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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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?!?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers