Archive for June 11th, 2012

He was just looking for a night of fun.

After a wild work-sponsored Halloween party, entomologist Sam McLean wakes up with a spotty memory—and a pointy set of fangs. Sam’s one-night stand wasn’t just dressed as a vampire; she had the bite to match. Somehow, Sam ends up at the OOPS office, where paranormal crisis counselors Nina, Marty and Wanda give him the down-low on accidentally becoming a creature of the night.

What he got was an eternity of trouble.

Sam is speeding through the stages of newbie grief, until a woman named Phoebe Reynolds bursts onto the scene claiming to be Nina’s sister—resulting in a catfight that ends with Phoebe’s luscious behind in the direct path of Sam’s fangs. Now, the OOPS girls have two fledgling vamps on their hands, and their powers—and the attraction
building between them—are unlike anything they’ve seen before……



NT: Hi Dakota! Thank you for being my guest today.

Thank you so much for having me!


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

I didn’t really know until I’d actually done it. This wasn’t something I aspired to all my life. It just sort of happened, and if anyone was surprised, it was me. But after my second or third short stories were published, I was hooked, and in for the long haul. I published on my first attempt with an e-publisher and I think my agent sold my first print series to the second person she showed it to. I can’t believe how blessed I am to say that 🙂


NT: You have a new release this month, ACCIDENTALLY DEAD, AGAIN, Book 6 in your Accidental Series. Can you tell us about it?

This is my first male “accidental” and his name’s Sam McLean, an entomologist who attends a Halloween party dressed as Marilyn Monroe who ends up bitten by another party attendee he mistakenly thinks is dressed as a vampire. In the midst of his initiation to vampirism by the accidental women and the organization they’ve formed called OOPS (out in the open paranormal support), a woman named Phoebe, claiming to be Nina’s sister, shows up. She and Nina end up in a confrontation and in the midst of Nina’s typical chaos, Phoebe trips, falls and lands on Sam’s fang. Thus, we have two accidents for the price of one. And typical Accidental mayhem ensues 🙂


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


I do have a routine. I treat this like any other job, difference being, I don’t leave the house. I write from 10 at night until 5 or 6 in the morning, get up around 10 or 11 or so and delete some of the heinous mess I wrote the night before, do a thorough read through, hit Facebook and Twitter and post something nutty then I try and squeeze in my housework, cook dinner for hubby and kids, watch a little TV, and then I’m right back in my office to do it all over again.


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


I do–my pal Kaz is awesome at just listening to me and almost without saying a word, guiding me to a fully fleshed out concept. it happened quite by accident when we were having dinner one night, but she has concepts down pat. I also hash things out with the genius, Saranna DeWylde, who knows so much stuff about almost everything, it makes me feel dumb 🙂 And then there’s my BFF Renee George–the queen of a 5 or 6 hour phone call where she’ll help me work my way out of the damn corner I’ve written myself into with the simplest, yet most complex answer ever. LOL!


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


Hmmmm–I don’t do a lot of research (for shame!), but when I do, I’d say the most interesting was the djinn for the Accidental Genie, and watching all the reruns of I Dream of Jeannie on Hulu and calling it research was awesome. The hardest thing I’ve researched would have to be animal shelters. I had a heroine who had multiple dogs and it had me on the Internet looking up unusual ways for her to have come upon them. Some of the things I saw were just dreadful, and if anyone knows me, they know how much I love my furbabies–all furbabies. I really didn’t think I would ever sleep again after some of the images I saw.


NT: When not busy writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? (If there is such a thing *G*) From following you on Twitter, I know you’re a huge Reality TV fan and watch many of the “Housewives” shows, Idol, Dancing With The Stars, etc. Do you have one favorite in particular or is it all of them?


I love them all for different and varied reasons. I adore the Housewives because they’re easy fodder. Horrible of me to say, but true 🙂 I’m also a huge fan of The Walking Dead, Burn Notice, Psych and too many others to list. LOL! In my spare time, which is so rare lately, I love to read, garden (if I can withstand the brutal TX heat), go to a movie, and mess around with nail polish and makeup 🙂


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


I just read Bared To You by Sylvia day which was unfrickin’believable, and next up will finally be some more Darynda Jones and possibly Stephen King.


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

I’ve never read a book or taken a class on writing–my fear being, they’ll tell me I’m doing it all wrong and I’ll never write another thing again. LOL! And the best advice I can give is to sit down, shut up, and just do it. Listen to what crit partners, fellow authors talk about and aside from the very basics of writing (grammar, technical stuff, motivation etc), use what you can in your own work and discard the rest. There is no formula–no secret to success.Writing is a very individualized, personal journey, and every journey is different.


Most of it is about luck and telling a story an editor/agent/publisher finds appealing. If editors and agents don’t find it appealing, it doesn’t mean it isn’t good. It just means it’s not “right” right now. Oh, and for the love of God, don’t be arrogant. Not everyone is going to love you and your baby. In this business, you need a pretty thick skin. 🙂


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


Right now I’m working on a proposal for something a lil’ spicy–which takes me back to my original e-published erotic roots. But it’s still in the development stages. I also hope to take a stab at self-publishing a third in my Hell series, but that could be a ways down the road 🙂


NT: If someone has not read any of your books, which would be the one you’d recommend they try first?


Oh, none of them. LOLLOL! it just depends on what you like. If you like a naughtier tale, I have a ton of e-books at various places (all listed on my website). If you like a more sensual, paranormal read, there are like a million (or at least it seems like it) Accidentals floating around out there. Though, for the hardcore series lovers, starting at number one, The Accidental Werewolf, is best. If you’re not too picky, and you don’t mind just jumping in, you can read any one of the Accidentals and still understand how each character came into their paranormal skin 🙂


NT: How can readers contact you?

I’m all up in Facebook’s shiz in two places. My profile page which I opened before I knew you could only have a limited amount of friendships. I use this page to post snark-pics, pics of my bargain jewelry/clothes/shoe/nail polish finds, and pics of whatever new eye make-up I’ve concocted, also, in general nutty things that happen in my life. https://www.facebook.com/DakotaCassidy


My Facebook fan page–the one I found out I should have gotten in the first place because there are no limits to your likes on it. I keep that mostly about books and I do a question of the day every day 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/DakotaCassidyFanPage


I’m also on Twitter where you’ve seen me snark a housewife or ten–or I just ramble in 140 characters or less 🙂 https://twitter.com/#!/DakotaCassidy


or they can always email me–I love email that’s not SPAM. LOL! Dakota@Dakotacassidy.com


NT: Thanks for being our guest today!


No, thank you, darlin’!



To find out more about Dakota, visit www.dakotacassidy.net. And for a chance to win a print copy of ACCIDENTALLY DEAD, AGAIN, just leave a comment below. A winner will be drawn on Sunday. Good luck! 😀

Read Full Post »

Matilda Geoffrey risked it all for love. She left Australia to be with Barry—the man who had swept her off her virtual feet. Now, wearing a wedding dress, she’s alone on Main Street in small-town Wisconsin, and things aren’t working out exactly as planned…

In town for his annual family visit, Marc Olsen had never seen a bride quite like Matilda—staring into a storefront window, holding a tottering wedding cake, and looking desperately in need of a groom. He may not have any warm feelings for his hometown,but meeting Matilda just as she discovers she’s been scammed by her online “fiancé” stirs something in him.

Matilda is not the kind of woman Marc imagined himself with, and Marc is anything but the romantic hero that Matilda has always dreamed of. But as unlikely circumstances throw them together, can they let go of their misconceptions and risk their hearts for love?



In 2008, with 15 print-published, category romances under my belt, I wrote a single title romance and ran smack bang into the GFC when publishing was being pummelled. Twelve publishing houses rejected my book, Boomerang Bride. Despite the rejections, I had faith in this story. By the time the final rejection came in, Carina Press— Where No Great Story Goes Untold— the digital-first arm of Harlequin had just launched. I bought some of their contemporary romances, liked what I read and submitted Boomerang Bride.


The editor who read my book had taken a freelance job with Carina Press after leaving a New York publishing house and she is absolutely sensational. Finally, I had found someone who believed in Boomerang Bride as much as I did! Published, digital-first, it has now gone on to be print published as well.


My Harlequin novels have been dual published in print and digital since 2008 but I have to confess it wasn’t until I sold Boomerang Bride that I bought an eReader. I fell fast and furiously in love with my Kindle.  For the first time in history, I no longer break the luggage limit when I go on vacation as I can take all my books in one light device that fits in my handbag. Since buying the Kindle, I’ve bought more books than I had bought in the previous five years.  I love being able to highlight passages and make notes which is especially useful for my Book group discussions. I happily swap between reading print and eBooks but having recently read a huge physical book which made my wrists ache, the eBook is looking more attractive!


Boomerang Bride has gone on to be nominated for four writing awards  in 2012, including the Australian Romantic Book of the Year (RuBY) and the RITA®, which given its original struggle to find a home is very validating. As 2012 is proving to be such an exciting year for me I’d love to give away a copy of Boomerang Bride in any format that suits your eReader.  To go into the draw to win, just tell me a story where persistence had paid off for you.


And to tempt your interest, here is an excerpt from Boomerang Bride…..

Excerpt from Boomerang Bride by Fiona Lowe

Chapter One


The petite bride stood stock-still, her chapel-length beaded train sagging in the damp gutter while her white fingers clutched a two-tiered wedding cake. She stared long and hard into a vacant store window.

It wasn’t a usual fall sight in Hobin, Wisconsin. Brides tended to marry in spring. Even then, Hobin was hardly the bride capital of the state or even the continental United States. Hawaii took that prize with its tropical sandy beaches and swaying palm trees, surprisingly acing Hobin’s snow-bound winters and late spring flowerings.

Still, in the last one hundred and fifty years, many a local bride had stood in the old log church but none that Marc Olsen could remember had stood alone on an almost deserted Main Street, late on a Sunday afternoon. But then again apart from his annual Thanksgiving visit, he’d been gone from Hobin a long time and things might have changed.

He glanced up and down the familiar wide empty road with the same shop fronts that he’d known as a kid. Nope, nothing had changed. The realization both annoyed and soothed him. He took a second look, this time casting his gaze around trying to locate the groom. A stray bridesmaid or ring bearer. Anyone?

No one.

He was used to oddities—he’d shed his small-town boyhood years ago, moving to New York City where a bride alone on a street wouldn’t even make a ripple in the bustling Broadway crowd. But in Hobin it was more than odd. The bride wasn’t moving. Perhaps it was performance art. In Hobin? Nah.

Completely intrigued, he gave his curiosity free-rein. It was all about curiosity and had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that investigating the lone bride would further delay his cross-six-state journey and postpone his arrival at his sister’s house. He knew that once he stepped over Lori’s front stoop, the snare of family would clamp onto him like the grip of a Denver boot, which was why for the last twelve years he’d always arrived with a set departure date.

He crossed the street in a few brisk strides, with the chill of the air easily penetrating his light cotton shirt. He regretted not grabbing his cashmere sweater from his Porsche.

The bride had her back to him and as he got closer he realized the wedding dress hadn’t come off the rack, but nor was it a Vera Wang creation. The faint sepia color hinted that many years had passed since it had first elegantly draped itself over a bride. Now the dress hung from sharp and narrow shoulders which seemed undecided about their posture, hovering between rigid and rolled back, and decidedly slumped.

On hearing his footsteps, she swung around, the unusual cake with its delicate lace icing wobbling precariously on its sugar pillars.

He grinned, deciding she was a cross between the bride in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Miss Havisham. The round neckline of the dress sat flat and puckered as if seeking breasts to give it the form it deserved and a strand of uneven sized pearls graced a slender neck which moved into a pointed chin. Stray wisps of wayward auburn hair stuck to hollow cheeks, and a smattering of freckles trailed across a snub nose that some might at a pinch call cute. Black smudges hovered at the top of her cheeks but it was hard to tell if they were caused by fatigue or the remnants of day-old mascara.

He’d never seen a more homely bride in need of a makeover. This was definitely performance art. It seemed a shame that she’d gone to all this trouble on the one day of the week country people spent at home with their families.

“You seem to have lost the chapel.” He extended his arm indicating the direction. “It’s another mile down the road.”

Mark was used to a wide-eyed reaction from women, often followed by a “come-hither smile”. He knew this was nothing to do with him per se, and everything to do with the random collision of DNA combined with his Nordic heritage. He often wished he wasn’t the walking cliché of blond hair and blue eyes but he wouldn’t trade his height for anything. But this woman’s vivid turquoise gaze hit him with a clear and uncompromising stare which combined irony with hovering hints of bewilderment.

“Yeah, thanks for the tip.” Flat, elongated vowels clanged against the crisp fall air, falling from a mouth that on second glance was surprisingly plump given all the other sharp angles on the rest of her body. “I didn’t think men did directions.”

The truism made him laugh. “We happily give them. We just don’t ask for them.” Her accent intrigued him. “You’re not from around here?”

“I guess that depends on your definition. If ten thousand kilometers is outside the county limits then no, I’m not from around here.” She held the hexagonal iced cake out toward him. “Hold the cake for me.”

As an award-winning architect, Marc was more used to giving orders to his staff and contractors rather than taking them. But this situation was completely bizarre and he found himself receiving the cake without a murmur, his fingers gripping the gold-embossed foil board.

“Don’t drop it.”

The comment reminded him of growing up in a houseful of organizing women. “Are the English always this bossy?”

Surprisingly well-shaped eyebrows shot skyward. “The English are far too polite for their own good. Australians on the other hand, call a spade a spade.” She fisted a large amount of material into both hands and lifted the skirt free of the sidewalk, the action exposing slender ankles as she marched up to the shop window.

A jolt of surprise shot through him. Given the state of her hair and makeup and the whole “disarray bride” look she had going, he’d expected to see heavy work books on her feet. Instead, a tiny strap of golden leather sparkling with rhinestones daintily caressed her slender foot and coiled up past a shapely ankle before disappearing tauntingly underneath the satin dress. He idly wondered what the rest of her legs looked like. “So you’re a Down-Under bride?”

“I’m definitely down.” The muttered words seemed more for herself than him as she pressed her face to the window and peered into the empty store. She spun back toward him, confusion bright in her eyes. “This is 110 West Main Street?”

He tilted his head to the faded numbers above the door. “That’s what I’m reading.”

White teeth tugged on her plump bottom lip as she firmly shook the door handle with her ring-less left hand.

“Are you lost?”

“I didn’t think I was. This is Hobin, Wisconsin isn’t it?”

“Since 1856.”

“I expected it to be bigger.”

He gave a wry grin. “Most people do.”


Fiona Lowe is an award-winning, multi-published author with Harlequin and Carina Press. Whether her books are set in outback Australia or in the mid-west of the USA, they feature small towns with big hearts, and warm, likeable characters that make you fall in love. When she’s not writing stories, she’s a weekend wife, mother of two ‘ginger’ teenage boys, guardian of 80 rose bushes and often found collapsed on the couch. A current RITA nominee, you  can find her at her website, facebookTwitter and Goodreads.

Boomerang Bride is available now from Carina Press, Amazon Kindle, Nook and all other online book stores. It will be on shelf in Australia on July 1st 2012

Her medical romances are available from The Book Depository and iBooks, Mills and Boon.com.au





Sale Links

Carina Press http://bit.ly/w7LDsl

Amazon http://amzn.to/pGRmbw



A big thank you to Fiona for kicking off week 2 of the Digital First Read-A-Thon!

Don’t forget to leave a comment telling Fiona a story where persistence had paid off for you for a chance to win Boomerang Bride.

And be sure to stop by Book Binge, Tracy’s Place & The Book Reading Gals for more DFRAT fun!

Read Full Post »