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  • Greta’s Currently Reading

    A Touch of Scandal

    Jennifer Haymore

    Bound, Branded & Brazen

    Jaci Burton

  • Lillie’s Currently Reading

    Moon Sworn

    by Keri Arthur

  • Wanting Now

    Scent of Persuasion

    May 4

    Nikki Duncan

    Wastland: the Wanderer

    May 4

    Crystal Jordan

    Wasteland: the Whore

    May 11

    Lilli Feisty

    Wasteland: the Breeder

    May 18

    Eden Bradley

    Wasteland: the Priestess

    May 25

    R.G. Alexander

    Body Rush

    May 25

    Anne Rainey

    The Darkest Passion

    May 25

    Gena Showalter

    Never Too Hot

    May 25

    Bell Andre

  • Pages

My guest today is Robin Kaye

thth2

Robin, Thanks for agreeing to be a guest on my blog.

Thanks so much for having me, Greta. I’m thrilled to be here.

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

I was born in Brooklyn and lived in and around New York most of my life. I’m happily married to my own Domestic God-we just celebrated our 20th anniversary of our first date on April Fool’s Day, which is so fitting. We have three children between the ages of 15 and 11, one of whom is a professional ballerina-okay, so she danced the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center with the American Ballet Theater a couple years ago, but she made $20, so in her mind, she’s a professional. She dances 30 hours a week so I spend most of my time home schooling her or driving the hour and a half to and from her dance school. I write while Twinkle Toes does her schoolwork and at Starbucks while she dances. Luckily she stays with a wonderful host family Thursday nights through Saturday so I can see my other children and my husband. All my extra time is spent taking care of our two dogs, three-legged cat with a bad attitude and Puff the magic bearded dragon.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since before I can remember. I think the first time I actually wrote for someone other than myself was when I was four or five. My parents divorced and my mother, my sister, and I moved to Florida leaving my father in New York. I used to write short stories for my dad because I didn’t want him to be lonely. I have vivid memories of typing on a manual typewriter while sitting on the NY Phone Book. I used to have to press the keys down with both pointer fingers to get it to work. <grin>

It wasn’t until probably 2004 that a friend read something I’d written and told me I should get it published-as if it was that easy! I’d never before considered writing toward publication. I guess I was a little slow on the uptake.

What is your writing process like? Can you tell us about your latest release Too Hot To Handle?

I’ll combine the next two questions.

I usually start with a scene that pops into my head. With Romeo, Romeo it was a dinner with Rosalie and her family. That scene ended up getting cut, but I fell in love with her and her crazy family and knew I had a heroine for a book.

With Too Hot To Handle, it was the first scene in the book. Annabelle waking up wondering if ghosts have sex. Her first thought was that if she’d slept with the ghost of her dead boyfriend, Chip, he’d learned a few things since his demise, and if not, she just had amazing sex with a total stranger. The stranger happens to be the best friend of her new brother-in-law, Dr. Mike Flynn. The two begin seeing each other and Annabelle never mentions Mike’s resemblance to Chip (since her family never knew Chip existed). As things progress, Annabelle’s best friend, Becca (Chip’s twin), uncovers a truth no one ever saw coming…

Do you have any other books coming out this year?

Breakfast In Bed should be out in November or December of this year. It’s Rich Ronaldi’s book. Rich, the only son in an Italian family, was always treated like a prince. When his girlfriend broke up with him because he wasn’t relationship material, he decided he needed Domestic God lessons to win her back. He enlisted the help of a very reluctant coach, his sister’s best friend, Becca, who disliked him on sight. Watching Rich struggle with his lessons, the unwanted attraction between he and Becca was a lot of fun.

What are you currently working on?

I have a fourth Domestic God book running through my mind and I’m planning to write a proposal for that book. I also have an idea for another series that’s been percolating for the last year. I think I’ll write proposals for both and see what happens.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

I have no idea. Usually a scene pops into my head-characters and all-and then I write a book around it.

As an author, you must be an avid reader. What books do you enjoy reading? Who are your auto-buy authors?

I read constantly (I have a book-a-day habit) except for when I’m on deadline. Then I go on a reading diet, because I can’t just pick up a book and then put it down. I have to read the whole thing. Auto buys in romance are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Susan Mallery, Janet Evanovich, Roxanne St. Claire, Maureen Child, Nora Roberts, Suzanne Brockmann, Rachel Gibson…God, there are so many I have an excel spreadsheet because I’m so bad with names and titles, I can’t remember them all.

What books are on your keeper shelf?

I read so much that I’ve had to limit my keeper shelf. It’s usually my hardbacks that I’ve collected over the years. Jane Austen, Louis Nizer, Robert Ludlum, the old Wilbur Smith books, JRR Tolkein, John Lecarre, Watership Downs, The Chronicles of Narnia. Those are the books that go with me every time I move. It takes an awful lot to get me to add to it.

Do you read books other than romance books?

I read everything. I love suspense, mystery, the classics, literary fiction, thrillers, women’s fiction, some fantasy. I’m pretty eclectic.

What was the first romance book you read?

My sister-in-law gave me Bridget Jones’ Diary, and I remember looking for something similar. I think it may have been Jennifer Cruise’s Fast Women, either that or one of Patti Bergs books -I’ve read them all. I probably picked them up on the same trip but I loved them and kept going. It changed my life.

If one of your books was made into a movie, which book would you like it to be and which actors would like to see as the lead characters?

Right now, I’d say Romeo, Romeo since it was the first in the series. Maybe James Franco for Nick – he’s got a great NY accent, and for Rosalie, I’m not sure maybe Kim Kardashian, though I’ve never seen her act. Physically, I could see her playing Rosalie.

If you could switch lives with one of your characters who would if be & why?

I’m not sure I would want to. I put my heroines through hell. I’ve been there, done that and got my HEA. I’m thrilled with my life the way it is. I’d like to have more money and be able to take great vacations, but really, that’s all that’s lacking in my life. I’m working hard to get it, and I’m really hoping it will come in time.

When you are not writing or reading, what do you enjoying doing in your spare time?

I’m a fiber junkie. I knit, spin yarn and weave. I’d love to have more time to play with my yarn and I’m looking forward to having more time to dress my loom (a naked loom is depressing) and weave blankets or rugs. I recently met up with a friend at a Starbucks and spent 4 hours just knitting and chatting. It was heaven.

If you could ask readers anyone question, what would it be?

What do you look for in a romance?

For more information on Robin Kaye and her books please visit her website: http://robinkayewrites.com/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx

***Leave a comment answering Robin’s question for a chance to win a copy of  Too Hot To Handle from Robin. Good Luck*** 

Welcome back Jennifer St. Giles

bride-of-the-wolf-final

The Path of True Love

Have you ever wondered why some people fall in love and stay in love while others lose their way?  I think that they key to why some find true love and others don’t can be found in one of the essential elements of a shapeshifter romance.  Sexual Attraction, hunky heroes, and beautiful heroines have their place in the fantasy of perfect love, but in reality mean very little to the essence of true love.  What is this heart?  What element of a shapeshifter romance do I mean?  The beauty of acceptance.  For in a shapeshifter romance, one must accept an inherent difference in one’s love.  A difference that can be frightening and dangerous, yet true love protects, accepts, and believes.  What do you think?  Do you agree?  In Bride of the Wolf, Marissa reaches this crossroad with Navarre and her love for him passes this test to forge a powerful bond between them that evil cannot destroy.  What do you think about true love?  What elements enable couples to survive the fires of life and find true love?  Today, in celebration of the release of Bride of the Wolf, I will give away a signed copy to one lucky winner who posts their answer to this question. 

Blurb for Bride of the Wolf— Blind and Injured Blood Hunter Navarre is kidnapped along with oil heiress Marissa Vasquez.  Their bid for freedom puts them into a deadly race for their lives as they become the hunted prey of two Vladarian Vampires and the evil Dr. Cinatas.  Together Marissa and Navarre’s spirits form a powerful link matched only by their passion.  But can a mortal woman attain true love with a man who is half wolf?  Or will their enemies steal their one chance at happiness?

Excerpt from Bride of the Wolf

She turned quickly around at the sound of wood tapping on stone.  Navarre joined her by the water.

“You’re becoming very good at that, you know,” she said, walking to him and taking his hand in hers.

He gripped her hand tightly and turned his face toward hers as if trying to see her.  “Much of it is memory and part of it is trying to sense other things around me,” he said.  “After seeing the picture of the path in your mind and counting the steps to each change in the level of the ground, I can now find my way back and forth. When I smell the flowers I know I’m close to the trees.  The water is fifteen steps from the large root at the bottom of the path. But you are different,” he said softly.

“Than roots?”

“Than everything.  I don’t have to memorize details or try and sense things.  With you I know.  I know when you’re near.  I know what you feel.  Instead of feeling warm pleasure from my touch and the ecstasy we shared, you feel angst.  Why?”  The moon crested over the trees and sent a slice of light down, casting the shadows from his face.

Her breath caught at the thrill of his roughly hewn features, towering strength and yet gentleness.  How could she explain her confusion?  “I…I feel the pleasure.  Dios, it is something I’ve never known and will never forget, but–”

“Aaah!” Navarre cried out, his back arching and his limbs shuddering.  His cane flew from his hand and he nearly flung her off balance before he released his death grip on her hand.  He cried out again and his body twisted forward.  He landed on his knees and looked up to the sky.

“By Logos…save me!” he yelled. 

“Navarre?  Dios mio, what is wrong?”  Marissa grabbed his shoulder, wishing she could see into his mind as he saw into hers.

A scream of pure torture ripped from his lungs and suddenly his muscles bulged, everywhere, nearly doubling his body mass.  It seemed to her that bones cracked and stretched in painful succession, one after another.  His neck, back, arms changed, then his hands, his fingers turning into sharp-nailed claws.  Legs, thighs, calves, and feet.  Black hair erupted from his smooth skin, covering his chest, back, arms, and face.  Fangs projected from his upper jaw.

He was the creature again, only this time even bigger.  But it was more than that.  She sensed a primal savagery oozing from him.  She stumbled back, lost her step, and would have fallen into the water if he hadn’t reached out and grabbed her arm.  His claws painfully scratched her skin.

“Navarre?  Madre de Dios, what has happened?  You’re…you’re the creature again.  What has Herrera done to you?”

Breathing heavy, he released his hold on her arm and she saw she was bleeding.

“Blood,” he said harshly.  “I smell blood.”

He grabbed her arm again, bringing her scratches to his nose and inhaling.  Then he licked the blood on her arm.

She cried out and he jumped back, pulling away from him.

“Hurt you,” he said, his voice grated like broken glass.  “Sorry.  Hurt you.”

“Marissa!  Marissa!”  Father Dom yelled.  He ran toward them with a large branch in his hand and shoved its sharp, jagged end at Navarre.  “He’s evil.  The shape shifter is evil. This creature will kill you.”

“No!” Navarre roared.  He snatched the branch from the priest’s hand and snapped it in half with his claw as if it was no more than a toothpick.

“Marissa, to your right!” called Rafael.

She twisted around and saw that Rafael had the machine gun pointed their way.  She cried out, moving closer to Navarre to protect him.

I hope you get a chance to catch the Shadowmen heat wave!

Happy Reading

Jennifer St. Giles

Jenniferstgiles.com

***Again answer Jennifer’s questions for a chance to win an autographed copy of Bride of The Wolf. Good Luck***

Please Welcome Maria Zannini & Tank

touch-of-fire

Maria, Thanks for agreeing to be a guest on my blog.

Thank you, Greta! I started answering these interview questions and behind my shoulder I kept hearing the occasional grunt or sigh. I knew it was Tank, dog extraordinaire and all around good guy expressing his disappointment with my answers.

Fine, I told him. If you can do better, go ahead.

Well, darn if he didn’t take me up on it. I wanted to edit this piece, but he kept his paw over the delete key so I am forced to send this as he woofed it to me.

I hope you don’t mind. Tank can be rather insistent.

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?Maria–or mommy as I call her is my whole world. She’s a little too focused on her monitor when she’s in the middle of a story, but that’s because she has the tenacity of a terrier, the stamina of an Australian shepherd and the audacity of a cat. But she never misses my mealtimes and will immediately step away from the computer if her family ever needs her.

I think the best way to describe her is that she is an adventurer at heart. We are always going on exciting escapades, whether it’s chasing chickens or exploring the woods when we hear strange noises. (There are a lot of strange noises when you live in the wilderness.)

And did I mention she was smart? She always has a cookie for her favorite dog–ME.

How long have you been writing?

Well, she’s been writing for as long as I’ve been here. Mommy and her very handsome husband adopted me from a rottie rescue group when I was two years old. I was awfully big and I guess my size intimidated a lot of people. Nobody wanted me. But it didn’t faze mom and dad a bit. It was love at first sight.

I do think I must be a source of inspiration for her because she started winning contests and writing a LOT more by the time I turned four.

What is your writing process like?

I mentioned earlier that my mom is tenacious. She plots her whole story out first and sometimes reads it to me for my opinion. (I have very good opinions.)

Once she has the story set in her mind, she taps away at that clicky thing like a Chihuahua in heat.

Mmm…Chihuahua. 

Tank, The Wonder Dog

Tank, The Wonder Dog

Uh…where was I?

Anyway, mom is very focused, but she never forgets to pet me or give me kisses when I lean all 135 pounds of me against her leg. You see, I suffer a little from post-traumatic syndrome. Angry men with guns and knives make me nervous. I don’t like to talk about it much, but mom understands. She always makes me feel safe.

Can you tell us about your release Touch Of Fire?

It’s a cool book. Mom has the best imagination! Touch Of Fire is set 1200 years in the future on a post-apocalyptic Earth.

Earth has changed a lot. Technology has completely disappeared and the human race is divided between plainfolk and magical people known as Elementals. Every Elemental can control one of the four elements: earth, air, water or fire. But Leda, the main character can also read auras. A good trait to have if you play poker, but someone wants her for something far more vile.

When an ancient book surfaces, it threatens to disrupt the balance of power and reintroduce technology to a people that know only magic. Leda is charged with finding it, but instead she meets Grey, a plainfolk scavenger who deliberately tries to keep her from the book.

Despite their ingrained prejudices, they fall in love and must fight to survive a much greater foe, a madman hell bent on ruling the world and creating the fifth Elemental.

Do you have any other books coming out this year?

Not yet. Poor woman was nearly blind and had to go through a series of horrible eye operations for over a year. She’s much better now, but for a while I had to moonlight as a seeing-eye dog. I never let her out of my sight. She needed me!

What are you currently working on?

Oh, I like the book she’s editing right now. It’s a pirate book with werewolves set in the 16th century. I wish she would write a dog book, but werewolves are okay. Better than cats. Not that there’s anything wrong with cats, but they’re not nearly as interesting as dogs.

I’m trying to use my super powers of persuasion to make her write a dog book. I think I could help her with that a lot.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Well, I don’t want to brag, but I think I give her a lot of her best ideas. Like in Touch Of Fire, all that cool world building—that was me. I told her: Look, there will always be people and dogs in the future, but buildings will collapse, infrastructure will disintegrate, and societies will forget their roots. Religions and governments will merge and blend. It was great fun creating that future world. If you pay close attention to the names you can figure out the original 21st century names they’re referencing.

Mom definitely likes to extrapolate. Every time something catches her interest, she builds on known facts and twists it, infusing her stories with a quirky irony that gives readers that ‘aha’ moment.

As an author, you must be an avid reader. What books do you enjoy reading? Who are your auto-buy authors?

She loves dog books, of course. But she reads everything. Her favorite books are fantasy with a touch of sci fi. She’s rather picky, but she does adore LS Viehl and Catherine Asaro.

What books are on your keeper shelf?

I wasn’t sure, so I had to go look. She does have some fiction up there, but most of her books are nonfiction. That must be because she does so much research. Sheesh! You should see the research she does. Madness!

What was the first romance book you read?

That would be “Taken By You”, by Connie Mason. I know because she still has that book. It was the book that inspired her to start writing romance.

If one of your books was made into a movie, which book would you like it to be and which actors would like to see as the lead characters?

Well, she only has one book in print now (it hits bookstores tomorrow!!) and I think it would make a great movie. Leda is a spitfire who tends to act before she thinks and Grey is a big brute who is smarter than he lets on. We can’t agree on the female lead, but the male lead is definitely Hugh Jackman. He’d be perfect as Grey.

If you could switch lives with one of your characters who would if be & why?

She likes to write about women who take chances so I guess any of her heroines would do, but I think she might like to trade places with the heroine of the pirate book she’s editing–at least for a day. Her heroine is a pirate who lives on the high seas. Mom can’t swim, so I think she would like to be someone who isn’t afraid of the water.

When you are not writing or reading, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

We spend a lot of time in the woods and in her garden. That woman is fascinated with EVERYTHING. Even I get tired of being outdoors, but not her. She also paints professionally. I’ve seen paintings of some of my predecessors on the walls. I keep wondering when she’s going to immortalize me in oils. I’m very handsome, you know.

If you could ask readers any one question, what would it be?

That’s easy. She wants to know what kind of pet-friends you have. Do they stay with you when you write and read?

Okay, mom. You can send this to that nice lady now.

Gee, thank, Tank. And thank you, Greta for having us over!

Website: http://www.mariazannini.com/

Blog: http://www.mariazannini.blogspot.com/

Super cool contest for Touch Of Fire

Buy TOUCH OF FIRE at:

Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | My Bookstore and More

Read an excerpt at Samhain Publishing

Winner – Sydney Croft/Stephanie Tyler post

Congratulations!

Using the list randomizer at random.org the winner is:

Barb P

There were 22 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

  1. Barb P
  2. Amy S
  3. sara hurt
  4. Booklover1335
  5. Frana
  6. jambrea
  7. Tiffany
  8. kh
  9. Becky Ward
  10. Rhonda
  11. Lori T
  12. Karen H in NC
  13. chey
  14. Lea
  15. Lillie A
  16. Chris
  17. Wendy K
  18. Caffey
  19. Lisa F
  20. Teresa W
  21. Brandy W
  22. Amy Kathryn

Timestamp: 2009-04-27 01:02:02 UTC

Barb P – You have won your choice of one of the following books:

Riding The Storm | Unleashing The Storm 

Seduced By The Storm | Hot Nights, Desires Desires

Please contact me at gw12cats03 @ charter.net (without the spaces) with your choice of book and mailing address so I can get the information to Stephanie. Please include “Sydney Croft: Book Winner” in the subject line.

The name thing…with Stephanie Tyler

ttf042309

Hi everyone!  Greta, thanks for having me here in anticipation of Sydney Croft’s new release, Taming The Fire.  The other half of Syd, Larissa Ione, is partying at the Romantic Times Convention (and claiming she misses me terribly) but she’s here in spirit.  Meanwhile, you all get to hear me babble.  And there’s a giveaway at the end as your reward for listening.

Someone in the Writeminded monthly chat the other night asked about authors chose names for characters – for example, do we create the character and then choose the name or vice-versa.

It’s pretty much neither for me – in fact, as I told the reader, my heroes sort of just arrive in my head, fully formed (as another reader said, fully formed SEALs!!!!)…and they have a name.  Sometimes it’s a name that I’ve heard before and then the characters with that name shows up, but most of the time it’s like, oh, Trance – look at him.

I never said writers weren’t a little bit crazy, but hey, that’s honestly what keeps the writing part so much fun.  For example, I vividly remember writing the opening scene for Taming The Fire (which releases this coming Tuesday, April 28th – YAY!)  from Trance’s point of view back in January 2007, while we were not even halfway through writing Seduced By The Storm

Trance shows up briefly at the end of that book, so it’s not like we went, oh, we need to decide who’s next.  No, Trance showed up and was like, I’m next.  And I’m wearing leather. 

So really, who was I to argue?

Of course, Larissa immediately stopped writing Seduced to write the first Ulrika (aka Rik) scene – and lo and behold, she was wearing some leather too.  And she was a shape-shifting wolf.  And Taming was born.

I remember Larissa asking me, what’s Trance’s last name?

I emailed back, Trance.  Like Madonna.  Or Cher.

She emailed back that she hated me.

I emailed her back and told her that I had several more really fun names lined up!  Like Chance.  And…

Well, I can’t give everything away about the next two Sydney books, now can I?

But hey, Larissa came up with Ulrika  and she had some explanation about how the name fit with the roots of the character’s origin, etc.

I tried to tell her that Trance had roots too, but then she gave me that look – you know, the kind you can see even across a computer.

I told you writing the Sydney books together was a lot of fun.

But anyway, back to the name thing – Larissa always gets a bit nervous about names. Okay, sometimes she outright groans at the names I pick (which, come on, how fun is that?)

I know what you’re saying – look at Larissa’s Demonica names!  How can she complain about your names with names like Eidolon, Shade and Wraith? She picks weird names too…

I guess this is where I tell you that she emailed me way back in spring 2006 and said, I need demon names.  And I sent her names like Wraith and Shade and Eidolon (which, by the way, is the name of my high school yearbook – and I went to a Catholic school.  A Catholic demon school, obviously.  No, seriously, it means, a Greek concept of a shade or astral double of a living being, so cool for both a yearbook and a demon!)…so when people complain about the weird Larissa demon names, I giggle to myself.

What?  At least I’m honest.

Maybe it’s because I’ve got a husband named Zoo that I like nicknames.  Most of my characters have normal names but go by their nicknames.

Well, except for Creed. And Hex. And Trance. 

Even Larissa’s husband, when suggesting names to her, will say, this is a Stephanie-esque name….

Of course, I always like them.

There’s just something about a strong, cool nickname that does it for me.  Of course, I also like some good, old-fashioned names, like Jake.  But that’s a whole other story.  About SEALs.   Fully formed ones at that.

What about you?  What’s your favorite name for a hero or heroine?  Has there ever been a character where you loved the name but didn’t particularly like the character, or does the name play a large part in forming your opinion of a character?

Leave your answer in the comments to be eligible to win a choice from Sydney’s backlist – Riding the Storm, Unleashing The Storm, Seduced By The Storm or Hot Nights, Dark Desires!

For more information

on Sydney Croft & her books you can visit her website at: http://www.sydneycroft.com/index.php

on Stephanie Tyler & her books you can visit her website at: http://www.stephanietyler.com/index.php

What is everyone reading?

I’ve been away on family business. Dad had surgery, doing better now. What is everyone reading? I’ll be updating some things on my blog tonight. I’m currently reading Kept by Jami Alden and Taming The Fire by Sydney Croft.

I’m ready for Winter

dkw

Coming November 2009

For more information Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter