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Archive for the ‘June 2009’ Category

*From Merriam-Webster:

4 : a large quantity or number

And yes, sir, indeedy, we have a large number of winners to announce, for a number of giveaways!

congratulations2

Please join us in congratulating the following lucky ladies! (All winner drawn using random.org)

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Winners of a set each of Sharon Lathan’s Darcy Saga‘s titles, Mr. and Mrs. Darcy and Loving Mr. Darcy are…

Melanie

and

Vee

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Winner of Tracy Wolff’s From Friend to Father is…

Wendy K

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Winner of Rebecca Ann Collins’ two novels, The Pemberley Chronicles and My Cousin Caroline is…

etirv

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The winner of Loucinda McGary’s two books, The Wild Sight and The Treasures of Venice is…

Linda B

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The winner of Beth Cornelison’s Healing Luke is…

Karin

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And finally, two orphaned books. The winners of a copy each of Jill Mansell’s Milie’s Fling are…

Colleen

and

Teresa W

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Ladies, you all know the drill: contact me at azteclady1 at yahoo dot com within 48hrs with your physical address so we can get the books out to you soonest.

Please post a comment to this thread if I don’t acknowledge receipt of said email–if you don’t do so, you forfeit your prize.

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From Friend to Father

Twin boys, a baby girl and Sarah, their gorgeous mother. It’s a dream family. Too bad it doesn’t belong to Reece Sandler. Correction. Part of it does belong to him. But he’s not ready to be a single father and he needs Sarah Martin more than ever. Funny thing, when he and his late wife asked Sarah to be their surrogate, he never imagined he’d raise that child with her.

And the situation is complicated by his growing attraction to her. She’s vivacious, captivating and the kind of parent he only hopes to be. How can he resist her? Now to convince her to think of him as more than a friend.

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Back in January, it was my New Year’s Resolution to try new authors and/or authors I’d never read before.  Part of it was superstition—after all, I’m a new author and the karma thing can’t be ignored.  But another part of it was just my love of books, and of discovering new writers to love, adore, slobber over.  So, in honor of my brand new book, Tie Me Down, which hit the shelves last week, I thought I would blog a little about some of the fantabulous books I’ve read this year by new—or at least, new to me, authors.

  1. Julie James’s Just the Sexiest Man Alive:  This is a great book.  A seriously great book by an absolutely fabulous new author. I originally picked it up because I was in the mood for something funny, and boy did Julie deliver.  The story of America’s sexiest actor and the lawyer who is less than impressed with him—and his trail of paparazzi—it was great fun to watch the two of them jockey for power and position.
  2. Lauren Dane’s Laid Bare—Dane is certainly not a new author, and though I read her books from earlier this year, I have to admit it is Laid Bare that just completely blew me away.  In this book she puts her heroine through the emotional wringer- and then some—but also gives her two big, strong heroes to depend on.  It was a beautiful, beautiful book.
  3. Beth Kery’s Daring Time—Beth Kery is fairly new to the publishing world, and this was the first book of hers I’d ever read (I have since gone back and read the others).  One of the things I really liked about this book is the time travel plot (and I’m not one who normally goes for that).  She does a fabulous job of integrating it into the largely contemporary plot, along with creating a truly divine hero.
  4. Leslie Parrish’s Fade to Black—Now, Leslie Parrish isn’t technically new, as she’s been writing under a different name for Blaze for a long time.  But this is her first single title and it is awesome!  I originally picked it up, sad to say, because the title was the same as the romantic suspense I’ve been working on.  But I kept reading past the first few chapters because I was hooked.  She created a fascinating stories filled with twists and turns and one heck of a terrible, awful, horrible bad guy.
  5. Charlotte Featherstone’s Addicted—I’m not a big historical romance fan, but this book fascinated me.  Charlotte creates a truly interesting love triangle here, between two childhood friends and opium, the hero’s addiction.  Watching their story unfold was incredibly rewarding—and when they got their happy ending, I have to admit I teared up just a little bit.

So, though I’ve read over a hundred and fifty books so far this year, these five from new authors really stand out as some of the best ones I’ve gotten my hands on.  So my question to you is this—which authors have you tried this year whose books you really enjoyed?  Leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of my latest Harlequin Superromance, From Friend to Father.

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Thank you for visiting, Ms Wolff! Remember to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.

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The Redemption of Micah

Plum Creek, Colorado 1875

ONCE UPON A TIME, THEY LOVED EACH OTHER

Nothing about the room that Eppie awakens in feels like home—not the furnishings, the ill-fitting clothes, or the Colorado sunlight streaming in through the windows. And certainly not the stranger with long dark hair and silver eyes who claims to have been waiting for her for three long years.

Micah Spalding has spent each day hoping that Eppie would open her eyes and return to him. Yet the Eppie he loved was spirited and outspoken—utterly different to this reserved, aloof woman. Since her injury, Eppie has no memory of Micah or their daughter, or of a passion that was powerful enough to defy every convention. And though his scent and touch trigger something deep within her, Eppie can’t bring herself to believe in him.

Once, when war between his countrymen had almost broken him, Eppie brought Micah back to life. Now he must find a way to reach through the distance between them and remind her of everything they once shared, and prove that he has belief enough for both of them…

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There are many facets to my release, The Redemption of Micah, not the least of which is the characters are emotionally and physically damaged. They each suffered in their own way, and struggled to overcome the mountains thrown in their path. I’ve thrown in quite a few including race, culture, age, an illegitimate child, and oh yes, amnesia.

I know what you’re thinking. Amnesia again? Sheesh! But I’ve taken it a step farther with Eppie – she loses who she is along the way and is caught between her past and her future. In addition, she discovers she’s given birth to a child while she was in a coma. She’s a very strong person though, if you remember her from Madeline’s story, and her challenge is to find out who she is beneath all the layers of confusion.

Micah on the other hand, has perfected the art of emotional self-flagellation. He constantly whips himself over what he has or hasn’t done, yet he loves Eppie desperately. He knows there are so many choices he’s made in his life that there’s no way he could ever make up for it. His obstacles are all self-made and his task is almost bigger than the woman he loves.

I think the theme underlying Micah and Eppie’s story is about who they could be. You see, they’d both lost their way, intentionally or not. Separately, they could not find the road back. Does that make sense? It’s as if they were two parts of the same whole, broken and in need of healing. It was only when they came together that they found who they could be. The best kind of relationship is one in which you find something about yourself you didn’t know existed. Micah found his soul again while Eppie found her heart again.

These aren’t physical things, but rather spiritual. I think in a story that is important for a character to grow, to change, to heal. Micah’s path is bumpy as a backroad on a mountain. While Eppie’s is more like a valley full of pot holes she sank into, figuratively speaking of course.

It’s not about the difference in their skin color, their backgrounds or even their age difference. It’s about the love their shared, about how that love was the balm that healed their wounds and allowed them to be who they could be. I’d like to believe we can all be a better person when we meet the person who makes us whole, our other half. Very romantic of me, I know. LOL. Imagine that, a romance novelist who is a romantic? Who’da thunk it? 😉

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To learn more and read excerpts visit Ms Williamson’s website at www.bethwilliamson.com and remember to leave a comment here to enter the drawing–two lucky winners will get either a signed copy of the upcoming The Redemption of Micah or a signed copy of The Education of Madeline.

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congratulations_red_gold_glitter

Amy never came back 😦 so after much typing and a quick randomizing,  we have a new winner!

Qwill!

Check out Ms Cassidy’s website to choose one title from her backlist–then email me at azteclady1 at yahoo dot com within 48hrs with your mailing address so we can get your prize out to you.

Please post a comment to this thread if I don’t acknowledge your email; otherwise, you forfeit your prize.

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congratulations_a_touch_of_spring_vd-vi

Colleen!

You have won your choice of a signed copy of Red Fire or Red Kiss, the first and second titles in Ms Knight’s Gods of Midnight series.

Please email me within 48hrs at azteclady1 at yahoo dot com with your mailing address.

Post a comment to this thread if you don’t receive a reply from me. Otherwise, you forfeit your prize and another winner will be chosen.

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congratulations_badbadpixie_vd-vi

Once again à la random.org, the winner is…

Wendy K (aka highlandlove)

Congratulations, Wendy! Email me at azteclady1 at yahoo dot com within 48hrs with your mailing address so we can get your book to you soonest. Please post a comment to this thread if I don’t acknowledge receiving your email.

Otherwise, you forfeit your prize and another winner will be selected.

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congrats_shattereddreamsbyhelga-vi

Via random.org we have three lucky winners!

Sue

Jody F

Gale

The three of you win signed copies of Ms Reece’s Rescue Me, congratulations!

Email me at azteclady1 at yahoo dot com within 48hrs with your mailing address so we can get your books out to you. Otherwise, you forfeit your prize and another winner chosen.

Post a comment in this thread if I don’t acknowledge receipt of your email.

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Neither Cheryl nor Prue claimed their prizes this week *sob* so, after another visit to random.org, here are the new winners:

donthangupthequill

You win the coveted ARC of Atlantis Unmasked, which doesn’t come out until July 7th!

Gabbitron

You win a signed copy of Atlantis Unleashed, which came out on June 2nd.

Congratulations, ladies!

Please remember that your prize is forfeit if you do not contact me at azteclady1 at yahoo dot com within 48hrs of this post, with your mailing information.

If I do not acknowledge your email, leave a comment in this thread within that time frame or, again, your forfeit your prize.

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Red Kiss

Immortal warrior and Spartan slave River Kassandros has a special gift—the ability to transform into any weapon. But in a recent battle, he was trapped as a dagger, unable to become human again. His one hope of salvation is a mere mortal…

When Emma Lowery beaches her kayak on an uninhabited island off the coast of Savannah, an ancient dagger seems to call out to her. Compelled by dark forces, Emma draws blood with his blade, freeing River. Now he’s stronger, angrier—and exudes more sensuality than Emma can resist.

But a sinister power wants to claim River’s destiny, and his precarious freedom. The pair must join the Spartan warriors to fight Ares himself. But can they face sacrificing their love to protect humankind from the war god’s demonic plan?

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There are so many phases to any author’s life, at least in terms of creating a new novel, short story or other project.  Right now, I’m so fortunate to be in a kind of perfect storm where several phases are hitting all at once! My latest Gods of Midnight book, RED KISS, is out on the shelves, so I’m hearing from readers (always a coveted thrill), and after months of writing and creating a world (also known as a book!) in solitude, that interaction with my fans is solid gold.  It’s the anticipated moment, the one every author battles toward during the good—and frustrating—times of actually writing that book.

I’m also in a diametrically opposite season, which is that I’m writing RED ANGEL, the next book in the series, and am in that stage when the world of this book is starting to gel.  But there are also still lots of bits and pieces, scenes I’ve written that might not even happen to the end—or until the next book—but I’m hearing them, so I have to put them on paper.

To me, there’s such a wonderful balance to these two ends of the spectrum.  On one hand, the joy of sharing my finished creation of RED KISS, and on the other, delving into a whole new story at the same moment.  For those of you who are familiar with the Gods of Midnight, I’m writing Ari’s story right now. He was quite the character in RED KISS, especially, since he is best friend to River Kassandros, the shapeshifting hero of the book.  But there was also a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of RED KISS (no spoilers, don’t worry!) about ole Ari, and I’m having fun picking up that thread.

There’s another interesting “phase” to my writing life right now, which is that as I map out this new book, the rest of the series is starting to really shout at me much more loudly.  I always know where I’m going with a series, even far, far down the line, but I don’t necessarily start hearing those scenes, or interact with the characters at that later stage of the story arc.  I know I felt this way about the same point in writing the PARALLEL series, like the world’s foundation was laid out and the characters well-established, and it was then—as now—that the whole world of the series exploded in my mind.

I’m at that place at the moment.  The only frustration? It’s summer, my kids are out of school, there’s RWA to attend, clients to care for, RED ANGEL to write.  Which makes the burn to write ahead on next books a bit of a frustration, but a nice one, too.

If you haven’t checked out RED FIRE or RED KISS, I hope you will and I’d love to hear from you! There are excerpts of both books available on my website, www.DeidreKnight.com. Meanwhile, I’m giving away a copy of RED FIRE or RED KISS – winner’s choice – to a randomly selected winner. Simply leave your name in the comments.

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Red Fire

Eternity has become a prison for Ajax Petrakos. Centuries after he and his Spartan brothers made their bargain for immortality, Ajax struggles to maintain his warrior’s discipline. His only source of strength is his hope that he will soon meet the woman once foretold to him—the other half of his soul, Shay Angel.

Ajax searches for his destined mate on the haunted streets of modern-day Savannah, but he isn’t the first to find her. Shay, the youngest of a powerful demon-hunting clan, can see the monsters that stalk the steamy Southern night—an ability that draws the deadly attention of Ajax’s worst enemy.

As she and Ajax race to solve a chilling prophecy—one that could spell Ajax’s death if they don’t succeed—a fated passion arises, threatening to sweep away everything in its path.

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Leave a comment to enter the drawing, and read an excerpt of Red Fire here and an excerpt from Red Kiss here.

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Midnight's Master

In a world of shadows, desire conquers all…

In this sexy, gripping novel, Cynthia Eden draws readers deeper into the realm of the Others—vampires, shifters, and sinfully attractive demons whose powers are matched only by their dark hungers…

Tall, dark, and formidable, Niol Lapen is the last demon on earth most people would ask for a favor, yet the sexy little reporter who wanders into his club dares to do exactly that. Holly Storm already knows too much about his kind, and Niol has no wish to help her get in deeper over her head. But working alongside her may be the only way to stop a killer, even as it ignites a primal desire unlike anything he’s known.

Holly has seen firsthand what Niol is capable of, but that doesn’t frighten her nearly as much as her body’s instinctive reaction to him, or the wild, fierce passion that would tempt her to follow him through hell itself. Something evil and relentless is prowling the streets of Atlanta. And as Holly’s search leads her into danger that even Niol could never have predicted, she’ll uncover a secret that could rip her world apart….

Midnight’s Master is available from Kensington Brava on June 30th, 2009

A Character’s Evolution

It’s great to be here at Novel Thoughts today. (Azteclady, thank you for the invite!)

Generally, when we read books, we get to watch the characters grow and change over the course of the story. After all, isn’t the point of the story—that the characters learn and evolve over those 300+ pages?

Well, the hero in my upcoming release, Midnight’s Master, didn’t just get the chance to develop over the course of one book. No, my demon Niol had the opportunity to change through three books.Hotter After Midnight

When I wrote Hotter After Mignight (the first book in my Midnight trilogy for Kensington Brava), Niol Lapen was introduced as an important secondary character.  An extremely powerful demon, Niol wasn’t one of the “nice” guys.

The reader learned early on that Niol had a very dark side. (I actually almost made him the villain of the book.)

Then, when the second book in my trilogy, Midnight Sins, was released (and if you haven’t read this book yet—

SPOILERS ahead!)

Midnight SinsNiol’s character took another turn. He killed, without hesitation.  He used the dangerous powers that are such a part of his nature, and he proved that he wasn’t afraid to cross the line between good and evil.

And then it was time for Niol to have his own story. My problem?  I now had to make a killer into a hero.  Three books. Three different takes on Niol.  But, with Midnight’s Master, it was finally time to see things from Niol’s point of view. And finally time to learn why he made some of the choices that he did. Understanding a character’s motivation is so important—I often only really connect with the characters I read when I learn why they make certain choices.

So, in Midnight’s Master, it’s time to learn why Niol lives the way he does. He has evolved since the first book. He isn’t just looking after himself; now, there are others he’s taken under his protection. He’s still dark, he still skirts the line between right and wrong, but he’s more than just the monster people fear in the dark.  He has evolved.

What do you think about the evolution of characters in books?  When a character starts off “bad” (or maybe ambiguously written), do you enjoy reading about the transition from villain to (semi) hero?  Are there any particular character evolutions that you’ve read and enjoyed? Leave me a comment and you could win an autographed copy of Midnight’s Master.  One commenter will be randomly selected for the prize.

Thanks for checking out my post!

Best wishes,

Cynthia Eden

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Thank you, Ms Eden!

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win–and visit Ms Eden’s website for excerpts, covers, and more!

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