Announcing a new Paranormal Group Blog!

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Super excited to announce the launch today of Paranormal Unbound, a new group blog dedicated to exploring the paranormal genre in books and pop culture! I’m proud to be one of nine published authors making up this blog! The others are Amber Belldene, Celia Breslin, Lexi George, Erica Hayes,  Suzanne Johnson, Lisa Kessler, AJ Larrieu and Elisabeth Staab! All week we are giving away copies of our book to celebrate. Stop on by and check us out!

Also, I wanted to let y’all know that I’m rededicating myself to posting regularly here again. The break was needed, but I need to get back into the swing o’ things! See ya around!

Cover Reveal for NEED by Stephanie Lawton

NeedNeed

By Stephanie Lawton

Published by Inkspell Publishing

Release date: May 17, 2013

Want cover wYay! Am super excited to be a part of the blog reveal today for fellow Mobilian and writer Stephanie Lawton! This is the followup to her debut novel WANT, released last year. WANT is a YA set in Mobile, and this sequel, I am told, is most decidedly NOT YA. I think the cover artist did a wonderful job not only matching the first cover, but also showing that this is indeed an adult novel–how sexy is that tie-grabbing?

Want to know more? Here’s the scoop:

Synopsis:

Isaac Laroche is cursed. All he wants to do is hide out and feel sorry for himself. Never mind that he got caught sleeping with his seventeen-year-old piano student, or that he abandoned her when the truth was exposed.

Isaac’s feisty high school sweetheart has different plans. Heather Swann has returned to their hometown of Mobile, Alabama, to regroup after breaking up with her troll of a fiancé. She’s restless and looking for a diversion, but she bites off more than she can chew when she sets her sights on rehabilitating Isaac with her unorthodox sexual, mental, and physical plans.

The two quickly reconnect, but their happiness is threatened by family secrets, old vendettas and the death of a beloved father-figure.

Can Heather handle Isaac’s baggage, or will her own come back to haunt them both?

Author bio:

photo 3After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting.

A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.

Links for stalking!

Author website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Need

 

Congrats Stephanie! So proud of you!

Book Monday: Guest Author Donna Cummings and I Do… Or Die

Today I’m super excited to bring you Donna Cummings whom I’ve gotten to know via various online methods, and whose sense of humor and advice has helped me through several writerly journey bumps. She’s also a valued Beta reader. Writers talk about the need to have other writer friends to go to when they’re feeling out of sorts (or panicked) and Donna’s become one of those for me. Thank you, Donna!

Today, for Book Monday, not only is she going to give us an excerpt from her new release, but she’s also going to confess a habit she has regarding books. Take it away, Donna!

******

I’m always curious to see what people are reading. My neck can stretch giraffe-like just to get a peek at the title of a book they’re carrying. If someone is engrossed in a book while at Starbucks, all of a sudden I need to walk past them on my way to get a refill. Of napkins.

When I’m visiting someone’s home, the first thing I seek out is their bookshelves. I’ve learned to hide my glee when I see rows upon rows of books displayed for my viewing pleasure. And I never, ever say out loud (well, not anymore), “Oooh, wonder what they have that I need to take home with me!”

Seeing books lined up on shelves, or piled on tables, or teetering in a big stack on the floor, it’s easy to determine which ones have been read more than once, and which are just for show. This is trickier to accomplish when e-readers are involved, although if someone is on Goodreads, we can poke through their virtual shelves to see which books they’ve read, or want to read–and way too many of those end up in my own lists as a result of my rigorous “research”.

The heroine in my current release, I Do. . .or Die, tries to figure out the hero from viewing various items in his home, including the bookshelves. Shelby has been shot at, twice — the first time at her friend Alexa’s wedding. Shelby has to spend the night at Detective Ryan Nichols’ house for her protection, and this is her first time checking out the inside of Ryan’s home:

It was a place designed for a man’s comfort, not to impress female guests. A honey colored leather couch took up a large portion of the room, flanked by a couple of matching club chairs that were obviously well-used, probably whenever his policeman buddies dropped by. A large—no, make that a really large—flat-screen TV covered most of one wall.

Alexa and I had just been discussing the correlation between the size of a man’s flatscreen TV and his—

Detective Nichols was a very tidy person, with not even a single random burst of clutter. That was distressing. People who had everything in its place kind of freaked me out. For one thing, how did they find time to keep everything in its place? And for another thing, why would they want to spend all their time doing that?

He leaned against the closed door, his arms folded across his chest, watching me stroll around his sparse living room.

I trailed a finger over the police league softball trophies covering the fireplace mantel. Another flaw. He probably liked to work out all the time, while I—well, I did try to lift my martini glass with alternating hands, so I could evenly develop my bicep muscles. But I couldn’t do that every day. My liver was too delicate for that kind of exercise regime.

Detective Nichols cleared his throat. “Think this will do for the night?”

I nodded, a little sad, yet relieved, that I’d uncovered these deal breakers. Not that it really mattered, since I’d only planned on getting in bed, not getting involved, with him. Still, a girl needs to have standards, even with flings.

“Are you letting me get accustomed to my surroundings?” I asked. “Like a new puppy or something?”

His lips turned up in that way I found too sexy, and my stomach did all kinds of silly flip-floppy things. “As long as I don’t have to swat you with a rolled-up newspaper, I think we’ll be fine.”

“Beats the hell out of bullets.”

I halted, peering at him as the words sank in. It always came back to that. No matter what else happened, I still had to deal with the shock of being shot at. Twice. In one day.

At a wedding. And then in a police car.

“You know, Shelby, you’ve got a pretty good sense of humor about all of this.”

“Oh, that’s only because I’m in that numb phase right now. Wait till I get a good night’s sleep and realize how incredibly insane all of this is.”

I wandered over to a bookcase, something he’d probably gotten from the Ikea catalog and put together himself. I loved to see which books people had, and which ones were never going to be read, based on my assessment of their personality.

This man loved mysteries. Thankfully for me, it looked like he’d actually read a lot of them, so he would know how to solve the one I was embroiled in. Or give advice to the detective he’d be handing me off to in the morning.

Do you like to investigate other people’s reading materials? Please tell me I’m not the only one!

Official Blurb:

“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” is Shelby Atwood’s personal credo. She’s managed to avoid commitment all her life – no pets, no plants, not even a long-term lease. Heck, she’s had colds last longer than her romantic relationships. How could she be any other way when she has a gigolo for a father?

But then gunfire erupts at the latest wedding she’s agreed to be in, and it ends up being the best thing to happen to Shelby’s love life. Detective Ryan Nichols is assigned to the case, and when the shootings don’t stop, he becomes her 24-hour bodyguard. Shelby wouldn’t mind except Ryan is too appealing, too sexy, and too happy to remind her of the raucous bachelorette party when she mistook him for a stripper.

Shelby’s plan is simple: find the shooter, have a fling with Ryan, and return to her non-committal life. Unfortunately, the shooter is very elusive. Shelby’s feelings for Ryan are way more than adrenaline-fueled lust. And returning to her normal life is now impossible since, despite her lifelong resistance, she’s managed to put her heart smack dab in the line of fire.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ARe | BookStrand

About Donna:

6a011168847f76970c0147e0d1c81c970b-200wiI have worked as an attorney, winery tasting room manager, and retail business owner, but nothing beats the thrill of writing humorously-ever-after romances.

I reside in New England, although I fantasize about spending the rest of my days in a tropical locale, wearing flip flops year-round, or in Regency London, scandalizing the ton.

In addition to I Do. . .or Die, my available books are Summer Lovin’, a free romantic comedy novella, and Lord Midnight, a Regency romance. My contemporary novella, Back on Track, part of the Strangers on a Train collection, will release from Samhain on April 2, 2013.

How to stalk her:

Website/blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

Monday Hunk Who Reads – Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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Gordon-Levitt reading | Photo courtesy of HitRecord.org

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Like any child actor, he’s fighting against his earlier portrayals and looks, but one thing’s for sure, he’s turned into a cutie. He also reads:

The movies I watch and the music I listen to and the books I read – those are important to me. It’s very important to me, and I don’t know what I would do without those things. [source]

In this article, he was asked about his role in The Lookout, and he related:

Well, I did a fair amount of research. I did some reading. My favorite book I read was called ‘The Man with a Shattered World‘ which was about a veteran coming back from World War II.

According to TV.com, his favorite book is J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, and if there are any gaming geeks out there, he loved reading and playing Dungeons & Dragons when he was growing up. At the same website, he’s quoted as saying this about his role in Mysterious Skin:

I didn’t read the book till after I read the script, but probably more than any other movie I’ve ever been a part of, the movie turned out the way I thought it should look based on the script and the book.

He’s also friendly to authors, because when the author of Mysterious Skin tweeted that his book had gone on sale, he RTed it.

But guess what? If you didn’t know this already, he’s a part of the book world, by way of curating and editing. He has an online production company called HitRECord  that inspires users across the world to come together and create singular works of art, and it was through that site that the genesis for his Tiny Book of Tiny Stories came about, as well as other collaborations:

  • The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1 From hitRECord, the immensely popular open collaborative production company, and its founder, Golden Globe-nominated actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, comes The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1. The universe is not made of atoms; it’s made of tiny stories. To create The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, known within the hitRECord community as RegularJOE–directed thousands of collaborators to tell tiny stories through words and art. With the help of the entire creative collective, Gordon-Levitt culled, edited and curated over 8,500 contributions into this finely tuned collection of original art from 67 contributors. Reminiscent of the 6-Word Memoir series, The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1 brings together art and voices from around the world to unite and tell stories that defy size.
  • The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2 One of the most ingenious and successful projects to come out of Gordon-Levitt’s online creative coalition hitRECord – an international collaboration of artists and writers – The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2 offers more quirky, delightfully small, ingeniously illustrated haiku-like tales, proving once more that the universe isn’t made of atoms; it’s made of tiny stories. The best things do come in small packages
  • HitRECord Recollection Vol. 1 Hardbound 64-page Book, DVD & CD. ‘RECollection: Volume 1′ is the very first anthology of hitRECord’s work, featuring the contributions of 471 collaborators. The eight-inch square, cloth-bound tome is a well-crafted and meticulously-designed piece of art. With equal attention given to each medium—video, audio, image, text—this relic of our records is rich in detail and a feast for the senses.
  • Little Red Riding Hood: Redux (The hitRECorderly #1) A beautiful book of hitRECord’s adaptation of the classic fairy tale – complete with artwork, essays, and paper doll cut-outs!

This LATimes interview talks more about HitRECord and Gordon-Levitt’s role.

Want more? You can follow him on Twitter and Goodreads!

So that’s this month’s Hunk Who Reads. Reading is sexy people!

For further opportunities to idolize men and books:

Do you have any photos of male celebrities reading?

Come back next month to see the next Hunk Who Reads…

*previous Ovaries Exploding Award winner

Book Monday: SHRAPNEL by Stephanie Lawton – Excerpt

Stephanie-Lawton-TOURShrapnel
by Stephanie Lawton
Publisher: Evernight TEEN (January 17, 2013)

I’m so excited to host my friend Stephanie for her blog tour of her new YA release, SHRAPNEL. I don’t know if she remembers this, but we first “met” on Twitter over this book in the fall of 2011. I’d just joined Twitter and scoured it for local writers and others to follow and found her, among others. She soon tweeted asking for something quick that could be flammable during the Civil War era. I replied with some suggestions and we struck up a convo. She then invited me to the Mobile Writer’s Guild and we’ve since gotten to know each other. Turns out that tweet was for a scene in this book :) This past fall I Beta read an earlier version of it, and oh boy did I love it! It’s just dripping with voice, y’all, and so deliciously atmospheric. (tweet this) I was on the edge of my seat. Seriously!

Anyway, this is a long-winded explanation about why I’m so pleased to have her on my blog today for Book Monday! First lets give you the blurb, so you know what’s going on:

It’s been six years since Dylanie and her family visited a Civil War site and the place came alive with cannon fire. Problem was, no one could hear it but her.

Now she’s sixteen, her dad’s moved out, her mom’s come out of the closet and Dylan’s got a spot on Paranormal Teen, a reality TV show filming at historic Oakleigh Mansion. She’ll spend a weekend with two other psychic teens—Jake and Ashley—learning how to control her abilities.

None of them realized how much their emotional baggage would put them at the mercy of Oakleigh’s resident spirits, or that they’d find themselves pawns in the 150-year-old battle for the South’s legendary Confederate gold. Each must conquer their personal ghosts to face down Jackson, a seductive spirit who will do anything to protect the gold’s current location and avenge a heinous attack that destroyed his family.

Intrigued yet? I’m now turning it over to Stephanie for more SHRAPNEL!

********

Angela and I have many things in common, which is part of why I’m so excited to be on her blog today. Not only do we live in the same city, but we’re on the board of our local writers guild together. We both write quirky, strong heroines, and we both love a bit of humor mixed in with our steamy stuff.

Below is an excerpt from Shrapnel, my upper-YA mutt of a novel set at Oakleigh Mansion in Mobile, Alabama. Dylanie is a foul-mouthed tomboy, but making an attempt at being girlie. Her helper is a smarmy Civil War-era ghost named Jackson. Here, she’s seeing her new look for the first time.

I’m not prepared for what I see. Standing in front of me is … a girl. A noise makes me turn. My Army bag has fallen over and the contents are spread out on the bed, almost like someone rifled through them. Closest to me are my brush and the make-up bag Mom doesn’t know I own. She’d probably break into song and dance if she did.

“Okay, Jackson, I get the hint.” He doesn’t appear, but he’s here somewhere. Ten minutes later my hair’s under control, I’ve managed to smudge on some color without looking like a clown, and I have to admit, I look a little bad-ass. Like a girl, but in a don’t-screw-with-me kind of way. I reach for my red Converses. Just as I’m about to tug on the first one, the door on the right side of the ugly wardrobe swings open on a squeaky hinge. I chuckle when I see what’s inside.

“Are you kidding me? What are the odds that they’re my size? They’ll probably crumble into dust if I even touch them.”

“You doubt me?” Jackson’s sudden appearance sends me stumbling backward.

“You can’t just do that! You scared the shit out of me.”

“I wouldn’t have to appear if you were a good girl and did as you were told.”

I grit my teeth while weighing my options. My earlier urge to injure him loses to my need to say, I told you so.

“Fine.” I march over to the wardrobe and yank out the musty, old boots, ignoring Jackson’s lazy grin that sends my stomach into a tailspin. Except … the boots aren’t musty. Yeah, they look old, but they’re in perfect condition. The leather is supple and shiny, and the laces have been replaced with smooth, black ribbons. I don’t know whether to wear them or worship them.

Jackson makes up my mind for me when he scoots me onto the bed and lifts my foot onto his knee. I chuckle, thinking of the old man with a bad comb-over at the children’s shoe store close to our house. He used to kneel and place our feet on his knee, too, when fitting us for a new pair. I’d stare at the top of his shiny head and the greasy strips of hair carefully gelled into place.

“Ticklish?”

“Hardly.”

“Hmmm.” Jackson loosens the laces then tips the boot so I can slip in my toes. He maneuvers it until my foot and calve are perfectly encased in black leather. His fingers linger at the back of my knee.

“Seems like you’ve done this before.”

“Perhaps,” he says as he tugs the ribbons tight. “Other foot.”

He repeats the process, but this time he doesn’t release my leg when he finishes. “Lovely,” he breathes, then shakes his head as if to clear it. “Are you ready to go downstairs?”

I shrug.

“Give them a try.” Jackson takes my hand and pulls me off the bed so I’m standing on two-inch heels, a far cry from the flat Chucks I’m used to. The boots are surprisingly comfortable. “Stand up straight, shoulders back.”

“You sound like my mom.”

He smirks. “Now walk.” I feel like a horse being led around a ring as Jackson keeps me steady. “Don’t lock your knees. Use them to help you walk naturally, heel to toe.”

After a few adjustments, I’ve got the hang of it. “Like this?”

“Mmm, excellent.” I swear his dead eyes just got warmer. Is that possible? Something tells me that isn’t the kind of thing I can ask Riley. His raises my hand to his lips and leaves a small kiss that sends tingles all the way up my bare arm and beyond. “I think you’re ready, sweetheart. Do not forget to pay attention to what you learn today. I’ll be nearby.”

“Yeah? That’s pretty damn creepy, you know.” My heart begins pumping out a cocktail of Oh, crap when he crosses his arms and stares at me. Guess that was the wrong thing to say. As the seconds stretch out, I count my blinks. After six, he still hasn’t broken eye contact. My toes wiggle inside my boots. Then my leg starts bouncing. “Okay, maybe not creepy. Maybe protective is more like it. Or concerned. Or, I don’t know, sweet? You know it was just a joke, right? I always say stupid, sarcastic stuff.”

Still, he doesn’t answer.

“Are you mad at me?”

Jackson takes a deep, unnecessary breath. “Is that how I appear to you, creepy?”

“Well, you are dead.” He nods. “And you can appear and disappear whenever you want.” He nods again, so I keep prodding. “And you can … um, touch me. Even though you’re not real. So yeah, that qualifies as creepy.”

I watch, mesmerized, as a crooked grin slowly softens his face. “And yet you’re not running for the door, pulling out your hair and screaming like a hysterical schoolgirl.”

“No, um, that would be—” I point in the direction of Ashley’s room.

Jackson rewards me with a genuine laugh. “And that is why I chose you, not her. I can’t promise I won’t be creepy, but hopefully I can be a number of other things to you, as well.” He takes a step toward me, while I take a step back. “Intriguing, perhaps? Helpful?” He eyes my boots and takes another step closer. “Educational, even?”

His eyes land on my lips, and even a novice like me can tell where this is headed.

*********

photo 3After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting.

A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.

Where To Find Stephanie:

Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Where to get your paws on SHRAPNEL:

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (paperback) | Barnes and Noble (paperback) | Evernight Teen | All Romance ebooks (digital) | CreateSpace (paperback)

Book Monday: Gifts for Book Lovers – Literary Board Games!

Over at Flavorwire last week, they collected ten board games for book nerds, and I thought I’d share them, but with the links to purchase. I also found some more!

The sharp eye of a fellow Austenite alerted me to the article, due to this:

pandpgameA Pride & Prejudice Board Game!

Totally want. Want one too? You can get it for $36 + shipping. Here’s the official blurb:

Attend a ball at Netherfield, take tea at Rosings or stroll through the gardens at Pemberley as you experience Regency life and test your knowledge of Jane Austen’s most beloved novel. Will you linger in Meryton or pine for the amusements of London? Perhaps you’ll astound your opponents with your superior knowledge of the book. Alas, your progress may be deterred by anything from a bit of slipped lace to a scandalous elopement.

Marriage is the Object
Elizabeth and Darcy, Jane and Bingley, Lydia and Wickham or Charlotte and Mr. Collins–pick one of four couples from the novel and maneuver them separately or together through town and countryside. Be the first to collect all game tokens, then race to the Parish Church to marry and win the game!

Here’s more!

Which ones do you want? Which ones would you like to see be a board game?

Book Monday: New Releases in paranormal, time travel & contemporary romance

Today for Book Monday, I thought I’d highlight the recent releases of fellow authors who are Beta partners of mine (we swap our stories for critique).

In no particular order…

Melting the Millionaire’s Heart by Linda Morris (Contemporary Romance–Dec 2012, Entangled)

Love a good snowbound romance? Try this sexy new release! Here’s the official blurb:

Special-needs teacher Kayla Johnston writes off any shot at New Year’s Eve romance when she’s summoned to a fundraising event for her school at the remote estate of a wealthy would-be-donor. But when a massive snowstorm hits and Kayla careens off the road, the sexy stranger who rescues her brings to mind cozy fireplaces and steamy midnight kisses…among other things.

Reclusive entrepreneur Ryan Langford may be missing his own fundraiser, but being marooned in a cabin with Kayla beats ducking a room full of people after his money any day. Too bad she’s so irritated with the ” gazillionaire” who ruined her New Year’s Eve that he feels like he has to lie about his identity. But when the sparks fly and they fall into each other’s arms, Ryan knows he’s made a big mistake. Will she be able to trust him once the snow melts and the truth comes out?

I Do . . . Or Die by Donna Cummings (Romantic Comedy–Dec 2012, Crimson)

Looking for a contemporary romance awash in humor, with a dose of suspense?

“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” is Shelby Atwood’s personal credo. She’s managed to avoid commitment all her life – no pets, no plants, not even a long-term lease. Heck, she’s had colds last longer than her romantic relationships. How could she be any other way when she has a gigolo for a father?

But then gunfire erupts at the latest wedding she’s agreed to be in, and it ends up being the best thing to happen to Shelby’s love life. Detective Ryan Nichols is assigned to the case, and when the shootings don’t stop, he becomes her 24-hour bodyguard. Shelby wouldn’t mind except Ryan is too appealing, too sexy, and too happy to remind her of the raucous bachelorette party when she mistook him for a stripper.

Shelby’s plan is simple: find the shooter, have a fling with Ryan, and return to her non-committal life. Unfortunately, the shooter is very elusive. Shelby’s feelings for Ryan are way more than adrenaline-fueled lust. And returning to her normal life is now impossible since, despite her lifelong resistance, she’s managed to put her heart smack dab in the line of fire.

Seal of Destiny by Traci Douglass (Paranormal Romance–Jan 21, 2013, Crimson)

This one we didn’t swap the whole novel, just chapters, but what I critiqued, I remember enjoying!

Mira Herald is having the worst life ever. Not only is she plagued by horrific nightmares starring the Devil himself, she’s now the target of a power-hungry, rogue minion, freshly sprung from Hell and bent on her destruction. To complicate matters further, she’s acquired a stalker. One who insists he’s a divine warrior sent for her protection because she houses an ancient relic with the power to unleash Armageddon. Last time Mira checked, she wasn’t insane. Still, all this celestial mayhem is enough to drive a girl crazy.

Kagan is a member of the Scion, an elite team of immortal warriors selected by Divinity to aid mankind and save the world. After a century alone, Kagan is summoned for a new mission. He’s eager to begin. Eager until he’s informed his mission consists of protecting a woman with no clue to the power she wields. Plus, his briefing fails to prepare him for his new target’s cosmic-sized attitude problem. As Divinity’s sworn servant, he’s required to fulfill his duty. His oath, however, does not require him to be enthusiastic about his new assignment or warm-and-fuzzy toward his new compatriot. He plans a wham-bam rescue and a quick return to solitude.

The minion attacks – with the backing of a mysterious organization – and all Hades erupts, putting a fast end to any whirlwind escapes. Accustomed to staunch independence, Mira’s survival now requires full cooperation and an unwavering belief in Kagan. The battle-hardened warrior is also forced to chose: between duty and desire. Amidst the turmoil, Kagan and Mira’s undeniable passion draws them closer to each other and down a path neither expected but both yearn for, more than they ever knew.

Will love save the day? The world’s fate depends on the answer.

Two more to pimp…. These aren’t Beta partners, but we’ve gotten to know each other in writerly loops and I’m super excited for them. I’ve got them loaded on my Kindle and am eager to read!

Blood Vine by Amber Belldene (Paranormal romance–Jan 2013, Omnific)

In Blood Vine, bites are an inconvenient bliss, exiled vampires are wasting away, and the fate of their kind depends on the perfect PR campaign.

When public relations pro Zoey Porter arrives at an enchanting California winery, she discovers her sexy new client is the almost one-night stand she can’t forget. After her husband’s suicide, Zoey has vowed never to risk her heart again. But can she walk away from the intriguing winemaker a second time?

Driven from Croatia by his ancient foes, vampire Andre Maras has finally made a blood-like wine to cure his fellow refugees. Now he needs Zoey’s PR expertise to reach them. After his wife’s death, Andre has a vow of his own—never to risk another painful blood bond. And one taste of the tempting Zoey would bind him to her eternally.

His secrets stall her PR plans. Her jealousy is stoked by the blissed-out beauties leaving his bedroom. At every turn, he utterly fails to resist her. When she discovers he is a vampire, will she be lost to the golden-eyed Hunters, or lose herself to the emptiness in her heart, before she can help him save his kind?

Wishing For A Highlander (Highland Wishes) by Jessi Gage (time travel romance–Dec 2012, Lyrical)

Highland Wishes, #1

For Melanie, “Be careful what you wish for” becomes “Be careful what you wish on.”

While examining Andrew Carnegie’s lucky rosewood box, single-and-pregnant museum worker Melanie makes a tongue in cheek wish on the artifact–for a Highland warrior to help her forget about her cheating ex. Suddenly transported to the middle of a clan skirmish in sixteenth-century Scotland, she realizes she should have been a tad more specific.

Darcy, laird in waiting, should be the most eligible bachelor in Ackergill, but a cruel prank played on him in his teenage years has led him to believe he is too large under his kilt to ever join with a woman. He has committed himself to a life of bachelorhood, running his deceased father’s windmills and keeping up the family manor house…alone.

Darcy’s uncle, Laird Steafan welcomes the strangely dressed woman into his clan, immediately marrying her to Darcy in hopes of an heir. But when Steafan learns of her magic box and brands her a witch, Darcy must do what any good husband would–protect his wife, even if it means forsaking his clan.

WARNING: A pregnant museum worker, a sixteenth-century Scot, and a meddlesome wishing box.

Read any great newly-released romances lately? 

Reviews, and Interviews, Oh my!

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Continuing with the promotion of the release of my erotic romantic comedy, BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS, here’s the latest reviews and interviews:

Thank you for your support!

In looking at my Amazon ranking, I think sales are good. I won’t know until I get a report from the publisher mid-month. But if you bought a copy, thank you! Your support means so much to me! I can’t tell you how overwhelming your support has been to me, I really appreciate it!

Spare some likes and tags?

Due to the way Amazon ranking works when doing searches, if you have a spare moment, I could totally use some Likes & Tags. What does that mean? ‘Likes’ are a small button right under the title page. Tags are located near the bottom of the page and you are allowed to agree with up to 15 tags that are there (or add your own). Believe it or not, when readers search based on tags, it’s not the sales ranking that puts a book to the top, but the number of people who’ve tagged it for that category!! So in one of mine, there’s a book with 1 review (3 stars) and a lower sales rank, but because they have way more tags, they are higher than mine in the category. Doing  this is completely anonymous!

Reviews

Customer reviews on Goodreads and Amazon are going well. If you’ve read it, rating it on Goodreads will help its visibility–you don’t have to leave a review there to do so. Thanks!!

Do you have a release out now? What things have you found help your visibility?

Monday Hunk Who Reads – Joe Manganiello

By Joe_Manganiello_5.jpg: Srakirei derivative work: RanZag (This file was derived from:  Joe_Manganiello_5.jpg) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Joe_Manganiello_5.jpg: Srakirei derivative work: RanZag (This file was derived from: Joe_Manganiello_5.jpg) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Joe Manganiello

Can I get a growl? Kicking off the first Monday Hunk Who Reads for the year with Joe Manganiello, best known for his role as the hot werewolf in True Blood. And clutch your pearls, girls, he reads!

This little nugget was in a DaMan article on Manganiello:

I grew up a misfit. I never fit in. I had all of these parts that were in direct conflict with each other. I was an athlete, but I was extremely artistic. I was a big strong kid who was also very sensitive and empathetic. I was a jock who was good at math and chess and loved to read … I didn’t know what group to hang out with in school until I started acting. When I did, I realized everyone was as weird and out of place as I was, and that I could combine all of those weird opposing characteristics together and create characters that made sense to me in my weird way. Acting was the only place that I ever felt like I belonged so went for it with everything I had. [emphasis mine]

In this HBO Connect interview we learn that of course he’s read Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series for his role, though he had this to say:

I think toward the end of season 5 Alcide toughens up quite a bit more than he does in the books and I couldn’t be happier about that. I am also thrilled about working with Robert Patrick. I think our relationship is so much more developed and nuanced [than] the books and that has been awesome to play

In the same interview, it’s revealed that his favorite book to re-read is The Hobbit, which was his fave growing up.

Flaunt.com did an article on him about the role of mythological beasts in the social climate, and learned tht Manganiello takes his acting very seriously, and not just in defining his abs–he reads lots of historical and mythological literature on wolves to prepare for his role as Alcide. As the article shares:

At mention of the social climate that invites an insurgence of supernatural media stars, Joe Manganiello sits discernibly taller in his seat. As a resident werewolf on the popular vampire series, True Blood, his credentials for our discussion to follow are promising, and within just moments of conversing, every bit deserving of the hype. Immediately, he confides how pleasant it is to discuss something other than his ab routine. “It’s really nice when you get to sit down and talk about what goes into the show and books about culture,” he says, “or why [True Blood] is popular and how it fits into the grand scheme of things.”
In just moments of speaking, his dedication and enthusiasm for his profession are admiringly evident, and, upon dissection of his upbringing, it is quickly apparent why this is. Manganiello was raised in Western Pennsylvania by a working-class father, who bestowed a blue-collar work ethic upon his children. Today, this robust conditioning translates to caring for his role with the same force by which his grandfather proudly shoveled coal. Though the most superficial and identifiable fruits of his labors are shown in his physique, in regards to his workouts Manganiello insists that he “approach[es] everything with this same level of intensity” and goes on to cite the comprehensive list of books and films he has added to his gamut in an effort to prepare for this role. His words are validated with a book on hand—gifted by a fan—on the history of English werewolves circa 1865.

Mythology lovers will like what he has to say here, from the same article:

As Manganiello points out, this human method of coping is “a classic formula from the dawn of mythology.” He describes how, in order to explain the unexplainable, the Ancient Greek and Egyptian gods were given very human qualities, “creating these mythological creatures who make very human mistakes” in order to understand mortality. This really is no different from True Blood, he explains, “because really the show is not about vampires and werewolves, but instead is about being human, and how these people with massive handicaps try to feel love, give love, have sex, be normal, fit into society, and deal with loss.” Manganiello draws another connection to mythology, this time in reference to his True Blood character Alcide, explaining, “The name Alcide is actually a derivative of the name Hercules, who was cursed in Greek mythology.” It is no secret to the storyline that Alcide feels cursed in being a werewolf, and Manganiello empathizes in remembrance of a lonely adolescence.

In this interview, he states that his favorite book is Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.

Here’s a pic of him reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula…

Want more? You can follow him on Twitter!

So that’s this month’s Hunk Who Reads. Reading is sexy people!

For further opportunities to idolize men and books:

Do you have any photos of male celebrities reading?

Come back next month to see the next Hunk Who Reads…

*previous Ovaries Exploding Award winner

A Peek into Geekdom

DSCN0354Today I’m guest posting at Louisa Bacio’s blog–A Peek Into Geekdom–where I share some memories from a sci-fi/fantasy/pop culture convention I attend every year–Dragon*Con! If you’ve read the opening of my new release, BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS, you’ll recognize the photo on the left :) I share more memories and photos that were inspiration for the fictional ConVegas that took place in the background of the story.