Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April 1 - Susan Mallery Launches Her Fools Gold Series and Chasing Perfect

Fools Gold Cast of characters

April 1st many things are happening on Susan Mallery's Facebook page. Her Fools of Love contest ends tomorrow and she's celebrating the launch of Chasing Perfect which takes place in Fools Gold, CA.

Heroes? The new men of modern romantic fiction are about as sexy as socks

Here's an interesting article on romance........

Something’s gone wrong with romance writing.

Where once manly Rhett Butler battled the flames of Atlanta to rescue
Scarlett O’Hara or a rugged Heathcliff tore the earth from Catherine Earnshaw’s
grave, readers now find New Men so wet you could wring them out and about as
heart-thumpingly sexy as socks.

As for the heroines, they are invariably so exhausted by disease,
divorce or family dysfunction that their hearts can’t skip a beat, let alone
thud with passion. Rare are sassy survivors such as Moll Flanders or vixens like
Vanity Fair’s Becky Sharpe.

With so much depressingly limp romantic fiction on offer, it’s no
surprise that a growing number of thirty-somethings have begun indulging a
secret passion for a genre we thought was dying: Mills & Boon, the longtime
home of stereotypically intense male leads and swooning females.

Rest of article here

Waiting on Wednesday (18)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:
by Jenna Black
St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: May 25, 2010

The following description is from
Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, Dana decides she’s had it with being her mother’s keeper, so she packs her bags and heads to stay with her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl—she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie. Soon, she finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone wants something from her, even her newfound friends and family. Suddenly, life with her alcoholic mom doesn't sound half bad, and Dana would do anything to escape Avalon and get back home. Too bad both her friends and her enemies alike are determined not to let her go . . .

I just found out about this book last week. It sounds a little like Holly Black's Tithe series to me, anyone else think so? I mean that as a compliment, I loved that series!!

What are you waiting for this week?

Bev Marshall on Creating Memorable Characters

Bev Marshall on Creating Memorable Characters

"How do you make memorable characters?

First, you must know them better than you know yourself."

Bev is very notebook oriented in her writing, which I love. She advocates using a drawing pad for character development. Each character gets a fresh, blank page, and she writes in columns everything she knows about the character. Then she focuses on their dreams and regrets, which she says are the most important elements since they help create character motivation.

Though she says writing journal entries in her characters' voices works for her, she also recommends having your character write a letter to you, the author. Listen to what they want, but also to the cadence of their speech, the syntax of their voices.

Another key to making memorable characters is to give them memorable traits. Make them interesting and memorable, and have flaws that come into play.

[My example, not Bev's: Arthur Dent is one of the most passive characters in all of literature (Yes, Hitchhiker is literature, dammit!), and he's an ordinary man. Hard to care about a character so ordinary. Why should we?

Part of the reason he's so memorable, aside from the adventures fate thrusts him into without towels or proper tea, is because he's constantly kept from getting what he wants. This gives the reader a reason to care about him. Of course, having hilarious writing and other memorable characters with interesting quirks and extra body parts always helps. ;)]

Bev says to remember that the important part of the story is not the outcome, but the struggle.
Readers want to read about active people trying, and often failing, to take charge of their lives. Readers also want characters to change, but it can't happen out of the blue, or be "told". We must "see" the events that change the character, or we won't believe it. This makes it seem to the reader that your characters are acting out of character, even if in the eyes of you, the writer, the change seems logical and natural. Think about what you're not showing the reader.

As for Bev's everyday writing process, she keeps multiple journals. One is an "emotional dumpster". Another is for random notes she takes as they come to her. She also keeps a project journal for each project, which I strongly advocate.

Her most important journal, she said, was her travel journal. This comes in handy for spying on people and eavesdropping. "If anyone's speaking in public loud enough to be heard, it's okay to steal." ;) Her pocket notebook captures the essence of the moment, and keeps that moment fresh until she can use it.

I tend to use the notes function on my phone for this, and for those middle of the night notes to myself. Much easier than trying to interpret my handwriting from 3am.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Bev was a hoot, and I wanted to leave with one last quote from her about writing:

"Editors reject books for being too familiar, and because they've been submitted too soon. It's like gumbo, folks, the longer it takes, the better!"

Tomorrow's post will be from literary agent Marly Rusoff's master class.

Interview with Linda Hilburn Author of Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist series

Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Hilburn, paranormal fiction author, but more important for us she writes about Vampires;) She is a outstanding writer!
For this interview I wanted to let Linda tell us more about her Kismet Knight series for those who may not know about Kimset, for those of us that do I asked a few just to see where Kismet may be going. Please check Linda's website and blog below.

Bbpr-Who is Lynda Hilburn, can you give us a little about you outside of your writing?

Linda Hilburn-I make most of my living as a licensed psychotherapist and certified clinical hypnotherapist. I enjoy my counseling work, although it can be challenging and exhausting! I work full time at a local community mental health center in Denver. I also sing professionally whenever I can and I offer workshops and presentations about all sorts of things. I have lots of interests and I try to allow myself time to do all of them. Finding time for writing is sometimes difficult, but I really miss it if I don't do it regularly. I usually spend a good portion of the weekends in front of my computer, trying to figure out what Kismet wants to do next in her adventures.

BbPR-Who or what was your inspiration for writing such a dark violent sexual Vampire series?

Linda Hilburn-I have to smile. I guess I never thought of my books that way, but I guess they are dark, violent and sexual! I just wrote what I like to read and that's the way they came out! I always intended that my vampires would be the types that weren't shamed or guilty about being vampires. They like it. I guess that makes a big difference in the tone of the story.

BbPNR-For those who have never read Kismet Knight series, can you give them a little peek?
Linda Hilburn-Here are blurbs for each book:


Denver Psychologist Kismet Knight just wants a little excitement in her life. A little publishing fame and fortune. She doesn’t believe in the paranormal. Especially not comic book children of the night. But when a new client pulls Kismet into the vampire underworld, and introduces her to gorgeous Devereux -- who claims to be an 800-year-old vampire -- Kismet finds herself up to her neck in the undead. Not to mention all the other bizarre creatures crawling out of Denver’s supernatural Pandora’s Box. And if being attracted to a man who thinks he’s an ancient bloodsucker isn’t bad enough, someone -- or something -- is leaving a trail of blood-drained dead bodies. Enter handsome FBI profiler Alan Stevens, who warns her that vampires are very real and that one is a murderer. A murderer who is after her. In the midst of it all, Kismet realizes she has feelings for both the vampire and the profiler. But though she cares for each of the men, the reality that vampires exist is enough of a challenge . . . for now.


Denver Psychologist Kismet Knight counsels vampires. Her life changed forever when she discovered a preternatural underworld, met Devereux, the powerful leader of a vampire coven, and was forced to rethink her notions of “reality.”

Still adjusting to her new role as an expert on all things paranormal, she schedules what she believes is simply another radio interview. She couldn’t be more mistaken. Not only does the radio host behave very strangely, but an ominous, on-air call from day-walking vampire Lyren Hallow turns Kismet’s world upside-down -- again.

Shortly thereafter, Maxie Westhaven, a tabloid newspaper reporter in search of a juicy story, befriends Kismet, leading her into a bizarre world of role players, lost souls and death. Enter Victoria Essex, Devereux’s building manager and resident witch, who discloses a startling secret of her own.

Meanwhile, Luna, Devereux’s hostile femme fatal personal assistant, recognizes a perfect opportunity to throw a wrench into her boss’s blossoming relationship with the human psychologist, and, to complicate matters further, Kismet’s old boyfriend, self-absorbed Psychologist Tom Radcliffe, shows up with his own outlandish request.

BbPNR-Devereux is a very dangerous sexy vampire, can you give those who have never read about him a peek into his mind.

Linda Hilbrun-Devereux is an 800-year-old immortal. His ancestry is Druid and he comes from the same line as the wizard Merlin. He was a talented magician and seer before he became a vampire, and all his abilities became magnified with the change. He has used his long life to acquire wisdom and knowledge. He had a vision of Kismet hundreds of years before he met her, and he believes she holds the key to his destiny. He is gorgeous and sexy, but he can also be stubborn and arrogant. But then, if you were a gorgeous, brilliant vampire, wouldn't you be, too?

BbPRN-Do you have a favorite character between the two books? If so who and why?

Linda Hilburn-Kismet is my favorite character. She is a thinly disguised version of me and I get to act out all my dreams and desires through her. What could be better than being surrounded by gorgeous males with enhanced libidos and amazing abilities? She gets to have all the fun!

BbPNR- In both The Vampire Shrink and Dark Harvest, Kismet was in between two men/vampires. Will we see the same in the third book?

Linda Hilbyrn-In the third book, BLOOD THERAPY, Kismet has to deal with an unpleasant surprise involving Devereux. I'm never sure which characters might make a return appearance in any particular book, but, so far, it doesn't seem that there is another man in the picture. But perhaps there is another woman in Devereux's life . . .

BbPNR-How much of Lynda did you put in Kismet?
Linda Hilburn-She is totally a dream version of me! She is thinner, prettier, younger, sexier and she has way more fun than I do! She gets to do all the things I fantasize about, while hanging out with incredible men. It just doesn't get any better than that!

BbPNR- I loved Dark Harvest. In it Hallow made a great dark evil villain as a vampire, can you give those who have not read the series a peek of him?

Linda Hilburn-Hallow is the oldest vampire on earth. He's older than even Devereux can imagine. But, unfortunately, being that old has begun to distort his clever mind. He appears very handsome and appealing. He has something that attracts women to him. He tells Kismet that he has come to "harvest" someone she knows. But the situation turns out to be much more complicated and horrifying than that. While he's thoroughly terrible, there is something almost irresistible about the demented bloodsucker.

BbPNR- For those like me that is anxiously waiting for the third book, can you let us in on a little on how its going?

Linda Hilburn-Since I work full-time, it's taking me a little longer to get this book written. But I promise I'm plugging away at it! I should be able to finish the first draft by summer. After that, I'll have to sell it. So, keep your fingers crossed for me!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog and for asking me such great questions. I will keep my blog updated with the latest news:

Also, I created a Kindle version of a novella I wrote under my pen name: Undead in the City. Readers can find it on Just search for my name.
Linda's website

Thank you Linda!!!

I will defiantly be keeping my fingers crossed, I need that next Kismet book......

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Review Coming Undone by Lauren Dane

Coming Undone
Author- Lauren Dane
Erotic Romance
Authors website

Book description:
Brody Brown has always been responsible for others. After his parents’ death, he gave up a promising artistic career to care for his younger brother and sister. Now, with his siblings grown, Brody owns his own business, has a nice house, makes a nice living, and for the first time in years he’s on his own.

Elise Sorenson has come to Seattle with her young daughter to find peace. After years as a world-famous ballerina—(and just as many years in a marriage-gone-bad)—she’s looking for neither love nor attention. But she finds both in the handsome, honest man who befriends her with no strings attached.

More than friends, Brody and Elise discover in each other what they need—wild, physical passion without commitment. But it’ll take a shadow from Elise’s past to make them look beyond what they need—to what they truly desire.
Lauire's reivew
rating 4/5

The second book for the Brown family. I found it not as good as the first, but its still a good erotic romance. You’ll read about the whole family again plus you get another glimpse into Erin’s bedroom with her two men, so this one does have m/m and more m/m interaction then in the first book. You still get excitement, mixed emotions with a added bonus of a hot tattoo, body piercing man with a goatee named Brody who owns his own tattoo studio.

Elise and daughter Rennie moves across the street form Brody after something horrible happens to her a few years back. Elise finds Brody across the street to be a hot looking bad boy. Well one day while Brody was checking his mail someone runs over him with a car , Elise see what happens she tells Rennie to get the cell phone and first aid kit. Brody calls Elsie a angel. When Brody comes home form hospital is when things heats up between them. Both Brody and Elise have a relationship more like friends with benefits, but no sleeping around on each other.

I found Elise easy to read. With all she goes through she is strong. Daughter does not get in the way, Dane does a great job with adding her in the story. Brody is great sexy hot guy anyone would want. The only beef I had was Raven, but I guess you have to have a bad guy somewhere. This book brings Adrian Brown in more, so you get to know a little on him. I assume the next book will be about him.

you dont have to read this series in order, but it does help.
1.Laid Bare
2.Coming Undone

Joseph Boyden on the Art of Revising

Joseph Boyden on the Art of Revising

This speaker is not only an author of both novels and short stories, he's also a professor at the University of New Orleans. He teaches his students to look at revising as finding the right way to tell the story.

In his classes for grad students, he has a list of "Rules of the Game"-- the sort of rules you've got to learn before you can break them.

1. For Boyden, Plausiblity, or the suspension of disbelief, ranks number one. Nothing jolts a reader out of the story faster than inconsistencies in character. Characters will/should change, but not without reason. Their motivation and willingness to change should come naturally as a part of the story.

2. Have a reader you trust. If you can't find someone you trust, read it aloud to yourself. Tape yourself reading and play it back to catch inconsistencies. Trust "the reader" as in, your audience. They are going to read based on their own personal experience, which may be completely different than yours.

3. Choice of narrator is key. They bring their own "baggage" to the story. They must take action, and not sit passively, all big eyes and ears. Victims of circumstance must eventually choose their own path. Readers want to side with a narrator NOT the author, which is why 3rd person omniscient pov has fallen out of favor. Which brings us to:

4. POV. How is the reader going to connect with your story?

Aside from sounding a trifle old-fashioned to the modern ear, 3rd omniscient never allows the reader to bridge the gap between them and the characters. Third person dramatic (a new one on me) tells a story using third person pronouns, but unlike limited or omniscient, the reader only sees what is obvious, the character actions, and is not given a glimpse into the minds of the characters.

Third limited is more or less exactly like first person, with different pronouns. It allows for greater empathy than omniscient. Second person narrative tends to read like an instruction manual.

90% of all first novels are told in 1st. The reasoning being that if we the writers are inside our character's heads, anything "they" say must be how they are experiencing life. But one of the pitfalls is to resort to too much telling. Its limitations include the inability to show the reader a scene if the narrator isn't there, and that it is more insular than third. Someone reading Nabokov's Lolita may feel uncomfortable referring to its anti-hero as "I" "Me", but might not have minded if it were in third. (Of course, in this case, prose and style win a lot of points over discomfort)

*If you alternate pov (at this point I swear he was staring right at me, like he knew about PARALLEL), you'd better have a good reason for it, and your results had better be effective.

Distance is the biggest problem during revision. Characters must come alive through action and dialogue, hence, interaction between characters is important. They play off one another, build each other's character.

5. It helps to break down the parts of your story into "Building Blocks".

a. Exposition- background, internal monologue, filling in the blanks. Not to be overused or abused, "telling" passages better have great "voice".

b. Scene- action as it happens. Sounds easy enough, but the actions must strike a balance with both Exposition, and:

c. Dialogue- speech. No "telling" of the plot, no "As you know, Bob..." Speech should reveal more about character and emotion than plot. If it feels too easy, it probably is.

6. Tempo- Not only is pacing important, but each individual sentence must have rhythym and emotional impact. Don't rush or drag out scenes or the emotion won't be there.

7. Finally, What you find yourself leaning on, is probably what you'll need to excise the most. (I think we can all look inside ourselves and answer that one.) Recognize when you're falling into patterns. Question your reasoning for making a decision you aren't sure about.

Tune in tomorrow for my notes on author and professor, Bev Marshall's class on creating memorable characters. Bev stepped in for E.M Kelby, who was unable to attend the festival.

And don't forget to visit The Beta Club today!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Review Beyond the Darkness by Alexranda Ivy

Beyond the Darkness
Author-Alexandra Ivy
Paranormal romance- Wolf-shifter
masspaperback pgs 384
Author's website

Book Description
Salvatore Giuliani is not a happy werewolf. It’s his duty as leader to track down the pureblood females who can keep his people from extinction. But the moment he catches scent of Harley, a pureblood held by a pack of mangy curs, his savage need for her obliterates all other instincts. And the only thing worse than being captured is finding that beautiful, independent Harley defiantly refuses to become his mate.

Harley has been taught to distrust all Weres, especially their arrogant king. She won’t be used for breeding or bonded against her will, not even to a man who makes every nerve tingle with awareness. Yet Salvatore is her key to saving the family she never knew she had—if she dares to succumb to his dark, predatory desire, and face a vicious enemy sworn to destroy them both…

Laurie's review
rating 5/5
sexual Hot! for a PNR
This is the first book in this series that I have wrote a review on, this is another one of my top vampire/shape-shifter series. Every book in this series is full of humor, adventure, romance, hot sexy vampires/shape-shifters, Strong heroine‘s, suspense, excitement, and hot sex, to put the cherry on top! As in all of Ivy’s books she brings all of her characters back around, so you never miss out on any of them.

There is a three foot Gargoyle named Levet, he appears in every book. Every hero in this series wants him gone, while every heroine’s will do anything for him even if its throw their vampire/shape-shifter on the couch, just to help Levet. Levet maybe small, but he somehow comes in and helps saves the day in some way. These books would not be the same with out him.

This book brings you Salvatore The King of Weres. To tell you the truth in the last book I found Salvatore just didn’t do it for me. But when I started reading this book, I was like WOW he is one HOT were! I really fell into his roll he starts out very flirty with Harley and the romance grows form there, its really hot. Salvatore finds himself not have a good day, along with him is Levet the annoying gargoyle, they both have a time of getting out of their predicament. Its one that had me LMBO at them both trying to get out.

Harley I found wonderful, she is not over the top or just a dull character. I also fell in the roll of her character, she has been taught against Salvatore, so she has to take her time to trust him, but I never found her annoying. I like the way she is strong against anything thrown her way.

For those who have never read this series. There has not been a were mating in years, so no one knew that it could happen. I really like the way the mating was written and that both had to participate in this before it was complete. This is a very sexy adventure to read.

There is an sneek peek of Devoured by Darkness in the back

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Night Huntress World book #2 Eternal Kiss of Darkness Cover Art

I seen this one goodreads and loved it!!! Release date July 27. This is the second book to Jeaniene Frost Night Huntress World..
Author's website

Romance Writers of America Announces New Education Initiative

Romance Writers of America Announces New Education Initiative
On April 1, RWA will be launching its new education program, RWA University – the culmination of months of work by members of the Board of Directors and the RWA office staff. The information that will go live that day and in the weeks and months ahead is just the beginning of what we plan to be a living, growing, robust education program. Be sure to check back often to see what new information we’ve added, and please share the word with your fellow RWA members. Also, we want to know what you think: what we haven’t covered, suggestions for other sources of information on the topics, etc.

This pilot year of the program will focus on the various publishing avenues, so we’ll be going over details of large print programs, small press, digital, subsidy, vanity, work for hire and self-publishing. RWA U is a self-directed program, meaning you can read through the available information at any time after it’s posted. We plan to have industry professionals give presentations online, and lots of links to other sources on the sub-topics will be available. We’ll also run periodic RWR articles on these topics as well.

We are constantly brainstorming new ideas for RWA U and have big aspirations for the program. It may grow slowly at first, but we’re just getting our feet wet. We have other exciting educational offerings in the works, things that will help the members of RWA in their endeavors to build bigger and better romance writing careers for themselves.

I hope you all enjoy and find benefit in RWA U.

Trish Milburn, Chair
RWA Education Task Force

100 followers contest

This contest is for 100 followers. For this contest you'll receive 3 slightly used books and two new book marks along with a 15.00 gift card for BooksaMillion, I will also throw in a bag of my favorite cookies as a surprise:)

How to enter
leave comment below that you are old or new follower
extra entries to earn
2+ post contest on your blog
1+ twitter this contest
2+ friend on my goodreads
2+ for friend on my twitter
please leave links for these. You'll find my goodreads and twitter on the right column of the blog. I have a question on my goodreads just say "contest 100" and I will know thanks
I'm going to ask you add your email at the end of this one please, So I can contact the winner.
This contest will end as soon as we hit 100 followers
USA residents only on this one

Saturday, March 27, 2010

In My Mailbox (18)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.

"The Last Song" by Nicholas Sparks

I won this from Kristina at The Cajun Book Lady, the book was sent by Grand Central Publishing. I was so excited to win this one!! I've been waiting to read this book since it came out and now I can just in time for the movie release! Thank you!!

Glee Volume 1 CD

I won this from Alyssa, Jake, and Gregory at Teens Read and Write!! The cd is awesome, I love the songs and this show! I can't wait for the new "season" to start in April. Thanks so much!!

There's been a lot of debate around the blogosphere this week about IMM, do you feel like it's a good post?? I really think IMM is a great way to give a shout out to the awesome bloggers who have sponsored contests that I have won. Hopefully I can give their blog some traffic through my post, just as another way of saying "Thank you!" I also think it's a way to give exposure to a book that a publisher has sent for review. After all, that's why they send us books, right? To get exposure? Of course I'm still going to write a review when I'm finished, but a lot of times the IMM posts get more traffic than a review post. What do you think about IMM???

Review of Night after Night by Kathryn Smith

Authors web site:

Ronda Tutt's Review

Paranormal Romance - Vampires


Excellent Ending for this series - I couldn't put the book down and read it straight through.

The Order of the Silver Palm finally comes to an end when Villiers the Order's leader tries to bring back Lilith through the ritual where "The scripture says, 'The noble organs of five fallen women mixed with the blood of five first-generation vampires will give the Mother life, freeing her from her prison.'That is what's needed to give her form." Pg 332

However, in order for Lilith to take form, he has to sacrifice his chosen one which happens to be Vivian, a girl he bought from a circus when she was real young and raised her knowing she was a decendent straight from Lilith. Vivian however doesn't know this growing up and doesn't find out until after she has fallen in love with Temple.

So in this ritual, Villiers plan works up to the point of using Vivian as bait to draw Temple in and his Bloodbrothers of the blood but gets a big surprise when Lilith doesn't use Vivian's body for Liliths form to go into and inhabit.

Villiers gets another surprise, bringing Lilith forth and his expectency of her being thankful and granting him anything he wishes for - well is not what he gets. Actually this pisses Lilith off that he would harm her children and actually kill Vivian when he realizes he's not going to get what he wants. All hell breaks loose and The Bloodbrothers and Lilith tear the place apart. Villiers meets his end but Temples love is laying on a table dead and his heart is breaking.

Lilith and the Bloodbrothers feel his pain and Lilith takes Vivian in her arms and gives her immortality by turning her into a vampire then gives her to Temple and tells him to take care of her for eternity.

I loved how this story ends - Now that the Order of the Silver Palm is completely destroyed and Lilith has been brought forward and freed, she needed to learn about the earths people so she ends up staying in Clare, Irland where Temple had bought a place that was a school that worship the goddess Lilith - what better way to have the goddess herself teach at her own school while she learned about the humans way of life.

All the Brotherhood return back to their lives and some of them actually even have children later on in life and Lilith eventually leaves the school in hunt for Sammael, the man who had originally imprisoned her in to the chalice that the Brotherhood drank from in the beginning. Who knows, maybe one day she will catch him - I feel sorry for him if she catches him - LOL

Once again, great ending for the series.

Book Description
Centuries ago, this magnificent chalice sealed my fate as a vampire, and now I am its protector. Many have hunted me for it, but only Vivian has accomplished the task. Strong, lovely, haunted . . . I am more attracted to her than I should be, yet her loyalty lies with a man determined to bring about my destruction. But I am not so easily locked in a cage, and now the captive has become the captor.

Though her stormy eyes tempt me, there is too much at stake—not merely my life, but the lives of my vampire Brotherhood. And I am not above using Vivian to achieve my goals, even if it means denying my own heart. The battle to end all battles is just beginning, and I must fight . . . if I could only let my desire be damned.”

book order
1.Be mine tonight
2.Night of the Huntress
3.Taken by the Night
4.Let the Night Begin
5.Night after Night

Friday, March 26, 2010

Interview with Suzan Loeb AKA Suzan Says!

Hi there, romance comic book lovers! I am sorry I have been gone most of the week. I have been preparing for a conference that I am presenting at next week -- so I have been quite the busy little bee with that! However, as Women’s History Month draws to a close, I have something very VERY exciting that adds one more piece to the puzzle concerning the women that were working on romance comics during the 1960s and 1970s.

Fortuitously, Suzan Lane Loeb née Pasternack, the original writer on Marvel’s token advice column of the era -- “Suzan Says,” found Sequential Crush through her daughter and contacted me. I of course had about a billion questions for her! Suzan is the kindest woman you would ever want to meet, and graciously accepted my request for an email interview. Suzan penned the "Suzan Says" articles for issues #1 (September 1969) through #10 (March 1971) of My Love, and issues #1 (October 1969) through issue #10 (April 1971) of Our Love Story.

Put your snuggie on, settle in with a nice cup of tea and enjoy the interview!!!


Sequential Crush: How did you get your start working for Marvel?

Suzan: I graduated from State University College at Buffalo with a degree in English Secondary Education, but after a few years of teaching in the NYC School System, I realized I wanted to do something in journalism. One of my college suite-mates put me in touch with the Goodman Group. I interviewed and was sent to their Marvel Comics Group division, as a "Girl Friday." Isn’t it interesting to note how job titles have changed through the years...


Sequential Crush: What was a typical work day like as a “Girl Friday” at Marvel?

Suzan Lane - Our Groovy Gal Friday
Bullpen Photos from Fantastic Four Annual #7 (November 1969)

Suzan: My tenure at Marvel was “BC”…before computers. Everything was done by hand. So, my duties in addition to manning the phones and fielding questions, were answering the mail, filling requests for back-copies of recent issues, reviewing gorgeous artistic samples from budding artists and hopeful young cartoonists, and passing on suggestions for story-lines. The offices were located on 59th and Lexington. My desk was in the front of the office area shared by Sol Brodsky and Roy Thomas, right across the hall from Stan Lee's office.


Sequential Crush: How much interaction, if any, did you have with the artists drawing the romance comics?

Suzan: “The Bullpen” was inhabited by Marie Severin, Tony Mortellaro, Herb Trimpe, and John Romita, and wow, I got to see them every day. Their work was done in the office daily, and the other greats, including those directly involved with drawing the Romance Line, would stop by from time to time. I remember the laughter and camaraderie in The Bullpen...and was awed by the talent and watching a blank board come alive with blue pencil as the panels in the story took shape.

Sequential Crush: How did you get involved in writing the advice column “Suzan Says”?

Suzan: Stan and Sol knew I was taking grad courses at Hunter and that I was a writer and English major. One day, I was called into Stan's office and he told me Marvel was going into the Romance business. He told me he wanted me to write a page to keep the continuity with the “Stan's Soapbox” concept. He even discussed the persona he thought he wanted me to assume...a divorcee with lots and lots of experience; but then ultimately decided on a young woman about my age.

Sequential Crush: Who came up with the concept and the title of the column?

Suzan: It was Stan Lee himself who came up with the title, “Suzan Says”…as my first name is Suzan and I was going to be writing the column…and he liked the idea of an advice-to-the-lovelorn type, but he gave me free reign to write my pages; starting with three per issue, then sometimes only one or two.


Sequential Crush: Is the picture based on your likeness?

Suzan: Sure is, but much, much more flattering. Can you imagine my incredulous delight when Stan asked Spider-Man’s Johnny Romita to pen my likeness for the banner for my column?!?!?!


Sequential Crush: How old were you when you were writing “Suzan Says”? Do you feel that your age influenced the way you gave advice?

Suzan: I was in my mid-twenties when I began writing “Suzan Says”…a few years out of college and with two years of teaching experience behind me. I became engaged to my first husband while at Marvel. I don’t feel it was my age that influenced me. I believe what I brought to the job…who I was, my morals, values and ethics, and what I thought…most influenced me. When I was asked to write “Suzan Says”, the woman’s movement was just underway, and consciousness-raising groups were beginning and gaining in popularity. We were forced to connect with ourselves and be proud of being women who were in touch with our emotions.

Remember, this was the Pre-Computer Age... There was no Internet…no “Google”…no Facebook…nothing. The concept of sending letters provided readers with a format to pose real questions of concern and seek advice while also remaining anonymous…only first names were used in-print.

Sequential Crush: Sometimes the letters sent in seem almost too unbelievable to be true! To what extent were the letters real in “Suzan Says”?

Suzan: The column encouraged write-in questions about personal issues and I was to select “universal” ones and answer with sound advice…from my “gut”. Remember, this was a “first” and the waters were virtually untested. When the initial wave of fan-letters came in, I was overwhelmed – by the volume and by the personal information shared in those letters.There had been no discussion with me, so there was no preconceived notion, as to who the audience of these romance comics was going to be. I just knew Marvel was interested in being part of a market that was out there and untapped…and that I was going to be a part of a new launch, and I was thrilled!

If you were thinking the audience was for pre-teen girls in those days, let me tell you the letters came from females and from males spanning all ages and all walks of life. The letters usually started with the person’s name and age, and were hand-written. Just by looking at the penmanship, if not stated, you could approximate the age of the writer. The tales that unfolded were real and very touching…men and women reaching out for answers that would resolve their loneliness and help gain them romance.I remember discussing this and expressing my concern regarding my qualifications to give advice that someone could take to heart and possibly use. The prevailing attitude was “it’s a comic book…keep that in perspective.” Yes, that remark came from a male staffer.

But, I was so moved personally by the issues presented and felt each person who took the time to write needed to know the letter was received and read by me. The volume made that impossible. A “form letter” response carrying my banner and signature was produced, basically thanking the reader for sending the letter; that the issue raised was of great importance and interest; but because of the volume of letters and time constraints, each letter could not be answered personally. The reader was encouraged to continue reading the comics and to look for an answer in either a story line or in a future column. Each letter received did get a copy of that letter.


Sequential Crush: Did you prefer answering letters or writing the more straightforward advice based on a specific topic?

As for the letters themselves, some shared such pain and personal agony that I couldn't read them without getting involved. Because of my interest in reaching everyone who wrote, I thought about their questions “collectively”; then proposed a question based on points raised.


Sequential Crush: Were you given a topic or did you come up with them on your own?

Suzan: I thought about my own experiences - nothing out of the ordinary - and realized that the romantic problems I faced were universal. I picked topics I felt I could answer appropriately and reach a vast audience. I guess the editors agreed with my decisions and choices because they printed what I wrote.

Sequential Crush: To what extent did you draw from your own experience when giving advice? Where else did inspiration for writing the column come from?

Suzan: In addition to my own experiences, I drew on those of my friends…and believe it or not, on the themes of great romance novels. Remember, at the time, I was doing grad work at night at Hunter College studying English Literature.


Sequential Crush: Did you have a good idea of who the audience you were writing for was demographically?

Suzan: I don’t think anyone realized how far-reaching this column was in its infancy. The newspapers’ version of advice columns were really geared toward answering “adult” problems…that was the demographic they played to. The romance comic reached a younger and more specific audience who could vent and speak directly to their personal issues without fear of judgment or reprisal.

Those letters...All ages, all walks of life, and from all over the country.


Sequential Crush: You always signed “Suzan Says,” with a “Love ya!” Your voice was that of a concerned friend. Did you feel a connection to the audience you were writing for?

Suzan's first Our Love Story column
Issue #1 (October 1969)

Suzan: Absolutely! I felt a very strong connection to the audience I wrote for and I think those in charge of production thought so too, because even after I left, my columns were reprinted in subsequent issues.

Every one of us has, at one time in our life, needed a friend to turn to. Sometimes the problem we faced was too hard or embarrassing to discuss with a friend, and that’s where I stepped in. I could be that friend without judging you or jeopardizing our confidentiality.


Sequential Crush: Having been a teacher, did you feel that writing the column was somewhat akin to teaching?

Suzan: No..I never made that connection or thought of that possibility until now with you asking that question. I felt that was I was doing was soooo very far from the teaching arena that I never drew the conclusion that I was teaching a lesson to make a point. My answers were straight from my heart; much the same discussions I was hoping I would have with my own “somewhere in the future” children.


Sequential Crush: Did you ever have any input on the story lines for the sequential romance stories?

Suzan: No. I did attempt a few storyline suggestions, but none were deemed worthy of producing.

Sequential Crush: Did you read any romance comics at the time, including the advice columns of the other companies to see what you were up against?

Suzan: Nope…I never looked at another comic product other than Marvel. I wanted to keep my own perspective and my own approach.


Sequential Crush: Did you feel that the romance comics were authentic representations of the experiences of young women?

Suzan dishes out fashion advice in
My Love #2 (November 1969)

Suzan: In those days, yes I did. I really believed in the product and what it was saying. Most of the story lines were devised by men…remember the composition of the workplace and what women’s positions were in those days. I grew up with comic books and they were a very real part of all of our lives. They got people reading and learning about so very many things…romance included. Of course, most stories painted a most glorious happy-ending; and a few were heart-breaking. But, you know what…that’s a reflection of what real-life is all about. I think these comics did represent a myriad of experiences of young women, in a specific format. But the themes were very real.

Sequential Crush: How did you feel about men writing romance stories – did you feel they were they legitimate authors of stories intended for young women?

Suzan: I think they did a fantastic job! I think they were the forerunners of the concept of men getting in-touch with their feminine side. They really understood what was going on, and were able to write from the woman’s point of view…without losing or compromising their own masculinity.


Sequential Crush: Do you still stay in contact with anyone from your Marvel days or attend comic book conventions?

Suzan: No. Unfortunately when I moved out of NYC, I lost contact with everyone at Marvel. I have not yet had the opportunity to attend a comic book convention, but would really love to.


Sequential Crush: Do any specific columns that you wrote stand out in your mind? Have you had a chance to go back and read any of your columns recently? Do you feel your advice has stood the test of time?

Suzan: Although each column has very specific meaning to me, I think the one that stands out the most, is the very first one when I introduced myself. I felt I had a lot riding on it because it was my first attempt to write something for Stan Lee. I was so happy when he accepted what I wrote without changing a word.

When you and I first connected I pulled out all of my issues and re-read them. Memories flooded back and I recalled, amazingly, what I was thinking and feeling at the time I wrote each of them. Funny, because sometimes now I can’t remember if I ate breakfast.

While the issues have changed and life and romance has become so much more complicated, I feel my advice was sound. Kept in the confines of the age in which it was written, it was appropriate for the time and yes, I do feel it still stands up.


Sequential Crush: What are you up to these days?

Suzan: Using Marvel and my writing experience there as a “springboard” I developed a most interesting and satisfying career. I was an editor and writer for a now-defunct newspaper in the Bronx; spent many years on the West Coast; wrote descriptive plaques for museum pieces; worked and traveled nationally and internationally for non-profits – crafting speeches, brochures, newspaper articles, and the like; and now write the obituaries for a large city newspaper in the South. I did drive the Weddings Desk for a while…very interesting…

Sequential Crush: Any other memories of your Marvel days that you would like to share with the readers of Sequential Crush?

Suzan: Other memories that stand out:

Had I stayed with the company longer than I did, Marie said she would help me learn to be a colorist.

When I was getting married, John told me “Don’t get fat!”…wish I had listened…

Once I was given a treat by one of the artists…He was drawing a series of stars in a panel and I got to draw one!

But, most importantly…Working at Marvel taught me something that stayed with me my entire career. If you can’t wake up in the morning looking forward to going to your job, then you’re in the wrong line of work! There was not one day at Marvel that there wasn’t joy and fun…getting the work done in an environment that applauded creativity and celebrated with joy, the individual.

Just look at all the people we reached…and through you, Jacque, and what you do…are still reaching!

Isn’t she great, ladies and gentleman? I don't know about you, but I feel inspired!!! How cool to have been a part of such a dynamic company during such an innovative time! Thank you so much, Suzan for sharing your memories with us. Knowing more about the contributors to the romance comics is such an exciting thing and really invaluable for fully understanding the medium! Have a great weekend everyone and in true "Suzan Says" fashion...

Love ya!

Interview with Lorie O'Clare for Strong, Sleek and Sinful

We are very excited to bring you an interview from award winning author Lorie O'Clare for her new release of Strong, Sleek and Sinful due out March 30th. Please check out her website link at the end of the post, Lorie has written quite a few books in different genre, you may find just the book you have been looking for.

Now lets get started!

Who is Lorie O'Clare? Please, give us a low down about yourself.

Lorie O'Clare
Who am I? Well, I'm a 44 year old mother of three intelligent, handsome, wonderful, obnoxious teenage boys. There are days when I can't wait for all of them to move out, and other days when I dread that day because they'll be gone. I'm a published author with somewhere around 60 books released. I write for Ellora's Cave, St Martins and Kensington. I love to paint in my downtime. You can see some of my artwork on my website. I love roses and dream of beautiful flower gardens surrounding my home someday, with the perfumed scent of so many different colored flowers fragrancing the air and offering beauty no matter what window I look out of. I try putting a few more bulbs in the ground every year. I'm a clean freak and have an odd habit (although it seems like a good trait to me) of cleaning to get the circulation going after sitting and writing at the computer for a while, or cleaning once a chapter is finished to help develop and prepare the next part of the story in my head before writing it. I absolutely adore each and everyone of my heroes and heroines from all of my books and spend time with them often in my imagination, so sometimes I clean and daydream, or rock on my porch swing and fantasize about being in the different worlds I've created. Overall, I'd say I'm a pretty normal lady.

How would you describe Strong Sleek and Sinful for those of us who have never heard of it?

Lorie O'Clare
Strong, Sleek and Sinful is the third book in the FBI Sex Crimes Series. Each book can stand alone and although the hero or heroine can be found as a minor character in the previous book, otherwise the books are not connected. Strong, Sleek and Sinful is a very steamy, sensual romantic suspense. My publisher hasn't labeled it as erotic romance but as mass market steamy romance. I'll let you in on a little secret though, I wrote the book the same way I'd write a book for Ellora's Cave. Strong, Sleek and Sinful is a story about a local cop, Lt. Perry Flynn, who isn't married, but has four nieces who he actively helps his widowed sister raise. When someone starts impersonating a high school boy on the Internet and kidnaps, rapes and murders high school girls, Perry takes the crimes very personally. He'll kill to protect his nieces. An FBI agent, Special Agent Kylie Donovan, comes to town to impersonate a teenage girl and take the perp down. The catch, it's believed the perp might be a cop. So although our heroine and hero are making things more than a bit steamy, our heroine is working double time to show her boss that Mr. Sexy cop isn't their perp. This book is as suspenseful as it is erotic. It's the kind of book I would love to read and so obviously why I wrote it. I hope others find it as exciting and stimulating as I did.

Can you give us a peak at Strong, sleek and sinful main characters?

Lorie O'Clare
I partially answered this in the previous question, but our hero Perry Flynn is married to his job. He's a damn good cop, one of the best detectives in Mission, KS, a town just outside Kansas City. Perry is tall, well built, and when in uniform, could cause traffic accidents. I drooled enough while writing this book I almost had to buy a new keyboard. :-) The city keeps it quiet when they discover a cop would be the logical suspect to their Internet predator, but it's hard to keep something from Perry. He won't be intimidated by the Chief, or anyone else. The worse of all crimes is being committed in his town and if he finds the bastard first, he'll kill him.
Kylie Donovan lost her older sister when they were in their early teens. Her sister had been popular, pretty, and loved by everyone--everything Kylie wasn't. When she's abducted while walking home and found raped and murdered a few days later, Kylie's childhood ends. The man who hurt and killed her sister was never found, but today, no perp goes unpunished if Kylie is on the case.
She and Perry lock horns the second they meet, but sparring with a gorgeous man often does one thing to a beautiful woman. Kylie tries resisting Perry's charm, knowing when he learns she is undercover, he'll hate her for not telling him, but his sexual magnatism is too strong. They will either work the case together, or take each other down trying to catch their perp first.

Have you ever used someone you know as an idea for one of your characters?

Lorie O'Clare
Not really. But I've used traits that have appealed to me in someone, or certain facial expressions, or sayings, but I've never used all traits from one individual to create a character. Mostly all of my people come straight out of my imagination.

Any chance we can look forward to seeing any of our favorite characters again in Strong, Sleek and Sinful?

Lorie O'Clare
Perry Flynn is mentioned briefly at the end of Long, Lean and Lethal. Kylie is only in Strong, Sleek and Sinful. The FBI Sex Crimes Books all pretty much stand alone. Now my next series with St. Martins won't be stand alone books, they will each grow from the previous book, although as with all my series, any book in the series could be read on its own and enjoyed.
I absolutely love your books written for Ellora's Cave. Can we expect the same intense romance from your Sex Crime Series or are we going to see more action?
I write exactly the same with all of my publishers. There is the same amount of action, sensuality and sex scenes in all of my books, regardless of who publishes them. I want someone to see a Lorie O'Clare book and know they'll be getting a strong plot with all the satisfying sex everyone loves.

Can you give us any hints to what you are working on next? Do you plan on continuing the Sex Crime Series indefinitely?

Lorie O'Clare
My next series with St. Martins will be a Bounty Hunter Series. The first Bounty Hunter book, Play Dirty, comes out October 2010.
My next series with Ellora's Cave is the Black Jag series, which will be a series of at least five books about black jaguars. As with all of my shapeshifter books, the jaguars are in the same world with the owls, lunewulf, Cariboo and leopards. You never know what old characters might pop in to say hi.
I've also agreed to write two more island books for Kensington. You'll probably see them released sometime next year.

Since you have written both Paranormal and Non-Paranormal, do you prefer one genre over the other to write about? Do you think writing paranormal stories offers more freedom for creativity?

Lorie O'Clare
Writing Paranormals definitely gives me freedom to explore that I don't have in Romantic Suspense. But when I write my para's, the shifter is limited to the ability of whatever animal they shift into. I spend a lot of time learning about that animal, or raptor, before writing the books. So not only do I know my character in his or her human form, but also know them just as well in their animal form. Every animal has traits that make them unique, those can't be made up. At least not for me. If an owl can see a mouse run through the grass two miles away, then my shifter can watch his female sneak out of her house from a two mile distance.
So there are always limitations. A wolf doesn't run as fast as a leopard. That's just a fact. I don't create animals that don't exist, at least I haven't yet. And it's the same way with my romantic suspenses. There isn't such a thing as a perfect human. Most of us are actually pretty flawed. My characters are that way, too. We aren't all good and we aren't all bad, but often a mix of both. That is how I mold my characters, with their faults often as obvious as their qualities.

Please,tell us about your project HEA.

Lorie O'Clare
HEA is a brand new fund raiser I've decided to get started to see if I could help those who might lose their homes. Foreclosure is such a dirty, terrifying word to most of us. We don't like talking about it, thinking about it, and God forbid, if any of us are going through it, we sure don't want anyone else knowing. It is the most terrifying thing many of us can think about. The thought of losing our home, a place where many of us have raised our children, have pictures on the wall that have been there for years, and attics or basements full of furniture and other items we don't use anymore but save for if our kids might need them someday. Our houses are the foundation, the structure, of our families and as much a part of us as a family member.
You can check out HEA on my website at HEA is a work in progress. I want to help those who might lose their homes, possibly those who are already a payment or two behind and are close to foreclosure, or maybe those who have already been foreclosed on and don't know what to do now. I want HEA to be a site where people can anonymously, or not anonymously, share their stories. I want it to be a site where those going through foreclosure to be able to turn and not be harrassed by scams of those trying to make money off of you when you don't have money, and to share stories with those who understand. HEA is a fund raiser. There are items on the HEA site that you can buy. You can donate items to HEA to be sold. Or you can donate cash to HEA. Like I said, HEA is a work in progress. It is a dream of mine to reach out and help and I'm starting it now. I'm always open to ideas and suggestions from anyone who might know a way to reach more people, help more people, or offer more support.
Thanks for the interview. I enjoyed answering your questions. Please check out my website at You'll find a link there to ebay where I list most of my paperbacks. You can buy my latest releases or pick up one of my older books not so easily found in bookstores anymore. All books are brand new and personally autographed to you.
Also on my website, click on any cover and read the first chapter of any of my released

Lorie O'Clare website

Lorie, thank you so much for giving us the privilege to interview you:)
Just as soon as I get my Stong, Sleek and Sinful in hand, I will read and review it, so be on the look out in the next few days:)

check out Strong, Sleek and Sinful

"Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser"

"Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser"

Series Editor: William Irwin
Edited by Richard Brian Davis

Source: received from the publisher for review, thanks to Julie at FSB Associates

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review:

This collection of essays is a fantastic addition to any "Alice in Wonderland" fan's collection. These are scholarly essays, and even though they are easy to read, don't expect fluff stories that were thrown together to feed off of the recent Tim Burton movie release. These are highly researched and well thought out studies of the original book.

Some of the essays, I loved and would give 5+ stars to, but my rating is for the book as a whole, which did sometimes seem repetitive. The book is separated into four parts, each with essays that related to each other in topic. There are 14 essays in all, and reading all the essays back to back made the content seem repetitive to me. I think I would have enjoyed this book much more if I had only read a few at a time.

My favorite essay was "Unruly Alice: A Feminist View of Some Adventures in Wonderland" by Megan S. Lloyd. Lloyd gives strong examples of how Alice can be seen as a feminist icon. Some of her examples I had noticed before, but some were new to me and fascinating.

Another essay that stood out was "Jam Yesterday, Jam Tomorrow, but Never Jam Today: On Procrastination, Hiking, and...the Spice Girls?" by Mark D. White. Not only was the content of this essay strong, but the way that it was written was so appealing! I feel like White really embraced the nonsense that is Wonderland and he wrote the entire essay in that style.

I also enjoyed the comparisons of Carroll's work to Socrates. The authors point out that Carroll did study Socrates so these nods to his philosophy were no accident. I learned another biographical fact of Carroll that I hadn't known, that he suffered from migraines and that contributed to his writing about distorted reality (from the Scott F. Parker essay).

Bottom Line:
I would definitely recommend this book to a fan of Alice in Wonderland. The book helped me understand the book in ways that I never did before. I only would have preferred to read the essays over a longer period of time so that the content wouldn't overlap so much. I'm eager to read some of the other titles in the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series.

Debbie Macomber Wins Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award

Debbie Macomber, the best-selling author of the Cedar Cove series (set in a fictional town on the Kitsap Peninsula - Port Orchard, Washington), and over a hundred other books, will be awarded the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award by Romance Writers of America (RWA) later this summer at the annual conference.

From the Romance Writer's of America Website

One of the highest honors RWA bestows is the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is presented to a living author in recognition of significant contributions to the romance genre. To qualify for the award, the recipient's career in romantic fiction must span a minimum of 15 years. Recipients must in some way continue to promote the romance genre, teach romance in fiction, or publish romantic fiction. In 1994 a new requirement was added, that recipients must maintain active RWA membership. Authors are nominated for the award by RWA members and selected by the Board of Directors.

2010 RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber is the best-selling author of the Blossom Street series, among her other popular books and series. Debbie sold her first manuscript, Heartsong, to Silhouette Books in 1982, and she now has more than 100 million copies of her books in print worldwide—with her novels translated into 23 languages. RWA will award Debbie Macomber the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award on July 31, 2010 at the 30th Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

Great Opportunity to Get Your Blog Seen!

Plug Your Blog! I'll be there! Potentially thousands of hits in one day! Long-term results! Permanent links! Join me for Blog Jog Day on May 9.
Learn more at

Book Blogger Hop

It's Friday, which means it's time for another Book Blogger Hop!!

Check out Jennifer's page, Crazy-for-Books, and enter your link and check out some of the other book blogs out there!!

I've been able to find some great new blogs to read!!

So join the fun and spread the word about this new event!!

(isn't the new logo cute??)

Book Bogger Hop

Its Friday again and that means time to hop to Crazy-for-books by Jennifer. You may find other book blogger that may end your favorite blog or have some find you:)

Review of Let the Night Begin by Kathryn Smith

Authors web site:

Ronda Tutt's Review

Paranormal Romance - Vampires

HOT & SEXY!!!!!

Another great story. Reign and Olivia finally get back together after 30 years of separation. Reign had turned Olivia into a vampire on their wedding night without Olivia's permision and when she realized what happened to her she was pist and even tried to kill Reign and then left.

However, here it is 30 years later and once again the order is trying to capture the ones who have the blood grail and they try to use Olivia to get to Reign by taking her nephew. Olivia has no choice but to turn to Reign because that is the ransom for in exchange for her nephews release she had to turn Reign over to them.

However, after 30 years, Olivia realizes how much she really loves Reign and they fall deeper in love with each other and Reign helps her rescue her nephew in the end and they are finally a happily married couple.

Saint & Ivy meet up with Reign and Olivia to go to France to help rescue Temple from the Order. Can't wait to read the next book to find out what happens to Temple and how the reunion will turn out when the brotherhood of the blood meet together.

Book description
A Vampire Will Not Rest Until He Satisfi es His Hunger . . .

And what I, Reign, hungered for most of all was Olivia Gavin. I have never met a woman more beautiful, more tantalizing, and so I made her my bride. She promised me her heart and soul . . . in return, I plundered her flesh, and bound her to me for all eternity. Then, terrified of what I'd made her, she fled.

Now she has returned, desperate for my help in saving her beloved nephew. But my assistance comes at a price: She must share my bed once more, for the feel of her soft skin, the heat of her kiss, excite me still. And I know she desires me, even as she resists her own heart.

Yet, as we rediscover the passion that brought us together, an enemy waits to destroy us both . .

book order
1.Be mine tonight
2.Night of the Huntress
3.Taken by the Night
4.Let the Night Begin
5.Night after Night

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Romance Writer's of America Announces RITA and Golden Heart Finalists

Today the Romance Writers of America (RWA) announced the finalists for both the 2010 RITA Awards and the 2010 Golden Heart Awards.

The RITA nominees were from romance fiction published in 2009, selected from more than 1,000 novels and novellas that were submitted in 12 categories. The winners will be announced at an ceremony during the RWA conference in Nashville, Tennessee on July 31st.

Author Elizabeth Aston and Writing Jane Austen


I’m the daughter of two Jane Austen addicts, who, instead of naming me after one of my numerous great-aunts, decided to call me after a character from one of Jane Austen’s novels. My father’s favourite was Fanny Price, from Mansfield Park; my mother liked Emma best, but both of them adored Elizabeth Bennet. . . which is why I spell my short name Lizzy with a ‘y’ and never with a ‘ie’ at the end!

After such a beginning, it’s no wonder that I also became a passionate Jane Austen fan. I studied English at Oxford University, and what could be more enjoyable than drifting in a punt on the Cherwell, reading Jane Austen as the sun flickered on the river through green leaves, knowing that it counted as work?

Now I live in Malta, a Mediterranean island full of history, and I also spend part of every year in Italy. With copies of all the Jane Austen novels wherever I am, needless to say.

Book Description:

Georgina Jackson's first novel was a "searingly grim read"--critically acclaimed and award-winning, though it was hardly a bestseller. Struggling to get past the first chapter of her second book which is almost past its deadline, Georgina panics when she gets a vague but urgent-sounding email from her agent: "RING ME."
She's certain it's bad news.

So when Livia tells her about a potentially profitable commission, Georgina is shocked. Even more surprising, however, the commission isn't for her next book, but rather for the completion of a newly discovered unfinished manuscript of a major nineteenth century author! Skeptical at first about her ability to do the job, she is horrified to learn that the major author is in fact Jane Austen.

Torn between pushing through somehow and fleeing back to America, Georgina relies on the support of her financier-turned-scientist roommate, Henry, and his quirky teenage sister, Maud, a serious Janeite who has just escaped the rigidity and enforced structure of boarding school. When she suddenly finds herself in a financial crisis, the only way for Georgina to get by is to sign the contracts and finish the book. But how can she overcome her big secret--that she has actually never read Jane Austen!

Filled with the humor, misunderstandings, rich characterizations and romance of Aston's previous novels, Writing Jane Austen is destined to rocket Aston right into the 21st century!

Elizabeth Aston Q&A:

What gave you the idea for Mr Darcy’s Daughters?

I’m an insomniac, and I often listen to audio recordings in the early hours. Listening to Prunella Scales reading Emma (a great recording!), I fell to musing on the fact that Mr and Mrs Knightley’s children would grow up Victorians, and what a different world that would be. How and what would their children be like? Naturally, this led to reflections on the offspring of my favourite couple, Darcy and Elizabeth. Unlike the Bennets, their daughters would be rich, and high in the rigid pecking order of English society. What if Mr and Mrs Darcy had, like Lizzy’s parents, five daughters . . . ?

Pride and Prejudice was published in 1814. Twenty years on makes it 1834. So how come Mr Darcy’s daughters are young women in 1818?

That’s because my time frame is based on the original version of the book, First Impressions, which Jane Austen wrote in 1796/7. To me, Jane Austen is very much a product of the eighteenth century, her clear mind and satirical eye not that impressed by the turbulent emotionalism of the Romantic movement. Others have the same idea – the recent film of Pride and Prejudice was set in the late eighteenth century.

Elizabeth and Mr Darcy don’t appear as characters in your books – why is this?

Because I would never use the main characters from another novel in a book I wrote.

So which Jane Austen characters are in your books?

You can see the list in characters. I found it very interesting to speculate on how these minor characters from Pride and Prejudice might have changed and developed. Some readers take issue with my portrayal of Mr (Col.) Fitzwilliam twenty years on, but this was the time when men were becoming more interested in family life, and more controlling in the domestic arena, so I saw him turning into the kind of paterfamilias that became more and more common as the century went on.

Do you try to write in Jane Austen’s ‘voice’?

Even if I wanted to, it would be impossible! And I don’t want to. I’m not in any way setting out to mimic Jane Austen’s style or write a pastiche.

Why not?

For one thing, Jane Austen’s glorious, perfect narrative voice isn’t in keeping with the way we write books today. It’s a matter of fashion as much as anything else: modern editors would say that anything written in Jane Austen’s style was ‘tell, not show’ and full of ‘authorial intrusion’!

So why write sequels to Pride and Prejudice?

I don’t. My books are variations on a theme by Jane Austen – five sisters and the world of the Darcys. That’s one reason why I set them in London and abroad, and after the period of Jane Austen’s novels.

You put some scenes and incidents in your books of a kind which you’d never find in Jane Austen – you have a foot fetishist, and one character is called a sodomite, which people today find very offensive. And another character is into flagellation. Why?

Sodomite was the word used in 1818 for a homosexual, and, like it or not, homosexuality was a crime and could carry the death penalty. Would Jane Austen use the word? Of course not, because when she was writing, decorum decreed that there were whole areas of experience and behaviour which would never find their way into print in a novel published for a general readership.

It doesn’t mean she didn’t know the word – that’s her eighteenth century upbringing again! David Noakes’s brilliant biography (my favourite) shows what she would have read and known about subjects like this – I loved finding out from his book that Mary Bennet was the name of the local whore in Jane Austen’s village.

After all, Jane Austen famously never mentions the Napoleonic wars, yet with naval brothers, she knew all about it. And there is that sly reference to flagellation in Mansfield Park, where Maria Crawford declares, “Certainly, my home at my uncle’s brought me acquainted with a circle of admirals. Of Rears and Vices, I saw enough. Now do not be suspecting me of a pun, I entreat.”

So why don’t you follow the same rules of decorum?

Because I’m writing as an historical novelist in the twenty-first century, and I can therefore choose a broader canvas.

Are you working on another Darcy novel?

No. I've taken a break from the nineteenth century, and my new book, Writing Jane Austen, set in the present day, is out next spring.

I've loved writing the six books about the Darcy family, set in the early nineteenth century, but for my next book, Writing Jane Austen, I felt it was time for a change, and I wanted to take a new look at Jane Austen, from a contemporary perspective.

It's been huge fun telling the story of my anglophile American heroine Georgina, who's lively and intelligent and determined, just like her predecessors in Jane Austen's novels, but who has more on her plate than finding a husband as she's landed in what is, to her, the bewildering world of 21st century Austen mania. The addicts and academics alarm her, the landscapes seduce her, the books enchant her, and, as in all the best stories, she wins through against the odds and, along the way, finds her heartsease with a charming English hero.

Can you sum up what you hope the reader gets from reading your books?

In the words of my favourite review from the Chicago Sun Times: “Great characters, great comic moments, great romance.”.


The author is being very generous and giving away three copies of her book. To win, please email her and tell her why you want to read this book and come back here and leave your email address so I can contact you. Contest ends April 30th. Thanks to Bobbie at Simon and Schuster for donating the books for this contest and to Elizabeth for joining us at Romance Author Buzz.

Elizabeth Aston's website

Author's Page at Simon & Schuster