Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Coming August 30: The Tin Man, a thriller by Nina Mason

Here's an excerpt from The Tin Man, from the middle of Chapter 2, whereupon I introduce the secondary protagonist and love interest, Thea Hamilton. The book, a high-octane political thriller, releases Aug. 30 from Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing. Hope ya'll enjoy. :)

She’d met Alex Buchanan back in 2008 while both were covering the Elliot Spitzer call-girl scandal—he for World View and she for the News. She found him ruggedly handsome in that way that always made her heart beat just a little faster. He had a limp, but so what? In her book, that made him better. Without it, he would be too perfect. Who wanted to date Mr. Perfect except Ms. Perfect? And that sure as hell wasn’t her.

After a quick shampoo, she stepped out and grabbed a towel off the rack. The mirror was too foggy to see herself in, so she swiped her hand across it before grabbing the comb and pulling it through her shoulder-length mostly black hair. She’d thought a few times about taking out the gray, but what the hell? She’d earned every one of those gray hairs just like she hoped to win a Pulitzer one day.

Letting out a sigh, she looked hard at her reflection. She was thirty-eight, still single, and hadn’t had a date in months—partly because of her busy professional life, but also because she’d become invisible.

Not literally, of course, but in the way women over thirty-five did in America’s youth-obsessed culture. Sadly, she'd reached that age when strangers now addressed her as “Ma’am” instead of “Miss” and she no longer looked “good,” she looked “good for her age.” The kitten had matured into a cougar—a predatory older woman. She swiped a “paw” at her reflection and hissed before laughing it off.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Romance Weekly

It's that time again, boys and girls. Sorry I've been quiet the past couple of weeks, but the first-round edits came back on The Knight of Wands, book one in my PNR/UF series to be released next year by Lyrical/Kensington, and let's just say they were no small feat! Still deep in rewrite land, looking for a breadcrumb trail. Yikes. Anyway, I'm back this week to answer the Romance Weekly jackpot questions. Here they are:

How often do you write?

I typically write all day every day, but sometimes must take time off to edit, promote, and make and mail out swag. What about taking time out for life? Yeah, well, it helps that I don't have one. 

Do you think it’s important to your craft to write as much as you can, and as often as you can?

I used to take music lessons and my teacher said something like this: "Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect." I think that applies to writing, too. You can write like the Dickens, but you'd also better be honing your craft, learning new things, strengthening your weaknesses, and incorporating new insights into your writing. Obviously, you have to write with a vengeance, but you also need to grow and improve and you can't do that in a self-contained writing vacuum.

What is your opinion on the saying “if you don’t write every day, you’re not a writer"?

I think it's total ballocks. If you write, you're a writer. Not an author, perhaps, but certainly a writer. Sometimes, it's not possible to write everyday and I think the whole disciplined daily word count goals and such are great for people who need that kind of motivation. I typically don't. I get up in the morning and write until I can't see straight. I get up to go to the bathroom, deal with problems, and make myself a sandwich, which I eat at my desk. I'm a very driven, self-motivated person. If anything, I need a way to balance my writing with other things, not write more. As Anne Rice once said, "I write obsessively."

The next stop on our little tour is the blog of the fabulous Susan Peterson Wisnewski. Take it away, Susan!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Release: Into the Darkness by J. J. Devine

Ever hear the saying "a day late and a dollar short"? Well, that's how I feel this morning. I had it in my head (and I thought on my calendar) to post the stuff about the release of J. J. Devine's new book, INTO THE DARKNESS tomorrow (July 11), but turns out I was supposed to post it YESTERDAY! Yikes and mea culpa! So sorry, J. J. Hope posting today will suffice.

Here's the blurb:

Vampires and Witches: are they mythical creatures or something that walks amongst us every day without our knowledge?

To Raven, a twenty-five year-old, extremely sheltered woman, they are nothing more than something to be read about in a book. To Dragon, an eight hundred-year-old vampire, they are a way of life.

Raven truly believes she is going mad. Erotic dreams fill her nights, causing her to question her sanity by the light of day. They lead her into a world she never knew existed and a heritage that can only be found in nightmares.

Dragon wants nothing more than to own the mortal soul of the beautiful Raven, a woman who can make his ancient scars disappear, proof that she is far from mortal. 

Here's the buy-link on!

Here's an excerpt:

Raven awoke with a start.
What happened tonight? Where am I?
Tremors overtook her, remembering the events of the night. What had she become involved with? Vampires? Witches? And who were they trying to fool? Moreover, for what purpose?
Dragon’s heady scent filled her senses, drawing again her craving for blood. If she was the daughter of a vampire, as Tristan would have her believe, then why did she not have fangs?
The urgency of her desires, more apparent as the wetness between her legs dampened her skin, became an irritant. Damn him, even now she craved the pleasures Dragon stirred in her.
She tried to move from the bed, but Dragon’s strong arm wrapped about her waist, holding her in place. Well, that explains why I can smell him so strongly.
“You told me you wanted to spend the morning with me,” he grunted in her ear.
“That was before I knew you were a vampire.” Her angry words caused him to release her.
Rolling to his back, he slid an arm under his head. “I’m sorry, Raven. I should have told you.”
“There is a great deal you should have told me. Do you think for one moment I believe you or Tristan are these . . . these fictional creatures? Do you suppose for one moment I believe I am the daughter of not just one of these imaginary characters, but two as well?”
Dragon remained relaxed, his breathing even, his demeanor calm. His relaxed posture in her bed, as if her words held no more import than a vague breeze, infuriated her.
“Are you listening to me?” The demand in her tone was harsher than she had ever used.
He lit a lamp on the table beside him, illuminating his face. “Are you done ranting?”
“Ranting! You make fun of something that frightened me so gravely and you have the audacity to say I am ranting.”
Dragon’s hand came to her cheek. Instantly, need replaced anger. She wriggled to ease the yearning between her thighs. Her breasts felt swollen, aching for his touch.
Yet she resisted. “Stop it, Dragon. You know what affect you have on me.”
Dragon withdrew his hand, rising so the sheet fell, exposing his bare chest. Shifting away to fight off the tremendous urge to ravish him, she choked out, “I want answers. Now.”
“Raven, I have never lied to you, nor have I ever made sport of you. And I meant it when I told you I love you.”
“You’re saying that you and Tristan are vampires. And I thought I was the crazy one.” She turned away in disgust, even as she sensed the pain her words had caused him. She pressed a hand to her chest to ease the pressure she felt there.
When her eyes flickered back to him, a shocked gasp escaped at the sight awaiting her.
His mouth was open. And he had fangs. In his mouth.
“Touch them!” he demanded.
She recoiled.
“I said, touch them!” He grabbed her hand, forcing it to his open mouth. The sharp points of his fangs pricked her finger.
Raven ripped her hand from his grasp. “Stop, Dragon! You’re frightening me.”
“I smell your fear. Look deep inside yourself. Fear is not the only emotion that drives this craving for the taste of blood. Your lust for me is stronger.”
Shock overwhelmed her anew as she studied his eyes. She could read the stream of mixed emotion pooling in their deep, darkened depths. His voice sounded in her ears, yet his lips never moved.
“See, you do hear me. Can a mortal woman hear what a man says within his head?”
Dragon rose, naked, from the bed. Raven gritted her teeth against the glorious sight of him. Every muscle, chiseled to flawless perfection. The heat between her legs grew uncomfortable. Damn you for making me want you, even now.
Crossing the room to a small wooden table, he poured a drink into two glasses. It looked dark and smelled rich, inviting. Her mouth watered, a consuming sensation. He came back to stand beside the bed, shoving a glass at her.
She eyed it suspiciously. “What is it?”
The scent of the liquid aroused her, but she held her ground. “What is it?”
“Drink it!” Dragon’s tone was dark and furious, his eyes glaring at her.
“And if I don’t?” She ripped the glass from his grasp and slammed it on the bedside table in a show of defiance.
Dragon gulped the contents of the glass in his hand, then yanked her from the bed. His mouth crashed down on hers, the drink still rich on his lips and tongue. Unable to control herself, she clung to him in desperation, devouring his mouth. The sweet taste of the liquid fueled a sudden fire within.
Dragon pushed her away. Her hands reached for the glass he had brought her and she drank down the warm, soothing liquid in one large draught. She didn’t care if he watched her, as her tongue licked at the remnants clinging to the corners of her mouth.
His anger seemed to rise with each drop she took in. Now he taunted, “I believe it is you who needs to answer my questions. Mortal women do not crave blood, my dark angel.”
Raven’s hand went to her mouth as her stomach lurched. Dragon grabbed the chamber pot as the contents of her stomach resurfaced.
“You bastard!” She cursed him, even as her taste for the liquid returned in much greater force than before.
“How much more proof do you need, Raven? Your hunger for blood is as deep as any vampire I know.”

Here's a little something about J. J. Devine:

Reading and writing have been J.J.'s passion her whole life.  Starting out with being the poet, everyone came to in high school to get that "perfect" poem for his or her boyfriend/girlfriend.  She spent her weekends locked away in her room, curled up on her bed, writing short stories for only a selected few readers.

She has been happily married for 28 years to her trucker husband.  She is a mother of three, grandmother of three; a lover of dogs, cats, and fish. 

J.J. started to pen historical romance as a hobby when her youngest child was a year old, creating the Acceptance Series.  She got serious about her writing career joining Romance Writers of America and Indiana Romance Writers of America moving on to help start Crossroads Romance Writers in 2014.  She penned her first paranormal romance, Into the Darkness, in 25 days, taking herself beyond her comfort zone and just giving the characters free reign of their story. 
Since taking herself out of the outside working world, she has dedicated her life to her writing and her writing world and raising consciousness for Domestic Violence Awareness.  

Here are the author's social media links: