Thursday, April 28, 2011

Free For All Friday - Meet Author Mary Campisi !!

Help me welcome the lovely and talented Mary Campisi :) She's brought an excerpt from her suspenseful Regency, A TASTE OF SEDUCTION, now available from The Wild Rose Press.

You can find out more about Mary at her website  but please come back and get to know Mary and her four-legged writing consultant, Cooper! 
AND. . .Mary is giving away a e-copy of TASTE OF SEDUCTION to one lucky commentator! (pdf version: no e-reader needed)

Thanks so much for being her today, Mary.

Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a painful jog over hot coals?
 Umm, I would say it was more like a scorching crawl out of a roaring fire that left open wounds that would begin to heal only to be ripped open with subsequent rejections. That sounds horrible, doesn’t it? It wasn’t really that bad, but it was difficult. As long as I was writing, I was in a blissful state of ignorance and oblivion, caught up in my character’s lives and circumstances. I loved it there. Once I finished the book and edited and re-edited, well the next logical step was submission. Each time I sent that first book to a publisher or editor, I cringed but then I acknowledged this was all part of the process, even and maybe especially, the rejections. The first book I wrote was a Regency historical, (single-spaced because I didn’t know any better), and though the energy and passion were there, the story was all over the place with a gazillion points of view. After several rejections, I wrote another Regency historical which was a sequel to the first. By then I had discovered RWA and my local RWA which guided me along. I entered a Regency contest only because the top three writers were promised reads with the late Kate Duffy at Kensington. I found out about the contest five days before the deadline and hurried to get my proposal ready. Imagine my surprise when a few months later I received notification that INNOCENT BETRAYAL received an honorable mention. What helped me most was the handwritten note of encouragement from the coordinator telling me to keep writing because my work was good. This note boosted my courage and along with quite a bit of positive self talk, I decided to send a partial to Kate Duffy with a letter telling her I was an honorable mention winner in a contest where she was the prize and though technically I hadn’t won a right to send her anything, was she interested? At the time, I had not met Kate and figured what did I have to lose? Three months later, I received a phone call from Amy Garvey at Kensington asking for the complete manuscript. I wasn’t even home to get the call! I had taken my youngest to have preadmission testing for the removal of two suspicious looking moles. Children have a way of putting life in perspective. I called Amy back and told her I would have the manuscript in the mail the next day. I stayed up all night to proof and edit the book. I hadn’t worried about editing before because it wasn’t like everyone was asking for the manuscript- how could they when they didn’t even know it existed? I sent the book in and a few weeks later Amy called with an offer. It was a wonderful, delightful, unforgettable day.  I am thrilled to announce that when I received the rights back to INNOCENT BETRAYAL a few months ago, The Wild Rose Press bought it! It has a smoking hot cover thanks to Rae Monet and I’m working on edits now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to announce a release date soon! I’ve published several books since that first one and my latest is A TASTE OF SEDUCTION which was a March release with The Wild Rose Press.
 Where is your favorite place to write?
In my study, surrounded by pictures of my family, (lots and lots of pictures!), mini cards with words of inspiration and positive thinking plastered on my desk, books and more books lining the bookshelf, hanging glass globes and wooden chimes. An exercise ball that I sit on when I get tired of the chair. Oh, and my dog, Cooper, who usually is beside me, waiting for lunch . . . My sister informed me the next time she visits, (she lives in Virginia), she is going to clean out this room so it improves my chi – Now how can I get rid of that painted gourd my middle daughter made me or the pencil holder my dad made in 1970 somethingJ ???
Do you have a critique partner?
I used to- I loved working with her. She drove two hours every other week so we could talk about plot, characters, and what did and didn’t work for us. Then she got a high pressure job and had great success which meant more pressure and less time to write. The critique meetings were the first thing to go. We are still friends and if I have something really big I’m working on or getting ready to send to my agent, I ask her opinion – mainly, did I forget something – and she gives me her ten cents – because she catches some hole or other every time! 
 Tell us what’s next for you-
I can tell you exactly what I have planned  – I’m editing INNOCENT BETRAYAL for The Wild Rose Press and I’m also in the middle of the first in a Regency historical series with a very fun concept that an editor wants to see once I’m finished. After that I have a sequel to write for THE SWEETEST DEAL which is a novella out with Carina Press. And once I get through all of this, I have a big contemporary series I’ve been planning for a long time and am very anxious to write! 
 If you had to pick just one of your heroes to date, which would it be?
This is a hard question because I LOVE all of my heroes, but I think I would say Anthony Weston in A TASTE OF SEDUCTION. He’s such a wounded hero and he relies on order and properness in his life to protect him from anything resembling an emotion. Of course, Meriel Linton is anything but orderly and proper! I love this guy -  he’s got some great lines and he’s incredibly sexy too. J
A young woman of noble blood, raised as a peasant girl
An orphaned stable boy, now grown and the surrogate son of a powerful earl – the same earl who just so happens to be the young woman’s father . . .
Meriel and Anthony have nothing in common – she runs barefoot and talks to animals, he won’t loosen his cravat unless the bedroom door is firmly closed. Meriel believes in love, hope, and happily ever after. Anthony believes in keeping a safe distance from anything resembling an emotion. They have nothing in common but an undeniable, burning desire for one another they can’t ignore or understand, and an ailing ‘father’ who will do anything to see them together. Unfortunately, there are others, who will stop at nothing, willing even to kill, to keep them apart.

"Thank you, Anthony," she said, a small smile lighting her face. "You’re very kind." She leaned over and planted a chaste kiss on his cheek.
Kind? He wondered if she would still think him kind if he told her that right now all he could think about was tasting her lips, touching her breasts, feeling her bare skin. Kind? Hardly.
He cleared his throat and met her gaze. He had to set her straight before she started imagining all sorts of other crazy things about him. "Kind? That’s not a term that’s usually associated with me."
She laughed, a tinkling sound that ran through his body like fire. "That’s because you want everyone to think you are some sort of cruel beast. You even had me fooled for a while." Her voice dipped to a low purr. "But you aren’t a beast, Anthony, not at all. No beast would eat my bread just so he wouldn’t hurt my feelings."
He frowned, hoping his scar stuck out white and ugly. "You should be afraid of me." Men twice her size couldn’t look him in the eye.
"How can I be afraid of you when you’ve got butter on the side of your mouth?" She reached out to brush it away with her forefinger. "And all over your lips," she murmured, tracing her finger over first his upper and then his lower lip.
Anthony caught her hand. She was playing a dangerous game and she didn’t even know it. He opened his mouth and flicked his tongue along the tip of her finger. He heard the small catch in her throat. His tongue traced another finger, and then another. Sweet Jesus, but he wanted her.
"Come to me, Meriel," he whispered, planting a kiss on the inside of her palm. "Let me taste you."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spotlight On............


Defense attorney C. J. 'Charlie' Demarco has a reputation with the Chicago police Department, and it's not good. Newly appointed Police Captain Patrick Sullivan really wants to dislike her, but he can't get her out of his mind, even with a serial killer on the loose.

Buy link:

K.M.  Daughters Website:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Free For All Friday - Meet Rhonda Lee Carver!

I'm thrilled to have the lovely and talented Rhonda Lee Carver here today. She's brought an excerpt from her book, SECOND CHANCE COWBOY, . . .  *Sigh* I love cowboys  . . . 
Oh, sorry. Lost in a delicious daydream;)
Anyway, you can learn more about Rhonda at her site 
then I hope you'll grab a cup of coffee and get to know Rhonda and her work better.

Thanks for being here with us today, Rhonda!
    1.  Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a painful jog over hot coals?
To me it was a painfully slow walk over hot coals and then a crawl through broken glass until that contract finally came. For a long time I felt like I was the odd one out and everyone was published but me. However, with that said, I’m not sure how my story compares to others. I guess there’s always a worst one.
2 - If you could travel forward or backward in time, which would it be?
I would travel back in time, no hesitation. Hopefully, I could choose the time period—early 1800’s.
3- Do you believe in love at first sight?
I believe in chemistry at first sight. It’s that invisible feeling that draws two people together and is such a strong force that you can’t think, can’t eat, and can’t sleep because all you can think about is him. I think love grows from there. The deeper the chemistry, the deeper the passion and love.
4- Tell us what's next for you.
I am currently writing another paranormal/time travel/romance. The name is Dreaming Ivy.  Ghost hunter hero meets journalist heroine who are stuck in a haunted house for two weeks. When Ivy begins to dream about the past occupants, a married couple who loved passionately and lost tragically, things begin to heat up, not only in her sleep but also with Max. The dreams seem so real, and when they become a part of her existence, will she have to choose between the past and the present…and a lover from the past and her hot ghost hunter? Or are the two the same man ?!?!
5- Complete silence or music/playlist when writing?
      Complete silence. No ifs, ands or buts about it.
Second Chance Cowboy Excerpt:

Carly squeezed her hands into fists. “My poor husband. How difficult it is for him to manage his inflated ego and keep his zipper closed.”
“We’re divorced, remember?” His voice reeked of sarcasm.
She groaned in irritation. Her pulse pounded in her ears like the beating of a drum. Her claws were showing.
Chance didn’t blink an eye as he gazed at her across the room. “Honey, I can keep my pants zipped just fine. Problem is, you can’t keep your fingers off my zipper.”
Carly’s palm itched to slap him. “We live in a small town, Chance. How do you think it’s possible we haven’t run into each other more than three times in the last two years?” She cocked her chin. “Let me fill you in. I’ve done everything in my power to keep from bumping into you. Do you realize how difficult it is to plan my schedule weeks in advance so I don’t have to see you? Is that a description of a woman who can’t keep her fingers off your zipper?”
“No, more like a woman who’s afraid she’ll forget what screwed up our marriage in the first place, realize she’s made a huge mistake and get her ass back home.”
“Humph, fat chance that’ll ever happen.” She fumbled with the sheet in irritation and gave her hair a toss over one shoulder.
Damn, he did have a point, although she’d never admit it to him.           
“Yeah, right, Carly, because you can’t ever forgive and forget, can you? You think you’re the only one who has lost, don’t you?” His eyes became steely pools of green. His voice turned low and controlled. “I lost Devon, too. He was my son--our son. How long are you going to keep blaming me for his death?”
Carly swallowed the painful lump in her constricted throat. “I don’t blame you.”
“Could have fooled me.”
 “We both know why I left.”
“We do?” His bitter laugh split the air with its razor-sharp intensity. “I know you want to hold on to the belief that I am the bad guy who drove you away, but isn’t it time you took half the responsibility for the failure of our marriage?” A trace of compassion softened his expression. He tugged on his shirt and finger-combed his hair.
“It wasn’t my fault you cheated.” Once she said it, she wanted to yank the words back. Too late, just like their relationship.
“You’re a broken record, sweetheart. It’s not worth denying the accusation any longer. Maybe eventually you’ll believe your words and feel justified in leaving.  Devon died, Carly. He’s gone and we can’t change the truth. One of us needed to make the decision to let him go and I made it. I held out hope you’d eventually find a sliver of forgiveness in your cold heart. I guess I was wrong.”
The old wound broke open and her lungs emptied of oxygen. She wanted to lash out at him, tell him to go to hell, but the words didn’t come. Instead, she whispered, “I’m going to the bathroom. When I get back I want you gone.”
“Carly, you’ve become an expert at sucking all the joy out of your life and pushing away anyone who reaches out to you. You’re living in a self-made prison, founded on guilt and pain, and there is no key to unlock the cell door.”


Facebook/Author Page


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spotlight On.................


Alone on her farm in the middle of a blizzard, young widow Lisa McAllister labors to give birth to her first child.  Help arrives in the strong hands of a stranger wearing a six-gun.  



And the WINNER is........

Lilly Gayle! 
Congrats, Lilly, you've won a free e-copy of JEZEBEL'S WISH!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

SPECIAL Free for All Friday !!! JEZEBEL'S WISH Release :)

Please welcome AJ NUEST and her story, JEZEBEL'S WISH! 

I had the pleasure of getting to know AJ - another talented multi genre author - this year and am thrilled to have her here on her special day. You can learn all about AJ and her writing at her website
But be sure to come back here for a visit AND and chance to win a e-copy of JEZEBEL'S WISH!  Leave a comment to be entered the drawing.

Thanks for being here today, AJ! 

1 - Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a painful jog over hot coals?
 Both. My first manuscript at Wild Rose Press (Jezebel’s Wish) followed the exact steps I hoped for:  query letter, partial submission request (first three chapters), full submission request (completed manuscript), and then a contract offer. Easy as pie. The second, er…not so much.

After completing Jezebel’s Wish, I didn’t submit the manuscript. Don’t ask me why. Suffice to say it was a deeply emotional story for me, and I just needed to step back from it for a bit. Instead, I jumped right into my third story (When Tessa Leaves), and submitted that one instead. As it turns out, the editor asked for a lot of revisions on Tessa, so while I worked on those, I went ahead and submitted Jezebel’s Wish. Wild Rose Press contracted it, and during the editing process on Jezebel, I perfected Tessa, which is now pending a contract offer. But I spent nearly three years getting Tessa this far, so no, not a walk in the park.

2 - If you could travel forward or backward in time, which would it be?
This is a hard question for me. I think backward, because moving forward I envision things moving faster, people getting more and more disconnected from each other. As a writer, that bothers me. I craft stories about love, communication and emotion. I enjoy nothing more than sitting down with a good friend over coffee (or wine) and just talking. Eventually, I think technology will make this a rarity, and that saddens me.

3- Where is your favorite place to write?
Dining room table, kids at school, husband at work, cat sunbathing on the floor, my German short-hair pup has her head balanced on my lap and is snoring while I play with her silky ears.

4- What is most challenging for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions?
At times, all of the above. But I find the most challenging, and yet most fulfilling thing for me to write is the “funny fight”. I LOVE the funny fight, but sometimes struggle for weeks to get it just right. The turn of a phrase, the way the characters communicate through body language, that subtle undertone of “Wait…what’s really going on here?” I love weaving verbiage through a scene that contradicts body language, so I can show the reader what the fight is about, rather than telling them. After all, even though whoever left the cap off the mayonnaise jar may START the fight, that’s usually not what the fight is about. I also love juxtaposed two-word descriptions:  tragically beautiful, infuriatingly calm, maliciously kind…that sort of thing.   

5- Tell us about your real life romance?
Married for thirteen years to a man I adore, mentally, emotionally and physically. Even when he drives me completely batty and I want to slap him upside the head.

6 - Do you believe in love at first sight?
Since I’m a product of love at first sight, I guess it’s sort of a perquisite for me. The first time my Dad saw my Mom, she was walking down the street as he drove past. He turned to his friend in the passenger seat, and said, “There’s the girl I’m going to marry.” Two years later, he made good on that promise, and now my parents have been married for nearly fifty years.

7- Do you have critique partners?
Yes, and I love them dearly. I would self-combust without my CPs. Right now I have two that I trade chapters with, but I’m always looking for others who may be interested in reading my work. Some CPs have strengths in one area, while others in another. I know one CP will check my technical issues, and another will give me an emotional response. For that reason, I like to get a few reads so I can see which story elements are working and which ones aren’t.

8- Tell us what's next for you.
I have several things in the works. Right now I’m finishing an “edgy inspirational with romantic elements” entitled Flicker, which I must say, has been a life-changing experience for me. This is my first foray into first person POV, and so far, I’ve gotten over-the-top feedback. The first chapter of this manuscript won second place in the Heartland Romance Author’s Show Me the Spark! Contest last year, and was consequently requested by an editor at an inspirational house in Minneapolis. I’m also jotting notes on a Fantasy series, a murder suspense, and sort of a period piece that includes a very intriguing love-triangle. Every time I craft a story, I need to up the ante so I don’t get bored. A good way to do that is to consistently challenge myself with different genres.

9- Complete silence or music/playlist when writing?
Silence is best. However, I can work in pretty much any environment. I also like to soundtrack my manuscripts. Sometimes I listen to a song repeatedly, until I key in on the emotion, then I race to the computer and get those emotions down on paper. Invariably, the song sticks with me through the scene or chapter.

10-Tell us your favorite dessert/food.
Milk chocolate (NOT dark chocolate), except when they mess it up by adding fruit. Who in their right mind would ruin good chocolate my adding orange slices? Ick. Oh, and pizza - pepperoni, black olives and mushrooms, with extra sauce, because then it’s really good the next day too.

11- Describe yourself in 5 words.
Christian. Wife. Mom. Writer. Neat freak.

12- If you had to pick just 1 of your heroes to date, which 1 would it be?
What the heck kind of loaded question is this, Jennifer? How could I ever decide? The gorgeous, long-haired photographer from Paris, with his French accent and short-trimmed goatee? Or maybe the ruggedly shadowed, cerulean-eyed vet who totes around a whopping set of abs? How about the quick-witted philanthropist, both charming and sexy with his sharp sense of humor and smoldering ice-blue gaze? Or maybe the jade-eyed childhood sweetheart, fireman and local hero, who stole my heart from the moment I put him on paper. The answer is none of the above, because love these men as I do, they are all missing one very important thing. They aren’t real. And even though I can’t script his words, I met my real hero thirteen years ago, and I save all my dates for him.   

Haunted by nightmares, tormented by guilt, Jezebel came to Redemption Ranch to escape the past—except now she's stuck in the middle of nowhere with no redemption in sight. When her mother pushes her into riding lessons with local veterinarian Matthias Saunders, Jezebel balks. Sure, the doctor is gorgeous, but he’s completely obnoxious and knows how to push every one of her buttons.

Only her deep connection with The Reverend, a gentle stallion who guards her darkest secrets, has her agreeing to spend any more time with Dr. Saunders. Caring for the stallion is the first bright spot in her life in months, and if being around the horse means she has to deal with Matthias Saunders, then so be it. Surely a city girl like her can handle one country vet—even one with disturbing blue eyes. Can't she?
Jezzy stopped. “I thought I was having a riding lesson.”
“You are.” He nodded toward the empty paddock. “Go in.”
“Go in?” Jezzy propped a hand on her hip. “You sure you know what you’re doing? Because it was my understanding that an actual horse is needed for a riding lesson.”
“Don’t you think it would be wise at this juncture to leave the understanding up to the professionals?”
Jezzy rolled her eyes. “You’re making this way too easy. Professionals? Please. Don’t get me started.”
“Why not? Getting you started is exactly what I’m here for.”
Jezzy’s jaw dropped. She didn’t quite know how to interpret that remark.
He held out the rope. “Now go in. And take this lead line with you.” Steely blue determination glinted in his eyes. There was no way he was going to give in.
Jezzy snatched the lead line from his hand and stormed through the gate, then turned when he closed it behind her.
He put a foot on the bottom railing and rested against the gate, facing the horizon. “Take the chair to the center of the paddock and sit down.”
“And just exactly how is that supposed to teach me to ride?”
He cocked an eyebrow. “You want out of the deal?”
Jezzy’s fist clenched tight around the lead line. What she wanted was to march back to the fence and smack his face.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spotlight On . . .


What's a witch to do when she won't use magic to find love? Can Wiccan Charlotte and straight-laced Patrick break through their barriers and accept that love itself is magical?

Buy Link: 


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Friday Free For All - Meet Author Yvonne Eve Walus!

Please help me welcome another fellow Wild Rose Press author, Yvonne Eve Walus! 

THE SEVENTH TABOO is a Paranormal/Futuristic read about finding your soulmate only to realize having him is forbidden. And ladies, this is a sweet romance, so if you're looking for something with less heat, here it is;)
You can find out about Yvonne's other works -- she also writes as Eve Summers -- on her website
But grab a cup of coffee and come back to get to know Yvonne a little better!

Hi Yvonne and welcome!
Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a painful jog over hot coals?
Both, actually. It was easy to sell my romances: The Wild Rose Press picked up "The Seventh Taboo" straight away, and the editor requested only minor story changes. I found crime fiction more difficult to sell, even though many readers assure me they love murder mysteries. Conclusion: love pays better than crime.

If you could travel forward or backward in time, which would it be?
Forward for sure! "The Seventh Taboo" is about cloning people, and I'd love to find out how that really pans out.

What is most challenging for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions?
They all have their challenges. Many writers will say that the characters have to come first, because their dreams dictate the conflict and emotions. However, I believe it's possible to create the conflict first, and to fit the characters around that. For example, in "The Seventh Taboo", I wanted to explore the notion of soul mates, and whether a carbon-copy clone would be your soul mate or worst enemy. I started with that and asked myself what type of person would get cloned, how they would feel about it, what could go wrong for them....

Do you believe in love at first sight?
Absolutely. The feeling might only last five minutes or a lifetime, but you can't deny the existence of that first-sight special spark! The first time I saw my husband, for example, was on our high school podium, receiving a trophy. And this thought came out of nowhere: This is the guy I'm going to marry. I was 13. 13! Five years and a few teenage crushes later, we were going steady. In many ways, he is my clone. In many other ways, he is my complete opposite. For example, he does not believe in love at first sight, LOL. But that's ok. Love at first sight believes in him.

Describe yourself in 5 words.
  1. novelist
  2. wife
  3. mother
  4. mathematician
  5. manager
(How's that for diversity?)
BLURB FOR "The Seventh Taboo"
You know he is somewhere out there. Your soul mate. Your other self. All you need to do is find him and you'll feel complete the way you've never felt complete before...
Except that finding him is strictly forbidden.
Finding him would break the Seventh Taboo.
And then, one night, you meet him. Every hormone and every cell in your body shouts that he's the lost half of yourself you've been searching for. Your logic disagrees. Which are you going to believe? The primeval instinct or your training? Your heart or your mind?
To what lengths will you go, what risks will you take, to prove to yourself that he is the one?
Enter the world of cloning, scientific experiments and toying with people's lives. Enter the world in which your every movement, online as well as offline, is scrutinized by your live-in Monitor. Enter the future which could well be ours one day.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spotlight On...........

Out of the Darkness - A paranormal vampire romance by Lilly Gayle.

Her research could cure his dark hunger if a covert government agent doesn't get to her first.

And coming 6/3/11

Slightly Tarnished - A Victorian laced with danger.

When a brooding English earl with a SLIGHTLY TARNISHED reputation marries his dead wife’s American cousin to save her from her uncle’s vengeful schemes, the sea captain’s daughter with a taste for adventure sparks desires he thought long dead.