Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Now, part of me wants to cling to my old format, which I loved, but I don't much see the point. I'm one of those rip off the bandaid people I guess. I mean, change is coming and there's no sidestepping it. Might as well face it head on and accept the update.
When I made the switch, I did think it was cool that there's now an admin panel positioned above your page. It shows you notifications, new likes, insights, and messages. Now that could come in handy. Especially since the new format is so wonky.
Do you have a preference--old FB or new? Or have you given up keeping up with their changes?
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
A Love Affair with Love Geometry
I love a great love triangle. I love to see the passion, the angst, the desire to love two men (or two women) and how that desire can tear them apart. I really love it when the men involved have a close relationship, too. One of the things I find so perfect about the Damon-Elena-Stefan dynamic is that the brothers do love each other and keep sacrificing for each other even as they compete for the woman they both love. It's complicated and messy. It's passionate and bittersweet. It's triumph and tragedy.
But that's a triangle for you.
|Book 2 of the Fevered Hearts|
In both my recent novel Cassandra's Dilemma and the soon to be released Brave are the Lonely (March 6), love geometry plays a significant part. In the first, Cassandra Belle is torn between two powerful men, men who's animosity and antipathy for the other threatens to keep her in the path of danger unless they can find a way past it. In the second, Cody is torn between the love his wolf half committed to and the desire he discovers with Mariska. It's a twist on the love triangle, one that presented all the elements of a lost first love and a discovery of a true passion and more.
|Book 1 of the Forbidden Legacy|
What is your favorite love triangle? Or do you not like them? I'd love to hear your thoughts, I am giving one lucky commentator their choice of Cassandra's Dilemma or Brave are the Lonely. You can read the first chapter of both books at my website!
Heather Long lives in Texas with her family and their menagerie of animals. As a child, Heather skipped picture books and enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels by Penny Jordan and Nora Roberts that her grandmother read to her. Heather believes that laughter is as important to life as breathing and that the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very real. In the meanwhile, she is hard at work on her next novel. Keep up with Heather via her website.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
This is book three in the ROCK HARD series and I recommend them all! Her writing always leaves me smiling and fanning myself!!
Since Christa Reilly broke his heart ten years ago, Tai-Nan Rivera has steered clear of emotional attachments. Life’s okay, though. He’s in an amazing band, has great friends and has put his troubles with the law behind him. He’s even managed to forget about Christa…almost. Until she comes barreling back into his life, talking about forgiveness. He lets her know that a reunion isn’t on the menu but he’d be happy talk to her…after some hot, sweaty sex, of course. The thought of slumming again will surely send her running back to Daddy. Then maybe he can put their past behind him for good.
When Christa sees Tai’s face on a billboard after years of searching, she drops everything to find him. But the boy she’d loved is now a man who can’t forgive her for their tumultuous past. He finally agrees to talk to her, but for a price. She’ll risk everything to prove she’s worthy of his heart, if only he would trust her with it…one more time.
So whatcha reading?
Saturday, February 25, 2012
As an Army veteran, I understand what it is to serve, but I never really appreciated the way my mother felt until my oldest son joined the Marines and was deployed to Afghanistan. While researching EOD, a job he was considering, I developed a series called Blown Away.
Since then, I've written many more stories, inspired by men and women in uniform. In my 1NS story, Cinderella Wore Combat Boots, you will see a dedication to the boys of the 2-26.
As you know, Cinderella Wore Combat Boots was written for the men and women of our military, my real life heroes. Everyday, they put their lives on the line to protect freedoms we sometimes take for granted.
Friday, February 24, 2012
I've never written a ghost story. I write about bloodsucking cats, howling shepherd shifters, over-sexed stone people, and angels gone wild. No ghost. Ghost don't make me shiver or go gooey inside. They're too nice, too sedate. The idea of my hero rattling chains, and brooding around a dark, dank lighthouse... well, there's not enough death, bite, or blood[sucking] there. Even as I think about it, I'm not really thinking about it. Writing about ghosts that is. I've rambled enough.
Have you read a scary good ghost story? Feel free to share it because I might yet read something that may change my mind about them.
I can't resist sharing them with all of you! *grin* Enjoy.
Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-J. Hali Steele
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
until Feb. is over. Yay!!!
Every winter I dread this month because no matter what I try it drags me down. This one was particularly hard since we had no snow so the skiing sucked and we couldn't tobbagan. Super downer for both me and the boys.
March is around the corner and I have release in that month! That gives me a lift to coming exciting months of Spring and the Romance Times convention being held in Chicago.
To beat the dulldrums of this month I've boosted my Vitamin D intake and tried to walk the icy streets. (That's a good core workout if you don't break your ankle)
Next week Kenya Wright will be visiting on Monday discussing Supernatural College 101.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
The Opportunity of a Lifetime…
Makeup artist Tabby Rogers is thrilled to land a job on a New Zealand movie set with lots of perks, including getting her hands on sexy Kiwi stunt man, Eli Black. The sexual electricity zapping between them can’t be denied, but neither of them is in a position to handle happily-ever-after. Eli’s jetting off to Hollywood, Tabby’s next assignment is in the UK. But there’s nothing wrong with a short-term fling, right?
Except as the sparks burn hotter and responsibilities pull at them from opposite ends of the globe, it quickly becomes clear that something’s gotta give. Must Tabby sacrifice her hard-won career for love? Or will Eli forever be the one that got away?
Oh my! Eli Black is sex packaged into a hot stunt man's body!
I LOVED this story and was glued to every word written! At first I wanted to read the story because of Eli being a stunt man and I suspected he'd be a sexy character to read...and damn, I wasn't disappointed. He not only had a humorous side that I simply drooled over, but he was sweet at times and held a dominant side that made my body temperature rise!
Tabby Rogers was charming with her wit, playful personality and heart that seemed to leap off the page. She's definitely a woman I'd love to know and I found myself cheering her on through the story.
With fantastic lead characters, equally as interesting secondary characters, an intriguing plot and a deeply emotional tale of love--and I'd say Faye Robertson has delivered one helluva book!
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Above you see a link to the RWA's readership survey for 2011 and the results were somewhat surprising. I did notice that covers were important to the reader in deciding if they want to purchase a book--the back cover.
Makes you think about your blurbs, doesn't it?
For me, I'm a sucker for a pretty cover and that's what draws my attention first. If the cover leaps out at me, I'll click on it or pick it up and read the first page--of the fifth chapter.Which I do for one reason, and one reason only. I want to know if the entire story will engage me. Too many authors put so much focus on the opening they forget about the rest of the book. If you want to know if the writing is consistent, go to a later chapter and check out the opening page. If that interests me, I flip to the back and read the blurb. Do I like it? Now I go back to the book and ask myself, is this part of a series or does that author have other books. If not, it doesn't stop me from buying it, but it might affect my searches for e-books by this author in the future (You want to be on the future buy list). As with most readers, I like the adventure to continue, and continue, and continue.
Back to the covers. So if most romance readers place little stock on the cover, why should authors get all worked up when a cover goes wrong, mind you, this has never happened to me yet, but I have seen poor authors receive some ugly and just plain horrible covers.
Well, my mind is on covers because I have two in production I'm waiting for. Now, I know Decadent does pretty covers, so I'm not worried, just antsy because I want to show everyone the covers for my upcoming stories.
So while I wait for covers for my science fiction romance, let me show you a few that I just love.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The hot thing in publishing right now seems to lean toward self-publishing. "Get rich quick!" "Self-publishing is the only TRUE way to publish!" "If you're not self-publishing, you're a fool!" etc, etc, ad nauseam. The fact of the matter is, despite what some people say, there is no TRUE way to publish a book. But there is a correct way. Let me stop here for a moment and say I myself do not self-publish. But that doesn't mean I haven't looked into it or haven't considered it. I have. Why have I chosen not to go that route? Time. I simply do not have the motivation or the time that must be invested in what it takes to correctly self-publish.
So, picking back up again, there is no true way to publish a book, but there is a correct way. Just because you've chosen the self-publishing path doesn't mean that you get to skip the steps necessary for getting a quality product out to the masses. Notice the key word: QUALITY When you chose the self-publishing route, it doesn't give you a pass to skip the editing process. (Hint: You're not perfect, really. You're going to have mistakes.) Nor does it give you a pass in the art department. (Hint: Crappy cover art can turn away readers. Seriously.)
To be honest, you're not doing yourself any service by skimping on these things. And I have to ask, why would you want to really? Why would you not want to have something you've toiled over for weeks, months or heck, even years, that's a quality product you can be proud of? Your work deserves to shine at it's very best. Experienced editors and cover artists are going to help you achieve that goal.
There is no one true way to publish a book, there's only the way that works for you. And remember, what works for you, won't necessarily work for anyone else.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The best thing I've seen this week is a series of photos called Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel. Let me show you...
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
When Reality Invades the Paranormal
I love reading paranormal romance. That’s why I write it. I love finding new worlds, new mythologies, now species. I’m a huge fan of werewolves. Hence my Redwood Pack boys.
But sometimes those worlds take me in too deep and scare me. Or they are just so detailed and so farfetched from everything I’ve ever known, that I need something to pull me back. I need reality to grab me and shake the paranormal away before I can dive in again.
Like the fact that each of the Jamensons has a job. Silly right? But Jasper and Kade Jamenson own a contracting business. Jasper, the hero of A Taste for a Mate, is the builder of the family. He loves working with his hands. Yes, he growls and can turn into a midnight black wolf when he needs to, but he’s also part human. He’s a woodworker who makes things for his family, his Pack, and his Willow.
I like the fact that Jasper can go from howling at the moon and shifting in to a wolf in order to attack a demon bent on destroying his family to sitting on his front porch with his mate and wife, Willow and whittle something from a hunk of wood.
Willow herself is a human who owns a bakery. I love writing about her cooking and their eating scenes. It pulls me out of the dark and scary paranormal world and makes it a reality if just for a moment. I love teeth, fur and magic. But sometimes I need a bit of realness, too.
The scent of cinnamon and sugar danced on the air as Willow Delton heaved opened the heavy oven door to remove her prized cinnamon rolls. The plump, buttery pastries were baked to perfection, and she set them on the counter to cool. The only thing missing was her thick and creamy frosting, but that would have to wait.
Willow stood back and stared around her commercial grade kitchen. She’d started her bakery from scratch, and it had grown into a successful, albeit small, business. Incredible, really. She’d never thought the day would arrive when she finally had a place to call her own. She was right where she wanted to be. Her favorite part of the day was being able to meet one-on-one with her customers. She loved the looks on their faces when they bit into her temptations, that look of ecstasy not seen on this side of the bedroom door that flashed across their eyes.
Of course, that particular look as the result of a man was long absent from Willow’s face. Too excruciatingly long.
She stood back and closed her eyes, conjuring the memory of her mystery man’s face. The image that filled her mind made her forget the lack of human contact. The thought of his deep, husky voice tickled her spine whenever he spoke. Green eyes caught her in his web with only a glance. She’d fallen for a stranger and didn’t even know his name. He’d come into her store every morning and ordered a cinnamon roll and coffee with only a few words. Then he ‘d pay cash before lifting up the corner of his mouth in a semblance of a smile and walking out of her store. Was it strange she worried he’d keep walking and never return?
A bell’s tinkle pulled Willow from her reverie and self-pity. As she turned to greet her customer, her heart leapt to her throat. Him. Her mysterious fantasy man. As she tried to regain her senses, she took all of him in. He had to be one of the tallest men she’d ever seen, easily over six and a half feet. The tight black T-shirt he wore hugged his biceps and cut into his muscular physique, while his broad shoulders stretched and strained the seams. His body tapered down to a narrow waist and hips as they met his thighs. His long legs she wanted to grip, encased in worn jeans lead to work boots. Hmm, construction perhaps? She glanced back up his body to his striking face.
He wasn’t beautiful, but he did have a face most women would dream about. A strong jaw and cheekbones gave him an aura of strength, the kind of strength that would be protective. His hair was midnight black and long enough to brush his shoulders, however, today, a band held it back, showcasing his face more. He studied her, his green eyes calm and calculating. Willow let out a surprised gasp at the sexual heat radiating from him. Could she possibly be imagining things?
Jasper Jamenson fought himself as he walked into the bakery that morning. This would be the seventh week in a row he’d come here, every day but Sunday. And that was only because the damn store was closed. As good as the cinnamon rolls were, and they were little tastes of heaven, it was the woman behind the counter that brought him there every morning.
Following a particularly bad night in the forest on a hunt, Jasper had been pissed and hungry. Another wolf had tried to play a dominant game, forcing Jasper to hurt him. The stench of the other’s defeat had remained on him, only angering Jasper that much more. The scent of the morning’s freshly baked goods pulled him through the quaint and welcoming door, and the slender goddess who served him brought thoughts of a different form of servicing to mind.
Slightly above average in height – he would guess about five foot seven – she was the perfect height to settle against his body. For someone who owned and operated a bakery, she was as skinny as a rail. However, if he looked close enough he could see the telltale signs possible of curves. And with just a little bit of his help and pampering she would gain some well-needed cushion. No matter what, she’d look amazing underneath him. Her long, light brown hair curled in a bun on the top of her head. His fingers ached to pull out the pins and watch it tumble down her back. Hazel eyes sought him and begged for his protection. Damn, he was willing.
Her look made the wolf within him perk up and growl.
“Mate? I want her”. His wolf paced beneath the surface of his skin, calculating the best way to quickly claim their mate.
What his wolf spoke of was a possibility. There were only a few women in the world through time that carried the scent to signal the potential mating. Unlike his brother Kade, who had met two women recently that carried the scent, Jasper had never in his one-hundred and three years come across a woman who brought forth the mating urge. However, if all encounters were like this one, Jasper didn’t know how others walked away. The urge rode him hard and he fought his wolf for control if only for a moment, something that hadn’t happened since he was a pup.
He mentally spoke to his wolf. “We are not ready for a mate. And a human no less. She knows nothing of us. If, and that is a big if, we chose her to be our mate, we will have to go slowly into this. I don’t want us to scare her. But she is beautiful, no”
His wolf growled in response.
“Do you want to scare her away? Let’s get to know her first, see if she is a good match, other than that incredible cinnamon scent. I’ll talk to Adam and find out everything I can about her. I am the Beta; I cannot put my Pack in jeopardy.”
God, he really sucked at this. This time he needed to put on his big wolf panties and actually ask her out.
“Then we could mark her.”
He snorted at his wolf. Yeah, that was taking it slow.
Jasper shook himself from his inner thoughts and looked into those hazel eyes. The spot of flour on her cheek begged for his hand to brush it way. He fought the urge. No need to freak her out. Her chest moved slowly, her small breasts rising and falling. The cinnamon scent of her filled his nostrils and he took a deep breath, the aroma going straight to his cock. The slight gasp that escaped from her kissable lips almost broke his control, and he fisted his hands to regain it.
“Good morning.” His voice lowered an octave and became a growl. He cleared his throat and started again. “I come here every morning and I don’t think I ever gave you my name. Let me rectify that.” He closed the distance between them so only the counter separated them. “I’m Jasper Jamenson. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” He held out his hand in hopes of touching her skin.
Willow blinked up at him and seemed at a loss for words. Her lips opened slightly, begging him to lean down and taste her.
“Uh… yeah… I’m Willow Delton.” She shook her head, gave him a small smile and placed her slender hand in his. He’d been right – her skin was incredibly soft and made him want to take a bite.
“Yes, I know, you own this place.” He gave her hand a squeeze and released her.
“So, Jasper, do you want your usual?” The sound of his name on her lips hardened his cock. Without waiting for him to respond, she turned back to her work-table to ice her cinnamon rolls.
“Sounds good.” He watched as her hands moved swiftly and confidently across the baking sheets. “What time do you get off?”
“Smooth, Romeo. Why don’t you just ask her to bend over the work table for you?”
Ignoring his wolf Jasper continued, “I thought that we could grab a bite to eat tonight and go see to the arts fest they have running in town.”
Oh dear Lord. Why didn’t he ease into this?
“Oh, are you asking me out on a date?” She wrinkled her brow and looked utterly confused at the prospect.
“Yes, I am. I’ve been in here for over a month every morning, and as much as I love your food, I had an ulterior motive.”
Surprise flashed across her face before her eyes lit up with excitement. “I’ve never been to the arts fest in town. I didn’t want to go by myself and didn’t have anyone to go with me.” Her mouth snapped shut at her revealing statement.
Laughing quietly, he shook his head. “So what time do you get off?”
“You really need to stop putting it like that; it gives me ideas.” Again, he ignored his wolf’s sarcasm.
“I close at four and should be done cleaning up by five. It’s only me here today so it’s going to take me an hour to close.”
“What do you say I come back at six and we go to dinner from here?”
Her smile almost blinded him as she nodded before taking off her apron. “Okay. Sounds good. Here’s your breakfast.” She handed him his black coffee and a small brown bag with a pink logo.
Taking everything from her hands, he set them down along with the cash to pay for it. Giving into temptation he leaned over the counter to brush the flour from her cheek.
She jumped and a flash of alarm raced across her face.
Chuckling under his breath, he reassured her. “Just some flour. I’ll see you at six, Willow.” He grabbed his breakfast and walked to the door, taking one last look behind him at the woman who was his mate. He was one lucky bastard.
Whistling a jaunty tune, he walked toward his Jeep, unconcerned and happy while leaving his mate to do her work. The hairs on the back of his neck lifted, and his wolf came to attention. The street was empty but for a few people; nothing looked out of place. Jasper took a deep breath but didn’t detect another presence. With one last look toward his slender brunette, he shrugged off the uneasy feeling and continued to his Jeep.
Carrie Ann Ryan is a paranormal and contemporary romance author. After spending too much time behind a lab bench, she decided to dive into the romance world and find her werewolf mate - even if its just in her books. Happy endings are always near - even if you have to get over the challenges of falling in love first.
Her first book, An Alpha's Path, is the first in her Redwood Pack series. She's also an avid reader and lover of romance and fiction novels. She love meeting new authors and new worlds. Any recommendations you have are appreciated. Carrie Ann lives in New England with her husband and two kittens.
Carrie Ann loves hearing from readers. You can find her at:
An Alpha’s Path
A Taste for a Mate
Monday, February 13, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
If you enjoy BDSM erotic romance then you're sure to love these ones. All the men are totally drool worthy and the scenes are SEXY! Of all the books in the series my favorite was HOSTILE TAKEOVER. Good God, my eyes were glued to every page.
Definitely an awesome series to check out!!
Ben is the last unattached member of the five-man executive team of K&A Associates. The other four, all Masters, have found the submissives of their dreams. That’s fine. The sharp-edged lawyer knows he’s the most hardcore of them all, with extreme tastes as a Master he satisfies physically through experienced club submissives. He doesn’t really need anything more.
Marcie has loved Ben since she was sixteen. He’s never behaved as anything more than a protective big brother, a family friend. But now she’s twenty-three and starting her career as a corporate investigator. She may be a blood-and-bone-deep submissive, but she won’t hesitate to use her aggressive talents to prove she’s meant to be his. With a Master as tough as Ben, she’ll have to take whatever measures are needed—even if her deepest desire isn’t a hostile takeover of his heart, but an unconditional surrender to it.
WHAT I'M READING NOW:
Next up for me is Ascension by Sable Grace. I'm always on the look out for new urban fantasy romance series and this one sounds right up my alley! There are two books available in the series now and I can hardly wait to dive in!!
The gates of hell have opened, and one woman will stand in the crossfire as the Dark Breed -- vampyre, demons, shape shifters -- and mankind fight their last battle for survival.
Kyana is half Vampyre, half Lychen... And the last of her kind. Determined, dangerous, and damned, she has no love for the mortals who have imprisoned and misused her. But when the Order of Ancients entrusts her with a mission -- to find the key that will send the Dark Breed back into Hell for eternity -- Kyana has no choice but to accept.
She is furious to learn her assignment comes with an escort... Ryker, a demigod and fierce warrior who long ago found a way under her skin and stayed there. In a shaky alliance, they discover an ancient cult with dangerous motive and a god who seeks to destroy all others. And as Kyana begins to feel the heat that threatens to bind her to Ryker, she knows she has to resist. For it could only mean the undoing of them both...
So whatcha reading?