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Grab LONE WOLF Free – Two days only #paranormal #romance

Lone Wolf is a paranormal romance, set in Yellowstone National Park. See my post a few days ago about the idea behind the book.

Today and tomorrow (11 and 12 September) you can download a copy for free.

Here’s the blurb:

Following your gut instinct, that’s when everything falls into place.

R.J. Blake trains young werewolves in the old ways—giving them a taste of how it was before the introduction of the shift-suppressing drugs that allow their kind to live secretly among humans. He expects nothing out of the ordinary with his new batch of students. Until sexy, smart, aggravating-as-hell Corey Wilson arrives. Older than the others, son of a powerful Los Angeles pack leader, Corey is an instant temptation he cannot afford.

The last thing Corey wants is three months stuck in the Yellowstone wilderness, followed by the stifling life his father has mapped out for him. One glimpse of R.J. though, sparks a determination to seduce the older man before he leaves. Yet as R.J. guides him through the sometimes terrifying process of rediscovering his heritage, a deepening respect calls to his artistic soul and fuels a burst of creativity.

When their time comes to an end, Corey senses hesitation behind R.J.’s insistence that theirs was simply a summer fling. Inspiring him to take a leap of faith with consequences neither of them saw coming. A dangerous plot that reaches from the heart of their love to the highest office in the land…

This book contains a young werewolf intent on seduction, an older werewolf determined to resist said seduction, werewolf politics and brutality, a little spilled blood, and hot, naked manlove in the great outdoors.

Get your free copy of Lone Wolf today

Twelve Facts (?) About Werewolves

1. Legends of werewolves have been with us since Greek times and even earlier.

2. European folk law in particular is full of tales of men shifting to wolves.

3. In one of the legends, Ovid (Metamorphoses) served human flesh to Zeus. In punishment, he was changed to a wolf.

4. Lycanthropy is a mental illness where a patient believes they have transformed into a wolf.

5. Curved fingernails, red hair, eyebrows that meet, hair that grows beneath the skin are all signs of a werewolf.

6. Werewolves have superhuman strength but are vulnerable to silver bullets.

7. The vulnerability to silver only appears in tales after 1935.

8. Werewolves are very active during a full moon.

9. In some tales, a special salve is rubbed over the body and this transforms a man to werewolf.

10. Some werewolves transform after donning a wolf skin or a wolf skin belt.

11. If a werewolf bites a human, the human will become a werewolf. This method of turning is a modern invention and does not appear in early legends.

12. Many of our recent thoughts/perceptions are due to Hollywood movies and popular novels, and they bear little relation to the old legends.

Today kicks off my Lone Wolf tour. My first stop is at Book Junkie. I hope you’ll pop over and visit. Don’t forget – every time you comment on one of my Lone Wolf VBT posts you’ll go into a draw to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

What do you think about werewolves? Do you have any tidbits to add to my werewolf list?

Plotus Interuptus with Christine Price

My special guest today is fellow Carina Press author, Christine Price. Here’s Christine’s official bio – Christine Price lives in Edmonton, AB, with her husband, two cats and a slightly idiotic Anatolian shepherd. Though she probably wouldn’t consider herself a “girly girl,” Christine is in love with cooking and baking, and she has recently tried her hand at cake decorating. As a public service, she’d like to warn people about the potential threat posed by twenty pounds of rolled fondant and a slightly inebriated best friend. In her free time, Christine enjoys wine, good movies and even better books. Her first work, Soul Bond, was released in April 2010.

Today, Christine is talking about her adventures in writing…

In Darkness Bound In Darkness Bound is my first novel-length publication. And I learned a lot from writing it. For example, the importance of fully developing a climax and the “Great Ah-hah Moment.” Actually, the first draft of IDB was at least 20,000 words shorter than the finished manuscript and missed a lot in the way of character development. Overall, the novel is waaaaay better for the revisions. But I also learned something that never would have struck me before now. Instead of going into the lengthy summation of the discovery, or doing an interpretive dance (which would be a little difficult without the use of a webcam and YouTube) allow me to provide a brief script:

Me: So?

Beta Reader: Okay, I liked x, y and z. But I don’t get what’s going on with w.

Me: Well, here’s the plot point.

Beta Reader: Huh… you should probably put that in somewhere.

Me: I did. It was on page 120.

Beta Reader: OH! … … But that’s the sex scene.

Me: Yeah.

Beta Reader: You may want to rethink that.

What my Beta Reader didn’t come right out and say was that a major plot point in a sex scene isn’t always a great idea. This was a realization I had to come to myself.

So why is it? Well…when people read romance, they want to lose themselves in the romance. The erotic passages are especially important. They establish the intimacy between the characters and heightening the sensuality in the relationship. Readers—myself included—use their imaginations during these scenes. There are also readers who prefer to read for the plot, and tend to skim the sex scenes entirely.

See where I’m going with this? No matter what the motivation for reading, I think that there’s a chance that if you include important plot points in a sex scene they’re going to be missed. This by no means goes for everyone who’s ever read a romance novel. But I’ll admit I’ve done it. In my favourite romance book of all times, I skimmed through each sex scene because I wanted to get on with the plot. When I went back and read it over (for the second, third, fourth, fifth and twentieth times) then I appreciated the sex scenes. If there’d been any important developments during those flitting pages of eroticism, however, I totally would have missed them.

I guess there’s not really a moral to my story. (Well, not to anyone other than me anyway). My novel helped me with several key points in the development of my writing. One of them just happened to be this one. As I continue writing, it’s one that will stick with me.

Maybe.

Contest: What are your thoughts? Plot in a sex scene – yes or no? Are you a skimmer? A “lose yourself in”-er? Or neither? Post an answer to Christine’s questions in the comments section and go into a draw to win a download of In Darkness Bound

Here’s the blurb for In Darkness Bound:

Data Collection by Dalhousie, Dr. Donna L.

Patient 331

New, confused. His powers unknown.

Patient 289

No longer viable in the test pool, he remains in isolation.

Patient 77

Reclassified to staff status. Useful, malleable.
Confined in a sterile research facility and treated like a lab rat, Chris is alone and terrified. His special powers are his only escape, allowing him to psychically connect with other patients.

Alone in his cell for longer than he can remember, Vance is hungry. When newcomer Chris makes a mental connection, Vance is intrigued and soon wants more than just conversation.

Chris and Vance seek comfort with each other, and with Simon—the only staff member who’s shown them a hint of compassion. Their relationships develop during stolen moments, and they turn their thoughts to escape. But as Dr. Dalhousie’s madness spirals, more than cell walls threaten to keep them apart…

Purchase from Carina Press

You can visit Christine at her website or chat to her on twitter.

A Stroll Through the Past

I’ve had a bit of a rough week and took myself off to the doctor today. Since I’m not feeling too clever, I thought it was the perfect time to revisit some of my favorite posts from the past.

1. Classic Romance Plots – The secret of writing a great romance is to take a classic plot and twist it to make the story unique…

2. Penises in Paranormals – the curious case of interesting bits…

3. Gifts for writers – is there a special person in your life who writes?

4. Collaborative Writing Partnerships – the wonderful Josh Lanyon and Laura Baumbach share their experiences…

5. Marcia James shares her views and ideas about promo for writers…

6. Do you like paranormal romances featuring feline shapeshifters? I discuss some of my favorites…

I leave you with a puzzle of sorts. Male writers are from _______, Female writers are from _______.

What would you put in the blank spaces?

Best Romances of 2009

It’s the time of the year where everywhere looks back and thinks of their favorite and sometimes least favorite things for the year. I thought I’d list my top romance reads for both print and e-books. NOTE: Most of the above books came out in 2009, but a few of these are 2008 releases. I read them this year and therefore they’ve made my list.

Favorite Romance reads in no particular order.

1. Wicked Burn by Beth Kery (erotic contemporary)
2. Pleasure Unbound (Demonica, Book 1) by Larissa Ione (paranormal)
3. Able-Bodied (Harlequin Blaze) by Karen Foley (Blaze)
4. Amorous Liaisons (Harlequin Blaze) by Sarah Mayberry (Blaze)
5. Bound to Shadows (Riley Jensen, Guardian, Book 8) by Keri Arthur (paranormal)
6. On the Prowl (Tales of an Urban Werewolf, Book 2) by Karen MacInerney (paranormal)
7. She’s Got It Bad (Harlequin Blaze) by Sarah Mayberry (Blaze)
8. The Education of Madeline by Beth Williamson (historical)
9. Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, Book 3) by Ilona Andrews (urban fantasy)
10. Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas (contemporary)
11. Bound to Please by Lilli Feisty (erotic contemporary)
12. Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate) by Gail Carrigan (historical paranormal)

Favorite Romance e-books in no particular order.

1. Hard Fall by James Buchanan (m/m)
2. Branded as Trouble by Lorelei James (erotic contemporary)
3. High Line by TA Chase (m/m)
4. The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks by Josh Lanyon (m/m)
5. Rough Stock by Cat Johnson (erotic contemporary)
6. Happy Ending by LB Gregg (m/m)
7. Hara’s Legacy by Bianca D’Arc (futuristic)
8. Gray’s Awakening by Cameron Dane (m/m)

The interesting thing is that while I’ve read plenty of e-books this year, many of them have been by NY published authors. I’ve purchased far more books in e-format than print this year. There are some books in my to-read pile that I suspect would have made this list, if I’d had time to read them such as Tere Michaels’ Love & Loyalty and NJ Walters’ Alexandra’s Legacy. I’ve been drowning in edits for the last two months, which cuts into my reading time!

Which books made your “best of list” for 2009?

Travel Ready Packing

Travel-Ready Packing: Pack Light, Dress Right—Anytime, Anywhere
by Julie Ann Martin
Publisher: Argo & Cole Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-9791186-1-6
Publication Date: 1 Jan, 2010
Website: www.travelreadypacking.com
Amazon link: Travel-Ready Packing: Pack Light, Dress Right – Anytime, Anywhere

Any of my friends or family or people who visit my website knows how much I enjoy traveling and exploring different parts of the world. Since my marriage, my husband and I have spent months in Africa, America, Europe, Central America, India, Asia and Australia. Sometimes we traveled with our backpacks, and at other times, we went more up market. You’d think with all my experience in traveling that packing would be a breeze. Not so. It’s one thing that remains a bit of a trial for me, so when I saw that Ms. Martin’s publisher was offering Travel-Ready Packing for review, I grabbed the chance to learn from an expert.

Travel-Ready Packing has an intro which discusses things such as culture in different countries, fabric types and types of climate. The next part of the book is split into sections for each country or region of the world. Each of these sections gives the temperatures for different months of the year, a list of recommended clothing for both males and females, the risk of danger at the destination, recommended colors to wear and how casual or formal the dress-code is in the country being visited. There are also sections for business travelers and those who travel to adventure destinations, multi-climate packing and also a list for expatriate packing. At the rear of the book there’s a world map, which makes it a simple matter to find the country you’re visiting and look up the corresponding page reference. In fact the book covers everything I could think of from clothes to bags to accessories.

When I decided to “test” the book and relive my trip to Africa, the packing list was spot-on—exactly what I should have taken for my trip. It was also very accurate for my recent trips to Samoa and Phuket, Thailand. The only gap I could see was for a cruising holiday, but I think the lists for the South Pacific, which is where my cruise holiday is taking place, will do the trick nicely. I found the book easy to use, very readable, and as I mentioned very accurate with the suggested packing lists. No more back-breaking suitcases for me!

I recommend this book for anyone who intends to travel for work or pleasure. And romance writers, if you’re heading to a conference and you’re not sure what to pack, this is the book for you.

Shelley Munro

You can see from above that I’m all sorted with my packing now since I have this book to refer to. How do you approach packing for a trip or a holiday? Are you a good packer or do you forget half the things you need?

I’m doing a guest spot at The Rainbow Studio (part of the Romance Studio) and talking about reality shows and Fallen Idol. Here’s the link to my post at The Rainbow Studio.