Welcome! I’m so happy you’ve found your way here. If it was just by chance … well you’ve joined me on the right day because it’s Just Romance Me Earth Day Blog Hop weekend with all kinds of wonderful authors to check out and plenty of prizes to be won. (If you’re not on the “bus” just click HERE to start at the beginning.) One lucky hop participant will also be chosen at random to win a $75 gift card and a second will win a $25 gift card.
I love Earth Day. My first true experience celebrating happened on the mall in Washington. Mr. Nina and I were there by chance with our children (who were really young … so that’ll tell you how many years ago that was … I have grandchildren now!) and we got to take part in all kinds of activities. Now, I like to think earth day is every day!
So here are a few tips on protecting Mother Earth:
1. Think Green
Sometimes being eco-friendly is just thinking about something before you do it. Like refilling a mug at your local Starbucks instead of using a Styrofoam cup or packing your lunch in plastic washable containers rather than ziploc bags. I mean really … would you not want to enjoy a walk through a beautiful green field with your honey?
2. Conserve Water
Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when you have a full load. And of course you can take smarter showers by using low flow shower-heads. Better yet … bathe with a friend.
3. Fuel Efficient Automobiles
A car that gets 20 miles to the gallon emits 50 tons of carbon dioxide over it’s life time. Double the gas mileage and cut down the amount of air pollution. Cutting your mileage by combining errands helps cut back on the consumption of fossil fuel and for more conservation … wrap your arms around someone and share a ride!
4. Save the Trees!
Use rags instead of paper towels for cleaning. Don’t print out every memo or email at work. When possible print on both sides of paper. (I actually save junk mail and print on the back of that.) Be sure to recycle used paper. And to save more trees of course you should buy E-BOOKS! All the benefits of a print book without any of the waste of paper! Sometimes being a tree-hugger can be a sensual experience!
So there you have it, my tips for earth day! Hope you enjoyed the photo illustrations. I know some people are visual learners. (Sorry, I can’t help you tactile learners! *vbg*) Let me know which suggestion you liked best or what little thing you do to help the environment that I didn’t mention … or just mention one of my ebooks you’ve enjoyed …
**** GIVE AWAY ****
Anyone commenting on this post between now and MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013 before noon EDT, will be eligible for a print copy of HEALER’S GARDEN and a $15 Amazon gift card. (Shipping to US residents only. An international winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card only.)
To begin playing, just pick an item from my goodie bag list below send me a note with your selection to Nina(AT)NinaPierce(DOT)com. Yep it’s that easy to enter from here. If you want to visit all the houses you can start over at Sam Cheever’s house and follow the links from one website to another.
**Please take some time to look around each site. Some of the authors will be providing fun tidbits and free stories for your reading pleasure! If an author looks like someone you’d like to read, consider signing up for her newsletter. Also, some of the authors are holding a special, in-house contest to increase your chances of winning! ***
On Halloween night at Midnight, EST each author will choose a winner from the emails sent to her and send the name to Sam Cheever. On November 1st, Sam will pick the winner of the grand prize basket from those 13 winners. The more houses you visit … the more chances you’ll have to win.
GRAND PRIZE BASKET INCLUDES:
Engraved iPad ereader
E-books from various authors
Signed copies of print books from various authors
Enough promotional swag to fill your trick-or-treat bag
In addition to the grand prize basket, there will also be a bonus prize awarded to the winner of the Author Island drawing this year, which is an extra stop at the end of the street.
*** Only one trip down the street and you must be
at least 18 years of age to play! ***
Good luck everybody and have fun!
Please choose one of the following destinations for your trick-or-treat pleasure:
1. XTC Resort, Key West (Maid for Master and Invitation to Ecstasy )
Claire’s bare feet tread steadily along the sandy path. Shafts of sunlight flickered in the cool shadows of the palm fronds. Lush leaves of thick underbrush tickled along her breasts and belly, raising goose flesh. Never had she been so aware of the sensations playing over her body. Even as the warm breath of the ocean breeze danced with her hair, caressing her sensitized skin like a lover’s touch, peaking her nipples and stroking her damp folds, Claire tried not to condemn herself for what she was about to do.
2. South Kenton, California (Shadows of Fire )
The pines opened to a small clearing. Morning fog hung heavy over the river running placidly behind their log cabin. Normal men would have found tranquility and sustenance fishing in its icy depths, but in the year they’d lived here, he and Josh had barely spent time on its banks. That’s why it surprised Reese when his eyes immediately fixated on the figure hunched on the boulder. He stared, not sure she wasn’t a mirage. He shoved the car in park and shut off the engine.
Alex had come to him.
3. Garden of Serenity (Healer’s Garden )
They rode through the fields bareback, climbing into the hills. The grassy fields gave way to palm trees and exotic vegetation Jahara had never seen. Emerald leaves fringed large flowers in all shades of the rainbow, their honeyed aroma filling the air in a sweet fog. Birds hidden among the foliage warbled and sang, permeating the jungle with their melodious tunes. It was a banquet for the senses and she closed her eyes, committing it all to memory.
4. Cutler, Maine (Blind Her With Bliss , Deceive Her With Desire, Cheat Her With Charm)
The musty scent of the earth mixed with the heady aroma of Julie’s perfume wrapped around his nose and made him lightheaded with anticipation. Her warm breath tickled his neck, leaving gooseflesh in its wake. She barely weighed anything, but the heat of her pressed against his back made the walk through the lush ferns very pleasant. Though he’d only been here once before, Damon had honed his sense of direction in the army and found the isolated waterfall someone at the radio station had told him about without having to retrace his steps. It had been winter the first time he’d come here on snowshoes, crisp and refreshing—solitary. This day, the lush foliage of summer and Julie’s company made the visit so much more inviting.
5. Lonesome Fork, Montana (Bonded Souls, Bonded by Need)
The morning had dawned bright and clear, the sun winking off the four inches of new snow like millions of diamonds, but she’d been too exhausted, unmotivated and sore to get out of her pajamas before lunch. Jayda suspected her achy thighs and butt had more to do with the two rides on the mechanical bull and not the romp with Cole in the backseat of his car. But a girl could fantasize.
Send your choice of one of the destinations to me in an email Nina(AT)NinaPierce(DOT)com The contest is open until midnight EST on Halloween. All participants emailing me will also be entered to win this additional prize:
Nina’s Personal Halloween Prize Pack
* Digital copy of my vampire novel “Shadows of Fire”
* $25 Amazon Gift Card
So I’m dressing up as Cleopatra and going to parties in my thrown (okay … an electric wheelchair, but hey, it works). Do you have your costume ready to go?
I’m celebrating the beginning of summer with 25 other authors as we join together in a sexy summer solstice blog hop, where the grand prize is a Nook Simple Touch with a glowlight.
Click HERE to join the hop from the beginning.
There are all kinds of prizes along the way including books, swag and gift cards. Participants who follow the hop all the way through between 9am EDT WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20 through noon EDT SUNDAY, JUNE 24 will be eligible for the grand prize.
This hop we were challenged to use a word generator to create a sexy scene for our readers. My story must include a popstar, salsa dancer and a news anchor. The scene will take place in a city park. And I need to work in happy, successful and drunk characteristics. And I get extra credit if I manage to work in the phrase “streaks of purple and gray“. LOL! Let’s see where this takes us. Please enjoy this summer solstice scene …
Despite a full pot of coffee and two cans of diet cola, Kate Silva could barely drag herself to her Mustang convertible. The evening heat wafting off the sidewalk wasn’t helping the exhaustion weighing down her limbs. It seemed summer had arrived early in the sleepy town of Pinecrest. Maine didn’t usually see temperatures in the nineties until well into July. Heck, with the solstice still several hours away, summer still hadn’t officially arrived. But you couldn’t prove it by the heat and humidity making a mockery of Kate’s chignon and makeup.
Her early morning news cast had turned into an early afternoon luncheon with the governor and the nap she’d so desperately needed to make it through the evening ahead was usurped by another family emergency.
“Oh, sweetie, I’m so sorry you couldn’t rest before the fund raiser tonight.” Aunt Marion locked the door to Patchouli Gardens, her spiritual supply and natural herb store. “I really thought Lucy was choking with all those yards of lanyard wrapped around her little body.” She scooped up the little wiener dog at her feet. “I just don’t know how she gets into that storage room.” Marion’s baby speak was directed at the happy mutt showering her with doggie kisses. “No I don’t. I just don’t know. You had mommy scared right out of her mind when all the boxes tumbled. Yes you did.” Her aunt leaned over and kissed her cheek and the dog snuck one in as well. “Anyway, thank you.”
“Of course you’re welcome.” Kate scratched the dog’s ears. Truth be told, she’d do anything for the eccentric woman with her Bohemian skirt and her stylish hair with streaks of purple and gray. The woman was all she had left of family.
When Aunt Marion had called to say her store was in trouble, Kate had pasted a smile on her face, accepted a job at a local television station and moved in. The six month internship had segued into a street reporting position and eventually the anchor desk. Three years later Patchouli Gardens was in the black and Kate had to admit, she’d grown fond of the little town and protective of the woman who was more like a mother than an aunt.
Dumping the oversized handbag from her shoulder into the backseat, Kate slipped in behind the wheel and wondered again why they’d asked her to be part of the summer concert series at the city park, Dancing Under the Stars, like a takeoff on the popular show. Only she was nothing more than a small town news anchor at a small town television station in central Maine. It certainly didn’t fit her definition of successful, let alone, high profile celebrity. At twenty-eight Kate had expected to be traveling the world reporting the news, not quietly living with her aunt and a troublesome weiner dog—both of whom she loved with all her heart.
As if reading her thoughts, Lucy let out a happy yip.
“This is going to be so much fun,” Aunt Marion said as she tucked Lucy in the little picnic basket at her feet and paused. “You look so beautiful, Katie. Maybe this is the night you find someone special.” Tears welled in her eyes. “That rose quartz you’re wearing calls to your soul mate.”
Kate had never believed the crystals her aunt held so much faith in would do anything, but she’d put on the beautiful necklace because it had complemented her dress. “Aunt Marion, I appreciate the thought, but you and Lucy are enough for me right now.”
“That’s nonsense, child. Everyone needs someone to complete their heart.” She laughed and buckled her seatbelt around her plentiful waist. “I guess we’ll just enjoy the evening and worry about true love later. Tonight promises to be so much fun. I can’t wait to see little Markie. It’s been years. I can’t remember the last time I saw him in a concert, let alone here in town.”
Kate pulled away from the curb, curious about what kind of popstar could have possibly grown up in Pinecrest. The whole town had been buzzing for weeks about Markie’s return like he’d gone out and made a name for himself. But Kate’s internet searches for a Mark Hood made famous had turned up nothing but a lot of articles about his high school football career and a graduation photo. The photo hadn’t been too shabby as she recalled—a handsome young man with an infectious smile, a couple of dimples and a sandy mop of unruly hair.
“You know, it is the solstice. Magical things happen on the solstice.” Aunt Marion clapped her hands together. “And how serendiptious that two of my favorite people in the world got paired together.”
From the glint in Aunt Marion’s eye, Kate was thinking—it probably wasn’t a coincidence at all.
* * * *
Mark Hood hadn’t been home since high school graduation. His agent had had an apoplectic fit when he’d turned down the gig in Chicago in favor of the Civic Center in Portland. But after the six month whirlwind tour of Europe, he was looking forward to a couple weeks home with his dad and a small venue to reconnect with his local fans. What he needed was full blown vacation. Hell, after five years of mega-hits, what he really needed was a sabbatical!
The invitation to this charity event, regardless of how lame, couldn’t have come at a better time. It was the perfect reason to step away from all the screaming fans and chaos that had become his life. He only hoped the local news anchor they’d paired him with to dirty dance to one of his own songs wouldn’t make him look like a complete dork on stage. No doubt the woman was pushing her seventies. No one retired in this town. He looked around the local celebrities hidden behind the small stage they’d set up in the park. At least he couldn’t look worse than the salsa dancers who seemed to be stumbling over each other like they were drunk.
“Excuse me, sir.”
Mark turned and looked down into the eyes of a young girl in a pink ballet tutu.
“I’m dancing tonight. I’m the middle school spelling bee champion.”
“Well, congratulations.” He bent down and whispered conspiratorially, “I’m dancing too, but I’m really nervous. I hope my partner looks as beautiful as you.”
“Thank you.” A blush crawled up her cheeks as she shyly lifted one of the programs and a pen. “I know you’re Marcus Tyrone from Radio Haze and I was wonder—”
“Marissa we talked about this.” The man in charge swooped over and stepped between them. “I’m sorry Mr. Tyrone. I asked everyone—”
“No, excuse me.” Mark gently moved the man to the side and put his hand on the slumping shoulder of the little girl. “Marissa was just giving me some advice on how to calm my nerves.” He winked down at her, took the program, signed his stage name with a flourish and bent to kiss her soft cheek. “Let’s hope we both kill ‘em out there!” The girl hugged him and skipped off happily.
He clapped the guy on the back. “Don’t worry about the autograph seekers. I don’t mind signing a few—”
“Mark! Mark Hood!”
He barely had time to register his late mother’s best friend before she wrapped him in a fierce bear hug. The familiar scent of patchouli and hair spray wrapped around his nose, sending him back to his youth and hours spent sweeping floors and stocking shelves while his mother shared tea and secrets with Marion at her store counter. He’d grown up believing the woman currently bruising his ribs was a witch. With all those crystals and herbs it was hard not to think something mystical happened in her shop.
“Ms. Marion!” He returned her hug, happy to see a familiar face. “So good to see you!”
She pushed away from him, but kept her hands firmly holding his biceps. “The fame doesn’t seem to have hurt you any.” Marion laid a hand on his cheek. “Your momma would be so proud.” The last words caught in her throat. “We’ll catch up later. In the meantime, I want you to meet your dance partner.”
The breath caught in Mark’s lungs as Marion stepped back and introduced the stunning woman behind her. The little red number she wore hugged her curves like a second skin. With the sexy waves of ebony hair falling around her face, the bun at the back of her head looked anything but matronly. As a matter of fact it left her throat exposed, her pulse hammering in time with his. He couldn’t seem to make his brain work. And from the way the stunning woman’s mouth hung open it looked like she was having difficulty as well.
Marion clapped her hands together. “Kate Silva, I’d like you to meet Mark Hood. Mark, this is my niece, Kate.”
“No …. but you’re … I mean holy shit! You’re Marcus Tyrone, from that reality show Rock Icon,” Kate stammered as she stretched her hands across the expanse as manners would dictate. “Aunt Marion never said the boy who helped at her shop was a world renowned singer/songwriter.”
“And no one mentioned my dancing partner was such a beautiful woman.” He wrapped her delicate fingers in his hand, enjoying the electric current shimmering up his arm and warming the rose quartz in his pocket. “That’s a beautiful necklace,” he whispered, cradling the glowing stone at her throat in his other hand.
“Oh, what a lovely couple you make.” Aunt Marion sighed as she gathered a wiener dog from a picnic basket at her feet. “What a coincidence you were paired together the night of the solstice. Who knows what kind of magic can happen tonight.”
Mark was thinking the same thing. “Already feels magical to me.”
Thank you so much for stopping by. I love summer concerts in the park. It’s one of the activities Mr. Nina and I wouldn’t miss. A picnic dinner, a couple of camp chairs, a bottle of wine, great music and a sultry summer night with the man I love. What more could a woman want? What’s a favorite summer activity you wouldn’t miss?
**** GIVEAWAY CLOSED ****
One person commenting between now and SUNDAY, JUNE 24 at noon EDT will be chosen at random to win a print copy of RIPE & READY (including my novella Divine Deception) and a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate. (Book shipping to US and Canadian residents only. An international winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card only.)
Ain’t that the truth? We have no control over how we feel about a situation. But we DO have control over how we behave in light of receiving bad news or discovering offensive information. Too many people forget to step back and reassess a situation and their own reaction before pushing forward and steamrolling over someone else’s feelings. There is no need to attack a person/people when in reality it is a situation that is really the root of the problem.
At the end of last week a decision was made by an RWA chapter that caused a firestorm of controversy. I was the unfortunate witness to the degradation of professionalism by writers who chose to make the discussion a personal crusade rather than a discussion about bringing about change. I’m not saying everyone mind you, but I was surprised at how many people lost their focus and allowed emotion to overrule their common sense and understanding of others’ feelings.
Am I saying that we should walk away from controversy? Hell no. I love a lively discussion (what others may consider an argument). I don’t shy from conflict … or stating my opinion. I honestly believe if more people spoke their mind there would be fewer people feeling like they are never understood. Nothing burns my butt more than people asking for ideas and I’m the only one to speak up and the group thinks they have to do something my way because no one else says anything. So no, this isn’t about sharing your opinion or ideas. This is about doing it constructively. When my emotions are tangled in a situation I know it’s important for me to step back and make sure what I am saying is adding something to the solution, not just fueling the controversy. Nothing ever is solved by people fanning an ember of discontent, it creates nothing but a conflagration of mean-spirited finger pointing.
And finger pointing never solved anything.
Fortunately, the RWA chapter in question has backpedalled and solved the problem for themselves. I’m just not sure how long we’ll feel the repercussions of the personal attacks by many who chose not to remain professional. This past weekend has certainly been a sad lesson in human behavior for me.
The Houston Bay Area RWA chapter is sponsoring JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER contest. There are over 170 books in 8 different categories.
The wonderful thing about the contest is that each cover is judged on its own merit. There is no voting for only one cover per category. It’s not a popularity contest, but a true reader’s choice in voting. I have entered Deceive Her With Desire in the romantic suspense category.
I hope you’ll take a few moments and go over and VOTE!
A howling opportunity to win a KINDLE, Amazon Gift Cards and a plethora of digital and print books.
Come on over to Night Owl Romance and check out all the details. Visit 25 author sites to be entered to win. Visit at least
40 author sites and you’re entered to win the GRAND PRIZE. (All prizes listed on the Night Owl site.)
Just look for this graphic on each website…
(All graphics are one click from home page.) Type the word you find in the entry form and you’re entered.
Just think of all the new authors you get to meet. All the wonderful books you get to check out. Oh, come on you know you wanna join in the fun! Start with the graphic on my website. Contest runs until Monday, October 31. What are you waiting for? Jump in for your chance to win!
Rumors of me teleporting to another dimension have been greatly exaggerated. I have been working really hard preparing the second book of the Tilling Passion’s series DECEIVE HER WITH DESIRE for publication. I’m also working on a call for submission for Ellora’s Cave. This has kept me deep in the writer’s cave and my fingers flying over the keyboard.
I’m also working on a major overhaul of my website. LOL! I say it like I’m doing it. Fact is, my awesome webmistress, Jenn, from Sapphire Designs just takes my visions and turns them into something gorgeous! I can’t wait until it goes live. Trust me…you’ll know when it’s up. You’ll hear me screaming from the Northeast!
Don’t forget about the CONTEST I’m running. I hope you’ll join in the fun.
And just because I’ve been working so hard, how about if I leave you with a little taste of Deceive Her With Desire? Soon. It’ll be available soon!
Cautious, and working to keep his jangled nerves from pumping his legs in a dead run, Ayden strolled to the shelter of the dinghy. The noise grew louder. Ayden realized he wasn’t moving away from the sound; he was aimed toward it. What a fool. It was a beautiful fall night. Lovers were using the upended craft for a little sex party of their own.
Turning on his heel, he started to walk away, when the noise came again. It wasn’t the moan of sexual pleasure. It was the keening sound of sadness. Someone was crying. And from the quiet hiccupping, it was female.
Ayden shot a longing look over his shoulder, debating between the refuge of the path and the complications under the boat.
Chivalry won out and he stepped warily around the bow.
The redhead sat on the wooden slats, her bare feet digging restlessly in the sand, her face cupped in her hands. Between shuddering breaths, she sputtered angrily into her bent knees, but her tears and her fingers kept the words from him.
“Uh-hmm.” He cleared his throat, not knowing how else to get her attention.
“Holy shit…” She tried to jump to her feet, but banged her head on the iron rigging attached to the upside of the boat. She fell down hard. “Fuck.” Her hand flew to her head.
“I’m sorry, you okay?” Ayden reached for her, but she shook him off.
She looked up at him. Even in the pale light, he could see the anguish in her eyes.
“Actually, I’m not all right.” She pushed herself up, ducking her head away from the oarlock. She wiped at the sand on her bottom. “You scared the living shit out of me.”
Biting back a smile, Ayden watched her glistening tears turn to fury. That he could handle. An angry woman was one hundred times easier to placate than a despondent one.
“Again, I apologize.” He held his hands up in surrender. “I’m Austin Schaeffer.” How easily that name slipped off his tongue.
“Deirdre Tilling,” She shook the hand he offered.
Her grip was surprisingly firm. Ayden liked the touch of her palm against his skin. Not all soft and pliant, but callused and rough. He wondered how it would feel running up his back. Yeah, no getting away from that train of thought.
She was a beautiful woman. Her breasts swelled enticingly just above the bodice of her dress. Her long, muscular legs that he’d admired in the great room, started somewhere around her neck. No wonder Jameson had been seducing this lovely creature.
Jameson. Right. He mentally shook his head. Focus, Ayden. Tonight was about gathering information, not sexual conquests. But then again, there was that two birds and one stone thing.
“You come to Jameson’s parties often?” His voice sounded more at ease than he felt.
She pulled her hand from his and rubbed at the spot on her head. “What? Jameson? Oh, Shawn. No, never been to one of his parties. I’m one of his employees. Damn, this hurts. It’s already forming an egg.”
Ayden ignored the fact she’d called the owner Shawn. Obviously, he wasn’t getting any action from an employee who referred to her boss by his first name.
“Here, let me take a look at it.” He ran his fingers through her hair. It was soft as silk sliding over his hand. “Oh, yeah. You did a nice job. Probably could use a little ice.” At this rate, so could he, but not on the head on his shoulders.
“I did a nice job? Me? You were the one sneaking up like some pirate looking for lost treasure.”
The woman had no idea how close to the truth she was. “I wasn’t sneaking up on you, I heard you crying.”
And there it was. Just like that the white knight had rendered her speechless.
I’m having a give away for the WHOLE month of June…a basket FULL of goodies! I can’t take a picture of it because my stuff is still in storage for the next month. (Fingers crossed we’re in a house by July.)
What’s in the basket?
A print copy of Healer’s Garden
Random print books from my conference overflow
Bookmarks, pens and other Nina goodies
A deck of EC playing cards
A $15 Amazon gift card
… probably more random stuff from my prize closet
How do you get your name thrown in the hat?
1) One chance for “LIKING” my Facebook fan page (be sure to leave a comment on the page to tell me you’re new)
2) One chance when someone who has “Liked” my fan page mentions your name as referring them to my FB Fan Page
3) Three chances entered for each review for Blind Love or Love’s Bounty (coming in mid-June) left on Amazon, GoodReads or Barnes and Noble.
And that’s it! One name will be drawn from all entries. The giveaway will run from today to JUNE 30 at noon EDT. (Shipping is for residence of the US or Canada only. An international winner would receive a $20 Amazon gift certificate in addition to the $15 card already included in the basket.)
And just because it’s been awhile since I shared some sexy man flesh, here is some drool worthy awesomeness I hope you come across this weekend …
My first ever blog POSTS appeared the last week of November 2007. I remember frantically setting up a website (which has undergone two major renovations) and beginning to blog on my now inactive MySpace page as I try to establish my corner of the Internet as a new author. It was such a crazy time. My first book (then titled) “The Healer’s Garden” was scheduled for release at the end of December that year. Funny how that book has been re-released through ELLORA’S CAVE as “Healer’s Garden” and has also become my first book in print. Lots of firsts with that one. 🙂
Looking back it is amazing to me the things that I’ve learned in such a short time. The learning curve for an Environmental Educator thrown into the publishing world has been steep, but I really wouldn’t trade it. I love learning and being challenged by new things. But never would I have imagined this journey. I’m so happy to have it documented because even I couldn’t imagine the highs and lows of a writing career.
Hmmm, let me see some of the things I’ve learned and even taken time to blog about …
1. That being successful at a writing career means more than just writing … you gotta learn to market yourself as well
2. That the internet is full of people who want to help and eventually become really good friends
3. That sometimes RWA can piss you off, but by and large it’s a great organization
4. That being a contest slut can certainly get you some great and sound advice
5. That EDIT isn’t one of THOSE four letter words
6. That writing is rewarding … but it’s also really HARD
7. That sometimes in this business you have to have a REALLY thick skin
8. Even though you have plenty of excuses no one ever bought a story that was still in your head.
9. That editors don’t all do their jobs the same, but they sure are important to putting out a great book!
10. That writing conference are far from boring.
11. That sometimes writers aren’t who we may think they are
12. That despite advice from others sometimes you have to go with your gut
13. That everyone loves a little eye candy now and again!
14. That EVERYTHING changes even publishing
15. That cover day is just as exciting as getting the contract.
I’m sure there is so much more, but those are the bigger things.
Well, I just feel in the mood for something fun in celebration of my anniversary. I’d like to give something away to my readers and writer friends. I’ll pull together a fun little box of goodies from my promo closet (including a print copy of “Healer’s Garden“) and choose one person at random from those who comments on this post between now and noon DECEMBER 6, EST. And just because I’m feeling really generous I’ll also give away an ebook of “Hearts of Fire-May” which includes my vampire novella “Shadows of Fire“.
Just tell me something you’ve learned as a reader or a writer since you started following writers on the internet or began writing. Something that surprised you or made you pause or you thought … yeah, well, dur … what did you think? I’d love to hear from you.
I’d like to welcome author SAPPHIRE PHELAN to The Block today.
Welcome Sapphire. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about you and how you got into writing
I’ve been writing since I was eight, maybe even younger. I wanted to make up stories (mainly animal and scifi ones) like I read. I wrote poetry when I was in high school besides short stories and one day discovered this poetry magazine when I was 17. I submitted three poems to them, “The Horse,” “The Leopard,” and “Sands of Time.” All three were accepted and I got a contract and was paid. That was my first paid publication.
But it took until 2005 when I wrote my first erotic fantasy romance. It was about a knight cursed to become a dragon at night and the young woman who broke the curse and become his love. It was a twist on the virgin offered to a dragon.
Oh, I love dragons. Your newest release involves shifters as well. Could you tell us a little bit about it?
DARK LEOPARD MAGIC is the second book in the Beast Magic universe. It is erotic male/male interracial novella with wereleopards as the two heroes.
Dev Tollen is a tortured soul who also happens to be gay and a wereleopard. He has never had the Dreaming until one day it happens and he sees his destined mate. Montsho first appeared in the first novella as a secondary character, BEAST MAGIC, as friend to Ramses, the werelion leader. He never thought a male wereleopard would be his mate, as he never thought himself as gay.
And there’s a mystery involved in the storyline besides being a paranormal romance.
Blurb for the book:
Dev Tollen is a man with a dark past and an even darker soul. More than that, he’s a gay wereleopard. He has never had the Dreaming and never met his true mate. But one night the Dreaming does come and reveals his lover, an African man named Montsho, also an alpha black wereleopard. Montsho will fight their love and their destiny. Dev will do all he can to win his beloved’s heart and keep him by his side always.
Then the ghost of a human begs Dev to solve his wereleopard lover’s murder. Both men will find that their new-found love tested and their lives in danger. Their idyllic time in paradise is about to be torn asunder when they discover who the murderer is.
Oh, two alpha males, they sound great. How did you come up with them?
Out of my head, like all of my characters. I knew about Montsho and knew from the first book that he had to be the central figure in the second one. But I couldn’t figure out who should be his mate. Not until it hit me why he never found his destined mate. And when I started writing DARK LEOPARD MAGIC, Dev Tollen came to life and in first person. That Dark leopard didn’t mean because of Montsho’s black wereleopard form, but because of Dev having a dark past and even darker soul. I realized as I went into the book that I also had to have some chapters from Montsho’s viewpoint.
Sometimes those dark characters should come with a warning. If you came with a warning label what would it read?
Beware: Author creating universes of hot sex and supernatural beings and aliens. She’s always trying to save the day, so take care of explosions, evil creatures, and hell breaking loose!
LOL! With a warning like that it should probably be posted over your desk. Could you describe your writing space for us?
I write in a room that the office shares with my sewing room. LOL I do costuming so this was the costuming room first. I have piles of reference books and collectibles fighting for space. Everything helps me write. I always have something to look at to give me ideas. I like this mainly for my writing area, though I have taken my laptop and written while sitting on the couch in the living room when my husband needs to get to his PC (his and my laptop sit side-by-side), when I go to conventions I write up in my room and even during a writer’s workshop at my table! But I prefer my office the best.
I’m a little envious that you can write most anywhere. So tell us a little about your writing process are you a plotter or a pantser?
I think I am more a pantser—the stories just came to me. When I do a novel or large novella, I do write down the characters, descriptions and more so I can always reference back when one returns. I never could do outlines, even in school. I write the article, then do the outline. The teachers gibe me As, never knowing I never did it the way they asked us to.
I either have a cup of coffee with cream or bottle of diet Lipton green tea within reach. No music. I admit listening to a song on the radio one day while driving the car that inspired my paranormal romance, ‘His Girl” that’s included in Just Another Paranormal Halloween anthology, but I don‘t listen to any while writing.
So what happened to the first novel you wrote?
I wrote this novel, Howling in the Night when I was in seventh grade. It was by long hand and since I was a kid, I doubted it was even 40,000 words, never mind what they want today. LOL it was a gothic romance with horror mixed in—paranormal romance before it was thought of.
I know this is completely off topic, but do these pants make my butt look big?
No, I don’t think so. And after all, black is slimming as they say.
Mwah, just the answer I was hoping for. There is just something about sitting down to edit in leather pants … oh, sorry, I digress. How do you get through the editing process?
I try to write my book completely before starting to edit it. I try to do it twice to three times when I edit a book or story. I also take chapters or a story to my writer’s groups I am with and my critique buddies. They help me immensely. Once I feel it’s ready to submit, that’s when I do it.
Thank goodness for crit partners. Who or what do you attribute your success to?
All those writers I’ve read short stories and novels and nonfiction books of. Like Shirley Jackson (her The Haunting of Hill House is still a big fave ghost story), Ray Bradbury (this man knows how to write and keep you reading), Anne McCaffrey, etc… I also attribute my success to my friends and family who have backed me, to my editors who made sure my stories are the best they could be, and most of all, to my readers, who buy and read my crazy worlds. Thank you all.
Rapid Fire Questions …
Vampire or shifter? Shifter, natch’!
* Coffee or Tea? I like both
* Cats or Dogs? I like both, though all we own right now are two cats. It’s hard to be a cat herder
* Shopping or Massage? Mmmm. . .massage
* Happy Ever After or Happy for Now? It’s depends on the story. Both work for me
* Boxers or Briefs? How about commando?
* Sugar or Salt? Sugar
* Wine or Beer? Wine
*Quiet night with your honey or a party with friends? I like both, but a quiet night with my hubby beats it all
* Flowers or Candy? Flowers if in a pot and I can plant outside. Candy—yeah, I like this. Me though, I prefers books and eBooks
Well it looks like the cabana boys are heading this way. Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers before we dive into that pitcher of margaritas?
Keep reading. And do contact me, letting me know how you liked my heroes, heroines, and worlds they play in. I always love to hear from my readers. I try to write the stories of my heart and I am glad you have embraced them well.
Sapphire Phelan is an author of erotic and sweet paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction romance, along with a couple of erotic horror stories. She also writes as Pamela K. Kinney, for horror, fantasy, science fiction, and nonfiction ghost books. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two cats, Ripley and Bast. She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house and husband sometimes suffers for it! Most days you can find Sapphire at her website or her blog. And follow her on twitter and facebook.
**CONTEST ALERT** Sapphire will be giving away a download of DARK LEOPARD MAGIC. So leave a comment with your name and email so she can check back and draw a winner from ALL the blogs on her tour on NOV 29.