Sunday, January 30, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 1/30/11

Here's another six for Six Sentence Sunday from Healing Hearts, my Regency releasing from Carina Press on February 28. 

 As if she sensed the direction his thoughts had taken, her gaze travelled to his mouth, making him burn. Mixed emotions marched across her face, ragged as raw recruits.

Adam swallowed, trying to squelch his feverish attraction by recalling a long ago tea—a lifetime ago, it seemed to him—and a young lady’s impertinent proposal. But the feisty woman confronting him was decidedly a woman, all of twenty now, not an impetuous eight-year-old suffering a bout of puppy love.

Her eyes flayed him as if only by stripping the skin from his bones would she know any respite from her grief. The starch that straightened her spine held her rigid as the chalk that formed the cliffs upon which they stood.
                                 Read an excerpt!
Healing Hearts is available on pre-order now, from Carina Press and

Friday, January 28, 2011


             Djinn and angels, angels and djinn. My guest today is Carina Press author, Jenny Schwartz, author of delightful paranormal novellas and master world-builder. Check out her "Out of the Bottle" series for Carina Press: The Price of Freedom, Angel Thief and, coming May 23, Three Wishes.

             Jenny is also a thoughtful blogger with great ideas.  You can read her take on the Gothic Romance Heroine updated at Community. It's well worth it!

             Jenny's got some ideas about the next great thing. I'm pleased to have her as today's blog guest, so you can hear all about them!

             Here's Jenny:

I predict disaster.

No, don’t head for the hills yet. You haven’t heard why I’m making this grand prediction.

As a long-time romance and fantasy reader, I’m very happy writing paranormal romance, but I can’t help wondering what the next-big-thing will be in the romance genre. Vampires might be immortal, but they can’t lead the hit parade forever. So what, or who, will take their place?

*crystal ball gazing*

It all begins with the alpha hero.

Alpha heroes have to be lassoed and tamed by love. Now, what situation would put an alpha hero on a pedestal of unattainability (which is great for story conflict!)?

Vampires have immortality, blood-sucking and that inconvenient habit of turning to dust in sunlight. Soldiers go to war. Surgeons are busy saving lives. With all these traditional romance alpha heroes, love has to battle for their attention.

So here’s my prediction of the new battle: DISASTERS

Ahem. I apologise for shouting.

Who else remembers the Mad Max movies of the 1980s. They were made at a time of economic gloominess. Sound familiar?

Currently we have the hangover of the great financial crisis. We have climate change and its associated increased-intensity weather events. We have wars and dictatorships. And lurking at the end of the calendar, we have 2012, the End of Time according to the Mayans.

We are in a situation where people/readers have expectations of disaster. The romance genre will pick up and reflect back those fears, and do what it does best: Provide a happy ending.

Because in a disaster situation, alpha heroes rock.

A disaster subgenre in romance will sell because it promises that when the worst happens, survival and happiness are possible. Love still triumphs. Values are starkly revealed: loyalty to friends, personal honour, self-sacrifice.

Samhain Publishing currently has a call out for Post-Apocalyptic novellas (, but I imagine other publishing houses will pick up the disaster theme and run with it in different forms. It doesn’t have to be science fiction or tinged with the paranormal. I could see a medical slant with disaster response units or romantic suspense in the chaos of military disaster.

So there you go. Taryn nicely lets me come and visit, and I start screaming, “disaster”. Sorry, Taryn. But you heard it here first: I predict disaster.

I wonder what they’ll call the new subgenre?

Angel Thief is available from Carina Press

She’s breaking the rules. Again.

An archivist in the heavenly library, Sara must follow protocol when it comes to curating the knowledge of the universe. But "liberating" an ancient text from the collection of a human—an Australian drug lord—could save a boy’s life. Sara has no way of knowing that one of the man’s other treasures is a sexy-as-sin djinni, bound by a wish to guard the estate.

He’s only following orders.

Filip is compelled to turn over intruders, even celestial ones, to his master. When he catches Sara in the library, he isn’t above indulging in some sensual kisses with her, or using her to trick the mobster into wasting a wish. It’s what he must do to preserve his facade of freedom and protect his heart.

But the kidnapping of the drug lord’s daughter forces Sara and Filip to work together—bringing out the hero that lurks within the soul of the djinni, and the passion within the angel.

You can find Jenny:

At her website

Blogging at

Or on Twitter:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday: 1/23/2011

Six more from Healing Hearts, releasing February 28 from Carina Press:

“No doubt the war has robbed you of many things, my lord. As it has me.” Her gaze slid to his leg, the walking stick upon which he leaned, the edge of his jaw, where a thin, white scar crawled like a worm. “But despite the depths to which I may have fallen, I have managed to retain my manners.”

He deserved nothing less than such a chiding, but he heard only half her rebuke.

“What depths?” he demanded, stepping forward and seizing her chin in his hand.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friend Friday: Liz Fichera

Please join me in welcoming the wonderful Liz Fichera, a fellow Carina Press author,  whose engrossing novel, CAPTIVE SPIRIT, has garnered wonderful reviews. I also enjoy her thoughtful and amusing blog posts and urge you to visit her, if you haven't already!

Liz' historical novel, CAPTIVE SPIRIT, was one of Carina Press' debut books. Have you checked it out yet? Do!

And so, without further yada-yada-yada from me, here's Liz:

Q. Do you read a lot? What genres?

Liz: I read a TON. It's not unusual for me to be reading 3 books at once, although not at the same time, if you know what I mean. I trade-off. And I read all genres, although very little non-fiction. When I read, I read to escape. Period. Although I love all genres, I read a lot of young adult fiction, contemporary romance, and historicals. I recently finished THE BOOK THIEF, which I completely loved.

Q. What writer has influenced you most? Who's your favorite?

Liz: I am a fan of all writers, really. I feel like I gleen something about a writer's style and skill from just about every book I read. It's impossible to pick a favorite.

Q. What interests you most in a book or a movie: character-driven or plot-driven?

Liz: I'm drawn mostly to character-driven plots. Get me inside someone's head with your writing and I'll follow you to the ends of the earth.

Q. What do you like about e-publishing?

Liz: Three things: First, e-publishers like Carina Press take a lot more chances with stories because they are able to get stories faster to market. I like that. And I like reading stories that are not always mainstream. How refreshing it is to read a book where an author took some chances with story, a plot, even point-of-view. Second, I am an e-book convert. I don't buy a book these days unless I can download it digitally to my nook. I'm fortunate too that my local public library now has a pretty extensive e-library. And finally, speed. When an author sells a book, why do I have to wait two years before I finally get to read it? That's crazy.

Q. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Liz: Write every day. Read a lot and then read some more. Reach out to the online writer community for help, guidance, advice, support, and the occasional chuckle. I am amazed at the talented writers I've met online. Many of them have become friends and trusted critique partners.

Q. And, stealing from your own recent blog post, do you have any advice for dealing with rejections?

Liz: Chocolate and crying help but once that's out of your system you've got to get back to writing and believing in yourself. No one can do that for you. There's no magic pill. It's like any goal that you want to achieve: You have to keep at it, you have to keep trying and pushing and improving yourself. And a sense of humor will get you through the rough patches, along with that chocolate I mentioned.

Q. Where did you get the idea for CAPTIVE SPIRIT? If readers could take one thing away after reading your novel, what would you hope that would be?

Liz: CAPTIVE SPIRIT began from a seed of an idea that I learned years ago after moving to Phoenix, Arizona, from Park Ridge, Illinois, my hometown. I learned that the Hohokam Indians once flourished in the area known today as central and southern Arizona from about 300 BC to 1500 AD--quite literally right in my backyard. Then one day--no one knows why--they simply vanished. There are all sorts of theories--fire, floods, war, migration, but no one knows for sure. That has always stuck with me and it's what inspired me to write my historical romance, CAPTIVE SPIRIT.

Q. Can you tell us anything about the book that will be released this summer?

Liz: My next novel with Carina Press is tentatively titled RUN FOR YOUR LIFE. It's a contemporary romance due out in July of 2011. Like most of my stories, it takes place in Arizona, has some Native American influences, and there is a love story. I can't write a book without a love story. Impossible.

About Liz: Liz Fichera is the author of CAPTIVE SPIRIT, her debut historical romance novel from Carina Press. She prefers to write about ordinary people who do extraordinary things, oftentimes against the backdrop of Native American legends in the American Southwest. When she’s not plotting her next novel, you’ll find her on the web dishing about books, writing, or the best brands of chocolate. Please visit her web site or follow her blog because it can get real lonely in the desert. Virtual chocolate cupcakes served daily.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday: 1/16/2011

Today's Six Sentence Sunday excerpt comes from my Regency novella, Healing Hearts, releasing on February 28 from Carina Press:

Anger burned within her breast, bright as her love for the viscount once had.

And yet…her gaze swept him again, lingering on the trousers that molded his muscular thighs, the loose shirt that emphasized the breadth of his shoulders. ’Twas but the vicious wind that stole her breath, she told herself.

Why was he here? Why had he come now? What was he doing marching about the windswept cliffs so close to the manor when he had not had the decency to call upon her family?

           My blog post, "Juicy Bits of Agony," is up today at and I hope you'll pop by there and visit.

          And check out the other Six Sentence Sunday authors! Our numbers are growing!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friend Friday: Shoshanna Evers

Hey, all. Today's Friend Friday features a new author I know in real life.

Meet Shoshanna Evers, a member of the Hudson Valley Chapter of Romance Writers of America (HVRWA), spinner of steamy erotic, er, tales.

We decided we'd do today's blog in interview here's Shoshanna! While I'm off slaving away in the EDJ salt mines, please show her the love!

1. What books have influenced you most?

Shoshanna: I’d say Story of O and also Anne Rice’s erotic Beauty series, but also reading all the books available at Ellora’s Cave made me want to write erotic romance.

2. What made you decide to become a writer?

Shoshanna: I don’t think I ever made a conscious decision to become a writer – it’s the typical story every writer has – I started writing as a kid, making up stories, and wrote my first full novel (a very, very bad novel) at the age of nineteen. I don’t think I made any sort of conscious declaration “I am a writer” until I got published, LOL

3. What is the thing that surprised you most about being published?

Shoshanna: For some reason I had this idea that once you get published, that’s it – every single thing you write will sell. And I imagine that’s true for many well-established authors. But for a first time newbie? Not so much. So getting that first rejection after becoming “a published author” stung way worse than the tons of rejections I received before I got published.

4. If you could take only one book with you (not one of yours) to a desert island, what book would it be?

Shoshanna: The Old Testament. And you know the sort of stuff I write, I’m obviously not super-religious – but if I can only have one book it better be one with lots of stories and things I can continue to learn from that book.

5. What is the hardest (you should pardon the expression) thing about writing erotica?

Shoshanna: LOL! The hardest thing about writing erotica for me is trying to figure out if something that I find hot will be hot to anyone else, or if I’m going to send it off to an editor and get it back with a big question mark. I can just imagine an editor sitting there shaking her head, going “Something must be wrong with that girl.”

6. What are you working on now?

Shoshanna: I’ve got my third book coming out sometime this year with Ellora’s Cave called Hollywood Spank, so we’re doing edits on that. Then I’ve got two manuscripts with beta-readers, so when I get those back they’ll need revisions as well. Right now I’m writing a novella. Lots of sooper sekrit projects ;)

7. Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Shoshanna: Primarily a pantser – but I like to know where I’m starting and where I’m ending. That way I know what I’m reaching toward. I love the concept of plotting and outlining, though, and I always attempt to plot – it just never works out for me – I veer from the course every time.

8. What is the most helpful thing you can tell other writers?

Shoshanna: Read everything you can get your hands on, and give your work to good critique partners to get honest feedback. You can’t just give your manuscript to your mom and expect to grow as a writer. I’d also suggest reading books on how to write – they really are helpful! I love Stephen King’s On Writing, and all the Dummies books about writing and publishing are phenomenal.

9. How do you get your story ideas?

Shoshanna: I don’t know, but I never run out of them. I have pages and pages of story ideas that I rarely ruffle through, since when I start writing I always have some idea I just *have* to try out, LOL.

10. Tell us about your latest (or upcoming) release.

Shoshanna: Ginger Snap is an Ellora’s Cave Quickie about ginger-figging. That’s another one of those books I wrote and sent it off wondering if my editor was going to say “Seriously? You want me to contract a book about a couple who puts ginger into various orifices?” LOL

Here’s the blurb:
When Holly sits on Tom’s lap to tell him what she wants for Christmas, she knows she’s naughty enough to get a lump of coal—but she never expected to get a hand of ginger root. Peeled ginger in her bottom burns like crazy without causing any actual harm—so the punishment can go on as long as naughty Holly deserves. Ginger-figging has been used since Victorian times to keep girls from clenching against a proper caning because, as Holly finds out, clenching around ginger has her begging for mercy—and more turned-on than she’s ever been. From now on Holly should be on her best behavior…but with this sort of punishment, it’s more fun to be bad.

Read an excerpt           Buy

Punishing the Art Thief, available now from Ellora's Cave
Hollywood Spank, coming soon from Ellora's Cave
Agony/Ecstasy Anthology, Nov 2011, Berkley Heat

Shoshanna Evers writes erotic romance for Ellora's Cave and (in November 2011) Berkley Heat. She's a stay-at-home mom during the week, an advice columnist for a local newspaper, a registered nurse every other weekend, and an erotic romance writer on the opposite weekend. She doesn't sleep, preferring to spend her evenings doing “research” with her incredibly sexy husband. Shoshanna lives with her family and four dogs in a lakefront cottage in upstate New York. She welcomes emails from readers and writers.

Follow Shoshanna:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 1-9-2011

   Today's Six Sentence Sunday excerpt is from my Regency romance, Healing Hearts, releasing from Carina Press on February 28th. You can read a longer excerpt and the back cover copy blurb here.                                  

   Emma studied Riverton’s grim, determined face, experienced etched upon the angles like the engraved lines on a printmaker’s plate, and stifled the sigh that threatened to escape her.

What would it be like to be held in this man’s powerful arms, crushed against his hard body? Odd tingles raced down her spine. Nightmares of war may have chased her girlhood dreams but her fascination with Riverton persisted, despite the world-weary air that now settled over him like a cloak.

The viscount planted one booted foot in front of the other and trudged across the rock-strewn ledge mottled with dying chalkgrass and choked with brambles. He clenched his jaw, as if grinding his teeth to bite back the pain.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friend Friday: Tia Nevitt

          Kicking off the blog's new feature, Friend Friday (and remember, I am not promising we'll be doing this every Friday), I'm happy to introduce my fellow Carina Press author, Tia Nevitt, whose The Sevenfold Spell puts a new "spin" on the Sleeping Beauty story.

Isn't that a gorgeous cover?  Come on, show her some love!

Some of you know I have a special fondness for new spins on old stories.

Tia took the concept--not to mention the word--to a whole new level, exploring what happens to the other people in the fairy tale.

Not a retelling, exactly. More like a what if. A fun and intriguing what if.

Here's a little sumpin' sumpin' to whet your appetite:

Things look grim for Talia and her mother. By royal proclamation, the constables and those annoying “good” fairies have taken away their livelihood by confiscating their spinning wheel. Something to do with a curse on the princess, they said.

Not every young lady has a fairy godmother rushing to her rescue.

Without the promise of an income from spinning, Talia’s prospects for marriage disappear, and she and her mother face destitution. Past caring about breaking an arbitrary and cruel law, rebellious Talia determines to build a new spinning wheel, the only one in the nation, which plays right into the evil fairy’s diabolical plan. Talia discovers that finding a happy ending requires sacrifice. But is it a sacrifice she’s willing to make?

But I'll shut up now.  Here's Tia:

My Road to Carina Press

By Tia Nevitt

Taryn suggested I write about how I ended up as an author for Carina Press.

It started, of course, with a story. I wrote this little story called “Spin” that I hoped to market to short fiction magazines. However, it had a problem—it didn’t want to be a short story. When I finished it, it was edging close to 8000 words, which is the point where many magazines stop considering it a short story and start considering it a novelette. Since I knew it would be hard to sell that way, I trimmed a thousand words.

However, it still wanted to be longer.

I sent it to Realms of Fantasy, my top choice market because they would consider a short story with sexual content. The rejection came in, as expected. I sent it to a couple more places, and then I was looking at semipro online ‘zines. I sent it to a new online magazine that specialized in fairy tales. No response. After a very long time, I emailed the editor. She wrote back saying that it was on her table of contents, but she had not yet filled out the rest of the magazine. After a few months, I sent a polite note withdrawing it from consideration. As far as I know, that magazine never put out another issue.

I sent it to one or two more places and looked around some more, but could find no other magazines that would consider sensual content. So I went back to the story, saved off the original file, and ripped out the sexy stuff. It was like I ripped the guts out of the story. Its soul was gone.

I didn’t bother sending it anywhere.

I ran the original through a writing group for critique. I got enthusiastic response. One girl called it “marvelous”. If it was marvelous, why couldn’t I sell it? Some other writer friends helped me tighten it up.

Then, I got an email from one of those writer friends. She had sold one of her novellas to an erotic epublisher, and encouraged me to expand “Spin” to novella length and send it to an epublisher.

Wow, I thought. I get to make it longer! Just what it needs!

I knew about Samhain Publishing from my friend Joely Sue Burkhart, author of the fabulous erotic fantasy Survive My Fire. I noticed they had a Red Hot fairy tale anthology going. I didn’t know how erotic my story would turn out, but I saw enough there and elsewhere to realize that epublishing didn’t necessarily mean erotic anymore. So I decided to write it the way I wanted to write it and see how it turned out.

My muse was unleashed. “Spin” was soon double its original size, then triple. And at last, it was happy. While I was rewriting it, I came up with the concept of the Sevenfold Spell, and so I renamed the story. While I was writing, I heard about Carina Press. Right away, it became my top choice market. It was backed by Harlequin, a major publisher, and was open to my level of sensuality.

I sent it to my friend, revised and polished it until I couldn’t stand it, and then I polished it one more time. And then I sent it off to Carina Press.

Three weeks later, long before I started fantasizing about it, I got The Call!

Not even a stint in the military as an aircraft mechanic could erase Tia Nevitt’s love of fairy tales. To this day, she loves to read (and write) books that take her to another place, or another time, or both. Tia has also worked on an assembly line, as a computer programmer, a technical writer and a business analyst. When she’s not writing, she keeps a book blog called Debuts & Reviews, where she focuses on debut novels. She lives in the southeast with her husband and daughter.

Follow Tia on Twitter,
Facebook, Facebook Author Page, Goodreads, and at the Community!

And be sure to check out Tia's great advice on how to read e-books without an e-reader!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Friend Friday

Yes, I realize it's only Monday.

A few people I know from Six Sentence Sunday and Twitter and authors loops and such have asked me if I'd host them as guests on my blog.  If you've been following along here, you know that's something I've never done before.
One of the reasons why I'd never really been interested in anything like that is because, control freak that I am, when I'm at work all day, I don't get to participate! (And I wouldn't know what naughtiness peeps might be getting up to with their comments and other unbridled merriment and such. And I'd feel oh, soooooo left out!)

Another reason is because...well, this is MY place. 

But what the hell.

So...Dream Voyagers (you know, this place HERE), will soon (how soon you want to know? Heh. That will have to remain a mystery for now. Because, honestly, I don't know) start up a new blog feature.

I'm thinking: Friend Friday

Unless any of y'all have a better idea.

Open to suggestions. (Or, at least partially open.)

And...this is not to say we'll see something here every Friday. (Gee, Taryn. Hedge your bets, much?)

So let me know what you think. And if you want to come visit. I expect you'll see a bunch of pretty book covers (manly chests!) and hear some writerly stuff.

Which you really haven't heard of lot of before in this space.

Bring tasty snacks. Pull up a chair. And let's have some fun!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 1-02-2011

Happy New Year, everyone!

Excited Six Sentence Sunday is back?

I know I am.

So...this year...let's get it done! (Whatever you want that to be.)

For me, that means finishing Cole in Her Stocking so I can move on. And I really want to move on!

Here's my Six Sentence Sunday snippet:

     "Sorry, Scoop, I'm taking you in."

     Keeping Lara pinned to the panelled wall, Cole bent, pulled a leather case from his biker boot and flashed her his FBI shield and picture I.D. She grabbed his wrist before he could whisk the creds away, her touch on his arm sparking a sizzling jolt that punched him in the gut. As she scrutinized the laminated plastic, he shook off the images of her hand gliding elsewhere on his body.

     “Cole Brannigan, huh? Do you keep your piece in your other boot, G-man?”