books, laughter, hockey, lively discussions and red wine (sometimes all at the same time). Selena is a dragon slayer who enjoys reading and writing sassy heroines and hot heroes (the ones your mamma warned you about, but secretly wished she’d dated a few in her life).




Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Inspirations for Undercurrent by Zenobia Renquist

Sorry. I'm late. To be fair, it's 3AM in Hawaii. But on with the show. :D

Let's talk about inspiration for my newest release Undercurrent. A few people have asked where I came up with the idea of a water spirit. Undercurrent is part of the Changeling Press multi-author series Wet. To be included in the series, the story must include a main character who inhabits water. Of course, the first thing people think of is mermaids. But I already had a mermaid story and I wanted to go beyond that.

That's when I remembered several things.

#1 - Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, an animated film by Dreamworks featuring Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Loved this movie. It was action-packed and hilarious with a love story. I highly recommend it. In this movie, Sinbad's crew encounters Sirens. But these Sirens were not mermaids, but women made of water.

#2 - PornoMation #3: Dream Spells, a 3D animated porno (yes, porn) that featured a woman engaging a man made out of water who crawled out of her pool. Very fun. :P

Instead of having a main character who lives IN water, I decided to have a character made OF water. Thus Hotsuma was born.

But what else? That's only part of the story. What makes Hotsuma so special? Besides being made of water. Why is he made of water? Was he always that way? And how does he meet Lulu, the story heroine?

The answer for this came from a manga (Japanese comics). I am a serious manga fanatic and I review most of the manga I read on my blog. One title I had reviewed prior to writing Undercurrent was Living For Tomorrow by Taishi Zaou. Zaou-sensei told the story of a boy who is the son of an ageman (ah-gay-mahn) -- a Japanese woman who brings luck to those she touches.

The story goes on to detail his trials and tribulations with finding love while people try to take advantage of him since he might have inherited his mother's powers, which upsets him since ageman are usually women. It's a great story if you enjoy comedy and male/male stories.

Anywho, that gave me my jumping off point. Hotsuma is a living good luck charm for his family and they have trapped him in water to make sure he never leaves the family. Lulu stumbles across Hotsuma and a way to free him, thus their relationship begins.

I enjoyed writing the story and characters so much that I ended up giving it a sequel -- Overflow (release date TBA).

Undercurrent
Wet, Book 3 (multi-author series)
by Zenobia Renquist

Changeling Press

eBook BIN: 05924-01900
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance, Magical Creatures, Interracial/Multicultural
Price: $4.49
Length: Novella

Still water hides deep passion.

Lulu was sent to spy on the competition so she could find out the secret of their success. Her search turns up Hotsuma, a man bound to water so he can use his power to bring good luck to those who imprisoned him.

Working to set him free ignites a passion in Lulu only Hotsuma can quench, but they can't afford to let sex, no matter how good, distract them. Hotsuma's captors aren't about to let Lulu leave with their property, and they're willing to use deadly force to stop her. They'll need more than luck for their new love to survive.

Buy Now
http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1900

Read full first chapter online
http://www.drb1stchp.com/2012/09/undercurrent-by-zenobia-renquist.html

--
Zenobia Renquist
Discover Different and Unique Romance
http://about.me/zenobiarenquist