Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just got the cover for 'A Knight's Enchantment'

I've just this morning received the cover for my next Zebra medieval, A Knight's Enchantment, and I like it already!
Here it is, and the blurb is here.

Other bits of news: another romantic suspense shortie, Holiday in Bologna, comes out from Bookstrand as an ebook early next year and A Secret Treasure is getting the talking book treatment from AudioLark in the spring.

Lindsay

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Paranormal in my fiction



Paranormal elements creep into almost all of my fiction. Why? Because eerie, hair standing up on the back of the neck moments do happen in life, Also because I place my characters into strange situations and unusual settings, where their senses are heightened to an almost supernatural state.
In real life, people can experience extraordinary things. A woman I know of was passing a man on a staircase and a thought entered her mind: this is the man you are going to marry. She dismissed the idea as absurd - but it happened and they are still married. In life, people under stress can do extraordinary, almost superhuman things. The woman after a car crash lifting an engine block to free her trapped child beneath. We can all experience feelings of disquiet, of something being 'off'. We can all have dreams which can stalk us.
This is very much the stuff of fiction. Romance especially lends itself to the paranormal and supernatural. When we are in love we feel to be in a transfigured state: all senses and emotions are heightened. In addition, I write romantic suspense, where my characters are in danger and those warning senses we have are on high alert. I also write romance set in the past, at times in the far distant past, where beliefs in spirits, strange creatures, omens and gods were part of everyday life.
In modern life we tend to separate religion and state. In the past belief in supernatural forces, particularly malign supernatural forces, was far stronger. How else could people in the ancient world make sense of what happened to them and around them? When the causes of illness were not understood it would seem logical that an outside influence - an angry god or an evil spirit - had targeted that person or that animal.
Belief is a powerful force. If a character believes he or she can do something out of the ordinary, then sometimes they can. In my historical fiction I use the beliefs of my characters to allow them to tap into something larger than themselves. This 'something' can be a thing of delight or of terror. It is the wonder of the story-teller, used in tales before humans devised writing. And when we did begin to write, ghost stories, paranormal stories 'spooky' stories, were among the earliest tales we committed to clay, papyrus or parchment.
Here are a few paranormal moments from my novels. The first is based on an ancient Roman ghost story of a haunted house, which I adapted to use in 'Flavia's Secret'. In this excerpt, the paranormal is used to show wonder and delight in a special, secret place; a place where Flavia finds the strength to tell Marcus her own deadly secret.

EXCERPT:

Walking quickly, to show that she did not regret her decision to share this place with him, Flavia returned along the twisting beaten-earth path between the rampant rosemary and lavender bushes. One more twist of the path and they reached the heart of the garden and its startling secret—a private outdoor pool, its shimmering waters steaming in the sun.
‘By Mithras, what a place.’ Looking around, Marcus halted beside her, dropping onto his knees to test the waters of the deep, lead-lined pool. ‘It’s hot!’ he exclaimed, shaking moisture from his hand.
Flavia pointed to a large lead pipe leading away from the pool in the direction of the deserted house before it was lost in the luxuriant undergrowth.
‘We think the owner fixed a conduit somewhere off the spring waters of the Aesculapius spring and directed some of the thermal water here,’ she explained. ‘The pool drains somewhere, too, but we do not know where.’
Marcus sat back on his heels. ‘We?’
‘Those of us who come here, when we can.’
‘Your own private bathing place.’ Marcus jumped to his feet again and walked around the marbled perimeter of the pool. ‘I am surprised nobody has tried to make money with it.’
‘We are careful who we tell,’ Flavia said, squashing disappointment at Marcus’ mercenary approach, but he was staring across the sun-gilded water at the leaf-strewn timber portico leading to the deserted house.
‘I am not surprised at that,’ he said quietly. ‘It is beautiful.’
He watched a small breeze tumble a bronze oak leaf along a small marble walkway leading from the semi-derelict portico to the edge of the pool. ‘Mysterious, quite eerie, but also...comforting. As if you are in an entirely different world.’ He turned about, pointing to the sparkling spiders’ webs on the lavender bushes, rimed with heavy dew. ‘Somewhere forgotten by the rest of the city. A place where magical things become possible.’
‘You understand,’ Flavia whispered, breathing out in relief.
He smiled. ‘It is more than likely that the old owner saw an easy chance to grab some free hot water, but what he has made here, what time has made...I am not surprised he was thought to be a sorcerer.’
Marcus held out both hands to her. ‘Thank you for sharing this, and be assured—your secret with be safe in my keeping.’
Flavia walked to the edge of the secret pool and joined him in studying the waters.


In 'Bronze Lighting,' set in Bronze Age Europe, many characters believe in and practice magic. Here Fearn and Sarmatia, hero and heroine, are taking part in a sky ritual, a dangerous rite that they believe may unmask a murderer.

EXCERPT:

By this time it was early evening. A pall of dark clouds had gathered over the Sacred Hill. The sun hung over the eastern hills like a bloodstained shield. Fearn looked up at the sky.
'The God will come here when I summon him and we must be ready. Each of you strip off your gold, your silver and bronze. The Sky God does not like the gleam of metal on others.'
He lifted the bronze diadem from his head and laid it on the grass. 'Pile your ornaments here together. Give it to the earth for safekeeping. Quickly!'
At his command, Atterians broke their circle and came to heap their metal broaches, swords, arrows, arm-rings and finger-rings upon the King's diadem. Sarmatia watched Laerimmer take off his golden throat disc and glanced down at her own bronze ring, reluctant to remove it. Looking up, she saw Fearn walking towards her.
'Must I take off my ring?' she asked in Kretan as he reached her. Fearn answered in the same tongue.
'I fear so, Sarmatia.' He looked at her. Men were still gathered about the growing heap of metal. He and Sarmatia had a moment together.
'What is this ritual?'
'Nothing you need fear, Sarmatia. The Sky God knows our hearts. He does not touch those who are innocent. Twice now as King I've been asked to do this rite. The God may take some of our metal as sacrifice and payment, but that's a small thing for the truth.'
Sarmatia took off her bronze ring and gave it to Fearn. 'You must put this with the rest, Fearn. I can't.’ Then, although she already sensed the answer, she asked, 'Is the Sky God the same whose shrine is the Great Stone Circle?'
'It's the same God. And this is the rite the southern kingdoms have forgotten.' He turned and left her.


There are gods in my novels, too. In 'Blue Gold' the gods of ancient Egypt watch mankind from the sun-boat that crosses the sky each day and they sometimes interfere more directly.

EXCERPT:

“What happens now?” asked Astarte-with-the-moon-in-her-hair.
The eastern goddess of love was paying another visit to the sun boat of Ra. She thought the climate good for her complexion.
The blue god Amun, casting an admiring glance at the silver-haired goddess’s shapely long legs, mumbled something about a race. He ran his hands through a thick fleece of cloud, parting it with his fingers. “Look below us. There is my Pharaoh, a true Egyptian.”
“Ah yes. Sekenenre. The king who toils like an ant. He certainly looks to be making haste.”
Astarte leaned forward, the corners of her eyes crinkling at the sight of Sekenenre and his retinue of priests running their chariots again and again at the same high dune instead of doing the sensible thing of going round it. At her high vantage point, the fifteen chariots moving with such fanatical haste from the small water course where they had hidden their ship looked bizarre, like weevils.
No one on the sun boat reproved or remarked on the goddess’s comments. Those long, shapely legs were even better when she bent over the gunwale. From the middle of the boat came a muffled exclamation as the soul of the long dead Pharaoh Unas dropped the sun god’s fan.
“Fool of a mortal,” said old Ra sharply, squirming on his throne, crossing hands over thighs.
Astarte looked round over one shoulder and smiled, but she reserved her warmest look for Amun. “He is a long way from Thebes, your Sek-en-enre. Did you send a dream to instruct him? Does this true Egyptian know where he is going?”
“Pay no attention to anything Amun says. Sekenenre’s dash into the desert is due entirely to me.” Set materialized at her elbow. He directed Astarte to look over the other side of the boat. “Here’s my man.”
Aweserre’s chariot scuttled jauntily along below them.


In ‘Blue Gold’ when these two pharaohs meet, it is a clash of arms, force and beliefs and it leads to the unleashing of more paranormal forces.

Happy Halloween!

Lindsay

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chatting at Coffee Time Romance Erotic E-loop...

Just wanted to post here that I will be at the Coffee Time Romance Erotic E-loop for the next hour chatting about my books, and maybe giving away a goodie or too! So, if you have a moment to pop on over and chat, come on down! This chat lasts from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm EST. You can participate here!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dangerous to Know and Daddy Loves Belinda



The cover is Dangerous to Know/Anne Ireland/Red Rose Publishing

Coming 8th October.



An excerpt from Daddy Loves Belinda/Anne Ireland/Red Rose Publishing

Coming soon



She was covered in blood when they found her. It had matted into her fair curls, was smeared over her face, hands and legs, and had soaked into her pretty, white dress. Around her mouth, the blood had created a garish, clown-like effect that sent shivers down his spine.
She looked like a little vampire, Sergeant Harry Thorpe thought, as though she had rolled in her mother's blood and drunk from the open wounds. Good grief! What was he thinking? Revulsion swept over him as he realized that his mind was playing the worst kind of trick on him. She was a child – two or three at most: an innocent victim of the madman who had viciously stabbed Janice Creek to death.
It was a wonder they had found the child so quickly. Situated at the edge of Sir Melvin Gutteridge's estate, the cottage was isolated. Janice Creek and her daughter Belinda lived there alone, rarely walking the five miles to the village shop in Whitney. If it had not been for the anonymous phone call, the child might have been trapped with her mother's corpse for days. As it was, the body was hardly cold.
'Poor little mite!' Policewoman Sarah Maddison swept the child up in her arms, carrying her outside to the woman from Social Services, who was waiting to take her to safety.
As they passed Harry, the child smiled: an innocent, sweet, beguiling smile.
’Daddy loves Belinda,’ she said and for a moment, her eyes looked straight into his, sending a trickle of ice down his spine.
Harry Thorpe put a hand to his face, his mind reeling from the horror of too many deaths, too many murders. If he kept on this way, he would be heading for a breakdown. For a moment he'd thought he was looking into the eyes of a killer, but that was madness.



Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dangerous To Know& Daddy Loves Belinda

Hi everyone! I have two books coming from Red Rose Publishing very soon now. This is an Anne Ireland book.

Daddy Love Belinda is a romance/suspense written in the first person and Dangerous to Know is a third person mystery /romance with an American hero.

A small excerpt from Dangerous To Know is here for you and the cover for Daddy Loves Belinda.
Enjoy!


"My sister has been missing for more than three weeks now. I think someone must have killed her. What I want to know is what you intend to do about it?"
The girl wasn’t particularly tall, but what she lacked in inches, she made up for in spirit. Eyes that were normally a soft grey flashed fire, as she pushed her long, straight hair back from her forehead.
"I’m sorry, ma’am. Her husband reported this just over a week ago. We have her listed as missing. I don’t have much hope of finding her. People go off on their own for a variety of reasons, and I very much doubt that she has been murdered." The American police officer gave the young English girl a harassed look. "If a body turns up we’ll let you know."
"It will be a bit late by then, don’t you think?" Karin Blake snapped. "I’m asking you what you are doing to find my sister, now, before that happens."
"We’ve posted missing person pictures," the officer glared at her. Do you have any idea how many people go missing in New York every year?
"I’m only interested in finding my sister."
"We’re doing all we can, miss."
Karin stared indignantly as the police captain walked off and left her. She wanted to yell at him that he was a fool and tell him he didn’t deserve to be a police officer, but she knew it would be like water off a duck’s back. He just wasn’t interested in her or Angela.
So now what could she do? She had to try something else, because she wasn’t prepared to give up on her twin. She turned to leave the crowded office, threading her way through a tide of incoming criminals, including drug addicts, petty thieves and the police officers accompanying them in the hall.
"Miss Blake." A young dark-haired officer laid his hand on her arm. "Hey, can I talk to you for a sec?"
"Yes, if you wish." Karin looked at him. At least he seemed friendly, unlike his captain who had appeared to think she was nothing but a nuisance. "Do you know anything about my sister?"
He shook his head, disappointing her. "I heard you got the run around, but the department just doesn’t have the time to give priority to something like a missing woman."
"Then what am I supposed to do?" Karin asked. "Angela is my sister and I care about her. I need to find her, Mr…?"
"Helman," he said. "Look, it’s just a suggestion and off the record but why don’t you hire a private detective to look for your sister?"
"Yes, I suppose I could do that," Karin said, suddenly seeing a way out of her frustration. "How would I go about finding a good one, Mr Helman? I don’t live in New York. In fact my plane leaves late this evening – so I don’t have a lot of time to waste looking."
"I know someone who might take your case," he replied. "The thing about Mike Wendell is that he’s honest. He won’t take your money and cheat you – and he used to be one of the best officers we had in the NYPD. He had a bad accident during a car chase and they pensioned him off, but he’s perfectly fit now – against all the odds."
"He sounds exactly the man for me," Karin said, smiling at him. "Thank you for your advice, Mr Helman. Now tell me, where I can find this Mike Wendell?"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

'Silk and Steel': a new ancient world romance out today

My erotic historical romance SILK AND STEEL is released today by Siren-Bookstrand. SILK AND STEEL makes my third novel set in the exotic, sensual world of ancient Rome, along with my erotic historical romance, ESCAPE TO LOVE and my sensual historical romance, FLAVIA'S SECRET, also published by Siren-Bookstrand.

To see all three of these exciting novels, please visit my SirenBookstrand author page:
http://www.bookstrand.com/authors/lindsaytownsend/



Best wishes, Lindsay
http://lindsaysbookchat.blogspot.com

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mating Season Anthology a Reviewer's Pick!

Well, I'm very happy to report that Mating Season and my novella No Place to Run are a Reviewer's Pick at Night Owl Reviews! Woo hoo! That is just like the best news an author can get, as I'm sure you know. :-)

So, if you have a minute, check out the review and don't forget to pick up your copy of Mating Season from Amira Press! Here's that link: Night Owl Romance Review for Mating Season

Monday, August 3, 2009

TwoLips Reviews Scavenger Hunt

Hey, you guys, TwoLips Reviews is having a Scavenger Hunt!
The TWOLIPS SCAVENGER HUNT is on and I am a participant. Look for their icon on my website.

If you need to know the rules and what you can win, here's how: www.twolipsreviews. com click on scavenger hunt and you will find the rules! come play with us! and win win win! over 100 prizes to be won come on and play!
So start playing already!
Sarah McNeal
www.sarahmcneal.com

Friday, June 26, 2009

Check out Patricia Richardson on Squidoo...

Patricia has been very busy recently. With new rules going up at Squidoo regarding adult rated content she had scramble to get her lenses up to snuff so they didn't get taken down. If you haven't checked out her books yet, you want to, I've read them all and they are fantastic! Here are the links:

A Place for Ida

A Time for Jonathan

Deeply Hidden Desires

Be sure and rate her lenses while you're there! :-)

Chatting at Love Romances Cafe....

I'll be chatting all day with my fellow Eternal Press authors at Love Romances Cafe yahoo group on Sunday June 28, 2009. I'll be posting excerpts and blurbs and other fun stuff so if you're bored on Sunday or just like chatting about books with authors come and join us! Here's the link, Love Romances Cafe

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Recent review roundup - and an interview

Allowing myself a brief toot or two on my own trumpet:

A couple of encouraging reviews came in recently for A Knight's Captive - one from Single Titles (who also did an interview with me) and one from Manic Readers.

I've also just had a B for Blue Gold from Dear Author, so that's another toot.

That's it for now.

Lindsay

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dark Ancient Queen


Hi. it is an age since I managed to get here. We have had a sad time and I've not felt like posting. I am just popping in to tell you that Amira Press will publish Dark Ancient Queen on Friday 19th.


www.amirapress.com

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Excerpt from Deeply Hidden Desires by Patricia Richardson...

It was an unseasonably humid spring day in downtown Baltimore. Tara stopped to watch the ducks float around in their dirty pond water as she entered the campus of North Charles Hospital. She wore a black long-sleeved tailored suit that fit snugly around the curves of her shapely body. The skirt stopped just above her knees. She also wore black stockings and black two-inch pumps that accented her plump well-formed legs. Tara stood just a few inches above five feet at 120 lbs. Her skin, usually the color of cocoa, now had a bronze shimmer due to the summer sun. But her most prominent feature, which men especially appreciated, was her thick, full, rose-colored lips.

Obviously she was going to regret wearing black on such a hot day, but what choice did a sista have? None! It was the only corporate outfit that she owned, and she wasn’t about to charge anything on her almost maxed-out charge cards.

She arrived with a few minutes to spare for her appointment with Dr. Conrad. She was a registered nurse at last! Her body were still jittery from all the studying and preparation for her boards; now the interview, the very thought of it, seemed to add new butterflies to the pit of her already tense stomach.

She took deep breaths, trying to relax and get her mind geared to ace her interview. She really needed this job since she had tons of bills to pay. Credit cards, student loans, you name it, she owed it. “Soon the creditors will be knocking at my door.” She had been letting the answering machine pick up her calls, she had run out of excuses. Frankly her creditors didn’t want to hear any more excuses. Green, the almighty dollar, is what they wanted at this point.
She forced those thoughts out of her head; they were just something else to add to her nervousness. She allowed her mind to drift freely, that’s what she needed, freedom to make choices. She was tired of the pressures of life, and tired of being tired of her man.

Out of all the wonderful, colorful, uplifting thoughts that could have entered her mind, what she continued to ponder was the ducks. “How can they survive in such filthy water?” But before she could satisfy herself with a logical explanation, a beautiful black Mercedes Benz
cruised up to where she was standing, and practically came to a standstill. The driver eye-balled her from head to toe approvingly, his smile was warm and lustful. His skin tone was as black as a starless night and as smooth as a newborn baby’s behind. Pearly white teeth sparkled in the bright sunlight; his bald head gleamed. He was the spitting image of how she liked her man to look. Even though he was sitting behind the wheel, she was able to get a sense of his height. That long, lean muscular frame had to be at least 6 feet tall.

She returned the smile, slowly and flirtatiously. “Watch yourself!” She heard a warning bell go off in her head. She still had Kendrick in her life, even though he was the opposite of what she wanted her man to look like. He did have the height and sparkling brown eyes, but not the ultra-bright gleam of teeth against a dark chocolate complexion. He had a deep throaty, Isaac Hayes voice, maybe even sexier than Isaac’s. Kendrick’s voice was enough to make a girl climax until you became used to it, and used to it she was. She did love him, but he wasn’t meeting her needs - mentally or sexually – anymore. Kendrick used to do the type of things in bed that would turn a sista out, but lately sex and everything else had
been routine, hardly anything to anticipate. Tara couldn’t help but reminisce from time to time about their explicit encounters in the most erotic places. How she longed to have him back that way again! Sometimes she wondered whether it was the memory of how he used to be that still had her in love.

Mating Season Makes the Top Ten at Amira Press!

Well, I'm more jazzed than I can say. When I looked at one of my publisher's websites, I discovered that Mating Season, the anthology that has my story No Place to Run in it has made #7 on Amira's main top ten list and #2 on Amira's paranormal list. I'm pretty sure this book is going to sell enough to go to print, so it's very encouraging to see that it has made these lists.

If you haven't had a chance to check out Mating Season, then now is the time! It has some very lovely stories that are geared towards just about every taste I think. There is one contemporary Native American story (mine of course) and then one interracial by Dahlia Rose, and two paranormal romances, one by Brenda Steele and another by Dorian Wallace.

Here are the blurbs for each story, enjoy! There's a link at the bottom of the post:

No Place to Run - Regina Paul Lin Chen carries a strong bloodline from the Bunun tribe. On the run from an abusive ex-husband, she has left her native Taiwan hoping to draw her ex away from her family. Driving through North Dakota, she encounters a winter blizzard which forces her to stop on the Standing Rock Reservation. There she meets Kyle Little Eagle, a medicine man. While, it isn’t long before they are close, her ex is not far behind. Can Lin overcome her fear of men and let Kyle help her? Can love and a mutual connection to the spirit world prevent her worst fears from being realized?

Flights of Fancy - Dahlia Rose (Interracial) Spring not only brought flowers and sunshine. But it got Tate Hildebrandt outside on a ladder to paint his sexy landlady's building. He fell off the very same ladder after hearing a sexy conversation with him as the star. He looked up to see the woman of his naughty dreams, Fancy McKee. Fancy owned and ran Fantasy Cakes an erotic bakery that was the only one of its kind in Merry, North Carolina. From the time Tate met this gorgeous woman he had the urge to sample her lips like one of the cakes she made. When she decided to take care of him after his fall, he saw it as the perfect opportunity to finally make his move. But with Fancy there is more than meets the eye. Can the new love they found survive the stigma of a small town mentality?

Midnight Shift - Brenda Steele Lori lives in an alternate world of humans and shifters. The two barely get along, and recent laws made to track the shifters' movements have not helped relations at all. Lori, a human, with no ambition other than to work at a bookstore that serves nocturnal shifters meets arrogant tiger shifter, Chase who is a college professor. Under normal circumstances, Chase would not look twice at a human, but the fact that he is days from entering his mating season is playing havoc with his senses. Now, not only can't he hide his claws and his furry ears in public, he cannot stop hunting Lori. Despite political unrest in their city, Chase will make Lori his lover.

A Hare's Breadth - Dorian Wallace As part of a shape shifting family and having a witch as her best friend, Robin’s life is by no means normal. Things are about to take an exciting yet dangerous twist when a band of Italian gypsies make their way into her life and her heart. Will the man that saved her from being killed bring Robin more peril and heartache than he intends, tearing them apart or cementing them together forever?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

4.5 Red Roses for 'Bronze Lightning'

I'm thrilled with this 4.5 Red Roses review for my historical romance, BRONZE LIGHTNING! Here's what Linda Sole says: (Thank you, Linda!)

"Bronze Lightning by Lindsay Townsend
Siren-BookStrand
March 2009
ISBN: 1-60601-273-8
Pages: 356
Krete, c 1562 BC
Isle of Stones – Kingdom of the Atterians, 1561 BC

Sarmatia is the Bull Rider in the sacred rites. It is her place to help the children go through the rite so that they may become adults. She has always been content with her life but that is about to change with a chance meeting, a meeting that will end up transforming her view of life.

Fearn has always been a healer. It is his ability to heal that has made his name know far and wide. He has come to Krete to heal the king. Traveling to Krete has given Fearn the chance to meet Sarmatia, which has changed his life.

Fearn has found the one woman that he wants to spend his life with. Before he can do that he needs to make sure his people have a healer when he is gone. He goes home with the promise to Sarmatia that he will return for her and that they will be together. Once home he finds opposition to his leaving his family and the people. As he is about to leave having trained a new healer the unthinkable happens and the king dies. Now being part of the royal family Fearn must be tested along with others to see who will be the new king. Wanting no part of ruling the people Fearn nonetheless takes the test to show his good will. The one thing Fearn never saw coming was inheriting the crown. Now the only chance he has at happiness is if Sarmatia is willing to come to him on a several months long journey and giving up the life she has always known.

How strong is Sarmatia? She is about to find out just what she is capable of. She is about to start on a journey that will test her in its own way. One that if she is not careful she just might not survive. Sarmatia is going to find out just how much she loves Fearn as she is tested time and again.

Thinking that once she is reunited with Fearn that all will be well. Now they are going to be able to start their lives together she finds that she is very much mistaken. Some one is trying to hurt them and if they don’t find out who is behind the attacks they just might not be able to have a life together after all. Someone wants what they have and will stop at nothing until they get what they want. There are several people with a motive but which one is conniving enough to get away with the stealthy attacks without being seen. They will have to survive long enough to find the person or persons so that they will finally have the happiness they have tried so hard to enjoy.

This is a remarkable book in that it takes you back in time. It is well written so that you get a glimpse of the world at that time and it gives you a wonderful mystery as to who is behind the attacks and keeps you guessing as to what will happen next. The many twists and turns keep you engrossed as you try to figure out who is behind all the mishaps that keep happening.

I give this one 4-1/2 Red Roses."

Buy details here:

http://lindsaysbookchat.blogspot.com/2009/01/bronze-lightning.html

Best wishes, Lindsay
Lindsay Townsend

Saturday, May 9, 2009

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY



For any of you who have kids, pets or nieces and nephews, I want to wish you a wonderful Mother's Day.

Sarah McNeal

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Heroes and kings

Edward Burne-Jones, 'King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid (1884)' (from Wikimedia Commons)I could look at this famous Burne-Jones picture, King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid, for hours. It shows one of the romance ideals - the ultimate Cinderella story. King Cophetua, smitten by love for the beggar girl, finds her, offers her his heart and marries her. (Naturally, she says yes!)

It's the stuff of romance, even modern romance. Over and over, the rich, powerful hero 'rescues' the Cinderella heroine: the struggling artist, waitress, actress, secretary. As a myth it's comforting to the man, showing him as a powerful hero figure. Women, too, can enjoy the fantasy of being swept up into luxury - who wouldn't?

I'd love to see more role-reversal of this myth: the queen raising up the beggar lad, the woman of power showering her hero with gifts. Woman not only as care-giver or healer but as bestower.

I don't write role reversal very often, although I did have fun with the ideas in Bronze Lightning, in the relationship between Bride and her young lover.

Here's a role reversal excerpt from Bronze Lightning, where Bride the warrior woman uses her sword in a very original way.

EXCERPT.

Bride entered the house first and heard Fearn behind her draw Sarmatia into a dark corner. 'Goar's in our chamber. Tonight it's yours,' he whispered. He and Sarmatia disappeared.
Bride picked her way round the sleeping royal family and banked-down fire. She could see that the smallest room—really no more than an alcove—was open. A tall figure lurked beside the bed, dressed in loin cloth and jet necklace.
'I'm glad you chose the black amber.' Bride closed the hangings behind her.
'Anything to please. Will you bury me in it?'
So Goar thought he knew her mind. Bride unsheathed her sword, floated its point up to his left shoulder. 'There. The bead was wrong.' She arranged it with the blade tip. 'Now you've seen her, do you think Sarmatia beautiful?' The lethal point trailed down his chest.
'For a woman in man's clothes she's outstanding.'
The fool was brave. The point had reached his lights. The blade side twanged, a gentle reprimand, against the hard flatness of his stomach, and jagged along the top of the loin cloth. Goar hadn't the length of arm to retaliate as the sword stroked along his flanks. Involuntarily, his hips moved.
'Just like a man. Fickle.'
There was no mistaking the satisfaction in Bride's voice. Goar was resentful. The hesitant caresses of his Atterian girls had been nothing as deadly-sensuous as this.
Warmed by his body, the blunter sides of the rapier scraped on Goar's dark-blond leg hairs and glided upwards. Resentment sharpened as the sword mesmerized him. The point touched him intimately, through the cloth. Goar began to sweat. His breathing was like that of one of his girls, in their moment of yielding. He hated the humiliation.
'Hate? You'd kill me if you could.' Bride goaded him.
Goar began to pant. The blunt part of the blade alternated with the narrower tip in a killing parody of a woman's mouth and tongue. Abruptly, both were withdrawn. Goar swayed slightly.
'Here I am—the woman you swore you'd never bed.' Bride's mouth was dry as she dropped sword and tunic by her heels.
Goar forgot danger and his years of turning aside. He stepped forward.
'Wait!'
His potent picture of himself shattered, but Bride wasn’t teasing. Frowning, she picked up the sword and flicked back one of the bed furs. A long black shape struck at her and she recoiled.
The adder spilled over the bed, fell writhing on the alcove floor, followed by a spider. Another dozen huge spiders scrambled over the furs in every direction. Goar caught the adder's tail, whipped it onto the bed, bundled snake and spiders' nest into the biggest fur and carried it to the midden.
Returning, he found Bride almost as he'd left her, except that she'd been sick in the waste bucket. When he touched it, her hand was clammy.
'I didn't put them there.’ Goar didn't insult her by suggesting that the adder and spiders had found their own way into the alcove. 'Did the snake bite you?'
'No. We'd better find Fearn.' Bride choked, her shoulders heaving. This time, she managed to keep the sickness down. 'I don't think that gift was meant for us.' She tried to laugh. 'Unless Sarmatia brought the adder here.'
Neither idea seemed likely to Goar. 'Forget it. A bad joke.' The families had drunk a skinful tonight. Anyone could have dumped their bedfellows into the alcove while he was out at the midden. Goar squeezed Bride's chilly fingers. 'The snake's gone. You can sit down.'
She stared at him with the round eyes of a child. Men or snakes were one thing, but everyone has a weakness. Goar gave his light laugh, suddenly understanding.
'Let's make sure we've no other bedtime visitors.'
Hand in hand they scoured the tiny chamber and shook the remaining furs. Two spiders dropped to the floor and Goar pushed at Bride before she stiffened. 'Into bed with you. I'll get rid of these.'
He didn't kill them. The spiders had made a peace between him and Bride.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

News about new books


I feel dreadful because I haven't managed to get on for a week or two and I probably won't for the next few weeks so I am blogging tonight while I have the chance. My latest HMB will be out next month. It is the first of a triolgy and every book has Hanover Square in the title - my publisher's idea. I hope it doesn't confuse readers! The first is A Country Miss in Hanover Square and I've just finished the proofs of the final book so that series is nicely tucked to bed.


On the ebook side I have Dark Ancient Queen going through the editing process with Amira Press and the cover is good. They usually produce good covers. I am terribly busy working on a series of long books for my agent. These are intended for mainstream, and as the first has gone in I may have news before too long.


Apologies to whoever posts today. Hope this doesn't interfere with your posting. I will be back when I can. Best wishes to everyone and I hope my readers enjoy the new Anen Herries book.
The cover is from the second book in the Family Feud book from Severn House.

Love from Linda/Anne

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter/Passover


Happy Easter/Passover
Whatever you are doing to celebrate the holidays, I hope that you'll have fun and enjoy this day of renewal.
My family is having a luncheon and we're each bringing our favorite foods and enjoy conversation and good eats till we drop. My sister volunteered to work at the hospital today so she doesn't have to bring anything.
I'm going to take a little private time after things settle down and remember those I've lost this year, my friend Joyce, my sister, Marlene whose birthday would have been April 17 and my loving dog Kate. Then I'm going to plan my vacation to Hilton Head that was given as a gift from my buddy, Mike Hinson, plan a garden and start looking for a puppy. It's time for me to go forward with my life and find some happiness again and this is the perfect time of year to do that.
To all of you I wish you a wonderful holiday.
Wishing you happiness to your corner of the universe.
Sarah McNeal
www.sarahmcneal.com

Monday, April 6, 2009

Five Tombstone Review for Dark Phoenix!!!







Dark Phoenix has received a FIVE tombstone review from Justice at Bitten by Books! Thank you so much, Justice!
Here's a snippet of her review!


Dark Phoenix is a dramatic action packed page turner. Once the first page is opened you are instantly transported to a desert planet not fit for human kind, it is so well written your mouth will parch. I felt as if I was part of the story, like a ghost unseen in each scene. Literally, in my mind’s eye I could see the action, the jarring of the battles vibrated my seat, the seductive caresses of the love shared between the characters made me yearn to curl up next to someone special. Ms. Matthews has definitely did it again she brings her audience into her world and if most are like me they will want to stay there a while.
Justice, Bitten By Books!

Read the full review by following this link! Dark Phoenix review!

~Marly

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Homecoming Video Book Trailer...

Just a few more days before Homecoming is released! Check out my video book trailer. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

'A Knight's Captive' out today

I'm so excited - my latest Kensington Zebra historical romance, A Knight's Captive, is out today! All the details, including an excerpt, are on my blog here, and there's a four-star review from Romantic Times.

Best wishes, Lindsay

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads.com is giving away 3 signed copies of Reckless Liaisons. If you have a Goodreads account, go here to enter. If you don't have an account, create one and then enter (Goodreads is a wonderful site, you won't regret it!). Winners will be selected on April 20th.

Good luck!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Book Video for Dark Phoenix by Marly Mathews

I have made a book video for Dark Phoenix! Check it out and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

'Bronze Lightning' out now

Hello - I'm Lindsay Townsend and I'm delighted to be blogging at Moonlight Romance Authors. I write medievals ('A Knight's Captive' is due out from Kensington in April), but I also write books set in the ancient Mediterranean. Here's the blurb and an excerpt from my new ancient world historical romance, Bronze Lightning, set in ancient Krete, Egypt and England. This novel is available from Bookstrand and out now.

The cover and buy details can be seen here.

Ancient Krete, 1562 B.C.

Sarmatia is a trainer for the Bull Rite, the dangerous, glamorous ceremony of bull-leaping that gave a young Kretan entry into adulthood. Fearn is healer from the distant northern Isle of Stones summoned for his skills to the sick-bed of Minos, the Kretan king. They meet on the dusty flagstones of the palace courtyard and both save a life.
A year passes. They are betrothed, but Fearn has returned home and is chosen king of his small northern country. As king, master of storms, he cannot return to Krete. Fearn writes to Sarmatia releasing her from her vows - but is this what they really want?
Sarmatia leaves Krete to search for Fearn. Many months and life-and-death adventures later, she is reunited with him. She and Fearn are still deeply in love but there is an unknown enemy working against them, one who will stop at nothing, even murder.

Excerpt:

Krete, c.1562 BC. Summer.

Sarmatia spun away and was gone, somersaulting over her hands and landing with a soft clash of gold ankle bells. Their meeting of eyes had lasted no more than a breath, yet it kept returning to haunt her as the music shrilled to a climax and the piebald bull was let into the court. Even as the flute players left and the Bull Rite began, her gaze was drawn to the back of the courtyard.
Three of the seven had completed their Passage and two were gone: the fourth initiate should have been ready. As the bull came to a jolting stop at one end of the court, pawed restively and licked the painted flags, Sarmatia motioned to a creamy-skinned, gray-eyed girl. The youngster backed up a step. The bull raised its head, its horn scraping against a pillar. The girl blanched and looked wildly about, ready to run. In three strides Sarmatia made up the space between them and gripped her arm. Unseen by the families, she pressed the flat of her dagger into the initiate's side. Cruel to be kind, she threatened.
'This or the bull if you show your back, Pero!' she whispered, turning the blade for the girl to feel its edge. 'The only way out is through the horns.' Whatever Sarmatia's private disgust and unease, custom and the crowd demanded it. They would not forgive Pero if she failed.
'I can't!' Pero was shaking and near tears. A low murmur ran around the watching crowd like a wind through barley: the mob and the bull would not wait much longer. Pierced by pity, Sarmatia squeezed the girl's thin shoulder. 'Do you want to be a child all your life?' she asked gently.
'Sarmatia, I can't! Those horns, they're like knives, and the bull— Oh, Mother!' Pero's voice cracked. 'It's looking for me!' The bull had trotted out of the shadows at the back of the courtyard.
Sarmatia stepped in front of Pero, shielding the girl. 'Look, it's nothing.' She ran forward, clapping her hands.
The bull halted and its head slewed round towards them, a brown forelock covering one eye. 'To me!' she shouted.
The beast dropped its great horns. She heard the people applaud. With an explosion of dust the bull charged. She felt its hot, closed mind surrounding her. For an instant skill deserted her. She remembered she was too old for the Bull Rite. A blaze of gold spilled from the bull's horns, instinct returned and with it sureness. She caught the horns and let herself rise. Time and the horizon fell back, she could see the blue vault of heaven, the red-mouthed 'O' of the crowd, a flash of red-gold hair as Fearn turned his head, following her descent. Her feet touched the bony rump of the bull, she tucked in her arms and somersaulted off, running forward as she landed.
Behind her the beast gave a sulky grunt, swept this way and that with its horns and lashed its tail. Pero worked her way into its sight, swaying her hips to keep quick and supple. The piebald ambled off in the opposite direction then suddenly spun about and bore down on the girl in another burst of speed. Sarmatia moved to cover Pero's tumble and signalled to the remaining initiates to do the same. She heard the girl seize the bull's horns, with a great smack on each palm, and saw her tossed, arching like a dolphin in mid-air and rising clear of the deadly gilded horns. The time of peril would be when the girl landed. If Pero caught an ankle or winded herself, Sarmatia knew she would have to be in quickly to distract the beast.
There was a shower of dark hair and Pero touched earth to a roar from her family. Sarmatia grabbed her arm and pulled her clear, but was not fast enough: already the bull had skidded round. Too late, Sarmatia realized what the beast had seen. A child had kicked a hole in the fencing and was running out into the turbid afternoon light. No time to draw the bull off— all she could hope for was to reach the boy first.
Sprinting, her insides turning to water, Sarmatia rushed for the child. As her hands closed round his tiny—so tiny!—body and her cheek grazed the stones she thought, with terrible clarity: I promised they would be safe. I've failed.
For a second, a dark breathing shadow hung over her. Then came pain, the slow tearing punch of the horn.
* * * *
She came awake suddenly, crying out. Firm hands kept her flat against the stones.
'Peace, Kretan,' said the man crouched beside her, pressing a cloth onto the spurting wound in her side. 'There's nothing to fear.' In the sun his hair framed his broad-featured face like a nimbus, yet there was darkness behind him. The bull was still free in the courtyard.
Sarmatia wet her lips with her tongue. 'The child?'
Fearn jerked his head to one side. 'Ramose has taken his son. He's safe.' The initiates were also gone, the crowd hanging back, uncertain what to do.
They were alone in the court, except for the bull. Fearn pressed on her side again then withdrew the cloth. A dark spiral of blood pooled under Sarmatia's ribs; blood no longer pumped from the wound. She scarcely felt it as he bound the gash with a bandage made from his tunic. 'You must leave, Sir, the bull—'
She broke off, eyes widening, and Fearn whipped round. Ready to gore, the bull was lowering its huge head, its face so close that its breath stirred the bristles of Fearn's beard. Fearn threw up an arm to fend off the horns and drove a fist into the face of the beast. 'Get back!' He hit the creature a second time. 'Learn your lesson!'
The bull snorted and the healer shifted, covering Sarmatia completely with his body. He stamped the stones and shouted at the beast. ‘Go on! Go on!’
As Fearn's boot hammered the flags, there came the rumble of a distant storm, like the muffled roar of a lion. The beast started back and with a bellow turned tail and ran.


Best wishes, Lindsay

[Image of bull-leaping fresco from Wikimedia Commons.]

Monday, March 9, 2009

Homecoming by Regina Paul

I'm excited to say I have a brand new release coming out on April 7, 2009 from Eternal Press. So, thought I'd post an unedited blurb and exerpt.

Blurb:

Eagle and Crew were once more than lovers. They were bond mates, connected not just by a heart bond, but by a strong psychic bond that allowed them to communicate telepathically. While an older Eagle was ready for the committment of their bonding ceremony, Crew was not. Eagle pushed. They fought. Crew left, heading for the stars he longed to explore. Five years later Crew has returned and is now ready to make his committment to Eagle permanent with the bonding ceremony. But will a blazing hot encounter lead to the homecoming Crew has been dreaming about, or does Eagle have revenge on his mind?

Exerpt:

Stepping back a bit but still keeping his arm around the younger man’s shoulders, Eagle began walking them towards the wide open doors at the other end of the building. Outside Crew could see twinkling stars in shades of aqua, pink and blue, as well as the pink and purple shrouded Oberion Nebula that filled a quarter of his world’s night sky. “Yes, where else would I live?”

“Well, I just thought that maybe…” Crew let his words trail off.

“That I would want to move so I could forget you?” Eagle finished for him. Then he looked down into Crew’s peridot colored eyes and said, “Crew, I never want to forget you. Not then and not now.”

Guilt sleeted through Crew; he had wanted to forget Eagle. He had in fact done everything he could to forget the man, even going so far as to purchase a male prostitute who was said to know some very interesting sexual techniques. In the end it hadn’t mattered, he hadn’t been able to bear even the touch of the man’s fingers against his hand. “I tried to forget you.” He whispered, his eyes lowered in shame.

“I know, I felt it when you tried to…” This time it was Eagle’s turn to let his voice trail off into nothingness.

“Nothing happened. I couldn’t even bear for him to so much as touch my hand. I ended up paying him, and sending him on his way.” Crew looked up into the older man’s face, his eyes earnest.

“Yes, I know. I saw it through your eyes.” This was said quietly and Eagle’s fingers tightened almost to the point of pain on Crew’s shoulder before they loosened and Eagle let out a sigh. “The important thing is you’re home.”

“Yes.” It was strange. Eagle wasn’t asking him if he was planning on staying or putting any pressure on him to stay. He seemed like he wanted to bond with him again, but he wasn’t trying to pressure him into a lifetime commitment as he had five years before. Of course that could be due to the fact that it had been five years since they’d last seen each other, and they had only been in each other’s presence for fifteen minutes or so. It could also be because the man wanted some kind of revenge. Still the behavior was so unlike Eagle, that Crew didn’t know what to make of it.

When they reached the tall building that housed Eagle’s apartment déjà vu overwhelmed Crew as he remembered the last time he had been here. They’d fought over the commitment ceremony or rather Crew’s unwillingness to have one until after he’d seen something of the universe. His last memory had been of Eagle standing at the glass front door watching him with pain-filled eyes as he walked away heading to the spaceport and his newly purchased ship. His final shouted words to Eagle had been, “Fuck you! I don’t need this shit! If you can’t accept me as I am, accept my dreams then you don’t deserve me!” The memory reminded him of what a hothead he’d been at twenty-one. He liked to think that five years had mellowed him somewhat, but only time would tell if that was true with regards to his relationship with Eagle. They had always set sparks off of each other, and not just in bed.

The elevator ride was over in seconds, and the hallways they traveled through though decorated differently in greens this time instead of blues were familiar as was the door to Eagle’s apartment. Unlike in their past doors could now be any shape at all from rectangular to triangular to round. Eagle had always liked his doors round, a throw back to his Native American ancestry back on their mother world, Earth.

“Why don’t you unlock the door.”

Crew threw Eagle a disbelieving look, before asking incredulously. “You mean my retina scan is still in there?”

“Yes.” Eagle stroked one long brown finger down the side of his face. “I knew you would come back home eventually.” He dropped his hand and shrugged one shoulder.

(c) Copyright 2009 by Regina Paul. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Modern Vampire


A Modern Vampire by Anne Ireland Amira PressISBN: 978-1-935348-17-7Pages: 57

Jenna Marsh has worked hard to become the head of her family’s business, Marsh Institute. Jenna has worked very hard for her family and the company. She knows as long as the company succeeds then vampires around the world will be able to live in the daylight and have fuller lives. Being a vampire herself she knows how difficult it can be to live in the real world. She has one problem that everyone is telling her to take care of. Someone is trying to find out the truth about their kind and that could lead to a lot of problems if the world finds out there really are vampires.Vinnie Paige is a researcher who is being paid to find out the truth about vampires. In all his research about all things paranormal he has found some very old references to vampires. Vinnie is one the best researchers in this field. Vinnie has been trying to find out more information on the Marsh Company but keeps coming up against a firewall in their system. He has come close but so far hasn’t been able to find out what he needs to. Jenna knows Vinnie is trying to get into their systems but is hesitant about permanently stopping him. There is something about him that keeps drawing her to him. But she doesn’t understand how a human can make her feel so strongly about them. As if that wasn’t enough to deal with she has a rogue vampire that is starting to draw attention to them. The vampire needs to be stopped but first she has to figure out who it is and get the evidence necessary to take to the council so the vampire can be stopped.Now if only Jenna could get things to work out things just might start looking up.This is a really good book that you hate to see end. It has a different twist on vampires that makes it new and fresh and brings new things to all things vampire. I enjoyed the way the author’s idea of how vampires came to be. This is one worth reading. I give this one 5 red roses

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March Madness!

March has definitely come in like a lion for me!

First, the release of Reckless Liaisons, my first new novel in over two years.


Yesterday, I learned that "Caging Kat" won the 2009 FANTASM Award for Best Overall Speculative Romance (Short Story). Additionally, my wonderful bffs Stella and Audra Price won THREE FANTASMS.

And today I discovered that Reckless Liaisons is a Recommended Read at FAR. Sandie says:
"Reckless Liaisons by Kayleigh Jamison is sure to be a favorite with every Regency reader... Ms. Jamison delivers a story that will intrigue and captivate you. Julia and Sebastian's love story sweeps you along from the halls of his stately manor to the theaters of London. The description in each scene carries you back in time to Regency London to horse drawn carriages on cobblestone streets and debutante balls, where the slightest misadventure could ruin a young lady's reputation forever. This is a fantastic read and one that you will want to revisit time and again."

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Reckless Liaisons Now Available!

RECKLESS LIAISONS

Kayleigh Jamison

Black Lyon Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-934912-13-3

Ebook

Print

(Print is available through most major retailers online, and in select bookstores – if yours doesn’t have it, ask!)



Was she a second chance at love—
or his golden opportunity for revenge?

Sebastian Cade, reclusive Duke of Rutland, has gone to great lengths to withdraw from the London society he’s come to despise. Still reeling from betrayal and tragedy, he finds himself powerfully attracted to his lovely new raven-haired ward—so much so that he begins to question the last five years of his life.

When Julia Deveraux awakens in the Duke’s rose garden, the memories flood back. A betrothal she detests. The great black horse stolen from her father. Her near escape … Now under Sebastian’s care, she sees the rumors of his disfigurement are far from true. But will her secret connection to his sworn enemy tear them apart before love brings them together?

"Kayleigh Jamison has written a Regency romance that is titillating and amusing, fast-paced and well-crafted, luscious and seductive all at once. The characters and story will quickly pull you in and leave you wanting more as you turn each page. The author has written a book that has the reader laughing one moment, and feeling hot and bothered the next. I will eagerly be looking for Ms. Jamison's next book."
Night Owl Romance

"Good read! RECKLESS LIAISONS is a well-constructed story with each character having their own voice and distinctive personality. It is a historical account of London society filled with Dukes, Earls and debutantes that makes you wish you too were a Lady or Gent. Never a dull moment, this story is engaging with its well constructed climaxes and conversational tone. This intriguing story involves all my favorites: gentlemen, galas, power, deceit, handsome faces and of course romance."
Coffee Time Romance

http://www.kayleighjamison.com

Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Promise Made


A Promise Made is my new Linda Sole book from Severn House. This is the second in the Family Feud series and is out in March. The Lie was the first in this series and it has received a wonderful review in the Historical Novel Review magazine.


It says that neither the title nor the cover does justice to this outstanding wartime saga. It also praises the book for extracting every grain of emotional value and ends up, I quote:

The book cleverly winds up tension to the end. It is one of the very best wartime sagas and a pleasure to review.


The review was by Geoffrey Harfield - and no I don't know him.


I was thrilled to get this and wanted to share. The cover is for my new book.


As a footnote. Chateau Despair is now available in print from amazon.com as well as in ebook.

Love to all, Linda

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cover for Homecoming...

I'm very excited to say I have the cover for Homecoming, my new gay erotic scifi that's coming out with Eternal Press on April 7, 2009! I really love how Shirley Burnett took my vision and turned it into a stellar cover. Thanks Shirley!

Wanna see too? Here it is!



I love how she she portrayed my characters here, and she even got the nebula from my story into the background. As you can see I'm really bubbling, I just love getting a new cover. LOL

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My World Has Gone Dark



It is with great sadness that I tell all of you that my darling, loving, sweet Golden Retriever, Kate, died February 13. She was diagnosed with bone cancer on Halloween and was only expected to live a few weeks. She must have felt the love and care around her because she lived 3 and 1/2 months. I took this picture of her just before Christmas. She loved riding in the car and greeting people with her mouth stuffed with toys. In the last 24 hours of her life she was in so much pain that none of her medicines helped her. I called the vet and they arranged to meet Kate with a stretcher and she was allowed to go in peace. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I loved her so much and the house is empty without her.

An hour after I got home from the vet's, I got a call from the nurse in the intensive care unit in Minnesota that my big sister had died. Marlene taught me how to drive because she was the only one with the patience and fearlessness to do it. She saved my life once and gave me some good advice when I most needed it. I don't have a picture of her uploaded on my computer or I would share that with you.

There is a dark shadow over my corner of the universe right now. Thanks to my friends and family I know I'll get back into the sunshine some day--just not today.

Sarah McNeal

Monday, January 26, 2009

Writer"s Block

There's been a great deal of talk on the loops lately about writer's block *gulp*. Discussion has gone round and round about what to do if it strikes. Even in my brand bew issue of RWR magazine, there was an article about how to kick start your muse. That being said, I'd just like to let you know that help is on the way.
Carolina Romance Writers, my local chapter of RWA, has a great onine workshop coming up in February. Here's the info: (Don't worry about the cut off, they will let you register right up to the class start up date. And if you're a recluse and just want the information, they keep all the classes in the files section so you can download it.)

February Online Workshops
February 2-27, 2009 Standard WorkshopUsing Writer’s Block As Building BlocksPresented by Raquel Rodriguez

Want to just write? Stop fighting your Muse! Dry spells can indicate the dreaded writer’s block, a rough wall to hurtle. Teacher and writer, Raquel Rodriguez, can help you understand the possible causes for this challenge and offers several ways to break through. Learn what story options may be hiding from you and how to trust your instincts to make the right decision that can help move your story forward. Work with several block-breaking writing exercises you can use as building blocks to help get you writing again and build your scenes and story in the right direction. Topics Covered:- Scenes that refuse to be written- Finding the right words- Staring at a intimidating blank page or computer monitor- Reasons we get stuck in the middle of the story- Sweating that deadline
Growing up around ghosts and having written stories since her teens, native Texan and published author Raquel Rodriguez is used to things that go "bump" 24/7. With a passion for Science Fiction, anything paranormal, Space Opera, and writing romance, Raquel blends these elements into her passionate stories with twists of action and suspense. She has studied, taught and lectured about Parapsychology for over 25 years, utilizing Astrology, Astrological Tarot and Vogler’s 12 steps to plot her stories. Raquel 's personal motto is, "Never give up, never surrender!" and she writes at least five FF&P romance stories per year with her specific story planning and plotting techniques. For more information, please visit her website at www.RaquelRodriguez.com.
*Please Note: If paying by Paypal, please send money to workshops@carolinaromancewriters.com.
Registration Deadline: January 25th

To register, go to www.carolinaromancewriters.com and click onto "workshops" tab at the top of the page and then "February" on the roll out calendar. I hope you'll check it out.
Sarah McNeal
www.sarahmcneal.com

Thursday, January 22, 2009

THE CRINGE OF ROMANCE














The Romantic Cringe




Often times people will ask me what I write when they first learn that I am a published writer. My gut reaction is a sudden desire to lie and explain in lofty terms that I write alternative fiction. I want to throw out a lot of baloney about time travel, science fiction, adventure, Western or even experimental dabbling into creative fiction. I could duck the entire issue and act like I just saw someone I know across the room and I must be off to greet them. The last thing I want to tell them is that I’m a romance writer.




I know. I know. I’m a coward. But the minute I tell an enthusiastic person that I’m a romance writer, I have to endure their deflated interest and sudden monotone voice depicting low esteem when they respond with, “Oh. That’s nice.”What the heck? It’s as if my IQ just dropped and my efforts to get that POV right and the hours I agonized working the plot into an exciting revelation meant absolutely nothing—because I write romance.




Some people just don’t get it. Writing about the most tender feelings two people can have for one another and making them find ways to overcome impossible obstacles to have that one person their heart yearns for is an amazing amount of work to get it right and make it lift the heart. Is it nobler to write dark tombs with sad endings than those filled with hope and ending in happiness? Apparently. Is it easier somehow to forge a romance than a murder? In the minds of many, yes.




Well, for myself, I delight in reading romance and I have no desire to write anything else. I enjoy happy endings and stories that make me believe in the impossible. My life is filled with the harsh edges of reality and the sting and bite of everyday existence. When I settle down into bed at night, I like to close my day within the pages of a wonderful romance that allows me to believe that the world really can be a better place.
Sarah J. McNeal
www.sarahmcneal.com

Monday, January 19, 2009

Frost, Flame and Flower...

Just wanted to pop in and let everyone know I've posted a new free story to Free Romance Fiction It's a holiday story about Jack Frost and a very naught flower fairy/flame elemental named Poinsettia.

Blurb:
When Jack Frost accidentally freezes Poinsettia's poinsettia plants days before Christmas, she is furious! Hurt, and angry, Poinsettia tells Jack she never wants to see him again. Taking her at her word, he disappears for 100 years. Will a visit from Dar-Flame, Poinsettia's flame elemental father convince him to return to the North Pole and Poinsettia? Will she welcome him with open arms, or a ball of flame? Read the story to find out! It's in the Holiday section. :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Modern Vampire


I had not realised how long it was since I last posted here. Apologies to everyone but i got caught up in Christmas and since then I have been busy working and reading. I just managed to get through The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. this is a wonderful book that has made a tremendous impression on me. I feel as if I have been walking in a dream for days and have just come out at the other end. I intend to review it because it such a good book.


I on the other hand have a little Vampire book out with amira Press called A Modern Vampire/Anne Ireland. It was great fun to write. Jenna is a modern woman in every wway. Seh just happens to be a Vampire. If you feel like a light read for fun this book breaks all the rules.


I also have The White Dress coming with Eternal Press next month and Daddy Loves Belinda will be repblished by Red rose Publishing soon.

Love to you all. Linda/Anne

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sharon Cullars Chip In Auction

Hi all:

Some of you may be familiar with author Sharon Cullars and her recent struggle to keep her home. Emma Peterson, Karen Scott, and others have organized an auction to help raise money. Many authors (including Nalini Singh, Lorelei James, and Shiloh Walker), editors, promoters, designers, and reviewers have donated items to the auction, which will be held January 19th. I have offered up autographed copies of every work of mine in print, as well as an ebook bundle of ALL of my titles in electronic format. Information on each is below.

If you have anything you'd like to donate yourself, there's still time. Visit the auction site for information on how. These are difficult times for everyone. I myself have no steady income other than student loan checks and quarterly royalties. I know many others have lost their homes, their jobs, or both. A very close author friend of mine just moved her family across the country after her husband was laid off from his job, only for him to be laid off again, a month after their arrival.

That's why it's important to help when, where, and how we can. To band together as a community of book lovers and show we DO care about each other.



Leading Her to Heaven

Kayleigh Jamison

ISBN 13: 978-1-934678-45-9

Trade Paperback 224 pages

Ebook

Historical Erotic Romance


As the eldest daughter of an English earl, Lady Susanna Cavendish has led a sheltered life of privilege and leisure. She has been taught that her northern cousins, the Scots, are barbaric heathens with no regard for culture or civilization.

Notorious warrior Blair Ruthven is laird of the fiercest clan in Scotland. Born into a society rife with blood feuds and an engrained hatred for the English, Blair learns at an early age that trust and love do little more than damn and disappoint.

Forced into marriage by feuding kings in order to forge a political union between their countries, Blair and Susanna must learn to find peace between themselves as they battle ages-old prejudices – and vie for one another's hearts.

Svetkavista

Kayleigh Jamison

ISBN 13: 978-1-934678-43-5

Trade Paperback 216 pages

Ebook

Historical Erotic Romance/GLBT Romance

(warning: contains explicit m/f, f/f, and f/f/m)

Trapped within a life where she has always been an outsider, Karina dutifully follows the wishes of her father by day, and secretly pursues her dreams by night. Raised within the strict, patriarchal society of the Rom at a time when discrimination and fear are at their peak, she is forced to hide both her love of music and her passion for those who encourage her dreams.

She seeks comfort in the arms of her dearest friend and mentor, who shows her that love and lust rarely confine themselves to the ill-conceived notions of normalcy.

When a lie, spoken in a moment of desperation, threatens to shatter everything Karina holds dear, she must choose between those she loves and her own reputation. Will the truth set her free or destroy her? Does she have the courage to follow her own heart?


Unspeakable

Kayleigh Jamison

ISBN 13: 978-1604359350

Trade Paperback 70 pages

Ebook

Historical (Regency-set) Erotic Romance


Trevor Caufield has always prided himself on being a consummate rake...until a clandestine meeting with a mysterious, strangely silent woman in a darkened hallway. Setting out to pursue Emma Hatton with purely selfish intentions, he discovers emotions that transcend his formerly uncomplicated existence and teach him that true love has no need for words.


Caging Kat

Kayleigh Jamison

ISBN 13: 978-1-934678-83-1

Ebook Only

Paranormal Erotic Romance

2009 FANTASM Finalist - Best Overall Speculative Romance, Short Story


An infamous art thief, Kaitlin lives a life most can only dream of. There's one problem, though - she's bored. When a mysterious invitation to a masquerade ball appears in her mailbox, she decides to attend on a whim.

Ares, God of War, has had his eyes on the feisty Kat for some time. But can he win her over with only one night to tame her wild heart? Can he get what he's always wanted by fulfilling her deepest desires?


Eyes Like Yours

Kayleigh Jamison

ISBN 13: 978-1-60435-000-5

Ebook Only

Paranormal Erotic Romance


What happens when your dream become a reality or does it?

Each night is the same. A handsome, mysterious stranger visits Catherine in her dreams, never allowing her to see his face, and leaving her body satisfied, but her heart wanting more. With a chance encounter in the smoky confines of a night club puts Caroline face to face with a man whose eyes seem eerily familiar, dreams and reality colliding in a way that frightens and inflames her. Are her dreams real? Is Blake the key to her future – and her past?


And be one of the first to get my upcoming book, the first full-length novel I've put out in over two years, RELEASING MARCH 1:

Reckless Liaisons

Kayleigh Jamison

ISBN 13: 978-1-934912-13-3

Trade Paperback: 204 pages

Ebook

Historical (Regency-set) Romance


Was she a second chance at love—
or his golden opportunity for revenge?

Sebastian Cade, reclusive Duke of Rutland, has gone to great lengths to withdraw from the London society he's come to despise. Still reeling from betrayal and tragedy, he finds himself powerfully attracted to his lovely new raven-haired ward—so much so that he begins to question the last five years of his life.

When Julia Deveraux awakens in the Duke's rose garden, the memories flood back. A betrothal she detests. The great black horse stolen from her father. Her near escape … Now under Sebastian's care, she sees the rumors of his disfigurement are far from true. But will her secret connection to his sworn enemy tear them apart before love brings them together?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wow!

I got the news yesterday that "Caging Kat" is a finalist in the 2009 Fantasm Awards, in the category Best Overall Speculative Romance - Short Story/Novella.

Voting on winners begins soon, I'll keep you posted! Thank you to whomever nominated me, what a wonderful surprise!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

January Special/Contest from Regina Paul...

I wanted to make sure I posted here about a special/contest I'm running for the month of January. If you've never purchased a copy of my Native American romantic suspense and Amira Press Around the World of Romance Winner, Destiny's Choices, January is the month to do so! For a blurb and exerpt, visit reginapaul.com

Anyone who purchases a copy of Destiny's Choices during the month of January will be entered into a contest to win a free copy of every book I publish in 2009. Keep in mind that I already have two books contracted for 2009, and it's only January 1st! All you have to do is forward a copy of your confirmation e-mail to me at tiwatz@yahoo.com that you get from Amira Press when you buy the book and you'll be automatically entered. Some lucky winner is going to get free books for a year, so buy your copy today!