Sunday, July 31, 2011

THE SCORCHER BLOG TOUR IS HERE!

Arial Burnz visits Tattered Pages
with Part 5 of
WHY VAMPIRES ARE SEXY!

Welcome to Part 5 of Arial Burnz’s guest blog post on the Scorcher Blog Tour – Week 1! (If this is your first stop, you’ll want to go back to Part 1.) Thanks so much for having me on your blog, AJ!!

Continuing with our topic Why Vampires Are Sexy: We left off with a teaser into an excerpt from my novel MIDNIGHT CONQUEST where Broderick struggles to keep the Hunger under control:

Broderick threaded his fingers into the thickness of Davina’s tawny tresses and he pulled her harder against him, groaning into her mouth. His lips devoured her, touching her eyelids, her cheeks, her nose, claiming her lips once more and capturing the taste of her at last. Davina’s yearning merged with his growing hunger to absorb her, body and soul. His mouth traveled to her throat, his tongue dancing a hot, wet trail across her skin. They seemed to cling to each other in a desperate attempt to become one in their union, leaving Broderick breathless.

Stopping for the moment, he broke from their kiss and struggled to maintain some control over his senses. The rose oil from her heated skin mixed with the scent of her blood, and his mind swirled. Opening his eyes, he searched to stave off the spell engulfing him, fighting off the dizzying effect.

Broderick’s breathing, ragged and trembling, screamed a warning. He closed his eyes and fell into another ardent kiss, but more demanding, his body tense, a new and powerful yearning coursing through him. Davina’s excitement, mixed with her fear, titillated his senses, making it near impossible to pull away. Her fear ignited the Hunger hiding behind his passion, and the familiar and deadly pain shot across his gums, his mouth watering, his tongue aching to sample the sweetness her blood promised. A low, guttural growl rumbled from Broderick’s chest as he wrestled to keep himself from giving in, and with a sudden force, he shoved away from her.

Since that was such a long excerpt compared to the other, we’ll move on to the next blog to discuss the excerpt. Before you do, let’s check in and give a purpose to your post. Continuing to excite the six senses as it pertains to vampires…we’ll explore the sense of hearing in this post.

What do YOU find hot about what you HEAR regarding vampires? Remember, there’s the supernatural heightening of senses, so my vampires hear the flutter of their victim’s heart beat, or the rush of blood through their veins. In the intimate setting of the crimson kiss, breaths grow shallow, moans escape in the euphoria of feeding. How do you hear the intimacy of vampires?

HOW TO ENTER
Leave a comment on this blog AND at the other five blogs on the Scorcher Tour to be entered into the drawing this week. One lucky winner will receive an eBook copy of MIDNIGHT CONQUEST and be forwarded into the final drawing at the end of the blog tour for a $30 Amazon.com gift certificate.

To continue to Part 6 – Visit Darlene Fredette’s Blog http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com/

MIDNIGHT CONQUEST is available at the following locations in eBook format:

And in case you need the addresses for the first four Blog Tour stops, here they are:
Part 1 – Arial’s Blog http://arialburnz.wordpress.com/
Part 2 – Sarah’s Blog http://www.authorsarahgrimm.blogspot.com/
Part 3 – Amie’s Blog http://www.amielouellen.wordpress.com/

Be sure to leave a comment to enter our drawing!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

HEARTS IN DARKNESS TREASURE HUNT!

Two strangers. Four hours. One pitch-black elevator.

It’s National Talk in an Elevator Day (seriously!) and what better day to celebrate Hearts in Darkness?  This top-rated contemporary romance is about two strangers who find acceptance and dare to find love while trapped for four hours in a pitch-black elevator.

And, did you know…???

 Hearts in Darkness has been in the Top 100 Top-Rated
Overall Genre Fiction Titles for four weeks running!

So, we’re celebrating all this elevator-related goodness with a Treasure Hunt Giveaway! Here’s how to play:

1) Find the hidden word on each of the participating sites, usually 1 page off the main page
2) Keep track of the sites/words as you search
3) Email your findings to laurakayepromotions AT gmail DOT com and put Treasure Hunt in the subject heading. Entries accepted through 12 noon PST Saturday 7/30!

What can you win???
GRAND PRIZE: $50 AMAZON GIFT CERTIFICATE
FIRST RUNNER-UP: $20 DIGIBOOKS CAFÉ GIFT CERTIFICATE W/20% OFF CODE
SECOND RUNNER-UP: BAG OF HEARTS swag bag

Here’s where the treasure is buried:

3) My Eclectic Bookshelf www.myeclecticbookshelf.blogspot.com 
4) MyVampFiction www.myvampfiction.com
5) Where’s my Muse? http://csmaxwell.blogspot.com/
10) Author Sharon Buchbinder www.sharonbuchbinder.com/blog

When you’re done, stop over to Laura’s own blog for another fun giveaway opportunity!

Thanks for reading and playing!
Hot, Heartfelt Romance – Because everyone longs to belong…
Laura is a multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance with five books releasing in 2011

Buy from amazon! | Buy from DigiBooks Café!
Follower Laura Kaye on twitter | facebook

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kathleen Mix Visits Tattered Pages with her latest release...

River of Fear
After ten years shouldering heavy responsibility as her siblings’ guardian, fern farmer Annie Brenton yearns for an exciting and carefree future. Despite the repeated threats of a stalker, she refuses to cower in her house and compromise her long-awaited freedom.

When widower Luke Erickson and his two young children turn to Annie for help and she takes them into her home, she believes her financial worries and stalker problems are solved.
Instead, the stalker ratchets up his violence, and her developing feelings for Luke turn her world upside down. As Luke’s past suddenly catches up to them, Annie is forced to make an impossible choice. Is loving a wandering sailor and his children worth the sacrifice of her freedom and the risk of a broken heart?

Thank you for being my guest, Kathleen. It's a real treat to have you here so soon after your release date. You brought a great blurb, and that cover! Wow! Tell us a little bit more about your latest work. 

My new book, River of Fear, has personal meaning and is probably my favorite. The original idea grew from a chance meeting with a former co-worker during a layover at the Atlanta airport. While we caught up on events of the intervening years, she told me about another co-worker whose wife had died. Trying to deal with his grief, the man quit his job, bought a motor home, and took his two young children on a trip around the country to visit every national park. That man, mourning his wife and trying to comfort his children, touched my heart and became my inspiration for Luke in River of Fear. I wanted my former co-worker’s story to have a happy ending.

I changed his circumstances, making him a former SEAL able to square off with a stalker and putting him on the run in a sailboat instead of in a camper, then I gave him a ‘happily ever after’ in fiction, hoping he finds happiness again in real life.

River of Fear sounds fantastic. So after
finishing a manuscript like this, do you take time off or dive right into the next story?

I usually have another story or two percolating in my head while I’m finishing a project. I will have pages of notes and a rough synopsis for my next story waiting, and tend to dive right in. So in a way, the manuscripts overlap. I do take time off after I finish a first draft. I work on non-fiction articles or do research for a future project for a week or two while I let my draft ‘cool’. Then I’ll return to it with fresh perspective and start revisions.

So does that mean you having something 'cooling' now?

I’m polishing the final draft of a romantic suspense titled Deadly Memories.  When I wrote Beyond Paradise (Samhain Publishing), readers wanted more about my secondary characters, two high school sweethearts. Deadly Memories is their story.

My next manuscript will be another RS, tentatively titled Valeria’s Ransom. I’ve written a thirty-page outline and have worked out the timeline. I’ve also drawn detailed maps of the imaginary islands where a large part of the story is set. 

How cool! So it sounds to me like you enjoy crafting stories with an element of danger. Do you stick to the suspense genre or write across lines?

I’ve always written romance, but I have crossed subgenres. My first book, A Trade Wind Season, was a sweet, career romance published by Avalon Books. Next I wrote two spicy romantic suspense novels for The Wild Rose Press. My fourth book, Beyond Paradise (Samhain Publishing), is a spicy contemporary romance. My latest, River of Fear, is a hot romantic suspense. I also have an unpublished, futuristic romantic suspense I’m hoping to sell soon. Through writing across subgenres, I’ve discovered my niche and true love is romantic suspense. I’ll be restricting myself to adventurous love stories in the future.

Sounds like you are a seasoned professional. Share with us the most important lesson you learned in your path to publication.

Never stop learning. When I started writing, I believed I’d eventually reach a point where I would master the art of the novel and be able to quit studying technique. Now I understand my writing will never be perfect. I strive for excellence, try to make each book the best it can possibly be. But I realize practice and education are career-long necessities. A technique I read about five years ago and failed to understand may suddenly makes sense if I hear that same information next week. That new knowledge may allow me to improve my next manuscript. The more I learn, the more I realize how much is left to learn and how important continuing education is if I’m to keep my career moving forward.

Excellent advice. And I think something all writers should heed. Tell us, does your husband read your work? And if so, what’s his reaction?

My husband is a strongly opinionated perfectionist. His attention to detail has always served him well as an engineer and a private pilot, but asking him to read my first couple manuscripts was a recipe for disaster. When I gave him pages to read, he would spend hours diagramming every sentence, researching every comma, rewriting every sentence fragment, and ‘improving’ my word choices. Then he’d analyze my paragraphs for topic sentences and decide how I should reorganize the story’s flow. He would get angry if I balked at making every change he suggested.

His harsh criticisms became toxic. I’d stare at my monitor agonizing over every word. The negative voices in my head killed my creativity. My writing ended up sapped of life and style. I realized that if he continued as my first reader, I would eventually quit writing completely. I chose to stop having him read my work instead.

So, the easy answer to your question is no. But I’m relating this story for aspiring writers. It’s important for them to know that the people we love aren’t always helpful or supportive of a writer’s career. When that’s the case, we have to acknowledge reality and move on. Do what I did: find a critique group where the criticism is helpful not hurtful. You’ll have a happier marriage and a more successful career.

Another sound piece of advice, my friend. Thank you for sharing that with us. And now for a snippet of River of Fear. And remember what Kathleen said above, this is a 'hot romantic suspense'? Keep reading, y'all! You WON'T be disappointed.

      Luke sat at the table clad only in pajama bottoms. His muscular chest rose and fell. His tanned fingers brushed over the lip of a candleholder, and she thought about how his hands were always moving, caressing, exploring. She imagined his long fingers and strong hands moving over her back as she pressed against that solid chest.
She felt her cheeks warm and turned away. “Coffee?”
“Sure.”
Busying herself at the counter with her back to him, she started a pot perking.
“You should have a smoke alarm upstairs,” he said.
“I do. On the wall next to the top of the stairs.”
“Why didn’t it go off?”
“I wondered about that myself. In the morning, I’ll check the battery.”
His eyes undressed her as she walked to the table and sat down across from him. “That robe and nightshirt should be green silk to match your eyes.”
Annie snapped her head up. “Excuse me?”
“You don’t have to wear sexy lingerie though. Everything you put on, I dream of taking off.”
Her heart started thumping double-time, and her mouth went suddenly dry. She’d secretly wanted him to notice her and approve, but knowing he actually had stretched her nerves taut. “And as a houseguest and virtual stranger you’re telling me this because …?”
“We’re going to make love one of these days.”
She drew in a deep breath and licked her lips. An hour ago, toweling him dry then feeling the caress of his eyes when he turned around, she’d had the same thought. But he was a drifter. He’d be gone in a couple weeks. She sifted through her brain for an appropriate response. Found none. “Don’t I have any say in this?”
He eyes locked with hers. His lips curved into a sexy smile. “You know I’m right.”
She did. And her pulse raced as her mind’s eye supplied arousing images of them together.
But she wasn’t going to admit anything to him, especially now when he had that smug look plastered on his face. “For your information, I’m not that easy.”
“Easy has nothing to do with it. I can see it in your eyes. I can feel the sparks in the air. You’re burning inside, just like I am. Before long, everything is going to erupt. It’ll happen.”
Desire flickered in her middle. She shifted in her seat.
He reached out and took her hand. “Seeing you in your room tonight almost drove me crazy.”
Annie pulled her hand back and hid it in her lap.
“I’ve been trying to resist you,” he went on. “But every man has a limit to his restraint. And this near miss with the fire tonight reminded me that the time any two people have together can be cut short at any minute.”
She swallowed. Although the coffee had stopped perking, she was glued to her chair.
He leaned toward her, ran his fingers up her arm, softly traced the line of her jaw.
Her palms were moist, and her pulse was in overdrive.
He shifted closer to kiss her and she met his warm lips half way.
His fingers explored the sensitive skin near her ear. A hot surge of need blazed along her spine. He drew her closer, inch by inch. His hand slid down her throat. Lower. He gently cupped one breast. Even through two layers of clothing, his slow caress seared her skin.
A sentry inside her head shouted a red alert. She’d only known him a few days and things were moving too fast.
She clutched the edge of the table before a haze of desire could blanket her brain. Trembling with the effort, she summoned up the strength to draw away.
His hand left her breast and he captured her eyes.
She jerked her gaze away from his, frantic to escape before she did something she might regret. “Ah…the coffee has stopped dripping.”
He looked half sad, half amused. “Does that mean you’re not ready to light another fire?”

Kathleen Mix is the author of five novels. Her latest romantic suspense, River of Fear, is available from The Wild Rose Press. (http://www.thewildrosepress.com/kathleen-mix-m-221.html) She is an avid sailor and spends summer weekends skimming over Chesapeake Bay.  Visit her website at http://www.kathleenmix.com for excerpts from all her novels, sailing articles, and pictures of her boat.

Remember if you eave a comment, you will automatically be entered into Kathleen's drawing to receive a FREE copy of Secret Stranger.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Holly Kirwan and the Iraq War

Thank you for visiting Tattered Pages, Margaret!
It's my honor to have you here!

WHAT THE IRAQ WAR DID TO MY HEROINE, HOLLY KIRWAN
I have to say I love all my books, (sorry about the self adulation), but my favourite would be Holly And The Millionaire, my one and only published contemporary romance. It might seem strange because I call myself an historical writer, but somehow Holly got under my skin and stayed there. She was a gutsy little fighter whose soldier husband was killed in Iraq and left her with a toddler to support. She didn’t let being dealt a bum hand in the game of life defeat her.

I didn’t need to do much research for Holly’s story. My youngest son has been in the army, so I obtained information from him, and the newspapers were full of the war in Iraq. Sadly, Afghanistan has now becoming the killing field for our soldiers.

I actually got the idea for this novel when I was flying back to Australia from London, after visiting my oldest son who lives over there. A good deal of the story is set in Melbourne where I live.  I tried to imagine how a young woman would feel, all alone with her baby, and on the run from her husband’s ruthless parents.  They want the baby but not her, and they will stoop to anything to get their son’s child. How devastating and frightening that would be for Holly, especially as her husband was barely cold in his grave.

I wanted to make Justin the opposite. Wealthy, confident, ruthless to a point, but underneath that hard exterior, a man with a heart, who falls in love with Holly and her baby but doesn’t realize how much he cares until he almost loses them.

A BIT ABOUT MARGARET TANNER
I have always been a writer from as far back as I can remember. I used to write these pitiful sad little ditties then I moved on to short stories. I was quite successful with short stories, had a few published and won a few contests.

One contest win really sticks in my mine.  Years ago I entered a competition for a sock company writing about feet. And guess who won?  I dutifully collected my prize - twenty pairs of socks. Dad and my brother were ecstatic, so were their feet.

I graduated to novel writing and fell in love.
I won the 2007 and 2009 Author of the Year at AussieAuthors.com.
My novel Frontier Wife won the Best Historical Romance Novel at the 2010 Readers Favorite Award, and another novel, Wild Oats was a 2011 Finalist in the EPIC awards.

 I am a member of the Romance Writers of Australia, the Melbourne Romance Writers Group (MRWG) and EPIC. I am married with three grown up sons, and a gorgeous little granddaughter. Outside of family and friends, writing is my passion.

Website:  http://www.margarettanner.com/
Publishers: The Wild Rose Press and Whiskey Creek Press.

HOLLY AND THE MILLIONAIRE
Fleeing from her ruthless English in-laws who are intent on stealing her child, Holly Kirwan boards a flight home to Australia and meets Justin Devereux. They are instantly attracted to each other.
Justin doesn’t want a permanent woman in his life, particularly one with a baby in tow. Holly, still grieving for her soldier husband who was killed in Iraq, doesn’t want to be disloyal to his memory.
Can the young widow and the commitment shy tycoon ever find happiness together?

EXCERPT
Justin Devereux fumed as he strode on board the aircraft.  Heads would roll over this debacle. If he hadn’t needed to get out of England so urgently, he would have waited for another flight.  To hell with the risk of being grounded by a blizzard.

He showed his ticket to the flight attendant.  He hadn’t flown in economy class for years, wouldn’t be doing it today either if he had any say in the matter.

“I’m so sorry about this mix-up, Mr. Devereux.   The airline did everything it could to get you a last minute business-class seat, but like first class it was completely booked out.”

Well, you didn’t try hard enough, he nearly said, but bit back the angry words. It wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault that his booking still floated around in cyber space.

“We were able to get you an aisle seat near the front.”

“Thank goodness for that at least.” 

On being shown to his seat, he took off his cashmere coat, folded it neatly and stowed it in the overhead locker. If he had even an ounce of luck, the seat beside him would remain empty, but he wouldn’t take bets on it. Setting his briefcase on the floor, he rested his laptop on the vacant seat. What a shocking few hours it had been.

At least it was a little more spacious here.  He couldn’t understand why there was extra leg space and only one other seat, when there would be normally at least three, sometimes four jammed together.

Closing his eyes he thought back on the last twenty- four hours. Deanna and Simon had betrayed him. He didn’t care so much about Deanna dumping him for Simon as their relationship had just about run its course.

Running off with millions of dollars of his employees’ pension funds.  Now that was something else. Despicable and criminal, and they did it in such a way that the blame fell on him. He was ruthless.  He had to be to claw his way to the top of the business world, but he had always acted with integrity. There were only two choices in the short term.  Risk tarnishing his good business reputation or discretely pay the money back.  He chose the latter.

I’ll hound them to the ends of the earth; I don’t care how long it takes.  No one cheats Justin Devereux and gets away with it.

“Hell,” he yelped, as something hard and sharp rammed into his groin. His eyes flew open. God, someone was trying to castrate him.

“S… sorry,” the wavering female voice said.

Justin looked up into a pair of blue eyes that were swimming in tears.

“Here, let me help,” he growled, pushing the weapon away from his crotch and handing it back to her. It’s a wonder they let her bring the thing on board. She took the folded-up baby’s stroller, but dropped a large pink bag onto his foot. Where were the attendants when you needed them? This was definitely going to be the flight from hell.

He watched the girl struggling with the stroller, her handbag and a baby all at the one time. His first thought was she didn’t look old enough to have a baby, his second was how tiny and frail she appeared, with the fine, ice-blonde hair tumbling out of its restraining clip.

“It’s all right, don’t get flustered.” He felt strangely moved by her pale, heart shaped face and trembling lips.

As she reached across his briefcase to sit the baby on the floor a swathe of hair brushed his face, and he smelt a faint elusive perfume. Flowers perhaps? Like enticing fingers, it captured his senses.

Before he could offer to help, she lifted up the pink bag, trying to put it in the overhead locker, but she wasn’t tall enough to reach. As he got up to assist her the bag tilted and a jar of baby food hit him on the head.

This girl was a walking disaster area.

“I…I’m sorry.”

“It’s all right.  Accidents happen.”  Grimacing, he rubbed his head. “Let me put the bag up for you.” And that lethal pram too, he thought, not wanting to risk being run through again. He valued his manhood too much.

As he stowed everything in the locker, he noticed that the white-haired and blue-eyed baby played with his briefcase – its plump little fingers trying to pick the lock.
The girl darted under his arm and scooped up the baby, and sat down as quick as a flash. Thank goodness, he’d be safe for a little while at least.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Releasing today SEDUCING HIS WIFE by W. Lynn Chantale

It is my extreme delight to announce the latest release from Whispers Publishing...

Seducing His Wife
by W. Lynn Chantale

** YAY! APPLAUSE! ** 
CONFETTI AND STREAMERS!
***
I had the distinct honor of working on this manuscript with W. Lynn before it was submitted for publication, and I cannot tell you how WONDERFUL this story is. To give you a taste, W. Lynn agreed to let me post the blurb and excerpt here for your perusal. Enjoy!


BLURB~
Haunted by nightmares, Sheridan Sinclair just wants to get through one night without reliving the terrible accident that led to her miscarriage. And she longs for the arms of the man who betrayed her. Matthew Sinclair has always loved his wife, but when she refuses to speak to him after her accident, he's left to wonder what went wrong. When a stolen kiss ignites their forgotten passion, he'll use their love as a means to get her home and in his bed again. Will a husband’s plan of seduction be enough to heal a wife’s broken heart? 

EXCERPT~
      Matthew’s mouth watered. The last time they made love was six months ago. He’d been late for work that morning, but his tardiness had been well deserved. Sure, he had other offers, but only one woman spiked his interest, and if a certain part of his anatomy was any judge, only one woman ever would.

      She turned and blushed. He hadn’t seen color redden her cheeks in a while. He slowly perused her body, undressing her with his gaze, wondering if her skin would taste just as sweet. “I-uh…um…” Hell, he couldn’t stop thinking about running his hands along her curves and wondering if she would still make that breathless little moan that drove him crazy.

      He strode purposefully to where she stood, keeping their gazes locked, hooked an arm around her waist, and drew her against him in one swift motion. He yearned for this. He needed to kiss her.

      She trembled in his arms, lifted her hands to his chest, and pushed him away. At the same time, she lifted her chin, her soft lips parting. So far, so good. He didn’t want to stop. He took a moment to savor the touch of her breasts against his chest, hungry for the heat of her palms pressed against his bare skin. He lifted a hand to her hair. The silky strands drifted through his fingers like water. But the sensation wasn’t enough. He caressed her cheek and saw a spark of desire simmering in her almond-honey eyes.

      He touched his lips to hers, whisper soft, lightly teasing, coaxing her with the tip of his tongue until she responded. She sighed, and he tangled his hand in her hair. He tilted her head back, giving him better access to her mouth, deepening their kiss. He tugged her closer to his body when her arms came around his neck.

      She melted in his arms. The months apart hadn’t changed anything between them. She moaned deep in her throat when he pulled her even closer, molding her soft curves to every hard line of his body. He slipped his hands beneath her jacket. The soft material of her shirt whispered beneath his palms, which went down her back, until he squeezed her bottom. He stepped closer, hungry for more than just a kiss. But a mere kiss would have to suffice.

      He lifted his head, dragging a ragged breath into his starving lungs. He stepped back, and she returned her palms to his chest. He didn’t want to let her go. She stared up at him, eyes half closed, desire shimmering beneath her dark lashes.

      Matthew held his palm against her cheek and brushed his thumb across her kiss-swollen lips. “I will find out why you left, Sheridan, and I will win you back.” He slowly released her. “That’s a promise.” He brushed a quick kiss across her lips and turned to the door.

Seducing His Wife is available as an e-book for $6.95 through Whispers Publishing, Amazon.com and All Romance E-books!

You can find W. Lynn Chantale here:

WATCH FOR THIS TALENTED AUTHOR!
MORE TO COME VERY SOON!!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Tattered Pages Welcomes Talented Author Sandra Koehler!

Sandra Koehler, who writes under the pen name of Alison Chambers, was Vice-President of Executive Director, Inc., the largest association management company in Wisconsin. She has traveled extensively and served as Executive Director of several national medical associations, where she was responsible for marketing, communications, and public relations, as well as overall management. She has been quoted in USA Today, the Los Angeles Times and other national media and has received four awards for excellence and dedicated service. She has also written for newspapers.

Koehler, who majored in political science and history, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She first started writing when she was a teenager, sparked by an interest in Nancy Drew books and a desire to tell a good story. She enjoys keeping her hero and heroine in dangerous and exciting situations against a backdrop of exotic settings, lost treasure and unsolved historical mysteries and conspiracies. She has written seven novels and besides writing, enjoys reading, playing piano and Green Bay Packers football. She lives in Greendale, Wisconsin, where she is working on her next romantic suspense novel.

Sandra, I'm so pleased to host a fellow Wisconsinite (and Packer fan) on Tattered Pages Today! Whoo wee! 
Start us out by telling us how your writing career began.

I wrote a number of short Nancy Drew stories when I was in my teens. I enjoyed the mystery aspect and the idea of a brave female heroine. Then I wrote my first novel—sort of a fun spy story—when I was eighteen. I’ve been writing ever since. I can’t stop!

I know what you mean. Writing is sooo addictive. Does that mean you stick to one genre or do you write across several lines?
I love romantic suspense (kind of grown up Nancy Drew stories) but I also have written several political thrillers since I majored in political science and history in college.

Both Poli-Sci AND history? Wow! That's impressive. What’s the most important lesson you learned in your path to publication?
Never give up, keep trying, reading and learning and write what you love.

Speaking of writing what you love, of your published works, which story is your favorite and why?
The one I’m working on now called “Prisoner in his Arms.” It’s a follow-up to “The Secret Sentinel” with a lot of “National Treasure” clues and rhymes. It takes place in a number of mysterious settings around Boston and Washington, D.C. I love developing the relationship between the characters—he the sexy bodyguard and she the damsel in distress searching for the mysterious Virgo Stone which she must find or her father will die.

I love stories like that. I'm adding these to my TBR pile. Have you ever considered self-publication?
I self-published “The Montezuma Secret” on Amazon and Smashwords and am planning to self-publish some of my earlier works too. I notice a lot of other authors are doing that as well. It’s exciting to have that freedom. E-books and e-readers are wonderful.

I totally agree. Care to share a blurb from "Prisoner in Arms"?
Three Missing Cornerstones. Three Dead Men. Hidden Clues to a Secret that will Unlock a Mystery of the Ages. A Desperate Race to Stop a Terrorist Plot.

Alexis McHenry has only ten days to find the answers with an ominous masked stranger acting as her bodyguard. If she fails, her father will die and deadly attacks will be unleashed on Washington, D.C. during the Presidential Inauguration. Can she find the mysterious Virgo Stone in time? And is the masked stranger her sworn enemy or do his loyalties lie somewhere else?

Ohhh...that sounds so good. So after finishing this story, will you take some time off or dive right in to the next one?
I'll take a couple of weeks or a month off before diving in, but I always know what the next story line is going to be generally, if not in specific detail.

Tell us what's on your nightstand reading pile right now.
I usually read three books at a time: one fiction, one non-fiction, and one ‘how to write’ book. I’m reading an old Sandra Brown book “The Witness,” David Crowe’s biography of Oskar Schindler, and a Writer’s Digest book called “On Writing Romance.”

If you had to pick one person who most influenced your life, who would it be?
My mother. She taught me to be tough and never give up and to have faith in myself.

I LOVE that. So, do you have critique partners or belong to a writers group?
I just joined Working Writers of Wisconsin and am looking forward to networking with my local writers. It’s also helped belonging to a lot of Yahoo romance chat groups, particularly the one including my fellow Wild Rose Press writers! Their advice has been invaluable. I learn something new every day.

Yay WRP authors!! I totally agree. Does your husband read your work? And if so, what's his reaction?
Yes. He loves my work and always gives me loads of encouragement.

That's awesome! And now for some fun... Jay Leno or Letterman?
Leno!

Favorite cocktail?
Martinis, of course!

LOL! You are a girl after my own heart. What are your hobbies?
Playing piano, doing crosswords and crostics to sharpen my word skills, watching sports on TV or in person, traveling, cruising the Caribbean, reading, movies, dining out…

Busy girl. Got any pets?
Nope. Allergic to cats. Love dogs, but can’t have one in my condo.

Okay, all. That about wraps up our interview with Sandra. But keep reading to learn more about her latest release:

"The Montezuma Secret"

NOW Available on www.amazon.com

SUMMER SALE: Only $.99 in e-book format for your Kindle, PC, MAC, iPhone, Blackberry, iPad, or Android
FIVE STARS: "Excellent writing! Enjoyable hero and heroine! Great romance! Fast pace! I read it straight through! Author thorough in research! I lived the experience!"--A reader on Amazon.com

An Excerpt from "The Montezuma Secret"

"Up?" she pointed, unable to believe her ears.
Trey gave her a hard shove. "Get going!"
"But how?"
"Grab the vines and pull yourself up!" he shouted over the thundering rain.
"You must be joking! It’s got to be one hundred feet high!"
"Good calculation. Now move!"
She stood her ground. "But why?"
"A. There’s no other way. B. I’m ordering you to. And you’ll listen if you ever want to get out of here."
Trey stifled an urge to smack her luscious wet bottom and watched in amusement as she struggled to grab hold of the slick vines, then smirked as she scrambled up a few feet and then landed in the muck with a splat. Her thick mane of black hair, once so splendidly coifed, was heavily matted and caked in mud.
"Again!" he yelled.
Raindrops, big as bullets, pelted her mercilessly. "I can’t do it. It’s impossible."
"Watch the master," he said, stowing the camera in his backpack.
He brushed her aside and grabbed one of the sturdier vines, then pulled himself up arm over arm with the agility of a spider monkey until he reached the top of the cliff where he had a perfect view of the lush jungle canopy and could see for miles.
"Now you know how it’s done. Get your ass up here or I’ll leave you behind."
"You can’t do that. You wouldn’t."
"Pull yourself up, Kingsley. If you have to, use the side of the cliff to push off and boost yourself higher. But watch out for the holes. There may be spiders and bats hiding in those nooks and crannies."
Erica re-tied her sagging ponytail and pinned it to her scalp. Her breath was ragged, her heartbeat erratic.
From above, she heard the sudden monotonous drone of a plane’s engine cutting through the rain splatter, then listened to the sputter as the motor spit and coughed, struggling to stay aloft. Wings slashed through the jungle over her head five hundred feet from her, both turbo props flaming. The plane wobbled and rolled before hitting the ground with an ear-splitting shriek of steel against steel followed by a blinding explosion of light that knocked her off her feet.
A sickening sensation shot through her and she suppressed the urge to vomit. The stench of black smoke as dark as blood filled her nostrils. She knew what had happened. She hoped to God she was wrong, but more than ever she wished with all her heart and soul that she was still safely home in Miami Beach and that she had never come.

From a safe distance, comfortably positioned to witness the entire spectacle, a smiling figure breathed a sigh of relief. It had all gone according to plan. On schedule and on time. They were right where they needed to be. Soon they’d both be dead and no one would be the wiser. Untimely accidents. Marauding terrorists. Ancient Mayan curses. Any excuse would do. Completely believable, considering the dangers of the jungle. They’d just disappear. Perfect. Simply perfect.

Thanks, AJ, for hosting me! And you can visit me at www.alisonchambersromance.com and http://alisonchambers.blogspot.com/





Thursday, July 14, 2011

Welcome Wild Rose Press Author Vonnie Davis, with her new release Storm's Interlude!

Vonnie, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have you at my blog today. What a treat to host you on RELEASE DAY! Everyone make sure you read all the way to the bottom for a sneak peak inside Storm's Interlude. And check out that cover - Grand Prize Winner in the Still Moments Magazine Cover Contest. Woot!

AJ, how nice of you to have me here today. And although I want to promote my book that released yesterday, I also want to talk with you about something uppermost in my mind, or rather someone: Grandchildren. Let me see, where did I put that picture album? AJ…AJ, don’t run off…

I love that my grandchildren are so smart. They’ve taught me a lot about life. Let me briefly explain. Here are life’s axioms as illustrated by my grandchildren.

We all want to be loved. My eldest grandchild, Tim, is twenty-four (How that happened, I’ve yet to figure out. I mean, I’m only twenty-nine). He’s single and looking. He’s in heaven when he meets someone he hopes is “the one” and destroyed when things don’t work out. This licensed electrician longs to be loved.

Just because things start out rough, doesn’t mean they won’t turn out great. Josh was diagnosed with ADD/HDD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder and a host of other things as a first grader. That kid could drive you up a wall quicker than anything. He WAS a handful! Teachers were known to break down and cry when they found out he was assigned to their class. Today he’s a junior in college, majoring in Art and Photography. He does volunteer work at a local retirement home; the elderly love his gentle ways and goofy humor.

Your life is enriched by reading. Eleni was born premature. When she entered school, teachers said she was slow. Her mother and I read to her, instilled the love of books and taught her libraries were magical places. By the age of ten, she was in love with reading. She’ll be a senior in high school in the fall and she’d sooner curl up with a good book than anything. An honor roll student, she’s already been accepted to Purdue. She’ll email me a list of books she’d like to read, and my Visa and I will make an online trip to Amazon. Eleni loves to learn through reading.

We have to love winning and seek to excel. That’s what drives us. Ryan lives to win, be it board games, football, soccer or band, where he’s first chair trumpet. We were playing Scrabble one day when Ryan placed the tiles “Q” and “Z” on the board and began counting his points. “Wait,” I asked, “what is QZ?” He heaved a sigh as if to imply I was a real doofus. Then he said it was the chemical symbol for the reaction of lemon juice and sugar. I narrowed my eyes. “Wait, that’s lemon-aide.” His eyes sparkled, and he nearly toppled out of the chair, giggling.

We have to have a goal. Gavin was born with the biggest feet I’ve ever seen on a newborn. He weighed ten pounds three ounces, and I swear five pounds of that was feet! He seemed clumsy, gangly. He couldn’t run without tripping over them. Yet he wanted to play baseball. He simply loved the game. As soon as he’d wolf down his breakfast, he’d be out in the back yard, pitching the ball or batting. Today his little league team plays in the Maryland State Championships. He’s had several grand slams this season. He’s already learned the value of setting a goal and working hard to achieve it.

Get over yourself. We are the way we are, accept it and move on. Our Lauren was born with her right arm ending an inch below the elbow joint. She only has one hand. Yet she swims, does gymnastics, rides and grooms horses, and tap dances. When she performs ballet on stage at her dance recitals, she is grace, strength and guts personified…and there’s not a dry eye in the house.

I think children bring so much to our lives.

They can bring a delightful element to our stories, too. In my debut book, Storm’s Interlude, Storm has three things he loves: Sunny, his twin sister, who’s dying of leukemia, his three-year old nephew, Sawyer, and the Triple-S, a ranch in Texas he’s inherited from his Native American father. Enter his twin sister’s new nurse, Rachel; a woman Storm, for his own reason, nicknames Mouse. I love strong women who turn adversities into advantages. Rachel has recently ended a romance with an abusive man. She’s determined never to get into that kind of relationship again. With that set-up, I’d like to share this excerpt:

Buy links:  http://amzn.to/pkkcLq
 http://bit.ly/rcCIMa

After Sunny’s time in the pool playing with Sawyer, Storm came out onto the patio. Gone were his relaxed features Rachel had seen earlier.

He hunkered in front of the child. “Want to ride with me for a while? We’ll go check on those new mustangs.”

“Yeah! Can I go wif Unkie Storm, Mommy?” The child was doing his happy dance.

“You’ll have to put on dry clothes. Jeans and a t-shirt.” Sunny was breathless as she collapsed onto a chaise lounge. “Whew, I’m tired.”

“You rest. I’ll get him dressed. Come on, partner.” Storm spared Rachel an irritated glance. “I hope you haven’t overextended my sister. She’s out of breath.”

“She just swam her first lap across the pool. Naturally, she’s out of breath.”

He grabbed Rachel’s arm and yanked her to him. “Laps? You have my sick sister swimming laps? Are you nuts?”

She winced at the pain. Her heart was beating like a bass beat on a rap song. She didn’t know if it was anger, fear or leftover desire from earlier this morning. Whichever, she didn’t like it. Her gaze went to his calloused hand squeezing her arm and then quickly swept to his hard, black eyes. “Kindly remove your hand.”

When it tightened, she glanced at Sawyer who had crawled onto his mother’s lap. For his sake, she whispered, “Not in front of the child.”

Storm’s dark eyes blinked twice and his grip loosened. He turned to his nephew. “Are you ready to get dry clothes on, buddy?”

“Are you being damned bossy to Wachel again?” Sawyer’s eyes were big as he cowered against his mommy.

“Sawyer Dalton Brentwood!” Sunny shook a finger at her son in admonition.

Storm hunkered down again in front of the boy. “It’s alright, sister. I was being damned bossy. Don’t growl at him.” He reached out to take Sawyer’s hand. The child pulled back. “I’m sorry if Unkie Storm scared you.”

“You haf’ta say ‘sowwy’ to Wachel.” Sawyer crawled off his mother’s lap and ran to Rachel, wrapping his little arms around her knees.

Storm stood and sighed, his hands on his hips. “You’re right, partner. Rachel, I’m sorry I snapped at you. I’ve always protected Sunny and, well, I’m just worried about her.”

“That’s okay.” When she had him alone, she’d tell him she didn’t like his grabbing her in anger. She’d tell him how she saw it as abuse. Not now in front of the child, but soon. She refused to put up with abuse from another man. One trip down that road had been enough.

“Now, kiss and make up.” Sunny beamed a mischievous smile.

Sawyer clapped his hands. “Yeah, Unkie Storm, kiss Wachel. I kissed her before. It was fun. Go ‘head. She don’t bite.”

Storm chuckled. “No, but I might.”

A duet of “Kiss her, kiss her,” erupted from Sunny and Sawyer.

Storm rolled his eyes and stepped closer.

Rachel shook her head. “No.”

He cupped her face in his hands, his eyes locked on hers and he lowered his head. Warm lips pressed a kiss to her forehead. She reached up and placed her hands on his forearms, torn between pushing him away and pulling him closer. He laid his forehead against hers. “I’m sorry I was so rough earlier.”

Perhaps now was the time to tell him how she felt, when he seemed open and receptive. “I don’t like abusive men. They frighten me. I avoid them at all costs.”

Storm went still, a muscle bunched in his cheek. His voice barely a whisper when he spoke, a whisper so sensually tender it spun a web of privacy around them as if they were the only two souls in the vast, beautiful hill country of Texas. “You think I could be abusive?” He stepped closer so their thighs touched. Her stomach fluttered in response.

Their eyes locked. Their breaths mingled. His one hand lightly stroked her neck. Warmth rushed through her. “Never, honey. Especially, never to you. I don’t abuse my animals and I don’t abuse women. God treasures both, and so do I.” He cupped her face. “I’m finding I treasure you.” His gaze swept to her open mouth. “Treasure you more than I have a right to, my sweet mouse.” He brought his mouth to hers and showed her how sweetly gentle and tender he could be.

“Wow, Unkie Storm, you kissed her a weally long time. You must be weally, weally sowwy.”

Please visit me sometime at my blog, Vintage Vonnie
www.vintagevonnie.blogspot.com
www.vonniedavis.com

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tempting Adam by Jill James

Tattered Pages is Thrilled to host
Jill James and Tempting Adam as it's first
Author Snapshot 
They both want the same thing –
St. Eden Studios.


Buy Link:  http://tinyurl.com/3gagsf6
Corporate raider Yvette Giardino intends to bring St. Eden Studios to its knees. It’s a job. One her grandmother’s health depends on. That Adam St. Eden will suffer isn’t personal. Until he awakens her sympathy and stirs her body in ways she can’t explain.

Adam wants one thing and one thing only – to protect the dream his grandfather began. But when the board demands he work with stunning Yvette, a woman he’d mistakenly indulged with in a little after-hours play, his world turns upside down. Missed meetings, unhappy clients, and nights of intense pleasure – he can blame one person. Yvette.

With his corporation crumbling around him, can Adam rise above the fallout and see his sexy temptress for what she really is – a victim of manipulation and a woman who desperately needs his love?

Excerpt:
Yvette pulled herself together with a jolt.

It’s a job. It’s a job.

She repeated the mantra in her head in an endless loop, gazing into deep, blue eyes. This close, she noticed the subtle lines near his eyes from his outdoor living. If he had grown up in Hollywood, he would have had a facelift or two by now, instead of the natural look he pulled off quite well.

Adam helped her rise, his warm hand cupping her elbow. A tingle shot from her arm, to her chest, and to regions much farther south. A sexual moan almost escaped her lips. Yvette shook her head to clear the mental images of her and him and the hotel room. It didn’t help. Memories of that night still had the power to stir her senses. They hit Yvette in a place she didn’t think existed—her emotions.

His eyes darkened to indigo, and he leaned nearer. His fresh, evergreen scent enveloped her. Her head swam, and she tilted on the heels of her shoes. She berated herself for her juvenile behavior, unable to believe the She-shark of business might have met her match. At least in the sexual arena.

Adam wrapped an arm around her shoulders, led her to the bench outside the door, and sat beside her. “I hope you’re doing okay. I would’ve found you a seat inside, but they were getting back to work. I didn’t want anything else to delay the work schedule.”

Disbelief flooded Yvette while she replayed what had just happened. She needed to get a grip on herself and this job. Adam was nice enough overall, and was great—make that fantastic—in bed.

However, he was no ruthless businessman and knew next to nothing about Hollywood. He wasn’t the first CEO she’d taken down, and he wouldn’t be the last.

It wasn’t personal.

Here's where you can reach Jill in cyberspace:

Website: http://www.jilljameswrites.com

Blog: http://www.jilljameswrites.com/blog

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Jill.James-author

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jill_james

Group Blog: http://www.trulymadlydeeplyromanceauthors.blogspot.com