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Update… on Things


I meant to make a monthly update, but somehow I missed it last month. I must have been engrossed in editing or life or something, because I totally let that slip.

January saw the completion of eight chapters of Forever Heart edited. In the midst of it all my dear friend Voirey Linger answered my desperate plea for a writing coach. There comes a point in many of our lives we face our shortcomings and we realize we have no way of fixing them without an intervention. I began the quest to nail down my hero’s motivation. Without VL he’d still be a mystery to me.

I also read Debra Dixon’s GMC book. Very entertaining and enlightening. I’m starting to sound like a regular writing nerd.

February, though not over yet, I read yet another craft book… 2K to 10K Writing What You Know.

Another excellent read that inspires me to write better, smarter. I am also digging into my heroine’s motivation in Forever Heart. This means the edit is on hold until I get her … and him, nailed down.

Onward ho! Toward March!

Nena.

Taking the Reins Takes Me to a Happy Place


I just finished Taking the Reins by Kat Murray. I am a western girl and this book meets all the standards for a western read. To top it off, it is  winner of a book.

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
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I bought the book when Barnes and Nobles ran it at a discount, but even at full price I think the story is a winner and well worth the expense.

Peyton Muldoon is keeping her ranch together by the skin of her teeth. She fires the cheat of a trainer her mother was sleeping with before she died, but needs a new trainer in a bad way to give the ranch the credibility it needs. Redford Callahan is the answer to her prayers, in more ways than one, but she’ll never admit that.

The attraction between the two is undeniable, but Peyton is hell-bent on making the ranch productive without falling into her mother’s footsteps. Red will put the place on the map, his reputation precedes him as a top rated cowhorse trainer. Who can fight nature though? When Red kisses her, she’s a goner and her high road ethics fly out the window.

I love the way the characters play off each other and the sassy easy banter in all of the dialogue. The story line is light and breezy with enough sexual tension on every page to keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Kat writes a great book. Her story is believable and the characters are believable and easy to like. What’s not to like about a great looking cowboy with manners and heaps of character?

This is a five-star summer read. Enjoy!!

Thanks for the book Kat!

Nena

Review for Beach House No. 9


A few months ago Christie Ridgway gave an awesome class at Romance Writers of America. The class was about letting the characters write the plot. I loved the content and, as with any exemplary class, it has stuck with me. One gift Ms. Ridgway gave us, besides so much of her wisdom, was her latest contemporary romance Beach House No. 9. I’ve read a couple of her books and enjoyed them all, but this book is outstanding, stupendous, amazing. I loved this book.

The characters in this book really do write the story. Our heroine is an intellectual who is paired with a reporter who is supposed to be writing his memoirs, but is in denial of the atrocities he witnessed during his embed year in Afghanistan.  The hurt of those memories is too painful for him to revisit, he put the project on hold. I loved the way Christie wrote Griffin and the things he observed about Jane. He sees her as prim and proper. Her shoes always bring a mental response. There are bows or little heels, her clothes trim or ruffled. All of it feminine, but she is always the librarian. Her mouth makes him think things, though.

And she finds him undeniably handsome and virile. The first kiss he gives her makes me shiver just thinking about it. The chemistry between these two is so wonderful! Even before that first kiss in Chapter 2.

She calls him ‘chili-dog’ and he calls her ‘honey-pie’. Endearments designed to push the other away, but in truth, they bring them closer together.

Griffin spends months avoiding work on his book while Jane devises ways to get him to at least look at it. In the middle of it all Jane, a repressed, tender-hearted woman, can’t keep herself from falling for this hard-shelled man. At the same time Griffin can’t stave off Jane’s genuine nature and they finally get together. The love scenes are steamy and the pre-love scenes are hot and make you read to get to the love scenes.

As their relationship progresses, they both learn each other’s weaknesses and flaws. She doesn’t know how to swim. She was always the last considered in her family and he puts her first. He can’t sleep and he always pushes people away.

Jane grows on Griffin, the man who doesn’t want anyone to get close. She realizes all his attempts to keep people away is only a ploy to keep his heart from hurting. And… she falls in love with him.  Jane gets Griffin to start on the book, but it pulls out his demons and leads to mother of all black moments.

I am not giving anything away… the black moment is so intense and goes on and on and all the weaknesses of these two flawed people are made right. The twists it takes will be a wild ride.

There is subplot that will keep your heart pumping too.

You have to read this book. It will make you smile and your heart sing.

Nena

One For Kami Guest Review


How appropriate I am talking about a love story the week of Valentine’s Day.

Today I want to tell you about a story available now from Amazon on Kindle from Charlene Wilson.

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Charlene is the author of romantic tales that take you to other worlds, dimensions, and times, as well as our very own. Whether it be Paranormal, Fantasy, Science Fiction, or Contemporary, she weaves lasting love and intrigue into multi-layered story lines to immerse you in the lives of her characters. Fate and destiny have a plan. Are you ready to believe again?

Author site:  http://CharleneAWilson.com
Blog:  http://bit.ly/CharBlogs
Facebook:  http://bit.ly/CharleneAWilsonFan
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/AuthorCAWilson
Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/CharleneAWilsonGR
Pinterest:http://pinterest.com/charleneawilson/

Today her newest creation is One for Kami.

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http://www.amazon.com/One-for-Kami-

Print Length: 38 pages

Publisher: Oracle Bay Books (December 21, 2012)

ASIN: B00ARU2Z6A

This is a story of what true love is all about. Kami lives in a society where men of the Elite are required to take three wives. When confronted with the possibility of sharing her love for Ian with two other women, she would rather live a life away from him than suffer that heart ache. She takes a position on another planet to forget her feelings and tries to start a new life without him. New surroundings do little to ease the feelings she carries for him in her heart.

(spoiler) Just before she embarks on the mandated return to her world, a figure reveals himself to her. Imagine her shock to find it is Ian, who leaves his status and his world behind to be with her. *swoon*.

We are transported to a new world through this story. Excellent descriptions place us in Kami’s surroundings. Charlene pulls us into Kami’s world and reveals her deepest thoughts and her most intimate feelings. We experience the pull of Kami’s heart and the confusion she experiences as she encounters a new culture. Coupled with the frustration she goes through as she tries to forget about Ian, but everything always leads back to him.

I love the way Charlene still uses the lure and pull of true love to transcend the boundaries of worlds and time. Her story is poignant and tender, a read worthy romance.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

 

Kami’s blouse bunched up her back as she slid down the wide oak’s trunk. Bark grazed her skin and snagged her hair with its aged layers until her bottom hit the ground. She cringed at the sharp pangs. Folding her knees to her chest, she buried her face in her arms and welcomed the punishment. Hurting Ian pained her more than anything she’d done in her life.

Autumn leaves crunched beneath his footsteps as he paced the woodland’s small clearing. Each stride matched two beats of her heart and crushed the sweet memories of their grove. Dust scented the air as he shuffled into a turn.

“Why are you just now telling me this?” His breath hitched and he cleared his throat.

Words wouldn’t form as Kami lifted her gaze.

Setting his hands at his slender waist, his hazel gaze shifted to the shadows of the young birch trees. A cloud of insects drifted through the pale trunks, soft hums filling the air as they paused. Wiping his hand across his strong jaw, he looked back at her.

“You know I love you, Kami.”

Tears stung as they seeped beneath her lids and she blinked to relieve the burn. “I need to be the only one, Ian. I can’t know you might love someone else more than me when you choose another wife.”

She lowered her gaze to the thick roots that surrounded her. They wove within the caramel-colored ground, creating a perfect lounge for two lovers in an embrace. How many times had they sat there and shared their secrets, their love? How many times had he told her she was the one, the only one? She cursed the fact that she was gullible enough to believe it could be true.

Kami forced her voice through her tight throat. “When I first saw you, you were playing with that scruffy looking little dog in the park. Its hair was so long and matted I thought you couldn’t afford to pay a groomer. I thought that sock with the knot in it was all you could come up with to be his toy.”

He lowered his gaze. “That stray lives at the park and I removed my sock to have some fun with him.”

“I know that now. But then I assumed you were poor. And after the third date of peanut butter sandwich picnics by the river, I thought I knew for certain. I mean, who could love peanut butter that much? And what member of the elite class prefers such a simple activity for a date?”

She scanned his solemn countenance. His love of nature was one of the things she adored about him, alongside the fact that he didn’t feel the need to flaunt his wealth. But to keep such a fact from her under the circumstances… “I fell in love with you, believing you would make me the one choice you were allowed as a member of the lower class.”

A gust of wind lifted his black hair to dance around his face. The cheery motion seemed to mock his lips as they dipped into a deep frown. “If it were up to me, I’d have only you. Can’t you believe that? I’ve waited, pushed the age limit to wed, looking for the right one to be my first. My first, Kami. The others will never mean what you do to me.”

“If you really love me, you’d want me alone. No other. Period.” Frustration bubbled in her chest at her misconception of their love.

He tilted his head and bit his lips together. “I can’t help that I was born an elite. If it were possible…”

“If it were possible, what? You’d give up your birthright and join the ranks of the vagabonds who can’t afford food for the one wife and child they’re allowed? Or you’d buck the system and refuse to wed the other two? That would only land you earthbound, exiled to a foreign dimension, and stripped of everything but the clothes you wear. And while you’re considering it, I’d advise you to wear a thick coat and heavy boots because I hear they choose some pretty rough climates for those who refuse to live by this law.”

The sarcastic response rolled off her tongue before she realized it, but she didn’t care. It wasn’t right. None of the counsel’s decisions on eliminating poverty was. The lower class weds one spouse and bears only one child while the elite must choose three and produce as many offspring that would come to them? It was absurd.

Find another way to spread the wealth than through inheritance.

She looked at him, and her voice rose with her exclamation. “I can’t stay here and conform to the laws of this dimension. Not when I know there are other places that don’t require such things. I need the freedom to love whomever I want whoever they are, without the stipulation of a quota. And if that means transferring, then that’s what I’ll do.”

“If your mother was alive…”

“Well, she’s not.” Kami scowled. She had expected him to try to bring her mother into this, but it hurt just the same. “But, I can’t believe she wouldn’t want me to be happy. She was one of a quota, Ian, one that had only one child. Father’s attention stayed on the others.”

Ian’s broad shoulders lifted as he took a deep breath and sent his gaze back to the trees.

“I’m leaving for a six-month stay in Three-Two-Three. With me gone, you’ll be free to start your family before you turn twenty-five. I won’t stand in your way to fulfill your obligation. You’ll have time to find a woman that will happily live by the law.” Her voice lowered to a mumble. “And I won’t have to see you do it.”

Ian’s heavy brow furrowed and his dark lashes narrowed his gaze. “And what will happen if you find someone while you’re there? That realm doesn’t know we exist, Kami. What will you tell him when you leave every six months to come back to renew your travel rights?”

“When I choose someone, it will be because our love is true. He’ll understand I need some time away.”

His mouth dropped open and he shook his head. “What love that’s true has those kinds of secrets?” A scowl crossed his face and he drew his hand through the air. “And what makes you think a love there would be truer than my love here?”

“They choose only one. They pledge their hearts and it lasts a lifetime.”

“Promises can be broken whichever realm you’re in.” Orange and yellow leaves scattered as he marched across the small tract and sunk to the ground before her. Taking her hands in his, he looked into her eyes. “Stay here. Marry me. Be my elite choice. There can be only one first time, and I want it to be you. Let it be enough.”

It took all of Kami’s strength to look away. She clenched her jaw, trying to control the hiccup that would surely release a sob.

Ian shook his head and his voice lowered to a plea. “Please, Kami. Don’t go.”

She pinched her lips together and the hiccup forced its way to her throat. Snatching her breath, she kept it silent, but it jarred her into action. “The consort has already granted my leave. I’ve taken the training and temporary employment is waiting for me. If I can make it work, I’ll arrange to stay longer.”

The frank tone of her voice gave her strength as she stood. “Goodbye, Ian.”

Ian’s hands slowly released her as he rose and stepped back. His square jaw flexed. “Never say goodbye. This isn’t the end.”

Tearing her gaze from his hazel eyes, Kami focused her thoughts on the Inter-dimensional Courtyard. A wave of heat sizzled through her veins as her elements prepared to shift through space. The scene before her distorted and a soft fizz buzzed in her ears as she synced into the atrium.

 

A tourwide giveaway is hosted by Rafflecopter. Click on the link to join in the fun.

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Charlene has graciously offered to give away a copy of One for Kami. One of our lucky commentors will win a free copy. Since we are in the middle of Valentine’s Week I’d love to hear from you about a favorite love story or Valentine’s tale. Let’s spread the love!

Thank you Charlene for sharing your story with us. And good luck to all of you in the give away!!

Nena

Voirey Linger has a New Release!


Today I have the distinct pleasure of welcoming a friend of mine to the blog.
Voirey Linger has released the third book in her Angel series and she graciously agreed to come over and answer some questions.

This is the third book in your Angel series. Can you tell us how you decided on a three book series? How did the characters come to you and which ones were the most difficult/easy to write?

Originally, I hadn’t planned three. I was perfectly happy giving Dom and Maggie a happily-ever-after in Risking Eternity and walking away from the angels. But a funny thing happened in that first book. Dom did something he wasn’t supposed to do.

He kissed Ren.

There was an amazing amount of steam between those two characters, but I knew Ren and Dom were not a combination that would work romantically, so despite the chemistry, giving them any kind of a relationship was never something I considered.

My friends didn’t care about that, though. They were nagging me for a romance for Ren, and in my head, Ren was confused and lonely. I can ignore nagging friends, but a character in distress needs a story. next thing I know, Forsaking Eternity was written, and I was sure THAT would be the last book.

Except, then the demon, Meela, showed me a chink in her armor. She was tortured by her existence, full of anger and resentment toward everyone she could blame in any small way for her fall from grace. She was in distress and she needed a story, too. Embracing Eternity was born and as far as i can tell, it is bringing the series to a close.

I would love to know what influences in your life brought you to write romance?

I’ve always loved reading, and always loved stories with happy endings. I was one of those kids with a hard childhood, and happy books took away everything that made life unhappy for me. I remember ‘teen’ romances then, stories nothing like today’s YA. They were innocent, wholesome boy-kisses-girl tales and I loved them.

By the time I found adult romance, I knew I wanted to be the one writing these stories, giving other people an escape, a fantasy to distract them from real life. I knew by the time I was 14 that I wanted to be a romance novelist.

Who is your favorite author and how do they influence your writing?

I have a lot of favorites. LaVyrle Spencer taught me the importance of sinking into a moment, holding on to it. Angela Knight taught me just the opposite, how to push the pacing when it’s needed, to keep things tight and moving so the story can be told. Another pair of opposites are Kate Pearce and Lora Leigh. Kate’s work has a sexy elegance to it, very sensual and graphic, but there is an underlying lady-like quality to it. Lora Leigh is flat-out raunchy, it’s sexy and rough. I try to bring a combination of that rawness and still keep it elegant.

What process was involved in getting Embracing Eternity published?

Because I am an in-house author for Ellora’s Cave, and because this was the third in an established series, the process was a little bit different than an average slushpile sub. The first thing I did was let my editor know I had the third angel book. Publishers often have specific ways they handle series, so I wanted to be sure I knew what to do. We discussed title and a series name, and had those determined and approved before I officially submitted the book.

After that it was much like any other books. I sent my editor an official query letter, synopsis and manuscript. She read it, recommended the publisher acquire it, and once the company approved it, I was offered a contract. I got edits, a cover, and eventually, a release date.

This book was one of my hardest to write. Meela and Evan are both very stubborn characters, which made them hard for me to work with. In addition, I moved during edits, had several minor family crises and a major one. I’m very thankful for an understanding and patient editor. She allowed me leeway to work and deal with life.

In the end, I think the time, effort and unexpected side trips were worth it. I really like how the series came together, even though none of it was planned.

Evangelos has loved Philomela since before time began. He’s dreamed of having her in his arms and his bed. But she never once looked his way. Instead, she chose a Fall that transformed her into a monstrous creature. He never forgot the one he loved, and he’s determined to bring her back home.

Cut off from the power that fed them, Meela and the other Fallen angels became demons, thriving on vice and preying on Creation. Hell holds too much pain and Meela wants nothing more than to give in to the temptation Evan offers. But a demon has no place in the arms of an angel.

Meela knows Evan’s determination to save her will be his downfall, because Lucifer wants to feast on the power of angels, and she’s the perfect bait.

A Romantica® erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

This book is really a beautiful conclusion to the series. I recommend it to all of you romantics who love sensual love scenes and redemptions that break the bonds of earth.

Nena

Wild At Heart


Today I would like to feature a project that is close to my heart. The writer’s group I belong to is a chapter of Romance Writer’s of America called the Diamond State Romance Author’s. We are in Arknansas, hence the title Diamond State. We undertook a unique project benefiting a local wild life refuge in our state.

It is an anthology comprised of several stories written by different authors. Each story involves an animal like one of those found the refuge. Tigers and lions, cougars… other dangerous things. Let the stories carry you away. What makes the whole project worth all the effort is the proceeds benefit the Turpentine Animal Refuge. They care for several large cats and are dependent on donations outside camp admissions fees and overnight guests.

Volume one is stories for mature audiences. Oh my! you say. Romance? Don’t balk. We may be romance writers, but we can writee stories that aren’t romance. Check them out. They are full of adventure.

The second volume is geared especially to the younger crowd.

It will be released soon.

We are excited to present this special work to the public and provide another quiet means of income for this worthy cause.

Nena