Monday, December 20, 2010

Meet Seleste deLaney

Please welcome Seleste deLaney. She is an outstanding new author with a great deal to share. Leave a response telling Seleste which of her Christmas stories you would like a copy of and why. Best response wins choice of 'Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas Anthology or The Ghost of Vampire Present. Good luck and thanks for stopping by.


As a new author, you have had many changes in your life, Seleste. If you have to describe your journey to publication in three words what would they be? Wow, only three? Frustrating, exhilarating, and fulfilling. Frustrating because it's a long road filled with rejection. Exhilarating because of the constant state of fear/excitement with every project and every email--knowing this could be the one. Fulfilling is pretty self-explanatory, but the satisfaction with having my work out there and people appreciating it is incredible.

I agree with every one of those words. Writing is certainly all those things, especially frustrating. How many years did you write before you were published?
The easy answer is all my life LOL. However, I got serious about my writing in 2007, so a little over three years of really working at it.


That first book would definitely qualify as the rewarding part. How did you celebrate your first contract?
We're kind of boring about those things. We went out to dinner and had drinks (and dessert), but at dinner it hit that I needed a website and business cards and…So we got home and went right back to work.

What no wild Snoopy dancing? You obviously have more control than I do. So speaking of your personality, what is the one thing about you that you feel is the best/worst part of you and what makes you say that?
My stubbornness is probably both the best and worst aspect of me. Without it, I would have given up on this journey (and many other things in life), but it also gets me into a lot of trouble LOL.

Nothing wrong with being stubborn. Heaven knows if you don’t pursue your dreams no one will do it for you. Speaking of personality and writing, music seems to be a big part of your life. What type of music do you listen to? Is it a part of your creative process or do you need quiet when you write?
I love music. On days when I don't get to listen to any, I will be insanely crabby. It's like food for my soul. Generally, I'm a rock and country girl (I have mad love for music that toes the line between--there is a local guy who's CD should be dropping soon and it's very rock-country. I can't wait to pick it up.) though other stuff does sneak in upon occasion. As far as writing goes, I make playlists for all my longer pieces. There are certain songs that speak to me though, so there tends to be a lot of crossover from one playlist to the next. Listening to music while I write helps me tune out the rest of the world--no more dirty dishes or arguing kids--so I can lose myself in the story.


Nice. Who is your favorite among the characters you have written?
There are so many of my characters that I love, both good and bad, so my favorite changes all the time (usually with my mood). Right now though, my fave has to be a new character from the Blood Kissed novel I finished drafting a couple weeks ago. His name is Remy and every time I get to write him I get all giddy inside because he is just so crazy and complex and fabulous. I absolutely adore him as a character.

Wow, hard not to like a character like that. Can you share what is new or coming soon?
There's actually a lot of news on that front. I just had two holiday releases. The Ghost of Vampire Present (second in my Blood Kissed series) from Decadent Publishing picks up about seven or eight months after Of Course I Try and leads up to the aforementioned novel. Yes, Alana, There Is a Santa Claus is another paranormal short that is one of thirteen stories in the 'Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas anthology from Evernight Publishing. It's a sweet and sexy tale of a young woman who'd given up believing in anything. Then at the end of February, my steampunk/alt-history romance Badlands is coming from Carina Press. Needless to say, this year has been a bit of a whirlwind (in the best way possible).


Do you have a blurb and an excerpt to tantalize us? Sure, how about two?

Buy Now
The Ghost of Vampire Present 

Blurb: Jocelyn has finally found her knight in shining armor in Chad, and ghosts are the last thing on her mind. Even when one shows up in her bedroom on Christmas Eve, Jocelyn's a bit more concerned about the other guests on the agenda. She'd prefer to never see another vampire, and the ghost tells her to expect not one, but three.


When the one from her past shows up even though he's supposed to be dead, she decides she's dreaming and suffers through the night. By the time dawn breaks, she's not so sure anymore.


But if it's not a dream, that means her nightmare is far from over.


Excerpt: My mouth goes dry and my fingers shake as they reach beneath my pillow. Sure, I know her on sight, but she still shouldn't be here. And that means a weapon isn't the stupidest idea ever. But, if I turn my head to the side at all, she disappears as if she’d never been there in the first place. Only when I look straight at her does she have substance, her body catching enough of the moon’s light coming through the window to be visible against the darkness. And apparently with enough solidity that next time she speaks, her hands grip the covers and jerk them right off me.



“I told you to get dressed! Chop, chop.”


For a long minute, I sit there shivering in my nightie and staring at the blankets in her hands. "But...but...you’re dead.” Please don't say vampire. As I think it, I realize she can't be one. Regardless of whatever else they can do, I'm pretty sure vamps can't disappear without moving.

“As a damn doornail. It doesn’t change the fact you messed with the way of things and the time has come for you to face some hard facts.” Her eyes actually twinkle as she smiles. “And I’ve been waiting a lot of years to help you figure all this out. Now, time’s a-wasting. Get up and put on some damn clothes.”


More Info
Yes, Alana, There Is a Santa Claus

Blurb: Alana stopped believing in Santa Claus and holiday magic a long time ago, and her life hasn't exactly dealt her a hand that's going to change her mind any time soon. Working as one of Santa's elves to barely make ends meet isn't her dream job, but at least the gorgeous Daniel is working behind the camera. And her fellow elf, Brady, is the stuff of holiday movies—charming at every turn.


There's a Christmas miracle in Alana's future, but only if she makes the right choice and remembers how to believe again.

Excerpt: Come on, Allie. You never go out with us.” Jerrica stood in front of the open locker, fluffing her long black waves. “I swear you act like an old woman, sitting at home with your knitting.”

No. I act like someone who almost had her heat shut off last month. “Look, I’m tired.” I kicked my locker shut. “As for the knitting, you didn’t complain when I made you the scarf you wanted. Which you never did pay for like you promised. “

“Whatever. I still say you’re getting old before your time.” Jerri’s hand cupped my shoulder. “Seriously, it’s Christmas, get your party on. The guys are going. I’m sure Dan said something about hoping to see you there.”

Shrugging off her grip, I tugged my boots on, my foot propped on the old wooden bench in the locker room. The paint had chipped off most of it through time and abuse, kind of the same way the shine had worn off my life. “Now I know you’re full of shit. Dan hasn’t given me a second glance—ever.”


“Maybe he would if he saw you in something other than curly shoes and pointed ears. Come on. You’re only going to be young and gorgeous once.”

A snort escaped before I could rein it in. “Yeah, tomorrow I’ll make sure to come to work with my walker and wrinkle cream.”

Those sound really good, Seleste. Anything else you would like to share? I'd like to thank you for having me here today and invite your readers to visit me elsewhere on the internet including:
My website (http://selestedelaney.com/)
Blog (http://selestedelaney.com/wordpress/)
I'm active on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001203081398)
and Twitter (http://twitter.com/SelestedeLaney) as well and love chatting with people.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Meet Sweet and Adorable Stephanie Beck

Hot Chocolate
Stephanie Beck

There is something about winter that makes us all reach for something cozy and familiar. Even those who live where it’s warm (sissies) find that as the holiday season approaches, cocoa and marshmallows taste better.



In my family, hot chocolate is the staple after snowman making and hockey practice. Whip cream is my topping of choice, but my kids always go for the marshmallows (not that I’m above adding marshmallows to my cocoa…mmmmm). When I was a kid my mom, in desperation after a bunch of neighbor kids stopped by after playing in the snow, went with the ingenious addition of animal crackers to cocoa. That version wasn’t my favorite, but it’s hard to forget the whimsy of finding elephants floating in my hot chocolate.

In A Winter Tale With Marshmallows I add a few other winter favorites of mine to make the werewolf story a mix of paranormal and so ‘normal’ that most people can identify with a memory. I adore that mix in paranormal stories because suddenly, it makes it possible for me to go to a coffee shop and, just perhaps, sit beside a very nice pregnant werewolf with a craving for a peppermint hot chocolate. I have a feeling we’d end up talking about kicking babies, diaper rash and how naughty it would be if we ordered one more piece of baklava—to share of course.

Adding food and comfort was my favorite part of writing A Winter Tale With Marshmallows. The cozy, feel good moments made the more intense times that much stronger and by the end, I had my own cup of chocolaty goodness at my side, finishing up a really sweet story I couldn’t wait to share.

Hot cocoa comes in so many versions now, my favorite is cocoa made with milk chocolate and topped with whip cream. Mona in my story, is a straight from the paper package with a handful of marshmallows kind of girl. How do you take your chocolate?




More
 Excerpt from A Winter Tale With Marshmallows. Available December 6, 2010:

“You don’t understand,” he growled and snuggled her hips to his erection, the heat and hardness penetrating through both of their layers of sweats. “I’m not hesitating. You don’t—I do want you. Everything feels right, but it’s not fair to you, so I’m going to let this be for now. I’m not pushing you away or saying ‘no’. Oh, hell no. I’m just giving you time to decide what you want.”

He started to pull away, and this time she grabbed him, tugging him back until they were face-to-face. She was strong, but she also knew he allowed it. “Then no sex, no mating. But please come with me to bed.”

“And do what?” he asked suspiciously.

Her lips kicked up in a small grin. “Snuggle?”

“Snuggle?”

He sounded incredulous, and she figured it probably wasn’t the offer he usually got. But then he smiled, and she didn’t need him to speak when he lifted her in his arms, taking her weight with ease. He started for the bedroom, then doubled back to the kitchen. Mona frowned at him when he motioned to the counter with his head.

“Your cocoa, Miss Renalds.”

She smiled and, still in Chris’s arms, took the warm cup of chocolate from the counter and held it between her palms. His grin as he carried her down the hall made her think he might be anticipating some of her treat—silly wolf.

Cocoa and a snuggle. She sighed with the first complete pleasure she’d felt in much too long.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Meet Ellen Keener


Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!



Thanks so much, Becca, for allowing me to crash your blog for Meet the Author Monday! I really appreciate it.



I had a hard time trying to figure out what to write about this time. But then I figured, why not talk about food? I mean, we just enjoyed Thanksgiving weekend. And if nothing else, there is lots of food on Turkey Day.

What does food have to do with writing? Actually, quite a bit. I find that food takes a role in my stories as well as my life personally. I love to cook. I love it even more when there is someone to cook for. When I lived alone, it was almost depressing to make an elaborate meal and sit down with myself. Now I have a roommate who eats anything (except jello and whipped cream, because it wiggles. A little odd, but I never have to share!) and doesn’t like to cook. The best of both worlds. I cook whatever I want, and she’ll eat it.

I cook to relieve stress and wind down, but I also have a ritual when I’m sitting down for a long writing session. I pull out my favorite red teapot, with cozy, the china cups with scenes of Scotland on them, a cream and sugar set, and my silver plate tea strainer. I then choose from three different kinds of loose leaf tea. I set the whole thing on a tray and I take it with me to my “art room.” (Junk room, office, guest room, whatever it needs to be at the moment) Sometimes, if I’ve made cakes or scones, I add those too.

My roommate always giggles and says I’m like a little old lady. But I love it. I feel like it’s a treat, and sometimes, sitting and making another cup while thinking about a difficult spot in a scene solves all my problems. I even choose what type of tea I’m drinking based on what kind of story or scene I’m working on. Strong teas for stronger, darker characters, light tea or ice tea for something funny or younger.



My characters always have a food preference, even if it is only in their character sheet. In Blood Moon there’s a scene with spaghetti where Aria does a little seducing. In one of my young adult novels, the character loves chocolate. It makes them more real to me. A character who never thinks about food isn’t real. Like in movies when the hero or heroine never stops to go to the bathroom. Who does that in real life?

Food traditions shape our lives, and they help to shape our characters as well. I’m a tea drinker, and most of the time so are my characters. Some of them even hate wiggling food (courtesy of the roommate). It gives them an added dimension. Their culture would shape their food habits, their religion, their family’s traditions. A character with Italian heritage might spend Christmas Eve devouring every type of seafood known to man, while another might be frustrated at a conference because all that’s left on the buffet is ham and she’s Jewish.

So as you’re enjoying your stuffing and turkey and cranberry salad, keep in mind what your characters are eating this holiday season. And remember – there are no calories during the holidays!


Learn more about Ellen at her blog Supernatural or on Facebook.


More
Excerpt: Fugitive shifter, Aria Legreve, is always on the run. With her own life at risk, she helps a badly beaten shifter to his Pack, knowing the danger her meddling entails. Hoping to use her status as an Outcast and be set free, her world changes when she meets head on with no other than her Mate—who is dead.


Alpha Lukas MacLeod has been searching for his wife for the past year, until Aria walks straight into his lair. Fate intervenes and gives them a second chance. Caught up in an intricate web of lies and prophecies in the making for generations, Aria and Lukas must discover a way to balance the darkness in their world, but will their love be strong enough to save their pack and each other?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving has become the lost holiday. We skip from Halloween to Christmas, sometimes even from “back to school” to Christmas. Don't get me wrong. I love the winter holidays as much as the next person, but before we start into the hustle and bustle of it all, I feel the need for a little reflection. I sometimes allow the worries of my job, family and finances to detract from the important things in life. So with a deep breath and a thankful heart I will take a moment to count my blessings.


I am blessed with a warm home and the wherewithal to afford it.

My family is healthy. No major issues beyond an occasional cold, and no one has hurt or abused the ones I love. Not even me though there are days I have been tempted.

I have the financial stability to quit a job that has lost its meaning and take a step toward a life and position I enjoy. And my husband cares enough to tighten his belt with me and face the uncertain future by my side.

Despite the occasional stress or set back, my writing is slowly finding an audience, and I am able to follow a lifelong dream. Two of my favorite editors like my WsIP and I have grown in confidence through working with them. My critique partners are unwavering in the support and honest, if sometimes painful, feedback.

Overall, I can not find an area of my life that has not been blessed over this past year. Although I worry about my kids and my parents, and my siblings, and a million and one other things, I am truly grateful for all the good in my life.

I wish all of you a healthy and happy Thanksgiving and encourage you to count your blessings with me. I would love to hear what makes your life worthy of thanks.

Winner!

Abigail Madison-Chase is the winner of a $10 gift certificate to Beautiful Trouble Publishing. Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who stopped by and thanks Serenity for visiting.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Meet Serenity King


More
 “Writing, Reading, and the Holidays”


As most of us know the holidays are just around the corner. Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite times of the year. I love cooking and spending time with my family and many relatives. We have a joyous time from Thanksgiving into the New Year. As a writer I have to write whenever my muse is ready and willing to cooperate and that may mean I have to set some time aside for my writing even during the holiday season.

I usually take Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve off and spend the majority of the day on Thanksgiving and Christmas with the family and use the night to write. By this time everyone’s either gone home or doing his or her own thing.

I can’t stay away from my writing for too long…I lose focus and it becomes hard to get back into the swing of things.

Someone asked me how I handle my writing during the holidays. Do I take time off, or do I keep going?” Authors, how do you handle your writing around the holidays? Do you usually take some time off, or do you keep going? Readers, do you read more during the holiday season or less? Do you find yourself spending more money on books during the holidays? What do you buy more of, print or e-books? Do you purchase for self, as gifts, or both? Answer one or all of the questions for a chance at a $10 gift certificate to Beautiful Trouble Publishing.

 











Blog and Hot Except from Simply Beautiful (Rate R :-D)

A defense attorney working for Cameron, Cameron & LaSalle, P.C., Alisha Carrington, hasn’t dated anyone since she was betrayed by her fiancĂ©. Too afraid to risk her heart again, she has vowed to dedicate her life to building her career. Unbeknownst to Alisha, she has caught the eye of two very powerful men, Tristan Cameron and James Langston.


Tristan is more than a drop-dead gorgeous attorney. Undercover for the FBI, he has been using his family’s law practice in Atlanta as his front. Although he loves women, his undercover work is just too dangerous for him to commit to one woman. Summoned to New York by his brother, Tristan comes face-to-face with the one woman who can make him rethink his vows against commitment—Alisha. He’s tried to resist his attraction to the sexy African-American for years, but when Alisha’s life is threatened, he vows to keep her safe…and the powers-that-be help them both.

**R excerpt**

Alisha got up also, “I’ll come back when you get back, Bran—”

“Sit down, Alisha, please,” Tristan said, his temper rising again.

She responded by sucking her teeth. “Whatever,” she said and proceeded to follow Brandon out the door, but Tristan was too quick for her.

“I don’t think so, Beauty,” he said coming up behind her and pulling her back against his frame and locking his arm securely around her waist, preventing her escape. “Let’s talk. Please.”

Pulled against the tight confines of Tristan’s rock hard body a moan slipped from her lips. Not only did he look good, but damn he felt good too. He was gentle, yet firm, in his hold on her.

Alisha’s entire body went on full alert at first contact with his. Her nipples pebbled against the silkiness of her demi bra. For once she was grateful that she had on a jacket. There was no doubt in her mind that Tristan had felt her body’s reaction to his closeness, and from the growing bulge nestled against her ass, she knew she was getting to him also.

“Hold on, Beauty,” Tristan said. “Brandon, we’re straight here.”

“Alisha, you sure you’re okay?” Brandon asked.

“Of course. I can handle your brother, Brandon,” Alisha replied.

“Okaay,” Brandon said, smiling and shaking his head as he went to open the door to his office.

As Brandon opened the door, Tristan kept his hold on Alisha, simply spinning her around and turning her in his arms and out of the view of the open doorway. “We don’t want to give the office anything else to gossip about, do we, Beauty?” Tristan said.

Brandon rolled his eyes. “You have one hour, Tris, two tops. After that, you’re on your own and I want my damn office back.” Brandon quit the room, closing the door behind him.

“You can let go of me now,” Alisha said, looking up into Tristan’s face.

“Can I, Beauty?” he said with a raised eyebrow. “I don’t think that I can, actually,” he said, knowing in his heart of hearts that he meant it literally. He pulled her more closely into his embrace and swooped down to take her mouth. “Open,” he said. Alisha’s mouth opened on his command. He was taking her mouth with a hunger that was reserved for her only. Never had he felt anything remotely like this with any other women. His mouth mated with hers as would any man claiming his woman. Before Alisha knew what was happening, Tristan had deftly divested her of her jacket, tossing it across the room and onto the leather couch. He pulled her blouse out of the confines of her skirt with both hands, then slipped his hand underneath her bra cup and grasped the full globes in the palms of his hands. He massaged her breasts from the base of the round mound to her long, hard, erect nipples, pulling gentle on the nipples.

Alisha thought she would die from the sensation as their tongues continued their mating dance and his fingers continued giving her nipples pleasure never known before. Her already soaked panties got wetter as her cream seeped from her vagina onto her barely-there thong.

As their tongues mated, something jolted through Tristan. He knew that this was one woman that he had no intention of letting go. Yes, Ms. Alisha Carrington was his full mother-fucking stop. He would kill anyone and anything that tried to come between him and this woman. He had never laid claim to any woman before, but he knew without a shadow of a doubt, as soon as she walked her fine self into Brandon’s office, that she was going to be his.


Thanks for stopping by everyone. Don't forget to answer at least one question for a chance to win the $10 gift certificate. I would love to hear from you all.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A week of rare and lovely moments

Read the Review
This week has been full of rare and perfect moments. I resigned from a job I hate though I promised to stick it out until Christmas break - about four weeks to the day. I was honored when asked to help with a project I think will be not only fun, but also a challenge, so I am feeling a bit cocky. My editor likes my WIP. AND - Surrender at Sea received five cherries from Xeranthemum at The Long and Short of It -Whipped Cream Erotic Reviews. The review was well-written and very flattering.  The sad part is that my hubby and family are across the state so I have no one to share with at home, but I am still dancing.


More
Oh and guess what? Because of the great rating, Surrender at Sea will be up for book of the week honors on Whipped Cream Erotic Reviews. To vote, click on the link below on Saturday, Nov 20 or Sunday, Nov 21. Read the review and if Surrender sounds like something you would enjoy, please vote for it.

http://www.longandshortreviews.com/WC/index.htm

Monday, November 15, 2010

Meet Doninique Eastwick

Dinner

Hi all, today the lovely and talented, Dominique Eastwick visits with us. She is an incredible woman with killer research skills and a dedication to those she befriends. Please make her feel welcome.



Thank you, Becca, for having me here today.



I am happy to do so. To begin, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself and your work?


Me…Well, let’s see, I am a wife and mother of two boys who make me laugh and pull out my hair in equal measure. I grew up all over the country as a Navy brat, until my father left the military briefly, and we ended up in Boston, MA. (Now you know why the Sherman books will all be placed in New England.) I was a Costume Designer/Craftswoman in theatre for over a decade, so my need to create stems from there. But after the birth of my second son, I realized I needed to make a change.

My Work…I write romance with a touch of erotica involved, but the emphasis is on the Romance. I am currently working on finishing the sequel to HUNTING JC called TONY’S HAVEN. I am also working on a Romantic Fantasy with the working title Elements of Power. It’s along the lines of Lord of the Rings.


I have read Hunting JC and I can't wait for Tony's Haven. Writing is a great example of free expression, but you are artistic in more than one way, right? You consider yourself an amateur photographer. What does that mean-portraits, nature shots, strange, artistic compilations? (Except for her cover, the photos on this post are examples of Dominique's work including the page header this week.)

The Sneeze


I am just now learning to take better portraits, but I really prefer the journalistic approach to photographing people getting them when they don’t know the camera is on them. But, I also take a lot of nature and artsy shots.

 Your work is very nice. I wish I had an eye for that kind of thing. I see you are a doula on top of all the other hats that you wear. That is fantastic. I have an aunt and a cousin who both do that as well. For those who don’t know what that is, could you explain the function of a doula?


I always tell people when they ask if a doula is a kind of Midwife that I work at the other end of the bed, Although I have delivered two babies myself, both times because baby really just shot out, I prefer to be there for the emotional and physical support of both the laboring mom and dad. That is what I am trained for. I meet with the parents two or three times before they go into labor, I come to them when they are in labor and then I stay until breastfeeding is established. I am the one constant through it all.

Note from me: As a bit more info for those of you who do not know what a great service this is, a doula serves as the spokesperson for the mother. In a world of splintered families, they step in where the mothers, grandmothers, and sisters would have in the past except they have a stronger knowledge of what childbirth entails and what to watch for as it progresses. That does not mean a doula is not beneficial to women who have support, but they are invaluable to mothers without a support system. It is a tough job but I hear the rewards are worth it. The fact that Dominique does this says a great deal about what a fantastic person she is.


Dominique also runs a site for new and unpublished authors. In fact, you and I met years ago at Aspiring Romance Writers. Would you tell the readers a bit about this site and its purpose?


ARW started as a need on my part to connect with other Aspiring Authors, I was on loops like Stephanie Laurens and Julia Quinns’ fan loops and there were always other authors out there talking about their work and begging people to read their WIP. I thought hell let’s start our own loop. So Aspiring Romance Writers Loop began. It’s a loop for other Aspiring Romance Writers to support one another. There is no bashing allowed. We lift each other up and help. It has also been a great place to share blogs and articles to help with our craft. I am pleased to say a great many authors who have been on that loop are now published.

Unfortunately it has been quiet lately. There like most loops, the advent of FaceBook changed the needs for some loops, so we have branched out to a Blog, every Wednesday a published author comes over and offers some advice to unpublished authors. I think what sets it apart is there is no promotion happening on that loop. So you go to learn not to be sold to. And although it’s for romance writers, I think any aspiring novelist would find it helpful and membership is free.

Aspiring Romance Writers yahoo Loop http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Aspiring_Romance_Writers/

Aspiring Romance Writers Website and Blog. http://aspiringromancewriters.webs.com/


How long have you been writing seriously, Dominique, and what have you learned since you started to write professionally that you could share with readers and aspiring writers?

Oh, I am a professional? Lol. I have been writing seriously for nine years. I have learned to accept that royalty checks can be very small and that you have to know about promotion. Get your brand out there as much as possible. Oh, and Google both your name and your title because I didn’t and now when you type HUNTING JC you discover that JC is a man in Georgia who loves to hunt deer. Not the same as Hunter and Jacinda’s love story. YIKES


I hear you there. I completely forgot when I titled Jingle All the Way, that the name had been used on a Christmas movie with Arnold Schwartzeneger several years before. When I type in my title Arnold pops up.

Buy It Now
I read Hunting JC in its early stages and I loved the story from day one. Now that it is polished and published, would you share your favorite excerpt?

Ah you are so sweet. I would love to share a little about it. This is my favorite scene in the book. It’s where J.C.’s brothers confront Hunter about his failing relationship with their sister. Tony, who is Hunter’s best friend, is also the hero in the next book in the series.



HUNTING JC by Dominique Eastwick

Hunter heard the commotion long before he reached his office. Having left his office twenty minutes ago empty, his curiosity had been piqued to hear raised voices coming from within. Especially, as it was half past seven in the morning.

“Let me go, you brute.” Hunter heard the familiar sound of Elaine’s voice.

About to throw open the door he paused when he heard another familiar voice.

Tony’s!

Through the door, he heard Tony saying in a very conversational tone, “You can’t go, you’ll just warn Hunter.”

“Warn me about what, Tony?” Hunter opened the door to his office. He stopped dead in his tracks to see all four Sherman brothers before him. “Well if it isn’t the Sherman Army making its invasion. Is this a reconnaissance mission or an assassination attempt?”

Spencer pushed himself off the wall he’d leaning against and put out his hand in welcome to Hunter. They weren’t playing by the book. They were supposed to come in threatening to beat the crap out of him, or perhaps actually beating the crap out of him. They were supposed to tell him what a shit he was before they denounced him as Satan and told him never to darken their door again.

They were not supposed to be friendly.

Hunter reluctantly shook Spencer’s hand and looked at Lucas and Trent who book-ended Elaine on the sofa. “Perhaps you could let her up now. Obviously, she can’t warn me now. And, Tony, get the hell out of my seat.”

Tony laughed, but made no effort to move from Hunter’s seat. Hunter walked past all four brothers, positioning himself so he could see each and every one of them. He scanned them silently, letting them know he wasn’t that keen to have them there. In actuality, he wasn’t that surprised. The only surprise was in the time it took them to confront him.

Tony now had the gall to put both feet on the deep cherry desk in front of him..

“Get your damned feet off my desk. Elaine, could you get me a coffee, as strong as you can make it please? I have a feeling I am going to need it,” Hunter said, giving her permission to leave.

“Coffee for anyone else?” Elaine asked.

“No, they can all damn well get their own.”

“Hospitality not a strong suit?” Spence asked.

“I don’t remember inviting any of you here, so no.”

Tony spun around in the chair. He let the chair stop when he could look out at the view of the city. His elbows on his knees, he turned and looked at Hunter. “Pity, I was looking forward to some coffee.”

“Would one of you bastards just get to the point?”

“No need to be testy,” Trent said.

“Right, now you’re not standing where I am. I’ve a lot of work to do. Therefore, if you’re here to beat the crap out of me, let’s take this downstairs into the alley. Cleanup will be easier that way. If you are just here to curse me out, then by all means get to it.” Hunter crossed his arms and waited.

“We aren’t here to do either?” Spencer said softly. “I won’t lie and say I’m thrilled that J.C. is hurting as badly as she is right now. Of course, she did her fair share of hurting you, too.”

“Make’s it rather difficult to pick sides,” Tony who was now tapping Hunter’s fountain pen on the table, said between taps. “Wouldn’t you say?”

Hunter grabbed the pen from Tony and threw it in a desk drawer. “I never asked you to take sides, and I don’t want you taking mine. So if that’s all, would you kindly all get out?” No one budged. Hunter gritted his teeth. “Please.”

*****
"Hunting JC is a contemporary romance filled with suspense, great sex, heartache, healing, and best of all love...The drama that unfolds will keep you reading this story until the very end." Just Erotic Romance Reviews 5 stars

"There are moments that are touching beyond belief, lines you’ll read over and over because they are that darn sweet, and humor to keep it all running until JC and Hunter finally make up their darn minds! " Got Erotic Romance Reviews 4 Diamonds

BUY IT NOW
http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/contemporary/erotica/hunting-jc/prod_288.html




If you would like to know more about Dominique, you can reach her through any of these sites.

Website www.DominiqueEastwick.com

Twitter http://twitter.com/DominiEastwick

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/dominique.eastwick

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Winner

Linda Kage was the winner of JM Stewart's book. Thanks for commenting everyone.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Meet Joanne Stewart.


It is Meet the Author Monday and my guest today is fellow Wild Rose Press author JM Stewart. Ms. Stewart is a dynamic and interesting young author and I am pleased she could join us. Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of Staking His Claim.



Hi, JM, it is good to have you here today. Since this is Meet the Author Monday, would you tell everyone a little about yourself?

--Hi Rebecca! Thanks for having me. About me, hmm... Well I'm from the Washington state, the great northwest, been writing for over ten years. Married for fourteen years now to my very own hero and have two boys.

Wow, fourteen years. In today’s world that is a lifetime. Congratulations. So with all the things that come with being the mother of two boys, what draws you to write contemporary romance?

--Honestly, it's just natural for me. First story I sat down to write years ago just came out that way. I like to read the occasional historical or paranormal, but I can't write them. Contemporary is what I love. I like getting lost in someone else's world and I find it more enjoyable when it's a fantasy I can actually imagine happening. As much as I love historicals, I'll never live in historical times, for example.

That makes perfect sense. So who are some of your favorite authors?

--My all time favorite is Diana Gabaldon. She has a way with characters that awes me. They're so real I expect to meet them somewhere someday, and she manages to take historical accuracy and draw a world that becomes real.

Other favorites, just off the top of my head...Karen Templeton, because I just love her voice and the emotional depth and realness she puts in her characters. Fellow TWRP author Beth Trissel is a new favorite. I adored her characters and the emotional depth of her books. So is Monique DeVere, for her emotional depth as well.

All very noteworthy authors, I agree. I have no doubt you will be on someone’s favorite list someday yourself. I see on from your site that you have some news concerning the Playboy’s Baby. Would you care to share?

--Sweet of you to ask! It was requested by Susan Litman with Silhouette Special Edition. She's had it for...well, middle of this month will be five months now (nope, I'm not counting. lol) Keeping my fingers crossed for a phone call!

How exciting! I would be counting the days too. So far we have covered some fairly general information about you, so let’s shift gears to a topic that is a little more fun. If you had to describe yourself as a fruit or a vegetable, what would you be and why?

--Hmmm, that's a tough one. Maybe a pineapple—sunny and sweet, but with a tough outer shell? Or maybe an onion (slightly round but with lots of layers, tends to be sweet when cooked just right). Hehe. That's a hard one!

Too funny, JM. Anything else you would like to share today?

--only that I love to get email from readers. please feel free to contact me! ladyscorpion_2000@yahoo.com

How can readers find your books and more information about you?

--I try to keep my website up to date: http://jmstewart.webs.com/

--and my blog: http://jm-stewart.blogspot.com/

Available Now

Monday, November 1, 2010

Scary and Sacred: A Journey into Life’s Mysteries

Scary and Sacred: A Journey into Life’s Mysteries


Welcome everyone, and thanks to Becca Dale for allowing me to kidnap her blog for the time being.
My name is Leslie Soule and I decided to do a two-part blog post. For the first part – the scary part – I’ll be interviewing mystery writer Kimber L. Rose. For the second part – the sacred part – I’ll be talking about my stepfather’s novel The Temple of The Heart, recently published by Decadent Publishing.

So, on to the interview questions!

1. What elements make for a good mystery story?

A good mystery, in my experience, generally consists of a story that you can't readily figure out. I know that might sound silly, but the more complex the story elements are, the better the story can become. When I write something with a mystery element, I work with a minimum of two story elements and two possible outcomes. That way the story can evolve as it sees fit and sometimes even I don't know where the story is going until I get to the end. When even the author can't figure it out, THAT is a good story.

2. What’s the worst way to die?

The worst way to die has to be something slow and painful, but that's for the one dying. If you’re talking about the one doing the killing, anything where you get caught! The more anxiety involved the more traumatic it's going to be for the one dying, but can be equally problematic to the one doing the killing. On the other hand, if I was crushed by a piano while walking down the street, I'd be pretty embarrassed to tell all the other ghosts how I died. :D

3. Favorite horror movie of all time?

Oh, another tough question! No fair! I love horror movies in general, but I think one of my favorites is Silence of the Lambs, closely followed by anything from Stephen King (love that guy no matter how weird it gets!).

4. Where do you get your inspiration?

I get my inspiration from my horribly twisted mind. I do watch different shows and read a whole lot, but I have to admit that my mind is the most prevalent in my inspiration. I have a tendency to keep a journal by my bed and in it I write whatever I happen to remember from my dreams during the night. What comes up in my head can be most intriguing.

5. What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you?

The scariest thing that's ever happened to me personally was the times when I was mugged twice in a week. I went to school (the theater department of the local college, to boot, where no one has any money) and someone knocked on the door. I opened the door thinking that it was one of the actors in the show I was working on trying to get into the lobby, but I was wrong. I couldn't see outside the doors because there were no windows around it, so I had no idea what was going to happen until the door opened fully and the man with the ski mask and a gun walked through yelling at us. There were three of us standing there and he had us all get down on the ground, laying on our stomachs. He actually stooped over the back of me and held the gun to my head while demanding the PIN number to my ATM card. Looking for honesty in a department where we're taught to lie convincingly probably wasn't the smartest of ideas...in the end, I convinced him that the numbers I gave him were my PIN number, even though they weren't. So in the end, he got 25 cents and an ATM card with the wrong PIN. Later that week I was robbed at gun point at work, I had just about had it by that point and told the guy he could get the money himself. I wasn't even scared by that point, I'd just had it and wasn't cooperating. In the end, he got the money himself and my co-worker just about had a coronary cause he was pointing a gun at me when I told him to get the money himself. She was sure I was a goner, but alas here I am.



Wow – that’s some scary stuff, Kimber! Well, now for some lighter fare. We’re on to the second part of the blog post, the “sacred” part. I wanted to talk about my stepfather’s novel, The Temple of the Heart. My stepfather died of diabetes in November of 2002. I had an old manuscript of his that was written on typewriter. It didn’t have a title or anything, and I was searching for a way to honor my stepfather’s memory. I ended up transcribing the manuscript into a Microsoft Word document and sending it off to Decadent, on the chance that maybe they’d publish it, because I knew how good a story it was. I wanted other people to read it and become inspired. Also, Decadent Publishing has been extremely generous in helping me to find a way to honor my stepfather Richard’s memory. In the month of November, for National Diabetes Month, they’re donating a portion of proceeds from the sale of the novel. I will be donating proceeds as well, so in November, readers can really make a difference.

The Temple of the Heart is the semi-autobiographical tale of a monk who leaves the monastery to pursue life in all its glory. Below is an excerpt from the novel:

Contribute to NDM
When Joseph Banquo saw that girl come through the gate, it was the end of his life in the monastery.

He had seen her years before in a more innocent time and silently had cast his furtive glance. Now she appeared again. Dressed in a sky-blue sari, she stood by the water on a trellised landing, absorbed in her thoughts. Joseph found himself absorbed in her. Smiling coquettishly, she turned to walk away upon catching his stare and it seemed as if Divine Mother Beauty herself had taken human form. If only he could talk to her, but he was too shy, too hung-up with austerity and discipline, rules and monkish restraint.

What delusion is this? It was a burning desire but seemed so much more, and he wouldn’t admit the power of the physical over the spiritual.

She was forbidden, woman oh woman, but he had begun to notice the female form once more, to not turn his eyes away, to see the languid curve of the supple spine. And the outrush of thoughts after two youthful celibate years had caused him to lose his edge—the wisdom and discrimination that protects the monk. In making progress, in overcoming his strong sexuality, he had relaxed, thinking he had won and that was the end because he found that he no longer had the desire to fight.


**To all those who purchase The Temple of the Heart, I would like to thank you and I would like for you to know that you are making a difference in the lives of people living with diabetes.**

Monday, October 25, 2010

Meet Margie Church - Author and Volunteer

Website
A Green Heart


By Margie Church

By having a green heart, I'm not talking about the popular green culture that means "to care for our Earth." I'm talking about caring for humanity by volunteering.


Since I don't always have extra money to donate, my time and talents are what I can share. When I've worked shoulder to shoulder for the good of somebody or something else greater than my own situation, I've made new friends, gained greater appreciation for others, and darn it, volunteering just made me feel good.

When I first began pitching in, I was really afraid that if I showed up once, I'd be stuck for life. A reasonable fear, I think, when sometimes the only qualification seems to be whether you can cast a shadow. I came to realize I was making excuses for not becoming involved, and lots of times I was making comments from where I call "the cheap seats." I was a lurker with attitude.


I started small with a couple hours every now and then on a project or activity at school, church or the community. Some of it I enjoyed; some was drudgery and even the drudgery I sometimes did more than once because it needed doing. I've tried to remember no task is menial when it needs doing. One day, I may be asked to do that task or somebody will need to do it for me. When I'm the giver I, try to do the job with grace.


I don't have lots of time to donate, but I notice when I haven't volunteered for awhile – even if it's slinging chow for the marching band one Saturday afternoon – something feels out of synch in my life. I guess that's a good example of doing something small that brought joy. Can you walk a dog or shop groceries for a senior every now and then? Ring the bell for charity? Wash clothes? Give a ride, pack meals, write thank you notes, rake a yard, chaperone an outing, bake for a funeral, or call to say hello? How about read to a child, help with homework, babysit for a stressed single parent, or lend an ear to a teen? The possibilities are limitless if you're open to them. Financial contributions are important, but hands and feet run the world.

Think about it. Get your heart green.




Margie


Coming Soon





 
Read an Excerpt



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Playing

Don't you love playing even if you should be working? The laundry needs doing, supper should be in the over, edits are piling up and the next story is burning a hole in my head. Though writing is a form of playing for me, i am too easily distracted by completely unproductive activites like messing with the colors on my blog to enhance the way my banner looks. What a waste of time but I do think the results are lovely.

Ladies and Gentlemen - we have a winner!

Nicole Zoltack chose visitor Moonsanity to win her choice of either Woman of Honor or Knight of Glory. Congrats and thanks to all who participated.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Meet Nicole Zoltack

Hi everyone! Nicole Zoltack here.

I love to write different genres: fantasy/paranormal, romance, YA, horror, historical. I love doing research for my stories, whether it’s for a different time period or for a paranormal creature.

Because Halloween is almost here, I thought I would dig up some research on the history of this spooky tradition. In ancient times, Halloween was known as Samhain, meaning “summers end”, a ritual marking the end of the year, on October 31.




The Celts believed that on Samhaim, the barrier between this world and the afterworld was thinned to the extent that the dead could return to life, in the form of a black cat.

Villagers, many of whom wore costumes, went around asking for food (treats) to offer them up to the spirits. If the spirits were appeased, they would not bring harm (tricks) to their house. Huge bonfires were lit to keep evil spirits away.

After Christianity was formed, pagan holidays were turned into religious ones. Samhain became All Saints’ Day.

Remember the tricks the spirits played on the Celts if they weren’t given food? This tradition continued throughout the years. Starting in the 1920s, the tricks changed from being playful like soaping windows to destruction of private property and cruelty to people or animals. Around this time, some people start to revolt against Halloween.

As a result of the outcry, Halloween was essentially relauched as a holiday for children. Children would dress up in costumes and go from door to door and say, “trick-or-treat”, hoping for yummy candy.


But even this took a dark turn. Starting in the late 1960s and the 70s, parents became paranoid that the candy was contaminated with LSD or poison.


Halloween today is celebrated by both adults and children. The children still beg for treats while wearing costumes, while the adults dress up for parties with friends. There are also haunted houses to tour and pumpkin patches and corn mazes to explore. Halloween has been celebrated for roughly 3,000 years now. And I doubt this tradition will die anytime soon.

Lately I tend to wear Renaissance clothing, usually nobility gowns. Years ago, I’ve dressed as a witch, Pocahontas, a doctor. What have you dressed up as for Halloween? Or what are you planning on wearing this Halloween? Answer either comment and leave your email for a chance to win either Woman of Honor or Knight of Glory, fantasy romance ebooks.



More
Excerpt from Knight of Glory:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"What was that?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





To Learn more about Nicole or to contact her check out the links below.


Website: http://www.NicoleZoltack.com
Blog: http://NicoleZoltack.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Nicole.Zoltack
Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nicole-Zoltack/93384618347
Twitter: http://twitter.com/NicoleZoltack
Myspace: http://myspace.com/scarlett9284

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meet Michele Hart

Today Meet the Author Monday welcomes Michele Hart. Michele writes hot and sexy sci-fi with interesting yet realistic twists. Please make Ms. Hart feel welcome and remember to leave her a comment so she knows you dropped by.


So glad to have you here today, Michele. As I said, your work often offers an unexpected twist on things, but a big theme seems to be technology and its many interesting gadgets. Can you start by telling readers why science fiction? And how you come up with the technology within your books?

Visit
Michele: Why Sci-Fi? The future is filled with hope to me. Conceiving stories set in the future says we’ll make it through the hard times we’re having now, so for me, it’s a leap of faith. I’m a huge technology nerd. I cruise the technology sections of six papers a day. So much is happening right now in science! It’s just an explosion of discovery. It’s not so easy to speculate future technology because we’re learning so much now. Sci-Fi writers now better follow up on the current technology of teleportation every few months or they’re going to make a glaring mistake. Lasers and arrays are on the battlefield and in big cities now. All the science we write in our stories is being developed right now. Research, research, research.




Fantastic. Too often people skimp on the research in the name of futuristic fantasy, but some of the greatest authors used the technology of their day to launch wild and bizarre worlds. Look at Fahrenheit 451 and all the parallels between its technology and our own. Of the many worlds you have created, do you have a favorite?


Michele: Yes, I confess, I do have a favorite, and it’s one I doubt our world will see because it’s a trilogy with large books, not of a size that is salable. The three stories are about three friends of a very great and noble young king who rises to his throne to find his kingdom shattered from war, some of his people enslaved. Each of the three friends is saddled with a mystical shape-shifter-priestess with crime mysteries to solve. I love the stories and the world in which they take place. Most of all, I loved the young king who was very wise, strong, and heroically perfect in every way. :-) You can do that with a secondary character, make him perfect. Can’t do that with a hero.


Never say never. Publishers told J.K. Rowling that the Harry Potter books were too long to sell as well. If you love them, someone else will too. People certainly love your other work. Reviewers have called your characters three dimensional and ultra realistic, which is funny to some extent since you write science fiction. Where do you draw inspiration for your characters and how do you make them come to life?


Michele: I try to create ordinary people faced with extraordinary problems. Hopefully, the reader feels like he or she lived through the events, too.


It is easy for romance writers to fall in love with the hero of the moment, but do you have one hero who stands out, one that lingers with you as you move forward?


Michele: That’s always Jack from my Sci-Fi Romantic Adventure, Luminous Nights. I wrote Luminous Nights fifteen years ago, and the #1 goal was always to eventually see it published, even though I’ve written and published stories after Luminous Nights. Jack is the man I’ll always love and want in my secret heart. He’s dangerous, passionate, and full of surprises, one after another, totally unpredictable. His presence is disturbing in the sexiest way. For fifteen years, I’ve loved other heroes, but my heart has belonged to Jack. I’m writing LN’s sequel, Vigilant, now.


You said a hero can’t be perfect, but it sounds like Jack is just that because of his imperfections, strengths and his flaws. So we know your favorite hero, but what would be your favorite book? If you were to recommend one of your books to a reader unfamiliar with your work, which would you suggest?


Michele: It’s Luminous Nights! Because Jack’s something to experience, not to be missed. Prison breaks, alien chocolate seduction, super weapons, doomsday devices, explosions, abduction, narrow escapes, murder-defying deceit, and threats of genocide, all while riding a harrowing roller coaster with a dangerous man wearing a holographic mask. If that’s your idea of a good time, check out Luminous Nights!

All that sounds very cool. Do you have a few more details to share?
 Michele: I do. Here’s a blurb:


More
Cop or convict?


How many faces can one man own?


An assassin wearing a holographic mask and a prison tattoo boards Rachel’s freighter during a prison riot, intent on collecting gadgets capable of changing a man’s identity from the black-market gang who'd stolen them. Rachel’s never sure of Jack's identity nor his goal, but he claims to be an Alliance I-Marshal. Cop or convict? The clues never stop contradicting. She's horrified to find the bright holographic mask conceals the gruesome face of a monster. And the badge doesn’t slow him from murdering people right before her eyes.


When Rachel learns Jack will trade innocent lives for the digital miracles, she determines to make the mercenary grow a heart. How could a stone-cold killer kiss her so hotly? How could she kiss such a dangerous deceiver?


Jack has done years in prison to learn who’d stolen the remaining Gemini ticks, 3-D magic. Nothing will keep him from gaining extreme technology capable of unleashing galaxy-wide chaos. Forget feelings for Rachel. She can’t stop him from killing everyone involved.


***


Want to see more of Luminous Nights?
Read the first Chapter:
Read peril-packed excerpts:


Look to the right to enjoy a kick-ass book trailer:

Michele: Thanks, Becca, for lending me your marvelous audience!


Thank you for stopping by today, Michele. It has been fun. I always enjoy the opportunity to learn more about fellow authors and their work.




The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews