Summertime Trivia!

If I hear one more time, "Hot enough for ya?" I might scream. Yes, it's hot--it's summertime and it's July! I know parts of our nation and world experience milder, wetter summers, but here in Texas--it's always hot and usually dry. This doesn't bother me as much as it might some others--I just stay in the air conditioning and chill out--literally. It's just that I don't wish to talk about it all the time, nor do I want to answer inane questions. So, what do you do when it's too hot for comfort? I spent one entire afternoon Googling "summertime." I'd like to share some of my treasure finds.



THE SONG: SUMMERTIME. The only version I knew of was from Porgy and Bess: Summertime…and the livin’ is easy, Fish are jumpin’…And the cotton is high;
Oh, your daddy’s rich…and your mama’s good-lookin’, So hush little
baby…don’t you cry.
From Porgy and Bess, a 1935 opera by George Gershwin. Complete cast consisted of African-American singers; a daring visionary artistic choice at the time.

However, when I Googled “Summertime”, the song,”I found other artists had written and sung a song by the same title, but each was completely different from the original. Summertime-- other versions by Kenny Chesney, Mungo Jerry, Will Smith, New Kids on the Block, Beyonce, and Janis Joplin. You can imagine how each of these differ. Ella Fitzgerald recorded her version of the original Summertime. The song is a haunting, lovely, sad, and wonderful tune. It can bring tears to your eyes.

MOVIES about summertime: (Not summertime movies.)

THE LONG HOT SUMMER-1958. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. A classic. A drifter works for a plantation owner. The owner asks the drifter to marry his up-tight schoolteacher daughter so she wouldn’t marry the worthless, lazy, rich man who was her fiancé. The owner thought the drifter would work harder.
The love scenes sizzled because Paul Newman and Joanne Woodard were having a real-life romance, and their passion really shone through.

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF: 1958. Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor. Another classic, again, set in the Deep South. Based on a play by Tennessee Williams. This manuscript has been performed countless times on the stage. Sex, lies, suicide, illness, and a failing marriage keep this movie moving. But Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor never clicked.

PICNIC: Kim Novak and William Holden. 1955. Plot covers a 24-hour period, Labor Day picnic, Kansas. A richly detailed snapshot of life in the American Midwest during the 1950’s. ***** My all-time favorite summertime movie. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched it, and if it came on one of the classic channels, I’d watch it again. It’s filled with angst, heartbreak, and yearnings—culminated with an ending you might only suppose will be happy. These two major stars are superb.


SUMMERTIME RECIPES:
Check out these websites for summertime recipes. You can find dozens on Google. I thought you might enjoy these.
http://southernfood.about.com/od/specialoccasions/ss/summertime.htm

http://www.recipezaar.com/cookbook.php?bookid=31935

http://recipes.kaboose.com/seasonal/summer-recipes/summer-recipes.html

http://summerrecipes.net/


Celia Yeary
http://www.celiayeary.com/
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thebookspa
http://twrpcactusrose.blogspot.com/
ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS-a Cactus Rose—
eBook and print available at: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/
Print also available from Amazon or B&N

Rhonda Parrish Blogs On Her Many "Hats"

I don't like hats. I've never found one that looks good on me, never, and believe me, I've looked. So yeah, not a fan. That means when someone says to me 'You wear a lot of hats' part of me cringes. What they are saying is true, I am a very busy person who fills a lot of roles…I just don't like the hats thing.

My daughter did a report earlier this fall that said I was a good example of someone who was balanced because I had a lot of 'life items'. I was flattered, and I hope she's right, but ya know, the term 'life items' isn't very pithy and just sort of reeks of high school health class to me. (Anyone remember CALM class? *grins and then gets back on topic*).

So, hats and life items aside, the point I should be making here is one I already mentioned – I'm very busy and in many different roles. I'm a mother, wife, student, editor, writer, volunteer, writing group moderator, etc. etc. plus I have a part-time 'day job'. Each of those things comes with a subset of occupations too. Let's take being a writer for example. As a writer I need to find time to write (duh?), revise, revise some more, submit my work, promote published work and revise some more. Even those tasks have sub categories. For example promoting my work involves guest blogging, social networking (Twitter, Facebook, Blogs), emailing, soliciting reviews, doing interviews, etc. etc.

I'm not alone.

I know many people in this business who have even more 'hats' or 'life items' than I do.

So how do you balance everything? Or, more to the point, how do I?

Everyone seems to have a different system. Mine keeps evolving, which I think is good. Change is necessary to avoid stagnation and as my life situation changes necessity says so must my organizational system.

For me the most important things are my calendar and my to-do list. The calendar makes sure I don't over-schedule myself and the to-do list helps keep me focused on the jobs at hand. That is vital because without the red items on my To-Do list staring up at me from my ipod I could easily become distracted and wander off to surf my friends-of-friends Facebook pictures.


When I wrote Sister Margaret my system was a calendar and a very strict routine. Client work in the morning until 11, a work out before lunch, then writing for an hour followed by revising for an hour…you get the idea. Every minute was scripted from the time I took my daughter to school until I picked her up again afterward.

Things change. I could no longer function under so strict a system, but it served its purpose once upon a time.

What's your system?

I'm always looking for ways to improve mine and I'm sure lots of other people are, after all, people are busier than ever these days and anything that helps us work smarter or save time has got to be counted as a good thing.

Incidentally, if you happen to find yourself with fifteen empty minutes and you'd like to fill them, I can recommend a great little story. It's called Sister Margaret and it's about a vampire hunter and a half-incubus swordsman who are hired to take care of an undead pimp… ;)

Sister Margaret
Published by Eternal Press
Available at Fictionwise
http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/eBook86416.htm
Rhonda Parrish
http://www.rhondaparrish.com/

Please Welcome Fellow Author KIMBERLY ALAN!



Hello Everyone,

My name is Kimberly Peterson and I write inspirational romances as Kimberly Alan. Don’t be surprised if you don’t recognize my name. I’m a newbie, who’s been around forever. More about that a bit later. First and foremost I want to sincerely thank Jennie for giving me this first opportunity to introduce myself to you, her readers.

Why am I a newbie? Because my first inspirational romantic mystery, TRUTHS UNVEILED, was released on May 15, 2009 by White Rose Publishing. (Yeah!) Then why do I say I’ve been around forever? Because I started this story back in 1989!! In other words, I guess you can say I’m the poster person for the phrase: Never Give Up!

Furthermore, ladies, time flies. Very fast. In the midst of raising a family, working as a divorce lawyer and a writer, and simply attending to life and all of its curve balls, the seconds, minutes, days, weeks and years speed by, often without us realizing it. I always thought I knew this and yet it never really hit home until about two years ago. I had entered TRUTHS UNVEILED in a writing contest and though I didn’t win, what stood out most was a comment by one of the judges. She circled a sentence in the entry where my heroine was driving a Chevy Blazer. She then very kindly reminded me that few if any Chevy Blazers are still on the road. And she was certain they were not being used as rental cars. Good grief. How right she was. Then I looked at my eight and nine year old daughters and realized that the story was nearly double their ages! That, as they say, was that. This book was getting finished. No matter what. Six month later, White Rose offered me a contract. So, if there is anything that you’ve ever wanted to do ladies, do it. It’s never too late.

Now, finally, I find myself at the next chapter of this writing journey: Promotion and Reviews. Yikes! As my dear friend, Lori Avocato, reminded me, no matter how good a story might be, it won’t get read if readers didn’t know about it! Of course I knew that. It’s basic common sense. Plus I had attended my share of writing conferences over the years and eagerly assisted fellow writers in promoting their work. And yet, I can still recall the exact moment my overworked brain comprehended the reality of that fact. My jaw dropped. My eyes widened. And my palms started to sweat. Oh no! People are going to read this? I thought back to how I painstakingly selected and re-selected, edited and re-edited every word of this story for nearly two decades. To say that I was invested in the work is an understatement, to be sure. Over and over, my inner voice cried out in panic: What if they don’t like it?

Okay. I knew I needed to breathe and take a step back to look at the situation objectively. So I did. Like many avid readers and writers, I discovered the joy of storytelling very early on. And writing felt very therapeutic as well. But back then, I wrote for myself only, in diaries that were hidden in various locations of my bedroom. It wasn’t until law school, and then as a clerk for the Connecticut Appellate Court, that I realized my writing might be appreciated by a larger audience. I thought back to my teenage memories and my high school crush. He was older than me and very tied to the small community I’d moved to in ninth grade. Then I recalled the tragic car accident that killed two students. The young driver was injured but survived. And then there were rumors of a marriage that was hastily arranged because of an unexpected pregnancy. From those memories I realized that we all have situations in our lives that play a large part in determining our futures. I also know that many times, situations are not as they first seem. With this in mind, and a lot of “what if” scenarios, TRUTHS UNVEILED, became a story I believe we can all relate to. Briefly, here it is:

Heroine, Pam Harrington, is in her thirties now, and an emergency department physician in a large city. She met hero, Tom Jarrod, years earlier when she was a newcomer to a small, rural high school. A once in a lifetime romance started to blossom toward the end of her senior year but ended abruptly when Pam was severally injured in a car accident after learning that Tom’s former girlfriend was pregnant with his child. Fast forward to the present. Both Pam and Tom are single now and she receives a fantastic offer to return to that small town to work at a new, state of the art, medical center. Painful memories, guilt and unanswered questions about the accident still hover in Pam’s heart, causing her to decline the offer. Meanwhile, Tom, though struggling in his relationship with his ex-wife and children, is determined to make a fresh start with Pam, if she will let him. Then they realize that someone is even more determined to make Pam stay away. In fact, they will do everything necessary, including murder, to see that she does.

To my great relief, I received a wonderful review of TRUTHS UNVIELED from You Gotta Read Reviews. To quote: “This book is a thrilling roller coaster from the first chapter…. Pam and Tom are fantastic characters and you are rooting for their relationship from the very beginning, yet there are many obstacles along the way… This is definitely a fabulous story that keeps you on the edge of your seat and finishes with an explosive unexpected ending.”

Thank you Vivienne.

I hope you will all agree and enjoy reading about Pam and Tom’s adventure as they maneuver through the curveballs of life. And remember: It’s never too late to be who we want to be, and do what we want to do.

Blessings to you all!!

TRUTHS UNVEILED is available in print or as a download at www.Whiterosepublishing.com, or through Amazon, Borders and Barnes and Noble.



Kimberly Alan, also known as Kimberly Peterson, grew up in Bordentown and then Lambertville, New Jersey. Like many avid readers and writers, she discovered their joys early on. After high school, she moved to Massachusetts to attend college. To her surprise, law school followed. She and her family now live in Connecticut where she has been a divorce lawyer for several years. In addition to writing romance, she has published two legal textbooks published for paralegals and new lawyers. Currently, she is developing a blog about the ups, downs, ins and outs of relationships, gleaned from all her years as a divorce attorney, romance writer and from performing weddings as a Justice of the Peace. Readers can reach her at Kimberlyalan.author@gmail.com

Please Welcome the Authors From The First Turning Point!

1st Turning Point -- All About Promotion


I'm Jacquie Rogers, a Co-captain of 1st Turning Point, and author of two books and a few short stories. I'd like to start off by thanking Jenny Gilliam for having me here today. Thanks, Jenny!

1st Turning Point was born when three writing buddies decided to share what they'd learned about promotion as they sailed the treacherous waters to publication.

I'll quote the explanation from the About Us page:

Thanks for stopping by 1st Turning Point, a fun place for writers to teach, share, and learn about that first turning point in your career—self-promotion and marketing. The story of your career opens with the decision to write a book, the inciting incident is learning the craft and writing that first piece. But what comes next is just as important if you plan to become a career novelist. It’s your first turning point.

These days, we need to begin building an ‘author presence’ before signing that first contract if we want to sell enough books to win another contract. No longer can we wait to start selling ourselves until we have a book coming out. We have to start while we have the time to prepare physically and financially for the promotional marathon to come. 1st Turning Point is a home for all writers, but especially those who are unpublished, newly published, self-published, e-published, orphaned, small-press published, etc. Whether you write novels, short stories, lyrics, or poetry, we’re here for you. Come inside and take a look around, read some of the helpful articles, see what online and live classes/workshops are coming your way soon, check out the beneficial list of resources, and share some of your own experiences and wisdom with others.


We had some fabulous prizes during our debut month of May, and we'll continue our month-long tradition but offering more prizes in June. To enter to win June's Grand Prize, all you have to do is subscribe.

More importantly than prizes, we have an awesome Crew and a terrific lineup of articles. Some of May's articles include:

We're excited about June's articles, too. Here's what we slotted:

We're considering a weekly contest for commenters, but you'll have to come to the site to see if that happens.

I hope you'll join us. We've had great turnout and are growing faster than expected, so you won't want to miss anything!

1st Turning Point
Contact: 1st Turning Point

Speaking of contests, to enter to win a Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues baseball cap, all you do is make a comment. Easy Peasy! Winner will be selected one week from today.

Jacquie Rogers

Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues (See the Book Video featuring Justin Saragueta)
Jacquie Rogers *** Myspace *** Twitter *** Facebook
Faery Special Romances * Book Video * Royalties go to Children's Tumor Foundation, ending Neurofibromatosis through Research

Read a book by Jacquie Rogers

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: E. JAMIE


Please welcome fellow RWR member E. Jamie for our very first Romance Writer's in the Rough Author Spotlight!

1.) Hi, Nancy. Why don't you introduce yourself and tell us a little about you.

Thanks for having me today! I write erotic romance as E. Jamie (www.ejamie.net) for Amira Press (www.amirapress.com) and I'm also a full time freelance writer, working from home which I love because I'm able to have time to work on my fiction as well as my freelance assignments!

2.) Where do you live? Do you like it?

I live in Toronto, Canada and I really do love it. I'm very much a city girl and Toronto is sort of the Candian NYC. I'd love to have a summer cottage or little vacation house in the country to get away from it all every once in a while but I definitely need to live in the city. I need the noise and vibrancy of it.
3.) What's currently on your iPod/mp3 player/cd player?

Right now I'm listening to the new version of Hallelujah by Alexandre Burke. I love that song in all its version but that one is my new favorite. It's just so big and powerful! I have a mix of songs as my tastes really run the gamut from Classical to Country. I can't write in silence so it's either the TV or music I'm listening to. Maybe this is a sign I'm getting older but lately I find it easier to write to classical or instrumental music. Anything without lyrics. Movie soundtracks are fantastic to write to! Used to be lyrics didn't bother me but now they can sometimes distract me. (sighs) Yep, I'm getting on up there, I think.
4.) Describe a typical (or non-typical) writing day?

I had my first non-writing day in months this past Sunday as I had finished edits on my upcoming release Till Death Do Us Part so I decided that day that I was going to do nothing! Just fiddle around on line and do some reading. Then of course Monday came and I got sick. I am not a fan of irony. I used to have an outside day job so I had trained myself to write in the late afternoon/early evening. Now, I still find that easiest for me. I am sooo not a morning person so I spent the first half of the day doing e-mail stuff, catching up on blogs and promo stuff and then around 2 or so, I pull up the current WIP and get to it.
5.) Do you go by goals? Weekly? Daily? Monthly?

With my latest WIP, We'll Meet Again I worked for 5 pages a day and managed to finish it in about 3 months. I wasn't sure if that was fast or slow but with 350+ pages at the end of I was told that's pretty good. That's usually the page count I try and hit on a WIP, 5 pages a day, sometimes it works, sometimes I don't. Life happens. I don't really set goals beyond the day to day writing wise. I just take it one day at a time. But I'll do that with the works themselves. For example, my last release Redemption hit #3 on my publisher's bestseller list, so my goal with my current release Play ground Of The Gods is to have it hit number one. Next year a goal will be to have one of my books on bookstore shelves.
6.) What's your favorite setting from one of your novels and why?

Oh that has to be Texas in my novella Redemption. One word: cowboys!
7.) What advice would you give any new writers just starting out?

There's the famous BIC (Butt In Chair) but I also say MYA (Move Your Ass) Get our there and submit! Keep submitting because there will always be a place for your work. Rejection is just a part of the game and I truly believe the only unsuccessful writers are the ones who quit and stopped submitting.
8.) What are you working on at the moment?

Right now I am taking a break between WIP's as I've just finished a WW2 romance called We'll Meet Again. It involves an American nurse and an English soldier and I'm hoping to get that published by either Harlequin Spice or Harlequin Historicals. Keeping my fingers crossed.
9.) Are you a panster? A planner? A planster? Which method works best for you? Why?

I'm very much a planner. (Plantser?)(laughs) I can't imagine not knowing exactly what was going to happen when I sit down to write. Though of course, surprises happen that take me in new direction but the basic storyline stays the same. Does that make me a plantser then?

10.) Any new releases coming up?

Well my current release with Amira Press is a sci-fi/futuristic paranormal called Playground Of The Gods and I have Till Death Do Us Part coming out tentatively on June 5th with Amira in ebook and it will also come out soon after in print! It'll be my first print release and I am very excited about that!

Visit E. Jamie's Websites at:



Guest Blogger: Author Jannine Corti Petska

Story ideas: Where do they come from?

My inspiration for my stories comes from many different sources. I'm a people watcher. The little nuances and mannerisms of the human being are fascinating. In any given situation, three people will react differently. Depending on the personality of my characters, molding them after a real person gives them life and makes them believable.

Newspapers are a fountain of information. Whether a tidbit or a full-blown story, I'll clip it and store it away. How often have you seen tv dramas announce "ripped from the headlines?" Quite often, fact is more unbelievable than fiction. It can give your story an edge, lifting it above a traditional plot line.

For me, many story ideas and character studies come from life's experiences. The plot for a book I co-wrote in the 80s was molded after an incident that happened to me when I was eighteen. Many writers draw from their past, present or what they see in their future. A fertile mind is a blessing. Coupled with the ability to observe the world around you, it's one of the best sources of inspiration for any work of fiction.

While inspiration comes in many forms and from many places, there is one that I cherish the most: my husband. His encouragement has allowed me to create. He and my children have motivated me to do what is in my heart. From the first story I wrote over twenty years ago to my present release, they have believed in me. Through my struggle to become published, they never told me to quite. And the times I was discouraged, they were there to lift my spirits, enabling me to write.

My present release, CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN, is the first book of the Sisters of Destiny trilogy about three psychic sisters separated at birth. It takes place in Northern Italy in 1425. Book two, CHARLOTTE AND THE GYPSY, which I am presently writing, takes place in a Gypsy camp in Andalusia, Spain. Book three, CALLIE AND THE KNIGHT, takes place near London.

CARINA is available in ebook and print.

Reviewers Pick!
Carina and the Nobleman by Jannine Corti Petska
Genre: Medieval Romance
Pages:227
Price: $6.95
Rating: This story touched me. I absolutely loved it. I loved Carina's strength, endurance, and faith to continue with her mission to find her family. She was a very funny character as well as she dealt with her duties to Count Luciano about adding to her time that she would have to serve him. From start to finish it was a story that I did not want to end. Now I am wondering if there is more to come from this story. I would love to read more if there is! Those who love fairy tale romances must read Carina and the Nobleman!
Blurb:
Forced to the streets after her mother dies, Carina Gallo is desperate to survive and find her long lost sisters. Consumed with locating his missing brother, Count Luciano has forsaken his needs. When he catches beautiful and vulnerable Carina stealing from him, he takes pity and cares for her until she's strong enough to work off her crime. Carina is forever grateful to Luciano, yet fears he will learn of her wicked secret and condemn her to burn. Will Luciano and Carina find a way to feed the mutual passions they share, or will heresy and obsession with lost family destroy them both?Excerpt:

After Carina steals food from his tavern, Luciano rescues her from starvation and takes her to his home to get healthy and to work off her crime. This is the first meeting where he tries to learn who she is. His manservant has fallen ill, and his upstairs maid is also showing signs of becoming sick.

“Did you come here to ply your trade?”
“And what trade might that be, my lord?”
He forced himself to remain rooted to the floor else he’d throttle the
outspoken wench. “Are you a strumpet?”
His directness caused her to blush. She wasn’t unshakable after all.
“I fear you have misjudged me, Count Ruggero.”
“Then from where did you come? And I’ll have a straightforward
answer.”
She dropped her hands to the folds of the silk gown. To hide her
nervousness over speaking of her past? Luciano wondered.
“I worked for the Baldovini,” she replied.
His eyes bore into her. Carina read his suspicion.
"If you do not believe me, send someone to the Baldovini to inquire
about me,” she openly challenged. “I spent the whole of my life on their
lands, working the fields these four years past.”
He set his goblet down gently and moved closer. “You were a
laborer?”
She nodded but couldn’t speak with the count standing but a long
stride away. His imposing presence commanded attention. Were she not
a pauper and he a count, she’d assuredly lure him into a kiss, as
improper as it might be. It wouldn’t be an unpleasant experience, she’d
wager. The only kiss she’d ever received from a man had been from the
lecherous, slobbering Signor Baldovini. He had cornered her and tried to
snatch more than just a kiss. Miseria! She still cringed from the horrible
memory.
“The Baldovini employ only men and boys to work their fields,” the
count pointed out.
“Signora Baldovini did not allow me to work in her private
residence.”
He stepped closer. So close, Carina smelled the clean scent from his
morning bath and the faint fragrance of wine on his breath. Her heart’s
pace quickened.
“Why would the signora forbid you from her home?”
“Truth be told, Signor Baldovini had an eye for me. The signora told
my mother I tempted her husband. Mamma knew better, for Signor
Baldovini has an eye for all women and has many bastard children.”
The count’s cheeks lined with shallow dimples when he suppressed a
smile at her directness. Carmine Baldovini’s illegitimate children were a
well-known fact, one his wife continually denied.
“Did you tempt him?”
Carina cocked her head and tightened her mouth.
“I will take your silence as an affirmation.”
“No!” she exploded, unduly put out by his judgment of her character.
“I did not tempt him, and I am not a strumpet. I am still a vir—” Her lips
slammed together.
Pleased to hear her virtue remained intact, Luciano took another step
forward. His pulse hastened and suddenly he desired to touch Carina’s
cheek, to know if it was as preciously smooth as it looked. “Why are you
no longer working for the Baldovini?”
He was not prepared for the sadness flooding her features. He
gentled his demeanor.
“My mother died four months past. Signora Baldovini demanded I
leave at once. I had no where to go but the streets.”
The directness of her gaze captured his. Not weak in courage by any
means, she hadn’t looked away when she replied. Gesu, how could he
allow her to pluck his heartstrings as she did? He felt her sorrow and
wished he could comfort her. Sorrow he knew all about. But where did
the need to hold her come from?
“And still a virgin. You are fortunate.”
“Mayhap.” She shifted her stance. “I am certain you did not bid me
here to discuss my virtue.”
His gut constricted again. “Maiden, you’d do well to mind your place
in my presence. And that includes your impulsive tongue.”
“Sì, my lord.” Contrite, but nonetheless acceptable.
“I shall leave you in Sandra’s care. Once you have attained a more
substantial…a healthier look about you,” he said carefully when her
head tilted, “you’ll tend to my chamber.” So much for keeping her at a
distance. “That means seeing to my laundry and cleaning my chamber
and reading room, the same in which you sleep. You will also mend my
garments. Marcello carries my meals up when I am in no mood to dine
downstairs. So too, he lays out the clothes I wish to wear and sees to my
grooming.”
“Your pardon, count. Am I to clean your chamber pot as well?”
His tone clipped, he replied, “I use the garderobe.”
“And your bath?”
She wouldn’t ask if she knew the road his mind drifted down. The
scrawny wench teased his lust into awakening yet again, and the day
was still new. “That, angel, I shall take care of myself, with help from my
manservant.”
Was that relief he saw flitter across her face?
“Then I agree to the duties you have stated.”
“Agree?” He couldn’t hide his disbelief. “Agree?” he repeated,
closing the gap between them. Looming above her, forcing her to tilt her
head to see his face, he wondered if she was a fool or just naïve. She
didn’t even attempt to move away. Any other woman would have
cowered back.
“Sì, agree.”
“There is naught for you to agree to. You are working off a debt. Your
service to me is your punishment for stealing.”
“It is, my lord.”
She relented. Luciano became suspicious.
“How long must I work to pay my debt, for I barely ate enough to
warrant a lengthy punishment. And I did lose it all, do you not recall?”
Her reasoning askew, he realized he could reprimand her until the
morrow and she’d not tone down her carelessly spoken words. Had she
lost sight of the fact she had committed a crime? It mattered not how
much she stole. Or that she’d lost it shortly after eating.
A firm knock interrupted their meeting. Agitated, Luciano barked,
“Enter.”
Sandra rushed in, her cheeks flushed, her face wrought with worry.
“Beg your pardon, Count Ruggero. Please forgive me for not
accompanying Signorina Gallo.”
He nodded, though he was concerned. Except for the warm color on
her cheeks, she appeared as if standing was a chore. Her rapid breathing
confused him, and he would have addressed her health if he knew she
was prone to illness. But Sandra and Marcello hadn’t been sick a day
since they came to work at the manor.
“Our meeting is over,” he said and slid his gaze to the wench. “Get to
the kitchen for food. The first order will be to fatten you up. For that I
shall add a new debt for you to work off.”
He glared at her to keep her from speaking another cursed retort.
“I do not run a room and board here.”
“Count Ruggero—”
“Not another word.”
“But I must—”
He clamped his hand over her mouth but her lips continued to move,
tickling his palm. “Be damned, woman. Must I tie a cloth around your
mouth to silence you?”
“If you must…” She swept past him, her head held erect, and glided
toward the open door. Her gracefulness contributed to the appearance of
her floating on air. No commoner had he ever seen walk as regally as she
did.
His fingers twitched, his entire body tensed. As he watched her walk
away, a strange feeling settled in the pit of his stomach. About to turn his
back to her, he paused when she called his name and faced him with a
tantalizing grin, which renewed the tingling in his groin.
“You cannot fatten me up, count. I am thin by nature.”
Blasted wench! He slammed the door then miserably adjusted the
swell in his hose.

Please visit my website to read the first chapter of CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN www.jcortipetska.com.
ebook available at http://www.eternalpress.ca/carinaandthenobleman.html

Western Romance author-Celia Yeary


ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW
I refer to a small book written in 1986—most of you out there were babies—by Robert Fulghum. His offering hit the big time, #1 Best Seller in that decade, and it is the simplest book you’ve ever seen. The full title is All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Hoping that Mr. Fulghman—in case he reads Jenny’s blog every day—will allow me to quote him, here is his list of important things to learn.
1. Share everything
2. Play fair
3. Don’t hit people
4. Put things back where you found them
5. Clean up your own mess
6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours
7. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody
8. Wash your hands before you eat
9. Flush
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you
11. Live a balanced life—learn, think, draw, paint, sing, dance, play, and work
12. Take a nap every afternoon
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, stick together
14. Wonder
15. Everything dies. So do we.
16. Remember the biggest word from the Dick-and-Jane books-LOOK

Of all these suggestions, which one hits closest to home?

Me? I can get through #6-easy-peasy. But there’s #7. This is a stickler. I don’t go around hurting people intentionally, and I do believe I’m kind enough that I rarely do. But if I inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings, would I know it? And what would I do about it? On to #8-#16. Those aren’t too difficult. Especially “take a nap every afternoon.” That one’s a snap.

Back to #7.
As I pondered this, I concluded that we always hurt the one we love, the one who is closest to our heart—our spouse or SO, our best friend, someone who thought she was your friend but you didn’t treat her that way, your child, your sister, your next door neighbor.
Why do I mention this? Romance stories. Now, you knew I’d get around to romance novels, eventually, didn’t you? Isn’t this our common tie on this blog? What is the formula for a good love story? The H/H meet; they fall in love; they hurt one another in some way (you cannot guarantee smooth sailing in a romance), the H/H reconcile and apologize. And they lived HEA.Ta-da!

My computer is jam-packed with manuscripts. Fortunately, three have found success. As I sit here and think of all this writing I’ve done, in every case and every plot, someone gets hurt. My job as the author is to reconcile the pair. Now. The next time you’re stuck with writer’s block, remember #7. While you’re at it, remember #10, 11, 12, and 14. Those should help you along your journey. You are, after all, a writer.
***********
All My Hopes and Dreams-a Western Historical Romance set in 1880 Texas. By Celia Yeary
Excerpt: hurt feelings

“Consuelo, where is my Mrs. Romero? I told her to clean up, but I can’t find her.”
“Why, she is over to her little house, sir. You know, where her belongings are. She said she would go draw water from the well and bathe. Her clothes are there.”
The situation finally dawned on him. “Damn!” he said, and stalked out the door and across the open expanse to the third little house from the end.
When he walked in, she was nowhere to be found. He looked in the lean-to on the back. The round galvanized tub there had about two inches of water in it. He saw her approaching the back door, carrying a bucket of well water with both hands. She was struggling.
“Hell, Cynthia. What do you think you’re doing?”
She stared at him for only a moment; then she tossed the bucket as far as she could, which was only a very short distance, and water splashed out and onto her boots. She glared at him. Her blood obviously boiling as she yelled. “What do you think? I’m drawing water for my bath. And it’s…da…darn hard! And look at what you made me do. You made me drop my bucket. You…you sorry excuse for a husband.”
Before his very eyes, she dropped to the ground and bent double with her head in the dirt. She began to sob uncontrollably and pounded the ground with one fist. “I hate you!”
“Whoa, whoa,” he said very gently, as he hunkered down in front of her. He reached for her and pulled her up as he stood. “Up you go, now.” His arms encircled her and he pushed her head to his shoulder. “Shhh, now sweetheart. I’m sorry, so sorry. Shhh, don’t cry now. I’ll make it all better. Now come with me.”
She looked so tired, so spent. How could he have allowed so much to go wrong in such a little time? She was right. He wasn’t doing his part.
“I’m sorry, too, Ricardo,” she whispered. “I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know where I belong anymore.”
“I’ll show you. First, you’re coming home, to the house, your real home. Not this little cabin. You won’t live here anymore. Come on now.”
************************************************************************************
Thank you, friends, for stopping by Jenny's blog today. Please leave a reply.
Celia Yeary
www.celiayeary.com
www.thewildrosepress.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thebookspa
http://twrpcactusrose.blogspot.com
ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS-a Texas Historical
Available in eBook: The Wild Rose Press
Available in print: Amazon.com, B&N



"Rachel owns a hip coffee shop in Seattle called Crowe’s Nest. She lives in an apartment a few blocks away where the walls are paper-thin. One fateful night her nice average life takes a strange turn when she hears her next door neighbor murdered. Into her life walks Detective Alex Williams, only this isn’t the first time she has met this hunk. Only yesterday, she threw him out of her coffee shop for being rude, obnoxious, and just socially unacceptable. Thus begins their adventure of solving who murdered her neighbor. I have found a new favorite author! In Under My Skin, Jenny Gilliam has delivered a fantastic book filled with murder, mystery, romance and a few laughs thrown in for good measure. Once Rachel gets over being annoyed at Alex, she discovers that there is more to him than just being a cop with a hot bod. Alex has been patronizing Rachel’s coffee shop for months. He’s had his eye on her, but never drummed up the courage to ask her out. Circumstances throw them together and one thing leads to another. Will Alex be able to protect Rachel when they realize that she is the murder’s next target? Who is the murder? Will they catch him in time? Will Rachel and Alex overcome the obstacles from their pasts so they can express the love they feel for each other? You have to read the book to find out the answers and trust me; it is definitely worth your time. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. There was no way I was going to put it down! I was captivated from the first page until the last. Rachel’s character is witty and a bit sarcastic, but because of circumstances from her past she is also skittish and timid when it comes to relationships with men. Alex’s character is serious and broody, he’s lost the passion in his life and the empathy he needs for his job. He’s the perfect counter balance to Rachel. Together they will find the balance they need in their lives. If you are looking to settle in with a good book full of mystery, suspense, romance, and some hot, steamy sex then you can’t go wrong with Under My Skin!" - MANIC REVIEWS

Guest author, Sasha Bailey


Brooke Molineux's deepest desires remained secret. Her colleagues respected her, her students feared her, and her husband treated her gently. But one night, when she was alone in her office, one of her students decided to risk his career to give some of her treatment back to her. Brooke seized the opportunity to admit how much pleasure she took in the pain he administered. His punishments opened her ability to love him and fulfilled her deepest needs, until she went too far, and he punished too hard—and opened up another level of her desire and fantasy.

That's the blurb for Torts, and it took me two weeks to write it. Whenever I read it, I hope it's short enough. My first book, Torts, is short. My attention span is short. I have trouble writing the parts of books I don't read. So I look for a few words that characterize a setting or a person. When I read my drafts, my mind wanders. I rewrite any passage that loses my attention. If it continues to lose my attention because I skim in order to get to the action, I know the plot is strong and I cross out that passage.

What about you? When are you reading so intently that you don't even know you are reading intently? When do you skim in order to find out what happens faster? When do you tune out? If you are a reader and not yet a writer, the answers to these questions might tell you what you write well and who will like your books.

You have heard this: write what you know. Yes and no. Maybe you have some werewolves or danger in another dimension. But the desires that drive your characters are akin to deep human ones and trigger ours. You have heard this: write what you like to read. Yes and no. I like to read cookbooks and the sports section. Both, however, are vivid and easy to read and tell stories. That is also true of Torts.

I have learned this: write what you can read. You will read your work a thousand times. You will read it when you admire it. You will read it when it embarrasses you. You will read it and feel like singing with joy. You will read it and think it is contrived. But if you read it and your mind wanders, cross it out. If you read it and it leaves you wanting more detail or another scene, fill it in. Make it into what you can read. Make it what you can read easily because your nervous system absorbs and moves with the rhythm of your writing. Make it a book that reads itself to you while you receive it. Make it effortless for you to read.

This is your style. No one else has it. But your readers are waiting for it. They are waiting for your book to flow into them the way it flowed into you when it was effortless for you to read. To those readers who are not yet writers: sit down at your typewriters and pour.

*****
Sasha Bailey is a crotchety old bag whose favorite book is the Iliad. Her Zen moments of complete peace take place while she does the crossword puzzle in the New York Times.
When she has no work and no ideas, or too much work and no ideas, she hikes or goes to the movies.
Torts by Sasha Bailey
http://www.eternalpress.ca/torts.htm
Erotic / BDSM without graphic sex scenes, 15,758 words
$3.95 US .pdf
ebook: 978-1-926647-52-4
print: 978-1-926647-60-9


Summary:

Brooke Molineux's deepest desires remained a secret. Her colleagues respected her, her students feared her, and her husband treated her gently. But one night, when she was alone in her office, one of her students decided to risk his career to give some of her treatment back to her. Brooke seized the opportunity to admit how much pleasure she took in the pain he administered. His punishments opened her ability to love him and fulfilled her deepest needs, until she went too far, and he punished too hard? and opened up another level of her desire and fantasy.

Please Welcome Guest Blogger and Fellow Author, LAINEY BAINCROFT!!!!

Hey, All! Thanks to Jenny for hosting me on her terrific blog. She and I share two of the same publishers (Amira Press and The Wild Rose Press) so I think it’s pretty cool we can share some promo ops as well. Promoting is tough, and I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get sick of regurgitating the same blurbs and excerpts every time I hit the web. For the record, I grow weary of reading them, too. Often I visit blogs and forums not only to learn of new releases but also to learn a little about the author behind the book and their process. So that’s what I plan to blah…’er, blog about today.

My name is Lainey Bancroft and I have a fiction addiction.

Oops, sorry. Wrong meeting.

I am Lainey Bancroft, and after a dozen book sales of various lengths over the last two years, I think I am finally branding myself as the author of humorous contemporary romance, but I am forever on the lookout to further entrench that brand.

In my research travels (which is a fancy description for surfing the web as a form of procrastination) I tripped across the survey site Measure Up Place http://www.measureupplace.com/ where I found some interesting stats. The one that caught my eye today is WHAT WOMEN WANT IN A MAN.

No, I’m not man shopping. I’ve been with the same man two decades now, and it took me so long to housebreak him I’m not sure I’d have the patience or energy to train a new one. But, hey, as a romance author—particularly one who pens contemporary romance—I figure it’s pretty important to understand just what contemporary women are looking for in a mate.

According to the survey, these are the top five traits:
1. Good Judgments.
2. Intelligence.
3. Faithful.
4. Affectionate.
5. Financially Responsible.

Hmm. Great list. If you happened to be in the market for a mate and found a guy with all those qualities, you’d slap the Husband Material label on his butt in no time flat.
So this is the perfect contemporary romance hero, right?

Wrong! Take away # 5 and you’ve got the description for a freaking golden retriever! Don’t get me wrong. Who doesn’t love a golden retriever? Hell, I even sleep with mine. (In a completely normal, he keeps my feet warm kind of way, of course.)

But write a romance with a Golden Man-triever as the hero? Snore. Ho-hum. I don’t think so.
For one thing, if you’ve got a smart, sensible, loyal, gentle, dude who pays all his bills on time, where do you go for conflict?

For another, I’m not at all convinced romance readers want to read about the sort of guy they want to marry. Over the years, I have fallen hard for some badass boys who did devious and deceitful things between the covers—of a book. If my man were ever as manipulative and Machiavellian as some of these fictional heroes, he’d be best to hide the sharp objects and Crazy Glue. (Hey, he knows what I mean and that’s what matters )

The trick for an author is to create a hero who is flawed enough to make a reader’s heart flutter, but also redeemable enough that he deserves to win the girl in the end.

When you part the pages of a new story, are you looking for a lifetime of love, or to enjoy a three hundred-page affair with a man you probably wouldn’t go near in real life?

For me, it depends on my mood. And for the record, if I’d answered the survey, I wouldn’t have gone along with #5. Financially responsible is all good but a little boring. Ultimately, my fantasy man is so filthy-freaking-rich he doesn’t have to be responsible. Just like the hero in my new release from Absolute XPress!

Cole has pots of money. But not for any of the reasons my heroine Maggie suspects!

http://www.absolute-x-press.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=50&osCsid=9504e7fb05b8af6d9d6d5b772d46aa8a

Jenny Gilliam Becomes Piper Foxx

I’m currently in the process of reinventing myself. All four of the novels I released last year were written under my maiden name, Jenny Gilliam. My father, who passed when I was sixteen, was a writer, so I wanted it to be a tribute of sorts to him. But my reasons for using my real name weren’t entirely altruistic.

When I was in high school, I wasn’t what you might call a “model student.” I grew up in the heyday of the grunge era. Let’s say I was a little (okay, a lot) weird to begin with. Then, suddenly it was “cool” to be different, strange. I shopped only at thrift stores, wore funky clothes, went to raves, skipped classes, and indulged in an embarrassing amount of drugs.

Suffice it to say, my grades suffered. J

I always imagined that, had I purchased one, inside my senior yearbook, next to my picture would read: “Most likely to end up in rehab.” And while that happened, so did something extraordinary.

I changed my life.

After I graduated (which I didn’t technically do, but I walked with the class anyway), I kicked the drug habit, got a full-time job, and met my husband (not necessarily in that order). I realized that I wanted to live a healthy life. I wanted to keep seeing my husband, but he’s not a big believer in self-medicating (Hmm. Weird.)

It was an extremely rough year, but I managed to keep my man and my job—in fact, I still work there after twelve years—and realized that life was much better lived without the pot, the meth, the ecstasy.

Hold on, there is a method to my madness; I’m just one of those gals who takes the long way ‘round. So, three years ago, when I decided to pursue publication, I thought, I’ll write under my maiden name. Not just for Daddy, but for me. To show all those people from high school that I made it. That I didn’t turn out to be a loser.

Yet, when my first novel was published in March of 2008, I felt no vindication, no “Ha! Take that!” moment. Then I began to wonder about my future. I’m certain I’ll make a name for myself in romance publishing. Jenny Gilliam already has. But what if I want privacy? Because I’m an intensely private person.

And thus, Piper Foxx was born. How did I come up with the name? Nothing terribly fascinating, I’m afraid. I simply wrote down some of my favorite given and surnames, then matched them up until I came up with Piper Foxx. So everything I write from now on will be under that name. It’s a scary leap, but I’m early enough in my career that I don’t think it will create that much of an impact.

Let’s hope so anyway.

WHAT'S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? PLEASE WELCOME GUEST BLOGGER, CINDY K. GREEN!




Inspiration & Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures—what a great title for a romance novel. Doesn’t it just evoke all kinds of images in your head? Well, come on, we all have them. What’s yours? Is it chocolate? Okay, if you are female and breathing that one is a given. Shoes or shopping in general?? What is it?

My guilty pleasure is watching period drama films. I love them! In fact, my sister comes over every Tuesday for a weekly dose of handsome, dashing men in cravats. I often wonder why I love the Period Drama so much. I’m sure it stems from my love for classic literature, history and romance. And darn it those lovely British men in cravats are just too beguiling. I did mention the cravats, didn’t I??

It seems that the Period Drama started a trend of reading classic literature again. When all the Jane Austen films erupted in the 1990’s, her books grew in popularity once more. And even now we have North and South (2004) by Elizabeth Gaskell. The miniseries starred Richard Armitage and was highly successful. How many of us who viewed the show had to read that novel after seeing the series, I wonder? We just had to know if John Thornton was as irresistible in real life as he was portrayed by RA.

I truly believe that this surge in the period drama has not only increased the reading of classic literature but of the historical romance novel as well. I know that after watching Rupert Penry-Jones play my favorite Captain Wentworth in Persuasion or James McAvoy as Tom Lefroy in Becoming Jane that I am primed and ready to begin writing my historical stories or novels.

How great it is to gain inspiration in your writing from a Guilty Pleasure?? We want to indulge in those pleasures anyway. Why not make it a practical part of your writing process. For me the Period Drama has jump-started my inspiration, fueled my creativity and assisted me in finishing a historical piece. In fact, just this year I had two historicals release. A historical western—The Heart Never Lies. And a post-Civil War historical—Dilemma of the Heart. Guilty Pleasures and Inspiration. Yeah, I like the sound of that. How about you? What are your guilty pleasures??

**********
Cindy K. Green is a multi-published author with degrees in History and Education. Previously a middle school English & History teacher, she now homeschools her own children and writes in several genres: Inspirational, Contemporary, Suspense, Fantasy and Historical romance. But whatever she writes she always throws in a bit of humor and fun. Find out more about Cindy and her books at www.cindykgreen.com and http://cindykgreen.blogspot.com/. To join her newsletter email her at newsletters@cindykgreen.com, and she will send you out all three parts of her FREE READ serial, “Valentine’s Challenge.”

Welcome Denyse Bridger!!!!


Reader vs. Writer

Hello everyone, and many thanks to Jenny for having me as her guest today. I was really stumped for a topic when a discussion on my newsgroup provided some inspiration. (Ok, so I asked and they pointed me to the discussion… J)

A fellow author had asked for a critique of something she was writing, and she got back two very different responses from the two readers to whom she had sent the work. This obviously led to some mixed responses and some questions, namely when do you listen to the reader, who is after all the audience you are working for, and when do you trust your instinct as the creator of the work, when the two come into conflict? Do you, as readers, ever stay with a book if you feel it’s flawed or not written in a way that you generally find enjoyable, or are you willing to stay with it to the end to see if there’s a change in the author’s style or your response to it?

What makes a book good, in your opinion? Story, of course, but are there certain styles that you enjoy more than others? I’d like to know what appeals to the audience as a whole, so please tell me if you were to have the chance to shape the book, what would you recommend?

All creative or artistic work is subjective, and no two people will ever really see it the same way, despite reading the same words. So, as an author, I tend to write what I enjoy. If it “feels” right, then I trust that it is right. However, I now wear another job title, that of Acquisitions Manager for a new publishing imprint, so I also need to know how to pick the books that will appeal most to readers. Now’s your chance to tell me what you really do prefer, and help me do my job better in that regard. What do you think??? You willing to step up and tell me your thoughts? We’ll have a random drawing of names from the comments, and reward your efforts with a surprise gift!

Shameless promo time now, you’ve been warned! J

Absolute XPress is the company I work with/for now. We are running some very cool promotions to launch our press and get to know you all better. If you register at our website, you will automatically receive a 5% off discount coupon for an purchase you make. We have a FREE newsletter you can sign up for, so you are in the know about all titles we offer and what our authors are getting up to! Also, the company blog is up and running, as well as our CONTEST blog – we’ll be running a new one every month, and often with a theme. The current contest is “New Year, New Publisher” and runs through January 31st, so drop over and enter to win this month’s prize!!

Also, don’t miss my fabulous feature in the debut issue of Sable Grey Magazine, coming February 3rd. The magazine will be offered as a free PDF download, and it will feature an interview, a short story, (see the banner), and lots of other great stuff! Well worth checking out, Sable’s site is amazing.

Looking forward to hearing from you!! Thanks again, Jenny, for the opportunity to chat with your readers and fans. I’ll pop back throughout the day.

Denysé

Denysé Bridger
Website: http://www.denysebridger.com
Blog: http://fantasy-pages.blogspot.com
Amore Senza Confini: http://amoresenzaconfini.blogspot.com

Acquisitions Manager/Editor-in-Chief
Absolute XPress, Romance Division
E-mail: romance@absolute-x-press.com
Website: http://absolute-x-press.com
Blog: http://absolute-x-press.blogspot.com
Contest Blog: http://axpcontest.blogspot.com

Please welcome author Lisa Pietsch!


“There was no time for flight. The only option was to fight. Something ugly was about to go down. Sarah braced herself for a fight. Adrenaline kicked in hard and time was marked by the heartbeats that reverberated inside her ears.

Sarah scanned the area quickly for anything she could use as a weapon.

Nothing. Not even a rock!

Sarah eyed the biggest guy there. “You might take me down, but I guarantee I’ll take at least two of you down with me.”

It all happened in the blink of an eye, but it seemed like slow motion for Sarah.

She was surrounded.

Someone grabbed her around the waist from behind.

She jammed her heel as hard as she could into the arch of his foot. Her attacker screamed and let go.

Another man lunged at her from the side and grabbed her arm.

She reacted automatically and threw him to the ground.

He landed flat on his back and groaned as the breath was knocked out of him.

Another one jumped behind her and grabbed her around the waist while the fourth came at her from the front.

The flash of a blade registered in Sarah’s mind.

Knife. Kill or be killed.

Muscle memory and instinct took over and Sarah high-kicked the one with the blade, catching the knife as it was thrown from his hand.

The man behind her let go. Sarah took advantage of the moment and turned on him with the knife in hand, ready to pounce.

He threw up his arms and shrieked like a little girl. “This isn’t worth a hundred bucks!” He ran into the alley and disappeared, leaving the car behind with the engine still running.”

My name is Lisa Pietsch and I’m a writer.

I haven’t found a ten step program for getting that monkey off my back so I’m hoping people will just keep reading my books.

I write what I like. I like action, adventure, travel to exotic locations and romance. I like strong, take-charge women who know what they want and go get it with no apologies. I like guys who are strong, competent and make things happen. I like cute guys who don’t always know they’re cute but always make me laugh.

As proof of that, I’ve written The Path to Freedom. The first in a series of books I plan to write centered around Task Force 125, a special task force created for clandestine counter-terrorism operations. This task force is made up of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, FBI and CIA personnel so there are a great deal of interesting specialists from diverse backgrounds.

In The Path to Freedom, Sarah Stevens is a washed-up military cop whose life is a shambles until she is offered a position on an inter-agency anti-terrorism task force by the CIA. The thirty-year-old, overweight, down-on-her-luck Stevens goes to a secret training camp where she is transformed into a sexy and deadly agent whose mission is to find and stop, by any means possible, the financiers of terrorism against the United States and its allies. Although she goes into it thinking that it is just a job, Sarah soon discovers that this is a new life loaded with adventure, including the handsome Vince Hennessee, her team leader, and unimaginable danger in the form of Hassan, the man she has to destroy.

“Sarah turned to smile at the men, knowing full well her mission wasn’t to win a popularity contest with the hens. Charming these guys would inevitably add to her value as a showpiece. As she turned back to Tony, the tall man turned around and, to her amazement, he was magnificent! She smiled broadly.

Oh, baby! Those photos didn’t do you justice. This job is going to be significantly less unpleasant than I expected. We’re going to hit the sheets and you’re going to spill some secrets, honey!

“Tony. It is so good to see you. Salaam Alaikum,” he said loudly as he walked toward Sarah, eyes locked onto hers.

Oh, you have got to be one of the most attractive men I’ve ever seen!

He stood at least six-foot-three, had a well groomed, short haircut that could have passed for a military cut but looked stunning on him. His chiseled facial features were the kind that would make a New York modeling agent cry. He had high cheekbones and a strong rocklike jaw. The man could have been sculpture come to life.

His eyes were a dark brown and so alert and focused they brought to mind those of a predatory bird. His jet-black hair, eyebrows and trimmed three-day beard and moustache only accentuated the power of his gaze. The only thing that served to soften his face was the sensuous curve of his lips. But once he smiled, his perfect teeth proved danger lay there as well.

Sarah couldn’t help but be entranced with his beauty. Were it not for the touch of gray at each temple, he would be a dead ringer for a Chippendale’s dancer. His shoulders were broad and the chest under his black silk shirt and jacket, though not overly thick, was clearly well muscled. His suit jacket was unbuttoned, showing off his trim waistline. His smile captivated her like watching a cobra as it prepared to strike. So beautiful Sarah simply couldn’t take her eyes away from him.

If Satan were to take a human form to sell condos in Hell, this one would do the job nicely.

The Path to Freedom is available in ebook format through Sapphire Blue Publishing (http://www.sapphirebluepublishing.com). For more information about Lisa Pietsch’s books, visit www.LisaPietsch.com. To get to know more about Lisa Pietsch, visit her MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/lisampietsch.

J.K. COI - LIVING WITH IMMORTALS


J.K. COI—LIVING WITH IMMORTALS

Yep, I live with Immortals. Huge, stubborn warriors who barely know the meaning of compromise and never give up until they get exactly what they want. Difficult to reason with and impossible to out-muscle...but at least they don’t scare my neighbours and eat me out of house and home. They don’t leave the toilet seat up or throw their torn, bloodstained laundry on the floor. I don’t have to wrestle any one of them for the television remote, and they don’t destroy my living room with their swords when they’re training.

They just do all of that in my head.

Yes, I’m probably a little bit crazy (really, what writer isn’t?) but I’ve read the self-help books, taken the 12-step program, and I’m finally willing to admit it to the world: My characters are real to me.

Then again, that’s not so strange. I hope that they will become real to you as well after you read my books. Because, you see, that is the goal of every writer. To create such compelling heroes and heroines, to paint such vivid pictures with words, that the story runs through your head like a blockbuster movie and stays with you long after you’ve finished reading. You should breathe in the scents and textures of that world, cry when the characters hurt, frown and throw things when they are insufferable, and laugh at their lame jokes just as you would for your sweet husband (*kidding, he’s hilarious*).

This is why I am proud to say that I live with Immortals. Like all of us real people do, these strong, alpha warriors have a past, and they have baggage that affects how they deal with others. They have experienced frustration, desire, happiness. My characters have suffered with me, grown and matured with me as we have hashed out their stories together. And I am happy, in turn, to be able to share that with all of you.

So I invite you into my world. Come and meet my immortals...

Immortal Kiss (Book 2, Immortal Series)

Evil lurks in the darkest of shadows, but a band of warriors stands ready to defend humanity against hell’s own monsters—Immortal men hand-picked by destiny and taken out of time hold the fate of the world in their hands.

It has been two years since Baron’s initiation into the world of the Immortals, and during that time, he’s been training with them, setting aside his past to embrace the challenges of his new future…a future without Maxine Deveraux.

Maxine is strong, determined, and loyal to a fault. The last person she wants to have to face is Baron Silver, the man who broke her heart, leaving her without an explanation or even a goodbye. But Maxine gave her word to Baron’s brother Jackson that she’d track him down and bring him home…and Max always keeps her promises.

When Baron encounters a vicious vampire who vows to destroy everything he loves, it doesn’t faze him in the least. He gave up everything he loved along with his humanity. But then the demon attacks Maxine leaving her broken and battered on Baron’s doorstep and he realizes there are still things he can lose…and they are things he can’t live without.

© Immortal Kiss (Book 2, Immortal Series) by J.K. Coi

She put a hand to Baron’s chest in a lame effort to push him back and put distance between them, which he wholly ignored, stepping even closer into her personal space. Baron had always been a very physical person. He had played sports constantly, his body always in motion—almost as if he’d been given an extra dose of energy to make up for what his brother lacked.
Now all of that physical presence was concentrated on her, transformed into blistering, crackling, hot sexual energy. Her fingers curled around the soft cotton of his shirt. “Baron—”
“Max—” he mimicked, his voice deep and husky and so damn sexy.
He was close. So close.She was going to push him away now. Wasn’t she?
Apparently not soon enough to avoid being kissed. Her body tensed with the initial contact of his mouth against hers. It was a sizzling, wet kiss that ignited a fever in her blood, but he was gentle, almost careful with her as if he half expected to get kneed in the groin.
Which was exactly what she should do.
When it came to this man, though, Max had never operated on “should”. Baron had always been her one and worst weakness, the addiction she may never kick no matter how long and hard she tried.
Her lips were opening of their own accord under his gentle but insistent pressure. Damn, this was dangerous.


Thanks so much to Jenny for letting me visit today!
Please visit me at my website for more information about upcoming books, chats, interviews, reviews, and all things Immortal: http://www.jkcoi.com/. I’m also on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/jkcoi and I blog at http://www.jkcoi.blogspot.com/.

J.K. CoiImmortals to Die Forhttp://www.jkcoi.com/

A.R. Moler Stops by for a Guest Blog! Please Give Her a Great Big Welcome!

Hello to all,

I'm A.R. Moler, a chemistry professor, homeschooling mommy of two and a writer. The order of priority depends on what time you ask me. When I tell people I wrote a book, and am nearly finished another, the immediate assumption seems to be that it must be a chemistry text, which usually makes me laugh. Much as I adore chemistry, writing a text book would bore me out of my skull. Instead, there's demons and vampires and gunfire and some really graphic hot sex.
The novel I'm nearly done with is called And Hell Itself Breathes Out. Nothing like stealing from the bard (grin) It's the first book in a series -The SIS Case Files. I already wrote and released the second book - Now I Could Drink Hot Blood. I know, I know, that's backwards and weird. Deal with it. If George Lucas can start in the middle.......SIS is a tiny fictional federal agency, Special Investigative Services, run by my hero, Director John Benchley. His 5 member staff investigates and deals with things that other agencies can't even comprehend.
I'm up to 69K words on Hell Itself and have one more scene to deal with, followed by going back to fix the gaping plot hole round about chapter 6 or so. Some writers do stuff sequentially, obvious I'm not really one of them. I skip stuff when I'm stuck and leave myself notes. ( insert more sex here) No, really. The first time my editor read that she said she about fell out of her chair laughing.
Here's a little exerpt from Now I Could Drink Hot Blood -

John found himself searching the faces of the FBI personnel for Brie. Eventually he saw her, digging gloves and some sampling equipment out of the back of the truck. She wore a standard issue FBI wind breaker and a pair of dark slacks. He dodged past a couple of agents on security detail to get to her.

“Hey Gabrielle!” he called.

She was wearing her dark sunglasses despite the heavy overcast of the day. He stopped beside her and laid a hand on her arm. She looked up at him.

“I recognize those glasses. Migraine ?” he asked.

“Yeah … ” she answered slowly.

“Give me 5 minutes.” He pulled her against his body and threaded his fingers through her hair, rubbing the back of her neck and the knotted muscles at the base of her skull. He felt her mind brush across his. Just a hint of pure pleasure at his touch as her forehead rested on his collarbone.

“Interrogation today?” he asked.

“Yes, better than ninety minutes,” she whispered. His cheek rested against the top of her head, and he noticed that they were receiving a couple of pointed stares. He was amused. He spent a couple more minutes holding her, trying to ease her headache.

“Better?”

“Some. Enough that maybe my eyeballs won’t fall out.” She pulled away and started putting on her gloves. He grabbed her field kit box and followed her toward the body. Cecelia and Evan were measuring and photographing. Several FBI people were doing similar things. This was definitely going to lead to arguments over who got what samples. Brie walked the perimeter, looking. John set the box down and watched her. He slowly realized that she was looking for something. Something specific. She knelt down and used a swab to sample something, placing it in a tube. And then she stroked her fingers across it, feeling the texture of whatever it is through her gloves. The sun chose that moment to break through the clouds. She let out a little squeal and dropped the tube, which was luckily acrylic. She was franticly yanking the glove off her hand.

“Fuckfuckfuck!” she yelled.

John lunged forward, dropping to his knees and grabbed her wrist and peeling most of the glove the rest of the way off. There was gummy melted residue on her palm and fingers, and she was grimacing in pain. John looked at her with a worried expression.

“Hey Cecelia! Get over here!” he shouted. “What happened?” he demanded of Gabrielle.

“Major exothermic reaction.”

“Say what?”

“It didn’t quite burst into flames,” said Brie. Cecelia dropped down beside them.

“Take a look at her hand. Whatever it was, melted the glove,” ordered John.

Cecelia took hold of the other woman’s hand and starts flexing her fingers and trying to assess the damage.

Now I Could Drink Hot Blood is available in both paperback and e-book

http://www.outskirtspress.com/armoler