Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Romance Convention 2012

The forecast for Dallas in August is HOT, HOT, HOT! All your favorite Siren authors will be gathering for Siren-Bookstrand's first Romance Convention.
Mark your calendars - August 17th and 18th.  There will be a book fair, author signings, lots of swag and more…

Here's the Link:

Check back for more info as the date gets closer. I'm super excited to meet all the great Siren authors and readers. See ya in Dallas!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Grace Elliot Release Blitz: Hope's Betrayal

Today Grace Elliot is here to promote her historical romance novel, Hope's Betrayal. Enjoy the excerpt!

One wild, winter's night two worlds collide.

Known for his ruthless efficiency, Captain George Huntley is sent to stamp out smuggling on the south coast of England. On a night raid, the Captain captures a lanky lad, but finds his troubles are just beginning when the lad turns out to be a lass, Hope Tyler.

With Hope as bait, the Captain sets a trap to catch the rest of the gang. But in a battle of wills, with his reputation at stake, George Huntley starts to respect feisty, independent Hope. Challenged by her sea-green eyes and stubborn loyalty Huntley now faces a new threat - his growing attraction to a sworn enemy. And a love where either Hope betrays her own kind, or Captain Huntley is court-marshalled, is not an easy destiny to follow.

Available from:


Injured on a smuggling run, Hope wakes to face the naval officer who captured her. 

Hope kept her eyes closed as she became conscious of a man's heavy tread pacing the room. She waited until he was at the window and opened her eyelids a fraction. With the light behind him she saw an athletic man with wide shoulders, tall enough to have to stoop under the sloping eaves. Her stomach felt hollow with foreboding, for without doubt, this was the same man who'd pursued her over the dunes.

He must have sensed a change in her breathing, for suddenly he turned. He stared, with piercing blue eyes that penetrated her soul. Dressed in a naval uniform, the jacket cuffs ringed with gold braid, the man exuded authority. He continued to stare, his face unreadable; wilful, she decided, and yet uncommonly handsome. She blushed and reached for the covers, pulling them up to her chin.

"So, enough pretending. You are awake at last." His voice, deep and melodic, brooked no argument.

"Please, sir, where am I?"

"Under house arrest." He growled, obviously no friend. And yet, she touched her bandaged head, someone had taken care of her.

"You are in pain?" His consideration was surprising.

"Not so much now."

The answer pleased him. "Good, then you have some explaining to do."

"Please, sir, who are you?"

The man threw her a sideways glance and started to pace.

"Captain Huntley, RN. And you are?"

She decided against lying, her name alone couldn’t incriminate her family.

"Hope Tyler."

"Well Miss Tyler, have you the slightest idea how much trouble you're in?"


The Captain stared at the ceiling. "A man died because of your felony. A Revenue man. He leaves a wife and three children."

"I'm so sorry." She whispered in distress.

"His fellow officers are baying for blood."

Hope trembled, things were worse than she imagined.

"Someone must hang for his death."

Her throat closed over.

"Be it you…or the man who pulled the trigger….my men don’t care." Captain Huntley stepped closer, his presence dominating the room. She couldn’t breathe, he seemed made of granite, his eyes like flints, sparking with anger. "But I'm different." His expression softened imperceptibly. "I like to think of myself as a fair man."

Hope nodded, to encourage him.

"Any fool can see you are just a bit-player, a lackey. The men I want are the leaders, those who finance the contraband and organise the landings. Tell me who they are, and I shall intercede on your behalf with the authorities."

"What if I don’t know their names?"

His wide mouth twitched downward. "Then I cannot help you."

She would have shaken her head had it not been too painful. "The men you speak of aren't stupid. They will know I am taken, and know if I betray them. If I do… they will come for my family."

"Then put them behind bars."

"It's too risky. This way, it's only me."

He tried to hide it, but he looked surprised. She saw him drinking in the logic of her words and a shadow darkened his face. Clasping his hands behind his back, he turned to stare through the window.

"Tell me," he said benignly, "what does it feel like to be abandoned? Because that's what the smugglers did. Sailed away without a backward glance and left you to your fate."


Grace Elliot leads a double life as a veterinarian by day and an author of historical romance by night. Grace is an avid reader and believes intelligent people need to read romance - as an antidote to the modern world. She works in a companion animal practice near London and is housekeeping staff to five demanding felines.
"Hope's Betrayal" is Grace's third historical romance novel - to find out more please visit:
Blog: "Fall in Love With History"  Twitter: @Grace_Elliot

Monday, June 25, 2012

Patricia Yager Delagrange: Moon Over Alcatraz Blog Tour - Writing Emotion into your Story

Patricia Yager Delagrange is here today as part of her blog tour for her new emotion-filled book, Moon Over Alcatraz. Patricia is talking about channeling emotion into your characters. Feel free to ask questions.

Patricia will award a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
Patricia Yager Delagrange:  Writing emotion into your stories

When I decided to write Moon Over Alcatraz I knew I’d have to dig really deep to be able to pull off the emotions Brandy would have been feeling after losing her baby.  My goal as a writer has always been to make the reader “feel” something while reading my novel - whether it’s laughter or happiness or sadness.  I think the worst thing would be to have someone read my book and feel nothing.  I want the reader to know my characters enough so that when something goes wrong, they’re rooting for that character to make it through the hard times.
But I was taking a subject - the death of a child at birth, which I hadn’t personally experienced.  But I am a mom.  I know what it’s like to love my children unconditionally, to feel so strongly about their lives that I would die for them if ever the chance came that there was a choice between them or me.  And I’d never felt that way about any human being until I became a mom.
So, I channelled those feelings toward Brandy and elicited them through her when she lost her baby at birth.  A big part of doing this, for me, is that I write as if I’m seeing it before me on a television screen.  What the characters are living through I’m watching in front of me and writing down what’s happening to them in their environment, as well as the thoughts and dialogue they’re experiencing in that environment.
I love dialogue.  When I wrote my first book it was almost totally mental meanderings of the character in first person point-of-view with very little dialogue.  But that was “telling”.  And we, as authors, are supposed to “show” the reader what’s going on and let the reader know what the characters are feeling by showing them through “action”.  So, I began to write dialogue to show what was going on “inside” the character.

If she was sad I didn’t write, “Brandy was sad”.  That’s boring.  I would write that she couldn’t eat, she couldn’t sleep, she was losing weight because all she could think of was she’d lost her child and blamed herself for it.  When reading that, the reader knew Brandy was obviously suffering from depression.  I had to give the reader credit for being able to figure out Brandy was sad by her actions, by what she did and didn’t do.  I didn’t have to “tell” the reader she was bummed out.  They would already have figured that out IF I had done my job well and written it to show the reader what Brandy was feeling through her actions.
I try to put myself in the shoes of each character.  I will sit at my computer and feel what they must be feeling, move my face and eyes and mouth to know what to write when the characters are speaking.  I will stop and see them in front of me, in my mind’s eye, then write down their physical appearance and gestures.  Maybe this comes from my love of film.  My favorite thing to do is watch movies and perhaps that has helped me in my writing.  Maybe that’s why many books are turned into films because when I’m reading a good book, I see it in my mind as a movie anyway.  But that’s just me.


by Patricia Yager Delagrange
Following the death of their baby during a difficult birth, Brandy and Weston Chambers are grief-stricken and withdraw from each other, both seeking solace outside of their marriage; however, they vow to work through their painful disloyalty.  But when the man Brandy slept with moves back to their hometown, three lives are forever changed by his return..

Three days later we were standing at the edge of a hole in the ground at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Hayward, the silence so thick, the insides of my ears buzzed like a distant swarm of angry bees.  Mr. Peralta and another gentleman stood off to the side while Weston and I held hands next to a tiny casket.
Weston had chosen a simple mahogany box with gold handles, a bouquet of white lilies graced the top of the small box.  I knelt down and laid a kiss on the smooth wood then wiped off the tears that had fallen on top.  Weston joined me, placing a single red rose in the middle of the lilies.
He helped me up and we stood side-by-side in silence, my guilt over her death like a stone in my empty belly.  I missed everything I’d dreamed would be happening right now, yearned for all that could have been.
Weston nodded at the man standing next to Mr. Peralta and our baby was slowly lowered into the gaping maw.  She reached the bottom, and a bird landed on the rich brown dirt piled next to the grave.  It pecked around, chirping a little song then flew off - as if saying goodbye.  My heart squeezed inside my chest.
I picked up a small handful of soft dirt.  “Goodbye, Christine,” I whispered, throwing it on top of her casket.
Weston wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me in close to his side.  Why her?  Why my baby?  Was this supposed to make sense?  And, if so, to whom?
We drove home in silence.  No words existed to express my grief.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I attended St. Mary’s College, studied my junior year at the University of Madrid, received my B.A. in Spanish at UC Santa Barbara then went on to get my Master’s degree in Education at Oregon State University.  I live with my husband and two teenage children in Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco, along with our two very large chocolate labs, Annabella and her son Jack.
My horse lives in the Oakland hills in a stall with a million dollar view.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Join me in Naughty Reader's Boudoir

Morning All! This week I'm at Naughty Reader's Boudoir celebrating my new releases—and there's a giveaway. Two commenters will get their choice of ebook.

The ladies put me on the hot seat, so if you have any questions, ask away.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Arlington, Texas: Dallas Cowboys Stadium

Last month we were in Fort Worth for a wedding and the family booked a tour of the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. I'm not a Cowboys fan but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate their stadium. Holy cow! My jaw dropped when we went inside.


This place is huge, spotless and extremely high-end. Everything about the stadium shouts luxury. It's definitely a one of a kind venue.

The domed stadium with a retractable roof was completed on May 27, 2009. It seats 80,000 and the maximum capacity of the stadium, including standing room, is 110,000. And it's used for a variety of other activities outside of professional football. We couldn't walk out on the field because they were laying grass for a soccer game but even that was fascinating to watch and we went everywhere else, from field level to luxury boxes, to the locker rooms to the press box.

The video screen is gigantic. The seats are well spaced and comfortable. Wide open walkways, tons of sunlight going into the stadium, fast moving lines for the concessions, and luxurious bathrooms.

This is definitely a one of a kind venue.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Marie Astor: This Tangled Thing Called Love

Today my guest is Marie Astor who is promoting her new book, This Tangled Thing Called Love. This is a thoroughly enjoyable contemporary romance with a realistic, relatable plot. Enjoy the excerpt below.

Marie will be giving away three prizes of custom made jewelry to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour (Continental US only).: Prize #1: Coral necklace sterling silver chandelier coral earrings set, Prize #2 Blue opal sterling silver plated necklace and Prize #3 Sterling silver chandelier earrings with green aventurine, rose quartz and amethyst.

Follow the tour and comment for a better chance of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


Twenty-eight-year-old Claire Chatfield has everything a girl could possibly wish for: looks, a promising career at New York’s top architectural firm, and an engagement ring from one of New York’s most eligible heir-bachelors! Life should be a dream, but when Alec Brunell, a sexy tango dancer, moves into the apartment one floor above from Claire’s, he unwittingly awakens Claire’s old insecurities, making her question her life choices. Will Claire brave her fears and allow herself to take a chance on Alec, or will she continue to play it safe?

In order to secure his place as his father’s successor, thirty-three-year-old David Lawson must settle down with a wife befitting the future head of Lawson Enterprises - and who could fit the prerequisite better than the stunningly beautiful and incredibly bright Claire Chatfield? There is just one glitch – David Lawson is in love with another woman – a Hollywood Legend Claudia Block.

A successful tango instructor, Alec Brunell has never lacked for women’s attention, but he finds himself at a loss when faced with his downstairs neighbor, Claire Chatfield. Upon hearing of his occupation, most women swoon with desire, but Claire runs for the door. Still, her iciness only adds fuel to his fire, as Alec is determined to change Claire’s view of him.

Dance Me to the Stars is a love story about finding one’s perfect match - sometimes following one’s heart is as convoluted as learning the steps of tango.


Upon waking up the next morning, Claire arched her back, relishing the feel of the satin sheets against her skin. Beside her, David lay breathing evenly, still asleep. It had only been a couple of months since she had finally gotten comfortable enough to actually be able to sleep with him in the same bed. Before, Claire would always find an excuse to go home after they made love, but David must have gotten onto her - one night, he insisted on staying at her place, and ever since then they had been taking turns between his and hers apartments. Granted, David’s place was a lot more glamorous than Claire’s – a split-level junior four in a full service luxury building in Battery Park.

Clair rose on her elbow and checked the time – it was ten a.m. She snuck out of bed and tiptoed to the bathroom to brush her teeth – she might have gotten comfortable enough to sleep in the same bed with David, but she still wanted her breath to smell fresh when he woke up.

A few minutes later she tiptoed back into bed and snuggled next to David. Usually, David was always the first to wake up, and together, they would go for a four-mile run. No doubt, upon waking up, David was bound to get upset for oversleeping, but Claire was not about to nudge him – she wanted them to spend the morning reading newspapers over breakfast instead of gasping for breath in sweat-soaked clothes. David muttered something incoherent as he flung his arm across Claire’s chest. Careful not to wake him, she maneuvered out of the way and tucked the comforter up to her chin – she loved lounging in bed like this.

“What time is it?” David mumbled groggily, reaching for the clock on the bedside table. “Ten thirty? Claire, are you up?” He turned toward her.

“Huh? What?” Claire was a good actress when she needed to be one.

“Good morning, sleepy head.” David smooched her. “Well, since we’ve overslept our run this morning, I think there are a few other activities I can think of for us to make up for missed exercise.” He reached underneath her lacy nightgown.

“What exactly did you have in mind?” Claire grinned, thinking that her plan had worked perfectly – after all, she much preferred making love to jogging.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Marie Astor is a die-hard romantic who wholeheartedly believes in true love, which is why she writes in the contemporary romance genre.
Marie is the author of contemporary romance novels Dance Me to the Stars, On the Rim of Love, Lucky Charm, and a short story collection, A Chance Encounter and Other Stories.

Currently, Marie is working on her next novel – a first installment in a romantic suspense series that is scheduled for release in mid-summer of 2012.

If you would like to receive updates about Marie’s book releases and events, please visit Marie’s website at:
and join her distribution list through the Contact page or visit Marie at her Facebook page: or
or Twitter: @marieastor.

Books by Marie Astor:

This Tangled Thing Called Love – a contemporary romance about overcoming one’s inhibitions, learning to tango, and finding one’s true match.

Lucky Charm – a humorous contemporary romance about love, luck and friendship.


On the Rim of Love – a contemporary romance about the unexpected power of love.

A Dress in a Window – a collection of short stories about love, coincidences, and fate.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @marieastor

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ian Walkley: No Remorse Blog Tour

My guest is Ian Walkley who is promoting his new book No Remorse.

Ian will award a $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during his blog tour.

Follow the No Remorse Tour and comment for a better chance of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

I was lucky enough to get a copy of the book and I loved it. I still can't believe that No Remorse is a debut novel. Ian Walkley has produced a complex thriller that has it all: exotic settings, action, and realistic characters. The plot is believable and moves along at a brisk pace. The pages kept turning and I found it hard to put down. I'll definitely be watching for more from this talented author.

No Remorse

by Ian Walkley


Two men, exiles from their respective societies, take conflicting approaches in the quest to regain their place and self-respect, and find themselves at war over a kidnapped girl.

Lee McCloud (“Mac”), a special forces soldier facing trumped-up charges of murder, is forced to work for a mysterious government outfit operating outside the law.

Khalid Yubani, cast out of Saudi Arabia for an offence against another member of the Royal family, seeks revenge through ruthless acts of evil. Engaged in the worst forms of human trafficking, Khalid buys Sophia, the daughter of Mac’s best friend, who has been kidnapped in Mexico. With time running out for Sophia, Mac enlists the help of a beautiful computer genius, a British SAS soldier and a Lebanese fixer to try to find Sophia and save her from the terrifying fate that Khalid has in store.

Although starting the quest as a man with no remorse, Mac gradually discovers a side of himself that he suppressed after witnessing the abduction of his own sister years before.

Dodging assassins, corrupt generals, evil medicos, Mossad agents, corrupt bureaucrats, and sharks, Mac ignores the order to stay out of trouble and follows Sophia’s trail from Mexico to Paris, London and Dubai, and the island of Andaran, where Khalid and his henchmen are waiting…


The girls’ fathers, Bob and Marvin, each carried a briefcase full of cash with a tiny GPS tracker hidden in a false bottom. They were both taller than the kidnappers, and through the scope Mac could read the pain on Bob’s face. The behavior of the kidnappers was still bothering him, but there was nothing he could do except watch. The leader held out his palm and waved his pistol like it was a flag. He addressed the fathers in accented English.

“You’re late. We think perhaps you do not want your daughters back, eh?”

“Sorry,” Bob said, his breathing short and sharp. “We took a wrong turn coming into the dam. The signs were confusing.”

 The man grunted and glanced at the one with the knife. “Check them.”

Knife Man patted them down, searched their pockets, nodded the all clear.

“You have our money?”

“Of course.” Bob’s voice came through deep and confident in his earpiece, although the armpits of his shirt betrayed his anxiety. Be courteous but strong, Mac had advised him, otherwise they won’t respect you. Being a basketball coach undoubtedly helped. “And you have our daughters,” Bob said. A statement, not a question. He held out the briefcase. “Here’s the money. We didn’t contact the police.”

Several kidnappers gave a hearty laugh.

The leader smirked. “We wouldn’t be here if you had, gringo. But your daughters would be. With bullets in their heads.” He gestured to a kidnapper wearing a red bandana around his neck. “Abrirlos,” he ordered, and the man took both briefcases and unclipped the locks.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Ian Walkley has had a career in social and market research, and has been writing novels, short stories, travel articles and copywriting since 2008. He has co-authored two publications on small business and his first novel, No Remorse, was published in 2012. Ian's screenplay "Deniable Justice" placed fourth in the Writer’s Digest 2011 Competition for best screenplay. Ian has travelled extensively and researched his subject, and brings a knowledge of location and technical detail to the exotic settings and big screen thrills. Ian lives in Brisbane with his wife and three children.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cover Reveal: Jaden's Double Doms

I just got the new cover for JADEN'S DOUBLE DOMS TomCats 1 coming July 2nd from Siren Publishing. Sending hugs and a big thank you to Harris Channing for the beautiful artwork that captures the Key West flavor so perfectly.
Here's a preview of the story.

Jaden's Double Doms
TomCats: 1

Jaden West and his Dominant lover, Kyle Norman, live on an island in the Florida Keys. Despite the idyllic setting, there's trouble in paradise. Jaden isn't getting the love and affection he needs and he's beginning to think he and Kyle are a mismatched pair. After a bad fight, Jaden ends up in TomCats, a gay resort known for its beautiful, top-heavy cliental. Jaden only wants one drink but he gets more than he bargained for when he becomes the prey of a psychopath. 

Owner, Tom Kay, comes to Jaden's rescue and sparks fly, but Tom is hiding the fact he's a cat-shifter. Unable to forget the beautiful blond human, Tom tracks him in catskin, but things go bad when he's trapped and taken to a feral cat shelter.

When vet tech, Jaden shows up on the night shift, he plans to adopt the tomcat and make a house cat out of him, but first the orange tabby has to be neutered...

Coming to Bookstrand July 2nd

Happy Reading!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fort Worth: Bass Performance Hall

When we were in downtown Fort Worth recently we took a walk around Sundance Square and charmed by the exterior of the Nancy Lee and Perry R.  Bass Performance hall, we walked inside to check out the lobby. Much to our surprise a guide came over and offered to take us on a tour of the building. We had lucked out. Free tours are given on Saturday morning.

The European opera house-inspired hall, built entirely with private funds and open in 1998, occupies a whole city block. An eighty-foot diameter Great Dome tops the theater and two forty-eight-foot tall angels grace the facade. Bass Performance Hall seats 2,056 people, and is the permanent home to the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera, and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and Cliburn Concerts. It also presents national Broadway tours, Special Attractions and Popular Entertainment.

 Enjoy the pictures we took!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Guest Blogger Amylea Lyn: The Drama of Character Development

Today my guest is Amylea Lyn, author of one of my favorite MM sci-fi series, Outside the City. 

Amylea has a new series coming, The Brotherhood, more on that later, but first she's sharing her process for creating her dynamic characters.

Amylea Lyn: The Drama of Character Development

Developing a character is probably the hardest, and yet, most rewarding part of writing a story. Having a well rounded, believable character is what can make, or break, a book. Taking the time and effort to imagine a character that the readers can picture in their own minds is an important part of the writing process and allows readers to connect to a character on a deeper level than they might with just a basic description.

It’s not easy, and can sometimes feel like its taking up valuable writing time. But in the end, it helps the story along and sometimes adds to the drama of the book simply due to a character and their reactions to a specific events… whether it’s a physical reaction or an emotional one, due to their back story that the author created.  

Everyone has a different process for developing a character; some develop their characters as the story progresses, while others plot every facet out beforehand.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a plotter. LOL!

I always start from the very bottom (ie. Is my character a male or female?) and work my way up from there. Depending on the ethnicity or region a character may be from always plays into how they will be described in my books. Once I have their looks down, I move onto the smaller details. What do they smell like? What is their body type? Tall, fat, skinny, short, or is the character absolutely average? I spend so much time on the small details, that often times when it comes to the cover art I get incredibly picky. If asked, I could probably tell you every detail of a character’s description, down to the smallest mole.

Once the physical attributes are done, I move on to the emotional aspects of a character’s development. What is their back-story? Did they suffer a tragedy in the past? Is it still affecting them today? Are they prone to anger and depression? Or are they happy, plucky characters with a bright smile that makes everyone around them feel good? And of course, most importantly: how will they react to their love interest? Instant lust, or denial and trepidation?

All of these questions are important ones to ask yourself when developing a character for a book. I used these questions myself while writing my coming release, Solid as Stone. This being book 1 of my new series, titled The Brotherhood, I knew it was important to fully develop each character I wrote, down to whether they preferred boxers or briefs.

Take for example Wesley, one on my main characters in Solid as Stone:

Dr. Wesley Folcomb

Age: 26 years old

Height: Five-six

Hair: Reddish-brown. Long enough to curl over his ears.

Eyes: Golden-green (almost Hazel, but with more gold color)
Body type: Slim, but not thin. Think "swimmers build". Slight muscle


Skin tone: Fair, Peaches and cream skin tone. Blushes easily.

His father died at a young age, and his single mother, who suffered from Multiple Sclerosis, raised him. A genius, he graduated high school by the age of 13, and within 3 years had a doctorate in Botanical Genetic Engineering, along with Masters degrees in chemistry, herbology and genetics. Socially awkward, he has a hard time dealing with people, and instead prefers to teach classes and work on his research projects during the summer.

And he’s a briefs guy… all the way.

I’d tell you more about him, but I can’t without revealing too much about the book. Let’s just say our smart little nerd’s intelligence gets him in trouble… thank goodness he has a sexy, brave super soldier/assassin to help him through all the danger.

But basically, what I’m trying to say is character development is an important part of each story and without it, the books we read and write are nothing more than one-dimensional tales without emotion and intrigue. Well-developed characters move the story along, and bring characters to life in the eyes of the reader.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed a little glimpse into my writing process. And keep an eye out for Solid as Stone (The Brotherhood, book 1) coming soon from Silver Publishing!


And find out more about my books and my musing, on my website: or on my blog: