Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Books on My TBR Pile - It's Growing! It's Growing!

I love writing, I can't imagine not writing.  But writing so much means I don't get to read as much as I would like. So in no particular order, here are the books sitting on top of my to be read pile for March.  From old friends to new gems, these favorites shouldn't be missed.

Fair Game
Patricia Briggs' Fair Game

They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can't afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father's dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack's help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. 

Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer's sights...

Nalini Singh's Angels' Flight

Angels' Flight
In Angel's Wolf a vampire becomes fascinated with the seductive angel who rules Louisiana. But all is not what it appears to be in her court.

In Angels' Judgment a hunter must track one of her own gone bad, while surviving the deadly tests placed in her way by the archangels themselves. Unexpected backup comes from a stranger who might just be the most lethal threat of all...


In Angels' Pawn a vampire hunter faces off against two rival factions and the angel manipulating them both, and a vampire whose help is not entirely selfless...


In Angels' Dance an angel trapped in the mountain stronghold of the Refuge finds herself under siege by a warrior angel from a martial court.

Melissa Schroeder's Callum (The Cursed Clan) 

As Laird, Callum Lennon feels he has always failed to protect his cousins. Callum's impulsiveness caused the death of his father and the experience has scarred not only his body, but his soul. From that point on, he made sure to always go with the more logical choice in every matter. When his younger cousin Angus finds clues that might help break the curse, Callum begrudgingly hires Phoebe Chilton to investigate. Callum doesn't like bringing outsiders into their family affairs. Their life would become fodder for the tabloids if anyone were to find out about the curse. It doesn't help that the instant he meets Dr. Chilton he's attracted. But, he doesn't really have a choice because she might be their last hope.

An expert in archeology, Phoebe has always been dwarfed by her parents' shadow. Their high standards had her in college by thirteen and earning a second PhD by twenty-two. But her career and her broken marriage have left her needing something more than just diplomas and degrees. She wants to prove that her interest in legends, especially Celtic legends, is as important as her parents' work. When the Lennon family contacts her, she sees the opportunity to win a massive research grant. With a long-time rival breathing down her back, she jumps at the Lennons' offer her, hoping it will ensure her the grant. But uncovering the Lennon family secrets, and her attraction to Callum, could prove more than she can handle.

Forces outside the family are determined to ensure that they fail. When an old enemy threatens both the well being of the clan and the fragile new love, Callum will have to choose between believing his mind or his heart.

This is a paranormal sensual romance, approx 65000 words. It is the first book of The Cursed Clan.

Lover Reborn

J.R. Ward's Love Reborn

Tohrment, the Brother who had it all, but lost everything to the enemy, is destined for a second chance at love and life. But will the past and his bitterness hold him back?

Ever since the death of his shellan, Tohrment is a heartbroken shadow of the vampire leader he once was. Brought back to the Brotherhood by a self-serving fallen angel, he fights again with ruthless vengeance- and is unprepared for a new tragedy. Seeing his beloved in dreams—trapped in a cold, desolate netherworld—he turns to the angel to save his former mate, only to despair at the path he himself must take to set her free. As war with the lessers rages, and a new clan of vampires vies for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between an unforgettable past, and a future that he doesn’t know he can live with… but can’t seem to turn away from.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Cassandra's Dilemma

This week's six sentence Sunday takes  a look at the world changing events in Cassandra's Dilemma recently released by Siren Publishing.  Two hard-headed heroes, one independent heroine and too many secrets to count.  Available exclusively at Siren-Bookstrand, but it will be released on third party sellers in a couple of weeks.

Buy this book!

Cassie shot a look over her shoulder, heart in her throat. What could paint such an ugly expression on two beautiful men? “What the hell?”
“Stay down,” Helcyon and Book barked simultaneously.
The situation might almost have been funny, but malevolence oozed off the man—no, that wasn’t a man. It was a creature, a mass of twisting, sinuous shadows—whatever it was. Eyes the color of pitch bored into her, rooting through her soul, freezing her blood. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Holding Out for a Hero

You know it's funny, a beta reader finished up a book for me recently and told me that my hero in that book was a lot more complicated and messy than they were expecting.  When I asked, how so?  They told me that unlike my other heroes, this one didn't seem to have a stand up straight line between right and wrong.  Definitely curious now, I asked how so?

Well, they couldn't really give me an absolute definition.  But they said, you know Sam Kane (my hero in Marshal of Hel Dorado), he was a stand up guy. You knew what he stood for. You knew he would do what was right, even as he struggled with it.  Jacob Book (one of my two heroes in Cassandra's Dilemma) was a pretty straight up guy, too.  He didn't like what the heroine was doing, but you were pretty sure that his hard ass would still come down on the right side.

As my beta reader continued in this vein, I asked so what did my hero do in this recent book that was murky?  He said, well, nothing.  He didn't want to do the right thing.  When pressed, he backed up and said, the hero did do the right thing, he was loyal and self-sacrificing, but he was also a bit of a jackass and pushy and he didn't necessarily want to be the guy that saved the day. Even if he did do it because it needed to be done.  He wasn't a clear-cut, stand up hero, he was complicated, with complicated motivations and that made for great conflict internally and externally.

You have no idea how happy that made me!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Spells and Spell Casting Class Registration Filling Up

Hey there, as you may have note last month, I teamed up with Deborah Blake to begin offering a series of online classes in Wicca, Witchcraft, Spell Craft and Writing.  This month's class on Spells and Spell Casting is filling up rapidly. Classes begin next Monday, but registration closes on Sunday evening at 6 p.m. Eastern sharp. 

So what is the class about?  It's designed for those with a basic knowledge of the practice of Witchcraft who wish to learn how to write and cast spells and for authors who want to accurately portray spellcasting in their books and for those who simply want to learn more about the world of Wicca and to take away some of the blinders associated with the religion and its practices.  Spells and Spellcasting is a very specific class, but Deborah Blake brings a wealth of experience and talent to the classroom.

The class is three days, completely online and you will enjoy a dynamic experience where the class participants are encouraged to bring the level of discussion up to a round table so that we all benefit from the shared experience.  If you want to learn more about this class and register, head over to the class site. You'll also find a calendar of upcoming classes for March and April.  Be sure to check back as we update it regularly.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

Today's six sentence Sunday comes to you from Marshal of Hel Dorado, now $0.99 for the ecopy everywhere.  Book 1 in the Fevered Hearts series, Book 2: Brave Are the Lonely releases March 6.

"Take this out to the boys so they can load up. It's hard to carry more than one thing at a time through.  We need to make sure we have it all."
Her words spurred Sam into action.  They were taking the gold. He wasn't sure how they'd gotten in the bank or how they were getting out of it, but he was of a mind to keep them from taking any more.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cassandra's Dilemma Release Day!

Hey, I just realized I hadn't dropped a note on here about Cassandra's Dilemma being released today!  I blame mental fatigue for that one, oh and did I mention someone got an A on her thesis? Why yes she did.  Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

So, here's the plan, get some chocolate, pick out your favorite drink (be it wine or coffee) and kick back with Cassandra's Dilemma tonight!  Come on, you know you want too!

Available from Siren Exclusively!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chocolate Day, Cassandra's Dilemma Giveaway and More

Happy Valentine's to those of you who celebrate it. I have never been a big fan of the day, sure it's all about 'romance,' 'sharing affection,' and inviting that special someone to be your Valentine.  I think when you're lovers and you love someone, every day is Valentine's and it's worth sharing that affection everyday.  Of course, I'm a romance author, so I like to embrace the romance in every possible way.

I want to share with you the holiday I do celebrate every year, right around this time, and I began this little tradition back in my teens and it's just stuck.  Now it's an annual holiday that I share with my mini me and we're shortly going to involve our friends.

Happy Chocolate Day

One of my favorite parts of Valentine's are all those heart shaped boxes chock full of chocolate.  As a general rule of thumb, I don't eat a lot of chocolate except on Chocolate Day each year.  So what is Chocolate Day you ask? I'm so glad you did!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Just Another Manic Monday...

...wish it was Sunday, ooooh, oooh, because that's my fun day, it's just another Manic Monday.   You know, there's a problem when you wake up on a rainy Monday morning and that song is already logged into your brain's soundtrack for the day.  In my defense, I've had a crazy awesome weekend and while it's true, today it's back to work on a new book, new projects and more, I'm starting the day about a thousand pounds lighter.

Completing My MBA

I've always believed in lifelong education.  I think you don't stop learning until you're dead. I teach classes. I take classes. I actually want to get my teacher's certification and stand up in front of a classroom filled with open minds and teach.  But to do all of those things, I have to keep learning.

So a little over 18 months ago, I decided to go back to school for my master's degree.  My objective was two-fold, I was working for a freelance position in marketing and I wanted a stronger grounding in the business and marketing aspects (that it helps my career as an author was a plus) and I wanted to encourage someone else to go back to school.

The second objective, at the time, was far more important than the first.  It was also successful.  This individual went back to school and completed a certification program.  They struggled with it on and off, but I was right there doing it too and that seemed to keep them motivated.  Fortunately for them (not so much for me) they finished several months ago, while I still had to push on.

Rocking the Boat

A few months ago, I described November as an extremely bipolar month for me.  I signed a number of contracts (one of those for a book releasing on Wednesday), but it was also the month that I officially separated from my husband after nearly two decades together and twelve years married.  It was a difficult month, with really high highs and some pretty narsty lows, but I made it through that and the holidays and into the new year.

I've barely had time to breathe over the last few weeks, but turning in that thesis this weekend, finishing that seemingly insurmountable task and having it done has lightened my load.  I finished my fifth 1Night Stand Always a Marine story yesterday and turned that in, I turned in Jacob's Trial, the next Forbidden Legacy on Friday and today I dive into a book that's had to sit on the back burner all month and in three weeks I get to share Brave Are the Lonely, the next Fevered Hearts book with the world.

So yes, it's just another Manic Monday, but it's going to be a great ride.

By the way, don't miss out on my blog tour, you can click the link above to see where in the world Heather is at today!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: Dangerous Liaisons

That grating sound you heard last night was  The Vampire Diaries slipping off the rails in a massive train wreck.  Don't get me wrong, there were some good moments.  Everything with Caroline was just absolutely brilliant, I could go on at length about just how amazing Vampire Barbie was, but the contrast with Elena bugged me to no end.

So I will apologize now, because this post mortem is going to be a rather pointed deconstruction of character destruction and seemingly OOC (out-of-character) behavior that fed into one contrived plot point.  That contrivance fed the a rail into the spokes and crashed the train with a lot of favorites on board.

Mummy Dearest

I said last week that I didn't think Esther came back to forgive her son and I said that to kill him, to kill any of them, she would need to strip them of their immortality and I would bet dollars for donuts she'd need Elena's blood to do it.  After all it was Tatya's blood she used the first time.

Now, knowing all of this, Elena gets a personal invitation from Esther.  She wants to meet Elena.  Damon's opposed because Esther's already tried to kill her once -- see what happened to Rick's car earlier in the season -- you know when Vicki tried to torch it with Elena inside.  But Elena wants to meet her.


Does she want to ask her a million questions like what's up with the doppelganger?

Does she think she can mean girl a thousand year old witch who tried to kill her from the beyond the grave?

Does she think that she can actually tickle the woman's compassion?

None of these questions are actually answered.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Where In The World is Chance Monroe?

This week has been a bit crazy for me, as you might imagine. I am gearing up for a new book release (I'm already touring for it and over at the fabulous Mel Schroeder's blog today), finishing up my thesis and presentation for my MBA, and working on a dozen other projects.  But something odd happened this week, something rather unexpected, and seven a little touching.  I received not one, not two, but four separate emails from different people asking me about the Chance Monroe series.  They'd picked up my free read over at ARe entitled 'It Happens,' which for those of you who may not know, is a short story featuring Chance and a little problem with some rising dead that she had to deal with.

The Chance Monroe series was originally published by Sapphire Blue Publishing beginning in 2009, with the second book released in 2011 and the third book, finished, but currently not in release.  At the end of November, 2011, the authors at Sapphire Blue Publishing were informed that the publisher was closing their doors.  Now, while this is always a sad thing, the publishers were fantastic about reverting our rights ASAP and turning our books back over to us.  This is a great thing.

The downside is that means they are not currently for sale anywhere.  So Chance, right now, is in limbo while I look for a new home for her. I have a couple of nibbles and my fingers are most firmly crossed.  Chance Monroe is probably one of the best characters I've ever created, at least for me.  She's got sass, spunk, and snark -- three things I love to write.

Unfortunately, I don't have any news now.  But keep your fingers crossed for me and keep checking in. Trust me, as soon as Chance gets new lodgings (aka a publisher), you will be the first to know!  And thanks for the letters, they brought a smile to my face for not only the compliments about 'It Happens,' but the desire to see more Chance!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Writing - For Love and Money

I make my living by writing.  By day I copy write for businesses while early in the wee hours of the morning I spin my tales of new couples and new worlds. Every part of my day is related to writing in some fashion from writing emails, to reading emails and helping the mini me with her projects, whether it's writing or reading to writing new copy for my day job and hitting my goal of a chapter a day (3 to 5K).

Whether I'm earning an hourly salary, hugs and kisses from my kiddo or selling a book, I write for love and money, not just money.  When I was sixteen years old, my language arts instructor required that we write in a journal every day.  He would write a quote on the wall and we had to use that quote as our inspiration.  That habit stayed with me for nearly twenty-five years now.

I don't use quotes to get me going now (I leave that to my coffee), but I still take my inspiration from similar lines whether it's a line of dialogue in a television show, a song lyric or an overheard conversation.   Over the last five weeks, I've been completely immersed in my thesis or for the MBA, my business plan.

As a topic, I chose the advantages available to the modern author, me and my strategy for me to be successful.  Everything I've learned in this degree program points to several tools available to authors to focus on themselves as a 'business' from analyzing strengths and weaknesses in my writing process to my business choices in what publishers to submit to or to run the self-publishing route to the benefits of e-publishing versus print versus self and everything in between.

Yes, that sound you hear is my brain melting.  But thinking about all of these facets are just as important to today's author as honing our craft is.  Writing is a passion and it's a business and somewhere in between are the authors.

I'm counting down the days to finishing my MBA and the release of my erotic paranormal Cassandra's Dilemma.  It's different, fun, sexy and populated with two stubborn heroes - my favorite kinds!   And yes, I wrote it for love and I hope it earns money!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: Bringing Out the Dead

Last week ended with a bang, Elijah was back, but this week's episode was remarkably sober, somber and sad from beginning to end.  While I often speculate about where the writers are going with the story, I am delighted that I am not always right and even more so when they completely catch me off guard.  Tonight's episode, the tone, the pacing, the delivery and the overall story, was remarkable for its intensity, passion and most of all, for it's devotion to family and what family means. 


Klaus was not that happy to see Elijah last week and Elijah was less than thrilled with Klaus.  He understood immediately that it wasn't Klaus who undaggered him.  It wasn't long before these two were hammering down on each other.  It was entertaining that Klaus grabbed a dagger out of brother Kol and Elijah said, "Go ahead, but then you'll have to deal with Kol."

Based on Klaus' reaction, Elijah's morality is easier for him to manipulate.  So he put the dagger back in his other brother. A move that may have ended his alliance with Elijah before it even began. Klaus pulls the brother card, he wants to reunite their family but he needs Elijah's help to destroy Stefan Salvatore.

Okay, pardon me a moment, but if sticking the dagger back in Kol didn't tell Elijah that Klaus was definitely three grapes shy of a fruit bowl, then this statement should have.  Why the hell does he need Elijah's help? In all of this, I don't believe Stefan has ever been a real threat to Klaus.  Why Klaus has persisted in the charade, I haven't understood either. 

Loving Daddy

Every character on this show has had daddy issues.  From Michael and Klaus to the Salvatore brothers and father Giuseppe to Elena and John to Tyler and the Mayor.  Earlier this season, we watched Bill Forbes chain his daughter up, take away her ring and expose her to sunlight, his goal?  Discipline her to not react to blood, to control her hungers.  It was hellish for the girl.  

Even after Tyler and her mother saved her, Bill couldn't tell her it would ever be all right. Because vampires were wrong, they were an abomination.  The damage was enormous to the young woman, but Caroline persevered (she really has become one of the strongest women on this show).  When Tyler called Bill to ask for his help in breaking the sire bond, Bill came.