Archive for September, 2013
Monday, September 9th, 2013
Hi Everyone! Thank you, Delilah, for having me on your blog today. I really appreciate it.
So, I’m a big city girl… I was born in El Paso, Texas and I now live in Phoenix. I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a small town.
There is a neighborhood I lived in from 1990-1994 that holds some of my favorite memories. That was one of my favorite places to live, and it was hard moving away from there when we did. What I remember and love the most about living there was our sense of community. Our next door neighbor became the neighborhood grandmother to everyone. She and my mom were always talking, so one of us was always at her house or she came over to ours. I’m fortunate that to this day I still get to talk to her, and when I go back to El Paso to visit, she’s always on the list. She was one of the first people to read my writing, when in 1993, her granddaughter passed away from spinal meningitis. She was only two and a half, and it hit me hard, so I wrote a poem.
Anyway, on that street we looked out for one another. We were there for tough times in life, and there for fun. There were quite a few neighborhood kids that my sister, brother and I befriended and had plenty of fun and games with. It’s like we were all a big family, even though we weren’t blood related.
I miss those days.
I don’t know many of my neighbors here. I know the ones beside us on each side, and there’s a lady a couple houses down that apparently likes to stick her nose in everyone else’s business. I don’t hear kids playing. I want the kind of community that I grew up in for my son to play in.
I loved that street so much I wrote a memory book about it. It’s in one of those one subject notebooks, all handwritten, tucked away in my memory box. When we go visit El Paso, my husband drives me past all my old houses (Yes, we moved around quite a bit), and it’s just so different from what I remember. I close my eyes and see us having scooter races down the street, or throwing snowballs when it actually snowed, to making a snowman in our neighborhood grandmother’s front yard.
I needed to be able to re create that same sense of community. That’s why I created the fictional town of Harmony’s Echo, Texas in my Love and Music in Texas books. It’s just a small little off the highway town, but it’s a place that feels like home for my characters. And when I’m writing in that world, I feel like I’ve been taken back to memories of my own childhood.
So far a lot of the story is centered around the inn, where Avery Callimer was found as a baby. Her adoptive parents run the inn and there are always new guests coming in. There are a few new strangers in town in the Baby Stetson band, one of them being Lucas Bennett, the man that Avery can’t seem to stop thinking about. Very quickly Lucas learns the ways of a small town community. He’s moved around so many times and has never really felt at home anywhere, except for Harmony’s Echo.
In Book 2, The Melody In My Head, Melody Roland also learns quickly about this little town. She’s from a small Colorado town herself, but she can’t go back there now. She meets Jameson and Lucas the first night she ends up stranded and while she doesn’t think she’ll ever feel safe, there’s something about quiet little Harmony’s Echo that calls to her…not to mention Jameson, the guitar player who has his own struggles but puts them aside to help her.
Even though the Baby Stetson band has big city dreams of making it in the country music business, they all know their small town roots and love them. Just as I love my version of a small town. That’s what it feels like to me.
Thanks for reading and letting me share my story with you today.
This is Book 2 in the Love and Music in Texas series. Baby Stetson kicks off the series.
Welcome back to Harmony’s Echo, Texas…..
Melody Roland is on the run from the one person she trusted completely. One who hid a dark past she could never have imagined. When a pregnant woman on the bus she’s fleeing on goes into labor, Melody rushes to her aide. Now she finds herself stranded in a tiny remote town just off the highway, with no way to her original destination.
She’s alone, on edge, and unsure who to trust. Her instincts scream to get far away and fast. But how and where?
Jameson Grant struggles through the roughest year of his life. Suffering from the loss of his father, one grief stricken night, he made a mistake. One which cost him the only woman he’s ever loved. Each lonely day he’s faced with the constant reminders of how quick things can change. Throwing himself into the one thing he has left, his music, helps dull the pain he fights to keep hidden. His last salvation begins to crumble as things spiral out of control and he has no choice but to face the ‘music’ of his past.
The last thing he needs or wants in his life is a woman with more trouble on her heels than the best of country music lyrics. But Melody sings a sirens call within him that can’t be ignored.
Jameson and Melody bond in ways stronger than either could have imagined, but one dangerous person from her past may threaten it all…
If she doesn’t flee before he can convince her to stay, and that some love songs last an eternity.
The door shut softly behind them. Jameson grabbed the lantern from the porch and held it out to Melody. “Here. Hold this. We’ll need a little bit of light.” She took it hesitantly from his hand. Jameson turned away and smiled.
Carefully holding the guitar case, Jameson climbed the ladder resting on the ride of the house. He should take it down, but until now, he’d forgotten about it. He set the guitar case at the edge of the roof, then glanced down at Melody. “Okay, hand me the blankets and the light.” He called to her. Stepping down a few rungs, he reached for the requested items. Once on the roof, he peered back at her again. “Come on up!”
“Jameson, what are we doing?” But she was laughing. When her head appeared at the top, he held out a hand to her, helping to ease her up onto the roof. He’d already set one blanket down for them to sit on. The other he brought for her in case she got cold.
“Getting a great view of the stars.” Jameson pointed. One of the things he loved about living in a small town was being able to see the sky at night. One of the best views ever. Melody settled next to him on the blanket, staring at the same direction.
“It’s beautiful. I can’t remember the last time I just stared at the stars.”
It had been awhile for him, too. But he knew when the last time he’d been up here.
Jameson set the lantern at the edge of the blanket and turned on the light. It was bright enough for them to see, but not too bright to ruin the view of the stars. “Are you cold? If you are, I have an extra blanket.” He pointed to it, next to the guitar case. “The only thing I forgot to grab was something to drink.”
Melody laughed. “I’ll forgive you, you thought of everything else.”
He enjoyed the sound of her laugh.
Jameson shook that thought away and reached for his guitar.
“Do you do this often? Come up on the roof late at night with your guitar?”
“Not in some time.” Jameson held the guitar, pulling a pick out of the case and strummed a few chords. “Sometimes, I need a different environment other than the garage, you know? Nice thing is, there aren’t a lot of neighbors nearby, so I’m not disturbing anyone. “
“It is nice.” Melody mused, lying on her back. She crossed her arms behind her head.
Jameson started to play the chorus to a popular Taylor Swift song. He even sang along, raising his voice a few octaves to mimic the sound. Melody turned her head and laughed.
“I’m not sure that song fits your voice,” she teased. She rested her head on her elbow, now interested in watching him.
Jameson stopped mid-play. “No? Damn. Here I thought I was being all cool.”
That got another giggle out of her. “You are cool! Just…sing a different song.”
“All right, all right. I’ll find another song, since my Taylor impersonation isn’t appreciated.” Jameson pretended to pout, which made Melody laugh again. He was on a roll, and his plan worked. The mood had been lightened. “Okay, how about this?” He started to play and sing an older Shania Twain song.
Melody sat up, covering her mouth with her hand. He could see her body shaking as she tried to hold in her laughter. “You know, Jameson, that don’t impress me much, either.”
Pretending to be hurt, he put the guitar down. “What am I doing wrong? Is my singing that bad? That’s a first. Usually, I win them all with these songs.”
“Oh Jameson. You’re so funny.”
“Okay, one last time, and hopefully third time will be the charm. Are you ready?” Reaching for his guitar again, Jameson watched her as he started a new tune. This time, he played the tune to the song he’d been working on with her. Even in the dim light, he noticed her face light up as he sang the first few lines from her song.
“You win, the third time is the charm. Now that fits your voice. Brava!” She clapped her hands.
“How about you sing it with me?”
“Oh, no. I don’t think so.”
“Oh come on. Let’s serenade the stars. Maybe we’ll catch one falling.” He pleaded. “It’s your lyrics. I’d love to hear from coming from your lips.” As he started over on the guitar, he shot her what he hoped was his best pout.
“You’re relentless!” Melody exclaimed, raising her hands in defeat. She still smiled, though.
When Jameson got to the chorus, Melody chimed in. He had to force himself to keep going as he listened to her voice. She was pretty good! She had this soft, gentle ease about her voice. It didn’t ring out with a lot of power backing her up, but she had a sweet sound that radiated into his mind. He lowered his voice a little bit to let her shine. He couldn’t keep his eyes off her as he watched her lips move, and heard the words.
When they stopped, it was his turn to applaud. “You have a great voice. You sounded really good, Melody.”
He wasn’t sure, but he thought she was blushing. Melody turned away from him for a second.
“Thank you, Jameson. I’m not one for the spot light, but that was really neat to sing my own lyrics.”
“You know, we’re still looking for a song or two to add to our demo. I like this one a lot. What would you think about putting the finishing touches on it and playing it for the band?” As shy as she was about these things, would she even go for that? The words really were great, and he liked the melody he’d put to her words.
“I- are you serious?” She sounded caught off guard.
Jameson nodded, setting his guitar down once again. “I am. I like the way it’s progressing. And when you sang with me just now, I liked the idea of having a back up on it. It would be a great addition.”
Amazon Link | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Nikki Lynn Barrett lives in Arizona with her husband and son. She’s an avid reader, a dreamer, and loves everything about books. She runs a book blog, an online used bookstore, and writes various genres of romance. Nikki can also be found outside with her camera when a storm is near, snapping photo after photo. Her dreams of becoming a writer started when she was young, when she started writing books in one subject notebooks by the fifth grade. The Secret Santa Wishing Well is her debut book. You can visit Nikki’s site at: www.nikkilynnbarrett.blogspot.com for more information. She is working on her next book. Nikki would love to hear from readers. Email her at email@example.com.
Sunday, September 8th, 2013
I’m thrilled to be on talented author Delilah Devlin’s blog.
Real life affects my writing so today I’m going to talk about cheating. Infidelity is a big subject to tackle in a romance. When this happened in real life to someone close to me, she described it as a piece of her heart had died. Not only was she in pain but so were her family and friends who grieved with her. What I didn’t expect was for my real life friend to get back together with her husband. Could she ever really forgive her cheating husband? I spent so much time trying to help my friend pick up the pieces I ended up writing a fictional novel about it.
In novels, we authors get to make things right again, but it wasn’t easy for me as a writer to find a way for my character to forgive her cheating husband. I had to find a real reason as to why my character cheated on his wife. I also wanted to explore the idea of the wife living out her fantasy of an erotic affair with a younger man, once she had decided her marriage was over, so I had a lot of fun with this sexy fantasy. I hope you’ll enjoy it too.
Family, friends, culture, and expectation clash in this heart-wrenching story of a broken marriage — and the battle to repair it.
Gabriella Vitadini thought she had the perfect marriage until her husband Tony stopped wanting her, and started wanting other women instead. Throwing him out of the house was the only thing she could do — how does she throw him out of her heart?
When a much younger man reminds her that she is still a desirable woman, Gabriella reminds herself that turnabout is fair play. But even a naughty fling can’t eject Tony from her thoughts. What happened to their happy marriage? Why did Tony turn away from her? And is there any hope that they can find true love again?
As Dave walked beside me, his hand kept brushing mine. I could feel the little hairs on his hands touching mine. Already a shiver passed up my arm. I was supposed to be selling him an apartment, but I couldn’t stop thinking about sex.
When we arrived at the Temple, we took the elevator up to the apartment. “It’s good this time of morning. You’ll get to see the apartment in daylight.”
Dave stood close beside me, so that his leather jacket brushed my arm. I could smell his cologne, a mixture of spice and wood scent. The elevator door opened and we stepped out into the foyer and walked into the spacious living area.
“I already know I want it, Gabrrrriella. It is bellissima.”
“Si. I’ve looked already at many new apartments. This one is the best, no?”
I couldn’t believe it. There was a sale in front of me. A sale!
But Dave wasn’t looking around him at the view of the Harbour. Instead, he stood kissing distance away, looking straight into my eyes. “I want you in it. Last night I couldn’t sleep.”
My throat went dry. Dave bent and kissed me.
And what did I do?
I wrapped my arms around him like a woman starved of affection. Could I eradicate Tony from my life by being with Dave? I didn’t know, but I wanted to try. I should have been thinking about my sale, but Dave’s body was hard and lean and I so desperately wanted him inside of me. What woman wouldn’t want a man like Dave devoted to her?
Where can you find the book?
Saturday, September 7th, 2013
UPDATE: The winner of the free download is Michelle-Snarky Mom!
Today’s snippet round theme is “Hero in the Doghouse.” Well, I couldn’t think of a recent hero who was in trouble or who had made a horrible mistake for which he was being punished or punishing himself, but I did have this heroine in a heap trouble. It’s Zuri, from the first of the Triple Horn Brand Books, and you’ll see how things only manage to get worse in this scene. Enjoy!
If you post a comment today, you’ll be entered to win
a free download of this book!
“With amazing suspense, and hot, dominant lovin’ this cowboy and his high school sweetheart take the reader on an amazing emotional journey… Ms. Devlin has created a beyond 5 Book worthy start of an incredible new series…” ~5/5 Books, Reviews by Molly
“Fun and fast, “Laying down the Law” is great for fans of western romances or someone looking for that great next “hot” read!” ~The Brunette Librarian
Seeking sanctuary could be the hottest mistake she ever made.
The TripleHorn Brand, Book 1
A lifetime ago, Zuri Prescott kicked the dirt off her boots and ditched her small-time small town for the glam city life—and lived to regret it. When she’s framed for a bank job, she lights out for home, seeking refuge with her old high school sweetheart while she figures out her next steps. Only she discovers that the boy she left behind is the last man she should trust.
Sheriff Colt Triplehorn knows trouble when he sees it, especially when it comes in the form of a familiar trespasser, caught naked between an angry bull and her underwear. Sure she’s up to her usual no good, he grants her sanctuary at his ranch—the better to keep an eye on her, and purge her from his system once and for all.
Reconnection is sweet and hot, but the heat can’t hide the truth. When Colt inevitably finds out what Zuri’s running from, it’s too late to put the fire out, and he’s got a career-compromising choice on his hands. Follow the letter of the law, or follow his heart.
Product Warnings: When a sheriff captures the girl who got away, expect revenge so hot it leaves brands on two lonely hearts…
Rain fell in sheets, so heavy and fast that it wasn’t long before Zuri Prescott’s hands ached from her death grip on the steering wheel. The darkness suffocated her headlights so that she couldn’t see farther than twenty yards in front of her, but the beams still glossed the highway’s surface to a bright glare, which left her wondering whether she was inside the lines or sailing down the middle.
She’d been driving for hours, numbed to the worsening conditions, her mind caught in an endless loop, reliving the horrors of the day.
Her panic hadn’t lessened for even a moment since she’d first felt a gun pressed against her temple early that morning as she’d unlocked the side door of the branch bank, and a harsh voice whispered in her ear to get the door open fast.
A heated body had moved close to her back and crisp, spicy cologne drifted over her. With her hands shaking, she’d unlocked the door, and then let him shove her through.
She’d landed on her knees, her pantyhose shredding on impact—the long, fat ladder that rippled up her thigh as strangely upsetting as the masked man behind her who grabbed her by the hair and pulled her up to face the security alarm.
She’d pressed the buttons on the key pad, disarming the premises alarm and dropped her hands. But another nudge of hard steel against her back, and his hushed, “The vault alarm too, sweetheart,” had her punching a second set of numbers before he hustled her around the corner toward the vault, out of sight of her manager who waited in the parking lot for the all-clear signal.
The vault operated on a timer. At any other time of day, she wouldn’t have been able to open it—a fact that didn’t register until later. She’d spun the two combination locks, heard the inner mechanisms clang as they released, and he’d reached around her to grab the lever and push it down. The large steel door swung open.
The thief had shoved her through the anteroom with security deposit boxes lining both walls, heading straight for the locked door at the rear. Again, he’d waited while she found the key and opened the door, then shoved the mesh interior gate inward.
Forcing her to her knees, he’d wrapped her wrists and ankles in duct tape, and pulled a hood over her head.
Then she’d been left to shiver on the floor, listening to the sounds he made as she followed him in her mind through the gate while he scooped stacks of cash into a bag. One side only. Later, the assistant manager pointed out that the thief must have been timing himself, a real pro, because he’d skipped the temptation of pausing to finish the sweep.
Less than five minutes had passed since they’d entered. Another two and the manager would call the police.
The thief had walked back to her and knelt, his knee touching hers as he leaned close.
She’d stayed silent, afraid as she’d never been before, because she knew he was going to kill her.
But the sound of keys rattling against glass had him scrambling to his feet and rushing out of the vault. A muffled shout and a single piercing shot was followed by the soft swoosh of the door closing.
For several interminable moments, she’d sat frozen, afraid he’d come back. But when he hadn’t, she’d crawled on her belly across the floor, inching her way toward the first desk in the lobby and a panic button. Sirens screamed in the distance, and she slumped on the floor, shivering and beginning to cry.
When the police arrived, her hood was pulled off, and a grim-faced police officer helped her sit while he cut the tape binding her.
Her head swiveled toward the door where the shot had rang out, and she saw another officer bent over Sam McWherter, her boss, whose rotund body lay spread-eagle on the floor, blood seeping outward to soak into the carpet.
The officer beside her moved to cut off her view. “You’re okay. Don’t look. We’ve got this place secured.”
Everyone had been solicitous. A hot cup of tea was pressed between her cold hands. She’d been herded into McWherter’s office, away from the body and the team beginning to comb the lobby and vault for evidence. They’d been kind, gently but firmly asking her to go over the chain of events that had transpired.
She’d given them a step-by-step description—of the robber’s actions and her sketchy knowledge of his height, weight and gruff voice. The second time through, she swayed in her chair from melting exhaustion.
“Ma’am, did anyone know your routine?”
That one question from the first FBI agent to arrive on scene sparked a dawning horror, and she froze, noting the glance he shared with the pair of detectives flanking her in leather upholstered chairs. Someone did know her routine—and wore a crisp cologne that smelled like cinnamon and sandalwood.
She swallowed hard, realizing in a split second that she’d been set up. That she might even be implicated because the robber wasn’t a fool. No, he’d been incredibly, devastatingly clever.
While the agent waited for her to respond to the questions, she’d shaken her head, giving him a tight smile. How could she tell them they were looking for a cop? Who would believe her side of the story? Especially after they did a little digging into her background. She’d lied about her affiliations with known felons when she’d applied for this job.
When she’d pleaded illness, they’d escorted her to her desk where she’d filled out the bank’s incident reports and made arrangements to meet later with the detectives and the FBI agent assigned the case at the station house to sign a statement, but her mind was already racing ahead.
She couldn’t go back to the apartment and risk meeting him. He’d have to finish what he’d started.
Gathering the handbag they’d already searched, she’d palmed her keys, nodded her agreement to see them later and walked sedately out the front door of the bank.
Since the moment she’d slid behind the wheel, she’d been on autopilot, navigating out of her Houston suburb and heading northwest. She’d stopped briefly, once, for gas—but had received another shock when she’d opened her glove compartment for her SpeedGas key.
Now, she drove with just one thought, just one image burned into her mind. An isolated cabin, deep in cattle country. Somewhere no one would think of looking for her. Then she could take a breath and consider what to do next.
She didn’t see the city-limit sign when she passed it, but she knew where she was when she reached the highway crossroad. She turned left away from the little town she’d once been so eager to escape and toward the Triple Horn Ranch.
Lights flared behind her as another car took the turn. For just a moment, the rain relented, and she saw the make of the vehicle. Her panic surged again.
How had he found her? She’d driven back roads in case the police were already alerted that she’d fled.
The headlights of the car behind her switched off. Not knowing how close behind her he was, she gunned the gas pedal. Her car surged forward, tires losing traction in standing water. The rear of her vehicle wagged in a wicked fishtail, but she steered through it, not easing up on the gas. If she could outrun him, make it to the cabin and hide her car beneath the lean-to…
She’d forgotten about the low-water crossing until she saw the yellow warning sign. With only a moment to make a decision, she kept her foot on the accelerator, hoping the water wasn’t too deep, that momentum would propel her through if it was, and held tight to the steering wheel.
The road dipped, her car hit the water, jerking her against her seatbelt, spray coating the windshield too thick for the wipers to clear. Then she felt the subtle shift beneath her as her car was lifted and floated sideways, off the low bridge, tilting as it slid into the swiftly moving water.
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Be sure to check out the snippets on these other authors’ blogs:
Friday, September 6th, 2013
For the Love of the Game
When I fell in love with the romance genre I was a runty, asthmatic, bookish pre-teen who was so good at finding excuses to skip gym that at one point my attendance was so infrequent I got an ‘incomplete’ for the semester. I hated the competition, I hated the spherical objects flying at my head, and if you’d told me I would one day write a romance novel focused on sports, I would’ve laughed you out of the room.
Fast-forward a couple of decades, and guess what? On Monday, I celebrated the release of my debut, The Striker’s Chance – a contemporary sports romance.
It took me a decade and a half, but eventually I learned that romance and sports are a lot closer than they seem. I’d always had a passing interest in soccer, but when I moved to London in 2007 I saw the game like I never had before – through the eyes of hardcore British fans, including my soon-to-be husband. Have you ever watched a grown man go from excited chanting to furious swearing to joyful tears in the space of ninety minutes? At first I couldn’t understand why someone would enjoy what seemed like such a stressful experience – but then it occurred to me that it was not so different from investing hours into the fraught, burgeoning relationship between two fictional characters. I know the hero and heroine will get together, just like the sports fan knows that eventually the clock will count down to victory for someone – but it’s the journey that keeps us interested.
Now I understand how romance and sports go hand-in-hand. Whether it’s on the pitch or on the page, both are riddled with emotional highs and lows, both pivot on high-octane drama, and both are fuelled by a single, underpinning emotion: passion.
Are you a sports fan as well as a romance reader? Which sports are your favorites – and which do you avoid at all costs?
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In The Striker’s Chance romance and sports collide with scintillating results when Holly Taylor lands the PR contract for North Carolina’s new soccer team, an assignment with the potential to take her career to the next level. Her task? Make Kepler “Killer” de Klerk, an athlete with a party-hard reputation, a star. But revamping the sexy footballer’s image while battling her unwanted attraction to him is easier said than done. She finds herself falling for the real man behind the tabloid persona, but when she’s offered her dream job for a price, she’s torn between the career she’s spent years building and the man she doesn’t want to give up.
Rebecca Crowley inherited her love of romance from her mom, who taught her to at least partially judge a book by the steaminess of its cover. She writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense with smart heroines and swoon-worthy heroes, and never tires of the happily ever-after. Having pulled up her Kansas roots to live in New York City and London, Rebecca recently relocated to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Her debut contemporary sports romance, The Striker’s Chance, is available now from Carina Press.
Carina Press | Amazon | Amazon UK | ARe | Barnes & Noble | Audible
Thursday, September 5th, 2013
To Tell the Truth
Telling the truth is the bedrock on which we build our human relationships, but truth is a slippery thing.
We teach our children to tell the truth. We swear in court to “Tell the truth and nothing but the truth.” The media says they tell the truth. All these are true statements.
The problem arises because the truth is that the “truth” is what we perceive it to be, and my perceptions will inevitably be different from your perceptions.
Some children lie. The “truth” in court may get one person acquitted and another person sentenced. As the British tabloid revelations and Rupert Murdoch have shown, some of the media truth is bought and paid for. But you can bet that in every situation, someone sincerely believed that he or she was telling the truth.
We live in a world where there are few concrete truths. The laws of physics, chemistry and biology, are true as far as we understand them. But in the sciences there are facts—truths—that under a variety of circumstances don’t change. Those facts are tested by the empirical evidence that the results will be the same, regardless if it’s the first time or the one-millionth time the statement is made.
Relationships between people is a shiftier shade of gray. Any time we make a “true” statement: “I love you,” “He did it”, “Would I lie to you?” the words are filtered twice. Once by the experiences, consciousness, training and understanding of the speaker, and secondly by the experiences, consciousness, training and understanding of the listener.
C.G. Jung developed the thesis of the collective unconscious, where we as human hold shared thoughts, and Carl Sagan wrote of the “Shadows of Remembered Ancestors”. Both taught that all people carry common threads of knowledge and understanding, whether from the emotional or the biological. Once those become individualized though, seen through our personal lenses, we listen more to the interference of our own experiences than to any shared knowledge.
Examine one of those true statements: “I love you.” To the speaker it means, “I want to be with you. You make me feel special. I want to take care of you.”
The listener hears: “You’ll always put me first in your life. My needs will be important to you.”
Not much difference on the surface, but translated into actions, “I want to take care of you,” can become, “I’ll spend a lot of money on you,” when the listener heard “You’ll help me with the things I find hard in life.” And once that misunderstanding of the “truth” embeds itself in the relationship, both parties will feel lied to and taken advantage of.
When that individual reaction is multiplied millions of times, and the relationships are not between individuals but nations, religions, life philosophies and ideas, the things that link us together in our unique human-ness get lost.
Most ancient civilizations had underpinning belief systems based on what we now call the collective unconscious, Today, those beliefs and civilizations are being reexamined to try and capture the truths that they knew.
In my paranormal romance series, The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, a magazine editor reaches the top of her profession only to find that the media empire she works for is owned by vampires. Not only that, she’s falling in love with one of them. There are layers of “truth” that the characters deal with, beginning with the basic understanding of what and who vampires are. Throughout, all the characters tell their truths and misunderstandings are compounded. It’s only when violent circumstances surround the editor that she finally begins to trust and, through trusting, understands the centuries of truth that the vampires have lived.
They tell the truth, they live by their word and she starts to see their world in a true light.
Where is your truth? Do you believe it’s a “truth universally acknowledged?”
Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home. During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series.
Her mystery Edited for Death, called “Riveting and much recommended” by the Midwest Book Review is on Amazon and the second book in the Amy Hobbes Newspaper mysteries, Labeled for Death, is published.
Her paranormal romance series, SNAP: The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, is available in ebook, paperback and audible at ebook retailers. All have received “must read” reviews from the Paranormal Romance Guild. SNAP: The World Unfolds, SNAP: New Talent, Plague: A Love Story and Danube: A Tale of Murder are available singly and in a boxed set at Amazon, B&N and Kobo. The fifth book, SNAP: Love for Blood rated 5 stars, is now out. She’s writing SNAP: Happily Ever After? for release in fall 2013 and a seventh book later in 2013.
Visit her website: or facebook page, or her Amazon author page.
Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
Too Much of a Good Thing?
Can I tell you a secret? You can’t tell anyone. Promise. Okay, you look like a trustworthy bunch. Here goes. When I started writing Shared Objectives I meant for it to be a reconciliation romance. I meant for Lisa and Ben to end up together. They have a baby together. They were in love before the misunderstanding that drove them apart. Dixie was just a secondary character I needed to pull her out of the prison. After all, Ben hates her at this point. There’s no way he’d risk his life to save her. But then a funny thing happen. As I wrote this secondary character I started to like him. And the more I liked him, the more Lisa liked him. He was kind to her. He respected her. He even trusted her when no one else did.
So the question I had to ask myself was would she end up with Ben or Dixie? For a while, I didn’t know. The answer became apparent as I kept writing, though. It’s one of the aspects I love the most about being a pantser. I get to let the story develop as I go. Characters get to respond naturally. When it was all said and done, though, I was left with a new question. Did I leave Lisa with too much of a good thing? I guess that’s up to the readers to decide.
Wanna know more about Lisa, Ben and Dixie? Here’s the blurb and excerpt:
Universal Defiance, Book Two
When Lisa and her son are rescued from a military prison, one look at the genetically altered mercenary who carries her to freedom puts some racy ideas into her head. Dixie is strong, handsome and kind, an unfamiliar combination. Her job as a government geneticist usually sends men running, not rushing to her aid.
Unfortunately Dixie isn’t alone. Lisa’s ex, Ben, is another member of the Coalition, the band of rebels fighting against the government that locked up Lisa. After their split two years ago, she never thought she’d have to face his scorn again. But now she has to work with him without giving in to old temptations. Or so she thinks.
The men need her for her genetics skills. When they discover they’re both attracted to her, they have to find a way to share or risk destroying their friendship. And Lisa finds that two sets of sexy hands all over her body are hotter than one.
Inside Scoop: This ménage features a kiss between two men that sparks a plan to steal a woman’s heart.
A Romantica® futuristic erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
And the excerpt:
By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, please exit this site.
An Excerpt From: SHARED OBJECTIVES
Copyright © CHANDRA RYAN, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
“Ben’s wrong,” Dixie said, his back still toward her.
She couldn’t resist laughing at the statement. “He’s wrong about a lot of things. I’m afraid you’ll have to be more specific.”
“You’re a good person.”
She took the cup of hot salvation he held out to her and inhaled its heavenly fragrance. “I haven’t had coffee in…” She let the sentence die when it brought back too many painful memories of her captivity.
“You don’t want to talk about Ben?”
She took a sip and let the hot beverage soothe her suddenly edgy nerves before answering. “Ben has his reasons for his feelings. He didn’t know who I worked for and I didn’t know he was genetically enhanced when we met. When it all came out, he felt the government had found a new and inventive way to torture him.”
“It doesn’t sound as if he was exactly forthcoming with you, either.”
“I realized it was an honest omission on his part. He’s a techie, not a mercenary like you, so the differences weren’t quite as noticeable. But had I been paying closer attention, I would’ve guessed anyway. It just didn’t matter to me.”
“A lover’s genetic status wasn’t important to you?” He looked at her skeptically. “Forgive me if I call bullshit on that one. I’ve had women stand up and move to the other side of trains to avoid being near me. I don’t even want to tell you what they’d do to avoid being under me.”
The loneliness that haunted his eyes was something she could easily relate to. Suddenly wanting to comfort him, she reached across the table and let her hand rest on top of his. “Believe it or not, being a geneticist for the government doesn’t exactly have men beating down my bedroom door either.” She ran her thumb over his hand affectionately. “That’s probably why I never tell anyone what I do—did—for a living. It got to where I couldn’t stand the wariness in their eyes. Like if they fell asleep they’d wake up in a lab somewhere.”
He cocked his head and studied her a little more closely. “Did you ever tell Ben that?”
She looked down as she remembered the fight they’d had. “It’s hard to see your enemy as anything else.”
“But you said it didn’t matter to you.”
She glanced over at Nate as he shifted in his sleep. “Ben was never my enemy. I, however, was his before I ever said hello.”
“You two are going to have to work together. I can order him to be civil. But you don’t exactly fall under my jurisdiction.” He looked down at her hand as if it were an alien entity. “Will you be okay with that arrangement?”
“Will we be working together a lot?” She didn’t hate Ben but she wasn’t fond of the way he looked at her and talked to her with disdain.
“As much as it pains me to admit, Ben is the brains of this group.” Dixie shifted nervously and, for the first time since they’d met, looked uncomfortable. “He’s going to be assisting you.”
“I’ve already perfected the procedure. I don’t need an assistant, just a laboratory to work in.”
He took a heavy breath in and released it slowly. “Okay, he’s not assisting so much as…” His words died as he looked away from her uncomfortably again. It was then that the pieces slid together for Lisa.
No longer feeling the need to comfort him, she pulled her hand away. “Keeping an eye on me and double-checking my work.”
Dixie had the grace to look guilty before he nodded.
“I see.” She stood slowly and walked over to the door before turning back to look at him. “Say what you will about Ben, but at least he’s always been straightforward. His feelings about me are the same to my face as they are behind my back.” She opened the door and gestured into the night. “If you don’t mind. I’ve had a long day and tomorrow is going to be,” she rubbed her temple with her free hand as a headache bloomed, “difficult.”
He rose gracefully from the table and crossed the room in quick, even strides. “I understand.” He stopped when he stood in the doorway. “Before I go, though, I want you to know that having Ben verify your findings wasn’t my idea.”
She continued to rub her temple as he spoke. “Well, it sure as hell wasn’t Ben’s. He’s under the impression we’re not going to be seeing each other anymore. He’s pretty damn happy about that too.”
“I know. I’m going to clear up that misunderstanding as soon as I leave here.” He ran a finger down her cheek until it rested under her chin and then forced her to look up at him. “At the end of the day, he and I are both just soldiers fighting someone else’s war. This order goes over either of our heads.”
For one moment Lisa thought he might kiss her. Which was ridiculous. They’d only just met. And, though she’d been told she was pretty, she couldn’t be considered beautiful on her best days. With everything she’d been through, today could easily be considered one of her worst and she probably showed it. She shuddered to think of how she must look after weeks of captivity and her rescue. Still, he hovered over her and his gaze locked with hers.
In that moment, staring into his green eyes, she saw his loneliness mirror hers and almost wished he would kiss her. Only, that would make her the whore Ben called her. Wouldn’t it?
Before she could worry any further about the implications of wanting to kiss him, he smiled. “You look worried. Tell me, do I frighten you?”
“No.” A shiver swept through her but it had nothing to do with fear. His smile made her focus on his mouth and staring at his mouth brought back the desire to be kissed.
“Are you sure?” Instead of stepping back and giving her space, he braced one arm above her on the doorjamb and leaned even closer to her.
Yep. It wasn’t fear she was feeling. If she had to give it a name, she’d call it anxiousness. That fluttery feeling she’d get in the pit of her stomach when she knew everything was about to change. “I’m sure.”
“Good. I like you.” He stared at her for another moment before pushing away from the doorjamb. “I’d like to think the feeling is mutual.” He turned and then took several steps into the night.
Buy Link: http://www.ellorascave.com/shared-objectives.html#
Web site: www.ChandraRyan.com
Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013
UPDATE: The winner of the free book is Judy Stone!
Hi! I’m Ashlyn Chase and my novel How to Date a Dragon releases today! Woo Hoo! Party!
A free copy of Flirting Under a Full Moon will go to a US or Canadian reader.
Some of you may remember me from an Ellora’s Cave anthology with Delilah called Red Stilettos. I Wrote Dear Sexy Lexie and she wrote Bad Bad Girlfriend. Our characters were friends and so are we.
Writer friends often find other things they have in common. Delilah and I both like to make jewelry…and we LOVE hottie firefighters! (grin)
My story’s hottie firefighter is Drake Cameron, who is the last of his dragon clan. He promised his mother on her deathbed that he’d find a female dragon and continue the species. But Zina, the only single female dragon he finds, is bat-shit crazy!
I should probably post the blurb here, but as usual, a reviewer has done a better job summing up the story, so I’ll post her summary instead.
“Bliss Russo has never had a problem seeing the funny side of life but just as she is completing her own Hall-Snark Greeting Card designs for a major television competition she loses everything when her apartment building catches on fire and there’s nothing to laugh about. But her dreams haven’t necessarily gone up in smoke, enter hottie fireman Drake, a dragon shifter who is smitten by the derisive designer. Can Drake Cameron give up his hopes of continuing his family legacy, and even if he does will human Bliss survive the paranormal pitfalls of a scorned dragon?”
Written by Pauline Michael for Night Owl reviews.
She also gave the book 5 out of 5 stars and a reviewer’s top pick! Wow! Color me tickled pink! http://www.nightowlreviews.com
So…what else would you like to know about the book? Okay, there are a couple of important things. This is book 2 in the Flirting with Fangs series from Sourcebooks. Book 1 Flirting Under a Full Moon was released in April. And there will be a third book in March of 2014 called Kissing with Fangs. All take place in my beloved Boston in the Beacon Hill area.
Series arc. Anthony Cross is a vampire who believes that the different paranormal factions would get along if they simply got to know each other. So he opens a bar in Boston’s upscale Beacon Hill area as a safe place for paranormals to congregate and socialize. Since immortals don’t seem to need or want wait-staff jobs, Anthony has to hire humans. The #1 rule for all paranormals is to keep humans ignorant of their existence.
But when some of the humans fall for their regulars, they could be in for the shock of their mortal lives!
Buy links and other good stuff can be found on my website http://www.ashlynchase.com
Thanks for letting me squee on your blog, Delilah! I hope you all have a wonderful week.