Showing posts with label Guest post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guest post. Show all posts

Guest Author (+ a Giveaway!): Jessica Scott - Favorite Short, Perfect Reads

Thanks so much for having me today! I'm talking about my favorite short, perfect reads. Short stories are a tough sell for me because a lot of times, they feel rushed or incomplete. But there are a couple that really stuck with me long after I read them!

Nalini Singh is someone who I will buy anything she writes in her guild hunters world. Galen and Jessamy's story ANGEL’S DANCE is just beautiful.

Another auto buy author is Ruthie Knox. She's got a new novella out HOW TO MISBEHAVE and it's one of my favorite stories I've read recently. I mean, seriously, Tony has arms and I’m a sucker for sexy arms. I’m not sure what it is but I notice a man’s hands and his forearms. Plus, I can totally relate to Amber (at least my younger self can). It's funny and sexy all in one. A perfect read. I've read it three times already.

I pick up anything by Shawntelle Madison. Any author who can make me laugh out loud stays on my auto buy list. Her novella BITTEN BY DECEIT is outside of her world started in Coveted but it's got her characteristic humor, pack dynamics and intrigue and sexy werewolves. Because I'm sorry, rough and rugged gets me any day of the week, lol! Plus, you can check out an excerpt of Shawntelle’s novella in the back of ANYTHING FOR YOU.

I’m giving away a digital copy of ANYTHING FOR YOU as well as Shane & Jen’s first story BECAUSE OF YOU to one lucky commenter!

From the author of Because of You comes an all new Coming Home short story.  


Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison has spent a year recovering from his combat injuries. A year spent in the arms of the woman of his dreams. But loving Jen comes with a price: every time he touches her, he faces the uncertain fear that loving her might mean losing her forever.

Jen is a breast cancer survivor and with Shane, she’s found a man who loves her despite her scars. But her scars may be too much for their love to survive.

As their love grows, so does the risk to Jen’s life. And Shane must make the toughest decision any man can make to save the woman he loves.

You can buy ANYTHING FOR YOUat the following ebookstores

Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

*The links for iBooks & others should be live soon!*

Below is the official excerpt!


Fort Hood, late 2008 

“Jen is going to kill you. You know that, right?” Vic Carponti took a long pull off his ever-present Dr Pepper. “I think she has first dibs on your balls. You don’t have exclusive use over them any more.” 

Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison glanced over at Carponti and fought the urge to use the physical therapy ropes to strangle the younger sergeant. No matter how much time they’d spent together training Army privates at Benning or blowing shit up downrange, Carponti still managed to push all the right buttons. 

“You’re not helping, you know.” Shane was already having a hard enough time trying to find the nerve to talk to his fiancée about his desire for a vasectomy.

“Jen wants kids.”

“I know that,” Shane growled. He leaned down to stretch, barely suppressing a groan as the muscles in his thighs protested the daily pain his physical therapist insisted on. He’d have thought that six months after being blown up in Iraq, physical therapy would stop being a morning torture session. Guess not.

“Why are you so adamant about this?” Carponti held up his hand at Shane’s fierce look. “I’m an expert in amputations, not women and babies, okay?”

“She had breast cancer. A really aggressive version. If she gets pregnant and the cancer comes back, the choice comes down to her life or the baby’s life…and I don’t want to have to make that choice with her. I don’t want her to have to make that choice. Granted, it might all be fine. She might never get sick again, or the hormones from pregnancy might not do anything to her.” Shane walked over to the free weights. His legs protested each step, so his next words came out slowly, one with each step. “I can’t risk it. No matter how much I might want a kid with her, I’m not going to risk her life for some selfish need to feel my baby growing inside her.”

“I realize that,” Carponti said, “but why on earth are you looking at this without talking to her first?”

“I’m going to talk to her.” Shane sighed hard. “I just haven’t yet.” He didn’t want to admit he was afraid. Not to Carponti. He’d never hear the end of it.

“Did you ever think you’re overreacting?” Carponti asked, following him.

“No,” Shane snapped. “Because I’m not.”

“You just said there’s no rule that if a woman gets pregnant after cancer, she’s going to die.”

“Yeah, well, I’ve also talked to the brigade surgeon. There’s a higher risk of the cancer coming back for younger women like Jen who had aggressive cancers. There’s a higher risk that if she does get pregnant and the cancer comes back, it could come back even more aggressive.” Shane looked at Carponti seriously. “I want kids with her. I just don’t want to kill her.”

“So you’re going to get unmanned and tell her later?”

“This isn’t funny.”

“Vasectomies are always funny. Especially watching a big guy like you squirm over the fact.”

“It is my balls we’re talking about,” Shane snapped, grabbing the fifty-pound dumbbells. It was one of those times he’d rather not have Carponti chirping in his ear.

“If a vasectomy is such a big deal, then why do it?” Carponti placed the bottle in his prosthetic hand. “There’s other ways of preventing pregnancy, you know.”

“We’ve talked about all of those. She had a bad reaction to an IUD. Anything hormone-based is out. And condoms scare the shit out of me.”

“Did we have a bad experience with a condom?”

Shane groaned, wishing he hadn’t said anything. “When I was seventeen, I had a condom break on me. The girl and I spent the rest of the month terrified she was pregnant.” He glanced at Carponti. “So while I appreciate that you think me getting my balls clipped is amusing, this isn’t all that funny.”

“Maybe not, but watching you freak out about it certainly is.”

“You’re so good for morale.”

“You can bitch all you want, but I still don't see why there aren’t other options.”

Why? Shane ground his teeth and counted as he curled the weights. He’d read the literature about Jen’s specific cancer. Everything he read created a little more fear that he could lose her. Shane did not do well with fear. If the only thing he could control in the equation was his sperm, he was doing that.

Sometimes, at night, when the nightmares came, it was no longer his soldiers who’d died in the war haunting his sleep. Sometimes, it was Jen, bleeding out in his arms. He didn’t tell her that. Every time he tried, the emotion got jammed up halfway between his throat and his mouth.

Jen wasn’t a random number in a study. She was his heart and soul, and while she was determined to live a normal life and not let the cancer define her, every time they made love, he was aware of the risk.

The worst part about it all? He wanted kids with her, too. But the risk was too great.

“Hello? Candyass who’s stressing about getting his balls chopped off? Why is a vasectomy the only option for you not to get her pregnant?”

Shane finished his set. “Because it’s the smart thing to do. Condoms break. Birth control fails.” Carponti was probably about to accuse him of writing country songs again. “This is the only one-hundred-percent sure option.”

“You could always be in a celibate marriage with her,” Carponti said dryly.

“Yeah, and then she bangs the FedEx guy when I’m in the field.”

Carponti snorted and coughed. “That’s just wrong.”

Shane dropped the weights, the muscles in his left arm screaming. He was nearly back to his previous strength in his upper body, but sometimes his bones liked to remind him that no, he was never going to be as good as he’d been before.

It frustrated him that there were more aches and pains now. More stiffness just getting out of bed in the morning. But he was determined to heal, so he could get back to leading soldiers.

Because that’s what he did.

Beside him, Carponti finished not choking on his drink. “You’re serious about this. You’re really going to let a doctor near your nutsack with a scalpel?”

“Will you just drop it? I shouldn’t have said anything to you, damn it.”

“What? I just want to be sure you’re making the best, most informed decision.” Carponti grinned. “You’re going to let me see the cut, right?”

Shane just shot him a baleful glare and Carponti held up both hands, the soda in one. Funny, Shane was used to the prosthetic now. It no longer caught his eye like it once had. Carponti was just...Carponti. The missing hand didn’t really matter.

“Hey, so have you heard what’s going on back at battalion?” Carponti asked.

Shane picked up his water bottle and flipped open the cap. “I haven’t been in to see Sarn’t Major in a while. I’ve got a meeting with him later today. Why?”

“There’s a ton of bad shit going on. Iaconelli got in a bunch of trouble up in Colorado on a mission.”

“That’s nothing new. Ike’s always in trouble.” Shane and Sergeant First Class Reza Iaconelli had never really gotten along, which was a shame, because Ike was a damn fine infantryman.

“Yeah, well, apparently there’s a whole bunch of crap going on down there. Maybe that’s why Sarn’t Major wants to see you. See how much longer before you’re back at work?”

“Maybe.” Sarn’t Major would no doubt fill him in when he saw him later. Shane wanted to get back to work. Badly. But if Ike was screwing up again, Shane damn sure didn’t want to get back just to clean up after him.

Carponti grinned. “So, back to the more pressing matters, are you going to gift wrap your nuts and put a little bow on them and say, ‘Here baby, for Valentine’s Day, I’ve sacrificed my manhood’?”

Shane shook his head and tried not to laugh. “There’s something the matter with you. You know that, right?”

“Sure. My traumatic brain injury is acting up again.” Carponti turned toward the door as it opened. “Speaking of nuts, here’s my wife. I need to get mine out of her purse.”

Shane turned to see Nicole Carponti walking onto the physical therapy floor, looking polished and perfect. No one ever looked at her and thought she was a cop. It made her a perfect investigator.

It also made everyone wonder what the hell she was doing with a scruffy, red-headed sergeant like Vic Carponti, but hey, she’d stuck with him after he’d gotten blown up. And worse, through his incessant bad tricks with his prosthetic. Shane watched as Carponti kissed his wife on the cheek, then slung his good arm around her shoulders as they walked out. Shane was reasonably certain Carponti tried to pinch Nicole’s ass with his prosthetic.

Life was never dull around Carponti, that was for damn sure.

Shane finished his therapy in blessed silence and headed to the locker room to change back into his duty uniform. He took a deep breath, running his hand over his jaw. Last week, Jen had slipped her body over his, her slick heat caressing his bare erection, and Shane had almost died from the pleasure of skin on skin. No barriers. He didn’t know which one of them wanted it more—the desire painting her features had been beautiful. And she’d gotten bolder since then, driving him toward a little death each time he touched her. No matter how much he was tempted to make love to her without a goddamned condom, he would not risk her life for a few moments of pleasure.

He loved Jen. More than life itself. The vasectomy was a very real discussion he was going to have with her very soon. 


About Jess 

Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she's a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.

Oprah has called her. True story.

Her debut novel BECAUSE OF YOU launched Loveswept, the first Random House digital imprint.

She's written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View Regarding War, and IAVA. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of OIF/New Dawn and is currently a company commander stationed at Fort Hood.

Most recently, she's been featured as one of Esquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012.

Connect with Jessica at

Website: http://www.jessicascott.net
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jessicascott09
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jessicascottauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5131118.Jessica_Scott

Guest Author (+ a Giveaway): LA Witt - How My Life Has Changed Since I Got Published

Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/L. A. Witt blog tour for Something New Under the Sun, the sequel to my vampire/cyberpunk novella, A Chip In His Shoulder


Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off my backlist (excluding Something New Under the Sun) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 27th, and winners will be announced on January 28th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. 


How My Life Has Changed Since I Got Published 

So as it happens, the release of Something New Under the Sun on January 21st coincided with the 4th anniversary of the first publishing contract I ever received. Four years to the day after selling that first book, I’m releasing my…43rd? 44th? Something like that. And as I did last year – see What Three Years Have Taught Me – I’m looking back on the last few years, this time comparing how my life has changed as a direct result of this awesome job.

I’m definitely working more hours now than I ever have. I’ve pretty much lost track of the days of the week, and my “weekends” happen whenever I feel like I need a break (or want to spend time with the hubby, of course). But I also get to wear my pajamas to work, and my commute is about 20 feet. Can’t argue with that.

I’ve made some amazing friends in this business. Writers, editors, reviewers, and of course, readers. It’s great to be connected with people who are excited about reading and/or writing. It’s kind of funny how I’m geographically separated from every one of my colleagues, but feel better connected to them than I did many (not all, Kelley!) of the co-workers with whom I shared a work environment.

And being a job, it has a paycheck. After being told for years I’d never be able to make a living as a writer, I was rather stunned when my writing income reached a point – and remained there – where I could continue to write full-time upon moving back to the States in late 2011. By mid-2012, the numbers had risen above what I’m qualified to make in the corporate world. (Don’t read too far into that: I’m not qualified to make much in the corporate world LOL) The point being? I discovered it is possible to make a living at this, and I’m much happier with my life in general now that I’m making a living doing what I enjoy.

One of the coolest things, though, is that I finally feel like I’m doing something. Back when I was a customer service drone, I almost wore out my Sugarland CD during my commute to and from the office. Why? Because of a particular track titled “Something More.” I spent many, many commutes listening to that track over and over and thinking, “That’s so true. There has to be more than this.” Cheesy, maybe, but I really was unhappy with what I was doing. Or rather, what I was not doing. Miserable? Ooh, yeah.

Less than five years later, I feel like I’m doing something. Not changing the world or curing cancer, but doing more than just shuffling papers and pushing pencils. I’m happy with my career, and have been since the beginning.

Yeah, this career has its tough moments, but looking back? I wouldn’t change a thing.


The Author:
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer currently living in the glamorous and ultra-futuristic metropolis of Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two cats, and a disembodied penguin brain that communicates with her telepathically. In addition to writing smut and disturbing the locals, L.A. is said to be working with the US government to perfect a genetic modification that will allow humans to survive indefinitely on Corn Pops and beef jerky. This is all a cover, though, as her primary leisure activity is hunting down her arch nemesis, erotica author Lauren Gallagher, who is also said to be lurking somewhere in Omaha.

L. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt). 

SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN Blurb: 

Liam Lansing is heir to a prominent family of bio-modified vampires. That is, until he chooses the wrong lover and is cast down to the Gutter to scrape for his life.

Daniel Harding is heir to Cybernetix and a prince of the corporate Sky. That is, until his ideology drives his father to put a price on his head, forcing him into the Gutter.

But Daniel and Liam won’t vanish meekly into the smog. Together, they plan to rip open the hidden corruption that runs the Sky—for vengeance, for justice, and for hope. They strike against the corporations in a daring raid. When everything goes wrong, Daniel must betray his core beliefs to save the man he loves and protect his dangerous secret. Only through courage in the face of death—or worse—might he and Liam change the world they live in and create something new under the sun.

Something New Under the Sun is available January 21st from Riptide Publishing. Also available: the prequel, A Chip In His Shoulder.

Guest Author (+ a rockin' giveaway): Anne Tenino - A Matter of Character

Welcome to the Too Stupid to Live Blog Tour!


Normally, I’d be throwing confetti around (as in my last couple of blog tours) but this time I decided to go bigger—I’m giving away original artwork. For those of you not familiar with my male genital sculptures (that makes them sound so respectable, doesn’t it?), I’ll direct you here http://annetenino.com/x-rated-crochet-gallery/ to my website, where I’m showcasing the ones I’ve made in the past, and the ones I’m giving away for this blog tour. For those of you dying to win, the details are at the bottom of this post (but really, it’s only polite to read the post first, right?).

On that note, I’ll stop the intro stuff and get on with it.

# # #

If you read earlier posts in this blog tour, you know Sam is a character who originally showed up in Whitetail Rock, a free novella that I wrote in July 2011 (available here http://annetenino.com/books/whitetail-rock/). WR is the story of Nik and Jurgen, and Sam is Nik’s best friend, and he has a well-developed role and personality in the story.
 

Ian first appeared on the scene in The Fix, a short follow-up to WR (available here http://annetenino.com/books/the-fix/). Ian is Jurgen’s cousin, and not to put too fine a point on it, Ian was a jerk. He didn’t get a lot of screen time in the story, but he very clearly came across as prick.
 

When I began writing Too Stupid to Live in 2011 I had very firm ideas of who Sam and Ian were. Sam and Ian begged to differ, however. In fact, they spent a fair amount of time telling me their story wasn’t what I thought it would be. You see, when I write, I generally start with characters. I have these guys in my head, and they want other people to know their stories (seriously, if they tell you otherwise they’re totally lying), and it’s my job to do so.

However, sometimes problems arise when what they’re telling me happens and what I want to happen aren’t the same. I hate that. We have words at these times (sometimes in places like the pasta aisle at the grocery store, which I’ve noticed is worrisome for other shoppers). But ultimately, it’s their story, so I give in. That’s what happened with Ian and Sam, but mostly Ian.

At first, I thought Ian had dark hair and was really non-communicative in general. Turned out he’s more of a blond, or at least a very light brown (Sam thinks it’s caramel colored). I also thought he was pretty much rude and noncommunicative to everyone, and by the end of the book he would be a nice guy to Sam, but pretty much only to Sam.

Nope, not the way it went down.
 

Back then, I also had a very different plot in mind for Sam and Ian. I originally thought that—because Ian was so lame and had “issues” to work through—they’d break up in the beginning-middle of the book, and the rest of the story would be about Ian and Sam finding their way back to each other.

Well, no. That didn’t happen either.

Here’s a small excerpt from that original plot (plus a note to myself), but let me be clear—this does not happen in the final version of Too Stupid to Live and it has no relationship to the things that actually occur between Sam and Ian. I’m mostly pasting this in to show you how big a tool Ian 1.0 was.

"Sam, if I were your friend, I wouldn't want you seeing a bastard like me."

"If you were my friend?" Sam choked out a short laugh. He pretty much only got out one 'heh'.

[They're at Ian's place when he dumps Sam.]

"I'm going out for a bit. Maybe you could...," Ian made some useless gesture with his fingers, standing in the open doorway. "Just get your, uh... stuff out. I'll give you two hours." He wouldn't even look at Sam.

Then Ian shut the door behind him with a click.

It was the most humiliating, soul-destroying noise Sam had ever heard. It echoed in his heart over and over while he wandered around the house, grabbing occasional things that came across his path. He was pretty sure they were his.

By the time he got to the bedroom, his chest ached so much he was sure he was having a heart attack. He saw his underwear lying on the floor. Sam picked them up, threw them and the rest of the shit he was carrying in his backpack and got the hell out.

He was halfway home before he realized he wasn't wearing shoes.

Yeah, so Ian? He was a loser. But after almost nine months of writing (which got scarily like being pregnant), I’m happy to report Ian’s not a complete ass. He’s kind of a jerk in the beginning, I’ll admit, but he changes fast, and their relationship ended up being very different than I expected. Much better than I’d hoped, actually.

In the end (also much like being pregnant), I was happy with the result, and where Sam and Ian ended up. But if you need more convincing, let me entice you with the blurb:


Too Stupid to Live Blurb

It isn’t true love until someone gets hurt.

Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say “no” to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.

Until he meets Ian.

Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now—possibly—ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.

Until he meets Sam.

Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong . . . can they?

Buy Link: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/too-stupid-live
 

And now comes the point in the blog post where I ask you the magic question—the one that may lead to you owning your very own crocheted cock sculpture. But first, let’s go over the contest rules, such as they are:

*I’ll be giving away one crocheted cock per post; please include the question you’re answering in your email so I know which post it is.

*Winners will have to provide me with a mailing address to send the penis to after I notify them by email (about January 21st).

*There are no geographic restrictions on winning—I will send anywhere in the world, even to countries in which customs may confiscate the item (although if it doesn’t make it, I won’t be able to provide a replacement, I’m sorry).

*Winners will be chosen randomly from each correct answer I receive by January 20th. That’s two days after the blog tour ends.






To win, correctly answer the question below in the body of an email sent to me at anne @ annetenino.com.

What does Sam sometimes think he’d rather do than finish his MFA in Writing?

# # #

About Anne Tenino: Raised on a steady media diet of Monty Python, classical music and the visual arts, Anne Tenino rocked the mental health world when she was the first patient diagnosed with Compulsive Romantic Disorder. Since that day, Anne has taken on conquering the M/M world through therapeutic writing. Finding out who those guys having sex in her head are and what to do with them has been extremely liberating.

Anne's husband finds it liberating as well, although in a somewhat different way. Her two daughters are mildly confused by Anne's need to twist Ken dolls into odd positions. They were raised to be open-minded children, however, and other than occasionally stealing Ken1's strap-on, they let Mom do her thing without interference.

Wondering what Anne does in her spare time? Mostly she lies on the couch, eats bonbons and shirks housework.

Check out what Anne’s up to now by visiting her site. http://annetenino.com


Tracy: Thanks so much for stopping here on your blog tour, Anne.  Love the crocheted cocks!

Guest Author: Anne Calhoun - Real Life Christmas Miracles (+a giveaway!)

Please welcome Anne Calhoun to the blog! She's talking about real life miracles and let me tell you, this one's a doozer. Get the hanky ready... 

            I am an unabashed sucker for a good Christmas story. I tear up every year when the Marine Corps Toys for Tots commercial comes on. Last year a friend told me a story. A single mom was on the ropes financially, barely making the mortgage let alone able to give her kids a Christmas. To make matters worse, she also needed a recommendation for a good, trustworthy repairman for her furnace, which had conked out. My friend directed her to a man she’d had good luck with in the past, told the repairman he might get a call, and forgot about it.

A week later the single mom called my friend in tears. Sobbing. She’d come home from work to find not a repaired furnace, but a brand new furnace in her basement with a note that said Merry Christmas. No bill, no payment schedule, no nothing. Just Merry Christmas.


Thea Moretti, heroine in my latest release, also needs a Christmas miracle. In this scene at a soup kitchen in BREATH ON EMBERS she gets a little one from the hero, FDNY lieutenant Ronan O’Rourke.

Thea pushed the sleeves of her fleece pullover to her elbows and made her way to the waiting pile of dirty pots and pans stacked by the double sinks. Cheerful yellow rubber gloves on, she was scrubbing crusted goulash from a pot when a tap on her shoulder startled her.
“Yes?” Thea asked, tugging the earbuds from her ears as she turned.
“Why didn’t you tell me what you’d arranged?” Nancy asked. Her eyes were wide, and shining.
Over her shoulder Thea heard not the typical low rumble of two-hundred people sharing a meal, but the excited chatter of children and a higher-pitched energy level. “What? Is Ronan here with the presents?”
“Oh, he’s here, all right,” Nancy said. She took Thea’s hand and pulled her through the empty kitchen to the swinging doors. Thea’s jaw dropped, and she slowed in the process of taking off her rubber gloves.
Santa Claus stood at the back of the fellowship hall, waving to the kids as FDNY firefighters in their blue uniforms passed big cardboard boxes of gifts along a human chain from a waiting ladder truck, down the stairs to a table hastily set up by Cooper Bensonhurst volunteers. At the tables the kids stared first at Santa, then at the firefighters. Word of the truck spread from table to table, and the wriggles and noise escalated once again.
It was a tiny Christmas miracle. She swallowed hard against the tears clogging her throat. Ronan came down the steps two at a time and crossed the hall, tossing “Get someone to clear that hydrant” over his shoulder as he headed for Thea.
“Sorry we’re late,” he said without preamble. He reached for Thea’s hand as he said it, and his warm, strong grip anchored her. “How do you want to do this?”
Thea found her voice. “This is Nancy Watkins,” she said. “She’s in charge. Nancy, Lieutenant Ronan O’Rourke. He brought the presents.”
“You certainly did, Lieutenant,” Nancy said. “Thank you.”
“You’ve got Santa and a fire truck for the next hour. After that we’re all back on call,” Ronan said.

            Thea’s bigger Christmas miracle comes later in the story, but this one’s nice, too. :) What’s your best holiday miracle? Share your stories in the comments and I’ll give a copy of BREATH ON EMBERS to one person who comments.

Oh, and for the record…we needed a new furnace the next winter. We gave our business to the man who gave a furnace to a struggling single mom.


Book blurb --

Christmas is the perfect time for Firefighter Ronan O’Rourke to take things to the next level with his sexually adventurous girlfriend. He knows she has feelings for him—and he’s sure of his feelings for her—but when Thea refuses his invitation to sample Christmas in New York City because what they share is nothing more than sheet-burning sex, Ronan sets out to change her mind.


Deep down Thea Moretti knows she cares for Ronan, but she can’t move past her grief over her late husband. Loud music and sex with Ronan are the only things she’s got that her feel alive, so she takes as much of both as she can get. She knows Ronan wants more, but during the darkest time of the year finding her way won’t be easy.
Ronan gambles everything and challenges Thea: one night of passion with him and another man. Can he prove to her that what they share isn’t just great sex but an emotional connection strong enough to last forever?


Anne's info --



Sinful Seduction Blog Tour (+ a Giveaway!) with Isobel Carr & Laurel McKee

I'm more than happy to welcome both Isobel Carr and Laurel McKee to the blog! They are currently on their Sinful Seduction Blog Tour promoting their new releases, Ripe for Seduction (The League of Second Sons #3) & Two Sinful Secrets (The Scandalous St. Claires #2).


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your road to becoming an author.

Isobel: I come from the snooty white tower of academia. I got my MFA in poetry (and won a very prestigious national poetry award, the Intro Journals) before turning my hand to genre fiction. Writing romance is a LOT more fun!!!

Laurel: My road to becoming an author is probably a lot like other writers—I started as a big reader!! And I started young too. My grandmother was a voracious reader, and was always bringing home huge boxes of books from garage sales and used bookstores. When we visited her house in the summers, I would drag those boxes into a closet and hide in there reading. I found all kinds of things there—Barbara Cartlands and Georgette Heyers (my “starter” romances, that also got me hooked on history!), some Austen and Bronte, some random old-school Westerns, a few old Harlequins. I loved them all, and started making up my own stories when I ran out of reading materials and had to wait for the next garage sale run.

2. You write historical romance novels. What is it about history that draws you to write it?

Isobel: I like the challenge of crafting a historically feasible story that is still interesting, unique, and exciting.

Laurel: I've been a history nut ever since those long-ago novels! I also got hooked on a series I found in my elementary school library, about famous women in history as children (the childhood of Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, Abigail Adams, stuff like that). I was fascinated by a world so very different from my own, where people dressed and spoke and ate so differently from me and yet were also so similar. I love being immersed in those worlds.

3. How much time do you spend doing research for each book/series?

Isobel: I’m never not doing research, so that’s a hard question to answer. I’m constantly buying new books and expanding my knowledge about the period. I rarely need to do intensive research for my books though, as I’ve been studying the period for twenty something years now. Mostly I have to look up small, fiddly bits like who was the ambassador to France in X year or double check a word in the OED.

Laurel: It depends on the book! A straightforward Regency story, which doesn't involve plot points of politics or real historical events, doesn't take a great deal of time, while a story set in a time period I don't know as much about can take longer. I'm always reading history books and biographies, even when I'm not actively researching a certain story, so the atmosphere is always there in my mind. I loved The Scandalous St. Claires book since I got to dive into the Victorian period for the first time!

4. If you have time to read what are some of your favorite books?

Isobel: I read everything. Right now my favorite authors are Miranda Neville, Carolyn Jewel (both her historicals and her paranaomals), Seanan McGuire, Ilona Andrews, C.S. Harris, Tracy/Teresa Grant, Julia James, Victoria Dahl, P.G. Hodgell, and Alison Sinclair.

Laurel: I will read anything and everything that catches my attention! Romance and mysteries, literary fiction (I just finished “Where'd You Go, Bernadette?” and have been running around raving about it to everyone!), history and biography, fashion magazines. I like to re-read Austen, the Brontes, and George Elliott when I have the time. Right now I'm re-reading “Anna Karenina” before I go see the new movie version.

When I was helping to run the Desert Island Keeper blog we had some "About Me" random questions we asked. I'm going to borrow a few today.

5. If you could be in any book/series/world which would you pick and why?

Isobel: Pern. I want a dragon!!!

Laurel: This might sound weird, but when I was a very little girl I loved the “Eloise” books! I've always thought it would be wonderful to live at the Plaza hotel and run wild there. But if I have to be grown-up about it, I wouldn't mind living at Austen's Pemberley, or maybe be an intellectual aristocrat in mid-18th century France.

6. What fictional hero would you like to be your significant other?

Isobel: That is so hard. At the moment though, Sebastian St. Cyr would win out (though I might elope on him with Curran or Damerel or F’lar).

Laurel: I've loved Mr. Rochester ever since I read “Jane Eyre” when I was about 10! (I stayed up all night reading it, and was shocked—shocked--by the wife in the attic!) He's so complex and broody, and so in love with Jane, though in real-life I might not be quite as understanding as she was. It was fun to bring something of their Victorian world into the St. Claires stories.

7. Best love song?

Isobel: When it comes to music, I like the broken hearted stuff more, Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know, everything by Adele and Depeche Mode.

Laurel: I really love “La Vie En Rose”! But maybe that comes from my love of all things Parisian.

8. Favorite sex song? (I have to ask as this is the Sinful Seduction blog tour!)

Isobel: Anything by Barry White (I’m a traditionalist).

Laurel: Hmmm, that is a tough one. :) I really like the Black Keys' “Next Girl”...very sexy.

9. Favorite Heroine?

Isobel: Of mine? Beau. She gets what she wants by whatever means necessary and she’s a fighter.

Laurel: Jane Eyre! Or if you mean my own heroines, I really found myself liking Sophia Huntington from “Two Sinful Secrets” more and more as I wrote the book. She was a character who just sort of ran away from me and made her own personality...I just followed along.

10. What heroine is most like you?

Isobel: Probably Margo, the secondary heroine of RIPE FOR SEDUCTION.

Laurel: From my own heroines, I think Lady Caroline from “Lady of Seduction” is most like me—bookish and studious, having to be pushed out into the world! When I was younger I felt a lot like Marianne Dashwood, sort of romantic and idealistic and not very realistic in many ways.

11. What heroine would you like to be?

Isobel: Oh, Margo. Definitely Margo. Once you see Philip, his house, and his dogs you’ll understand why. *grin* I love her so much I even wrote their reconciliation scene, even though it’s not in the book. It’s up on my website though, so that anyone who feels like they missed out can go read it.

Laurel: I'd like to be Elizabeth Bennet (like so many other romance authors!)

12. How old is your inside voice?

Isobel: I think she’s perpetually somewhere between 27-33.

Laurel: About 17, I think. See Marianne Dashwood above :)

13. What do you like best about being a writer?
Isobel: There’s really something amazing about knowing that something you created from nothing provided joy and entertainment to people. It’s like being able to perform magic.

Laurel: A lot of writers say this, but it's very true—working in my pajamas! I love just getting up, having a cup of tea, and diving right into a story without worrying about putting on my makeup. It's nice being able to work with my pets taking naps around me and some classical music on the stereo. But I also like all the friendships I've made, both the imaginary ones with the characters inside my head and the real ones with other writers. It's a wonderfully supportive field to be in. Plus I get to put my English lit degree to work, which my dad said would never happen! :)

Ladies, thank you so much for stopping by and letting us get to know you a bit better.

Giveaway:  I have print copies of both Ripe for Seduction and Two Sinful Secrets to give away to one lucky winner.  Leave a comment on this post, along with your email address, no later than 12/12/12 (hey, look at that!!) at 7:00pm to enter to win.

Guest Author: HelenKay Dimon + a Giveaway

Thanks for having me here today to talk about my newest release, LEAN ON ME. 


I've written over thirty single titles, category romances, shorts and novellas. Every book is a process and some are harder to write than others. But I've learned one thing…I love dark-haired heroes. Yes, I admit it. Maybe that's because I'm married to one in real life.  Not sure, but it is rare for me to write a hero with blond hair.

I think back to the male characters on television shows and heroes in books who capture my attention. Most – not all, but the overwhelming majority – fit into the Tall, Dark and Handsome category.  Add in flawed, stubborn and rough-around-the-edges, and I'm in love. I'm hesitant to admit this but I haven't read the J.D. Robb series. I keep meaning to but there are so many books that I go to start and then think about the commitment I'm about to make (because I tend to read every book in a series once I start) and I get twitchy.  But a friend described the hero Roarke as dark and handsome the other day and now I'm determined to start the series as soon as my next deadline is over.

And the hero in this book – Mitch?  Tall, Dark and Handsome.  In my head he looked like this:

In real life - Misha Collins


At least I'm consistent.


Thanks so much for being here today, HelenKay!  I read Lean on Me and I really liked it.  Thanks for a great read!


HelenKay is so kindly giving away one digital copy of Lean On Me.  Yay!  Just leave a comment on this post, along with your email address, no later than 7:00pm on Wednesday, November 7th to enter.

Guest Author: Annie Nicholas - Greener Grass and Other Things (+ a Giveaway!)

Who has never experienced the grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side syndrome?


I doubt there is many. It seems natural for any creature to strive for more or to desire better. Why would supernatural beings be any different?

My succubus, Pia Blyton, was sent to human school so she’d learn to fit in at an early age. Her parents didn’t foresee that it would seed desire in their young daughter’s future. Being surrounded by people who could share love showed Pia that there could be more to a relationship besides sex.

But is the grass greener? Her people view love as a weakness, something to be exploited. If she opens herself up to those possibilities will she prove them right?

Blurb:

After almost dying of starvation to remain faithful to a mortal lover, succubus Pia Blyton now shields her heart by feeding solely on men she won't fall for. The only trick is, to create energy to survive, she must achieve orgasm. At least that rules out bad sex with her three lovers. Too bad she's a sucker for falling in love.

When her demon lover doesn't arrive for their arranged rendezvous, Pia is forced to ask her vampire lover to step in before her energy becomes dangerously low. In return he demands a favor and Pia finds herself in the hotel suite of the mysterious Valerio Hunan, who seduces her with a devastating kiss. Too late Pia learns he's an incubus who wants to lure her into marriage—a marriage without love.

As an incubus used to bedding a variety of succubi, Val doesn't understand Pia's yearning for love. He needs a succubus wife to provide him with a steady source of energy. But he wants Pia for the passion and renewed interest in life she makes him feel. Can Pia convince Val that sex isn't just for survival and love is for more than the weak?

Excerpt:

I gazed at the cars speeding by on the highway.
He squeezed my hand. “What ghosts am I battling, Pia? It’s not fair to expect me to fight for you and not tell me who I’m against. What drives you to these extremes? What has your father so tied in knots when it comes to you?”
“A human male.” I sensed Val grow stiff next to me. “Oh, I don’t love him anymore, but there was a time when I thought the universe revolved around him. Looking back, I see how young and stupid I was. I just don’t want to repeat my mistakes.” The quiet grew heavier as Val waited. I could escape by running out of the car into traffic but even that would be temporary. Eventually, I’d have to talk about it.
He gave me a small reassuring smile. “We were all young once.”
“I never liked feeding from strangers. Impersonal sex left me feeling cheap and empty. To support the need I dated mortals. I was just reaching my maturity and didn’t understand how out of control the need could get. I met Pierre in college. He was a medical student and I was on my way to dropping out.” I had to smile. “He was smart and kind and all the right things a girl could want. I fell hard. We moved in together. My family never knew. They assumed I was still living in the dorms at the college.” It was only after everything fell apart and I was tied to the contract with Sin that my father confessed he’d known. He once loved a mortal too in his youth, before he’d met my mothers, and had learned the value of caring for someone else. But he’d grown up in harder times and developed a stronger soul than mine to deal with the heartbreak.
I was feeble. My mistake had harmed so many, including my father. He blamed himself for my near death experience. That’s how Sin was able to make him sign that contract, proving to my father that love really was a weakness. Guilt now drove Dad to hover and shelter me.
Five years later, those emotions had faded but I should have known better. “I tried really hard to be a good girlfriend. I only fed from him.”
Val gasped. “Pia.”
“I know, I know. Stupid. It almost killed me. But he didn’t know what I was and our laws said I couldn’t tell him. He would have seen it as cheating, so I tried for our sake.”
Shaking his head, Val stayed quiet but his disapproval was evident.
“I lasted almost a year. I’d lost weight and was weak. He thought I was sick and kept trying to take me to doctors. Obviously, I couldn’t control it anymore. He caught me with the mailman.”
“Pia.”
“Oh no, don’t stop me now. You wanted to know. It gets worse. The mailman was married, but what mortal can resist a starving twenty-something succubus? He never had a chance.”
Val hung his head.
Oddly, incubi and succubi took marriage very, very seriously. It was an unwritten rule not to feed from married people of any race. “I broke three people’s hearts that day. I never heard from Pierre again and I never went looking. Shame sent me away. I left the city and hid from my family, refusing to feed.”
I smoothed my unwrinkled dress with trembling hands. “We done? Can I drive now?” Heat sizzled through my ears as my disgrace was laid out before him. “Am I taking you home?”
With a finger under my chin, he guided my face toward his. He gave me a chaste kiss. “I think I understand now. You’re walking a fine line.”


Purchase:  Kindle | Nook | Carina Press

Annie Nicholas
www.annienicholas.com

Giveaway: Annie is giving away one digital copy of Starved for Love to one lucky winner.  Leave a comment on this post, along with your email address, no later than7:00pm on Tuesday, October 7th to enter to win.

Guest Author: Elisabeth Barrett - The Importance of Family (+a Giveaway!)

Please welcome author Elisabeth Barrett to the blog.  Elisabeth was nice enough to include Tracy's Place on her blog tour for her newest release Blaze of Winter.

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.” Anthony Brandt

Your family may drive you crazy, but no matter what they do, you still love them! Although it sounds cliché, I do believe that in a family, people often live up to the roles they’re assigned … or the roles they fall into. The annoying little brother. The superior older sister. The doting grandmother.

My latest novel, Blaze of Winter, tells the story of Theo Grayson, an author of swashbuckling adventures who returns to Star Harbor, Massachusetts to plot and write his next book. There he meets Avery Newbridge, a gentle social worker, who is taking some time to figure out her career and her life while she helps her aunt manage the Star Harbor Inn. Theo has a twin brother (Seb) and two older brothers (Val and Cole). Each brother left Star Harbor after high school but after many years away, one by one, each brother returns to Cape Cod. Of course, once the Grayson brothers are back home, it’s like they never left. Old habits die hard, and Theo can’t resist reverting to his prankster self when it comes to baiting Cole.

“What the hell are you doing?” Cole demanded, looming over Theo, who was stooping to throw a pair of socks into his large duffel bag. Theo should have known that it would never work for two huge men to share such a minuscule space.
“Thought you were working tonight,” he responded coolly.
“Hank’s on shift now,” Cole said, referring to one of his deputies. “But you didn’t answer my question.”
“I’m packing,” Theo finally said. “I’d have thought that much was obvious. You are the sheriff, right?” He glanced sidelong at his brother, a small smile forming on his lips.
“I can see that you’re packing. The real question is, why?”
Theo raised an eyebrow. “Are you going to ask me nicely?”
Cole rolled his eyes. “It’s annoying as crap when you dodge my questions. I’m just looking out for you. You know I won’t quit bugging you until you tell me what’s up. Are you heading back to California? Going to visit a friend?”
“Enough.” Val’s calm voice filled the tiny room. “Let him alone.”
Cole stepped back. “Our little brother won’t tell me where he’s going,” he said, his voice heavy with irritation, “because I didn’t ask nicely.”
“Where are you going?” Val asked mildly.
“To stay at the Inn. Our brother here,” Theo said, jerking his thumb at Cole, “is making me nervous.”
“I don’t blame you. You’ll get some good writing done there.”
“That’s what I’m hoping.” Though he wasn’t sure he could convince himself of that anymore. One more second in the presence of Avery Newbridge this afternoon and he would have lost whatever small amount of composure he had left. Slamming the door in her face had been inexcusably rude, but it wouldn’t have been any less rude if he’d shoved her up against the wall and kissed her senseless. And that’s exactly what he would have done had he stayed in that damned hallway. He never did things like that. Didn’t even contemplate them—unlike his twin, Seb. But for that woman, he was ready to do an about-face.
“Next time I’m going to ask nicely,” Cole muttered, breaking into his thoughts, before pushing past Val out of the room and up onto the deck.
Theo didn’t smile this time. It was too easy to get a rise out of Cole lately. Some days, he acted like he was still leading his Special Forces unit in Afghanistan. Taking a job as the sheriff of Star Harbor had been a good move for him, but he still had a hair-trigger temper. The change in Cole nagged at Theo, but he wasn’t sure what to do about it.

But of course, there’s always another brother to give a comeuppance, and Theo gets his in the very next scene, when his oldest brother, Val, deconstructs him with a few choice words.

Val picked up a blanket from the floor of the cabin and placed it on the bottom berth. “I’m just glad that you’re in town. It’ll give you a chance to start over.”
“Why exactly would I need to do that?”
“You’ve spent the last few years being someone you’re not.” Theo came up short. “I’m exactly who I always was.”
“No,” Val said, shaking his head. “You’re different. It’s inevitable. You leave home, you change. You were always smart, no doubt about it. But you could’ve cared less about what other people thought of you. Too many years in San Francisco made you care, and you’ve surrounded yourself with other people who care, too.” He paused. “Why do you think I live here instead of in Boston? Because Star Harbor grounds me. It keeps me sane. The people are real, and I can guarantee you they’re more interested in finding out about you as a person than the fact that you’re on the bestseller lists.”
“That’s enough,” Theo said gruffly, cutting him off.
Val sighed. “Look, I know you’re struggling. Hell, I would be too, if I was in your position. Seems like you just need some time to figure things out for yourself.”
Theo didn’t respond.
Val glanced up the short stairway, where Cole had disappeared. “I’d better go check on Sheriff Sunshine.” He ducked out of the cabin and headed to the deck.

The Grayson brothers are able to joke and fight with each other without worrying about causing offence because deep down, they genuinely love each other. Returning to Star Harbor meant coming home to family, and these men know that blood is way thicker than water. Their shared experiences and the support they gave each other while growing up strengthened their relationships, enabling them to weather any emotional storms.

About Elisabeth:

Raised in a sleepy little Connecticut town, Elisabeth draws on her upbringing to write small-town romances. Her summers spent living and working on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard were the inspiration for the Star Harbor series, which kicked off with Deep Autumn Heat and continues with Blaze of Winter. Currently, Elisabeth lives in Northern California with her husband and three children. Her family is awesome. Find her online: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

About Blaze of Winter:

Winter heats up in this hot new Star Harbor romance, as another sexy Grayson brother, a wickedly handsome writer, plots his happily ever after with a sweet stranger.

Frustrated with her job in Boston, social worker Avery Newbridge welcomes the opportunity to reassess her life when family asks her to help manage the Star Harbor Inn. Trying to figure out her future is overwhelming enough, but she doesn’t count on distraction in the form of one Theo Grayson, the gorgeous, green-eyed author who she knows is trouble from the moment he saunters into the inn.

Not only does he have a talent for writing swashbuckling adventures, but Theo also has a soft spot for big-hearted damsels in distress, especially a woman who’s great at helping everyone—except herself. Avery’s demons challenge him, but for desire this hot, he isn’t backing down. With every kiss and heated whisper Theo promises her his heart . . . if only Avery is willing to open up and accept it.

View an excerpt of Blaze of Winter on Scribd: Click here.

Order Blaze of Winter: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or the iBookstore (Apple)!

Giveaway:

One commenter will be randomly selected to win a NetGalley preview of BLAZE OF WINTER. Contest ends September 18th at midnight (EDT). You’ll need a NetGalley account, and to answer the question below: What do you love about your family?

Guest Author + a Giveaway: Annie Nicholas - Different Kinds of Nerds

Please welcome Annie Nicholas to the blog.  Annie is the author of the Vanguards series and is here today talking about different kinds of nerds.

Nerd
Noun:
1. A foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious: "one of those nerds who never asked a girl to dance".
2. An intelligent, single-minded expert in a particular technical discipline or profession.

Just like I’ve said to my children, there is nothing wrong with being a nerd. It just means you’re not like everyone else.


Annie’s Fun Classification of Nerds and Geeks and Dweebs
(please remember these are my definitions lol)

Hopeless Romantic: Someone in love with love. The hero in The Alpha is modeled after this idea. He secretly hoards romance novels under his bed and has kept his virginity for his one true love. Gotta love him.

Computer Geek: Someone more into electronics and can communicate better in html than with words. The Beta’s hero is totally in this category. He’s not crazy about socializing, which is odd for a wolf shifter, yet uses his computer skills to aid the pack.

Quiet and Shy: Socially inept, usually the person in the corner at parties. The heroine of The Omegas falls in this class. Sugar, who appears in all the books, is a librarian who is taken by storm by a Nosferatu warrior vampire.

Incurable Child: Goofy, always trying to make everyone laugh even at their own expense. Sees the world as their playground. Omegas in Love has a hero whose greatest passion is to create Rube Goldberg machines. (An apparatus that is deliberately over-engineered to perform a very simple task.) He’s fast with a joke, even if they’re horrid, and a godsend for an abused shifter female.

Emotionally Stunted: (I think we’ve all met one of these in our lives) Immature emotionally, searching for a quick, shallow connection with someone on a short term basis because they can’t deal with more. Yep, I class this in the NERD file because dealing with your emotions is a social skill. LOL Sigma is all about this type.

I like my nerds, geeks, and dweebs. I am one and place myself in the quiet/shy category. What other types do you think there are?

Oh, and remember, nerds rule the world…

Annie is very kindly giving away 1 copy of her new release Sigma (The Vanguards book 5) to one lucky winner.  Leave a comment on this post no later than August 15th at 7:00pm to enter.


Sigma
To defend and protect, at any cost.

Sam is Sigma of his pack, defender of the innocent and frail. Too bad the one time it mattered most, though the urge to guard the weak runs strong in his shifter blood, he failed to protect his best friend from an attack. Just when his self-confidence can't go any lower, he becomes entangled in a vampire skirmish and is left with an injured female in his arms.

Vampire accountant for Pal Robi, Inc., Clementine can't believe her master would ask her to commit corporate espionage. She’s shot when discovered, but a shifter comes to her rescue. It's as if he's made of her fantasies, and in the few hours with him she lives more than the decades she's spent among her clan.

Hiding with him on the streets of Chicago, in the midst of fighting together to stay alive, can a petite vampire break through her hero’s jaded heart?

WARNING: Hot dominating sex, an action packed evening, and a first date gone all to hell.

Buy Link

Excerpt:

His inner beast grumbled, sulking in the corners of his mind. Ever since Sugar had been attacked on his watch, when Katrina’s old werewolf pack from China had broken into their home, his animal nature didn’t seem interested in the outside world. Even when he shifted to his beast form, it remained distant, not sharing in the hunt, or even sex.

His love for the human female had faded over the years and transformed into something more brotherly, but the rejection still ached. Every woman he’d been involved with took off. Some base instinct kept him from caring about anyone new and he was tired of it.

Shit, even his beast couldn’t stand hanging around him anymore.

All his roommates had shacked up, but he still slept in an empty bed, the one-night-stand wonder. Fuckable, but not worth loving. Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. He tried to believe…

The rehabilitation center night security guard let him park his car in front of the entrance, since Sugar was being discharged. Six weeks in physical rehabilitation, yet she still couldn’t move her left side. The scans showed she’d suffered a stroke after the attack, something that could happen to trauma patients, even young ones.

Daedalus, her vampire lover, was supposed to be picking Sugar up. That’s why they’d arranged a late night discharge, but the vampire had vanished, leaving a note for Sam to take care of Sugar. The asshole didn’t need to write an or else on his message. It was implied. Sam rubbed his temples, his pulse pounding, the sure sign a migraine would be paying him a visit soon.

He and Daedalus had never been on the best of terms. The vampire had discarded Sam when he first started training the pack to fight, and focused only on Eric as alpha. The vampire had known Sam’s feelings for Sugar, yet had still stolen her away. Now, the bloodsucker could barely look at him. Daedalus blamed him for Sugar’s injuries.

The vampire was right, though. It was Sam’s fault. He was Sugar’s Sigma. Spice, his pack’s female alpha and Sugar’s twin, had charged him with shadowing her sister. Not every pack owned a Sigma, not every pack needed one. They protected the innocent or the weak, like orphaned pups or the elderly, who had no children to care for them. In his case, he took care of their token human.

He strolled through the corridor of the rehab center, his footsteps echoing in the quiet, and he waved at the nurses. One offered him an inviting smile. Something he would have pursued a few weeks ago. However, his interest in humans had waned. Too fragile for a shifter.


Annie Nicholas
www.annienicholas.com
www.annienicholas.blogspot.com

Guest Author: Kira Brady + a Giveaway!

Thanks for having me Tracy! Since the Desert Island Keepers blog started in 2008, I have been waiting to do my author interview. (Tracy: OMG I had no idea!  I'm so sorry!) I never got my chance, but for old time's sake, here are my answers!

Favorite Reading Position
Any way and every way I can get it. I used to read a book a day, but since I had a baby, I'm lucky to read one a month.

Best love song
Forever and Always by Shenia Twain. It was the first dance at my wedding.

Favorite Heroine
Kate Daniels from Ilona Andrews's Kate Daniels series. She's smart, sarcastic, and kicks ass.

Author everyone loves but you don't
I'd have to refrain from saying, but I'll admit I have trouble getting into the old skool books everyone seems to love. I came too late to the romance genre.

If you could be in one book/series/world which would you pick
Meljean Brook's Iron Seas series. I'd get mechanical arms and become an airship pirate.

How old is your inside voice
Five.

If you could be a hero who would you be
Curran. Everybody wants to be a cat.

What heroine is most like you
Molly Somerville from Susan Elizabeth Philips's This Heart of Mine. She's a children's book author and illustrator with an impulsive streak, a lot creative, a bit sensitive.

What heroine would you like to be
Kate Daniels.

Favorite book set on a tropical island
Once an Angel by Teresa Medeiros. It's set in New Zealand. The heroine is too young for the hero and absolutely impulsive, but I can't help loving their romance anyway. It's got that magic.

What hero would you like to be your significant other
Rhys Trahaearn from Meljean Brooks's The Iron Duke.

If you were stuck on a desert island what 3 things would you bring
Sunscreen, paper and a pencil so I could write.

Favorite Drink to Bring to the DIK party?
Glögg. It's a scandinavian drink with mulled wine, bourbon, and spices. The characters drink it in the Deadglass stories. :)

What six books would you take on a desert island?
1. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
2. The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle
3. The annotated Peter Pan by JM Barrie
4. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
5. Sabriel by Garth Nix
6. Watership Down by Richard Adams


AUTHOR BIO:A native Seattleitte, Kira spent her childhood hiking the rainy forests of the Pacific Northwest and drying out by the fire with a good book and a mug of something hot. She graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, where she met her real life Prince Charming and promptly dragged him back to sunless Seattle. She fell in love with historic, haunted cities in graduate school. Now she writes about the twisted cities of her imagination, where wraiths and shape-shifters stalk the night and love redeems even the darkest heart. When not writing, she can be found drinking inordinately large mugs of Assam tea, knitting wool socks, and raising a wee heroine-in-training. Her website is http://kirabrady.com


HEARTS OF DARKNESS:
In the first of a dazzling new romantic trilogy, one woman’s courageous search plunges her into a millennia-old supernatural war—and an irresistible passion…

Nurse Kayla Friday has dedicated her life to science and reason. But for her, Seattle is a place of eerie loss and fragmented, frightening memories. And now the only clue to her sister’s murder reveals a secret battle between two ancient mythologies…and puts Kayla in the sights of lethally-sexy werewolf mercenary Hart. He’ll do whatever it takes to obtain the key to the Gate of the Land of the Dead and free what’s left of his soul. But seducing the determined Kayla is putting them at the mercy of powerful desires neither can control. And as the clock ticks down to hellish catastrophe, the untested bond between Kayla and Hart may lead to the ultimate sacrifice.

Tracy: Thanks so much for visiting today, Kira! Congrats on the new book. And to all you readers out there...I read Hearts of Darkness and it was really good! So good that I just decided, as I'm typing this, that I'm gonna give away an ebook copy of this book to one lucky winner. I can work out details with the winner later. :)  So leave a comment on this post, along with your email address, no later than say...August 13th at midnight (pacific) to enter.

Guest Author + a Giveaway : Willow Rose - Where did the inspiration come from?


Where did the inspiration to Savage come from? I get that question a lot and it is so hard to answer in just a few sentences. Because where do inspiration come from? I for one have no idea. I get it from everything and everyone around me. From people I meet, from articles I read and movies I watch. For me a book starts with the characters. The characters and their story come to me. I like to say that they "pop up" in my head. That is the best way I can describe it. The characters are just there all of a sudden with their backgrounds and problems and then they start to do stuff and talk to other people and soon there is a whole story that I simply have to tell or else I will burst. The main character Christian in Savage is somewhat inspired by my husband. Back in '83 when he was 19 years old he was sent to Florida by his parents to live with a very wealthy family just like Christian in Savage. My husband's experiences coming from a small country Denmark to the big USA in the 80'ies are very similar to those of Christian, yet they do not share backgrounds. Christian has lost his mother in a young age and that has had a huge impact on who he is and why he acts the way he does. He matures a lot throughout the book and love changes him from being a selfish self-centered boy into a young man.

The female characters that Christian meets in the haunting house next door are my favorites in this book. They are so innocent and childlike yet very wise and magical. I like to say that they are inspired by my daughters and I have also dedicated the book to them. I have two young girls of four and six years and then I have a wonderful step-daughter who is twenty-three. Those three combined makes this world a magical place. As does the female characters in Savage. I simply adore them and I know everybody else will too. They are so lovable. I have a hard time letting go of them and think I will write many books about them. First of all I will write three books about the main character Christian and his great love Aiyana. It is sort of a family-saga really. In the first book he is in his twenties and so is she. In the second book they have kids of their own and are in their thirties with all the problems and seriousness that comes with being that age. In the last book they will have young teenagers and face completely new challenges. I am also planning on doing a book about Aiyana, the magic spirit-filled Native American girl that he falls hopelessly in love with. About her and when she first discovers who and what she really is. I might also do a book about her sister who does telekinesis and their grand-mother who predicts natural disasters. I love those characters so much that they each deserve their own book. Sometimes I love them so much that they themselves become an inspiration to me.

Bio:
Willow Rose writes Paranormal Romance, fantasy and mystery. Originally from Denmark she now lives on Florida’s Space Coast with her husband and two daughters. She is a huge fan of Anne Rice and Isabel Allende. When she is not writing or reading she enjoys to watch the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.







Willow is giving away 1 digital copy and 1 paperback copy of her book Savage: Daughters of the Jaguar to 2 lucky winners.  To enter the giveaway leave a comment on this post along with your email address no later than 7pm on July 31st.


Savage:Daughters of the Jaguar

The year is 1983. Christian is 22 years old when he leaves his home in Denmark to spend a year in Florida with a very wealthy family and go to med-school. A joyful night out with friends is shattered by an encounter with a savage predator that changes his life forever. Soon he faces challenges he had never expected. A supernatural gift he has no idea how to embrace. A haunting family in the house next door. A spirit-filled girl who seems to carry all the answers. An ancient secret hidden in the swamps of Florida. One life never the same. One love that becomes an obsession. Two destinies that will be forever entangled.

Savage is a paranormal romance with some language, violence, and sexual situations recommended for ages sixteen and up.

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/willowredrose
twitter: @madamwillowrose
blog: http://www.willow-rose.blogspot.com/
link to booktrailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwzYsoUn2VY&feature=player_embedded
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Savage-Daughters-Jaguar-ebook/dp/B008BP5ONY/ref
=la_B004X2WHBQ_1_8_title_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1341005661&sr=1-8
Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13648992-savage