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Monday, February 27, 2012

GUEST: Em Petrova

Today my guest is Em Petrova, who’s here to talk about her new release, OUTLAWS OF LOVE. To start with, let’s chat with the author:

Welcome Em. It’s great to see you here today. Your heroine in your latest release, Outlaws of Love, experiences a taboo freedom in the book. What would you say is the most liberating part of being a writer?

Great question! For me it’s the ability to express my passions on the page. I’m able to tell my characters’ stories without limiting them by language.

Did you make any exciting discoveries when researching Outlaws of Love?

A ton of research went into this book. I watched dozens of westerns on TV, and Googled hundreds of things, from attire of this time period to when certain words were first used. I actually had a bit of trouble at first because I kept using modern slang, and that was not setting well with my editor!

What was the hardest part of writing the book?

As always, halfway through the plot, I start to question everything I’ve done before and everything I’ve planned to come. I always have at least a day of absolute panic, believing I’ve just wasted my time and the whole story is utter crap. Usually I vent to my writing partner, and the next day, I’m over the hump and ready to pound out the rest of the story.

What is your favourite scene in the book and why?

My favourite scene is when my two heroes trap the heroine in a cave. They not only seduce her, but give in to their urges for each other.

Did you always want to be a writer?

Hmm, do you want the complete list of my occupational dreams? *ahem*

5 years old-ballerina

7 years old- teacher

9 years old- art teacher

12-17 years old- writer

19 years old – artist

31- writer, and I’m sticking with it! Unless of course, the ballet calls and wants me for The Nutcracker!

For you, what makes a hero sexy?

Strong opinions, a dark glare, but a sensitive side he only expresses to his woman.

Are you working on any new projects?

Always! I’m in the middle of the second book in this series (The Hollis Boys). The title is Trail of Lust, and it’s about another member of the Hollis family, Graham, the dark, brooding character from Outlaws of Love.

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m reading several things at once—a pirate story by Eliza Lloyd, as well as submissions from various authors I edit for.

What hobbies do you have away from writing?

What else is there besides writing, reading, or editing? Maybe laundry, if you can call that a hobby? And I play a lot of solitaire when I’m trying to veg my mind.

What makes up your ideal day?

Quiet from dawn till dusk. Okay, so a few bird tweets in there. And me at my computer with a bottomless cup of coffee. Godiva dark chocolate at hand!

Upon traveling west to marry, Annabelle Stephens longed to leave her nickname of Sweetheart Annie and the strict rules of Boston society behind, but the taboo freedom she faces wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. When a sexy outlaw storms into her rented room and kidnaps her, she’s embroiled in a dangerous game with not one man, but two.

Until now Xander Hollis wanted one thing—or maybe two—to stop the Southern Gorge Railroad from stealing the homesteaders’ land, and to act on his desires with his partner in crime James. Like Robin Hoods of the old west, he and James embark on a mission to rob from the rich and give to the poor. When he refuses to let go of the woman who could identify him, he finds he’s in true danger. Danger of losing his heart to the heiress of the very railroad corporation he struggles to bring down.

EXCERPT RATED PG-

With a shiver of apprehension, Annabelle sank into the hip bath that was filled with tepid water. She glared at the wooden plank door of her rented room, daring anyone to come through it uninvited. What kind of place was this? She’d heard the West was uncivilized, but had never dreamed that there wouldn’t be locks on the doors. What was she going to do tonight?

She cast a glance around the small, dingy space, hoping to see a piece of furniture substantial enough to stop an intruder but light enough she could shift on her own. Her gaze lighted on the single set of drawers -- tall and as broad as a man. Well, she mused. Not any man. She’d seen her fair share of stout, pasty men on her travels across the country by stagecoach. Knowing she now had the freedom to look at whomever she chose without the intrusive gazes of society on her sent a thrill through her.

Of course, there was the small matter of her escort, a newly married couple who were friends of her father. But they were often too caught up in each other to notice where her gaze landed. Now the Clarks were on the other side of the hotel, and she couldn’t help but wonder if they’d gotten a room with a lock.

She wished she had thought of the unlocked door before slipping into the bath. She should have moved that chest of drawers first. But the heated depths had called to her. After her dusty travels, she wanted nothing more than to peel off her grungy clothes and enjoy a soak. It wasn’t until she had gotten into the water that the problem occurred to her. After all, she didn’t need a lock to bathe back in Boston.

I’ll hurry.

Quickly, she lifted the linen cloth she’d brought all the way from home and began washing. At one time the cloth had been white as a dove and scented with lavender. Now it was stained from the road dust that had caked her skin daily for the past month. But it was the cleanest she had.

She hastily swirled the cloth in the water and ran it over her sticky throat and down her shoulders. Just as she reached the crest of her breasts, the door burst inward.

A shrill scream bubbled up her throat. Before she could let it out, a huge brute of a man stomped across the room and clamped a hand over her mouth. She struggled beneath his steely grip, tasting the salt of his flesh and drowning in the musky scent of male mingled with leather and horses.

She jackknifed into a ball instinctively, curling up like a possum as she tried to hide her soft, womanly parts from this monster’s gaze -- and worse -- his touch.

Again, she opened her mouth to scream.

He leveled his gaze on her, the depths of his eyes speaking to her loud and clear.

If she wasn’t quiet, he’d kill her.

She swallowed the cry, staring over his fingers with horror as he one-handedly unbuttoned his shirt and tore it off. The thick cloth hit the floor in a cloud of dust. And then he was stepping into the tub with her, lifting her and plopping her smack dab across his hard thighs to claim her mouth.

Her heart drummed nearly out of her chest. What was he going to do to her? At this point, death seemed a better alternative to being violated by this man. She’d be soiled forever -- and her fiancé wouldn’t accept her.

A squawk escaped her, and her attacker sealed his mouth more securely over hers, cutting off all noise and air.

At that moment, the door burst open again. A whoosh of cool breeze washed over her bare shoulders and back. Help me! Before she could utter a sound, the man restrained her further by slipping his fingers around her throat.

To an outsider, it might have seemed a loving gesture, but any thought of escape fled as his rough fingertip settled over her pulse. His thumb pressed the hollow of her throat. If she dared to move, he could choke the breath from her. Or snap her neck. Judging from the hard muscles beneath her, she knew a flick of his wrist would break her neck.

“Oh! Sorry, madam.” A man gulped a breath of air from the doorway. “I mean no disrespect. I was looking for a criminal.”

The man in the tub with her kept on kissing her like they were alone, angling his head and plunging his tongue deep into her mouth until she was dizzy for air.

Em Petrova

~where words mean so much more~

www.empetrova.com

BUY OUTLAWS OF LOVE http://www.loose-id.com/Outlaws-of-Love.aspx

Em Petrova lives in backwoods Pennsylvania, where she raises four kids and two feral kittens and pays too damn much for utilities. But seeing her sexy husband tromp out back with a chainsaw in hand is well worth the frustration of living miles from a mall. She adores writing sex scenes and anything paranormal. When she has the opportunity to mix the two, she’s in her element.

You can learn more about her smutty reads at www.empetrova.com

Thank you for having me!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Newsletter update and Contests!

I'm changing the format of my newsletter a little bit, in that it will no longer be issued filled with book promos and images, but more of an informal chat about what's happening, what's coming out, etc. It will still be news, but there will also be a few exclusives for the subscribers. So, to launch the new, relaxed approach, I'm going to give subscribers their first "Exclusive" look at a series I am starting to write. Some of you will know the character from her presence on Facebook when I've been deactivated or reported *lol* for others, you are about to meet Angelique Devereaux for the first time, and know her story.

My newsletter is generated through Yahoo Groups, and please if you would set your mail to individual, you will only receive 6-8 emails a year from this group. I will be posting the first new format newsletter this afternoon - so I hope you'll subscribe. If you subscribe at any time between now and the next issue, I will send your newsletter to you personally, but today's edition will have a couple of contest listings that you will no longer be eligible for by Monday. THANKS everyone!!



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Authors versus Writers–is there a difference?



Most of us use the terms author and writer in an interchangeable way, and for many years I was one who did this, as well. In the past couple of years, I’ve made a very definitive distinction between the two terms, and it’s one that doesn’t make me very popular in a lot of circles. Thankfully, I’m at a stage where that doesn’t much matter to me. Popularity and respect are two entirely different things, too.

In these days of computers and wonderful word processing programs, anyone can “author” a book and publish it, making it look professional and slick. Even the least talented among us can put words on a page and call it a book. This is in reality a huge part of the problem that dominates the literary world just now, the sheer number of books that are available from sources too vast to name. Quality is a rare thing these days, and often lost amid the quantity of offerings available to readers who don’t stand a chance of ever sifting through everything vying for their precious, hard-earned dollars and cents.

So, what makes a writer different from an author…apart from the fact that one title sounds much more illustrious than the other? Well, in many case, authors believe when they write those much anticipated and welcome words “The End” that their masterpiece is done. Writers, since writing is considered a job by many, understand that writing “The End” means the real work is about to begin. When you’ve finished that wonderful tale is when you, the writer, are ready to begin the building and refining process.

Do you have any idea how many horror stories editors and publishers can tell about the kind of material they see submitted to them daily? I keep wondering when these so-called “authors” become so arrogant that they forget the publisher is not there to serve them, and that to be published is honestly the privilege of having someone believe in your work to the point that they are willing to put their money at risk and hope there will in fact be a pay-off that benefits the writer and the publisher. When did this all get to be the “author” honouring the publisher with granting them the privilege of publishing? Maybe I missed that memo? Or more likely, these brilliant authors have overlooked the first rule of professionalism in this world–read and follow publisher guidelines and their formatting preferences. I realize this will shock some of you, but they don’t put that stuff on the website for show, it’s there to guide you and help them.

Oh, and there’s my other bitch, the way the entire industry suddenly narrows to a self-obsessed “me” mentality with so many new, UNprofessional “authors” who think they’re flaming Shakespeare or the next Nora Roberts. Odds are, you’re not going to be more than a momentary blip on the radar of the industry unless you learn a few hard truths rather early on. This business relies heavily on writers supporting each other, and by that I don’t mean taking advantage of someone else’s established readership to push your book down the throats of that writer’s readers because they have a FB page or a group where their readers come to chat. Common courtesy flies out the bloody window so often in these situations it’s downright infuriating. I’ve had my pages abused in this way, with never a “would you mind if I posted?” ever asked. The assumption that I’ve poured eight years of work and relationship building into all this simply for your convenience is going to get your ass booted and banned quicker than you can possibly imagine as you sit back and wait for my readers to rush in and buy your books.

I can only speak from my personal experiences, but I won’t lie to you–I’ve pitched more than one hissy fit over the past year when total strangers post their promotions on my pages without ever asking if I’d mind. I realize I have about 8000 contacts on Facebook alone, but that doesn’t mean the pages are open house. It might serve many of you well to forge your own relationships if you want to make the leap from ego/vanity author to working writer. I’ve recently formed a wonderful group project with three talented writers I love and admire, they are friends and we shout just as loudly for each other’s successes as many newbies do for themselves. Longevity and success in this world depends hugely on audience perception of you, as well as your books. So, my advice, for what it’s worth is to back off and really LEARN to write, then learn to be professional about it, because frankly–if you don’t have the support of fellow writers, it’s going to be one hell of a lonely comedown for you. Be a writer, a working artist who is learning every day–not an “author” obsessed with your greatness.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Celebrating a new release from GENA SHOWALTER


This is Paris's story. (Look for a two chapter excerpt in the December 27th, 2011 release of Dating the Undead!)

Possessed by the demon of Promiscuity, immortal warrior Paris is irresistibly seductive—but his potent allure comes at a terrible price. Every night he must bed someone new, or weaken and die. And the woman he craves above all others is the one woman he’d thought was forever beyond his reach…until now.


Newly possessed by the demon of Wrath, Sienna Blackstone is racked by a ruthless need to punish those around her. Yet, in Paris’s arms the vulnerable beauty finds soul-searing passion and incredible peace. Until a blood feud between ancient enemies heats up.

Will the battle against gods, angels and creatures of the night bind them eternally– or tear them apart?

The gorgeous ad page was created for Ms. Showalter by Kayden McLeod to accompany our exclusive Sensual Treats interview, available HERE


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Guardian of Destiny

This is a flash fiction introduction to a new fantasy world novel I'm working on... it's evolved and changed a lot since I originally began the project, but I hope you'll enjoy this peek into the world of the Guardians of Destiny...





Night was encroaching too quickly, the blazing streamers of fire reaching through the overhead foliage to light the path were fading, and she was still at least a mile from the safety of her small village. Destino was home, and it had always been home, but hidden in the ageless Valley of Temples, few people know if its existence.

Recently, those who strayed too far often did not return. Those that did were never the same, and refused to speak of what had happened to make them afraid to leave again. A shadow moved to her left and she bit back a cry, literally covering her mouth to silence the mewl of fright. She quickened her pace, stumbling a little bit as more of the blazing glory of the sun dimmed above her. Panic was beginning to wake, her own heartbeat becoming a rapid timpani that deafened her.

So many stories about this area between the open valley and the town. The forests were as legendary as the tales about the I guardiani del destino eterno, and most knew there was truth in the myths of their Guardians. It made her wonder how much truth there was in the stories of the forest. Lupo mannaro or licantropos… the words haunted her, the fear grew with each step.

A flash of silver caught her attention again, made her trip and sent her sprawling. As the air left her lungs she cried out, dazed and in pain. For a few seconds, she was certain she saw silver streak past her, then blackness drifted over her as though a warm blanket had enveloped her.

When awareness returned, it was totally dark.

“What do they call you?”

The voice was like a caress, making her think of the thick, silken fur of a young wolf pup.

She peered in the direction the voice had come from and saw a pale shadow, seated. His back was to a tree and his eyes never left their vigilant watch.

“Capricia,” she told him, and carefully sat up, feeling pain in various parts of her body, but nothing so bad that it would mean broken bones.

“Who are you?”

“Salvatorio.”

“Saviour,” she murmured, aware of the irony in her tone.

“More than you know,” he assured her.

“Humans aren’t meant to stray this far from Destino, especially at night. The Guardians are not as powerful as once they were.”

“Why are you watching over me? I have the Hermit.”

Laughter met the observation, and something in the cold disdain made her shiver.

“She’d destroy the old one if he did dare to attempt to find you here.”

“Who?”

Salvatorio’s head tilted to one side and in the waking moonlight, something glimmered in the amber depths, pity, or perhaps just sadness.

“Have you heard the legend of the Benandanti?”

She was sitting up now, facing him. She nodded.

“Myth has it the Benandanti were werewolves that left their physical bodies behind to become wolves, at which point they would go to the underworld to fight witches.” She smiled and shrugged. “It’s a myth. Like the ones about Destino.”

He tilted his head to one side. “But myth is truth in Destino. Why not this?”

Ice kissed the nape of her neck, then slithered down her back, pooling in the hollow at the base of her spine. She sensed truth in what he spoke.

“Salvatorio… Benandanti…” She said his name with reverence and awe. “You are hunting tonight, aren’t you? And I have interrupted you.”

“I am hunting, beautiful Capricia,” he agreed. “But you are my reason for being here.”

“Me?”

The single syllable had barely sputtered from her lips when the night exploded around them with a shriek of rage and hatred that reverberated and made the forest appear to cringe.

The ground inches from her erupted like great Vesuvius, and flung her back. She was still gaping in shock when Salvatorio launched from his deceptively casual slouch against the tree trunk. He leapt, quite literally flying toward the wretched winged creature who was turning her wrath toward Capricia. Glittery magic tingled in the air, sparkled like a million stars shaping and coalescing into a perfect form, bones shifted and reshaped, naked skin became a gleaming coat of purest white and silver, and the open maw filled with lethal teeth went straight for the witch’s throat.

Capricia screamed, then covered her mouth with her hands and she scrambled back, fascinated, unable to not watch the battle that was being raged in front of her. Blood spurted from the wounds Salvatorio inflicted without mercy, and the witch’s arms flailed as she tried vainly to cast him off…. Her words, garbled and without proper enunciation, did little more than create harmless mini-globes of fire that died as quickly as they were born. He had all but torn out her throat on his first lunge.

It was over in minutes that felt like an eternity. And when he fell back onto the mossy floor of the forest, panting heavily, Capricia crawled to his side.

“What was that?”

He closed his eyes and she could feel the power gathering around him again, the mystical energies drawn from the earth itself to make the elemental change from wolf to man. Once the Change had completed he opened his eyes again, and his voice was still rough with the rasp of a growl.

“One of the underworld witches.” He sighed, tired. “Those who have disappeared. They have died at the hands of her kind. She was the oldest, called Ssenya. She wanted you, because you have a special destiny you have yet to know.”

In the distance there was the sound of wings.

“The Guardian arrives at last.”

Salvatorio’s voice wasn’t quite bitter, but it was angry.

“Go with him, bella mia,” he ordered. “I will be here when you have need of me again. Now is not our time.”

She bent forward to kiss him and then backed away quickly when he thrust her away from him.

“Do not always be so eager to live your life in danger!”

She ran.

Salvatorio stared into the greyed eyes of the gargoyle, and the Hermit nodded his understanding.

**A new Guardian will soon arrive, licantropos**

“Guard her well until then. She is my mate, though she doesn’t realize what the Fates have chosen for her.”

**She will be safe**


© 2010 Denysé Bridger


Thursday, February 09, 2012

Guest: Aubrie Dionne

Meet Aubrie Dionne

Hello Aubrie. Thank you for joining us at the blog today. Can you tell us about your latest release, Tundra 37? Where did the idea originate? How did the characters develop? And why did you choose the setting?

I feel like I live in the coldest place on Earth. Actually, I live in NH, and Alaska and Antarctica get much colder. But sometimes, when my eyeballs feel like they’re going to freeze, and my car is iced over so thick I can’t even open the door, it seems like the North pole.

So, the setting comes directly from my own experiences!

As for the idea: I already wrote about someone who didn’t like their lifemate match in Paradise 21, so I decided to go 180 degrees in the other direction, and set someone up with a lifemate they like TOO much! It was hilarious fun for me (and not so much for my poor character).

How much planning and plotting is involved in your work before you begin to write?

I think about the ideas for a few weeks before starting chapter one. But, I’m always thinking and readjusting along the way.

Do you have a critique partner?

I have several! I tend to collect them! They are all so helpful to me. The one who’s been there through thick and thin is Cherie Reich. She’s the best, and I wouldn’t be here today without her. Everyone needs to go check out her horror story, which is a bestseller: Once Upon a December Nightmare. I’m proud to have been a critique partner for that story.

What time of day or night do you best at?

I write best when everything is quiet at night. The worst time is during the day right before I have to go teach flute lessons! I can’t concentrate on anything!

What has been the best piece of advice you have ever been given by an editor?

To draw out the conversations that mean the most and press into the harder issues.

What thoughts and emotions do you hope readers will take with them from one of your books?

I hope they have a positive feeling about the future.

Thank you for joining us today.
Thanks for having me! These were fantastic questions!


Prologue

The Seers

I’m losing her.

Abysme guides the vessel in silence, her blind eyes rolling as she senses our course, two hundred years away from Paradise 18. She’s scattered her thoughts among the stars, and her mind drifts farther from the sister I once knew. I fear the machine has engulfed her individuality. She’s forgotten the meaning of our goal, the oath we took three centuries ago. Most of all, she’s forgotten me, creating an emptiness inside me more profound than the desolation surrounding us.

If I had my arms, I’d reach out to comfort her and usher her back from the black abyss spread before us. As children, I kept her alive through the destruction, signing us up for the Expedition and winning two tickets off Old Earth before it succumbed to hell. But can I save her now?

I send impulses through my brainwaves and into the ship. Bysme, do you hear me?

Unlike her, I have one operating eye and can see the control chamber we hang from. Twisting my head, I search her features. Her skeletal face twitches. She writhes and the wires holding her in place stretch taut. I wonder what I’ve done to us, the shock of our disembodiment jolting me. Every input hole drilled into my skull snakes with activity. The ship surges through me, a vast intranet of information, names, status charts, and infinite trajectories. If I couldn’t feel the cold, regulated air on the remnants of my torso, I’d be lost in the machine too. I remind myself of our mission and the perseverance flows into my veins.

She doesn’t respond and the fear wells up from within me. Can I guide the ship alone? I realize I’ve left her at the helm for too long while I drifted into memories.

Status of Beta Prime? Bysme speaks in monotone computer speech as she turns to the corner of the main control deck where the orb glistens, tempting us with the mysteries hidden in the cosmic swirls within its core. Sometimes, I wish we’d blasted the ball off the hull after its tendrils attached to the outer frame instead of recovering it for study. We’ve guarded it for so long, Project Beta Prime has become part of us, yet we’re further than ever from unlocking its secrets. All I know is the insistence of my memories, like ghosts that refused to be ignored.

Unchanged. The weight of my voice in our mindspeak reflects my disappointment. Like everything else.

Bysme falls silent, and I scan the systems searching for answers that aren’t there.




Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Guest: Alicia Singleton

Alicia Singleton’s Recipe for Keeping Sane While Writing Your Bestselling Novel

“Mom, can you play catch with me?” “Honey, what’s for dinner?” “Do you have a couple of minutes to talk?” “You know that writing stuff is just a hobby. Come on, let’s go out.”

Sound familiar?

You’re a writer. You want to finish the novel that’s been kicking around in your head, but you can’t find the time, the energy or sometimes, the motivation. The kids are pulling you in one direction, the job in another, hubby or wifey in another, then there’s the well meaning friends and family members. The Dream Snatchers. You know the people who laugh at your dream of becoming a published author.

Over the past 18 years, I’ve had these same things happen to me, so I understand the frustration. Even through full time jobs, the start of a full time business, home schooling a child, civic and church activities, I finished my novel. Here are some tips to help reach your goal.

Dream Management Tips

Quiet the negative roar:

Limit your conversations with naysayers. Set limits and expectation on how people will treat you. It may take time, but it’ll be worth the peace of mind you’ll receive and it safeguards your dream from dream killers.

Find support:

Take a writing class. Start a critique group by placing an ad in your community paper. Join a writing organization and network. Seek out like minded and like genre writers. You’ll become each other’s support system, you’ll begin to educate yourself about the writing process and the writing industry, and network with industry professionals.

Believe in yourself and nourish your dream:

The mind is a very powerful tool. It can wage war on a dream or bring a dream to fruition. Often, being alone with the negative voices in your head will kill a dream faster than any nay saying outside influence. Train your mind to bring about your dream. For the next 21 days, before you get out of bed, take 30 to 45 seconds to train your mind with positive affirmations. They don’t have to be eloquent. Here are a few: I refuse to accept the possibility of the death of my dream. Desire backed by faith knows no such word as impossible. Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds. Throughout the day, if a negative thought about your writing pops into your mind, say your affirmations. Saying these out loud several times a day may seem silly, but believe me, they work.

Time Management

Schedule or parish:

Do you have time on the weekends to write? Is late night a better time to squeeze in an hour per day? Will the early morning hours afford you an hour or two to work on your manuscript? Ask yourself, ‘When do I have at least an hour to write?’ Be realistic or you’ll be disappointed when you don’t reach your goal. Once you find that time, sanction it as your writing work time then follow these steps:

A. Write your daily writing work schedule down on your calendar.

B. Make the commitment. During that time you will sit down

and plot, do character sketches, talk a conflict-driven scenes into a tape

recorder, edit and write, write, and write some more. (I spoke the

majority of Dark Side of Valor into a tape recorder then transcribed it

onto my computer. It’s easier for me because, like a movie, I see the

scene images in my mind, close my eyes and talk what I see, hear, smells,

taste, and feel through the characters. I recorded during lunch breaks, in

my car, anywhere that I had a free moment. Everyone’s different. Find

out what works for you.)

C. If you’re likely to be disturbed, post an, Author at Work. Do Not

Disturb, sign on your closed door and let the answering machine or

voice mail pick up your calls. This is your work schedule, so treat it as if

you’re leaving the house to go to work. Set limits and expectations and

stick to them.

D. Form a habit to work on your writing at least 5 days a week, even if

it’s for 30 minutes or 1 hour a day.

Your manuscript is waiting. Its calling to you, Finish me! Finish me! You can go crazy trying to eke through it or you can take the sane way out. Complete your novel. Your dream awaits!

Click here to enter The Dark Side of Valor Contest for chance to win $125 in Visa Gift Cards!

Want to read a page-turning thrill ride? Pick up a copy of Alicia’s award winning suspense novel, Dark Side of Valor.

“A well-paced novel of suspense that veers into romance and ends like a thriller.”

Kirkus Reviews

Order Dark Side of Valor today at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Indie Bound

or wherever books are sold.

Visit Alicia’s website: www.aliciasingleton.com

Email Alicia at: alicia@aliciasingleton.com

By her sophomore year in college, Alicia Singleton knew she was born to be a writer. Too intimidated to change her major, she continued her nursing studies and received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 1987. Many years later, the dream deferred became reality when her debut novel, Dark Side of Valor, won the Sistah Circle National Book Club Best Thriller Award. Alicia was also awarded the National Association of Women Writers Award of Excellence from the Maryland Chapter.

Alicia resides in Maryland with her wonderful husband and son and is hard at work completing her next suspense novel.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Pas des Deux - WIN a box of BACI Chocolates!


Win a box of Baci Chocolates!

When you buy a copy of Pas De Deux by Denyse Bridger and Brigit Aine. To enter send us your name and proof of purchase. In time for Valentine's Day!

Send your proof of purchase to ana@xoxopublishing.com


PAS DES DEUX - Her Secret Admirer - Brigit Aine
PAS DES DEUX - The Conversation Cards - Denysé Bridger

One sweet, one sexy - both passionate and guaranteed to make you smile!


Two very different stories of love and passion. In Brigit Aine’s enchanting tale, Her Secret Admirer, love is being discovered, with all its magic and mystery and hope… and in the second movement of the Duet, The Conversation Cards, two people already involved in their passionate love affair learn new things about each other, and reaffirm their bond.

Pas des Deux: Her Secret Admirer – Love is often found when it’s least expected. Cindy is working hard at making her business a success, and at her side offering solid support is Will. When she arrives home one evening to find a Valentine Love Coupon taped to her door, a romantic game of dreams and hope begins as her Secret Admirer begins a courtship that will win her heart long before she knows his name…

Pas des Deux: The Conversation Cards – Two modern lovers, living often separate lives, discover that making time for their relationship isn’t always easy. A whimsical, spur of the moment purchase of a Valentine novelty evokes an open and honest conversation that makes their secret getaway an even more romantic rendezvous, and renews hope for a future that is the stuff of dreams…

BUY IT HERE

And if you'd like to know how this set of stories came into being, drop by the Authors Who ROCK! blog, I posted the backstory there yesterday!


Monday, February 06, 2012

Special Guest: Caridad Pineiro

Today my guest is wonderful Harlequin author Caridad Pineiro. She was gracious enough to agree to appear here when I contacted her after reading her story When Herald Angels Sing in the A VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS Collection. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know this wonderful author a little better, and she’s also hosting a very nice contest that she’ll tell you about at the end of our interview. So, over to Caridad now...

  1. How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first book in the fifth grade when my teacher assigned a project: to write a book for a class lending library. I realized then that I wanted to be a writer and I kept on writing all through school. Shortly after my daughter was born, I decided I had to reach for my dream of finishing a book and getting published.

  1. How long have you been a published author?

My first novel, a contemporary romance, came out in September 1999.

  1. What titles do you have available?

I now have about 30 published novels and/or novellas. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that it’s that many!

  1. What made you choose vampires as the subject of this book?

My editor called and asked me to do another Vampire Christmas story and since I loved doing the first HOLIDAY WITH A VAMPIRE in 2007, I jumped at the chance. To make it have a Christmas feel, I made it like Dicken’s Christmas Carol and made the love story revolve around the angel who is trying to make the vampire see the error of his ways.


  1. Do you have any new titles coming soon?

This is a really busy year for me! Right now I have two erotic paranormal romance novellas available–AMAZON AWAKENING and NOCTURNAL WHISPERS. I’ll have another 3 novellas out for NOCTURNE CRAVINGS this year also. Then in May 2012, THE CLAIMED will be available. That’s the second book in the SIN HUNTER series. Finally, in November 2012 THE CALLING Vampire novels returns and continue with 4 more books in 2013.

  1. What is your favourite genre and why?

I love paranormal suspense the best. I think the mix of paranormal and romantic suspense really provides for a lot of different possibilities for the stories.

  1. What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process?

The most exciting process is getting to understand the characters and have them become real in your mind. It makes it that much easier to write the story when you care about them and want to see them have their happily-ever-after.

  1. If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why?

One choice hands down: J.D. Robb. I just loved the IN DEATH series and it would be way cool to be able to write one of those stories with her.

  1. Where can readers find you on the web?

I have websites at www.caridad.com

and www.rebornvampirenovels.com

Readers can also find me at www.facebook.com/caridad.author

and on twitter at @CaridadPineiro

I’m celebrating the release of NOCTURNAL WHISPERS right now and running a giveaway on my site. Readers can come by and enter at http://www.caridad.com/blog



Friday, February 03, 2012

Faith, Kindness and Love...

We don't know who replied, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service!


Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month.

The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so, and she dictated these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I 'm happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love,
Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey & Meredith , addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven.

That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand.

Meredith opened it.

Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies.' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog.

Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in so I'm sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank-you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.

By the way, I'm easy to find. I am wherever there is love.

Love,
God

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Guest: G. MITCHELL BAKER

Today my guest is G. Mitchell Baker, or Mitch as he tells his friends to call him. Mitch is a relatively new author, recently published by XoXo Publishing™ in their mainstream fiction line. Apart from being a very entertaining author, Mitch is a smart, witty, charming man and I hope you enjoy getting to know a little more about him and his book(s) today. So first a look at the book, then a chat with the man behind the words. Welcome G. Mitchell Baker...


The Napkin Manuscript: Involvement – Volume I and Volume II

Jon Wohlford Emerson fends off the effects of both personal and professional devastation … getting to know colorful street characters like Bug Dog, Chilly Belly, and Speedy G, they not only scheme to overcome Jon’s adversity, but become good friends. Jon again learns to involve himself in his children’s lives by writing a Father’s Lessons to his Children on paper napkins. Eventually the napkins take on a life of their own and bridge the relationship Jon desires between Jon, now the better father and his welcoming daughters.

"The Napkin Manuscript, Involvement by G. Mitchell Baker, is an intensely cerebral tory. Those who seek to understand the meaning of their existence are destined to discover, all life is a quest. Baker’s particular quest includes archetypal characters and classic mythology reminiscent of Joseph Campbell’s philosophies. It is also rich with symbolism reflecting Carl Jung’s journeys through the mind (dreams, myths, archetypes). The characters sprinkled generously throughout the story represent multilayered archetypes, each one necessary for the next rung on Baker’s ladder of self-discovery. From wealth and prominence, to rags and homelessness, the road taken here is often disturbingly uncomfortable. A good read, a bumpy ride, and a light at the end of the tunnel." ~ Joan Leslie Woodruff, MEd, OTR; Traditional Stories and Foods (1990); Neighbors (1993); The Shiloh Renewal (1998); Ghost in the Rainbow (2002); Wishes and Windmills (2003); Polar Bears in the Kitchen (2009).

The Interview:

1. How long have you been writing?

Initially I started writing as a columnist, writer of op editorials and other miscellaneous contributions. I began writing in the novel format about fifteen years ago. Writing in the feature-length screenplay format, began for me in about 2000, when I lived Southern California. I started running into agents who kept saying things like “You have to adapt that story into a Screenplay”. From that I actually played a small part in testing the first generation of Screenplay writing software… I began doing both… writing Screenplays and adapting them to novel format and writing novels and adapting the stories to screenplay…

2. How long have you been a published author?

Having published as a columnist, writer of op-editorials and miscellaneous contributions, my first novels, The Napkin Manuscript: Involvement – Volume I and The Napkin Manuscript: Involvement – Volume II were recently released through XoXo Publishing in various eBook formats. My writing of novels and screenplays goes back at least fifteen years…

3. What titles do you have available?

The Napkin Manuscript: Involvement – Volume I released in various eBook formats through XoXo Publishing, December 2011 - The Napkin Manuscript: Involvement – Volume II released in various eBook formats through XoXo Publishing, January 2012 - I just learned both of The Napkin Manuscript Novels are the subject of internal discussion at XoXo and might soon be heading to print…

4. What made you choose the subject of this book?

Parenting, children of parents and the choices between them interest me … the question of how parents choose to act with respect their children interests me and I wanted to write on these subjects from the perspective of creating entertaining fiction so to bring as much insight to these subjects as possible… In The Napkin Manuscript series of novels, the tension evolves from the challenge a father’s faces for being and remaining Involved in his children’s lives. Then the challenge for the father is to be Consistently Involved (The Napkin Manuscript: Consistency: Volumes I & II). From the consistent involvement, there then can be an Awareness evolving from choosing to be consistently involved (The Napkin Manuscript: Awareness: Volumes I & II). From the Awareness may come Nurturance and the achievement of the kind of parenting (father-child) relationships that are both full and meaningful…(The Napkin Manuscript: Nurture: Volumes I & II).

5. Do you have any new titles coming soon? Will you be venturing into the area of fiction anytime soon?

‘ANNT’ is Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology …
ANNT: Axiom – Volume I is to release in various eBook formats through Double Dragon Publishing, March 2012
ANNT: Axiom – Volume II is to release in various eBook formats through Double Dragon Publishing, mid-2012
ANNT: Axiom – Volume III is to release in various eBook formats through Double Dragon Publishing, late-2012

6. What is your favourite genre and why?

I like writing in the genres of Contemporary Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult Novel, Supernatural/Paranormal Mystery, and Illustrated Children’s Books.

Presently, I have received positive feedback regarding a Young Adult Novel entitled Kirby ‘Webb’ Webster and Kinny the Rodeo Hound …a novel addressing the adverse effects of complex society on youth, otherwise struggling to get through their day, let alone having enough reserve to consider their rightful place in the legacy of their own family…

There is also an illustrated children’s book Garrett Guy receiving serious consideration for development into a series of children’s books … This project focuses on a day in the life of Garrett and his positive relationships with others through his outdoor activities.

Then there is the recent news of the “Green Light” that came down from XoXo Publishing for me to begin the adaptation of two Supernatural/Paranormal Mystery stories from feature length screenplays to novel format. Watch for the Lethal Believers series in novels to begin release in late 2012 and early 2013 … these stories are international in scope, but are grounded in the supernatural of the Southwest United States … http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lethal-Believers/347943865229788.

7. What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process?

I have always enjoyed researching ideas and concepts … bringing far-reaching ideas and concepts together and creating meaningful stories … layered themes and strong plot driven by well thought-out and interesting characters. For example, the Science Fiction trilogy “ANNT: Axiom”, the new generation of Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology is an incredible journey merging SCI-FI creativity with hard research … I love to research and bring far-reaching ideas and concepts together and to hopefully entertain…

8. If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why?

Wow … an interesting question that I have never really considered before…
But then again, as a father, I have already experienced the great pleasure of illustrating and writing a children’s book with my son … I think it would be so much fun to write a young adult novel with my other child…

In the realm of Science Fiction, I have always considered it would be a privilege to work with the Sci-Fi legend… Richard Matheson… I often wonder what common ground we could find to create a story, theme, and characters… the social context… the possibilities… oh the possibilities…

In the genre of Supernatural/Paranormal Mystery I find the intersection (tension) between reality (perhaps realism) and fantasy most intriguing… I would consider writing a Supernatural Mystery/Thriller with you Denyse if you agreed to leave the fantasy to me and you (reluctantly) agreed to manage the realism (quite the role reversal don’t you think) … wink wink, nod nod… I cannot even begin imagine the creative tension in that project… again with the nod, nod wink wink… (Smiles)

9. Where can readers find you on the web?

You Will Find My Latest Work at:

The Napkin Manuscript: Involvement -Volume I

The Napkin Manuscript: Involvement -Volume II