Just Imagine

Just Imagine

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Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Meet Muse Calliope! Skhye Moncrief's, Ancient Musings. Time to win big!

Welcome! I can’t believe summer’s already over and autumn has arrived. While the hot steamy days might have come and gone, I intend to keep the temperature turned up at this blog.

For the next two months, weekdays only, I’ll be inviting the nine muses of inspiration to join us. Naturally each muse has her own story and each story has its own fabulously talented author. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Song of the Muses anthology? If not, you’ve come to the right place because my A-musing the World Blog Event has just started!

This week I’d like to welcome romance author Skhye Moncrief who wrote the first story in the anthology titled Ancient Musings. Her muse? None other than Calliope, muse of epic poetry. As always with my blog events, there is a contest involved. For a chance to win an Ecopy of Ancient Musings, a $6 gift certificates to Digi Books Café AND a Time Guardian T-shirt you must answer the following question…Click HERE to go to Calliope’s Myspace page, scroll down until you find HEROES on the left hand side. Question- Calliope needs a hero like...? Swing back to this blog and leave the answer in a comment! Alright, why don’t we get to know Skhye and Calliope a little bit better?

Ancient Musings

One’s darkness proves the other’s light…

When Calliope challenges Zeus to end her immortal existence, she faces the reality of death in Hades. Only Jake Genoese, an archaeologist's soul, can outwit Zeus's Harpies and help her find new purpose. Far more is at stake when both realize they are no more than pawns for ANCIENT MUSINGS.

SKY: Thanks so much for joining me this week!

SKHYE: Thank you for having me over.

SKY: Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been writing? Do you have a genre preference? What have you published thus far?

SKHYE: Formally educated in geology and bioarchaeology, I’ve turned to writing paranormal romance while acclimating to motherhood. Writing keeps me sane. I’ve been writing seriously since graduate school in 2000. I’ve got a time-travel series, a piece presented to surfers here today, and the first book in my new psychic werewolf space opera series is published! Oh, and my free read

SKY: When you first knew you were going to be part of The Song of the Muses Anthology, what was your first thought?

SKHYE: Oh boy! I can’t wait to write about Hades!

SKY: Did you find yourself researching Greek Mythology quite a bit while writing your story or were you already a guru in this genre?

SKHYE: Yes, ma’am. I researched the ancient Greek idea of life and death as well as the underworld to write my novella. I wanted to understand the death customs, meaning of life and death, and all the deities involved. There’s really very little out there on what the underworld was like to the ancient Greeks. So, I began improvising with my poetic license.

SKY: Let’s chat about your muse. What drew you to her? As she was literally your inspiration, share a little about how you formed an entire story around her?

SKHYE: Geesh. I don’t know. Maybe Skhye doth ramble too much? And Calliope’s the muse of epic poetry. Don’t those two points mesh?

SKY: Time to crawl inside your muse’s head romance style. I’d love to read an excerpt from your story that revolves around her interacting with your hero. Pull us in─lead out with three words you feel could be a mini title for this glimpse inside your tale!



SKHYE: (This scene is where she meets the hero reborn through a ritual, Jake, in his brand new birthday outfit provided by the Gods! Ajax is her belated husband who killed himself and died dishonorably. She does not extol Ajax’s honor. You know, I just realized the names Jake and Ajax are like thesis and antithesis… I didn’t do that on purpose. LOL)

The door swung wide. A tall golden man dressed in a crisp white chiton and brown sandals laced up his muscular calves stepped into the sunlight.

Tan. He was as golden as any living around the Mediterranean. All but for his brown eyes. She could only stare at statue come to life. Here stood a being more exquisite than Apollo.

“What fortune brings another god to the Elysian Fields?” Ajax asked.

Apparently, visits by gods or goddesses were unusual here.

The golden man shot Ajax a dismissive look. “I’m a god now?”

Apollo’s rival spoke with Jake’s voice. She dare not step closer. She would have to touch him to see if he were real. What an inappropriate gesture. “Jake?”

One of his yellow eyebrows arched. “This is all a joke, right? I wake up, cracking out of my hull, and find I’m some kind of Greek hero.” He peered down at his sandals. “I even hatched wearing sandals.”

Nothing was better suited than a nude rebirth. Rebirth. Reincarnation. The river of forgetfulness and Gaia’s pool. The traveled more and more across the sky with each moment wasted. “I must speak with you in private, Jake.”

“Aren’t you accompanying me to the games, dear heart?” Ajax’s fingers curled around her elbow and tightened like instantly-drying rawhide.

She yanked against the squeezing grasp. “Release me.”

Ajax’s unrelenting brown gaze warned her not to fight him.

Such a controlling look. Did she owe him as the dutiful wife? No. He had committed suicide and chose not to stay with her in life. The man was a pig wanting nothing but to rut in the warm sunny Elysian meadows. Just what would the old goat try to do?

“Let her go,” Jake growled behind her back.

SKY: Hero time! Introduce us. What does he look like? Where’s he from? Why was he lucky enough to hook up with one of the nine muses of inspiration?

SKHYE: Jake is fortunate enough to be hanging in limbo waiting to cross the river Acheron… Not so corporeal when he meets Calliope. But he’s desperate to get across the river. His background in Classical archaeology makes him incredibly helpful to Calliope who needs to find Gaia’s pool to gain what she wants in the underworld. So… Jake becomes indebted to her through his honor when he realizes that in stealing her token to get across the river Acheron, he’s subjected her to a lot of danger. Of course, this realization comes after his act of taking her token. He then tries to make amends by helping her. You can get a picture of his appearance through the previous excerpt. I’ll leave you with another one just to help you size him up.

(The hero and heroine are hurrying to beat the night in the underworld where Harpies hunt the heroine.)

The quasi-morning dragged on and lightened a bit the farther they walked. Who knew when the morning peaked with noon though? But Calliope never said a word. Poor kid. Rather, woman. She was lean. Short for a woman standing next to a man of six feet. But her slim build made her appear tall. Or was her height lengthened by the way she thrust her chin up? And her beauty was impossible to describe.

She stopped.

Her skirt stilled over the broken earth at her feet.

Did she need to rest? “What’s wrong?” He strode to her side.

She stared down at a long gray bud hanging from a hip-high gray stem hosting a few equally-gray elongate leaves. “The food of the dead. Asphodel. That much remains true of myths, Jake.” She sighed and scanned the horizon.

“Out there, somewhere beyond the lilies and poplars of legend, lies Gaia’s pool. And I will beat my father to it before his Harpies steal my life essence.” She grabbed the Asphodel, yanked its dangling roots from the ground, and handed it to him. “Eat this. Maybe you’ll feel energized.”

The anger in her eyes spoke of her disgust with Zeus’ betrayal. But eating the plant couldn’t possibly do anything other than tie his soul to the underworld. And the psyche mob had seen to that with a few of Hades’ pomegranate seeds. “Food doesn’t do anything for a psyche.” He chuckled. “I know because the other psyches in their jealousy of my friendship with Hades crammed pomegranate seeds down my throat. I gained nothing but a Hades ball and chain.”

A hint of pity flashed in her eyes. “How sad that psyches hold as much animosity in death as they did when living. Jake, my father challenged me to find an unsung hero before he sent me here. I have.” She patted his arm and turned back to the horizon she had been trying to reach.

“Know you are worthy.”

If only she knew he stole her obol. What would she think?

SKY: Just to mix it up, make you think─if you could’ve chosen one other muse to write about in this anthology, which one would it have been? Why?

SKHYE: Okay, I’m into science. I’m a geek. Don’t smack me, Masha. But I would have stolen your muse! (Urania- Muse of Astronomy)

SKY: Thanks for visiting and sharing!

SKHYE: Thank you!

Sky here! I thought while I had Skhye here, I’d have her share another one of her fabulous stories so here goes…

FERAL FASCINATIONS

Their blood lust flares hotter than a solar storm.

Beyond rebels and rogues, the ultimate insurgents, psychic mercenaries, fight for your freedom of thought and hunt earth mates for one purpose--to defeat the universe's psychic emperor wanting to control all sentient beings through mind control. And you have no idea this war rages off planet. Failure is not an option for the free-thinking universe.

The free-thinking universe's prized psychic mercenary, Red Trekaar, is running out of time. A legend claims she will give birth to a child that will end the war. But seducing the only man whose blood could satiate her lust was a mistake…

A sexy Goth babe crosses Jake Straightarrow's path, and he wakes up in an alien-abduction nightmare with a chronic hard-on, powerless, labeled a blood fucker. She shanghaied him using some force's magnetic attraction. But a guy has self-respect. She should have earned his trust, then spread her legs. Especially after he learns sacred soul mates shape shift into uncontrollable werewolves trapped in a frenzied blood lust for their mate's blood. Self-control is what kept him alive so long. Now, the unshakable countdown to the moment he will shape shift ticks inside his head. His gut shouts escape stud service. Yet, humanity needs a hero. Colliding in a world of mind-reading games where one's best friend is the equivalent to one's worst enemy, each realizes trusting the other is as dangerous as buying into their FERAL FASCINATIONS.

Short Excerpt:

Jake’s mouth watered where he sat across the table from the bloodied mixture. The succulent smell of blood wasn’t what he remembered from a lifetime of fistfights and accidents back on earth. Now the metallic tang rooted in his nostrils with a sweetness that begged he chug-a-lug.

His mouth watered again.

Drink it and cave. To give in meant he relinquished the last vestige of choice he clutched.

But the scent called to him.

Nausea roiled in his gut.

Was that an intuitive sign to abstain?

She settled into her chair, shoving the blade back in its boot.

Funny thing about the glass’s contents. His captor blurred into the background behind the drink. Faded into a smear beyond the magic concoction.

“Take it, Straightarrow. My gift of peace to you, my husband.”

Husband? He shook his head and forced his gaze back to meet hers above the sparkling glass. Whatever she was up to with this ridiculous baited trap would not get him humping in the sack.

She flung her long hair back over her head. “I’m getting some sleep now. You do what’s right for you.”

Her curvaceous hips swung left and right, all the back to the bed where she unbuckled the leather straps on her boots and lined them up on the floor beside the bed like the habits of a good little soldier.

God, take the pants off now. Then the shirt. If she did, he’d be on top of her. Pounding home.

She stretched out with her back to him.

Ready for him. God to run his hand between those firm lean legs. The heat. The wetness....

Really, was there anything to lose without a way home? Why not buckle to the insanity? At least, enough to function with a brain cell or two working in one’s favor. He ran a fingertip around the slick curved glass rim.

Sip from the vessel or wait and rip his wife’s throat to get what he knew was the only way out of this mess. Rather, what would happen to him after he shifted into a creature? Would they kill him? After all, she claimed he was some kind of mercenary star. Anyway, he could observe these free thinkers, biding his time. Decide if they were good or bad. And that meant finding some way to balance control with the predicament his peon got him into. He pressed the cool glass against his lips to smell the brew.

Something spicy glistened within the container.

Observation, yes. Someone had to assess this situation. For humanity. He tipped the glass upward.

What they're saying about Feral Fascinations...

"The storyline is complex and well written, Ms. Moncrief seamlessly blended earth religion, new-age mysticism, paranormal events, shapeshifing rogue spies, and a who-done-it twist. The love scenes were not overly explicit, but very romantic & emotionally heart felt." ~Happily Ever After Reviews

Read 1st chapter. Click HERE.  


Purchase Skhye’s books HERE

Visit Skhye at her Website or Blog, Skhye's Ramblings.

Don’t forget, for a chance to win an Ecopy of Ancient Musings, a $6 gift certificates to Digi Books Café AND a Time Guardian T-shirt you must answer the following question…Click HERE to go to Calliope’s Myspace page, scroll down until you find HEROES on the left hand side. Who does Calliope say she needs a hero like? Swing back to this blog and leave the answer in a comment! Contest closes Friday, October 1st 12 PM EST.

Learn more about The Song of the Muses anthology and which authors you can expect by clicking here.

Thanks for popping in everyone!

~Sky

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Rynne Raines shares all. We have contest winners!!!

What a fantastic week! I can see you all adore Rynne as much as me. Or should I say her and her heroes? They are indeed one hundred percent fabulous. I'm so sorry I wasn't able to pop in more this week but life (as it has a way of doing) detained me. But I see y'all had a ton of fun anyways! *wide smile*

I'd like to once more thank Rynne for visiting. Her prizes were above and beyond. And of course, her talent as a writer has, without doubt, caught your attention.

Okay, on to the fun stuff. Contest winner time! Two lucky winners have been randomly selected. Congratulations to....

Kay Dee! You won a digital copy of Welcome to Eden and a $10 gift certificate to Digi Books Cafe.

Carol L! You won a digital copy of Pure Sin and a $10 gift certificate to Digi Books Cafe.

Please contact Rynne at Rynneraines@rynneraines.com to collect your prize. Be sure to list 'Sky's Blog Contest Winner' in your subject heading and mention which digital book you won in the body of your email.

I'm hoping to be able to post again before the weekend's finished but if I don't make it put a check mark on your Monday morn calender slot now. Why? Because my next blog event is officially starting. I know, there's been little talk of it. Frankly, it kinda snuck up on me. Where does the time go? *I'm rubbing my hands together in anticipation* So here's what I have up my sleeve. Nine weeks...nine authors...all visiting this blog to chat about...our muses!

Yep, you heard me correctly, our muses. After all, those famous muses born of Greek Mythology belong to each and every one of us. They are the voices in our heads whom make us decide to choose the red rose over the pink. Bach over Beethovan. Jeans over dress pants. The sax over the piano. Tap over ballet. Or vice versa on all mentioned. Regardless, they're the voices in our heads that rule ALL when it comes to inspiration.  Lucky me, I'm part of an anthology that tells the tales of these nine aformentioned muses. Those devine beings whom, in your every day life, help you through split second decisions. Those who have in fact, inspired you in everything you do...from the very beginning.

Naturally, these nine muses of inspiration weren't birthed simutaneously. No, they came one before the other until all nine existed. Until all became the stuff of legends. So, who was the very first muse?

I won't make you research. Her name was Calliope (Καλλιόπη) muse of heroic poetry. Daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Calliope was incredible. I'm hoping I'll be able to talk more about her before Monday. If not, prepare yourselves because Calliope is one muse you won't want to miss!

A very happy weekend to you all.

~Sky

Monday, September 20, 2010

Paranormal. Erotica. Rynne Raines shares all. Mega giveaway!!!

Welcome everyone! As I said a few weeks ago, I’m so thrilled to have some spectacular authors visiting my blog in between events. This week it’s my extreme pleasure to introduce talented romance/erotica author Rynne Raines.

I first met Rynne online in early spring of 2007. We’d both been recently contracted through The Wild Rose Press. Rynne all but held my hand and walked me through the pull-your-hair-out process of creating a Myspace page. Long story short, we connected instantly. I will always consider Rynne one of my dearest friends. We just clicked that well. Truth told, she's a keeper. I always tend to tell her about the big things happening in my life first. Need to hear her feedback. You all must have a friend you feel that way about. A hands-down 'true friend' no matter the ups and downs life dishes out. 

Speaking of life and all its facets...Rynne’s getting married this year! While I won’t be able to make it to her wedding in Mexico, she knows darned well that I’ll be there in spirit. Congratulations my friend, I wish you a lifetime of happiness!!!

All the mushy stuff aside, I can honestly say Rynne is very good at what she does. (In fact, I'm downright jealous) While I went the way of fantasy/paranormal romance, Rynne wrote paranormal then dove headfirst into Erotica and has, without doubt, proven herself a cut above the rest since. I’m so proud of her!

Time to have some fun! As always, there’s a contest involved with this post. Rynne is graciously offering a total of four prizes. Two winners will be drawn. One will win a digital copy of Welcome to Eden and a $10 gift certificate to Digi Books Cafe. The other will win a digital copy of Pure Sin and a $10 gift certificate to Digi Books Cafe. So how do you enter to win? It's super easy. Click HERE to head over to Rynne's 'Meet My Heroes' page at her website. Pick out your favorite hero then swing back here and leave a comment telling us who you chose and why. Be sure to leave a comment by Friday, September 24th, 12 PM EST. Alright, time to get to know Rynne a bit better! 

From Rynne’s lips to my blog… “I was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. In 2005, I relocated about an hour away from Alberta’s capital city and into a smaller town, Wetaskiwin. The rural community is flanked by farms and boasts a whopping eleven thousand people or so. Big change from the million population I was surrounded with growing up. And, to tell you the truth, I’m still a city girl to the bone. At times, the slower pace of what I call “country life” is welcomed but not always. So, why did I relocate? Drumroll please…for love of course.

As for writing, I started at a very young age. To be honest, I think it all began out of boredom and the need to control something when I felt like I had no control in my life. My parents got divorced. I didn’t exactly “fit in” at school. I needed a creative outlet. Now, why did I continue writing? Well, I could toss out a generic answer and say it’s in my blood and the need is just something I can’t ignore but that wouldn’t exactly be the truth. Writing is hard. It’s frustrating and it’s time consuming. More often than not it’s absolutely exhausting. So, I tip my hat to every writer out there still pecking away at the keyboard. If I had to narrow my motivation down to one thing it would be the “high” that comes with completing something that I feel is good.”

Sky here! How incredible does Rynne sound already? I couldn’t agree with her more, there is a certain “high” that comes with completing something in the writing field. Naturally, I HAD to interview her and learn more. So here goes…

SKY: Thanks so much for joining me, Rynne. I’m psyched to be able to share you with everyone!

RYNNE: Thanks for having me, Sky. Psyched to be here.

SKY: I’d really like to focus on your latest release, Pure Sin. Follow-up to Welcome to Eden, what was it that inspired you to create the hero and heroine of Pure Sin? Were they secondary characters from Welcome to Eden or brand new to scene?

RYNNE: Cade and Bianca weren’t secondary characters from Welcome to Eden. When I originally wrote Welcome to Eden, I had no intention of writing a follow-up but as positive feedback began rolling in, I felt good about writing another one.

SKY:  Let’s talk more about Bianca Alexander…who is she? Any weaknesses? Strengths?

RYNNE:  Hmm…Bianca is a complicated female. She’s a very prideful, strong, and independant woman. Those attribute tend to appear in everything she does. As a BDSM instructor at Eden, her job is to educate and really clue people in about the lifestyle. In this profession, she calls the shots and is the one in control but, behind closed doors she’s a submissive to the bone. So, those previous attributes I mentioned lead to some conflict throughout the story.

Weaknesses…I’d have to say her biggest weakness happens to be Cade—tall, dark, handsome, and all Dom. He can turn her into mush in about five seconds.

SKY: So can't blame her! He sounds delicious. I’d love to crawl inside Bianca’s head for a moment. How about an excerpt from her point of view?

RYNNE: Sure. A little set up—this excerpt takes place the day after Bianca discovers Cade is meant to “assist” with her BDSM classes and she’s none to happy about it.

A curtain of darkness fell over her, a lead blanket of sleep that washed away the uncertainty in her mind and any fear of what the next day might hold. She was in a world where she controlled the secondhand on the clock, manipulated the very essence of time. She’d slain the dragon, rode the white stallion and rescued the helpless prince. Nothing could touch her. Nothing could wake her. Nothing except…the pounding on her goddamn front door.

Five minutes of holding her orthopedic pillow over her head and then another five of her goose down comforter on top of that didn’t make the knocking stop. Bianca cursed into the mattress then squinted at the boxy indigo numbers reading ninetwenty-two across the clock radio on her nightstand.

Saturday morning. Damn. Already she could smell the stiff, gelled hair parted down the middle, could visualize the clip-on tie and one-size-too-small white shirts on the boys prepared to spread the word of God—didn’t God invent sleeping in?

Grumbling, she dragged her ass out of bed and headed for the door.

“Morning, sunshine.”

Worse than God’s messengers.

“I hate you.” She slammed the door, but Cade stuck his boot in the jamb before it closed all the way and shouldered inside. If he hadn’t have been carrying two cups of coffee and a bag of what she assumed was breakfast, she would have cold-cocked him. What in the hell was he doing here anyway?

“Still not a morning person, hmm? Good to see some things never change.”

She glared through one narrowed eye, then stomped back to the bedroom with the full intention of sleeping another hour before she had to shower and get to work.

“Interesting spread you’ve got here. I particularly like the purple bean bag chairs—very nice touch.”

Indifferent of whether her robe was too short or too skimpy and giving him the full view of her bare ass, Bianca flopped face first onto the bed.

“You’re the devil,” she muttered into a pillow and contemplated bloody murder. Fortunate for him, the sound of his light laughter was enough to preserve his life until he told her what he was doing here. “I don’t remember ordering a wake-up call.”

“Told you I’d be up early.”

“Yeah, well, when you told me that, I didn’t think you meant you’d be up early and over here.”

“I’ll clarify next time.” He set one coffee on the nightstand and removed the lid. The aroma drifted toward her. As if he didn’t have enough of an advantage over her. Did he have to know all her vices?

“That wouldn’t happen to have two creams and a sugar in it?”

“What do you think?” He sat on the edge of the bed, sipping from his own cup.

“I think you’ll live to see another day.”

SKY: Slammin' excerpt! Pure Sin’s hero, Cade Sinclair is hot as hell. Let’s mix it up. If he could say one heart-felt thing to Bianca outside your story, what would it be?

RYNNE: Heart-felt, eh? Hmm…not sure Cade is exactly the “heart-felt” type but I’ll give it my best shot. He might say, “Those handcuffs aren’t too tight, are they?”

SKY: Ha! Nice. I say we crawl inside Cade’s mind as well. Have a super yummy ‘his point of view’ excerpt available?

RYNNE: This is the only one I could find that was yummy and not completely x-rated…lol.

Cade’s gut knotted with urgency as he expertly worked his fingers against a small area of skin uncovered by her leather and lace corset. This was his last chance. The moment of truth. Bianca was ready to run and if he failed to play his cards right, he had no doubt, she’d disappear from his life again. But this time, permanently.

He wouldn’t let that happen.

Cade punctuated the vow by pulling her body harder against his and ravished her mouth with long, fluid strokes of his tongue. He didn’t smile when she moaned and stabbed her fingers in his hair. This was not the victory he was looking for. Their bodies had been on the same page since day one. Her heart was what he wanted.

He took her by the shoulders and eased her back from him. Long vibrant lashes swooped against her high cheekbones as her eyes closed in dizzy satisfaction. He put his ego aside and refused to delight in her reaction. It had been his intention to knock her off balance, lower her guard, if only for a moment, and plant a seed of desire to replace her reservations. But for the first time since they’d started this charade, he wasn’t sure desire would be enough.

“You’ll give me tonight,” he said, taking a casual stance and forcing his hands back into his pockets. “You’ll give me tonight. And, after, if you so choose, you’ll never have to see me again. I want you, Bianca. I know you want me.”

She didn’t answer immediately and Cade’s heart thundered in his head. The office tilted around him in a distorted haze, but it didn’t matter. He focused on Bianca’s liquid-blue eyes, clouded with emotion he couldn’t quite read.

Then it happened. She slowly sank to her knees. Arms behind her back, she shifted forward until the insides of her thighs aligned with his ankles. He couldn’t breathe. How long had he waited for this, for the moment she would submit to him again? She had only been back in his life a few days now, but in his mind, he’d anticipated this for four long years.

“You’re right,” she said softly. “I do want you.”

His fingers flexed in his pockets while his cock jerked at the soft sound of her surrender. Christ. He held back a moan as her short, prissy skirt rode high up her thighs, the garters stretching her stockings tight. If he were the same man she’d met four years ago, he would have spun her around, bent her over and taken her like a savage.

However, he wasn’t that callous youth any longer. That’s where he’d gone wrong with her all those years ago, he was sure of it. There was no way in hell he would make that mistake again.

“Stand.” At his verbal release, she slowly rose to within an inch of his mouth, but he warded off the temptation to kiss her again with the anticipation of long-term success. “Follow me.”

“Wait.” She touched his arm and stared up. “We’re leaving?”

The uncertainty in her voice, in her eyes, slashed at him like a thousand blades but he refused to let it show. For Bianca to accept him as a permanent part of her life, he couldn’t lose himself in the heat of the moment. She had submissive needs, far too long neglected.

He lowered his head, brought his lips next to her ear and spoke slowly. “If you hadn’t been so disobedient this week, I’d be fucking you right now. Unfortunately, there’s a matter of punishment we
need settled first.”

SKY: Damn! I know firsthand, Pure Sin is fabulous. Can we expect a third in the Eden series? If so, have you a ‘working title’ yet?

RYNNE: If all goes well with the submission process, you CAN expect a third in the Eden series! I’m on the verge of completing the first draft of Legally Bound—Two rival lawyers. She has a secret. He wants to expose it. A weekend of powerstruggle within the walls of Eden will land one of them on their knees….

With any luck it will be ready for submission in before the end of September.

SKY: Can't wait to read it! It’s been great having you visit, Rynne. Thanks so much!

RYNNE: Great being here. Thanks for the opportunity.

What's being said about Rynne's stories...

You Gotta Read Rating for Pure Sin—“The sex they had had me thinking, "Hmmmm ... I wonder...". Ms. Raines did what most authors strive to do; grab the reader by the collar and make them want to continue turning the pages and tell those around them, "One more page. One more page."—Reviewed by Shira, You Gotta Read Reviews

Pure Sin is listed as one of the Seriously Unforgettable best stories of 2010—“VERY NICE!!! What a wonderfully decadent tale of love, sex and bondage! This fantastic treat was a show stopper from start to finish with characters, plot and SEX that left me breathless!” –Seriously Reviewed

5 Cherries for Pure Sin—“Rynne Raines writes a wonderful story with many ups and downs. Pure Sin is a fast-paced story that keeps the reader glued to the pages from the beginning. Cade and Bianca’s relationship is a very erotic read. With very strong elements of BDSM behavior in it this story is a hot read. This author does a good job of giving a glimpse into understanding the needs of Bianca and Cade and the depth of their emotions. I truly enjoyed this book and will be looking for more from Rynne Raines in the future.” –Mistletoe, Whipped Cream Reviews

5 Cherries for Welcome To Eden—“Rynne Raines has created a winner with this short story that left me wanting more, if only to get more of a taste of the heat generated between Caitlyn and Evan. My only complaint… I wanted MORE! I just fell in love with these characters and Rynne Raines has become someone to watch for. Her skillful blending of humor, heat and the beginnings of a relationship are more than enough for me to wholly recommend Welcome to Eden as a hot, intense and quick read.” –Reviewed by Viscaria, Whipped Cream Reviews

5 Diamonds for Welcome To Eden—“Rynne Raines pulls the reader into a wonderful world full of sensuality and keeps you entranced from start to finish. This book is a hot read and should not be missed. My only complaint is that it was over to quickly. I will certainly be on the look out for more from this author.”—Reviewed by Gabrielle, Got Erotic Romance

4 stars for Reflections—“This short story is filled with so much emotion and events, it’s as multi-colored as a prism in the light. I loved how each vibrant character and event reminded me of another color of the rainbow. Rynne Raines puts a lot of heart into a short story. The passion of her characters is wonderful to read. A very enjoyable story.”—Reviewed by Robyn, Once Upon A Romance

5 RRT Rating for Reflections—“ Great characterizations in an amazing short read all readers will love.”—Reviewd by Robin Lee, Romance Reviews Today

4 Cupids for The Awakening—“The Awakening was by far the best short story I have ever read, and one I will definitely read again and recommend. Not only is the story emotional and realistic (even with the paranormal element!), it is extremely satisfying.” –Reviewed by Mandy, Rogues and Romance

Learn more about Rynne and her books. Visit her Website or Blog.

Contact Rynne directly at rynneraines@rynneraines.com

You've got to admit it....Rynne has you intigued, eh? And she should! Her stories are enthralling, her dialogue fresh, her characters captivating...you can't help but want more! So don't forget, for a chance to win one of the two prizes listed at the beginning of this post be sure to click HERE and head over to Rynne's 'Meet My Heroes' website page and pick your favorite hero. Swing back to this blog and share with us who you chose and why in a comment. Contest closes Friday, September 24th, 12 PM EST.

Thanks for popping in!

~Sky

Friday, September 17, 2010

Blogmania Winners!

What a spectacular Blogmania event this time! Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to pop in and join the fun. Hope you all won tons of great stuff at the other participating blogs. Okay, I won't keep you waiting a moment longer. The randomly selected winners for my giveaways are the following...

Vicki...One $25 gift certificate to Digi Books Cafe

Winterbabe98...One $25 gift certificate to Digi Books Cafe

Jade...One autographed set of my Highlander Trilogy.

Dovile...Ireland was correct! You won a digital copy of The King's Druidess

Congratulations everyone!!! Please contact me at Skypurington@live.com to collect your prizes.

Be sure to pop back in Monday morning as I welcome multi-published romance author Rynne Raines to my blog for the week. Comment for a chance to win big.

Enjoy your weekend and thanks again for participating!

Sky

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

BLOGMANIA HAS ARRIVED!!! Time to win, win, win!

BLOGMANIA- My Theme...BOOKS & MORE

Wow! Can you believe it’s Blogmania time once again? It seems like mere days ago that we all romped through cyberspace, eager to visit various blogs, see what everyone was up to and─of course─enter to win a HUGE slew of prizes! But no, half a year has gone by and as all quality events go, Blogmania is back!!! This time, 169 blogs have come together to give away thousands and thousands of dollars worth of giveaways.

So what are my prizes? Two $25 gift certificates to Digi Books Café and a set of autographed books from my Highlander trilogy. Three winners will be drawn. It's super easy to win at this blog! All you have to do is leave a comment and become a follower. Read on for details and another bonus prize you could win hidden within this post...

Fate’s Monolith (Book I)

“A lover of all things Scottish along with an avid love of anything that is fantasy, Fate’s Monolith just hits my buttons. It’s a lovely blend of two times and the trouble that would befall anyone that is taken across the fabric of time. Sky Purington has done a wonderful job bringing this story to life. I found it hard to put down and it made me wish for my own Highland Laird to come and sweep me off my feet and into a time where I could be loved for who I am. I hope you take the time to get lost in Fate’s Monolith this summer just as I did.”

Dianna ~ Night Owl Reviews

DESTINY’S DENIAL (BOOK II)

“If you like romance AND time travel you will love this book! I loved it and am anxious to read more by this author. The story is well written and moves right along at a fast pace… Of course Caitlin and her Mac’Lomain chieftain Ferchar are hot ticket items. The sexual tension snaps and vibrates through the entire story…Caitlin’s character shines through all her actions. Her bravery and straight-forwardness will endear her to you. The use of her modern language will clarify for you the intent of what is meant. She embodies the spirit of modern women. Ferchar is magnificent. No other way to describe him. The man makes your heart pound. Why? Physically tall, muscular, forthright, sexy, strong…oh I could go on at great length. Did I mention I read this story twice?”

Verbena ~ Long and Short Reviews

“Destiny’s Denial is the second book in the Mac’Lomain Trilogy. While I totally loved the first book, “Fates Monolith” I also find that I enjoyed the second book as much if not more since it is about a girl that could be any one of us in this day and age. Beautifully put together, the images that Sky Purington leaves you with will have you wishing that you were of the Broun clan and that your own Mac’Lomain would pull you back through time to be with him yourself. Take some time during this hot summer to cool down in beautiful Scotland and see just what will have you wishing you could find such a destiny of your own.”

~Dianna ~ Night Owl Reviews

SYLVAN MIST (BOOK III)…

“If you’re looking for that great summer beach read that will take your mind off all your worries this one is for you. If you love the time travel romances of Lynn Kurland, this one equals any of hers. This is a must read for fans of great romance. Even though this is book three of the trilogy it stands well on it’s own, but I have to admit that now I have to read the other two.”

~Larkspur ~ Long and Short Reviews

“I have never read any of Sky Purington's books before, but after reading "Sylvan Mist", I can't wait to read more. It is a great book, mixing magic with history and time travel with romance, all following a family line through time. I loved the storyline and the great characters. I could sense from the first that the hero and heroine were meant for each other, but it took a lot of ups and downs before it finally happened. And I loved the ending, where two old lovers were finally reunited to spend the rest of their lives together. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and family. I really enjoyed it.”

~Countrygirl88 ~ Night Owl Reviews

“This final story in Purington's Mac'Lomain trilogy is an enchanting story of time hopping. Closely connected to the previous stories, the action is intense and the finish is a fine conclusion to the series.”

~Romantic Times Reviews

Sky here! All you have to do for a chance to win IS LEAVE A COMMENT AND BECOME A FOLLOWER by Friday, September 17th, 12 AM EST. If you’re already a follower just say so in a comment. Naturally, I shared a little about my Highlander trilogy through reviews. ***Added BONUS*** One more lucky winner will be chosen if they answer the following correctly...list one country that you feel─based on this blog─I may love as much, if not more, than Scotland for a chance to win the lead-in tale to my trilogy, The King’s Druidess. (Hint, hint…the title’s kind of a dead giveaway!)

Happy blogging everyone. Hope you enjoy visiting all my fellow Blogmanian sites. The more blogs you hit the more chances you have to win! Here is a list of all the participating blogs.

Hugs, cheers and all that!

~Sky

Friday, September 10, 2010

Helen Hollick's contest winners!

Simply fabulous week! I’d like to once more thank Helen Hollick for stopping in and sharing so much with us. It was such a pleasure. Okay everyone, I won’t keep you waiting a moment longer. Two lucky winners have been drawn. A huge congratulations to….Pricilla and Erin! Pricilla, you won an autographed copy of Sea Witch. Erin, you won a copy of Pirate Code. Please contact Helen directly at Author@HelenHollick.net. Be sure to put Sky’s Blog Contest in the subject of the email and include your home address and the title you won in the subject of the email.

***SPECIAL ALERT!!!***

BLOGMANIA arrives at this blog on Wednesday, September 15th and Thursday, September 16th. For those of you who have not heard of this event, it consists of over 150 blogs giving away a total of well over $125,000 dollars worth of prizes. Be sure to pop by this blog on the 15th and enter to win my giveaways. What’s up for grabs? Three winners will be drawn. One lucky winner will receive an autographed set of my Highlander Trilogy. The other winners will each receive a $25 gift certificate to Digi Books Café! Also, included in my Blogmania post will be links to get you rolling onto other Blogmania blogs to enter to win more and more prizes!

Can’t wait to see you all. Have a super weekend!

~Sky

Monday, September 6, 2010

World Famous Author, Helen Hollick shares all. Chance to win two autographed novels!!!

Thanks for popping in! I’ve the extreme pleasure of featuring and interviewing some authors close to my heart these next few weeks. This week, it’s all about extremely talented author, Helen Hollick.

I’d like to start at the beginning when it comes to Helen. Years ago, I first became published. What did this mean? Not all the fuzzy-warm writing I thought it would mean, but a great deal of promotion. Where to start in 2007? Myspace! Yep, at that time, Myspace had everything beat─facebook, twitter, what were those? So, I spent ample hours creating my Myspace page. “hours being an understatement.” At long last, it was done. And shining bright for a month or so. Until doomsday. What was that? None other than the day I opened my page and half had vanished! Did I cry? Of course, just a little. Did I fidget and toggle with Myspace forever to fix it? Yes. No luck. At last, I bucked it up and reached out to the friends whom had accepted my ‘friend invite.’ First on the list, Jessamiah Acorne- AKA, Helen Hollick.

As you can imagine, I never thought in a million years Helen would actually respond when I emailed her asking for help. She was a well-established, exceedingly popular writer, consultant for a movie, and ‘then some’ sort of author. But she did respond! Told me exactly what to do. I never forgot that.

Big things come from small things.

Since then I’ve learned a great deal about exactly who Helen Hollick is. Mind you, before I wrote romance, I read only Dragon Lance and Forgotten Realms stories. That wasn’t exactly Helen’s area. Now, in retrospect, I’m so humbled she took the time to reach a hand out to help me. Naturally, her advice worked, my Myspace page once again sprang to life. But more than that, I discovered an excellent person, a woman whom adored her family and a cut-above-the-rest author. Trust me folks, she’s the big people and I the little when it comes to the publishing industry. Her years of experience, historical knowledge, many publications and pure graciousness paved the way for Helen. That she helped me out in a time of distress says an awful lot about her character.

Spectacular.

Thank you, Helen.

On to the fun stuff! Years later, still in touch with Helen, always determined to give back to her for all she’s done for me…I introduce none other than Helen Hollick herself! As you can tell, I’m horribly thrilled to have Helen at my blog. What a rare pleasure. (I’m such a fan!!!) Naturally, there’s a contest. Helen would like to offer an autographed copy of Sea Witch and Pirate Code. At the end of the post there's a question. Answer it correctly and be entered to win. So two winners will be drawn, each will win a book! All right, here we go…

SKY: Helen, thank you so much for visiting. It’s a true pleasure!

HELEN: It’s my pleasure to be here Sky. May I say how much I enjoy your books? They are just right for a spot of relaxing escapism.

SKY: Thanks so much, Helen! Tell me, what age did you first decide that writing was your passion─that you wanted to become an author?

HELEN: I’ve wanted to write ever since I was about 13, when I scribbled away at pony stories – I couldn’t have a real pony, so writing about an imaginary one was the next best thing. I did not consider becoming a published author until I was in my early 20’s though. Until then, I assumed authors were university graduates with degrees and High Education – clever people. The school I went to did not encourage their girls to have exotic career ideas. Our lot in life, back in the 60’s, was to become shop assistants, factory workers, and ultimately, housewives. I did suggest at my careers talk that I would like to be a journalist. The interviewing teacher laughed and told me; “Don’t be silly Helen, you can’t type.” Actually, I still can’t. I use four fingers and am pathetic at touch typing. Doesn’t seem to have hindered me much….

SKY: If you could choose one story out of all you’ve written to showcase as your ‘masterpiece,’ the story closest to your heart, which one would it be and why?

HELEN: Unfair question! That’s like asking a mother of a large family which one of her children does she like best! LOL :-)

They are all close to my heart for different reasons. The Kingmaking because it was the first adult novel I had published. I am immensely proud of it – and I am still overawed that my demented scribblings became a real book. It took me ten years to research and write what turned out to be Kingmaking and half of book two in the Trilogy - Pendragon’s Banner, so I think my pride is justified.

Harold the King (to be published as I Am The Chosen King in the US in March 2011) is probably my best serious historical fiction novel. I am proud of that in a different way, most notably because I receive such enthusiasm for it, and respectful praise from re-enactors and people who now their stuff regarding 1066 and the Battle of Hastings. I am also involved in a prospective movie project – 1066 - as co-scriptwriter, so that is exciting as well.

And then there are the Sea Witch Voyages, I wrote the first book out of pure love. We hit a few stormy seas once I’d finished it – but I unashamedly admit I adore my character, Jesamiah Acorne.

SKY: I must agree, he’s spectacular! As Sea Witch was the first book I ever read by you (and one of my personal favorites), I’d love to focus on that. Let’s crawl inside the heroines head. What was the one thing Tiola did in Sea Witch that you feel summed up a great deal about her character? Why?

HELEN: Oh, a hard question. Two scenes come to mind: on the stairs leading to her apartment in Cape Town, and when she summons up a wind while on the Sea Witch. I’ll go with the first one.

Jesamiah has been seriously wounded, Tiola, a midwife and a healer, finds him in danger of bleeding to death and takes him to her home, a small upstairs apartment in the heart of early 18th century Cape Town. She patches him up and nurses him back to health. We see her as a caring, capable and quiet young woman. She has obviously fallen in love with this handsome rogue, despite knowing he is a thief and a pirate, and that one day soon he will return to his ship and sail away.

Jesamiah, of course, wants to take her to bed – he is somewhat of a womanizer, but he soon discovers that his feelings for her are starting to run deeper than a need of passing lust. He sees Tiola as young, beautiful, a bit shy, and vulnerable. It would be so easy to take advantage of her if he so chose.

Almost recovered, he is fetching water from the well downstairs. The staircase and entrance door to the street is a dark and shadowed area; he hears the ominous click of a pistol hammer…. His enemies have found him! A shot is fired, it misses, he races up the stairs intending to get his own pistol, but Tiola is there, her arm outstretched, her appearance that of a wrinkled old crone.

“Wot be ‘ee ‘bout yur?” Tiola said (to the intruder) her accent a strong rolling Cornish, quite different to the mild, soft lilt Jesamiah had become accustomed to.“Be no one ‘ere but me’sel’ boy.”

Jesamiah was stunned. He stood rigid, open mouthed. He was standing clearly in sight at the top of the stairs; how could Tiola say she was alone?

Gesturing with her hand, Tiola’s unblinking stare never left the intruder’s eyes. She spoke again, commanding, in her own, sweet, voice. “This is not the place to be looking for pirates. You will not be remembering coming here – be gone with you, and leave us in peace.”

The man turned, slid his pistol into his pocket, began to walk away.

Tiola made a soft sound, “Hie-asssh,”and the air quivered again with a high, long, note of sound, barely audible, perfectly pitched. The man opened the street door, went through. Closed it behind him.

Tiola looked up the stairs. Jesamiah was standing there staring, pale-faced.

His arm was aching abominably and he was shaking. She had said she was a witch, he had not seriously believed her.

And so – along with Jesamiah - we discover that Tiola is not quite as she outwardly seems!

SKY: Super excerpt! Pirate Jesamiah Acorne has his hands full, but he knows what he wants, Tiola. Trials and tribulations aside, what was going through your mind as you wrote about him? Aside from his piratical (and super sexy) attributes, how did you want the reader to see him, relate to him?

HELEN: Sea Witch, as a novel almost wrote itself. The scenes rolled into my head like a flood tide, one after the other; there were very few places where I had to stop and think what could happen next. To me, Jesamiah is very, very real. (I can hear him chuckling behind me as I write this. Phew, and smell him! (Please dear, go and have a bath…)

Outwardly he is cock-sure of himself, nothing can harm him, he is invincible. All the women adore him and he is ready to roll into bed or dispose of a bottle of rum at the drop of his three-corner pirate hat. He is a more than capable sailor, a crack shot and afraid of nothing. He is, definitely, a capable seaman – but for the rest of it? Yes, he likes a tumble in bed with a pretty woman, but it is passing lust. He is lonely. He wants someone to love and to love him back. We discover in later books that he wants a child, to settle down – but that is not likely to happen for a man like Jesamiah, who finds trouble in one form or another awaiting him at every anchorage.

He has his fears and doubts, he makes mistakes. He can be utterly ruthless – he has no qualms about killing someone who is a threat to him. He has sex with his half brother’s wife – in the brother’s own house, while a party is going on downstairs, and has no feelings of guilt about it. He also steals whatever he fancies and see nothing wrong in it. He knows one day he will be caught and will hang – but has no fear of death, only the manner of it. But equally, he is tender and gentle, loyal, honourable and can be trusted - although things go wrong and sometimes it seems he is nothing more than a pig-headed drunken womanizer. Well, he is a pirate!

I wanted to create a character who was interesting and complex, who was not all he seemed but who would not be predictable. The sort of man that every woman secretly wishes she had as her own. A charmer, a rogue, but solid and dependable, always there when needed, no matter what. The sort of man who would take a bullet – or a savage flogging - to save the woman he loves.

As the three books so far written have come into being I have discovered things about Jesamiah that I never expected. What is exciting is that I plan to write at least three more “voyages” and I know I will get an enormous thrill from discovering even more about him!

SKY: When researching the history behind Sea Witch, what was your favorite part? The ships, time period, clothing? Share!

HELEN: Clothing is the most challenging to research, What did men and women wear underneath? How did a man unbutton his breeches? How did a woman manage with those layers of skirts when she visited “the necessary”? The time period is fascinating to research. I try to stick to exact events, but as this is an adventure fantasy series I feel I can have a little leeway with ‘poetic licence’. Woodes Rogers and William Dampier, for instance, were at Cape Town in 1711 not 1716, and the Spanish treasure ships went down off the coast of Florida in July 1715 not July 1716, but Sea Witch is a fantasy novel, not a factual book or even one of straight historical fiction. I do always make a public confession of my “tampering” in my author’s note though. Voyage Three, Bring It Close centres around the dastardly deeds of one of the most famous pirates of all – Blackbeard. I had great fun weaving the facts of his demise into my storyline. Jesamiah is manifest in finishing Blackbeard, but in the story he demands that no mention is made of his involvement. Which is why you will not find the name Captain Jesamiah Acorne in a single historical document!

So my favourite part? Oh the ships! The ships! I love tall ships, even though I have never been on one in my life. I am certain I had something to so with shipping in a previous life though. How else do I know the specific terms, know how a ship feels when she is running before a wind? Know the smells and sounds? I’m certain it is all there in my subconscious or DNA memory.

Sea Witch is loosely based on a real ship, the Rose. She was built some years ago as a replica of a real Rose which sailed towards the end of the 18th century and was mixed up in the beginnings of the American War of Independence. I love this particular "reproduction" ship, she is so beautiful. Technically some her design is too advanced for Sea Witch-the real Rose was built circa 1750, my Sea Witch circa 1715, so copper-cladding for keels, dolphin strikers (a spar reaching downward from the bowsprit) etc would not have been "invented" yet. But as I said before, Sea Witch is adventure fantasy, not accurate history.

Maybe you have not heard of the Rose? If you are an avid movie-goer and watch anything to do with the sea you will know her as a more famous fictional ship - Surprise in Master & Commander with Russell Crowe as Cpt Jack Aubrey.

My ambition is to sail on a real tall ship. I would not be able to do anything, a creaking old hip, poor head for heights and various other bits of me that are wearing out would prevent me being an active sailor; but to stand on the quarterdeck and just drink it all in…. ah, one day! One day!

SKY: Oh, I'm sure you will, Helen! If you could say one thing to Jesamiah and Tiola, what would it be?

HELEN: LOL! To Jesamiah; ‘keep your breeches buttoned my lad.’ To Tiola; ‘Be patient with him, he’s worth the effort.’

SKY: Love it! Stepping outside your stories. You are such an extremely talented author, Helen. Beyond pleased to have you over. If you could give any advice to aspiring authors, what would it be?

HELEN: Thank you (blush) People who know me will groan because there is one thing I am always on about. The importance of editing! A few years ago mainstream publishing houses would take a chance on a potential new writer even if the submitted manuscript was in need of an in-depth polish. Now, the big houses are more fussy. They cannot afford to take a gamble on a possibility, so aspiring authors need to do as much polishing as they can first. And if you decide to self publish then it is so important to edit – in fact I would say it essential to use a professional editor before going “independently” into print.

Now I am not just talking about a copy-editor who corrects spelling, punctuation and grammar. I’m talking about the foundation work – continuity, author’s voice, “head hopping” and point of view changes. Do the characters ‘stay in character’, is the story readable? An author cannot easily assess all these things because you are too close to the story. You know that character A goes to the bank that morning for a certain reason, but have you remembered to tell your readers?

Someone once described writing a book as like building a house. Yes anyone can do it and end up with a reasonable end result that brings a lot of pleasure. But when you decide to sell the house you’ve built, other people are not impressed by windows that will not close, sloping floors and a sagging roof. Yes, all these things may add ‘charm’ but charm is not necessarily going to sell the thing.

So you bring in a painter and a cleaner. They spruce the place up, but it still has ill shutting windows and a sagging roof, even though the paint sparkles and the place is spotless. To fix the big things you need an architect.

With a book, a copy editor will tidy your manuscript up, but the paragraphs and sequence of events may still be all over the place. You would be better using the services of a good advisory editor. Yes this will cost money – anyone who thinks writing a book is a cheap way of making money is very wrong. Your book is more likely to be picked up by a mainstream publisher – or sell far better as a self published book – if you check the windows and roof are built properly!

If anyone is interested, my Discovering The Diamond, hints and tips for authors, is on my website, available for free. Click HERE.

SKY: Excellent advice. Thank you so much for being here, Helen!

HELEN: My pleasure – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Purchase Helen's books at Amazon, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble , Borders and many other online bookstores.

Learn more about Helen Hollick. Visit her at her ~ Website ~ Muse and Views Blog ~ Monthly Journal ~ Blog Profile ~ Picture Diary Blog ~ Facebook ~Twitter

Contact Helen at Author@HelenHollick.net

Don’t forget, for two chances to win big, be sure to answer the following question in a comment at this blog by Friday, September 10th, 12 PM EST.

~What trilogy does Helen advertise on the home page of her Website? To find the answer, click HERE.

Thanks for visiting!
~Sky

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Getting to know Mary Gramlich, The Reading Reviewer.

Welcome! This weekend I thought I’d share with you a fabulous woman I recently met online, Mary Gramlich. Not only does she do reviews but she helps authors donate their books to our troops overseas! So, I thought I’d introduce you to Mary via an interview…

SKY: Welcome, Mary. It’s great to have you over for the weekend!

MARY: Thank you so much for asking me over – it is truly an honor to be here with you.

SKY: For those of you who haven’t heard, Mary Gramlich is The Reading Reviewer. Mary, tell us a little bit about yourself and the services you provide.

MARY: I am foremost a person in love with the written word and love anything in print. Nothing brings me the peace and joy that reading does and writing a review of what I have read is my way of giving back to the author and saying thank you. My goal is to drive sales and make the book and author a success in whatever way I can, so they can write more and I can read more.

SKY: Well, thank you so much, Mary! I think it’s fantastic that you do free book reviews. Those reviews really do make a huge difference for authors. I’d say they’re definitely one of our main marketing tools. What inspired you to start doing reviews and providing such a wonderful service for authors?

MARY: I hope they do help and that is my singular objective. I want an avenue to help sell books and thought if one person buys a book based on a review of mine then maybe a book club will. I think I am good at writing about a book but don’t think I could ever write one.

SKY: Oh, you might be surprised! If you ever do write one, let me know, I’d love to read it. Mary─bless her heart─is also an avid supporter of our troops (SOS America). Tell us a little more about that.

MARY: My brother is retired Army so I know the importance of being supportive to the military but like so many people scratched my head at what to do. But a funny meeting of minds happened while standing in line at the 2006 Romantic Times Book Fair in Daytona Beach, FL - I met Kim Adams. She is a military spouse and avid reader so a friendship blossomed and ideas abounded on what I could do to help her with donations or whatever was needed. We struck up a friendship over emails and she outlined what she as a military spouse does to support the troops and the marriage of book donations to the military was born. I was able to read and review the book and then donate it to the soldiers or have it used for giveaways as a thank you for a donation for the military causes such as SOS America or the USO. Wild Rose Press is now actively involved in this and thank you barely comes close to the gratitude that I feel for the authors involved. Everyone wants to do something and anything counts as a big help so any donation is appreciated so thank you Sky and everyone at Wild Rose Press

SKY: Such a fantastic service! Mary, it was wonderful having you visit. Thank you for all you do!

MARY: Again thank you for having me it was a great pleasure speaking to you and you know anything I can do to help promote books and authors I will do anytime just tell me what it is and with the best of my ability it shall be done.

My only additional thought I want to convey is my philosophy on reviewing. I will never, ever give a bad review so don’t ask. Now that is not to say I love all the books I read – I do not but just because I don’t like it does not mean I have the right to speak ill of it because the person next door might love it and I do not want to trash someone’s hard earned work. This philosophy is not a popular one and I have received very unkind emails and comments about it but I am sticking to it. If I don’t like your book I will not review it and will tell you so but more than likely just ask for more time to put that down and come back to it with a fresh perspective. My opinion is that it is just that my opinion. I can express it or not and if I choose to not say something negative it is my right. These days everyone wants to chime in with a thought and the thoughts that are heard the loudest are those that are negative and I don’t want to be part of that.

Sky here! I’d like to once more thank Mary for popping in the weekend. If you’d like to learn more about Mary and the wonderful things she does for authors and soldiers alike, perhaps read some of her recent reviews. Visit Mary at her Website or Blog.

While I have you, keep your eyes peeled as I welcome Mary’s close friend, Kim Adams to my blog sometime at the end of September.

Have a super weekend all!
~Sky

Jaclyn Tracey's, Eden's Black Rose. We have a winner!

Good morning all! Well, much like summertime itself, my Sizzlin' Hot Heroes of Scotland, Ireland, England & Wales Summer blog event has come to an end. Did we have fun or what? So many great authors and so many suburb books. Though this event is over there are still great things ahead for the remainder of this year. Next week I'll be welcoming world renowned author Helen Hollick who will be giving away two autographed books. After that Blogmania arrives, an event boasting over 150 blogsites and well over $100,000 dollars worth of prizes. Then talented romance author, Rynne Raines returns to share her latest work and offer giveaways. As you can tell, the list is endless and there's great fun to be had in the months ahead!

All right, I won't keep you waiting a moment longer. The contest winner this week is...drum roll please....Stacey! Congratulations! Please contact me at Skypurington@live.com to collect your prize.

My best to you all.
~Sky