Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Short Sexy Spring Romance

Spring has always been my favorite time for new romances and reading new romance novels. Today our guest is Anna Durrand, who started out writing romance as a teenager.  She is an award-winning writer, who is also a freelance librarian, and an audiobook addict. She specializes in steamy romances featuring spunky heroines and hunky heroes, in settings as diverse as modern Chicago and the fairy realm. In her previous life as a librarian, she says she haunted the stacks of public libraries but never met any hot vampires hunting for magical books. Welcome, Anna, and please tell us a little about your publishing journey and how you got your first book published.

The first novels I wrote, back in high school, were romances -- though I didn't recognize it at the time. Though today I also write as Anna Durand, I started out over a decade ago writing under my real name (Lisa A. Shiel). After publishing several books in a paranormal adventure series, I slowly realized all my novels included romantic elements and those were the parts I enjoyed writing the most. So I dusted off a book I'd written in 2001, the paranormal suspense romance Willpower, and cleaned it up for publication. It was released in 2013, and since then I've focused on my romance writing, winning seven awards so far. In 2015, I finally worked up the courage to delve into erotic romance and I've never looked back.


What is the story “behind” your latest book? Where did you get the idea for it?

Tempted by a Kiss is an erotic romance short story about best friends who discover they share a
scorching passion for each other. This idea came about when I saw a call for submissions for a romance anthology about underground clubs. The club theme inspired my basic plot for the story: Mel has gone to a raunchy underground club to find a one-night stand, but her best friend Adam shows up to stop her and to make a shocking offer. The anthology wound up being canceled due to lack of submissions, but the editors encouraged me to submit the story elsewhere, which is how it ended up with The Wild Rose Press.

What do you like best about your heroine and hero?
I love Mel's spunk and Adam's desperation. Yes, I love a desperate hero! He's also strong and compassionate, but his desperation to stop Mel from making a terrible mistake is what drives the story forward. It also molds Adam -- an infamous womanizer -- into a sympathetic character we can root for.

What is your writing process – outlining or just writing?
I never outline. Been there, done that! J I let the story stew in my brain until characters and even whole scenes coalesce in my mind. That's when I start writing things down -- bits of scenes, character traits, plot twists, etc.

Do you have any advice for a beginning writer?
READ. I can't tell you how many newbie writers I've encountered who don't read at all or only read one or two books a year, at most. You must read the genre in which you write. Period. I utilize audiobooks as a way to increase how much I read, because reading not only teaches me what I like and don't like in a story, it also shows me what's popular and spurs new ideas. I'm constantly thinking, even with books I love, "Gee, I would've taken the story in this direction…"

What is your next project?
I'm finishing up the final edits on Dangerous in a Kilt, an erotic contemporary romance about Erica, an American girl with life-altering problems who meets Lachlan, a hot Scot on vacation from his mysterious past. They meet in the same underground club where Mel and Adam from Tempted by a Kiss came together, but with different results. Lachlan offers Erica four weeks of sex and companionship, with no strings and no personal questions. But things get a little complicated… Big surprise, right? This book will be the first in the Hot Scots series, where romance blooms from the culture clash between spirited American lasses and sexy Scotsmen.

How can readers get in touch with you?

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheAnnaDurand
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnaDurandFiction
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/annadurand
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/107125218319320313523
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/Anna_Durand/
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/author/annadurand

Please give us a blurb on Tempted by a Kiss: 
Mel Thompson just dumped her cheating ex after two years together. Now she's determined to understand the allure of casual sex by having a steamy fling of her own at a notoriously raunchy underground club. When her best friend, Adam Caras, catches on to her plan, he makes a surprising offer to derail her. If she wants a hot fling, he'll give it to her.

Who better than Adam, renowned lady-killer, to demonstrate the erotic pleasures of a one night stand? Sex could ruin their friendship, but after a soul-searing kiss, Mel fears one night may never be enough.
Buy links:
Amazon: http://amzn.com/dp/B017TO8SSA
The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/wildcatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=182&products_id=1077
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1122930086?ean=2940156677351
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/tempted-by-a-kiss
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tempted-by-a-kiss/id1061465692?mt=11
All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-temptedbyakiss-1935885-149.html

Thank you, Anna, for being our guest today.  Any comments or questions for Anna?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sailing into Suspense

While like so many readers I really enjoy romance, romantic suspense remains one of my all time favorite sub-genres.  I love to write it and I love to read it.  Today in my writing corner we are focusing on a new romantic suspense from multi-published author Kathleen Mix. 

She is a degreed Computer Engineer who has developed software ranging from submarine combat control systems to a database devoted to storks. But she is also an avid sailor and licensed charter boat captain, so eventually she sailed off into the sunset and began a second career writing non-fiction sailing and travel articles. Then one day, while anchored in the Virgin Island, she started writing fiction, and this time she really uncovered her true love. Now she is back in Virginia, along with her husband and what she calls a spoiled Sheltie, writing new books.

Her latest is titled Impossible Ransom, and it sounds like a winner if you're looking for a spring read with plenty of action, adventure and a steamy romance.

The one man she hates is the only one who can save her…

Working as part of a yacht crew sounded like the perfect escape for senator’s daughter Val Ferrell. Glorious Caribbean beaches, turquoise seas, and freedom from her overbearing father? Heaven. But when the ship is hijacked by violent men—who want to use Val to get to her father—Val’s fantasy turns into a nightmare. Now her only hope is the ship’s captain, who happens to be her ex-lover.

After disobeying an order, covert operative Nick O’Shea’s been assigned yacht captain duty. Working side-by-side with the tiny blonde who makes him crazy—and keeping his hands off her—was definitely punishment. But when Val’s life is endangered, Nick must choose between staying aboard and fighting to retake the boat or risking their lives by attempting an escape to an isolated Caribbean island. With the ransom deadline rapidly approaching, he’s running out of time...
 
Yes, definitely sounds interesting for a Spring Break read. Let's get an excerpt:
 

     Nick recognized Val’s slim silhouette as she walked toward him. He felt a wash of relief to see her unharmed, but couldn’t shake the leftover anger caused by her lies. She stopped near the wheel and handed him a paper plate holding a quartered sandwich. The scent of strawberry shampoo sweetened the air.
     He took the plate, and their fingers touched for half an instant. Awareness raced through every cell in his body, and he knew that despite the fact that she was unattainable and he wanted to think he didn’t care, she still affected him like no woman ever had before. If he let down his guard around her at all, his emotions could be in deep trouble.
     She motioned toward the sandwich. “Kanon said you could have this. Sorry it’s only one and only jelly.”
     He stopped himself from lingering in thoughts irrelevant to the moment. “Thanks. I appreciate your asking.” His stomach rumbled with the promise of food. “I haven’t had anything solid to eat since a stale bagel early yesterday.”
     “How’s your head?” she asked. “When you fell…I was worried.”
     He touched the back of his skull and smothered a wince. “I’ll be fine, it’s just a little bump. Are you okay?”
     She pulled in a shaky breath. He tilted his head to look closer. Was that a bruise forming on her cheek? His blood heated. “Did one of them hit you?”
     “I mouthed off, and Kanon didn’t like my comments.” She raised a hand and rubbed the side of her chin. “I guess it was stupid to needle him. I found out he gets mean when he’s mad.”
     Anger boiled in Nick’s bloodstream, and he fisted his free hand at his side. When he got hold of the man who’d hurt her, he’d teach him not to attack defenseless women, make it clear that he’d kill anyone who ever dared lay a hand on her again.
Buy links:

 
If you'd like to get in touch with Kathleen, here's how:
@KathleenMix
 
Thanks, Kathleen for being my guest today. Any questions or comments for Kathleen?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Baking Up An Adorable Romance

Spring is in the air, and it's time to get outside and go to the park or the mountains, or just get in some play time.  But then what could be better than curling up in a chair with a good romance novel when you get home?  We're continuing to look for new authors and more fun books to read.  Today our guest in My Writing Corner is Darcy Lundeen.
 
What made you want to become a writer?

As with so many other writers, the desire to write was always with me. When I was just a child, I kept incessantly putting pencil to paper (unfortunately no computer keyboard and monitor back then) and scribbling stories and poems. But when I got older, the view of all concerned was that being a writer was merely a pipe dream. So I visited a career counselor to get professional help. When I told her about my writing dreams, she waved them off, saying maybe I could do that as a hobby, but when I was an adult, I needed a “real” job. So she ordered one of those tests designed to pinpoint a person’s perfect career.

It pinpointed my perfect career as being a dentist in the Navy. Don’t get me wrong.  I have only the highest admiration for the brave men and women who serve in every branch of the military, and I greatly respect those equally accomplished men and women who study for years until they’ve acquired the skill to keep our mouths in tiptop condition.  But since I get motion sick from just thinking of bobbing around on a ship and since the mere prospect of looking at an infected tooth, let alone actually ripping it out of someone’s head, both leave me feeling seriously queasy, I figured the test results were a little less than accurate.

So I ignored them and decided to become a writer instead. And I actually had the good fortune of doing it (in a rather roundabout way, of course) by having a career writing research reports. So by following my heart instead of some test results, I not only remained a happier person, I also kept both the U.S. Navy and an unknown number of innocent toothache sufferers safer and healthier by staying as far away from them as possible.

A number of years later, I finally got the courage to take one of the stories I'd been writing in my spare time, polish it up, tell myself the worst that could happen was that the publisher would tell me if I ever sent them anything else they'd see that I was deported...to Mars. Then I sent it.

No, it wasn't snapped up by the publisher who joyfully insisted that my work was so magnificent it was going to zoom to Number One on the New York Times bestseller list as soon as it was released. On the other hand, I wasn't deported to Mars either. And a while later, one of my other stories was accepted for publication.

Tell us a little about your book, Adore Me, and where you got the idea for it.


Since my latest book is part of The Wild Rose Press’s Candy Hearts series, there were certain parameters I had to follow. First, that the story not be longer than 20-thousand words in length; next, that it be a fun story about two people finding romance; third, that Valentine’s Day be involved; and last, that a specific saying found on one of those well know and much loved sugary little candy hearts be an integral part of the story.

I hadn’t done any real writing for a while because of various family problems and illness, though I still jotted thoughts and sentences down almost daily. But I finally decided it might be time for me to return to the fray, sit down, and actually write an entire story. And what better way to do that than to begin with something short and sweet? And the Candy Hearts series seemed perfect for that.

Then, as often happens, the first sentence, with heroine Meredith standing in the kitchen of her fledging, financially shaky  dessert company and inhaling the luscious smells of her baking, came to me and I went from there as I tried to guess exactly what roadblocks she’d have to face and overcome on her path to happily-ever-after.

In the case of my book, I needed one of the phrases the company that makes the hearts periodically discontinues for the story I wanted to write. Finally, I found Adore Me, hence the book’s title.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Most of the advice I’d give has often been given before. For instance:
      Write (as consistently as you can, every day if possible).
       Read widely, certainly in those genres you enjoy but also in the kind of books you, as a reader, normally wouldn’t consider.
       Ask questions (if you know nothing about plumbing, for instance, and one of your characters is a plumber, there are probably many plumbers out there who’d be happy to share their expertise since most people love talking about what they know best.)
       Read books and/or take courses on writing technique to help you hone your skill.

To those points, I’d like to add another. That is, listen. I don’t like the idea of being deliberately nosy or intrusive, but sometimes hearing random bits of conversation from strangers or even paying close attention to the interaction between people you know can spark ideas or insights that will someday help in developing a character or plot. The wonderful composer-lyricist Stephen Somdheim, who’s never been married, was once asked how he knows so much about marriage that his lyrics can ring so unerringly true. To that, he simply said, “I listen.” I think it’s a good idea since most writers tend to be introverts anyway and we often prefer to remain fairly invisible and just...well, just listen.

And, of course, last but never least, don’t give up. Ever. If writing is really what you want to do, then keep at it no matter what setbacks you encounter or how often you face rejections because at some point you’ll finally get that all-important call or email telling you that your submission is wonderful and they want to offer you a contract. That’s the incredible moment when all the hard work and rejections that went before will suddenly fade and you’ll be breaking out the champagne and doing that well-deserved happy dance all over the room.

Let's get a blurb for Adore Me:
 
A hacker is targeting Meredith Crismis’s struggling new dessert company. But when the tech firm she depends on sends hunky computer expert Vlad Wiznitsky to fix the problem, things begin improving for Meredith, both personally and professionally.

First, her relationship with Vlad heats up to the sizzling point, then Meredith’s given the chance to snag a wealthy customer who could put her company’s bottom line permanently into the black. It seems like a dream come true, until the persistent hacker turns her “Divine Desserts” website into an X-rated marketplace, the wealthy customer demands a discontinued decorative item or else no sale, and her relationship with Vlad begins to unravel under the pressure of her obsession with professional success.

For a woman who deals with creating intricate wedding cakes and luscious muffins, life has suddenly become the ultimate recipe for disaster.


Buy Links:

Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=6595
Barnes and Noble:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/adore-me-darcy-lundeen/1123131845?ean=2940157986339

AUTHOR LINKS:
 Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/darcy.lundeen
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/DarcyLundeenAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/DarcyLundeen
Website: www.darcylundeen.blogspot.com


Thank you, Darcy for being my guest today.  Any comments or questions for Darcy?
 


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Romantic Thriller from a New Author

Talking with a new writer is always a fun experience and that's what we're doing this week. Joining me today in My Writing Corner is C. B. Clark, whose first book, My Brother's Sins was recently published by The Wild Rose Press.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always loved reading, especially romance, but I hadn’t written anything longer than an email. When a botched operation resulted in me losing my voice for a year, I decided to try my hand at writing a book. By the time I’d typed the second page, I was hooked. There’s no greater rush than creating interesting worlds where characters face insurmountable challenges they somehow manage to over come.

Tell us a little about your journey toward getting this first book published.
Like many authors, my path to publication has been a rocky one. When I finished writing my first story, I immediately sent the manuscript to several publishers. I was devastated when the rejection letters arrived. After I bandaged my bruised ego, I wrote another book. That too was rejected, but the editors offered encouraging words, and so I wrote another and another...all rejected. But each new story improved as I honed my craft. When I submitted My Brother’s Sins to The Wild Rose Press and was offered a contract, it was a dream come true.

What would you tell someone else who is starting out and looking to be published?
Don’t give up. The publishing business today is challenging, to say the least, but publishers are still looking for good stories. The more you write, the better your writing will be. Attend conferences, enter your manuscript in contests, join a supportive critique group, but keep writing and submitting.

Let's talk about your book, My Brother's Sins. What do you like best about your heroine and hero?
Hallie, the heroine in ‘My Brother’s Sins’, is a strong woman who overcomes obstacles, both internal and external. Her voice took on a life of her own as if she were determined to tell her side of the story. When I was writing, hours passed as her words flowed onto the page. As for Ryan, the hero…tall, dark, handsome, well-muscled, brave…what’s not to like?

What is your writing process – outlining or just writing?
I’m definitely a pantser. That’s part of the fun. I start with the germ of an idea and a first sentence and go from there. Some days writing is a wild, rollercoaster ride with ideas coming hot and heavy; other days, it’s like wading in mud. I love not knowing what’s going to happen next and letting my characters write their own stories. Of course, that means there’s lots of revising when I’m finished.

What is your next project?
I’ve signed a contract for my second book with The Wild Rose Press. ‘Cherished Secrets’ is a romantic suspense set in a small town in the Pacific Northwest where everyone has a dark secret. The hero and heroine must overcome past betrayals and work together to solve an old murder and rekindle their love.
 
How about a Blurb?

Ryan Marshall’s kid brother had always been trouble. Now, his brother wants Ryan, ex-DEA agent, to protect the woman he loves from a notorious, Mexican drug cartel.
The second Ryan lays eyes on Hallie Harkins, he knows he’s made a mistake. Hallie’s blonde beauty and stubborn grit tempt him like no woman ever has. It’s all he can do to keep his hands off her…and his heart intact.

Hallie’s worst fears are realized when the man she expects to meet, vanishes. In his place, a disturbingly attractive stranger appears, claiming he’s been sent to protect her. Can she trust him? Or is he working with her pursuers?  
Following an attempt on Hallie’s life, she and Ryan join forces, embarking on a perilous mission of danger and desire taking them from rural Montana to the sunny shores of Acapulco Bay, and into the clutches of a ruthless killer.

Will they survive the mission together and find love in each other’s arms?
Buy Links:

The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=1324

All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/my-brother-s-sins-1

How can readers contact you?

I’m on the Amazon author page at: www.amazon.com/author/cbclark

Twitter: @cbclarkauthor

Email: cbclarkauthor@gmail.com

Good luck with your new book, and congratulations on being a new author.! Any questions or comments for C. B.?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Meet A Couple of Charmers

Today we're doing something a little different here in My Writing Corner.  My guest is Tena Stetler. She lives in Colorado and says she loves hiking and biking in the Rocky Mountains, which are right outside her door.  But she also loves reading and writing.  She says when she was young, if she didn't like the way a book ended, she'd re-write it to suit herself. Now she is focusing on paranormal heroes and heroines as she writes her romances and cozy mystery novels. 

 Instead of talking to Tena,  we're going to talk to two of the characters from newest book, Charm Me, a Candy Hearts romance that was recently released from The Wild Rose Press.  Let's start with Summer Dawn Reilly.  Who is Summer? A yoga instructor who also happens to be a witch with a terrible secret that colors her every decision and action.

Tell us, Summer, who were the role models in your life?  My parents.
What kind of man do you want to spend the rest of your life with?  A man with integrity and respect for himself and others. One that knows what he wants and goes after it.
What kind of man would you never choose?  A deceitful person, a clingy type of personality.
What is most important in your life?  My dog, Piper. And until recently, I'd said peace, serenity and to be left alone. But Devlin has changed all that.
What is your biggest fear?   Losing Control of my magic and never seeing my family again. You see, I had to do something terrible to save one of them, but afterward, I didn't know how to live with what I'd done. Now I'm learning....

Now let's turn to Devlin

Who is the real Devlin?  I guess you could say I’m bad at relationships (married to my job for too long), loyal to the core, and a damn fine cook (thanks to my mom who left this earth while I was on assignment). I believe in the American Dream and spent most of my life defending the right to that dream for my country.  Now after retiring from the Navy SEAL’s, I discovered I need a whole new set of skills to snare the woman of my dreams.
What event in your past has left the most indelible impression on you?  How fragile life is, whether it’s personal or in combat,  life can be snuffed out in a nano second.  Live your life like there is no tomorrow, because there may not be….
What do you most value? My family and my freedom.  I spent the majority of my adult life as a Navy SEAL. Fighting for the American people’s right to life, liberty and the pursuant of happiness.      
What is the type of woman you want to spend the rest of your life with? A self-confident, independent woman capable of loving without smothering.  Someone who shares my core values and enjoys the serenity of mountains. I think I found her in Summer. 
What do you consider most important in life?  Happiness.  Life is far too short.  There are no guarantees.  Don’t spend it worrying about inconsequential things. Spend it in the pursuit of happiness and a life mate to share it with.
What is your biggest secret? My mother was Italian and my father was something else, which gave me the preternatural abilities that made me a good Navy SEAL, and a decent person.


Thanks to both our guests, and now let's learn a little more about Charm Me:
 
Summer Dawn Rileys an extraordinary elemental witch whose troubled past haunts her. She’s created a calm life for herself teaching yoga and keeping people at a distance. Her life takes a one eighty degree turn when she enrolls in a womens weapons class and meets ruggedly handsome Devlin Sawyer.
Devlin, a former Navy Seal, has sworn off women after two long-term failed relationships, but there is no denying his attraction to Summer. She intrigues him like no other woman ever has. Despite her attempts to ignore him, Summer is drawn to Devlin. His magic signature is strong, but hes no warlock. Will Valentines Day magic find them a future together?
 
Here are the buy links for Charm Me.
 
http://www.amazon.com/Charm-Me-Candy-Hearts-Romance-ebook/dp/B018L2U904/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1455291426&sr=8-1&keywords=Charm+Me
Thank you, Tena, for bringing your characters to My Writing Corner today.  How can readers get in touch with you?
 
The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com
Newsletter sign up: Http://www.tenastetler.com
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/tenastetler/
Does anyone have any questions or comments for Tena or her characters?