Thursday, February 28, 2013

When Myth Becomes Reality - Guest Post by Layna Pimentel

When Myth Becomes a Reality

Imagine for a moment you’re a child, opening your first book of mythology, and falling in love with the images of beautiful gods and goddesses. Every heroic tale has you fascinated, and engrossed with all the love and riches. But the punishments the gods delivered, terrified you. Take, for example, the story about the Prometheus’ stealing the secret of fire and giving it to mankind. I mean, the image of the Titan being bound to a stake, and have his regenerating liver eaten out by an eagle daily is disgusting.

It’s these first experiences that I had with Greek mythology, which has become a bit of an obsession for me. If there’s a movie, book, or article written on the subject, you better believe I’ll be buying, reading, or watching it. J

Myth became a reality for me when I started to write about one of the nine muses. Melpomene, for whatever random reason called to me, and with her being the Muse of Tragedy, I thought it fitting to pair her with a military figure. Toss in some embellishments, fictional characters, and combine it with a contemporary setting, 
and you’ve got yourself A Gift From Fate.

Do you have a favorite mythical creature or deity? I’d love to hear from you.

But first, here’s a blurb and excerpt of my latest release. Enjoy!


After colliding with a stunning vision in white, retired Staff Sergeant Brent Daniels offers to drive the beautiful stranger to a hotel for the night, but instead discovers he’s with one very lost creature. He’s bewitched by her sinful curves, her dark and mesmerizing eyes, and the pull at his soul with each minute passing. Nevertheless, he can’t shake the feeling she’s hiding something.

Melpomene, daughter of Zeus, finds her handsome rescuer resembles the man who has continuously haunted her dreams. Before long, she’s in his arms, wanting more. Knowing their days are numbered, desperation leads her to reach out for help by an unlikely ally.

Just how far will these two lovers go, and what will they sacrifice to be together?


“My name is Melp—Mel Pomene.” She’d nearly given herself away. Zeus, her father, would have heard had she whispered her name. Her father. Heavens, he’d turn the mortal realm upside down if he suspected she was here. And right now, she desired nothing more than to stay a little longer. With any lucky, I’ll return before he notices.

“Well, Mel, it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Your last name is rather unusual. I assume you’re not from these parts?”

His question silenced any thoughts drifting through her mind at that moment. A new kind of tension rose within her. She couldn’t disclose her origins or who she was. Guilt settled in her stomach for leaving her sisters behind, but she wasn’t given a choice. The Fates dropped her here, only mentioning an experience for three days…provided Zeus didn’t find out. Only the Gods knew what he’d do if he found her cavorting around without a proper escort.

“Earth to Mel? Are you all right?”

“Yes, I am. I’m just thinking of home, which is Greece. I’ve come to the United States for an adventure, it would seem.”

He chuckled before she’d finished speaking.

“What is so amusing?”

“The mere mention of seeking adventure after getting lost is rather comical, nothing else, sweetheart.” He removed his right hand from the wheel and petted her knee. The warmth of his hand stirred an unfamiliar emotion within. This was the man from her dream. Those hands had touched parts of her body no mortal would have dared, and here she sat, wishing he’d do more than pat her.



I’m working on the second installment of my Pleasure Garden Follies series, and something super sexy, I hope to announce soon. Make sure to stop by my site for latest updates.


Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Layna discovered her love of reading at an early age. When she isn’t devouring salacious romance novels or writing, she enjoys losing herself in researching ancient history and mythology, weaponry, and hiking. She lives in Northern Ontario, with her husband and two daughters.

Layna is a member of the Romance Writers of America, and is a monthly contributor at 69 Shades of Smut. For updates on her upcoming releases, or to leave her a comment, you can find at:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Plots and Bunnies and Books, oh my!

After a long while, I'm coming to the end of writing a serial. I only have the edits on the last book to go and my brain is already itching to discover what's next.

And the next thing seems to want to be a series.

One look at my back list and it's blindingly obvious that I'm not a series writer. Not even a little bit. But as I grow as a writer, able to write longer works, I'm learning how to push my own limitations.

Dyslexia makes my brain simply go *pffft* at anything approaching analysis, ie breaking a story into its constituent parts or building one up from little blocks. I can't 'see' grammar or explain it. But I can feel it. I have to approach a story by instinct. I often let my fingers do the typing, or my pen the nasty-ass scrawling--my handwriting is atrocious!--and it surprises me what comes out.

And what that means for a series is writing it all out at once. Crazy, I know. But I think this is what I need. I'm trying it after writing my Agamemnon Frost serial. Luckily I had two synopses to work from so the final books made sense. But they took an age to write. I think being able to build up all three new books at the same time will quicken the writing process. Maybe. Perhaps...

Wish me luck ;-)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

There Be Magic...

I had a friend tell me recently that she loved how I work with magic. I have several ideas I'm mulling over, partially written stories with magical world building, and I'm loving the way it comes together.

When I started, I thought, well, I can just make it work because it's magic! I grew up on shows like Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. The idea of just making things happen with a wiggle of the nose or a quick blink was a childhood fantasy, one that I thought would be fun to indulge in a book.

I have to admit, there are times I still wish all it took was a blink or wiggle to make things happen. I have a list of things I'd do without having to do them. Like dishes and laundry. The gas tank would never be empty and the errands would run themselves. I'd never have to serve the kids canned soup and sandwiches for dinner because I forgot to cook, or stay up late because I need to wash clothes for the next day.

If all it took was a blink to make things happen, what would you do with your magic?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fate, and other demons.

Life can be harsh.
Trust me, I know.
First I yanked a book from my publisher.
Next "Stuff" went down at work, proving once more that you can't trust anyone.
My horse ganked my jaw and I ended up with a cracked root on a tooth.
Both my better half and me wrecked our cars -- on the same day.
Work got worse instead of settling down.
My muse abandoned me and went on vacation.
And we're not even a full two months in.
It really hasn't been a good start to the year so far.
Fate has it in for me, the little bitch.
But you know what they say about Karma...what goes around, comes around.

I'm determined not to let it get to me.
Life is too short -- but it does give you a battering sometimes.

What can you do?
Well...I figure I'll drive that wrecked car until it falls apart, while saving for another one. It's not ideal, but it's doable. I can teach my horse (maybe) that his noggin and my noggin never shall meet. I can find other work. And I can cut my muse's vacation short and order her back. (Yeah, that'll work...)
But seriously, I know I'm not producing great stuff right now. And that's okay.
If you're in that boat, let yourself off the hook. We all have times where everything gets to us, where nothing works, when we question ourselves "Is it worth it?"
Yes, it is.
Just maybe not right now.
It doesn't matter what it is you're doing. If it's writing, well...what's the worst that can happen? You ditch what you did and start over. Change the plot, the characters, the location...whatever works.
If it's knitting...fine. Unravel that pullover and start over. Use a different pattern maybe.
House training your dog? I guess you'll have to invest in newspapers, treats and a lot of patience.
Honestly, it doesn't matter.
There really is no point in beating yourself up. All you can do is keep a level head and tell yourself "This too shall pass." even if it seems hopeless. It never is.
After all -- think of the trials and tribulations our heroes and heroines go through. We root for them because they carry on with dogged determination. We should take a leaf out of that book and apply it to our own lives, because nothing is ever easy.
If life were easy, we wouldn't appreciate the good times.
So keep a stiff upper lip, and soldier through the curves life throws you.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Following Your Dreams

We love heroes who will do anything for the woman he loves. He'll fight to the ends of the Earth (or beyond) to have a chance at happiness. Why is that?

A precious dream for a hope of a future in which they can be together is more powerful than the fears and acceptance keeping him in bondage (emotional or otherwise).

I love a hero that will go the distance as much as I love a heroine who will take the plunge and trust in her heart. Everything is on the line...

Tell me some of your most memorable characters in a book or movie. Who made your heart flip with their raw declarations of love...their willingness to let go of everything in order to save the one they love...

Keep Reading!

Dawn Montgomery
Amazon Author Page
Barnes and Noble Author Page
All Romance Ebooks Author Page

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Secret Societies and You!

I've always been a fan of secret societies, from the Freemasons to the Illuminati to the Mafia and Yakuza—though the term "secret" doesn't really apply when everyone from the History Channel to Time Magazine is doing specials on them. I mean, if you're secret then no one should know anything, right?

When I began worldbuilding for my series, "Blood of the Pride" it started out first as a NaNoWriMo novel and grew into a larger world where I had to fill in quite a few blanks about the Felis, my cat shapeshifter society, and how my main characters not only interacted with humans but with her own kind. So I borrowed quite a few bits and pieces from other groups and came up with something that worked for me.

The Felis are much like the Mafia, where family is everything—when Rebecca Desjardin is thrown out of her Pride because she can no longer shift it changes her world dramatically, to the point where she isn't allowed to have any contact with other Felis at all. They literally turn their backs on her and she finds herself alone in a human society that she's sworn to never reveal her inner nature to. Even if she can't shift she's still held to the prime directive of the Felis: No humans can ever know about them.
From "Claws Bared":
"Reb, is that any way to talk to a Board member?" The snarl in her voice sent phantom pains over my back, where the scars were. I resisted the urge to sit up straight in my chair.

"Is that any way to talk to an outcast? I do you one favor and suddenly I'm on your mailing list? I'm not part of the Pride and I don't have to answer to you." I kept my voice steady despite the butterflies in my stomach. "You declared me outcast twenty years ago and threw me into foster care, banished me from the family. I haven't forgotten that."

Or forgiven. The scars throbbed, reminders of the thrashing I'd gotten at Jess's claws in a final test of my ability to Change.

I'd failed. Spectacularly.

Granted, there are exceptions such as Brandon Hanover, her human boyfriend, but even that knowledge came with some serious risk and the poor man continues to have to prove his ability to not only keep the secret but also to gain respect within a group that sees humans as inferior.

The reason why the Felis don't want to be "found"? Pure and simple fear of what humans would do to a species like and unlike themselves; medical testing and tormenting (from the Felis point of view) of their children and of their society being destroyed out of fear. It's not that they want to take over our world; they need to be part of it and hold jobs in all types of occupations—but they can't ever be exposed.

A great deal of the situations Reb finds herself in is due to this almost paralyzing fear of being discovered—in "Blood of the Pride" the initial reason she's contacted by her old Pride after decades of being shunned and outcast is because a Felis is dead and they're terrified of being exposed thanks to a tabloid pictures. In "Claws Bared" the dead man is a human stripper, mutilated by Felis claws and the fear of having one of their own be responsible for the murder drives both Prides to agree to having Rebecca investigate, even if she does come with some serious baggage like Bran.

The theme of family runs through most secret societies, offering a home to those without one and an expanded one to those who need it, be it connections for political or economic power or something as simple as lodging after a long day of traveling. The best secret societies bring strangers together under one umbrella, forcing them to co-operate for the greater good (as seen by their leaders) despite their differences. For many it's a leap from one level of society to another, rubbing elbows with people they would never be allowed to in a regular situation. It's easy to see the appeal of many of these "secret" groups to those less privileged and downtrodden.

In my Felis society the Felis hold all types of jobs and help each other for the benefit of the entire group—whether or not it matches up with human justice. Reb and Bran often butt heads with the Board and the Felis leaders as they pursue justice for a victim and collide with what the Felis deem to be suitable punishment versus what human society would deem fit.

But in the end it seems to all work out, for now. And it's interesting to dip into the philosophy and thinking of other "secret" societies to create and maintain my own version where cat shifters aren't trying to take over the world but are, in fact, determined to stay as far apart as they can while still thriving. I like to think it's something a wee bit different for the readers and I hope I've interested you enough to consider what you would want in your own secret society and how would you resolve your characters in such a world. Do you try to take over? Hide? Intergrate and interbreed? Or stay invisible…

And I'm having a giveaway at Goodreads! I've managed to get hold of copies of the print edition of "Blood of the Pride", a special edition that won't last long! Get in and try for a copy!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Blood of the Pride (Blood of the Pride, #1) by Sheryl Nantus

Blood of the Pride (Blood of the Pride, #1)

by Sheryl Nantus

Giveaway ends March 07, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Friday, February 22, 2013

Talking Romance

This week I had the opportunity to chat with Elaine Raco Chase with a group of Beachwalk Press authors. We talked romance and fantasy, what we write, what we like and the best foods for romance.

Radio shows are something new and fun for me. I break out my Minnesota accent (which you'll hear from about minute 80-100) and try not to talk too quickly. If you had a view into my kitchen you'd see me punctuating sentences with pops of punches. And drinking (hot chocolate, of course).

I hope you'll give it a listen, and make it an afternoon to get to know more of the Beachwalk Press authors.

All the best,
Stephanie Beck

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

NEW RELEASE in Black Swan Series


A SUMMONER'S TALE: the vampire's confessor        BLACK SWAN 3

AUTHOR:                  by Victoria Danann
PUBLISHER:             7th House
ISBN:                          978-1-933320-67-0 ebook      Words: 107,000
                                    978-1-933320-80-9 print         Pages: 350
GENRE:                     vampire romance, paranormal romance, urban fantasy,  paranormal fantasy

JUST  RELEASED:   February 14, 2013

This is the third installment in a serial saga intended to be read in order.
DESCRIPTION: A secret society, a witch, a psychic, vampires, modern day knights, heroes, elves, fae, assassins from another dimension, and fairytales come together where emotions intersect. Two souls, joined by a mystical bond, separated by distance, must simultaneously struggle through pain and darkness in an ultimate confrontation with character and an ultimate struggle for life proving that true love waits patiently through lifetimes and finds courage to survive. Even in the strangest places. Even when you're least expecting it. Even when you're far, far from home.
Erotic quotient: A little steam. No menage. No BDSM.


IMPORTANT: Black Swan Books 2 and 3
are available on exclusively as single titles.
However, a The Order of the Black Swan COLLECTED TALES, Books 1-3 has also released in e-book everywhere.  
This is the story as it was intended to be read - without interruption.
ISBN: 978-1-933320-70-0      313,000 words           
All three books for $6.99.


Book One - My Familiar Stranger: Romancing the Vampire Hunters (nominated for Reviewers Choice Best Paranormal Romance of 2012)   

Book Two - The Witch's Dream: A Love Letter to Paranormal Romance  

  Book Three - A Summoner's Tale: The Vampire's Confessor  


  Book Four - Moonlight: Big Bad Wolf  To release late Spring.


TWITTER: @vdanann

Author Bio:  
For the past fourteen years, Victoria has illustrated and authored Seasons of the Witch calendars and planners and written several non-fiction books on magickal arts. She lives in a town north of Houston known as The Woodlands even though the idea of the witch in the woods may be a cliché.
She owns 7th House Publishing and contributes to its enterprises. In addition to art and writing, she plays Classic Rock music (keys, rhythm guitar, vocals) and manages one of Houston's premier party bands. Married. Four children.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cover Reveal... BURNING SAGE, Deena Remiel

I'm so excited about my latest endeavor with Decadent Publishing. A new line of short stories called, TEASE, is opening shortly, and I am one of the authors with a series ready to roll. I love writing paranormal romance, so my series for this line will be in that genre. The series is called, Love Among The Ruins, and Burning Sage is its first short story.

The concept for this series is all about romances that blossom in mythical, mystical, and mysterious places. Burning Sage's setting is the stunning island of Santorini. It is theorized that Atlantis lies beneath this volcanic island paradise. So, you all know what that means, right? This romance will be steamy!


Covert Desires by Sondrae Bennett


Will desire be enough once all their secrets are revealed?

Still recovering from a traumatic assignment, Amber is wary of the man who shows up at her door with a plate of cookies and a welcoming smile. Instinct warns her he’s not all he seems. Then again, neither is she. Since she was sent to root out the secrets of the town and its people, she might as well accept his invitation to dinner. But when things start to heat up between them, will her loyalty lie with her job, or the man trying to win her heart?

Danny knows Amber is an FBI agent. Tasked by his brothers and the shifter council to keep her from discovering too much, he sets out to seduce her, a perfect cover to keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn’t learn about his pack or their society. He hadn’t counted on a blazing attraction at first sight, though. His wolf knows Amber is his mate, and he’ll do anything to keep her safe and happy. But how can he reveal everything he is, and everything he’s been keeping from her, without losing her forever?




Amber put her hands on Danny’s chest as he leaned in and brushed his lips over hers. Pleasure rushed through her, pooling in her belly, but she turned her head to the side, determined to maintain control.


Instead of being deterred, he grazed his lips against her cheek, sliding them toward her ear. A shot of lust spiraled toward her core. She closed her eyes against the rush of sensations.


Everything inside begged her to lean into the embrace. To catch his lips with her own and lose herself in passion.


But in the end it came down to duty. When she’d taken this assignment, she’d sworn to herself and to her boss, that she’d prove the doubters wrong. And if that meant she had to resist temptation, then she’d resist. No matter how much she wished otherwise, or how much she wished to be someone else. To be a woman without the baggage of her job. One who could lean into Danny and take everything he promised.


She gave herself a moment. One small moment to bask in the comfort and pleasure before pushing against his chest. For a second, she thought he wasn’t going to back up, and a flash of fear took her back to another time, when a man had pretended to care for her only to turn against her when he learned she was an agent and responsible for taking down major members of his cartel.


Danny backed away so quickly Amber stumbled against him and almost lost her footing. Hard hands gripped her shoulders as he leaned down and stared directly into her eyes.


“What’s the matter?” he demanded. Concern reflected in the brown depths. Concern for her, she realized with a start. He’d been so in tune to her body and emotions, he’d sensed her mental recoil when she’d flashed back.


She stared at him, amazed at the realization.


“Amber?” Impatience and worry clear in his voice.


“Nothing,” she choked out, coughing against the tightness in her throat. “Nothing’s the matter,” she said with more certainty. “It’s… We’re moving a bit fast for me. I just met you. I need some time to think, is all. It’s been a rough morning.” All true, but she hadn’t included her real reason for pulling away. She could never give in to the pull she felt toward him.


“Are you sure that’s all?” he asked, his hand cupping her cheek while the other moved up and down her arm.


The security he offered felt like a warm blanket surrounding her. She hadn’t expected to find comfort here. Looking up into Danny’s eyes, she knew the concern was genuine. He was beginning to care for her. A pang built in her chest, because when all of this was over, she was going to hurt him.


Amber swallowed against the lump in her throat. After everything that had happened that morning--the nightmare and the attack--the realization that she would hurt this man, who’d not only come to her rescue against a pack of crazed wolves, but had offered her comfort when she’d needed it most, caused tears to well up in her eyes. What she wouldn’t give to be the woman he thought she was.



Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Vampires - Happy V-Day!

Happy V-day lovelies!

Some exciting news to share -- I've got a new paranormal romance series coming your way. The first book in my ISLE OF MAN AND SELKIE  series just got accepted by Decadent Publishing! WOOT

But now back to my post....

For this auspicious occasion, I'm sharing my favorite VAMPIRE sensual moments to help set the mode for V-day.

Let the count down begin!

06. Gerard Butler as Dracula (wasn't a fan of the movie, but the vampire seduction scenes rocked it!)

05. David & Star (The Lost Boys) (a sweeter side to vamp romance)

04, Chris Sarandon in Fright Night 1985 (and yes, that's Marcy from Married with Children that he's snogging. See, Al, she's no chicken! I was gutted the club dance scene didn't make it into the remake - I'd have loved to have seen Colin Farrell strut his vampire seductive stuff)

03. Josh Hartnett in 30 Days of Night (Okay, I admit it. I was crying during this scene! And after having just spent the previous hour and a half scared out my wits, well...what an emotional ride this movie is. Best ending to a vamp flick yet)


02. Stuart Towsend as Lestat (Queen of the Damned) (no explanation needed. This is by far the hottest vamp scenes in the history of films. Not really romantic. But *fans self* it's hawt!)

01. Gary Oldman as Dracula (the most romantic vampire flick ever IMO. What say you?)

And to end with about a vamp bite compilation? Happy V-day... hope you have a vampishly wicked date lined up for your honey ;)

Have you got a favorite vamp kiss movie moment? 

Dracula's Kiss by JoAnne Kenrick, a vampire paranormal romance story with Decadent Publishing's 1Night Stand series
Fancy some candy for your kindle? I've just just the thing after all those vampire kiss scenes.... my love of all of the above movies inspired this book. If you love vamps half as much as I do, then I'm sure you'll love it!

No one comes close to satisfying Alec Murray's needs until he meets Cathela during some lame-ass party for bankers. One taste of her blood, sweet yet darkly dangerous, he knows she's perfect for him.

A night of goth bondage is planned for one. For the other, a night of sexual control is a must. A perfect fit. Alec is compelled to reveal his true nature but can their relationship survive his dark secret?

JUST 2.99 available in most ebook stores!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Steampunk Romance - A Retrospective

Actually I'm donating my day to my friend Heather Massey!  Happy Valentine's Day wishes to all and I'll be back in March...Veronica
Steampunk Romance – A Retrospective

Steampunk romance (story with a Victorian-era setting featuring steam-powered technology + romance) was barely a blip on the radar in 2008 when Dru Pagliassotti’s Clockwork Heart debuted. Since then, word of mouth has boosted this subgenre’s visibility to the extent that publishers started acquiring it, readers wanted to know about this newfangled steampunk genre, and mainstream print authors like Meljean Brook (The Iron Duke) began making it part of their offerings.

It’s been fun watching steampunk romance evolve. As a reader of niche subgenres I felt amazed and honored when authors started to provide a type of book readers (including me, quite vocally) had asked for. The covers were showcasing the steampunk elements like airships and prosthetics. Authors were experimenting with settings other than Victorian England. And many of the heroines had amazing occupational skills. Since some of the authors worked with digital publishers, the wait for steampunk romance stories was much shorter than it might otherwise have been.

Steampunk romance gained momentum, but not without pitfalls. Readers weren’t sure what to expect. Authors were excited about a new setting to explore, but seemed wary of taking too many risks. Demand started to outpace the available books. Some readers seemed frustrated with stories that were more steampunk “lite” while others needed a gentle learning curve as they tried out a subgenre that was totally new to them.

It’s a prudent time to ask the following question: where is steampunk romance now? Is it meeting readers’ expectations? Is it, in the words of The Fancy Reader, “…as adventurous as it deserves to be”? Is steampunk romance exploring all it could in terms of characters, plots, themes, and diversity?

As The Great Steampunk Romance Airship Tour winds down, I’d love to hear your no-hold-barred thoughts on this issue. What have you enjoyed about steampunk romance so far? Which books do you think captured the essence of steampunk romance, and why? How could the subgenre improve?

Giveaway time!

Leave a comment for this post and you’ll be entered for a chance to win the following ebook:

Steamrolled – Pauline Baird Jones

And there’s more! Everyone who leaves a comment at any of the stops on The Great Steampunk Romance Airship Tour will be entered for a chance to win the Grand Prize:

$100 e-gift card (winner’s choice Amazon or B&N)

75$ e-gift certificate to Clockwork Couture

1 digital copy of IRON GUNS, BLAZING HEARTS (winner’s choice PDF, ePub, or .mobi)

Please include your email address. The deadline to enter all of the giveaways will be midnight PST on February 14. On Friday, February 15, check back here to see if you’ve won the ebook prize.

The grand prize winner will be announced on February 15 at The Galaxy Express.

About the author

Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express. She’s also an author in the subgenre. To learn more about her published work, visit

Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts
(February 2013; Lyrical Press)

The West just got a whole lot wilder.

A woman on a mission… Scientific achievement isn’t enough for Violet Whitcomb. Life working alongside her renowned scientist father is filled with intellectual challenges, but what she truly craves is love and adventure. She’s resigned to a fate of academic pursuits–until a fateful trip across the American frontier changes everything. A rogue inventor known as the Iron Scorpion kidnaps Violet’s father and she alone is left to plan his rescue.

A man with a secret… Logan McCoy knows firsthand going up against the Iron Scorpion is suicide, but he can’t let Violet waltz into the villain’s lair alone. She may be a stranger, but she’s also the most compelling woman he’s ever known.

A perilous quest… Their attraction is undeniable, but their alliance turns contentious when Violet insists on including a third partner on their mission: her father’s latest invention and the world’s most advanced automaton, Arthur. The reason for Logan’s resistance isn’t clear until Violet comes face-to-face with the Iron Scorpion’s diabolical devices, and by then, it’s far too late.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Call

I was soooo excited. January 25, 2013 is a day I'll never forget.

It was also the fruition of a year of hard work. Well, actually longer than a year, but in the course of a year I rewrote the book three times. THREE times. Yep.

Back in 2010 I entered Harlequin's Medical Fast Track in the fall. I thought, what the heck. It was a chance to move beyond slush and I SO wanted to be a category romance author for as long as I can remember.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love writing my paranormal stuff for Ellora's Cave (and I will continue to do so), but I also wanted to write contemporary romance for Harlequin since I was 12.

So I entered a synopsis and 1 chapter to the Fast Track. A couple weeks I had a request for the partial. I sent it in. A couple more weeks went by and I had an R&R on the partial. They gave me awesome stuff to keep in mind. So I worked hard and in December I sent off the rewritten partial and got confirmation.

Then I waited.

And waited.

In July 2011 I lost a very close friend. It was devastating. He was like family and happened to be married to my best friend (who is like a sister to me). She was pregnant with their second when the tragedy happened, their first was only 2 yrs old like my youngest. In fact they were my youngest's godparents. It was horrible and I couldn't write, let alone think straight. A week later, my request for a full came from Harlequin Medical.

This is what I wanted and what my friend had always encouraged me to do. So I worked. It was hard. By December 2011 I submitted the full. Then waited.

And waited.

In March 2012 I got an email from a lovely editor named Caroline Kirkpatrick. She had some awesome advice on tweaking and we worked together. I even worked on my road trip across Canada. At the end of August Caroline called me, she was living Harlequin. *sob* I was devastated, but not for long. A month later I was reassigned to Suzanne Clarke.

And she worked me hard!

On January 2nd I send the full in and on January 8th I sent in a partial of a second story they requested.

When I woke up at on Friday January 25th, I was groaning. We were going through a cold snap, I has to get the kids up. It was one of those days. I opened my email at 7:00 a.m., and saw there was an email from Suzanne asking me when she could call me (as they're in London and 5 hrs ahead).

I hyperventilated and then told her when I was available.

I don't even remember getting the kids ready, but I did. I got them off to school and waited. At 9:45 a.m. Suzanne called and offered me a two book contract!

You read call stories and you try to imagine what it'll be like and they're never like they are. After it was over I balled like a baby and called my hubby. I tried to call my parents, but they were out. Next I sent a text to my friend. She called me within a minute to squee with me.

And that's my little old call story.

My first story has been retitled to SAFE IN HIS HANDS and the second partial is being torn asunder and rewritten to something stronger.

And 'm going to be busy for the next little while as I churn out the words!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Magic of the Moment: Grab Bag

I did a radio show last month with Kristy Bock called The Literary Goddess and one of my readers asked what series was my favorite? For those who don't know me, I have seven different series available currently. Among my series are a paranormal menage, military romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, urban fantasy, superhero romance, and a paranormal historical western romance. So which is my favorite?

The one I am working on currently is always my favorite because I love these characters so much. I embrace the magic of the moment. So let's reach into that grab bag...


Black hair, so dark it was blue filled his scope. The sweep of it kissed Aurora Graystone's cheeks, emphasizing the pixie nature of her bone structure and the fine porcelain of her skin. He knew the lashes fringing her eyes were the same dark, luscious color. More startling than her hair or skin were her eyes, so deeply violet they swept his soul like an unheard sigh.

Chance Monroe Adventures

The earth crumbled, falling on my face. I closed my mouth to avoid swallowing any. Blinded, I scrambled against the sides. Dirt rapidly filled the hole, blotting out the sun.

Fevered Hearts

Micah slapped the fly buzzing at his neck and stared at his father. "Pa, even a week from now would be better than tomorrow."

"A week from now, Kid might be up to the ride and I still wouldn't send him." Jebidiah Kane did not like to be denied. His mind made up, he delivered the orders with all the diplomacy of a mallet. "I want the schoolteacher escorted safely and not seduced. We're almost done with the building and Miss Annabeth says she spruced up the cottage nice." Clapping Micah on the shoulder, he nodded to the filly aout to rear up at the end of the line. "You gave her too much rope."

Forbidden Legacy

"Peppermint mocha, just the way you like it." Billy pressed the ho cup of coffee into Cassie's grateful hands. For three years, Billy worked as her executive assistant. Cassie hired him the day he graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's in communication. 

Hers of butterflies stampeded in her stomach. Her attention focused on the most important event of her career being set up in Chicago's Grant Park. Cameramen were getting position, and light meters were tested. The podum stood forlorn in the sea of cables, cameramen and reporters.

The Fortunate Buddha

The rope would hold. Her timing ran perfectly even under the clock for the bag, tag and replace. High above, the Ambassador's guests celebrated the New Year's Eve ball. The music of the orchestra penetrated the reinforced shaft walls. Hovering five feet above the pressure sensitive floor of the Ambassador's private vault, Anya Swift - recovery agent extraordinaire - flipped on the rope, tightening her abdominals, so she hung upwards rather than upside down.

Coming Soon - Soulgirls

Discover Into the Spotlight

Just Released - Always a Marine

Discover A Marine and a Gentleman

It has been a real pleasure to work on so many different series and I love them all--because at their core, every one of these books is about a group of characters that I adore. Next month, I'll be doing a "walk through" of the Arcana Royale on March 9 to celebrate the release of Into the Spotlight!  In the meanwhile, embrace the magic in the moment--what characters would you like to know more about?