Friday, September 30, 2011

The Call: Guest Blogger Ju Dimello

I'm so pleased to welcome Ju Dimello today! Ju has been a great friend over the last few years, since the time both if us began writing seriously. And, as fate would have it, she received super exciting news just days after I received my contract offer with Evernight.

Since we parallel each other very well, I'm also blogging over in her space. Go check me out! But make sure you give Ju loads of congratulations because this girl has earned it!

Without further ado, may I present Ms. Ju Dimello!


I want to say a big Thank You to Renee, who has been a lovely friend and a fab CP, forever…ahem, since the time I started writing at least. She’s right there at my blog, celebrating her “call story” since we got the respective “acceptance” from two totally different publishers within a couple of days of each other! How fantastic is that?

Yeah, now for the call, umm… email story:

“OMG! I got a contract!!!”

Repeat about 1000 times, each time in a different tune and there! You know what I'm singing from the moment I wake up until the instant my head hits the pillow.

Once upon a time, in my blissful, ignorant, aspiring writer days, I decided that when my “call/email” came, I wouldn't become as excited as a kitten in a wool shop. 

I only wish. 

I got up a bit late that morning (after a sleepless night worrying about stuffs as usual)..and bleary eyed, I opened my inbox at 6.45am. Not many mails…just some newsletters. :blink blink: Another 10 mins passed and suddenly I see my book title as the subject from someone I don't know. :Gulp: I seriously didn't feel like starting my day with another R...and the teeny weeny bit of info shown in the inbox didn't enlighten me as to it's contents. 

I calmed myself almost immediately since I try not to let the R's faze me. One more wasn't going to be so tough (who was I kidding?) right? I clicked away, thinking it's easier to rip a bandaid off than peeling it bit by bit.

It was a lovely email from the editor at Ellora’s Cave, and I stared open-mouthed at the line where it said, "would like to extend a contract" and my brain shut down. I barely recall breathing, let alone feeling anything.

I walked calmly to my DH and said - I got a contract. He, the ever neutral person, smiled and said, "It's about time. Congrats." I smiled back, my brain feeling like cotton, and said, "I haven't read the full email yet. But I think it's an acceptance." He was like... "Go ahead, read it fully. Of course, it must be positive." 

That's when the trembling began. First in my legs, and soon, I found I couldn't walk that few steps back to my chair. I managed somehow, plopped on it, and willed myself to go below that that first line in the email. I think I read it, but the words blurred. No, I didn't cry, but the shock settled in right away. This whole "I'm calm" disillusion must have been for about half a minute, but gosh…once the reality sunk in, that it really was an OK, I wanted to shout, jump. I think I did, but I'm not sure. LOL! I knew it was just an initial email, and that it would take a while before I got the actual contract in hand, but no way could I process such things. 

Then the excitement started... I looked down to find out who was online.. whom could I contact. I sent out "Help me!" emails to a couple of fabulous Ellora's Cave authors who were my good friends and told them the news, asking "what should I do???", when obviously I just had to click a reply and say "YES".. LOL! As if I could think this clearly then. And I immediately pinged my super-duper CP's (even while they were shown offline) and even when they got back later in the day and held my hand throughout, it really, really took me a couple of days to even calm down enough to think.

And when I did start thinking, it was all about author bio's and websites.. uh! I guess the tough part begins….like edits, filling out cover art forms, create a website etc. But, WOW!

For now, excited is a mild word to describe the mix of euphoria tinged with anxiety that's churning my stomach. Sweet heavens (to stronger expletives)! The world is going to read my stories... The writer in me is both terrified and as pleased as punch, especially because Ellora’s Cave was one of the first publishers in my submission list!

I want to use this moment to thank everyone who has helped me get where I am today! I'm so glad to have found such a great network of really helpful authors and more than helpful friends :) The relationship might be online, but the companionship and encouragement I have gotten so far really has no boundaries! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Author Interview: C.R. Moss

Evernight's Big Birthday Bash is still going on! Scroll down or click here to enter my contest!

Okay, guys. Take a deep breath first.


Okay. Time for a weekly cover art swoon!


This week, we're joined by Evernight author C.R. Moss! And some smokin' hot cowboy cover art for good measure!


When/How did you decide writing was something you just had to do?
~ I’ve been working toward a career in writing for as long as I can remember. I had been creating stories since I started to read, but the thought of writing for a living solidified when I was in middle school and received an A in English. I looked at the grade and that’s when my life was defined. I realized I could do it. From that point on, I put pen to paper to get my thoughts down and made sure to take classes appropriate to learning and honing the craft. I did Creative Writing and Drama in high school. My BA from Rutgers College stems from a concentration of courses in Communications and English. I’ve even taken a couple of novel writing workshops where I was mentored one-on-one by a Kensington author. Now, there are the classes at the conventions, conferences and through the local RWA chapter that I attend, which helps to keep me writing. So, yeah, it’s been in my blood a long, long time.

Wow! That is an enviable mentorship! So what steered you to romantic fiction?
~ My first reading/writing love was the horror genre. I was reading VC Andrews back in middle school and Stephen King in my early teens. In my early twenties, a friend lent me a copy of Jude Deveraux's A Knight in Shining Armor and I fell in love with that story and the romance genre.

As a writer, what is your typical day like?
~ I check email, do promotion stuff. I'd love to write during the day, but I get tripped up with the promotion and marketing aspect of writing. I end up writing at night, which is all right. The house and world is quiet and that makes it great for concentration.

I could get so much more done if only my muse could stay up past 8 p.m.! What is the most important thing you've learned, either in writing or publishing, or both?
~ To keep writing, keep learning and that no matter what, follow your dreams.

What have you read recently that everyone should check out?
~ I've read the first and just finished the second book in Erin Kellison's shadow series, Shadow Bound & Shadow Fall. OMG, what wonderful books they are. Everything in them grabbed me and kept me hooked. She's now one of my favorite authors.

What is a scene or line from one of your stories that you'd like to share?
~ I have a story in Evernight Publishing's holiday anthology coming out this December. It's called Chasing Miss Kringle and this is a short paragraph from it: :: I continued to gaze into her eyes. An impression of being lost in a dark, dense forest filled my mind along with thoughts about stories by the brothers Grimm, cautionary tales about the pitfalls of life and love. Was she a pitfall or a love? ::

Tell us a little about that sexy cover.. erm, book, up there!
~ I have a release, co-authored with my writing partner, RM Sotera, out at Evernight Publishing called Wild West Weekend. It's a fun, sexy contemporary erotic romance with cowboys! Here's the blurb: Two brothers... Two best friends... One... Wild West Weekend. Two people scared to love again. Two others hesitant about commitment. A weekend in Nevada will change all that. Bristol Ashcombe is swearing off men and taking a vacation with her friend, Cassie. Damon Dougan is packed and ready to leave the ranch for a trip, that is, until a long-legged, sexy woman steps out of a vehicle and he decides to stay. Will one sex filled weekend be enough for either of them? Cassie Harding travels to the Double D ranch, to meet Bristol and looks forward to seeing her old friend, Dakota. Dak’s excited when Cassie, his former sweetheart, returns. Cassie and Dakota, though they’re heating up ‘the sheets’ in and out of the bedroom, have fears about commitment after years of being single. Will they find it’s better to dance together than apart?
More information about the book and series can be found at:

So, now everyone's hooked! Where can readers find you?
~ Find C.R. Moss at the following locations:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Musical Monday

Evernight's Big Birthday Bash is still going on! Scroll down or click here to enter my contest!

Okay, so just as a fair warning. This is my favorite band e.v.e.r., and therefore, their music is going to pop up. A lot.

Even midweek, I'm certain.

I'm not a very musical person, as in, I can't tell if something is in key. If you asked me to sing a note, I'd sing it flat, shatter a glass, and make babies everywhere in the tri-city region cry. Even so, I have a song for every mood. One that reaches so deep to the core that it becomes part of my life's playlist. (I don't have one of those yet, but I will.)

Pain of Salvation has about... oh, I'd say 30 songs that do that for me.

I was listening to this song about a week ago when I when I needed just the right mindset to write a scene with my hero trying to push the heroine away, and it is spot freakin' on. He's lost. He's broken. He just needs to be alone to find himself.

In the concept album Remedy Lane where "Undertow" is kind of the turning point in the story, the ending is not so happily-ever-after. But I write romance, so you bet this resolves itself eventually.

Enjoy. And try not to cry.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Evernight's Big Birthday Bash

Welcome to Evernight's Big Birthday Bash!

Hello, hello! Great things are HERE!

Between September 25th and October 2, Evernight Publishing is having it's first birthday party. Woohoo! To celebrate, we're giving away tons of prizes!

Evernight will choose one commenter from EACH participating blog to win a $5.00 Gift Certificate. (That means this blog, and every blog, so get commenting!) In addition, Evernight will choose three separate commenters from ANY of the blogs to win one of three grand prizes: a new Kindle eReader, $50.00 U.S. (gifted via PayPal), and a $40.00 Evernight Gift Certificate.

Many authors participating in this event are also offering their own prizes as well! Make sure you leave your e-mail address at each blog you comment on.

So, what can an as-yet unreleased author offer up for this birthday bash?

I'm giving away the VERY FIRST free copy of "Waking The Dead" to my winner! Yes, it's a few months out, but you have the bragging rights of being the first person to win a copy!

To be eligible for my drawing:

1. Become a follower of this blog
2. Leave a comment answering this question: Describe the most memorable interaction between a hero and heroine from any book you've read. Leave your email address as well.
3. For every person you refer that comments on this blog and becomes a follower, you get an extra entry into my drawing! Send me an email or leave a comment letting me know.

Even better... save your pennies, guys, and visit Evernight Publishing's website on October 1st for some great discounts!

Make sure you visit every blog to be eligible to win the big prizes!

Linky tool not working? Visit Evernight's blog HERE!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Great things are coming -- stay tuned!

Want to win a $5 gift certificate? Want to be the first person privileged to win a copy of "Waking The Dead"? Want a chance in a drawing to win a Kindle, $50 (USD) or a $40 gift certificate to Evernight Publishing?

If you answered "yes" to one or more of those questions, then perhaps this is the place for you.

From September 25 to October 2, Evernight Publishing will be celebrating their birthday with a blog hop. In addition to their slew of awesome prizes, I will be offering one myself!

If you answered "no," well, then I can't help you!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Author Interview: Alexandra O'Hurley

Today, I am pleased to introduce Alexandra O'Hurley, author extraordinaire, who was brave enough gracious enough to be my first author spotlight!


Welcome aboard! Getting right into it, what steered you to romantic fiction, or your particular flavor of romance?
I became addicted to erotic romance a few years back. I couldn't get enoug
h and read and read. Then I stumbled across a reallllly bad one, a real wallbanger. I figured I could do better, so I set out to try my hand at one. Been going ever since.

I have to say, I had the same feeling a few times before I started pursuing writing seriously! So for new or aspiring authors (or seasoned folks that like new perspectives), what is the most important thing you've learned as a writer?
I write every single day, seven days a week, even if it is only for a half hour. If I'm in a time crunch with work and school and my kiddo, I can always find the time to at least edit a paragraph or two. It is important to create the habit of touching your WIP everyday. If not, you won't become a productive writer.

I agree completely!

So what is your fa
vorite scene from Night of the Dragon? We're already looking forward to reading it, so what should we be really excited about?
I love the scene in the excerpt for Night of the Dragon. I can imagine me stuttering through a conversation with a really hot man I was attracted to, and then standing there like a dweeb waiting for a kiss that never happens.


Night of the Dragon
A Berserker Ma
te's Story, 1

Ryden and Rayne are Berserkers, immortal warriors wrought of Odin’s lightning. The
y are cursed to walk the Earth for one thousand years without finding love. And then they smell her...

Karli is a manager for an amusement park, and during her daily tour, she runs across the most incredible men she has ever laid eyes on. The erotic visions swirling in her head push her to the edge, and she cannot ignore the two virile men.

But can anything develop between the Berserkers and their mate with a hunter sworn to keep them apart on their trail?


If Karli gave in to their kind of play, she was afraid she would walk away broken.

But no matter what she told her head, her body could not reject the heated combination of the two. Both virile, desirable men who seemed to stalk her equally, and innately she knew if she succumbed to one, she would also the other. What was crazier than the fact she knew it, was the fact her oversexed mind was running images of being sandwiched between both of their naked bodies. Of having them both possess her at once.

Karli was an independent, driven woman, who worked so much she rarely had time to date, let alone swoon over some random men she crossed in the park. She hadn’t had a date in, well, forever. Her career was her main concern. Once she got that in place, everything else could happen for her, marriage, babies, the little white house, with its matching little white picket fence. She was as boring and white bread as they came. And she wasn’t the type to go around fantasizing about screwing two men at the same

Hell, this was past fantasizing. It seemed it could become her reality if she wanted it and was willing to succumb to them and the images running through her head.

Regardless, the two fired something inside her, something she had never felt before. Her heart beat a staccato within her body, and she felt pulsing in places she wished she didn’t. Especially when she needed to focus on work and the safety of those inside the park. All around her the sounds of Scream Town began filtering back into her ears and she slowed her breathing down. She needed to get a hold of herself.

Straightening and taking one last long deep breath, she exited the dark passageway, and stood on the fringes of the sea of bodies milling around. This week was always the busiest, as Halloween was a few days away. Karli scanned the crowd, trying to ensure the men were not there. Relieved that she could again focus on her job, she walked the area, but kept looking over her shoulder.

Entering the Zoo compound, Karli passed the wolf enclosure and a glow of silver. Not able to ignore it, she moved towards the fence and realized the glow came from Giza, the female gray wolf that was one of their most popular animal attractions. Moving up to the fence, Karli watched the beautiful animal working with her trainers on the last animal show of the day.

A course of heat ran through her again. I need to see a doctor; I am much too young for hot flashes. Perhaps a psychiatrist too, to figure out my compulsion to fuck random strangers.

“Shame those beautiful beasts are caged here. They should roam free.”

Looking to her left, all she saw was an enormous bicep. Her eyes drifted up, and her gaze was met with a silver one. A shiver of yearning ran down her spine.

Karli moved her mouth a second or two before her voice caught up with her. “All…all of the animals here…are rescues. They were either hurt, or taken from people keeping them as pets. We give them…all the care…they need to heal...and then a safe home….if returning them to the wild…is impossible.”

Nice job, Stuttering Sue. I’m sure he thinks you are a moron now.

“Where they are put on parade throughout the day for stupid, fat humans to ogle instead of roaming the forests hunting like their natures demand.”

Stupid, fat…humans? “If we had not intervened, they would have…died.”

“And living in a cage is better than death? I wouldn’t want to live that way, would you? Just look at her eyes.”

Karli didn’t want to admit that she had often stopped here through her park tours and thought that the animals reflected sadness in their eyes. “We give them…the best care we can.”

“The best care would have been releasing them to the wild.”

“Giza was too badly hurt to go back. Plus, it’s too late for that now, regardless.” Unable to stop the words, the ones no one in the park was supposed to utter aloud. “They have been here so long that they would die if we released them.”

“You know this, yet you keep them anyway.”

“I’m not the one in charge of the animals.” Karli backed up a step as he drew nearer. A large hand moved to her face, one finger extended. His touch was feather light, as he stroked it along her cheek.

“No. No, you just work here. Another one of their caged beasts. Perhaps I need to set you free?”

“And how do you suppose you can do that?” A wave of desire spread through her, starting at the barely there touch upon her cheek. The finger moved under her chin, lifting her face to his.

“Like this.” Dropping down, he pressed soft lips to hers in a kiss that was a whisper of what it could be. A name whispered through her mind as his kiss ended…Ryden.


His brows furrowed as he stood back to his full height. “How do you know my name?”


The corner of his lips hinted at a smile as his eyes bored a hole deep within her. The man inhaled, deeply, lowering his head until it was level with her own. She felt his hot breath on her neck, and she arched her back slightly, her traitorous body demanding more of his touch.

Which never came.

Opening the eyes she hadn’t even realized she had closed, she looked up into his hooded gaze, the one that screamed an arousal that equaled her own. Tapping his finger on her nametag, the tugging blossomed into a full smile. “Well, Karli of Scream Town, I will be seeing you soon. Very soon.”

Buy Night of the Dragon

Next up on the agenda? Starting to pen the next installment of the Berserker’s Mate Stories, Jakob and Joran will get their time in the spotlight.

Can’t wait for more? A snippet of the story will be showcased in the short titled “Going Berserk” inside the Midnight Seduction Anthology, out in October from Evernight Publishing.

Contact Alex:



Thank you so much for stopping by today, Alex! Now to everyone else (who I am sure has just dropped the AC down a few notches, because it got a bit warm in here today!), go give her some love at her blog, and check out her book list on her website. I know what
I'll be reading tonight!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Musical Monday

Happy Monday, everyone!

I decided, thanks to a very convenient alliteration, that Mondays will be the day I share the music that inspires me the most when I write. Also because I'm afraid I'll run out of sentences for Six Sentence Sundays.

This morning, while my wonderful partner was watching a not-so-wonderful movie and I was struggling to get my 1,000 words in for the morning, I opted for this album.

Sigur Rós is one of my favorite bands to listen to, when silence won't do, and when I need to concentrate. Hard. It's ambient, smooth, melodic. Oh yeah, and in Icelandic, so I don't get distracted by the lyrics!

Besides, if you read the translation of "Starálfur," it would completely change the meaning of the song for you. Listen first. Then translate.

Please try to ignore the picture from Life Aquatic staring at you the whole time.

Share your favorite writing songs. What gets you in the mood? What helps to cover up your better half's terrible movie noise?

Stay tuned for my first guest blogger on Wednesday, Evernight author Alexandra O'Hurley!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Has it been a week already? Geez. I don't think I've written six sentences since Sunday!

Okay, that's not true. But I'm shielding my WIP until it's finished. Here is an excerpt from a short story I'd originally targeted for a Christmas anthology. (Okay, a Halloween anthology, then didn't finish it in time. Didn't finish it in time for Christmas, either!)


"Your magick is young, love.” Jasper's words were honeyed, yet Sadie could not help but pick out his condescending tone.
He reached a hand out, stroking her chin with a long finger. A shudder ran through her body and settled deep in her womb. “You were powerful enough to conjure me last night, which was an impressive feat for a witch of your standing. But your magick is not stronger than my will.”

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I haz cover art!

There's a moment in every new author's career when they realize, "Holy crap. This is actually happening!"

I got a taste of that the moment I received an email from Evernight offering to extend me a contract. But even after I signed and submitted the contract, for over a week, I thought that maybe they would realize they made a mistake. I'd receive an e-mail telling me on further consideration, my story was not for them. Even after I joined the Evernight Authors Facebook group. Even after my author page was posted.

So I waited.

During a conversation with Ju a few days ago, in which I'd expressed concern that I hadn't heard from EP since I'd submitted the contract, I made the decision to send a query making sure that the documentation I sent was kosher.

And thanks to my middle-of-the-desert dial-up connection, I hadn't realized that, four minutes prior to sending my "Hey, am I good to go?" e-mail, Stacey had sent me this:

And then I had my, "Holy crap, this is really happening" moment.

(By the way. I'm really anticipating Ju's next blog post, so get on it girl!)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Why not? I’ve been a fan of Six-Sentence Sunday and figured it’s about time I joined in!

The following is from a MS that will likely never see the light of day, but is a sweetheart of mine. Hopefully I'll find the time/motivation to make it into something workable one day!

Oh, and, CELEBRATE! I have an AUTHOR PAGE at Evernight Publishing. Squeeee!!


There was something unsettlingly familiar about the sadness in those eyes as he spoke to her, words filled with promises of eternity, vows of protection and bliss. She was fascinated by his voice, timeless in its cadence, the subtle accent that became more audible the longer she listened.

Julia could not speak; she had tried to several times, only to find she could not will her vocal chords into use. Even her legs betrayed the logical side of her brain that told her to run.
“I’ll find you soon,” he added. She watched his eyes as he fought with something internal, a tortured look filling his gaze when he reached out to touch her cheek.