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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Friday Fun: Meet Elke O'Donnell


Please help me welcome my friend and fellow Ass Cheek Angel, Elke O'Donnell !
I was lucky enough to meet Elke at the RWA 2010 conference. She is a regular blogger at the Ass Cheek Angel blog. You can learn more about Elke at her website http://elkefeuer.wordpress.com 
Then come on back and visit :) 
Thanks for being here today, Elke!


What is the most difficult for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions?
Characters, specifically male characters. I find it challenging to write male POVs without letting my feminine side take over.
How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
Very likely. I’m a people watcher whether it’s at a distance in the coffee shop or someone I’m talking to. If something about them jumps out at me in their personality or mannerisms, they usually end up as one of my characters.   
Tell us a little about your WIP.
My current project is:
For the Love of Jazz
To launch her restoration architecture company, Josie Fagan must convince Patrick Pullman she’s the only one who can restore his unique 1940s bungalow. She gets more than she bargains for when a condition of the contract is that she stays at the house with him, and what Patrick Pullman wants, Patrick Pullman gets…
She feels an immediate connection not only to Patrick and his house, but to the previous tenants, Patrick’s uncle and his lover, Lola, who disappeared fifty years ago. Is the attraction between Patrick and Josie real, are Lola and William still acting out their unfinished lives or is the just haunted?
Patrick Pullman doesn’t believe in ghosts or that his house is haunted, but when he starts having visions of Lola; maybe Josie isn’t crazy after all. Will they find out the truth before she disappears too?
Excerpt
“I want you stay at the house during the renovations and not take on any other jobs until mine is done.”  
“What?” He couldn’t be serious. She searched his face. He was. “Why do I need to stay at the house?”
“I need this project finished in ten months and that will mean having you close to discuss design and restoration changes. Living at the house is the best option and also eliminates the risk of theft.” He leaned back in his chair. “Room and board is free. You don’t want to waste money your business needs, do you?”
Damn, he knew about her finances and was going to play hard ball. She had no intention of letting him use it against her or backing down. She was the best candidate and they both knew it. If she wasn’t he would have hired another company. “I want a flattering personal reference,” she countered.
A cocky grin curved his lips. “Then I want guarantees.”
She held his gaze.
“You’ll get your reference if you meet my ten month deadline, if I’m satisfied with the quality of the work, and if the job comes within budget.” He moved his chair back into the upright position.
“That will not include changes you make to my original estimate or if you select inferior products,” she added quickly. 
His smile broadened and his boyish dimple winked at her. 
Was he enjoying this?
Damn him, he was! 
She didn’t like it one bit. He was taking away the control she wanted, needed to have. The excitement she felt when he agreed to hire her vanished. The masculine atmosphere that had floated in the air like cheap cologne when she arrived squeezed around her to uncomfortable. 
“Do we have a deal?” His confident tone implied he knew the answer.

What is your favorite time of year?
Definitely Winter. In Cayman we don’t have seasonal changes in the traditional sense, but between November and February the temperature is cool and windy. Christmas lights, and decorations go up in the stores and in people’s houses and everyone is a little nicer and friendlier than any other time of the year.
Tropical or European vacation?
Without a doubt European. I love learning about other cultures and places that are very different from mine.
Thanks for hosting me, Jennifer and for being such a wonderful supporter.
For more information on Elke Feuer visit her at:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Friday Fun: Meet Author Emma Lai!


It's my pleasure to welcome the fabulous EMMA LAI! She's brought her hot new release, RIDING RODEO. *Yummy cover, Emma* 
You can find out all about Emma and her work at http://emmalaiwrites.wordpress.com/ including Buy Links to all her delicious stories :)
 Emma is giving away a copy of her book to one lucky commentator, so get typing, ladies! LOL  You know you want to read about these hot cowboys.

Hi, Emma! Thanks for being here today.

Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals?

Anyone who’s heard my story probably hates me. I wrote a short in two days, submitted it, heard back in three weeks requesting increased length, sent revisions in, got a contract.
 However, I’ve had my ups and downs. I’ve been asked to cut a scene I was highly attached to. I’ve had my first full-length rejected (really, a rewrite and resubmit--but it’s a painful rewrite, though thankfully not like the scene that ended up on the editing floor.) I’ve received reviews that made me cringe. I’ve met rude writers, though thankfully not editors. I’ve ranted and raved and pulled out my hair, but in the end I return to my keyboard.
 As long as I have readers, I will write.

What music are you listening to lately?

I listen to a wide array of music. As I type this, I’m listening to old country: “When You Say Nothing At All” by Keith Whitley; “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On” by Mel McDaniel; “Convoy” by C.W. McCall; “Crazy” by Patsy Cline; “Daddy’s Hands” by Holly Dunn...among many others. Feel good songs that remind me of carefree childhood days and crazy teen years on a cool Houston day.

The country song I best associate with Riding Rodeo would of course be “Ride a Horse (Save a Cowboy)” by Big & Rich. Though if anyone is a fan of The Sing Off on NBC, Darmouth Aires did an awesome a cappella rendition that was loads of fun. 

Tell us about your real life romance.

I have been married to my amazing husband going on seven years, with no itch in sight. We started off as coworkers twelve years ago and became fast friends because we have similar senses of humor. When we went through our respective nasty divorces to our college sweethearts, we helped each other deal with the anger and depression and all the other negative emotions associated with the process. (Yes, it is true, friends get divided by divorcing couples.)
 The general advice you receive when going through a divorce is not to date for at least two years, but when you find that person who can see you at your worst, support you through it--even make you laugh through it--you don’t let them go.
 We’ve moved halfway across the country, had jobs we hated, lived in places we despised, but none of it mattered because we were together making each other laugh. We’ve had other challenges--financial difficulties and the birth of a child--that tested the strength of any relationship. (Yes, a child is a blessing, but it also puts stress on relationships in never before tested ways.) Now, here we are on the upswing--companies are doing better and the boy-child is a precocious two--and we’re stronger than ever.
 Everything we’ve gone through together only makes us appreciate each other more. He’s my best friend.

What was the best advice you were given leading you to getting published?

If you don’t submit, you don’t get published. So, submit, submit, submit!

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

Every time I write, get into the head of one of my characters, I am essentially switching places with them. But while I enjoy the mini-vacation from my life, I would never trade fantasy for my reality.

Tell us a little about your WIP.

Riding Rodeo is my latest release. It’s part of the Cowboy Kink series from The Wild Rose Press. This, of course, means it’s HOT, HOT, HOT!

Blurb:
The last person Amanda Goodson expected to walk into her bakery was Sean Cassidy, the bareback bronc rider who rode her hard one night and left without a good-bye the next day. Since then, she'd sworn off one-night stands and cowboys, but one look at the man she called Rodeo leaves her hankering for another ride. 

A nasty injury ended Sean's career and left him with nothing but time to contemplate past sins, especially the most damning one...walking out on Amanda, the one woman he couldn't forget. Eager to right the biggest mistake of his life, he finds Amanda--and learns he has competition. Never one to back down from a challenge, he offers to fulfill her darkest fantasy--taking two cowboys for a ride. 

When the dust settles, will Sean's plan to win Amanda's trust backfire or will she risk her heart for one more shot at Riding Rodeo?

What is your favorite time of year?

I have two favorite times of year. Both are when the weather in Houston is in the 60s or low 70s and the sky is clear and beautiful--though a few gray days are fine as well. It’s perfect weather to be outside without being too hot or too cold.

Tropical or European vacation?

Both? I love to travel. I’ve been to Costa Rica in November and Austria in May. The tropics are lovely when the weather at home is cold and Europe is beautiful when spring is in the air. Hubby and I both dream of traveling the world in a couple of years, once the boy-child gets old enough to yell, “Stranger! Danger!” (Though, he’s actually not one to wander beyond our sight, or even outside of 10 feet from us.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Friday Fun: Meet Author Kellie Kamryn!

Please help me welcome my dear friend and fellow Wild Rose Press author, KELLIE KAMRYN. Kellie is on fire this year with 3 (!!!) releases.
You can find out all about Kellie and her wonderful writing and poetry at her site http://www.kelliekamryn.blogspot.com/?zx=3dafb7eb55eb6fa3

Then come on back and chat with us! :)

Hi Kellie! Thanks so much for being here today.

1- Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals?
Well, it wasn't a delightful stroll but it was far from a walk on hot coals! Sure it's had it's trying times, but over the past couple of years, I've gained so much support from other writers it has been great. When I get down about something, there is always someone there to give me a lift. 
2- Where is your favorite place to write?At a secluded place. Since I don't have that- at my computer in my living room. 
3- Do you have critique partners? Yes, I do and I should be kissing the ground she walks on ;) Jennifer is the greatest.(Aw, thanks!) I also have a few other of my fellow Ass Cheek Angels that have taken the time to read my work and they've all brought something valuable to me. 
4- Tell us about your real life romance.There isn't much to tell - yet. *wink* But let's say that after separating from my husband, I'm enjoying life again and getting used to doing a lot of things on my own. I'm very happy right now. 

  5-  If you were going to cast the hero of your book, what actor would get the part?
Depends which book! In Rebound, book 1 in the Love and Balance series which comes out in the New Year, it would be Tom Welling of Smallville fame. In Book 3 it would be Jenson Ackles. An out of shape Chris Hemsworth could pass as Sam from Monkeys, Sex and Other Birthday Surprises. 
6- Do you believe in love at first sight? Lust at first sight - yes! LOL Love is something you can't help and you feel it when you feel it. You could feel it right away for someone, or it might take some time and then suddenly you see someone in a different light. Love is an amazing thing and definitely has the power to heal. And it does sneak up on you when you least expect it ;)
7- What is your favorite dessert/food? Lindt Chocolate Peanut Butter balls 

BLURBS:
Pleasure Island
After finalizing her divorce, Chelsea Hunter came to the resort island of Paradise for some peace and quiet so she could figure out what her next step would be. She hadn’t expected to find herself at an exotic hotel dedicated to pleasures of the flesh. Too bad she doesn’t want sex. 

Jake Davis is back in Paradise after visiting a year ago when his own marriage fell apart. This time his fantasy is to guide a woman through her sexual journey. He hadn’t counted on being paired with the only woman in Paradise who prefers privacy over pleasure! 

Will Jake be able to discover what Chelsea truly needs, or will their journey to Paradise remain
unfulfilled?

Going for Gold -   It was an office Christmas party filled with sexual tension. Gymnastics coach Grant Howard couldn’t keep his eyes off the newly-hired cheerleader coach. And sultry Teena Adams felt the same way, the “rah-rah-rahs” she felt were cheers of unbridled lust. From punch and cookies to sexual escapades gym apparatus, you’ll never look at Christmas parties or a trampoline the same way again. It’s winner-take-all, when lovers are Going for Gold.

 
 
Monkeys, Sex and Other Birthday Surprises
Missy Harder is reluctant to ruin a good thing and meet with her on-line lover, Sam Kentley, in person. Sam is dying to see if the connection they have is real. Humiliated in front of Sam by her brother’s pet capuchin at her surprise birthday party, she wants nothing more than to be left alone. But when Sam refuses to leave her to her misery, they both learn that humor will get you through anything, and sometimes great sex and love sneak up on you when you least expect it. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Friday Fun: Meet Author Lori Leger!

I'm thrilled to welcome my friend and sister Ass Cheek Angel, LORI LEGER to the blog! I met Lori in Orlando and the 2010 RWA conference. Lori has brought two of her releases for us today.
You can find out about Lori and all her writing at her website http://www.lorilegerauthor.com/default.html
then come on back and join us for a chat.

Thanks for being here today, Lori! :)

Hey Jennifer, thanks for inviting me!

What is the most difficult for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions? I know my characters inside and out, and I've been told I'm pretty darn good at the emotional scenes. My downfall is definitely conflict...my natural tendency for happily-ever-afters becomes a hindrance sometimes. That's where my critique partners come in handy telling me something came about a little too easily. Then I go in and add something to throw a wrench in the works. No, she can’t leave him with a smile on his face...she has to leave him wondering if she’ll ever speak to him again.

Do you have critique partners? Definitely. Karen Burns from West Houston RWA is my newest partner and I think I've found my writing soul mate! My daughter in law, Trish is my go to girl. My co-worker/friends at my other job have seen my writing skills morph into something readers can appreciate. Though they don't know everything about the mechanics of writing, their opinions as to whether or not something will work have never let me down.

What music are you listening to lately? Country....always country music. I went to a Trace Adkins concert recently and got to see that long, tall, drink of water up close and personal. Yes, ladies...he's that good looking up close...but...I digress. I bought an autographed CD and that's what's in my car's player right now. My favorite song on it is "Days Like This". So mellow. Oh yeah, I also like Adele even though she's not nearly as good to look at.

Tell us about your real life romance. Ah...if any of you read Some Day Somebody, there are some amazing parallels to Sam and Carrie's story. After 17 years in a bad marriage, which I walked away from with three teenagers and very little else, I started a new career as a computer drafter. Mike was a surveyor there, and it definitely was NOT love at first sight. I joined the car pool and, just like in the story, he made me late for work my second day on the job. I was not happy at all, and let him know about it. Eventually, we discovered we had some things in common. He'd been single for nearly a year and was hating it...just like Sam. He was so funny, and after becoming good friends first, we starting dating. A year later, we were married and seventeen years after that, he's still making me laugh...MOST of the time, anyway.

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book? LOL! If they have any idiosyncrasy that makes them stand out in a crowd...extremely likely!

If you were going to cast the hero of your book, what actor would you get to play the part? Ed Harris for Sam, and an actor called Nick Ballard from my home state of Louisiana for Jackson Broussard. Tall, black hair, blue eyes, he's gorgeous. Check out my website to see the page titled Men of Louisiana to see a picture of him and I think you'll agree.

Tell us a little about your WIP. It's called Hart's Desire and it's a prequel to the third book in my series, Brown Eyed Girl. It's about a teen aged couple back in the seventies, who are kept apart by their parents when she gets pregnant her senior year in high school. Her parents force her to give the child up for adoption, even though she doesn't want to and her boyfriend has no idea about the pregnancy. The real story begins when the couple meets again thirty years later and the hero finds out he's a father.

Blurb for Some Day Somebody
Carrie Jeansonne is single again, with three teenagers in tow, a new career, and searching for a little serenity. What she finds instead is another chance for laughter, and the kind of love she never knew existed, with her new co-worker…Sam Langley.Can the two of them forge a path to happiness in a maze of intrigue and heartbreak before it's too late for them? Or will the mysterious caller who's after Carrie ruin her chance for a happily ever after?

Excerpt from Some Day Somebody

           “Listen, Sam. I’m newly divorced and I’ve got three kids to think about. If you’re just looking for someone to take to bed—”
His hand flew up to stop her mid-sentence. “That’s not what this is about. I’m not interested in a fling. I think you’re a brave, beautiful lady, and I'm impressed as hell at what you’ve accomplished.” He shoved his hands deep into his pockets and tapped the heel of his work boot on the asphalt track. “I’ll be honest with you,” he said, his voice steady. “I never thought I’d have the heart to try this again. But there’s something about you that makes me want to risk it.”
“Sam, I’m not sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.”
“I know you,” he admitted. “I know your favorite food in the world is boiled crawfish, your favorite dessert is homemade banana pudding. You despise daylight savings time. Your favorite color is burgundy, and you look good in it, but you look even better in forest green. I know your favorite song is ‘Hold On’ by Wilson Phillips, but you used to cry every time you heard it because you felt like they wrote it for you. Every Christmas you make it a point to watch A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, and the old version of A Christmas Carol.” He pulled his hands from his pockets and grabbed the back of his neck, elbows forward, as he released his breath in a long, slow hiss. “I’m screwing this up, I know I am.”
Carrie stepped forward to place a hand on his arm. “No, you’re not, and I’m flattered. And maybe once I’m in my new place I can think about it, but my life is too complicated right now—too many unanswered questions to take a step like that. I need to learn to be alone with me for awhile.”
She lifted her hands and dropped them again. “All I can do is to ask you to be patient.” She stared up him, her pulse quickening, as the drums re-established the rhythm in her ears. She had to dig deep for the courage to continue, but she couldn’t stop now. “So, in the meantime, if you find someone else, well, I’d understand if you didn’t want to wait around until I’m ready,” she finished, her voice trailing off to a whisper.
She watched, nervous as a crawfish next to a pot of boiling water, as Sam pulled himself up to his full height. She sucked in her breath and held it. He’s going to say he can’t waste his time waiting on me. She heard him take a deep breath, as though to calm himself. He couldn’t possibly be as nervous as she was. Could he?
“You know, Carrie,” he said, finally, drawing out the four syllables in a slow, seductive manner. “I haven’t always been a patient man—”
Carrie nearly fainted as he stretched out his long, sinewy arm to place a light touch on the tip of her nose.
“—but something tells me you’d be worth the wait.”
The breath whooshed out of her lungs in a rush. Vibrating with nervous tension, she put her hand up to stop him when he tried to say more.
“Don’t,” she said, shaking her head slowly. “There’s nothing you could possibly say to top that.” Carrie backed carefully away from the man, wishing for once, she could afford to let go of her inhibitions. His one-sided grin caused that single dimple to reappear, making her crave to cover it with a slow, lingering kiss. She turned away from the man who stood staring down at her as though she were the best thing since chicken and biscuits.

Blurb for Last First Kiss
      After Giselle Granger's husband dies in a tragic accident, she's left with their two young daughters, and struggling for the strength to live in a world without him.
When Jackson Broussard loses his wife in the same accident, he finds himself free of the woman whose lies and manipulations have made his marriage a living hell. He feels bound to the past by his desire to do right by his friend's widow and children even though Giselle makes it clear she does not want his help.
Can the two former co-workers leave their pasts behind in order to forge a new future together? Or will they be left with nothing more than a last first kiss and two broken hearts?
Excerpt from Last First Kiss
Giselle closed the gap between them. “I’m amazed at you, Jackson. Is there anything you can’t do? You sing, you dance, you played baseball, and you design fantastic grottos. Your uncle says you’re a natural horseman, not to mention the excellent engineering work you do. Is there anything else I should know about?”
“I may have a few more tricks up my sleeve. I guess you’ll have to stick around if you want to find out.”
“I’m extremely impatient. How long are we talking about?”
He shrugged and gave her one of those sexy as hell lopsided grins.
“How long was that?” She inched closer as James Otto’s sultry voice piped out Last First Kiss, one of the sexiest freaking songs she’d ever heard.
He gazed down at her, looking as though he was damn close to losing control. “I didn’t say.”
But damn close wasn’t close enough for Giselle. She reached out a single nailed finger to trace from above his breastbone all the way down to the waistband of his suit. The look on his face was well worth her rare act of bravado. “What’s wrong Jackson? You look surprised.”
Jackson sucked in his breath and lifted both hands, in surrender. “Hey, you’re the one in control. You’re supposed to tell me when you’re ready.”
“Maybe I’m ready for just a little more.” She hooked her finger into the waistband of his swimming trunks and pulled it toward her. Before she could look down for a peek, he grabbed her hand and pulled it away.
Jackson backed her up against the smooth surface of the wall then grabbed her hands and laced his fingers through hers. He raised them above her head, one on each side, effectively pinning her against the wall. Leaning forward, he brushed his mouth against her neck just below her left ear.
Her pulse quickened at the feel of his warm breath on her dampened skin. Instead of kissing her neck as she expected him to, he raised his head to speak softly in her ear.
“I have to tell you, Hon, I don’t mind a little teasing every now and then, but I’m no masochist, and I’m sure as hell no saint. Here lately, being around you is agony.”
“What’s the matter big boy?” she gasped, trying to lighten the mood. “You afraid it’s going to stunt your growth?”
The look Jackson gave her revealed he hadn’t found much humor in this particular situation. 
“What is it you want from me Giselle?” he whispered hoarsely. “I think you know how much I want you, but I need to know how far you’re willing to take this little game of yours.”
Giselle stared into the depths of his hooded eyes, dark with desire. “In time...all the way, but we’re not alone here, Jackson.”
“Red’s a grown man and knows better than to bother us. It’s dark back here.” He brushed his mouth lightly against hers.
She closed her eyes, ready to abandon all will, ready to give him whatever he asked of her.


Some Day Somebody: Book 1 of La Fleur de Love Series
Now available at Amazon http://tinyurl.com/3q74hdh
Last First Kiss: Book 2 of La Fleur de Love Series
Also Available at Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/3dl5tb5