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Sunday, July 29, 2012

How much will a woman forgive?

What can you NOT forgive?
Can you forgive lying, infidelity, mistrust when there is no reason? I can be won over if the offender apologies and tries to make up for a slight. In my newest book, Margo's Choice, my characters have issues that would be difficult to overcome.

Blurb
Margo loved Jay, even when he decided to join the Marines and leave her at home while he sought adventure and danger. Now he is on his way home for their oldest daughter's 21st birthday.  Margo hasn't gotten over him, but he has the power to hurt her if she lets him charm his way into her panties again. He knows the buttons to push and she knows she won't like herself if she fools herself into believing he cares for her this time.  She can recover, but their youngest daughter has more to lose. Jay doesn't believe the youngest daughter is his. His mistrust of her is bad enough, but if he lets the child know he doesn't love her, Margo will have to hurt him!

Excerpt  1 (I told you she was upset.)
Morning slapped me in the face. I opened one gritty eye. Huge mistake. Pounding racket sent jabs of pain through my skull. Light poured in through my bedroom windows. I tried to turn from the light, but even slight movement hurt. My stomach roiled. How the hell could I get to the bathroom and still keep my head on my shoulders?
“Go the hell away,” Carol croaked.
Carol? I turned to see my best friend in the whole world. As the word lesbian eased through my mind, I reached out to grab it and make sense. Even thinking made my head hurt. My face ached when a frown tried to slide over it. Aw, crap!


Excerpt 2
-->
I snatched the cordless handset from my bedside table and flopped onto my bed.  “Carol, you aren’t gonna believe this.” My words came out in a rush, but I couldn’t help myself. “That stinking Marine ex-husband of mine is here to stay.”
Carol laughed. “Sounds like you have a problem.”
“More than one. Electra came home drunk tonight. She met her Daddy for coffee to enlist his help so she could move in her scuzzy boyfriend.” The words spilled out. “I cooked supper and worried myself sick when she didn’t come home. She wants to be an adult, but she acts like an irresponsible kid. She’s screwing her boyfriend and acting like a slut at the clubs, according to Jay.”
“And he knows this how?” Carol asked.
“He followed her to the club where the jerk plays and then to the house where the band guys live. He said it was a dump. Electra came home late and drunk.” I switched the headset to my left ear. “For a man who left me on my own, he acts like he’s concerned that she’s screwing up. He really doesn’t like the boyfriend.”
“Hey, we all think he’s a loser.”

 Now, about the title. Could you forgive Jay? You might win a download of The Gift for your comment.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

What's In A Name?

Readers will tell you that a great title attracts them. So how do authors come up with those great titles? Some authors have a knack for this, and some struggle endlessly.

Popular Wisdom

The general opinion is that short titles are best – the shorter the better. Sometimes you just can't fit the premise, plot, characters, theme, setting or any of the other elements in a novel into one to three words.

Exceptions

Sometimes though, long titles just resonate with readers. I went to my bookshelves for some perfect examples of long titles. Some of these sing like poetry. Here are just a few. Some authors like James Lee Burke and Martha Grimes always seem to have long, evocative titles.

Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
In the Electric Mist with the Confederate Dead by James Lee Burke
Snow Falling On Cedars by David Guterson
Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Ecco
The Man With a Load of Mischief by Martha Grimes
Through a Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen.

Then there are the thrillers by Stieg Larsson: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and The Girl Who Played With Fire. None of those books could possibly have a short title as evocative and memorable as the name they carry.

Memorable Shorts

Short titles can also be memorable. Dean Koontz – or his editor – chose well with Phantoms, Lightning, Watchers, and so many other titles. If you've read those books, you know those titles fit those books perfectly. Most of Mr. Koontz's books bear short titles.

The Short & Long Of My Titles

I didn't think I'd ever come up with the perfect title for my latest book, Scents and Sensuality (expanded and updated and to be published soon). This ebook is an expanded version of Say Yes, a previously print published book. I never thought that title, insisted upon by the publisher, was a good fit for this romance. I spent months trying to think of a better title. I test marketed a few titles along the way in emails with readers and other authors and in blog posts. Finally, I hit upon Scents and Sensuality, a subtle homage to Jane Austen and a name that perfectly fits the book that has a perfume designer as heroine.

For the most part, I've had success with the titles I've chosen. They all say what the book is about, they're all "catchy," and they all attract attention. Some like Jane (I'm Still Single) Jones, Nobody's Cinderella, and Old Enough To Know Better – attracted more attention.

Post Script

Short or long or somewhere in between, readers will remember your books if you leave no word unturned in your search for the perfect title.

(Joan Reeves is a Kindle bestselling author of romantic comedy. Her books are available at all major ebook sellers. Beginning in August, you will also find them as audio books at Audible.com and iTunes. For more information, please visit: www.JoanReeves.com or SlingWords.blogspot.com.)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

EVERY GIRL'S DREAM by Cheryl Pierson

Do you believe in love at first sight? Can it happen? More importantly, can it last over the long haul of the ups and downs of a relationship?

Throw in a few obstacles from the very first meeting of the hero/heroine, and the relationship becomes even more intriguing.

In my novella, EVERY GIRL’S DREAM,that's just what happens. EVERY GIRL'S DREAM was first published as the opening story from A WESTERN SAGA (Victory Tales Press).
It's still available in the anthology, but this March it was also released as a .99 "dime novel" in the Western Trail Blazer gallery.

Sheena McTavish, a young Irish girl, has been raped by the son of her father’s employer. Now, with a baby on the way, Sheena is given an unthinkable choice: give her baby to the father’s wealthy family to raise, or travel to New Mexico Territory by stagecoach to live with her aunt and uncle until her child is born. At that point, she will have to place it in a nearby orphanage.

Desperate to buy some time and protect her baby from its father, she chooses to travel west. Alone and afraid, she starts on the journey that will change her life forever. Before Sheena’s stage leaves, she meets handsome Army scout Callen Chandler. The attraction is there, even under difficult conditions.

As the story progresses, Sheena must learn to trust again, and Cal begins to realize he doesn’t have to live the solitary existence he’s endured up to now. Being half Comanche has left him with no place in either world—white or Indian. When Sheena comes along, everything changes…for both of them.

I WILL BE GIVING AWAY A PDF COPY OF EVERY GIRL'S DREAM TO A LUCKY COMMENTER TODAY! BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT! (I wish I could show you the cover for this story, but blogger is not cooperating tonight.)

To see all of the other wonderful anthologies available from VICTORY TALES PRESS, click here:
http://victorytalespress.yolasite.com/online-store.php
At Amazon/Kindle:
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Saga-Anthology-Sensual-ebook/dp/B0051BIBWC/

Also, check all of their exciting collection of western offerings, books and short stories, at WESTERN TRAIL BLAZERS:
http://westerntrailblazer.yolasite.com/online-store.php

The anthology and the "stand alone" version of EVERY GIRL'S DREAM are available at Barnes and Noble, and at Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson

I’ll leave you with an excerpt of EVERY GIRL’S DREAM.

Cal is a half-breed U.S. Army scout, who has just rescued Sheena, the heroine, from a Kiowa attack on the stagecoach she was in. They had met briefly the morning before, and as luck would have it, Cal comes upon the stage after the Kiowas have attacked and are getting ready to ride away with Sheena. He tells them he and Sheena are married and the Kiowas reluctantly let him take Sheena, but then…

Cal felt…something. His back tingled as he waited for the stinging burn of a shale arrowhead. He risked a glance backward, and saw the Kiowa leader’s stare heavy upon him.

“Sheena, hold on tight.”

“The baby—”

“I know, sweetheart. We won’t ride hard any longer’n we have to. Lowell’s Ridge is only about four miles away.” A very long four miles.

She nodded in understanding. “I’m sorry, Callen.”

“No call for that.”

“You came for me.”

He smiled at that. There was a small amount of disbelief in her tone, overshadowed by a huge amount of wonder. Who wouldn’t come for her?

“You could be killed because of me,” she said softly, as if she had only just realized it. She laid her hand over his, and in that moment, he wondered if dying for her would be worth the twenty-seven years he’d lived so far.

His heart jumped at her touch, then steadied. But as he risked another glance back, he saw exactly what he’d feared. Two of the braves were mounting up, and they weren’t riding the opposite way. “That still might happen,” he murmured.

He leaned forward, trying to protect Sheena with his body as he slapped the reins against the horse’s side, urging him into a lope, then a full-out run.

The Kiowas were close behind them. There must have been dissension among them. The leader had seemed content to let him take Sheena and ride away. One of the others must have disagreed with that decision.

Cal reached to pull his revolver from his holster.

They were strangely quiet, he thought.

The first bullet cracked from behind them, and Cal reflexively bent lower. The bullet whined past his ear like an angry bee.

Sheena gasped. He fired off a shot and got lucky. One of the warriors screamed in agony and fell from his saddle. But the other rode low, hanging onto the side of his mount. And he kept right on coming.

The next bullet sang over Cal’s head. He concentrated on eating up the miles to Lowell’s Ridge. Riding double was slowing them down considerably. Sheena’s body was tense beneath the shelter of his own. Fragile, but strong. Delicate, but determined. His hand splayed over her stomach, holding her close, cradling her from the jarring of their wild ride.

A whoop from behind them accompanied the crack of a rifle, and this time, the Kiowa warrior’s bullet found its mark. A bolt of fire seared through Cal’s right shoulder, and for a minute, the pain was so strong he almost sawed back on the reins. But at his harsh curse, Sheena glanced up at him, her hand instantly clamping tightly over his. The reins were still wrapped in his fingers, but Sheena kept her hand on his, reminding him to let the horse have his head and continue their flight for freedom.

“Hang on, Cal!”

The pain was so breathtaking he could do nothing but nod his understanding.

“Dammit!” she cursed. That almost made him smile, but the agony in his shoulder surged up and stole his breath again as the horse’s hooves pounded the ground below.
The road was not much more than a trail, and where it narrowed, branches reached out to scrape and snarl in hair and clothing, scratching their faces as they blindly rode toward safety.

As they broke through the brambles and low limbs into the clearing on the other side of the wooded section of road, Cal glimpsed the steeple of the church, then in a moment, the rooftops of houses.

He glanced behind him to see the Kiowa had stopped. He was taking careful, deadly aim with the Winchester he held. “Christ,” Cal muttered. “Keep down, Sheena.”

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Green Man


I've had lots of fun using Celtic mythology in my adult paranormal romances. The Magic Knot Fairies series is based on Celtic mythology along with other folk lore about fairies and mythological beings. With my latest release, I've returned to Celtic mythology, but this time, I've drawn on the ancient Celtic gods the pagans worshipped in Britain.

One of these gods is Cernunnos, who is often represented in the UK as the Green Man. He is still celebrated by some here in the spring, and is supposedly responsible for the awakening of nature after winter. When the early Christians set about converting inhabitants of Britain from paganism to the Christian faith, one of the ways they attracted people into the new churches was by adopting pagan gods. In many old churches and cathedrals in the UK, one can find carvings of the green man's face both on the outside and inside of the buildings.

In Exeter Cathedral in Devon, there are many well known depictions of the green man. Some are beautiful, but some are also frightening, with vines and branches spewing from the green man's mouth or body.

Cernunnos caught my imagination when I was researching my Young Adult story, Wildwood, and the mythology and ancient pagan beliefs surrounding the god are at the heart of the story.


Wildwood


A fifteen-year-old boy is sent to stay in a spooky English village with his grandfather for the summer vacation. He always knew he was different from other kids, he just didn't realize how different until he discovers his father was linked to an ancient pagan cult. If he doesn't get out of the village soon, he might never be able to leave.

Wildwood is available for only 99cents as a Kindle book on Amazon.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Walk in the Clouds by: Stephanie Burkhart


Mind you, I'm not a big Keenu Reeves fan, but when I saw "A Walk in the Clouds," I just fell in love with that movie.


I loved the setting – San Francisco and California wine country. San Francisco is classic with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and the huge bay. There's always something happening there. The bridge lends itself as a romantic image of the city. The vineyards are a natural romantic as well, portraying the rare beauty of nature. The amazing landscapes of the movie shot an arrow straight to my heart.




I liked the characters in the movie – a soldier trying to find his way, and a heroine struggling to define her identify. I drew on these elements when I sat down to write my latest 99 cent story – Journey of the Heart.



Set in Sonoma, CA, it's 1946. James DiMera fought for his country in World War II, but when he comes back, he discovers he's lost his farm. Rachel Santori has lost her family to the war and she's about to lose her winery. Dare she trust her future to a man who is a drifter?




4, 5 Star Amazon Reviews.
I would recommend this short sweetie of a story. Good job, author. – AngelE, Amazon Reader.

Excerpt:
"Your case threatened to run away, so I bribed it." Her sweet expression was an arrow through his heart.

"Really? What did you bribe it with?" He wiped the sweat off his brow with a handkerchief, caused from a combination of the summer heat and lifting the heavy cases.

"A job."

He hooked his thumb toward his chest. "Are you offering me a job, Miss Santori?"

BUY LINK: http://amzn.com/B008G1JI6C


Friday, July 20, 2012

National Convention time – less than a week!





Less than a week!? I can't believe the time has sped by so fast. When I booked my ticket, there were months to wait. Now it's here—the season when romance writers everywhere are planning what they have to pack because the Romance Writers of America's national convention is only days away. Excitement will bloom this year in Anaheim. And no one will be more excited than little ole me.


Washington, D.C. 2009 – my first convention. I'll never forget how excited I felt. The feverish work I did detailing my pitch, the mind-boggling wardrobe switches right up until the last moment. And the skimming and downloading of all the information RWA made available for the attendees.  Workshops galore and trying to choose? Craft or informative, editors or publishers versus other authors, chats with the already famous?   So much at stake and no one to inform me of what I needed to better shape my career at the time.


Of course, back then I was just starting out…a newbie so to speak.


Not so much anymore.


Now I have a new book due in a month, another that needs to be written for Christmas and monthly promotions that take time and energy. Between all the social media time hogs, the promised blogs and everyday e-mails, I barely have the time to think never mind spend precious minutes worrying about silly things like what I'm going to wear.


You believe that garbage? Oh don't!


Tomorrow I'll be spending most of the day getting my hair cut, shopping for personal necessities like a new dress, shoes, makeup stuff, and at least one day over the weekend will be set aside to make sure I have the material printed out for all the workshops …just in case I have a mind change at the last minute.


This is the time when authors everywhere need to slow down and enjoy the fact they are colleagues in a similar goal. To learn our craft and get better so our readers will continue to enjoy our work. This is our time to shine, to accept the awards and support the 'almost' winners. To enjoy every minute of each day talking, sharing and rejoicing over our chosen careers so we'll have the stamina, the fire relit for another year of hard work.

I can't wait for the networking, the putting faces to familiar names and the hugs no doubt many of us will share.

Five more sleeps...I can’t wait!!!




p.s. If anyone reading this blog will be in Anaheim this year, please either comment and let me know or come up during the convention and say hi. I'll be so happy to finally meet you in person.



XO Mimi

  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Deadly Flood

The Great Flood of 1889 - Johnstown, Pennsylvania

On June 1,1889, Americans woke to the news that Johnstown, Pennsylvania had been devastated by the worst flood in the Nation's history. Over 2,200 were dead, with many more homeless. When the full story of the flood came to light, many believed that if this was a "natural" disaster, then surely man was an accomplice.
Johnstown in 1889 was a steel company town of Germans and Welsh. With a population of 30,000, it was a growing and industrious community known for the quality of its steel. Founded in 1794, Johnstown began to prosper with the building of the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal in 1834 and the arrival of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Cambria Iron Company in the 1850’s.

There was one small drawback to living in the city. Johnstown had been built on a flood plain at the fork of the Little Conemaugh and Stony Creek rivers. Because the growing city had narrowed the river banks to gain building space, the heavy annual rains had caused increased flooding in recent years.

There was another thing. Fourteen miles up the Little Conemaugh, 3-mile long Lake Conemaugh was held on the side of a mountain - 450 feet higher than Johnstown - by the old South Fork Dam. The dam had been poorly maintained, and every spring there was talk that the dam might not hold. But it always had, and the supposed threat became something of a standing joke around town.

But at 4:07 p.m. on the chilly, wet afternoon of May 31, 1889 the inhabitants heard a low rumble that grew to a "roar like thunder." Some knew immediately what had happened: after a night of heavy rains, the South Fork Dam had finally broken, sending 20 million tons of water crashing down the narrow valley. Boiling with huge chunks of debris, the wall of flood water grew at times to 60 feet high, tearing downhill at 40 miles per hour, leveling everything in its path.

Thousands of people desperately tried to escape the wave. Those caught by the wave found themselves swept up in a torrent of oily, muddy water, surrounded by tons of grinding debris, which crushed some, provided rafts for others. Many became helplessly entangled in miles of barbed wire from the destroyed wire works.

It was over in 10 minutes, but for some the worst was still yet to come. Darkness fell, thousands were huddled in attics, others were floating on the debris, while many more had been swept downstream to the old Stone Bridge at the junction of the rivers. Piled up against the arches, much of the debris caught fire, entrapping forever 80 people who had survived the initial flood wave.

Credit for article to: http://www.johnstownpa.com/History/hist19.html

Floods and all natural disasters are scary. The filter of storytelling allows us to add them to our tales without the heart-wrenching sadness of the reality.

A flood is a major component in my novella, Divorce, Interrupted. Newly-divorced couple Todd and Lisa Miller are in danger from flooding, cold weather, frigid water, and the need to rely on another person they are not sure they can rely on.

Divorce, Interrupted is 99cents at all online eBook retailers and will be in paperback by the end of the summer in a complete trilogy with Dare To Trust and Defend My Love.

www.jilljameswrites.com



Monday, July 16, 2012

Who Likes Sweets? by Morgan Mandel

I confess to having a sweet tooth. If there's ice cream in the house, I'll for sure devour it. My only defense against my weakness is not to buy ice cream when I grocery shop.

The exception is summer, when all reason flees. If I'm on vacation, at a festival, a birthday party, or some other function where ice cream is involved in any way, I definitely indulge. Everyone knows such calories don't count. Please don't try to disillusion me, because it won't work. (g)

I admit to also prefer Sweets when it comes to romances. I'm the kind of reader who'd like to leave what happens in the bedroom up to my own imagination, instead of having it spelled out to me in minute detail. For those who enjoy hot and steamy, that's your prerogative.

I know there are others out there with the same tastes as mine, judging from the great response I've received for my blog, Sweet Not Spicy where I showcase sweet fiction and its authors.

Because I prefer reading Sweet Romances, that's what I also like to write. I'm glad to say my sweet romantic comedy, Girl of My Dreams,about the madcap adventures of an assistant who enters a reality show, is still selling well on Amazon.

In the works is another Sweet Romance, which I hope to make available this summer.

In the meantime, if you haven't read my 99 cent sweet romance ebook, Girl of My Dreams, you can find it at http://amzn.com/B0065R11QO

Excerpt from Chapter 2 -

Jillian gulped in dismay. The nightmare was escalating. A trip to Hawaii would be thrilling, except for one catch. Once she got there, she, who’d only worn modest one-piece bathing suits, would need to strip down to a baring bikini, and not only that, play volleyball in front of cameras, which would zoom in on every jiggling movement. She felt like gagging.
She wanted out, but was trapped. She’d signed the contract, was all too familiar with its contents and could recite the relevant portions by heart.
The one pertaining to her situation read something like, “It is understood between the parties that any contestant chosen by the billionaire to proceed to the following round must do so or suffer $5,000.00 in penalties.”
That amount would throw her straight into the poorhouse. She couldn’t back out now. She hadn’t recovered emotionally or financially from her mother’s illness and death. Going forward and ignoring her cringing sensitivities would be the smartest move.
 The lights dimmed. Excited, chattering contestants exited the stage. Jillian blindly made her way past them, twice almost tripping over the cables.
This had gone far enough. She had to get eliminated in the next round and make the charade end. Then she’d go about the business of finding a new job and forgetting Blake Caldwell had ever existed.
Is that what you really want? Her inner voice asked. Though nothing had ever come of it, she’d lived for the day he’d see her as more than his assistant.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

TRAPPED IN A BLIZZARD




Years ago on one trip from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to visit our family in West Texas, we were trapped at my mom’s house due to a blizzard. Fortunately, we were comfy and our daughters loved having snow deep enough for a snowman. On the trip home, though, I wondered about all the ranchland through which we traveled. What if someone were trapped there?

We passed through some isolated areas. Ranches and farms in that area each have at least one mercury vapor light on the house or barn. If you've ever been in a rural area on a dark, moonless night, you understand just how black the world is without streetlights. As we drove, I chose a small house with a large barn as a prototype. What a perfect place for the story spinning in my head!

One of my cousins, who was not so fortunate as we were, was trapped in a blizzard on his way home from work after he’d worked late. In the dim visibility, he hit a snowbank. Or that’s what investigators speculated. Apparently, he tried to push his car back the few feet needed to free it, but could not budge the car. After a lot of struggling, he started walking for help or home, no one knows. Evidently, the exertion combined with the weather conditions caused him to have a heart attack. No one came by until the next day when he was found frozen to death.  So, I have a particular interest in people being isolated by the weather.

On to more pleasant subjects. No surprise, I want to tell you about one of my books.  SNOWFIRES is set in a West Texas blizzard and in Dallas. Here’s a blurb:

Trent Macleod and Holly Tucker
Trent Macleod fought his way up from nothing to buy into Marvel Incorporated in Dallas Texas. He knows Holly resents him, but doesn't understand why she hates him enough to get them lost in the worst snowstorm to hit West Texas in decades. He knows he should keep her strictly off limits, but how can he when they're marooned in a tiny house with one bed and almost no heat? Passion ignites in the freezing home as they give in to their attraction--but will the fire last?

Holly Tucker despises yet is attracted to the dynamic man who bought shares in the family business that her gambler father foolishly lost. Was Holly’s stepmother telling the truth and Trent caused the heart attack that killed Holly’s father? As their fascination pulls them together, Holly realizes her stepmother must have lied. But Holly cares way too much for Trent. When she learns he’s a gambler, she swears she will give her body to him, but not her soul. A lifetime of repairing her father’s gambling follies has cured her of loving a gambler. Or has it?



And here’s the set up for a SNOWFIRES excerpt:

Trent and Holly were on the way from her Grayson grandparents' home in the remote West Texas Panhandle to Dallas. Attempting only to delay their trip, Holly got them marooned in the worst blizzard to hit the area in a decade. They took refuge in a small home whose owners, the Martin family, were trapped in town. The home's ancient floor furnace hardly competed with the cold and there was only one bed. After freezing in a chair for several hours, Holly has climbed into the bed for "shared body heat" with Trent:

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."


If you are intrigued (and I hope you are!) SNOWFIRES is available as an ebook for 99 cents at
Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/36055?ref=CarolineClemmons

and on Amazon at:
http://www.amazon.com/SNOWFIRES-ebook/dp/B004LROUH2/ref=sr_1_6?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1342101297&sr=1-6&keywords=caroline+clemmons


Soon SNOWFIRES will be available in print from Amazon’s Create Space.

You can find out more about me and my books at www.carolineclemmons.com. Sign up there for my mailing list for news of releases, fun contests, and giveaway. At the same site, you can also sign up for my Twitter and Facebook posts. I post three times a week on my blog at http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com As we say in Texas, all y'all come see me.

Thanks for stopping by!



Thursday, July 12, 2012

FREE MEDIEVAL ROMANCE - by Vijaya Schartz

I have many novels out there, but once in a while one is going free in kindle, and on Friday, July 13, 2012, you can download PAGAN QUEEN, Book 2 in my medieval fantasy romance series: Curse of the Lost Isle, for free all day at:http://amzn.com/B007Z8F7IA

PAGAN QUEEN is Book 2, and PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE is Book 1 and sells for $3.99. I would suggest reading the books in the right order, because these two feature the same characters.

CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE SERIES:

From history shrouded in myths, emerges a family of immortal Celtic Ladies, who roam the medieval world in search of salvation from a curse. For centuries, imbued with hereditary gifts, they hide their deadly secret... but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and burned at the stake.

PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE ($3.99):
http://amzn.com/B007K1EGAM

806 AD - Alba (Ancient Scotland) - As the Vikings raid the coast of Alba, Pressine of Bretagne sets out to seduce King Elinas of Dumfries, chosen by the Goddess to unite the tribes against the foreign invader. Elinas, still mourning his departed queen, has no intention to remarry. Head-strong and independent, Pressine does not expect to fall for the very attractive, wise and noble ruler... Furthermore, her Pagan nature clashes with the religious fanaticism of the king’s Christian heir, who suspects her unholy ancestry and will stop at nothing to get rid of her.

REVIEW:

"I really enjoyed Princess of Bretagne. Kind of reminded me of The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley, with its subtle references to Arthurian legend (I'm a sucker for anything Arthurian). Like Mists, you captured the historical period while weaving in the mystical elements. Since I now have my new kindle, I've added Pagan Queen to my TBR list. After the one I'm reading now, I might just bump it up a notch or two." Kathy Fisher-Brown, author

PAGAN QUEEN (free July 13) $3.99 any other time: http://amzn.com/B007Z8F7IA

810 AD - Alba (Ancient Scotland) - Queen at last, Pressine brings victory to her beloved Elinas and prosperity to their growing kingdom. But she has to contend with the intrigues of Charlemagne's bishops, spurred by her Christian stepson. While Elinas, on the battlefield, remains unaware of his son’s machinations, Pressine fends off repeated assaults against her life. She also fears the curse that could bring her downfall. For the love of Elinas, she will tempt fate and become with child. But when her indomitable passion challenges the wrath of the Goddess Herself... can she win that battle?

REVIEW:

"Schartz is an accomplished writer, whose pacing, conflicts, and goals are always complex and whose good characters are always likeable, and whose villains are evil incarnate. You have to like her villains as much as the good guys! Mattacks is a magnificent example of this!" Roberta - Manic Readers - 5 stars

Enjoy the read.

Vijaya Schartz
Swords, Blasters, Guns, Romance with a Kick
Find me and my books on AMAZON HERE

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What I Wished I Might Say


Writers are at the mercy of their readers.  I often wondered what my response would be if professionally I could respond to the negative comments or reviews.  I’ve composed many mental responses to the less than positive but, of course, I’ve never posted them.  I have wandered around my house for days readdressing the comment and what I would like to say.  For example:

v                Comment:  “Made me wonder if she's a teenager addicted to the worst quality TV soaps.”

My wished for response:  “Do you get off on putting writers down? You’re an idiot! Bite my …..!”

v                Comment:  “The nicest thing I can say about this book is ... I've read worse.

My wished for response: “You suck! If you’ve read worse, why take the time to comment on my book or did I just get lucky?”

v                Comment:  “This book had great potential but where is the rest. Other than the book being way too short it was a good short story.”

My wished for response:  “Okay, you knew it was a short story! If you’d read the description, you’d have seen it was a short story.  Are you stupid or just plain clueless?”

I could go on and on but as all of us know when visited by the evil commenter, we just have to grin and bear it.  Responding in the negative is inappropriate and unprofessional.  On the other hand, nothing makes my day brighter than to receive a comment or review that glows with approval, such as:

v                “I loved the book. Once I started reading it, I couldn't let go....” 
v                “Let me tell you i was up until five in the morning because the book was just the good!” or
v                It is SO good that I didn't realize I'd racked up 15 miles on the exercise bike while escaping into this story.”

So while the bad ones hurt, there are always those good comments which balance the scale —and most often outweigh the bad.  While I’m reading a negative comment, I take the time to skip to a good one to ease the sting. I’ve learned to toughen my skin and accept that every reader has a different view and, while I might not agree, the right to comment, good or bad. 

P.L. Parker is the author of two 99 cent e-books, Fiona and Riley's Journey, time travel romances.  


























Sunday, July 8, 2012

Kat and the U.S. Marshal

San Antonio is the setting for my newest Dime Novel release, Kat and the U.S. Marshal. During the late 1800s, the city struggled to tame the rowdy, wild atmosphere that had prevailed during much of its earlier history.

One up-scale establishment was the Menger Hotel, which is still in operation today. Remodeled and upscaled over the decades, the Menger has remained a vital part of the downtown area. In this novella, Kat attends a dance there, and Diego, the marshal, meet up once again. He tells her to save a dance for him--but, he say, "I can't dance. I'll find you when I figure out the steps."
~*~
As they danced, Diego brought her body flush with his, and he kept his right hand just below her waist. He pressed her closer, too, much more than was proper. Slightly dazed, she could barely think.
She whispered. "Diego, move your hand to my back, above my waist."
Whispering back, he said, "No."
"Yes. Do as I say. People will talk."
His voice rumbled low and deep. "I like it where it is."
~*~
U.S. Marshal Diego Montoya is on a mission to track down and arrest a killer, and he goes to the brothel area to find Miss Hattie Carson's Sporting House. The madam and her girls play a brief role in the story.
~*~
The San Antonio red-light district became known as the Sporting District in 1889 when the city council voted to contain and regulate prostitution. In addition to brothels, the area contained dance halls, saloons, gambling parlors, hotels, and restaurants. Businesses in the area provided the city with tens of thousands of dollars annually in licensing fees.
The District was shut down in 1941 by Dwight D. Eisenhower, who commanded Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.
~*~
Kat Garrison and Diego Montoya had met a year before. Now, he know she's in San Antonio. He finds her house and knocks on her door.
~*~
"Yeah, Kat, there's something wrong. You. Who is this uppity attorney you're seeing?"
"How do you know my business? I haven't seen you in months. Close to a year, in fact."
"I'm a U.S. Marshal. Remember? I can find out any damn thing I want."
She closed her eyes, stiffened her spine, and let out a short breath. "Well, Marshal Montoya, stop snooping into my life and my affairs."
He grinned, one side of his mouth quirking up, which made her clench her jaw.
~*~
NOW AVAILABLE: 99Cent Dime Novel
Amazon/Kindle
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008GWEVZO

Smashwords
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/178481
Monkeybars
https://www.monkeybars.net/PbRJV
https://www.monkeybars.net/monkey/thing/63886ebc52fb8cfac929fd23e2ddbd3d

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tags can be useful!






When I first began writing, I often wondered what to put into my tags when those open spaces stared me in the face. I would sit staring blankly at the screen after the first few easy ones had been used. Then I’d go to see how others in my genre had filled up their slots.



It made sense to add the type of story written and so I too added Paranormal, Romance and Humorous Romance, etc. I soon ran out of the genre names and following the others, I added words such as place names like New York and social worker for the character’s profession and tomboy for her state of mind. I mean, why not. It seemed to be the thing to do.



Until I found out that the tags could be used to get my book into another category. If I had fifty and over ticks in the little boxes next to the tags this could work in my favour.



And in my first promotion, I saw that it truly did work. Once I went to the free listing, my book actually did slip into some of the categories that I had tagged. Which means that if I obtained a high enough ranking on the paid lists, it would happen there also. And this would mean that my book would be visible to so many more searchers.



When I had uploaded my latest book HisDevious Angel on Amazon, they had given me two choices for my book’s categories. Taking this seriously, I quickly clicked Fiction and contemporary then Romance and Paranormal. Without realizing that I had chosen the hardest fiction categories to place in, I sat back happy that I’d filled it in properly.



I didn’t even scan the other choices as to where my book might have fit in—categories that would fit my stories but weren’t as difficult to obtain—like Contemporary Women  or Action & Adventure.



Did you feel frustrated when you could only pick the two? I know I did because I knew my story would fit into many more. And that is where the tags come into play. Use those other category titles as your tags. If you’ve written a fantasy story about ghosts check and see that there is actually a category called Fantasy, Futuristic & Ghosts so there are three tags you can use. If you’ve written a story having to do with politics then see that one of the categories is Political so use that…and so on. Make a list of all the categories and sub categories that Amazon offers and choose the ones that are pertinent to your story. And if your numbers get high enough in the ranking don’t be surprised when you slide onto the 100 best seller lists from some of the tags you’ve used. It can be a secondary way for your work to be categorized.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What’s your favorite scent?

Authors often specify a scent to ground the reader in a scene. During love scenes, the hero inhales with pleasure the particular fragrance of his leading lady, and the heroine swoons at the masculine scent of her hunk. Hmm, forgive the purple prose, please.

That fresh scent that puts a smile on your face every time you breathe it in reveals plenty about the type of person you are. According to Dr. Hirsch, director of the Smell & Taste Research Foundation in Chicago, “The area of the brain that’s used to process smells is actually part of the emotional center.”
What’s your favorite scent?

Lavender: You’re thoughtful. It could be a subconscious desire for serenity that attracts you to this perfumed scent. You need tranquility. Because of your reserved, kind nature, you prefer small gatherings and you know how to listen.
Coffee: You’re fun to be around. The smell of coffee alone is enough to provide a boost of energy. If you love this aroma, your enthusiasm for life and willingness to dive into new experiences is infectious. Everyone loves your company.

Green grass: You’re so caring. The subtle scent of fresh green grass induces nostalgia. If you’re drawn to this scent, it’s likely because it brings back happy memories of childhood times You’re so warm people are drawn to you because you take their feelings into consideration.

Citrus: You’re outspoken. The sharp acidic scent of citrus can increase excitement. This appeals to your candid nature. You’re not afraid to share your opinions. Your friends love you because you bring elements of fun into their lives.

Lilac: You’re an optimist. The sweet scent of lilac appeals to the romantic in you. You’re emotional and you love passionately. Because you’re so sure things will work out, you’re always open to new possibilities. You make people believe you can do anything.
So play the game and tell us which fragrance you prefer. And choose scents for your hero and heroine.

SAILING WITH YOU  http://tinyurl.com/7xwp8eo
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful

Hot Greek Romance March 10, 2012


Format:Kindle Edition

I've read all Mona Risk's books and enjoyed them, but this has to be my favorite. It captured my attention from the first page and I couldn't stop reading until Stefano and Ashley found their HEA. Stefano is a delicious hero, as hot as the Mediterranean sun and determined to do right by his family. Ashley is equally determined to see justice done for her grandfather. When the two go head to head sparks fly in more ways than one. Something I love about Mona Risk's books is the exotic settings. This book is full of lovely descriptions of Mykonos that transported me to the island and provided a wonderful backdrop for the romance. Recommended! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Head Full Of Ideas



Too many story ideas and not enough hours in the day. That's how I feel right now. My head seems to be bursting with possible stories and it is difficult to decide what to write next. I always feel like this when it is time to start a new story, but it has got even worse now I am writing in more genres.

I have decided the next story will be a contemporary romance, and I'd like to write one set in Greece, where I recently had a fabulous vacation. But I also have a Christmas story vying for pole position. I have to keep pushing those characters out of my mind so I can focus on the Greek story—which has turned into a trilogy! Or I could write a follow up story to Oceans Between Us.

And then there's the celebrity chef idea, and the chocolatier idea, and the second book in my fantasy romance series, and the second book in my YA paranormal mystery series. Sometimes I wish I could switch it all off and have some peace and quiet inside my head. I'm sure the rest of my family think I'm loopy the way I'm always talking about imaginary people. (Except my son who totally understands me and is the same way.)

I'd love to know if anyone has found a way to get a little peace occasionally. Maybe I should try meditation!


My latest two books are both Amazon best selling contemporary romances for only 99cents each.






Visit Helen Scott Taylor's Website for more information and free short stories.