Saturday, March 29, 2008

Just a Quick Hi!

We got in yesterday, but I didn't get a chance to blog. Vacation is draining. LOL

Today is another monster drive day, but I'm hoping to post the "Serial" bit late, late, late tonight. Right now, I've got to get in gear and on the road with the family. :)

I've got lots of pictures to post and some stories to tell when I get home, but I just wanted to share one quickly. 'Cuz it happened this morning. I'm going potty and the door is open to the outer room because my son is asleep and can't see the bathroom from his bed in the suite and hubby and I are chatting. So, what should happen, but the outer door opens and the maid comes in. Yep. Just comes in. "Are you checking out today?" The answer of course is yes, but we're hours from check-out and what she's doing in the room to ask, I have no idea.

Tom and I both burst out laughing after she left and said, "Remind you of something? North Carolina, maybe?" Oh, man...I'm sure it happened just to give you all a giggle, but imagine my chagrine as I'm stuck and the door is open and Tom is too stunned to move and the maid is acting like this is all perfectly normal. LOL

Hugs to you all!
Lucy

Friday, March 28, 2008

Lucy and Family

Lucy and family might be disembarking from their cruise ship.
Lucy had planned on posting today if she had internet access.

We will just have to wait a little longer to find out about Lucy and family's adventures.

Make sure you keep checking in.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thinking Thursday

I'm hoping to do a live post today from the cruise ship, but if I don't, I'd still love to chat about life with you all - even if I do end up reading your comments when we hit Port tomorrow. :)


What am I thinking about lately? Funnily enough it's not the high cost of paper and how that has been driving book prices higher and higher. It's not about Harlequin Presents coming out with 12 titles a month, or the fact that even with that line the amount of promotion I do can heavily impact sales and my ranking. It's not about whether or not my current book is as good as I want it to be. All those things take a lot of my time in my thinking spot (anyone else a big Winnie-the-Pooh fan?), but lately, what's really on my mind is what it means to be a parent. More specifically, what it means to be a mom.

My kids are all teens and man, is it hard. I mean really, really. My youngest daughter is so much like me we butt heads until one of us should have a cracked skull. Hasn't happened yet, thank goodness - but there are days I look for the blood. My oldest is pregnant - nine months of PMS. It's not like that for everyone but M2B makes DQ look like the calm one some days. Don't get me wrong. I adore my girls, being their mom can be challenging though.

Then there is my son. He's a conspiracy theorists. Gets it from Hubcap's dad, but no, just for the mildly curious, it is not a peaceful moment to realize your son has read the Anarchist's Cookbook and because he has a semi-photographic memory, he remembers it too! Everyone calls him the The Gentle Giant, but don't think that stops me from worrying.


So, yeah...what does it mean to be a mom? For me, it means listening. A lot. Listening to DQ or M2B vent without rolling my eyes. Listening to my son expound on his conspiracy theories and help him to get to a place where maybe he's a bit more balanced and a lot more rational. Teen boys talk about a lot of strange stuff and mine shares it all with his mom - what his friends say, what the other kids at school say and what he's thinking about it all. He's a deep thinker - a philosopher. And most days that's pretty cool, just some it's harrowing. ;-)


Being a mom also means putting my foot down and keeping it there, no matter how many deadlines I'm edging or what else is going on in my life. It was a lot easier to do this when they were little. Now, sometimes it's just pure cussedness that keeps me standing in my son's doorway insisting he do what I've asked until he does it. Then he apologizes. Always. He doesn't like hurting my feelings, but sometimes he's just a six-foot-five rebel without a cause. You know?


Well, that's what I've been thinking about. How about you? What do you think it means to be a parent?


Hugs,


Lucy

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Recommended Read - Hot and Bothered

You all know by now that Dianne Castell is one of my favorite authors. Her brand of sensuality mixed with humor is what most authors only strive to attain. (Yeah, sometimes I wish I could write like that, but I know I gotta write my own stories and hope the readers enjoy them. [grin])



Dianne's got a new book on the shelves right now.



by Dianne Castell


Kensington BRAVA
April 2008
ISBN 0-7582-2359-5



SAVANNAH WHEN IT SIZZLES

Savannah, Georgia: city of history, mystery, and ghosts as well as four best friends who have never fit in anywhere except with each other. But everything is about to change as an unsolved murder from decades ago draws them close—and closer still—to four sexy bachelors with secrets of their own...

In Savannah, what you expect is never what you get...



Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Teaser Tuesday

Next week, I'll share a little of the book I'm working on right now, but I thought you all might enjoy a peak at ALL THE WAY (the next Goddard Project book that I just finished).

ALL THE WAY - Excerpt

The Goddard Project - Book 3

(c) Lucy Monroe

++++++++++++++++++++


Spinning on her three inch spiked heel, Elle Gray lifted her leg and kicked her perp solidly in the gut.

The stocky, overly tattooed man, who looked more like a thug than the mastermind in one of the biggest acts of technological piracy to hit the east coast in a decade, flew backward. Elle dropped into a fighting stance as Harley hit the wall with a thud, but he just kept sliding until he was nothing but an unconscious heap of cheap leather and ratty blue jeans.

Man, you’d think with all the money he had made on his nefarious dealings, the man could afford a few nice additions to his wardrobe.

And hadn’t that been easier than she’d thought it would be? Apparently, dressing like a biker didn’t mean a man had the fighting skills to last fifteen minutes in a seedy bar much less in a physical confrontation against her.

With a cynical twist of her lips, she dusted her hands off, and then smoothed down the fabric of her short black Vera Wang. The perfect designer for a woman in Elle’s profession. If only Madame Wang knew. Elle had been happy to discover that several items in the sexy line had been designed in a way to give a girl maximum movement. In her opinion, being a federal agent didn’t mean she had to run around looking like a female version of the men in black.

Besides, she’d learned early that a heightened fashion sense coupled with the looks she’d gotten from her mother encouraged others to underestimate both her intelligence and her lethalness.

Just as Harley had done.

Looking at the ungainly mound the insensate man made, satisfaction coursed through her. Sometimes, it was nice to be underestimated.

Flipping open her phone, she called in the clean-up crew. If she hurried on the paperwork, she'd have a full week to relax before starting her new assignment in California.

As she shut the phone, her gaze snagged on the hand holding the cell – more specifically on the middle finger of that hand. Amusement turned to irritation and she glared at Harley.

As if he could feel her ire, he groaned and tried to move.

Examining the damage with annoyance, she ignored him. She'd broken a nail. Well, fudge. She'd just gotten a manicure too. This case had been one irritation after another, but this really irked her. It belied the simplicity of the collar.

She hadn't even broken a sweat taking the guy down, but she had chipped her nail and that was almost as bad as getting a substandard haircut. Elle might be a federal agent with a bad attitude and more than one black belt – not of the accessory variety, but she had her little vanities like anyone else.

Worse, the broken nail meant she had misjudged a hit. And that really pissed her off. It wreaked havoc with her perfectionist tendencies, making her question if she was off her game.

Harley chose that moment to try to crawl away. She growled.

He froze and then looked up at her with eyes still unfocused from his blackout.

"Going somewhere?" she asked.

He told her to do something anatomically impossible, if slightly intriguing. But she wasn’t in the mood to be intrigued. Or pushed.

Without another word, she stalked over to him, crouched down and flipped him on his stomach with one smooth move. To the accompaniment of another not even remotely sexy male groan, she brought his wrists together and secured them with a zip-tie.

"Bitch," he said with venom.

She frowned, considered and then shook her head. "I've always considered myself more of a cat person."

He turned his head and spat at her. Spat. At. Her.

Disgusting.

And he’d barely missed the perfectly shined black patent leather boots that added such lovely height to her five feet, ten inches. She reined in the urge to smack his head into the floor. She? Was not an animal. And he was a lucky SOB, no doubt about it.

But at this rate? She was going to be in a bad mood until next month, which was really going to mess up that week of relaxation she had planned.

Maybe she should go ahead and spend it with her family.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Mystery Monday

Welcome to Mystery Monday and our first Guest Blogger under the new format. I'm truly pleased to have Denyse with us and know she'll keep you all busy while I get onboard my cruise ship with the family.

Oh, I'm so excited about this vacation. All of the teens, even the pregnant one are with Hubcap and I. If I get online access, I'll post later to let you all know how we're doing and maybe even upload a picture, or two. :)

I've got lots of cool stuff prepared for you and I'm hoping to stay in contact on the blog - so don't be thinking you got rid of me for a week. LOL

Hugs,
Lucy

Guest Blogger - Denyse Bridger

First, many thanks to Lucy for having me as guest again. It’s been almost two years since I was last here as more than a fan! (Where does the time go?)

Last time I was newly signed with Liquid Silver Books and about to see the release of my first full-length erotic novel. My how things change over the course of a couple of years. After a rather extensive foray into that aspect of romance, I find myself longing for something a lot sweeter and more appealing.

So, I have gone back to where my heart really lives, the kind of romance that is the trademark of Harlequin Presents. You realize when you’re all but immune to four letter words, and graphic content that something is suffering inside you creatively. I had told Lucy a number of times that I hated everything I wrote, but she continued to have faith in me, and in time, I made the decision to do what I really wanted to do – a novel that I hope will make the grade for HQ, and the first of a series of seven short stories that will one day comprise The Italian Collection.


Each story is set in a different city in beautiful Italy, with a sexy and passionate Italian hero, and borrowing its title from a classic Italian love song. The first of the stories was released in February, and is currently the #1 Best-seller in category at The Wild Rose Press. So, I am thrilled and then some – and even more certain that I’ve made the right move back to writing stories that make the heart smile and sigh with satisfaction…

Another very special, and very personal project is currently in the works, too. Something called Amore Senza Confini, so I hope you’ll drop by my website occasionally and check on the announcement for that one. It’s again tied to the magic and beauty of Italy, but has close ties to my heart for other reasons, as well. I’d love to tell you more, but not just yet, so forgive me for teasing!

For anyone who’d like a special, sweetly sensual treat to read, pick up Bella Signorina at The Wild Rose Press. It’s a steal at $1.50, and for the first time in a long time, I am very proud of something I have created. It will give you a taste of what it to come with the other six tales. (There’s a slideshow on my website if you’re curious – The Italian Collection)

Question: Given my publishing history with erotic romance, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think is enough, or too much, when it comes to the level of sensuality and explicitness in the romances you love?


I'll be giving away a copy of Bella Signora to two different readers chosen from the comments on this post. :)


Thank you again, Lucy, for letting me visit with your wonderful readers. Will pop in throughout the day to chat with everyone here, of course!

Denyse

http://www.denysebridger.com/

Sunday, March 23, 2008

On the Road - Days 2 & 3

Happy Easter Everyone!!!


Yesterday was a monster drive, but it was great. I spent most of it doing edits on the pages I'd written the day before. When the edits don't go fast, I feel like the story has more meat, so I don't mind at all. Even if it does mean I'll be putting in a few late nights writing down the road. :)


Me working on my edits at our dinner stop at the Apricot Diner
(I never knew they could do so many things with apricots!)
M2B - not so happy with dad for taking the picture
DQ - talking with her bff, cuz they couldn't go a whole day w/o


We had a wonderful Easter! We did not make it to church, but we still kept the holiday in spirit. We went to brunch on the Queen Mary and did the self-guided tour of the former "Queen of the Sea". It was amazing! After brunch, my niece and her boyfriend met us for the tour and stayed to visit. Later we all went to the most fabulous Italian restaurant for dinner. It was so good to see my little D (okay, not so little, and gorgeous - look at the pic [g]) and do a totally family centric day. Just FYI - in case you're wondering, M2B was drinking sparkling cider from that champagne glass! :)



We board the cruise ship tomorrow.

Hugs to all!

Lucy

Friday, March 21, 2008

Blog Winners...lots of them!

I've got a ton of blog winners to announce in order to round out our two week long party. Nicolette and I want to thank you all tons for participating and help us celebrate the release of Miss Fix-It!!!

The first one is the winner of the book of choice by me from the Sex in Romance blog post. That winner is:




Second, we've got Wednesday's winner of the final copy of the signed eBook on CD of Miss Fix-It as well as other fun goodies from Nicolette and I. That is:





Third, we have Thursday's winner of a book from my prize shelves, fun goodies from Nicolette and I as well as some chocolate. That is:






Finally, we have today's winner of a book of choice by me as well as goodies and some yummy chocolate. That is:





All of you, pretty please email my PA with your details and she will get your prizes out to you. Congrats and hugs!



Oh, and does anyone know where Chantal is? I haven't seen her in a while, unless I'm missing something. I miss her. Yes, I do notice when you all aren't around just like you notice when I'm gone. :)

Hugs!
Lucy

On the Road - Day 1

Well, we're at our first stop (about a third of the way to LA). Man, what a trip. The teens were great and M2B only whined for food and pee breaks every hour, or so. LOL But seriously, after leaving an hour late (yes, it was my fault - I had to organize some last minute stuff) we met major taffic jams getting out of Beaverton, then getting out of Portland and even once we hit Medford. Yikes, what a mess.


But we're here and the trip was both beautiful and fruitful. I got about 3,000 words added to my newest book. We're printing them off so I can do paper edits tomorrow before adding more. :) I absolutely love Southern Oregon. I mean the trip down I-5 is gorgeous! You know how I adore trees and the ones down here are to die for beautiful. Lots of character, lots of texture with both moss and lichen as well as ferns growing at the base of most of them. The shades of green, the rocky hills...it's all too delicious for my eyes to handle. And then we got a rising moon that was a Heavenly gift. It was huge and full and just so beautiful, it gave me all kinds of thoughts about my sexy werewolves waiting for me to get back to them.

Speaking of characters...I saw the most amazing cowboy while we were stopped in traffic today. He was uber studly and could have been the Marlboro man without the cigaretter or the mustache. His black Stetson (it had to be a Stetson, it was *nice*) fit him perfectly and he kept it and the boots on while...get this...riding a ten-speed bike. Talk about a strange and thought provoking sight. What was the ultimate cowboy doing on the spindly looking bike?

I think that's an answer I may just have to give you on Serial Saturday, 'cuz it immediately got me thinking about Jake (of Jake and Bella from "Merry Christmas, Baby") and maybe how this possibly might be his b-i-l's fault. Anybody remember who that is?

Love Boat Here We Come...

Well, sorta kinda...we are leaving in a couple of hours to drive down to LA. (It's about 15 hours from our house, but with stops for M2B, it could take a good bit longer. LOL) Yes, with all five teenagers, including the pregnant one. We'll spend a day in LA or Long Beach (depending on our mood and the weather - indoor or outdoor activities) and then board the Carnival Paradise for a short cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico the next day. We'll arrive back in port on Friday and spend the day at Universal Studios and Hollywood before starting the drive home the next day.

Sound restful? Not with five teens, but fun? Oh, my, YES!!! I've arranged for our new blog schedule (Mystery Mondays, Teaser Tuesdays, etc.) to start Monday, so make sure you stop by and visit. I will also be posting from the road/water so long as I can get connectivity - hopefully with some fun pictures and stories of our travels. We always have stories, it's like we attract weird stuff when we vacation.

(Did I ever tell you about the maid that came into our bathroom when Tom and I were showering together to ask if we wanted maid service? That little incident happened in Raleigh, NC. Our answer? In unison...NOT RIGHT NOW. Or about when we got kicked out of Canada and had to stay the night in an unkown hotel near the border - turned out to be the place where sex-offenders stay. Yeah, our daughters got some scary visitors knocking on their door in the middle of the night. Dad in Shining Armor went storming out our door - we were in a connecting room next door - and they scattered. Or there was the time that I tried to find the North Carolina Zoo with the kids while Hubcap worked and we ended up in some kind of wetland with snakes crossing the road - I kid you not. We did eventually find the zoo, but man! I *don't* like snakes. Especially, scary, long black ones. My son wanted to keep one for a pet of course. Yeah, that went over like a lead balloon with yours truly.)

Weirdness aside, we always have a good time!
"Talk" to you all soon!
Hugs,
Lucy

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Guest Blogger - Nicolette Derens

Writers are, by nature, readers. One of my absolute favorite things in life is to stay up late reading. The wee hours of the morning, my book light or computer screen turned to dim, a favorite romance in hand, snuggled under my covers while my children sleep peacefully down the hall and my husband snores softly (and sometimes not so softly!) beside me.

I can’t explain it. Part of it is the ability to be alone but not really alone (if that makes sense). No meals need preparing, no phone is ringing, no dust bunnies are calling (actually, my dust bunnies tend to huddle in the far corners under the bed and hold their breath so they don’t get swept out… and it works!). Part of it is that its an indulgence to give in to my night-owl tendencies without worrying about the alarm clock or actually being as lucid the next day as my “day time job” seem to require Monday through Friday.

Yes, I have a “bill-paying career” that I happen to love. But does my mind wander to my stories and characters periodically every day? Well, don’t tell my boss! J I’m also a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a team coach, a … well, you get the idea!

But I believe that writing makes me better at all of that (and vice versa). Reading and writing balances my brain. It allows me to be completely truly, unapologetically me once in awhile. Not that my hubby and kids and friends don’t appreciate the real me. I’m referring to those little parts of me that I can’t really be for one reason or another, but that are still snuggled into my heart and imagination. Like the part of me that some days wants to climb mountains (except that I’m afraid of heights) or the little part of me that some days wants to live in a castle (even though I can’t even camp out overnight without getting heebie-jeebies about not having indoor plumbing) or the little part of me that wishes I knew karate and could shoot a gun and track down bad-guy-drug-dealers in the depths of the African jungles and ensure justice is done (there are so many reasons I can’t do that I don’t even know where to start… except to say two words: Big. Snakes.). But “after hours” I can get all those crazy little parts together and have some fun with a guaranteed happily-ever-after. No wonder I’m a night-owl! :)

So, am I the only one with these “other lives I wouldn’t mind living for a day or two”? What or who would you be if you could do it for a day?

Nicolette Derens

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blog Winners - Monday & Tuesday

Yikes...it's easy to get behind when you're getting ready for vacation, dealing with teenagers, a sick hubby and trying to actually get a book written. LOL

But here are the winners from Monday & Tuesday for our Blog Party:

Trish Morey (yes, guest bloggers can win too if their name gets drawn) - she won a book from my prize closet as well as some decadent chocolate.

and

Stacy~ - who won a signed by both authors copy of Miss Fix-It and some nummy chocolate.
And wanna hear a neat piece of news??? M2B (mom-to-be - my oldest daughter) is having a GIRL!!!! How cool is that???

Guest Blogger - Kay Stockham

Spring. It’s not here yet. But, oh, how I’m ready for it to be! Especially when I look out the window and see this.

Friday before last, southern Ohio was slammed with ice and snow and early Saturday morning ice rained down for hours on end. Now, as I type this blog the snow is flying, the cold air is seeping into the house via the windows and I’m dreaming of our upcoming and first 'grown up' vacation to Beaches Negril in Jamaica.

I’ve never been to Jamaica or any of the islands. But heat and sun and more heat (Did I mention I was cold?) sound really good right now. So good it has me thinking of the one aspect of the trip I really don’t want to think about. Care to guess what it is? What do you think of when you think of sand, sun and surf?

That’s right. My biggest dread about the fabulous trip my husband and I splurged on is *GASP* bathing suit season. Have you seen what’s out there? Yeah, I soooo look like that. *SNORT*

As a mother of two who has yet to lose the baby weight (It’s been, um, a decade or so.), I want so badly to find a cute suit. I want to walk the beach without feeling self-conscious, I want to be comfortable yet stylish without showing everything I have to show—and the things we moms all have that simply shouldn’t be shown. You know what I mean.

So, any suggestions? I could use some fashion help here.

If you can point me in the right direction, offer suggestions on styles for my pear shape, or simply add a comment about the resort and things we have to do/shouldn’t do, need to visit etc, please post. I’ll choose a winner from the comments and one lucky reader will win a copy of ANOTHER MAN’S BABY, my newest release that officially hit the shelves March 11.

For a sneak peek of ANOTHER MAN’S BABY, go to http://www.kaystockham.com/ to view the trailer. While you’re there, check out the new contest to help celebrate the start of my Tulanes of Tennessee series!

So let's hear it! Help a gal out here. I need a cute suit!

Kay
ANOTHER MAN’S BABY, Harlequin Superromance, March 2008
http://www.kaystockham.com/
www.myspace.com/kaystockham

Monday, March 17, 2008

Guest Blogger - Trish Morey

It takes a sheikh...

Many thanks Lucy, for inviting me along to visit your blog, it’s so great to be here! And if you’re anything like me, it’s also great to read a desert romance.

My second Harlequin Presents sheikh romance, The Sheikh’s Convenient Virgin, is on the shelves now and already it’s been three weeks in the Borders/Waldenbooks Bestsellers list. Many thanks to those who have helped make it so!

It just goes to show that the desert romance is alive and well, almost a century after EM Hull penned her very famous “The Sheik”, the same story that in film version made Rudolph Valentino a screen legend. Those flashing eyes, that atmospheric setting - the wild untamed wilderness and the wild untamed hero that ruled it – nothing has really changed in all this time. Why is that so?

I think there’s a lot of reasons. There’s an appeal about sheikh stories that transcends time and today’s political correctness. There’s a fascination with the desert prince, something forbidden about this untamed man in his untamed, exotic wilderness. And there’s something about the heroine being caught way out of her comfort zone, where the normal social mores don’t exist and where she has to rely on her own resources to survive. And maybe her own passion. And in the end, where she doesn’t just survive, but she brings this supreme desert ruler to his knees, figuratively, if not literally.

Is that sheikh the quintessential alpha hero? Or is he just one of many supreme examples of the breed that makes romance heroes so strong+? Like Lucy, I’ve penned stories featuring sheikhs, along with Greeks and Italians and more besides.

Which are your favourites and why? I’d love to hear your responses. I have a signed copy of my first sheikh romance to give away (The Sheikh’s Stolen Bride), along with its partner in The Arranged Brides duo, The Mancini Marriage Bargain. I’m looking forward to hearing your responses!

Trish

http://www.trishmorey.com/

Another Excerpt - Miss Fix-It


Miss Fix-It Excerpt #2
(c) LC Monroe & Nicolette Derens
March, 2008 - Samhain Publishing
eBook

++++++++++++++++++++


Caleb stared at her, amazed. And hurt. “You think I’m taking the easy way out?”

Ginney opened her mouth, then shut it again. Caleb waited for her to deny it for another minute. She shifted from one foot to the other, then back; she stared at the floor; clearly uncomfortable.


Caleb stepped closer until he was looking down on the top of her head. The sunbeams caught the gold highlights in the auburn depths of her hair. For one more moment, while he could still hope that she thought the best of him, Caleb wished that he had the right to lift his hand and run it through the silky fullness.


Quietly he said, “Ginney.”


He waited for her to look up.


When she finally did, he said, “Do you think I’m doing this because it’s easier than preaching?”


She wet her lips before answering, haltingly, “I don’t want to think that, Caleb. But I know that preaching requires all of you—your mind, heart and spirit.”


Caleb felt his heart clench. He couldn’t be with this woman. He couldn’t make a life with her. Her opinion, her respect, shouldn’t matter so much. He wouldn’t be a preacher, anyway. But it felt like a knife to hear her say that she thought he couldn’t handle the life he’d planned for so long.


“Well, now that you’ve figured it all out, there’s nothing keeping you here with me.” He wanted to be alone.


“That’s not entirely true, Caleb.”


He looked at her. She looked determined. Even a little angry.


“What you’re not realizing is that when you deny your call, you deny someone else their call.”


Caleb crossed his arms over his chest to keep from reaching for her. She was even more beautiful when riled up and he had a very primitive urge to claim that passion for himself. But she wasn’t his to claim. She never would be.


“What are you talking about?”


“The ranch. Your brother. If God’s plan is for Beau to run this ranch, you are denying Beau his place.”


Caleb took a deep breath. That was just what he needed, more guilt. He started to reply.


But then he looked at Ginney.


There was something there. Something that made his heart beat faster, even as he felt undeniable hesitation, like his subconscious mind was warning him to not take this step, while his heart told him he’d never rest until he asked the next question.


“Who else?” he asked softly, before he could talk himself out of it.


Ginney pressed her lips together and her eyes were on the collar of his shirt. But then, she straightened her spine, lifted her chin, met his eyes and said. “Me.”

“What do you mean?” But he thought that he knew. Part of him hoped that he knew.


“We’re supposed to be together, Caleb.”


He stepped closer to her, until the tip of his boot touched the toe of her shoe. She had to tilt her head back to keep eye contact.

“We are together.”


“I mean always. In all ways. I’ve always known it and I think you do too. I’m supposed to be a preacher’s wife. I’m supposed to be your wife. Which, logically, means you have to be a preacher.”

Caleb stared at her. Thoughts jumbled in his head. He couldn’t believe she’d said it. This was bold, even for Ginney. The unspoken feelings in each letter, the connection between them that lasted even across time and miles, the dreams, had now been put to words. There was no ignoring them now. There was no denying them.


Drawn by a force he didn’t fully understand, but was disinclined to analyze at the moment, Caleb leaned in.


“I love you, Caleb,” she whispered just before his lips could meet hers.It was the only thing that could have stopped the kiss.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Winner for Friday's Blog & Intro to TG

You know when you read a book so good that you can't put it down until you're done. Then, when you're finished you ache wishing it would keep going and you can't stop thinking about it? That's the kind of response you will have to DANCE WITH DECEPTION by newly published author Tracy Goodwin! Tisa recommended the book to me and now I'm recommending it to you all! I'm thrilled we got Tracy to come by and visit!

Now, for the winner of yesterday's blog (there is still time to get your responses in for Sarah's question and have a chance at winning your book of choice). Winner of a signed by both authors CD copy of Miss Fix-It, some chocolate and a bath fizzy is:


Hon, please email my PA with your address and she'll get the prize sent out early next week. :)

Hugs to everyone!!!

Lucy

Guest Blogger - Tracy Goodwin

Hello everyone!

It is great to be here today! Thank you so much, Lucy, for inviting me. It is truly an honor.

My name is Tracy Goodwin and I am proud to be a Historical Romance Author! My debut novel, Dance With Deception was released last November. Why do I choose to write historicals? While my love of research is one factor, the main reason is that I have always loved them … ever since I was a child. My mom never let me read romances growing up, so instead I read the classics.

Remember writing book reports in grade school, Jr. High & high school? Yep, I was the girl electively reading The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper, The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, and Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.

In college, I encountered Jane Austen for the very first time (I don’t know why it took me so long to discover Ms. Austen, but I’m so glad that I did discover her brilliant novels). I read Persuasion for an English Lit class and I was hooked! In fact, I couldn’t put it down! After Persuasion, I then read each of Ms. Austen’s novels, loving each one more than the last. What was it about these works that had me so enthralled? Ms. Austen’s writing style, her voice, of course. And my emotional connection to each of her characters. It was an immediate bond and one that I instantly valued. I wanted to be part of their world, if even for a little while. And that’s why I have always wanted to write … to connect with my own characters and, hopefully, write characters that readers will care about.

What do you love most about reading? Think of your favorite novels and tell me what you like most about them.

Now, onto some fabulous prizes. Go to my blog, http://www.tracygoodwin.net/blog/ where I have posted an excerpt of my novel not yet featured on my website. Once you’ve read it, I want you to answer one question: what does Sebastian do to alleviate his grief? The first correct answer will receive an autographed copy of Dance With Deception. The next five correct answers will receive a Dance With Deception mouse pad.

And I have another question for you. To keep this discussion moving, I want to imagine that you’re stranded on a desert island. You know, the usual tropical island … sun, sand, brilliant blue water. What and/or who would you want with you? Since this is purely fictional, no real-life families are allowed. Tough, huh? I know it is for me however, after much consideration, my top five would be:

1) Hugh Jackman – yes, he is in quite a few of my favorite movies and I love his singing voice (Boy From Oz – Broadway soundtrack - awesome) but, to be perfectly honest, the man is hot! Of course I’d want him there. If he’s unavailable, Johnny Depp is more than welcome.

2) Jane Austen anthology – all my favorite novels in one leather-bound anthology. And Hugh Jackman could read it to me (to be perfectly honest, the man could recite the listings of a phone book to me and listen with bated breath).

3) Robbie Williams CDs – yes, I couldn’t be stranded without his CDs (or my iPod with his CDs on there).

4) A beach house along the ocean – hey, it is my desert island and it has a beach house with amenities. My fantasy … and I’m sticking with it!

5) A sail boat – nothing fancy, but a sail boat none-the-less just in case said island happens to be from LOST with polar bears, thick black smoke, and island natives called “The Others” who are out to kill anyone stranded on the island.

Your turn … tell me what and who you’d want on your tropical island. Let’s get this party started!

Tracy

http://www.tracygoodwin.net/
www.myspace.com/tracygoodwin

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sex and Romance

Got a question for you...or rather a friend of mine who is doing her major college socialogy project on the effect of romance novels on human sexuality does. :)

Her question is:

Has reading romance helped or hindered your sex life/sexuality? (You don't have to have an active sex life to be influenced by what you read in regard to your sexuality.)

You can answer here or email her privately.

As incentive to help out, I'm offering a signed book of choice (provided I have author copies) and some chocolate - of course - to a name drawn from those who answer the question either here or in an email to Sarah. :)

Thanks so much for participating in this survey. :)

Diamonds Down Under & A Cool Contest

This month the third book in the Diamonds Down Under series for Silhouette Desire is now on the shelves. Maxine Sullivan's 'Mistress & A Million Dollars' takes the series in an evocative new direction.

Australian supermodel, Briana Davenport, isn’t for sale... until millionaire lawyer, Jarrod Hammond, offers her a million dollars to warm his bed. Yet getting involved with her dead sister’s brother-in-law might prevent Briana’s beloved father from going to jail, but can it stop her heart from being caught? And will Briana’s connection to a missing necklace prevent Jarrod from seeing the “real” diamond in his arms?

Visit the Diamonds Down Under blog and take a peek at last week's blog and see the pictures of the hero and heroine that Maxine used for inspiration. And leave a comment on the current blog hosted by new Desire author, Robyn Grady, and you may be lucky enough to win the partial critique offered by agent, Jennifer Schober of the Spencerhill Agency. Jennifer represents both Maxine and Robyn.

Good luck!

Thursday's Blog Winner

Oh, man...I'm having so much fun!!! So, yesterday's blog winner is:

Lettetia

Hey, sweetie...email my PA with your particulars and she'll send you yummy chocolate and a book from my prize closet.

Take a Minute

And stop by today to comment on Barbara Vey's blog on Publisher's Weekly. She's a true champion of romance and she's working at increasing her numbers on her blog so TPTB at PW see how important a blog of that type is for them to continue supporting.


There are rumors that there may even be books given away...not sure if it'll happen, but no matter what, it's worth visiting her blog Beyond Her Book.


I'll see you there!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Miss Fix-It Spotlight

The lovely and wonderful DeNita at Author Island has made Miss Fix-It the Book of the Day. Drop by for a chance to win in the contest!

Miss Fix-It Excerpt

Miss Fix-It Excerpt
(c) LC Monroe & Nicolette Derens
March, 2008 - Samhain Publishing
eBook




++++++++++++++++++++


“But you’re right,” she continued softly. “I would always pick you over anyone else’s company, given the choice.”

He knew he needed to fight this attraction. He couldn’t commit to sunset horseback rides, because he couldn’t commit to all the other things that she would want. And that he would want.


“I’m flattered,” he finally said honestly.


“You should be. I’m a very good judge of character.”


Caleb laughed, and loved hearing her laugh along with him. When Ginney laughed, she didn’t giggle like some girls. She laughed from the heart, without concern for appearing subdued or correct.


“We really should be getting back.”


“Caleb, wait. There’s something I wanted to say.”


“We need to go.” He already wanted to kiss her. He already wanted to promise things he had no business promising.


“Really, I have something to say.”


“It’s past dark. Your mother is going to worry.”


“She won’t worry. I’m with you.”


He groaned. “She doesn’t know that.”


“She trusts me.”


“It isn’t about trust. If a mountain lion decides to attack you, it has nothing to do with if your mother trusts you or not.”


He could see her frown even in the increasing darkness. “That’s not very pleasant.”


“No, I don’t suppose a mountain lion attack is pleasant at all.”


“Caleb.”


He sighed. “If I let you say whatever it is, can we go then?”


“The chances are better than if you don’t let me say it.”


He smiled. He couldn’t help it. Ginney Pembrook was difficult. It would serve him well to remember that. Even though he liked it. “Okay, please continue.”


“I wanted to say that I am sorry for assuming that you stopped preaching because it was too hard.”


Caleb moved his horse closer to hers. He wanted to see her face and it was now dark. The moon was climbing, but not quickly enough for his taste. “You did assume that then.”


“I couldn’t think of any other reason for you to stop.”


“But you couldn’t just trust that I have a reason?”


She didn’t answer right away. She took a deep breath. “I should have.”


“Yes, you should have.”


They sat, looking at one another as the moon rose and its glow illuminated the landscape around them as well as her face.


He wanted to kiss her so badly. It would certainly make this spot, on his father’s hill, more appealing to him. Worse, he knew that she wanted him to kiss her. She loved him. She’d said it.


She wanted to be with him.


Strangely, those reasons were the ones that made it nearly impossible to not kiss her, while also being the very reasons he couldn’t.


“Will you tell me the reason?”


That broke the spell.


He sighed. “Honestly is there any reason that would be acceptable to you?”


She actually took a moment to consider the question. “No. You are meant to be a preacher. God wants you to bring others to Him. Nothing will convince me otherwise.”


“Now it is time to go.” He did not want to have this conversation again.


“No… I’m…not ready.”


“Get ready.”


“Caleb, I just want…”


“We’re going.”


“I need…to pray.” She said it like she’d just had a revelation and had the nerve to look triumphant.


It was the one thing that a man like Caleb would not say no to. It was the one thing that she knew would force him to let her stay.


It wasn’t going to work.


“You can pray while we ride.” He turned his horse around.


“But it won’t be…”


He was a patient man. It came with the territory. The old territory. As a rancher he could get away with being a lot less tolerant than he had been as a preacher. He reached out, slipped his arm around Ginney’s waist and pulled her from her saddle into his lap.


“Caleb!”


He ignored her. He looped her horse’s reins around one hand, made sure that Ginney was secure with his other and started for Silas’s ranch.


It only took her twenty seconds to relax and settle into him. They rode in silence for two minutes.


“Caleb?”


“I thought you were praying.”


“I…I’m done.”


“Okay.” He pulled her a little tighter against him. The terrain was rough out here. He’d hate to have her slip.


“Caleb?”


“Don’t talk, Ginney. Let’s just…not talk.”


That lasted for another minute.


“I just wanted to say that…”


“Ginney,” he said warningly.


“…being in your arms feels just as good as I imagined it would.”


The air in his lungs left all in one breath. She’d imagined it.


So had he.


And she was right.


“So this is how it’s going to be between us while you’re here?” he asked.His chin rested against her temple, keeping her from turning her head.


“How what is going to be?”


“You are going to constantly try to convince me that we belong together and that I need to go back to the ministry so that can happen.”


“Oh. Well.” She tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear. “Yes.”


“I appreciate the warning.”


He felt her spine go rigid and he couldn’t help his smile.


“Except…”


“Except what?”


“I am going to constantly try to convince you that we belong together and that you need to go back to the ministry while I’m here. And after we go back to Chicago. And for as long as it takes.”


Caleb sighed. He believed her. Virginia Pembrook was honest, confident and tireless when she had a cause.


She was wonderful for God’s ministry to the world.


She was big trouble for him.

Ginney was torn between feeling wonderful with Caleb’s big strong arms around her, and worried that she’d never feel them again. He was determined they were not meant to be together. He would likely try to stay away from her from here on out. She was going to have to do something about that.


Silas saw the two from the barn as they rode into the yard. “Howdy, Caleb! Ginney, it’s about time you wandered on back here. Phoebe’s been waiting none-too patiently for you to return.”


If her uncle thought it strange that she was riding on Caleb’s horse with him while hers walked beside, he said nothing.


“Why don’t you stay for dinner, Caleb?” Silas asked. “Ruth put on a spread fit for a king, if the updates Rory’s been bringing from the kitchen can be believed.”


Ginney couldn’t help her grin. Her family was conspiring without even knowing it.


Caleb shifted behind Ginney and said for her ears only, “My brother’s not good enough for him, but I’m supposed to stay for dinner?”


She pinched the back of his hand. “‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink’,” she quoted from Romans.


His deep laugh rumbled behind her. “‘My enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him,’ and my foes will rejoice when I fall’,” he returned.


She recognized the words from the Psalms, though couldn’t remember which one. She was, however, thrilled to recall an applicable Psalm herself. “‘You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place’.”


He laughed again. He drew the horse up near the porch and swung out of the saddle from behind her. “You are a worthy opponent, Ginney Pembrook.”


When he reached up to help her down, Ginney decided to not remind them both that she had been riding almost as long as she’d been walking. She didn’t need his help down. But she wanted it.


“You should probably keep that in mind.” She put her hands on his shoulders as his hands settled at her waist and she slid forward, feeling him lift her gently and set her on the ground.


He didn’t step back immediately.


“You don’t have to remind me that when you set your mind to something, you generally get it,” he said. “But I don’t want to hurt you.”


She looked up into his eyes, her hands still on his shoulders, him still standing closer than was proper. “Then don’t,” she said softly.

Another Blog Party

Dianne Castell Week on Laurie's Laudanum


Don't miss out on your chance for another blog party! In honor of Dianne's upcoming release, Hot and Bothered (from Brava), Laurie is hosting a week long blog with posts dedicated to the uber talented and fantastically kind Dianne Castell. On Thursday and Friday, Dianne will be there to help host a blog party with prizes and lots of fun. So make sure you stop by and visit.

Wednesday's Blog Winner

I love giving away daily prizes! :)

Yesterday's winner is:

Hon, just email my PA and she will get your prize of bath fizzies, pens, bookmarks and a wee bit of chocolate off to you early next week. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Guest Blogger - Nicola Marsh

Thanks to Lucy for having me. It’s great to be here.

Today, I’d like to give you a little taste of where I live and why I set most of my books here.

I love Melbourne.

It’s a hip, cosmopolitan, gorgeous city…filled with the most amazing cafés!

Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret…I love food.

There’s nothing better than heading out and about, trying loads of different restaurants and cafés. It’s all part of doing meticulous research as any good author would, right? :)

It’s no surprise then that I set my upcoming Harlequin Presents MISTRESS TO THE TYCOON in one of the cultural food centres of Melbourne.

BRUNSWICK STREET (Fitzroy, an inner city suburb) is the boho capital of Melbourne. Think trendy cafés, pubs, clubs, multicultural restaurants, boutiques, galleries. You name it, this street has it.

I absolutely adore the vibe here and couldn’t resist bringing the setting to life…and yes, the Hideout café and The Red Tongue café are real places. And I ate there!

This bohemian street is the perfect backdrop for artist Ariel Wallace, who needs to paint a life portrait for her gallery to survive. In struts property developer Cooper Vance who has other ideas…

With a first line of, “Come in and take off all your clothes”, you know the sparks are going to fly between these two!

MISTRESS TO THE TYCOON hits US shelves this week and to celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of my first Harlequin Presents PURCHASED FOR PLEASURE (featuring my sexy Navy SEAL) out in Feb.

To win a copy, visit here and answer this question: What colour are Cooper’s eyes?
(the link for the answer is: http://www.nicolamarsh.com/bigshot.html )

I’d also love to hear everyone’s favourite café hotspots around the world…you never know, I might just have to visit for research one day!


Nicola Marsh

Book Release - Miss Fix-It

“Miss Fix-It”
Price: 4.50
Publication Date: March 11 2008
She excels at fixing everyone’s life—except her own.

Virginia Pembrook can never leave well enough alone. Her mission in life is to make everything right in the lives of the people she loves. She sees it as helping the Lord out with His perfect plan.
Ginney and her mother travel West to visit her cousin in Oregon. Ginney can’t wait to arrive—she knows who awaits her there. Caleb Jasper, the childhood friend for whom she is sure she is the perfect life-long helpmate.

She arrives to find Caleb a changed man, steeped in self-inflicted misery and ignoring the call of God in his life.

Having abandoned his dream to become a traveling preacher, to instead take over running the family ranch, Caleb has given up on the foolish and idealistic notion that God will take care of everything. Faith, he reasons, is no guarantee of happiness. And, much as he has missed her, Caleb is certain that ranch life is no life for the city-bred Ginney Pembrook.

Ginney, the original “Miss Fixit”, has her work cut out for her.

Tuesday Prize Winner

Are we having fun yet???

I am. :)

Tuesday's prize winner is:

Cryna - darlin', congrats!!! You won a book from my prize shelves (these are books by other authors I keep in my prize closet to give away off my blog), a really cool Lucy Monroe keychain engraved to say, "Unlock your passion with Lucy Monroe," a Nicolette Derens pen and a wee bit of chocolate. Just email my PA & Promotions coordinator with your details so she can send your prize out with the other winners from this week early next week.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Guest Blogger - Nicolette Derens

First I want to thank Lucy, one of my all-time favorite people and writers, for letting me join you all here!

Lucy and I have been reading each other’s writing for years now I’m so glad she still wanted to co-author a book with me after reading some of my early attempts at romantic fiction! J But seriously, working on Miss Fix-It with Lucy was such fun and I think the book is a wonderful blend of our two styles. I would love to hear from readers of her other books if they can “tell” which elements, scenes, dialogue, etc. are hers and which might be mine.

It’s a very unique book, with distinct things from each of us, but I’ll be surprised if (and will send chocolate to) anyone who can specifically pick something out from the story that is just Lucy’s or mine. In truth, Ginney and Caleb wrote their story. They are warm, wonderful characters who truly love each other, even when they are not totally convinced they should! I love the book and can’t think of another writer I would be so thrilled to share a cover with!

Of course, we all know that Lucy writes some of the best books in romantic fiction and that they have fabulous love scenes! This book is a bit different from her others in that it’s an inspirational romance.

Inspirational romantic fiction is obviously a little different from what some of you may be used to reading. I’m very interested in what you think! I have personally read and written inspirational romance over the past ten years (among lots of other things!) and I think I understand why some people shy away from it. Sometimes it can seem preachy, or too simple, or too… chaste. Not that characters have to sleep together to have a great love story. But there has to be chemistry. Certainly they can choose what to do with or about that chemistry.

In some stories, some of my favorites in fact, the characters choose to eventually act on that chemistry. In inspirational romances, they choose not to. But that doesn’t mean they don’t feel it. They have to. Otherwise they would be content to go for coffee every once in awhile and just chat about the weather. Inspirational romances have a bit more to them than the ‘no sex thing’, of course. There is also a strong faith message. God is a character in the book. However, the characters are not necessarily preachers and virgin church choir directors! J The best stories, always, are about people finding that love conquers all. Miss Fix-It is one of these books. I hope that you’ll check it out and let us know what you think!

So, my question to you all is, what images, thoughts or words does the term “inspirational romance” conjure for you? Are inspirational romances too sweet, too preachy, too ‘tame’, too… whatever… for you?


Nicolette Derens
Miss Fix-It
Samhain Publishing

Blog Winner for Monday

Like I said yesterday, we're giving away prizes daily for the next two weeks. If you're wondering who the mouse in my pocket is - or the other half of the "we" in the giveaway, it's Nicolette. Not only will she be guest blogging, but she'll be here to chat with you on all the blogs related to our book over the next two weeks. If I know her, she'll probably chat on the others as well. :) The prizes will be announced with the winners. Some will be bigger, some smaller, but I figured it would add to the fun not to know what they are until you know who won them.

The prize winner from comments made on yesterday's blog posts is:


Congratulations, hon!!!!

Brandy, you've won a copy of the book on CD, the cover signed by both Nicolette and myself, bath goodies, promo pens and bookmarks and of course my signature chocolate! Just email your info to my PA and she'll get your prize out to you early next week.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Meagan's Chance Won EPPIE

I'm mega-excited, stunned and delighted to share with you all that my Inspirational romance, Meagan's Chance (will be out in print in May) won the 2008 EPPIE for best Inspirational Romance! Man, I'm chuffed!!!

I was able to attend the conference and accept the award in person and it was really a special, moving moment for me. When the presenter hugged me, I felt choked with tears.

I presented a workshop too and between that and the awards ceremony got to meet with some old friends and play fan girl for some of my favorite e-authors. It was a wonderful time all around!

Hero Inspiration Contest Winner

There were tons of great suggestions for Neo's inspiration from the contest and it was really hard picking just the right one, but I finally managed to do it. The winner for my hero inspiration contest is Angie-la!!! This is the hero I chose:

Adrian Grenier

Do a Google image search and you'll get lots more yummy photos of him. He's kind perfect for this heroe - and yep, I photoshopped the eyes to green. LOL

Angie-la will be recognized in the dedication of Neo's book (whose proposal has now officially been accepted by Harlequin and will most likely be out in September '09). Hon, I need you to send me an email with your name as you want it to appear in the dedication and your particulars so I can send you a signed book of your choice - so, yeah, I think the book title would be good too. :)

The winner of a book from my prize shelves and a wee bit of chocolate is limecello. Again, hon...just email me your particulars, and my PA will get the book and chocolate right out to you. :)

Blog Party

Sorry, I've been gone, but we've got another two week long blog party starting today to celebrate the release of Miss Fix-It co-written as LC Monroe with Nicolette Derens - and I've been getting ready for it. We'll be giving away daily prizes this week and multiple prizes next week. I've got wonderful guest bloggers lined up - Nicola Marsh, Kay Stockham, Tracy Goodwin, Trish Morey and my partner in crime - Nicolette Derens! Who knows, we may even end up with a mystery guest, or two. :)

Another bit of good news, at least I think it will be for you all - after this blog party, I'm going to a special blogging schedule to keep you all interested and me connected.

We'll have:

Mystery Monday - guest bloggers you'll find out the name of when you stop by Monday to say, "Hey."

Teaser Tuesday - I'll post short excerpts from either books coming out or my curren WIP.

Wild Wednesday - where anything goes - an extra contest, a second guest blogger, something fun to do with the books, just about anything can happen on Wednesdays.

Thinking Thursday - chat time about whatevers going on in my life or my head - these are the posts that deal with me, the author, not just my books or the genre I love writing so much.

Freaky Friday - could be anything, could be nothing - that's why it's freaky, yeah?
Serial Saturday - I'm playing with the idea of writing an online serial - something fun for my readers, but I will also use Saturdays to post glimpses of characters from already published books - sort of, "What are they doing now?" kind of thing.

So, what do you all think???