hot romance

Jeanne Adams Guests With Giveaways!

>by Jeanne Adams

Hi Joan! Thank you so much for having me on today! I’m delighted to come and hang out at your place for a bit, since you always have such fun guests. You also make FABULOUS bookmarks! Love those.

As you know, my fourth book with Kensington, DEADLY LITTLE LIES, the sequel to Deadly Little Secrets, is out today! WOOHOO! Since Deadly Little Secrets was featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine (Aprill, 2011), I’ve been getting lots and lots of emails about when I’m going to tell Davros and Carrie’s story. Thankfully, I’d already turned it in – that would be DEADLY LITTLE LIES.

As DEADLY LITTLE LIES opens, billionaire businessman Davros Gianikopulos, called Dav, has decided that it’s long past time he settled down. The events portrayed in Deadly Little Secrets showed him that life and time are precious. He’s decided to seriously court the woman he really wants – something he’s avoided, due to his own issues – but on their first “real” date, they’re kidnapped, drugged, and hauled off to points unknown! Eeek! Now THAT’s a first date, right?

In this excerpt, Carrie’s still a little woozy from the drugs they’ve given her, but she knows her mind when it comes to Dav.

     “We could die here,” Carrie muttered and he heard the fear again. “We could die.”

     “No,” Dav made it a statement, not a question. He would not allow that possibility. She was his future. He would not allow it to be otherwise. He would use the stubborn will that helped him survive his father and countless business rivals; he and Carrie would survive. “We’ll make it out of this. My people, they’ll know to get Gates. He has all manner of ways to figure out what’s happened. He’ll find us. He and Ana are the best.”

     “But they don’t work for you anymore,” she said, stating the obvious.

     “I know, sweetheart,” he said smiling into the dark. “But friends don’t worry about little things like that. They’ll find us.”

   “Dav,” she murmured, sliding her hands up to touch his face. “Dav, why did we wait?”

     Dav was distracted momentarily by the shift in the sound of the engines, the subtle drop in the slant of the cabin. “Wait?” he replied, still thinking about the change in the plane’s attitude. “Why did we wait for what?”

     Evidently, her question was rhetorical. He looked down into her eyes, loving the feel of her hands on his face. While he recognized all his reactions were off-kilter from the drugs though not as badly skewed as Carrie’s, just the touch of her, the feel of her in his arms no matter the situation, was inflaming his body, his mind and senses.

     “Carrie?” he whispered, seeing the dark of her eyes, feeling every inch of her in new ways.

     “We fought it, Dav, both of us,” she said, her voice serious, but her eyes were still deeply dilated, the effect of the drugs. “We waited for the right time. We didn’t make a move, either of us.”

     While he was puzzling through what she meant, she shifted closer, whispering, “Don’t wait anymore. Kiss me now, just in case. I need to know how it feels, I need,” she trailed off, quieting in order to bring her lips to his.

     The connection was instant and powerful. Every thought of the plane, of their situation sank out of his mind, replaced by the magnificent roar of triumph in his heart. No pain could compare to the sweetness, the fire of her mouth moving on his. All hesitancy fled as she pressed into him, wriggling closer, heating his body. Nothing mattered but Carrie. Nothing was real or present but her mouth.

     The pain in his hands and shoulders throbbed a counter point to his body’s needs. He ignored the pain and focused on the pleasure.

     He might never get another chance.

     “Dav, oh, Dav, I…I…” she stumbled over the words, pressing kisses to his face, her bound hands cradling his jaw.

     Whatever else she might have said was lost when the plane banked hard again. Now she fell into him, slamming her head into his chin as the altitude dropped.

     He knew it wasn’t the time or the place, and that Carrie was reacting to the drugs, but the confirmation that she was interested, attracted, gave him hope despite their dire state of affairs.

     While there’s life, there’s hope.

All in all, a pretty disastrous first date! But, there is indeed hope for both Dav and Carrie, as you’ll see in Deadly Little Lies!

What was YOUR worst first date?

What about the best?

If you have a significant other, was there one thing they did on that first date that told you “this is the one”?

On some of those stinker first dates, what was the thing that told you immediately that this one was a “kick-it-to-the-curb” kind of date?

Leave a comment to enter to win:
1) An ARC of PRETTY LITTLE LIES
2) 1 of 5 custom bookmarks
International
**MUST** leave contact email to WIN


>Jeanne Adams Guests With Giveaways!

>by Jeanne Adams

Hi Joan! Thank you so much for having me on today! I’m delighted to come and hang out at your place for a bit, since you always have such fun guests. You also make FABULOUS bookmarks! Love those.

As you know, my fourth book with Kensington, DEADLY LITTLE LIES, the sequel to Deadly Little Secrets, is out today! WOOHOO! Since Deadly Little Secrets was featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine (Aprill, 2011), I’ve been getting lots and lots of emails about when I’m going to tell Davros and Carrie’s story. Thankfully, I’d already turned it in – that would be DEADLY LITTLE LIES.

As DEADLY LITTLE LIES opens, billionaire businessman Davros Gianikopulos, called Dav, has decided that it’s long past time he settled down. The events portrayed in Deadly Little Secrets showed him that life and time are precious. He’s decided to seriously court the woman he really wants – something he’s avoided, due to his own issues – but on their first “real” date, they’re kidnapped, drugged, and hauled off to points unknown! Eeek! Now THAT’s a first date, right?

In this excerpt, Carrie’s still a little woozy from the drugs they’ve given her, but she knows her mind when it comes to Dav.

     “We could die here,” Carrie muttered and he heard the fear again. “We could die.”

     “No,” Dav made it a statement, not a question. He would not allow that possibility. She was his future. He would not allow it to be otherwise. He would use the stubborn will that helped him survive his father and countless business rivals; he and Carrie would survive. “We’ll make it out of this. My people, they’ll know to get Gates. He has all manner of ways to figure out what’s happened. He’ll find us. He and Ana are the best.”

     “But they don’t work for you anymore,” she said, stating the obvious.

     “I know, sweetheart,” he said smiling into the dark. “But friends don’t worry about little things like that. They’ll find us.”

   “Dav,” she murmured, sliding her hands up to touch his face. “Dav, why did we wait?”

     Dav was distracted momentarily by the shift in the sound of the engines, the subtle drop in the slant of the cabin. “Wait?” he replied, still thinking about the change in the plane’s attitude. “Why did we wait for what?”

     Evidently, her question was rhetorical. He looked down into her eyes, loving the feel of her hands on his face. While he recognized all his reactions were off-kilter from the drugs though not as badly skewed as Carrie’s, just the touch of her, the feel of her in his arms no matter the situation, was inflaming his body, his mind and senses.

     “Carrie?” he whispered, seeing the dark of her eyes, feeling every inch of her in new ways.

     “We fought it, Dav, both of us,” she said, her voice serious, but her eyes were still deeply dilated, the effect of the drugs. “We waited for the right time. We didn’t make a move, either of us.”

     While he was puzzling through what she meant, she shifted closer, whispering, “Don’t wait anymore. Kiss me now, just in case. I need to know how it feels, I need,” she trailed off, quieting in order to bring her lips to his.

     The connection was instant and powerful. Every thought of the plane, of their situation sank out of his mind, replaced by the magnificent roar of triumph in his heart. No pain could compare to the sweetness, the fire of her mouth moving on his. All hesitancy fled as she pressed into him, wriggling closer, heating his body. Nothing mattered but Carrie. Nothing was real or present but her mouth.

     The pain in his hands and shoulders throbbed a counter point to his body’s needs. He ignored the pain and focused on the pleasure.

     He might never get another chance.

     “Dav, oh, Dav, I…I…” she stumbled over the words, pressing kisses to his face, her bound hands cradling his jaw.

     Whatever else she might have said was lost when the plane banked hard again. Now she fell into him, slamming her head into his chin as the altitude dropped.

     He knew it wasn’t the time or the place, and that Carrie was reacting to the drugs, but the confirmation that she was interested, attracted, gave him hope despite their dire state of affairs.

     While there’s life, there’s hope.

All in all, a pretty disastrous first date! But, there is indeed hope for both Dav and Carrie, as you’ll see in Deadly Little Lies!

What was YOUR worst first date?

What about the best?

If you have a significant other, was there one thing they did on that first date that told you “this is the one”?

On some of those stinker first dates, what was the thing that told you immediately that this one was a “kick-it-to-the-curb” kind of date?

Leave a comment to enter to win:
1) An ARC of PRETTY LITTLE LIES
2) 1 of 5 custom bookmarks
International
**MUST** leave contact email to WIN


CP Release Week Celebration!!

>

My critique partner, Elisabeth Naughton, releases the third book in her ETERNAL GAURDIAN series, TEMPTED, Tuesday and we’re celebrating here on One Word At A Time all week long!!

Today, Wednesday and Friday I’ll be posting fun interview questions (these are not your mama’s interview questions). Elisabeth gives her answer, and I, as her CP for somewhere around 5 years now, give an answer from MY point of view. Outta be fun!

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I’ll be posting excerpts from TEMPTED.

EVERYDAY, I’ll be giving away the 2 first books in the series, MARKED and ENTWINED, each with a matching handmade bookmark from those who comment that day.

Sunday, I’ll choose one name from everyone who have commented during the week to WIN an ARC of TEMPTED with a matching bookmark!

Hope you’ll come by everyday to learn a little more about Elisabeth and get a little sneak peak of TEMPTED.

Interview, Day One

Do You Like Going Window Shopping?
E: What’s the point if you aren’t going to buy anything? The older I get the less I enjoy shopping of any kind.
J for E: Window what? If it’s in the window, it’s destiny and meant to be in my closet.

Ever Been Addicted To A Game?
E: Solitaire. It’s the bane of my existence.
J for E: Literati–I kick Joan Swan’s ass every damned game! She sucks! She rarely plays with me anymore. Can’t figure out why.

Do You Have Any Undiscovered Or Hidden Talents?
E: I’m an amazing painter. Of walls. Stop laughing, it’s true. My walls are very pretty and I get compliments on them all the time.
J for E: I can hold down a pint of vodka like nobody’s business and curse more in the first chapter of my manuscript than a drunk sailor on leave.

What is your favorite beverage?
E: Vodka
J for E: Hel-lo!

What is your weapon of choice for the Zombie Apocolypse?
E: Vodka
J for E: I rest my case.

First impression of your significant other.
E: Cute. And old. Why the hell is he talking to me? (I was a lowly freshman in college. He was a senior.)
J for E: Hot. I’m going to keep him around. He’d make good research material when I become a romance author and need those midnight snacks. No, not that kind of snack! Get your mind out of the gutter–you’re crowding mine!

Favorite Midnight Snack?
E: Peanut butter on white bread.
J for E: Foster Freeze Blizzard, which the significant other (see above) runs out pick up for me.

Click for larger image….verah pretty!!
You know you want one! Enter now!!!
Your turn! Answer the question below to enter for 1 of today’s 2 prizes:
1) A copy of MARKED and matching bookmark
2) A copy of ENTWINED and matching bookmark
Have you ever had a job where you had to wear a uniform?
US/Canada shipping only
**MUST** leave a contact email to WIN

>CP Release Week Celebration!!

>

My critique partner, Elisabeth Naughton, releases the third book in her ETERNAL GAURDIAN series, TEMPTED, Tuesday and we’re celebrating here on One Word At A Time all week long!!

Today, Wednesday and Friday I’ll be posting fun interview questions (these are not your mama’s interview questions). Elisabeth gives her answer, and I, as her CP for somewhere around 5 years now, give an answer from MY point of view. Outta be fun!

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I’ll be posting excerpts from TEMPTED.

EVERYDAY, I’ll be giving away the 2 first books in the series, MARKED and ENTWINED, each with a matching handmade bookmark from those who comment that day.

Sunday, I’ll choose one name from everyone who have commented during the week to WIN an ARC of TEMPTED with a matching bookmark!

Hope you’ll come by everyday to learn a little more about Elisabeth and get a little sneak peak of TEMPTED.

Interview, Day One

Do You Like Going Window Shopping?
E: What’s the point if you aren’t going to buy anything? The older I get the less I enjoy shopping of any kind.
J for E: Window what? If it’s in the window, it’s destiny and meant to be in my closet.

Ever Been Addicted To A Game?
E: Solitaire. It’s the bane of my existence.
J for E: Literati–I kick Joan Swan’s ass every damned game! She sucks! She rarely plays with me anymore. Can’t figure out why.

Do You Have Any Undiscovered Or Hidden Talents?
E: I’m an amazing painter. Of walls. Stop laughing, it’s true. My walls are very pretty and I get compliments on them all the time.
J for E: I can hold down a pint of vodka like nobody’s business and curse more in the first chapter of my manuscript than a drunk sailor on leave.

What is your favorite beverage?
E: Vodka
J for E: Hel-lo!

What is your weapon of choice for the Zombie Apocolypse?
E: Vodka
J for E: I rest my case.

First impression of your significant other.
E: Cute. And old. Why the hell is he talking to me? (I was a lowly freshman in college. He was a senior.)
J for E: Hot. I’m going to keep him around. He’d make good research material when I become a romance author and need those midnight snacks. No, not that kind of snack! Get your mind out of the gutter–you’re crowding mine!

Favorite Midnight Snack?
E: Peanut butter on white bread.
J for E: Foster Freeze Blizzard, which the significant other (see above) runs out pick up for me.

Click for larger image….verah pretty!!
You know you want one! Enter now!!!
Your turn! Answer the question below to enter for 1 of today’s 2 prizes:
1) A copy of MARKED and matching bookmark
2) A copy of ENTWINED and matching bookmark
Have you ever had a job where you had to wear a uniform?
US/Canada shipping only
**MUST** leave a contact email to WIN

Review of Victoria Dahl’s Latest + Interview + GIVEAWAY!!!

>I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Victoria Dahl’s latest release IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU from Kensington Zebra for review.  Then doubly blessed when Victoria agreed to an interview.   And triply (is that a word?) fortunate to have her generously offer a giveaway!  YAY!!  It’s a GREAT Monday!

Comment or ask Victoria a question to ENTER to WIN one of the following:
An ARC of IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU!
A copy of Victoria’s A LITTLE BIT WILD, the first book in the York series.
1 of 5 custom bookmarks.

Victoria Dahl’s IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU, is the second book in her historical romance York series and her August release.  I haven’t read A LITTLE BIT WILD yet (though you can bet I will) and it’s good for those of you in my position to know that IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU completely stands on its own.  Not once did I feel lost or out of sync because I hadn’t read the prior novel!

IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU is one of those books with instant intrigue. Victoria crafts a suspenseful read with characters I rooted for and story questions that made me turn the pages in search for their answers.

I’m a fan of tortured heroes and crafty, independent heroines, and IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU has both. The hero, Aiden, believes the love of his life, Kate, the heroine, is dead. Has been dead for a decade. When this novel begins, he is haunted by the resemblance of a random stranger to the woman he could never cast from his heart. And when he confronts the stranger, simply to prove to himself she isn’t the woman he thinks she is, he’s shocked to discover Kate is in fact alive.

Kate has many secrets and has told many lies in an effort to keep herself safe. She believes Aiden cast her aside so many years ago and now is determined to remain unknown, unhindered and undiscovered.

Click for larger image.
Bookmarks are even prettier
in person!

The black moment in this book was riveting and heart-rending. The suspense kept the pace fast and the storyline intriguing. The resolution pushed me to read to the very last page in the novel—not something I often do.

IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU is a tale woven from the strongest of human emotions, the harshness of life’s often random circumstances and the double-edged sword of endless love.

You can GET IT HERE in paperback or GET IT HERE on Kindle.

Now Victoria answers a few questions:

What is your writing routine?

I’m not exactly the most disciplined person you’ll ever meet. And by that, I mean I have to promise myself rewards, much as you would a small child. “If you get X words written before noon, you can go out to lunch with a girlfriend!” When I’m on deadline, I know what word count I need to hit every day. It’s often something around 2500 words. I can’t write 2500 words in one sitting, so I’ll normally do one hour of intense writing, which should get me close to 1000 words, and then I’ll take a few hours to brainstorm and write the next 1500.

How do you keep in touch with your readers?

My number one way of interacting with readers is via Twitter. It’s immediate and easy and quick, and it doesn’t feel like work. (See Question #1.) I’m terrible at Facebook and almost as bad with email, sadly. I procrastinate, and then I feel guilty, and then the whole big mass of emails and Facebook messages and guilt hangs over my head like a boulder. That’s when I like to hide in my Twitter cave and frantically tell dirty jokes.

What are you reading now?

I’m just finishing up Courtney Milan’s novella Unlocked, which is beautiful! I’m also reading a couple of non-fiction books about Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as my next contemporary series is set there. I just read a not-yet-released Ann Aguirre book, Enclave, as well as an untitled manuscript from my amazing critique partner, Jennifer Echols. It’s so very nice to have lots of friends who are amazing writers and send me advance work. *GRIN*

What is in your TBR pile?

Oh, my God. What isn’t in my TBR pile? That thing about how nice it is to have great writer friends? It’s also torturous! Because I want to read all of their books and I can’t keep up! Let me fire up my Kindle and we’ll see what’s on it:

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler
Unclaimed by Courtney Milan
Too Hot to Touch by Louisa Edwards
Goddess with a Blade by Lauren Dane
Broken by Megan Hart
Collision Course by Zoe Archer

Do you have a second career? If not, what did you do before you became a full-time writer?

I’m a mom of two, so I spend a lot of my time making sure the house is spotless and the kids eat nothing but home-cooked organic foods. *snort* That’s a joke. But I do spend a lot of time hanging out with them and buying Lunchables at the grocery store. Before I had kids, I worked in financial services and banking. Exciting!

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

All of my books start with an idea for one scene. Just one scene, maybe even just a few heartbeats in that scene. In IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU, it was the moment when Aidan sees Kate for the first time in ten years. That’s the idea that started the book for me, and then I work back from there. Who are these people? Why is his reaction so visceral and heartbreaking? What happened to bring them to this place? How will he react? That’s where the story always starts. I love that moment of curiosity.

Tell us about your upcoming recent release, IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU.

IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU is the second in my York family series. I love a tortured hero, and Aidan York has had his share of heartbreak. His own behavior has only added to his torment over the years, and he hates the man he’s become. But when he’s reunited with his first love, Kate Tremont, anything seems possible. Redemption, love, happiness. But nothing is as simple as it seems, and Kate has to convince him that they have no future together. Still, even the most dangerous of secrets can’t stop her from responding to his touch…or his heart.

What are your current projects?

I just turned in the last book of my Donovan Brothers Brewery series! Good Girls Don’t, Bad Boys Do and Real Men Will will be out in September, October and November. And now I’m starting a brand new contemporary series set in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I don’t have any titles yet, as I’m only nine pages into the first book, but I’m having fun!

Where can we find you online?

On Twitter! www.Twitter.com/VictoriaDahl
My website: www.VictoriaDahl.com
and my email of shame: Victoria@VictoriaDahl.com

Bookmarks are more gorgeous in person!

Comment or ask Victoria a question to ENTER to WIN one of the following:

An ARC of IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU
A copy of Victoria’s A LITTLE BIT WILD
1 of 5 custom bookmarks

**US/Canada shipping for books**
**International shipping for bookmarks**
*MUST leave contact email**
(otherwise how will we tell you YOU WON?)

Bio:

Victoria Dahl lives with her family in a small town high in the mountains. During the summer she hikes and drinks margaritas (usually not at the same time). During the winter she likes to curl up with a book and a cup of hot cocoa and think about all those poor, freezing skiers working so hard out in the snow. 

Her first published novel, the winner of the coveted Golden Heart for best long historical romance, debuted in 2007. As of the end of 2012, she will have seventeen books and novellas in print in historical, contemporary, and paranormal romance.

Victoria’s first contemporary romance, Talk Me Down, was nominated for both the Romance Writers of America® Rita Award and the National Readers’ Choice Award. Since then, her books have been nominated for two more Rita Awards, and she hit the USA Today Bestseller list with the contemporary anthology Midnight Kiss!

>Review of Victoria Dahl’s Latest + Interview + GIVEAWAY!!!

>I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Victoria Dahl’s latest release IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU from Kensington Zebra for review.  Then doubly blessed when Victoria agreed to an interview.   And triply (is that a word?) fortunate to have her generously offer a giveaway!  YAY!!  It’s a GREAT Monday!

Comment or ask Victoria a question to ENTER to WIN one of the following:
An ARC of IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU!
A copy of Victoria’s A LITTLE BIT WILD, the first book in the York series.
1 of 5 custom bookmarks.

Victoria Dahl’s IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU, is the second book in her historical romance York series and her August release.  I haven’t read A LITTLE BIT WILD yet (though you can bet I will) and it’s good for those of you in my position to know that IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU completely stands on its own.  Not once did I feel lost or out of sync because I hadn’t read the prior novel!

IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU is one of those books with instant intrigue. Victoria crafts a suspenseful read with characters I rooted for and story questions that made me turn the pages in search for their answers.

I’m a fan of tortured heroes and crafty, independent heroines, and IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU has both. The hero, Aiden, believes the love of his life, Kate, the heroine, is dead. Has been dead for a decade. When this novel begins, he is haunted by the resemblance of a random stranger to the woman he could never cast from his heart. And when he confronts the stranger, simply to prove to himself she isn’t the woman he thinks she is, he’s shocked to discover Kate is in fact alive.

Kate has many secrets and has told many lies in an effort to keep herself safe. She believes Aiden cast her aside so many years ago and now is determined to remain unknown, unhindered and undiscovered.

Click for larger image.
Bookmarks are even prettier
in person!

The black moment in this book was riveting and heart-rending. The suspense kept the pace fast and the storyline intriguing. The resolution pushed me to read to the very last page in the novel—not something I often do.

IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU is a tale woven from the strongest of human emotions, the harshness of life’s often random circumstances and the double-edged sword of endless love.

You can GET IT HERE in paperback or GET IT HERE on Kindle.

Now Victoria answers a few questions:

What is your writing routine?

I’m not exactly the most disciplined person you’ll ever meet. And by that, I mean I have to promise myself rewards, much as you would a small child. “If you get X words written before noon, you can go out to lunch with a girlfriend!” When I’m on deadline, I know what word count I need to hit every day. It’s often something around 2500 words. I can’t write 2500 words in one sitting, so I’ll normally do one hour of intense writing, which should get me close to 1000 words, and then I’ll take a few hours to brainstorm and write the next 1500.

How do you keep in touch with your readers?

My number one way of interacting with readers is via Twitter. It’s immediate and easy and quick, and it doesn’t feel like work. (See Question #1.) I’m terrible at Facebook and almost as bad with email, sadly. I procrastinate, and then I feel guilty, and then the whole big mass of emails and Facebook messages and guilt hangs over my head like a boulder. That’s when I like to hide in my Twitter cave and frantically tell dirty jokes.

What are you reading now?

I’m just finishing up Courtney Milan’s novella Unlocked, which is beautiful! I’m also reading a couple of non-fiction books about Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as my next contemporary series is set there. I just read a not-yet-released Ann Aguirre book, Enclave, as well as an untitled manuscript from my amazing critique partner, Jennifer Echols. It’s so very nice to have lots of friends who are amazing writers and send me advance work. *GRIN*

What is in your TBR pile?

Oh, my God. What isn’t in my TBR pile? That thing about how nice it is to have great writer friends? It’s also torturous! Because I want to read all of their books and I can’t keep up! Let me fire up my Kindle and we’ll see what’s on it:

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler
Unclaimed by Courtney Milan
Too Hot to Touch by Louisa Edwards
Goddess with a Blade by Lauren Dane
Broken by Megan Hart
Collision Course by Zoe Archer

Do you have a second career? If not, what did you do before you became a full-time writer?

I’m a mom of two, so I spend a lot of my time making sure the house is spotless and the kids eat nothing but home-cooked organic foods. *snort* That’s a joke. But I do spend a lot of time hanging out with them and buying Lunchables at the grocery store. Before I had kids, I worked in financial services and banking. Exciting!

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

All of my books start with an idea for one scene. Just one scene, maybe even just a few heartbeats in that scene. In IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU, it was the moment when Aidan sees Kate for the first time in ten years. That’s the idea that started the book for me, and then I work back from there. Who are these people? Why is his reaction so visceral and heartbreaking? What happened to bring them to this place? How will he react? That’s where the story always starts. I love that moment of curiosity.

Tell us about your upcoming recent release, IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU.

IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU is the second in my York family series. I love a tortured hero, and Aidan York has had his share of heartbreak. His own behavior has only added to his torment over the years, and he hates the man he’s become. But when he’s reunited with his first love, Kate Tremont, anything seems possible. Redemption, love, happiness. But nothing is as simple as it seems, and Kate has to convince him that they have no future together. Still, even the most dangerous of secrets can’t stop her from responding to his touch…or his heart.

What are your current projects?

I just turned in the last book of my Donovan Brothers Brewery series! Good Girls Don’t, Bad Boys Do and Real Men Will will be out in September, October and November. And now I’m starting a brand new contemporary series set in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I don’t have any titles yet, as I’m only nine pages into the first book, but I’m having fun!

Where can we find you online?

On Twitter! www.Twitter.com/VictoriaDahl
My website: www.VictoriaDahl.com
and my email of shame: Victoria@VictoriaDahl.com

Bookmarks are more gorgeous in person!

Comment or ask Victoria a question to ENTER to WIN one of the following:

An ARC of IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU
A copy of Victoria’s A LITTLE BIT WILD
1 of 5 custom bookmarks

**US/Canada shipping for books**
**International shipping for bookmarks**
*MUST leave contact email**
(otherwise how will we tell you YOU WON?)

Bio:

Victoria Dahl lives with her family in a small town high in the mountains. During the summer she hikes and drinks margaritas (usually not at the same time). During the winter she likes to curl up with a book and a cup of hot cocoa and think about all those poor, freezing skiers working so hard out in the snow. 

Her first published novel, the winner of the coveted Golden Heart for best long historical romance, debuted in 2007. As of the end of 2012, she will have seventeen books and novellas in print in historical, contemporary, and paranormal romance.

Victoria’s first contemporary romance, Talk Me Down, was nominated for both the Romance Writers of America® Rita Award and the National Readers’ Choice Award. Since then, her books have been nominated for two more Rita Awards, and she hit the USA Today Bestseller list with the contemporary anthology Midnight Kiss!

Laurie London Talks Writing & Her Latest Release–Embraced By Blood!

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Laurie London’s EMBRACED BY BLOOD begins with immediate tension and ends with a race to the finish and all that conflict is sparked with sexual tension between the hero, Alfonso, and the heroine, Lily, throughout.

Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, two vampire coalitions battle for supremacy— Guardian enforcers who safeguard humanity, and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors.
Alfonso Serrano is a hunted man. For months he’s managed to elude the Darkbloods, vengeful foes who won’t rest until he’s dead. But he still craves one dangerous temptation: Lily DeGraff, the sexy Guardian agent he’ll risk anything to protect.
Lily is a wanted woman. Her talent for tracking Sweet—a rare blood type that’s addictive to vampires—makes her a prime target for enemy capture. Her only hope is the stealthy vampire operative who stole into her bed…then left her in despair. Danger aside, Lily won’t let Alfonso near her heart again—until an irresistible hunger threatens to draw them back together… and into an assassin’s snare.

Several elements give EMBRACED BY BLOOD a freshness that often snags the interest agents and editors. While this is a vampire novel, Laure gives her hero and heroine unique twists. Alfonso and Lily are not just vampires, but Guardians to humans, protecting them against another type of vampire called Darkbloods. DBs don’t just feed on humans for sustenance and leave them alive; DBs hunt humans, drain them of blood and life, and sell that blood on the black market. And the DBs are particularly interested in one rare human blood: Sweet, a type which all vampires crave, but one which is addictive.

I immediately saw the multi-layered distinctiveness of this characterization: 1) Vampires protecting humans. 2) Vampires protecting humans against other vampires. 3) A Civil war of sorts, vampire against vampire, a fight which is based more on principle than on the human element. 4) Alfonso and Lily aren’t just trying to hide from human detection, but also hiding from Darkblood detection.

I was immediately intrigued by the premise of a vampire blood which is addictive. It struck me like methamphetamine for humans. A very fresh concept.

Q: Laurie, you’ve designed intricate conflict into your plot with the complication of vampire against vampire. Do you plot your conflict or does it grow naturally as you write?

A: A little of both, actually. The over-arching conflict is planned out ahead of time and I usually know the villain’s immediate goals, but some of the finer nuances of the inner conflict between the hero and heroine come as I’m writing the first draft. I expand on it when I go back and revise.

Q: The idea of Sweet, a type of human blood that is addictive to vampires reminds me of how prevalent and addictive methamphetamine is in our present society and what length people will go to the get it. Where did that idea come from?

A: As I wrote the first scene of the first book, Bonded by Blood, I was trying to figure out why Dom, the hero, would attack Mackenzie. He was one of the good guys and I knew he didn’t want to, that it was against his beliefs, but he was overwhelmed by his baser instincts. As I dug deeper, I knew it had something to do with her blood. This formed the basis for the whole series, where Darkbloods, the bad guys, sell this addictive blood on the vampire black market.

Q: The sexual tension between Lily and Alfonso is strong and immediate. The conflict their relationship history and their attraction add to the story is palpable. I’m a sucker for reunion stories, but they are fraught with emotion and difficult to manage within a complicated plot, and you do it seamlessly. Do you find this added element more challenging to write or does it flow with your plot as the other conflicts do?

A: Thank you! The chronology was very tricky for me to write. Some of the timing and framework of their relationship was set in book one and I had to work within those boundaries. I had calendars and spreadsheets of major events, when and where they took place in book one as well as in their backstories. Because I only loosely plot the stories ahead of time, when I was struck with an idea, I had to ask myself if it was even possible given what we already knew had happened.

Q: I believe paranormal writers choose nether creatures who appeal to them in some way. Why do you write about vampires?

A: Ever since my sister and I saw the old movie Fright Night eight times in a row in the theater, I was hooked on vampires. Shortly afterwards, my aunt gave me an old, beat up copy of An Interview with a Vampire. It’s that deadly mystique that haunts me. He’s that guy you should stay away from but you just can’t.

Q: Every book has something unusual in its history—the origin of an idea, a particular character who keeps trying to take over, a villain who didn’t turn out to be the villain afterall. What is most unusual or memorable about EMBRACED BY BLOOD?

A: I had planned to kill off Alfonso, the hero in Embraced, when he showed up briefly in Bonded. Thankfully, he wouldn’t let me do that.

Q: In what setting do most of your ideas and/or resolutions to problems come? For example, Elisabeth Naughton get a lot of “a-ha” moments in the shower or bath. I get mine while I’m driving. Is there a location or activity where you are most enlightened?

A: I’m with Elisabeth! There’s something about the movement and sound of water and the feel of it against my skin that gets my ideas flowing. Thank goodness we live on a well, otherwise our water bills would be really expensive!

Q: Your setting in EMBRACED BY BLOOD is very well done, a solid modern world where vampire live and roam and fight. World building is one of my greatest challenges. How do you approach your world building for paranormal romances?

A: As a reader, I’m drawn to paranormal worlds that take place in our contemporary world, that exist in secret, just beyond our knowledge. Not only do I enjoy it better as an author because many of the constructs are already in place for me (like writing a historical romance set in Regency England), but as a reader, I like to feel as if I’m a character in the book. If the story is set in a city or world that’s familiar to me, it makes it easier to suspend my disbelief and step into that character. For a brief, brief moment, I did consider making the world open, where humans knew about the existence of vampires, but this went against some of the reasons I find the sub-genre so fascinating as a reader, so I squelched that idea quickly.

Q: Zoe, Lily’s daughter, is a charming surprise in EMBRACED BY BLOOD. I personally enjoy writing and reading children in novels as long as they play a part in the story’s conflict and/or enrich main characters, which Zoe does well. How do you feel about children in romance fiction?

A: I actually don’t like reading romances with children, if you can imagine that. I just don’t find those kinds of stories all that sexy. Heartwarming? Yes. But sexy? No. If things are heating up on the page, I’m always worried where the kids are. The next room? Upstairs? Will they sneak in and spoil the moment? Maybe because that is too much like my real life, I don’t like reading about it. LOL But this was Lily’s story and she came onto the pages as a single mother. I couldn’t NOT write her story because of that. I tried to handle it in such a way that this wasn’t an issue. Zoe was never under the same roof when Lily and Alfonso got romantic, so I, the reader and the author, could relax.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I just finished page proofs for the Sweetblood story I wrote in the anthology A VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS, which comes out in October. And I’m also working on Tempted By Blood, Jackson’s story, which will be out early next year.

Fantastic interview, Laurie!! Thanks so much for coming and sharing your process and
Lily and Alfonso with us!



Be sure to leave a comment or ask Laurie a question to be entered
to win:

1 copy of EMBRACED BY BLOOD
1 copy of BONDED BY BLOOD
1 of 5 custom handmade bookmarks
**Books US/Canada only; Bookmarks International**
**MUST leave a contact email to be eligible to win!**

A graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and a former tester/programmer for a Fortune 500 company, Laurie London now writes from her home near Seattle where she lives with her husband and two children.

BONDED BY BLOOD, A Sweetblood Novel comes out February 2011 from HQN. EMBRACED BY BLOOD, the second book in the series, is coming July 2011.

You can find Laurie:
Website
Facebook
Blog
Twitter

>Laurie London Talks Writing & Her Latest Release–Embraced By Blood!

>

Laurie London’s EMBRACED BY BLOOD begins with immediate tension and ends with a race to the finish and all that conflict is sparked with sexual tension between the hero, Alfonso, and the heroine, Lily, throughout.

Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, two vampire coalitions battle for supremacy— Guardian enforcers who safeguard humanity, and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors.
Alfonso Serrano is a hunted man. For months he’s managed to elude the Darkbloods, vengeful foes who won’t rest until he’s dead. But he still craves one dangerous temptation: Lily DeGraff, the sexy Guardian agent he’ll risk anything to protect.
Lily is a wanted woman. Her talent for tracking Sweet—a rare blood type that’s addictive to vampires—makes her a prime target for enemy capture. Her only hope is the stealthy vampire operative who stole into her bed…then left her in despair. Danger aside, Lily won’t let Alfonso near her heart again—until an irresistible hunger threatens to draw them back together… and into an assassin’s snare.

Several elements give EMBRACED BY BLOOD a freshness that often snags the interest agents and editors. While this is a vampire novel, Laure gives her hero and heroine unique twists. Alfonso and Lily are not just vampires, but Guardians to humans, protecting them against another type of vampire called Darkbloods. DBs don’t just feed on humans for sustenance and leave them alive; DBs hunt humans, drain them of blood and life, and sell that blood on the black market. And the DBs are particularly interested in one rare human blood: Sweet, a type which all vampires crave, but one which is addictive.

I immediately saw the multi-layered distinctiveness of this characterization: 1) Vampires protecting humans. 2) Vampires protecting humans against other vampires. 3) A Civil war of sorts, vampire against vampire, a fight which is based more on principle than on the human element. 4) Alfonso and Lily aren’t just trying to hide from human detection, but also hiding from Darkblood detection.

I was immediately intrigued by the premise of a vampire blood which is addictive. It struck me like methamphetamine for humans. A very fresh concept.

Q: Laurie, you’ve designed intricate conflict into your plot with the complication of vampire against vampire. Do you plot your conflict or does it grow naturally as you write?

A: A little of both, actually. The over-arching conflict is planned out ahead of time and I usually know the villain’s immediate goals, but some of the finer nuances of the inner conflict between the hero and heroine come as I’m writing the first draft. I expand on it when I go back and revise.

Q: The idea of Sweet, a type of human blood that is addictive to vampires reminds me of how prevalent and addictive methamphetamine is in our present society and what length people will go to the get it. Where did that idea come from?

A: As I wrote the first scene of the first book, Bonded by Blood, I was trying to figure out why Dom, the hero, would attack Mackenzie. He was one of the good guys and I knew he didn’t want to, that it was against his beliefs, but he was overwhelmed by his baser instincts. As I dug deeper, I knew it had something to do with her blood. This formed the basis for the whole series, where Darkbloods, the bad guys, sell this addictive blood on the vampire black market.

Q: The sexual tension between Lily and Alfonso is strong and immediate. The conflict their relationship history and their attraction add to the story is palpable. I’m a sucker for reunion stories, but they are fraught with emotion and difficult to manage within a complicated plot, and you do it seamlessly. Do you find this added element more challenging to write or does it flow with your plot as the other conflicts do?

A: Thank you! The chronology was very tricky for me to write. Some of the timing and framework of their relationship was set in book one and I had to work within those boundaries. I had calendars and spreadsheets of major events, when and where they took place in book one as well as in their backstories. Because I only loosely plot the stories ahead of time, when I was struck with an idea, I had to ask myself if it was even possible given what we already knew had happened.

Q: I believe paranormal writers choose nether creatures who appeal to them in some way. Why do you write about vampires?

A: Ever since my sister and I saw the old movie Fright Night eight times in a row in the theater, I was hooked on vampires. Shortly afterwards, my aunt gave me an old, beat up copy of An Interview with a Vampire. It’s that deadly mystique that haunts me. He’s that guy you should stay away from but you just can’t.

Q: Every book has something unusual in its history—the origin of an idea, a particular character who keeps trying to take over, a villain who didn’t turn out to be the villain afterall. What is most unusual or memorable about EMBRACED BY BLOOD?

A: I had planned to kill off Alfonso, the hero in Embraced, when he showed up briefly in Bonded. Thankfully, he wouldn’t let me do that.

Q: In what setting do most of your ideas and/or resolutions to problems come? For example, Elisabeth Naughton get a lot of “a-ha” moments in the shower or bath. I get mine while I’m driving. Is there a location or activity where you are most enlightened?

A: I’m with Elisabeth! There’s something about the movement and sound of water and the feel of it against my skin that gets my ideas flowing. Thank goodness we live on a well, otherwise our water bills would be really expensive!

Q: Your setting in EMBRACED BY BLOOD is very well done, a solid modern world where vampire live and roam and fight. World building is one of my greatest challenges. How do you approach your world building for paranormal romances?

A: As a reader, I’m drawn to paranormal worlds that take place in our contemporary world, that exist in secret, just beyond our knowledge. Not only do I enjoy it better as an author because many of the constructs are already in place for me (like writing a historical romance set in Regency England), but as a reader, I like to feel as if I’m a character in the book. If the story is set in a city or world that’s familiar to me, it makes it easier to suspend my disbelief and step into that character. For a brief, brief moment, I did consider making the world open, where humans knew about the existence of vampires, but this went against some of the reasons I find the sub-genre so fascinating as a reader, so I squelched that idea quickly.

Q: Zoe, Lily’s daughter, is a charming surprise in EMBRACED BY BLOOD. I personally enjoy writing and reading children in novels as long as they play a part in the story’s conflict and/or enrich main characters, which Zoe does well. How do you feel about children in romance fiction?

A: I actually don’t like reading romances with children, if you can imagine that. I just don’t find those kinds of stories all that sexy. Heartwarming? Yes. But sexy? No. If things are heating up on the page, I’m always worried where the kids are. The next room? Upstairs? Will they sneak in and spoil the moment? Maybe because that is too much like my real life, I don’t like reading about it. LOL But this was Lily’s story and she came onto the pages as a single mother. I couldn’t NOT write her story because of that. I tried to handle it in such a way that this wasn’t an issue. Zoe was never under the same roof when Lily and Alfonso got romantic, so I, the reader and the author, could relax.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I just finished page proofs for the Sweetblood story I wrote in the anthology A VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS, which comes out in October. And I’m also working on Tempted By Blood, Jackson’s story, which will be out early next year.

Fantastic interview, Laurie!! Thanks so much for coming and sharing your process and
Lily and Alfonso with us!



Be sure to leave a comment or ask Laurie a question to be entered
to win:

1 copy of EMBRACED BY BLOOD
1 copy of BONDED BY BLOOD
1 of 5 custom handmade bookmarks
**Books US/Canada only; Bookmarks International**
**MUST leave a contact email to be eligible to win!**

A graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and a former tester/programmer for a Fortune 500 company, Laurie London now writes from her home near Seattle where she lives with her husband and two children.

BONDED BY BLOOD, A Sweetblood Novel comes out February 2011 from HQN. EMBRACED BY BLOOD, the second book in the series, is coming July 2011.

You can find Laurie:
Website
Facebook
Blog
Twitter

New Year’s Giveaway: Day 20, Juliana Stone

Juliana Stone and I met at RWA 2010.  She is a good friend of my CP, Elisabeth Naughton, and we hung out the whole time we were in Orlando.

This girl is so damn fun!  She is sharp and outgoing and personable and funny as hell.  Hilarious.  I swear I never stopped laughing when we were together.  Found myself anticipating her next quip or comment.  She has an awesome voice (sings in a band in her “off” time – snort – like she has any after writing, mothering and wifing–is that a word?) and even set up a karaoke night at a local bar.  So, so fun!

I bought Juliana’s first book in the Jaguar Warrior series, HIS DARKEST HUNGER, at the Barnes & Noble at RWA Orlando and had her sign it for me.  (Come to think of it, that’s where I bought Cynthia Eden’s DEADLY FEAR and had it autographed.)  Juliana’s work is…HOT!  And twisted…I’m speaking of plot here, 🙂 but you knew that right?

She also writes a sexy sci-fi, time travel series called Black Opals.

Up For Win Today:
The second book in her Jaguar Warrior series, HIS DARKEST EMBRACE.

To enter:
Follow me on Twitter: @joanswan & send me a tweet with #newyear in the message. (Tweet Here)

Book Summary:
Jaxon Castille: jaguar shifter, warrior, assassin. He has long hungered for the chance to make his former lover, Libby Jamieson, pay for her deadly betrayal. After three long years he’s finally found her. The hunt is over…
But the Libby that he finds is not what he expected. She has no memory of their tumultuous affair; of her treachery; of anything beyond her own name. A shadowy and deadly clan has marked them both for death, and in an instant the game changes: the hunter has become the hunted.
On the run, with the ghosts of their past between them and a dark, desperate hunger quickly reclaiming their bodies and souls, Libby and Jaxon must discover the truth behind the dark forces working against them. Together, they must grab hold of a destiny that has the power to either heal them or destroy them.
But the truth is far more shattering than anyone could imagine…
Upcoming Releases:HIS DARKEST SALVATION, the third book in the Jaguar Warrior Series, July 2011
 
Contact Info:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Email
 
Have a great weekend.  5 of NYT bestselling author Stephanie Tyler up for giveaway Monday!

>New Year’s Giveaway: Day 20, Juliana Stone

>Juliana Stone and I met at RWA 2010.  She is a good friend of my CP, Elisabeth Naughton, and we hung out the whole time we were in Orlando.

This girl is so damn fun!  She is sharp and outgoing and personable and funny as hell.  Hilarious.  I swear I never stopped laughing when we were together.  Found myself anticipating her next quip or comment.  She has an awesome voice (sings in a band in her “off” time – snort – like she has any after writing, mothering and wifing–is that a word?) and even set up a karaoke night at a local bar.  So, so fun!

I bought Juliana’s first book in the Jaguar Warrior series, HIS DARKEST HUNGER, at the Barnes & Noble at RWA Orlando and had her sign it for me.  (Come to think of it, that’s where I bought Cynthia Eden’s DEADLY FEAR and had it autographed.)  Juliana’s work is…HOT!  And twisted…I’m speaking of plot here, 🙂 but you knew that right?

She also writes a sexy sci-fi, time travel series called Black Opals.

Up For Win Today:
The second book in her Jaguar Warrior series, HIS DARKEST EMBRACE.

To enter:
Follow me on Twitter: @joanswan & send me a tweet with #newyear in the message. (Tweet Here)

Book Summary:
Jaxon Castille: jaguar shifter, warrior, assassin. He has long hungered for the chance to make his former lover, Libby Jamieson, pay for her deadly betrayal. After three long years he’s finally found her. The hunt is over…
But the Libby that he finds is not what he expected. She has no memory of their tumultuous affair; of her treachery; of anything beyond her own name. A shadowy and deadly clan has marked them both for death, and in an instant the game changes: the hunter has become the hunted.
On the run, with the ghosts of their past between them and a dark, desperate hunger quickly reclaiming their bodies and souls, Libby and Jaxon must discover the truth behind the dark forces working against them. Together, they must grab hold of a destiny that has the power to either heal them or destroy them.
But the truth is far more shattering than anyone could imagine…
Upcoming Releases:HIS DARKEST SALVATION, the third book in the Jaguar Warrior Series, July 2011
 
Contact Info:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Email
 
Have a great weekend.  5 of NYT bestselling author Stephanie Tyler up for giveaway Monday!