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Friday, May 25, 2012

Today's New Release!

Jaded Hearts
By: Denysé Bridger

Protected federal witness Carlos D’Alejandro and Special Agent Jade Lazlow–Whinton have had a relationship of convenience over the years. Jade’s retired, but when her estranged husband needs her, he uses her attachment to the enigmatic Carlos to lure her back into the field. When she recovers from near-fatal wounds and discovers the deceit, she goes to the one man who will never lie to her. Carlos.

The idyllic Pacific island paradise D’Alejandro calls home is the stuff of fantasy, but it isn’t long before reality knocks on the door and shatters their peace. The news is grim. People they loved have been killed, and these two unlikely lovers are forced to face a truth neither of them has been willing to examine too closely—that their passion is more than intense attraction.

Publisher’s Note: This title was previously published elsewhere and has been extensively revised for Ellora’s Cave.

Anyone who drops by and leaves a comment, you'll be entered to win a copy of my other Ellora's Cave release - HIDE AND SECRET

New Release - Comment and Win!

Jaded Hearts
By: Denysé Bridger

Protected federal witness Carlos D’Alejandro and Special Agent Jade Lazlow–Whinton have had a relationship of convenience over the years. Jade’s retired, but when her estranged husband needs her, he uses her attachment to the enigmatic Carlos to lure her back into the field. When she recovers from near-fatal wounds and discovers the deceit, she goes to the one man who will never lie to her. Carlos.

The idyllic Pacific island paradise D’Alejandro calls home is the stuff of fantasy, but it isn’t long before reality knocks on the door and shatters their peace. The news is grim. People they loved have been killed, and these two unlikely lovers are forced to face a truth neither of them has been willing to examine too closely—that their passion is more than intense attraction.

Publisher’s Note: This title was previously published elsewhere and has been extensively revised for Ellora’s Cave.



Anyone who drops by and leaves a comment, you'll be entered to win a copy of my other Ellora's Cave release - HIDE AND SECRET


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Is there a cure for Social Ignorance?

Here we are again, and for some of you, this is simply the latest chapter in an on-going story for me and the Social Networking Wonder known as Facebook. I’ve been using Facebook for I believe about five years now, not entirely sure, but that doesn’t matter anyway. About two years ago I decided to take advantage of their “fan page” alternative because I was getting so much promotional stuff posted to what is my personal profile. So, I created a page that mirrors my website and called it Romance and Fantasy, as most things associated with me professionally come under that tag line and have since 2004 when I signed my first contract. The fan page currently has approx. 2800 followers, and daily stats show it to be a very active page, seen by just under ONE MILLION people since its inception. So, it has become a popular stop for many readers and fans, often on a daily basis. Something that truly humbles me and leaves me in awe.

One of the things I’ve done as a fun way to chat is post images of sexy heroes for everyone to enjoy. The page’s primary readers are women, and the men have been known to have a lot of fun bantering with the comments that are posted on some of the hunky guys, too. It’s all in fun, and 95% of the images posted are from other pages on Facebook or Male Model sites. NONE of them are naked, graphic, or offensive to those who drop by to hit the like button or leave a comment. However, I was forced early on to set the page as visible to those 21 years old and over. Not a problem, we all get a little profane occasionally, and when I rant, I’ve been known to be less than ladylike. If I was a parent, I wouldn’t want my kids reading what is occasionally posted in comments on my fan page. That stated, it’s rare that anything questionable is said.

In the past two years, the fan page has seen its share of controversy. Only TODAY I have had a photo reported and removed, and I’m currently under a three day suspension with FB for posting what someone deemed “inappropriate content” and this image is the offence. I see an attractive man wearing all his clothes, all the naughty bits are well covered. Yet someone hit report–some supposed ADULT found this image sexually inappropriate or pornographic. Maybe I’m not seeing straight, but how is this pornographic? I can well imagine this guy inspiring a few pornographic fantasies, but here he’s just a sexy model, at least in my view. Feel free to correct this misconception of mine, if you want to, I’m always open to an intelligent exchange of views.


We all have our frustrations with this site, and many of them are valid annoyances. Facebook allows the formation of unmonitored groups that spew hate propaganda to impressionable minds, support homophobia, racial discrimination, violence against women and children, bullying, and any other number of things society as a rule finds repugnant. Yet, these sites continue to exist and are left alone to spread their disease. People who want to put themselves in the position of moral watchdogs need to cast their net wider than romance sites, in my opinion. Some guy’s naked chest doesn’t disturb me unless he’s got a kill list tattooed on it, then he’d be the monster we need to be rid of on a page.

The media has taken some weird twists and stands over all our lives to a large degree. We live in an age where absurdities are accepted as the norm now, and that’s a scary damn precedent to have set. Huge corporations tell us what is and isn’t appropriate for us, and we accept this far too often. Recently Sony Corporation has told a romance author she can’t use the name Adele, because it’s one of their registered trademarks. And there are people who support that stance. I’m only guessing, but I think it’s a safe bet that the author’s mother registered her daughter’s name long before the singer came onto the stage. Can one trademark a commonly used given name? Apparently, but does that mean it should be allowed? Think about that–we might all one day be sued or issued cease and desist orders instructing us to stop using our own names!

People have been screaming for some kind of moderation and review of the vagaries of social media and the control it has over us all. EVERYONE agrees that policies have to exist to protect people from predatory internet stalkers and hate mongers. That isn’t even a question that needs revisiting. What DOES need looking at, with honesty and some semblance of sense is how “reports” are monitored and dealt with on large media sites. Every day millions upon millions of users log in to their Facebook profiles and socialize with people. The site can deactivate you for nothing more than someone vindictively pressing a report button on something you’ve said or done if they don’t like it. You don’t even get the chance to defend yourself, the judgement is passed.

Authors of romance novels have had their book covers deemed “inappropriate content” by Facebook–had their profiles frozen for days or weeks because some ignorant, uptight asshole didn’t like an image, or a story excerpt, or maybe what colour underwear the author said she/he wore that day. We use this site to network with others in our chosen profession, to allow readers to socialize with us in a SAFE environment that works for us and them. Role-play writers pour their hearts into entertaining people and fans, often bringing much needed relaxation and enjoyment to their readers, every day they risk all that hard work vanishing because of some jerk with a bug up their ass reporting them as a phoney profile. It’s acceptable to take out a creative writer, but not the page that screams about white supremacy, or tells you it’s your right to slap around your kids or your mate? If this is the case our next major research really needs to be finding a cure for social ignorance.

See you on the dark side in about three days everyone! That’s when Facebook is going to let me talk to you again.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

NEW from Nikki Noffsinger - CURSED AWAKENING

Take a look at the new release from Renegade Night author Nikki Noffsinger. Enter a world of passion, wolf-shifters, and love that conquers all.

New from XoXo Publishing™

Also available at Amazon.com

Blurb:

Ivy Morgan has re-invented herself and is looking forward to the future for the first time, in a very long time. Since fleeing for her life from an overzealous religious cult, she is able to be a modern woman that is gaining her independence; so taking up with a sexy stranger named Nyx is the last thing she needs. Or, is it?

Nyx Wahpeton can’t stop thinking about the young woman he’s met. It couldn’t have come at the worse possible time with the clans meeting and his family wrapped up in a centuries old war that’s nothing short of what horror movies are made from. He’s been a protector of his people and those that reside at the Reservation. There’s betrayal and evil at his front door; but, in his heart he knows Ivy is the one for him. She’s surrounded by secrets that he’s vowed to unlock, as well as her heart. However, can he keep her safe from his own secrets?

Read an excerpt and be enchanted:

Lorna drove down the street to a salon. Ivy was going to get her hair cut. She was excited as they went in and started looking through the hair magazines for a new hairstyle. Ivy had long hair for her whole life and felt as if she should be nervous about cutting it, but it symbolized a life that she had no desire to live. A petite blonde woman came over to where they were sitting and ushered Ivy to her chair.

“You have really gorgeous hair, you know that! Are you sure you want it cut?” the beautician asked as she fingered through Ivy’s waist length hair.

“Yes! I am quite sure! I was thinking something to my shoulders and layered perhaps.” Ivy replied.

“Alright, I know just the style that would be perfect for you that would complement your face shape!” the beautician said as she took Ivy to a shampoo bowl.

Lorna looked on as the beautician shampooed, conditioned and wrapped a towel around Ivy’s head. Ivy had certainly come a long way from the scared girl that she’d rescued from the Shepherds of the Flock religious group. The Shepherds of the Flock were a cult that was similar to the LDS church that she had fled herself fifteen years ago. It had taken her three years to help Ivy get to where she was today. Ivy had been married to an elder as his seventh wife and it had been hell getting her out! She had first met Ivy in a hospital where she had been taken for not just a miscarriage but also being beaten nearly to death. A nurse, Millie Shugart had called Lorna and she had broken a number of traffic laws getting to the hospital to see Ivy. Lorna shuddered in her seat as she remembered how battered and beaten Ivy had been.

She had been like a frightened child and Lorna had told her of her own life with the LDS church, and had offered Ivy a way out. Ivy had been so distrustful but she took the help that Lorna had offered. Lorna immediately called Terrance McGee and got a police guard at the hospital and filed the necessary paperwork and police report. Ivy had been a child bride and had gotten pregnant but due to a beating by her ‘beloved’ husband, she had miscarried the baby. One of the sister wives had brought her to the hospital and left her there. When the hospital released Ivy, Lorna had taken her in and for a solid year it had been a nightmare! Ivy had terrible nightmares and for the first part of that year, she wouldn’t even talk to the psychologist.

It was like getting a wild and feral animal to trust, and Lorna was amazed she’d been able to salvage Ivy through the layers of abuse. This was her job, her calling and Ivy was a success story. Ivy would have the life she was meant to have, not the one she had been born into. Lorna smiled as she watched Ivy’s face scrunch up as the hair stylist took that first cut off those long locks of hers. ‘Breathe Ivy! Breathe!’ Lorna thought to herself. Lorna knew all too well that first cut had been not just a big step but more like a jump across the Grand Canyon.

“Are you okay, hon? You’re not going to cry or anything are you?” the beautician said frantically as she noticed that Ivy had an odd look to her face. It was a look that blended well with panic. Ivy wasn’t panicked but it was like some invisible fear that suddenly the world was going to fall apart or she’d be struck down by God for cutting her hair.

It wasn’t until Lorna walked over and bent down to her ear. “Ivy, Ivy open your eyes!” Lorna urged. Ivy slowly lifted her lids. Lorna smiled, “See, the world is still turning and you’re not a crispy critter! No cracking earth or devil to drag you through the floor!”

It was true, and she felt stupid for overreacting but for some reason she had to have that verbal assurance that nothing Papa Paul had said was true. The beautician waited until she relaxed again in the chair. Ivy smiled slightly and told the girl to go ahead with the hair cut. Lorna patted her shoulder and returned to her seat in the shop’s lobby. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to freak out! This is my first haircut!” Ivy admitted. The girl smiled and nodded, “Well it’s going to be the best first hair cut anyone has ever gotten.” The two young women laughed.

In about an hour, the beautician was finished. Ivy looked at her hair that came just past her shoulders. It had layers that had been cut in with a razor and she looked modern, stylish, and pretty instead of looking as if she dropped out of the 1800s. Papa Paul had always told her and the others that for a woman to cut her hair was a sin and abomination in the eyes of God and her husband. A woman who cut her hair, wore make-up and wore the garments of Satan would be subject to the wrath of God. Next to adultery and being barren; the sin of cutting one’s hair was right up there with the seven deadliest.

Anything that caused the displeasure of one’s husband and God was grounds for beatings, seclusion, starvation, and the worst - Purification. In her lifetime, Ivy had watched as her own mother had been whipped and taken out into the wilds to fend for herself with no clothing or even shoes. Her own mother had beaten into Ivy, physically and mentally the duties as to which Ivy would one day carry out. Ivy pushed those thoughts out of her head. Today she was starting her new life officially and the past was not going to play any part in it! She stood as Lorna met her giving her a reassuring look.

“Woo hoo! Look at you girl! Now that is what I call a very attractive hair do!” Lorna praised. Ivy blushed slightly at her friend’s assessment. Lorna paid the woman and they both left.

Buy The eBook HERE

Amazon KINDLE


Friday, May 04, 2012

Guest: SUSAN SPENCE

My First Book Sale That Mattered

When I received the first hard copies of A Story of the West, I put a few in a bag and began peddling them. It was just lil’ ol’ me, nervous and alone, pounding the pavement. I went to a couple of stores and sold a few copies, mainly because even though I was an unknown first-time author, as a local, there was some interest.

One day I thought, what the heck, and decided to try my luck at a store in a nearby town where I bought dog food. It was a unique place because on one side you could buy livestock feed, as well as halters for horses and other animal supplies. On the other side was an upscale western boutique that carried really nice, expensive clothing and gifts.

I approached a clerk on the boutique side and asked her if they sold any books. She told me that they carried a few coffee table books, but that I should come back and talk to Carol, the owner.

I returned when Carol was there, introduced myself, told her about A Story of the West and asked if she would be interested in carrying it. Her reply was that she would have to read the book first. She then asked me to sell her a copy at cost. I willingly obliged and handed over a signed copy for only slightly more than I had paid for it.

I waited for a couple of weeks before I went back as I was terrified of hearing my first critique by a stranger. Finally, my knees knocking, I got up the courage to return and ask Carol what she thought of my creation.

I still remember walking up to her. She didn’t smile as I approached and I couldn’t read her expression. I asked what she thought of it, and she replied, “I loved it. I think it should be made into a movie.” She then bought copies to carry in her store and told me she would encourage her employees to read it so they could help promote it.

Needless to say, her words made my day. I left walking on air and with the confidence to continue pushing my novel.

Sadly the store closed shortly after that. I heard Carol decided that, with the slow economy, it was a good time to move on to other things. I hope she is doing well.

The moral of the story is, believe in your book!

Susan Spence has always been intrigued with life in the west in the 1880s. She researched historical accounts and first-person narratives as she prepared to write A Story of the West. A lifelong resident of the west, she currently lives in Montana on an old sheep shearing station with lots of furry critters and one partially furry critter. This is her first novel, and she is busily working on a sequel due out in late spring.

You can visit her website at www.writing-ranch.com.

ABOUT A STORY OF THE WEST

Matt Daly’s eyes narrowed as he faced the stranger in front of him. “I know I don’t have a quarrel with you because I don’t know you,” he growled.

“But I know you,” the menacing outlaw sneered back, clearly ready to use the Colt revolver hanging from his hip.

Only a few years earlier Matt and his father had trailed a herd of longhorns north from Texas into Montana Territory. Upon arriving, they decided to stay and raise cattle on the fertile grasslands.

Shortly after the Northern Pacific rail line was completed and it became easier for people to head west. Lavina Lavold stepped off the train in Miles City with her family and immediately caught Matt’s eye. When they fall in love, Matt’s life seems perfect.

There are unscrupulous men, however, determined to build cattle empires. A ruthless neighbor decides he wants the Daly’s claim, and he will stop at nothing to acquire their ranch. Since the entire area is undeeded land, it is up for grabs and there is no law on the rough frontier to prevent a range war. When Matt refuses to back down, his life takes a dangerous turn.

Forced to abandon his family, his travels take him down a long road of misery. An encounter with an Indian medicine man helps him to regain his sense of self, but not until after he gives in to his desperation.

A Story of the West depicts life during the open range ranching days of the Wild West. Besides plenty of action, I have added a women’s perspective to settling the American West. I researched the era to ensure historical accuracy and have written an accurate portrayal of life during this time, as well as an exciting read.