Saturday, August 30, 2008
Like Dark Thirst before it, Dark Hunger, Book Two in The Brethren Series, has earned 5 out of 5 Angels and a Recommended Read designation from Fallen Angel Reviews. "Kudos to Ms. Reinke for another amazing read" proclaims reviewer Bella. "The suspense is taut throughout the story...from the first page until the mind-blowing conclusion." Read the entire review here.
Friday, August 29, 2008
The Wild Sight by Loucinda McGary is a tale consisting of everything you could possibly want from Ireland. A romance, cozy mystery, paranormal all wrapped up into one nice neat package that will entertain you from the first page to the very end. A dapper dashing hero ensnared in intrigue, murder, and hauntings from past and the present must prove himself to all and theirs.
Donovan O'Shea is about as handsome as they come, smart, pleasant and he has the Sight. Plagued from his early years with this gift, his imaginary friends were really true in his eyes. A gift inherited from his Mum, little did he know that it would be the bane of his existence as the years moved on. Donovan is about as Irish as you can get and has a lilting brogue that will caress you like a lover's kiss.
Rylie Powell is a sensually beautiful American in search of her roots of heritage. A woman on a mission, she is bound and determined to find the father she hasn't seen since she was five years old. Rylie has two weeks with little but a birth certificate and a photo to go on but luckily for her she has patience.
Poor Donovan having left Ireland for the States years prior is once again in his homeland and having to face the demons of his past. His da's property is part of an archaeological dig with items being found that date back to the Romans. As Donovan prepares to sell the property that once belonged to his family, an unlikely discovery of a body halts everything. As if that's not bad enough, he is suddenly plagued with a woman who claims to be his half sister. A persistent, luscious American woman that instantly stirs his blood to the boiling point. Talk about Luck of The Irish!!
Rylie, having just arrived in Ireland tracks down whom she believes is her long lost father only to find out that he has had a stroke and is in a hospital some miles away from where he was living. She does however find a tall, strikingly handsome man she believes to be her half brother, but how can that truly be as he stokes the fires in her blood as easily as a witch stirs a cauldron. She ogles his behind thinking of what a nice set of buns he has and it's just her luck that she should be of the same lineage. Darn that Luck of The Irish!!
A body buried some forty years prior and a current murder set our duo out on wild goose chase all around the country side while they try and find the truth of Rylie's parentage. But things are most certainly not what they seem which leads them to question what the body has to do with them that was found on Donovan's families estate. Being caught in unforeseeable predicaments creates sparks that will ignite passions that our characters find too hard to control.
Our author has given us a story rich in history, Irish lingo, scary settings and fantastically imaginative other worldly characters that all interact with our hero and heroine with such ease that it's like putting on a pair of soft comfy slippers. A romance with punch. A cozy mystery that will make you think twice about going out in the dark. A storyline that will most certainly entertain you from the first page to the last and have you sputtering Irish words long after the book ends.
Line of Scrimmage by Marie Force is not only a fantastic read for the romance fan but also for the female sports fan. I found this story ripe with emotion, steadfast with passion and downright endearing. Ladies hold onto your hats cause this Line of Scrimmage is full of secret game plays.
Susannah Sanderson is a stunning blond who's had her fill of a one sided relationship. Marriage to a football superstar is marriage to the team and for Susannah it seems to be taking more than she can give.
Ryan Sanderson is superstar quarterback with three Superbowl wins under his belt but his ten years of marriage aren't quite getting him the awards that he needs. More money than he could possibly ever spend, good looks enough to snag any woman he wants, leaves this jock with happiness in his fantasy world and trouble in his real world.
Henry Merrill is an overly possessed, back stabbing creep who is so in love with Susannah that he sits on the sidelines waiting for his chance to pick up the pieces of her life as it shatters with her separation and upcoming divorce from her husband. Like a leach he sucks his way into her life and into a promise of marriage as soon as the divorce is final.
The story starts us out with Susannah and Henry having a dinner party with his parents to discuss their upcoming wedding. They have a short four weeks before they will be husband and wife and the only thing that can possibly go wrong is Susannah's court date in ten days. All is going well until her estranged husband decides to throw a money wrench into all of Susannah's carefully laid plans by showing up and saying, "Honey I'm home".
Ryan, Susannah and Henry immediately are in conflict over Ryan's presence and there is not a thing that can be done about it as the house still legally belongs to both Susannah and Ryan. Henry is put on the back burner so to speak for the immediate future and sparks of tension, anger and passion fly around our divorcing couple like flies around a rotten banana.
As the story plays out Ryan and Susannah go on a roller coaster ride of blackmail, love and anger, tears and laughter, trust and distrust, pain and sorrow, danger, unbelievable patience and devotion to bring them into a state of questioning possibilities.
Our author has given us an insightful look into true love, passion and undying devotion. She has given us a wonderful back story of team playing with football as it basis. I truly found it uncanny that the story back line is so close to my own beloved New England Patriots and the accomplishments that come with hard work and even harder struggles.
Our characters are totally believable in every situation thrown to them and the intensity of the story grabs us on page one and carries us to the very last page without a blink of the eye. A must read that will not disappoint even the most finicky romance reader.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tighten The Screws Until It Hurts.
Hey, is there anyone else out there like me? I’ve always seen my life and the lives that other people live as worlds apart. Like they’re out there smooth sailing while I seem to hit every bump in the road and then some. I’ll take a four hour slice of my day for an example.
(Mind you, I am on a killer deadline, I leave for a conference tomorrow and have nothing prepared for it, I have a kid home sick, the house is in the middle of being repainted, and hurricane-now storm--Faye has sat over my house for three days, pouring buckets of rain.)
Now back to my day…
I’m furiously typing along on Bride of the Wolf (Book 4 in the Shadowmen Series 5/09), digging deep for how a blind, injured Blood Hunter from the spirit world who is chained in a dungeon will save my heroine from the damning fangs of a Vladarian Vampire-and his other penetrating thing we won’t mention now-when the phone rings AGAIN, jerking me from my writing focus that I’m already clinging to with my fingernails. No, it’s not the cable company, the charity drive, the political poll, or a chatty family member, it’s my daughter this time.
She’s had a tire blowout on then interstate. Thankfully she was at an off ramp as was able to get mostly out of danger. My husband is on a major conference call, so I nab my son out of the shower and we hop in the car, heading to the rescue. Reaching my daughter, we find her precariously stuck mostly off the roadway, but not quite with a ditch yawning to her right.
"Why didn’t you pull further down, all the way off the road?"
"The car won’t go. It’s stuck"
"The car won’t go?"
The car wouldn’t go. We put our city minded heads together and finally realize we can put the car into 4-wheel drive. So my son gets behind the wheel and we follow with flashers blinking until we move the fifty yards to a pull off where the tire can be safely changed. Along the way, bits and pieces of metal are falling off the flat tire and there’s loud screeching. I’m thinking OMG, what’s wrong with the car. It’s only a few years old, nowhere near as old as the car that the axle broke on last year. We get the tire off and discover the wheel rim thingy that the tire goes on had completely broken apart. To make along story short, 5 auto stores and 2 dealerships, and 4 hours later we get the part we need and put the spare tire on. What happened, you ask?
Screws. A screw didn’t get tightened as tight as it needed to be, vibrated out, and everything went to hell in hand basket. (By the way, this happens when you’re writing a book. If you don’t tighten the screws on your characters and dig deep for the conflict, making them hurt, then your story kind of falls apart like the wheel did and you have to spend hours running around, rewriting) Back to the wheel now. You see, with all of the changes in the economy, my DH (dear hubby) as been on a money saving campaign, a good thing, but---the brakes on the car needed doing a few weeks ago and to save money he and my sons did the job. Invariably my husband was called back to another business call and he left my oldest son in charge of finishing up the job. Which if he’d ever done the job before might have been fine, but he was new at this and likely didn’t realize he needed to tighten the screws until it hurt. Thus the brake mechanism loosened and rubbed the wheel until it fell apart.
This all brings me to the original title of my post, which was Kiss Him or Kill Him. (We won’t bring my DH into that equation at the moment.) where I was going to tell you about my heroine’s dilemma in Kiss of Darkness (Book 3 of the Shadowmen Series 4/09). The hero, an ex-special ops soldier, has been bitten by a vampire that puts his soul on a fast track to hell. He is determined to take as many bad asses with him. Only one problem, he’s in love with a woman with secrets who won’t let him go. As he battles the evil side, he has to fight the darkness growing inside him or he’ll condemn her to share his doomed fate. Little does he know that the heroine is a real angel with a big problem-- if she can’t save the hero then she’ll have to kill him, just as she had to kill her vampire bitten husband six years ago.
So, is anyone else’s life like that? Not the Kiss Him or Kill Him vampire thing, but other part?
Let me know!
Who are your favorite characters on which authors have "tightened the screws until it hurts"? At the end of the day I will give away three books. Touch a Dark Wolf, Lure of the Wolf. Silken Shadows.
Jennifer St. Giles
Touch A Dark Wolf Book 1 of the Shadowmen Series
Lure of the Wolf Book 3 of the Shadowmen Series.
Other Books: The Mistress of Trevelyan, His Dark Desire, Midnight Secrets, Darkest Dreams, Silken Shadows.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
So the other night I sat down and looked at one of my to-be-read piles and picked out Christina Dodd’s SCENT OF DARKNESS. This is the first book in her paranormal Darkness Chosen series…and over a year old. This despite the fact that Dodd is an auto read for me. Sigh. Yes, I’m waaaay behind in my tbr pile. But as I’d figured SCENT OF DARKNESS was a wonderful read and the next morning I skipped off to my local book store to find the second book in the series, TOUCH OF DARKNESS.
They were out.
No problem, I thought, I’ll try the big box book store in town.
Okaaaay. How about the other big box book store?
By this time I was getting slightly obsessive. When my critique partner and I made a road trip up to Chicago, we stopped to do some drive-by signings (run in, sign our books, run out again.) I knew I was in trouble when I automatically started looking in the D’s (for Dodd) instead of the H’s (for Hoyt) at each store. Four more stores didn’t have the book. At this point I was beginning to think I’d hallucinated the title. Every store had a whole shelf of Dodd’s back list, including the three other books in the Darkness Chosen series. I began compulsively looking at the front of her paranormal books, each of which listed TOUCH OF DARKNESS as the second book in the series.
Fortunately for my sanity (and that of my critique partner) the fifth store had TOUCH OF DARKNESS. I did a found-the-book victory dance that would’ve seriously embarrassed my teenagers had they been there and ran to the front to buy the book, feeling like I was clutching pure gold.
Which brings me to my own series. You see my current release, TO TASTE TEMPTATION is the first book in a four-book series, The Legend of the Four Soldiers. It occurred to me, somewhere in the midst of frantically trying to find Dodd’s second book, that if my readers are anywhere near as obsessed by my books as I was by Dodd’s series, I’ll be a very happy camper indeed.
Here’s one of the blurbs on Amazon.com for TO TASTE TEMPTATION:
The ton loves nothing more than a good scandal, and they're giddy with the appearance of wealthy Samuel Hartley. Not only is he self-made, American, and in the habit of wearing moccasins, but he is also notorious for fleeing a battle in which several English gentlemen lost their lives. What the ton doesn't know, though, is that Samuel is in London because of this massacre. He believes his regiment was given up to the enemy and won't rest until he finds the traitor.
Lady Emeline Gordon is captivated with Samuel. Not only does he defy convention with his unusual dress, his sensual smile, and his forthright manner, but he survived the battle that killed her beloved brother. Samuel suspects that the person responsible for her brother's death is Jasper Renshaw, Viscount Vale, a family friend since childhood--and Emeline's fiance. Despite Emeline's belief in Vale's innocence and her refusal to break off her betrothal, she and Samuel begin a passionate affair. But can their relationship survive the fallout from Samuel's investigation?
Notice how the blurb sneaks in mention of some guy named Vale? Yeah, he’s the hero of the second book in the series, TO SEDUCE A SINNER. Fortunately, I’ve already received reader mail about Vale (some of it on the first day the book was out!) so I think he’ll probably do all right in his own book when it comes out this November.
So tell me what series you’re following…and what book you’d go to eight different book stores to look for! I’ll pick one person from the comments column to win an autographed copy of THE RAVEN PRINCE.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Welcome Sara Reinke to Yankee Romance Reviewers. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us today.
Hi, Terra! It's fantastic to be here, and I'm really looking forward to chatting with you.
Terra: How did you ever come up with the concept of a Vampire Clan on a compound setting with strict rigged rules?
Sara: I grew up in what's called the "Bluegrass" region of Kentucky, which is pretty much the heart of the Thoroughbred horse-racing industry. Because of that, there are lots of horse farms, and many of them are gorgeous, sprawling, expansive estates that line little country highways and byways for miles, nothing but rolling acres of lush green grass and white slat fences. I always wondered about the kind of people who owned these farms, and imagined that a person could spend their entire life hidden away in a place like that and no one in the outside world would ever be the wiser. So that's where the original concept of the Brethren as an isolated sect, segregated from humans, developed. A lot of their social structure is loosely based on both wolf packs in the wild and the polygamous religious sects you often see making headlines in the news. To me, their social isolation and patriarchal dominance made them the perfect model for Brethren society.
Terra: I noticed that you have used handicapped characters, do you think this will have a more sympathetic audience and why?
Sara: When I began writing "Dark Thirst," the first book in the Brethren Series, I didn't consciously set out to write disabled characters--I have simply always imagined Brandon as deaf and mute, the same as I've always pictured him with dark hair and dark eyes. The same thing with Rene, the hero in "Dark Hunger," who is an above-knee amputee. I'm not going to incorporate a character with a disability into every story I write necessarily, because then it DOES become a cliche, just a plot device I'm using. As far as making the characters more sympathetic to the reader, I don't know if it's the disabilities that necessarily do that, but I think that in each instance, both with Brandon and Rene, having them be disabled gives the reader a more instant emotional investment in them. I've had readers tell me specifically they thought having a deaf and mute hero was a new and novel idea (pardon the pun), and I'd say that most people identified with Brandon rather than pitied him for his disability, which was, of course, my intention. :)
Terra: Was the Grandfather a hard character to detail?
Sara: He can be. He's more multi-faceted than is initially revealed, and I hope that in future books, readers will learn more about him, why he is the way he is ,what his motivations are. Don't get me wrong. He's not going to turn out to be some fuzzy-bunny-loving sweetheart giving warm hugs and what-not. He is, for lack of a less colorful term, a sadistic asshole. But I hate to have any character be so flat and one-dimensional, because real people aren't like that. Events and circumstances shape all of us, and Augustus Noble has had more than 300 years of influence -- good, bad and indifferent -- to shape and sculpt the personality he presents in the Brethren Series. And he has great hair. I try to make that clear throughout the books. The man has godforsakenly gorgeous hair.
Terra: You are really creative to have come up with the brutal abuse that you have in the books, did it have any effect on your sleeping after writing one of these scenes?
Sara: How horrible does it sound to say no? LOL. OK, kidding aside, yes, some of the descriptions of what Brandon endures during his time among the Brethren can be graphic, but I wanted to really convey to the reader not only his desperation to flee his home, but WHY. And I also want the readers to understand what will happen to Brandon -- what he and they, in turn -- can expect if he's hunted down and captured when he finally does escape. I want the severity of his plight, the truly frightening gravity of his situation to be established upfront and from the beginning -- no holds barred -- so that the reader is immediately caught up in Brandon's motivations, his journey in the book.
Terra: How do you feel people, especially woman, will react to the cruelty, illegal immigrants, and handicap people in the books?
Sara: So far, reaction from readers has been extremely positive. Folks have been very receptive of Brandon and Rene. The descriptions of violence against Brandon have seemed to have the effect I'd intended for them -- as mentioned above, to help the reader understand Brandon's situation, motivation and determination.
Terra: I know you are excited about Dark Hunger and release day so how will you not drive yourself crazy with anticipation as it draws nearer?
Sara: Luckily, I have a full-time job and two small kids, so my days are pretty much filled up from dawn until dusk, thus not leaving me much time to get impatient, LOL. Trying to keep on top of all of my ongoing and upcoming promotional efforts during free moments helps as well, and if that's not enough, I'm working on a new, un-Brethren-related paranormal story idea. Writing is definitely my most effective and enjoyable distraction.
Terra: Will you have any more Brethren Series Books coming out? You have so many more characters that you could write about that's why I ask.
Sara: I sincerely hope so! A third book in the series is currently under consideration with my editor, so I'll keep you posted. The version he's looking at is the third incarnation I've submitted to him. He seems very much amenable to the idea of another book, which is fantastic, so hopefully the old adage will prove true: "The third time's the charm!"
Terra: You gave Dark Hunger a really serious Punch in the Stomach so to speak in the end, how do you feel about it? Do you feel guilty about what happened? No spoiler here please!
Sara: Honestly, no. When I started that book, I knew three things were going to happen in it: (1) Rene and Tessa were going to fall in love; (2) All of them were going to eat at The Burger Lounge in South Lake Tahoe in a scene in the book (because that's a real place, the restaurant my brother-in-law owns, in fact, LOL) and (3) What happens in the end happens. No spoilers. But I knew it all along.
Thanks so much Sara for such a wonderful interview!!
You're welcome, Terra! Thank YOU for taking the time to read and review my books!
Okay everyone, now for the prize giveaway. Sara has sent me a nice little package of goodies that will go to one winner at the end of the day. Prize package consists of a signed copy of Dark Thirst, a signed ARC copy of Dark Hunger, a folder that has a picture of Rene on it, a set of bookmarks, a 2008 magnetic calendar, a magnet with Rene's photo, 2 different size postcards of Dark Hunger, and a cover plate of Dark Hunger.
What do you have to do for this, hmm........just ask Sara a question. I will pick a winner at the end of the day.
F.Y.I - Sara will be back with us on Tuesday September 2nd for a Guest Blog release party. Dark Hunger will be making it's debut everywhere so make sure and stop by for the party.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Today's Sunday Honey is the Rain Man! I think the picture speaks for itself about what a little water and a buff hunka hunka man can do.
Just for something a wee bit different, would you prefer a delicious specimen like photographed here or would you prefer someone more down to earth?
My experience with hunka hunka men is they are a wee bit conceited and so far into themselves that their heads are so far up their butts that they don't really see the outside world for what it is.
So my question for today is, if you had your choice of character from your favorite book to have a down and dirty fun time with or an average Joe with a heart of gold, who would you pick?
For my answer I would have to say Bones would be my down and dirty but don't think I would want a permanent relationship with him. Think I would stick with my average Joe with a heart of gold for life long love and passion.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Phoebe Jordan - A Thief In A Kilt from Sandy Blair
Slayermel - Tender Is The Knight from Jackie Ivie
Lemonitsa - Wait Till Your Vampire Gets Home from Michele Bardsley
Cathy - Bond of Darkness from Diane Whiteside
Daelith - 50 Ways To Hex Your Lover from Linda Wisdom
Cheesygiraffe - 50 Ways To Hex Your Lover from Linda Wisdom
Lemonitsa - 50 Ways To Hex Your Lover from Linda Wisdom
Wendy - Sea Witch from Virginia Kantra
Catslady - Call of the Highland Moon from Kendra Leigh Castle
Daelith - Call of the Highland Moon from Kendra Leigh Castle
Marge - Girl's Guide To Witchcraft from Mindy Klasky
May - Sorcery and The Single Girl from Mindy Klasky
Ali - Autographed book from Candace Havens
Dark Hunger by Sara Reinke was as delicious as the first book in the series but this one was more romance than its previous installment. All the emotions at play in this book will have you wondering if you you should laugh, cry, shove your proverbial foot in your mouth, die of embarrassment or just continue to grind your teeth in frustration at not being able to get to the next page fast enough.
Rene Morin is Cajun, part human, part vampire, all raw sexual male and kick him in the ass stubborn to a T. He has more money than he or his heirs could ever hope to spend, a mouth that doesn't know when to shut itself and a slight drinking problem.
Tessa Noble Davenant is full vampire, extremely beautiful, pregnant, and in a whole lot of trouble with her family. She is on the run now trying to protect her twin brother from a prominent family of vampires that are out for his skin. If sticks and stones can break your bones, I would truly hate to see what stares and sharp words could do coming from Tessa's sharp tongue.
Our story starts off right where we left off in the first book of the series, Dark Thirst. Brandon, Lina, Rene and Tessa all find themselves running for their lives from the Brethren, a prominent family of vampires. The Elders with the Grandfather leading them are hot on our escapee's tracks. Not only that but we also have Tessa's husband even closer and poor Tessa if he should be able to get his hands on her.
The first book was more about the family itself and then Brandon and Lina. This second book is more about Rene and Tessa with sections of the others put in here and there. The back story referring to the first book is prominent in places but only as needed to jog your memory of what or why this should or could be happening. I found the writing to be very smooth and the storyline very intense.
Our author has given us another jewel of a story that will have you drooling, crying, laughing, cursing, anticipation so great that sitting on the edge of your seat just might have you falling on the floor. A story of love, friendship, happiness, sadness, betrayal, secrets galore, intensely powerful actions scenes that will have you holding your breath in utter fear and sexual scenes that will leave you drooling and wanting for some of your own. Honey I don't have a headache tonight! (evil smile)
One final thought is this story left me completely stunned with its ending. It has such a twist that I did not in any way see what was going to happen coming and boy did it hit me hard. Kudo's Sara for surprising me so.
Dark Thirst by Sara Reinke is a hidden jewel in the Paranormal World. This novel should be on every Paranormal Lover's TBR or Wishlist. It is surprisingly different, action packed, cruel, loving and just plain all around fantastic that I for one cannot put this book down.
Angelina (Lina) Jones is beautiful, smart as a whip, stubborn, lithe and a police officer. She is your average unbelieving human until life's reality crashes in on her. Lina is also African American which adds so much character to the storyline.
Brandon Noble is outrageously handsome, smart, strong, deaf and mute. Coming from a prominent Kentucky family that also happen to be vampires carries a lot of danger and risk. Having been cruelly abused sets Brandon on a task of being completely different than the rest of his family.
Our story starts out on a Kentucky Thoroughbred Horse farm with different clans of a prominent family all working together in a compound type setting. Not only do they raise horses but they make the best Whisky anywhere to be found. They are all hardworking and compliant and that is what makes this family who they are.
The Grandfather as he is referred to is the leader of this mighty family and is the most brutal, abusive and lethal of the clans. He is the prominent alpha male vampire in every sense of the word and someone I personally wouldn't even want to be on his good side let alone his bad side. Whew!!!
What I found so intriguing in this storyline is the fact that these vampires live a life in the style of an Amish family. Clans living together on the same land working together for the good of the whole. Some men have only one wife, some have several but what is so critical at the moment is the high infant mortality rate and the low conception rate of the families. This twist on the normal vampire storyline is amazing to say the least.
A chain of events so desperate, heart wrenching, frightening and fanatical start when Brandon escapes from the compound and makes a run for freedom so that his life can be his own and so unlike what he has grown up with. He seeks love, kindness, caring and knowledge, knowing that whatever out there in the unknown world has to be better than what he has been taught to believe. His meeting Lina will set so many emotions in play and challenge everything that he is.
Our author has taken a paranormal species and set them into such a astoundingly different life style than what we have seen and made this an action packed love story with the most profoundly horrific and brutal reality. A story of love, friendship, trust, betrayal, unbridled fury, abuse so horrific that you want to scream out loud with the characters pain. Kudo's Sara for such a beautiful jewel of a story that can only make other's weep with envy. I so cannot wait for Dark Hunger.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Color me silly but I want a hero to have to chase a heroine to ground, or see a heroine long for a man she can’t/or shouldn’t have for whatever reason and then watch her struggle.
I want to be there when heroines and heroes come to the realization that their lives will be poorer should they give in to their fears--or external forces--and that giving up on the chase would mean losing half of themselves. I want to be there when they say to themselves, "I don’t care what it takes. We love each other and will be together."
Perhaps this is why the "chase" is at the heart of the stories I write.
Am I being greedy wanting a compelling plot and the chase? What are you looking for when you open a Romance? Sandy will be giving away a hardbound, autographed copy of A THIEF IN A KILT.
Holy….cow! (OK. Maybe it was a bleep word I used. But that was my first reaction to reading Terra’s review.) Then a...Wow! --Complete with shivers. (That’s a continual reaction.) Wow again. This is better than dreams! From the opening line of that review, I was stunned:
“…heart pounding, mouth watering, finger licking fantastic read…” Dang! (yet another reaction.) Thrilled. Wowed. Stunned. Still.
And there’s the really big secret about this one...
A KNIGHT WELL SPENT is a heart-initiated story; the kind of book that has so much emotion and passion and heart that it literally weeps it. (As did I. Ok…sometimes I was sobbing because I was stuck and everybody was in such turmoil and couldn’t move until I started typing again, but it was still traumatic). I am so not the “plotter” type. I can’t even tell you what might transpire in my stories. I’m shocked at some of the things that come out of my keyboard - shocked. You can probably surmise I’m a disaster at writing a synopsis - but has that stopped me? Heck no. I’ve written almost twenty books so far. I haven’t managed to interest a publisher in 2/3 of them. Some of them are unpublished (and deservedly so), but there's one truly fine book...my second. It's titled LOVE’S TRUE REVENGE and is one of the unpublished ones. It’s a great medieval story….set around 1066, immediately following the Battle of Hastings, all about a Norman knight and a Saxon maiden (who turn out to be closely related) and their trials and tribulations (tons of tons of both), there’s a really evil bad guy (really evil), a castle (there’s always a castle in my books), a pageant, a joust, a couple of fights, a kidnapping, another fight – this time to the death, a medieval fair, some psychic things happening, some bondage…I’m telling you, if I could put a plot device into that book, it’s in there. But I knew it was a fantastic book, (somewhere in there, anyway) and it deserved to be re-done. (It still does). That being the case, I’d started a re-write. Oh…I wasn’t far along, but I was working on it occasionally. (OK. I confess. I was on page 27. I had one chapter and a good start on chapter two, but it was already a different book than it had started, and that’s not what was supposed to happen, anyway.)
So. There it was, 2004. February. I had just said the most hideous joke-thing to a major New York editor, (to her face, mind you – and no, I’m not telling), but I was dead certain my agent was going to cancel my contract and tell me to take a hike. Dead certain. I was so sure I’d single-handedly annihilated my chances at publication that I panicked. It’s a Jackie Ivie trait, BTW: Panicking. That…and sticking my foot in my mouth. Oh…and other things, like pondering all of the things that could go wrong. Worrying. You know…writer stuff.
Anyway, my panic then mutated into my other Jackie Ivie trait…complete and total optimism. That particular February – after sticking my foot in my mouth with that editor - I panicked. So the moment I got home, I sent the chapter and a half of my rewrite to my agent and asked her what she thought. (Because I thought I wrote great opening scenes, and you have to whet their appetite – right?). And, of course I said it was finished and she could have it at any time. (It was technically true, and I was going on the premise that if anyone wanted my stuff, then by gosh I’d have it in the mail so fast they’ll never even notice the postal dates. Complete and total optimism! That’s me.)
You can probably guess what happened.
Life went on…and I completely forgot about A KNIGHT WELL SPENT. I got a call - and had to sit down before I fell there. Kensington Publishing wanted my first book. (Wow.) LADY OF THE KNIGHT would debut later in 2004 – and they wanted another one, too. (!!!) So, I sent them TENDER IS THE KNIGHT. (It was an easy choice. It was already written...ten years earlier. It WAS set in Scotland - which was my only contractural obligation). And then there comes this really l-o-n-g waiting period (incredibly long) between getting the cover-flat and actually having it wrapped around pages…and during that time frame I started worrying. I was checking bookstore shelves and online shops, and I started noticing little things...like other writers had books that were related. (Gulp) Their books were in the same style and setting (crap. They were in the same century). They were doing SERIES with their books. (I have still not figured out how to do that – although my next book is a definite attempt on THE KNIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.).
I worried about this (and other things) and then as deadline time approached, I panicked - in true Jackie Ivie fashion. I was down to the wire before I had an epiphany. I could send another medieval. I had one. It wasn’t exactly related (or a sequel), it wasn’t set in Scotland, nobody had Scot dialect in their speech…but hey! It did match the style of my first one. And bonus! It was written. (Sort of). But I’d already made that deal with myself that if anyone wanted it, I’d get it done - it can't be that hard. (Man! Was that ever optimistic).
So I got some paper and toner, took a week off my day job, hit the keyboard…and for the next magical eight days (eight days!), I was living the life of Rhoenne and Aislynn. I LIVED it. There is no other word. I’m so glad my family spared me from any photos of that time because I don’t remember much beyond Rhoenne and Aislynn. Aislynn and Rhoenne. Oh…there was Montvale. And Rosie. But always, in my world, there were those star-crossed lovers, Rhoenne and Aislynn. And they were going through so much! I typed. And I typed. I laughed. I drank coffee. I thrilled. I stuffed some food in my mouth. I went back to typing. I played Free Cell. (My particular addiction while I wait for the next bit of inspiration to hit). I listened to heavy metal rock. (And I mean HEAVY. Korn. Nine Inch Nails. James Dio. Disturbed) I took naps. I sobbed. Thrilled again. Drank some more coffee. Typed some more. Napped. Stuffed something else in my mouth. I might have showered. I might have even put my contacs in occasionally. I might have gotten dressed. Then again…I might not have. I disremember. When I think back on it, I still can’t believe it.
I finished A KNIGHT WELL SPENT eight days after I sat at the keyboard - from page 27. It was the most incredible experience of my life. (Still is). When it was done I had goose bumps roving everywhere and was moved easily to tears. (I cried at everything for a bit). I'm under threat of a doctor if I try something that insane ever again. But for some reason…A KNIGHT WELL SPENT is special. It wasn’t perfect. I had to toss out 15,000 words of dialogue and unnecessary back-story to make it work, but there’s just something about that story that makes it special. It has a spark behind it that just makes me thrill when I read it. I still can’t believe it or explain it.
According to Terra, A KNIGHT WELL SPENT is: “Lusty, action packed, intriguing, deceitful, heart wrenching and down right luscious…”
I’m telling you…receiving reviews like that is awe-inspiring. The entire thing is. I can’t wait for October so I can hold the real book in my hands and relive every moment of that incredible week and a day. Again.
**Whew! As my dad always did say: “Jack, (he always called me Jack, too) you sure are wordy”. What can I say? He knew me well.
Jackie will be giving away a signed copy of "Tender is the Knight" to one lucky winner picked from those who leave a comment for her.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Book Bloggers: You work hard. You read books, you write reviews, you maintain relationships with your readers, publicists, and authors. You are constantly running to the post office to mail your giveaways and participating in carnivals to help boost traffic. You sometimes want to faint when you see the size of your TBR pile, but faithfully you read. And you do it because you love it. Book blogging is for most a hobby. But it's a hobby that takes a lot of work and time. It's a labor of love.
I've been blogging for three years but only really got into book blogging in the last year. I have found, without a doubt, that book bloggers are the kindest, most open minded, and supportive group of bloggers on the internet. With book blogging, it's about community and a love for the written word.
The Readers: We love you! You don't have a blog, but you read our reviews and share your thoughts with us. You enter our giveaways and click on our Amazon associates link. We do this for you and appreciate your readership. We hope you'll join in the fun and festivities of BBAW! (we'll have a special contest just for you!)
Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Acknowledging the hard work of book bloggers and their growing impact on book marketing and their essential contribution to book buzz in general, I am excited to announce the first Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Think of it as a retreat for book bloggers and a chance for us to totally nerd out over books together. And of course, shower each other with love and appreciation.
Register: In order to experience the maximum impact of the week, I invite you to register your participation (just like a retreat)!
To register, just send an email to bookbloggerappreciationweekATgmailDOTcom with your blog url and what you consider your niche...i.e, general book blog, classics blog, personal blog with a healthy dose of books, YA books blog, etc. Then, add one of the two buttons at the bottom of this post to your sidebar. If you are a reader (no blog) just send an email announcing your plans to follow along.
Why bother? If you register, you will be added to a book blog directory which will exist long after this week is over. Additionally, you will receive one raffle entry into the daily giveaways during BBAW here at My Friend Amy.
Awards: Oh yes, there will be awards. The Oscars of Book Blogging. :) Nominations start next week.
Spread the Word: If you are excited about this idea like I am and the other book bloggers who are helping, please consider writing a post on your blog announcing this event and inviting other book bloggers and readers to join.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The second novel, Don’t Talk Back to Your Vampire, is about town librarian Eva LeRoy, proud single mother of a fifteen-year-old daughter. She’s unaccountably attracted to her … well, murderer … Lorcan O'Halloran. Lor's a former Druid who can't forgive himself for past misdeeds. And he can't stay away from Eva, especially when he's the only one who can protect her from the unknown evil encroaching Broken Heart's borders.
Because Your Vampire Said So is the third book. Divorcee Patsy Donahue is an undead hair stylist whose clientele has dwindled down to human donors and shaggy lycanthropes. Her sixteen-year-old son Wilson is driving her crazy, but not as much as the ghosts who want her to solve their problems. However, her biggest problem is named Gabriel Marchand--a gorgeous lycanthrope with dark secrets that could mean the death (no, really) of Patsy.
In November 2008, the fourth novel, Wait Till Your Vampire Gets Home, will hit bookstores everywhere. I thought it would be fun if the only vampire daddy, Ralph Genessa, got himself a girlfriend. I also thought … hmm, what if a paranormal investigator stumbled into Broken Heart and found herself chased by werewolves and zombies? Heh. Then there’re dragons, soul-sucking immortals, and fairies to deal with, too. Never let it be said that Broken Heart is boring.
In fact, Broken Heart is just like other small towns. The residents might be dead or furry or winged, but they’re nice and have problems just like the rest of us. And they’re looking for love … just like the rest of us. And now, I’m thrilled to give you all a sneak peek from the next exciting story in the Broken Heart series … Wait Till Your Vampire Gets Home.
WAIT TILL YOUR VAMPIRE GETS HOME
By Michele Bardsley
Oh, crap. Spying on someone in a graveyard was so wrong. But I couldn’t quite convince myself to walk away.
I was fairly close, but because my glasses were flotsam in the junk sea of my purse, I had to squint to read the inscription:
Beloved Wife and Mother
1975 - 2005
He took out a spade and starting to dig around the edge of the marble base.
The silence was ungodly. No chirping crickets, stir of little mammals, or twitter of birds. In this odd quiet, the spade rasped unpleasantly as the man thrust it into the soil and piled it nearby.
Rasp. Thud. Rasp. Thud.
Feeling more and more uncomfortable, I studied the rest of the cemetery. Tombstones were tilted, broken, or fallen. The place looked as if it had been ravaged by an earthquake. It looked old, but not uncared-for. I idly wondered what had happened to the place.
About five feet away was a lone pine tree with thickly covered branches. I shot out from my cover and raced to the pine, ducking under its flagging limbs. The needles poked at me, so I scrunched down. I was near enough to see his determined expression. He had brown hair, cut short. A nice, friendly face. Not drop-dead gorgeous, but pleasant.
I crouched next to the tree and watched him dig a narrow trench. Then he stuck the flowers in and arranged them. I don’t know why I stayed. Watching a man do this heart-wrenching work wasn’t exactly polite. I guess I just didn’t want to leave. I felt like someone needed to stand watch with him, even if he was unaware of my presence. Stupid, right?
The wind kicked up, slicing at my face like Ginsu knives. I clamped my lips together to keep my teeth from chattering.
The man finished putting the flowers together, scooped the dirt around ‘em, and patted down the soil with the flat end of the spade.
He stared at the grave and I stared at him. Something about him niggled at me. His face was a shade too pale. I couldn’t fault a guy who wasn’t into baking his skin. No, it was his utter stillness that freaked me out.
“You can come out now.” He stood up, dusted off his jeans, and turned his gaze directly to the pine tree. To me.
How had I given myself away? I knew better than just to stroll out and introduce myself. I’d learned over the years that not everything was as it seemed. He looked nice and sounded nice, but hey, so did serial killers-right until they stuck a knife to your throat.
“You are not afraid. You will come to me,” he said. His tone dropped an octave and went all seductive.
Yeah, right, Mr. Sexy Voice. I clutched the tree while my mind raced. Oh, to hell with it. I ducked out from underneath the unwieldy branches and raced toward the forest.
I heard the growls two seconds before I saw the animals issuing the threats. Two huge, pissed-off wolves raced toward me.
“Aaaaaaaaahhhh!” My scream echoed into the dense forest. Heart thumping, stomach roiling, fear prickling, I made a U-turn and ran back the other way. Their growls gave way to fierce barking.
I shot past the pine tree. He was still there! My grave-digging safety man! His puzzled expression switched to alarm. His eyes went wide and he dropped the spade, which was a good thing, because I launched myself at him.
He caught me, staggered backward, and then tried to let me go.
“Pick me up! Pick me up!” I screeched. “Save me already!”
Who’s your favorite vampire and why? Leave a comment and I’ll choose one winner to receive an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) of WAIT TILL YOUR VAMPIRE GETS HOME.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Let me tell you ladies that today's Sunday Honey was a very hard choice. I finally settled on our Chocolate Man just because of my addiction to chocolate and men!
What is so sexy about a tall, dark haired, light eyed, chin stubbled man who knows how to lick his chocolate? Any ideas? Oh I'm most positive that all of you are thinking the same thing that I am and just can't put it into words because there is so much drool dripping down your chin.
Just look at those eyes and the way he is licking his fingers. Hmm........does anyone know where the cream and cherries are?
Just for the sake of protocol let's call him Nick. He does look like a Nick doesn't he. Nah, on second thought not really. How about Magnus? Now that has possibility especially if he is a scotsman wearing only a kilt and knee high dearskin boots that are laced up the front. Imagine him standing in front of you having dipped his hand in chocolate thinking of all the naughty ways he's going to use that on you. Anyone hot now? Has your napkin turned into a bib or a large towel?
Okay now that I have your imagnation working, my question for today is, "How hot would you let our dear Magnus get you? Steamy, Boiling, Piping or Sizzling hot?
50 Ways to Hex Your Lover by Linda Wisdom was witty, wacky and wicked! All I can say is you have to sit down and enjoy this tidbit with some chocolate and a martini! Oh and don't forget the napkin cause you will most assuredly be drooling early on.
Jazz Tremaine is a witch with an attitude. Red hair and built like a brick shit house she turns heads everywhere she goes. Unfortunately for Jazz that isn't always good. Some of the male species are just plain disgusting to the core and a bag over the head, gas mask or a spell couldn't make them appealing.
Nick Gregorivich is a vampire and a damn good looking one ta boot. Sex just oozes off him and no one is immune to his charms. He does have his bad side though so being careful and watching your back is a very good idea or you'll have a hard lesson to learn if you're not careful.
Our story takes us on a journey with Nick trying his darnedest to convince Jazz to help him find a vampire serial killer. Poor Nick is so desperate that he literally stalks Jazz but Oh My, the chemical reactions that spark are sooooo worth it.
We go through a wonderfully entertaining series of events that are so off the wall that you just can't stop giggling. The characters play off of each other so nicely that the story is smooth as silk.
I really don't know who I love the most in this story. Jazz is just a PMS temperamental hoot, Irma is a character that I don't know if I could live without as she adds so much to the story, Nick is a charming, luscious, backstabbing delicious piece of eye candy and Fluff and Puff.....hmm....to say that they are so unexpected, funny, outrageous and deliciously dangerous to those they don't like is an understatement.
Oh and did I mention that Fluff and Puff are Vampire Bunny Slippers that eat like goats. Anything that goes by their faces is fair game so be wary. I can't say anymore or I would give the story away. You're just going to have to read for yourselves. (smile)
Our author has taken us on a paranormal romantic roller coaster ride of sexual tension and release that it will scorch your brows, deceit, playfully guilty innocence and just outrageous antics that you are sure to be more than entertained to the point of tears of hilarity. I cannot wait to see what comes with the next book in the series, "Hex Appeal". I'm sure I won't be disappointed.
Steve knows all about vampiros, since she has a demon lover of her own. For the past several years, Ethan Templeton has been helping her on cases when he wasn’t sharing her bed. But Steve, craving mortal motherhood, refused to get serious about the handsome vampire. Especially after she saw him kill a man she’d just arrested…
Ethan loves Steve, but he thinks nothing can come of their passion. Even if he could convince her to share his immortal life, his vampire patron, Don Rafael Perez, would execute him for transforming her.
But when the killer menaces Steve, Ethan realizes he has no choice except to risk everything. Will Steve agree to join a man she’s called murderer—or will she refuse her one chance at eternal life, lust, and love?
Friday, August 15, 2008
Weddings from Hell by various
Till Death by Maggie Shayne
I loved this story! A spooky little ghost story. Kira's great, great, great ancestor cursed the family for eternity (or until the curse could be broken). If the husband cheated on the wife, she would die at his hand and he would shortly join her in death. Kira doesn't beiieve in ghost or in curses -- or does she?
Happily Never After by Jeaniene Frost
I was especially excited to read this one because I have the first two books of a series by Jeaniene Frost and everyone tells me they are amazing. I haven't had time to read them yet, but was excited to read something by Frost. I was not disappointed. Isa's brother disappears and Robert, the mobster, tells her she has to marry him if she ever wants to see him alive. What neither of them know, grandma knows a few vampires and is not afraid to call on them for help. ummm, did I mention the vampire selected to save Isa from her loveless wedding day was really hot.... yep, Isa thought so too!
Ghoulds Night Out by Terri Garey
The heroine from "Dead Girls Are Easy" is back! Nicki Styx is called in as a replacement bridesmaid for her cousin's wedding. Seems one of the bridesmaids, Michelle, had a fight with cousin Debbie and then disappeared. When Nicki gets to town, she finds that Michelle didn't disappear on purpose, she was murdered and her ghost needs Nicki's help. Great story and lots of action. I enjoyed "Dead Girls" and was happy to find another story about Nicki. I see where Garey has continued the Nicki series with a new book out last month, "Match Made in Hell". I need to add that one to my wishlist!
The Wedding Knight by Kathryn Smith
Peyton had loved Violet for years. He had purposely stayed away because she was human, he was vampire, but he could not let her marry Rupert Villers. Villers was a member of the Order of the Silver Palm and as such, a villain of the worst kind! I enjoyed this story, though not as much as the others. It was still a very good story. Lots of hot vampire loving, which I like the hint of hot sex, not graphic detail. That is just me though. I always think it drags the story down rather than adding to it.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
If you'll send me your snail mail I'll get your books to you. Email me at email@example.com.
Okay, so an autographed book is no backrub, but I hope you'll enjoy Margred and Caleb's story!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address, and I'll pop the book in the mail to you. Anybody who didn't get a book but would like an autographed bookmark can send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to
PO Box 50357
Raleigh, NC 27650
It's been great blogging with you all. Terra, thanks for having me!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Dark Highland Fire is actually the sequel to my debut novel, Call of the Highland Moon, which was released this past May. Both involve men from the Clan MacInnes, a powerful pack of Highland werewolves who guard the legendary Stone of Destiny, which turns out to be a gateway to the mysterious otherworld of the Drakkyn. At the end of Gideon’s story, the Pack has only encountered one type of Drakkyn, a tribe of power-hungry dragon-shifters they’d rather not meet again. But in Dark Highland Fire, the Stone brings Gideon’s brother Gabriel trouble of an entirely different sort…and the most infuriatingly beautiful, frighteningly powerful woman he’s ever encountered.
And that’s where Rowan comes in. I love all of my characters dearly, but the moment she showed up and demanded to be written I knew she would be in a league of her own. She comes from the all-female Drakkyn tribe of the Dyadd Morgaine, descended directly from a goddess, and is the daughter chosen to be the next to rule by her mother, the Dyana Elara. Her looks, with her red hair and jade green eyes, match her abilities, which are all to do with fire. And her legendary beauty has drawn the attention of the dragon heir, which leads to a terrible attack and narrow escape, a stint as a stripper in a seedy joint in Reno (she finds it more boring than embarrassing), and finally, being dumped by her world-jumping brother (yes, brother…he’s a different story!) into the reluctant arms of Gabriel MacInnes. Rowan is none too happy about the idea that she needs protecting, and isn’t afraid to use both her power and her sharp tongue to let everyone know. But beneath the bluster, Rowan has a noble, loving heart. And her reaction to Gabriel scares her, in some ways, more than the dragon who is determined to have her at any cost.
I loved making Rowan a powerful, feminine force of nature. She’s an amazing dancer. She loves wearing dresses and has a weakness for shoes. But she must also, like the rest of her tribe, occasionally bite the necks of the willing to keep her power alive, and she’s been known to set things on fire when she gets angry with nothing but a flick of her fingers. Falling for a werewolf in another realm is the last thing she wants to do, but resisting Gabriel...well, I'd have a hard time with it, anyway. Even demi-goddesses have their weaknesses. Mine happen to be vanilla lattes and fighter pilots (well, one particular fighter pilot, and ten years later, he's still as yummy as any of my heroes!):-) Every one of Rowan's scenes was so much fun to write, and I really hope that everyone who reads Dark Highland Fire gets just as much enjoyment out of reading them. There’s an excerpt posted on my website, http://www.kendraleighcastle.com, so please come check it out if you’re interested!
So what are your favorite weaknesses, my fellow goddesses? I’ll be randomly choosing two commenters to receive copies of Call of the Highland Moon, so comment away! Thanks for stopping by, thanks again, Terra, and I hope everyone who reads it will enjoy Dark Highland Fire!
Monday, August 11, 2008
The trouble is, the publisher I was with at the time didn’t like the concept and even if you’ve had two midlist books published, it’s not easy for an author who’s been published in category since 1979 to find just the right home for her work. It meant a new agent who fell in love with Jazz and her fellow witches and who was willing to find just that right home for a snarky sassy witch whose bunny slippers oddly named Fluff and Puff sport razor sharp teeth and were more efficient than a garbage disposal, a cranky ghost haunting this witch’s 1956 T-Bird convertible, a mortal housemate who knows there’s odd things out there, we are talking LA after all!, but still freaks out when meeting a vampire. And not to mention said witch’s vampire ex who was once an enforcer for the vampire community and now works as a PI for the supernaturals.
I was so happy when Deb Werksman at Sourcebooks acquired 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover and wanted more books. She recognized my crazy vision about Jazz and the other witches and let me run with it. And not once has she winced!
And I’m so happy that reviewers and readers felt the same way I did about Jazz and company. Many have told me they’re looking forward to the next book, Hex Appeal, which will be out this Halloween. Look for some fan fiction contests leading up to the book’s release and it will also be carried in Target.
Then, the news always seemed to get better as a producer let us know she’d love to pitch Jazz and crew as a TV series pilot or a movie. So Jazz is moving on out there and needless to say, I’m very happy for her and would love it if she does show up on the small or big screen.
I just finished writing the third book, Wicked By Any Other Name, which will be out next March and features Stasi Romanov, one of Jazz’s fellow witches, who has a few odd critters in her household too, such as a pervert of a gargoyle who likes hanging out in her lingerie boutique’s dressing rooms.
This series is a joy to write and I swear I have no idea what will happen next, but the characters are more than happy to let me know. And Fluff and Puff are right there to help me. My own bunny slippers are pretty quiet, but I had the true Fluff and Puff tattooed on my ankle and they really do look like the real thing.
So yes, it’s been one hex of a journey that’s been fun, crazy and wild all at the same time. We’re just one big happy, slightly freaky family, and one I feel very comfortable with. Hm, I wonder what that says about me. :}
I’ll be giving away 3 signed copies of 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover to 3 who comment. And I hope you’ll all pick up Hex Appeal when it comes out in late October. It would make Jazz, Fluff & Puff happy too.
Could you be comfortable with a family where pretty much anything that can happen does happen? Or would you worry that your bunny slippers might nibble off your toes if they didn’t want to be worn that day?
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Some critics say that romance novels depict men not as they are but as women would like them to be. But I like men. Guys. I like the way they move, laugh, talk, and smell, the way they pound on each other to show affection and don’t hog the hot water in the shower. I like the way they offer to carry the beach chairs and the boogie board and the groceries up two flights of splintery stairs. I like the way they can entertain themselves for hours by throwing baited lines into the ocean and cheerfully take me out to dinner when they don’t catch anything.
Anthropologists and zoologists find the same pattern of male competition and the male’s drive to provide across cultures and species. Not only because the male of whatever species must drive off or defeat his rivals, but his prowess - his ability to protect and provide - attracts his mate.
It attracts us as readers, too. We enjoy reading about those “alpha” heroes, those big, protective guys. Which no doubt explains the popularity of Navy SEALs, gun slingers, cops, and the Undead.
Status and the ability to provide also encompass social power and monetary power, which why we love heroes who are dukes and billionaires.
Establishing the male’s fitness as a mate isn’t only a matter of physical prowess, of wealth or social standing, but of competence. Nora Roberts has said that to a woman with two small children, a hero is the man who can fix the toilet on a Saturday night. This may explain part of the popularity of the “nerd” books, in which the hero’s mental competence is at least as important as his physical strength.
I’m married to a man who can cook. I think one of the sexiest things a guy can do for a woman is feed her. Sooner or later in my books, the hero always feeds the heroine. I don’t care if he’s alpha or beta, he is a provider.
One of the joys of writing the Children of the Sea was the difference between the heroes: rock steady, down-to-earth police chief Caleb in Sea Witch (excerpt)
and sexy, moody bad boy Dylan in Sea Fever (excerpt). Some of my favorite scenes were the ones between Dylan and Regina’s son Nick as Dylan learns what it means to be a hero who can protect and provide.
So, who are your favorite heroes, in real life or in fiction? And what do you wish your man would do for you? Leave a comment as I'll be giving away a copy of "Sea Witch" to a random poster at the end of the day.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
After searching far and wide for a delightful picture of a delectable man, I came across this and with reading the title of this book nearly peed my panties.
Spit and Polish for Husbands! Ideal title I think but what might be the secrets to this journal that is supposedly going to teach our hubbies how not to piss us off? Hmm.....makes the mind wonder does it not.
After doing a bit more research on the book via Amazon.com, Thank you Amazon for where else would I find such a rare oddity, I found that the used copies start at a whopping three cents. Sound like a worthy investment to see what it's like...hmm.....not quite sure but I did find one reviewer gave it a four star review.
Our reviewer happens to be female and this book is for males. Okay who says we women can't take a gander at what the men folk read. She also says this is a non fiction book and is instructional. My idea is it should have some value to it right!
Okay I know, enough rambling but who can resist a book with chapters that are titled `The Toilet and Other Female Domains - The Lid, the Paper, and Aiming to Please', `The Secret Cactus Code - Deciphering Her Words and Moods', and `Slaying Dragons - Not Your Mother-in-law'.
So even though this is not a hunky Sunday honey, it does have to do with our everyday honey. My question for today is, "What do you think is the most important thing to teach our Knight In Shinning Armor before we marry them?"
Thursday, August 07, 2008
In DARK THIRST, Brandon Noble is one of the Brethren, an ancient clan of ruthless vampires. Horrified by his birthright, he shuns the ritual of the first kill, earning the Brethren's lasting wrath. When he runs away and falls in love with a human named Angelina -- forbidden among the Brethren -- his fate is sealed. Can Brandon protect the woman he loves from his enemies and his own dark thirst?
In EVER MY LOVE by Gretchen Craig, on the eve of Civil War, the daughter of Southern planters finds her loyalties tested in a magnificent saga of family pride and forbidden love... Brought up amid the luxury of plantation life, Marianne Johnston never questions her sheltered life until, driven by her conscience, she joins the Underground Railroad. Soon Marianne is living a dangerous double life, helping slaves flee by night and acting the belle by day. And nothing is riskier than her attraction to wild, heartless young Southerner Yves Chamard--while being courted by his noble older brother. Now Marianne is desperately trying to resist Yves's seduction, knowing that her surrender to his touch may cost her everything... Gretchen Craig returns with another sweeping story that brings the Old South to life in all its glory -- and a passionate heroine compelled to follow her heart...
In BABY, BABY by Karen Wiesner, Book One in the Family Heirloom Series, thirty-seven-year-old Tamara Wolfe married her childhood sweetheart, Robert, right out of high school and proceeded to have a passel of children who fill her life to capacity. With the last of her children in preschool, Tamara decides to make a business out of her long-time love of creating designer gift baskets. She doesn’t expect Robert to be against it from her first word. Is she being selfish? Or is God leading her to continue being an outdated model of the Proverbs 31 wife—submissive, but never equal?
Then cash in on any of the terrific titles available for download from Mojocastle Press, where magick comes home. You'll receive an e-gift certificate redeemable for one free title of your choosing!
Visit the "Contests" page at www.sarareinke.com and enter today for your chance to win! *
*Winner will be drawn and notified on the last day of the contest month. PLEASE NOTE: Please limit your entry to one per person. Multiple entries will be discounted. YES, REALLY. You must be 18 years or older to enter. By submitting an entry, you are signifying that your are at least 18 years of age. No purchase necessary.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
In the dim mists of time (way back in 1998), my agent phoned me with the exciting news that he had an offer for my first novel, a traditional fantasy called THE GLASSWRIGHTS' APPRENTICE. When I finished squealing my delight, my ever down-to-business agent said, "They want a sequel. When can you have it done?"
More squealing, more delight, and then some serious thinking. "Two years?" I suggested.
"Six months is more what they're thinking."
"Um, one year?"
And that's what we settled on. One year, I thought. No problem. I could handle writing a book in a year - after all, this was my dream come true!
I delivered that second book on time, but not without a lot of sleepless nights. No one had mentioned to me everything else that I had to do, in addition to writing the sequel. I had to edit the first book, answering my editor's concerns about character and plot and structure. I had to review copy edits for the first book, making sure that the grammar, punctuation, and continuity modifications had all been properly completed. I had to review galleys (page proofs) for the first book. I had to create a website and develop web content. I had to set up readings and signings. I had to create bookmarks and business cards and press packets and all the other promotional items, all associated with the first book.
Now that I've become a full-time writer, the demands on my time are even greater. The third novel in my Jane Madison series, MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL, will be in stores October 1. I am furiously promoting that book - after all, it's the wrap-up of a fun series, all about a librarian who finds out that she's a witch. (You can read more about Jane, including sample chapters from all three books, at my website - http://www.mindyklasky.com )
In addition to that wrap-up work, I'm making the final edits on my next book, THERE'S THE RUB, the start of a totally different series that won't be in stores until 2009. Just this week, I've outlined a sequel to RUB, polishing the plot for my editor's approval. I've proposed a third book in that series, and another entirely new three-book series, all for my editor's attention. I've answered questions about yet another three-book proposal that my agent is circulating.
In short, during the past five working days, I've touched files related to nine different novels, not to mention answering emails from readers of my first eight books.
What are your greatest challenges, as writers and as readers, when it comes to juggling projects and time? (Just to add to your time management challenges, I'll send one copy of GIRL'S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT and one copy of MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL to two different commenters (a total of two books, one each to two different people), selected at random from all the comments to this post! Either leave your email address, or check back here tomorrow to see if you won!)
Mindy, who realizes she should have bargained for juggling lessons, way back in 1998!
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Hi, I'm Gwyn Cready. Thanks so much for letting me blog. I'm relatively new to guest blogging, so be gentle.
I'm grateful to Terry for offering me this opportunity. She may have already given you a run-down on what my new book, Seducing Mr. Darcy (Pocket Books, $6.99), is about, but just in case, I'll repeat it. Seducing Mr. Darcy is the sexy, funny story of Flip Allison, an ornithologist at the Pittsburgh Aviary who, by way of a massage in which one can imagine oneself in one's favorite book, finds herself launched not just into Pride and Prejudice, but right into the arms of Darcy himself. She awakes from her massage restored and refreshed only to discover her fling with Darcy was not just a dream and, in fact, has changed everything about the book. She's forced to enlist the help of Magnus Knightley, an imperious, Darcy-like British scholar, to undo the damage before legions of Jane Austen fans revolt.
Do you have to be a Jane Austen fan to love this story? Well, it certainly doesn't hurt, but as long as you think having a quick fling with your favorite literary hero would be a hot prospect for an unscheduled afternoon (Oh, Jamie Fraser, why don't you ever call?), I think you'll be pretty happy.
My books tend to be funny, sexy and romantic, and this one is no different. I'll admit it did feel a little odd borrowing someone else's characters--and, believe me, there are pluses and minuses to dipping into an author as beloved as Jane Austen--but based on the squeals of delight I hear when I tell women the plot, I think I've hit on one of the mother lodes of female fantasy.
Here's a sexy excerpt to whet your appetite. Trust me, you'll never think of Scrabble the same way again. I'd also like to invite you to visit the picture section of my website. I like to offer photos related to each story so that readers can see what was in my mind as I was writing.
People ask who I'd cast as the hero, and for me the answer is Colin Firth. Probably no surprise. He is who I had in my mind as I wrote both the Mr. Darcy and Magnus Knightley characters. What might surprise you, though, is that Firth was also who I had in mind when I was writing the two heroes from my first book, Tumbling Through Time, as well the hero in the book I'm writing now (working title, Stripped Bare.) One man, three books, five heroes. I really need to drop the guy a thank-you note.
Enough about me. Time for a hero!
Gwyn Cready: I'm lucky to have been able to arrange an interview with Magnus Knightley, one of the male leads of Seducing Mr. Darcy-- What is it, Magnus?
Magnus Knightley: I'm a little put off by the title.
GC: Any particular reason? Seems like a great title to me.
MK: It's… You know they didn't last.
GC: They? You mean Flip and Darcy?
GC: I think we'd better clue our readers in to the fact that our heroine, Flip Allison, has a brief relationship with Fitzwilliam Darcy before she meets you.
[MK growls again.]
MK: Is it really necessary to dreg up the past?
GC: It's going to be hard to sell any books if we don't. Why don't I start with an introduction? Magnus is the Isabella W. Reed Visiting Professor of English Literature at the University of Pittsburgh, on leave from Cambridge University. He is the author of five books on early 19th century novelists, including three on Austen. His latest, Jane Austen: The Pleasantness of an Employment, has been shortlisted for a National Book Critics Circle Award. It is a truth universally acknowledged that he is the world's foremost expert on Jane Austen and her times.
Is that about right?
MK: That's it.
GC: And I, of course, am the author. We can't give away too much, of course, but what do you think Jane Austen would have to say about someone upending her story the way Flip does in Seducing Mr. Darcy.
MK: I feel certain she'd been none too happy about it. I myself was horrified.
GC: Yet it brought Flip into your life.
MK: [smiling] There were upsides.
GC: You had trouble believing her story at first, that the book had changed.
MK: Wouldn't you? Besides, she conveniently forget to mention that she'd joined the action of the story herself--although, if she had I'm sure my strong suspicion she was barking mad would have moved to full-fledged certainty.
GC: Flip Allison is an ornithologist, a tree-climbing, bird-poop-wearing field ornithologist. You're a scholar writing in a proverbial ivory tower with not so much as a particle of lint on your freshly-pressed trousers. Did the sparks fly when you met?
MK: Fourth of July on steroids.
GC: Flip berates you for your infuriating British reserve. Why makes British reserve so infuriating, do you think?
MK: By infuriating, do you mean provocative? Flip might say she doesn't care for someone else getting the upper hand but I think one would have to agree that Scrabble scene suggests a somewhat different interpretation.
GC: You do have very large hands.
GC: How would you describe Flip Allison to our audience?
MK: Gorgeous, apocalyptically maddening, stubborn, intoxicating, pliant-thighed, smart as a whip and achingly kissable.
MK: Oh, and worth fighting for.
GC: I guess so. There's a whole part of the story where you and Flip are trying to mend the relationship of the other couple whose love story is played out in the book, Lizzy Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Was that part fun?
MK: Fun? You Americans clearly have a different definition of the word than we do.
GC: Still, seeing the characters come to life you have studied for so long must have been fu--
[MK gives GC a sharp look.]
MK: I will admit it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. [templing fingers] Please God, let it have been a once in a lifetime opportunity.
GC: Any last words for our readers?
MK: Yes. If you're going to be borrowing a character for your own amusement, please return him in the same shape you found him.
GC: Thank you, Magnus. A treat, as always.
All righty, thanks for letting me share. If you have comments or questions for me or any of the characters, just let 'er rip.