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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Free For All Friday - Meet Author Sarah Grimm!

Please help me welcome Award Winning author, SARAH GRIMM! She's brought her latest release, AFTER MIDNIGHT. And ladies, let me tell you, this novel is racking up the 5 star reviews! I can't wait to read it :)

If you'd like to know more about Sarah and her work, here is her website http://www.sarahgrimm.com/
Then come on back, grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a visit with Sarah!

Thanks for being here today, Sarah.


What is the most difficult for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions?

Conflict has always been the most difficult thing for me to write. A lot of writers begin a story idea with the plot, into which they insert characters. I’m the opposite. Characters have always come first for me. One day the hero (it’s usually the hero) will stroll into my head, take a seat and begin talking to me. I’ve always claimed I don’t tell my characters what to do. I just take dictation, so getting them down on the page comes easily for me. However, I’m a romantic. I want my characters to get together, to discover how great love is and live happily-ever-after. So creating conflict, or in essence keeping them apart, is difficult for me.


Do you have critique partners?

I’ve never had critique partners or a writer’s group. I’ve never really had a support system outside of my immediate family. That is, until I met fellow Wild Rose Press authors Amie Louellen and AJ Nuest. Ames and AJ are two fantastic writers and even better friends. They lift me up when I’m down, and make me laugh when I want to cry. And they’re always right there for me when I need something critiqued.


What music are you listening to lately?

I always listen to music. It’s a very large part of who I am. In all honesty I could live without books. After all, the characters would still be in my head. But I couldn’t do without music. My favorite bands are Nickelback, Shinedown, 3 Doors Down, Breaking Benjamin, and Theory of Deadman. The list goes on, but they’re who I listen to the most.

Tell us about your real life romance.

I met my husband when I was 16 and he was 20. For both of us, there was an instant ‘something’, but he thought I was still dating the boy I’d just broken up with. For the next five years, whenever I was unattached, he was dating someone or vice versa. We were friends though, friends who would spend hours sitting and talking. When I turned 21, I decided to move to Louisville, Kentucky, but the night before I left town I ran into my husband. Deciding it was then or never, I kissed him goodbye – a kiss he’s never let me forget because how cruel was that, right? Finally kiss him just before telling him I’m moving away? LOL Anyway, while living in Kentucky I dreamed we were married. Believe it or not, that was the only incentive I needed to move back home and track him down. After six years of friendship, we began dating. We got engaged about 6 weeks later and married 5 months after that. This summer we celebrated 19 years of marriage and he’s still my best friend.


Do you believe in love at first sight?

Absolutely. What die hard romantic doesn’t?


How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?

I have a sweatshirt my mother gifted me that reads ‘Careful or you’ll end up in my novel’. It’s funny, and starts a lot of conversations with strangers, but the chances of people actually ending up in my next book are slim to none. I may use character traits of people I know or quirks of people I meet, but that’s as far as it goes.

If you could switch places with one of your characters would you?

No way. Well, maybe for an evening with sexy rock singer Noah Clark… Scratch that. No, I wouldn’t trade places with Isabeau even for him. I’m cruel to my characters. Downright mean to them. The things I put them through before they get their happily-ever-after—the heartache and loss, the physical suffering—I wouldn’t switch places with any of them.

~*~

“You have the most beautiful eyes,” he said, and shifted just a little closer.

Never had her eyes been called beautiful. Strange? Yes. Beautiful? Never.

“They change color depending on what you’re feeling, did you know that?”

“I…no.”

“Right now they’re blue—a very pale blue. What does that mean, Isa? Tell me what you’re feeling right now.”

Desire. Need, unlike she’d ever felt before. She’d had no idea how much she’d craved a physical touch, his touch. Her stomach fluttered. Her heart skipped a few beats. She slicked her tongue over her lips, and his hand flexed against her hip.

“I have to know,” he murmured.

“What?”

“Your taste.”

He slipped his hand from her hip to the small of her back, pulling her against him. Their bodies molded, soft to hard. His thigh slid between hers and desire curled her toes, tightened her nipples into hard, aching points. And still, he didn’t kiss her. Why didn’t he kiss her? Then he did. Finally, he did. He teased her lips with his tongue, and she opened to him, drank in his dark seductive flavor.

She settled her hand against his chest, reveling in the feel of hard muscle and hot male. Good God the man could kiss. His body surrounded her, engulfed her as his mouth continued to seduce. She arched into him, and as his erection pressed against her stomach, she couldn’t hold back a moan.

~*~



BLURB:

Thirteen years—that's how long Isabeau Montgomery has been living a lie. After an automobile accident took her mother's life, Izzy hid herself away, surviving the only way she knew how. Now she is happy in her carefully reconstructed life. That is until he walks through the door of her bar...

Black Phoenix singer/front man Noah Clark came to Long Island City with a goal--one that doesn't include an instant, electric attraction to the dark-haired beauty behind the bar. Coaxing her into his bed won't be easy, but he can't get her pale, haunted eyes nor her skill on the piano out of his head.

Can Noah help Isabeau overcome the past? Or will her need to protect her secret force her back into hiding and destroy their chance at happiness?


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Free For All Friday - Meet Author Elizabeth Means!

Hi everyone! Please help me welcome the talented ELIZABETH MEANS here today. She's brought her Victorian Romance - and oh! this one is going to be a great read - DANGEROUS CHARADE.
If like me you can't wait to read the back cover, here's the buy link. http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=4639
You can also find out more about Elizabeth at her website www.elizabeth-means.com
But come on back, grab a cup of coffee and get to know Elizabeth a little better;)

Thanks for being here today, Elizabeth.

1-     Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals?
My road to publication was a bit of both, actually.  The first major piece I wrote was a screenplay.  I entered it in a local competition and it ended up being one of the top five finalists.  I did not win but I met a lot of incredible people (writers) during the experience.   They all had the same advice – if you want to write a movie, write a book.  It’s a lot easier to get published than it is to sell a screenplay and most movies are based on novels anyway.  After numerous queries and rejections, a few requests for partials and a ridiculous amount of money spent on postage to send the screenplay around the country, I took their advice and wrote a book.  That book, Dangerous Charade, releases today!

2-     Where is your favorite place to write?
My favorite place to write is outside on the deck when the weather is good.  It’s surrounded by trees and is a great place to go and shut out the world so I can get into whatever story I’m working on.  If the weather is bad then my second choice is a bookstore or library.  Being surrounded by books is very inspiring.

3-     Do you have critique partners?
Yes.  I belong to two separate writing groups, one that meets weekly very close to where I live and is very laid back and another that meets monthly further away and is much more serious about the business of fiction writing.   I love them both and find everyone in them to be a great inspiration and sounding board.  I highly recommend getting involved with a writers group or finding at least one critique partner.


4-     Favorite romance movie?
That’s really tough, I like a lot of romance movies.  What comes to mind at the moment is Love Actually, it’s a great movie.

5-     What is your favorite time of year?
Sept. 8th to Jan 2nd.  I love fall and the 2nd week of September almost always feels fallish as the temperatures cool a bit and the wind picks up.  This quickly slides into Halloween, my second most favorite holiday.  Then comes the excitement about Thanksgiving and Christmas.  After New Years I’m pretty much done with winter and ready for spring again! 

6-     What was the best advice you were given leading you to getting published?
Never stop writing if it’s what you love to do and never give up.



Dangerous Charade, back cover blurb:

To escape an arranged marriage Gabrielle Broussard flees her home to become an undercover investigator with an elite, all-female investigative agency.  Her first assignment, as governess at Westford castle to investigate the suspicious death of the Countess of Westford, quickly becomes complicated when she finds herself attracted to her number one suspect.
Lord Julian Blackwell is a survivor.  After his father’s bankruptcy, he becomes a self-made man in Victorian England’s booming industrial era.  Trapped into a loveless marriage, he has survived the shock of his wife’s sudden death.  But now he must survive rumors and outright accusations.  Hiring a private agency to investigate and prove his innocence seems like a good idea…until desire threatens to compromise both the case and the life of the investigator.


Dangerous Charade, teaser

“One-two-three... two-two-three… very good.”  Julian held Gabrielle securely about the waist as they moved across the floor in perfect unison.  “You’re a surprisingly quick study.”

She nodded demurely, barely able to concentrate on whatever it was her feet were supposed to be doing. Or not doing. Dancing with Julian was proving to be even more unnerving than she had feared. Having his body but a breath away from hers was far too distracting. He was her number one murder suspect, and she needed to keep her wits about her now more than ever.

“Are you sure you’ve never waltzed before?” he asked.

“Never,” she lied.

He spun them around quickly, catching her off guard, causing her to cling to him tighter. “I believe you’re ready for Rocancourt’s ball. I no longer fear you will trip over both my feet and embarrass us silly.”

She pursed her lips. “I can assure you I would do no such thing, with or without your lessons.”

“You don’t say?”   He furrowed his brow in mock thoughtfulness. “Do you know what I’m thinking, Gabrielle?”

“I cannot begin to imagine, my lord.” She cursed the butterflies in her stomach. The effect he had on her when he breathed her name in that seductive drawl of his was maddening.

He leaned down so his face was beside hers and whispered in her ear. “I think you have a secret.” He felt her body tense. “Oh, yes, I’m onto your little game.”

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Free For All Friday- Meet Megan Kelly!


I'm thrilled to have a MORWA chapter mate here today! And you're going to be thrilled too because MEGAN KELLY author of STAND IN MOM is giving away a signed copy and a Romance Trading Card of this latest release to one lucky commentator:)

You can learn more about Megan and all her wonderful work at http://www.megankellybooks.com/index.htm 
But come on back, grab a cup of coffee and get to know Megan a little better. Then leave a comment to be entered into the drawing. 

If, however, you're not the lucky winner, here's the BUY LINK- http://www.eharlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=24410&cid=244

Thanks so much for being here with me today, Megan. 
 
1- Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals?  Hi, everyone, and thanks to Jen for having me today.  From the time I started writing seriously (to sell) to THE CALL took thirteen years.  My road resembled the Appalachian Trail--highs and lows, shady and sunny, scary and delightful.  I met a few bears and  spooks, but also some wonderful fellow "hikers" who not only educated me but made the trip easier to endure.  I was fortunate enough to be guided toward MORWA, our St. Louis romance chapter, early in the process, and they've been my hiking companions and often my "rescue team."

2 -  What is the most difficult for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions? Definitely conflict. I'm an easy going person, and I hate conflict myself. I'd rather write sweet stories where people meet, date, and fall in love. But those are boring. 
J  Characters appear to me first, nudging or insisting I write them an HEA.  Since they are people, they come with those messy emotions.  My current book, Stand-In Mom, was the hardest in this regard because the main character can't conceive and desperately wants a baby.  Her husband divorced her because of her infertility, so her self-esteem is zero.  I ached for her and all her troubles.  Emotion drives stories and I love to "watch" as my characters get themselves into and hopefully out of predicaments.

3 -  How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book? Pretty darn.  J  My characters are everyone and no one in particular.  Character traits and ideas come from real life, books, and movies. When writing Stand-In Mom, I flashed back to an episode of "Little House on the Prairie."  Lol  The events and emotional drama in that episode helped me understand my main character better, but no way would a reader think Ginger is Caroline Ingalls.  J 
4- Tell us a little about your Book. Glad to. This is my favorite book (so far). I've wanted to write Ginger's story since she appeared in The Fake Fiancée.  Ginger can't conceive and her husband leaves her.  She's reaffirming her desirableness by going home with men--not that she's conscious of this, of course.  She's hurt, she's suddenly single, she has no intention of starting anything serious, so why not?  She's trying to adopt a baby through an agency and is at the fostering stage.  However, when the book opens, she has been turned down to foster a child over Christmas.  Three strikes.  She's feeling low when she meets Scott.  They have a passionate night, and he says he'll be busy but he'll call.  Typical brush-off--or is it?  Scott is trying to get over being suddenly single also.  Plus he's relocating to Ginger's town, and he has to deal with his two daughters, who are confused and upset by events.  When school resumes in January, it turns out Scott's older girl is enrolled in Ginger's second-grade class.  J  Howard, Missouri is a fictional town we all know--a good place with small minds. Ginger and Scott want to be together, but can't risk Ginger's job.  Oh, and Scott's kids hate her!  That confounds Scott.  He can't put himself before his girls, but he wants to see where things lead with Ginger.  Their animosity hurts Ginger too.  Maybe they sense she'd be an awful mom?  It was fun to write, but I didn't envy my main characters having to make decisions.  J
5- Favorite romance movie? This is a toughie.  I watch the Colin Firth mini-series of Pride & Prejudice a lot.  I like Darcy's repressed passion.  The most recent movie version of it was awful.  While You Were Sleeping is another favorite. The tug of war the hero experiences when he falls for his brother's fiancé is interesting, plus it's funny.  Speed, the bomb-on-the-bus adventure, is an old standard,  (lol)  and The Lake House with the same lead actors.  Unfortunately I can't think of anything more recent that I had to own so I could re-watch it.
6 - What's coming up next for you?  I am self-pubbing an ebook!  This is very exciting.  The cover is done, the book is in revisions, and I plan to have it up for the holidays.  Santa Dear addresses the fulfillment of wishes.  Trish, a single mom, finds a letter from her son to Santa, who he wants to meet.  The line that grabs Trish is when the boy wonders if Santa is "just a story too."  She knows he's referring to his deceased father, and it tears her heart out.  So she needs a man--but just to play Santa.  And she finds a man, but he might have more on his mind than an acting job.  This has been a project I've loved for a while now, and I hope readers not only find my book in "e-land" but enjoy the read.

Thanks so much for having me here, Jen. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Friday Free For All- Meet author Mimi Barbour!

Help me welcome talented author, MIMI BARBOUR. She's brought her acclaimed novel, TOGETHER AGAIN. And...........she's talking everyone's favorite subject -- or maybe for some, their least favorite -- LOL.......Sex! What do you do when asked how you came up with ideas for your latest sex scene?

Thanks for being here today, Mimi! Take it away:)


Sex scenes…

     Have you ever had a friend or an acquaintance sidle up to you, and in a quiet, sneaky way ask you how you come up with the sex scenes in your novels? At first, when my initial book came out, I felt slightly embarrassed by these questions and tended to turn red, stutter, giggle inanely and whisper that it was expected in a love story.
     And it is! Isn’t it? I’ve read romance since a particular body function marked me as a woman (ahem!) and back then (way back then…sigh!) the sexual content was mostly a lot of mooning looks followed with a chaste kiss, ending with hands held as the hero and heroine walk off anticipating a bright and happy future.
     We’ve come a long way since then – thank the Lord – and I, for one, am glad. Now, when two lives intertwine through all the conflicts and plot twists, us readers know that if we keep reading, we’ll be present at the ultimate moment.  And why shouldn’t we be? After all, hasn’t the author twisted us up in her character’s emotions? Taken us on the journey where two people can’t keep their hands off each other? So don’t we deserve the satisfaction of a play-by-play description of how well the beautiful, slim, gorgeous-haired, sexy-eyed heroine has succumbed to the tall, dark, strong, handsome hero? I say it’s only fair.
     Therefore, when people ask me today how I come up with my sex scenes, I usually laugh confidently and wink. “Oh, I select some memories; add in a shot of fantasy, then a smidgen of wishful thinking, and a whole lot of imagination and voilà.”  
     What I keep to myself is that when I first begin to write these scenes, I string it out for as long as I can so that when I edit it sometime later, there’s enough to satisfy anyone who feels as I do – cheated without a good descriptive mind-picture after all that darn foreplay.
   
     How do you deal with these kinds of questions? And does it matter who asks: man, woman, mother, friend, or stranger?

Please know that I love visiting with readers so come and say ‘Hi’ on my website at http://www.mimibarbour.com/ and join my newsletter for a chance to win a free copy of my latest release.
Or follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/#!/Mimibarb
Or on Facebook 
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mimi-Barbour-Fan-Page/203964072966134
BLURB:
Traveling forward in time, Dani Howard's spirit becomes magically united with reporter Troy Brennan. He's everything a girl could want in a man, and during their time together, she falls deeply in love. Though she must return to her own pregnant body, she gains his promise to come to her birthday party in seven days time where they will meet in person and continue their romance. Except that for her it’s 10 years.
Troy can't believe he's fallen for a sixteen-year-old spirit invader. He's so infatuated that when renowned author, beautiful Ellie Ward, comes on to him, as attractive as he finds her, he's honor bound to stay true to his young love—or is he? And why does she seem so darn familiar?
EXCERPT:


So this is what the inside of the pub looks like. I’ve wondered.”
“Why would you care?”
“Being it’s a sanctified adult area, all kids want to know what goes on here. Some of my mates got phoney cards and have tried to get in, but they were I.D.ed and thrown out.”
“And so they should be. It’s no place for youngsters.”
“I’m a youngster. I’m here.”
“Yeah! But you’re with me, and if there’s any nonsense going on you shouldn’t see, I’ll close my eyes.”
Erupting giggles tickled him. He lowered his head and stared at the beer-foamed glass in his hand so no one could see the silly grin fighting to appear on his face.
Dani, the bane of his existence, made him laugh more than anyone else he’d ever known. And she was only sixteen years old.
“I’m not a child, you know. And I’m almost seventeen.”
“So tell me, Miss Methuselah, how did you get inside me? Are you ever going to explain? I’m thinking to take out a long-term lease if you’re planning to homestead.”
She teased right back.” You’ll have to co-sign for me, ‘cause I’m underage.”
“Whoa! I’ve never met anyone who can play the age game better than you. You’re an adult when it suits you, but reverting back to childhood when you feel the need doesn’t bother you at all.” He loved hearing her cheeky laughter, but not nearly as much as he liked the warmth flooding over his internal self. Exuberance filled him, and he had to admit to getting hooked on the high.
“You are so easy, Troy. I’m gonna hate to leave you. But I guess I’ll have to, since tomorrow’s Saturday, and that’s the day we’ll be able to undo the switch. Right. Here goes—and don’t interrupt, no matter how silly it seems. The fact is – well, it really is the rose bush.”
“You’re still trying to feed me that baloney. The rose bush! I thought we settled that subject. Next you’ll be saying it’s magical.”
“It is.” Her voice strongly emphasised the last word.
He filtered through his senses systematically. And was forced to accept one thing. She was telling the truth. A magic rose bush! “Holy cow!”
“According to my uncle’s notes, if I understood them correctly, and I think I did, I read them twice and—”
“Dani...”
“Right! He’ll have my body near his rose bush—the one I pricked my finger on, at precisely twelve noon each Saturday until the changeover occurs to get me back there. He’ll prick my finger in hopes that you will also prick yours at the same time. He knows I’m aware of the magic and how it works, because he’ll know I read all his notes about a similar case he investigated last year. I accidentally knocked them off his table, the notes that is, and probably didn’t get them back in their correct order. It’s what started this whole thing.”
“And you’re sure it’ll happen?”
“No. But it’s what I gathered from going through his papers, and it worked for two other women who had the same experience.”
“Great! Tomorrow! We’ll be there early.”

****
He had hurt her feelings.
     She shut herself off, hiding away so he couldn’t feel the devastating ache that clutched at her and made her gasp. Tears, a physical reaction to release overwhelming pain, weren’t available to her. Emotions too advanced for a young girl tore away rose-coloured glasses, wounding, maturing. Her almost seventeen-year-old psyche had started connecting to him in a way that confused her. Every moment she’d shared his life, little bits of her soul had shifted to him until there wasn’t much left he didn’t own.