Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Wenching Tueday with Vonnie Hughes!

These biscuits go well with tea!  Thank you for sharing, Vonnie....yummmm
by Vonnie Hughes 

With Anzac Day a scant nine days away, people all over Australia and New Zealand are remembering our war heroes by wearing red poppies and baking our traditional biscuits. The tradition began in World War I. Wives and lovers wanted to provide a bit of home to their soldiers and nurses, but they needed a food that wouldn't perish on the long journey. These biscuits were created and have been a symbol of Anzac Day ever since.

 Here is a recipe that is easy and flavorful. I hope you try them.


1 cup plain flour not self-raising
1 cup rolled oats
¾ cup sugar
½ cup dessicated (shredded) coconut
2 tbsp. golden syrup (light molasses)
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda (raising agent)
125 grams of butter (4.4 ozs)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tbsp. boiling water.

Preheat oven to 160C or 325°F (140C or 285°F for a fan-forced oven).

Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper (parchment paper).

 Sift flour into a large bowl. Stir in the oats, coconut, sugar and salt.

 Combine butter and golden syrup and stir over medium heat until melted.

Stir the bicarbonate of soda in the boiling water and add to the mixture. It will bubble.

Quickly pour the liquid over the flour mixture and combine.

 Roll heaped tablespoons of the mixture into small balls and place at 5cm (about 2 inches) intervals on the baking trays. Press the balls down with a fork to flatten.

 Bake for about 18-20 minutes until golden brown.

 Note that these are not puffed up cookies but more a flat biscuit type of cookie.

While your biscuits are baking, step into a different moment in time with one of my Regency novels. I hope you enjoy this short intro.

When Alexandra Tallis sets free the attractive man her sister stupidly tried to hold captive, her actions lead not only to a love she never thought to find, but also to a horrific family secret that threatens that love.

When Alexandra Tallis discovers that her witless sister has imprisoned their father’s nemesis, Theo Crombie in their attic, she quickly frees him, fighting an unladylike impulse to keep him as her own special captive. Despite the brutal beating she receives from her father for her actions, Alexandra continues to yearn for the delicious Mr. Crombie even though she knows that nothing will ever come of her dreams.

Injured and shackled in a stranger’s attic, Theo unexpectedly discovers the woman of his dreams. But how can he pursue those dreams when her bizarre family’s complex relationships threaten the very foundation of his existence? Somehow Theo must find a way through this maze to claim his lady.

To read an excerpt from Captive, please click HERE.

Vonnie Hughes is a New Zealander living in Australia. She loves animals and jogging. Vonnie writes Regencies and romantic suspense novels along with short stories. She is presently working on a romantic suspense, working title: Innocent Hostage and a Regency novella, working title: A Tale of Two Sisters.

Her earlier book Coming Home is about a soldier and a nurse, thrown together during the Napoleonic wars, who find more danger on their return to England than they ever did on the Iberian Peninsula.

The Second Son is actually a prequel to Coming Home. A second son, filled with angst, stands to inherit a title and property through the death of a brother he has always loathed and mistrusted. A young disabled woman teaches him how to find his self-respect and how to love.

Another Regency Historical, Mr. Monfort’s Marriage, has businessman Matthew Monfort inveigled into marrying an earl’s daughter. With good reason he loathes the ton, so his new wife needn’t think she’s going to win him over, even though she’s quite delightful…and intelligent…and sweet…However Verity shows him that not all members of the ton are idle layabouts and that he can do much good with his largesse and with—shock, horror—the unexpected and embarrassing title conferred on him by Prinny.

All of Vonnie’s books are available on Amazon and Musa Publishing.

Learn more about Vonnie Hughes on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Goodreads.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Musings - Terrific Authors I Met at Weekend Events!

This past weekend was book signing palazzo!  Saturday, a fun time with Lynda Hilburn and Melissa Mayhue at Barnes & Noble.  The staff was terrific in the way they welcomed and supported us!

Yesterday the fun continued with the Englewood Library event.  Once again, wonderful support from the library volunteers and staff.

I'm sharing some of the pictures taken.  Unfortunately with my cell phone so the quality isn't the greatest!

The Four Amigos!!

Some of the ladies I met and enjoyed the time spent with them!

Met the delightful Eleanor Hubbard.  Her book on Trans-kin is a collection of stories about families, friends, significant others and allies supporting the trans-gender persons they love.  Very interesting!

Enjoyed the amazing Ellen L. Hughes.  Love the title of her book.  Snakebit isn't about the slitherers as you may think, but instead discusses some of the attorneys out there who don't bring honor to their http://www.amazon.com/Snakebit-Hire-Fire-Work-Attorneys/dp/1479135488/ref=la_B004T9VQP6_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367247395&sr=1-1
profession and how to protect yourself from them.

Elsa K. Hummel's book, Home at Last caught my attention.  Two German sisters during World War II and how their paths differ after the war.  Yep, with my German ancestry from my father's side this is on my TBR list.  http://www.amazon.com/Home-at-Last-A-Novel/dp/147009570X

And here's a few individual pictures of my Amigos & myself with our books.

Ann Brown
Jeanne Stein

Lynda Hilburn

Lizzie T. Leaf

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Hot Seat - Empty

This week the Hot Seat is empty.  Someone didn't get their act together and get a guest scheduled.  That's what I get for being gone several days.

Have a great weekend!  I'll have a post up Monday to share the happenings in the book world!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday's Wench - Sara Daniel

Sara Daniel interviews one of her characters and interesting things come out! 

We are very excited to welcome Armando Verdad, hero of The Wiccan Haus: Psychic Lies, to sit down and chat with us today. 

Thank you for coming out, Armando. Why do you think Sara Daniel choose you to represent her?
As the head of the Department of Truth-Finding for Syndicate (which is the government of the paranormal world for you humans out there), I am well-qualified to articulate myself. And honestly, I can’t afford to pass up any positive coverage to boost my department’s image right now.

 Tell us a little about yourself?

As you might have figured out, I have the truth-finding power. This means when I touch a person who is speaking, their words mentally play back in my head followed by the word “truth” or “lie.” If the person speaks a sentence that is half truth and half lie, my power will break it into parts so I know exactly what part is truth and which is a lie. This makes me a very useful investigator for the government in solving crimes and ferreting out those who aim to deceive our honest citizens.

What do you wish people would know about you?

I wish people understood how much I want to use my power for the greater good of keeping the Syndicate safe. It’s true that I don’t have Cyrus’s amazing retro-cog power, but I can still make a difference, and I intend to prove it by cracking this high-profile murder case before the police do. I’m following the victim’s lifebond Vetter to the Wiccan Haus. She’s definitely hiding something, and I’m going to figure out exactly what and bring her to justice.

 I get the feeling you don’t believe you’re portrayed fairly in the media?

I have a problem with everyone believing the Department of Truth-Finding is not capable of solving crimes and protecting the Syndicate. Everyone constantly wants to compare me to Cyrus. It’s very frustrating to continually come up short.

What really pushes your buttons?
People not telling the truth, obviously. But aside from the big lies to cover up evil intentions, I don’t understand why people lie about insignificant things that don’t matter either way. How do I know which lies are worth digging into when everything that comes out of a person’s mouth is a lie?

Sounds like you need to relax a bit. Any ideas on how to go about that?

Well, if I’m lucky enough to have a woman to relax with, I enjoy a picnic with some exotic fruit, a variety of cheeses and a fine white wine. I’m not opposed to finishing the meal off with a nice massage or a swim in the lake (clothing *ah-hem* optional), but ultimately it’s whatever the lady wants. If she’s happy, then I’m relaxed.


Is the man on the cover of Psychic Lies a fair representation of you?

The man is definitely me, and the picture of the lake behind me is very nice, as well. But the cover itself is rather embarrassing. I’m the head of a government department. I need to be portrayed professionally, wearing my overcoat…or, at the very least, have my shirt buttoned.

 What is your biggest fear?

My biggest fear is the Syndicate dissolving the Department of Truth Finding, so I’ll be forced to use my power to investigate cheating spouses and petty concerns. How does that serve the greater good?

 Thank you, Armando, for dropping by to talk with us today. I hope your trip to the Wiccan Haus gives you the answers you’re looking for.

Thank you for your kindness. Before I leave, allow me to share a small part of  Psychic Lies with you.

Fiona must keep her ability to read minds during sex a secret from those determined to exploit her, especially a sexy truth-finding investigator who needs her psychic power to save his job.


Fiona has spent her life hiding her sexual mind-reading power at the risk of being exploited by the government. Instead, she pretends to have life bond vetting powers like the rest of her family. When her fake power results in the death of an innocent woman, her life of lies unravels and she retreats to the Wiccan Haus.

Armando is the head of the Department of Truth-Finding for the Syndicate. To prove his unit’s worth to the government, he follows Fiona to the Wiccan Haus to expose her as an infiltrator of an enemy faction. The truth about Fiona is even more valuable to his people and his career.

Fiona uses her power to seduce Armando and stop his plans to betray her. But nothing is strong enough to keep her from falling in love with this man whose power threatens to destroy her. Now she must trust him, not only with her life and her psychic lies, but also her heart.

To read an excerpt from Psychic Lies, please click HERE.

Learn more about Sara Daniel on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Be sure to subscribe to Sara’s newsletter for updates on her latest books and contests.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hot Seat Friday - Lawrence Block Enlightens!!!!

I'm delighted and honored to have Lawrence Block in the Hot Seat today.  Lawrence is a very
naughty boy in a lot of his books and enlightens us on how that has come about.  His work may not be classed as romance, but definitely falls into WOW!

Some of your work is downright erotic and crosses boundaries at times into kinky.  Romance, whether erotic not, has certain taboos (of which some of your books at least dance around) that an author will be told to delete.  Have you ever had to argue with an editor to keep something in a story they thought too controversial?
It's important to note that much of my early work was in the field of Midcentury Erotica, novels for publishers like Nightstand and Midwood and Beacon under pen names like Sheldon Lord and Andrew Shaw. My contemporaries and I were essentially the creators of the genre in 1958-9, and our books were hugely successful for our publishers. (Though less so for us; Nightstand's publisher bought himself a Duesenberg around the same time that I bought a Nash Rambler.)

Our aim was to make the books as erotic as possible without getting the publisher sent to jail, and we mostly succeeded. We had to do this without using any of the words then deemed obscene, and none of my work in this genre contained the words shit or tits, for example, let alone anything stronger. Descriptions were imprecise, sometimes metaphorical—and yet the reader knew what was going, and evidently got off on it, because sales kept increasing.
For the longest time I wanted to forget those early books, and refused to sign them, etc. Well, time calms troubled waters, and who can stand up to the tag team of Ego and Avarice? I've republished many of those early works—Gigolo Johnny Wells and Campus Tramp, by Andrew Shaw, and Sheldon Lord's Candy, Carla, and A Strange Kind of Love—as eBooks, and Hard Case Crime has resuscitated a few others. They've even emerged as Audible.com audiobooks, and who ever dreamed that would happen?

Midcentury erotica. It was a great training ground, because it was such a forgiving medium. As long as every chapter contained a sex scene, the publisher was happy.
But it had a curiously inhibiting effect in my other writing. I found myself becoming quite circumspect in writing about sexual incidents in my crime novels, work that I took more seriously and published under my own name.

 That was to change. A turning point came in the late 1960s. After having been several years away from the Midwood and Nightstand days, I wrote three erotic novels for Berkley under the name Jill Emerson. (It was a name I'd employed a few years earlier for two lesbian novels for Midwood.) By then there'd been a shift in mainstream literature, and writers as reputable as John Updike were going much farther than we had for Nightstand and Midwood.
The Berkley Jill Emersons came my way at a time when I found the whole premise of the novel artificial, and thus I experimented with form; Thirty and A Madwoman's Diary are purported diaries, while Threesome is a tour de force, with the three characters inspired to write a collaborative novel based upon their own troilistic relationship. The sexual content is far more realistic, in all senses of the word, than in my earlier work.

I next wrote an epistolary novel composed of letters to and from one Laurence Clarke, and gave it to friends to read, and they all thought iwas hysterically funny. I was moved to publish it not as a Berkley paperback but as a Bernard Geis hardcover, with the title Ronald Rabbit is a Dirty Old Man.
But none of this really answers your question, does it?
Let's fast-forward a few years. I can think of one occasion when an editor at William Morrow objected to an incident in one of the Matthew Scudder books. (I think it was the twelfth book in the series, A Long Line of Dead Men.) Matt and Elaine pay a social visit to a swing club; I call it Marilyn's Chamber, but it's the equivalent of Trapeze or Plato's Retreat. Their participation is largely as observers, although we learn from their conversation afterward that Elaine gets it on with another woman.

The editor couldn't believe that a nice girl like Elaine would do that, or that Matt and Elaine would go to a nasty joint like that in the first place. I said I figured I knew what my characters would or wouldn't do, and never even considered changing it.

Another editor was aghast when the preceding book, The Devil Knows You're Dead, saw Matt have an affair with a client. He and Elaine had a wonderful relationship, she protested, so why on earth would he cheat on her? "Men are like that," I told her. "Get used to it."

More recently, I found myself a series of short stories about a lovely and personable young woman giving to picking up guys, enjoying herself in bed with them, and getting even more pleasure out of killing them. The stories evolved into a novel as I discovered more and more about my heroine, and I decided to publish it with an open pen name: "by Lawrence Block writing as Jill Emerson." Charles Ardai of Hard Case Crime was my editor and publisher, and it was a joy to work with him because he and I saw the book the same way.

Getting Off broke every taboo there every was, and was the most fun I've ever had writing. And my editor never suggested I tone anything down. In fact there's one scene in which Kit kills a man after having tied him up and, by means of a penile ligature, created what she thinks of as a Roach Motel—the blood can get in but it can't get out. Then, while the corpse is on his way to room temperature, she calls a girlfriend with whom she's been having a long-distance phone sex relationship.

"You know," Charles said, "while she's talking, well, I hesitate to suggest this, but the dead guy's still erect, so if she wanted—"

I never take suggestions, but how could I pass this up just because I'd failed to think of it myself? "Brilliant," I said, and rewrote the scene accordingly.
Getting Off is available in hardcover and trade paperback, I should mention, and as an eBook and audiobook as well. And just this month it struck me that many of the book's episodes, which started life as individual short stories, ought to be eVailable in that form; I've accordingly published "If You Can't Stand the Heat," "Rude Awakening," "You Can Call Me Lucky," and the novelette "Clean Slate," as eBooks.

Given how erotic some your work is, how much of your personal life do you incorporate in your writing?

Hmmm. Well, a good deal of my personal fantasy life, to be sure. When I started out in the late 1950s, all of my characters were vastly more experienced sexually than was I.
I wrote a whole series of sex-fact books in the 1970s as John Warren Wells, in the general form of collected case histories. Much of this was fabricated—fiction in the guise of non-fiction—but much of it was not, as the books led to correspondence which led to sections of subsequent books. And sometimes the correspondence led to meetings, and sometimes those meetings were, um, productive.
On the advice of counsel, I'm going to leave it at that...

John Warren Wells: http://tinyurl.com/dymumr
The Devil Knows You're Dead: http://tinyurl.com/d4k4l6b

A Long Line of Dead Men: http://tinyurl.com/codf375
Ronald Rabbit: http://tinyurl.com/d45ezaf
Madwoman's Diary: http://tinyurl.com/cbed72k
Threesome: http://tinyurl.com/c5rj9lz
Thirty: http://tinyurl.com/cv28rkb
A Strange Kind of Love: http://tinyurl.com/cxux54s
Carla: http://tinyurl.com/c5rwyu4
Candy: http://tinyurl.com/camqxds
Campus Tramp: http://tinyurl.com/d7dxlur
Gigolo Johnny Wells: http://tinyurl.com/cdammez
Getting Off: http://tinyurl.com/ah3nyg5
You Can Call Me Lucky: http://tinyurl.com/cohrcvk
If You Can't Stand the Heat: http://tinyurl.com/buhg9em
Rude Awakening: http://tinyurl.com/c5vhug8
Clean Slate: http://tinyurl.com/ce9snpx

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wenching Thursday - Holley Trent Goes Back to Her Roots

Today's Wench is the delightful, Holley Trent.  She shares how researching a family tree can result in a book!

Science and Fiction, but Not Combined

by Holley Trent

 Truth: a lot of what I know about the setting of my upcoming paranormal romance Love by Premonition—Enfield, North Carolina—is based on my own family tree research. I grew up a couple of counties east, but my maternal grandfather, Frank, was born in Halifax County and left as soon as he could.

  I know that sounds bad, but he was a man with a Big-Fish-Small-Pond type of personality. He was also prone to telling tall tales, and I could never tell which of his stories were truth and which were fiction. He was particularly mystifying when it came to his ethnic background. Kinda like Marcia, my LbP heroine. But, unlike Gramps, Marcia is capable of itemizing her heritage. She had a little supernatural help at it. Gramps could only guess based on best available information.

 Because miscegenation was illegal around the time Gramp’s grand- and great-grandparents were doing it, there’s very little legal evidence that can be used to establish several of his ancestors’ paternities. Death records may list a father, but depending on who provided the information, those reports may be false. Gramps may have been told the names of his mysterious grandfathers, but he likely didn’t know much about them.

And that’s how I came to setting a book in contemporary Enfield. The more I researched my holey family tree, the more befuddled and intrigued I became about the citizens. I’ve even toyed around with the idea of writing a historical romance set there, but I can’t come up with single darned plot that would have a happily-ever-after ending. (Maybe Gramp’s Enfield sentiments rub off on me in that way.)

My sister and I always thought it’d be a hoot to take one of those ancestry composition tests so we could have a better idea of which of Gramp’s “facts” were grounded in reality. I had forgotten all about that until I got a letter in the mail from the national blood marrow donor registry. In it, they told me I have an uncommon HLA type. (That happens when your components are like fruit punch—melded together and unidentifiable.) Means I’ll probably never be a marrow match for anyone.

Anyhow, that letter reminded me about that test and a couple of weeks ago I sent a spit sample to the lab. They’re gonna analyze my DNA and tell me what I am…more or less. There may be enough information there to separate Gramp’s facts from rumors, or the results may raise even more questions. I know where, more or less, my father’s parents came from, so any wildcards will come from Enfield Gramps.

I’m supposed to get results in 4-6 weeks—just in time for Love by Premonition’s debut. Marcia knows exactly what she is ’cause that’s the way I made her, but I’ve got to rely on science for the same info about myself.

It’ll be interesting to see how similar I am to a fictional character of my own creation.

 Holley Trent is the author of Executive Decision, Mrs. Roth’s Merry Christmas, and Her Resident Jester – all available now from Calliope Romance. Marcia’s story Love by Premonition will be available May 3.

 To see all of Holley Trent's Musa Publishing books, please click HERE.

 If you want to learn the results of Holley’s 23 and Me test and how far off her guess they were, check her blog in late April or early May.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Travel Wednesday -- Where in the world is this?

Another picture of a location that will be on the vacation stop.  Can't wait until I can take my own to post here.  Summer and the packing that goes with travel will be here soon.  Happy Dancing!!!

Don't forget...Leave a comment and you're entered into a drawing for a fun item from this trip.

A visit here in summer sounds cool!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday's Wench - Patricia Yager Delagrange Shares

Multi published contemporary author Patricia Yager Delagrange is with us to chat about her life and writing career.

Welcome, Patti. Please tell us what or who inspired you to start writing?

In 2009 my daughter came home from school and told me her friend asked her why her mommy didn’t have a job.  I had been a stay-at-home mom since becoming pregnant with my son in 1993. This gave me pause.  I realized I had more time since my two kids were becoming more independent.  So I went to the Apple store, bought a MacBook, and told my family that I was going to write a book.

How did you come up with ideas for your books?

Ideas come into my head for whatever reason.  For Moon Over Alcatraz I’ve always been intrigued by how parents live through the death of a child.  Being a mom, it’s always bothered me to see Amber Alerts and news reports about children who are kidnapped and found murdered.  How do parents get through that?  So I decided to write about the loss of a child at birth and how the couple deals with their subsequent grief.

What components are necessary for the genre of this novel?

I write women’s fiction with romantic elements which centers around a main female character and how she deals with whatever difficulties are thrown in her life path.  Women’s fiction novels may or may not have a Happily Ever After, but my novels always do.  I believe attitude is everything and in my books the woman always finds her inner strength, jumps through life’s hurdles, and makes it through to the other side.

What expertise did you bring to your writing?

It's the simple fact that I’ve lived a varied life which I believe enhances the quality of my novels.  I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and have attended universities in Madrid, Santa Barbara, and Oregon.  I’ve traveled throughout Central and Eastern Europe and lived abroad for a year.  I’ve worked in various offices, from Price Waterhouse in San Francisco to an office of a Chinese entrepreneur in Alameda.  I own a horse and have been learning to ride for the last ten years.  I love all animals and have two chocolate labs.  I am a mother of two teenage children.  I think a full life has given me the opportunity to write about a wide variety of characters and themes.

What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?

That “riding” my 1,425-pound horse Maximus is harder than “writing” an 80,000-word book.  Learning to ride has been the biggest challenge of my life and I bring that persistence and determination to my writing.  I am an extremely determined person and when I decided to write a book, nothing was going to stop me.  And when I finished, I knew then that I could do it, so I started writing another one.  I now have four completed, edited, and critiqued novels.

As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?

My plans are to write a fifth book as soon as I have a bit of time.  Right now I’m in the end stage of edits of my fourth book and will be sending it back to my agent in a few days.  That’s when the REAL intense “waiting period” will start - finding a publisher for Brenda’s Wish.  I’m already nervous.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

I would be Jessee Bradford in my book Taken Away.  Jessee is a veterinarian whose wife and child disappear.  He moves away from his home in Santa Barbara, California, and takes over his grandfather’s vet practice in Earlham, Iowa.  There he finds love, a family connection, and his own happily ever after.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

For my first three books, I was a complete “pantser.” I had an idea of the theme for the book and the people involved and I would sit down and start writing. When I finished I would spend as much time editing to get it right.  For my fourth novel, I had complete writer’s block. The author who edits and critiques all my work suggested I write out a synopsis and chapter outlines after we talked about possible ideas for a novel.  I did as she suggested and was able to write my fourth book much easier than ever before.  So now I’d call myself a “plantser” where I do have a plot, yet I don’t outline everything down to the last detail.

Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you've gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?

My biggest hobby is riding my horse.  I have incorporated that in Taken Away.  Jessee Bradford, the veterinarian, meets a woman who is a horse trainer in Iowa and their relationship blossoms.  There are several scenes with her and her horses and it’s obviously a big part of her life.

Do you have an all time favorite book?

One of my favorite books is the Horse Whisperer, for obvious reasons.  I loved seeing Tom Booker bring an extremely damaged horse back to its owner through his kindness, love, and understanding.

What is your favorite reality show?

My favorite reality show would be Animal Cops: Houston.  Although sometimes it makes me cry, I love the happily ever afters for a lot of the animals.  I am an animal lover to the max.  I often blog about endangered animals.

Who is your favorite actor and actress?

My favorite actor is Russell Crowe.  When I saw Gladiator (for the first of a gazillion times) I fell in love.  My favorite actress is Meryl Streep.

Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?

When Brandy and Weston are at their baby’s funeral you can feel she’s in the pit of depression.  He’s also very sad, but since she carried the baby to term, she’s having a very hard time accepting it wasn’t something she did during her pregnancy that caused her child’s death.

If you were a casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?

I’d love to see Sandra Bullock as Brandy and Keanu Reeves as Edward.  I love the way those two work together.

Weston and Brandy’s marriage splinters beneath the burden of sorrow following the death of their child, and after an accidental meeting with her high school friend, Brandy ends up carrying more than just the weight of grief inside her heart.


Following the death of their baby during a difficult birth, Brandy and Weston Chambers are grief-stricken and withdraw from each other, both seeking solace outside of their marriage; however, they vow to work through their painful disloyalty.  But when the man Brandy slept with moves back to their hometown, three lives are forever changed by his return.



Learn more about Patricia Yager Delagrange on her website and blog. Stay connected on facebook and Twitter.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday Musings - A Blah Kind of Day

I need to move to Tahiti!  Sunshine and warm sand under my toes appeals this morning as I sit here trying to work and catching glimpses of the snow falling outside.  This is the sort of day that I want to curl up with a book or a mindless movie, but that's not going to happen.


Because edits await and they have to be finished today!  That includes adding a scene...a new sex scene my editor thinks is needed.

But, I don't feel sexy!  I feel sleepy.

Still the sex scene will happen.  So that's what I'm off to do.  And I'll leave you with a little snippet from Barely Legal...a re-release from the Cougar Club series that is scheduled to release June 21st.  New edits that expand the story and a new sex scene that needs to be written!  Wish me luck!

A bit of the scene when Corbin and Katherine meet


After the introductions, Blaine informed him they were joining Monique and her friend. Great. An evening avoiding the wandering hands of a randy older woman whose main conversation was what she wanted to do to him later wasn’t his idea of the perfect way to spend his birthday.

A quiet evening of reading would have suited him more. He didn’t get the chance to indulge in his favorite pastimes much these days. Between his work at the bar and remodeling the houses he bought, his time was limited. These days, diving into a good book or spending hours puttering in the kitchen creating new recipes were a luxury. Yeah, he liked to cook.

When he set the drinks that had been palmed off on him to juggle through the mobbed room onto the table, he didn’t miss the fact that Katherine wasn’t too thrilled to have company. Maybe tonight wouldn’t be as bad as he originally thought. He’d finish his beer and make up some excuse to escape. Hell, he could even tell the truth, he was tired.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Hot Seat - Marcia James' Crush!

Marcia James is in the hot seat this morning.  She has gone through the publishing process…from New York houses to self-publishing.  Guess which one she likes best?

Is there anything surprising you’ve learned about the publishing industry that you’d like to share with us?
I worked as a writer my entire professional life -- from an advertising copywriter to a corporate scriptwriter.  So I was surprised to learn (through being published by both a NY publisher and several small presses, as well as through the experiences of author friends), how insignificant an author is perceived by many others in the publishing process.   Despite the fact that without authors' hard work, there wouldn't be any published books, many editors and agents consider authors to be just a small cog in the huge publishing wheel -- and treat their authors accordingly.  Some publishing houses have even changed the way they refer to authors, calling us "content providers."  The good news is many authors are taking their careers in their own hands -- cutting out the middle men and women and self-publishing their own books.  I'm firmly on that indie publishing career path and loving it.  ;-)  It's wonderfully empowering!   
Okay, squirm time, Marcia. What famous man, current or historical, would you like to spend a passionate night with?
That's a tough one!  If I can't choose my wonderful husband, I guess I'll have to say Hugh Jackman.  ;-)  There's nothing like a gorgeous man who also has a great sense of humor!
Love Unleashed
by Marcia James


His best laid plans...
                DJ “Rabid Ron” Hart has a grand scheme to win back the woman he loves. It involves an animal adoption fair, a goofy hairless dog named Charlie and an offer she can’t refuse.

Her hidden desires...
                Cara Wilson has fantasies she’s never admitted, and her ex-boyfriend still features in her erotic dreams. If only he didn’t keep his bad-boy urges so tightly leashed.

Tonight they’ll learn that winning sometimes takes losing control.
NOTE: This 50-page, contemporary romance short story features an R-rated reunion of a couple ready for some "sexploration."

Cara knew this wasn’t fair to Ron. Even if he hated her afterward, he had a right to know why she’d left him. “We got along great everywhere but in the bedroom. You’re just too...nice for me.”
                “What the--? Too nice!” He gritted his teeth. “I was so careful with you--”
“Did I ask you to be careful?” Dammit, she wasn’t a bad person. Men didn't apologize for liking kinky sex. Why should she? “You treated me like a porcelain doll, like I’d break if you looked at me cross-eyed.”
                He leaned closer, his arms folded over his muscular chest. “I’m over a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier than you. Was I supposed to body slam you to the floor and screw you senseless?”
                “Yes!” God, it would have been wonderful if he’d been more sexually aggressive. “I loved you, Ron, but I can’t commit to a man whose lovemaking is so...”
                “What? Boring?” He was being sarcastic, but his mouth dropped open as something in her eyes must have confirmed his comment. “This is crazy. I put you first every time. You want a selfish bastard who just cares about his own needs?”
                He was crowding her personal space, and Cara’s anger spiked. “You can be generous in bed and still open to new things. Selfish and daring aren’t synonymous.”
                “So, Cara, you want spice or kink?” His lips twisted. “Should I get a copy of the Kama Sutra?”
                  “I’m not ashamed of my desires.” She was tired of men scorning her for having a strong sex drive. “You’re the one who’s repressed. Ron Hart, Mr. Perfect Gentleman. Why keep such a tight leash on yourself? I’m not going to faint if you give into your urges.”
                His pupils dilated and his jaw clenched, but she wasn’t afraid. Ron would never hurt her, but he might finally let his inner-caveman out. And if he threw off his good-boy manners and didn’t despise her for her fantasies, there might be a chance for them after all.
                Ron’s gaze dropped to her mouth. His voice deep and sensual, he asked, “You want me to give in to my urges, Cara?”
                Yes. God, yes. She’d had fantasies like this since she’d met him--Ron taking what he wanted from her, giving in to his wild side. Licking her lips in anticipation, she nodded.

 Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-unleashed-marcia-james/1115053670?ean=2940016428604


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday's Wench - Marci Boudreax Does It Again!

Today's Wench is Marci Boudreaux!  Marci’s new release, The Messenger shot to number one on the publisher’s website the day it released.  If you like mystery with your romance, you want to check this one out.
The Messenger
By Marci Boudreaux


Evelyn Thomas is tired of being treated like a little girl playing dress-up. Just because she is working at her father’s newspaper doesn’t mean she isn’t a good journalist. All she needs is a chance to prove it.
Unfortunately for seasoned reporter Wes Reilly, that chance turns out to be the exact same story he’s working on.

When the journalists get separate leads on the same insurance scam, they butt heads over who gets to expose it. But when Eve’s brother-in-law Jerry, who is also her source, ends up in ICU she has no choice but to turn to Wes for help breaking the story and finding the person who attacked Jerry.
Every step they take brings them closer towards the truth and each other. But the path to vindication is filled with danger and uncertainty leaving Wes and Eve struggling to get out of sticky situations and fighting for their lives. 

Eve ran her hand along one of the many rows and skimmed the file tags until she got close to the numerical prefix she was looking for. She pushed the files as far apart as the overstuffed shelf allowed and tilted her head down to get a closer look. She went over each name, not finding any files that corresponded with names on the list Jerry had given her.

This was impossible, like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. She pulled a piece of paper from her shirt pocket to verify the spelling of the name before she pushed the folders apart again in case she had missed what she was looking for the first time.
Eve was oblivious to the fact that she was no longer alone until a hand roughly grabbed her shoulder. She spun around, her heart racing and her lungs tight with the gulp of air she had involuntarily inhaled. As soon as she met the angry gaze of the man who had startled her, she let her breath out with a rush and sank against the wall of folders.

Wes pressed his lips together and flexed his jaw muscles as he stared at her. “What are you doing here?”
She looked at the white coat he was wearing with a badge, which identified him as Dr. Henderson. “What are you doing here?”

Wes leaned down to get eye-to-eye with her. “Answer me, Thomas.”
“I’m following a lead.”

“What lead?”
“I don’t have to share my stories with you.”

“Your story?”

He snorted as he leaned back. “Exactly what story would that be? How to properly file medical records?”
She felt the sting of his words go straight to her heart. Defiance set in and she stood a little straighter. “Insurance fraud.”

Wes stared at her for several seconds. He may have been trying to intimidate her, but his glare had nothing on her father’s. She simply cocked her brow in return.
“That’s my story,” he said.

Eve shook her head. “No. I got this tip on my own, Reilly, and if you think you’re going to steal it away from me—”
“Steal it away from you? I’d like to know where you got your tip ’cause I’ve been on this story since last week. You are so unbelievably—”

Eve raised her brows when he stopped mid-sentence and turned his head away. “I’m so unbelievably what?”
“Shut up,” he breathed. Her mouth opened and Wes put his hand over her lips. “Hush.”

Eve gasped when she was quiet long enough to hear footsteps. She grabbed his wrist and pulled his hand away. “What do we do?” 

Check out Marci’s website, too. http://www.marciboudreaux.com/

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Travel Wednesday - Where is This Week's Location & a Drawing Announcement

Blogging last week didn’t happen for any day.  A lot going on here and not feeling the greatest made the thought of one more thing…well, impossible.  But I’m back, at least geared for the travel angle.
The trip this summer requires a lot more detail planning than I anticipated, including getting the brother-in-law out here to housesit and entertain our baby…the cat.  BIL says he can handle one small kitty, but he may be surprised to discover who is really in charge around here.  

Now for the fun part…the next picture of one of the destinations.  Can you guess here this is?  And nope, not telling where the prior locations picture either.  That would spoil the game and you’d be able to guess too easily.
And you know what…anyone who takes a guess at the locations is going to get their name entered into a drawing for a fun token from one of the places I visit.  Yes, you can go back and to the prior picture and leave a guess.
 So where in the world is this?

Leave you comment to enter the drawing.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wenchy Thursday - Samatha Combs New Book

Thursday’s Wench is the talented and mutli-published, Samantha Combs.  The Deadlies is her ninth novel and an older YA that releases this week at Secret Cravings Publishing.

When Calliope Flood catches the unwanted attention of prettiest and most privileged girls at her new school, she learns they are possessed of more than just good ole’ Southern charm; they are also possessed by the demons of the Seven Deadly Sins. 
 Whether she likes it or not, the Ravens want the pretty new girl to become one of their members.  Their club is so secret, only a select few know their truth.  As a budding journalist, Callie is more interested in investigating them than joining them.  When people begin to disappear, she soon discovers the Ravens aren’t just interested in her for her looks; slowly, she learns she’s a legacy.  Calliope enlists her eccentric Aunt, her new friends, and a quietly disarming Southern boy to form their own group, The Virtues, to free the girls, and the town, from the demons that have taken over their lives.

Callie strode purposefully into the Journalism room. School didn’t officially start for another half hour, but she knew she would find Meg in there anyway. She hadn’t yet reached the editor’s office when she could hear her yelling on the phone.

“Are you kidding me, Jim? How can you raise the printing rates on a school, for God’s sake? Why don’t you jack the rates up on one of your country club buddies?” Meg stood behind her desk, the phone tucked under her chin and shoulder, holding a sheaf of papers. She looked as angry as she sounded. “I’m sure one of those phonies from Suture Cove wouldn’t even notice a rate hike.” Callie realized “Suture Cove” must be Meg’s moniker for Sutter Cove, where she and her aunt had dined the other night. There had been a lot of plastic surgery on display. She stifled a giggle and caught a glare from Meg.
“Whatever, Jim. Thanks for nothing.” Meg slammed down the phone with such force, the internal bell dinged. She looked up and greeted Callie and Cayden with a nod.

“Hey. Why are you here so early?”
Callie moved excitedly to Meg’s side of the desk. “I’ve figured something out about the Ravens!”

Meg clucked her tongue and said, “So have I. Seems they have more pull than just with the headmistress.” She glared at the phone. “That was our printer. He claims if I don’t give him right of final approval on each edition of the school paper, we’ll have to pay more than double for “community-irresponsible material”, whatever the hell that means.” Meg slumped into her editor’s chair and sighed. “Man, this place is starting to really piss me off.”
“Meg, are you listening? I’ve figured it out.” Callie tried again to get her friend’s attention.

“You should listen, Meg. It’s way out, but she’s totally right.” Cayden added.
Meg ran her hands through her hair. “Okay, okay. Tell me the earth-shattering news, already.”

Callie paused to make sure Meg really paid attention. Satisfied she had her, she spilled her secret.
“The Ravens are possessed by the seven deadly sins.”

Meg blinked at Callie. “What’re those? Some kind of freaky seven dwarfs or something?”
“Jesus, Meg. No. The seven deadly sins. You know, from the Bible?”

“Are you pulling my leg here?”
“Nope and I’ve figured out at least four of them. I need to work on the remaining three. There’s also the link between them and my mom.” Meg stared at Callie, who paced excitedly. She listened slack-jawed until Callie finished, and then flipped open the lid of her laptop and typed furiously.

“Greed, gluttony, sloth, pride,—these are mortal sins. Are you sure about this, Callie? Listen to what this website says. Theologically, a mortal sin is believed to destroy the life of Grace within the person and thus creates the threat of eternal damnation.”
“Sounds serious.”

“Damn right it is. Here’s more: "Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us—that is Charity—necessitates a new initiative of God's mercy and a conversion of heart.” Meg stared up at Callie. “Attacking charity? Oh, my God.” She closed the laptop lid and glanced at Cayden, who nodded at her with dawning understanding. “Does she get it yet, handsome?”
Cayden shook his head. “I don’t think so. At least she hasn’t said anything about it.”

Callie stared at Meg and Cayden. What were they talking about? “Get what?” she asked them both.
Meg came around the back of the desk and perched on the front, facing Callie.

“If the Ravens are the seven deadly sins, Callie, that makes you…….Charity.”
“What the hell are you talking about? Charity?” Callie tried to keep the incredulousness out of her voice. Truth be told, she wasn’t feeling exactly “charitable” anyway.

Meg had left the desk and paced, muttering to herself. “No, it all fits. It all comes together, like a puzzle.” She whirled and pointed at Callie. “And you, Sunshine, you are the key.”

Samantha Combs, Author
Check out all eight of my books!

EVERSPELL  http://www.amazon.com/Everspell-Spellbound-ebook/dp/B006Z0LKLC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336187120&sr=1-1

THE DETENTION DEMON  http://www.amazon.com/The-Detention-Demon-ebook/dp/B0077DTQHG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336187185&sr=1-1

WAY PAST MIDNIGHT  http://www.amazon.com/Way-Past-Midnight-ebook/dp/B0088DXFP8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1338755543&sr=1-1

HELLOWEEN  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009X3N9IA

 And coming April 2013, THE DEADLIES, published by Secret Cravings Publishing
Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Samantha-Combs-Fan-Page/205186202866933

Blog: http://www.samanthacombswrites.blogspot.com