Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New book from Author Ava James

Ava James is wonderful. A fellow child of the 80s, she has become a good writer friend. We first met because we both have short stories in Freya's Bower's One Touch, One Glance: A Sweet Romance Anthology and are in many of the same yahoo groups. Her newest release is called For One Dark Knight and here's some information about it:

For One Dark Knight

By: Ava James | Other books by Ava James
Categories: Historical Mainstream ROMANCE
Word Count: 63,277
Heat Level: SENSUAL
Published By: Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.

Past the suitable age for marriage, Lady Isobel longs for her life to begin. When the chance to flee the clutches of her misery arises, she sets out on a journey to her dower lands and childhood home. But no road is without its perils, and she soon finds she needs someone by her side.

Sir Robert de Gever's duties become vastly more complicated when Lady Isobel stumbles into his life in need of rescue. Questions arise and secrets run deep, leaving desire and suspicion to war within him.

Intrigue awaits the pair, and conspirators abound. Is the bond of one dark night spent together strong enough to save them from their fears?


He wished he could keep her locked away—far, far away. The woman
looked as though she were arming herself for battle. Her sweet smiles
changed the instant the last of the men quit the room.

“What is the matter?” Isobel asked with a clipped tone.

“What is the matter?” Robert began his counterattack in falsetto.

“Where should I start? My men have all left their posts, and training, to
come to the beck and call of the devilish temptress besieging Durham .” He
watched her eyes grow wide as he spoke. How was it that even now, he
could think of nothing but her lips?

“Devilish temptress? If I tempted any man, it was in no way intentional,
and in every way a result of the man’s baser interests.” Isobel took a
challenging step toward him. She accused him with her eyes and her words. "Furthermore, if it weren't for yer noble act of imprisonment, I would not be

Robert stepped closer to her. Her feminine scent wafted into his
nostrils. She easily broke his train of thought. The aroma that lingered about
her intoxicated his senses. Beyond doubt, she was a foul temptress! With
every attempt to ignore her, he failed miserably. Each time he was in her
presence she distracted him. If it was not her beauty that caught his
attention, it was her voice and words. The woman drew him in and he did
not care to be so affected by her. He needed to reign in his thoughts and

Focus, focus.

In a much calmer voice he said, “Would ye rather I left ye to be ravished
by those Saxon mercenaries?” He took another step closer to her as he spoke. He watched her gaze fall to his lips. Her pink tongue crossed her own bottom lip, and a blush came to
her soft cheeks. God’s wounds, he felt too much for this lady.

She drew away. “Ravished by those Saxons is not what I want.” Her
voice weak, and unusually breathy, he wondered just who she’d like to be
ravished by.

His own errant mind conjured up dangerous visions of her
naked body slick against his own. He couldn’t help himself, so he asked just
what he’d been wondering. “What do ye want?"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BBAW Blogger Interview Swap with Deanna Dehlsad

September 14 through the 18th is Book Blog Appreciation Week and through it, I am being interviewed by and have interview Deanna Dehlsad.

Deanna Dahlsad, an avid collector of many things but especially kitsch and "things pertaining to female history". You can find/follow her at Twitter and contact her via email at Deanna.Pop.Tart@gmail.com.

The only thing she loves more than kitsch & collecting is talking, err- writing. (Nearly anything but bios for herself.)

She is a staff writer at Collectors’ Quest (these are her columns and she is PopTart in the CQ Community).

At Twolia she covers kitsch & pop culture "From A (Feminist) Chick’s Perspective" at Kitsch Slapped.

Collectors News says, "Dahlsad is a touchstone of where women have been, what they wore, and how they carried themselves to get there. She is a historian of how powder puffs and nail polish have both ensnared and enshrined the image of womankind."

She and her husband run Kitschy Kitschy Coo and, when they remember to list things for sale, sell at We Have Your Collectibles.

With some gal pals she founded and participates in Pink Populace Paparazzi Parade Exposé.

Dahlsad also publishes vintage home ec tips and projects at Things Your Grandmother Knew.

So check out some of her links, I know Denanna would love it if you did. And I hope you enjoy reading the interview:

How did you get into book blogging? How long have you been doing it? Why did you start?

I've been writing on the internet for a decade now (geeze, I'm feeling old!), and while none of those sites are or have been "book blogs" per se, books, reading & literacy have always fit in because I'm a true bibliophile.

I read books, collect books, research with books, and I want to talk about them, continue their discussions. The author may have started the conversation -- maybe even think they've finished it! -- but I always have something to say. Since I can't always talk to the author or even my hubby as often as I'd like, I have to talk to somebody...

What's your favorite thing about blogging?

I feel that writing is really just another way to have conversations. As blogs (even the places I'm paid to write/review) usually do not have intermediate folk who edit prior to publishing, the conversations at blogs are far less managed -- they are more real, in the moment, as spontaneous as conversations with friends & family. In my experience, this has led to a far less commercial agenda. For example, I review many books which are, if not out of print, long past publisher promotional interests. Many publications would deem these reviews unfit for publication because they are not as likely to generate advertising income from book publishers as the latest releases. And I find that invaluable in & of itself because there are many of us who love to know about so-called "old books."

Do you blog about subjects other than books?

Heavens, yes! I write at several blogs; you can see a list in my Google profile.

At Kitsch Slapped I explore what "bad taste" really is from a pop culture perspective -- and that's not always the kitschy retro garden gnomes, but larger cultural issues.

What drew you to reading?

Like most children, I fell in love with story telling & story tellers; my family is full of great story tellers. Reading storybooks was a natural extension of that -- only when I tugged on the boards of a book, it never turned me away with a promise of later *wink*

I naturally fell in love with the idea of stories on demand, the independent access to what I want, when I wanted it. And that only grew when I discovered nonfiction.

I remember when I was about 8 or so and progressing from reading Walter Farely's Black Stallion series & C.W. Anderson horse stories to nonfiction equestrian books. And again, after realizing that myths were stories from real places, I stalked nonfiction books on Greece & Egypt, exploring the art and history that went with those myths. I was like Columbus discovering those tomes... Well, I was greedy, but I didn't destroy any cultures or enslave any people lol Unless you count librarians...

I vividly remember how my relentless pursuit of ancient Egyptian history books -- and anything related, like belly dancing -- startled the librarians at the public library. They were a bit surprised with my quest for such grown-up volumes & my voracious reading of them; but eventually, they just fed the beast. lol

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Perhaps because I tend to mainly read nonfiction, and so follow "subjects" more than authors, I don't have many favorite authors.

With nonfiction, one tends to be concentrating more on the research & credibility than the prose so to speak... Not to slight nonfiction authors, but it is more important to be clear and factual than to craft a clever phrase or paint a scene. That said, I'm currently absolutely in love with Molly Ivins (of Molly Ivins Can Say That, Can She? etc.) because she makes me laugh & snort out loud -- very embarrassing for my husband when I'm reading her while we are sitting in waiting rooms. And Maya Angelou & Alice Walker, who have so much truth in their books, they don't feel like fiction to me at all.

What is your favorite type of book? Why?

A book that forces me into action. A book that makes me respond out loud. You know, give a real "lol" or exclaim, gasp, cry... Maybe even snort or yell in outrage -- on the issue or plot, not the writing or misinformation. I can be, and enjoy being, a very vocal reader. (For these reasons, I do frequent libraries, but rarely read in them outside of research that must remain in the building.)

That vocal response can mean I will have to take other action too, like talking & blogging about the book &/or subject. Maybe even write a letter to a public official or obsessively research the subject more. Just whatever it takes to keep that conversation going!

Are there any genres you refuse to read? Why?

"Refuse" is a rather strong word; I'm too open to the serendipity & possibilities for that. The thing I am least likely to read though is a book I've already read for a second or multiple times. I've done it on very few occasions, but a book reread means another book I will not have time to read in my lifetime -- and that list is too-too long already.

Where is your favorite place to read?

On the sofa or bed with a blanket up to my waist -- preferably with a cat or dog within arms reach. But I will do it anywhere; books travel with me to appointments, skateboard parks with the kids, wherever.

Do you usually buy books, check them out of the library, or trade them?

I am a collector, so I prefer to own my books. The bulk of my book buying is thrift shops, rummage sales, used or old bookstores (online and off), and library sales. Other than review copies & galleys, I'm rarely the first to read any book. But I do make good use of libraries too.

Are you on LibraryThing, GoodReads, both, or neither?

I'm on neither of those, I'm afraid. As it is, I fear the time I spend on social or community sites already cuts into my reading (and reviewing) time -- and I am starting to resent it! lol

What do you do besides read and blog?

Aside from my various family & friend roles, I am a collector, an amateur anthropologist & historian, & general bon vivant.

Thanks for a wonderful interview, Deanna!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Interview with Sandy Lender

Faithful blog readers, you probably remember Sandy Lender, author of Choices Meant for Gods, whom had a guest blog here back in June. Now she is promoting her newest book, Choices Meant for Kings. Instead of another guest blog, I have a lovely interview for you all to enjoy.

Tell us about yourself. When did you start writing? Why?

Sandy Lender: I started writing when I was pretty young. I used to write little stories for my great grandmother—stories about mice picking berries and this one about a squeaky spider that an old woman kills against the ceiling. The spider ends up haunting her, so I consider that my first foray into speculative fiction. He he. As to why I started writing, I can’t say. I think it’s just “in” me.

What inspires your writing? In particular Choices Meant for Kings?

Sandy Lender: Holy cow, everything inspires me. I have to say, I know certain triggers. When I was preparing for the annual 3-Day Novel Contest right before Labor Day Weekend, I set up my writing “area” with comfy pillows and certain candles and ornate bookends around my reference books and paintings of the type of dragon I wanted in the story and specific, moody songs on my iTunes. For my fantasy novels, Choices Meant for Kings in particular that you’re asking about here, the characters inspire me. I have a muse that tends to threaten me if I’m not spending enough time on his bride’s story.

3-Day Novel Contest?! That's just insane. Back to Choices Meant for Kings, how did you come up with the title?

Sandy Lender: Chariss, the heroine in the story, thinks her choices are better made by the gods of her society instead of herself, so Choices Meant for Gods introduced the series. For the second novel, a couple of kings in the southlands of the world of Onweald have choices to make, too, so Choices Meant for Kings followed the theme.

Most authors are also readers. What books are you currently reading?

Sandy Lender: Dragon in Chains by Daniel Fox; The Exodus Gate by Stephen Zimmer; Facets of Fantasy by Sarah Scheele; and Folk Tales and Fables of the World (although that last one is more reference-like in the way I’m approaching it) As soon as I get through these I’m hitting the Sevenwaters trilogy from Juliet Marillier.

You're like me, I am always reading more than one book at a time. Do you have any advice for writers?

Sandy Lender: Make it marketable. All the lovely stream-of-consciousness poetryness that they teach you in college creative writing classes is nice for novels that you put in a trunk in your closet. If you want to get published, write something that can be marketed or an agent/editor/publisher will close the door in your face from now until eternity.

What is your definition of success?

Sandy Lender: Finishing.

Short and sweet! Finishing is definitely the first step. How would you describe yourself in three words?

Sandy Lender: creative, driven, playful

What is your go-to tool in your author's toolbox?

Sandy Lender: Google.com

I'm a big fan of google myself. What comes first: plot or characters?

Sandy Lender: I’m convinced it’s the characters. Even when it’s the plot, I think it’s really a character hiding behind some grey matter whispering a plot idea to me so I’ll tell his or her story.

What do you do for fun when not writing?

Sandy Lender: I’m confused. What?

LOL, spoken like a true writer! Describe a typical writing day.

Sandy Lender: Oh, no, this is hard! I don’t get typical writing days. Well…maybe that’s not true. I’m the editor of a magazine so…let’s give this a shot. The morning starts with me hitting facebook, twitter, my blog, or whatever site has sent me an update, and then with me appeasing the birds. I set up their playgyms on top of their cages with hidden treats, their morning food, repaired toys, foraging piles, fresh water, and whatever else looks like a good “game” or “puzzle” for them. So while they stay busy, I write and edit articles and departments for the magazine. At the end of that part of the day, I do whatever promotion stuff I didn’t accomplish in the morning. Then I spend some time working on whichever writing project is prominent in my mind. If it’s a weekend, oh, Heaven. I get extra writing time. Bonus! I used to be on a really good schedule, but that was a couple years ago when life was calmer.

Do you listen to music when you write?

Sandy Lender: Definitely. Very necessary.

What have you learned about writing since becoming published?

Sandy Lender: Writing the book is the easy part.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

Sandy Lender: Ooooo. I want the power to screech in a pitch that breaks lights so the inconsiderate people who leave their lights on along sea turtle nesting beaches will no longer negatively impact the safety of hatchlings. Then I want the power to disintegrate people with my eyesight, because, you know, sometimes, you just want to disintegrate some people. Mwuahahahaha. Hopefully there would be other superhero types roaming about who could take care of feeding the poor, which is probably a nicer thing for me to have chosen…hmmm.

If you could be a paranormal creature, which would you be and why?

Sandy Lender: A vampire. I know it’s kinda in vogue right now, so it’s boring. But, really, vampires can rock if you do it right. He he.

Nicole, this was an exhausting interview! Thank you! Let’s see if any of your visitors have anything else for me—it’s like a challenge. Mwuahahahahaha.

Thank you for a wonderful interview, Sandy! I hope it wasn't too exhausting for you so you can return to your writing.

And now, blog readers, here's the blurb and an excerpt from Choices Meant for Kings:


Chariss is in danger. Her geasa is hampered by the effects of a friend’s marriage. The dashing Nigel Taiman hides something from her, yet demands she stay at his family’s estate where he and her wizard guardian intend to keep her safe. But the sorcerer Lord Drake and Julette The Betrayer know she’s there, and their monstrous army marches that way.

When prophecies stack up to threaten an arrogant deity, Chariss must choose between the dragon that courts her and the ostracized kings of the Southlands for help. Evil stalks her at every turn and madness creeps over the goddess who guides her. Can an orphan-turned-Protector resist the dark side of her heritage? Or will she sacrifice all to keep her god-charge safe?

You won’t find this excerpt anywhere except Sandy’s current online book tour:

As the soldier stepped toward him, Nigel reached out his arm and caught him by the neck. He slammed the captain against the far wall. He pinned him there with his body, leaning against the man as if he could crush the wind from him with his presence.

He brought his face close to the soldier’s ear and spoke lowly, fiercely, so that no one could have overheard him. The menace and intent behind the words was as surprising to the captain as the words themselves.

“I asked you to accompany [Chariss] on this journey tomorrow because I have faith in your sword, and until this moment I trusted you to keep your distance from her. Now, I find her down here at your side with a look upon your face that suggests more than you realize. So help me, Naegling, the only thing that stays my hand is how displeased she would be if she learned that I sliced you open.”

“The look you see is merely my concern for her honor. Nothing more.”

“I’m not a fool. And I’ll use every last piece of Arcana’s treasury to pay the prophets to justify my reasons for marrying that woman, so you can unconcern yourself with her honor.”

Hrazon stepped off the staircase then and saw Nigel pressed against his guard.

“I still believe you’re one of the best soldiers Arcana’s ever seen,” Nigel continued, “and I want you at her side for this journey, but, so help me, Naegling, she comes back alive and well and not confused in the least about her affections for me, or I will string you up from a tree in the orchard and attach your intestines to your horse’s saddle before I send it—”

Hrazon cleared his throat. “Excuse me. Is there an issue here I should address?”

To learn more about Sandy, visit her site.

Don't forget to leave a comment for Sandy so that you can be in the running for a first edition, autographed, hard copy edition of Choices Meant for Gods!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Classic Romance Revival

I am a member of CRR, Classic Romance Revival, a group of sweet and sensual authors that write romances with heart.

I highly recommend checking out their website as they are running awesome contests for readers and writers. For readers, they are giving away a book a day courtesy of Desert Breeze Publishing. All you have to do is read the blurb and answer an easy question.

Desert Breeze Publishing is offering a contract to authors. It's now time to start voting for the best writing. Go here to read the entries and vote!

CRR also has a blog and for the month of September, the authors are introducing themselves. Click here to read mine.

I hope you enjoy all that the CRR authors have to offer. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Book Reviewing

Since I'm a writer, I love to read. I think it's a given: writers have to love to read.

Because of this love to read, I have been reviewing for the site the Long and the Short of It for awhile now. I had originally seen a call for reviewers for Dark Diva Reviews and applied there but the position was full. I mentioned to keep me in mind when another opening occurred and saw that LASR was now looking and so I jumped at the chance. Free books? I'm there!

Dark Diva Reviews has changed hands from Jade to Melissa and Melissa recently emailed me to see if I was still interested. Of course! So I am now a Diva!

But, I'm not just a reviewer for DDR. I, along with Em, am now one of their editors. This role will serve to broaden my horizons as a writer, better my own writing, and help out DDR. It's a win win! I am so grateful for this opportunity. Thanks, Melissa! And I know I'll enjoy working with Em.

So, my blog readers, let's talk about reviews. Have you ever bought a book from reading a review? What would you like to see in the book reviews you read? Would you consider becoming a reviewer ever?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

All About Eve Anthology

Yesterday was the deadline for WolfSinger Publications' All About Eve Anthology. They wanted a story about the first female, whether you wrote about Eve or Pandora.

I wrote a short story about Pandora and her box in two days, just under 5k. It was really fun to write. I've always been interested in mythology. I choose to use the Roman gods instead of their Greek counterparts and how to do search and replace because I kept typing Zeus instead of Jupiter! So I submitted Breaking Hope and hopefully I'll hear back soon.

Tomorrow's my birthday and since I love Italian cuisine, we're going to Bravo, an Italian restaurant. I'll be turning 25, a quarter of a century. Wow, does time fly. After my birthday celebration, I'll resume working on Knight of Glory, Book 2 in the Kingdom of Arnhem series.

Speaking of my fantasy romance series, you can now purchase Woman of Honor at another location: Books on Board. I'm very excited about this!