Revisiting a World

a flawed jewelGuest blog by Dawn Brower, author of A Flawed Jewel

Writing books is something that is new to me and I am excited for the release of my first novella. A Flawed Jewel is out in the wild and became available on April 4 for everyone to enjoy. It’s celebration time.  How better to commemorate this happy occasion than to tell everyone what I am working on now?

When I wrote A Flawed Jewel I never intended to visit that world again. Writing is hard and this book drained me. It could have been because I wrote it so fast, but I think it had more to do with all the little details I had to make sure were correct. It’s a historical novella and the information is not something that always comes naturally me. Second guessing myself became a habit and I’d stop writing to go make sure what I had written had been accurate.

So imagine my surprise when I woke up with this wild idea to write more novellas in this world. I have two books in the works to round this off to a trilogy. Hopefully my editor agrees with my ideas once I get around to sending her the first manuscript. So what are these novellas about? A Flawed Jewel should have been a stand alone. How could I continue writing in that world? Crazy right? Well it’s not exactly the same time frame. The second set of novellas take place almost twenty years later and involve the hero and heroine’s children.

The working title of this book is titled A Treasured Lily. Lilliana Marsden is the daughter of Pia and Thor from A Flawed Jewel. Randall Collins lives in South Carolina and owns his own shipping company.  I have a pretty good rough draft available to pick through. So how about a tiny excerpt from my work in progress?

Here is an exclusive sneak peek into A Treasured Lily:

He wondered how far he could push her. The decision to give into her and take her on his ship had already been made. Lilliana just didn’t know he had decided to let her come back to America with him, but only because it worked in his own plans.

“What do I get for my trouble?” he asked, “Seems like I’m risking a lot to help you out here.”

“What do you want? Money? I certainly can afford to pay my passage.”

His lips rose into a cocky smile. Rand desired a lot from her, but at this point only one thing would do as payment. Would the lovely lady be willing to give it to him? He had nothing to lose and only one way to find out.

“How about a kiss?”

Lilliana had a stunned look on her face and she stopped dancing in the middle of the dance floor. It took her several seconds to get her bearings before she realized they were supposed to be moving. Her face flushed a pretty shade of pink as she began to move to the music again with him in the lead.

“How forward of you.” she said, “I’m not sure I like your idea of compensation.”

“It’s a small thing, one little kiss. To be given to me at a time of my choosing.” he leaned forward and whispered in her ear, “Are you afraid?”

Her breath sucked deep into her chest and he felt her slowly exhale it in little pants. Her pulse raced on her wrist beneath the palm of his hand. Her face remained flush and her lips parted in anticipation. Yes, she had an interest in kissing him. Now he just needed her to accept the proposal and he’d have her sailing with him in a few days.

“Okay you have a deal.” she said.

 

I hope you enjoyed the sneak peak at what I am working on right now. What do you think about Lilliana and Rand?

Book Blurb:

Pieretta boards a ship, unaware that Thor is waiting to kidnap her for revenge against her grandfather. Will love intervene, altering both their courses?

Pieretta Carlyle experienced the loss of her father, leaving her alone in the world except for her grandpere, Comte Renard Dubois. The comte insists that she travel to France to live with him. Pieretta doesn’t want to leave Charleston and the only home she has ever known. Her grandpere is her guardian, and she must do what he says.

Thor has a score to settle, and Pieretta is the key to his revenge. He became a pirate unwillingly after his business partner tried to murder him. He must acquire Pieretta by any means necessary, and he doesn’t mind plundering a ship to obtain her.

When Pieretta and Thor meet, they are instantly attracted to each other against their better judgments. Pieretta is disgusted by the pirate’s actions. Thor knows what Pieretta believes, but proceeds with his plans anyway. She is only a tool to achieve vengeance. What happens will depend on Thor’s need for revenge and Pieretta’s ability to forgive him for his dastardly deeds.

Buy: A Flawed Jewel

Bio: 

Dawn Brower holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, a Master of Arts in Education, and is currently working on a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts with concentrations in Literature, History, and Sociology. She works as a substitute teacher and enjoys the flexibility it gives her to concentrate on her other endeavors.

Growing up, she was the only girl out of six children. She is a single mother of two teenage boys; there is never a dull moment in her life. Reading books is her favorite hobby. There is nothing like a nice glass of wine and a good book to relax with at the end of the day.

There are always stories inside her head; she just never thought she could make them come to life. That creativity has finally found an outlet. If you want to contact Dawn you can visit her webpage at www.authordawnbrower.com, her facebook page at www.facebook.com/DawnMarieBrower, on her blog http://dawnbrower.wordpress.com or her twitter page at www.twitter.com/dawnab33.

Buy: A Flawed Jewel

Review: The Temporary Wife by Mary Balogh

temporary wifeHero: To say that the Marquess of Staunton does not have a good relationship with his father is an understatement. When summoned to return home after eight years of separation, he decides to thwart his father’s matrimonial plans by finding his own wife first. He wants to embarrass and wound and decides the lowest he is willing to go – a plain biddable working gentlewoman – and advertises to find her. But of course, advertising for a wife is out of the question so he advertises for a governess. After she has served her purpose, Anthony will pension her off and go back to his usual routine.

Heroine: Miss Charity Duncan saw her future spin out before her as a dull and bleak thing. She would be an aunt and a sister, but never a wife or mother. She would always need to support her family in one role or another. Too beautiful to gain work as a governess, she disguises her beauty and answers an ad that will change her life. Mr. Anthony Earheart’s proposal is outrageous and yet… it could be the answer to her family’s debt. She does not expect him to be a Marquess anymore than he expects her to beautiful and vivacious. They’re both in for a surprise.

Review: I hugged this book a couple of times while reading it because it was so good. This is definitely staying on my favorite’s shelf. I can’t believe I picked up The Temporary Wife from a community table at my condo. Mary Balogh’s writing pulled at my heart and reminded me why I loved to read romances. I’d rate six stars, if my rating system went up that high. What I liked best: Staunton discovering that his heart can be touched and transforming into a better man, their first time together at a hotel on the way to his father’s estate, and Charity’s ability to win over everyone determined to look down on her – including Anthony’s ducal father.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: The Temporary Wife/A Promise of Spring

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Review: From Dirt to Diamonds by Julia James

from dirt to diamondsHero: Angelos Petrakos lives for revenge. The elegant woman before him is a fraud. He knows her true identity as a smartass street-wise witch. She stole from him and then made a fool of him. For those offences he plans to make her pay… again… and first up on the chopping block is her current beau. He’s got to go.

Heroine: Thea Dauntry transformed herself after that incident. She changed her name, appearance, and character and then clawed her way to the top to become a successful supermodel. Angelos’ reappearance in her life spells disaster and comes at the worst possible time. Giles is a viscount and represents the last step on Thea’s road to safety and happiness… if only Angelos would leave her alone!

Review: Angelos is a classic Harlequin hero who is not only at turns overbearing and arrogant, he is also guarded, deeply distrusting, and quick to assumptions. He’s positively beastly to Thea at times, and yet despite knowing this, he’s a great hero just because he’s perfectly willing to be an unreasonable ass and tell the rest of the world to go to the devil. He’s also willing to unbend, admit mistakes (give him time, this isn’t an every day occurrence), and has eyes only for the heroine. The reason he works is because of the format of the romance – it’s built on angst and if you love angst – this novel has it in spades. For instance, Thea’s background is a dark one with a drug-addicted mother and grandmother, both prostitutes. She vows to never become like them… is it any wonder that an indecent proposal five years ago sparked such a tempest in her?

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: From Dirt to Diamonds (Harlequin Presents)

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My Writing Process

Guest blog by Kristin Miller, author of Gone with the Wolf

First, I have to say thank you for having me on your lovely blog today! I get asked a lot what my writing process is like and where I write, so I thought I’d take some time to break that down.

As for my process, it’s pretty simple. Usually a scenario or scene strikes me first, and I stew for a bit on how to mold that scene into a book. It’s like looking at a piece of wall art, deciding that you love it and want to buy it, then trying to imagine where you’d hang it in your house. You’ve had that happen before, right? Yup, it feels exactly like that. After a few days a character takes shape, and for me, it’s usually the hero. I keep a notebook for each book I write, and as the scenes and characters grow, I write them down. Within a week or so, I have the hero and heroine mapped out (their physical description, emotional baggage, former relationships and how they changed them, etc.), a few key scenes that need to happen in the book for the characters to grow, and the big black moment that’ll tear the hero and heroine apart.

Easy, right? ;)

As for where I write, take a look:

Kristin Millers desk

The notes for my current work sit to my left, my cup of coffee to my right, and a box of general writing stuff (contracts, notes from previous books, etc.) behind the laptop. I wish I could get rid of that gigantic printer, scanner, fax machine to my far right, but the cord that came with the machine is too short to allow it to be at my feet. (Had I known, I would’ve invested my cash elsewhere.) The desk sits in my living room so that I can write while my kids play. It’s difficult to get work done when I’m constantly breaking up fights and getting snacks from the pantry, but I’d rather know what my munchkins are doing than be locked away in an office where they’re left to their own devices. :shudder: I also have a tiny canvas hanging on the wall in front of me that reads: your story matters…tell it. When something in the writing process becomes difficult, I glance up remind myself that I have to keep plugging along.

Every now and again I take my laptop and run to my nearest Starbucks to write. I order a Grande Zebra Mocha, sit in the corner, and type away. :) Those writing days usually turn out to be the best (though they’re few and far between) with clean words and pages written quickly.

Gone with the Wolf was mostly written at my desk. Drake Wilder, the CEO Alpha werewolf hero, came to me first and Emelia Hudson, his carefree secretary came to me second. I knew I wanted to create an ememies-to-lovers relationship, and I knew they were going to be perfect for one another, even though they’d fight me on that idea to the very end.

gone with the wolf

Gone with the Wolf

By Kristin Miller

Entangled Publishing – April 2013

CEO and alpha werewolf Drake Wilder has given up the search for his one true love. When he discovers that she’s a secretary in his company, Drake’s primal instincts kick into overdrive.

What he wouldn’t give to have her fingers rake over his body instead of the keyboard…

Free-spirited bartender Emelia Hudson wants nothing more than to make her Seattle-based bar succeed. But when profits decline, she slips into a dress suit and secures a nine-to-five. After learning that her bar has become property of Wilder Financial, Emelia is determined to get some answers.

Two can play the ruthless business game. If only her attraction to the boss wasn’t so intense…

When Drake’s twin brother senses that Drake has found his match—and now inherits their father’s billion dollar estate—he hatches a plan to take Emelia out. Drake vows to protect her at all costs, but he might have to pay with his own life.

Title: Gone with the Wolf
Author: Kristin Miller
Publisher: Entangled
Imprint: Covet
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 207 pages
Release Date: April 23, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-62266-144-2

Buy: Gone with the Wolf

kristin millerAuthor Information

Kristin Miller has had a passion for language and literature her whole life. Born and raised in northern California, she often made up stories about faraway places and edge-of-your-seat adventures. After graduating from Humboldt State University, Kristin taught high school and middle school English, married her college sweetheart, and had two beautiful munchkins. In 2008, she took time off from teaching to raise her children, and started writing while they napped.

Her first novel was published in 2011, and since then she has had seven other novels published (mostly paranormal romances). She is the author of Gone with the Wolf with Entangled Publishing, the dark and gritty Vampires of Crimson Bay series with Avon, and the short-but-steamy Isle of Feralon novellas with Harlequin Nocturne Cravings.

Author Website:www.kristinmiller.net

Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristinMiller

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/KM_Miller

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/kristinmiller

Buy: Gone with the Wolf

Tour Giveaway

Kristin is giving away a Gone with the Wolf themed prize pack to one lucky winner! Prize pack includes:

  • Gone with the Wolf swag including a custom made beaded bookmark
  • Seattle’s Best coffee & Starbucks travel mug
  • Ghiradelli chocolates
  • Too Much of a Good Thing is… Wonderful! wine bottle charm

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Buy: Gone with the Wolf

Review: Two Sinful Secrets (The Scandalous St. Claires, Book 2) by Laurel McKee

two sinful secretsHero: Dominic St. Claire and his brothers continue to uphold a feud that started many years ago with the Huntingtons, involving older relatives on both sides. They brothers blame the Huntingtons for the loss of their family fortune. Revenge would be sweet and Lady Sophia would be perfect target. Dominic decides he will elope with her and then dump her at the altar, forever ruining her. What will he do, however, when his treacherous heart gets involved?

Heroine: When Lady Sophia Huntington, now Mrs. Westman, was younger refused to give up a man she thought she loved was banished from her family’s bosom. He wasn’t such a prince after all. Widowed now, Sophia is betting against the house in order to survive and maybe to finally make her way home. But blast it all! She can’t possibly win her family’s forgiveness if she shows up with Dominic St. Claire. Can she?

Review: I could have done without the obsessed stalker hunting the heroine. In my opinion, it was superfluous to the storyline. The revenge plot could have had more oomph. It’s hard to feel for somebody holding onto a grudge that really isn’t his to hold. One of the hottest scenes in the book is the very first chapter. It introduces both characters and a meeting they had prior to the start of the main action. She’s a masked figure gambling in his family’s gaming establishment. Sophia knows who Dominic is, but he does not know her. They share quite a passionate kiss before she breaks it off and runs away. It’s a moment neither party can forget or the reader.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Two Sinful Secrets (The Scandalous St. Claires)

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Review: Wife for Hire by Christine Bell

Wife for HireHero: Owen Phipps is going to get revenge on the con-artist who stole his sister’s money and broke her heart. To get close, Owen requires a fake wife for three weeks. It might sound farfetched, but how is Owen supposed to get close when the slimeball is hiding at a couples resort walking around as the owner? Owen is going to figure out what angle was being played and expose it. The only thing he didn’t count on was falling for his fake wife.

Heroine: Lindy Knight isn’t quite sure about the man who shows up on her doorstep after she applies for a job. Lindy maces Owen within five minutes of meeting him, using her perfume, so she’s surprised to find herself hired to play the wife of this gorgeous man. When the couple activities at the resort turn intimate, Lindy has to remind herself that she’s playing a role, and not his actual wife.

Review: Who doesn’t love “fake marriage” romances (aka the marriage of convenience trope)? It’s very common in historical romances and less common in contemporary romances, because society conventions make it harder to setup properly. The setup for Wife for Hire is certainly believable and adds just the right mix of serving-up-justice and sexiness. The conflict between the hero and heroine is the issue of a committed relationship, so while both are feeling the sexual tension, Lindy asks Owen not to make a move unless he is certain he wants her for more than three weeks. But can Lindy do the same?

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Wife for Hire

Review: Never Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys & Armstrongs, Book 1) by Maya Banks

20121209-092710.jpgReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Graeme Montgomery is to marry a woman per his king’s decree. Eveline Armstrong can tell her father Tavis is very upset. She’s speechless. When Graeme comes to wed Eveline, I would have loved to have been present. I can almost imagine the pageantry.

I love how Maya gives us a character that has a disability. Growing up and watching historical pieces, people that were “different” were shunned. But Maya shows that they aren’t pariah but someone who can be accepted. They have feelings just like everyone else.

Eveline shows that having a disability should not stop you from doing anything. If you set your mind to something you can accomplish anything – let your disability be a part of you but not define who you are.

Maya shows her readers that women weren’t usually taught to read and write during that time period. And any teaching to be done was done by a priest. But Maya also reminds us that not all priests were old. It will be interesting to see if we will see this priest in other stories.

Maya’s sex scenes are very descriptive. They are not done in a raunchy way but are very sensual. The characters give us hope that opposites can attract. Lovers can come together and have that HEA. The families may have history but that shouldn’t stop them from having any type of life together. When love is involved, anything is possible.

I’m glad to see that Eveline’s disability wasn’t cured miraculously. I would have been very disappointed with Maya if she had done that. In year’s past in romance novels, it seemed that everyone was always so perfect. It’s nice to see that is finally changing. If you read the “Acknowledgements” at the end, you will understand her inspiration – a very touching tribute.

I went to Maya’s web site, http://www.mayabanks.com/, and noticed that she has a book two that will be coming out. Bowen, Graeme’s brother, will have his tale told in Highlander Most Wanted. The book is expected to come out on February 26, 2013 and I can’t wait. I hope you enjoy this first book as much as I did.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Never Seduce a Scot: The Montgomerys and Armstrongs

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How I Came to Write a Romance

Weeping_Bride-Pembroke_SinclairGuest blog by Pembroke Sinclair, author of the Weeping Bride

I write several different genres. I’ve written Westerns, sci fi, fantasy, horror, and even nonfiction. By far, my favorite genres are sci fi, fantasy, and horror. But I don’t shy away from a challenge, and I thought I’d try my hand at romance.

I don’t write romance with a capital R. That genre is way out of my league. The amount of stories I’ve read in that genre I can count on one hand. It’s not my favorite, and those that write the genre have pretty much cornered the market. Still, it was something that interested me, and I had a story rattling around in my brain, so I thought I’d give it a try.

The first story I wrote was published in an obscure magazine, and it wasn’t very good. Then, I was asked to do one for an anthology. It was a paranormal romance with dark undertones, so I thought, “What the heck?” Hence “The Weeping Bride” was created.

Order link: http://www.etreasurespublishing.com/products/The-Weeping-Bride-by-Pembroke-Sinclair.html

Scorned at her own wedding, The Weeping Bride has vowed to make every bride from her hometown miserable until she finds her own happiness. When the groom at a friend’s wedding disappears, Melanie and Tyler must solve the mystery of the Bride to save him. Time is not on their side. Will they find him before The Weeping Bride’s revenge is satiated?

The goal of any of my writing is to figure out how people react to their surroundings, whether it be fighting zombies or zooming around space. For me, love and romance was just another setting for the characters to react to. Even though it’s not my first choice of genre, and I probably don’t do it justice, they are still fun to write!

Bio: I have had several short stories published in various places.  My story, “Sohei,” was named one of the Best Stories of 2008 by The Cynic Online Magazine.  I have novellas and a short story collection forthcoming from Musa Publishing and eTreasures Publishing.  I have two novels, Coming From Nowhere (adult, sci fi) and Life After The Undead (YA, horror), that are available from eTreasures Publishing, as well as Death to the Undead (YA, sequel to Life After The Undead), which is forthcoming.  Life After The Undead was a Top Ten Finisher in the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll in the YA category and the cover art category.

Under my real name, Jessica Robinson, from March 2008 to January 2011, I wrote scientific articles for Western Farmer-Stockman.  I have a nonfiction book, Life Lessons from Slasher Films, scheduled for release in July 2012 from Scarecrow Publishing (an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield).

I have my Master’s in English, and I am a freelance content editor for Musa Publishing, as well as a content and line editor for eTreasures Publishing.