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Tips for a Successful Goodreads Giveaway

I’m visiting Cindy Carroll’s writer blog today—Guelph Write Now. My post is about organizing a Goodreads giveaway, and I have a few tips for those of you who are interested in this type of author promotion.

While you’re there make sure you take the opportunity to enter my current Goodreads giveaway to win a print copy of The Bottom Line.

Lone Wolf and Yellowstone National Park

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I’m visiting Harlie’s books and talking about wolves, Yellowstone National Park and my gay romance Lone Wolf. Check out the review for Lone Wolf and enter the giveaway while you’re there.

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Lone Wolf Wins Psyche Award!

Lone Wolf

I’m absolutely thrilled and honored to announce that my paranormal shapeshifter story Lone Wolf (published by Samhain Publishing) won the 2012 Psyche Award at The Romance Studio’s annual CAPA awards.

 

2012 Psyche Award

 

Lone Wolf is available in both e-format and print.

New Zealand the Beautiful!

I’d like to welcome Myla Jackson to my blog today. We met when she visited Auckland, and I’m thrilled to have her back in my corner of the world today. Over to Myla!

When Shelley Munro offered up a chance to blog, I jumped on it and knew immediately what I wanted to blog about. You see, Shelley is from the beautiful country of New Zealand, as you all might know. I just happened to get to meet her and spend time in her homeland. It was part of a trip my husband and youngest daughter and I took back in 2006-2007. We spent the first week in Australia (not nearly enough time) and the last two weeks in New Zealand (again, not nearly enough time).

We flew into Auckland on December 23, 2006. It was supposed to be summer there, but we managed to visit during one of the coolest summers they’d had in years. The temperatures ranged around the 60’s and 70’s. We drove south and made it to Rotorua by nightfall, passing all manners of terrain from seacoasts to snowcapped mountain ranges.

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Rotorua is New Zealand’s version of Yellowstone with bubbling pits, hot springs and extinct volcanoes. We also discovered what looked remarkably like a California redwood forest! In the early nineteen hundreds, the people of New Zealand experimented with trees to find the perfect species to grow in New Zealand. The result was a little pocket of redwood forest around Rotorua.

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We traveled to the southern tip of North Island to Wellington, where we caught a huge ferry to South Island. We spent most of our days driving through acres and acres of vineyards, with a two-day stop in Kaikoura to whale-watch and relax. We made it a little farther south than Christchurch and then cut across to the west coast to make our way back. We saw so much fabulous scenery and hardly any people. It’s wild, it’s beautiful and worth visiting many more times. I only wish we’d had time to go all the way to the southern tip of South Island to see the fjords. I truly loved seeing New Zealand and my husband talks of one day moving there. Sigh…An Idyllic dream.

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About the Author

Myla Jackson pens wildly sexy adventures of all genres including historical westerns, medieval tales, romantic suspense, contemporary romance and paranormals with beasties of all shapes and sizes. When not wrangling words from her computer with the help of her canine muses, she’s snow-skiing, boating or riding her ATV.

To learn more about Myla Jackson and her stories visit her website at http://www.mylajackson.com

Current Release

BootsandChaps72LG

Boots and Chaps

Welcome back to the Ugly Stick Saloon!

She gave up stripping to go legit…until three Kiowa cowboys bring on the down-and-dirty.

Blurb:

Ugly Stick Saloon, Book 1

Jackson Gray Wolf is turning thirty, and what does he have to show for it? A ranch. No wife, no kids, no dates. He’s had his eye on the pretty owner of the Ugly Stick Saloon, but their one accidental encounter was interrupted before he could get her out of her take-me-now red cowboy boots.

Audrey Anderson isn’t in the market for a man. Been there, done that, has the scars to prove it. She retired her pole-dancing boots after purchasing the Ugly Stick Saloon, and now manages a stable of strippers. When she winds up one stripper short for a private party, she’s forced to slip on a mask and into the role of the mysterious Kiki.

Jackson didn’t want the birthday bash his twin brothers are throwing him, but his vow to ignore the rented stripper goes awry when she shows him exactly how far she’s willing to go—for all three of them.

Audrey can’t forget the sizzling heat between her and one sexy Kiowa in particular. Jackson. Trouble is, she’s not sure if he wants the bold, brassy Kiki, or if he’s ready for the wounded woman underneath.

Samhain Publishing
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Amazon Kindle

Thirteen Tricksters & Meanies from the World of Mythology

Thursday Thirteen

Many romances, especially paranormal and urban fantasy ones, are based on the world of mythology. An example is Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Hunter series. Old myths and legends are rich in ideas for authors, so I thought I’d mention a few characters from within mythology for my Thursday Thirteen today.

Thirteen Tricksters & Means from Mythology

To start, mythology is a collection of stories that helped people make sense of the world. They were passed orally from generation to generation. Sometimes people wrote the myths down, and they were often celebrated in dance and art.

1. Chimera – a fire breathing monster made up of a mishmash of body parts of different animals.

2. Bacchus – the Roman god of wine and ecstasy. He gave King Midas the power to change everything he touched into gold.

3. Maui – he’s one of our New Zealand tricksters, and was supposedly responsible for fishing up New Zealand. He was a slippery one, and frankly, I’d run if I saw him. He pushed up the heavens and stole fire for mankind.

4. Cunning Hare – he’s an animal trickster that always outwits the other animals. He’s known in the US as Brer Rabbit.

5. Loki – the Norse trickster god. He caused the death of Odin’s son, Balder and is still being punished for it.

6. Baba Yaga – is a cannibal witch from Russia. She lives in a revolving hut that’s supported by hen’s feet, and she flies through the air in a mortar (grinding pot)

7. Guan Di – the Chinese god of war. Originally, he sold tofu, but he killed a magistrate and had to flee his home. He became a soldier and was promoted to the status of god of war.

8. Eshu – the trickster god of the Yoruba people in west Africa. He likes playing tricks on people – mischievous ones. He disguises himself as a naughty boy, a wise old man and a priest.

9. Kokopelli – another trickster. He’s also responsible for fertility of crops and the village women. I used Kokopelli as the basis for my story Seeking Kokopelli.

10. Tengu – a part man and part bird. They’re Japanese and have magic invisibility cloaks.

11. Sekhmet – a lioness god, sent by Ra to destroy mankind. Ra changed his mind and the only way to stop Sekhmet was to ply her with drink and get her drunk.

12. Centaur – half man and half horse they’re wild and savage. There are centaurs in the Harry Potter series.

13. Yen-lo – the ruler and judge of the dead in China. He weighs the souls first. Those who were virtuous had light souls while sinners possessed heavy souls. The souls must past several tests before they can be reincarnated.

All of these seem unfriendly to me. I’m not sure I’d like to meet them, but they certainly provide inspiration for stories.

Do you have any favorite stories based on mythology? Which of the above would you prefer to face? Write a story about?

Source: Mythology, an Eyewitness Book, by Neil Philip

The Connection: Characters and Real Life Experience

This is the final day of my Lone Wolf virtual tour. I’m visiting Sara York’s blog and talking about authors, life experience and characters. Is there a connection between an author’s life experience and their writing?

Don’t forget–if you comment on my post at Sara’s blog you’ll be in the draw to win a $20 Amazon voucher.

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?

Corey, the Werewolf, Loves Chocolate, and I Do Too!

Thursday Thirteen

Lone Wolf, my fourth Samhain Publishing release is due out on 23 August. Corey, one of the heroes has a liking for chocolate, which R.J., the other hero indulges.

“Yeah.” R.J. gave him a quick kiss and pulled a small bar of chocolate out of his pocket. He tucked it in Corey’s waistband. “Take care, kid. I don’t want anything to happen to you.”

In honor of R.J. and Corey’s story, today I’m giving you a list of my favorite chocolate things.

Thirteen Chocolate Treats That I Adore

1. Chocolate Chip Cookies – I like the ones with huge chunks of chocolate.

2. Pain Au Chocolate – preferably still warm from the oven and partnered with a latte.

3. Hot chocolate – nothing better on a cold winter’s day.

4. Chilli chocolate – very dark chocolate with the bite of chilli peppers. Very yummy!

5. Chocolate cake – rich and moist with thick chocolate icing and partnered with a glass of cold milk.

6. A chocolate milkshake – the thick kind that is hard to drink through a straw.

7. Choccywoccydoodah – I like watching this program on TV. The shop is in Brighton, England, and their cakes look amazing!

8. Whittakers Ghana Peppermint Chocolate – this is New Zealand chocolate. It’s dark chocolate with a mint filling. They have a very cool ad, which is on Youtube, but it has an over 18 warning on it because of nudity. Link to Whittakers’ ad.

9. After dinner mints – I love the combination of chocolate and mint.

10. Moritz ice creams – various flavors of ice cream with a thick coating of chocolate that crackles when you take a bite.

11. Chocolate truffles – hubby makes some delicious ones that have a hint of orange in them. Yum!

12. Double Choc Muffins – for morning tea with a cup of coffee.

13. Scorched Almonds – I usually only eat these at Christmas time. Almonds covered with a thick coating of chocolate. Very addictive because one is not enough.

What is your favorite chocolate item?

Finding the Friction with Mary Hughes

My special guest today is author, Mary Hughes.

Bestselling author Mary Hughes is a computer consultant, professional musician, and writer. At various points in her life she has taught Taekwondo, worked in the insurance industry, and studied religion. She is intensely interested in the origins of the universe. She has a wonderful husband (though happily-ever-after takes a lot of hard work) and two great kids. But she thinks that with all the advances in modern medicine, childbirth should be a lot less messy.

Over to Mary…

Biting Me SoftlyLife and death is about as tense as you can get. So writing about cops and doctors naturally sizzles. But the adage is “write what you know”. Besides authoring, I’m a musician and computer consultant. What kind of story tension can you get out of programmers?

Well…what if the programmer is working late? Alone. And what if she’s a woman?

What if she’s alone and a man shows up? A tall, powerfully-built, stunning god of a man? What if he’s a vampire?

And what if he instantly rubs her the wrong way?

Add a touch of laptop humor, and we have the following.

“I” is Liese, a small town programmer. Her blood center’s just been invaded by graceful, blond Logan. The excerpt is abridged.

“What did you say your name was?” I asked him.

“I didn’t say.” The man pulled a small leather case from his jeans pocket and tossed a business card on my desk with a careless snap of the wrist.

Gorgeous and talented. This guy would bear watching. Aw, shucks, my libido said. I ignored it. Eyes locked on him, I picked up the card. Dared a glance. Logan Steel, CEO Steel Security.

Smack me in the face with a Toshiba. Steel Security was the firm that installed a multimillion-dollar security system at Andersly-Dogget Distribution, my first job—one week before I was fired.

I threw the card back. It hit the desk and rebounded into the trash, making my cheeks heat. “You can’t be serious! Steel Security is the Ferrari of security firms. They do the biggest names in the world. Why would they be in little Meiers Corners?”

“We are here to install a system.” Steel perched gracefully on my desk again. In his tight black T-shirt and open leather jacket he looked more like a well-muscled fashion model than a CEO. “Here’s the work order, if you don’t believe me. You’re wrong, Ms. Schmetterling. Gorgeous, but wrong.”

Gorgeous? I shot to my feet. “Now I know you’re lying. Fun time’s over. There’s the door.”

CONTEST: To celebrate Biting Me Softly in stores around the US, I’m having a giveaway! Just comment on this post to enter. For a second chance, let me know the city or bookstore where you’ve seen Softly! Through April 20, 2011, adults only please. Winner will receive choice of Biting Me Softly in paperback (if US or Canada) or one of Bite My Fire, Biting Nixie, The Bite of Silence or Biting Me Softly in ebook.

He’s a candy box of sex appeal wrapped with a golden bow. She’s on a diet.

Blood, sex, violence. Blood, okay, but computer geek Liese Schmetterling had enough S&V when her cheating ex fired her. Now security expert—and lip-smacking gorgeous—Logan Steel saunters into her Blood Center, setting fire to her libido. And threatening her job.

Visions of pink slips dancing in her head, Liese tries to push Logan away without touching his jutting pecs…or ridged abs. Or petting the Vesuvius in his jeans. He’s hiding something, but it doesn’t seem to matter when his smiles stun her, his kisses crank her to broiling and his bites rocket her to heaven. Fangy bites which, if she weren’t grounded in science, would make her think ampire-Vay.

Centuries old and tragedy-scarred, Logan’s mission is to fortify the Blood Center’s electronic defenses against his nemesis, the leader of a rogue vampire gang. He’s ready for battle but not for Liese, who slips under his skin, laughs at his awful puns, charges beside him into dark, scary places—and tastes like his true love.

No matter how often Logan declares his love, Liese can’t bring herself to trust him. But when his archenemy comes after her, not trusting him may cost her life…

Warning: contains explicit vampire sex involving absurdly large male equipment (hey, they’re monsters), unbelievable stamina (just how long can he stay underwater in a hot tub?), hide-your-eyes violence and horrendously bad puns. And, just when you think it can’t get any worse, a computer geekette trying to play Mata Hari.

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Hugs from Hughes!

To learn more about Mary Hughes, please visit www.maryhughesbooks.com.

Writing Romance Is Like…Adopting a New Puppy

My guest today is fellow Samhain author, Erin Nicholas. Erin Nicholas has been reading and writing romantic fiction since her mother gave her a romance novel in high school and she discovered happily-ever-after suddenly went a little beyond glass slippers and fairy godmothers! She lives in the Midwest with her husband who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books, her kids who will never read the sex scenes in her books, and family and friends who say they’re shocked by the sex scenes in her books (yeah, right!). Over to Erin.

Thanks Shelley, for letting me stop by on my blog tour!

PhotobucketSince November is the anniversary month of my first published book, I decided to go on a tour and chat and give stuff away!

The “theme” (I use the term loosely) is Writing Romance Is Like…
And every blog stop has a difference comparison that will give you some insight into who I am, how I write and my slightly weird sense of humor. Oh, and you can win stuff! Every commenter gets entered for a chance at a book from my backlist. And if you really want to have some fun: follow me around to all the stops on the schedule (on my website) get the answers to the questions (on the form on my site) and then e-mail them to me by December 15th to get entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com or MyBookstoreandMore.com. Come join the fun!!

And now…
Writing Romance Is Like… Adopting a New Puppy:
There are fun, sweet moments interspersed with complete craziness and huge messes

We adopted a puppy once. OMG. I had no idea what I was getting in to. I never had a dog as a kid (insert proper sympathetic groan here—parents were strictly cat people). Puppy was not potty-trained. Puppy also chewed on everything, seemingly never slept and chased my cats… in short he was a puppy. Ugh. He was naughty and soon went to live with our friends who love dogs and have the experience and patience needed to train and raise Puppy into the semi-sweet dog he is today (honestly he’s still kind of naughty but their capacity for tolerating naughty is way bigger than mine!).

But writing is like that. There are those moments when the dialogue turns out perfectly, when the resolution comes together perfectly, when the hero is absolutely perfectly heroic. But then… there are those moments when everything seems out of control, when you write a whole scene and realize it’s a mess (ie: rewrite… yuck), when the heroine’s reaction is flat, when the hero’s dialogue seems stilted. It’s enough to make me wonder if I can just give it to another writer to “raise” :smile:. Some might say this happens because I don’t plot. I don’t think that’s it. Or maybe it is, but I’ll never admit it—or change it.

It’s part of the process for me (I haven’t always been this enlightened, trust me!) In fact, I go into new books knowing that I’m going to write at least two scenes that I’m never going to use in the final book. I go into new books knowing that I’m going to spend at least a week hating it and thinking it’s the worst drivel ever. I go into new books knowing that at some point I’m going to be convinced that I should just scrap the whole thing.

But, even the messy scenes that I don’t use help me work out who these people are, why they are that way, how they react to things—and why. Knowing them helps me—eventually—give them their story. Because ultimately it’s all about who they are.

Just like with Puppy. The messes and craziness taught me who I am: not a dog person (please don’t hate me… I like dogs as long as they live with someone else). Puppy taught me that you can’t change someone else and that a good relationship is about accepting who they are and finding a way to make it work (it just so happens that it worked best for us to live apart — not the ideal comparison with romantic fiction, I’ll grant you! :smile:)

In the end, the messes are okay, the craziness works… the cat-chasing is still not cool.

Join me at my next stop! November 15th at Nikki Duncan’s blog

Just Like ThatExcerpt, Just Like That (a messy scene :grin:)
Erin Nicholas

She quickly turned her attention back to the ceiling fan, which made a lot more sense than the riot of sensations that this virtual stranger was stirring up. “I said that I haven’t been with a man who gave me an orgasm.” She tried to turn the screw but it wouldn’t go in straight, just as she couldn’t ignore the way his touch seemed to tingle up her bare leg and a very specific spot higher.

“Have you had an orgasm with a woman?”

She wobbled, the screw hit the table again, and his grip tightened on her leg. “Excuse me?”

Sam stroked his hand up and down her calf. Slowly. Completely ignoring the screw this time. “If you haven’t had an orgasm with a man, it was an obvious question to ask if you have with a woman.”

She took a deep breath, trying to focus on what he’d said versus the feel of his hand on her. They were talking about orgasms. Right. And women. Wrong.

She frowned. “No, I haven’t had an orgasm with a woman.”

“Too bad.” He gave her a bone-melting grin. “I had some pretty good images going.”

“I’ll bet.” She shook off his hand and bent to pick up the screw where it had bounced.

“But you’ve had one by yourself, right?”

She tossed her hair over her shoulder. What the heck? He knew plenty about her already. Which ensured that she was going to make a point of never seeing him again. “Yes. Several in fact.”

“Good.” He nodded, apparently pleased with her answer.

“Good?”

“No woman should go without orgasms completely.”

She couldn’t say why exactly, but that struck her as funny. She grinned. “If only everyone was so certain about their beliefs.”

He winked at her and it hit her that he was good-looking. And she needed to never see him again.

She straightened and fit the screw back into the tiny hole. Just then she felt the heat of Sam’s hand on her calf again. She braced herself for the stroking that commenced. What she wasn’t prepared for was the fact that his hand kept traveling up. And up.

She narrowed her eyes, concentrating on fitting the tip of the screwdriver into the star-shaped notches on the screw. But when her eyes drifted shut as Sam’s hand passed her knee and continued up, taking the hem of her skirt up with it, it was very difficult to see anything at all.

Move forward. Move out of reach.

Her legs had no idea what her brain was talking about. Why would she move away from such exquisite feelings?

You cannot do this on the dining room table—that’s probably been in the family for generations—of a sweet little old woman who you don’t even know.

Still, her legs pretended not to hear.

When Sam’s lips met the skin in the middle of the back of her thigh, she felt the heat shoot straight up between her thighs and her knees wobbled.

Then his tongue touched the crease at the back of her knee and she melted.

Literally.

She vaguely heard Sam gasp, “Danika!” but the next true sensation she was aware of was the sharp pain from where her knees hit the table, stealing her breath, and the hot knife that was seemingly dug into her right wrist.

She thought about gasping, or screaming, or swearing loudly, but her chest wouldn’t expand.

Holy crap. That hurt.

More on Erin
www.ErinNicholas.com
NineNaughtyNovelists.blogspot.com
ErinNicholas.blogspot.com
http://samhainpublishing.com/authors/erin-nicholas