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Archive for June, 2011

Soldier Alex Dane promised his dying comrade he’d make sure his wife and daughter were okay, and so he finds himself on a doorstep with his heart in his mouth.

Lisa Kennedy loved her husband, but she must focus on her daughter, Lilly, who hasn’t spoken since her daddy’s death. Still, the least she can do is offer this battle-weary hero a place to rest.

When Lilly’s little hand reaches for Alex’s big, strong one, for the first time Lisa feels her buried emotions begin to stir.

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Because I work full-time and have a family, there are days when I find it impossible to spend time on my romance writing. Sometimes, those days can turn into weeks, and it’s often hard to get back into a story without sitting for hours and reviewing the entire book. This is one of the reasons I like to make a collage for every story I write, because it’s a great visual tool to help an author jump straight back into a story.

Casting my main characters, their pets and even the house or area they live in, creates an instant visual of the world I’m trying to create. If I haven’t worked on my story for a few days, I can sit back, stare at my collage, and instantly be transported back into the world of my characters. I can see my hero and heroine and remember the important details like their eye and hair colour, and I can look at their children or pets too, and for me, that means I can usually launch immediately back into writing. I might still read over the last chapter or few pages to make sure I start in the right place again, but the collage is a great kick-starting tool.

Music can have the same impact for me, and when I’m gazing at my collage, made up of images pulled from the internet, I listen to the same song or music too. I’d hate to think how many times I’ve listened to John Mayer’s version of Free Falling … sometimes it plays in the background on repeat for over half an hour!

 

For my debut release, I had the most gorgeous photos of celebrities Eric Dane and Rachel McAdams, along with a picture of a pretty little girl and a house by the lake, pinned to the board next to my deck. They were great inspiration, and I love that my US cover reflects the same tone and feel that I imagined for the story.

If you were creating your own collage, who would be your perfect hero or heroine and why? The best response will win a copy of my debut novel, Soldier on Her Doorstep. The winner can choose either the US copy that is about to hit the shelves, or the UK copy that forms a duo with Donna Alward’s latest release.

*Giveaway has ended*

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Injured in the line of duty, Young Corinthian agent Marcus Maxwell, the Earl of Weston, travels to his country estate to recover—or so he believes. His superior’s request that he investigate a smuggling ring run by Napoleon sympathizers seems ridiculous at first, but then becomes all-too threatening as pieces of a treacherous puzzle begin to fall into place. And the most troubling piece of all is Miss Sarah Tisdale, an unconventional beauty whose lust for life is rivaled only by her ability to drive Marcus to distraction. When her family comes under suspicion, Marcus must watch her very, very closely…even if her touch ignites the deep, fiery desire burning just beneath his cool façade.

When it comes to suitors, Sarah’s lush curves and perfectly kissable lips aren’t enough to compensate for her outspoken and willful nature. Sarah’s tasted disappointment before, and she long ago decided that she’s better off without an overbearing husband. Still, flirting with the sinfully handsome Marcus is a pastime worth savoring—even when it leads to wicked pleasures. But when Sarah’s life is in jeopardy, Marcus discovers that the fire between them can no longer be denied—and that he’ll do anything to keep her in his arms.

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I’ve had a number of people ask where I get my story ideas. And that’s a really good question! The idea for my first book, The Devil in Disguise, hit me at the gym. Actually, to be more specific, the hero William Randall’s face landed in my brain with all the force of a 100 pound weight while I labored on the elliptical. As for the second book, The Angel in My Arms? Well, it continues the Young Corinthians’ adventures, so there were threads that needed to be woven throughout the new story. And agent Marcus Maxwell, the Earl of Weston, and his endearing horse Pokie had captured my heart when I wrote about them in Devil. I knew that I wanted to create a happily ever after for the dashing though damaged YC. But where? And with whom?

Enter one Miss Sarah Tisdale—although, in all honesty, it was Sarah’s dog Titus and his memorable first meeting with Marcus that captured my attention. I was walking my own dogs and passed an enormous bull mastiff on our route. He was magnificent. So large, and strong, and soft, and drooly. Perfect character material! And just what sort of person would own a mastiff in Regency times? One would think a lord, yes? Which is why I made it a miss, and the rest, as they say, is history. Well, it is after a run-in with smugglers, a cache of priceless emeralds are dealt with, and Marcus and Sarah manage to stop arguing long enough to realize that they’ve fallen in love.

And my third installment in the series, The Sinner Who Seduced Me? I was pining for Paris, but I’ll save that story for the book’s release date. See, story ideas come from absolutely everywhere—and, everything and everyone, apparently. You’ve just got to be ready for them. And a pen and paper on hand is pretty convenient too.

Please check out an excerpt from The Angel in My Arms here:

http://www.stefaniesloane.com/books/the-angel-in-my-arms/#read-an-excerpt

And sign up to receive my newsletter, where you’ll automatically be entered to win a signed copy:

http://www.stefaniesloane.info/lists/?p=subscribe&id=1

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Many thanks to Stefanie for joining us today!

To find out more about Stefanie, please visit www.stefaniesloane.com. And for a chance to win THE ANGEL IN MY ARMS, leave a comment below. Good luck! 😀


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Winners!

Lisa Guertin

wins TIN ANGEL and AGAINST THE WIND by Kat Martin

*

TrishJ

wins the Sarah Mäkelä giveaway

*

UNCLAIMED PRIZE

Joder

is the new winner of a backlist book from Bethany Kane/Beth Kery

*

Congratulations to all the winners! Please contact me at lillie80 at gmail dot com to claim your prize.

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Got your drool cloth ready? Jaci Burton revealed the cover for the next Play-By-Play novel at her blog today.

Damn. Just…damn. *speechless*

 

If you want to score, you have to get in the game…The last thing Jenna Riley needs is more sports in her life. While her brothers are off being athletic superstars, she’s stuck running the family’s sports bar, whether she likes it or not. Then in walks pro hockey stud Tyler Anderson. As much as Jenna would like to go to the boards with him, she’s vowed to never fall for a jock—even one as hot as Ty.

Ty, intrigued by the beautiful bar owner, becomes a regular. He senses that Jenna wants to do something more with her life. And as he gains her trust, the passion between them grows, as does Ty’s insistence that Jenna should start living for herself. With his encouragement, Jenna starts to believe it, too…

But first, Jenna has to figure out what she wants, what she needs, who she loves, and if she has the passion and pride to take a shot at having it all—including Ty…

For the sake of unbiased comparison (and not for any lustful reasons at all :D), let’s take a look at the previous covers of this series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*still speechless*

 

 

 

 

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Private Investigator Hannah Franklin’s life is turned upside down after being contacted by a former employee of MAX Home Security, the leader in security services. But they’re not just protecting people anymore. Hannah’s informant claims to have proof that MAX has ordered the assassination of politicians who stood against the corporation.

When her informant is killed and an attempt is made on her life, Hannah has no choice but to contact a freelance hacker. Her only hope now lies in the hands of a man she never expected to welcome back into her life.

Ian Bradley has lost his girlfriend and his job, as well as having acquired a very annoying gnome. Now his ex, Hannah, is in danger, and she needs his help. Ian vows to protect Hannah with every resource available to him — and as a technomage in a high-tech world, his resources are almost endless…

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

 

I have to admit. I’ve never been one for comedy. If there’s a thriller or something comedic, I’ll go with the thriller. Experiencing something more intense or dark has been my preference. But even those movies will probably have a little comedic relief or the viewer would end up flopping over because they couldn’t catch their breath or their emotions are just so raw.

 

With Techno Crazed, I finally figured out to utilize the chance for comedic relief. I’m glad I did too. Every time I read it, I laugh along through some of the funny parts. It’s tough to find the right mix sometimes, but I had help through Ian’s sidekick Bernard, a gnome. *grins* I didn’t mean that kind of “little humor” in the title, but it works. When things are at their most intense, he tends to find the most out-there obnoxiously funny things to say.

 

I think one of the important things is that the humor just flows between the characters. If someone tries to force it, the readers will be able to tell. Writing humor on paper is harder than saying it because when you say it, you’re helped out by the intonation and seeing the person’s face. When you write it, you have to try to capture it by showing the reader those things or it might fall flat.

 

I really hope you enjoy the excerpt! Below is a question to answer if you’d like to be entered into my contest.

 

Excerpt:

 

A loud, metallic click sounded from the other side of the room. Then footsteps raced around the couch.

 

“Hannah? Are you okay?” Ian’s voice drew her gaze to his concerned face.

 

“What did you do? What are you?” She gulped, unsure if she wanted an answer to that.

 

He frowned, and a muscle clenched in his jaw. “I’m a technomage. I use and simulate magic through technology.”

 

“What?” She pressed the back of her hand to her forehead. Pain formed at her temples. “Whoa. How long have you… ?”

 

“Since puberty. My mother was also a technomage.” He shrugged a shoulder. “It’s always been part of who I am. I’m just pretty good at hiding it.”

 

She blinked. Wow, his mother had seemed so normal when she’d met his parents. Had she really known him? He seemed like a stranger. No, she wouldn’t throw away their memories together because he’d hidden part of himself. She wouldn’t do that to him. Or she’d try not to, at least. “Were you ever going to tell me? Like if things had progressed between us?”

 

He helped her up and grabbed the blanket, keeping her covered. “I would have, eventually. Wouldn’t be nice of me to do otherwise, you know?”

 

She nodded and stared into his brown eyes. “I’ve missed you.”

 

He released a breath and rested his forehead against hers. “I’ve missed you too. God, I really screwed things up, didn’t I?”

 

Placing her hand against his chest, she angled her face to brush her lips against his. “We both did.”

 

Ian ran his hand through her hair, cupping the back of her head before deepening the kiss. His mouth possessed hers like a thirsty man at a well. He always kissed hard and desperately, and she loved it.

 

Ian scooped her into his arms, making her feel desirable. He carried her into the bedroom and kicked the door shut. Crossing the room, he set her down and ran his hands over her neck, shoulders, and down to her hips.

 

“You’re so beautiful, Hannah. I missed out on a lot when –”

 

“Hush. Don’t think about that. We’re together now.” She drew his face down to hers, kissing him.

 

He held himself over her, obviously being careful of her wounded state. She appreciated that, but part of her didn’t care about the injury, she just needed him.

 

He stiffened and glanced over his shoulder, looking at the door. She followed his gaze to see the gnome peeking inside.

 

“Sorry to disturb the party. As much as I’d like to listen to you two HAVE SEX, there’s stuff to be done!” Bernard looked as happy as ever, and she so wanted to wipe that cheerfulness off his face.

 

Yet he was right. Damn it. She still needed to check out the donut shop. There was a possibility they might find evidence of a struggle that they could bring to the police. But hadn’t she heard a couple weeks back about someone spreading rumors of police involvement with MAX Home Security? Ian rolled next to her and placed his hands over his face. He let out a ragged sigh. “Fine. We’ll be out in a moment.”

 

“No more SEX!” The gnome slammed the door behind him.

 

Do you like books that have humor in them, but aren’t necessarily comedies? If so, why?

Techno Crazed available now from Changeling Press!

Find me online at:
Website: www.sarahmakela.com
Blog: http://blog.sarahmakela.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/sarahmakela

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Jessica Taggart came west seeking adventure, and no hard-drinking, easy-living rogue like Jake Weston was going to stop her from finding it. Event if it meant being his partner in the Tin Angel, the most notorious brothel on the Barbary Coast. Even if she had to resist his determined seduction when all she really wanted was to melt in his arms.

Jake had no intention of sharing the Tin Angel with some high society, know-it-all-female from Boston. But Jessica’s beauty, spirited independence, and sensual, responsive nature made him want to swear off other women forever.

And when Jessie proceeded to get shipwrecked, kidnapped, and almost killed, Jake swore to do whatever was necessary to keep her safe─whether she wanted his help or not.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

Something new is happening for me this month….the re-issue of an old western romance, one of earliest novels, TIN ANGEL. What makes it different is that this is the only book my husband (a western author of more than 25 books) and I ever wrote together.

In the story, when her father dies, beautiful and strong-willed Jessica Taggart, born and raised in Boston, travels all the way to San Francisco to help manage the Tin Angel, the business willed to her by her late father. There she meets the ruggedly handsome, arrogant and domineering Jake Weston, her father’s partner and now Jessie’s, a man hell-bent on proving she can’t handle the job and determined to force her to sell him her share of the Tin Angel.

Not the restaurant Jessie believes when she leaves Boston, but the most notorious whore house on the Barbary Coast.

I had such fun writing this book, a story they called at the time, A Moonlighting set in the West, after the Bruce Willis, Cybil Shepard TV show. Having never collaborated on a book, we decided that Larry would write Jake’s point of view, and I would write Jessie’s. Jake starts by writing a series of letters to Jessie, telling her not to come West, that he will buy her out and send her the money. Jessie writs back, telling him in no uncertain terms that she is leaving Boston on the next train to California.

Neither of us knew how the other would respond to the pages we were handed. We just rolled with the punches and had a heckuva lot of fun as we worked.

The story ended up being very different from what I usually write and since it’s a sexy romance, way, way different from what my husband usually writes.

It’s only available in print from Amazon, but it has a fabulous new cover, and it’s available in all e-book formats.

It you’re ready to read something just for fun, I hope you’ll give TIN ANGEL a try. And we both hope you enjoy it.

Also, please go to my new website and enter my KINDLE SWEEPSTAKES. The winner will receive a 3rd Generation KINDLE and two of my books. Click here to enter.

Very best wishes, Kat and L.J. Martin

 

p.s. Anyone who joins in the fun and posts a comment will be entered in a contest to win a copy of Tin Angel and Against the Wind!

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

A big thank you to Kat for joining us today!

For more info on Kat and her backlist, please visit katbooks.com. And don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway. Good luck! 😀

 

 

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Winners!

Michelle McMichael and Shadow

wins GODDESS WITH A BLADE by Lauren Dane

*

Pauline

wins a Beth Kery/Bethany Kane book

*

Stephanie M

wins the Kendal Corbitt giveaway

*

Congratulations to all the winners! Please contact me at lillie80 at gmail dot com to claim your prize.

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