Friday, September 30, 2011

Guest Blog - Kate Walker

Welcome Kate Walker! My readers and I are so excited to learn a little more about you! Thanks for a great interview!

1. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not writing?
Reading! I just wish I had much much more time to do it. I never ever have as much time as I’d like to just curl up with a really good book- preferably with one of my cats on my knee. The other favourite thing is just being with my loved ones, specially my DH. Sadly we lost his mother earlier this year and if there’s one thing that brings home to you how much you should value those you love it’s that.


2. What books are sitting in your TBR pile right now? What book are you currently reading?
I am always buying books and then letting them sit on my shelf (shelves) . I swear that they then breed there because there is never any space, no matter how much I do try to read. So the honest answer to
what books? – is a whole library. I tend to read two or more things at once – depending on my mood, and I have upstairs and downstairs books so that I can grab a book and sneak a read even if I only have a few minutes. The ‘downstairs’ book I just finished is The Drowning Girl by Margaret Leroy – a spooky tale about a little girl who seems to have lived before. And upstairs I have Jane Porter’s latest Presents title A Dark Sicilian Secret. Next after that is my dear friend Michelle Reid’s new title, The Kanellis Scandal. I’m in the UK so these books are in the Mills & Boon Modern Editions.

3. Please, share something you found most interesting or fun that you did to research for a book.
My newest title The Return of The Stranger is something different - it’s part of a mine series that takes some of the classic books from romantic fiction as inspiration and uses that as a launch pad for a whole new story. So when I was asked to do the Wuthering Heights book I had a great excuse to watch all the film versions from Laurence Olivier onwards, to soak up the atmosphere and the passion. I grew up so very close to Howarth where the Bronte sisters lived, so I also got to explore the village and the countryside around it.

4. How did you come up with - or - setting - or character occupations - or - plot, etc. for The Return Of the Stranger?

So as i said, Return of the Stranger is something rather different from my usual books – but I was not going to copy or just lift the story from the original book, I wanted to take that as the springboards and write my own novel as a result. But I wanted to keep some of the power and intensity of the original. So my hero
and heroine are Kat Charlton and Heath Montanha. The setting was one ting I didn’t want to change because what everyone remembers about Wuthering Heights is the way it’s set on the wild moors of Yorkshire and having walked over those
moors many times I knew just how atmospheric they can be. Finally, the story of Heath(Heathcliff) is that he leaves the place he grew up and goes away to make his fortune. So I created a whole new life for my Heath - discovering that he came from Brazil and there he was involved in mining, discovering a rich seam of emeralds that he mined to make his fortune. And so the story begins when, no long the bad boy stablehand, the rebel who caused trouble in the past, but as a rich, powerful man, Heath comes back to take his revenge on the family who treated him so badly – and to claim the one woman he has always wanted.

5. Action adventure or romantic comedy? What is your favorite movie lately?
That really depends on mood. I love action adventures – but they have to have a strong relationship developing story in there. That’s the romance novelist in me! So I suppose I’ll have to say that deep down it has to be a romantic story I love to watch most. But the most recent movie I watched – on DVD because it’s not a new film but one our son bought for my DH for his birthday - was neither of these. It was Capote starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. It’s a grim, dark story about the writing of In Cold Blood and Capote’s relationship with a murderer – but it was riveting, totally compelling. And the acting was magnificent.

Thanks Lucy for allowing me to visit with you today! I'd love to hear from your readers. Anyone who leaves a comment on today's interview will be entered into a drawing to win The Return Of a Stranger - winner will be announced on Lucy's blog on Saturday!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review - Bodyguards in Bed

Bodygurards In Bed offers three stories by three great authors - Look at these reviews:

“All three novellas feature heroines who are strong in their own way, and the hot heroes who have captured their hearts while protecting them.” The Romance Reviews

“This was a steamy romance and the chemistry between the two main characters had me turning the pages.” Bookaholics Romance Book Club

“"A fun and sexy summer read, BODYGUARDS IN BED is sure to please.” Romance Reviews Today


BODYGUARDS IN BED
(with Jamie Denton & Elizabeth Naughton)
Kensington Brava - June 2011 (05-31-11)
Trade Paperback
ISBN-10: 0758210337
ISBN-13: 978-0758210333

Whose Been Sleeping in my Brother’s Bed?

Roman Chernichenko’s baby sis is in trouble. She shows up at his apartment needing help and a safe place to be right now, but Roman is in Africa. Only the apartment’s not empty. One of his Atrati team is staying at Roman’s place while *his* apartment is under renovation. They’ve met — at Beau & Elle’s wedding. She thinks he’s freaking hot, he thinks she freakin’ off limits, being Roman’s baby sister and all. She might be an academic geek, but she knows what she wants and she sets out to get it — Mr. Hottie Super Soldier won’t know what hit him ... and beat him to the mattress after.




Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Humpday Hottie!

Mmmm...this hired hand can come to work for me anytime!







Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Weekly Prize Giveaway!



Throughout the month of September I will be giving away not just one book every week, but a bag/tote full of books from lots of my favorite authors! I'll also include a signed copy of one of my own books! You'll be ready when fall arrives. Cozy up in your favorite reading spot with a great cup of coffee and dive in to some delicious reads! Be sure to leave a comment on any posting open to comments and you'll be entered in the contest!

One bag/tote will be given away each week.

Weekly winner will be posted on Saturday!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bodyguards In Bed - Excerpt

Bodyguards In Bed
Trade Paperback anthology
Kensington Brava - June 2011
ISBN-10: 0758210337
ISBN-13: 978-0758210333

Buy the book:

Excerpt from Chapter 1:

That was the second time he’d admitted to talking to her brother about her. That had to mean something, right? That he was at least interested enough to mention her in passing to Roman.

“What did he warn you about?”

“That you have an unbalanced sense of humor.”

“Unbalanced? That’s harsh.” Though Roman had said worse when she’d switched salt for sugar in his canister and he’d added it to his morning coffee.

It was an old trick and she shouldn’t have gotten away with it, which is what she told him. Sugar and salt didn’t look alike to a person with their background in chemistry, not to mention the different smell, texture and melting rate in hot water.

He’d told her she needed to get a life. Of course it was his effort to see she had one that had prompted the salt in his coffee. He’d fixed her up with the most boring, obnoxiously intelligent man she’d ever met the night before. To make matters worse, they’d gone on a double date and while her brother was having fun with his not-so-brainy arm candy, Danusia had spent the evening arguing quantum physical theory. Not discussing, but arguing.

Her blind date had been an opinionated cretin.

“Do I have to worry you’re going to sabotage the kitchen?” Max asked, proving Roman had been telling tales.

“I don’t know. Are you going to try to fix me up with the most obnoxious man on the Eastern Seaboard?”

“Is that what Roman did?”

“Yes. And when you’re contemplating murder, salt in the coffee doesn’t seem like such a harsh retaliation.”

Max laughed out loud. “I can promise you, I’ve got no plans to fix you up with anyone while you’re here.”

“Good.” She had her own plans and they all revolved around the gorgeous black man whose laugh made her thighs clench.

Weird. Was that a primal reaction, she wondered or an evolutionary one? Whatever it was, there was an ache between her legs that would not go away.

“You’re doing it again.”

“What?”

“Thinking about something that puts that alarming expression in your eyes.”

“Do I worry you?” she asked in disbelief.

“More than you know.” With that, he spun on his heel and headed out of the room, stopping at the doorway. “I’ll make dinner tonight.”

“You don’t trust me to cook?”

“Let’s just say I’ll be sure what goes into it, if I make it.”

“I’ll have you know I’m a very good cook.” It was basic organic chemistry and she’d had that particular subject down before she’d been out of training bras.

“When you aren’t switching ingredients on the unsuspecting.”

“I told you, he deserved it.”

“And I don’t.”

“Not yet,” she couldn’t resist saying.

He laughed again and she decided that sound could become more addictive than McDonalds French fries.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekly Prize Winner!



Who's ready to for some reading? This week's blog prize winner is.....


Congratulation! Please email me your name and address and I will get your prize in the mail! Happy reading!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Portland Race for the Cure!

Hey all, DQ here!

As most of you know, my mom’s books are made of three key ingredients: faith, hope, and love. It’s why we love her and those romantic heroines who always seem to come out on top. Coincidentally, these same ingredients are what serve as the recipe for Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure, and it should’ve come as no surprise when mom started ”seeing pink” this month.

KomenOregon.org states that, “Each week in Oregon 51 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and 9 will die from the disease. It is estimated that in Washington each week 86 women are diagnosed with the disease and about 15 will die. Oregon and Washington have some of the highest breast cancer rates in the country, although the specific reason is unknown.” Wow! As you can see, this is a disease that’s had a huge impact on our community, and yours too. Did you know that breast cancer is the leading cancer among American women and second only to lung cancer in cancer deaths? We couldn’t believe it! So, we laced up our tennis shoes, bundled up the babes, and fought for those who could no longer fight for themselves.

Adorned in all things pink, BQ and I walked Susan G. Komen’s 5K Race for
the Cure, teaching our girls what it meant to give your heart to others- Even if they are women we will never even meet. The feeling of sisterhood reigned high in a sea of almost 30,000! I couldn’t help but feel a sense of empowerment as we walked side by side with breast cancer survivors and a sense of compassion as women carrying signs that read, “I walk in memory of...” stood tall in front of us. The day was grey but our moods were bright, because we knew that every set of feet that marched through Portland that morning would carry us one step closer to a cure that will change lives.

On the last mile, it started to rain, and we all made a mad dash for the finish line- Women were hugging, children let their balloons into the air, and an overwhelming sense of hope fell across us all. That day, Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure raised $680,000! So, thank you to everyone who supported our team! We can’t wait for next year!

XOXO
~*DQ*~



***********
There is still time to donate to Lucy's team! You can donate and receive a free signed book with donation
until October 1st. The link to our team's donation page is here:



Details for the free book:

Thank you to everyone who has supported this worthy cause!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Guest - Dan with ADP

A note from Lucy: Knowing several of our lurking blog readers have their own small businesses, I wanted to pass on my great experience switching my payroll from a CPA firm to Dan with ADP. It's *HARD* running a small business when the creative side (writing, etc.) takes the bulk of our time. Having someone else handle payroll, even for part-timers is a huge blessing as many of us can attest to. So, without further ado...here's Dan!

~ ~ ~


Thank you Lucy for giving me the opportunity to tell your readers and fellow writers about ADP Small Business Payroll and HR Services and the ways it can benefit them, their business and their employees!

I’ve been working with ADP for 12 years helping employers with less than 50 employees handle federal, state and local taxes affiliated with their payrolls. The part of my career I find most rewarding is creating a solution in which ADP can remove the time consuming, stressful and risky aspects of payroll, taxes and HR.  Although you may not think a business or a writer with a small staff would benefit from our programs, over 70% of my clients have fewer than 10 employees and a very high percentage have less than 5.  All of my costs are broken out by number of employees to ensure you’re only paying for services which truly benefit your business.  Lucy is a perfect example of a small client I was really able to help with her staff of 3 in 2 different states!

Lucy is utilizing ADP’s web-based RUN payroll program which allows her to process her payroll 24/7 365 and view all her payroll and tax totals from both an employee and employer perspective before processing, ensuring her payroll is always 100% accurate. ADP files all Lucy's tax documents and takes care of paying all payroll taxes as part of her ADP package. (Note from Lucy: this is my FAVORITE part. Taxes are just a tad scary! ::g::)

ADP can also benefit and protect a Small Business in numerous other ways including: workers compensation insurance, simple IRA and 401k plans and web-based time and attendance programs.

Although I’m based in the Portland area with my wife Meghan, one-year old daughter Linleigh and dog Bantry, because ADP is a true national payroll provider I would welcome the opportunity to work with other writers or business owners from around the country.

I can be reached via e-mail dan_burke@adp.com or on my office line (503) 513-7947.
Thank you again for the opportunity to drop by and blog about something that’s not exactly a sexy topic, but one that is critical to anyone with current or future employees!

When you reach out to me please mention that you found me through Lucy’s blog and I’ll take $175 off the $200 initial implementation costs.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Humpday Hottie!

Soaking in the last days of summer....don't you wish you were there with him?








Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Weekly Prize Giveaway!



Throughout the month of September I will be giving away not just one book every week, but a bag/tote full of books from lots of my favorite authors! I'll also include a signed copy of one of my own books! You'll be ready when fall arrives. Cozy up in your favorite reading spot with a great cup of coffee and dive in to some delicious reads! Be sure to leave a comment on any posting open to comments and you'll be entered in the contest!

One bag/tote will be given away each week.

Weekly winner will be posted on Saturday!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday, Monday...so good to me...

Oh, the Mamas & Papas...remember them?  Smooth hippy music of the best variety. :)  I've always loved their song Monday, Monday...though it's not exactly a happy ending song, is it?





Still, I love Mondays.  Always have.   When I was a child, I looked forward to going to school.  I also loved the weekends and yes, I still do that too, though perhaps even more so because I work as many Saturdays as I take off.  I do love my writing.

But the simple truth is: I don't hate Mondays like so many.  I love "getting back to the grind" even when the grind wasn't writing.  I'm a creature of routine.  You have to get to know me well to realize this as I love my havey-cavey ideas so much, I seem like a very spontaneous person.  I'm not really, and knowing what comes next is always comforting for me.  The older I get, the more this is true.

Mondays are my day to get back into the groove of writing and working the business of my craft.  For me, they are hopeful days - filled with opportunities and options that are narrowed down considerably by Friday. :)  Mondays are almost always busy, often spiced up with the unexpected and the beginning of achieving my goals for the week.  It's a heady combination for a woman like me. :)

My goal for this week is to finish "Back in the Sheikh's Bed" by Friday so I can spend the weekend preparing for our trip to Europe.  I'm not entirely sure I can get the book done, but I'm hopeful and the characters are being cooperative at present, which is always nice.  I've been working with Asad and Iris even longer than Kaden and Rachel in Heat Seeker because I put aside BITSB to work on HS during my black fog months.  Now, I'm out of the fog and working desperately hard to finish both books.

And every Monday is a chance to draw closer to that goal! :)

It's your turn:  do you love Mondays or hate them?  What are your goals for the week?

Hugs and happy reading,
Lucy :)

~ ~ ~
http://www.lucymonroe.com/
http://www.facebook.com/LucyMonroe.Romance

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weekly Contest Winner!


Who's ready to for some reading? This week's blog prize winner is.....



Congratulation! Please email me your name and address and I will get your prize in the mail! Happy reading!





Friday, September 16, 2011

Deal With This - Reviews!

Here are some great reviews for Deal With This!

Lucy Monroe delivers with DEAL WITH THIS, a must-have for readers looking for sizzle and suspense with their romance. Don’t miss out on some terrific reading; pick up DEAL WITH THIS.

This is a fast, easy read with a little mystery and a lot of lovin'. Family dynamics make for entertaining friendships and romances and the close quarters of the quirky characters allow for adequate relationship growth. With a sexually empowered heroine and a hero determined not to get too involved, Monroe heats page after page with extensive, explosive foreplay and intense passion. RT Book Reviews

I absolutely loved Jillian's unique group of boarders, and Alan's reactions to them. It was also fun to catch up with some old friends from earlier books. Whether you're an avid Lucy Monroe fan or a new reader, don't miss DEAL WITH THIS! 4.5 Stars ~ Blue Ribbon Reviews

This book was a very exciting book. The cast of characters were amazing and had me laughing out loud from the first page of the book. The way they react to each other really made this story. 5 Stars ~ FAR


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Guest Blog - Bronwen Evans

Hi Lucy!

I’m waving from New Zealand. Thanks so much for having me over to blog today. Lucy has kindly allowed me, a fellow Kensington Brava author, to introduce you to my debut novel, a Regency historical called INVITATION TO RUIN, released 1 March 2011. On its release, Invitation to Ruin, received a 4.5 Star review from RT Book Reviews.

INVITATION TO RUIN is Book 1 in a four book series. As a reader I love series romances, so it’s only natural that I wanted to write a series. Thankfully I love plotting. Part of the fun of writing a series is plotting out the overarching story and then each individual book before I start writing them. I want to see all the characters, as they continue on through the books. Therefore, you have to understand how they are going to interact and enrich the stories.

The challenge in writing a series is to have enough interesting and engaging secondary characters that make the reader want to read their story too. Lucy understands this very well – I love her HMB Presents Sheik’s (Royal Brides) series. The secondary characters in each book were very compelling. They needed a book of their own.


In INVITATION TO RUIN we meet Anthony James Craven, the Earl of Wickham, and his twin brother Richard Craven. The twin’s father was England’s largest slave trader and was not a very nice man (that’s putting it mildly, but I don’t want to spoil the story). Richard sets his brother up to compromise Miss Melissa Goodly, knowing she’s secretly infatuated with Anthony. Richard hopes that the love of a good woman will help Anthony recover from their father’s cruel upbringing. Richard has no idea what will result from his meddling…

Needless to say, Richard deserves a story of his own. The readers who have kindly emailed me are all waiting to see Richard get his comeuppance. Richard’s story, INVITATION TO PASSION, will be book three in the INVITATION TO series.

So who is in book two? INVITATION TO SCANDAL due for release 1 May 2012, tells the story of Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore, a man’s whose father died a traitor. Rufus is Anthony Craven’s best friend and a Spymaster for the Crown. You met Rufus in Invitation to Ruin.While hunting for a French spy, Rufus hopes to clear his deceased father of treason, and restore the Strathmore name. The spy is using a Kent smuggling ring and Rufus knows if he captures the head of the smuggling ring, Dark Shadow, he’ll have his spy. Unfortunately his hunt doesn’t go to plan when he meets Miss Rheda Kerrick. Rheda knows who Dark Shadow is and Rufus will employ any means necessary to make her reveal Dark Shadow’s identity.

You can read more about my INVITATION TO series on my website.

If you’ve read Invitation to Ruin feel free to drop me an email.

To win a copy of INVITATION TO RUIN simply leave a comment and tell me what your favorite romance series is and why. I’ll pick a winner from Lucy’s blog on Saturday, so don’t forget to include your email address in your comments. The contest is open internationally.

Thanks for having me visit today.

Bronwen
~ ~ ~ 


Invitation to Ruin
by Bronwen Evans


One Good Lady is About to Go Bad...

The only thing Miss Melissa Goodly has ever wanted out of a marriage is love. But any hope of that dissolves one wild night, when she loses herself in the arms of the most irresistible-and unobtainable-man in all of England. For when they are discovered in a position as compromising as it is pleasurable, she has no choice but to accept his proposal.

Avowed bachelor Anthony Craven, Earl of Wickham, never meant to seduce an innocent like Melissa. Yet now that the damage is done, it does seem like she'd make a very convenient wife. After all, she is so naive he won't have to worry about ever being tempted. Or so he thinks, until the vows are spoken and they are left alone-and his new bride reveals a streak just as brazen and unrestrained as his own... Read an excerpt

Invitation to Ruin is available in book or e-book format from all major bookstores, and online through Amazon, B&N, Book Depository and other online book stores.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Humpday Hottie!

Looking for a contractor? You're hired! I could watch this guy
building me a house (or anything for that matter) all day!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Weekly Prize Giveaway!




Throughout the month of September I will be giving away not just one book every week, but a bag/tote full of books from lots of my favorite authors! I'll also include a signed copy of one of my own books! You'll be ready when fall arrives. Cozy up in your favorite reading spot with a great cup of coffee and dive in to some delicious reads! Be sure to leave a comment on any posting open to comments and you'll be entered in the contest!

One bag/tote will be given away each week.

Weekly winner will be posted on Saturday!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Timelines and Timewarps

THE READER by Fragonard (1732-1806)
I was reading a review of one of my books the other day and the reviewer mentioned that the shortness of the timeline in the story bothered her. She had a point, in the first half of the book, there was a lot of story condensed in a very short number of days, but at the time I couldn't see a way to make it different.  I'm not sure even now that I'd be able to, but I acknowledge the speed with which things happen in the crucible of a romance novel can make the reader (even this reader) stop and think.

This whole concept got me thinking about the dichotomy between author time, book time and reader time.  Think about this: an author takes several weeks to months to write a single title.  In those months, she may cover only a few days or weeks in the life of her characters and then when the reader picks up the story, she may spend mere hours devouring it.  Of course my story didn't feel rushed to me...I'd spent months writing it, but it felt rushed to the reviewer because not only had the actual events spanned only a couple of weeks overall, but she'd only spent a few hours reading it from start to finish.

She'd been in the pressure of the crucible and found it wanting.  If we're honest, we've probably all read books where this kind of timewarp has sent our brains reeling a bit.  Readers who take a week or more to finish a book may not experience the same sense of whiplash, but the truth is - no reader is going to spend as much time with a book as the author does.

Which was one of the early lessons in my craft for me - and one I needed the reminder of this review to pay heed to.  When crafting our stories, we all must make sure the author sense of time does not make the reader's sense of time too jarring.  It doesn't matter if I spend an entire year writing a book, I need to be aware that my reader is going to give it hours, or at most - days.

It's your turn:  can you remember the shortest (in character time) romance novel you read, or the longest?  What struck the most about the story and did it end up on your keeper shelf?

I will admit to avoiding saga length stories like the plague.  Seriously...if I discover a story is going to cover several years, much less decades, I have no interest in reading it.  Which may well be why the crucible of my stories are often comprised of fewer calendar days for my characters. :)  We write what we love to read. :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Unclaimed Blog Prizes - Last Call!



Thanks everyone for participating in August's Book-A-Day Giveaway! There are a few of you who haven't emailed me yet with your name and address so I can get your prize in the mail.

wolfwattitude
krisgils33
kdr108
Maureen
P.K. Dawning
Booklover1335
Rachel
Sherry

It is not too late! Email me by Saturday 9/17 and you can still claim your prize!

Weekly Prize Winner!



Who's ready to for some reading? This week's blog prize winner is.....


Congratulation! Please email me your name and address and I will get your prize in the mail! Happy reading!


Friday, September 09, 2011

Guest Blog - Kate Davies

Taking a Chance – On Coincidence!

My newest ebook, Take A Chance On Me, is going to be released in print in January, and recently I had the opportunity to re-read it for galley edits. Going over the galley is the final opportunity to check for errors and typos before the book goes to print. And once again, reading over the manuscript, I was struck by how closely my hero Tom resembles my favorite actor, Eric Sheffer Stevens.

That’s not unusual, I know; many writers find inspiration in actors or singers or athletes when creating a character. What is unusual, however, is that I wrote the book well before I ever laid eyes on ESS.

(Who’s Eric Sheffer Stevens? Well, if you don’t watch American soaps, you’d likely never have heard of him before. He’s a stage actor from New York who was cast as Dr. Reid Oliver on As The World Turns last year. It was originally supposed to be a secondary character in a secondary storyline, a few months of steady work between stage gigs. But his talent – and the fan response – ended up being far beyond anyone’s expectations, and he stayed with the show through the final episodes. He’s now been cast in a new FOX comedy starting in November, called I Hate My Teenage Daughter. So his relative anonymity may be coming to an end soon.)

In a way, it shouldn’t have surprised me that there was a connection to Eric Sheffer Stevens. Ever since I started following his career, I’ve found our paths crossing in some unexpected ways.

First, through a network of friends, I was able to score an interview with him for my blog. I wasn’t a soap writer, or professional journalist, and I didn’t have an entertainment-themed website. But the hottest discovery on daytime television last year agreed to a phone interview with me. Check out the interview!

Then I had a chance to fly down to California on short notice to attend the filming of the pilot for his new show. (description of that trip, including the part where he runs after us in the studio lot to thank us for coming, is here.)

Although I didn’t deliberately base my hero on Eric, once I realized how much Tom resembled him, I decided to run with the connection. When I turned in my cover art sheet, I attached a photo of Eric for the cover artist to see what the hero looked like. And when it came time to work on promo, I turned to Hayley Charlesworth, a cartoonist I knew from the ATWT days. She’d created the Reid Oliver Cartoon Saga, which gained a major following on YouTube, including the actor himself, who declared them “genius”. She made a book trailer for me, using Eric as inspiration, and it turned out fantastic. And the drawing of Tom from the video also made it onto my Romance Trading Cards for the book.


So sometimes, connections spring up in unexpected places. The challenge, for me, is to recognize and embrace them when they happen.

Discussion time! What unexpected connection surprised you recently?


Thursday, September 08, 2011

Excerpt - Moon Burning

MOON BURNING
ISBN-10: 0425239802
ISBN-13: 978-0425239803
Paranormal Historical Werewolf
Berkley Sensation - February 2011

Bestselling author Lucy Monroe returns to her hugely popular paranormal world where a woman falls under the spell of the beast who is her one true enemy...

Barr never asked to be made laird over the struggling Donegal clan, or leader of its werewolf pack. But he'll do his duty and although he hasn’t yet found his mate, he hopes she will be among his people. He expects his new role to be difficult; he doesn't expect to discover a naked woman in the forest whose memory is as fragile as her human body—her delectable, all too appealing body. Could this woman be his true mate?

On a mission to save her people from extinction, Sabrine pretends she has no memory in order to gain access to her enemy: the Donegal clan. A raven shifter, she is determined to retrieve the sacred stone that rightfully belongs to her people. But soon she’ll be engulfed in her burning desire and growing love for Barr—and the dangerous and inescapable secrets destined to keep them apart...

Buy the book: Borders ~ B&N ~ Books-a-Million ~ Amazon

Excerpt from Chapter 1


Donegal Lands, Scottish Highlands
12th Century AD

The raven flew high above the earth, her keen vision spying five Donegal hunters in the forest below.

The red and black of their plaids peeked through the trees, leaving no doubt to the true number, but she could only hear three of them. Two were silent as they stalked their prey. Even her raven hearing honed sharper than her talons could not detect the sound of their movements.

They had masked their scents as well, showing they had better control of their Chrechte nature than the others. These two Faol of the Chrechte were dangerous.

No wolf could be trusted, but one who mastered his beast was one who must be watched most carefully. He would not be easily taken in by the tricks of the √Čan. It was good her raven family had set her to this task. Another, less seasoned fighter, could fail too easily with wolves such as these.

Sabrine had been protecting her people since her fifteenth summer, a long seven years past.

She circled lower, preparing for her landing. This had to look natural, but she did not relish taking human form merely to fall through a few tree branches. She was still a good distance from the men, though closer to the earth when an agonizing pain pierced her left wing.

Her first instinct was to pull her wing to her body, but she forced herself to keep it expanded so she could coast lower rather than spinning out of control. She would not die before saving her people from the wolves’ treachery.

As she neared the earth, she let her raven fall away, taking on her fully human form, just as she had planned to before the foul arrow had pierced her wing. Tree branches scratched at her body as she tumbled toward the ground.

She ignored the minor pain for the larger purpose. She would use the wolves’ thirst for blood against them. Their own actions would make way for her to find welcome in their clan.

As a helpless human female.

Dark amusement rolled through her with the pain of her landing. She grabbed the arrow, broke off the tip, gripped the other side, and yanked it from her arm.

As her world turned black around the edges, she threw the offending weapon as far from her as possible.

Click Here to read more.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Humpday Hottie!

Here are some hero's that can rescue me anytime!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Waiting on Editorial Comment

I keep waiting for that day when I'll write with confidence, rather than this gremlin on my shoulder that pours forth a steady stream of, "Are you sure your editor is going to go for that?" ... "Isn't that a bit passe?" ... "Cliche alert!" ... "Didn't another author use that same hero's name ten years ago?" ... "Do you really think there's enough story here for the word count?" ... "That's a bit risky, are you sure you want to write that?" ... and on and on and on.

I've spoken to too many authors who seem to share my affliction for me to think it's unique.  And yet we keep writing and looking for the best way to deal with the gremlin - the doubt devils that plague us.  I practice ignoring them, telling myself I have to write the story as it comes to me, not try to fit someone else's idea of a good romantic adventure.

Right now, I'm waiting on editorial feedback from Berkley on my latest Children of the Moon novel and it makes it that much harder to write the other two books I'm working on with freedom.  I seem to doubt myself even more when I'm waiting to find out if I've written dreck in someone else's eyes.  And the editors are busy, their deadlines worse than any author's, so I don't expect to hear back immediately.

But waiting is a killer of creativity, so I try to forget I have a book out there awaiting verdict and soldiering on.  The good news is that I'm getting *a lot* of writing done despite holidays, family visits and more than a week's worth of cluster migraines.  "Back in the Sheikh's Bed" is shaping up nicely and I'm feeling rather confident (for the moment).  I'm taking more risks with "Heat Seeker" that readers are either going to love...or not so much, but I'm hoping love because well...I do.

That's the kicker, no matter how the gremlin tries to worry me, I have to write for myself - for the stories burning in *my* heart to be written.  So, as always, despite my little shoulder gremlin, I am writing 100% from my heart and hoping my editors and readers can sense that when they get to see the finished stories.

It's your turn:  What is one area of your life you tend to doubt yourself in and how do you handle that doubt?

Weekly Prize Giveaway!



Throughout the month of September I will be giving away not just one book every week, but a bag/tote full of books from lots of my favorite authors! I'll also include a signed copy of one of my own books! You'll be ready when fall arrives. Cozy up in your favorite reading spot with a great cup of coffee and dive in to some delicious reads! Be sure to leave a comment on any posting open to comments and you'll be entered in the contest!

One bag/tote will be given away each week.

Weekly winner will be posted on Saturday!


Saturday, September 03, 2011

Contest Winners!


Congratulations to the following people for winning this week's contest! Please be sure to
Email me! with your name and mailing information so you can get your prizes!

Monday: Virginia
Tuesday: wolfwattitude
Wednesday: kdr108
Thursday: Maureen
Friday: Mariee
Saturday: P.K. Dawning

Please Note: Although Lucy is happy to ship internationally, there have been some customs issues in Africa and Asia, therefore she would like to offer winners in those locations a free ebook. Please provide your email and we will send you a pdf. file.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Excerpt from Susan Andersen

Playing Dirty
Harlequin • ISBN: 037377589X

When high school golden boy Cade Gallari publicly revealed he’d slept with “fat girl” Ava Spencer to win a bet, he broke her heart. Now a decade older and a head-turner with her own concierge business, Ava isn’t the gullible dreamer she once was—and she plans to prove it when Cade, hotter than ever, breezes back into town with an offer she can’t refuse.

A documentary film producer, Cade is shooting a movie about the mysterious mansion Ava inherited. And he wants her as his personal concierge. She’s certainly professional enough to be at his beck and call without giving him everything he wants. Like another shot at having her in his bed. But Ava doesn’t count on Cade’s determination. Because he’s never gotten over her. And he’s not above playing dirty to score a second chance at a red-hot future…


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Chapter One
I’m not sure if I just made a really savvy move—or the biggest blunder of my life.

Present Day, the 9th of November

The bastard was late. Ava Spencer cursed the man she was waiting on as she paced the front foyer of the Wolcott mansion, alternately hugging herself against the cold and trying to rub some warmth into her arms through her coat sleeves. The place had been closed up for several weeks and between the wind currently buffeting the mullioned windows and the rainstorm that had blown through earlier, leaving a Seattlecentric damp-to-the-bone chill in its wake, she was freezing her ass off.

She would’ve turned on the heat, but there was little point. If the guy ever deigned to get here, she’d be showing him the mansion from attic to wine cellar. And while Jane kept the front parlor and hidden closet in Miss Agnes’ upstairs sitting room climate controlled for the preservation of the Wolcott collections that weren’t currently sold or on loan to museums, it would take until noon tomorrow to warm up the rest. And although she had turned on every light in the house, the illusion of warmth from the yellow glow from the lamps and overheads didn’t come close to replacing the real thing.

A laugh that went a little wild escaped her. Like that was the crucial issue here. Because. . .It’s not some guy, Av. It’s Cade Calderwood Gallari.

Jeez Marie. She couldn’t believe she’d agreed to this. So, yes, she was concentrating on the minutia for all she was worth to keep from thinking about it. Because it was too freaking late to second guess herself now.
Wasn’t it?
She froze for an arrested second. Hell, no, it wasn’t! The heavy feeling in her stomach lightening, she snatched up her purse and started down the hallway to the kitchen. Its exterior door was the direct route to where she’d parked her Beemer. Cade was late? She was out of here.
Headlights swept the east wall across from the kitchen archway, stopping her dead. “Shit.”
Too late.

She did a little dance in place to shake off the muscle-tightening tension that had her tighter than a guy wire, throwing in some yoga-breathing for good measure. Exhaling a final gusty breath, she nodded to herself. “Okay. Time to pull on your big girl pants.”

She forced herself to shove down her irritation over Cade’s tardiness, over the fact that he breathed, and bury it deep. It’s been thirteen years, girl. He’s a footnote, someone who no longer matters. Who hasn’t mattered for a very long time. So it probably wouldn’t do to snap his head off first thing.

But, oh, boy. The temptation.

She watched him through the back door window as he climbed the steps and stopped beneath the porch light, and her annoyance surged back with a vengeance. She fought it to a standstill once more, blew out a final exhalation and reached out to unlock the door.

The knob turned before she could open it and he blew into the kitchen, shaking himself like a wet dog and sending raindrops flying in all directions from his sun-streaked brown hair. Looking beyond him, Ava saw that it had begun to pour again.

“Man, it’s wet out there!” He flashed her his trademark Gallari smile, white teeth flashing and deep creases bracketing his mouth. Only she noticed that this time the blue, blue eyes glinting between dense, dark lashes held. . .something. Wariness maybe or. . .calculation? Something cooler and edgier than the smile that for years had haunted her dreams.

It just bugged the hell out of her that she felt his impact like a cattle prod to the breast bone. Why was it like this every damn time she laid eyes on him: this immediate, visceral one-two to the heart? It was identical to the reaction she’d had around Teenage Cade--and even after everything she knew about him, everything he’d done, seeing him gave her that same hot punch to the solar plexus.

Well, it would be a cold, cold day in hell before she felt the least bit tempted to act on it. She raised an eyebrow. “And you call yourself a Seattle native?”

“I forgot how fast the rain can soak a guy up here.”

She gave him a polite smile. “I suppose living in southern California will do that to a person.” She glanced at her watch. “Shall we proceed?”

“Yeah, sure.” His mouth developed an unyielding slant that somehow looked more at home on his chapped lips than his old smile. “Sorry I’m late. There was a wreck on I-5 and it took a while to get traffic moving again.”

She nodded her acceptance of his apology and watched as he looked around the kitchen. A small pucker of dismay appeared between his dark eyebrows. “It’s been modernized.”
When Ava looked him fully in the face this time, she found it less unsettling. “Surely you didn’t expect it to be the same as it was back in the Eighties?”

“I guess I’d hoped it would be.”

“As soon as Poppy, Jane and I inherited it, we had the awful sun room addition removed and yes, modernized the place throughout.” We were expecting to sell it, Slick, not rent it. “But a tour is worth a dozen explanations or descriptions, so let me show you the work we had done. I think you’ll agree our crew did a wonderful job of preserving the spirit of the original design in their restoration. We can start with the dining room across the hall.”

She turned, only to feel Cade wrap a hand around her forearm to halt her. Heat seeped through the cashmere of her coat sleeve beneath his light grasp, and she promptly swung back around, twisting her arm free.

“Do not,” she said with hard fought calm, “touch me.”

Releasing her, he stepped back. “I just wanted to tell you, before we get started, how genuinely sorry I am for what happened back in high school. I was--“

“Forget it,” she interrupted. She so did not want to rehash the ugly details of the past with him.

“I have.”

“Really?” Those eloquent eyebrows rose, surprise flashing in the depth of his cobalt eyes.

She gave him a regal nod. She’d cut him off at the knees the other times he’d sought her out over the years to apologize, but if acknowledging his regret would move him along to a place where they didn’t have to hash over the past, then, fine. She’d grant him his damn redemption.
“You forgive me then?”

No. Hell, no. That would be a snowboarding day in hell.

But she gave him a serene smile. “Let’s just agree to leave the past in the past, shall we?” Not awaiting a response, she led him to the dining room and got down to business. “As you can see, great care was taken in here to preserve the integrity of the era in which the Wolcott Mansion was built—“