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


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


And now for some excerpts from Romance in the Rain!

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. 

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.

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!


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)

Stay tuned for more about Romance in the Rain and the Rainy Day Writers!