Greetings! It’s finally autumn!!! Can you believe it? I was starting to think it would never get here. I know it’s been a while since we’ve talked, but I promise it was for a good reason. I’ve been finishing up some projects (a couple of which I’ll be telling you about in a couple of weeks) including the next book in the Phoenix Rising series. Neo-Geisha is book two in the adventures of Cage St. John and his beautiful badass librarian, Phoebe Addison. In this installment, Cage and Phoe’s new relationship is challenged by old enemies and a few personal demons that were lurking in the wings.
Hi lovelies! It’s been a while I know. But what better way to get back in the “spring” of things than to host a site favorite, Tina Donahue! Her new book Pleasure Me, Book 46 in her Black Hills Wolves series, is going live on April 22nd! Tina is celebrating with a Rafflecopter giveaway! Check out this blurb…
There’s no place like home…especially for a wolf who shouldn’t have run away.
Wylder Aaron always knew Starr Joseph was his mate, but the time wasn’t right for them. To escape his hopeless feelings for her, he fled Los Lobos and joined the military, not even saying goodbye.
Starr wanted nothing more in life than Wylder. When he left, she fled too. Her sultry beauty made her an instant success as the new look for a major cosmetics firm. However, fame is fleeting. At twenty-six, she’s old news and forgotten. Worse, loneliness led her into the arms of another were-shifter with a jealous streak. During his last rage, he slashed the side of her face, promising to kill her the next time she tried to flee.
She did anyway, returning to the safety and anonymity of Los Lobos…straight into Wylder’s arms.
The perfect book to curl up with on your Spring Break holiday! Available for PRE-ORDER now, just click the image!
As if that weren’t enough, I can never resist a good excerpt…
He’d looked better than she’d dreamed, hotter than any man had a freaking right to be, and he was nice, too, actually wanting to talk. Maybe become friends. Screw around. Fall in love. No, wait. For her, she’d be falling more deeply in love.
Was he deliberately trying to drive her insane?
The bar door creaked. Music and voices spilled out.
She bolted down the road, not wanting to be around him again. Her battered heart couldn’t take anymore.
Loud male laughter rang out. His? Directed at how she’d run? No. Had to be someone else. She slowed and looked over.
The kissing fools from inside were outside now, both just barely of legal age to hang out at a bar. The young woman sprawled face up on the hood of a black pickup, the guy laughing again as he pushed up her tee. Snuggled between her legs, he kissed her naked belly.
Nitwits. Didn’t they know where desire led? To hell and back with no detours into everlasting happiness.
She sprinted away again, determined to erase Wylder from her thoughts.
Images of him bombarded her, running through her mind like a tune she couldn’t forget. He wore his hair long these days, the wavy brown locks grazing his shoulders, framing his rough, masculine features. Drool-worthy stubble graced his chin, cheeks, and upper lip, his bronze complexion darker from the summer sun. He’d packed on muscle during the last years, his shoulders broad, biceps bruising, his tee hugging his sculpted abs. He smelled of clean skin and male musk. Pleasant yet decadent, downright intoxicating.
When she’d first seen him at the window, sin had sparkled in his gray, lushly lashed eyes. The prize between his legs had thickened, pressing against his jeans. He was what every straight woman wanted.
She pressed one hand to her aching side, the other to her face to keep her hair from blowing back, revealing what a mess she’d made of her life. From the time she’d started noticing boys, she’d wanted Wylder to mark her, claim her as his own for eternity and all that other romantic crap.
Kade, her ex-lover, had claimed her instead, threatening to kill her if she even thought of leaving him. She had finally, prepared to die in order to escape. After the horror he’d put her through, closing her eyes forever would have been blessed relief.
Right now, she simply wanted to be alone, nothing more. She didn’t want Wylder’s concern or continuing attraction to her if those were his actual feelings. Could be he was guilty for having left the way he had. When those emotions faded and he got over her being back in town, where would that leave her? Aching for him again while he found someone else or took off once more without warning?
No damn way. Love was for the foolish young and masochists. Count her out. Being a shifter was bad enough. Not belonging fully in the animal or human world totally sucked at times, while having to keep their powers a secret was no picnic either. One wrong word and every human with a gun might swoop down on the town and shoot all the residents dead. Worse, the government could haul them off for an experiment to see what made them tick, how they’d come to be.
Too many times she’d listened to trust fund babies, starlets, models, and the money people whine about how awful their lives were. Taxes were going up. Their yacht had a scratch on the deck. Their help were too stupid to live.
Ha. Try living with what everyone here went through.
Tina is hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway to celebrate her release!
She’s offering one winner her (or his) choice of THREE (3) of her backlist ebooks – full-length, bestselling, award-winning, from this list (25 choices):
- Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT
- Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit
- Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award
- In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT
- Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT
- The Yearning – Top Ten Bestseller
- Take Me Away – #1 Pick, Miz Love Loves Books
- Unending Desire – Best Book Rating LASR
- SiNN – Nominated for Book of the Week LASR
- Sinfully Wicked – Magnificent – Romancing the Book
- Claiming Magique – Top Pick – NOR
- Illicit Desire – Four Stars Romantic Times
- Come Fill Me – Five Stars – Guilty Pleasures
- Losing Control – Four and a Half Stars – Sensual Reads
- Shameless Desire – Four and a Half Stars – The Jeep Diva
- Illicit Intent – Four and a Half Stars – Sensual Reads
- Deep Within Me – Four Stars – Romantic Times
- Seven Sensuous Days – 4 Stars – Long & Short Reviews
- Stolen Desire – 4 Stars – Romantic Times
- Taking Eve – What to read after FSOG and Story of O
- This Time When We Touch – Erotic Paranormal
- Carnal Takeover – BDSM
- Wicked Takeover – Erotic Contemporary
- Intimate Details – Menage
- Freeing the Beast – Readers’ Choice Award
I LOVE filling up my Kindle with new stuff. But of course, that can get expensive so I’m always on the lookout for QUALITY books on sale. Well Zenobia Renquist has answered my prayers with a #99cents sale on her re-release of VIP Wine Service that runs through Sept. 26th! She’s here at the blog today to give us all a tasty morsel from this hot erotic romance…
VIP Room Service (Other Related Duties #1) by Zenobia Renquist
A hotel erotica tale hot enough to set the screen on fire.
She offers satisfaction above and beyond what is requested.
Lexie’s job as a maid at a five-star hotel doesn’t normally include the unique and risqué form of room service that rich guest Mr. Malena has requested, nor the generous tip he’s offered. Submission and exhibition and a ménage. Lexie can’t resist. What should have been a one-time thing turns into an introduction into the sensual world of customer satisfaction. This is one workplace encounter that could get her fired…or will it?
NOTE: Title previously published as Wine Service (Professional Courtesy 1).
** Read an Excerpt **
She drew in a long gasping breath and then choked on it as someone knocked at the door.
She widened her eyes, and her pleasure dropped to nil.
“Ah. Right on time.” Mr. Malena dialed off the vibrator, removed it, and set it aside. He called, “One moment.”
“What?” Lexie asked in a frantic whisper. She clutched at the comforter, debating if she should hide in the bathroom or under the bed. Had the server heard her? Had he recognized her voice?
She looked at her uniform draped over the back of the chair. He would know a housekeeper was with Mr. Malena. A housekeeper who was undressed with a wide variety of toys out in the open. No deductive reasoning was needed to figure out what was happening or who the housekeeper was.
Mr. Malena patted her belly. “Shhhh.” He held his finger to his lips. “Just relax.”
“I can’t relax,” Lexie whispered back. “He’ll see me.”
“No, he won’t.” He grinned. “Not your face, at any rate.” He urged her to lie back before draping a towel over her head. “There.”
“Shhhh. You don’t want him to recognize your voice, if you know him. So long as you stay still, he won’t see your face.”
“What about the rest of me? What about my uniform? And the cart outside?” Lexie could see her job ending. She should have known this was too good to be true.
“I’ll take care of it. Now hush.”
Clothing rustled. Lexie peeked under the towel in time to see Mr. Malena fold her uniform into one of the dresser drawers and close it. He slipped on a robe and then glanced back at her. She yanked the towel back down. She wanted to roll herself in the comforter. Wanted to and didn’t at the same time.
She only had to keep her face covered, and the server wouldn’t know who she was. The idea of letting a virtual stranger see her naked titillated her. Her clit throbbed and ached to be touched. She clutched at the towel and waited.
Mr. Malena opened the door. “Thank you, my good man. I am famished. This way.”
Lexie frowned. When had he ordered room service? Had he done it before she arrived and known it would get here while they were playing? He did seem less flustered by this turn of events than she was, as if he’d planned it.
The server asked, “Where do you want— Whoa!”
A long pause followed that exclamation. The server had seen her.
VIP Wine Service is available at these online retail stores:
All Romance eBooks:
Smashwords (use coupon code FH44L at checkout to receive sale price)
About Zenobia Renquist:
Zenobia Renquist is the alter-ego of D. Renee Bagby. Call her Zen or Renee, she answers to both. Air Force brat turned Air Force wife, she was born in Europe, has lived in Japan and in several states of the US, including Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, California, Maryland and Hawaii.
She moved a lot in her younger years and remembers all too well being the new kid in fish-out-of-water situations. But those experiences only made her better able to adapt, as well they gave her a love of travel, preferring road trips over flying.
Turning her favorite pastime into her career, Renee loves to build worlds and torture her characters for the enjoyment of her readers. She can’t fill everyday with writing alone, and also enjoys watching anime, reading manga, crocheting, knitting (yarn and mail), and binging shows on Netflix. She’s a Whovian (David Tennant for the win!), a trekkie (DS9 because Odo rocked), and a fan of pretty much every Marvel live action movie and DCU animated movie.
She has a wacky imagination and tends to write all over the place. In order to keep up, she only asks one thing—Leave Your Reality Behind to Discover Different and Unique Romance & Erotica.
Visit her website: http://zenobiarenquist.com
Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZenobiaRenquist
Like her Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/Author.DRBagby.ZRenquist
Like her Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Zenobia-Renquist/e/B002BWYVW8/
Review her on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/zenobiarenquist
Get her Authorgraph: http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/ZenobiaRenquist
Sign up for her Newsletter: https://signup.ymlp.com/signup.js?id=geusujygmguu
Sooo… here’s the thing. In the words of Raj Koothrapali, I’m a sucky sucky friend. This post was supposed to be up on Tuesday, Sept. 1st before my buddy Tamsin Silver left for DragonCon. But I’m late. So y’all be super nice to her today as she joins us on The Belle to talk about her new book, Mark of the Necromancer. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll give us a sneak peek of her new and exciting weird western, The Curse of Scáthach.
Introduce yourself and tell us a little about why you’re visiting the blog today.
Sure! My name is Tamsin Silver and I’m an Urban Fantasy writer out of NYC who grew up in a farming town in Michigan on books like The Narnia Chronicles, Charlotte’s Web, Nancy Drew, and A Wrinkle in Time. I used to teach middle school & high school drama down south, I’ve run two successful theater companies (one here in NYC), and other than writing books (Windfire Series) I create and write for the web series, Skye of the Damned. However, today I’m here to talk about my newest book (and series), Mark of the Necromancer; A Sabrina Grayson Novel.
What inspires your stories?
Every book I’ve ever written is because there was a character who had something to say. Be it Atlanta in my Windfire Series, Will McCarty in The Curse of Scáthach, or Sabrina in my new book, Mark of the Necromancer. Each story started with the idea of who that character was both on the outside and on the inside, how they’d change, grow, and make us care for them.
Funny story, I had a dream once about this female werewolf alpha. When I was in the shower she was still pestering me. As I walked to my room I said aloud to no one, “Fine then, what’s your name?” And I “heard” the name Denika. That book, Moon Over Manhattan, will hopefully be coming out next fall. She is my favorite heroine that I’ve ever written…so I’m excited to finally get that out to readers soon.
Who is your favorite character in the book?
My favorite character in Mark of the Necromancer, hands down, it’s Alex Price. Which is funny because he’s not the main protagonist.
I love flawed men who have a heart of gold and that’s Alex. He may not be your POV character in this story, but I think the core of who he is comes across on paper anyway, which is maybe why I adore him so. In fact, one of my beta readers and one of my editors are in love with him too, so I’m not alone. A new review that is about to come out had this to say about him:
“Alex is a fabulous male hero and romantic interest. He’s atypical, lacking those wooden alpha characteristics common in this genre. He’s dangerous, thoughtful, and intelligent with sex appeal to spare. He reminds me of Karina Halle’s (anti)hero Dex Foray from the Experiment in Terror series. He was a refreshing diversion for sure.”
But have no fear; Sabrina is my second favorite character (don’t tell her I said that!) and likely my second favorite heroine I’ve ever written. I love her sense of humor and how broken she is. She screws up, a lot, but she’s willing to keep trying anyway. That’s what makes her so real for me (and hopefully for others).
Mark of the Necromancer is full of creatures that go bump in the night. If you could choose a paranormal creature to be, what would it be? Or would you rather be the leather-clad beauty fighting them?
That depends…do the creatures have a soul? Can they be good or are they just evil no matter what? I would prefer to be whoever has a choice and toes the line between good and evil. That’s always more interesting. BUT…if I were to choose a creature, I’d want to be a vampire. I love the idea of living forever even if I have to sacrifice the sun. Being alive to see how history changes or repeats itself would be really interesting.
Tamsin, you’ve been writing for quite a while now. What are some things that you’ve learned on this journey from aspiring writer to writer with multiple titles under your belt?
Oh man…that’s a really great question…okay. I started jotting stuff down and found I have a top ten…here they are:
- Write as often as you can.
- Get exercise.
- Read in your genre and out of it.
- Figure out where & when you do your best writing.
- Join a writers group.
- Set deadlines for yourself and meet them more often than not.
- EDIT the crap out of your work and pay for someone to do so as well.
- Find at least two fellow writers to be in your corner: A mentor & a writing pal. The first to help with professional questions and the second to be a sounding board and confidant…as well as meeting up to write with you (be it online or in person).
- Understand that it all takes time. Don’t get frustrated at the learning curve or at yourself. Just push onward; learn and keep going. Each step forward in this business is really ten steps forward, so rejoice in that.
This last one I didn’t have to learn, but I want to include it…Your fellow writers are your teammates, not your competition. Support them. Cheer them on! Their successes are yours and vice versa. That green little monster of jealousy will want to rear its ugly head from time to time. Learn how to put that SOB in his place.
You’ve been through the self-publishing and traditional publishing routes. Do you prefer one over the other? What are some things to consider if you’re an author who is considering self-publishing?
*low whistle* Oooh…bringin’ out the big guns just past ½ way through…I see how you are. 😉
Okay…uh…hmm…well, hell…here’s the thing; this is my 6th book as a self-published author. As you know, the first two books of the Windfire Series used to be one book called, The Betrayal and it was to be the first in the Living Dead Girl saga. It was an adult book and it was published through a small press. It’s how I got my start, actually.
Thing is, as awesome as they were to me and hats off to all that they taught me, but I feel that I do better on my own. Running a theater company here in the city for six years, I learned how to do promo work. If you have no idea how to market yourself, no interest or patience for doing so (or learning how), then I really recommend you go through small press. Self publishing is a lot of work, if someone tells you its not, they’re selling you something (as the saying goes).
Just remember this; you split profits from book sales with who publishes you. If they are not going to push you as much as you will, don’t share your money with them. We make so little as it is, why split it if you’re willing to put in the extra time/effort? So you see, in the end, it’s a personal decision. Now, if you can sell that book to one of the big houses and they do right by you on that contract or you get an agent who is busting their behind (and believe in you/your work)…by all means, GO FOR THAT!
But if it’s between self-publishing and small press, it comes down to how they treat you and how much effort they put behind your book. If you want to write and make few other decisions past editing, then there’s your answer. If you like to have a say in all things and don’t mind getting your hands dirty…well then…self-publishing could be good for you and your work.
Tell us about your upcoming projects.
Other than Moon Over Manhattan (which I mentioned earlier) I’m writing a new novel based on a short story of mine called, The Curse of Scáthach. This tale takes place in 1878, during the Lincoln County War in Lincoln, NM. If you’ve ever seen the movie, Young Guns, know anything about Billy the Kid, or are a fan of the American Wild West, then you may know a bit about that event. Not many do, but it’s a fascinating time full of murder, mystery, greed, and mob-mentality…to name just a few things.In order to do this, I took a trip to Lincoln, NM, in July. I met with a historian there and we spent four days going to the important locations of battles and such, so that I could get a feel for what it’s like out there. I’m a city gal so I really felt that was necessary if I was to do the story justice. Both the short story, and the soon-to-be novel, are VERY much rooted in real history, with fantasy elements woven into the gaps. Basically, I’ll be creating an alternate reality, justifying actual historical events with a supernatural twist. I’ve spent the past six months studying the war (and will continue to do so) so that words that were said and events that took place will appear in the book. As will the all the real people who were a part of the battle back then, they too will be present and accounted for in the story. I’m very excited to begin work on this when I return home from Dragon*Con.If you’re a fan of Billy the Kid or of the Wild West…you can buy this online for only 99¢. There is also a page on Facebook dedicated to the novel version with pictures and historical facts. You can find by going to Facebook and looking up The Curse of Billy the Kid.
Mark of the Necromancer and the short, The Curse of the Scáthach is available right now! Tell us where we can get it!! You can find links to all of my books and shorts, and see the first three episodes of the web series I wrote (Skye of the Damned), by visiting my website, www.tamsinsilver.com.
Thanks so much for being with us today, Tamsin! If you’re one of those lucky ducks going to DragonCon this weekend, be sure to seek her out and get copies of all her stuff! You won’t be sorry! And speaking of books….
About Mark of the Necromancer
Sabrina Grayson is dead and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to her. As a child, Sabrina saw
ghosts, but with age and parental influence, she forgot all about them. But now she’s a Necromancer who can travel the Death Highway and walk the Earth. Determined to discover who is behind her murder, she’ll pair up with Alex Price, walk into Hell, and face off with Lucifer himself.
About The Curse of the Scathach
I have a guest on The Belle today! I’m always excited when I have guests. It means you guys don’t have to listen to me ramble about myself! I know that’s exhausting. At any rate, I’m pleased to feature a hot new #military #romance from NYT and USA Today Bestselling author Sabrina York.
Guard Dog by Sabrina York
A scorching sequel to Stone Hard SEALs
Mason Steele expected to be a SEAL until the day he died. And he was. A pity they revived him. Now he’s been mustered out of the Navy and his life seems wholly unsatisfying. He misses the action; he misses the camaraderie; he misses being able to use his tightly-honed skills. He’s lucky to have snagged this job with GAPS—the Guardian Angel Protective Services—it provides some hope for his future. But the last thing he wants to do is babysit a spoiled heiress who is obsessed with the color of her nail polish and carries a Chihuahua in her purse.
But there’s more to Pansy Hightower than can be seen at first glance. She’s smart, sassy and determined to save the business her late mother built. She resents having a guard dog and does what she can to lose her muscular shadow. But when it becomes clear that someone is targeting her—perhaps for the same kind of fatal “accident” that befell her mother, she decides having the 240 pound SEAL with killer instincts and lethal hands at her back might be a good idea after all.
Until they share a kiss, that is. Until those lethal hands prove they have other talents as well. Talents that leave her breathless and wanting and weak. The last thing either of them wants is a relationship, but the scorching passion between them cannot be denied…even though it will undoubtedly spell disaster for them both.
Try an excerpt before you buy!
His gaze skated over her and he took in the rips in her dress, the scrapes on her legs and the dirt smudging her cheek. He should have tended to her wounds right off the bat. He should have seen to her comfort. He should have—
An ominous clicking sound and a sudden riffle of movement near his ankles captured his attention and he glanced down.
Lola, in her pink tutu glared up at him, her lip curled over impressively pointy teeth. Mason tipped his head to the side and met her challenging gaze with one of his own. It said: Really? Whatcha gonna do, Ratacus?
He probably shouldn’t have.
She lifted her leg.
And peed on his boots.
“Son of a bitch.” He didn’t mean to boom as he leaped back, but he did. Pansy shot up, her eyes wide. “What?” she cried. “What is it?”
He shot her a contrite look. “Your dog peed on my boots.”
“She does that.” Pansy huffed a sigh and headed for the powder room to grab a hand towel. “One of the reasons I don’t date.” She knelt before him and mopped up the puddle.
He should have stooped to help her, but honestly, he couldn’t. He couldn’t move to save his life. Because there she was, kneeling before him, with her head so close…
A scintillating thought, a captivating vision, a scalding need rose like the hydra. That, and a lowering realization.
He was a pervert. A goddamn pervert.
She was cleaning his fucking boots for God’s sake.
“You need a shower.”
Right. No idea why he blurted that.
Well, maybe one idea. He desperately needed her to stand. To move away, before he lost his mind and did something insane and necessary, like pull her closer.
She looked up at him. He forced himself to step away, he had to. Or his erection might have brushed her cheek.
And that would have been a disaster.
“Yeah. Um. You’re all banged up. We should get some antiseptic on those scrapes. Do you have a first aid kit?”
She said nothing so he glanced at her. That she was staring at his crotch sent a bolt of lightning through him. Her tongue peeped out and she lifted her gaze. He could have sworn he saw something simmering there. He tried mightily to ignore it.
Surely it wasn’t what he thought. Imagined. Ached for.
“Do you? Have a first aid kit?”
She shook her head. “I have no idea.” Nearly a whisper.
“I’ll call the concierge.” This was a penthouse suite. Surely there was a concierge. “Why don’t you go…um, clean up and I’ll call down for something.”
She stood slowly, holding his gaze. Something about her, her energy, her intensity, had shifted. It made him antsy. It made him restless. It made him hungry. She turned around—his heart sank—but then she said, softly, with a tentative quiver to her voice, “Could you unzip me?”
She peeped at him over her shoulder. Her eyes, so beautiful and blue, bore into his. “I can’t do it myself.”
He was certain she could. She was a grown woman. She’d been dressing—and undressing—herself for years. But he couldn’t refuse. Not when she asked so politely. “S-sure.” Hopefully she missed the stutter.
She could not have missed the fact that his fingers shook as he tried to grasp the tiny teardrop at the top of her zipper. Why the fuck did it have to be so tiny? It took forever for him to make the long journey down her spine, partly because the damn zipper kept catching and partly because he really wanted to savor the journey. As it advanced, more and more of her creamy skin was exposed. He wanted nothing more than to place his palm on her, to stroke her. To feel the heat of her skin against this.
But she’d asked him to unzip her. Not make a move.
It was a damn good thing he’d developed indomitable willpower as a SEAL. Denying himself things crucial to his being—air, water, food—was par for the course in their training.
This was by far the most difficult denial of all.
When he reached the bottom of the zipper, when a hint of a crease at the base of her spine was exposed, he stepped back. Though it cost him. “There,” he said.
Jesus, God. He was going to heaven for this.
He fucking better.
His restraint was nothing short of a penance.
But then…she shifted her shoulders and the scrap of material drifted to the floor. She shot another glance at him, something that was too much of an invitation to be misunderstood or misconstrued, and, wearing nothing but her skimpy bra and panties, padded into the bathroom.
More about Sabrina:
Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & sexy to scorching romance. Visit her webpage at www.sabrinayork.com to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Get updates and alerts from Sabrina here: HotSheet Sign Up.
Sabrina’s Military Romance Titles!
Recent releases from Sabrina York
So the first batch of releases from Little Red Hen Romance was a rip snorting success! Every single title hit the FREE bestsellers lists for short romance! I’d call that a win! So over at The Coop, we’re already preparing for next month’s #newreleases! First up, a cover reveal for a little contemporary we like to call “Mr. Hollywood.”
Stacie is a romance writer that no longer believes in romance. Her agent sends her off on a working vacation to Bora Bora in an attempt to rekindle her creative fire and meet a pressing deadline. It seems an impossible task until she’s saved from the clutches of disaster by a beautiful stranger.
“Mr. Hollywood” is the fifth release from Little Red Hen Romance, a publisher with a completely new concept in romance: short, sexy, romantic stories that are never more than 99 cents! Click the image for more!!
In case there’s someone out there who didn’t know, my big sis, Lucy Blue, is a much better writer than me. So much better that I’ve let her take over my blog today to talk about her new release, Alpha Romeo. It’s a scintillating tell-all book written in the style of a Hollywood memoir. Think about it this way– it’s the book about Angelina Jolie that you’ve always wanted to read. Lucy herself describes the book as being throwback to the old Danielle Steele/ Sidney Sheldon days. Anyway, today she’s taking over to talk about how she came to write Alpha Romeo and why it’s such an important book for her.
When I was a teen-ager, my mother’s favorite writer was Danielle Steele. It was one of the many things we fought about. “Those books are just garbage,” I would tell her. “They all have the same stupid, melodramatic plot. The characters are paper dolls. They read like the back of a cake mix. You read Thomas Hardy for fun, for heaven’s sake. How can you read that crap?”
As I recall, her defense usually ran along the lines of different strokes for different folks. But if I’d been particularly obnoxious, she might point out that she couldn’t understand how her beautiful daughter could enjoy “sickness” like Stephen King and Anne Rice, either, but she still loved me.
As I got older and started writing fiction of my own, she read every word I wrote. She was what that sicko Stephen King would call my “first reader,” and she praised it all, even the stuff outside her comfort zone, even the stuff I never finished. She encouraged me every step of the way, and when I sold my first book, a horror opus about vampires, consumptive whores, and Shakespeare, no one could have been more proud.
Mama’s health was never great, but about ten years ago, she took a definite turn for the worse. I was in the midst of writing about medieval vampires for Pocket Books. I actually made my first draft deadline for The Devil’s Knight during a two-week leave of absence I had taken from my day job to take care of her after her second open heart surgery. I don’t remember ever having the conscious thought to write a “Mama book.” I was very happy with my vamps. But right around that same time, reading a tabloid account of a celebrity divorce, I got the idea for Scarlett Cross, a movie star who’s been haunted her whole life by the violent death of her mother. I started writing about her in first person, a technique I hadn’t used for anything but short stories since college, because that was just how she came out of my head.
There are no supernatural monsters in Scarlett’s world. Maybe at that point in my life, the real world seemed a lot scarier than any horror I could think up. Maybe I lost the knack for believing in fairies and witches and vamps for a while. I know I made Scarlett a movie star to keep the fantasy, to keep that distance–the same reason, I suspect, that all of Danielle Steele’s heroines in those days were fashion models and lady business magnates and the daughters of Russian nobility. Those women go through hell, but they look fabulous doing it, and they never have to worry about stuff like money or bad plumbing (at least not after the first fifty pages). I know for me at that time, the story of an ordinary woman watching her mother waste away was beyond my talent and strength. But I could write the outlandish trials and tribulations of Scarlett Cross at lightning speed, wallowing in her pain. I wrote her made-up memoir right alongside my paranormals, hundreds and hundreds of pages of her voice telling the lurid story of her life while my own life as I had always known it fell apart.
And out of that came my latest book, Alpha Romeo, the story of Scarlett’s first love. Mama passed away in 2008, years before my notebooks full of Scarlett gelled into anything like an actual book, but sections of that manuscript were the last of my writing she ever read. “I love this one,” she told me. “This one is you. This is the one.” And while I know my vamps are as much me as Scarlett, and I still think Danielle Steele’s writing kind of sucks, I love this story in a way I’ve never loved anything else I’ve written. Because I know she would love it, not because her daughter wrote it, but because it’s her kind of book.
Our poor mother always wondered how she ended up with two daughters who liked to hide in a fantasy world. I think it’s safe to say that we are exactly what she made us. Here’s more about the book:
If the tabloids only knew.
Scarlett Cross is the classic Hollywood princess. Daddy is a movie star; Mama was a supermodel murdered when Scarlett was only four years old. Now she’s eighteen pretending to be younger for the sake of her father’s image and starting her own career as the muse of a famous European auteur. But bad boy actor Romeo Kidd is everything she’s ever wanted. He makes her feel safe and loved and wanted for the first time in her life, and she’ll do anything to keep from letting him go.
If Alpha sounds like your kind of book too, you can click the image above and zoom right over to buy it! It’s also available from Purple Sword Publications and All Romance if you prefer a different format. They also have nifty-neato excerpts so you can test drive first!!