Virna DePaul | Why Writing Romantic Suspense Rocks!
Author Guest / January 31, 2012

Ugly things happen in the world.  I know this quite well based on my ten years as a criminal prosecutor.  Whether it be coldly calculated or committed in the heat of passion, humans are capable of the worst kinds of atrocities. Yet, I believe they are also capable of good.  That life can be beautiful.  That people can be redeemed.  And that ultimately love is the beginning, middle and end of any sort of goodness to be experienced in life. Romantic suspense melds what is both dark and light about human existence, and exposes it not in grays, but bright, vivid, exhilarating color.  It is both escapist entertainment and a palatable reminder of the decision we face each and every day—whether to step out into the world and live our lives despite the risk that entails.  We risk being hurt, whether by accident or design.  But we take the risk and we endure the mundane along with the struggles because we know the payoff is worth it.  We know that human connection, intimacy and passion, and victory are within our reach.  It’s what all romance readers know, and it’s why I love writing the genre! Virna DePaul is a national…

Edward Eaton | Alienation, Isolation, Technology, and Literature
Author Guest / January 29, 2012

“No man is an island….” When John Donne wrote that, he did not take into account the needs of literature. Literature in general—and Young Adult literature in specific—makes a habit of forming men, and women, into islands. Indeed, writers go to great lengths to isolate their characters. So common is the trope of isolation that critics and teachers often overlook it when discussing books. Isolation has been used as a structural and thematic tactic in every genre. Hamlet is written as an outsider, a professional student who has been permitted, or urged, to separate himself from his his country, his family, and his inheritance. The Pevensie children have been sent away from their home, parents, and friends. The orphan Oliver has been separated, at birth, from his family, as have fellow orphans Frodo Baggins and Harry Potter. My own Rosi Carol has lost her parents and been uprooted from her hometown and sent to a place that is alien to her. This is no accident. Nor is it a coincidence. The very nature of reading a book requires an element of isolation. Music is often listened to in a group. Plays and movies are intended to be consumed by masses…

Fresh Pick | SLEEPWALKER by Karen Robards
Fresh Pick / January 28, 2012

January 2012 On Sale: December 27, 2011 Featuring: Micayla Lange; Jason Davis 384 pages ISBN: 1439183724 EAN: 9781439183724 Kindle: B004T4KRQU Hardcover $25.00  Add to Wish List Romance Suspense, Thriller Buy at Amazon.com No one does it better than Karen Robards Sleepwalker by Karen Robards She’s a rookie cop. He’s a professional crook. Natural adversaries, their only common ground is mutual dislike and distrust—and the fact that the same killers are now hunting them both. Sparks fly and passion flares as they run for their lives New York Times bestselling author Karen Robards’s thrilling contemporary romantic suspense novel featuring an electric attraction between a cop and a thief. It’s not that Micayla Lange is afraid of the clinking she hears on the first floor of the empty mansion where she’s housesitting for her Uncle Nicco. She’s a cop, after all. But she’s alone on New Year’s Eve, wearing pajamas and wielding a Glock 22 as she zeroes in on the source of the sound: Nicco’s private office. Jason Davis steals things for a living, so unexpected developments are a natural part of the job. Getting caught red-handed by a hot police officer in a gangster’s deserted house is just one more…

Natasha Hoar | The mysterious power of plastic ponies
Author Guest / January 28, 2012

I rediscovered My Little Ponies in my early twenties. My folks were going through a divorce, and I wasn’t taking it too well. If I had to sit down and do a bit of self-analysis, I guess I could say I it was a subconscious need to reconnect with happier times that drew me to eBay, and that first fateful search for My Little Ponies from the eighties. I proceeded to get into not one, but two bidding wars, the second one a little more dramatic than the first. However, I wasn’t going to let that never-removed-from-box baby sea pony get away. No sir! (Especially not when I hadn’t had one as a kid.) Ah, the thrill of victory! And the start of a habit that has served my writing in the most roundabout fashion. Turns out I’m a tactile, emotional collector, which is a nice way of saying I don’t mind if the item of my affection has a bit of play wear (that’s what Mr Clean Magic Erasers and kiddie shampoo is for), and if it comes in a box, it won’t stay that way. (Unless it’s a Comic-Con collectible. Then it stays mint-in-box, by order of my…

Fresh Pick | DREAMING OF MR. DARCY by Victoria Connelly
Fresh Pick / January 27, 2012

Austen Addicts #2 January 2012 On Sale: January 1, 2012 Featuring: Adam Craig; Oli Wade Owen; Kay Ashton 352 pages ISBN: 1402251351 EAN: 9781402251351 Kindle: B0068N4DBU Trade Size $14.99  Add to Wish List Romance Contemporary Buy at Amazon.com For every Austen lover Dreaming of Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly Heroes aren’t always what they seem… Fledgling illustrator and Darcy fanatic, Kay Ashton, buys a B&B in the seaside town of Lyme so she’ll have a quiet place to finish her book, The Illustrated Mr. Darcy, and she’s delighted to discover that a film company is in town making a new big-screen adaptation of Persuasion. Kay has a history of falling for the bad boy so it’s no surprise that she’s soon under the spell of handsome actor Oli Wade Owen, who is playing Captain Wentworth. But what exactly is it that Oli is hiding from Kay? His apparent dissembling is making her nervous, so she confides her misgivings to quiet, handsome Adam Craig, who always seems to be there when she needs a sounding board. Screenwriter and producer Adam Craig hasn’t been in a relationship since he had his heart broken years ago. Throwing himself into his work, the last…

THE STORY GARDEN: I Got a Humungous Bookshelf For Christmas!
Author Guest / January 27, 2012

Would it surprise you to know that it’s been 18 years since the birth of the e-book forced the RWA Board of Directors to decide what the organization meant by “book”? You aren’t a published author unless you’ve published a book. As it turns out, not only do writers refuse to be boxed in by paper or even covers, but so do readers. Who knows what a book is anymore, never mind a cover? And a publisher? Can’t anyone be a publisher? One thing the writers at The Story Garden know for sure is that we grow stories. And we’re going to draw readers into our garden, come rock, paper, scissors or android. Writers and readers are all in the throes of change together. Question is, what have you learned so far? Let’s ask Gardeners Judith Arnold, Teresa Hill, and April Kihlstrom before we throw the discussion open to the WWW. What’s your experience with digital publishing? Judith Arnold: I’ve gotten the rights back to a lot of my out-of-print books, and about a year ago, I started reissuing them as independently published e-books. I currently have ten indie-published e-books for sale at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords and other e-book retailers,…

Sky Robinson | What’s the Sexiest Profession? Win a copy of DOUBLE DARE
Author Guest / January 27, 2012

Sky’s talking about sexy loggers and is giving away a copy of DOUBLE DARE, her steamy novella available from Red Sage. I have a thing for loggers. To me they’re kind of like another version of the modern day cowboy, working hard every day from before the sun comes up until dark. All that physical labor guarantees a sexy body rippled with muscles, solid and strong. They are men who know how to work hard and love even harder. My infatuation with the profession started when I worked for a summer for the Forest Service and we would run into loggers, out in the middle of nowhere. They were always so nice to talk to, and did I mention sexy? So I had to write a story about them. And why stop at one logger when you can write about two sexy logging brothers? Ready for a little hot passion in the woods? Read a sexy excerpt from DOUBLE DARE. I “double dare” you to! Hmmm, ready to win your own copy of DOUBLE DARE? I’ll make it easy on you, just use your imagination. To win a copy of DOUBLE DARE leave your comment with the profession you find…

Stephanie Rowe | Writing in Different Genres
Author Guest / January 26, 2012

What do the following all have in common? SATIRICAL FUN: The Soulfire Series (HOLD ME IF YOU CAN, Jan 2012): A satirical, outrageously fun paranormal romance series in which a group of delectable warriors have been tortured for 150 years by Death’s grandma in the Den of Womanly pursuits. During their hellacious incarceration, they were tortured into becoming the “perfect” mates: deadly enough to take down a posse of demons while finishing their latest cross-stitching sampler and writing poetry (much to their dismay). EMOTIONAL SUSPENSE: The Alaska Heat series (ICE, Jan 2012): An emotional, high-octane romantic suspense series in which a rugged Alaskan bush pilot with a yen for high octane and a past that still haunts him teams up with a reluctant accountant from Seattle in a dangerous flight through the Alaska wilds to escape a madman. DARK PASSION: The ORDER OF THE BLADE (March 2012): A dark and sexy paranormal romance series in which an elite group of ancient warriors with a mission to save the world from members of their own race when they go rogue. Each Calydon is destined to meet his mate and bond with her, but the moment the bond is complete, both will…

Fresh Pick | A KING’S RANSOM by Jude Watson
Fresh Pick / January 25, 2012

39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers # 2 December 2011 On Sale: December 6, 2011 192 pages ISBN: 0545298407 EAN: 9780545298407 Hardcover $12.99  Add to Wish List Childrens Buy at Amazon.com Fun for all… A King’s Ransom by Jude Watson Amy and Dan are in a race for their lives . . . and the enemy may be even closer than they think. When seven members of their family were kidnapped by a sinister organization known as the Vespers, thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, vowed they’d stop at nothing to bring the hostages home. But then the ransom comes in and the Vespers demand the impossible. Amy and Dan have just days to track down and steal an ancient map. The only catch? No one has seen the map for half a century. Now Amy and Dan are on a desperate search that will lead them to the Nazis, spies, a mad king and some of history’s dirtiest secrets. It’s the race of their lives . . . and one misstep will mean certain death for the hostages. An action packed chase story filled with taunting threats, elusive clues and evil intent. Previous Picks

Joan Swan | Welcome to the Journey of a Debut Author Blog Tour! Tips from Cindy Gerard
Author Guest / January 25, 2012

This is our 10th week in a behind-the-scenes look at what’s involved in getting a debut author prepared for publication. My own debut novel, FEVER, releases in a little over a month, so it’s coming up fast. At every stop on the tour, I’ll have a guest NYT bestselling author answering questions about their experience as a debut author and I’ll also be giving away their books! My guest author this week is the fabulous Cindy Gerard, and I have 4 of her books to giveaway and 1 of my own ARCs!  Any comment or question enters you to win!  International! This week we’re talking about setting and reaching goals – apropos for the beginning of a New Year, no? Can you believe we’re already closing in on the end of January?  That means we should all be knee deep in those New Year’s goals; after all, it only takes 21 consecutive days of an activity to create a habit, and here we are on day number 25.  So, all those awesome resolutions we made on January 1 should be cemented in our behavior patterns. Right? *insert crickets chirping* Yeah, me either. In fact, I no longer make resolutions.  Yes,…