Michelle Monkou | Sauntering Down Memory Lane
Romance / March 31, 2008

A friend recently celebrated her wedding on the beach of Cayman Islands. The bright blue sky, turquoise water, and white sandy beach provided a romantic setting for the couple in love. The photos from her wedding remind me of my April release – No One But You – that beautifully highlights a bride standing on a beach ready and waiting for her perfect match. No One But You, Harlequin Kimani Romance, introduces the first in the Ladies of Distinction series about sorority sisters who pledged together and now face life after university. Basically after college, Jackson Thomas chose his family business over Sarafina Lovell. Now Jackson is back, and Sara plans to give him one sultry goodbye kiss to prove she’s moved on. His sizzling kiss awakens memories of passion too hot to ignore.… I am happy to have Essence Bestseller Francis Ray share her thoughts about my book: No One But You . . . is romance at its best – fun, sexy, memorable. Although I write romances, I am an avid romance reader. From 13 or 14 years old, I read romances that had lush settings in Australia, Argentina, English countryside, and so on. Yes, I could have…

Brenda Novak | Getting it Done…
Uncategorized / March 28, 2008

Want to read more books, write more pages, lose weight, exercise daily or achieve some other goal? Do it by boosting your willpower! Boost Your Willpower Spring is on its way and with it warmer weather. When those layers come off, we’re faced with the pounds we’ve gained over the winter, which prompts many of us to attempt a “just in time for summer” diet. But chocolate cake is now and summer is later and far too often “now” wins over “later.” Or…we’ve always dreamed of completing a manuscript, but instead of sitting at the computer and pushing through to “The End,” we allow an email addiction to thwart us. Or…we’ve heard about the health benefits of regular exercise but we procrastinate each day and never get around to engaging in it. How do we conjure enough willpower to overcome these and other self-defeating behaviors? I don’t have all the answers, but I did run across an interesting article on this subject written by Tara Parker Pope in The New York Times. Her tips, combined with my own experience, form the following five-step plan: 1. Eat several small meals a day. Studies show that lower blood glucose levels coincide with…

Larissa Ione | Keeping It Real
Uncategorized / March 27, 2008

“Write what you know.” We’ve all heard it, and maybe we’ve even stayed true to that. But what happens when you need to write about something you don’t know? Well, that’s where research comes in. Now, I love research, and right now, I’m researching something I’ve always been interested in – modern and ancient Egypt. The problem? Trying to blend fact with not only fiction, but paranormal fiction, and strangely enough, while there is a ton of information about ancient Egypt, information on modern Egypt, outside of politics, is lacking. See, I’m working on the third book in my Demonica series, which is set mainly in Egypt. The first two books, Pleasure Unbound (July 08,) and Shadow Lover (April 09) were largely set in New York City and in an underworld hospital. New York was easy enough to research, since there is oodles of information available (plus, I was constantly bugging Stephanie Tyler, my Sydney Croft writing partner, for details, since she lives there,) and the hospital was easy, because I made it up, using real hospitals and my depraved imagination (hey, it’s a hospital run by vampires, demons, and werewolves – it takes a little depravity to come up…

Cait London | The Aislings/Psychic Triplets
Uncategorized / March 26, 2008

Since my lucky number is three for many reasons (including I have 3 daughters), a trilogy with three sisters was a natural choice. I understood the relationships, the family order, and the mother’s reaction. (Yes, their mother, a powerful psychic is included in all three books.) A STRANGER’S TOUCH is the 2nd of the Aisling Psychic Triplets and features Tempest Storm, the middle-born. AT THE EDGE was the first and sets the trilogy in motion with Claire, the empath and gentle. FOR HER EYES ONLY 10/08 ends the trilogy with Leona, the precognitive and the most fierce. The trilogy is based on the contemporary descendents of an ancient Celtic seer and a Viking chieftain. The triplets have inherited the seer, Aisling’s gifts—and they don’t want them. They want to be like normal women. That’s understandable, isn’t it? The very gifted, haunted by senses that are not reality, images and thoughts that aren’t their own suddenly flashing in their minds could be a little disturbing. Because these adult sisters are birth and psychically connected, they cannot live close to each other. This is especially true when a sexy hunk comes into the picture, such as when Marcus Greystone re-enters Tempest’s life….

Sherry Thomas | Am I a paranormal reader? Sure I am!
Romance / March 25, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I called a local romance-friendly bookseller to invite her to have lunch with the published authors of my RWA chapter. And she invited me, in return, to attend the monthly paranormal readers’ meeting, which would take place that evening at her store. The kids were at Grandma’s for spring break. And though I did not read heavily in the paranormal genre, I thought it was a good opportunity to get out of the house and meet the bookseller in person. Did I mention that I don’t read heavily in the paranormal genre? I was surprised when I got to the meeting to realize how many I have read. There was another author from my local chapter at the meeting. Other than the two of us, none of the other readers present had yet to try J. R. Ward. We practically shoved the Black Dagger Brotherhood books into their hands. During the course of the evening we’d recommended Shana Abe, Nalini Singh, Lara Adrian, Meljean Brook and Marjorie M. Liu, among others. And right after I left the meeting, I smacked myself on the forehead. How could I have forgotten Kelley Armstrong? It was, believe it…

Ann DeFee | Wanderlust
Uncategorized / March 24, 2008

Wanderlust – once you succumb it’s like a chocolate addiction, tantalizing and almost impossible to kick. Growing up in a small south Texas town my childhood was a comfortable cocoon of sameness. I went from learning my ABC’s to the angst of puberty with an identical group of kids. But even while I was cruising the streets with my carpool buddy’s I knew I was destined see the world. I just didn’t know how far reaching that would be. Now let’s fast forward to my life as a nomadic Air Force wife. At times the travel and moving was frenetic and sometimes it could even be exasperating, but it was always an adventure (all 23 moves). I had an opportunity to meet new people, to see new places, and to create my niche in places all over the world. I skied in New England and Bavaria, hiked in the Pacific Northwest, explored Roman ruins, stuck my toe in the North Sea, the north Atlantic, mid-Atlantic, south Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, got up close and personal with a lobster trap and watched the America’s Cup race from the deck of a Coast Guard ship. What a…

Jade Lee | It’s All In The Accessories!
Uncategorized / March 21, 2008

My mother always stressed accessories in dressing. Me, I wanted to be DOING something, not fussing with finding the perfect earrings (which always fell out) or the best necklace (which banged against things when I played). The worst, of course, was when she criticized my footwear. I was a sneaker girl. Actually, I didn’t mind nice shoes. A good pair of heels could give me a lift. But I HATED pantyhose. And since every good girl (in my mother’s mind) wore nylon stockings with her shoes, I became all about the sneakers. She allowed me to wear footies with athletic wear. (Remember footies? Cotton socks with little balls on the end or low socks that weren’t even seen beneath your Keds? Much better than pantyhose!) Well, childhood habits (or traumas) shape the adult persona. I became one of those women who silently abhor her LACK of a shoe fetish. I never understood the desire to wear 5 inch platforms or those spike heels that left pock marks in the linoleum. Pedicures felt good, but why get the nail polish when no one ever sees it? In short—I wore athletic shoes. Good, closed toed, comfortable, arch-supported New Balance footwear. And then…

Diana Holquist | What Makes You Mad?
Romance / March 20, 2008

Some writers start their books with a character they love. Others start with plot. Then there are the folks who look to the market to see what’s hot: a vampire lesbian spy thriller shape-shifter historical—count me in! And then there’s me. Me, I get mad. Here’s something that made me mad: reading a twenty-something’s blog about her search for the “perfect” husband. He had to be tall, rich, successful, etc. I wanted to smack that woman. I wanted a mysterious Gypsy psychic to swoop in and rock her world by telling her that her one soul mate on this earth was a penniless single father, down on his luck.Hey, wait…that would make a good book. (My first book, Make Me a Match.) But I was still mad. Which was good, because I had another book due. This time, I was mad about reading my 7,436th kick-ass heroine romance novel. Enough already with the spy/killer/half-beast/vamp woman who does it all in heels. Not that I don’t love those books; but I needed a change. I wanted to read about a heroine like me, an overweight mother of two… …um. Okay, so I didn’t want to read that. But what about a…

Robin D. Owens | Writing Fantasy
Uncategorized / March 19, 2008

One of the wonderful things about writing fantasy is that you can make up your own worlds – and all the names. 🙂 Sometimes naming things – planets, continents, rivers is fun (Huckleberry Finn River, Great Platte Ocean, Hard Rock Mountains). It can be easy. I knew I wanted a Celtic background for my “Heart” series so naming the planet Celta didn’t require much thought. But naming the planet in my Summoning series (average American women summoned to an alternate dimension to fight invading evil) was harder. This planet was sentient (and who’s to say they aren’t?), it’s weak because an evil, alien Dark has been feasting on it for years. But it loves the people who are trying to save it and themselves (oh, and creatures – the flying horses and magical shapeshifter animal-companions). The language is French based, and I tried several names that didn’t work. I finally decided that the defining characteristic of the planet was love, so it became Amee. It’s also very cool to map the planets. I did a hand drawing of Celta, found software to make it more real looking, then have recently gone beyond my drawing of two continents to the whole…

Stephanie Tyler | Writing Side of Writing
Uncategorized / March 18, 2008

Thanks to Fresh Fiction for the invite to blog! It’s great to be here. This month marks the publication of my fourth and fifth books – one under Stephanie Tyler called Beyond His Control and the other called Unleashing The Storm under Sydney Croft, the pen-name I co-write under with Larissa Ione. And I’ve learned a few things since getting the call. For one thing, every book is harder to write than the one before it. I recently had an aspiring writer – a solider working on his memoirs from Iraq – ask me if writing ever got any easier. My words of wisdom were – you get better but it never gets easier. Or, at least it shouldn’t. And by that, I mean, you have to try to grow with every book you write. I’ll admit that writing Unleashing The Storm with Larissa was the easiest book writing experience ever. Beyond His Control, my 3rd Harlequin Blaze, was the hardest book I’d ever written to that point. I say that because, having written 3 books and a novella since then, my current book is currently kicking my ass. I know I’ll look back and see that it was a…