Writing

Welcome, 2014!

It’s crazy that my first posting of 2014 is about writing and creativity recovery, and not about book reviews as I really wanted. I suppose they are kind of intertwined a bit, which is why when I think of one, the other also crosses my mind.

You see, I resolved to read 4 books a month FOR PLEASURE. That’s huge increase for me, as I read maybe 10 all of last year. I’m coming off an incredible dry spell, you see, of not being able to finish a book, regardless of how good it was.

Has a dry spell like that ever happened to you?

It’s kind of a freaky thing. I’d pick up a book I’d been looking forward to reading with every intention of savoring every word. In the end I’d relent and throw in the towel, not being able to get past chapter 3 or 4. It wasn’t the author, or the writing.

It was me.

I found this disinterest was part of the creative block that has paralyzed me for several years. More years than I care to admit.

This time last year, I was working through a 3-month Artist’s Way class offered through Savvy Authors and hosted by the ever fabulous Kat Duncan. Taking that class was like holding a mirror to my face. I was finally able to see what was going on with my inner artist.

Have you ever experienced that? Have you ever registered for a class that interested you and discovered that along with the information you were expecting to learn, you also experienced an extra special something so profound, it wasn’t an Aha! moment but rather an AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAA hour? Day? Week? Month?

I did.

First, I discovered there were reasons why I wasn’t able to read and write successfully. I was blocked creatively. Happens all the time to writers and other creative people. I found that it could happen to me again, and probably would at some time. I also found that I have tools and exercises that did – and will again – help me to work through the block and reclaim my creative self. The Artist’s Way helped me to see what was happening, and it also gave me a game plan on how to get back into the writing fray.

I have had a lot of benefits from that reclamation. I have a business where I design swag and promotional items – romance trading cards, books marks, etc. for many of my sister authors. How fun is that? I also create beautiful jewelry, weaving magic from seed beads, crystals, stones, and metal. That’s also a blast, and a completely different creative outlet. It’s more immediate, and definitely tactile, and allows me to exercise different creative muscles.

My creative self is having a blast. The best part of all this is that I am also able to write. Anytime I have a spare minute, and definitely at least once a day for a minimum of 1/2 hour, I’ll sit down and write a minimum of 250 words. Through this new discipline, I have added 30K to my WIP this past month. Now that may not seem like much, but to me – a recovering blocked writer – that is HUGE.

I’ve always said water dripping on stone works…every time.

It’s that consistent, every day practice that chips away at something until, before you know it, you’ve accomplished what you set out to do!

It’s the same with writing. Consistently putting your writing first some time during your day will also work, every time. It’s now day 31, and I’m off to write my 250 words…or more.

So tell me – have you ever been blocked? What did you do to help get back on track? Looking forward to hearing all about it!   “: )

Did You Seriously Just Use Your Bra For A Purse?

Wouldn’t that be a great line to add to your book?

In fact, isn’t that a great idea, period? Seems like I’m not the only one that thinks so. Someone’s already thought of that, created one, named it a Joey Bra, and is selling it on their website. Check it out here.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyclay/2012/04/27/dont-know-where-to-put-your-iphone-theres-a-bra-for-that/

Hmmm…it’s really too bad I didn’t think of that.

Anyhoo, since I’m a writer and not an inventor, I’m always searching for bits of words that string together beautifully, especially for dialogue. Sometimes I find exactly what I’m searching for and my fingers fly over the keyboard in a staccato symphony of keeper verbiage. Other times, I hunt and peck and use the backspace and delete buttons way too often. Most times, my writing time is spent in a complicated marriage of the two.

By the way, speaking of dialogue did you watch the 2013 rock and roll hall of fame (totally LOVE Heart, BTW) inductees ceremony Saturday on HBO? Lots of great words there, and great music too. But what was it with the Rush guy and his “Blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blahblahblahblah blah blaaaah blah” speech?

Blech.

Anyhoo, back to real words.

Words are very important to a writer. Just ask someone that pens tales about dialogue and word count and you’ll see myriad reactions. A startled stare and a panicked, “I gotta go.” A thoughtful twisting of the lips accompanied by the requisite “Humpf.” You could even see a full rolling of the eyes and hear them utter a heavy, and rather soulful, sigh.

Very rarely will you see a beaming smile and a quick nod. When you do, you’ll know that the writer you’re talking to has mastered their dialogue, and have even layered in sufficient emotion, power words, action verbs, and rich, earthy modifiers and descriptors that don’t all end in ‘ly. That’s right. They’ve likely just finished the final edits to their newest “baby” and has made the requisite word count their dream publisher has demanded.

That’s writer Nirvana.

So where do we writers come up with these words?

Everywhere.

You see that person, over there in the corner of the coffee shop, madly typing then stopping for a moment before starting up again? Very likely you’re seeing a writer. If they’re wearing a shirt that says, Be careful or you’ll wind up in my novel you can be sure of it.

careful

Think about it. We write about people. What better way to research what to write about than be out among people? It’s amazing what you can pick up just by being quiet and listening to those around you. A good friend of mine has texted me some some real zingers. Take this one for instance:

“My wife is totally unreasonable. She won’t let me move my girlfriend into our basement apartment.”

Poor guy. Kinda makes you wanna smack him in the face, doesn’t it? See, those words sparked a great emotional outburst that I can now use for the next time my heroine is frustrated.

So, next time really listen when you’re riding on the bus, or are in the lunchroom at work. Restaurants are famous for awesome chitchat. Don’t forget to listen while waiting to get your license renewed at the DMV. That’s a perfect place for both drama and word research.

Another great place is in line at the grocery store, which just happens to be one of my favorites! Family gatherings and company picnics/Christmas parties also net a treasure trove of words, but be careful to revise carefully to keep your undercover status intact!

I love humor and oftentimes add a dash of witty (I hope!) banter to my writing. So if I liked and/or smiled/laughed at something that I’ve heard, I’m more than likely going to write it down for use in one project or another. In fact, I’ve got tons of bits of paper and post-it notes with one-liners written on them (total fodder for another blog).

These bits of paper are just about everywhere and I use them all the time. Sometimes to get some inspiration. Sometimes to get myself into the mood for what I need to write. Sometimes just to have a laugh.

Speaking of laughing, I have to tell you that I have used my bra as a purse. Many times. Recently in fact. And I don’t put my valuables in the band ala the Joey Bra. Nope – I store my items high up in the cup for easy access. That way you don’t have to worry about digging around for what you need.

So what was the valuable cargo I stored? Well, long story short, I have a new phone. I finally admitted that my old Razor flip phone has seen better days, especially since it cheeps and chirps a lot and makes my cats crazy. So, I bit the bullet and now have a “smart” phone.

So this past Friday, me and my shiny, clean, and scratch free communicator were at the Denver Center for Performing Arts to see Sense and Sensibility – The Musical (fabulous show, by the way!)  and we got the “please turn off your cell phones for the duration of the performance” reminder. Being the dutiful patron of the arts that I am, I pulled my new baby from it’s nest in my pocket and turned it off. Just as I was returning it, I had a horrifying thought,

“Oh no. What if it falls out of my pocket?”

This horrific thought was quickly followed by,

“And what if the ‘protective case’ that I purchased doesn’t work, and it breaks when it falls out of my pocket?”

That second scenario was enough to get me to pull that phone back out of my pocket and stuff it in the safest place I know – in my bra. My actions totally cracked up my best girlfriend, who looked at me first like I was crazy then, once she thought about it, understood the extreme intelligence of my move.

As soon as the shiny bit of technology was tucked away, I could see my mom and grandma both smiling and nodding in approval. They knew all about, and actively utilized that “safe” place where a smart women can easily place extremely high value items. They taught me that trick. I’ve even carried $1,500.00 cash in there once, so I knew my expensive brand new communication device was safe until I decided to retrieve it.

So have you ever used your bra as a purse? Tell me your story! I’d love to hear about it!

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P.S. If you haven’t checked out Kristen Lamb’s blog yet – do so! She’s kinda my hero, especially after I saw her at a writing conference held in Denver and hosted by Heart of Denver Romance Writers and Colorado Romance Writers. She’s got lots of great writing tips plus a great and entertaining story to go with them! Check out her book, “We Are Not Alone” for great ideas on blogging and social media. Next month, she will be releasing “Rise of the Machines” her brand new book on social media and blogging. Both are gems for those that want to learn more about social media and how you can use the different sites to effectively increase your discoverability. Totally worth it!

Checklists

Checklists. We all have them. We use them to keep things that need to be done someplace other than in our minds, where we can oftentimes forget to check things off, or ever add new items in. I have checklists all over the place. Checklists for grocery shopping, for cleaning the house (because I’m such an awesome housekeeper — NOT!!!), for projects I’d like to do, and more.

Why?

I love the satisfaction I get when I can look at a list and check items off as being done. Yeah, it may be weird, but it’s just my thing.

I use checklists in my day job as a tech writer all the time. That helps me keep track of what needs to be done, and also what needs to be checked before I can call a project complete. There are so many items such as logo placement, company name use, copyright issues, marketing terms, software names, etc. that all need to be checked before a document or help file can be released into the wild. That’s one of the big things about tech writing — once you’ve written it and released it, it’s true — whether it really is true or not. So you have to check everything before you can call it done.

IMHO, the same should be done with any literary piece, especially when you’re just starting out and making your way in the world of the fiction author. There are so many things to check before your baby should be let out of the crib. Is there backstory in the first 5 pages? Are you in the right POV? Are you using too many ‘ing words at the beginning of a sentence? Are you introducing every single character you have in the first chapter? Do you hero and heroine meet soon after the story starts? How’s your grammar doin’?

On and on these checks go. There are so many, and each one should be looked into. Many times you do this as you write. The best authors can tell when things are not quite “right” and can fix them right away. Others, for example newbie authors like me, may sense there is something amiss, but we have to have something we can use to run through things and make sure we’re not straying too far from the “tools for successful writing” path. That’s when a checklist like this can sure come in handy.

I’m making up a checklist as we speak. It’s based on one I used as a tech writer, and it does contain some similar items. However the differences between creative and technical writing has never been more clear to me than looking at the items on each list that must be checked off before a work can be called “complete.”

So tell me, do you use a checklist? Does it help?

Check back next week for more Manuscript Monday musings when I’ll be most likely talking about working on my never ending short novel, Destiny’s Awakening.

Until then, Ciao and good writing!

Wicked Writer Wednesday Guest – Mary Hagen!

Welcome to another installment of Wicked Writer Wednesday! Today I want you to meet one of my favorite people, Mary Hagen. It is my pleasure to showcase this amazing woman and author. She has done so many things – it’s just fascinating to talk with her and hear about her life. So go grab a cuppa, sit down, and scroll your way through my interview with Mary and learn all about her newest book, Secret to Hold!

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~ How did you get started writing?
I’ve written since ninth grade when I won 2nd place a school short story contest put on by my English teacher.

What book are you going to tell us about today? Is it part of a series? If so, what’s the order in which the books should be read?
My book Secret to Hold is not part of a series, but I’m thinking it could. I want to see how the book fares before I write another as a series.

How did you come up with the story?
My book is a western historical set in Wyoming Territory, l886 located on a ranch I’ve visited. The house is listed as a national historic site but the ranch and house have been sold to an oil company. My sister tells me, the house is boarded up and falling into disrepair.

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That’s kinda sad. Seeing a house that has so much history abandoned is almost like seeing books tossed by a dumpster. In the rain.  : (

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Who’s your favorite character in the book? Why?
My heroine, Jessica Bradley who must conquer her fears to get on with her life.

What’s your favorite line in the story? “It’s not our past that matters. It’s what we do with the present and the future.”

What genre(s) do you write in? Why?
I have a difficult time staying with one genre, but short contemporary romance is a favorite. The book I’m working on currently is another western historical located in Wyoming which is my home state, incidentally. I have a request to send a “Women in Jeopardy” novel with elements of romance to a publisher. The book is one of my favorites.

Tell us about your latest release.
Jessica accepts a position to teach two children on a remote Wyoming ranch. Before she arrives, she is warned by two individuals that the hero, Cameron McPherson, murdered the previous teacher. As she falls in love with him, she determines to prove the rumor false, but events lead her to question her decision.

What inspired your latest book?
I grew up on my father’s sheep ranch where cows were queens. All western ranchers I’ve known called all cattle cows so I use the term. It includes cows, steers, bulls. When I visited the ranch I write about and learned the owner was a sheep rancher who had enough wealth and water, he could hold off powerful cattle barons in spite of prejudices against sheep, I knew I had a story.

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That sounds amazing, Mary! Nice conflict. Yep – you’ve got a great story there!

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~ What is your favorite thing about being a romance writer?
I’m a romantic at heart. It follows I would love reading romances and writing about romance. I think of my books as love stories. One of my favorites is PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. It’s a love story.

~ What is your favorite part of writing?
Becoming involved in my stories puts problems of my own out of my mind. I call the writing “My great escape from reality.”

~ What is your least favorite part of writing?
Getting them ready to send to an editor followed by marketing.

~ What is your next project and when will it be released?
Good question. I’m working on my western I call “Day of Reckoning,” but I have a long way to go before I finish the novel. I haven’t put out a proposal but my new contract says I must submit it to Desert Breeze Publishing.

~ What is your typical writing day like?
Sometimes I work all day for several days. Then I take a break from writing for several days. I admit this is not a good practice because I lose continuity. In another way, I sometimes come up with a different way I want to go with the book or some incidents I think will strengthen the story.

~ How much time do you spend promoting your books?
Very little. Avalon sold to libraries, but they’ve sold to Amazon so if they take one of my books, I’m going to have to work at promoting.

~ What works best for you?
I’m hoping my connection with CRW will give me ideas. After all, we have some super writers in our group who are doing very well with their books. They always seem willing to help the rest of us.

~ How has your experience with self-publishing been?
I’m not into self-publishing. I think I’ll leave that to the published writers in our group who are super good at promotion.

~ Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Experiences, newspapers, old journals, speaking with people. My list could go on and on.

~ What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Go for it. I think self-publishing is great and will help the industry by making editors and agents take notice of very good writers who have been passed over for one reason or another and open doors to new writers.

~ Do you have critique partners?
Yes. My favorite activity every two weeks is meeting with my critique group. They’ve helped me become a better writer.

~ What is your favorite dessert/food?
Unfortunately, I have a sweet tooth. I like candy, cake, cookies, you name it. I can’t say one thing is favorite, but I’d list banana cream pie high on the chart.

~ How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
My characters are composites of many people I’ve known not people I meet.

~ What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?
I think characters because they have emotions that lead to conflicts. They force me to think of so much making up individuals for my books. No easy task.

~ Was your road to publication fraught with peril or a walk in the park?
It’s never a walk in the park, but not always fraught with peril either.

~ Do you have a view in your writing space? What does your space look like?
I have an office but no view. Darn. I could use one instead of looking at my computer screen all day. My office is messy and I’m always searching for things, swearing I’ll come up with a filing system that works. I never find time to do the filing.

~ Tell us about your hero. Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.
My hero has lost the love of his life and is certain he will never love again. He’s left with the responsibility of bringing up his daughter. Because his brother was killed, he is, also, the guardian of his niece. His hands are full.

~ Describe your hero in five words.
He’s a dream. He wears his dark hair long to his collar. He has brown eyes and when he smiles, wrinkles radiate from the corners of his eyes. His voice, to the heroine, sounds like a cello. He’s tall, 6’1″, muscular, and sun-tanned from spending time in the out-of-doors, and he sits his horse well, the fringe on his jacket barely moving as he rides. His laugh is contagious. He smells of sage and leather.

~ What physical aspect does your heroine love most about your hero? Least? Details, please!
He’s kind to his children, tells them stories, and shows her respect in her duties as a teacher. She has a secret, she hopes he never knows. When he finds out, he tells her the past is not important. It’s what she’s doing now that matters and he loves her. When she first becomes attracted to him, she is disappointed at his cool reaction to her.

~ Tell us about your heroine. Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.
My heroine enters the story with insecurities that overwhelm her. In fact, she isn’t certain she wants to live until an accident makes her realize life is valuable. She’s able to defend the children she teaches against destructive prejudices of the antagonist who threatens to reveal her secret.

~ Describe your heroine in five words.
Plain, beautiful eyes, tall, slender, insecure.

~ What genres are you drawn to as a reader?
Regencies, historical, mysteries, contemporary romance.

~ Do you prefer to read in the same genres you write in or do you avoid reading that genre? Why?
I read almost everything.

~ Has your muse always known what genre you would write and be published in?
No.

~ Do you write under a pen name? Why or why not?
No. I haven’t found it necessary.

~ How far do you plan ahead?
I don’t plan ahead. I’ve been accused of being a “free spirit”. Whether that is good or bad, I don’t know.

~ Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors?
I have a picture of a stork holding a frog in its bill. The frog says, “never give up.”

~ What did you want to be when you were a child? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
I read a great deal and I usually wanted to be the heroine in whatever book I was reading so I wanted to be lots of things. My husband is a fantastic writer. To entice him to write, I decided I would spark the competitiveness in him by becoming a writer. It didn’t work.

~ Do you or have you belonged to a writing organization? Which one? Have the helped you with your writing? How?
I get an enormous amount of help from CRW. I love the meetings, the speakers, and talking with other writers especially.

Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?
I didn’t have several manuscripts finished. I sent them out myself.

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Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Mary, and congratulations on getting under contract for this book! I can’t wait until it comes out! Readers, be sure to check back here later this year for more about Mary Hagen and her upcoming release, Secret to Hold!

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Manic Manuscript Monday – Welcome!

Hi and welcome to my new interactive blog thread! From now until my writing journey on my current projects end, I’ll be blogging about my triumphs and tribulations with getting these manuscripts from start to finish. I’ll be telling my story, but I also want to have you comment about your writing experiences! And Readers, if you have questions, feel free to ask! :)

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So where to start. Hmmm… Well, the first thing an experienced blogger will tell you is to  pick a day and blog about things important to you. They’ll also say you must be consistent!

I’ve already selected to blog on Monday, Wednesday, and/or Friday. Wednesdays are already booked with Writers (Wicked Writer Wednesday!), and Friday’s are for favorite things (Favorite Friday). I think all authors can agree that manuscripts are not always a FAVORITE thing, so that leaves Monday. Manuscript Monday.

Enough of the formalities. Let’s talk about those manuscripts.

Now, we authors deal with manuscripts every day. They are set in an interesting mixture of reality and fantasy. They contain little pieces of us, and of people we’ve met throughout our lives. They relive events we’ve personally had, or heard about, or someday want to experience. They’re the best and worst of what is and would could be, all ending with a HEA (happily ever after). Some are hand written. Some are created using a keyboard and monitor.

All come from the author’s heart.

So, you can see that if there’s one thing in a writer’s life that’s important, and VERY consistent, it’s their manuscripts. I say manuscripts in the plural, because most writers have more than one project going at a time. We have to. That’s the only way to survive in this business!

Oh it’s not like we start two new books every six months. It’s not quite that extreme (though some authors could, and maybe even do!) Instead, we always have something in the hopper. You may have one book in the outlining stages, and another out to beta readers. If you’re a published author, you likely have edits for a completed novel coming back from your publisher. I’m not too experienced with that scenario (yet!), but I’m thinking those types of edits trumps all other projects and tasks!

For me, right now, I’ve got two projects on my plate. The first is a paranormal manuscript I’m polishing to go out on a request. It’s the first book in a planned paranormaI romance trilogy. I’m really excited for that project to really get off the ground. I’ve got the second book plotted out and am itching to get started on it. I’ve also got the third in the planning/outlining stages. See what I mean about having multiple projects going? :)

The second is a contemporary romance with some romantic suspense elements. It’s a real fast and loose story, with some humor and drama as well. It’s completed, but it needs some tlc and extra help to make it be the best book it can be! I’m going through and tightening the story, shifting focus where it needs to be (on the hero and heroine!) and layering in content to 1. add tension, romance, and conflict and 2. bring up the word count.

Meh. Word Count. Those two words should BOTH be four lettered. Thinking about word count is about the same as wishing I were locked in a room with a hungry panther, who’s housed in a luxurious cage that may or may not have a working lock.

Yeah. I’m serious. Word Count just freaks me out.

Anyhoo, so I’m working on creating a new starting place for my story. It’s proving to be exceptionally challenging, but I’m determined to tackle it head-on and get it going again this next week. I have to remember that I am the boss of this manuscript. I really am!

In the meantime, authors, what is your relationship with your manuscripts, and how do you feel about word count? And readers, feel free to ask questions!

Ciao!

Lori Corsentino

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Join me next week when I’ll be talking about starting points in a little blurb I’ll call “False Starts.”

Favorite Friday Guest – Robin D. Owens!

Welcome to Favorite Friday! I love Fridays. Today is by far my favorite day of the week. Since I also love reading and writing, its no wonder I choose to host awesome readers and writers here on Fridays! Speaking of awesome, let me introduce you to another favorite of mine, Robin D. Owens!

Robin writes exceptional paranormal romance and paranormal with romantic elements novels. One of the things I so enjoy about her work is how she goes about building a world that is totally believable and tangible enough to sink your teeth in to! So go grab yourself a cup of morning brew and scroll down to meet this amazing author.

Welcome Robin! Would you like to share with us a little history on your “Heart” series and tell us what you’re been up to lately?

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I’ve written the “Heart” series since 2001 and the publication of HeartMate. Heart Secret, which came out earlier this month, is the eleventh in the series set on Celta, where the Earth colonists have psychic powers that are more like magic, and Familiar animal companions with attitude.

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I love your “Heart” series, Robin! What is the order of the series, from the first book to the last?

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The first is HeartMate, followed by Heart Thief, Heart Duel, Heart Choice, Heart Quest, Heart Dance, Heart Fate, Heart Change, Heart Journey, Heart Search, and the latest, Heart Secret.

I’ve also written a five book series for Luna about average American women summoned to another dimension to fight hideous evil – not so much kick-ass heroines, though they have their moments. This was the “Summoning” series. The first is Guardian of Honor followed by Sorceress of Faith, Protector of the Flight, Keepers of the Flame, and finally Echoes in the Dark.

I’m working on the galleys of my “Mystic Circle” series for Luna – based in a magical cul-de-sac in Denver that houses such people as djinns (genies), brownies, half-humans. This series started with Enchanted No More, followed by Enchanted Again. In Enchanted Ever After (coming in January), completely human Kiri just moved in and has the chance to become magical “Lightfolk.”

But my fans love Celta the most…and for me, returning to that place, and romance, is challenging (how to make fated mates doubt their love and destiny), and comforting (yes!, I can certainly use what my cat just did as fiction fodder, and for comic relief).

The Luna books are focused on the heroine’s adventure and growth, and then the romantic subplot.

The “Heart” series is all romance.  It’s a pleasure trading off, and thinking of how my characters love and make love.  Heart Secret came out August, 8th, and, as an additional thing for Friday Favorites, it’s my second favorite cover in the “Heart” series (hard to beat Heart Change).

Yes, there’s my private investigator, Garrett Primross, a damaged hero, looking in on the secret sanctuary that accepts only the desperate, and though Garrett doesn’t think of himself as desperate, he has some moments – especially when he’s infected with the most virulent strain of virus that he was the only one to survive.

Oh, and here’s the blurb:

Heart Secret Blurb

When a virulent disease killed the woman he loved and her baby, Garrett Primross was left alive, a reluctant survivor. Now, as a private eye, he strives to banish the memories of his past and rebuild his life.  The Healers of Celta have something else in mind: Discover why he survived.

He is monitored by Healer Artemisia Panax—his HeartMate, a love he never pursued. Still mourning his loss, he refuses to acknowledge her.  Since her family was publicly disgraced, she’s used to such treatment.  She wants nothing more than to guard her livelihood and protect the secrets she’s sworn to keep.

Thrown together by duty, Garrett and Artemisia find the body of the last Black Magic Cultist who ruined her family. Suspicion flares, but they have little choice but to investigate the crime together. When their own lives are placed in danger, they realize that denying their HeartMates is only denying their own future.

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I would love if you joined me on Celta!  Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again,

Robin

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Thanks for updating us on what you’re doing, Robin, and also for the enticing blurb! You’ve got an amazing selection of books available for readers. BTW – I totally agree about the Heart Secret book cover! It’s pretty fantastic.  Thanks so much for stopping by today!

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Bio

RITA® Award Winning novelist Robin D. Owens credits the telepathic cat with attitude in selling her first futuristic/fantasy romance, HeartMate, published in December 2001. Since then she has written eleven books in the series. Her five book Luna series included average American women “Summoned” into another dimension to save a world. Her new “Mystic Circle” series is a mixture of contemporary urban and romantic fantasy set in Denver. She is profoundly thankful to be recipient of the 2004 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Writer of the Year award as well as the 2011 Writer of the Year Award, the Colorado Romance Writers Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2010 Best Paranormal and Best of the Best Daphne Du Maurier Award.

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Learn more about Robin D. Owens at: www.robindowens.com
Keep up with the happenings on her blog: http://robindowens.blogspot.com/
Friend Robin at  http://www.facebook.com/robin.d.owens.73
Read Excerpts at: http://www.robindowens.com/reads/reads.htm

Wicked Writer Wednesday Guest – Holley Trent

Welcome to Wicked Writer Wednesday. I’m so pleased to introduce today’s showcase author guest, Holley Trent! Holley is the author of humorous contemporary romance with a “Quirky Kink” twist. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Reading one of her irresistible short works is truly a pleasure and a vacation from the ordinary! Read on and learn more about Holley and her latest novelette, All Shook Up! Welcome Holley!

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Thanks, Lori, for letting me visit today!

I’m Holley Trent, a Coloradan romance writer. I author stories set in rural North Carolina (where I’m from). They’re usually quirky and sort of bawdy. I want to tell folks about my new romantic comedy novelette All Shook Up and why I wrote it.

What’s a novelette? A novelette is basically a long short story not quite long enough to be a novella. You don’t have a lot of time for world-building or character development: you drop your characters into a situation and make them solve it as quickly as possible. Get in, get out, boom.

After I wrote my first rom-com The Spirit of Things, I felt my “boom” wasn’t boomy enough so I felt compelled to improve the “happily ever after.” That’s what All Shook Up spawned from. In it I do something a lot of writers would probably consider cheating: I dumped in a lot of new characters so I could make Nikki, my heroine, the anchor of a loose series. I knew I was done with her love story, but I wasn’t done with her community.

As soon as I turned All Shook Up in to Rebel Ink Press, I started Polished Slick: a novel being released next month. Two minor characters from All Shook Up take the lead roles. And in the next book, which I think I came up with a title for today, two more minor characters from Polished Slick grab the baton. Nikki shows up again to facilitate the story.

Novelettes are handy, huh?

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Well, they sure sound like a ton of fun to me! I know from experience that writing short is truly an art form. UIt’s not as easy as you would think. I love the way you described it – dropping your characters in a scene and letting them figure it out!

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Here’s a PG-13 excerpt (language) from All Shook Up where you can see the hero from Polished Slick’s stealthy introduction:

All Shook Up Excerpt

Mercedes opened the office door, looked out to see if anyone was lurking in the hall, and then pulled her head back in to close it. “The rumor is that she’s made one of those porno movies—and not even the good ones that you get in the mail in plain brown packages, but one of those shitty internet ones you have to download and then hope nobody finds while they’re on computer printing coupons and shit.”

The right side of my face twitched. I didn’t even know which part of the statement to address first. “Do you think it’s true?”

“Wouldn’t be hard to find out. You want me to find out?”

I imagined Luz stumbling onto the computer her mother had negligently left open on some scandalous link and shuddered.

“Um. No…um… Hey, you know what? I know a hacker-type guy who lives alone in a trailer and who would probably love to do me a favor. I’ll ask him.”

“You mean that guy who lives out on Yellowhammer who has all his windows painted black?”

I blinked mutely at Mercedes’ knowledge of the county crazies.

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That guy’s name is “Jerry” by the way. Right now I’m sketching out the characters in the next story, and I need some help naming one of the supporting cast members.

So this week I’m asking blog readers to tell me their favorite “old-fashioned” name. On Saturday, I’ll pick one at random and use that name on a secondary character in the next book—and you’ll get a mention in the acknowledgements for the suggestion.

I can’t promise it’ll be a likeable character, so keep that in mind!

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That sounds amazing, Holley! Readers, be sure to comment for a chance to name a character in Holley’s next novelette! Thanks so much for being with us today. BTW – where can we find your latest, All Shook Up?

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All Shook Up is available now at:

Amazon (Kindle)
All Romance
Barnes and Noble (Nook)
BookStrand

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Watch in September for my sensual romance novel Polished Slick and stay tuned for news for the next spin-off. I’ll announce it on my website—holleytrent.com/blog—or possibly blather about it on Twitter. Just follow @holleytrent.

Favorite Friday Guest – Shannan Albright!

Welcome to another installment of Favorite Friday. Today, I’d like to share a definite favorite of mine – Shannan Albright! This author offers up two completely different types of paranormal romance – both of which offer a refreshing look at the genre.  So whether you prefer weres or knights, read on to learn more about this fascinating author. Welcome, Shannan! Let’s start off with a few questions.

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~ How did you get started writing?
Hum…I think I started writing when I started drawing at the age of two. I had a story for every picture I drew and of course there always was a dashing knight coming to the aid of the princess. Even when the princess in question had a fish tail and lived in the ocean Lol!

~ What book are you going to tell us about today? Is it part of a series? If so, what’s the order in which the books should be read?
I just finished the second book in the “Knights of Excalibur” series. I’m working on the third and final installment right now and hope to have it out by fall or early winter “fingers, toe and eyes crossed.” Gah, the eyes may have been a bit much. I’m a bit woozy now. Anyway, these novellas are read in order.

The first is Beloved Wizard and it’s all about Merlin. Not the Merlin that comes to mind though. Mine is a certified hunk. It’s followed by The Knights Druid and the central character revolves around reincarnated Knight Sir Kay…Sigh, I have a real thing for Irishmen. He is also a Shifter since one legend about him states he could change into any animal –and no, I’m so not going to go there. Lol! The third is called The Kings Lady and as the title suggests this story is all about Arthur and Gwenivere.

~ How did you come up with the story?
I had a friend who wanted short stories for her publishing house and she asked me for a short story. I had only three weeks to get it to her. I started it as a Frankenstein Monster theme called My Beloved Monster but when the project was trashed I thought, well now what? I looked it through and decided to toss it. For some reason instead of that I started thinking about Arthurian legends with the phrase “The Once and Future King.” I decided to do a modern day take on the legend and throwing in reincarnation into the mix. What I got was Beloved Wizard.

~ What is your favorite thing about being a romance writer?
I can always have my HEA or happily ever after. No matter how much I put my characters through, they are redeemed and grow in the end. So not reality, but what can you expect from a Pisces?

~ What is your favorite part of writing?
I love world building and snappy dialog. When things are clicking I can’t write fast enough. It surprises me what the characters come up with when I give them free reign. Eeeks! That can get me into trouble at times Lol!

~ What is your least favorite part of writing?
Editing, hands down. It has to be the most tedious, uninspiring thing there is to do. Who cares if there is a dangling participle as long as it flows, Right? Well wrong. It can kill your story in a heartbeat. So I guess it is a necessary evil.

What is your typical writing day like?
Work my day job, come home and do promo for an hour or two. Do dinner and write until I can’t see and my brain is mush. That seems to happen around ten at night. Then up at six to do it all over again. On the weekends I write when I can. I’m President of my RWA chapter so we meet twice a month and I’m also part of Hot Mojave Knights a reader event that is coming October 2013! That will be sweet and a great promo tool!  My goal is to be a full time writer so I have tons of work ahead of me.

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Ah, the typical double life of a writer! Your books sound fascinating, Shannan. I love the way you’ve taken the classic Arthurian tale and updated it to current times. Very clever! Can you tell us more about your latest book, The Knights Druid?

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The Knights Druid

What’s worse than a pissed off Knight? Colin Hennessy.

Shifter, Knight and quick tempered Irishman, Colin remembers vividly his past life as Sir Kay. Haunted by the woman he once loved and lost, he has spent his lives searching for his lost love to no avail. Now Arthur is back and his life once again is filled with purpose. Joined by a common goal, he lives only to protect Arthur and his fellow Knights from the twisted, black magic of Mordred.

Juliet Boyd moves among societies rich and pampered, but she holds within her a terrible secret. One Vance Hollister is determined to exploit. Mordred is back in a new skin, now as Vance Hollister and the old evil is alive and well.

Colin and Juliet are unprepared for the flare of attraction that ignites between them from across a moonlit parking lot. Dare she open herself and expose her cursed gift? Can he save Juliet from Vance’s twisted manipulations or will he lose his second chance at love? A showdown between good and evil is coming to a head with Colin and Juliet right in the middle.

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What a great blurb for The Knights Druid! I’ve always enjoyed reading and watching movies about the legend of King Arthur and his knights. Having them brought to life in such a modern and unique way really fascinates me. Where can I find this, and your other books?

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The Knights of Excalibur novels are available from Extasy Books:

The Knights Druid

Arthur and his Knights are back and ready to kick ass! Available in : Adobe Acrobat, Palm DOC/iSolo, Microsoft Reader, Hiebook, HTML, Mobipocket, Rocket, Epub, Sony PDF, Sony LRF

 

Beloved Wizard

Merci Tramaine is not happy to be called back into service by her old boss Arthur, especially when she is charged to find her missing ex-lover. Available in : Adobe Acrobat, Palm DOC/iSolo, Microsoft Reader, Hiebook, HTML, Mobipocket, Rocket, Epub, Sony PDF, Sony LRF

 

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The Dark Breed novels are available from Evernight Publishing:

Dark Passion Rising - A Dark Breed Novel – Book 1

Passion’s Flight - A Dark Breed Novel – Book 2

 

 

 

 

 

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You can also purchase Shannan’s books from:

Amazon
Smashwords
All Romance eBooks

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Bio
Shannan Albright lives in Las Vegas, NV with her husband, two dogs and one cat. She is President of the Las Vegas Chapter of the RWA and has been a member since 2008. When not writing she spends her time between oil painting and reading.

She loves writing paranormal romances because of the world building and rich characters she finds. She loves dark, edgy heroes and heroines overcoming impossible odds internal and external. I am a “hopeful” Romantic and believe healthy relationships and strong partnerships are key to a happy ever after.

 

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Thank you so much for coming to talk with us today, Shannan! You can visit Shannan’s website and blog by clicking the links below.

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Connect with Shannan Albright at: http://www.shannanalbright.com
Keep up with the happenings on her blog: http://www.shannanalbright.blogspot.com/

Wicked Writer Wednesday Guest – C.R. Moss!

Image of CR MossAre you ready for a Wicked Writer Wednesday one night stand? I hope so because today you all are in for a real treat. I’m featuring C.R. Moss – author of Sunset Seduction and Sunset Desires, two volumes in Decadent Publishing’s 1 Night Stand Series!

I met this wonderful author in June of this year at RomCon 2012. We really had a great time attending the events, eating, drinking and generally making merry. Authors are readers too, so it’s always great to meet a fresh new authors at these events. I’m sure you’re going to enjoy this interview. Welcome Chis!

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Thank you, Lori, for having me on your blog today!

Hi everyone, my name is Chris, and I write under the names C.R. Moss for erotic and mainstream romance and Casey Moss for mainstream dark fiction (horror, suspense, urban fantasy).

My professional bio for C.R. Moss: An eccentric and eclectic writer, C.R. Moss pens stories for the mainstream and erotic romance markets, giving readers Worlds of Possibilities when it comes to love.

The bio for my other persona: Casey Moss delves into the darker aspects of life in her writing, sometimes basing the stories on reality, sometimes on myth. No matter the path, her stories will take you on a journey from the light-hearted paranormal to dark things unspeakable. What waits around the corner? Come explore…

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~ Do you write under a pen name? Why?
Yes, I do. The names C.R. Moss and Casey Moss are pen names. When I first started off writing and publishing erotic romance, I decided to use my initials. Seemed the easiest way to come up with a pen name at the time. For my mainstream stuff, I’m using a childhood nickname. As for the last name, my real last name isn’t too ‘general public friendly’ or ‘writer sounding’ so I used an English translation of it.

~ What did you want to be when you were a child? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
For a very brief period of time, I had ideas of becoming a teacher or an astronaut. Both occurred before the age of ten. But for the most part, I knew I wanted to write at a young age, as early as I learned to read. I was always cooking up stories to entertain myself in the rural area I lived in. Had to since there were no other kids around to play with. My defining moment came when I received an A in English in grade school. I was just shy of being a teenager when I had my ‘calling.’ Ever since then, most of my choices in life have revolved around my goal of becoming a full-time fiction writer and being published.

~ When did you start writing toward publication?
Upon my ‘calling.’ I had written a story for a magazine. It’d been rejected, but that was my start. After that, I began studying the craft of writing. It started with working on the school newspaper in middle school to creative writing classes and Teens Art Festivals in high school. I received a BA in Communications, Information and Library Studies from Rutgers College with a strong concentration in English Lit/Writing and Interpersonal Communications/PR. Studying under the mentorship of Terri Valentine (author of ‘Sands of Time,’ a Zebra Historical Romance), I honed my novel writing skills. In the mid to late 2000s, I finally put my foot down, got over my nerves and took the plunge into submitting stories to publishers. I’ve been published since 2008, and as for the craft, I’m still learning things by taking the occasional online class, attending industry conferences, and devouring all the writing how-to books I can get my hands on.

~ Where do you get your inspiration?
I get ideas from everywhere…conversations, news headlines, television, songs. On occasion I’ve been known to pull from my old careers and the people I’ve known, drawing out tidbits of personalities for characters, places for settings and information to assist with subject matter—for example, using the basis and background knowledge of energy work that I learned in the massage field for paranormal stories I’ve worked on.

~ Has anything in your real life ever inspired scenes for your books?
Of course it has. I love using the places I’ve lived in and visited as the settings. There was one story I wrote (it’s not available at the moment) where I used a situation I’d been in one night on a beach. Granted, I elaborated on the situation and made it much more intense than it had been, but the foundation was there.

~ What are you currently working on?
Under my C.R. name, I’m in the process of finishing my parts of the next Wild West book that my writing partner and I are writing which will complete the first draft of that manuscript, then it’s onto the third Wild West story since I have some more scenes to do for that, too. I also have a WIP that I’m planning on submitting to & hopefully will be picked up by Evernight Publishing’s Naughty Fairy Tales line. That story will take up where an anthology story left off. I also have two more Sunset stories to finish for Decadent Publishing’s 1NightStand line.

For Casey, I have an urban fantasy series started, a horror series in the works and some editing and republishing of several other stories.

What book are you going to tell us about today? Is it part of a series? If so, what’s the order in which the books should be read?Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
Today I’m talking about my erotic romance/chick-lit Sunset books. It’s a series I’m doing for Decadent Publishing’s 1NightStand line. Originally, I had some outlines for stories that I wanted to submit for a particular publisher’s ‘destination’ line. When I attended a conference and met the people from Decadent and heard about Decadent’s 1NS series, I was excited to rework and apply the story ideas to their line. I’m thrilled to be a part of their series now.
Sunset Desires, the first of my Sunset books, is available at Decadent Publishing. Inspiration for the story came from my love of sunsets and a trip to Grand Cayman. In the first book set on the Caribbean island, four women relatives are introduced, and the one woman, Gwen, has her date that her cousin, Heather, set her up on.

Sunset Seduction, the second Sunset book which takes place in a hotel room in Las Vegas, is also available at Decadent, and follows Heather and her date. The third and fourth stories, Sunset Temptation and Sunset Heat, are currently works-in-progress. Temptation will be a M/F/M to M/M/F erotic romance that centers around Ivy. Heat will be a M/F erotic romance that will follow Seana and her date. And, I’m proud to say, both Sunset Desires & Sunset Seduction are All Romance Ebook Best Sellers! :)

Sunset Desires

~ A blind date. A hot tropical evening. She’ll be someone he can’t forget. He’ll fulfill her ultimate fantasy.
~ Gwendolyn Tramonto is stunned to learn her cousin set her up with sex on the beach and it’s not the drink. But after a several year dry spell of no relationships, no dates…no sex, Gwen decides to take her cousin up on her offer and go out on the blind date. For once, she’d like to indulge in a fantasy, be wined and dined instead of the other way around, and if she and the man ended up in bed together, that would be a nice bonus.
~ Evan Cadell is looking forward to the date his uncle arranged for him through an exclusive matchmaking service and taking a one night break from work, life and all its demands. From Gwen’s profile, Evan knows what her fantasy is and believes he’s the man who can make it come true.
~ But will one night in paradise be enough to satisfy their desires?

Sunset Seduction

~ One evening. One date. Easy, right?
~ Heather Tramonto, a business woman with only her career and a quickie on her mind, is all set for her 1NS date and a bit of adult fun–no conditions, no commitment–when a surprise shows up at her door.
~ Lane Stanwyck is entering the dating world after years of an estranged marriage and the passing of his hostile wife. When Madame Eve schedules an anonymous tryst for him–no conditions, no commitment–he believes it to be the perfect arrangement for his first time out in the dating field in ages. That is until he sees the woman of his dreams.
~ One night. No strings. That might be a problem for this pair.

Excerpt for Sunset Desires

Gwen. The match up. A distraction for a night. A short break from the drudgery of life. Uncle Lane wanted him to start a relationship. He only wanted a fling. That’s all he’d promised his uncle, who seemed gung ho to have him settle down. Weird idea coming from a man who hadn’t had a happy marriage. Evan’s habits of living alone and immersing himself in work were ingrained. He had thirty-five years of bachelorhood to his credit. If it weren’t for Lane, he’d still be at the office poring over figures. Not much else to do when you lived so far away from friends and family, and on an island.

But Uncle Lane, a recent returnee to the dating pool, had decided all the single males in the family needed to dive in with him. He put Evan at the head of the matchmaking line. Lucky me. Shrugging, he downed the rest of his beer. The least I can do is make the best of it and show her a good time. Glancing down at Gwen’s profile, he focused on the main words of her fantasy—vacation, exotic location, handsome man, sensual rendezvous.

Handsome? Check. At least he’d been told he had above-average features. Exotic location? Check. He had the perfect spot to take her. Erotic tryst? Though friends and family called him charming and women praised his skills, he hoped he could give her what she wanted and make her dreams come true.

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Wow! It’s great to see the virtual buffet of books you have available for readers. Both of your Sunset books sound amazing, and that excerpt for Sunset Desires is very tempting.

Thank you so much for coming on today for Wicked Writer Wednesday! One last question, where can readers find your books?

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C.R. Moss

Casey Moss

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What a pleasure it is to have you on today, Chris! Readers, I’ve got a couple of her books and I’m really enjoying them. Visit her website and blog by clicking the links below.

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Connect with C.R. Moss at: http://www.crmoss.net
Connect with Casey Moss at: http://caseymossbooks.com
Keep up with the happening on her blog: http://crmoss.blogspot.com/

Favorite Friday Guest – Jennifer Morey

To continue a smokin’ hot week here on my baby blog, I have one of my favorites to share with you for Favorite Friday – Jennifer Morey! Jennifer is a multi-published author with 9 books published with Harlequin Romantic Suspense and Silhouette Romantic Suspense. In late July, Jennifer became an indie publisher and released This Time in Timberline, the story of a golf pro returning to her small town roots. What a treat! Read along and find out more about this suspenseful author! Welcome Jennifer!

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The Right Turn on my Yellow Brick Road

My writing journey began when I was a kid. My first stories were drawings of horses with bubbles of dialogue above their heads. That progressed into handwritten stories in notebooks. Those had a romantic flare. My trend toward romance began early. Next came computers and electronic files of bad grammar and storytelling. I wrote a million words before I was published. That’s roughly ten books.

I began writing seriously in 1997. That was the year I graduated with a BS in geology. I was having a hard time finding a job as a geologist. Interview after interview didn’t make the phone ring, and the volunteer work I did with the Bureau of Reclamation didn’t lead to a paying job. But it wasn’t my hard luck in a job search that changed my course. It was the death of my mother.

She was only sixty when she died. And she died suddenly. She was sick with bronchitis that eventually led to pneumonia, and the doctors didn’t catch it in time. She became septic and died within forty-eight hours. I spent the last day of her life with her in the hospital. It is a terrible memory still to this day. And I still get angry when I think about the hospital staff. It was as though all they cared to do was wait for the end of the day so they could go home. My mother was dying in a room down the hall and no one did anything to help her. By the time they figured out her condition was serious, it was too late.

It was a life-altering experience for me.

When you grow up with an invincible family, you don’t expect to lose anyone prematurely. We did. We lost a beautiful, warm, selfless woman who had a lot more life left in her than she was afforded at the hands of a lackadaisical medical staff. My anger over that pales in comparison to what my family and I lost. The loss of my mother is awful. Losing her taught me how fragile life is. That my family may have invincible aspirations and verve, but we are unavoidably human. And we can die.

Mom died two months after I graduated from college. By the end of that summer, I realized geology didn’t have my heart and decided to pursue a writing career. I got a job that would pay the bills and wouldn’t demand more than forty hours a week. Every spare moment I wrote. Ten years later, after spending the time to learn how to write. Grammar classes. Workshops on craft. Contest after contest. And most important of all, writing. Like anything else, practice is what makes you good at something. Lots of practice. I worked forty hours a week and consistently wrote another forty on top of that.

All the while, I submitted to agents and editors. But it wasn’t an agent who got me published and it wasn’t a submittal to an editor, either. Well, not really. It was a contest! The Finally a Bride contest. The manuscript I entered had been a finalist in six contests but never won. I won the Finally a Bride contest and the final round judge offered me a contract and a year later The Secret Soldier became a Harlequin book. It also became a two-time RITA nominee.

Four years and eleven books later, here I am. What’s next for me? Hopefully the word bestseller on one of my books.

Mom would be proud!

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Jennifer, your Mom would be VERY proud! You kept going and were rewarded for your tenacity! Congratulations on your foray into independent publishing as well as your 9 books published by Harlequin and Silhouette. That’s a definite success story! I’m figuring Bestseller just might be in your future!

Let’s learn a little bit more about you.

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What book are you going to tell us about today? Is it part of a series? If so, what’s the order in which the books should be read?

This Time in Timberline.

After the death of her mother, golf pro Utah Pieper returns to her mountain hometown to more than all the gossip brewing at the Over Easy Cafe. An angry stepson may be after her over the terms of his father’s will, and first love Mason Briggs is on leave from the military. Even worse, he’s back in Timberline for the summer! Utah knows all too well what the end of summer means for Mason. Time to leave. She’s got a big “no thanks” in store for him when innocent reminiscing threatens to re-kindle young love.

But a terrible secret keeps Mason reaching out to her, and Utah is unwillingly drawn to what he won’t reveal. His tough exterior is impenetrable to everything except the strong attraction that keeps building. While her own past races to catch up to her, Utah must decide if the only man she’s ever loved is worth the risk of losing a second time. Will their passion be enough to make him stay, or will tragedy drive him away at summer’s end?

What is your favorite part of writing?
Polishing the finished draft. Getting the story down on the page is the hard part for me.

What is your least favorite part of writing?
Finding the time. Balancing a day job, family, and writing is not an easy task.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?
I love my cover.

Do you have any rejection stories to share?
I could wallpaper my office two or three times with the number of rejections I received as an unpublished author. The best one I received when I was thirteen. I submitted a story about a horse that was ten to fifteen typewritten pages full of penciled in corrections. The editor sent me a kind response, saying that Walter Farley began writing at thirteen and that I should never give up. I didn’t.

Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?
I am, but they don’t help me as much as they did when I was unpublished. I learned how to write through organizations. I met lots of good friends. But now with deadlines and a day job, I don’t have as much time.

Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?
Stop fighting it. Keep your goal alive, but only write for the love of it. Don’t try too hard to write what you think will sell. Take responsibility for learning or honing your craft. Take responsibility for working hard to get published. But don’t let it take over. Was it Deepak Chopra who said that resistance creates more resistance? The more you fight the rejection, the more rejection you’ll get. I got published when I least expected it. I wasn’t fighting it.

What’s your secret to writing an action/fight scene?
I don’t rush writing them. I make sure the writing flows. If the writing flows, I have a better chance of making it believable and putting the right images into a reader’s head. If the writing is jarring and stops me, then the characters may as well be playing Twister.

Where is the wildest place your characters have had sex?
On the hood of a Mustang in the woods. This Time in Timberline.

Where can readers find your books?
Amazon is the best place. I’m giving away free books to anyone who writes a 4-star or above review on any of my books. See my website for that. www.jennifermorey.com

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Yowza! I once had a Mustang (loved it!) but never thought to use it quite that way! Thanks for coming by today to talk with us and introduce your latest book, This Time in Timberline, and also for sharing your publishing journey! Your advice is really inspiring! See what happens, readers, when you don’t give up?!?

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Buy This Time in Timberline at: http://www.amazon.com/This-Time-in-Timberline-ebook
Visit Jennifer at:  http://www.jennifermorey.com/
Friend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.morey

Wicked Writer Wednesday Guest – R.M. Sotera!

Welcome to a very “Sinful” session of Wicked Writer Wednesday! I’m pleased to introduce you all to R.M. Sotera, an awesome author I met this year at RomCon in Denver, Colorado. We really had a great time enjoying the events. R.M. lives and creates her amazing stories in none other than Sin City – Las Vegas! Isn’t that awesome? Welcome, R.M.!

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I would like to start by first saying thanks to Lori for having me on her blog. Lori and I met in June at Rom Con. We had a blast taking part in the convention and sitting after hours with other authors laughing, drinking and causing trouble!

So, let’s hit the questions.

How did you get started writing?
The biting bug bit me in high school. It started with the dreaded diary. I filled up many a diaries wishing for my heartthrob Donny Osmond to step from the pages of Tiger Beat magazine into my dream world. Yes, I’ve always been a die-hard romantic at heart always pretending to be the woman in the bodice ripper types of books. So, since I couldn’t actually be the woman, why not write the woman. And thus my love of writing romance began.

What book are you going to tell us about today? Is it part of a series? If so, what’s the order in which the books should be read?
The books I’d like to share with you today are from my Stiletto Series and are published through Siren Publishing. A few years ago, I watched this awesome documentary on real vampirism. Yep, you heard me right, real vampirism. I couldn’t believe that there were actually people out in the world who drank blood. So of course, the teacher in me (yes I teach high school English by day) had to find out what this belief and practice was about. The more I dove into the lifestyle for research the more I really loved getting to know these people. And the more I got to know them the more I started to think, who am I to say their beliefs are wrong? If drinking other peoples blood (and the people they drink from are donors and people that they trust and have a contract with) is what makes them feel right, and complete, who am I to say they’re wrong?

And the wheels started turning in my head. What if I wrote a book in which the heroine was a good Catholic girl and she met this guy who was a real vampire? How could she morally accept his lifestyle? And what if they were soul mates? And what if he was a player who believed himself beyond redemption? Could they both find a way to be together? Major conflict, baby! And thus Cassadaga Moon was born.

I truly had a ball writing Cassadaga Moon because although I hate to admit it, the heroine is a lot like me. I grew up in a very religious family and religious dogma was all around me. Hell, I thought into my late twenties that masturbation was going to send me to hell in a hand basket. So I did have personal experience to pull from when I designed the character that is Mia. And along with Mia, I designed Cindi Vera Cruz, Mia’s best friend after one of my dear friends. Their relationship was easy to write.

The next book in the series, Vegas Moon, released on July 22, 2012 and is about the relationship between Cindi Vera Cruz and Tristan Dane. These two characters get together in book one and have such a strong connection in the first book that I had to give them their own story. I won’t spill the beans but their scenes are pretty steamy and their not even the main characters. She’s ten years older then him and a firecracker in every sense of the world. This book is probably my most erotic to date. One that my mother will never read. And one of the books I’m giving away today.

What is your favorite part of writing?
My favorite part of writing is the worlds I can create. I also have the job of teaching writing everyday. My day job allows me to share the knowledge I have with others and I am so thankful for that gift.

What is your least favorite part of writing?
I would say when my muse decides to take a hiatus or wakes me in the middle of the night with a great idea. Actually, the waking me in the middle of the night is the one that happens to me most. So, I keep post-it notes and tablets on the nightstand just in case Styxx makes and appearance.

What is your next project and when will it be released?
I have two projects in the works. Both are a paranormal series, however, one is YA. And neither one is erotic, just steamy. I’m hoping to have the first books in each series finished and critiqued by the end of the year. I’d like to enter them in a few contests and see how it goes. Although I’m a bit gun-shy with contests, I figure what the hell; I’ll give it another try.

Do you have critique partners?
I do have critique partners. Actually through the years I’ve had several different ones. Can I say that it is much easier to have only a few critique partners at a time. I think when you have more than four including ones self the work load gets to heavy. One gets boggled down with so many crits, and so many different styles of crits that one’s own writing sometimes becomes non-existent. Of course this is my opinion, and only my opinion. More than four may work like a charm for others, I just haven’t had that experience.

What is your favorite dessert/food?
I LOVE York Peppermint Patties. They are my guilty pleasure!

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
It’s usually a given that at some point in my writing if you are a friend part of you will end up in one of my characters. LOL

Let’s talk about Mia and Jordan! – Book 1 – Cassadaga Moon
http://www.bookstrand.com/cassadaga-moon

What physical aspect does your heroine love most about your hero? Least? Details, please!
Jordan is a sexy man. He is over six-feet tall. He has long blond hair with a patch of black hair running down the side next to his cheek. His eyes are dark grey and his ears are triple pierced and he wears three sets of hoops. His tongue is pierced and his nose is pierced. He changes out the diamond in his nose with a ruby on occasion. He’s medium build and muscular but not burly. His voice is deep with a slight southern drawl, and he has a wicked sense of humor.

Tell us about your heroine. Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.
Let’s see, Mia’s pretty but not beautiful. Her hair is light brown, long, and she has brown eyes. She’s 5”6 and curvaceous. Her body has always been a source of embarrassment for her so she covers it up, to the point that when she was a young girl she taped her breasts flat so that boys wouldn’t gawk at them. Most of what she does in her life is guided by a moral compass. It’s not until she meets Jordan that her thoughts begin to change. She has an inner strength that helps her in times of need. One of her weaknesses is that she is overly naïve, stemming mostly from her sheltered upbringing.

What does your heroine love most about your hero? Least? Details, please!
First, let’s get this out of the way – Mia loves what Jordan does to her in bed. How he brings out the woman in her that she desperately wants to be. He is her first real lover and a hand-full at that. Jordan’s darker desires peak Mia’s curiosity, and his desire for blood gains the interest of the teacher in her, too. Yes, she’s a drama teacher.

He is all consuming something that Mia isn’t prepared for, but craves the more time she spends with him. With Mia, he finds redemption but it isn’t an easy road for them.

There is a scene in the book where Mia stumbles across her best friend Cindi and her boy-toy Tristan taking part in a BDSM blood play scene, and Mia battles with her desire to have Jordan do the things that Tristan is doing to Cindi with her. Most of Mia’s conflict is internal, and it’s interesting to watch her character evolve into the woman she is at the end of the book. Okay that’s all you get. Read the book if you want to know more!

There are many firsts for Mia and Jordan, and a lot of humor accompanies their encounters. Actually, I think the humor is what drives the book, but I’ve yet to hear a yes or no on that.

How about now we talk about the second book in the Stiletto Series – Vegas Moon.
It’s about Cindi and her boy-toy Tristan. Check it out!
http://www.bookstrand.com/vegas-moon

Vegas Moon Blurb

Siren Allure: Erotic May-December Romance, with F/F and M/F/F elements, voyeurism, exhibitionism, consensual BDSM, whipping, food play, blood play, sex toys, HEA]
Psychic vampire Cindi Vera Cruz has no intention of falling in love with sanguine vampire Tristan Dane. She makes that fact perfectly clear to Tristan every chance she gets. He’s twenty-one years old, ten years her junior, and as she sees it, definitely not in her cards as a forever type of man, only a lover. But when Tristan decides he’s tired of her games and demands she admit her feelings for him, all hell breaks loose.

Situations heat up when Tristan walks into the yearly Stiletto Sanction coven party only to find Cindi feeding on his energy without his consent. His shock turns into anger. And then anger turns into a game of battle of the wills. Tristan calls her bluff by raising the stakes in the blood play room. She has always been a willing participant in bleeding for him in the name of pleasure, but will she bleed to feed his need for pranic energy?

Note: Hero involved in acts of vampirism.

Excerpt

They’d reached the Dessert Erotica house at noon. Cindi pulled the Mustang borrowed from Victoria into the small parking space and shut off the car. Tristan didn’t waste any time in jumping out of the car. When she emerged, he was standing a few feet from the front door of the establishment eyes fixated on the huge fiberglass sundae. In the center of the perfectly shaped and flavor-colored ice-cream scoops was a naked female mannequin.

“Check out the tits on her.” His eyes were glued on the big-busted doll.

Just like a man, eyes to tits and bypass everything between.

“I think they’re fake.” She chuckled.

He gave her an incredulous stare and headed for the front door.

“What is this place?” The way Tristan asked the question, he sounded like a kid in a candy store.

His excitement got the best of her, so she divulged just a tiny bit of information, enough to wet his appetite.

“Well, lover, this is a place where women and men enjoy a little dessert with sex. A little sploshing.”

“Sploshing? Mmm…sounds enticing.” He kissed her cheek. Then licked the tip of her nose. “Let’s go. I can’t wait to try this out.” Tristan pulled her hand into his and pulled her toward the front double doors.

Cindi stopped them halfway to the front doors. “Hey, do you know what sploshing is?”

“Nope. But sex and dessert sounds like a winner. I’m ready to find out. Let’s go.”

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Looks like we’ve come to the end of my post. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know me and a little about my books. You can always find me at the links below. Once again, Lori, thanks for the opportunity to chat on your blog. Oh, and before I go, one more thing I have two books to give away. If you comment on the blog you could be the lucky winner of Cassadaga Moon or Vegas Moon. Your name will be picked randomly and you will be notified by Sunday, August 12th. And the books will be sent along with the notification.
All the best.

RM Sotera

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Great interview, R.M. and I loved the excerpt! Just enough to tempt. Thanks so much for visiting with us today! Readers remember to leave a comment for a chance to win either Cassadaga Moon or Vegas Moon!

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Connect with R.M. Sotera at: www.rmsotera.com
Friend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rmsotera
Follow her on Twitter: @rmsotera

Check out her books on her Author Pages -
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/RMSotera
Siren Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/rmsotera
Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/RMSotera
Extasy Books: http://www.extasybooks.com/rmsotera
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/RMSotera

And keep up with her happenings on her Double D Ranch Tales
Blogspot: http://doubledranchtales.blogspot.com/

Vice President – Las Vegas Romance Writers: http://lasvegasrwa.org/

Co-Vice President – Hot Mojave Knights – A Reader Event
Coming to Vegas October 2013 http://hotmojaveknights.weebly.com/

Favorite Friday Guest – Lizzie T. Leaf!

Welcome to a special Thursday edition of Favorite Friday! Today I’ve got a special treat for you. Meet Lizzie T. Leaf – a fabulous paranormal author with a truly wicked sense of humor! Lucky for her readers, that humor always winds up in her books! Read on to learn all about Lizzie and her latest set of projects. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of her latest re-release, DEAD Awake. Welcome Lizzie!

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Thank you for having me, Lori. Your questions are interesting and some made me stop and think (ouch…have a headache now). I’m delighted to be here and here goes on the questions!

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What genre(s) do you write in and why?

Currently, I write spicy paranormal mostly with humor and some erotic contemporary. I love building worlds and mixing up various immortals with mortals. This gives me room to put a humorous spin or if the story calls it, get serious.

Tell us about your current series.

I actually have 2 series going now. The one focused in this blog tour is the DEAD series. Musa Publishing is re-releasing 4 books and I have contracted for a 5th one to come out in October, 2012. The DEAD series kicks off with socialite Deb Stein’s Halloween party. She ends up in bed with the hot guy in black and wakes up smelling pine. Much to her dismay, the dirty old man lurking outside the funeral home tells her life has changed…and oh, you’re a vampire. To add insult to injury, she has to get a job since there is no trust fund and she ends up a stripper biding her time until she can get her hands on the one who turned her.

Do you have critique partners?

I do and boy do I ever need a critique partner. We write different genres, but she has no problem holding my feet to the fire and I try to return the favor. In addition, I’m also blessed to have friends who will do fast reads and make suggestions when I’m in a time crunch on a deadline.

What is your favorite dessert/food?

Ice cream! The cold, sweet delight needs a required food group of its own. I’m thinking minimum servings of two per day? What do you think?

What genres are you drawn to as a reader?

I love to read! That translates into I read various genres, both fiction and non-fiction. Always have, probably always will.

How far do you plan ahead?

I try to work with a monthly short term goal, plan out for a year and the big picture goal for around five years. I go back and adjust/tweak as needed.

Do you or have you belonged to a writing organization? Which one? Have they helped you with your writing? How?

I belong to RWA National and two local Romance Chapters, the Heart of Denver Romance Writers and Colorado Romance Writers. I am the 2012 President for Heart of Denver. As for helping with my writing…definitely yes. There are presentations each month by terrific speakers on a variety of topics, and I always come away with some new tip to apply to my work.

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?

The comments from readers who like my work. My heart goes pitter-pat when I get an email from someone who enjoyed one of my books, or when I’m doing book signings and a reader comes in with a book they’ve read and want it dedicated and signed.

What’s next for you?

A number of things. I just signed two contracts. One is for a new book in the DEAD series for October and the other is a re-release of one of my Christmas stories. In addition, I’m working on a third book in the Magic series. Also, have a YA in the works as well as a Fantasy Women’s fiction. Those two will be under different author names so my current readers aren’t confused.

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Sounds good to me! Lucky for your readers, you are one busy author! BTW, I personally adore Vanilla ice cream, and French Vanilla is a true treat.

I hope you all enjoyed meeting Lizzie. Be sure to leave her a comment to enter the drawing for a free .PDF copy of DEAD Awake, the first book in her DEAD series! Read on for a quick sneak peek into the world of Billie Joyce in DEAD Awake!

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Dead Awake

Waking up to discover you’re a vampire then fainting at the sight of your number one food source isn’t healthy.

Billie Joyce’s dream visit to New York City turned into a nightmare. Now not only is she one of the living dead, but she has to contend with a know-it-all vampire who wants to tell her how to talk. Not gonna happen!

Excerpt from DEAD Awake

Now you listen here, Mister Smarty Britches,” Dovey noticed Billie Joyce didn’t seem concerned about modesty when her temper flared. She leaned forward to glare at Daniel. “You can’t even get a girl’s name right.”

“If the girl would pick one name to use, that wouldn’t be an issue.” Daniel stepped closer to the bed. “Would it?”

“Enough, you two.” Dovey moved to position herself between them. “You can argue over who calls who what later. Right now, we need to come up with a plan to get sustenance into Billie Joyce. She’s going to weaken if she doesn’t feed and I don’t intend to lose my first creation because she’s anorexic.”

Daniel glared over Dovey’s shoulder. “Fine. Aaron and I will go get a couple of thick steaks. Rare meat will tide her over while we work on another plan.”

“I eat my meat well done, thank you.” Billie Joyce wrapped the sheet around her again and stuck her nose in the air.

“As in shoe leather. Maybe we should raid Dovey’s closet instead.”

Leave it to Daniel to be a smart ass. Maybe my foot up his behind would show him real shoe leather.

“Well, I never!” Billie Joyce swung her feet over the edge of the bed and stared at Dovey. “Sugar, are you going to let him talk to me like that?”

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Bravo! See what I mean about that wicked sense of humor? Thanks, Lizzie, for being here today. Readers, you can own your very own copies of the first two books in the DEAD series!  Click here to purchase DEAD Awake. directly from the MUSA Publishing website! Or, you can Click here to purchase DEAD Faint!

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DEAD Faint will also be available August 3rd for Kindle (Amazon), and at All Romance eBooks.

It will be available for Nook (Barnes & Noble) and at other 3rd party sites shortly after.

 

Connect with Lizzie at: www.lizzietleaf.com
Friend her on Facebook: lizzie.t.leaf
Follow her on Twitter: @lizzietleaf
And keep up with her happenings on her blog: http://lizzietleaf.blogspot.com/

Favorite Friday Guest – Romance Author Helen Hardt!

Welcome to Favorite Friday! Today I’m featuring one of my favorite authors and Colorado Romance Writers sister, Helen Hardt! Helen writes award-winning contemporary, historical, paranormal and erotic romance. Welcome, Helen!

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Lori, thanks so much for inviting me to your blog! I’m excited about the re-release of my Daughters of the Prairie series. These are American western historical novellas, and they follow the lives of two sisters on the Dakota prairie, and the daughter of the older sister in the Black Hills.

Today I’m showcasing the third book in the series, Song of the Raven. One commenter will receive an ecopy.

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About ten years ago, we took a family trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota. We saw Mt. Rushmore, of course, and it’s as awe-inspiring as anyone can imagine. Equally awe-inspiring is the regal, though still unfinished, monument to Crazy Horse carved into another mountain in the Black Hills. Funding is sparse for this project, so it’s being carved in stages. When we visited a few years later, further work had been done on the sculpture, yet it was still incomplete.

This journey inspired me to begin writing what would become Song of the Raven. I researched as I wrote. In the meantime, I completed the first two novellas in the series, The Outlaw’s Angel and Lessons of the Heart. Oddly, though I started Song first, I actually completed it last, partially because so much research was required to make sure the Lakota Sioux traditions were historically accurate.

I began my research with Crazy Horse and his life and times. As I wrote, I named the father of my hero Black Elk, until I found through my research that Black Elk was a famous Lakota Medicine Man during this time period. I didn’t want to confuse any readers who might know this, so I changed the father of my hero to Standing Elk. My hero, Silver Raven, got his name from a non-pigmented streak that appeared in his hair at birth. Though his infant hair fell out and the new hair grew in onyx black, he kept the name Raven due to the bird’s significance to practical joking in the Lakota tradition. My hero likes to joke a bit.

Native American lore fascinates me, and researching this story was both exciting and humbling. The Lakota were and are a noble people and much can be learned from their ways of life. My stepfather shared my interest in all things Native American, and when he passed away in 2002 I inherited his complete set of the Time Life Books American Indians series. Although these books are dated, they’re an excellent resource on Native American history. If you want to really get the feel for the Lakota Sioux, though, visit the Black Hills. As the sun sets on the silhouette of Crazy Horse carved into the silver rock, you just may feel the Great Spirit guiding you.

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Wow! That sounds like an amazing trip, Helen. I’ve always wanted to visit the Black Hills and the Lakota absolutely fascinate me. Your Daughters of the Prairie series sounds awesome. I can’t wait to read Song of the Raven! Here is the book’s blurb and an excerpt for your enjoyment! Be sure to comment for a chance at a free copy!

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Song of the Raven

Ella Morgan loves her mother and father, but she’s grown weary of their overbearing protectiveness. She longs for excitement, adventure, and most of all, love. When she finds an injured Lakota warrior hiding in her barn, she’s intrigued by the brave and handsome man.

Silver Raven has found his soul mate in the woman with eyes the color of violets at first bloom. Can he convince her to leave her home and family and take her rightful place as his woman? Or will Ella’s father and the prejudices of society keep them apart?

Excerpt

Ella’s mouth dropped open as she stared into Raven’s smoldering gaze. When he lowered his head and took her lips with his, she didn’t resist.

The sensation of his tongue in her mouth was new and different. But not unpleasant. Oh, no, not at all. It was hot, so hot, and she tasted him. Raven. Slightly sweet, like cinnamon sprinkled over a tart apple. He explored her mouth, touching every crevice. When she tried to speak, to ask what to do, only wordless sounds, muffled by his mouth over hers, emerged.

If only she knew how to please him. She wanted to kiss him back, to tangle her tongue with his. To grasp his strong shoulders and pull him ever closer until nothing could separate them.

Such impure thoughts! But she didn’t chide herself, because only seconds later she couldn’t think at all. She only felt. Felt with all her body, all her heart, all her soul, that she wanted Raven. Wanted to be with him. In every way a woman could be with a man. She boldly forced her tongue into his mouth. He groaned and tightened his arms around her. Instinctively, she knew her actions pleased him. And she wanted to please him. In all her life, she had never wanted anything more.

She let her tongue wander over his teeth, caress the inside of his cheeks. When he pulled back, panting, she traced his full lips, first the upper, then the lower, and she reveled in his moans. She smiled against his mouth.

“Do I please you?” she whispered.

“Always, tehila.” His breath caressed her cheek. “Always.”

She sighed and turned her head to draw a much needed breath. To no avail, however. When Raven pressed a trail of wet kisses down the side of her neck, she lost her air once more.

“Will you let me show you,” he whispered, “some of the wonders that exist between a man and a woman?”

“I-Isn’t that what you’re doing?” Ella barely recognized her own voice. It seemed lower, earthier.

“Yes, but there is more than kissing. I can take you to the stars and back. If you will allow me.” He rained kisses over both her cheeks, then found a place below her ear and nibbled. Ella’s skin heated, yet she shivered. Such sweet contradiction.

“I don’t understand.”

“Surely, you know what occurs in the marriage bed?” Raven untied the string binding her braid and slowly tunneled his fingers through her thick locks. The gentle tugging of her hair, the warmth of his hands on her scalp—all good, all touched her soul.

“Y-yes. Of course.” She knew of the physical act. She inhaled deep. What a warm night!

Raven’s chuckle tickled her neck. “Would you enjoy soaring into the sky with me, tehila? I could lead you to places you have never dreamed of, all without taking your maidenhead. Just say the word, and I will.”

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Whew! That was quite a spicy proposition! Thanks so much for this sneak peek into Ella and Raven’s world! Click here to purchase your own copy of Song of the Raven!

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Helen Hardt Bio

Helen Hardt is an attorney and stay-at-home mom turned award-winning romance author and freelance fiction editor. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal, and erotic romance from her home in Colorado. Her contemporary western romance, Ivy League Cowboy, just won the 2012 RomCon Readers’ Crown award. Visit Helen at  www.helenhardt.comwww.helenhardt.blogspot.com, and www.fiction-editor.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenhardt.

Wicked Writer Wednesday Guest – Summer Mahan!

Welcome to Wicked Writer Wednesday! Today I’ve got wickedly awesome pre-published author extraordinaire Summer Mahan! She’s my CRW-sister and an amazing author of Historical and Contemporary romance (and just about any other genre she takes a liking to!!!). She’s also a fabulous critiquer, as I’ve found! Read on to learn more about her. Welcome, Summer!


How did you get started writing?

I started writing as an outlet in a very rough patch in my life. I instantly fell in love and finished my first novel within three months. It’s one big hot mess, but it’s all mine! I took an extended hiatus and about 3 years ago started again. I have written about 6 books since and started many, many more….

What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I write everything! I’m very scattered and keep my options open. I love to explore different worlds and especially enjoy anything and everything dealing with the Celtic. The people, the artifacts, the culture. My love of history helps in my writing and opens a very wide creativity field.

Tell us about your current series.
I am currently writing a historical western novella for my blog www.Herstorycalls.com . I am also editing a full length Regency and a contemporary for the HOTR contest for Colorado Romance Writers.

What is your favorite part of writing?
The first draft. I love getting the story out and onto paper.

What is your least favorite part of writing?
Editing! I know this is the most important part in writing (a great writer is a great editor) and I struggle with edits daily. I’m hoping someday this will change.

Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Everywhere. For example, my latest contemporary was inspired from the TV series, Cake Boss. Buddy and his family were visiting Italy, riding Vespa‘s and I saw a whole chase scene in my head. The story was born-don’t ask me how-but I wrote 55,000 words in one month from that little snidbit.

Do you have a view in your writing space? What does your space look like?
I view the kitchen. Perhaps this is why I’ve gained weight and edits are so unfulfilling? And my desk? Well, my desk is a cluttered wreck. For the record, though, I know exactly where everything is. The piles are a secret to my madness.

Thank you so much for visiting here and telling us more about you and your writing! Good luck to you in the HOTR writing contest. I know you’re going to do great!

Be sure to check back here this Friday to visit with award-winning author Helen Hardt!

Summer Mahan Bio
I love to laugh. I adore sparkling conversation, wit, and charm. Reading is a pleasure one should indulge in at least once a day and writing is for the fearless. I love my family, my friends and my life. I believe everyone should seize the day and never stop learning!

I have an unhealthy obsession for Dt. Coke, list making, and counting my children. There are only three. But if you had twins…you would completely understand.

When I’m not counting, uh, playing with my kids, writing or gardening I can be found at…
~ www.summermahan.com
~ www.herstorycalls.com
~ @Summer_Mahan
~ Facebook Author Page
~ Facebook Page
~ Romance Writers of America
~ Colorado Romance Writers
~ Celtic Hearts

Favorite Friday Guest – Lisa Fender!

Hi Everyone! I’ve got a special treat for you today. Meet pre-published paranormal romance author Lisa Fender! Lisa writes fantasy with a nice inter-world twist. Read on to get the answers to some questions I asked Lisa, and hear about one of her favorite things.

Welcome Lisa!

Thanks for having me on your blog, Lori! This is exciting for me, especially since I am not published yet. My novel will be out soon. The name of the series is The Lorn Prophecies and the title of the first book is Fable- The first book in the Djen Legacy. I will let you know once it is launched and I hope you give it a try. My blog site is www.lisafender.com. I am also on Facebook, twitter, goodreads, linkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. I would love anyone to follow me and join in on my musings and of course, my announcements about the book.

 

How did you get started writing? 

I have always wanted to write. As a child, I wrote little stories and later poetry. I talked about writing a book for years, but at first I planned to write non-fiction. My plans quickly changed when I saw the topics I wanted to write about already had been written 20 times over. So, I put it to the side. Once my kids were grown I began to think about writing again. I tried to write a mystery novel first, that didn’t work out to good, I couldn’t get into the mind of a killer, so again, by the wayside. A few months later I was laid off from my job and now had all this extra time so I thought, what is it that you like to watch on TV and at the movies? The answer came to me, Fantasy! I sat down and came up with a new world and the details of the people and my novel was born! Even though I am not finished with it yet, I am very close and this book is one of a series about the Djenrye world.

 

Tell us about your current series.

My story takes you into a teenage girl’s world and new found discoveries about herself. Her name is Stevie Barrett and she is just graduating high school when strange things start to happen to her. A being with beacon like eyes is watching her from the mountain behind her house. Her mother is attacked by men with the same glowing eyes and the birthmark she was born with was now becoming a tattoo, with color. She finds out she is from another world, one parallel to ours and not only is she from there, she is a Guardian in this world. Her new found life leads her on a quest, one that will either save both worlds, or doom them.

 

Do you have critique partners?

OMG, do I have critique partners! I have 5, and they are from two different groups. One, HODRW, the other, through my writing coach on the Meetup site. The amazing thing is, if one doesn’t catch something, another will. I have been in re-write for the past year and I am at the last few chapters. Once I begin the revisions, it should go quick with all the critiques I have received. I plan to have my manuscript to an editor before the end of the year. My critique partners are invaluable! I couldn’t have gotten as far as I have today without them. Their encouragement keeps me writing. Plus, each and everyone has a wonderful story themselves and I love reading them and can’t wait to get to read more.

 

What advice do you have for author’s planning to self-publish?

I say, you’re going about it the best way. Anymore, trying to get a publisher to notice you, especially if you are a new writer, is like trying to win the lottery…good luck with that! I decided to self-publish after I weighed both sides of the issue and found the only thing good about having a publisher is getting to put that on your book. Either way, you still have to do all the marketing, social media, and any signings you can drum up. I figure if I still have to do all the work, why do I want to dole out most of my profits from any sales to the publisher, agent (if you have one), and the site that your book is on. Oh, one other advantage of a publisher, your book could be in a book store. And, actually I know self-pubs who have managed to do just that on their own. There are several sites out there that can help you do it all, Book Baby, Smashwords, Createspace, just to name a few. They will even do the cover for you and print books. No, the best way for me is to self-publish.

 

Thank you for your answers, Lisa! I know in the new realm of self-publishing, there are a lot of opportunities that maybe weren’t available before. Good luck to you on your pending release and congratulations on taking control of your writing career!  : )

Would you like to share with us one of your favorite things?

 

A Favorite Thing. Wow, what a loaded question for me, there are so many. I guess other than my book, it would have to be going to Buena Vista with my husband for a few days and lazing around in the wonderful lithium based hot springs at Cottonwood Inn. This is an amazing place. It’s quiet, relaxing and healing. There are no radios or TV’s to distract from this beautiful and recovering place. There are 5 pools, each with a difference in temperature. So, whether you like is really hot, or just bath water temp., it has it all. You are surrounded by mountains and in the early morning, you can watch deer or even mountain goats up on the hill in front of you.

In the ‘off’ season, October 15th till May 15th, you can even go naked in the pools at night. It is an amazing place. They also have massage, facials and body treatments. Plus they make coffee each morning for everyone and they have a poolside deli for lunch. One more thing, a gift shop too, I bought a wonderful choker there a few years back. When we go, we usually go into town after a brief soak in the morning and have breakfast at Jan’s and then hit the road to discover all kinds of places to visit here in this awesome state of Colorado. One time we drove to Black Canyon, another, to Crested Butte. We have a marvelous time there and we will be going again the end of September.

Well, I guess in closing, thanks again Lori, this has been fun. Even though I don’t have a book to give away for your contest, I will be sending a Starbucks gift card and a little gift along with it. I hope I hear from your fans and that all of you have a wonderful weekend.

Lisa Fender

 

Thank you, Lisa! Remember to leave Lisa a comment to win some goodies!

Check back with me next week on Wicked Writer Wednesday to hear from aspiring author and blogger extraordinaire Summer Mahan, and on Favorite Friday to hear some great new release news from historical romance author Helen Hardt!

Destiny’s Awakening Release Day!

Destiny's Awakening cover imageYAY – it’s June 28th! The release day for Destiny’s Awakening available from 5 Prince Publishing! I’m so excited. We’re going to have some fun today. I’ve got bags and bags of swag and both print and eBooks to give away to lucky commentors. I’ve also got a couple Barnes & Noble gift cards for the 10th and 25th commentors!

This first book in the “Tales of The Fey” trilogy tells the story of Evie, an archaeologist who loves things of the past, and Alexander, an enchanted Fey Prince awaiting his date with destiny. Although the story may sound  familiar for many of you who already have read Evelyn, this “Author’s Cut” has much  to offer! With almost 15,000 additional words, there’s a lot more to enjoy.

I hope you consider checking out my twisted fairy tale. It can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and All Romance eBooks. In a couple days, it will also be available on iTunes.

I’m also visiting several sites to spread the word on my release. Check out these sites for chances to win swag and book prizes! Here’s my schedule:

Monday, June 25 – Elizabeth Haysmont

Tuesday, June 26 – Lia Slater

Wednesday, June 27 – Karen Docter

Thursday, June 28 – Her Story Calls

Friday, June 29 – Lizzie T. Leaf

Next week I’ll be visiting M.L. Guida on Monday, July 2 and Jessica Aspen on Thursday, July 5! The following week is extra busy with visits to Lynda Hilburn on July 10, Cynthia Woolf on July 11, and Bernadette Marie on July 12! Check those blogs for more chances for giveaways and swag!

I’ll also be reading from Destiny’s Awakening at the Denver Lady Jane Salon on Tuesday, July 10th at 7:00pm. It’s held at the Wine Loft at 15th and Wazee downtown. It’s an absolute blast and well worth the trip! Swag and prizes to be given away!

I love to hear from my readers and sister-writers, so comment away! Chances are good you’re going to win something!

Happy Release Day!

Lori

 

 

This book

Favorite Friday – Paranormalize!!!

Happy Friday to everyone!

I’m really happy this Friday for a lot of reasons. I mean for one – it’s Friday, my favorite day of the week. Two – the 1,400 brave men and women that are here to fight the High Park wildfire are making progress in containment! Now if Mother Nature would lend her hand and drop some much needed rain, they could get good handle on it.

image for Destiny's AwakeningAnd there’s even more good new added to that! I’ve just heard from my publisher, 5 Prince Publishing, that they’ve set a June 28th release date for my paranormal romance, “Destiny’s Awakening!” I’m really excited for this, the first book in the “Tales of The Fey” trilogy. Isn’t the cover amazing? My friend and CRW chapter-mate, the amazingly talented Viola Estrella designed the artwork.

The story may be a bit familiar for many of you. It’s a rewrite — let’s call it a “Author’s Cut” (ala Director’s Cut in movies) of my novella, “Evelyn” which was published last fall in the “Finding Ms. Wright” anthology from 5 Prince Publishing. I’ve added almost 15,000 words and expanded the story to include some new content and characters. It’s the book I wanted to write, but couldn’t because of time and word count restraints. I hope you consider checking it out! Stay tuned for purchasing details!

Also, RomCon is in a week, Friday, June 22nd through Sunday, June 24th. I went last year as a reader and had A BLAST!!! See – good things happen on Fridays! I’m telling you all – if you’re in Denver next week – buy a ticket and get there! It’s a great time with some amazing authors including fabulous local authors Karen Docter, Helen Hardt, Bernadette Marie, Marie Sexton, Jenn LeBlanc, Melissa Mayhue, Jessica Aspen, M.L. Guida, Elizabeth Haysmont, Hillary Seidl, Jeanne Stein, Lizzie T. Leaf, Cynthia Woolf, Donnell Ann Bell, and Rebecca Grace! Also attending are best selling and award winning authors Holly Jacobs,  Kat Martin, Jade Lee, Alexandra Ivy, Heather Snow, Deeanne Gist, Tiffany A. SnowKimberly Killion, and Delilah Marvelle. Click here for a complete listing! You can’t go wrong with that many amazing authors…and more!

This will be my first conference as an AUTHOR! I can’t tell you how exciting that is for me. I’ve gathered up a bunch of swag and am creating neat-o bundles to give away to readers.

If I survive all the excesses of fun and lack of sleep, be looking for me to kick off my Destiny’s Awakening blog tour the following week on June 25th. I’ll be visiting new paranormal author Elizabeth Haysmont to chat about DA, (my pet name for Destiny’s Awakening!) On the 26th, I’ll be blogging at the ever fabulous Lia Slater’s website. Check back here on the 27th where I’ll be talking about all the wicked-good things Destiny’s Awakening on my revamped Wicked Writer Wednesday!

The first week of July, I’ll be visiting a bevy of fabulous authors including paranormal author M.L. Guida. I’ll be visiting them to talk about DA, RomCon, writing, and what’s coming next for me.

I’ll be giving away some swag here, including free eBook and print copies of DA. So be sure to follow me on my blog hop and comment for your chance to win!

OK – time to get busy. You all have a wonderful Friday and we’ll see you back here soon!

Ciao!

Lori

 

Favorite Friday – CRW Blog Hop Special Guest – M.L. Guida!

Hello! I’d like to welcome paranormal romance author M.L. Guida! Welcome M.L., it’s a real pleasure to have you here today talking about the mystical month of May. You tell a great story about springtime – and wildlife – in the Colorado mountains.

For all my visitors, be sure to leave a comment for M.L. She’s giving away a copy of “Dark Promise,” book 1 of her Underworld Series! Check out her website  HERE  and look for the trailer for this exciting story set in Dillon, Colorado…and the Underword.

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MLGuida imageI’d like to thank Lori Corsentino for hosting me on her website.

The month of May is the time for new beginnings – school ends, summer begins, flowers bloom and hot days. Summer is one of my favorite times, because my family opens our cabin in Frisco, Colorado. Frisco has always been a magical place for me with Lake Dillon, aspen and pine trees and fresh mountain air. Frisco appears as a setting in many of my books, “Dark Promise” and “Tortured Soul,” especially in the Underworld Series. In my Angel of Death series, I mention a mountain cabin, but do not specify the location. In fact over Memorial Day, I plan a trip up there to rejuvenate and relax.

I’ve always wanted to see the wildlife up there, but only saw a deer once. I’ve been going up there since I was born. Maybe my family and I make too much noise. However, this is not true for one of my friends, Susan. She is an avid jogger and fiercely independent – a collision for disaster in Frisco.

On Mount Royal, there used to be a town called Mason, but it is long deserted. An avalanche destroyed the little mining town and there are only ruins. Tourists and locals like to hike up to the site, but not during dusk, but not true for Susan!

She decided to go jogging around 5:00 pm. Do you see the problem yet? As she was jogging up the trail, people were coming down the trail and she was the only one on it. Her tingling warning signal should have gone off, but sometimes I think she turns it off or ignores it. She arrives at the ghost town and takes a deep breath. A rustling in the bushes overhead grabs her attention. Does she run, no. She investigates. She is expecting to see a deer and waits in anticipation.

Through the bushes, a huge brown bear stares down at her. Susan freezes. She tries to remember what to do if you see a bear – grab a stick, act like your taller, climb a tree. But she does neither.

The bear remains still and watches. His head was the size of a Toyota engine. She backs up and bolts down the trail, never looking back. Her heart threatens to burst through her chest, but she does not stop running until she hits the main street of Frisco. What did Susan forget? The bear did not follow her. But there’s another predator who resides up in Mountain Royal who would not hesitate to chase her. Mountain lions.

Lucky for Susan, neither the bear nor the mountain lion found her particularly appetizing. She now goes by the name Bear Bait. So, when you hike in the mountains do not follow Susan’s example and become a main dish for a hungry bear or mountain lion.

Thanks Lori for allowing me to stop by.

Speaking of new beginnings, this summer, Five Prince Publishing is releasing two of my books – “Dark Promise” and “Tortured Soul” – which are both set in Frisco, Colorado. Passion in Print is releasing my other book, “Betrayal,” in August.

Dark Promise cover art image  Ravaged Soul cover art image    Betrayal cover art image

M.L. Guida writes paranormal romance. She loves the Rocky Mountains where she loves to ski, hike and mountain bike. She is currently pursuing her Master of Art in Creative Writing through Regis University.

Manic Monday – CRW Mystic Month of May Blog Hop!

I’m so excited for CRWs Mystic Month of May blog-hop. The ever amazing Helen Hardt, my CRW-sister and an amazing contemporary, historical, paranormal, and erotic romance author, has put together a fantastical blog hop for romance readers to enjoy. It all starts today, Monday May 14th, with Helen introducing paranormal author Jessica Aspen!

Mystic Month of May Blog Hop imageThe next day, Jessica will bring us paranormal author Hillary Seidl. On the 16th, Hillary will introduce J.L. Bowen.

And so it will go on, with a new author each day. These legendary ladies will share with you all their favorite things about the marvelous, mystical month of May — my favorite month!

Talk about a little manic. This will be my first blog hop, so I’m a little nervous, but eager to start. I will have the pleasure of being hosted by up and coming Young Adult Paranormal author J.L. Bowen on May 17th.

The next day, on May 18th, I will host M.L. Guida, a great new Paranormal Romance author right here on my blog. Her Underworld series, Dark Promise and Ravaged Soul, will be available soon from 5 Prince Publishing. This is a great series about good and bad demons and life giving trees. She also has Betrayal, a romance that deals with a heroine who can see auras, and a hero who might be willing to put his wings on the line for her, available from Passion in Print in August, 2012.

Following M.L. Guida is the phenomenal Lizzie T. Leaf, the spectacular Marie Sexton, and so many more! Click here for the complete blog hopping schedule.

Enjoy!

Lori

 

 

Favorite Friday – Guest Karen Docter!

Here’s a special treat for your Friday! I’ve got the witty musings of first-time author Karen Docter. Dive right in and enjoy Karen’s talents for telling a tale! I can just see her now, slaving away over a hot computer monitor…  ; )

If you’d like to see more of Karen’s prose, be sure to check out her initial contemporary romance release, Satin Pleasures, available from Amazon. Be sure to leave a comment here to win a copy!

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Favorite Things to Inspire My Muse

  by Karen Docter

It’s funny but, when Lori asked me to stop in and talk about my favorite things, I really didn’t have a clue what I’d talk about.  Me, the writer who’s not supposed to run out of words!  There I sat, like the proverbial bump on a log, without a lick of inspiration.  I had one of those cartoonish moments thinking of me, the good little writer hunched over the blank computer screen, sweat literally pouring from my forehead as I tried to force a light bulb to go on over my head. Lori looming over me with a waggling finger and dialogue clouds filled with gibberish like that ominous-sounding teacher from the Charlie Brown, Peanuts, comic.

Bwa bwa bwa bwa bwa!

Anyone who knows Lori knows she would never loom over anyone and waggle a finger at them. She’s more likely to sit beside you with a bright smile, coherent dialogue clouds filled with creative suggestions, helping to find inspiration. Then, it hit me why the image popped into my head in the first place. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a couple of Charlie Brown comics I’d taped on my filing cabinet.  The teacher was “talking” to Charlie Brown in one.  The other showed Snoopy sitting on top of his dog house slaving away at his typewriter, his ever-present editor belittling his work. I can so relate to that sometimes. My own internal editor can be so nasty!

After a brief giggle at Lori’s expense – sorry, Lori! – I realized I was surrounded by all of my favorite things.  For the first time in my adult life, I actually have a place that is uniquely mine.  Anyone who’s raised children knows it can be difficult to maintain any sense of individuality.  We’re focused on the family interests and, often, individual needs are set aside. You know the saying if you’re a nerd like me…the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

There’s nothing wrong with that.  We compromise where we must to ensure our family is safe, healthy and happy. The point I wanted to make is that now, for the first time, I’m actually looking at what makes me happy.  I’ve surrounded myself with my favorite things.  Everything in this room feeds my soul, my creativity, without considering anyone else.

I love my bright, new office.  It’s become one of my favorite rooms in the house. That may not sound all that “inspiring” but if you’d spent as many years as I have jamming office space into a spare hole in the house, you’d understand. Once, I spent more than a year in the dark hole of a windowless garage with a car and hot tub at my back. There was enough room for a desk and chair, one overhead light on a pull chain, and no heat or air conditioning.  Hot summer days would chase me into the house, but the frigid winters were worse. Typing with a coat and gloves on is no fun at all!  My writing career nearly ground to a halt that year.

When the last of my children left home a year ago, I finally realized my dream. A large office of my own, with lots of windows and sunlight. I’m currently painting the walls a rich Emperor Gold that will provide a beautiful backdrop to the oriental paintings and panels I plan to hang.  I haven’t had a place to display the beautiful and unusual Asian pieces I received recently from a family estate.  They aren’t expensive pieces, mind you, but they speak to my soul in ways I can’t begin to quantify.

Maybe it’s the Asian appeal but I also love dragons.  I’ve filled one long window ledge with my dragon collection.  Some pewter. Some intricately carved. All inspirational.  They fill me with joy every time I glance up from my work and look at them.

The only other thing I collect is music. I do my best work with music filling my head. I have favorite genres and artists for each task, and it’s an eclectic mix.

For instance, story ideas often come to me when I’m listening to country as I conduct business, answer emails, talk on Twitter and Facebook, etc.  Recently, I heard a song on the radio that inspired a scene for one of the later books in my Thorne’s Thorns romantic suspense series.  I’m not nearly ready to write Killing Promise, but I did take the time to write that scene so I didn’t lose it. That hero is now a living, breathing character in my head waiting patiently – okay, not so patiently – for his story.

When I’m writing, I can’t have music with lyrics. Singing in a foreign language isn’t a problem though so I have a number of Josh Groban CDs.  I throw Shakira into the speakers when I want to shake up <g> my mood.  The only English singers that don’t seem to drag me out of my zone are Enya or the lead singer for Nickleback.

My absolute favorite musician – and he has been my “go to” artist for some time – is Roni Benise.  He’s a Spanish flamenco guitarist with some of the most romantic, inspiring music I’ve ever heard.  I have all of his CDs copied to my iTunes so the moment I sit down to write, I click the top of the list and allow him to pour out of my stereo speakers and into my heart for the next few hours.  I love writing to Benise.  He’s filling my head right now. Wish I could share him with you!

I have a number of other favorites: Angela Dubeau (violinist), Nicholas Gunn, Rob Dougan, Santana, Secret Garden (New Age), Suzanne Ciani (pianist), and Yanni (New Age), and Rachmaninoff (classical).  I recently discovered Apocalyptica, a group of “metal” cellists. They are my music of choice now when I write an action or dangerous scene. Their music is so rich and primal.
You’re probably wondering how I can ever leave my office since all of my favorite things are here. To tell the truth, I do have a hard time turning me down and rejoining the real world. I’ve been known to spend 14-16 hours a day here when my schedule demands are heavy or when I’m really cooking on my current project. But it’s not nearly as bad as that sounds. All I have to do is refocus on my surrounding, take a few moments to drink in the sights and sounds of my favorite things, and I’m golden.

Thanks, Lori, for inviting me to your blog. Sharing my favorite things with you and your readers has been a pleasure! I’m inspired now to turn on some Shakira and shimmy my way to the paint can to finish painting my walls…just as soon as Benise stops moving my fingers over this keyboard.

Before I go though, I’d love to share one more favorite thing with your readers. I published my favorite contemporary romance, SATIN PLEASURES, on Valentine’s Day. It’s a tender, funny, and spicy (not erotic) story about Tess Emory, a woman determined to make her life a success and right the wrongs of her past, no matter the costs. Dan McDonald knows from experience that the price is too high. Can love balance the spreadsheet? One lucky commenter will receive a free digital (PDF) copy of the book and find out. Happy reading!

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