Saturday, 26 June 2010

Guest Author: Alice Gaines with Miss Foster's Folly


I'm very happy to have a fellow Carina Press historical romance writer here today. Alice Gaines is a multi-published author and I'm looking forward to hearing more about Miss Foster's Folly.

Manhattan, 1886
Juliet Foster has just become the wealthiest spinster in town. Her domineering and thoroughly unpleasant father has died and left her millions. She's free to be her own woman and seek a life of adventure.
David Winslow, Marquess of Derrington, is in search of a wife who can break the Winslow Curse. Every second-generation heir inherits a restless, defiant nature that can only be tamed by a mate as independent and rebellious as himself.
Miss Juliet Foster is perfect—and eager for seduction. But when he wants more than a few nights of passion, Juliet runs like the devil's on her heels. Can the marquess convince her that marriage isn't a trap, but the greatest freedom of all?

Available now from Carina Press

And now, over to Alice

1) The making of Miss Foster’s Folly: What inspired this story?
Miss Foster’s Folly started out as an answer to a question that came up in my local chapter of Romance Writers of America. Someone asked, “What would be a good hook for a historical romance?” and I blurted out “A wealthy American spinster decides to sleep her way across Europe.” That went over well, so I thought I’d write the book.
2) The character in your book that you love to hate? If you had to pick just one (the worst) and invite her to tea or him to the pub for a drink, what's the one question you're dying to ask?
There are really only three disagreeable characters in the book -- Juliet’s brother and sister and one of Derrington’s former lovers who mainly lurks around a hat shop checking out Juliet, his current love interest. Juliet’s brother considers himself a titan of industry and wouldn’t give me the time of day. Juliet’s sister is a total airhead, and I wouldn’t give her the time of day. As to Derrington’s former lover, I guess I’d ask “Is he really that good in bed?”
3) And how would she answer?
Derrington’s lover would say, “Yes, he’s really that good in bed,” which would make me intensely jealous. And I made him up!
4) Why are you so excited about Carina Press?
Launches are always great. There’s huge enthusiasm among authors and editorial staff. Everything’s new and shiny, and everyone has great plans.

The most fun of signing with Carina was getting a great, new editor, Jessica Schulte. What an utter joy when an industry professional gets what you’ve tried to do and loves your book as much as you do. I’m always happy when I find Jessica in my inbox.
5) If your editor told you that, while she absolutely loves your work, your next book had to be in another genre… which one would you choose?
Probably out-and-out erotic romance. I’ve done a lot of that and love it. I’d also love to do some fantasy. I’ve only done one straight fantasy, and I’d love to do more work in that genre. I’d especially love to have Jessica’s help during the learning process.
What I’ve always wanted to write (and have done in some short pieces) is fantasy romance. I’m basically a romance writer and reader, but I also want to create my own worlds. I wish there were a greater market for fantasy romance.
6) What's next? Next book in sequel or in the same genre or something totally new?
There’s no one in Miss Foster’s Folly who needs his/her own story. Millie and the vicar are happily on the way toward their own wedding at the end of the book. Lady Harriet and Jack are off on their own explorations, but she’s old enough to be his mother, and he’s gay, so I don’t think I have a romance there. More like Auntie Mame
Maybe I’ll think up a fantasy romance and pitch it to Jessica…hmmm.
And now, for something completely different -- an excerpt:
One lone candle hardly lighted more than a foot or two in front of Juliet, but she’d come this far and wouldn’t give up before she reached her destination – the Marquis of Derrington’s bedchamber. She’d opened several doors only to find cold silence inside. Typical of him to put her as far away from him as he possibly could, but she’d find him, and when she did, she’d get what she wanted.

She tried another door and found another empty room, curse it. That left only one more before she’d have to double back and check them all again.

The moment she turned the knob, the sound of breathing told her she’d found him. The tone was deep and masculine, just like his speaking voice. Dark. Sinful. The mere fact that she’d found his bedroom sent a little thrill through her. She tiptoed inside and closed the door silently behind her.

Now that she’d come so close to her goal, she’d allow herself some anticipation of her victory. And, of her reward. Derrington was everything any woman could want in a first lover. Handsome, gentle, and oh, so talented with his hands and mouth. If any man could make her ready to accept the bulk of his cock inside her, this man could.

And he would. Now.

She crept to the bed. He’d set his candle on a table there, so she lit it with the one in her hand. That gave her a bit more light to study him, and she gasped. His arms and shoulders above the covers were naked. Did he sleep in the nude? He might have some type of pants covering his lower regions, but everyone – women and men – wore the same type of nightshirt.

Oh, my. Oh, my, my. She stood, drinking in his male beauty. Besides never having looked at so much male flesh before, she’d also never watched a man sleep. With his eyes closed and his features relaxed, he looked almost innocent. His chest rose and fell gently with his breaths, his lips parted as they had been when he’d kissed her the first time. Dark hair framed his face, and she carefully reached down to touch one lock. Warm silk against her fingertips.

He seemed a creature of myths and dreams, so entirely foreign to her experience he might have been another species. And yet, nature had made their bodies to fit together in the most basic way. Miraculous, really. She’d waited so many years for this – from the day she’d turned marriageable age until she’d grown too old to attract multiple offers and then to spinsterhood. This would be good. She’d will it so.

She’d find some way to please him, despite her lack of experience. Honestly, she shouldn’t care, as she wouldn’t stay in London once she’d known him. But, somehow it did matter for that she could do a good job of satisfying him. She didn’t have feelings for him. Not at all. Feelings complicated things. She’d have this one night with him. They’d both remember it for as long as they lived, and then, she’d exit his life for good and follow her own adventures.

Damn it all. Why was she worrying about something like this now when she’d gotten so close to what she wanted with every inch of her body?

He gave out a soft snort and rolled over, clutching his pillow against his chest and presenting the width of his back and the spread of his shoulders. Suddenly, he appeared huge, even though he stood only a few inches taller than she did. What did she know of men’s bodies? More important, what would she learn in the next minutes?

She set her candle next to his and took a steadying breath. She’d removed all her clothing except for her chemise, and that came off easily. It pooled around her feet on the floor, and she stepped out of it. The chill of the night air made her shiver, so she quickly lifted the covers and slipped into the bed. His body’s warmth clung to the sheets, surrounding her. He must have had a furnace in him to produce all the heat he put out.

And yes, he was completely naked. Her hip snuggled up against his bare bottom. How odd it felt to lie with him this way and yet how right. Even in marriage, she’d wear something to bed. Decency would require that he do the same if he was to sleep with her. No wife with any sense could bear to send a husband to another room if he felt like this next to her.

She ought to wake him up and get things going, but why rush this heaven? Maybe if she touched him softly, she could feel his flesh without waking him. She’d never get the chance again, at least, not with this man. Besides, she’d need to know her way around a male body if she was going to pretend to sophistication.

She started with his shoulder. Broad, strong, firm. His skin was softer than she’d expected of a man. Smooth and stretched over the muscle beneath. From there, she traced her palm over his shoulder blades and along the furrow down the center of his back. When she reached his buttock, she savored the firmness of it. She’d called his cock magnificent when, in truth, the word described all of him.

Suddenly, he turned over, and his arm flopped on top of her. She bit her lip before a cry escaped, but he roused. For a moment, his eyes opened but didn’t focus properly. Then, they closed again and he was everywhere on her. His weight pinned her to the mattress and his mouth captured hers. No niceties, just a savage kiss as if he’d devour her.

Finally. She’d come for this. She answered with her own mouth, although she could hardly keep up with the pace of his caresses. His hands moved over her, stroking her flesh, molding her body to fit against his own. Just the friction of their bodies was enough to ready her for the joining that would follow.

“Yes, David,” she whispered against his lips. “Yes, oh yes.”

“What?” He propped himself on his elbows and shook his head. Finally, his eyes came into focus. “Bloody hell, Juliet. What are you doing here?”

Thanks for stopping by, Alice :)
Alice’s website is http://www.alicegaines.blogspot.com/.
She loves to hear from readers at authoralicegaines@yahoo.com

Friday, 25 June 2010

Guest Author: Toni Anderson with Sea of Suspicion

It's great to have another hot author from Carina Press here to tell us a little about herself and her latest release.

Marine biologist Susie Cooper traded her life in America for a dream job on the rugged Scottish coast. Now all she lacks is the right man to start a family with. After their first meeting, she knows sexy Detective Inspector Nick Archer isn’t what she’s looking for. He’s the type of guy whose idea of commitment is staying the whole night.
Nick has returned to St. Andrews for one reason only—to fulfill his vow to find his wife’s killer. Relentless in his twelve-year quest for justice, he has no problem using Susie to get close to his primary suspect: her boss. But the passion between them smolders, and as it ignites, Nick finds himself torn between his past and his present—with Susie.
When one of her boss’s students is murdered, Nick’s investigation draws Susie into a web of madness and betrayal. They will have to learn to trust each other if they’re going to catch a killer…and come out of this alive.

Sea of Suspicion is available right now from Carina Press

Toni, what inspired Sea of Suspicion?
SEA OF SUSPICION was inspired by the intense emotions you experience when you become a parent, combined with a bone-deep love of the area where the story is set. The east coast of Fife doesn’t get the same amount of press as the Highlands or Islands of Scotland and yet it is beautiful with its tiny fishing villages and ancient ruins. I needed to use this setting in a murder mystery J. And marine stations are filled with such an interesting mix of characters it was impossible not to use it.

Any rituals while writing? Trips to exotic islands in the name of research? Hiccups? Hair pulling?
My only ritual is putting my backside in the chair when the kids are at school and writing. I do listen to music when I write and create a specific soundtrack for each book to sink me straight into the mood of the story. I also drink copious amounts of tea J.
I did request a special tour of the Police Station in St. Andrews as I’d never had cause to visit it for nefarious reasons—I loved that. As for hair-pulling that goes without saying—I should be bald.
Why are you so excited about Carina Press?
I love their professionalism and the vast amount of experience they bring to such a new enterprise. Everything they have done so far has been of such high quality I can’t wait to see how the launch goes and to read some of the books!
 
If your editor told you that, while she absolutely loves your work, your next book had to be in another genre… which one would you choose?
Good question J. I’d probably go for something with a paranormal/fantasy twist. Or a straight mystery/police procedural. Tricky question.
 
What's next, Toni?
I just contracted my second title with Carina Press—STORM WARNING (working title) which is also set in Fife although predominantly down the coast in the fishing village of Anstruther. I think I pitched it as Medium crossed with Titanic without the latter’s tragic ending.
 
Sounds great, Toni. I absolutely love Scotland and it's wonderful to know we'll be getting some good stories set there for the next long while :)
 
Now a little bit more from Toni Anderson...
 
My first Romantic Suspense, HER SANCTUARY, was released in 2009 to some great reviews. I write about my travels on my blog and update on Twitter. Readers can sign up for my newsletter on my website, or friend me on Facebook. I’ve also set up a fan page for SEA OF SUSPICION with location photographs and anecdotes. Let me know what you think of it!
 
Thanks for letting me be here on your blog today, Claire. My book SEA OF SUSPICION is released by Carina Press on the 14th June, 2010 and I’m so excited! I’m a former marine biologist and conducted my Ph.D. at the Gatty Marine Laboratory in St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland where SEA OF SUSPICION is set. I was born and raised in the U.K., but now live in Canada with my husband and two children. I set my stories in the stunning locations where I’ve been lucky enough to live and work—the blustery east coast of Scotland, the remote isolated mining communities of Northern Labrador, the rugged landscapes of the U.S. and the Red Center of Australia. I escape the long brutal Canadian winters by writing Romantic Mystery and Suspense stories.
 
Excerpt from Sea of Suspicion…
They turned into her drive and a security light flooded the gravel yard, revealing the beautiful old stone cottage flanked by patches of heather and herbs.

Home. Thank God.

Grabbing her purse, she shoved open the door before they’d stopped. Dormant wheat fields stretched behind the cottage, which bordered a golf course. Emily and Lily’s cottage topped a low rise three hundred yards away, tall hedges giving both houses seclusion and privacy.

Nick stood beside the car door, one foot on the sill, hands on the roof, looking delicious. His eyes darkened as they met hers. “Still want me to call a taxi?”

The air between them crackled with possibility, but Susie nodded. She wasn’t some easy lay for a stranger. She needed to believe she was worth more than that.

“Can I at least walk you to your door?”

Susie looked over to the French doors twenty yards away up three uneven stone slabs. Nick’s request was a baited trap, but he wasn’t that irresistible. She nodded.

Fog billowed along the lilac hedge that marked her property, enfolding them in a soft mystical silence. He fell into step beside her and handed her the key fob. She moved ahead up the steps, brushing an old lavender bush that released its fragrance through the night air. Fumbling, she dropped her keys and Nick bent to retrieve them before she had chance.

“Nice place,” he commented. “Secluded. Wouldn’t have to worry about upsetting the neighbors with loud music or screaming sex.”

Her skin sizzled and every sense felt electrified as if someone had plugged her in and flipped a switch. Her eyes widened, her chest tightened. This was dangerous. She was too aware of him, too interested in the idea of screaming sex, and too damn drunk to run as fast as she should.

And he knew it.

She pressed back against her door, her shoulder blades drawn up tight together. Nick slipped the key into the lock and took a step forward, bringing him close enough to touch if she so much as took a breath. So she didn’t. The lock clicked and he took a step back with a grave expression on his face.

“I’d kiss you goodnight if you didn’t look so scared,” he said softly.

“I’m not scared.”

“Good.” His eyes sparkled as he lowered his mouth to hers.

Mistake! Her mind screamed but it was too late. The breath whooshed out of her as he pressed the gentlest kiss to her lips—as fine a sensation as the stroke of a feather across sensitive skin. And the world stopped. Then every sense climbed to high alert as he took a half step closer, the bulk of his shoulders blocking the wind, and heat coming off his body like rays from the sun. He smelled spicy and male, the leather of his jacket creaking as he shifted his stance. He took her by surprise as he slipped one hand beneath her coat, resting it possessively on her hipbone. Startled, she opened her eyes.

But he kissed her again, this time less gently. Sliding his hand to the base of her spine, the burning impression of each finger pressing through the cotton of her T-shirt, brushing bare skin. His lips were teasing and coaxing, not what she expected from a man who screamed danger. Her palms braced against the muscles in his chest, but they weren’t exactly beating him off. He eased her toward him, enticed a trembling response from her body, but all of a sudden he jerked away and stuck his hand in his pocket.

“Bloody hell.” He pulled out a cell phone, adjusting it to read the display in the poor light. Swearing, he looked at her with an apology in his eyes. And regret. Because she was a sure thing. “I’ve got to go.”

“You’re on call?” Susie couldn’t believe the disappointment in her voice. Go! Please go.

His smile was a slash of white. “Criminals always know when I have a night off.” His eyes slid to her car. “Can I borrow your Mini?” He gripped the back of his neck, looking up at her from under heavy brows. “I’ll get it back to you before morning.”

“Take it.” Susie wouldn’t be accused of getting in the way of law and order, plus it would get him away from her faster. Next time she saw him she’d be sober and prepared. “I’m not planning on going anywhere tomorrow so there’s no rush to drop it off.”

She opened the front door, pulled the keys out of the lock and twisted off the ignition key from her octopus key fob.

“Here.” She threw it to him, not surprised when he snatched it out of the air without even moving his gaze. His intensity was unsettling.

“Susie…I’m sorry.”

She dashed inside and closed the door. Locked it. He could have her car, no problem. But he couldn’t have her. She wanted a relationship, a future, a family. Nick Archer was a lousy bet for anything except orgasms and heartbreak, and not even the orgasms were guaranteed.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

A quick Update

Sneaking in between all my wonderful author spotlights to give you a quick update on Betrayed.

It's almost time, Betrayed is up at NetGalley for reviewers and also on some e-shop sites for pre-order! I can't wait for 5 July when Betrayed goes live.

I'll be doing a series of author interviews and spotlights in the upcoming weeks. I've added a "Betrayed Goes on Tour" section to my side bar so you can keep up with where I am, if you wish to stop on by

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Guest Author: Abby Wood with Consent to the Cowboy


Howdie Abby :) I couldn't resist it!

It's great to have you here to answer some questions and tell us about your new Carina Press release, Consent to the Cowboy.

Surrounded by beer-swilling, skirt-chasing cowboys her whole life, barmaid Daphne Norris has no intention of ever settling for any of the men in her Podunk hometown. So when bronc rider Will Hanson sends shock waves to her core with just one glance from his striking green eyes, no one is more surprised than her.
But Will is no ordinary cowboy, and he can see that Daphne is no ordinary small-town girl. He can sense in Daphne the quiet strength and devotion needed to satisfy a man like him, a man who needs to be on top, in every aspect of his life.

Daphne hasn’t ever succumbed to her submissive desires before, and Will awakens her in ways she never imagined. While she’s not prepared to give him her heart, she agrees to Will’s offer of three days of intense pleasure, and then she’s walking. But Daphne falls hard and fast, and now she has a decision: return to a normal life, or give up everything for Will…

Consent to te Cowboy releases 28 June and available for pre-order from Carina Press
Over to Abby and some questions...

The making of Consent to the Cowboy What inspired this story?

Living on a hobby farm, in a rural area, the cowboy lifestyle that I read about in books is just normal life for me. It's no big deal to drive to the neighbor's house down the road and come back with a couple chickens and the recipe for their Granny's buttermilk biscuits. Delving into the book, I found myself using real life situations to make the story believable. The geese in the story? Yep, those are mine. The Kleptomaniac St. Bernard? Yep, mine again.

The character in your book that you love to hate? If you had to pick just one (the worst) and invite her to tea or him to the pub for a drink, what's the one question you're dying to ask?

Oh, I'd love to answer this question, but I'd give part of the book away by answering. I'll just say that the person I hate in the book isn't all bad. Inside every bad action, there is a good action waiting to come out. *cue the music* lol
Why are you so excited about Carina Press?
I think Carina Press is taking ebooks to a higher level. What impressed me the most is how much they support their authors. From personal telephone numbers, emails, to providing us with everything we need to promote our books and letting us know what is happening each step of the way.

If your editor told you that, while she absolutely loves your work, your next book had to be in another genre… which one would you choose?
Wow, let's see…I've also written books in the genres of paranormal, contemporary, fantasy, suspense. If I couldn't pick contemporary western, I'd have to go with suspense. No one has asked me that question before, and my answer even took me by surprise. I find suspense the hardest to write, but very fulfilling when you pull it off. It is definitely a challenge that I find appeals to me.

What's next? Next book in sequel or in the same genre or something totally new?
I'm in limbo right now. I've recently contracted four new books that I am beginning edits on, and working on another western when I can find any free time. These days I bounce from one project to the next, and heaven help me if I get a wonderful idea for a story. Lol

Thank you so much for having me here today, Claire.

The pleasure's all mine, Abby :)

You can connect with Abby at
Website: http://www.authorabbywood.com/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/MsAbbyWood.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AbbyWoodFanPage

And here's a little excerpt...

Will moved around the front of the truck. She pulled on the door handle. His hand came out to hold the door from opening wide enough for her to exit the truck. “Stop. From now on when you’re with me, you never open your own door.”
She cocked a brow. “I think that died out about the time women burnt their bras and began to have sex out in the open.”

“I’ll repeat it once more. Never open your own door when I’m with you.” He pulled the door open, held out his hand and helped her step down from the truck. He gazed into her eyes. “It’s a simple request, okay?”

She stood in front of him, her face mere inches from his mouth. His hat shaded his face from the sun setting in the distance, but she recognized the seriousness etched into his brow.

“Okay.”

His lips curled up. He leaned forward and kissed her on the forehead. “That’s my good girl.”

With her hand in his, he pulled her around to the front of the house—a ranch house that exceeded any of Daphne’s preconceived notions of how well off he might be. It spread out across the land, forming a rather stately manor. It made the two-bedroom cottage she’d inherited from her mother look shabby and quaint. This house rose from the ground and meshed with its surrounding in a way that left her jaw slack and her eyes round.

“You live here alone?” She began her appraisal from the right side of the house and swung her head all the way along the length.

He chuckled. “Yes.”

“You’re not just an ordinary cowboy, are you?” She followed him up the steps and through the front door.

He shut the door behind them. “Nothing about me is ordinary.”

He’s right about that.

Inside, the decor revealed a whole other side to the bronc buster. Intricate dark wood furnishings lined the elaborate entryway. Black, shiny tile gave off a grand entrance to high ceilings and a very masculine house.

Daphne wandered past him into a living room. Cast in shadows, two floor lamps on dim emitted enough light to take in the leather couch and chairs. Saddles, antlers, and a barbed wire sculpture of a horse head filled the corners. Yep, a man’s castle if she ever saw one.

His fingers slipped inside her hand and he pulled her forward. “Come.” He led her to the corner of the couch. “Sit.” He deposited her on the sofa and strolled over to a mini bar in the corner of the room.

Behind the counter, he raised his gaze. “Relax, sweetheart.”

“I’m not nervous.” She lifted her chin.

Will poured a drink she didn’t recognize over ice, carried it to the couch and sat down. “Here you go.”

“What is it?” She held the glass under her nose and sniffed. A mew leaked out and she giggled. She sipped, afraid whatever alcohol he served would hit the back of her throat and burn. She might serve beer for a living, but she’d never developed a taste for the bitter stuff.

“Oh God, it tastes of caramel!” She raised the glass again and swallowed a bigger amount. “That sends tingles right through my body.”

He nodded. A pleased smile curved his lips. “Much better than beer, huh?”

“Oh God, yes.” She drank from her glass. “This is…this is simply wonderful.”

He leaned forward, his lips so close to her mouth. “You are simply wonderful.”

Her tongue wet her bottom lip. Positive he’d kiss her, she moved the glass and arched her neck. The drink swirled inside her tummy and created a ball of fire. It’d take one kiss from him to blow the fire into a million little pieces and send her jumping onto his lap.

Her eyelids lowered and she gazed at the way his full lips opened. Moist and tempting, the heat inside her pussy grew hotter and dampened her panties. A moan bubbled forth. His breath smelled sweet from the drink and fascination pushed her forward.

One little move and she’d capture his mouth and drink from the very lips that teased her dreams. She sized up the space between them, closed her eyes, and threw inhibitions to the wind.

Instead of coming into contact with his lips, she met thin air. She opened her eyes. He slouched back on the couch; his drink hovered in front of a smile that seconds ago tempted and teased.

“Not yet, sweetheart. We have a few things to talk about first.” He raised his glass and downed the rest of his drink.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Guest Author: Leah Braemel with Texas Tangle



Welcome Leah, and thanks for stopping in to tell us a little more about your upcoming Carina Press release, Texas Tangle.

I love the name, it conjures up all sorts of things :)

Thanks to her cheating ex-husband and her thieving brother, all horse breeder Nikki Kimball has left is a bruised heart, an overdrawn bank account and an empty home. When sex-on-legs Dillon Barnett and his brooding foster-brother Brett Anderson start showing more than just neighborly attention, Nikki is intrigued…and a little gun-shy.
Dillon and Brett have a history; back in high school, the two friends fought a bitter battle over Nikki. Now, ten years later, Brett still longs to be the man in Nikki’s life, but he’s determined to stand back and let Dillon win Nikki’s heart.

Society says Nikki must choose between the two men she loves. Is Nikki strong enough to break all the rules in order to find happiness?

Releases 28 June and available for pre-order from Carina Press



And now, over to Leah and a few tasty questions I've made her sweat over *evil grin*

The making of Texas Tangle: what inspired this story? Any rituals while writing?


I did take a trip – though it wasn’t to an island, it was fairly exotic to someone not used to prickly pears and roadrunners. Back in 2007 I visited one of my critique partners’ in Texas. She breeds Arabian horses so I got an inside look at everything from the personalities of her horses (and her pet donkey Gandalf) to the daily chores required to care for a farm all done in the “damned Texas heat.” She took me horseback riding; she participates in endurance races of 50 to 100 miles a weekend, but I settled for a ride around her back forty. I soaked up the experience, including listening to the speech patterns and noticing the differences between Texans and Canadians. How could I not be inspired in that setting?


While there was lots of hair pulling, I’m not quite needing a wig yet thankfully. Texas Tangle was originally supposed to be a novella, but the three characters, heroine Nikki, and the two heroes, Dillon and Brett, just wouldn’t shut up (talking to me or arguing with each other) which had me cursing them out quite a few times. Before I knew it—oh all right, it took a few months—Texas Tangle had far surpassed novella length and grown to a full length novel.
The character in your book that you love to hate? If you had to pick just one (the worst) and invite her to tea or him to the pub for a drink, what's the one question you're dying to ask?

Ooh, character that I love to hate – the ones (yes, that’s plural) that I love to hate never actually appear in the book, they’re all off stage. First off there’s Phil, Nikki’s deadbeat brother who has taken everything she owned, including the money from her bank account and sold it for anything he could get. Then there are her parents who are more concerned about Phil than her. But since you say “the worst” I’m thinking the one I’d have to sit down with would be Phil. I’d have to ask him “Did you not think about what you were doing to your sister? Are you going to pay her back, or at least apologize for what you did to her?” Oh, dear, I guess that’s two questions isn’t it? Oh, and did I mention I’d deliver both of them with a swat up the back of his head? Maybe with a baseball bat. I’d also possibly introduce my knee to his not-so-manly parts.

And how would he/her answer?

“She owes me.” He’d probably expect me to pay for his beer too. He’s got a big entitlement issue going. (Unfortunately, I’ve met some Phils in this world who just don’t “get it” and think everyone else should pay their way.)

Why are you so excited about Carina Press?

Because they’re part of Harlequin, which is a huge name in the romance publishing industry. To be associated with them is thrilling. I get to work with some amazingly talented and very driven people who want Carina to be the best. They’ve been totally professional and their editors (both Angela and Rhonda Stapleton, as well as the editor who did the line edits) pushed me hard; I know Texas Tangle is much stronger for it. Being part of the launch is exciting because Carina Press is drawing the attention of people who may not have seen my name or read my writing before. It’s also nerve-wracking because Carina Press is drawing the attention of people who may not have seen my name or read my writing before and who will be judging Carina based partly (or maybe in some cases wholly) upon Texas Tangle’s merits.

If your editor told you that, while she absolutely loves your work, your next book had to be in another genre… which one would you choose?

If you mean not romance, then I guess I’d be writing..hmmm...historical fiction. I’ve been puddling around with a story idea set in early 1800s Upper Canada. Trouble is I keep getting told that American publishers aren’t interested in locations outside of the US, and since my storyline would be during a time in Canada where the United States were the enemy...well, I’m guessing I’d be limited to submitting it to Canadian publishers.

If I could stay within the romance genre, just something other than contemporary western, well, I’ve got a contemporary non-western going with Samhain...I guess you want me to go further afield than that—as in not contemporary--don’t you? All right I guess I’d say I’d choose historical romance too.

What's next? Next book in sequel or in the same genre or something totally new?

I’m working on the next in a series I’ve got going with Samhain at the moment, but I’m outlining a couple stories to follow up on Texas Tangle. I’ve got a novella outlined that is the story of Dillon’s great-grandparents—in Texas Tangle there’s a scene where Dillon’s grandmother relates how her grandparents were in a permanent threesome. And I’ve got a couple other ideas for following Dillon’s brothers, but that’ll take some more planning. Not to mention, I still have to sell Carina on them.

Thanks for inviting me, Claire. Your interview was great and got me thinking -- especially that "character you hate" question.
 
You can read the entire first chapter online or pre-order Texas Tangle here.


If you want to know more about Leah's books, you can visit her website or her blog
You can also follow Leah on her Facebook Page or on Twitter

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Guest Author: KS Augustin with In Enemy Hands

Welcome KS, it's wonderful to have you here. In Enemy Hands is the first SF author I'm spotlighting from Carina Press and once again it's great to see the diversity of their titles.

Available now from Carina Press

The Republic had taken everything from Moon—her research partner, her privacy, her illusions. They thought they had her under control. They were wrong

Sirin, Moon's new research partner, is a chemically enhanced math genius whose memory is erased every two days. He's also a charming, fascinating man who is attracted to her anew after each memory loss cycle.
Escape from the regime that treats them like tools is impossible. There are too many walls around them, too many eyes watching. But when you've got nothing left to lose, running becomes the only option.

 
 
 

Kaz Augustin is a Malaysian-born writer of science-fiction, romance, and permutations of the two. Her website is at http://www.ksaugustin.com and she blogs at http://blog.ksaugustin.com You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter; just look for “ksaugustin”.

And now, over to KS...
 
Claire sent a wonderful list of questions to answer, so here are my contributions.
Claire: Let's talk about the making of IN ENEMY HANDS. What inspired this story? Any rituals while writing? Trips to exotic islands in the name of research? Hiccups? Hair pulling? You get the picture… :)

KS Augustin: I'm fascinated by memory and its basic unreliability but, at the same time, what would we be without it? What could we do without it? Those thoughts formed the genesis of the book's hero, Srin Flerovs. And, of course, once I had him pinned down, I realised I needed a strong capable woman he could both trust and love.

Unfortunately, while I'm still hoping for affordable inter-galactic flights, the only trip away I took for this book was inside my head. Maybe in the future sometime.... ;)

Claire: Do you have a character in your book that you love to hate? If you had to pick just one (the worst) and invite her to tea or him to the pub for a drink, what's the one question you're dying to ask?

KSA: Even worse than Consul Rosca Moises, who's just a ruthless political animal, the person I can best understand―yet have contempt for―is Hen Savic. He's the man who's kept Srin on a two-day memory cycle for twenty years. If I could speak with him directly, I'd ask whether he thought his actions were worth it.

Claire: And how would he answer?
KSA: Of course he'd say yes! It's all part of the banality of evil.

Claire: Why are you so excited about Carina Press?

KSA: Well, of course, because it's backed by Harlequin and they are a company full of very savvy and forward-thinking people. They make the trends so I'm very happy to be associated with them.

Claire: If your editor told you that, while he absolutely loves your work, your next book had to be in another genre… which one would you choose?
KSA: Oh, that's a tough one. Can't choose a sub-genre, huh? Probably a political thriller.

Claire: What's next? Next book in sequel or in the same genre or something totally new?
KSA: I have an exceedingly low boredom threshold, so something new. Not too new, it's still a science-fiction romance, but in a completely different universe.

COMPETITION: Kaz is giving away two copies of IN ENEMY HANDS at her blog, Fusion Despatches. To be in the draw, stop by and comment at the Competition post, telling her at which blog you read about her book. You have till 30 June

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Guest Author: Dee Tenorio with Tempting the Enemy

Hello Everyone! Claire was kind enough to let me hijack...er, borrow her blog for the day. :) Thanks so much, Claire!!


Well, I guess I should tell you who I am...and what I'm doing here, right? Well, my name is Dee Tenorio and like Claire, I'm a Carina Press author. :)

What I'm doing here is answering some fun questions Claire sent my way while telling you about my newest release, "Tempting The Enemy". :)

 Ready? Here we go.

1) The making of "Tempting The Enemy". What inspired this story? Any rituals while writing? Trips to exotic islands in the name of research? Hiccups? Hair pulling? You get the picture…

Well, the story started with this strange little idea to write a story about a shifter. I wasn't really hot to do it because paranormals require so much world building and I'm not afraid to admit, this scared me. Then one of the victims started talking to me and I got sucked into the story. I promised myself it would be a short story. Little. A novella, even. Well, the characters had other ideas, lol. Sadly, this did not result in a trip up to Big Bear for research, but there was plenty of hair pulling as the story consumed my whole life for a few months. But when it was done, I knew it was special. I'm hoping you all have the same feeling too. :)

2) The character in your book that you love to hate? If you had to pick just one (the worst) and invite her to tea or him to the pub for a drink, what's the one question you're dying to ask?

Oh, that would be Verda-Rouge. Verda is a very powerful member of the Sibile, in the story, a group of magical mercenaries, if you will. She has this awesome power of controlling sound. She can whisper and knock down buildings if she wants. Verda is demanding, kind of vicious, and though you only see her for two scenes in the final product, she's seriously, deliciously hateful and it's all hidden behind a veneer of propriety. Something about the evilly uptight just gets me going, you know? Assuming she'd deign to sit with me, the one question I'd ask her is..."When you rule the world, what is it that you expect will happen?"
3) And how would he/her answer?

Honestly, I don't think Verda knows. She's power hungry and threatened by change. Not having anything left to conquer would be a very confusing time for her.

4) Why are you so excited about Carina Press?

Starting a new publishing company is an exciting venture. I'm working with my longtime editor and Carina is very author-conscious. That's always something to be excited about and I can't wait to see where this adventure takes us.

5) If your editor told you that, while she absolutely loves your work, your next book had to be in another genre… which one would you choose?

Well, I already write romantic comedies, dramas and light suspense. "Tempting The Enemy" is a step in a whole new direction for me and my editor is relieved because we actually had a similar conversation. She loves that my work is normally very internally conflicted. She wanted me to expand my external conflicts skills. I sent her "Tempting", which is a serial killer mystery with paranormal characters. It's chock full of external, lol. My editor was very happy and so am I. :)

6) What's next? Next book in sequel or in the same genre or something totally new?

Well, my next release is actually a contemporary erotic dramedy called "All Or Nothing", which is a sequel to my April release, "All Or Nothing". It's a really emotional story that I just love. Then a novella called "Shaken", about a divorcing couple trapped together in an elevator after an earthquake. But after that, I'm hoping to have a sequel to "Tempting" sometime in 2011. Cross your fingers!

Thanks so much for having me, Claire!!
Dee
If you'd like to know more about the book, please click the cover.
To learn more about Dee, please visit her website or Blog. She just loves company!

Thanks for stopping by Dee

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Guest Author: Ann Bruce with Parker's Price

Welcome, Ann, it's wonderful to have you here to tell us a little about your new  release.

She was sexy, smart...and not for sale. But that won't stop him.

When Parker Quinn is forced to accept an outrageously high bid at a charity auction, she has no choice but to go out with the last man on earth she wants to spend time with. Dean Maxwell may be one of Manhattan's most eligible bachelors, but he's also the man who had an affair with her sister and abandoned her when she became pregnant with his child.

Dean doesn't know why Parker hates him so much, but he's determined to show Parker the type of man he really is. Whisking her away to a private island in the Bahamas for a sensual, sun-drenched week together, Dean leaves Parker's preconceptions shattered and her desires inflamed.

But even as their passion reaches irresistible heights, Parker has a decision to make. Can she allow herself to fall for the seductive magnate, or will family secrets and a dangerous ex tear them apart?

Available now from Carina Press

And now, over to Ann :)

PARKER'S PRICE by Ann Bruce or a Writer's Job Is to Embellish

At my high school, we used to raise money by holding slave auctions. Students, girls and guys, would volunteer themselves as slaves for a day and be sold to the highest bidder. A lot of the girls volunteered to be slaves knowing their boyfriends would be obligated to buy them. Me, I preferred to do the buying because there was too many people in high school who would've loved to humiliate me as payback for my smart mouth.

One year, at the end of an auction, someone ran up onto the makeshift stage and made a bid for me. I glared at him but he didn't take back the bid. I remember thinking that he probably wanted me to do his homework or some such nonsense because while he was--and still is--very, very cute, he wasn't gifted academically. When I said, "No way in hell," but in much nicer terms because teachers were present, he upped the bid. And I, rather ungraciously, gave in.

Turns out, he only wanted to see me take my hair down--and walk two steps behind him all day.

Many years later, I took that high school incident, wildly embellished it because that's what writers do, and turned it into Parker's Price, a contemporary romance that has "all the alpha-male goodness of a category romance combined with all the hands-on, sizzling attraction heat of an erotic romance" (Night Owl Reviews).

To celebrate my first contemporary romance, I'll give away an e-copy of Parker's Price to one commenter here.

If that's not enough, I'm also giving away three (3) $50 Amazon gift certificates on my blog, The Not-so-deep Thoughts.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Guest Author: Cindy Spencer Pape with Motor City Fae

Welcome Cindy, it's great to have you stop by and share a little about your new Carina Press release and first book in a sizzling series: Urban Arcana.

Cindy is a multi-pubbed author in various genres of romance (I love that she always promises a happy ending, not matter the story or genre).

Available now from Carina Press

Detroit artist Meagan Kelly has had a strong sixth sense all her life, but that doesn’t mean the gorgeous stranger’s crazy story—that she’s a half-elf, half human heiress—is true. But Meagan can’t deny the evidence of her own eyes—he’s Fae. A tall, blond, handsome, pointy-eared elf—and a man she just can’t get enough of.


Ric Thornhill’s assignment just got a lot more complicated. The more time he spends with Meagan, the harder it is to see her as a political tool to prevent an all-out war between humans and Fae.

Now Meagan’s in a race to master her newly released powers in time to prevent the conflict, convince a jealous Queen not to strip Ric of his powers, and find out if she can build a life that straddles two worlds.




Okay, now on the fun stuff where we ask Cindy some probing questions :)

Cindy: First of all, I’d like to thank Claire for having me visit today.

 

Cindy: We’re talking today about my book, Motor City Fae, book 1 in my Urban Arcana series from Carina Press. It debuted last week, and I am thrilled that it is already getting rave reviews. So here goes. Claire, what would you like to know?

Claire: What inspired this story? Trips to exotic islands in the name of research? Hiccups? Hair pulling?


Cindy: I’ve always loved stories where an ordinary person finds herself in extraordinary situations. My whole family is very small, with heart-shaped faces and slightly pointed ears, so my husband has always teased me about being part elf. I grew up in Detroit and thought…hmmm, what if someone really did find out she was half elven… Unfortunately, this did not offer a lot in the way of exotic research trips. I wish I could have gone to Faerie and seen the queen’s palace. As far as hiccups, though, this book did have a really big one. It was the book I was working on the summer my mother and brother both passed away, and it was a long time before I could bring myself to get back to this story again—so it was written with a really big gap in the middle. I did have to go through in edits and update some technology a little!

Claire: What character in your book do you love to hate? If you had to pick just one (the worst) and invite her to tea or him to the pub for a drink, what's the one question you're dying to ask? And how would he/she answer?

Cindy: I think my favorite villain in this book is Fianna Meadows. You’ll have to watch in the next book of the series, Motor City Witch to find out why, though. To start with, she’s perfectly put-together, organized, very elegant, blonde, and beautiful—lots of things that I am not! If I had to sit down with her and ask a question, it would probably be “How can you walk in those heels?” and she would respond, “Generally, by putting one foot in front of the other. Why? How do you walk?”

Claire: Why are you so excited about Carina Press?

Cindy: Because I couldn’t resist the idea of the e-publishing business model with the power of Harelquin behind it. I think it’s the best combination in the publishing world, maybe ever.

Claire: If your editor told you that, while she absolutely loves your work, your next book had to be in another genre… which one would you choose?

Cindy: That’s easy. I write all over the place, so I’d ask, “Okay, so do you want the contemporary western, the steampunk, the historical, or the high fantasy? Seriously, each of these is a current WIP.

Claire: What's next? Next book in sequel or in the same genre or something totally new?

Cindy: Next up at Carina is Motor City Witch, book 2 in the Urban Arcana series, coming October 4. I also have a contemporary western erotic novella out later this week from one of my other publishers. You can check my website for that one if the genre piques your interest.

You can read the complete first chapter online here, and click here to find out more about how to purchase the book. You can find me on the web at
Website: http://www.cindyspencerpape.com/
Blog: http://cindyspencerpape.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/CindySPape
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000270304390
Finally, as part of my blog tour promoting Motor City Fae, I’m running a contest. All you have to do is pop over to my website, go to the “contact Cindy” page, and tell me which blog you saw me on and answer the question of the day. At the end of June, I’ll be giving away a $20.00 gift card to your choice of Borders, B&N, or Amazon. You can enter once for each blog stop.

Today’s question is: Name Cindy’s favorite villain from MCF.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Guest Author: Janni Nell with Allegra Fairweather


Welcome, Janni, thanks for stopping by to share your new Carina Press release with us. Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator will be available from Monday (14th June) at Carina Press, Amazon, B&N, ect. I can't wait!

Now over to Janni...

It’s a pleasure to be on Claire’s blog today to answer questions about my debut novel Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator.


Allegra Fairweather here. Paranormal investigator. Got problems with specters? Shapeshifters? I’m the woman to call. Just don’t call me a Ghostbuster. The last guy who did that ended up flat on his back with my boot at his throat.


With my 99.5% success rate, solving the mystery of a bleeding rose that has sprung up on the shores of Loch Furness should have been an easy gig. But already I’ve heard the shriek of the local banshee, discovered two bodies (and then lost two bodies), and had a near-death encounter with a three-hundred-year-old ghost. And perhaps most dangerous of all, the hot pub owner who hired me now wants to show me exactly what’s under his kilt.

Luckily, I’m ably assisted by my very own guardian angel. I’m grateful for his help—but he’s also drop-dead gorgeous. A bit distracting when I’ve got a mystery to solve, and the clock is ticking…


Release Date: 14 June 2010 Carina Press

And now on to some questions...

Janni, could you tell us what inspired Allegra Fairweather?
Wish fulfillment. I mean who wouldn’t love to have a hot guardian angel like Casper. He’s well over six foot tall, blond and built. Plus his soul mission in life – well death actually, since he’s an angel – is to protect Allegra Fairweather.

Do you have any rituals while writing?
Well I do like to start with a cup of coffee. Not that I need the caffeine or anything.

Okay, and because enquiring minds want to know, which character in your book do you love to hate?
It has to be Sir Alistair. Pompous, selfish, smug, the kind of man who gives the aristocracy a bad name. If I was forced to spend time with him I’d probably slap his face. But Allegra has something much better in store for him.

Why are you so excited about Carina Press?
It’s always thrilling to be involved in a new venture. There’s so much energy and talent behind the scenes. My editor, Elizabeth Bass, is a joy to work with. Then there are the stunning Carina covers and the wide variety of titles – something for everyone. Readers will have a ball.

If your editor told you that, while she loves your work, your next book had to be in another genre, which would you chose?
It would be an action adventure. Kind of a cross between Indiana Jones and Romancing the Stone.

What’s next?
I’m hard at work on another Allegra Fairweather book. There are plenty of paranormal problems out there and Allegra is determined to solve them all. With a little help from Casper, of course.

Thanks, Claire, for inviting me on the blog today. And thanks to everyone who’s stopped by. It’s been great. Until we meet again… May your guardian angel watch over you.

It's a pleasure to have you here :)

Visit Janni’s website and blog.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Guest Author: Jenny Schwartz

I'm delighted to have Jenny stop by here to share her new Carina Press release, The Price of Freedom, and answer some questions.

Duty will bring them together—and tear them apart!

As a guardian angel, Mischa must protect the one man who may be able to bring about lasting peace to the Middle East. As a djinni, Rafe must fulfil the wishes of a terrorist leader. Their duties colliding, Mischa and Rafe become foes, but the heat between them is undeniable.

When the terrorist learns that a guardian angel stands between him and his greatest wish, he orders his djinni to remove her. Taking creative license, Rafe spirits her away to his private oasis, where she will be unable to protect the peacemaker.

Beyond their mutual desire, they find common ground in honour and loneliness. Passion quickly grows into love. But it’s soon clear to Rafe that love cannot be bound, and Mischa must be true to her life’s purpose. Even if Rafe must sacrifice his own taste of freedom to grant hers…

The Price of Freedom is available June 14 from Carina Press.

Jenny, can you tell us a bit about the making of The Price of Freedom?

The best stories come from the tension between dreams and fears. I love the tradition of romantic Arabia--sheikhs, djinn, Scheherazade--but I grieve over the violence in the Middle East. The Price of Freedom grew out of this tension. I wanted to tell a story in which love triumphs over hate.

Of course, it wasn't that easy. When you have a determined angel and a stubborn djinni, the author stuck in the middle ends up screaming at the computer screen, "Why won't you behave?" I had an outline for the novella, but Mischa and Rafe insisted on conducting their romance their way. Fortunately, they're right, and their love story is both tender and sensuous.

The character in your book that you love to hate? If you had to pick just one (the worst) and invite her to tea or him to the pub for a drink, what's the one question you're dying to ask?

Umar Haya is the villain. He's a minor terrorist leader and a scrawny rat of a man. His fingers are stained with nicotine and his soul with hate. Even as I created him, my skin crawled. Still, there's an element of pity for him. If I could ask him one question it would be--why, having suffered yourself, do you choose to hate instead of heal?

And how would Haya answer?

"Hate is a way of surviving. It makes me strong. Those meddling peace-makers sicken me. What do they know of watching your family die?"

Why are you so excited about Carina Press?

Their philosophy is one I believe in utterly. "No great story should go untold!" I look forward to a wide range of stories from passionately committed authors.

If your editor told you that, while she absolutely loves your work, your next book had to be in another genre… which one would you choose?

The Price of Freedom is a paranormal romance novella. If I was staying in the field of romance and swapping sub-genres I'd definitely choose contemporary, although I have a 1920s story dying to be written.

If I had to leave the romance genre completely...I'd probably write a science fiction novel. To me, science fiction isn't just technology, it's the social change technology brings with it. I love thinking how society could be different.

What's next?

I'm writing another angel and djinni story, this time with an Australian setting. Back in the nineteenth century Afghan cameleers helped open up the Outback. I got to wondering whether one might have brought over a djinni, and if they did, what would that djinni be doing now? The result of these questions was Filip--gorgeous, sexy and wickedly Australian.

Thanks, Claire, for inviting me to your blog. I enjoyed your questions immensely.

You can contact Jenny at
http://www.authorjennyschwartz.com/
http://www.acquiring-magic.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/authorjennyschwartz
http://twitter.com/Jen2late

Monday, 7 June 2010

Guest Author: Carrie Lofty

Well, the day has finally arrived. Carina Press has launched! I've waited so long to be able to say that in the past tense :) And I have Carrie Lofty visiting today with her new Carina Press release, Song of Seduction, that is available right now, fresh off the digital press.

Welcome, Carrie!

Tormented by guilt. Haunted by scandal. Freed by love.

Austria, 1804

Eight years ago, composer Arie De Voss claimed his late mentor's final symphony as his own and became an icon. But fame has a price: fear of discovery now poisons his attempts to compose a redemptive masterpiece. Until a new muse appears, intoxicating and inspiring him...

Mathilda Heidel renounced her own musical gift to marry, seeking a quiet life to escape the shame surrounding her birth. Sudden widowhood finds her tempted by song once more. An unexpected introduction to her idol, Arie De Voss, renews Mathilda's passion for the violin--and ignites a passion for the man himself.
But when lust and lies reach a crescendo, Arie will be forced to choose: love or truth?
 

The inspiration for Arie de Voss, the hero of my latest historical romance, SONG OF SEDUCTION came from two photographs:


The former is a picture of Gary Oldman in Immortal Beloved, where he played Ludwig van Beethoven. I loved that photo. (The movie...not so much.) The image of a man leaning over his piano, embracing it as he would a lover, resonated with me on several levels. It was sexy, artistic, sensitive, complex, and desperately in need of my in-depth exploration.

The latter is Hugh Jackman, who broods very handsomely. And there's always room for a little Hugh Jackman inspiration in any romance hero.

Now my friend Jenn, whose family is very Dutch, insists that Dutch men are not necessarily the most attractive bunch. I beg to differ and present the following picture of famous Dutch footballer Dennis Bergkamp:

This same friend spent a portion of her childhood in Michigan, where the DeVos family is huge. Richard DeVos, for example, founded Amway. Jenn is now banned form giving me "real life" advice while I'm in the midst of creation. Quit ruining the mood!

Let's go back to those lovely pictures and think heroic thoughts. Here's Arie:
"I have never been in love because my ambition overshadowed all." He released her hands in favor of the softness of her hair, without another thought about how reckless he had become. He swept soft, loosened tendrils away from her face. "With you, Tilda, I had no choice. Do you understand? I could fall in love or go mad from wanting you."

Jenn never mentioned how intensely adoring Dutch men could be. Or maybe that's just my take. No matter. Arie de Voss is hot, and so is SONG OF SEDUCTION, the story of his love affair with a widowed violin prodigy. I hope you go forth and enjoy the fruits of my imagination!

Thanks for stopping by, Carrie. It's always great to take a peek behind the scenes at what inspires a story and hero. You can visit Carrie at her website and you can find her book at the Carina Press e-store,


A little side note for my South African readers (thanks for the heads up, Leonie), straight from Carrie's site... I've also just signed a two-book deal with Pocket to write Victorian-set romances. The first, Flawless, is set in colonial South Africa, while the second, Shameless, will take place in Australia. Both will be arriving in early 2012.

So, I went along to ask Carrie to feed us a few tasty morsels of what we could look forward to and what inspired SA as a setting, and here we it is...

In late 2011 or early 2012, my first foray into Victorian historical romance will be published by Pocket. FLAWLESS tells the story of a self-made tycoon's daughter and her estranges husband, an English viscount. Together they have two years to make a Cape Colony diamond brokerage profitable or else forfeit her inheritance, which forces them to rely on one another and discover the true heart of their marriage. I initially wanted to do a series of romances set in international boomtowns: diamonds in South Africa, gold mines in the Klondike and Australia, etc. Although that inspiration eventually gave way to the series in its current incarnation--where each sibling is presented with a business challenge in order to earn an inheritance--FLAWLESS, set in Kimberley, is where it all begins.

Kimberley is a marvel to me. Such a rocket-fast launch toward wealth and power! It transformed from squatters' tents to becoming the first city in the Southern Hemisphere illuminated by electric light in only 16 years. Astonishing! I was drawn to the constant contrasts of wealth and squalor, colonists and those just passing through. Researching such a fascinating yet politically thorny history was quite a challenge, as was finding the right moment in its history to set a romance. I honestly believe it's my best story to date, and I can't wait for its release.

Thanks again, Carrie, it's wonderful to have you here.

Tomorrow Jenny Schwartz will be visiting to tell us bit about her release, The Price of Freedom

Sunday, 6 June 2010

It's June, It's June, that lusty month of June

Tonorrow morning I get to buy some of the Carina Press books I've been goggling for a while now! The launch is nearly, nearly here.
Is it too early to feel nostalgic?
Probably, but I do anyway.

I feel as if I've been on a rolleroaster ride since Carina Press offered me a contract for my medieval Scottsh romance, Betrayed, riding the build-up to release as they shared details of all the wonderful books coming out, as they kept us fully informed of every little detail as and when it happened.

As a writer, the process of editing and learning what really goes into getting a book ready for publication has been an invigorating experience. As a reader, the range of titles they're going to be putting out, everything from erotica to thrillers to speculative fiction, has been incredibly exciting.

There are a couple of excellent e-pubs around producing quality books, but I think what excites me about Carina Press is that they're not restricting their books to romance. This is a huge leap in the sphere of e-pubbing, and I believe the timing is spot on,.We're entering a digital decade and I wouldn't be surprised if a few other of the traditional publishing giants don't follow in Harlequin's footsteps and create e-publishing divisions. 

Throughout this month, I'll be spotlighting a few of the Carina Press launch authors with their new releases, starting tomorrow with Carrie Lofty and her Song of Seduction. I hope you enjoy discovering what went on behind the scenes of these wonderful books as much as I have.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Friday Fun

We're voting on our favourite type of hero over at South African Romance Writers today, so come join the fun and add your vote.

Meanwhile, you know where I'll be :)

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Carina Press is coming!

Where did the time go? I feel as though I've been waiting for eons, and now suddenly it's almost upon us. Carina Press launches on Monday, 7th June, and I've already got my list of favourites ready to buy.



Carina press also has it's own community on eHarlequin now, come Check It Out