Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Kind of Heroine: A Strong Woman & Lady by P.J. MacLayne #Cozy #Mystery

You don't have to be masculine to be a strong woman—Mary Elizabeth Winstead

I was lucky to have a strong mother growing up. She had to be, raising nine children, and teaching them to stand on their own. Even in grade school, I liked my heroines to be strong. I remember writing an essay about Molly Pitcher in sixth grade when other girls were writing about male heroes like Paul Revere.

My mother also showed me, by example, that you can be strong and still be a lady, that a lady is defined by her actions towards others, and certainly not by money or social standing.

Naturally, now that I am writing books, that love for strong women has found its way into my stories. My heroines, while struggling with the challenges that are thrown at them by life, work hard to maintain their independence but balance that with being willing to accept help from their friends when it is offered.

New Release: Andrea Downing's DEAREST DARLING #Romance @WildRosePress

​Stuck in a life of servitude to her penny-pinching brother, Emily Darling longs for a more exciting existence. When a packet with travel tickets, meant for one Ethel Darton, accidentally lands on her doormat, Emily sees a chance for escape. Having turned down the dreary suitors that have come her way, is it possible a new existence also offers a different kind of man?

Daniel Saunders has carved out a life for himself in Wyoming—a life missing one thing: a wife. Having scrimped and saved to bring his mail-order bride from New York, he is outraged to find in her stead a runaway fraud. Even worse, the impostor is the sister of his old enemy.

But people are not always as they seem, and sometimes the heart knows more than the head. 

Available Oct. 8th from these retailers:

Excerpt​:  ​

“I…” she started.  “Daniel Saunders?” she asked at last.
Daniel angled his Stetson back on his head and ran his eyes over the little lady.  She bore no resemblance to the photograph; she was fair where the lady in the picture was dark, her hair was brushed back off her face whereas the other woman’s had a fringe, and she had a little turn up nose while Ethel Darton’s had been long and straight.  “Who the hell are you?” he blurted out.
The woman took a step back.  “My name is Emily Darling—”
“Darling?”  His eyes narrowed as his hands went instinctively to his hips. 
“I received your letter,” she continued somewhat breathlessly.  “I know…"
"Stop.  Just tell me where Ethel is."  The blood rushed through his veins pulling anger with it.
"I know it wasn’t meant for me," the blond continued,  "But—”
“But?  But!  Lady, are you telling me you received a dang letter meant for someone else and you went and high-tailed it out here with a train ticket and a stage ticket meant for that someone else?” 
Emily’s eyes widened. 
“You know how the hell long it took me to save for that?  You have any idea of the cost of all that?”
“I…I thought…”
“I don’t give a good goshdurn what the heck you thought.  That money was meant…” Total disbelief swallowed his tongue. Daniel took some paces and struggled to control his temper before he shot off his gun.  “Damn!” he said at last. “Damn!" he repeated.  He stomped back to her. “Well, what the hell do you expect to do now, now you’re here, may I ask?”
“Well.”  Emily visibly gathered herself and straightened up.  “Marry you, of course.”

Author bio:

Andrea Downing likes to say that when she decided to do a Masters Degree, she made the mistake of turning left out of New York, where she was born,  instead of right to the west, and ended up in the UK.   She eventually married there, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit.  Teaching, editing a poetry magazine, writing travel articles, and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC.  She now divides her time between the city and the shore, and often trades the canyons of New York for the wide open spaces of Wyoming.  Family vacations are often out west and, to date, she and her daughter have been to some 20 ranches throughout the west.  Loveland, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards.  Lawless Love, a short story, part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series, was a finalist for Best Historical Novella at the RONE Awards.   Dearest Darling, a novella, is part of The Wild Rose Press Love Letters series, and comes (came?) out Oct. 8th and Dances of the Heart, another full length novel, comes out in the next few months.

Author links: 
WEBSITE AND BLOG:  http://andreadowning.com
Twitter:  @andidowning  https://twitter.com/AndiDowning

Monday, September 29, 2014

Snark Bites: Filtering words

Learned a valuable lesson this weekend at Convolution during a writer's workshop and a writer's panel presented by Jennifer Carson over at Leaspell WordWright Guild.

This is a combination of those two lesssons. My notes are a mishmash so I'm not going to separate by source.  Filter words are those that lead to telling rather than showing. They do so by:
  • Dictating emotions.
  • Recapping for readers
  • Telling the reader what to think.

The following are examples of filter words:
  • Understood
  • Thought
  • Knew
  • Felt
  • Saw
  • Heard
  • Smelled
  • Told
  • Started to
  • Began to
  • Perceived
  • Recognized
  • Began to 
  • Seemed
What do you think? Am I missing any?

A Chat with Jennifer M. Fulford || BLOOD, LOVE AND STEEL: A MUSKETEER'S TALE

He who loves not is but half man. Athos, the famed Musketeer, seeks the ultimate release from heartbreak — death. Cruel memories of his first love, Milady de Winter, torture Athos to near madness. At the end of a streak of wagers to end his misery, Athos attempts a suicidal dare that gamblers in Paris, including the Musketeer, believe he cannot survive. When his plan backfires, he lands at the country chateau of Nicole Rieux, the pious Comtess de Rochefort. To save his reputation and please the King, he is bound by a bet to seduce her. Nicole shows compassion. She sees through his pain as she tries to forget her own. Athos must decide whether to love her and save himself from self-destruction. Only God — and her husband — may stand in the way. 


Hi Jennifer, welcome to the Snarkology! Thank you for joining me. Do you have a process for coming up with character names and book titles?

Relevant question. An agent who read my debut novel, Blood, Love and Steel, requested that I change the name of the heroine. Her name was Rochelle, but she lived in Rochefort, and the Musketeers fought at the Siege of La Rochelle. Too many Rs, Os and Cs. She's Nicole now. For other names, I steal great ones from friends who have French ancestry. One of the men in my book is Camille, a French name for a man, but for me, it's my youngest daughter's name.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Kind of Hero Schedule...

September 2014
He's suave, he's courageous, he's...
My Kind of Hero

Your favorite authors visit to discuss their favorite types of heroes or a hero specific to their novel.

Please take a moment to check out our fabulous guest schedule below.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mina Carter's DEAD REAPER WALKING Book Blast #Giveaway @BookMonster

Liberty, Oakwood series, #2

Underage witches, a breakout from demon prison and a new hellgate… What could go wrong?

Reaper extraordinaire, Laney Larson, is stuck in Liberty, Oakwood of all places, for two reasons. One, there’s way more paranormal activity going on than normal for a little town like Liberty. And two, a sexy as hell cop called Troy.

So when the proverbial hits the fan and they get wind of a demon break-out from the third hell, a prison even the demon king himself won’t set foot in, what’s a reaper to do but strap on her blades and help track the escapee down? But then the creature takes her man, and all bets are off.

A reaper, a demon and a cop…will Death claim them all, or just one?



Thursday, September 25, 2014

My Kind of Hero: My Heroes are Dogs by Amber Polo #dogfiction #giveaway #romance

 Some readers love bad boy heroes. Some prefer good boys. My heroes are dogs. And I mean that in a really good way.

I’ve read wonderful books where tortured werewolf heroes draw you in with their angst. My dog-shifter heroes have all the wonderful qualities of your favorite puppy. They’re cute, loyal, and protective, and fall in love at first sight. And very smart. They’re librarians dedicated to preserve knowledge and vanquish book-burning werewolves.

In “Released” my heroine finds a beautiful dog in an abandoned library. They become friends. Then the dog talks. And then the dog turns into a gorgeous, smart guy with a charming English accent. Who wouldn’t fall for him?

In “Retrieved” a hero with male cover model looks changes into a huge English Mastiff who happens to be a brilliant astro-archaeologist. Why not brains and brawn?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Kind of Hero: Changes over time by Sydney St. Claire #eroticromance #giveaway

There are so many kinds and types of heroes. Not all live in our romance novels. For instance, when I was young, somewhere between 6th and 8th grade, my kitten ran up a telephone pole. My best friend went up that pole and rescued my kitten. She was my hero that day and for quite a while. Imagine, going up a pole without a moment’s thought!

Many years later, I again had a kitten who was chased across a fence by the neighbor’s dog. Where did it go? You got it. Up the pole. We were getting ready for a day at the beach and I refused to leave until the cat was down. I called the fire department. No, they didn’t rescue kittens—what a crushing blow to my image of a fireman—called tree trimming companies. Couldn’t get one. Finally, my husband climbed the pole and brought down my kitten. That day, he was my hero even though I know he only did it in order to get us in the car and heading for the beach!

Then there those heroes who save lives. My dad was a cop/fireman (they were both in that city). To many, I’m sure he was a hero. Of course, to the bad guys, he was their worst nightmare. All about perspective, right?

THE ORANGE MOON AFFAIR By Afn Clarke #Giveaway @Goddessfish @AFNClarke

Thomas Gunn (ex-Special Forces) and his partner Julie are running for their lives. Who are they running from? And why? It all starts when Thomas decides to investigate the mysterious murder of his billionaire industrialist father. He’s shocked when his every move is blocked, especially by top levels of the UK government. But when his attempts to track down an elusive American business partner of his father’s turn lethal, he and Julie become moving targets, racing to outwit those who clearly want them dead. The danger rapidly escalates when Thomas is reluctantly compelled back into working for British Military Intelligence, exposing an international conspiracy that puts the freedom of the western world at grave risk.

But who are these ruthless conspirators that wield such unimaginable power? How are they connected to his father? And what dark secrets from the past will Thomas uncover in his relentless quest for the truth? This action-packed thriller spans the UK, USA and Europe and keeps you guessing to the very last page!

“The Orange Moon Affair” and “The Jonas Trust Deception”, the second in the series, have been hailed by the San Francisco Book Review as “fast-paced books you won't want to put down and you won't want them to finish." Available from Amazon (ebook and paperback).

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Kind of Hero: Listens with his ears and his heart by Brenda Whiteside #TWRP #suspense @WildRosePress

My first thought for this post was “What kind of heroes do I write about?” My second thought was “they’re all different.” My third thought, and most revealing was “only on the surface.”

I’ll use the first three books in my Love and Murder series to prove my point. What do a county sheriff, a rancher and an Austrian police inspector have in common?

First off, they listen to women. I mean really listen. It’s the deep respect, love of the fairer sex and the pure enjoyment they have for time spent with the heroine that makes them oh so sexy. Talking to the ladies here – a man who doesn’t just hear you but actually listens is gold, right? He listens with his ears and his heart.

Monday, September 22, 2014

My Kind of Hero: A Hero For All Time by Mary Gillgannon @WildRosePress #Romance

Up until recently, all my books were set in the past. I just can’t help being drawn to the high stakes intensity of earlier time periods. To me, the extreme life-and-death circumstances people faced in the past make for the most gripping and powerful love stories. As you would expect, my taste in heroes runs to the rather rough-edged, primal types who belong to that world:  The ferocious, dark age warrior. The valiant but deadly knight. The gloriously fierce Viking. The daring, dangerous rake who can handle himself on the mean streets of Regency London.

I have trouble seeing contemporary men in the same light, as that larger-than-life hero. Most of them seem too ordinary and normal to get my pulse pounding. (The exception would be my husband, who manages to combine the primitive physicality of my ideal hero and still fit in and be successful in the modern world.)

Given my preference for seriously alpha heroes, I thought all my stories would be set in the past forever. But then one day, while I was writing a romance set in ninth century Ireland, I suddenly saw my heroine in modern day Denver. I was shocked, and yet… she seemed to belong there. But how did she end up in that world, and what the heck was she going to do for a love interest? And then, all at once I knew. She was going to get her ultra masculine, no-holds-barred hero after all. Because it turns out he fell in love with her in a past life and followed her to our time. That story became Call Down the Moon.

Rejecting His Desire by Dilys J. Carnie Tour #Romance #amreading @dilysjcarnie

Genre: Contemporary Romance

When Rose's past catches up with her will she survive? Jack will stop at nothing to make sure she does.

Rose Eagleton has never let anyone penetrate her tough exterior. She won't allow herself to be hurt again, nor will she let anyone uncover the secrets of her past, which she has successfully hidden for years. But when she meets Jack Calloway he refuses to let her hide behind her shell. She's confused about her feelings for this man who takes every opportunity to be close to her, to touch her, to make her feel. But she knows one thing for sure—she can't let him become important to her.

Jack's motto had always been 'to protect'. An ex-Navy Seal who is now part owner of a security firm, he takes his work seriously. When he installs a security system in Rose's club as a favor to her sister, he finds himself intrigued by the beautiful young woman who fights so hard to keep him at a distance. As he discovers the secrets she's trying so desperately to hide, it becomes clear that her life is in danger. Can he break through her shell and provide her with the protection she needs but refuses to accept?

Content Warning: contains adult language and explicit sex

Buy Links:  
Beachwalk Press

Celebrate your freedom to read: Banned Books week Sept. 21-27th

From the American Library Association:
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Check out the frequently challenged books section to explore the issues and controversies around book challenges and book banning. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.
Read more here

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Signed paperback Goodreads #Giveaway HUNGER MOON @MelissaSnark #paranormal @werewolf

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hunger Moon by Melissa Snark

Hunger Moon

by Melissa Snark

Giveaway ends September 28, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Free or not free?

Every now and then I undergo an existentialist crisis and question everything I've done up to that point. I'm a cat sitting before an open doorway, unable to determine whether I should go in...stay out...go in...

Not so long ago, I took a hard look at the way my Loki's Wolves series is branded. I brooded on the subject for a few months before determining what I needed and commissioning new covers.Another thing I've looked at are my blurbs, categories, key words, reviews, and, of course, pricing.

FREE is a hot button topic among authors and publishers nowadays. Thanks to a deluge of free books, including the success of KDP Select, readers seem to have grown accustomed to books that are free or near free. Barriers to publishing are flat so there are many titles that aren't properly edited. Downward pressure on prices is making it harder and harder to make a living. Authors make less money, as do publishers, making it more likely some authors and publishers will be forced out of the market.

So FREE? Ultimate evil or useful marketing tool?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My Kind of Hero: Rogue with a Heart of Gold by Melissa Fox #amwriting #Romance @MelissaFoxWords

I love romances. I love heroes—both reading and writing them. I have, as we all do, more than one favorite hero and hero types. The alpha male with the heart of gold tops my list, but there’s another layer to that great character trait that really gets me squirming and clutching the book (or Kindle, or iPhone, or…you get the picture) to my chest and sighing—the super-clever, sneaky, purposefully self-deprecating alpha male with a heart of gold. Sounds complicated? Oh, you betcha. And that excites and invests me in a story more than any other hero out there. Hard to write, but when he’s done right… Oh, my.

I just finished reading Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades yet again, and her hero, Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, is all that and more. Clever, constantly in control, on top of things, and ten steps ahead of everyone else. He’s intimidating and awe-inspiring, all the while making people believe he’s a bored, pampered aristocrat. So when he brings the denouement down on everyone’s’ heads with iron control, calculation, and effect, I find myself cheering and squeeing like a fangirl every time.

Another hero (or anti-hero, yeah, super-big fan of those when they’re written well) who may very well be the ultimate example of my favorite type of hero is C. S. Pacat’s Laurent from her Captive Prince series. Those stories are simply brilliant. Nuanced, frightening, thrilling, unexpected, nothing-as-it-seems brilliant. She writes Laurent with some great goal already in mind, I have no doubt, but the discovery and the journey of his character has been gripping so far. Taking a character and turning him around, from hating him, believing him shallow, spoiled, cruel, possibly downright evil and revealing his true nature and motivations bit by bit in the narrative and action of the story is not only captivating for the reader, but also difficult to accomplish as a writer. I’m enthralled and dying for the third book. Dying.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

My Kind of Hero: Doesn’t Think He Is by Gemma Brocato #Romance @GemmaBrocato #Giveaway

Confession time: I went about this all wrong. When I first started writing this post, I thought I would concentrate on what kind of hero I like to write about. A man who isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind, who can take criticism like...well, like a man. An alpha male who embraces his sensitive side, enjoys being around kids and loves his mother. And hey, if he looks like Karl Urban or Chris Pine, it never hurts (Oops - did I just out myself as a Trekkie?)

So I fixed a pot of coffee, flexed my fingers and prepared to write the best blog post ever. Then I looked at the calendar.

I’m writing this on September 11. That’s when I knew I couldn't write about the typical brand of hero. Because the hero I most admire and respect is the person who doesn’t believe he or she is a hero. It’s the individual who sees an opportunity to help and doesn’t hesitate to rush in with assistance and then will deny all recognition of their everyday heroism.

My Kind of Hero: He's a Scoundrel by Lucy Woodhull #Romance #Comedy

The hero of my Samantha Lytton series of romantic comedies is an art thief named Nate. Or maybe Sam. (Yes, Sam and Samantha--just go with it.) He’s a liar. He’s so shady his name keeps changing. And he’s the kind of man every woman dreams of; he grows into being not just what his heroine needs, but who she deserves.

He’s not an alpha male; he doesn’t run around punching people and doing things for Samantha’s “own good.” Ugh. I wouldn’t put up with that crap in real life, and my heroines don’t in books. Respect means understanding that a woman is a human being capable of knowing what she wants all by herself. That’s my kind of hero.

Sam changes his life in order to fit into Samantha’s because he’s a big enough boy to understand a great thing when she bops him on the head (um, accidentally!) in her sleep. Heroines so often change for a man--give up a job, whatever. But my hero doesn’t subscribe to narrow, old-fashioned gender roles. He follows his heart. And he realizes that going on the straight and narrow for a bodacious redhead is a helluva lot better than rotting in jail drinking toilet wine. My hero is no moron.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Kind of Hero: The Imperfect Hero by J. Hughey #99cents #NewAdult

I've read I don’t want to even admit how many heroes and created seven so far in my writing career and My Kind of Hero has to be flawed. My leading man has to have problems and imperfections. (Even my most stereotypical alpha hero, from historical romance Unbidden, has flaws.) I want strength but I don't like domineering men. He must be capable of respect for a woman, and forming a relationship beyond physical attraction.

I'm currently infatuated with Boone Ramer. (My Kind of Hero is usually whomever I’m writing at the moment.) Boone is the male lead from my new release, Eruption. He's the second son in a family of Nebraska cattle ranchers, and he’s a level headed, all-American nice guy. The kind of guy a woman stares at and, even as she does it, isn't sure why. I physically modeled him on a youthful Bailey Chase, the man who plays Branch on the TV series "Longmire." Boone's easy on the eyes, with a nice body from playing football, but not underwear model handsome. He's the boy you wish your daughter would bring home instead of the unemployed goth biker dude, and confuses my main character, Violet. She thinks she likes bad boys but develops a giant freshman crush on Boone. (She and her BFF/roomie refer to him as Hotness!)

If he wants to reciprocate, he hides it, because he's an RA in her dorm. A relationship with her is against school policy and, as you've probably guessed, Boone is a rule-follower.

Office romance in EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH by Tracey Rogers #Giveaway

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Some rules are made to be broken…

Rule number 1: No touching
Rule number 2: No kissing
Rule number 3: Never, ever, fall in love

Holly Wilder finds some of those rules pretty difficult to follow during her boss's visits to present the Employee of the Month award. A relationship between them is prohibited, and even if it wasn't, Holly has no intention of ever falling in love again. But that doesn't stop her from craving Max's touch.

Hotel owner Max Lazzari never expected to break his own rules, especially when they are so important to him. But sexy employee Holly is too hard to resist. Their no-strings, secret arrangement fits in perfectly with his no-commitment plan. A plan to ensure that no woman will ever again have the opportunity to hurt him.

Sizzling nights together mean Holly and Max start looking forward to the monthly visits more and more. Until they are both brought down to earth with a bump—a pregnancy one!

Will rule breaking lead to broken hearts?

Content Warning: contains sensual sex and some strong language

 Buy Links:  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Quote: Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

"Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This... is my boomstick! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?"

~Ash, Army of Darkness