This & That

HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY with Katharine Ashe

I’m very happy to be sharing the blog with the fabulous Katharine Ashe today to celebrate her new release HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY with an excerpt and giveaway.  This vibrant historical released yesterday, June 26th, so it’s AVAILABLE NOW!  I so do love fiesty heroines and as a rule-breaker myself, I say, go Viola!  And, my, oh, my, has Katharine set up quite a challenging match for Viola in Jin.  Sparks will fly!  This will be quite a show.

Make sure you read the excerpt and enter for a chance to win another of Katharine’s books. CAPTURED BY A ROGUE LORD

HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY

The rules of being a proper lady

1)      Never take steps greater than six inches apart
2
)      Never look boldly at a gentleman
3)      And never, ever kiss a man who is not your fiancé…

But beautiful, bold Viola Carlyle doesn’t care about the rules. And she desperately wants to kiss the notoriously tempting Captain Jin Seton, the man who brought her kicking and fighting back to English society. Kidnapped as a child, now she longs to return to that life of freedom where she was able to live—and love—as she wished.

Having hunted Viola for two years, Jin Seton has finally found his good luck—for by finding Viola his oldest, deepest debt will at last be paid. And although he has vowed not to let her win his heart, this very improper lady might finally be the one who tames him.

Buy through Amazon: http://ow.ly/bQVcG

 

Excerpt:

“What are you reading?”

“A book,” she snapped, his perfect, breathtaking mouth and arms and everything far too close. “Is this conversation you’re attempting to make?”

“Ah. The return of the shrew.” He grinned, sending her belly into tingling somersaults. “I may leap overboard yet.”

“I can only hope.”

He had the audacity to chuckle. “Come to think of it, I prefer this to the false seductress you’ve been playing. I appreciate honesty in a sailor.”

“Don’t you mean in a woman?”

His eyes seemed to shadow. “In anyone.”

But those words were not his thoughts; she saw it in his face and knew beyond doubt that this man had seen true dishonesty in a woman and it had wounded him.

Abruptly beset by a most pressing urge, then Viola did a very foolish thing. She reached forward and placed her hand on his chest and heard herself murmur, “I am always honest.” She was in this. Despite herself she wished to be near him, and to touch him.

Beneath her palm his chest rose and fell sharply, but his voice remained even.

“You are playacting a role that neither of us is enjoying. Put an end to this wager. It is childish and you know you will lose.”

But she didn’t feel like a child. The way he looked at her with such crystal intensity even as he remained aloof made her feel very much like a woman. She should remove her hand from his body. Beneath fine linen—far too fine for a common sailor—he was all contoured muscle.

“What if I don’t care if I lose?” Her fingers spread and she felt him, his heartbeat and heat, and a soft throbbing gathered in her. She traced a fingertip to the laces of his shirt and with the smallest movement stroked the linen open. Skin. Male skin beneath her touch, firm and hot. She pushed the fabric aside, baring hard collarbone and sun-darkened man. Her breaths stuttered. “What if I’m enjoying the wager itself?”

He caught her wrist in a strong grip and slid her hand fully beneath his shirt.

The air sank from her lungs. For a moment he simply held her there, her palm pressed to his skin over his flat nipple. Then he leaned forward, bent his head and spoke low.

“You needn’t strap me to a mast in order to undress me, Miss Carlyle. I am more than happy to oblige you at any time.”

About Katharine:

The  American Library Association’s Booklist named Katharine Ashe among its “New Stars of Historical Romance.” She is a  two-time nominee in the Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Awards, and her novella, A Lady’s Wish, launched Harper Collins  Publishers’ e-book imprint, Avon Impulse, to rave reviews.

Katharine  lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her husband, son, two dogs, and a  garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt. A professor of European  history, she has made her home in California, Italy, France, and the northern  US. She loves hearing from readers!

 

 

BOOK GIVEAWAY!

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While my guest today, Alexia Reed, resides in Ontario, she likes to say that she lives in her own little world. A lover of all things scientific and the paranormal, Alexia uses her books as a way to straddle the realms of fact and fiction—and always with a healthy dose of romance thrown in.  When not writing and reading, Alexia paints, and  is the caretaker to two neurotic cats.

Alexia writes dark dark paranormal romantic suspense and her new release, HUNTING THE SHADOWS, published with Carina Press, is the first in her Shadow Ops series.  Of course I do love my dark romantic suspense, and all the better with a little paranormal tossed around!  Really looking forward to this series!

Alexia talks about SETTING THE STAGE today and also gives away an Ecopy of HUNTING THE SHADOWS!  Many ways to enter!  Good Luck!

 

HUNTING THE SHADOWS

Amy has spent her life in isolation. Locked away in the Centre, a secret government facility where children with extraordinary abilities are raised as highly skilled fighters, she longs for a normal life. A life where being around people doesn’t overload her sensitive telepathic mind. A life where she can’t see through the eyes of a murderer as he hunts down his next victim…

J.C. Nikolaiev was a top researcher, but when his conscience got the better of him, he tried to destroy his work and free his subjects—and was imprisoned as a traitor. To save himself and prevent more people from dying, J.C. must catch the serial killer stalking the halls of the facility. But his only leads come from a woman whose thoughts have invaded his mind…
Finally out of the psych ward, Amy joins forces with J.C. to find the killer before he closes in on them. Can their growing attraction withstand the truths they uncover?

You can purchase Hunting the Shadows through the Carina Press website, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

Here’s Alexia…

The stories I’ve loved the most are those where the setting can be anywhere or are isolated. Actually, I love isolation stories. Maybe it’s because I grew up on the outskirts of two towns, trapped in the middle of nowhere, but I love country settings where you have fields and acres upon acres of trees between you and your nearest neighbour. It also raises the stakes a bit more, knowing the characters don’t have easy access to escape.

I set the Centre in the middle of nowhere for some of these reasons. I took it a bit literal and dropped the compound deep in the mountains. My main reason is because they are a governmental secret. The world isn’t supposed to know the agents or program even exists. They are the weapons trained to fight in preparation for the approach of a world war. That means they need secrecy and room to train, not only their psychic abilities but also physically.

It’s hard for me to say much about the inspiration for the Centre itself. It’s a complex building with upper (dorm rooms, Medical, training rooms, class rooms, cafeteria, etc) and lower levels that extend underground in what’s called the Crypt. The Crypt is where prisoners are kept and punished by the Enforcers (psychics in charge of keeping the agents in line). It’s not exactly somewhere you want to be. In fact, if you’re sent down there, most likely, your chances of coming out are slim. It’s not a place you want to find yourself.

I knew when I started writing the book that because it is planned to be a series, I wanted book 1 to focus on the Centre and life there. In the later books, it won’t just be at the Centre so I wanted to keep it central for the first few before expanding outward.

That said, setting is tricky. You have to know how much detail to add and where. Too much can be overwhelming and not enough leaves your readers filling in the gaps themselves. It’s a balancing act and can be subjective from person to person depending on their preferences.

You can find Alexia on her website, Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook.

Alexia is giving away one ecopy of HUNTING THE SHADOWS!
Comment on this question to enter!

Does setting matter to you when you read a book?
If so, what kind of places do you prefer?

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WIN 1 of 3 Amazon Gift Cards!!!

FeverI am thrilled that FEVER, my first novel, was picked up by Amazon’s Top 100 program this month. Here’s the direct link: FEVER at promotional price.

That means FEVER is sale priced at $3.99 for the month of May! Now you can try a new-to-you author (me) at very low risk! And just to reduce the risk further, you can read the entire first chapter of FEVER here. If you’re interested to know what others think of FEVER, there are many in-depth reviews on Amazon to browse and the entire first chapter on my website!

For those of you who have read and enjoyed FEVER, I’d really appreciate it if you spread the word! And I’m happy to reward your your efforts with a chance to win 1 of 3 Amazon Gift Cards! $25, $15 and $10! Everyone can enter! All you have to do is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below.

Good luck!


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Lucky 7 – I’ve been tagged….

Lucky 7 – I’ve been tagged….

This is a super fun little tag going around with authors. One author tags another and each shares a snipit of their upcoming release or WIP. Only…it has to be page 77, line 7 and the next 7 lines.

Thanks Bronwen Evans, Kensington Brava sister for tagging me!! See her lucky 7 from WICKED WAGERS at her blog!

Here’s my lucky 7 meme from my May release of INTIMATE ENEMIES, a romantic suspense set in Baja Mexico.

“Cassie—“ His plea tore at her heart.

“No.” Her voice came out colder than she’d intended. “I get it. Believe me, I get it. I’ve spent a decade getting it, Rio. You’re just like everyone else in this town.”

She walked past him, dodging his grasp when he reached for her. He caught up with her quick enough and Cassie pulled on that film of armor she felt as if she wore all the time. In the E.D. In her personal life. She wore the damn barrier just to walk from a store to her car. For once—once—she thought she’d found a place she could let it down.

 

I now tag a few of my fellow Rock*It Reads authors, Elisabeth Naughton, Monica Burns and Vanessa Kelly…  Share with us ladies…

 

Zoe Archer Interview & Giveaway: SKIES OF FIRE

Zoe Archer is with me today talking about her new release, SKIES OF FIRE, steampunk and her unique husband–a fellow romance author!!

And we’ve got a great slew of giveaways today, so makes sure to check out prizes and ways to enter below!

SKIES OF FIRE

Captain Christopher Redmond has just one weakness: the alluring spy who loved and left him years before … when he was still just a man. Now he’s superhuman—a Man O’ War, made as part of the British Navy’s weapons program—and his responsibility is to protect the skies of Europe. If only he could forget Louisa Shaw.

Louisa, a British Naval Intelligence agent, has never left a job undone. But when her assignment is compromised, the one man who can help her complete her mission is also the only man ever to tempt her body and heart. As burning skies loom and passion ignites, Louisa and Christopher must slip behind enemy lines if they are to deliver a devastating strike against their foe … and still get out alive.

Pick it up: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance | Powells Books-A-Million

Welcome, Zoe!!

I’m so intrigued by SKIES OF FIRE!!  It will be my very first steampunk novel!  It’s now on my Kindle and I’m really looking forward to reading it.  I love your writing style and voice and the subtle humor you add to your characters and narrative.  Can’t wait to steal away with my new treat!!

The romance in SKIES OF FIRE is a reunion story. I am SUCH a sucker for reunion stories! Absolutely love them. How do you feel about reunion stories – as both a reader and writer?

I do love reading them, because who doesn’t want or need a second chance? As for writing them, I think that SKIES OF FIRE might be my first. Since it’s a shorter book, I felt like having the characters with a history would work well in the limited word count. Get the action started, so to speak.

*Gasp* You gave away our reunion word count secret!

Can you tell us a little about Christopher’s and Louisa’s history – why their romance didn’t work before and what challenges they will face when they try again now – without giving away any goodies? (Or, okay, maybe not a lot of goodies :))

Both of them are employed by the British Navy—at the time of their first meeting, he was the captain of a seafaring naval ship, and she worked in Intelligence. Several years before the opening of the story, Christopher and Louisa had a very passionate and intense relationship. I think it surprised them both how emotionally involved they became in each other. While Christopher was soon ready to make a greater commitment, Louisa…wasn’t. That is to say, the idea of making their relationship more permanent scared her, and, sad to say, she bolted. Without a word. As you can imagine, Christopher is rather bitter about that. So when he and Louisa are thrown together behind enemy lines, and have to collaborate to carry out a vital top-secret mission, it’s a volatile situation.

Oh, and when Louisa last saw Christopher, he was a normal man. Since then, he’s become a Man O’War—a hybrid between man and machine. That means some radical physical alterations. But what hasn’t changed is how Christopher feels about Louisa. He’s angry, hurt, but still has feelings for her, much to his annoyance. Louisa thought she’d done the right thing by leaving him, yet seeing him again makes her question her decision.

Enemy airships or an old flame—which is more dangerous?

Wow.  I guess it’s awesome when your reader is already 110% invested before they even start reading, right?  (That would be me :))

SKIES OF FIRE’s plot revolves around the British Navy and Naval Intelligence. How in God’s name did you do the research for such a novel?

Given that I’m dealing with an alternate Victorian timeline, I researched the British Navy of the last quarter of the 19th century. And then, because it’s steampunk, the “research” consisted of world building, so that I knew the ins and outs of this alternate universe. Never cut corners when it comes to world building! But also know when to pull back on giving too much detail. My main interest is the characters—the world building and research has to support them, not the other way around.

At the Passion and Prose conference we both attended in Long Beach, Gail Carriger described Steampunk as Goth in color. Her speech was the first time I had ever truly been introduced to the contents of Steampunk, and I realized it is actually a genre I could and would thoroughly enjoy—something I would have never guessed by the title.

Can you give us your view of Steampunk for those of us just being introduced to the genre? Who might love or gravitate toward Steampunk?

Heh. I’d also heard, “Steampunk is when Goths discover the color brown.” The very basic definition of steampunk is Victorian science fiction, or how the Victorians would interpret and incorporate modern technology. We can take technology from our modern era—or even beyond it—and then imagine it through a Victorian lens.

What I love about steampunk is that it can be for everyone—historical readers, paranormal readers, people of any age group. You’ve got the trappings of history, but with a scientific and sometimes paranormal twist. Plus, having seen and attended some steampunk conventions and gatherings, it welcomes enthusiasts from all walks of life. Sometimes cosplay can skew young, but with steampunk, which has that historical element, people who might be drawn to historical reenactments or leery of wearing skintight spandex can also enjoy dressing up. Corsets look good on everyone!

You’ve had fabulous success writing in multiple romance subgenres including Historical Paranormal with The Hellraisers, Historical Adventures with The Blades of the Rose, Steampunk and Sci-Fi. And you’ve got several books releasing close together with others coming out right behind those. How do you manage your time to fit in all the demands of promotion, writing and spending time with that amazing husband?

Caffeine. 🙂 Honestly, it’s not easy, and there is a lot of juggling of time. There isn’t a lot of downtime, either, so when I go on vacation this May, I’m really going to need it! But when I get back, I have to immediately return to work. Yet I can’t complain too much. Deadlines mean someone wants my work! Still, Nico and I are extremely busy. And, yes, he is amazing.

Okay, I’ve GOT to ask about your husband – also a fellow romance author, Nico Rosso. I could surely form an entire interview around this subject alone, but I find it fascinating that you two both write romance and you share a home office. Can you tell us a little about the rewards and challenges of your unique situation with Nico?

The rewards are manifold. We’re not competitive about each other’s careers, which is probably the most unique situation. Nico and I work very closely together when formulating plot for my novels, then he’s my critique partner (and fight choreographer, and technical adviser, and…everything else). When he first started critiquing my stuff, he hadn’t read any romance, and I think that actually helped my process because he was thinking of my work holistically, not simply as genre fiction. Nico also builds and maintains my website and designs any promo artwork. His fingerprints are all over my stuff. (Insert double-entendre here.)

Since we’re both writers, we don’t have to explain the sometimes bizarre aspects of the process, we don’t bother each other when the other is writing, and we share the common language of writers, so we know exactly what we’re talking about when discussing character, plot, arc, theme, etc. Now that Nico writes romance, he’s even more versed in what my books need, and I can help him shape his narratives. He doesn’t dismiss or deride romance. He embraces its positive message and insistence on a HEA. It’s almost all upside, really.

Okay, there is a downside. When we’re both under deadline, it can get tense. Not between each other, just a general, “Holy bleep, I have to get this done!” feeling. Also we can both sit at a meal and stare off into space as our brains churn with story ideas. I’m sure people in restaurants think we’re slightly crazy. Actually, they wouldn’t be far from the truth…

 Giveaway!  5 books up for grabs! 

~ 3 ecopies of SKIES OF FIRE
~ 1 print copy of STRANGER
~ 1 print copy of SCOUNDREL
~ 1 print copy of REBEL

Enter via rafflecopter — and let us know what aspect of SKIED OS FIRE most appeals to you.  Is it the reunion story, the steampunk aspect, the Naval intelligenct plot, or something else…?

ZoË Archer is a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of adventure, sexy men, and women who make no apologies about kicking ass. Her books include the Hellraisers paranormal historical series and the acclaimed Blades of the Rose paranormal historical adventure series. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the ’80s. ZoË and her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, live in Los Angeles.

You can find Zoe: 
Website | Tumbler | Facebook | Twitter


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Review & Giveaways: ROYAL STREET by Suzanne Johnson

With a fresh and original premise, a dynamic setting, complex characters and clean, witty prose, Suzanne Johnson’s ROYAL STREET is a magical urban fantasy debut.  Chance to WIN a copy!

ROYAL STREET

As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ’s boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond.

Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters.

While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover.

To make it worse, Gerry has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and for the serial killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter gumbo.

 

MY THOUGHTS

I found myself as fascinated with Drusilla’s spells and potions as with the deeper plot elements of how the killer would take his next victim or what the villainous undead pirate Lafitte would do to taunt Drusilla next.

ROYAL STREET is so complex, told in such a sophisticatedly straight forward prose, the reader is slowly pulled deeper and deeper into the multiple threads of conflict. At the same time, the characters’ true personalities come out in the face of each new test, creating a mesmerizing tale.

As a romance fan, I found Alex, Drusilla’s new partner, deliciously hot and their chemistry added a nice spice to the read. But that wasn’t all Suzanne had in store for us in the romance department. There are also sparks flying between Alex’s cousin, Jake, ex-military and pleasantly normal in her crazy and troubled preternatural world. Hello, color me pleased.

With New Orleans in the midst of hurricane Katrina, the setting becomes a wicked character in itself, an enthralling element to an already intense high stakes read. And for the paranormal lover, there are creatures a plenty to keep you entertained, right along with Suzanne’s intriguing view of Old Orleans and Beyond.

And while the main storyline is wrapped up by the end of ROYAL STREET, many interesting threads remain; lush story fodder for future books. I’m highly anticipating the next installment of this series, River Road, coming in November.

Share your favorite paranormal character type — witches, fae, vamps, etc. — and what you love about them and enter to WIN a copy of ROYAL STREET. Shipping to US/Canada only.
Pick up ROYAL STREET: Amazon | B & N | Book Depsitory | Indiebound

ABOUT SUZANNE

A longtime New Orleans resident now living in Auburn, Alabama, Suzanne is a veteran journalist with more than fifty national awards in writing and editing nonfiction. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama, and a native of Winfield, Alabama.

During her daytime job, Suzanne is associate editor of Auburn Magazine, the quarterly magazine of the Auburn University Alumni Association. She has also worked at Tulane University in New Orleans, the University of San Diego, Rice University in Houston, and at the University of Illinois. Awards include: the Robert S. Sibley Award for the best university magazine in the U.S. and Canada, for the Rice University Sallyport; feature writing awards in 2009 and 2010 from Writer’s Digest magazine; and more than 50 awards in writing and editing from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

Find Suzanne at:  Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter


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Reader’s Entertainment: For The Love of Writing

A New Breed of Inspiration – by Joan Swan

Writing is a very anxiety-ridden profession.  Beyond the will-my-publisher-buy-my-option-contract worries and the how-will-I-write-three-books-in-three-months impossibilities, I’m referring to the actual act of writing—every page, every paragraph, every sentence.  Heck, sometimes choosing every word causes stress.

Eric Maisel, a renowned psychologist specializing in creative coaching, suggests cracking an egg into a bowl before a writing session as a physical metaphor for breaking through the shell of anxiety that coats the action of writing.

I find that a little…slimy…for my taste.  Besides, if I cracked an egg for every time I grew anxious during a writing session—when my characters are hiding secrets, when my villain is planning to kill someone, when my hero and heroine kiss for the first time, when my internal editor kicks on (like every other sentence)—I’d need thirty acres of chickens out my back door.

Read More at READER’S ENTERTAINMENT >>

Finding Her Son author Robin Perini with Giveaway!

Today I have one of my fellow Golden Heart sister here talking about her latest release with Harlequin Intrigue.  Happy to have Robin Perini with us with interview and giveaway of FINDING HER SON.

FINDING HER SON

THE ONLY MAN A DESPERATE MOTHER CAN TRUST…

Investigating a cold case is SWAT cop Mitch Bradford’s worst nightmare—especially when it involves a kidnapped infant. But thanks to an injury, he’ll have to settle for following Emily Wentworth instead of breaking down doors and cuffing criminals.

The prime suspect in a mysterious disappearance, Emily has always claimed she was framed. And as he earns the trust of the incredibly desperate—and unbelievably beautiful— mother, every instinct tells Mitch to believe her. Then new evidence unfolds, revealing an elaborate conspiracy and forcing Emily into a deadly spotlight. Now, torn between loyalty to the badge and his promises to Emily, Mitch may have to make the ultimate sacrifice if he’s to bring her little boy home.

Buy:  AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE  |  HARLEQUIN

 

Hi Robin, what’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today?

Thanks SO much for having me here today, Joan! I’m giddy and excited about the release of my first Harlequin Intrigue ®, Finding Her Son.

Finding Her Son came about after reading an article regarding the Elizabeth Smart case—a girl who was taken from her bedroom and kept away from her family. I just couldn’t imagine this happening—even though I know it does. I researched and found so much heartbreaking, terrifying and inspiring information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (www.missingkids.com).

My heart broke for the family’s grief, and I asked myself how far would someone go to find their child? What would they do? What would they face? How many people would they fight?

So… When Emily Wentorth’s one-month old son is stolen from the backseat of her car after being run off the road, she does everything she can to find her son. Fighting the cops, her family, and even the hero—the man assigned to prove her guilt. Finding Her Son is her journey through hope and betrayal to put her life back together.

Joan: Robin, what an awesome high concept! Nearly everyone can relate to the fear of having their child taken! It’s a riveting drama.

 

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

What a question. My gut response is THE WHOLE THING. The truth is the hardest part for me is revising the ENTIRE book. Hands down. Because once I complete my ‘fast draft’ and have the bare bones of the story, then I go through an agonizingly iterative process where I hope I tease out the heart and soul of the story. I probably add another 30% to the word count after my fast-draft is completed over at least three to six iterations.

I think it was Jack Bickham, the noted writing instructor who said, “Good novels aren’t written. They’re rewritten and revised.” That may not be true for everyone, but it’s definitely true for me!

That being said, there was a part of Finding Her Son that was particularly tough. The ending. For two reasons. The entire story is focused on Emily Wentworth trying to find her baby son and stumbling into more than she bargained for. I had to tie all those threads together and I must admit I nearly pulled my hair out. It’s weird how writers can write ourselves into a corner. I wanted the villain to be a surprise, and I wanted readers to care if Emily succeeded or failed. I rewrote the last few chapters several times, so I hope I did Emily, Mitch and their quest justice.

 

What is your writing routine?

Okay, I must confess, I’m a bit of a nut. Just ask my friends and family. I’ve tried a million different ways to write over the years, and for now, this works for me. First, I should say that I have a day job, so I work writing around paying the mortgage, and of course the rest of my life—family, exercise, chores, and occasionally a little fun. 🙂

Joan: Fun? Wait, who gave you permission to have fun? And when the heck do you find the time?

I’m actually one of those irritating morning people. I write from 5:30 am – 7:00 am weekdays. Mostly to get the adrenaline pumping because I thrive on deadlines—and being panicked! If you only have an hour and a half, you have to make the most of every second. Also, I write in ‘sprints’. 20 minutes of writing and a 10 minute break. This idea was introduced to me my fellow writer, Angi Morgan (www.angimorgan.com) and it really works for me. If nothing else my body doesn’t go numb from sitting in the chair.

On Saturday, I write for about 5 hours in the morning, and on Sunday, after church, I write for 3 hours.

I usually write new material on those shorter stretches on the weekdays and revise on the weekends. As for promotion—like working on my website, blogs, designing romance trading cards, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads, I work on those in the evenings as needed—or as the deadlines loom.

Joan: Wow, I aspire, Robin! What an awesome schedule!

 

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

I have so many authors who have brought me incredible joy since I was a child. In fact, on my website (www.robinperini.com) I have included a page listing many of my all-time favorite books and authors.

Those books typically evoke deep emotions within me. They are my window into pain, joy, insight, and wisdom. One of my favorite authors is Sharon Sala. This New York Times Bestselling Author has written novels that twist my heart through a painful journey, but end in hope. Her ability to touch my soul makes me go back to her stories again and again.

Even more than that, Sharon Sala is a mentor to me. She read In Her Sights several years ago. She believed in me and my book at a time when it was hard to believe in myself. I’m not sure I would be here today without her encouragement. She is an amazing writer, of course, but even a more amazing person.

I’d like to be her when I grow up.

 

What would you like to tell readers?

Readers. What an amazing thought. Thank you for taking a chance on a new writer, for taking a chance each time you open a book in the hopes that the story will mean something to you. If I could give any advice, it would be to keep reading and share your love of reading with others so that the world of stories and books expands and grows and remains strong.

 

How do you keep in touch with your readers?

I love to interact with readers. You can read excerpts, read reviews, sign up for my mailing list and even request trading cards or a Kindlegraph on my website at www.robinperini.com. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. I’d love to hear from you.

 

What are your current projects?

Right now, I’m finishing up my third Harlequin Intrigue, which will be out during Christmas 2012. Christmas Conspiracy tells the story of a woman driven into hiding by an assassin. This unexpected heiress to a throne must protect her young twins by relying on the man who betrayed her–her children’s father.

I love the story…and I know I’ll enjoy having written it! But right now…it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. (And yes, I say that with every book!)

Then, I start work on the Montgomery Justice Series. This series will revisit the Montgomery brothers, from my debut novel from 2011, IN HER SIGHTS (Montlake Romance, November 2011) The first book, BEHIND THE LIES, the story of a woman who discovers her ‘perfect’ husband is a cold-blooded, international assassin and is forced to put the lives of her and her young son in the hands of a man who lives behind his own lies.

Joan: Wow, you are a busy girl!!

 

What part of the book do you like the most?

That’s a tough question, but I have always loved the beginning of this story…because it’s a bit different. Here’s a taste!

Icy wind howled through the SUV’s shattered windshield, spraying glass and freezing sleet across Eric Wentworth’s face. He struggled in and out of consciousness. Flashes of memory struck. Oncoming headlights on the wrong side of the road. Skidding tires on black ice. The baby’s cries. Emily’s screams.

Oh, God.

Why couldn’t he focus? Above the wind, he heard only silence, then an ominous gurgling sound from his lungs. He shifted his head slightly to check on his wife, and a knifelike pain seared his neck. He stopped, staring in horror at the shaft of metal guardrail penetrating his chest. Blood pulsed from the wound, but he couldn’t feel it. He couldn’t feel anything.

Eric was dying. And it was no accident. He hadn’t taken the threats seriously, hadn’t told Emily what he’d done. Why they were all in danger.

“E-Eric?” Her voice was weak, barely audible over the storm gusts.

Thank the Lord she was still alive. In the darkness, he could just make out her small frame pinned by the dashboard. He had to warn her.

Emily. Escape. Before he comes back.

No sound came from his lips, and at the effort, his vision blurred.

“Eric, are you all right?”

Fear tinged her voice, but he could do nothing to comfort or reassure her.

A soft cry came from the backseat. The baby. Only a month old.

“Mommy’s here.” Emily pushed at the dash. “Eric, I’m stuck. I can’t get to Joshua.”

Headlights swept across the crumpled interior. A vehicle pulled up behind them.

“A car! Help!” Emily called out. “We’re trapped! There’s a baby in here!”

No! Emily. Get out. Now. Please. Take Joshua. Run.

A door slammed, but from the stealth of the approaching footsteps, Eric knew this was no rescue. Tears of impotent rage scalded his cheeks.

They’re innocent. Don’t kill them. They’ve done nothing.

Joan: Wow!! Tense! Nicely done!!

Thanks so much for having me today, Joan! I love answering questions, but now I’d like to ask the readers a question. I’m just finishing up a book and really am looking for some good reads. I haven’t read a book in the last couple of months because I’ve been writing!

I could use some recommendations. I read all genres, so what’s a major keeper you’ve read in the last six months or so?  I’d love to know!  Leave a suggested read for Robin to enter to win FINDING HER SON!

 

About the author:  Award-winning author Robin Perini is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes adventure with a love story sure to melt their hearts. Her mission’s motto: “When danger and romance collide, no heart is safe.” After seven prestigious Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finals, Robin sold seven novels within one year. She won the Golden Heart® in 2011, and that title became her first Harlequin Intrigue, Finding Her Son (March 2012). Residing in the southwestern United States, by day, she works for an advanced technology corporation, and in her spare time, you might find her giving one of her many nationally acclaimed writing workshops or training in competitive small-bore rifle silhouette shooting.

She is the author of In Her Sights (Montlake, 2011), Finding Her Son, Cowboy in the Crossfire and Christmas Conspiracy (Harlequin Intrigue 2012) as well as the upcoming Montgomery Justice Series (the story of the Montgomery brothers from In Her Sights) from Montlake Romance.

[Cover Art Copyright © 2012 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.]

One More Take with Dee J Adams + Giveaway!

Guest Dee J Adams

She’s got a new release out, and it looks HOT!! We’ve got an excerpt and a giveaway too!

Danger Zone

In her ten-year career as a stuntwoman, Ellie Morgan has experienced her share of thrills. None compares to the rush of being behind the wheel of a race car for her latest movie shoot. Certain she was born to race, Ellie’s ready to shift gears—but a secret from her past holds her back.

Quinn Reynolds is tired of being in the driver’s seat of his family’s company, Formula Racing Design. He’s ready to sell—if he can get his co-owner and brother, Mac, to agree. Quinn’s not sure what he wants to do with his future, but almost as soon as he meets Ellie, he knows he wants her to be part of it.

Though Ellie tries to resist her attraction to the charming businessman, she’s quickly in danger of losing her heart. But after narrowly escaping “accidents” both on and off the set, it becomes clear that getting involved with Quinn could be downright deadly…

Words from Dee

Thank you, Joan, for letting me play with you today!

This has been a wonderful week with the release of my second book in the Adrenaline Highs Series. Danger Zone is close to my heart for so many reasons. My heroine, Ellie, is much braver than me although we do share some other traits.

I’ll tell you a secret. One of the accidents Ellie talks about in Danger Zone actually happened to me on a set. It was painful, let me tell you. But it makes for good Hollywood fodder. LOL. You’ve never seen so many suits come out of the woodwork when you have an accident on the set of a project produced by a multi-million dollar corporation. They hear the word lawsuit before you can even think it!! TRUE!!

But as I said, Ellie is much braver than I am. I would never consider doing stunts. That is exhausting and very hard work. Imagining having to do a simple fall, but maybe you have to do 4, 12, 15, or 20 takes of that same fall. And maybe they want to change up the stunt part way through so the fall becomes a little tougher or more painful to enact? Who wants that job? Ha. Not me!

My question to you is… have you ever signed on for something, but watched as it quickly turned into something else? Did you take the change like a champ or stand up for yourself and say, “No way, not me. Let someone else take the fall.” (No pun intended there.) Life is always full of curve balls, so how do you handle them?

Comment for a chance to win a digital copy of Danger Zone (either e-pub or pdf).

Excerpt

Way to go, Ellie. She’d sure as hell walked right into that one. Quinn had baited her perfectly and she had no way out. Of course, she could slam the door in his face. But that seemed exceptionally rude. It wasn’t as though he could really win this contest. And he didn’t have that many places to touch. “Fine. Three touches. Only on skin you can see. Go.”

He laughed and the relaxed playboy in him seemed to take over. “It’s three and a half touches,” he clarified.

“What’s with the half?”

“Sometimes the half isn’t necessary.”

So he’d done this before. Which meant she was just another in a long line of women. But hadn’t she expected that? Still, it sort of…made her mad. And also made resisting him easier.

“Then why bother with it?”

“It’s my prerogative.” He studied her for a second and his eyes narrowed. “What’s wrong? A little nervous?”

She leveled him with her best bored stare. “No.” But she was. Only the skin showing. If she kept telling herself that, she’d be fine. All of the important parts were covered so he couldn’t do that much damage.

Victory already lurked in his eyes. Man, this guy was cocky. And so damn cute.

Crap. Why did he have to be so damn good- looking? She wanted a guy for the long haul. All the handsome ones wanted was a quick screw on the spread.

“Put your arm out,” he ordered quietly. “Bend it at the elbow. Like this.” He showed her what he meant. Then with his left hand, he gently supported her right arm while keeping it bent in front of her with his thumb just above the bend in her elbow, the other fingers behind her arm.

“Now what?”

“Now…I touch you.” His words were so soft, so confident, that a wave of uncertainty swelled over her. His light gray eyes burned into hers. A stupid flutter of anticipation washed through her. She pushed it back with iron will.

Never taking his gaze from hers, Quinn moved his right thumb down, so slowly, so tenderly, to the hollow of her elbow. It wouldn’t have been that bad except that he stayed in the same place and circled maddeningly slow. Around and around the rough pad of his thumb circled the sensitive area. Goose bumps rose on her flesh, the hair stood up on her arms and nape.

The tiniest of grins curved his lips, but he didn’t stop eye contact…as if he knew without seeing what effect he had on her. His thumb continued down her arm. Slowly, inch by inch. All the way to her wrist where he circled again.

Ellie swallowed. And blinked. Damn it. Steeling herself against the sensations hitting her body, she clenched her jaw and worked to even out her breathing.

Almost done. He didn’t have anywhere else to go. One down, two and a—

Quinn’s thumb traveled to the middle of her palm and Ellie nearly jumped out of her skin. Her thumb grazed the inside of his hand and the urge to touch him shot through her like a cannon.

Thankfully, he pulled away. “That was one,” he breathed.

Mayday! Red Alert! She was in serious trouble.

“Next is number two.” His devastating right hand moved toward her chin, but he stopped and reconsidered. His fingers grazed her hairline and moved through her hair, against her scalp. Again, so slowly.

His pupils dilated, his breathing grew heavier. The man was definitely affected. If the bet had been the other way around, she would’ve won.

But…maybe not. Because the tingles running up and down her spine and radiating through her limbs all met at the same spot between her legs. Not a good sign. She desperately fought the urge to lean into his palm, feel more of his heat against her head. It was getting tougher to control her heartbeat and her breath came uneven.

“That was number two.” His low voice sent her heart pounding harder.

“One more,” she said. Only the words barely came out.

“One and a half,” he corrected. “This is the half.” With one hand still against her scalp, he lifted her chin a fraction. Using the pad of his thumb, he traced her bottom lip. From the middle to the end. Not a long way, but enough to send her through the roof. Enough to want to suck his thumb into her mouth and taste him.

Make him beg.

All this time, they kept eye contact. He never once looked down at the path his thumb had taken. But now, his intense gaze focused on her mouth before moving back to her eyes. He bent closer, his fingers still under her chin, his lips closing the gap with hers. “There’s just one more,” he whispered and moved even closer, his mouth just a fraction from hers, his breath warm over her lips.

Ellie could barely keep her eyes open. Desire left her lids heavy, her breath lodged somewhere in her throat. Somehow, someway, a fraction of her brain still worked. “I thought you only got to touch me with the pads of your fingers,” she murmured.

“I lied.”
His lips brushed hers and Ellie’s whole system went into meltdown. She should’ve been mad, but she really wanted to laugh. Really wanted to forget everything she’d ever thought about the man and jump him here and now in her trailer.

This was nothing like she expected. Not a blatant sexual assault, but the most tender and gentle kiss she’d ever experienced. So simple. Sweet. Absolutely innocent in the taking. Those lethal lips continued to caress hers. Smoothing across just as maddeningly slow as his thumb had done.

At some point, she’d grabbed his wrists. Not to push him away, but to keep him steady. Keep him connected to her. Not that he seemed to be going anywhere. And still he kissed her. Just lips. Softly. A nibble, a caress. Brushing so sweetly against her mouth she didn’t want it to end.

Ellie had no idea how long they stayed that way and Quinn pulled back a fraction, his lips still dangerously close to hers.

“I win,” he whispered. And kissed her again.

Dee’s Bio

I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. After graduating high school, I moved to Los Angeles and tried to make it in show biz. I got enough acting work to pay the rent and keep the S.A.G. card. (Screen Actors Guild in case anyone is wondering.) I also worked as a Dialogue Coach in sitcoms. (That’s code for acting coach and also means I helped the actors learn their lines.)

Writing came as a fluke. After a very intense dream (I apparently couldn’t stop talking about), my husband said, “Just write it down.” Prophetic words I took it to heart. Three weeks and fourteen hours a day later, I had a 450 page handwritten novel.

And so it began.

I am lucky to be married to the love of my life and we have one beautiful daughter. She was and continues to be perfect so I saw no reason for others!

I like kick-ass heroines and big stories. I like to read them and I like to write them. I like romance, adventure, a little mystery and happy endings. Romance is the perfect genre for me.

You can find Dee: Website | FaceBook | Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 Comment for a chance to win a digital copy of Danger Zone (either e-pub or pdf).