Thursday, December 3, 2009

Let's welcome Kenneth Weene today!

1.Did you always know that you wanted to be an author or did you have another dream?
As I kid I loved to read books, and I wanted to write; but I gave that dream up to pursue the “reasonable and responsible” goals of becoming a professional, in my case a psychologist.

I returned to writing about twenty-five years ago. At first I wrote a lot of poetry and some essays for local newspapers. Then the novels started to demand their way into my psyche.

2.How long did you write until you were finally published?
My poetry and a few professional papers were published right off, but the first novel took about twenty years during which time I’ve actually written three. In addition to “Widow’s Walk,” which came out in September, I have a contract for a second book, “Memoirs From the Asylum,” which should come out sometime next year. The third, a conspiracy novel, is still looking for its home.

3.When you sit down to write, is there a ritual you have to do before you start?
No ritual, in fact, I don’t even have a set place. Some of my writing is done at the computer, but I also go to the coffee shop or bookstore with my pencil and notebook. The one thing I do require is a handy cup of coffee or tea and the inspiration – that powerful yet elusive voice that suddenly puts word in motion.

4.Do you plan the story out or just let it flow?
I start with a plan, but then the characters take over. They tell their story through me. For example, the main love affair in “Widow’s Walk” wasn’t suppose to be about love; Arnie and Mary were supposed to have a mentor-student relationship, and Mary was supposed to meet another man. However, they fell in love; and there wasn’t much I could do about it. Another example from “Widow’s Walk” is the love relationship between Kathleen and Danny; that was supposed to end happily, but it didn’t work out that way.

I guess writing is like life: You can start with all kinds of plans, but you can never really know what fate will bring.

5.Do you have any WIP that you might want to share with us?
My next novel is “Memoirs From the Asylum.” It’s finished, and I have one contract offered. Let me share an excerpt from this new tragic-comedic novel.

Those dingy green-yellow hospital walls are really off-putting. It’s like living inside a puddle of puke. The people are the chunks of undigested food – no longer human just unidentified floating objects. Some of them are really revolting. The others, “the patients,” aren’t so bad.
Mostly, the diagnosed only want to be left alone – alone – caught between the grief of being and the terror of not. Once in a while there’ll be somebody who wants to fight the world, but mostly the world they want to fight is that revolting staff so you silently root them on. At least, that is how I see it.

Charlie wants to rape the nurse’s aide – good for Charlie. The nurse’s aide is twice Charlie’s size and has a right like Muhammad Ali – too bad for Charlie. Charlie ends up with an ass full of Valium – good for him. They lock Charlie on the violent ward – who the hell was Charlie?
Charlie comes back to the ward – good for Charlie. He’s had enough shock to fry his brain – too bad for Charlie. He shuffles along and drools; when he’s excited he shouts “Oh boy!” in a repetitive Tourette bark – now Charlie fits in. Good for Charlie? Nope, good for the system. Modern medicine has won another round. The world of the asylum grinds the people; it makes pabulum of their brains and mush of their wills. The system works; the person doesn’t. We all celebrate Charlie’s return by standing around and rocking from side to side.

Some of us stare at the television. There’s a soap opera on. The picture rolls. Nobody seems to notice. Certainly, nobody cares. Most of our minds are rolling, too. Half the staring patients are watching their own programs, the ones in their heads. Vertical hold is not a strong point among the crazy.

Jack wants to take over the world. He plans on leading a revolution; he plans to start in Australia. He stares at the television and sees troop movements. In his program, he is leading an army. He is riding on a large black horse and is dressed in fatigues. He carries a magic sword. A bit anachronistic, but what the hell, it’s his program. It doesn’t matter; he’s too doped on phenothiazines to walk across the room without being told. Instead he pill-rolls his fingers and shakes. They’re supposed to give out Cogentin for the Parkinsons, but the nurses don’t bother. Instead one of them sells the bottles in town. It doesn’t bring much, but they save up for their Fourth of July party. They could get more for other drugs. Valium is good on the streets, but they don’t get much extra; they’re too busy shoving it into us. Mostly they just unload Cogentin and some antibiotics. It buys them a case of beer to commemorate their freedom – to celebrate the all-important fact that they have the keys.

6.What character is more like your personality or is it a combination of more than one?
I draw on my own personality and on people in my life to develop characters, but in the end they all take on their own characteristics and ideas. Many people know me and have who have read “Widow’s Walk” think that I’m very like Arnie Berger; but I think I’m more like Jem, the very wise woman who is more in the background yet seems to know so much about life.

I love Jem’s comment toward the end of the book:

Jem shakes her head when she hears the coroner's findings. "I guess he don’t know much about souls," she observes. "There's pains of the body, and there's pains of the soul. This poor lady died of the pains in her soul. They say that God don’t give no one more than they can carry, but He sure done give her too much … way, way too much."

7.When you have a moment to sit down and breathe, what kinds of books do you read?
I enjoy almost all kinds of books. I’m a major history buff and biography. I will on occasion try to read in philosophy, science, and, of course, religion. Then there’s the fiction. I try to read at least one novel a month. I just finished Kawabata’s “The Sound of the Mountain.” I loved the way he related to nature. I can’t say that the story worked for me.

The next book on my pile – the pile of books I’ve put aside to read - is Gottlieb’s “The Dream of Reason.” However, I do have a couple of review books from friends that need a good look.

Last, I should mention that I read (and write) a good deal of poetry. Just for fun, I’ll share this short poem I wrote recently.

On viewing a picture of a dervish

The slow dignity of the dervish dance; the eternal mystery of the poet's chant: Allah be merciful to me, a lowly ant; cast down on me one sacred glance.

8.What author or authors inspire you to write the way you do?
I can list some of my favorite authors, but I don’t know that they really inspire the way I write. Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favorites. I love Conrad. Isaac Singer is another. Perhaps Steinbeck had the greatest impact on me when I was younger. And, no list, not even this partial one, is complete without mention of Chekhof and Kafka.

I think that there is a wonderful melding of external and internal worlds within the novels I like. What is attended to in the environment of the book is related to what the characters are experiencing. I don’t like extraneous description that is unrelated to the story and that is added for the sake of sounding literary. A direct, sparse and yet complete quality is what I strive for in my own writing.

9.Do you have any tips for those aspiring authors out there?
Write! Then write more!
Find friends with whom you can share, and don’t be afraid of the process of discussing your work.

Think about words. Choose with care. The best place to start that is with your speech; speak slowly and think about your word choices.

Write down ideas and overheard bits of dialog that intrigue you. Even jot a bit of description if there is a sight that captures you imagination.

Try to write poetry – real poetry, not just your own emotions but studies on metaphoric meanings. Writing is about symbols as much as it is about narration.

Now, write some more.

And, let me end with another excerpt from “Widow’s Walk.”

The paths along the banks of the reservoir are uneven. It takes all a jogger's concentration to keep from tripping and tumbling into Boston's water supply. That is probably why so many joggers have passed her prone body without noticing. It is only when one, glancing up at the sound of a scurrying animal, starts back in shock and lands on his seat that she is seen. "Oh, my God!" he exclaims as he scrambles back to his feet. “Oh, my God,” he repeats so taken aback that he doesn’t even notice the pain from his fall, “somebody get help. Somebody, anybody, for Christ’s sake, get help!”
Gingerly, as if he is approaching a dangerous animal, he inches his way towards her. "Miss, Miss. Are you OK?" His voice is at first a whisper, which grows louder and more tremulous.
Kathleen doesn’t stir.
"Miss!" He is shouting now. His wide eyes take in the scene. Her panty hose have been ripped off. They and her shoes are in a small tangled pile a few feet away. Next to them are her well-worn green parka, scarf, and dark green gloves with leather palms. The sheepskin hat with ear flaps that Karen had given her is tossed farther from her body. Kathleen’s plaid skirt has been ripped. It still clings to her waist but has been pulled up and now covers her torso rather than her legs and buttocks. Her head is turned sideways, and the jogger can see that there is a thin stream of blood still coming from her mouth and soaking into the ground next to her broken glasses.
He bends over her, afraid to touch. "Get help," he shouts into the frosty air – still to no one. They are alone. "For God's sake, get help," he repeats once more. He isn’t sure, but he thinks he sees her body moving ever so slightly. "Is she still alive, or is she dead?" he asks aloud in the frigid empty air. "Help!" he screams.
There is a handbag nearby. Instinctively he reaches for it. He can not bring himself to touch her body, but the inanimate handbag is less threatening. Its contents seem untouched. "Mrs. Dougan," he whispers to her. If yelling hasn’t worked, something in his brain tells him that softness might. "Mrs. Dougan," he tries again.
He is looking at an identification card that Kathleen carries in her wallet. Ironically, it is the one piece of identification on which she still uses her married name. It is her library card, something that she had stopped using once she had decided that her life would never move forward. At one time Kathleen had been an avid reader, but that had been when she thought it would still matter if she were to learn – that had been before it had seemed that her life had stopped.
Knowing Kathleen’s name makes her seem more alive. The jogger focuses himself enough to pull off the top of his jogging suit and use it to cover her upper body. Still he can’t bring himself to actually touch her, not even to adjust her clothing.
Kathleen makes no response. "Oh, my God," he exclaims again.
He hears the sound of another runner. Even though the trees are bare, the jumble of bushes makes it difficult to see. Jumping up from his crouched position near Kathleen’s head, the jogger waves his arms and yells, "Over here. I need help. Over here." He can hear the pace of the other runner quicken.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kenneth Weene will be here tomorrow 12-3-2009

Kenneth Weene will be here tomorrow so in the mean time I thought I would give you a teaser.

Title: Widows Walk
Author: Kenneth Weene
Publsher: All Things That Matter Press

Mary Flanagan, caught between her sense of religion and obligation on one hand and her very human desire for love and life on the other, is in emotional limbo. When she meets Arnie Berger, who becomes both her lover and philosophic guide, Mary’s world seems to be transformed.
Changes also come for Mary’s children, who have been trapped in their own dilemmas. Sean, a quadriplegic, is looking for a fulfilled life. Mary’s daughter, Kathleen must cope with infertility and anger in her search for happiness.

The lives of all three Flanagans are turned upside down by happiness and tragedy.

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They continue their northern progress. Their objective is the outlet stores in Freeport, Maine. Arnie has always wanted to visit L. L. Bean. He has been buying clothes from their catalog for years. Even though, except for his army experience – as a clerk in a reserve unit – he has never spent any time in the woods, he has always fancied himself the outdoors type – whatever that might be. So he has bought flannel shirts and hiking boots, chino pants and parkas – and he has made his own fashion statement as he has wandered the bookstores and coffeehouses of Boston.

Occasionally a student will ask him about his love of the outdoors and his favorite activities. Arnie is always honest and self-deprecating in his responses. He talks about his PrestoFlame log fires and the books that he likes to read while sitting beside them.

The couple hasn’t thought to make reservations so early in spring so they have to continue on to Old Orchard Beach before they find an empty motel room. "If you're here for the shopping," the clerk offers, "the best time is around two or three."

“So, we’re too late?” May asks.

“Nope, too early. Two or three in the morning.”

"Why's that?" Arnie asks.

"Cause that’s when most of folks are in bed. You can get into the stores. Most times you can’t even get a parking spot. AAy-yup, Try the middle of the night. That’ll be best. Aay-yup!" His broad a accent makes this all seem normal and reasonable.

It hasn’t occurred to them that they will be among the thousands of people from along the east coast who will have flocked to Freeport on this lovely early spring weekend.

They follow the clerk's suggestion for a place to eat an early supper. It’s busy but friendly, and the fried clams and potatoes are excellent. Better, it seems to have more locals than tourists which pleases Arnie. After supper they take a walk along the boardwalk. It is still too cold for the attractions to be opened, but they’re able to buy a box of saltwater taffy. Each of them tries a piece and almost simultaneously take the pieces of candy out of their mouths.

“God, that’s awful,” Arnie observes.

“I’ll bet dentists love it,” Mary adds. “It could pull every filling out of my head.”

They go back to the motel. Having set the alarm clock for two and finding nothing of interest on the television, they turn out the lights and try to sleep. The last of the day’s sunlight is poking its way though the gaps in the curtains and around their edges. Bands of light fall across the head of the queen-size bed and others reflect from the full-length mirror to play on the fading floral print of the wallpaper. "We're not going to go to sleep," Mary observes.

"I guess not." Arnie kisses her ear and fondles her breasts. She reaches down and caresses his genitals.

"You're so beautiful," he whispers.

She never tires of hearing his compliments. Still she feels compelled, as she always has, to demur. "Oh, you just say those things."

Arnie rolls away from her and stares at the ceiling. He turns back and looks directly into Mary’s eyes. She is startled by the seriousness in his eyes. "Mary, I swear to you that in my eyes you are more beautiful than any woman in the world." He waits for her to say something, but she doesn’t – she has no idea what to say. Arnie continues, “There’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you.”

“What?” Mary isn’t sure what’s happening but knows that it’s important. There is a thin gasp of nervousness in her mind.

Arnie gets up from the bed and fumbles in his jacket pockets until he finds a small box. He kneels on the bed and thrusts it at her and gasps, “Will you marry me?”

“Yes, oh yes," she responds. Taken by surprise, Mary feels as if she is spinning – spinning and simultaneously soaring in joy.

Arnie takes the ring from its box. Mary holds out her left hand, and he slips the ring on to her finger. “It’s beautiful,” she croons. “It’s so beautiful.” She kisses him, gently with the sense that he is precious and fragile.

“Oh, Arnie, I’m so happy.” Her voice is full of joy and excitement. She feels her heart beating with happiness. She hugs him and showers his face with kisses.

“Believe me, I am, too!” Arnie manages to say in between her embraces. He wants to dance around the room, to shout with joy, to fly to the moon. Not knowing what to do with his excitement, he pulls Mary from the bed and hugs her tightly. Gently, he lays her back on the mattress. “I love you so much,” he says.

“Oh, I love you. I love you. I truly love you,” Mary responds with all her heart.

Arnie kneels next to her on the mattress and kisses her body in a hundred places. She giggles at the intensity of his kissing. “I want to kiss you forever, make love to you forever, be with you forever.”

Mary wraps her arms around his neck and pulls him on top of her. “Make love to me now,” she moans. “Make love to me now – now and forever.” Their hands, their mouths, their souls touch and caress. Mary can feel the rough softness of his penis as it gently pushes inside her. She can feel the thrusting of his pelvis as one with her own. She can feel the sudden excitation of their shared fulfillment. She can feel the total togetherness that makes them as the first couple in the Garden of All Love.

When they have finished, Arnie and Mary lay, in mutual exhaustion – two spoons nestled on the bed – Mary behind Arnie, Arnie closer to the window.

The only sound in the room is the buzz of the heating unit. Through the window and the cracks around the door, they can feel the cold air coming off the ocean. The last shreds of sunlight make their way through the curtained window. Mary watches Arnie's back slowly rising and falling with his breathing. She runs her index finger along his spine. Arnie shivers slightly at the sensation – it is the shiver of delight. "I love you Mary Flanagan."

"And I love you, Arnie Berger."

That is the last thing either of them hear until the buzzer wakes them in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Let's welcome Tracey Cramer-Kelly today!

Tracey Cramer-Kelly was nice enough to stop by and answer some questions. So grab a cup of coffe and come sit with me while we read her answers. Please leave Tracey a comment or ask Tracey a question, she loves to hear from her readers.

1.Did you always know that you wanted to be an author or did you have another dream?
I think it’s good to dream about doing or being many different things—and its okay when those dreams change! When I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian. By the time I started college I wanted to be a physical therapist. During college I daydreamed about making singing my career! In the end, I got a business management degree and within a few years I had discovered my true calling as an entrepreneur (I’m on my third business, Although I wrote during high school, I never considered it a “career opportunity” (and frankly, I still have no interest in writing full-time or trying to make a living at it!)

2.How long did you write until you were finally published?
Some of the scenes in Last Chance Rescue were written in 1998-99 (after I ran into an old acquaintance at my high school reunion, just as Brad does in my book!). But still it took another ten years for me to settle down to write seriously. By that time I had four novels in progress. Last Chance really came together after I did some ride-alongs with medevac and search-and-rescue. From the time I really honed in on Last Chance to actual publication was two years (my daughter was born 16 months into that time frame!).

3.When you sit down to write, is there a ritual you have to do before you start?
I don’t have a particular ritual, but I do need QUIET (easier said than done since I have two young children aged 2 and 6) and no distractions (i.e., no internet!).

4.Do you plan the story out or just let it flow?
I might have the main characters pretty well ‘cast’ in my head before I start writing, but the ‘contributing’ characters (and sub-plots) often develop as I write. Perhaps I end up writing more this way (and cutting!) but there’s no wrong or right way to write!

Here’s an example: at one point while writing Last Chance Rescue, the antagonist (Quinn) starting taking over the story. I had to ‘cut him off at the legs’ so to speak, because this wasn’t his story. I don’t know how many pages I cut, but he became so real (and human) to me that someday it would be interesting to write his story.

5.Do you have any WIP that you might want to share with us?
I’m currently working on my next novel, which is about a military officer’s harrowing experience at the hand of terrorists, and his personal journey to learn what is truly worth fighting for, and what True Surrender means. In a fun twist, the main character in this novel is actually Last Chance heroine Jessie’s ex-husband!

6.What character is more like your personality or is it a combination of more than one?
Because of my hobbies and my military background, I’ve had the fortune of meeting, working and playing with some very interesting people, and there are bits and pieces of them in my writing. Yes, there’s a healthy dose of imagination and plenty of creative license, but a seed has to be sown somewhere, and for me it is often a ‘human’ interchange. I made the heroine of Last Chance Rescue (Jessie) an Iraq war veteran and gave her some of the qualities I saw in my fellow soldiers/medics (and perhaps myself).

7. When you have a moment to sit down and breathe, what kinds of books do you read?
Lately I’ve been reading military memoir (as it pertains to the subject of my next novel) and the “Left Behind” series. I try to read, um…widely!

8. What author or authors inspire you to write the way you do?
I like books with complex, more adult characters (Nicolas Sparks comes to mind); I am particularly fascinated by how a male character may change/be changed by events/situations (a major theme in Last Chance Rescue as well). I like unusual settings, but not to the point of unbelievability (which is why I did ride-alongs with a medevac team before I finished writing Last Chance Rescue). My ‘pet peeve’ is a book with too much ‘headhopping’ (constantly changing points of view).

9. Do you have any tips for those aspiring authors out there?
Forget about writing what you know (that would be so boring for most of us!), but do your homework to make it as real as possible (but don’t get too carried away—it is fiction, after all!. Don’t write for a particular goal or market; write what makes your heart sing.

10. Do you have any links of where we can find you on the internet?
Yes, I’m on the Web!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tracey Cramer-Kelly will be here on 11-18-2009

Here is an excerpt from Last Chance Rescue by Tracey Cramer-Kelly to get you in the mood for tomorrow. It looks like a great book! Enjoy!

The helicopter shuddered and swayed as it lifted off the helipad. Instinctively Brad Sievers gripped the edge of the bench, willing his stomach to calm down.

The chopper was so full he could hardly move, and he felt overly warm and claustrophobic. Though he wore a headset, he could hear the Colorado air pulsing through the giant blades above.

Minutes ago he'd been terribly insistent about tagging along on this search-and-rescue mission; now he wasn't sure it was a good idea. What the hell am I doing? he thought. I'm in advertising, for Chrissakes!

"Okay, listen up," the team leader said.

The movement of the chopper was so foreign to Brad that he had difficulty paying attention. The team leader talked about the missing snowmobilers -- what they looked like, where they were last seen and probable scenarios. He threw out a lot of numbers -- coordinates, Brad realized later -- and assigned teams to what he kept calling quadrants. "And Jessie will take our ride-along in CHIPS," he finished.

Brad had known Jessie Van Dyke since kindergarten -- in fact, it was entirely possible he'd chased her around the playground in "kiss and tell" -- but they'd been only casual acquaintances through high school. He hadn't seen her in ten years -- until he showed up at their high school reunion in Minnesota just weeks ago, hoping to impress his old crush, Aimee Kinderbach -- who blew him off in the end.

He must have had a blank look on his face because Jessie said, "CHIPS is our medevac chopper. It's equipped with heat-seeking equipment, electronic mapping, medical equipment -- the whole nine yards. It's parked at our rendezvous helipad." She tugged on Brad's harness, adjusting the fit like another woman would adjust a tie.

They disembarked on a plateau that was in the middle of nowhere according to Jessie. Brad wouldn't have known it; the plateau was lit up like the Fourth of July, a line of snowmobiles idling to one side. A blast of cold air hit him, making him thankful for the jacket.

Jessie tapped his arm. "This way." She led him around the helicopter they'd just landed in. Behind it was the smaller helicopter, CHIPS. It, too, had its propellers going.

Jessie swung open the back door and plugged in her headset.

"Hey guys," she said. "We've got company tonight."

She indicated that Brad should take the rear-facing seat, and showed him where to plug in his headset. She introduced him to "Pilot Sam" and "Navigator Rick."

"Brad's been hanging out with us and couldn't resist sticking around for the real thing."

Jessie settled herself into the seat across from Brad.

A pair of lit-up computer screens in front of Rick caught Brad's attention. "How does that work?" As if in response to his inquiry, a voice came over the radio. "Checking all systems ... all teams power up."

Lights began blinking on the computer screen. "Every team has a transmitter as well as GPS on their radio," Rick explained. "We can track them from above and the mission coordinator can track them from the base site."

Brad found himself riveted to the lights on the screen as the teams responded one by one: "Ready on Alpha." "Ready on Bravo." "Ready on Charlie ..."

It took him several minutes to realize what the words meant. "Team names?"

Jessie nodded. "Based on the military alphabet. That was the team leader, Dan, calling for the ready-check."

Finally Rick spoke into his mouthpiece. "We have audio and visual on all teams. We are ready to rock and roll."

"Ditto on the ground," another voice said. "Move out!" The helicopter began to rise as snowmobiles passed it on the right. Out the rear window panel, Brad watched as the launch pad and snowmobile lights disappeared from view. "How do you know where to look?" he asked.

"Sometimes we don't," Rick said. "But in this case, we have fairly reliable information about where they are."

"If we didn't, we may have been put on standby until the ground teams found them -- or first light," Jessie said.

"Or if the weather was really crappy," Rick added.

"Here. Make yourself useful." Jessie was holding something that looked like a cross between binoculars and 3-D glasses. "They're night-vision goggles."

Brad wasn't sure what he was looking for but it felt better to be contributing, so he strapped the goggles on and peered out the window at the ground below. His thoughts drifted to the woman across from him…

Their chance encounter at the reunion had stuck with him after he returned to his new job in Dallas. He tried to forget the way she touched his lapel when she said, "I never would have guessed you for advertising; I didn't think that would give you fulfillment." And the way her eyes searched his when she teased him about being shallow.

And then he lost his job.

And the self-doubt -- was he the reason they'd lost the account? -- started eating at him. He'd been drinking himself to devastation every night, but it hadn't made him feel any better. If anything, that brief conversation with Jessie came to mind more often. So, on a half-drunken whim, he'd driven from Dallas to her home state of Colorado, intending to put her "shallow" comment to rest.

But the conversation didn't go the way he'd envisioned it ...

"Team Foxtrot has a visual." The voice cut into Brad's thoughts, jarring him back to the present. He wasn't sure how long they'd been flying.

"Cannot confirm it's our target," the voice continued. "We'll check it out."

"Are we close enough?" Sam said.

Rick was studying a map on one of the computer screens. "That's southwest of us about 20 miles," he said. "If it's not legit, we can circle back easily and still cover prime terrain."

It was Sam's turn to radio. "CHIPS to back up Foxtrot." He swung the chopper around.

"Affirmative, Chips II."

"Who's on Foxtrot?" Rick asked.

"That would be Micah and Ryan," Jessie said. Brad had just had a long conversation about stock car racing with Ryan, a young Vietnamese-American who was full of jokes.

Fifteen minutes later Rick said, "We're coming up on Foxtrot."

"They look stationary," Jessie said. "I have a visual on their objective ... looks like a wreck, all right."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Interview and contest with Author Jessica Inclan on Bitten By Books!

A big welcome to our readers today! Be sure to read to the end of the interview to find out how to WIN the fabulous prizes being offered up.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a fixed time event, the post just goes live at 10:30 am CDT. You can stop by any time during the day or evening and leave your questions and chat.

PLEASE KEEP SPOILERS TO A MINIMUM. Not all of the readers today have read Jessica’s books.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Interview and contest with Author Chloe Neill at Bitten By Books!

A big welcome to our readers today! Be sure to read to the end of the interview to find out how to WIN the fabulous prizes being offered up.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a fixed time event, the post just goes live at 10:30 am CDT. You can stop by any time during the day or evening and leave your questions and chat.

PLEASE KEEP SPOILERS TO A MINIMUM. Not all of the readers today have read Chloe’s books.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Interview and Contest with Author Lynsay Sands at Bitten By Books

A big welcome to our readers today! Be sure to read to the end of the interview to find out how to WIN the fabulous prizes being offered up.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a fixed time event, the post just goes live at 10:30 am CDT. You can stop by any time during the day or evening and leave your questions and chat.

PLEASE KEEP SPOILERS TO A MINIMUM. Not all of the readers today have read Lynsay’s books.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Interview and contest with Author Sapphire Phelan at Bitten By Books

A big welcome to our readers today! Be sure to read to the end of the interview to find out how to WIN the fabulous prizes being offered up.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a fixed time event, the post just goes live at 10:30 am CDT. You can stop by any time during the day or evening and leave your questions and chat.

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network needs 8,120 signatures. Will you help?

Pancreatic cancer isn't getting the attention it deserves–not from the federal government and not from medical researchers. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. The number of cases is increasing, but the investment in research for early detection, effective treatment options and eventually a cure lags far behind the other leading cancer killers.

We need to change that–and you can help. Pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved substantially in the past 30 years. We made progress on breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer because people demanded early detection tools, effective treatment options and critical federal funding for focused research. People like you can make a difference.

You can raise awareness about pancreatic cancer. Join with friends and family to be a strong voice to draw the attention of our elected officials, astute medical researchers, the media and the general public.

Together, we can create national momentum. We can make a difference; a big difference. Now is the time to do it.

Approximately 116 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each day. In recognition of November as National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has issued a challenge to secure 8,120 signatures to support the 8,120 people who will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer between the launch of the campaign (September 22), and the end of November. Since the challenge was issued, over 5,000 have joined in the fight—it's time for you to join them. You and others like you can be their voice in the fight to find a cure while they fight for their lives.

Doctors like me look to perform medical miracles every day. They don't just happen, though. They come about through the hard work and commitment of people like you–a community of dedicated people who aren't in the operating room, but who play a role in every case of cancer that goes into remission and in the life of every survivor. I lost my own father to this horrific disease. I know how important the work of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is and the difference you, and your family and friends can make.

We're trying to add people to the fight by the end of November. Will you ask your friends and family to join us? I will be asking mine.

When we know more about pancreatic cancer, we'll know more about how to fight it and end it. Thank you for playing a critical role in this important effort.

Mark Talamonti, MDNorthShore University HealthSystemChairman of the Medical Advisory Council - Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

1According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 42,470 individuals will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009. This translates into an average of over 116 people being diagnosed with the disease each day.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Release Party for Ilona Andrews at Bitten By Books

Welcome to the Bitten by Books Release party for ON THE EDGE. I just received the author copies and it’s a real book. I guess I don’t think it’s real until I can hold the finished copy.

::pets book::: Iz my preciouss. Shiiiiiny.

There is a funny story attached to the creation of this book. I’d written the opening a long time ago almost two years, but I never did anything with it. So, I’d just finished Kate 3 and it left me emotionally drained. (Kate books are tough to write. Everything has to be just so.) I didn’t want to start another Kate manuscript right away, so I started playing around with the opening and I thought, “Hmm… I wonder if there is enough of this to make it into a novella… I could release it as a freebie on the blog.”

So I’d written it out and ran it by Jeaniene Frost. A few minutes later a message from BFF Jeaniene popped into my mail box. I opened it. The first sentence read, “I’m going to kill you…”

Apparently Jeaniene had formed a rather strong opinion that this manuscript should be a novel and she wasn’t subtle about expressing it. I honestly thought she was deeply mistaken and there was no way to make a novel out of it, but I had nothing to lose at that point, so I sat down and chugged forward. A two books contract, a Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review and 4 1/2 Romantic Times Top Pick later, I’m willing to say it.

Dear Jeaniene,

You were right.
So with that startling admission in mind (I don’t admit being wrong that often), let’s party and I hope you’ll enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Interview and Contest with Karen Dales at Bitten By Books

A big welcome to our readers today! Be sure to read to the end of the interview to find out how to WIN the fabulous prizes being offered up.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a fixed time event, the post just goes live at 10:30 am CDT. You can stop by any time during the day or evening and leave your questions and chat.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Bloody Vampire - 31Days of Dark Delights Event

October marks our 2nd Halloween and with it a huge cause for celebration! We have a month filled with special guests, contests, and giveaways. We hope that you will be a part of our My Bloody Vampire - 31 Days of Dark Delights event this October.

There will be daily contests along with over 14 author events, polls, parties and more! Something fun and prizes for the masses everyday in the our dearest darkest month.

Here are just a handful of the fabulous authors offering up prizes for daily giveaways in October!

Charlaine Harris
Linda Wisdom
Larrissa Ione
Anne Kane
JM Snyder
Diane Whiteside
Marta Acosta
Marilu Mann
Terry Spear
Yolanda Sfetsos
Cynthia Eden
Selena Illyeria
Frank Say
Kimberly Frost
Mayra Calvani
Sapphire Phelan
Ann Macela
Christine Rose
Diane Whiteside
Jenna Black
Jae Roth
Linda Palmer
Marguerite Labbe
B.J. McCall
Ashlyn Chase
Eileen F. Watkins

Just added:Ericka Scott

Not to mention the numerous publishers and other businesses! If you had a blast at our Birthday bash, hang on to your blood bags, because this October is going to be a bloody good time for all! Of course there will be daily party packs of author swag, so you will want to come by every day to chat and be entered to win those! Party pack contests are open to readers world wide!

So, who is ready to party? Are you going to stop by and enjoy the fun? Watch this post for updates in the coming days! If you are an author, business or publisher who is interested in contributing prizes to the celebration, please email me directly at: racoo.smith @ gmail. com (no spaces) with the words “My Bloody Vampire Contribution” in the subject line so it doesn’t get lost in the spam filter.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Interview, chat and contest with author C June Wolf at Bitten By Books

A big welcome to our readers today! Be sure to read to the end of the interview to find out how to WIN the fabulous prizes being offered up.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a fixed time event, the post just goes live at 10:30 am CDT. You can stop by any time during the day or evening and leave your questions and chat.

Prize 1: A story written for You. You choose the genre and the time period. Tell me up to three things about the protagonist (a name, an ability, something she hates or something she likes – it’s up to you) and I will do the rest. Or you can choose a theme - say, art and the paranormal or alien shopping or whatever you’re curious about, and I’ll come up with the character, etc. Or you can leave it all up to me. In any case, tell me a little about yourself and what you like or what is important to you, and I will bear that in mind as I write. The publishing rights remain with me, but the story is dedicated to you and you see it first. I’ll send you a signed printout when it’s done. Heck, if you like I’ll call and read it to you. Plus you will receive a personalized signed copy of Finding Creatures & Other Stories. (Note: writing a story takes time! This won’t come instantly but it’ll get there soon enough.)

Prize 2: A personalized signed copy of Finding Creatures & Other Stories plus a poem in the genre of your choice. Choose one element of the poem and I’ll do the rest. See Prize 1 above for details.

Prize 3: An Amazon gift card worth $40.00 CDN at the Amazon that serves your area (.ca, .com, .uk).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Marlene Perez is at Bitten By Books!

A big welcome to our readers today! Be sure to read to the end of the interview to find out how to WIN the fabulous prizes being offered up.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a fixed time event, the post just goes live at 10:30 am CDT. You can stop by any time during the day or evening and leave your questions and chat.

Julia Kenner is at Bitten By Books!

A big welcome to our readers today! Be sure to read to the end of the interview to find out how to WIN the fabulous prizes being offered up.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a fixed time event, the post just goes live at 10:30 am CDT. You can stop by any time during the day or evening and leave your questions and chat.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Raine Delight is here today!

Raine Delight stopped by my blog to talk about what inspires her stories. Take a look and leave a comment or a question. Raine loves to hear from her readers.

“What inspires your stories?”

You know that is the one question I dread answering as an author. Ask me on my characters, stories, upcoming attractions but ask me what inspires something and I am at a loss. Well I take that back…not exactly a loss but it is hard for me to get the right words to explain what inspires me.

Everything inspires me…a news article, passing snatch of a song on a radio heck something that may have happened in my life. All is up for fodder for ideas and yes, I do use creative license to make them a tad bit more interesting *grins*.

I think writing a new story is like making a new recipe. You have a dash of this, a dash of that…stir it all up and add in some yummy bits to make something so yummy, you want more.

For my Devon Falls series, I used a combination of my home town and my former places of employment to create the town of paranormals. Each time I wrote a Devon Falls book, it grew and more characters popped up to clamor for a story. For example, my hometown has a candy shop where I actually knew the owner and his family who made and sold these yummy treats. That was the basis of Sticky Magic and then it grew. I seem to add to it each time I go back to Devon Falls and frankly I like adding to it but dang if it isn’t hard to keep up.


For my Space Pirates Series, I read a science article online on what would happen to the Earth if there was a freak Gamma Explosion that hit us and of course, it helped I was watching Johnny Depp play Captain Jack *grins*, that my Space Pirates were born.

Another series is based on my fascination of the BDSM world and the many stories I read about it lately. Club Fantasy series is a paranormal, of course, with two very hot co-owners and lovers. This series is pure imagination but the question of “What if you stepped in this club and found a side of you that you never knew existed?” fascinated me and had me thinking ideas. This was intriguing and the basis of Desires Unleashed was born with a heroine who finds her falling for two very different men that leave her panting for more.

My muse is a nut that likes to leave me hanging and keeps me jumping with ideas. With each story a little bit of me goes in there and frankly that is how I like it.

So what inspires me? Why everything and anything, dear reader. I hope to continue entertaining you in the future with more books and steamy fun.

For more information on Raine Delight and her books, check out the links below.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Raine Delight will be here on 9-17-09

Just a quick reminder that Raine Delight will be stopping by my blog. Come by and say hello.

Here is a tease of her next book, Haunted Magic. It is book four in her Devon Falls Series. I you haven't read it yet, I suggest you go and get it. What are doing still sitting there? Go, now!

Devon Falls 4: Haunting Magic
Book 4 in series
Raine Delight
Paranormal Erotic Romance
Coming to Aspen Mountain Press
Fall 2009
More information at

Rodrick Dracon is the twin heir to the Dragon Inn. When he finds himself longing for a mate after being footloose and fancy free, he finds himself drawn to the most obnoxious, brassy woman he has ever met: Jaxon Sinclair. She is the one woman who doesn't melt when he goes by or hangs on his every word. She is just aggravating and down right sexy as sin! Soon the sparks fly, passion goes into boiling and Halloween approaches. Can this wolf shifter get this woman to heel before the full moon? Will Jax turn the tables on this ladies man and tame the wolf?

Sneak peek Unedited Excerpt (please excuse the typos and other mistakes):

Hearing a knock on the door, Damien poked his head inside and spying Rod looking out the window, he walked inside, closing the door quietly behind him.

“Well, brother of mine, you seem to have found the one woman who could give two shits about you.” Damien shook his head as laughter gleamed in his eyes. “Man, Jaxon Sinclair of all people and you just had to taunt her, didn’t you? You couldn’t just let it go for one night. Then you kissed her. If you didn’t want her pissed at you even more, this should do it.”

“Are you done being an asshole? And please, can you stop giving me a play by play? I was there and I really don’t need you telling me your opinion of the situation.” Rod turned around and he practically growled at his twin in response. His eyes glowed a bright golden hue and his breath huffed through his nose in annoyance. “I need you to back off, brother of mine, before the wolf inside me decides to take offense against his chosen mate and tries to take out your throat. I don’t think blood will get out of the Persian carpet and mother will have a hissy fit.”

Damien watched his brother warily as the golden eyes watched him and he could feel the dragon inside him itching to take him up on the fight but thankfully, his cooler head was in control of his body and he shook his head in bemusement.

“Ok, Ok…sheesh Rod, it isn’t like I do not want you to settle down but Jax????? She can’t stand you or did until you kissed her like that. Man what anatomy were you thinking with, your dick?”

“Not sure, Damien, what the hell happened but one minute I was trying to yank her chain and the next thing I know, I want to claim her and mark her as mine for everyone to see and know.” Rod shook his head as his body finally cooled down to function and walked over to where Damien stood and laid a hand on his twin’s arm, and said baffled, “She is my mate Damien and I have no clue who will kill whom after it is all said and done. The wolf wants her with every breath I take and it was hard enough walking away without running back to rip her clothes off and take her right then and there.”

Rod’s face looked up at Damien and it was a picture of utter perplexity that had Damien chuckling softly. Squeezing his arm, Damien walked over to the mini bar and grabbed two beers. Popping them open, he gave Rod one and then took a long swallow of his before answering his twin.

“Rod, love’s a bitch and if you admit it, you have wanted her for a long time. The sparks between you two was felt by many people. It was a flaming miracle that you two lasted before combusting. My god, man, you found your mate and with the full moon coming tomorrow, you either deal with the hand fate gave you or give up learning what makes this woman call to you and the wolf inside you. You need her and the wolf is determined to have her regardless of what happens.” Damien swallowed some more beer as he watched Rod’s face get calmer and contemplative. The glow from his twin’s eyes seemed to dampen though it was still there ready to flare in an instant.

“Brother you need her and now it’s your time to claim her. Listen to me for a change and since I owe you for helping me get my head on straight about Alicia a few months ago, I would really appreciate that you not take a chunk out of my hide. I don’t think she would appreciate that very much and if you think she won’t kill you, and then you really haven’t seen her pissed off and gunning for vengeance.” Damien said with a grimace as he put down his empty beer bottle in the trash and walked over to Rodrick who still stood like a rock, a contemplative expression on his face. “Go for a run and get your game head on brother of mine. Jax is going to test you in every way and then some. It is time to get ready for a war because her heart is clearly behind some strong shields and the wolf will not settle for anything but her heart, body and soul before this is all said and done. Know you have my support and if you need me for anything, just let me know. I have your back like always, Rod.”

Damien nodded and as he walked out he could hear Rod, muttering under his breath and smiled as he walked away from a man about to meet his greatest adversary: the woman meant to be his for all time and man; he didn’t envy the chase Jax was going to give Rodrick. Chuckling, he went down to the Inn and made sure that the guests were happy now that the entertainment his twin had to deliver that night was over for the time being.

"A little bit sweet....a whole lot of naughty!"
Website/Blog Readers' Loop
My Space Newsletter Only

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Excerpt of Viking Seduction by Tracy L. Ranson

Viking Seduction
Tracy L. Ranson
June 4, 2009
Dark Castle Lords
Check out Tracy's Website formore news, books and other good stuff:

Morgaine ap Rhodri is a princess on the run from Wales. Rather than face the prospect of a loveless marriage with King Alfred of Wessex, she turns to her true friend-the sea-to aid her in her escape. The only thing she expects is to make a new life somewhere and live on her own terms. What she doesn't count on is falling into the arms of a handsome Viking Nobleman, Erik Ragnorsson. After he captures her ship and takes her back to his land as a slave, Morgaine does the one thing that she never wanted to do: fall under the spell of his VIKING SEDUCTION.

Painful throbs in her head brought Morgaine back from the depths of the howling blackness of unconsciousness. How long she remained there was uncertain. The last thing she remembered was getting ready to run a Viking through...her ship! Jesu! A roving band of Vikings attacked her ship on the high sea!

Morgaine opened her eyes. Where was she? Silvery moonlight bathed a rough-hewn tent in gray and outlined the confines of her prison. Just beyond the edge, she heard the soft murmur of voices in a language she had never heard before as well as the slap of oars as they entered the water. Where was everyone?

Morgaine dropped her hand. Soft fur pelts constructed a bed beneath her, warm but foreign. Fear pounded along her veins as the sudden realization of her situation sank in. She must have been captured and brought aboard a Viking ship to be taken God only knew where!

What was she going to do? Were they going to ravish her and pass her around like some sort of sport?

Before she could think upon her situation further, the tent parted with the help of two large hands. Terror pushed Morgaine’s heart to a new pace as a lump formed in her throat. Who entered her dim prison? Better still, what did they want with her? She backed up a little on the mound, her fingers curling around the silky hairs.

A very tall figure emerged through the opening. He stood before her, bulging arms crossed. From his silhouette, she could see his heavily muscled arms as well as his strong legs splayed out in a gesture of power. Light colored, wavy hair framed his unseen face.

“I trust you are well.” His deeply masculine voice spoke her Welsh tongue with a perfect accent.

She was taken aback. “ know my language?”

A quick snort of annoyance escaped his lips. “You forget that the Vikings have traveled the seas since time began. Most of us know many languages.” He allowed his arms to fall to his sides. Slowly he curled his hands and placed them on his lean hips. “I suppose you could use some light.” With a quick snap of his fingers, a small oil filled pot passed through the opening of the tent. Despite the small flame, the light was generous enough for her to get a good look at him.

Warm golden light highlighted his bronzed skin underneath the strange fur vest covering his wide torso. He possessed a strong brow hooding his eyes, almost like those of a hawk. His aquiline, sleek nose swept down to high cheekbones. Luscious full lips parted to let out a soft breath. Her heart thumped an extra beat as a deep dread filled her.

“Many thanks, my lord. What...what is it you wish to do with me?”

“That all depends.” He lowered himself next to her. The corner of the bed sank under his massive weight and brought forth the frightening notion this giant could spring on her and there was nothing she could do to stop him.

She trembled slightly but managed to keep her emotions wiped from her face. “On what?”

Her captor picked up a strand of her hair and dangled the locks between his strong fingers. “On you. First, you are going to tell me who you are and what you are doing at sea with a band of men.” Strange light danced behind the stormy gray eyes, his emotions very hard to read. Father had taught her to gauge her enemy by their eyes but this was one she couldn’t identify. What was his real intention with her?

She shook her head and crossed her arms. “No. That is my concern and my concern alone.”

In a swift motion, his strong arm locked around her waist and drew her against the hardened plane of his chest. He whirled about until he had her pinned beneath him. The width of his hips forced her legs apart and she had no choice but to let them fall open. He was far too strong for her to push him off.

He poised above her as the sweep of his gaze traveled all over her face. A storm brewed behind those iron gray eyes, fueled by more unknown emotions.

Tenderly, the pad of his thumb skimmed over her lower lip. He murmured something in his Viking tongue as he caressed her cheek. “You are a beautiful woman.” He lowered his head as if he would but steal a kiss from her. “I could sip from those lips all night long.”

Anger flashed inside of her, replacing the small bites of lust nipping at her soul. “There will be no sipping or anything else. I refuse to give in to your demands.”

His blonde eyebrow rose. “Really? Let me see if I can tempt you into giving in to my demands.” Pressing his hips downward, she could feel the bulge of his huge cock grind against her pussy. Her nipples tingled in a strange fashion, beginning from root to tip. She gasped.

A sensual slipped over his lethal lips as his mouth curled into a half smile. “Have you tasted desire enough?”

Morgaine could do nothing but stare at his hypnotic eyes and tremble beneath his mammoth form. The inner walls of her pussy convulsed as if her nether regions hungered to have his large organ inside of her pumping away to oblivion. She tried to stop all those emotions but she couldn’t. His masculine force was too strong for her.

I interviewed Tracy L Ranson today!

Tracy L Ranson stopped by my blog to answer a few questions. Grab a cup of coffee and stay a while. Please leave her a question or a comment. Tracy loves to hear from her readers. Come on, you know you wanna. lol

For more information about Tracy and her books, please click on the link below.

What genres do you write in and why?
I mostly write in historical but everything I have out covers all ends of the spectrum. Can we say, multitasking?

Do you research information for your stories?
If so, what kind of research? I most certainly do. It’s one of my favorite things. I’m a historical buff and I love to learn all kinds of new things about my subjects along the way.

What is the best writing advice and what was the worst that you have received?
The best? I would have to say never give up. The worst: Don’t quit your day job.

Is there a genre that you haven’t written that you would like to? That’s a toughie because I write all over the board. I guess I would have to say Regency. I haven’t done that yet.

Tell us a bit about Viking Seduction, what is the story about?
A renegade Welsh princess is on the run from a forced marriage. What Morgana ap Rhodri doesn’t count on is running straight into the arms of Erik Ragnorsson, a handsome, virile Viking nobleman who captures her ship. She becomes his slave, refusing to give her heart to him. It isn’t long before Morgana falls under the spell of his VIKING SEDUCTION.

What gave you the idea for the story?
My husband is of Norwegian ancestry and has quite a few Viking warriors back in his family tree. He’s the epitome of a Viking warrior, very tall with long blonde hair, big muscles and sturdy build. I started asking him a few questions about his ancestors and sort of built my story up from there.

Do you have any WIP that you may want to tell us about?
I’ve got so many. I’m editing quite a few books that should carry me until the end of the year. After that, I’ll be jumping onto my newest pirate story (everyone has been asking when I was going to write a new one) tale. It’s a tale of revenge for a woman’s honor but the hero finds redemption in the daughter of his enemy. I’m adding a lot of twists and turns in this one and it should be interesting! I’m writing it in between my works in edit.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Important September dates for Bitten By Books!

Mark Your Calendar Dates for September 2009 (Feel free to share the link and dates with your friends, but they are still subject to change):

9/1 - Author Maria V. Snyder - Guest Blog/Contest RSVP HERE:

9/2 - Author Kimberly Frost - Interview/Contest RSVP HERE:

9/8 - Author Michelle Rowen - Interview/Contest

9/15 - Author Ann Cory - TBA

9/17 - 9/15 - Author Susan Squires - Interview/Contest

9/18 - Pre Funk Party for Talk Like a Pirate Day with Author Angie Fox and Pirate the Talking Dog!

9/21 - Author Marlene Perez - Interview/Contest

9/22 - Author Julie Kenner - Interview/Contest

9/23 - Author C. June Wolf - Interview/Contest

9/28 - Author Illona Andrews - Release Party/Contest

9/29 - Author Karen Dales - Interview/Contest

9/30 - Author Sapphire Pelan - Interview/Contest

Monday, August 24, 2009

My interview with Laura Tolomei

Good morning everyone! Come and welcome author, Laura Tolomei. Grab a cup of coffee and take a seat. Laura answered some of my questions and you can read them below. Leave her a comment of a question, Laura loves to hear from her readers.

1.Did you always want to become an author or did you just fall into it?
I always loved writing so it was no casual affair I became an author. The first time I tried my hand with it, was in high school where I managed to publish a short, very short, story on the Colonel Journal. Then I contributed some articles for Emory U Journal, liking it very much, but didn’t think of making a career out of It until almost 30 years later, even if I never stopped writing altogether.

2.Did it take you a while to become published? If so, what made you keep going?
Well, my first novel dates back to 2006 while the first published work, the short story The Moon Priestess, is of March 2008 so I guess it did take me a while before I acquired a publisher. What kept me going was the belief in my skills and the value of my work even beyond its apparent erotic content. Of course, the fact that I don’t have to earn my living with it makes it a lot easier LOL. Luckily, I have a regular job so I see this more as a hobby and dedicate it time and energy only when I have them, not continuously as in a regular job. And this is an advantage in more than one way because rather a creative experience it makes my writing all the more fun and enjoyable.

3.When you sit down to write, is there a ritual you have to do before you start?
Turn on the music. Without it I suffer from lack of concentration. Music works miracles on my brain, my greatest inspiration and interest so far.

4.Do you plan the story out or just let it flow?
I definitely let it flow and often don’t even know where it’s going until it ends. In Spying the Alcove, my latest release, my mate made me notice a detail, which influences a character in a way I hadn’t thought about when writing the story, but which suited him perfectly. Also in my serial Virtus, out starting in 2010, it took me 6 books to figure out why things worked the way they did and where the story was going, even if the characters had told me from the start.

5.Did you decide to write in the M/M genre or did it choose you?
As I said above, I didn’t plan it this way. These stories seemed to work better, the characters more credible and exciting so I went along with them, creating stories to suit them.

6.Do you have a current list of releases and where they can be found?
I most certainly do.

RE-SCUE, novel, FDP Firedrake Weyr Publishing, M/M, M/F, M/F/F, Contemporary, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Paranormal.
Through time, there’s a lot of changes.
Through lives, there’s a lot of mistakes.
The only bond between time and lives is destiny.
Sometimes, you can recognize your changes and your mistakes…even your destiny. But ARE YOU WILLING AND READY TO ACCEPT IT?

OCTOBER 2009 - BLOOD SHADOWS ON PASSION, novel, eXtasy Books, M/M, Horror, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal.
A wolf, a Druid, a hunter and his assistant…sex or violence, blood or sperm, human or beast, but you can never really tell which is which.

DECEMBER 2009 - TO SEDUCE A SOULMATE, novel, eXtasy Books, M/M, Paranormal.
Finding a soul mate was the easy part. To seduce him became the hardest game of his life.

2010 - VIRTUS: The Sex novel, eXtasy Books, M/M, M/M/F, Series, Fantasy, Adventure, Paranormal, Series.
On Sendar, sex has replaced violence…a lot of sex instead of bloody violence. And where there’s a lot of sex, there’s no difference between genders so nobody cares about your tastes or preferences. IS THIS A TALE?

7.Do you have any WIP that you might want to share with us?
I have several WIPs, starting from Virtus and the next books of the serial, The Game, The Shadow, The Pledge, The Guardian. I have a contemporary, paranormal M/M/F novel I’m finishing up and an M/M, dark fantasy, short story for another of eXtasy’s well-known Anthologies.

8.Considering all the books you have written, do you have one that stands out or is your favorite?
Without any doubt, Divinitas (genre: M/M, lesbian ménage, historical, dark fantasy, paranormal, gods, deities) is my favorite book to date. A very unique novel, it’s a multi-character tale, which uses three incarnations to tell the story of two souls struggling with lust, love and betrayal in their quest for the divine essence, best described in its three fundamental cycles, life, death, rebirth. Three main stories make up the book and their settings, just like the characters, change dramatically. Starting in Ancient Egypt, it continues in the fabulous Persian Empire, concluding in Celtic Britain. The first two stories are a personal interpretation of age-old myths, Osiris’s death and resurrection as god of the underworld, and Mitra’s ascent in Zarathustra’s and later Roman cult as the invincible Sun God. But the book’s appeal lies not in the setting or the characters, however intriguing they may be,
Divinitas challenges the reader to think about sacred mythology, which seems strangely recurrent in various religions. If I had to give a definition, it would be of an erotic book with an intellectual content that addresses central themes in our beliefs about life, after-life and our connection to the divine. I offer alternative points of view and…who knows? indicate new paths for individual growth. That's why my characters in Divinitas, just like in all my books, learn to grow along the way. In fact, their lessons will help them lead better lives in the next incarnation. And even if I tackle ancient myths or legends, I still talk about real life people struggling through the same battles we all face daily. Us-Yri has to learn to master his uncontrollable passion for his friend Set in order to understand his spiritual side. Mitra, too, tries to fight against his lust for Vayu only to find that total acceptance of his love is the only thing that will set him free.
But Divinitas goes even further. Its greatest message is perhaps that everyone has a connection to the divine as long as they don't lose touch with their spiritual side. And analyzing the succession of religious myths, it becomes clear spirituality is a force man's been reckoning with ever since he walked the Earth. True, times, spaces and even names change, but the tale they tell is always the same, a love so great that even if betrayed, it will find the strength to save himself and mankind.

9.How many languages do you write in?
I write in both Italian and English and have books coming out in both languages, but I have to admit that lately I’m concentrating more on the English ones. The problem in Italy is with the publishers, not as technologically advanced and up to date like their American, Canadian or English counterparts. Readers are more traditional as well, preferring print to any e-book, thus e-publishing is not a big market segment here in Italy. So my books have only a printing contract, but it takes publishers forever to transform my file to a print format, not to mention that all galley checks are manual alone, noting electronic, and have to be sent by mail, regular mail not the e kind. It all adds up to a lot of wasted time and headaches, which I gladly leave to those who can communicate only in Italian.

10.When you have a moment to sit down and breathe, what do you do to unwind?
I go to the beach. I love lying under the hot sun, letting my mind run free with its own stories and characters, not all of which will become a structured novel. In alternative, or if the weather’s bad or too cold, I love listening to music or see a movie, another of my very many interests.

11.What authors are in your TBR pile?
Bobby Michaels, William Maltese, Matthew Haldeman-Time, D.J. Manly, Laura Baumbach, J.L. Langley, Jet Mykles.

12.Do you have any tips for those aspiring authors out there?
I think the most important piece of advice, which is true for any occasion, is to believe in oneself always and no matter what because if you don’t, , no one’s going to do it for you.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Spying the Alcove by Laura Tolomei

Laura Tolomei was gracious enough to stop by and answer some questions. I will post those in the morning but as a tease, I thought I would post an excerpt from her book, Spying the Alcove. This one is Rated PG but tomorrow I will post a spicier version. Stay tuned!

Spying the Alcove
by Laura Tolomei
Genre: M/M, M/F/M, M/F, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: eXtasy Books,
ISBN: 978-1-55487-347-0
Release date: August 1st, 2009

When his assistant declares sex is to be shared for it’s too precious to lock away in a drawer or save for an exclusive use alone, that it’s free, and has no limitations except our own and gender should never be an acceptable limit, the Professor has trouble accepting this simple concept despite the intriguing tale of a Roman matron’s journey into erotism. Apparently two unconnected stories—Valerio and Andrea in modern day Sicily, Lidia and Brutus’s hot passion in 1st century AD—an ancient medallion will bring them together as Valerio spies the sensually burning alcove in an increasingly unbearable sexual tension.

“Don’t you miss Paolo?” Valerio asked, a surprised look crossing his face.

Andrea shrugged. “Not particularly. He’s a bit too jealous for my taste.”

Valerio grinned. “Weren’t you just telling me how men fare better than women in the jealousy department?” he teased.

Andreas tensed. “They usually do, but there are always exceptions that—“

“No need to explain,” the Professor cut him off gently. “I know you believe in open relationships, but surely not everyone does.”

“Oh, I believe in sleeping around with whomever I like whenever I like,” Andrea grinned, “and I’m sorry for all those who don’t.” He shrugged. “This is one of the few things experience has taught me and I try to live by it.” Taking a deep breath, he wondered briefly if it was wise to reveal a heart-felt conviction that could seal his destiny one of two ways, quickly making up his mind to risk it all. “Sex is meant to be shared. It’s too precious to lock in a drawer, throwing away the key, or save for an exclusive use alone. It’s free and has no limitations except our own. And gender should never be an acceptable limit.”

* * * *

“You didn’t like it, Lidia,” Brutus decided for me, his hand gently stroking my hair.

I raised my head to look him straight in the eyes. “No, I…I’m not sure,” I admitted frankly.

He picked me up effortlessly and placed me on his chest, my small body only partly covering his. “Did it upset you to see two men fucking?” he asked, stroking my cheek.

“I…I didn’t expect it,” I admitted.

“And you’d never seen it?”

I shook my head.

“And what didn’t you like?”

I remained in silence for a second, wondering how truthful I should be.
“Listen, Lidia,” he urged, “it’s just sex, the best pleasure available at any time. And it should be shared with as many as possible, regardless of their gender.”

“But you’re a man,” I protested, “and to see you act like a woman was intolerable.”

He grinned. “There’s just as much pleasure in giving as in receiving. They’re two sides of the same medal, just like domination and submission. The important thing to remember is that it’s just sex. It doesn’t imply I change as a person because I fuck with men rather than women or both. Whether I stick my cock in someone’s ass or have it stuck in mine doesn’t make me less of a man, Lidia.”



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My interview with Lorhainne Eckhart

Lorhainne Eckhart took to the time to stop by my blog during her blog tour for her latest book, The Captain's Lady. I was able to interview her and you can read her answers below. Leave her a comment or a question, she loves to hear from her readers.

1.Did you always want to become an author or did you just fall into it?
I had a love for books since was young enough to read. I would lose myself in the stories that were written. When I was in grade two I wrote my first ghost story, as inspired by a series I was reading. I remember submitting it to my teacher in hopes of some honorable mention, but received no comment, I suspect it needed much editing.
The dream of being an author I did not pursue seriously until five years ago, until then it was always a dream in the back of mind, that maybe one day, I would write a book.

2.Did it take you a while to become published? If so, what made you keep going?
It took me two years to be published once I started submitting my query. I pursued literary agents to represent me and even had several requests to read my manuscript, but each time was declined.
I received some good advice from a friend. If how you’re pursuing something is not working, then you need to come at it in another direction. So, I changed my tactics. I decided to forego an agent and submit directly to the publishing houses. It happened almost immediately I received two offers for publication.

3.When you sit down to write, is there a ritual you have to do before you start?
I start writing quite early in the morning. For me it’s a quiet peaceful time. My mind is fresh and clear first thing in the morning and the words generally flow quite easy. I get up around four or five a.m. I clear my head, in the peace and quiet of the countryside, listen to the roosters crowing, birds chirping and distant farm animals begin their day. I put on a pot of coffee and in the warm months of spring, summer and fall, I take my laptop outside and start writing as soon as the sun is coming up.

4.Do you plan the story out or just let it flow?
No actually, I do not plan my story. What happens is an idea for the premise of a story comes to me. When I sit down to start writing it, create the characters, their lives, their conflicts, their personality quirks, the story takes on a life of it’s own.

5.How did you come up with the idea for The Captain's Lady?
It was during the invasion of Iraq. The controversy of sending the troops over and the news stories around the war. The premise for the story came to me in a dream. The scene appeared as a scripted movie. Abby rescued lying on the deck of a US Military Ship. Captain Eric Hamilton kneeled down to watch over her. The crew stood surrounding the Captain and Abby as the ship’s Doctor pushed his way through. When Abby opened her eyes and looked up, she saw the Captain as an Angel. From there my desire to write the story became a need to put it down on paper and allow the story to unfold.

6.Is The Captain's Lady a series or a stand alone?
The Captain’s Lady is a single title. I have no plans for a series, although, I have left the door open. I may at a future date write a sequel to the story, featuring some of the other essential characters.

7.When you have a moment to sit down and breathe, what do you do to unwind?
I try to schedule me time daily even if it’s just an hour to unwind and quite often, that is when you will find me in my gardens. I have a passion for the outdoors, gardening, landscaping, preserving nature, or I may decide to take a walk in the woods, or go horseback riding. Nevertheless, it is always something close to nature and outdoors.

8.Do you have a current list of releases and where they can be found?
My website is updated frequently. It lists my current novel, with links to where it can be purchased. There is also a page on my website that lists my upcoming projects.
Please refer to my website at

9.Do you have any WIP that you might want to share with us?
I have just completed my third novel. I have outlined the details of my second and third on my website at second novel, The Forgotten Child, is a contemporary romance, set on a ranch. It is a story of a single father of an autistic boy and the woman who helps him come to terms with this neurological disorder.
My third novel, Walk the Right Road – Jerome’s Story, is a work of Women’s Fiction, with romantic and paranormal elements that delve into the world of BC Bud.

10.Considering all of your books that you have written, do you have one that stands out or is your favorite?
I love each one of them equally. They are all quite different, the topic and theme. Each one of them has a special place in my heart.

11.What authors are in your TBR pile?
I have so many. Right now Lee McKenzie, Karen Robards, Beth Trissel, Mimi Barbour, Suzanne Brockmann, James Patterson, Vladimir Megre
I read a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction

12.Do you have any tips for those aspiring authors out there?
Yes, make time to write everyday. Don’t take rejections personally, use them to hone your craft and don’t give up.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Captain's Lady by Lorhainne Eckhart

Lorhainne Eckhart
The Captain's Lady
Wild Rose Press
Romance, Contemporary
304 Pages, Spicy
ISBN: 1-60154-383-2

Excerpt: The Captain’s Lady
“We have no reports of a ship in distress in the area, Captain.”

“What about fishing boats?”

“No, sir, no reports.”

Looking once more at his first officer, Eric issued curt orders, the harshness grating in his voice. “Send a rescue team to check it out.”

Handing the binoculars off to one of the crew members, he strode with determination off the bridge, heading directly to the ship’s launch. His well-trained crew scurried about. Joe appeared at his side and they watched from the rail as the small rigid hull sped off in the direction of the dinghy. His pulse rose and the dampness on his back soaked through his short-sleeved shirt.

“So what do you think?” Joe leaned on the rail, uncertainty clear in the crinkle of his brows.

“Don’t know, dammit.” Eric focused on the scene unfolding in the distance. Again he commandeered the binoculars from Joe and scrutinized the three-man team approaching, then securing the boat to the dinghy.

His senses were keen; over the years, he’d learned to trust them. The uneasiness that crept its way into his gut, the hairs now standing up on the back of his neck and the racing of his heart; this unshakable feeling was telling him that things were about to change—drastically. Puzzled, he felt the mounting frustration build inside, along with something else he could not quite put his finger on. Shaking his head, he realized it was not a feeling of dread.

The crackle of the radio interrupted his speculation. A voice from the rescue team came over the line. “There’s someone in here, a woman, and she’s in bad shape.”

Blurb: The Captain’s Lady
Captain Eric Hamilton is a powerful force in the U.S. Navy, having earned himself a reputation of being a hard-nosed chauvinist. He’s commander of the USS Larsen, a destroyer, currently deployed in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Abby Carlton has just escaped from the man who held her captive for a year. Abducted while travelling in Paris, she was given to an Arab man as a gift, until one night she makes her desperate escape.

While on patrol one morning Captain Eric Hamilton discovers a dinghy floating aimlessly. Abby is found, battered and in an advanced state of pregnancy, lying in the bottom of the dinghy. From the moment she lay on the deck of his ship her innocence finds a way to penetrate his hardened heart. But time is running out. Eric is falsely accused of sexual assault and the CIA wants Abby and the baby for bait to flush out her captor.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What Are You Waiting For? August Book Poll!

What Are You Waiting For? August Book Poll!

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Clare Austin stopped by my blog today!

Thank you, Katie, for hosting me on your blog, Domestic Diva.

After all the waiting, the time has arrived for the release of my novel Butterfly. I still feel unprepared. It’s a bit like being pregnant and waiting for the big event and then being completely overwhelmed when that child is, at last, in your arms.

I’ve always been a story teller, off on some flight of imagination. When I was eight years old I started writing my stories down and illustrating them. I even submitted one to a prestigious New York publishing house. With the rejection letter came encouragement to keep writing.

For years I wrote “in my head”…never on paper other than a few notes here and there that were lost in the piles of notes I wrote myself on a daily basis. I raised my children, had a career, did craft projects, read books and told myself someday I was going to write a novel.

I won’t tell you how many years went by because there were many. Four years ago I read a little book that had been in my husband’s library for quite a while. It is called No Plot…No Problem. I was completely intrigued. I bought a laptop. Now, you have to understand, I was an incompetent typist. I didn’t flunk typing in school only because I dropped out before they had a chance to tell me how much I sucked! I rarely used the internet. My biggest accomplishment on the home computer was solitaire. I deleted everything called “Hot mail” because I thought it was pornography. Okay, give me a break, I had teenage boys in the house!

One October day I started to write. It was a story that had been rattling around in my head for years. The characters talked to me as I drove, while I rode my horse, when I went to bed at night.

In that month in 2005, I wrote a 100,000 word book. The eye strain was so bad I typed with my eyes closed and fixed the typos later. That book is called Land of Ahhs, and I seriously doubt you will ever see it in print. It has everything…jet fighters, small town intrigue, horses, love, sex and …oh…I forgot the rock ‘n roll, but you get the picture. I wrote three books that year, but they all fell short of being marketable. I basically knew nothing about putting together a romance novel that would sell.

Butterfly is the first book in The Fadó Trilogy. This contemporary series follows the lives and loves of a family of three siblings whose passion is Irish traditional music. Fadó is an Irish word meaning “once upon a time” and it is the name of their band. The heroine in Butterfly is the youngest of the group, Flannery, a fiddle player. She is twenty-three, fresh out of Dublin and joining her brother and sister in Boston somewhat against her will.

The idea for Butterfly came together for me from several directions. The serendipity was amazing.

Through Colorado Romance Writers, a local RWA group, I met “The Writing Babes.” This is a smart, funny and lovely group of women—some published, some not yet. It was suggested that I show up for my first critique with some writing. I had nothing I really wanted to share. So, I wrote a couple of chapters of a new story. The “exercise” in critique technique became Butterfly.
People often ask if the heroine in Butterfly is me. That is not a hard one to answer. No way! Sure I have red hair, green eyes, I’m almost all Irish and can play the fiddle, but the resemblance ends there. Flannery never wears a watch…I’m neurotically punctual. She is twenty-three…I’m much older. And, to my chagrin, Flannery Sloane is a better fiddler than I could ever dream to be. On the other hand, I would love to be her friend. She is a bohemian free spirit. She is the butterfly who can light gently on your heart and fly away with a piece of it before you know what’s happened. In a purely Irish expression…she can tell a man to go to hell and make him look forward to the trip. Writing her story was easy because I loved hanging out with her.
The interaction between Flannery and her siblings was the key theme of the book when I began. I love the film Big Night. It explores the relationship between two brothers who have a restaurant…one is the chef, the perfectionist…the other is the businessman. They disagree at every turn, but they love one another without reserve. This was the feeling I wanted to capture with the Sloanes. To Flannery, music is her child, her anam chara and not for sale. To her sister, Kerry, the music business requires compromise or you will never play outside your own kitchen. Their brother, Tynan, is the peacemaker between the two sisters.

I have four sons who are all involved in music to some extent. Only one is a professional musician. I couldn’t create Flannery without thinking of him. He once said his music was more important than anything or anyone in his life. Such bravado! That was all before he fell in love.
Love changes everything. After love, it is hard to remember life before. The path to this realization takes some interesting twists for Flannery and, hero Hunter Kincade.

I wanted to write a story that would make my readers laugh, cry and end up wanting more. I wrote Butterfly for you. I hope you enjoy it.

If you have questions or comments I would love to hear from you. My fan email address is and my web site is Please stop by and leave a comment in my guest book.

Butterfly is available today from in trade paperback and from other online book sellers August 7 in paper and e-book formats.