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.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pick a Spot. Any Spot! Killer Interview. Eden's Sins.

 
Welcome back! Popping into A Writer's Mind for the first time? Well, you've arrived at a fantastic time. Today is day two of Edin's Sin's, End of Week Character Blowout. What does that mean? Simple. Yesterday and today I'm interviewing Jovan Hause and André St. James from Jacylyn Tracy’s latest release, Eden’s Sins. Though they were interviewed seperately I've included their answers to the same questions side by side so that we can easily see how well these two really know one another.

Jaclyn is graciously giving away TWO eBooks, Eden's Black Rose and Eden's Sins, to one lucky commenter!

So sit back, relax and let's get on with the interview...

SKY:  Ah, love is in the air. What is the single most romantic thing he’s/she’s done for you?

JOVAN: The ninny proposed to me and gave me a cigar band as a bauble to wear because he is as impulsive as I am. Got down on his knee, he did, in the restaurant, placed his fingers where they should have only been when the 2 of us were tangled up and naked and popped the question.

ANDRE: Took care of her and kept her safe, or tried to until she regained her memory. I asked her to  marry me and she said she’d sleep on it. After 3 years you’d think she was well rested… The answer wasn’t the response I’d hoped for.

SKY:  He/she has a feature that draws your eye every time. Care to share? His/her eye constantly roams to a particular part of your person. Tell, tell!

JOVAN: André has the most remarkable deep blue almost black eyes I’ve ever seen. They’re more transparent then me scrying glass. You can see into his soul. When he glances at me? He’s a nymph I’m telling you. The man is constantly in a state. His pants are always taught in one spot. I mean really taught. His crowning jewels are worth their weight in gold.

ANDRE: Pick a spot. Any spot! Oh, my Lady Sky, you she-devil. You’re as naughty as Jovan. Yes, she seems to fancy my leather chaps as well, or what lays beneath them. She is infatuated with my lips too. Allow me to pucker up and make silly kiss-kiss noises. You’re blushing my Lady, Sky.  Do you wish my lips to travel across your flesh? I must disappoint you. Jovan is the only woman my lips will ever travel over or under.  But it’s fun to fantasize.

SKY:   How do you think Andre/Jovan would answer the following…  Our favorite thing to do together is…?

JOVAN: Get naked. Eat. Get anked again. Kill off zombies. Get naked. Sleep. A little. And well, you get the picture. You’re a nosey buggar, Sky.

ANDRE: Jovan is nymph. Lucky me, right? She loves it when, oh wait, I can’t kiss and tell. If
nothing else I am a true gentleman, well, except for that time in the restaurant. She went three shades of red. As did the others looking on. That was fun. And then there was that time on the walkway outside the hotel… What we do best together is be together. Side by side whether we’re making love or war there’s no other woman I’d desire by my side.

SKY:  You and Andre/Jovan just don’t see eye to eye on what issue?

JOVAN: Unfortunately it’s marriage.  I have yet to see a relationship last. And then there’s my Bound Grimoire I mentioned earlier. The tome has an expiration date for all the royals and since André is in the line-up, well I don’t want to see us just a page in ahistory book with a bloody ending.

ANDRE: Marriage. She’s a fickle one there. Can’t seem to get her to say yes to me, regardless of my overflowing charm. Ok, stop laughing Sky. That’s not funny.

SKY:   He/she said one thing to you that you’ll never forget. What was it?

JOVAN: Good-bye. He left me. I knew he would. Someday I’ll get my heart back from the bastard. Got a hankie? My eyes and nose are leaky now.

ANDRE: That she’d never forgive me.  I’ll spend my life making it up to her.

BLURB

 
Jovan Hause made a date with destiny after she cast one impetuous love spell asking for a man to make her forget everything, but their love. A moment later she encountered a steamy vision of what her future held and by the gods she believed she’d been sent one. Oh, the things the man did to her body with his tongue alone. Unfortunately she had no idea of the man’s name or what he looked like, but she did know he would arrive with the next train. All she had to do was convince her overbearing brother she’d be fine. Blazing a trail to the station she plowed one gent down in the street and never looked back, unfortunately all the passengers were gone when she arrived. Humiliation steering her home, Jovan slammed into the same man a second time only this time she saw stars.

On his way back to Paris after chasing one ghoul in a city of walking cadavers André St. James got knocked on his royal rump by what could only be called a goddess. What to do with a beautiful woman he’d just butt heads with? Nothing gentlemanly came to mind until she regained consciousness. He took the young lady to his hotel room and called for help. Drawn to her, he planted his nose in the crook of her neck and by the gods now understands why cats go insane with catnip. This woman has intoxicated him with her scent alone. Deciding he only knows one way to wake the woman, he tries for true love’s kiss. The silly tale worked, just not like the charm he’d hoped for. The woman had a temper and nearly chomped off his tongue when she came around.

After three days of amnesia, Jovan is no closer to finding her past, but she realizes her future looks royally smashing. Jovan and André find they’re a perfect match together whether it’s killing the zombies and assassins after them or having their bodies tangled and fused together in one orgasmic tryst after another. When a man from Jovan’s past called her name, Jovan’s world came crashing down because her memory returned. Finding out she’s a witch a lynch mob awaits her with a short rope and a sturdy tree. And just when she didn’t think it could get any worse, standing there with a rope around her delicate neck and praying for a speedy rescue, a woman came from nowhere and yanked the chair from under her. When she comes to she has choices to make. Her brother is dying after being savagely attacked by werewolves. If she goes to André her brother might die. If she goes to her brother she might lose André. Her choices are a testament to the saying; Life isn’t fair. She cares for her brother and runs like the wind for the train but once again finds she is standing at an empty train depot alone.

André saw her swinging from the gallows, feet kicking and blue eyes bulging. He felt his heart stop. Then she wasn’t dead and his heart found a rhythm… until she waltzed off with a skeletal man without even a ‘kiss my royal ass good bye’.

Three years later fate’s hand deals Jovan and André a second chance, but first they must defeat their past including the perverse undead trying to steal the throne from under them, not caring who gets crowned in the process.

Don't forget to comment for a chance to WIN BIG!

Visit Jaclyn Tracey

Website URL: www.jaclyntracey.com
Up to six more sites including Blog: www.edensblackrose.blogspot.com
Twitter: @jaclynkearney
Contact address: blackrose@nycap.rr.com

 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Jovan Hause and André St. James Tell All! Jaclyn Tracey's, Eden's Sins.

 
June's nearly over but the fun’s just beginning here at A Writer’s Mind ! It's time for another 'End of Week Character Blowout.' Today and tomorrow I’ll be inviting over Jovan Hause and André St. James from Jaclyn Tracy’s latest release, Eden’s Sins. Typically, I post the heroine’s interview on Thursday and the hero’s on Friday but thought it might be interesting to post the answers to the same questions one right after the other. So I’ll post half the interview today and the other half tomorrow. Mind you, the characters were NOT together when interviewed so it’ll be interesting to see how well their individual answers compare. *grins*

GIVEAWAY! Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win TWO eBooks, Eden's Black Rose AND Eden's Sins.

Before we get started let’s learn a little bit more about this fabulous book!

BLURB: Jovan Hause made a date with destiny after she cast one impetuous love spell asking for a man to make her forget everything, but their love. A moment later she encountered a steamy vision of what her future held and by the gods she believed she’d been sent one. Oh, the things the man did to her body with his tongue alone. Unfortunately she had no idea of the man’s name or what he looked like, but she did know he would arrive with the next train. All she had to do was convince her overbearing brother she’d be fine. Blazing a trail to the station she plowed one gent down in the street and never looked back, unfortunately all the passengers were gone when she arrived. Humiliation steering her home, Jovan slammed into the same man a second time only this time she saw stars.

On his way back to Paris after chasing one ghoul in a city of walking cadavers André St. James got knocked on his royal rump by what could only be called a goddess. What to do with a beautiful woman he’d just butt heads with? Nothing gentlemanly came to mind until she regained
consciousness. He took the young lady to his hotel room and called for help. Drawn to her, he planted his nose in the crook of her neck and by the gods now understands why cats go insane with catnip. This woman has intoxicated him with her scent alone. Deciding he only knows one way to wake the woman, he tries for true love’s kiss. The silly tale worked, just not like the charm he’d hoped for. The woman had a temper and nearly chomped off his tongue when she came around.

After three days of amnesia, Jovan is no closer to finding her past, but she realizes her future looks royally smashing. Jovan and André find they’re a perfect match together whether it’s killing the zombies and assassins after them or having their bodies tangled and fused together in one orgasmic tryst after another. When a man from Jovan’s past called her name, Jovan’s world came crashing down because her memory returned. Finding out she’s a witch a lynch mob awaits her with a short rope and a sturdy tree. And just when she didn’t think it could get any worse, standing there with a rope around her delicate neck and praying for a speedy rescue, a woman came from nowhere and yanked the chair from under her. When she comes to she has choices to make. Her brother is dying after being savagely attacked by werewolves. If she goes to André her brother might die. If she goes to her brother she might lose André. Her choices are a testament to the saying; Life isn’t fair. She cares for her brother and runs like the wind for the train but once again finds she is standing at an empty train depot alone. 

André saw her swinging from the gallows, feet kicking and blue eyes bulging. He felt his heart stop. Then she wasn’t dead and his heart found a rhythm… until she waltzed off with a skeletal man without even a ‘kiss my royal ass good bye’.

Three years later fate’s hand deals Jovan and André a second chance, but first they must defeat their past including the perverse undead trying to steal the throne from under them, not caring who gets crowned in the process.

Interview time!


SKY:  Tell us a little bit about you.

JOVAN: Thank you for having me here today Sky. I—ah, don’t know if I should tell you all about me, because there’s a few people out there that would love naught more than to see me swinging from the gallows or seeing if I sink or swim. I am what some may call a hag, although I find this description completely unflattering. Others call me a witch. My brother, Julian, on occasion has called me something that rhymes with that. I have the ability to stun a crowd of people. André, my lover, thinks it’s due to my beauty. I’m going to let him keep thinking this.

In reality I have a power called the flash of light. It’s sort of like staring into the sun too long. Makes ya forget everything coz you’re too worried about your brain sizzling. Instant amnsesia. I have a true green thumb. No really, it’s green most of the time. I am an excellent gardener.  Plant my fingers in the earth’s rich soil and daisies and any other life form pop up. Not dead people though. My soon to be sister-in-law Serina has that power covered. She just has no clue how to control it.

So, I am also somewhat impetuous. I happened to cast a little love spell and it got me more than I bargained for. Amnesia for 3 days. A lover that stole my heart and a maraude of ghouls, vamps, and werewolves pining for me and my favorite book, The Bound Grimoire.  Am I rambling on? I’m sorry. You keep interrupting me, waving a white flag trying to ask another question. I’ll shush.

ANDRE: Where to start? Well, I am 1 of 3. Set of triplets. We were lied to our entire lives and brought up as cousins. Or I was. My sister, Raven and my identical twin, Lucian were raised together. I got the evil aunt who hired a black witch to give us all potions to make us out to be the village idiots and she wanted to budge the line to the throne and she didn’t care who she crowned to get there. She murdered our parents when we were sixteen then shortly thereafter she fell off the face of the earth. We thought she died until she recently crawled out of her casket.

I am smitten with a young enchantress, Jovan Hause. Bespelled works as well. I can’t take my eyes off her. Seriously, every time I do we end up in trouble fighting for our lives. The woman is trouble. Fun, but trouble, in an exhausting, exhilarating sense. I’ve never felt more alive when she’s by my side fighting the undead.

SKY:   Remembering the moment you first laid eyes on Andre/Jovan, what thoughts come to mind?

JOVAN: The daft bloke was in my way. I was on my way to the train depot to meet the man of my dreams and he was a casualty of my trampling him down.  For the record, when I got to the depot it was void of people. The second time I slammed into André, I had a moment to take in all his glory before I saw stars, yes, the gaseous little bubbles and I passed out. The 3rd time isn’t necessarily the charm either. I woke up with his tongue tickling me tonsils and I chomped on the fleshy stub. Later I would be thankful I didn’t sever the little muscle because the man knows how to use it. Did I say too much again? Did you spike my drink? I never talk this much.

ANDRE: My life just got turned upside down. No really, it did. The woman knocked me on my arse and when I got up I knew my life would forever be changed. Jovan laying there unconscious reminded me of an angel. Truth be known, she’s a little devil. The woman taunts me without realizing it, or maybe she knows exactly what she does and enjoys playing with me. I know I enjoy it. 

SKY:   He/she has one trait you adored from the start. What is it? You know without doubt he/she appreciates one of your traits. Share what you think that is.

JOVAN: André has the most sensual lips I’ve ever seen on a man. There’s a pout on the bottom lip I feel is my goddess given duty to try to kiss away. And the man is always protecting me. I find it nice. Reassuring. Sometimes flat out annoying. I can take care of meself and him. He’s also got a wicked sense of humor. Or at least he thinks he does 

ANDRE: Jovan is outspoken and strong willed. All the women I’ve ever known you can compare to a blank piece of parchment. Jovan is an unedited, untamed sultry heroine who demands your attention. She has mine and unfortunately every other male in town. She’s bewitched an entire village.

In me? What’s not to appreciate or like? I’m solid, ruggedly handsome and funny. I’m laughing at your face right now thinking I’ve the largest hubris around. That’s not all that’s large…Wink wink!

SKY:  He/she has one trait you’d change if you could. What is it? Oh yeah, there’s a trait you know he’d/she’d change about you…fess up!

JOVAN: He’s a hopeless romantic. He thinks true love’s kiss is the answer to all relationship problems. I wish he was right and it was that simple, but me mum taught me differently. Men leave when you least expect it and most need them.

For me to change? Won’t happen. I’m stubborn, foul lipped and impetuous. And he loves me for it. Well of course he does, he’s hopelessly an imbecile. Handsome as hell though. And sexy.

ANDRE: She can’t trust the one thing we do best together. Love one another. She has this silly notion I’m going to leave her someday. Not on her life. She calls me a hopeless romantic. Not hopeless at all. In fact quite the contrary. She’s the one thing I live for.

SKY:  Thanks for a great interview!

Readers, be sure to pop back in tomorrow for the second half of the interview. Also, don't forget to comment for a chance to win!

Visit Jacyln Tracey
 
Website URL: www.jaclyntracey.com
Up to six more sites including Blog: www.edensblackrose.blogspot.com
Twitter: @jaclynkearney
Contact address: blackrose@nycap.rr.com
 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Love. Loyalty. Sacrifice. Suzanne Johnson's, Sentinels of New Orleans.

 
 
Today it’s my pleasure to spotlight Suzanne Johnson, author of the Sentinels of New Orleans series.
 
Royal Street

Sentinels of New Orleans Book One
 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
ISBN: 978-0765327796
ASIN: B006OM459U
Number of pages: 337
Word Count: approx. 94,000
Cover Artist: Cliff Nielsen

Book Description


As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco's job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ's boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond.

Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans' fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters. While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering soldiers sent to help the city recover.

To make it worse, Gerald St. Simon has gone missing, the wizards' Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ's new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and the killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter roux.

Excerpt


Friday, August 26, 2005
“Once [Tropical Storm Katrina] moved over the gulf today, it was expected to wheel north, pick up speed and hit the Florida Panhandle on Sunday.”
―The New York Times

CHAPTER 1

A secluded Louisiana bayou. A sexy pirate. Seduction and deceit. My Friday afternoon had the makings of a great romantic adventure, at least in theory.

In practice, angry mosquitoes were using me for target practice, humidity had ruined any prayer of a good hair day, and the pirate in question―the infamous Jean Lafitte―was two-hundred years old, armed, and carrying a six-pack of Paradise condoms in assorted fruit flavors.

I wasn’t sure what unnerved me more—the fact that the historical undead had discovered erotic accessories, or that Lafitte felt the need to practice safe sex.

Nothing about the pirate looked safe. Tall and broad-shouldered, he had dark blue eyes and a smile twitching at the corners of his mouth as he watched me set two glasses and a bottle of dark rum on a rickety wooden table. A tanned, muscular chest peeked from his open-collared shirt, and shaggy dark hair framed a clean-shaven face. A jagged scar across his jaw reminded me the so-called gentleman pirate also had his ruthless side.

He’d arrived by way of a stolen boat at this isolated cabin near Delacroix, a half-hour outside New Orleans, to pursue two of the world’s most timeless pleasures: sex and money. I’d met him here to play the role of a gullible young wizard falling under the spell of the legendary pirate, at least for a while. Then I’d do my duty as deputy sentinel and send his swashbuckling hide back to the Beyond, where he could rub shoulders with other undead legends and preternatural creatures unfit for polite human company.

My hand shook as I poured the rum, sloshing a few drops of amber liquid over the side of the glass. I’d finally been given a serious assignment, and I needed it to go without a hitch.

Lafitte’s fingers brushed mine as he took the drink, sending an unexpected rush of energy up my arm. “Merci, Mademoiselle Jaco—or may I call you Drusilla?”

Actually, I’d prefer he didn’t call me anything. Despite his obvious hopes for the evening, this wasn’t a date. “Most people call me DJ.”

“Bah,” he said, taking a sip of rum. “Those are alphabet letters, not a name.”

From beneath the red sash that accented his waist, Lafitte pulled a modern semiautomatic handgun and set it on the table next to the rum bottle. I knew how he’d gotten it—he’d rolled the Tulane student that summoned him, lifted the kid’s wallet and iPod, rode the streetcar to Canal Street, and made a trade for the gun. Enterprising guy, Lafitte.

I pondered the odd spike of energy I’d gotten from his hand. Touching increases the emotional crap I absorb from people as an empath, but Lafitte was technically a dead guy. Still, I’d like to say if he touched me again, I’d demand double pay from the wizards’ Congress of Elders. Triple if it involved lips.

But who was I kidding? My bargaining position was nonexistent. My boss Gerry only sent me on this run because he had something else to do and knew Lafitte might respond to my questionable seduction skills.

I’d pulled my unruly blonde hair out of its usual ponytail for the occasion, loaded on some makeup to play up my teal eyes, and poured myself into a little black skirt, short enough to show off my legs while not offending Lafitte’s nineteenth-century sensibilities.

It must have worked, because the pirate was giving me that head-to-toe appraisal guys do on instinct, like they’re assessing a juicy slab of beef and deciding whether they want it rare, medium, or well-done.

“You really are lovely, Drusilla.” The timbre of Lafitte’s voice shivered down my spine, and I fought the urge to check out the biceps underneath that linen shirt.

Holy crap. This was just wrong. I should not be absorbing his lust.


River Road
Sentinels of New Orleans, Book 2
 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
ISBN: 978-0765327802
ASIN: B00842H5VI
Number of pages: 336
Word Count: approx. 92,000
Cover Artist: Cliff Nielsen


Book Description


Hurricane Katrina is long gone, but the preternatural storm rages on in New Orleans. New species from the Beyond moved into Louisiana after the hurricane destroyed the borders between worlds, and it falls to wizard sentinel Drusilla Jaco and her partner, Alex Warin, to keep the preternaturals peaceful and the humans unaware. But a war is brewing between two clans of Cajun merpeople in Plaquemines Parish, and down in the swamp, DJ learns, there’s more stirring than angry mermen and the threat of a were-gator.

Wizards are dying, and something—or someone—from the Beyond is poisoning the waters of the mighty Mississippi, threatening the humans who live and work along the river. DJ and Alex must figure out what unearthly source is contaminating the water and who—or what—is killing the wizards. Is it a malcontented merman, the naughty nymph, or some other critter altogether? After all, DJ’s undead suitor, the pirate Jean Lafitte, knows his way around a body or two.

It’s anything but smooth sailing on the bayou as the Sentinels of New Orleans series continues.

Excerpt


The minute hand of the ornate grandfather clock crept like a gator stuck in swamp mud. I’d been watching it for half an hour, nursing a fizzy cocktail from my perch inside the Hotel Monteleone. The plaque on the enormous clock claimed it had been hand- carved of mahogany in 1909, about 130 years after the birth of the undead pirate waiting for me upstairs.

They were both quite handsome, but the clock was a lot safer.

The infamous Jean Lafitte had expected me at seven. He’d summoned me to his French Quarter hotel suite by courier like I was one of his early nineteenth-century wenches, and I hated to destroy his pirate-king delusions, but the historical undead don’t summon wizards. We summon them.

I’d have blown him off if my boss on the Congress of Elders hadn’t ordered me to comply and my co-sentinel, Alex, hadn’t claimed a prior engagement.

At seven thirty, I abandoned my drink, took a deep breath, and marched through the lobby toward the bank of elevators.

On the long dead-man-walking stroll down the carpeted hallway, I imagined all the horrible requests Jean might make. He’d saved my life a few years ago, after Hurricane Katrina sent the city into freefall, and I hadn’t seen him since. I’d been desperate at the time. I might have promised him unfettered access to modern New Orleans in exchange for his assistance. I might have promised him a place to live. I might have promised him things I don’t even remember. In other words, I might be totally screwed.

I reached the door of the Eudora Welty Suite and knocked, reflecting that Jean Lafitte probably had no idea who Eudora Welty was, and wouldn’t like her if he did. Ms. Welty had been a modern sort of woman who wouldn’t hop to attention when summoned by a scoundrel.

He didn’t answer immediately. I’d made him wait, after all, and Jean lived in a tit- for- tat world. I paused a few breaths and knocked harder. Finally, he flung open the door, waving me inside to a suite plush with tapestries of peach and royal blue, thick carpet that swallowed the narrow heels of my pumps, and a plasma TV he couldn’t possibly know how to operate. What a waste.

“You have many assets, Drusilla, but apparently a respect for time is not among them.” Deep, disapproving voice, French accent, broad shoulders encased in a red linen shirt, long dark hair pulled back into a tail, eyes such a cobalt blue they bordered on navy. And technically speaking, dead.

He was as sexy as ever.

“Sorry.” I slipped my hand in my skirt pocket, fingering the small pouch of magic-infused herbs I carried at all times. My mojo bag wouldn’t help with my own perverse attraction to the man, but it would keep my empathic abilities in check. If he still had a perverse attraction to me, I didn’t want to feel it.

He eased his six-foot-two frame into a sturdy blue chair and slung one long leg over the arm as he gave me a thorough eyeraking, a ghost of a smile on his face.

I perched on the edge of the adjacent sofa, easing back against a pair of plump throw pillows, and looked at him expectantly. I hoped what ever he wanted wouldn’t jeopardize my life, my job, or my meager bank account.

“You are as lovely as ever, Jolie,” Jean said, trotting out his pet name for me that sounded deceptively intimate and brought back a lot of memories, most of them bad. “I will forgive your tardiness— perhaps you were late because you were selecting clothing that I would like.” His gaze lingered on my legs. “You chose beautifully.”

I’d picked a conservative black skirt and simple white blouse with the aim of looking professional for a business meeting, part of my ongoing attempt to prove to the Elders I was a mature wizard worthy of a pay raise. But this was Jean Lafitte, so I should have worn coveralls. I’d forgotten what a letch he could be.

“I have a date after our meeting,” I lied. He didn’t need to know said date involved a round carton with the words Blue Bell Ice Cream printed on front. “Why did you want to see me?”

There, that hadn’t been so difficult—just a simple request. No drama. No threats. No double- entendre. Straight to business.

“Does a man need a reason to see a beautiful woman? Especially one who is indebted to him, and who has made him many promises?” A slow smile spread across his face, drawing my eyes to his full lips and the ragged scar that trailed his jawline.

I might be the empath in the room, but he knew very well that, in some undead kind of way, I thought he was hot.

I felt my face warming to the shade of a trailer- trash bridesmaid’s dress, one whose color had a name like raging rouge. I’d had a similar reaction when I first met Jean in 2005, two days before a mean hurricane with a sissy name turned her malevolent eye toward the Gulf Coast. I blamed my whole predicament on Katrina, the bitch.

Her winds had driven the waters of Lake Pontchartrain into the canals that crisscrossed the city, collapsing levees and filling the low, concave metro area like a gigantic soup bowl.

But NBC Nightly News and Anderson Cooper had missed the biggest story of all: how, after the storm, a mob of old gods, historical undead, and other preternatural victims of the scientific age flooded New Orleans. As a wizard, I’d had a ringside seat. Now, three years later, the wizards had finally reached accords with the major preternatural ruling bodies, and the borders were down, as of two days ago. Jean hadn’t wasted any time.
 

About the Author

 
 
Suzanne Johnson writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance from Auburn, Alabama, after a career in educational publishing that has spanned five states and six universities.  She grew up halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis' birthplace and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football and fried gator on a stick.

 

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Birth of a Book Cover. AJ Nuest's, She's Got Dibs.

 
 
Happy Monday morning! Today I’m totally thrilled to welcome back fabulously talented author, AJ Nuest for ‘Monday Covers It.’ In this special feature, Nuest is chatting about the inspiration behind her fantastic book called She’s Got Dibs. So sit back with your favorite cuppa and ease into your Monday morn ‘AJ Nuest style'.

AJ, the floors all yours!

Yay! Yay! I’m so excited to be a guest on Sky’s blog for Monday Covers It! Whoot! And a great big THANK YOU to her for hosting me! Love ya, darlin! MWAH!

Now, can I get a drum roll, please…

Mark your calendars, send yourself a text, write an email or post a sticky note because tomorrow on Amazon, She’s Got Dibs is FREE! Whoo Hoo! Very exciting times for me! LOL To whet your appetite, here’s a snippet about my latest contemporary romantic comedy.
 

BLURB

 
True love does not exist…or so event planner Tessa Adams learns the day she gets jilted—twenty-four hours prior to walking down the aisle. One-night stands are much easier, and with sexy philanthropists like David Brenner, how can she resist? Now if she could just get rid of him. Had she known the biggest event of her career would be working for David’s father, she would have cut and run. Instead, she’s unwittingly become a part of his parents’ plan to destroy his life-long dreams. Will sacrificing her love protect him or be the ultimate betrayal?

Wealthy and gorgeous, David Brenner seemingly holds the world in the palm of his hand—his generous heart and infectious smile are just two in an endless stream of attractive qualities. But the one thing he wants, he can’t have—a repeat of the passionate night he spent in the arms of a skittish Tessa Adams. His family’s far-reaching power threatens to crush their dreams. To prove his love, he would risk everything…but will the return of her ex-fiancé be their final undoing?

Now, ahem, as you may have noticed, She’s Got Dibs has one HAWT cover. What you may not know, however, is it embodies everything I wanted to visually portray about this story—it’s sexy, contemporary, classy and has a snazzy tagline. Pa-DOW! All kudos for this goes to my best friend and, in my opinion, the most talented cover artist known to man, Arial Burnz. But she doesn’t merely do covers. Oh no. She’s also an incredibly talented writer and a brilliant web designer (if you need proof, go here:  http://ajnuest.com). Besides the overall beauty of the site, note the social media icons above the search bar. When I couldn’t find the ones I wanted, she made those—MADE THOSE, PEOPLE!—’specially for moi.

Yep, I know. She’s really that good. And I am exceptionally blessed to know her. Especially because when it comes to visualizing what I want for my covers (or website…or blog), I’m not exactly what one would call ept. Sure, I usually get an idea, but once the elements are merged together, chances are good the overall combination isn’t going to work. And to make matters worse, I’m persnickety…even more so when it came to the cover for She’s Got Dibs because I’d spent five years seeing the story through to publication.

Unfortunately, my deer-in-headlights input was a prime example of how these things usually transpire. I had an image in my head, sent Arial pictures and she listened with the patience of a saint, designing a cover exactly as I had specified. I didn’t like it. The background was wrong. The people were off and it just left me with an overall feeling of meh? Arial didn’t give up. She sent me more photos (her selection this time), played around with the font, kept switching out the background and borders…heck, she even painted that girl’s fingernails red.

In the end, I got the cover I’d always imagined…right down to those glorious, hard-rocking abs! So to my dear friend and cover artist extraordinaire, Arial Burnz, I offer my sincerest thanks and humblest appreciation for all you’ve done…and continue to do for me every day.

If you’d like your very own copy of this male deliciousness, remember, She’s Got Dibs is FREE on Amazon starting tomorrow. Here’s the LINK.

Thank you Sky, for hosting me!

Author bio

 
 
Award-winning author and editor, AJ Nuest, lives in a small farming community in NW Indiana with her loving husband, two beautiful children, and a bevy of spoiled pets. She and the cat are currently vying for dictatorship. The cat is winning.

Excerpt


“Dibs.” He extended his hand.

Frowning, she accepted his greeting. “Dibs on what?

“No.” He chuckled. “That's my name. Or well, actually, my nickname. Either way, it's what everyone calls me.”

“O-o-okay...” The guy definitely had the smolder covered...and those incredible ice-blue eyes. Yikes!

“And you are?”

“Oh, Tessa Adams.” She laughed.

“And everyone calls you...?”

Her frown returned. “Tessa.”

“Oh.” He scanned her face. “No nickname, huh?”

“Not that I recall at the moment.”

He pressed his full lips together as if restraining a smile, eyes twinkling with merriment, and handed her the notepad. “Here's your confirmation number. The room's at the Waldorf Towers over on Park.”

Two suites at the Waldorf? In this mess? What was he, a wizard? “Wow, great. Thanks so much for the help.”

“Glad to be of service.” He retrieved his briefcase and started down the corridor, abruptly stopped, and peered at her over the perfect slant of his shoulder. “And don't worry, Tessa, I'll think of a good nickname for you.”

She offered him a blank stare. “Hey, knock yourself out.”

Mischief danced along his lips before a grin broke free and he continued down the hallway.

“What a whack job,” she muttered.

She’s Got Dibs, won 1st Place in the Contemporary Category, Heartland Romance Authors, Show Me the Spark! Contest, 2010.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Author Kenya Carlton Asks... Do You Miss Bookstores?

 
 
Today I’m thrilled to welcome over Kenya Carlton, author of Devil’s Play, Book Two in the Sweet as Sin Series, a Paranormal Multicultural Erotic read. Kenya is here to chat about traditional bookstores and the eBook craze.

Publisher: Parker Publishing
Date of Publication: May 25, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-60043-130-2
Number of pages: 169
 
Purchase at Amazon
 

Book Description

 
Snuggled within the warm embrace of marital bliss, biologically altered army Captain Drake Devilin and his supernatural bride Sienna face their biggest challenge to date. Called back for duty in World War II, Drake must leave his amazing life behind and join his troop to fight the Nazis.  Although he’s certain his new mission is merely a rouse to obtain his most precious commodity, his wife, Drake leaves, but not before giving Sienna a magical necklace in the hope it will protect her against unknown enemies.
        
Lured from her prosperous island by a sorcerer who is convinced she was always meant to be his bride. Sienna is challenged to play three magical games to ensure her husband’s safe return. In each game, a limited time is given to Sienna to immerse herself into a new world, situation, and persona; find Drake; and have him acknowledge her by name. And she can’t use her powers to make it happen.
         
Everything dear to Sienna’s heart is put in jeopardy. Willing to fight for the love of her life and her happiness, Sienna takes on the sorcerer in his own game of cat and mouse.


Let’s hear from Kenya!


Do you miss bookstores?

Maybe not even a whole five miles away was a Borders Bookstore that I often frequented. The library was closer, but I would trek those two extra miles to get to my Zen hangout—Borders. At the tip of my fingers were my favorite things; a ton of books and cappuccino. Often I would have writing sessions with my girlfriends or would just chill out with my laptop and a mocha latte. The bookstore was a quiet place where regulars would fight for the best seat; which, by the way, was the one by the outlet next to the window. 

Now the store is closed due to bankruptcy. Apparently Borders didn’t believe the digital age would take over the way that it did. Back when the Internet was in its toddler stages and AOL was the only reliable search engine, Stephen King predicted digital books would soon be the new wave. So positive that this would be the best format for books, King made a novella called Riding the Bullet, and then later The Plant, available only in e-book. This bestselling author had so much faith in the Internet that he sold his biggest commodity over the World Wide Web. His first venture, Riding the Bullet, didn’t work out that well. Unfortunately, someone hacked the site and stole the book. Luckily the second one didn’t do too badly. 

Personally I never thought the craze would take off. Who would want to read a book over the Internet? I figured people would want to flip the pages and feel the book, turn sidewise while reading. Whelp, I was wrong, look at us now! E-books outsell paperbacks by 15%. It may not be a lot, but it’s enough to make its presence known. Barnes and Noble had a clue what was on the storm front and decided to batten down the hatches with the Nook. Borders tried to hitch a ride with the Sony e-reader, but it was too late. Amazon was already kicking their ass.

In my area there are a few other bookstores but they aren’t as close and not as comfortable. The upside is the simple weight of the e-reader compared to even five bulky books makes the transition worthwhile not to mention the portability of the unit. The best I can do to make this blog a cautionary tale is to remind people that technology is an ever-changing creature. Try not to get so attached to the old ways and open your mind to the new because in no time Rosie from The Jetson’s will be available in stores soon!

About the Author


Native of Chicago Illinois, Kenya worked in the Network operation Center for PBS and TLN television stations. Executive producer of her own production company Black R.O.K Productions Kenya produced a pilot for travel series Destination Everywhere, Independent short film Dawn shown at the Chicago Latino film Festival, and wrote and directed the documentary Our Africa. Writing titles available; Jaded, Sweet as Sin, Brazil re-issue, Devil’s Play, and Remember This.

 
Twitter @kcbookcafe
 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fascination Island Series. The Moonlight Serenade by Kate Hinderer.

 
 
Today it’s my pleasure to interview Kate Hinderer, author of The Moonlight Serenade, Fascination Island Book 2.

Determined to someday sing on the stage in New York City, Collette takes an internship at the luxury resort on Fascination Island.

While she plans to hone her craft by singing nightly on the stage of the Moonlight Serenade restaurant, she never expected to be pushed outside her comfort zone.

Shy and reserved, she is challenged to step outside herself and release the inner diva. When Falcon comes along, sparks fly and secrets are revealed.

Before long Collette is forced to make life-changing decisions that will impact her future in ways she never even imagined.

The Emerald Isle
Fascination Island Book 1

To escape a bad break-up and fighting parents Audyn takes a job
as a lifeguard at Fascination Island. The posh five-star resort lives up to its name in every way, including the strange rules the owner has about entering the water at night. Despite declaring it a boy-free summer, it isn’t long before the shy, endearing Levi and the mysterious, tattooed Tristan begin vying for her attention.

When Levi tries to push his advantage and Tristan comes to the rescue, Audyn realizes there is more to both these boys and the island they inhabit. Suddenly, she’s forced to acknowledge a reality she’d never considered and to pick a side in the conflict that has been waging for decades.

Purchase at Amazon
 

Interview time!


SKY:  Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

KATE:  I’ll likely write a third Fascination Island series book. But I’ve started to work on a new contemporary fiction YA book that I am really really excited about. The whole story line and main character dropped into my head fully formed a couple months ago. I’m excited to get it on paper. Without giving too much away, the story will follow a 17 year old girl who spends a summer living with her grandfather – a summer that changes her life forever.

SKY:  How did you come up with the title?

KATE:  When I named the first book in the series I decided to keep the series titles focused around the name of the spot the main character works on the island. Audyn worked as a lifeguard at the Emerald Isle. Collette worked as a singer in the Moonlight Serenade. Perhaps, it’s not the most original title choice but it helped keep the series linked.

SKY:  What sort of personality does your heroine have?

KATE:  Collette is amazing. She is shy and quiet, yet talented beyond belief. She’s not conceited with her talent, some how having humility and yet pride in her gift. She’s petite and innocent.

SKY:  What sort of personality does your hero have?

KATE: Falcon is Collette’s polar opposite. He’s hot-headed; slow to think, quick to act. He’s cocky, full of himself and crazy handsome. Yet, even with all of that, he has a dedication to his family that nothing can shake.

SKY:  What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?

KATE:  I prefer to write and read young adult novels. Maybe, I’m still stuck at the age of 16 or maybe I just love the angst and awkwardness of that age, but there is something about that genre that I can’t get enough of. One day I’d love to branch out and try writing a mystery novel. I went through a couple years in which all I read were suspense books – Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie. It always impressed me how the authors could write a book that had you guessing until the very end and yet if you re-read the book you’d see the clues that had been strategically planted that you missed the first time through. 

SKY:  Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.

KATE:  Yup! The Moonlight Serenade is the second book in the Fascination Island series. But, unlike some other series books I knew from the get-go that I wanted the books to have an actual ending and that each book should stand alone. For sure the series will contain at least one more book focusing on Linley. But there could be a few more in the wings as well, although I don’t want to overcommit to the series in case it has run its course after three books 

SKY:  Great interview, Kate! Thanks for joining me today.


About the Author

 

In a nutshell: Writer. Blogger. Journalist. Marathon runner. Social media enthusiast. Beer drinker. Avid YA reader. Traveler. Chicago native. Milwaukee resident. Music fanatic. Fashion lover. Oldest of nine. 

Writing has been in my soul from the very beginning. In grade school I started my own local paper for the street I lived on. In middle school I wrote for the school paper and loved any English writing assignment. I started writing novels in high school. At the time my friends were the characters, the setting was almost always Regency England, and I scratched the story into lined notebooks.

Now, I have a journalism degree and a dozen various business writing gigs under my belt. I’ve lived in a handful of US cities including Milwaukee, Chicago, Boston, St. Louis and New York. I pen a personal fashion and lifestyle blog, ModlyChic.com, and continue to write about commercial real estate. 

My first book, Aurora Undefined, was published in 2011. The Emerald Isle, the first Fascination Island book, came out during the summer of 2012, at which time I immediately began writing the second book in the series.

Next up . . . stay tuned! I’m working on a new contemporary novel as well as the third book in the Fascination Island series.

Kate Hinderer Writes (blog): http://katehinderer.blogspot.com/
ModlyChic (fashion blog): http://www.modlychic.com/
Twitter: @kate_hinderer
 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Timeless Lovers. Different Worlds. Crosse Harbor Time Travel Trilogy by Barbara Bretton.

 

Today it’s my pleasure to interview Barbara Bretton, author of Somewhere in Time, Book One in the Crosse Harbor Time Travel Trilogy.

Genre: Time Travel/Romance
Publisher: Free Spirit Press
ISBN: 9781301712953
ASIN: B008ELA6VK
Page count: 300-320
Word count: Approx. 80,000
 
Watch the Book Trailer
 
GIVEAWAY! Be sure to leave a comment (include email address) for a chance to win the audio version of SOMEWHERE IN TIME -Digital format.

Book Description


Historian Emilie Crosse dreamed of a love that would last forever.

Who knew she'd have to sail across two centuries to find it?

When her ex-husband Zane Grey Rutledge showed up at her door with a Revolutionary War uniform that was part of his grandmother's estate, neither one suspected that their lives were about to change in ways they couldn't possibly imagine.

Swept back in time to 1776 where a nation is struggling to be born, Emilie finds herself torn between two men: Zane, her ex who still holds the key to her heart, and Andrew McVie, the Patriot hero of her long-ago dreams . . . .

Reviewers Choice Award - Best Historical Time Travel --Romantic Times
Amazon               BN             Smashwords
 
Tomorrow and Always
Crosse Harbor Time Travel Trilogy
Book Two
Genre: Time Travel/Romance
Publisher: Free Spirit Press
ISBN: 9781301018895
ASIN: B008ELGJ0M

Page count: 300-320
Word count: Approx. 80,000

 

Book Description


Timeless Lovers . . .

Different Worlds.

Shannon Whitney didn't believe she had a future until Andrew McVie crash-lands his time-traveling hot-air balloon in her backyard one summer afternoon and changes her life forever.

He is a Revolutionary War patriot.

She is an independent modern woman.

Their paths should never have crossed but apparently fate has other plans.

Amazon               BN             Smashwords


Destiny’s Child
Crosse Harbor Time Travel Trilogy
Book Three

 
Genre: Time Travel/Romance
Publisher: Free Spirit Press
ISBN: 9781301054299
ASIN: B008ELGLGY
Page count: 300-320
Word count: Approx. 80,000

 

Book Description


It's not every day a woman goes traveling through time

Dakota Wylie is a wisecracking, unemployed, overweight psychic librarian from Princeton.

Patrick Devane is an angry, hard-headed spy with a six-year-old daughter who hears voices.

The only thing they have in common is New Jersey.

But when Dakota leaps from the basket of a hot air balloon to help his crying child, little does she know that she's leaping into history . . . and love.

Amazon               BN             Smashwords


Praise for the Crosse Harbor Time Travel Trilogy


"SOMEWHERE IN TIME sweeps readers away into a marvelous world where love is timeless and dreams come true. Combine this ingenious plot . . . with humor and sensuality and you have a great read." –Romantic Times

SOMEWHERE IN TIME – Reviewers Choice Winner – Best Historical Time Travel

TOMORROW & ALWAYS - "Bretton is a monumental talent who targets her audience with intelligence and inspiration." –Affaire de Coeur

"[TOMORROW & ALWAYS] is an entertaining story." –Booklist

DESTINY'S CHILD - "Wonderful wit, a feisty heroine, a gifted child, and great glimpses of friends from the past combine to make magic!" – Romantic Times

Praise for USA Today Bestselling Author Barbara Bretton
"A monumental talent." --Affaire de Coeur

"Very few romance writers create characters as well-developed as Bretton's. Her books pull you in and don't let you leave until the last word is read." --Booklist (starred review)

"One of today's best women's fiction authors." --The Romance Reader

"Barbara Bretton is a master at touching readers' hearts." --Romance Reviews Today


Let’s talk to Barbara…


SKY:  What inspired you to write this book?

BARBARA:  One evening, not long after my parents moved here (central NJ) from New York City, a hot-air balloon made a surprise landing at their front door! Believe me when I say that nothing the Big Apple had to offer over the years came close to the excitement of seeing that enormous red-striped balloon slowly descending into their parking space! It's not at all unusual to see a hot-air balloon (or three) drifting overhead but it isn't every day when one comes calling. My writerly imagination was off and running.

SKY:  How did you come up with the title?

BARBARA:  The truth? I didn't. My title was SPELLBOUND. My publisher decided on SOMEWHERE IN TIME.

SKY:  What made you choose the main setting for your book?

BARBARA:  I am lucky enough to live in central NJ, a beautiful semi-rural area that's rich with Revolutionary War history . . . and hot-air balloons. No place better to set a Revolutionary War time travel!

SKY:  If you could spend an hour in real life with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

BARBARA:  Definitely Andrew McVie. I would want to sit down with him and find out what life was really like in 1776. And, let's be honest, I'd want all the dish on Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and their radical, revolutionary friends.

SKY:  Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.

BARBARA:  There are actually two levels of conflict at work. The drama of the Revolution sets many storylines into play and draws the Emilie and Zane (heroine and hero of SOMEWHERE IN TIME) into the patriots' spy ring and places them in direct opposition to the Crown. And then there is the conflict between Emilie and Zane, a divorced couple who finds themselves thrown together into the biggest adventure of their lives. Emilie is complete at ease in the 18th century while Zane struggles to find a way to prove his worth in a world he doesn't understand. Will danger tear them apart or draw them closer together? And, more important, will they live long enough to find out.

SKY:  If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?

BARBARA:  This is from SOMEWHERE IN TIME, book 1 of my CROSSE HARBOR TIME TRAVEL TRILOGY. Emilie and Zane have traveled back in time to 1776 and are walking through the bustling street market in Princeton NJ with patriot spy Andrew McVie:

A woman carrying a basket of lemons approached, a hopeful look upon her face. "Fine lemons to cool you on a summer day," she said, extending the basket. "Brought up from Jamaica by my very own husband this Saturday past."

Emilie reached for a lemon, savoring the smoothness. "Oh, I'd love some."

"Two pence the half dozen," said the woman, her smile revealing two missing front teeth.

Emilie looked to Zane who shook his head. Andrew stared at her, his expression impassive.

"I'm sorry," Emilie said to the woman, replacing the lemon in the basket. "I cannot, after all."

The woman's eyes flashed fire. "'Tis a dreadful thing, wasting a good wife's time with idle promises."

"I should truly love to buy one," said Emilie, trying to match the woman's speech patterns, "but I fear I am not able."

The woman's gaze took in Emilie's hoop earrings and crystal pendant. "A basket of lemons for one of those trinkets would be a fair trade."

Andrew took Emilie by the arm and propelled her up the street to where Zane stood near the door of the Plumed Rooster.

"Engage in no idle talk with tradespeople, mistress Emilie, or you will find your pockets picked before you reach the other side of the street."

"It's the same way back home," Emilie marveled as they caught up with Zane. "Only we call them flea markets."

"Fleas?" The expression on Andrew's face made both Emilie and Zane laugh out loud.

"It's a long story," said Zane. "We'll explain it to you some day."

Andrew gestured toward the Plumed Rooster. "I have business to attend inside and then on to the Blakelee farm."

"Fine," said Emilie. "We'll come with you." She started for the door to the pub.

"Nay," said Andrew, barring her way.

"Don't be ridiculous," said Emilie. "Move away, Andrew."

"'Tis not proper."

"What isn't?"

"You would not be welcome in the Plumed Rooster."

"Because I'm a stranger?"

"No," said Zane. "Because you're a woman."

For a moment she had forgotten the inequalities of the eighteenth century. She glared at Andrew. "Is that true?" she demanded.

Andrew nodded. He'd never seen such fire before on a woman's countenance. It both intrigued and alarmed him. "'Tis but one kind of woman who frequents the Rooster," he said, trusting she would infer his meaning from his words.

"Oh God," she groaned, shaking her head in dismay. "

Andrew glanced toward Zane. "Do you understand the cause of her distress?"

"Equal rights," said Zane.

Andrew looked relieved. "A notion put forth by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia a few short weeks ago. It is one with which I am familiar."

"Of course you are," said Emilie, still smarting. "All men are created equal."

"I do not understand your dismay, mistress Emilie. Certainly the notion of equality is one appreciated in your time."

Zane snickered audibly and Emilie whirled about. "Stop that!" she ordered. "You know exactly what I'm talking about."

"Women's liberation," Zane said to a wide-eyed McVie. "Equal pay for equal work."

"A major consideration for a man," Andrew acknowledged, "but surely a wife does not expect recompense for her services."

Emilie strangled on a scream of frustration. "Women do more than cook and clean for a man in the future," she snapped. "We fly planes and own companies and even rule countries."

Andrew laughed. "For a moment I did not realize you were jesting."

Emilie's hand clenched into a fist and Zane stepped between his ex-wife and her girlhood hero. "I'd shut up if I were you, McVie. She's got a great left hook."

Emilie, however, had more to say on the subject. "In our time, a woman ruled Great Britain."

"That is not difficult to believe," said Andrew, "for Good Queen Bess inherited the throne two centuries ago upon the death of her father."

"Well, there is another Queen Elizabeth on the throne of England," said Emilie, "but her power is only ceremonial. I speak of someone else."

Andrew's rugged face was split by a wide and knowing grin. "Aye, it's a cunning lass you are, mistress. Her powers are ceremonial for it is her husband the King who rules, is it not?"

"Wrong again," said Emilie, beginning to wonder if this whole discussion had been such a great idea after all. She would have been much happier not knowing Andrew McVie was a male chauvinist--a term she had no intention of explaining to him. "England is governed by a Parliament presided over by a Prime Minister." She paused. "For many years that job belonged to Margaret Thatcher."

"Nay," said Andrew, "that cannot be." How could she expect him, an intelligent and worldly man, to believe such nonsense?

"It's true," Emilie persisted.

Andrew again looked toward Zane.

Zane almost felt sorry for the guy. McVie had to be completely dumbfounded.

"It's true," he said. "One day a woman will probably be president of the United States."

"I have heard enough," said Andrew. "I will finish my business and meet you at this spot shortly." He disappeared inside the Plumed Rooster.

"Poor guy," said Zane as the door swung closed behind McVie. "He couldn't wait to get away. We'll be lucky if we ever see him again."

"Was I that bad?"

"He didn't know what hit him."

"I just couldn't believe his attitude," Emilie said. "It was Neanderthal."

"Take a look around, Em. You won't find a copy of Ms Magazine anywhere. If you're looking for equality you're about two hundred years too soon."

His words hit Emilie hard. Women had played an important part in the war for independence. She could recite tales of wives who had followed their husbands into battle, mothers who'd risked their lives to further the cause of freedom for their fighting sons.

To hear McVie talk, they'd done nothing but sit by the fire and dream.

"Serpent in paradise?" Zane asked, grinning.

"Oh, shut up." She started off down the street, picking her way through the crowd of fishmongers, vegetable grocers, and assorted livestock.

"Careful where you walk," Zane said, catching up with her. "Pooper scoopers haven't been invented yet."

SKY:  Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.

BARBARA:  The cover represents Crosse Harbor, NJ -- the place where the trilogy begins. The red hot-air balloon is the vehicle that transports Emilie and Zane (SOMEWHERE IN TIME), Andrew and Shannon (TOMORROW AND ALWAYS), and Dakota and Patrick (DESTINY'S CHILD) to their destinies.

SKY:  Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

BARBARA:  Right now I'm working on a third book in my SHELTER ROCK COVE series. (The other books are A SOFT PLACE TO FALL and GIRLS OF SUMMER.) I've been writing knitting paranormals the last five years and this marks a return to contemporary romance/women's fiction.

SKY:  What sort of personality does your hero have?

BARBARA:  Pure, unadulterated Alpha male. The kind of man who is completely in charge of his world. But take that man out of the world he knows and drop him into a world where the trappings of wealth and privilege mean nothing at all and you'll quickly find out his true worth.

SKY:  What sort of personality does your heroine have?

BARBARA:  Strong, feisty, gutsy. Highly knowledgeable about the 18th century, it's up to her to chart a path in the strange new world in which she finds herself.

SKY:  Did you enjoy writing one scene above all the rest? If so, share.

BARBARA:  I think my absolutely favorite scene occurred in TOMORROW AND ALWAYS, book 2 of the CROSSE HARBOR TIME TRAVEL TRILOGY. Andrew McVie has crash-landed the red hot-air balloon on Shannon Whitney's property. She thinks he's just another one of the balloonists sailing overhead during the annual NJ Hot-Air Balloon Enthusiasts weekend and she allows him to wait for his crew to come and get him. She invites him to wait in her kitchen and his reaction when she switches on the overhead lighting made me laugh out loud. And don't get me started about his reaction to running water and flush toilets!

SKY:  Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.

BARBARA:  I don't know what this says about me, but I seem to write best in the middle of chaos, wherever that chaos may be.

SKY:  What sources do you use for research?

BARBARA:  Since I'm lucky enough to live outside of Princeton, NJ -- an area rich with Revolutionary War history -- I only have to fall out my front door to be away in the ghosts of the past. Take a thirty minute drive north and I'm in Morristown and Jockey Hollow, reliving the most deadly winter of the war, seeing exactly how the Continental soldiers lived. And we won't discuss the literally hundreds of books on the subject that cover every available surface of my office . . . or the booklets and pamphlets and videos . . . or the wonders of the internet . Research is an endless delight!

SKY:  It’s time to promo. What is your favorite marketing tool?

BARBARA:  These days, it's definitely the internet. The immediate access to readers, the ability to communicate directly is the most exciting things to happen in my publishing lifetime.

SKY:  Are your book/books available in audio? In other languages? If so, give us more details about where we can get them and what languages they’re in.

BARBARA:  You can't imagine how excited I am to finally be able to say YES! Having my titles turned into audiobooks has been on my bucket list for years and this year my dream will be realized when fifteen of my titles enter the marketplace at Audible.com, Amazon, and iTunes. Right now I DO, I DO . . . AGAIN (a novella) and CHARMED (a Sugar Maple short story)are up for sale but good news!  SOMEWHERE IN TIME should be available by June 25th, followed quickly by TOMORROW AND ALWAYS and DESTINY'S CHILD. I found a wonderful narrator in Janine Hegarty. Just wait until you hear her incredible interpretation of Andrew McVie!

SKY:  How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?

BARBARA:  I have been writing my entire life. I published my first story in Katy Keene the Fashion Queen comic book when I was nine and I was off and running. I sold my first romance novel to Harlequin American in 1982. LOVE CHANGES was a launch book for the series in 1983. It's a good thing I did because I'm definitely not qualified to do anything else.

SKY:  What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?

BARBARA:  I love writing contemporary romance and women's fiction. A blend of both is my idea of writing heaven. I would, however, totally love creating a cozy mystery series.

SKY:  Do you prefer to write short stories, novellas or novels? Why?

BARBARA:  I actually love writing opposite ends of the spectrum: short stories and long novels!

SKY:  Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.

BARBARA:  I was ten books into my career when I launched my first series. PLAYING FOR TIME was a Harlequin American, the first action/romance they'd published. I didn't write it with starting a series in mind but readers seemed to love PAX, the super-secret spy organization, and my editor asked if maybe I had another PAX up my sleeve. Turns out I had quite a few of them!

Then came my Crosse Harbor Time Travel Trilogy, then some linked contemporary mainstream romances/women's fiction for Berkley and my paranormal knitting mysteries (I know it sounds crazy but give them a try!), all listed below.

PAX SERIES

Playing for Time
Honeymoon Hotel
A Fine Madness
All We Know of Heaven
The Bride Came C.O.D.
Operation: Husband
Operation: Baby
 
SHELTER ROCK COVE

A Soft Place to Fall
Girls of Summer
Susan's story in progress
 
IDLE POINT

At Last
Someone Like You
 
SUGAR MAPLE CHRONICLES

Casting Spells
Laced with Magic
Spun by Sorcery
Charmes: A Sugar Maple Short Story
Spells & Stitches

SKY:  If you could make changes to a story you’ve already written, which would it be and why?

BARBARA:  It's impossible to re-read one of my previously-published books and not want to change a word, a phrase, a sentence. I'm a habitual rewriter.

Thanks so much for inviting me to visit!

SKY: My pleasure, Barbara. Great interview!

About the Author

 

Barbara Bretton is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of more than 40 books. She currently has over ten million copies in print around the world. Her works have been translated into twelve languages in over twenty countries.

Barbara has been featured in articles in The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Romantic Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Herald News, Home News, Somerset Gazette, among others, and has been interviewed by Independent Network News Television, appeared on the Susan Stamberg Show on NPR, and been featured in an interview with Charles Osgood of WCBS, among others.

Her awards include both Reviewer's Choice and Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times; Gold and Silver certificates from Affaire de Coeur; the RWA Region 1 Golden Leaf; and several sales awards from Bookrak. Ms. Bretton was included in a recent edition of Contemporary Authors.

Barbara loves to spend as much time as possible in Maine with her husband, walking the rocky beaches and dreaming up plots for upcoming books.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Desire. Torment. Obsession. Blood Flows Deep in the Empire by N. Isabelle Blanco.

 
 
Today it’s my pleasure to interview N. Isabelle Blanco, author of Blood Flows Deep in the Empire, Szolites Series – Book 1, an erotica, Paranormal Romance

Publisher: The Writer’s Coffeeshop
Date of Publication: March 7th, 2013
ISBN: 9781612131450
ASIN:  B00BQ0KJT0
Number of pages: 210
Word Count:  Roughly 72,000
Cover Artist: L.J. Anderson & N. Isabelle Blanco

Watch the Book Trailer

Purchase at Amazon
 
GIVEAWAY! N. Isabelle is graciously giving away five eCopies of Blood Flows Deep in the Empire. Enter the Rafflecopter after this post for your chance to win.
 


Book Description


Dyletri, God of Fertility, has locked away his powers. No woman is allowed to touch him, not until he can return his long-dead lover back to life. All he has to do is sacrifice one human girl, a girl who unlocks his powers and rips his dormant lust right out of his body. Trapped by his promise, Dyletri has no choice but to watch Ismini die, no matter how much he wants her.

Yet the darkness of his calling is spiraling within him, demanding he claim the human as his. If he goes back on his promise, the energy of the Fates will cause untold destruction in the Universe. That doesn’t change how Dyletri’s begun exhibiting symptoms that point to more than just lust. How does he allow Ismini to die when she’s come to own him from the inside out?

Desire and torment spiral into something much darker than obsession, more turbulent than an addiction, and something much more brutal than a mere soul-mating. As a war is being rekindled right under his nose, Dyletri will have to come to terms with a destiny eleven thousand years in the making. He thought he’d known what path his future would take, but he’d been wrong. Now the one woman he truly loves might pay the price for his decision.

Blood Flows Deep in the Empire is the first in a series that will pit free will against Destiny, Destiny against Fate, and love against brutal desire. Everyone likes to think they have a choice as to who they end up with, but as they rise to face the greatest threat they’ve ever known, even the Gods will learn they have to bend to Destiny’s whim to survive.


Time for the interview!


SKY: What inspired you to write this book?

N. ISABELLE:  Obsession. Plain and simple. Everything I love (mythology, sex, action, etc.) is in this series. My brain just exploded with the idea with the first book. Two minutes later, I had the next book. And the next. And the next. And if I’m not careful, this will be a 30 book series LOL

SKY:  How did you come up with the title?

N. ISABELLE:  The title is actually what sets the tone for the rest of the series. A lot of the background story of this book, and what will be big parts of the story for subsequent books, focuses around the ancient empire of Ritrio. It all began and will end there. And blood is a huge part of this series. Huge. Not just in the aspect of the matings, the unrequited matings and what they’re capable, and the fact that there will be vampires in this series. To put it plainly, the battle scenes. They get brutal.

SKY:  What made you choose the main setting for your book?

N. ISABELLE:  I actually live 20 minutes away by car from Astoria, Queens, NY where Ismini, Evesse, and Soleria happen to live. It’s beautiful. Especially right by the water where the first battle in this book takes place. So when it came time to write it, that’s the place that settled in my mind. As for the other dimensions, that was just something my crazy brain wanted to try out.

SKY:  If you could spend an hour in real life with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

N. ISABELLE:  Now wait a minute. I center all these books around hot male Gods. Why must I chose only one?! That’s just torture.

SKY:  Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.

N. ISABELLE:  There is so many conflicts. There’s the main one: Dyletri has promised to sacrifice Ismini, eleven thousand years before she was born. By sacrificing Ismini, he’ll bring back the woman he thought he loved. Dimithinia was the last queen of the empire of Ritrio before the last war broke out amongst the gods, eleven thousand years ago. They melted the ice-sheets, which flooded most continents on Earth and killed thousands. Guilt ridden and desperate to make it up to her, Dyletri promises the Fates the sacrifice of Ismini, her modern soul-twin. Problem with that is: The male has locked away his powers of Fertility. AKA: he hasn’t had sex in almost eleven millennia. And that was actually working out for him. Until he meets Ismini. Just being near her rips his powers right out of his body. Not only is he now completely in lust with her, he starts falling for her as well, and then he starts developing symptoms that point to him being mated to her. Yet, he has no choice but to sacrifice her to the Fates.

Yeah.

Oh, and there’s a war rekindling as this happens. So, to say that he’s stressed at one point is putting it mildly.

SKY:  If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?

N. ISABELLE:  Again with the making me pick only one. *Pout* But this is probably one of my favorite lines in the whole book.

“His body soaked it up, starving for everything that was her. Her body. Her energy. Her blood. Her fucking soul. It was all going to be his. After today, he could exist no other way.”

SKY:  Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.

N. ISABELLE:  Um…it’s Dyletri’s sexy chest? LOL! Okay, okay, I’m lying. Dy’s is bigger, more defined, just more godly. But this one came close.

SKY:  Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

N. ISABELLE:  Just finished Zeniel and Evesse’s story, Blood Stained Tranquility (Szolites #2). That one was a beast, and in many ways, I kinda felt like Tranquility/ Vengeance was trying to outdo Fertility. Now I have Ianthen, hunt, geared up and ready to beat them both with book 3.

I’m also going to finish my next contemporary erotica short story, A Debt Repaid, and hope to have that one out by the fall.

SKY:  What sort of personality does your hero have?

N. ISABELLE:  He’s flawed. All the gods are. They aren’t these perfect beings. He’s also stubborn. Controlling. And yet, his heart and how sympathetic he can be is what got him into his predicament in the first place. Oh, and he’s Fertility. Meaning: he’s virile to the extreme, and when it gets down to it, he doesn’t apologize. Much. He can get rough at times :)

SKY:  What sort of personality does your heroine have?

N. ISABELLE:  I love Ismini because she was given a really ugly destiny-or so she believes for most of her life- and yet she doesn’t play the victim. She’s no damsel in distress. She’s ballsy and badass, and when it comes down to the ass-kicking, the girl is ready to go.

SKY:  Did you enjoy writing one scene above all the rest? If so, share.

N. ISABELLE:  Temple scene. When he first claims her. The fight scene on Earth comes in close second, but the temple…*stares off into space, lost in the memories.*

SKY:  tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.

N. ISABELLE:  Indoor, to be honest. Any where I have the privacy to write and get lost in the world of my characters.

SKY:  What sources do you use for research?

N. ISABELLE:  My friends call me Google. Books play a big part too, but me and Google are tight.

SKY:  It’s time to promo. What is your favorite marketing tool?

N. ISABELLE:  Definitely Facebook. It’s fun on there.

SKY:  Are your book/books available in audio? In other languages? If so, give us more details about where we can get them and what languages they’re in.

N. ISABELLE:  Not available in audio or translated yet, unfortunately. But we’re working on it.

SKY:  How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?

N. ISABELLE:  Writing? 12 years probably. It used to be just a hobby. I’m going on a year since I got published.

SKY:  What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?

N. ISABELLE:  I write all the genres I love right now. I got some of everything in this series, as a matter of fact. As of right now, I don’t think I need to branch of into other genres, but you never know where life will take you.

SKY:  Do you prefer to write short stories, novellas or novels? Why?

N. ISABELLE:  I like both. But novels leave more room for universe and character expansion.

SKY:  Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.

N. ISABELLE:  Yes, all of my books right now are part of series. Short stories and novels alike.

SKY:  If you could make changes to a story you’ve already written, which would it be and why?

N. ISABELLE:  All of my stories, actually. But that’s only because you grow as a writer in each book and you always go back and think, “Oh, hey. I could’ve done that better.”

SKY:  Super interview! Thanks so much for joining me today.


Excerpt


“You’re so beautiful, girl. Just looking at you drives me wild.”

That new, demonic half of his voice had to be the sexiest thing she had ever heard.

His words were even more so.

Dyletri’s expression made her arch into him, made her want to believe him. His thumb caressed her lips, and before Ismini realized it, she was once again moving on instinct. She opened her mouth and tilted her head, sucking the digit right in. A shock of power shot into her mouth, almost as if she’d put her tongue into an electrical socket.

Ismini loved every bit of it. She sighed around his thumb, sucking it deeper.

Dyletri moaned, baring his teeth. She bit down on his flesh, her stare locked on his large canines.

She had no right to his blood, but Ismini wanted it inside her. That should have scared her. In reality, Ismini was too far gone for that shit. Fear had no place inside her. Only need and hunger.

And insanity.

Because that’s what he brought out in her.

His thumb slipped out of her mouth, and she pouted, a hungry mewl leaving her. Dyletri cupped her face, lifting her head and lowering himself onto her.

His lips stopped a mere breath away from hers, his exhalations leaking in between her lips and sliding over her tongue. Ismini froze, realizing what he intended. And knowing damned well that she had no experience when it came to kissing.

Dyletri sensed her hesitation, and he stopped, as well. Every inch of that big, hard body was touching her. He was breathing hard, and his brow furrowed as he stared at her. She could see that he was confused, that he was wondering why she’d stopped.

In that moment she wanted to kick herself for being such an idiot. She was afraid that what she was about to say would turn him off.

“I—I’ve never . . . I don’t know how,” she whispered, dropping her gaze to his lips. She couldn’t stand to see the reality seep back into his face.

But Dyletri surprised her. As he lowered his head, he held hers still, and he placed a gentle but intensity-filled kiss to her cheek. A spark of energy pulsed through every cell of her skin.

“I know,” he murmured, placing another kiss closer to her mouth. And another. And yet another. “I’m dying to be the first one to show you . . . dying to be the first one to taste you. To take you.”

He thrust against her as he spoke, licking the corner of her lips when he talked about tasting her.

Her mouth fell open, and she moaned. “Dyletri.” His lips landed on hers, and a groan escaped him, the sound hitting her straight on. She wasn’t sure who opened first, but it was definitely she who sucked in his bottom lip, pulling it between her teeth. With heavy-lidded eyes, she watched his lip curl. Another growl left him, and his incisors grew even longer.

Then his fingers on her jaw became almost brutal, forcing her open, holding her still even though all she wanted to do was attack him. The urge grew when his tongue slid in, moving against hers. It was hotter than any other part of him. Sinuous and sinful in every way.

All lingering uncertainty flew right out the window. Their breaths and moans mixed as her tongue connected with his.

Amazing. He was fucking amazing, and the way his tongue tasted was nothing short of sexual. She’d never had sex, of course, but her body knew that was what he tasted like. Ismini swirled her tongue around his, opening her mouth further for him and tilting her head.

Dyletri thrust against her, over and over, his dick pressed right where she needed it. His tongue mimicked the movement of his hips, making her tighten her legs around him and pull him close.

Every moan out of his mouth was like a bolt straight between her legs. Every rock of his hips was answered by one of her own. Her hands traced every muscle on his back, fondled every ridge.

So much power.

She could feel him holding back. She knew it was probably because she was human and he had the power to break her and yet, she wanted him to. She needed him to. She was dying for him to just slam into her with everything he had until there was nothing left of her.

Dyletri pulled his head back, one elongated tooth stinging Ismini’s lower lip as he gave her a gentle bite. She cried out, the thought of him tasting her blood sending her into a frenzy.

It was an instant deluge. She began thrusting against him, her nails digging into unyielding flesh. Her moans escalated. Her orgasm was right there and already washing over her.

Until he pulled away. Again.

A growl rumbled behind her words, warping her voice. “Dyletri.” He laughed darkly, looking way too amused for her liking. “I swear to fucking God—”

He grabbed on to the waistband of her pants, his fingers harsh. “I am your fucking god!” Oh . . . oh my . . . “You’re not coming until I let you to, got it?”


About the Author

 

N. Isabelle Blanco was born in Queens, NY (USA). At age 3, due to an odd fascination with studying her mother’s handwriting, she had already begun to read and write. By the time she’d reached kindergarten, she had an extensive vocabulary and her obsession with words began to bleed into every aspect of her life. An avid reader in her teens, a fascination with Japanese anime eventually led her to the universe of fanfiction.

Her on again, off again hobby for the next ten years, She amassed a following of fans that, by her own admission, she would never be able to live without. It was those fans who encouraged her to step beyond the fanfiction realm and try her talent in the publishing world.

N. Isabelle’s first ebook, “Destructively Alluring”, came out July 2012, followed by "Addictive Lunacy" in September. The third novella in this debut series, "Allure Magnified," is due in November 2012 and her first full-length novel is due out next spring.

Certain not to disappoint, “Blood Flows Deep in the Empire” is a fast-paced, erotically charged thrill ride from cover to cover. Look for in both print and ebook formats on March 7, 2013.

Visit N. Isabelle's Web & Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads

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