Saturday, October 31, 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 paranormal young adult novel, The Cinderella Swap, which she contacted me to review for her. I also had the pleasure of getting to review her current released paranormal young adult novel, Jaguar Moon, from one of my favorite e-publishers Wild Horse Press. Now today I am reviewing Linda's upcoming February 2010 young adult release, Operation Normal, that I was so excited to get the honor of reviewing since I was totally needing my Linda Palmer Young adult fix since first starting reading her novels. 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.
I was so excited when I started reading this novel and was really instantly hooked with the main characters who I could sometimes really identify with. Well the novel starts with the heroine, Ally Mills, desperately wanting a "normal" for her half-sister Kayly, which is something she never had herself thanks to her liberated mom. Ally has always been a list maker when it comes to the things she wants to do and so the first thing on her list of to-dos for making a normal life for her half-sister is by contacting Kayly's dad, who promised he'd stay out of Kayly's life just as Ally's own dad once did. When Ally's mom leaves the country on assignment, Ally drops in on the guy to introduce him to his baby daughter but Kayly's dad doesn't live there—her half brother, Zach, does which completely throws Ally. But then Ally is again completely thrown for a lope with his shocking offer to help find "normal" is nothing compared to what happens next for the three of them. WOW and AMAZING are the first two words that came to mind when I finally got finished reading this great novel. I had such fun getting to know Ally who is such a wonderful sister to her baby half-sister Kayly and it was very brave of her to try to get Kayly's father into her life. It was such a wonderful surprise to find that Zach is actually Kayly's half-sister because it means that Ally and Zach can have a future together which I could see happening from the moment they met one another at his apartment. I am so happy that I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Operation Normal because I loved reading it so much I was sad that it had to come to an end though it was a satisfying end that may have potentional of giving us a follow up story for Ally, Kayly and Zach. Linda Palmer delivers yet another exciting and wonderfully written young adult with suspense, romance and a bit of paranormal elements to have you falling in love with all the characters and never wanting the novel to come to an end. I give this book 4.5 Open Books:
4.5 Open Books
Here is the description of the book that I got from Linda and picture:
OPERATION NORMAL by Linda Palmer $ 5.50 (169 Pages)(Comes out February 2010 from Unical Press)
Operation Normal by Linda Palmer
Ally desperately wants "normal" for her half-sister Kayly, something she never had herself thanks to her liberated mom. First on her list of to-dos is contacting Kayly's dad, who promised he'd stay out of Kayly's life just as Ally's own dad once did. When Ally's mom leaves the country on assignment, Ally drops in on the guy to introduce him to his baby daughter. But Kayly's dad doesn't live there—her half brother, Zach, does. And his shocking offer to help find "normal" is nothing compared to what happens next.

Tuesday, October 27, 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 reviewed her second book in her series fabulous series called Moonlight Hero for both Jessica and her publisher Wild Horse Press and what a nice read that was for me. I also had the pleasure of reviewing the sort of prequel to her Ashton Grove Werewolves series that was previously published by another online publisher but was re-issued with Wild Horse Press called, Whispering Lake.

Well today I'm reviewing Jessica's just released novel, Moonlight Guardian, the third book in her Ashton Grove Werewolves series, which I was lucky enough to receive an review copy from Wild Horse Press a few days ago. I love Jessica's novels and was happy that they sent me a copy to review because I've read the blurb for this novel a while back before it was given an official released date on Jessica's website. Since reading the first book in her wonderfully written Ashton Grove Werewolves series I have been anxiously waiting for the next book in the series to be published as soon as possible because I am officially addicted! Now we all have read about the first two Andrews brothers, Cole and Gabriel, finding their mates and having their happily ever after though they had some trouble along the way. But now it's the youngest brother to find his mate and finally settle down to start a family which is what we all wish for him. Michael Andrews is the last of his brothers to find his mate and he's played it tough, trying to convince his family that a mate is the last thing he wants, that he enjoys having a different woman every week. In reality, he's afraid and he wants to find his mate though he thinks he may already have, but what if he's not a good husband? Maybe he just isn't made to love someone like his abusive father who he felt never really cared about his mother and his brothers.

Chloe Stevens is on her last leg and she found a guy she thought was great, only to end up pregnant and have the guy vanish into thin air after he got what he wanted from her. Then she lost her job and consequently, her car which just gets worse because now she's facing an eviction from her apartment. So she's five months pregnant with no job, no car, and now no home which forced Chloe to do the one thing she swore she wouldn't...contact the father of her baby. She may have just been a fling to Michael, but their few days together had meant more to her than it must have for Michael. When a pregnant Chloe shows up looking for Michael, he's stunned to find out that he's going to be a father and it appears that fate is determined to put the woman in his path. While he's thought of her often over the past several months, he's done his best to stay away. What on earth does he have to offer her or the baby she's carrying? A baby on the way changes everything...whether Chloe likes it or not, she's stuck with Michael from here on out. Now he just has to convince her to marry him which is going to be a bit tough when Chloe becomes attached to Ramsey who is another werewolves and part of the Ashton Grove pack.

So I finished reading this book in about less than a day since I got it and while I was reading it I had a bit of mixed feelings about some of the characters in the novel. I actually had to read the last page of the novel to give me an idea of who would end up with Chloe since I wasn't completely sure if Michael would be the lucky hero to end up with her in a happily ever after. I've done this a couple of times with other books I've read and it has always sort of eased my mind about the characters which were wonderfully written. While I was reading it Jessica told me the following on Facebook, "My fingers are crossed that you like you it...but I get the feeling you may want to beat me over the head with it :)" which then made me a bit nervous. I've noticed that Jessica is now writing novels that will keep us readers guessing about which man in the heroine's will be the lucky one to end up with her and it can really get nerve racking always wondering who will end up with who. In the end Jessica Coulter Smith delivers yet another exciting paranormal romance in her highly addictive Ashton Grove Werewolves series that will have you guessing from start to finish about who will Chloe choose to mate and love forever but also make you want the novel to never end. I've also got to mentioned that I got a sneak peek into the 5th and next book in the series called, Moonlight Champion, which is the story of one of the Andrews brother's cousins who is named Connor Tierney. Now I really can't wait to get my hands on a copy of it but I have to wait since it's not going to be released until 2010. I give this book 4.5 Open Books:




Here is the description of the book from Jessica's website and picture:

MOONLIGHT GUARDIAN by Jessica Coulter Smith $ 5.98 (Book 3)(173 Pages)

Moonlight Guardian by Jessica Coulter Smith
Michael Andrews is the last of his brothers to find his mate. He's played it tough, trying to convince his family that a mate is the last thing he wants, that he enjoys having a different woman every week. In reality, he's afraid. He wants to find his mate and thinks he may already have, but what if he won't be a good husband? Maybe he just isn't made to love someone. Chloe Stevens is on her last leg. She found a guy she thought was great, only to end up pregnant and have the guy vanish into thin air. Then she lost her job and consequently, her car. Now she's facing eviction. Five months pregnant, no job, no car, and now no home have forced Chloe to do the one thing she swore she wouldn't...contact the father of her baby. She may have just been a fling to Michael, but their few days together had meant more to her. When a pregnant Chloe shows up looking for Michael, he's stunned to find out that he's going to be a father. It appears that fate is determined to put the woman in his path. While he's thought of her often over the past several months, he's done his best to stay away. What on earth does he have to offer her? A baby on the way changes everything...whether Chloe likes it or not, she's stuck with Michael from here on out. Now he just has to convince her to marry him...
Monday, October 26, 2009
Keta Diablo is one of my favorite erotic romance authors and because I enjoyed her erotic historical romances I thought I would try out her upcoming male/male contemporary erotic romance release. After reading Keta's Crossroads, the first book in her Crossroads series as well as, Crossroads Revisited, which is the second book in her series. I read a very intense and intriguing excerpt on Keta's website that had me wanting to read the novel as soon as possible especially since I loved the first and second book. Now the main character Frank McGuire is an ex-cop turned private investigator after the death of his police partner Quinn Brennan's death. Frank is a very intriguing character who I really loved reading about because he is such a big, strong and handsome man who has a special ability to commune with the dead since he was a child. His relationship with his partner Quinn was very special to him because he was a father figure who took Frank under his wing and made him apart of his own family. Now Rand is Quinn's son, who has had a crush on Frank since even his father's death, and he really wants to have a relationship with Frank but isn't getting it right now. Rand wants Frank to tell him that he loves him and wants to have an open relationship that shows that to him but Frank is not ready for that even though I know that he does love Rand very much. After everything Rand and Frank have gone through in the first book, Crossroads, things really start to heat up for them both in the second book Crossroads Revisited. The third book in the Crossroads series is about to come out in November and I've had the pleasure of receiving an Advanced Readers Copy. In Crossroads Showdown things get more series in Rand and Frank's relationship which is great because I really love them and want them to have their happily ever after since they've been through a lot together. Tough PI, Frank McGuire, attempts to help the FBI locate three abducted children from a small town in West Virginia and this leads for Rand and Frank's relationship with one another to start to change. While channeling his inner spirit for assistance, he mistakenly calls forth a ghost and as Frank races against time to locate the missing girls, he receives help from the most unlikely of sources. To complicate matters, Rand has decided its time Frank commit to their relationship—or run the risk of Rand being gone for good when he returns.


This book is a must have! If you have read Crossroads and loved it as much as I did then you need to get your hands on a copy of Crossroads Revisited now because it is just as good and even better than the first. But that is not the end because Crossroads Showdown will give you a deeper look into the tough PI Frank which some readers have commented is a bit too touch and sometimes seems a bit cruel. In this novel you will see a new side of Frank because he is not a cruel man but someone who has lived a rough life and has been toughen by it. There is suspense in this novel that will keep you guessing about where things will lead Frank in the end as well as what will happen between Frank and Rand who both seem to be coming a bit to terms about where their relationship is heading. I really liked how Frank and Rand have developed in this novel because I really felt that they could have a great relationship with one another if they had a bit more time together so they could feel each other out enough to be comfortable to show their emotional sides. Keta Diablo delivers yet another steamy, hot, sexy and mysterious male/male erotic romance novel that will have you panting as well as making you want more and for the story to never end since you only just get a peek at Frank's new side. I was sad to have finished this novel in less than 6 hours but I just couldn't stop reading it until I found out how things would end for Frank and Rand after getting to see them together after finally trying to make a start on a real relationship. Now that I've read it I hope that Keta will finishing writing up the last novel in the Crossroads series and gives me more about Frank and Rand so I can see if their relationship will make it like I so want it to. I give this book 5 open books:

5 Open Books
Here is the description of the e-book from Keta's website and picture:


CROSSROADS SHOWDOWN by Keta Diablo $ 3.00 (90 Pages)

Crossroads Showdown by Keta Diablo
Tough PI, Frank McGuire, attempts to help the FBI locate three abducted children from a small town in West Virginia. While channeling his inner spirit for assistance, he mistakenly calls forth a ghost. As Frank races against time to locate the missing girls, he receives help from the most unlikely of sources. To complicate matters, Rand has decided its time Frank commit to their relationship—or run the risk of Rand being gone when he returns.
Saturday, October 24, 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 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. I also had the pleasure of reviewing the sort of prequel to her Ashton Grove Werewolves series that was previously published by another online publisher but was re-issued with Wild Horse Press called, Whispering Lake.
Well today I'm reviewing Jessica's upcoming stand alone novel, Vicus Luna, which I was lucky enough to receive an advanced reading copy from Wild Horse Press a few days ago. I love Jessica's novels and was happy that they sent me a copy to review because I've read the blurb for this novel a while back before it was given an official released date on Jessica's website. Well this novel is a paranormal romance that starts in the town of Windsor, Georgia which is a town that lives in fear of the Vicus Luna, the local werewolf pack. Each month the pack comes out and abducts a woman, someone to do their bidding, who is little more than a slave and it's on one of these nights that Cady Whitmore, the heroine, finds herself cornered by the Vicus Luna. Terrified, she faces three werewolves who wish to claim her as their own but when the alpha decides to claim her, Cady is horrified because of what she's heard of the alpha being a womanizing, chauvanistic, cruel man. When Marshall drags her off to a secluded cabin, she worries for her safety and her life since she has never had a steady boyfriend or lover since she's barely 20 years old. As Cady struggles with many challenges thrown her way, she finds herself caught in a difficult spot because while Marshall may not love her, he isn't ready to let her go. Marshall's friend and fellow pack member, Brendan, knows that Cady is special and will stop at nothing to make sure she's safe.
In the end, the best werewolf will win but which one will it be since not only are Marshall and Brendan involve to keep Cady but then Eric, Brendan's twin, comes along and that just makes this triangle into a square, LOL. So I finished reading this book in about less than a day since I got it and while I was reading it I had very mixed feelings about all the characters in the novel. I actually had to read the last page of the novel to give me an idea of who would end up with Cady since there were about at least 2 men who were after her and I wasn't completely sure who would be the lucky hero to end up with her in a happily ever after. I've done this a couple of times with other books I've read and it has always sort of easied my mind about the characters which were wonderfully written. I had such fun reading this paranormal romance novel since it was about werewolves but completely different from the werewolves we know and love in Jessica's Ashton Grove Werewolves series. I enjoyed her previous stand alone novel that I reviewed for Manic Readers called, Magnolia Magick, which was similar to this novel since it had two men who were involved with the heroine and I was not sure which would be the lucky man to end up with the heroine. In the end Jessica Coulter Smith delivers yet another wonderfully written paranormal romance with werewolves that will have you guessing from start to finish about who will Cady choose to love and make a life with but also make you want the novel to never end. I give this book 4 Open Books:
4 Open Books
Here is the description of the book from Jessica's website and picture:
VICUS LUNA by Jessica Coulter Smith $ 5.98 (230 Pages)(Comes out December 1, 2009)
Vicus Luna by Jessica Coulter Smith
The town of Windsor, Georgia lives in fear of the Vicus Luna, the local werewolf pack. Each month the pack comes out and abducts a woman, someone to do their bidding, little more than a slave. It's on one of these nights that Cady Whitmore finds herself cornered by the Vicus Luna. Terrified, she faces three werewolves who wish to claim her as their own. When the alpha decides to claim her, Cady is horrified. From what she's heard, the alpha is a womanizing, chauvanistic, cruel man...When Marshall drags her off to a secluded cabin, she worries for her safety and her life. As Cady struggles with many challenges thrown her way, she finds herself caught in a difficult spot. While Marshall may not love her, he isn't ready to let her go. Marshall's friend and fellow pack member, Brendan, knows that Cady is special and will stop at nothing to make sure she's safe. In the end, the best werewolf will win...

Thursday, October 22, 2009
Today I have romance author Madonna Lacy who is also known as M.L. Lacy and I met her through my friendship with Terry Kate, creator of Romance in the Backseat, when we had our live chat together. Well Madonna got in touch with me one day about sending me a copy of her debut novel, Chrysalis: The Awakening, which Madonna is going to send me a signed copy for me to read and review later on my review blog so keep a look out for that review. Also don't forget to check out my interview with Madonna that I posted this past Tuesday. Now onto my very fun and informative review with Madonna:
******
The story developed just through my imagination. I have always liked the paranormal realm, but in all the stories I have told my vampires and witches and werewolves were not the typical mystical’s. So, I just let my imagination run with this story line. I knew from the beginning I didn’t want YA (young adult). I wanted something older for my age group. I defiantly wanted them to blend with the mortals. They could be your neighbor, your doctor, your plumber etc. I took the concepts of a young woman, made her young life unpleasant, brought in the paranormal protects and just let the story unfold. As I wrote it, I realized it was pretty standard fare romance/fantasy/fiction/mystery and I wanted it to be different. So, I took the concept of a ‘share love’ type setting. Mythical beings live a very long life because they aren’t mortals, so I played with the idea—how difficult would it be to live with your spouse, for all of eternity, and never stray. That’s how I developed their world. When you enter a ‘clan or family or coven’ it’s for life. They develop bonds and you can’t stray outside of the ‘clan or family or coven’. Bree, the main character, struggles with this concept. She had always wanted that one ‘special person’ for all of her mortal eternity. It’s detailed. The first book laid all the ground work—her birth, her prophesy as a Chosen One, her destiny if and when she crosses into the magical realm, and fills the reader in on all that had happened to her while she was growing up. She goes to the reunion with her grandmother and then Bree starts to tell you her story as it unfolds. Blurb: Chrysalis: The Awakening by M.L. LacyAll families have secrets. But at 32 years old, Bree Campbell is discovering that her entire life has been a secret. Like most people, it never occurred to her to question her mortality; that is until she learns that she is a mortal born into a family of Magicals and begins to question everything and everyone in her life. As the doors to Bree’s new world fly open and she finally hears the prophecy told at her birth she must face the revelation that she is a Chosen One; the last and greatest of a long line of Chosen Ones. And if this were not overwhelming enough, she has been charged with saving the earth by repairing the cosmic tear that binds the mortal world she has always known and the Magical world she is just now discovering. But the real question lies in whether Bree will survive the long transformation into the powerful Druid Sorceress that is her destiny or die in the process as many before her have gone. Bree’s journey will not be an easy one. She must face the realities of her new life and her new family; a clan of vampires who have been charged with protecting her for all of her mortal life. They have chosen her as a leader in their clan, a position that has really complicated things for her. For no sooner than Bree is finally reunited with her long lost love, Steven, Bree must learn how to navigate the jealousies and emotions within her new family. While Bree tries to free herself from her past, including her cruel and lethal husband, she must determine who she can truly trust. And while her clan loves her immensely, they will continually try to stand in her way; all in the name of protecting her from those set upon her death. Bree’s arch nemesis is Esmeralda, a powerful sorceress in her own right who will stop at nothing until this Chosen One is dead. If Esmeralda can claim Bree’s blood, heart and soul and restore her Demon to his body, she will be so strong that none will be able to oppose her and she will be free to rid the world of all mortals and rule as she chooses. But with the help of the Guardians and her dreams, Bree begins to awaken the powers hidden within her and begins to embrace the responsibility she has been born to. And even while these changes make her body weak, Bree begins to find an inner strength she never knew she had within herself. Will it be enough to save the world? You can find out more about me and my books at my website.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Today I have romance author Madonna Lacy who is also known as M.L. Lacy and I met her through my friendship with Terry Kate, creator of Romance in the Backseat, when we had our live chat together. Well Madonna got in touch with me one day about sending me a copy of her debut novel, Chrysalis: The Awakening, which Madonna is going to send me a signed copy for me to read and review later on my review blog so keep a look out for that review. Also don't forget to come back on Thursday, October 22nd because Madonna will be guest blogging about her debut novel, Chrysalis: The Awakening, which is the first book in your Chrysalis Series. Now onto my very fun and informative interview with Madonna:
******
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? Madonna LacyMadonna Lacy: It wasn’t something that I inspired to do. It just developed on its own. I wanted to try my hand at putting the stories I have always made up in my mind to paper. I never thought of mine as ‘romance’ stories though—just my stories with romance in them. 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? Madonna: I have always liked the paranormal realm so romance/fiction/fantasy will always be my genre. I can do more with it. I hope to do true mystery/romance, who done it…one day. Phoebe: What was the first fiction you ever wrote besides any school work? And do you still have it with you? Madonna: I have never written a book before this 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? Madonna: Since it’s in the fantasy realm, and because I wanted my mythical beings to be different, it’s all my way. My characters do not follow the typical molds for vampire, witches, werewolf (if there is such a thing). Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for your current novel, Chrysalis: The Awakening, which is the first book in your Chrysalis Series? Madonna: It was a story that had been in my head for some time. It wouldn’t leave, so I kept my thoughts going with it and finally this is the way I wanted it. The entire book has played out in my head. The beginning and the ending of the story have stayed the same, what happens between now and then is like life—it keeps changing. Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for your upcoming novel, Chrysalis: The Tribulation, which is the second book in your Chrysalis Series? And what are your titles and plans for any of your future books in your Chrysalis Series? Madonna: I try to come up with the titles that will give a little insight into what’s coming in each chapter of her life. Tribulations relate to the distress or suffering that happens. 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? Madonna: I pick names I like. When I’m thinking about the next book, I have characters I want to add. I decide the personalities first and how they are going to interact with the current cast of characters and run with it. I loved the name Odessa and it fits the Guardian in the story. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite character that you really enjoyed writing about in your current novel, Chrysalis: The Awakening? Did you have a character that you felt you could really relate to in your current novel, Chrysalis: The Awakening? Madonna: I like writing for each of them, Esmeralda is a fun character to write for, she’s a good evil person, no one knows really what she’s up too. (She has many irons in the fire). Sandy’s fun and sassy. I really like them all. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite character that you really enjoyed writing about in your upcoming novel, Chrysalis: The Tribulation? Did you have a character that you felt you could really relate to in your upcoming novel, Chrysalis: The Tribulation? Madonna: I haven’t any favorites really, I enjoy the time I get to spend with each of them. A lot is happening in the second book; a lot happened in the first book, book 3 will be just as action packed. Gina will play a larger role in Bree’s life in book 2. Phoebe: Do you have a process of how you start to write your novels? Madonna: First I have to come up with a story line, then I just write, what happens, happens. Then through the editing process I try to take out things I have put in that really aren’t leading anywhere. I don’t write by outlines because things change throughout my story. I know how each of the book starts and ends and I know what major things happen in the story. So what happens in the middle is really up for grabs, as long as I get to the major parts and the ending—that’s what matters. Phoebe: Which do you like best, writing a series or are you going to give writing stand alone novels a chance? How is writing each different for you? Madonna: I like series, but I’m in a writing contest in November and it should be at least 80,000 to 100,000 words. I hope to end it as a stand alone but leave it in a way if it is received well to continue with it. Phoebe: What process did you have to go through to get your first book published and did it take you long? Madonna: I have self-published my books. I looked at all the companies online, researched them and finally decided on AuthorHouse. I’ve had a very good experience with them and I’ve been learning more along the way. Once I made the decision to self-publish it took about 4 months. Phoebe: Why did you decide to self-publish your novel instead of sending it to an agent or a publishing house? Chrysalis: The Awakening by M.L. LacyMadonna: It came down to ‘I wanted the book’. Several of my friends and family members read the story and I thought they’d just say ‘okay, that was good’ and let it go at that. But when I got their reactions and they were excited for the next book, and read the manuscript for the second and were still excited, I thought why not. I tried the traditional routes. Since I hadn’t any previous publishing credentials, I soon realized it was probably not going to happen as quickly as I wanted it to happen, it’s very hard to break into the publishing world. So many really good stories go unpublished. So after receiving the rejections, I decided that since I had put a lot of work into my story—I wanted it in book form. Now I have it and I have started getting a following, so maybe I might give it another try on the third book in the series, or maybe the story I write in November. We shall see. Phoebe: How did you feel when you finally saw your first published book? Madonna: Honestly? I was elated! I cried and then I read it again. 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? Madonna: Not yet. I just write and see what happens. 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.) Madonna: When things happen in a story and you have no idea how it happened. I like details; I like to bring you along on the journey, not just arrived and not let you know how you got there. 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? Madonna: Creating is what I most enjoy. Twists and turns. I like for you to see what I am seeing. Sometimes I tend to get a little carried away in describing something, I’ve toned that down. I don’t like a lot of ‘flowery’ prose. I don’t talk that way so I don’t write that way. I’m very common in my writing and my readers like my style. Phoebe: What is the one writing tool can you not live without? Madonna: A dictionary and a thesaurus. Phoebe: How do you handle your writing schedule and your personal life without going insane? Madonna: It’s hard for me at the moment. I wanted to write at least two books a year—that was my goal. But that was all I seemed to be doing and so I have set a schedule to do one a year. I write a few hours at night, between the news and nighttime TV. Then I spend that time with my husband. I write on the weekends but I try not to let it interfere with my home life. I don’t always win! Phoebe: What do you do to relax after having spent a long while writing? Do you have any hobbies? Madonna: I enjoy painting and riding bikes. I scrapbook and I like to travel. I like to help my husband with his genealogy—I like to research dead people! Phoebe: Is there any advice that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you? Madonna: My advice is simple, find what works for you and keep writing. No matter what the reviews say. It’s all subjective. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box. You won’t please everyone so it’s important that you please yourself. 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? Madonna: There are a lot of inexpensive ways to promote your work such as word of mouth, getting reviews, doing blogs like this as well as Facebook, Twitter and Book Clubs. There are a lot of expensive ways too. Set a budget and stick to it. Bookmarks are great, I leave them everywhere. Libraries love them. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite genre you like to read? Who is your favorite author(s)? Madonna: I don’t have ‘favorite’ author(s)—I have ‘favorite’ series. I read Steven Berry, Rick Riordan, a lot of YA (because I have 3 granddaughters and I want to stay current with them). Of course I read the Harry Potter series! Phoebe: What are you reading now? And what do you plan to read after that? Madonna: Currently, I’m not reading anything. I have Rick Riordan’s last book in the Lightening Thieves series sitting on my night stand…waiting. I want to read Steven Berry’s The Charlemagne Pursuit and then his next one, Dan Brown’s The Last Symbol.

Thursday, October 15, 2009
Today I have romance author Nancy O'Berry who I contacted about being on my blog after meeting her on the Romance in the Backseat chat room a couple of Wednesday's ago. She was nice enough to agree to be interviewed by me on Tuesday as well as guest blog about her wonderful Sweetbrier Academy series today. I was also happy to find out that Nancy wanted me to read and review the 3 books in her Sweetbrier Academy series. I've already read and reviewed the first book, Having Faith and the second book in the series, Holding on to Hope. I'm now currently reading the third book, Giving in to Charity, and should have that review up soon as well. Well now onto my very fun and informative guest blog about Nancy's Sweetbrier Academy series:
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Welcome to Sweetbrier Academy. What is Sweetbrier Academy? Well, most will tell you an academy is a school. Hum, true enough but oh, what an unusual school this is. Sweetbrier sits on the edge of the great western plains in the mythical town of Panther's Landing. It does rival some of the best finishing schools back east. The Academy's Madame teaches the girls French, embroidery, history, discussions of great literature and speeches. They dabble in the arts of harp or spinets and understand fine works of art. However, the best things the Academy teaches it's students are found behind closed doors. Madame Opal Benedict is the owner of the Academy a recent resident of New Orleans during the great unpleasantness. When the Beast Butler issues his order number 28 on May 15th, Opal knows it's time to go. Her long time paramour, Howard Stetson, who works for the railroads, finds her a space near the spur line and she moves, lock, stock, and twelve luscious ladies to the Wyoming Territory. This was the idea behind the books. The story began oddly enough with a dream after watching several hours of a Ken Burn's documentary. I thought, hum, WHAT IF...I'm a great what ifer. I grew up watching Gunsmoke. We all knew Miss Kitty ran a saloon and there was an UPSTAIRS, I mean come on the relationship between those two was great. So why not explore the idea of 12 women in a brothel. I mean bad girls need love too. Originally, I wanted three books four girls in each all in short story form. Which is why Having Faith is so short. The other two books grew. Hope grew to nearly 44k and Charity was a healthy 65k. You might notice that my ladies are Faith, Hope, and Charity. When my ladies enter the academy their names change to qualities. All of my girls are what today would have been called high-end call girls. Nancy O'Berry's Sweetbrier Academy SeriesFaith—is given the opportunity to gain a paramour or sponsor for a year or for life by being the prize in a high stakes card game that pits a kindly gentleman, a former Northern Union Officer, and a former Southern soldier against one another. Hope—falls in love with the town's doctor as influenza strikes. When the good people of Panther's Landing find out about the doctors love affair, will they refuse to allow the good Doctor to treat their love ones or make him leave town in disgrace. Charity—an interracial woman of extreme beauty. Her paramour refuses to take her to Washington because of her "tainted blood". Opal Benedict arranges Charity to become the personal secretary of one of Howard Stetson's friends Joshua Tobias Meriwether, a silver baron. Charity finds herself embroiled in a scheme to steal Merewether's wealth. Can she save him? Each of my ladies will also find love beyond the house. So will there be other stories? Probably. I'm working on researching another right now, I'm thinking, the heroine's name will be Tempest. And yes, like her name, she brings her own set of problems to Sweetbrier in order for Miss Benedict and her wisdom to help sort out. You know, what if is so much fun.
Order number 28, issued May 15th by General Butler commandant of New Orleans: "As the officers and soldiers of the United States have been subjected to repeated insults from the women (calling themselves ladies) of New Orleans, in return for the most scrupulous noninterference and courtesy on our part, it is ordered that hereafter when any female shall, by word, gesture, or movement, insult or show contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States, she shall be regarded and held liable to be treated as a woman of the town plying her avocation.":
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Blurb for Having Faith (Book 1): Having Faith by Nancy O'BerryWhen a high stakes poker game offers the chance to win Faith's hand as their paramour, three players meet in the backroom. Drawn to Thaddeus Oakley, the construction foreman of the rail line, she must await the draw of the cards. Will Lady Luck smile upon Major Abrams, the spit and polish army officer who believes women are no more than a mark on the bedpost, Gregory Wilson the older executive from the railroad, or Thaddeus Oakley, the man of her dreams. Who will gain the ultimate prize of Having Faith?
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Blurb for Holding on to Hope (Book 2): Holding on to Hope by Nancy O'BerryWhen Miss Opal Benedict, Madame of the Academy, is called out of town, Hope finds Panther's Landing's doctor, the dashing Jonathan Norris paying court. When his attentions become obvious, they find themselves caught in a storm of their own creation. Their lust for one another becomes the object of unwanted attention in a most unflattering way. When influenza strikes, Dr. Jonathan Norris must choose between his career or the woman who has captured his soul.
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Blurb for Giving in to Charity (Book 3): Giving in to Charity by Nancy O'BerryWhen Opal Benedict offers Charity Wilson a chance to further her horizons, she travels to Virginia City and accepts the job of personal secretary for the wealthy J.T. Meriwether unaware of the tension between the business man and his partner. Here she plans to sort out her personal life and better herself. Charity becomes entangled in a souring love affair that may exact the highest price of all when she falls for the soft spoken Silver Baron. Can Tobias Meriwether overcome his dark past and fulfill their destiny?
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You can find out more about me, my Sweetbrier Academy series and my other books at my website and my blog.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Today I have romance author Nancy O'Berry who I contacted about being on my blog after meeting her on the Romance in the Backseat chat room a couple of Wednesday's ago. She was nice enough to agree to be interviewed by me today as well as guest blog about her wonderful Sweetbrier Academy series this Thursday, October 15. I was also happy to find out that Nancy wanted me to read and review the 3 books in her Sweetbrier Academy series. I've already read and reviewed the first book, Having Faith, I've finished reading the second book in the series, Holding on to Hope, which I'm now writing the review for and I'm now currently reading the third book, Giving in to Charity, and should have that review up soon as well. Well now onto my very fun and informative interview with Nancy:
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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? Nancy O'BerryNancy O’Berry: Writing shaped my life around fourth or fifth grade when I began reading The Black Stallion books written by Walter Farley. My love of horses and the West seemed to carry over in my imagination. In high school it was Louis Lamour and then I began gravitating toward covers with cowboys and daring damsels. I picked up Back to the Ranch series by Harlequin and shared with my mom. I honestly believe the writer that inspired me the most was J.K. Rowling. Yes, I know not a romance author but her determination to overcome when life was against her let me know I needed to believe in myself. The author that led me to romance was Judi McCoy's Goddess books. They brought back the laughter and the adventure of finding true love. I totally enjoyed the concept and bought into the idea. There are others who I read and respect Aliyah Burke's Interracial romances really speak about the new face of America. Suzanne Brockman's high adventures have me on the edge of my seat. Cathy Maxwell leads me on merry romps through regency. My new favorite is none other than Delilah Marvelle. Her Lord of Pleasure and Mistress of Pleasure books are awesome. But if I want western sensuality, my fingers move toward Diane Whiteside and her devil series…Yummy! I'm a diverse reader of many genres. 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? Nancy: I experimented. I knew I loved the West and cowboys but do I want modern day or historical? The answer was sitting on my shelf. Yes, I wanted to explore what I love most the historical. I am at home. Phoebe: What was the first fiction you ever wrote besides any school work? And do you still have it with you? Nancy: Yes, I still have 'my stories'. Big grin here. I really began learning the craft of plot and execution through fan fiction. Many of your readers might know what that is. Fan fiction often involves a favorite book or television show that you know all the ends and outs of. You begin by writing scenes of stories about the main characters. It didn't take long for mine to evolve into something quite different. I was writing 300 to 400 page stories creating other interacting characters and running wild. Lucky for me, one of the women on the fan fiction list was an RWA member. She contacted me and begged me to go for the published side of the business. She even went so far as to find my local chapter and give me directions all from Wisconsin. I owe her a lot. I hope one day to come face to face and thank her for all she has given me. Phoebe: How much research do you have to do for your novels and does it take you a long time to gather that research? Nancy: I do research sometimes I spend weeks. I'll write a bit down and make notes on the side of my notebooks in the margins to look for something. I use my history books, the internet, and good informational blogs like Pistols and Petticoats. I have purchased several books on historical information about everyday life. When I began the Sweetbrier stories, I did lots of research on brothels in the old west and morals of the late 1800's. Those poor women! Heaven sakes from father's rule to husbands thumb. No wonder some widows refused to marry. Some of the sites had me laughing. I remember reading one account of a woman prostitute with a wooden leg who beat her customer to death when he didn't pay. I think if I remember correctly, she got off for justifiable homicide. Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for your debut novel, Having Faith, which is the first book in your Sweetbrier Academy Series? Having Faith by Nancy O'BerryNancy: I am a vivid dreamer and often dream in color. I remember dreaming about this woman trailing her hand along a card table and when I awoke I wrote down all that I could remember. Then sitting with my husband watching an old western and it got me thinking, hum, bad girls need love too. So thus, Sweetbrier was born. I wanted to set it just after the civil war when there was so much movement and nation building. I needed three women who would be in the upper end of the prostitute ladder. (yes, there was a social ladder) all of whom will find life and love outside the brothel. Now, I needed a plot. So what better thing that to have a woman be the prize in a card game, a high stakes card game. With a huge pot, she could eventually buy her way out or find a man to sponsor her for a year. So, I needed big rollers. Easy, the railroads were being constructed they paid well, and the army. Now, I had my fellows. Howard Stetson contractor for the rails, Gregory Wilson payroll master, Thaddeus Oakley scout and head roust-a-bout, however, I needed a conflict. AH! Thaddeus was a southerner (I mean, my gawd, look at his name) and of course the army officer would be northern Major Abrams, all spit and polish. What better odds at the end of the civil war than that! Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for your follow up novel, Holding on to Hope, which is the second book in your Sweetbrier Academy Series? Nancy: Hope was much more like Grace Kelly in High Noon. I wanted a bit more internal conflict so I knew this would take place in the town of Panther's Landing. But what would happen? Then we got into this mess with the flu. Therefore, what better angst is there than terrible flu with little medications. What better twist of fate than to have the Doctor fall in love with the prostitute. How horrible would it be for the town to turn their back on him? Blame her? Then have one of the girls at Sweetbrier die and Hope loses herself in grief. Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for your currently released novel, Giving in to Charity, which is the third book in your Sweetbrier Academy Series? Nancy: Charity, sweet Charity. Ever watch Showboat? Ava Gardener's character was of a half African American/half Caucasian and was forced to carry the piece of paper declaring her to be one-eighth blood. In my research I'd found that women who carried this piece of paper and had little characteristics of African Americans were called Passe Blanc which means of course passing for white. Well, I slapped my forehead, sure. So Charity became woman who carried the paper. She was white enough for a Senator's son to want her as his personal mistress, but she was too scandalous to take to Washington as his bride. Instead, Opal Wilson and Tobias Merewether work together to get her to go to Virginia City as his personal secretary. There, she stops a crime and nearly loses her life. Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for your upcoming novel, Stormy Weather? Nancy: Stormy Weather is a story close to my heart. My mother, my aunt, and two very good friends have had breast cancer. I wanted to do something to bring money to find a cure. In this story the heroine's husband demands a divorce because he considers her "damaged goods." Lauren then begins a journey of life, to regain her dignity, her livelihood, and to find true love. I wish I could tell you how much this story means to me. In the process of writing this story, my aunt had her second bout with the disease, one friend died due to complications from it. This strengthens my resolve that Breast Cancer should be eradicated. I am working with my publisher, Red Rose Publishing, so that all proceeds for this book will go to cancer 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? Nancy: Names are so very important when it comes to characters. Often I write down their character traits to get a better feel for my hero/heroines. I also look for top names of the years. Sometimes, I run my finger through a phone book for a last name. Often, if the plot comes from a dream, they are already named. I hear someone call out to them. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite character that you really enjoyed writing about in any of your Sweetbrier Academy Series books? Did you have a character that you felt you could really relate to in any of your Sweetbrier Academy Series books? Nancy: There is a love affair with Opal and Howard that hasn't been explored yet. Mainly because when I do, it will close the series. I get all teary-eyed when I think about that. Opal is so prim and so proper a mother to all her "ladies" that I think I identify with her. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite character that you really enjoyed writing about in your upcoming novel, Stormy Weather? Did you have a character that you felt you could really relate to in your upcoming novel, Stormy Weather? Holding on to Hope by Nancy O'BerryNancy: It was fun creating a dashing hero, Cole McGuire. A bit older more settled, a distinguished bit of grey at his temples. He had to be the alpha male that helps Lauren face the fact she wasn't damaged goods. He is a supreme lover. I love watching Cole's mother and his father's secretary scheme to get the two together. They were a hoot to write. I think they are the Thelma and Louise of romance. I think I modeled them after the three fairies, Flora, Fiona, and Meriwether from Cinderella. Phoebe: Do you have a process of how you start to write your novels? Nancy: Well a lot of my stories come from my dreams. I have a notebook and pen that I keep tucked in the bed frame and when I wake and something really sticks with me, I put it down. Then as I do housework, I play what if. What if this happens? What if he does? Oh, if she went here? When I get a good feel for it, I run it by a very patient writer friend who doesn't laugh. Then I pull out a bunch of sticky notes and start jotting down point A all the way to the end. My husband often looks at the blank wall of the kitchen that isn't blank when I get through and shakes his head saying NASA should have it so good. HAHAHA Romance isn't for Rocket Scientist. Say that sounds like a great title for another book! Phoebe: Which do you like best, writing a series or writing stand alone novels? How is writing each different for you? Nancy: Hum, this is an excellent question. Series means I'll have to take a deep seat for a long ride. I sometimes think it's easier because you are immersed in the story. A stand alone you are finished done, and you almost miss the camaraderie with the characters. So, for me stand alone stories are harder. Phoebe: What process did you have to go through to get your first book published and did it take you long? Nancy: Yes, no, and yes. Confused! LOL. My first story, Faith's was turned down by several publishing places because women agreed to have sexual relationships. I really was hurt because I was beginning to see so many stories about ladies of entertainment out there. Courtesans were now becoming a huge topic. Frustration upon frustration, until Wendi Felter agreed to take on the project. Another author for her company heard my idea and suggested that I send her a proposal. She read it and instant message and offered me a contract on July 13th. I was overjoyed. It really takes the pressure off a writer when your publisher believes in you. I'm so glad I signed with Red Rose. 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? Nancy: I do get writers block. Often it happens when I have so many ideas flowing in it is like circuit overload. You roll away from the computer, take a walk, a bath, lay on the couch with your eyes closed and let your mind drain. I believe dreams sort things out. After a power nap or a good night's sleep it falls into place. 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.) Nancy: Gosh, I love details. I don't know why. I want the scene set for me. Let me know what the sky looked like or what the character was thinking as the story opened. Don't rush to the sex scenes. Let them unfold naturally. Yes, if the book takes longer than 250 pages let it happen. Tell it as it should be don't shorten it, but give me that twist that makes me want to pick up the second book. 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? Nancy: I consider myself a novice writer. I enjoy writing pen and paper then going to the computer. Yes, manuscripts are done in long hand. I don't know if I have a big pet peeve. I hate to be told I can't do something, then turn around and see it done. But again those writers can break rules and it works. They often extend the boundaries for the rest of us. I guess my biggest pet peeve might be when I see a strong secondary character and they don't get their own story. That makes me want to pick up the pen and write it for myself or at least jot a note to an author. I'm shameful. I'll beg for a sequel. Phoebe: What is the one writing tool can you not live without? Nancy: Pencils and a good eraser. All my manuscripts start on posty notes, and then go to a notebook written long hand, notes in the margins, websites urls for research and posty notes stuck in. I can always tweak and expand at least 3 to 4 times on the computer. But, I have to start with paper and pencil. Phoebe: How do you handle your writing schedule and your personal life without going insane? Giving in to Charity by Nancy O'BerryNancy: You mean, I'm not! My writing schedule is probably not unlike most busy moms who try their hand at writing. I keep my grandson for my daughter and he arrives early. This means, I'm up between 5:30 and 6:15 am so I can grab a cup of tea and become human. After breakfast and he gets settled I send off the promos I've done the night before and make a quick scan of my emails, then its playtime and a wild rumpus, lunch, and blessed naptime when I can work on my stories. When Eli leaves, I work until supper and continue on until about midnight. On the weekend, I write my blogs and MySpace because I have more time. The best part is that I have a wonderful writing mentor who makes me log in story and word count daily and puts her foot up my—well, you know until I get it done. Phoebe: What do you do to relax after having spent a long while writing? Do you have any hobbies? Nancy: Relax, if find hard. I feel all these characters throwing down the gauntlet saying "NOW ME!" But to relax I'll clean a room, watch an old black and white movie, go out and chase the cows. Yes, we have two 2,500 pound bovines in the backyard or the back four and a half acres. Phoebe: Is there any advice that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you? Nancy: Don't give up. Find someone to believe in you and work hard. It's not a composition for school. Its work. People will say oh you can do this in your spare time. No, this becomes all consuming. It east at you, demands your attention and if you don't give into your muse there is heck to pay. But once it bites, enjoy, close your eyes envision let the scenes play out, writing is a lust for life. 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? Nancy: Gosh, promotion I'm learning. I would say look at what others are doing, adapt their ideas to your style. Invest wisely, business cards are a must. Dollar stores have great giveaways. I wish someone had told me my best investment would be in finding a good publisher. I have a great one now and grateful for a seasoned writer taking me under her wing and telling me to write and write daily. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite genre you like to read? Who is your favorite author(s)? Nancy: Favorite genre no not really, I read anything I can get my hands on. I read sensual, contemporary, fantasy. I just can't read vampires or shape shifters. Right now I'm reading Diane Whiteside's Devil series waiting to see what Delilah Marvelle is going to do next. Phoebe: What are you reading now? And what do you plan to read after that? Nancy: I'm actually reading Vittano's Willow by Aliyah Burke and loving it. When I finish this, I'm looking to read Kissed by the Devil by Diane Whiteside. I'm also working on my latest story for Red Rose Press which is a fantasy set undersea with mermaids.

Monday, October 12, 2009
Today I'm reviewing Nancy O'Berry's novel, Having Faith, which is the first book of her Sweetbrier Academy series. I will be reviewing all three of the books for Nancy this week, after I contacted her about being on my blog, so keep a watch out for the next two book reviews that I will be doing for book 2, Holding on to Hope and book 3, Giving in to Charity. Also I will be interviewing Nancy tomorrow on the review blog as well as have her guest blog about her Sweetbrier Academy series on Thursday. Well this is a historical western romance novel which I don't read that many since lately I've been reading a lot of paranormal and contemporary romances that I've had on my TBR pile. So this novel starts when a high stakes poker game offers the chance to win Faith's hand as their paramour, three players meet in the backroom. Drawn to Thaddeus Oakley, the construction foreman of the rail line, she must await the draw of the cards. Faith and Thad have only just met one another but they have this instant attraction when they first set eyes on one another at Sweetbreir Academy.
Will Lady Luck smile upon Major Abrams, the spit and polish army officer who believes women are no more than a mark on the bedpost, Gregory Wilson the older executive from the railroad, or Thaddeus Oakley, the man of her dreams. This is a short novel that I really enjoyed but felt that Nancy could have written it so that it could be a little longer and give us all a more intimate look at Faith and her budding relationship with Thad who seems like the man who will show her life is a beautiful thing when you find the love of your life, the other part of your soul that you have been waiting for. I had fun reading about Miss Benedict and her Sweetbrier Academy which has many lovely young woman who are looking for a better life than the ones they were living previously. Nancy O'Berry delivers the start to a new series that will have you wanting more even after the first one has whetted your appetite for the lovely ladies of the Sweetbrier Academy. I'm very much looking forward to reading the next two books in the series and hope to find out what happens next for Faith along with the next two women who will have their own books with their future mates to be discovered. I give this book 4 Open Books:
4 Open Books

Here is the description of the book from Nancy's website and picture: HAVING FAITH by Nancy O'Berry $ 2.99 (127 Pages) Having Faith by Nancy O'BerryWhen a high stakes poker game offers the chance to win Faith's hand as their paramour, three players meet in the backroom. Drawn to Thaddeus Oakley, the construction foreman of the rail line, she must await the draw of the cards. Will Lady Luck smile upon Major Abrams, the spit and polish army officer who believes women are no more than a mark on the bedpost, Gregory Wilson the older executive from the railroad, or Thaddeus Oakley, the man of her dreams. Who will gain the ultimate prize of Having Faith?

Thursday, October 8, 2009
Today I have romance author Tracy Cooper-Posey on my blog after having her contact me about scheduling an author interview, author guest blog and a book review. I have reviewed Tracy's upcoming release, Ningaloo Nights, which I got an advanced copy to read and you can get your own copy this Friday, October 9th. Don't forget that Tracy has also been on my blog this past Tuesday with an author interview. Now onto my Tracy guest blog about her upcoming release Ningaloo Nights:
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When I was a teenager, I spent some time touring and camping around the northwest of Western Australia with my parents. We used to throw folding beds and gear into the back of the family station wagon, petrol and consumables into the trailer hitched on the back, and take off for two weeks at a time. At night, we’d find a quiet place off the beaten track and camp for the night. Some of the places where we camped were so out of the way, that when we had settled down for the night, and the fire was out, the silence was so total I could hear for miles and miles. And I would lay looking up into the night sky, which was never fully black even out there, and feel a profound peace. So when Ellora’s Cave asked me to write a story that would make readers want to go to Australia, I flashed back on those moments, and knew I wanted to put them into the story. It was just a matter of finding a story to build around them. The story therefore had to be set in and around Ningaloo, and that made it at least picturesque—Ningaloo Reef itself is spectacular. But the country around Ningaloo isn’t the sort of country you can just drive around willy-nilly. My parents had a healthy respect for the place, and knew how to get around without killing themselves accidentally, and I must have absorbed some of the rules of country travelling even though I was a bratty teenager, because I found that the precautions and expediencies that Mason Hayward takes to get Sherry to Derremawan in Ningaloo Nights were some of the same things my parents used to do when we were travelling around the Exmouth Gulf...I remembered them, even though that was more than twenty years ago. The story wrote itself rather quickly once I had the concept in place. The plot fell together in a day or two, and I wrote steadily over about three weeks. I was on a short deadline, so I didn’t take any breaks, and luckily, didn’t hit any snags in the plot or characters. The ending suggested itself to me about half-way through the story. I didn’t plot that it from the start. But when I thought of it, I went back and wrote in the necessary set up at the start of the story so that the ending would work. I’ve had a couple of beta readers who have told me that the ending is one of the best things about the story...which goes to prove that plotting ahead of writing doesn’t ruin a story at all. You can still be surprised by what the story will bring out as you write it. Ningaloo Nights is part of the Going Down Under series, and I believe it is the first or one of the first of the series to be released at Ellora’s Cave. Blurb: Ningaloo Nights by Tracy Cooper-Posey New York cop Sherry Abandonato cashes in her savings and dashes to Ningaloo in remote northwest Western Australia to find her sister who disappeared ten days ago. The only one with the skill to guide her to Derremawan is Mason Hayward, once an official guide with a reputation for getting people out of trouble, but now the town’s bad man. In a searing afternoon of unexpected passion, Mason strikes a bargain. He’ll get her to Derremawan, if she agrees to go there with him unconditionally, on his terms and his conditions. Sherry is astonished to find herself agreeing to the insane bargain, and worse, responding positively to the idea of three days of Mason Hayward dictating terms out under the Australian sun.
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Excerpt: By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.
An Excerpt From: NINGALOO NIGHTS Copyright © TRACY COOPER-POSEY, 2009 All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc. Chapter One
In only three days Sherry had already got used to laid-back Australians but stark-naked ones were definitely a novelty. Especially this Aussie. She hadn’t been expecting anything quite so…beautiful—not emerging from such a place as this. The shed she had stepped around looked like it had been slapped together with nails and sheets of rusted corrugated iron. When she peeked inside it on her way around to the rear, it was clear that the man she was seeking did indeed live in it, for there was a cot and an old mattress and a folding card table and a few basic living amenities. Very basic. She’d felt a long way from New York at that moment, despite some of the tenements she patrolled being just as run-down and unloved. She’d heard sounds beyond the shed and rather than step inside, she’d moved around it, for the smell coming from inside the quarters had been less than savory. No wonder the sergeant at the tiny Ningaloo police station had been so reluctant to give her the man’s name. Mason Hayward. Sherry stared at the naked man now, the heat of a torrid February morning forgotten as she watched him reach up to the bucket hanging over his head and pull on the rope attached to the lip at the bottom and running up through the same hook that held the bucket. Water poured over his black hair, dousing him from head to foot, every inch well-tanned. He stood easily six foot two inches and as he controlled the flow of water from the bucket, Sherry assessed his physical fitness, running her gaze over the tight buttocks, the satin-sheened skin spreading over agreeable, wide back muscles as they worked under very little disguising fat. Long legs. The well-developed muscles clenched as he turned. His chest was as pleasing as his back, with hard Pecs and heavy shoulders. The biceps were flexed, iron-hard. As a New York cop, Sherry had long ago lost all shyness around the locker room and her assessing gaze flowed smoothly to his cock and testicles. He was all male, well endowed in a way she had rarely seen. “Should I be charging admission?” His voice was deep, with a gravelly timbre and the tone was dry and completely devoid of amusement. She jumped guiltily and forced her gaze to his face. He had eyes the same light blue as the Australian summer sky—transparent and depthless. “I’m sorry—” she began, then halted. There was no way to explain what she had been doing. What had she been doing? She was aware of her heart thudding in a way that she’d almost forgotten. How long had it been since she had felt this sort of racing charge? Abruptly, she became aware of the heat of the day again. It was beating at her temples, making her sweat. The heat was a live thing, curling around her, throbbing in time with her heartbeat. He reached for a ratty brown towel hanging over a piece of wire hooked into the gutter next to his head. It was a casual movement. He wasn’t trying to cover himself up. Her presence here hadn’t caused him any concern at all. He wrapped the towel around his hips and tucked the corner in to secure it. “If you’re looking for Ningaloo, you need to turn around and head south about five kilometers. You’ve passed it already.” The heat didn’t seem to be bothering him at all but he hadn’t just flown out from the depths of a New York winter, either. “I’m looking for you,” she told him. His brow lifted and he smiled, showing white, even teeth. “My lucky day.” “You’re Mason Hayward, aren’t you?” Abruptly the smile was gone. He looked up at the sky, shut his eyes briefly, as if reaching for calm. “Bugger it,” he said softly. His gaze, sharp and assessing, fell on her face once more. “Who sent you?” he demanded. His on-point sharpness surprised her. “H-he made me swear not to tell anyone.” Anger flicked at his features. “What do you want, then?” Her gut clenched in response. She had faced down killers with more calm than this. Mason Hayward was radiating fury and danger but of a kind she had no experience with and her Glock was back home in New York. “I need you to take me to Derremawan,” she said quickly, trying to appease him with the answer he wanted. “None of the registered guides will take me there.” His eyes narrowed. “Derremawan,” he repeated softly and gave a short, sharp exhalation. “Why there, for god’s sake?” She stared, astonished. “You don’t know why?” He grimaced. “Indulge me.” “My sister—” She blinked furiously, fighting back the flood of tears that threatened every time she tried to speak of it. “My baby sister, Pepper, disappeared ten days ago. In her last text message to me, she said she and her boyfriend were going up the trail to Derremawan. The local authorities…they haven’t closed the file but they aren’t pursuing the matter, either. They looked along the trail with a helicopter and they found the car but no…no bodies. And that was the extent of their investigation.” “So you flew out here from America to do what?” His eyes were drilling her now. It was uncanny the way they seemed to pierce right through her. She knew she should resent the heavy-handed examination but she needed Hayward, so she answered truthfully. “I’m here to find her.” He shook his head. “Go home, lady. I’m sorry about your sister but the cops are right. After ten days, they’ll have been out of water long enough to be dead, no matter what.” “I know that,” Sherry told him as evenly as she could, although the admission wrenched at her. The tears blurred her sight and she blinked again. “I’m not stupid, Hayward. I know I’m a Yank and all that but I know that much. I said I wanted to find her. Not save her. I just want to find her and find out what happened to her. I think—no, I know that foul play was involved.” His head tilted as he looked at her. “Are you a cop?” “As it happens, yes, I am. Why?” “You talk like one. ‘Foul play?’ Do you know the chances of that happening around here? Where are you from in the States?” “New York,” she said, gritting her teeth against her rising resentment over his casual dismissal and the arrogance behind it. It wasn’t her fault she wasn’t born here. He crossed his arms. “You’ve got over two thousand people per square kilometer there. Here, the official count is less than half a person. If you really think someone was up to no good out there at Derremawan, the chances that a third person came along and did ’em in are laughable. So that just leaves the boyfriend.” His gaze would not leave her alone. He was skewering her. Making her writhe with guilty shame. Because that had been exactly what she had been thinking on the long, long trip from New York to L.A., to Shanghai, to Singapore, to Perth, then back up to Ningaloo. She had never trusted Ryan to do right by Pepper. Not at all. And her fury had sustained her all the way here. “I’m betting your parents are both dead and they died a while ago,” Mason Hayward added softly. “And you’ve been mum and dad to your little sister since then.” She jumped. She couldn’t help it. “Fuck you and the motherfucker who bore you,” she spat, her voice thick with more tears and turned to go. She would find someone else. Anyone but this asshole. “Wait,” he said gently, his hand on her elbow. “Wait a minute.” He didn’t hurt her but he halted her just the same. There was no arguing with the forced behind his hold. She kept her head down to hide her tears. Those, she would not let him see. “How much money have you got?” he said. Money. She had been warned it would come down to money with him but the confirmation filled her with an inexplicable sadness. She mentally converted the wad of US dollars she had stashed away and said warily, “The equivalent of about two thousand Australian.” “That’s not going to be enough.” She looked at him—tears be damned. “No wonder this town hates you. You can add one more to the tally, Hayward. You’ve got the sensitivity of a pack mule.” She wrenched her elbow out of his grip and walked away from him.
******
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Today I'm reviewing an advanced e-copy of Tracy Cooper-Posey's upcoming release that I've had the pleasure of reading, Ningaloo Nights, which comes out on Friday, October 9th. This book really intrigued me because it is set in the Australian outbacks which I find fascinating because they are totally different from my city life in NYC. It was also very fascinating that it's about a New York cop named Sherry Abandonato who cashes in her savings and dashes to Ningaloo in remote northwest Western Australia to find her sister who disappeared ten days ago. That must have been a real adjustment for her since she's in a new territory that is completely different from New York because they have different rules out there in Western Australia where you could easily get lost if your not from there or with someone who is from there. The only one with the skill to guide her to Derremawan is Mason Hayward, once an official guide with a reputation for getting people out of trouble, but now the town’s bad man. This almost reminds me of the movie called Australia with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman except that this is in the present while the movie was during the late 1930s and early 1940s.
In a searing afternoon of unexpected passion, Mason strikes a bargain with Sherry that she simply can't refuse if she wants to find the truth about what happend to her sister and her boyfriend. He’ll get her to Derremawan, if she agrees to go there with him unconditionally, on his terms and his conditions and Sherry is astonished to find herself agreeing to the insane bargain, and worse, responding positively to the idea of three days of Mason Hayward dictating terms out under the Australian sun. This is a short put erotically sweet novel that will have you breathing heavy and have you sweating with the heat that is going on between Sherry and Mason during this novel. Tracy Cooper-Posey delivers a wonderful novel that had me reading it from start to finish without pause and made me want more even after the novel was done. I'm definitely going to have to find more novels by Tracy's if they are anything like this great novel and if you want a hot steamy Australian man to read about then Ningaloo Nights is the right book to read. I give this book 4 Open Books:
4 Open BooksHere is the description of the book from Tracy's website and picture: NINGALOO NIGHTS by Tracy Cooper-Posey $ 4.45 (81 Pages) Ningaloo Nights by Tracy Cooper-PoseyNew York cop Sherry Abandonato cashes in her savings and dashes to Ningaloo in remote northwest Western Australia to find her sister who disappeared ten days ago. The only one with the skill to guide her to Derremawan is Mason Hayward, once an official guide with a reputation for getting people out of trouble, but now the town’s bad man. In a searing afternoon of unexpected passion, Mason strikes a bargain. He’ll get her to Derremawan, if she agrees to go there with him unconditionally, on his terms and his conditions. Sherry is astonished to find herself agreeing to the insane bargain, and worse, responding positively to the idea of three days of Mason Hayward dictating terms out under the Australian sun.

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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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