Friday, August 31, 2007

Nalini Singh on Dangerous Heroes

Hi folks! I’m very excited to be here on Jacki’s blog. I look forward to getting to know you all.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with my work, I write a paranormal series about the Psy, a race that eliminated its emotions a century ago in an effort to stave off a vicious wave of insanity and murder; and the changeling shapeshifters who threaten their perfect Silence.

If you'd like more info, there are lots of excerpts available on my website, along with tantalizing snippets of behind the scenes info, and a free short story.

The latest book in the series: Caressed By Ice, releases Sep 4! I can hardly wait. Here’s what one bookseller had to say about it: “I want to marry this book, I love it so much.” I love that quote! And no I didn’t bribe her to say that. Promise. It was all Judd Lauren, my icy assassin of a hero. He drove me nuts with his stubbornness while I was writing, but he is quite unbelievably sexy (in a dangerous sort of way).

I’m guessing that since you’re reading Jacki’s blog, you love a dash of darkness in your heroes? What is it about them that’s so fascinating, do you think? Personally, I think it’s not their dangerous edges which seduce us, but the fact that we know they’ll never use those edges to hurt the heroine.

A lethal blade of a hero might drive the heroine to insanity with his possessive protectiveness, as Judd does to Brenna, but he will never ever allow harm to come to her. He’s not tamed...but for her, he’ll try to behave. (Of course, his version of “behaving” might include plenty of making the heroine crazy *grin*).

What’s your take on dangerous heroes? Any particular favorites?

Also, a quick, note: if you’d like to go into a draw to win a $50 Amazon voucher, check out this fun competition I’m running over at my blog. You might end up with a sexy hero of your own!







Which Psy-Changeling Hero Is For You?




Your Psy/Changeling Hero: Dorian

Strong, angry and wounded, Dorian has the lethal grace of a leopard and the seductive charm to melt even the hardest heart. But Dorian walks in the darkness and to reach him, you might have to give up everything - can you love that deeply, trust that much?Find out more about Dorian and the series at www.nalinisingh.com
Take this quiz!


p.s. The timestamp on this blog says 5.48a.m. Nope, I'm not awake that early! I'm in New Zealand, and it's around 9.48PM on Friday night!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Yasmine Galenorn: Urban Fantasy, Tattoos, & Caffeine


Yo, hey, and hello.

When Jacquelyn asked me to blog, how could I say no? (After all, she’d just agreed to blog at the Witchy Chicks for me—which she did a couple days ago, so you can find her over there still!). All’s fair in love and hitting that old turnabout’s fair-play button on your friends. ~grins~

So, who the hell am I? (hint, that's me in the picture). I’m Yasmine Galenorn, the USA-Today bestselling author of the Sisters of the Moon Series. Actually, I'm the author of umpteen books. Changeling, the one out in June, was my 18th book on the shelves. Besides Witchling & Changeling, I’ve got 8 nonfiction metaphysical books out, 5 paranormal mysteries in one series, and 3 ‘standard’ mysteries from another series. I’m very proud of all of them, but my heart belongs to fantasy, and I love writing urban fantasy, so am only writing the Sisters of the Moon Series now. Which makes me quite happy, and I’m actually edging a bit closer to sanity in my workaholic-ness. I'm also a caffeine junkie. Big time. Iced triple shot grande rice (or soy) milk peppermint mochas are my drink of choice.

My tagline is: Tattoos and Teacups, because I’m covered with tattoos and love collecting daggers and things like elk antlers and skulls, but I’m really quite a gurly gurl and I always wear dresses (don’t even own a pair of trousers) and also collect teacups and beautiful faerie figurines and crystals.

So, last week I just finished Dragon Dreaming, the fourth book in my Sisters of the Moon Series. It hit my editor’s desk yesterday (yay!) and now I’m waiting for her to approve the synopsis for book five—Panther Rising. Panther Rising is due January 15th, so I’m going to have a busy autumn. But I love my work, I love what I’m writing, I love that my readers are loving it. Urban fantasy with hot guys? So my style. I always wanted to write fantasy, but I wanted to write it on a little more ‘adult’ level and now I’m doing just that! (Just like I always wanted to see an R-rated version of Labyrinth come out…WITH David Bowie…oh yeah…~grins~).

Standard Book Plug:

The Sisters of the Moon Series:

Witchling and Changeling are still rocking the stores, yay! And Darkling is available for pre-order—it will be out in January.

Meet the D’Artigo Sisters—three half human, half-Faerie, wild and sexy members of the OIA—the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. Camille, a witch, Delilah, a werecat, and Menolly, an acrobat extraordinaire turned vampire, are sent Earthside to keep them out of trouble by their superiors, who consider the girls nothing but a bunch of bumbling half-breeds. But the girls soon find themselves smack in the middle of Demon-Central when Shadow Wing, the leader of the Subterranean Realms, decides to attempt a coup on both Earth and Otherworld.

Together with Camille’s uber-hot boyfriends--a magic wielding fox demon, a gorgeous hunk of dragon flesh and a shady but charming Fae--Iris the house sprite, Chase Johnson—a human detective with a penchant for wild women and spicy beef tacos, and Maggie—the girls’ baby calico gargoyle, the three sisters are out to save two worlds, one monster at a time.

And no, I never watched an episode of Charmed and the series is NOT based on it. *grins* (can you tell I get that comment a lot). I was a Buffy girl, through and through (and Spike is my answer to that age old Angel/Spike question).

To answer a few questions:
  • Yes, the books are first person.
  • Yes, they rotate through the different sisters’ POV. I love writing first person—it lets me get into the character’s head in an intimate way. Witchling is from Camille’s POV, Changeling from Delilah’s, Darkling will be from Menolly’s POV, Dragon Dreaming—Camille again, and now with Panther Rising I’m back to writing through Delilah’s eyes. It’s been a challenge and one I feel that I’ve done a great job with—each sister comes through me in such a distinct voice.
  • Yes, there are more books than the first three--it's a series, not a trilogy.
  • Yes, there are relationships and some explicit sex, but the main focus is saving the world, so they aren't really romances--not in the standard way of thinking. And the girls can get a little bit kinky a times, after all--they're half-Fae, half-human.
  • And yes, I have the most marvelous cover artist in the world—Tony Mauro--and I consider myself very lucky (we authors don’t get a say in that, generally). He’s done an excellent job.



This week, I get to take a little time off—a rare occurrence. But what do I mean by time off? Does this mean I get to run off and play all day? In the immortal words of Aerosmith, dream on!

What my time off this week includes:
  • Writing up the synopsis for Panther Rising (done).
  • I want to get about 20 pages on a short story I’m writing about Camille and Trillian when they met.
  • I have two guest blogs to write up—this one and one for next week at another blog.
  • Cleaning house and finishing getting the new furniture all in order.
  • Finishing the decorations for autumn (yes, we are headed into autumn here—it will be warm today and tomorrow, but we’re talking mid 70’s warm and that’s about it).
  • Balance checkbook, pay bills (that’s a weekly thang but it still needs to be done).
  • Contact my jeweler and once again ask “Is my ring ready yet?” (I’ve had this ongoing ring crisis for two months because I commissioned him to make a ring that, apparently, is very, very difficult to make and the poor man went through 32 emeralds—as in breaking them—before having to commission it out to someone else to make…I shudder to think how much money he’s losing on it. However, I wouldn’t have let it get quite that far before I would have decided to pass it on to someone who had the skill necessary).
  • Pulling together the rest of my Sisters of the Moon site after my husband does the PHP coding—I do all the pages, graphics, and content, he does the harder coding to make it work on site.
  • Getting my forums in order—I think I finally found a way to prevent spammers from registering. Seriously! I’m just not going to let anyone register automatically. I haven’t been deluged with members so I figure I’ve got a good year or so of adding people in one at a time before I get so swamped I have to think of something else. I want to use them as a venue to answer all the writing questions I’ve been getting asked lately so I don’t have to repeat myself over and over again.
  • Get my tattoo page back up for people who’ve been asking.
  • Answer three months of email that backed up. Or delete and plead ignorance. ~grins~
  • Write up my September newsletter and get it online.
  • Buy two frames for two custom paintings I had done. One is of my office kitty—Tara’s soooo pretty. And here, you can see just what she thinks about helping me with my writing!






















So, as you can see, time off is…anything but. On the plus side, I may be able to carve out a little time to play some Sims or Diablo 2 or Dungeon Siege. You see, I figured out long ago how to work and have some semblance of a life. It’s really quite easy:

  • You do your work first, get it done, and don’t let it back up.
  • Prioritize. Unimportant stuff can go in the round file.
  • You spend quality time with your significant other—sex takes precedence over Scrabble, in other words. Or most everything else except eating and bathing.
  • And this is the most important—you don’t sleep. Seriously, sleep is over-rated. Good moisturizer helps the face from getting lined, backrubs take out some of the tension, sex is good for the skin, water keeps the digestion flowing, and as long as you have enough caffeine in your system, well…the world is your playpen.

Thanks for joining me on my rambles today, and I hope you enjoyed the morning jaunt!

~the Painted Panther~
~Yasmine Galenorn~

You can find me at my website, on MySpace, or at the Witchy Chicks. And, of course, your local bookstore.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The D'Arc Side...

Jacki is a sweetie for letting us all take over her blog. Thanks, kiddo! Good luck with the move and we’re already missing you in New York!!!

So, you’re wondering, who the heck is this Bianca D’Arc character? Is it getting hard to keep track of all the writers traipsing through Jacki’s blog? Well, I’m the dragon lady of Samhain. No, really, I was the first to introduce dragons to the roster of Samhain Publishing back when they first opened their doors for business. My first Dragon Knights book, Maiden Flight, came out on Valentine’s Day of 2005 and I’m looking forward to the fifth, Wings of Change, releasing this September 11th. In between, I’ve managed to get five books out in print and started a paranormal series and a futuristic ménage series for Samhain as well.

That’s mostly what I write – paranormal, futuristic, scifi and fantasy romance. The hotter the better! LOL. I started my working career as a biochemist, so the sci fi is a more or less natural fit. I’ve been a sci fi and fantasy reader since I was a kid and love to mix genres.

As an example, my latest futuristic, Hara’s Legacy, is the start of a series that’s based on a future Earth, where humanoid aliens have taken over and killed off most of humanity. The only ones to survive are those with extrasensory abilities – foresight, telekinesis, telepathy, empathy, healing, and the like. The series, which will ultimately have five books in it, starts on a ranch hidden in the wilderness of the Canadian Rockies. The three brothers are cowboys, so there’s a bit of a Western air, but there are also post-apocalyptic issues they’re all dealing with, paranormal abilities and questions revolving around their very DNA. It’s a mix of sub-genres that somehow adds up to what I think is a pretty entertaining – and very hot – story.

I like bending the rules and stretching the boundaries. Sometimes I write multiple-partner relationships and sometimes not. It all depends on the characters and what they want to do. They’re in charge. Me? I’m just along for the ride. ;-)

Jacki used to live pretty close, so we’ve done a few signings together. I’m definitely going to miss her at those little shindigs, but we’ll still get to hang out at things like RT and the upcoming Reader Appreciation Weekend (RAW) Lora Leigh is hosting in Kentucky. If any of you make it to either event, please look me up! I’m a compulsive shopper, so I always have a lot of fun things to give away.

I guess I should mention my upcoming dragon story, Wings of Change, which will be releasing in ebook formats on September 11, then in print early next year in the anthology called, I Dream of Dragons. Great title, don’t you think? The story is about a dying dragon and how a tavern wench, who was born a noblewoman, helps save his life. She meets some hunky knights along the way and discovers her own heritage of magic and strength… oh yeah, and lots of love.

Love conquers all is a recurring theme in my books. I really like Happily Ever Afters (HEAs) and have been known to throw books against the wall when the author decides to kill off people I like or deny the hero and heroine an HEA. Just a little quirk of mine. By my own little definition of romance, I just don’t see how it can be a romance if it doesn’t have an HEA. Am I wrong on that? I don’t know, but you’re pretty much guaranteed an HEA in my books, though of course, I make the characters struggle to get there. *evil grin*

I’d better skedaddle now. I’m getting my little promo items together for RAW and the book signing at this year’s New Jersey Romance Writers Conference in October. If you’re at either event, or at one of the other signings I'm doing in the month of October, please say hello! Thanks to Jacki for letting me turn her blog into The D’Arc Side for a day. Just FYI - my old blog on blogger got eaten, so feel free to visit me on my new blog. I’ve got a scavenger hunt running right now, so hop on over there for details!

Bianca D’Arc
2007 EPPIE Winner Best Erotic Romance Fantasy/Paranormal
Come over to The D’Arc Side... WWW.BIANCADARC.COM

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hi! I'm Melissa Glisan...

(Thank you Jacquelyn for inviting me to post to your blog - it is both an honor and a privilege. I'm deeply grateful.)

Ever read a book and think to yourself, "that woman was too stupid to live!"? This thought usually comes when said heroine is staggering blindly over a monumental truth but a millisecond before trotting out an insight brilliant enough to make Einstein weep with envy. There are days when I am her poster child...lol! Honestly, I am the dumbest smart person you will ever meet.

I was going to give you guys the canned bio, but then I got to thinking you deserve better. In short: I am a wife of sixteen years to a delightfully deviant Irishman who lives for me having an unusual idea for a sex scene so we can see if things work right (believability is totally important). I am the mother of a fifteen year old Drama Llama (male) who is addicted to the online game World of Warcraft. I'm the happy owner of two horses; Classic Jack Supreme the nosy, bossy Belgian and Leo's Bright Investment aka Magic. Really, who names horses anymore...yeesh. Also in the menagerie are Fling the Manx, Salem the calico (cats of course) and my "puppies" - Fling, Boo and Maximus. Yes, I really really liked Gladiator when we got Max. Ironically, the name fits. As a Chihuahua he feels he is the rightful ruler of Rome...I mean the home. Once each week I go to a very patient lady and take violin lessons on top of everything else (meaning laundry, writing, dishes, planting corn, writing, baling hay, practicing and all that goes with it).

Getting back to being the dumbest smart person...that comes down to what I (now) jokingly refer to as the Head Cracking Incident of 2004. You guessed it, a nasty car accident. I was left with permanent central brain damage among other neat injuries. It isn't just chicks that dig scars, sometimes the guys think they're pretty neat too - for which I am eternally grateful. My husband was incredibly supportive, not only did he do the housework I couldn't, but he insisted I perch at the new computer he bought me and type. So I did. See, I got knocked well enough that I developed aphasia and a severe stutter. Obviously, public speaking didn't rank high on my list of things to do - but I slowly managed to get my reading back on track. During this time of neuro-rehabilitation I wrote my first novel, Ware Wishes.

It was daunting as well as liberating. What makes being a writer so hard for me is my loss of memory. Every time I sit down to add to a work-in-progress I literally have to read over everything I've written up to that point. Embarrassingly enough, I still have mistakes that glare from across the room. Like a character that mystically changed names half-way through one tale and another who morphed from being a curvaceous brunette into having a willow-thin build with black-hair. Talk about multiple personality disorder...lol!

As for being smart, that was something I used to be quite the jackass about. When I was fourteen I was sponsored and tested into Mensa. Talk about something going to your head *rolls eyes* I was a bit of an oddball. On the debate team, competitive gymnast, award winning linguist, one of the tops in my high school class - and I had pink hair, multiple piercings, ripped jeans and the bug shield hairdo of the 80s glam rock groupie down to a science. Add in being a certified genius and the combination was pretty annoying. At least that's how I see myself in retrospect. A little brain damage does help sometimes. I now have patience and I think before I leap.

I guess I am still a bit of an oddball. When I was in college (Hofstra) for engineering, I used to go into the City with friends. There I had a tendency to strike up conversations with gang members, the homeless and start arguments with street walkers. My friends weren't too keen on accompanying me on my trips given the people I chose to chat with. But I'm grateful for the memories because they, along with the incredible character Marv from Frank Miller's Sin City helped fuel my imagination in creating Fool's Gold.

Short term memory is shot and long term is sort of wobbly so I've learned to never let anything escape being recorded. Given the importance of family history, I've always been fascinated by the unusual romance my parents had. To hear them tell it, their story is so earthy as to be normal, but in the early sixties it wasn't done to have an Orthodox Jew marry an Orthodox Greek. As a teenager I would imagine the kind of pain my mom went through, being ostracized and of course having a fertile imagination there were scads of stories born. Especially since when my parents first got married, my dad was drafted to go to Vietnam. A lot of modern marriages fall apart due to military service and it seemed even more incredible they stayed together in that time period given he nearly died and she had only his family to fall back on... All of this worked to inspire my short story The Ballet".

Now, anyone who has read my posts at My Space or my Live Journal knows that being a homebody (due to my disability I'm not exactly engineer material let alone my fall back job as news reporter anymore) means you get involved in the gossip chain. Due to a bit of gossip dropped about an ancestor and an infamous friend I picked up a little known book on local history (Southwestern Pennsylvania) and discovered The White Rocks by A.F. Hill. In the middle of his story there was a poem he wrote about a riot at a harvest fair that cracked me up. It was fast, fun and an utter hoot. But I just couldn't get behind starting a riot over men pilfering melons. Then my gutter brain short-circuited and melons become a euphemism spawning my contribution to the Summer Fantasies anthology The Watermelon Riot.

But I read more than boring old books on local history, I managed to find some old occult books from the seventies. Sadly, only the 1970s...lol. But one partial report snared my imagination...vampires in the Philippines. Not just vampires like those envisioned by Bram Stoker or the vrykolakas of the Ancient Greeks, these were awful creatures that targeted the dead and only when there were no more dead to feast on - they attacked the living! The original tale was recorded in the 1890s with no follow-up. It seems our Asiatic specter was trumped by the vampire of Highgate Cemetery in England. Again my mind combined the two and spawned Night Lights, a historical dark-erotic tale of two vampires set in the Sulu Sea in 1899, which is due out very soon at Aspen Mountain Press.

By now, you guys can see that there is very little to nothing linking the stories I write together, save that they are all penned by me. I utterly fail at "branding" but I hope I succeed at writing stories that readers are genuinely interested in reading.

I have many more releases due out this year - some paranormal with shape-shifters, some contemporary, some...well if you're interested I hope you drop by my website or my blog to find out more as details become available. My dogs are featured characters in one series called Dog Wild - you can see them on my website too. Even the horses manage to get in the occasional tale.

Thank you so very much if you've managed to stay with me and read all the way to the bottom. I want to thank those of you who did - I'll draw a winner from everyone who comments good, bad or just a hello, for a copy of the ebook of your choice from my line up tomorrow. For every five people who drop by, another ebook will be added to the pot. *hugs* for everyone :)

Melissa Glisan
Dog Wild, My Blog

Monday, August 27, 2007

Something in the wind...

Hi, everyone!

I was honored when Jacquelyn asked me to be guest blogger today. I hope moving day for her will go smoothly. Having been a career military wife, I moved thirty-two times in twenty years so I know how stressful moving can be!

While I was sitting here in my office trying to decide what to blog about, I kinda spaced out watching the huge soybean field behind our rural house as the hot wind blows across the two feet tall plants. It is mesmerizing to watch the bushes swaying back and forth and you can really get lost in your own thoughts.

As I watch the effects of the wind blowing, I am listening to my collection of wind chimes on the screen porch behind my office and those hanging on the eaves of my little building. I have twenty-three chimes of various sizes and pipe lengths. Some are made from wood, some from copper, tin, aluminum, bamboo, and one is made from stainless steel bars. The pipes are suspended from all kinds of heads: A grim reaper with a scythe, gargoyles, stars/moons/suns, cows, kitty cats, rainbows, bells. The most expensive one I have cost me $80.00 but I am saving a percentage of each royalty check to buy one that runs $500.00. It is an 8' long cathedral-tone chime made of black alloy and it has such a delightful tone.

To me the chimes are soothing and in the sixteen years I've lived on my little dead-end street, all my neighbors have told me how much they enjoy listening to them. Not a single one has ever complained.

This is a quiet little subdivision out in the country where deer come right up to look in your windows, raccoons waddle across your backyard from east to west as jackrabbits hop west to east, and squirrels scamper up the black walnut trees. Every now and then a fox will meander by and possums come to eat the cat food you leave out for all the poor strays inconsiderate people are always dropping off out here. I see bald eagles, Canada geese, hummingbirds, goldfinches, red-tail hawks, peregrine falcons...all manner of flying beauties every single day (as well as the butt-ugly turkey buzzards who flock to roadkill out on the highway).

Living in rural Iowa is like living back in the 1950s. You can leave your car doors unlocked with the engine running, go into the post office or grocery store for half-an-hour and when you come back, know your car will still be there. Most people never lock the doors of their houses during the day and it's not unusual for neighbors to wander in without knocking...just assuming they are welcome. This is the country and it is neighborly and it is peaceful.

I don't think I could live in the city after living out here for so long. At night, there are no bright lights and you can see shooting stars, the Northern Lights, and fireflies galore. The air smells nice out here. It's just a little piece of sweetness in a world slowly coming apart at the seams.

I was raised in the Deep South in a little town of less than 500 people so I learned early in life to value a slower time. The hustle and bustle of the big cities depress me. The gentleness of the country life refreshes.

So I sit here trying to decide what to tell you and I think it is: Slow down and experience the quiet. Sit calmly and listen to the wind. Watch an ant crawl through the grass. Smile at a kitten chasing a butterfly. Be still and let the Greater Good speak to you. If for only a few moments.

Renew your spirit in the arms of peace.

Charlotte "Charlee" Boyett-Compo
www.windlegends.org
Where badass men win the ladies every time

A quick apology

I know how much you all were looking forward to seeing Lora Leigh post yesterday. I don;t know what happened as yet, but I will let you know. I am certainly just as disappointed as you are. But between breaking her leg (literally) and running around preparing for RAW, I am sure she just got tangled up in something (or her husband if she's lucky!! Heh.) We'll see if I can get her to reschedule. Tomorrow is moving day for me!! Wish me luck! I will post pics of the house as soon as I sign on that dotted line! Love you all and miss you like crazy.

Hugs and Soon-to-be-Tranquilized Kitties,
Jacki

Saturday, August 25, 2007

From Cynthia Eden: Let's Get Psychic!

Hi, everyone! And a very BIG thank you to Jacquelyn for inviting me to guest blog today. Wow, I am such a Jacquelyn Frank fan girl—I love those sexy Nightwalkers!

At this point, I realize that I should introduce myself (and by that, I mean saying more than just that I’m Jacquelyn’s fan!). I’m Cynthia Eden. I write paranormal suspense and erotic romance. When I started writing, I began my career with ImaJinn Books and Red Sage Publishing. I’ve recently gotten new contracts with Avon Red and Kensington Brava.

The novel that I’d like to talk about today is my upcoming Kensington Brava release (okay, by upcoming, I mean 05/08!). Here’s a little blurb about my paranormal suspense, HOTTER AFTER MIDNIGHT:

Emily Drake is a psychologist with a very special talent—thanks to her empathic power, she can touch the thoughts and emotions of her patients. And Emily’s patients, well, they aren’t exactly typical either; they’re Other—vampires, demons, all of the creatures that humans fear in the darkness of the night.

When one of the Other starts killing humans, Emily is pulled into the investigation. Colin Gyth, the lead detective on the case, doesn’t trust her, and, since Emily senses he’s a shifter, a being born with the ability to transform into an animal, the feeling is pretty mutual. Never trust anything born with two faces ... that was Emily’s motto. However, she and Colin are forced to put aside their misgivings and work together once Emily officially joins the investigation as a profiler.

While Emily and Colin search to unmask the killer, an unexpected passion grows between them. Burned in the past by those he’d trusted, Colin had never thought he’d let a woman get to close to him again, especially a woman with a dangerous power like Emily’s. Yet he finds that he can’t resist her. There’s something about the reserved Doctor Drake that calls to him, and the beast within the man recognizes his mate. But when the killer sets his sights on Emily, Colin will have to risk his life in order to protect the woman he craves more than anything else, and Emily will have to use her gift to look into the very heart of evil in order to defeat the monster hiding in the shadows.

* * *

Jacquelyn gave me a quote for this story—a quote that absolutely made my day, “A cross between CSI and Medium, only hotter and with a hero that truly has bite!”

Oh, yeah, I love that quote. First of all, I’m a huge fan of The Medium—no matter how many times NBC changes the line-up, I manage to find Mrs. Dubois and tune in for my psychic fix.

I always been intrigued by the idea of psychic powers. Always wondered what it would be like to have the ability to predict the future or to read the minds of others. When I was a kid, my mom gave me this game called “Psi-Kick”—it was supposed to encourage the development of psychic powers. It came with dowsing rods, ESP cards, dice, and a few other bits and pieces that time has made me forget. I do, however, remember playing with that game for hours. And you know what? Sadly, I do not think that my psychic powers improved AT ALL.

So, since I don’t have any powers, I decided to create a heroine who did have those powers. Emily Drake is strong, smart, and a dang fine psychic. She’s got phenomenal empathic powers, but, as fate would have it, those powers only work with the Other. So, she makes that unusual talent work for her—and she opens a practice just for paranormals.

And, as fate would have it (okay, as I planned it), Emily falls for one of the Other at the really, really wrong time.

Here’s an (unedited!) excerpt from HOTTER AFTER MIDNIGHT:


“How much do you know?”

Emily swallowed, tried to figure out just how much she should reveal.

His hold tightened around her.

He was the one sitting down, the one forced to look up at her, but Emily had the feeling she was the one in the vulnerable position. “I-I know you aren’t human.” Her voice came out softer, huskier than she’d intended.

She hoped Colin would leave it at that. Hoped he wouldn’t probe any deeper.

“Ah, baby, I already knew that.”

She tried to tug her hand free, but his grip was unbreakable.

“You’re the Monster Doctor, the one all the local ghouls go to see.” A faint trace of amusement underscored his words. But his eyes were watchful, intense, showing no echo of humor.

Her jaw clenched. “Let go of my hand.”

He smiled at her, and his fingers fell away from her wrist.

Emily immediately sprang across the room, putting several feet between them. Nice, protective space. “Look, if you aren’t here to discuss the case, then I want you to leave.” She turned her back on him, heading toward the front door.


“How do you do it?”

His words stopped her.

“How do you tell who is human and who isn’t?”

She heard the soft rustle of the sofa cushions as he rose.

“That’s a pretty interesting talent you’ve got there. And I’m just dying to know exactly how you do it.”

Emily cast a longing glance toward the front door. “I’m afraid you’re just going to have to live with your curiosity, Detective.” Because she sure as hell wasn’t going to reveal her innermost secrets to a stranger. Yep, letting the guy inside had been a definite mistake.

“Hmmm.” His breath blew against the nape of her neck. Emily jumped, startled to find him so close to her. The guy hadn’t made a sound when he’d crossed the room.

“I’d like to see your hair down,” he muttered, and his fingers brushed against the bun she’d yet to unwind.

She jerked away from him. “And I’d like to see you leave. Guess which one of us is about to get her wish?”

His hard lips curved into a smile, a smile with a hint of real warmth. “Tough lady, aren’t you?”

She’d had to be.

His smile slowly faded. “But trust me, I’m a hell of a lot tougher than you could ever dream of being.” And in a flash, he had her penned against the wall. His strong, hard body pressed against her, his muscular thighs pushed between hers, shoving up her skirt, and his right hand locked around her wrists as he forced them against the wall over her head.

Her breath left her body in a startled gasp.

“Now let’s try this again,” he growled. “Just how much do you know about me?”

* * *

Well, I’ll just tell you…my heroine knows every secret my hero has. Every single one.

It’s good to be psychic. Here’s a pic of the cover for HOTTER AFTER MIDNIGHT. The tag line and quote info still have to be inserted, but I think you can get the general idea.


And now, TIME FOR A CONTEST! Leave me a comment below, telling me what psychic power you’d like to have and why—and I’ll select a winner at random. The winner will receive a $15 Amazon.com gift certificate. I’ll post the winner’s name in the comments section on August 28th (that way, folks will have a little extra time to get comments in place). Good luck!

Thanks for the fine hospitality, Jacquelyn!

Best wishes,

Cynthia Eden
www.cynthiaeden.com
"New Year's Bites" in A RED HOT NEW YEAR--12/07, Avon Red
HOTTER AFTER MIDNIGHT--05/08, Kensington Brava
Believe in monsters. They believe in you.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Samantha Storm here ;-)

Howdy,
Jacquelyn invited me over to do a guest blog today. I thought I would share some things I learned while at my very first RT conference. The conference this year was held in Dallas and I was beyond excited to go.

A Pre—conference Lesson:

Lesson 1: When you are an Amazon (I’m six feet two inches tall in my stalking feet) and extremely well endowed (No, I didn’t pay for them, they came with my original packaging) the last words you want to hear are, “You need to get a few costumes for the balls.”

Costumes? Amazon size costumes that fit over my breasts? Yeah, right. Are you high? I was assured by my best friend Terri--a medium breasted, midget of a woman-- that it would be no problem to find something suitable. She had, on her side of town, this great costume shop. It was a huge warehouse full of stuff. There would be, for sure, something there that would fit. After three hours of trying to push and pull material down past the puppies I finally gave up. Then, just a few weeks before the conference, I went to the renaissance fair. I walked into one of the places that sold bustier and skirts, grabbed my boobs and demanded of the sales girl, “Do you have anything that will fit these?” to my delight she said, “Hell yeah!” I was in like Flynn. I got something that would work for both the fairy ball and vampire ball and was over the moon because I am a huge Halloween freak and love to dress up anytime I have a chance.

A During Conference Lesson:

Lesson 1a: If you are big busted and you wear a bustier, smaller busted women who don’t understand just how much of the stuff you have, get concerned about your breast popping out and will come up to you and will say things like, “Dear I am worried about your boobs.”

I swear I really don’t know what I said to the first woman that approached me in the line waiting for the vampire ball and expressed concern about my breasts. In actuality, I had made a point to not put too much of the puppies out there. I had pushed them down as much as possible. Apparently to those concerned it was not enough. When the second woman came up and once again proclaimed concerned about breastage poppage I was prepared. I grabbed them and told her, not to worry this was only the top showing because all nipplage was settled way down in the middle of the bustier. I could tell by her face she didn’t believe me.

After the fourth stranger approached me, I swear I started to get a complex. So when the music started and people around me gathered on the dance floor I decided it would be best for everyone involved if I went and changed into casual clothes. I did it for the greater good--for all those out there worrying over my bosom. I knew if I got out there with the puppies showing and started gyrating on the dance floor; all those concerned would no longer be able to enjoy themselves at the ball. Instead their eyes would be forever locked on my breasts, waiting in both anticipation and horror for them to burst out during a mistimed bob or weave.

Lesson 1b: If you are big busted and you wear a bustier and you decided after the ball to go sit down at the bar area then you must be prepared for the possibility that a male might start flirting with you.

Honestly I have no problem with the concept. I am happily married, but who doesn’t like it when a male shows interest. The rule is I can look but not touch. Male interest shows that you still got it right? That is true unless the male showing interest happens to be old enough to be your dad. And you yourself are no spring chicken. Yes, folks that’s right, the puppies attracted someone of the opposite sex all right; unfortunately my admirer was drunk off his ass and about seventy.

If you wonder what a seventy year old, drunken man says when he is flirting with a big busted forty-two year old Amazon dressed as a vampire--wonder no more.

His pick up line: Those are magnificent breasts.
My reply: Um, thanks.

His next drive by line: Your husband’s name is Lucky.
My reply: Is that right?
Him again: Yes, because he is so lucky he gets to look at those magnificent breasts every day.

Take the above conversation and just repeat it every fifteen minutes or so --the amount of time it would take him to stumble from the bar back into the vicinity of our table.

A Pre-conference Lesson:

Lesson 2: Always ask your flying companion before you get to the airport if she has any weapons stashed in her luggage.

Terri is small in stature, but she is an action diva. She did a stint in the air force as a military police chick. At a previous conference I had watched her go toe to toe with someone trying to cut in line. There were a few tense moments when I was sure any minute she was going to wrestle, beat to death with her book bag, or just cold cock the poor woman who didn’t realize who and how dangerous the midget she was yelling at. And in truth as the screaming match progressed, I backed up more than a few steps, and did a quick mental check of the cash I had left in my wallet. Wondering if it was enough to bail Terri’s ass out of jail. What is the going rate for assault these days? People who cut in line a word of advice--as midgets go, Terri is NOT someone you want to mess with. Luckily the offender finally came to her senses and went to the back of the line.

I love Terri dearly, but she has one serious Red Sonja complex. She has bought over the years, not for protection but to accompany her costumes for RT, the following: throwing stars, numerous knifes and those funky daggers that the heroine in the movie Dare Devil used. And I have even seen Terri look wistfully at the double headed axes sold at our local renaissance fair.

But it wasn’t until we were standing in the line waiting to go through security that I decided to ask her what crazy weapon she was bringing along this year.

The conversation went as follows:

Me laughing: Sorry I thought you said you brought I sword.

Terri: I Did.

Me, heart pounding hard in my chest: Please, tell me it’s NOT in your carry on luggage.

Terri: Of course not stupid, I checked it through.

Me: You checked through a sword. Are you high? With all these crazy regulations? Dear god, they won’t even let you take toothpaste on board.

At this point I am having visions of airport security rounding us up and whisking us away to some small, darkened room where they hold us hostage until homeland security shows up. And being an author of course I go all out and imagine us sitting around after days of no food or water, and being sleep deprived as they interrogate us with bright lights shining in our eyes. Okay, I admit it, maybe I have seen one too many old detective movies.

Terri: Chill out, I called the airline and asked and they said it was no problem to put a sword in my luggage.

I know she told me she checked it all out before hand, but I swear I didn’t start properly breathing again we were out of the airport and in a cab on the way to the hotel.

A during Conference Lesson:

Lesson 2a: Next conference bring more cash because at some point you are going to have to bail Terri’s ass out jail. If not for assault then possibly for prostitution.

It was about ten o’clock at night. We were sitting in the bar area of the hotel. We had just gotten back from one of the parties. Terri decided she was not going to pay ten dollars for a hamburger from the hotel menu, but was instead going to traipse down the street a few blocks to a McDonalds she had spotted earlier. The big problem--she was dressed like an old fashion hooker. She had on a low cut, white chemise cotton blouse, a red bustier, white bloomers, and white stockings.

Our conversation:

Me: Dude you look like a hooker.

Terri: I don’t care, I am not paying ten dollars for a hamburger.

Me: You are going to go out there, see a cop and get your ass arrested.

Terri: I am not paying ten dollars for a hamburger!

Authors Kayla Janz and Brit Blaise --who were both sporting t-shirts with the words GOT SEX and around their necks dangled a string of green glow-in-the dark penises. They chimed in together: We’ll go with you.

Me: I’ll stay. Otherwise who will be around to bail your asses out of jail?

So they left. Ten minutes later they came back laughing hysterically. Apparently the streets where empty, or so they thought. A few steps out of the hotel and who do they run into? A cop. A cop who spent a great deal of time taking in Terri’s attire as she calmly explains to him how she didn’t want to pay ten bucks for a hamburger. She didn’t get arrested. But the cop’s parting words to her where, “Go spend some of that money you made tonight.”

A few more during conference lessons:

Lesson 3: Never walk out the doors of the elevator at two am without checking what floor you are on. And when you start pounding on what you think is your hotel room door, but in reality is a door two floors up, its best when you start to make your getaway if you are NOT wearing a red polka dot dress. Because it’s damn hard to miss an Amazon in a red polka dot dress scurrying down the hallway at two am.

Lesson 4: If your underwear is riding up your ass and you decide to adjust it while walking down the hallway, when you hear a door open and you start to make conversation with the chick who almost caught you tugging at your wedgy, if you decide you are bored and you invite yourself along on her day trip to NASA it might be a good idea to ask just how far way NASA is BEFORE you get on the bus.

Lesson 5: If you decide to snag an editor for a writing contest you are holding after one of the editor panels it might be a good idea to do it when you are NOT sleep deprived and wearing a pair of camouflage pants, a wild pink t-shirt and sporting FOUR watches on your left arm.

So that’s it for this years RT convention. I can’t wait to see all the crazy stuff that happens next year ;-)

My newest release Shadow Vision is available now from NCP. If you go to my webpage - http://www.samanthastorm.com/ and check out the excerpts you can send me an email: sam@samanthastorm.com with Contest in subject line. Tell me which two stories you would like to read and I will pick on Monday 8/27 three winners. One will get a download of their choice and some of my favorite chai tea. Two other winners will each get two downloads of their choice from my titles.

Hope your Friday is going well and hope you have some rocken fun plans for the upcoming weekend ;-)

Later Gators
Samantha Storm

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

One In Four: Linnea Sinclair checks in

First, I need to thank Jacki for adding me to this stellar guest blogging line-up. I’m tickled to be in such company! So here are my thanks, in a language I know Jacki will understand: meow, mew, mew, purr, meow, murrupp!

(See, Jacki and I talk the same language…if you hadn’t guessed from our kitty photo postings back and forth on MySpace…)

I had a topic all picked out for today. I’d intended to ramble—which is what I do a lot of lately—about the strange mixture of science fiction, paranormal and romance that comprises my books and the books of many other authors represented here. Why we’re the best of times but also the worst of times.

That idea was blown out of the water this morning by an AP feed headline in my local paper: POLL: 1 IN 4 ADULTS READ NO BOOKS LAST YEAR.

The article briefly tallied the ugly results of the Associated Press-Ispos poll. One out of four adults stated they read not one book last year. Twenty-seven per cent was the actual figure. Of those who read, the typical respondent reads four books in one year.

One in four. None or four. That explains, the article continues, the dreary state of the publishing industry and flat book sales, “which are expected to stay that way indefinitely.”

“Reading makes me sleepy,” the AP article states, quoting one man’s excuse. (Hmm, Linnea thinks. Well, he’s obviously never tried one of my books. Or Jacki’s. Or Deidre’s. Or Patrice’s. Or Charlee’s, Nalini’s, Yasmine’s, Anya’s…well, hell’s bells. Just scroll down this blog.)

Okay, a moment of BSP (Blatant Self Promotion). But there’s fact in that bit of BSP. Given that the profile of the sleepy non-reader starts with MALE (one third of men and one quarter of women don’t read, according to AP), one wonders what they’ve tried reading?

Especially considering the largest reading population is women?

Could it be that women’s fiction is just more exciting? See, this brings me squarely back to my original topic of science fiction/paranormal/romance/action that is filling a lot of bookshelves these days. You know, the books you love to read. The books we love to write.

Quite honestly, I’ve often wondered why we inflict the Ye Olde Classics on middle schoolers and high schoolers in attempts to get them to read. Okay, the books have universal themes, but twelve year olds don’t give a rat’s patootie about universal themes. They want character and they want action and they want larger than life. Can anyone spell H-A-R-R-Y?

Case in point: my husband was a non-reader when I met and married him. Then one day I shoved a John D. MacDonald rip-roarin’ Travis McGee private detective adventure novel in his mitts. He hasn’t stopped reading since. And when the daughter was slogging her way through Ye Olde Classics at thirteen, I gave her Mercedes Lackey, Sue Grafton, Lillian Jackson Braun and every Star Wars paperback I could find to read. She’s thirty now and just last week finished Deidre Knight’s PARALLEL series and loved it—and has Jacquelyn Frank, Nalini Singh and other names you’re probably very familiar with in her TBR pile. She also inhales every book by Robin D Owens, Susan Grant, Dean Koontz, David Weber and, of course, me. (Can’t forget that BSP!)

But I started her young. How do we seduce that twenty-seven per cent non-reading population and the even larger population (mostly male) who cringes their way through a measly four books a year?

I’ll offer a challenge—and a possible solution. Know a non-reading friend (or acquaintance or work comrade)? Find out if he watches TV or movies. Does he like Matrix, Men In Black, Stargate? Or the CSI shows? Did the final episode of The Sopranos leave a hole in his heart? Print out a list of the authors on this blog and shove it in his hands. Tell him to ignore the fact that some of these authors are found in the romance aisles (if that gives him the yips, tell him to put his Big Boy Panties on…or order on-line). Tell him going into the SF/F aisles won’t make him lose his tough-guy status and turn him into a geek. (Big Boy Panties time again). Tell him, “Try these, you’ll like ‘em. No annoying commercials and you can enjoy the adventure even when cable’s out.” And let’s face it, the brain is the biggest wide-screen, hi-def television there is.

Women readers already know how great these SF/F/paranormal/action novels are. Let’s share the wealth. Let’s blow one in four out of the water.

And now, for a last gasp at BSP, here’s a sneak preview of my upcoming THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES, coming November 2007 from Bantam. Think: Men In Black meets CSI: Miami. (With romance, but...shhh! Don't tell the guys that!) Show this book video to your favorite non-reading guy. Get ‘im hooked. Get ‘im reading.

The Down Home Zombie Blues by Linnea Sinclair



Hugs all,
~Linnea

Linnea Sinclair
http://www.linneasinclair.com/
www.myspace.com/linneasinclair
RITA© Award Winning SF Romance
Bantam Spectra 2007-08: Games of Command, The Down Home Zombie Blues, Shades of Dark (sequel to Gabriel's Ghost)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Anatomy of a Chicken

Jacquelyn asked me to post today and I wasn't sure what to say, so I chose the blog I posted yesterday on my own site. It's too funny not to share with the world:)

Okay, so I’ll freely admit I’m not a good cook. No, that’s not right, I really just suck. But, my lack of kitchen skills does not bother me, I feel I have other talents.

Last Monday went wrong the second I got out of bed and sat out a whole chicken to thaw. Yes, A WHOLE CHICKEN. Not breasts, legs or tenders…that I can do. I’d never attempted a whole chicken before, but how hard could it be?

I rubbed the bird with butter, sprinkled it with some seasoning, put it breast side up in a roasting pan and smiled as I shoved it in the oven. I just knew my husband would be so proud of me when he sat down to a meal I didn’t prepare from a box or pull out of little white cartons.

While my chicken baked, I prepared mashed potatoes, gravy and corn on the cob. (Quick side note: Keep in mind I’m chasing a toddler while trying to be Rachel Ray .)

So, when the timer goes off-minutes before hubby is due to walk in the door-I pull the bird out, poke a long fork in it and see the clear juices running out. Yeah! It’s done and right on time.

Oh, if only it were that easy and the story ended here.

As I start to carve into it, I’m amazed at the little amount of meat on this bird. I just keep hitting bone and the meat is dark. Okay, something is not right here.
I leave the chicken on the stove, sit my daughter in her chair and get ready to serve her. I put potatoes and corn on her plate and attempt to find some meat on this gigantic bird. As I’m doing this, hubby comes home. This poor man has worked all day and the scene he finds when he steps into the kitchen is me muttering some not-so-nice words under my breath to this stupid bird while our daughter is screaming, “Chicken!”.

Hubby asks what’s wrong. I tell him there’s no meat on this thing, it’s all bone. He tells me that’s because the breasts are down. No they’re not, I put the breasts up, just like the package said.

He flopped the chicken over, sliced off a nice chunk of WHITE meat and says, “See, this is breast meat.” I roll my eyes because this poor chicken has the flatest chest I’ve ever seen! The poor thing, no wonder I confused the back for the breast.

So hubby (being the sarcastic man he is ) says, “Okay, here’s an anatomy lesson. These are the legs. See, they are at the bottom just like our legs. Here’s the wings.” He grabs my arms and flaps them. “Here’s your wings. Here’s the breasts.”

I hold up my hand. “I got it!”

So, since the flat-chested bird was boob side down, the chicken didn’t get done. We ate A LOT of mashed potatoes and gravy while waiting the other 20 minutes for this thing to finish cooking.

This is precisely why I DON’T COOK! It’s frustrating, annoying, and way, way too time consuming.

So, let's hear your kitchen catastrophes! And for those of you who don't want to cook and want to read a good book, check out my website www.julesbennett.com for my most recent and upcoming releases!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hi! I'm J.J. Massa

Wow! Following Anya Bast on Jacquelyn Frank’s Blog. Look at me go! I LOVE Jacquelyn Frank! I love her work and I think she’s an amazing person. And Anya Bast! What a writer—and so pretty.

To tell you the truth, I guess I’m used to following a hot blond everywhere I go. Notice I said blond and not blonde. The blond who leads me around doesn’t write hot stories, or read them either.

My blond is all wavy soft hair, hard muscle and big brown eyes. And he’s a gentleman through and through.




This is me with Cosmo, my best friend, constant companion, and caretaker. He makes sure I never step wrong and nobody ever steps on me.

He’s the inspiration for
Mik Montgomery—the patriarch of the Montgomery-Livingston werewolf pack I write about as well as Kofy—the guide dog in the vampire story Love Like Blood.



He was younger here...



When we’re out walking around he helps me think, keeps me fit, and keeps me out of trouble. When we’re inside and I’m writing, he entertains his cats and keeps me from forgetting to eat. More importantly, he reminds me of the time—6:30, Noon, and 5:00 –mealtimes.


Needless to say, he doesn’t show up in every book—not obviously at least. But he’s there. A lot of my favorite heroes have white-blond hair or brown eyes…funny though, none of them have a pink Labrador nose. Hmmm… Do you think it’s a form of prejudice?


I’ll have to work on that. (along with my picture taking--this came from my phone. Blind people shouldn't take pictures, huh?)


Oh, and here are excerpts from two short stories that came out this summer. (and a blurb from a long one) One is a short story that’s part of a wonderful anthology. It’s the first in a series I’m writing about some longtime friends called Beach House and one story will come out each season in a fantasy anthology from Twilight Fantasies.

Beach House: Old Friends
by J.J. Massa
Evie and Gibb are busy people with high-powered careers. Sometimes it seems like there's no time to rest, relax, calm down.
What could be better than a week at the beach in the company of old friends? If only they could take it with them when the week is up…

Turning to face forward, Evie settled against him. "We're quite a pair, aren't we? Barely exchanging two words when we're with the old crowd, working in the same industry but we don't speak. And look at us now."

Tightening his arms around her, Gibb inhaled a deep breath of her light scent and released it, not knowing what he should say. There was plenty he could tell her, but wouldn't. "Maybe discretion really is the better part of valor," he murmured, petting a hand over her long, satiny hair.

"Maybe," she agreed. Angling her head slightly, she arched a delicate brow at him. "So how valiant are you feeling right this minute?"

Another little shift brought his erection against her lower back, answering the question for both of them. "Shit," he growled, tilting his head against the lounger's cushion.

"Supper out?" she asked sheepishly, scooting away from him on the chaise.

LATER:

Evie knew that Gibb had risen with her, some kind of choreographed dance. Reaching for him, she wasn't surprised when he pulled her in, fingers threaded as she pressed against him.

He opened his mouth as if to speak, thought better of it and leaned over her. Pushing up against his hands, she stood on tiptoes, face to face with him. His eyes were intense, bolts of blue lightning against the fabric of a summer sky—hot and riveting.

She moved against him as he lowered his head, no teasing now. Masculine lips covered hers, warm, demanding, insistent as his tongue swept her willing mouth.

A new space opened inside her, pulling her in as she savored his unique flavor: red, red wine, wild summer oceans and spicy Gibb—Evie was quickly addicted. She held onto him, tasting, feeling, she was drunk on his heady flavor now and so little had happened yet. Knowing that there was more to come was nearly overwhelming as they made their way up the beach, kissing, stumbling as they went.

Amazing. Blown away. Overwhelmed. And they'd just barely touched. What would happen when they made love? And they would…were going to, were minutes away. The idea of it made Evie's knees weak and she stumbled over the threshold.

"You still with me?" he rumbled, his arm around her back.

They were on the stairs now, she could make it that little bit further. "Fine," she agreed, moving on automatic, eager like she'd never been before.

--------------------------------------------
Reconciling Andrea
Part One

Life has been difficult for Andrea, but she's a survivor. Sometimes surviving is so much harder than letting go.

Tadeo Rice has been looking for his soul mate. He's been hearing her voice in his head for a year and knows she's been suffering. When he finally finds her, will she accept him and all that he longs to do for her?


"I'm telling you, Meredith," Marty Stevens said to Tadeo Rice's secretary, "he told me himself. This is the lady that he's been..."

Both Marty and Meredith watched, agog, as Andrea bolted from their boss's office.

She was only a few feet in front of them when the big guy himself snatched her around the waist.
They could hear her erratic breathing that almost sounded like sobs. They watched the drama unfold with interest.

"Meu Deus, Andrea! I've searched for you too long to let you go!" Tadeo growled, turning her to press her against his body.

"No!" she cried, struggling. "You don't really know me and I CERTAINLY don't know you, MR. Rice!"

Unknowingly, she confirmed what Tadeo had intimated to Marty earlier. He was now convinced that Andrea had known his boss but hadn't realized that he was billionaire, Tadeo Rice, head of

Rice Hotels International. Apparently, she felt hurt and betrayed. Go figure.

"Andrea, you must listen to me! I won't let anyone hurt you ever again!" He tried to calm her but she twisted and turned.

"You intend to do just what Father would do to me! NO! Let me go!"

Tadeo scooped her into his arms and barked, "Hold my calls and cancel everything!"

Clamping his mouth over hers, he whirled around with Andrea in his arms, still kissing her, and carried her into his office, kicking the door shut behind him.

"Oh my gosh!" breathed Meredith. "That was the most romantic thing I've ever seen... EVER!"

"I tried to tell you!" Marty couldn't have been prouder if he'd orchestrated the whole thing himself.

"They must love each other so much. I'm gonna cry! I never thought such things were real!"

Marty rubbed her shoulder, grinning to himself as Meredith crowed in romantic ecstasy.
---------------------------------



The Edge by J.J. Massa
(expanded)

Detective Paytah has spent his entire life fighting to overcome ignorance and gain acceptance in a world too quick to judge. Always willing to take on any challenge, the tough-as-nails Native American has never shied away from the truth. Until he meets Tyler Baker, that is.

Tyler represents everything that Paytah hates; the blond haired blue-eyed gay detective with a penchant for bending the rules was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and a champagne glass in his hand.

When Paytah is assigned to work with Tyler he anticipates that the partnership will be difficult. After all, working high profile serial murder cases are always challenging. But, as the case of the decade unravels, so does his ability to control his attraction and to deny his own needs.

This book by J.J. Massa has it all—passion, desire, intrigue, and an unforgettable ending that promises to take you to The Edge.


If you'd like a chance to win a download of one of these books, or any of my books email me at jjmassa@comcast.net with the word CONTEST in the subject line. I will announce the winner in the comment section here on TUESDAY-- AUGUST 21, 2007. :)

I hope Jacquelyn is doing well and that every one of you are having a great summer!

Take Care!

J.J.

http://www.jjmassa.com/
www.myspace.com/jjmassa Join me!
JJ at Amazon

Hooky First Lines

Hi all! I was so excited when Jacquelyn asked me to come over here and guest blog! I'm a big fan of her books and am eagerly awaiting Elijah (and damned upset we have to wait so long for it).

My name is Anya Bast. I write for Ellora's Cave and Berkley Sensation. I also recently sold a book to Berkley Heat (whee!) and have a novella in a Harlequin Spice anthology coming out next year. I write paranormal romance and I tend to write it on the hot side. Hell, sometimes it's flat out flaming kinky. It just depends. My EC books tend to be the kinkier ones. My Elemental Witches series, just out from Berkley sensation are more "spicy" paranormal romance.

That's me….

Hi everyone reading Jacquelyn's blog! Nice to meet you!

I don't look like I write ménage a trois and BDSM romances, do I? I know. I look like I should be asking if you want to buy some Avon products, but what are you going to do? Born with dark, smoldering good looks, I was not. More your Betty as opposed to your Veronica.

I started writing when I was very young, but didn't turn out my first full length novel until I was twenty two. I finally sold a number of years later -- to two publishing houses in the same week. I live in the country, (where the buffaloes roam and, dude, I am not kidding about that), with my husband, our toddler daughter, eight cats, two rabbits and a dog. The strays see "sucker" written right across our foreheads.

But I digress….

For days I mulled over what I wanted to talk about. What would be of interest to both readers and writers? Hmmm… Should I talk about writing process? What is it like to go from being an ebook author to a mass market NY pubbed author? Should I talk about paranormal creatures and the readers who love them? How about graphic sex scenes and infusing emotions into them. I discarded every idea that came to me for one reason or another.

In the process, I picked up Jacob and read the first line. "How ridiculously simple it would be to cause them harm." What a great first line! Immediately you're wondering who this person is. Who do they wish to harm? It compels you to read the next sentence, then the next paragraph. It hooked me.

So I decided to write about first lines and how they can hook the reader. See? A good topic for readers and writers.

I always spend a lot of time on the first paragraphs of my books, especially the first line. It's probably the part of the book I agonize over the most because I know that often it's the readers first introduction to the story and determines whether or not they'll read on.

Here are some of the first lines from some of my books, in no particular order.



Witch Fire (Berkley Sensation, June 2007) -- "He looked like sin and seemed like salvation. Salvation for her sluggish libido, anyway."

~*~




Witch Blood (Berkley Sensation, coming March 2008) -- "How to Catch a Warlock 101. Isabelle could teach that class."

~*~


Water Crystal (Ellora's Cave, 2005, print, ebook) -- "Bianca sat on the floor of the crumbling building where she’d taken shelter. Her solar-powered lantern cast a dim light, bathing the bleached walls of the room in an eerie glow."

~*~


Whisper of the Blade (Ellora's Cave, 2007, ebook) -- "The blade could injure the wind itself."

~*~





Blood of the Damned (Ellora's Cave, 2006, print, ebook) -- "Jade’s heavy boots clanged on the metal walkway as she trekked across the heart of Harcourt Prison. All around her men stood at the bars of their cells catcalling and shouting obscenities."

~*~




Edge of Sweetness (Ellora's Cave, 2006, ebook) -- "Ben had never believed in fate or destiny, not love at first sight. Hell, he’d never even believed in love. Codependency, maybe, but not love. He thought it was a myth, love. Just some name people gave to lust on steroids."

~*~




Tempted by Two (Ellora's Cave, 2006, ebook) -- "Theo watched the glass slip from Miranda’s fingers and crash to the floor as the goblin walked into the restaurant."

~*~




Blood of any Angel (Ellora's Cave, 2005, print, ebook) -- "If only he could’ve fallen for a woman like that one."

~*~




Getting Slayed (Dreams of the Oasis 4, Ellora's Cave, 2006, print, ebook) -- "Still a virgin. Was I destined to remain a virgin for the rest of my pathetic, royal life?"

~*~




Winter Pleasures: The Capture (Ellora's Cave, 2004, print, ebook) -- "Sienne glanced up, then lowered her eyes as was proper, but in that moment she memorized the visage of the man who would be her temporary keeper."

~*~




Blood of the Raven (Ellora's Cave, 2005, print, ebook) -- “He can make you forget your own name in bed.”

~*~

Contest time!!! Okay, kiddies…. I'll give you until Wednesday, August 22 to respond to this post. Tell me what some of your favorite first lines from books are. Tell me about how you LOVE first lines, or maybe don't really pay attention to them at all. Write about anything having to do with the first line/first few paragraphs of a book that you care to discuss. If you have any questions for me, I'll take those as entries too.

On Wednesday I'll post the winner, but I'll do in the comments to this post ('cuz Jacquelyn will have wisely denied me access to her blog by then. Heh.)

You want to know what you're playing for? (Best Jeff Probst voice) An autographed copy of Witch Fire and some yummy surprise goodies to go with it. Ready…set…GO!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

What Bitch stands for

B – Beautiful
I – Intelligent
T – Trustworthy
C – Courageous
H – Happy

Be proud of it!

Skylar
http://www.skylarsinclair.com/

A surprise...

yep, I am giving away a surpise. So you never know what you are going to get. Let the party begin!

Skylar.
www.skylarsinclair.com

The heroine in every women

I believe that every woman, whether small, tall, skinny or curvaceous is a heroine. You may be a woman that is a stay at home mother raising your children or you may be a woman perusing her career. Either way, you are a heroine. You multitask. You complete and enhance whatever your chosen path in life is, yet you are strong and you are a woman to be reckoned with. You are the giver of life and you are the one that makes the difference…

And yes, a bitchy heroine is one of my favorite characters to craft. Be proud of being a woman!

Skylar Sinclair
www.skyalrsinclair.com

I would like to thank Stella Price...

For doing the font on A Sexual Spark. I just couldn't get it the way I wanted it and asked her to slam me something special. Boy, did she ever. So thank you, Precious ;)

Skylar.

Writing in first person...

You know to be honest; I found writing in first person for the first time to be easy. I cannot tell you why. I just had this insane drive to write this story, which I did in about two days. Sometimes it takes a month. And sometimes it only takes me days to write about 11,000 words. The character(s) dictate how I write.

Here is a sampling from A Sexual Spark which is the precursor to The Brotherhood of Spark series coming out in print next year. The legend of the Sparkers will be revealed in A Sexual Spark,

Unedited excerpt from A Sexual Spark by Skylar Sinclair coming in 2007 from Dark Eden Press.

“Oh…shit,” I muttered under my breath. Something wicked just walked through the door, and I knew like any woman—even a mutt like me—knew deep down in her soul when a predator neared. A hush fell over the dimly lit bar and the hairs on my neck rose and my body tightened as if a heat wave suddenly blasted down it.

Every nerve in my body awakened screaming: big, bad, and dangerous had entered the bar, yet I couldn’t stop myself from swinging around on my heels, letting my eyes sweep through the hazy of smoke and shadows until they landed on his large form.

He had to be over seven feet tall, owning the space as he walked. The crowded bar separated for him like Moses parting the Red Sea. I wasn’t the only one that sensed the predator in him. The man was nasty on two well-sculpted legs that flexed and bunched with ground eating strides he took to the only empty booth near my station, then easily slid that big frame of his into it, dominating the space around him. He reminded me of a deadly panther—powerful and sleek.

He wore dark, exotic wraparound sunglasses and dressed all in black. His leather pants indecent as hell, leaving nowhere for me to look but at the bundle prominently cover by luscious, black, shiny leather. I wasn’t sure what size shitkickers he wore, but damn that man had the biggest feet I’d ever seen. Ripping my eyes off his crotch, I made my way up over the boundaries most would call a chest, yet on this dangerous creature, it seemed more like mounds of muscle that stacked forming very wide and impressive shoulders, twisting and rippling beneath his leather jacket as he moved. The kind of shoulders a girl could wrap her legs around and ride face for days.

His hair could only be described as a thick messy shag of pitch-black that teased around his face, brushing just past his broad shoulders. It had that “I just got fucked look” that only someone like him could wear and still look wickedly handsome. Now, if I rolled out of bed with that kind of hair and did nothing with it, I bet the first person who saw me would start barking. Not really smart, but I always say some people have shit for brains, too. Hey, I might be half human; still the other half was wolf, which made me a bitch to begin with, so I wouldn’t push it.

Skylar's newest publisher - Dark Eden Press


I have contracted my very first--first person story, A Sexual Spark, with Dark Eden Press.

I love this story because the heroine is strong, sexy, and she knows what she wants from a man. And Surge is deliciously sexy. The type of man we women all want to have ;)

Skylar Sinclair
http://www.skylarsinclair.com/
Coming late 2007 from Dark Eden Press...

Winner of the cz earrings!!!

______________________________________
Valerie said...
OMG!!! This sounds yummy delickable!!!Valerie
August 18, 2007 3:50 PM
______________________________________

These earrings are absolutely gorgeous and HUGE!

Congratulations Valerie!!!

Please email me offlist with your snail mail address so I can send these lovely earrings to you - skylar.sinclair@yahoo.com

More jewelry to come and post to come!

Skylar Sinclair
www.skylarsinclair.com

Second piece of jewelry to giveaway...


A pair of sparkly cz dangle earrings set in pure sterling silver. They will come to you in a lovely blue silky pouch bag. I will give these luscious earrings away at 2:00 pm (EST) today.

Remember to post those comments. I might pick a winner from past postings, so the more you comment the better your chances are at winning!!!


Happy hot reading,


Bestseller - The Stud Farm



Hell hath no fury like a young man taken advantage of by a older man that knew all the right buttons to push and how to set his skin on fire with his hands, mouth and tongue, only to devastate him after using his body shamelessly, brutally. Then patting him on the ass afterwards, treating him as if he were no better than a piece of used meat--unfeeling and uncaring of the young man’s feelings.

Dale King was that young man, but no longer is he an inexperienced gay boy, but a big droolicious-tongue hanging out-cock teasing hunk. With a full mane of tawny hair down to his fine ass and muscles from head to toes, at over six foot four, he could stop traffic in the middle of rush hour. There was not a man (straight or gay) or woman alive that would not snap a joint to double take when he crossed their paths. Dale is a cross between the Terminator gone Fabio on a grand scale.

He is going back to the place and to the man that had ripped his heart out of his chest that day eight years ago. Dale King was going to become the ultimate male stripper at The Stud Farm and make Preston Hayman, its owner, wish he never laid his eyes, much less his hands on him when he gets through with his brand of sexual revenge.

Available now at Phaze



Bestseller - Impassioned Sea



Kelsey Baker has always believed that dreams are the magic of life and those dreams are about to come true for her.

While walking in the surf on a crowded beach, she finds a breathtaking pendant inlaid with gemstones of every color in the rainbow, washing in with the tide. But, for some unexplainable reason, when she asks the people sunbathing on the beach, they do not see the beauty of the pendant, only a piece of junk worthy of a trashcan. What is going on here?

In the magical underwater kingdom of Ametheysea, the mighty mer-shifter, King Seadale, in a fit of anger, casts out the one object that will lead and bind him to his mate, the Amulet To Ametheysea. Little does he know that someone has found it and this god’s life is about to change and shift like the deep blue ocean he rules.

Have you ever wondered how the creatures of the sea mate? Now you will find out in explicitly revealing details that will leave you craving the lapping licks of the sea for yourselves...
All the mysteries and legends that surround the magical kingdoms Ametheysea and the Bermuda Triangle will be revealed, in this the final chapter of the brothers of Ametheysea.

 

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