Monday, April 30, 2012

Review - The Wolf Who Loved Me


The Wolf Who Loved Me
Lydia Dare
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
April 2012

In The Wolf Who Loved Me by Lydia Dare (the writing team of Tammy Falkner and Jodie Pearson) Lady Madeline Hayburn’s father has decided to have a husband hunting party at his castle. Unfortunately, Maddie isn’t taken with any of the variety of fortune hunting bachelors. While she knows she’s likely to have a cold marriage, there’s a secret place in her heart that yearns for love and passion.

Werewolf Weston Hadley has admired Madeline for years but being impoverished and untitled means he hasn’t a chance. Being scarred on his cheek has also lowered his prospects as far as the Ton is concerned. After a card game at the Castle, Wes takes to the stables feeling the call of the moon. What he doesn’t count on his Maddie following him and witnessing his transformation from man to wolf. When he realizes what she’s just seen, he knows he can’t afford to let her go but he doesn’t quite know what to do about it.

Luckily, the Eynsford carriage and driver arrives and Wes realizes his best option is to marry Lady Madeline so that she won’t be able to tell his secret. In no time, a bedraggled Maddie and a naked Wes are headed north to Gretna Green.

The trip does afford Wes the opportunity to pursue his suit of Lady Madeline’s hand and a tender romance blooms. Maddie, a duke’s daughter, is used to the best and Wes isn’t able to give her a fraction of that. Even though they marry, Wes still has no ability to provide for Maddie. When she sees him with another woman, she immediately believes he’s been unfaithful and asks an acquaintance to return her home. That cad, however, takes her farther north to his remote estate leaving Wes bewildered but determined to find her and get her back. But even after he successfully rescues her, he realizes he can’t keep her. He and Maddie have an assortment of problems to work out before they find their happy ever after.

The Wolf Who Loved Me is a lighthearted story with a very immature hero and heroine who do grow as the story progresses. The romance is tender and sweet and yet passionate as Maddie and Wes become more intimate. Maddie does find the passion she was seeking and Wes does get the mate he’s longed for though it’s a rocky quest. While the plot stretches Regency bounds, that didn’t stop me from reading. I enjoyed the story and the characters.

As usual, the Lydia Dare books deliver a fascinating, sexy and fun reading experience. 

Cruising Down Life's Highway


Happy Birthday to Me!

Yep, I’m another year older. But my girl friends and I agreed, we’re not getting older. No, we’re coasting.

I like that.

But I like cruising even better. Coasting gives the impression of foot off the gas, just taking your time and that’s fine. But cruising…hey, that implies a whole lot of fun stuff.

Remember going out on Saturday night with either your girlfriends or boyfriend just cruising up the main drag in town looking for a little ‘action’ or just to be seen? Yeah, that was back when gas wasn’t nearly $4/gallon and when car engines had oomph instead of sounding like ‘I think I can, I think I can’ Tonka cars. (Though I still see a few ‘muscle’ cars on the road…oh, the memories! LOL)

Yeah, cruising is more my style even if I’m driving a small SUV now instead of the sleek, racy cars of my youth. I still cruise in my mind.

Cruising is a lot more than just what you drive. My writing tends toward a cruise now. I plot (all of you who know me, don’t laugh) scenes in my mind before I fall asleep. I let my subconscious mind sort and rearrange and polish up ideas that, yes, I do remember when I wake up. I’m not saying this is a perfect way to work. It’s not even a ‘good’ way to work but, for me, it does work. And it beats yanking my hair out or banging my head against the keyboard. The hair doesn’t grow back as fast and I don’t want to scar my fragile, old skin, LOL.

When I edit, I do all the piddling grammar stuff first just to get it out of the way. Then I read the section for fun, Yes, I said it. I read for fun. If I stop, suddenly, or find it’s not holding my attention, or if the words are just wrong, I know something is off. I put a star next to the spot and continue on. That doesn’t happen very often because I do a lot of editing as I write the original draft. I’m kind of anal that way. But you do find weird stuff along the way. For me, the final editing is a kind of cruise. If everything is fine, or nearly so, it's like moving down the highway with the engine purring.

Yep, cruising is a whole lot more fun than just coasting. It gives you the opportunity to see or do new things or be seen by new people. It’s exciting. I don’t care how old we get. We all want excitement in our lives and why not?

Today, I’m getting my birthday excitement at home with my Hubby and I’m looking forward to some fabulously thoughtful gifts from my family. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll take me in his Jeep for a little late night cruising.

Oh, I just found a terrific review for my latest (co-authored with Linda Wisdom)  - Great Escapes: Valentine's Day. Check it out

In honor of my birthday, I'll be giving away one copy of Great Escapes: Valentine's Day to one person who leaves a comment WITH their email address by Friday, May 4. I'll have my alien kitten, Wookie, select the winner (she does that so well).

You can get information and buy links about all my books on my website www.lyndakscott.com

Good luck and have a Blessed Day!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Guest - Sapphire Phelan


Good morning all! Today we have author Sapphire Phelan visiting us as part of her week long blog tour. She's written a really interesting post about urban fantasies. Plus she has a blog tour giveaway so read on to find out how to enter the drawing.

Enjoy!
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What is it about urban fantasies having romance in them as a distinction that makes them this genre? Urban fantasy means a fantasy set in an urban setting like cities and towns. Usually with fairies and other creatures of a fantastical bent. Last few years publishers have added ghosts, vampires, werewolves, zombies and beings considered in the horror genre, which now urban fantasy is part of. Now there's romance added to the mix.

My first urban fantasy read was Emma Bull's War for the Oaks, back in 1987. I've read others since then, though they were termed fantasies then. But by the twenty-first century, the name, urban fantasy, was coined. It's one of my favorites to read. One of my favorite authors who write in this genre is Jim Butcher. Who are the authors of this genre you read?

Speaking of urban fantasies, the hero, Charun, and the heroine, Tina Epson, and their adventures come to print in The Witch and The Familiar, where the erotic e-novellas, Being Familiar With a Witch and its sequel, A Familiar Tangle With Hell are combined.

I am doing a giveaway for the whole blog tour April 23rd through April 28th. Leave a comment here or at any of the blogs I make at. You can leave a comment (plus your email, so I can contact you) at each blog, to get more chances, but no more than one per blog, please. The giveaway is a signed copy of The Witch And The Familiar. Only for USA commenters though (due to price of mailing outside of US). For those outside of US, I will give instead a gift cert for price of the book at Phaze Books, that I can email you.

Sapphire Phelan

Dark heroes and heroines with bite...sink your teeth into a romance by Sapphire Phelan today.


2010 Prism Winner


Mortal woman Tina discovers she is part of a prophesy that says she and Charun, her demon Familiar, must make love so she can become the witch she is fated to be. If she doesn’t do it and stop the demon army bringing Armageddon to the Mortal Realm on Halloween, she won’t stand a chance in Hell.

A year later, just when Tina and Charun thought it was all over and that their life would be normal—another prophesy pops up. If Lucifer snatches Tina and mates with her before the last chime before midnight of the new year and gets her pregnant with his son, that the real Armageddon would begin, spelling the end of life as they knew it. This time they get help from an archangel, Jacokb, but with demons, Lucifer, and a cute demon bunny with fangs out of a Monty Python nightmare, out to stop them and Heaven not lending a hand, will Tina this time lose the battle and become the mother of the Antichrist and the start of a new Hell on Earth?




Excerpt:

A strange feeling slammed into him and he cried out as he dropped to his knees on the pavement. Thrusting out a hand against the ground so he wouldn’t topple over, he began to metamorphose, growing smaller and smaller as he did. Black fur sprouted all over his body and head. His ears sharpened into points and shot up over his head, while his hands and feet became paws edged with sharp claws. Whiskers pinged out of his cheeks and from his buttocks snaked a long tail. He hunched over and then fell over onto his ass. Within seconds, his metamorphose completed, he was a black cat. Resisting the peculiar urge to wash his face, Charun stretched and then rose onto all four paws. He padded over to a puddle of rain water to inspect the change.

He sat down and viewed his reflection. Not bad looking as far as cats went. Lifting a paw, he splashed his image. Then back on all four paws, he trotted to the street and paused to sniff the air. He sneezed as the full force of odors hit him. A multitude of different things, from the smell of blasted sunshine to the grime of city life. The sunshine revealed to him that it would not rain for days. He had arrived a day too late. The air revealed that it had thunder stormed yesterday.

He needed heavy rain to make his first appearance to his witch. Needed it as a reason for her to feel sorry for him and take him in. From what he remembered she would not leave any animal drowning in a torrential downpour. But from all the viewing he did of her growing up he knew she wasn’t an impulsive person either. He knew that she loved animals, but felt that she couldn’t afford one right now in her life. He might end up in an animal shelter or a place like that. This kind of operation needed the right things in place. Timing, too. Timing always mattered. He had learned that long ago as an Incubus. The wrong time could always mean the lover would wake up too soon. Find that their fantasy lover was real, and that the husband, wife, lover, concubine, whoever, wasn’t what really was taking them beyond the heights of lust. One Succubus found that out the hard way when her nobleman lover woke up not to find his wife mounted on his staff but a green-skinned fiend. He knocked her out before she could call her magic up and had a priest exorcised her. Exorcism was death for a demon. Instead of sending them back to Hell, it ended their existence.

So timing was important, even now. His witch’s survival was the true equation here. If she died before he made her a witch, he knew the fate for Earth if the demons took over. There was the matter of his lust for her too. Relieving it wouldn’t be bad, either.

He cocked his head and twitched his ears. He was a demon, with strong magic. Closing his eyes, he let his magic surround him with a shimmering golden light.

Lano’ste. Na la por lestano.

His fur stood on end, the ends crackling, and he widened his eyes as the magic burned within and outside with a violent heat close to atomic. He fell onto his side, dazed, and barely noted when it shot away from him, heading toward the blue skies. It dusted the few white clouds drifting along the blue sky and they became black ones, pregnant with rain.

Still unsteady, he rolled over onto his stomach and waited until the power quieted. Charun breathed in the rain odor and gave a Cheshire cat grin. He rose to his paws and padded off, as the sound of thunder vibrated in the air.

Fuck the weather forecasters and their predictions. With magic, he’d just turned their Doppler radar upside down.


About Sapphire Phelan:

Sapphire Phelan is an author of erotic and sweet paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction romance, along with a couple of erotic horror stories. She also writes as Pamela K. Kinney, for horror, fantasy, science fiction, and nonfiction ghost books.
She lives in Virginia with her husband and two cats, Ripley and Bast. 
She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house and husband sometimes suffers for it!
For more information, check out her website: http://www.SapphirePhelan.com .


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-- Lynda Again
   Hope you enjoyed Sapphire's excerpt. The book sounds like a winner, doesn't it?

   Make sure you leave a comment with your email addy so that Sapphire can contact you.

   Have a Blessed Day!






Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On Starr Words

I'm visiting Starr Words. Stop by and say hi!

http://starrwords.blogspot.com/2012/04/death-by-blank-page-lynda-k-scott.html

Hope to see you there!

Guest - Kerry Adrienne


Good morning all! Today's guest is author Kerry Adrienne. Kerry lives in North Carolina though she pretends she lives in either NYC or Rome, depending on how she feels when she wakes up. She is a professional costumer and artist and teaches fiction writing classes at the college level. As Kerry Vail, she’s also an Associate Editor at Entangled Publishing. One day she’ll own a cave with electricity, internet access, and a stream—and lots of cats.

Kerry is offering a giveaway so make sure you read all the way to the end to see how to enter.

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Historical Research

Sure, we all have to research our books. I remember days of looking through books at the library and photocopying pages and pages of reference books that couldn’t be checked out. I would make scads of folders for my lateral file and fill them with research for novels and shorts. I’d clip photos from magazines and newspapers—any little detail that I could use to add a touch of reality to a scene set in another time period. I spent so much time organizing my research…

In some ways, we writers today get to be a little bit spoiled (I am not complaining!). We get to use the Internet! So much is out there—waiting to be re-discovered. One of the guys in my writing group asked recently (on Facebook, I think) “Who actually looks beyond page one of the Google search results?”  Uh, me ? Doesn’t everyone? I often find myself on page 27 or 30. Still digging for answers. I frequently skip the first five pages—that is where everyone else is looking! I like to look for more obscure references and details—and those are often found on smaller web pages—not on page one.

I always look at Google maps (and the satellite view and street view) to see a modern view of the area—including streets and ruins. I like to get a perspective of things as they sit beside other things, and see how the classical fits beside the modern. I know these views aren’t available for every area—but surprisingly, they are for many.

Looking at photographs of the area (if recent enough) is a great way to get details of most anything (furniture, food, clothing) to describe. In SENATOR, MINE, I was able to look at photos of the temples as they look today and then envision them in their classical grandeur. I have spent hours upon hours looking at Civil War era photographs on Ebay, and also Victorian photographs. Looking on Ebay is free—and very inspiring.

I look at travel videos, too. People love to post their personal videos of travels—and if you can get over the oft-found motion sickness, these are spectacular tools for the writer! Some travelers will focus on things that normal tour guides will not—and inadvertently give the writer a terrific view. I encourage you to use YouTube as research.

Although I hold a minor in Classical Studies, I did a lot of research for this short work, SENATOR, MINE (it took longer to research than it did to write). Keep in mind that when you research for historical fiction, you will often find conflicting views on how things actually were—and it will drive you crazy if you always have to find a definitive answer. The earlier the time period—the truer this is. Simply put—we really don’t know EXACTLY how everything was. We can only put things together the best we can from the evidence and the writings that have survived from the time period. As we discover more, those deductions likely will change a bit more. Do your best diligent research, try to be as accurate as possible, and then move on. It is all you can do.

Thanks for reading! SENATOR, MINE is part of Decadent Publishing’s fabulous 1Night Stand series—you can check all the titles out at www.DecadentPublishing.com. The book is a time travel romance, and is the first in my “All Mine” series, the second of which (Druid, Mine) will be coming out around summer solstice in June 2012.



            Eleanor’s dream of a romantic tour of Italy shatters when her long-time boyfriend breaks up with her in Pompeii. Determined to enjoy the once in a lifetime vacation, she enlists the 1NS service. She continues her trip, stopping to buy a small golden signet in a mysterious antiquities shop in Rome.

           Darius, a hard-working Senator in Ancient Rome, is puzzled by the Sibyl’s words: You will not find love in your lifetime. Hoping to find a measure of happiness, he agrees to the Sibyl’s quest. In the olive grove, he spots Eleanor, a barbarian wearing his stolen senator’s ring.

         A night spent together may be just what they both need to break down the columns of time that stand between them.

Excerpt:
“What is it?” She moved closer to examine the object he held.
“A senator’s ring from the time of Augustus.” He waved the item with a flourish. “A rare and beautiful find, for a deserving young woman.”
The golden circle sparkled in the half-light like the wedding band that shone in her dreams. She tried to control her sharp intake of breath.
“A rather personal memento, wouldn’t you say?”
“It’s beautiful.”
“Indeed.”
“Which senator?” Gorgeous. What a find. Was it legal to take it out of the country? Surely it held historical significance.
“Yes, it can be exported,” the shopkeeper said. “We don’t know who owned the signet, as many records of the Senate at that time were lost, but it has been cleared by the Antiquities Commission.”
She hadn’t mentioned exporting it aloud. Had he read her mind? No, that wasn’t possible. She squirmed. Nothing about the shop or its contents felt normal. One thing was certain. The ring was amazing. And perfect.
“What does the engraving say?” she asked.
“Darius.”
She drew in a quick breath, as a gasp of warm air breezed across her neck, making the hairs stand. She shuddered. I’ve been watching too many old movies.
“As common as the name was at the time, no senators named Darius are on any rolls.” The shopkeeper pushed it closer to her face. “And Madame Eve recommends it. What do you say?”
“How much?” Eleanor whispered.
“Ah.” The shopkeeper grinned. “What price would you pay for a little ring that will change your life forever?”

Buy Links:
Decadent Publishing: http://www.decadentpublishing.com

Contest
One e-book copy of SENATOR, MINE to someone who leaves a comment by April 30th AND emails me their email addy at vail@mindspring(dot)com. Winner will be chosen on May 1.

You can find Kerry:
Web/Blog:  kerryadrienne.com

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-- Lynda Again
    Wow, the excerpt sounds terrific! And wow! Love the cover!
    Okay, everyone, follow her instructions above to enter the drawing. Good luck!

    Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Guest - Nancy Lee Badger

Good morning all! Please welcome award winning author Nancy Lee Badger who will be discussing the intricacies of creating a story that combines dragons and...well, take a look. It's pretty interesting!

Read on to find out how to enter her giveaway.
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Doing It Different with Paranormal Romance
by Nancy Lee Badger, author of SOUTHERN FRIED DRAGON

Nancy Lee Badger is an award-winning author whose Scottish paranormal romance, Dragon In The Mist, was recently awarded a 2012 Readers Choice Award in the Silken Sands Self-Published STARS Contest. With a family history touched by the tragedy of the American Civil War, Nancy’s visit to a famous battleground inspired her to take a few facts and ‘do it different’ to create the paranormal romance, Southern Fried Dragon, which was released Feb. 2, 2012.


Thanks for having me today, Lynda. About a year ago, I noticed that my local newspaper was filled with articles on the Civil War, which in turn intrigued my writer persona. Stories of local battle reenactments, and the discovery of Civil War artifacts, were all due to the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. I was especially attracted to a possible story idea by the descriptions of the men who fought during the war’s first battle at Fort Sumter from April 12 to April 14, 1861.

When the idea for a paranormal story rose up during a visit to the Fort Sumter National Monument, I worried that my idea would make a mockery of something as tragic as war. As the mother of an army soldier, I would never write a story that belittles war and its effects on soldiers or citizens. How could I possibly write a romantic story with a happy conclusion while thrilling my readers with the paranormal?

Would readers relate to a Scottish dragon as my heroine? Would they enjoy the way I describe Charleston Harbor, the surrounding fortifications, and Fort Sumter itself? Or, would they recoil when the battle begins? Would my readers choose sides and root for my hero wearing blue, or for the southern militia bombarding his fort with cannonballs?

The paranormal aspect was born of my love for ‘doing it different’. Could I have written a straight romance instead of adding a dragon who takes on the life of a newly departed serving girl? When Fort Sumter is surrendered and the Federal officers are allowed to leave aboard a ship bound for New York what if I had made their parting bittersweet? I wanted something different; a magical and uplifting story where my heroine follows his ship from the air.

I have peppered references to actual events throughout the story. Let’s face it…readers want historical facts to sound true. I base the entire story on fact, but twist the storyline just enough to evoke the paranormal. Could I have set the story on another planet and given my readers the same feel for my characters? I do not think so because, at least for my American readers, the Civil War is still fresh in our memories. It began April 12th 1861 in and around beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, and tore a very young country in two. Yet, the country has grown together as one people.

Many have asked me how in the world did I come up with the idea to add a Scottish dragon, of all things, to a story primarily situated under the shadow of coming war in the American south? Those who know me know that I have always adored anything Scottish. Dragons, too. I wrote Dragon’s Curse after reading stories about two things; a massacre of a Scottish island’s villagers, and another Scottish island’s huge caves. Dragons love caves, and I made my hero a survivor of the massacre. Different? You bet!

I wrote Dragon In the Mist after reading an article about European dragons. Did you know that the Loch Ness Monster is considered a wingless dragon? Making my heroine the Loch Ness dragon who finds a way to gain human form in order to fall in love came to me in part due to my love of Scotland. Again, I did it different.

I have never visited Scotland, but I read books, explore the internet, and ask questions. Research is a big part of writing. Sometimes it is dull, sometimes it is fun, and sometimes it is eye opening. I had never visited Charleston before coming up with the plot for Southern Fried Dragon, but once there I knew I wanted to write a story that included Fort Sumter. Actually, I knew the moment I stepped off the boat, ventured through the Sally Port, and walked the decimated Parade Ground. Piles of brick, shattered stonewalls, and quiet cannons facing the sea drove me to snap pictures, jot down notes, and think up an angle. Since even a dragon would love to live in the grand city of Charleston, I decided my Scottish dragon-turned-serving girl would, too.

A year later, I published Southern Fried Dragon. We, as a nation. are commemorating the 151st Anniversary of the start of the Civil War. I assume the next few years will produce more local news stories filled with memories of the four-year-long conflict. A particularly disturbing recent article mentioned how the tally of those who died during the war might be too low. They say over 800,000 men may have perished during the four year conflict. I know from personal family history the tragedy of some of those lost lives. As a writer—especially of historical paranormal romance—it is my duty to recreate a story based on fact that readers want to read, including a happy ending.

Is it difficult? Sometimes. Will it make a good book that will sell? Maybe, but I have discovered that I write what comes to me. I throw a little of me into each and every word. Research can be fun and entertaining and I suggest new writers get out of their office, and see the world. Do it different and see what you can come up with!




Amid cannon fire, and the threat of Civil War, love and trust will find a way.
Dru Little flew away from her home in a cave beneath a Scottish Island to end her lonely existence and find companionship across the sea. Her journey in late 1860 has led her to the modern American city of Charleston, South Carolina. Hiding her true self, she takes over the life of a serving girl and enjoys the hard life working in a tavern near the wharves. She has no idea that her life will turn upside down in a dark alley the moment a handsome soldier saves her life.
Lieutenant Shaw Stenhouse has his own worries. Southern secessionists are talking up a storm in Charleston. His fellow Federal soldiers are suddenly at risk from the community they are here to protect. The possibility of civil war takes a backseat when he saves a comely lass from drunken sailors. A good deed and a stolen kiss put a smile on his face until the threat of war becomes a reality. Their instant attraction proves disastrous when Dru spots her former lover, the Black Dragon, working for General Beauregard and the southern troops. As the clandestine group plans their attack on Fort Sumter, and Shaw’s soldiers, she takes to the sky.
Dru fights against the threat of detection, while she fears losing Shaw’s love. What will he do when he finds out that she is a powerful Scottish dragon Hell-bent on carrying him to safety? When Shaw discovers her hiding inside the heavily guarded fortress, thoughts of espionage—and worse—catapult the two lovers into danger from many sides.
When her former lover threatens Shaw, Dru must decide which is more important: protecting another of her kind, now nearly extinct, or protecting the human male, the man she has come to love.

EXCERPT
The thought made her lips tremble, itching to taste him. Not as dinner, of course, but as the human male standing before her. When he gazed down at his feet, then back at her mouth, she’d smiled. The weird longing to kiss him senseless was out-of-place in their situation. She planned to pass through this human existence until something better came along. Dru had no need for sexual entanglements.
Not tonight, anyway.
“I feel I’m a’keepin’ ye from yer duties, sir.”
“If they come back—”
“Fear not, sir. I will not remain outside this night. Where are ye’ headed?”
“Across the harbor, to Fort Moultrie. I am part of the 1st U. S. Artillery regiment. I travel by boat once a week to the Charleston docks for supplies.” He turned and gazed toward the end of the alley facing the harbor. “My men are waiting…” 
When he turned back to face her, Dru tossed her loosened hair over one shoulder and couldn’t help giggling when his eyes tracked the movement. “Maggie needs this flour.”
“Maggie?” he croaked, as he stepped closer.
The young man sounded like he needed a stiff drink. Too bad the inn’s dining hall had closed for the night. His scent washed over her anew. Salt, sea, and male. Human male, a new scent she was beginning to like.


Southern Fried Dragon
Author:  Nancy Lee Badger
Genre: Paranormal Historical
Length: 30,000 Word Novella
Amazon ASIN: B0074CX7SE

More About Nancy

 Nancy loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of dirks and broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. Nancy lives the dream. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. She and her family continue to volunteer at the New Hampshire Highland Games each fall. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. Multi-published, she also writes contemporary and romantic suspense as Nancy Lennea.
Twitter @NLBadger

GIVEAWAY
Nancy’s earlier release, Dragon In The Mist, was honored as a 2012 Readers Choice Award recipient when it won 1st Place in the Silken Sands Self-Published STARS Literary Contest. One lucky person who leaves a comment will win a Dragon In The Mist ebook!   Please include your email address with your comment so you can be reached.





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--Lynda Again,
   That's it for today. Make sure you leave a comment with your email addy to enter Nancy's drawing. Good luck!
   
    Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Guest - Lynn Crain

Good morning all! We've got Lynn Crain visiting us today. Lynn's getting over an awful illness but she soldiered up to give us a great post about covers. She's offering a giveaway so make sure you read on to find out how to enter the drawing.

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Creating the SciFi Romance Cover

            I had promised Lynda that I’d do a blog on my new book that was due to be out this week. The fates were against me as I became horribly ill at the end of March thus delaying the book for seven to ten days. Not wanting to disappoint, I decided to talk about my cover. Isn’t it beautiful?

            When writing any sci-fi romance, no matter what the subgenre – mine just happens to be erotic romance, one must get a feel for the sci-fi aspect of the story. I believe that this cover states it well. Here’s why: This story starts on Earth in a place many women know well...a male revue! You know, those shows that get you all hot and bothered for the few moments you’re there because the men are all so good looking with great bodies?

            Once the characters are introduced and the heroine abducts the two heroes, their world becomes a small space ship that must come alive for the reader. Most of the ships I do are sentient ships, meaning they can act on their own just like we can. They have thought processes and can definitely think themselves out of a paper bag if needed.

            I knew that the ship should be special for the cover. It took nearly two weeks to find the exact ship I wanted when my cover artist was creating the cover. I had it in my mind’s eye that the ship was sleek and fast. After all, it was a Harvester ship meant to bring back all cargo alive and well. The moment I saw that like sleek, colorful space ship...I was in love...LOL!

            The second item that was important to me was the heroine’s eyes. She though mainly a human, came from a planet where physical enhancements were the norm. The only one that those on Earth could see and the one she talked about was her eyes. She could do things even our best cameras couldn’t do. When I was writing her, I actually pictured something similar to what I’d seen in various movies like Predator as I loved the idea of seeing in different spectrums.

            In this case, I had to remember she couldn’t look too foreign as people would outright avoid her, so I gave her camouflage in order to hide her skills. Early on in the book, she gets caught off-guard and allows her optics to whirl. Thus the very interesting eyes on the cover. I wanted everyone to see what I was talking about when I had the heroine’s eyes key on an adversary. I also felt it necessary to have those reflected in the cover.

            In looking back at the number of proofs I had for this particular cover, ten in all, I realized I was blessed with a great cover artist. When I apologized for my pickiness, she brushed it off and said that sci-fi covers were different. Each author had a very specific vision and that sometimes it took a while to make that vision come alive. Her comments were so very, very true.

            Yet, I look at my cover and realize this is one of the best I have had and I love the sci-fi aspect of it. One of the many reasons I love writing sci-fi is that I love working on the futuristic nature of the cover. Then maybe, just maybe, I can help the readers see the world I’ve created in the way I do.

            Thanks everyone! Hope you enjoyed this little look into how my cover came to be and look for the book later this month. One lucky commenter will receive that book the day it becomes available. Hope everyone has a great week!

Lynn Crain

Lynn Crain has penned over 25 novels in  romance in the genres of science fiction, fantasy and contemporary romance, erotic to tame in nature. She always knew that writing was her calling even if it took years at other professions to prove it. She has belonged to EPIC and RWA for more years that she cares to think about. Currently, she lives in Europe while her husband of nearly 30 years pursues his dream of working internationally. Her state-side home is in Nevada where family and friends wait patiently for their return. You can find her hanging out at A Writer In Vienna Blog (www.awriterinvienna.blogspot.com) and various other places on the net (www.theloglineblog.blogspot.com; www.twitter.com/oddlynn3; www.lynncrain.blogspot.com ). Still, the thing she loves most of all is hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net

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-- Lynda Again
     Thanks Lynn for telling us how the cover came about. It's lovely! You and your cover artist did a great job!
     Okay, to enter Lynn's drawing for a copy of The Harvester, make sure you leave a comment AND include your email address so Lynn can contact you.

    Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Guest - Lizzie Starr

BONUS! We have an extra guest today! I had to chuckle when I read Lizzie's bio so I left it, both versions, just the way I found them. Her books sound wildly imaginative and that's something I always look forward to.

She's offering a giveaway so make sure you read on to find out how to enter.

Enjoy!
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The shortest bio—Author and lunch lady—what a combination!

Slightly longer (official) bio:
*lizzie made up games and stories to keep her company as a child. So, a witch lived in Grampa’s weather research station and was only held at bay by waving a certain weed. An ancient road grader morphed boat carrying wild adventurers to islands filled with sheep that turned into lions and cannibals.
Now, the stories of her imagination have found their way to paper and pixels. Filled with fantasy and love, these tales take her far from the mundane world.
When *lizzie has to return to that mundane life, she’s *the Lunch Lady* at a private school.


When I wrote my first book, By Keltic Design, I had no idea one tale would grow into a vast landscape of interconnected fantasy worlds. Or a series of six books that even then expanded with other tales and other races tying into my Keltic worlds. And a second series. Oh my.
The tales of the Double Keltic Triad follows the Zeroun clan, an extended family whose members come from many times and places, as they discover their soulfires and fight an evil bent on the destruction of the entire family.
The original fantasy world—the Faerie Otherworld—touches upon this human world and those in the know can pass easily from one to the other through magical portals. These portals can be created at any location, and as I learned in the second book, portals can also be created through time.
Since I only have a vague idea of the tale I’m going to tell when I start, my characters love to take me in new and unusual directions. Or in the Keltic books, to new and unusual worlds: a fairy kingdom, the parallel world where the Anasazi found homes, the home of a race deep within the waters of a dark loch.  And yes, even the gray emptiness known as the world between worlds.
Yet as I, and my readers, travel these worlds and discover fascinating beings and fantastical landscapes, there needs to be something to ground us in reality. My worlds aren’t high fantasy places with little to nothing to do with what most consider the real world. In my tales all these peoples coexist to some extent with humans of this here and now. So keeping it real—so to speak—is important in the Keltic books.
I’m not talking about being able to head out to an existing midwestern city and find a character’s house real. (In truth, I combined locations in three cities to give my characters a home.) But by using actual places to design my city, there’s a built in sense of real.  Giving readers a common backdrop of a flower garden with one unusual plant, helps them visualize a glen in the faerie otherworld. And together, we believe. A storyteller can’t ask for more than that.
Wild Keltic Carouselle, book four of the Double Keltic Triad and my latest release, is firmly grounded in reality. Not always a pleasant reality, but that makes it interesting. I touch on issues some may find difficult or unpleasant. My hero was discovered as an infant, abandoned in a chemical toilet. That’s the unpleasant reality. But he was adopted into the Zeroun clan by a gay couple, one human, the other fey. I don’t think Bryce could have had a more loving family.
Carrie, my heroine, is an exotic dancer. There’s nothing wrong with that, but she’s buried the memory of a vicious attack. Bryce’s pop is abducted by a cult claiming to cure homosexuality. The leader of the cult uses a blind child to ‘heal’.  There’s a lot of false reality in Carouselle.
But there’s also truth. This truth is believing in the reality of love. No matter what world you come from!  

Leave a comment here and send me an email, lizziestarr@neb.rr.com , with ‘starr contest’ in the subject line to be entered in a drawing for a handmade, beaded bracelet.  (U.S. only please) Entries will close on Friday April 13th (love that day!) and the winner chosen by the sibs random generator.


Wild Keltic Carouselle
Double Keltic Triad: Book Four

Just when Bryce decides to give up looking for the masked dancer who captured his heart and get on with his life, his darlin’ daughter climbs onto the lap of a captivating woman in a coffee shop and calls her Mommy. He certainly wouldn’t mind exploring the possibility.

Carrie’s vacation is over. Although she loves her job, she dreads returning. Especially when a blonde-haired cherub insists she’s ‘Mommy’. Add the girl’s intriguing father, and Carrie believes she’s finally ready for a real relationship. But memories of a horrific attack surface, bringing doubt and fear.

Then one of Bryce’s fathers is kidnapped by a cult. Not knowing if the abduction was of human or Fey origin, Bryce must chance seeming crazy and losing Carrie with tales of the Faerie Otherworld. Dare he take her to Faerie and declare his love—or are the forces aligning against them too much to overcome?

Short Excerpt

A faint pink covered Carrie’s cheeks and she glanced away. Bryce took the opportunity to study the woman cradling his daughter so carefully in a completely relaxed, natural embrace.
Her highlighted, golden brown hair was pulled back with a clip. Strands had escaped the confinement and trailed loosely around her face and down her neck. A tiny spot of whipped cream, a remnant from her beverage, hovered just above her upper lip. A shapely lip, poised above the lush, kissable pout the lower.
Yep. Definitely kissable.
Her lips moved and pulled into a wide smile. Guiltily, Bryce lifted his gaze. Chocolate brown eyes twinkled as if she fought to control some hidden amusement.
He’d been caught.
“Uh, sorry for staring.”
“’S okay. Actually, I’m used to it.”
He could believe that.
“But, it’s not usually my face being stared at.” Carrie chuckled, a low throaty sound that insisted he respond. He did, in a pure, naturally male way. His gaze dropped to her breasts. She chuckled again, her body moving against the soft material of her shirt.
The Sahara Desert would seem lush and tropical in comparison to the sudden dryness in his mouth. Her breasts were—perfect. Neither overly large, nor small enough to need padding. Nope, there was no padding there. In fact, if she even wore a bra, it had to be one of those soft athletic things. He could see the tantalizing, firming peak of...

Buy Links:




Other books:
The first four books of the Double Keltic Triad are currently available. Books five and six will return to cyber shelves summer 2012.
You can use the picture of the first three books of the Double Keltic Triad if you like

Contact info
Email: lizziestarr@neb.rr.com




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-- Lynda Again
    Hope you all enjoyed Lizzie's visit. Don't forget to leave a comment and enter her drawing!


   Good luck and have a Blessed Day!

Guest - Elisabeth Naughton

Good morning all! Today's guest is Elisabeth Naughton answering a few questions I thought might interest you. Her publisher, Sourcebooks, is offering a give away so make sure you read the Lynda Again section to see how to enter.


Oh, and check out my review of Enraptured here.

Enjoy!

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Thanks for having me here today! I’m thrilled to be here talking about my latest release, ENRAPTURED, a Publisher’s Weekly Top Ten Romance for Spring 2012!

1.       What one thing would you want your readers to remember from your book?
EN: When readers finish my books, I hope they’re left with three things:
1)      Love for the characters, series or book
2)      A feeling of hope – that no matter how bad things get, they can always get better.
3)      The realization that no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, it’s not too late to make a change. Everyone deserves a second chance.

2.       What themes do you like to write?
EN: Most of my books deal with redemption in some way.  It’s a theme that seems to stretch across every genre I write, whether I plan it or not.

3.       You like Greek mythology. Do you have a favorite? Why is it a favorite?
EN: I’ve been a fan of Greek mythology since I was a kid. When all my friends were moaning about having to read The Odyssey and The Iliad, I was in heaven.  As for favorite myths, the Argonaut myth is probably one of my favorites. Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece and the heroes he gathered to sail with him on the Argos. I love all the trials and tribulations they had to go through to achieve Jason’s goal.

4.       Your book is being made into a movie, regardless of cost, where should it be filmed?
EN: Oooh…fun question! Well, a good chunk would have to be filmed in the islands of Greece. (Mostly because I would need to be there to oversee it all and I need an excuse to travel there.)  A lot of the books take place in the Pacific Northwest, so some would have to be filmed there. As for the scenes in Argolea…I’m thinking New Zealand. Such gorgeous country.

5.       In the movie form of your book, who plays the hero? Or the heroine? And why?
EN: Another hard question! It’s really hard for me to pick one actor or actress to play Orpheus and Skyla because I don’t want my opinion to influence how readers see the characters. But if I had to pick…
Nicky Whelan really has Skyla’s look. Not sure if she could pull off the whole kickass Siren thing, but I bet she could. For Orpheus…the late Andy Whitfield (I just loved him!), Sam Worthington…gah…I don’t know. I have a REALLY hard time picking someone for him because he’s so visual in my head. Suggestions?

6.       What is the ONE novel you think everyone should read?
EN: Any of the Eternal Guardians novels, of course!

7.       Who is your favorite character in ALL the books you've written? Why?
EN: This is like picking my favorite child. I can’t do it. Every hero and heroine I write about is my favorite at one time, otherwise I wouldn’t write about them. I’d get bored. That said, I have to admit that Orpheus holds a very special place in my heart, mostly because he’s just been so fun to write. His snarky personality is a lot like mine, so I identify with him really well.

8.       Who is your favorite character in ALL the books you've read? Why?
EN: Hm… again, really hard to answer! You are challenging me today! Right now I’m loving Tyrion Lannister from the Game of Thrones books. Mostly because he’s such a smartass. Guess I see the connection. ;)



ENRAPTURED BY ELISABETH NAUGHTON – IN STORES APRIL 2012
Orpheus—To most he's an enigma, a devil-may-care rogue who does whatever he pleases whenever he wants. Now this loose cannon is part of the Eternal Guardians—elite warriors assigned to protect the human realm—whether he likes it or not.

Orpheus has just one goal: to rescue his brother from the Underworld. He's not expecting a woman to get in the way. Especially not a Siren as gorgeous as Skyla. He has no idea she's an assassin sent by Zeus to seduce, entrap, and ultimately destroy him.

Yet Skyla herself might have the most to lose. There's a reason Orpheus feels so familiar to her, a reason her body seems to crave him. Perhaps he's not the man everyone thinks... The truth could reveal a deadly secret as old as the Eternal Guardians themselves

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A former junior high science teacher, Elisabeth Naughton traded in her red pen and test-tube set for a laptop and research books. She now writes sexy romantic adventure and paranormal novels full-time from her home in western Oregon, where she lives with her husband and three children. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the prestigious RITA Awards of Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, the Golden Leaf, and the Golden Heart. When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ball park, or dreaming up new and exciting adventures. Visit her at www.elisabethnaughton.com to learn more about her and her books. Her next book in the Eternal Guardians series, Enslaved, will be in stores in November 2012. 

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-- Lynda Again
    To enter the Enraptured giveaway, please send me an email to Lynda@LyndaKScott.com with Enraptured in the subject line. Please answer the question 'What actress does Elisabeth think could play the part of Skyla in the movie version? Be sure to include your name and address.

    Send this to me by Friday April 13 and I'll have Wookie, my alien kitten, pick two winners to receive copies of this fantastic book.

Good luck and have a Blessed Day!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Review - Enraptured

Enraptured
Elisabeth Naughton
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
April 2012


Trained by Athena, Skyla is a siren assigned to investigate and kill, if necessary, a daemon hybrid, Orpheus. What she doesn't expect is to see the Argolean markings on his forearms or the wild attraction she feels toward him. The truth of that attraction is the shocking revelation that Orpheus is the reincarnation of the only man that Skyla ever loved and the one she betrayed to his death. But is he the man she remembers? Or is his daemon half in control? And, more, why wasn’t she told all the facts about Orpheus before she was given the assignment?

Orpheus needs to find Maelea, the cursed daughter of Zeus and Persephone. This girl, a curious blend of dark and light, is the only one who can locate the Orb of Kronos. The Orb that Apophos, the wizard, used to steal his brother's body. No matter how connected he feels toward Skyla, he is determined to rescue his brother.

As Orpheus pursues Maelea, Skyla joins him. There are questions she needs answered before she can complete her mission. She’s determined to keep him safe until she has the answers she needs. Or until she answers for the death of his previous life.

I found the characters fantastically sympathetic. The ancient guilt Skyla feels for betraying the man she loved and Orpheus’ grief and determination to save his Argonaut brother is palpable. The love that grows, or regrows, between them is intensely passionate. The painful, tortuous scenes with Gryphon are heart rending. Even the dark emotions, the isolation, surrounding Maelea is well done. It’s not often an author can impress me but Elisabeth Naughton did. That’s a mark of an excellent writer.

I haven’t read the first book in this series and didn’t really need it to understand the action in the plot but I intend to get a copy. I highly recommend this imaginative, fantastically written book.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Guest - Sara Humphreys

1.      Good morning all! Our guest today is Sara Humphreys, author of UNLEASHED and UNTOUCHED. She's answering a few interview questions I thought we'd all find interesting, Sourcebooks, her publisher, is also offering a giveaway to two Star-Crossed Romance readers. Check out the Lynda Again section to find out how to enter the drawing.

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     What draws you to romance?
SH:  I’m a hopeless romantic and a sucker for a happy ending. I believe in true love and great sex. Romance novels take all of that and roll it together in one delicious package.  Reading romance novels always provided me with an escape from the everyday and reading a great love story made me believe that someday I’d find my own true love…and I did.

2.       Have you ever written outside the romance genre? If not, do you ever plan to?
SH: Not yet. However, I’ve always said that someday I’d write a book about living with all of these men. I have four sons and a husband. When I do get the time to write it the title will be, “An Island of Estrogen in a Sea of Testosterone: My Life Among Men and Boys”.

3.       What’s your earliest childhood memory?
SH: I was about two and a half. I have a vivid memory of my mother peeking around the edge of my bedroom door and coming in my room to get me out of my crib. She was pregnant with my baby sister at the time and I also remember the Raggedy Ann wallpaper. 

4.       Why did you have a crush on Captain Kirk? Was there a particular episode you really enjoyed?
SH: Why the crush on Kirk? He’s a classic Alpha Male who is dominant, fearless, protective, sexy, and he’s got a smirk edged with a touch of arrogance. My favorite episode was The Trouble with Tribbles. It was adorable to see him get buried in the mountain of furry little tribbles.

5.       If you could pick anyone in the world to be the cover model(s) on your latest release, who would it be?
SH: Whoever that guy is on the cover for Untouched is perfectly cast. Sourcebooks always does a beautiful job on the covers. However, if I were to pick someone myself I think Shane Rice would be a good fit for Dante. He was the 1st runner up in the 2011 Mr. Romance competition at RT.  I haven’t found a cover model that I think could portray William, the hero in Untamed (AL #3) but Len Gunn, Mr. Romance 2011, would be perfect for Pete who is the hero in Undone (AL Book #4).

6.       Do you use your acting skills in your writing?
SH: Absolutely! I use sense memory recall which is something I used when I was performing.  I also do background work on each of the characters—I have to come up with their history so that I can create a credible character that the reader will fall in love with and believe in.

7.       What’s your favorite hobby outside of writing?
SH: I love movies. I’m a sci-fi movie dork. A perfect indulgent day would be sitting on my couch enjoying a movie marathon of the Aliens, Terminator or Star Trek franchises. Pure heaven.

8.       What would constitute your own personal happily ever after?
SH: I’m living it. I’m married to my college sweetheart and we’re enjoying raising our four sons together. I’m a published author. Life is good. However, if I had to pinpoint a perfect happily ever after beyond this would be to keep it all going and someday be covered in grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I want to use everything that God gave me, not waste a second and be thankful every day.

UNTOUCHED BY SARA HUMPHREYS – IN STORES APRIL 2012

She should be seen, but never touched…
Kerry Smithson's modeling career ensures that she will be admired from afar, which is essential since mere human touch sparks blinding pain and terrifying visions.

Every good model needs a heavenly bodyguard…
Dante Coltari is hired to protect Kerry from those who know who she is—or more importantly what she is—and want her dead because of it. Nothing could have prepared him for the challenge of keeping her safe. But, strangely, his lightest touch brings her exquisite pleasure rather than pain, and Dante and Kerry have an otherwordly connection that might just pull them through.

“Red-hot love scenes punctuate a well-plotted suspense story that will keep readers turning pages as fast as they can.”
Publishers Weekly Starred Review

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sara Humphreys has been attracted to the fantasies of science fiction, paranormal, and romance since her adolescence when she had a mad crush on Captain Kirk. An actress and public speaker, Sara lives with her husband--who is very considerate of her double life--and four amazing boys, in Bronxville, New York. For more information, please visit http://sarahumphreys.com, Like her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Amoveo and follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/authorsara

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-- Lynda Again
    First, check out my review of UNTOUCHED here http://star-crossedromance.blogspot.com/2012/04/review-untouched-by-sara-humphreys.html

   Then send me an email lynda@lyndakscott.com with your name and address PLUS the name of Kerry's BFF (found in the review) by Friday and I'll have my alien kitten, Wookie, select the winners. We'll notify you by email. Please put UNTOUCHED in the subject line.

  Thanks for stopping by and have a Blessed Day!