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Archive for September 23rd, 2008

New Model!

Well, new to me, at least. *G* Was just looking through the latest RT magazine and saw this picture…very sexy. Had the models name on page too so I decided to come online and do a little looking around. Isn’t this picture oh so good?

Their names are Tatiana Vitrano and Ryan Gardner. I grabbed the picture off Ryan’s MySpace page. I’ve always been a sucker for a guy with long hair…although that look would never work on hubby. 😉

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Enter to win!

Was just looking through the latest RT magazine I received today and there’s an ad for a contest Ellora’s Cave is running. You could win a Fujitsu Lifebook u810 ultra mobile tablet PC! Rules and guidelines can be found here. Good luck! 🙂

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A few days ago, I decided to join another challenge. This one will just happen on Tuesdays as it’s called Teaser Tuesdays. You can sign up here if you want to try it on your own blog.

Here are the rules for this challenge.

Grab your current read.

Let the book fall open to a random page.

Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

There is only one VERY IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER:

*** Do NOT post anything that could spoil the plot of the book!!! ***

If your sentences that fall between lines 7 and 12 on the page you turn to give too much away, choose a different page, or a different spot on the page… we don’t want to ruin any surprises for anyone!

Today, I’m reading SERVICING RAFFERTY by Janie Mason, an e-book from Samhain Publishing.

One night. One set of handcuffs. Can lovers remain friends?

Auto mechanic Heidi Callihan is tired of her boss treating her like one of his younger sisters. After seven years working for Rafe, what began as hero worship has grown into love—not that he’d notice. When an attractive young widow throws herself at him, Heidi’s had enough. It’s time to put herself in the driver’s seat.

Rafe only recently came to think of Heidi as more than his “Little Buddy,” but he’s determined to mask his growing attraction to her. At nine years her senior, he’s certain they’re not right for each other. He was forced to become the head of his family at a young age, and he’s determined not to let her miss out on all the fun of being a young adult.

But Heidi’s about to teach him the definition of determination—and she’s armed with a set of handcuffs. One turbo-charged night later, Rafe is left with a decision: Lose her friendship…or lose her love.

Page Number: On the eBookwise, it says it’s page 94.

“How could he regret what had happened between them? She’d felt their souls connect, just as surely as their bodies had.

So give me a little tease from your current read. What are you currently reading?

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NT: Hi Cindy! Thank you for interviewing with RRAH. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

CG: I’m pretty boring, I’m afraid.  I love music, my family, our animals – hubby raises quarter horses and we have 2 house cats that pretty much run over us plus a Brittany spaniel, named Margaret who is absolutely adorable.  I like to read (of course) love to travel – some of my travel adventures include swimming with the giant manta rays in the Grand Caymans, hiking the Grand Canyon, white water rafting, and getting robbed while in Rome :o).  Since I sold my first book back in 1991, I’ve gone on to write 40 more and hope I have another 40 in my future.  I LOVE crafting stories, love the romance of them, the thrill of seeing my books on the shelves and adore hearing from my readers.

NT: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How long did it take for you to make your first sale?

CG: I was a slow starter.  I had always been a reader and devoured everything I got my hands on – from biographies to epics and sagas to nonfiction – but it wasn’t long after I discovered romance novels that I got bitten by the writing bug.  I wrote and reworked my first book a dozen times before I finally sent it out.  It never sold, but I learned a lot writing that book.  M my forth completed manuscript finally caught Elizabeth Barrett’s eye for the now defunct Loveswept line at Bantam.  Seemed like a dream come true.  Still does.

NT: Is writing a full-time job for you or do you juggle another job?

CG: Once upon a time – not so long ago – I worked full time as a trainer for the Iowa Department of Human Services.  It was a high pressure, very detail oriented position and I finally had to make a decision to continue with it or the writing.  I chose the writing. I’d been published for about 10 years in category romance at that point and figured it was time to see if I could make it as a full time writer in the single title market.  Fortunately, it’s been working out very nicely, and quitting the ‘day’ job proved to be a very good decision.

NT: You have SHOW NO MERCY out this month. Followed quickly by TAKE NO PRISONERS in November and WHISPER NO LIES in January 2009. Tell us about the books. What inspired the idea for this series?

CG: Thanks for the plug! :o)  SHOW NO MERCY actually hits the shelves today in many locations so I’m jazzed X 10!  But to answer your question, I’d written the 6 Bodyguard books, felt that they had had a good run but that it was time to move on to something a little different and a little bigger.  During the writing of the last BG book (INTO THE DARK) several secondary characters materialized who were so intriguing and compelling that I knew I had to write their stories.  Of course, I didn’t know their stories at the time, but I took a page from Field of Dreams – “If I write it they will come” – and Black, Ops., Inc. was born.  The first 3 books of the series features Gabe – the Archangel – Jones, Sam Lang and Johnny Duane Reed.  I love to write fast paced, high-octane romantic adventure suspense and these boys – and the rest of the men of Black Ops., Inc. – were tailor made for that type of story.  They’re alpha warriors, patriots, irreverent and intriguing.  And yeah, a little bit wounded.  What’s not to like?

NT: Which of your characters’ story was the hardest to write? Which was the easiest?

CG: They are all hard in many ways and all easy in many. At any given time, in the process of writing any given book, someone is going to give me trouble then alternately come alive on the page with very little effort on my part.  Of the Bodyguard books, I’d say Darcy and Ethan’s story (TO THE BRINK) was the most difficult to write because they had a past that just begged to be told, yet the action all took place in the present.  I resorted to using flashbacks to make things work – a technique I generally avoid – but it was the only way to make their story come together.  In the end, it turned out being one of my favorite books because there was so much texture to both the story lines and to the characters.

NT: Do you have a writing routine? What is your average writing day like?

CG: Writing’s my job. I treat it like one which means I’m up every day and in my office by 7:30 or 8:00 am and I write until 5:00 or 6:00. Sometime, depending on how tight my deadline is, I also write weekends.  Like many writers, I do have a few little ‘rituals’ I indulge in when I work.  I HAVE to have music playing and I have to have a vanilla candle burning.  Other than that, the cats and the dog wander in and out of my office, curl up on my desk or on the love seat or on the floor at my feet and keep me company as I work. I also have bird feeders stationed outside my windows so I have something to look at when I’m stuck and searching for inspiration as I stare vacantly out the window :o).

NT: Is there any plot/setting/character that you’re dying to write but haven’t yet?

CG: Oh, I think every writer has one of those.  I’m no exception. I’ve got a book that’s been setting on the backburner for a few years.  It’s more of a romantic suspense caper than an action adventure but one of these days, I’m going to finish it and then we’ll see what happens.

NT: What aspects of your life have you found creeping into your stories?

CG: Ha. As I said, my life is very boring so, seriously, there is very little worth incorporating into any of my action adventure novels. I did, however, have the ultimate pleasure of going on a white water rafting/camping adventure in the Grand Canyon recently and some of the experiences I had on that trip made their way into a novella – DESERT HEAT – which was part of the RESCUE ME anthology that was out in July with Cherry Adair and Lora Leigh.  It truly was a great adventure that involved not only running the rapids of the Colorado in the bottom of the Canyon but hiking up steep, cavernous terrain and on one occasion, jumping off a 40 foot cliff into the river.  Talk about the ultimate rush.  Nothing like what our Army Airborne Rangers deal with in the courage department but I’ve got to tell you, it was a huge leap of face – literally – for me to take that a gigantic step off that cliff.

NT: Is there anyone you use as a sounding board when you’re stuck on a scene?

CG: I have a few sources I count on when I need an ear to help me work through either a difficult plot point or a character relationship issue.  All are fellow writers and friends and I trust and respect them implicitly.  I also feel very fortunate to have them in my life both professionally and personally.

NT: Who are some of the authors who inspired you when you were still working towards becoming published? Who are some of your favorite authors to read?

CG: This is always a difficult question to answer because I’ve had so many influences and inspirations throughout the course of my career.  I’m always afraid I’ll leave out someone important.  BUT, in the beginning, I was moved, inspired and awestruck by LaVryle Spencer, Sandra Brown, and Tom and Sharon Curtis.  I still read Sandra but the others are retired so I’ve turned to a plethora of writers – again, too many to name.

NT: What was the most interesting thing you had to research and what was the hardest thing to research?

CG: I love researching foreign countries.  I fell totally in love with Sri Lanka when I wrote UNDER THE WIRE and set a good portion of the book there.  One of the most difficult things to research and read about is the horrible business of human trafficking which played a part in WHISPER NO LIES, book 3 in my Black Ops. Inc. series.

NT: What was the most memorable reader reaction you’ve received about your books?

CG: I continue to be humbled and amazed by the mail I receive from military families.  Both husbands and wives who have spouses deployed as well as both active duty and retired military personnel.  Let me tell you, nothing tugs harder on my heart than to receive a letter from a soldier or a marine who is deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan who writes to thank me for accurately portraying what they go through before, during and after their tours or duty are over.  I mean – I’m the one who is thankful to them for all they endure!  I’ve had young men tell me that my books have saved their lives because I touched on so many of the things they were feeling and struggling to deal with.  Again, it’s a very humbling experience.

NT: When not busy writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? (If there is such a thing *G*)

CG: I’ve already mentioned travel.  In addition, we have a family cabin in northern Minnesota.  I love spending time up there with family and friends.  Often I work up there but just as often, I make it a stress free zone and just enjoy the beauty – and the laughs when it’s a girls only week at the lake.  I like to go to movies and there are some amazing dramas on TV these days.  I love, for instance, The Closer, Saving Grace, NCIS, Rescue Me, Bones – just to name a few.

NT: What are the latest additions to your TBR? What are you most eager to read?

CG: Again – too many books to count make my TBR stack precariously wobbly.  These days, when I read, it’s mostly research books.  For instance, I’m dying to get to my copy of Killing Pablo – the story of the hunt for Pablo Escobar, the notorious and brutal Colombian drug czar, as I plan to set part of my current work in progress in Colombia.

NT: Any advice to aspiring authors? What craft books helped you that you would recommend to aspiring writers?

CG: You know, I’ve never been one for craft books.  Probably should have been :o) but I learned to write by reading and by trial and error.  I would read and reread favorite books over and over again, searching for clues as to how that author evoked a particular emotion in me, how they developed the relationship between the H/H, how they twisted that plot point into something compelling instead of something predictable.  Then I would try to emulate those techniques and apply the principles to my own work.  It’s always been a lot of hit and misses for me as I work to improve my craft.  I do, however, recommend Bird By Bird, by Anne Lamot for those times when the muse deserts you or energy leaves you or doubt overcomes you.  She never fails to give me something to shore me up and get me lead me back toward productivity.

NT: What can your fans look forward to from you in the near future? What are you working on now?

CG: I’m currently pulling together additional books in my Black Ops, Inc. series.  Hopefully, we’ll have some titles and pub dates in the very near future.

NT: How can readers contact you?

CG: I love for readers to visit my website at www.cindygerard.com.   They can either send me an e-mail or better yet – visit my message boards and leave comments which I always respond to.  I also blog on a regular basis with the amazing and talented crew at www.ridingwiththetopdown.blogspot.com.  It’s a great place to hang out.

*****Leave a comment for the chance to win a book from Cindy’s backlist!

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The sultry heat . . .

Only two things can compel journalist Jenna McMillan back to Buenos Aires after terrorists held her captive there just months before: a rare interview with a shadowy billionaire and the memory of the dark and dangerous man who saved her. . . .

Hides the deadliest threats . . .

Bad guys, bombs, and bullets are Gabriel Jones’s way of life. But he’ll never forget the brash redhead he rescued not so long ago . . . or the passionate kiss they shared before he sent her packing.

And exposes the deepest desires. . . .

Now, forced together by a bombing at the National Congress, Jenna and Gabe confront the urgent longings that simmer between them. But this surprise meeting is no coincidence. A ruthless enemy stalks them with deadly precision. The question is . . . if they make it out alive, will Gabe turn his back on Jenna . . . again?

A dangerous attraction . . .

Abbie Hughes no longer trusts men, but despite her cool indifference, her long legs and showgirl face still draw plenty of advances. Between working as a Vegas blackjack dealer, going to school, and keeping an eye on her younger brother, Cory, there’s no time for romance—until the night a sexy, mysterious stranger places a wager at her table.

Spurred by revenge . . .

Sam Lang left Black Ops, Inc. when tragedy struck his family. Although he’s determined to retire his M-16 rifle and K-bar knife to lead a quiet life on his ranch, a vengeful quest will send him on a dangerous manhunt for the ruthless international crime lord who murdered his sister.

. . . Reveals a savage threat they can’t ignore.

Though Sam suspects Abbie is in on a lucrative gem-smuggling deal her brother made with the enemy, their attraction is undeniable. Now Cory is missing, and together they search the wild backcountry of Honduras to find him. With evil on their trail and bearing down, they must trust each other completely or face certain death alone. . . .

An indecent proposal . . .

When a high roller at the Vegas casino where Crystal Debrowski manages security makes a scandalous proposition, she flat-out refuses, especially given rumors of his shady overseas connections. But then counterfeit bills mysteriously flood the gaming tables, and her reputation—and her life—are on the line.

Reveals a simmering desire . . .

Despite his big, flirty grin, Texas heartbreaker Johnny Duane Reed can’t get sassy Crystal off his mind. When she asks him to help her defend herself from an international crime lord with a threatening obsession, he takes a leave from Black Ops, Inc., to pursue a dangerous mission of his own.

. . . With deadly consequences.

Between Crystal and Johnny burns a scorching flame, but as they trace her relentless stalker to a remote hideaway on the other side of the world, they uncover a malicious arms trafficking and slavery ring. Together, they must destroy the tyrant’s wicked enterprise or face his reign of terror themselves. . . .

These books will be out September, October & December 2008.

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How do you choose between love and honor?

Menage and More Anthology

Madeline Jones is having the time of her life with Gabriel Carter, a man who fulfills every one of her sexual fantasies. She’s sure it can’t get any better than this…until Gabe introduces her to his best friend.

When Connor Regan enters the mix, sparks fly. Suddenly Maddie wants more than just Gabe, she wants Connor, too. The two men seem happy to oblige.

But threesomes have a way of getting complicated. Hearts can be broken. Although Gabe and Connor play by a strict set of rules designed to minimize the damage, true love does not always adhere to the guidelines.

Sometimes, to fulfill the dream of having the love of a lifetime, even the most comprehensive codes of honor have to be challenged.

Even erotic romance writers are just ordinary people

Have you ever found yourself in this situation?

It’s been a long day. Work has you stressed. The kids are tired, ratty and refusing to do homework. The dog needs to be fed – as he constantly reminds you with his nose burrowed longingly in his empty bowl. There’s dirty washing piled up in every spare corner of the house. The dishwasher – though run – has yet to be unpacked, and there’s something you needed to get at the shops, but for the life of you, you cannot remember what. DH is coming home late so he cannot help with bath and bedtime, and all you really want to do is sneak into your room, climb beneath your covers and sleep for a week.

It’s at that point exactly, when so fatigued you know you cannot handle one more whiny child or barking dog, that you suddenly remember what you were supposed to buy: Dinner!

Now it’s too late. No way are you putting the kids in the car again. (Shooting yourself in the kneecaps would be preferable.) You can’t phone for pizza, because even the children have threatened your life if they have to eat it one more time this week. You can’t order Thai, because the restaurant owner now greets you by name as soon as he hears your voice and asks if you’re ordering take out again tonight.

Worse still, you realize with that sinking feeling, the fresh fruit is finished and the last tomato is rotting quietly in the fridge. Even the cheese, which might just have allowed you to make grilled cheese sandwiches (had you had any bread), has molded into a sickening shade of green and black.

Alas, I have been in this situation too many times to count. Thank heaven for processed food is all I can say. That lifesaving box of fish fingers at the back of the freezer. And that free-from-any-healthy-ingredients, made-with-not-so-real-chicken-meat box of chicken nuggets.  As for two minute noodles? A god send. I have also been known to stare gratefully at a single can of creamed corn in the cupboard, and think: “Shew! Something healthy to feed the children.”

So, yes, I stockpile tins of tuna, bottles of pasta sauce and even those processed frozen foods no decent mother who cares about her children should keep in her house. And yes, I’m guilty of feeding this stuff to my children –  altogether too often. But, in my defense, I have been told that feeding them unhealthy food is better than starving them. 😉

So is it just me? Am I the only mother in the world who simply forgets to buy her family dinner? Or are there more of me out there? Everyday women just trying to get through the everyday tasks life demands of us, without neglecting to feed our children in the process?
Jess

Jess’s website: http://www.jessdee.com
Jess’s Blog: http://jessdee.wordpress.com
Contact Jess: jess@jessdee.com

PS: Sending cyber hugs to Fatin. Thank you for having me over.

****Leave a comment for the chance to win a download of PHOTO OPPORTUNITY. Good Luck!

Can friends become lovers…can lovers remain friends?

A prequel to Ask Adam.

Daniel Tanner’s through with being loved like the proverbial brother. He intends to make his best friend, Amy Morgan, blaze with the same desire he feels for her. The plan? Initiate a series of escapades that will have Amy falling into his arms—and into his bed.

When her trusted buddy suddenly turns up the heat, Amy finds it impossible to resist his sexy advances. But as his best friend, she knows a thing or two about Daniel. While he may be charming and gorgeous, he’s also commitment phobic.

If she trusts her heart to him, she’s sure he’ll leave it—and their friendship—shattered in a million pieces.

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