Archive for August, 2008

We have a homeless book…boo! The original winner of Diane Chamberlain’s post has never contacted me and it’s been over a week so I’m drawing a new name.

We have a winner! The winner of Diane’s post is….


Congrats Amy!

Please email me your snail mail addy at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com so we can get your book out to you. Enjoy!

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We have a homeless book…boo! The original winner of Joy Nash’s post has never contacted me and it’s been over a week so I’m drawing a new name.

We have a winner! The winner of Joy’s post is….


Congrats Elizabeth!

Please email me your snail mail addy at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com so we can get your book out to you. Enjoy!

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We have a winners! The winners of Susan’s post are….











Quilt Lady!

Congrats ladies!

Please email me your snail mail addy at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com so I can get your book out to you. Enjoy!

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We have a winner! The winner of Victoria’s post is….


Congrats Caffey!

Please email me your snail mail addy at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com so we can get your book out to you. Enjoy!

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We have a winner! The winner of Shayla’s post is….


Congrats Terra!

Please email me your snail mail addy at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com so we can get your prize out to you. Enjoy!

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Mark your calendars, ladies! This one is out on October 14 through Samhain. Isn’t the cover gorgeous?

It was supposed to be an easy mission. But nobody told her that.

Ian and Braden Thomas return to the U.S. to extract Katie Buchanan, the sister of the teammate who betrayed them. She could very well be the key to taking down the man responsible for turning Ian and Braden into unstable cat shifters. Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones after Katie.

Katie has no intention of going quietly or of offering her trust on a silver platter. She’s got troubles of her own that don’t include two pain-in-the-ass men who claim her dead brother sent them. She’s too busy trying to stay one step ahead of Ricardo de la Cruz, the brother of a man she killed.

As the bodies pile up, Ian and Braden are only sure of one thing: Katie makes them crazy. Something about her calls to their inner predator. They both want her, but she’s made a practice of making bad decisions and trusting the wrong men. And by the time she realizes that she can trust these two warriors, it might just be too late.

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A journalist and who adopted a troubled teen, Madison Wade has tackled many challenges—but never one like this. Leaving Philadelphia for a small town to give her son a better life, she’s now in a tightly knit community that won’t accept her big-city ways and Ethan’s less-than-perfect past. When finally, he’s invited on a camping trip, it turns into a nightmare – and Ethan is suspected of a violent crime.

Sheriff Gabe Wyatt doesn’t want to believe this kid is guilty. He’s falling in love with Ethan’s beautiful, sophisticated, and generous mother, the first woman who has ever awakened the tender side of this tough lawman. But he can’t ignore evidence, even if it keeps him from getting close to the woman he longs to protect, even if it drives this fierce mother to find the criminal herself. Then one terrible night, the villain will find her… and Maddie Wade will come face-to-face with her darkest fears.

I remember, back in the day so to speak, my younger sister (at the time in grade school) asked what a “boldiego” was. Confused, and yet not surprised (my sister had a wild imagination), I asked, “What? What are you talking about?” Remember, I’m the older sister, so there was much eye rolling at this point. “You know,” she said, “like on Star Trek, ‘to boldiego where no man…’” You can imagine my reaction. Let’s just say, she never lived that one down.

And now years later, I, the ever prudent, ever cautious older sister, am doing a little boldiegoing of my own. After writing six women’s fiction novels, I decided to follow my passion and pen a romantic suspense. And much to my surprise, I discovered taking risks can be worth the stress. I loved, loved, loved writing PITCH BLACK — coming up with just the right cliffhanger for chapter endings, devising various ways to increase the risk my characters were taking and make their lives more complicated and dangerous. It was a delicious indulgence of the mind. (Does this indicate that deep down I truly enjoy torturing people? Possibly. After all, I used to be a dental hygienist.)

When I started this book, I wanted to combine strong characters and a fast paced plot. I wanted an easily identifiable story that could happen to almost anyone. And although this was suspense, I still wanted complicated emotional problems for my characters. So Madison Wade and her newly adopted teenage son, Ethan were born. She is a heroine so vastly different from my own personality that while writing I continually had to stop myself mid-scene and backtrack (with the muttered words, “No, Susan, that’s what you would do, not what Madison would do.) About the only trait Madison and I have in common is the fierce protectiveness of our children. For Madison, that protectiveness leads her straight into the path of a murderer. Hopefully, cautious Susan will never have to face such a challenge – but Madison is more than up to the task.

By the time I finish writing a book, any book, I’m always convinced it’s horrible, unimaginative and ordinary. PITCH BLACK was no different. Plus romantic suspense was one of those new worlds the folks on Star Trek were always searching for. After I submitted it to my editor, I spent lots of time biting my fingernails. Would she like it? Did I deliver? Remember, I am so not a risk taker.

Then I got a huge, “WOW! This is fantastic!” from my editor. Suddenly the risk-taking was worth it. And I could finally grow my nails again. By the time I got my page proofs back and read PITCH BLACK with a better perspective, I too was thrilled with the outcome. My confidence was back … at least until I submit my next novel.

Even though this risk paid off, at least for now I’m going to keep my boldiegoing limited to writing and leave the truly dangerous stuff for folks like Madison Wade.

How about you? Boldiegoer? Or do you stay in your own well-known back yard?

*****Leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of PITCH BLACK! I’ve got 10 copies to give away! Good Luck! 🙂

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To break a centuries-old curse, beautiful, headstrong Lady Kathleen MacDavid knows she must ignore every rule of propriety by seducing—and marrying—the Earl of Norcroft. So she sets off for London, braving scandal and ruin to achieve her goal . . . until a crazy bump on the head makes her forget nearly everything.

The thrill of winning a bet—that he’d be the last of his set to wed—hasn’t eased the earl’s pain of losing his friends to marriage. Still, he’d be willing to settle down if he could meet someone worthy of his love—and desire. But he has met no such woman, until Kathleen is brought to him. Suspicious of her motives, he’s determined to resist her seductive ways. But sometimes even the most proper gentleman finds it expedient to act improperly . . .

First of all I have a couple of confessions to make. Number one–I am horribly behind on absolutely everything in my life.

Number 2—I had a great time getting to this point!

I went to San Francisco last month, along with 2000 of my closest friends, for the annual Romance Writer of America conference. Between the conference, hanging out with friends I only see once a year and San Francisco (great food, terrific shopping, wonderful sights) I had a fabulous time!

I was the keynote speaker for the conference which was actually fun once I got over my sheer terror. (Although if I had realized I was being shown on huge screens on either side of the stage, the terror would have lingered a lot longer.)

I firmly believe that since, for most of us, the opportunity to speak to 2000 or so people at one time in a huge, cavernous ballroom doesn’t come along very often we should take advantage of it. I used it to talk about all sorts of things including things I think need to change in the world, or things I’ve observed, or things that annoy me, or to offer advice.

For example:

I think the mark of a really good historical movie (like Gone With the Wind or Titanic) is one that makes you forget the facts of history and makes you think just maybe the South will win the Civil War after all. Or the boat won’t sink.

Personally, I think avoidance is always better than outright dishonesty.

Never buy your wedding flowers from a florist who operates out of the back of a bar. I think that’s self explanatory.

I think that there should be background music for real life. Music should swell at appropriate, triumphant moments. How else are you going to tell you’re in real danger—like a shark is about to eat you—without background music.

I like the idea of people having theme songs for their lives.  I’ve narrowed mine down to about three.  Still Crazy After All These Years seems to fit but I prefer Running Against the Wind (it’s a Paul Simon vs Bob Seeger thing). Mama Mia seems pretty appropriate though because I do tend to make the same mistakes over and over again.

I believe the philosophers of the modern age are songwriters and people who work in advertising. Is there anything more profound than the latest Sear’s slogan—LIVE LIKE IT’S SUMMER?

I think the differences between men and women are no more clearly defined than they are in four areas—and they all begin with S. Shopping, sports, sex and shoes.  The men I know don’t see a need for more than four or five basic pairs. I bring more that that fro a weekend.

Just because people  look like they’re dead, they’re not necessarily dead.  You should always check.  Again—self explanatory.

I don think “things are closer than they appear” makes any sense at all.  When backing up a car, wouldn’t it be much better if “things appear closer than they are”? Couldn’t we all use a little extra space?

Should the definition of a word require you to look up two more words?  I don’t think so.

Love what you do. I think if you’re an accountant or a dairy farmer you should love being an accountant or dairy farmer.

Obviously, I have a lot of opinions and I really do tend to think my opinions are, well, the right ones. I’ve always known that about myself.  What I didn’t realize, until I started working on this speech, was that my heroines share this trait with me.

Take Kathleen MacDavid, the heroine of Seduction of a Proper Gentleman. She doesn’t believe in silly things like curses or magic. Although the women of her family have long dabbled in magic—with no particular success—she considers herself a rational, practical sort. Someone in her family has to be. Even after her husband’s death when she learns of a family curse she doesn’t believe in such nonsense. But over the years when one suitor after another meets with an untimely end, well, even the most sensible woman can see she might be wrong. So what’s a girl to do but try to break the curse by marrying a man she’s never met? And what are those who believe in magic to do but try to help things along however they can?

That’s how it all begins. Seduction is the last of my Last Man Standing books. The tontine has been decided, the winnings distributed and everyone has lived happily ever after. And another confession—I am going to miss these guys. The hero of Seduction has appeared in six books and I hate to see his story end.

Seduction hits stores today (Aug 26th). So go, see how his story ends.  You’ll like it. Of course that’s just my opinion but then my opinion is almost always right!

*****Leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of LET IT BE LOVE. Good Luck!

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He’s an immortal knight hungering for satisfaction. . . .

As soon as Marrok sees Olivia Gray, he’s sure they met in eons past. He’s felt her soft, gentle curves writhing in pleasure beneath his own powerful body. . . Morganna! For centuries, towering Marrok, once the mightiest of King Arthur’s warriors, has endured a terrible curse the witch cast upon him when he spurned the witch.


She’s a modern woman about to discover ancient magic. . . .

Olivia shares a mystical—and irresistible—connection with brooding Marrok. Soon after the sexy warrior appears in her erotic dreams, he abducts her, demanding she uncurse him. Their intense passion is more powerful—and intimate—than either of them has ever known. Olivia may be the key to unlocking the diary that will break Morganna’s hold on his life. But in the wrong hands, the book also holds the power to destroy magickind. As they search for answers, a ruthless wizard returned from exile is building an army of evil. When he discovers Marrok and Olivia have the diary, only their love—with the help of a powerful group of magical Brethren—can save them.

Thanks, Fatin, for inviting me back here! I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to talk about TEMPT ME WITH DARKNESS, the first in my Doomsday Brethren series. It’s releasing tomorrow from Pocket books, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

I’m told this paranormal series is quite different. No vamps or weres. The magic is not Wicca or white. It’s all of my own imagination, set to the backdrop of modern London. And like all my books, intense, sexy (though not erotic, per se) and alpha males abound!

Here’s the first chapter. Take a peek! Also check out the section titled Meet the Brethren. There’s also a contest going on until the end of the month. Subscribe to my newsletter (if you haven’t already) and win a very nifty gift basket!

Okay, business aside, let’s talk about men. Heroes anyone? I conducted a quick interview with TEMPT ME WITH DARKNESS’s hero, Marrok of Cadbury.

SB: Comfy? Cozy? Ready to talk?

MC: You again? Can you not leave me in peace, you infernal woman?

SB: I know you’re not interested in being the life of the party.

MC: Or even attending it.

SB: [rolls eyes] Spare me a few moments to discuss some of the major changes in your life. Recently, become involved with a group of wizards.

MC:  Not by choice. I had been living these fifteen hundred years in my solitude, wanting naught but a peaceful end. That rapscallion, Bram Rion, knocked upon my door, shared visions of coming danger and evil with me, then dragged me into his magical muck.

SB: C’mon. You haven’t entirely disliked the experience. You spent so many years as King Arthur’s captain and champion. You can’t tell me that a return to the practice and battle fields was unwelcome.

MC: [shrug] I enjoy invigorating exercise as much as the next man. The political intrigue of magickind, however, they can keep. Annoying and demanding, the lot of them.

SB: You’re just being grouchy. Be honest… After a while, you came to like some of your fellow Doomsday Brethren, Bram included.

MC: Bram does have the cool head of a tactician and the mantle of a leader. He has earned his respect.

SB: You even asked his opinion a time or two. What about the others? I know there’s a fair amount of dissention in the ranks and personal issues to overcome, but certainly some others have earned your trust.

MC: Most are good and dedicated warriors in their own way. Ice and Lucan, in particular. [frowns] I certainly hope Lucan recovers… Duke is pampered but surprising even me. Caden refuses to stay, and Shock is not a warrior I trust. Things will not be easy for Bram, should he wish to keep this bunch together to defeat an evil like Mathias.

SB: Yes, Mathias is a really bad dude. He makes my skin crawl.

MC: If that is your modern, American way of saying he is evil incarnate, then aye.

SB: He’s been very eager to get his hands on this new woman you’ve become involved with.

MC: While there is a breath left in my body, Mathias will never, ever touch Olivia. I keep and protect what is mine.

SB: Heavy words for a loner…

MC: She is both my mate and the one who can end my immortal curse. Her heart is a tender one. I, who have lived alone and by my sword, have never known her like. She is…special.

SB: What do you mean?

MC: She’s both taught and helped me…even when I gave her no reason—and she often did so against my will, saucy wench. [smile] Without her, I would know naught of dancing, have no computer to use, would never have seen modern London by air had she not coerced me onto the London Eye. Pretty wench accused me of being claustrophobic. Who likes small, confined spaces?

SB: Doesn’t bother me, but… I hear she’s helped you with another problem.

MC: [scowls] ‘Twas naught little about that problem. Aye, she is the first woman whom I’ve bedded and found satisfaction with in centuries. ‘Tis certain that I’m keeping her by my side as long as possible.

SB: Any chance what you have with her is permanent?

MC: Nay, soon I will find a way to break my curse. Then I shall find peace in death. For now, she needs me. But Olivia is a woman who will learn to believe in her strength and live well without me.

SB: [arched brow] And maybe even find another man?

MC: [growls] We are done here.

SB: Anything else you’d like to say?

MC: Piss off.

Well, touchy subject aside, Marrok is one interesting man, and the woman who tames him is both gentle and assertive enough to keep him guessing—and not realizing that his heart is tied up in knots. If you want to know how it’s going to end, check out TEMPT ME WITH DARKNESS.


******Leave a comment for the chance to win a small gift basket with any in print book off Shelley’s/Shayla’s backlist and the first 3 chapters of TEMPT ME WITH DARKNESS. Good Luck!

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We have a winner! The winner of Sasha’s post is…….


Congrats acdaisy77!

Please email your snail mail addy to me at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces) so we can get the book sent out to you. Enjoy!

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