Posts tagged with: Ellora’s Cave

There’s No Denying Christina Phillips!

cp 4I’m delighted today to welcome back a good friend and a fabulous writer, Aussie via the U.K. resident Christina Phillips.

Christina is here to tell us about her hot new romance for Ellora’s Cave, BLOODLUST DENIED, featuring a duke who is really a vampire. Or is that perhaps a vampire who is really a duke? Whatever, he sounds like one hot vampire dukish dude!

You can find out more about Christina and her wonderful books at her website:

You can also find out about Christina on social media:

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Goodreads –

CP 1You can buy BLOODLUST DENIED from Amazon here:

Christina, welcome back to the lair. You’re one of our favorite guests. Congratulations on your new release from Ellora’s Cave, BLOODLUST DENIED. Can you tell us about this story?

Thanks so much for having me back in the lair, Anna! I always enjoy hanging out here and having fun (I’m not just talking about Sven, honestly!!)

BLOODLUST DENIED is a dark Regency romance about a vampire duke and a heroine who is a Maiden of Death. Alexius lost his beloved wife millennia ago, and his existence now is dedicated to hedonistic pleasure. He takes what he wants, and he wants Morana.

But for a reason he cannot fathom he wants more from her than merely her blood. She entrances him with her seductive dance and fearless manner and he decides to keep her until he tires of her.

Morana, an immortal vampire hunter, is irresistibly drawn to Alexius despite his aura of danger. But after one sizzling encounter she flees, knowing they can never have a future together.

CP 2Three years later Fate draws them together once again. Abduction, bondage and decadent seduction feature in Alexius’ plans for retribution, but before the sun rises dynamics have shifted and he’s the one fighting the silken bonds of captivity.

But as they fall under each other’s erotic spell the past and present collide and unless they discover the truth behind the lies, Death will triumph once more.

Sounds great! What were the inspirations behind this book?

I’ve always loved reading Regency romances but had never written a book set during that time. Then about four years ago, after I’d finished FORBIDDEN but before it sold, I saw a call for musical inspired stories from Ellora’s Cave.

The concept really fascinated me, and it obviously excited my muse too as I immediately had an image of a dark haired seductress dancing in a sordid London back alley. Then the hero appeared from the shadows and I was hooked! Especially when he turned out to be a very bad assed vampire living as a peer of the realm! As it turned out I never did submit this book to Ellora’s Cave at the time due to other deadlines, but last year I dusted it off, gave it a good edit and submitted it. Funny how things work out! 

CP 6What’s coming up next for you?

At the moment I’m working on the second book in my Highland Warrior Chronicles. These books have been acquired by Ellora’s Cave and feature gorgeous Scot warriors and their brave Pictish princesses. The books are set in the ninth century during the turbulent time when both Scot and Viking coveted Pictland so there’s plenty of juicy conflict! I have the unedited blurb of the first book, HER SAVAGE SCOT, up on my website if you want a sneak peek.

Since we last saw you, you’ve released another Roman Britain story, BETRAYED. Can you tell us about this story? Are there more Roman stories to come? I hope so! I love them!

Thank you Anna! I absolutely love my Roman/Druid world and can’t tell you how thrilled I am that BETRAYED is finally out there.

I would just like to say that BETRAYED can easily be read alone without having read the previous books set in this world.

BETRAYED features Nimue, an acolyte of the moon goddess Arianrhod. Nimue made a brief appearance at the end of CAPTIVE when she was charged by the Briton king to protect his wife and daughter. Until that point I had no idea about a third book, but Nimue so fascinated me that I had to discover what happened to her after she disappeared. BETRAYED picks up her story at that point.

CP 5Brave, loyal and passionate, Nimue is determined to complete her mission no matter what. But her confident exterior hides a vulnerable core. She’s tortured by secrets from her past and when she realises that she is falling in love with Tacitus—a Roman officer and her people’s bitterest enemy—her world is turned upside down.

Tacitus is a loyal warrior of Rome, from a privileged patrician background. But he’s tormented by his past and determined not to follow in his father’s footsteps. Honorable almost to a fault all he sees when he looks at Nimue is a beautiful, fragile woman that he must protect at all costs. It’s beyond his comprehension that she might be a warrior in her own right.

Here’s an excerpt from a review: “Tacitus is a wonderful hero, masterful and passionate…  I recommend this novel to all lovers of erotic romance, especially those who like a historical theme and a strong heroine and a leading man who is the embodiment of male sexuality and virtue. ” 5 Stars A Readers Review

I have a fourth book, TAINTED, going through the editorial process at the moment. This features Gawain, a Celtic warrior haunted by his past and pledged to rid his land of the Roman invaders. This is also the story of Antonia, a Roman patrician abused and discarded by her powerful husband, who wants only a quiet life with her beloved father. But she hides a deadly secret that could be her undoing. These two wounded souls connect, initially only for a purely physical relationship, but it soon evolves into something much deeper. A dangerous love that Rome will never allow.

CP 7We haven’t seen you since late last year when you visited us to tell us about your wonderful ARCHANGEL OF MERCY under your Christina Ashcroft moniker. What’s been happening in your life since then?

Life has been manic since then! Actually it’s been manic for the last couple of years! I was delighted in January to discover that ARCHANGEL OF MERCY was a finalist in the Australian Romance Readers Favorite Paranormal Romance Awards. Apart from that I’ve barely managed to poke my head out of the editing cave this year, as I’ve been working on revisions for BETRAYED and BLOODLUST DENIED for Ellora’s Cave, edited the follow up book to ARCHANGEL OF MERCY and have been working on a Secret Project. I’m a bit knackered…

I know you work very closely with your talented (and lovely!) critique partners Amanda Ashby and Sara Hantz. Can you tell us a little bit about this relationship and how you go about working together, especially when Amanda and Sara are writing young adult stories and your books are hot, hot, hot!

By the way, in the photo from left to right, it’s Sara, Amanda and Christina! A rogues’ gallery if ever I saw one, 😀

CP 3It sounds crazy, doesn’t it! But it works wonderfully for the three of us. We met more than ten years ago on the e-Harlequin boards, when we were all targeting different lines. Over the years we moved onto different things but the funniest thing is, it was Amanda and Sara who first suggested I try writing an erotic romance.I totally blame them for me finally getting published!

But for the more nitty gritty, we work well together because we each have different strengths that apply across all genres. Amanda has an amazing editorial eye for the “big picture” plot structure and pacing. Sara is our logical one and is fantastic when it comes to grounding us and asking “but why/how” (“just because” does not cut it with her!). I’m the Emotional Punch one and have a beady eye for continuity.

I’m giving away one e-copy of BETRAYED to one commenter and one e-copy of BLOODLUST DENIED to a second commenter. Just let me know whether hot warriors or hot vampires are your favorite kind of hero and why?

BanditBootyOoh, two chances to win? You’re too good to us! OK, people, get commenting and good luck!

Christina Ashcroft and the Archangel

I always love hosting a personal friend in the lair. Today’s guest Christina Ashcroft and I met way back in 2004, well before either of us was a published author, at the Romantic Novelists Association conference at Leicester in the U.K.

Christina, originally from England, now lives in beautiful Western Australia and we’ve been lucky enough to meet up since at various Romance Writers of Australia conferences (although not as often as I’d like! Perth is a long way from the east coast where most of the conferences are held).

I’ve long been a fan of Christina’s hot, dramatic, passionate books set in Roman Britain written under the Christina Phillips name. I’m delighted now to introduce her as Christina Ashcroft, a new star of paranormal romance, with her debut Archangel Of Mercy. Here’s the blurb:

When Aurora Robinson attempts to open a rift between dimensions to embrace her true heritage, an arrogant Archangel is the only one who can save her from the jaws of hell. And while she owes Gabriel her life, she’s determined not to fall at his feet-despite the desire she feels whenever they’re together.

After his wings were brutally destroyed millennia ago, Gabriel has no compassion for humans like those who ruined him and betrayed the ones he loved. But when he inexplicably finds himself defying ancient protocols to rescue a woman from a fate worse than death, he is shocked by the searing attraction he feels for a mortal.

As the ancient forces that seek to punish Aurora for her actions close in, Gabriel offers the tempting woman protection at his private sanctuary. But as they both succumb to their desires, they discover an even deeper connection-one that threatens to consume them.

You can find out more about Christina’s dual writing personalities at her websites:

Christina, absolutely lovely to have you in the lair! Congratulations on the release of the first book in the Archangel series, Archangel Of Mercy, which is out from Berkley Heat this month. Can you tell us about this story?

Hi Anna, thank you so much for having me back in the lair! It’s always so much fun in here!

I’d love to tell you about my gorgeous Archangel, Gabriel. He’s one of the Fallen, but not in quite the way you might expect. He and his fellow Archangels used Earth as their playground millennia ago, and of course some of them fell in love with mortals. But the consequences of what happened in the past haunt Gabe today and he protects his shattered heart and guilt riddled soul behind a tough façade.

Aurora is a typical girl-next-door—except she has a unique heritage, and by trying to discover her roots and help her mother she unleashes an ancient force who are determined to punish her for her actions. As a consequence of this she is the catalyst that causes an Archangel to fall from the heavens… and into her arms.

What were the inspirations behind this book?

Ever since I was a child I’ve been fascinated by the Mayan prophecies that December 2012 marks the End of the World. The mathematical precision of their calendars are mind boggling and their ancient knowledge of the heavens phenomenal. As I got older I discovered the Mayans hadn’t discovered this knowledge themselves. It was handed down to them from a far more ancient civilization. And suppose this knowledge had been handed down previously from an even more ancient race of people?

I’ve also always loved the myths and legends that surround Atlantis. But what if that wasn’t merely a legend? What if a lost continent had once existed and been home to a technologically advanced civilization that rivals our own today?

It was only when I began to uncover the distant, mist shrouded past of the Archangel Gabriel that I began to understand the immortal he was today, and that was when he finally opened up enough to let me share his story.

Can you tell us about the Archangel series as a whole?

Each book is a stand alone romance between the Archangel and his heroine, so although it doesn’t matter if the books aren’t read as a series it would give a richer understanding of the world and background if the books are read in order. There is a thread that runs through the books that involve the ancient (and rather nasty) alien species, the Guardians.

What can we expect from the second book?

The second book, Archangel Of Death, is Azrael’s story. At the end of Archangel Of Mercy Azrael is horrified that Gabe has fallen again. He can’t understand why any Archangel would want to put themselves through that kind of torture because all too soon mortals die. And when they do, a part of the Archangel’s heart dies too.

Well, who could resist that kind of attitude? I knew straight away that Azrael was going to be my next unwilling hero! And who better for his heroine than someone from a race he has always despised and done everything within his power to eliminate?

Rowan is a dhampir and Azrael truly doesn’t stand a chance from the moment they meet. Because Rowan is nothing like the dhampirs Azrael fought nine hundred years ago when he saved the life of a legendary phoenix. In fact Rowan is nothing like any woman he has ever met. I loved writing this book and can’t wait until it hits the shelves!

As you know, I’m a huge fan of your sexy Christina Phillips historicals set in ancient Britain which involve forbidden love between the locals and the Roman invaders. You can imagine how thrilled I am to hear that books 3 and 4 in this series will soon be out. Can you tell us what’s going on with your Romans and Druids?

Thanks Anna, I was absolutely delighted when Ellora’s Cave picked up the next books in the series, Betrayed and Tainted.

Betrayed is Tacitus and Nimue’s story. Nimue, an acolyte of the moon goddess, appeared right at the very end of the second book, Captive, and she immediately fascinated me. While trying to protect the Briton queen she is captured by her bitterest enemy, but soon discovers the Roman tribune who’s enslaved her is far from the brutal barbarian she imagined. As for Tacitus, he’s never met a woman like Nimue before and has trouble accepting that this beautiful, ethereal woman could possibly be a warrior—let alone one of Rome’s deadliest enemies. I had a lot of fun tying these two up in knots!

In Tainted I mixed things up a bit, and have a Roman noblewoman, Antonia, who falls for tough Celt warrior, Gawain. Antonia’s had a hell of a life with her brutal former husband, and arrives in Britannia determined to make a new start without the complication of a man telling her what to do. Then she meets Gawain, and makes the decision to embark on a brief liaison. Gawain, of course, is more than happy to accommodate her since he doesn’t do commitment and is trying to stir rebellion against the Roman Legions. But as I’m an evil author and love torturing my hero and heroine, nothing goes according to their plans and they fall in love. Rome is not amused!

I also notice that we’ve got a novella called Bloodlust Denied coming up from you soon. Wow, I’ll be wallowing in delicious Christina Phillips/Ashcroft lusciousness. Can you tell us about this novella?

I’ve always wanted to write a lush Regency Romance and a few years ago an idea came to me of a tortured Regency duke who had lost the only woman he had ever loved many years before. Well, once I started thinking more about the story I realised this was no ordinary duke and he hadn’t lost his beloved a handful of years ago. No, my twisted imagination turned my sexy duke into a very bad ass vampire indeed, and any sense of morality he had once possessed had died along with his wife over two thousand years before. In Bloodlust Denied Alexius meets Morana and despite himself is fascinated by the way she shows no fear of him. Unfortunately for Alexius, Morana is no ordinary human either – she’s a Maiden of Death, pledged to rid the world of vampires.


Thanks, Christina! Wow, lots happening with you.


I have a copy of ARCHANGEL OF MERCY and some gorgeous swag to give away to one lucky commenter. The contest is open internationally to wherever The Book Depository delivers. Just leave a comment on the post or, since it’s nearly Christmas (or The End of Days if we’re going with the Mayans!) let me know who you would love to find stuffed in your stocking on 25th December (or, alternatively, who would you love to find brandishing awesome weapons in order to fight the Apocalypse!)


Be sure to come back to the Lair on December 13 when we kick off the annual 12 BANDITA DAYS OF CHRISTMASPrizes and recipes every day!! Roosters. Starbucks goodies. Books. Dragons. Books. Cookies. Godiva. Books!! (By Banditas and friends like Dianna Love, Miranda Neville, Annie West, Sabrina Jeffries, Liz Carlyle, JD Tyler, Deb Marlowe, Marquita Valentine, Addison Fox, Lydia Dare and many more!) You know you want the cookies, for sure, so come home to the Lair for the Holidays! Who knows, you might win something, and you’ll be guaranteed to have fun!!

A short talk with J.D. Tyler and Addison Fox

JD Tyler and Suz are sitting at the Lair’s new bar sipping on drinks from the pitcher of mojitos Sven has mixed up for them when in walks Addison Fox.

Suz, reaching to pour a third glass of the delicious cocktail:Over here, Addison!

JD: Hey Addison! Bout time you showed up, girlfriend.

Addison: I am so excited to spend the day with you guys and the Banditas! The Lair is always one of the most fun – and hopping – places on the web!

JD, lifting her glass in a toast: I’ll drink to that!

Clinking of glasses sound, followed by laughter. Sven, one eyebrow lifted in question, turns to see if the trio is going to start trouble, which sends the friends into another set of devious laughter. Obviously he knows their shenanigans from previous visits.

Suz sets her glass down and turns to her friends: I’ve started writing an erotic novella. I was wondering, you both have been multi published in novel length books. What was different about writing a novella set in your paranormal series?

Addison: I’d actually start with what is the same. The world of my zodiac warriors is consistent book to book – that part was actually quite easy to get back into. What was different was finding a way in WAVE OF MEMORIES to put my hero and heroine together quickly vs. the canvas of a full-length novel to get them together. I’m not ashamed to say I used that age-old tactic to help get them together quickly….they’ve got a history with each other!

JD: I’ve read many novellas, but I had never written one until BLACK MAGIC. When my editor asked me to write one set in the Alpha Pack’s world, I was both excited and nervous. The idea of squeezing a story into five or so chapters was daunting to me—sort of like trying to fit an elephant into a marble sack. I think “big” story, so that was different for me. I knew I wanted to write a novella for Kalen Black and Mackenzie, but I also knew they would have a full-length book. I’ll explain more about how I worked that in a bit.

A cabana boy wanders past and the trio stop to admire the hitch in his gait.

Suz, clearing her throat and getting back to the subject of their visit: I’ve been approaching this as a challenge to see if I can tell a complete story in a shorter format. What do you two think are the pros about writing a novella?

Addison:  Getting to revisit my warriors in WAVE OF MEMORIES and having a chance to put more stories in front of readers, hands down. I absolutely love everything about crafting an entire novel, but the realities of time means there is a wait time between books. As a voracious reader myself, I love when my wait time I shortened and it’s just as much fun as a writer!

JD: I get to spend more time with those characters, in this case the heroes of the Pack! I also got to tease the reader with the promise of HUGE things to come when they read Kalen and Mackenzie’s full-length book BLACK MOON, which releases in December. Yes, I’m evil that way.

Suz: To being evil!

The trio grin and again clink glasses.

Suz: Like I said, this is a challenge for me. Having to be very tight in my writing. What do you consider the cons to writing a novella?

Addison:  The only con is that you don’t get to spend as much time with these characters on the page because you pretty much have their love story on high speed!

JD: I didn’t find a con with writing this one. Mostly because Kalen and Mac’s story isn’t over, it’s just beginning…

Suz: Just beginning? Oooo sounds intriguing!

JD smirks in that usual mischievous  way of hers and reaches for the pitcher of mojitos.

Suz: Since I write for Ellora’s Cave, all my stuff comes out as strictly an e-book at first. How do you feel about your novellas being just offered as an e-book?

Addison:  I’m excited that digital publishing is making more options available to authors. While there is a component of universal availability that comes from being in print and digital, the fact that my publisher can put books/stories out more quickly is a benefit to me and my readers.

That said, recognizing the story won’t be universally available, I did ensure that the novella weaves in with the broader world I’ve created, yet also stands alone. I think that’s actually a really important component in any book in a series – the story needs to be a stand-alone story first – but it is especially true with an e-only novella.

JD: I think being offered as an eBook makes perfect sense for not just my novella, but all of the Penguin eSpecials. Readers can buy instantly and begin to enjoy the story right on their eReader, tablet, or computer, and that convenience is a very good thing.  

Suz: Well my experimental novella is NOT related to my book The Surrender of Lacy Morgan, but it is an American Historical that takes place after the Civil War. Tell me about your novellas…

Addison: WAVE OF MEMORIES is Aidan’s story. Aidan is my Aquarius Warrior and he’s got a wonderfully angsty backstory with Megaera (“Meg” for short), one of the Furies.  An old enemy of both of them has come after Meg and the only person she can turn to for help is Aidan, her former lover (don’t ya just love it when that happens?!?!) Of course in WAVE OF MEMORIES, the tables are turned on our dear stubborn Aidan pretty quickly when his old feelings for Meg come roaring back to life.

JD: Kalen Black and Dr. Mackenzie Grant first met in PRIMAL LAW when Kalen was recruited to join the Alpha Pack. BLACK MAGIC (releasing on March 6) is the beginning of Kalen and Mackenzie’s story, to be concluded in December 2012 with their full-length book, BLACK MOON. In BLACK MAGIC, Sorcerer/Necromancer/black panther shifter Kalen Black and Dr. Mackenzie Grant battle a lethal enemy and come together in an explosion of passion. One night will set in motion dire consequences not only for the couple, but for the entire Pack. Those consequences will reach their full, devastating potential in BLACK MOON. As the Pack’s commander/PreCog Nick Westfall predicted, a terrible storm is coming, and Kalen will face not only a battle within himself, but a war on the horizon that could end them all…

For those of you who are wondering, the novella IS a stand-alone story. Readers won’t have to read the novella to fully enjoy Kalen and Mackenzie’s full-length book. Yet reading the events in the novella first-hand, knowing exactly what happened the night Kalen and Mac first gave in to their passion, will greatly enhance enjoyment of their journey. I hope my readers love the ride!

Suz, turns to look at the pool where several cabana boys and one sexy cowboy are swimming: Speaking of rides, have y’all tried the slide over by the pool?

Sven returns with a second pitcher of drinks and a platter of nachos, hiding a smile, knowing this trio is about to drift into less literary topics and more sensual debate.

So, readers, while me, JD and Addison oogle the males in the Lair, how about telling us what you like about novellas? Does having a “special” ebook in a series wet your appetites for more?

We have prizes from both JD and Addison for several commenters today.

JD is giving print or e-copy of Primal Law to one reader and Addison is giving an e copy of the novella and a printed or e version of Warrior Enchanted when it comes out to another reader

 **Okay, so Amazon wasn’t being nice to me when I wanted to add click throughs so y’all could purchase Jo’s novella which is available to preorder today or buy tomorrow. Click on this smaller version of her book and it will take you right to the site!**

The Birth of A Story…

by Suzanne

In case you’re one of the few people on the planet that I haven’t told, and trust me, I’m pretty sure I’ve shouted it from the mountain tops, I sold my first book this month!

Now, this wasn’t my first book. Nope, it was actually my ninth. I’ve been writing seriously for about 15 years. Over that time I’ve tried my hand at many romantic sub genres. At first it was American Historical…the market fell out from under me. Then contemporary, then contemporary small town, (not much market at the time for those). Then romantic suspense…oh, wait the market went really dark, plot-wise.

Hmmm, what was a girl to do? I’d always had good lusty sexy scenes. So when my CP Jo Davis started writing erotica, I thought…okay, why not give that a try?  Here’s where I ran into a problem. I wanted to write an erotica where the sex was integral to the plot. One would not exist without the other. Geesh, exactly how was I going to do that?

As I am want to do in the middle of the night, I picked up a pad of paper and a pen and let my creative forces free write, with a focus on how intense sex could not only be a major part of the plot, but also propel the story forward.

Well first I needed a character. A heroine in need of saving, whether she knows it or not. Next a hero to come save her. Wait. This is an erotica….I can have TWO heroes. Oh boy!! I’m suddenly liking this very much! Okay, so what kind of heroes do I like? Tall, dark, strong, cowboys….no….wait…Lawmen. (Have we discussed how TOMBSTONE is one of my all time favorite movies? Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott in THE SHADOWRIDERS made me drool? How I adored all the bad guys in THE LONG RIDERS? How much I loved the romance and the gunfights in OPEN RANGE?) And hey…a western historical erotic romance? Well, that’s taking a unique twist to a genre.

So now I have my cast of characters, my time period, and a spark of a plot. I flesh it out, (pardon the pun), and send the idea to Jo with a “what do you think of this story idea?” e-mail. Her return e-mail was very enthusiastic. I decided I’d give it a try, but if the story didn’t hold together, I would put it aside as an experiment gone wrong.

But here’s the thing. I fell in love. Yep, with all three characters. I wanted the men…uh…yeah, I wanted the men to capture the bad guy. I wanted the heroine to get justice. I wanted the bad guys to get what they deserved. So, the book kept growing, building, until I couldn’t stop. Nope. Had to finish it.

Okay, now I needed some feedback and a title. So after some brainstorming, I came up with a title I loved, The Surrender Of Lacy Morgan. It had so many connotations that fit this story I just had to go with it. Next, I entered Miss Lacy, as she has become affectionately known in the Lair, in a writing contest or two. Dang, if she didn’t win both erotica categories! Yippee!! Those contests also garnered her a request for the full manuscript by one big NY publisher and a request for the partial from another–alas, sadly neither panned out.

So here comes my middle of the night what-the-hell moment. I e-mailed a query off to Ellora’s Cave. I immediately got a standard auto reply that they’d received my query and it was in the queue to be read and that I’d hear something in 1-3 months. Okay, cool.

Two days later, on Thursday, I get another e-mail that looked like a repeat auto reply, until I reread it. This was from a pre-reader who liked what I’d submitted and put in the queue for the acquiring editors to read. I would hear something in 1-6 months. Okay, even cooler!

The next Monday I receive a very enthusiastic e-mail from an editor who loved what I’d sent and requested me to send the entire manuscript by e-mail for her to read. And she’d be getting back to me in….1-6 months. Okay, super cool!

A month went by.


Now I was getting worried. Things had been going by so fast, then poof. Did this bode well for Miss Lacy? Was it an ominous warning off the port bow?

Then the week before Memorial Day…two months from when the process started, I see another e-mail from the editor in my inbox. OH NO….poor Lacy is about to be rejected. Because if the editor wanted the story she’d call, right? Isn’t that what everyone says?

So, with hands over my eyes, I click open… It’s NOT a rejection, HALLELUJAH!, but an apology for taking so long, and a question re: was the story still available?

Well, yes it was! After a deep, calming breath, I replied as professionally as possible, that yes it was and I’d look forward to hearing her thoughts after she had a chance to read it.  (Even if it took 1-6 months.)

A week later, I get another e-mail. She loved the book! The editor not only loved the story, she loved the idea of the other brothers in the book having their own stories, too! But she didn’t think she could buy it as is, because, “There was too much story” in it. Would I be willing to revise and resubmit, so that the really good sex in the book be more of the focus?

Here’s where some people make a mistake. They say, “No. Take it as it is or not at all.”


Okay….cut to the chase, after a week or so of e-mails about how I was proceeding, did she have any suggestions, etc. I got another e-mail.

Jillian Bell, the editor with the most excellent judgement and taste, wanted to contract the book for Ellora’s Cave! I still hadn’t completed the revisions, but I seriously think the professional effort I was making to comply let her know she could work with me and that I meant business when it came to getting my book published.

Okay…I only read the first paragraph of that e-mail, then went calmly into the living room, stepped in front of the baseball game on TV and did my version of the happy dance! Hubby lifted one brow and said…”Uh…I take it you have good news?” “Duh! Yes! They want to buy a book!”

Then after much hugging I made him read the e-mail to be sure I wasn’t seeing things. This is where I learned I’d have to change one character’s name. Okay…no problem! Hawke became Dakota. Yippee!!!

Next came phone calls to my CP’s Sandy Blair and Jo Davis, and of course our Bandita Joanie. Then e-mails to my Texas girls, the Foxes and then the Bandit Loop! Oh yeah, and then my Mom! And after three glasses of champagne from one of the bottles I’d been saving for this occasion, I called my boss, who is my beta reader! Oh yeah, and the girls at work!

Honestly, you know when it really hit me? The next night on my way to work. I started grinning from ear to ear, doing the happy dance in the car at all the stop lights. Yep! I had received the contract by e-mail that day, read it and was going to sign it.

So, the call, wasn’t really a call….but
I am a contracted, soon to be published author!

So, tell me what’s the best party you ever threw! What was the occassion? Did people cram in and leave the place a disaster? (Uhm…let’s make sure Sven and the boys have a reason to complain tomorrow!) Oh….and how do you feel about Western romances…both the regular and erotic variety?