Archive for April, 2011

Excerpt: Dark, Deadly Love

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Dark, Deadly Love in print May 3

Hey all, I still need to write up the blog on the my Royal Wedding and Royal Ascot, but in the meantime wanted to offer a snippet of an excerpt for Dark, Deadly Love which comes out in print May 3 at Samhain Publishing, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can preorder at all these places, too.

***

“Who are you?” she whispered, then looked at the brass plate at the bottom of the huge portrait.

“My mother.”

Alexandra squeaked and turned about, a bolt of fear running through her. Ross stood there in his shirtsleeves and breeches, his smile devilish.

“My goodness, Ross. Was it really necessary to sneak up on me?”

He placed his candleholder on a nearby table. The flame flickered and went out, leaving her oil lamp to illuminate the area. His smile kicked up her pulse and her breathing. She wondered if all her life he would have this effect on her of driving her insane with need.

Heaven help me, I want him with me forever.

“I like startling you. I like how it makes your eyes sparkle and your…” His gaze landed on her breasts and held for a moment. “Your heart beats faster.”

A little indignant and thrilled at the carnal appraisal, she said, “You presume far too much, Ross.”

“I think I understand you well. Perhaps more than you know yourself.”

She saw a strange, deep fire in his eyes. It disconcerted her down to her toes. “Then prove it to me. What is it that you know about me? I’m tired of doing this odd dance with you. I want to know the truth once and for all. What do you know about me that I don’t know about myself, Ross Havenwood?”

“That you know I am in hell, and it is all your fault.”

His shocking words, negated somewhat by the smile flirting with his lips, hung in the air.

She saw how it was—the man meant to drive her mad. So when she said her next words, she only half meant them. “How dare you?”

“I dare because I know every tilt of your head.” He moved closer. “I dare because I’ve seen each emotion cross your face either when you were a child or as an adult. I’ve seen unhappiness, spirit, joy, humor, you name the emotion, and it has been on your face for me to see.”

“And this proves what?”

“You cannot see yourself the way I do, Alexandra, because you are so critical of yourself in every way.”

“I’m modest. Or at least I try to be.”

“It is possible to be too modest. While excess pride may be a sin, confidence is not. And I see things in you I’ve never encountered in any other woman. Things that make me admire you above all other women.”

She still wanted him to say he loved her, yet he hadn’t.

Disappointment moved through her, hot and deep. “Admire?”

He drew in a deep breath, then let it out slowly, and she saw the struggle going on within him. “A man who is held in your arms, and has your love and support will never want for another thing in his life as long as you are there.” He added as an afterthought, “He will never endure loneliness.”

His little speech stunned her down to her toes.

 

Understanding A Writer: Fear and Suspense

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Why do so many authors pen tales of romantic suspense?  Because their publishers are clamoring for these fly-off-the-shelf romantic thrillers? Possibly, yes. For some other authors, like me, there is a bigger picture and a deeper connection.

I’ve always loved tales of suspense, action, adventure and horror. Gothic romance novels introduced me to a romance plot mixed with the uncertainty of peril.  I moved from the more euphemistic dangers portrayed in gothics to the grittier mainstream romantic suspense penned by such authors as Linda Howard. Eventually, my own writing turned into a cornucopia of paranormal romantic suspense.

Beyond scintillating romance, there are other reasons for craving the relentless danger, the high wire of being on the edge of a disaster.

*Danger in romance reminds us how safe we are in the moment.  As we read our thriller, we sip a hot beverage and feel secure. Someone else faces the peril. We know the good guy will win.  It’s reassuring.  As a writer, we enjoy making the bad situation slowly vanish. We have the power to save the characters and bring evil to justice. We create worlds.

*Danger makes instant friends or enemies and creates conflict. Scary situations either bring people together in a special bond or drive them apart.  Readers want to see the machinations and authors want to spin the wheels propelling the conflict and put the characters into the do or die situation.

*Writers can and do imagine all scenarios.  I am always amazed at the following statements I see on the news or read in the papers. “We didn’t think it could happen here or happen to us.” “It was an unimaginable tragedy.”  Writers rarely say they can’t imagine a scenario happening.  We have visualized everything.  Disasters, terrorism, murder, you name it, and these ideas pass through suspense writer’s minds on a daily basis.  Events that shock and surprise most of the population seldom flummox a suspense/thriller author.  Writer’s insights and imaginations abound with the horrific, the so-called unthinkable, the very ice-in-the-bones. Stories by people like Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Clive Cussler, and even a whole host of romance authors are evidence that writers can and do think of everything.  In the case of romance authors, we choose to portray good triumphant over evil in the end.  It’s our way of satisfying us as much as the reader.

*Inner demons expressed are exorcised.  I believe writers often need to exorcise internal demons.  Many artistic personalities have a propensity for mental illness. While this isn’t to say every author suffers mental illness, studies suggest artistic types are vulnerable in greater numbers.  Is the writing an expression of what torments us? For some authors, writing is the let off valve that keeps them grounded and sane.  For others, their demons are their doom. Writing doesn’t alleviate what ails them.

*Authors frequently reflect what they see in society. Some argue art can create life, others argue life creates art. I believe it is both, but I lean toward art reflecting what is already out there.  Fear created by news media is often unwarranted and gives the average Joe fodder to freak out.  An excellent book to read on fear is Gavin Debecker’s THE GIFT OF FEAR.  Extensive communication networks telegraph fear to humans around the world every day by means once unheard of in centuries past.  In past centuries, you were only be terrified by what was in your immediate area. People faced as many terrors in the past, but now we are determined to saturate ourselves with it.  As a romantic suspense author, I create the adventure, thrills, and chills for the reader, but I’m determined to give you the happy ending. Happy endings don’t sell papers, but they do sell romance novels.  In the end, paranormal/romantic suspense authors want to scare the beejeebers out of the reader while giving them a lifeline to hold onto.

Happy reading. Keep all the lights on and the doors locked.

I was gonna give you an excerpt, but…

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

MANEATER anyone?  I was going to give you an excerpt of an oldie. But then every excerpt I tried to paste wouldn’t format right. I decided the message was I wasn’t supposed to give you the excerpt. But there is an excerpt on the website, so no problemo.

When I look back on this story I realize I was in playful mood when I wrote it apparently. This novella is one of those stories where I was writing tongue-in-cheek a good portion of the time. I wanted it to be snappy, many of the characters were snarky and quirky. It first came out in the WINTER WARRIORS anthology at Ellora’s Cave, then as a stand alone novella. It’s part of the Special Investigations Agency series at Ellora’s Cave. If you like humor mixed with paranormal/adventure/action and romance, this one could be your cup of tea. Warning, it’s an erotic romance.

Technical difficulties aside, I hope you enjoy the cover!

p

Dark, Deadly Love In Print!

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Hey all, hope you had a great weekend. Here’s a small video blog for this month. I may sneak in another one by the end of the month. Take a look at my delicious trade paperback of Dark, Deadly Love on this video! Sorry for the video quality the first few seconds. Not sure what happened there.


 

Ohh…pretty! My cover for BEFORE THE DAWN

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Receiving a brand new cover from Samhain Publishing is truly a pleasure. A few weeks back I got the cover for my next Samhain release, BEFORE THE DAWN. And boy howdy! Is it gorgeous.  It’s lush, sexy, and touches on the elements of the story in nice detail. And I’ll admit it. I love red. First I’m introducing you to this fantastic cover. In a day or two I’ll have the blurb and excerpt here on the blog. My webmaster is also making a great book page for this novel, too, and I’ll let you know when that is available. In the meantime you can also see the book cover and read a blurb and excerpt at Samhain Publishing. To give you a little tidbit on this story…it is set in Pennsylvania in the 1850’s and the hero is a seriously hot Irishman. Are you ready….drum rolllllll…..

An Oldie But Goodie: Questions Authors Are Most Asked

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Hey all! This has been a mega crazy week with Hot Pursuit coming out and other writer related things happening. Today’s blog has run before somewhere else but not on this blog, I don’t think.  Next week I plan to have a sneak peek into my June release, BEFORE THE DAWN. Until then, here’s a blog on creativity and other questions writers are asked.

***

Where Does All That Creativity Come From Anyway and Other Writerly Questions

What is the number one question I’ve been asked when people learn I’m an author?

1) Where do you get your ideas?

People wait with anticipation, hanging on my words until—they hear my answer.

I don’t know.

Honestly, I’ve formulated many ideas from subjects I find interesting. My interest in Jack the Ripper led me to write Dark, Deadly Love (Samhain Publishing July 2010-was titled Midnight Rose), and my interest in the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 led me to write Love From The Ashes. An interest in the Eastern State Penitentiary led me to write the historical romance Before The Dawn (Samhain Publishing June 2011) and my desire to write a book set in Roman Britain produced For A Roman’s Heart (Samhain Publishing January 2011).

Yet not every story was inspired by the idea of a place or event. Sometimes a character will pop in and ask for a story.

2) Second to that question is often, “Where do you get the ideas for your love scenes?”

Uh…duh. I get them from a variety of ways including my imagination. Hello!

3) How hard is it to get published?

There isn’t an honest and clear answer for this question, so I’m not going to answer it. There are too many variables to give a definitive. Sometimes it’s really easy and sometimes it isn’t. Mostly, it isn’t.

4) When are you going to write a real book? When are you going to write a serious book?

Okay, so the answer to these questions requires two different answers. Sort of. A real book as opposed to a print book? Books are books whether they are an ebook or print. I read both. Some of my books are only ebooks at this time. Some of my books are ebook and print.

A serious book? You mean a literary work? Well, that’s not what blows my skirt up. I’ve got to write what I feel in my heart, and right at this time that doesn’t include literary. I never say never, though. What I do know is that a writer should define for themselves exactly what they want to write. Otherwise it’s too easy to let the rest of the world decide for you.

**

There you have it. Some of the most frequently asked questions. If you’re a writer, chime in here. Do you get asked these questions, and what are your answers?

HOT PURSUIT is out! Woot!

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Yes it is true! Hot Pursuit is out today at Samhain Publishing www.samhainpublishing.com, as well as Amazon and Barnes and Noble for your ebook devices.  And the price is discounted for a short time so be certain to get yours early. I don’t know how long the sale price lasts.  Grab a copy while it is on sale.

Hot Pursuit is the culmination of several years of writing the Hot Zone series. There are five novellas, some with a tad of suspense, some without. When I started writing the series, I knew I wanted to introduce military heroes who return to their home town or a town where they had a connection. When they come back to Colorado, they find the women they’re fated to love.  Are these tales hot? Yes. They have a soft center mixed with a serious side.

Stop by my book page here at the website and read excerpts if you haven’t already had the chance. Plus check out the Hot Zone heroes profile page for more intimate details on each Hot Zone hero.

 

Excerpt: Hot Pursuit

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Fresh from the oven and piping hot. A new excerpt for Hot Pursuit which comes out at Samhain Publishing April 12. BUT, if you’re so inclined you can preorder  now at Samhain or Amazon. Enjoy!

It’s make or break time…

Betrayal seems to follow Lucy Creed wherever she goes. With visions of her military-issue boyfriend kissing another woman dancing in her head, she stomps into a local bar, ready, willing and-hell, yeah-able to hook up for New Year’s Eve.

The first man who brings her inner wild thing to attention is one delicious hunk with “perfect one-night stand” stamped all over him. He also turns out to be the all-grown-up version of a young man she blew off in high school. And damn it, he’s the one thing she’s sworn off: military.

In Major Vic Moore’s mind, Lucy is the one that got away. Now that she’s popped up on his radar, the temptation to let their mutual desire burn is too intense to ignore. It also sends up red flags-he’s fresh from a relationship that almost ruined his career.

Yet their scorching chemistry is too strong to ignore, and Vic finds himself going all out to change her well-entrenched ideas about military men. But as their secrets spill out, the weight of the past may be too much for their fragile trust to bear.

**

His hand smoothed down her back again and his arm drew her closer. She closed her eyes. Feeling him against her would prove easier with her sight blocked. As hard chest pressed her breasts, her nipples tightened into achy points. Muscle to softness, heat to cool, he contrasted her in so many ways. She didn’t want to feel small in his arms, but she did. Her conviction that he’d protect her against anything returned. She had no evidence for it, no understanding of how she knew it was true. Maybe it wasn’t the feminist thing to admit, but it just was. The primal idea thrilled Lucy, stole her breath, brought her closer to the edge. Arousal shot through her, warming her between the legs until it built into a liquid desire she ached to extinguish.

“Do you date much?” Lucy had to know, a weird possessiveness coming over her.

“No. Like I said earlier, I’ve been in the sandbox for so long, it wasn’t practical.”

“The sandbox. Is that what they call the desert?”

“Yep.”

“You met Shelly though.”

His gaze caught and held hers. “That’s all in the past now. I’m going to do my best to forget her. Want to help me?”

The sensual drug pouring into her belly demanded attention. “Very much.”

His arousal brushed her stomach, and she knew denying that she wanted him wouldn’t work. Yeah, he was in the military—so what she hadn’t wanted when she came into this bar. Yeah, she’d met him again after all these years. It didn’t matter. Her body ached with longing, desired him with a burning pitch that rose with every touch. They were close, not plastered together, but each tentative movement, each sway of their hips, reminded her why she’d come here tonight. Why her body wanted his in no uncertain terms.

Lucy glanced up and caught his gaze, loving that his thoughts ran as wildly as hers. Vic’s eyes went half-mast, and that look caused every hormone inside her to sit up and take notice.

He whispered into her ear, “Do you want to get out of here? Talk somewhere quiet?”

Talk. Well, that was a euphemism, a polite way of saying what he wanted to do. What she wanted to do. “Yes.”

Before they could move, Vic’s head snapped up as if he’d felt something, some danger. He stopped dancing, but kept his arm around her.

He whispered in her ear again. “There’s a guy coming our way across the room. He’s staring at me like he wants to kill me. Is that the rat bastard?”

Apprehension made her spin out of his arms to look. Vic’s right arm slipped around her middle in a possessive, protective shield. Damn it. Danny, big, tall Danny with a battle-hardened look on his craggy face, headed right for them. Other dancers parted before the storm to get out of his way.

Lucy said the only thing that popped to mind. “Oh, crap.”

“You!” Danny said in a loud, slightly slurred voice. “You stay away from Lucy!”

She couldn’t believe that he’d walked in here like this, staggering a little and belligerent. “You have some nerve.” Her voice was deadly serious and royally pissed. “Go back to Felicia and get out of my life.”

Suddenly, she recognized the wildness in his eyes and the stench of heavy liquor hit her nose. He was steaming drunk.

Before she could blink, Vic eased around until he stood in front of her. She didn’t have time to protest or even think as Danny’s big fist headed for Vic’s face.

Vic was lightning, his arm coming up to block Danny’s punch. Danny swung again, Vic blocked. Lucy jumped back to avoid the fray and caught a glance at her ex-boyfriend.

Danny’s face was a mottled red, his eyes bloodshot. “She’s mine!”

Vic stood at the ready, feet slightly apart, arms at his side. Tension held his shoulders taut. “She doesn’t belong to anyone.”

She had enough time to be flabbergasted—two men were fighting over her.

 

 

Samhain Cafe Chat on April 11 and Win A Prize

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Hey everyone,

Getting ready for the release of Hot Pursuit on April 12! I’ll be at the Samhain Cafe yahoo group on April 11 from 9am EST and there will be a prize! So if you’re subscribed to that loop, or even if you aren’t and would like to be, stop by http://groups.yahoo.com/group/samhaincafe/ I’ll have excerpts from Hot Pursuit and other books in the Hot Zone series.

See you then!

 

 

Cover: Before The Dawn

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Before The Dawn Available June 2011

Ah!! At last. The beautiful cover for Before The Dawn is up at Samhain Publishing under my author page http://store.samhainpublishing.com/before-dawn-p-6373.html

You can also read the blurb. It will be a little time before I have the blurb and excerpt up at this website, but never fear it will be soon. All the major elements of the book are in this story. The adventure the couple take on the railroad…the adventure and danger is a major part of the story. While this is a historical there is definitely a lot of suspense in it, too.

I’ll have an excerpt on the blog soon, so be sure to stay tuned