But come on back because Maureen is offering 1 copy of either FUR BALL FEVER OR JAGUAR LEGACY....winner's choice!
Thanks for being her today, Maureen!
Many thanks for the chance to be a guest on your blog, Jennifer. It’s great to be here, and I’m happy to answer some interview questions. Please feel free to comment or ask me any question you want. One commenter will win the book of her choice (either Fur Ball Fever or The Jaguar Legacy).
As a romance author, do you have any advice to women for injecting more romance into their relationships?
I do. At the risk of sounding immodest, the advice I’m about to impart on cranking up your romance quotient is so simple yet so brilliant, I expect to be awarded a significant humanitarian award. Like the Nobel Peace Prize. Or the Order of Canada. Or the coveted Above-and-Below-the-Sheets Romance Upgrade Award.
To put my money where my mouth is, I will share with you the secret for injecting more romance into a relationship, both in and out of the bedroom:
Every man must learn what makes a woman tick.
Yes, folks, it really is that simple.
Since the beginning of time, we women have struggled, sadly with limited success, to instill more romance into our relationships. The good news is, the failure is not our fault. Seriously. The key to living the romantic dream nestles in the capable, not to mention long-fingered, sensitive, well-manicured, sinewy, and delightfully work-roughened hands of our romantically-challenged main squeeze. Think, for example, how wonderful it would be if our man grasped that overt ogling of the waitresses at Hooters was an unconditional no-no; how delightful if our man embraced our hormone-whipped mood swings with a hug, reassuring words, and an offer to clean the toilets; how glorious if our man listened with unfeigned interest to our frustrations, hurts, and complaints—without offering advice on how we should handle the situation; how totally sublime if our man memorized all our most sensitive spots and lavished attention on each and every of them. Frequently. Gently but firmly. The way we love most.
Okay, so I sense skepticism. How, you ask, can we impart this knowledge to our menfolk without indulging in mind-melding or nasty threats involving sharp implements? In the interest of female solidarity, I’m willing to share my mind-blowing ‘how-to’ secret:
Introduce the love of your life to romance fiction.
Okay, so I’m taking the high road and ignoring the eye-rolls. Bear with me. To achieve this goal, I have devised an Action Plan containing Tasks, Sub-Tasks, and Milestones.
The first task is sneaky. It exploits men’s love of logic. This is where you explain to him that romance novels provide unlimited opportunities for a man to plumb the depths (so to speak) of the mysterious world of Venus. In the process, he might even reach new insight into Martians. How, I ask you, can any man in his right mind resist unveiling the feminine mystique--what we love, what we hate, what turns us on, what turns us off, in short, what makes us tick?
Once you reach the first milestone (his buy-in that romance novels offer men untold benefits), it’s time to implement task two. Take a deep breath and drop a hint that, going forward (that’s man-speak, required to indicate you’re on his wave-length), his enlightenment will cause those Gates of Paradise to open more often. And bingo! He’s riveted by the bait of abundant sex. You’ve achieved the second milestone.
At this point, you must advance quickly to task three. Tap into his competitive streak by recounting your recurring fantasy of a man sprawled in an airport chair, legs crossed, waiting for his flight, briefcase and laptop at his feet—a manly man, a hunk who is truly comfortable in his own skin, a studmuffin who is dabbing the tears in his eyes, a hottie who has discarded his business report on financial trends in favor of the latest Nora Roberts bestseller. Assure him that at the end of the day (more man-speak), only real men read romance.
If you’ve done your job properly, you’ll soon hear him beg for Jennifer Jakes’ newest historical romance, or Maureen Fisher’s paranormal, or even romances by lesser-known authors like Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Lori Foster. Simply hand your dude the mushiest romance novel you can find, place a box of tissues within easy reach, and give him space to do the rest.
Mission accomplished! I offer you a transformed man who understands women inside and out. A man who knows what to do to and how to do it to crank up the romance quotient.
Which of your story protagonists do you love best and why?
It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite. Similar to how I feel about my children, I love each and every one of my protagonists equally—for their strengths, flaws, quirks, and all.
For example, while feeling compassion for the failings and foibles of Charley Underhill, heroine of The Jaguar Legacy, I also love her complexity, spunk, and wit. Never boring, Charley is full of contradictions and more than a few hang-ups. And no wonder. An independent woman at heart, she has lived under the thumb of her manipulative and alcoholic mother her entire life. Honest and ethical at heart, she sees no alternative but to tell a lie that nearly destroys her in order to save her mother’s life. Charley’s passion for life bubbles over, while her tendency towards bossiness, rash actions, inquisitiveness, and obstinacy trip her up at every turn. When feeling nervous, which happens a lot around the hunky Alistair Kincaid, she falls back on smart-assed comments, witticisms, and a quirky sense of humor to mask her discomfort. Courageous and resolute, if she believes in a cause, nothing will stop her from doing what she feels is right. In the end, Charley finds within herself the strength of character to overcome emotional trauma, supernatural forces of evil, and mind-numbing fear to save the man she loves.
How did you decide on the topics for your books?
With me, each book is different.
My first book, The Jaguar Legacy, is a paranormal romantic suspense that gives voice to my belief in reincarnation. Triggered by the energy of the archaeological dig, my heroine makes the unnerving discovery that in her past life, she had been an Olmec High Priestess, trained to kill at an early age, and thirsting for power. At the risk of sounding slightly Looney-Tunes, I’m convinced that the past life I wrote about was one of my own. Certainly, it was the part of the book that flowed most easily, the only part that required little or no editing.
A newspaper article about a charity extravaganza called The Fur Ball provided the kernel of the idea for my second book, Fur Ball Fever. What could be more fun than a romantic crime mystery set against a wacky backdrop of animal politics—One for the Money meets Best in Show (with hot sex)? I wanted something funny, something outrageous, something zany. I zeroed in on a pet-napping gone terribly wrong. Throw in two former flames as reluctant allies, an aging flower child auntie, murder, a phony televangelist, a missing trophy wife, several drag queens, a dominatrix or two, the bawdiest nightclub in Atlantic City, and the result is a zany roller-coaster ride of murder and mayhem, culminating in a Fur Ball extravaganza the locals will never forget.
My Work-in-Progress, Cold Feet Fever, is a sequel to Fur Ball Fever. The hero is the Southern hunk of a playboy brother of my hero in Fur Ball Fever. Work? In Sam Jackson’s opinion, the only place God intended a man should exert himself was in the bedroom. Sam is lazy but charming, a commitment-challenged gambler and womanizer, an underachiever with a photographic memory he prefers to hide. He’s irresistible to the ladies. Can you tell I’m in love with him already?
Read more about Maureen Fisher and her books at http://booksbymaureen.com
Maureen Fisher’s Books
The Jaguar Legacy http://amzn.com/B005L40LX6 is an award-winning romance written in the tradition of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (with steamy romance).
Despite the baffling panic attacks that devastated her career, enterprising journalist Charley Underhill barges in on a Mexican archaeological dig, bent sifting rumors from truth about the Curse of the Olmecs. A juicy exposé would restore her reputation and earn money for her mother’s life-saving treatment. If it means lying to a no-good womanizing archaeologist with a sexy Scottish accent, brilliant scientific mind, and penchant for gaudy Hawaiian shirts, so be it.
Uncovering the past is archaeologist Dr. Alistair Kincaid’s purpose in life. Still smarting from his ex-wife’s ruthless betrayal, he fears a premature press leak about his latest discovery, an ancient Olmec city buried in the jungle, will doom his floundering career. He can’t let a snoopy reporter, even one with a quirky sense of humor, smarts, and a dazzling grin, destroy his last chance at success. Or steal his heart.
Together, the couple uncovers long-buried secrets best left alone, including the long-lost art of shapeshifting. Strands from past lives intertwine with the present, drawing Charley and Kincaid deeper into a legacy of danger, romance, and evil. Torn between saving her mother’s life and betraying the man she loves, Charley must make the impossible choice as atonement for sins committed in her past life.
Excerpt (The Jaguar Legacy)
Kincaid took care to hide his elation. She'd practically admitted to having feelings for him. He lowered his voice to what he hoped was an enticing rumble. “We can take it slowly, one day at a time.”
“That won’t make the least bit of difference.”
This wasn’t going the way he’d planned, but it was too late to back off now. “I know you don’t trust men, but I promise I will never lie to you.”
Charley’s voice quivered. “I’m not ready for this. Everything’s moving too fast.” She turned her back on him.
“I’ll make you a deal.” He swung her around to face him and clasped her hand in both of his. “I’ve never forced myself on a woman and I don’t intend to start now. I promise I’ll try to keep my hands to myself. The next move will be up to you. I won’t touch you, well, unless I forget, until you tell me you’re ready. Willing and eager would be good too.”
Her eyes flickered, then widened in surprise. "Clever. You’re putting me in the driver’s seat.”
He didn’t feel so clever right now. “Aye. Another of my many virtues,” he said, wishing he could retract his promise.
“Don’t hold your breath waiting for me to change my mind,” she warned with a steely smile.
He hid the queasy feeling behind a forced grin. What had he been thinking? He should have moved in for the kill when he’d sensed that, with a wee bit more convincing on his part, she'd have conceded defeat.
“This doesn’t mean I’m giving up without a fight.” He furrowed his brow to emphasize his next words. “I intend to use my killer wit and fatal charm in every devious manner known to man and beast to convince you to change your mind.”
“Suit yourself.” She clamped her mouth shut in a stubborn line and set off down the dark path toward camp …..
Fur Ball Fever http://amzn.com/B005LIALVEis a romantic crime mystery spiked with attitude (most of it warped), tons of humor, and enough steamy sex to drive those who dare read it racing for a cold shower. One reader described it as One for the Money meets Best in Show.After a lifetime of impetuous mistakes, pet spa owner Grace Donnelly outdoes herself when she loses her elderly client’s prize pooch—a shoo-in to win the annual Jersey Shore Fur Ball. Money, careers, and lives are in jeopardy. Too bad her helpers consist of an aging hippie aunt, a renegade schnauzer, and a drag queen. Worst of all, the only man truly qualified to help is her former flame, the hunkiest bodyguard north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Security specialist Nick Jackson faces his worst nightmare when Grace’s amateur investigation nearly blows his undercover operation. Unless he nails the con-artist who scammed local seniors and whacked a witness, his homicidal granddaddy will take justice into his own liver-spotted hands. To salvage his case, his sanity, and his ex-lover’s velvety skin, Nick joins forces with the sassy crusader who rubs him the wrong way—and so many right ways too.
Action bounces between a beach harboring washed-up corpses, a fancy yacht no honest preacher could possibly afford, and the bawdiest nightclub in Atlantic City. Hazards multiply like bunnies until exploding into romance, murder, and mayhem culminating in a Fur Ball extravaganza the locals will never forget.
Excerpt (Fur Ball Fever)When Nick freed Grace's lips, her breath was coming hard and fast. More turned on than she could ever remember, she took another risk. Still gasping for air, she explained, “Most bondage scenarios revolve around a fantasy.” She paused for a beat, gathering her courage. “You said I’d be in charge,” she reminded him. “I want to act out a fantasy.”
He gave an audible gulp. “Anything specific?”
“Mmmm-hmmm,” she said around a deep, shuddering breath. One fantasy had tantalized her thoughts and tormented her dreams ever since she’d laid eyes on Nick. Breathing hard, she raised her head. “You’re the white knight. I’m a fair maiden you’re rescuing from the clutches of an evil ogre who has tied her up.”
His eyes blazed. “I can live with that, darlin’,” he said. “Is this fair maiden conscious or unconscious?”
A wave of hot desire thickened her speech. “Sleeping. The white knight is trying to awaken her.” Suffused with the heady liberation of surrender, Grace closed her eyes and held her breath. She didn’t have to see Nick to feel the heat of his gaze scalding her skin. The tension became unbearable.
Then the mattress sank under his weight. Although he didn’t touch her, his body radiated heat. The aroma of sandalwood and hungry male enveloped her. She compressed her lips on the moan that struggled to escape. If the white knight didn’t do something, and fast, she would jump clear out of her skin—if she wasn’t cuffed to the bed.
His mouth skimmed her cheek, trailed heat down her jaw line, feathered tiny kisses down her neck. He stopped above her right breast. She pictured him staring. Her nipples throbbed with anticipation, longing for the tug of his mouth. She held her breath, squeezed her eyes shut, forced her body to remain motionless. This was too good, too delicious, to break the spell. Her body was on fire simply from imagining his next move.
The mattress shifted. She opened one eye a slit to find him kneeling between her legs. Closing the eye quickly—before he noticed the fair maiden was wide awake and more than ready for action—she waited, clenched and quivering …….
Both books are available at Amazon http://tinyurl.com/7zvucl3 and Smashwords http://tinyurl.com/86uoetb
Remember, one commenter will win the book of her choice (either Fur Ball Fever or The Jaguar Legacy).
Good luck, and thank you!