Tag Archive | paranormal romance

Renee Bernard: Devil To Pay

VBT_TourBanner_DevilToPay copy

Renee will be giving away $50 B&N or Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

 Interview With Renee Bernard

Renee: Thank you so much for having me, Susana! It’s a thrill to be here. Just a year ago, I would have made it to the settee in the Parlour as a historical romance author but since I’ve recently added paranormal romantic comedy to my bookshelf with my new series, I get to see the Morning Room and leave my corset in my closet to talk about a whole new world of writing for me.

Susana: What advice would you give writers just starting out?

Renee: I think it’s easy to repeat clichés like “follow your heart” and “write the books that you want to write” but I remember all the similar lectures about “building your brand” and “sticking to one genre/note until you are established so you don’t lose traction” and that trend of advice doesn’t ring true either. Each side is a partially accurate view but when you’re starting out, I think it can feel very murky as you find your feet.

I’m about eighteen books into a career and here’s what I would share with a new writer: Brand is no longer about genre so you do get to write the stories you want to, no matter where your muse leads you. But I’m not recommending you create a cult of personality either… What I mean is that more and more, it’s about craft. You have more freedom in this market to explore, to tell new stories and stretch your wings . But that means you also have to make sure that what you’re putting out there is rock solid. Grammar, people. Structure. Style. Formatting. Editing. And Polish. All those boring things it’s easy to gloss over and forget in the heat of battle.

Author Pic_Devil to Pay copyAnd it is a creative battle but you have to make sure that you are well armed with all those old-school tools first. Hitting the publishing button is easy. Taking back a nightmare impression from an amateur rough draft full of errors is really hard. Your craft is your brand. Respect yourself and your writing by taking the time you need to get it right. The rest will follow.

Susana: When was the moment you knew you had to be a writer?

Renee: I think I always dabbled, I was always writing something and was that nerdy kid no one liked because I was excited when the teacher asked us to write a paper and usually asked if it could be longer than assigned. I’d write plays instead of essays for extra credit and practically lived in the library. I knew I wanted to be a writer when two things happened. The first thing was I read a Very Badly written romance and it occurred to me that if that person could jump the barriers and be published, then I might stand a chance. The second thing was 9/11. Suddenly I knew that putting off a dream was just not the way I wanted to live my life anymore. I wasn’t going to wait to try. I took the leap and I never looked back. I would write and I would write Happily-Ever-Afters because the world needs them now more than ever.

Susana: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Renee: What’s not in the blurb is that I didn’t just break the rules with my bad boy hero—but I broke the rules about contemporary heroines while I was at it. Personally, as a romance reader, I am a little tired of the wounded woman model. I was tired of lead female characters who had to have baggage, insecurities, previously bad relationships or some secret abuse or horror in their past that was keeping them from love. I think women are getting too used to identifying with a character’s weaknesses to tie in and see themselves in the story or the heroines are so fantastically beyond average we can’t touch them. Why can’t we tie in to our strengths and see that reflected on the page? Why can’t we celebrate the best in ourselves as women in romances and inspire readers to see happiness and true love as something well within their reach?

Why can’t the central female character be whole and healthy? If she’s quirky can it be only because she has a sense of humor and an aversion to plastic personalities? Jayne Hamilton in Devil To Pay breaks the mold because she proves that we can conquer the world without doing gymnastic ninja moves in high-heeled boots, skin-tight cat suits and wielding firearms.

Susana: Describe the “perfect hero”. What about the “perfect hero” for you?

Renee: I think it’s a hold-over from being a historical romance author but I have a soft spot for heroes who are gentlemen. Whether he is alpha-strong or beta-sweet, I think the perfect hero knows how to demonstrate respect for others with an old world approach to boundaries. The perfect hero will put others’ needs before his own, will sacrifice anything for the woman he loves and will protect anyone weaker than himself. He does what’s right whenever he’s given a choice and if he breaks the rules, he’ll win hearts. He’s flawed and three-dimensional enough to pay for his sins and never prone to the easy path.

In Devil To Pay, it turns out that the last guy you’d ever suspect of still being an Angel is the man behind the black onyx desk at Hades Enterprises, LLc and I loved the comic twist of making Lucifer the perfect hero that will make every woman start looking at Angels and Demons in a whole new way.

For me, the perfect hero stays with every reader long after the book closes.

Susana: Is there a writer you idolize? If so, who? What author or authors have most influenced your writing?

Renee: The writer I idolized first and still worship a bit is Laura Kinsale for taking romances to the next level with her story-telling, craft and language. Her writing was a revelation to me because of the depth and layers to her characters. She inspired me to think that romance could be a vehicle for pure magic and that I could express more in stories than I’d ever thought possible. She kicked open doors and probably inspired a new generation of writers to pull up to a keyboard.

Robin Schone was also a tremendous influence when I first started because she tucked me under her wing and mentored me. The courage in her writing was jaw-dropping to me but her steadfast support of friends and fellow artists introduced me to the generosity of the romance writing community and inspires me to try to do everything I can for my fellow writers (both established and aspiring).

The list of authors who’ve impacted me is actually long and I could go on and on… I feel very blessed to have met so many talented writers and I never take for granted the gift of their advice and supportive presence.

Susana: What is your work schedule like when writing?

Renee: It’s a ruthless quest. My youngest is finally in kindergarten so my writing schedule has only recently become something resembling a normal workday. I have never been a late night writer and motherhood locked that in as my brain turns to oatmeal after ten from a day of entertaining the girls and trying to keep them both happy, alive and well. School is a godsend but even so, it is still catch as catch can as I provide care for my mother-in-law, juggle domestic duties and try to keep up with my heroic husband who is in constant motion. I write whenever the opportunity exists, escape to a local coffee shop when feasible to get away from some of the noise, take notes on my phone or wherever I am, and dream of becoming a writing hermit in my own tiny house hidden in the forest somewhere…

Even so, the next book Devil May Care will be out in February 2015, then look for Devil of a Job and Devil in the Details before too long. The grass isn’t growing under my feet so I’d better find the time to write or I think I’ll be in trouble with a few readers.

Susana: What is the one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

Renee: The secret about never wearing open-toed shoes is already out there but they might be surprised to know that I’m the world’s worst singer of karaoke, ghost comedy clubs at amateur open mike nights to make sure I stay brave and have a fear of fireworks.

Susana: What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

Renee: I would love to have more romantic comedy and paranormal romance readers find the new series and earn a place on their bookshelves. I’d love to gain new readers and make sure I’m staying connected to all my friends. In addition to The Eternity Gambit series that Devil To Pay leads off, I have a new historical romance series coming out set in Victorian London, The Duchess Club; a new dystopian series, The Imbalance; and the goal of one or two stand alone novels. I’m determined to write and publish at a better pace so that I can afford to attend more conferences and travel for research and for fun.

It’s a lot to take on but as always, I prefer to reach for the stars if I can and then even if I don’t make it, I know I’m still further along than I was at the start of my journey!

I want to say one thing more about writing romance. In the hierarchy of respected genres, it surprises me to find that romance is so often on the bottom. Authors of children’s books have more street cred. The college I graduated from celebrates graduates turned authors of murder mysteries and dark fiction with tortured characters and invites them to hold conferences about literature and art. But I will never get that invitation, no matter how many times I might hit the NYT bestseller’s list or even the silver screen one day. If I once felt like pouting about that, I’m over it now. Writing takes courage. The only approval you need is a reader’s and at the end of the day, they are your only care.

Some authors claim that they stand alone and don’t care what anyone thinks. That courage escapes me. But in the new year and in every year to come, my only resolution is to never apologize for writing good stories that entertain, characters that linger and following the path ahead wherever it leads into a brave, new world. I love writing romances and I love romance readers. They are the most loyal, intelligent and fun fans a person could pray for and I feel very blessed to be anywhere on their bookshelves!

About Devil To Pay

Cover_DevilToPay copyWorkplace comedy is always fun but when the company in question in H.E.LLc (Hades Enterprises LLc) and your job is being Lucifer, let’s just say, there are some unique challenges beyond Casual Fridays and who keeps taking your lunch out of the break room. Even if Hell really is just a place where evil is tracked and analyzed in endless cubicles-no brimstone and not a human soul in sight-there’s no room for error. This Lucifer (who is the seventh unlucky archangel to get the position behind the black onyx desk) is about to have his entire world rattled when a very sweet and likable mortal woman crosses his path.

After all, angels can’t lie. And when Jayne Hamilton wants to know what he does for a living, all bets are off. Because “dating” isn’t exactly in the cosmic scheme of the Eternity Gambit, but Love… Well, Love is never really off the table.

Now, if Lucifer can just figure out how to win the girl and get himself fired, he’ll be one very very happy angel.

“Filled with sparkling wit and devilish charm, DEVIL TO PAY is a delightful visit to the Shangri-La of Hell!” — Erin Quinn, The Three Fates of Ryan Love, NYT Bestselling Author

AmazonSmashwordsBarnes & Noble

Excerpt

“You’re mental, right?”

“I think if we were having this conversation in a basement decorated with torn out newspaper articles, black-light posters and me drooling about how I have conversations with dogs and wear tinfoil underwear, you might have a case.” Luke deliberately glanced around the room, silently pointing out the lack of “mental” revealed by his beautifully appointed modern office and furnishings. If it weren’t for the black onyx desk, it would be easy to mistake it for an extraordinary executive’s digs. “I think we can rule out insanity—on both sides of this argument.”

“Right, since I’m not the one proclaiming to be the Prince of Darkness,” she said with a touch of sarcasm she couldn’t prevent. After all, even pretending to take him seriously made her consider that she might not be firing on all cylinders. Her hands were shaking, so she pressed them together as firmly as she could. Were crazy people like bees? Could they smell fear?   “Is it possible you’re just a very wealthy man in need of medication?”

“Sure. Anything is possible,” he conceded, his open smile disarming her as he was obviously beginning to genuinely enjoy the debate. “Jayne, I could be an eccentric billionaire intent on impressing you by pretending to be Lucifer.   Stranger things have happened.”

“Name one thing stranger than this.”

“Besides the fashion of the 80’s and people who resemble their dogs?”

“Only Renee Bernard could make dating Satan sexy as sin! Funny, fresh, irreverent and utterly adorable!” – Dakota Cassidy, National Bestselling Author

First book in the new Eternity Gambit series from USA Today bestselling author Renee Bernard. This is a romantic comedy series with an original paranormal twist that defies categorization and turns every notion of Heaven and Hell on its ear.

About the Author

What in the world is a retired Navy chaplain’s daughter doing writing scorching hot historical romances and paranormal romantic comedies and even comic books? Renee Bernard is applying a great education from traveling all over the world to story telling and doing her best to keep her father proud. Truthfully, her father is her number one fan, even though he has sworn never to read a single word of her books (a vow he has kept to this day!) Nothing stops him from telling everyone he knows that his daughter is now a USA Today Bestselling author or from handing out bookmarks on the golf course. Love can make even a minister do strange things!

Renee Bernard is a freelance writer and host of “The Romance Bookmark” on Readers Entertainment, as well as a contributor to Romantic Times BookReviews magazine. Renee currently lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California. (Note an interesting proximity to great wineries!)

Devil To Pay is available now online wherever books are sold and is coming soon to Audio! The Eternity Gambit series is a fun departure from her well-known Victorian set historical romances and creates a new world for readers unlike any other. Devil To Pay is the first book in this new series and is gathering up 5-Star reviews and momentum as more readers discover that office politics can hit a whole new level of crazy when you work at Hades Enterprises, LLc (or H.E.LLc).

WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Advertisements

Carolyn Wren: Ghosts of Grace Cottage

BBT_GhostsOfGraceCottage_Banner copy

Carolyn will be awarding a $50 gift card to winner’s choice of Amazon or Secret Cravings Publishing to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About Ghosts of Grace Cottage

Eloisa Waters is creating a new life for herself. After travelling for twelve months, she comes home at Christmas, purchasing a small country cottage in a sleepy English village, despite the fact its previous owner was a recluse, the original owner was supposedly a witch, and it’s now rumored to be haunted!

On the first night in her new home, sensual erotic dreams surprise and delight her. Only these aren’t dreams. The rumors are true. Two handsome Regency ghosts inhabit the cottage, becoming corporeal at night, trapped by a curse, compelled to satisfy every desire of the new owner.

Elly begins to fall in love with Anton and Phillipe, her charming ghostly lovers. But is there more? Can the curse be broken? Or does Elly risk her own soul. As Christmas approaches, and memories surface, how will Elly choose? How can she possibly leave behind the Ghosts of Grace Cottage?

AmazonBarnes & NobleARe • iBooks

Secret Cravings Publishing • Smashwords

Excerpt

“You can’t avoid bringing up the subject of Christmas with me. It’s everywhere I look.” She gestured to the fairy lights in the trees and the snowman in the garden next door. “Just because I’m not up to all the festivities this year doesn’t mean everyone else has to suffer.”

Cover_GhostsofGraceCottage copy“I don’t know why you don’t buy a lovely new place with the life insurance money.”

“My folks always wanted a country cottage. Maybe in some ways I’m fulfilling their dream.”

Sally yanked the collar of her coat higher as a chill breeze flew along the quiet country lane. “You know she died there,” she whispered. “The previous owner, I mean.”

“Miss Hardy was ninety-two years old. She had to die somewhere.”

“Doesn’t it freak you out?”

“Nope, from what I hear she had a long and happy life.”

“Really?” Sally shivered. “I don’t know where you get that idea. She was a recluse who wouldn’t let anyone inside the house to do repairs and renovations. That’s why it’s so cheap. Did you hear the rumors? Some people say she used to talk to herself, and strange noises came from inside late at night.” Her voice dropped back to a whisper. “Maybe it’s haunted. I heard another rumor too. They say a witch might have lived here a couple of hundred years ago.”

Elly laughed. “Sal, honey, I think you need to go back to realtor school. Your selling method leaves a lot to be desired.” Her eyes turned once again to the faded beauty of the old home, and her voice was determined. “I want it.”

About the Author

AuthorPic copyI was born in England. My parents loved to travel as my dad spent many years in the navy. By the time I reached the age of 12 we had traveled pretty much around the world on cruise ships.

This sounds fun and exciting unless like me you can get sea sick sitting in a bathtub. Lets just say boats do not feature highly in my books.

I still love to travel, but I use planes. All of my life I have written stories in my head. I would rewrite and add characters to TV shows, edit and change novels I was reading, invent scenarios and scenes to amuse myself on long journeys. But strangely I never wrote any of them down. About three years ago I woke up with a scene so clear in my head I knew I had to put it down on paper. Now, what should I do with this one page of prose? I know, I will email it to some friends. The friends approved, in fact they asked what book it was from. I shyly admitted it was my own work and the reaction was immediate…please write the next bit! I did and I have not stopped writing since.

 WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Ash Krafton: Words That Bind

VBT Words That Bind Tour Banner copy 2

Ash will be awarding a $25 gift card to Amazon or BN as well as a unique handmade book-inspired keychain to a randomly drawn commenter. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

Daydreaming in Detail:

Finding inspiration in imagery

I am a very visual person.

Even though I am first and foremost a writer, I have an artistic mind’s eye—I literally watch my stories as they unfold inside my head, and write what I see. Sounds a lot like a delusional condition, but, no worries. It’s just how I write.

MEDIA KIT Author Photo retro smaller copyI always have a notebook on me because I never know when I’ll see something that inspires me. For the same reason, I’m never without my phone (a Nokia with an incredible camera). Anyone looking though my pictures might think they are completely random, what-am-I-missing kinds of shots—but, to me, I see an opportunity for words to sprout.

My characters aren’t flat, 2-d creations. I fantasy cast each my books, using conglomerations of several people to capture the essence of whom I’m writing. I watch and re-watch specific movies because someone or something just resonates with a piece I’m writing. Every detail is important—the sound of their voices, the gestures, the setting…all of it goes into the fabric of my daydreams, my story machine.

Over the last year or so, I have been cultivating my Pinterest pages. Not only is it a scrapbook for every nerdy gem I find (especially for Whovian antics and Cumberbatchery) but also a depository for the images that inspire the tiny details of my stories.

Of particular interest is the page for my current book, Words That Bind. This is a tale of a genie and his social worker—so the settings range from ancient Persia to modern-day Philadelphia. With such a wide scope of settings, you know there is potential for a treasure-trove of imagery…and I started collecting them on Pinterest.

Not only do I have the book’s cover and my publisher’s graphic, I started collecting images of the sights and characters of the story. There are lamps and palaces, tigers and talismans. (My genie doesn’t live in a lamp, exactly, but the imagery of bejeweled ornate treasures definitely feed his characterization. Burns loves shiny things.)

From time to time, I would take a break from writing and just browse pictures, wondering if I’ll find something to add to the story, another glimmering facet on the gemstone. Thanks to other Pinners, I’ll never run out of inspiration, either.

Pinterest isn’t only about my books, either. Countless authors are “pinning” their books, making it a great place to discover not only pictures, but great reads. I have a feeling I’ll be a pinner for life.

What about you? Have you been pulled into the world of Pinterest? If so, share your favorite board with us!

About Words That Bind

Social worker Tam Kerish can’t keep her cool professionalism when steamy client Mr. Burns kindles a desire for more than a client-therapist relationship—so she drops him. However, they discover she’s the talisman to which Burns, an immortal djinn, has been bound since the days of King Solomon…and that makes it difficult.

Ethical guidelines are unequivocal when it comes to personal relationships with clients. However, the djinn has a thawing effect on the usually non-emotive Tam, who begins to feel true emotion whenever he is near. Tam has to make a difficult choice: to stay on the outside, forever looking in…or to turn her back on her entire world, just for the chance to finally experience what it means to fall in love.

Wild Rose PublishingAmazon

Excerpt

MEDIA KIT WordsThatBind_w9084_750 copy“So. You’ve destroyed a stereotype for me. A genie who lives in a library. Different.”

“When in Rome, no?” He stirred his cup before setting down the spoon with a light clink against the saucer. “Or, I suppose it is more accurate to say when in human form. When I am Burns, I prefer here.”

“Human form.” It didn’t sound right. Who said things like that, and meant it? “Can you change into anything you want? Any shape at all?”

He stretched out his legs and cocked his head, sliding his gaze up and away. “I suppose I could. I’m getting old and set in my ways. There’s this…” He swept his hands down the line of his body.

Her eyes were unable to keep from following, not even when he lingered over his midsection. Even lounging, his shirt was tightly tucked into his beltline. No belly fat there.

He tilted his head and gave her an upper-teeth smile, nibbling gently at his lower lip. “And apparently this form is pleasing to the eye, so I wear it often. But there are others. Tiger, a favorite. Savage and regal and the colors of flames in the night. Fearsome to behold, but very useful when dealing with physical conditions in which a human form may be outmatched. Plus, I can lash my tail.”

His voice took a teasing, conspirator’s tone. “I love my tail. You’d love it too, if you saw it.”

She trained her eyes firmly upon his. No way would she give him the pleasure of checking out his tail.

About the Author

Ash Krafton is a speculative fiction author from northeastern Pennsylvania. Krafton’s first novel, Bleeding Hearts was published in 2012 as part of an urban fantasy trilogy The Books of the Demimonde (Pink Narcissus Press). An urban fantasy novella, Strangers at the Hell Gate, was published by Wild Rose Press in 2013. Her newest release, Words That Bind, won first place in the HeRA RWA “Show Me the Spark” 2013 competition as well as a Zebulon award in 2014.

Krafton also writes New Adult speculative fiction novels under the pen name AJ Krafton. Upcoming titles include The Heartbeat Thief, Face of the Enemy, and the award-winning Takin’ It Back. She is part of a YA/NA collective known as the Infinite Ink Authors.

In addition to novel-length fiction, Krafton enjoys writing poetry and short prose, some of which earned distinctions in various writing competitions. One of her poems was also nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She’s a proud member of Pennwriters, Romance Writers of America, and Pikes Peak Writers. Krafton also writes for the Query Tracker Blog and the Prose and Cons blog.

She resides with her family in northeast Pennsylvania.

FacebookBlogTwitterGoodreads • Pinterest

J.L. Sheppard: Heavenly Desire

BBT_HeavenlyDesire_Banner copy

The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one randomly drawn winner and a bookmark to 20 additional winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning. Each blog comment counts as an entry for Susana’s September Giveaway, a fabulous necklace from London’s National Gallery (see photo at right).

About Heavenly Desire

Cover_HeavenlyDesire copyWill he sacrifice his wings for a woman he loves but can never keep?

Jade Ashley has a past she’d like to forget and a destiny she isn’t aware of. A stranger, Clyde, saves her from an attack and demonstrates extraordinary abilities she believed only she possessed. She soon realizes he’s her guardian angel sent to reunite her with her long lost sisters, who like her are part of a new breed of immortals, Elementals, prophesied to determine the outcome of the upcoming war.

Clyde, an angel, battles the one thing he believes will lead to his fall from heaven—his new found emotions, forbidden among his kind. Nonetheless, the Angel Lords promise to promote him to warrior when he completes his last assignment—to find Jade. When he does, emotions he never knew possible arise. For the first time in two thousand years, he curses his existence, knowing she can never be his. Will he sacrifice his wings for a woman he loves but can’t keep?

Wild Rose PublishingAmazon • Barnes & Noble

Excerpt

Clyde swallowed, summoning the courage to ask, “Is she yours?”

“No, idiot,” Jacob spat. “She’s yours.

A wave of relief washed over him, and he released a breath. Exhausted from his fear, anger, jealousy and the scorching pain eating him alive, he didn’t respond to Jacob’s goad. He knew, despite what everyone else believed, Ashley wasn’t his because he was an angel.

She wasn’t Jacob’s either, but he knew every time Ashley spent time with another immortal male his fear would again rear its head. It would only happen so many times before she met him—her mate. Each time, it would be more painful than the last.

Before he found the energy to turn and walk away, he acknowledged: If it hurts this bad now, when she finds him, it’ll kill me.

About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJ.L. Sheppard was born and raised in Miami, Florida where she still lives with her husband.

As a child, her greatest aspiration was to become a writer. She read often, kept a journal and wrote countless poems. She attended Florida International University and graduated in 2008 with a Bachelors in Communications. During her senior year, she interned at NBC Miami, WTVJ. Following the internship, she was hired and worked in the News Department for three years.

It wasn’t until 2011 that she set her heart and mind into writing her first completed novel, Demon King’s Desire, which was published in January of 2013.

Besides reading and writing, she enjoys traveling and spending quality time with family and friends.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreadsPinterest

Previous Releases:

Demon King’s Desire, Elemental Sisters I: January 2013

Burdened by Desire, Elemental Sisters II: January 2014

Nancy Corrigan: Hunter Betrayed

VBT_HunterBetrayed_Banner copy

Nancy will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

Interview With Nancy Corrigan

Susana: Every writer dreams of getting “the call.” What were you doing when yours came? Who got to hear the

Nancy: Good news first? My debut book was Unexpected Find from the Royal Pride series. “The Call” was an email I didn’t see until sometime in the middle of the night. I was working nightshift and squealed when I saw it, but couldn’t tell anyone. Waiting until my husband woke that morning to tell him about it was incredibly hard.

Susana: Who gave you the writing advice that sticks with you to this day?

AuthorPic_HunterBetrayed copyNancy: The best writing advice I ever got was to keep writing. Sounds simple but for a writer, rejection is as profound as praise and both can be an inspiration. Actually, some of the worst comments I ever got as an aspiring writer are the ones that pushed me to reach the next level in my journey. I’d entered several contests before I got “the call” and one judge nearly crushed me by telling me my writing was pathetic and I should reevaluate my goals because I wasn’t cut out to be a writer. I cried then did exactly that. I reevaluated, learned from my mistakes and kept writing. It paid off J

Susana: Describe the “perfect hero.” What about the “perfect hero” for you?

Nancy: To me the perfect hero is kind, devoted and passionate. I’m a romantic at heart and love the knight-in-shining armor type of hero. That doesn’t mean his heroine needs to be a damsel in distress. I prefer both to be able to stand on their own but when they come together, it’s an explosion of love and passion. The perfect hero for me is my husband. He loves me despite my faults and compliments both sides of me—good and bad. And really, I can’t ask for more.

Susana: What are favorite pastimes?

Nancy: Spending time with my family. They’re my support base and the first ones I share my joy and hardship with. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Susana: What has been your biggest adventure to date?

Nancy: I’d have to say becoming a mother has been the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. From diapers to teenage drama, I’ve run the gamut. By the time my third child came, I’d been convinced that I knew everything. LOL-not even close. Their personalities are so different and each needs different things to thrive. But their smiles and love buoy me up and make it worth it.

Susana: What is the one modern convenience you can’t do without?

Nancy: My laptop. With my busy schedule, I need to be able to write anywhere. My laptop makes it possible to attend hours long wrestling competitions and still make progress on my WIPs.

Susana: Describe the ideal romantic evening.

Nancy: The ideal romantic evening is a night with only my hubby, no kids or responsibilities. It doesn’t matter what we do—a movie, dinner or even just relaxing around the house. It’s those quiet times that remind me of why I married him.

About Wild Hunt, Book 1

Tainted from birth, Harley lives a life cloaked in darkness and temptation. She resists the lure of her evil legacy by holding the memory of her ghostly savior close. Every night without him is agony. She fantasizes about him and yearns for his body, but he’s not the protector or lover she’s envisioned. He’s a Hunter bred to eliminate her kind. He’s also her only hope of salvation.

Calan, the leader of the Wild Hunt, was created to protect mankind from the Unseelie Court. For a millennium, he’s sacrificed to ensure the horrid creatures remain in the Underworld, but his strength wanes. He must rely on his enemy’s daughter to save him, but he doesn’t expect the intensity of their lust or love. Her touch calms his wild nature and ignites his carnal desires. He’ll risk all to save her, but doing so forces him to make the ultimate sacrifice, one that’ll damn him to suffer forever in his own living hell.

A Romantica® Paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Excerpt

Cover_HunterBetrayed copyCalan heard the torch’s crackle minutes before the sinful fragrance of oranges and spice reached him.

He closed his eyes and breathed a sigh of relief. Several hours had passed since he’d spoken to her. He’d almost given up hope that she would come to him.

The click of her boots resounded in the hallway. He focused on the stairs leading into his cell. Anticipation held him taut. Nine years he’d waited for her. In that time, he’d experienced a range of emotions from disappointment to hatred, but he’d never let go of the longing. He’d left a piece of himself with her. He wanted it back. Whether he kept the woman he’d given it to remained undecided.

Dirty white shoes appeared on the first step. Shapely legs covered in a clingy black material showed next. Another step revealed flaring hips that gave way to a small waist he could probably span with one hand. The longing he’d always carried for her turned into lust, a burning desire he couldn’t deny.

His pent-up breath escaped in a shudder. A tremor shook the dainty hand curled at her hip. The response, along with the heavy evidence of her arousal in the air added to the sexual tension tightening his limbs.

Full breasts that strained the confines of her shirt rose and fell with her rapid breaths. He should coax her the remaining distance but couldn’t form words. The sight of her pebbled nipples pushing against her thin top shut his mind down. Getting her naked and filling her became his only thought.

She reached out, braced a hand against the wall and took the last step.

Her gaze latched onto his.

His heart stopped.

Dear gods, the fuzzy image he’d held of her didn’t do her justice. She was the most beautiful female he’d ever seen.

About the Author

Nancy Corrigan believes in unending love and epic tales with a paranormal flare. She enjoys transcending the boundaries of reality to take her readers on an erotic, emotional and romantic journey.

She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children. When she’s not weaving sizzling fantasies, she works as a chemist in a pharmaceutical lab.

Website FacebookTwitter • PinterestGoodreads

Selene Grace Silver: The Binding of Adara

A Heroine’s Personal Journey to Claiming Her Power

by Selene Grace Silver

We know the negative stereotype well. The heroine:

  • appears dainty, freezes in the face of violence (interpretation: physically weak);
  • acts indecisive or uncertain, lets a man speak for her (interpretation: intellectually weak);
  • blushes and/or cries easily (interpretation: emotionally weak),

…and therefore, requires repeated rescuing by some self-appointed, protective masculine hero.

Modern readers of romance typically eschew this type of helpless heroine. They even have an acronym for her: TSTL or Too Stupid To Live.

With a history that stretches back to oral fairy tales about Cinderella, heroines of this ilk survived to flourish in the bodice-rippers of the 70s and 80s, and even into the more progressive 90s. It’s no surprise, considering that the readers and writers at that time had grown up in the idealized post-war 50s and early 60s when families lived comfortably on one income, allowing mothers to stay home and raise the children while the fathers ventured out into the harsh world to make money, an ugly business. It was an era in which the mystically handsome and politically powerful Kennedy family defined American strength and sophistication. Like the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, who embodied the perfect feminine ideal, women were expected to be elegant and completely focused on developing their femininity as a pleasing counterpart to their husband’s vigorous, aggressive masculinity.

Ironically, the late 70s and 80s also produced a second women’s rights movement. Women coming of age in the 70s and 80s were living with one foot in the past (their mothers’ world) and one foot in the future (their daughters’ world). Those women began life as young girls who were told that their greatest aspiration should be a good marriage with lots of children. But by the time they reached late adolescence, many had been introduced to feminist ideology through the media and friends. They attended college, where they traded home economics classes for courses in women’s studies, and they read the consciousness-raising magazine Ms. These feminists believed they could have careers and marry and raise families simultaneously, without giving up anything.

Many did it. They had careers, started companies, married, got pregnant, went back to work three weeks after delivery, kept the house clean, raised the children. They were the first superwomen.

Then their marriages suffered, often ending in divorce. They hit the glass ceiling. They felt exhausted all the time. After all, being everything to everyone is exhausting. The passive, approval-seeking heroines of their romance novels needed to evolve (as did the clueless, self-absorbed heroes). The new heroines of the books their daughters would read would have present heroines who were more self-sustaining, more pragmatic.

Out of those rocky social changes, fiction gained some wonderful heroines. Wonder Woman. The Bionic Woman. Charlie’s Angels. (Okay, maybe not Charlie’s Angels. But they could kick villain butt in their high heels and designer bikinis.) The main problem with these heroines is that they had no flaws. They were invincible. They were…not real women, or not completely real women. Their perfection was elusive and out of reach for most women living in the real world.

Eventually, we got iconic and amazing female characters whose stories were so complex that even men wanted to follow their stories—heroines like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Thank you, Joss Whedon.) She was powerful and independent, but she had flaws. We loved her. Hell, we still love her.

But does that mean that every strong heroine now has to be some copycat version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Does she have to be tough, skilled in the art of using wooden stakes, willing to shut down her feelings, give up someone she loves… in essence, be tough exactly in the (equally unfair) way society has always demanded of a traditional man—and all before she’s even a fully grown woman?

As writers, filmmakers, storytellers, we’d be crafting a disservice to women everywhere if the only alternative to the weak, clinging heroine of an earlier time had to now conform into a penis-less version of Rambo.

And how does a heroine develop into a powerful and wise woman anyway? Everyone is young and stupid at the start. Frankly, it’s rare to encounter women (or men) under 30 who never make mistakes or poor choices. I know I wasn’t one. I credit a lot of my strength today to surviving some pretty awful decisions and their consequences when I was in my late teens and twenties. (My friends acknowledge the same history so I know I’m not alone.) And since fiction is as much about showing us how to overcome the adversities of life as it is to provide us with inspiring role models, it’s appropriate, even desirable, for some stories to begin with heroines who might lack confidence or essential life skills, especially when those stories show the heroine growing and developing into a strong and confident woman by story’s end.

I was mopping (a rare event, believe me—I am definitely not a woman of the 50s—but someone has to clean the floors at least once a year) and daydreaming about nothing in particular when the image of a stunning young woman, naked and bound to a platform, appeared in my mind’s eye. She was pale with long black hair, and she was surrounded by a crowd of people whose faces were obscured by shadowy darkness. The scene was contradictorily frightening and sensual at the same moment. It made such an impression on me that I couldn’t shake it. I felt in my bones that she hadn’t wanted to end up on that stage, that situation, yet there she was.

As a writer, I respond to such visions by wanting to shape a narrative. So I sat down to craft the girl’s story. I discovered that her name was Adara and that she was a naïve but resilient young woman. I knew that she was not going to be able to leave that stage until after the ceremony was concluded. I knew she was going to have nonconsensual sex.

Most rape victims are not raped by strangers in dark alleys. They are raped by seemingly regular guys whom they thought were trustworthy but turned out to be something else—their girlfriend’s brother whom they encountered in the family’s downstairs laundry room next the bathroom, a frat brother on a college campus in a house full of other partying students, the church pastor’s cousin who chased them teasingly into the long grass during the summer picnic as the sun set.

Most people become victims because they trust someone who appears on the surface to be like lots of other people they have trusted in the past and, therefore, have no reason to distrust.

This tendency of the young to trust lands Adara in her serious predicament: on that stage where she is about to lose her virginity as part of an ancient pagan ritual. Sure, some characters, say Buffy, would have drop-kicked and karate-chopped their way out of the scene. I am woman! Hear me roar!

But Adara is not Buffy. Buffy would never have ended up tied to a platform about to be sacrificed against her will in the first place. Adara does.

Adara is the character who appeared in my mind’s eye demanding her story be written—the story of a heroine’s journey, from fool to wise woman, from beginner to virtuoso. Adara begins her story an innocent in nearly every way. She is a virgin. She’s relatively uneducated. She doesn’t know what she wants in life. She doesn’t even know she has special powers. Only through adversity does she progress towards understanding, towards laying claim to that power. The strength she develops through the course of the story is less “external master swordswoman” and more “inner spine of steel.” Sort of the way it is for most women in the world.

About The Binding of Adara: Book Two of the Witches and Warlocks of Los Angeles

The Binding of Adara Final Cover half size copyCursed to bear 12 sets of twins in 12 years by 12 different men? That is twenty-year-old innocent Adara Lane’s terrible fate until a reluctant warlock steps in, altering one significant part of the spell, thus creating a new destiny for both of them. Like the heroic knight from her childhood fairy tales, he rescues her at the moment the spell is manifested. While she’s grateful for his help, being bound to an overbearing, controlling, potentially violent man who may never love her, who despises what she is? Well…forgive Adara if she believes she would be better off had he just minded his own business and left the rescuing to someone else. But, this troubled knight-in-tarnished armor seems to need Adara as much as she needs him.
Bowie Marston knows he’s damaged goods. Home from a tour of duty in Vietnam, suffering shell shock, the young man discovers his family destroyed because he wasn’t in L.A. to protect them. After witnessing the senseless deaths of his comrades overseas, the death of his parents only deepens his disenchantment with the world. Blaming his parents’ murder-suicide on their involvement in magick, Bo vows to never use his own latent powers. It’s too late to rescue his family. On the other hand, it’s not too late to rescue a beautiful, young woman caught up in a web of danger. Knowing what he does about witchcraft, can he involve himself in a spell that spans a lifetime, a spell that ties him evermore to a powerful witch…and all her bless’ed offspring? Can he resist?

AmazonSmashwordsBarnes & NobleKobo

SUSANA SAYS: Sensual and compelling story guaranteed to bewitch: 5/5 stars

The setting: Los Angeles, 1970’s

SusanaSays3Alone in the world after her grandmother’s death, Adara finds herself drawn into a cult ritual of witches and warlocks on the eve of Samhain, where, as it turns out, she is fated to be the main attraction in an orgiastic mating ceremony.

A reluctant warlock, Bowie is a Vietnam vet who attends the ceremony only to protect his sister. He thinks! What but how can he stand by when the pretty girl who’s intrigued him all evening finds herself in danger

Adara and Bowie, along with Bowie’s sister Brianna and her cop lover, find themselves facing a nameless group of unscrupulous cult members seeking to use them to accomplish their evil plans. What to do? Who to trust? How does Adara’s mysterious past fit into this scenario? And is this attraction between Adara and Bo real or the result of a Halloween night spell?

It’s a rare talent for an author to create alpha males as well as strong females who can not only manage them, but also combine with them to make one powerful duo. And that’s what Ms. Silver has done here, not only with Adara and Bo, but also with Brianna and Jack from Brianna’s Bewitching.

The sexual attraction between them is immediate and compelling, but the emotional angle requires trust, and that’s not so easy when you’re suddenly thrust into a dangerous world of magick and goddesses and hidden agendas. A happy ending is an exception rather than the rule in this paranormal world, and while they are allies now, there’s no guarantee they’ll be together in the end.

About the Author

Selene believes in two true things: love and the power of stories. Everything else is up for debate.

SeleneBorder-150x150First and foremost, she’s been an avid reader her entire life. True story. In high school, her English teacher told Selene that she was also going to be a high school English teacher (probably because she actually read the assigned novels). Horrified by this prediction (think about it–eternity in high school?!), she fled home for university. She did her best to make it a permanent stay–changing majors back and forth multiple times, completing classes that had nothing to do with any of those majors, transferring to new colleges several times–eventually earning more than double the credits required for a BA in English. She promptly enrolled in grad school, where she managed to stretch a two-year masters program into a four-year MA in Creative Writing. Then, her beloved university life kicked her to the metaphorical street and told her to GET A REAL JOB!

Selene currently teaches English to the brightest public high school honors students in the land. Mrs. Unkenholz was right.

Oh yeah, and Selene writes. Romances to be specific.

Like the HEAs of her novels, her love life has a happy ending. She’s married to a seriously romantic guy (he’s Scottish, folks), travels abroad every summer, and drives a reliable American-built foreign car. The family cats keep the mice away. Life is simple, but good.

She lives in sunny Southern California, but remains a snowy Midwestern girl at heart.

 WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreads

See also Brianna’s Bewitching: Book One of the Witches and Warlocks of Los Angeles

Brianna's BewitchingSM

Amazon

Guarding Poppy: Christine Wenrick

VBT Guarding Poppy Banner copy 2

One randomly chosen Grand Prize winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and a runner up will receive autographed copies of Someone Else’s Skye and Guarding Poppy (US only). Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

Interview with Christine Wenrick

Susana: What inspired you to start writing?

Christine: From the rooftop of the building where I live, I had a very clear image of the final scene of my first novel The Charmed. So clear, in fact, I went out the next day, bought a laptop and began writing the scene down that night. Once I started I couldn’t stop until I completed the trilogy. It’s funny how the simplest thing can kind of burst out of you like that.

Susana: What advice would you give to writers just starting out

MEDIA KIT Author Photo copyChristine: Don’t get discouraged! Believe in your work. Trust your instincts. This is a tough business we are in and it is impossible to please every reader. But that is also the great thing about reading . . . that people care enough to have an opinion, and that they discuss those opinions. Reading is such a great gift to all of us in that way because it encourages conversation, thought and ideas.

Susana: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Christine: Yes, when I’m stressed by life. You can’t force anything when it happens. I usually have a couple of novels going at one time so I will switch to one where the story is already written. I find, even with writer’s block, I can read through chapters and make minor edits. Writer’s block, for me anyway, usually happens when I am trying to figure out major plotting points, action scenes or character development.

Susana: What comes first: the plot or the characters?

Christine: What a great question! Plot is very important to me. I write steamy paranormal, but the golden rule for any of my novels is that I should be able to take out every love scene and there would still be enough story left for the readers to love.

With that being said . . . if the reader does not connect to the characters, your book will fall flat. It doesn’t matter if you have the most outrageous action scene or steamiest love scene. It won’t work.

Characters come first.

Susana: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Christine: For fans of the previous books, you will get to visit with some old friends.

Susana: Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, would you consider straying outside your genre?

Christine: Just paranormal right now, but yes I would consider another romantic genre. I love to read historical romances by authors like Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn. I think that would be fun to write. But I respect how much historic detail authors of this genre have to have for it to be done well. With paranormal you can be detailed, but there is no real life precedent for any of it. You can go anywhere you want with it.

Susana: What is your favorite food? Least favorite? Why?

Christine: Ice cream, especially coconut gelato. Absolutely adore the stuff so I never have it at home. I make myself have to go out for it. There is a great gelato place next to my favorite sushi place on Capital Hill (my second favorite food).

I hate cilantro. It has just such a strong taste that I can’t stand. I avoid most Mexican food because of it.

Susana: What are favorite pastimes?

Christine: I love spending time with my friends, especially playing poker. I’m a terrible poker player! Cannot bluff to save my life, but I love to play. I’m not a big television watcher, but I love to go see a movie at the theatre or once in a while catching a movie on Netflix.

About Guarding Poppy

One night…one violent, supernatural battle…and five stories of the men whose lives will be changed by it.

Alec Lambert was born to lead. He’s a ruling Elder of The Brethren, possessing steely confidence, natural smarts, and decisive problem solving abilities . . . and he’s not too bad on the eyes, either. Everything in his life has gone exactly according to plan—until the night of Brahm Hill. Alec loses his best friend at the hands of the uncle he trusted like a father, along with his previously unshakable faith to lead those with whom he’s charged. Despite this, he continues to press ahead, and for his next assignment he’s asked to protect a very beautiful but very clumsy Dhampir who’s being hunted by a powerful warlock. Suddenly, he finds his whole Brethren world is turned upside down . . . and he finds himself harboring a desire for her he can’t explain.

Poppy Honeywell knows she’s far from perfect. Bad things tend to happen when she’s around. She’s more than a little clumsy, with a phobia or two mixed in. Not to mention that her name is certainly unusual. But she doesn’t have time to worry about all that because she’s on the run and not about to back down from the arrogant Elder who’s just been assigned as her protector, claiming he has all the answers to her problems. The real problem, though, is . . . she’s irresistibly drawn to this man who faces constant danger and takes charge so naturally. But Poppy also sees that taking charge of others helps Alec mask his own very deep pain.

Will Alec find his way out of the darkness and surrender to his feelings for Poppy before the warlock chasing her catches up to them both?

Amazon

Excerpt

“Why. Am. I. On. A. Plane?” Poppy emphasized each word as her hands gripped at the luxurious sofa arm beside her. But the modern jet seemed determined to bounce all of them out of their seats as the cabin continued to jostle about angrily. They were definitely in the middle of some mean turbulence, which was to be expected of anyone fool enough to be flying in a small plane in winter conditions.

“Because it’s the most efficient way to get someone across an ocean,” Alec answered. “We still have about an hour or so before we land. So you’re going to have to let me know if you’re going to panic on me.”

GuardingPoppy_ReFormat_02252014.inddHer gaze narrowed on him angrily as she pushed her next breath through her nostrils. “Can I just hit you instead and we’ll call it even?!”

His brow lifted as if he found that comment interesting.

Poppy leapt to her feet inside the small cabin and she noticed Alec braced his hands against his chair arm as if to steady himself. Surely he didn’t think she was really going to hit him? “You’re not going to trip again, are you?” he asked her.

Poppy glared at him and then down at herself. She was looking for any reasonable explanation to defend the innate clumsiness he’d gotten to experience firsthand within the first minute of meeting her in Joseph’s study. “These are very challenging heels!”

Yep. That was the best she could come up with.

The Elder smiled. No, it was definitely more of a smirk. “I’m sure they are,” he replied. “Now, will you please sit down before you get bounced off your feet? The turbulence may get worse before it gets better.”

Worse?” Poppy squeaked. She might very well end up back in his lap if this turbulence got any worse. She didn’t like to think of herself as a coward, but when it came to flying she definitely was, even more so than her irrational fear of spiders. They just had too many legs. “Look—you need to understand. I don’t fly! Ever . . .! You need to find a way to land this plane, right now!”

“I can’t do that. As I explained, we’re over a lake.”

“Well get un-over the lake!”

The Elder didn’t say anything in response, just seemed to contemplate that. He removed the reading glasses that were a dead giveaway that he was human, though, he looked fit enough to give even one of his Dhampir guards a run for their money. He’d certainly felt fit enough when she had crash-landed into his chest in Joseph’s study…which had been utterly embarrassing. One moment, she’d been fully prepared to burst in and make her case to Joseph about why she needed to stay at The Hallow, and the next, the tip of her shoe had caught on the carpet and she was flying forward straight into a complete stranger.

MEDIA KIT Someone Else's Skye_(Front Cover)_BOOK ONE copy“In an effort to have us all on the ground safely as soon as possible, I do not recommend suddenly veering off course to get ‘un-over’ a lake. We will be starting our descent shortly.”

“Oh God, descent…,” she mumbled to herself as she rubbed her hands over her face. “This is not good. This is not good.”

“It will be all—”

“Where are we landing…Elder Lambert?” she added awkwardly, realizing they had not actually exchanged first names.

He returned his glasses to the bridge of his nose and went back to looking at his tablet. “You may call me Alec. I much prefer it to Elder Lambert. We’ll be landing in Alberta at The Oracle, The Brethren site I’m in charge of. After discussing it, Joseph and I felt this would be the best place for you to stay.”

“Well, isn’t that nice,” she answered him flippantly. “You discussed it. By any chance—in any of this heavy dialogue—did anyone consider asking me if I wanted to go to Canada?”

Alec just sighed in that ‘you’re going to cause me a lot of trouble, aren’t you’ sort of way.

About the Author

Christine is a graduate of Washington State University where she received a BA in Interior Design. And true to form of using mostly her ‘right brain’, she splits her time between her commercial design career and her imaginary world of writing. She lives in the scenic Pacific Northwest where she enjoys hiking, camping and photographing many of the wonderful places that served as inspiration for her writing. Her biggest reward in life is any given day when one of her books connects with a reader because she herself is such a lover of reading. Some of her favorite authors include Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, and Kimberly Derting.

 FacebookFacebook Fan PageTwitter • Blog • Goodreads