giveaway

Intimate Enemies Release Blast!

I’m THRILLED to announce that my romantic suspense, INTIMATE ENEMIES, is now available in all electronic formats.

This book is quite special to me.  A two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, INTIMATE ENEMIES, recently received a complete overhaul to bring the novel up to my current writing abilities.  The work resulted in richer characters and a deeper, more complex plot and was well worth the time and effort.

I can only hope you feel the same.

To celebrate the release of this adventure into the sexy, secretive world of Rio Santana and Cassie Christo, I’m giving away a copy a day for the rest of the month — starting today!

Lots of ways to enter! Use the Rafflecopter form below. If you JUST CAN’T WAIT…I understand. It’s on sale for $3.99 at the following locations: Amazon | B & N | Smashwords

Romantic Suspense

Intimate Enemies

She is on a quest for answers; answers that could just get her killed.

Six months after the mysterious yacht explosion that killed Cassie Christo’s mother and stepbrother, authorities still have no answers to the cause. Searching for closure, Cassie returns to her childhood home on the Pacific Coast of Baja, Mexico, where she launches her own investigation into the accident. She never expected to find an adversary in the man who had once touched her heart with kindness in her darkest moment.

Rio’s been fantasizing about reconnecting with Cassie for months. But not here and sure as hell not now. As an undercover agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, he’s working the biggest sting operation in all of northern Mexico, and he definitely doesn’t have time for the wild attraction he feels for Cassie.

Not only is his cover on the line, so is his heart. Because as the end of a yearlong operation draws closer, Rio knows if he tells Cassie the truth about who and what he is, it won’t only jeopardize his mission, it may result in him losing her forever. And if he doesn’t, his lies and deception could get them both killed.

Winner #1: Becky Jean!

Winner #2: Rachel D!

Winner #3: Viki S!

Winner #4: Lucy D!

Winner #5: Cris!

Winner #6: Alexandrea W!

Winner #7: Emma M.J.!

Winner #8: Veronica D!

Winner #9: May!

Winner #10: Rachel K!

Winner #11: Kathy S!

Winner #12: Nina!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome Tracy Sumner, Author Extraordinaire!

I’m welcoming one of my Kensington sisters to One Word at a Time today! Tracy Sumner has been awarded the National Reader’s Choice, the Write Touch and the Beacon – with finalist nominations in the HOLT Medallion, Heart of Romance, Rising Stars and Reader’s Choice. Her books have been translated into German, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish!

It doesn’t have to be December to settle into a great holiday season romance! And while Tracy’s most recent work happens to have a holiday theme, JEEZOHHELL, look at that cover!  I’d read that any time of year!!!  She also has a number of other fabulous works to choose from and she’s giving away several today! Your meaningful comment will enter you for a chance to WIN a set of ebooks including the TIDE series and her holiday novella!!

An award-winning holiday novella, TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL.

Tanner Barkley was set on forgetting the love of his life. Until fate threw Katherine Peters into his path for an unforgettable holiday of passion.

Don’t forget the first rule when dealing with scoundrels.

Never wager more than you are willing to lose.

Especially in matters of the heart.

To Desire a Scoundrel: Buy link

“A bad boy…and a lively, independent woman. An excellent sequel!”
~ All Romance Bookstore Reviews
“A searing passion…a sexy tale filled with great verbal repartee!”
~ Romantic Times

Tracy, can you tell us a little about TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL?
TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL: A CHRISTMAS SEDUCTION was originally published by Kensington, but I have rights back, and have released the eBook on my own! It’s a sequel to TO SEDUCE A ROGUE, out in early 2012! Yes, I released the holiday novella first – for the Season!

Tell us a little about TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL what inspired you to write it?
When I finished TO SEDUCE A ROGUE, I really had this great feeling about Adam Chase’s best friend, Tanner Barkley. Very cynical, secretive, sexy, in other words, the perfect hero! And who better to pair him with than the daughter of the somber chaperone in ROGUE? No daughter of such a severe woman could suffer fools easily.

And we all know how foolish a man in love can act.

Then my editor invited me to participate in a Christmas anthology and TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL was born.

Katherine Peters is made for Tanner, and for the first time, I wrote about a hero who realizes this simple fact before the heroine! (If you recall, in ROGUE, Adam is clueless until nearly the end. Even Tanner tries to tell him the error of his ways. How sad is that?)

When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I do have SOME things I want to happen. It’s often more things I want the characters to SAY. But much of what happens is dictated by my characters.

What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?

I wrote YA stuff in high school. Think The Outsiders. But I read my first romance novel (LaVyrle Spencer’s VOWS) in college…and I’ve never looked back. As a writer or a reader. I love historical and contemporaries.

Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Noah Garrett from TIDES OF LOVE is kinda my guy. He’s a sexy nerd – a marine biologist. Perhaps I should say that he is the perfect guy in my mind. Intelligent+, kinda, tortured, complex, gorgeous.

Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
Maybe Tanner in TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL. It’s hard to write a hero who is very conflicted and closed to love without making him appear “un-heroic”. I like my hero AND heroines to have an edge. I have an edge, so I write with one. But you have to temper that with kindness, caring, vulnerability…something to garner support from your reader. Plus, I have to like them, too!

Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Well, this one is really funny. When I started my first novel, TO SEDUCE A ROGUE, I was dating this guy who used to be a marine biologist. And I really wrote the novel without thinking that much about how I knew about marine biology, etc. And later on, I realized that he would probably read the book or hear about it and think it was about him. I was mortified!Because Noah was all my creation. Seriously.

What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Writing! Putting butt in chair and PRODUCING.

Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
For someone who writes HEA (happily ever after) stories, I’m a bit cynical about the long-term prospects of many relationships I encounter. I’m the person who rolls her eyes at weddings. I’m not the crier.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Wine! And romance novels. Jack and Jennifer on Days of Our Lives from the late 80s/early 90s. Someone has a website (Devoted to Deveraux) with all the old clips – and I’ve been enjoying the hell out of it.

Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
I like the theme music from Out of Africa. Makes me want to create.

If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Noah Garrett: Harrison Ford/Indiana Jones — as the Professor (not the guy with the whip)
Zach Garrett: Josh Lucas (Jake Perry, Sweet Home Alabama)
Tanner Barkley: Leonardo DiCaprio (Billy, The Departed): part bad boy, part sweet man
Adam Chase: Again, H Ford (Han Solo) Stubborn as hell, fights love, vulnerable

Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
Funny! My mother called me (I think I was living in Chicago at the time) and told me an editor with Kensington had called her. I freaked! I submitted my manuscript without including a phone number. They had to TRACK ME DOWN!!!

How old were you when you read your first romance book?
19

What author causes you to “go fan girl”/squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Well, Judith Ivory did. But she’s not writing anymore, I don’t think.

If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I’m a graphic designer.  Which I love.

What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
Okay, the grand plan, if I can get the butt in chair deal going, is to finish a Victorian historical with light paranormal elements AND an edgy, sexy contemporary. I don’t know if I can finish both in the year. I also have an anthology coming out with a group of authors in April. Check out my website for release information!

If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Stephen King. Ashley March in romance. Julie Anne Long.

How do you pick your characters names?
Research, names I hear that I like. What fits the character. What I can break down. I’m very fond of nicknames for characters.

Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
First sight. It’s a fantasy!

Where can readers find you?
Website: www.tracysumner.com
Twitter: @SumnerTracy
Facebook: Facebook.com/TracySumnerRomanceAuthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5259839.Tracy_Sumner

What other works do you have out right now?

Tides of Passion: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005WVPFH0

Tides of Love: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0066B1XTY

Tracy’s story telling career began when she picked up a copy of LaVyrle Spencer’s Vows on a college beach trip. A journalism degree and a thousand romance novels later, she decided to try her hand at writing a southern version of the perfect love story. With a great deal of luck and more than a bit of perseverance, she sold her first novel to Kensington Publishing.
When not writing sensual stories featuring complex characters and lush settings, Tracy can be found reading romance, snowboarding, watching college football and figuring out how she can get to 100 countries before she kicks (which is a more difficult endeavor than it used to be with her four-year-old son in tow). She lives in Charlotte, NC, but after spending a few years in “the city”, considers herself a New Yorker at heart.

Leave a comment or question and enter to WIN a set of ebooks including the TIDE series and Tracy’s holiday novella, TO SEDUCE A SCOUNDREL!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

>Welcome Tracy Sumner, Author Extraordinaire!

>I’m welcoming one of my Kensington sisters to One Word at a Time today! Tracy Sumner has been awarded the National Reader’s Choice, the Write Touch and the Beacon – with finalist nominations in the HOLT Medallion, Heart of Romance, Rising Stars and Reader’s Choice. Her books have been translated into German, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish!

It doesn’t have to be December to settle into a great holiday season romance! And while Tracy’s most recent work happens to have a holiday theme, JEEZOHHELL, look at that cover!  I’d read that any time of year!!!  She also has a number of other fabulous works to choose from and she’s giving away several today! Your meaningful comment will enter you for a chance to WIN a set of ebooks including the TIDE series and her holiday novella!!

An award-winning holiday novella, TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL.

Tanner Barkley was set on forgetting the love of his life. Until fate threw Katherine Peters into his path for an unforgettable holiday of passion.

Don’t forget the first rule when dealing with scoundrels.

Never wager more than you are willing to lose.

Especially in matters of the heart.

To Desire a Scoundrel: Buy link

“A bad boy…and a lively, independent woman. An excellent sequel!”
~ All Romance Bookstore Reviews
“A searing passion…a sexy tale filled with great verbal repartee!”
~ Romantic Times

Tracy, can you tell us a little about TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL?
TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL: A CHRISTMAS SEDUCTION was originally published by Kensington, but I have rights back, and have released the eBook on my own! It’s a sequel to TO SEDUCE A ROGUE, out in early 2012! Yes, I released the holiday novella first – for the Season!

Tell us a little about TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL what inspired you to write it?
When I finished TO SEDUCE A ROGUE, I really had this great feeling about Adam Chase’s best friend, Tanner Barkley. Very cynical, secretive, sexy, in other words, the perfect hero! And who better to pair him with than the daughter of the somber chaperone in ROGUE? No daughter of such a severe woman could suffer fools easily.

And we all know how foolish a man in love can act.

Then my editor invited me to participate in a Christmas anthology and TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL was born.

Katherine Peters is made for Tanner, and for the first time, I wrote about a hero who realizes this simple fact before the heroine! (If you recall, in ROGUE, Adam is clueless until nearly the end. Even Tanner tries to tell him the error of his ways. How sad is that?)

When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I do have SOME things I want to happen. It’s often more things I want the characters to SAY. But much of what happens is dictated by my characters.

What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?

I wrote YA stuff in high school. Think The Outsiders. But I read my first romance novel (LaVyrle Spencer’s VOWS) in college…and I’ve never looked back. As a writer or a reader. I love historical and contemporaries.

Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Noah Garrett from TIDES OF LOVE is kinda my guy. He’s a sexy nerd – a marine biologist. Perhaps I should say that he is the perfect guy in my mind. Intelligent+, kinda, tortured, complex, gorgeous.

Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
Maybe Tanner in TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL. It’s hard to write a hero who is very conflicted and closed to love without making him appear “un-heroic”. I like my hero AND heroines to have an edge. I have an edge, so I write with one. But you have to temper that with kindness, caring, vulnerability…something to garner support from your reader. Plus, I have to like them, too!

Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Well, this one is really funny. When I started my first novel, TO SEDUCE A ROGUE, I was dating this guy who used to be a marine biologist. And I really wrote the novel without thinking that much about how I knew about marine biology, etc. And later on, I realized that he would probably read the book or hear about it and think it was about him. I was mortified!Because Noah was all my creation. Seriously.

What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Writing! Putting butt in chair and PRODUCING.

Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
For someone who writes HEA (happily ever after) stories, I’m a bit cynical about the long-term prospects of many relationships I encounter. I’m the person who rolls her eyes at weddings. I’m not the crier.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Wine! And romance novels. Jack and Jennifer on Days of Our Lives from the late 80s/early 90s. Someone has a website (Devoted to Deveraux) with all the old clips – and I’ve been enjoying the hell out of it.

Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
I like the theme music from Out of Africa. Makes me want to create.

If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Noah Garrett: Harrison Ford/Indiana Jones — as the Professor (not the guy with the whip)
Zach Garrett: Josh Lucas (Jake Perry, Sweet Home Alabama)
Tanner Barkley: Leonardo DiCaprio (Billy, The Departed): part bad boy, part sweet man
Adam Chase: Again, H Ford (Han Solo) Stubborn as hell, fights love, vulnerable

Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
Funny! My mother called me (I think I was living in Chicago at the time) and told me an editor with Kensington had called her. I freaked! I submitted my manuscript without including a phone number. They had to TRACK ME DOWN!!!

How old were you when you read your first romance book?
19

What author causes you to “go fan girl”/squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Well, Judith Ivory did. But she’s not writing anymore, I don’t think.

If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I’m a graphic designer.  Which I love.

What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
Okay, the grand plan, if I can get the butt in chair deal going, is to finish a Victorian historical with light paranormal elements AND an edgy, sexy contemporary. I don’t know if I can finish both in the year. I also have an anthology coming out with a group of authors in April. Check out my website for release information!

If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Stephen King. Ashley March in romance. Julie Anne Long.

How do you pick your characters names?
Research, names I hear that I like. What fits the character. What I can break down. I’m very fond of nicknames for characters.

Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
First sight. It’s a fantasy!

Where can readers find you?
Website: www.tracysumner.com
Twitter: @SumnerTracy
Facebook: Facebook.com/TracySumnerRomanceAuthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5259839.Tracy_Sumner

What other works do you have out right now?

Tides of Passion: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005WVPFH0

Tides of Love: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0066B1XTY

Tracy’s story telling career began when she picked up a copy of LaVyrle Spencer’s Vows on a college beach trip. A journalism degree and a thousand romance novels later, she decided to try her hand at writing a southern version of the perfect love story. With a great deal of luck and more than a bit of perseverance, she sold her first novel to Kensington Publishing.
When not writing sensual stories featuring complex characters and lush settings, Tracy can be found reading romance, snowboarding, watching college football and figuring out how she can get to 100 countries before she kicks (which is a more difficult endeavor than it used to be with her four-year-old son in tow). She lives in Charlotte, NC, but after spending a few years in “the city”, considers herself a New Yorker at heart.

Leave a comment or question and enter to WIN a set of ebooks including the TIDE series and Tracy’s holiday novella, TO SEDUCE A SCOUNDREL!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Catherine Mann is in the HOT ZONE!!

>It’s no secret I’m an Alpha, military-type hero lover, right?  I’ve probably made that plenty clear somewhere along the way, haven’t I?   Well, we’ve definitely got some yummy Alpha military yumminess going on here today!

Catherine Mann visits with info on her new release, HOT ZONE, Book 2 in her Elite Force series featuring hunky Pararescuemen. And she also shares some fun personal facts as well.

Make sure you comment about your favorite aspect of the military romantic suspense genre
to enter the giveaway for one of Catherine’s novels up for grabs today!

HOT ZONE

Days full of danger…
For Pararescueman Master Sergeant Hugh Franco, it’s all about saving other people’s lives. Then he moves on. But when he pulls beautiful Amelia Bailey and her adopted nephew from the rubble of a catastrophic earthquake, he finds himself entangled in their lives in ways he could never have imagined…

And desire-filled nights…
Amelia’s trip to the Bahamas to help with an international adoption has been no vacation, but the hardest part is yet to come. As Amelia and Hugh are pulled unawares into a deadly smuggling scheme, simmering beneath their growing need to protect each other is a compelling attraction they’re both determined to deny…

“Elite Force” series:
Book 1: COVER ME, July 2011
Book 2: HOT ZONE, December 2011
Book 3: UNDER FIRE, May 2012

“Mann’s tender yet heart-pounding story vividly creates the chaos of both disasters and love.”
– Booklist

Catherine, tell us about your upcoming release, HOT ZONE.
Thanks so much for having me here on your blog today! I’m thrilled to be celebrating the release of HOT ZONE, the second book in my “Elite Force” series about Air Force pararescuemen. They’re also known as PJs, in reference to their earlier days when they were called Para Jumpers.

What’s your favorite thing about HOT ZONE?
Having the opportunity to showcase these unsung military heroes who live by the motto “These things we do that others may live.”

What sparked the idea for this series?
I’ve long been fascinated by this basically unknown military unit – a very small unit. There are only about 350 pararescuemen total and they go through much of the same grueling training as other special ops individuals.

What creates the biggest conflict between your hero and heroine?
My hero falls in love too easily (he’s been married 3 times!) My heroine lost the love of her life and wants nothing to do with that kind of heartbreak again.

What is your strategy in creating villains?
Ahhhh, villains! I love creating villains with unexpected nuances. Villains should have reasons and motivations, even if they’re twisted. And this villain has definitely twisted by years of abuse as a child… But if I say more, it’ll give away part of the story!

What was the hardest part of this book to write and why?
The heroine works with therapy dogs, trained to help military vets suffering from PTSD. As a military wife, writing about that kind of pain carried by our veterans was especially difficult.

What do you love most about this series?
Writing about smoking hot alpha males in uniform!! (And finding the perfect heroine to conquer each hero’s heart. 😉

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Suzanne Brockmann has – without question – been a generous mentor from the very start of my writing career. She has shared her time, her insights, her readers, her support. She’s a gifted and caring person. I can never thank her enough.

How does your family view your writing career?
My kids and husband are every bit as proud of me as I am of them! (And that’s a lot!) My kids love to embarrass me in book stores by shouting at the top of their lungs, “Oh my God! Is that THE Catherine Mann?!”

What entity do you feel supports you most in your writing career outside of family members?
I have the best critique partner a writer could ever ask for! Harlequin Blaze & Historical author Joanne Rock has been my critique partner since long before either of us made that first sale. Now, Joanne’s written about 50 books and I’ve written over 40, and she still has the most awesome insights to share.

What is your writing routine?

Write until my vision blurs? LOL! Okay, seriously, I set page counts for each week. If I meet my goal by Friday, I get the weekend off. If I don’t, I have to work through the weekend to catch up. This also provides incentive to my family to stay out of my hair during the week if they want to play on the weekend.

What are you reading now?
I just finished J.R. Ward’s ENVY.

What is in your TBR pile?
I just preordered Joanna Bourne’s THE BLACK HAWK. (By the time this interview goes live, I will have read it!)

What is your preferred genre to read for pleasure?
Honestly, I’m a very eclectic reader across genres, although I do have to say I’m happiest when a book has at least some romantic thread.

Do you have a second career? (Yes, motherhood counts!)
My flyboy husband and I have four children, although three have left the nest for college now. And I also serve on the Board of Directors for my local Humane Society.

What did you do before you became a full-time writer?
I have a Master’s degree in Theater and I worked as a theater school director in Charleston, SC.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I’m a big fan of Christopher Vogler’s THE WRITER’S JOURNEY. I use it for plotting – great in helping tie in emotional turning points with plot landmarks.

What would you write if you could do write anything you wanted to write?
I’m absolutely blessed to be writing exactly what I want to write. 🙂

What do you most like about writing? Least like?
I love being able to wear my PJs all day long if I wish. Although sometimes, I miss having people around me. I guess that’s why I spend so much time online!

What would you say is your biggest writing quirk?
I foster puppies and special needs dogs for my local shelter, so it’s not unusual for me to be writing with a pack of 4-6 dogs at my feet.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read. Watch movies with my family. Walk my dogs. I’m a homebody!

What are your current projects?
HOT ZONE, “Elite Force” bk 2, Sourcebooks – out now!
PROTECTOR, “Dark Ops” bk 4, Berkley, March 2012
HONORABLE INTENTIONS, Harlequin Desire, April 2012
UNDER FIRE, “Elite Force” bk 3, Sourcebooks, May 2012
GUARDIAN, “Dark Ops” bk 5, Berkley, September 2012

Do You Have Any Undiscovered Or Hidden Talents?
I worked as a puppeteer to make extra money in graduate school.

Do You Believe That The Cup Is Half Empty Or Half Full?
Overflowing!

Are You An Introvert Or An Extrovert?
I’m a shy extrovert. 🙂

Are You A Window Person Or An Aisle Person?

Aisle!!! I feel too closed in by the window.

Do You Like Short Or Long Hair On A Guy?
Military cut short or completely shaved. Very hot!

Ever Hit A Jackpot On A Slot Machine?
Nope. Not a gambler. Would rather spend my money on a meal out or a new outfit.

Are You Afraid Of Heights?
Not in love with them.

Do you prefer your mattress soft or hard?
Firm!

How many pillows do you like to sleep with?
As many pillows as I can fit on the bed.

Which do you like more—rainy days or snowy days?
Rainy days! I’m only a fan of snow on Christmas Day. The rest of the year, I prefer my warm beach.

What is Your Favorite Beverage?
I’m trying to give up Diet Cokes – not easy! So I guess I would say chocolate tea is my current favorite.

Are You A Heavy Or Light Sleeper?
Used to be a deep sleeper, but after so many years of keeping my ears open for the kids during the night, I’ve become a light sleeper.

Are you a night or a morning person?
Night owl. Totally.

At The Beach Would You Rather Play In The Sand, Or Play In The Water?
Read a book while lounging in a beach chair.

How do you keep in touch with your readers?
I can always be found online:
Website: http://catherinemann.com
Facebook: Catherine Mann (author)
Twitter: CatherineMann1
e-mail: Catherine@CatherineMann.com

USA Today bestseller Catherine Mann has over two million books in print in more than twenty countries. A RITA Award winning author, she writes military suspense for Sourcebooks and Berkley, as well as steamy romances for Harlequin Desire. Catherine resides in Florida with her military flyboy husband and their four children.

What is your favorite aspect of the military romantic suspense genre? 
Comment to enter the giveaway for one of Catherine’s novels or bookmarks up for grabs today!



>Catherine Mann is in the HOT ZONE!!

>It’s no secret I’m an Alpha, military-type hero lover, right?  I’ve probably made that plenty clear somewhere along the way, haven’t I?   Well, we’ve definitely got some yummy Alpha military yumminess going on here today!

Catherine Mann visits with info on her new release, HOT ZONE, Book 2 in her Elite Force series featuring hunky Pararescuemen. And she also shares some fun personal facts as well.

Make sure you comment about your favorite aspect of the military romantic suspense genre
to enter the giveaway for one of Catherine’s novels up for grabs today!

HOT ZONE

Days full of danger…
For Pararescueman Master Sergeant Hugh Franco, it’s all about saving other people’s lives. Then he moves on. But when he pulls beautiful Amelia Bailey and her adopted nephew from the rubble of a catastrophic earthquake, he finds himself entangled in their lives in ways he could never have imagined…

And desire-filled nights…
Amelia’s trip to the Bahamas to help with an international adoption has been no vacation, but the hardest part is yet to come. As Amelia and Hugh are pulled unawares into a deadly smuggling scheme, simmering beneath their growing need to protect each other is a compelling attraction they’re both determined to deny…

“Elite Force” series:
Book 1: COVER ME, July 2011
Book 2: HOT ZONE, December 2011
Book 3: UNDER FIRE, May 2012

“Mann’s tender yet heart-pounding story vividly creates the chaos of both disasters and love.”
– Booklist

Catherine, tell us about your upcoming release, HOT ZONE.
Thanks so much for having me here on your blog today! I’m thrilled to be celebrating the release of HOT ZONE, the second book in my “Elite Force” series about Air Force pararescuemen. They’re also known as PJs, in reference to their earlier days when they were called Para Jumpers.

What’s your favorite thing about HOT ZONE?
Having the opportunity to showcase these unsung military heroes who live by the motto “These things we do that others may live.”

What sparked the idea for this series?
I’ve long been fascinated by this basically unknown military unit – a very small unit. There are only about 350 pararescuemen total and they go through much of the same grueling training as other special ops individuals.

What creates the biggest conflict between your hero and heroine?
My hero falls in love too easily (he’s been married 3 times!) My heroine lost the love of her life and wants nothing to do with that kind of heartbreak again.

What is your strategy in creating villains?
Ahhhh, villains! I love creating villains with unexpected nuances. Villains should have reasons and motivations, even if they’re twisted. And this villain has definitely twisted by years of abuse as a child… But if I say more, it’ll give away part of the story!

What was the hardest part of this book to write and why?
The heroine works with therapy dogs, trained to help military vets suffering from PTSD. As a military wife, writing about that kind of pain carried by our veterans was especially difficult.

What do you love most about this series?
Writing about smoking hot alpha males in uniform!! (And finding the perfect heroine to conquer each hero’s heart. 😉

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Suzanne Brockmann has – without question – been a generous mentor from the very start of my writing career. She has shared her time, her insights, her readers, her support. She’s a gifted and caring person. I can never thank her enough.

How does your family view your writing career?
My kids and husband are every bit as proud of me as I am of them! (And that’s a lot!) My kids love to embarrass me in book stores by shouting at the top of their lungs, “Oh my God! Is that THE Catherine Mann?!”

What entity do you feel supports you most in your writing career outside of family members?
I have the best critique partner a writer could ever ask for! Harlequin Blaze & Historical author Joanne Rock has been my critique partner since long before either of us made that first sale. Now, Joanne’s written about 50 books and I’ve written over 40, and she still has the most awesome insights to share.

What is your writing routine?

Write until my vision blurs? LOL! Okay, seriously, I set page counts for each week. If I meet my goal by Friday, I get the weekend off. If I don’t, I have to work through the weekend to catch up. This also provides incentive to my family to stay out of my hair during the week if they want to play on the weekend.

What are you reading now?
I just finished J.R. Ward’s ENVY.

What is in your TBR pile?
I just preordered Joanna Bourne’s THE BLACK HAWK. (By the time this interview goes live, I will have read it!)

What is your preferred genre to read for pleasure?
Honestly, I’m a very eclectic reader across genres, although I do have to say I’m happiest when a book has at least some romantic thread.

Do you have a second career? (Yes, motherhood counts!)
My flyboy husband and I have four children, although three have left the nest for college now. And I also serve on the Board of Directors for my local Humane Society.

What did you do before you became a full-time writer?
I have a Master’s degree in Theater and I worked as a theater school director in Charleston, SC.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I’m a big fan of Christopher Vogler’s THE WRITER’S JOURNEY. I use it for plotting – great in helping tie in emotional turning points with plot landmarks.

What would you write if you could do write anything you wanted to write?
I’m absolutely blessed to be writing exactly what I want to write. 🙂

What do you most like about writing? Least like?
I love being able to wear my PJs all day long if I wish. Although sometimes, I miss having people around me. I guess that’s why I spend so much time online!

What would you say is your biggest writing quirk?
I foster puppies and special needs dogs for my local shelter, so it’s not unusual for me to be writing with a pack of 4-6 dogs at my feet.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read. Watch movies with my family. Walk my dogs. I’m a homebody!

What are your current projects?
HOT ZONE, “Elite Force” bk 2, Sourcebooks – out now!
PROTECTOR, “Dark Ops” bk 4, Berkley, March 2012
HONORABLE INTENTIONS, Harlequin Desire, April 2012
UNDER FIRE, “Elite Force” bk 3, Sourcebooks, May 2012
GUARDIAN, “Dark Ops” bk 5, Berkley, September 2012

Do You Have Any Undiscovered Or Hidden Talents?
I worked as a puppeteer to make extra money in graduate school.

Do You Believe That The Cup Is Half Empty Or Half Full?
Overflowing!

Are You An Introvert Or An Extrovert?
I’m a shy extrovert. 🙂

Are You A Window Person Or An Aisle Person?

Aisle!!! I feel too closed in by the window.

Do You Like Short Or Long Hair On A Guy?
Military cut short or completely shaved. Very hot!

Ever Hit A Jackpot On A Slot Machine?
Nope. Not a gambler. Would rather spend my money on a meal out or a new outfit.

Are You Afraid Of Heights?
Not in love with them.

Do you prefer your mattress soft or hard?
Firm!

How many pillows do you like to sleep with?
As many pillows as I can fit on the bed.

Which do you like more—rainy days or snowy days?
Rainy days! I’m only a fan of snow on Christmas Day. The rest of the year, I prefer my warm beach.

What is Your Favorite Beverage?
I’m trying to give up Diet Cokes – not easy! So I guess I would say chocolate tea is my current favorite.

Are You A Heavy Or Light Sleeper?
Used to be a deep sleeper, but after so many years of keeping my ears open for the kids during the night, I’ve become a light sleeper.

Are you a night or a morning person?
Night owl. Totally.

At The Beach Would You Rather Play In The Sand, Or Play In The Water?
Read a book while lounging in a beach chair.

How do you keep in touch with your readers?
I can always be found online:
Website: http://catherinemann.com
Facebook: Catherine Mann (author)
Twitter: CatherineMann1
e-mail: Catherine@CatherineMann.com

USA Today bestseller Catherine Mann has over two million books in print in more than twenty countries. A RITA Award winning author, she writes military suspense for Sourcebooks and Berkley, as well as steamy romances for Harlequin Desire. Catherine resides in Florida with her military flyboy husband and their four children.

What is your favorite aspect of the military romantic suspense genre? 
Comment to enter the giveaway for one of Catherine’s novels or bookmarks up for grabs today!



Joyce Lamb Talks About TRUE SHOT on Release Day!! Whoo-hoo!!

>First off — SPANKALICIOUS release day Joyce!! True Shot releases today from Berkeley Sensation! Head out and get your copy today!! (Buy links below book description.)

Joyce and I met through common author friends and I’ve always enjoyed Joyce’s bubbling spirit, positive personality and amazing drive! She’s the Energizer Bunny on steroids!

(Yes, that is green you see glowing in my eyes. What? Didn’t I mention I demon-shift when I’m jealous? That is Elisabeth’s fault…but we’re not going there. This is JOYCE’s day!)

Joyce is giving away a copy of TRUE SHOT, TRUE COLORS, TRUE VISION
 and five custom handmade bookmarks
today, so comment to win!
TRUE SHOT

Special FBI operative Samantha Trudeau’s unique psychic abilities help her catch the most elusive criminals. They also put her in the path of a sadistic adversary when she discovers she’s actually working for a rogue cell-and into the confidence of a handsome journalist with his own potentially dangerous secrets.

Buy this at:
Barnes & Noble || Amazon

Joyce, how do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

Hi, Joan! Thanks a bunch for having me today!

As for how I develop my plots and characters: I pretty much start with a “what if?” question (every writer’s favorite question!). What if a female government spy and a sweet but hunky civilian ended up on the run together? What if the spy somehow lost her memory and it was up to the untrained civilian to get her to safety while holding off some unrelenting bad guys? Then I build from there.

The characters most often come from the plot — how would a certain kind of character respond in my “what if?” scenario. Of course, once I start writing, the characters become fully formed and start messing with all my plans. Grrr. While that can be frustrating, it’s mostly just really cool, because that means the characters are three-dimensional enough to exert their influence on the story. And, oh my, does that sound completely crazy?

How would you best describe your books?

My books would make really fun action adventure movies. I love action adventure movies, but most of the time I end up disappointed in the lack of character development and relationship-building. That’s what’s awesome about writing novels — the medium gives a writer the time and space to fully develop a meaningful relationship between the characters — and with the reader. True Shot in particular could become the coolest television show, because there’s a ton of potential for episodic stories, sort of like Alias (secret government spies) crossed with The Dead Zone (psychic who experiences other people’s memories).

What would you write if you could write anything you wanted to write?

I would write exactly what I’m writing. I love romantic suspense, and adding the paranormal psychic angle opened up a new world where I make the rules — or subvert them if I want to. Though I will admit that it’s crossed my mind that I would love to write for television. In fact, if I got to choose, I’d love to write for The Good Wife. Such a great show!

What do you most like about writing? Least like?

What I most like is the therapy. Go ahead and laugh. But, seriously, if I didn’t write stories where the bad guy gets what’s coming to him and the good guys win and the important people live happily ever after, I’d be spending a boatload of cash on therapy. I worked out some major frustration with my “day job” as a journalist through the first True, True Vision. In that, Charlie (the heroine) fights her newspaper’s tendency to look past the misdeeds of a big advertiser in order to protect revenue. Her actions aren’t without consequences, but the therapeutic part for me is that I got to spout my opinion about the role of newspapers in keeping the Powers That Be honest. Media in general doesn’t do that all that well anymore, and as someone who’s dedicated her life to seeking out the truth … well, it’s frustrating. So that side of Charlie most definitely represents a part of me that has needed to work out some issues.

What I least like about writing: The time I spend holed up by myself, falling behind on what’s going on with my family and friends. Writing is rewarding, but it’s a solitary activity, and since I have a day job, I have to use much of the time I’d have for a social life glued to my laptop.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

Just this past weekend, I did a booksigning with Nora Roberts. It was awesome! Not just because I was sitting a few feet away from Nora Roberts, though that was pretty cool, but because I also was in the midst of a couple of hundred devoted romance novel fans. It was truly inspiring seeing their enthusiasm for Nora and her books. And, heck, when it turned out a couple of them were there to see me, well, that was amazing.

Which is your favorite of the books you have written?

Most definitely True Shot. It’s fast-paced, has lots of action and the hero, Mac, is to die for. I flipped the hero and heroine in this one, so the hero (Mac) is the somewhat naïve civilian and the heroine (Sam) is the kick-butt government spy. But even though she’s endlessly competent and can handle a gun, she still ends up needing him to help her. I love it when super-strong characters have to admit they need assistance — and I love it in True Shot when mostly passive Mac gets majorly alpha when Sam is threatened.

What would you say is your biggest writing quirk?

My biggest quirk is probably … in order to write the super hot love scenes that I write, I sometimes need a glass of wine first. I definitely need to get loosened up before I can get down and … dirty.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Sleep. : ) I’m also hopelessly devoted to my TV. I’m constantly on the lookout for a show that surprises me, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer did back when it was on. Right now, I think that show is Revenge. The multilayered characters and twisty-turny plot keep me guessing — which is tough to do to a writer. I’m the one who leans over in the movie theater and tells the friend next to me what’s going to happen next. That usually earns me a punch in the arm, but I just can’t help myself. I see stuff coming! But TV shows that keep me guessing rock my world: Right now, those would be The Good Wife, Justified, Haven and The Closer. I haven’t checked out Once Upon a Time yet, but I’ve heard good things about it.

What are your current projects?

One of my current projects is True Shot, which comes out today. It’s the third in my True trilogy (True-logy!) about three sisters with unique psychic abilities. True Shot is Sam’s story, who ran away from home at 18 and got into some La Femme Nikita-like trouble that landed her in a secret government agency as a psychic spy. She’s always wanted to go home, to go back to her family, but she can’t without endangering the people she loves. When she learns the government agency she works for has gone rogue, she flees. Enter Mac, a journalist on vacation trying to get his head together after some bad stuff happened to him. He runs into Sam when she’s at her most vulnerable and in desperate need of help. Being the good guy he is, he goes above and beyond to help her out, which just leads to more trouble for them both.

I love these two together — Mac is funny and sarcastic, while Sam is deadly serious. Even when the stakes are at their highest, Mac is dealing with the situation with humor — because that’s the only weapon he knows how to use. Mac and Sam are the perfect foils for each other.

My other current baby isn’t actually a book. It’s my romance novels blog at USA Today, Happy Ever After. HEA launched in October and has been a total blast. HEA is all about celebrating romance novels, the readers who read them and the writers who write them. I’m lucky enough to be in the unique position of working for a major media outlet and also being a romance novelist. I wanted to somehow blend my two professions, so when I got the idea for a blog about romance novels, I took it to the Powers That Be, and HEA was born (thank you, PTBs!). I love, love, LOVE being able to give positive, smart attention to romance novels, readers and writers. Few media types really understand what we do and why we love reading/writing romance. I get it because I’m a part of it — which means the major media coverage that the romance industry gets through HEA is from an insider point of view, someone who gets it and who doesn’t look down on it as hokum (love that word!). I hope you’ll get a chance to stop by HEA and check it out! We’re at happyeverafter.usatoday.com. And, hey, maybe you’ll want to follow HEA on Twitter: @HEAusatoday.

Where can we find you online?

You can find info about my books and me at JoyceWrites.com. I certainly wouldn’t be offended if you wanted to “like” me on Facebook, at facebook.com/authorjoycelamb. And you can follow me on Twitter: @JoyceLamb.

Thanks so much for having me, Joan! And I can’t WAIT for Fever to come out!


Joyce is giving away a copy of TRUE SHOT, TRUE COLORS, TRUE VISION
and five custom handmade bookmarks
today!

 

Tell us, is there a TV show that constantly surprises you?
Give your opinion to enter the giveaway + lots of other options below!

The day Joyce sold her first novel, Relative Strangers (now available as a 99-cent e-book), she almost hung up on her agent’s assistant, thinking she was a telemarketer. See, she’d given up on getting published and had decided to learn how to play the piano. Apparently, the universe was not impressed by her (in)ability to tickle the ivories.

Her second novel, Caught in the Act (now available as a 99-cent e-book), was a 2004 RITA finalist in the romantic suspense category. Nora Roberts won that year. It was truly an honor just to be nominated!

True Vision, the first in her True trilogy, won a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in single title romantic suspense from the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA. True Vision was also awarded the HOLT Medallion for Best Book by a Virginia Author from the Virginia Romance Writers.

Besides writing, she loves to play tennis and board games and hang out with friends. Her guilty pleasures include The Real Housewives of New York, Project Runway and So You Think You Can Dance. She doesn’t have time to be ashamed.



>Joyce Lamb Talks About TRUE SHOT on Release Day!! Whoo-hoo!!

>First off — SPANKALICIOUS release day Joyce!! True Shot releases today from Berkeley Sensation! Head out and get your copy today!! (Buy links below book description.)

Joyce and I met through common author friends and I’ve always enjoyed Joyce’s bubbling spirit, positive personality and amazing drive! She’s the Energizer Bunny on steroids!

(Yes, that is green you see glowing in my eyes. What? Didn’t I mention I demon-shift when I’m jealous? That is Elisabeth’s fault…but we’re not going there. This is JOYCE’s day!)

Joyce is giving away a copy of TRUE SHOT, TRUE COLORS, TRUE VISION
 and five custom handmade bookmarks
today, so comment to win!
TRUE SHOT

Special FBI operative Samantha Trudeau’s unique psychic abilities help her catch the most elusive criminals. They also put her in the path of a sadistic adversary when she discovers she’s actually working for a rogue cell-and into the confidence of a handsome journalist with his own potentially dangerous secrets.

Buy this at:
Barnes & Noble || Amazon

Joyce, how do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

Hi, Joan! Thanks a bunch for having me today!

As for how I develop my plots and characters: I pretty much start with a “what if?” question (every writer’s favorite question!). What if a female government spy and a sweet but hunky civilian ended up on the run together? What if the spy somehow lost her memory and it was up to the untrained civilian to get her to safety while holding off some unrelenting bad guys? Then I build from there.

The characters most often come from the plot — how would a certain kind of character respond in my “what if?” scenario. Of course, once I start writing, the characters become fully formed and start messing with all my plans. Grrr. While that can be frustrating, it’s mostly just really cool, because that means the characters are three-dimensional enough to exert their influence on the story. And, oh my, does that sound completely crazy?

How would you best describe your books?

My books would make really fun action adventure movies. I love action adventure movies, but most of the time I end up disappointed in the lack of character development and relationship-building. That’s what’s awesome about writing novels — the medium gives a writer the time and space to fully develop a meaningful relationship between the characters — and with the reader. True Shot in particular could become the coolest television show, because there’s a ton of potential for episodic stories, sort of like Alias (secret government spies) crossed with The Dead Zone (psychic who experiences other people’s memories).

What would you write if you could write anything you wanted to write?

I would write exactly what I’m writing. I love romantic suspense, and adding the paranormal psychic angle opened up a new world where I make the rules — or subvert them if I want to. Though I will admit that it’s crossed my mind that I would love to write for television. In fact, if I got to choose, I’d love to write for The Good Wife. Such a great show!

What do you most like about writing? Least like?

What I most like is the therapy. Go ahead and laugh. But, seriously, if I didn’t write stories where the bad guy gets what’s coming to him and the good guys win and the important people live happily ever after, I’d be spending a boatload of cash on therapy. I worked out some major frustration with my “day job” as a journalist through the first True, True Vision. In that, Charlie (the heroine) fights her newspaper’s tendency to look past the misdeeds of a big advertiser in order to protect revenue. Her actions aren’t without consequences, but the therapeutic part for me is that I got to spout my opinion about the role of newspapers in keeping the Powers That Be honest. Media in general doesn’t do that all that well anymore, and as someone who’s dedicated her life to seeking out the truth … well, it’s frustrating. So that side of Charlie most definitely represents a part of me that has needed to work out some issues.

What I least like about writing: The time I spend holed up by myself, falling behind on what’s going on with my family and friends. Writing is rewarding, but it’s a solitary activity, and since I have a day job, I have to use much of the time I’d have for a social life glued to my laptop.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

Just this past weekend, I did a booksigning with Nora Roberts. It was awesome! Not just because I was sitting a few feet away from Nora Roberts, though that was pretty cool, but because I also was in the midst of a couple of hundred devoted romance novel fans. It was truly inspiring seeing their enthusiasm for Nora and her books. And, heck, when it turned out a couple of them were there to see me, well, that was amazing.

Which is your favorite of the books you have written?

Most definitely True Shot. It’s fast-paced, has lots of action and the hero, Mac, is to die for. I flipped the hero and heroine in this one, so the hero (Mac) is the somewhat naïve civilian and the heroine (Sam) is the kick-butt government spy. But even though she’s endlessly competent and can handle a gun, she still ends up needing him to help her. I love it when super-strong characters have to admit they need assistance — and I love it in True Shot when mostly passive Mac gets majorly alpha when Sam is threatened.

What would you say is your biggest writing quirk?

My biggest quirk is probably … in order to write the super hot love scenes that I write, I sometimes need a glass of wine first. I definitely need to get loosened up before I can get down and … dirty.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Sleep. : ) I’m also hopelessly devoted to my TV. I’m constantly on the lookout for a show that surprises me, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer did back when it was on. Right now, I think that show is Revenge. The multilayered characters and twisty-turny plot keep me guessing — which is tough to do to a writer. I’m the one who leans over in the movie theater and tells the friend next to me what’s going to happen next. That usually earns me a punch in the arm, but I just can’t help myself. I see stuff coming! But TV shows that keep me guessing rock my world: Right now, those would be The Good Wife, Justified, Haven and The Closer. I haven’t checked out Once Upon a Time yet, but I’ve heard good things about it.

What are your current projects?

One of my current projects is True Shot, which comes out today. It’s the third in my True trilogy (True-logy!) about three sisters with unique psychic abilities. True Shot is Sam’s story, who ran away from home at 18 and got into some La Femme Nikita-like trouble that landed her in a secret government agency as a psychic spy. She’s always wanted to go home, to go back to her family, but she can’t without endangering the people she loves. When she learns the government agency she works for has gone rogue, she flees. Enter Mac, a journalist on vacation trying to get his head together after some bad stuff happened to him. He runs into Sam when she’s at her most vulnerable and in desperate need of help. Being the good guy he is, he goes above and beyond to help her out, which just leads to more trouble for them both.

I love these two together — Mac is funny and sarcastic, while Sam is deadly serious. Even when the stakes are at their highest, Mac is dealing with the situation with humor — because that’s the only weapon he knows how to use. Mac and Sam are the perfect foils for each other.

My other current baby isn’t actually a book. It’s my romance novels blog at USA Today, Happy Ever After. HEA launched in October and has been a total blast. HEA is all about celebrating romance novels, the readers who read them and the writers who write them. I’m lucky enough to be in the unique position of working for a major media outlet and also being a romance novelist. I wanted to somehow blend my two professions, so when I got the idea for a blog about romance novels, I took it to the Powers That Be, and HEA was born (thank you, PTBs!). I love, love, LOVE being able to give positive, smart attention to romance novels, readers and writers. Few media types really understand what we do and why we love reading/writing romance. I get it because I’m a part of it — which means the major media coverage that the romance industry gets through HEA is from an insider point of view, someone who gets it and who doesn’t look down on it as hokum (love that word!). I hope you’ll get a chance to stop by HEA and check it out! We’re at happyeverafter.usatoday.com. And, hey, maybe you’ll want to follow HEA on Twitter: @HEAusatoday.

Where can we find you online?

You can find info about my books and me at JoyceWrites.com. I certainly wouldn’t be offended if you wanted to “like” me on Facebook, at facebook.com/authorjoycelamb. And you can follow me on Twitter: @JoyceLamb.

Thanks so much for having me, Joan! And I can’t WAIT for Fever to come out!


Joyce is giving away a copy of TRUE SHOT, TRUE COLORS, TRUE VISION
and five custom handmade bookmarks
today!

 

Tell us, is there a TV show that constantly surprises you?
Give your opinion to enter the giveaway + lots of other options below!

The day Joyce sold her first novel, Relative Strangers (now available as a 99-cent e-book), she almost hung up on her agent’s assistant, thinking she was a telemarketer. See, she’d given up on getting published and had decided to learn how to play the piano. Apparently, the universe was not impressed by her (in)ability to tickle the ivories.

Her second novel, Caught in the Act (now available as a 99-cent e-book), was a 2004 RITA finalist in the romantic suspense category. Nora Roberts won that year. It was truly an honor just to be nominated!

True Vision, the first in her True trilogy, won a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in single title romantic suspense from the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA. True Vision was also awarded the HOLT Medallion for Best Book by a Virginia Author from the Virginia Romance Writers.

Besides writing, she loves to play tennis and board games and hang out with friends. Her guilty pleasures include The Real Housewives of New York, Project Runway and So You Think You Can Dance. She doesn’t have time to be ashamed.



Cyber Monday Giveaway Blitz!!!

HAPPY MONDAY!!
Enter Pavarti Tyler’s Cyber Monday Giveaway Blitz for a chance to win:
2 prize packs (US only)
5 ebook copies of Two Moons of Sera (International)

TWO MOONS OF SARA
In a world where water and earth teem with life, Serafay is an anomaly. The result of genetic experiments on her mother’s water-borne line Serafay will have to face the very people responsible to discover who she really is. But is she the only one?

You can find Pavarti online at Blog | FaceBook | Twitter

PRIZE PACKS:
A print copy of 2MOS
A canvas bag
A Pavarti T-Shirt
A copy of Hush Hush in one Fallen in the other
Shadow on the Wall Collectible Magnet
Shadow on the Wall Note Cards
Fighting Monkey Press Note Pad
Shadow on the Wall promotional post card

>Cyber Monday Giveaway Blitz!!!

>

HAPPY MONDAY!!
Enter Pavarti Tyler’s Cyber Monday Giveaway Blitz for a chance to win:
2 prize packs (US only)
5 ebook copies of Two Moons of Sera (International)

TWO MOONS OF SARA
In a world where water and earth teem with life, Serafay is an anomaly. The result of genetic experiments on her mother’s water-borne line Serafay will have to face the very people responsible to discover who she really is. But is she the only one?

You can find Pavarti online at Blog | FaceBook | Twitter

PRIZE PACKS:
A print copy of 2MOS
A canvas bag
A Pavarti T-Shirt
A copy of Hush Hush in one Fallen in the other
Shadow on the Wall Collectible Magnet
Shadow on the Wall Note Cards
Fighting Monkey Press Note Pad
Shadow on the Wall promotional post card

Joanne Kennedy & Hot, Dark and Cowboy!

>Today I’m happy to welcome Joanne Kennedy!  Joanne’s newest cowboy romance, Tall, Dark and Cowboy with Sourcebooks released November 1st and is available everywhere books are sold (links below).  I’ve got my own review for you and an interview from Joanne. 

As always, we’ve got some great giveaways as well!  Danielle at Source has generously offered 2 copies of Tall, Dark and Cowboy for giveaway today and I’m giving away five custom handmade bookmarks!  So get out there and tell us what you love most about cowboys! YUM!
 
TALL, DARK AND COWBOY


She’s looking for an old friend. . .

In the wake of a nasty divorce, Lacey Bradford heads for Wyoming where she’s sure her old friend will take her in. Bit her high school pal Chase Caldwell is no longer the gangly boy who would follow her anywhere. For one thing, he’s now incredibly buff and handsome, but that’s not all that’s changed. . .

What she finds is one hot cowboy. . .

Chase has been through tough times and is less than thrilled to see the girl who once broke his heart. But try as he might to resist her, while Lacey’s putting her life back together, he’s finding new ways to be part of it.


Available at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Booksamillion | iTunes

My Review:There are three things I’m a sucker for: A tortured hero, a reunion story and, yes, a hot cowboy. And while it may seem like this predisposes me to fall for Hot, Dark and Cowboy before I ever opened the pages, believe it or not, I’m not that much of a pushover. While those story lines may initially hook me, they don’t keep me if the writing’s weak or the pacing’s sluggish or the characters’ are lack-luster.

Which means my love for Hot, Dark and Cowboy is genuine.

I always enjoy a strong heroine, and while I don’t like where Lacey has been—acting as a trophy wife for a wealthy older man, I do appreciate that’s she’s learned from her mistakes and is now standing on her own, bent on making a new life for herself. I love her smart mouth and the way she holds her own with the sexy, Alpha cowboy she’s paired with.

Chase’s past is more heartrending—the farm boy turned mouthwatering cowboy. His longstanding infatuation and unrequited love for Lacey makes him the instant underdog we root for and shows the reader he’s got the staying power for a lifetime. He is endearing, pleasant and entertaining throughout.

The chemistry between Lacey and Chase is hot and grows hotter with each encounter. The love scenes are steamy and passionate – have something cold to drink nearby.

This is one of those books I love to hate…those, “Okay, just one more chapter…” books that have me up until two in the morning when my eyes are burning and I can’t keep them open any longer.

This is the first of Joanne’s books I’ve read — it definitely won’t be the last! Joanne’s writing is clean, her dialogue is fun and witty and her pacing is fast.

Tall, Dark and Cowboy is a fun, fast, entertaining read!

Now, more from Joanne:

Joanne, tell us about Tall, Dark and Cowboy.
“Tall, Dark and Cowboy” is about Lacey Bradford, an ex-trophy wife who flees a dangerous divorce and runs to the one person who’s always cared about her. But her old friend Chase Caldwell has changed from a gangling farm boy into a sexy, muscular cowboy, and the loss of his family turned him into a bitter and resentful man who’s not about to help the woman who broke his heart. Lacey decides it’s time to end her habit of letting men take care of her and begins to build a new life of her own in Chase’s adopted Wyoming hometown. But when her ex’s criminal cronies turn up, the cowboy can’t resist helping a damsel in real distress.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today?
I love the characters. On the surface, Lacey is different from most of my heroines. She was raised to privilege, and she’s a little spoiled. But deep down, she’s a strong, resilient woman—and Chase brings out the best in her. As for Chase, he’s a good man struggling to rebuild his life and overcome bitterness and sorrow.

What creates the biggest conflict between your hero and heroine?
Lacey doesn’t realize that her ex-husband cheated Chase’s family out of their property. He lost the future he’d always counted on, and he thinks it’s Lacey’s fault.

What is your strategy in creating antagonists/villains?
I think antagonists are the hardest characters to create, because they so easily devolve into stereotypical villains. I was struggling with this in an earlier book when I went to a great workshop by agent Donald Maas. He pointed out that in the villain’s mind, nefarious actions are totally justified. Everyone thinks they’re the hero of their own story, so I try to see the plot from the villain’s point of view. It helps me see that they’re simply flawed people too, just like the hero and heroine. It’s just that their flaws are worse!

Is there a message in this novel that you want readers to grasp?
The book is about starting over, in your life and in your heart. Chase and Lacey both need to learn to put the past behind them. It’s about forgiving yourself and the people around you so you can be your best, truest self.

How does your family view your writing career?
My husband helps a lot with the website and newsletter, but more importantly he’s proud of me and very understanding about my occasional spaciness when I’m lost in a book and not thinking clearly about the real world (that happens a lot). He’s funny, supportive, and understanding. No wonder I write romance novels.

What is your writing routine?
I’m not really a morning person, so I take care of the business aspects of writing in the mornings. Creativity sets in around 11:00, and I work on and off for the rest of the day. There’s no set routine; I just write whenever I don’t have to do something else.

How do you keep in touch with your readers?
I love Facebook! I’ve met so many people online that I consider friends, and it’s so easy to keep in touch and share what we’re doing. It’s great that when you “click” with someone at a conference or writing retreat you can keep in touch so easily. And by the way, I’m listed on Facebook as “Joanne Kennedy Books.” I post lots of fun Western stuff and try to give readers a sense of what it’s like to live in Wyoming.

What are you reading now?
I just read The Book of Bright Ideas by Sandra Kring. I loved it; the characters are wonderfully real. Now I’m reading The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker, which is also fabulous and beautifully written. I read a lot of romance too – I’m just going through a literary fiction phase right now.

What would you like to tell readers?
Just thank you! It means so much that people want to share the world I write about and spend time with the characters I create. I love what I do, and I know I’m very lucky to have the support of readers.

What did you do before you became a full-time writer?
I’ve worked in bookstores most of my life. I owned a used and rare bookstore, and managed several independent and chain bookstores. It’s really a dream come true to have my own books on the shelves.

I’ve also been interested in animals all my life, and I’ve dabbled in everything from chicken-keeping to horse-training. That’s why my books always have animal characters that are as important as the human ones.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Stories are important, but characters matter most. When we think of the classics we loved, we don’t think of the plots; we think of Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennet, Heathcliff, Scarlett O’Hara. Strong, true-to-life characters create their own stories and make a book memorable.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I think it’s essential for writers to know as much as possible about the mechanics of putting a plot together and creating an arc for readers. I don’t do a lot of outlining or preparation, but that knowledge is a part of me now and definitely informs my writing. You have to study and learn until a sense of story becomes internal, something that’s automatic.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
A comfortable desk so you don’t hurt yourself spending hours crouched over the computer. A space, however small, where you have a few personal talismans and touchstones that remind you of your true self. A willingness to accept and learn from criticism, and a desire to make every story the best it can be. Most important of all—a supportive family.

What do you most like about writing? Least like?
What I like is the way stories unfold and fit together. Sometimes different aspects of a voice “click” in a subconscious way and it feels like magic.

What I like least is sitting at a computer all day! I recently had neck surgery and it’s frustrating that I can’t stay at the keyboard as long as I want to.

What would you say is your biggest writing quirk?
Writing itself is just one big quirk. It’s never off my mind. Everywhere I go, I listen for snippets of conversation and look for events and people I can use in my books. It makes life brighter and more meaningful when you know you can save pieces of your experience and show them to other people.

Which is your favorite of the books you have written?
That’s like asking me to pick a favorite child! I love Cowboy Trouble because it was my first-born and has so much of “me” in it. I love One Fine Cowboy because the hero of that story, Nate, has connected amazingly with readers, and because it won me an RWA RITA nomination, which was an honor I didn’t expect. I love Cowboy Fever because I admire the heroine so much and it’s about therapy riding, a cause very close to my heart. And I love Tall, Dark and Cowboy because while Lacey and I are very different, we had to learn the same lessons and find our strength.

What are your current projects?
I just finished my fifth book, Cowboy Crazy, which stars a rodeo cowboy. I’m very excited about it, and think it might be my best—although I love the one I’m working on now, which is called Cowboy Tough. It’s about a New York artist who comes to a dude ranch to teach painting workshops and butts heads with their outfitter, a former rodeo cowboy.

Where can we find you online?
My website is at www.joannekennedybooks.com, and I’m on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Joanne-Kennedy-Books/114277591920110.

We’ve got 2 copies of Tall, Dark and Cowboy for giveaway and 5 custom handmade bookmarks! So get out there and tell us what you love most about cowboys!

About the Author

Joanne Kennedy is the author of three previous contemporary Western romances for Sourcebooks. She brings a wide variety of experience, ranging from chicken farming to horse training, to her sexy, spicy cowboy stories. She is a 2011 finalist in the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA© Awards, for One Fine Cowboy.

Joanne lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where she is working on her next book, Cowboy Crazy (June 2012). For more information, please visit http://joannekennedybooks.com/.