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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Friday Fun: Meet Megan Kelly! + Give*Away!


Please help me welcome my friend and RWA chapter mate, the talented MEGAN KELLY!
Thank you for having me here, Jennifer.
I'm offering two items today to one commenter who will be drawn at random. 1) a .pdf version of either Holly & Ivey or Santa Dear (winner's choice) and 2) a hand-knit scarf resembling one featured in Holly & Ivey. There's a fun scene when this comes into play. I wanted to honor the story and give the readers a little something extra. (I'll need the winner's email and home addresses to award both items.)
Now, what do you want to know, Jennifer?

 Do you have critique partners?
Let me shout a resounding YES to this. My crit partners supported me through the writing of HOLLY & IVEY. They steered me back on the path, told me when I was being too cute or obscure, read fast and read through the holidays for me. I had extra helpers this time, including a beta reader.
One of my techie partners held my hand through the self-publishing part. Me, formatting and uploading? Pass the tequila!  Someone rushed me emergency chocolate. Others cheered from the sidelines. It takes a village for me to produce a book.
Tell us about your real life romance. I have the most supportive husband on the planet. He's grown used to my odd hours. In fact, he's often rising for work when I'm going to bed. Earlier this week, I told him my character was unexpectedly injured and it screwed up my entire idea for the next chapter--that now this really cool thing couldn't happen. He asked why and I said because my character sprained his ankle!  "Why did he sprain his ankle?" my DH asked. My response: "I don't know. I didn't plan for that to happen."  He nodded and said, "I understand."
And he does.
 Now, that's love.
 If you could time travel would you go forward or backward? No. [grinning]
I wouldn't go forward because I'd worry about messing with the time continuum. If I went backward, I wouldn't change things, but I'd spend time with my father who died when I was too young to appreciate him.
 If you could switch places with one of your characters would you? I don't think so. I've already been them, in a sense, when they emerged from my fingertips. My characters all find everlasting love, and I have that. (I'm sounding like a total dweeb, aren't I?)
 Tell us a little about your WIP. "Holly & Ivey: Christmas in Stilton" came about due to a publisher's call for a holiday story. Three friends helped me brainstorm it one night in a hotel. I believe wine was involved. Since I'd planned a vacation already which overlapped the deadline date, I chose to publish it myself instead of rushing the writing. I learned so much during the process, but it never would have come together so well without the help from my friends. As stated in disclaimers in the front of books: all screwed up parts are my fault (or words to that effect).

Thank you for having me, and thanks to everyone for reading along. Please visit my website at http://www.megankellybooks.com.
  
BLURB:
"HOLLY & IVEY: Christmas in Stilton"  Holly MacDonald rushes to the town she left as a child to prevent her friend from marrying an unfaithful groom. Her old buddy, Luke Ivey, is the best man and intends to stop her interference. She's no longer his tomboy pal, and he's no longer her nerdy sidekick. They fall for each other despite their different views on the wedding. But when "The Wedding March" fades and Christmas is over, will they stay together?



Holly & Ivey excerpt:

Santa Dear buy links:





Sunday, November 25, 2012

Man Candy Monday!


 I'm using country music singer, Luke Bryan, as inspiration for my current hero, Sinclair Bradford. If you haven't heard Luke's latest song, you should! Enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5M_rT89kxY

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Friday Fun : Meet Ashlyn Mathews!! + Give*Away!


Jennifer,
Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I’d love to offer your readers a chance to win Shadow Watcher delivered to their Kindle or Nook. Also, I’m running a contest on my website, www.ashlynmathews.com, to win all three of my books. Good luck!

Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals? My road to publication was easy. Sometimes so easy, I’m embarrassed to admit it. However, it’s the “after” that was the most challenging. For Shadow Watcher, I was asked by my editor to do a “wholesale rewrite.” What that meant was several subplots were cut, secondary characters were killed off, and my premise of the hero and heroine being soul mates was abandoned. I also went from a 75k manuscript to 55k. That happened in 3 weeks. I agonized and cried over the changes. However, in the end, I hunkered down and rewrote/revise, and I think my story is better for it.

What is the most difficult for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions? Conveying emotion on paper is the hardest for me. Conflict I get. My characters I know from birth before I write their stories. But to convey emotion in a non-cliché manner is hard. I remember with Shadow Watcher, my editor was like, this is a romance. Readers expect your characters to show or tell us what they feel. I’m very action oriented so I try to convey my characters’ emotions through action. That may or may not be the right way to do it, but that’s what has worked for me. A character can only cry or smile in so many different ways, lol.

Do you have critique partners? I don’t have critique partners but I use two or three consistent beta readers who give me a general idea of what they like/dislike, any plot holes, and clarification points that need addressing. They don’t focus on grammar but the overall picture. I find this process more useful than a critique group or partner. When I have used critique partners or a group, I find that it takes me longer to finish a book because I’m constantly changing things based on that critique. Then I doubt myself and it becomes a spiraling free fall of constant rewrites and edits which I don’t have the patience for. I get really cranky, lol. I’m sure for some writers, a critique group is invaluable. I say do whatever works!

What music are you listening to lately? I like to listen to angsty, haunting music that represents my books. For Shadow Watcher, I suggest Skillet’s Awake and Alive. For If Only, it’s 3 Doors Down’s Here By Me. Right now, I’m listening to Richard Marx’s Hazard based off of a fellow author’s top 10 favorite tunes. Mostly, I like rock. But I enjoy all types of music. For my latest WIP, Echo UnMarked, it’s the Phantom of the Opera.

Tell us a little about your WIP. My next WIP is Echo UnMarked, a Shadow Watcher novel. I have some ideas of a plot but nothing concrete yet. Readers can find a blurb and excerpt on my website www.ashlynmathews.com.

Favorite romance movie? One of my favorite romance movies is House of Flying Daggers. The movie begs the question of “Is there such a thing as love at first sight?” It’s a tragic love story with a love triangle set in the forefront of an impending war. I’ve watched it several times and the ending still has me grabbing for my box of Kleenex.

Blurb for Shadow Watcher: Demon Hunter Sophie Sinclair and ex-Homicide Detective Ryan Campbell are pitted against one another, tested by mysterious forces in a dangerous game of secret identities, contracts for murder, and past betrayals.
Sophie Sinclair was presumed dead. When an enemy’s transmitter reveals her existence, she must return home to bargain for her ex-lover’s life and face the unanswered questions from her past.
Ryan Campbell is a reluctant fighter. Bitter since his father’s murder, he wants nothing to do with the paranormal world. When his act of betrayal is discovered, he must do the unthinkable to save his life.
Duty above love, duty above family, and to protect the weak from the strong. Sophie has always lived by her family’s motto. Will she choose to protect the ex-lover from her past or the reluctant fighter who could be her future? She can save only one man.
If Only (Available 12/3/12):  One night. One accident. A friendship torn. A chance at love lost.
Excerpt:
A funeral was the worst place for a reunion. Beneath her umbrella, Asa kept her head lowered. Otherwise, her eyes would be drawn to the man standing in front of the casket, his shoulders hunched beneath his suit, his gaze down cast as cold rain fell from the skies.
Rhys Miles. The man who had hurt her with an insensitive comment during one of the most memorable nights of her life, and a man she had hurt in return with her own painful words. The minister’s final prayer and the whispers of “Amen” from the handful of mourners pulled Asa out of her thoughts. Giving the casket one last glance, she hurried away, but wasn’t quick enough.
 “You weren’t invited, Asa.”
Rhys’s tone was harsh and filled with animosity. Asa dug her nails into her palm and gripped the umbrella’s handle tight. Yet, beneath his dislike of her was a grief she could relate with, and for his sadness, she stopped and faced the man who used to be one of her good friends.
“I loved your grandmother, and she cared about me. I have every right to be here.”
Unlike the other mourners, who came prepared with an umbrella in hand, Rhys appeared to enjoy the rain as he tilted his face to the sky. The ink of his hair appeared darker than her own strands of black, if that were possible, while his suit molded to his body like a woman offering him her comfort.
He was a tall guy. If things were different between them, she could share in his grief and settle her head on his chest, over the spot above his heart. She’d run her fingers across the straight brows over his intense hazel eyes then down the chiseled plane of his face before she would press her lips to his cheek.
But their situation remained the same for the past year. He avoided her. She tried to forget him. It hadn’t been easy. Asa waited for him to say something, anything. The rain continued to fall while his silence echoed in her ears.
Taking a deep breath, he redirected his attention back on her. “You might’ve been Jo’s neighbor, and yeah, she might’ve loved you like you were her own flesh and blood, but she damn well knows how I feel about you.”
How I feel about you. His last words whispered hot on her forehead. The umbrella, with its edges tipped upward, should’ve distanced them. Instead it concealed their exchange from curious stares as the others filtered to their cars leaving her alone with him.
Shoving her free hand inside her coat pocket, Asa mentally counted to ten. The simple task proved difficult. She hadn’t been this close to Rhys since they had slept together at a party almost a year ago.
He had loosened the tie around his neck, exposing tan skin she remembered flicking her tongue over, the salty taste of him from their lovemaking still embedded deep in her memory. Through the smell of wet rain, she caught a whiff of his deodorant. Old Spice. Sexy, familiar, and very much Rhys.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Friday Fun! Celery, Sex and Other Things ....


I have a weird and raunchy sense of humor. Tell me a dirty joke, I won’t only laugh, I’ll share it with the world!
The Harder series began with Monkeys, Sex and Other Birthday Surprises. It was supposed to be a stand-alone erotic short story, but then Missy’s family started telling me their stories! I figured I’d better listen to the voices in my head so they would shut up.
To get through most things in life, I believe you need a sense of humor. Thank goodness for mine! The second book in the series, Celery, Sex and Other Good Things for the Heart is another comedy about two people taking a chance and trying to get it right. In real life, mistakes happen. People have misunderstandings. Love and sex don’t always go according to plan. This is what I want my characters to do to. Go after what you want, be willing to laugh at yourself, love fiercely, be naughty and have fun! Beware – this book is an erotic experience that will be sure to make you laugh out loud!
Blurb:
On the eve of her sister’s birthday party, Miranda knows her sister will be getting some action from her dream man. After all, Miranda did orchestrate them meeting in person. Jealous, Miranda thinks it’s high time she get some herself, and who better to satisfy her needs than her hot friend, Dan? But she doesn’t like it vanilla, and worries that Dan may be all talk and no action.
Thrilled doesn’t begin to describe Dan’s feelings when he and Miranda finally agree to act on their attraction. He knows she struggles to maintain control of situations, largely due to her unpredictable family who create havoc in her life. He is willing to let her take control in the bedroom, but knows he has to make her see that surrendering to him is what she really needs.
Throw in her interfering family, a surprise visit from her brother and his pet primate, Miranda’s wish to make an ordinary vegetable sexy, and it makes for an evening neither one will soon forget. These lovers discover that love is even better for your heart than celery.
Excerpt:
She shrugged and opened the refrigerator, rummaging around inside. “We’re a weird bunch in my family.”
“No shit. Okay, let me get this straight—you’re willing to blow me to A. make your sister jealous, or B. brag to her?”
Glancing at him over the top of the fridge door, her expression one like he’d sprouted two heads. “Blowing you? Presumptuous.” Ducking down again, she opened a drawer. “Damn—I need to get groceries. All I have is celery.” She straightened, waving a stalk of celery, the leaves bobbing from side to side.
“Rabbit food?” he questioned.
“Celery is good for the heart, the digestion, and it helps you feel full so you don’t want to snack.” She closed the fridge and placed one hand on her hip.
Now he looked at her as if she’d grown another head. “Say what?”
She rolled her eyes, and said, “I’ve been trying to lose weight, remember? I’ve added more veggies to my diet.”
He grabbed the piece of celery from her hand, and tapped her nose with the leaves. “You don’t need to diet. You’re perfect just the way you are.” His gaze roved her curvaceous form, his loins tightening in response. Brushing the celery leaves against her cheek, he stared back into her eyes. “Every sexy inch of you.”
She snatched the vegetable out of his hand. “Celery isn’t sexy.” A mischievous light sparkled in her eyes. “Or is it?”
Available now at:

Bio:
Kellie Kamryn spends most of her days as a sweet lady working as an occasional chauffeur, part-time cook, half-time maid, arm-chair psychologist, and full-time captain of her crew. In her spare time, she brings out her sassy side using her imagination to write stories and poetry that sweep herself and readers into other worlds. Whether you like it sweet, or hot and steamy, Kellie is sure to write something to melt your heart or your undies! Her vivid story-telling and quirky sense of humor have gained her numerous 5-star reader and reviewer reviews. Multi-talented, she does voice work recording audiobooks, available on Amazon, iTunes, Audible and other retailers. Readers can visit with her at www.kelliekamryn.com to check out all the books she has to offer, or chat with her on facebook: www.facebook.com/KellieKamryn or twitter https://twitter.com/KellieKamryn