Archive for 'Guest Blogger'
Thursday, August 14th, 2014
Hello! I appreciate the invite and opportunity to acquaint readers with my newest historical romance ebook, A Kiss of Promise and the story behind it. A Kiss of Promise, a story of betrayal, greed, sacrifice and love, is a sequel to the Blackstone brothers’ saga introduced in my first Regency, Regal Reward (available in print and ebook).
In Regal Reward, York and Martin Blackstone’s father, a lord of the realm, is falsely accused of treason, imprisoned, and his family tossed to the streets of London. Eventually orphaned, the boys survive among beggars and thieves until they become adept as highwaymen, stealing from the wealthy. Regal Reward tells of York’s obsession to clear his father’s name and regain titles and lands lost to him as the eldest son.
Excerpt: “His feelings for Marielle were just that, feelings. Feelings could be harnessed and controlled. Eventually they would diminish or at least be kept at bay, but he’d made her his own. He couldn’t think of that now. Another day, another time…”
In A Kiss of Promise, younger brother Martin attempts to escape his family’s scandal and his wretched past. Since he was the youngest when his aristocratic family was destroyed, most of his childhood was spent surviving peril. Unlike his brother, who is now the lord of his late father’s holdings, Martin has the freedom to do as he pleases. He chooses to voyage to America, leaving the beautiful Alaina Craymore behind. He refuses to consider that his inability to commit to a relationship and his need for wild adventure is an escape from his own brokenness.
Alaina is the daughter of the villain in Regal Reward and continues to be victimized by her father’s illegal ventures in A Kiss of Promise. A stranger appears at her door with evidence that can be used to send her brother to prison unless she cooperates in one of her father’s unfinished business deals. She succumbs to his blackmail, sacrificing her reputation to save her brother. When Martin hears that she is in danger, he will face death to save her. He must not only deal with a dangerous scoundrel but also come to terms with his past before he can offer Alaina what she needs the most, his love.
Excerpt: “She wanted his love, not his pity. She had brought ruin upon herself and now she must pay the price.”
I loved including secondary characters from Regal Reward in A Kiss of Promise, giving them new issues to resolve, humor to lighten their stories, and satisfying resolutions. A Kiss of Promise also gave me the opportunity to research and write about the hazards of ocean travel while my characters journeyed to new environments and fear-filled futures.
My books are available at most online venues and on my website. Read more about them at http://www.elaineviolette.com or purchase all from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Elaine-Violette/e/B008H5NKQQ
Elaine is a veteran English teacher and holds a BS in English Education from the University of CT and an MS in Educational Leadership from Central CT State University. She presently teaches public speaking part time at a local community college. Her debut regency novel, Regal Reward, finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. Her second regency, A Convenient Pretense, illustrates her ability to create emotional depth in her characters and plot as well as her ability to write poetry that can be both heart-wrenching and humorous. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, CT Romance Writers (CTRWA) and Charter Oak Romance writers (CORW). She resides on the Connecticut shoreline and especially enjoys being a wife, mother, and grandmother to six grandchildren.
Thank you once again, Delilah, for hosting me. I’d love to hear comments from readers!
Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
Many writers have a particular style of music they like to listen to while they write. Hard rock, classical, pop, country…each genre has its diehard fans that swear they write better, faster and hotter because of what they listen to. For me, it tends to change with each story I write. It’s like I have a theme song for each book that runs through my head the whole time the story is coming together, whether I am actually working on it or just thinking about it.
When I was writing Tell Me Lies, it was Fleetwood Mac’s Sweet Little Lies. For A Rapture of Centuries, it was Michael Buble’s rendition of Fever. My upcoming release, Released By Moonlight, used Come on Closer by Jem for it’s inspiration.
My most recent release, Instruction by Seduction, follows the story of Leah, a young college student floundering in her life until along comes Hale, a mystery man who catapults her into making her dreams a reality with his erotic life lessons. For this story it was America’s You Can Do Magic that inspired me. The song’s description of a woman who can have anything she desires with her “magic” made me cheer for Leah throughout the book. It also reminds me that when each of us “spell-casts” with our thoughts throughout our daily life, we too can make our dreams a reality.
Is there a particular song that inspires you to create? Or a song that has its own music video that plays in your head each time you hear it? Share in the comments! I’ll pick a random commenter to win a digital copy of their choice of Tell Me Lies or Instruction by Seduction. The winner will be selected from comments posted by noon EST on August 19th.
You do not open the box. The box opens you.
When Leah picks up an ornate box at a flea market she knows it’s special. But she has no idea how her life as a sexually disappointed college student and grocery store cashier will be transformed.
Through forces unknown, the box summons Hale—a man who knows Leah inside and out. He uses their no-strings-attached sexual escapades—which include a hot threesome and light bondage—as lascivious lessons to teach Leah what she needs to succeed in her job, education and relationships.
With each sexual encounter growing more and more extreme, Leah comes away challenged and questioning everything. But will Leah listen to her new instincts and embrace the life of her dreams or will she continue to hide in her old and comfortable but self-defeating ways?
Buy Instruction by Seduction today!
Ellora’s Cave | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Adrian Ennis has only known the life of organized crime, having been trained to be a mob assassin from age eight. Crime king pin Ezra Drake is more like a father to Adrian than her boss and is one of the few people she feels she can trust. But on the evening of her 29th birthday when Ezra orders her to kill Tony, her friend and lover, Adrian’s perception of who is and is not her friend becomes a blurred line of blood and bullets.
When Adrian makes an unlikely ally in Atlanta PD detective Damon Wyatt she learns the truth about her past, an unsavory web of murder and deceit that includes the destruction of her entire family. With an innocent life hanging in the balance – Tony’s ten-year-old son – Adrian has an opportunity to amend for the wrongs of her past and to bring those who destroyed her life to justice…her way.
Buy Tell Me Lies here!
Monday, August 11th, 2014
Take a girl who is obsessed with YA (young adult), Harry Potter, medieval fantasy, kick-butt heroines, and hot bad boys and what do you get? For me that answer is my debut series THE BLACK MAGE.
To be honest I’ve had this story line floating around my head since the 7th grade. At the time the vision wasn’t very clear –all I knew was that I wanted a boy and girl as rivals who were secretly starting to fall for one another despite their own wishes. See, unlike the TWILIGHT fans out there I’ve always been drawn to the aloof/arrogant/misunderstood bad boy-types of characters. Romance in real life is almost always sweet –or at least predictable, when I read my novels I want spicy.
Enter Prince Darren. He was born with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. To start with he is second-in-line to the throne so he already feels like has something to prove. His obsession with being best leads him to alienate many people with his biting sarcasm and condescension. When he meets the protagonist he is torn between disdain and an unbidden attraction that leads him to help her later on despite his own nature.
Enter Ryiah. She was born dreaming of a better life than the lowborn one she was brought into. Hot-headed to match her scarlet red locks, she tries out for the faction of Combat and finds her biggest rival in the school prodigy, Darren. He seems to go out of his way to insult her, yet as time goes on she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him anyway.
Anyway, that is just the beginning of their tale. For more check out my excerpt and trailer below, or better yet, buy the book!
TRAILER LINK: http://youtu.be/noRhabNFJqk
Before the age of seventeen the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice –follow tradition, or pursue a trial year in one of the realm’s three war schools to study as a soldier, knight or mage…
For 15-year-old Ryiah the choice has always been easy. Become a warrior and leave the boring confines of her lowborn life behind. Set to enroll in the School of Knighthood on the eve of her next birthday, plans suddenly shift when her twin brother discovers powers. Hoping that hers will soon follow, she enrolls with Alex at the Academy instead –the realm’s most notorious war school for those with magic.
Yet when she arrives Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Every “first-year” is given a trial year to prove their worth –and no amount of hard work and drive will guarantee them a spot. It seems like everyone is rooting for her to fail –and first and foremost among them Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.
When an accidental encounter leads Ryiah and Darren to an unlikely friendship she is convinced nothing good will come of it. But the lines become blurred when she begins to improve –and soon she is a key competitor for the faction of Combat… Still, nothing is ever as it seems –and when the world comes crashing down around her, Ry is forced to place faith in the one thing she can believe in –herself. Will it be enough?
Magic just got a whole lot harder.
Rachel Carter lives in Placerville, California with her fiancé and their two spoiled pets: a feisty feline named Charlie, and Zoey, the Australian Shepherd who gets jealous of her own shadow. She loves to organize –and when she is not color-coding her closet she is always looking for the next good book. She grew up reading about magic, hot bad boys, and lady knights. The Black Mage, her debut series, is a tribute to all the things she never stopped loving.
THE BLACK MAGE: FIRST YEAR is the first book of Rachel’s four-book YA fantasy series with Astraea Press. Rachel invites you to visit her author page at www.facebook.com.theblackmageauthor. She loves to hear from other aspiring authors or readers via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on twitter @blackmageauthor and read her blog at http://theblackmagegirl.wordpress.com.
Sunday, August 10th, 2014
I could spend this entire post talking about how wonderful Delilah Devlin is. But I won’t. If you’re here you already know as much. I’ll just say, “Thank you, DD, for your compassion, encouragement, and sharing your imagination with us, your revenues throng of eager readers.”
Why is it a book is not a book until it has a cover?
You see, I recently unveiled three new covers, all my very own. No, I didn’t design them. But the words they guard the door for are mine. All mine! Yet, the words didn’t seem real until that sentinel stood tall before them. Almost 200,000 words, and they didn’t seem real. Crazy right? Then again, not.
Though the words make the story, it’s not a marketable product without a cover. The good. The bad. The Oh my gosh, what were they thinking! You still need it to make a book. When I think back to some of my favorite novels none are the ones with the most beautiful cover. This doesn’t stop me from having cover crushes. My current lady crush is Delilah’s Once in a Blue Moon. My current man crush is Parker Kincade’s Borrowed Cowboy.
Who are your current cover crushes?
I’ll leave you in the capable hands of these three hotties. Baine. Law. Ryan. Maybe they’ll be list contenders.
When you’re done ogling hop on over to www.meganmitcham.com. Sign up for my newsletter. I’m always running contests and giveaways! Currently running: $10 Amazon gift card giveaway to one of my lucky subscribers when we reach 200! Last week they got a sneak peek at these fellas, and two weeks before five received advanced reader copies of Enemy Mine.
The Base Branch Series
Serve in the name of honor. Battle in the name of love.
Known by few as the Base Branch, the United Nations’ Special Operations Forces provide globe defense against any who threaten the fragile balance of peace.
When friends become enemies and enemies become lovers.
Born in the blood of Sierra Leone’s Civil War, enslaved, then sold to the US as an orphan, Base Branch operative, Sloan Harris is emotionally dead and driven by vengeance. With no soul to give, her body becomes the bargaining chip to infiltrate a warlord’s inner circle, the man called The Devil who killed her family and helped destroy a region.
As son of the warlord, Baine Kendrick will happily use Sloan’s body, if it expedites his father’s demise. Yet, he is wholly unprepared for the possessive and protective emotions she provokes. Maybe it’s the flashes of memory. Two forgotten children drawing in the dirt beneath the boabab tree. But he fears there is more at stake than his life.
In the Devil’s den with Baine by her side, Sloan braves certain death and discovers a spirit for living.
For justice. For country. For love.
One takes control. One finds balance in letting go.
Megan Mitcham was born and raised among the live oaks and shrimp boats of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where her enormous family still calls home. She attended college at the University of Southern Mississippi where she received a bachelor’s degree in curriculum, instruction, and special education. For several years Megan worked as a teacher in Mississippi. She married and moved to South Carolina and began working for an international non-profit organization as an instructor and co-director.
In 2009 Megan fell in love with books. Until then, books had been a source for research or the topic of tests. But one day she read Mercy by Julie Garwood. And oh, Mercy, she was hooked!
Megan lives in Southern Arkansas where she pens heart pounding romantic thriller novels and window-steaming erotic romance.
Saturday, August 9th, 2014
First I’d like to thank Delilah for having me here.
Growing up Saturday mornings were spent in the library. My first loves were Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys books. I used to devour the books and then go outside and pretend that I was on the case trying to solve the mystery with them. Growing up on two acres of land and surrounded by acres and acres of cornfields on 3 sides allowed for plenty of room for exploring.
I read my first romance book when I was in high school. Sadly, I can’t remember the author or the title but it did spark my interest in genres besides mystery.
When I was a kid I thought I’d be a singer and movie star. The problem was I can’t sing and though I did do several plays in high school – even won a supporting actress award. I discovered that I was a home body. The idea of a big city was horrifying. I also discovered that despite growing up with horses I didn’t want to be too far from civilization. To be honest, I just didn’t want to drive a half hour to the nearest McDonalds.
As I got older I dreamed of being a Veterinarian. Sadly, this career path was also doomed before it began. It turns out I can’t talk to animals and I absolutely positively can’t stand the sight of blood or anything else gross and disgusting.
Fast forward a few years and I met my future husband while volunteering for the MDA telethon. After our second child was born I became a stay-at-home mom.
Sometime after the birth of my fourth child, I decided to stop ignoring the voices in my head screaming to put their adventures on paper. It was hard to fit writing time in between everything else going on but I did it. Those first few books shall remain locked away, never to see the light of day, until after my demise at which time my family has been instructed to destroy them.
I briefly considered giving up but the thought made me sick to my stomach. So, I kept writing. Somewhere along the line I discovered that writing was my passion. My husband and children are my greatest gifts but writing makes me happy which in turn makes me a happier and more patient person. My family is laughing right now but just ignore them.
My first book to be published is DEATH BY HIGH HEELS. For some reason, as I wrote this book I knew it was different. I knew this was the one that would go out there for people besides my critique group and family to read.
I have to thank my five kids and husband for all their love and support. Without it my book would have never gotten written. Also, to my critique group I say thanks for giving me the encouragement to send out those query letters and keep trying.
So, what is it that you’re passionate about?
Death by High Heels (The Investigator Series 1)
Spending time with a dead guy, being interrogated by the cops and getting stitched up by a cute ER doc wasn’t exactly the evening plans private investigator Kimberly Murphy envisioned. Especially the getting caught standing over a dead body, again, part. Only this time it wasn’t her fault. Just once she’d like it if homicide detective Grant Tompkins didn’t assume she was guilty.
To clear her slightly tarnished name, Kim goes after the clever killer while avoiding a certain hot homicide detective determined to put her in handcuffs – and not the pink, fuzzy kind – not that she’d mind. Too bad Kim’s efforts lead to dead ends and even more dead bodies. Kim will need all her skills and a bit of luck to outwit a killer who’d like to put an end to Kim’s meddling permanently.
Sweet Cravings Publishing
Monday, August 4th, 2014
See what my little sister has out today?
An ex-military man relies on the skills he’s never forgotten
When former special ops soldier Dave Logsdon nearly hits a beautiful motorcyclist in the thick Oregon fog, nicknamed the Devil’s Shroud, he never expects to be thrown back into a world of espionage, deceit and danger. But secret agent Nicole Steele is desperate for an out-of-the-way place to hide, and Dave’s run-down yacht is the perfect spot.
The emotionally wounded warrior is powerless to deny her request and his rising desire for her.Nicole must decrypt the database she’s stolen before it’s too late. She soon learns the threat is bigger than she could ever imagine and U.S. national security is at stake. Will her unexpected bond with Dave survive once the enemy’s identity is finally uncovered?
Amazon | Nook | Kobo
Deadly Allure is Book #4 of the DEADLY series:
Nicole Steele is on a Stealth Operations Mission in a California office building.
Ten after ten. She had exactly fifteen minutes to get into Ryan’s office, download the data and get out. Another five minutes to leave the building and this operation would be complete. Short, sweet, uneventful. That’s the way she liked it.
Nicole stepped into the stairwell, raised her hand to spray the camera in the corner and climbed the steps two at a time to the floor above. She blacked out the camera there and moved up to the next floor. Once on the top floor, she disabled the security camera and hurried to Brandon Ryan’s spacious office, paid for by taxpayer dollars meant to be used to supply guns to the military. It was the potential other deals he was making with the opposing forces in the Middle East that had landed her there.
As a member of the Stealth Operations Specialists, Nicole was part of a very small force of secret agents called on by the President of the United States to handle situations neither the FBI nor the CIA could handle. Sensitive cases that only a handful of people knew about.
Her boss, Royce Fontaine, had prepared her for this mission; given her the equipment and knowledge that would get her inside and to the computer Ryan used to store the top-secret data concerning his organization’s dealings.
Intel from SOS operatives in the Middle East had informed Royce the Taliban had new guns that looked suspiciously like those supplied to the U.S. military.
Nicole’s job was to ferret out the information necessary to determine whether the Taliban had stolen the weapons or if Brandon Ryan was supplying them to the opium-rich leaders of the terrorist organization.
* * * * *
Elle James’s Bio: Elle James spent twenty years livin’ and lovin’ in South Texas, ranching horses, cattle, goats, ostriches and emus. A former IT professional, Elle is proud to be writing full-time, penning intrigues and paranormal adventures that keep her readers on the edge of their seats. She has 39 works with Harlequin, self published works under pen name Elle James, over 40 works with other publishers including Samhain, Elloras’ Cave, Kensington and Avon and 18 works self-published under pen name Myla Jackson. Now living in northwest Arkansas, she isn’t wrangling cattle, she’s wrangling her muses, a malti-poo and yorkie. When she’s not at her computer, she’s traveling, out snow-skiing, boating, or riding her ATV, dreaming up new stories.
ELLE JAMES: Website| Blog| Facebook| Twitter | GoodReads
Sunday, August 3rd, 2014
Thanks to Delilah for having me as guest on her blog today. In thinking about what to write, I came up with what I hope will be something worthwhile to all new and hopeful writers-to-be.
It is difficult not to want to talk about my very first book to be published. However, I’ll take this space I was so kindly offered to make some comments on this wild ride that has been writing and getting published as a contemporary romance author. Many years ago, over thirty to be exact, I had the brilliant idea that I could write a romance novel. I sat down and did just that. Boxed it up and mailed it off to Harlequin. I really didn’t have to wait long for a reply….about four weeks. I saw the envelope in the mailbox and ripped it open thinking it had to be great news…they wanted my book and there would be a huge check inside. Wrong.
The letter was a nice form letter thanking me but NO THANKS. I was crushed. I took my copy of the manuscript and literally boxed it and threw it under the bed in the guest room. I never saw it again. Long story short, I gave up on my dream of writing. Fast forward thirty plus years and I am more mature and have done a TON of research on the romance genre. With a gentle push (more like a hard shove) from a dear friend, I once more wrote another manuscript and this time…I submitted to a few agents. One agent picked it up and worked with me for a few months before finally offering representation. That is when my real ‘schooling’ began in the world of publishing. After almost three years, I have two manuscripts sold and about to be published. That is the easy version. It wasn’t an easy process and it was at best frustrating and worst…a nightmare. Much the same as giving birth for the first time.
What have I learned after all this? First and foremost…WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE TO READ. Too often authors get in trouble and bring on a ton of frustration when we forget that simple fact. If you can’t love what you wrote…no one else can be expected to do so. Second, and of equal import…TRUST YOUR INSTINCT. Let me explain it this way. When I first jumped into publishing, I put my writing and myself one hundred per cent in the hands of others…because they knew so much more than I did. Well…I now know the value of listening to that little voice inside me. When I listened to others, I found myself in deals I didn’t really like, and writing in sub-genres because that is what someone else liked and wanted me to do…etc. When I started saying hold on…and listening to what I knew and felt to be right…I was much happier and I SOLD. That is not to say that I don’t value the opinions and experiences of others in the publishing world…I do. There is still a lot for me to learn. I just listen to everyone now….myself included…and make the best decision possible.
Best advice to someone who wants to become a writer? Learn all you can about the genre you want to publish. Write only what you love to read. Trust in yourself and your instincts. Don’t give up on your dream!
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J.D. Sterling, country music’s sexy superstar, has come home again. He has achieved his wildest dreams and did what he set out to do when he shook the dirt of the small Texas town from his boot heels a dozen years before. Now, he’s returned for the final piece of the puzzle to completing his life….the girl who holds his heart. Mandy.
Amanda Lawson has grown up. From sheer heartbreak to struggling to survive to becoming a shrewd businesswoman, she has taught herself to never look back. She survived once before the wild, green-eyed cowboy with only a guitar to his name and a pocketful of dreams. He took her heart and so much more when he left her behind with his hollow vows.
Mandy was his muse…J.D. was her dream. Despite tragedy, can they find their way home to each other again?
Born and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debra grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers. Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most. She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and owning a wedding planning business (ah, romance!).
Debra’s real pride and joys, however, are her son, an aspiring film actor, and a daughter with aspirations to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (more story ideas!) When she isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found cheering on her Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on another cruise adventure. She read her first romance…Janet Dailey’s Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre. Writing contemporary western romances, is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles…and sighs… to all who believe in happily-ever-after’s.
The Seymour Agency represents Debra and she is soon to have two contemporary romances published by Spencer Hill/Tulip Romance and Astraea Press. Debra invites you to visit her website at www.debraholtbooks.com. She loves to hear from other aspiring authors or readers via email at email@example.com. Follow her on twitter @debraholtbooks and like her author page on facebook.