Sunday, August 30, 2009
Linda Palmer is a former Silhouette romance author now a young adult author that I recently discovered but one that I will definitely be keeping an eye out for in the future after reading her young adult novel, The Cinderella Swap, which she contacted me to review for her. Now today I'm reviewing her upcoming October release, Jaguar Moon, from one of my favorite e-publishers Wild Horse Press. I was contacted to review this novel before the release date so that readers looking for a paranormal young adult novel to read know what they are getting from with Jaguar Moon. I was so happy to get an ARC of this novel because I fell in love with Linda Palmer's first young adult novel, The Cinderella Swap, that I knew this upcoming novel will be just as great a read with some new characters to fall in love with. I've only recently gotten into reading young adult romance novels and since then I've been hunting up as many young adult romance authors I could find to read. I was very intrigued when I read the blurb for this novel and the cover was also really beautiful that I had to read it. I'm sure glad I did because I had a great time reading this novel so much that I finished it up in less then 6 hours after I got it uploaded onto my Sony eReader.
Well this novel starts with us meeting Livvie Merrick who hates the psychic gifts that make her different and cause nothing but trouble in her life though that could change if she could learn to control it better. That's especially true when she has a vision that the school's star quarterback will break his leg and naturally Livvie warns him—a warning misconstrued as a curse when it comes true. That makes for a lonely senior year for Livvie until Alex Sawyer moves to town and Livvie has to show him around school because she is part of the Welcome Team. Livvie is quickly lost in his big beautiful blue eyes and though it's clear that Alex is as attracted to her, she knows the day will come when he finds out what a freak she really is. What neither of them knows is that Alex is different, too, and the psychic gifts Livvie despises may be exactly what she needs to save him. Alex and Livvie have a lot of things that they will need to work out because they both have some secrets that they will need to tell each other sooner rather than later if they want their budding relationship to last more than a couple of weeks as is normal for teenage relationships.
As this is my second novel that I've read from Linda Palmer I can tell you that I will be keeping a look out for any of her future young adult books because she has me hooked and not about to let me go any time soon. This novel is such an exciting paranormal young adult novel with so many interesting plot twists that will have you spinning to catch up with all of the fun new things that happen to Livvie and Alex on their journey to finding true love with each other. I absolutely loved it and I can't wait to read any of Linda's future young adult novels if they are just as good as this one. Though it's written in the first person, which I don't generally like to read, I find that Linda has written it in a way that kept my interest from start to finish just like her current release, The Cinderella Swap. Linda Palmer has delivered an exciting paranormal young adult romance with many twists and turns that will keep you wanting more and fill you with excitement trying to figure out if Livvie and Alex will end up with a happily ever after though it seems almost impossible. I give this book 4.5 Open Books: 4.5 Open Books
Here is the description of the book from Linda's website and picture:
JAGUAR MOON by Linda Palmer $ 5.98 (257 Pages) Jaguar Moon by Linda Palmer
Livvie Merrick hates the psychic gifts that make her different and cause nothing but trouble in her life. That's especially true when she has a vision that the school's star quarterback will break his leg. Naturally Livvie warns him—a warning misconstrued as a curse when it comes true. That makes for a lonely senior year until Alex Sawyer moves to town. Livvie is quickly lost in his big blue eyes. And though it's clear that Alex is as attracted to her, she knows the day will come when he finds out what a freak she really is. What neither of them knows is that Alex is different, too, and the psychic gifts Livvie despises may be exactly what she needs to save him.

Saturday, August 29, 2009
This is my second novel by the duo writing couple Melissa & Christopher Golliday's novels and it's their full-length novel, Uncovered Thoughts, which I mentioned when I read and reviewed their prequel, Uncovered Passion. Melissa contacted me to review her first novel in her series and since I was intrigued by the blurb of it on her website I decided that reading the free prequel she had on her website that would give me an inside look at how the hero and heroine of the series met. In the prequel, Uncovered Passion, we met the heroine Sasha Verochka who is an FSB agent assigned to her first mission as well as meeting the handsome, former Marine, Gerrick Gadwell, who was at the time in Moscow on vacation. Now it's six years after her explosive introduction into passion and Sasha Verochka is still haunted by what could have been and will never be. But right now, she can’t linger on that, because her little sister, Nadia has fallen prey to sex slave traffickers masquerading as a modeling agency. Sasha and Nadia have only been reunited recently so their relationship is pretty rocky but that doesn't mean that Sasha wouldn't move heaven and earth to save her young sister before something terrible happened to her. Garrick Caldwell is a tall, sexy, shape shifting CIA agent, but what’s wrong with him? Well he’s getting bored with it all but then all of a sudden the mysterious beauty he once intimately explored is back in his life. A rash decision to help the telepathic Russian recover her sister throws them together in the most delicious of ways. Together again by coincidence, neither understands the fierce attraction they have for one another, but will they decide whether to risk it all to ever find true, lasting happiness?
Reading the prequel of Melissa & Christopher's series really was fun to read because I got to see how Sasha and Gerrick first met and fell in love with each other before reading the full-length novel that involves various different characters. Sasha is such a lovely young woman who has in the first book we see has been sheltered and experimented on by the FSB scientists for so long that meeting Gerrick who is as different as she is was the best thing that could have happened to her. Now Gerrick is one fine man that I think is a very lovely match for Sasha because they have their differences but in some ways they have so much in common that they are drawn to one another. Sasha and Gerrick have really grown up since they met six years ago in Moscow and you can really tell as you read this novel. Reading about how Sasha and Gerrick still love one another even though they have seen or heard from each other in six years gives me hope that their relationship can really last even after being separated for so long. After finishing up this novel I knew that Sasha, Gerrick and even Nadia have more to tell and I am now anxiously waiting to find out when the next book in the series will be ready for me to read. Melissa & Christopher Golliday deliver a fun and exciting start to what will be a series to keep a watch out because FSB agent Sasha and former CIA agent Gerrick have history that will definitely shape their future together which you were given a taste of in this novel and will be continued in their future books. I give this book 4 Open Books: 4 Open Books
Here is the description of the book from Melissa & Christopher's website and picture:
UNCOVERED THOUGHTS by Melissa & Christopher Golliday (Book 1)(211 Pages) Uncovered Thoughts by Melissa & Christopher Golliday
Six years after her explosive introduction into passion, Sasha Verochka is still haunted by what could have been and will never be. But right now, she can’t linger on that, because her little sister, Nadia has fallen prey to sex slave traffickers masquerading as a modeling agency. Now Sasha must move Heaven and Earth to save her. Garrick Caldwell is a tall, sexy, shape shifting CIA agent, what’s wrong? He’s getting bored with it all. Suddenly, the mysterious beauty he once intimately explored is back in his life. A rash decision to help the telepathic Russian recover her sister throws them together in the most delicious of ways. Together again by coincidence, neither understands the fierce attraction they have for one another. But will they decide whether to risk it all to ever find true, lasting happiness?

Friday, August 28, 2009
Linda Palmer is new author to me but one that I will definitely be keeping an eye out for in the future after reading her young adult novel, The Cinderella Swap, which she contacted me to review for her. I've only recently gotten into reading young adult romance novels and since then I've been hunting up as many young adult romance authors I could find to read. I was very intrigued when I read the blurb for this novel and the cover was also really beautiful that I had to read it. I'm sure glad I did because I had a great time reading this novel so much that I finished it up in less then 6 hours after I got it uploaded onto my Sony eReader. Well this story starts when high school sophomore Ren Montgomery rescues a shy teenaged girl from a bully one day and gets detention because of it. But what she has no idea is that the girl’s big brother, senior Dugan Donovan, is her secret crush and during and even after D-Hall he not only thanks her in person, but drives her home, which should be the beginning of a wonderful relationship.
Unfortunately Ren’s mom, a juvie judge, greets Dugan by name, which is never a good thing since it means she first met him in court. But that isn't going to make Ren forget about Dugan because she knows that he isn't the same young man that her mother thinks he is since he's been to juvie court. Though Ren is ordered to forget the boy, she can’t and who would because Ren knows that Dugan is the only boy for her which is something she knows her mother won't understand right now. Her secret psychic gift—a flash of color that reveals the soul—tells her that Dugan is as good on the inside as he looks on the outside. And while she’s perfectly happy to have a secret boyfriend, Dugan will not cooperate since it's not in his nature after having experienced a very rough childhood and been in serious trouble already. It’s mutual need that finally brings them together but will their “Cinderella Swap” remain strictly business? Of course not because that would just make a very dull young adult romance novel wouldn't it and that it not what this novel is.
As this is my first novel that I've read from Linda Palmer I can tell you that it definitely won't be my last. I absolutely loved it and I can't wait to read any of Linda's future young adult novels if they are just as good as this one. Though it's written in the first person, which I don't generally like to read, I find that Linda has written it in a way that kept my interest from start to finish. I fell in love with Ren and Dugan from the start and loved reading how their young love struggled and survived in the end just like I kept hoping it would. The story also had a bit of the paranormal to it since Ren has a special ability of seeing the color of a person's soul when she touches them and know what type of person they are. Linda Palmer has delivered an intriguing young adult romance with many twists and turns that will keep you on your toes with excitement trying to figure out if Ren and Dugan will end up with a happily ever after. I give this book 4.5 Open Books:
4 Open Books
Here is the description of the book from Linda's website and picture:
THE CINDERELLA SWAP by Linda Palmer $ 5.50 (175 Pages) The Cinderella Swap by Linda PalmerWhen high school sophomore Ren Montgomery rescues a shy teenaged girl from a bully, she has no idea that the girl’s big brother, senior Dugan Donovan, is her secret crush. He not only thanks her in person, but drives her home, which should be the beginning of a wonderful relationship. Unfortunately Ren’s mom, a juvie judge, greets Dugan by name, which is never a good thing since it means she first met him in court. Though Ren is ordered to forget the boy, she can’t. Her secret psychic gift—a flash of color that reveals the soul—tells her that Dugan is as good on the inside as he looks on the outside. And while she’s perfectly happy to have a secret boyfriend, Dugan will not cooperate. It’s mutual need that finally brings them together. But will their “Cinderella Swap” remain strictly business?

Thursday, August 27, 2009
Today I have a special guest who is promoting her debut novel with a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Romance author Lorhainne Eckhart is here today to be interviewed by me about her, her writing and her debut novel, The Captain's Lady. Lorhainne will be on tour from August 1st to 31st so if you want to stop by any of her other blog stops along the way check out her Virtual Book Tour information that will have links to all of her blog spots. You can read my author interview with Lorhainne that I posted yesterday and which I had fun reading twice. I have reviewed her novel, The Captain's Lady, so you should read it if you want to find out what I thought of it but now on to reading my Lorhainne Eckhart's author guest blog.
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The Captain’s Lady came to me in a dream; it appeared as a scripted Hollywood movie, playing out with a few recognizable actors. It was the scene where Abby is lying on the deck of the ship unconscious, following her rescue. The crew from the US Navy Destroyer surrounds the Captain who is leaning over Abby. She wakes up and sees him, but the bright light surrounding him makes his image fuzzy. This confuses her to believe he is an angel. Once I began to write the novel it took me six months just write it. The research I did was fascinating, and provided me with details of intrigue I could add into the story. Because I need to have a clear understanding of what I am writing about, the research took months and continued over the course of completing my novel, The Captain’s Lady. I continued to polish it and change parts after some positive feedback and suggestions from some Literary Agents. Because of the complexity of this story from start to finish, it took me nearly two years to finish polishing the manuscript. Then it was another 18 months before I received my first offer for publication of my novel with The Wild Rose Press. Blurb: The Captain's Lady by Lorhainne Eckhart Captain Eric Hamilton is a powerful force in the U.S. Navy, having earned himself a reputation of being a hard-nosed chauvinist. He’s commander of the USS Larsen, a destroyer, currently deployed in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Abby Carlton has just escaped from the man who held her captive for a year. Abducted while travelling in Paris, she was given to an Arab man as a gift, until one night she makes her desperate escape. While on patrol one morning Captain Eric Hamilton discovers a dinghy floating aimlessly. Abby is found, battered and in an advanced state of pregnancy, lying in the bottom of the dinghy. From the moment she lay on the deck of his ship her innocence finds a way to penetrate his hardened heart. But time is running out. Eric is falsely accused of sexual assault and the CIA wants Abby and the baby for bait to flush out her captor. Excerpt: “We have no reports of a ship in distress in the area, Captain.” “What about fishing boats?” “No, sir, no reports.” Looking once more at his first officer, Eric issued curt orders, the harshness grating in his voice. “Send a rescue team to check it out.” Handing the binoculars off to one of the crew members, he strode with determination off the bridge, heading directly to the ship’s launch. His well-trained crew scurried about. Joe appeared at his side and they watched from the rail as the small rigid hull sped off in the direction of the dinghy. His pulse rose and the dampness on his back soaked through his short-sleeved shirt. “So what do you think?” Joe leaned on the rail, uncertainty clear in the crinkle of his brows. “Don’t know, dammit.” Eric focused on the scene unfolding in the distance. Again he commandeered the binoculars from Joe and scrutinized the three-man team approaching, then securing the boat to the dinghy. His senses were keen; over the years, he’d learned to trust them. The uneasiness that crept its way into his gut, the hairs now standing up on the back of his neck and the racing of his heart; this unshakable feeling was telling him that things were about to change—drastically. Puzzled, he felt the mounting frustration build inside, along with something else he could not quite put his finger on. Shaking his head, he realized it was not a feeling of dread. The crackle of the radio interrupted his speculation. A voice from the rescue team came over the line. “There’s someone in here, a woman, and she’s in bad shape.” You can find out more about me by going to my website, Goodreads, Facebook Fan Page and Twitter.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Today I have a special guest who is promoting her debut novel with a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Romance author Lorhainne Eckhart is here today to be interviewed by me about her, her writing and her debut novel, The Captain's Lady. Lorhainne will be on tour from August 1st to 31st so if you want to stop by any of her other blog stops along the way check out her Virtual Book Tour information that will have links to all of her blog spots. You can read my author interview with Lorhainne that I posted yesterday and which I had fun reading twice. Also Lorhainne will be coming back on Thursday, August 27 to talk more about her debut novel, The Captain's Lady and how she came to write it. Now onto my review of her debut novel, The Captain's Lady, which is a contemporary military romance that is full of information about the Navy part of the US Army that I learned so many new things just by reading it. The hero of this novel, Captain Eric Hamilton, is a powerful force in the U.S. Navy and even though having earned himself a reputation of being a hard-nosed chauvinist is still a man who commands respect from his fellow officers and staff. He’s also the commander of the USS Larsen, a destroyer, currently deployed in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He expects that every officer and staff on his ship to obey his every command though he isn't all that interactive with the female officers and staff since his views of females in the Navy is clear that he thinks they should be housewives.
Now for the heroine, Abby Carlton, she has been through so much before she met Eric and it starts when she finally escaped from the man who held her captive for a year. Abducted while travelling in Paris, she was given to an Arab man as a gift, until one night she makes her desperate escape that might have saved her very life. While on patrol one morning Captain Eric Hamilton discovers a dinghy floating aimlessly and that is how Abby is found, battered and in an advanced state of pregnancy, lying in the bottom of the dinghy. From the moment she was laid on the deck of his ship her innocence finds a way to penetrate his hardened heart. But time is running out and Eric is falsely accused of sexual assault while at the same time the CIA wants Abby and the baby for bait to flush out her captor. As I read this novel I could help but fall for both the hero, Eric, and the heroine, Abby, who I think have such similar characteristics that make them such a wonderful couple but have their own quirks that keep them on their toes. And though I'm not a feminist I sometimes didn't like Eric's attitude towards the women officers and staff but that didn't take away from his strongness, loyalty and honesty that really kept me from full-on disliking him. As I finished reading this novel is just under a day I really loved it because it kept me reading because I never knew what would happen next for Eric and Abby, which is great and on top of that I learned so many new things about the U.S. Navy that I never knew. So this novel gave me a great read on top of that I learned many new things that I could use in my own writing if I were ever to write about a Naval hero. Lorhainne Eckhart has delivered a wonderfully written debut novel that will keep you reading from start to finish as well as teach you about the U.S. Navy that you may not have even known about. I give this book 4 Open Books:
4 Open Books

Here is the description of the book from Lorhainne's website and picture: THE CAPTAIN'S LADY by Lorhainne Eckhart $ 6.00 (316 Pages) The Captain's Lady by Lorhainne EckhartCaptain Eric Hamilton is a powerful force in the U.S. Navy, having earned himself a reputation of being a hard-nosed chauvinist. He’s commander of the USS Larsen, a destroyer, currently deployed in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Abby Carlton has just escaped from the man who held her captive for a year. Abducted while travelling in Paris, she was given to an Arab man as a gift, until one night she makes her desperate escape. While on patrol one morning Captain Eric Hamilton discovers a dinghy floating aimlessly. Abby is found, battered and in an advanced state of pregnancy, lying in the bottom of the dinghy. From the moment she lay on the deck of his ship her innocence finds a way to penetrate his hardened heart. But time is running out. Eric is falsely accused of sexual assault and the CIA wants Abby and the baby for bait to flush out her captor.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Today I have a special guest who is promoting her debut novel with a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Romance author Lorhainne Eckhart is here today to be interviewed by me about her, her writing and her debut novel, The Captain's Lady. Lorhainne will be on tour from August 1st to 31st so if you want to stop by any of her other blog stops along the way check out her Virtual Book Tour information that will have links to all of her blog spots. Also Lorhainne will be coming back on Thursday, August 27 to talk more about her debut novel, The Captain's Lady and how she came to write it. I will also be reviewing her novel, The Captain's Lady, so you should keep a look out for the review soon now on to reading my interview with Lorhainne Eckhart.
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Phoebe Jordan: When did you know that writing romance was going to be the thing that you would do with your life? Which author inspired you to start writing romance? Lorhainne EckhartLorhainne Eckhart: I love the romance genre, like so many others for the happy ending. For years I had a desire to write. But it wasn’t until about five years ago that I had the desire to write romance and was inspired to write my first novel. After I started I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. So I refused to give up. It was two authors who inspired me to start writing. The first is Debbie Macomber who inspired me to start writing romance. Her story of sitting at the kitchen table and the kids at school typing her novel on an old typewriter. The second was Stephen King in his novel On Writing. His story of how he pursued writing for years before he was published. Phoebe: Did you know what type of romance you wanted to write about or did you experiment with different genres before you chose the one that you felt was for you? Lorhainne: I knew the story I would write about regardless of the genre. The Captain’s Lady came to me in a dream. It is just happens to fall into the genre, Contemporary military romance. When I write a story, it’s the story that comes to me regardless of the genre. Phoebe: What was the first fiction you ever wrote? And do you still have it with you? Lorhainne: The first fiction I ever wrote was in grade two, a ghost story. I gave it to my teacher. I gave it to my teacher. And I never saw it again. Phoebe: How much research do you have to do for your novels and does it take you a long time to gather that research? Lorhainne: I do a lot of research. So I have a clear understanding of what I am writing about. For the Captain’s Lady it was hundreds of hours to research the information. And I read everything, from Navy rules and regulations, life on-board a US Navy Ship. The layout of a ship, terminology, the setting, Military non-fiction and fiction, just to name a few. And of all that research I ma only use one line in a scene, but for me it is having an understanding of how this would play out. It may be a fictional story, but accuracy of facts in any novel are important to me. Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for your debut novel, The Captain’s Lady? Lorhainne: Well as I mentioned before, the concept of Abby being rescued and lying on the deck of the ship, came to me in a dream. As I sat down to write the story, it was the research that much of the rest unfolded, her abduction, the malicious sexual assault charge against Captain Hamilton. All the twists and turns of the novel grew out of that one scene and the research. Phoebe: How do you come up with each of your characters for your novels? How do you choose their names out of so many names out there? Lorhainne: I choose names based on their personality. The names generally just come to me. There have been a few I’ve had to change the name as he just wasn’t a Harry for example. I will research as well if they are from a particular part of the country what the common names are in that area. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite character that you really enjoyed writing about in your debut novel, The Captain’s Lady? Did you have a character that you felt you could really relate to in your debut novel, The Captain’s Lady? Lorhainne: I really liked Captain Eric Hamilton. He is such a complex man. Many facets of a personality that stem out of such deep rooted pain. But he has such strong convictions that he is not afraid to voice, nor is afraid to make a stand. He is truly a man. There were several characters I could relate to, some aspects of Abby, Mary-Jo (I really liked her), Joan (The JAG Commander). Phoebe: Do you have a process of how you start to write your novels? Lorhainne: I just start writing from that idea I come up with. And I allow the story to unfold from there. I do not outline a novel. Phoebe: Have you ever considered writing a series or are writing stand alone novels your preference? How would writing each be different for you? Lorhainne: My the third novel, has a planned sequel. Based on the complex characters and their story, this one I felt was necessary after the tragic loss suffered, that a sequel needed to be written. Other than that, my plans are for single title, stand alone novels. Phoebe: What process did you have to go through to get your first book published and did it take you long? The Captain's Lady by Lorhainne EckhartLorhainne: It took me several years to get published. I started out querying agents, although I had a lot of positive feedback, including requests for partials and the full manuscript. I did this in between my schedule of supporting my children and finding time to send out another query. After two years, I took a break. Then after receiving some good advice from a friend. I changed tactics. I decided to pursue the publisher directly. After sending out just a few queries I received two offers for publication. I accepted the offer with The Wild Rose Press, for The Captain’s Lady, which was released June 26, 2009 in both Print and Digital. Phoebe: Do you ever get writers block? What do you do to get rid of it so you can get back to writing your novels? Lorhainne: If I have too much on plate, which happens when advocating for the special needs, it affects my writing. I have to make sure that I focus on my children and writing first, before anything else. Phoebe: What is your biggest reader pet peeve, if you have any? (stock characters, unresolved endings, predictability, everything wrapped up hurriedly in the end, etc.) Lorhainne: Predictability, not enough conflict, giving too much away, wrapping things up in a hurry, all of these and a hurried ending that is predictable, I don’t like. Phoebe: Which aspects of writing do you enjoy the most and why? And what is your biggest writing pet peeve? (overuse of exclamation points, adverbs, bad guys named Wayne, etc.), if you have any? Lorhainne: My favorite part of writing is when I get to sit down and start writing the story. When the words flow easy and uninterrupted. My pet peeves are the overuse of adverbs (the LY) ones. Phoebe: What is the one writing tool can you not live without? Lorhainne: My laptop. I need to be portable so I can go work outside. Phoebe: How do you handle your writing schedule and your personal life without going insane? Lorhainne: I have learned to maintain a balance. I write before the kids get up, when they’re at school. But when their home, that’s our time. No writing. I never write at night so for a personal life, I plan at night. There is the rare occasion it is during the day, but it is something I don’t make a habit of. Phoebe: What do you do to relax after having spent a long while writing? Do you have any hobbies? Lorhainne: I spend time in my gardens, painting. I love art, so the kids and I dabble in rock painting. Horseback riding or we just go out and fun. Phoebe: Is there any advice that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you? Lorhainne: Don’t give up, if you truly believe and love this work, then work harder. Go back and re-edit your manuscript a third time. Make it stronger. Take a chance and go deeper with the emotions. Read Donald Maass book on writing, Writing the Breakout Novel. Phoebe: Is there any writing tips, research tips, promotion and marketing tips that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you? Lorhainne: If you want to write, you need to read lots. Research your topic, get your facts right, the internet and library are a vast tool for your research needs. Start promoting and marketing your book early, several months before it gets out. Debut ads take a while to pull together, look at all your options, but make a plan in advance. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite genre you like to read? Who is your favorite author(s)? Lorhainne: I read so many genre’s, from romance, to women’s and men’s fiction, I like a good, well told and researched story. I also read non-fiction. I have many favorite authors so I can’t really list a particular one. Phoebe: What are you reading now? And what do you plan to read after that? Lorhainne: I am reading Suzanne Brockmann, one of her older releases Kiss and Tell. I do like to go back and read a favorite author’s earlier work. It’s quite interesting to see the changes. Next on my list to read is Anastasia by Vladimir Megre, this one is not a romance.

Sunday, August 23, 2009
I do love paranormal romances very much because the authors create this totally different world that is similar to our own world. But these worlds these authors create are filled with all these paranormal creatures that we only think is myth but are totally real in paranormal romances. I know that author Jessica Coulter Smith loves to read paranormal romances so when she writes paranormal romances are what she ends up creating. I had the pleasure of hosting her guest blog about her release Moonlight Protector, which is the first book of her paranormal Ashton Grove Werewolves series and I also reviewed it as well. I also had the pleasure of interviewing her as well if you want to find out more about Jessica's writing and about some of her hobbies and favorite authors. I recently reviewed her current release second book in her series called Moonlight Hero for both Jessica and her publisher Wild Horse Press and what a nice read that was for me. Today I'm reviewing Jessica Coulter Smith's debut novel, Whispering Lake, but this is a new extended version and with a beautiful new cover that is coming out this Tuesday, August 25 with romance publisher Wild Horse Press. This novel is sort of a prequel to her wonderful paranormal romance Ashton Grove Werewolves series because it introduces the Andrews brothers for the first time before you read Moonlight Protector and find out about Cole Andrews love story.
Now onto my review which starts with Cassie, who is on vacation with some friends, suddenly finds herself drawn to a handsome stranger. This handsome stranger along with his twin and older brother are sharing the same cabin together with her since the place was booked solid and this was the only opening for Cassie and her friends trip. Hoping she will finally have a shot at a normal life, she allows herself to care for Cole who awakens something that only her friendly ghost Matt had been able to in the past few years. But when things get hot and heavy, Cassie's spectral best friend Matt materializes—literally. This is when things get really interesting because we now find out that Cole is secretly a werewolf along with his brothers Michael and Gabriel...but will Cassie be able to handle the truth when she finds out? Or will the fact that he turns furry turn her off but more importantly, will Cole be able to handle Cassie's psychic abilities because there will be ghosts popping up here and there? Cassie has a choice to make now that she has had her sexual attraction awakened with the help of Cole but since Matt has arrived she now has feelings that she needs to come to terms with or end of miserable. Will she choose the hottest werewolf of all, or the ghost of her dreams who has known her for half of her life?
I'm so happy that I finally got my hands on a copy of Whispering Lake, even though I never had the pleasure of reading the original version, because I have heard so many good things about this novel and since Cassie and Matt have featured in both of the Ashton Grove Werewolves books I wanted to know how their love story started and ended. There were a lot of twists and turns that had me wanting more and more until I find out how things will end for Cassie, Matt and even Cole. It was great getting to know Cassie better after reading only bits and pieces of her in the werewolves series and Matt as well because he is such a facsinating character who I was very curious to find out how he was made a ghost and then into a human again. This is a must have novel that you have to read even if you have already read the first two books of her amanzing paranormal Ashton Grove Werewolves series because you will be able to get an inside look at the three Andrews brother before they ended up finding their mates. Jessica Coulter Smith delivers a wonderfully written paranormal romance with ghosts, werewolves and psychics that will have you glued to either your computer screens or e-reader screens until you have devoured this novel. I give this book 4 Open Books:
4 Open Books
Here is the description of the book from Jessica's website and picture:

Whispering Lake by Jessica Coulter Smith $ 5.95 (Prequel to Ashton Grove Werewolves series)(222 Pages)

NEW EXTENDED VERSION! Whispering Lake by Jessica Coulter Smith
While on vacation with some friends, Cassie finds herself drawn to a handsome stranger. Hoping she will finally have a shot at a normal life, she allows herself to care for Cole. When things get hot and heavy, Cassie's spectral best friend Matt materializes—literally. Cole is secretly a werewolf...will Cassie be able to handle the truth? Or will the fact that he turns furry turn her off... More importantly, will Cole be able to handle Cassie's psychic abilities? With ghosts popping up here and there, will they have a shot at a real romance? Or will he turn out to be like the others and run the other way? Cassie has a choice to make. Will she choose the hottest werewolf of all, or the ghost of her dreams?

Thursday, August 20, 2009
Today I have a special guest who is promoting her debut novel with a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Romance author Clare Austin is here today guest blogging about her debut novel and the first book of her Fadó Trilogy, Butterfly. Clare will be on tour from August 1st to 31st so if you want to stop by any of her other blog stops along the way check out her Virtual Book Tour information that will have links to all of her blog spots. Also Clare was here on TAMFA on this past Tuesday, August 18 being interviewed by me about her, her writing and her debut novel. I also reviewed her novel, Butterfly, yesterday if you want to read the review but for now read Clare's guest blog as well as a couple of excerpts from her debut novel.

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Thank you for having me on your blog today. The idea for Butterfly, my first published fiction, came to me serendipitously. I was looking for something to take to a new critique group I had joined and I didn’t want to hash over an old manuscript. I wrote ten pages of a new idea. As it turned out, the characters were fun, the setting interesting and the story quirky enough to keep me interested. I did start with a different hero and then about fifty pages in I got bored with him…he was too easy for Flannery to walk all over. That was the only major change I made from my original idea, but I found it was essential. She’s a strong heroine and no wimpy guy would survive her.

I spent perhaps nine months on Butterfly from start to final editing. At the time this was a long time for me to finish a book. I had written three manuscripts prior to Butterfly and each took from a month to about three to complete. When I submitted Butterfly, I wanted it to be good right out of the box, so I spent extra time tweaking scenes and polishing details. Perhaps it was mostly luck, being in the right place, finding an editor who was in the mood for this particular book…hard to tell, but Butterfly sold rather quickly. Now I have two other books and a potential third with the same publisher. Angel’s Share, the second novel in the Fadό Trilogy, will be available March 2010 and Hot Flash a stand-alone story that I had written back in 2006 is in final edits. I’m currently working on the third book in the Fadό Trilogy and hope to finish it by the end of this year.

Blurb:


Excerpt #1:

He lost sight of the fiddler in the mobs of tourists enjoying the April sunshine.

No sooner had he decided to give up on his quest than he heard hands clapping in rhythm with the beat of the now familiar Irish drum.

Then he saw her.

She lifted her instrument and, with the surety of a bird’s wing slipping through the air, bow was laid to strings and life was breathed into melody.
He moved to the edge of the gathering where he could have an unobstructed view of the musicians. She looked up, and he thought she recognized him for an instant. Then her eyes turned and followed another.

She smiled and nodded.

Cade had never thought of himself as the jealous type, but he did feel cheated out of that smile. As soon as the last vibration of strings quieted, a man Cade recognized from O’Fallon’s came up behind the fiddler and, with disturbing familiarity, spoke in her ear. She responded with a hug and an adoring look in her eyes.

Cade had been raised to be competitive, in sports as well as in business, and the appearance of a rival on the field made him want to draw blood. He wanted the fiddler in his studio, and if she ended up in his bed, that might be as nice.

He stood and listened until the sun set and the air held a chill that thinned the throng. The musicians were packing it in.

He hadn’t realized he was staring, until she walked up to him and stood so close he could smell the scent of her warm skin in the cool evening air. Her approach to introduction took Cade completely by surprise.

“Are you lookin’ at me or waitin’ for a bus?” she said, one hand on her hip and a sassy smile on her lips.

Excerpt #2:

Flannery swung through the door into the dining room with a flourish but nearly tripped over a bar stool when she saw the now familiar profile, broad shoulders, and curly dark hair of the man who had come to see her sister.

“Sufferin’ ducks, and if it isn’t himself come to brighten the day at O’Fallon’s.” Cade was as compelling as she remembered. Today he was dressed in jeans, a black knit shirt, leather bomber jacket, and a slow smile that would stop a saint in her tracks.

“What can I get you?” She thought a couple of shots of good Irish whiskey would sort him out.

“I’d try the fish an’ chips if you would join me?”

She gave him one of her best smiles, turned toward the kitchen, and yelled, “Hey, Jamie, I’m taking my break. Give us a one an’ one, a serving of the bangers and mushy peas, a couple o’ Harps, and an Inishowen, would you there?”

“Anything for the love of my life,” Jamie called from behind the door.

“Stow it, Jamie Mac!” Flannery shot back, then turned to Cade. “He’s always good fer craic, our Jamie.”

“Craic? Inishowen? One and one? Would you like to translate?”

“Whatta ya mean ‘translate’? You speak English don’tcha?” she teased. “Okay...I’m just giving you a time. ‘Craic’ is fun, ‘Inishowen’ is a whiskey from County Donegal, and a ‘one and one’ is what we, the feckin’ Irish, call fish ‘n chips.”

Flannery’s pulse quickened at the way his dark eyes, shaded by long lashes, swept lazily over her, undressing her, right here in a public place. Yes, as her girlfriends back home liked to say, “He was a ride.”

You can find out more about me by going to my website, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Wild Rose Press. Thanks for stopping by this blog, Clare.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Today I will be reviewing Clare Austin's debut novel, Butterfly, like I promised I would do yesterday in my interview with her. Clare Austin was on the blog yesterday for her interview and will be on the blog tomorrow with her guest blog because she is promoting her debut novel with a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Clare will be on tour from August 1st to 31st so if you want to stop by any of her other blog stops along the way check out her Virtual Book Tour information that will have links to all of her blog spots. Also Clare was here on TAMFA on this past Tuesday, August 18 being interviewed by me about her, her writing and her debut novel. Now onto my review of her debut novel, Butterfly, which is the first book of her Fadó Trilogy. I love reading about the Irish since I read my first romance novel by Nora Roberts called Three Fates and when I read the blurb for this novel I knew it would be a good book for me to read and review. When I start to read this novel I could tell that the blurb was right and the heroine, Flannery Sloane, is a free spirited bohemian with a soul blessed by Irish musical tradition. She doesn’t give a care for where she’s going or how she’ll get there because joy and passion are her only map. Flann is a wonderful character that I had a pleasure getting to know because she is so different from some of the other heroines I've read and, though she’s not interested in falling in love, she wouldn’t mind a little fun with a fine looking man, which I completely agree with, LOL!

Now the hero of the novel, Hunter "Cade" Kincade, looks like he could fill that bill and have a bit of change left over and that is something I completely agree with because if I were Flann I would totally have him for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But even though Cade and Flann have this instant chemistry that sparks even before they official meet there are some flaws in both of them that may as well stop their relationship before if even gets started. Flannery never wears a watch so she’s late for everything but the downbeat of a fiddle tune which is her entire live since her mother handed her her first fiddle. She’s happy serving pints in the pub that her two older fraternal twin brother, Tynan, and sister, Kerry, run in Boston and also playing for tips and smiles in the Feneuil Hall Marketplace. While Cade thrives on punctuality which really isn't going to work out if he wants to make things work with Flann. He is in the music business with his focus on the bottom line which is why the pretty fiddle player with the bright green eyes would make his next production worth the price of a CD. Their only common ground is the belief that falling in love is a danger to health and sanity. Will it take more than Irish magic to pull a man like Cade into the spell of a woman like Flannery? They are all wrong for each other...and yet they are so right as a couple who will bake their relationship last forever.

I practically devoured this novel in less than a day which means that this book is a great read since at the time I started reading it I was starting my family vacation to the Dominican Republic. Flann and Cade are like polar opposites when I start reading this novel but as I got more into the plot I could see that they are both so much alike if they would only get past their insecurities that formed from their past experiences. I was so sad when I finally came to the end of this novel because I never wanted it to end since I fell in love with both Flann and Cade as well as the wonderful secondary characters that made this novel so much fun to read. As a debut novel Clare Austin has woven a romantic Irish tale with intriguing characters that will keep you flipping the pages until the very end. This is only the beginning of what I feel will be a great trilogy that I will be keeping a watch for. The next two books in Clare Austin's Fadó Trilogy, Angel's Share, (which is about Kerry Sloane) and the yet to be titled third book (which is about Tynan Sloane). I give this book 4 Open Books:
4 Open Books
Here is the description of the book from Clare Austin's website and picture:


BUTTERFLY by Clare Austin $ 6.00 (Book 1)(270 Pages)

Butterfly by Clare Austin
Flannery Sloane is a free spirited bohemian with a soul blessed by Irish musical tradition. She doesn’t give a care for where she’s going or how she’ll get there. Joy and passion are her only map. And, though she’s not interested in falling in love, she wouldn’t mind a little fun with a fine looking man. Hunter Kincade looks like he could fill that bill and have a bit of change left over. Flannery never wears a watch. She’s late for everything but the downbeat of a fiddle tune. She’s happy serving pints in the pub and playing for tips and smiles. Hunter thrives on punctuality. He is in the music business with his focus on the bottom line. The pretty fiddle player with the bright green eyes would make his next production worth the price of a CD. Their only common ground is the belief that falling in love is a danger to health and sanity. Will it take more than Irish magic to pull a man like Hunter into the spell of a woman like Flannery? They are all wrong for each other...and they are so right.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Today I have a special guest who is promoting her debut novel with a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Romance author Clare Austin is here today to be interviewed by me about her, her writing and her debut novel and the first book of her Fadó Trilogy, Butterfly. Clare will be on tour from August 1st to 31st so if you want to stop by any of her other blog stops along the way check out her Virtual Book Tour information that will have links to all of her blog spots. Also Clare will be coming back on Thursday, August 20 to talk more about her debut novel Butterfly and who she came to write it. I will also be reviewing her novel, Butterfly, so you should keep a look out for the review soon now on to reading my interview with Clare Austin.
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Phoebe Jordan: When did you know that writing romance was going to be the thing that you would do with your life? Which author inspired you to start writing romance? Clare AustinClare Austin: I’ve been so many things in my life: actor, mom, wife, healthcare professional, musician and a horse trainer. Now I am adding published author to that list. I’m one of those people who needs several lifetimes to explore all my interests and I don’t seem to be capable of doing anything half way. I have been inspired by many authors throughout my lifetime. The first romance I ever read was Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I was enchanted and still hold her as one of the very best in the genre. More recently I have been captivated by the intensity and vastness of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. The lady can really spin a tale! Phoebe: Did you know what type of romance you wanted to write about or did you experiment with different genres before you chose the one that you felt was for you? Clare: Early in my ponderings, before I actually started putting words on paper, I envisioned writing Historical romance. I love history, I’m a stickler for facts and bristle at anachronism. I started writing contemporary because I simply wanted to write a book and I thought I was taking a simpler route to that goal. Then I found out it isn’t really easier, but is a great deal of fun. I have a number of historical ideas and they will get written someday I’m certain. Phoebe: What was the first fiction you ever wrote? And do you still have it with you? Clare: The very first fiction I wrote was when I was eight years old. I can’t remember the title, (probably something like Máire’s Big Day)… but it was about a little girl (me?) who takes a grand adventure on her pony through the hills near her home. I submitted this to a publisher and got a kind rejection. I don’t have that manuscript or the rejection letter…wish I did. The first contemporary romance I wrote four years ago is called Land Of Ahhs. It is unpublished and needs a major re-write. I’ll hang on to that one. Phoebe: How much research do you have to do for your novels and does it take you a long time to gather that research? Clare: Much of the “research” for the Fadό Trilogy was already in my head when I started the stories. I love research for the sake of knowledge though and I am constantly reading and studying. I spent quite a bit of time in Boston and in Ireland while I was writing Butterfly and Angel’s Share. When I have a question or am not sure of a particular fact, I look it up or go to an expert. Butterfly has a scene at a Red Sox game. It was really cool to research the game and include the actual plays in my scene. If a Sox fan happens to read it, it is accurate. No one else will care particularly, I’m sure. Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for your debut novel, Butterfly, which is also the first book in your Fadó Trilogy? And what are your titles and plans for the next two books that will complete your Fadó Trilogy? Clare: Butterfly was a complete surprise to me. I wrote the first few chapters as an exercise for my critique group. I based the main character on one of my sons who is a professional musician and on some young Irish fiddlers I have known... (Come back on Thursday, August 20 to find the full response to this question) Phoebe: How do you come up with each of your characters for your novels? How do you choose their names out of so many names out there? Clare: My characters are sometimes based very loosely on people I know, like Flannery being a bit like my son. But, the similarity stops at their both being dedicated musicians. Flannery is like a best friend I wish I’d had when I was in my twenties…fresh, adventurous, talented and devoted to music and family. Names are fun for me to make up. I love playing around with the sounds and meanings. The names I use often have an underlying hint to part of the story. I search through baby name lists until I find one that suits. I try to think about the character’s parents and why they would choose a particular name. I picked Hunter Kincade (Cade) because it sounds aristocratic but has a nickname this guy would be comfortable with. His middle name—read the book—reflects his mother’s ethnicity. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite character that you really enjoyed writing about in your debut novel, Butterfly? Did you have a character that you felt you could really relate to in your debut novel, Butterfly? Clare: I absolutely loved getting to know Flannery. She was fun to write and carried the story easily. The other character I truly have a “crush” on is Jamie MacFallon. He is so endearing and I think he deserves his own book someday. I relate to all my characters in a special way. They are like my children, each having a place in my heart. One may give me trouble while another is easy. Phoebe: Do you have a process of how you start to write your novels? Butterfly by Clare AustinClare: They all start in my head. I can almost visualize the various components whirling around like different colors of paint that come out as a picture. Then I start to pound away at the keys and, even if it isn’t great prose, I get the basics down. Since Fadό is a series I have had to stick with some characters who are already part of the story and I plotted a bit more detailed than I sometimes like. I like to write from the seat of my pants…that’s the most fun. Phoebe: Which do you like best, writing a series or writing stand alone novels? How is writing each different for you? Clare: A series is hard. The stories must stand alone but be connected. I think one could easily pick up Angel’s Share and enjoy it without first reading Butterfly. I have actually been a bit concerned about the release of Angel’s Share for readers who really love the humor of Butterfly, because Angel’s Share is a suspense and rather serious in comparison. It was a chance I took because the story of Kerry and Aidan called out so strongly to me. I have a stand-alone novel, Hot Flash, coming out early in 2010. I was inspired to write it by the women in my “girls only” gym. We felt there needed to be a love story about a woman who is older, wiser and won’t let a little cellulite on her thighs get in the way of having the hot guy. It was really fun to write. Phoebe: What process did you have to go through to get your first book published and did it take you long? Clare: Butterfly sold rather quickly by industry standards. I think it was about six months of really putting it out there. I like to email query. Sending manuscripts and partials by post is just too slow a process for me. I got a few nibbles and requests for submissions from my query letter. I was offered one contract and turned it down because, after seeing the contract, I realized that publisher wouldn’t produce the kind of product I wanted. I’m thrilled with the production standards at TWRP and feel I made the right decision taking their offer. Phoebe: Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to get rid of it so you can get back to writing your novels? Clare: At one point in my writing I never thought I would get “block.” Never say never. I get past it by shackling my reluctant muse to my computer desk and feeding her dark chocolate. I lock up my inner editor and refuse to give it sustenance. Then I just write. Even if it is garbage and I toss it out later…I write. Writing is a creative process for me, but it is also a job. I don’t make excuses about going to work. I show up and do the best I can. Phoebe: What is your biggest reader pet peeve, if you have any? (stock characters, unresolved endings, predictability, everything wrapped up hurriedly in the end, etc.) Clare: Anachronism. As an example, one writer of a 19th century historical who used the term “Ms.” throughout her manuscript as a title for an unmarried woman. She really didn’t know that the term was coined in the middle of the twentieth century. It drove me nuts! Get an etymological dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary. Editors know a lot but not everything, so don’t assume they will catch a mistakes. Phoebe: Which aspects of writing do you enjoy the most and why? And what is your biggest writing pet peeve? (overuse of exclamation points, adverbs, bad guys named Wayne, etc.), if you have any? Clare: There isn’t any part of the process I don’t like but promo is hardest for me. I limit exclamation points if my editor will let me get away with it. I detest word repetition and I try very hard to scan my documents for such. One time I found I had “mumbled” about ten times as a dialogue tag. After I quit laughing at myself, I went through and fixed it. When I read I think it’s ludicrous when a writer can’t think of more than one term for…well, the male sexual organ…and I don’t mean his brain. Phoebe: What is the one writing tool you cannot live without? Clare: My laptop. Phoebe: How do you handle your writing schedule and your personal life without going insane? Angel's Share by Clare AustinClare: I am insane so I don’t worry about it. I don’t have children at home, but I have a husband, three horses, a little dog, and grown up sons who sometimes need a mom. I have a part-time day job that I really like, a beautiful garden, and I play my violin in a small chamber ensemble. Three times a week I swim for exercise. I’ve never been good at staying up late at night or getting up early in the morning. I should be honest…I really don’t cook. Maybe that saves me time. Phoebe: What do you do to relax after having spent a long day while writing? Do you have any hobbies? Clare: I often takes breaks from writing by spending time playing my violin or going out to ride a horse, swim or take a walk. I knit socks…fancy, striped and very colorful socks. I like to knit while I listen to audio books. Phoebe: Is there any advice that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you? Clare: Write to a specific market. I learned this pretty quickly with the help of Colorado Romance Writers. Get into a critique group. Learn what you can about promo before you sell. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite genre you like to read? Who is your favorite author(s)? Clare: I read just about everything: history, narrative non-fiction, all kinds of fiction. I enjoy true adventure such as On Celtic Tides by Chris Duff or anything by Jon Krakauer. I’m waiting for Erin Hart to write another book like Haunted Ground or Lake of Sorrows. Phoebe: What are you reading now? And what do you plan to read after that? Clare: Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran, Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi, and The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory by Brian Greene. After I’m done with those, I’ll start The Subtle Serpent by Peter Tremayne and Shannon by Frank Delaney. If you would like to read excerpts from my other books or know more about upcoming projects please go to my website. Thank you for having me on your blog today.

Sunday, August 16, 2009
Well last year I participated in the Book Blogger Appreciation Week that I found through My Friend Amy's blog and now it's become a yearly celebration that is once again happening in September. Amy started this little meme over at the BBAW blog to help everyone learn more about each other and BBAW. Now I'm answering it so that others can find out more about me and my participation with the BBAW. What was the highlight (something that happened, a post, an activity, etc.) of BBAW for you last year? OMG, this is so impossibly hard! I loved just about every moment of BBAW last year, and was truly overwelmed with the way it turned out to be such a big event. I met so many different blogs that had some very intriguing blog posts and book reviews that were a joy learning more about. That is my highlight of BBAW last year and I can't wait for it to begin this year again. What is one new blog you discovered during BBAW last year? I discovered so many new blogs that I seriously had no idea how huge the book blogging world was, and it's double the size now with the BBAW that was organized and continued this year. One new blog I discovered was, The Book Girl, which has wonderful contests and book reviews that I love to read once in a while. What tips would you share to help others get the most out of their BBAW experience? If you host a giveaway, participate in the daily blogging topics, leave comments, and actively search out new blogs, I think you will enjoy the experience so much! This year I really recommend subscribing to the BBAW feeds to keep up and also following BBAW on Twitter which is what I will be doing since Amy recommended it. They have a huge amount of giveaways already lined up and they'll be announcing award winners everyday. This is so exciting!

Friday, August 14, 2009
I'm finally back from my family vacation that I took to the Dominican Republic yesterday. I'm so glad to finally be home in my own bed with my laptop and internet connection because though it was a blast being in the lovely Sun Village Resort & Spa in Puerto Plata, D.R. I missed home very much. While I was there I didn't stop reading but it wasn't a constant reading session either like I usually had at home. I spent time at about every pool that the resort had as well as their beach which I only went to once since I don't like to hang out at sandy places too much cause I start to itch. There is also another reason I don't like to be out at the beach or sun too much because even though I put sunblock I always manage to get sunburned and this time it happened to my shoulders. Well there were a lot of pictures that I would like to share once everything gets back to normal around here and we can get into the rhythm of things again.
I loved all the activities that we all planned while we ere there especially when I got to ride a horse, which was a bit bumpy and scary but the one I loved the most as the time we rode on ATV bikes around some of the sugar cane fields and a small village in the Dominican Republic. Though I didn't have big glasses to shield my eyes from the flying dirt and sand I had so much fun riding the ATV that I would love to do it again sometime because though I don't have a license to drive a car but that was awesome. We even bought the video of all of us who went ATV bike riding that the tour guide was video taping throughout the entire trip and it was great watching it. OMG the food that was served at the various resturaunts and all you can eat buffets that had various types of foods like Italian, Mexican, Asian, American and Dominican. I loved almost everything that they served and I think I really am going to miss being served almost everything I could want every day of the 6 days we were there at the Resort & Spa. I'm glad to be home!

Thursday, August 6, 2009
Well I have scheduled this post earlier this week so while you are all reading this I'm on a plane with my family that is heading to the Dominican Republic. We are going to be there for about 6 days having fun in the sun, at the beach, the pool and just having the times of our lives. I won't have access to my laptop computer with internet connection since I'm afraid to take it with me and having it get lost. I am going to take as many of my new books as possible and will be reading them on the times I'm relaxing in the sun or in my hotel room between the down times. I will be filling up the days I'm going with book reviews from the books I've read while I was gone when I come back. Hope everyone is having fun this summer reading and I know you will all miss me terribly but I'll be back.

Today I have a special romance author that I met through one of the various social media websites that I'm a member of. I guess me and my blog have been getting pretty popular with romance authors and I'm glad that Rebecca contacted me in hopes of promoting herself and her current and upcoming novels with an author interview, author guest blogs and book reviews. She was interview a couple of weeks ago as well as guest blogged about her debut novel Surviving with Love. Today she's guest blogging about her recent release and second novel Looking Throught the Mist and you will learn more about how she came to write it and get it published. I will reviewing that novel as well soon so keep an eye out for the review very soon but for now read the great guest blog Rebecca J. Vickery wrote for today.
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Hi everyone and thank you Phoebe for having me back again, I am finally a published author. Yee-haaaa!!! Surviving with Love has met with great acceptance and a huge thanks to all of you who have read it so far. It is now a bestseller at both Fictionwise and All Romance eBooks and for my publisher Class Act Books. Surviving with Love is also being considered for a 2010 EPIC Award in the contemporary romance category. We’ll know in November if it will be in the finals. Looking Through the Mist was released on July 1 and was actually my first contracted work with Class Act Books, although it is my second release. This book is near and dear to my heart as it is the only one my sister was able to see completely finished prior to her unexpected death from Deep Vein Thrombosis. She loved the story from the first time I discussed it with her and was instrumental in nudging, nagging, and pushing me to get it down on paper and then onto my computer. I can still feel her presence whenever my enthusiasm or energy lags. It’s as if she continues to urge me on and I truly feel she is interceding for me in very important places. The idea for Looking Through the Mist came to me in a dream. I actually dreamed of several children being kidnapped from a certain area of the country. In this dream the only one who could find any trace of them was a psychic who was struggling with her own problems at the time. Then a handsome, but unlikely hero came along to help out. In my dream he looked exactly like my husband in his younger days. When I told my sister about this dream, she said I had to write it all down and Looking Through the Mist was born.
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Blurb: Title: Looking Through the Mist Author: Rebecca J. Vickery ISBN: 978-1-935048-18-3 Word Count: 84,177 Page Numbers: 361 Available in e-book or Print from Class Act Books and Read the first chapter free and the Buy Link. Looking Through the Mist by Rebecca J. VickeryPsychic Jessica Wilder was a consultant for the FBI until she suffered burnout. The visions leave her alone for several months and she starts to make a peaceful life for herself. Then suddenly, they come back with a vengeance—visions of children being kidnapped. How could she not try to save the children? Detective Jonathon Lansing doesn't believe in psychics, but the young woman in front of him is very convincing. Can she truly help him track down a kidnapper? Or is she involved in the crime? Another child is taken right from under their noses. As they follow her turbulent visions through several states and into Canada, Jessie and Johnny begin to discover they want more than a working relationship. But will it distract them from finding the children in time? You can find Rebecca at her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Ning, and her very special Yahoo Group named Sweet and Sensual Romances.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Today I have romance author Nicole Morgan here for an author guest blog where you will find out more about how she came to write her novel, Sudden Devotion. She got in touch with me through my association with the e-publisher Wild Horse Press. She contacted me in hopes of scheduling an author interview, author guest blog as well as a book review for her romance novel, Sudden Devotion, which was supposed to be out on August 12 with Wild Horse Press but won't be since Nicole and Wild Horse Press have decided to amicably part ways. Remember to check out my interview with Nicole Morgan that I did on Monday, August 3. Now on to the author guest blog by Nicole.
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I first came up with the concept of Sudden Devotion when I read an article about voyeuristic tendencies. I know it sounds strange, but it made me think. Voyeurism is not as taboo as some people like to think it is. Some forms of voyeurism do not necessarily fall into the category of the average peeping tom. The article touched on how some couples today are using voyeurism as a way to spice up their love life. So, with that in mind I thought, what if a couple actually fell in love as a result of voyeurism? This obviously is not the traditional way to tell a romance story, but in erotic romance I think it is best to adhere to the ‘no rules’ are the only rules policy. Erotic romance is supposed to, at least in my mind, excite, tease, entrance and even arouse the reader. That is why I wrote this story, with the full intention of making these characters actions both shocking and brazen. While many of us today have fantasies, how many of us truly act on them? So, I made sure that Mitch and Sara didn’t hold back, but rather embraced their sexuality. I hope you enjoy Sudden Devotion, as I put my heart and soul into every character, every scene and every word. Blurb: Sudden Devotion by Nicole MorganSara is a shy woman who is inexperienced with men but finds herself torn between that shyness and her untapped sexuality that is bursting beneath the pressure of her lustful desires. Mitch works with Sara and knows that office romances can go horribly wrong, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting her. Going ahead with his plan to seduce her, the couple soon find themselves thrown into an erotic game of pleasure. Their rendezvous proves to be more than either of them had anticipated. After only a couple of days their relationship intensifies into a firestorm of passion and they begin to fall in love. Claudia works with them both and is not happy when Mitch rejects her advances. Not willing to take no for an answer Claudia uses every form of manipulation to drive the couple apart. Her plan works and Mitch and Sara’s future hangs in the balance over a betrayal that was fabricated by Claudia. Is their relationship strong enough to handle the betrayal that they believe to be true? Or will the thought of losing each other be the catalyst to mend their broken hearts and keep them together? You can find more about me at my website, on Facebook, MySpace or Twitter.

Monday, August 3, 2009
Today I have romance author Nicole Morgan here for an author interview. She got in touch with me through my association with the e-publisher Wild Horse Press. She contacted me in hopes of scheduling an author interview, author guest blog as well as a book review for her romance novel, Sudden Devotion, which was supposed to be out on August 12 with Wild Horse Press but won't be since Nicole and Wild Horse Press have decided to amicably part ways. Remember to come back on Thursday, July 16 to find out more about how she came to write her novel, Sudden Devotion and keep a look out for my review of the novel as well. Now on to the interview between me and Nicole.
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Phoebe Jordan: When did you know that writing romance was going to be the thing that you would do with your life? Which author inspired you to start writing romance? Nicole MorganNicole Morgan: Well that is a 2 part answer. I first was inspired to start writing almost 20 years ago, when my main addictions at the time were Danielle Steele and Jackie Collins. But it wasn’t until 2008 that I decided to really buckle down and go for it. It was the first time I ever decided to put any of the romantic stories in my head down on paper. Phoebe: Did you know what type of romance you wanted to write about or did you experiment with different genres before you chose the one that you felt was for you? Nicole: I thought about writing a suspenseful romance, which I did, it had a lot of twists and turns, but the funny thing I realized when I started writing was that the erotic or sexy scenes came naturally to me. It’s actually harder for me to write those scenes without all of the steam. Phoebe: What was the first fiction you ever wrote? And do you still have it with you? Nicole: The first book I ever started to write was my first published book called, Sweet Redemption. Phoebe: How much research do you have to do for your novels and does it take you a long time to gather that research? Nicole: That’s a funny question. I’m probably the most disorganized person when it comes to my research. When I sit down to write my story I don’t always know ahead of time what research I will all need so I will have to research as I go, which isn’t the most efficient method, but that way I get exactly what I’m looking for while it’s fresh in my mind. For example in the book I’m writing now, Blessing in Disguise I wrote a sentence that said, “Yes, I’m at the corner of ________ and ________.” Until I have a chance to pull up a city map for the Hollywood/Los Angeles area I won’t be able to fill that in. I don’t like to make up the information if it is a well known place. I want the two streets I mention to actually intersect. Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for your novel, Sudden Devotion? Nicole: I came up with the premise and starting ground for Sudden Devotion after reading an article about how some couples today are using voyeurism as a way to spice up their love life. Phoebe: How do you come up with each of your characters for your novels? How do you choose their names out of so many names out there? Nicole: I choose the characters personalities within the first chapter. Usually I get an idea and start writing it. It isn’t until the second chapter that I have an idea of the kind of person that they are. As far as the male names I like to choose names that I myself find as masculine and sexy names. You’ll never find a leading man in my books called Wilmer. As for the women I try to pick a name that can be pretty, but sometimes, when possible I like to mix up the spelling, to make it different. An example would be in my current work in progress, instead of using Holly, I chose Hollie. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite character that you really enjoyed writing about in your novel, Sudden Devotion? Did you have a character that you felt you could really relate to in your novel, Sudden Devotion? Nicole: I would say I really enjoyed writing about Sara. She seemed real to me. Throughout the book she struggles with a mixture of emotions, just like many women do. Still inexperienced with men she is forced to face her new found sexuality, her insecurities and her love and devotion for Mitch. Surprisingly I actually relate to her the most also. While my husband and I have been together and married for a long time I can’t help but remember that I was a bit shy and insecure when he ‘moved in for the kill’ so to speak all those yeas ago and turned me into the kind of gal that writes erotic romance. Phoebe: Do you have a process of how you start to write your novels? Nicole: I do things probably a lot differently than other authors. I get an idea in my head about a couple and how they might meet or what might bring them together. Then I sit down and literally start writing the characters and scenes until my idea comes to life. Phoebe: Have you ever considered writing a series or are writing stand alone novels your preference? How would writing each be different for you? Nicole: I have already written a two book series, Sweet Redemption and Sweet Salvation. Also, I am currently in the middle of a series titled Intimate Temptations. The first book is complete and with Siren Bookstrand for editing and is called Intimate Persuasions and the second book titled Intimate Desires is still a work in progress. I still enjoy writing the stand alone books just as much though. Phoebe: What process did you have to go through to get your first book published and did it take you long? Nicole: When I completed my first book I read though it a couple of times for editing and to make sure that it flowed, then I realized I was putting it off because I was afraid to send it off. So my husband finally put his foot down and told me that if I wanted anyone else to have the chance to read it I needed to ‘get my butt in gear’ and submit it. I began submissions in early February and a couple of weeks later I was offered my first contract. Phoebe: Do you ever get writers block? What do you do to get rid of it so you can get back to writing your novels? Nicole: I don’t get it too often, but when I do I usually just put it aside and work on something else. I know that eventually it will come to me so I try not to let it get to me. The main reason I don’t get it too often is because if I am ‘blocked’ and am not sure where to take the story next, I just write whatever pops into my head anyway, sometimes it doesn’t flow or work and then I have to go back and change things, but actually I’ve gotten some pretty good scenes from just writing aimlessly with no plan. Phoebe: What is your biggest reader pet peeve, if you have any? (stock characters, unresolved endings, predictability, everything wrapped up hurriedly in the end, etc.) Nicole: My biggest pet peeve is predictability. I have read tons of books where you can tell by the second chapter exactly how everything is going to play out. It’s disappointing. The story might be well told, but I want to enjoy the story and be surprised. It’s hard to do that when you know exactly what’s going to happen. Phoebe: Which aspects of writing do you enjoy the most and why? And what is your biggest writing pet peeve? (overuse of exclamation points, adverbs, bad guys named Wayne, etc.), if you have any? Nicole: The thing I enjoy most about writing is making the characters emotions come to life. One reader told me once that she cried after reading a scene from my book Love Knows No Boundaries. Which in turn made me cry, because that’s what I want, I want the reader to feel the same emotions that the character is. My biggest pet peeve in writing, which I’m suffering through right now, is in coming up with a synopsis. Sometimes it is hard to condense 350 pages into 100 words or less and still have it jump out and grab at the reader. Phoebe: What is the one writing tool can you not live without? Nicole: I would die if I did not have an online thesaurus/dictionary! Phoebe: How do you handle your writing schedule and your personal life without going insane? Nicole: Who says I’m not insane? Seriously though, it is actually very hard at times. It basically translates into a lot of missed sleep and a very understanding husband and two kids. The dogs aren’t very understanding at all though. One sits on my feet (yes on, not near) and the other one nudges my hand as I type. They’re spoiled and get lonely when mommy doesn’t give them attention. Phoebe: What do you do to relax after having spent a long while writing? Do you have any hobbies? Nicole: What I love to do is have a long hot bubble bath. If I’ve been really good I treat myself to a manicure and pedicure though. Phoebe: Is there any advice that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you? Nicole: Yes there is. Just try! It can’t hurt and even if you don’t get published the first time you might get some really good tips and constructive criticism. I myself still seek out any tips anyone is willing to give me. Phoebe: Is there any writing tips, research tips, promotion and marketing tips that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you? Sudden Devotion by Nicole MorganNicole: In writing make sure that your story flows for the reader. Just because you can see it in your head does not mean that the reader can. So, describe and explain all aspects of what you are trying to say. As far as research tips go I think it is important to be accurate, no matter how small the detail. If you’re not willing to research a topic, then do not write about it. This can annoy and bother readers. In regards to promotion and marketing I have a few tips, first remember that it is important to get your name out there, so join groups and chat along with others. You’ll actually find you meet some pretty neat and talented people. In these groups make sure you always follow the rules and promote your work accordingly. No one likes a rule breaker. Second, make sure your emails are friendly or even fun. I myself receive emails from people that are short and abrupt. While this may not be intentional remember that a tone of an email sets the tone for the communication. Lastly before you spend any money take a look at all of the free promoting opportunities there are out there in cyber land. There are a lot to choose from. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite genre you like to read? Who is your favorite author(s)? Nicole: My favorite genre is erotic romance. While I enjoy some less erotic romance novels erotica is my favorite. I can’t choose a single favorite because I like these authors for different reasons, but here they are: Maya Banks, Sasha White, Lora Leigh, Stella Cameron, Joann Ross and most recently I’ve added Beth Kerry to the mix. Phoebe: What are you reading now? And what do you plan to read after that? Nicole: I am eagerly trying to finish Beth Kerry’s Wicked Burn. So far it has been an awesome read! After I am finished I am going to start reading Joann Ross’ Breakpoint. It was just released in July and I am a huge fan of hers. I’ve been waiting for this one to be released for months.

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Phoebe Jordan
I'm a part-time aspiring romance novelist, book reviewer and blogger. I've always wanted to travel the world and learn everything I can about other countries. Learning the Italian language is one way of trying to make that dream come true. Traveling will help me with my writing because I'll be learning about the history of the U.S., Latin America, England, Italy, and Ireland, the countries I find so fascinating while reading the romance genre.
 
I read and review romance novels of almost every subgenre along with erotic romance, mystery, sci-fi/fantasy and young adult novels. You can find the reviews at my blogs, Talk About My Favorite Authors and Phoebe Jordan's Reviews. I’ve also started a live podcast show called TAMFA | Phoebe Jordan hosted on Blog Talk Radio. This show is dedicated to everything I love about romance and young adult novels. I love having romance and young adult authors live on my show to be interviewed and showcase their books.

I plan to write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotic romance, paranormal romance and young adult when I get my writing career started with help from Keta. I'm not sure what genre I'll write to begin with since I love to read so many different romance genres.
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