Friday, December 21, 2012

Release Day: Demon Bound by Karli Rush



This is Book 3 of the Crescent Bound Trilogy. It is an 18+ book. It continues the story of Alyssa and Marc as they battle dark forces and become entangled with a demon. There is action, love, suspense, sexy romance and much more!


Here's a sneak peek at the story:

"My world just turned into a reality of my vision I recently foresaw. I now hang in the balance of agony in a pit of darkness. I am completely suspended in mid-air, restrained by some unknown force, and clinging to the emptiness that swallowed me into a continuum. Drained of all my powers, I can only abide my time and await my return...."

*****

Purchase Demon Bound at Amazon US!


*****
About the Author:



Karli has always blazed her own trail, whether popular or not. She has three wonderful sons and is contently married to a supportive husband. Her passion outside of writing is photography and all things natural. She is an Autism advocate and enjoys hiking, bike riding and family.

Karli was born deep in Cherokee Nation Indian Territory where she grew up loving everything paranormal and has even, first hand, witnessed a womanly spirit. The sighting, as it is referred to, occurred in Eureka Springs, Arkansas at one of the top ten most haunted hotels, The Crescent Hotel. This experience captured Karli in ways that have expanded her beliefs about the possibilities of other realms.

As a teen, Karli was an avid reader. She sought out solitude for her passion in nearby Indian Graveyards. Although writing was something that has pulled at her most of her life, it wasn't until a recent visit to a Shaman, who saw her spirit's need for creativity, that she truly began down the path.

The Crescent Bound series is her first work which will consist of five books in all. She is simply thrilled to be able to share all the adventures of Alyssa Worthington with you.

Karli's ideal world would be one of open-minded kindness from everyone.

*****

Want to connect with Karli? Then check out her blog or visit her Facebook page!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Release Day: Under His Command by Kristine Cayne



A firefighter desperate to save his failing marriage earns the trust—and the sexual submission—of his controlling wife in the most pleasurable of ways.

After an explosive one-night stand results in pregnancy, Jamie Caldwell is thrilled to marry the perfect foil to his Dom side. But when his submissive wife starts cringing every time he gives a command, Jamie shackles his dark desires. A bout of rough, frenzied reunion sex makes him wonder if now he should free the Dom he’s kept in chains and teach Erica the joys of submission and sexual surrender.

Erica Caldwell secretly loved every sinful thing Jamie did to her on their first night together. However, terrified she’ll become a codependent doormat like her mother, she repeatedly rejects Jamie’s dominance, despite craving the kind of release only he can give her—the release that comes from yielding to Jamie’s every demand.

Hoping that the trust required by BDSM will help them rebuild their faith in each other, Jamie and Erica embark on a journey of sexual exploration. But is it too late to repair their crumbling marriage?


*****

Here's a short excerpt:

Something soft and cool slid over her eyes. “What’s this?” she asked, reaching for it.

“Shh… It’s just a blindfold. To heighten your senses.”

Like she needed her senses heightened? He’d already taken her places she’d never been. “I’m not sure about—”

His hand smacking her butt cheek completely derailed her train of thought. “Did you just slap me?”

“That was a spank. Now turn around.” He tied the scarf over her eyes, plunging her into darkness.

She really should resist, tell him to stop. Something. But she didn’t. “Okay. Why should I let you spank me?” she asked. So far this night had been like nothing she’d expected. Jamie was skilled and unpredictable. And she was genuinely curious.

“Because you love it.” His fingers trailed down the crease between her cheeks and dipped into her. Her body convulsed, pushing against his hand to take more of him. What was it about fingers that felt so darned good?

Another smack, this one a little harder, had her trembling. “See how wet you are? How good it feels?” he said.

He was so right.



*****

Where to buy Under His Command:


*****


Award-winning author Kristine Cayne is fascinated by the mysteries of human psychology—twisted secrets, deep-seated beliefs, out-of-control desires. Add in high-stakes scenarios and real-world villains, and you have a story worth writing, and reading.

Kristine’s heroes and heroines are pitted against each other by their radically opposing life experiences. By overcoming their differences and finding common ground, they triumph over their enemies and find true happiness in each other’s arms.

Today she lives in the Pacific Northwest, thriving on the mix of cultures, languages, religions and ideologies. When she’s not writing, she’s people-watching, imagining entire life stories, and inventing all sorts of danger for the unsuspecting heroes and heroines who cross her path.

To learn more about Kristine and her stories, visit her at:






Saturday, December 15, 2012

On the 4th day of Christmas...

...yours truly completely forgot she was in the spotlight! 

Yeah, as unbelievable as that is, I forgot that the wonderful Tammy Schweiger-McLaughlin was spotlighting me on her blog, Ravenz Reviews, as part of the epic 12 Days of Christmas Author Spotlight. The reason is because we took in a new puppy today and I had to make a long trip to pick her up. It took a fair bit longer to get there and back than I thought, and I just now looked at the date and remembered I was in the spotlight today.

So if you would be so kind, please do me -- and Tammy -- a favor and visit Ravenz Reviews to read all about what I had to say during our interview, in which I talked about my published works, stories that are coming soon, and how I got into writing. You can also read blurbs on the books I've worked on/am working  on so you know what's coming up next!

By the way, Fire Born is actually finished! I completed it at a little over 77,000 words. Now all I'm waiting on is to hear from my alpha readers and a little extra cash to get component pictures for the cover, then it will be ready for sale!

Time to get back to Juliette and Race in From the Shadows...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Best Laid Plans

My fellow writers should have something to say on this, though anyone who reads is welcome to comment... 

As you know by now, I started the first book of my new firefighter series, Firehouse 343, for NaNoWriMo last month (the book's title is Fire Born). Before NaNo got going, I actually did some pre-planning for the series: I did research (and saved it!) so I'd have quick access to details about firefighting equipment, vehicles, and procedures, and I even planned out my core characters and who their love interests would be. There are also tons of notes on basic plot elements for the first few books in the series.

I believe I've posted before how when I start a story, I only start with a basic idea of what's going to happen. I generally know who is going to be in the book and how they're going to meet, and I have in mind a few points of conflict, action, or other drama to befall the characters. The entire story is never laid out for me from the beginning -- my stories write themselves as I type, which means that anything I had in mind has the potential to change either a little or a lot. Or completely. 

This happened more than once in Fire Born. For instance, I didn't know who the villain was until I was more than halfway through the book -- I only knew that I wanted to make it something of a surprise. I knew there would be conflict but not precisely how it would be resolved, and I had no clue how I was going to end the story. I would probably never be able to write an outline like the big publishers want from their writers because I never know what all's going to happen until I write it. Maybe that seems a careless way to write to some of you, but for me that's simply how it works. Besides, I like to write this way because I am never bored by the surprises I come up with -- which might not happen if I planned out every single little detail.

The reason I'm writing this post is because, as I said before, I did some pre-planning that included who the core characters were going to be paired with in their own books. But as I was finishing up the last chapter or so, I started imagining one of the firefighters with another secondary character in this book, rather than who I had originally planned to pair him with.  And the funny thing is, the lady I am now going to pair him with wasn't supposed to appear in any other book -- at least, when I first created her, I had only imagined she would appear just this once. She was a plot device, nothing more, and yet as I wrote she evolved into something else. She started to take on a life of her own and I found myself wondering what would happen to her after this story was over. 

So yeah, my best-laid plan has already gone astray. I think it's going to be rather fun to see what happens when I get to book 3.

On the first day of Christmas...

...we have author Kay Glass. Head over to Ravenz Reviews to see what she has to say!

Ravenz Reviews

Monday, December 10, 2012

12 Days' Trailer!

Check out this wonderful video promoting the 12 Days of Christmas Author Spotlight!


Friday, December 7, 2012

The 12 Days of Christmas!

No, I don't mean the song. I'm talking about the twelve promotional spotlights the wonderful Tammy Schweiger-McLaughlin will be featuring on her blog, Ravenz Reviews. 

From December 12th through December 23rd, Tammy will spotlight an indie author she thinks you should get to know better! Each one will answer some questions about themselves and their work, the books they've written and the ones they've yet to write. Come join Tammy and all of the authors participating is this wonderful promotional event!

Visit one (or all!) of the following links to keep tabs on the 12 Days of Christmas event:
Ravenz Reviews
Belladonna's Book Corner
12 Days of Christmas Author Spotlight

Oh, and guess what? Yours truly will get her time in the spotlight on December 15th! 


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cover Reveal: "Sacrifice of Innocence" by Allison Cosgrove

A cult has been killing children for its rituals and only one cop knows who they are. Detective Stan Brookshire knows, but his past keeps people from believing in him. Can he rise above the stigma that shrouds his past and stop a cult from taking yet another innocent child from her mother’s arms before its too late?


Here's an excerpt:



Prologue


The man in the corner listened in the darkness, the wind whistling through the crack in the window frame, billowing his hair around him. The child in the room with him was invisible in the darkness. Even the power of the sun, let alone the light from the full moon, could not dampen the gloom hidden behind the boarded windows. 


Hearing a sound, the man stiffened. It was the child; the sweet, young child.

"Very soon, my precious, very soon," Joseph whispered, his breath coming in short gasps. Excitement filled his belly; time was drawing closer for the boy.

Footsteps in the hallway caused the boy to whimper in fear, lighting the man's loins on fire. Desperately wanting the forbidden, to touch and play with the boy, he tried to force the urge back down. He wasn't allowed that pleasure, yet. The priests would come soon and the boy would have to be pure. The man's needs would have to wait. The boy would have to wait.

Dreaming of the day he would finally be able to have his way with the boy, the man fixed the delicious whimpers in his memory. The boy would no longer be able to cry and plea.

It was coming soon. So close now.

On the other side of the room, he heard the ominous creak of the door opening. Blinding light silhouetted a figure dressed in long robes.

He hurried over and retrieved his boy-child, his breath coming in gasps so ragged that he thought his lungs would cease to function.

A whimper was all that escaped the gag when the boy tried to scream. Cringing at the man's touch, he fought against the bonds, causing the man's groin to harden once more.

The man smiled. He tightened his grip upon the boy as he tried to wiggle free. The door stood open, waiting for him and the boy.

Suddenly, the door swung closed behind him, plunging the room into darkness once again.



Now for a little tidbit about author of this thrilling mystery:


Allison Cosgrove was born and raised in a suburb of Toronto, Ontario. A married mother of three daughters, she works in accounting by day and creates her own worlds by night. She enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters hiking in the woods or sitting by the fire reading a good book. She has had the love of reading and writing detective mysteries from the age of twelve but it has only been since the birth of her youngest that she has gotten serious about crafting some of her own works for others to enjoy. She credits her family and friends with being the driving force that has given her the strength to breathe life into her books.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

50K in 30 days!

Well folks, amidst distractions galore and days of just not feeling like it (let's be honest, we all have those days once in a while), I achieved the NaNoWriMo goal of writing 50,000 words of a novel in just 30 days. What's my total? 50,667. I honestly think I could have done a lot more, but so many things happened in November and there was just so much interfering with my writing, not the least of which is an unpredictable work schedule.

But I'm more than ten chapters into Fire Born, which makes me feel really good. I'm going to be adding more to it soon, and may try getting some more work done on From the Shadows as well. We'll just have to see where Lady le Muse leads me.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop!

Here I go again! I'm taking part in a blog hop, and this time it's The Next Big Thing! I've done this before, back in September, and then I talked about the second novel in the Shadow Chronicles. This time around I'm going to introduce you to my NaNoWriMo project, Fire Born (first book in the Firehouse 343 series).


What is the working title of your book? Fire Born

Where did the idea come from for the book? The idea for this book, honestly, came from a picture posted on Facebook. Someone I used to be friends with put up this picture: 



Her comment when doing so was something along the lines of "These guys could inspire a whole imprint", and from that one statement (and the picture of hot, half-naked firefighters!), I began developing ideas for a series featuring firefighters.

What genre does your book fall under? Romantic suspense

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Chris Paytah - Chaske Spencer
Martie Liotta - Caterina Murino
Logan Kilbride - Justin Hartley
Curtis Edmonds - Boris Kodjoe
Karalyn Maynard - Nikki Reed
(there are about a dozen other characters that will appear in later stories)

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? "Fire is known for its power of destruction... but it can also create powerful bonds."

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Self-published under my own imprint, Black Room Press

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I'm still writing it. I've reached a little over 34,000 words, and because it's a project I started for National Novel Writing Month, I am hoping to reach 50K in the next few days. My unpredictable work schedule has unfortunately interfered with my creativity.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I can't really compare as I've read very few books featuring firefighters.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? I've kind of already answered this one, with my response to where the idea came from. But further inspiration comes from all the friends and fellow authors who continually encourage me, reminding me that I've got talent and I can do this.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Hopefully the sexy firefighters pull them in and the mystery keeps them reading!
_____

Check out these other great writers as part of the blog hop: Kristine CayneSarah M. Ross,  Bonnie Lea ElliottDana DelamarAmy Miles

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Availability

Check it out, Diary Devotees: Chasing Shadows is now available in PRINT!




If you enjoy a good paranormal romance but don't have an e-reader, you can enjoy my debut novel, Chasing Shadows, the old-school way. Head on over to the CreateSpace store and order a copy today!

Buy Chasing Shadows in print!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Interview and Review, Kristine Cayne and Romance in the Rain

Alright, everybody, the day is here at last! Author Kristine Cayne has stopped by the Diary again to gracefully answer some of my questions about her contribution to the Romance in the Rain anthology, entitled "Aftershocks". Take it away again, Kristine!

It’s a pleasure to be here on Diary of an Indie Author again. Christina has asked me to answer some questions about my work, so here goes...


What made you decide to write about firefighters?

I needed a romantic suspense story for the Romance in the Rain anthology. Since the anthology is set in Seattle, and Seattle is prone to earthquakes, I decided to write about an earthquake and the heroes who would race out to rescue people trapped in the city center. Seattle Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team fit the bill to a T.

What does a "technical rescue firefighter" do, exactly?

Although they also assist in fire-related incidents, the SFD’s Technical Rescue Team (TRT) is primarily responsible for rescues that require more training than a regular firefighter would have. These include collapsed building rescues, trench cave-in rescues, high angle rope rescues, marine accident rescues, confined space rescues, and heavy machinery and transportation incident rescues to name but a few.

Here’s a photo (used with permission from the SFD) of the TRT heavy machinery rescue. A dorm at the University of Washington was being demolished. In the process, a part of the building fell on a crane, trapping the driver.



The TRT members also participate in FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Team as well as international S&R teams. So not only are they heroes in their hometown, but across the US and the world also.

You have mentioned on your blog and Facebook that "Aftershocks" is a prequel to a series. Have you settled on a title for this series?

Yes! After much debate, thinking about how the series title pulls all the individual books together, and how it reflects the genre, I’ve settled on Six Alarm Sexy. I hope you like it! The grand reveal of the series title and logo is coming soon. Stay tuned!

Why did you choose to write romantic suspense?

I’ve been reading romance novels since I was old enough to check them out of the library. For a while, the ones that captured my attention were historicals, mostly pirate-themed bodice rippers. As I grew older, I turned to regency romances. I tried contemporaries, but at the time, Harlequin was pretty much the only game in town and I grew very tired of the sweetness. I craved excitement, something that would get my heart pounding. Something with sex and danger. That’s when I discovered Cherry Adair’s Kiss & Tell. It opened my eyes to a whole new genre that had everything I sought. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a writer and that I wanted to write romantic suspense.

As a romance writer, where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from every day events. I watch the news. I read articles. When something intrigues me, I dig deeper. Usually, there’s a story there that needs to be told.

Do you like working with other writers?

I love working with other writers. Although I’ve never co-written a story with another author, I do work extensively with author friends (critique, partner, writing groups, support groups, etc.) When everyone brings something different to the table, it’s amazing what can be accomplished!

The Rainy Day Writers are a great example of this. One of us handled working with the cover artist, two of us worked on the website and blog, one of us created the family tree and breakdowns, all of us worked on editing, one of us worked on formatting and uploading the book. Phew, just thinking about doing all that by myself is exhausting. I’m so glad I had my fabulous writer friends to do it with me.

What is it like taking part in a book signing?

Nerve-wracking! I’ve only done one so far, and it was not targeted at romance readers. The whole time, I worried that no one would stop by. Good thing my critique partner was there. We chatted the whole time. LOL. I will be participating in the book signing at the Emerald City Writers Conference. Since this is an RWA conference, I’m expecting things to be somewhat busier. But just in case, I’ll have chocolate and tons of swag to entice potential readers!

How would you help an "aspiring writer" get his or her feet on the ground? What kind of advice would you give him/her?

The best advice I can give to an aspiring writer is the obvious one: write. Until you’ve actually written an entire book, you have very little concept of what it entails and whether or not you’re cut out for it. That doesn’t mean your first book has to be great. It just means it has to get finished. I’ve known a lot of writers who get caught in an endless cycle of writing three chapters and revising them to death. Eventually, they get bored with the project and move on to something else. The book never gets finished.

The second advice is: join a writers’ group. This can be a big organization like RWA or a smaller online community, or even just a group of your writer friends who meet every few weeks to read your work in progress and give you feedback. Why? Because these groups force you to learn about writing, to perfect your craft. To take feedback and criticism. That last item is the most difficult part of being a writer.

What can your readers look forward to next from you?

I’m working on my new rescue firefighter (erotic romance) series, which focuses on the repercussions (“aftershocks”) of the earthquake (that takes place in the prequel) on the lives of the Caldwell family and the rescue firefighters we meet in Aftershocks. The first book, Under His Command, features the hero and heroine of Aftershocks. Jamie and Erica Caldwell take us to Hawaii on their five-year delayed honeymoon, as they work to repair their broken relationship.

I’m also working on Deadly Betrayal, the third book in my Deadly Vices romantic suspense series. Here’s the blurb:

An Afghani woman’s rights activist with a dark secret.

Azita Seraj, doctor and women’s rights activist in Afghanistan, is horrified to learn that her late husband’s brother, Khalid Mullazai, is giving his twelve-year-old sister to a Taliban tribal leader. Desperate to save the girl, she reaches out to the only hope she has: an American soldier she treated several years earlier for a gunshot wound. A wound he received in an ambush she’d been deceived into initiating. Can she enlist his aid and still keep secret her betrayal?

An American soldier searching for answers.

Kaden Christiansen never forgot the beautiful Afghani doctor who saved his life, and when he receives her cry for help, he doesn’t hesitate. The opportunity to see Azita is one he relishes, and being in-country again will give him a chance to hunt down the source of the ambush that left one of his men dead.

A deadly conspiracy that threatens them both...

Pursued by Mullazai and Taliban fighters as they travel across the country disguised and posing as a married couple, Kaden and Azita begin to fall for their own act and for each other. But Kaden senses that Azita is holding back. Is the reason their cultural differences, or something darker?
_____

And now for my review of Romance in the Rain. It's short and sweet, but definitely to the point!


Rating: 5 black roses

I enjoyed this book very much. First thing that grabbed me about it was that the authors are all friends in real life, not just random authors who have contributed to an anthology (not that there’s anything wrong with that, as I’ve done it myself). Second thing was the premise, which was that each story, starting with Splendor in the Moss and rolling down to Aftershocks, focused on a member of a single family—the Caldwell family (hmm, that name sounds quite familiar ;) ) Each story moved forward a generation or two except for the last three, which focused on three cousins who are about the same age.  

I thought that each story was very well written and realistic. Being a paranormal writer myself, I obviously enjoy a good fantasy… but I also very much love to read stories grounded in reality. All of the novellas in Romance in the Rain rang true for me. I loved that the conflicts were real, the kind you would find in just about any relationship. The characters had depth and each struggled with their feelings. They questioned their decisions and yearned to find a way to make things right when they realized they had made mistakes. And best of all they loved with a fierceness that cannot be put into words.

Except by a writer!

Bravo Rainy Day Writers. And thank you for the wonderful opportunity of reading this book and participating in your promotional tour. I wish you all the best! 
_____

Click the following links for your chance to win some swag from the authors!

Grand Prize and prizes 5-7: 
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/36bfba14/
Prizes 1-4 and 8-10: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/36bfba15/
Prize 11, free ebook cover design: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/36bfba16/
_____

If you'd like to purchase this wonderful anthology, you can find it at the following online retailers: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and Noble USBarnes and Noble UK, KoboAll Romance eBooksSmashwordsDiesel and Sony.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Progress

I can't believe I haven't posted on here about this before now, but as some of you may already know, I decided to participate in the National Novel Writing Month challenge again this year. This means I had to put aside From the Shadows, which I am about 14 and 1/2 chapters into. Don't worry, Shadow Chronicles fans, I will get back to it! 

But for now, I'm working on my first non-paranormal book. Fire Born is a romantic suspense novel featuring some of America's bravest -- yep, firefighters, baby! This will be the first of another series, one which I truly hope to carry on for a while, as there are so many wonderful characters in this world already. I'll try to get a synopsis posted for you soon, as well as some character info on the team. 

Also, I'm still working on reading through Chasing Shadows' proof (believe it or not, reading your own work is much harder than reading someone else's!). Have found some things that need fixing but there are only a few, which is great news! Once I've finished I'll have the book reloaded to Amazon and at CreateSpace, so that you, my awesome readers, will have the option to buy the book in Kindle format as well as in print (will also be reloading to Barnes and Noble for the Nook). Stay tuned!

One more thing... Make sure you stop by the Diary on Friday to catch an interview with Kristine Cayne, as well as my review of the anthology Romance in the Rain. Kristine's short story Aftershocks also features some awesome firefighters, so check it out! There will also be a link to prizes you can win from the Rainy Day Writers!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

IT'S HERE!!

A little earlier than I expected, but that's fine with me... It's the proof copy of Chasing Shadows!!




(sorry for the sub-par picture quality; my cell phone's camera doesn't take great pictures)



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cover Reveal x 2: Chasing Shadows and From the Shadows

In honor of today - Halloween - I am officially revealing the new covers for the first two books in the Shadow Chronicles!



These are the full cover versions for both books. Chasing Shadows will soon be available for print order, and although From the Shadows is still a WIP (I'm on chapter 14), you can be sure I'll let you know when it is available for sale in print and ebook!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Darkest Desires is LIVE!

Welcome to the world of Darkest Desires -- where the eternal fires are stoked by sin, lust and unfulfilled wanting. Demons in every incarnation are waiting to quench their own appetite and reclaim what is rightfully theirs. Darkest Desires explores the most primal needs lurking in everyone. 



This anthology from Hot Ink Press (an Erotic Imprint of Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing) features some of today's cutting-edge erotica romance authors.

Darkest Desires is available on Amazon!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Trailer: Careful What You Wish For

Check out this awesome trailer for the upcoming anthology Careful What You Wish For! 


Remember, all proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Spooky Sweethearts

If you like the supernatural *and* giving to a good cause, then keep your eyes peeled for the release of "Careful What You Wish For" this Halloween! All proceeds will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation!


And stay tuned to the Diary for a link to the book's trailer!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kristine Cayne: The Top 10 reasons I love my genre!

As part of the Romantic Maidens Book Tour promoting the new anthology Romance in the Rain (released October 15th), penned by Seattle's own Rainy Day Writers, author Kristine Cayne has dropped by the Diary today to share her top ten reasons why she loves writing romantic suspense. Take it away, Kristine!

*****

Hi Christina! Thank you so much for having me on Diary of an Indie Author today. Your support of Romance in the Rain and this book tour has been extraordinary, and I can’t wait to repay the favor when your next book comes out!

Top ten reasons I love my genre:

1.) Hot sex
2.) Alpha heroes and kick-ass heroines
3.) Real-life villains/antagonists
4.) Spine-tingling suspense
5.) Startling scenarios and explosive action scenes
6.) Gut-wrenching emotional conflict
7.) High-wire excitement
8.) Unpredictable plots
9.) Globe-trotting settings
10.) Did I already mention the hot sex?

Now, here’s an answer with a little more meat. Why do I think romantic suspense is the best genre ever? That’s simple: because it’s the only genre where romance and suspense share the spotlight. Let’s break it down.

Romantic suspense is above all a romance. The hero and heroine must overcome challenges, both external and internal, to find happiness with each other. It is also the first cousin of the thriller. Tension increases as the story unfolds. The hero and heroine face increasing levels of danger, and its consequences, as the villain gets closer to achieving his or her own goal.

The author weaves the suspense and the romance threads in such a way that neither exists without the other. The suspense propels the romance and the romance propels the suspense. The danger brings the hero and heroine together. But as the romantic relationship develops, the stakes rise and the increased danger threatens to tear the hero and heroine apart. This deadlock situation creates tension for the characters and, more importantly, for the readers. 

It’s not enough though for the romantic suspense author to torture their characters with a raging villain dead set on killing them. Oh, no. We also need to torture our heroes and heroines with their own twisted secrets, extreme passions, and deadly desires. They need to overcome their own pasts, fears, and failures if they are to have a chance at a future together. 

What could be more satisfying than a story about a hero and heroine who defeat evil and find true love?

*****

Thank you, Kristine! All those responses -- especially numbers 1 and 10! -- are really great reasons to love writing and reading romantic suspense. I'll be trying my hand at this very popular genre in the near future, so let's hope I can measure up to those standards!
_____

Be sure to come by again on November 16th to check out my review of Romance in the Rain, an interview with Kristine, and your chance to win great prizes!

Can't wait 'til November? Romance in the Rain is on sale now at these online retailers: Amazon (US)Amazon (UK)Barnes & NobleKoboAReSmashwords

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Planning...sorta.

To be honest, I'm not that much of a planner when it comes to my writing. I do start out with a core set of characters and a notion of what's going to happen, but I don't usually outline or plan ahead what I want to happen in each chapter. I like to do what I call "freewriting", which simply means writing the story as it comes. And for many stories that works really well, like fan fiction. Even the Shadow Chronicles books are/were written that way---though I have already foreseen that with certain other books I'm going to write, planning ahead will prove to be an invaluable thing to do. 

Tonight, however, I did a little planning ahead for From the Shadows. As you will know from a post I made a few days ago, I've five days in a row off from work coming up, and I'm planning to use that time to pound out the rest of the book. Some ideas I've been tooling around with in my head I decided to write down and set them to happening in the next couple of chapters. I think planning ahead will do me some good for the Writing Blitz by giving me a direction to focus on. I've only chapters 10 and 11 planned out so far, but knowing where I'm going to start will hopefully help me figure out where I'm going to end up.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Excerpts!

And now for some excerpts from Romance in the Rain!
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Splendor in the Moss by Charlotte Russell:

     After telling the dog to stay, he steered her away from the Jensens’ cabin, towards the woods to the south. “Thank you.”
     “For what?”
     “Giving me the time of day. You were gone for such a long while, I wasn’t certain you’d come back.”
     “I had to fight my better judgment.”
     James laughed. He couldn’t put on airs around Mattie if he tried.


Final Approach by Marianne Stillings:

     "You were there." Caldwell's voice was quiet as though he were speaking to a timid child. He took a step toward her. "You saw it, didn't you. Didn't you, Charlie?" Another step. And another. Suddenly, he was standing before her and she was standing, too, and his arms came around her as she pressed her head against his strong shoulder and for the first time in a year, she felt safe. Safe enough to relive the agony—and let it go. Safe enough to let someone be strong—so she could be weak. Safe enough—to cry.
     And so she did. 


What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect? by Sherri Shaw:


     "Somehow I can’t picture you as a nerd." You’re too perfect, Ivy silently added, fingering the amulet at her throat. It hummed under her fingertips as the vendor’s words skated across her mind: "If you truly want to find the perfect man, and restore your faith in true love, then this necklace will be your good luck talisman." 
     She dropped her hand, shaking off the crazy notion. It was merely a coincidence that she wished to meet the man of her dreams and Sam showed up. The necklace had nothing to do with it. 
     Right?


Shelter from the Storm by Clare Tisdale:

     A shadow crossed the window, and JD looked up in time to see a seagull fly by. Beyond the downtown high rises, the waters of the Puget Sound lay brooding, glazed by morning mist. Much as JD hated starting over again, he realized that if he had to, he'd rather do it here than anywhere else. Seattle was his home; he belonged here. Maya and her beach house had helped confirm that for him.


Aftershocks by Kristine Cayne:


     Adrenaline surging through her system, Erica hung onto the doorjamb as the quake rocked the old courthouse. The building swayed and groaned, windows rattled and shattered as the earth continued to tremble. Cracks raced across the ceiling and plaster dust showered down, covering everything in a thin white film. She’d lived in Seattle all her life but had never experienced a quake as powerful as this one.
     And her daughter was all alone.
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Don't forget! Author Kristine Cayne will be stopping by the Diary twice as part of the tour for Romance in the Rain--first time is on October 22nd!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cover Reveal: Darkest Desires

Here is the cover for Darkest Desires, the soon-to-be-released book featuring my short story The Beauty in the Black Room

Check the fourth line down in the author list---there's my name!


Deadline

Folks, as you know from reading my blog or posts I've made to Facebook and Twitter, I've been struggling the last couple of months to get work done on From the Shadows, let alone get it finished. Yesterday while at work, the story crossed my mind as it often does and I had the thought of trying to write the remaining eleven chapters and prologue in time to release it on the once-every-century date of 10/11/12.

Obviously that was an insanely unrealistic thought, as there's simply no way I could have gotten the rest of the book written and then beta'd by at least two people in only thirty hours. However, it did inspire me to get back to work, and I did get over 3,500 words written last night. I'm about to get going on it again, and as I was preparing myself to get started (slowly but surely...darn distracting Facebook!), I realized I could set myself a more realistic goal: October 22nd.

See, I mentioned my crazy thought of getting the book written in one day on my FB author page, and someone commented that it sounded like a NaNoWriMo project. I replied that I would, in fact, like to get this book done by the end of October so that I can start fresh with a new book for NaNoWriMo in November. Then, a few moments ago, there I am making final checks of my messages so I can get to work on writing when it occurred to me that I have a five-day off stretch coming up from October 18th to the 22nd; I didn't request that time, it's just how the schedule worked out. Anyhoo, the thought I had was to turn that unexpected mini-vacation into a writing blitz. Setting a goal to get the book done during those five days gives me time to have the book beta read by at least two people if I want to release it on the same day as Darkest Desires, the anthology in which my short story The Beauty in the Black Room appears. I think having two of my stories release on the same day (October 31st) would be pretty darn kuul.

So that's it. My self-imposed deadline for finishing From the Shadows is 11:59 pm, October 22, 2012. Interestingly enough, it is the same day the Diary is hosting Kristine Cayne as part of the Romantic Maidens Book Tour for Romance in the Rain!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Rainy Day Writers

Here's a little history on the Rainy Day Writers, the authors of Romance in the Rain:

Writing fiction is difficult and lonely and more often than not, the "normal" people in your life don't understand the writing process and can't fathom why you are possessed and obsessed with finding the perfect word or phrase that says exactly what you want to say right where you want to say it. Only other writers comprehend and accept that kind of torment.
To fill this need to surround herself with like-minded obsessive-compulsive self-doubting lunatics, in 2005, Marianne Stillings, who writes Romantic Suspense, established what came to be known as The Rainy Day Writers. There were only two requirements for joining the group: You must be serious about writing and getting published, and any criticisms of co-members' work be honest, gentle, and kind.
Over the years, the membership has changed; some people moved on, others joined. The group we have now has been stable and constant since 2009. The Rainy Day Writers are a family.

Charlotte Russell joined the group in 2006 at the suggestion of a former member. Charlotte writes Historical Romance.

Dawn Kravagna became a member in the spring of 2007 because of a writers' list where Marianne had posted looking for new members. Dawn writes Comedy and Mystery.

In the Autumn of 2007, Sherri Shaw found her way to the group because she and Marianne happened to sit at the same table at the Emerald City Writer's Conference that year. Sherri writes Historical Romance and Paranormal Historical Romance.

Clare Tisdale joined in 2008 as the result of an email Marianne posted on the Greater Seattle Chapter Romance Writer's list seeking new members. Clare writes Contemporary Romance.

Kristine Cayne found the group in 2009 because she won Marianne's raffle basket at the Emerald City Writer's Conference that year. The basket included an offer to critique the winner's manuscript—an evaluation that resulted in an invitation to join. Kristine writes Romantic Suspense.

For more information on Romance in the Rain and the Rainy Day Writers, visit them at Seattle Rainy Day Writers.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Romantic Maidens Book Tour







I am very excited to announce that I will be taking part in my first hosting for a blog tour—the Romantic Maidens Book Tour. Romantic suspense author (and friend!) Kristine Cayne will be stopping by on October 22nd to share the top ten reasons she loves writing romantic suspense, and on November 16th I'll be posting an interview with her and a review of the Romance in the Rain anthology.

Here's some additional info on the book:

Title: Romance in the Rain (A Seattle Anthology)

Authors: Kristine Cayne, Dawn Kravagna, Charlotte Russell, Sherri Shaw, Clare Tisdale, Marianne Stillings

Blurb: From the pioneer days of Seattle through the smoke-filled clouds of WWII and into the present, Romance in The Rain takes readers on a journey with four generations of the strong-willed and passionate Caldwell family. The anthology of six novellas is a collaboration of the Seattle-based Rainy Day Writers group.

Splendor in the Moss by Charlotte Russell  By the spring of 1853 Englishman James Caldwell has traveled thousands of miles in a quest to find a place to call home. Newly settled Seattle isn’t that place and he’s ready to move on again when widowed Mattie Jensen marches into his life as somber as a cloudy day. But James can see through the solemn haze to Mattie’s strength and passion. Now he has a reason to stay, if he can just convince Mattie to take a second chance on love—and him. (22,000 words)

Final Approach by Marianne Stillings  With the world at war, Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Service pilot Lt. Charlene (Charlie) Thompson faces personal battles as well. Pearl Harbor left her a widowed bride, certain love would never come again – but battle-scarred Capt. Joe Caldwell has other ideas for the beautiful lady flyer, if he can just keep her safe from the secret saboteur who's already taken the life of Charlie's best friend. (17,000 words)

Love Phantom by Dawn Kravagna  University of Washington, 1983: A great place to get an education and meet single men. Drama major Kara Caldwell prefers to hide behind the characters in her plays, yet feels pressure to live up to the example set by her brave and witty grandmother, a veteran of WWII. Can she learn to overcome her reticence and prejudices to discover which guy truly cares for her--and who is just putting on an act? (17,000 words)

What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect? by Sherri Shaw  No sooner did Chef Ivy Turin wish to meet the perfect man than Sam Rockney walked into her restaurant. But is the sexy Seattle quarterback for real or is there something wrong with Mr. Perfect? (17,000 words)

Shelter from the Storm by Clare Tisdale  Seven years and one broken heart later, JD Caldwell returns to Seattle to pick up the pieces of his old life, never imagining he will fall for Maya—the mysterious woman who lets him into her house and bed but keeps the door to her heart tightly closed. When their summer fling takes an unexpectedly serious turn and Maya gives him his walking papers, JD has to decide whether their love—and his legacy—is worth fighting for. (21,000 words)

Aftershocks by Kristine Cayne  When Seattle is struck by a devastating earthquake, technical rescue firefighter Jamie Caldwell must save his estranged wife and daughter from the wreckage of a collapsed building. He's defied the odds hundreds of times, but will his luck finally run out for good? (24, 000 words)
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Stay tuned for more about Romance in the Rain and the Rainy Day Writers!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Glowing praise!

A good friend from Facebook, Ms. Tammy Schweiger-McLaughlin, has written a wonderfully generous and glowing review of Chasing Shadows. Thank you so much, Tammy! Rest assured that there is more to come from this world I created, including more Lochlan. From the Shadows is Juliette's story, and Loch will have center stage in book three---so keep your eyes peeled!

Tammy's review can be read on her blog or at Amazon.com (Raven Payne is her Amazon username). Thanks once again, Tammy!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

On her birthday, YOU get the gift!

Tomorrow, September 21st, author Katie Jennings is having a birthday, and she's giving readers the gift of a FREE copy of her newest release, When Empires Fall. Make sure you head over to Amazon and grab yourself a copy!

When Empires Fall by Katie Jennings

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Promo Blog Tour Interview

I got an invite to participate in this fun exercise of posting a virtual interview, and I just couldn't resist! So here goes...

What is the working title of your book? The title is From the Shadows. The titles of the books are actually thematic, in that each has the word 'shadows' in it. First book title was Chasing Shadows.

Where did the idea come from for the book? It's part of a series, so it's a sequel to the first book. The main character, Juliette, had a supporting role in Chasing Shadows. From the Shadows is her story--she gets to be the star this time!

What genre does your book fall under? 
I have long been a fan of paranormal romances, so I knew that when I finally took the plunge into writing my own books, I'd probably start there. There's also a little suspense in it. But I've an interest in trying my hand at other genres as well, which is why here on my blog I say I'm a writer of contemporary romantic suspense as well. I've a romantic suspense series featuring firefighters in the planning stage.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 

Juliette Singleton - Ashley Greene
Race Covington - Alex Pettyfer
Mark Singleton - Jensen Ackles
Saphrona Caldwell - Kristen Bell
Lochlan Mackenna - Jonas Armstrong
Merrick - Isaiah Mustafa
Diarmid Mackenna - David Tennant 
Evangeline Mackenna - Keira Knightley

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? I only get one sentence? Ha ha. Okay, let me see... "She was his past, and he was her future."

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? The name of my blog answers that question. I'm self-publishing, though I've come up with a name for my own imprint: Black Room Press. I've long had this secret dream of publishing under my own label and this was the eye-catching name I came up with. All my books from here on out will have Black Room Press listed as the publisher.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I'm still writing it, actually, though my first book only took me a combined total of about three months, I think.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I have a few in mind, but I think I'll let the readers make their own comparisons if they so choose.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? Although I was 14 at the time and writing a Star Trek fan fiction story, my mother read the early draft and said, "You could write this stuff." I think that's what really has kept me going during those periods where I just don't feel like writing at all---that she believed in my talent long before I ever set my mind to writing professionally. About five years later I wrote a speculative script for Star Trek: Voyager (which I didn't have the courage to actually send in), and she very much enjoyed that as well. My mother has read the first book in this series and she wanted to know if I was going to write more, if characters like Juliette and Lochlan would be getting their own stories, which really helped boost my confidence. 


A lot of my story ideas also come from my dreams and my day dreams, those times when I let my mind just drift and do whatever it wants. Sometimes the most random thing will make me pause and say, "Hmm, I could write that into a story."

I'm also inspired by my favorite genre authors, like Christine Feehan, Deborah Cooke, Denise Grover Swank, and N.J. Walters. They've all written amazing paranormal romance series and been very successful at them.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I think one thing that set my first book apart was that it was more of a romantic suspense story with characters that just happened to be supernatural. There was some telling of the history of the vampires in that book, and this second book will have more of the culture and history of the shapeshifters in it. Also, when people think of shifters they don't usually think of dogs as a typical animal form, perhaps because they don't seem as exciting as wolves or panthers (which we might very well meet as the series progresses!), but in truth, a shapeshifter or 'were' can be pretty much anything. I liked the thought of my main shapeshifting character having an atypical animal form. Juliette's Siberian Husky form is inspired by one of my late pets, whom I loved dearly and still miss even three years after her death.
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Check out these other great authors: Deborah CookeKristine CayneLiliana SoareMonica Euen, and S.P. Mount.