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Archive for August, 2011

Savannah Levine is in terrible danger, and for once she’s powerless to help herself. At the conclusion of Waking the Witch, Savannah swore that she would give up her powers if it would help a young girl. Little did she know that someone would take her up on that promise.

And now, witch hunting assassins, necromancers, half-demons, and rogue witches all seem to be after her. The threat is not just for Savannah; every member of the Otherworld might be at risk. While most of her fellow supernaturals are circling the wagons at a gathering of the council in Miami, Savannah is caught on the road, isolated from those who can protect her and unable to use her vast spell casting talent, the thing she counts on most. In a story that will change the shape of the Otherworld forever, Spell Bound gathers Elena, Clay, Paige, Lucas, Jaime, Hope, and others, who soon learn that the greatest threat to supernaturals just may come from within.

 

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When I speak to new writers, some questions are asked with predictable regularity. One that seems to crop up every time is the fear of idea-theft. Sometimes it’s writers who are terrified of joining a writing group, for fear of having their idea stolen. Other times, writers worry that someone else has already done “their idea” and they’ll be accused of stealing it.

I have a simple answer for both concerns. You can’t copyright ideas. There’s a reason for that.  Ideas are cheap and plentiful.  It’s the execution that matters.

A few months ago I was sent a link to a posting on eBay, where someone was trying to sell a book idea…for over a million dollars. This link was passed through the writing community with much amusement. It’s not the first time someone has thought their idea was worth a fortune. Many writers have had the experience of hearing: “hey, I have a great idea for a book—how about you write it and we’ll split the money.”  To a non-writer, this makes perfect sense. To a writer, it’s like someone sketching a house on a cocktail napkin and saying “You build it and we’ll split the profits.”  The concept is only step one of a very long hike.

I tell writing workshop groups that I could give all of them the premise for my first novel, Bitten: “female werewolf is trying to live as a human, but must return to the Pack to fight an uprising” and no two would write the same book.  Some would approach it as fantasy, some as horror, romance, action…  Even if I specified genre, they would all have different plots, characters, settings and writing styles.  Different books, every one.

That’s not to say that no one will ever accuse you of stealing an idea. That’s a given. I swear everyone writing paranormal these days has been accused of ripping off Twilight…even those of us who were published in the genre years earlier. But those are the rare exceptions and would never evolve into actual accusations of plagiarism. Everyone with any knowledge of literature realizes that there are a limited number of stories out there. Yet we continue to read them because we want to enjoy each author’s take on the standards.

All a writer can do is try to come up with fresh take on a concept. It’s that freshness that will help her story stand out from the crowd. Worrying about that is just one more excuse for not finishing your book.  We must all trust that our story will be unique…because it is ours and no one else writes the way we do.

 

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She had never forgotten him…

 

Miss Octavia Pierce is witty, well off, and shockingly unwed. Still, she is far too successful in society to remain on the shelf forever, and her family has hopes that Octavia will finally make the perfect match. What they do not know is that years earlier Octavia was scandalously tempted by the one man capable of sweeping her off her feet—the man now known as the Marquess of Doreé.

 

A third son, never meant to inherit, Lord Ben Doreé has abandoned his past and grown accustomed to his illustrious new position of wealth and power. But he has never forgotten Octavia, and now she desperately needs his help in a most dangerous, clandestine matter. Although she claims she has put the memories of the passion they shared behind her, Ben is determined to once again have her in his arms—and in his bed.

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Falling in love is insane.

 

We all know there are many kinds of love. The true love of friendship. The deep love of parents. The precious, joyful love of children. The loyal, bonded love of brothers and sisters. The love of pets. The love of girlfriends who’ll do anything for one another, even when not asked. The love of country, of dance or music or theater, and of those in need. The love of a couple married so long that although they could finish one another’s sentences they don’t because they still enjoy hearing each other speak.

 

So many beautiful ways to love. And yet, all love is fraught with danger. When you give your heart, let’s face it, it hurts when someone steps on it. Real, honest love takes courage and trust and hope.

 

But falling in love — romantic love — requires a special sort of insanity.

 

It’s like jumping off a cliff. Above, there is blue sky and sparkling sunshine. Below, there is deep, cool, embracing water, but there are also rocks and crashing surf. The air is at once bracing and warm, your body floating while thrills whisk through every artery, your breath thinning, your heart pounding ever faster as you plummet.

 

Plummet.

 

Love is… dangerous.

 

And that is the sort of love story I love to write most.

 

NOTE: I am not a thrill-seeker. I like my comfy house (not on a cliffside, btw), my small-town life, and my job where every day I get to sit down to a computer rather than sail across a perilous sea (or something equally adventuresome). I don’t do extreme sports, I drink decaf, and I read the entire guidebook before I even buy my plane ticket.

 

Perhaps we should call me an armchair adventurer. Because I simply adore hurling my heroes and heroines into the kind of love that throws them off the cliff of safety and into emotions so deep, so embracing, there’s very little breathing going on at all. Roller coaster love, the sort that sweeps them from the depths of lost hope to the heights of sheer bliss.

 

But, actually, that’s not entirely honest. Because with true love, real love — even the roller coaster kind — hope is never entirely lost. Hope, in fact, is what makes the ride worth riding.

 

When Miss Octavia Pierce, the heroine of IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS, first presented herself to me, a young miss on the verge of her introduction into society, with coltishly long legs sprawled in an armchair and an Atlas of the World in her lap, I knew right away she was the adventuresome sort. I wasn’t the only one. Ben Doreé noticed too. Not yet the titled lord he would soon become, but nevertheless confident (as handsome young noblemen are wont to be), he told me quite clearly that he wanted Octavia to be his heroine. For, as I came to discover, Lord Tall, Dark and Mysterious had a streak of danger in him that made falling in love with a girl like Octavia not only unwise but truly insane.

 

Like I’ve said, I cannot resist a really tumultuous love story. Especially not first love. Young love. Passionate love. Forbidden love. Love that is destined to be torn apart. For years.

 

But oh how sweet… how satisfying… how delectable the reunion.

 

Danger. Hope. Powerful, enduring love that conquers all.

 

Insane, I tell you. Insane.

 

 

From plummeting into love to buying that red spandex dress for way too much money, what insane thing have you done lately?

 

IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS is part of Avon’s K.I.S.S. and Teal campaign to raise awareness about Ovarian Cancer and support for research and families suffering from this stealthy disease. Proceeds from the sale of IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS and six other Avon titles will go to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. http://www.kissandteal.com
 
 

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A big thank you to Katharine for joining us today!

For more information on Katharine and her books, please visit www.katharineashe.com.

 

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Ewan McCabe, the eldest, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his—until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him. Mairin may be the salvation of Ewan’s clan, but for a man who dreams only of revenge, matters of the heart are strange territory to conquer.

Though the illegitimate daughter of the king, Mairin possesses prized property that has made her a pawn—and wary of love. Her worst fears are realized when she is rescued from peril, only to be forced into marriage by her charismatic and commanding savior, Ewan McCabe. But her attraction to her ruggedly powerful new husband finds her craving his surprisingly tender touch; her body comes alive under his sensual mastery. And as war draws near, Mairin’s strength, spirit, and passion challenge Ewan to conquer his demons—and embrace a love that means more than revenge and land.

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Giveaway!

Happy Highlander Day! Fatin and I both loved this book and we want to share the love. Three commenters will win a copy of In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks, print or kindle edition. To be entered in the giveaway, tell me about your favorite type of hero. Is he dark and dangerous? Strong and loyal? Hot and fun? Winners will be drawn on Tuesday (9/6). Good luck!

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Kate Austin and Josee Renard are one and the same person – sort of. At least they share the same body, though they can’t always guarantee the same mind. Kate writes women’s fiction with a dash of magic realism, Josee writes erotica with more than a dash of romance. This means that each of them gets the best of both worlds. But, because Kate/Josee doesn’t want you to be as confused as she is some days, she’s going to write this blog as Josee, mostly because – right now – Josee is doing something THAT’S ABSOLUTELY FANTASTICALLY FUN! And oh yeah, she’s the one who got the invite.

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Jules and Mercy have been friends since grade school; sex-mates since high school. They started and run Part Time Lovers, a website catering to anyone who wants sex and wants it now—Jules and Mercy are partners in every way. But this week Jules is lusting after a barista who isn’t available.

Mercy sets him up with Jeanne, who needs to remember how sexy she truly is, and Jules is fascinated by her. They spent an erotic, enchanting night together while Jules forgets the barista and Jeanne remembers her younger, sexier self.

 

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By the time you read this blog, I will have – magically – become Charles Dicken, or at least a Dickens write-a-like.

And I love it.

If you’re thinking Tiny Tim or Little Nell or David Copperfield or Miss Havisham, stop right now (although Little Nell might put you on the right track). One of the things I most admire about Dickens is his ability to write to deadlines – especially when he was writing those complicated, multi-character, multi-plotline stories like The Old Curiosity Shop. He wrote and published a chapter a week, the final chapter of which kept people waiting in lines at shops and on the docks in New York to find out what had happened to Little Nell.

My Dickens moment – or year, more accurately – is this. I’ve written a serial, just like Dickens and The Old Curiosity Shop. It’s coming out in a slightly more modern form, e-publishing rather than in a weekly paper, but it’s coming out one linked story after another. It was an interesting process because, unlike Dickens, I wanted readers to be able to pick up one story and enjoy it on its own, but I also wanted the stories to be connected.

Although the stories are initially being e-pubbed, they’ll come out as a print book, hopefully early next year.

So in order to ensure that they actually turned out to be a serial rather than just a bunch of stories with the same title, I connected them in several ways:  through Stevie Wonder song titles, through the Part Time Lovers website, through the setting (Vancouver)  and the long-time friends who run it – Jules and Mercy.

The first story in Part Time Lovers – That’s What Friends are For – is available on August 10, the second one – Treat Myself – on August 24. Then September 7 – Kiss Lonely Goodbye – and 21 – Superstition – a break during October, and then one a week until the beginning of December.

I’ve had a terrific time writing these stories – I love Jules and Mercy and the relationship they’ve had since grade school. I love writing about places in Vancouver. I love being able to continue Jules and Mercy’ stories. And I love the fact that I’m able to write about all kinds of different people in the 10 stories. It makes me want to write another serial next year – I just have to think about a place to start, a connection that will link them all together but allow me the freedom to write different stories each time.

Any ideas?

Here’s the website’s homepage and there’s a contest at the bottom to win a copy of one of my books. Enjoy!

 

Welcome to Part Time Lovers

            This is your invitation to play, to experiment, to fulfill your deepest, darkest fantasy or get down and dirty – and then walk away. No regrets, no recriminations, no rules.

We  want  you to make the rules for your encounter. There are no forms to complete, no wish lists, no compatibility tests. Just jump right in. Part Time Lovers is about hooking up with the right person for right now.

We know your desires change—maybe even from one day to the next—because ours do. We created this Website to accommodate every single one of your desires.

This week you might want a quick fuck; next week that high school fantasy or the hot vampire you just read about in your favorite book. Part Time Lovers is the place for you to find your dream lover.

So come on in. Someone is waiting for you.

            Mercy and Jules

 

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A big thank you to Josee for joining us today!

To find out more information about Josee and her backlist, please visit www.joseerenard.com. And for a chance to win a digital copy of Treat Myself (release date 8/24), you just have to answer a simple question. What is your favorite Stevie Wonder song title?

 

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Lots of winners!

Anna

wins Clay: Armed & Dangerous by Cheyenne McCray

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Lindsey Arnold

wins Kade: Armed & Dangers by Cheyenne McCray

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Marjana

wins a digital book from Jess Dee’s backlist

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Colleen

wins a digital book from Vivian Arend’s backlist

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Lisa Richards

wins a New York Sabers book by Farrah Rochon

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StacieDM

wins a digital book from Lexxie Couper’s backlist

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Pamela (@SpazP)

wins a signed, bound galley of NEVER ENOUGH by Lauren Dane

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Danielle Gorman

wins Mistress by Mistake by Maggie Robinson

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

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Thanks so much for having me back to talk about Mistress by Marriage, the last Mistress book in the Courtesan Court series! I am especially fond of this book, since the heroine is a romance writer. She writes the naughty “Courtesan Court” books—just like me, LOL. Here’s the back cover blurb:

 

Too late for cold feet

Baron Edward Christie prided himself on his reputation for even temperament and reserve. That was before he met Caroline Parker. Wedding a scandalous beauty by special license days after they met did not inspire respect for his sangfroid. Moving her to a notorious lovebirds’ nest as punishment for her flighty nature was perhaps also a blow. And of course talk has gotten out of his irresistible clandestine visits. Christie must put his wife aside—if only he can get her out of his blood first.

Too hot to refuse

Caroline Parker was prepared to hear the worst: that her husband had determined to divorce her, spare them both the torture of passion they can neither tame nor escape. But his plan is wickeder than any she’s ever heard. Life as his wife is suffocating. But she cannot resist becoming her own husband’s mistress…

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Sound interesting? Mistress by Marriage doesn’t have the usual romance timeline. (boy meets girl, boy and girl fight, boy and girl make up and marry) Here Edward (the very proper boy) and  Caroline (the very improper girl) have already met, married, fought and separated. They’re on their way to a divorce (which was practically impossible to get in Regency times), but I couldn’t let that happen, or there would be no book, LOL. It was pure pleasure melting Edward’s icy-cold heart to make him realize that fiery Caroline is just what he needs.

Opposites can attract, but repel as well. In real life it’s probably more comfortable to marry someone you have something in common with, but in fiction it’s fun to throw two totally opposite personalities together and watch the sparks fly. Think of Dain and Jessica in Loretta Chase’s wonderful Lord of Scoundrels. Who are your favorite “opposite” couples in fact or fiction? (My husband is a huge jock, former coach and avid sports enthusiast. I have trouble walking a straight line and don’t know the difference between a line drive and a linebacker.) One commenter gets a signed copy of Mistress by Marriage!

For excerpts and more info, please visit www.maggierobinson.net

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