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Monday, February 27, 2012

Why do we love a paranormal hero?

I can't say that I've thought too deeply about this (I pulled an all nighter to finish an editing deadline and am a little giddy, actually!), but here are some thoughts:

The paranormal hero is:

  • larger than life
  • often doesn't have to conform to society's norms
  • has superhuman (extrahuman? supernatural? paranormal?) skilz that usually translate uniquely to the bedroom. :D
  • can pull off dark and brooding without making you want to smack them, because they usually have something big and angsty to stew about.
  • they're often rich or have copious resources at their disposal (try calculating compound interest on immortality!)
  • they are intensely protective and/or possessive in ways that we prolly wouldn't let a mere human hero get away with
  • often when tamed by the female, they are mated for life (constitutionally incapable of turning into cheating husbands)

In my book The Merzetti Effect, I can see most of these traits in Delano Bowen. (And in the second book, Nightfall, I can see even more of them in Aiden. Rowrr.)

What would you add to this giddy, top of the head list of what makes a paranormal hero irresistible?

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/rYATBe

B&N: http://bit.ly/tGf7z2

Apple: http://bit.ly/sD6gUk

Where to find Norah Wilson online:

Norah’s Website

Norah’s Blog

Follow Norah on Twitter

Friend Norah on Facebook

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Irish Inspiration

I’m often asked where my story ideas spring from. An interesting face, lyrical tune, or unusual place name can send my mind racing away with a new story idea. But if I had to choose one type of stimuli that inspires me the most, I’d choose places.

When I visit historic houses and ancient villages or towns I always leave dying to use them as settings in my books. Although I write paranormal romance and not historical romance, the sense of history that oozes from the very stones of the buildings sets my blood racing. I’m lucky that living in England I have access to many ancient buildings and acres of mystical countryside. I love walking through a medieval manor house seeing the swords and armor on the walls, walking across flagstone floors knowing I’m treading in the footsteps of people long dead who walked their centuries earlier. Once I have a story idea, I read about myths, legends, and folk law to give me ideas on how to blend paranormal elements with the setting.

On a visit to County Cork, Ireland a few years ago I visited a beautiful and romantic manor house overlooking Bantry bay called Bantry House. This was the inspiration for the home of my hero in The Feast of Beauty. The final scene in the novella includes a fountain that was inspired by the fountain at Bantry House that is covered in seashells. If you vacation in Ireland, this place is well worth a visit.

Back Cover Blurb

Kate’s grandmother’s dying wish is that she should return her pearl pendant to Knocknapog, the tiny fishing village in Ireland where she was born. As production assistant at a television company, Kate is able to book a shoot at the village’s mysterious Midsummer Feast of Beauty. She and her colleagues stay with the wealthy local landowner Esras Mac Lir, who organizes the midsummer celebration. But he is not what she expects. With his unearthly silver hair and emerald eyes, there is something magical about him, something compelling and seductive that mesmerizes her and invades her dreams. And when he claims to have been waiting for her all his life, she doesn't know whether he's a romantic, or living in a fantasy world—until he proves that they share a magical heritage and that she truly is his Feast of Beauty Queen.

This book is a novella of 11,500 words. It was originally published in The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance. This is a revised version of the original story.

Buy from Amazon or B&N

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Piece of History - The Bayeux Tapestry from Christmas in Bayeux

While I was reaching my story, "Christmas in Bayeux," I determined I wanted the story set in Bayeux, France because it was on the French coast and in close proximity to the American World War cemeteries. A little bit later, I discovered a hidden gem – the Bayeux Tapestry. In the story, Noel takes Aiden to the local museum to show him the tapestry. The visit allows Aiden a chance to deepen his connection to Noel.

What's the Bayeux Tapestry? It's actually an embroidery close to 230 feet long. (70 meters). Interestingly, its origins are clouded in controversy and there are several theories concerning its commission.

The Bayeux Tapestry tells a story. Edward the Confessor, King of England, sends Harold Godwinson to Normandy to tell William, the Norman Duke, that Edward has named him his successor. Harold is taken prisoner upon his arrival in Normandy by a local count who turns him over to William. Harold tells William of Edward's intentions and is allowed to leave.

Edward dies, but Harold betrays him and has himself crowned king of England. Furious, William assembles a Norman army and attacks. Haley's Comet flies overheard as William fights Harold. It's 1066. Hastings. And William wins.

Theory #1 –
William's wife, Matilda, commissioned and helped embroider the tapestry with her ladies in waiting. Could Matilda have done it? Yes. She was known for her embroidery skill and she would know the story, having 1st hand knowledge of it.

Theory #2 –
William's half-brother, Odo, a Bishop, had it commissioned. Points in his favor: The tapestry was found in the Bayeux Cathedral – a church Odo built. Being William's brother, he had 1st hand knowledge of the story, too, and had access to hire skilled seamstresses to make it.

Interestingly, the 1st reference to the tapestry is in 1476 when it was listed in a church inventory. The tapestry dated back to the 1070's. It was 400 years old when it was "discovered." Now, it's over 930 years old.


5 Stars, Karen Michelle Nutt, Author
"Christmas in Bayeux is a tender romance sure to warm your hearts for anytime of the year. I highly recommend it."

5 Stars, Diane Craver, Author
"Christmas in Bayeux" is the perfect short romance to enjoy during the holiday season or any time during the year, and I highly recommend it."

5 Stars, Markee Anderson, Author
"This was just a wonderful and heart warming read."

5 Stars, Celia Yeary, Author
"You will enjoy this beautiful story, rich in history and appreciation of the past, while living and falling in love in the present. I highly recommend "Christmas in Bayeux."

BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-muZ0dhOvSE


They entered the main room and he saw that the tapestry hung on the wall opposite of them. It filled the space entirely. Aiden stood stock-still, admiring its craftsmanship.

"We believe it commemorates the Norman conquest of England in 1066. We all call it a tapestry, but it's really an embroidery." She paused, then pointed. "Of course, the hero is William the Conqueror. His forces defeated those led by the English king, Harold Godwinson."

Aiden walked the length to the tapestry, marveling at the story and how the work had been well preserved for close to 1,000 years.

"Edward the Confessor had no heir so he sent Harold to tell William he would rule England once Edward died. Harold, however, usurped the throne."

Aiden pointed to a star with a tail. "Is that a star?"

She grinned. "Modern interpretation believes it to be Haley's comet. It was a bad omen for Harold."

"What happened next?"

Noel giggled. "William conquered him."

"Silly me. I should have known that." He grabbed her waist and pulled her against him. Their eyes locked, hers smoldering with desire. Damn. He wanted to kiss her. Right now. Screw his willpower. Aiden grabbed her hand and led her to the nearest hallway. Empty, thank God.

He pressed her against the wall, his hard body molding against her curves, and claimed her lips with a hungry, demanding kiss.
She didn't fight him or pull away. He squeezed her waist with his hands, and she fisted his shirt in her hands, keeping him close.

Her lips were warm and pliant, as demanding as his. He traced his tongue against the soft fullness of her lips and they parted for him. Aiden's tongue explored the recesses of her mouth and he groaned. He was getting hard for her. In a damn museum. That thought was like a bucket of water on his unchecked kiss and he pulled away, gasping for breath.


AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-in-Bayeux-ebook/dp/B005BTLSI8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326918404&sr=8-1

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-in-bayeux-stephanie-burkhart/1104401603?ean=2940011371806&itm=1&usri=christmas+in+bayeux

SMASHWORDS: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/72100





Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Babies in the Bargain

The story behind Babies in the Bargain started on a Christmas Day, when my daughter was still a first year fellow in Neonatology at Washington Children’s Hospital. She was on-call on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day—as she’d been for the previous three years.

To celebrate the holiday season, my husband and son helped me carry the elaborate home-cooked meal to the hospital cafeteria and we shared a Christmas lunch with the guest of honor wearing her green scrubs.

Later, she invited us to visit her workplace. We slipped yellow gowns over our clothes, scrubbed and entered the NICU. The five preemies sleeping in glass isolettes wore tiny outfits with Christmas prints that a nurse had sewn for the babies in residence over the holiday.

The NICU personnel, including my daughter, gave a hundred and one percent to the babies they helped save— and they did it happily. Their dedication went beyond the performance of a job well done and inspired me to write a story featuring the wonderful doctors and nurses who treated our precious babies.

Babies in the Bargain, was voted BEST ROMANCE NOVEL at Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2009, and won the 2010 BEST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE NOVEL at Readers Favorite

Short Synopsis: With only one year left to complete her medical training, Dr. Holly Collier vows not to let anyone mess up her sacrosanct schedule. Especially not Dr. Marc Suarez. The heartthrob of the hospital who used to collect sports’ trophies and nurses’ kisses broke her heart seven years ago.

When a tragic accident transforms the carefree playboy into a dedicated, but novice father to his nephew, Holly gives in to her maternal instincts and turns her structured life upside down for the orphaned preemie. But can she learn to trust Marc again and believe in true love?

All he needed was a hug from a caring friend. She heaved a deep breath, inhaled his healthy masculine scent and a hint of lemon fragrance, and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. “You’re welcome, Marc. Holler if you need me.”

Marc narrowed his eyes, her last words churning in his guts. “Ah, I need you, all right.” He brought her hard against him.

She threw her head back, eyes wide and turquoise. A bewildered expression spread over her face, but her limpid gaze reflected the same desire that simmered through his blood.

The wrong time, the wrong place, the wrong reason.

His brain screamed no. His body tensed, throbbing against her softness. “Damn it, woman. I need you so much.” He lowered his head and met her parted lips.

“Oh, Marc,” she murmured, their hearts drumming together as she laced her fingers behind his neck.

He crushed his mouth to hers. Hunger and despair mingled in his demanding kiss. She responded with the same passion he’d tasted seven years ago. The same fervor he’d eagerly wished to recapture in the last few weeks.

She pulled back to drag in air. His lips abandoned hers and trailed along her jaw, while his fingers played with a lock of her hair. She didn’t move out of his embrace but met his gaze with a question in her eyes.He groaned and squeezed her against him. She was his anchor to sanity.

Blocking the memory of last night, the agonizing hurt, he let his lust submerge his pain. Without hesitation, without taking the time to tease or taste, he devoured her lips like a starving man.

Available at Amazon.com Kindle as ebook for 99cents.

o Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58 Paid in Kindle Store
o #7 in Contemporary
o #37 in Books > Literature & Fiction


Monday, February 20, 2012

Capturing Readers

What makes a book capture a reader?

Whether you are a reader or a writer, chances are, you know the answer to this question. A book captures a reader with an intoxicating first sentence, first paragraph, first page–followed by equally addicting pages two through two hundred or more.

Oh, compelling cover art, back "blurb," author quotes, and a few other things help too. Unfortunately, most of these other things cannot be controlled by authors if they are published by traditional print or ebook publishers. If they are indie authors who self-publish, then they have a complete control over the entire package.

What Writers Control

However, what all writers can control regardless of the publishing process is the writing–the words they choose and the way they put them together to create the story. That's what all writers should focus on.

Each time I start a manuscript, I think I've got the perfect opening sentence for the story and the character. Often, I compare my opening sentences to some of my favorites to see whether I feel that frisson of awareness that shivers up my spine when I read some of my all-time favorites.

I want to share some of these sentences that always intrigue me no matter how many times I've read them. They sing a siren song that made me read the book the first time, and they still tease me with their sense of music and rhythm. I think these opening sentences evoke an emotional response in the reader, and that's what readers can't resist.

Favorite Opening Sentences

"Last night I dreamt I went to Mandeley again." (Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier)

"It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York." (The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath)

"I never knew her in life." (The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy)

"Nobody was really surprised when it happened, not really, not at the subconscious level where savage things grow." (Carrie by Stephen King)

"Death was driving an emerald green Lexus." (Winter Moon by Dean Koontz)

"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." (A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens)

Opening Acts

I have two books featured here on 99cent Ebooks: Just One Look and Still The One. Though they have been re-priced to their regular $2.99 price, Amazon still has them discounted so you can get them for only $.99 each. I've linked each to the Amazon page in case you'd like to do that.

Here are the opening sentences of each book.

Just One Look

I bet every woman reading this has felt this discomfort and frustration!

"Jennifer Monroe shivered and rubbed the goose-bumped flesh of her arms. A meat locker would feel warmer than a doctor's examining room! Why do they have to keep it so cold? And why do they act as if you have nothing better to do than sit around clad only in a piece of paper and your birthday suit, and wait?"

Still The One

I'm fairly certain every woman has fantasized about what she'd do if given the chance to show someone from her past how she has grown from an ugly duckling to a swan.

"Ally Fletcher had waited six years for this opportunity. Six long years. There was no way a mere thunderstorm was going to stop her. Of course, in Texas, calling this a mere thunderstorm was like saying a Texas tornado was a mere puff of wind."

Author Confession

The worst thing about reading someone else's sparkling prose is that I despair of ever being as good. The best thing is that I'm motivated to improve my writing skills. So I keep writing and working on my prose, from the first few sentences to the last one preceding The End.

Do you want to know the truth? I honestly can't think of anything that's more fun! I'm one of the luckiest women on the planet. I make my living by writing stories about sex, romance, love, commitment, and all the funny, crazy things that happen to a man and a woman who are made for each other–but who don't yet know it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"Fiona" (my debut novel) evolved from watching a segment of the Discovery Channel about the discovery of Caucasian Mummies in the Taklamakan Desert of Northern China. These mummies, possibly Tocharian Celts, existed in that part of the world long before Caucasians were thought to have made their appearance. No one knows where they came from or where they went. Maybe they subsequently interbred with the nearby Uyghur tribes, which could account for the lighter skin and rounder eyes of the peoples in the area. It is a question whose answer is lost in time.  My heroine, Fiona, is based on the discovery of one such mummy, a young blonde woman, possibly a sacrificial victim. Dismemberment was a common form of torture to the ancients. In almost every culture, there is mention of this horrific end result. There wasn't much I could do to alleviate her suffering, but perhaps I could write her a better end.

Excerpt - Fiona

He leaned against the door and watched her, his eyes never leaving her for a moment. Trying to appear at ease and unconcerned, she turned her back to him and moved to the far side of the pool. He walked around the pool and squatted down, gazing into her face, his golden eyes unreadable.
“You should not have come here alone,” he said softly.
“Why? No one is here.”
“You didn’t know that until you arrived. It’s dangerous for a woman to be out alone.”
Trying to appear unconcerned, she said, “Well, I’m not alone now. You’re here.”
The barest whisper of a smile moved his lips. “As I said, it’s dangerous for a woman alone out here.”
“Are you suggesting that I should fear you?”
“I am a man.” His heated eyes gleamed.
She felt her lips tremble as she reached for the towel.
“Perhaps you are right, I should return.”
He moved the towel to a bench and slowly undressed, his eyes never leaving her. “I see no reason for you to leave. I will need your services to wash my back.” Fully nude, he paused, as if giving her the chance to view him completely—like she had forgotten how he looked the first time—and slid into the water. He advanced slowly on her.
Fiona’s heart raced. The large pool suddenly seemed dwarfed by his size. He pursued her leisurely, wading slowly through the water. His eyes bored into her, piercing her with their directness. She backed away. Her breathing quickened into short shallow gasps, her movements sluggish at best. When the rocks on the side of the pool stopped her retreat, he smiled. This was the first time he had ever actually smiled at her and she was staggered by her response!
His smile lit up his face, softening the hard edges and warming his eyes. Huge dimples deepened his cheeks.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Special - Forever Young: Blessing or Curse by Morgan Mandel - 99 Cents on Kindle

Special For Valentine's Week - 99 cents on Kindle
Forever Young: Blessing or Curse is not a romance per se, but I've included many romantic elements. Why? Because I can't help it. Romance somehow always wiggles in before I can stop it. After all, Love Makes the World Go Round!

The scene opens in happy anticipation as the heroine, 55 year old Dorrie, is driving into the parking lot where her husband works so she can meet him before going to a celebration dinner for his first raise. Happiness turns to disbelief when she sees him sprawled on the asphalt. She barely gets to him in time to hear his last words.

Throughout the book, despite the wonderful things that happen to Dorrie, chief among them being her reversion to the age of 24, one thing remains clear. She loved her husband, and would give everything up if she could get him back and get the chance to grow old with him. The love story is not the only story, but since it's Valentine's week, I thought I'd mention it.

Here's an excerpt:

A limp object lay sprawled in the parking lot where Dorrie was to meet her husband. It looked like, no it couldn’t be...
Pulse pounding, she hit the brakes and flung open the door. A few steps, and she stood  staring in disbelief at her husband’s still form. That red streak didn’t belong in Larry’s salt and pepper hair, nor should it mar his olive skinned cheeks, and trickle onto his white cotton shirt.
She groped in her purse for the smartphone. Fingers shaking, she dialed 911. “There’s been an accident at the Life is for Living Institute. I need an ambulance. Hurry, please.”
A helpless feeling engulfed her. If only she knew first aid, but in all her fifty-five years, she’d never bothered to learn. She had to do something, but what? Bending down, knees scraping the asphalt, she touched her husband’s hand. “Larry, it’s all right. I’m here.”  She wanted to be brave for him, but couldn’t keep her voice from quavering.
He whispered something she couldn’t catch, something about his iPhone.
“I found it on the nightstand, Larry. It’s right here in my purse.”
“Dorrie, I want you to keep it. Something’s…on it,” he gasped.
She bent closer. “I know honey, all those songs and photos. They mean a lot to me, too. Don’t worry, when we get home tonight, we’ll share them together.”
“No, more…Life is for Living isn’t…Forever Young isn’t…”
He struggled to speak, but his voice faded in and out. He probably shouldn’t talk. Where was that ambulance? Her husband needed help.
Larry flashed a weak smile and looked straight into her eyes. “Love ya,” he whispered.
Stifling a sob, she completed the ritual. “Love ya, back.” In their thirty years of marriage, how often had they said those words to each other?
His lips stilled. His hand slackened. His brown eyes stared unseeingly, as his face froze into a smile.
This can’t be happening. Larry, you can’t leave me. It’s too soon.
 Blood rushed to her head. Roaring filled her ears. Larry couldn’t be gone. She’d prove it. Dorrie bent to kiss his lips. They felt warm and soft. He must be alive. Soon the ambulance would come, the paramedics would fix him, and he’d be all right.
She glanced again at Larry’s still form. The truth hit, sucking her breath away. She didn’t need a medical examiner to tell her what she could see with her own eyes. Larry had left and would never return. Her stomach convulsed, her chest heaved with sobs.
It shouldn’t end like this, not in the middle of a parking lot. Larry deserved better. So did she.

Forever Young: Blessing or Curse now 99 cents through Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012 on Kindle.
At $1.99 on all other electronic venues, since it takes about 3 weeks to change the price there.

Morgan Mandel

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


By Caroline Clemmons

Happy Valentine’s Day! What’s better on a wintry day than curling up with the one you love? I’m so happy you asked. Whether the weather outside is frightful or delightful, snuggle with your sweetie, your favorite beverage, and a romantic book. And I have a book to suggest, just as you knew I would!

First, let me tell you how I came to write SNOWFIRES. One year, my sweetie and I took our children to visit our family in West Texas. When we had to stay a couple of extra days due to an unusually heavy snow, our kids were delighted. My husband and I were not that pleased. Although my husband is a wonderful driver, people in this area are often inexperienced at driving in snow and present a hazard to everyone in their path. There are no snowplows to clear rural roads - there aren't even snowplows in towns. This was the kind of weather we Texans say "is so cold there's nothing between us and the North Pole but a barbed wire fence."

Writers just can’t help playing "what if" with ideas. On the way home, we passed many isolated areas, and I wondered what would happen if someone had car trouble or became marooned in a snowstorm. Even in good weather, cell phone service is spotty in the ranching areas of West Texas. In bad weather, it’s non-existent. Rural electric and telephone lines fail under heavy snow and ice. Better and better, right? By that, I mean worse and worse for the characters. The more I thought about it, the more appealing the idea.

The barbed wire fence between the
Texas Caprock area and North Pole
For SNOWFIRES, I came up with a couple who didn’t agree on anything, but were forced to work together. Worse, each hated being attracted to the other and fought to hide and resist the pull. Then I managed to isolate them in a blizzard on a small ranch whose owners were not home. And I complicated their lives as much as possible with tedious details.

Once they returned to Dallas, I forced them to  endure working together. Writers love to make their characters suffer. After all, we want them to earn their happiness, don’t we?

I love SNOWFIRES' cover because it reminds me of the January night my husband and I were married. There were a couple of feet of snow on the ground and a bright, full moon in a cloudless sky. Of course it was gorgeous...and oh so memorable. We still talk about it today, but we're both romantics at heart.

Here’s the blurb for SNOWFIRES:

A blizzard can’t quench the fiery heat of passionate attraction. Holly only intended to get a little of her own back from Trent, not get them lost in the worst blizzard in decades. A snowstorm can’t keep them apart once their passions ignite. Holly Tucker believes Trent Macleod will ruin her family’s business now that he’s acquired her late father’s shares. Not only that, she fears he’s responsible for her father’s fatal heart attack. She’ll stop this corporate pirate any way she can. If only she could tame her hormones when he was around. He believes she’s a spoiled and pampered woman. Little does he know how wrong he is. Pampered by her grandparents, yes, but she carries all the responsibility for her stepmother and two stepsisters. Only Holly’s constant juggling of family finances covers her stepmother’s excessive spending. That and the fact Holly actually works in the family business.

Trent started with nothing and saved most of his life for this one big chance. Holly’s trick to delay their return to Dallas for an important meeting almost cost him his dream. After battling all his life against bad foster parents, crooks, and the press, he is determined no one will defeat him, not even Holly. How can she still believe her father was such a great guy? Trent doesn’t know why she is so opposed to every thing he suggests for the company. Thank heavens she is not so stand offish when they’re alone. She even invited him around her country club friends. Does a guy from nowhere stand a chance with a society princess like Holly? He prays he does, because he can’t get her out of his dreams, day or night. What will it take for him to achieve happily ever after with Holly?

Here’s the excerpt from when they're stranded in the small house with almost no heat and they've been forced to share the one bed. Grayson is Holly's grandfather.

He smiled as he recalled her shocked expression when he mentioned shared body heat. At least he got a little of his own back then. She turned toward him in her sleep, snuggling up to him with her palms against his chest, one leg thrown over his.
He fought the instinct to pull her even closer and make passionate love to her. They fit so well together. He wondered how she would be as a lover, then mentally kicked himself for that line of thought.

Now he knew why the young Martin family had children so close in age. On this sagging mattress, which forced their bodies into intimate contact, a man and woman who loved one another would be drawn naturally into frequent lovemaking. Even with this ice princess with whom he had nothing in common, his mind and body cried out for their coupling.

He had no idea why she so resented him. It was more than their differences in business theory, because she had hated him at their first meeting two months ago. He racked his brain for a possible reason, but nothing came to him.

Maybe she just resented his buying the shares lost through her father's gambling. Why hold him responsible for her father’s stupidity? From all accounts, Walter Tucker was charming and glib but an absolute loser in all the ways that counted.

Grayson skirted the issue, but made it clear he hadn’t approved of his late son-in-law's management of Marvel, his ostentatious lifestyle, or his choice of Holly’s stepmother. So, why had Grayson stayed in the background? Buying into what had previously been solely a family-owned business left Trent an outsider with insufficient information.

If only Walter Tucker had stopped ranting long enough that day to listen to him...but why even go there? He would figure it all out eventually, but so far hadn't discovered how all the pieces fit. Trying to unravel the puzzle, Trent drifted softly to sleep.

The pirate returned to Holly's dreams. They were in the cabin of his ship, snug together in his bunk. This time his caresses inflamed her beyond her wildest imagination. Her fingers traced the line of the scar on his chest, her lips trailed kisses along the jagged ridge.

His mouth scorched a path down her neck and across her shoulders. Strong hands pushed her bra aside. Warm lips found her breast and his tongue laved her rigid nipple. The calluses of his fingers scintillated her skin as they moved to the elastic of her panties. His hand slid gently inside to touch her—

Her eyes flew open. "Hey! Stop it right now." Holly pounded Trent on his shoulders. "Get off me."
I don't want you to think this is erotic, because it's not - even though it's probably the hottest book I've written. I hope you’ll want to read SNOWFIRES.

The Amazon Kindle buy link is

Smashwords is

You can learn more about me on my blog and on
my website. I'm on Facebook , Twitter , LinkedIn and Goodreads. I love to hear from readers at caroline@carolineclemmons.com. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

COYOTE GORGEOUS by Vijaya Schartz

COYOTE GORGEOUS, a shapeshifter romantic suspense novella, involving an Arizona Ranger and a Native American hero, is now available for 99 cents everywhere eBooks are sold. So don't hesitate, grab it today, along with Vijaya's other 99 cents contemporary Romantic Suspense novella, A DESPERADO FOR CHRISTMAS.

Click on the distributors below for a direct link to Vijaya's eBook page on each at:

Arizona Game Ranger Madison Huntley, investigating a wild animal attack on a ranch in Cave Creek, discovers disturbing details. If she didn't know better, she'd say the legends frightening the ranch hand might be true. But Madison isn't just a wilderness cop. As a biologist and a wild life expert, she believes in facts and science, not scary tales.

Kaletaka, a Hopi Native, enjoys fame among the white man, forging haunting sculptures of half gods, half humans. When he awakens bloody, with no recollection of what he did the night before, he remembers the legends of his tribe, and the meaning of his name. But as hard as he tries, can he escape his destiny?

Can Madison solve the mystery killings and insure the safety of the town? Let alone her own safety? For each step closer to the truth and to Kaletaka, unleashes an unspeakable evil, and no one is safe...


"Phenomenal world building, characters the readers care about, and an intriguing mystery... COYOTE GORGEOUS has all the elements one expects from a Vijaya Schartz story! Easily recommended!" - 4.5 shamrocks - Debbie CK2sKwipsandKritique

"So many times my theory of who done it was thwarted and yet I was thrilled to stay on the edge of my seat until the very last word just to find out." Five stars - Book Junkie Reviews

"...excellent characters... well written. Fascinated about the subject matter and the legends..." Five hearts - Romance Book Scene

It doesn't have to be Christmas to read this other exciting 99 cents romantic suspense novella. Here is what it's about:

Border patrol Agent Kaitlin Harrington hates Christmas for personal reasons. This year, as she guards the Mexican border, she encounters more than she can handle in the person of a gorgeous Desperado, a despicable human smuggler of all people! Miguel is fascinated by the green eyes of the feisty auburn-haired beauty bent on impeding his important work. But he is a man of many secrets. On this dangerous adventure through the Arizona desert, anything can and will happen.

Happy Readings!

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Guns, Swords, Cats, Romance with a Kick

"A Desperado for Christmas is a love story and an adventure rolled in to one. There is very little "down time" in this fast-paced story, and this reader was glued to it until the very end." Fallen Angel Reviews

"...The reader can really empathize with her character on many levels. Ms. Schartz also does a fantastic job of setting you right in the scene with her characters. She builds the suspense and follows through with vigor, sweeping her readers up in the action." Coffee Time Romance

"Vijaya Schartz always manages to produce stories that are a spectacular blend of romance and action and this one is no exception." Debbie - CK2S Kwips & Kritiques - rating: 4 clovers

"...a romantic adventure from beginning to end. Brimming with twists, secret identities and danger on every page, this is a page turner that will entertain any reader. I will be interested in checking out additional titles by this author." Katherine - Joyfully Reviewed

And if you like these, Vijaya has a bunch of novels at all prices from different publishers. Some of her titles also pop up as a free download in kindle once in a while, so feel free to browse her pages at your favorite eBook distributors:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Addie and the Gunslinger-by Celia Yeary

Ex-gunslinger Jude Morgan lands in jail in a far-flung West Texas town. On the fourth day in his cell, the sheriff arrives with a beautiful woman dressed in men’s pants and toting her own six-shooter. Adriana Jones claims he is her worthless husband who married her but never came home.

The young woman makes a bargain with Jude in front of the sheriff. Jude is to come home where he belongs, and she will have him released. When they’re alone, she explains his job is to pose as her husband to thwart the marriage advances of her neighbor, wealthy rancher Horace Caruthers. The older man wants her ranch to join his, because the Pecos River runs through her property.

To seal the bargain, Jude wants a kiss. During the next few weeks, however, Jude and Addie learn that the kiss meant more than they meant it to be. Then, Addie's life is in danger. Will Jude rescue his Addie? Or will Addie save herself and her gunslinger?

Mini- Excerpt:
"Ever been kissed, Miss Jones?" Wanting to loosen her up, he tried teasing, but it didn't seem to work.

Her voice trembled a little. "That is none of your business. I don't intend our relationship to be at all personal. You just come and go, do your job, and pay no attention to me."

Chuckling under his breath, he thought, like hell.

Before she kicked her horse into a gallop, she lifted her chin and said, "You need a bath, Mr. Morgan."

"Addie. It's Jude."

"Jude. You need a bath."
Dear Reader-I wrote this story for submission to an epress for a series about outlaws and lawmen. I thought it was great, but the editor didn't like it. I never knew exactly why, and it did hurt my feelings. I just kept it for a while, wondering how I could get it published.

Do you know when you have a good story, even though an editor rejects it? I did.

A year later, it was accepted for an anthology by Victory Tales Press, owned and operated by Rebecca Vickery. A couple of reviewers wrote very lovely words about this story, which made me extremely happy. After six months, I was asked to leave it at VTP and be published again in one of VTP's imprints called Dime Novels.

Now, I am truly thrilled by the success of this little story. The first Dime Novel, titled Angel and the Cowboy, has also been a nice succes--and it's still selling, too.

So, my advice is "if you love your book, someone else will, too."


Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Someone To Trust by Jill James

Someone To Trust by Jill James

Book 2 - Second Chances series

I'm so thrilled to announce my second book in a series and my second Indie published book. I never thought I would write a series, I love stand-alone books. But something about my imaginary town of Lake Willowbee caught my imagination. I loved the idea of a place for second chances to happen. I'm a true romantic, I believe everyone can get a second chance at love.

Someone To Trust blurb:

Evie Grimes doesn’t trust men. She’s been lied to and deceived too many times before.  Happily single, the last thing she needs is a man. 
Brady Jackson is a former Marine. Now a carpenter, he is as honest as the day is long. What you see is what you get. 
When Brady falls for Evie he will have to prove he can be trusted with her heart. When danger arrives at her door he will have to prove he can be trusted to protect her. When everyone turns against him, he will have to prove he is someone to trust.
I uploaded Someone To Trust on Sunday watching the Super Bowl. Yeah Eli!!!!! So hopefully it is available today.  It is uploaded to Amazon, BN.com, and Smashwords. Just like Book 1, it is only 99 cents.
Jill James

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Just One Look At Joan Reeves

I’m glad I had the chance to blog today about two of my books Just One Look and Still The One because the price is probably being adjusted even as I write this. If it's raised before you have a chance to act, I'll apologize in advance.

I’ve had these books priced at a low $.99 on Amazon from the day each was published. Recently, I made the difficult decision to raise each of them to the standard $2.99 price that my other romantic comedies carry. Now is the time to grab a copy before the price adjusts.

The Lingerie Covers

Just One Look, Still The One, Jane (I’m Still Single) Jones, and a book as yet untitled comprise what I call The Lingerie Cover Books. That label is self-explanatory. When I was getting ready to publish my first ebook, I wanted a cover that would appeal to women.

Most women love beautiful lingerie. I know I do. So I thought beautiful lingerie would make an appealing cover. Before I knew it, I had 3 books with lingerie covers. This month, I’ll publish a fourth. I wish I could tell you the title, but I’m still uncertain about what to call it. All of these books were previously print published.

Just One Look

This was my first ebook, published in late March 2011. Sales have been utterly amazing--more than 120,000 copies in less than a year. There’s just something about the book that appeals to readers. Is it the cover? Is it the slightly absurd premise: ‟What would you do if the gynecologist subbing for your regular doctor turned out to be your old high school crush?”

Is it the sex which is more discussed than acted upon–usually in an odd, often hilarious, scene? Or is it just that it’s an entertaining, ‟escape from your troubles” read? I call all my romantic comedies ‟a little vacation between the covers of a book.”

A Peek At Just One Look

Successful psychologist Dr. Jennifer Monroe does what any normal, well-adjusted woman would do. She makes an excuse to send the doctor and nurse from the room, dives into her clothes, and flees!

Unfortunately, her running away makes conscientious Dr. Penrose conclude she has some kind of sexual hangup. He's determined to refer her to another doctor for her health's sake. If he can just talk to her, he'll suggest counseling for what he thinks are emotional problems.

Jennifer refuses to take his phone calls, and she plans to never see him again. After all, Dallas is a big city. What are the odds that she'd ever run into him again? Even money when Fate lends a hand. When Jennifer and Matt meet at a charity gala, he earnestly urges her to seek professional help. Jennifer is incensed that he seems to think she's some frigid old maid. All the old high school resentment floods back, fueling her determination to teach him a lesson he won't soon forget.

With Jennifer, payback is a scorcher. Kids play doctor, but these doctors play seduction games. And they're playing for keeps. Will Matt recognize Jennifer? Will Jennifer lure him into her bed? Seduction and sex can be pretty funny when both sides play dirty!

Still The One

Published two months after Just One Look, Still The One has sold about 40,000 copies, I think. Some readers have proclaimed it the best romance they ever read, but we all know beauty in books is in the eye of the beholder–the reader. Nothing is more subjective than reading taste I suppose. Still this book has a faithful following.

Why is it consistently popular? There’s not as much sexual banter in it, but there’s a lot of emotion because it’s a second chance story for two people who married young, broke apart, and now, suddenly, find themselves together again. Who doesn’t love a second chance when real love is involved?

Is it the humor? I get a lot of reader emails about how this book made them laugh so much. Maybe it’s because the hero’s expensive European car gets as dinged up as a primer-painted old car in a chain store parking lot–through no conscious fault of the heroine!

A Peek At Still The One

Burke Winslow stands at the altar, ready to marry his business partner in a marriage of convenience. The minister solemnly asks: "If anyone here knows why this man and this woman shouldn't be joined in holy matrimony, let him speak now or forever hold his peace."

A rain-soaked, bedraggled Ally Fletcher limps down the aisle and shouts, "Stop the wedding!"

What follows is a funny, sexy romp that proves when there's love, passion never dies, it just smolders away until you toss some gasoline on it. Burke and Ally discover a rekindled passion that threatens to scorch them when they find themselves locked in a marriage--of inconvenience!

With a cagey grandfather pulling Burke's strings, and an equally cagey grandmother manipulating Ally, can these two battling lovers peel away the layers of the past and discover the truth about their love and passion? Will the truth free them or put them asunder?

Throw in a pretend boyfriend for Ally and a scorned business partner left at the altar, and you have a rollicking good time--Texas style! Sassy, sexy, and funny!

Amazing Outcome

I don't know why these books continue to attract readers--worldwide--but I’m glad they do, and I'm happy they bring smiles and lift spirits, according to the emails I get.

In fact, my southern romantic comedy humor captured the imagination of an Editor with Bragelonne, one of the largest French publishers who somehow obtained a copy of Jane (I’m Still Single) Jones. She contacted me as soon as she finished the book which she totally loved. (That book has been another runaway in sales.)

To my surprise and delight, she offered a contract for not just that book, but two others as well so I ended up with a 3 book contract for the first 3 books of The Lingerie Series. Now that’s a kick–having those 3 books published in print and ebooks in France.

But do you know what’s just as much a kick? Having readers email me and tell me how much they love these books, and how much they laughed while reading them.

Like the MasterCard commercial says: ‟That’s priceless.”

NOTE: All my books are at all digital booksellers, but they are available for $.99 only at Amazon as of this writing.

Just One Look (http://amzn.to/q61Z0d)

Still The One (http://amzn.to/qoIZdR)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Love, Lust, and Southern Comfort
How long beyond death should love last? How much should a person sacrifice for love or for a beloved?

In my paranormal romance FOREVER LOVE, I played with the idea that a person might deny himself the chance to go to Heaven because of guilt.

If you knew that you and the person you loved would not be allowed to be together without a huge cost to one or both of you, would you deny your feelings or deny yourself the chance to consummate your love? Some say the hearts wants what it wants, but what about knowing you can't have what you want without hurting the person you love?

FOREVER LOVE, a novella, tells two love stories, one from the past and one in the present.

Diaries from two hundred years ago draw Sabrina Boyd into the ill-fated love story of one of her ancestors.

Joe Walker has returned to his hometown and the hospital there as a doctor. There he finds Sabrina, the kid who crushed on him before he married her cousin.

Sabrina remembers well the way Joe and her cousin were in love before her death. There is no way he could be serious about her now. Besides, she has enough on her plate already, since she spotted the "demon cat", the harbinger of death for people in her family.


By the time the last patient left the clinic Joe felt drained. He removed the blue lab coat he wore when treating adults and tossed it aside. He sat at his desk and sipped cold, stale coffee. At times like this he missed having a doctors’ lounge with plenty of doctors, justifying fresh coffee made every hour.

He leaned back in his worn chair, rested his eyes and thought about the lovely Sabrina. He’d finally found the courage to ask her out, but she’d said no. He could tell she liked him. The attraction was still there with a vengeance after all those years.

Every night since he’d returned home he had dreamed about her. He had dreamed of doing things to her that were probably still illegal in most states. His dream Sabrina had lounged on his bed, covered by a rainbow of silk scarves that hid without really hiding in their sheerness.

...... He had imagined removing each scarf, using his teeth. She’d moaned with each love bite.

His body was at full sexual alert as it often was when he saw Sabrina. Her lush body had been designed by the goddess of love and lust. He could smell her arousal, or at least he wanted to believe he could. She knew he was available now, since he had made that clear by inviting her to a public function where everyone else would know about his romantic interest in her, like declaring his intentions. He’d ask her again soon, since she hadn’t said she would go with someone else.

Could she have turned shy while he was away becoming a doctor? He missed the cute middle school girl who had dogged his footsteps and flirted with him through her glasses, flashing her braces at him with grins of adoration.

He’d make the grown up Sabrina comfortable with him, then he’d make her want him. Then he’d make her moan, using the scarves he’d buy so he could live out his fantasies. His imagination could be such a damned tease. Now he was horny as Hell and in his office at the clinic. He rubbed his zipper, tempted to take care of his arousal.


Mary Marvella Barfield on Facebook and Mary Marvella, Author on Facebook