Sunday, January 31, 2010

Book Commercial ~ Crushing Desire by April Dawn

Crushing Desire by April Dawn

Reena Harrison is anything but the fashion, but despite her flaws, she has several suitors. Unfortunately, the one man she has always loved is not one of them. After things go dreadfully wrong with a suitor and her family, she finds herself asking Joshua a peculiar favor.

Joshua Sinclair has long had a fascination with the tall beauty. After years of denying his feelings for Reena in pure military fashion, he finds himself thrown together with her in an out of control scheme. How can he possibly rule his emotions when he finds himself posing as the sensuous woman’s husband?


Want to see your book commercial here? Go here to find out how!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Author Interview ~ Christine D'Abo

Okay, I’m going to get this out the way again... I am going complete fangirl on our guest author today. I already did it when she contacted me to request an interview… I was SQUEEEEEEing all over the place. But she’s charming and gracious and laughed right along with me. Today we are lucky enough to have on our blog, one of my all time favorite authors, Christine D’Abo. I have loved her work for a long time and I was soooooooooooo excited to have her on our blog!

So, let’s get this party started: Where are you from?

I am a proud (if not slightly nutty) Canadian. I am from the East coast originally, but I now live in Southern Ontario, not too far from Toronto. I had the pleasure of living in Virginia Beach for a few years and to this day miss it…especially in February.

It’s interesting when you leave comfortable places and find yourself in places that do become comfortable there… but you make it comfortable wherever you go. When and why did you begin writing?

I sat down to write my first novel when I was home on maternity leave. We’d just moved to Virginia, I was alone with two babies under the age of 2, and needed an escape. After having read everything I could get my hands on, I thought I’d take my turn at writing one. Eight months later, my will-never-see-the-light-of day historical novel now lives happily beneath my bed.

LOL, I’m sure we all have manuscripts that will never see the light of day if we have anything to say about it. How much of the book is realistic?

Oh…not a lot. Though my husband claims to be the 7 foot tall alien from The Bond That Saves Us. I just hand him the measuring tape…

Lol, yes, well, sometimes they need those illusions. And we can either play to their vanity (it it’s well-earned, mind you) or set them straight (which works much better than one would think. What book are you reading now?

At the moment, I’m re-reading Mary Balogh’s Slightly series. People are often surprised to hear that I read historical romance more than I read futuristic romance. A lot of that has to do with needing a break from the genre. Also, I find I learn a lot from the historical writers. The amount of world building they do is amazing, and I take tips and apply it to my own stories.

For me, Mary Balogh is one of the best at this and her Slightly series is my favorite hands down. I read all seven books (I include A Summer To Remember in this) at least once a year.

I don’t read her as often as I used to, but I find new authors all the time. What are your current projects?

I just sent off to my editor my very first m/m futuristic, it was excepted and I am now waiting for a release date. This one I set as a challenge to myself to see if I could do the subgenre justice. I really wanted to portray two strong male characters in an action environment, but show their sensitive sides develop between them despite events. I also didn’t want there to be any issues around them being two men. Putting this into a futuristic setting allowed me to focus on other concerns.

Like I told you before, sounds interesting, and I just know that you can do justice to M/M… looking forward to it! Do you see writing as a career?

Nope – when I was a kid I wanted to be a movie director! I loved telling and making up stories and thought films was where I wanted to flex those creative muscles. Then I went and fell in love at the age of 14 to a guy who was an entrepreneur. Love won out over ambition.

Amazing how these thing work out in the end. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I always learn something from every book I write. Sometimes I finally am able to correct a particular writing quirk that’s been bugging me. Other times, I simply streamline my writing process. I make it a point of trying to take away as much as I can in everything I do. Learning opportunities are everywhere.

What a wonderful way to look at it! Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you. Seriously, I do love writing, but it means so much more to know that people read and enjoy these stories.

I agree! How long does it take you to write a book?

It totally depends on the book. At least two have taken me less than six weeks to get out. A few others have taken six months or more. I’m greatly impacted by the events going on in my life at the time, and like most people who write and work a day job, the writing sometimes has to be pushed off.

LOL, sometimes that’s what happens. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I tend to grab my writing time where and when I can. I’ve been known to get up at 5am for several weeks in a row, write on my lunch break, and then write well into the evening. My husband knows when I get into a mode like that to simply throw chocolate my way and keep the coffee flowing.

HUH, it’s always interesting to see what everyone’s schedules are. What does your family think of your writing?

Everyone in my family is incredibly supportive of my writing. My husband proudly tells everyone who will listen. Both my parents and my sister promote my writing wherever they can. Even my kids thinks it’s cool, even though they’re not allowed to tell anyone my pen name.

How funny! How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

To date, I have nine books published, with one under consideration and two more waiting in the wings. There are things about all my books that I really enjoy, but my favorite total package is The Bond That Consumes Us. I don’t know what it was about that story, but I can actually read it without being overly critical of myself.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I don’t hear from readers often, though it always makes my day when I do. There is always kindness and positive thoughts, which really keeps my motivation up when I’m having a bad day. I keep every email I receive and I respond to every one. Writers work so much in a vacuum, it means a lot to hear from the people who are buying our work.

That’s right, I was one of your fangirls! LOL Now for the “absolutely-nothing-to-do-the-interview” questions: What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

This is a tough one! I have both a cat and a dog, though I love them for different reasons. My dog’s reaction when I come home from work is priceless. Captain Jack (yes, I’m a Torchwood fan) is my best friend and totally loves me unconditionally. My cat is a snob. But when I she chooses to cuddle with me, it’s because I really need it.

It IS a touch decision, but they all have their ups and downs. Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?

HATE!!! I’m never one to step willingly in front of the camera. Unless it’s something like this. I’ve never photographed well, though I can’t for the life of me tell you why. I’ve always been self-conscious.

Not everyone can look good, but I think it’s all in your imagination. What is your strangest habit?

I both lift my feet when driving over railroad tracks and hold my breath when I drive through an intersection. I’m a very superstitious person.

LOL, nothing wrong with that. Except we touch a screw in the van if we can find one in the van. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

You know, I don’t think I’d get rid of any of my experiences, good or bad. They have all had a part in shaping the person I am today. I like that person quite a bit. 

That’s a good reason not to change anything. When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

Good god, your hair looks like crap.

LOL, how nice of you to diss yourself first thing in the morning. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Sleeping. Normally, I’m reading or writing, but I’ve been fighting a cold the past few weeks.

Ahhhh… sleep, I would love some of that… *sigh* What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from ?

I tend to say, “excellent”, “dude” and “bite me”. I obviously grew up in the 80s.

LOL, I say “really? I mean… really?” Have you ever eaten a crayon?

I have. Strangely, the while the orange one didn’t live up to expectations, the purple one was surprisingly good.

I’d say why? But you probably don’t have an answer. Somehow, though I’m not surprised. What is your favorite animal?

Platypus! Freakiest creature in the world. I have a really cute stuffed version sitting on my desk next to my Doctor Who toys. Yes…I’m 35 and have Doctor Who toys. I’m trying to get a Ianto and Captain Jack figurine next.

LOL What do you want to know about the future?

Will we ever get the flying cars? I mean, they’ve been promising them for years now and have yet to deliver! I know we’ll get cures for most diseases in time, but flying cars…I’m not so sure.

That’s a good question to ask. What is your favorite pizza?

BBQ Chicken Pizza…lord I want one now.

I like pizza but that’s not my favorite kind. Are you a morning person or a night person?

I’m an insomniac, so I’d have to answer yes to this question. 

Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? If so, which do you prefer?

I really can, but I don’t drink either. I find they upset my stomach too much, so I stick with ginger ale most of the time.

If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

For my girls to grow up confident enough to chase their dreams. As a parent, I can’t ask for anything more.

Thank you, Christine for coming to hang out with us today. It was great fun getting to know you better. :-D

No Quarter by Christine d’Abo

When bounty hunter Gar Stitt is on the trail of his mark, everyone knows their days are numbered. When he is given a simple locate and retrieve mission, he’s convinced it is a waste of his skills.

There isn’t a more prolific space pirate in the galaxy than Captain Faolan Wolf. When he walks into a bar with a proposition heavy in mind, he’s not expecting anything to go wrong.

Forced from his solitary existence to work with Faolan, Gar can’t deny his attraction to a man who he should put in prison. When the hunter becomes the hunted, Gar must learn to put his faith in a man he doesn’t know, or run the risk of ending up dead.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Fun!

There is a factory in Northern Minnesota which makes the Tickle Me Elmo toys. The toy laughs when you tickle it under the arms.

Well, Lena is hired at The Tickle Me Elmo factory and she reports for her first day promptly at 8:00 am.

The next day at 8:45 am there is a knock at the Personnel Manager's door. The Foreman throws open the door and begins to rant about the new

He complains that she is incredibly slow and the whole line is backing up, putting the entire production line behind schedule.

The Personnel Manager decides he should see this for himself, so the 2 men march down to the factory floor. When they get there the line is so backed up that there are Tickle Me Elmo's all over the factory floor and they're really beginning to pile up.

At the end of the line stands Lena surrounded by mountains of Tickle Me Elmo's. She has a roll of plush Red fabric and a huge bag of small marbles.

The 2 men watch in amazement as she cuts a little piece of fabric, wraps it around two marbles and begins to carefully sew the little package between Elmo's legs.

The Personnel Manager bursts into laughter. After several minutes of hysterics he pulls himself together and approaches Lena .

'I'm sorry,' he says to her, barely able to keep a straight face, 'but I think you misunderstood the instructions I gave you yesterday...'

'Your job is to give Elmo two test tickles.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Writing Sex

I'm still ass-deep in edits -- I've been working like a dog and am only about halfway through them. Considering this is my third round, it shouldn't be this hard.

But it is.

The amazing thing? I've added in the neighborhood of 6000 words to this story since I sent it in. Since I'm adding, and not subtracting, is that reverse edits?


The good news for potential readers is that the additions are pretty much regarding sex. Lots of sex. More description, stronger verbs, s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g out the scenes and wringing them for every last bit of heat. And, this is actually what the edits have been for, all three times. It's a challenge to walk through these most intimate acts in slow motion, describing not just what is happening, but how everything feels, tastes, smells, sounds.

It's been an amazing learning experience. And, I just want to say that anyone who thinks writing sex is easy needs to think again. I told Kealie a couple of days ago that my next story is going to be a sweet romance! *G*

What do you think? Is it easier to write lots of sex, or none? And, after you've written erotic romance, can you go back to writing sweet?

More: What are YOUR edits for, mostly? Any hints on getting through them without a massive headache when you're done?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I've Gone International!

LOL, seriously! It was so weird. Occasionally I enter in my name in Google and look around at what shows up. Usually it's where I've commented on a blog of a friend, or links to my website and this blog as well as my MySpace and Facebook profiles. Imagine my surprise when I saw a link for what appears to be a blog I've never heard of!

I clicked the link and then blinked. I kid you not the blog... or whatever it is... is called Whipped Ass and it has stories and diatribes and... stories from all over the internet that they rate. Apparently it's in an Eastern Bloc country, as I can't decipher the language. They apparently found one of my free short reads over on Whipped Cream and posted it. Complete with giving me credit and my mini-bio along with a link to my website. How did they rate it? Настроение сейчас - Very good. You can go see for yourself here. Maybe you can translate it for me.

So, a part of me is really very flattered, but another part of me wonders how they found it... okay not really since I found them... but still. Is this considered piracy? I mean it's a free read, so I didn't really think that... mostly I was just flattered. And then I had to laugh because...obviously it was originally read in their language and then translated back to English... so it changed a little bit in translation. Has anyone else had strangeness like this before? Just wondering?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Author Interview ~ Missy Martine

Welcome to the group today, Missy. Make yourself comfortable. We're very happy to have you here with us today. Let's get started:Where are you from?

Well, I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee. However, when I grew up I tended to move around a lot. I’ve lived in seven different states; Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and finally California which is where I am now. Although to be honest, it’s our hope to be able to retire in a few years and move to Wyoming. It’s our favorite place in the world.

When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?

I didn’t honestly begin writing until just a few years ago. I’m a retired nurse, and up until 2002 I owned a medical billing service in Oklahoma. In 2002 we moved to Minnesota and I suffered a series of small strokes. I was very lucky; I didn’t have any major debilitating problems during recovery except for a definite problem with communication. I had a lot of trouble saying the words that would go through my mind.

For the most part, the condition was only temporary. It took about a year, but I was finally able to start making sense when I talked with people. During that time of my life, I discovered that I didn’t have any problems with typing out what I wanted to say. I know, strange huh? Actually, typing out everything turned out to be good therapy for me. It enabled me to make endless lists to help remind me of things I would forget. Unfortunately, the strokes did leave me with one handicap. I have a great deal of problem with short-term memory. It’s a problem that still plagues me to this day.

Since I couldn’t work in nursing, or insurance billing any longer, I turned my spare time to reading. I read romance book, after romance book. I think it was driving my husband nuts. He wanted me to find something a little more challenging, something that would keep my mind active and exercised. One day he challenged me to a dare. He said, “Why don’t you write your own romance book? After all you’ve read, you must know how to go about it by now.” I think it was his tone, kind of like he expected me to laugh it off, which made me decide to give it a try.
My first effort was a disaster, and I’ve never let anyone but him read it. But I learned from my mistakes, and sat down and wrote “Table for Three.” I’m not sure if I would have ever sent it to a publisher, but Nigel encouraged me to give it a try and the rest is history. Siren/Bookstrand accepted it and here I am, writing on my fourth and fifth book now.

How did you come up with the title? Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The title, “Table for Three” was to be representative of the changing lifestyle choices that abound today. More and more we see alternative lifestyle relationships. It’s just a fact in today’s environment. I’d hoped to convey to my readers that it’s never too late in anyone’s life to find true love. Women, especially older women, tend to get in a rut and think that love is passing them by. Maybe they’re alone due to divorce, separation, or even death. After a certain age we tend to give up on that part of our lives and settle for less than we deserve. I wanted to pass on the message that even us older broads, still have a chance to make our fantasy dreams come true.

Now I didn’t think I was writing about anything in my own life when I started this book, but a cousin who read it says that it really followed along the paths of my own life. Now, before you ask, no, I don’t have two men waiting for me at home. What I do have is a younger man that I met after divorcing my husband of twenty years. I guess, like my heroine, I pretty much felt that life had passed me by in the romance department and I was going to be content with a quiet little life, reading my books and spending time with my friends.

I met my husband, and he literally swept me off my feet. I may have thought I was too old for romance, but he had no such thoughts. He brought more romance into my life in three months than I’d experienced in twenty years. He is truly the love of my life, my soul mate. We’ve been married for ten years.

If you had to choose, what writer would you consider a mentor?

That would have to be Leah Brooke. I once told Leah that her books made me discover romance again. That’s a pretty impressive thing since I was over the age of fifty when I said it. Her series about “Desire, OK” has kept me inspired romantically for a long time, according to my husband. I re-read them on a regular basis and I never tire of them.

Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?

I’m not sure that you’d consider her new, but Dana Marie Bell has captured my interest in the last year. I’m fascinated with shape-shifter books, and her Halle Puma Series is the best. She’s really gifted in combining humor, romance and intrigue. I carefully watch the “Coming Soon” section of my favorite sites for her newest books.

Another author that I think is fairly new that intrigues me is Nicole Morgan. Her Sweet Series, Sweet Redemption, Sweet Salvation and Sweet Vengence, were excellent, very romantic and spine tingling at the same time. I look forward to reading some more of her work.

What are your current projects?

I’m just finishing up a trilogy entitled “A Wolfen Heritage.” The first one, “Discovering Her Wolfen Heritage” should be out by the time you publish this interview. The second is, “Denying His Wolfen Heritage,” and the final one is “Changing Their Wolfen Heritage.” Outside the trilogy, I’m working on another shape-shifter book called “Screams From the Mountain” and a Vampire book that hasn’t received a title yet. That may sound strange, but I don’t ever give them working titles. There will come a time when I just know what I’m thinking is the right title for that book. And I always go with it.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? What was the hardest part writing your book?

My greatest challenge is working with the short-term memory loss. It requires me to make really detailed outlines, and to have them accessible at all times. I jokingly told my husband that it would benefit me to have a large blackboard to list my characters when I’m writing, so I don’t forget names and plot lines while I’m working. Instead, he convinced me to use Excel files that are always up on the computer.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I like to travel, and I like to take pictures. Nigel’s had to travel a lot for the jobs he’s had in the past few years, and I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel with him at times. A few years ago we spent 3 weeks in Mainland China and that was an experience I’ll never forget.

The travel I like to do the most is in Wyoming. We take the jeep so we can go off road, and then we hunt down and photograph wild animals. I went digital with my photography a few years ago, and it’s nothing for me to take between 700-900 pics a day while we’re on one of our trips. We take so many, I have to carry the computer in the car so I can download at lunch and have the camera empty for the afternoon.
Other than travel, I’m still an avid reader, with a library that easily totals over a thousand. To me, there’s still nothing better than a good, hot, romantic story.

What does your family think of your writing?

Most of them have been pleasantly surprised, and pretty supportive. My husband has been at the top of the list as far as support goes. He reads everything I write, and offers his honest opinion, and suggestions when they’re warranted.
I’ve gotten a little ribbing from my friends, concerning the book’s content, but nothing really bad.

I only had one relative that had a somewhat negative reaction, and it was actually funny. When I told her, on the phone, about “Table for Three” being accepted for publication she congratulated me. She asked a few questions about it, and then I told her it was about a threesome, two men and a woman. She shrieked into the phone, “Three people, you mean together, at the same time?” When I said yes, she told me that it wasn’t any of her business, but she wasn’t planning on reading it.
My mother-in-law has worried me the most. She’s been so proud, and told everyone she knew about the book coming out. Then, she told me that her book club had plans on getting it and making it one of their mandatory reads one month. Now, I’ve tried to tell her what it’s about, but I’m still not sure she understands. She’s 85 years old and I have a feeling her book club is in for quite a shock!

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Be true to yourself. Don’t let someone else’s opinion sway you from what you believe is good. Write from your heart, and you can’t go wrong.

What animal do you think makes a good pet and why?

I’m a cat person now; at least that’s what my husband tells me. I never had cats before I married Nigel, and now we have three. I do think they’re the best type of pet for us though.

Cats are very independent. They require a lot of love, but not much in the way of maintenance. You don’t have to walk them, only scoop their boxes and keep their food and water bowls brimming. Most of them don’t allow a lot of close cuddling, so if you work a lot you don’t have to feel guilty that you’re ignoring them.
If you like to take weekend trips, like we do, they do just fine with an extra litter box and extra bowls of food and water. You don’t have to put them in a kennel or hire a pet-sitter.

They’re very clean animals, preferring to clean themselves rather than have you bathe them. And last, but definitely not least, they are extremely quiet and the neighbors don’t complain about them meowing at three in the morning.

What were you doing at midnight last night? Are you a morning or a night person?

I’m a definite insomniac, and I’m up past midnight almost every night. Last night, I was playing Farkle from my Facepage. I’m proud to say my highest score ever was 32,000, which I’ve never seen anyone beat.

I don’t really do much writing during the night. It’s strange, but I’ve found I do my best writing when Nigel isn’t in the apartment, even if he’s sleeping.
I’ve always been a night person; I just seem to come alive late at night. It probably comes from working as a nurse so many years ago. I always worked either the 11-7 shift, or 7pm to 7am with 7 days on and 7 days off. I got used to my life being after dark and it’s just stayed with me.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

When we were in China I learned early on that it was best not to ask what something was before you ate it. One of the nights there we went to a place that specialized in Brazilian Bar-B-Que. Everyone stayed at their tables, and the waiters would come around with beg skewers full of some type of meat and if you said yes, they would push some of it off on your plate. I let my husband, and one of his associates, talk me into trying a great deal of un-recognizable things that night and I only had the misfortune to ask about one of them. I had eaten six little, tiny pigeon’s hearts! Ugh, they were rubbery, and chewy and I never thought I get them swallowed when they told me what they were.

Then in another restaurant, I ordered chicken. I figured what could go wrong with ordering chicken. Boy, was I wrong. They brought a plate of chicken to the table. It had been cut up whole, bones and all, into pieces about 4 inches long. This had been boiled, but only long enough to cook it through and not long enough to tenderize it. And, to make matters worse, the chopped off head had been placed on the top as a garnish. The eyes were still looking at me! I never ordered chicken again while we were there.

What is your favorite pizza?

This is making my mouth water just writing about it. I like to make my own, crust and all. For ingredients, I like hot sausage, ham, and pineapple. The sauce I made from my own tomatoes and I tended to make it quite spicy. Then, we put about a pound of mozzarella cheese directly on the crust, and then on top of the ingredients. It’s cooked at 375 until just barely brown on top! Yum!!

If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

I’d wish that I could re-do my life over. I wasted so much of my youth, and my young adult years chasing dreams that could never come true. I’d wish that I cold go back to about the age of 30, and re-live those years with the knowledge that I have now. It saddens me to think of how many years I spent without love in my life.

Table For Three by Missy Martine

Cass Abernathy is forty-three and she's getting a second chance at life, and maybe even love. She's finally divorced, after years of abuse, when she learns an unknown uncle in Oregon has left her his estate, and more importantly, his house. Filled with hope for her future and excited to have a place of her own, Cass heads west not knowing what she'll find.

What she finds are hot and sexy twin brothers intent on making her a part of their lives. It's too bad they're so much younger because they bring out feelings she's never had before.

Meanwhile, there's someone else interested in Cass' inheritance, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to make sure he wins.

Will Cass overcome her fears and open her heart to the two men who love her, and will she discover the truth about her inheritance before it's too late?

"Cass' story came to life as a way to encourage women of all ages not to give up on finding true love, and to keep their minds open to all possibilities. After surviving an abusive relationship, she's able to open her heart to a different kind of love. She gives her heart to not one, but two sexy brothers." ~ Missy ~

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Book Commercial ~ Table For Three by Missy Martine

Table for Three by Missy Martine

Cass Abernathy is forty-three and she's getting a second chance at life, and maybe even love. She's finally divorced, after years of abuse, when she learns an unknown uncle in Oregon has left her his estate, and more importantly, his house. Filled with hope for her future and excited to have a place of her own, Cass heads west not knowing what she'll find.

What she finds are hot and sexy twin brothers intent on making her a part of their lives. It's too bad they're so much younger because they bring out feelings she's never had before.

Meanwhile, there's someone else interested in Cass' inheritance, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to make sure he wins.

Will Cass overcome her fears and open her heart to the two men who love her, and will she discover the truth about her inheritance before it's too late?


Want to see your book commercial here? Go here to find out how!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Fun

Farmer Brown and his wife were working in the field one day about dusk. As they were heading back to the house they saw a bunch of strange lights way out in the field. Upon ariving Farmer Brown and his wife saw a spaceship landing. They were approached by two aliens. The aliens said they were researching human sex life and wanted to know if they could partner switch. After talking it over Farmer Brown and his wife agreed. The next morning the aliens left.

Farmer Brown was dying to ask his wife what happened. Finally he couldn't stand it anymore and broke down and asked her. Well what happened?

She replied, It was the best sex I ever had!

Why? asked Farmer Brown.

Well when he took off his pants it wasn'r but an inch long and as big around as my pinky, but then he reached up and turned his left ear and it grew as to 16 inches, then he turned his right ear and it got as big around as a sausage.

Farmer Brown said, Well shit, no wonder that bitch was trying to rip my ears off!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Addicted to Research...

Now that title can mean just about anything. LOL. But it's not as dirty as you would expect from me. It simply applies to my addiction to looking things up and learning new things all the time. Usually in the pursuit of writing another book. So, right now with the holiday fervor finally over, I can start focusing again. I wish that I could finally finish the story that has been rolling around in my head... but for some reason I let it stall and it's still sitting there. Y'll saw the flash fiction I did with the characters from the story I'm working on. It's really compelling me and I want to get it finished, I think they deserve their story.

I had a story idea hit me in the head rather loudly as I was taking my tot to kindergarten. Long story short, a hot teacher on a motorcycle and then my muse ran with it. "OH, his lady love!" Yes, that's how she talks. "His ladylove over here, :::whispers to the side::: tell her your name... His Ladylove, Gemma over here in this story is deaf." And when I just blinked back at her she shrugged her lovely shoulders bared by her halter top and said, "I'm just telling you what she told me."

So, now this idea wont' let me go despite the fact that I am working on something else. So I write the idea down and think I'm done with it until I can sit down and do the work this story will so obviously need. But I can't get the idea of the research out of my head. I find my brain wandering while online and I end up at some site chronicling this or explaining that. I eventually get myself back online, but some days it's a close call.

Is anyone else out there completely pulled in by the siren call of research? Do you feel a certain rush when find that little nugget of fact that gets you so excited because that would be such a great part of the storyline? Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Author Interview ~ J. Rose Allister

Alrighty, back into the swing of things we go… :-D It’s Monday, and while normally Mondays are a bad thing, we love them here at The Menagerie. Because we get to hang out with new friends and get to know other authors that much better. I’m loving having everyone on the couch answering questions. :-D

So, today we have with us author J. Rose Allister who in her words is here “with bells on!” My only question would be are they slave bells? And where exactly is she wearing them? But that’s my own perverse curiosity. Let’s all make sure to make her feel welcome. And let’s get started.

So, J, Do you think you have a specific writing style?

I do have a specific style! Unfortunately, more often than not these days my muse laughs his sexy, throaty, and yet highly annoying laugh (yes, my muse is male) when I try to utilize it, and then he takes over. I would carefully, painstakingly script, outline, and world/character build books prior to beginning chapter 1. But *he* prefers to grip me with a sudden writing fever, where I hit the keys running with no prelude, then stay up until all hours for weeks on end until the story is on paper and I’m exhausted. Admittedly, his method is more exciting for me, as this way I get to be surprised by what’s going to happen next.

LOL, you’re not the only female author I know who has a male muse. Mine just brings home more and more males… she says their inspiring and since she’s done with them why not give them their own story. LOL How did you come up with the title?

I actually had my original working title vetoed by the publisher, who felt it was too bland and didn’t convey the right idea of a fantasy paradise. So after thinking about some elements of the story—including ones I will not give away here, because they are spoilers—I realized I needed a title that focused on where the story begins, which is the hidden nook where David first discovers Gina sunbathing topless.

Oh, wow, our Mysti had to go through renaming her currently contracted story. At least you found one that you liked. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes! Several, in fact, but some messages are best not to try and point out. They’re easier to feel out if you don’t. Still, one big theme in THEIR SECRET PARADISE is that head knowledge doesn’t always translate well to the heart, and vice versa. The heroine has experienced the difficulties of letting her heart rule reason, and letting logic block the way to her heart. There is a balance we must all discover, regardless of the internal and external factors influencing our approach to a romantic relationship.

How so very true! I agree you can try and explain it or you can just let the readers figure it out. And if they can’t, then they’ll come to you and ask. :-D How much of the book is realistic?

I’d like to think the entire book is realistic, even though this is a supernatural fantasy. There’s realistic and factual, which are separate things. I do believe strongly in places where energies work differently. Hawaii, for instance, or Sedona Arizona are places I’ve visited that have a strong, paranormal surge of energy flowing. I also believe there are entities most of us are not aware exist, but are as real as the air we breathe. So is the Bahamas resort and its paranormal beings/energies factual? No. Is the premise realistic? In ways, I think very much so. We go somewhere new, the energies there inspire us to act and feel in ways we wouldn’t ordinarily be open to, and passion or change comes from it.

I think believability is definitely possible even when reading a paranormal. Heck even when reading a Sci-fi/Fantasy if they make you believe that they exist, that they are people and that what is happening could happen, then they are definitely possible to be considered realistic. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The experiences in the book are not factually my own, but are more a way of showcasing ways I believe people can be impacted by powers around us. The god Lust, for instance, is a minor character in this book and an important player in later tales in this series. Is he a real “someone” I know? I’d like to think so. After all, who among the romance reading audience can honestly say they’ve never had Lust stir their fantasies or dreams? I merely took an important facet of my existence as a woman and gave it a male form in my fiction.

That’s a great way to look at it. And they may not be “real” people but they are in your brain, and if you do your job they are to your readers as well. What are your current projects?

I’m currently working on more titles in my Immortal Paradise series, featuring the island and recurring characters seen in THEIR SECRET PARADISE. I love this setting and the premise, and can’t wait to share with readers a lot more about the sizzling god Lust, his counterpart Love, and some new players including angels, vampires, and a tale that tells the *true* story about the holy grail.

Wow, that sounds really interesting. You’ll have to let us know when it releases so we can be excited for you. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

During my thirties I would sit up nights playing the “if you could go back and erase one thing in your past” game. I spent many sleepless hours philosophizing over this, but it always brought me back to one sometimes depressing, sometimes reassuring fact. We are the sum total of every decision we’ve ever made, and of every experience we’ve ever had. If I undid one experience, my path would have curved, possibly into situations where I would have fared even worse. So although I’ve had true horrors, traumas, and mistakes that tore me up with regret, I can honestly say I would not try to change any of it. I walked every step for a reason, and must own every moment of it.

Fantastic way to look at life and the world around you. And now for the absolutely nothing to do with writing questions. What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from?

“Seriously?” Is a recent one I picked up. i.e.: someone cuts in front of me in line at the market with twenty items and I’ve got two. I’d look them in the eye and say, “Seriously?” My spouse and coworkers are using it a lot, too. Funny thing is, I’ve not the slightest inkling where I picked it up.

Lol, I don’t always say it out loud but I DO say that LOL. When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

The first thing I thought was, “Seriously? No one on earth should have to see this.”

LOL, we all have days like that. What is your heritage?

I’m largely Irish, with some German and a questionable French descent. I say questionable because apparently my family lied about their origin when they came over from Ireland back in the days when the Irish were viewed lower than just about everyone else. They changed their last name to hide the Irish leanings and claimed they were from the land o’ romance.

Yeah, it’s amazing how you end up with a name that doesn’t sound remotely irish, but you know you are. Gotta love family research. Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

Oh heavens, when DON’T I cry at movies? I’ll admit, I teared up a little during New Moon, but I cried quite a bit this week when I caught the MISTS OF AVALON TV miniseries on disc. I’m such a sucker for storyline and for “messages” that touch me. I’m also more emotional during the holidays, so that’s a good time to get me with a zinger.

LOL, nothing wrong with being a bit emotional. What is your favorite pizza?

Have you EVER had the wonder that is the garlic sauce and chicken pizza? Heaven on earth, I tell you. Instead of pizza sauce, a savory butter-garlic sauce. Lots of juicy chicken breast and a combo of mozzarella, jack, and parmesan cheese. Top with green onions. Mercy! They served these at a take-and-bake pizza place when I lived in Simi Valley many years ago, and I’ve never had anything quite as spectacular since.

No, I haven’t but it sounds good. Wait, I’ve heard of it, but haven’t tried it. Thank you so much for hanging out with us today. It was so great getting to know you better today. Don’t be a stranger and stop by whenever the mood hits you, lol.

J. Rose Allister is an award-winning short story teller and bestselling author. She lives in Southern California with her husband and 6 year old daughter. You can catch up with her online at her blog.

Their Secret Paradise by J. Rose Allister

Gina investigates supernatural influences at an island getaway guaranteed to stir the winds of passion.

The siren call of the glittering sea can stir the most sensual of fantasies, especially on an island that simmers with supernatural eroticism. Parapsychology graduate Gina Munson knows better than to fall victim to the special “charms” at her uncle's resort...until a muscled building contractor stumbles across her private sunbathing nook and heats up her summer Bahamas paradise.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Book Commercial ~ Their Secret Paradise by J. Rose Allister

Their Secret Paradise by J Rose Allister

Gina investigates supernatural influences at an island getaway guaranteed to stir the winds of passion.

The siren call of the glittering sea can stir the most sensual of fantasies, especially on an island that simmers with supernatural eroticism. Parapsychology graduate Gina Munson knows better than to fall victim to the special “charms” at her uncle's resort...until a muscled building contractor stumbles across her private sunbathing nook and heats up her summer Bahamas paradise.


Want to see your book commercial here? Go here to find out how!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Fun

Jack goes to the doctor and says "Doc I'm having trouble getting my penis erect, can you help me?"

After a complete examination the doctor tells Jack, "Well the problem is that the muscles around the base of your penis are damaged. There's really nothing I can do for you unless you're willing to try an experimental treatment."

Jack asks sadly, "And that would be?"

"Well," the Doctor explains, "What we would do is take the muscles from the trunk of a baby elephant and implant them in your penis."

Jack thinks about it silently then says, "Well the thought of going through life without ever having sex again is too much, let's go for it."

Jack went under the knife, and, after a period of recovery and healing, returned to the Doc for his blessing. Following the examination, the Doc pronounced Jack "healed and ready for action".

Eager to use his experimentally enhanced equipment, Jack planned a romantic evening for his girlfriend and took her to one of the nicest restaurants in town, anticipating a happy conclusion to the evening.

In the middle of dinner he felt a stirring between his legs that continued to the point of being painful.

To release the pressure, Jack placed his napkin on his lap and unzipped his fly. His penis immediately sprung from his pants, flipped the napkin on the floor, went to the top of the table, grabbed a bread roll and then returned to his pants!

His girlfriend was stunned at first but then, imagining the possibilities, said with a sly smile and a gleam in her eye, "That was incredible! Can you do it again?"

Jack groaned, "Probably, but I don't think I can fit another roll in my ass."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Neverending Edits

I got what I hope are my final edits for "Shut Up and Kiss Me" in my inbox two days ago. It was both exciting to get them and discouraging.

I feel as though I've worked that story to death and I'm a little sick of it, lol. Think about it -- how many times do we touch a story before it's published?

I write the first draft. Send to my crit partners. Get suggestions and edit. Send again. Make more edits. Submit to publisher (and then feel like vomiting). Get contract and edits. Do edits and send back. Get more edits. Do them. Get MORE edits.


And so it goes. I try to remember that I'm so grateful for the opportunity to publish my story, and edits are part and parcel of that (and I love my editor, I really do -- she's going to make the story so much stronger!), but there are days I don't think I can face it again.

Regardless, I'll be working my rear off on those edits and hope that they will be done, done, done this time! Wish me luck.

How do YOU feel about editing?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Heart of Romance

I wanted to wish everyone a very Happy New Year and hope y'all had a very Merry Christmas... or whatever holiday you celebrated.

I'd like to say that I spent my New Year in some wild fashion. That I pulled on my thigh-high stilettos and partied the night away. But that would be pure fantasy, and while there's nothing wrong with fantasy I wanted to delve into what happens AFTER the fantasy.

I have become very much a homebody since I got married and had children. I still occasionally go out with girlfriends but that's not my life. What did I do for New Year's Eve and Day? I pulled on my soft and comfy pjs and watched the inebriated masses on The Strip... on TV from the comfort of my home. I snuggled down next to my hubby and laughed as my children pranced around the house with their "leprechaun" hats (my boys' words not mine) and beads and blowers and poppers that blew forth a huge mess for me to clean up and silly jokes and cheap party favors for my kids to ooh and aah over. Yes, almost all my kids lasted... almost longer than I did. The littlest one gave up the battle around 10:30 but the rest of them rang in the New Year and drank sparkling grape juice with us.

On New Year's Day I stayed in my jammies, picked up the mess and snuggled some more with my hubby. I laughed with my kids as they trudged through the house. "Not so much fun the next day is it?" LOL, maybe they'll remember that lesson as they get older... somehow I doubt it.

What does this have to do with romance? Gimme a minute, I'm getting to that. As I sat on the couch with my darling husband's head in my lap as I ran my fingers through his hair and watched a Bond movie with him (not my favorite movie, but I told him to choose) I realized that THIS was what Romance was all about. This was why I loved reading and writing Romance. The After... after the wedding and the moving in together and the... well the hot sweaty sex... this is what is at the heart of Romance.

The ability to sit and touch and laugh with my beloved, to just be and to know that whenever we get the chance we'll be doing the same thing again. That is what I ultimately want my stories to be all about. I love reading about characters after their story is done. It's like meeting up with best friends for lunch to see how their lives are going. I love peeking back in and seeing them in those same moments I shared with the love of my life this past weekend. That to me is the true heart of romance and what we all eventually strive for, whether we write over-the-top BDSM erotic romance, Male/Male romance, LGBT, straight-sweet romance or any other variation you can think of. What we're striving for is those connections that make you and your characters sigh and smile and know that life is really worth living. No, I don't live a very exciting life... unless you count running to and from Scouts and teaching ballet or running the Gauntlet that is the grocery store with four children in tow... but it's my life, and it's the result of my very own Happy Ever After and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. And that... that is what I want every single one of my characters to experience.

How about you? How did you spend your holiday? Is that what you aim for with your writing as well? I know I've been a bit... absent lately, but I really want to know what y'all think.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Author Interview ~ Christa Paige

Hi all! I hope that everyone survived Christmas and your New Year. Hopefully, no one did anything I wouldn’t do… that’s not saying much but still. LOL

Well, it’s author interview time and today we have with us, the lovely Christa Paige, writer of in her words, “writes vampires, so I am ok with a nip here and there from a hot alpha male!” I told her she’d fit right in here at The Menagerie. So let’s all give her a nice warm welcome and make her feel right at home (so hide the whips until she gets to know us a but better!). Just to let y’all know I sprained my ankle yesterday and I’m not as verbose as I usually am.

Welcome, Paige, so glad you could hang out with us on the couch today. Make yourself comfy and we’ll get started. So, where are you from?

I am from Southern California, right near the beach in sunny Orange County.

Oh, wow, near the beach? How great is that! I love to walk on the beach but I can’t swim in the ocean… long story. Why don’t you tell us your latest news?

I have two new contracts with Liquid Silver Books, the second in my vampire series Bound By Rebellion and a new contemporary romance featuring a cop hero, it is titled Irish Kiss.

YAY, congratulations on your publishing news! I get more excited for everyone else than I think I will for myself… we’ll see. When and why did you begin writing?

I am sure most writers say ‘since I could hold a pen.’ This is true with me as well. I wrote my first novel at about age 12. The whole entire thing was written in a Steno notebook, the pages were a bright pink. I used a glittery purple pen, giving new meaning to the phrase, purple prose. I titled it Kara and it was a tragic love story based during the Civil War. The way my mother tells it, she says she knew I was going to be an author as long as I stopped writing in page long run-ons. (I bet everyone wants to know this, so, yes, I still have the story packed away in a box in the garage!)

After my schooling, I forgot about writing fiction and settled down with my dreams of being a mom and wife. I happened upon the A&E mini-series of Pride and Prejudice a few years ago. Consequently, I bought the book and devoured it. Lord of the Rings followed and soon I was scouring the internet for fan-fiction. (Because, I really wanted to read a scorching hot scene between Darcy and Elizabeth!!) I did try my hand at writing in the LoTR fandom. I believe being around all those creative minds woke up my muse from the stasis it had been hibernating in. I was very lucky to find a wonderfully talented group of writers at a small archive where I could practice writing. They have been incredibly supportive of my leap into original fiction as well.

Wow, and lol on the steno pad… I can certainly relate to finding a great group of people who let you practice. That’s the best kind of support to have sometimes. When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I have often felt like there were specific things I needed to achieve in order to say: I am a writer. The first was actually writing a story from start to finish. I was so nervous about how it would turn out and if anyone would read it. Next, came having readers leave me comments. When I moved into the publishing realm each of the submissions hurdles led me closer to the ultimate goal as a writer.

A great way to look at it. What inspired you to write your first book?

For about a year, I had been working on a paranormal historical romance based in London and Greece. I hit a point where I was not writing it very often and my creativity lagged. We were on our annual RV trip to Lake Havasu when the vampire story invaded my brain. It is a six hour drive which honestly, can be utterly boring. As the desert tumbleweeds sprawled out for miles and miles, the plot of a new story unfolded in my mind’s eye.

By the time we arrived, I had the writing jitters. All I could think about was sitting down and writing. While my husband and father were rigging up the motor-homes, we decided to cool off in the lake. The kids were swimming and splashing, having a blast. Mom came and joined me in the lagoon and asked how my writing was going. I told her about my new idea. We spent most of the trip talking about this new culture of people. At one point, we were floating at Disneyland Cove, and my mom looked up high at the craggy rocks where sparse vegetation wound around boulders and suggested I go with the altered DNA theme we had been musing on. That day, the Blood-Vine series was born.

Funny how the stories work that way… out of nowhere and bam you have a story idea. LOL Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes, I like to be witty. The original manuscript for Bound By Deception started out with the heroine Anna, musing about the rite she was facing. Her inner rambling had her thinking about her choices like bachelors from the Dating Game. I ended up taking most of the funny repartee out though. As the series progressed, I knew it needed to have a more serious tone. I am happy to say that Irish Kiss has some of the lighter scenes I so enjoy writing. Male machismo, sarcastic rejoinders and one-liners are fun to see unfolding on the page. I prefer to write in third-person fixed and I am a shameless “pantser”.

I too enjoy snarky-snappy dialogue. How did you come up with the title?

This is terrible but I don’t really remember the “aha moment” when the title popped into my head and I said, “That’s it, that’s the one.” I did juggle with ‘Bound in’ or ‘Bound by’ as the tie between all the stories. When I brainstormed the theme of the novel, I realized it had to do with a great deception that changes the course of the heroine’s life. From there I put the two together and voila, Bound by Deception. Let me tell you, the first time I looked at cover art ideas for the book, I actually wanted a sexy couple tied up together. What better way to explain being bound?

The second story title came to me right away. The heroine Kat and her mate, Luke have been estranged for almost ten years. She is ready to find a way out of her blood-bond. Her rebellion against the dictates of her people and her relationship with Luke start a downward spiral she isn’t sure she will make it out of. Bound By Rebellion, fit the story perfectly.

Oh, good… so very glad to hear that I’m not the only one who has no idea what my stories will be called until I’m usually halfway through… or submitting.
How much of the book is realistic?

Actually, I did pull a lot of the historical aspects from real moments in history. I did want a longevity mythos that could be tied to something authentic. My research took me to a little village in Georgia called Abkhazia. I went back in time about three decades, found interesting facts and tied them to the culture of the Kan Asma, the people of the Blood-Vine. The stories take place in present day Los Angeles. I chose West-Hollywood because there is a huge Russian community there and figured it would be the best place for a group of Russian vampire refugees to hide out in.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

If I could sit down with Jane Austen, I do believe I would end up awe-struck and speaking gibberish like a fan-girl at a Twilight movie premier. Same with Tolkien. But, if I had to point out an author who’s example propelled my desire to write in the romance genre, it would have to be Laura Kinsale. She is an amazing author, writes stories that provoke emotions and hold me captivated by the plot arcs. But, she also stood firm in her beliefs regarding her writing career, writing what she wanted to write instead of what the publishers told her to write. Not many authors would do that. On an aside, I can’t wait for her Lessons in French to come out in 2010! Regarding the paranormal genre, there are so many amazing authors out there to choose from. But, I would sure love to sit down and be mentored by Lora Leigh. She successfully published from e-fiction to mass-market and beyond. (Just maybe, while we were talking about the craft and industry, I would let slip a few eager fan-girl remarks too!)

What book are you reading now?

I have never had such a TBR list before in my life. Writing sure takes up a lot of my leisure reading time. But the ebook I’m reading is Alanna Coca’s Wyoming Solace (totally deserves its wonderful reviews.) and I’m currently reading the paranormal: Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I just cracked open my Regency fix too, Jillian Hunter’s A Wicked Lord at the Wedding.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Just recently I started reading Maya Banks. But, becoming part of Liquid Silver Books has opened up new options for my reading pleasure. If my kids weren’t so expensive, I would be spending all my money working my way through Dee Carney’s books, Trina M. Lee’s Vampire series, the westerns of Gem Sivad, and Rebecca Royce’s Wolf Series too. There are so many great authors at LSB. I have to take it one at a time these days with buying books but it is so hard to be patient when I want them all.

What are your current projects?

Wait, you mean I need to keep writing? Just kidding. I am working on Traian’s novel, which is the third in the Blood-Vine series. I am having fun writing him and his brother Mikhail together, something about how two alpha males take jabs at each other while they are together keeps me intrigued. Those two are riot and when I am writing them, I find myself laughing out loud at some of their antics. Tray’s story starts off fairly light, but rather quickly things get tense. His book is tentatively called Bound By Temptation, and I will let you all wonder exactly what that temptation is. I am working on another cop romance as well. It is in the early stages, but the hero is Tyler Mason, and he is simply one sexy detective! I am happy to say that my Regency muse decided it wanted face time too, so I have been working on Ere Mercury Rises, my paranormal regency novel, here and there. Eros and Mercury are up to no good setting a wager between them, the prize is one Lady Sarai. The winner of their bet will claim her innocence. So far, Mercury has the upper hand, but Eros isn’t about to give up.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

At first, I read this as like a spiritual guide type thing. Then I figured out entity could be anything. So, outside of family members, I would have to say the critique group I am a part of and the small network of friends I still have left-over from my LoTR fanfic days. All those ladies are simply the best. From, virtually holding my hand while I waited for news on my submission, to proofing my manuscript with candid, honest, remarks, to celebrating with me when I got my first contract, I really don’t think I would have gotten this far without their support.

Do you see writing as a career?

After seeing all the things I am doing for the publishing industry, one of my very close friends said she would stick to writing as a hobby. At this point in time, I see writing as a part-time job that I’m privileged to have. However, I do aspire to one day be a professional author. Maybe sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, my kids come first in the scheme of things, so it is a matter of juggling being a mommy and a writer. Don’t get me wrong though, if by some amazingly lucky stroke of fate I am offered a three-book deal, I won’t turn it down.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I am a very picky reader. There are things I simply can’t stand to read in a book. After a few of those annoying plot devices in some of my favorite authors’ works, I ended up with the incredible urge to write my own stories with all the things I love, beautifully executed on the page. Also, if I wrote it, then I would be positive none of those issues I don’t like in stories would ever crop up.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sure. Here is an excerpt for Traian’s novel, Bound By Temptation:

The room was empty. A prim, stultifying assistant had shuttled him into the office to “await the doctor, who would be along in a few moments”. He didn’t mind the wait. It gave him time to examine the chamber, to look for things that could help him deduce what occurred in the past. Yet, when he scanned the walls, the file cabinet and even the bookcases, there was nothing of any personal value. No pictures, no mementos, not even a whimsical figurine to give the space a womanly touch. Instead, the white walls held diplomas and licenses with a few award certificates to make the display complete. The shelves on the bookcase were immaculately dusted and the reference books all arranged in alphabetical order. Atop her desk, sat a plain blotter and the squares of the calendar had neatly written entries. A Mont Bloc pen stood perfectly straight, in an efficient looking contraption, which held paper clips and other office supplies. A flat screen monitor faced away from him and he wondered if perhaps, there, she had some small part of her waiting for discovery.

Cocking his head to the side, he concentrated on all the sounds in the general reception area. He heard the secretary on the phone scheduling appointments, papers turning as clients read celebrity rags and the low hum of the television, set to a talk show. No one walked this direction. In a quick move, he turned the monitor to face him. The screen saver bumped around and he watched in awe as a picture of two smiling girls zipped from corner to corner. The littlest had missing teeth on the top and the older one had pig tails tied off in pink bows. They wore matching outfits and it didn’t take a genius to figure out the two were sisters. God, were those her daughters?

Was she married?

For a moment, he ceased to breathe. A killing jealous rage kindled in his gut as he thought about the man who had married her, fathered her children. God damn the man who had touched her, who had made love to her, who had taken her from him.

He nearly knocked the monitor over when he shoved it back into place. He couldn’t stand to look at that picture. It reminded him of the past, of losing Bethany. Again.
Soft footfalls drew his notice. Settling back in his chair, he tried to tamp down the aggression simmering in his blood. He just needed a minute to see her. To make sure she was happy. Then, he would get the hell out of there and continue on with his miserable, lonely life.

The door opened and he couldn’t help his automatic response. The instant she walked through the threshold, he turned his head and watched her stride into the chamber. Oh Christ, she had grown up and the infatuation he had felt those many years ago shattered into a million bits. It was replaced by a desire so great, so intense that miraculously he didn’t bolt out of his chair, back her to the wall, claiming her, irrevocably, as his.

Making a fist, he clenched every muscle in his body, forcing himself to remain seated. But it was a hard task to endure. She brushed past him and walked behind her desk. A mixture of expensive perfume and natural femininity tickled his nose, teasing his senses. He tracked her every step, watching the way she moved. Beautiful did not even begin to describe the woman now standing in front of him. Though, it was immediately apparent that she tried to stifle her looks by hiding them with nondescript clothes. But that hardly mattered. The way her plain black, A-line skirt hugged her hips and tight ass did something to his pulse. It kicked up, pumping double time as he imagined running his hands over those curves, gripping tightly and pulling her against him. Then they would be thigh to thigh, chest to breast with no space separating them.

But she is a mother, married, not available for your torrid needs, he admonished himself. However, he had no power to rip his stare away. It settled at those lovely swells, gently hugged by a silky pin-striped blouse. He could make out the line of her bra. It was plain white with a front clasp. Perfect for easy removal.

Hell! Shaking his head, he battened down the lustful images flitting through his mind and steeled himself for the moment when their eyes would meet. Would she recognize him? Damn, but he wanted her to remember him. It would make things a little easier. Perhaps, it would soothe the beast inside which he struggled to keep caged behind an aloof mask.

A sliver of a second ticked by and he tipped his head back just enough to see her face. The instant he saw her mouth, the line of her lips pursed together, he wanted to soften them with his kiss. He longed to nip, suckling until they were swollen and bee stung. As if somehow his thoughts reached her, the tip of her tongue slid out and moistened the bottom lip. His pulse jacked up and his body hardened an instinctual reaction to such an evocative sight. She had pale skin, tinged with a natural blush which highlighted her cheekbones. That pink flush stood out a little too much for his liking. It wasn’t age causing them to draw his notice. Instead, he realized, belatedly, that her entire body lacked healthy curves. Thin didn’t adequately describe it. Undernourished, did.

What the hell had happened to all those luscious curves?

Forcing his gaze up, he finally met her penetrating stare. Beth’s eyes had always drawn him in and this happened once again. Wide and elegant, the almond shape gave her an air of innocence. The light brown had little flecks of gold dotted throughout the darker color. Most people would not be able to make out the different shades of amber but his preternatural eyesight allowed a deeper inspection. She met his look, lifted one finely arched eyebrow at his perusal.
“Are you finished?”

Her voice washed over him. Soft and yet concise, she knew that he had been checking her out. He grinned, “Not yet.” Taking his time, he deliberately continued his inspection allowing his stare to linger as he took in the fall of her long hair. His palms tingled wanting to touch and grip the thick tendrils as he brought her close, guiding her up to his hungry kiss.

God! And he was hungry. Starving even. It took all his power to keep his fangs right where they were, retracted within his gums. No way in hell, would he allow his base needs free rein. Not at his age. He did not pant and salivate like a randy youth! After all, he was the scary one of the family, cold and calculating. Deadly. Beth looked like the type who should have a man that cuddled and doted upon her. The kind of affection he gave would probably leave bruises.

The instant he thought of that, he found his stare fixed at her throat. He could almost see two neat puncture wounds, left from his claiming. An overwhelming desire to bite her there, marking her as his, hit him like a fiery hot bolt of lust. Shifting in his seat, he gritted his teeth and willed his demons into submission. Not today. Not ever!

“Ok,” he said his tone a tad deeper than normal. Luckily no other of his kind was around to hear that telltale edge in his voice.

“Ok, what?” she asked him with a business-like efficiency.

“I am done,” he almost laughed but only smirked.

“Very well then,” Beth retorted before sitting down into her big, leather chair. She leaned over and retrieved a file folder. Opening it, she set it on top of the blotter. Reaching for the pen, she looked directly at him, smiled, and asked, “What brings you here today, Mr. Komar?”

He drew in a lungful of air, waited and exhaled. Finally, he said, “You, Beth.”

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Once upon a time, way before I began writing my own original fiction, I attempted to write in the Lord of the Rings fandom. I got myself the prerequisite beta readers and dove right in. When I received my first return email from my beta, I was so excited and eagerly opened my file. Except there were more edits in the entire thing than I think actual prose. I set out to learn all the things not to do and vowed to myself I would never do them. This still causes me tons of irritable moments while writing. The dreaded passive voice, the overuse of pronouns, the repeated word nightmare, are not left for the revision stage, instead I get stuck revising the first draft while I write it. I would so love to sit down, open the file, and let the words flow. My revision OCD is a challenge I am slowly learning to overcome.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Talk about being put on the spot, hmmm. There are so many to choose from and I have such a diverse liking for different genres. Definitely would say Austen and Tolkien. Iris Johansen introduced me to the alpha-male in her Wind Dancer trilogy and she is still an auto-buy for me. Laura Kinsale is right up there with Austen. But, the author I read the most of, the one I will stay up all night to read, is Lora Leigh’s Breeds. Guilty Pleasure but oh so satisfying!

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Haven’t traveled at all. I would love to visit Turkey and Abkhazia. Would be so cool to see where my vampire story began and what the people are like. Oh, and of course Greece too, so I can absorb all the beauty of Corinth, see the ruins and visit the places in my Regency novel. For the Blood-Vine series I can actually say I have been to some of the places described in my novels. Bound by Deception takes place in West Hollywood, I have been there many times. Bound By Rebellion has scenes in Westwood, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood as well. The setting of Irish Kiss is South Los Angeles and in a gang infested area of Lynwood, CA. I did a quick drive by through that neighborhood but only to hop on the 710 freeway and I was too nervous to stay much longer.

Who designed the covers?

I am so lucky to have Dawn Seewer as the cover artist for my debut release of Bound By Deception. I can’t wait to see the cover for Luke and Kat’s book, Bound By Rebellion.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I fought within my mind about the destiny of the story. It was a lot of hard work, trying to convince myself that people would want to read it. Eventually, I came to terms with the content, realizing it was what I liked to read. So, I went with some archaic themes, indulged my fancies, wrote a story I knew I would pick up and read. Fighting my confidence was the biggest hurdle. I just did not know if what I saw unfolding on the page was good enough to captivate a reader.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Yep, that no matter how hard I try, I am never going to get comma placement right. I am so thankful for crit partners and even my mom because if it weren’t for them, my stories would be riddled with creative comma abuse that I pepper in where I see fit.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Yes, thank you, thank you, and thank you, for being my readers. Okay, for something with more depth, I would love them to know I am approachable, just a regular person. Also, I want them to have fun when they read my stories. It is all about the entertainment and I feel incredibly humbled that they chose my books to enjoy.

How long does it take you to write a book?

This depends on the book and the deadlines. The first historical romance I wrote has been lingering on the hard drive for four years now. The Roman god regency has been around a few years too. When I started writing the Blood-Vine series, I actually wrote the beginning chapters of Aleksi’s story first. Alek is the leader of the refugees. Thirty pages in, and I realized I needed a whole lot of back-story explained. Not one for info-dumping, I devised the plan to go back in time about a year and start the series there. I ended up writing Anna’s story in a few weeks. Since it is novella length, it didn’t take all that long. The revision stage took the most time. Nine-months later I had three stories done and the first novel-length story about a third of the way through. When the call for the holiday stories came, I put all the vampire stuff on hold and wrote Irish Kiss in ten days. It seems to me that I am writing longer things in a shorter amount of time. Practice and determination play a big part in how quickly I can complete something. The revision stages pre-submissions still take up a big part of the time I spend on each story. I am a perfectionist so often times I get stuck editing instead of writing. Wish I could break that blasted habit!

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I am a busy homeschooling mom of two exceedingly active daughters. If I am not driving them to gymnastics or dance team practice, I am teaching them how to recognize Latin root words or working on their literature projects. So, writing is squeezed in between their silent reading time, when they are at their sports or in the early morning when everyone is asleep. One of the great benefits of homeschooling is having the kids sleep in while I sip my coffee. When I write, I try to schedule a block of time where I attempt some word-count goal. Usually, it is hit or miss. If there is a pressing scene, well, I will have the kids do something engaging while I write.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

My family is very close knit. We do a ton of things together. During the late fall and through the winter to early spring, we take our RVs to the desert. After setting up camp, we go dirt bike riding. My youngest rides a pink and white Yamaha pee-wee motorcycle while my oldest rides a TTR 90. Even I hop on my YZ100 here and there, to just enjoy family trail rides. Summer time often means trips to Havasu for swimming, boating and relaxing. My husband and I have a classic car hobby. (Which I actually got to put in my first ever straight romantic contemp- Irish Kiss.) Right now, we are restoring a 1970 Camaro- woo boy does that engine rumble. On a more individual level, I enjoy cooking. Especially when it comes to making desserts.

What does your family think of your writing?

Everyone is excited for me. The only thing I am having trouble with is owning up to the erotic content. I really get mortified thinking that my aunt and uncle, or close cousins are going to read my naughty stories. I can’t even explain how nervous I am for my Dad to read it. The interesting thing about the support my mother has given me is that it is what propelled me into the publishing sphere. After she read Bound By Deception, she began to prod me to submit it. I drug my feet for a while, not really eager to begin garnering those much prophesied rejections. So, she began her Christa Will Submit Her Stories campaign at Christmas last year. First, she gave me an ornament saying: “soon to be published author”. Next she wore me down by calling and emailing me with a “Have you subbed it yet?” theme. Finally, when my husband and I were planning to go out for a much needed romantic evening, my mother bribed me. She said, “submit your story and I will babysit your kids”. Well, that night I wrote up my query. An hour of dithering followed which forced me to look up later movie show-times because I was sitting on my ass wasting time. With my hubby standing in the doorway saying “Do it,” my mouse cursor hovering over the “send” button, I impulsively, sorta, hit it. I swallowed back the lump in my throat, scooted away from the desk and vowed not to look at my email for a month. Twenty minutes later, I packed my kids up and dropped them off at my parent’s house. Three weeks later I was signing a contract and my mother was smiling at me with a smug, I told you so, grin.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I have different voices for different themed stories. If I am writing the vampire stories, I can’t even open a historical and attempt to write in it. My contemporary voice will sound wrong and I end up making my sexy duke sounding like he belongs in Beverly Hills.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Currently I have finished three Blood-Vine stories and one Detective story. I have about 4 WIPs in various stages.

And now for the “absolutely nothing to do with writing” questions: What were you doing at midnight last night?

Trying to fall asleep while watching a couple of DVRed shows. We spent the day at Disneyland and it was exhausting.

What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from?

“Holy Crap!” Oh man, I say that way too much and now my kids are doing it too. I have no idea where I got it from. I just know I say it often and usually with a bit of a flair.

What is your favorite animal?

Okay, this one is going to fall into the wow, interesting answer, category. My favorite animal is a baby white rhino. Why, you ask? Well, when I was pregnant with my first child, there was a diaper commercial that featured baby animals with their mommas. One frame had a baby rhino chasing after its mom. I awwwed at the cuteness and from then on, I began collecting rhino figurines, stuffed animals and other novelties of Rhinos. I know, not an average selection one chooses for favorite animal. As a caveat, I am sure my set could easily find its way to a fair display. Though, my oldest daughter’s crocodile figurine collection would be stiff competition for the blue-ribbon.

Have you ever cried during a movie?

If yes, which one and why? Terms of Endearment and Steel Magnolias made me bawl. I think it is because of the loss the characters go through and how the deaths of those characters make a monumental amount of grief. Did I just show my age? Are there a few readers out there shaking their heads thinking, huh what’s a steel magnolia? Ok fine, I digress and will bravely and proudly fess up to weeping like a baby during Disney’s Up movie. Talk about tugging the heart-strings, that one did us all in.

What is your favorite pizza?

I am a plain ole pepperoni and cheese pizza gal. Sometimes I will walk on the wild side and eat a veggie pizza especially if it comes from Haus of Pizza one of the best Italian restaurants around.

What stereotype would you label yourself as?

I am no June Cleaver but I probably fit the Stay-at-Home Mom stereotype fairly well. I try very hard not to be a stage-mom when my youngest is dancing (Woe is me for never getting stage make-up on my kid correctly) and I fight every impulse I might have to ignore the gym-mom in me when my oldest does her gymnastics (But, gah, the balance beam can be so utterly nerve wracking on a poor mom’s sanity). Often, I can be found driving a carpool to the gym with a bunch of chattering little girls. I have spare tights and bobby-pins, leotards and butt-glue in the back-back row of my huge, gas-guzzling, not PC in any capacity SUV. To add to the stay at home mom stereotype, I cook almost every meal from scratch. My youngest has celiac and is unable to eat wheat products so I am constantly baking bread ala Mrs. Cleaver, sans the frilly, paisley apron. Ok, enough about me the mom, its making me feel like I need to go dust something.

Are you a morning person or a night person?

If you had asked this question a few years ago my answer would be a resounding NIGHT Person. I loved to stay up late and enjoy the solitude. The older I get the more a morning person I become. I never used to understand why anyone wanted to crawl out of bed before 9am by choice. These days, I am lucky to stay in bed until 8:30. So, I guess that makes me a morning person now. But, it doesn’t make me a sane person. Not until I have a few cups of steaming hot coffee. Yeah, totally caffeine addicted.

Do you like thunderstorms?

Not in Lake Havasu. Usually a thunderstorm means lightning which means getting out of the boat and passing the time doing nothing inside the RVs but wishing the storm would pass so we can get on with our lounging around, doing nothing on the water. They also mean that something might get struck by a lightning bolt which means, no power. Consequently that means no air conditioning. Trapped in a small, metal box-aka the toy-hauler- with no air in 120 degree heat, sucks and for this California girl, heat is a serious kill-joy. Long story short, anywhere but at Lake Havasu, they are kinda cool.

Do you sleep with the light on? Why or why not?

I am such a wimp. I can’t sleep without my hubby there. When he works graveyard, I end up leaving the dimming lights on in the living room, the curio cabinet light on in my room and the TV going all night long on low volume. I simply feel too vulnerable when I am by myself in our bed. The first few nights my husband worked the night shift, I slept with my cell and house phone on his pillow and a can of pepper spray in my hand. Yeah, I am a fradey cat, I will own up to it.

Well, thanks for hanging out with us today, Christa. It was a blast getting to know you better. It’s been a pleasure and I hope you had fun as well.

Christa Paige started her writing career as a critique partner for aspiring authors.
Prompted by the crit-group, to attempt writing her own, she embarked on the fascinating
journey of being a novelist. She has a passion for the paranormal genre and decided to
create a unique twist on vampire lore. A Southern California native, she is happily
married to her very own alpha male. Together, they restore classic cars and often go RVing.

When she isn’t writing, she is a busy mother of two little girls. Her days are spent
home-schooling. At night, she continues working on the next installment in her Blood-
Vine series.

You can catch up with her online at her website: Or follow her on Twitter:

Bound By Deception by Christa Paige

To find a compatible mate, Anna will undergo the ancient blood-rite of her people. While she hopes that the outcome is a good one, she knows a love-match is only a remote possibility. Life and death hang in the balance and she, alone, must choose her destiny. She draws upon all her courage to complete this duty but is unaware of the underlying deception which will change her fate entirely. Once her mate is revealed, her shock is replaced by an all-consuming passion.

Dimitri is starving for Anna, his hunger is relentless. Burning desire unfolds between them. His blood-lust flares out of control and combines with the overwhelming need to claim her in every way he can. Danger lurks in the shadows, though, and a spurned male waits for his revenge.

Dimitri has to win Anna’s heart and protect her from the menacing threat because he can’t survive without her. Through any means necessary, he must make sure nothing stands in the way of their bonding. Anna is his blood-mate and he will never, let anything or anyone take her from him.