Archive for August, 2010

Upcoming: Chill Me Thrill Me Halloween Month

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

If you stopped by to read my Writing On The Dark Side blog yesterday at Rom Com’s blog, you’ll know that I’m in full swing for Halloween already. Yeah, two months ahead.  Anyway, that means I’ve rounded up some authors who are willing chill you and thrill you all October. Later this week I’ll have a final list for you (methinks) so you’ll know to stop by every day on my blog and see what creepy, crazy, delicious, scary and romantic stuff we have planned. Most of the authors participating are doing contests. I’ll be giving away some books, too. Yes, I said books. Not just book. So I hope you’ll enjoy this Halloween all month celebration starting October 1 and culminating on October 31.

On a slightly different note, I’m working hard…well, okay…not so hard…on Daryk Rogue, which is the second story in the Daryk World trilogy. It’s been getting some nice reviews! I’m enjoying Daryk Rogue, but I have to admit that two of the secondary characters are going a bit mad and want their own story. I didn’t foresee that at all, so they will probably be getting a short story (or novella). After that, it’s a short pause and then on to Daryk Warrior, the last story. After that I’ll probably jump back into my historicals. Right now, though, I have so many options that my head is spinning a bit.  Having lots of ideas for what to write next is never bad. Unless, of course, you have a half dozen half finished stories (like I do) that are all demanding attention. Ah,the life of a writer. In the meantime, stay happy, safe and enjoy the rest of your day.

Later this week get read for an excerpt of something sexy and adventurous.

Tidbits You Don’t Know About Me

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

A long time ago, on another blog, I wrote out a list of  things people don’t know about me. Well, most people don’t know about me. Do you have ten things most people don’t know about you? Here’s my ten.

I’m an honorary Army Mountain Ranger. If I told ya how I got it, I’d have ta kill ya.

I’m 5’ 6 ½” tall.

I’ve been to the haunted Stanley Hotel two times.

My father was a cop for twenty-nine years.

I’m an amateur archaeologist.

I’m a paranormal investigator-in-training.

I once volunteered for several years in a haunted museum but never saw, heard, or witnessed anything paranormal.

I grew up with German shepherds but now have a Mini Schnauzer.

Curiosity about historical events has driven me to write novels connected with real events such as LOVE FROM THE ASHES (1906 San Francisco earthquake), EMBERS FOR MY LOVE (1666 Great Fire of London-work in progress), WOLFSBAYNE (So called werewolf killings in 1760’s France-work in progress), Dark, Deadly Love (1888 Jack The Ripper Murders) and others in the works.

I’ve traced my ancestry back to 1400’s in France and, Wales and England and to other time periods in Ireland and Scotland.

Edinburgh, Scotland is my favorite city in the U.K.

I’m an archer.

There you are…tidbits you didn’t know about me.

Technology Hell

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Yesterday I had fun with technology. Lots of fun. Actually, I’m being sarcastic. My domain died because we thought we’d renewed it and we hadn’t.  It reminded me how often we run into people in customer service who are so not into giving good customer service. And I’m a patient person. I’ve been in customer service myself. I know what it’s like to deal with irrational, irate, and challenging customers. I’m not that kind of customer. I did have to ask for someone’s supervisor at one point and I got satisfaction. Then my website wasn’t showing up for me. Everyone else could see it. Ahh.

Then there were the ebook pirates yesterday. Not just the kind who give away my stuff for free, but the kind who are SELLING my work. It was someone either from the UK, Canada, Australia or anywhere else in the world where they spell English different than American’s do. They’d changed the spelling of In Her Defense to In Her Defence just as an example. I rarely rant. Rarely. But honest to goodness people. If you steal, you are a thief. If you don’t pay for my books from a legal market such as directly from my publishers or a bookstore, you’re stealing money out of MY pocket. I believe in karma, and I’m not kidding. You will pay for either taking my books for free without my permission or selling my books without permission. There are forces at work that will make you pay, one way or another. And the results will not be pretty. Think twice about stealing. Because someday you won’t be paid for your hard work, or you will lose your job,or someone will break into your home and take what is precious to you. And you’ll be angry and wondering why people can be such dirtbags and then you’ll remember what I said and wish you’d taken it to heart.

Okay, now that my rant is over…to all the readers who pay for my books, who are loyal readers and would never think of stealing anything from anyone…thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are truly good people. May good fortune and love shine upon you always.

Denise on Paradigm Shift Radio Show Tonight!

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Um, yeah, that cover has nothing to do with what I’m saying next, but I knew it would get your attention.

Hey guys, this is short notice. I’m filling in for another guest who couldn’t make their slot on Paradigm Shift (www.ztalkradio.com) tonight. I’ll be talking books, the paranormal, and fantastic hosts Dave and Christy will no doubt have some challenging questions for me. Here’s hoping I can talk for an hour and a half. Lordy! Please stop by and listen. The first thirty minutes is other chat, but after that I’ll be on.  It all starts at 11pm EST. If you miss the show, the podcast is always available in places like iTunes.

Today I’m also busy working on the edits for FOR A ROMAN’S HEART (January 2011). So you could say I’m one crazy lady today. Everyone have a fantastic Friday and see you in the chat room at Paradigm Shift.

Snippet: Daryk Rogue

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Hey all! Hope you’re having a wonderful week. I also hope you’ve enjoyed participating in my contests. Here and there throughout the months I plan to have snippet days for you. These days will give you a wee peek into a work in progress or an excerpt from an already published novel. I’m hoping they strike your fancy. Today is a peek into the second book in my DARYK WORLD TRILOGY which is called DARYK ROGUE. The blurb is a tentative blurb. Methinks my editor and I will be changing it. But it gives you a taste of what is to come when the novel comes out. Enjoy!

DARYK ROGUE

Hoping to find his people’s salvation…Torn by ancient desires for blood and treacherous desires to mate…He would kill and die for her…

Xandra Shorenus dreads returning to the mines where life is drudgery and her disgust for the evil man who wants her for a bride overrides her call to duty. When the man kills her brother and parents, there’s nothing left for her on Magonia and she escapes. When a huge wave wrecks her ship, she is rescued by a feared Daryk One from Dragonia.

Daryk One Rayder Tyrus has infiltrated a rogue faction to destabilize rogue plans to take Magonian women as slaves. His need for redemption and retribution darkens his own soul. After saving Xandra Shorenus from possible slavery, his desire to protect Xandra mixes with his overwhelming need to take her as his own. The goodness within her ravages the despair within his heart. He’ll team with Xandra to survive a trek through the primordial jungle and the wrath of the breeder/slaver who hates Rayder and will use Xandra to slake his desire for revenge. For this slave trader has a special desire to destroy Rader, and will do anything to extract a terrible payback.

**

A big man hovered over her, kneeling by the bed. His fingers brushed aside her fringe of bangs in a gentle caress.

The man who’d saved her from Farcum and the old geezer.

And kissed her until she couldn’t think.

Memories returned with a rush. “You.”

He nodded. “Me indeed.”

She’d never seen a man this wicked looking. Earlier on deck she’d been bombarded by impressions of him, but now he was close, so close, his handsomeness took her breath. A few days beard gave him a scruffy appearance, a rogue if she’d ever seen one. His long nose, chiseled jaw and wide mouth complimented his large, dark eyes. He blinked and thick-as-sin dark eyelashes gave his too tough face a slight softness that only added to his attractiveness. He shifted, staring at her with those haunted eyes, and for a moment she saw tenderness flicker through a stone-cold and dispassionate expression. He ran a hand through the dark, waving tangle of hair around his head.

“Who are you?”

His question should have been easy to answer, and she knew the answer. She hesitated, as if giving her name might mean a victory for the slave ship.

“Xandra.” She cleared her dry throat. “Xandra Shorenus.”

“Pretty name.” He smiled, and the wicked glint gleaming in his eyes sent a sweet tingle through her stomach.

“Who are you and where am I?” she managed to say with difficulty.

“Rest your voice.”

“Answer my question.”

Amusement flickered in his eyes. “She commands obedience. Very well. My name is Rayder Tyrus, and you’re on the Beast.”

“Your ship?”

“I am second in command. Karman Aramus is the ship’s captain.”

She frowned, because his answer didn’t tell her anything. “Is this ship really for slaves?” Fear returned. “Is it a Dragonian ship?”

“Those cretins who attacked you were partially right.  We belong to no country. We are Dragonian, but we are much more.” He smiled. “We are slavers, and you my beauty, are my prisoner.”

**

Until my next blog…may you dream of handsome rogues…

HIDEAWAY is out in print!

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Yes, it’s true! Just found out that Hideaway (Ellora’s Cave www.jasminejade.com), one of the books in my Special Investigations Agency series, is now available in print. This book has been out in ebook for years, so many of you have had a chance to read it. Here’s a a blurb and excerpt for your pleasure. You don’t have to read any of the books in the series in a particular order. I tried to write these books with an individuality that means you could pick up anywhere in the series. You can also still purchase the ebook. 🙂

The SIA series is filled with paranormal elements and high-level suspense. So if you like your romance novels erotic, gritty, suspenseful, and full of adventure, you may enjoy this series.

HIDEAWAY

Copyright Denise A. Agnew

**

Love can be a bitch…

Romance author Gina Aames has hit a low point in her career. Sequestered in an isolated mountain cabin, she hopes for inspiration. She lapses into a fantasy featuring her old college friend, gorgeous Ryan “Irish” Ahern. When Ryan appears at her door, unconscious and packing a weapon, her instincts tell her Ryan brings danger with him. At the same time, her body and heart yearns for the cocky agent.

Love can be dangerous…

Ryan awakens in a cabin with a woman who claims to have known him for ten years but he can’t remember her. All he knows is the pretty woman who fires his libido stirs protective instincts inside him, and his intuition tells him peril lurks around the corner.

Love can save the day, or break a heart…

Something unholy draws nearer, and as they escape into a shadowy realm unlike anything they’ve seen before, only their scorching connection and answers to an incredible mystery can save Ryan and Gina from a terrible fate.

***

Another thump hit the door, hollow and disturbing. She licked her lips, her heart pounding like a triphammer.

“Who is there?” Gina asked with conviction.

When she received no answer, she wondered if a bear or other large creature had found its way to her door. Gina didn’t know which to be afraid of—human or animal interference.

She undid the deadbolt and left the safety chain hooked. Slowly, she inched the door open and peered around the side. A head of thick black hair appeared at foot level. Not a disembodied head, but one attached to the big, gorgeous body lying on the porch. A body belonging to a man she’d know anywhere.

Ryan Ahern had materialized right from her fantasy straight into reality. “Oh my God.”

He moaned and she undid the chain to open the door completely. Ryan flopped onto his back, half in the door and half out, his eyes closed. He clutched a nasty-looking firearm in his right hand. Stark fear gripped her.

Stunned into immobility by Ryan’s abrupt appearance, Gina stared at him.

“Shit,” she murmured as she knelt by his supine body and felt for a pulse in his tanned throat.

A steady beat under her fingertips sent a sigh of relief between her lips. Glancing over his formfitting blue T-shirt and worn blue jeans told her nothing about his condition. No blood. No tears in his clothing. The weapon gripped in his hand like a lifeline shouldn’t have surprised her—he’d joined the same government agency Tara’s fiancé Marcus belonged to. Was Ryan on assignment?

Thunder growled, and moisture scented the air. She had to remove him from the elements. Placing one hand on his stubble-rough cheek and one on his shoulder, she tried to rouse him. Damn, but his muscles felt solid. Big and invincible. She palmed down to his muscular chest and her breath caught as he heaved a soft moan. Laced with pain, the sound worried her. Nothing mattered now but making certain he was all right.

She placed both hands on his chest. “Irish? Come on, Ryan. Wake up.”

His eyes popped open, and he sat up so fast she toppled back on her ass with a squeak and grunt. His eyes, mountain-sky blue and ringed by thick black lashes, latched on to her without remorse. An angry gaze pinpointed her like a laser. A weird little thrill tumbled in her belly at the intensity in that expression. She’d become so used to warmth and acceptance in his gorgeous eyes—the fierceness in his gaze startled and aroused her in a whole new way. Wow. She’d had rare glimpses of his kick-ass-and- take-names personage years ago, but this glaring, forceful man startled her. She stood rapidly.

“Who are you?” His voice, a raspy, deep sound tinged with a hint of Ireland, always sent tingles straight to her stomach.

“Who am I?” Her echo sounded incredulous. “We’ve known each other for a long time. How can you ask that question?” He blinked, his gaze turning a bit unfocused and confused. “I found you lying on the porch up against my door. Did you hit your head?”

He scrambled upright, his muscles fluid as a panther as he came to his feet, still in possession of the gun. He towered over her, his gaze laser strong. He swayed and his eyelids flickered as he leaned one shoulder against the doorjamb. While he defined black Irish with his tousled, collar-length black hair, blue eyes and normally pale complexion, he’d acquired a tan in the last couple of years during the summer.

She approached him as she would a wounded animal. “Ryan, why don’t you sit down?”

He glared at her then his eyelids flickered again.

“Oh, no you don’t,” she said in alarm, afraid he’d pass out. Quickly, she went to his side. Ignoring the gun he still clutched, she slipped under his arm. “Come on. Lean on me.” To her surprise, he did as told. She staggered under his weight as they wove their way to the leather couch. She eased him down. “Here. Lie down.”

She expected him to protest, but his gaze turned foggy. He slid sideways onto the pile of pillows, his eyes closed. She scooped his heavy legs up onto the couch, and he sprawled in a male abandon both defenseless and primal. He still possessed the weapon, his arm lying over his stomach. God, if she tried to take it from him—no, that wasn’t a good idea. She hurried back to the front door and closed it, then returned to the couch.

Apprehensive about touching him again, she got down on her knees beside the couch. Slowly she brushed a tangle of thick hair away from his forehead. She gently touched the pulse point in his throat. His pulse beat rapidly under her fingertips. She didn’t see any blood or obvious bruising.

“Ryan? Ryan, can you hear me?”

Worried, she stood and went to the kitchen to get a cold cloth for his forehead. She had to try to rouse him and obtain medical attention. Reaching into a small cabinet, she retrieved a cloth and then went to the sink to wet it. After soaking it thoroughly and squeezing the cloth out, she turned around.

“Oh, shit!” she gasped, startled.

Ryan stood not that far away, just beyond the kitchen counter, weapon in hand. Muscles tensed, he represented uncompromising masculinity. Once a soldier, always a soldier described him.

No one compared to Ryan Ahern. Every line of his body boasted tensile strength and sinew. Corded muscle bunched, flexed and made sensual promises. She recalled one day when she saw him chopping wood during the summer. Raw power had drawn her eyes to the long lines and distinct masculinity in each powerful swing as he brought ruthless metal down into wood.

“Ryan, what happened? Why are you here?”

He turned toward the front door with a jerk then stalked in that direction. He swept the door open and surveyed the wilderness outside. He closed the door and locked it with a firm click, engaging the chain.

“Damn it.” He rammed the deadbolt home. “This might not hold for long once it finds out where I am.”

“It?”

He continued to stare at the door, as if expecting something to crash through it any minute.

Fear returned as she watched his broad back ripple with strength. “Ryan—”

“Lady,” he said as he swung back toward her, “we don’t have time to play games. We’re in serious trouble.”

***

Hope you enjoyed the snippet! Tomorrow I have another excerpt from a different book for you.

Contest Winners Announced!

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Morning all!

Quick fly by…Chris J you won my Sunday contest. Please contact me to claim your book. If I don’t hear by tomorrow I’ll have to give it away to another lucky reader (WINK). Monday’s winner is Loretta! I’ve sent you an email Loretta. Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

Rebellious Contest

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Are you a rebel? I think being a rebel is considered a bad thing in overall society. After all, doesn’t it mean you have to break some rules? But are all rules a good thing?

For most of my life I’ve stayed on a path designed by rules. I earned my first two college degrees following rules of what I thought I should do, not what I wanted to do. Secretarial Studies and Technical Management. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. God, that was boring. All of it. Only when I took classes in things like psychology, humanities, philosophy and religious studies did I discover where my real interests were. Then there were my other interests. When I wrote stories, went to the museum and volunteered, and when I was an amateur archaeologist…ah, yes. That was when I was being rebellious and really living. Everything in the rest of my life was based more on hanging just on the edge of adventure. Everything in me wanted to follow a path that was somewhere between adventure and safety. I’m a contrast of light and dark.

Archery and archaeology require commitment and attention, but I never thought of them as restraining me. God knows if you’re at an archaeology dig you have to have flexibility. At the same time it’s a science and there are rules to follow. Archery requires practice to get better. At the same time, there is more than one way to do it and still hit a bulls eye. Believe me, I tried following conventional wisdom while shooting my compound (hunter’s bow) and discovered that aiming for the center was a really bad idea for me. But so many people say that in order to get that bullseye you have to aim.  But the only way I can hit the center is when I’m not aiming for the center. When I pull back the bow and I don’t aim, when I look right at the center but don’t try to hold steady, when all my concentration is on simply saying to myself, “yellow, yellow, yellow” or “white, white, white” (depending on the color of the center of the target) and my body tells me when to let go, I usually hit the center. It’s when I start thinking too much, when I start wondering too much about the right thing to do that I always screw up and there’s no bullseye.

My writing, when I’m really on target, is all about rebellion. About following my instincts, my gut, the heart. Anything else is an imitation of me and what I value. Anything less than letting my imagination go crazy means a manuscript without my voice.

I think life is a lot like that. Sometimes following the rules means you don’t do the right thing by yourself. When have you rebelled and discovered that it was the right thing for you? Tell me today and you could win a paperback from my backlist.

In the meantime, I’m still playing around with this blog and trying to find the right pace and the content. Stop by again on Thursday for an excerpt to die for. 🙂

Welcome, Adapting and Contests

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Welcome to my introductory blog. I appreciate everyone stopping by to say hello. Today is the first day of my website blog, and I wanted to start it off with something special. Somewhere in getting a new computer set up last week, I managed to misplace the blog I originally wanted to post here. Ah, the trials and tribulations of technology. I’m one of those people who loves technology as long as I don’t have to figure out how to set it up. Hang in there…I’ve got a contest for today…read on and you’ll learn more about that and a contest coming up next week.

Okay. Technology.

Don’t get me wrong. I am an old timer. I first started using word processors back in the dark ages in the 70’s. Well, sort of word processors. Magnetic card reader typewriters, memory typewriters. I’ve actually used a keypunch machine (hated programming and suck at it). In the 80’s I used a huge IBM word processor that couldn’t do anything but word process. Then I used a Radio Shack TRS-80 microcomputer that we affectionately called a Trash 80 that used two big disks, one for the program and one for storing things. Hey, this machine could only find things sequentially in a database. None of this random access memory stuff. I used this workhorse machine so much that I memorized all the keystrokes, the combinations of controls and alts and shifts required to make it do certain things. Way before the mouse. Lordy, how did we ever do anything without a mouse? I even recall bemoaning using a mouse at first. Ah, how we learn to adapt.

Okay. Writing and adapting.

When it comes to writing, I am the Queen of Adaptation. Yep, I’ve been writing since I was fourteen (a sci-fi short story called The Wall), and since then I’ve tried gothic romances, paranormal, suspense, adventure, erotic, contemporary, historical and just recently novels that are classified as sci-fi but could also be called a tad of fantasy. Why do I write in all these genres? Because I have to. If there is one thing I’ve finally learned about my writing life, it’s that I can’t be shoved into a box. I want to write what inspires me. When I do that, I produce my very best work.

Speaking of adapting, I’ve got two contests for you. Comment on whether you’re adaptable and how, and you might win a trade paperback from my backlist. I’ll select a winner Sunday, August 15.

Plus, I’m giving you all a chance to gear up for a contest on this blog Monday, August 16.

My plans are to blog at least twice a week and to occasionally slip in a contest. So make sure you stop by daily to see if I have a new contest and content.

On top of all that yummy goodness, I will have one guest blogger per month.

Thank you all so much for taking time from your busy day to say hello. I appreciate it more than you know. Here’s to a lovely, long relationship.