Friday, April 18, 2014

First BOOK Friday-- Moira Keith




It's First BOOK Friday!  For the next few months, we're going to highlight the first book from some of our author friends!  Sometimes people find an author further down their backlist, sometimes readers think they're picking up the first book when really it's number 3 or so, sometimes the first book was just so long ago!  :)   So we thought it would be fun to revisit the books that started it all for some of our friends!


This month we're featuring the first book from Moira Keith, Buckling Down.


A note from Moira:


Buckling Down was not only my first book contracted, but it was the first manuscript I’d ever finished. When I was working on the story, Samhain announced a contemporary western romance anthology. Being my first manuscript, I had doubts, but figured I would live by one of my favorite quotes and take the shot. This was around the holidays, when life gets hectic enough, but I also had my twin’s birthday to plan for. I tried to put the submission out of my mind and let the chips fall where they may, but failed miserably. The day of my boys 4th birthday party, I came home and checked my email. There it was, sitting in the inbox, staring at me, taunting me. Gathering my courage and bracing myself for the first rejection to help thicken my sensitive author skin, I hit open. When I read that they wanted to offer me a contract, I had to go back and read it again because I thought surely, they’d just entered the wrong email address. Then I had one of those moments when I reverted to a teenage girl and said “Shut Up!” while reading. It took days for it to truly sink in that I’d just contracted my very first book!


Blurb:

When two hearts are on the line, it’s double or nothing.

A Wild Ride story.

Levi McKenna heads to Las Vegas with one simple goal: win the rodeo and cement his place in rodeo history. Then Lady Luck throws a wild card into the deck—Sydney Hart. Time and distance haven’t dulled the sharp edge of their attraction, but thanks to a long-ago promise, she will always be forbidden fruit dangling just out of reach.

Sydney wants to believe in fairy tales and happily ever after, but her past relationships leave her doubting such things exist. She’s ready to give up on love…until Levi walks into her bar. The man who’s always held the missing piece of her heart. Love may not be in the cards, but that doesn’t mean a girl can’t flirt.

Neither expected passion this hot, this fast. Yet once the cards are dealt, the only thing left to do is play them out—and see if they have a winning hand.

Warning: this book contains a sassy heroine, a scrumptious hero, blood, sweat, tears, not to mention…sex laced with Vegas heat.




Add to your library here!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Still Not In the Mood For Anything Serious

Yesterday was Tax Day, which means most of you (and most of us) need cheering up – so I’m going to do another post of happy happy silly silly.  (BTW – if you don’t do Tumblr you should really think about it. It’s full of the wild, the weird, the wonderful, the what the fuck. Ditto for Inside Amy Schumer.)
 ,

These pairs of taxidermied boxing squirrels, along with a third, unpictured one, went for $70,000 at auction


Inside Amy Schumer did an Aaron Sorkin parody starring the delectable Josh Charles, late of The Good Wife and star of Sports Night, the only Sorkin show I've ever liked (or even tolerated).  This thing is sublime perfection, the Platonic ideal of parody. If you've ever watched one episode of a Sorkin show--any Sorkin show, it doesn't matter which one--you will appreciate this.  (The clip is embedded in the article I've linked here; I think it's exclusive to Slate for the moment.)





April 5th was the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death. Frances Bean has grown into a beauty. A beauty who attended Coachella fully clothed, which I find refreshingly archaic. (Yes, I'm old.) (Also, I was going to say something about the way her fiancée is dressed, and her fiancée in general, but then I remembered that I was 21 in 1985, so I don't get to make fun of the way young women dress or the men they find attractive (coughshoulderpadsBrettMichaelscough). And if you were 21 in the 60s or 70s, you don't get to snicker either.)
 
 
 
 
Tumblr can be deep:


From Tastefully Offensive

 

 
And deeply silly.
Y'all wouldn't believe how long I giggled about this.
Or maybe you would.
 
 
 
You know the joke about the medical bracelet that says "Delete my browser history"? I need the same thing, only it says "Delete my  Pictures folder."


 
 
 
 
 
  
And this one reminds me of RT!!!
 
 
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Guest Blogger Sabrina York - A Noble Pursuit: Writing Regency With Period Appropriate Terms

Thank you so much for having me here!

I am excited to share news about the latest releases in the scorching Noble Passion’s Series. I’ve always been a fan of the Regency period, so it was a thrill to write these books. Naturally, because I’ve read so many, I thought I knew everything there was to know about the period. What no one warned me about was that, when writing period pieces, there are some many other details to think about. Words I might fold into a narrative on a day-today basis have to be scrutinized with an eagle eye!

When the final line edits came back on the first book, Folly, I was shocked to find a plethora of anachronistic terms sprinkled throughout my manuscript. Here are some examples of words I had to change:

“Tonight she was Mignon, a French floozy who knew how to seduce a man.” The FLE pointed out that floozy/floozie wasn't in use until the 1900s. I changed it to “doxy.”

“A temblor passed through her, a garbled plea hovered on her lips.” According to the FLE, temblor wasn't in use until the late 1800s/early 1900s. I changed to “She shook…”

“He'd fantasized about taking Ulster's wife, punishing her for her husband's sins, making her beg...” Fantasize/fantasized/fantasizing -- these date to 1926. I changed to “He’d dreamed of taking Ulster’s wife…”

“He rubbed at the scar that still pinged at his temple.” According to the FLE, ping dates to 1835 as a noun but wasn't used as a verb until much later. Changed to “He rubbed at the scar that still ached at his temple.”

“Ethan felt like a heel, now, for eavesdropping.” Heel dates to 1914, according to the FLE. I changed to “Ethan felt like a cad…”

Simple changes, yes. The real challenge came in REMEMBERING as I worked on the subsequent books!

The series is a huge hit with readers. There are currently three books out, one coming April 25th and a 5th in edits. Though the books are connected, each is a stand-alone read.

Check out Dark Duke, the most recent release:

Edward Wyeth, the Dark Duke of Moncrieff’s life has been turned on its end. His well-ordered home has been invaded. By destitute relatives. From Scotland. How on earth can he write Lord Hedon’s salacious novels with hellions battling in the garden and starting fires in the library? But with the onslaught has come a delicious diversion. His cousin’s companion, the surprisingly intriguing Kaitlin MacAllister. He is determined to seduce her. Using her desperate need for funds and her talents as an artist, he convinces her to draw naughty pictures for his naughtier books…and he draws her into his decadent web.

But Kaitlin has a secret. She’s fled Scotland—and a very determined betrothed. When Edward’s cousin is kidnapped and held in her stead, Kaitlin is honor-bound to return to her homeland and rescue her—much to Edward’s chagrin.

Because suddenly he can’t bear the thought of Kaitlin marrying another man. He can’t bear the thought of losing her at all.

Noble Passions Series from Sabrina York

Follow the decadent exploits of friends and enemies as they find love and passion in the glittering world of the Regency—and its dark underbelly.

Book 1: Folly

2014 EPIC eBook Award Finalist
2013 Passionate Plume Finalist
http://www.amazon.com/Folly-Sabrina-York-ebook/dp/B00A0LC0CU/ref=la_B00856PDEO_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393037465&sr=1-11

Book 2: Dark Fancy

2014 Carolyn Readers Choice Award Finalist

http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Fancy-Sabrina-York-ebook/dp/B00AN86ILY/ref=pd_sim_kstore_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1BXH79GVAG8DY55AC15D

Book 3: Dark Duke

http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Duke-3-Noble-Passions-ebook/dp/B00ID8MAJU/ref=pd_sim_b_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1E7WS1HSZJEJ1BX9HKZ6

Book 4: Brigand

Coming April 25th: http://www.ellorascave.com/brigand.html

If you’re new to the series, download my free teaser book at http://sabrinayork.com/home-2/sabrina-yorks-teaser-book/ to read blurbs and excerpts for this popular series. Each book in the series is a stand-alone story.

Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York is the award winning author of over 20 hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & sexy erotic romance to scorching BDSM. Connect with her on twitter @sabrina_york, on Facebook or on Pintrest. Check out Sabrina’s books and read an excerpt on Amazon or wherever e-books are sold. Visit her webpage at www.sabrinayork.com to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Free Teaser Book: http://sabrinayork.com/home-2/sabrina-yorks-teaser-book/ And don’t forget to enter to win the royal tiara!

Books by Sabrina York

A Cowboy for Delilah (Erotic Contemporary for the Cowboy Heat Anthology, Cleis Press)

Adam’s Obsession (Erotic Contemporary, Ellora’s Cave)

Dark Duke (Erotic Regency, Ellora’s Cave) —Coming soon

Brigand (Erotic Regency, Ellora’s Cave)

Dark Fancy (Erotic Regency, Ellora’s Cave)

Devlin’s Dare: A Tryst island Erotic Romance (Erotic Contemporary)

Dragonfly Kisses: A Tryst Island Erotic Romance (Erotic Contemporary)

Extreme Couponing (Erotic Contemporary, Ellora’s Cave)

Fierce (One Night Stand, Decadence Press)

Five Alarm Fire (Erotic Contemporary for the High Octane Heroes Anthology, Cleis Press)

Folly (Erotic Regency, Ellora’s Cave)

Heart of Ash: A Tryst Island Erotic Romance (Erotic Contemporary)

Lust Eternal (Erotic Fantasy, Ellora’s Cave)

Pushing Her Buttons (Erotic Contemporary, Ellora’s Cave)

Making Over Maris (Erotic Contemporary, Ellora’s Cave)

Man Hungry (Erotic Contemporary, Ellora’s Cave)

Rebound: A Tryst Island Erotic Romance (Erotic Contemporary, Available on Amazon)

Rebound is now available on Smashwords

Rising Green (Erotic Horror, Ellora’s Cave)

Saving Charlotte (Erotic Contemporary for the Smokin' Hot Firemen Anthology, Cleis Press)

Smoking Holt: A Tryst Island Erotic Romance (Erotic Contemporary)

Training Tess (Erotic Contemporary, Ellora’s Cave)

Trickery (Erotic Contemporary with Magical Elements, Ellora’s Cave Hex Line)

Tristan’s Temptation (Erotic Contemporary, Ellora’s Cave)


CURRENT PROMOS

Free Teaser Book: http://sabrinayork.com/home-2/sabrina-yorks-teaser-book/

Newsletter & contest: http://sabrinayork.com/sabrinas-contest-and-newsletter/

FOLLOW SABRINA

Like my Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/SabrinaYorkBooks

Follow me on Twitter @sabrina_york

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5817917.Sabrina_York

Check out my Pintrest boards: http://www.pinterest.com/sabrinayork/boards/

Like my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sabrina-York/e/B00856PDEO/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1382929432&sr=8-2-ent

Check out my Barnes & Noble Author page: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/sabrina-york

Follow me on Ellora’s Cave: https://www.ellorascave.com/index.php/authors/index/author/slug/sabrina-york/

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Guest Blogger Angela Dennis - What If?

What if?

What if the world wasn’t round? What if we all lived forever? What if we could simply rub a genie bottle and all of our dreams would come true? What if?

One of the most common questions I’m asked by readers, friends, and family, is how I come up with my ideas. Maybe they ask because I write Urban Fantasy, or because I set my stories in dystopian, post-apocalyptic worlds, or maybe they are just trying to discern how crazy I am. Regardless, I get asked this question a lot, so let me try to answer it. It all boils down to a complicated game of what if.

My creative process is far from unique. I create my two main characters by sketching out their redeeming qualities as well as their imperfections. To do this, I draw on my own life experiences. I was born a people watcher. It’s both a gift and a curse. I love to see how people interact with one another and the environment around them. I find it very distracting (as my husband will attest to). Every individual is unique and interesting in their own way. I want my characters to reflect that. It is important to me that my characters be multi-faceted and unique, yet also believable.

Once I have a good handle on my characters and their personalities, I drop them in an environment of my choosing. Usually it’s a fantastical world or alternate reality. For example, in Shadows of Fate, they are in Denver, Colorado (well an alternate post-apocalyptic version of Denver). I choose these types of locations because I love world building. Creating a universe from the ground up is a challenge I find hard to pass up. Maybe it’s because I’m a control freak, and I love working within a world of my choosing, made with my rules. Or maybe it’s because it’s easier for me to work within the confines of my own world than one that already exists. Either way, that’s how I roll.

At this point, if I was smart, I would start sketching out my scenes and organizing my plot. Well, I never claimed to be smart. I tend to do things the difficult way. Sometimes it works, and sometimes, not so much. But, regardless, I get to have a little fun. With my characters fully realized and in place in their world, I close my eyes, concentrate, and try to think of the worst possible thing that could happen to them in their current circumstances (yes, I’m evil that way) then try to figure out how they will react. Once they conquer that challenge, I do it again, and again, and again. You get the point. It all adds up to a complex game of what if.

So where do I get my ideas? How do I flesh out my book? I give my characters the floor. My stories grow from my characters and their organic reactions to their circumstances. I provide the scenery and the conflict, they provide the resolution. And together we create a story.

Angela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, son and a sheltie with a hero complex. When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books.

You can visit Angela at her blog www.angeladennisauthor.blogspot.com or at her website www.angeladennisauthor.com. She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to email her directly at angeladennisauthor@yahoo.com.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Peace, Love, and Barbecue

When you’re thinking about a romantic dinner, or maybe just the romance of food in general, barbecue probably isn’t your first choice. Barbecue was originally blue collar food, or sometimes even no collar food. You don’t put filet mignon into your smoker, needless to say. You put cuts of meat that are so tough they need all day over the coals to break down and become delicious.

Even now, when barbecue has achieved a kind of cult status among regional food, you don’t think of it as something you’d fix when you want to inspire passion in your sweetie (unless it’s a passionate argument over the presence or absence of tomato-based sauce). But barbecue is also a way of life for some cooks, both professional and amateur, and it was that fact that I wanted to talk about in my eighth book set in Konigsburg, Texas: Hungry Heart.

My heroes are both passionate about ’cue. One, Harris Temple the Barbecue King, cooks barbecue professionally, selling it off his truck in downtown Konigsburg. The other, Chico Burnside, is an amateur pit master who’s come up with his own sublime recipe for pulled pork. Harris and Chico decide to join forces on a competitive barbecue team (yes, there really are competitive barbecue teams—lots of them), entering Konigsburg’s first Fourth of July barbecue cook-off.

Of course, Harris and Chico both have Significant Others who complicate things. Harris’s girlfriend is Darcy Cunningham, sous chef of the Rose restaurant, who’s a lot more skilled in professional cooking than he is. But when it comes to barbecue, Darcy’s newbie, and a sarcastic newbie at that. Chico’s true love, Andy Wells, has a barbecue background of her own, but it’s bittersweet. Andy’s ex-husband was a competitive barbecue cook and his devotion to barbecue (along with his own “winning” personality) broke up their marriage.

It’s these four people who make up the barbecue team and provide the romance. Because when you’re doing things together, even if those things involve brisket and pork loin, romance can flourish. Here’s a quick excerpt:

He lifted his hand, brushing the hair back from her temple with his fingertips.

Not a good idea. You shouldn’t get involved here. But all of a sudden she couldn’t exactly remember why she shouldn’t.

He leaned forward slowly, maybe giving her a chance to run. A chance she wasn’t going to take. His lips brushed hers, lightly, as his hands cupped her face. He rubbed his thumbs across her cheekbones, dark eyes watching her carefully.

The flecks of green had deepened, making his eyes even darker now. She leaned forward, placing her hands on his shoulders, bringing her mouth against his more firmly. The contact seemed to send an arrow of heat through her body, making her nipples ache, her pulse warm again.

His mouth opened against hers and she let him inside, rubbing her tongue against his, feeling it rasp against her teeth. She sucked his lower lip for a moment, nipping him lightly, hearing the catch in his breath.

His hands dropped to her breasts, cupping, then rubbing them, his palms brushing her nipples to hard points. She felt cool air against her back as he pushed her shirt up, his fingers fumbling with the catch on her bra. His lips drifted down the side of her throat, leaving a trail of heat as he did.

She pushed his shirt up, running her fingers through the slight dusting of hair across his chest, then down along the ripple of muscle over his stomach.

His hands cupped her breasts, pushing the bra aside. He leaned down, taking one nipple into his mouth, sucking, his tongue laving the aching peak.

Somewhere behind them something beeped loudly. Porky came awake with a woof.

“Shit.” His hands dropped to her hips, his forehead pressed against her breasts. “Shit. Fuck. Goddamn.”

“Timer’s beeping,” she muttered. “And Porky’s awake.”

He nodded, his forehead still resting on her collarbone.

“Fire’s ready. And you’re behind with the meat as it is.”

He raised his head to look at her. “I didn’t plan this.”

“I know.” She wasn’t entirely sure what he meant—the timing with the meat or the timing with the two of them. She brushed a hand across his cheek, pushing his hair back from his face.

“I don’t want to stop.”

“I don’t either.” She slid back a few inches, moving her hands to his shoulders. “But like you once said, barbecue waits for no man.”

“Shit,” he repeated. “Caught in my own trap.” 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Guest Blogger Cindy Nord - I Love History



I LOVE HISTORY! And sculpting words into living, breathing creations of the past is what drives my imagination. Passionate characters and their surroundings swirl into life across a milieu of historically accurate events. I also adore LOVE STORIES! And for me, embedding strong, noble heroes into these panoramas is the perfect foundation for a great romance. With this in mind, I’m so proud to present NO GREATER GLORY, book one of my four-book ‘The Cutteridge’ series:

The year is 1862, and the Federal army is pushing southward into Virginia. Her plantation just happens to lie in their path. And amid the carnage of war, he commandeers far more than just her home.

Widowed plantation owner Emaline McDaniels has struggled to hold on to her late husband’s dreams. Regardless of the responsibilities resting on her slender shoulders, she’ll not let anyone rip away what’s left of her way of life—particularly a Yankee officer who wants to set up winter camp on her land. With a defiance born of desperation, she defends her home as though it were the child she never had…and no mother gives up her child without a fight.

Despite the brazen wisp of a woman pointing a gun at his head, Colonel Reece Cutteridge has his orders. Requisition Shapinsay—and its valuable livestock—for his regiment’s use, and pay her with Union vouchers. He never expected her fierce determination, then her concern for his wounded, to upend his heart—and possibly his career. As the armies go dormant for the winter, battle lines are drawn inside the mansion. Yet just as their clash of wills shifts to forbidden passion, the tides of war sweep Reece away. And now their most desperate battle is to survive the conflict with their lives—and their love—intact.

Although bestselling historical romance author, Cindy Nord, entered the writing arena later in life, her creative passions began years before when she crafted a saga that contained all the elements SHE liked best in a hero. But then, she married her ‘real-life’ hero, and the manuscript she so lovingly created was shoved into a box under her bed. One day, however, at the encouragement of her husband, Cindy blew off the dust and sent NO GREATER GLORY to the Romance Writers of America’s national Golden Heart contest, where it finaled in the historical romance category. An agent (the incredible Louise Fury w/the Bent Agency in New York City) & contract (w/Samhain Publishing) soon followed, and upon her book’s debut, Cindy’s lil’ love story zoomed straight to the #1 Civil War Romance spot at Amazon and stayed there for nearly a year. NO GREATER GLORY also became a USA Today Lifeblog ‘Recommended Read’. The second book in her series, WITH OPEN ARMS, releases from Samhain this coming August. Cindy is also pleased to be a contributing author in the delightful SCRIBBLING WOMEN & THE REAL-LIFE ROMANCE HEROES WHO LOVE THEM, an anthology of twenty-eight popular romance fiction writers who reveal the real-life stories of how they met, wed and love their spouses and life partners. All net proceeds from the sales of this top 100 Amazon book benefit W.I. N. (Women in Need), a NYC charity that transforms the lives of homeless women and their children. Please visit Cindy at www.cindynord.com - or - on Tweeter at @cnord2 - or - join her M-F mornings at her popular Facebook page, which she affectionately calls her ‘Coffee Klatch’ … Indeed, true love awaits you in the writing of Cindy Nord. ♥

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/No-Greater-Glory-Cindy-Nord-ebook/dp/B008GWOI9S

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Congratulations Kelly Jamieson!

Kelly's next release Sweet Obsession, is available Tuesday, April 1!






Wine her, dine her. . .then untie her. 

Windy City Kink, Book 1

Sasha Bendel is a bundle of nerves as she knocks on the door of a Gold Coast penthouse. Her landscape design business took a hard hit when one of her biggest clients defaulted on his payment, and she desperately needs this rooftop garden design project to get back in the black.

But when her potential client answers the door, she's stunned. It's her old high school boyfriend, the one her wealthy parents ran out of her life when they were discovered engaging in some youthful exploration of bondage and discipline.

Twelve years ago, Jack Grenville let Sasha's powerful father intimidate him into giving up the love of his life. With the help of a sensei, he's overcome his obstacles and accepted his sexual dominance. Now he's back in Chicago to claim what's his--Sasha.

One look at Jack brings back all the forbidden desires Sasha's put on lock-down since that shameful night. No way can she turn down this money-is-no-object job. . .but can she resist Jack's no-knots-barred determination to recapture her heart?

Warning: This book contains a woman with a sweet tooth, a man with a sweet obsession, a cupboard full of bondage rope, and some not-so-sweet kink.