romance

>Guest Kate George Interview + Giveaway!

>

My guest today, Kate George, won first place in the prestigous Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense with her manuscript Moonlighting In Vermont, now available from Mainly Muder Press, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Leave a comment or question to be entered for a chance to WIN!!
*4* winners — 2 electronic copies of each of her current novels!
 
 

What do you do to unwind and relax?

I read. Mysteries and Romances, mostly.

Why mystery?

I grew up reading mysteries. Agatha Christie remains one of my favorites, PD James, Mary Stewart who combined mystery and romance – oh heck tons of different writers. I loved Nancy Drew and a gang of English Jr. Sleuths that I can’t remember the name of anymore. The Chalet School series that my Nanna sent me from England also had a lot of suspense written in. So you see, I come by it naturally, all that reading got into my brain.

Are there other genres slivered into your mysteries? Romance? Thriller?

Oh, there’s a hefty dose of romance in my writing. In fact I’m just finishing a paranormal romance with no mystery in it at all. Back on track here – humor is the other element I slice into my mysteries. It’s actually more important to me that my novels are entertaining and make readers laugh than the whole solving the mystery thing.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

I’m not really an expert on good writing, and as sacrilegious as this may seem, I think the story telling is much more important than the writing. Most readers will put up with imperfect writing when the story is engaging. Don’t get me wrong, I like well written books but give me a good story with grammatical mistakes over flawless writing and a boring story any day.

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

I don’t use a formula, and I tried plotting but that doesn’t work well for me either. What I do is start with a character and an idea of what the situation is going to be.
For example, in California Schemin’ I already had my main character because I knew I wanted to write more about Bree. She’s really fun to write about. I knew she was going to California with Beau, because he asked her at the end of Moonlighting in Vermont. And I knew that instead of relaxing she was going to discover another dead body. With that knowledge in place I sat down and started writing. Believe it or not, doing that works out much better for me than plotting.

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

I get to go into my local Library and see my books on the shelf. That’s pretty awesome.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Good question. I think the answer is it depends on the book. California Schemin’ took me six months to write, Moonlighting in Vermont a year. Glimmer Girls still isn’t finished!

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Because I have kids and a full time non-writing job my writing schedule is a bit hectic. I try and write in the early morning when it’s quiet. It’s far easier to write when it’s quiet in the house, but sometimes I have to just suck it up and write regardless of the noise level.

I set a daily word count, somewhere between one and five thousand words a day, and try to write until I’ve reached my minimum count.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I’ve had a rather eclectic life and I get my inspiration from incidents in my life. Bree rides motorcycles because I rode motorcycles. Something in my environment sparks my imagination and the next thing I know there’s a story begging to come out.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I’d love to have either Jennifer Crusie or Janet Evanovich as a mentor. They both write excellent books that make me laugh, and have characters I can relate to.

What are your writing strengths?

I think story telling is my strength. Once I get into my “zone” and I’m into my story the words fairly fly from my fingertips.

What are your writing weaknesses?

Spelling, grammar and correct punctuation. Thank God for copy editors. I have a weird way of looking at words, and although I’ve gotten better over the years I still have problems, especially with spelling.

What new author has grasped your interest?

Rosemary Harris. She has the Dirty Business mysteries. She’s very fun to read.

What are you reading now?

I’m currently reading In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Maté. It’s a non-fiction book about addiction and how the war on drugs is making the situation worse.

Was there an author or sleuth that inspired you to write mysteries?

What’s your mystery subgenre–thriller, police procedural, psychological, private investigator, cozy? Female protagonist/sleuth is my subgenre. I’m not quite a cozy writer – when sex crops up I tend to leave the bedroom door cracked open, and when there is violence the description tends toward vivid. Both are no-nos in cozies, but I’m not a suspense writer at all. You might put me with the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich, light, fun reading that tends to make you laugh and keep turning the pages.

Do you enjoy reading all kinds of crime fiction, or mostly the subgenre you write?

I do enjoy reading all kinds of fiction, crime or not, but when I’m writing I stay away from works that I might mimic. It’s important to me that my voice is genuine and stays light.

Does your sleuth have a sidekick?

Bree doesn’t really have a sidekick, but she has a best friend to ride shotgun when Bree needs company. She also has a slew of friends, people she grew up with. They share loyalty and trust each other. I think that’s kind of rare these days. Most people move away from where they were raised, or they get moved around when they’re kids and don’t form those kind of attachements. Here in Vermont the communities are still really close knit. Several generations of families still live in the same town and people have the benefit of really knowing the people in their communities.

I didn’t have that growing up – my parents moved us around a lot. And I like it, but it would make a lot of people crazy, I think. Nothing like having your life be an open book!

When you are first brainstorming the plot, do you start out with the victim, suspects, crime, or sleuth?

Moonlighting in Vermont started out with a place, everything else developed from that. California Schemin’ was Bree plopped down in an unfamiliar place.

Where is the mystery set?

Does the setting play a role in the book? Setting is a huge part of my stories. The places set the tone, and become almost like a character in themselves.

Leave a comment or question to be entered for a chance to WIN!!
*4* winners — 2 electronic copies of each of her current novels!


US/Canada shipping only.

*MUST* leave a contact email to win!

Bio:  Ms. George has always been easily distracted by books and has a life long love affair with mysteries. Her early influences include Mary Stewart, Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie. At one time she owned the entire collection of Ms. Christie’s work including individual copies of the novels that had alternate titles. Ms. George enjoys PD James’s Inspector Dagliesh, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, and Robert B. Parker’s Sunny Randall and Spenser. Ms. George began writing at an early age and by age 25 had written her first book, a truly awful novella about a marine biologist. She then wisely took a break from writing.

RITA Nominee Kendra Leigh Castle & Dark Awakening

>Sometimes you meet people and automatically click.  It was was like that for me with Kendra.  She is so personable and warm I felt like I’d known her for far longer than a few emails.  I think you’ll feel that way about her after reading through the interview below, and I hope you all enjoy her as much as I have!

We have several giveaways today — 2 books and 5 handmade bookmarks.  Comment to enter!
 

Kendra’s Harlequin Nocturne RENEGADE ANGEL finalled in the 2011 RWA RITA, Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure Category.  And her newest release, DARK AWAKENING, just released last Tuesday.

I am a professed vampire novice, though you can’t be a living, breathing author of any genre without catching news of the hottest paranormal creature alive…or not.  So when I read my ARC of DARK AWAKENING I was immediately taken with the many and varied twists Kendra put into the storyline.

Here’s a desription of DARK AWAKENING:

Tynan MacGillivray has spent the better part of his three hundred years serving at the pleasure of the queen of the Ptolemy dynasty, her prized hunter in a world where blood is destiny. But the lowblood cat-shifter gets far more than he bargained for when his new target, a human woman whose rare abilities make her the only hope for saving the greatest of the vampire dynasties, turns out to be far more than she seems. 

Lily Quinn is an innocent whose beauty hides secrets that could change the world of night forever…and Ty will have to choose between the loyalty that has kept him alive, or a love that promises more than he ever imagined…if it doesn’t destroy them both.

So many aspects of this novel fascinated me: the way Kendra infused the Celtic Highlander history into a modern vampire hierarchy; the complication of social classes within this society and the internal and external conflict it brings to the characters; the constant spark between the hero and heroine from their first intense meeting; her superb worldbuilding.  Far too many elements of fine storybuilding to outline here.  I hope you’ll purchase this novel and enjoy all its intricacies personally.

Kendra, congratulations on finalling RITA! You attended the RWA National convention in NYC last month. Can you tell us what was different about attending the conference as a RITA finalist?

Thanks so much for having me over today, Joan! It was such a huge honor. And attending the conference as a finalist was amazing. This past year has seen a lot of wonderful forward movement in my career…a lot of things seemed to happen at once, and getting the RITA final for that particular book was really the icing on the cake. It’s so incredibly validating to be singled out by your peers as someone who is capable of writing something really special. The whole thing was magic.

Romantic Times said, “Castle’s world-building is superb and leaves readers wanting more.”

I find paranormal world building one of the hardest elements to establish in a concrete, believable, seamless way in writing. How do you do it?

I love that world-building quote from RT. It’s a huge compliment, particularly because having your characters interact in and with a world quite different from the everyday isn’t the easiest thing, at least not if you want to do it well. No one wants to get pulled out of the story and see the woman behind the curtain pulling the levers. Preventing that is always at the back of my mind!

I don’t pull everything together all at once. I’m a pantser at heart, despite the fact that I now have to write outlines for my editors (*sniffle*). So I normally start with a more nebulous framework for the world that gets added onto over time. In the case of the Dark Dynasties, I knew I wanted a caste system, a dark world ruled by disaffected nobles and populated by a vast underclass either serving or trying to avoid them. The idea of the bloodline marks came early, and in fact the first character I really “knew” was Queen Arsinöe. 

I, um, had thought she might be a bit nicer when I started. That happens sometimes. Anyway, that loose idea of the world I was operating in, and the relationship between the Ptolemy dynasty and their “pets”, the Cait Sith, got the ball rolling. And as Lily and Ty made their way through the story, the details got filled in. Someone once called my process “organic”, which is a really nice way of saying “fumbling around in the dark”, but it works for me. And frankly, I have a lot of fun discovering things at the same time as my characters!

I love the way you’ve given these paranormal characters such human quirks—Lily, the heroine, and her hopeless sense of direction, and Ty, the hero, his love for late night television and movies. These elements add depth and dimension to your characters.

Can you tell us more about your thought process behind those quirks? Are they characteristics of yours or someone close to you? What other quirky elements have you added to other characters in the past that have added dimension? How do you choose quirks for your characters?

Thanks! I don’t really pick and choose quirks for my characters. It’s more like they turn up with them and I just have to put them in the right situation to discover them. With Lily, some of her terrible sense of direction was born of necessity (she wouldn’t have met Ty if she’d gone the right way!), and some is just…her. Well, and me. I couldn’t find my way out of a wet paper bag, even with a map and a flashlight. Sharing that particular quirk with her was an early way of relating to the character, since she’s quite different from me in other ways.

Ty’s love of late night television and his knowledge of pop culture was one of those things that just clicked into place. The guy is up all night, every night. Often, he isn’t doing much. What’s a bored vampire to do in the wee hours? Jaden, his friend, likes to cook. That was one that just sort of happened, and I got mushy over it. “Aww, a vampire who likes to make comfort food!” Weird, maybe, but revealing of his personality. I love things that humanize the dark and dangerous heroes.

In addition to having a heated sexual chemistry, your hero and heroine seem to spark in every interaction. What is your philosophy on creating characters whose interactions light up the page and keep the reader invested?

It’s a delicate dance, and I always know if it’s not working. Imaginary characters can be surprisingly stubborn to work with! I think for me, I try to hit a balance between the hero and heroine having enough in common to relate, but enough differences to intrigue and infuriate one another. I know dialogue is key for me…I love to have them talk, and dialogue is one of my favorite things to write. Between the verbal sparring (which all of my hero/heroine combinations do) and dealing with a magnetic sexual pull between them strong enough that even getting close sets off fireworks, I always hope readers will pick up on and enjoy all of that sexual tension. I’m glad you think I’m managing it!

You are married to a Navy fighter pilot—an undeniably heroic career. What has prompted you to write about vampires, werewolves and magic instead of something more Suzanne Brockmann-like where you’d have your own expert in-house? 

(As an aside, I ask this question because I’m married to a career firefighter and for a very long time wrote about cops and FBI agents. My critique partner kept asking me, why don’t you write about firefighters? My first sales were of heroes as ex-firefighters. So I thought I’d pass the question along.)

It was amazing to watch Brian when he was flying (he developed some serious back problems around the ten-year mark, and after a couple of surgeries has moved into defense acquisitions). There were things I got a kick out of (flight suits!) and we had a wonderful, tightly-knit community I enjoyed.

But you know, it’s really funny…living with the Navy day in and day out has made it far less appealing to write about. Not that it’s bad, but I write to create a fun escape, and being a Navy spouse is my everyday reality. Apart from that, I’ve always been drawn to stories with a magical and/or supernatural element. I’ve never been much interested in writing tales without it! And by the way, thanks to you and your husband for pursuing (and supporting) such a challenging and heroic career.

As the wife of a military man, you’ve moved around a lot. How do you think that has affected your writing?

I don’t know if or when I would have started writing seriously without the Navy! I was very good at finding excuses not to buckle down. And with having babies early on in our marriage, the excuses were pretty valid. But then we got stationed in the Nevada desert, which was like being sent to the moon for this New Englander, and I knew it was put up or shut up time. If I couldn’t write a book in a place with…we’ll be nice and say “few distractions”…it wasn’t going to happen. As far as the further moving affecting my writing, I think it’s helped me set things in different locations. I’ve seen a lot of places!

You have three children and your husband must be gone quite a bit with his career. How do you manage your writing and promotion schedule?

“When do you find time to do this?” is the number one question I get from pretty much everyone I know! Actually, my husband is around most of the time now that he drives a desk instead of a jet, and that has helped immensely. Still, he’s at work all day, and I play chauffeur to the kids (11, 9, and 5, respectively). We have three dogs and a cat. Life is wonderfully (sometimes insanely) full. So I write when the house is quiet, which means staying up late. Sometimes, as a deadline approaches, very late! But I expect that when the youngest heads off to kindergarten in the fall, I’ll find myself with something that could be a regular work day…and not that I’m anxious to see my baby go, but being able to get all that writing time in when I’m at my most awake sounds awfully nice.

Thank you so much for having me, Joan! Those bookmarks are gorgeous, and I also have a signed copy of DARK AWAKENING to give away to one lucky commenter! I’ll be here all day to chat, so if you’ve got questions about the writing process, my books, or paranormal romance in general, fire away!

Kendra Leigh Castle writes dark paranormal romance and lives in Southern Maryland with her husband, three children, and menagerie of pets. You can find her online at www.kendraleighcastle.com, on Twitter as @KendraLCastle, and on facebook.

Thank You, Kendra! 

Comment on Kendra’s interview or ask a question of your own and you’ll be entered to win one of the following 7 prizes: (U.S. & Canada Shipping Only)
* MUST leave a contact email * 
  • A print copy of DARK AWAKENING
  • A print copy of RENEGADE ANGEL
  • 1 of 5 custom bookmarks

>RITA Nominee Kendra Leigh Castle & Dark Awakening

>Sometimes you meet people and automatically click.  It was was like that for me with Kendra.  She is so personable and warm I felt like I’d known her for far longer than a few emails.  I think you’ll feel that way about her after reading through the interview below, and I hope you all enjoy her as much as I have!

We have several giveaways today — 2 books and 5 handmade bookmarks.  Comment to enter!
 

Kendra’s Harlequin Nocturne RENEGADE ANGEL finalled in the 2011 RWA RITA, Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure Category.  And her newest release, DARK AWAKENING, just released last Tuesday.

I am a professed vampire novice, though you can’t be a living, breathing author of any genre without catching news of the hottest paranormal creature alive…or not.  So when I read my ARC of DARK AWAKENING I was immediately taken with the many and varied twists Kendra put into the storyline.

Here’s a desription of DARK AWAKENING:

Tynan MacGillivray has spent the better part of his three hundred years serving at the pleasure of the queen of the Ptolemy dynasty, her prized hunter in a world where blood is destiny. But the lowblood cat-shifter gets far more than he bargained for when his new target, a human woman whose rare abilities make her the only hope for saving the greatest of the vampire dynasties, turns out to be far more than she seems. 

Lily Quinn is an innocent whose beauty hides secrets that could change the world of night forever…and Ty will have to choose between the loyalty that has kept him alive, or a love that promises more than he ever imagined…if it doesn’t destroy them both.

So many aspects of this novel fascinated me: the way Kendra infused the Celtic Highlander history into a modern vampire hierarchy; the complication of social classes within this society and the internal and external conflict it brings to the characters; the constant spark between the hero and heroine from their first intense meeting; her superb worldbuilding.  Far too many elements of fine storybuilding to outline here.  I hope you’ll purchase this novel and enjoy all its intricacies personally.

Kendra, congratulations on finalling RITA! You attended the RWA National convention in NYC last month. Can you tell us what was different about attending the conference as a RITA finalist?

Thanks so much for having me over today, Joan! It was such a huge honor. And attending the conference as a finalist was amazing. This past year has seen a lot of wonderful forward movement in my career…a lot of things seemed to happen at once, and getting the RITA final for that particular book was really the icing on the cake. It’s so incredibly validating to be singled out by your peers as someone who is capable of writing something really special. The whole thing was magic.

Romantic Times said, “Castle’s world-building is superb and leaves readers wanting more.”

I find paranormal world building one of the hardest elements to establish in a concrete, believable, seamless way in writing. How do you do it?

I love that world-building quote from RT. It’s a huge compliment, particularly because having your characters interact in and with a world quite different from the everyday isn’t the easiest thing, at least not if you want to do it well. No one wants to get pulled out of the story and see the woman behind the curtain pulling the levers. Preventing that is always at the back of my mind!

I don’t pull everything together all at once. I’m a pantser at heart, despite the fact that I now have to write outlines for my editors (*sniffle*). So I normally start with a more nebulous framework for the world that gets added onto over time. In the case of the Dark Dynasties, I knew I wanted a caste system, a dark world ruled by disaffected nobles and populated by a vast underclass either serving or trying to avoid them. The idea of the bloodline marks came early, and in fact the first character I really “knew” was Queen Arsinöe. 

I, um, had thought she might be a bit nicer when I started. That happens sometimes. Anyway, that loose idea of the world I was operating in, and the relationship between the Ptolemy dynasty and their “pets”, the Cait Sith, got the ball rolling. And as Lily and Ty made their way through the story, the details got filled in. Someone once called my process “organic”, which is a really nice way of saying “fumbling around in the dark”, but it works for me. And frankly, I have a lot of fun discovering things at the same time as my characters!

I love the way you’ve given these paranormal characters such human quirks—Lily, the heroine, and her hopeless sense of direction, and Ty, the hero, his love for late night television and movies. These elements add depth and dimension to your characters.

Can you tell us more about your thought process behind those quirks? Are they characteristics of yours or someone close to you? What other quirky elements have you added to other characters in the past that have added dimension? How do you choose quirks for your characters?

Thanks! I don’t really pick and choose quirks for my characters. It’s more like they turn up with them and I just have to put them in the right situation to discover them. With Lily, some of her terrible sense of direction was born of necessity (she wouldn’t have met Ty if she’d gone the right way!), and some is just…her. Well, and me. I couldn’t find my way out of a wet paper bag, even with a map and a flashlight. Sharing that particular quirk with her was an early way of relating to the character, since she’s quite different from me in other ways.

Ty’s love of late night television and his knowledge of pop culture was one of those things that just clicked into place. The guy is up all night, every night. Often, he isn’t doing much. What’s a bored vampire to do in the wee hours? Jaden, his friend, likes to cook. That was one that just sort of happened, and I got mushy over it. “Aww, a vampire who likes to make comfort food!” Weird, maybe, but revealing of his personality. I love things that humanize the dark and dangerous heroes.

In addition to having a heated sexual chemistry, your hero and heroine seem to spark in every interaction. What is your philosophy on creating characters whose interactions light up the page and keep the reader invested?

It’s a delicate dance, and I always know if it’s not working. Imaginary characters can be surprisingly stubborn to work with! I think for me, I try to hit a balance between the hero and heroine having enough in common to relate, but enough differences to intrigue and infuriate one another. I know dialogue is key for me…I love to have them talk, and dialogue is one of my favorite things to write. Between the verbal sparring (which all of my hero/heroine combinations do) and dealing with a magnetic sexual pull between them strong enough that even getting close sets off fireworks, I always hope readers will pick up on and enjoy all of that sexual tension. I’m glad you think I’m managing it!

You are married to a Navy fighter pilot—an undeniably heroic career. What has prompted you to write about vampires, werewolves and magic instead of something more Suzanne Brockmann-like where you’d have your own expert in-house? 

(As an aside, I ask this question because I’m married to a career firefighter and for a very long time wrote about cops and FBI agents. My critique partner kept asking me, why don’t you write about firefighters? My first sales were of heroes as ex-firefighters. So I thought I’d pass the question along.)

It was amazing to watch Brian when he was flying (he developed some serious back problems around the ten-year mark, and after a couple of surgeries has moved into defense acquisitions). There were things I got a kick out of (flight suits!) and we had a wonderful, tightly-knit community I enjoyed.

But you know, it’s really funny…living with the Navy day in and day out has made it far less appealing to write about. Not that it’s bad, but I write to create a fun escape, and being a Navy spouse is my everyday reality. Apart from that, I’ve always been drawn to stories with a magical and/or supernatural element. I’ve never been much interested in writing tales without it! And by the way, thanks to you and your husband for pursuing (and supporting) such a challenging and heroic career.

As the wife of a military man, you’ve moved around a lot. How do you think that has affected your writing?

I don’t know if or when I would have started writing seriously without the Navy! I was very good at finding excuses not to buckle down. And with having babies early on in our marriage, the excuses were pretty valid. But then we got stationed in the Nevada desert, which was like being sent to the moon for this New Englander, and I knew it was put up or shut up time. If I couldn’t write a book in a place with…we’ll be nice and say “few distractions”…it wasn’t going to happen. As far as the further moving affecting my writing, I think it’s helped me set things in different locations. I’ve seen a lot of places!

You have three children and your husband must be gone quite a bit with his career. How do you manage your writing and promotion schedule?

“When do you find time to do this?” is the number one question I get from pretty much everyone I know! Actually, my husband is around most of the time now that he drives a desk instead of a jet, and that has helped immensely. Still, he’s at work all day, and I play chauffeur to the kids (11, 9, and 5, respectively). We have three dogs and a cat. Life is wonderfully (sometimes insanely) full. So I write when the house is quiet, which means staying up late. Sometimes, as a deadline approaches, very late! But I expect that when the youngest heads off to kindergarten in the fall, I’ll find myself with something that could be a regular work day…and not that I’m anxious to see my baby go, but being able to get all that writing time in when I’m at my most awake sounds awfully nice.

Thank you so much for having me, Joan! Those bookmarks are gorgeous, and I also have a signed copy of DARK AWAKENING to give away to one lucky commenter! I’ll be here all day to chat, so if you’ve got questions about the writing process, my books, or paranormal romance in general, fire away!

Kendra Leigh Castle writes dark paranormal romance and lives in Southern Maryland with her husband, three children, and menagerie of pets. You can find her online at www.kendraleighcastle.com, on Twitter as @KendraLCastle, and on facebook.

Thank You, Kendra! 

Comment on Kendra’s interview or ask a question of your own and you’ll be entered to win one of the following 7 prizes: (U.S. & Canada Shipping Only)
* MUST leave a contact email * 
  • A print copy of DARK AWAKENING
  • A print copy of RENEGADE ANGEL
  • 1 of 5 custom bookmarks

New Releases July 5, 2011

>Releases have become a bit overwhelming for me to post individually on Twitter, though I do love doing it because I believe each author deserves huge acknowledgement for the major amount of work and creativity and imagination that goes into each and every book.  And even here, I won’t be posting all the new releases I can find — there are just so many.  So this won’t be an exhaustive list, more of a selective list of the popular, interesting and beautiful — in my opinion, of course.  And for those authors who are friends or who are my favorite reads, I’ll still whoop them up on Twitter of course.

For now, I’m going to post new releases here on my blog on Tuesdays.  And we’ll play it by ear.  Enjoy!

Darynda Jones is my Ruby sister (2009 GH Finalist group).
FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT is an entertaining, laugh-all-the-way-through read and this is the first time it’s out in paperback. 

Lauren Dane is a fabulously talented and HOT writer!  Lucky for you all, she’s also incredibly prolific!  This is her latest REVELATION. www.laurndane.com @laurndane

 I picked up the first book in this series on a fluke — GRAVE WITCH, and LOVED it. This is the third book of the series.  Can’t wait to read book two so I can move on to this one.

I am a Tess Gerritsen fan.  Not everything she writes, but in general, so this would be one I’d take a serious look at.

More releases:
  
  
  





   

>New Releases July 5, 2011

>Releases have become a bit overwhelming for me to post individually on Twitter, though I do love doing it because I believe each author deserves huge acknowledgement for the major amount of work and creativity and imagination that goes into each and every book.  And even here, I won’t be posting all the new releases I can find — there are just so many.  So this won’t be an exhaustive list, more of a selective list of the popular, interesting and beautiful — in my opinion, of course.  And for those authors who are friends or who are my favorite reads, I’ll still whoop them up on Twitter of course.

For now, I’m going to post new releases here on my blog on Tuesdays.  And we’ll play it by ear.  Enjoy!

Darynda Jones is my Ruby sister (2009 GH Finalist group).
FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT is an entertaining, laugh-all-the-way-through read and this is the first time it’s out in paperback. 

Lauren Dane is a fabulously talented and HOT writer!  Lucky for you all, she’s also incredibly prolific!  This is her latest REVELATION. www.laurndane.com @laurndane

 I picked up the first book in this series on a fluke — GRAVE WITCH, and LOVED it. This is the third book of the series.  Can’t wait to read book two so I can move on to this one.

I am a Tess Gerritsen fan.  Not everything she writes, but in general, so this would be one I’d take a serious look at.

More releases:
  
  
  





   

Welcome Dale Mayer with Two Releases!

>Welcome, Dale Mayer!!

Freelance writer Dale Mayer lives in the beautiful Okanagan valley in British Columbia, Canada. She’s multi-pubbed in nonfiction but her true love is the stories that weave through her mind. For the past nine years, she’s written around the daily responsibilities of being a single mother of four and still squeezes in time to produce new fiction manuscripts each year.

In fiction, she writes taut psychological suspense with romance and paranormal elements. She has recently branched out into both mystery and urban fantasy books for young adult with the occasional vampire book thrown in just for fun.

Dale is here today with two releases in two different genres: romantic suspense and young adult.  She is providing excerpts from both as well as one Ebook of each as a giveaway to two random commentors.  Contest ends midnight 7/3/11.  So tell us which genre you prefer, what you liked best about one of the excerpts or ask Dale a question — any comment to qualify for the giveaways!

Young Adult: DANGEROUS DESIGNS

Description:

Drawing is her world…but when her new pencil comes alive, it’s his world too.

Her… Storey Dalton is seventeen and now boyfriendless after being dumped via Facebook. Drawing is her escape. It’s like as soon as she gets down one image, a dozen more are pressing in on her. Then she realizes her pictures are almost drawing themselves…or is it that her new pencil is alive?

Him… Eric Jordan is a new Ranger and the only son of the Councilman to his world. He’s crossed the veil between dimensions to retrieve a lost stylus. But Storey is already experimenting with her new pencil and what her drawings can do – like open portals.

It … The stylus is a soul-bound intelligence from Eric’s dimension on Earth and uses Storey’s unsuspecting mind to seek its way home, giving her an unbelievable power. She unwittingly opens a third dimension, one that held a dangerous predatory species banished from Eric’s world centuries ago, releasing these animals into both dimensions.

Them… Once in Eric’s homeland, Storey is blamed for the calamity sentenced to death. When she escapes, Eric is ordered to bring her back or face that same death penalty. With nothing to lose, can they work together across dimensions to save both their worlds?

Excerpt:

When she couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer, she dropped the book to the floor beside her, clicked off the light and dropped into a deep sleep – a sleep full of weird dreams and voices calling to her.

“Storey, come and get me.”

“Storey, come.”

“We need you, Storey.”

Disturbed, she bolted upright gasping for breath as she stared wildly around the room. Who said that?

No one. She was alone – and clearly losing it. Her heart banged in her chest as a film of sweat covered her skin. She took several deep breaths and tried to calm down. Talk about nightmares.
She shuddered and lay back down. It took several minutes to get her breathing under control and when it did, she started to get pissed.

“What the hell do you want with me?” she snapped in the direction of her backpack, the drawing safely secured inside. “Crap. This is too freaky, even for me.”

“Storey, is that you, honey?”

Her mother knocked on the door and poked her head around, the light from the hallway lighting the silver streaks in her otherwise dark hair. “Can’t you sleep?”

“Sorry, if I woke you, Mom.” Storey sat up, brushing her own jet black hair back off her face. “Just a bad dream.”

“That’s because you didn’t have any dinner. I checked up on you after the meeting finished only you’d fallen asleep.” Her mother’s fingers twisted around a dangling lock of dark hair, stepping further into the room, her Wiccan robes dragging on the floor. She bit her lip. “Storey, you have to eat. You’re already skinny enough.”

Bone rack is what a jock had called her last month. Looking down, Storey realized they could be right. Her hip bones stuck out to match her big elbows. And her body had developed to the point she just barely missed the skinny scarecrow look. Too bad. She might have been able to make that work.
“I’m eating, Mom. They had pizza in class today, so didn’t need my lunch. Ate that on the way home.” She had more important things to worry about anyway.

Relief washed over her mom’s pretty face. “Oh, I’m so glad to hear that. Sometimes, I worry about you.”
Sometimes? Didn’t she mean all the time? Was that was normal for moms? Then again, there was a world of difference between normal moms and hers.

“What time is it?” Storey looked out the window. Blackness stared back.

“It’s just about 12:30 am. Please get into your pajamas. You don’t want to be sleeping in those jeans.” She backed up to the open door. “If you’re alright, I’ll say good night. It is witching hour after all.” With a carefree grin, her mom closed the door.

Witching hour. Right. Only in her house. Sighing at her mother’s antics, Storey collapsed down on her covers and fell into a light, troubled sleep.

“Storey.”

She sighed. “What now, mom?”

No answer. She sat up and glanced at the closed door. Weird. She could’ve sworn she’d heard someone call her. Lying down again, she pulled her blankets over top, not bothering to get changed.

“Storey.”

She bolted upright. That’s it. Who the hell was playing games with her?

“Storey.”

Throwing back the blankets, Storey kneeled on her bed. “Who said that?” she hissed into the early morning air. Not trusting the gloomy light, she flicked her bedside lamp on, quickly scanning the room. Empty. “I am so losing it. This is nuts.”

Her gaze landed on the backpack on her floor. Her gaze widened. Oh no.

‘No, no. Hell no.” She shook her head, slowly at first then more wildly. “This can’t be happening. It’s a picture. Nothing more. Nothing less. I created you. I can destroy you.”

That’s exactly what she was going to do. She dragged the backpack onto her bed and opened it. The knot defied her first and second attempts, before she managed to pull the laces apart and yank out her book. “I don’t know what’s going on here, but enough is enough.”

She flipped to the last page she’d been working on and grabbed it at the top left and ripped. It wouldn’t tear off. She tightened her grip and tried again. It refused to budge. Scared now, she threw it on the floor and in a fit of defiance, she jumped on it.

And fell through the picture, through the floor even.

She went right through the doorway in her picture.

Romantic Suspense: TUESDAY’S CHILD

Description:

What she doesn’t want…is exactly what he needs.

Shunned and ridiculed all her life for something she can’t control, Samantha Blair hides her psychic abilities and lives on the fringes of society. Against her will, however, she’s tapped into a killer—or rather, his victims. Each woman’s murder, blow-by-blow, ravages her mind until their death releases her back to her body. Sam knows she must go to the authorities, but will the rugged, no-nonsense detective in charge of tracking down the killer believe her?

Detective Brandt Sutherland only trusts hard evidence, yet Sam’s visions offer clues he needs to catch a killer. The more he learns about her incredible abilities, however, the clearer it becomes that Sam’s visions have put her in the killer’s line of fire. Now Brandt must save her from something he cannot see or understand…and risk losing his heart in the process.

As danger and desire collide, passion raises the stakes in a game Sam and Brandt don’t dare lose.

Excerpt:

The shepherd’s low growl warned her halfway.

“It’s okay, boy. It’s just me. I’ll be taking care of you. Give you food, fresh water, and friendship. The things that help us get along in life.” Although she kept her voice quiet, warm, and even toned, the growl remained the same.

She couldn’t blame him.

He might be able to get along without friendships, but she wanted them. She’d never had that elusive element that others took for granted.

Sam approached the dog’s cage with care. According to his chart, he’d had surgery to repair internal bleeding and to set a shattered leg. On top of that, he’d suffered several broken ribs, a dislocated collarbone and was missing a huge patch of skin on both hindquarters. Written in red and circled were the words – aggressive and dangerous. The growling stopped.

Sam squatted down to stare into his eyes. The dog should have a name. He didn’t give a damn. But a name gave the dog a presence, an existence…an identity.

“How about…” she thought for a long moment. “I know, how about we call you Major?”

The dog exploded into snarls and hideous barking, his ears flattened, and absolute hate filled his eyes.

“Jesus!” Sam skittered to the far corner of the room–her hand to her chest–sure her heart would break free.

“Is everything okay back here?”

Sam turned in surprise to see one of the vets standing behind her, frowning. “Sorry,” she yelled over the din of the other animals that had picked up the shepherd’s fear. She waited for the animals to calm down before continuing. “I’d thought of a brilliant name for the shepherd, but from his reaction, I think he hates it.”

The vet walked over and bent down to assess his patient. “It could have been your tone of voice or the inflection in the way you said the name.
He’d been abused even before this accident.” After a thoughtful pause, he added, “I’m not sure, but it might have been kinder to have put him down.”

“No.” Sam stared at him in horror. “Don’t say that. He’ll come around.” At his doubtful look, she continued, “I know he will. Give him a chance.”

That she seemed to be asking the vet to give her a chance hung heavy in the room, but she didn’t think he understood that.

He stared at her, shrewdness and wisdom in his eyes.

Then again, maybe she’d misjudged him. She shifted, uneasy under the intense gaze.

“We’ll see. We’ll have lots of opportunity to assess his progress as he recuperates.”

Sam had to be satisfied with that. She knew the dog was worth saving and so, damn it, was she. Her salvation and that of the dog’s were tied together in some unfathomable way. She could sense it. She’d fight tooth and nail to keep him safe.

In so doing, maybe she could save herself.

Dale is a talented multi-genre author. Leave a comment to enter the drawing for a free Ebook of either DANGEROUS DESIGNS or TUESDAY’S CHILD.
  • Contest entries end midnight 7/3/11.
  • International giveaway (Ebooks)
  • MUST leave an email contact address

>Welcome Dale Mayer with Two Releases!

>Welcome, Dale Mayer!!

Freelance writer Dale Mayer lives in the beautiful Okanagan valley in British Columbia, Canada. She’s multi-pubbed in nonfiction but her true love is the stories that weave through her mind. For the past nine years, she’s written around the daily responsibilities of being a single mother of four and still squeezes in time to produce new fiction manuscripts each year.

In fiction, she writes taut psychological suspense with romance and paranormal elements. She has recently branched out into both mystery and urban fantasy books for young adult with the occasional vampire book thrown in just for fun.

Dale is here today with two releases in two different genres: romantic suspense and young adult.  She is providing excerpts from both as well as one Ebook of each as a giveaway to two random commentors.  Contest ends midnight 7/3/11.  So tell us which genre you prefer, what you liked best about one of the excerpts or ask Dale a question — any comment to qualify for the giveaways!

Young Adult: DANGEROUS DESIGNS

Description:

Drawing is her world…but when her new pencil comes alive, it’s his world too.

Her… Storey Dalton is seventeen and now boyfriendless after being dumped via Facebook. Drawing is her escape. It’s like as soon as she gets down one image, a dozen more are pressing in on her. Then she realizes her pictures are almost drawing themselves…or is it that her new pencil is alive?

Him… Eric Jordan is a new Ranger and the only son of the Councilman to his world. He’s crossed the veil between dimensions to retrieve a lost stylus. But Storey is already experimenting with her new pencil and what her drawings can do – like open portals.

It … The stylus is a soul-bound intelligence from Eric’s dimension on Earth and uses Storey’s unsuspecting mind to seek its way home, giving her an unbelievable power. She unwittingly opens a third dimension, one that held a dangerous predatory species banished from Eric’s world centuries ago, releasing these animals into both dimensions.

Them… Once in Eric’s homeland, Storey is blamed for the calamity sentenced to death. When she escapes, Eric is ordered to bring her back or face that same death penalty. With nothing to lose, can they work together across dimensions to save both their worlds?

Excerpt:

When she couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer, she dropped the book to the floor beside her, clicked off the light and dropped into a deep sleep – a sleep full of weird dreams and voices calling to her.

“Storey, come and get me.”

“Storey, come.”

“We need you, Storey.”

Disturbed, she bolted upright gasping for breath as she stared wildly around the room. Who said that?

No one. She was alone – and clearly losing it. Her heart banged in her chest as a film of sweat covered her skin. She took several deep breaths and tried to calm down. Talk about nightmares.
She shuddered and lay back down. It took several minutes to get her breathing under control and when it did, she started to get pissed.

“What the hell do you want with me?” she snapped in the direction of her backpack, the drawing safely secured inside. “Crap. This is too freaky, even for me.”

“Storey, is that you, honey?”

Her mother knocked on the door and poked her head around, the light from the hallway lighting the silver streaks in her otherwise dark hair. “Can’t you sleep?”

“Sorry, if I woke you, Mom.” Storey sat up, brushing her own jet black hair back off her face. “Just a bad dream.”

“That’s because you didn’t have any dinner. I checked up on you after the meeting finished only you’d fallen asleep.” Her mother’s fingers twisted around a dangling lock of dark hair, stepping further into the room, her Wiccan robes dragging on the floor. She bit her lip. “Storey, you have to eat. You’re already skinny enough.”

Bone rack is what a jock had called her last month. Looking down, Storey realized they could be right. Her hip bones stuck out to match her big elbows. And her body had developed to the point she just barely missed the skinny scarecrow look. Too bad. She might have been able to make that work.
“I’m eating, Mom. They had pizza in class today, so didn’t need my lunch. Ate that on the way home.” She had more important things to worry about anyway.

Relief washed over her mom’s pretty face. “Oh, I’m so glad to hear that. Sometimes, I worry about you.”
Sometimes? Didn’t she mean all the time? Was that was normal for moms? Then again, there was a world of difference between normal moms and hers.

“What time is it?” Storey looked out the window. Blackness stared back.

“It’s just about 12:30 am. Please get into your pajamas. You don’t want to be sleeping in those jeans.” She backed up to the open door. “If you’re alright, I’ll say good night. It is witching hour after all.” With a carefree grin, her mom closed the door.

Witching hour. Right. Only in her house. Sighing at her mother’s antics, Storey collapsed down on her covers and fell into a light, troubled sleep.

“Storey.”

She sighed. “What now, mom?”

No answer. She sat up and glanced at the closed door. Weird. She could’ve sworn she’d heard someone call her. Lying down again, she pulled her blankets over top, not bothering to get changed.

“Storey.”

She bolted upright. That’s it. Who the hell was playing games with her?

“Storey.”

Throwing back the blankets, Storey kneeled on her bed. “Who said that?” she hissed into the early morning air. Not trusting the gloomy light, she flicked her bedside lamp on, quickly scanning the room. Empty. “I am so losing it. This is nuts.”

Her gaze landed on the backpack on her floor. Her gaze widened. Oh no.

‘No, no. Hell no.” She shook her head, slowly at first then more wildly. “This can’t be happening. It’s a picture. Nothing more. Nothing less. I created you. I can destroy you.”

That’s exactly what she was going to do. She dragged the backpack onto her bed and opened it. The knot defied her first and second attempts, before she managed to pull the laces apart and yank out her book. “I don’t know what’s going on here, but enough is enough.”

She flipped to the last page she’d been working on and grabbed it at the top left and ripped. It wouldn’t tear off. She tightened her grip and tried again. It refused to budge. Scared now, she threw it on the floor and in a fit of defiance, she jumped on it.

And fell through the picture, through the floor even.

She went right through the doorway in her picture.

Romantic Suspense: TUESDAY’S CHILD

Description:

What she doesn’t want…is exactly what he needs.

Shunned and ridiculed all her life for something she can’t control, Samantha Blair hides her psychic abilities and lives on the fringes of society. Against her will, however, she’s tapped into a killer—or rather, his victims. Each woman’s murder, blow-by-blow, ravages her mind until their death releases her back to her body. Sam knows she must go to the authorities, but will the rugged, no-nonsense detective in charge of tracking down the killer believe her?

Detective Brandt Sutherland only trusts hard evidence, yet Sam’s visions offer clues he needs to catch a killer. The more he learns about her incredible abilities, however, the clearer it becomes that Sam’s visions have put her in the killer’s line of fire. Now Brandt must save her from something he cannot see or understand…and risk losing his heart in the process.

As danger and desire collide, passion raises the stakes in a game Sam and Brandt don’t dare lose.

Excerpt:

The shepherd’s low growl warned her halfway.

“It’s okay, boy. It’s just me. I’ll be taking care of you. Give you food, fresh water, and friendship. The things that help us get along in life.” Although she kept her voice quiet, warm, and even toned, the growl remained the same.

She couldn’t blame him.

He might be able to get along without friendships, but she wanted them. She’d never had that elusive element that others took for granted.

Sam approached the dog’s cage with care. According to his chart, he’d had surgery to repair internal bleeding and to set a shattered leg. On top of that, he’d suffered several broken ribs, a dislocated collarbone and was missing a huge patch of skin on both hindquarters. Written in red and circled were the words – aggressive and dangerous. The growling stopped.

Sam squatted down to stare into his eyes. The dog should have a name. He didn’t give a damn. But a name gave the dog a presence, an existence…an identity.

“How about…” she thought for a long moment. “I know, how about we call you Major?”

The dog exploded into snarls and hideous barking, his ears flattened, and absolute hate filled his eyes.

“Jesus!” Sam skittered to the far corner of the room–her hand to her chest–sure her heart would break free.

“Is everything okay back here?”

Sam turned in surprise to see one of the vets standing behind her, frowning. “Sorry,” she yelled over the din of the other animals that had picked up the shepherd’s fear. She waited for the animals to calm down before continuing. “I’d thought of a brilliant name for the shepherd, but from his reaction, I think he hates it.”

The vet walked over and bent down to assess his patient. “It could have been your tone of voice or the inflection in the way you said the name.
He’d been abused even before this accident.” After a thoughtful pause, he added, “I’m not sure, but it might have been kinder to have put him down.”

“No.” Sam stared at him in horror. “Don’t say that. He’ll come around.” At his doubtful look, she continued, “I know he will. Give him a chance.”

That she seemed to be asking the vet to give her a chance hung heavy in the room, but she didn’t think he understood that.

He stared at her, shrewdness and wisdom in his eyes.

Then again, maybe she’d misjudged him. She shifted, uneasy under the intense gaze.

“We’ll see. We’ll have lots of opportunity to assess his progress as he recuperates.”

Sam had to be satisfied with that. She knew the dog was worth saving and so, damn it, was she. Her salvation and that of the dog’s were tied together in some unfathomable way. She could sense it. She’d fight tooth and nail to keep him safe.

In so doing, maybe she could save herself.

Dale is a talented multi-genre author. Leave a comment to enter the drawing for a free Ebook of either DANGEROUS DESIGNS or TUESDAY’S CHILD.
  • Contest entries end midnight 7/3/11.
  • International giveaway (Ebooks)
  • MUST leave an email contact address

Hot Releases May 24, 2011

>

SCANDAL IN SCOTLAND by Karen Hawkins || Historical Romance
New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins spins an unforgettable tale of a captivating beauty with a secret, a dashing sea captain on a treacherous mission—and the priceless artifact that seals their destiny.

Despite fame and countless admirers, actress Marcail Beauchamp has never forgotten William Hurst, the audacious seafarer she once loved . . . and lost. Now, forced by a mysterious blackmailer who threatens her family, she must steal an ancient onyx box from the one man she’s vowed never to see again.
To save his brother from a ruthless abductor, William must deliver the artifact as ransom. He’s stunned when Marcail, more lovely than ever, suddenly appears on his ship. But when she drugs him and steals the box, his fury knows no bounds.

William pursues Marcail, but too late: she has already delivered the box. The estranged lovers realize they must work together—both to regain the artifact that could mean life or death to his family and to destroy the mysterious blackmailer’s power over her family. Thus begins a high-stakes quest through the reaches of Scotland, a quest that stirs up long-forgotten memories and an unquenchable passion. . . .

 

BABY, DRIVE SOUTH by Stephanie Bond || Contemporary Romance
The hardheaded Armstrong brothers are determined to rebuild their tornado-ravaged hometown in the Georgia mountains. They’ve got the means, they’ve got the manpower…what they need are women! So they place an ad in a northern newspaper and wait for the ladies to answer their call….
Porter, the youngest Armstrong, is all for importing women. Still, he’s so blown away by the sheer numbers, he falls off the water tower. Luckily there’s a doctor among the newcomers—sweet and sexy Dr. Nikki Salinger.

And Porter has every intention of checking out her bedside manner….

      

BLACKBERRY SUMMER by RaeAnne Thayne || Contemporary Romance
Claire Bradford needed a wake-up call.

What she didn’t need was a tragic car accident. As a single mom and the owner of a successful bead shop, Claire leads a predictable life in Hope’s Crossing, Colorado. So what if she has no time for romance? At least, that’s what she tells herself, especially when her best friend’s sexy younger brother comes back to town as the new chief of police.

But when the accident forces Claire to slow down and lean on others—especially Riley McKnight—she realizes, for the first time, that things need to change. And not just in her own life. The accident—and the string of robberies committed by teenagers that led up to it—is a wake-up call to the people of Hope’s Crossing. The sense of community and togetherness had been lost during those tough years. But with a mysterious “Angel of Hope” working to inspire the town, Riley and Claire will find themselves opening up to love and other possibilities by the end of an extraordinary summer….

DEJA VU by Lisa Childs || Series Romance
One night, she felt the gifted hands of a handsome lover ignite her body into the throes of ecstasy. Another night, she beheld a gleaming knife and heard screams for help. That was all Alaina Paulsen remembered from her past life and the reason she now investigated FBI serial murders…including her own.
 
Reclusive writer Trent Baines was her prime suspect. An empath barricaded in a fortresslike home, Trent included details in his books that mirrored the murders…and that no one could possibly know. But one look at Trent, and Alaina recalled their passionate embraces. Then the murders began anew….

            

TERMS OF SURRENDER by Leslie Kelly || Series Romance

Subject: Danny Wilkes, navy pilot.

Current status: On shore rotation. Very intrigued by a sassy visiting lecturer…

Mission: Enter the astronaut training program.

Obstacle: Marissa Marshall, Ph.D. She’s keeping Danny preoccupied with earthly delights…

Danny Wilkes might have outgrown his risk-taking flyboy days, but he still loves a thrill now and then. And nobody’s thrilled him lately like fiery Mari Marshall. Sex with her is a bigger turn-on than any of the air maneuvers Danny’s ever pulled. He falls head over heels…hard.

But Mari has bitter memories of being a military brat. She’ll never enter that life again—not even for the best sex she’s ever had.

It’s a hell of a choice. Does Danny give up his skyrocketing career? Or let go of the only woman who revs his engine into the stratosphere?

THE PROPOSAL by Brenda Jackson || Series Romance

The moment he met Bella Bostwick, Jason Westmoreland wanted her—and the land she’d inherited. With one convenient proposal, he could have the Southern beauty in his bed and her birthright in his hands. If only Bella would say yes….

 

GRAVEMINDER by Melissa Marr || Paranormal Fiction

The New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series delivers her first novel for adults, a story about the living, the dead, and a curse that binds them.

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”

Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place–and the man–she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D–a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.

MIND GAMES by Taylor Keating || Paranormal Romance

River Weston thinks her problems are over. She managed to escape the virtual world of her video game—and the clutches of the Dark Lord who attempted to enslave her—with body and mind intact. But her return to the real world is anything but easy. Framed for monstrous crimes she didn’t commit, and hunted by members of a dark government agency, it is all she can do to stay one step ahead of her pursuers.

Guardian Chase Hawkins gained his freedom from the Dark Lord’s prison, but it came with a heavy price. Trapped in another man’s body, his soul slowly deteriorating, Hawk knows he must return to his world—and his body—before the damage is irreparable.

Racing against time, River and Hawk know that in order to have a future together, they must work to reveal the secrets hidden in River’s past. 

VANISH IN PLAIN SIGHT by Marta Perry || Romantic Suspense

Since she was a little girl, Marisa Angelo has been haunted by the image of her mother walking away, suitcase in hand, to return to her Amish roots.

Marisa and her “Englischer” father never saw or heard from her again. Now Marisa has received a shocking call from police. Her mother’s bloodstained suitcase was found hidden inside the wall of a Pennsylvania Dutch farmhouse.

Desperate for answers, Marisa heads to Lancaster County. But no one—not the police or Marisa’s tight-lipped Amish relatives—can explain what happened to her mother.

Only one man is as determined as Marisa to unravel the mystery—Link Morgan, the handsome ex-military loner who found the suitcase in the house he inherited from his uncle. Now both Link’s and Marisa’s family members are implicated in the decades-old disappearance.

The secret lies somewhere in the quaint Amish settlement. But someone will do anything to ensure the truth remains hidden forever.

 

THE HARLOT by Saskia Walker || Erotic Romance

It is a dark era,

One when a lusty lass will do what she must to survive.  Even if it means bartering flesh for a palmful of coins…

Forced to watch her mother burn at the stake, Jessie Taskill knows the danger of the gift she inherited—a powerful magic that must stay hidden. Until one night when she’s accused of witchcraft and Jessie finds herself behind prison walls, awaiting certain death with a roguish priest unlike any man of the cloth she has known.

In reality, Gregor Ramsay is as far from holy as the devil himself, but his promise of freedom in return for her services may be her salvation. Locked into a dubious agreement, Jessie resents his plan to have her seduce and ruin his lifelong enemy. But toying with Gregor’s own lust for her is enjoyable, and she agrees to be his pawn while secretly intending to use him just as he is using her….

>Hot Releases May 24, 2011

>

SCANDAL IN SCOTLAND by Karen Hawkins || Historical Romance
New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins spins an unforgettable tale of a captivating beauty with a secret, a dashing sea captain on a treacherous mission—and the priceless artifact that seals their destiny.

Despite fame and countless admirers, actress Marcail Beauchamp has never forgotten William Hurst, the audacious seafarer she once loved . . . and lost. Now, forced by a mysterious blackmailer who threatens her family, she must steal an ancient onyx box from the one man she’s vowed never to see again.
To save his brother from a ruthless abductor, William must deliver the artifact as ransom. He’s stunned when Marcail, more lovely than ever, suddenly appears on his ship. But when she drugs him and steals the box, his fury knows no bounds.

William pursues Marcail, but too late: she has already delivered the box. The estranged lovers realize they must work together—both to regain the artifact that could mean life or death to his family and to destroy the mysterious blackmailer’s power over her family. Thus begins a high-stakes quest through the reaches of Scotland, a quest that stirs up long-forgotten memories and an unquenchable passion. . . .

 

BABY, DRIVE SOUTH by Stephanie Bond || Contemporary Romance
The hardheaded Armstrong brothers are determined to rebuild their tornado-ravaged hometown in the Georgia mountains. They’ve got the means, they’ve got the manpower…what they need are women! So they place an ad in a northern newspaper and wait for the ladies to answer their call….
Porter, the youngest Armstrong, is all for importing women. Still, he’s so blown away by the sheer numbers, he falls off the water tower. Luckily there’s a doctor among the newcomers—sweet and sexy Dr. Nikki Salinger.

And Porter has every intention of checking out her bedside manner….

      

BLACKBERRY SUMMER by RaeAnne Thayne || Contemporary Romance
Claire Bradford needed a wake-up call.

What she didn’t need was a tragic car accident. As a single mom and the owner of a successful bead shop, Claire leads a predictable life in Hope’s Crossing, Colorado. So what if she has no time for romance? At least, that’s what she tells herself, especially when her best friend’s sexy younger brother comes back to town as the new chief of police.

But when the accident forces Claire to slow down and lean on others—especially Riley McKnight—she realizes, for the first time, that things need to change. And not just in her own life. The accident—and the string of robberies committed by teenagers that led up to it—is a wake-up call to the people of Hope’s Crossing. The sense of community and togetherness had been lost during those tough years. But with a mysterious “Angel of Hope” working to inspire the town, Riley and Claire will find themselves opening up to love and other possibilities by the end of an extraordinary summer….

DEJA VU by Lisa Childs || Series Romance
One night, she felt the gifted hands of a handsome lover ignite her body into the throes of ecstasy. Another night, she beheld a gleaming knife and heard screams for help. That was all Alaina Paulsen remembered from her past life and the reason she now investigated FBI serial murders…including her own.
 
Reclusive writer Trent Baines was her prime suspect. An empath barricaded in a fortresslike home, Trent included details in his books that mirrored the murders…and that no one could possibly know. But one look at Trent, and Alaina recalled their passionate embraces. Then the murders began anew….

            

TERMS OF SURRENDER by Leslie Kelly || Series Romance

Subject: Danny Wilkes, navy pilot.

Current status: On shore rotation. Very intrigued by a sassy visiting lecturer…

Mission: Enter the astronaut training program.

Obstacle: Marissa Marshall, Ph.D. She’s keeping Danny preoccupied with earthly delights…

Danny Wilkes might have outgrown his risk-taking flyboy days, but he still loves a thrill now and then. And nobody’s thrilled him lately like fiery Mari Marshall. Sex with her is a bigger turn-on than any of the air maneuvers Danny’s ever pulled. He falls head over heels…hard.

But Mari has bitter memories of being a military brat. She’ll never enter that life again—not even for the best sex she’s ever had.

It’s a hell of a choice. Does Danny give up his skyrocketing career? Or let go of the only woman who revs his engine into the stratosphere?

THE PROPOSAL by Brenda Jackson || Series Romance

The moment he met Bella Bostwick, Jason Westmoreland wanted her—and the land she’d inherited. With one convenient proposal, he could have the Southern beauty in his bed and her birthright in his hands. If only Bella would say yes….

 

GRAVEMINDER by Melissa Marr || Paranormal Fiction

The New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series delivers her first novel for adults, a story about the living, the dead, and a curse that binds them.

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”

Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place–and the man–she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D–a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.

MIND GAMES by Taylor Keating || Paranormal Romance

River Weston thinks her problems are over. She managed to escape the virtual world of her video game—and the clutches of the Dark Lord who attempted to enslave her—with body and mind intact. But her return to the real world is anything but easy. Framed for monstrous crimes she didn’t commit, and hunted by members of a dark government agency, it is all she can do to stay one step ahead of her pursuers.

Guardian Chase Hawkins gained his freedom from the Dark Lord’s prison, but it came with a heavy price. Trapped in another man’s body, his soul slowly deteriorating, Hawk knows he must return to his world—and his body—before the damage is irreparable.

Racing against time, River and Hawk know that in order to have a future together, they must work to reveal the secrets hidden in River’s past. 

VANISH IN PLAIN SIGHT by Marta Perry || Romantic Suspense

Since she was a little girl, Marisa Angelo has been haunted by the image of her mother walking away, suitcase in hand, to return to her Amish roots.

Marisa and her “Englischer” father never saw or heard from her again. Now Marisa has received a shocking call from police. Her mother’s bloodstained suitcase was found hidden inside the wall of a Pennsylvania Dutch farmhouse.

Desperate for answers, Marisa heads to Lancaster County. But no one—not the police or Marisa’s tight-lipped Amish relatives—can explain what happened to her mother.

Only one man is as determined as Marisa to unravel the mystery—Link Morgan, the handsome ex-military loner who found the suitcase in the house he inherited from his uncle. Now both Link’s and Marisa’s family members are implicated in the decades-old disappearance.

The secret lies somewhere in the quaint Amish settlement. But someone will do anything to ensure the truth remains hidden forever.

 

THE HARLOT by Saskia Walker || Erotic Romance

It is a dark era,

One when a lusty lass will do what she must to survive.  Even if it means bartering flesh for a palmful of coins…

Forced to watch her mother burn at the stake, Jessie Taskill knows the danger of the gift she inherited—a powerful magic that must stay hidden. Until one night when she’s accused of witchcraft and Jessie finds herself behind prison walls, awaiting certain death with a roguish priest unlike any man of the cloth she has known.

In reality, Gregor Ramsay is as far from holy as the devil himself, but his promise of freedom in return for her services may be her salvation. Locked into a dubious agreement, Jessie resents his plan to have her seduce and ruin his lifelong enemy. But toying with Gregor’s own lust for her is enjoyable, and she agrees to be his pawn while secretly intending to use him just as he is using her….

Releases: May 3, 2011

>Some yummy, yummy releases this week!  Not to mention awesome authors!

BREAKING POINT by Pamela Clare || Romantic Suspense

RT Magazine review says: (Four stars!) Clare consistently delivers! Breaking Point is packed with gut-wrenching tension, tragedy, romance and passion. The characters are riveting and the story of Mexican drug lords, journalists fighting for the truth and marshals seeking justice is timely and effective.

After surviving the loss of her fiancé and family in Hurricane Katrina and an attempt on her life, investigative journalist Natalie Benoit has rebuilt her life and career in Denver. In Mexico for a convention, Natalie is kidnapped and held for a drug lord. The broken whispers of another captive, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Zach McBride, give her the strength and courage to fight and they escape. Together, Zach and Natalie race across the land chased by a vengeful drug lord who has a single mission — to kill Natalie.

WARRIOR BETRAYED by Addison Fox || Paranormal Romance

** FELLOW RUBY SISTER: 2009 RWA GH FINALIST **

Millennia ago, the Goddess of Justice created a race of fierce Warriors, each imbued with a special power of the Zodiac, charged with protecting humanity from the darkest of evils.

Forty years ago, Eirene, the Goddess of Peace spurned her position to run away with a mortal. Furious with her daughter, Themis set a curse upon Eirene’s unborn child; to one day replace her mother on Mount Olympus.

Montana Grant lost contact with her mother many years ago. Now as she struggles to lead her late father’s shipping company, she’s also dealing with the sudden reappearance of her mother. The frail woman is spouting nonsense about Mount Olympus, immortal warriors, and long-standing curses. But after suspicious activity puts the company’s future – and possibly Montana’s life – at risk, she decides to take her mother’s last bit of advice…

When Montana asks Quinn Tanner for help, she confronts the sexy security executive about his secret identity: He’s a Taurus Warrior. Quinn denies it, but he can’t deny his powerful attraction to the high-powered heiress. With worldwide peace in the balance, it’s up to Quinn to help Montana rise to her destiny – even as they’re falling in love…

BLOOD LAW by Karin Tabke || Parnormal Romance
 

For all eternity, only one thing shall separate them—until the Blood Law is avenged…

The coming of the Blood Moon will lead two Lycan packs into war, spur two rival brothers into conflict, and spark an act of vengeance so evil that its effects will be felt for generations.

One woman stands at the center of it all…

As undisputed Alpha, Rafael must choose a life mate to preserve the dominance of his Lycan pack. He never suspected, his mate would be a human, the same wounded, girl-woman he seduces from the brink of death. Falon is a dangerous combination of Lycan and Slayer—beings bred to destroy his kind. Even more, she’s a mesmerizing beauty whose sensuality tempts the seasoned warrior to take unnecessary risks. The primal heat between them is irresistible, yet surrendering to it could destroy them both…for a vengeful foe stands ready in the shadows to fulfill what is rightfully his by Blood Law.

THREE TO TANGO by Emma Holly, Megan Hart, Lauren Dane, Bethany Kane || Erotic Romance

RT Magazine review says: (Four stars!) Four red-hot writers take you on a wild ride to the edge of insanity. Each novella centers on a threesome and the passion that rocks such a joining. Kane’s funny story particularly shines, with a strong plot and well-defined characters.

In Dane’s “Dirty/Bad/ Wrong,” Ava Rand returns to her hometown for her mother’s funeral and straight back into the arms of her former lovers, Luca and Angelo. In Hart’s story, Kerry is reunited at her high school reunion with Brian, the one who got away. She gets her current boyfriend’s permission to seduce him, but they’ll need more than “Just for One Night.” Holly’s “Flipping for Chelsea” has adopted brothers Liam and Shay in love and lust with Chelsea, the quintessential girl next door, but Shay is also in love and lust with Liam. In Kane’s “On the Job,” Madeline has hated Walker since he walked out on her. Eleven years later he’s the head of security for her fiancé’s company and her personal bodyguard. The passion between them sparks again and Madeline will have to put her heart on the line when it comes to the men in her life.

MY FAVORITE COUNTESS by Vanessa Kelly || Historical Romance

** FELLOW KENSINGTON AUTHOR **

Mired in responsibility, Bathsheba doesn’t have time to convalesce in the country. She should be in London, hunting for a wealthy new lover to pay off her late husband’s vast debts, not dallying with a devastatingly handsome doctor.

But it is only a matter of time until the good doctor and the obstinate countess will have to contend with the sparks that fly between them. Once their bodies surrender, their hearts may follow…

FREE BONUS READ!

DRAGON BOUND by Thea Harrison || Paranormal Romance

RT Magazine review says: (Four & 1/2 stars!) Every now and then a book comes along that blows your socks off — this is one of those books! To say that former category author Harrison makes a stellar foray into the paranormal genre with this Elder Races series starter is truly an understatement. Utilizing vivid characters, edge-of-your-seat danger and an intriguing alternate reality, Harrison crafts a novel that grabs you from the first sentence and makes you bitterly regret that the book must end. Move this to the top of your must-buy list immediately, you won’t be disappointed!

Half-human/half-wyr Pia Giovanni has been blackmailed into a potentially suicidal mission: she must steal something from the hoard of Dragos Cuelebre, one of the most feared and respected of the Wyrkind. Pia is an unwilling pawn in the Dark Fae King Urien’s growing war with Dragos. Dragos’ business empire is centered in NYC, and his ferocious anger is ignited when he realizes that someone has found his hoard and stolen a penny. The fact that Pia left a penny in return along with an apology does not salve his fury. However when Dragos does track down Pia, he finds himself fascinated and intrigued, for gutsy Pia is a mystery he plans to solve.

ENEMY GAMES by Marcella Burnard || Paranormal Romance

RT Magazine review says: (Four & 1/2 stars!) Rising star Burnard takes readers on a second mind-blowing journey into an intergalactic war zone where insidious plots threaten more than one empire. Readers will stay on their toes thanks to plenty of death-defying action, painful loss and burgeoning romance, making this book a definite keeper. The trajectory for Burnard is straight up!

While combating a deadly plague, Jayleia Durante is abducted by Major Damen Sinkrivik, a member of the Claugh nib Dovvyth spy corps. Jayleia’s father, Tagreth Federated spymaster Zain Durante, has been declared a traitor and is in hiding. All sides are trying to locate Zain, as he may hold the key to dismantling the network of traitors allied with the violent Chekydrans. Jayleia will need all her wits if she is to stay ahead of those trying to get at her and her father. As Damen and Jayleia play a dangerous game of hide and seek, dare they take a chance on trusting one another?

ONE WHISPER AWAY by Emma Wildes || Historical Romance
 

RT Magazine review says: (Four stars!) The first in Wildes’ Ladies in Waiting series is a lush and highly sensual love story. Since this is the beginning of a promising series, the author introduces characters we will see in future books, which may distract from the primary love story. Still, Wildes has crafted a romance that is sexy and sweet.

Lady Cecily Francis is set to marry a lord, but she’s looking for a way out, since she knows her sister is the one who truly loves him. She finds it in an unexpected encounter with the Earl of Augustine. An American and half Iroquois, Augustine is in England to settle his father’s affairs and his three half-sisters’ lives before returning to the States. When he innocently wipes spilled champagne off Cecily’s gown and whispers in her ear, he starts quite a number of rumors in the ballroom and sets Cecily to thinking. She proposes an arranged engagement, which would silence wagging tongues and give her sister a chance to hook her man. Augustine already desires Cecily, so he’s more than willing to pose as her fiancé. Despite numerous distractions, Augustine seduces a very willing Cecily and together they are able to face those who could destroy them.

UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF DRAGONS by Katie MacAlister || Paranormal Romance

Even an ancient dragon can learn how to multitask…

Ysolde de Bouchier is a woman beset with trials. The dragon part of her buried deep for centuries is still making itself known, but in ways that just don’t make sense. She’s continuing to have visions, but now they involve events she wasn’t present to witness.

As if that isn’t enough, she’s caught up in a tangled web of plans that seem to grow more complex each day. Not only does she have to work out peace between her Light Dragon mate Baltic and the weyr, she also has to free his friend, convince an archimage to lift the spell controlling her magic, figure out what it is that the First Dragon expects her to do, rescue a half-dragon damsel in over her head, and once and for all clear Baltic’s name of murder charges that continue to plague him.

No one told Ysolde that dragon love would be so hard…

DARKFIRE KISS by Deborah Cooke || Paranormal Romance

For one woman, he will risk more than his life…

Rafferty Powell has exchanged challenge coins with his arch-nemesis Magnus Montmorency, and their next battle will be their last. But Rafferty never expected to meet a woman whose desire for Magnus’ downfall matches his own—and whose presence sparks Rafferty’s long-awaited firestorm.

Since facing her own mortality, investigative reporter Melissa Smith has resolved to live without fear. She’s determined to make the seemingly untouchable Magnus pay for his role in ending her friend’s life – no matter the price to herself.

When her quest entwines with Rafferty’s, Melissa finds herself risking more than she ever thought possible. Because the heat between them unleashes the darkfire—an awesome force of Pyr legend, one that won’t be sated until everything they know has been tested and remade.

CHOSEN BY BLOOD by Virna DePaul || Paranormal Romance

United by fate. Bound by desire.

Five years after the Second Civil War ends, humans and otherborn— humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA—still struggle for peace. To ensure the continued rights of both, the FBI forms a Para-Ops team with a unique set of skills.

Leader of an Otherborn clan, half-breed vampire Knox Devereaux would do anything to find a cure for the anti-vamp vaccine slowly starving his people into extinction. When the FBI contacts him about leading a team of hand-selected Others on a mission to reclaim the stolen antidote, Knox accepts. His new assignment places him in direct contact with Special Agent Felicia Locke, the beautiful human he’s craved since their very first meeting.

DEAD RECKONING by Charlaine Harris || Paranormal Mystery

With her knack for being in trouble’s way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. But Sookie suspects otherwise and she and Sam work together to uncover the culprit – and the twisted motive for the attack. But her attention is divided.

Though she can’t ‘read’ vampires, Sookie knows her lover Eric Northman and his ‘child’ Pam well – and she realises that they are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, she is drawn into the plot -which is much more complicated than she knows. Caught up in the politics of the vampire world, Sookie will learn that she is as much of a pawn as any ordinary human – and that there is a new Queen on the board . . .

HARD BITTEN by Chloe Neill || Paranormal Romance

Times are hard for newly minted vampire Merit. Ever since shapeshifters announced their presence to the world, humans have been rallying against supernaturals–and they’re camping outside of Cadogan House with protest signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Inside its doors, things between Merit and her Master, green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan Sullivan are … tense. But then the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and Ethan to a clandestine meeting and tells them about a violent vamp attack that has left three women missing. His message is simple: get your House in order. Or else.

Merit needs to get to the bottom of this crime, but it doesn’t help that she can’t tell who’s on her side. So she secretly calls in a favor from someone who’s tall, dark, and part of underground vamp group that may have some deep intel on the attack. Merit soon finds herself in theheady, dark heart of Chicago’s supernatural society–a world full of vampires who seem to ready to fulfill the protesting human’s worst fears, and a place where she’ll learn that you can’t be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands…