Monday, November 28, 2011

A Legacy of Words

It is my great pleasure to Introduce the lovely and amazingly witty Jessa Slade! I had the honor of meeting her this last August at RomCon and she is such a blast to be around. Enjoy!

A Legacy of Words

The author of one of my favorite series died last week. Anne McCaffrey wrote the Dragonriders of Pern books about telepathic dragons linked to handsome men and brave women who fought together against dangers threatening their world.
The first book in the Dragonrider series, DRAGONFLIGHT, was the first fiction book written by a woman to win a Hugo award and the first book written by a woman to win any Nebula. The third book in the series was the first science fiction book by a woman on the New York Times bestseller list. What an amazing legacy!

And you know what? I had no idea about any of that when I picked up DRAGONFLIGHT when I was a kid spending my chore money. All I knew was that I was drawn to the book by the dragon on the cover, and then I was pulled into the world by the power of the story. I was flying on dragon’s wings!

Earlier this year, I gave a copy of another book in the series, DRAGONSINGER, to my niece. She loved it -- as I knew she would cuz I am the cool aunt! -- and she went out to find more dragon books. The legacy lives on.

As a writer, I’m compelled by the quest to write a story that dwells as deeply in the reader’s soul as those dragons do in mine. As a reader, I love love love sharing my favorite stories with my favorite people.

Writers and readers have a precious and symbiotic relationship where together we wield the power to build a legacy by sharing great stories, stories that intrigue us, delight us, make us feel. For example, the hostess of this very blog wrote a fabulous book called SEDUCE ME IN DREAMS that is one of those stories. Last summer I was doing a lot of traveling and feeling a little run down. But I had SEDUCE ME in my backpack, and for a few hours out of a frustrating airplane delay, I was somewhere else. Somewhere else with a very hot man ;)
(The story even inspired me to write a science fiction romance of my own that will be coming out after the new year. THAT is the power of a good book!)

When I got home from my travels, I had recommendations for (and a few hard copies of) wonderful books by marvelous authors to give to my friends and family. I was the hero of my tribe, swooping in on glittering wings, returning with brilliant treasure!

Since the gifting season is almost upon us, I will be giving my friends and family true little treasures, since I make jewelry in all my free time (bwa-ha!) but for certain I will also be giving the gift of superpowers, of other worlds and time travel, of passionate undying love, of a thousand other lives. All in stories.

I’m guessing most of you help build the legacy of stories you love. Share some of them with us here! Leave your reading recommendations (and maybe what sort of person the story would most appeal to) in a comment.

You’ll be entered to win the first three books in my Marked Souls series about demonically-possessed -- but still sexy! -- warriors, plus a pair of “Possession in Pearl” earrings, the Marked Souls romance trading cards, and a music download card which includes the “Seduced By Shadows” theme song.

May the stories live forever!

* * *

Book Four of the Marked Souls, DARKNESS UNDONE, comes out in March 2012.

The war between good and evil has raged for millennia,
and as a powerful new enemy ascends, the Marked Souls
are pushed to the ragged edge…

Sidney Westerbrook has always studied darkness and damnation from a sensible distance. Now, to earn his place as a league Bookkeeper, he must discover why Chicago is such a battleground of soul-linked warriors. But the research becomes personal when he finds himself over his head and under attack — and at the mercy of a waif with demon-lit eyes and a deep yearning in her heart.

Alyce Carver has been alone longer than she can remember, battered by the living nightmares that haunt her city. Cornered by yet another gang of demons, she unwittingly joins forces with a handsome scholar who can salvage her past, and she in turn may be the key to his investigations. But she won’t let him go until he shows her everything she’s been missing.

What begins as an experiment in possession becomes a trial by desire so powerful it threatens both their lives, even as it binds their souls.

March 2012 is forever from now! Which leaves you time to get caught up with Book s 1-3 ;)

Seduced by Shadows
After an accident left her near death, Sera Littlejohn is struggling to piece her life together again. But when a violet-eyed stranger reveals a supernatural battle veiled in the shadows, Sera is tempted to the edge of madness by a dangerous desire.

Ferris Archer takes Sera under his wing now that she is talyan, possessed by a repentant demon with hellish powers. Archer and his league of warriors have long risked their demon-shattered souls to stop darker spirits from wreaking havoc. But they’ve never fought beside a female talya before, and never in all his centuries has Archer found a woman who captivates him like Sera.

With the balance shifting between good and evil, passion and possession, Sera and Archer must defy the darkness‹and dare to embrace a love that will mark them forever…
Check out the entire first chapter HERE!

Forged of Shadows

Liam Niall has led the Chicago league of immortal warriors and their repentant demons for longer than he cares to remember. Four months ago, everything he thought he understood about the war against the Darkness was blown apart. Now, with the shocking appearance of a fiery new female talya, the world he’s supposed to save is about to change again. . . .Liam, meet your newest recruit.
To see more about Liam click HERE!

Vowed in Shadows
The war between good and evil has raged for millennia,
with the Marked Souls caught in the middle.
Now two lost souls will tip the precarious balance…

Possession by a demon cost Jonah Walker his faith, his humanity, and his wife. Once a righteous missionary man, he endures immortality with nothing but a body for battle and a bent for retribution. But his last devastating fight left him wounded beyond healing and his only chance to redeem his soul lies with a fallen woman.

Thrust into a wicked underworld of shadows and sin, Nim Hamlin can’t believe her wanton ways as “the Naughty Nymphette” enthralled a demon…and a damned saint. The world she knows doesn’t deserve deliverance. But the touch of this good man’s hand holds an unholy allure–and she’s never been any good at resisting temptation.

As darkness gathers in the sweltering Chicago summer, Jonah and Nim must conquer the demons of their past to face even fiercer monsters in one last assault. But first they must put aside their doubts and disbeliefs and let their passion for each other burn through the shadows to ignite their furious power…

Learn more about the Marked Souls and my upcoming science fiction romance novella at my website

When I’m not writing, I’m probably goofing around online at Facebook or Twitter, Come say hey!

And if you’re the traveling type, come find me in real life at the RT Booklovers Convention in April in Chicago, or the Authors After Dark Romance Convention in New Orleans in August. Maybe I’ll have the next Jacquelyn Frank novel in my backpack for this trip too :)

Thank you for reading! And much thanks to Jacquelyn and Natalie for letting me play here today.

"Remember to leave a comment for your chance to win the first three books in my Marked Souls series, plus a pair of “Possession in Pearl” earrings, the Marked Souls romance trading cards, and a music download card with the “Seduced By Shadows” theme song!"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

You wanna know what we've been up to? Check this out!

Hey Y'all, how's it going? Most of you probably already know me. But for those of you who don't I'm Natalie, Jacki's left hand...aka her assistant :). I came into work this morning just like always and reminded Jacki that it was Wednesday. We always have a new blog on Tuesday's and since there was not a new author scheduled for yesterday and we didn't do one I suggested that she do it. She then smiled at me and said "Why don't you blog today? Tell them all about yourself and what you do here and everything that's been going on lately." I stood there in shock for a second that she actually wanted me to do this and then immediately started to jump up and down with delight. I am so happy to be here talking to y'all today this is freakin awesome!
I have never done this before so be patient with me LOL...

I want to begin by saying that things have been very difficult to bare lately in the Frank house. Jacki has lost three of her boys this year and two others that were not hers, but close to her heart none the less. If you have followed Jacki for any length of time you know that her boys mean everything to her. So that was quite a burden for her to bare. It takes quite a few people to run this household and keep it functioning on a daily basis with so much going on. I am here everyday and so is Jacki's housekeeper Donna. We are a unit...we work together like a well oiled machine. We have our malfunctions every now and then but for the most part everything is smooth sailing. These past few months have been hard on us all with the loss of the boys :(. So it's pretty much one day at a time.
This is Nikki. The oldest of her boys and the true alpha male. He passed away just this past week. You would not think that domestic cats would know the difference in ages and who has been around the longest. But let me assure you, after spending a year in a house with 10 male cats, I can promise you they do. I have actually seen several of the younger boys be in a huddle and break away from each other in order to clear a path for Nikki to pass through when he approached. I would never have believed this if I had not seen it with my own two eyes but If Nikki was lying on the bed and other kitty wanted to lye down too, the younger cat would come over and bump heads with Nikki. Showing him affection and almost like asking him for permission. It was an amazing sight to see, he was a good boy and I will miss him.

Please allow me to let you in a little secret. If you ever wanted to know what an amazing person Jacki truly is then look at it this way...Jacki lost somethings that meant more to her then the heavens and somehow among all the pain and all the sorrow she was enduring still managed to write ADAM! Amazing, what a woman!
Ok, now with that being said let's get this party started shall we??

OMG! Did y'all know that ADAM made the New York Times and the USA Today Best Selling Lists? Woot Woot! Oh yes my lovelies, ADAM not only made the list but he came in at...are you ready for this?

Hell yes! For those of you who are unaware, the Times list goes to 150! So 18 is simply rocking! And thank you all so much in helping to make that possible. Your purchases the week of Adam's release helped to secure his spot on the Times list and you have no idea how grateful we are for your dedication to the Nightwalkers series and your support for Adam. {{Cyber Hugs}}

Before I started this job with Jacquelyn I was just like most of you. I loved my novels, my novels were my life, my escape from reality that I needed to make it from day to day. We all have to have an outlet right? Well, I saw JACOB in a used bookstore in my hometown and the quote at the top of the back cover caught my attention "For 700 years he has resisted temptation, but not tonight." So he came home with me. I began his story right away and I was consumed after only the first sentence..."How ridiculously simple it would be to cause them harm." Wow! I mean who starts a book out that way? My kind of author that's who! Omg I was in love...I went out the next day bought Gideon through Noah, got some bread and milk and didn't leave the house for the next 4 days hahahaha! When I closed Noah and layed him down on the table I set in search for Jacki. I found her...asked her to lunch...became her friend...and the rest is history LOL. Just in case you were curious :)

We travel a great deal in order to promote her work and interact with her readers and we just recently attended Lora Leigh's R.A.W (Readers appreciation weekend) in Baltimore, Maryland. Let me just say that I hate flying! And when I say I hate flying, I mean I really really hate to fly. If the PTB intended for us to fly then they would have given us wings is all I can say. Anyway, It was an amazing event. I got to be in the company of so many spank hot authors like Angela Knight, Sylvia Day, Lora Leigh, Bianca D'Arc, Amanda Mcintyre, Lori Foster, Mary Wine...the list goes on and on. But the incredible part is the interaction with the readers and seeing the love of the art first hand. Men and women from all over the country so excited over the endless sea of books laid out before them just waiting to be consumed...*sigh* that's when I'm happiest. If you have never attended this type of event then you owe it to yourself to do so at least once in your life. They take place all over the country and the chances of one being held close to you sometime in near future are very good. Here is what we did at R.A.W! Book Signings during the day and Parties at night...what more could you ask for LMAO!
This is Lori Foster, Jacki and Cheyenne McCray during registration.

Author Introduction

Jacki doing what Jacki does best. Signing books and talking to readers! It's a thing of beauty to watch her in action. It really is.

So once all of the work was done it was party time and that is not putting it lightly. When I say party that is exactly what takes place LOL. Here are some pictures of the Masquerade All Hallow's Eve Ball on Friday night. It was lots of fun.

Here I am dressed as the kick ass now and take names later Charley Davidson. Private Investigator/ Grim Reaper! I love this character so much, she one of my all time favorites. First Grave on the Right is the first in an amazing series written by my friend the lovely Mrs. Darynda Jones. If you have not read this series then I defiantly recommend that you do, you will not be disappointed. Go meet Charley on her character page on Facebook! Stop in and say Hi while your reading.

This is Jacki and I with a fan that approached and wanted a photo. We all had a blast and can not wait till next year! So make sure you make a note to attend Lora Leigh's Readers Appreciation Weekend or RAW 2012!

One more thing before I let you go...Have you been to Jacquelyn Frank's Nightwalker World yet? What is this, do you ask? Well, Nightwalker World is the officially sanctioned (by Jacki herself) Role Play page where you get to see, meet and greet with all of your favorite Nightwalker characters. Have you ever wanted to introduce yourself to Noah? Or ask Gideon how it feels to be the oldest living Demon? Well now you can. Come interact with the characters and read about how life is going now that Ruth has been dealt with and Adam has returned. See how the Nightwalkers actually live everyday and how they spend there time, it's loads of fun. The President of the Nightwalker World page is my Best Friend and Soul Sister Melena Valerian. She operates it and interacts with the fans on a daily basis and does a fantastic job. She does Marvelous Mondays, Ticked Off Tuesdays, Hump Day Hunks...endless chances to win books and prizes, the list goes on and on. So be sure to stop by, "LIKE" the page and say Hi, and let her know how much we appreciate her. I hope to see everyone there!

I want to end all of my blogs with a quote if that's alright. I am a sucker for all types of quotes and you never know what I might come up with LOL, I hope no one minds<3

If you want to leave a question or comment, please feel free to do so.

So peeps, that's it for today. Until next time...


Thursday, November 3, 2011

I have loved Emma Holly for years. She's one of my favorite authors and I was once very honored to get to advance read some of her work and pass MY opinion on it for a quote!! Imagine that!! She's totally my idol and she wants MY opinion! Well, I wanted to be very fair...but when I found myself yelling at her publisher WHERE'S THE REST OF IT!?!?!? (It was a three part series I believe.) That's when I knew it was yet another gem by Ms. Holly. I'm so delighted she took the time to answer this interview and hope she will come back many times in the future. :)

1. If you could transform into any animal, what would you choose? Please tell us, as only an author can, why you would make this specific choice?
That’s too easy! I would be a cat, because cats are cool and slinky and – most of all – independent. It’s no accident you can’t teach a kitty to fetch your slippers. Well, maybe if you taped some salmon in them first.

2. Please share with us your most embarrassing moment with a fan or another author
When I was still a newly published author, I met Nora Roberts at a Penguin party. Betina Krahn, who’s a real sweetheart, was kind enough to introduce me to her. I was all excited, until suddenly it seemed Betina was going to speak to someone else, leaving me alone with Nora. Nora was being perfectly nice - even funny - but this paralyzed me. How would I make conversation with the Great One all by myself? Was I allowed to leave if I couldn’t think of anything to say? Thankfully, Betina spied the panic on my face and guided me gently off.

3. Which do you prefer to write? The hero or the villain? And why?
Like any reader, I enjoy a good juicy villain, but I prefer to write the hero. It’s like real life, I suppose. I’d rather spend time with someone nice!

4. Do you have someone in your life that you model your heroes after? What about those villains?
My heroes are combination of qualities I admire, plus a few scrapes and flaws to add dimension. Like a lot of writers, now and then I’ll borrow a villainous trait from some annoying person who’s crossed my path. Naturally, everyone close to me is far too wonderful to provide *that* sort of inspiration.

5. I am a woman who is 43 years old and has a crush on her 25-year-old gardener, what naughty secret do you have to share?
Um, offer to lend him your copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover?

6. I’ll go easy on you this time. What is your sinful pleasure? I have two. Gluttony: where I eat too much Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio Pistachio, and Sloth : where I laze in bed all day watching HGTV (Mike Holmes…mmm nummy!) or Farscape. Please be equally specific.
I’m a bit of a TV addict (and also a Mike Holmes fan!) I’m a fan of expensive imported beer, not so expensive red wine, and too many kinds of sweets to single out just one.

7. Do you sing in the shower? What would Simon Cowell think of your performance? What is your favorite song choice?
Because I have neighbors I don’t want to horrify, I don’t. Not only do I have trouble remembering the words to things, I can only rarely carry a tune. If I were tone deaf, this would be less of a problem. My ideal situation might be a soundproofed shower with a waterproof radio that would always be louder than me. I hate to think I’d be too cowardly to sing at all!

Simon would tear me apart, I’m sure - or maybe just leave the room, shaking his head. I expect the expression on my face would be very poignant.

8. If you could be any of your characters whom would you choose? Tell us why of course.
Nim Wei, the vampire from my Midnight series, springs to mind. She’s not the nicest character I’ve written, or the happiest, but I love how unapologetic and kick-butt she is. She’s always up for a new adventure, and that’s something I admire.

9. Who did it the best? Out of all of your favorite paranormal authors’ works, who wrote the BEST SCENE EVA? Explain.
Laurell K. Hamilton’s first love scene between Anita and Nathaniel in her Anita Blake series is certainly one of my favorites. (I can’t remember which book, but maybe Narcissus in Chains?) That scene struck me as the perfect blend of emotion and hot yet poetic descriptions. And Nathaniel’s butt dimples! They were memorable.

10. You are now a published author, which some would say is the pinnacle for any writer. Now that you have achieved this goal, what is your new dream? What is it that you now aspire to do?
To keep doing it better, of course. Mastering the art of cover design would also be satisfying. Now that I’m indie, playing with covers is my new hobby!

"Date Night"
Olivia Forster never dreamed she’d serve as queen of an enchanted city beneath the sea, something her three sexy husbands know. Though she adores her shapeshifter mates, she’s shy by nature, and they can tell the strain of always being “on” is beginning to wear on her. Sneaking away from their responsibilities won’t be easy, but come hell or high water, they’ll treat her to a night she won’t soon forget!

James and Olivia Forster have been happily married for many years. A harmless kink here or there spices up their love life, but they can’t imagine the kinks they’ll encounter while sneaking off to their beach house for a long hot weekend.

Anso Vitul has ruled the wereseals for one short month. He hardly needs his authority questioned because he’s going crazy from mating heat. Anso’s best friend and male lover Ty offers to help him find the human mate his genes are seeking. To Ty’s amazement, Anso’s quest leads him claim not one partner but a pair. Ty would object, except he too finds the Forsters hopelessly attractive . . .

Hidden Talents
Werewolf cop Adam Santini is sworn to protect and serve all the supes in Resurrection, NY—including unsuspecting human Talents who wander in from Outside.

Telekinetic Ari is hot on the trail of a mysterious crime boss who wants to exploit her gift for his own evil ends, a mission that puts her on a collision course with the hottest cop in the RPD. Adam wants Blackwater too, but mostly he wants Ari. She seems to be the mate he’s been yearning for all his life, though getting a former street kid into bed with the Law could be his toughest case to date.

Emma has been gracious to enough to donate a copy of Hidden Talents to a lucky commenter. Make sure you comment below for your chance to win!!

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