Monday, May 30, 2011

Guest - Jacqueline Seewald

Good morning to all and Happy Memorial Day to all our USA readers. If you need Memorial Day recipes (or just cool stuffed burger and brownie recipes) or ways to honor our heroes, please check my blog at But for now, I'd like to introduce today's guest, author Jacqueline Seewald.

Multi-award winning author Jacqueline Seewald has taught creative, expository and technical writing at the university level as well as high school English. She also worked as an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Eleven of her books of fiction have been published. Her short stories as well as poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in hundreds of diverse publications and numerous anthologies. Her paranormal romantic mystery novels, THE INFERNO COLLECTION and THE DROWNING POOL, have been widely acclaimed. The third romantic mystery in the Kim Reynolds series, THE TRUTH SLEUTH, has just been published May 2011. Her recent historical romance novel TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS is available in both hardcover and large print editions. A young adult romance novel, STACY’S SONG, was also published to excellent reviews.


The Paranormal and Mystery Fiction  

By Jacqueline Seewald

I’ve noticed some reviewers look down their noses at mystery fiction that has a paranormal element. The criticism I’ve read is that the author is not playing fair with mystery readers if elements of the paranormal are included. Well, to them I would say that hasn’t hurt Charlaine Harris or Jacqueline Winspear develop a readership one bit.

The July/August 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest published an insightful interview with Charlaine Harris. I recommend reading it. Ms. Harris talks about how she reached her stellar position at the top of the bestseller list.

She started out by taking a creative writing course after finishing college—something other successful writers like Sara Paretsky have done. Ms. Harris’s several mystery novel series were successful and reached mid-list status. But pushing fifty, Ms. Harris wasn’t satisfied with this. She wanted to write a book that was unique, the kind of book that only she could write. So she tossed aside the usual rules of mystery writing and simply wrote what she really wanted to create. And this is the secret to her superstar success. Charlaine Harris wasn’t afraid to be different in style and subject and actually have fun with her writing. She enjoys her work and it shows.

Jacqueline Winspear’s historic mysteries feature Maisy Dobbs, a heroine who has certain psychic abilities and intuitions. I think this gives more depth and dimension to the main character and makes the novels more interesting.

When I started my Kim Reynolds’ series with THE INFERNO COLLECTION, I wanted to create a mystery thriller that had strong elements of romance and the paranormal as well. Each novel involves Kim in a new mystery. She uses her psychic abilities, but only reluctantly. Kim is unsure of herself. She wants to fit in and be “normal”. Instead, she is unique and cannot lead the life of a quiet librarian. In THE INFERNO COLLECTION, THE DROWNING POOL, and the newly released THE TRUTH SLEUTH, Kim uses her abilities to help solve murders. Mike Gardner, a homicide cop who also has psychic ability, comes to love Kim and wants to marry her. But circumstances come between them.

Here’s a bit from the beginning of THE TRUTH SLEUTH:

What had started out as a pleasant afternoon began shifting to something quite different. Kim was developing an uncomfortable feeling of wrongness; a kind of prickling sensation slithered down her spine. She recognized the feeling for what it was but shook her head, trying to dispel the spasm of dread that suddenly gripped her. God, not this again! Would she ever be free of it?
Then Kim gasped, seized by a stab of pain. In her mind, she heard a silent scream, an astonished cry for help. She felt another’s panic and terror. She began to shiver and tremble.
“What’s the matter?” Bert asked, her dark brows rising then knitting together in concern.
“Someone’s been hurt.” Those were the only words she managed to choke out.
“Who? Where?” April asked, glancing around in confusion.
“Maybe we better have a look,” Bert said. Her height of six feet gave her an advantage over both Kim, who was five foot six inches, and April who was barely five foot two inches tall.
The crowd was starting to thin out, many bikers revving up their engines in anticipation of leaving now that today’s entertainment was over. Kim led, Bert and April following behind her. Although she was not really certain where she was going, Kim plowed blindly through the garbage-strewn grounds. And then she saw him: a very young man sitting in an aluminum beach chair, head slumped forward as if he were in a deep sleep.
“He’s dead,” Kim heard herself say with certainty. Her voice sounded hollow, expressionless and faraway, as if it belonged to someone else.
“Oh, God, are you sure?” April asked, tossing her gold-tinted curls as if to deny Kim’s statement.
“Kim’s got this gift of knowing stuff like that,” Bert said.
More like a curse, in Kim’s opinion.
Bert knelt down, at first not touching the body. “I don’t think he’s breathing.” Bert’s voice had taken on a note of professional authority. She looked and sounded like the seasoned policewoman she was. Bert felt for a pulse, then shook her head. “Don’t touch anything. I’m calling this in.” There was a grim expression on Bert’s café au lait features. She pulled a small cell phone out from the pocket of her black leather jacket.
Before Bert could make the call, Kim turned and faced her.
“There’s something I think you should know.”
“I’m listening.” Bert stood very still like a figure in a portrait.
Kim let out a ragged breath. “I think that boy was murdered.”

THE TRUTH SLEUTH can be checked out on Amazon, B&N Online, and Borders to name a few places. You can also put in a request for the book at your local library. 

My novels, such as TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS,  a sensual paranormal historical novel, are in libraries throughout the English speaking world.


-- Lynda Again

What an interesting take on mystery and paranormal! And Jacqueline's books sound intriguing, don't they? I hope you all have enjoyed this as much as I have. Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Guest - Lisa Renee Jones

Good morning all! Today's guest is Lisa Renee Jones, author of The Legend of Michael, the first in a fantastic new series (you can see my review here   ) Sourcebooks is offering a giveaway of two lucky Star-Crossed Romance readers so make sure you find out how to enter the drawing.


Hi and thanks for having me to talk about my new book The Legend of Michael and the Zodius Series. As I sat down to write this blog I had the television on and ironically there was an interview with a well known, highly respected journalist about her new AREA 51 book.  It was incredibly interesting because it has theories that fit into the creation of my series. You can read the review and see a little interview with the author here:

Basically the author says that the Roswell ship thought to be at Area 51 wasn’t a UFO but a Russian ship with genetically altered humans inside. I was so excited about this because the idea behind the Zodius series is that our own government told the soldiers at Area 51 they were being immunization but instead tampered with their DNA.  So how did I come up with this idea?

I have a relative that was part of the cleanup crew for Roswell and though he went to his deathbed with the secrets, just the very fact that he was so secretive created speculation. We didn’t even know he was there until near his death, but then we didn’t know he had a Purple Heart either. He simply didn’t feel the kind of pain he saw to get it was something to talk about he told us near the end.

I love Vegas and have been MANY times so a series that allowed me to use Vegas in the world building, which I do a lot, especially in book 2 THE STORM THAT IS STERLING, that is out in November, was exciting to me.

My ex of 17 years was not only in the Army, but his father and uncles were all Special Forces, so I had a flavor for the military to start writing.

I love a real hero and soldiers truly are heroes!

I hope you will check out The Legend of Michael, The Storm That is Sterling (November 2011) and The Danger That Is Damion(Spring 2012). I have the cover for book two now up on my Facebook account so that is very exciting. You can see it here:

I think each book is VERY different and I did that intentionally. I want the series to be fun and exciting, not repetitive and boring. I hope you will think I succeeded!


He’s a Lethal Weapon…

One of an army of human soldiers injected with alien DNA, Michael is a legend within this new race, split between good and evil. Untamable, he has walked on the dark side and returned to the light. Feared and misunderstood, he leaves everything behind, including the one woman destined to be his mate.
He is her Enemy… And her Destiny…

Cassandra holds the key to Michael’s power, and his pain. With loyalties divided and against insurmountable odds, Cassandra’s heart propels her to Michael’s side—but can her love do anything but destroy him…

No ordinary woman can control a creature such as Michael, and only one th ing is clear—the world will never be the same…

Award winning author Lisa Renee Jones has published more than fifteen novels in several different languages, spanning multiple genres of romance: contemporary, romantic suspense, dark paranormal and erotic fiction. Her awards include first place in the Romantic Times Aspiring Writers Contest. She currently lives in Colorado Springs, CO, where she is working on her next Zodius novel, The Renegade Conquest (working title), to be released in November 2011. For more information, please visit and
-- Lynda Again
As I mentioned earlier, Sourcebooks has offered us two copies of The Legend of Michael. How can you get in the drawing? Easy! 

Send an email to me at by Friday, May 27

1) Put Michael in the subject line

2) Complete the title of the next book in the series -  The Storm That Is ________ 

3) Give me your name and address.

On Friday, Wookie (my alien kitten) and I will select and announce the winner. Good luck all and have a Blessed Day!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Review - The Legend of Michael

The Legend of Michael
by Lisa Renee Jones
Sourcebooks Casablance
May 2011

Injected with alien DNA, Michael Taylor becomes one of the greatest warriors ever known to mankind - a GTECH. These super elite soldiers are stronger, faster, more impervious to physical harm than mere mortals. They can command the wind and travel instantaneously from place to place. But even among this elite but covert group of warriors, Michael is a legend. Among his fellows and superior officers, he is seen as a lethal weapon. Women see him as the ultimate handsome, brooding, bad boy they want to claim.

Cassandra Powell, daughter of the power hungry General in charge of these elite soldiers, doesn't want to succumb to any soldier's charms. Not even one as handsome as Michael. She knows what kind of life a woman can expect who loves a man in uniform. She saw it with her mother - the separations, duty above family, the loneliness. The problem is, no matter what she tells herself about avoiding emotional entanglements with soldiers, she falls in love with Michael.

Michael never expected to find anyone he could love. Certainly he didn't expect anyone like Cassandra Powell. But GTECH soldiers are no longer human and he's done things, under orders, that make him unworthy of a woman like Cassandra. And though he loves the woman, her father is another matter. And that is an unsurmountable wedge as far as he's concerned. He knows he has to leave her before he forms the Lifebond and changes her future forever.

I have to say that I was totally unprepared for this amazing story, the first in the Zodius series. Set in the near future, the plot leads us along at a quick pace. But the characters jump off the page with the kind of realism that makes you believe you actually know them.

Michael is the kind of hero you want to curl up next to. He's strong, protective, and beyond hot. He does what needs to be done no matter the cost. Cassandra is a strong heroine and matches Michael in her willingness to get answers even if she knows they won't be pleasant. The chemistry between these two characters is explosive. And the suspense between the plot and their ultimate happiness keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Once you pick up the book, you won't want to put it down. And if you're like me, when you finish, you'll want to read it again and again. I CANNOT wait until the next book in this series comes out.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Guest - Deborah Cooke

Good morning all! Today's guest is Deborah Cooke whose books are among my very favorites.

Deborah Cooke has always been fascinated with dragons, although she has never understood why they have to be the bad guys. She has an honours degree in history, with a focus on medieval studies. She is an avid reader of medieval vernacular literature, fairy tales and fantasy novels, and has written over forty romance novels and novellas. She has also been published under the names Claire Cross and Claire Delacroix.


Making the Unreal Real
By Deborah Cooke

One of the challenges of writing paranormal romance is ensuring that the reader suspends disbelief and can not only enjoy the story but engage with the characters. There are people who believe that angels and shapeshifters and vampires exist, but most of us recognize that these are fantasy elements. How do we as writers make the unreal seem not just possible but plausible – or even real?

My books, for example, feature heroes who are dragon shapeshifters. Not only do these guys need to seem real, but my Dragonfire books are romances – that means that the reader (as well as the heroine) needs to fall in love with a dragon shape shifter hero. That’s not necessarily a gimme, so here are some ideas for making the unreal real.

1/ Tangible Details.
The most obvious way to make a fantasy element seem real is to describe it in very tangible terms. My dragon aren’t just big and powerful – the heroine will feel the wind generated by the beating of their wings. The villain will feel himself be scorched by the dragonfire they breathe. When they fight, the ground vibrates beneath the heroine’s feet and she feels the impact of them body-slamming each other into walls and buildings. The experience of being in the company of dragons is described in concrete terms. That makes it seem more real.

The dragons themselves are also described in vivid and tangible detail. Early on, I began by describing the dragons as if they were made of precious gems and metals. So, their scales might appear to be made of lapis lazuli, edged in silver, or carved out of garnets and tipped with gold. These colourful descriptions linked to actual stones and metals convey a sense the dragons being real and solid – as well as beautiful.

2/ Emotional Truth
Another way to make a fantasy creature seem more real – or more human – is to give him very human conflicts and concerns. My shape shifting dragon heroes are caught up in a battle against the evil shape shifting dragons for the control of the earth. They are concerned with right and wrong on a large scale, but they also have concerns and conflicts that come out of their personalities. Rafferty, the hero of my current Dragonfire release, DARKFIRE KISS, is a great romantic. He yearns to find the woman who is destined to be his mate and partner, and is determined to win the heart of that woman when he finds her. He is also very loyal to his fellow dragons, so when Melissa appears to be both his destined mate and the woman who may lead to the destruction of his kind, he has to choose between his romantic notion of the future and his loyalty to his own. That’s a very human conflict – to play for yourself or for the team – and it makes him more real to us as readers. Even though he can become a dragon at will.

3/ Identify the Fantasy
The last big part of making a fantasy character seem real or plausible as a hero in a romance novel is identifying exactly what it is that makes this kind of creature appealing. When it comes to dragons, readers seem to identify most strongly with the protective element of a dragon’s nature, as well as his ability to fight. The one element that might be unexpected is the appeal of being able to fly. Many many readers connect with this, perhaps because of a notion of freedom. So, it’s important to incorporate the key fantasy elements of the particular kind of character in order to ensure that he or she is most appealing to readers.

4/ Characterization
The dragon shifters are also all different from each other. Rafferty, for example, is the first romantic of the bunch. The others have been less interested in making a permanent relationship with their mate (striving for that HEA) or have simply thought that it wasn’t in the cards. Some are loners. Some would give everything for the team. Some are impulsive and others are more thoughtful. That they are all distinct from each other, not just in terms of colouring or appearance but also in terms of their nature, makes them seem more like a group of human guys.

5/ Relationships
Being dragons, my dragon shifters tend to be a bit volatile and vehement in expressing their opinions. So, there is often dissent within the group as to how to proceed, especially when they’re faced with a challenge (and they’re faced with at least one in every book). This is contrasted with their loyalty to each other and the way they come to each other’s aid. That they interact like this makes them seem more real.

They’re also more real because they have relationships even beyond those with each other. We’re now up to book #6 in this series, which means that five romances have concluded in HEA’s – and in the world of Dragonfire – with the conception of children. So we have five dragon shifters who have partners and babies, and this complicates both their ability to drop everything for a fight, and the management of the various details of their lives. I think their desire to defend their immediate family while still help their extended group of dragons and keep everything in balance is a conflict faced by many humans with young children. Again, it makes their situation more familiar to us, and thus more real.

My spin-off YA series that launches in June with FLYING BLIND actually derives from the question of these kids. In the world of Dragonfire, there is only one female dragon shifter at a time, called the Wyvern, and she has special powers. The current Wyvern died in KISS OF FATE (Dragonfire #3) and the child conceived in that book was a girl. The Dragon Diaries is a trilogy about Zoë coming into her powers as the Wyvern and learning to control them – while surviving high school, challenges with friends, and the mystery of boys.

For one woman, he will risk more than his life…
Rafferty Powell has exchanged challenge coins with his arch-nemesis Magnus Montmorency, and their next battle will be their last. But Rafferty never expected to meet a woman whose desire for Magnus’ downfall matches his own—and whose presence sparks Rafferty’s long-awaited firestorm.
Since facing her own mortality, investigative reporter Melissa Smith has resolved to live without fear. She’s determined to make the seemingly untouchable Magnus pay for his role in ending her friend’s life – no matter the price to herself.
When her quest entwines with Rafferty’s, Melissa finds herself risking more than she ever thought possible. Because the heat between them unleashes the darkfire—an awesome force of Pyr legend, one that won’t be sated until everything they know has been tested and remade.

MAY 3, 2011
from NAL Eclipse
ISBN # 978-0-451-23349-3

Zoë is the Wyvern of the Pyr – the one female dragon shape shifter with special powers.  But Zoë is at the bottom of the class when it comes to being Pyr, and her powers are AWOL. Worse, there’s no reference book to consult, and the last Wyvern is dead….
Everything changes when Zoë’s best friend is bullied and Zoë reacts. Before she can blink twice, her inner dragon is loose, and she’s suspended from school and headed to a shape shifter boot camp with guys she’s known all her life. But soon she’s doubting her powers – and even some of her friendships.
Zoë quickly realizes she has to master her powers yesterday – there’s danger ahead and boot camp is a trap. A secretive group, the Mages, want to eliminate all shifters and the Pyr are next in line – unless Zoë and her friends can solve the riddle and work together to save their own kind…

June 7, 2011
NAL Trade
ISBN: 978-0-451-23388-2
Cover and excerpt at


-- Lynda Again,

I hope you all enjoyed Deborah's visit. If so, or if you've read and enjoyed her books, feel free to say hi!

Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Guest - Barbara Edwards


Good Morning! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and that those in the USA had a beautiful Mother's Day. We have a new to us author today, Barbara Edwards, who'll be giving valuable hints about using the Tarot. Barbara also has a contest running so make sure you check out how to enter.

Now, sit back and enjoy!


I’m Barbara Edwards and a native New Englander. My dark paranormal stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from my belief in people’s basic goodness and longing for love. I lived in Florida for several years and am past president of the Central Florida Romance Writers and a member of Romance Writers of America. When I returned to Connecticut, I founded the Charter Oak Romance Writers, a Chapter of Romance Writers of America, along with several close friends.

 My husband is a retired Police Sergeant. We share an interest in Civil War re-enacting and travel the Eastern states to participate in events. I’m fond of gardening and growing antique roses with limited success. I exercise when my Belgian Shepherd, Dixie, demands a walk.

 My Tarot Talent

I’ve owned and used Tarot cards for years. The first set was generic with the easily recognized Magician, the Tower, Death, The Hanging Man, etc. I was very casual with them. Did a reading for fun occasionally and left them lying around. Until the night my best friend wanted me to read the cards for her. I laid them out and every card portended unhappy events in her future. You have to understand. I thought it was for fun and I never told anyone anything bad. So I quickly reshuffled the deck while I mumbled that I’d laid them out wrong. To my horror, the same cards appeared.  To this day I remember blathering on about changes and a trip. A month later her husband raped her, stole her kids and left. She moved to another state. I still miss her and wonder if warning her would have made a difference.

I learned a valuable lesson: I can read Tarot. I could read them before I learned the basic descriptions.
And that ability is frightening.

In order to use the Tarot, I now know about protecting myself. I wrap my cards in black silk. I have a black silk cloth to lay them out on and never let anyone else use them. I sleep with a new deck for three nights to tune it to my spirit. This is also necessary whenever the cards feel cold. I have five decks but only one reverberates consistently with me. I think it’s a feminine set. One deck I rarely use since the readings are always dark- it feels masculine.

Although every reading has value, I don’t charge money. I ask the recipient to do something good for someone else. I did readings at the RT conferences for several years for charity so you could have been one of my sitters.

Although I’ve used paranormal abilities like the psychic link between twins in my writing, it wasn’t until these paranormals about Rhodes End that had me delving deeply into its mysteries.

Do I advise you to read the Tarot? Maybe.

Find a deck that appeals to you. There are thousands. I’m currently searching for a dragon-styled set since I love dragons. My favorite is an Earth mother/goddess set. As to learning how to read each card, you’ll learn what each one says if you have talent. I didn’t know I could and most people can’t. If you can, then treat your talent with respect. Take protective precautions.

Any paranormal ability can be dangerous.

Tell me what you think.

Thank you, Lynda for having me here. I enjoyed it. Barbara

Ancient Awakening by Barbara Edwards

In Ancient Awakening, Police Officer ‘Mel’ Petersen investigates a death only she believes is murder. By disobeying direct orders from the Rhodes End Chief, she risks her career to follow clues that twist in circles to her backyard and lead the killer to her.

Her neighbor Stephen Zoriak is a prime suspect. Steve worked for a major pharmaceutical company where he discovered a weapon so dangerous he destroys the research. He is exposed to the dangerous organism. Steve suspects he is the killer and agrees to help her find the truth.

In the course of their investigation Mel and Steve find the real killer and a love that defies death.


“Don’t touch me, Mel, not unless you’re willing to do a lot more,” he warned as her hazel eyes flared golden.

“Don’t threaten me, Steve. You’re…”

He pulled her into his arms despite the alarm bells clanging in his head. 

Danger! Danger! Danger! 

Her widened eyes met his. Mel’s hands were trapped against his chest, but she didn’t push him away. Instead, her fingers curled into his shirt.

Her mistake. His mistake was to crush her mouth under his.

Mel’s soft lips parted. Need exploded. The taste of black coffee didn’t hide her sweet flavor. As her tongue tangled with his, her arms slid around his neck and her fingers burrowed through his hair.

Steve hungered to peel the starched shirt off her soft shoulders, lay her on the thick turf and ease his desire. He tasted her brows, her cheek, along her throat, seeking the source of her call. Her pulse whipped under his mouth, awakening another need. 

His teeth gently closed on the vulnerable vein.

He wanted, wanted, wanted…

Cold alarm chilled his pounding blood.

Steve gasped for air. He’d forgotten his own ironclad rule. Mel’s eyelids flittered open to reveal the molten glow of desire but he forced himself free.

He had no right to touch any woman. Not until he knew he hadn’t become what he had set out to destroy.

Print ISBN: 1-60154-552-5
Print ISBN 13: 9781601545527

Or for Barb’Ed Comments

Ancient Blood by Barbara Edwards
Paranormal, strong romantic elements, sensuous

Lily Alban escapes a murderous stalker, but his vicious attack leaves her with the ability to see auras. She finds safety in the tiny hamlet of Rhodes End where a stranger stands out like a red light. Try as she might to deny her growing desire for Cole, she seeks his help but soon discovers the man she loves is not a man at all.

Werewolf Cole Benedict resists his attraction to Lily. A botanist researching the healing herbs to find a cure for Lycanthropy, he’s determined to protect Lily from her stalker as well as himself even in human form, but instinct takes over when he changes to his inner beast.

Together they must use their extraordinary gifts to catch Lily’s stalker before he attacks again, but revealing their secrets to one another could destroy their growing love or save them both.

“What makes you so important? Or is this another secret?”

Cole’s eyes darkened. “Lily. I’m pushing the line with you. Give me some slack.”

“I want answers, Cole.” She grabbed his arm as he turned and pulled him to a halt.

He gently, carefully drew her fierce grip into his grasp. His golden eyes heated as he lifted her hand to his lips. “I already told you, Lily. You’d have to mate with me to learn all my secrets.”

Urgent need raced from his lips to her center. His scorching gaze melted her from the inside out. All her being longed to step into his arms, to become one in a way she’d never known. She trembled as she recognized the danger.

Barbara Edwards
Ancient Blood Available May 27 at
Print ISBN 1-60154-916-4
A Black Rose

Contest: I’m giving away an e-book copy of Ancient Blood on May 27th.  Just go to one of my May blog appearances and leave a comment where I’m appearing from May 1- May 27, 2011 or at my blog.  Enter often. After leaving a comment, please send an email to so I can notify the winner. The winner will be randomly drawn on May 27, 2011 at midnight.

May 1 Visit The Steam Room at

May 25 at The Black Rose blog


-- Lynda Again

I hope everyone enjoyed this very interesting blog post as much as I did.

Thank you, Barbara, for stopping by to chat with us.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Generous Acts

Do you know many authors? Personally I know at least a hundred. Some are newbies, and others are well known seasoned pros. Nevertheless they have something in common...generosity. Whenever there is a need, small and sometimes great, they seem to answer the call for help. Maybe it's because they want to see a HEA materialize like the ones in their books. Or maybe it's because they know all about doing the right thing.

Though I've been in the writing/publishing circles for quite some time, it still "cowed" me to go outside my circles to target the NASCAR writers. It was out of my sci-fi/paranormal comfort zone...but everyone I e-mailed asking for donations was generous! No one said no. One author even said she'd resend books when the ones she'd mailed mysteriously vanished in shipping. (Really when I got the envelope it was sealed but empty and had a $3 postage sticker!)

Why? We're all people with our own stories. Many of the writers I know personally have been touched by cancer directly or indirectly by it's affects on family members or friends. That was no different with the NASCAR authors I befriended via e-mail. A few told me why they were so giving...and why they applauded my efforts for Relay for Life.

Are you curious why a para writer would seek out NASCAR novels? For a very special fundraiser hosted by my team called ACE Speedway Relay for Life Survivor Night which took place last Friday night. Survivors got in free, were treated to VIP treatment and even gifted with a Texas Roadhouse meal and goody bags. Then they were honored at a special half time celebration, which also remembered all those we'd lost. The caregivers (like friends and family) got in for a discounted price, and were also given a meal. Attendees got door prizes and we sold raffle tickets guessed it NASCAR novels and other prizes. In that one night we were able to raise $705 and exceed our team goal!

We think we got the attention of others higher up in the organization because now they've sent us an e-mail about a similar event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway here in NC!

All this event needed was for someone to care as much as we did, and I have to give super huge kudos to all the authors who helped me out. My thanks also go out to other big-hearted authors who make a difference every day!


Why do I think books are so cool? I remember the day in school when we got to pick out a free book thanks to RIF and our local Rotary Club. Of course it took me forever because I had to pick just the right one! And now, I love the work of RIF, as well as First Book!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Guest - Lisa Kessler

Good morning, all! Today's guest is author Lisa Kessler. Lisa is an avid reader and writer of dark fiction. Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award. When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego. You can learn more at    Lisa lives in southern California with her incredibly fun husband and two amazing kids.

Lisa recently signed a 4 book deal with Entangled Publishing to release her Night Series.  The first book, Night Walker, is scheduled to be released August 5th.


Putting the Fantasy in Romance

I never considered fantasy creatures for romantic leads until I saw The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  My daughter was in her early teens when Return of the King was released on DVD.  She and her best friend spent hours watching the movie, stopping it whenever Legolas showed up.  With remote control in hand, they would click the movie ahead one frame at a time, giggling with infatuation.

Until then, elves and high fantasy creatures didn’t hold much interest for me.  I’d take vampires and werewolves any day.

But gradually Legolas won me over.  His long hair and cool demeanor when facing overwhelming odds didn’t hurt.  I also started reading more books with Fae creatures set in our world.  Faeries, elves, water sprites, trolls, selkies, and dragons the list of fantasy creatures goes on and on. 

I was hooked!

So when the opportunity came along to participate in the Paranormal Fight Club writing contest, I knew I wanted to write a fantasy romance set in our world.  The “what ifs” started churning, and one idea jumped out.

What if a top actress in Hollywood didn’t get her beauty from a plastic surgeon?  What if her irresistible looks came from her true Fae nature?

That’s when I realized the “creature” I would write was a Princess of Summerland, a faerie escaped across the veil into the human world to hide from her past.  Add in a troubled hero with noble intentions, and a villain who is willing to sacrifice his entire world to take back what he believes is his, and the story came alive.

Writing a fantasy romance opened the door to magic, beauty, and the opportunity to create a “world” where anything was possible.

My question to you is, do you read fantasy romance?  What types of magical creatures are your favorites to read/write about?  Are there any fantasy romance series out there that you love?

Thanks for reading and commenting!  I’ll be giving away a free PDF copy of my new eBook short, Across the Veil to one lucky commenter…  And a super thank you to Lynda and Star-Crossed Romance for the opportunity to be here today! J

Across the Veil 
Princess Talia from Summerland has been hiding across the veil in the human world for the last five years.

Starring in a hit television show as human actress, Natalie Thurmont, her charmed new life is shattered when the past comes knocking on her door.

"Across the Veil" won Romance in the Backseat book review's Paranormal Fight Club short story contest. 

Short Fiction (6,000 words)

-- Lynda Again

   I hope you've all enjoyed Lisa's post as much as I have. Don't forget to leave a comment so you can be entered into her contest!