Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm Having Another Spring Giveaway!

Last month's Spring Cleanup Giveaway worked out so well, I decided to have another one this month. I'm big on paranormal stories so once again we're talking vampires.

Susan Sizemore's books have all the elements vampire lovers want - alpha males, a fast paced plot, and complex relationships. I read the first two books in her Prime Series and loved them. My paperback copies are like new ( I'm very kind to my books ) and they need a good home. Just leave a comment and I'll pick a random commenter two weeks from today - Wednesday May 11.

I Burn for You (Primes Series, Book 1)

Product Description From Amazon

Embrace the darkness in a sensual new vampire romance novel from acclaimed author Susan Sizemore....

The world holds great danger for Alec Reynard and his kind. As the dark hollows of his soul threaten to overwhelm him, he undergoes secret medical treatments that allow him to bear daylight. Living a double life as a bodyguard, he must also battle the powerful chemistry that explodes between him and Domini Lancer, a mere mortal -- and, unbelievably, his soulmate.

Domini knows nothing of Alec's true nature. But when danger threatens, he kidnaps her to his clan's stronghold to protect her....and there, he can no longer hide who -- or what -- he is. As the forces aligned against Domini draw near, Alec wonders whether she'll accept the darkness within him -- or whether she's actually a vampire slayer who's cleverly infiltrated his clan.

I Thirst for You (Primes Series, Book 2)

Product Description From Amazon

No one sets fire to the page like Susan Sizemore! In her sensual new vampire romance, an unsuspecting mortal is embraced in darkness and passion....

He appears out of the dark desert night -- a huge, dangerous stranger who sparks desire and fear in her like she's never known. Josephine Elliot knows only that her captor's name is Marcus Cage, and that he's on the run. But who is chasing him, and why? Is Marcus protecting her by taking her hostage...or is he planning to use her to buy his own freedom? And why, above all, is she so inexorably drawn to him, body and soul?

Marcus is overwhelmed by his thirst for Josephine and instantly recognizes her as his soul mate. Desperate to evade enemies intent on destroying him and his kind, Marcus has no choice but to take Jo on the run. But when she unwittingly betrays him to his enemies, both are thrust into mortal danger. Can their newfound love survive her deceit and spare them a dark fate? Or will their insatiable desire burn for eternity?

About the Author

Susan Sizemore is the bestselling author of Primal Needs, Primal Desires, and Primal Heat, the most recent novels in her vampire Primes series, and more than twenty other romances. Susan, who lives in the Midwest, loves vampires, basketball, and hearing from readers. Find her at

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Good Editing Makes Stronger Writing

"Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing." ~ Norman Mailer

Lately, there's been a lot of discussion about editing on blogs and on the loops. It made me think of that quote and how true it is. Writing a book is like having a baby and when it's time to send it out into the world, we sometimes become overprotective.

Once the initial angst of submission is over, next comes the despair of rejection or the joy of acceptance and the ensuing celebration. Then comes the reality check. Your baby arrives back in your hands with so much red, it looks like it's been disemboweled. Your creative spirit takes a hit and sometimes it's tough to accept an editor's suggestions and comments. It's understandable but hey, we're not perfect and it's pretty near impossible to edit your own work.

In my mind, I know exactly who, what, why and where everything is happening. But sometimes I'm so close to the story, I don't realize that the reader isn't seeing the same things I am. Then there are those pesky errors in grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Not to mention the dreaded info dump (too much back story, not enough action) or head hopping (changing the point of view too often).

A good editor is invaluable. After putting so much effort into my baby, I welcome input from someone who has been doing this a long time and can help me make my story as good as possible. So I just want to say thank you to my hardworking editors. You guys rock.

Happy Reading!

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Friday, April 22, 2011

J.L. Oiler Talks About Writing and Her New Release - Between 3

I’m excited to have J.L. Oiler here today….

Please tell us a little about yourself (or a lot ) and how and when you got into writing?

I come from the mountains of West Virginia where I live with my husband and children. I have a Masters Degree in Education. I actually was inspired to write by my father who was a true reader, one of those folks who could down two full novels in a day. I took to his love of reading and it was not too long before I started creating stories of my own to entertain my friends. Of course, life has a way of sending you down a few misguided paths so it was not until Jan of 2010 that I had my first release.

Tell us about your new release.

My Newest release is titled Between3, A Hells Gate Ménage. It is with Rebel Ink Press and my 4th release with that publisher.

Between Three is available here:
at Amazon:


When Celeste Drain attempted to make a break from an abusive relationship, she never dreamed she'd fall into an erotic ménage with two extremely hot strangers. Their one-night stand was the beginning of her new life, a life of self-reliance and inner strength. Now six months later, Celeste has a steady job at the same bar where she met her lovers, a home, and she's building a new existence.

Justin and Craig are part of the guard force known as the Keepers, men charged with protecting the human topside world from the violent monsters that live behind one of the gates to hell deep beneath Death Valley. Given little time topside to relax, Justin and Craig stumble into a one-night stand with a beautiful woman who challenges them not only physically, but also with her quick wit and intelligence. When a large breakout at the gate allows a group of vile Adze to escape to the topside world, Justin and Craig are mortified to discover the woman they thought was just a one-night stand may be a whole lot more and worse, she's smack dab in the middle of what might just become hell on earth.

And here is a sneak peak for readers!

Craig crouched down beside her, wrapping one arm across her shoulder to support and gain her trust. Justin knelt before her, raising her face to see the damage inflicted by the ignorant human male. Her right eye was already swollen, a dark bluish purple arch under it. It was the only obvious injury and for that, Justin breathed a sigh of relief. He felt the need to gather her tightly, to promise that she'd never be injured in such a way ever again. However, they'd be returning to their post in the morning and as such, there was no means to protect her from that distance, let alone time to convince her to join them.

“Let's get you off this cold ground and get something on that eye.” Craig spoke softly while scooping her up into his arms. Standing, he marveled at how good she felt, the trusting manner in which she laid her head against his chest as they strolled back into the tavern.

“Robert, get me a bag of ice,” Justin called to the bar keep as Craig sat her gently on one of the high backed bar stools. Brushing back the fall of hair that covered her face, he took a good look at the damaged eye as she watched him closely from the other.

“Thank you,” she told them as she lifted a hand to touch her face, pulling it back fast.

“I’m Justin, the big guy here is Craig.” Both men looked at her and waited for her introduction.

“Celeste, Celeste Drain.”

“Here,” Craig lay the bag of ice against her eye and cheek, cautious not to cause her any undue discomfort.

“I could really use a drink,” she told the bartender who hovered nearby.

“Give us three shots of tequila,” Justin told the man, tossing a twenty on the bar.

Celeste watched through her good eye as Craig pulled two stools forward, placing one to the right of her for Justin. The other he slid close for himself. This wasn't the way she wanted to get either mans attention though it made her feel good to have both of them flanking her.

“You fellas from around here or just passing through?” Celeste managed, downing the shot of liquid courage in one gulp.

“We...” Justin paused, looking as though he had to consider the answer. “We're from someplace else, but visit here every time we're in town.”

Celeste figured two men who looked like Justin and Craig had to be from out of town. So that ruled out anything beyond a one-night stand, which didn't sound too bad at the moment, even though it wasn't her style. But which one? She'd never done a double. Of course, there'd never been opportunity to have such tasty teachers either. With that thought, Celeste motioned to the bartender for another shot, needing the courage it provided.

“Are you from around here?” Craig asked as he wrapped his hand around the second round of shots.

“Down the road about ten miles or so.” Celeste downed the sharp, biting liquid, slamming the empty glass on the bar. “Guess I'll need to call a cab later.” She didn't mention she was planning to stay at the little hotel down the road and sneak back into the apartment she and Cliff shared once he'd gone to work. Where she'd go until she managed to find a new job and a cheap apartment was still a mystery.

“We'll make certain you get home safe,” Justin offered.

“Are you sure?” she asked, trying not to sound pleased by the idea.

“Certainly,” Craig said with a wink and a smile. “We don’t go around saving beautiful ladies then leave them to the wolves.”

“Nice to know there are still gentlemen out there,” she smiled back.

“We never promised to be gentlemen,” Craig said, laying his arm across the back of her stool.

“Good to know.” Celeste fully understood the meaning and it left her panties wet at the thought.

Half a dozen shots later, her bag of ice had melted into a bag of water. Luckily, the liquor made her numb to any pain from Cliff's left hook. Stretching, she relaxed back into Craig, propping her scuffed brown boots on Justin’s leg and laughed as he stroked her sun tanned leg through a hole in the material of her slacks a few inches above the top of her boot.

“Are you two related?” Celeste asked, tracing the intricate weave of the dark tattoo that circled Craig’s bicep while looking pointedly at the matching ink that graced Justin’s arm.

“Not exactly.” Justin slid forward, allowing his hands to run the length of her long legs. “I think we should move this conversation somewhere else. They're getting ready for last call.”

A large lump sat in her throat making Celeste feel as though she couldn't speak. This night was definitely not what she'd expected and she couldn't deny the arousal that coursed through her at the thought of being with both these gorgeous men. She responded the only way she could, with a nod and a nervous smile.

The rumble of the engine hummed through her as she straddled the motorcycle and sat behind Justin, her hands wrapped about his waist. The wind whipped through her long hair as they moved down the nearly deserted street. Celeste didn't know their destination and leaning her head back, she allowed the feeling of flying to wash over her. She didn't care.

Craig revved the engine of his bike and moved up beside them. Raising her head, Celeste smiled over at him. Damn these two were gorgeous! Was she up for an all night rodeo with these two? She was about to find out as both bikes slowed and turned into the lot of an upper class hotel. At least they'd opted to spend a little green instead of grabbing a roach infested no-tell-motel, which put them in a class ten times higher than that of her recent ex.

“Your palace, my queen,” Justin said with a sweep of his arm toward the side corridor entrance, a pass card in his hand.

“I'll serve as your chariot,” Craig announced, sweeping her up over his shoulder and heading for the door while Celeste giggled.

Craig didn't slow down or return her to her feet until Justin opened the door and they were in the center of the large room. Slowly he allowed her body to slide down his, enjoying the way the action made his flesh jerk in anticipation. Even with one eye swollen and discolored, Celeste was perfect. Womanly curves, full lips meant for kissing and enough of an attitude not to leave him bored.

Wow, it sounds fantastic! I know you have a new series out that you wrote with three other authors. Force Recon: Beacon Bayou is a very unique read. What made you decide to collaborate with other writers and how difficult was that?

I am very close friends with all three and during a general conversation one evening we decided it would be fun to do a joint piece. As far as difficult, I think that it was one of the most educational and positive experiences of my writing career to date. If you have read Force Recon: Beacon Bayou, you already know that it is not written like any other anthology. Instead of delivering four stories with a common thread, we created a world where the readers are given a single story from several viewpoints. Which was a great challenge that I am not certain would have been pulled off so easily if we were not all good friends who were not afraid to be honest with one another.
Beacon Bayou is available at All Romance:

Is there any one thing or person in your life that inspired your writing? Any one thing or person that influenced the genre you write in?

I don’t know that I can honestly say I dray my inspiration from a single thing as much as drawing it from nearly everything. It is not unusual for me to hear a song on the radio, a graphic in a magazine or even a billboard and have to stop what I am doing to jot down a note or two about an idea or character. The same is true for my Genre. I have always been drawn to the unexplained, strange, and unusual so Paranormal was a perfect fit.

What do you know now about writing and the publishing industry that you wish you’d known before you started?

When you are looking for a publisher(s) look for someone whose beliefs and ethics match your own. In doing so you might need to explore and test drive more than one before you find the right fit.

What is your favorite aspect of the writing process? Your least favorite?

Least favorite is editing and my favorite is the initial idea formation because the story always comes out full force with a life of its own. This is where the characters introduce themselves and give you the insight into their unique world.

Are you a pantser or do you outline?

Both, at the beginning, I let the initial idea just flow unchecked, then after it slows a bit I begin to outline. That way I can get where I am going. My outlines are my own road maps for the characters to get from point A to point Z and all the areas in between.

What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?

I have several projects in the process, including the re-release of my first series. Seeds of Oden is scheduled for release the first of June and is a bundle of three series stories. I also have an erotic twist fairy tale in the works, which will be part of a Halloween release!

Thank you so much for taking the hot seat today and sharing your new release.

If you want to know more about J.L. Oiler, you can find her at:

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Starting The Week Off Write

Ever feel like you're running on a treadmill and not getting anywhere?

That was me last week, constantly working and complaining there weren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. Needless to say, I was feeling frustrated.

My mood lifted when I finally finished the manuscript for Symbiotic Mates: 3, Talon and the Falconer. Here's a bit about the plot:

In the remote Pacific Northwest, Ben, a Lycan falconer, saves Talon's life. Talon, a vampire-hawk returns the favor. Some favor - he turns Ben, in order to save him. Neither man realizes they've forged a connection that can never be broken and when they start getting sick, their only hope for survival is to be together.

I sent it off to the publisher and a great weight lifted from my shoulders, only to be replaced by another, and another, and another. I need to work on book 4 but other stories are crowding it out.

St. Clair has been bugging me about his story, which will be The Gentlemen's Club: 3. Revisiting the series – Queer Magazine Online posted two very nice reviews for Point of Beginning and Some Like it Rough. Here's the urls:

So my goal for the week is to write my ass off and finish a couple chapters for St. Clair and then there's a certain doctor in the Pacific Northwest who keeps yelling, write me, me, me…

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Flying High

This is an update post. Hunter and the Hawk, Symbiotic Mates Book #1, is available for preorder from Silver Publishing, official release April 30. 

I've been sequestered in the dungeon, I call my office, working furiously on Book #3 of Symbiotic Mates (wolves and vampire-hawks) and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, I'm so close to finishing, I'm actually thinking about three other manuscripts that I started a few weeks ago.

I'm working on Book #3 of the Gentlemen's Club, which is St. Clair's story. And a sequel to One Night in Bangkok. Oh yes, and Book #4 of the Black Wolf Gorge series.It's the story of a pack of Lycans who were burned out of their home in the Pine Barrens and migrated to New Mexico. Since the location changed I need a new series title and I can't decide what I want. Help! If anyone has an idea please let me know and if I use it, I'll reserve a copy of the book for you. 

So that's it. I'm going back to the writing and I will let you know as soon as the Symbiotic Mates ms is completed.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Raine Delight Talks About Series vs. Non-Series Books

I'm thrilled to have Raine Delight here today, talking about writing series vs. non-series books. Before we get started please tell the readers a little about yourself Raine.

Raine Delight is a pseudonym of a self professed book lover and after one too many TSTL characters, decided to see if she could write something a little better. Well many drafts later, Devon Falls series came to together. Check out my book pages to see what is going on with me. My muse is a male nut who likes to leave me to go sip mai tais on the beach and leave me foundering for words; though eventually he takes pity on me and gets my words flowing and characters start settling down.

Personal notes: I live with my own boytoy and two kids. I love Johnny Depp movies and enjoy hiking, reading and watching movies with my family.

My links:

Raine’s Book Nook Blog:
Author/Reader Loop:
Email me:
Shadowfire Press:
Secret Cravings Publishing:

Series vs. non-series books

I got a question from a reader the other day asking why do I write series books. Well that question stopped me in my tracks a bit. I never thought I would write series books but somehow, someway, my muse decided to run with it and today, I have one series with a few more on the way.

What do I love about writing series books? The chance to revisit beloved characters, the chance to explore the world I created more and to see what else will come to the muse to write about. There is no one thing that draws me to series books but the chance to see what else I can explore is a certain draw in MHO. I love seeing where my imagination can take me-from shifters, dream walkers to demons and more. The sky is the limit in my eyes.

Devon Falls was my first series of novellas and one I am particularly proud of. Originally to be only two books, it morphed into more than ten books once I settled down and saw where the muse was going. I was flabbergasted-ten books! I almost fainted but with four founding families to cover, it added up. I am currently redoing the Devon Falls books for my new publisher, Secret Cravings Publishing and they will publish Sticky Magic (Book 1-currently being rewritten and expanded), Red Hot Magic (Book 2), Fiery Magic (Book 3), Haunting Magic (Book 4) & Moonlight & Magic (Book 5) in 2011 with the rest of the series to be coming soon after then I am taking a break for to concentrate on a few other projects then back to finish it off in 2012. *wipes brow* that is a lot of books, if I say so myself.

Next up is a new series, one I am enjoying immensely. Club Fantasy is a paranormal BDSM club run by a half-demon of lust and his lover. I am aiming for this to be a trilogy at first but then we can see what happens after that. Who doesn’t love demons, romance, bdsm aspects? I know I do. *grins* I am having fun seeing where this goes and the research I am doing is having my honey really happy. *grins*

Plus another new series I just sold to Shadowfire Press takes the premise of there is someone for everyone and I toss in some of my favorite paranormal/fantasy creatures (Were-panthers, witches, vampires, elves,etc) and have them find out their destined mate(s) are not who they think it should be. The first book is coming Nov. 2011 and has a surly, alpha were-panther finding that his destined mate is the next door neighbor-a witch who hates all things were. *grins* Can you see the sparks fly when destiny/fate decides these two are perfect for one another?

This isn’t to say I don’t enjoy writing non-series books. I currently have one out at Shadowfire Press called Fantasies Unbound-about a Fae Prince searching for his mate except when he finds her, she is human and that is not allowed. Then I have a story that is a bit of Firefly and a dash of Pirates of the Caribbean that I created called Space Pirates: Bounty for Shadowfire Press. It has the Earth dying and alien slavers stealing the last remaining humans. I like to mix it up and switch from series to non-series books but as writers know, if a plot bunny attacks, you never know where it may lead.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for me. I have other ideas for books (hunky cowboys or elves anyone?) and who knows, maybe they will morph into a series as well. In the meantime, I read some wonderful series from talented authors (Yasmine Galenorn, Deborah Cooke, Jenna Black, JD Robb, etc) and settle in for my own personal reading pleasure while I recharge the muse.

My questions to you- What series to do you enjoy reading and why? Are there any out there you want to recommend?

Check out Raine’s website:
and blog:  for more information her books, contests and other fun stuff.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nicki J. Markus - Too Many Books...

Welcome Nicki J. Markus who's sharing her thoughts on a problem we can all relate too - too many books and not enought time!

Nicki: While I was pondering what to write for this guest blog today, I found my mind wandering to the bookshelf and the pile of books awaiting me there.

This pile causes me both joy and anguish. Joy because I love to read and can’t wait to get to the next book on my ‘to be read’ list, but anguish because, no matter how much I read, the pile always seems to get larger rather than smaller.

I’m sure I can’t be the only one with this issue. I tell myself not to buy any more until I have read those I already have and yet, when I see the books there with their shiny, enticing covers, I seem to be unable to resist.

This situation has only gotten worse this year since I got my first e-reader. Now I also have the lure of NetGalley to contend with; all those lovely books calling out to be read and reviewed.

And so, I currently find myself with sixteen books waiting and the pressure and guilt weighing down on me that I haven’t gotten to them yet.

I will get to them eventually of course; they won’t linger in an abandoned state forever. But whether they get read sooner rather than later will depend on my will-power.

I seem to remember that when I was a teenager I could read books in one or two sittings. But the older I get the less time I seem to have. At present I am working full time and also trying to fit in: writing my own stories, editing other author’s work, assignments for the editing course I am doing, running my blogs and web pages, working on my cross stitch (a huge canvas I have already been working on for 2 years – I’m on the second colour now!), writing to my pen pals, music practice...not to mention the necessary cleaning, dishes etc. and trying to get some exercise. I try to fit in some reading in between all that, but sadly I just don’t have the hours to devote to it that I used to.

Oh well, I must accept my fate. The pile will no doubt continue to grow and maybe one day I’ll reach the end and breathe a sigh of relief. Or maybe not.

Nicki J Markus is the author of several e-books including Awaken to the Night, Dragon’s Heart and the Time Keeper series. She was born in England in 1982, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her fiancé. You can find out more about Nicola and her writing at her website:

Her latest release is the second part of her four-part paranormal Time Keepers mini-series. Her books are available from: Amazon, OmniLit, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and Bookstrand.

Time Keepers – Part 1 – Running Blind

"It seems like any ordinary day as Nick waits for the train, but then a chance encounter with a young woman turns his world upside down. What is it that she is running from and will helping her jeopardise his own secret, making him a target too?"

Time Keepers – Part 2 – The Beast Within

"With Nick’s secret now exposed, he and Ellie must run for their lives, pursued by the Governor and his Time Keepers. Will they be able to stay hidden or is their time nearly up?"

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

I'm an Amazon Viner!

Recently I was invited to participate in the Amazon Vine Program. This is something new - or new to me anyway. Why me? Evidently people are chosen because their reviews have been helpful to others. I do review a lot of items on Amazon, I give an honest opinion, and I'm glad to know people have found my reviews helpful.

So now I receive two newsletters a month. I can pick from a variety of items to review. Most of them are books. That's fine with me – I'm an avid reader and I love to talk books.

Vine Voice members are not paid for the reviews and the opinions are strictly ours. Our reviews are not changed or modified in any way. The posted reviews are marked with an Amazon "Vine" in green.

So with that being said, here's the first review I submitted as a new Vine Voice.


Strings Attached is a book for young adults. I'm far from a teenager, but I'm young at heart and I've been known to enjoy books written for adolescents. Besides, this is a period piece and the time frame is one I'm familiar with, and enjoy reading about. I looked forward to a look backward and I wasn't disappointed at all. I guess you could call this a historical family drama. It moves from post-war New York to Florida and it's full of intrigue, deceit and even murder.

Here's a brief synopsis. Broken hearted, Kit Corrigan breaks off a relationship with Billy, a boy who enlisted in the army. She leaves her family in Providence, Rhode Island and moves to New York City to pursue a stage career. Kit gets a small part in a Broadway show, as a chorus girl, but she needs financial help.

Help comes from a lawyer, Nate Benedict, Billy's father. He offers help - an apartment and introductions to a new crowd. In return Kit is to keep him informed about Billy and do him a few favors when he asks. Unfortunately Nate is involved with the mob and there are more than a few strings attached to his help.

The author sets the scene perfectly and I was fully immersed in NYC in the fifties. The characters are unique and well-developed, maybe a bit clichéd. The story is told in first person narrative by Kit, who is naïve and too trusting, but believable in her situation. The dialogue is strong and insightful. There are plenty of twists and turns that kept me engaged. In fact I finished the book in a few days, which is pretty good for me, considering my reading time is limited these days.

Definitely a recommended read for older teens or adults.

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (March 1, 2011)
Price: $12.23
Also available in Kindle

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