Monday, January 21, 2008
William Butler Yeats in his poem, When You Are Old, tells of an enduring love. The first lines touch my heart. "When you are old and gray and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look, Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;"
Because I'm late writing this blog, I intend to return with something from wonderful Dylan Thomas another time. But how about love songs. Bear with me, my memory goes back a long way when my mother sang in a choir and sang at home and I learned old, old song and they were sad. "Ramona, I hear the mission bells above.." He dreams of his lost love "I awake and find you gone." And closer to now. Remember the movie, Around The World in Eight Days and the great song, "Around the world I search for you...I know somewhere, sometime, somehow..."The music is playing inside my head.
A world war two song. "Skylark, have you anything to say to me, can you tell me where my love can be ..." And how about Danny Boy? Now there's a song to make you cry. So many love songs are about lost loves, breaking hearts and the like. "Sing to me of love and tell me the words I long to hear."
We write romance to unite the lovers. We sing to them with words on a page. My three romances published by Cerridwen Press are quite different but they leave the reader feeling satisfied.
Something has gone amiss. I can't download my covers. So, I'm away until next time. This was a rushed blog. I will return.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
With us today is Mandy and Denise from Rogues and Romance. If you have questions or want a review please leave them a comment. They'll be happy to get back to you.
Welcome, ladies! Thanks for joining us. We've got some questions for you.
When was the inception of Rogues and Romance? Is it a new review site or has it been around awhile?
Mandy: Rogues and Romance is just a baby! We actually went live September 9th, and have done almost 50 reviews for Rogues and Romance.
What drew you to reviewing?
Mandy: For one thing, I am totally addicted to romances! But what really let me know I wanted to review was when I joined a Yahoo book group. I discovered I enjoyed telling other readers about books I loved almost as much as reading those books. It is so wonderful to review a book and later on have someone let me know that they read the book because of my review- and loved it as much as I did! Also, it’s pretty hard to beat getting sent books to read before anyone else!
Dee: I was drawn to reviewing because I absolutely love to read. Also, as a full-time college student, it was a way for me to get my hands on some free material, because after awhile, my book spending was getting to be a bit ridiculous, lol! I also have a lot of fun, and love, love, love the fantastic books I've had the opportunity to read, and all of the authors have been absolutely amazing.
How does the reviewing process work?
Mandy: When we receive a request, we decide who will review it, and we each work on our list of requests in order. Except when we receive a request for a book that does not have a review yet or is a story for an upcoming holiday, then we try to put priority on those stories.
My personal process is pretty simple really. After I finish the book, most of the time what I want to say is already in my head. There are a lot of times where I jump up out of bed at 3a.m. after I’ve finished a book because I HAVE to get it down. I find the hardest part is actually the summary. You definitely don’t want to give up any more details than the author would like, but at the same time, you want the reader to understand that the book is about- without being too close to the book blurb. What I do is paste the book blurb at the top of a blank document so I know where the author doesn’t mind me going, and type away.
Dee: I'm sure it's different for every reviewer. For me, I really like to sit down and crank one out all at once. I like to read the book in one sitting, then get right on my review. I take into account what others want to see in reviews they read, and also what is going to catch someone's eye.
What does your site have to offer authors and readers?
Dee: When it comes to authors, I think we offer new and lesser known authors the opportunity to put themselves out there. I know Mandy would agree, that we've met a ton of fabulous authors through Rogues and Romance, and every single one of them has definitely deserved the opportunity to be reviewed. I also think we give authors who want us to review them a lot of free reign with what other opportunities they can take part of on our site. They can request an interview, guest blog, contest, etc. We also try our hardest, when authors have a new release, to get our review to them on or before the release date. As for our readers, I think we make our site fun and enjoyable. We don't rate the books on a love/hate scale, and I think the way we write up our reviews lets the readers decide whether or not they would be interested. So far, our interviews and guest blogs with authors have (in my opinion), also been enjoyable, as far as reading them goes. We've had some fun contests, and links to contests, which every reader goes nuts for, lol! So, we definitely have a lot to offer both our readers and authors.
If an author would like a review at Rogues and Romance, how do they submit and where do they send it?
Mandy: Of course the author can always email us before sending their request if they have any questions, but since we review every request we get- all genres, lengths, formats, and heat ratings, a query is not necessary. Unless it is print, of course- then you will need an address. For eBooks, an author can just introduce themselves and send the file(s) to our email:
denise+mandy (at) roguesandromance (dot) com
We always email the author or publisher back as soon as we receive the files and let them know. We usually write a little author intro separate from the review, so be sure and tell us anything you would like us to know. Are you a new author? Is this book a new genre for you? Is it the first book in a series?
As a reader, what is your favorite genre? If romance, is there a specific romance genre, such as erotica, paranormal, or regency you are drawn too?
Mandy: I am usually drawn to romance and erotic romance stories that stray from our reality- paranormal, historical, fantasy and time-travel all hold a special place in my heart. However, the great thing about reviewing is that you end up reading genres and books you wouldn’t normally pick up, and end up finding new favorites. I never thought I would like anything except paranormal and historical, but after giving great genres like contemporary and romantic suspense a chance through reviewing, I find that those genres are stacking up in my personal TBR list.
Dee: I absolutely love paranormal romance. It is definitely, hands down, my favorite genre, but after starting Rogues and Romance with Mandy, I am definitely reading a little bit of everything, and loving all of it.
Not all reviewers accept all books. Can you tell us what these decisions are based on and can you give us any tips on how to get our books reviewed?
Mandy: It’s all a matter of reviewer preference. Denise and I enjoy the variety of all the different romance and erotic romance genres, and never reject requests, as long as there are romantic elements in the story.
The key is to know your review sites. Some review sites only review new releases, some only certain lengths, and of course, some only certain genres. Almost always the decision to reject a book for review is based on sexual content. There are review sites exclusively for erotic romance, or sweet romances, or both- so the best thing to do is to find the right match(es) for your books. Also, take advantage of the smaller review sites, as they generally don’t have the high volume of requests that larger sites do.
To get reviews from larger sites, it’s all about the book blurb, because that is all the reviewer gets to see besides the author and publisher’s name, genre, and sexual content. If a reviewer at a larger site has done a fabulous job on a review for you in the past, why not ask for them again? If you have a book that is already released without a single review, don’t be afraid to communicate that to the review coordinator. Dee Gentle, the coordinator at the respected ParanormalRomance.org is a wonderful woman who always lets the reviewers know when a book doesn’t have a review yet, or if the author has never been reviewed by PNR before. Trust me, it makes a difference.
Denise: Mandy and I both love reading romance in general, but when it comes to more specified sub-genres, our tastes start to vary. So, with romance as our "main genre" per say, we didn't really feel we needed to limit it too much after that. Also, with keeping specifically to romance, I think that probably helps Mandy and I because we like that genre, and we'll be able to review romances more efficiently because we have an interest in it, as a whole.
As for any tips I may have. I personally found out about reviewing through various reading groups on Yahoo!, and from there got involved Paranormal Romance, Romantic Times, and met Mandy to start Rogues and Romance. So, I think a lot of it, is word of mouth, on where to find reviewers, because that's how it worked for me.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Mandy: I just wanted to say thank you so much for giving us this opportunity to spread the word about R&R; we really enjoyed your questions! I hope that we’ve shed a little light on the review process so aspiring reviewers will jump right in, and that authors will have a little advice on getting reviews for their books!
Denise: It seems like all the bases were covered! Fantastic questions. :-) I know I've said it previously, but I absolutely love reviewing, and I have loved every minute of having Rogues and Romance with Mandy. :-)
Thursday, January 17, 2008
The end result was for the most part, a headache. A really big whopping one of the hurts-to-hold-my-head-up-or-my-eyes-open variety. So to give everyone a break, I've decided to post some great quotes about sex. I got these off of one loop or another, so my profound thanks to whoever sent them.
- There is nothing wrong with going to bed with someone of your own sex. People should be very free with sex, they should draw the line at goats. ~Elton John
- There's nothing better than good sex. But bad sex? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is better than bad sex. ~Billy Joel
- Men wake up aroused in the morning. We can't help it. We just wake upand we want you. And the women are thinking, "How can he want me the wayI look in the morning?" It's because we can't see you. We have no blood anywhere near our optic nerve. ~Andy Rooney
- Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't! ~George Bernard Shaw
- He no play-a-da-game. He no make-a-da rules! ~Earl Butz, referring to thePope's stricture against contraception
- For women the best aphrodisiacs are words. The G-spot is in the ears. He who looks for it below there is wasting his time. ~Isabel Allende
- Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go it's one of the best. ~Woody Allen
- Sex at age ninety is like trying to shoot pool with a rope. ~George Burns
- Conservatives say teaching sex education in the public schools willpromote promiscuity. With our education system? If we promote promiscuity the same way we promote math or science, they've got nothingto worry about. ~Beverly Mickins
- It is not economical to go to bed early to save the candles if the result is twins. ~Chinese Proverb
- The only thing wrong with being an atheist is that there's nobody to talkto during an orgasm. ~Author Unknown
- Were kisses all the joys in bed, One woman would another wed.~William Shakespeare, Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Music, IV
- The reproduction of mankind is a great marvel and mystery. Had Godconsulted me in the matter, I should have advised him to continue the generation of the species by fashioning them out of clay. ~Martin Luther
- Tell him I've been too fucking busy - or vice versa. ~Dorothy Parker
- The difference between pornography and erotica is lighting. ~Gloria Leonard
- There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SLconvertible. ~P.J. O'Rourke
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Thanks for dropping by Jacqueline.
Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I wrote when I was younger and it was something that I wanted then. The “practicalities” of life intervened later and it was something that was put away because it was frowned upon as not being productive and being down right silly and childish. I later learned that the persons telling me these things were people who had either lost or surrendered their own dreams and really couldn’t stand to see anyone else, even a young person, cling to theirs.
I scribbled in notebooks I kept hidden from time to time, but didn’t really reconnect with that part of myself until about four or five years ago.
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love that I get to share the stories in my head with others. I love that writing down my stories gives them a sort of life and home that they didn’t have before. I hate the anxiety of worrying if others will like them. How do you balance your personal and writing time? Badly. Some days I come home from school so exhausted and run down, that I barely have time to do the basics and then crawl in bed. If I make a resolution this year—something I’m not prone do, it will be to start taking advantage of every opportunity I have to write.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
My characters come first. I may have a fragment of an idea bouncing around like an image from a dream or a line from a song but eventually a character starts to develop. It is oddly like giving birth in away. The character grows and develops into a full person. He tells me what his life is like, what he is like. Sometimes other minor characters drift in and out and I can pump them for details about my character. But once he is developed, he will finally tell me his story.
And I don’t say “he” as a neutral pronoun. For some reason it is always the man who drives the story with me. Any time I try to work with a female character as the moving factor in a story it causes me headaches. My boys just treat me better.
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I’ve written different genres but the one that keeps coming back to me time and again is the sci-fi/fantasy. I include paranormal in that category as well. These are the movies I love, the books I read and the stories that tell themselves in my mind.
My stories, no matter what genre, are always focused on one thing. Relationships. How the people interact with each other. That is the most important thing in our real world and it is the driving force behind better fiction. Action and complicated plot twists are nice, but they are empty if the characters don’t touch us.
What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
”So now that you’ve gotten published are you going to quit teaching? Are you going to be rich?”
I’ve heard some variation on this theme several times in the past few months. I knew enough going in to know that authors, unless you hit the mother lode of big money PR, movie rights, merchandising, etc. you don’t “get rich.” I blame people like J.K. Rowling, Michael Crichton and John Grisham for this. As I keep pointing out…movie deals.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
My characters are entities in and of themselves. The way I write demands that. But the reality is that of course there are bits and pieces of the people in my life that slip into my characters. My first novel, Access Denied, was dedicated to my friend Sean. I began to recognize similarities between my hero, James, and Sean early on. They share a unique and razor sharp wit, a sarcasm that leaves you uncertain whether you were just deeply insulted or affectionately teased, and a love for family that is not common place. Oh, and they both hate to be called English. I didn’t set out to create a character like Sean, but James’ development was most certainly influenced by my interaction with him.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
I have a work in progress right now that has my favorite character. His name is Alexi and he will be part of the story that is planned for the follow up to this month’s release, Measure of Healing. Alexi Gregoravitch is a blood wolf. A large man with muscles to spare and dancing brown eyes, he was born a Wolf—a shifter, and he takes great pride in his superiority. He is in many ways the quintessential wolf-man. He battles for dominance, he personifies the traits of the wolf in battle and in his loyalty to and love of his family. His sister calls him a “great meddling oaf.” The hero of this story says he thinks he is absolutely right, without question, in any situation. Period. Yet he’s funny and quite affable.
If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
For Access Denied they’d have to get an unknown to play the heroine Leah. No super sexy Hollywood Hottie “scruffed” up. Just a character actress who looks normal. James, my little Scottish hero, I’ve always said was not “super sexy”. He’s adorable, a bit scruffy. Yet I honestly couldn’t see anyone but Gerard Butler playing him. One brooding but charming Scot to play another.
If Measure of Healing were being made years ago, I’d have insisted on Antonio Banderas for Alejandro Ramirez. Now I’d love to see Santiago Cabrera from Heroes play the part.
I just noticed…I have no idea for the women. Guess that goes back to my writing style again. Maybe Jessica Alba for Measure’s heroine Gabriela?
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
Number one, two and three: a happy warm feeling that the experience was fun. Reading should be fun. As adults we tend to forget that and to lose it. Look at what people are actually reading versus what they will tell you they are reading. Romance books make up the majority of books sold in the U.S. but many people will not admit to reading them. Why not? When did it become uncool to want to read about people? About lives? About relationships? Romance novels are just as well written and meaningful as any other genre.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Write the story you want to write. Don’t worry about its genre, its marketability, its appeal to others. Sherrilyn Kenyon, who I absolutely adore and read in all her incarnations, once said she doesn’t work on anything she isn’t in love with. I think that’s one of the smartest things I’ve heard. If you love what you’re writing, then it will be the best you can possibly make it because you care too much to let it be less than that.
And in regards to publishing. Keep trying. We’ve all been rejected. We will all be rejected again. You’re in good company.
Who are your favorite authors?
I mentioned Sherrilyn Kenyon/Kinley MacGregor before. I love historical novels and have probably read most of what is out there on the Elizabethan and pre-Elizabethan era. I also have a weakness for Highlander romances.
In other genres I am a fan of Octavia Butler. She was an amazing talent and a tremendous voice in science-fiction. Her compellation novel “Lilith’s Brood” is one of the best books ever written. It actually contains three of her novellas pulled together as the history of a planet, a people and a family unfolds. Orson Scott Card also tops my list. His “Ender’s Game” and the three novels that follow the adult Ender (“Speaker for the Dead”, “Xenocide”, and “Children of the Mind”) are wonderful.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished Kinley MacGregor’s long awaited “The Warrior.” It was the first book in that series since 2005. As I’m typing this, I’m currently reading Anny Cook’s “Cherished Destinies.” Her character Arturo crawled into my heart in “Dancer’s Delight” and I’ve been eager to get to this one. Up next will be “Kitty in the Midnight Hour” by Carrie Vaughn. My book group will be discussing it in January.
By the way, can you send me a link where readers can purchase your book? Thanks!
My website also has links and excerpts at http://www.jacquelineroth.com/
Here is an excerpt of Measure of Healing.
Working together they carried the crate into the small bedroom in the back of the house. Alejandro noticed the Spartan décor. The bed was stripped to the mattress and a couple of blankets were stacked on it. The room had a bedside table and rather than a dresser, a shelving unit. All of it bare. There was one picture, its plastic frame affixed to the wall by screws at all four corners. A small clearing in the Everglades met his eye. Brie opened the door to the crate.
“I cleared everything out of here when I came to get the 4Runner,” she responded to the question he didn’t ask.
“Will it take long to clear out the closet?” Alejandro leaned against the wall of the room. Brie watched him shift slightly against the wall as if he were stiff and was stretching. If he was doing what she thought he was doing she’d slap him.
“I’m not clearing the closet,” she walked over and pulled on the door. The latch was tight.
Alejandro frowned. “You’re not going to give him a place to hide are you?”
“No,” she turned to face him. “We’ll leave the crate with the blanket for a day or two then I’m taking it out as well.”
He opened his mouth to protest but stopped when she glared pointedly at him. “You said you wouldn’t interfere in this.”
“You’re sure about this? That this is the right thing?” He couldn’t help it. His mind kept telling him how stupid it was to trust a human to know what was right.
It was on the tip of her tongue to tell him if he didn’t trust her, she could have him and the boy back on the plane in a matter of hours or just open the back door and toss them both out. Instead she forced herself to see past his skepticism and his suspicion. She counted to ten, twice. She told herself he was worried about Tomás and that that was to his credit.
“I’m sure,” she said through tight lips. “He’ll be better if he wakes up alone,” she motioned to the door.
Alejandro frowned at her again. “Alone in a strange place?”
“Not entirely strange. The scents will not be threatening. He will stay in the crate most of tonight and tomorrow, unless I miss my guess.” She looked pointedly at the man, “And I never miss my guess.
“Then he’ll start exploring the room. Something he’ll feel freer to do if there is no one around.” She walked out of the room and he followed, closing the door behind him.
“What if he hurts himself? You’re just going to leave him in there for the next few hours unsupervised, unmonitored?” This was not right. He was a child, cat form or no. You didn’t leave a child unattended for that long. Especially one you had drugged.
“No, I’m not. That’s where you come in.” She’d been thinking about this on the drive in. If she was stuck with him, he might as well be useful.
Alejandro relaxed. Was she being deliberately obtuse? “You want me to stay with him.” He stated, finally understanding. The woman should have just said so.
“No.” She met his eye unflinchingly. “You are not to step foot in that room until I say you can. Those are the terms, Cougar. Take them or go.”
When he didn’t answer but stared at her, eyes blazing, she snorted angrily, “Look, do we really have to do this crap or is there enough human in you to realize that we’re talking about a living child and not a deer carcass that you’re protecting? Because, Cougar, you are either going to help or stay out of my way.”
She didn’t even blink when the low growl came from his throat. “No one who didn’t birth me or raise me ever talks to me like that, lady. And even they don’t talk to me like that any more.”
“Oooh,” she rolled her eyes. “Big scary Cougar-man is angry.” She stood tall and actually stepped closer to him. “See me tremble.”
She was either the bravest human he’d ever known or the most foolish. His brothers and sisters backed off before they pushed him too far. Even his father seemed to know how far to press him.
“Don’t push me, lady.” He stepped up to her and glared down into her face. Even as he did it, he knew she wouldn’t be intimidated.
“Why? What are you going to do about it?” she smirked at him. A little more, she thought, just a little more and we’ll know.
“Are you stupid?” he moved closer, forcing her to back into the hall wall to avoid making contact with him. He braced his hands on the surface to either side of her head. “Little doctor I could rip your throat out before you could even scream.”
“I’d like to see you try it.” She sneered. Alejandro narrowed his gaze and watched her. She was amazing. She wasn’t afraid of his threats. His proximity bothered her. Hell, it bothered him. But he smelled no fear, no hesitation in her. If he wasn’t so angry he’d damn well be impressed.
“As tempted as I am,” he stepped back and turned away from her. “I won’t.”
There it was. What she wanted to know. “Why? How do I know you won’t get pissed off later and kill me in my sleep?”
“Because I said I wouldn’t,” the words came out loud but he stopped them from becoming a full yell. “On the plane I told you I wouldn’t hurt you.”
“And because you never have,” she said softly.
The change in her tone turned him around. Her face was calm and emotionless but her eyes held a shrewd look. Her voice, when she spoke was almost gentle and it ran down his spine as if it physically stroked him. “You’ve never attacked anyone, have you?”
“I’ve had my share of fights and I’ve got the scars to prove it.” He watched the startling blue eyes watch him.
“But you’ve never attacked. You’ve defended yourself but you’ve never attacked.” She said the words as if she knew them to be absolutely true. With humans that was to be expected. But she could feel it in him. He’d never even attacked another Cougar, never challenged another male.
“What does that matter?”
“It matters a great deal,” Brie smiled inwardly. She didn’t trust him. Trusting a Cougar got you dead, or worse. But she didn’t have to sleep with a gun under her pillow. When the time came that he hurt her it would be because he had no choice or didn’t understand the consequences of his actions. He might be the cause of her death but she now believed he wouldn’t be the instrument of it. Then again maybe that’s why he’s here, she thought. It wasn’t the first time this had occurred to her. Maybe he’s a part of it or maybe he’s just an innocent pawn. She was wondering more and more if the whole thing weren’t a set up. Wondering if the Cougars hadn’t gotten tired of waiting. His presence here would give them all the impetus they needed to finish what they started all those years ago.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Now someone has betrayed their latest mission, most of his team has been killed and Mark has been captured. His telepathic messages to Faith are his only chance for help. But powerful forces want to sweep the whole episode under the rug and will do anything to make that happen—including killing Faith.
Faith Wilding stared at her computer monitor in frustration, the screen empty except for the annoying cursor winking at her. The first three chapters of her latest political thriller were due to her agent by the end of the month and she hadn’t even written the first word. Not once since she’d sold her first manuscript had she ever been stricken with writer’s block. Today, however, it seemed as if something had swept her mind bare, knocking out every word or phrase that might be taking root.
She looked around her den, usually a place of comfort and inspiration. The warm earth tones on the rug that had been her grandmother’s were an accent on the polished hardwood floor. The couch and chair, covered in navy denim, showed traces of wear from all the times she’d lain or sat there reading manuscript drafts. The walls were lined with family pictures, faces smiling down on her with encouragement and support.
Usually this room unlocked her mind and opened the gates for her thoughts to flow freely. Not tonight. She could have been sitting in a sterile room for all the good it was doing her.
She rotated her head, easing the tension in her neck and shoulders. Maybe she should fix another cup of her favorite Chai teas. Its energy might kick-start her brain.
I need you.
The familiar voice blasted through her mind.
Mark! Oh God, Mark.
Stunned, she tried to focus her thoughts but a white-hot pain pierced her body, stealing her breath. She clenched her fists against it and as it faded an image of Mark’s face, bruised and lined with pain, flashed briefly and was gone.
Faith leaned back in her chair, using the skills she’d been taught to control her breathing and slow her racing pulse. Running her hands up and down her arms she discovered a fine sheen of perspiration on her skin.
She tried to recapture the image but it was gone.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Coffee Time Romance -4 cups. "This is a wonderful story of love, friendship, and the pitfalls of Big Brother...The characters are fantastic and absolutely believable." http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookReviews/Accessdenied.html
Romance Junkies -4.5 Blue Ribbons. "ACCESS DENIED kept me pretty much spellbound the entire book...the love story of Leah and James stayed with me long after I read the last word. I would recommend this book to anyone." http://www.romancejunkiesreviews.com/artman/publish/paranormal/Access_Denied.shtml
eMuse -3 plumes. "This character driven masterpiece will leave you breathless and aching for the type of resolution that only occurs in fairy tales." http://www.emuse-zine.com/page21.html
In Sanctuary the Committee controls everything, food, healthcare, housing, information and even love. The Committee’s life guides match the single residents for three month compatibility assignments. Everyone gets ten chances to find true love or at least an acceptable partnership. There is something special about Leah Bradley. She has the unique ability to reach out and really connect with the people in her life, but if she’s so special why is she facing her seventh assignment? From the moment she meets James he makes it clear he grants no one access to his life or, especially, his heart. Brooding and sad, he carries a darkness inside of him that swallows another part of him every day. What’s worse, he seems to want it this way. Leah slowly loses her hope and her heart. But just when James begins to see Leah the way she truly is, he’s forced to ask himself one question: Does the Committee really have happily-ever-after in mind?
Alejandro Ramirez’s Were-Cougar mother drove him out after his first transformation at the age of fifteen leaving him to seek out his human father and find the family his human side craved but that his animal side can never embrace. Now a man, he finds himself responsible for a traumatized Were-Cougar child. When he turns to the Weres for help, they send him to a human. Dr. Gabriela St. Jerome knows of the Cougars and hates them with every fiber of her being. But now she must swallow that hatred to work with Alejandro to help a Were child who has been thrown into transformation far too early by the horrific death of his mother. As they are forced together in the remote woods of the North Georgia Mountains, both find their mutual attraction overwhelming. But if Brie gives into this man and her own passions, it will cost her dearly. It will cost her her life.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
He stared at her, his eyes hard and searching. “Who the hell are you?”
“What kind of fool question is that?”
“If you have any sense at all, you won’t push me, O’Malley, not tonight,” he warned quietly.
Her chin came up and she looked him in the eye. “My name is Alex O’Malley.”
Before Alex could react,
She clenched her hand and swung. “Bastard,”
“Let go of me,” she groundout, rubbing her aching knuckles.
“Who are you?” His voice was ragged.
Alex spat out, “Alexandria O’Malley.”
He abruptly removed his hand.
Alex grabbed the torn poncho and wrapped it around her.
“How old are you, Alexandria O’Malley?”
“Why the masquerade and why my trail drive,” he asked in a grim voice.
“If I had realized those four-hoofed horrors were your particular longhorns Mr. Wade,” she snarled, “you can be damn sure I would have kept riding.”
“And the masquerade?” he demanded.
Alexandra glared mutely at him then turned away.
As the silence between them grew, the foreman watched his wrangler. He bit back a grin as the light from the moon revealed the determined jut of her jaw.
“Okay, forget it for now. But make no mistake, O’Malley, someday you will tell me and of your own free will.” He dropped the subject. “We’d better turn in. It’s been a long day. Lay down and I’ll share my blanket with you. You’re chilled to the bone.”
“Not in this lifetime or the next,” Alex said grimly, trying to ignore his bare chest.
Wade’s eyes traveled over her. “You’re perfectly safe with me, O’Malley. To me you are just one of the boys.” And I’m hell bound for lying.
Silverhills can be purchased at Cerridwenpress.com
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
But you have to give something back, too, something to show that this isn't a one way street and that we're all willing to repay the good luck that comes our way.
This year The Wild Rose Press and I are joining forces in a project to do just that. Having chosen St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis as their charity of choice, TWRP wanted to take one book, promote it for an entire year, and contribute all proceeds to St. Jude's. That means they eat all the expenses and the editor, cover artist and I contribute our pay and royalties. No one is making a penny out of this except, we hope, St. Jude's.
When they asked me to write the book, I was more than flattered and set about it right away. The result is the gritty romantic suspense, ON THE RUN, which will release January 21 as an ebook and in February in print.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I don’t have a release date for my Naughty Nooner, Show and Tell, but I do have an excerpt.
SHOW AND TELL by Isabelle Drake
A Naughty Nooner, coming soon from Ellora’s Cave
Emily handed over the elaborate card Jenn had received in the mail and waited while the bare-chested muscleman checked her friend’s name off the list on his clipboard. Sure, she could’ve used the card Gino had sent her but she didn’t want to leave a trail. “Thank you, Miss McNeil.”
Two steps later she was inside Gino’s large and lavish apartment, instantly becoming one of the mass. Although almost everyone there probably worked for the Smithsonian, Emily didn’t even try to guess who was behind which mask. There would be time later to catch up with old friends.
That particular night she had only one item on her to-do list. Seduce then reject the infamous Randall Kentworth. If she did a thorough enough job, she’d leave him panting, wondering pointlessly who the hot woman in the gold brocade jacket was.
As she slid through the mob, scanning for her prey, something rubbery caressed her waist. She twisted to find a huge cactus staring at her.
“Can I get you a beer?” it shouted, holding up a half full plastic cup.
Emily pulled the plant’s other hand off her waist, still gawking at the insanely large Saguaro cactus, complete with a cluster of yellow flowers and bird’s nest. “A cactus?”
The blue eyes hiding inside the plant blinked and the muffled voice shouted in defense, “Hey, there’s cactuses in the desert.”
Emily grinned. Museum people. Always looking for ways to prove how clever they are. “I’m meeting someone,” she said but then to let him know she appreciated the offer, she patted the tiny wren sitting in the nest.
As the giant plastic cactus melted into the crowd, Emily made her way toward the backyard where Gino always put the keg. Randall would be there, surrounded by an adoring mob. Unbuttoning her jacket as she went, she mused, all I have to do is wait until he’s alone.
Once she was done with him he’d know what it was like to want someone you couldn’t have. Her own hopeless wanting was undoubtedly worse than anything he’d end up with, because she’d watched the object of her desire flirt with every female in his path—with the exception of her. He hadn’t even known she’d existed.
That had mostly been her own fault. She’d been too shy even to be considered coy. She’d been damn invisible.
But that was then.
One thing her term in the Peace Corps had done for her was take away that life-ruining shyness. Who has time for hesitation when trying to find lost medical supplies through an interpreter?
Twelve months might only be a year but because of her time away Emily’s life was spilt into before—when she had been quiet and unassuming—and now, when she was demanding and pushy enough to make up for the time she’d wasted waiting for what she wanted to come and find her.
That was why she was there.
To make up for a mistake of her past.
But was it that she wanted to leave him with a sense of longing or was it that she finally wanted to get a piece of that yummy body?
Either way, she had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Friday, January 4, 2008
I came up with the plot for this story while in Texas at the annual RWA national conference. I have a sense that many of the writers come home with ideas for stories, then about 6 to 8 month later editors are flooded with stories set in whichever the national conference was in. This year the conference will be in San Franscisco, so this time next year look for stories featuring the Golden Gate Bridge, steamy weather, and cable cars. All good stuff....I'm thinking about it already...
Staifaction Guaranteed is a light-lighted sexy romance, featuring a fun hero who has a great time shaking up the tad too serious heroine.
Check out the excerpt on my website or visit Cerridwen Press to buy.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Resolutions? Bah! I’ve got things I want to do this year certainly. Eat less junk food, exercise more, write better, write faster, promote more efficiently…yeah, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah. Calling them resolutions just seems to be inviting failure. Besides, nobody wants to hear about those, anyway.
Now here are a few aspirations worth writing down—some real goals for the upcoming year, to my mind, anyway.
8 things to do in ’08:
This year I will…
…make at least one brand new friend
…reconnect with at least one old friend I've lost touch with
…visit at least one place I’ve never seen before
…try at least one totally new food
…listen to at least one new kind of music
…attempt at least one physical activity I’ve never tried
…find at least one new way to volunteer
…write at least one story that is totally out of my comfort zone
There! That looks like a reasonable list, don’t you think? Life is for living, and I think it’s important to keep opening ourselves up to new experiences. Anybody want to take this challenge with me? Add other suggestions? Point and laugh? Go ahead. That's what the comments section is for.