Update


So, I haven’t really blogged about me in a really, really long time.

I’ve blogged a little about vacations, and a lot about other people’s books, but nothing from my own perspective in what feels like ages.

Maybe I don’t have much to say. I’m really busy in my not-on-line life, with work and school and kids and just stuff. But no one wants to hear about the stresses of my day job (or the fact that I’ve written almost 50,000 words in the last month, 10,000 in the last week–including a 2,321 word lesson plan–but not a one of them was fiction). Everyone’s got stress. I don’t need to vent that badly.

But all the work has left me a little… empty. The words will come back when I have time to think about them, when I can live in my head a little more and a little less out of text books. Right now, my creativity is spent on lesson plans and planning thematic units for the entire next year. They’re good units, too. I’m excited to do them, but honestly… Over 2300 words? That’s nuts for one lesson plan.

I suppose no one can ever accuse me of under planning.

In any case, one of the great things about being a writer is that the stories never go away. They  just sometimes take a break while real life takes precedence. Once I’m done with my classes, I can devote more time to my characters. To Ash and Mina, who I really would like to finish this summer, after almost two years of off and on writing. To Ethan and Cat, who have an entire story plotted out that just needs to be written down. To Gabriel and  Asa, who, for some reason, desperately wants to be called Freya, even though I keep trying to convince her that that won’t work, given then whole… I don’t know… English maiden thing.

So, because my life seems like a giant To Do list these days, I thought I’d give you updates in list fashion.

1. What I’m listening to: When I’m writing Ethan and Cat, I really like to listen to this crazy playlist I put together that includes lots of U2 (I suppose we could call it vintage, though I am loath to call anything that was released during my lifetime–something I bought on cassette tape when it was first released–vintage. And if you ask “What’s a cassette tape?” I will throw you some serious virtual stink eye). Oh, and One Republic, Counting Stars. Totally seems weird that that song reminds me of my hero, but it does.

When I’m contemplating Gabriel and Asa/Freya, I’m listening to Wardruna, which is a little crazy, but whatever. It sort of sums things up right now, and since I think that my characters are somewhat darker than Ethan and Cat are turning out to be, it kind of fits.

2. What I’m reading right now: I’m finishing up The Earl’s Enticement by Collette Cameron, and I’ve already started The Bride Gift by Sarah Hegger. That’s when I’m not reading about SIOP features and ELL stuff.

3. What I should be reading: I should be reading my text books and I need to do some more research on early Scottish history. I’m pretty familiar with the period right around Lindesfarne (I spent some time in York, and there’s that whole English/History/German major thing I did in college. And yes, I had three majors. And two minors (Poly Sci and Education). Wait, didn’t everyone? Luckily, I did actually get a graduate degree in something I can use!)

5. What I’m doing right now: Apparently, I’m digressing.

6. What I need to do: Work on my own topic maintenance, rather than my students’!

7. What I’ve been watching on those rare occasions that I get to watch TV: I spent several evenings enraptured by Vikings. Had myself a little Vikings marathon, in fact. I have a thing for Rollo. I think I’ve forgiven him for Season I. Now that I’ve watched all of Seasons I and II, I’m not watching much of anything. Which is probably a good thing. I’ve gone back to reading my text books.

8. What I’ve been doing in my free time: Camping. I got bitten on the rear end by a beetle of some sort last weekend, which hurt like bananas. The screaming (only after I discovered the bug… inside my pants) probably didn’t do wonders for my street cred, though.

9.  What I’m working on: Lesson plans. Oh, God, so many lesson plans. And these last few papers for my last class. I can do this. It’s a lot of work… Not necessarily hard, just a lot. And it’s late in the year, too, so my life is already crazy with meetings. Those three hours a week in class–and the additional 3-5 working on projects–starts to feel like a lot when I spent most of Memorial Day writing IEPs.

10. What I’m hoping for: That I don’t have a nervous breakdown in the next two weeks. Because once we’re out of this little stretch… It’s summer time! And I’ll have seven weeks off!

So that’s it for me. I hope you have a good weekend. And if you get the chance, go ahead and check out my book, Highland DeceptionIf you feel so inclined, leave me a review! Because I should could use them. Seriously.

 

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Thursday Threads Welcomes Collette Cameron Back to the Bodice


I recently bought Collette’s book, and I consider myself something of a fan. Her characters are delightful, consistent (it bugs me when characters start doing things that seem so… well, out of character), and her setting? Just gorgeous. So, here you go with a treat from Collette’s latest: The Earl’s Enticement.

Title: The Earl’s Enticement

Genre: Regency-Scottish

Heat Level: Sensual

Buy Link: 

The Earl’s Enticement Cover Blurb:

She won’t be tamed.

A fiery, unconventional Scot, Adaira Ferguson wears breeches, swears, and has no more desire to marry than she does to follow society’s dictates of appropriate behavior. She trusts no man with the secret she desperately protects.

 

He can’t forget.

Haunted by his past, Roark, The Earl of Clarendon, rigidly adheres to propriety, holding himself and those around him to the highest standards, no matter the cost. Betrayed once, he’s guarded and leery of all women.

 

Mistaking Roark for a known spy, Adaira imprisons him. Infuriated, he vows vengeance. Realizing her error, she’s appalled and releases him, but he’s not satisfied with his freedom. Roark is determined to transform Adaira from an ill-mannered hoyden to a lady of refinement.

He succeeds only to discover, he preferred the free-spirited Scottish lass who first captured his heart.

 

Excerpt:

“Halloo,” he hollered. “Is anyone there? I’m the Earl of Clarendon. I’m being held prisoner.”

She shook her head, sending him a contemptuous scowl. “Stop shouting, you dolt. It’s but a weasel or a stoat, perhaps even a squirrel. They come in through the drains or gaps where a stone’s gone missing in the wall.”

She motioned with the pistol for him to move away from the door once more. “I’m surprised none have paid you a visit as yet. As for Ewan, he’s away in London, just now.”

With what could only be described as a derisive grunt, Marquardt obliged her and sauntered away from the door. He rested against the far wall, ankles crossed, crunching on the apple.

A muffled thud, as if someone had bumped into something, echoed through the lower chambers.

He perked up. “That was no pest.”

Adaira whirled to peer into the gloom.

“I say, can you hear me? I’m locked in a cell.”

She spun back around.

He’d moved to the door, his hands fisted around the bars. Drat it. She was losing control of the situation. His presence mustn’t be known to anyone other than Brayan yet.

She bent to retrieve the sack. No doubt Brayan had come looking for her at one of her parents’ behest. Marquardt absolutely must not see him. Brayan would boast he’d helped lock the man up. From the sound of the crashing about, he’d sampled the flask a good deal more and was utterly bosky.

“Blast and da—” She stopped as Marquardt’s eyebrows flew to his hairline in obvious disapproval.

Lowering her voice, she hurried on. “Ewan’s expected back any day. When he returns, I’ll tell him I apprehended you. He can do with you what he wants. I’m quite sure it will involve the authorities.”

“Apprehended?” He shook his head. “You’re still sticking to the absurd notion that I’m Edgar?”

He tossed the apple core between the bars. It bounced before rolling to a stop barely three feet beyond her. A rat promptly appeared, scrambling to snatch the core in his pointed, yellow teeth. The little beast raced down the passageway with two other rodents squeaking their outrage in its wake.

Marquardt had done that on purpose, the lout.

 

Connect with Collette:

 

Website     Blue Rose Romance Blog   Twitter   Facebook

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Please Welcome Sarah Hegger to The Bodice


Hey everyone, let’s show Sarah some love. And check out her cover! Isn’t it pretty?

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Hi Meggan, and thanks so much for having me over today.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

This is the official version, and Kim Handysides put it together for me. I think it covers most of the bases.

Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.

Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.

She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.

 

I would just add that I’m a total romantic and a bit of a dreamer.

 

What is the most romantic thing your significant other or anyone has done for you?

 

I have a totally unromantic husband. When we were first engaged, however, he sent me roses once a month. As many as there were months left before we got married. He ended with a bottle of champagne and two glasses. I should add that he makes up for not being romantic by bringing me a Latte in bed every morning (he makes the best coffee, anywhere) and makes me hot chocolate before bed.

 

Do you ever write in your PJs?

I have my mother’s voice inside my head that won’t let me. So, no, but I don’t make it out of yoga pants most day. I can’t write when I can’t get comfy.
If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be, and why?

I want to be Jessica Rabbit, because she has all those dangerous curves and she’s not afraid to use them.

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Coffee or tea?

Coffee in the morning and tea for the rest of the day.

 

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?

Vanilla and I feel boring just admitting that. Can I add Strawberry Haaden Dazs to that list?

 

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

At long last, I have a writing cave. My very own space filled with all my favorite things, and best of all a door!

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If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?

Oscar Wilde

Emma Thompson

Robert Downey Junior

 

An actor you have a crush on?

I’m so fickle this changes, but I have a crush on Travis Fimmel at the moment. It’s those eyes (and the other yummy bits)

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Ah yes, Ragnar. I have a thing for Ragnar. And Rollo, too.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?

They’ve both ended, so I’m looking for a new favorite, but I loved Vikings and Black Sails.

Now comes the ones about your writing.

What made you decide to be an author?

I don’t think it was ever a conscious decision, more a process of always writing in some form or other. On my fortieth birthday, I met my critique partner Kim Handysides and we made a pact to get writing seriously and get published. We have spurred each other on since then.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I started off writing Regency, but really didn’t do it well. Instead of being witty and light, it came out contrived and stilted. I have always been fascinated by the middle ages – bad, gritty, primal times – and ended up there. My debut novel, The Bride Gift was just released on Amazon and I have another medieval, Sweet Bea, releasing on September the 1st this year.

I also write contemporary and once day just wanted to test that limit. And I did. I have three contemporaries releasing next year with Kensington Publishing.

I always say I have the attention span of a goldfish, once around the bowl and I’m done. So, I need to switch up those genres.

Are you a pantser or a plotter and why?

Total plotter all the way. I need to have it all mapped out before I even type “Chapter One”

Is there a particular author who may have influenced you?

I have read and reread all the Dragon’s of Pern books by Ann McCaffrey and also the romances of Georgette Heyer.

Hey, me too!

How much trouble did your characters give you while writing your new release?

Helena was a bit of feisty, willful wench and wasn’t happy with the ending I had planned for her. She got her way in the end. Guy doesn’t speak, so it challenged me to come up with other ways to get his point across.

Where do you get your ideas from?

Everywhere – books, song lyrics, snippets of real life, movies … Something will spark that magical what if and I build it from there.

How did you choose your title?

On this release, I have to confess that I didn’t. Fellow writer, Leslie Hachtel, actually came up with it. I either have the title right from the start or I struggle to come up with something that fits after the book is written.

How do you cure writer’s block?

Touch wood, I haven’t had it. As a totally committed plotter, I have a daily word count that I must hit. So, it’s butt in chair and hands on keyboard until I hit that target. Some days I strike gold and others, I strike out, but those words get onto the paper.

That’s awesome. I find I struggle with writer’s block the busier I get. SInce right now I’m so busy I can barely see, my writing has slowed. Lucky girl!!

Do you have any advice for an aspiring writer?

Keep writing and don’t give up. Rejection is part of the process and write your way through it.

What sacred advice have you been given by another writer?

The same as I now hand out to other writers.

Where can your readers stalk you?

Hearing from readers is one of my favorite things. We work in such isolation as writers it’s fantastic to get a shout out from the place our words end up, with the reader.

 

Website

Facebook

Twitter

 

Tell us about your new release:

The Bride Gift is available on Amazon and this is what it’s all about.

It’s 1153 in the period dubbed ‘The Anarchy’, King Stephen and Empress Maud are not the only ones embroiled in a fierce battle of the sexes.

 Determined to control her own destiny, willful Helena of Lystanwold has chosen just the husband to suit her purposes. But, when her banished guardian uncle attempts to secure her future and climbs through her bedroom window with a new husband by a proxy marriage, she understandably balks. Notorious warrior Guy of Helston is everything Helena swore she would never marry; a man who lives by the sword, like the man who murdered her sister.

This marriage finally brings Guy close to his lifetime dream of gaining lands and a title. He is not about to let his feisty bride stand in his way. A master strategist, Guy sets out to woo and conquer his lady.

Against a backdrop of vengeance, war and betrayal, Guy and Helena must learn to forge a united front or risk losing everything.

 

Here’s a little taste of The Bride Gift:

 

The men had practiced in the yards since early morning. Now, they streamed into the hall, filthy, sweat stained, and bellowing for food. Helena stiffened her spine. They would not treat her hall as if it were a rough camp.

“Sir Guy,” her voice rang across the expanse.

His face was streaked with perspiration, his tunic hanging haphazardly from one meaty shoulder. His bare chest gleamed from his exertions.

The butterflies were back inside her and flinging themselves about. Helena tightened her resolve. This wouldn’t do.

She swept from the dais toward them. Around Guy, his men went silent and fell away.

They would not come to her table filthy and stinking of sweat. This was her keep.

“The meal will wait until you have had time to prepare yourselves.” She spoke to their leader, but let her glance drift over the rowdy lot.

Their eyes slid shamefaced to the floor. They looked like a collection of overgrown, rebuked boys.

A small smile tugged at her mouth. She suppressed it harshly.

“Hah?” Sir Guy grunted at her.

Helena gritted her teeth. The man was able to speak. She’d seen as much around his men, but for her he could do nothing more than, ‘hah?’

“Tell me, Sir Guy,” she lisped sweetly, “was that ‘Aye, my lady’ or ‘Nay, my lady’ or, mayhap, it was aught else entirely?”

Guy went absolutely still before her. One corner of his mouth turned up slightly. Helena’s pulse fluttered against the side of her neck in reaction.

She couldn’t read the expression turning his eyes near silver, but her pulse kicked rapidly in response.

He lunged toward her, deadly swift. She squealed as his hands closed on her hips and lifted her into the air, as if she weighed no more than thistledown. Good Lord, he is strong. A small thrill chased through her innards. Her hands clung to his forearms convulsively. The feel of his skin beneath her hands was hot as the sensation of touching him swept up her arms.

“As you will, my lady,” he rumbled.

Around them, the hall broke into raucous yells and whistles. Helena’s face flamed with heat.

He lowered her closer, his mouth hard and swift on hers before he placed her back to the floor. His men cheered and stamped their feet.

Helena’s lips tingled where he’d touched them. She raised her fingertips to her mouth. Then jerked her hand away, irked by her own reaction and unable to still her pounding heart.

“Will you attend me as I bathe?” he drawled, smooth as silk.

She tried to regain her composure, but her blood rushed through her ears and her knees knocked together beneath her bliaut. She raised her chin.

“Geoffrey will attend you.” She wouldn’t let him see how he had completely overset her.

Guy merely grinned at her, a great, unabashed beam of nonsense that prodded at her to respond.

She turned her shoulder on him instead. “The rest of you may wash in the barracks,” she groused at the grinning bunch of louts. “Merry will bring cloths.”

They turned as one and stormed for the screens.

Helena wished she could follow them. Guy’s kiss, his touch still lingered. But the hall was looking to her. She put a bright smile on her face. She would act as if naught had happened.

Sarah Hegger B&W

Thanks for being here, Sarah! The book is great (I just started it)… so best of luck and here’s to many sales!

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday Threads Welcomes Jessica Jefferson


Cover for Taming Miss Tisdale for Thursday Threads

 

Title: Taming Miss Tisdale

Author: Jessica Jefferson

Series: 2nd in the Regency Blooms Series from Soul Mate Publishing

Heat Level: Sensual

 

A bit about the book –

Miss Tamsin Tisdale believes herself to be completely unsuitable for London life. After a myriad of social mishaps, and the potential ruination of her family name, she’s shipped away to her cousin’s northern estate. Only after she accepts the type of existence Society dictates she must follow will she be welcomed home.

Marcus Winston, the Duke of Grayson, has a lackluster reputation. The last in a dying line, he’s endured a protected life—rank with privilege, but encumbered by isolation. After a brief encounter with rebellion, he learns the devastating consequences of his carelessness and willingly accepts living life from inside his gilded cage.

However, a chance meeting with the brazen Miss Tisdale gives Marc the opportunity to reinvent himself into the man he’s always dreamed of being. But when his deception comes to light, and ghosts from both their pasts threaten to unravel the intimacy they’ve come to cherish, will either of them set their fears aside long enough to embrace love? Or will Miss Tisdale’s stubbornness divide them?

 

A little bit of the book – 

Marc watched the faint outline come across the dense morning fog, becoming more discernible as it approached. The tall, thin figure was riding along at a perilous speed, given the morning’s lack of visibility. He thought perhaps it was some gangly young man misguided in the fog. It wouldn’t be the first time someone accidentally stumbled upon the vast property that made up his family’s immodest estate.

Then the fog parted in an almost biblical manner, revealing his gross inaccuracy.

Were those … breasts?

Marc closed his eyes and thought for a moment. Typically, women didn’t ride alone at such an hour and they certainly didn’t wander unexpectedly across his property. It’d been quite a while, his last birthday to be exact, since his last intimate encounter with a woman—a gift, compliments of St. Regis—so there was always the possibility that perhaps his half-drunk, sex-starved mind had conjured up the sensual image.

He shook his head, opened his eyes, and looked back again toward the horizon.

Yes, those were most certainly breasts.

And she was most definitely not a young man. The woman’s riding habit pulled taut against her body as she raced toward him. Her hair was blowing behind her—various hues of auburn and gold, like wild flames curling about in the wind. Then a decidedly feminine voice burst through the morning’s silence, interrupting his self-doubt.

“Oh, thank goodness I found you!”

This was no mirage. She was indeed very real.

And very loud.

 

A bit about the author –

Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it—almost Chicago.  She is heavily inspired by classic sweeping, historical romance novel-but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy.  She invites you to visit her at jessicajefferson.com and read more of her random romance musings.

http://www.JessicaJefferson.com

Like me on Facebook 

Follow me on Twitter 

Add to your Goodreads shelf

Purchase from Amazon

 

Romance Weekly: Writing Process


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Welcome to this week’s installment of Romance Weekly! This week is all about the process of writing–inspiration, creativity, and the simple action. If you’re here, hopefully you linked from Collette Cameron.

Let’s get to it!

1. If someone could observe you writing without you knowing they were there, what strange practices might they catch you doing?

Uh… I don’t know. I have a tendency to mutter to myself. A lot. Often, swear words (hey, I write after the kids go to bed. I figure it’s my time to let my language fly… but you never know when little ears might be listening, so I only mutter). A sample conversation with  myself might go something like this:

Me: This doesn’t work. *Expletive*

Me: Maybe I can make it work.

Me: This still sucks.

Me: *Expletive* (Then I hit delete key many, many times)

Me: *Expletive* I should have saved that. It wasn’t that bad.

Me: Nah, it doesn’t matter.

Me: What’s wrong with my computer now?

Me: *Expletive*

2. Other than a creative outlet, how does writing benefit you?

I think the creative outlet is the most important part of the process. At least it is for me. I’m not going to get rich doing this (not that I would turn down Nora Roberts money… but I’d probably have to write like Nora Roberts to get it, and I can’t do that. I’m a book a year kind of girl), so having some sort of creative outlet is necessary for me.

But I guess it does benefit me in other ways. Often, I’ll find bits of my husband in my characters. Since I tend to love my characters, it reminds me why he’s great. I think, when you’ve been with a person for a long time (in my case, really all of my adult life), sometimes you can forget why you fell in love with him/her. For me, writing these characters, I’m reminded why I love the man that I do. Even when he drives me bonkers.

3. How do you feed your muse?

My muse is like a dog: easily distracted and likes to go for car rides.

Actually, that’s so true it’s a little sad.

I like a  long drive in the car. When we have the time, which is not that often anymore, husband and I will pick a destination and drive there. It makes for a long day, but we’ve gone to some cool places. One day, thinking that the place we were going was “not that far,” we drove to central Nevada and found some cool petroglyphs, which started us on our quest to find more of them through out the state. We’ve gone to some cool places because of that one accidental find.

Here are some pictures from that first trip in the car (the more faded ones are the older petroglyphs)DSCF1304:

DSCF1346DSCF1357DSCF1327Why not go to Jami Denise and see how she answered these same questions!

 

 

 

Thursday Threads Welcomes Sarah Hegger!


Title: The Bride Gift by Sarah Hegger

Genre: Historical Romance (Medieval)

Heat Level: Sizzling

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Bride-Gift-Sarah-Hegger-ebook/dp/B00KBAYOTM/

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Blurb

 

It’s 1153 in the period dubbed ‘The Anarchy’, King Stephen and Empress Maud are not the only ones embroiled in a fierce battle of the sexes.

Determined to control her own destiny, willful Helena of Lystanwold has chosen just the husband to suit her purposes. But, when her banished guardian uncle attempts to secure her future and climbs through her bedroom window with a new husband by a proxy marriage, she understandably balks. Notorious warrior, Guy of Helston, is everything Helena swore she would never marry; a man who lives by the sword, like the man who murdered her sister.

This marriage finally brings Guy close to his lifetime dream of gaining lands and a title. He is not about to let his feisty bride stand in his way. A master strategist, Guy sets out to woo and conquer his lady.

Against a backdrop of vengeance, war and betrayal, Guy and Helena must learn to forge a united front or risk losing everything.

 

Excerpt

 

Slowly, Helena turned and approached her husband.

His large body barely fit in the wooden tub. He sat with his knees almost to his ears. A slight frown creased his dark brows.

Helena dipped her hand in the soft soap they kept for bathing; more jasmine. She rubbed it between her fingers to create lather. When they next made soap she would need to produce something less feminine for Guy.

From this position, his head was almost on a level with her breasts. A feeling akin to excitement fluttered through her belly.

He watched her face as she leaned forward to soap his head, working it through his cropped hair. The bristly ends tickled her palm.

She reached for a bucket of rinsing water. He closed his eyes as soap and bubbles streamed down the strong planes of his cheeks. Droplets clung to his lashes. They were almost ridiculously long and so incongruous with the rest of him. Probably the only part of him that could be called soft.

He dropped his head forward onto his knees so she could finish rinsing.

Guy presented the broad expanse of his back, and she laid her hands across the sun-darkened skin. He was warm under her fingers and beneath the smooth skin, his muscles bunched slightly as she spread the soap. This might be bearable. When she rubbed her fingers on either side of his spine, he made a soft purr of enjoyment.

Her pulse jumped.

“Soft hands,” he said.

Her fingers traced a long, puckered scar running beneath his shoulder blade and disappearing around his side.

“A lance man with poor aim,” he murmured.

The skin on his back was firm, but marked by the scars of a lifetime spent wielding a sword. “It appears you really do fight,” she commented lightly.

For some reason those accumulated injuries and the pain they had caused angered her as well as rendered her sorry for his suffering. Helena steeled her resolve. It was just these sorts of wounds that made him perfect for her purpose.

She lathered soap across his shoulders and down the thick, corded muscle of each arm. Her belly reacted with another odd little quiver as her fingers slid across his skin like oil poured from a vial.

Guy raised his eyes to her face. A slumberous warmth made them glow nearly silver.

Her breath quickened in her chest as if she had been running; her hands tingled where they touched him.

Sarah is always delighted to hear from readers. She can be reached at any and all of the following places:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

 

 

Thursday Threads Welcomes Elle Hill!


Elle Hill’s Hunted Dreams

Genre: Paranormal romance

Heat level: Sensual.

Hook: A woman trapped in an endless cycle of nightmares. A handsome hero committed to rescuing her. It’s just like Sleeping Beauty – except the dreaming damsel is the sword wielder and the hero is a psychic vampire feeding off her pain.

Excerpt:

“The Leeches got their nickname from the way they eat.” Reed’s voice was even.

“They drink blood?” she breathed.

He shook his head. “A little less literal. The Broschi are empathic. They can feel and even evoke other people’s feelings, negative ones like fear, pain, horror.”

“Sun and stars,” she breathed. She got it.

She got it.

“They’re eating me,” she said, and laughed, but not humorously. “These superhuman, psychic Leech people are keeping me trapped in nightmares, eating my feelings.” Her chest felt heavy. She pressed her left hand against it and felt its gentle rise and fall.

None of this is real. All this drama, all this fear, all the pain and anger and malice. None of it exists except in the form of juicy brainwaves that these beings sip like mint juleps. No wonder she couldn’t die, couldn’t escape, couldn’t ever wake up.

Reed’s face was flushed, his nostrils wide. Her handsome hero. For a minute, she hated him, hated that he got to wake up, hated this situation, hated everything boxing her in this narrow world.

Katana glared at him for a moment. “I’m trapped in here,” she grated.

His face relaxed into compassion. Hers hardened.

“I know,” he said.

She stared at him for a moment longer. Finally, with a sigh, she leaned her head against the glass. “Who are you, Reed?”

“I’m a Leech, too, Katana.”

Links:
Blog: http://ellehillauthor.blogspot.com/

Website: http://www.ellehill.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Elle-Hill/155409064486649?ref=hl

Purchasing the book: http://www.amazon.com/Hunted-Dreams-ebook/dp/B00CHUEIIG

Twitter: @ellehillauthor

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Romance Weekly: Genre and Influences


image001Hey everyone! It’s that time of the week again: Romance Weekly. Find out what your favorite authors think about the questions below, or discover new-to-you authors! Let’s get to it!

1. Do you prefer to write futuristic, contemporary or historical romances and why?

I tend to write historicals. I’ve written one urban fantasy, set in modern-day San Francisco, but it didn’t go anywhere. It’s still sitting on my computer, awaiting rewrites and, perhaps, submissions at some time in the future. For now, I’m sticking with historicals.

The first book I ever wrote as an adult (also sitting on my computer) was a historical. I guess I chose that genre because I love the history aspect of it, and I cut  my teeth on historical romances. My first one was Julie Garwood–The Bride, I think, but it might have been The Gift–which I followed up with Savage Thunder by Joanne Lindsey. I discovered these books when i was sixteen, and, by the time I hit my junior year in high school, I’d read all Julie Garwood’s books. By the time I was twenty-one, I’d read Julie Garwood and Johanna Lindsey in German (it was more interesting than reading a freak-ton of Rilke. And sure, I like the tortured aspect of Gruppe 47 literature as well as anyone, but I can honestly say they didn’t inspire me to learn to read in German nearly as well as Johanna Lindsey did.)

So I guess that, as a History minor and an English Lit/German major, I was sort of destined to write historicals. I loved reading historical romances, so I guess I figured I’d love writing them. And I do. 🙂

2. What is your favorite time in history and how and why does it inspire you?

Um… Good question. I’ll admit to a certain fondness for the Victorians. They were totally wacky. For instance, the occult was really popular during the Victorian era: go to church Sunday morning, hold a séance Sunday night. Very prim and proper, and repressed sexually, but then, the treatment for hysteria was orgasms (and you went to the doctor for it!). It just seems to me like the Victorians are a study in polar opposites. Also, I have a particular fondness for the Old West, so I guess that’s part of it, too.

But I’ll admit, I loved the research that went into Highland Deception, which is set in Scotland in 1725. So, I guess that’s a close second.

3. How has your life experience contributed to your writing?

I’ll admit, I struggled with this question. I’ve traveled in Europe, and I’ve graduated from college, and all that fun stuff. College and travel opened up my eyes to new and different ways of thinking, and I suppose that that’s important if you want to be a writer. I think, because of that, I am better able to take another person’s perspective, which is necessary if one wishes to write well-rounded characters.

Getting married gave me insight into the character of men. Granted, I’ve been married since I was 22, so I guess my experience with men is limited, but I know one man like I know the back of my hand. I know what he thinks, and how he feels, and I know what he looks like when he’s upset. Being married for as long as I have (almost 17 years now!) has, I think, really helped me to write my male characters as men, and not mere caricatures of men.

Having children… Well, a baby changes everything about you. It just does. I’m the same person I was before, but I’m also… different. I don’t know if I would have had the strength to submit and suffer the potential rejections if I hadn’t had kids. I think just the act of giving birth made me less self-conscious, but having that baby? I’m so much stronger now–personality-wise–than I was before I had them. Before, I would have said that I’m “nice.” I was a good girl, and easily embarrassed. I hated to be wrong. I hated just the thought of someone thinking I’m not perfect. I tried really hard to be everything to everyone. To be the perfect wife, the perfect daughter, the perfect employee.

And then, I had a two-year-old.

I’ve done the walk of shame out of the grocery store more times than I could count (very smart, very volatile children = very loud tantrums in the store). I’ve been barfed on, had one kid have a diaper explosion (and I mean explosion–it was disgusting) at a restaurant in San Francisco, and gotten pee in my eye while changing a diaper at the mall.

It has been an exercise in humility. It made me realize that I am not, nor will I ever be, perfect, and I would kill myself if I kept trying to be.  I think that the thought of rejection might have done me in, if I hadn’t gotten over my need to be viewed as perfect. I’m not sure I ever would have submitted in the first place, because I would have been deeply ashamed if someone didn’t think my work was up to par.

I’m a published author because of the kids. They’re the ones, really, who gave me the strength to do that.

Go see what Fiona Riplee has to say on the subject!

Thursday Threads Welcomes Anne B Cole!


Souls Entwined
A Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Scheduled to Release April 30, 2014
By Soul Mate Publishing
Heat Level: Sweet Romance

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Souls Entwined is Anne B. Cole’s debut release, combining sweet romantic suspense, time travel, and paranormal elements in a New Adult novel attractive to a wide range of readers.

In addition to writing, Anne teaches preschool and is raising three very active teenagers with her husband of twenty-two years. Her love for making fresh baked goodies, running, hiking, historical fiction, and her three pet cats continue to be her inspiration while she pens the sequel to Souls Entwined.

Blurb

When a cursed family heirloom sends Gretta Dobbs back in time, a hunky construction worker, Sam Daggett, suddenly finds himself love struck and joins her adventure. Their souls entwine within the bodies of young lovers on a Greek island in 1829, where they begin to unravel the mysteries behind Gretta’s ring all while avoiding a bloodthirsty pirate who is determined to seek revenge. Gretta and Sam must find the secrets needed to save her and her relatives from an afterlife in purgatory and return to their own lives—or risk becoming prisoners of the past, continuing the evil cycle of the ring’s curse.

Excerpt
From Chapter Two

Not a sound was heard as Sam’s eyes snapped open. Under the branches of the downed tree, Purple Shorts began to stir.

“Sorry, are you okay?” Sam gently lifted his weight off her.

“I think so,” she replied faintly. Sam released his hold on her shoulder, amazed her face wasn’t scratched. He wondered how bad he appeared.

“Do you think you can stand?”

She nodded. Together they rose to their feet, easily stepping out from the tangle of branches. Eyes growing wide, she began to sway.

“Sit,” Sam commanded, steadying her.

“No, look!” She pointed.

Sam gazed over his shoulder. His mouth fell open. Beneath the tree, their bodies lay, motionless.

“Are we . . .” Purple Shorts began, but Sam shook his head slowly.

Before she could say more, he interrupted, “I don’t know. Do you feel—”

“Dead?”
He scanned the area for help. Everything around them was still, as if they were watching a movie and someone hit ‘pause.’ No wind, no sound, no movement. He flinched when cold fingers clutched his hand.
Squeezing gently, he lifted her hand in front of their faces. “Can you feel this?”

Purple Shorts nodded.

“I don’t think we’re dead,” Sam whispered, gazing into her blue eyes.

Connect With Anne

To follow Anne’s publishing journey and connect with her, check out her blog site and find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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