Spotlight on Dianna Love



The great thing about being a kid is that you have to learn when to NOT go for something, because we come out of the womb ready to jump at any chance life throws out.   Like every child, I was born with a gift, but I was fortunate to also have a passion for using that gift and found encouragement along the way in the moments that counted.

The only downside?  My gift was the ability to draw and paint photo-realistic portraits of anything I saw.  Why was that a downside?  Because art was never considered a viable way to make a living when I was growing up.  If you’ve read any articles about my past, you know that I lost my mom when I was 17 and that I moved out on my own right after that.

What you may not know is that I give a lot of the credit for my art and writing success to my mom.

My mom, like many moms, spent hours helping her five children with homework and class projects, but she and my father differed on one point.  My mom appreciated my gift of art and encouraged it where my father didn’t.  He’d been a child of the depression and believed school was only about studying math, science, English, etc.

I was 11 years old and in sixth grade when I placed in a national art competition that really impacted my life.  I placed third, and that might not seem like such a big deal, except 1st and 2nd places had been awarded to two high school seniors.   Because of this, a local tv station wanted to interview me.

My dad did a great job of keeping his family fed and sheltered, but one thing having grown up in such hard times caused, is that he didn’t know how to encourage something he couldn’t perceive as valuable.  He saw art as extraneous fluff.  School work was important.  Art was a waste of time.  When the tv station called, Dad said no, I couldn’t go to do the interview.

I can count on one hand the number of times my mom stood up to my dad and defied his mandates, but this time, she did.  Beneath the ladylike dress and feminine trimmings beat the heart of a warrior when it came to her kids.

I got to go to the television station to be interviewed, and to this day I remember the lady reporter, down on one knee in front of me going over questions, checking to see if I was nervous.  I looked pretty small next to the two seniors, but everyone was very nice to me and best of all – I remember how proud my mom was.  Every time something positive about my art happened, I became a little more determined to develop that skill—to go for my dream.

So even though I had her for only a short time, my mother played a powerful role—and has continued to do so—in my life because it was her encouragement, more than anything else, which helped me to stay true to myself.  My mom taught by example.  I learned from her how to pursue a dream with passion, but didn’t realize this until I looked back years later.   She had to be passionate about being a mother—about her kids– to have done all that she did with so little.   I’m in awe of mothers for this reason.

A woman gives birth and raises a child or a houseful of children because of her passion for those kids—for her family.   Why else would a woman do that?

So I’ve lived by a simple rule: I won’t pursue anything I’m not passionate about.  That’s been my life motto throughout my art career, and one that I continued to adhere to once I caught the fiction-writing fever.   As I look back, I can see how encouragement at the right times stoked the fire of my passion to pursue my dreams.

For this reason, I’ve always believed in encouraging others to pursue their dreams.   A few years ago I came up with the idea for a paranormal series based on the Belador Warriors. I finally got the opportunity to make another dream happen when I co-wrote and released BLOOD TRINITY with Sherrilyn Kenyon.   I was thrilled when fans embraced that first urban fantasy book, but touched they found one particular character, Feenix, as adorable as we did.  I kept thinking We need an image of Feenix.

That’s when it hit me.

Art competitions had been important to me as a young artist.  What better way to encourage artists than to sponsor an art competition and have artists, young and old, create images of Feenix!

After a few months and a lot of work with a great team, we’ve just launched the My Feenix™ Art Contest with separate divisions for High School Students and Adults – because no one is too young or too old to start going after a dream.  With three categories there are lots of ways to submit art for a piece of the $10,000 in prizes.  Because I want to help schools too, the Art Departments and libraries of students whose art finals will also win donations.

Many times in my life I’ve heard things like, “That’s great art but you can’t make a living painting. “  Or, “Writing is a nice hobby, but you’ll starve to death so you better have something to fall back on.”

I was fortunate that I never quit trying to reach my dreams.  I want to offer encouragement to others and I’d love it if you’d help me do that by sharing this opportunity with an artist you know.

All the My Feenix™ Art Contest entry forms, rules, prizes and details are at

Make a difference in someone’s life this week. Take a moment to share the simple, but powerful, gift of encouragement.

Sandi Shilhanek | Readers ‘n ‘ritas

As I started this I was reflecting on the first day of Readers ‘n ‘ritas 2010. It was a rather full day that started at home. with attempts at prepping my home and family for a weekend without me. The dogs I think understood fairly well what was happening, but my son said, “you didn’t tell me you were going away for the weekend.” My response…”what do you think I’ve been talking about for the last several months?” Oh well!

Got to the hotel and finished prep work for the actual convention. Finally the convention started, and while I worked registration it sounded like the party in the room behind me was in full swing. Thanks to a great team I was able to sneak in for a few minutes here and there, and got hugged by Dakota Cassidy, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Dianna Love. Could it get better than that?

Well, for me it could. For several years now I’ve been fascinated with the works of Tara Taylor Quinn. Her current work is a four book series titled The Chapman Files. When Tara arrived I was pretty excited to be the first to greet her. I got a few minutes of private time with her, and expressed my disappointment that The 4th Victim was not going to be available until after she was gone. Next thing I knew I had my very own personalized copy straight from the author’s hand! I almost cried!

As I went to sleep on Friday I wasn’t dreaming of sugar plums and fairies, but rather murder, mayhem, werewolves, and hunky chefs….all things I can read about from the talented brains of the writers who attended Readers ‘n ‘ritas this weekend.

I awoke on Saturday raring and ready to go. What a great surprise to come to breakfast to find 3 more books waiting on me. After a breakfast of brownies and coke…the “true” breakfast of champions it was off to the author lounge for some quiet time with Louisa Edwards and Tara Taylor Quinn.

That was followed by being a part of a lively panel discussing e-readers and are they really the wave of the future. A break followed that…whew!

Lunch where I sat with Tara Taylor Quinn, and managed to win her gift basket centerpiece. Can’t tell you what I won as it’s still all wrapped up to make for easier transport home. Off to be on a panel with the ever funny Dakota Cassidy, and Louisa Edwards.

Now it’s time to buy more books! What a great selection, and wonder time to chat with the authors why I get my books signed. Dianna Love, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Laura Griffin, Lauren Willig, and others couldn’t have been friendlier and now I’m wondering when the next time they’re coming to town so I can become a “stalker. The night came to a close with a costume ball. I’d never been to one before and it was a fun lively time hosted by Candace Havens who is one of the most bubbly people I’ve ever met..

Thanks to all the Readers ‘n ‘ritas committee members for their hard work to make this the best event, and I look forward to seeing you all next year.

Click here to leave a comment on Sandi’s blog.

sandi shilhanek

Spotlight on Dianna Love

The Day My Guardian Spirit Saved My Life

Dianna Love on MotorcycleHave you ever experienced a moment of premonition or a time that something unexplained intervened in your life?  I’ve had quite a few of those moments, but the one which really stands out is the day my guardian angel saved me when I would have died.

Many years ago, I’d had a bad day in business.  I’ll spare you the details about that, but I ended up sitting in a restaurant in Marietta, Georgia, until very late, talking to a business associate I’d known for years.  My home was on the opposite side of Atlanta in the Stone Mountain area. I finally had to make that long drive home, which meant traveling on Interstate 285 after midnight.  I was drained from the bad day and I’d been up since 4:00 am.

When I pulled onto the interstate it was in an area that had little commerce, so everything was pitch black around me.  The only thing I could see was whatever my headlights touched.  Back then, there were almost no cars on the road during the week at that time of night.  The speed limit was 65 and the weather was clear, so running the speed limit would have been fine, but the minute I entered the interstate it felt like a pressure all around me in the car forcing me to slow down.  I resisted at first, thinking that I was being stupid to listen to some weird inner feeling, but the pressure persisted until I relented and slowed the car to 35 mph.

I was crawling along in the middle lane a mile later when I came around a curve and had to slam on the brakes to keep from plowing broadside into a dark-colored car that had spun out.  The car’s headlights were shooting toward the shoulder of the road where I wouldn’t have seen them soon enough if I’d been going 65.  My heart was pounding out of control as I came to a complete stop in the road.   The driver of the other car finally put it in gear and drove off.

The feeling of the presence inside my car dissipated and I drove on, but after that, I never hesitated to listen to that inner silent voice.

I’ve always believed that my protective guardian was my mother.

My mom died of a heart attack right after I turned seventeen.   A few months later I was living alone in the only apartment I could afford, which was over the top of a bar.  I had to nail my only window shut because it faced the walkway that ran above the bar.  The male patrons would get drunk, find out about a single girl in the apartment above and climb the stairs then try to come in the window.  It wasn’t a good time in my life.

Two weeks into living there I was in the bedroom late one night when my mother came to me and said she was sorry about leaving me but that I would be okay.  That was the first time I felt as though I had a guardian angel watching over me.  As a young woman living alone and supporting herself, I was in some tight spots at times, but I know I survived them because of more than just lucky breaks.  I believe it was my guardian spirit watching over me.

Blood TrinityAs bad as that time was for me at seventeen, I had it better than Evalle Kincaid.

Evalle is an Alterant in the new urban fantasy Belador series I’ve cowritten with Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Evalle has had to face some difficult things alone at an early age, much like I did, but hers are far scarier than just being alone without family or friends.  Evalle and I definitely have one thing in common – the will to fight for the freedom to live on our own terms.

Evalle has been in some tight spots and it doesn’t appear that things are changing any time soon for her.   As a VIPER agent, she encounters demons, witches (both light and dark), shamans…some friend, some foe.  But now something has killed a human and in the purest sense of profiling, Evalle has target pinned on her back because she’s an Alterant – part Belador and part unknown.

Blood Trinity
Blood Trinity

Worse, she’s the only Alterant not in captivity.

Evalle has needed a guardian spirit many times, and could use one now more than ever.

The first full-length book in the series is BLOOD TRINITY, and was released on October 19th. Get a sneak peek of Evalle’s story, and also meet Tzader and Quinn, two more of the powerful Belador Warriors, in the excerpt and the character page at

Do you believe you have a guardian angel?

Who do you think your Guardian Spirit is?

Are you aware of a time your protector intervened to help you?


Great new series begin and Halloween fun in October

You could spend the month of Halloween with some pretend supernaturals. . . Better yet, why not spend this October with some real vampires, wolves and wizards oh my. Time to the let magic, fur and fangs fly. . . . Check out these new October paranormal titles.

REVAMPEDREVAMPED, J. F. Lewis (Pocket, 09/28/10, $7.99)
Eric survived a vicious showdown with his double-crossing former best friend and some angry lycanthropes—barely: he’s lost his strip club, his treasured red Mustang, his love life, and even his body. But with a little magic, the die- hard Vlad returns to corporeal form, and “Fang the ’Stang” is restored—with an unlife of its own. Now Eric’s ready to match wits with one of Void City’s most powerful demons to rescue the soul of Marilyn, the love of his (mortal) life. But salvation comes at a high price, forcing Eric to enter his own worst nightmare, vampire High Society, to uncover the truth about the origin of his powers. Having to deal with the Void City elite is bad enough, but the more Eric sniffs around, the more it looks like someone is after his soul, too. Now blood will flow and fangs will be bared, because revenge is never pretty-and Eric has plenty to pass around.

EAT PREY LOVEEAT PREY LOVE, Kerrelyn Sparks (AVON, 9/28/2010, $7.00)
Carlos Panterra is looking for a mate, a woman who will love and care for the young orphans he’s recently taken under his wing (or paw, as the case may be). When the shape shifter spies the beautiful Caitlyn, it’s like sunshine amidst the darkness. At last, he’s found the perfect woman, except. Caitlyn Whelan is mortal. Worse, her father is the head of a CIA agency bent on hunting the undead. Still, Caitlyn knows that Carlos is the man for her, shape shifter or not. So she jumps at the chance when her sister offers her a job to work with him, determined to show Carlos their attraction is more than just animal magnetism. But danger lurks in the night, and their unleashed, untamed passion might just get them both killed.

DARK SLAYERDARK SLAYER, Christine Feehan (Berkley, 9/28/2010, $7.99, Carpathian)
Ivory Malinov has lived centuries without love. Then she picks up the scent of a man. Her salvation. Her lifemate. The curse of all Carpathian women. He is Razvan, a dragonseeker. In spirit, in flesh and in blood, in love and in war, Ivory and Razvan are made for each other. For as long as they dare to live.

The perfect gift for vampire enthusiasts everywhere—a trilogy of sexy, witty, irresistible vampire novellas from bestselling, award-winning author Heidi Betts. Where do single vampires go when they’re looking for romance? To Love Bites, of course, Angelina Bertolli’s highly successful, top secret vampire dating agency. Angelina prides herself on her ability to help vampire couples find true love. But sometimes, even mortals need a little help from the undead… Like Jillian, the party planner who Angelina knows is just perfect for holiday- loving vampire Connor in “All I Vant for Christmas.” Then there’s Vivian, a lovesick vamp pining for her mortal co-worker Nick in “A Vampire in Her Stocking” -and about to get a very unexpected present. And in “It’s A Wonderful Bite,” Angelina gets the gift of finding out what her life would have been like if she’d never been turned.

A DARKER SHADE OF DEAD A DARKER SHADE OF DEAD, Bianca D’Arc (Brava, October 2010, $14.00)
The next big paranormal craze after vampires? Zombies. And nobody does it better than Bianca D’Arc in sexy, action-packed novels like A Darker Shade of Dead. Tapped for a classified military program, Dr. Eileen McCormick has nothing left to lose. Bad enough her genetic experiments were used to turn innocent victims into zombies; worse still, a ruthless ex-colleague is threatening to expose her unless she joins his sinister research project. The only way she can set things right is to develop an antidote under the watchful eyes of Commander Matt Sykes— a man capable of uncovering all her deepest secrets. Now, with the zombie virus threatening to reach epidemic proportions, Matt and Eileen’s uneasy trust may be their only way to avert catastrophe—if it doesn’t get them killed first.

STYX'S STORMSTYX’S STORM, Lora Leigh (Berkley, 10/05/2010, $7.99, Breeds)
To save innocent, young Storme Montague from the claws of Breed slave traders, Wolf Breed Styx is forced to claim her himself—on the condition that Storme will no longer be a virgin by night’s end. And though Storme’s defenses are up, Styx will free her—in ways she never expects.

SOMETHING WICKEDSOMETHING WICKED, Michelle Rowen (Berkley, 10/05/2010, $7.99)
Darrak, the demon inside of Eden Riley, is able to take physical shape during the day. And Eden wouldn’t mind getting her hands on him—if it wasn’t a threat to her immortal soul. But while trying to rid themselves of the curse that binds them, they could get the distance they need- or each have their own private hell to pay.

CRAVECRAVE, J.R. Ward (Signet, 10/05/2010, $7.99, Fallen Angels)
Isaac Rothe is a black ops soldier with a dark past and a grim future. The target of an assassin, he finds himself behind bars, his fate in the hands of his gorgeous public defender, Grier Childe. His hot attraction to her can only lead to trouble—and that’s before Jim Heron tells him his soul is in danger. Caught up in a wicked game with the demon who shadows Jim, Isaac must decide whether the soldier in him can believe that true love is the ultimate weapon against evil.

ETERNAL HUNGERETERNAL HUNGER, Laura Wright (Signet, 10/05/2010, Mark of the Vampire)
Alexander Roman wants nothing to do with those of his vampire breed. Fate places him at the door of Dr. Sara Donohue, who is dedicated to removing patients’ traumatic memories. But as their worlds collide, Sara and Alexander are bound by something even stronger as one becomes hunter and the other, prey. And Sara’s only chance of survival is to surrender to the final—and most unimaginable—desire of her life.

BLOOD TRINIT BLOOD TRINITY, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dianna Love (Simon & Schuster, 10/19/2010, $7.99, Belador)
Supernatural warriors bound by an extraordinary code of honor face an ultimate test of loyalty in the exciting new paranormal thriller from New York Times bestselling authors Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love. Atlanta has become the battlefield between human and demon.

All her life, Evalle Kincaid has walked the line between the two. Her origins unknown, she’s on a quest to learn more about her past . . . and her future. When a demon claims a young woman in a terrifying attack and there’s no one else to blame, Evalle comes under suspicion. Now she’s on a deadly quest for her own survival. Through the sordid underground of an alternate Atlanta where nothing is as it seems to the front lines of the city, where her former allies have joined forces to hunt her, Evalle must prove her innocence or pay the ultimate price. But saving herself is the least of her problems if she doesn’t stop the coming apocalypse. The clock is ticking and Atlanta is about to catch fire.

DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS, V.C. Andrews (Simon & Schuster, 10/26/2010, $7.99)
Beloved bestselling author V.C. Andrews’s passion for vampires comes to spellbinding life in a long-awaited novel of dark desires as all-consuming—and forbidden—as in Flowers in the Attic. One night, with the sound of a young man’s scream, high school senior Lorelei discovers that her stern but loving father, who adopted Lorelei and her sisters as infants, is no ordinary man. He has raised his beautiful girls for one purpose: to lure young men into their world of shadows. Like her sisters, Lorelei has been trained in the art of seduction and warned never to fall in love. But when she meets a handsome and charming classmate, she boldly defies her family and follows her heart—even if love is a poison.

HAUNTED BY YOUR TOUCH BY YOUR TOUCH, Jeamieme Frost, Shayla Black, Sharie Kohler (Simon & Schuster, 10/26/2010, $7.99)
USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost seduces readers into a forbidden new world as she teams up with romance stars Shayla Black and Sharie Kohler for a sizzling collection of original novellas featuring fallen angels, anarchistic demons, warrior wizards, and irresistibly dangerous creatures of the night. Enter the dark realm of Nocturna in Jeaniene Frost’s redhot tale, where blisteringly sexy Raphael dominates the demons of a lawless dimension and tries to help a beautiful young woman avenge her cousin’s disappearance. In the shadowy world of Shayla Black’s Doomsday Brethren, magical warrior Raiden vows to protect his woman and their unborn youngling from evil—and deliver her safely to another man. But once he’s saved her, can he let her go? Lycans rule the night in Sharie Kohler’s suspenseful story, as a fiery woman stalks mysterious Luc, the undeniably hypnotic being she believes can save her from turning . . . if she kills him. Danger beckons in these captivating paranormal tales that will tempt readers to the edge and leave them begging for more.

ENTICE ME AT TWILIGHTENTICE ME AT TWILIGHT, Shayla Black (Simon & Schuster, 10/26/2010, $7.99)
In national bestselling author Shayla Black’s electrifying new novel, the Doomsday Brethren fight their mortal enemy for the newest weapon in a bloody magical war: the one woman a warrior shouldn’t claim . . . yet can’t resist. Dangerously handsome Simon Northam, Duke of Hurstgrove, and his uptight brother Mason are hardly close, but crashing Mason’s wedding and stealing his fiancée further aggravate their sibling rivalry. Duke’s family has no notion he’s a wizard, so how can he explain that magickind’s fate lies with the beautiful, tenacious bride he longs to seduce? Felicia is an Untouchable, a rare human whose presence disables magic—even the impenetrable forces surrounding Morganna le Fay’s tomb. The evil witch’s malicious powers could propel nefarious wizard Mathias to ultimate world domination . . . if he can resurrect her. To conceal herself, Felicia must succumb to her smoldering desire for Duke, but he risks binding his life—and sanity— to a lover whose loyalties are forever torn.

ECSTASY IN DARKNESSECSTASY IN DARKNESS, Gena Showalter (Simon & Schuster, 10/26/2010, $7.99, Alien Huntress)
New York Times bestselling sensation Gena Showalter enthralls with a dark, tantalizing world of humans, otherworlders, powers beyond imagining, and a seductive vampire undone by his insatiable hunger for one woman. Growing up poor on New Chicago’s meanest streets, Ava Sans had two options: be the predator or be the prey. Now, working for Alien Investigation and Removal, she’s been ordered to capture the biggest, baddest warrior of all— a vampire too beautiful to be real, with the ability to manipulate time. Once the leader of the entire vampire army, McKell has been deemed savage and unstable, spurned even by his own kind. Yet the petite, golden-skinned Ava is a fascinating contradiction—vicious yet witty, strong yet vulnerable, lethal but fiercely loyal. Against his better judgment, McKell craves that loyalty, and much more. When the chase leads to seduction, McKell and Ava will race to discover the truth about his past.

HIGHBORNHIGHBORN, Yvonne Navarro (Simon & Schuster, 10/26/2010, $7.99)
Brynna is a fallen angel trying to earn redemption. She’s escaped from Hell in search of a new life on Earth, but Lucifer’s deadliest hunters are hot on her trail. Police Detective Eran Redmond is after her for a different reason: he needs Brynna to help him find a serial killer who is terrifying Chicago . . . and the trail leads them right to Hellspawned demons of the most dangerous kind. She’s also got a very human problem: dealing with a stubborn, attractive cop who makes her long for everything she knows she can’t have. Staying alive long enough to earn a shot at Heaven will mean breaking some major rules in the mortal world, as she learns just how complicated and wonderful being human can be. With so much stacked against her, even Brynna has to wonder if she’s crazy. But she’s not giving in without a fight.

WHEN WICKED CRAVESWHEN WICKED CRAVES, J.K. Beck (Bantam, 10/26/2010, $7.99)
Petra Lang is cursed never to love. One touch of her skin unleashes the vilest demons. Sentenced to death by the Shadow authorities, who fear she’ll turn her curse against them, Petra is rescued by vampire advocate Nicholas Montegue. As their bodies merge and transform into mist, Petra feels an erotic longing. Nicholas risked his own life to save Petra, yet he knows he can never give in to the explosive attraction he feels for her. But the deep yearning they share tempts them. Together, they must find a way to lift the curse. For only a love this strong has the power to overcome such monstrous evil.

Lots of great paranormal romance choices in October, what’s on your list?


Sandi Shilhanek | Reliving RWA In My Dreams

Sherrilyn Kenyon in lobby
Sherrilyn Kenyon arriving at Walt Disney Dolphin Hotel

When I thought about the blog post this week I really wanted to be bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed detailing the totally wonderful time I had in Orlando at RWA 2010. However, I am sick, and while I understand that it’s a side effect of being worn down from the fun I had, I’m really ready to be over the sick, so I can truly reflect on the fun!

I had the chance to attend RWA due to the generosity of Sara Reyes, and Fresh Fiction. It truly was a wonderful experience, and I would suggest anyone and everyone take the opportunity to attend even if like me you don’t think you want to be an author. Being surrounded by the amazing people of the publishing industry is really inspiring, and I have to admit had me giving a fleeting thought to writing a book. For all you other aspiring authors…your chances are still safe, because I don’t see myself writing a book, and I’m beginning to believe if you can’t visualize it you can’t achieve it.

Sandi and Robyn Carr
Meeting Robyn Carr

There were so many highlights, but two that really stand out was the opportunity to meet Robyn Carr. If you’ve been reading me you know I’m probably the biggest Carr fan ever! When my friend Pat got to meet her first I really thought I would never speak to her again. Luckily for Pat my first encounter with Robyn came just a few hours later, and not a whole day later! It meant our friendship was safe!

Another huge highlight was standing around chatting with a friend I knew from online, and had never met, Debbie. I turned around and Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love were standing behind me. I had the opportunity to introduce Debbie to them for the first time, as I’ve met them several times in my local area. I’m not sure who had the biggest thrill…Debbie for finally meeting two of her favorite authors, or me for being able to know them well enough to introduce them to Debbie!

So even though I’ve been sick I wouldn’t give up a moment of this experience, and am still living the high of it even if my voice is gone, and I can only live it in my dreams, and not actually tell anyone about it!

Until next week happy page turning!

sandi shilhanek

Sandi Shilhanek

DFW Tea Readers
Readers ‘n ‘ritas… celebrating literary obsessions

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PS: We picked up over 600 books, most signed, in the past week! So be sure to comment today to be entered to win! Everyone LOVES free books!

Spotlight on Dianna Love

Dianna LoveBlood Trinity

Intangible Evidence of MAGIC by NYT best seller Dianna Love

Have you ever experienced something you can’t easily explain?

INTANGIBLE EVIDENCE is actually the title of a book I read back in the late 80’s that was fascinating.  Authors Bernard Gittelson and Laura Torbet documented accounts of the strange and unusual, but qualified everything as having no hard evidence, thus the title.

I’ve had quite a few unusual things happen in my life since my childhood, but like many other people, I realized at a young age to keep odd things to myself.  Still, the supernatural always fascinated me.  Here’s an example:

I’ll admit to being absent minded, an inconvenient and frustrating trait many artists have.  I developed ways to work around it so it didn’t drive me and everyone around me crazy.  I especially hate to lose my keys (you know THE keys to your life – car, house, whatever).  I had just moved into a house back in the early 80s during a very stressful time.   I wanted my recently-booted boyfriend out of my life (this was right before I met my terrific husband) and had agreed to meet so we could discuss how to divide up some things we’d purchased together.  I went rushing into my house to change clothes and dropped my keys in the middle of the empty table in the kitchen.  That’s where I habitually put my keys then, so that I could find them.

When I came hurrying back out, the keys had vanished.  I went through the “look everywhere” motions, knowing I had placed those keys on the table.  I finally gave up and stomped through the house yelling, “I do not have time for this.  I want my keys back now!”

I walked back into the kitchen and there were the keys sitting in the middle of the table.

I’ve always believed it was a spirit who had traveled with me since childhood, as these situations happened all the time.  But I could never pinpoint anything about the personality to clue me in to who this person might have been.  My neighbor at the time was a sweet flight attendant who I shared many glasses of wine with on one of our back porches over the years I lived there.  She had similar incidents and told me she attributed hers to a pesky little brother who’d died as a baby.  I realized some of the odd things that happened to me were pranks and that I’d had a baby brother who had died as well. During the time that I had spent with this former boyfriend, he constantly had things happening that couldn’t be explained.  I never told him, but I thought it was my spirit who I now believe didn’t like him, which would explain why the spirit took my keys to keep me from going to meet him.

Magic is everywhere.  If you consider the miracle of birth, the healing power of prayer, the inner voice that badgers you to go back inside for something unimportant when you’re leaving home only to find out the gas stove was not turned off.  Or if you consider the stranger who helps you in your most dire hour…it’s hard not to accept that magic exists even without tangible evidence.

At least it isn’t for me.

It was the many things I’ve experienced in life that could not be explained or defined that fueled my love of paranormal stories.  When I started the Belador series back in 2004, I created characters and a world I enjoyed, based on the things that had been percolating in my subconscious for years—fed by incidents like the loss and reappearance of my keys—the unexplainable.  I sold the novella MIDNIGHT KISS GOODBYE, which was part of the 2008 anthology DEAD AFTER DARK. Mine was not a vampire or werewolf story, but instead was based on a race of people I created from Celtic mythology.

I had the idea for a series based on that novella, but at that time, I was told my stories were too unusual – no one knew how to market them.  Fast forward to 2009 and I was co-writing a contemporary romantic thriller series with the amazing Sherrilyn Kenyon.  My awesome publisher, Pocket, was interested in something paranormal from the two of us.  Since Sherri had brought me in to collaborate with her on the BAD Agency that she’d created, I made the offer in return to have her collaborate on my Belador series.

BLOOD TRINITY is the first in this paranormal thriller series (think urban fantasy on steroids) that will be released October 19th.  Evalle Kincaid is an Alterant, a half-blood Belador, living in Atlanta where things do more than go bump in the night.

October 19th…the Beladors are coming and things are going to heat up in Atlanta.

Author Spotlight Dianna Love

What would it take for you to go into the WITSEC program?

Dianna Love and her MotoWe see this on television and read about it in books, but the idea of disappearing from our real lives is so foreign most people can’t even consider the possibility. I had a conversation with someone who knows a person in the WITSEC program and it’s a very scary situation. Notice how vague I kept that. Even though I don’t know this person’s name and there’s no chance of me being involved with this person I wouldn’t want to so much as hint at anything regarding them.

But have you ever thought – “What if I saw something that would guarantee my death if I didn’t hide?” Most of us are pretty stressed when life throws a curve our way with a serious family issue that forces us to drop what we’re doing and leave town for a few days, but to walk away from everything within less than an hour? Many WITSEC members have had to do just that.

Law enforcement in charge of the program say they have never lost one person who followed the rules, but that includes absolutely no contact with anyone from the person’s former life.

TITLEThat was part of the “what ifs” that arose while writing SILENT TRUTH. Abbie is a television journalist who’s determined to find out why her mother has suddenly become critically ill after leaving a private medical facility. Snooping around lands her in the middle of a dangerous situation where she ends up a marked woman. Hunter is ready to shove her into the WITSEC program for Abbie’s safety…until she refuses to go because her mother is dying and Abbie is the only person in her family who has a chance of saving her.

She hands Hunter an impossible decision – allow her to remain free, which will get her killed and interfere with BAD’s ability to protect America from a catastrophic threat or force Abbie into protective custody where she can’t even share her mother’s last hours if her mother dies.

And you thought you had bad days!

Making tough choices like this one is what the BAD agents do best. Watching hard-as-nails Hunter make this decision as we wrote his story pulled us right in, and I hope you love reading it as much as we loved writing it. You can read an excerpt from Hunter and Abbie’s story on my website.

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Author Spotlight – Dianna Love

What do a ‘Busa, a Softail and a Beemer have in common?

You either think I’m speaking in tongues or you’re a two-wheel enthusiast who figured out those are all motorcycles, but that’s where the similarities end.

Dianna Love on HarleyI started riding motorcycles at 18 when a bunch of us raced motocross. Not the acrobat motocross you see now, but full bore racing on a rutted and curved dirt track full of choppy hills.  Honda created great off road bikes and plenty of street bikes. Years later they produced a sexy ride called a Blackbird, the fastest street bike running.  Then later on Suzuki turned out one called a Hayabusa (known in two-wheel circles as a ‘Busa) which became THE fastest street bike. A Hayabusa is Japanese for a bird of prey, their main prey being blackbirds…a not so subtle jab at Honda.

Softail® is a Harley Davidson touring motorcycle with saddlebags and beautiful lines. I know because I had one of the classic designs known as a Heritage Softail® for several years, and I rode it all over the country. I even took that bike through the Tail of the Dragon at Deal’s Gap, a route through North Carolina and Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains. This twisting stretch of highway is considered the #1 motorcycle road in the country because there are 318 curves in 11 miles. It’s a constant run of switchbacks that tests your riding skills and earns you a “dragon” sticker for your bike if you complete it successfully.

Dianna Love and her MotoBeemer is the nickname for BMW motorcycles known for exceptional German engineering. They come in many models, but the one I own is an F 650 GS dual sport, which means the bike is capable of ridden on the road or off the road. [That’s me at the top of the page with my new baby.] My husband has a 1200 GS, a larger version (that fits his 6’l” height where I would be on my tiptoes) he rides 25,000 + miles a year.

I’m often asked if I include motorcycles in my writing. My husband’s road warrior BMW 1200 GS was the inspiration for Hunter’s motorcycle in our (my and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s) new Bureau of American Defense book SILENT TRUTH.

SILENT TRUTHHunter shows us what makes this motorcycle so special in a daring off road escape. And during the SILENT TRUTH adventure, a team of BAD Agents ride Suzuki GSX-R sport bikes known by their street name of Jixer (or Gixxer). These are fast and nimble motorcycles suited for a team on the move.

Every writer brings a piece of themselves into what they write. I’m having the best time of my life working on the BAD Agency series where I get to draw on things I’ve experienced like putting the BAD agents on BAD bikes. For all my two-wheel friends – stay safe.


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Dianna Love | Diana Love is Passionate About…

DIANNA LOVESILENT TRUTHWow, finishing that sentence is going to take some thought. Many years ago I would have simply ended that sentence with “art,” because I’ve been a portrait artist since birth.

I still love art, but now I love writing and fishing and motorcycle riding and golf and…my husband.

Isn’t it funny how our passions sometimes change over a lifetime? I’ve always put my all into everything I ever attempted because I don’t know how to do anything half measure, but that doesn’t mean everything I tried became a true passion.

At one time, I played competitive racquetball 4-6 nights a week. Before that I was around a group who rode motocross bikes. Both of these activities I jumped on, pursued, and loved. But I don’t actively pursue those now.

Other things have stayed as part of my life in some form and become true life passions – art and now writing, motorcycles, fishing, and my husband.

I’m passionate about practically everything I do, or I don’t do it for long, but recently I’ve found a new passion. Meeting readers. Up until 2001 when I started writing for the first time, I never expected to meet a reader except in a checkout line at a bookstore. I certainly never expected to meet one from the opposite side of the table at a book signing. These days, I love getting to spend hours with them at our all-night signings when Sherrilyn Kenyon and I are on the road touring. Their stories are amazing and heartwarming.

Now that I spend so much time getting to know characters in our stories I always want to know what they are passionate about, what are their dreams and what are they willing to go to the wall to do in reaching their goals. Their answers will sometimes surprise me, but more often touch my heart when I realize their true passion, just like mine, is not a passing whim, but something they’ll give their all for.

How would you describe YOUR passion? Is it cooking or riding horses or teaching children or developing technology or what?

To comment for a chance to win Silent Truth and a t-shirt, please click here.

Linda Conrad | What Do You Love to Hate?

linda conradA witch appears in my newest trilogy, The Safekeepers, for Silhouette Romantic Suspense.  In fact, she’s a black witch who curses the Ryan family. Several white witches who do good deeds are in all three books too, but the witches don’t take up the entire plot.  I’ve also written about psychics, mediums, and Native American supernatural beliefs.  My editor and I call that light paranormal elements.

Not long ago I was wondering if light paranormal was as popular with readers as dark.  Oh, I already knew about the popularity of those sensual dark vampire and werewolf stories.  Or at least I thought I did.  I happened to ask a readers group and my own newsletter subscribers what they thought.  Boy, did I get an earful!

“…straight paranormal is currently being overdone.”  “Vamps are sooo over.”  “I don’t care for vampire and the like in books.” “I’m a big paranormal fan who is tired of the vampires.”  And these are the nice replies!

But at the same time as people complain about vampire books, one of the best-selling series currently is the Twilight series by Stephanie Myer.  And please don’t tell Sherilyn Kenyon that vampires are out.  She’ll laugh all the way to the bank.   So is this a case of people secretly loving what they claim to hate?

Hooked? Read the rest and comment to be entered in Linda’s one day blog contest to win signed copies of these books PLUS some Godiva chocolate to enjoy!