Beginning January 1, 2013

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

GUEST BLOG: DONNA DEL ORO

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“Behind THE DELPHI BLOODLINE by Donna Del Oro”: Interview of Michael Drake, the tech tycoon who wants to control and enslave the Bloodline


THE DELPHI BLOODLINE: A smart, romantic thriller about an ancient bloodline of psychic women, the ruthless tycoon who wants to enslave them, the mysterious man who wants to protect them, and the modern-day descendant who must fight to stay alive and free!


Interviewer: You’re a billionaire, the owner of D.I.E., Drake International Enterprises. What does your corporation make?

Drake: All kinds of high-tech products, from cyborgs to unmanned aerial vehicles, military drones. You name it, we make it. Silicon Valley is the brain center of the high-tech industry.

Interviewer: You’re a single man with more money than you need. Billions! Why haven’t you married? I’m sure lots of women would love to be married to a billionaire.

Drake: That’s the problem. I’m drawn to exceptional people. Who DON’T NEED ME.

Interviewer: What made you think that true psychics would work for you?

Drake: Women in the Delphi Bloodline, as they call themselves, work for police departments for nothing. Why not work for me and make millions? There are governments and agencies all over the world that need their talents.

Interviewer: Doing what?

Drake: Corporate spying, intelligence of all kinds. Those women can do what the men of the CIA’s Stargate Program couldn’t do. And a hundred times better.

Interviewer: And if they don’t want to work as spies? What then?

Drake: Then I convince them they have no choice. You’ve heard this before, I make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Interviewer: You’d go that far?

Drake: Whatever it takes. How do you think I got where I am today? Just a matter of time and the Delphi Bloodline is mine.






Read THE DELPHI BLOODLINE!

MusaPublishing.com/Kindle/Nook/Apple

Visit: www.donnadeloro.com
About the Author:
Donna Del Oro is a retired high school teacher who now has the time to pursue her childhood dream of writing fiction. She lives in Northern California with her husband of 45 years, plays a bad game of golf and sings in the Sweet Adeline's chorus, Sierra Gold. Life is good and she's very grateful!







Monday, July 30, 2012

GUEST BLOG: LYNN SHURR

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The Sports Hero Dilemma



When I first began writing I joined a group of more experienced authors and naively asked why no one wanted to publish my book. Their answer: Never write about sports heroes. That genre is dead. Oops, already had two football romances completed, but that did solve the mystery why one contest judge gave me a zero for my hero in a contest. Football players are trite, she said. Of course, I assumed I would be judged on how well I created a character, not their occupation, but evidently this was not her criteria. One friend joked if my quarterback were a vampire, I'd be published by now. Right, he only plays night games. So, I packed my hunky heroes away in the closet and moved on to writing other sorts of books.


Still like all authors, I thought my sports romances were good and deserved to see the light of day. Several years later, I dusted off the first one, Goals for a Sinner, and entered another contest. It placed in two. Enter the rise of e-publishing where no genre is dead and any book can find its niche and its readers. The market may not be a broad as New York publishers want, but the fans are out there just the same. Wild Rose Press published Goals in both softcover and e-format in 2010. I could say the rest is history, but since I am still writing sports romances among other things, it isn't history yet. Wish for a Sinner and Kicks for a Sinner followed with another in the works. By the way, the Sinners are a fictional football team, not actual sinners, though they do sin on occasion when the story calls for it. Nor are all my heroes bad boys or sexual gymnasts. Football players do come with all sorts of personalities, too.


I find I must sometimes overcome reader and reviewer reluctance. Some say they aren't interested in sports and believe they will be bored or lost in a game they don't understand. Well, it is up to me as an author to explain what you don't know, capture the excitement of the sport, and wrap a good story around it. Those who give my books are try are pleasantly surprised they can follow the plot easily. We should all read out of our comfort zone on occasion. Though not a big fan, I will sometimes read a vampire book or even Fifty Shades of Grey. Keep an open mind and genre jump a bit. Lots of great books out there, so never start a sentence with, "I never read...."


Recently, an agent told me that Regency novels were dead. That doesn't bode well for the seven manuscripts in my closet shunted aside when the sport romances took off. Somehow, that just makes me want to get them published all the more-because i've heard that sort of statement before.


About the Author:
Once a librarian, now a writer of romance, Lynn Shurr grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country. She attended a state college and earned a very impractical B.A. in English Literature. Her first job out of school really was working as a cashier in a burger joint. Moving from one humble job to another, she traveled to North Carolina, then Germany, then California where she buckled down and studied for an M.A. in Librarianship.


New degree in hand, she found her first reference job in the Heart of Cajun Country, Lafayette, Louisiana. For her, the old saying, “Once you’ve tasted bayou water, you will always stay here” came true. She raised three children not far from the Bayou Teche and lives there still with her astronomer husband.


When not writing, Lynn likes to paint, cheer for the New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers, and take long road trips nearly anywhere. Her love of the bayou country, its history and customs, often shows in the background for her books.


She is the author of the Sinners sports romance series and recently debuted two other titles with L & L Dreamspell, Queen of the Mardi Gras Ball and Mardi Gras Madness. Courir de Mardi Gras is scheduled for Summer, 2013. As everyone in Louisiana knows, Fat Tuesday is a day when anything can happen.


You may contact Lynn at www.LynnShurr.com or visit her blog - lynnshurr.blogspot.com.



Unlucky in love, sports photographer Stevie Dowd has given up on men in order to concentrate on her goal of getting a cover shot for a prestigious sports magazine.


Connor Riley, wide receiver for the New Orleans Sinners, has remained celibate all season to strengthen his game for a Super Bowl victory.


Their goals collide, literally, when Connor bowls over Stevie on the sidelines as she attempts to get her perfect picture. Realizing Stevie is the woman he had a crush on in high school, Connor feels his vow is about to be broken. Can he win both the Super Bowl and Stevie Dowd?





Joe Dean Billodeaux, womanizing star quarter back for the New Orleans Sinners, thinks maybe, just maybe, he should be looking for a more wholesome sort of woman than the ones who signed his list for sex after his season of celibacy ended. The first that comes to mind is the little Wish Lady, Nellwyn Abbott, who helps fulfill the dreams of critically ill children. His friends agree that Nell, a child psychologist, is exactly what Joe Dean needs and do all they can to bring the two together. But is Nell willing to take on Joe Dean with all his little problems and teach him that there is more to life than sex and football?



Redhead Cassie Thomas is all grown up and certain she is in love with Joe Dean Billodeaux, star quarterback for the Sinners and adoptive father to the son she gave away at birth. Joe only wants to expand his family with his wife, Nell, and deflect Cassie’s advances that threaten his marriage. So, why not set Cassie up with the Sinners’ new kicker and possibly the world’s nicest guy, Howard “Howdy” McCoy?


Cassie sees through Joe’s attempt and insults Howdy, telling him he is not a “real” football player and possibly even gay. Howdy knows neither is the case. Regarding Cassie to be as challenging as a sixty-yard field goal, he sets out to prove her wrong even if that involves a personal makeover and a tough new attitude. But, will he be able to convince a woman who believes she can love only bad boys to give a nice guy a chance?












Friday, July 27, 2012

GUEST BLOG: ELIZABETH HOYT

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Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Thief of Shadows.


Hi Everyone! And a special ‘Thank You’ to Judy for letting me stop by Long and Short Reviews to share a few thoughts.


I’m often asked where I get the ideas for my books from. This is a difficult question to answer for two reasons. One, ideas for stories just occur to me sometimes. Actually, ideas occur to me all the time—mostly weird, unusable ideas that I don’t ever put down on paper. Secondly, when I do have a point of inspiration, the final result normally is quite warped from the original when I finally get around to writing it down. Also? It’s usually years later. That’s just the nature of publishing.


But! For my latest book, Thief of Shadows, I do remember a point of inspiration—the point, actually, for the entire Maiden Lane series—which until now I haven’t been able to report.


It started like this.


I’ve long been a fan of swashbuckling films and books. Old fashioned adventures like The Scarlet Pimpernel, Scaramouche (both the book by Rafael Sabatini and the 1952 film) and most importantly to this discussion, a little known Disney movie titled, Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow. Dr. Syn starred Patrick McGoohan, looking a whole lot more sexy than I remember from his title role in the TV series, The Prisoner, despite (or perhaps because?) the fact that Dr. Syn was a preacher during the day. At night, though, staid, upright Dr. Syn threw aside his (hot!) clerical collar to become the feared Scarecrow of Romney Marsh! The Scarecrow was dressed as (duh) a scarecrow, a sinister painted hood over his face, and was a vigilante either helping smugglers or fighting the British redcoats. Maybe both. My memory fails me at this point because I was only eleven or so when I saw the film and stupid Disney won’t re-release it on DVD.


But let’s return to the salient points of Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow, which are:



1. Hot, uptight, religious guy by day.

2. Hot, silly-costume-wearing, fighting-for-justice guy by night.



Sound familiar? Well, if you’ve read Thief of Shadows, it should be—sort of. The hero of Thief of Shadows is Winter Makepeace, a religious man who manages an orphanage in St. Giles, the worst slum in London, by day. By night, though, he dons the disguise of the Ghost of St. Giles—a harlequin’s costume—to fight crime and defend innocents. And while Winter isn’t actually a man of the cloth, he does have some similarities: he’s a virgin.


At least he’s a virgin at the beginning of the book. ;-)


About the Author:
Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical romance, including her Maiden Lane novels—Scandalous Desire, Notorious Pleasure, Wicked Intentions and the just published, Thief of Shadows.


Five of Elizabeth’s books have been honored as finalists for the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award contest. She is the recipient of two RT Book Reviews Review’s Choice Awards. Four of her books appear on All About Romance’s list of the Top 100 Romances of All Time.
Elizabeth researches extensively for her historical romances, both by reading books on topics such as history, costume, warfare, social mannerisms, and cooking, and by frequenting museums whenever she can to study portraits and the little dogs that aristocratic Georgian ladies seem to always be holding.


Elizabeth lives in central Illinois with a trio of untrained canines and a garden in constant need of weeding. She is at work on the next Maiden Lane novel.


Find the author online at:


www.ElizabethHoyt.com

http://www.facebook.com/#!/elizabeth.hoyt.author

http://twitter.com/#!/ElizabethHoyt

www.hachettebookgroup.com





Winter Makepeace waited for Lady Beckinhall to turn her back and then stripped off his coat and waistcoat. It was brought home with forceful memory that he’d been nude before this woman only a sennight ago.


Even if she didn’t know it.


His breeches followed and then he was in shirtsleeves and smalls. He glanced at the tailor.


“The shirt as well, sir,” Mr. Hurt said. “The fashion is for a tight-fitting waistcoat and coat.”


“Yes, indeed,” Lady Beckinhall called over her shoulder, “I want the suit to be in the first stare of fashion.”


Winter grimaced but took off his shirt.


The tailor nodded. “That shall do for now, sir.”


Winter stood with arms outstretched, feeling exceptionally silly as the tailor moved about him, wielding a measuring tape.


“Have you been practicing flattery?” Lady Beckinhall asked just as the tailor’s thumb, holding the tape, pushed up the lower edge of Winter’s smallclothes.


“As per your instructions,” Winter replied, watching as Mr. Hurt caught sight of the end of the scar revealed by the rucked smalls.


The tailor hesitated, then continued his work.


Lady Beckinhall sighed very quietly.


Winter’s attention snapped back to her. “I am in admiration of the way in which you can order tea so very…er…efficiently, my lady.”


Mr. Hurt shot him a pitying look.


There was a slight pause.


“Thank you, Mr. Makepeace.” Lady Beckinhall’s voice was choked. “I must say, you give the most imaginative compliments.”


“Your tutelage has inspired me, ma’am.”


The tailor looked doubtful.


Winter cleared his throat. “And, of course, who would not be, ah…exhilarated by the loveliness of your countenance and form.”


He arched an eyebrow at Mr. Hurt.


The tailor made a face as if to say, Not bad.


Which was probably as good as Winter was likely to get at this art.


But Lady Beckinhall wasn’t done. Her head had tilted to the side at his words, making some type of jeweled ornament in her glossy dark hair sparkle in the light. “My form, Mr. Makepeace?”


Ah, this was dangerous territory. “Yes, your form, my lady. It is a strong and feminine form, but I think you already know that.”


She chuckled, low and husky, sending shivers over his arms. “Yes, but a lady never tires of hearing compliments, sir. You must keep that fact in mind.”


Her little maid nodded vigorously in agreement.


“Indeed?” Winter stared at Lady Beckinhall’s back, wishing he could see her face. Her plump mouth would be curved slightly in amusement, her blue eyes dancing. His body reacted at the thought and he was heartily glad that Mr. Hurt had moved to his back.


“But you must be awash in a sea of compliments, my lady,” Winter said. “Every gentleman you meet must voice his admiration, his wish to make love to you. And those are only the ones who may voice such thoughts. All about you are men who cannot speak their admiration, who must remain mute from lack of social standing or fear of offending you. Only their thoughts light the air about you, following you like a trail of perfume, heady but invisible.”


He heard her startled inhale.


The maid sighed dreamily.


Mr. Hurt had stopped his quick, capable movements, but at Winter’s glance, he blinked and resumed his work.


“Thank you, Mr. Makepeace,” Lady Beckinhall said quietly. “That…that was quite wonderful.”


He shrugged, though she couldn’t see him. “I only speak the truth.”


“Do you…” She hesitated, then said throatily, “Do you think me shallow for enjoying such compliments?”
,br>
Her back was confident and straight, but her neck, bared by her upswept hair, was white and slim and held a hint of vulnerability. She was so forthright, so assured of herself that he’d not noticed the tender spot before.


“I think you sometimes like to hide behind a facade of gaiety, my lady.” He cleared his throat. “I also think that when you enter a room, all eyes turn to you. You blaze like a torch, lighting the darkest corners, brightening even those who thought they were already well lit. You bring joy and mirth and leave behind a glow that gives hope to those you’ve left.”


“And you, Mr. Makepeace? Are you one of those who thought themselves well lit?”


“I am as dark as a pit.” Now he was glad her back was turned. “Even your torch will have difficulty lighting my depths.”






Thursday, July 26, 2012

GUEST BLOG: DANELLE HARMON

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Danelle will be awarding a digital copy of book two, "The Beloved One" to one randomly drawn commenter at every stop and a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.



First off, thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today; it's a pleasure and an honor to be here!


What have I learned from one of my characters? This is a great question! I've found that every book I've written has been a learning experience -- not just for my hero and heroine, most of whom are forced to grow in character throughout the story on their way to finding love and their happily-ever-afters, but for myself.


In THE WILD ONE (Book 1 of my de Montforte Brothers series about four aristocratic English brothers in Georgian era England) we first meet our hero, Lord Gareth de Montforte, as a young man who hasn't quite learned to grow up. As the third son of the fourth Duke of Blackheath, and brother of the current one, he's never had to learn the meaning of responsibility and has pretty much spent his life living down to his reputation as the black sheep of the family. Nobody expects anything from Lord Gareth, and he doesn't expect anything from himself, and why should he? He's the third brother ... not likely to inherit the dukedom. Nevertheless, he's a kind soul, a carefree, reckless, charming sort, even if he is rather short on maturity.


The Wild One is, first and foremost, a love story -- but it's also a fascinating look at Lord Gareth's journey from lovable wastrel to true and worthy hero. When he takes a bullet while trying to thwart a stagecoach robbery, his impulsive act of heroism lands him with a wife and infant daughter he's ill-prepared to support, and sets in motion events that force him to not only learn the meaning of responsibility, but mold him into the worthy husband and father he is destined to be.


I must confess that when I was writing his and Juliet's story, and saw him getting mired deeper and deeper in danger and trouble and what looked to be a pretty hopeless situation, I didn't think there was a way he'd be able to rise above it and reach his true potential. But he had faith in himself, and if he taught me anything (besides the value in not taking ones' self too seriously!), it's that with the right attitude, we can accomplish pretty much anything we set our minds to ... and that life can be a fun and wild ride indeed.


It's all about the attitude. Thank you, Lord Gareth, for reminding me of that essential truth!


I hope you all enjoy THE WILD ONE and the other books in the de Montforte Brothers series, including THE BELOVED ONE, THE DEFIANT ONE, and THE WICKED ONE. Again, it's been a delight to be here today ... happy reading!


About the Author:Multi-award winning and critically acclaimed author Danelle Harmon is the author of ten books, previously published in print and distributed in many languages throughout the world. A Massachusetts native, she married her English husband while living in the United Kingdom, and both now make their home in Massachusetts with their daughter Emma and numerous animals including four dogs, an Egyptian Arabian horse, and a flock of pet chickens.


Danelle welcomes email from her readers and can be reached at danelle@danelleharmon.com , on the web at http://www.danelleharmon.com, or through her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DanelleHarmon.





"The bluest of blood, the boldest of hearts; the de Montforte brothers will take your breath away."


England, 1776: Lord Gareth de Montforte is known as an irresponsible rake with a heart of gold. When he takes a bullet for boldly thwarting a stagecoach robbery, he is stunned to discover that the beautiful young woman he has heroically rescued, Juliet Paige, is his deceased brother’s American fiancée, accompanied by her infant daughter. Despite his brother the duke's refusal to acknowledge Juliet, Gareth is determined to do right by the courageous woman who crossed an ocean to give her baby her rightful name. But Juliet is wary of marrying this black sheep aristocrat, even while she is hopelessly charmed by the dashing devil. Never has she met anyone who embraces life so thoroughly, who makes her laugh, who loves her so well. And, even when it seems the odds are against them, Juliet has absolute faith that Gareth will go beyond the call of duty, risking his life itself to give her and her daughter a home — and a love that will last a lifetime.







Wednesday, July 25, 2012

GUEST BLOG: JILL SHALVIS


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Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of At Last, US and Canada only please.


Hello, everybody. And thank you Long and Short Reviews for having me visit today!


It’s been a Lucky Harbor summer, with the chocoholics trilogy coming out, and I’ve been having a ball chatting with readers about their favorite characters, I recently held a poll on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/jillshalvis), asking which Lucky Harbor hero was their favorite. Oh boy, did I start something! Hundreds of people replied, and to my shock, there was no clear winner between Jax, Ford, Sawyer, Ty, Matt and Josh.


For me, my favorite is usually the hero I’m currently writing, but I can admit to having a big soft spot for Matt Bowers from AT LAST. He’s a badass forest ranger who stops to help a damsel in distress. Except she’s no damsel in distress. She’s waitress Amy Michaels, beautiful, tough, jaded … and she is in desperate need of rescuing. She just doesn’t know it yet. But my favorite scene is definitely where she has to save Matt – and no I’m not telling you more. You’ll have to read it. :-)


Or maybe my favorite character is overworked, exhausted ER doc Josh Scott, who’s on the very edge of burnout. He’s got his practice, his young son, his wheelchair-bound sister, and a crazy puppy. Not to mention the weight of the world on his shoulders from taking care of everyone in his life. Enter dog walker Grace Brooks, who in a turn of events saves Josh for a change, in more ways than one.


How about you, do you have a favorite hero, mine or otherwise? .Join me at my daily blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I’d love to know what you think!


Best wishes and happy reading,


Jill


www.jillshalvis.com/blog

www.facebook.com/jillshalvis

About the Author:
New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author Jill Shalvis is the award-winning author of dozens of romance novels, including her popular Lucky Harbor books—Simply Irresistible, The Sweetest Thing, Head Over Heels, Lucky in Love, At Last and the upcoming Forever and a Day. She has been honored with the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award for Simply Irresistible, and is a three-time recipient of the National Readers Choice awards. Recently, her book Animal Magnetism was named a Booklist Top Ten Romance Fiction list for 2011.


A voracious reader of a wide range of fiction, including romance, Jill aspired to be a journalist. She says “I got sidetracked in college with journalism, and it took a few years to realize I was meant for fiction, not nonfiction, but once I got there, I never looked back.” She sold her very first manuscript.


Jill’s writing day begins at six in the morning so that she can write before her family gets up. She points out that “if I so much as wake up the dog, it’s over, ” and says her favorite things about writing are “being at home in my pjs while working, being able to be there for the kids and raiding the refrigerator whenever I fell like it.”


A “misplaced city girl,” she lives with her family near Lake Tahoe, where she is working on her next book, writing her blog and awaiting the July 31 publication of her next Lucky Harbor novel, FOREVER AND A DAY.






Tuesday, July 24, 2012

GUEST BLOG: DONNA DEL ORO

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“Behind THE DELPHI BLOODLINE by Donna Del Oro”: Interview of Kas Skoros, one of the Guardians of the Bloodline


THE DELPHI BLOODLINE: A smart, romantic thriller about an ancient bloodline of psychic women, the ruthless tycoon who wants to enslave them, the mysterious man who wants to protect them, and the modern-day descendant who must fight to stay alive and free!


Interviewer: You have an unusual name. What’s the background?

Kas: Kas is a nickname, an acronym of Keriakos Alexander Skoros. I’m Greek-American and the males in my family have been Guardians of the Delphi Bloodline since the days of ancient Greece.

Interviewer: Now that the modern-day descendant of the Bloodline, Athena Butler, is threatened, how have you tried to connect with her?

Kas: She’s a stubborn young woman who resists my help, but I’ve got my ways of persuading women to do what I want them to do. Athena may be a gifted clairvoyant but she’s also human. Very human. And very pretty…

Interviewer: What do you think is behind all those kidnappings of American psychics?

Kas: It’s such a well coordinated and widespread problem. There’s a lot of money behind these kidnappings. Some mastermind who wants to exploit these incredibly gifted women of the Bloodline is behind this. But why? That’s what I want to know. Athena’s mother, Annabella, has an idea who’s behind it all. Regardless, as a Guardian, I’ve taken the oath to protect this Bloodline with my life.

Interviewer: Do you think it’ll come to that? Is the mastermind that ruthless?

Kas: Yeah, six have already disappeared. Then Annabella, Athena’s mother. True psychics as well as charlatans, so the FBI think the kidnappers are taking them and testing them. The ones that fail the test, they think, are …discarded. Killed.

Interviewer: So you think the Delphi Bloodline is composed of true psychics?

Kas: Absolutely. If you only knew what these women were capable of. My own mother is one of the Bloodline heirs. I know firsthand what they can do! Someone or some group that can control them, enslave them—wow, you’ve got one powerful dude. I won’t let that happen!




Read THE DELPHI BLOODLINE!

MusaPublishing.com/Kindle/Nook/Apple

Visit: www.donnadeloro.com
About the Author:
Donna Del Oro is a retired high school teacher who now has the time to pursue her childhood dream of writing fiction. She lives in Northern California with her husband of 45 years, plays a bad game of golf and sings in the Sweet Adeline's chorus, Sierra Gold. Life is good and she's very grateful!







Monday, July 23, 2012

GUEST BLOG: JEANNETTE MURRAY

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As a military wife, the life comes with its perks and its down sides. But that’s a fact of life no matter what, right? But the challenges that come along with it tend to be more…unique than the civilian counterparts. And civilians tend to be curious how our half works. So how about a list of the worst and best parts of loving a military man?


Worst:


1. My military ID: Do I really need another piece of plastic in my wallet that has a horrible picture of me? I thought my driver’s license was bad but wow…


2. Hubs had a perfectly valid excuse for missing out on seven months of diaper duty.


3. When he leaves his boots laying around, tripping on those things hurts like nothing else… Steel toe boots are not to be messed with.


4. For formal events, he takes more time to prep his uniform than I do with my outfit. “Are these ribbons straight? Where’s my ruler? This one’s off a sixteenth of an inch. I have to start over. Have you seen my Sam Browne belt? Where’s my sword?!?!”


5. The entire spare bedroom closet is taken over by his uniforms. Six different types of uniforms, several sets of each…it adds up!


Best:


1. When he’s gone, I get the bed all to myself. Hello, starfish impression!


2. The time apart actually strengthens our marriage. Talk about learning to communicate effectively.


3. Sometimes the pomp and circumstance is fun. Birthday ball, anyone?


4. Tot thinks her daddy is a superstar hero. Which, of course, he is!


5. The uniform? It’s sexy. Just…sexy.


In truth, it’s been a great lifestyle for us. It’s not for everyone. But for those who enjoy travel, some excitement, a chance to make a difference, and can be an awesome experience to share with your family. And knowing my husband is doing a job that makes him proud to go to work every day, and fulfills him…that’s just icing on the cake.




Friday, July 20, 2012

GUEST BLOG: SHERRI CHIANTI

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Sherri Chianti joins us today to talk about Unveiled, her debut time-travel romance, and why Italy is so romantic.


My three favorite things are romance, writing, and travel. I like to combine all three as much as possible. When I first wrote Unveiled, I had never been to Italy. I had to rely on books, movies, and music to get all the details and the “flavor” of the place--that certain something that can’t be defined.


When I was finally able to go to Italy a few years ago, I was so excited. At last, I would see the Sistine Chapel, walk the streets of Florence, and float in a Venetian gondola. The trip was everything I dreamed it would be and more. I’m happy to say I’d gotten the original setting in Unveiled right, but actually seeing the country allowed me to add many more wonderful details. For example, the air in Rome is not humid yet it’s fresh, hinting at water close by.


When I arrived in Rome, I felt as if I’d been there before. Maybe this explains why I’ve written so many stories set in Italy. I bet all writers have certain countries that really inspire them. I also bet “romantic” countries are the most inspiring of all. Saying Italy is romantic is almost a cliché, so I want to define what makes it that way.


Why is Italy so romantic?


1) scenery -- Nothing beats the view from a Tuscan mountaintop. The countryside is lush and green and undulates like a sigh. Even the trees look amazing. What better to complement it than beautiful architecture? Venice alone has styles from three different cultures.


2) history -- Italy’s history is long and colorful. Ancient Rome, Renaissance, Baroque…choose an era and get lost in it.


3) romance languages -- Even a weather report sounds artistic. The first thing I noticed when I landed at the airport in Rome was the wonderful sound of Italian flowing all around me.


4) al fresco -- There are so many wonderful things to do outside. My favorite is dining al fresco. Feel the sun and the breeze, watch the view and the people, and hear the old-fashioned bells chiming.


5) Europe, down to Earth -- Europe, especially traditional old-world countries like Italy, are earthy. You might see someone carrying a bare baguette instead of finding these foods neatly shrink wrapped at a giant supermarket. When you fix your lipstick in a public bathroom mirror, a handsome man might admire you since some bathrooms are partially unisex.





Leah Miller is tired of being the ugly duckling in a family of beauty queens. When the opportunity to graduate with honors from her art school comes along, she takes it, agreeing to go back in time 500 years to Renaissance Rome to earn a certificate of study from the moody but attractive artist Bertoldo Perini. Unfortunately, the tall girl who had to play boys in school plays must disguise herself as a man.


Perini has devoted his life to rebuilding his art career after a past romantic liaison nearly destroyed it. Alessandra Paloverde, the beautiful and powerful woman he rejected, will stop at nothing to be back in his arms. If she doesn’t get what she wants, she’ll destroy every obstacle in her path—including him.


Earning the elusive certificate proves much harder than Leah imagined, but she discovers her true calling and makes plans for a promising future in her own time. While she fights her attraction to Perini, he sacrifices passion to his recovering career. When Leah’s secret is unveiled at last, will their love be strong enough to keep her in the Renaissance?
Watch the video trailer:



About the Author: Sherri Chianti is a prolific traveler and writer, often combining the two. Believing characters grow the most when they’re put in new surroundings, she crafts romance, time travel, and women’s fiction in diverse locales. Sherri has been to the Caribbean, Europe, and all corners of the U.S. Despite her wanderlust, she also enjoys being a homebody in her own back yard. For a change of place, visit her web site at www.SherriChianti.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/SherriChianti

Thursday, July 19, 2012

GUEST BLOG: ELENI KONSTANTINE

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My Many Worlds
by
Eleni Konstantine


Many of us have or have had two or more spheres going on in our lives at once. No, I’m not talking speculative fiction here. I’m talking how we separate different aspects of our lives. Usually it’s the working life and the home life.

For writers, it could be more than two worlds. Think about it – if you work at a day job, that’s one. Then there’s the writing. That’s two. And of course, the family/personal life. That’s three (I feel like Count Dracula – ha ha ha).

Right now I have three worlds outside from the personal life. I’m a writer (hence why I am here). I’m a designer. I’m a student.

Why the designing and study? Isn’t writing enough?

You would think so. Don’t get me wrong, I love my writing and the writing community. And it’s not like I was looking for anything else. Okay, let me explain. I’ve always loved art. I never thought I was fantastic at it. Good, yes, but not enough I thought to take me on a career path in that direction.

As a writer, I wanted a banner for my website and decided to do it myself. This is what I came up with.


I also designed a couple of other banners for writing groups I was in. And then one day, I looked at the Little Gems Cover contest run by the Romance Writers of Australia (Little Gems is a short story anthology produced every year), and thought I would enter. Low and behold I won that year. I truly couldn’t believe it.

Design helped me during the times when I couldn’t concentrate on words. I have chronic fatigue syndrome, and so brain fog is a part of life. By switching focus, I can use another part of the creative brain, to do something I enjoy.

I continued to do more work and last year, started my own business, HelzKat Designs

So where does the student part come in? Well it would probably make more sense when I tell you that I’m studying advertising and graphic design.

But you already design? I hear you ask, why take classes?

Well, even though I had taught myself how to do book covers and banners, I wanted to learn more and learn shortcuts and the tools of the trade. Hence I applied for a course and started in February.

While my own design work is focused for writers, this has been a new world for me. And I have stepped into that world now. So I feel like I’ve got one foot in the writing sphere and one in the design sphere.

I’m constantly thinking of one or the other. I’m on holidays at the time of writing this and so, my focus has turned to my writing. Good timing because I had a short story duology coming out with Musa Publishing on the 29th June.

Both stories in Enchanted Realms have two worlds the characters find themselves in – one in dimension form, the other with the dream-reality divide.

STORMY DIVIDE - Will Ellie ever find a way home?

ANGEL EYES - What if the man of your dreams only existed in your dreams?



STORMY DIVIDE

Thom may be used to the dangers of the forest, but nothing has prepared him for this. When he stumbles across a woman dressed in weird clothing lying on the ground during a storm, he has no choice but to help her.

Ellie finds herself in another world, having travelled through time and space thanks to what Thom calls The Rifts. The question is whether she will ever be able to find her way back, or if she will be stuck in this new world forever. Or if she will even want to go home…

ANGEL EYES

Vera’s dreams are haunted each night by a man she only knows as Angel Eyes. He feels more real to her than anything else in her life, including her fiancé. Vera must try to forget her childish dreams of soul mates and happily ever after… but are they really only dreams or can she find a way to be with Angel Eyes forever?
So there you have it, stories of other worlds, coming out at a time when I have many of my own to juggle.

Eleni :-)

Leave a comment for a chance to win a download of Enchanted Realms About the Author: Eleni Konstantine is Fantasy and Paranormal fiction writer, and has had a number of shorts published. Her stories range from flash fiction to novels. She blames her mother for her writing bug because as a child she was given many books, including illustrated fairytales. That and a love of Greek mythology, and Eleni was destined to become a writer.

Eleni lives in Adelaide, Australia, with her family and feisty American Staffy.

Website: http://elenikonstantine.com
Blog:http://eleni-konstantine.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

GUEST BLOG: ROSANNE BITTNER

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Hello to Long And Short Reviews from author Rosanne Bittner! I am so happy that you asked about my books! I have been writing for 30 years and have had 57 books published, all involving historical America! This month (July 2012)I am celebrating the reissue by Sourcebooks of my novel THUNDER ON THE PLAINS for their Casablanca line. THUNDER is a captivating love story with a “to die for” hero and a heroine of amazing courage and determination, all set against the true history of the building of America’s first trans-continental railroad. Be sure to come to my virtual 4th of July party at http://rosannebittnerbookparty.blogspot.com/and enter a contest to win a free copy of THUNDER ON THE PLAINS as well as the grand prize of a Kindle Touch! The party continues until the end of the month.


I have always wanted to write, although it took me until I was 34 years old to believe I could really write an entire novel. In the 4th grade I wrote my first little love story – Mr.and Mrs. Quack – about two ducks! I also wrote poetry – tons and tons of it. Sometimes I think I should put all of it together in a little book of poems. Maybe I’ll try that. I was the editor of our high school newsletter – editor of a house organ where I was once employed – and I took a correspondence course in creative writing over 40 years ago.


I have always been captivated by America’s history and read stories about nothing but pioneers and Indians. When I read a book called A LANTERN IN HER HAND by Bess Streeter Aldrich – and then the wonderful saga THE PROUD BREED by Celeste de Blasis, I realized I had to try my hand at writing a novel. After 9 tries, I finally sold my first book, SWEET PRAIRIE PASSION, which became the first book of what turned out to be a 7-book series (SAVAGE DESTINY) which after 30 years is still selling!


I try to write every day, and in the beginning when I was still working full time I often stayed at the computer (back then it was a typewriter!) until 2:00 a.m. and then get up by 5:00 a.m. to get my family off to work and school and myself to work. I got little sleep but managed to make it through the many other challenges that came along – all because I loved what I was doing and I love telling “true” American history through my fictitious stories, full of romance and adventure.


You asked about the “best and worst” aspects of writing a series. My longest series was SAVAGE DESTINY, mentioned above – and I have written several trilogies (see my web site). Each of those trilogies was meant to be a continuing series of 5 – 7 books, but for some odd reason the publisher(s) decided to stop after 3 books. I LOVE writing series stories, because I become very attached to my characters, and when you are writing about American history, it is easy to begin with one couple and follow the children and grandchildren as America was settled. I hate leaving my characters, and so do my readers! They get attached, too, and with practically every book or series I have written, my readers don’t want the stories to end. They write to me asking what happened next to the characters or to their children.


The only drawback to writing series stories is that sales aren’t always as good as single titles. This happens because when some readers realize the book they have picked up is part of a series, they don’t want to read it unless they can get the previous books – or they aren’t sure where their particular book falls in the series, so they don’t buy it at all.


Next spring book #58, a brand new book by Rosanne Bittner, will be published by Sourcebooks – PARADISE VALLEY. I hope you will watch for it. Just keep watching www.sourcebooks.com as well as my own web site www.rosannebittner.com for details! And be sure to check out my blog at www.rosannebittner.blogspot.com. Thank you so much and enjoy your summer!


About the Author:
For those of you who have not yet read my books, my stories are generally set in the American West of the 1800's and feature vividly-described, historically accurate settings that span the US from Missouri to California, from Canada to Mexico. Many of my books portray the poignant history of our Native Americans, and though the characters are my own, I use real historical locations and events in all my novels. I must be doing something right, because more and more men are writing to tell me how much they enjoy my westerns, too. Louis L'Amour has always been one of my favorite writers, and I am very flattered that my male readers compare my books favorably with his!


Recently we lost an icon of TV westerns, James Arness, better known as Matt Dillon of the longest-running TV western ever, GUNSMOKE. I was very saddened to hear this, partly because Matt Dillon was my hero in my teens, and also because there are so few TV heroes left — actually, none that I can think of. TV sets no good examples of a strong line between "good" and "bad" any more. The old westerns did that. Cheesy sometimes, but kids understood that if you did something "bad" you had to pay for it. Respect, honor, manners — very little of any of that on TV any more. GUNSMOKE survived as long as it did because it had several characters with whom one could identify and empathize — like Doc Adams, Chester Good, Festus, and Matt Dillon's long-time "girlfriend" Kitty. The only western hero left as far as I can see is Clint Eastwood. When he is gone it will be a HUGE loss for quality movies as well as another icon of western movies and also TV (remember Rowdy Yates of RAWHIDE?). I always wanted to be able to meet James Arness in person, but now that will never happen. Still, he remains "alive" to me through continued re-runs of GUNSMOKE, which I watch every evening.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

GUEST BLOG: DONNA DEL ORO


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“Behind THE DELPHI BLOODLINE by Donna Del Oro”: Interview of Athena, the Modern-day descendant of the Bloodline


THE DELPHI BLOODLINE: A smart, romantic thriller about an ancient bloodline of psychic women, the ruthless tycoon who wants to enslave them, the mysterious man who wants to protect them, and the modern-day descendant who must fight to stay alive and free!


Interviewer: You’re twenty-six, a lovely young woman and an acclaimed artist. Has it been difficult to maintain a low profile as a gifted psychic and heir of the Delphi Bloodline?


Athena: Oh yes! After I was attacked by the brother of a rapist I helped the San Francisco Police Department put away, I left the city and fled to the high desert of Nevada.


Interviewer: Is that where your brother, Chris, and Kas Skoros found you?


Athena: Much to my surprise, Chris shows up with this stranger, this Greek-American whose mother is a distant cousin to my own mother. After Mama disappears, they feel I am now at risk. At first, I don’t trust him—he’s too handsome, too slick, too…well, aggressive.


Interviewer: You’re an acclaimed artist who used to run an art gallery in San Francisco. Do you miss that part of your life, isolated up here in the mountains of Nevada?


Athena: Very much so! I want my life to return to normal as soon as possible. Here in Reno, I’m staying in practice by painting dead celebrities at a gallery inside a hotel-casino. Kas Skoros wants to be my Guardian, but I don’t need his help.


Interviewer: Dead celebrities?


Athena: Yeah, like Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe. Because they’ve passed on, I don’t receive messages from their spirits. You see, whenever I touch someone, I get information about that person from The Flow. I can’t touch dead celebrities, so I can concentrate on my painting and not on their inner souls and life experiences.


Interviewer: You seem very independent and said you don’t need help from one of the Bloodline’s Guardians. Isn’t Kas Skoros there to help you? Save you from being kidnapped or worse?


Athena: So he says. When he proves himself, I’ll start trusting him. I can’t touch him, for then I can read his mind. And what he has on his mind—regarding me—is X-rated!


Interviewer: Huh, I wonder why. Well, good luck with that.


Read THE DELPHI BLOODLINE!

MusaPublishing.com/Kindle/Nook/Apple

Visit: www.donnadeloro.com
About the Author:
Donna Del Oro is a retired high school teacher who now has the time to pursue her childhood dream of writing fiction. She lives in Northern California with her husband of 45 years, plays a bad game of golf and sings in the Sweet Adeline's chorus, Sierra Gold. Life is good and she's very grateful!







Monday, July 16, 2012

GUEST BLOG: TARA FOX HALL

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The scariest moment of my life (so far) was up at my family cottage last summer. I was up there alone, working on doing some painting and decorating. I’d finished for the night and it was about 10 pm. I locked up, and went upstairs. I stayed up the next few hours writing, and finally turned off the light about quarter to midnight. Now, its quiet up there usually, so quiet you hear usually only the wind in the trees and sometimes a party several streets over. It was quiet that night. The only sound was the rustling of leaves, and a fan on low speed.


I was just dropping off to sleep when I heard footsteps. They came down the hall towards my room, each step deliberate and slow.


I wasn’t facing that way. My back was toward whoever it was. I waited there, my heart hammering out of my chest, too scared to turn around and look. But I knew someone was in the hallway.


Rationality took over. No one would have been able to get in through the solid door and deadbolt in the hallway. I’d have heard them if they broke in. So I sat bolt upright, scrabbled for the light and turned it on. There was no one there.


I got up, and turned on all the nights. There was no one there at all, and all the windows and screens were intact.


I left the night on and went back to bed. Everything was fine for the rest of the night.


The next night, I also went to bed late, about a quarter to midnight. Remembering the past night, I told myself the noises I’d heard had to be the house settling. It was very hot during the day and cool at night.


I turned off the night and went to bed. Again, just as I was drifting off to sleep, I heard the footsteps. Like before, they came down the hallway, towards my room. This time I was still petrified, but told myself to be rational. There couldn’t be anyone out there. I kept still and waiting, trying to breathe lightly in the dark. Whatever it was came closer, into the bedroom, one deliberate footfall after another, until it was standing over me at the edge of the bed. I broke out in a cold sweat. I thought I was going to die; I was so scared. I told myself to turn around and face it, but I couldn’t make myself do it. Finally, I whipped around with a gasp. There was no one there, just shadows. I got up, and again searched the upstairs. All windows and doors were intact, as before. Hallways door was locked, just as I’d left it.


I left ALL the lights on the rest of that night. And every time I was up there alone since then, I’ve left a light on at night.


When I’m up there with others—friends or family—I never hear the footsteps. It’s only when I’m alone.


This story was the basis for my short paranormal romance, Return To Me. I meant to write a horror story, but instead a romance came out. I think that was because I want—down deep—whatever it was that came to visit me last summer to be something not out to get me, but something that just was lonely and wanted to communicate. If so, I’m all ears. Just don’t be skulking about the lake cabin at night, and scaring me to death. Introduce yourself before midnight, and we’ll chat over a drink.


About the Author:
Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers - Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). Her first e-novella, Surrender to Me, was published in September 2011. Her first full-length novel, Lash, came out in April 2012. She divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.


Find the author online at:


www.TaraFoxHall.com

tarafoxhall@gmail.com

Tara's Blog: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5286654.Tara_Fox_Hall/blog

Tara's Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/pages/Tara-Fox-Hall/151813374904903





When young widow Sarelle McGarran finds the vampire Danial Racklan unconscious and hurt in her woods, intuitive concern quickly becomes passionate love. Together Danial and Sar work to overcome their own past heartbreaks, their vastly different lifestyles, and Danial’s relentless enemies. Yet Danial asks still more; an Oath Sar will be his forever.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Special Contest from Heather Graham


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BESTSELLING AUTHOR HEATHER GRAHAM

INVITES ONE LUCKY READER

TO ATTEND WRITERS FOR NEW ORLEANS




Annual Conference in Support of New Orleans Literary Community Brings Together Authors and Fans in the Big Easy



New York Times bestselling author Heather Graham always had a soft spot for the city of New Orleans and it often set the scene for the writer’s atmospheric novels of romantic suspense. So after Hurricane Katrina, she was quick to come to the aid of the literary scene in her favorite town, creating Writers for New Orleans, an annual event to help rescue the city’s libraries that were devastated by the storm.


Now, Heather is inviting her readers to win a trip to New Orleans to attend the 2012 Writers for New Orleans conference this winter, from December 14-16. One lucky reader will receive round-trip airfare to New Orleans, two nights at the city’s iconic Monteleone Hotel and an exciting series of workshops, dinner theater, breakfast buffet and Sunday Tea along with opportunities to meet authors including Eileen Dreyer (Kathleen Korbel), David Morrell of “Rambo” fame, Jonathan Mayberry and more. A highlight will be lunch with Heather on Friday, December 14.

The approximate retail value of the prize is $1,200.00 USD. The winner must be available to accept the prize, traveling on the dates of the conference (December 12-14, 2012); no prize substitutions will be made. If the winner is unable to accept the prize on the dates specified, the author reserves the right to select a new winner.


To enter, readers should simply tell Heather, in 100 words or less, how they “give back” to their own communities. The author will select one winner on the basis of Creativity and Commitment. Grammar and word count will also be included in the judging.


The contest marks the debut of a new trilogy starting with, THE UNHOLY (MIRA Books, July 2012, $7.99). Continuing the adventures of the Krewe of Hunters, THE UNHOLY brings together a Hollywood special effects designer and an FBI investigator who must solve a vicious murder on what appears to be a haunted movie set. Inspired, in part, by Heather’s daughter who just graduated from film school in Los Angeles, the book is rich with imagery from Hollywood’s film noir period, as the ghosts of the characters from an iconic 40’s film seem to have come back to life to wreak havoc on the studio where a remake is being shot.


To enter online, readers should email entries to hgrahamcontest@tbtpr.com. Each entry, one per reader, should tell Heather in one hundred (100) words or less how the entrant gives back to her/his community. To enter via mail, hand-print (or type) on an 8 ½” x 11” plain piece of paper, full name, mailing address, telephone number and the how the entrant gives back to his/her community in one hundred (100) words or less and send it to: “Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans Contest” at Truth Be Told, 183 Madison Avenue, Suite 1201, New York, NY 10016. Online entries must be received between 12:01 AM (ET) on June 26, 2012 and 11:59 PM (ET) on August 10, 2012. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by August 10, 2012 and received by August 17, 2012.



Those who love Heather’s special brand of paranormal and romantic suspense couldn’t ask for a better way to step into her world, meet her friends and join in as dedicated writers come together in support of a great cause against the backdrop of one of America’s most iconic cities.



# # #



HEATHER GRAHAM’S WRITERS FOR NEW ORLEANS CONTEST

OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO PARTICIPATE OR RECEIVE PRIZES.

PURCHASE OR ACCEPTANCE OF A PRODUCT OFFER DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.



How to enter: To enter online, please email entries to hgrahamcontest@tbtpr.com. Tell us in one hundred (100) words or less how you give back to your community. To enter via mail, hand-print (or type) on an 8 ½” x 11” plain piece of paper, your full name, mailing address, telephone number and the how you give back to your community in one hundred (100) words or less and send it to: “Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans Contest” at Truth Be Told, 183 Madison Avenue, Suite 1201, New York, NY 10016. Online entries must be received between 12:01 AM (ET) on June 26, 2012 and 11:59 PM (ET) on August 10, 2012. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by August 10, 2012 and received by August 17, 2012. To obtain a copy of these Official Rules, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: “Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans Contest” at Truth Be Told, 183 Madison Avenue, Suite 1201, New York, NY 10016. Limit one (1) entry per person. If more than one (1) entry is received from the same person, only the first eligible entry submitted will be considered. By entering the Contest, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans (the “Sponsor”) which are final and binding.



Submissions: By participating in this Contest, entrant represents and warrants that the brief description of how he/she gives back to the community, friends, and family: (i) does not contain any material that is libelous, defamatory, profane or obscene; (ii) is original and all right, title, and interest (including copyright) therein and thereto is owned and/or controlled by the entrant to the full extent necessary to enable the Sponsor to use the submission as contemplated by these Official Rules; and (iii) does not infringe upon the intellectual property or other statutory or common law rights of any third party.



Eligibility: Contest is open to legal residents of the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their state, province or territory of residence at the time of entry. Entries containing images or references to trademarks or other distinguishing guises of any third party are not permissible and will be disqualified. The following individuals are not eligible to participate in the Contest: employees and immediate family members of the Sponsor and her publisher, affiliates, and subsidiaries, and all agencies, entities and persons engaged in the marketing and/or administration of this Contest, and immediate family members Heather Graham. For the purpose of these Official Rules, “immediate family” means husband, wife, spouse, mother, father, brother, sister, son and/or daughter, whether or not they reside in the same household. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to immediately disqualify, without notice, any and all entries that the Sponsor deems to violate any law, infringe upon any third party’s rights, or contain any material that is obscene, or otherwise objectionable. All entries and submissions become the sole property of the Sponsor and none will be returned. No communication or correspondence will be exchanged with entrants except with the entrant selected for the grand prize. Entries submitted online shall be deemed to be submitted by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the entry (i.e., the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet service provider, online service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address). The potential winner may be required to provide the Sponsor with proof that the potential winner is the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the winning entry.



Prize: One (1) grand prize will be awarded to the Contest winner consisting of a 2-night/3-day trip to New Orleands for Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans conference this December 14-16, 2012. Specifically, the Grand Prize will include: (i) round-trip coach air transportation for the Contest winner from the airport nearest to the Contest winner’s home (as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion) to New Orleans, LA; (ii) two (2) nights’ accommodation (double occupancy) at The Monteleone Hotel; and (iii) entry to all conference events and gatherings. The approximate retail value of the Grand Prize is One Thousand dollars ($ 1,000.00 USD). The actual value of the Grand Prize will depend on the departure city. Contest winner is not entitled to monetary difference between actual prize value and stated approximate prize value, if any.



Travel dates and times are not subject to change and must be booked through a travel agent approved by Heather Graham and must take place on December 14-16, 2012. Should the Contest winner be unable to travel on the dates and times designated by the Sponsor, the Grand Prize may be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. The Contest winner will be responsible for transportation to and from originating airport, travel and medical insurance, travel documentation, airport improvement fees, meals, taxes, gratuities, telephone calls, in-room charges and any other expense not explicitly included in the description of the Grand Prize. The Guest must have attained the age of majority on or before the date of departure, and must complete and return to the Sponsor a Release of Liability no later than thirty (30) days prior to departure. The Grand Prize (and any and all portions thereof) must be accepted as awarded and cannot be transferred, assigned, substituted or redeemed for cash, except at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. In the event that a specific prize item is discontinued or otherwise unavailable, a prize item or cash of equal or greater value may be awarded to the Contest winner in the Sponsor’s sole discretion. Odds of winning are dependent on the total number of eligible entries received and the quality of each submission.



Judging: One (1) winning entry will be selected by a panel of judges consisting of author Heather Graham and a representative from the Sponsor based on the following criteria:

Creativity & Commitment – 60%

Grammar – 30%

Word Count – 10%



Decisions of the judges are final and binding in all respects.



Notification: On or about August 31, 2012, one (1) potential winner will be selected by the judges and will be notified by mail or email. Potential winner will be required to sign and return (within ten (10) days of notification) a Publicity Release and Affidavit of Eligibility that confirms his/her: (i) eligibility for the Contest and compliance with these Official Rules; (ii) acceptance of the Grand Prize as offered; (iii) release of the Sponsor and its parent company, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees, directors, officers, suppliers, agents, sponsors and administrators (collectively, the “Releasees”) from any and all liability for any loss, harm, damages, cost or expense arising out of participation in this Contest, participation in any Contest-related activity or the acceptance, use, or misuse of any prize, including but not limited to costs, injuries, losses related to personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation, or portrayal in a false light, or from any and all claims of third parties arising there from; and (iv) grant to the Sponsor of the unrestricted right, in the Sponsor’s discretion, to publish, reproduce, convert, broadcast, communicate by telecommunication, exhibit, distribute, translate, adapt and otherwise use and re-use the winner’s submission, name, photograph, likeness, voice and biographical material in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, in connection with the Contest and the promotion and exploitation thereof. If the potential winner fails to respond within the stated timeline, or if a prize notification is returned as unclaimed or undeliverable, the potential winner will be disqualified and an alternate potential winner will be selected. Delivery of prize requires a full street address (P.O. boxes are not accepted), which may be requested by the Sponsor.



Conditions: The Sponsor, its parent company, affiliates and/or subsidiaries, are not responsible for printing, clerical or typographical errors of any kind or nature. In no event will the Sponsor be obligated to award more than the stated number of prizes. By accepting the Grand Prize, the winner consents to the Sponsor’s use of his/her name, city and state, province or territory of residence, photograph and likeness throughout the world, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, for purposes of advertising, trade and promotion on behalf of the Sponsor, without further compensation, unless prohibited by law. Participants agree that the Sponsor, its parent company, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for damages, injuries or losses of any kind resulting in whole or in part from participation in the contest, or from acceptance and/or use or misuse of the Grand Prize. The Sponsor assumes no liability for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, undeliverable or misdirected entries, notifications and/or responses, or for any computer, online, software, hardware or technical malfunctions that may occur, including but not limited to malfunctions that may affect the transmission or non-transmission of an entry. The Sponsor is not responsible for damage to any participant’s computer system/software related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials in connection with this contest. The Sponsor assumes no responsibility or liability in the event that the contest cannot be conducted as planned for any reason whatsoever, including but not limited to reasons beyond the control of the Sponsor, such as infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes outside the control of the Sponsor which impair or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Contest. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS CONTEST MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND/OR CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK REMEDIES AND DAMAGES TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. The Sponsor assumes no responsibility for undeliverable e-mails resulting from any form of active or passive e-mail filtering by a participant’s Internet service provider and/or e-mail client or for insufficient space in participant’s e-mail account to receive e-mail. Contest is void, in whole or part, where prohibited by law and is subject to all applicable laws and regulations.



Termination: Subject to any governmental approval which may be required, the Sponsor reserves the right to terminate or suspend the Contest, in whole or in part, and/or amend the Official Rules in any way, at any time, for any reason, without prior notice.



Winner’s List: To receive the official name of the winner between August 31 and September 15, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: “Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans Contest Winner” at Truth Be Told, 183 Madison Avenue, Suite 1201, New York, NY 10016



Sponsor: “Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans Contest,” www.eheathergraham.com/

Friday, July 13, 2012

GUEST BLOG: BETTE McNICHOLAS


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I grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, went to Bryant College in Providence, R.I., and moved to Washington, D.C. My first job was with WTOP/CBS radio, in the promotion department. I loved the job, but was starving--living in Georgetown and attending drama classes, modern dance, and a few university courses was expensive.


My next job was at the United States Senate, a great place to work, in the heart of the nation's capitol. I was a Cherry Blossom Princess from the State of Delaware and helped organize the CBP Sorority with a few women who are still friends. I was a member of the Active Young Republicans, The Cliff Dwellers, The Delaware State Society and Bridge East and the Congressional Bridge Club.


I have been married for almost forty-nine years, this November. I've sold real estate, done everything from playground monitor to president of PTA at my children's school, love to cook and knit.


I am a charter member of Washington Romance Writers, have been a member of RWA since @ 1984, also a member of Desert Rose RWA Chapter, served as Published Author Liaison and on various other committees.


Years ago, when my reading habit became too expensive to support, and I hated to go to the library because I had to return the books after two weeks, my neighbor gave me two romance novels to read. I hadn't read a romance novel since Jane Eyre!
Then after I was hooked on them, I said, "I bet I could write one of these!" Seven years later, my agent put me together with Andrea Kent, and we wrote, An Obsession With Honor, a War of 1812 historical. We sold it in one week to Warner Books. The book was a huge success and RT named it second only to Fern Michaels as best collaborating team. Andi and I are still friends and living 2000 miles apart, but considering republishing Honor.


Songs the Soldiers Sang is my fourth novel. Besides Honor, I have published two Civil War novels, one romantic suspense, and last year I contributed a chapter in A Mother's Wisdom, a non-fiction compilation of mothers words to their children, edited by Cathryn J. Lombardo. I have written another suspense novel, completed a collaboration with another friend and now we've started our second novel together--both are contemporary.


I spent a lot of time visiting Civil War battlegrounds. Have experienced some very strange and powerful feelings that overcome me when I am at Gettysburg. My CW novels focus on the harsh suffering women endured, both in the North and South. I purchased a book in a Civil War bookstore years ago, about the invasion of the Sea Islands of South Carolina. Early in the war, the Union invaded these islands in order to approach and capture Charleston. All of the local men had gone off to war, leaving the women and slaves behind to fend for themselves. Fortunately, there was a storm off the Atlantic the night before the invasion and word reached the island that the Yankees were coming, and all the women, children and some slaves escaped by ferry or through the marshes by boat.


Songs the Soldiers Sang is a story about what happened to one young girl, Laurel Bray, and her mammy who were forced to live like refugees on the mainland of S.C. At the end of the war, when they returned to Beaufort, Laurel discovered her home had been sold and her father had never returned from the war. He was missing and presumed dead. This novel follows her search for her father with the help of Major Holt Flanagan, a Union officer. This is a tale of forbidden love, mystery and murder...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

GUEST BLOG: PATRICIA YAGER DELAGRANGE

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Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for an ebook copy of Moon Over Alcatraz.



Top 5 Items on Patricia Yager Delagrange's Bucket List



Number one would have to be finding an agent to represent me and my books. I started writing in 2009 and I know that it’s very, very difficult to find an agent to represent you right now. Agents don’t want to take a chance on a new writer but would rather stick with a “tried and true” author who has an established fan base and has sold a ton of books. But I will not stop sending out query letters and perhaps one day someone will trust my talent enough to offer me a contract.


Number two would be going on a vacation around Martha’s Vineyard. For as long as I can remember, I have been intrigued by that area of the United States and I love reading stories that take place there. I love the beach and have lived on the coast of California my entire life, except for the two years I lived in Corvallis, Oregon, while working for my Master’s degree at Oregon State University. During those two years I could probably count on one hand how many days were not rainy and/or depressingly overcast. Plus I felt claustrophobic living that far inland. It was about thirty minutes to the coast and I felt too landlocked living in Corvallis.


Number three would be (maybe) parachuting out of an airplane. I wanted to do this before I had kids. Then I changed my mind because I didn’t want to take the chance of leaving them without a mother. But now that they’re 18 and 13, maybe someday down the road I’ll try it.


Number four would be seeing how it would feel to take a horse over a few jumps. I own a big, full-bodied almost-draft Friesian horse who would never jump a rail unless he thought a lion was going to eat him. So, I probably couldn’t do it with my own horse. But I’d love to see how it feels do jump over a rail on a horse. I get a thrill every time I ride my horse Maximus. Working with a 1,425-pound animal can be scary yet exciting at the same time.


Number five would be taking a slow, lazy ride on an old-fashioned paddlewheel boat down a river. I don’t like boats that go on the ocean because the waves make me sick. However, I think it might be fun to take a leisurely ride down the river on a boat powered solely by a paddlewheel. I think they might have had one, or still have one, at Disneyland in Southern California that I took a ride on as a kid. But I’m not sure if there are any left.


About the Author:
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I attended St. Mary’s College, studied my junior year at the University of Madrid, received my B.A. in Spanish at UC Santa Barbara then went on to get my Master’s degree in Education at Oregon State University. I live with my husband and two teenage children in Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco, along with our two very large chocolate labs, Annabella and her son Jack.


My horse lives in the Oakland hills in a stall with a million dollar view.


Take a look at the video of Moon Over Alcatraz:






Brandy Chambers was looking forward to the birth of her first child. She and Weston move from San Francisco to the small town of Alameda to start a family, she’s writing her second book, and Weston has a fantastic job working on the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge project. Having this baby would make her already-wonderful life perfect.


But when the baby dies after a difficult birth, Brandy’s perfect life blows up in her face. Stricken with grief, she and Weston pull apart. This new distance leads them both to disaster. Not until a chance encounter with her high school friend, Edward Barnes, does Brandy pull herself together. Brandy and Weston agree to recommit to each other, striving to forgive infidelity and recreate their previous existence.


Everything is once again going according to plan--until Brandy discovers she’s pregnant. While she struggles to cope with this new obstacle, Edward Barnes returns to town and discovers she’s having a baby, while Weston is torn between his love for his wife and his anger at her betrayal. Can Brandy manage to keep her marriage to Weston together? Will Edward be a part of Brandy’s life if she and Weston separate?

Buy the book at:


MUSA: http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=150

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Moon-Over-Alcatraz-ebook/dp/B006UJEE3E/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327940072&sr=1-1

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moon-over-alcatraz-patricia-yager-delagrange/1108112331?ean=2940032996682&itm=1&usri=moon+over+alcatraz








Wednesday, July 11, 2012

GUEST BLOG: REBECCA GRACE

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A Learning Adventure



Meeting readers can sometimes be awkward for writers, many of whom are naturally reticent about promoting themselves. After all, who wants to walk up to a stranger and say, “Hi, I’m Becky and I write romantic suspense. Here, buy my book.” This past weekend I attended RomCon 2012 in Denver, a real fanfest for readers and writers of romance. It was wonderful to chat with fellow authors, but it also provided an excellent opportunity to visit with readers and fans of romance.


One of my favorite events was a session called Speed Dating. The authors were placed at tables and then the readers came by and spent two minutes chatting before switching tables. At first I was a little apprehensive. I was going to talk to stranger after stranger for how long? Two minutes? That sounded like an eternity. But what fun it turned out to be for people on both sides of the table. Here was an opening to simply chat! It gave the readers an opportunity to be introduced to writers they might not normally read and it gave writers the occasion to reach new readers.


Once I get over my initial fears, I’ve usually found that talking with readers can be beneficial in more ways than simply promoting my books. I’ve seldom walked away from an encounter without learning something, usually that I can use in my writing or in my writing classes. This adventure proved to be both enjoyable as well as educational.


What I liked was that instead of the rushed atmosphere around a book signing or the hit or miss cocktail party where both sides are looking around the room to see who else is there, this gave both reader and writer the chance to talk and listen.


One thing that hit me as I spoke with various readers, asking what they read and what they liked about romantic suspense was how many read in so many different genres. Some had started out reading historical but then found they also like a touch of suspense in them too. Others said they had begun reading suspense and then decided they also enjoyed historical, but now they were turning to fantasy and paranormal. Several were caught up by my story line and decided they wanted to give romantic suspense a try.


And boy, did they love to read! One woman told me she travels in her job and she is never without a book at the airport or for her hotel room, sometimes reading up to five books a week. I found several others who were very similar, starting a new book as soon as they finished one. One young reader told me she keeps different books in different places, in her car, at her office, and one for the bedroom.


Of course, they also liked reading about new places. My latest romantic suspense books, Shadows from the Past and Deadly Messages, were set in the Northwest and I had several readers tell me how excited they were to read them because they had never been there.


If I ever get a chance to try that speed dating with readers again, you can bet I will do it again. As several of us noted when we were told time was up -- two minutes proved to be too short!


About the Author:
Becky Martinez writes romantic suspense under the pseudonym of Rebecca Grace. Visit her website at www.RebeccaGrace.com. She is an award winning former broadcast journalist who has turned to writing romance, romantic suspense and mystery. She also teaches writing classes and was co-author of the book, Ten Steps to Creating Memorable Characters. Becky’s newest romantic suspense novella is Shadows From the Past.





When Stacey Moreno goes looking for answers to a friend’s death at spooky Redfern Manor, she finds more trouble than she could ever have imagined. First, there’s her sexy, mysterious new boss, Mack Warren, who appears to be in love with a ghost. From the moment they meet, the sparks fly, but Mack is looking for escape, not romance. And then there are the strange noises and events that keep everyone at the Manor on their toes.


Stacey is no super heroine like the cartoon character she draws, but she may have to become one to survive the secrets… and suspects… of Redfern Manor. How can she save them all from those shadows from the past that are threatening to destroy the future?



Available now from www.thewildrosepress.com.