Saturday, June 28, 2008

LET'S CELEBRATE: The Twist, Coming JULY 8



***Help Me Celebrate My NEW Romantic Suspense Coming JULY 8***

It’s Easy & Fun! THREE chances to win over $25 in valuable Siren-BookStrand gift certificates and prizes to celebrate the JULY 8 release of THE TWIST. Details at http://www.leesilver.org/



ZANE TOLLISON’S wife is running through their cash fasterthan he can make it. A “Hail Mary” contract with Clearwater Tobacco arrives in the nick of time to keep his fledgling, consulting firm afloat and to unchain him once and for all from his narcissistic wife. Beautiful, brilliant and estranged, KATHY DAVIS is desperate for a new beginning. The feisty post doc bio-geneticist jumps at an offer from Clearwater, pouring her soul into a development that will revolutionize the tobacco industry.

The two are unwittingly reeled into a convoluted plan to steal $12 million; Zane is changing into a carbon copy of Kathy, a pawn in a bizarre genetic metamorphosis, entangling Kathy in a sinewy web of seduction and deceit. Forging a bond that will set the course of their destiny, they fight to overpower the diabolic hold that has taken over their lives.


Read an excerpt from THE TWIST at http://www.bookstrand.com/authors/leesilver/tt.asp

Lee



Lee Silver
"Romance with a Twist"
THE TWIST, Coming JULY 8, 2008 from BookStrand Publishing

Book Trailer for Love and Seduction in Las Vegas


Hi everyone. My new book, Love and Seduction in Las Vegas, is coming out on July 9th. I hope you'll give it a spin. I think you'll like it. In the meantime, in order to whet your whistle here is a trailer of my book.
video

Allie K. Adams - AT ANY COST


Allie K. Adams - AT ANY COST
Coming to BookStrand, September, 2008
Welcome to the world of counter-terrorism. A world of intrigue, danger, and agents sworn to protect our way of life AT ANY COST. The National Agency for Safety, Security, and Defense, or NASSD, is an underground government agency whose single purpose is to defend everything we hold dear. The agents who work for NASSD are calculated, precise, and sexy as hell. So pick up a NASSD novel and hold on for the thrilling ride of a lifetime!
AT ANY COST is the first in the NASSD series. Please read on for the back cover 'blurb':
When a NASSD double agent steals the technology for a deadly virus known as LEON, counter-terrorist agent Dan Weber is more than ready to take on the complex and potentially deadly mission to hunt down the technology he once protected with his life, even if it means babysitting a gorgeous, yet reckless tomboy agent.

Rookie JT Turner is hungry to prove her worth in a profession dominated by men. Even though she can hold her own against a dozen trained agents, she's been labeled a screw up after too many mishaps. JT would do anything to redeem herself, even accept a shady mission to track down a phantom disc NASSD denies ever existed.

Undermanned and unarmed, can they unravel a madman's plot and remove the threat before it is unleashed? In a race against time, the line between desire and destiny will blur, and their true desires will finally be met.
If you'd like too read more, or are interested in viewing the trailer for AT ANY COST, please visit my website at http://www.alliekadams.com/.
Thanks!
~Allie

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday's Words for June 25, 2008



Ground Hog day received due homage, winter has finally receded, and both Victoria Day in Canada and Memorial Day in the United States have been celebrated and put to bed. All this can only mean one thing: vacation time is upon us once more.

The Ashburys are leaving very, very early Friday morning (my dear one needs to be on the road a.s.a.p. so that he feels he’s on vacation). We’re en route to our friends in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

This has become an annual trip for us, one we took in September last year. The first time we traveled to this beautiful part of north-eastern Pennsylvania was in 2004. My beloved, an avid history buff, had longed to see Gettysburg, and we decided to journey a few hours beyond to meet our friend face-to-face for the first time.

Our friend John—who was actually my friend first—is a cop, and in his spare time, a writer. We met through our online writing group that has its home on Kelley Armstrong’s web site.

My daughter was aghast when she learned of my plans for that trip. She kept referring to John as my “alleged” cop friend. She took her father aside to instruct him that he must be with me when I met this gentleman (as if he wouldn’t have been). I could certainly understand her concern to some degree; meeting people in person you’ve met on line is something to be done thoughtfully, and with great discretion. The next year, when our friend journeyed north for a writers’ conference, and then had dinner at our house, the first thing he did was show her his official identification.

While in Hazleton, we’ll visit near-by historic sites and places of interest. There’s a haunted prison in the town of Jim Thorpe that’s on our list, and a scenic train excursion in that community as well. We may take another tour of the restored Miners’ Village in Eckley, and David will no doubt want to re-visit Steam Town, the train museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Not far from that city they have tours of actual underground coal mines, and he and John did that together the first day we met.

If we go there again, I will—as I did the last time—stay on top of the grass.

One of the things we do when we’re visiting is go to the near-by shooting range. For any writers who are planning forays into the genre of suspense, having your own personal weapons trainer—one who also has a military background and is a trained EMT as well—is a wonderful thing.

When our friends have had enough of us, we’re heading south two hours to Philadelphia. We’re delighted that we will be spending the American Independence Day holiday in such an historic city. Here, I’ll squeeze in more research, and spend some time checking my facts, because part of my up-coming novel, The Seductress, takes place in this city. We’re staying in a very nice hotel on the Delaware River, and I’m very much looking forward to playing tourist for a couple of days.

I can be reticent when going on vacation, but not when the purpose of the vacation is to visit friends. This is the part of traveling I enjoy, spending time with those who’ve touched my life, sharing meals and conversation. There may even be a swimming challenge to be met, since our friend likes to tell me that I should be able to swim longer and faster than I do.

My husband says his money is on me, but that could just be because he loves me—and he has a theory about that whole cop and donut thing. That’s not an unfair charge, really, since John has recently told us that there’s a chipmunk he’s bribing to stay away from his pepper plants, and the bribe of choice is small strawberry filled donuts.

All the years we were raising our children, we never once considered that we might someday get to a place in life where we could travel as often as we do. Growing up, I was taught that vacations were rare rewards for hard work well done, taken perhaps two or three times in a lifetime. I think in those days vacations were exactly that, as traveling was an avocation reserved almost exclusively for the rich. If fuel costs continue to skyrocket, it may become so again.

So I’ve decided that, for the most part, I’ll restrain myself from bemoaning all the gallivanting about that my wander-lust-filled husband craves.

I do know that this is a lifestyle that others would love to have, and for that reason, I’ll smile and do my best to enjoy myself this year, and consider myself blessed and highly favored.

I also know that life can be suddenly uncertain and oft times far too short. While we’re both still able to, now is the time to see what we can of this world of ours.

Love,
Morgan
www.morganashbury.com
www.myspace.com/writer_morgan_ashbury

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

IF YOU DON'T GO TO THE PARTY, YOU DON'T GET A BALLOON!

My niece Flaminia once said, “If you don’t go to the party, you don’t get a balloon.” She was only about seven or eight at the time (she’s ten now), and I doubt she realized how profound her words actually were. But her spontaneous words of wisdom reflect her personality. Flaminia is a clever, determined little girl who doesn’t just rise to challenges, she creates them. And when she goes to parties, she comes home with fistfuls of balloons.

I like balloons too. The trouble is: I’m a chicken crossed with a scaredy cat. Put me in a challenging, unfamiliar situation and I feel the fear. My half-Italian origins erupt in my armpits, my pulse risks a speed ticket, my bladder becomes super demanding. My instincts urge me to never say boo to a sparrow, let alone a goose. My list of favorite things read like that annoying song in The Sound of Music (which is now going to be stuck in my head all day… grrrr).

But life isn’t all whiskers on kittens and when the tough gets going, retail therapy doesn’t provide any answers. As my dressage teacher says (when Kwintus, my horse, has personal opinions that clash with mine), “Push him through it.” Five hundred kilos of equines opinions can be daunting, but when the argument ceases and harmony prevails, there’s no feeling like it.

“You should enter Kwintus in the competition this weekend,” said Pam, my dressage teacher’s daughter last Friday, shortly after having seen me enjoying a particularly harmonious equestrian moment. “He’s going really well. It would be a pity not to.”

My heart skipped the country and raced off along a German motorway (German motorways have no speed limits). My bladder threatened to pull the plug. What? Me? Compete? No! I suck! I don’t know the dressage program. And even if by some miracle I manage to learn it, I’ll get inside the arena and forget it. I’ll fall off. I’ll throw up in front of the judges. Besides, I’ve gained weight and my white jodhpurs won’t fit me. I need new ones (retail therapy!!!), but the shop closes in an hour and they probably won’t have my size anyway.

Pam raised an eyebrow and gave me one of her sly smiles. She’s not a chicken crossed with a scaredy cat. She’s one hundred percent lioness.


“Sure you can! Come on! Just learn the program and leave the rest up to Kwintus. He’s a pro. He’ll take care of you,” she said, striding off in her shiny boots.

My heartbeat stayed on the German autobahn. I was torn. I wanted to rise to the challenge, to show the world what a fabulous horse I have. The other half wanted to hide in a soft cozy place until the horsey weekend was over and it was safe to practice my flying changes incognito again.

But Kwintus nuzzled me. I looked into his kind, brown eyes, stroked his soft, cozy nose and decided he deserved to show off the smooth moves he’d been so generously sharing with me. With my heartbeat still powering towards Hamburg and my body as floppy as a soft toy, I staggered off to find Pam and stammered something about being up for it. Then I hopped into my car and rushed off to the horse equipment shop to buy new jodhpurs. They didn’t have my size.

Oh well! Never mind. That’s that, then! I cruised home, certain that I’d never get into my old ones. I’d just have to phone Pam and tell her I couldn’t ride the competition. Saved by excess blubber!

The old ones fit perfectly.

Panic set in again. I printed out a copy of the dressage program and started prancing around an imaginary arena in the garden while my husband looked on, shaking his head and laughing his cute little bottom off. I ignored him and continued to prance, stopping only when I was I’d been brainwashed to enter at A, halt at X, etc… I didn’t sleep well and was a basket case throughout Saturday. Heck, I couldn’t even breathe properly! All I could think about was how terrified I was about riding Kwint in front of the judges first thing Sunday morning.

But when I woke up Sunday morning, something inside me felt different. My heart had given up speeding and was gradually cruising home. I was ready to go to the party. And I really fancied a balloon…

“I can do this,” I repeated over and over to myself, driving towards the stables at the crack of dawn.

And I did. I held it together. I didn’t suck. I didn’t vomit. I didn’t fall off. And people actually cheered and clapped when I made my final salute. I dropped my reins and gave my horse a hug. I even gave him a kiss. He deserved it. And what do you know? We finished in third place, coming away with more than just a balloon.

I’m not going to wax lyrical on the moral of this story; it’s not exactly a psychological breakthrough! Nike said it all in their famous slogan: “ Just do it!”

All I’m saying is that some challenges are worth getting hot and flustered for. Winning my husband’s heart and raising a family together are obvious examples. Getting my first book, “Mucho Caliente!”, published is another example that springs to mind. I may be a chicken crossed with a scaredy cat but, increasingly, I realize I have a quiet resilience that can get me through tough moments and frustrating situations. Not only do I dare to dream, I also dare to do! It’s exhilarating, though no less terrifying. My half Italian origins will always erupt in my armpits. So what? I’ll just buy extra strength deodorant! My bladder will continue to make unreasonable demands. Pff! I’ll engage my pelvic floor! Dealing with my speed buff heart will be more of a challenge, but I’m pretty sure that, sooner or later, the German government will impose speed restrictions on its motorways. And when it does, my pulse won’t have any more reason to skip the border, and will instead cruise calmly ever after along our radar infested Swiss motorways. I hope so, because it would certainly take the edge off bringing balloons home from parties.

Take care,

Francesca Prescott

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Green Tea



Tea is culture, art and history in liquid form. If the scientific studies, some impartial some biased, can be believed, green tea may also be the ultimate health drink.

Unfortunately “green tea” flavored goodies are starting to appear all over the place, mixed in with sugar and artificial coloring. These products are preying on consumers who have come to recognize green tea as a health term which can bring in the big bucks.




This short article will help you enjoy this drink in its pure form and more importantly take the mystery out of brewing the perfect cup.
The many benefits of green tea are enjoyed by the Japanese because they drink the brew in place of pure water. In other words, the lowered risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity among green tea drinkers is due to the fact that they consume several cups a day consistently over an entire life time.



One reason why tea has not caught on in the United States is because it is not “instant”. Green tea absolutely must be brewed carefully. Rather than carry a teapot and tea leaf container to the office you can cut some corners by acquiring high quality tea bags.


Here is a list of things to assure a fast and flavorful brew:
Look for an expiration date or packing date on the box.
The bags should be made of nylon mesh which do not add a paper “flavor”. If you must use paper bags you'll be able to assess quality if the bags are “yellow” and therefore old.
The tea should not be “dust” but fine leaves. If you want to spoil yourself, buy “sencha” grade tea which has a pleasant delicate taste. Good tea has a slight sweet and grassy taste and a light yellow or green color often compared to that of spinach water.

Green tea is very delicate and is best brewed at 175 degrees from 1.5 to 2 minutes maximum. If you don't have access to a kettle to boil water simply pour bottled water into your mug and microwave it. If you measure the water with a thermometer a few times you will be easily able to determine the exact number of minutes and seconds to set the microwave. You may do the finger test to be sure the water is not too hot nor too cool. Of course, this last technique requires cleanliness and some experience.



Although the tea may be a bit expensive just remember that each bag may be used more than once. After removing the bag from your mug you can place it in a tall thermos full of warm water and take it to your cubicle or you can place it in a tall glass pitcher full of cold water.



As mentioned earlier, green tea is not instant like most of the coffee we drink but perhaps the 2 minutes spent allowing the leaves to expand in the water is much needed time for you to close your eyes, relax and block out all the noise and electronic chatter pervasive in our daily lives. You can use this moment of quiet to count how many breaths you take, stretch your muscles or go through the motions to alleviate neck and back strain from sitting in front of the computer too long.



The last reason why green tea may not be promoted as much in the United States is that it cannot be paired up with the sugar industry nor flavored dry and liquid creamers. Green tea is always taken without sugar nor cream however people who are not used to the grassy taste may add small amounts of honey to the drink and gradually lessen the amount over time.
Many people have heard of the elaborate tea ceremony in Japan where people not only enjoy the simple brew but the serene space shared with friends. While we may not bring that ritual into our daily lives, it is still possible to enjoy green tea on the go.



Remember healthy living means great loving.



Silapa Jarun is the author of the mxm erotic work of historical fiction KATANA DUET: Samurai's Forbidden Love . The story is set in war torn Japan and in Wisconsin during the nineteenth century. The bond of brotherhood between the samurai grows into a forbidden relationship as they realize "Katana Duet" is not the only stage show they must perform for money but they must also play out an elaborate act to free themselves from a deadly game in a household full of secrets.



KARLY'S DRIFTER (RODEO COWBOYS) by SAGE BURNETT

Blurb: In spite of Hawk Rivers refusal to share in her book, Karly yearns to know the real man who guards a secret with his life. Hawk insists he's bad for her even while at the same time expressing his desire for her in no uncertain terms. Attracted to him beyond reason, Karly willingly tumbles into bed with him, knowing in her heart she will definitely get hurt. As Karly follows the rodeo circuit, snapping photos of the cowboys, her focus remains zeroed in on one particular mysterious, sexy cowboy--the cowboy who already has the power to break her heart.


Excerpt:

This time when Hawk Rivers wheeled around to face her, murder gleamed in his dark, fathomless eyes. Uh...oh. Maybe she'd gone a tad too far.

"I'm parked over there." She stood on tiptoes and pointed over his shoulder. "You must be, too. What a coincidence."

Before he could say anything, Karly breezed past him, flipping her shoulder length hair with one hand.

Sensing his masculine heat following her, she wrestled back the urge to spin around and go another round with him, since she wasn't sure who had won the first two.

When she reached her small motor home, she dug her keys out of her jeans pockets. Karly knew Hawk Rivers was still behind her because she felt his presence like a dozen people crowded together on a packed city bus. After she unlocked the door, she stepped inside.

Karly dumped the camera, two extra telephoto lenses, and the leather tote that carried extra film and equipment on the small kitchen table. "Care for something to drink?" She glanced over her shoulder at him. He stood outside, hands planted on his hips, the chaps emphasizing his groin. "Well?"

Lifting her shoulder with a casualness she didn't feel, she angled over to the small refrigerator and grabbed two bottles of water. Karly walked back to the door and held one bottle out to Hawk Rivers. When he snatched it from her hand, she figured he might crush the bottle inside his palm instead of drinking it. Fascinated, Karly watched as he twisted off the cap and guzzled down the twelve-ounce bottle in one long swallow. "Feel better?"

Hawk replaced the cap. "No pictures."

Rolling her eyes, she looked up at the ceiling. "Why the hell not? You're the epitome of a cowboy."

"I'll buy the film from you. What do you want for it?"

Karly was starting to believe Hawk Rivers could possibly be on the wrong side of the law, but if he was a fugitive from justice, he wouldn't be flaunting himself in front of three hundred people at a public event. "It's not for sale."

"Now if you'll excuse me." She started to shut the door, but his hand blocked it.

"I don't want my pictures in a damn book." Anger burned in his eyes, like the scorching late afternoon sun.

KARLY'S DRIFTER, Book 2 of Rodeo Cowboys, the Series, From Siren Publishing


Sage Burnett

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ian O'Neill

Hello All,

My name's Ian O'Neill and my mystery/thriller, Endo, is out November (April '09 in print). If you want to know a bit more about me, check out my Author Page at BookStrand's site. I hope you'll drop by my website (okay, it's my blog - you got me) and have a read of a few articles I've written. That's where I've spent most of my writing life, freelance non-fiction.

Just in case there is a question or two to be asked about my introduction, here are a few answers to consider.
42
Left
Average of six cups
Mars
Canadian
Toronto Maple Leafs (sadly)
Formula One

Anyway, it is so nice to be here among very talented people.

Cheers,
Ian

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hello

Hello!

I would like to introduce myself to everyone. My name is Francesca Prescott and I live in a small village in the French speaking part of Switzerland. My first novel, “Mucho Caliente!, is a romantic comedy set on the Spanish island of Ibiza that will be published by Bookstrand in November 2008.

““Mucho Caliente!”?” I hear the Spanish experts among you squawk. “What kind of Spanish is that?”

Yes, I know that my title is grammatically incorrect Spanish and that something super hot would be described as “muy caliente.” I’m nowhere near fluent in Spanish, but that I do know!

My book is called “Mucho Caliente!” because Gemma, the main character in my story, is going to feel a whole lot of heat when she meets Emilio Caliente, aka “el divino,” on the plane to Ibiza. She’ll get so hot she’ll be molten, dizzy, ditzy and dazed. Way hot!

Emilio Caliente is a Latino pop star. Actually, he’s pop music’s Latino sensation, the ultimate superstar. His concerts sell out in nanoseconds. He’s cardiac arrestingly gorgeous, lusted after by women all over the world. He’s officially 27, legally 29. His almond shaped eyes are the color of warm caramel and edged with thick black eyelashes so long they shade half his face. He tans to that incredible, incandescent, gingerbread-amber color. His dark brown, sun-streaked hair is alluringly disheveled. Even his breath smells of cinnamon…

Perfect? Well, he’s pretty damn cute, although he does have a couple of blackheads on his nose. And hairy toes, as Gemma quickly points out...

Basically, Emilio could have any supermodel in the world. Why then does he seem so interested in thirty-seven-year old, recently divorced Gemma? And why the heck does destiny insist on playing matchmaker when common sense is urging Gemma to stay well away from Emilio Caliente? The last thing Gemma needs in her quest for a creatively satisfying, financially independent, bohemian lifestyle on a Spanish island in the sun is a love affair with a pop music superstar eight years her junior. Not to mention that Emilio’s life is in turmoil, his latest single has bombed, his record company wants him to go electro, the press want to see him naked and his hellacious manager seems not only increasingly deranged, but also fixated on plotting Gemma’s downfall.

With all that in mind, would you dare wish upon a Latino superstar on a beautiful Spanish island in the sun?

More importantly, will Gemma?

“Mucho Caliente!” is a funny, effervescent love story. I sincerely hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Take care,

Lots of love,

Francesca

Flavia's Secret, due in July - first chapter here


Flavia's Secret, set in Roman Britain, is out to download from Bookstrand this July, and I'll be running a competition then, too!


To whet your appetite, here's chapter one... I hope you enjoy it.

Best, Lindsay

Lindsay Townsend


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Win, Lose or Tie

Susan and I were having a drink in our local pub, The Flying Swan. Inside, it looked like a typical English pub. However, you'd soon guess you were in North America rather than my hometown, London, because the staff were polite and they served you at your table.

The server gave us our drinks and asked if we wanted to look at the menu.

“I just fancy a dessert,” Susan told her.

The server produced a dessert menu from the pocket of her apron. We both selected chocolate dishes with enough calories to sustain us into the following week.

When the server had gone, I opened an envelope I’d brought with me and extracted a picture of the cover of Win, Lose or Tie.

Susan studied it. “Yes, I found it on the coming soon page. Bit risqué, isn’t it?”

“Oh, why?”

“Looks as though Coming Soon could have been the book title.”

Susan had critiqued an early version, and suggested I doubled the length of the sex scenes. Or perhaps that was a statement about our sex life. She could be subtle at times.

“The woman on the cover is not an ex of yours is she?” Susan asked.

I almost said “I wish” but figured she might interpret that remark as a criticism of her. “I’ve no idea who she is. Our graphic artist, Jinger, found the photo for me.”

“Well, I must say the pose she’s striking guarantees that people will read the blurb,” Susan said.

Our desserts arrived. The server looked at the picture. “Coming Soon,” I said. She grinned then departed.

“What about the actual story?” I asked.

“I’ll give you the verdict later, after you’ve reenacted the re-written juicy bits.”

I sighed and diverted my attention to the chocolate mousse.

Susan picked up her spoon. “But I particularly liked the HEA ending. I hope that’s still intact?”

“Yes, and I added an extra page to it. In fact everything is lengthened: the ending, the sex scenes, and the hero’s…”

Wednesday's Words for June 18, 2008

Fathers are amazing people.

In my life, up close and personal I’ve observed five fathers; my own—whom sadly I lost when I was only eight; my husband; his father; and my two sons.

Here is what I know about fathers. The best preparation for fatherhood is having had a good father, otherwise it’s all on-the-job-training.

Fathers are expected to provide for their families. Yes, I know, that sounds old fashioned and one-sided, and the truth is that in today’s economy both parents have to work, but the expectation still rests on Dad’s shoulders in the eyes of society-at-large. Fathers are not only expected to provide the home but to keep it safe and secure as well.

They’re expected to know how to fix everything from broken bikes to broken dreams; to be equally adept at chasing away nightmares and bees; to brave all the fierce elements of nature when necessary to retrieve a cherished item, a stranded pet, or a child. They are expected to be there, every hour, of every day, solid, dependable, a rock.

One of the things I’ve noticed at the pool I go to each day, is that it’s no longer just mom who takes toddler for her daily dip; sometimes it’s mom and dad, and often just dad. You have to remember that I’m no spring chicken, so to see this and to observe the care and consideration these dads exhibit really makes an impression on me.

My memories of my father are like tiny snapshots isolated in time. I can remember my daddy taking me to my bed and tucking me in by warming each of my blankets, one at a time, on top of the oil space heater that kept our small house warm in winter. And I recall one incident with my dad that even to this day makes me smile.

I had snuck from my bed and crept into the living room. I kept myself as small as a five-year-old could be, scrunched down beside the high arm of the sofa. I sat cross-legged and quiet, my long white nightgown tented tightly over my bent knees, just able to see the television and the forbidden movie that played there. The movie was forbidden only because it was on after my bedtime. I was the baby of the family and the only one supposed to be in bed.

“Would you get me a small glass of pop, please?” My father’s voice.

“You’ve got a cup of coffee.” My mother’s.

“Yes, I know. But I’d like a small glass of pop, too.”

I had heard the munching of potato chips; now I knew they also had soda. There were sounds of movement, and fearing discovery, I scrunched myself down lower, even as I tried not to think about the treats I couldn’t have.

“Here you go one glass of pop.”

“Thanks, sweetheart.”

In the next moment, a hand came down and dropped a small mountain of chips onto the cloth ‘table’ of my sleepwear. Before I could blink, there was a glass of cola being held in front of my face. I looked up to see my father’s smiling eyes and a ‘hush’ signal.

My eldest son Christopher is, I believe, just such a dad. The father of three, he has always involved himself in the lives of his children to an incredible degree. This time of year, when community sports teams thrive, he has but one evening off—Sunday. Each of his children, ranging in age from 9 to 16 years, is involved in at least one sport. He and his wife not only always attend each practice and game, they both volunteer with the teams, coaching some of them.

Chris is a true 21st century man. He’s employed full time in a supervisory capacity for an aggregate company. But that is only one facet of him. He cooks and cleans; he can make a pumpkin pie from scratch; and he can knit and sew. In his spare time, he writes. I’ve never seen him lose his temper or turn a child away—not even when it was obvious that child simply wanted to be the focus of attention in a room full of adults.

We women often lament the job of motherhood as being one that is 24/7 and never ending. But being a father isn’t easy, either. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart or the light of patience. It isn’t for anyone who seeks to occupy the center stage of life. The role of fatherhood is one for which the thanks are few, but the rewards great and long-lasting and far-reaching.

Today’s good father can look ahead, and know when he sees his son or grandson excel in their role as parent it is thanks, in no small part, to him.

Love,
Morgan
www.morganashbury.com
www.myspace.com/writer_morgan_ashbury

Tomorrow...tomorrow...buy Menagerie, tomorrow...

At long last, Menagerie by Lara Santiago will be released at Siren tomorrow. Woo Hoo! :)

Don't you just love the cover?
As usual, Jinger did and exceptional job. :)

To read an excerpt of Menagerie Click Here
And I've put the blurb below.
Enjoy,
L


Menagerie

What’s a girl to do with five hot guys who need her for their sexual survival? Create a weekly schedule.

Accidentally transported to an alien spaceship, Valerie Thornhill inadvertently volunteers to be a virtual sex slave for five men.

A shortage of females and her blatant curiosity aboard the alien vessel conspire and set fate in motion. The fact that the five are sexy and attractive is helpful when she learns the term of service is three years.

Forbidden to show favoritism within her unusual household for the duration of the long trip, Valerie still can’t help falling in love with the most intriguing one of her male harem. The fact that she is apprehensive about his demeanor and overall size only heightens her desire for him.

When the aliens discover Valerie’s indiscretion, the ultimate price for her desire may jeopardize the return trip to Earth for all of them.

Sensuality Rating: SCORCHING
Genre:
Erotic Sci-fi/Multiple Partner Romance
Length:
70,000 words

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Trailer: THE TWIST, Romantic Suspense Coming July 8



The YouTube trailer for THE TWIST is finally live!

A story of mind-bending control and unnerving metamorphosis, THE TWIST unravels the tale of a hotshot consultant as he struggles to foil a plot to steal $12 million and to rescue the feisty, female scientist who has stolen his heart.


THE TWIST is scheduled for release, JULY 8, 2008.





Lee




Lee Silver
Romance with a Twist
THE TWIST, Coming July 8, 2008 from BookStrand Publishing
http://www.leesilver.org

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hi!



I thought I'd finally stop by and introduce myself. My name is Amber Carlton and today my book, Raven Feathers: The Awakening, was released with Siren! It is a very exciting day. If you love paranormals, vampires, demons, feisty heroines, hunky heroes, steamy sex and a bit of history, then I'd like to invite you into my world.




This is the fabulous cover Jinger designed.






Please come visit my website as well. You can find me at http://www.ambercarlton.com/

Thanks for reading!

Amber


Interview for the Mudflat News:




Kip, student reporter: Miss Carmody, do you think Mudflat has a higher or lower crime rate than the rest of Seattle?

Claire Carmody: Crime can happen anywhere, even in Mudflat.

Obvious direction to look, according to Seattle law enforcement, is adjacent houses used for meth labs or by pushers. Mudflat knows better. In this neighborhood, look for a cranky wizard or a crackpot vigilante. Look for old magic.

Either way, I don't like hanging around my cousin's place because yikes, somebody is shooting at us!


What we really really need right now is a hero!

Mudflat titles from Bookstrand:
Tarbaby Trouble, July 2, 2008
Welcome to Mudflat, October, 2008




Excerpt from an interview with Claire Carmody for the Mudflat Neighborhood News, written by Kip, student reporter:

A Mudflat backyard is capable of containing anything, because Mudflat is where old magic lives.

So that's where I'm looking, in my cousin's backyard. Somebody is causing a whole lot of bad stuff to happen and I am betting on magic.

Obvious direction to look, according to Seattle law enforcement, is adjacent houses used for meth labs or by pushers. Mudflat knows better. That kind of stuff can happen any place else. But in this neighborhood, look for a cranky wizard or a crackpot vigilante. Look for old magic.
Either way, I don't like to hang around.
Because somebody is shooting at me
What I really really need is a hero.



REVIEWS:

"a great read!"... The cast of supporting characters makes this story a hit. Since this is the first of a series I can't wait to see what Claire and her band of barbarians are up to next!
Reviewed by Nancy Eriksen, at ParanormalRomance.org

I love the writing. It's lively, attitudinal and perfect for a spunky 20-something finding herself plunked down in another world.
- Pat Cooper, reviewer for Romantic Times magazine

...a great story ... Rachel at BittenByBooks reviews

... wonderful mix of astrology, sword-and-sorcery, and urban fantasy. - Rosemary Jones (author of Crypt of the Moaning Diamond, Forgotten Realms, WOC)

I love her straight-forward-shoot-from-the-hip attitude and I can’t wait to learn how she deals with the barbarian. - Amy, Kansas, reader

...The plot is fiendishly clever (like the heroine) and all fits together like a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle... furious pace... once you reach the last 100 pages, don't plan on going anywhere until you've finished. - Bill Newman, author of "Venture," Bookstrand



 

Sunday, June 15, 2008

5 Flags for Cowboy Games by Wendi Darlin!

5 Flags! --- "Cowboy Games is an incredibly steamy story. The heat between Gavin and Rebecca is scorching and I’m amazed the pages weren't smokin’. I’d lasso this book right quick and have yourself a good ole’ time, just make sure you have something cold nearby to cool you off – you’re gonna need it!" - Euro-Reviews

To read the full review, click here!

Simply Romance reviews Cowboy Games by Wendi Darlin

SRR GRADE - A
"Wendi Darlin’s Cowboy Games is one smokin’ story. From the first page through the last she takes us on a non-stop ride of sexual tension, teasing and a whole lot of loving. The setting is Wyoming on the “Fantasy Ranch” and by the time you finish reading you’ll be looking for some brochures yourself. The characters are strong and tender, stubborn and loving and all together realistic....Cowboy Games is well written, humorous and filled with smoldering passion. The sexual tension oozes throughout and the secondary plot is strong enough to keep you on edge worrying for our hero and heroine. All things must come to an end and the week at Fantasy Ranch is no different, but we can hope that Ms. Darlin will invite us back for more experiences in the future. Squeezing itself onto my keeper shelf, I’ll be looking for more of Ms. Darlin’s books to read. I highly recommend you pick this one up and enjoy a little trip to the Fantasy Ranch." - Simply Romance Reviews

To read full review click here

5 Angels & RECOMMENDED READ for Cowboy Games!



"...The sexual tension that developed between Gavin and Rebecca was so hot you would have thought you were in the Mohave Desert. Cowboy Games was such a well written book by Wendi Darlin . When you think of a cowboy as well as how he should be, Gavin is that cowboy. He is sexy, knows how to handle a horse, has that great charm cowboys have about them and he fills out a pair of jeans in all the right areas..." -Cheryl, Fallen Angel Reviews

To read the full review, click here!

4 Stars for Sisters of Emsharra!


GUARDIAN SEDUCTRESS: Book 1: “An erotica with a decent plot! This is a rare find; therefore, I want to make sure that fans of the Erotica genre know about this title. The next book, also given within the same cover, begins one year after this one ends, but with different main characters and problems.”

PREDATOR’S SALVATION: Book 2: “…BOTH stories actually have decent plots. The backgrounds of the main characters are not fully developed, but more than enough is told so that I, as the reader, felt that I understood what motivates each character. By including Ryan and Gen in the second story, the author made the situation a bit more believable to me. All-in-all, I highly recommend this book to fans of erotica. And do not worry if any alien terms confuse you, a glossary of terms is at the end of the book - but I never needed to use it even once. Fantastic!” 4 Stars, Detra Fitch – Huntress Reviews http://www.huntressreviews.com/

Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? is Available Now

Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? is now available at Siren. If you haven't picked up a copy, you can get one at: Buy Now

Join me tomorrow. I'll be guest blogging at Lucy Monroe's blog.

In addition, I'll also be at Kate Davies blog on her MTA (Meeting the Author) Mondays. Drop in both places and say hi!!!

Tuesday, Kate will feature Who's in her Book BIN Tuesday (Buy It Now) also on her blog.

Pictured below you'll find me, Allie K. Adams (Bookstrand), Lucy Monroe and her husband, and Kate Davies (Siren) at RWA Nationals a few years ago.


Have a wonderful Father's Day.

"Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?"
Contemporary Romance
Siren Publishing, Available Now

Goldilocks never had it this good. The characters are superbly written. Romance, suspense, and passion fill this book."—Review Your Book

Fun, whimsical, and full of romance. I can’t wait to check out more books by Jami Davenport.--Fallen Angel Reviews (5 Angels )

What happens when a reformed bad boy discovers a racy Goldilocks sleeping in his bed on a dark and stormy night?

Jake Reynolds returns home to discover a racy Goldilocks sleeping in his bed. Instead of doing the first thing on his mind or even the second, he hires her to organize his disorganized construction office. When his wealthy family meets the suggestively clad, polyester siren posing as Jake's assistant, they fear he's slipped back into his former role as the family bad boy.

Harlee Davis didn't know she was sleeping in Jake's bed. She was seeking refuge from two storms—the storm raging outside and the storm created by her screwed-up life. When she learns that Jake plans to demolish the very camp she’s been entrusted to preserve, Harlee mounts a crusade. They wage a war of wills while battling their conflicting interests on a professional level and too much interest on a sexual level. One of them stands to lose everything in a game where there is no winner.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday the 13th.

Paraskavedekatriaphobia.

It's an awfully big word, and my first new word in a long time. I have no idea how to pronounce it, nor am I likely even going to try. It is the word for fear of Friday the 13th. This word is, I'm told, an improvement over the formerly used (at least by me) triskaidekaphobia, the more simple fear of the number thirteen.

I've been trying to verify where the tradition came from - that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day. I'd looked into this a year ago, and at that time it seemed (according to sources) that the source of the superstition was the decimation of the Knights Templar culminating with the arrest of the last Grand Master on Friday, October 13, 1307. Now, I'm reading that this was a 20th century 'invention', and credited to Dan Brown's book, The DaVinci Code.

But whoa - the first time I read about that source of superstition was in Linda Howard's Son Of The Morning, and this book pre-dates Brown's by nearly a decade (it was published 1997).

Meanwhile, I live in a small town in Southern Ontario, about a half hour's drive from another small town, Port Dover.

For the town of Port Dover, Friday the 13th has become a very lucky day indeed. This community on the shores of Lake Erie is the scene of a "biker bash" every Fiday the 13th - and sadly for them in 2008 there is only one, and it was yesterday.

Small town Ontario biker bash, you're thinking. How many bikes, exactly? This morning, the news estimates put the number at 30,000. Yes, thirty thousand. And the financial influx into that very small town and surrounding area, from this one day event? Five million dollars.

I used to joke to family and friends that I was so unlucky all the time, I considered Friday the 13th to be my lucky day. But as near as I can recall, nothing remarkable has ever happened on any Friday the 13th of my experience.

For the most part, it's always been just another day.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Cover For Lady Knight



Today I received my cover for my historical romance coming out in September at Siren. I fell in love with it at first sight. Jinger, the cover artist, did such an amazing job on it. The cover turned out to be better than I ever imagined. Now that I have my cover, I get to look forward to doing the edits for Lady Knight. I can't wait to get started on it.

Marisa Chenery

www.marisachenery.com

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?


Book Review

WHO’S BEEN SLEEPING IN MY BED?
Siren Publishing
Released on June 12, 2008

Jami Davenport knows how to spin a sexy fairytale! Wow! I literally could not put Who’s Been Sleeping in my Bed? down.

Hunky land developer, Jake Reynolds comes home on a rainy night ready to climb into his nice warm bed, but someone else has beat him to it. And if she hadn’t broken into his house, he wouldn’t mind having her in his bed at all.

Harlee Davis has returned to the San Juan Islands and made herself at home, only to find she’s been away too long. The house she used to be welcome in is now owned by an incredibly hot man who is intent on destroying the camp for at risk youth that she is determined to save.

Harlee will do anything to save the camp that turned her life around and Jake must follow through with his plans to develop a ritzy resort on the camp’s land, or his family’s business could face financial ruin.

The chemistry between Harlee and Jake is sizzling and Jami Davenport keeps you wondering how they’ll ever overcome the obstacles that keep them apart. I loved the humor woven through the story, and there were some really well-developed secondary characters who are begging for books of their own.

Put this on your MUST READ shelf and pick up a copy today.
http://www.sirenbookstore.com/

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wednesday's Words for June 11, 2008

Our household is returning to normal—well, as normal as this household can be, at any rate. We ended the week having two young grandchildren here successfully, in that none of us was truly sick of the others when they went home.

I think the seven days just passed proved to be a tremendous learning experience, all around.

For example, I learned that the name of the ‘middle’ finger on the human hand has been changed, officially, to the ‘rude’ finger.

I learned that contrary to popular belief, a girly-girl granddaughter can be as enthralled with the female pursuits of make-up application and pedicures as she is with hunting for wild slimy creatures.

My granddaughter learned that her grandmother can yell really loud and does not like two foot-long garter snakes brought into the house and waved in front of her face.

I learned that how long a day seems to be is directly related to the mood of the children within the house. Ah, but this was a lesson previously well known, and somehow forgotten.

I don’t remember being quite as drained at the end of a day when my three small ones were running around. Of course, I was a quarter-century younger then, which may have something to do with that. I do know that I managed to balance three young children and a full time job, but not much else. My hat’s off to today’s mom who manages to balance a job and a family—especially those moms who then put in time each day or night working on a dream of some sort, be it writing, painting, or playing an instrument.

One thing I learned that warmed the little cockles of my grammar-loving heart. The children decided to make a banner for their mom’s return. I was asked how to spell ‘welcome’; but the little dears wrote “you’re the best” all by themselves and used the right ‘you’re’.

The best thing that happened over the course of this last week was that I re-discovered something I think I needed to re-discover. Kids are great. They’re fun, and energetic. They have ‘faith that can move mountains’. They can incorporate the words, “what if” into their vocabulary, followed by what we jaded adults would call some impossibility—and do it not only unselfconsciously, but often. They stay active all day, never tiring, rarely stopping before changing course. Little things—like heat, or bugs, or noise—don’t bother them in the slightest. They don’t let much get in the way of their good time. At the end of the day they fall asleep in moments, and sleep solidly through the night.

They don’t care if, in the course of their play, they get dirty or banged up a little. They don’t give a darn what their clothes look like, if their hair is brushed, or if their socks match. They can get mad, or cry, but it’s over quickly, usually with a minimal dose of TLC and a ‘there there’. And no matter how many times you’ve had to chase after them to pick up their toys, put their dirty clothes in the hamper, bring out their discarded popsicle wrappers, stop jumping on the furniture, quit teasing their brother/sister, not splash water out of the bath tub, not slam the door when they go outside, not stand there with the fridge open while they decide what to get—in short, no matter how many times you have to act like a grown up, they eagerly come and give you hugs and kisses goodnight.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I understand as never before those long ago words of my mother’s: don’t be in such a hurry to grow up; this is the best time of your life.

Love,
Morgan
Romance...with that extra bit of heat.
JOIN ME ON FRIDAY, JUNE 13TH AS I CELEBRATE MY VERY OWN AUTHOR DAY ON NOVEL SISTERHOOD.
COME AND CHAT, AND PARTAKE OF FUN AND PRIZES 9AM TO 3 PM EST
HERE’S THE PARTY ADDRESS: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/novelsisterhood/
http://www.morganashbury.com

Win a signed print book!



WIN a signed PRINT copy of Going Topless!!

I am being spotlighted on writer/reader/reviewer Tiffany James' blogs today and tomorrow. Stop by and leave a comment on EITHER blog and be entered to win one of two PRINT copies of Going Topless!!

It's that simple. Tiffany has two fab blogs--so check them out!

To comment, please visit:

http://armchairheroines.blogspot.com/

and http://norestforthequerying.blogspot.com/


What they are saying about Going Topless:

5 Flags! “FANTABULOUS! Absolutely entertaining, charming, witty and real! Renee Knowles is definitely in touch with her feminine side as she breathes life into the various female characters of this book, allowing them to grow and develop as the story progresses. The European setting and additional references to pop culture were well written (a bonus was her knowledge of Tracy Chevalier and love for Colin Firth). A must read!”—Aya29, Euro-Reviews.

5 Kisses! “Renee Knowles is a brilliant author. She really understands the different journeys all women go through in their lives... You will really not regret Going Topless.” –Tina, Two Lips Reviews.

5 Roses: "Going Topless is an erotic trip not for the faint of heart. The passion and spark will have you wanting more. Renee Knowles is hot, hot, hot!!! Renee has captured the true meaning of friendship between these three amazing women and filled their characters with so much spunk, sass and outward sensuality, that I could not pick one I liked best. Cheers, Renee, for a huge hit!" —Deb, Sensual Reads


Looking forward to seeing you at the blogs!

Renee Knowles
Sensual, Sassy and Slightly Sinful
Going Topless--"A must read."--Euro-Reviews Out Now! Siren
Guilty Pleasures--Summer 08 Siren
Courting Trouble--Regency Historical--July 23rd! Wild Rose Press
www.reneeknowles.com

Sunday, June 8, 2008

FIVE ROSES FOR UNDER TANNER'S THUMB by SAGE BURNETT


I loved this whimsical version of Tom Thumb. It captured my attention and sense of humor. I loved the fact that Tanner humors his nephew or at least he thinks so. A thoroughly enjoyable read and one that I highly recommend. Have something to cool you off nearby cause this one is hot. Ms. Burnett thanks for an enjoyable evening curled up with a book.
Under Tanner's Thumb: A Siren Adult Fairy Tale: http://www.sirenpublishing.com/sageburnett/utt.asp
Included in the anthology Once Upon a Time from Siren Publishing
Sage Burnett

Join me on June 12 for my release party!!!!

I'm very excited about my new release, "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?" This sexy and fun contemporary romance set in the San Juan Islands has been getting great reviews. Check out a sample chapter and blurb on my website and join my release party on June 12 on Siren-Bookstrand's Yahoo Group (link on this page).

Starting June 12 through July 10 --Win one of four San Juan Island gift bags, which will include several items purchased in Washington State's San Juan Islands. Winners will be drawn from my Yahoo newsletter list and comments on my blog. See my website for details at: http://www.jamidavenport.com/.

This is the view from Rosehill Farm in my book.
____________________

"Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?"
Contemporary Romance
Siren Publishing, Available June 12, 2008

What happens when a reformed bad boy discovers a racy Goldilocks sleeping in his bed on a dark and stormy night?


Jake Reynolds returns home to discover a racy Goldilocks sleeping in his bed. Instead of doing the first thing on his mind or even the second, he hires her to organize his disorganized construction office. When his wealthy family meets the suggestively clad, polyester siren posing as Jake's assistant, they fear he's slipped back into his former role as the family bad boy.

Harlee Davis didn't know she was sleeping in Jake's bed. She was seeking refuge from two storms—the storm raging outside and the storm created by her screwed-up life. When she learns that Jake plans to demolish the very camp she’s been entrusted to preserve, Harlee mounts a crusade. They wage a war of wills while battling their conflicting interests on a professional level and too much interest on a sexual level. One of them stands to lose everything in a game where there is no winner.

Read Chapter 1 at http://jamidavenport.home.att.net/Whos.htm




Goldilocks never had it this good. The characters are superbly written. Romance, suspense, and passion fill this book."—Review Your Book

Fun, whimsical, and full of romance. I can’t wait to check out more books by Jami Davenport.--Fallen Angel Reviews (5 Angels )

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

4 Angels for Bouncer's Folly!


“Ms. McKeever has added to the Zara’s Bois series with this unique and intriguing story. Zara has lived through a lot to learn that you have to live for more than just self interest. I loved how the angels sent her to Earth, but still kept an eye on her to help in any way they could. Travis always kept his eye on his brother and in the end he was allowed to see that everything worked out for Travis. I was fascinated to see how Zara adapted to the changes from female to male and in the end reveled in them with Ramsey. The growing feelings between Zara and Ramsey were wonderful to behold as they fulfilled each others wildest dreams. Thanks go to Ms. McKeever for this great series.” 4 Angels, Reviewed by: Teresa.


New Trailer for Spells Cast in Shadows!


Montana has been having visions of the "pony-man" since she was a child, her first live encounter with the centaur after a near-death experience when she was five and Seth saved her from drowning. More than two decades later, the pair meet again and this time Montana's doing the saving.

Driven by recurrent dreams to take an ill-advised predawn ride around her ranch, Montana Freeborn stumbles across something in the road from those wildest dreams: a real live centaur. At least she thinks so. By the time she reaches the supine figure trampled beneath the hooves of her prize Appaloosa, she begins to wonder if her eyes deceived her, since before them now is a man, a magnificent, unconscious and very naked man.

Cast out from his tribe as a punishment for causing the death of a fellow Sapphiran, Seth Phoenix is an arrogant young centaur of royal heritage infatuated with the human race and now, after a twist of fate, forced to count on one of its ranks for his survival.

His one chance at redemption – brokered with the Black Elf by his desperate mother, Thyra Phoenix – could be the key to his mother's freedom, or his own downfall…

Check out the book trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAhWsqdle2A

Wednesday's Words for June 4, 2008

Well this week is certainly different.

My second daughter—the former fiancé of our late son, and the mother of his two children—has recently graduated her nursing program and is enjoying a week in the tropics before beginning her new job. This is her first vacation in a long time. She’s worked long and hard to achieve her goal, sometimes working back to back shifts at her part time job, and always going without herself in order to provide for her children. We’re very proud of her, and very pleased she managed to plan this get-away for herself.

The children are with us.

Temporarily going from a household of 4 to one of 6 involves a great deal more than simply adding two people. It’s called for a complete change in routine as well.
We purchased one of those inflatable beds so that we’d have someplace for the kids to sleep. Next, we sat down and figured out who would do what—since one child goes to school every day, and the other one every other day, with day care thrown into the mix.

But mostly, the adjustments have been in the little things.

Even with a teenager in the house I’ve been able to get away with living in my own little world for the most part. Tough to do when you have a 7 and a 6 year old in close proximity.

“Grandma, you play on the computer a lot.” Ah, to be judged and found wanting by a seven year old!

I know these kids well, of course I do, as I see them at least once a week, and they’ve had several “sleep overs”. But that’s not the same as knowing them in a day-to-day-living kind of way. Being a writer, and a fairly straight-forward person, I decided the best way to find out what I wanted to know would be to ask.

I can report to you that this particular granddaughter has ‘rolling her eyes’ down to a fine art.

Me: How often do you have a bath?
Her: I bathe!
Me: I know, sweetheart, but I’m trying to get a sense of your routine. (and yes, I speak to her as if she’s an adult because, well, that is how she answers).
Her: Well, at least every other night, but sometimes every night. I didn’t have one last night so I need one tonight.
Me: (eyeing her hair that almost reaches her butt) Do you wash your own hair? (she is, after all, only seven).
Her: (eyes rolling). Well, yes. I wash my hair, I wash my body, I wash everything!
Me: (looking fast for some sort of redemption) Do you use conditioner on your hair, or not?

She was patient with me when I insisted she use conditioner. I even provided her with a bucket of warm water she could use to rinse her hair as I was leery of allowing her use of the shower wand. She may sometimes talk like an adult, but she’s pure kid.

Lunch for school was another matter for interrogation. It’s been a long time since I made kids’ school lunches, and I wanted to make sure I got it right. Now, I wasn’t one hundred percent convinced that she usually took a sandwich, a drink, and five snacks. I guess I should have checked with mommy beforehand. One thing you can count on, and that’s my granddaughter’s superior negotiation skills. We settled on three snacks for school, and she even made me feel as if I’d achieved something in the bargain.

By the time the dinner was over and dishes washed, the children bathed and given their “bed time snack”, the little darlings tucked in and school lunches made, I was done. Seriously. Done.
One side benefit of having a lot of people around all the time is that the concept of going away on vacation is starting to sound pretty good.

Love,
Morgan
Romance…with that extra bit of heat.
http://www.morganashbury.com

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Once Upon A Time, A Fairy Tale Collection


Once Upon A Time Fairy Tale Collection: Familiar themes with a sexy twist.

This anthology gives the reader a rich and diverse serving from some of Siren’s most prolific, and best-selling authors. That may sound a tad immodest, as I was blessed to have a story of mine—Beau And The Lady Beast—included in this book. But I have to be totally honest, here. Every one of these short stories is a winner. Let me share with you a glimpse of the treasures my story was fortunate enough to be included with.


Nine Inches of Snow And The Ebony Princess by Gracie C. McKeever is a story of shapeshifters, psychics, and destiny. From different backgrounds and different cultures, Aziza Lopez isn’t prepared for her reaction to meeting David Healey. What begins as an unexpected assignation becomes a quest for healing—and justice. McKeever’s characters capture the reader’s emotions and her dialog sparkles as hero and heroine come together across planes in search of that happy-ever-after.


Imagine being stood up, only to find a two-inch tall naked man on your porch? Camille Barton knows she’s only sipped one glass of wine; Tanner Clinton knows his young nephew’s claim of being able to invoke a magic spell is just make-believe. But what happens next is pure fun as Camille agrees to allow the tiny, naked and, she is certain, figment-of-her-imagination to stay the night. Only problem is, she awakens the next morning with a bed mate who is all man. Sage Burnett has crafted a witty, heart-touching tale of love, lust, and magic in Under Tanner’s Thumb.


Next, journey outside our own galaxy into the wonderful imagination of Lara Santiago in Little Red Rides The Wolf. Cheri Amaranth travels to the planet Selenia to meet her aging Grandfather for the first time. Once she lands, though, nothing is the way she thought it would be. First there’s a beautiful blue-eyed wolf; then an enigmatic Hunter; and finally, Caine Wolver, whose captivating blue eyes somehow seem familiar. Lara Santiago’s characters grab the reader’s heart from the first moment, and her fast-paced plot keeps you guessing—and smiling—right up to the end.


With prose as lyrical as the phantom song Lady Cynthia Lucas hears, Emma Wildes creates a timeless story of love and destiny in The Merman. Armand, a prince from a realm cloaked in mystery and myth has come to England in search of his one true love. Lady Cynthia has always been drawn to the sea. Destiny brings them together, but Cynthia wonders if what she feels for Armand is real, or as ethereal as the wind. The reader comes away from this story with a full heart and a belief in the fantastical.


In Kinsey And The Exotic Dancing Princess, Tonya Ramagos paints a tale of lucre versus love in a locale that is as exotic as it is compelling. Kinsey is a soldier on a quest for his life’s fortune; Damita is a princess whose secret life is her heart. With marvellous imagery and clever twists, the characters soar to sensual heights and are torn by unexpected dilemmas. The reader will cross their fingers—and cheer—this evocative and memorable story.


Marina Bennett and Sebastian Montclaire have met only on line; yet the connection they make defies the boundaries of logic in Tower Of Secrets by Samantha Lucas. A veritable prisoner in her own home, Marina yearns to know the touch of a real man. As enigmatic as he is handsome, Sebastian plans to storm the tower and claim Marina as his own. In a sensual tale with strong emotion and imaginative turns, the reader will hope—and smile—to the very end.


Once Upon A Time A Fairy Tale Collection will give you wonderful bed-time stories you'll want to read again and again!


Love,

Morgan


Romance...with that extra bit of heat.

We double the heat! TWICE!

 

This summer, we double the heat with new releases EVERY Monday and Thursday. And in July, watch for new releases from Siren and BookStrand FOUR TIMES A WEEK!

www.sirenbookstrand.com
  

Monday, June 2, 2008

Venture - part 3



This is a continuation of my May 11 and May 17 posts. Susan and I were having dinner in an Indian restaurant, during which she’d been grilling me about Venture’s heroine, Lydia. I had explained that Lydia was a composite of several women. One of whom is the woman pictured below in a photograph taken when we were on location in Lydia’s hometown. She’s a witty, marathon running, MD, who shares a lot of characteristics with the fictional Lydia.

Now read on…

We finished our meal, and the waitress returned with the dessert menu. Susan patted her tummy lovingly in the same way a pregnant woman would, but I knew it meant she didn’t want to put on unnecessary pounds. Not that she need have worried. Her dress size was the same as Lindsay Lohan’s. “I’ll just have an Irish coffee,” she said.


The waitress gave her a look I interpreted as: “We’re not in Boston,” but she didn’t comment.

In deference to our surroundings, I ordered the banana fritters and an Indian beer.

“Are you okay with beer?” Susan asked when the waitress had gone.

“One beer isn’t going to affect my driving.”

“It wasn’t your driving I was concerned about. You’re not the male lead in Venture, who can drink everyone else under the table then make wild passionate love with the heroine all night.”

Wow, that hurt, even though it was true. “I thought I made him sound fairly believable.”

“You made him sound like the kind of guy women drool over. Well, this girl, anyway. That automatically makes him a totally unbelievable fantasy guy.”

“So what do women want?” I asked.

“Don’t you know?”

“I want your opinion on it. Pretend I’m researching it for my next novel.”

“Is this how you get your girlfriends to pay for their supper?”

“Yes, and the delights I’ll be serving up later.” I laughed to show her I was kidding. From my experience with Susan, the opposite was more likely to be true. She was a hell of a sexy lover.

Our orders arrived. She stirred her Irish coffee, licked the cream off the spoon, and ran her tongue across the Cupid’s bow of her upper lip. I imagined my tongue performing a similar motion but on the inside of her mouth.

To show her I was serious about soliciting her opinion, I extracted a small notebook and pen from my jacket pocket. I placed them by my right hand, which I now used for the more important task of eating the fritters.

“Well, first-up, he must have good table manners,” she said, rolling her eyes. “A girl doesn’t want the guy to embarrass her in a restaurant or in front of her parents.”

“What did I do?”

“You’re supposed to cut the fritter with your knife, not tear it apart with the fork.” Susan was good at setting me up as the straight man for her to deliver the punch-line. She had a “gotcha” expression on her face.

“Continue, madam,” I said, trying to sound exasperated.

“You realize there are two different answers? What a woman wants in real life versus what she wants in a romance novel.”

“Yes. Do the real life one first.”

“Okay, but this is going to be pretty superficial. It’s a complex question.”

“I understand,” I said, but wasn’t sure I did.

“He must have a good job and be kind and considerate. He likes chatting to me, has a sense of humour, is a handyman, and a skilful lover. Personally, I want kids, so I’ve got to imagine him as a good father. Hey, you’re not writing this down.”

“I have a good memory. Is that list in order of priority?”

She screwed up her face and narrowed her eyes, signs that I knew meant I should listen carefully. “Those ones are about equal, but ahead of them is…” She paused to sip her coffee, eyeballing me over the top of her glass.

“Is what?”

“You’re hopeless. Commitment!”

I switched the fork to my left hand and picked up the pen to write the word commitment then swiveled the notebook around so she could read what I’d written.

“Well done,” she said. “But being able to spell isn’t important.”

“And physically what must he have?” I asked, returning my attention to the banana fritters.

“His abs, gluts, and pecs must be sharply defined. My favorites are the gluts. Last night when you were face down and I was sitting on your bum massaging your back, I told you to tense your gluts didn’t I?”

“Now you mention it. Yes, you did,” I replied, delivering the straight line again.

“It’s because it’s nice for me at the same time. If you know what I mean?”

“Oh is that why you were squirming around? What about when I’m facing you?”

“Size? Men are soooo hung up on it. But I won’t divulge that secret here. There are too many people within earshot. I’ll save it for later.”