First, let me shout out a big thanks to Kerensa for inviting me to blog today and giving me the chance to chat a bit about my upcoming book -
So here’s how this went down--Kerensa invited me to blog on Halloween and I said yes because Kerensa is super-duper nice and she works for my agent who’s also uber nice. She mentioned blogging about funny paranormals and Halloween and I said okay. Yep, yep, yep—can do.
Like I’m all an expert on funny paranormals. Or not—because I’m really not, but thinking things through and I are strange bedfellows. Then I looked at this page for like evah. Blankly.
Kerensa also mentioned blogging would be good promotion for my books coming out in February and July of 2008 (THE ACCIDENTAL WEREWORLF and ACCIDENTALLY DEAD respectively) and then I thought, sweet mother, I truly blow at promo. Anyone who knows me personally knows I’d much rather have my nose hairs yanked out follicle by follicle than promo my books. I’m shy like that. I’d promo yours in a minute, though J. I mean, I’m just sayin’ on the off chance you’re looking for good, reliable help… Anyway, I beg of you, bear with me. I’m going to try and promo about my two books coming out on February 5th and in July 2008 (The Accidental Werewolf. Feb 5th 2008. Accidentally Dead July 2008. Berkley Sensation) with finesse and style. Curtsy. Ahem…
Anyhoodles, like I said, I was blank as to what to blog about besides promoting my book, but then my friend Renee made a comment to me about the popularity of paranormal romances and how funny it is that a were-anything, coupled with a vampire, a demon, a witch or a warlock just ain’t so scary anymore. Now they’re all romantic and mysterious.
Vampires and werewolves were once freaky-deaky creatures—not dudes you wanted to ya know, boink—let alone do anything else with, but run in fear from. Back when I began reading romances (when I was 20—just last year, I swear), they didn’t have this kind of stuff. We had sheiks and princes and really rich dudes with private jets who needed nannies to care for their children while they lusted after the heroine. Not to mention, when I was a kid, my Prince Charming totally didn’t have fangs or more hair than a yeti. He wasn’t the leader of some werewolf pack, he didn’t drink O neg (gak) and having a tail was soooo off the heinous charts. I can remember when I didn’t even like facial hair let alone a hunk that looked like my German shepherd.
Do you ever wonder what led you to even pick up a book starring a guy who drank blood or a hero that howls at the moon? Do you remember when you feared those creatures and lusting for one was a mondo, resounding “Um, hell, no?”
That’s so not the case anymore. The first batch of books I read about vampires and werewolves were very serious takes on this alternative to mortality. Awesome books, no doubt, but I felt kinda bad for all the wandering around the heroes and heroines did, wishing they could be mortal again, fearing their paranormal nature and despising their magical abilities. I don’t know about you, but I thought it’d be the shiz to be immortal. That’s what made me think—what if?
And for real, that’s always where my trouble in life begins…
So I wondered, what if you were a vampire and you were allergic to blood? Or what if you were a narcoleptic vampire and you fell asleep on a park bench only to be presumed dead and end up in the local morgue as John Doe? What if you were a werewolf and during a shift you found yourself caught by the local pound, landed in a cage at the local ASPCA and were labeled a stray dog?
Or what if a werewolf or a vampire accidentally bit a human and turned them into a paranormal creature merely by mistake? (For more info on said predicament read--The Accidental Werewolf. Feb 5th 2008. Accidentally Dead July2008. Berkley Sensation!) Not only is that a major “oops, my bad” on the part of the biter (my hero Keegan), but imagine being the bite-ee (my heroine Marty). I mean, Marty—a multi- level cosmetics saleswoman (think a lot like Mary Kay—radically into color wheels of life and your aura’s palette) is all innocently walking her teacup poodle, Muffin—who’s a territorial beast and clearly just doesn’t get that she’s like destined to be meat when she attacks another, much bigger dog (As told in--The Accidental Werewolf. February 5th 2008. Berkley Sensation), latches onto the animal she thinks is a threat to her beloved mistress and while Marty tries to pry her precious ball of fluff off the other alleged dog, she’s bitten.
Then that led me to wonder what would happen to my heroine if some freaky changes began occurring to her as a result of the bite. Like, what if you were a devout vegan and all of a sudden sinking your teeth into a nice plate of steak tar-tar became your sole mission What if your body went to war with itself after being gnawed and because your chemistry is all wonked out, you need a vat of wax to thwart the hair growth on your legs—or your once very expensive Tapioca Pudding highlighted blonde tresses darken by the day? What if you find yourself getting a good freak on over the smallest of issues when you used to be so downright easygoing?
And as if that isn’t enough—think about the dude in this scenario. Keegan, my hero, didn’t mean to bite Marty. It really was an accident. So, how do you go about explaining to this chick—while looking her in the eye in your human form—you’re the dog that bit her? How do you convince someone you’re not a dog but a werewolf (Find out in--The Accidental Werewolf. Feb 5th 2008. Berkley Sensation) and now because of you, she is too?
Uh-huh. A conundrum, fo sho.
Ah, but then, what if the dog, er, werewolf, er, guy that bit you was hawt, hawt, hawt? What do you do if this hawt, hawt shapeshifter wants to teach you how to be a werewolf because he feels responsible for your predicament? What if you find out at the least convenient moment that well, okay, maybe you are a werewolf because you’ve partially shifted and a wee something (To find out what wee something read-- The Accidental Werewolf. Feb 5th 2008. Berkley Sensation) is the only thing on your body that cooperated and now, to add to your newly acquired bucket o’ crap, someone’s trying to kidnap you?
Thus, in my whacked, “what if” filled mind The Accidental Werewolf (sigh—tired of me yet?—February 5th 2008. Berkley Sensation) was born. Caaa-razy, right?
And believe it or not, my agent, who so totally has the most awesome sense of humor said, “Yeah, okay! Let’s do this!” She even said it with like excitement in her tone… Well, it was in email, but the tone of her email was excited. I swear. I know, I did the same thing you’re doing right now. You’re all sitting there going, well, huh. Who, I ask you, who’d buy a book like this?
Well, someone did (thankyouthankyouthankyou!)—which leads me to believe we all need a little zany in our lives—or therapy—perhaps a six-pack. There’s nothing too angsty—nothing too stressful. Just some fluffy fun—strictly a cotton candy read, howl at the moon style. And I do hope that’s what you’ll find if you pick up The Accidental Werewolf and Accidentally Dead in February and July of 2008 from Berkley Sensation.
I mean like I’m really hoping… desperately even—or does that lack class and integrity to share that in a public forum? Probably, but this could be why I stink at promo, eh? Tee hee.
So a big thank you to anyone who pops in today and most importantly, won’t you join the world of the accidentally bitten and my heroines, Marty and Nina in February and July of 2008 for The Accidental Werewolf and Accidentally Dead—we’d so love to share a good giggle with ya!
Miss Amelia Benbridge is ready to leave behind a tumultuous past filled with heartbreak for a sensible marriage. Until temptation itself beckons, with an invitation to a daring seduction…
SHE LOVED AND LOST HIM ONCE… Amelia Benbridge and the Earl of Ware are the most anticipated match of the Season. Lord Ware is handsome, wealthy, and kind, and he understands that her love will always belong to her childhood sweetheart, Colin. When Colin died, Amelia believed she would never feel such passion again. But her primal reaction to the brooding stranger who approaches her at a masquerade, coaxing her into a moonlit minuet and a single, sensual kiss, proves otherwise… Colin Mitchell knew a pairing between a peer’s daughter and a gypsy stable boy was impossible. Amelia’s mistaken belief in his demise afforded him the opportunity to return to her as a man of means. But time has slipped through his fingers. She is preparing to wed another and danger prevents him from revealing the truth. Colin can only bid her a secret farewell, but he underestimates her determination to unmask her phantom admirer. A forbidden kiss leads to her ardent pursuit and a soul-scorching affair. Amelia is perfectly attuned to his every desire, every thought—and hungry for stability he can’t offer her. For deception lies at the heart of their love, waiting to drive them apart once again
Ian McCullough is neck-deep in his own trouble. A half-mortal descendant of Faeries, he's been a Guardian for more than six hundred years, but he's never encountered a woman like Sarah. Assigned to protect her, he finds the job tougher than he could have imagined. Oh, he can handle the stalker, and even the renegade Faeries trying to kidnap her. But falling in love means forsaking his role as Guardian -- which is some-thing he could never do. But there is no denying the passion that exists between two souls fated to be together.
It's been a few weeks since any of us had time for a good ol' Q&A Thursday, due to traveling and assorted other agenting duties, so I thought I'd pop on over and find out if any of you have some burning questions saved up. I think most everyone knows the drill by now, but for any new readers, here's how it works. If you have a question for me about publishing, agenting, or anything industry related, post it on this thread in the comments. I will come by from time to time as the day progresses and answer questions, but only the first 5, so keep an eye on the thread. If you don't get your question in today, there will be more Q&A Thursdays coming up in the weeks to come, so keep an eye out and you'll get a chance then.
So? Let them fly. What does everyone want to know?
Deidre Nelson has never forgotten the man who stole her heart so effectively a decade ago. When circumstances bring her back to Ventura, Texas to look after her parents’ B&B, she prepares to face Jonas Mendez, the sexy wrangler-turned sheriff, with growing anticipation.
Deidre’s engaging smile and seductive gaze has haunted Jonas for ten years. But life’s cruel ironies pepper his past, leaving him guarded and wary. He vows to keep his interaction with Deidre strictly professional while she’s in Ventura.
But when vandalism at the B&B turns life-threatening, Jonas finds himself intimately involved with the one woman he has always wanted but never touched.
As a decade of built-up anticipation becomes reality, suddenly the line between protector and possessor begins to blur.
We just wanted to let you know that you can win several great prizes from Knight Agency authors over at Fresh Fiction this month. Don't wait to head over and enter for your chance to win the contests below.
Chris Marie Green's Vampire Babylon Contest Continues
In February, 2008, four months away, the sequel to NIGHT RISING, MIDNIGHT
REIGN, will hit the shelves. In fact, you'll want to check
Not long after I decided to pursue writing in a serious way, I stumbled across an online forum for other romance writers. I joined and soon made some friends. One in particular – Jax Crane. She and I instantly hit it off; much to the consternation of the forum’s other members. See, we had a way of, well, taking over. We’d end up taking a thread about alpha males down a rabbit hole that finished the discussion with what genres we liked best. Or the cute shoes we just bought. You get the picture. Sometimes we talked writing and sometimes we didn't. Long story short, we were basically kicked off that forum.
So, we took our ball and left, dreaming out loud about an online home for writers where it was okay to talk about the lack of conflict in your story or that your cat just had kittens. If your kid won first place in the science fair or an editor rejected your book for the same reason they’d requested it. A place where writers could learn and share and support one another without prejudice or a list master breathing down their necks about what topics were and weren't allowed. A place where flame wars didn't splinter the membership. Could a place like that exist? Why not, we thought. Surely there were other writers out there who’d appreciate such a thing.
Then, one day, I called Jax up and told her our dream domain name had been available and I'd bought it. We owned it. Now what? In a month's time, Jax built the site and I started a Yahoo group to build a base membership. Then, in November of 2003, we launched and Romance Divas was born.
Our first big shock came a few months later when Writer's Digest nominated us as one of their Best 101 Web Sites For Writers. We weren't prepared, and neither was our site host. The influx of visitors took down the entire server, crashing us and the other 250 or so sites hosted there. Oops.
With a new host, a redesigned forum and the generous support of our members, we relaunched bigger and better. We've since found our way onto the Writer's Digest Best list every year, but managed to stay online - even with the approximately 2 million hits we receive every month. The site has grown beyond those original dreams Jax and I had. Well beyond. We give thanks daily to our right hand woman, Eden Bradley, and the multitude of talented volunteers who keep us going. Thanks, divas!
The forum is our heart. It's where our free monthly workshops happen (sometimes more than one workshop a month); our members connect, get info, chat about writing and life, find critique partners, trade recipes, share photos, laugh, cry and discover they're not alone in this crazy venture. Our members are unpublished and published. Young and old. Male and female. Just thinking about writing and working on their 15th book. And yet, they all have one thing in common: love of the written word. They also all understand our zero tolerance policy on flame wars. If you can't say anything nice…you'll find your post deleted. So far, that simple rule has worked wonders.
Jax and I hope you’ll stop by Romance Divas and check us out as we celebrate our third anniversary this November with our fabulous Author of the Month, Shannon Butcher. Membership is free, but our members are priceless. Come see for yourself! We can promise you, there’s not another site out there like us, nor another group of members so giving and supportive. Or your money back. *vbg*
Please note that the below blog post contains material intended for mature audiences.
Ménage? What is the appeal and how do you write one?
You know, I really wasn’t exactly sure how to answer that question before I started writing my own ménage romance. As I plotted my latest book, Decadent (Berkley Heat, October 2007), I wanted to make sure there was plenty of the steamy stuff, but I also wanted the book to be very much a romance. When I started plotting, I wasn’t sure how I’d get there.
First, there was the question about what kind of ménage. I quickly latched onto the MFM ménage, as it’s called. Male/Female/Male – In other words, the heroine is sexually involved with two men at once. The men are not sexually involved with one another. A beefcake sandwich. *g* There are MMF ménages, which is like a full-circle ménage—everybody has sex with everybody. I’ve seen a few that are MFF ménages. Yes, that’s a man and two women. But most readers I spoke with both before and after writing of Decadent prefer the MFM.
Okay, types of characters, check. Plot? Well, a lot of ménage romance answer the question how it happens. Like a committed couple decides they’re not quite happy without that other person they both admire, or best friends seduce someone they’ve both lusted after or…whatever. These are all perfectly fine plots, but I’m a WHY? girl. I had to know not just how everyone got into the relationship, but WHY—on an individual level—did these people make these choices. The difference is subtle, but in the former, it’s the inclusion of another person into an existing bond for the sake of forming something new and ostensibly more fulfilling. In my case, I wanted to explore why each of these three people thought an alternative arrangement was right for them, either temporarily or permanently.
So this got me closer to my theme, but I didn’t want to lose what appealed to readers. Some people have even asked me, what’s lure of a ménage romance? I knew the appeal for me, but I was coming at the question from a more clinical point of view. So I asked readers for their take.
“What heats me up is the concept of two men solely devoted to the pleasure of one woman… And knowing that doing so provides them even more pleasure. The challenge of taking on two men. The complete physical sensuality that all three participants take in it.”
I expected to receive a lot of comments along this line—and I did. This is the obvious and undeniable appeal of the MFM ménage. But then I began receiving other comments that was both interesting and intriguing.
“The feeling that you are attractive to more than one man. That there isn't just one man that finds her sexy, that she draws men to her.”
This was something I hadn’t originally considered, but I can see that as a valid point. Another reader added something that rang so true to me, yet I had never actually considered it:
“How many times does a woman get to be the center of attention, be completely catered to sexually if not also emotionally, and have nothing to do but receive?” I don’t know about anyone else, but my days are spent doing virtually nothing but putting out - and not sexually. Taking care of kids, clients, the house, the pets, anyone and everyone who has a legitimate demand on my time… When I finally get to lay down, the exhaustion has little to do with what I've gotten and everything to do with what I've given. For me, the ménage is about the fantasy of doing nothing but receiving. And being exhausted by pleasure, not by chores.”
Amen, sister! J
But the comments weren’t just about pleasure.
“I can’t read just any ménage and get hot. I still need more than a gang bang. It has to be more than just each of them taking the pleasure. Their has to be a connection between the woman and at least one of the men. If it’s just a bunch of random screwing, it doesn’t flip my switch.”
“There also has to be an emotional connection that is big enough and strong enough to be able to accommodate activity that some would consider betrayal or infidelity. That kind of connection is, in my personal experience, the exception - not the norm. That makes it incredibly moving.”
Emotion was a big theme with these readers. The comments came again and again. There had to be something real bonding the characters to one another or the humpfest was dull, dull, dull, no matter how novel the concept of ménage may seem on the surface.
So, back to outlining the plot for Decadent. Characters and plot, check. Fantasy, check. Answering the big WHY question, check. Emotional connection, check. Because I like to provide myself extra challenge, I added a suspense element and a few big bombshells to reveal later in the book.
By the time I finished Decadent, it was the hardest of the 15 books I’ve written. But it was also one of the most satisfying. If you’ve never tried a ménage romance, I hope you’ll give Decadent a try! If you enjoy ménage romances, then you know exactly why they appeal…
Growing up in the Hollywood spotlight -- and the tabloid headlines -- Divine Matthews-Hardison knows how tough it can be to keep secrets. And nothing has changed now that she lives in Temple, Georgia, with her kindly pastor uncle and his family. There's no such thing as privacy in their boisterous household -- Divine can't even get close to her boyfriend at a school dance without Aunt Phoebe monitoring her, while Uncle Reed drives her nuts, quizzing her on his Sunday sermons. But Divine is about to learn that some secrets do more harm than good when kept under wraps.
Does keeping silent
help or hurt?
When she begins to suspect that her friend Mia's domineering boyfriend is abusing her, Divine must decide whether or not to expose a painful secret for Mia's safety. Meanwhile, her cousin Alyssa confides in Divine about her own boyfriend troubles -- how far should Alyssa go to keep him? With her mother in nearby Atlanta, Divine has a fresh chance at reconciling her family -- but she has to get past her resentments of Kevin, her mother's new boyfriend. With so much drama going on, will Divine be able to look to her heart and know how to help her friends -- and herself?
Talk about days flying by. I can NOT believe that its already Thursday again, but well, here it is and so as you all know, that means it is time for TKA's Q & A.
Before we get into today's questions I want to make sure that everyone saw yesterday's blog and marked tonight's chat event on their calendar. I am super excited that at 7pm EST my VERY talented client, Melissa Mayhue, will be available in TKA's Chat Room answering your questions.
Melissa's much anticipated, HIGHLAND GUARDIAN, will be released October 30, and this is a perfect opportunity to come and chat with Melissa about all things writing!
by Melissa Mayhue
Ian McCullough is neck-deep in his own trouble. A half-mortal descendant of Faeries, he's been a Guardian for more than six hundred years, but he's never encountered a woman like Sarah. Assigned to protect her, he finds the job tougher than he could have imagined. Oh, he can handle the stalker, and even the renegade Faeries trying to kidnap her. But falling in love means forsaking his role as Guardian -- which is some-thing he could never do.
But there is no denying the passion that exists between two souls fated to be together.
I can't wait to see everyone tonight at the TKA chatroom! And now . . . onto the questions. First five to hit the board are game. Put your thinking caps on, as normal I'm game for anything -
We've got one sizzling chat planned for this month. Melissa Mayhue is swinging by to answer all of your questions on October 11th from 7-8pm EST. If you haven't had a chance be sure to read her debut novel THIRTY NIGHTS WITH A HIGHLAND HUSBAND. It's a perfect blend of magic and romance. In the meantime, to learn more about Melissa’s upcoming titles, be sure to stop by her website melissamayhue.com
*Rules of Play: To keep things organized, the chats are all moderated. The moderator will begin by posting the following rules of play: when you have a question, simply type a “?” and the moderator will keep a list and call on you when it is your turn.
*Chat tips: Always check the blog for any last minute announcements concerning the chat. When waiting on your turn, type your question in Word or another application so when it is your turn you only have to copy and paste. (Keeps the chat running smoothly) Click on any screen name in the list to open a Private Message conversation (a lot like AIM).
Good morning Everyone, Yesterday's contest was a blast. It was great to have so many people as excited about it as we were. Now if you could,please take a moment to cheer on our winner. Congratulations Katie Alender!
You'll be receiving our best seller prize pack. All you need to do to claim it is to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest. Keep your eyes on our blog for more to come.
Good morning Everyone, After a few good cups of coffee it occurred to me that we haven't had a contest in a while. Since we've had so many great new releases recently it took a little while to decide what we should giveaway.
Hey Everyone, I'M BACK!!!! I took a little break from the Q&A's so I thought I would swing back by today to see if ya'll have come up with any great new questions that you're dying to get off your chest.
You know the rules- The first 5 questions in, win! I'm open for anything : queries, pitches, conferences, favorite new reads, or even . . . who is undoubtedly going to win the UGA vs UT football game this weekend. . . Ok, well at least you might be interested in the first few topics, whatever you got, send em' my way!
Have a great Thursday everyone, just think, Friday's right around the corner!
It’s the time of year when dreams come true, miracles happen every day, and love is the greatest gift of all…
The holidays always seem to bring out the best in everyone, with heartfelt hugs for long-missed friends, sincere smiles in the spirit of the season, and a feeling of magic in the air…
Here, for the first time, is a collection of paranormal romances celebrating the holidays as never before. From a shape-shifting leopardess who wants a pack-mate to be her soulmate to a surprise snowstorm that brings a surprise gift, these all-new tales by Maggie Shayne, Erin McCarthy, Nalini Singh, and Jean Johnson will stir your spirit in all the right places.
Beat of Temptation Young Tamsyn has always held a special place in her heart for her powerful fellow pack-member Nate. But as a dominant male leopard in the pack, the more experienced Nate doesn’t want to trap Tamsyn into the fierce demands of the mating bond—a bond driven by the animal within—when she’s hardly had the chance to grow into a woman. But Tamsyn knows what she wants for Christmas, and she’s going to get it…
How can a virgin seeking happily-ever-after with a hot pop star who has a penchant for threesomes win her fantasy man? Kimber Edgington desperately needs a plan to convince Jesse McCall, who’s been her friend and secret crush since they spent a summer together as teenagers, that they are meant for each other. But all the tabloid stories about his sexual escapades make her feel oh-so inadequate.
Determined to prove she’s woman enough for Jesse, Kimber turns to bodyguard Deke Trenton for sexual education. Bold and brash, Deke warns Kimber that playing with him is playing with fire. But he can’t bear to imagine the innocent beauty in someone else’s arms. So Deke and his super-sexy friend, Luc, take Kimber under their wings and dangerously close to the edge of ecstasy. Though she’s saved herself for Jesse, Kimber soon learns, he’s not the man adept at stoking her aching, endless need. That’s Deke, and he can’t resist when Kimber begs for more–and more…
The Evening After is the story of a car accident that leaves one set of surviving spouses, Nathan and Lainey, in love with each other. Nathan is then faced with the decision between choosing love and pulling the plug on the life support system that's keeping his wife alive.
Good morning readers, I wanted to take today to remind everyone that this week is Banned Books Week. If you'd like to learn more about which books were banned and why, I'd recommend heading over to the AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION.
You might be surprised to find out which books are on the list.