Posted by Christina Brooke Nov 25 2010, 4:50 am in Bandit Booty, Christine Wells interview, Kieran Kramer
posted by Christine Wells
Thank you to Kieran Kramer for a fun day! The winners of Kieran’s fabulous prizes are:
Maureen (ARC of Dukes to the Left of me, Princes to the Right)
Helen (ARC of Dukes to the Left of me, Princes to the Right)
Silygoos (Copy of When Harry Met Molly)
Please email me your address and Kieran will send you these fabulous prizes:
christine @ christine-wells DOT com
Posted by Christina Brooke Nov 21 2010, 7:33 am in Christine Wells interview, Dukes to the Left of Me Princes to the Right, Kieran Kramer, Regency historicals, When Harry met Molly
posted by Christine Wells
It’s my absolute pleasure to introduce Kieran Kramer, who is taking the romance world by storm with her “Impossible Bachelors” series. It’s wonderful to have Kieran with us. I’m thrilled to announce that Kieran is offering some very special prizes to our Bandit Buddies today. So get commenting for a chance to win!
1. Kieran, a warm welcome to the bandit lair and congratulations on your debut! Your Regency historical, WHEN HARRY MET MOLLY is out this month, to be followed closely by DUKES TO THE LEFT OF ME, PRINCES TO THE RIGHT. Can you tell us a bit about the books and your inspiration for writing the series?
Hi! I’m so glad to be here! My four-book series, The Impossible Bachelors, is about four super sexy Regency-era bachelors who are convinced they’re not destined for the marriage altar. But of course, they’re all wrong!
Don’t you just love when Cupid’s arrow strikes someone who’s running away from love? I know I do. It’s diabolical of me, perhaps, but I can’t help thinking, “YES!” when they realize they can’t live without the women who are driving them crazy. :>)
2. You’ve worked for the CIA and as a freelance journalist, among other things. What drew you to write Regency historicals rather than, say, thrillers or non-fiction?
I like a lot of things. What drew me to the CIA and to working for a newspaper was my sense of adventure. As for my writing life, I find it more exciting to make up stories. I’m into character way more than plot, and thrillers are very plot-heavy for me. And yes, truth is stranger than fiction, but rather than report on real occurrences, I’d rather spin some tall tales!! That’s just more fun for me. Of course, everyone’s different. Thank goodness we DO have thriller writers and journalists! Let me write my lighthearted fiction stories, and I’ll leave them to their sort of writing.
3. We love hearing call stories in the lair! Would you care to tell us yours?
Oh, I love my call story, so I’ll be glad to share! I was riding along a narrow country road, heading to jury duty in the small town next to mine, thinking,”Gosh, I’m bored,” and yawning and dreading sitting still like a good girl in the court room… when I got a call from my fabulous agent. She proceeded to tell me the series had sold and blahblahblah–I’m sorry. I have NO idea what she said next. All I remember now is that my hands were super sweaty on the wheel of the car, and I was sort of shaking all over, so I told her I had to hang up before I drove off the road into a corn field. And then I threw the cell phone down, drove with TWO hands, and got to the courthouse, where I had to be super quiet and respectful, when I really wanted to shout and dance. And then, when asked my profession, I stood up and told the judge and the lawyers and the jury pool that I was a professional writer. I know I was I grinning from ear to ear! Somehow, I didn’t get selected, and I got to drive a whole half hour home and tell my family and neighbors the unbelievable news and went running around on the streets, because I think we should all do that every chance we get–running around on the streets and yelling about how great life is.
4. What are three things you want readers to know about your stories?
a) I want you to laugh and have fun with them.
b) They reflect my honest belief that love is EVERYTHING and that the good guys are always gonna win in the end!
c) They’re always about Girl Power, too. I like my heroines to be brave, to be honest, and to put themselves out there–to risk it all!
5. Tell us 5 quirky things that people might not know about you.
Oh, this’ll be fun.
1) My favorite breakfast of the year is the morning after Thanksgiving, where I wake up, and before the sleep is even out of my eyes, I cut myself a large piece of pumpkin pie (smothered in Cool Whip) and a slab of pecan pie (I put a dollop of real whipped cream on that) and dig in. Mmm-mmm!
2) I talk to my pets in a sort of weird baby voice that would make you sick if you heard it.
3) I wear the same khaki skort over and over every day in the summer, and I wonder when it’s going to wear out from all the washings and when my neighbors are ever going to approach me and ask me why I can’t buy a new skort or shorts or skirt or dress or something!
4) I love Raisinettes so much, you’d better hide them if I come to your house.
5) Whenever I’m with people from foreign countries, I start adopting their accent almost immediately. It’s so embarrassing!
LOL, I can identify with a couple of those! Thank you so much for being with us today, Kieran! Now, what would you like to ask our readers?
First of all, I want to say I had so much fun answering your questions! Thanks for having me. I’m going to give away TWO ARCs of Dukes to the Left of Me, Princes to the Right and ONE final copy of When Harry Met Molly.
And the question I’d like to ask your readers is…(drum roll)…
WHAT HAS MADE YOU LAUGH SO HARD THAT IF YOU WERE DRINKING CHOCOLATE MILK, IT WOULD HAVE COME OUT YOUR NOSE? OR MAYBE DID?
I’ll start: It happened when my dad tried to lower my brother via a pulley rope slung around a giant tree branch onto the back of a stubborn mule named Jack who wouldn’t let anyone NEAR him! (is my family weird, or what?) Jack won. Brother lost. Jack, who was eating a strategically placed pile of delicious mule treats beneath the tree branch, bucked and kicked as soon as my brother got close to straddling him and then ran as fast as his hooves could carry him away from those rude humans!
Posted by Christina Brooke Nov 11 2010, 5:05 am in Christine Wells interview, Donna Grant, Highlanders, Scotland, Time Travel Romance, Wicked Highlander
posted by Christine Wells
It’s my very great pleasure to welcome to the lair a gorgeous, talented friend of mine, Donna Grant, who writes fabulous sexy paranormals.
In Donna’s Dark Sword series, Highland warriors with gods from hell bound inside them must fight Deidre, an evil Druid who is bent on freeing those gods and bending them to her will.
Now, I don’t think I have to spell out the more obvious attractions of this series–the covers do a fine job of that! But I also love the internal struggle each warrior faces in his need to control the god inside him. It is a dark force, and a powerful one–unleashing the god makes the warrior god-like in his strength and abilities–but fail to control the god once he is unleashed and all hell will break loose. Literally!
It’s a brave woman who would love such a man, but the rewards… Ah, well, you’ll have to read this compelling series and see for yourself!
The third in Donna’s Dark Sword series, WICKED HIGHLANDER (out now!!) is about Quinn, the most fierce and reckless of the MacLeod brothers featured in the series so far. Quinn is the brother who lives closest to the edge with the god inside him, so I’m looking forward to watching him walk that line in WICKED HIGHLANDER.
And now, I’ll hand the blog over to the creator of these amazing warriors! Welcome, Donna!
Maybe it’s because I write historical novels, but one of the most asked questions I get is “would you travel back in time and to where?”
It’s an easy answer for me. Yes, I would travel back in time, and I’d go to Medieval Scotland. It would take some getting used to, especially the lack of plumbing, toothbrushes, caffeine, and pasta.
I have no doubt life would be more than difficult. After all, we’re used to remote control TV, information easily – and quickly – accessible through computers, not to mention cell phones and iPods. We’re the information age with instant gratification.
Our world is so drastically different than Medieval Scotland. In a few short hundred years, lives went from basic living off the land and seeing people daily to hectic days, buying food from grocery stores, and going months, if not years, without seeing or speaking to your neighbor, much less speaking to people you pass on the street or the mall.
Could we survive in medieval times? Putting aside the leap in physical hygiene over the ages, life was much simpler back then. If you had a problem with someone, you faced them instead of texting or emailing them. If you wanted to call off an affair, there was no hiding behind technology. You stood before them and said your piece.
There’s a debate in whether medieval life was more violent. At least in medieval times, you saw your opponent attack and you had time to retaliate or hide. Now, with bombs that can cross oceans, that silent, almost constant worry hangs over our head.
Still, knowing all of this, I would love to see Medieval Scotland. I’ve always been drawn to Scotland. Maybe that’s why I centered my historical paranormal Dark Sword series there. The third book in the series, WICKED HIGHLANDER, released on the November 2nd, and I hope you pick up the book to be transported back to another time and place.
So, I want to know – Would you time travel if given the option?
I’ll be giving away a signed copy FORBIDDEN HIGHLANDER to a commenter. Happy Reading!
To find out more about me please visit my website . To read more about the Dark Sword series, see pics of the Warriors, take the quiz, download wallpaper, or search characters, please visit my Dark Sword page.
Posted by Christina Brooke Oct 16 2009, 3:50 am in Bandit Booty, Christine Wells interview, Deb Marlowe, Denise Rossetti, T-shirts
Denise Rossetti has picked her winner and….
You can email Denise at deniserossettiATgmailDOTcom and give her your snail mail address and choose your prize!
Deb Marlowe has picked her winner and…DREW gets the autographed copy of Her Cinderella Season for getting called out by her husband over hyperbole! Congratulations, Drew!! E-mail Deb at debATdebmarloweDOTcom and give her your snail mail addy to claim your prize!
Posted by Christina Brooke Oct 10 2009, 11:59 pm in blond heroes, Christine Wells interview, Denise Rossetti, Heroes and Hunks, T-shirts, The Flame and the Shadow, Thief of Light
posted by Christine Wells
Today I’m delighted to welcome back to the lair one of our favourite friends, Denise Rossetti, who is here to talk about hot blonds and her fabulous hot fantasy romance, THIEF OF LIGHT.
Quick! Close you eyes and picture your favourite cabana boy! Okay, what colour is his hair?
There you go. Bet you said black or brown, or maybe bald and shiny if you’re a Bruce Willis groupie.
It’s the strangest thing, Romancelandia is crowded with Tall, Dark and Handsome – with the emphasis on dark. Think of all those dangerous dukes, broody vampires and buff bodyguards and I bet you’re seeing dark locks. Yes, I know there are blond heroes, but they don’t spring to mind as readily as the brunets. (Of course, Sven is the exception.)
My heroes are almost always dark, a few are gray at the temples. But even if they’re fair-ish, there’s always a hefty dollop of red – that beautiful dark red, not carrots. *sigh*
On the other hand, I have to say some men are positively improved by going all blond and flowing. Take Orlando Bloom for instance. (Form an orderly queue to the left and no pushing.) Legolas is a real knee-trembler in my opinion. I much preferred him to Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean. Unless it’s the pointy ears… Hmm…
Jason Isaacs is wonderful whatever he does, but there’s just something about Lucius Malfoy. He’s so cold and nasty, he’s actually hot. And those white-blond locks just make the character.
But the heroes in my books? Nope, no blonds. Nu-uh, don’t do ‘em. So when Erik Thorensen turned up inside my head and refused to leave, I was more than a little bemused. What’s more, he folded those big arms across his gorgeous chest, fixed me with a searing blue gaze and informed me he had Viking ancestors, waaaay back in the family tree. Just deal with it, woman.Uh, okay. Erik can be extraordinarily, magically persuasive. It’s that deep, beguiling voice.
What do you think? James Griffin, the cover artist, did his usual fabulous job of plucking the character right out of my head. By the way, if you’re interested in how he does it, he explains his artistic process step-by-step in an interview on my blog. I love the way Erik strides toward you out of the picture. Typical of the man.
This is Prue’s (our heroine) first sight of Erik. The beard, by the way, is part of a stage costume. It comes off. So does the rest, eventually. *snork*
When the lights came up for intermission, she was still trembling on a deep, visceral level that dismayed her more than anything had in years. Erik Thorensen had come striding out of fire and brimstone and clasped the shrinking heroine to his chest. And yes, he was a marvelous-looking man, his hair loose on his shoulders like dark-spun gold under the stage lights, the neatly trimmed goatee a shade darker. His eyes were such a vivid blue they pierced Prue all the way to her soft, silly soul. He was big too—so big only the athleticism of his tall muscular frame prevented him from looking blocky. Gods, exactly the physical type she preferred, right down to the mischievous glint in his eye.
But Prue had spent almost two decades surrounded by the most beautiful people on the world of Palimpsest. She was accustomed to perfection, even to the delightful frisson of sexual dominance Erik projected so effortlessly. He was a fine actor.
But merciful Sister, that voice!
He’d glanced directly at their box and his face had lit up with a grin that had pure devil in it. Then he’d opened his mouth. From the first effortless bar, her foolish heart had tumbled into his keeping. Every note was round, rich, deeply masculine, filling the auditorium as if supported on smooth columns of air. Utterly enthralled, Prue had found herself leaning forward, her mouth hanging open, trying to breathe him in, keep him forever, hers alone. She felt feverish, tingling, her breasts tight and her sex swollen and slippery, as if he were stroking her naked body with velvet.
Even worse, the costume, in an old-fashioned style still worn only by the oligarchs on Green IV, suited him to perfection. A pair of over-the-knee boots emphasized the power of thighs and buttocks encased in tight cream breeches. Prue’s mouth watered.
Thief of Light is the second in the Four-Sided Pentacle series, following The Flame and the Shadow. Here’s a little more about the book.
In the elegant, subtropical city of Caracole, Erik the Golden is widely known as irresistible; his Voice an instrument of incredible pleasure, the stroke of velvet on bare skin. But the Voice is a curse as much as a blessing, for once Erik used it to steal a soul, and now he must pay.
Prue is the business manager for the beautiful courtesans of the Garden of Nocturnal Delights. She deals in numbers, not Magick, and when Erik turns his charms in her direction, she sees only a performer’s vanity. How is it she can resist what others can’t? She’s either a torment devised by the gods to drive him mad—or Erik’s last hope of salvation.
Some desires are impossible to resist…
Read the first chapter.
Coming 3rd November, 2009.
And you know what? I don’t care if I’m shallow about hair. What’s the point of having a fantasy if it’s not exactly the way you want it?
So tell me, do a hero’s locks matter to you at all? Colour? Length? More to the point, can you work out why? Did you imprint on your first love’s hair, like a gosling? I know one reader who mentally converts all the blonds to brunets because she simply can’t visualize a golden-haired hero.
I’m delighted to offer a signed copy of either The Flame and the Shadow or Thief of Light to one commenter. Bring on the Hair Wars!
Posted by Christina Brooke Jul 6 2009, 4:08 am in belly dancing, Berkley, Christine Wells interview, DeAnna Cameron, The Belly Dancer
posted by Christine Wells
It’s my pleasure to introduce you to a wonderful debut author and fellow Berkley Babe, DeAnna Cameron. Her historical novel, THE BELLY DANCER, is released tomorrow. Please give DeAnna a rowdy Bandita welcome.
I knew if I wrote a novel about belly dancing, my secret would be out: I like to belly dance. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not ashamed. It’s just that some people still have the wrong idea about belly dancers. They think they dress up in skimpy outfits to gyrate and jiggle solely for the attention of men, and that belly dancing is nothing more than a form of foreplay.
Unfortunately, it’s nothing new. Women who like to belly dance have faced that stereotype since the Middle Eastern dance form made its first big splash in America at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, which is the setting for my debut novel, THE BELLY DANCER, set to be released tomorrow (July 7).
It’s also not fair. Although there are dancers who exploit the stereotype, there is a far greater number attracted to belly dance for the same reasons I am: it’s a great source for friendship, fitness and fun.
I know – it’s not nearly as compelling as the seductive stereotype, but it’s the truth. Although I signed up for my first belly dance lesson to get college credit (that story is on my Web site so I won’t repeat it here), a big reason I’ve been hooked for nearly twenty years is because of the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made. You’ll meet all kinds of women in a belly dance class, from college-age students to corporate executives, and everything in between. And what you quickly find is that those outside roles mean little. Everyone comes to the class or workshop for the same reason – to dance. Having that in common has a tremendous equalizing effect, and it’s truly surprising how quickly bonds form between fellow dancers.
Belly dance is also great exercise. Anyone who has attempted a shimmy, serpent arms or a camel walk knows how much muscle control, flexibility, endurance and core strength they require to do well. And unlike gyms, where many of us feel self-conscious if we aren’t already in great shape, belly dance welcomes all ages and body types. It’s usually just a room full of women, so you needn’t worry about your makeup, hair or what you wear – as long as you’re comfortable and you can move. (Sounds good, doesn’t it? Just imagine how it would feel if you wore a corset and floor-length skirt every day like THE BELLY DANCER’s heroine. Is it any wonder she fell in love with the dance? But I digress…)
The biggest reason I’ve stuck with belly dancing all these years is it’s simply a lot of fun. Of course I love the music and movement – I even like the chance to feel a little sexy now and then – but mostly I love being in an environment with so many women helping, supporting and entertaining each other. After all, belly dance didn’t start out as a performance art, or even an art of seduction. It evolved in the home as a social dance by women for women. Friends and family members gathered and danced for each other as an expression of joy and camaraderie.
Unfortunately, that’s not what comes to mind these days when you tell people you belly dance. So for the longest time I didn’t tell co-workers or casual acquaintances about my pastime – at least not until the news about my novel got out and they asked. I’m a terrible liar, so I tell them the truth. I smile and say, “Yes, I belly dance.” Sometimes that’s met with an awkward smile or a stifled giggle, and I wonder if they’re envisioning something like a Salome, an “I Dream of Jeannie” genie or worse. Other times, though, they want to know more and I have the opportunity to tell them about its great qualities. Then, on a few rare and happy occasions, something I never would’ve expected happens: they tell me later they became more curious about belly dancing and signed up for a class themselves. And it never fails, I can see that familiar gleam in their eye and I know they’re hooked, too.
Here’s a question for you: Is there something about you that would surprise people who know you?
(DeAnna is generously giving away a signed copy of THE BELLY DANCER to one lucky reader!)
DeAnna Cameron is the author of THE BELLY DANCER, available from Berkley Books/Penguin as a trade paperback. Four stars from RT Book Reviews magazine.
At the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, the modern, the exotic, and the ground-breaking collide. When Dora Chambers, an aspiring socialite, is charged with the task of enforcing proper conduct at the Egyptian belly dancing exhibition, she finds herself captivated by these marvelous women. And as her eyes are opened to the world beyond a life of social expectations, she finds the courage to break free and discover the truth about her own heart.
Invite THE BELLY DANCER to your next book club meeting. Visit www.DeAnnaCameron.com for recipes, music recommendations, and tips on decorating and activities to complement your reading experience.
Posted by Christina Brooke Jun 2 2009, 4:10 am in A Hint of Wicked, Christine Wells interview, Jennifer Haymore
by Christine Wells
Joining us in the lair today my good friend, Jennifer Haymore, whose new release A HINT OF WICKED is taking the historical romance world by storm!
Jennifer and I first ‘met’ online when we were both members of the same critique group. I still remember how excited I was when I first read her work and it’s no surprise that today, Jennifer’s first historical romance for Grand Central Publishing is flying off the shelves.
Jennifer, welcome to the lair! Pull up a cabana boy–ahem, I mean, chaise longue–and tell us a bit about A HINT OF WICKED.
A HINT OF WICKED is a spicy historical romance about Sophie, a woman who’s spent seven years mourning her husband lost at Waterloo. She finally marries again only to have her first husband return less than a year into her new marriage. She’s legally bound to her first husband, her second husband is appealing to the courts, and she’s completely torn between the two men.
What inspired you to write this story?
The core idea for A Hint of Wicked was my husband’s—I use him as a sounding board and a brainstorming partner all the time. The story, however, has developed quite a bit from his original “vision,” which was of an enraged husband catching his mourning wife in bed with another man. I latched on to that scenario and ran with it…but I don’t think I ran in the same direction he envisioned for the story! I guess that’s my prerogative as the writer .
I remember when we found each other on an online critique group — we were both yet to be published. I still recall the vivid picture you painted of your setting, rich with historical detail. When is A HINT OF WICKED set and how did you go about researching the period? Is there any interesting fact you unearthed that you’d like to share?
A HINT OF WICKED is set in the spring of 1823 in London. While I was writing the book, I became addicted to Google books (www.books.google.com). There’s nothing quite like a source written in the same time period you’re writing in. I now have an extensive, organized Google books library filled with books written in the early 19th century about everything from medicine to fashion to travel and architecture and dinner menus. The rather bizarre cure for opium overdose in A HINT OF WICKED is taken from these texts!
The dilemma your heroine Sophie faces is one many women would like to have–a choice between two very sexy men! But of course, it is a wrenching decision for her. Can you explain a bit about the appeal of each man and the appeal of the “two guys and a girl” storyline generally?
Mmm…the appeal of Garrett and Tristan? Easy!
Garrett: Sophie’s first love, possessive, a military man & leader, rough & dangerous, loyal, quiet & keeps to himself, blue-eyed and muscular, has always loved her
Tristan: Tall, dark and handsome, loyal, charismatic & charming, refined & aristocratic, a leader, treats Sophie as an equal, wants to protect her & has always loved her
I think it’s a common woman’s fantasy to be fought over by two wicked & sexy men. I’m not sure the reality would be so great, but the fantasy…yum!
Best of luck with A HINT OF WICKED. I’m sure it will be a huge success. What’s next for you?
A TOUCH OF SCANDAL picks up four months after A HINT OF WICKED ends, and it’s due on the shelves in April, 2010. It’s hard to talk about ATOS without revealing spoilers for AHOW, but I will say that it’s the continuing story of the “losing” man from the first book. Most of the characters from the first book make an appearance, and Lady Rebecca, Garrett’s younger sister, plays a key part in the story’s conflict. The third book in the series (currently untitled) is Rebecca’s story.
Sounds fabulous, Jennifer. Looking forward to reading it!
OK, here we go…Please tell our readers 3 quirky things about you.
1. I love to watch my son play baseball, but my nerves get so tied up in knots that I usually have to turn away or close my eyes when he’s pitching (otherwise, I might throw up!).
2. I’m a terrible loser (just ask my husband, whose gotten playing cards thrown into his face more than once. In my defense, he tends to gloat obnoxiously when he wins…).
3. I turned in a book to my editor at 3:00 a.m. this morning!
Yay, double congratulations are in order!
And now, for our contest…Jennifer wants to know, given just the descriptions of Tristan and Garrett above, who would you choose and why? The prize is a signed copy of A HINT OF WICKED!
Jennifer and I are running a Wicked Contest together. For more details, please check either Jennifer’s or my contest page.