Tag: Guest post

Guest Author (+ a Giveaway!): Jessica Scott – Favorite Short, Perfect Reads

Posted February 13, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments


Thanks so much for having me today! I’m talking about my favorite short, perfect reads. Short stories are a tough sell for me because a lot of times, they feel rushed or incomplete. But there are a couple that really stuck with me long after I read them!

Nalini Singh is someone who I will buy anything she writes in her guild hunters world. Galen and Jessamy’s story ANGEL’S DANCE is just beautiful.

Another auto buy author is Ruthie Knox. She’s got a new novella out HOW TO MISBEHAVE and it’s one of my favorite stories I’ve read recently. I mean, seriously, Tony has arms and I’m a sucker for sexy arms. I’m not sure what it is but I notice a man’s hands and his forearms. Plus, I can totally relate to Amber (at least my younger self can). It’s funny and sexy all in one. A perfect read. I’ve read it three times already.

I pick up anything by Shawntelle Madison. Any author who can make me laugh out loud stays on my auto buy list. Her novella BITTEN BY DECEIT is outside of her world started in Coveted but it’s got her characteristic humor, pack dynamics and intrigue and sexy werewolves. Because I’m sorry, rough and rugged gets me any day of the week, lol! Plus, you can check out an excerpt of Shawntelle’s novella in the back of ANYTHING FOR YOU.

I’m giving away a digital copy of ANYTHING FOR YOU as well as Shane & Jen’s first story BECAUSE OF YOU to one lucky commenter!

From the author of Because of You comes an all new Coming Home short story.  

Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison has spent a year recovering from his combat injuries. A year spent in the arms of the woman of his dreams. But loving Jen comes with a price: every time he touches her, he faces the uncertain fear that loving her might mean losing her forever.

Jen is a breast cancer survivor and with Shane, she’s found a man who loves her despite her scars. But her scars may be too much for their love to survive.

As their love grows, so does the risk to Jen’s life. And Shane must make the toughest decision any man can make to save the woman he loves.

You can buy ANYTHING FOR YOUat the following ebookstores

Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

The links for iBooks & others should be live soon!

Below is the official excerpt!

Fort Hood, late 2008 

“Jen is going to kill you. You know that, right?” Vic Carponti took a long pull off his ever-present Dr Pepper. “I think she has first dibs on your balls. You don’t have exclusive use over them any more.” 


Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison glanced over at Carponti and fought the urge to use the physical therapy ropes to strangle the younger sergeant. No matter how much time they’d spent together training Army privates at Benning or blowing shit up downrange, Carponti still managed to push all the right buttons. 
“You’re not helping, you know.” Shane was already having a hard enough time trying to find the nerve to talk to his fiancée about his desire for a vasectomy.

“Jen wants kids.”

“I know that,” Shane growled. He leaned down to stretch, barely suppressing a groan as the muscles in his thighs protested the daily pain his physical therapist insisted on. He’d have thought that six months after being blown up in Iraq, physical therapy would stop being a morning torture session. Guess not.

“Why are you so adamant about this?” Carponti held up his hand at Shane’s fierce look. “I’m an expert in amputations, not women and babies, okay?”

“She had breast cancer. A really aggressive version. If she gets pregnant and the cancer comes back, the choice comes down to her life or the baby’s life…and I don’t want to have to make that choice with her. I don’t want her to have to make that choice. Granted, it might all be fine. She might never get sick again, or the hormones from pregnancy might not do anything to her.” Shane walked over to the free weights. His legs protested each step, so his next words came out slowly, one with each step. “I can’t risk it. No matter how much I might want a kid with her, I’m not going to risk her life for some selfish need to feel my baby growing inside her.”

“I realize that,” Carponti said, “but why on earth are you looking at this without talking to her first?”

“I’m going to talk to her.” Shane sighed hard. “I just haven’t yet.” He didn’t want to admit he was afraid. Not to Carponti. He’d never hear the end of it.

“Did you ever think you’re overreacting?” Carponti asked, following him.

“No,” Shane snapped. “Because I’m not.”

“You just said there’s no rule that if a woman gets pregnant after cancer, she’s going to die.”

“Yeah, well, I’ve also talked to the brigade surgeon. There’s a higher risk of the cancer coming back for younger women like Jen who had aggressive cancers. There’s a higher risk that if she does get pregnant and the cancer comes back, it could come back even more aggressive.” Shane looked at Carponti seriously. “I want kids with her. I just don’t want to kill her.”

“So you’re going to get unmanned and tell her later?”

“This isn’t funny.”

“Vasectomies are always funny. Especially watching a big guy like you squirm over the fact.”

“It is my balls we’re talking about,” Shane snapped, grabbing the fifty-pound dumbbells. It was one of those times he’d rather not have Carponti chirping in his ear.

“If a vasectomy is such a big deal, then why do it?” Carponti placed the bottle in his prosthetic hand. “There’s other ways of preventing pregnancy, you know.”

“We’ve talked about all of those. She had a bad reaction to an IUD. Anything hormone-based is out. And condoms scare the shit out of me.”

“Did we have a bad experience with a condom?”

Shane groaned, wishing he hadn’t said anything. “When I was seventeen, I had a condom break on me. The girl and I spent the rest of the month terrified she was pregnant.” He glanced at Carponti. “So while I appreciate that you think me getting my balls clipped is amusing, this isn’t all that funny.”

“Maybe not, but watching you freak out about it certainly is.”

“You’re so good for morale.”

“You can bitch all you want, but I still don’t see why there aren’t other options.”

Why? Shane ground his teeth and counted as he curled the weights. He’d read the literature about Jen’s specific cancer. Everything he read created a little more fear that he could lose her. Shane did not do well with fear. If the only thing he could control in the equation was his sperm, he was doing that.

Sometimes, at night, when the nightmares came, it was no longer his soldiers who’d died in the war haunting his sleep. Sometimes, it was Jen, bleeding out in his arms. He didn’t tell her that. Every time he tried, the emotion got jammed up halfway between his throat and his mouth.

Jen wasn’t a random number in a study. She was his heart and soul, and while she was determined to live a normal life and not let the cancer define her, every time they made love, he was aware of the risk.

The worst part about it all? He wanted kids with her, too. But the risk was too great.

“Hello? Candyass who’s stressing about getting his balls chopped off? Why is a vasectomy the only option for you not to get her pregnant?”

Shane finished his set. “Because it’s the smart thing to do. Condoms break. Birth control fails.” Carponti was probably about to accuse him of writing country songs again. “This is the only one-hundred-percent sure option.”

“You could always be in a celibate marriage with her,” Carponti said dryly.

“Yeah, and then she bangs the FedEx guy when I’m in the field.”

Carponti snorted and coughed. “That’s just wrong.”

Shane dropped the weights, the muscles in his left arm screaming. He was nearly back to his previous strength in his upper body, but sometimes his bones liked to remind him that no, he was never going to be as good as he’d been before.

It frustrated him that there were more aches and pains now. More stiffness just getting out of bed in the morning. But he was determined to heal, so he could get back to leading soldiers.

Because that’s what he did.

Beside him, Carponti finished not choking on his drink. “You’re serious about this. You’re really going to let a doctor near your nutsack with a scalpel?”

“Will you just drop it? I shouldn’t have said anything to you, damn it.”

“What? I just want to be sure you’re making the best, most informed decision.” Carponti grinned. “You’re going to let me see the cut, right?”

Shane just shot him a baleful glare and Carponti held up both hands, the soda in one. Funny, Shane was used to the prosthetic now. It no longer caught his eye like it once had. Carponti was just…Carponti. The missing hand didn’t really matter.

“Hey, so have you heard what’s going on back at battalion?” Carponti asked.

Shane picked up his water bottle and flipped open the cap. “I haven’t been in to see Sarn’t Major in a while. I’ve got a meeting with him later today. Why?”

“There’s a ton of bad shit going on. Iaconelli got in a bunch of trouble up in Colorado on a mission.”

“That’s nothing new. Ike’s always in trouble.” Shane and Sergeant First Class Reza Iaconelli had never really gotten along, which was a shame, because Ike was a damn fine infantryman.

“Yeah, well, apparently there’s a whole bunch of crap going on down there. Maybe that’s why Sarn’t Major wants to see you. See how much longer before you’re back at work?”

“Maybe.” Sarn’t Major would no doubt fill him in when he saw him later. Shane wanted to get back to work. Badly. But if Ike was screwing up again, Shane damn sure didn’t want to get back just to clean up after him.

Carponti grinned. “So, back to the more pressing matters, are you going to gift wrap your nuts and put a little bow on them and say, ‘Here baby, for Valentine’s Day, I’ve sacrificed my manhood’?”

Shane shook his head and tried not to laugh. “There’s something the matter with you. You know that, right?”

“Sure. My traumatic brain injury is acting up again.” Carponti turned toward the door as it opened. “Speaking of nuts, here’s my wife. I need to get mine out of her purse.”

Shane turned to see Nicole Carponti walking onto the physical therapy floor, looking polished and perfect. No one ever looked at her and thought she was a cop. It made her a perfect investigator.

It also made everyone wonder what the hell she was doing with a scruffy, red-headed sergeant like Vic Carponti, but hey, she’d stuck with him after he’d gotten blown up. And worse, through his incessant bad tricks with his prosthetic. Shane watched as Carponti kissed his wife on the cheek, then slung his good arm around her shoulders as they walked out. Shane was reasonably certain Carponti tried to pinch Nicole’s ass with his prosthetic.

Life was never dull around Carponti, that was for damn sure.

Shane finished his therapy in blessed silence and headed to the locker room to change back into his duty uniform. He took a deep breath, running his hand over his jaw. Last week, Jen had slipped her body over his, her slick heat caressing his bare erection, and Shane had almost died from the pleasure of skin on skin. No barriers. He didn’t know which one of them wanted it more—the desire painting her features had been beautiful. And she’d gotten bolder since then, driving him toward a little death each time he touched her. No matter how much he was tempted to make love to her without a goddamned condom, he would not risk her life for a few moments of pleasure.

He loved Jen. More than life itself. The vasectomy was a very real discussion he was going to have with her very soon. 

About Jess 

Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.

Oprah has called her. True story.

Her debut novel BECAUSE OF YOU launched Loveswept, the first Random House digital imprint.

She’s written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View Regarding War, and IAVA. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of OIF/New Dawn and is currently a company commander stationed at Fort Hood.

Most recently, she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine’s Americans of the Year for 2012.

Connect with Jessica at

Website: http://www.jessicascott.net
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jessicascott09
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jessicascottauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5131118.Jessica_Scott


Tagged: , ,

Guest Author (+ a Giveaway): LA Witt – How My Life Has Changed Since I Got Published

Posted January 23, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 18 Comments


Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/L. A. Witt blog tour for Something New Under the Sun, the sequel to my vampire/cyberpunk novella, A Chip In His Shoulder

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off my backlist (excluding Something New Under the Sun) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 27th, and winners will be announced on January 28th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. 
How My Life Has Changed Since I Got Published 

So as it happens, the release of Something New Under the Sun on January 21st coincided with the 4th anniversary of the first publishing contract I ever received. Four years to the day after selling that first book, I’m releasing my…43rd? 44th? Something like that. And as I did last year – see What Three Years Have Taught Me – I’m looking back on the last few years, this time comparing how my life has changed as a direct result of this awesome job.

I’m definitely working more hours now than I ever have. I’ve pretty much lost track of the days of the week, and my “weekends” happen whenever I feel like I need a break (or want to spend time with the hubby, of course). But I also get to wear my pajamas to work, and my commute is about 20 feet. Can’t argue with that.

I’ve made some amazing friends in this business. Writers, editors, reviewers, and of course, readers. It’s great to be connected with people who are excited about reading and/or writing. It’s kind of funny how I’m geographically separated from every one of my colleagues, but feel better connected to them than I did many (not all, Kelley!) of the co-workers with whom I shared a work environment.

And being a job, it has a paycheck. After being told for years I’d never be able to make a living as a writer, I was rather stunned when my writing income reached a point – and remained there – where I could continue to write full-time upon moving back to the States in late 2011. By mid-2012, the numbers had risen above what I’m qualified to make in the corporate world. (Don’t read too far into that: I’m not qualified to make much in the corporate world LOL) The point being? I discovered it is possible to make a living at this, and I’m much happier with my life in general now that I’m making a living doing what I enjoy.

One of the coolest things, though, is that I finally feel like I’m doing something. Back when I was a customer service drone, I almost wore out my Sugarland CD during my commute to and from the office. Why? Because of a particular track titled “Something More.” I spent many, many commutes listening to that track over and over and thinking, “That’s so true. There has to be more than this.” Cheesy, maybe, but I really was unhappy with what I was doing. Or rather, what I was not doing. Miserable? Ooh, yeah.

Less than five years later, I feel like I’m doing something. Not changing the world or curing cancer, but doing more than just shuffling papers and pushing pencils. I’m happy with my career, and have been since the beginning.

Yeah, this career has its tough moments, but looking back? I wouldn’t change a thing.

The Author:

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer currently living in the glamorous and ultra-futuristic metropolis of Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two cats, and a disembodied penguin brain that communicates with her telepathically. In addition to writing smut and disturbing the locals, L.A. is said to be working with the US government to perfect a genetic modification that will allow humans to survive indefinitely on Corn Pops and beef jerky. This is all a cover, though, as her primary leisure activity is hunting down her arch nemesis, erotica author Lauren Gallagher, who is also said to be lurking somewhere in Omaha.

L. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt). 


SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN Blurb: 

Liam Lansing is heir to a prominent family of bio-modified vampires. That is, until he chooses the wrong lover and is cast down to the Gutter to scrape for his life.

Daniel Harding is heir to Cybernetix and a prince of the corporate Sky. That is, until his ideology drives his father to put a price on his head, forcing him into the Gutter.

But Daniel and Liam won’t vanish meekly into the smog. Together, they plan to rip open the hidden corruption that runs the Sky—for vengeance, for justice, and for hope. They strike against the corporations in a daring raid. When everything goes wrong, Daniel must betray his core beliefs to save the man he loves and protect his dangerous secret. Only through courage in the face of death—or worse—might he and Liam change the world they live in and create something new under the sun.

Something New Under the Sun is available January 21st from Riptide Publishing. Also available: the prequel, A Chip In His Shoulder.


Tagged: , ,

Guest Author (+ a rockin’ giveaway): Anne Tenino – A Matter of Character

Posted January 16, 2013 by Tracy in Giveaways, Promotions | 6 Comments


Welcome to the Too Stupid to Live Blog Tour!
Normally, I’d be throwing confetti around (as in my last couple of blog tours) but this time I decided to go bigger—I’m giving away original artwork. For those of you not familiar with my male genital sculptures (that makes them sound so respectable, doesn’t it?), I’ll direct you here http://annetenino.com/x-rated-crochet-gallery/ to my website, where I’m showcasing the ones I’ve made in the past, and the ones I’m giving away for this blog tour. For those of you dying to win, the details are at the bottom of this post (but really, it’s only polite to read the post first, right?).

On that note, I’ll stop the intro stuff and get on with it.

# # #

If you read earlier posts in this blog tour, you know Sam is a character who originally showed up in Whitetail Rock, a free novella that I wrote in July 2011 (available here http://annetenino.com/books/whitetail-rock/). WR is the story of Nik and Jurgen, and Sam is Nik’s best friend, and he has a well-developed role and personality in the story.
 
Ian first appeared on the scene in The Fix, a short follow-up to WR (available here http://annetenino.com/books/the-fix/). Ian is Jurgen’s cousin, and not to put too fine a point on it, Ian was a jerk. He didn’t get a lot of screen time in the story, but he very clearly came across as prick.
 
When I began writing Too Stupid to Live in 2011 I had very firm ideas of who Sam and Ian were. Sam and Ian begged to differ, however. In fact, they spent a fair amount of time telling me their story wasn’t what I thought it would be. You see, when I write, I generally start with characters. I have these guys in my head, and they want other people to know their stories (seriously, if they tell you otherwise they’re totally lying), and it’s my job to do so.

However, sometimes problems arise when what they’re telling me happens and what I want to happen aren’t the same. I hate that. We have words at these times (sometimes in places like the pasta aisle at the grocery store, which I’ve noticed is worrisome for other shoppers). But ultimately, it’s their story, so I give in. That’s what happened with Ian and Sam, but mostly Ian.

At first, I thought Ian had dark hair and was really non-communicative in general. Turned out he’s more of a blond, or at least a very light brown (Sam thinks it’s caramel colored). I also thought he was pretty much rude and noncommunicative to everyone, and by the end of the book he would be a nice guy to Sam, but pretty much only to Sam.

Nope, not the way it went down.
 
Back then, I also had a very different plot in mind for Sam and Ian. I originally thought that—because Ian was so lame and had “issues” to work through—they’d break up in the beginning-middle of the book, and the rest of the story would be about Ian and Sam finding their way back to each other.

Well, no. That didn’t happen either.

Here’s a small excerpt from that original plot (plus a note to myself), but let me be clear—this does not happen in the final version of Too Stupid to Live and it has no relationship to the things that actually occur between Sam and Ian. I’m mostly pasting this in to show you how big a tool Ian 1.0 was.

“Sam, if I were your friend, I wouldn’t want you seeing a bastard like me.”

“If you were my friend?” Sam choked out a short laugh. He pretty much only got out one ‘heh’.

[They’re at Ian’s place when he dumps Sam.]

“I’m going out for a bit. Maybe you could…,” Ian made some useless gesture with his fingers, standing in the open doorway. “Just get your, uh… stuff out. I’ll give you two hours.” He wouldn’t even look at Sam.

Then Ian shut the door behind him with a click.

It was the most humiliating, soul-destroying noise Sam had ever heard. It echoed in his heart over and over while he wandered around the house, grabbing occasional things that came across his path. He was pretty sure they were his.

By the time he got to the bedroom, his chest ached so much he was sure he was having a heart attack. He saw his underwear lying on the floor. Sam picked them up, threw them and the rest of the shit he was carrying in his backpack and got the hell out.

He was halfway home before he realized he wasn’t wearing shoes.

Yeah, so Ian? He was a loser. But after almost nine months of writing (which got scarily like being pregnant), I’m happy to report Ian’s not a complete ass. He’s kind of a jerk in the beginning, I’ll admit, but he changes fast, and their relationship ended up being very different than I expected. Much better than I’d hoped, actually.

In the end (also much like being pregnant), I was happy with the result, and where Sam and Ian ended up. But if you need more convincing, let me entice you with the blurb:

Too Stupid to Live Blurb

It isn’t true love until someone gets hurt.

Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say “no” to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.

Until he meets Ian.

Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now—possibly—ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.

Until he meets Sam.

Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong . . . can they?

Buy Link: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/too-stupid-live 

And now comes the point in the blog post where I ask you the magic question—the one that may lead to you owning your very own crocheted cock sculpture. But first, let’s go over the contest rules, such as they are:

I’ll be giving away one crocheted cock per post; please include the question you’re answering in your email so I know which post it is.

Winners will have to provide me with a mailing address to send the penis to after I notify them by email (about January 21st).

There are no geographic restrictions on winning—I will send anywhere in the world, even to countries in which customs may confiscate the item (although if it doesn’t make it, I won’t be able to provide a replacement, I’m sorry).

Winners will be chosen randomly from each correct answer I receive by January 20th. That’s two days after the blog tour ends.

To win, correctly answer the question below in the body of an email sent to me at anne @ annetenino.com.

What does Sam sometimes think he’d rather do than finish his MFA in Writing?

# # #

About Anne Tenino: Raised on a steady media diet of Monty Python, classical music and the visual arts, Anne Tenino rocked the mental health world when she was the first patient diagnosed with Compulsive Romantic Disorder. Since that day, Anne has taken on conquering the M/M world through therapeutic writing. Finding out who those guys having sex in her head are and what to do with them has been extremely liberating.

Anne’s husband finds it liberating as well, although in a somewhat different way. Her two daughters are mildly confused by Anne’s need to twist Ken dolls into odd positions. They were raised to be open-minded children, however, and other than occasionally stealing Ken1’s strap-on, they let Mom do her thing without interference.

Wondering what Anne does in her spare time? Mostly she lies on the couch, eats bonbons and shirks housework.

Check out what Anne’s up to now by visiting her site. http://annetenino.com

Tracy: Thanks so much for stopping here on your blog tour, Anne.  Love the crocheted cocks!


Tagged: , , ,

Guest Author: Anne Calhoun – Real Life Christmas Miracles (+a giveaway!)

Posted December 7, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 5 Comments


Please welcome Anne Calhoun to the blog! She’s talking about real life miracles and let me tell you, this one’s a doozer. Get the hanky ready… 

            I am an unabashed sucker
for a good Christmas story. I tear up every year when the Marine Corps Toys for
Tots commercial comes on. Last year a friend told me a story. A single mom was
on the ropes financially, barely making the mortgage let alone able to give her
kids a Christmas. To make matters worse, she also needed a recommendation for a
good, trustworthy repairman for her furnace, which had conked out. My friend directed
her to a man she’d had good luck with in the past, told the repairman he might
get a call, and forgot about it.

A week later the single
mom called my friend in tears. Sobbing. She’d come home from work to find not a
repaired furnace, but a brand new furnace
in her basement with a note that said Merry Christmas. No bill, no payment
schedule, no nothing. Just Merry Christmas.

Thea Moretti,
heroine in my latest release, also needs a Christmas miracle. In this scene at
a soup kitchen in BREATH ON EMBERS she gets a little one from the hero, FDNY
lieutenant Ronan O’Rourke.
Thea pushed the sleeves of her fleece pullover to her elbows and made
her way to the waiting pile of dirty pots and pans stacked by the double sinks.
Cheerful yellow rubber gloves on, she was scrubbing crusted goulash from a pot
when a tap on her shoulder startled her.
“Yes?” Thea asked, tugging the earbuds from her ears as she turned.
“Why didn’t you tell me what you’d arranged?” Nancy asked. Her eyes
were wide, and shining.
Over her shoulder Thea heard not the typical low rumble of two-hundred
people sharing a meal, but the excited chatter of children and a higher-pitched
energy level. “What? Is Ronan here with the presents?”
“Oh, he’s here, all right,” Nancy said. She took Thea’s hand and pulled
her through the empty kitchen to the swinging doors. Thea’s jaw dropped, and
she slowed in the process of taking off her rubber gloves.
Santa Claus stood at the back of the fellowship hall, waving to the
kids as FDNY firefighters in their blue uniforms passed big cardboard boxes of
gifts along a human chain from a waiting ladder truck, down the stairs to a
table hastily set up by Cooper Bensonhurst volunteers. At the tables the kids
stared first at Santa, then at the firefighters. Word of the truck spread from
table to table, and the wriggles and noise escalated once again.
It was a tiny Christmas miracle. She swallowed hard against the tears
clogging her throat. Ronan came down the steps two at a time and crossed the
hall, tossing “Get someone to clear that hydrant” over his shoulder as he headed
for Thea.
“Sorry we’re late,” he said without preamble. He reached for Thea’s
hand as he said it, and his warm, strong grip anchored her. “How do you want to
do this?”
Thea found her voice. “This is Nancy Watkins,” she said. “She’s in
charge. Nancy, Lieutenant Ronan O’Rourke. He brought the presents.”
“You certainly did, Lieutenant,” Nancy said. “Thank you.”
“You’ve got Santa and a fire truck for the next hour. After that we’re
all back on call,” Ronan said.
            Thea’s
bigger Christmas miracle comes later in the story, but this one’s nice, too. 🙂 What’s your best holiday
miracle? Share your stories in the comments and I’ll give a copy of BREATH ON
EMBERS to one person who comments.
Oh, and for the record…we needed a
new furnace the next winter. We gave our business to the man who gave a furnace
to a struggling single mom.

Book blurb —

Christmas is the perfect time for Firefighter Ronan O’Rourke to
take things to the next level with his sexually adventurous girlfriend.
He knows she has feelings for him—and he’s sure of his feelings for
her—but when Thea refuses his invitation to sample Christmas in New York
City because what they share is nothing more than sheet-burning sex,
Ronan sets out to change her mind.

Deep down Thea Moretti knows she cares for Ronan, but she can’t move
past her grief over her late husband. Loud music and sex with Ronan are
the only things she’s got that her feel alive, so she takes as much of
both as she can get. She knows Ronan wants more, but during the darkest
time of the year finding her way won’t be easy.

Ronan gambles everything and challenges Thea: one night of passion
with him and another man. Can he prove to her that what they share isn’t
just great sex but an emotional connection strong enough to last
forever?

Anne’s info —


Tagged: , ,

Sinful Seduction Blog Tour (+ a Giveaway!) with Isobel Carr & Laurel McKee

Posted December 5, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 10 Comments


I’m more than happy to welcome both Isobel Carr and Laurel McKee to the blog! They are currently on their Sinful Seduction Blog Tour promoting their new releases, Ripe for Seduction (The League of Second Sons #3) & Two Sinful Secrets (The Scandalous St. Claires #2).


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your road to becoming an author.

Isobel: I come from the snooty white tower of academia. I got my MFA in poetry (and won a very prestigious national poetry award, the Intro Journals) before turning my hand to genre fiction. Writing romance is a LOT more fun!!!

Laurel: My road to becoming an author is probably a lot like other writers—I started as a big reader!! And I started young too. My grandmother was a voracious reader, and was always bringing home huge boxes of books from garage sales and used bookstores. When we visited her house in the summers, I would drag those boxes into a closet and hide in there reading. I found all kinds of things there—Barbara Cartlands and Georgette Heyers (my “starter” romances, that also got me hooked on history!), some Austen and Bronte, some random old-school Westerns, a few old Harlequins. I loved them all, and started making up my own stories when I ran out of reading materials and had to wait for the next garage sale run.

2. You write historical romance novels. What is it about history that draws you to write it?

Isobel: I like the challenge of crafting a historically feasible story that is still interesting, unique, and exciting.

Laurel: I’ve been a history nut ever since those long-ago novels! I also got hooked on a series I found in my elementary school library, about famous women in history as children (the childhood of Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, Abigail Adams, stuff like that). I was fascinated by a world so very different from my own, where people dressed and spoke and ate so differently from me and yet were also so similar. I love being immersed in those worlds.

3. How much time do you spend doing research for each book/series?

Isobel: I’m never not doing research, so that’s a hard question to answer. I’m constantly buying new books and expanding my knowledge about the period. I rarely need to do intensive research for my books though, as I’ve been studying the period for twenty something years now. Mostly I have to look up small, fiddly bits like who was the ambassador to France in X year or double check a word in the OED.

Laurel: It depends on the book! A straightforward Regency story, which doesn’t involve plot points of politics or real historical events, doesn’t take a great deal of time, while a story set in a time period I don’t know as much about can take longer. I’m always reading history books and biographies, even when I’m not actively researching a certain story, so the atmosphere is always there in my mind. I loved The Scandalous St. Claires book since I got to dive into the Victorian period for the first time!

4. If you have time to read what are some of your favorite books?

Isobel: I read everything. Right now my favorite authors are Miranda Neville, Carolyn Jewel (both her historicals and her paranaomals), Seanan McGuire, Ilona Andrews, C.S. Harris, Tracy/Teresa Grant, Julia James, Victoria Dahl, P.G. Hodgell, and Alison Sinclair.

Laurel: I will read anything and everything that catches my attention! Romance and mysteries, literary fiction (I just finished “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” and have been running around raving about it to everyone!), history and biography, fashion magazines. I like to re-read Austen, the Brontes, and George Elliott when I have the time. Right now I’m re-reading “Anna Karenina” before I go see the new movie version.

When I was helping to run the Desert Island Keeper blog we had some “About Me” random questions we asked. I’m going to borrow a few today.

5. If you could be in any book/series/world which would you pick and why?

Isobel: Pern. I want a dragon!!!

Laurel: This might sound weird, but when I was a very little girl I loved the “Eloise” books! I’ve always thought it would be wonderful to live at the Plaza hotel and run wild there. But if I have to be grown-up about it, I wouldn’t mind living at Austen’s Pemberley, or maybe be an intellectual aristocrat in mid-18th century France.

6. What fictional hero would you like to be your significant other?

Isobel: That is so hard. At the moment though, Sebastian St. Cyr would win out (though I might elope on him with Curran or Damerel or F’lar).

Laurel: I’ve loved Mr. Rochester ever since I read “Jane Eyre” when I was about 10! (I stayed up all night reading it, and was shocked—shocked–by the wife in the attic!) He’s so complex and broody, and so in love with Jane, though in real-life I might not be quite as understanding as she was. It was fun to bring something of their Victorian world into the St. Claires stories.

7. Best love song?

Isobel: When it comes to music, I like the broken hearted stuff more, Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know, everything by Adele and Depeche Mode.

Laurel: I really love “La Vie En Rose”! But maybe that comes from my love of all things Parisian.

8. Favorite sex song? (I have to ask as this is the Sinful Seduction blog tour!)

Isobel: Anything by Barry White (I’m a traditionalist).

Laurel: Hmmm, that is a tough one. 🙂 I really like the Black Keys’ “Next Girl”…very sexy.

9. Favorite Heroine?

Isobel: Of mine? Beau. She gets what she wants by whatever means necessary and she’s a fighter.

Laurel: Jane Eyre! Or if you mean my own heroines, I really found myself liking Sophia Huntington from “Two Sinful Secrets” more and more as I wrote the book. She was a character who just sort of ran away from me and made her own personality…I just followed along.

10. What heroine is most like you?

Isobel: Probably Margo, the secondary heroine of RIPE FOR SEDUCTION.

Laurel: From my own heroines, I think Lady Caroline from “Lady of Seduction” is most like me—bookish and studious, having to be pushed out into the world! When I was younger I felt a lot like Marianne Dashwood, sort of romantic and idealistic and not very realistic in many ways.

11. What heroine would you like to be?

Isobel: Oh, Margo. Definitely Margo. Once you see Philip, his house, and his dogs you’ll understand why. *grin* I love her so much I even wrote their reconciliation scene, even though it’s not in the book. It’s up on my website though, so that anyone who feels like they missed out can go read it.

Laurel: I’d like to be Elizabeth Bennet (like so many other romance authors!)

12. How old is your inside voice?

Isobel: I think she’s perpetually somewhere between 27-33.

Laurel: About 17, I think. See Marianne Dashwood above 🙂

13. What do you like best about being a writer?

Isobel: There’s really something amazing about knowing that something you created from nothing provided joy and entertainment to people. It’s like being able to perform magic.

Laurel: A lot of writers say this, but it’s very true—working in my pajamas! I love just getting up, having a cup of tea, and diving right into a story without worrying about putting on my makeup. It’s nice being able to work with my pets taking naps around me and some classical music on the stereo. But I also like all the friendships I’ve made, both the imaginary ones with the characters inside my head and the real ones with other writers. It’s a wonderfully supportive field to be in. Plus I get to put my English lit degree to work, which my dad said would never happen! 🙂

Ladies, thank you so much for stopping by and letting us get to know you a bit better.

Giveaway:  I have print copies of both Ripe for Seduction and Two Sinful Secrets to give away to one lucky winner.  Leave a comment on this post, along with your email address, no later than 12/12/12 (hey, look at that!!) at 7:00pm to enter to win.


Tagged: , , , , ,