Posted by Kate Carlisle Dec 9 2013, 12:05 am in harlequin desire, Kate Carlisle, Launch Party, prizes, Romance
Brace yourselves, ladies! With the release of SECOND-CHANCE SEDUCTION, I’ve launched a new series with Harlequin Desire featuring the McLaren brothers of the highlands of Northern California. To honor their heritage, we’re throwing a Scottish-themed launch party today. The Lair is decked out in tartan, the tables are overloaded with legs o’ lamb (plus haggis for the Bravehearts in the bunch), and the cabana boys are dressed in kilts!
Our young, kilted laddies are willing to play a few Scottish games with ye, if ye’ve a mind to… wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
The MacLaren brothers are taking California by storm with their brewing empire, and pity the women who get in their way. Aye, these men have talented tongues, an’ make no mistake. Raise a pint for a traditional toast. (Never mind if you don’t drink. This is fictional beer.)
If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.
So let it be!
And now, a bit about SECOND-CHANCE SEDUCTION…
Connor MacLaren never forgave Maggie Jameson for leaving him. Ten years later, his former sweetheart’s back in their California town, desperate for the Scottish businessman’s help. And he knows just how to get her out of his system once and for all…
Agreeing to temporarily pose as Connor’s girlfriend is déjà vu. After only a few minutes alone with the rugged Highlander, Maggie’s breathless with desire. Of course, this was Connor’s intention…until his plan backfires, leaving them both wanting much more.
Now, lassies, let’s give ourselves not-so-authentic Scots nicknames. Here’s how it works… Take your first name and give it an “-ie” ending. Then add “Mac” to your most notable physical feature, the street where you grew up, or a word related to your job. Today, I shall be Katie MacDeadline!
Post your Scots nickname in the comments below, and I’ll select one of ye at random to receive an autographed copy of SECOND-CHANCE SEDUCTION.
Posted by Caren Crane Oct 3 2013, 12:17 am in Bulletproof, Caren Crane, Debra Webb, gift card, Impulse, Justice Incarnate, Mammoth Book of Futuristic Romance, mentors, obsession, Paranormal Romantic Suspense, prizes, Regan Black, Romantic suspense, series, Shadows of Justice Collection, tote bag, Unknown Identities
I’m thrilled to be hosting a couple of dear friends in the Lair today. Both should be well known to you by now, since both have guested with us before! Regan Black and I met eons ago, back when we still had young children and life was hectic and somewhat crazed. Regan and Debra met a couple of years later and gradually the circle closed until we were all chums. I admire both of them so very much and seriously love their books. Today they’re talking about something that happens often in writing circles but is rarely discussed with readers: mentoring. Debra and Regan both write suspense (though Regan’s tends toward the paranormal) and Debra sort of took Regan under her very experienced wing. Showed her how to do what she already did even better. Now Regan is here to talk about this mentor relationship and what it does for both of them. Deb will probably be popping in to answer comments, as well. Settle in, pull up a chair, grab a cold beverage and a warm canape and listen in.
Thanks so much, Caren, for having us back in the lair today! Deb and I always have such fun here.
Mentors are people we look up to, people we admire for their various skills and expertise. They are the people we’d like to resemble when we grow up. Debra Webb, one of the top names in romantic suspense, has been that person for me for the majority of my career. She’s driven, prolific, and quick with a plot twist if you find yourself in need of one.
We first met at a Smoky Mountain Romance Writer’s conference ages ago (but miraculously, neither of us has aged a day since). Her advice from those sessions carried me in good stead (and still does). Though our publishing paths differed, Deb has always been a tremendous source of support and encouragement in my career.
Deb gave me my first cover quote for Justice Incarnate. She taught me how to write a synopsis (a feat my critique partners greatly appreciated). She helped me sort out the editorial language of revision letters. In 2011, she introduced me to the editor of the Mammoth Book of Futuristic Romance, who purchased an original Shadows of Justice novella for that anthology.
But let’s fast-forward to August of 2012.
With Deb’s stunning success early in 2012 self-publishing Obsession and Impulse, the first two books in her acclaimed Faces of Evil series, Grand Central picked up the series. Just as her books were about to be re-launched in ebook and paperback, Deb called to check on me.
Seriously. Yeah, she’s good like that.
My year wasn’t going nearly as well as Deb’s. In fact, I was sure my career was going down in flames. I had the obituary written (it was some of my best work), but Deb refused to believe it. More importantly she refused to let me believe it.
That phone call last year was a tremendous change-up. I took pages of notes while she efficiently dissected my career circumstances, listened to my goals and ideas, assessed my strengths and productivity, and laid out a plan to move me forward.
Deb always has a plan.
BULLETPROOF, the first book in a new paranormal romantic suspense series, is the big next step in that plan. Deb brought these characters from vague concepts to three-dimensional with in-depth brainstorming and “Oh! What if…” phone sessions. She kept me motivated with hard release dates, promotional schedules, and killer advice for the cover art concepts.
A soldier is nothing without his honor.
To avoid a dishonorable end to his decorated military career, John Noble made a deal with the devil. He gave up his name, endured harrowing training, and accepted every mission thrown at him for one purpose: redemption.
An ambitious reporter, Amelia Bennett, is about to break the story of her career, if she lives long enough to tell it. Caving to her boss’s demand, she hires a bodyguard and soon it is obvious John Noble is the only obstacle standing between her and certain death.
Just when John believes he has found someone he can trust and love, who loves him unconditionally for who and what he has become, his orders are amended: Amelia Bennett is to be terminated.
Introducing Unknown Identities: an alternative for elite soldiers and spies facing criminal charges… if they can survive the program. Don’t miss Double Vision, the next installment of this sizzling, action packed series.
Available October 17, BULLETPROOF has enough of a paranormal edge to keep my muse happy, but still this venture often feels like a giant step into a new genre for me. When I start to freak out, Deb pipes up with the familiar ‘don’t worry’ refrain. (Sing it with me!)
It’s a blessing to relax in her utter confidence. And she should know whether or not I need to freak out. Not only is she one of the best in the business when it comes to romantic suspense, she was the editor-in-chief for BULLETPROOF.
Deb’s philosophy of mentoring is rooted in the theory that authors need to work together for mutual success. While our writing styles are different, we can still brainstorm, evaluate, and share experiences (or nightmares) from marketing to formatting to tangled plots in order to help each other stay productive.
Some days that involves listening to the natural highs and lows of working in the weird, non-linear publishing industry. Other days it means a swift kick in the creative pants to get ourselves back to the keyboard and into the next wonderful tale that wants to be told.
To celebrate this new book and the Unknown Identities series, Deb and I would like to give one lucky winner a $10 gift card to Amazon or B&N along with a signed BULLETPROOF tote bag. To enter, just leave a comment about your experience being mentored or being a mentor.
Good luck everyone!
Live the adventure,
Okay, y’all know what to do. Tell us about your adventures in either being mentored or being a mentor!
Posted by Christina Brooke Jul 4 2013, 11:45 pm in Bandit Booty, Christina Brooke, London's Last True Scoundrel, prizes, Release Party
Thank you all for making the release party for LONDON’S LAST TRUE SCOUNDREL such a pleasure! And I mean that sincerely–you all brought some verrrry nice images to mind.
The winner of a signed copy of SCOUNDREL is…. LUCY!
Lucy, please contact me via christina AT christina-brooke DOT com with your snail address to claim your prize.
Posted by Donna MacMeans Jun 5 2013, 11:45 pm in Duffy Brown, Killer in Crinolines, prizes, weddings
Hey all -
Duffy sends her apologies for forgetting she was blogging on May 23rd. Many of you know that she’s a co-sponsor of the RAGT (Readers & Writers Get-Together) that is happening this weekend in Cincinnati. She says she was insane to think she could do anything this close to RAGT However, she is still sending out prizes – two KILLER IN CRINOLINES tote bags (and they are cute) to:
Congratulations!! I’m emailing her your contact information AND personally handing it to her this weekend. No excuses
Posted by Caren Crane May 20 2013, 11:40 pm in Alisha Woods, Caren Crane, Deb Marlowe, free book, prize winner, prizes, The Love List
As you’ll recall, Deb Marlowe promised to give away a copy of her latest release, The Love List, to a luck commenter on her visit Sunday. I am happy to announce that the winner is…
Congratulations, Alisha! Please drop Deb a line at deb AT debmarlowe DOT com and let her know whether you prefer a print or e-book. If e-book, just let her know the format you want.
Congratulations and thanks for visiting!
Posted by Kate Carlisle Apr 25 2013, 12:05 am in books and TV shows, contest, Kate Carlisle, prizes
My husband doesn’t get it. When he walks through the living room and sees me watching a repeat on TV, he shakes his head and says, “You saw that one already.”
“Yes,” I reply, “and it was good, so now I’m watching it again.”
When a story is good the first time, it’s good the second time, too. Sometimes it’s even good the third and fourth time. And sometimes, even after that. Bones, Castle, Friends, NCIS (any of its iterations), How I Met Your Mother… I’ve seen every episode, but I still stop on these shows when I’m flipping through the channels. And I still laugh out loud at every joke.
Seriously drives my husband nuts.
He just doesn’t get it.
I feel the same way about books. Some books, I read once and I’m done. But the really good ones… I can easily read them twice, or more, and enjoy them just as much as the first time. Knowing the ending doesn’t ruin it for me. In fact, sometimes I discover things on subsequent readings that flew past me the first time around, and those little discoveries are just as joyful for me as the surprise of knowing how the story will turn out.
Part of it is because I’m a writer, a storyteller. So when I watch a show or read a book more than once, I pay attention to the structure of the story being told. How did the writer or writers take us from the opening line to the last? With a mystery, which were the red herrings and which were the clues that led to the legitimate killer? With a comedy, how were the jokes set up, and how did the comedy crescendo?
Then again, maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe I’m a storyteller because I enjoy paying attention to story structure.
What about you? Are there any TV shows that you enjoy watching more than once? What is the last book that you re-read? Are there any books that you’ve read more than twice?
By the way, I’m running a contest right now on my Facebook page. Enter today for a chance to win a $25 gift card to the bookstore of your choice, or a great selection of mystery novels by me and three of my favorite cozy mystery writers. Enter here: April Showers Contest
Posted by Caren Crane Mar 27 2013, 12:22 am in Caren Crane, guest blogger, military heroes, prizes, Special Forces, The Hostage, The Thief, The Witness, VR Marks
Banditas and Buddies, you may recall I had VR Marks here in the Lair as a guest in December as one of three authors of the A Season For Romance anthology. According to Alfred Hitchcock, “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” V.R. Marks feels the same way about writing romantic suspense. Marks combines a passion for suspense films with a passion for writing to create adventurous romantic suspense novels. You may also recall that Marks confessed a penchant for military stories when he was here before. Today, he is here to talk to us about his romantic suspense novels and why military heroes are so appealing to him as an author. V.R., welcome back to the Lair!
I can’t say I’ve ever been greeted quite like that before. Not by anyone who didn’t want to kill me, anyway.
No, I expect not. Still, it’s a cozy sort of Lair and the boys regularly check around corners and in the broom closets for bad guys, so it should be safe enough. Even for one as naturally suspicious as yourself!
If you say so…
Please, have a seat and make yourself comfy. I would normally offer a mojito or perhaps a glass of sangria to a visiting guest, but you strike me as a beer kind of guy. Sven, a beer for the manly man, please! Now, do tell me more about your military heroes. I, for one, adore a military hero and I know many of my friends here do, as well. We adore the uniforms and muscles, mostly, but…er…what do you see in military heroes? Have you served in the military yourself?
As a romantic suspense author who enjoys writing characters from military backgrounds, it was a real compliment when one of my beta readers said my books read like I’d been in the Army. While I’ve never served myself, I have friends and family who serve and I’m grateful for everyone who does. Apparently after listening to so many tales – good and bad – a few details have stuck with me.
My books The Thief, The Witness and the latest, The Hostage, all feature lead characters who served together in a Special Forces unit for the U.S. Army. Once they left the service, Ross, Rick and Eva regrouped and combined their skills into a cutting edge investigations team for private clients as well as local law enforcement.
When I’m writing a novel, the military heroes (or heroine in The Hostage) always seem to bring a world view or experience to the situation that the rest of us who haven’t “been there” just can’t fully understand.
Whether it’s determination, creative problem solving or even the cold dread or comic relief of paranoia, the military hero offers a unique perspective.
Military heroes do seem to have a universal appeal, something for both male and female readers of all ages.
Yeah, what is the universal appeal of a military hero to readers? It has to go beyond the uniform or a fascination with Captain America or NCIS (I’m a fan of both).
Military heroes show up in all of my favorite books and movies, and what I like best is the inherent code of honor they all share: the willingness to stand tall in the face of danger, the drive to defend the innocent and the courage to do what’s right and to hell with public opinion.
That code of honor and selfless commitment to helping others are the heroic traits I admire most, and it leads characters to make the most intriguing decisions along the course of their adventures.
That makes perfect sense to me. I knew it couldn’t just be the fetching berets or bulging biceps. Honor, yes, that is obviously the thing!
I’d like to hear what your readers here think. How about we give away some prizes as an incentive to share their thoughts?
Ooh, we LOVE prizes!
All right Banditas and Buddies. Let us know what you think makes a military hero believable, relatable, or memorable to you and you’ll be entered to win one of today’s three giveaways:
- V.R. Marks t-shirt plus an ebook edition of The Thief (1 winner) OR
- Winner’s choice: An ebook edition of any one of my novels (2 winners).
And while we’re all here chatting, I’ll just let you know that I have FINALLY set up an author page on Facebook. I know, I’m the slowest writer on the planet, right? But if you get a chance, I would love for you to check it out and Like it! http://www.facebook.com/CarenCraneAuthor