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.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Fight Club - Shaman Vs Shaman Edition

It's past vs present in this month's edition of Friday Fight Club! So let's bring our magic men together in a fight for the ages!

Scientist Moira Sinclair doesn’t believe in magic. Or at least she hasn’t since childhood. She’s only come to Iona in remembrance of her long-deceased grandmother, the last person who encouraged her fanciful side. But now she’s stumbled onto a secret druid ritual—and into another time.Aedan Ap Crannog is furious to discover an outsider spying on their sacred, banned Samhain rites. With her strange garb and stranger mannerisms, Moira is unlike any woman he’s ever known. But she could cause trouble for him and the people who follow him in the ancient ways. To prevent her from sounding the alarm, he takes her captive, hiding her in the labyrinth of caves along the far shore.Despite their differences, sparks burn between them as brightly as the Samhain bonfire. Now captive and captor must find a way to bridge the centuries before the magic disappears with the dawn…

Buy Links for Ritual Love:

Chay Johnson is a traditional man; and the educator, flute maker, apprentice shaman has a lot of traditions to uphold, especially when it comes to choosing a life mate. Erin Allridge is a modern woman, with modern ideas about relationships and a painful personal history she has no intention of repeating.When terror and tragedy strike the small town of Oberon, the pair are forced to re-think their visions for the future. In this world of form and spirit it can be hard to find balance and harmony, but  sometimes, particularly when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, love can find a way to bridge the gap.

Buy Links for Visions Before Midnight


Barnes and Noble

All Romance eBooks

So what are you waiting for? Hop on over to the Nine Naughty Novelist's Friday Fight Club party over on Facebook. We've got Q and A's, contests, prizes, and hot guys. What more could you ask for?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Don't miss these 5 TED Talks About Love and Sex

Have 15 minutes? Check out one of these five TED Talks! This is what I do when I want to hit the snooze button, but know I should really get up and do something productive. What a compromise!

1. "The birds and the bees are just the beginning" 2. Are we designed to be sexual omnivores? 3. "The secret to desire in a long-term relationship" 4. "A little-told tale of sex and sensuality" 5. "Love--you're doing it wrong"

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Guest Blogger Desiree Holt - Aftershock

I spent a lot of years in the music business but it wasn’t until recently that I drew on those experiences for my writing. Downstroke and Having It All kicked it off. Then I met the sexiest bass player, Jackie Joyride, who became the inspiration for, what else, Joy Ride, a story of love that could not be denied, despite a million obstacles.

Of course you, my readers (and I thank you for this) wanted the stories about the rest of the band and so Sydney and Rick’s love story was born in my brain. It’s about an industry that demands almost more than it gives. That makes it difficult to have a real personal life. That doesn’t always allow for feelings and that is rife with jealousy.

But it’s also the story of a band with the electricity of the Lightnin’ for which it is named. And it’s the story of two people, a hot rock star and a feisty promotions agent, who collide like an explosion of fireworks. What do you get? #Aftershock.

Determined to shake off her past, Sydney Alexander plans to seize the day when it comes to handling PR for Lightnin’ the blazing star rising on the rock scene. Rick Trajean, Lightnin’s lead, torches her all business all the time mantra when the sizzling chemistry between them ignites brighter more than the band’s popularity. As Lightnin’ scorches the charts, Rick and Sydney burn up the sheets. But can their passion handle the pressure of the music business? Not everyone is happy with Lightnin’s success and when the vindictiveness so common in the business threatens to destroy the band, their tour and the love Rick and Sydney found in each other, their powerhouse may come crashing down. What’s left when it does? #Aftershock.

You can follow Syd and Rick’s story from Decadent Publishing beginning March 28. And Marc and Emma from joy Ride play an integral part in what happens. So come on along.

She was still buzzed from the evening when she checked into the hotel. Lightnin’ happened to be checking in at the same time and their excitement was palpable. Even Danny and Garrett came over and gave her a hug. They all rode up in the elevator together, the guys still jazzed, laughing and bumping fists. Except for Rick, who was strangely silent.

They all got off at the same floor she did and headed to their rooms. She was shocked to discover that Rick’s room turned out to be right next to hers. She couldn’t help sliding a glance at him and was stunned to see him watching her, a ravenous look in his eyes. There was no mistaking the desire in his gaze. Did he want her to join him? Or should she ask him if he wanted to come into her room? What was the protocol here?

Unsettled, she fumbled with the keycard at her door, dropping it in her nervous haste to get inside her room. She wasn’t aware he had moved until suddenly he was beside her, taking the card from her fingers. He slid it into the slot and when the lock light turned green he pushed the door open.

“Here you go.” He held the door back with his body, waiting for her to enter the room.

“Th-Thank you.”

She moved past him, rolling her suitcase into the room and turned to him. Before she had time to say anything he grabbed her arms, turned her to face him and pressed her against the door.

“I’ve been wanting to do this all day.” His voice was heavy with a combination of emotion and desire. “I think tonight calls for a celebration, don’t you?”

Speech deserted her and all she could do was nod. She wanted him, this man who had exploded into her life. More than wanted. She was hungry for him, a passion that never seemed to leave her. Reaching up her hands she cupped the roughness of his late night beard, loving the scratchy feel of it.

She tilted her face up just the least little bit to accommodate him and his mouth came down on hers. The minute their lips met heat surged through her as if someone had lit a match to her blood. She clutched at his shoulders to steady herself, knowing she should break away even as her body cried for more. She was drowning in him, his heat and scent invading her. And all she could think was more, more, more.

Known the world over as The Oldest Living Erotica Author, Desiree Holt proves every day that she is more than the sum of her years and more than the grandmother who plays with Barbie and Ken dolls: She is The Hardest Working Erotica Author, producing one novel or more each month and receiving rave reviews.

She is twice a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award, a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award for best BDSM book of the year, winner of the Holt Medallion, multiple winner of the Whipped Cream Book of the Week Award and is published by five different houses. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The London Daily Mail and numerous other national and international publications.

“Get out the ice water and fan…Desiree Holt delivers smoking hot alpha heroes and red hot romances.” Lea Franczak, USA Today Happy Ever After blog

Learn more about her and read her novels here:

Twitter @desireeholt

Pinterest: desiree02holt

Also on LinkedIn and Google+

Friday, March 21, 2014

First BOOK Friday--Tara Lain

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 Tara Lain, Genetic Attraction.

A note from Tara:

Since I’m a non-fiction writer by profession, people always told me I should write a novel – but it just sounded like work! Then I discovered erotic romance and finally found something so fun I wouldn’t mind writing at night and on the weekends too! I created a plot about a renowned genetic researcher who has a huge crush on her younger research partner. As I was plotting the book, I read my first MM romance. I loved it and was instantly hooked. I decided to add another man to my novel. What if the “girlfriend” that my young researcher lives with turned out to be his boyfriend, and what if they both fall in love with my heroine? In one stroke, I went from a nice vanilla romance writer to a writer of MM and ménage romance and Genetic Attraction was born. The book went on to win lots of awards and truly launched my career as an author of The Beautiful Boys of Romance.


At a conservative Long Island University, renowned researcher, Dr. Emmaline Silvay, has two great loves -- her life-saving work, and her younger research partner, Jake Martin. The romantic love is impossible. She’s his boss and he lives with his girlfriend. But his “girlfriend” is actually a boyfriend; the beautiful and infamous supermodel, Roan Black.

Resigned to a platonic relationship, Em accepts a weekend invitation to their home, but the men have a ménage on their minds. She can’t resist, doesn’t even want to. But their intentions go far beyond passion. They want her to “be a part of them.” Their three-way love defies propriety and the standards of the University that funds their work. The supermodel’s fame makes secrecy impossible. Their ménage threatens to crumble all she’s worked for. What will give way to make room for genetic attraction?

Watch the trailer

Add to your library here!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Odds n Ends

My mom and her boyfriend are splitting up and we have to find somewhere for her to live. I think we've located a really nice independent living complex but we have to figure out the finances. It's been really stressful. Plus there are other things going on, none of which are terribly serious on their own but all of which amount to a bigass ball of stress. And I can't drown it in my customary Chardonnay because I gave up alcohol for Lent and WHY DID I DO THAT?

As I often do, I've sought solace in the Internet, but I'm avoiding anything serious or substantive. Instead I've been looking at fun pictures, funny stories, and generally silly shit. Want to see some? I thought you would!

First up: dogs and babies!

Second: Scientific proof of the evilness of cats!

Third: Porn and Pro Wrestling!

Fourth: Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski's Instagram Account Is Still Online! (click the picture to go to Instagram):

Fifth: Reviews of sexy toys with links to purchase, sales and promo, giveaways and more!
Sixth: I found the perfect graphic to describe the different social media platforms for my book for new authors!

And lastly, thanks to The Blogess and Popehat I have a name for one of the mentioned-in-passing rock bands in my current WIP: Scrotums In The Mail.

I looked for images of scrotums in the mail but didn't find any. I was surprised and, I must admit, a little disappointed in the Internet.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Guest Blogger Berengaria Brown - The Wolf Masters

When I started writing “The Wolf Masters” series I was fascinated by the hot springs and all the potential for romantic scenes around natural hot water pools. Nothing is prettier than sitting naked in hot water outdoors, surrounded by snow, and accompanied by a couple of delicious men.

But for some unknown reason, Nevis refused to stay on the mountain. She was interested in one of the men there, but decided it was time for her to return to the world again.

Of course when the very man she’d been interested in invited her to go to Pine Corner with him and the person he’d agreed to share a woman with, things started to fall into place and the second book of the “Wolf Masters” series was born.

When it came time to think of a third book in the series, I was mentally back in the mountains, envisioning those hot springs.

But no. Nevis had made friends with a local sculptor in Pine Corner, and Anne’s story needed to be told.

The characters make all the decisions around here. Some days I just take dictation!

“Seduced by Her Two Masters”

Anne Wade is a sculptor who lives at Pine Corner. She hires the Hot Springs Transportation company to deliver her valuable bronze sculptures to a New York gallery. Cody Winton, a driver, and Carson Mellor, the Hot Springs attorney, who are both werewolf shape-shifters, go along with her in the big rig to guard the sculptures—and her.

Carson hates the city, that’s why he moved to Pine Corner, but he can’t bear to be away from Anne. Cody’s just new and still learning the job. Anne is a sculptor first and foremost, and her entire future rests on the safety and success of these bronzes.

But bronze is ninety percent copper, and robbers can easily melt such artworks down and make a lot of money from it. How can two men keep Anne and her sculptures safe on such a hazardous journey?

Buy link:

Berengaria is a multi-published author of erotic romance: contemporary, paranormal (magic, ghosts, vampires, fairies, dragons, and werewolves), futuristic, medieval, and Regency-set historical. She loves to read all different kinds of romance so that is what she writes: one man/one woman; two women; two men; two men/one woman; three men, two women/one man, three men/one woman…. Whatever the characters need for their very hot happily-ever-after, Berengaria makes sure they get it.

Berengaria Brown

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Hungry Heart - Music, Food, and Love

I’ve been told that my books make people hungry. I consider that a real compliment since so many of my characters are either professional cooks or amateurs who cook seriously. And there’s always a love connection there too, largely because I feel that cooking for someone is as sincere an expression of love as writing them a sonnet (and a lot easier from my point of view).

My latest excursion to Konigsburg, Texas, Hungry Heart (coming from Samhain on March 25), includes the usual references to food and cooking, but maybe more so since the heroes and heroines are all members of a competitive barbecue team. Since barbecue requires a lot of cooking time with a carefully watched fire, it lends itself well to, ahem, other activities, something that my heroes and heroines take full advantage of.

Since another of my favorite tropes is music, particularly Americana music, I decided to make a quick list of songs that included both food and love. So in honor of Hungry Heart, I present my barbecue playlist (I recommend listening with a cold beer and a shade tree if you’re in South Texas, or maybe anywhere the sun’s shining).

There are some songs that just celebrate the pleasures of good food and good living in general.

1. First there’s Robert Earl Keen’s great ode to Barbecue, which is sort of the theme song for Hungry Heart.

2. Guy Clark loves to write songs about food and he’s got a couple of terrific ones. The first celebrates the wonders of Texas Cookin’. He also has a justifiably famous song praising those Homegrown Tomatoes.

3. East Texas and Louisiana share a lot of culinary traditions including Jambalaya (you should check this version out if only for historical purposes; it features Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Leon Russell when they were all young heartthrobs—if you weren’t too particular).

But there are also songs that make the connection between food and sex a little more obvious.

1. Let’s start with a salute to the seductive power of cooking, Tim O’Brien’s I Like the Way You Cook, accompanied here by some equally seductive images of delectable dishes.

2. The Band of Heathens’ Cornbread makes the connection a little more symbolic, but still very, very hot.

3. The Carolina Chocolate Drops like their metaphoric cornbread too, or in their case Cornbread and Butterbeans.

4. Speaking of beans, Marcia Ball’s got some Red Beans Cookin’ for her guy.

5. And Keb Mo does a terrific version of Robert Johnson’s Come On In My Kitchen, the kind of request it’s hard to refuse.

Of course, that just scratches the surface—who did I miss? What other songs can you think of about food and lovin’?

And if you’ve stuck with me this far, thanks and here’s the blurb for Hungry Heart:

Peace, love, and barbecue—with a big order of sexy on the side.

Konigsburg, Texas, Book 8

Sous chef Darcy Cunningham is less than entranced with small-town Konigsburg’s obsession with barbecue. But her future career as a chef de cuisine requires expanding her culinary horizons, so she talks the Barbecue King, a.k.a. Harris Temple, into taking her on as his apprentice.

However, learning Harris’s professional secrets wasn’t supposed to include falling for his spicy blend of smoky sexiness and laid-back charm.

Chico Burnside specializes in flying under Konigsburg’s small-town radar, but lately life has been going a little too smoothly, even for him. Hoping to shake things up a bit, he talks Harris into teaming up for Konigsburg’s first barbecue cook-off. But once shy scientist Andy Wells catches his eye, Chico’s got more on his mind than brisket. Like enticing her out of her shell to show her just how tenderly a big guy can love.

As the competition ignites, so does the romance. Until a natural disaster threatens to derail Konigsburg’s dream team before the grills even get good and warmed up.

Warning: Contains hot sauce, hot sex, and a whole lot of smokin’ action.

Friday, March 14, 2014

March Reading Round Up

Erin: Waking Up Married, Mira Lyn Kelly... cute! :) so far I'm enjoying it but the FOREPLAY is going on way too long for me ;)

Juniper: I'm still recovering from my RITA reading spree. I'm reading Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare.

Kate:  I'm reading Natural Law by Joey W. Hill. Definitely something different for me! But really enjoying it.

Kelly: I just finished Elle Kennedy's As Hot As It Gets - I love this series. Her male characters are so awesome, I love the interaction between them.

Kinsey: oh oooh oooh - Wicked As They Come - carney-punk-paranormal-romance. Bought it way back b/c I saw a good review but then I didn't read it and I never really thought I'd love it. Then I got in a reading slump - like the past 4-5 books I've started, I didn't care enough to finish. So I figured WTF and started Wicked As They Come last night and so far I'm seriously impressed.

Meg: Rosanne Cash's autobiography Composed. It's wonderful, particularly if you're a fan of her music.

PG: The last book I read was Too Many Fairy Princes by Alex Beecroft. It's a fun twist on traditional fairy tales. And by "fun" I mean once you get past the initial heartbreak.

Skylar: Tracey Cooper Posey's Kiss Across Time series--it was a spectacular time travel vampire paranormal MMF menage.

Sydney: I just finished Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep. It's been in my TBR pile and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. Even happier that there are more books in the series available for me to glom.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thursday Quiz: What kind of alcoholic drink are you?

Take the quiz yourself--click here

Few of our readers will be surprised that we like wine--a lot. Really, wine should be our group's spirit animal. 

But for the sake of funsies, we put it to the test to discover what kind of alcoholic drinks we really are through this super scientific and infallible quiz. Take the quiz and in the comments, let us know who you'll be drinking with at RT (well, that would be all of us... but you know what we mean).

"Congratulations, you are red wine! You're an acquired taste that is worth savoring. You're an enigma for many but a treasured companion for the savvy."
PG: Is anyone surprised by this?
Meg: Amazingly enough, this is right on.
Kelly: I agree with this.
Sydney: No surprise here. Red wine for me too.
Kate: Red wine y'all. No wonder we get along so well.

"Congratulations, you are scotch! Frank Sinatra would approve! Single malt or blend, neat or on the rocks. It doesn't matter. Those Scottish people know how to make a good liquor. FREEEEEEEEDOM!"
Erin: Hmmm...I do love Frank Sinatra!
Juniper: Erin, we're alcohol soul-sisters!

"Congratulations, you are rum! Rum! Good choice mon! Come to Jamaica, mon. Irie, irie mon! Sugar is already awesome and then somebody used it to make this! How cool is that. Rum a friend in Coke. They can mix. Drink up, mon!"
Skylar: Right on! If I'm looking for something harder than beer or wine, it's always rum. Dark, spiced rum is even better!
Kinsey: Can't believe I got rum. I hate rum. Haven't touched it since I was 16 and realized Time Saver had all other kinds of alcohol for me to try.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Too Many Me's

Tonight, I added OneDrive to my home computer, connected it to my cloud storage, and I'm currently waiting for everything to download and sync. I've got works in progress, lots of pictures, a bunch of blog posts I may or may not have already used, videos of soap couples that no longer are airing...the list goes on.

And that's only one account.

I seriously had to stop and think about which OneDrive account I was going to sync with this computer. Should it be my work account? No, that's already synced to my tablet. How about the old work account, the one before we changed servers? No, that one's still out there somewhere, but most of the stuff is duplicated. I think. How about the one I created when I went through that Microsoft training last year? That may be floating around as well...

And that's just OneDrive (formerly known as Skydrive). At last count, I had eight email addresses, give or take, about half of them for my writing self and the other half for my non-writing self. I've got work accounts, personal accounts, at least one rarely-used fandom account, an old account pretty much only used for junk mail. I have two twitter accounts, three YouTube accounts, a MySpace I haven't looked at in two years, four logins to Facebook, I'm getting stressed out just thinking about it.

I didn't set out to scatter my online presence quite so much. In the beginning, there were only two accounts - a work email, and a home email. Then the home email became overrun with junk mail, and I opened another one. Then an account for my pen name, so I'd look more professional when I submitted my writing. And suddenly I turned around and I'd turned into the ultimate multiple online personality.

For the most part, I can keep them separate, though I confuse my husband from time to time. ("Send it to my home email. No, the other one. No, the yahoo. Never mind, send it to the work addy.") But I do worry about the proliferation of me's out there. Maybe I need to cut back, close down a few accounts, consolidate my online presence a little bit.

I'll get to that ... tomorrow. Right now, I'm off to check a half-dozen email accounts before bed. :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Guest Blogger Jenna Bayley-Burke - There's a Jet Engine in My Kitchen

Not an actual jet engine, but it sure sounds like it! Our fridge was secretly incontinent, peeing into the floor like an obnoxious cat. And now, there is a loud machine in my kitchen, another hidden beneath my house, and a week full of appointments that have nothing to do with finishing up Caribbean Cowboy, the book my editor is patiently waiting for. Or not so patiently. She posted a picture of Kathy Bates in Misery yesterday. I'd better get those words in!

Before I started writing I had this romantic notion of the life of a novelist. There was lots of travel to glorious locations, conversations with book clubs who made fantastic cupcakes, long hours reading in hammocks, and quiet hours telling myself stories that turned into books on best seller lists and made-for-TV movies. That sounds so fab.

My reality? There's a jet engine in my kitchen, I can only reach one burner on my stove, the last place I traveled to for work had a single grocery store in the whole town, all the book club chats I've done have virtual cupcakes (calorie free, but still), I only seem to read while waiting for kids at soccer and ballet, and I can't hear myself think - let alone write. My imagination never factored in carpool and Facebook, emergency soccer cleats shopping or Twitter hashtags.

Reality can suck it. Seriously. Reality is why I love to read, to escape to the Caribbean sun when the rain just won't let up, to travel to Paris instead of the pediatricians office. There are few things that can't be made better by sitting down with a friend and having them tell you a story.

Long before I knew any authors, that is how I thought of reading. Like stepping out of the fray and cuddling up to a friend who could take me away from it all. And now, a lot of those ladies are my friends. I get to hear about their stories before they make it to print, to reflect on why they told that story at that moment and feel a squeeze of pride when their books do well.

And that is why I ignore the jet engine in my kitchen, the laundry that has piled up, and my email inbox and just write. Tell myself a story, one that someday you can read and escape whatever it is that's clouding up your sky. For me, romance novels are the umbrella for what life rains down. Or your refrigerator. What have you.

Find Jenna's latest escape from reality, Cooking Up A Seduction, at Amazon| Goodreads | B&N | Kobo | ARe

Jenna Bayley-Burke was rescued from life as a bitch (retail manager), snitch (retail service analyst), and pimp (executive recruiter) by a colicky insomniac who turned into a boy genius, and now a six foot tall ManChild. And he's only twelve. The HappyBoy and PrincessGirl try their best to keep the family too busy to notice how quickly kids grow up.

Jenna's website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Blog

Monday, March 10, 2014

My vacation

Hola! I was struggling to come up with a blog topic for today, so I decided to take the easy way outand post a bunch of pics from my vacation. Since my husband took them and not I, they are actually good photos.

We spent a week near Puerto Vallarta, doing a lot of relaxing in the sun, lots of eating and drinking and a few fun activities.

Me in the pool swimming to the swim up bar
"Our" beach

 We went whale watching one day -- it wasn't the best whale watching we've ever experienced, but we did see whales and some dolphins in the distance.

Humpback whale

Nice tail shot

 We kayaked and boogie boarded in the ocean -so much fun!

We walked up the beach to the town of Bucerias which is so cute and charming.


We did some shopping, drank margaritas and had dinner at this awesome little restaurant on the beach:

On Valentine's day we had a couples massage here:

Also my husband went out for a walk and came back and showed me this picture. When I said, "Aw! Did you do that?" He said, "No." He just saw it and took a picture of it for me, lol! But still.

The funniest thing that happened was on Friday, when my husband was posting pictures on Facebook, and his brother's wife (they live in Calgary) saw them and messaged him. Turned out THEY were in Puerto Vallarta too! Then we said we were actually in Nuevo Vallarta, and they said that's were they were! Turned out they were staying in a friend's condo about a ten minute walk down the beach. So we went and found them and met up.The next day, which was our last night there, we went back to Bucerias and had another amazing dinner at a restaurant on the beach.It was so fun and unexpected to get together with them, so far from home!

We watched the sun set every night over the ocean, and every night it was different.

Okay, now I want to go back!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Keeping Busy

Used to be, I could always write, regardless of the circumstances. Move cross-country in the middle of summer with two cats, a dog and no AC hauling a trailer that nearly killed my car? Not a problem. Take a ten day cruise to Hawaii (including five blissful days at sea) with my husband, two kids, my brother and my parents in tow? Best. Writing retreat. Ever...well, until recently, that is.

Lately, however, I've been finding it all a little more difficult. Seems like my Muse is always on vacation. However, if a picture is really worth a thousand words, then it turns out I've been wonderfully productive these past few weeks creating book covers for myself.

It really all started a few years ago when I discovered the wonders of GIMP. I may have gone a little graphic design crazy with the Trading Cards:

And the postcards...

But this year? I've graduated to covers! Here's the one I did for the print version of Inked Memories--my contribution to the Midnight Ink collection. It's simple, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

I love the background and all the Mardi Gras colors. And the model looks just how I picture the character. It's actually kind of spooky how much he resembles Declan. But, no. I do not know why he's wearing sunglasses at night. Or why he's shirtless in the street. He just is. Can we leave it at that?

Anyway, with one cover under my belt (and my muse still on vacation) I turned my sights on my bookshelf where my nine Oberon books (recently released in print) were languishing. Don't get me wrong, I love the front covers that were designed for me a few years ago, but the backs and spines were plain, plain, plain. They looked like textbooks. And that just wasn't doing it for me. So, since I still had my Createspace cover template page open from working on Inked Memories... Well, let's just say I now have nine more covers (okay, partial covers) to my credit.  

It was fun to have all the creative control and to finally make use of some of the great photos my husband shot for me--and even a couple of shots that I took myself. And, of course, once the covers were done, I had to create a trailer to show them off, right?

So, that's what I've been up to lately--along with formatting Inked Memories for print, and exploring possibilities for an audio version. I'm even thinking of narrating it myself. There's that control issue again. I really should do something about that one of these days. 

I'd love your thoughts on what I should focus on next. Another rebuild of my websites? That's always good for a few day's work. Print versions of some of my digital only releases? (I'm looking at YOU LA Love Lessons!) More audiobooks? Or, you know, maybe I could do something really different, like writing another book. Now, there's a concept!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pick Your Pleasure: Song and Dance version

Would you rather... have to sing karaoke in a crowded bar or dance in front of a packed theater? free polls 

We've all got the Romantic Times Convention on the brain where, if you haven't heard already, we're bringing back Cover Model Karaoke with the Smutketeers. That, combined with the craziness that is Bourbon Street, got us singing or dancing in public the lesser evil?

Skylar: I would choose dancing (no karaoke here!) and do the cha cha--just bring me a good dance partner!
Erin: Dancing. Hokey pokey! Or the chicken dance. I'm good at the chicken dance.
Kelly: I would totally rather do the Cupid Shuffle in front of a crowd. Lookin' at YOU, Naughty Nine.
Meg: Singing. Maybe "I Still Miss Someone" or "If I Needed You"
PG: Put me down for Kelly's crew. I used to have a voice. Sigh.
Kinsey: Dancing, completely. I'm not a bad dancer but my singing voice is kind of painful to listen to.
Kate: Definitely sing. I can belt out a show tune if you get a glass of wine in me.
I'd dance if it was Saturday Night Fever style. With a hottie in a white suit. And I was on some kind of mind-altering hallucinogen.
Dancing all the way. Would love to be part of a flash mob sometime!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

5 Awesome Things about Fireman Heroes

As the author of five books and two novellas featuring firemen, I’m here to let you in on some little-known facts about these smokin’ hot heroes. Sure, you probably already know the basics. They put out fires, they drag hoses, they look really really great in their turnouts. But did you know: 

Most firefighters are also trained as paramedics. So if you’re on a date with a fireman and you choke on your triple layer raspberry fudge cake, he can save your life. Major points!

Firefighters love to play pranks during their down time at the firehouse. This means they can go from mischievous jokester to deadly serious professional in half a second flat. Gotta love a guy who keeps things interesting, right?

Many firefighters become expert at cooking for big groups, but they’re not all meat-and-potatoes guys. One Texas firefighter put his entire firehouse on a vegan, low-cholesterol diet and the whole crew lost weight. While doing my research, I’ve found that firefighters defy stereotypes, which makes them really fun to write about. 

Firefighters field all sorts of strange calls. In a crisis, they’re the ones people often turn to. But did you know one firefighter training manual actually has a section on how to respond to an alien encounter? Firemen have to be prepared for anything. That’s guaranteed to make you feel safe. In case of alien invasion, I recommend you stay close to a fireman.

As I recently discovered on a Hawaiian beach, in many ocean-adjacent communities, the lifeguards are actually part of the fire department. They’re the ones who swim out to rescue kids caught up in the currents. While wearing official issue board shorts. Fireman/lifeguard? How’s that for a combo?


Have I convinced you that firemen make droolworthy heroes, or were you already a fan? 

Jennifer Bernard's most recent fireman book is FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FIREMAN, available now at bookstores and e-tailers everywhere.