historical romance

Welcome Shana Galen with When You Give a Rake a Ruby!

*Note: Currently the comments are not working. My web guru gal is working on it. You may send a comment to me at joan@joanswan.com or swing back by later to comment and enter the drawing!*

So thrilled to have Shana back with me on the blog. I’m a big Shana fan! I love books filled with action, adventure, conflict, fun and, of course, romance. Shana’s stories have it all–rich, strong characters who aren’t afraid to say it like it is…and always finding trouble.

Join us as Shana gives us a sneak peak into her upcoming release – If You Give a Rake a Ruby! And enter below to WIN a copy of the first book in the Jewels of the Ton series, When You Give a Duke a Diamond (US and Canada only).

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ifyougivearake-300HER MYSTERIOUS PAST IS THE BEST REVENGE . . .
Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She’s adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.

ONLY HE CAN OFFER HER A DAZZLING FUTURE . . .
Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London. He knows he’s putting his life on the line . . .

To Warrick’s shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she’s keeping are exactly what make her his heart’s desire . . .

Pick yours up:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

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Thank you for having me back, Joan. I’m celebrating the release of my thirteenth book—lucky 13, right?—If You Give a Rake a Ruby. It releases March 5, but one person who comments here will win a copy of the first book in the Jewels of the Ton series, When You Give a Duke a Diamond.

Today I’m going to share a few snippets from the first five chapters of If You Give a Rake a Ruby. It’s an extended sneak peek.

From Chapter One

Some said she was the daughter of a maharaja. Little did they know, Fallon had been obliged to ask Lady Sinclair for the definition of maharaja. Other rumors hinted she was a gypsy queen or a princess from a secret kingdom. Fallon wished there was a tiny kernel of truth in but one of the rumors. Anything was better than the reality.

From Chapter Two

“It’s about time you came to bed,” Warrick said. It was too dark to see his pocket watch, but he gauged the time close to five in the morning. “I’ve been waiting for hours.”

“Oh, how rude of me,” she said, her voice quite low and husky in the shadowed room. He could hear her fumbling about and realized she probably sought her tinderbox. “To keep an uninvited man waiting.”

whenyougive-300From Chapter Three

She shook her head. “That is no way to treat a lady.”

“That’s because most ladies are skittish ninnies who faint if a man utters the word damn in their presence. You should hope I don’t treat you like a lady. I have no use for ladies.”

From Chapter Four

“Are you going to stand there all evening?”

She blinked. “What would you have me do?” Oh, dear. Had he heard the sultry tone of her voice? She had to stop picturing him naked—or herself naked with him touching her. He was her enemy. He was blackmailing her. She didn’t like him.

Fallon cleared her throat. “What I mean is, what am I supposed to do?”

From Chapter Five

“Good. Hold on.” He reached into his coat and pulled a pistol out. Fallon shook her head to clear it. This was obviously the part of the evening where he shot her. Somehow it made sense that he would kiss her and then kill her.

Which snippet was your favorite? Comment for a chance to win a copy of the first book in the Jewels of the Ton series, When You Give a Duke a Diamond (US and Canada only).

If You Give a Rake a Ruby by Shana Galen—in stores March 2013

shana-2011About the Author
Shana Galen is the bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Her books are published all over the world and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers: visit her website at www.shanagalen.com or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

Shana Galen & When You Give A Duke A Diamond + Giveaway!

I adore both Shana and her writing! Fresh and fun, always with wit and a sense of adventure. She gives you a taste of all that here, and also a peek at the style of her deliciously strong, sassy, sexy heroines that keep me constantly entertained throughout her books!

Today Shana will tell us what it is about Dukes that grab our fancy… and she’s giving away one copy of When You Give a Duke a Diamond (U.S. and Canada only). Enter via Rafflecopter below!

But first…a little about WHEN YOU GIVE A DUKE A DIAMOND…

This is the first in Shana’s Jewels of the Ton series, which has been hailed by New York Times bestselling authorSophie Jordan as “BRILLIANT AND SEXY! Once you start a Shana Galen book, you won’t put it down until you reach the end.”

And RT Book Reviews says,Galen’s engaging characters and strong plotline enhance the spirited dialogue and sense of adventure.”

 

He had a perfectly orderly life…

William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, enjoys his punctual, securely structured life. Orderly and predictable—that’s the way he likes it. But he’s in the public eye, and the scandal sheets will make up anything to sell papers. When the gossip papers link him to Juliette, one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in London, chaos doesn’t begin to describe what happens next…

Until she came along…

Juliette is nicknamed the Duchess of Dalliance and has the cream of the nobility at her beck and call. It’s disruptive to have the duke who is the biggest catch on the Marriage Mart scaring her other suitors away. Then she discovers William’s darkest secret and decides what he needs in his life is the kind of excitement only she can provide…

Pick up your copy here: IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Read an excerpt here: Excerpt

 

Now, here’s Shana… 

What is it About Dukes?

by Shana Galen

 If you’re a fan of historical romance—and even if you’re not—you may have noticed that a lot of the books feature dukes. Perusing some recent titles I found One Dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLean, The Hazards of Hunting a Duke by Julia London, Mad About the Duke by Elizabeth Boyle, What I Did for a Duke by Julie Ann Long, Dusk With a Dangerous Duke by Alexandra Hawkins, and my own When You Give a Duke a Diamond.

So many dukes (and assorted earls and marquesses too). It begs the question: what is it about dukes? First of all, a quick primer on titles. Dukes are the highest ranking of all the peers. There are royal dukes, like the Duke of Cambridge (Prince William) and the Duke of Wales (Prince Charles) and there are non-royal dukes, like the Duke of Devonshire. Dukes are addressed as Your Grace and are the most powerful lords in the British peerage.

Until When You Give a Duke a Diamond, I’d never written a book with an English duke before. Maybe I didn’t feel like I could do justice to a hero who was a duke, or maybe I thought I’d leave the dukes to other authors. But when I began When You Give a Duke a Diamond, I knew Will was a duke through and through. He was raised knowing his place in the world. He was raised to respect the illustrious history of his forefathers and to preserve and protect his family’s honor and name at all costs.

This becomes a potent conflict when Will falls in love with a notorious courtesan, who is a less than suitable companion for a prominent duke. Juliette, my heroine, is not impressed with Will’s title. In fact, at one point she grows tired of his constant references to it. Here’s an excerpt.

“No, no!” She said hurrying to the door. “I shall answer.” She pulled it open and gave him a look. “A bath. Perfect. Now I can scrub your back. Put it near the fire,” she directed the men. It was a huge copper tub, not the hip bath she was used to. It took three men to carry it, followed by a bevy of maidservants. The men clunked the tub down and the women filled it with enormous buckets of steaming water. One handed Juliette a towel and soap, bobbed, and exited. “Well, at least you shall be clean when I service you. I—”

“Cease!” he roared.

She started, blinked at him.

“You’re not going to service me or scrub my back.” He crossed the room to her. “I wanted you with me to keep you safe.”

“Ha! You wanted me with you because you were jealous.”

“Jealous? Jealous? I am a duke. I do not feel jealous.”

She screamed. “If I hear you say, I am a duke one more time, I will not be responsible for my actions. Dukes are not gods, Will. They are people. They make mistakes, apologize—or at least they should—and feel all sorts of emotions.”

“I suppose you are the expert on such matters.”

“I have known several dukes.”

“Yes, and I am a duke—”

Her eyes widened, her lips pursed. “I.” She shoved him. “Warned.” Hard. “You.” Backward.

“Juliette—”

She shoved him again, and he stumbled against the lip of the tub, faltered, and fell backward, sloshing warm water all over the floor, and soaking his clothing worse than the rain had done.

He stared up at her, water dripping in his eyes. He expected her to apologize, to look horrified, to beg his forgiveness.

Instead, she laughed.

What kind of heroes do you like? Dukes? Firemen? Powerful CEOs? What would you like to see more of? Less of? Shana is giving away one copy of When You Give a Duke a Diamond (U.S. andCanada only). Enter via Rafflecopter below!

 

About Shana

Shana Galen is the national bestselling author of numerous fast-paced, adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books are published all over the world and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working inHouston’s inner city.

Now she writes full time. She’s happily married to an incredibly supportive man she calls Ultimate Sportsfan, and she has a beautiful little girl she calls Little Galen.

 

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The Trouble with Magic GIVEAWAY!!

Sourcebooks has a special line call Casablanca Classics dedicated to bringing back those amazing books that have gone out of print.  Patricia Rice’s THE TROUBLE WITH MAGIC is one of those classics, the second book of Ms. Rice’s Magic series set in Georgian England. The Magic series is the story of the Malcolm sisters, all of whom have magic, and the non-magic Ives brothers.

Sourcebooks has generously offered this book for GIVEAWAY!  I’ll run this over the weekend–many ways to enter below!

Felicity Malcolm Childe’s gift for experiencing visions through touch has always been more curse than blessing. She sees horrifying images each time she brushes her hand against another person, and she is forced to cover herself from toe to finger to deflect the vicious onslaught. Only the maddeningly handsome Ewen Ives harbors no guilty secrets to cause her pain.

 He is betrothed to another, and he is at odds with the Malcolm family- but he is Felicity’s only hope. Will they find the spell to remove her gift? Or will Ewen forget their mission once he sees Felicity without her unsightly head to toe garments?

“Rice’s enchanting book is truly spellbinding.” —Booklist

“Patricia Rice’s historicals are deliciously fresh, sexy fun. Never has the battle of the sexes been more charming!” —Mary Jo Putney, New York Times bestselling author

“The third magic tale is a charming Ives-Malcolm romance that fans of the series will appreciate.” —Harriet Clausner on Amazon

Excerpt:

Prologue

Kent, England, 1743

“The book, Mama, may I have it, please?” Six-year-old Lady Felicity Malcolm Childe stared longingly at the hand-painted folio of children’s Bible verses lying open for patrons of the stationery shop to admire. It rested on a counter just out of reach of Lady Felicity’s sticky fingers, but she reached for it anyway.

“Remember what I told you, dear.” Hermione, Marchioness of Hampton, hurried to her daughter’s side. Her hat ribbons blew in the breeze from the open door, and she caught the end of her scarf before it fluttered loose. “Do not touch until you’ve tested it.”

“Yes, Mama.” With her chubby bare fingers, Lady Felicity brushed the air above an open page depicting an angel with long golden hair hanging in silken ringlets that looked remarkably like hers. “Oh, it’s filled with love, Mama. May I hold it, please?”

“Wouldn’t the little girl prefer a candy instead?” The proprietor leaned over his counter with a tempting stick of horehound.

Before Hermione could intervene, Felicity accepted the offering with delight. “Thank you—” As her fingers wrapped around the treat she gasped, and with a flutter of dark gold eyelashes, collapsed in a puddle of silken skirts and petticoats upon the rough wooden floor.

Casting the startled proprietor an appalled glance, Hermione swept her daughter up in her arms and marched out of the shop, panniers swaying with indignation. Waving off footmen and nursemaids who rushed to her aid, she climbed into the waiting carriage, still cradling her frail daughter in her arms.

Within the private confines of the familiar coach, Felicity stirred and woke. With a sob, she clutched her mother and buried her face in the marchioness’s ample bosom.

“Now, now, child, it’s all right. You simply must learn to test before touching, as I’ve taught you.”

“He’s a nasty man,” Felicity hiccuped. “He does nasty things to little girls and they cry. I don’t want to go there anymore.”

Her usually tender mouth firming into a tight line, the marchioness nodded her beribboned head vigorously. “I shall certainly see to that, dear. I will talk to your father, and Mr. Jones shall leave the village at once. You see, your gift is very useful. It will keep him from hurting any other little girls.”

“I don’t want to see bad things anymore,” Felicity whispered. “I hate my gift. It hurts. Why can’t I have another gift?”

Hermione sighed and rocked her daughter in her arms. “You are only given what you are capable of handling, my dear. I know you don’t understand that yet, but your gift is precious and valuable. When you grow into it, you will learn to use it wisely.”

“Christina’s gift doesn’t hurt,” Felicity muttered with a rebellious pout. “She sees pretty things. Why can’t I feel pretty things?”

“You felt love in the book,” Hermione reminded her. “It’s just that sometimes bad things feel stronger than gentle ones. It doesn’t hurt when your family touches you, does it? Or Nanny?”

“Nanny has sad touches,” Felicity murmured sleepily as her mother continued rocking her. “I don’t want to touch any more bad things.”

“Your family will always take care of you, dear. You’ll be safe and happy around familiar vibrations until you’re all grown up and know how to use your gift. Learning comes from experience, but we’ll give you good ones.”

“Can I stay in Papa’s library? It’s nice there.”

Hermione laughed. “No, you cannot live in a library, dear, although your papa would let you try if you wanted.”

“I want to. I don’t want to see any more bad things.” Setting her quivering lip in a firm manner reminiscent of her mother’s, Felicity closed her eyes and slept.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

With five million books in print and New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists under her belt, Patricia Rice’s emotionally-charged contemporary and historical romances have won RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice and Career Achievement Awards and have been honored as Romance Writers of America RITA finalists in the historical, Regency and contemporary categories. A former CPA, Patricia Rice is a native of Kentucky and New York, a past resident of North Carolina, and currently resides in St. Louis, Missouri. For more information on Patricia’s current releases, please visit www.patriciarice.com.

Enter to win this fabulous classic paranormal historical!

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NYT Bestselling Author Shirlee Busbee + Giveaways!

Whoo-hoo! I’ve got Shirlee Busbee, New York Times bestselling author, here with me today talking about writing panster-style and making me break out in a cold sweat! Even though I’ve been writing in a very similar fashion as Shirlee describes here for some time now, just seeing it in black and white makes me anticipate a full-body erruption of hives. Eeeek! On the other hand, it’s reassuring to know the method work for a NYT bestseller!! Maybe I’m on the right path after all.

Shirlee is generously giving away 3 books today! A copy of WHISPER TO ME OF LOVE, PASSION BECOMES HER & DESIRE BECOMES HER, so make sure you leave a comment and sign up through the rafflecopter widget below!

But first, let me introduce Shirlee’s brand new release: DESIRE BECOMES HER

Shirlee’s up Gillian Dashwood is a widow with a scandalous past. Half the town believes her guilty of murdering her first husband, a notorious and depraved gambler. Now, two years later, Gillian goes to stay at her uncle’s estate and there meets Lucien “Lucifer” Joslyn.

Luc arrived in England from France months ago, suffering from the effects of an infected gunshot wound. Once recovered, he won a small fortune at the gaming tables. Knowing her reputation, Luc is suspicious of Gillian and her motives. Gillian is equally suspicious of Luc. She despises gamblers and yet, despite all the reasons why she shouldn’t, she finds herself responding to Luc’s undeniable attractiveness.

But could she dare to risk her heart with such a man?

You can pick up DESIRE BECOMES HER at these locations:

 


 Now…here’s Shirlee…

I’m a seat of the pants writer, or a ‘pantster’ in writer speak. What that actually means is that I haven’t a clue, or much of one, what direction my story will go. Oh, sure, I have an idea (sort of), a location (definitely), an era (of course) and I know the names, character and physical description of my hero and heroine, but many times (most) that’s it, folks.

It’s as I flesh out my two main characters that the first glimmer of a storyline, or plot, if you want to get technical, begins to unfold in my mind. Sometimes, it’s magic the way the story just becomes clearer and clearer to me, other times, it’s a struggle from start to finish. And there are always those days during the course of any book of just sitting staring at the screen, willing something clever and inspired to appear before me. Never happens, the work just progresses agonizing word by agonizing word. Or to use one of my favorite quotes, “Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” Gene Fowler. Boy, did he get it right.

DESIRE BECOMES HER, the second book in the Joslyn Family Series, fell sort of in between clear and clearer and drops of blood forming on my forehead. I loved Luc from the moment I introduced him in RAPTURE BECOMES HER (the first Joslyn Family book). But he was tricky character. He was half-French at a time England was at war with France, illegitimate and a gambler, yet I had to make him fit into the upper reaches of English society. It helped enormously that his half-brother, Barnaby, was Viscount Joslyn — that opened a lot of the right doors. It also helped that Luc’s skill with the cards made him a desirable player at the gambling hells in London where he rubbed shoulders with the aristocracy. Since he wasn’t a bad guy at heart, with a few rough patches, I got him established amongst the ton. Maybe not the very top reaches of the ton but part of it.

The widow, Gillian Dashwood, Luc’s ladylove gave me some bad moments. Believed by the ton of having murdered her husband I had to have enough evidence to make it believable, yet not so much that she was on trial for murder. Placing her in her Uncle Silas’s house right under Luc’s nose was a flash of inspiration and believe me, it came to me in a, er, flash :-). Getting them married was another easy stretch in the book, but dealing with those bloody vowels and tying it all in with her husband’s murder… Yikes. I think, in the end, it worked, but you’ll to read DESIRE BECOMES HER and decide for yourself if I got it right.

 


 

                     

Shirlee is generously giving away 3 books today! A copy of WHISPER TO ME OF LOVE, PASSION BECOMES HER & DESIRE BECOMES HER, so make sure you leave a comment and sign up through the rafflecopter widget below!

Author of historical and modern romance, Shirlee Busbee has enjoyed tremendous international success since her first novel Gypsy Lady was published in 1977.  Shirlee’s books have been translated into numerous languages and she is a household name to romance readers around the world.

Shirlee is married to her best friend, Howard, and the couple celebrate their 48th anniversary in 2011. Shirlee and Howard reside in Northern California on a lovely ranch were the couple is kept busy with their beloved Mini Schnauzers, prize winning Shetland Ponies and of course Shirlee’s writing!

Shirlee is writing constantly and has now dipped into blogging. Visit her blog were she writes about her every day life, and how she creates her much loved stories.

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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!!


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NYT Bestseller Anita Clenney Interview, Excerpt + Giveaway!

>Today, I welcome NYT and USA Today Bestseller Anita Clenney! Anita’s celebrating the release of her second book in the Highland Warrior series, Embrace The Highland Warrior. And we have a giveaway of a copy of the book and 5 custom handmade bookmarks. Simply comment to enter!

Anita, tell us about your upcoming release.

Here’s a blurb:

 Cody MacBain let the woman of his destiny slip away. A member of an ancient clan of Scottish warriors, he grew up beside Shay Logan as her secret protector, but his heart compelled him to become more. Until Shay’s true identity was revealed, and the fated pair’s chance was gone…

But danger will drive them back into each other’s arms…

Shay fell for the boy next door, suspecting nothing of the ancient secrets he guarded. After a stinging betrayal, she’s determined to banish the memories of her first love forever. But the past can’t let go, and the boy she once loved has returned to her a warrior determined to protect her from the unspeakable evil fate has planned…

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today?
I love the emotion between Cody and Shay, the powerful connection they shared, and I love watching them try to reconnect now. They’ve changed so much, but the elements of their past are still there. I also love having all the warriors from Awaken helping them out. In the midst of turmoil and confusion, it gives a feel good element.

What sparked the idea for this book/series?
A dream.

What creates the biggest conflict between your hero and heroine?
A terrible betrayal, and secrets that will make your heart ache.

Why did you put these two together?
These two just seemed so natural. They belonged together, then all the secrets got in the way and messed up a good thing.

What is your strategy in creating villains?
I love my villains, one of them in particular. In fact, he’s so great I want to make him a hero. It’s either that or go back and do a prequel. His backstory is just wonderful. I don’t know how I come up with them. I can’t explain it. They’re just there. And I have so many of them. I love it.

What was the hardest part of this book to write and why?
Love scenes. I’m never sure how far I want to go.

Tell us something unusual about this book (i.e. in its creation, execution, production).
This second book was the first manuscript I ever wrote. It was originally a romantic suspense. I started writing the first book in this series, what is now Awaken, about six months later. When my agent saw Awaken, she said this is the one. She was right. She always is. I knew this had to be a series, and I realized that the first manuscript was the perfect second book of the series. So the first became second and the second became first.

What do you love most about this book/series?
I love this series. The warriors have become like family members to me. I love hidden treasure and secret things, old keys and graveyards and all those eerie things. They’re all in here. And I absolutely love that connection between a woman and a man that defies the universe to stop it.

Is there a message in this novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are some underlying messages. Evil doesn’t come up and say, “Hello, I’m evil.” But mostly, when readers pick up my books, I want them to laugh, cry, gasp, maybe even scream.

Does your novel have a theme? How did that come about?
I’m rotten at figuring out themes. It’s about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil, and Destined Love. The series started with a dream and a very vivid imagination.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
If I had to choose…Elizabeth Peters who wrote the Amelia Peabody series.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
I think the stories I loved influenced me. I read, I felt, and I wanted to do it myself.

How does your family view your writing career?
They’re very supportive and proud of me. My husband is waiting for me to get rich and buy him a ranch.

What entity do you feel supports you most in your writing career outside of family members?
My critique partner, Dana Rodgers is amazing. She’s such a help to me.

How do you keep in touch with your readers?
Mostly email. It’s so great getting emails. That was something I wasn’t quite prepared for. What a thrill.

What is in your TBR pile?
I get a headache just thinking about it.

What would you like to tell readers?
Please buy my book…oh, you were serious. I adore this series, and I hope you do too. There are so many wonderful writers out there, that I cherish every reader who spends their hard earned money and time on me.

What is your preferred genre to read for pleasure?

I have varied tastes ranging from romance to mysteries. I love Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and I also love Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series.

Do you have a second career? (Yes, motherhood counts!)
If motherhood counts, I have two! I spend a lot of time with my hubby and kids, but I do write full time.

What did you do before you became a full-time writer?
I was staying home with the kids for a few years, but prior to that I worked in real estate, and I was an administrative assistant. I’ve also booked shows and traveled with Aztec Dancers.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Good storytelling, really nailing down the characters and the emotion.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started writing?
The importance of writing faster.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
No formulas. I get an idea (this series started with a dream) then I mull it over and as the story unfolds in my head I make lots of notes, and then I start writing. I usually have a synopsis before I start actually writing the story.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Only an imagination and some method of getting it down. Typewriter, computer, notepad.

How would you best describe your books?
Mysterious, suspenseful, romantic, adventurous, sprinkled with humor. I love blending genres.

What would you write if you could write anything you wanted to write?
I love this series, and I also love mysteries. I’m working on two mystery series now.

What do you most like about writing? Least like?
I love brainstorming, creating the plot twists for a story. Least like…promotion. I adore meeting readers, but I don’t like feeling as if I’m pushing my books.

Which is your favorite of the books you have written? Awaken is the story of my heart, but I also love Embrace. I don’t know. That’s sort of like asking which child you like better.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
It’s been amazing to see my book on the shelf.

What would you say is your biggest writing quirk?
I find it hard to write if I’m not motivated.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Other than spending time with my family, I’m usually on some kind of obsessive kick. It might be collecting candle holders or mirrors. I can devote an unhealthy amount of time to those things.

What are your current projects?
This series, a paranormal romantic mystery series, and a cozy mystery series.

Do You Have Any Undiscovered Or Hidden Talents?
I can smell a TJ Maxx from a mile away. I’m like a TJ Maxx bloodhound.

Are You The Same Person You Were As A Child, Or Much Different?
I have a lot of the same characteristics, but now they’re molded in different ways.

Do You Believe That The Cup Is Half Empty Or Half Full?
Depends on the day, usually half full.

Favorite Midnight Snack?
Whatever is the quickest.

Are You An Introvert Or An Extrovert?
Introvert who loves people.

Are You A Window Person Or An Aisle Person?
Window.

Do You Like Short Or Long Hair On A Guy?
I like both, but I probably lean toward long.

Ever Hit A Jackpot On A Slot Machine?
No. I’ve never been gambling. I spend all my time and money at TJ Maxx.

Are You Afraid Of Heights?
Uncomfortable.

Do you prefer your mattress soft or hard?
Soft.

How many pillows do you like to sleep with?
Lots.

Do you believe in snipes?
Only if they’re named Wesley.

Which do you like more—rainy days or snowy days?
Snowy.

What is Your Favorite Beverage?
Diet Pepsi or Coke.

Are You A Heavy Or Light Sleeper?
Light.

Do You Have Any Phobias Or Fears?
Goofy ones. I don’t fear the real things that I should be afraid of.

Are you a night or a morning person?
NIGHT!!!

At The Beach Would You Rather Play In The Sand, Or Play In The Water?
I’ll dig in the sand for lost jewelry. Did I mention I love jewelry?

Do You Have A Recurring Dream? What Happens In It?
I do have recurring dreams, a few of them. It would take far too long to explain them since I don’t fully understand them.

Are You Usually Late, Early Or Right On Time?
Promptly 5 minutes late.

Where can we find you online?
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Goodreads
Redroom

About the Author

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Anita Clenney writes paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Before giving herself over to the writing bug, she worked in a pickle factory and a preschool, booked shows for Aztec Fire Dancers, and has been a secretary, executive assistant, and a real estate agent. She lives with her husband and two children in suburban Virginia. To find out more information, please visit http://www.anitaclenney.com/, follow her on Twitter @anitaclenney, or like her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/anitaclenneyAUTHOR.

Some places Embrace can be purchased:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Booksamillion
Apple

We’ll leave you with an excerpt from Embrace:

Cody sighed. Might as well get it over with. He removed the shackles, returned them, and bent over her. “Shay, wake up.”

Her eyes flew open. She planted both hands against his chest and shoved, knocking him on his back, then sprang on top of him. “How dare you handcuff me to a bed?” she yelled, punctuating each word with a shake that rattled his brain. He didn’t fight back. She had to get it out of her system, and he didn’t blame her. He’d be more than pissed if someone shackled him.

She landed a fist into his stomach, and the breath rushed out of him. Okay, enough was enough. He captured her hands and rolled, trapping her under him.

“Get off me, you oaf.”

“I’ll get off when you stop beating the snot out of me.”

She let out a war cry and lunged for his throat, teeth bared. Intrigued, he hesitated a second too long, and she sank her teeth into his neck. A jolt of desire shot straight to his groin. He’d never been one for the rough stuff, but damn! He pulled back before she could do more than leave a bruise. He trapped her legs with his and held her hands above her head, letting his full weight press her into the soft mattress. She still struggled but could move only enough to get him excited.

“I’m sorry, Shay. I had to do it. It was too dangerous to let you go traipsing through the woods. I had to keep you safe.”

“What if he was hiding in one of the other bedrooms and sneaked in here while I was handcuffed to the bed? You left me so I couldn’t even protect myself.”

“Lach heard him out in the woods, but that’s why I locked the door, just in case. If this guy had broken it down to get to you, you would’ve screamed, and I would’ve come running. I was never far from the house.” He’d heard every name she called him.

Her eyes still flashed fire, but her breath was steadier, and she kept glancing at his mouth. He thought that was a good thing. He wondered if she’d calmed enough not to hit him, because he should move. She had to notice the effect all the wiggling around was having on him. He felt her hips push against his, and he groaned. He relaxed his grip and lowered his head, letting his lips touch her chin. He kissed his way to her mouth, and she head butted him in the nose.

While the stars exploded in his head, she shoved him aside and bolted out the door. He jumped up and went after her as she pounded down the stairs. He caught up with her outside. She was swinging her purse like a whip, headed for the car.

“Where are you going?” he demanded.

“Get away from me.”

“You can’t leave.”

“Watch me.” She opened the door. “I’m tired of people hiding things from me. I thought you were going to stop. Now you’re handcuffing me to the bed.”

“I explained it to you.”

“Don’t touch me,” she said, jerking away when he grabbed her arm.

“You’re not leaving.”

Shay straightened her shoulders. “You can’t stop me.”

He grabbed her, tossed her over his shoulder, kicked the car door shut, and stomped up the steps.

“Put me down!” Shay kicked and twisted, cursing at him. He dumped her on her feet inside the door.

She blew her hair out of her face, and as soon as she could see, she threw a punch at his chin. He deflected it and grabbed her arm. “Stop hitting me.”

“How dare you throw me over your shoulder like some kind of caveman,” she spat, trying to wrench her arm free. It didn’t work, so she used her knee.

“Ah, not there.” Cody trapped her knee. “I made the mistake of letting you leave here nine years ago without listening to me. By God, I won’t do it again. You’ll listen if I have to sit on you,” he growled.

She drew back her other arm, and before she could throw the punch, he had her on the floor and was sitting astride her, pinning her wrists to the floor. She bucked and twisted, but he held her down. “We can do this all night if you want, but you’re going to listen to me this time.”

“Listen to more lies? You’re still hiding things from me. Like the fact that you have Nina’s entire house under surveillance. Like the fact that you’ve got a Bat Cave in your basement. Like the fact that you were in Scotland when the stalking started.”

“You think I’m your stalker?” he yelled. “Me! I’m trying to keep you alive. We’re all trying to keep you alive. That’s what the clan’s been doing your whole damned life, trying to keep you alive! And just like always, you’re making it hard as hell. Your father wasn’t a bloody spy, and that thing in your living room wasn’t a man!”

Anita’s publisher will give away one copy of Embrace the Highland Warrior, US and Canada only, please.  We’re also giving away 5 custom bookmarks!
The question is, besides reading, what’s your favorite thing to do?

>NYT Bestseller Anita Clenney Interview, Excerpt + Giveaway!

>Today, I welcome NYT and USA Today Bestseller Anita Clenney! Anita’s celebrating the release of her second book in the Highland Warrior series, Embrace The Highland Warrior. And we have a giveaway of a copy of the book and 5 custom handmade bookmarks. Simply comment to enter!

Anita, tell us about your upcoming release.

Here’s a blurb:

 Cody MacBain let the woman of his destiny slip away. A member of an ancient clan of Scottish warriors, he grew up beside Shay Logan as her secret protector, but his heart compelled him to become more. Until Shay’s true identity was revealed, and the fated pair’s chance was gone…

But danger will drive them back into each other’s arms…

Shay fell for the boy next door, suspecting nothing of the ancient secrets he guarded. After a stinging betrayal, she’s determined to banish the memories of her first love forever. But the past can’t let go, and the boy she once loved has returned to her a warrior determined to protect her from the unspeakable evil fate has planned…

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today?
I love the emotion between Cody and Shay, the powerful connection they shared, and I love watching them try to reconnect now. They’ve changed so much, but the elements of their past are still there. I also love having all the warriors from Awaken helping them out. In the midst of turmoil and confusion, it gives a feel good element.

What sparked the idea for this book/series?
A dream.

What creates the biggest conflict between your hero and heroine?
A terrible betrayal, and secrets that will make your heart ache.

Why did you put these two together?
These two just seemed so natural. They belonged together, then all the secrets got in the way and messed up a good thing.

What is your strategy in creating villains?
I love my villains, one of them in particular. In fact, he’s so great I want to make him a hero. It’s either that or go back and do a prequel. His backstory is just wonderful. I don’t know how I come up with them. I can’t explain it. They’re just there. And I have so many of them. I love it.

What was the hardest part of this book to write and why?
Love scenes. I’m never sure how far I want to go.

Tell us something unusual about this book (i.e. in its creation, execution, production).
This second book was the first manuscript I ever wrote. It was originally a romantic suspense. I started writing the first book in this series, what is now Awaken, about six months later. When my agent saw Awaken, she said this is the one. She was right. She always is. I knew this had to be a series, and I realized that the first manuscript was the perfect second book of the series. So the first became second and the second became first.

What do you love most about this book/series?
I love this series. The warriors have become like family members to me. I love hidden treasure and secret things, old keys and graveyards and all those eerie things. They’re all in here. And I absolutely love that connection between a woman and a man that defies the universe to stop it.

Is there a message in this novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are some underlying messages. Evil doesn’t come up and say, “Hello, I’m evil.” But mostly, when readers pick up my books, I want them to laugh, cry, gasp, maybe even scream.

Does your novel have a theme? How did that come about?
I’m rotten at figuring out themes. It’s about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil, and Destined Love. The series started with a dream and a very vivid imagination.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
If I had to choose…Elizabeth Peters who wrote the Amelia Peabody series.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
I think the stories I loved influenced me. I read, I felt, and I wanted to do it myself.

How does your family view your writing career?
They’re very supportive and proud of me. My husband is waiting for me to get rich and buy him a ranch.

What entity do you feel supports you most in your writing career outside of family members?
My critique partner, Dana Rodgers is amazing. She’s such a help to me.

How do you keep in touch with your readers?
Mostly email. It’s so great getting emails. That was something I wasn’t quite prepared for. What a thrill.

What is in your TBR pile?
I get a headache just thinking about it.

What would you like to tell readers?
Please buy my book…oh, you were serious. I adore this series, and I hope you do too. There are so many wonderful writers out there, that I cherish every reader who spends their hard earned money and time on me.

What is your preferred genre to read for pleasure?

I have varied tastes ranging from romance to mysteries. I love Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and I also love Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series.

Do you have a second career? (Yes, motherhood counts!)
If motherhood counts, I have two! I spend a lot of time with my hubby and kids, but I do write full time.

What did you do before you became a full-time writer?
I was staying home with the kids for a few years, but prior to that I worked in real estate, and I was an administrative assistant. I’ve also booked shows and traveled with Aztec Dancers.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Good storytelling, really nailing down the characters and the emotion.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started writing?
The importance of writing faster.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
No formulas. I get an idea (this series started with a dream) then I mull it over and as the story unfolds in my head I make lots of notes, and then I start writing. I usually have a synopsis before I start actually writing the story.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Only an imagination and some method of getting it down. Typewriter, computer, notepad.

How would you best describe your books?
Mysterious, suspenseful, romantic, adventurous, sprinkled with humor. I love blending genres.

What would you write if you could write anything you wanted to write?
I love this series, and I also love mysteries. I’m working on two mystery series now.

What do you most like about writing? Least like?
I love brainstorming, creating the plot twists for a story. Least like…promotion. I adore meeting readers, but I don’t like feeling as if I’m pushing my books.

Which is your favorite of the books you have written? Awaken is the story of my heart, but I also love Embrace. I don’t know. That’s sort of like asking which child you like better.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
It’s been amazing to see my book on the shelf.

What would you say is your biggest writing quirk?
I find it hard to write if I’m not motivated.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Other than spending time with my family, I’m usually on some kind of obsessive kick. It might be collecting candle holders or mirrors. I can devote an unhealthy amount of time to those things.

What are your current projects?
This series, a paranormal romantic mystery series, and a cozy mystery series.

Do You Have Any Undiscovered Or Hidden Talents?
I can smell a TJ Maxx from a mile away. I’m like a TJ Maxx bloodhound.

Are You The Same Person You Were As A Child, Or Much Different?
I have a lot of the same characteristics, but now they’re molded in different ways.

Do You Believe That The Cup Is Half Empty Or Half Full?
Depends on the day, usually half full.

Favorite Midnight Snack?
Whatever is the quickest.

Are You An Introvert Or An Extrovert?
Introvert who loves people.

Are You A Window Person Or An Aisle Person?
Window.

Do You Like Short Or Long Hair On A Guy?
I like both, but I probably lean toward long.

Ever Hit A Jackpot On A Slot Machine?
No. I’ve never been gambling. I spend all my time and money at TJ Maxx.

Are You Afraid Of Heights?
Uncomfortable.

Do you prefer your mattress soft or hard?
Soft.

How many pillows do you like to sleep with?
Lots.

Do you believe in snipes?
Only if they’re named Wesley.

Which do you like more—rainy days or snowy days?
Snowy.

What is Your Favorite Beverage?
Diet Pepsi or Coke.

Are You A Heavy Or Light Sleeper?
Light.

Do You Have Any Phobias Or Fears?
Goofy ones. I don’t fear the real things that I should be afraid of.

Are you a night or a morning person?
NIGHT!!!

At The Beach Would You Rather Play In The Sand, Or Play In The Water?
I’ll dig in the sand for lost jewelry. Did I mention I love jewelry?

Do You Have A Recurring Dream? What Happens In It?
I do have recurring dreams, a few of them. It would take far too long to explain them since I don’t fully understand them.

Are You Usually Late, Early Or Right On Time?
Promptly 5 minutes late.

Where can we find you online?
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Goodreads
Redroom

About the Author

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Anita Clenney writes paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Before giving herself over to the writing bug, she worked in a pickle factory and a preschool, booked shows for Aztec Fire Dancers, and has been a secretary, executive assistant, and a real estate agent. She lives with her husband and two children in suburban Virginia. To find out more information, please visit http://www.anitaclenney.com/, follow her on Twitter @anitaclenney, or like her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/anitaclenneyAUTHOR.

Some places Embrace can be purchased:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Booksamillion
Apple

We’ll leave you with an excerpt from Embrace:

Cody sighed. Might as well get it over with. He removed the shackles, returned them, and bent over her. “Shay, wake up.”

Her eyes flew open. She planted both hands against his chest and shoved, knocking him on his back, then sprang on top of him. “How dare you handcuff me to a bed?” she yelled, punctuating each word with a shake that rattled his brain. He didn’t fight back. She had to get it out of her system, and he didn’t blame her. He’d be more than pissed if someone shackled him.

She landed a fist into his stomach, and the breath rushed out of him. Okay, enough was enough. He captured her hands and rolled, trapping her under him.

“Get off me, you oaf.”

“I’ll get off when you stop beating the snot out of me.”

She let out a war cry and lunged for his throat, teeth bared. Intrigued, he hesitated a second too long, and she sank her teeth into his neck. A jolt of desire shot straight to his groin. He’d never been one for the rough stuff, but damn! He pulled back before she could do more than leave a bruise. He trapped her legs with his and held her hands above her head, letting his full weight press her into the soft mattress. She still struggled but could move only enough to get him excited.

“I’m sorry, Shay. I had to do it. It was too dangerous to let you go traipsing through the woods. I had to keep you safe.”

“What if he was hiding in one of the other bedrooms and sneaked in here while I was handcuffed to the bed? You left me so I couldn’t even protect myself.”

“Lach heard him out in the woods, but that’s why I locked the door, just in case. If this guy had broken it down to get to you, you would’ve screamed, and I would’ve come running. I was never far from the house.” He’d heard every name she called him.

Her eyes still flashed fire, but her breath was steadier, and she kept glancing at his mouth. He thought that was a good thing. He wondered if she’d calmed enough not to hit him, because he should move. She had to notice the effect all the wiggling around was having on him. He felt her hips push against his, and he groaned. He relaxed his grip and lowered his head, letting his lips touch her chin. He kissed his way to her mouth, and she head butted him in the nose.

While the stars exploded in his head, she shoved him aside and bolted out the door. He jumped up and went after her as she pounded down the stairs. He caught up with her outside. She was swinging her purse like a whip, headed for the car.

“Where are you going?” he demanded.

“Get away from me.”

“You can’t leave.”

“Watch me.” She opened the door. “I’m tired of people hiding things from me. I thought you were going to stop. Now you’re handcuffing me to the bed.”

“I explained it to you.”

“Don’t touch me,” she said, jerking away when he grabbed her arm.

“You’re not leaving.”

Shay straightened her shoulders. “You can’t stop me.”

He grabbed her, tossed her over his shoulder, kicked the car door shut, and stomped up the steps.

“Put me down!” Shay kicked and twisted, cursing at him. He dumped her on her feet inside the door.

She blew her hair out of her face, and as soon as she could see, she threw a punch at his chin. He deflected it and grabbed her arm. “Stop hitting me.”

“How dare you throw me over your shoulder like some kind of caveman,” she spat, trying to wrench her arm free. It didn’t work, so she used her knee.

“Ah, not there.” Cody trapped her knee. “I made the mistake of letting you leave here nine years ago without listening to me. By God, I won’t do it again. You’ll listen if I have to sit on you,” he growled.

She drew back her other arm, and before she could throw the punch, he had her on the floor and was sitting astride her, pinning her wrists to the floor. She bucked and twisted, but he held her down. “We can do this all night if you want, but you’re going to listen to me this time.”

“Listen to more lies? You’re still hiding things from me. Like the fact that you have Nina’s entire house under surveillance. Like the fact that you’ve got a Bat Cave in your basement. Like the fact that you were in Scotland when the stalking started.”

“You think I’m your stalker?” he yelled. “Me! I’m trying to keep you alive. We’re all trying to keep you alive. That’s what the clan’s been doing your whole damned life, trying to keep you alive! And just like always, you’re making it hard as hell. Your father wasn’t a bloody spy, and that thing in your living room wasn’t a man!”

Anita’s publisher will give away one copy of Embrace the Highland Warrior, US and Canada only, please.  We’re also giving away 5 custom bookmarks!
The question is, besides reading, what’s your favorite thing to do?

Debut Author Theresa Romain Interview & Giveaway!

>Theresa Romain and I met recently, in the last several months, when I discovered we are both agented by the fabulous Paige Wheeler and both edited by the amazing Alicia Condon!

I’m thrilled to have met up with Theresa – she is as sweet as they come! And today we’re celebrating her debut Regency historical romance, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION with an interview and a giveaway of 2 copies of her debut plus 5 custom bookmarks!

Two Sisters. . .

Julia Herington is overjoyed when her stepsister, Louisa, becomes engaged–to a viscount, no less. Louisa’s only hesitation is living a life under the ton’s critical gaze. But with his wry wit and unconventional ideas, Julia feels James is perfect for Louisa. She can only hope to find a man like him for herself. Exactly like him, in fact. . .

One Choice. . .

As the new Viscount Matheson, James wished to marry quickly and secure his title. Kind, intelligent Louisa seemed a suitable bride. . .until he met her stepsister. Julia is impetuous–and irresistible. Pledged to one sister, yet captivated by another, what is he to do? As Christmas and the whirl of the London season approach, James may be caught in a most scandalous conundrum, one that only true love, a bit of spiritous punch–and a twist of fate–will solve. . .

Now an interview with Theresa:

Theresa, tell us about your new release.

SEASON FOR TEMPTATION is a light-hearted smart-mouthed Regency-set historical romance. With a delicious cream filling!

Our hero, James, deals with a family scandal by making an engagement of convenience, then falls in love with his fiancée’s stepsister/closest friend, Julia. Meanwhile, his fiancée has a change of heart. Also meanwhile, there is strong pressure from both families to marry soon, and well. Before James and Julia sort out their difficulties, many strange foods are eaten, several unusual costumes are worn, and a few uncomfortable truths come to light.

What was the hardest part of this book to write and why?

The love triangle was by far the most difficult aspect, because it was very important to me that all three people involved act with good intentions. James and his fiancée, Louisa, are engaged out of duty to their families, just as James and Julia deny their growing feelings out of a similar sense of duty. To me, there’s nothing sexy about infidelity, and I didn’t want any of my characters to cross that line.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

I wish! I usually get a germ of an idea—in the case of SEASON FOR TEMPTATION, it was something along the lines of “what if one sister fell in love with another sister’s fiancé?” And then: “what if the sisters loved each other deeply, so there were no villains in the love triangle?” I thought it would be interesting to see what happened. I guess that’s as close to a formula as I get: “what if?” and “then what?”

The next step is writing the first three chapters and a synopsis. That takes me much longer than any other stage of the book, because I’m figuring out the characters and the specifics of the plot. The details of the plot often change as I write the rest of the book—I might shift the order of events, collapse some, add others—but the synopsis is sort of like having the framework of a building. Maybe you’ll change the color of the bricks (or whatever), but once the steel struts are up, you know pretty much what it’ll look like when done.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

Time, discipline, and a computer (or a legal pad). Of those, I’d say discipline is the most important. If you have discipline, you’ll find the time. Heck, maybe you’ll even find the computer. (Note: I do not recommend theft.)

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

I like to:

  1. Read
  2. Watch silent movies
  3. Play trivia games with Mr. R

But usually, when I’m not writing (or working at my other job—I’m a freelance health editor), I am:

  1. Cleaning up after Little Miss R
  2. Doing laundry
  3. Cooking

We don’t have to talk about how *well* I do those things, do we? I’m hardly a domestic goddess. I’m hardly even a domestic mortal.

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

Me, on my own? I’m usually within five to zero minutes early. If I’m with Mr. R, we’ll probably be about 10 minutes late. Sorry.

What’s in your TBR pile?

Let’s stick with the mini-TBR pile on my nightstand, because the full TBR is, um, really big. I read several books at once, so here’s what I’ve got going now:

I just started reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, recommended to me by my brother. And I’m glad he did, because it’s a really fascinating analysis of factors contributing to success. (If that sounds boring to you, then I didn’t describe it well enough.)

I’m also reading Rose Lerner’s A Lily among Thorns—gah, she’s a fantastic, fantastic writer. I just love the way she uses language. Also in the “read me tonight!” stack are Kieran Kramer’s If You Give a Girl a Viscount (so clever and funny) and Victoria Dahl’s Real Men Will (I haven’t started this one yet, but I’ve heard it’s most excellently naughty).

In February 2012, a certain novel called Fever by a certain author named Joan Swan will be placed on the nightstand, and the cover will be ogled repeatedly whenever I’m not reading it.

Do you believe in snipes?

Ok, I love that you asked this question, and the answer is yes. My father loves ornithology, and I grew up reading his Roger Tory Peterson field guides (I’m not kidding, I really did). So I know that snipes are real. Though if you don’t live anywhere near water, which is where the real snipes hang out, then a snipe hunt is still a Big Giant Trick that you can have lots of fun with.


What are your current projects?

I’m working on a sequel to SEASON FOR TEMPTATION! It will be released by Kensington Zebra in October 2012 as SEASON FOR SURRENDER. It’ll have a holiday setting and, I have no doubt, a gorgeous cover.

Leave a comment or ask Theresa a question to enter the giveaway for
2 copies of her debut and 5 custom bookmarks!
International.
**MUST** leave a contact email to win!
Theresa Romain holds degrees in psychology, English literature, and history, an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She has worked, interned, and translated for libraries and universities, all of which fed her love of books and her fascination with the past. She lives with her family in the Midwest and lives online at http://theresaromain.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Order SEASON FOR TEMPATION:
AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieboundPowell’s
Order the ebook: Kindlenook

>Debut Author Theresa Romain Interview & Giveaway!

>Theresa Romain and I met recently, in the last several months, when I discovered we are both agented by the fabulous Paige Wheeler and both edited by the amazing Alicia Condon!

I’m thrilled to have met up with Theresa – she is as sweet as they come! And today we’re celebrating her debut Regency historical romance, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION with an interview and a giveaway of 2 copies of her debut plus 5 custom bookmarks!

Two Sisters. . .

Julia Herington is overjoyed when her stepsister, Louisa, becomes engaged–to a viscount, no less. Louisa’s only hesitation is living a life under the ton’s critical gaze. But with his wry wit and unconventional ideas, Julia feels James is perfect for Louisa. She can only hope to find a man like him for herself. Exactly like him, in fact. . .

One Choice. . .

As the new Viscount Matheson, James wished to marry quickly and secure his title. Kind, intelligent Louisa seemed a suitable bride. . .until he met her stepsister. Julia is impetuous–and irresistible. Pledged to one sister, yet captivated by another, what is he to do? As Christmas and the whirl of the London season approach, James may be caught in a most scandalous conundrum, one that only true love, a bit of spiritous punch–and a twist of fate–will solve. . .

Now an interview with Theresa:

Theresa, tell us about your new release.

SEASON FOR TEMPTATION is a light-hearted smart-mouthed Regency-set historical romance. With a delicious cream filling!

Our hero, James, deals with a family scandal by making an engagement of convenience, then falls in love with his fiancée’s stepsister/closest friend, Julia. Meanwhile, his fiancée has a change of heart. Also meanwhile, there is strong pressure from both families to marry soon, and well. Before James and Julia sort out their difficulties, many strange foods are eaten, several unusual costumes are worn, and a few uncomfortable truths come to light.

What was the hardest part of this book to write and why?

The love triangle was by far the most difficult aspect, because it was very important to me that all three people involved act with good intentions. James and his fiancée, Louisa, are engaged out of duty to their families, just as James and Julia deny their growing feelings out of a similar sense of duty. To me, there’s nothing sexy about infidelity, and I didn’t want any of my characters to cross that line.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

I wish! I usually get a germ of an idea—in the case of SEASON FOR TEMPTATION, it was something along the lines of “what if one sister fell in love with another sister’s fiancé?” And then: “what if the sisters loved each other deeply, so there were no villains in the love triangle?” I thought it would be interesting to see what happened. I guess that’s as close to a formula as I get: “what if?” and “then what?”

The next step is writing the first three chapters and a synopsis. That takes me much longer than any other stage of the book, because I’m figuring out the characters and the specifics of the plot. The details of the plot often change as I write the rest of the book—I might shift the order of events, collapse some, add others—but the synopsis is sort of like having the framework of a building. Maybe you’ll change the color of the bricks (or whatever), but once the steel struts are up, you know pretty much what it’ll look like when done.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

Time, discipline, and a computer (or a legal pad). Of those, I’d say discipline is the most important. If you have discipline, you’ll find the time. Heck, maybe you’ll even find the computer. (Note: I do not recommend theft.)

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

I like to:

  1. Read
  2. Watch silent movies
  3. Play trivia games with Mr. R

But usually, when I’m not writing (or working at my other job—I’m a freelance health editor), I am:

  1. Cleaning up after Little Miss R
  2. Doing laundry
  3. Cooking

We don’t have to talk about how *well* I do those things, do we? I’m hardly a domestic goddess. I’m hardly even a domestic mortal.

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

Me, on my own? I’m usually within five to zero minutes early. If I’m with Mr. R, we’ll probably be about 10 minutes late. Sorry.

What’s in your TBR pile?

Let’s stick with the mini-TBR pile on my nightstand, because the full TBR is, um, really big. I read several books at once, so here’s what I’ve got going now:

I just started reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, recommended to me by my brother. And I’m glad he did, because it’s a really fascinating analysis of factors contributing to success. (If that sounds boring to you, then I didn’t describe it well enough.)

I’m also reading Rose Lerner’s A Lily among Thorns—gah, she’s a fantastic, fantastic writer. I just love the way she uses language. Also in the “read me tonight!” stack are Kieran Kramer’s If You Give a Girl a Viscount (so clever and funny) and Victoria Dahl’s Real Men Will (I haven’t started this one yet, but I’ve heard it’s most excellently naughty).

In February 2012, a certain novel called Fever by a certain author named Joan Swan will be placed on the nightstand, and the cover will be ogled repeatedly whenever I’m not reading it.

Do you believe in snipes?

Ok, I love that you asked this question, and the answer is yes. My father loves ornithology, and I grew up reading his Roger Tory Peterson field guides (I’m not kidding, I really did). So I know that snipes are real. Though if you don’t live anywhere near water, which is where the real snipes hang out, then a snipe hunt is still a Big Giant Trick that you can have lots of fun with.


What are your current projects?

I’m working on a sequel to SEASON FOR TEMPTATION! It will be released by Kensington Zebra in October 2012 as SEASON FOR SURRENDER. It’ll have a holiday setting and, I have no doubt, a gorgeous cover.

Leave a comment or ask Theresa a question to enter the giveaway for
2 copies of her debut and 5 custom bookmarks!
International.
**MUST** leave a contact email to win!
Theresa Romain holds degrees in psychology, English literature, and history, an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She has worked, interned, and translated for libraries and universities, all of which fed her love of books and her fascination with the past. She lives with her family in the Midwest and lives online at http://theresaromain.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Order SEASON FOR TEMPATION:
AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieboundPowell’s
Order the ebook: Kindlenook