Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Provocative much? This just evokes scenes of imminent debauchery on that crisp white linen. This hottie strikes me as a Presents hero - there's just something suave about him, don't you think? Of course the jeans are a rebellion against his $5000 business suits. :)
Please email Andre with your details, so he can send your prizes out to you. :) A book from the prize closet and some goodies. :)
And don't forget! Erin Nicholas will be drawing her own winner from the comments on her blog post and announcing that person in the comments on her Guest Blog post. :)
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Which is funny, because I’m home right now and this is where I left for three days a week ago. Where I’m sitting right now, with my husband, kids and cats is home. Of course. This is where my life is. Where I’m needed, where I’m on a schedule, where people from the PTO, the church and various other volunteer groups can call me. This is where I read to my kids and make dinner each night and have photos of everyone I love. This is where my kids are being raised, where they will call home.
But when I go visit my parents, I call that home too.
Which is weird because the house my parents live in is not the one I grew up in. It’s not even in the town I grew up in! In fact, it’s the second house my parents have lived in since we lived together. I haven’t been to the town where I grew up in at least five years. Probably longer. My friends from there have scattered (thank God for Facebook and e-mail!) and my extended family never was from there.
So, how can I still call my parent’s house ‘home’? I know exactly. It’s where I can really be myself, where I feel comfortable, where I’m loved and accepted unconditionally. That’s what home is. I’m just really blessed to have two of those, I guess!
My parents house gives me something my home here doesn’t though. It provides an escape from the real world! J When I’m there, I don’t get on e-mail (bugs my father terribly when I do!), I don’t answer my phone (texts, maybe), and I’m two hours away from anything going on here—great excuse to avoid meetings and rummage sales!
It’s a mini-vacation. It really is. They take me to my favorite restaurant (a local place I can only go to when I’m there!), make my favorite coffee and we talk and talk and talk. Yes, my kids are there and my parents are doting grandparents. But it’s grandma’s house, which means a bunch of stuff they don’t have at home, so they go exploring and playing, hanging with their cousins and generally also enjoying a break from the regular routine. And, as my mom reminds me, I’m their kid. They want to take care of me, talk to me, spend time with me.
It’s awesome. As an employer, business owner, wife, mother and volunteer, very rarely is something all about me and okay, I’ll admit it… I love it!
Family is one reason that I found writing the series that’s coming out this year so appealing. It’s about a family. Not a “typical” family (what’s that mean anymore anyway, right?) but three people, siblings, who’ve been together through it all. They drive each other crazy at times, as any good set of siblings will do, but they love each other no matter what.
The first book, Just Right (releasing TODAY, not coincidentally, from Samhain) didn’t start out as the first book in a series. But as I got to know Jessica’s brother Sam and sister Sara, it didn’t take long for me to realize that they each needed a story too.
And it’s more than just the three of them. It’s the group of guys who are part of Sam’s EMT crew, the kids that come to the youth center their father founded, the four older women the guys take care of and the little town where Sara has to try to fit in and figure out who she really is.
I’ve loved getting to know them, seeing how they support each other, and now I’m thrilled to introduce them to all of you!
In celebration of Erin's release day she's giving away a free copy of Just Right to someone here today! All you have to do is post a comment before midnight (CST) and she'll draw a winner from all the comments! In the meantime…
ER nurse Jessica Bradford is a good girl. Okay, more like a reformed bad girl. She’s determined to be the woman her late father wanted her to be. And she knows she should be with someone like Dr. Ben Torres-- in charge, dedicated, selfless. The tall, dark and handsome part is just a bonus.
So Jessica agrees to keep Ben out of trouble after he’s suspended from the hospital for punching a belligerent, drunk patient in the emergency room. She’ll get the needed recommendation from the Chief of Staff for the promotion she wants and she’ll have a great reason to spend more time with Dr. Perfect. But suddenly she’s got a problem. Outside of work Ben’s not so dependable, or perfect after all…and he’s even more tempting than before.
Ben’s done being everybody’s hero. What’s being a trauma surgeon ever gotten him but horrible hours and a bunch of responsibilities that make his life complicated? His sudden time off from the hospital is not only overdue, it’s a blessing. Which he intends to enjoy fully.
Jessica can’t believe Ben is acting more like a kid in a candy store than a man who’s about to throw his career away. Even more, she can’t believe that she still wants him like ice cream wants hot fudge. She tries her best to keep him out of trouble—except “trouble” is all Ben’s interested in.
And suddenly Jessica’s having trouble remembering why that’s a bad thing…
“Jess, I need a favor.”
Yep. Those were them.
She closed her eyes. “Come on, Sam. I had a long day.” She wanted to prop up in bed, watch Seinfeld reruns and eat a pint of Peanut Butter Passion.
“It’s important, Jess,” Sam said, his tone the one he used for coaxing shy women out onto the dance floor. “I tried to handle it, but I need your help.”
The tone always worked on curvy blondes.
Jessica was not a curvy blonde.
“Dry your hair and get dressed,” he said. “I told you—it’s important.”
Jessica paused with the comb halfway through her straight brown hair and stared at the phone receiver in the mirror. How had he known her hair was wet? That was weird.
“I said I’m busy.”
“No. You said I’m, then there was a long pause before you said busy.”
She scowled. “So?”
“So, that pause means you were trying to think of a good excuse because you can never quite bring yourself to lie about it. You’re at home. It had to be taking a shower, doing laundry or cleaning the apartment.”
Jessica bristled. “I do other things here than…wash things.”
“Yeah, but if you were really doing anything important you would have actually been busy and you would have just told me what you were busy doing instead of using the noncommittal, generic I’m busy.”
Jessica was thrown off for a moment by her brother using the word noncommittal.
Showing off her own impressive vocabulary, she replied again, “So?”
“I need your help. It should be enough that I say it’s important,” Sam said, moving on from the “busy” conversation, probably bored by now with the topic that wasn’t directly about him.
Of course, important could mean almost anything with Sam.
It could mean he was a few dollars short of getting in on a poker game. It could mean that he needed a place for a couple of buddies from out of town to crash for the weekend. It could mean that one of the girls he’d flirted with had taken him too seriously and he needed an emergency wife to get the girl off his back. Jessica sighed. She hated playing Sam’s wife. He always wanted her to be bitchy and she always ended up feeling bad for the girl.
“It was a really long day at work.”
And it was all because of Ben Torres.
Rumor had it he had been suspended by the Chief of Staff and the hospital attorneys were riled up trying to figure out how to troubleshoot the situation. There were charges pending as well. Manslaughter for Ted. Assault for Ben.
Not that any of it affected Jessica directly. She was an ER nurse. There were more surgeons, there would be more accidents and more patients. But she couldn’t get Ben out of her mind…or suppress her insane urge to make sure he was all right.
“I heard,” Sam said.
Of course he had. Sam was the head paramedic on the best ambulance crew in the city and he not only worked with the ER staff regularly, he was also friends with many of them, including Ben. Matt Taylor, the ER doctor on Ted Blake’s case, was a poker buddy of Sam’s.
“I’m tired and—”
“Shame on you, Jessica Leigh Bradford,” Sam broke in. “I’m your little brother. Your only brother.”
The only part was right. The little part not so much. Sam was younger than Jessica by five years, but she didn’t even come up to his chin.
“I’m not in the mood for this.” But she knew that she didn’t sound convincing. She’d always been a sucker for the little brother bit. Because he was right. He was her younger brother and she felt responsible, even now when he was twenty-five and definitely a big boy.
“What is it?” she asked, trying to soak a cotton ball with skin toner with one hand while holding the phone with the other.
“A babysitting job.”
She frowned, forgetting the cotton ball for a moment. “Did you say babysitting?”
“Well, first, do you have a sexy dress?”
Jessica forgot about the toner, cotton ball and everything else. “Excuse me?”
“You’re going to need to borrow one then,” Sam said. “And high heels. Do you have high heels?”
His tone suggested that he sincerely doubted it.
“Of course I do.” They were way in the back of the closet somewhere, but she was pretty sure she still had them.
“What about the dress?”
“I have a dress, Sam.”
“But is it sexy? It will have to be sexy. Maybe you should call Marcy.”
This called for a dress from her friend Marcy? Marcy didn’t dress in anything that didn’t reveal cleavage and lots of it. What in the hell was going on?
“Sam, maybe you’d better define babysitting,” Jessica said grimly.
Monday, March 29, 2010
In þat lond ben trees þat beren wolle, as þogh it were of scheep; whereof men maken clothes, and all þing þat may ben made of wolle. In þat contree ben many ipotaynes, þat dwellen som tyme in the water, and somtyme on the lond: and þei ben half man and half hors, as I haue seyd before; and þei eten men, whan þei may take hem.**
Sunday, March 28, 2010
by Deidre Knight
Buy the Book
Michael Warner has been drifting in a numb haze since his lover was killed by a drunk driver. As the anniversary of the wreck approaches, Michael’s grief grows more suffocating. Yet he must find a way through the maze of pain and secrets to live for their troubled young daughter who struggles with guilt that she survived the crash.
Out of the darkness comes a voice, a lifeline he never expected to find—Rebecca O’Neill, a development executive in the studio where Michael works as an electrician.
Rebecca, a former sitcom celebrity left scarred from a crazed fan’s attack, has retreated from the limelight and from life in general, certain no man can ever get past her disfigurement. The instant sparks between her and Michael, who arrives to help her during a power outage, come as a complete surprise—and so does her uncanny bond with his daughter.
For the first time, all three feel compelled to examine their inner and outer scars in the light of love. But trust is hard to come by, especially when you’re not sure what to believe when you look in the mirror. The scars? Or the truth?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Groundbreaking Butterfly Tattoo Finally Available in Print
Butterfly Tattoo by Deidre Knight, which created an online sensation when released as an e-book last April, and became available for the first time in print from Samhain Publishing this February. The story’s release in any format indicates that contemporary culture’s acceptance of the sometimes “fluid” nature of sexuality has taken giant strides.
When Knight first shopped the novel in 2004, Michael and Rebecca’s love story was deemed too controversial for public acceptance. Michael is struggling to come to terms with his male life partner of 12 years being senselessly killed by a drunk driver a year earlier. Then he meets and falls in love with Rebecca, a woman carrying physical and emotional scars.
“I came close to selling repeatedly,” Knight explains. “It was considered for hardcover at several big houses, but each time the book proved to be just a click too edgy.”
However, after little more than two weeks on the market as an e-book in April, a search for “Deidre Knight’s Butterfly Tattoo” on Google delivered 9,850 hits. The first two pages consistently catalogued very positive reviews. Today glowing praise continues to predominate, page after page.
Why not read this groundbreaking book and determine its “edgy” factor for yourself?
Friday, March 26, 2010
As many of you know, I'll be attending the RT Convention in Columbus, OH April 28 to May 2. I'll be speaking on two author panels and one industry panel and attending lots of the events.
Thurs 10 a.m. - Social Media
Fri 10 a.m. - Top 10 Dead Sexiest Heroes
Fri 2:45 p.m. - Paranormal: The Melting Pot
*Giant Book Fair - Saturday from 11-2
However, I wanted to do something that gave readers (especially those coming into town just for the Book Fair) an opportunity to connect with me face-to-face in a less hectic environment. So,I'm coordinating a no-host get together right after the Book Fair on Saturday (2-ish). I'll be inviting a few of my author friends to join us and will select the venue once I know how many readers want to attend. Since this is not an RT sponsored event, you do not have to be a registered conference attendee to come, but conference goers are absolutely welcome!
If you would be interested in coming, please email me with RT Get Together in the subject header. Thanks!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Please email Andre with your details, so he can send your prizes out to you. :)
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Yes, that's right - the Reader at Home Conference is FREE. How cool is that?
Every day there will be multiple authors visiting and guest blogging, with new blogs posting every 3 hours between 6 AM and 6 PM (West Coast DST). And cover models? We've got 'em - with behind the scenes action as well as hero inspiration. There will be daily drawings for multiple prizes, including dozens of signed books, a B&N gift card, a t-shirt, 3 prize tote bags filled with books & goodies (donated by Sue Grimshaw from BTRB and Becke Martin), free online subscirptions to Affaire de Couer magazine and 2 more Swag Bags given away each day. What could be better?
So, while a bunch of us are at RT going crazy, you can be visiting with some of your favorite and some brand new authors - wearing casual clothes, ditching the makeup and your shoes. Oh, that? I envy! :)
Thursday, March 18, 2010
The luncheon will feature a keynote address by bestselling author Jane Porter, one of the Northwest’s most prolific romance/modern literature authors.
Porter, who lives in Bellevue, Washington, has written more than 22 books, with millions of copies currently in print. In 2008, her national bestseller, Flirting with Forty, was made into a Lifetime film starring Heather Locklear. The debut captured four million viewers, making it the third most-watched television movie of that year.
Porter and dozens of local and regional romance authors (including Lucy Monroe) will be available to sign books after the luncheon. Lucy will also host a table for readers, giving away a door-prize basket to one lucky winner at her table.
Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online at www.rosecityromancewriters.com or at the door. Event proceeds benefit the Portland Literacy Council.
Rose City Romance Writers is the Portland-based chapter of the national Romance Writers Association. The chapter has more than 135 members, nearly half of whom are published authors.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The 2 winners for a signed copy of Moon Craving are:
And the winner for goodies and a book (by another author) from my prize closet is:
Please email Andre with your details, so he can send your prizes out to you. :)
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
by Monica Burns
“Monica Burns writes with sensitivity and panache. Don't miss this one!”
— Sabrina Jeffries, NYT bestselling author
“Tell me, sir, if you were to win this wager, what do you expect for your one night of pleasure?”
It was a gamble she was born to make…
Raised in a brothel at a young age, Allegra Synnford quickly learned that survival meant taking charge of her destiny. Now, a renowned courtesan skilled in the pleasures of the flesh, she chooses her lovers carefully—vowing never to be vulnerable to any one man. Until a mesmerizing Sheikh strips that control from her…
With a man who wasn’t used to losing.
Sheikh Shaheen of the Amazigh has been hiding from his past for a long time, but not enough to forget how another courtesan made him abandon his life as the Viscount Newcastle. It’s why the yearnings this dangerous temptress ignites within him are so troubling. Worse, thoughts of Allegra pervade every fantasy, threatening to undermine his cover. With old enemies circling, experience tells him he must resist her charms at all cost. In fact, he’s betting on it. That’s a risky wager when it comes to a woman of pleasure. But Allegra has her own reasons for playing games…with a man who can’t afford to lose.
What happens between them is Kismet…
“After reading the bio posted on her website, I was afforded a deeper understanding into the wealth of emotions she poured into Kismet. Tenacious, sassy heroines and strong, sexy heroes are her signature style and she’s boldly penned one of the best books I’ve read in years.”
“The imagery that Monica Burns paints of Moroccan and the people is mesmerizing. So captivating is the love story that is truly romance at its best, purest and most captivating that you will regret not absorbing every word on the page."”
— Book Junkie
“...a wonderful historical fiction voice. The way she builds up the attraction between her hero and heroine shows her skill as an author...”
— Babbling About Books, and More
“I absolutely loved this book...In my humble opinion it will become a classic that lovers of historical romance will read and recommend to others for many years to come. Bravo Ms. Burns.”
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
by Rick R. Reed
Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it. - Truman Capote
A statement like that makes a reasonable person gasp. The idea of "taking a child out in the back yard and shooting it" is such an arresting and shocking image that it takes one's breath away.
But if you're a writer--or anyone who creates--you might understand. First off, to say that Capote had a flair for the dramatic would be an understatement. In life as well as in his writing, he loved to push buttons, which is probably why he's remembered as much for who he was as much as for what he wrote. But Capote's point, about the sadness and loss a creative person feels at the end of a project is a lot like a death. A death that you bring about by your own hand.
I understand the quote because I feel a sense of loss and despair when I write the words, "the end." For me, who rarely writes a series, it is as if I have effectively killed off my characters. More prosaic people in my life think I'm crazy when I say that my characters come to life for me when I'm writing a book and that they often surprise me with what they do or say. Other writers--for the most part--understand.
For me, writing a book is all about taking a journey with the characters I have created. In the course of that trip, I nurture them. I love them (even the bad ones...and as many parents might attest, sometimes you love the bad ones the most). I don't always see it as me giving them life, but them giving something to me--surprises, emotions, a better understanding of not only them, but myself. They become dear to me, real to me.
When I finished my novel Deadly Vision, I asked my friend Mary, who was an early reader of the book, to give me her opinion on it. In the course of our conversation, I told Mary about that sense of loss I felt now that my characters' journeys were over and how much I missed them. She laughed and said that maybe I should "host a tea party" for my "little friends." She didn't quite get it. Or maybe she did. One of the best tests of friendships is sometimes the ability to be mean with each other and get away with it. But I digress.
The point is, when I get to the end of a book, it's not a cause for celebration, it's an occasion for mourning. Because, to use Capote's rather melodramatic analogy, I have taken my offspring out in the backyard and shot them. They are gone and for me, they won't be back. Once a work is published, I never reread it. And maybe that's why, because when I'm done, I'm done. And those people I came to know so well are gone forever, like dead loved ones. It's bittersweet to revisit their world.
Call me fickle, but after a suitable period of mourning, I find comfort in the arms of new friends, new characters and seldom look back on those I've shot. Heartless bastard.
In their October 2006 issue, Unzipped magazine said: "You could call Rick Reed the Stephen King of gay horror." And Dark Scribe magazine said: "Reed is an established brand - perhaps the most reliable contemporary author for thrillers that cross over between the gay fiction market and speculative fiction." To date, Reed has twelve published novels to his credit, and his short fiction has appeared in more than 20 anthologies. His novel, ORIENATION, won the EPPIE Award for best LGBT novel of 2008. He lives in Seattle, WA.
Check out Rick's latest book, the heart-pounding child abduction thriller, MUTE WITNESS.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I've been tagged by: Stacy~
*Hair Color & Style
Yummy dark hair cut close to the scalp. Happy sigh...
*Eye Color & Facial Features
Brown eyes...the color of melted Dove chocolate. Exotic features that are often mistaken for Native American but actually result from a mixture of Germanic, Vietnamese and just a touch of Native American. Sexy, very kissable lips.
*Height & Body Type
Right around six feet tall. Muscular arms that are great for holding me, well defined pecs that are fun to lic...um...look at. Strong thighs, sexy feet - oh, yes, feet can and should be sexy.
A little kink is a lot of fun...pink velcro handcuffs, some fave toys...oh, erm...just the right size to feel and not to hurt trying to do the dirty-dirty, but definitely knows how to use what he's got. Oh! Fanning self.
*Human or Other
Now here, we'll deviate just a tad from reality and say he can change into a wolf. Or maybe a tiger. Yum!
The ability to read minds (men can be dense and this skill would be such a helpful one), especially mine. Super strength and speed and aforementioned ability to shift into another form.
He likes to work out, keeps his muscles toned. Is an avid micro-gardener, environmentalist and gamer. It all keeps him young and vibrant and interesting.
Knows how to use nun-chucks, is a great cook and cleans toilets with the best of them. Oh, and well...I won't mention that, but let's just say I don't just write about screaming orgasms. ;-)
I'm thinking he might look something like...
Tagged: Kate Davies
For your reference:
Hubcap - my husband (he came up with the name for my blog and it stuck)
[Is and environmental guru for Intel and micro-gardner extraordinaire, but nothing beats his creative genius in gaming and paper model creation.]
BQ - my oldest (Beauty Queen - for her chosen profession)
[Hair stylist and Aesthetician & super mom.]
Sly - her husband (loves Sylvester Stallone, named their female cat Rocky LOL)
[Massage Therapist & fab dad]
Miss Sparklepants - their daughter (she likes to sparkle)
[Princess in training]
Einstein - my son (he's both bloody brilliant and a bit out there)
[Going to college for associates in applied science and machining technology.]
DQ - my youngest (Drama Queen - got if from *her* g-ma, I swear - well maybe a little from mom too LOL)
[Going to university for a bachelors degree in design merchandising.]
Tazz - her husband (not 'cuz he's a devil, but Miss S calls him that and I like it)
[The go to guy at a tool & die company.]
Little Fashionista - DQ & Tazz's daughter.
I simply refer to Tae and Hoon My by name or as the K-Boys. They're both from Korea (different families) and lived with us for 3 years of schooling. We consider them sons who are just lucky enough to have two families. :) Right now Tae is attending college here and living with my other kids in what we refer to as the Sattelite House (bought it when this one got full) and Hoon Mo is attending university in Ohio on scholarship.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
And that winner is: erahime
Contact Andre with your details and your selection of one signed book from my current or backlist! :)
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
In the last few weeks, I've gotten some of the nicest comments and emails on Moon Craving that I've ever received for my books. And I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been part of making me feel like this really is the special book I meant it to be!
It has been a wonderful few weeks! Truly special. I even got a Happy Making Cupcake award from Maya on her blog! All sorts of neat and unexpected stuff. :)
To show my deep and heartfelt appreciation to my readers, I want to do something special for you all and what is more special than free books? I'm giving away 2 extra signed copies of Moon Craving on the blog this week...that's right, that means there will be THREE winners announced the Wednesday after next! 2 for the signed copies of Moon Craving and 1 for a book and goodies from my prize closet! :)
And lest you think I forgot, Miss Sparklepants helped me choose the winner for my special contest run to celebrate the release of Moon Craving in February (this is the one where all you had to do was send an email to the contest address by Feb 28 to be entered in the drawing). That winner is Marilyn! I've emailed her and asked for her details so Andre can get her prize sent out to her.
Congratulations, Marilyn - and thank you for the truly kind words!
Monday, March 08, 2010
Being the 1st Author I ever Glommed
These are by no means a complete list of my favorite authors, but they are the authors that had the most impact on me before and during the time I honed my craft for publication. I currently read literally dozens of auto-buy authors and continue to learn good writing from them. However, this is my MVP list from the beginning, the authors that most heavily influenced my own writing style and expectations for a book.
Two authors that do not write in my favorite genre and are long since gone, but also influenced me tremendously because of the number of times I read and re-read every single one of their books over the years are Agatha Christie and Louisa May Alcott.
Your turn: if you could give an MVP award to an author, what would it be for and who would it be to? (If you want to make their day, send the author the MVP pic and let them know you named them MVP here. We all like to hear when our readers feel we've done an outstanding job with a book, character, etc.)
Sunday, March 07, 2010
by Shiloh Walker
Penguin - March 2010
The national bestselling author of Fragile returns with a luscious new blend of sex and suspense.
Quinn Rafferty is working as a bounty hunter for a private detective agency in St. Louis when a new neighbor catches his eye. He's drawn to her-but he has his own soul to mend before he can worry about anyone else.
Sarah McElyea is on the run, but not for the usual reasons a woman goes on the lam. She has a plan for her future. And as much as she finds herself attracted to her gruff, tough neighbor, she can't risk telling him the secrets she's hiding.
But Quinn must get closer to Sarah when she turns out to be the target of his new missing persons case, and both Quinn and Sarah will have to expose their true feelings-as well as their fragile hearts-if their love is to survive.
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Buy the Book
He can’t control his desire.
Luc Traverson’s entire future is planned out—but there is one very sexy obstacle in his path: Alyssa Devereaux . She’s a former exotic dancer turned strip club owner and restaurateur. Recently, Alyssa and Luc shared one night of wild abandon that left Luc terrified by his loss of self-control—and Alyssa desperate for more.
And that’s just the way she wants it.
Fulfilling a promise, Luc is the guest chef for Alyssa’s restaurant debut. The sight of her makes Luc wild, so how can he survive a week without letting loose and ravaging her—especially when she’s begging for it? Luc’s desire for her explodes when he realizes he isn’t the only man desperate to have her. But one of the others is deadly. And that’s not the end of Alyssa’s secrets…which are as dark and mysterious and enticing as her fantasies.