Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And The Winner Is........

Congratulations Tia Dani. You're the winner of Rowena's book. Please e-mail Kim at kwatters 21 (at) hotmail.com (no spaces) so we can get your address. Thanks for commenting everyone. Make sure to stop back every Friday and see our weekly guests. Kim

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Booksigning and 5-Heart Review for Liquid Hypnosis

For those of you in the Phoenix/Glendale area, I will be signing Liquid Hypnosis October 4th at the Arrowhead Barnes and Noble from 1-4 PM. Also signing will be Christina Skye, Cathy McDavid, Vijaya Schwartz, Carolyn Hughey, Linda Andrews, and Shelley Mosley.

Liquid Hypnosis recently received a 5-heart review from The Romance Studio.

Steph B, says, “This is a wickedly scary plot! … I loved this book! If you want suspense, diabolical criminal plots, people who are truly heroes, and romance all in a quick moving story, you will enjoy Liquid Hypnosis!”

Go to http://theromancestudio.com/reviews/review/liquidhypnosislavon.htm
to read the full review.

Book Blurb:

More innocent lives will be lost if Samantha Garrett, the DEA agent known as The Human Lie Detector, is unable to solve the mystery surrounding a secret formula that controls minds. Her career took a roller coaster ride after her last case went badly, but she still has a chance at the promotion dangling in front of her and she refuses to lose it now. While searching for the suspect that got away, she must fight her feelings for his brother and handle the repercussions from her last case, which haunts her still.

Kevin Brewster, a mild-mannered, dedicated doctor, has spent his life trying to make up for his father’s crimes. His work life revolves around a clinic helping those in great need with no resources to take care of themselves. To that end, he has become inventive and daring. In addition to his work there, he must now prove his brother’s innocence before the by-the-book DEA agent discovers their secret.

Read the first scene at www.suspensebytina.com

You can order Liquid from Barnes and Noble or Amazon
ISBN# 1-60154-123-6

To enter my next contest, join my newsletter group. (Click on Yahoo icon on the right side of blog with suspsensebytina beneath it.) One lucky winner will receive a free autographed copy of Liquid Hypnosis, plus a $25 gift certificate to either Barnes and Noble or The Wild Rose Press.
Good Luck!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Interview with Rowena Cherry

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Rowena Cherry. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Knight’s Fork. Knight’s Fork is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

It is, isn’t it? There must be hundreds of Knight/night pun titles, but very few invite the pure-minded reader to think of cutlery.

All my titles are taken from the chess board. “Forced Mate”, “Mating Net”, “Insufficient Mating Material”, and “Knight’s Fork” are either positions, situations or moves. You can google them. I set Google Alerts for my titles, and more than half the time, I receive notices about a chess player’s latest victory!

That’s really cool. I just wish that my publisher (Dorchester) had given me chess cover art before Stephanie Meyer’s art department came up with that gorgeous white, red and black cover.

’Rhett, hero of Knight’s Fork, is an intergalactic White Knight in every sense except that of “Barbarians at the Gate” (a James Garner movie reference), so it seemed logical to use a Knight title, instead of another “Mating” one.

Can you tell us a little bit more about Knight's Fork (the story)?

I'd love to do so. Thank you for asking. Knight's Fork is intended to be a stand-alone book, but it is also the sequel to Forced Mate and to its sequel, Insufficient Mating Material. 'Rhett –whose real name is Djarrhett Raven Perseus Pendragon Roland Djames—has always been too virtuous for his own good. He's officious, righteous, inflexible and a spoil-sport. He has a history of trying to intervene when his older half-brothers are all fired up to have unwise sex. In Forced Mate he tried to dissuade Djetth from making out with Princess Martia-Djulia. As a result he got thumped, and then arrested, imprisoned and threatened with torture and death. In Insufficient Mating Material 'Rhett was thrown into the role of uneasy co-conspirator with the exceedingly dangerous Tarrant-Arragon after Tarrant-Arragon shot down Djetth on a tropical island with the slightly overweight and bitchy Princess Martia-Djulia. Tarrant-Arragon's had his reasons for marooning the unhappy couple, and they were mostly political. Martia-Djulia balked at the altar of her shotgun Royal wedding (to Djetth), but she needs a husband before she creates a bigger scandal as a result of a really bad choice of bed partner for a defiant one-night stand. Now, the bad boys in the family are sexually settled and respectable, they decide to do a bit of muck-raking, and find out whether there are any dirty secrets in 'Rhett's love life. In fact, 'Rhett does have a secret. An alien's queen has asked him to impregnate her, and she isn't taking NO! for an answer. Life gets very interesting after that, because no one believes he meant it when he said No.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book?

Since I am a word geek and a pedant, and of a lawyerly bent, I can’t help noticing that you didn’t ask “Did you do…?” you asked “Did you have to do…?”
Fascinating question! I felt I had to.

Not only do I expect to provide my readers with six to eight hours of amusement, at least a couple of really good laughs, a romantic frisson or two from the sensual scenes, but I also like to slip in a well-buried nugget of useful information, and something to think about when the book is finished.

For instance, Insufficient Mating Material tells you how to save a drowning person, pick a camp site, build a fire, make a shelter, collect and purify water, establish whether alien berries are safe to eat, and much more. It could be the second most entertaining survival guide you’ll ever read. And, it’s a sizzling love story, too.

I do a great deal of research for all my books, and Knight’s Fork was no different. I don’t believe in making everything up. There should be some truth in Romance.

I’m asking my reader to suspend disbelief about things that are unknowable, such as whether we really do owe our existence to “gods” from outer space --as Erich Von Daeniken claims. I can at least refrain from misinforming them about those things that I could research… like which swords have blood grooves, and which do not, and how much bureaucratic red tape is involved if you want to exhume an alien skeleton legally.

Moreover, I’m a lady of a certain age. I do not naturally think and talk like a twenty-eight year old swordsman who is quite good at skewering enemies of the state… an ultra polite Dirty Harry with a sword.

(Nor do I swear and talk dirty, like Djetth did in Insufficient Mating Material.)

What made you decide to write in this genre?

My peculiar morality! As part of my Combined Honors Degree at Cambridge, I studied not only English but philosophy, sociology and psychology. Also, I studied George Orwell. His essays are particularly enlightening.

Somewhere along the way, I adopted a sort of Hippocratic Oath for writers. “First, do no harm!” Therefore, I don’t mess with geography, historical events, or the size and functioning of real historical personages’ private parts.

Besides, it’s such fun to look at our customs, our language, and our everyday behavior through alien eyes!

What are your favorite futuristic or science fiction romance research books, and why?

I like Ronald Tobias’s “Twenty Master Plots”, not that it keeps me entirely on track with my plotting, because my Romances are character-driven, and my characters stray off the beaten path.

When I have to write a love scene, I turn to Elizabeth Benedict’s “The Joy of Writing Sex” and also to Reay Tannahill’s “Sex in History.”
I could say that for Science, there’s The Physics of Star Trek - L. Krauss
How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy - Orson Scott Card
Conceiving the Heavens- M. Scott
The Science of Star Wars- J. Cavelos
World Building - Stephen L. Gillett
Aliens and Alien Societies - Stanley Schmidt
Writers Guide to Creating a Science Fiction Universe--George Ochoa and Jeffrey Osier

In fact, I just did!

I imagine that my SFR bibliography is pretty much the same one that Susan Grant or Linnea Sinclair would suggest.

However, if you want just one book recommendation, it would be FIND IT FAST, by Robert Berkman, which tells you how to research anything at all on the internet and in person, which is a great deal more fun, and more likely to result in those happy accidents where you discover something unique and perfect, that you’d never have thought of if staring at the written page.

How do you go about building your world? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?

If you mean, do I draw, yes I do. I sketch stick people making love in strange positions to make sure all the body parts go in possible places.

If I’ve got multiple planets, moons, and stars etc, with daily eclipses and elliptical orbits, I draw diagrams to make sure I’m consistent with what’s in the sky when any character looks up/goes outside.

Most importantly, I have a family tree…always. Please find it before starting one of my books! It really was never my intention that my reader had to memorize a virtual who’s who!

If your book was made into a movie, what actor would you like to fill your hero’s shoes?

Hugh Jackman. I first noticed Mr. Jackman in a time travel Romance, where he was a duke, and he acquitted himself with great distinction. It was only later, in a movie where he was a devastatingly gorgeous villain, that I noticed his superior muscular definition.

Of course (why of course?) I’ve never seen him naked, so I am not absolutely sure that he’d be perfect for the role, which does call for some total nudity, but I expect he could fill my hero’s shoes.
Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Yes. Shakespeare, Isaac Asimov, Georgette Heyer, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, George Orwell, JRR Tolkien, Robert Browning, the artist Frank Frazetta. I’ve made a Listmania on amazon.com and a similar one on chapters.indigo.ca.

If you like my list, please give it a helpful vote!

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?
I have no idea! I’m not so systematic that I could prove one thing over another. For instance, if I were to say “My radio show on http://www.internetvoicesradio.com/CrazyTuesday.htm
I’d be promoting the radio show, here, and then if anyone who read this blog then listened to the radio show, and bought my book after that… well, we have a chicken and egg situation. One promotional effort usually spins off into several others.

If you want the bottom line -- what I think every author should do-- it’s have a clear, easy to navigate website, that excites the visitor to want to click your BUY links, and inspires them to come back, because there’s useful stuff –or fun stuff.

What do we have to look forward next?

I’m not sure. Which character would you (dear readers) like to see more of? Are you tired of Tarrant-Arragon’s high handed ways? Or of Grievous’s perpetual snarkiness?
Heroes are jostling each other in my dreams. I know which one my editor wants. She made me write him out of Knight’s Fork to save him for later! Can you guess who?

On the other hand, I’m rather interested in a particularly unscrupulous young rogue who isn’t altogether a team player in Knight’s Fork.

And then, I’ve always wanted to write a sequel for the Emperor Djohn Kronos.

For those who read Mating Net, do you think it would be too, too “soap opera” if he wasn’t really dead? The Romance loving world isn’t ready for a “wrinkly Romance” is it?

It would have to be another prequel….unless, my Djinn were as attractive as another author’s 3,000 year old vampire. We don’t mind immortals, and undead heroes, do we?

Thanks, Rowena!

To celebrate her book release, Rowena Cherry is offering a free ARC of KNIGHT’S FORK to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...


Check out author’s website at http://www.rowenacherry.com/

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Making “The Call”

By Theresa Meyers of Blue Moon Communications

The phone is one of public relations most important tools. But there is a right way and a wrong way to approach calling editors, producers and reporters. Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes public relations professionals make is not following up on every item they mail out. Too many pitch letters, press releases and press kits go unnoticed because there is no follow up call made, and that, is money wasted.

As an author working on your own public relations you will need to make “the call” to a reporter, editor or producer at some point in time. When you make your follow-up calls, the following techniques will make you sound like a PR pro:
· Know what your key message points are ahead of time and write everything down on a paper you keep near the phone. Many times you’ll have to leave a voice mail and will have the reporter/producer/editor call you back. Having the information at your fingertips will prevent you from getting flustered when they call back.
· Practice in advance what you are going to say and how you say it. Use a tape recorder to help you if you’re not confident about how you sound.
· When you talk on the phone, SMILE. You can hear a smile! Standing up also changes your demeanor on the phone.
· Immediately state your name.
· Always check to see if you are calling at a good time. Some media are on deadline and will not be receptive no matter how perfect your material is for them. If they say no, ask them when would be better to call them back, then do it.
· If it is a good time, get to the point by telling the producer or editor who, what, when and where of your pitch.
· Be enthusiastic, energetic, chatty, up-beat and personable. You can talk passionately and freely, but keep it brief and sincere.
· If you’ve got their attention with your hook, but haven’t locked in an interview, tell them a story related to your hook. Ask them about the weather and compare it to where you live. (I guarantee you the weather in Arizona will be different from anywhere else.) If they seem interested, but not hooked, offer a no-strings-attached interview for five minutes.
· Remember that no doesn’t mean no. It may really mean not right now, or it isn’t right for my section or show. Be persistent without becoming obnoxious. Don’t give up until they say DON’T CALL ME. And even then don’t take it personally.
· If you get voice mail make sure you have a script written. Give your name. You then have 20-30 seconds to pitch yourself and tell them why their talk show or magazine needs you and what you can offer. Tell them what you’ve already sent and then restate your phone number. Here’s an example:

Hi Michael.
This is Theresa Meyers and I’m calling to discuss an interview exclusive for the The View. Do you know one of the biggest problem Americans have in their relationships is confusing sex with romance? Author Amy Gerret can shed some light on why society is failing to keep relationships meaningful. She’ll be in New York on August 25th on a book tour. Would you like to have her give your viewers her top ten ways to get romance back in a relationship? I sent you her latest book, In The Storm, and a packet of materials last week. You can reach me weekdays from 9-5pm pacific time. My name again is Theresa Meyers and my number is 360-895-0879.

Along with these “do’s” there are some definite “don’ts” when it comes to making follow-up calls.
· Don’t pretend to be familiar with the producer.
· Don’t call multiple producers at the show.
· Don’t ever lie.
· Don’t attempt to keep the producer on the phone longer than three minutes unless they are actively asking you questions.
· Don’t say anything you don’t want quoted!

Talking with these folks isn’t as daunting as it may seem. The practice of making follow-up calls on each and every piece you send out also teach some discipline. After all, if you have a choice of sending out 500 or 200 press kits and are trying to decide if it is worth the extra money, you can balance that choice with the time and effort it will require to make the phone calls for each of those kits.

Do public relations professionals actually make that many calls? You bet! Even if you dread doing it, it is well worth it. Once you start making the calls, you’ll get a flow going and it will become easier. With practice, patience and persistence you should see more interviews being booked or publicity increasing as a result of making “the call”.

Good Luck!

Monday, September 22, 2008

And the winner is.........

Congratulations Doreen Pagliaro. You're the winner of Delilah's book. Please e-mail Kim at kwatters 21 (at) hotmail.com (no spaces) so we can get your address. Thanks for commenting everyone. Make sure to stop back every Friday and see our weekly guests. Kim

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Book Signing in Glendale, AZ

Oct. 4th 1-4PM
The Valley of the Sun Romance Writers proudly announces it's
Fall Book Signing at Barnes and Noble.
The romance writers signing their books will include
Christina Skye
Cathy McDavid
Vijaya Schwartz
Carolyn Hughey
Linda Andrews
Shelley Mosley
and me,
Tina LaVon
Hope to see you there!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Interview with Delilah Marvelle

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Delilah Marvelle. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Mistress of Pleasure. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

My book, Mistress of Pleasure is the first in the School of Gallantry series. All five books evolve around a very special school created by a retired French Courtesan, Madame de Maitenon. A school that educates men in the art of love and seduction. The quick pitch: Granddaughter of a renowned courtesan, Maybelle de Maitenon, has no interest in her grandmother's school in London where gentlemen receive instruction – in the art of seduction. Her only desire in life is to remain independent, free from men, and the shackles of marriage. But when her grandmother falls ill, forcing Maybelle to take over the operation of the school, she discovers that men are in fact creatures of habit and simply need to be re-educated. Then Edmund Wothington, the duke of Rutherford, dares to enroll, looking to alter not only her lesson plans, but her very heart.

Mistress of Pleasure is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

Actually, the original title for the book was An Improper Education. LOL. For it is all very improper. But John Scognamiglio, my editor, wanted a different title. And I agreed with him. He wanted a title that would reflect not only the heat but playfullness of this book. We brainstormed but for the life of me I couldn't come up with anything good. He then e-mailed me with a what about “Mistress of Pleasure.” Which was PERFECT! So sadly, I can't take credit for the brilliant title. John is in fact the king of titles.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I have always, always loved reading historical romances. And if there is one thing I've learned and one thing that everyone keep repeating is “Write what you love to read.” After I read Whitney My Love by Judith McNaught, I was well and truly hooked. I had written stories before, but nothing that really fit into any particular genre. She defined what I loved.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

This particular idea came from the usual way I get my ideas. By reading out of print research books. I had the luck of coming across the biography of Ninon de L'enclos, a 17th century courtesan. Her approach to men, sex and life was unlike anything I've ever seen. She had a philosophy that was almost too modern for her time period. What was more, she kept her bedroom door open to aristocratic men for more reasons than sex. She actually held meetings and formal classes and discussions for the men that evolved around sex, love and philosophy. And it got me to thinking. Why not turn her actualy meetings into a real school. For men. That would teach them about sex and love. I laughed, wondering the sort of men that would enroll. Could they really be hero material? Well..yes, depending on their reasons for enrolling. At the time all of this was still bubbling in my head, my grandmother re-appeared in my life after 20 years of complete silence. Which is a whole other story altogether. Anyway, she became the perfect inspiration for the grandmother and creator of the school, Madame de Maitenon. My grandmother, you see, is a retired opera singer who speaks with a heavy accent and always refers to sex so matter of factly. She amused me so much, I couldn't help but fuse her characterstics with the idea of a French courtesan who would go on to create the School of Gallantry.

What are your favorite historical research books and why?

My favorite research books are the ones you can't easily find in stores. Like Fashions in London by Barbara Worsley-Gough. If you can get your hands on this book, it's absolutely fantastic. It covers fashion, the Season, districts, houses, interiors, shops, hotels and restaurants and evening amusements. I have an obsession with collecting books that are from the 1800's, so I can't recommend anything that people can really “buy.” Although many of these books are expensive, I find that they are the most accurate in their depiction of history. For it was happening as they were writing. I highly recommend getting a dictionary from the early 1800's, if you can. It gives a true sense of the sort of words they used. An encylopedia from the 1800's is another recommendation. The way they set up their encylopedias had insights on everything from horse back riding, to courting, to everyday life. Again, not cheap, but well worth every penny.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I loved writing all my characters, but if there was only one I could choose, it would be the grandmother, Madame de Maitenon. She is everything you want out of yourself. Proud, intelligent and sexy, who doesn't give a damn about what society will say about a woman breaking all the rules. I think as women, we sometimes shrink away from being what we truly want to be because of how others will perceive us.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

My characters develop themselves. Sadly, I am a panster. I come up with an idea, take a board and whatever comes to mind, I start smacking sticky notes onto it. When I use the idea, it comes off the board. Sadly, not much comes off the board... I usually don't do character sheets or anything of that nature. Actually, I have a pretty photographic mind. So I don't need to write all that much down. This series, however, has been a challenge because all 5 books will be taking place at the same time. So in some books you'll have the same scene but from a flipped point of view. I don't do it a lot mostly because I want the reader to have a new reading experience every time, but enough for them to understand why certain things happened and who was thinking what. So needless to say, I had to start keeping calendars on who was where and why they were there. I can't have people wandering into a room who weren't there.... My research is key to character devleopment. Every time I read a book, I get something out of it that helps my mind go deeper into what I would want for my character given the time period. I have made a rule for myself to try to stick to the year 1830 until I grow bored. By sticking to particular time period, I can develop a real sense of understanding of the period without having to run to the bookshelf every time.

What are some common speech terms, dress modes, transportation or housing facts that you found interesting for your time period?

What I love about 1830 is that it isn't Regency but it isn't Victorian. They are a beautiful combination of the two. Which obviously allows me for a bit more freedom. There are things that the Regency folks did that the Victorians didn't and things that the Victorians did that Regency folks didn't. I like to play with both. The time period itself was called the Romantic Period and I have to say for me, it is in fact truly romantic in my mind.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Too many to fit in this post, LOL. Edith Wharton, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman to name a few.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

Blogging my little heart out. It's free and more importantly, it's fun and I don't have to leave the house!

What do we have to look forward next?

The next book, which I've already completed and has been slotted for August 4, 2009, is Lord of Pleasure, book 2 in the series. Book 2 introduces us to Lord Hawksford, the cocky rebel rouser we meet in book 1 who enrolls in the school for all the wrong reasons. A have a sneek peak of that book on my website at http://www.delilahmarvelle.com/

Thanks, Delilah!

Thank you!!

To celebrate her book release, Delilah Marvelle is offering a free autographed book of Mistress of Pleasure to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...


Delilah Marvelle spent her youth studying various languages (Polish and French), reading voraciously, and playing the pianofore. She confesses that here ends the extent of her gentle breeding. She was a naught child who was forever torturing her parents with countless adventures that they did not deem respectable. Confined to her room on many occasions due to these misadventures, she dicovered the quill and its amazing power. Soon, much to the dismay of her parents, she rather enjoyed being confined to her room where she could write. And so, her writing continues. An RWA member since 1998 and a two time Golden Heart Finalist, Delilah's debut book, Mistress of Pleasure comes out September 2, 2008 and is Book 1 in the five book School of Gallantry series.

Check out author's website at http://www.delilahmarvelle.com/

Buy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, BooksAMillion, or anywhere else books are sold.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And the Winner is............

Congratulations Ann M. You're the winner of Jade Lee's book. Please e-mail Kim at kwatters 21 (at) hotmail.com (no spaces) so we can get your address. Thanks for commenting everyone. Make sure to stop back every Friday and see our weekly guests. Kim

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Favorite Heroic Moments

The term heroic can refer to saving lives from a burning building or less noticeable acts the common man or woman performs each day. To me, any time a person forfeits their own needs for the sake of others, they are heroic.

I asked my writing friends to share their favorite heroic moments from either books or movies.

“The heroes I like best are ones who have a beta coating with a hard alpha center. Like the Harrison Ford character in Air Force One, where the President is forced to hand-to-hand combat to save those he loves. Or Executive Decision were the adorable think-tank nerd is forced to assume a leadership role in a terrorist threat and save the lives of millions. Or prim and proper Darcey in Pride and Prejudice who moves heaven and earth to keep Elizabeth's tawdry sister from destroying the family reputation and then doesn't tell the woman he loves what he's sacrificed for her.”

Judi Thoman _ Thoroughly Mannerly Millicent

“Hi Tina,

My mind goes very quickly to my work in progress where Cleve determines Anna Clare to be in trouble in 9th century Scotland and despite not knowing if he can get either of them back to present day (though of course being a great hero, he's done all he can to assure it) he plunges into the 9th century to be with her.

Or, in my first time travel set in 1880's Arizona, Black Hawk saves Caytlyn from marriage (and subsequent rape) to the villain Don Guillermo Montez Ramirez in the following passage:the shutters to her room exploded, sending shards of wood in every direction. Bronze vengeance descended. Black Hawk grabbed Don Guillermo's throat as he land and lifted him off the ground.

Ah, heroes! What would we do without them.”


for great reads, freebies, articles and more...
Susan's site now includes her blog, feel free to stop by and leave a comment--just click on

“I'd like to share a heroic moment from my own novel, The Welcome Inn. I usually write about ordinary people living ordinary lives, but sometimes ordinary people are forced to do very extraordinary things. In The Welcome Inn, Buck Abercrombie is confronted with the kidnapping of Julianna Martin, the woman he's in love with. When the police can't seem to get a grip on the situation, Buck takes matters into his own hands and decides to rescue Julianna himself.”

Elaine Cantrell

“ The part of Susan Wiggs's _The Hostage_ where Tom fights his way through a storm across the newly frozen Lake Superior to save Deborah, at the risk of his own life.
A good one is the moment when Robert, secondary hero of LaVyrle Spencer's _Forgiving_, refuses to go through with having sex with Addy for pay, despite having decided, after over a month of trying to persuade her to leave prostitution, that he's desperate enough that he'll have sex with her on any terms. After saying he won't accept the sex he's already paid for, he holds her until she gives in and reveals her secret. Then he wipes the tears and makeup from Addy's face and pays to take her out of the bordello, ostensibly (as far as the madam knows) for 24 hours but really (as Addy knows) forever. I always cry when rereading that scene, even this fourth time I read it, when not all the aspects of the story as a whole pleased me as deeply as the first time. I still love that moment of acceptance, tenderness, and protectiveness. All of Robert and Addy's conflict isn't over, but this is a major turning point in their subplot, which, for me, almost overshadows the main romance of Addy's sister, Sarah.”

Desert Rose Chapter of RWA
Thank you, ladies.
Now I have a whole new batch of books to buy.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Interview with Jade Lee

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Jade Lee. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a release out called Dragonborn. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous book?

Dragonborn is a fantasy romance with dragons, adventure, sex, and of course love! Natiya secretly incubates the last dragon egg in the land. That means she shares communication mind to mind with the last golden queen. She has to do this in secret because the Emperor’s dragonhunter Kiril is looking for her to kill the last dragon. He thinks they’re evil, terrible creatures who corrupt people’s minds. It’s a big WHOOPS when he falls in love with the one woman he needs to kill. Worse, he believes he MUST kill her for the good of everyone in the land.

Here’s the back cover copy:

When dragon power flows through your veins, when dragon thoughts burn in your mind, you can accomplish anything. Natiya knows, for she carries one of the last eggs in the land disguised as a jewel in her navel. Day by day the Unhatched grows, and when at last it births they will be joined in a sacred and eternal bond. Gone will be the barmaid forced to dance for pennies; born will be Dag Natiya, revered Queen. Take her body or her soul, nothing will stop them.

When dragon power flows through your veins, when dragon emotions trample your soul, you become a monster. So knows Kiril, for one destroyed his cousin. No matter how kind or joyful, all beings must succumb to the power of the wyrm. That is why Kiril vowed to destroy dragonkind—and he has almost succeeded. Only one egg remains. But there is an obstacle he did not foresee: love.

Dragonborn is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

Whenever a person like Natiya incubates a dragon, they are bound mind to mind with the creature—before and after the birth. One the dragon hatches, the human is said to be dragonborn.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book?

Only in my own head. I have read fantasy since I was a child and have spent a lot of time worldbuilding. It is fun to create one tiny concept—like the constant mind-to-mind intimacy of a dragon—and watch the repercussions spin out over an entire world.

What character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I just liked the concept of another voice in the head—a dragon voice—that is very alien from the human voice. And wouldn’t that be cool to have a name and a mystery attached to that voice? Add in a sexy hunk charged with the task of killing the very woman (and dragon) he falls in love with? How cool is that? The mystery, the romance, and the adventure just built one on top of the other into what I think is one of my best books ever!

If your book was made into a movie, what actor would you like to fill your hero’s shoes?

Hugh Jackman is just so intense as Wolverine. I would love for him to play my poor tortured hero Kiril.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Constantly. I’m right now reading Mary Balogh. She’s phenomenal. There are all the usual suspects—Nora, Amanda Quick, Mary Jo Putney. But I’ve also studied—as in read the scripts, the books, and watched the shows/movies—of Joss Whedon quite extensively. His ability with pacing, dialogue, lighting, music…everything, makes him an incredible writer. I have watched Buffy, Firefly, and Serenity more times than I can count!

What else do we have to look forward to?

This month, my new regency era historical will come out. Title: The Dragon Earl. I secretly dubbed it “Jet Li in the regency”. The opening scene has a woman at the alter marrying her betrothed when a white man in saffron monk’s robes strides up the aisle saying, “I’m so sorry I’m late. So sorry! But I’m here now. We can get married.” He’s the long lost earl and the man she is supposed to marry. But, of course, he has to prove it, and win the heart of his lady-love!
I have the first chapter up on my website! Just visit: http://www.jadeleeauthor.com/

The Dragon Earl September 2008

A Chinese monk striding down the aisle was the first shock at countess-to-be Evelyn Stanton’s wedding. To watch him dispatch three groomsmen, unarmed, and to learn that he was white and the long-lost heir to the Earldom of Warhaven, was the second. He would be her husband?

After the slaughter of his family in far-off China, Jacob Cato found sanctuary. In a Xi Lin temple he learned to be strong, but now he had a grander goal: to reclaim his English heritage and the woman he’d left behind.

Revenge. It poisoned everything he’d learned, everything he’d done, and yet every fiber of Jacob burned for it—just as he burned for the beautiful but very English Evelyn. Long ago, the conspiracy to kill his family had stranded him, lost Jacob in the exotic East and made him unrecognizable to his countrymen…and women. He had not forgotten that past. It was to make peace that he had returned. The manner was yet to be decided.

And the sequel to Dragonborn is Dragonbound, an April 2009 release.

Thanks, Jade!

To celebrate her book release, Jade is offering a free book of Dragonborn to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will checking in periodically today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...



Jade Lee has broken new ground in multi-cultural romance. Her China-set historical romances are a first in genre history. Her six-book Tigress series stirred reader passions for foreign settings, and her fantasy romances continue to be ground-breaking. Where did she get such innovative ideas? From a mixed cultural heritage that brings unique vision to her fiction.
As the daughter of a Shanghai native and a staunch Indiana Hoosier, Jade Lee struggled to find her own identity somewhere between America and China. Her search has taken her throughout Asian and the United States. In the end, the answer was found not only at home, but in her own head. Her imagination allows her to explore China in her Tigress series, dragon power in her fantasy romance Dragonborn, and of course, the amazing power of love in all of them.
A USA Today bestseller, Jade “Lee has made her mark with sizzling romances whose unique settings, intriguing backdrops and exotic characters lure you into worlds where heaven is reached through the highest meeting of mind and body. It’s a world at once mysterious and erotic, secret and mind-expanding.” (Romantic Times BOOKreviews on Cornered Tigress)
Jade’s also a popular speaker appearing all over the country throughout the year. Her other joys include playing racquetball, rollerblading with a very large golden retriever, and watching her two daughters play volleyball. She loves getting mail from readers, so please e-mail her at jade@jadeleeauthor.com. Or visit her on the web at www.jadeleeauthor.com.

Books by JADE LEE

THE DRAGON EARL – Leisure books – release date: 9-08
THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR STOMPING – Love Spell – release date: 4-08
DRAGONBORN – Love Spell – release date: 3-08
THE TAO OF SEX – Harlequin Blaze – release date: 1-08
TEMPTED TIGRESS – Leisure Books – Release Date: 6-07
CORNERED TIGRESS – Leisure Books – Release Date: 01-07
BURNING TIGRESS – Leisure Books – Release date: 06-06
SEDUCED BY CRIMSON – Love Spell – Release date: 03-06
USA TODAY BESTSELLER #128, March 5, 2006http://www.dorchesterpub.com
DESPERATE TIGRESS – Leisure Books – Release date: 11-05
HUNGRY TIGRESS – Leisure Books – Release date: 6-05P
WHITE TIGRESS – Leisure Books – Release date: 1-05
DEVIL’S BARGAIN– Leisure Books – Release date: 07-04
Check out author’s website at http://www.jadeleeauthor.com/. Buy Dragonborn at http://dorchesterpub.com/Dorch/productdetail.cfm?Product_ID=2071&L1=2&L2=0

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Psychology For Creating Characters

Psychology For Creating Characters workshop on yahoogroups
September 14-19,
$20 registration at www.oirw.net/campus.htm

Tools for determining naturally likable (and naturally imperfect) personality types include Adlerian birth order, Jungian thought/feeling scales, the Dewey priorities, and other theories of temperament.

Counselor Laurie Schnebly Campbell shows which offer the best opportunities for conflict between YOUR realistic characters...and how their “inborn” personalities will oppose and attract other characters.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Interview with Bob Mecoy

I'd like to welcome our guest agent today, Bob Mecoy. It's a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

Can you please give us a little information about your publishing background? How many clients do you have? How many agents? And how many of those agents represent romance? What other genres do you represent?

I'm an independent agent who started on the other side of the desk. I was an editor for mumble-mumble years. In fact, I was an editor at Crown, Simon & Schuster, Avon/Morrow, NAL/Dutton, and Dell/Delacorte which should give you an idea how many mumbles there are there. The agency is just me and my associate and we represent everything from romance to knitting, literature to literary nonfiction, history, science, mystery and even graphic novels.

What fees (if any) does your agency charge? What is your agency's commission rate?

We don't charge any fees, but we do expect a 15% commission on everything we sell.

What's your response time for queries, partials and full manuscripts?

Our response time varies from immediate to six weeks. Email queries we generally get back to immediately and requested manuscripts we try to get done in two to three weeks.

What new author have you recently signed?

A brilliant young graphic novelist named Dash Shaw whose most recent novel, BOTTOMLESS BELLY BUTTON is being generally touted as the best of the year—and maybe the best in several years. We just sold his new novel, BODYWORLD, to Pantheon on a pre-empt.

What new project made you grab for that hidden piece of chocolate in your pencil drawer?

See the above—Dash did it.

What can an author do to grab your attention?

Show me something new.

What houses have you recently sold to?

Pantheon, Abrams/Amulet, DC Comics, Hill & Wang, William Morrow

What do you love/hate most about being an agent?

Hate: Free-floating anxiety—there's always something that should have been done yesterday.
Love: The fact that there's always something new and different to see or do.

What trends do you see for the future of publishing?

Content is king (or queen). What we're selling is what people want—the new question is how are they going to get it.

Any other chocolate nuggets you can give authors looking for representation?

Be smart. Know something about anyone you write to/talk to/consider important. What do they like? What have they done? Know something about every part of the process that you're seeking to become a part of—you don't need to know a lot, just enough to keep from making the obvious mistakes that keep you from getting your story across. Remember that everyone wants to say no—it makes their lives easier. The longer you keep the "no" at bay the better your chance of getting your message, your story, across.

Thanks, Bob!

Monday, September 8, 2008

We have a Winner

Congratulations Kimmy L. You're the winner of one of Jennifer Ashley's books from her backlist. Please e-mail Kim at kwatters 21 (at) hotmail.com (no spaces) so we can get your address. Thanks for commenting everyone. Make sure to stop back every Friday and see our weekly guests. Kim

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Should Men Read Romance Novels to Learn About Women?

Should Men Read Romance Novels to Find Out More About Women?

The men who actually do read them inspired this week’s question. Several soldiers, just back from Iraq, showed up at the Desert Dreams Writing Conference to meet Sherilyn Kenyon. They had driven from Texas to AZ to get their books signed. It made me wonder what they might learn about women while engrossed in her paranormal plots.

I took a look at my own book, Liquid Hypnosis, and decided there was something a man could learn from the story. I wasn’t thinking of the plot, or the characters, or the sex scene that fades to black. What came to mind were the little touches that heighten the sexual tension between the hero and heroine. For example, he leans in close but won’t kiss her. I love to see that in films. Next, he places his hand on her lower back. That is one of the steps of intimacy. I knew that long before I read the list. I always found it to be a gentle, protective way of guiding a woman through a door, or other area. One of my favorite interactions between the couple took place when the hero and heroine were dancing. I put that scene in just so I could add this move. He envelops her hand in his, and instead of extending it to dance, he tucks it against his heart. I don’t remember the name of the man who did that with me, but I will always remember that move.

I couldn’t wait to see what other women thought about this topic. Here are the responses I received.

--- Tina, I absolutely agree that men should read romance novels. It not only helps them understand a woman and her moods, but it teaches them what women like in the bedroom. Men who read romance novels have a better relationship with their spouse/partner.
Carolyn Hughey
Cupid's Web ~ Available Now

Heck, YEAH!

Then they could understand women are ultimately won by CHARACTER. We'll melt for a pretty face, sure. But if he's shallow, selfish, boring or self-absorbed then we're GONE.

We'll take a flawed man - who may not be the perfect "model" - but if he's truly honest, strong enough both to take care of me and admit his weaknesses, trustworthy, hardworking, and loves me unconditionally, then I'm his for life.

The fantasy is to find both in one: beautiful inside and out. Though, truth be told, when he's beautiful inside, we'll think him beautiful on the outside as well.

Kris :)

"Norway is the new Scotland"
Missouri Territory 1819 -
A betraying husband,the father of her child, a convenient fiancé.
One woman, three very different men. Life is about choices.

Should men read romance novels to learn more about women? Answer-No!. We all learn about the opposite sex through real life experiences and relationships, not romance books. Men begin learning about women through their mothers and then of course later on with their loves. Would reading romance novels give men more knowledge of women, what they want etc., maybe! Would they use that knowledge with regard to their relationships? Doubtfull!
I think romance novels have always been geared toward women and should remain so. Men have their own form of fantasy books and women have their romance novels and other fiction too. Does this sound sexist? Of course! But it seems to be the way of the world. Don't you think?
Doreen Pagliaro

No. I don't want them to know more about us women then they already do. I want them to work for it. Afterall, they like a challenge and women are a definite mystery to them. Of course, I have a man who figured most of it out, but then again he always was an overacheiver :-)

Thanks, ladies. I love your input.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Interview with Jennifer Ashley

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Jennifer Ashley. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Immortals: The Redeeming. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

This book continues the Immortals series that we started last year. The Immortals is a “continuity” series written by three authors, me (Jennifer Ashley), Joy Nash, and Robin Popp. The first four books introduce four Immortal brothers and their quest to find the fifth brother, Tain, who has been captured and tortured by a mega-demon.

The Redeeming is Tain’s story. After 700 years of torture, can he ever truly heal? And can he find happiness with a half-demon woman? He needs Samantha’s help, because bad things are going on in the city of Los Angeles, and Samantha, a detective in LAPD’s paranormal division, is the only one he can turn to.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I didn’t grow up reading romance; I grew up reading fantasy: Andre Norton, C.S. Lewis, and Tolkein, and then in college Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Barbara Hambly, and other terrific fantasy authors. My first attempts at novels were fantasy, and my first ever sale was to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine.

I made the jump to romance because I wanted more romance in my fantasy. At the time I started writing no editor wanted to see paranormal romance, so I started off in historical romance (being a history buff as well). Once editors started wanting more and more paranormals, I went back to the paranormals I’d always longed to do.

At first I did historical/paranormals, then I came up with the idea of Immortals and sold that. I plan to continue writing both historicals and paranormals, which satisfies my cravings in both subgenres.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

For the Immortals, I’d had the idea swimming around in my head for quite some time—five warriors called by a spell to people who needed them throughout time. I planned to pair up each Immortal warrior with a person who’d called them. When I pitched the idea as a continuity series, that tightened up to have one adventure that arced through four books. Robin, Joy, and I brainstormed like crazy to build the world. I ended up with something much better than the original idea.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I have no clue. :-) Today while updating my website, I realized I have 32 published works out there and nine more contracted. Decided which character I like best is impossible, even if I look at just one work.

Tain was terrific to write. He was so tortured and angry, and at the same time so compassionate. That pull in him was interesting to explore. I also like Samantha, a no-nonsense cop. She can kick butt, but she’s not annoying about it.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and/or world affect your character development?

My characters simply grow inside my head. I get the germ of a character then I close my eyes and see what they do. The process can take years. Sometimes I write down scenes I see them in (which may or may not make it into the book.) I’ll make notes on the character when they get a little more developed (weaknesses, strengths, what kind of person they are).

If I’m having trouble visualizing my character I will write an autobiography, in the pov of the character, telling about his/her life and the events that shaped him/her.

A weird thing I do is put the character in the car next to me and have him (usually it’s a hero) react to what he sees. I live in a sprawling city and do a lot of driving. It’s fun to listen to what they have to say.

How do you go about building your world if you use one? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?

When I world build I brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm. I make notes in a regular Word file about who lives where and why. I develop the world as I write as well, because things suggest themselves when I’m deep in the story. I do like maps—if I’m writing in the “real” world, I use maps of the city and surrounding area I’m in (plus I go to the city in question and look around). If it’s a made-up place, I draw a map so I can remember where everything is.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Many authors have inspired me. It was Mary Jo Putney who made me truly want to write historical romance. I thought I did, but when I read her Fallen Angels series, it inspired me to make up heroes you can fall in love with. Barbara Hambly inspired me on the fantasy side—she wrote strong female heroines (warriors and very smart women) at a time when most fantasy was male dominated. I also like her worlds and characters. Another inspiration was Agatha Christie, who could write a tight plot and keep you guessing. Plus she was another writer who had strong young women as leads as far back as the 1920s (The Man in the Brown Suit; The Secret Adversary; The Secret of Chimneys).

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

Promotion: It’s always difficult to know what brought someone to a book and what everyone ignored. I honestly believe nothing an author can do can top the placement in bookstores that publishers and the booksellers can give you. Most novels are bought on impulse by people browsing bookstores or standing in the check-out lines. Or readers already like an author and buy whatever the author has out.

An effective promo is a newsletter, because you can remind your autobuy readers that you have something new out. I like to do print ads in magazines targeted to readers, just because they’re pretty, and if you have a great cover, you might as well flash it around. I have had readers email me and say they saw my ad and remembered the cover when they went to the bookstore.

But like everything else in the publishing world, marketing is subjective. Every so often someone comes up with “the” perfect promo/marketing solution and everyone tries it. Like diets. :-)

What do we have to look forward next?

September 2008: Immortals: The Redeeming, by Jennifer Ashley
November 2008: The Dragon Master, by Allyson James (Berkley)
January 2009: Mortal Temptations, a paranormal erotic romance, by Allyson James (Berkley)
March 2009: Immortals: The Reckoning, anthology by Jennifer Ashley, Joy Nash, and Robin Popp
April 2009: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, by Jennifer Ashley (historical romance)
That’s it!

Wow. Impressive list. Thanks, Jennifer

To celebrate her book release, Jennifer is offering a free book from her backlist to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Bio. Jennifer Ashley is a USA Today bestselling, and RITA award-winning author of paranormal and historical romance. She also writes paranormal and erotic romance as Allyson James and historical mystery as Ashley Garnder.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We have a winner

Congratulations Pat Cochran. You're the winner of Brenda's Masters Of Time Starter Pack. Please e-mail Kim at kwatters 21 (at) hotmail.com (no spaces) so we can get your address. Thanks for commenting everyone. Make sure to stop back every Friday and see our weekly guests.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Double Enchantment is released/Free short story/New contest

I’m thrilled to announce that Double Enchantment will start appearing in bookstores and select Walmarts, Kmarts & Targets as of today! If you’d like to order it on-line, I have several purchase links on my website: http://www.KathryneKennedy.com

Dorchester Publishing is doing a special feature on their blog to celebrate the release of Double Enchantment. They are providing a free short story that I wrote in the Relics of Merlin world. If you want a quick fix of enchantment, you can read it here: http://www.dorchesterpub.com/Dorch/SpecialFeatures.cfm?Special_ID=2529

This second book in the Relics of Merlin series has received some lovely reviews lately. I’ve included a brief snippet of the review and the link if you’d like to read the rest:

http://freshfiction.com/review.php?id=21570"DOUBLE ENCHANTMENT, like its predecessor ENCHANTING THE LADY is well...enchanting. A feel-good fairy tale set in a spellbinding world where magic is the order of the day and encountering a gnome while on a walk in the park would be no more unusual than you or I seeing a squirrel."

http://www.onceuponaromance.net/DoubleEnchantmentReview.htm"Ms. Kennedy is two for two. Double Enchantment is equally as amazing and as well written as the first Relics of Merlin book, Enchanting the Lady."

http://ck2skwipsandkritiques.com/kelley/doubleenchantment_kelley.html"I couldn't put Double Enchantment down! My only complaint is that now I have to wait so long for book three!"

My fabulous editor, Leah Hultenschmidt, has put together a new website where she shares new book releases, book videos, and other breaking news. If you're a writer, you will definitely want to bookmark her blog, where she gives a behind-the-scenes peek into the world of a New York editor. http://www.romanticreads.net/

We also have a winner of the garnet cross necklace. Congratulations to Cathie M. from New York! Her lucky entry is here: http://caffeys-reads.blogspot.com/

And I’m starting a brand new contest for a garnet and diamond necklace to celebrate the release of Double Enchantment. It’s a random drawing of one of my newsletter subscribers! You can view the prize and find out all of the details here: http://www.kathrynekennedy.com/contest.html

My very best wishes to you all,