Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tomorrow: Bitter Fruits by Sarah Daltry

Don't miss the one-day blitz tomorrow (Dec. 1) for Sarah Daltry's new adult dark paranormal romance BITTER FRUITS.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Taking The Tin Man down from the shelf

Why's it called The Tin Man?
Because Alex Buchanan, the hero,
believes he's incapable of falling in love.
I don't know if I've even mentioned that I wrote a political thriller a couple of years back, but I did. It's the story of two investigative reporters who team up after becoming embroiled in a plot to take over the media and manipulate public opinion on a global scale. The story has two heroes: Alex Buchanan, an ex-pat Scot who runs a formidable online news site, and Thea Hamilton, an investigative reporter for America's newspaper of record. Years ago, they had a date during which she jumped all over his shit about smoking (her mother, who smoked the same brand, had just died of lung cancer) and ever since, he's thought of her as "the ball buster." Meanwhile, she's thought of him as "the one who got away." Circumstances throw them together again and they're off on a high octane quest to discover who's been killing credible publishers around the world and just took out Buchanan's entire staff (he made a narrow escape).

Anyway, I just got word that it's a "go" (with a few changes). And on Thanksgiving Day, no less.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Making serious progress on The Knight of Cups

A few days ago I reported that I've been writing like a fiend (hence, the dearth of blog posts) on THE KNIGHT OF CUPS, book two in the Knights of Avalon series. THE KNIGHT OF WANDS, book one, is slated for release by Soul Mate Publishing in Spring 2014. I just checked the word count after finishing today's scene (gotta hit the market for turkey-day fixin's soon) and I've already written just over 80,000 words. Woo-hoo. Still a ways to go yet, but it's getting there.

Blog Tour: Saved by a Rake by Em Taylor

Saved by a Rake - Book Cover Today, it's my pleasure to welcome Em Taylor, author of SAVED BY A RAKE, an indie-published historical regency romance now available on Amazon.

SAVED BY A RAKE tells of the relationship between Lady Rebecca Eversley and Lord Daniel Ramsey. Rebecca is facing ruination after being ravished by an Earl. Now she must decide: will she swallow her pride and face the viscous gossips of the ton or live out her days as a country spinster. Lord Ramsey, a notorious rake, has been given an ultimatum, marry before his father dies or lose the majority of his inheritance. Rebecca seems the perfect candidate, especially once rumours about her start to circulate in the drawing rooms of Mayfair. The murder of the scoundrel who ruined Rebecca soon puts a kink in the couple's wedding plans.

A Scotswoman, Em Taylor was told as a child she had an over-active imagination—as if it were a bad thing. She’s traded her dreams of owning her own island to hoping to meet her own Mr. Darcy one day. But her imagination remains just as vivid. Unfortunately, Em was put off reading and writing by school and although she rediscovered her love of reading many years ago, she only tried her hand at writing again in 2011. After a year of writing fan fiction, she wrote an original short story for an anthology. This was followed up with two more shorts and four novella-length books--all published under a pen name. Having fallen in love with a new sub-genre, courtesy of books by Mary Balogh and Lynsay Sands, she decided to try her hand at her new favourite genre for reading—regency romance.

Having bitten the bullet, she has found her home in the 19th century, which also give her an excuse to watch as many hunks in breeches and tall boots as research demands (and we all know what a demanding mistress research can be for an author of historicals, eh?).

Em was born and raised in Scotland and now lives in a wee village where she has sole control of the TV remote. Outside of writing, she's a teacher.

Read on for my exclusive interview with this talented new author:

NM: What drew you to the genre?
ET: The decadence of the Regency period along with the fact that they are all very prim and proper on the outside but there is pure sexual tension running through everything.

NM: How would you describe your style/voice as a writer?
ET: I’m not a very flowery, descriptive writer. I use 50 words where other authors will use a chapter. But it’s definitely British, which I feel is necessary for Regency.

NM: Which character is your favorite? Tell us about him or her.
ET: Daniel is my favourite character so far. He’s a very honourable man deep down even though he put on the airs of a rake. He may be a bit of a lad about town, but he has real moral fibre.

NM: What other authors inspired you to write?
ET: Initially, I wrote Fan Fiction so I guess the Star Trek authors Brannon Braga, Rick Berman, Jeri Taylor and Christie Golden were my first heroes of the writing world. But growing up, it was Enid Blyton, closely followed by Francine Pascal, who gave me a love of books and storytelling.

NM: Who else do you read in your genre? 
ET: Mary Balogh, Stephanie Laurens, Ella Quinn. I’m still relatively new to the genre so I’m gradually working out who the big players are.

NM: Who’s your favorite author and why?
ET: I have a short attention span, so my favourite author changes every time I pick up a book. Probably right now it’s Mary Balogh. I love her stories and her characters. They fit into Regency just perfectly.

NM: What other writing projects are in the works?
ET: I am writing the story or Rebecca’s brother, James. I am also due to write a short story for an anthology that will be out soon.

NM: What are your marketing strategies?
ET: Get on Facebook as much as possible, do a blog tour and tweet and tumbl in between. Marketing seems to be a bit of a guesswork as far as I can see.

NM: How many years have you been writing? How did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
ET: I started writing fan fiction at the beginning of 2011. Then in November 2011 I took part in Nanowrimo. It gave me the confidence to try my hand at writing a short story for an anthology. I’ve had four books and three short stories published under a different pen name. Once I started writing, I knew it was what I wanted to do. After forty years I had found out what I want to do when I grow up

NM: How do you come up with your story ideas?
ET: I keep my eyes and ears open and I find that stuff that happens in everyday life or stuff I read sparks an idea which seem to grow and grow (especially when I’m in the shower, lol).

NM What is the most important thing you want people to know about you and your work?
ET: I want to keep my characters realistic and work hard to achieve that.

Read on for an excerpt from SAVED BY A RAKE:

As his lips briefly touched hers, the carriage jolted, pushing him closer to her. He caught her around the waist to ensure she did not bounce off the seat, then, without thinking, covered her mouth with his.
He noted a moment’s hesitation from her before she moved her lips and reached up to tangle her gloved fingers in his curls. Tentatively she touched her tongue against his, causing him to stifle a groan. He had been without a woman for over a month and now his pretty little wife had her arms around him, kissing him as if she had done it a thousand times. She was a quick learner as she explored his mouth with her tongue, pressing herself closer to him.
Devil take it. He had been struggling all day to stop himself becoming aroused. Her wedding gown had been low cut and her stays showed her breasts off perfectly. He had been distracted throughout the service and the wedding breakfast as images of disrobing her later had flitted through his mind. He wanted to see those breasts again.
He unfastened the three buttons on her pelisse, peeling the material away to her side, then pulled out of the kiss and began to pepper light kisses along her jawline. God, he wanted her, and he was most definitely aroused now.
He kissed her neck and was about to place his hand over that beautiful inviting orb, when he sensed her tensing. He pulled away slowly, tugging the material of her pelisse back over her. When he looked into her eyes, they were bright with confusion, passion and fear, all clearly warring within her. He cursed himself for being too impatient. Then he cursed Newthorpe for what he had done and could not help thinking that death was too good for the blaggard.
“No. That’s the only word you ever have to say and I will stop,” he said simply.
“I am sorry, my lord. I just expected some time before… well I expected to wait until we were in the coaching inn tonight.”
“Yes, of course. It was very impatient of me. I beg your forgiveness.”
Rebecca nodded and looked out the window. The streets of London rushed by as they headed for the Great North Road. He studied the view out of the other window, and they sat in silence for a long time. Eventually Rebecca spoke in a small voice which sounded as if she was on the verge of tears.
“I fear I will not make you a very good wife if a mere kiss frightens me.”
He turned and took her hand in his. He wanted her to be comfortable and not think he was going to pounce on her and ravish her at any given opportunity.
“I have no doubt that you will make a wonderful wife, Rebecca. You just need time and patience and I have an abundance of both.”
She turned large, tear-filled eyes towards him. “You should take a mistress as soon as we reach Scotland.”
He could not possibly have heard correctly. She was giving him permission to have a mistress? Surely not. But her mouth was set in a firm line as if she had made up her mind. A stab of hurt hit him. She thought of him as a rake who would be unfaithful.
He pursed his lips and considered her. What should he do? He wanted to rail at her and tell her he had no intention of being unfaithful. He had taken vows only a few hours previously and yet now she was giving him permission to break them. But maybe the idea of him having a mistress brought her comfort. She was clearly terrified of intimacy between a husband and wife.
“We shall discuss it once we reach Scotland, my lady. I have no wish to think beyond our present journey.”
“Do you not see that I can only ever tolerate the marriage bed for the sake of giving you an heir,” she wailed, pulling her hand away from his. “He ruined me in more ways than you can ever know.”
“You are only ruined if you allow him that power. A skilful lover could make you feel very different about certain aspects of a marriage.”
“Well, I have heard enough tales to know that you are a skilful lover, Lord Ramsey. But I think you should save it for your mistresses.” Her tone was almost venomous but he ignored it, knowing that it was fear that drove her.
She turned her head to look out of the window again. He was at a complete loss. She thought him almost as bad as Newthorpe. Well, not quite but she did not think he would be faithful. A long silence stretched out between them as he considered what to say to her. Her back was rigid, and she swiped at her cheek with one gloved hand.
“What he did to you…”
“What he did has destroyed me, and I am not sorry that he is dead. I wish I had been the one to kill him.”
“Please, Rebecca…”
She burst into tears and fished in her reticule for a handkerchief, he presumed. He held his out to her and with a large sob she accepted it. He untied her bonnet and threw it onto the seat opposite before gathering her in his arms.
She tried to move out of his grip but this time he held firm, knowing that she would accept his comfort, which she did, weeping as she buried her face in his coat.
As her sobs turned into sniffles, which turned into silence then light snuffles of sleep, he held her and wondered how he was going to help his beautiful young wife over her fear of physical love.


$50/ £50 Amazon Gift Certificate 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

Been Writing Like a Fiend

Haven't been blogging because I've been writing. Signed up for National Novel Writing month and just updated my word count. I'm more than 67,000 words into The Knight of Cups, book two in the Knights of Avalon series. But I still have a long way to go if I'm going to get all the ideas in my head down on paper.

Also, received an offer on Queen of Swords. Waiting for answers and to hear from other publishers who've got it before making up my mind.

With any luck, I'll have contracts on all three of my completed manuscripts by Christmas. What a great gift that would be, eh?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Author Spotlight: Lisa Kessler

Lisa Kessler
Join me in welcoming Lisa Kessler, an award-winning author of dark paranormal fiction. Her debut novel, NIGHT WALKER, won a San Diego Book Award for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror, as well as the Romance Through the Ages Award for Best Paranormal and Best First Book. Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, IMMORTAL BELOVED, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award. When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego. You can learn more at or follow Lisa on Twitter or Facebook.
Available at all e-book retailers.
Lisa's newest book is Kerrelyn Sparks called HUNTER'S MOON "A fabulous read!" (Kerrelyn signed a poster of the book cover for VAMPIRE WITH A DRAGON TATTOO for me at RWA, so we're thick as thieves, ha-ha, but I digress . . .)  Here's the blurb for HUNTER'S MOON, book two in the Moon Series, from, where you can get your Kindle Edition of the book for only $3.71:

Sasha's future was stolen from her the moment she was bitten. Now she's on the run from the Nero Organization that transformed her from a human detective into a shape shifting jaguar assassin. When a rogue bounty hunter threatens her younger sister, she'll be forced to fight, and with nowhere else to turn, Sasha will need to trust the one man who has every reason to want her dead.

Aren is a werewolf with a secret. While protecting his twin brother and Alpha of the Pack, he found his one mate for life. Sadly she's also the jaguar assassin who tried to kill them both. Now Aren is struggling between his animal nature to love and protect her, and his loyalty to the Pack.

And now for the moment you've all been waiting for (drumroll please . . .), my exclusive interview with Lisa:

NM: What drew you to the genre?
LK: I started out as a horror reader and my first publishing credits were horror short stories. As the paranormal romance genre grew, I loved being able to add romance into a dark paranormal story and I was hooked!

NM: How would you describe your style/voice as a writer?
LK: Tough question! I tend to write very dark, passionate stories with lots of action and villains that push the hero and heroine to their limits. It’s a hard won happily ever after in my books…

NM: What other authors inspired you to write? 
LK: Anne Rice, Kelley Armstrong, Angie Fox and Sherrilyn Kenyon.

NM: Who else do you read in your genre?
LK: I read so many… Yikes!  Okay here are a few of my favorites: Kelley Armstrong, Jeri Smith-Ready, Jackie Kessler, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and many more!

NM: What other writing projects are in the works?
LK: I’m finishing up NIGHT CHILD the final book in my Night Series and then I’ll be finishing up BLOOD MOON, the next installment in my Moon Series.  Busy!

 NM: How many years have you been writing? How did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
 LK:  I always enjoyed writing, but it never occurred to me to try and get published until I had a palm reading in New Orleans. At the end of the reading she asked me if I was a writer. I told her I wrote but just for fun and she smiled and told me I was going to be a famous writer someday! *boggle* I haven’t achieved famous yet, but after I got home I published several short stories and six months later I had the first draft of Night Walker done. I’m SUPER grateful to her for giving me a nudge!

NM: How do you come up with your story ideas?
LK: It usually starts with a character I’d like to write and then an opening scene… I don’t plot when I write, it’s very organic.

NM: What is the most important thing you want people to know about you and your work?
LK: I put my whole heart into everything I write. It goes out into the world and I neurotically hope that the story will connect with people.

NM: Please tell us where you live, what your family’s like (including pets), and what you do for a living if you work outside of writing.
LK: I’m in San Diego with two grown kids, three dogs and a cat. Right now I’m writing full time. I hope I’ll be able to sell enough books to continue…  *knock on wood*

NM: Anything else you want to tell people about yourself or your work?
LK: Hmmm… I’m also a Disney-a-holic with a soft spot for the villains. The Evil Queen from Snow White is my favorite.

NM: Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. I appreciate you and your work.
LK: Thanks so much for inviting me to visit your blog!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tomorrow's Spotlight Shines on Lisa Kessler!

Hear ye, hear ye. Read all about it! 

Tomorrow (Nov. 13), I'll be shining the spotlight on Lisa Kessler, the author of HUNTER'S MOON, her newest installment in her MOON paranormal romance series.

Here's a wee teaser from my exclusive interview with Lisa: "I tend to write very dark, passionate stories with lots of action and villains that push the hero and heroine to their limits. It’s a hard won happily ever after in my books . . . "

Sounds like an exciting read, doesn't it?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Guess Who's Featured on Today's Aspiring Author Autumn Blog Tour?

I'll give you three guesses and the first to don't count. Yep, it's yours truly! Check out author Tracee Ford's interview with me today on her first Aspiring Author Autumn Blog Tour and learn more about me, my books, and my obsessive approach to writing!

Thanks, Tracee, for taking the time to give aspiring authors like moi a much-needed boost!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Dungeon of Pleasure and Pain

Spent the whole day in the dungeon of pleasure and pain at Castle Glenarvon in Scotland and boy are my fingers tired! Because my characters in THE KNIGHT OF CUPS insisted on delving into BDSM, I must insist on doing it right--so I've been conducting a lot of fascinating online research. Might muster the nerve to interview a couple of people into the lifestyle, but gotta see how it goes first. So far, so good.

Left them for the evening with her in handcuffs and a spreader semi-suspended from the ceiling while he gathers more sex toys from the wall of dark delights.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A pain in the ear . . .

Only got a little writing done today (but at least I got a little done!) because I had to go see an ENT specialist. Somehow, I managed not only to get an ear infection, but also a hole in my eardrum. Needless to say, it has NOT BEEN PLEASANT. The only good part is that I can't hear my husband's lawnmower-man snoring if I keep the good ear on the pillow at night!

So, the doctor cleaned out the ear, took a culture, and wrote me a prescription for a powder. The first pharmacist I took it to had no idea what it was, so I got to stand there (oh, joy) while she tried to phone the specialist's office to find out WTF. Turns out, it had to be made up by a compounding pharmacist (somebody who still mixes the stuff, apparently) and she sends me to the nearest one (allegedly). Turns out, he can't do it, either, so he sends me off to the only other one around--way back out near the doctor's office. Now, doesn't it seem like SOMEBODY might have mentioned to me that a) there was only one pharmacy in the whole region who could make up that prescription and b) that didn't process insurance claims? I'm just saying.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Lunatics running the asylum?

It's official. My characters have taken over the book and are running amok. They've just finished dinner in the dining room of the hero's Scottish castle and are heading into the dungeon to sample the offerings in his BDSM playroom. I have no idea what's going to happen down there (well, I can guess!), but I'm letting them run with it, as long as they don't go too far off plot.

I'm talking about THE KNIGHT OF CUPS, book two in the Knights of Avalon series. Book One, THE KNIGHT OF WANDS, will be released this spring by Soul Mate Publishing. I decided to play a little and reference the gothic genre. She's a huge fan who's come to Scotland to get the movie rights to the novel she's adapted for the screen--her big chance to break into film-making. He's a reclusive author who uses a female pen name. He's also a shapeshifting vampire faery with a bad case of writer's block on the verge of bankruptcy. On top of all that, he's cursed so that any woman he falls in love with dies.

Yes, I write complicated plots.

The only way into his Castle Glenarvon (extra points if you get the reference) is through a tour of the sites in his/her novels, which includes a one-night stay in the author/hero's castle. The heroine joins the tour, but the bus is swept over a cliff in a storm, killing all aboard but her. He finds her barely alive and gives her his blood to put her back together, then takes her to the castle to recuperate. Her imagination runs wild . . . but she soon learns the truth is stranger than anything she could dream up.

Trying to have some fun with it so my readers will, too.