Archive for the ‘Books & Authors’ Category

Calling Canadian Romance Authors…

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Once upon a time, there was a group of Canadian Romance Authors with an official web presence. For whatever reason, I didn’t join this group and it ultimately disbanded (probably because I didn’t join it—snarf!) (I’m a card). Now, thanks to one of the members of the original group, Canadian Romance Authors has been resurrected. We have an email loop, and as of today we also have a new Facebook page. Feel free to pop over to “like” the page and visit often to keep up on all our news, including contests, book releases and other wild and wacky Canadian thingies. Like, someone might post a picture of a moose sometime. Or a hole in the ground. You just never know.

If you’re a Canadian romance author and you’d like to join the group, drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch with the loop moderator. There’s also instructions in the About section of the Facebook page.

Bits O’ News

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Yesterday, HEAD OVER HEELS was featured on EBook Impresario as a Bargain Book. You can still go over and check the listing. Ebook Impresario also has a Facebook page, which you can “like” to receive updates about free and bargain books to your Facebook feed. Plus, they have a newsletter. Check ’em out.

While you’re at Facebook, you can go ahead and like my author page, if you haven’t already done so.

Also, if you like erotic romance with a humorous touch, check out my pal, my buddy, my lifelong friend, Kate St. James on Facebook. Did you know Kate’s erotic romance single title from Samhain Publishing, A LITTLE WILD, is currently a finalist for the Bookseller’s Best Award, Erotic Division? Well, it is! I think that’s pretty great news.

Congratulations, Kate!

Excuses…and an Idea

Friday, May 31st, 2013

The nice thing about not blogging often is that I don’t have 60 spam comments waiting for me to wade through when I log in. The bad thing is it looks like I’m getting lazy.

I’m not getting lazy; I’m just super busy with non-writing stuff and am just getting back into writing again after a trip to China with my husband, during which a family member had a nasty fall that eventually led to her demise. We made it back home in time to see her—thank God—but I have needed time to grieve as well as support other family members in their grief, and now, thank God again, we are gearing up to a happy time. Youngest Son is getting married this summer! Also, a niece is having a baby. Yay.

As for writing, I am working on revising and updating BORROWING ALEX for Indie re-issue, and it’s going very well when I have time to work on it. I’m looking at a July or August release, but I can’t get any more exact for awhile. I also have two other manuscripts in various stages of needing-to-revise or needing-to-polish, and I also plan to Indie publish those. Maybe one in 2013 and the other in 2014. Plus, I have my short story series to finish.

So, there’s lots going on, but behind the scenes.

Once June is here and a host of family obligations are behind me, I will try (note emphasis) to get back to a more regular blogging schedule. I would ideally like to blog twice a week, and I am considering making one of those days, or a third day, a post devoted to other self-published authors and their books. Nothing too fancy. I found when I hosted guest-bloggers that I spent precious writing hours working up posts and then trying to get people to comment so I could give away books from those talented authors. I can no longer afford the time to host guest bloggers, but I am thinking of doing a Monday Deals type of thing, where every Monday I would post covers, blurbs and links to a few Indie-published books that are either new or on promotion. I need to put some more thought into it and then get a lead-time going so I don’t feel inundated. Other authors do this type of thing on their blogs. For instance, author Lauren Royal featured one of my books on her Friday Freebies day not long ago. That is the type of feature I am thinking of implementing. It would still allow me to get the word out about authors and their books while also pointing my readers to some great ebook deals—other than mine!

What do you think?

Chatting With Medieval Historical Romance Author Diana Cosby

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Happy Memorial Day to my American friends!

I have a new interview up on my Articles page, with historical romance author Diana Cosby. Diana is retired Navy and donates 10% of her royalties to several worthy causes, including those that benefit American servicemen and servicewomen.

Visit Articles to read the interview. No, I’m not posting it here, as well. You have to muster the energy to click the link. If you can’t muster that energy, you don’t get to read the interview. Instead, ten push-ups!!!

Argue with me and I’ll make it ten thousand. And two chin-ups.

Here’s the link to the interview again.

Grab Me, Hold Me, Make Me Read Good Books

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

By Diana Duncan

Whenever I start a new book, I always get jittery with anticipation. I’m about to embark on a new adventure. Meet new people. Explore new places, new worlds. I’ve been an avid book junkie since my librarian Grannie started taking me to work with her before I could even walk.

And, okay, yes, I’ll admit it—like any great addiction, tingles shiver up my spine when the first line (or first several lines) instantly grab me and won’t let go.

Opening lines can immediately establish characterization:

“Being dead didn’t make Jack Mercy less of a son of a bitch.” Montana Sky by Nora Roberts.

“Jules Cassidy was nervous. After years of working for the FBI, nervous didn’t happen to Jules very often anymore. At least not in a situation with nary a hostile gunman, armed terrorist, angry insurgent or crazed hostage-taker in sight.” All Through the Night: A Troubleshooter Christmas by Suzanne Brockmann.

“Meeting with a probation officer required a certain look. A jacket and tie. A body-hugging spandex superhero costume beneath his street clothes hadn’t been part of his plan.” As Good As His Word by Susan Gable.

Opening lines can also immediately invoke a mood with the setting:

“There was a storm in him, as black and vicious as that which bullied its way across the sea. It whipped inside his blood, outside in the air, battling within and without as he stood on the rain-slicked rock. The name of his storm was grief.” Morrigan’s Cross by Nora Roberts.

“It was the egret, flying out of the lemon grove, that started it. I won’t pretend I saw it straight away as the conventional herald of adventure, the white stag of the fairy tale. But when the big white bird flew suddenly up among the glossy leaves and the lemon flowers, and wheeled over the mountain; I followed it. What else is there to do when such a thing happens on a brilliant April noonday, at the foot of the white mountains of Crete?” The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart – (This book might be my favorite story of all. I’ve read it over and over, probably more than 50 times since I was about 14 years old).

Opening lines can also introduce you to characters who are immediately thrown into interesting, perilous, or funny circumstances:

“A late-night urge for an orange fizzy saved Nixie’s life.” Survivor in Death by J.D. Robb.

“‘Norman bastard!’ Quinn de Trefoid raised a brow at the Saxon knight’s arrogance but remained silent. Inwardly, he cursed his own stupidity for allowing them to capture him, for venturing so far from camp alone.” Knight of the Mist by Jennifer August.

Once upon a time, Minerva Dubbs thought as she stood in the middle of a loud yuppie bar, the world was full of good men. She looked into the handsome face of the man she’d planned on taking to her sister’s wedding and thought, those days are gone.” Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie.

After I dug through my massive piles and shelves of favorite books to research this blog post, I looked at my own manuscripts. The books I’ve written seem to fall mostly into this last category.

“‘Hold it right there, Frat Boy!’ The pissed-off feminine contralto froze Rory Devlin bent over with his Levi-clad arse in the air. One bare foot planted on the lawn, one precariously balanced on the curb, he gripped the rolled newspaper as he cautiously turned his head. A slender brunette dressed in white capris and a tank top the color of lemon meringue pie stalked through dappled June sunshine from the house next door. Radiating the fury of an avenging faerie, dainty raven brows slanted in a glower and golden sparks fired in wide brown eyes.” Deal with the Devil by Diana Duncan.

“Delaney Morgan didn’t find an unconscious naked guy on the beach every afternoon. The wild Oregon Pacific had spilled out shells, driftwood, sand dollars…and at sunset last night, a Celtic pewter and garnet triadic knot pendant she’d hung on a chain as a good luck charm. But a nude man was a first.” Sword of the Raven by Diana Duncan.

What about you? Whether you’re a reader or a writer, or both, you have favorite first lines. What are they and what do they reveal to you about the story? Why do you like them? Please share! (And remember to tell us the book and author).


Leave a comment to enter for your chance to win an ebook of your choice of either DEAL WITH THE DEVIL or SWORD OF THE RAVEN by Diana Duncan. Please note that to be eligible for the draw, you must be capable of receiving an ebook gift from Diana from either B&N (Nook), Amazon Kindle, or Smashwords (which covers mostly all eformats).

If you’re reading this blog through a feed at Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads or another social network, please note that you need to leave your comment at to enter.

The back cover blurbs for DEAL WITH THE DEVIL and SWORD OF THE RAVEN, as well as Diana’s bio, can be found in yesterday’s post. Visit Diana’s website to learn more about her and her books.

Diana Duncan Guest Blogs Tomorrow!

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Tomorrow I’ll welcome my first (and probably only) guest blogger for 2011, paranormal romance and romantic comedy author, Diana Duncan. Please join us to celebrate Diana’s transition from traditionally published to Indie author. Diana is blogging about Grab
Me, Hold Me, Make Me Read Good Books and will give away an ebook of the winner’s choice of either DEAL WITH THE DEVIL (romantic comedy) or her latest, the paranormal romance, SWORD OF THE RAVEN. Both books are the first in a planned series and both are currently available on Kindle, Nook and Smashwords.

Please note that the winner must be capable of receiving an ebook gift from Diana from either Barnes and Noble (Nook), Amazon Kindle, or Smashwords, which covers several other eformats.

About SWORD OF THE RAVEN (Morrigan’s Legacy – Warriors of the Light, Book 1):

When destiny calls, you don’t hit ignore

Delaney Morgan’s ho-hum life begins to fray around the edges when her cop brother is framed and imprisoned. Determined to exonerate him, she starts poking her nose where it doesn’t belong. Things go from extra-ordinary to extraordinary with her discovery of Mr. Tall, Dark, and Naked washed up on a deserted Oregon beach.

Rowan MacLachlan’s no ordinary man. He’s a semi-Immortal Highlander. A Water Mage, a Supernatural Enforcer…and since the slaughter of his entire family, Chieftain of his Clan. Recently escaped from the clutches of the Sorceress Cearde, he’s drawn to Delaney’s newly awakening Powers. She learns her brother possessed similar Powers, and his “situation” is entangled with the magical forces he tried to shield her from.

Pulled into an epic battle of light and dark…with a kick-ass pair of boots and a Bon Jovi inspired battle cry…Delaney vows to help Rowan avenge his family, and free her brother from the dark forces holding him captive. First, Rowan must teach her to control and wield her new Magic.

When passion flares between mentor and student, so do their Powers. With Delaney’s help, Rowan plans to vanquish the evil bitch who killed his family. Even if it means betraying the woman he’s come to love.

One of them may be required to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Can love really conquer all? Betrayal. Evil. Even death?

Delaney’s about to find out. Because she’s destined to be the Sword of the Raven.

About DEAL WITH THE DEVIL (Devilish Devlins – Book 1): 

When Irish eyes are smilin’…beware! Because trouble—and love—isn’t far behind!

Paradise for software designer Cynthia Wagner means uninterrupted solitude to invent a brilliant video game, and save her job. But renovations on her city apartment force her to seek refuge in a temporary rental in the ‘burbs.

The promised Paradise morphs into Purgatory when she meets her new neighbor, a deliciously tempting Irish rogue sporting a wicked grin and to-die-for body. Worse, the handsome bachelor has noisy, drooly, havoc-creating baggage on his hands for the summer… rambunctious five-year-old twin nephews, a baby niece, and the kids’ yappy dog. Rory Devlin is a dangerous distraction—and he’s hiding a naughty secret.

Jackhammers and contractors would have provided more peace and quiet.

Stuck in the Suburbs of the Damned with Mr. Uncle-Turned-Mom and his wild menagerie, Cynthia struggles to meet her deadline. But she struggles more with her undeniable attraction to her devlish-ous neighbor.

Could it be that what Cynthia has mistaken for hell is actually the heaven she’s been searching for?

About Diana:

When her dreams of becoming a ballerina were quashed by early-onset klutziness, Diana Duncan took up the safer vocation of writing. Her first thrilling masterpiece—written in orange crayon—was titled “Perky the Kitten,” and became an instant bestseller with her grandparents.

Her childhood growing up as a military brat gave her ability to leap into a conversation with anyone, anywhere, anytime…and she always discovers a new friend in the process. This gift of gab perfectly equipped her for a career that involves making stuff up.

Di is famous for using seven words when one will do. She wields smart-assery like a samurai sword, and will be the first to volunteer in a catastrophe. Of course, she was probably the one who caused the catastrophe. She’s fiercely loyal to her friends and family…but in the event of the upcoming zombie apocalypse, she won’t hesitate to use them as human shields.

She loves her job as an author, and claims writing is the most fun she’s ever had while wearing her sock monkey pajamas. She also enjoys gardening, cooking, and adopting abandoned curbside furniture to refurbish into treasures.

Diana published six award-winning books with a traditional print publisher before going rogue with Indie publishing.

To learn more about Diana and her books, please visit her website.

Heads-Up! Book Give-Away This Week!

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

I haven’t hosted a guest blogger in nearly a year. That’s a long time, considering I was hosting every 1-4 weeks for a couple of years there. Those who are regular followers of my blog will note that I stopped hosting guests about the time I hurt my shoulder over-painting. That evolved into a rotator cuff injury in the summer of 2011 from which I am just starting to recover. So I thought I wouldn’t host a guest all throughout 2011. However, that changes this week. And probably only for this week, as I need to focus my keyboarding time on various writing projects for myself and Penny.

But a heads-up for this week, book lovers. I’m hosting romantic comedy and paranormal romance Indie author, Diana Duncan, on Tuesday, November 15th.

Be sure to drop by on Tuesday to enter for a chance a download of one of Diana’s two 2011 releases!

Beth Kery Silken Rapture Contest

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Author Beth Kery is hosting a 2-week multi-author book give-away to celebrate the release of SILKEN RAPTURE, her November 22nd release from Samhain Publishing. The contest actually started November 4th, but it’s not too late to start entering. Each day a guest blogger visits Beth’s blog and will give away a download of one of her books. Samhain author Kate St. James, who appeared on my blog two days ago, is today giving away a free download of A LITTLE WILD over at Beth Kery’s blog. You have to post THERE to enter, not here. Once there, make sure to scroll down to Kate’s blog entry to enter to win the download of A LITTLE WILD.

All the information about Beth’s contest can be found at this link. Authors scheduled to blog and give away books from now until November 22nd are:

Kate St. James – November 10th

Kelly Jamieson – November 11th

Natasha Moore – November 14th

Vivian Arend – November 15th

Vanessa Jaye – November 16th

Missy Jane – November 17th

Jodi Redford – November 18th

Lilli Feisty – November 21st

Beth Kery – November 22nd

If you’ve read this far, the super cool news is that Beth is giving away a Kindle Touch 3-G on November 23rd. To win the Kindle Touch 3-G, Beth says,

A winner will be randomly chosen from a pool of entrants on November 23. The winner must claim their prize, so it is important to come back and check the announcement!

So don’t forget that part.

Happy entering!

Spotlight on Kate St. James

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Happy Book Release Day to Kate St. James!

I’m talking about various authors and books this week, so thought I’d start off with my buddy, my pal, my lifelong friend, Kate St. James. (Okay, so I’ve only known her 1/4 of my life, but it doesn’t sound as good). (All right, 1/5th of my life). (Maybe 1/6th). (Seriously, a few years). (At least 5). (Since 2007).

Kate’s first single title erotic romance, A LITTLE WILD, comes out today from Samhain Publishing, where it’s available in various digital formats. It’s also available in Kindle and Nook.

Here’s the blurb:

She wants a piece of his rock. He needs her, rock steady, in his heart.

Tess Sheridan won’t let anything stop her from making partner at a prestigious law firm, especially her notoriously soft heart. The result? She’s a handful of clients away from getting her name on that brass plate. And she hasn’t had sex in over a year.

When her best friend dares her to test-drive her erotic fantasies with a gorgeous stranger, she figures, why not? Loosening the reins will give her inner nympho some well-deserved pampering without jeopardizing her career goals.

Zach Halliday has enjoyed his bad-boy reputation to the fullest, but now it’s time to leave the relative safety of the family corporation and prove he can stand on his own in the business world. That doesn’t mean he’ll pass up an opportunity for some incredible phone sex with the beautiful strawberry blonde he met in a bar.

When business overlaps with the bedroom, Zach sees something special in Tess and is determined to convince her he’s the man she needs, anytime, anyplace. She can backpedal, but come hell or high-climbing-wall, he wants the fascinating, complicated sex bomb in his bed. Over and over again…

As my regular blog readers know,  I used to host guest bloggers for the blog, until I got, well, lazy about it. And I used to interview authors every once in a while for my website until I got, well, lazy about it. So I thought I’d change things up a little and invite Kate over to the blog itself for a little interview.

Cindy: Hi, Kate. Welcome to my blog and thank you for being my first blog interviewee!

Kate: Where’s the chocolate?

Cindy: You’re welcome for hosting you. Congratulations on the release of A LITTLE WILD. This is your first single title and also your first release with Samhain Publishing. Where did you get the idea for the story?

Kate: Thanks, Cindy! Like most writers, ideas for stories and scenes basically pop into my mind, inspired by things I read and see and experience. I jot them down and when the time comes to write a new book, I’ll often combine several hastily scribbled elements to create one bigger idea. That’s basically how the idea for A LITTLE WILD came to be. For years I had a book opening in my mind that revolved around two women in a bar. Later, I wanted to do a book about a sex bet, so that bar scene seemed like a pretty good place to start. I also wanted to write about female friendships and show them as they really are, with all the warts and foibles. That’s how Tess Sheridan, my heroine, and her wisecracking best friend, Chloe Nichols, were born.

Cindy: How about the hero, Zach Halliday?

Kate: I needed a hero with a great sense of humor, and I wanted him to appear to be the opposite of Tess. However, inside, they’re really a lot the same. They’re both proficient at “wearing masks.” By that I mean following one path in life to make someone else happy or to match up with a preconceived idea of how their lives should unfold. In Tess’s case, she was raised to be an over-achiever, in a way to help create a “surface gloss” of a perfect family life when really her family has been in danger of falling apart for years and does fall apart, to an extent, during the story (however, there’s hope for rebuilding).

In Zach’s case, his mother died when he was fourteen, and so the natural inclincation was for him to band together with his brother and father, and to follow in his father’s footsteps in the business world when inside he wants to do something different, something that’s distinctly him. At the opening of the story, Zach has made the decision to leave his father’s company, but he hasn’t told his dad or brother yet.

Cindy: Tell us about the set-up.

Kate: The set-up for A LITTLE WILD was a lot of fun to write. I needed to get two very different people together, and I wanted to have fun with it. So when Tess and her friend Chloe are in the bar celebrating Tess’s career successes, Chloe dares Tess to prove that she can have sex like a man, without emotional commitment. Chloe doesn’t believe Tess can accomplish this goal if she has more than a one-night stand with the guy, so Chloe bets Tess that she has to survive a six-week sexual relationship without falling in love. Tess agrees to the deal thinking she can weasle out of it later. But then she meets Zach, one thing leads to another, and Tess and Zach wind up having phone sex without knowing who the other really is. A few days later, they meet in the law firm where Tess works and Tess discovers he’s the son of the law firm’s biggest client, to whom she’s been assigned. As such, Zach is off-limits and she backs off their very new relationship. He needs to get creative about wooing her, and he’s not shy about using his sexuality. The shocker for him is when he falls in love for the first time in his life.

Cindy: Sounds like a lot of fun! But there’s a secondary romance in A LITTLE WILD, too. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Kate: Yes, there’s a secondary romance between Chloe (Tess’s best friend) and Zach’s overworked older brother, Ethan. So there are four points of view in the book. While Tess is on a mission to have sex, Chloe is at the tail end of a six-month commiment NOT to have sex. For Chloe, having sex too early in a relationship screws it up. And her biological clock is ticking something fierce. She wants to make very sure that the next man she becomes involved with is The One, and she figures the only way to do that is to get to know him on a non-sexual level first.

However, Chloe’s also allergic to what she calls “suits”—business types. So when she meets Ethan Halliday and develops an instant connection with him, she tries to stay far, far away. Of course it doesn’t work. In the end, love prevails, for both Tess and Chloe. And for both the Halliday men.

Cindy: What else do you have on the go?

Kate: I started off writing humorous erotic romance novellas for Red Sage Publishing. My first three releases appeared in the Secrets novellas anthologies (Secrets 21, Secrets 26 and Secrets 28). Then, this October, my first erotica short story, Tea for Three, released from Ellora’s Cave Exotika Quickies. It’s a menage story also set in Vancouver, Canada, like A LITTLE WILD. I didn’t write A LITTLE WILD and Tea for Three at the same time. I just happened to sell them within several weeks of each other and so the release dates are only a few weeks apart. More information about Tea for Three can be found at Ellora’s Cave or on my website.

Cindy: Thank you, Kate! Best of luck with A LITTLE WILD and Tea for Three. Happy Release Day and Millions of Sales to you!

Kate: From your lips to readers’ ears. Thank you for having me on your blog!

Cindy: Thank you for agreeing to be here on such short notice.

Kate: Not a problem! Kisses!

Cindy: Smmmmmooooooooooooch!

Hugs all around.


Information about all of Kate’s books can be found on her website: Like her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter. Now. Because I said so. And you are under my power (getting sleepy, very sleepy).

Okay, you can like my Facebook page, too. Or follow me on Twitter (very, very sleepy).

The best deal for Kate and me? Like and follow us both!

Penny’s New Sale!

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

I’m thrilled as polka-dot buttons to report that Penny has sold an erotica short story to Ellora’s Cave, one of the premiere publishers of erotic romance and erotica. This is Penny’s first “erotica.” The rest of her sales and releases have been erotic romance.

What’s the difference, you ask? Well, erotica is more about the character’s sexual discovery and doesn’t necessarily need to end with a committed relationship. Erotic romance usually features character arcs for both hero and heroine, and once the hero and heroine have slept together they don’t sleep with other partners.

The name of the story is Tea for Three, and it’s set in a Vancouver tea shop.

If you can’t guess, it’s a ménage story. Super-hot! Sizzling! Fry off your toes!

Congratulations, Penny!