A Prepublished Novel in the Process of Revisions and Rewrites

Friday, October 31, 2008

Black Rose Got Wolf? Contest results just in!

Hello everyone! Callie just shot over the results to the Black Rose Got Wolf? Contest for me to post here. I am so excited to be able to bring this to you.

So without further adieu, here are the results:

Full Winners:

Helen Hardt - Blood Wolf - 40K
Ria Ellis - My Lord Werewolf - 32K

Short Winners:

First: Shadow State - Isabel Roman - 23K
Second: Raven's Shelter - Dawn Raspberry - 19K
Third: Werewolves in London - Karen Holck - 19K
Fourth: Marek's New World - Renee Wildes - 24K
Fourth: Blood Moon - Autumn Shelly - 20K

And the winner of the drawing for the Got Wolf? Black Rose Writer's Survival Basket is Autumn Shelly!

Congratulations, Ladies!

Callie Lynn Wolfe
Senior Editor Black Rose
The Wild Rose Press


Good Morning!

Is everyone ready for Tricks or Treats? Do you have that candy ready for all the little ghosts and goblins? What is on your agenda today? How about checking out all the contest winners here at Dayana's Blog? Yes, grab that pen and add taking a looksee in later to see who won all the running contests this month. I will post two Wolf Trivia questions today, as well. Stay tuned...

I'm off to the Paranormal Ball at the Wild Rose Press now. Anyone up and browsing this morning is welcome to join us.

See you later...


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Today's Guest is Skhye Moncrief, author of soon to be released, Spell of the Killing Moon.

Thanks for having me, Dayana. I write paranormal romances that are extremely cross-genre. The tendency to mix everything I can seems to come subconciously. I know it bothers the industry, but I was fortunate enough to interest a Wild Rose Press editor with my work. Now, three of my Time Guardian stories are available and three more will be soon! I'm also lucky enough to have the shorter pieces placed into Time Guardian anthologies that will be available in print as well. ;) THE SPELL OF THE KILLING MOON is one of these tales.

Available -- Jan. 14, 2009

A werewolf and a time traveler’s carnal attraction becomes a curse when she arrives in medieval England to kill him for turning against his time-travel brotherhood.

He must guard a relic. She doesn’t care if she gets in his way.

Druid Elspeth is a were-assassin sent to Cumberland to kill a renegade time guardian. She never expected to find him her soul mate. All she knows is she must stop Aidan Gordon from changing history. The sexy powerful knight proves too tempting to refuse. If his noble actions convince her he was wrongly accused, she will be forced to haunt the frenzied wood under THE SPELL OF THE KILLING MOON.

1st Review:

"Skhye Moncrief pens and interesting tale of shape-shifters, duty, honor and the undeniable power of love!
You don’t want to miss it!"
~Highland Lassie

THE SPELL OF THE KILLING MOON was an idea born of a montly WRP chat when the editors decided to run a contest dealing with wolf shifters. That only encouraged me stretch more Western mythology and come up with an explanation for were-wolves in my Time Guardian series. As I said, I write speculative romance. One of my first Time Guardian reviews clarifies:

"If you think you have read every possible spin on King Arthur possible, think one more time. He of the Fiery Sword is like none of them. Telling you much more would spoil it, but past and future collide and legends meet in this most ambitious of tales. This is a new legend that is designed for the intelligent and imaginative minds out there."
~Amanda Killgore;

So I basically take what's written as mythology and make it look as if cultures got it all wrong in history with my Time Guardian series.

I also blog about reference books. Stop by my blog if you're curious. You may just find a book to help you write your current wip!

The Wild Rose Press

Thanks again for having me here, Dayana. ~Skhye

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Please welcome Nicole D'Arienzo Managing Editor, Historical Division and Kathy Cottrelle, Senior Editor, Last Rose of Summer, The Wild Rose Press

Perfecting your Pitch

This past weekend, my fellow senior editor, Kathy Cottrell (Last Rose of Summer line) and I traveled to the New Jersey Romance Writers conference in Iselin, NJ. Meeting so many of our authors and spending time with fellow TWRP editors was a lot of fun. It was such a delight to hear from so many of you who love what we do and are grateful we’re here. Rest assured, the feeling is mutual!

As the conference closed and Kath and I headed back home, our discussion turned to our conference experiences. One of the things we both noticed was a lack of preparedness on the part of many of the authors pitching to us. I admit I was quite taken aback by this; I’ve been around the publishing industry for some 20 years and one of the first lessons I learned was “perfecting your pitch.” This is not to say that the authors who came prepared to pitch had any more of a chance of being asked to submit their story than those who were not prepared, but I think a little bit of practice might have helped put them at ease. And it certainly would have helped me to understand what type of story they were pitching.

Let me explain. I had several authors sit down and immediately say “Okay, my heroine has long auburn hair and big green eyes. My hero is tall with dark hair and light blue eyes…” STOP! Hold the presses. While I would never interrupt an author sitting across from me babbling nervously like this, it is at this point my eyes begin to glaze over and I think: this is going to take a while. Honestly, if the first thing you can tell me about your characters is what they look like, it makes me wonder why I should care about them. Saying something like “my heroine is a spoiled socialite who has just lost everything. My hero is the guy who has been hired to kill her” would certainly grab my attention a lot faster.

Also, know ahead of time what it is you want to pitch. Don’t simply plop yourself in the chair and say “I’ve been writing since 1982. I have about 40 stories written. What are you looking for?” Instead of showing me what a polished professional you are, this makes me wonder why, after 40 stories, you are still not published and what on earth have I gotten myself into?

Being prepared will also help you avoid prattling on and saying “and then this happens…and then this happens…and then this happens…” over and over.

Luckily for you, two highly intelligent and capable women (at least we used to think we were!) managed to get ourselves hopelessly lost driving in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and had many, many long hours to discuss this very situation. *G*

Here is our two-for-the-price-of-one blog on Perfecting Your Pitch.

Greet the editor with a firm, confident handshake and introduce yourself. “Hi, nice to meet you.
Nicole, Kathy my name is Rose Author and I’d like to tell you about my ninety-thousand word contemporary story entitled The Great American Novel. It’s set in New Jersey and is about two highly intelligent women getting themselves hopelessly lost and the heroes who save them.”

Then give us a 25 word blurb about your story: “Scarlett O’Hara really just wants to get home. But she can’t get off the New Jersey Turnpike to save her life. Rhett Butler offers to give her more than just directions.”

Then sit back and let the editor ask you some questions. I might say something like “Describe the conflict for me.” Or “What is Rhett’s goal?” “How do the secondary characters, if any, help move the plot forward?” Be prepared to talk about these things.

Also, be prepared to answer questions such as: who you like to read, who you think you write like, which line at TWRP you’re targeting. Also if your story contains a lot of technical details (medicine, nursing, law enforcement, DA’s, history) be prepared to tell us a little bit about how you have come to be an expert in this field. For example, if your story involves Faberge eggs, you might say: “I’m a member of Faberge Egg Makers of America and regularly present online workshops on Faberge eggs through history.”

So as nerve-wracking as pitching can be, try to remember that you have something to sell and the editor is looking to buy.

A little bit of prep work goes a long way toward perfecting your pitch!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oh Look! A Hummingbird! Please welcome Natasha Bacchus, Senior Editor of the Hummbird Dept, The Wild Rose Press

From an Editor’s Perspective
“Don’t die with your dreams crumpled in your back pocket.” I don’t know who said that, but he was right. If you want to be a writer, then start now, and start writing...

When it comes to being an author, there are two steps, “Write the book and get it published.” Of course, it’s not that simple. Consider 85% of the people who begin writing a novel never finish. Add to that, the statistic which says only 20% of the people who try to get a contract are successful. It means of 100 who start writing, only 15 finish their story, and of that 15 only 3 of those people will get a contract, and that sounds damn depressing...but is it, really?


It’s hard to get published, but not impossible. To that end, here are five tips from me. Take and leave them as you will, bearing in mind these are just my observations from working in the industry. The tone of these tips is blunt. I’d rather tell it to you straight, than try to be politically correct. I don’t think PC behaviour helps people, and I for one, would rather hear the unvarnished truth than not.

Tip #1: You don’t need mega talent to be published.
It helps, don’t get me wrong, and certainly, your readers will thank you if you have some skill. In truth, however, talent is the smallest piece you need. What you really need in order to be published is perseverance and persistence.

So what if you get rejected? Do you get every job you apply for? Do you win every race you enter? Do you find love every time with every partner or date? Of course not. So if you get rejected, (and let me say this with love) suck it up.

Dean Koontz was rejected 75 times, Stephen King 96. Janet Evanovich wrote for 10 years before getting her first contract and her Stephanie Plum series didn’t even make it to the big time until the 5th book. John Grisham had to self-publish A Time to Kill, and Dr. Seuss knocked on over 30 doors before finding someone who offer him a contract.

What does this mean? It means that while talent plays a role in getting published, what really matters is perseverance and the willingness to keep trying.
Reading about authors who hit it big with their first story, get the multi-million dollar contract with the first book can inspire at the same time it leaves you depressed. But bear in mind that we each have our own journey and our path is not the same as another’s. Andrew Davidson, made news with his 1.2 million dollar advance for his first book, Gargoyle. His first book. Sounds like magic until you realize he tried for over 15 years to get his work published. Overnight success? Nope. But he IS a success, not because of the huge advance, but because he kept trying. He believed in his story and that was what mattered.

Tip #2: It’s not about you.
Yes, folks, despite what your mother and children’s programming taught you, your existence does not create any obligation in anyone. Too often, I meet writers who feel that somehow, because they’ve written a book, the rest of us should bow down in awe and wonder. And while we may be on bended knee, I assure you, it’s because the air is cleaner down here on the ground. I’m not saying this to be rude or obnoxious. Rather, I’d like to see some of you take a look at yourselves and put your life into perspective.

Is writing a book hard, thankless, and soul-searing? Yes. Is it more of a challenge than someone else’s pursuit of their dream? No. You’re pursuing your dream. It’s no better or worse than the person who’s chasing after that law degree or who wants to be a veterinarian.

Do the work necessary to keep yourself in the game, and keep your attitude in check.
I met a multi-published author at a conference. She was furious at an agent she’d met. Here’s the background. She pitched her story to the agent, who said, “I like your story, I like the idea of someone killing off wildlife, but I’m not sure about using the scientific name. If you’re willing to change the book, so the animal is called by its generic name, I’d like to take a look.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what set this writer off. Never mind that no one would have known what animal she was talking about because no one really speaks Latin anymore, never mind that the change the agent asked for was minor and did nothing to change the organic structure of the story, she was mortally offended by the request.

“It’s my art,” she said, with a sniff, “And I won’t change it for anyone.”
Then she wonders why her readership is low. Gee, let me think. Could it be because you’re writing for yourself and not for the average reader? Hey, we’re all impressed that you know Latin, we’re all thrilled you can wield four-syllable words, but give me a break, lady. This isn’t about you. It’s about the readers. If you’re writing to show them how smart you are, they’ll return the favour, put down your book, and go to an author who knows how to treat them with respect and dignity.

Tip #3: Explanation will kill you.
You’ve written your book, you’ve polished it until it gleams—the very shine of it is causing eye damage and the sun is complaining that “it’s just too bright.” And now, having printed off every precious page, you hand it over to a trustworthy friend. They sit down and begin to read. You sit beside them, watching their every breath, tracking every movement of their eye. Their brow furrows and your heart stops, your breath ceases.

“Wait a second,” says your friend. “This hero is coming across like a jerk. He’s totally rude to the heroine when he doesn’t need to be.”

“Well, yes,” you answer, “but there’s a reason. See men in his generation weren’t touchy-feely.”

“Yes,” says your friend, “but he’s really coming off like an ass.”

“You just don’t understand.”

No, sweetheart, YOU are the one who doesn’t understand. Heroes are heroes because THEY ARE HEROIC. Can you have an unsympathetic hero? Of course, but here’s the catch, HE STILL HAS TO BE A CHARACTER READERS CAN IDENTIFY WITH.

Look at television shows: House, Stargate Atlantis. Both feature protagonists that aren’t stereotypically heroic (House= Dr. House, Stargate Atlantis = Dr. Rodney McKay). If you watch these shows, then you know these guys won’t win any congeniality awards, never be the Boy Scout of the group, but, BUT, people LOVE these characters. Why? Because, despite their arrogance, brittle personalities, superficial nature, they are heroic. They show their humanity, they are capable of being vulnerable, caring, and that speaks to readers.

They are honest about who and what they are, and when push comes to shove, these are guys who will do the right thing/stay true to their driving desire. Viewers know this within 5 minutes of watching the show.

If your reader can’t pinpoint that your hero will be the hero, you need to rewrite. Or else, what are you going to do? Put a note in your book explaining your character’s background? Sit down with every person who reads your book and justify why this guy is being such a jerk when there’s no need to be?

I know that sounds so rude, but it’s the truth. If your character is inconsistent or faulty, dear heart, the problem isn’t the reader, it’s the way the character’s been written. Being a writer means being able to go back to the page over and again, and making your characters multi-dimensional and ensuring they come across they way they need to.

Tip #4: Be Strong in Yourself
Tip #3 said to listen to your readers’ comments. Tip #4 seems conflicting: stay strong in yourself, but as crazy as it sounds, you need both to be a successful writer.

If your character really IS a jerk and his redemption is what the story is about, then yes, stick with it. But if he’s supposed to be swoon-worthy and your readers seem to be suffering from nausea rather than fluttering hearts, then go back to the drawing board.

Successful writers know how to evoke the right emotion in their reader. It takes time, patience, writing and re-writing, but it’s what you need to do if you want to make it in this industry.

Tip #4 means knowing your story inside and out, knowing every nuance and twist. If it take your 3 years to write it, then so be it. Don’t rush, don’t force it.

Tip#5: Educate Yourself
Know how to do more than turn on your computer; know what grammar is, and the difference between effect and affect.

I wouldn’t trust a carpenter who only knew how to use his hammer, and I don’t trust an author who doesn’t take the time to educate and continually educate him/herself in their industry.

Part of this tip is knowing what works for you as a writer. Don’t force a story voice. Readers can sense it. So, even though you’ve heard erotica is all the rage, if it doesn’t feel right when you’re writing it, and a sweet sensuality is more your style, stick with that.

Integrity always sells.

Ladies, gentlemen, writing is hard work. This isn’t for the faint of heart, and this isn’t a job for wusses. When you encounter a setback, whether it’s a blank page, a rejection or a bad review, pull yourself up and keep going. Like the man said, “Don’t die with your dreams crumpled in your back pocket.”

Natasha Bacchus
Senior Editor, Hummingbirds
The Wild Rose Press

Monday, October 27, 2008

Please give a warm welcome to today's guest, Mary Ricksen, author Tripping Through Time a Faery Rose Release

On one very special day for me, I met an editor for the Wild Rose Press. Her name was Callie Lynn Wolfe and she is a very special friend.
It was at a meeting of my local RWA chapter, the Florida Romance Writers. The only reason I was there, was that Traci Hall, talented author and then president of the group, dragged me there. She pushed me and gave me the confidence to try. Traci even gave me a ride. She made me feel wanted and comfortable. And for an agoraphobic like me that is a feat. My friend Traci is very sweet, kind-hearted, and a good soul.
Well being shy and taking a deep breath, I sat at a table where the group always meets in Ft. Lauderdale. I always sit at Traci’s table and there I have met many talented authors. On that day, a new member happened to sit next to me. Callie at first was a bit bashful herself, but shortly we were talking and getting to know one another. In the conversation, Callie told me she was an editor. Well for one of the few times I have been gutsy, I asked her if she could look at the first three chapters of my book, if only to tell me whether I stunk at writing or not. So I emailed them to her that very same day.
At first Callie was not impressed. After reading my first chapter, she told me kindly that she didn’t think it was a publishable romance. It turns out that what I was doing in my first chapter was called back telling. A real no-no in writing. In my mind, I knew that there was more to it. I really started the story in the second chapter. So I asked her if she would read a little more, and she did.
This time she was a bit more excited. She told me I was very good at imagery and with her suggestions and criticisms in my head, I dropped the first chapter and added a lot more dialogue. I am not as good at that. After reading my rewrite, she told me she was forwarding it on to an editor in the Faery Line. I’d have to make or break on my own. I held my breath for quite a while, (figuratively for sure).
It was at the next meeting that I learned my now editor, Zanoni Rose, had decided to accept my story for publication. Now Zanoni is a very patient person, she had to eliminate about a thousand commas that didn’t belong there. Yes, commas are my nemesis. Knowing that she had more experience than I did, I accepted every change she suggested, without question. There was one big change I had to make at the end of the rewrite process that was hard for me to accept. But trusting in Zanoni’s judgment, I made the change, crossing my fingers that it would still work.
My book was born! Delivery will be in digital on 1/2/09 and in print on 3/27/09. The thrill of accomplishment and acceptance overwhelmed me and it still does. All of my life I have been trying to find my talent. I made stained glass pieces, I tried painting, I played guitar and sang in a band, the list of things I tried is endless. Finally, I had found my talent. I have been writing and throwing away my stories for years. But this time I didn’t throw it away.
My muse was there all along, and I ignored it. Now I embrace it. I only wish I had discovered it many years ago. I might be a real famous author today if I had known!
Now I have a book, Tripping Through Time, coming out. My heart is so filled it is about to burst. Me, I did it, I have made a small dent in history. Some day maybe someone will pick up my book and think. Who was she? What was she like? I have something to leave behind. I never was able to have children, but I still have a legacy.
Writing is so special. I have lost myself so may times in a good story. Escaping my troubles, I learned about new places and new people. Losing myself in a book is a gift, and there are so many of them, I will never have to give that gift back.
So that’s how I got my book published. For the first time in my life, Lady Luck was with me. I met Callie, she changed my life, and I will never forget it. She gave me a chance, and that is all we writers want, a chance. She is my very special friend, forever I hope.
Thanks Callie, now everyone knows how special you are to me.
My advice to those of you who are trying to get published is this. Never give up if it’s your dream, never stop trying, and network, that’s the secret. Give it your all. Listen to all the advice that other writers give to you and try not to cry when you’re critiqued, because
someday you might get your chance. You too might be saying the words that thrill me.
I am an author, how great is that!

Mary Ricksen

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Good Sunday Morning!

Well, the seasons they are a changing. Finally, we've gotten a breath of fresh cool air here in Southern Florida and can I tell how wonderful that feels? This is my favorite time of year here. Halloween and cooler temps? Can I just say I'm in heaven:)

Rene Stephens, part of the Black Rose editing team at The Wild Rose Press and our scheduled guest today, will not be able to make it. But she will drop in another day soon. That said, please keep an eye out for her at a later date. She sends her apologies.

Now to explore an interesting topic Faith V. Smith brought up yesterday. Why do we write and how did we suddenly take the craft seriously? I don't know about you but Faith got me thinking and interestingly enough, my beginnings are not all that different that Faith's.

I began writing at a very early age, 10 or 11 if I had to give you an age. Whether it were adolescent thoughts jotted down at will, diaries, attempts at writing my own songs, jingles, poems--well you get the picture.

As a child, I had a very vivid imagination and a whole lot of energy. I kept myself entertained for hours, creating and acting out--believe it or not--scenes from Dark Shadows(I would drape sheer curtains all over my room as cobwebs, LOL and btw, I was always Angelique), lipsinking to favorite songs using my brush as the mic and crooning into my bureau mirror, cording off rooms in the backyard with clothes line poles--remember those? You name it. And writing. My first publication was a poem in grammar school that was placed in my sixth grade yearbook. I'd begun writing a romance novel in a spiral notebook at the age of 12 complete with a hand-drawn cover, a couple arm in arm walking away from the camera, so-to-speak. I had a decent gift for drawing, as well(don't know whatever happened to that, LOL).

I took creative writing in junior high along with journalism and wrote more completely loving it. Fiction has always been my forte. The journalism was interesting but boring to me. Then, of course, life happened. I was a teenaged girl doing girl things. The most important, of which, was chasing boys! That and primping took up all my time:) Then disco and clubbing happened along with work and responsibility and marriage. Writing took a back seat in my life for many years, until...

The year 2000. This had to be the worst year of my life. Everyone for the most part was excited about and celebrating the Millenium but I was watching my hero die-my father. He and I were the typical father-daughter relationship. I was Daddy's little girl and he always my tall, dark, handsome hero. Talking about it still brings tears to my eyes. I miss him achingly so to this day. My father survived three major cancer surgeries, irreversible colinectomy to name one before succumbing to an intestinal scarring repair procedure where his intestine and bladder were nicked during the procedure and he became septic. We lost him not soon after.

We were, to say the least, devastated at his loss. He had just turned sixty-five and it was only days after his birthday. But that wasn't enough loss for me apparently. A couple of months later, I found out my beautiful Sheltie, Kazzy, had cancer! I was absolutley crushed. He was only eleven years old and was diagnosed with Lymphosarcoma. Not good. We did all we could for him and lost him in the end anyway.

You can well imagine my state of mind by the end of the year. I started to look for ways to deal with my grief. It was just too overbearing, and I was falling into serious depression.

I'd recently gotten a rebuilt computer from a friend and started to look around the internet for writing classes. I thought maybe I could lose myself in the craft and work through my grief as a means of escape. Good idea, right?

I came across a six week free writing class called F2K sponsored by Writer's Village University and signed up immediately. Well, as it turned out, I did my class met lots of people, joined the WVU formed a critique group with another member and wrote through and about my grief and best of all got past the fear of sharing my writing. That is a major step for any author. Putting one's heart and soul out there for someone else to critique! I am still a member of Writers' Village University to this day, and I have them to thank. For without them I would have never written my first novel, nor be where I am today with my newest projects, Curse of the Marhime and my two recent sales, Eternal Obscession(a Scarlet release) and The Changeling(A Black release) both in the edit stages at this time.

I am truly thankful I discovered my muse and that it got me through a very difficult time in my life. I never in a million years would have thought that it would have turned out as rewarding as it has for me, but it just goes to show that you never know what is waiting for you around the next bend in life. No matter the reasons you do what you do or the hows of getting there, the point is you did! My advise to anyone is to follow your heart. Do what makes you happy and don't ever give up. The kudos are your own. Never depend on others to push you forward. Only you can move that foot to take the first step to you dreams and goals. So come on, take that baby step and let's get started. You're future is out there for you to grab and run with.

Have a wonderful day and if you would why not share how you obtained your dreams or what you are doing to capture them.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Today's Guest is Faith V. Smith, Author of Beware What You Wish, A top five English Tea Rose Release and then there's Kensington's Soul...ooh la la:)

Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to write. I did try my hand at it many times, even submitting something when I was a pre-teen. Graciously, the company did not reply to my pencil scribbling. I have scads of poems saved somewhere in the house, and I cannot tell you the times I have allowed my imagination to direct me into acting the heroine of a television show. Yes, even way back then, I made up lines of fantasy.

After getting married, having a child of my own, I still kept that idea in the back of my head. Finally, I begin to get serious, I wrote fifteen pages of a medieval and then got sidetracked. When I started back, I changed sub-genres and turned out almost three chapters of a contemporary. Then I quit. Life interfered; I went back to school, lost my mother and nephew in the arms of death and just tried to get through one day at a time.

Around 1999, I took the plunge and bought a computer. I had no clue as to how to set it up. A fellow DJ at the station I worked with got me up and running on the internet. Worlds began to open up. I found ivillage.com, their reading and writing boards. From there, I was blessed to meet the talented owner of a newly founded review magazine. After that, I became a reviewer for Romantic Times and other publications.

I realized that if I was to ever be published, I had to get serious. I finished the medieval, entered a contest and NO, I didn't win, but I found I also didn't fall apart too badly when it came to rejection. A good thing, because I had several rejections before I entered the Behind The Garden Gate contest at The Wild Rose Press in 2007. I entered under my real name and the name I write under not my editorial name with them. Again, I did not win but was asked to resubmit with a new portal for the time travel. I was over the moon when they contracted Beware What You Wish in January of this year and which is now available at TWRP..

Still reeling from the shock, I found out the first of March, that my vampire tale, Kensington's Soul also had been contracted. The first of my vampire series is close to my heart. My husband, who I lost in 2006, helped me research some of the sights of Savannah where KS takes place. Although it took me several decades to realize my dream it did happen.

My words to anyone out there who is sure they will fail, is you can only fail if you don't try. A rejection can be so beneficial to getting your work up to snuff and when it does happen then it will be worth all the agony of first, second and several defeats.

Write from your heart and soul!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Please Welcome Linda Nightingale, Author of Black Swan Coming Soon at The Wild Rose Press.

So you wish to become a Black Swan?

Then please allow me to introduce you to darkness. My name is Lucien St. Albans and I am, quite simply, the most powerful vampire in the world. I am Chief Councilor of Les Elus, the ruling body of our kind. I very rarely partake of Black Swan offerings but you, my dear, are different. You spark my imagination…and other things.

Brush your hair back off your neck. Close your eyes. Excellent, your heartbeat has segued to my slower beat and you wear the scent of arousal as well as a healthy fear.

There will be a little sting as my fangs enter the vein—pain is part of pleasure—then only bliss. If we were to have sex, which we won't tonight, I would give you my blood as I took yours and we would see satisfaction from both sides of the mirror—male and female. I would feel your excitement and you would feel my need until the mirror shattered.

But for now I'll take my kiss on your smooth, satin wrist. Don't be afraid. Look into my eyes. Yes, they are red. Red is the color of passion.

Beneath your sweater, your nipples have peaked. With my mouth locked to your wrist, you writhe from pentacle to pentacle of pleasure, and other than my lips, I have not touched you.

When you scream in ecstasy and I have drunk my fill, I will release you.

"Oh my God." Breathless, you cling to me. "I—oh—I…"

That is what it means to be a Black Swan.

Vampires can make the claim, "I'm always up for it," and make good the promise. Before the night is over, if you are a very good girl, I'll introduce you to my friends Morgan and Tristan. We could get into you.

Sign up sheets are available in the foyer by the fountain. I'm joking—you've already joined this select society.

I try to find a "representative" of my characters. The photo is how I imagine Lucien.

Black Swan, coming February 25, 2009, from The Wild Rose Press:
Suffering from a broken marriage, Carol Langston meets Tristan McLaghlan at a Black Swan party. Black Swans are mortals who willingly barter blood for the sensual ecstasy and euphoria vampires give in return. To Carol, this looks like the real thing until her handsome vampire runs away from her and his true nature. Separated by miles, divided across two species, can their love survive?


In high school, my favorite teacher allowed me to write stories instead of book reports. Like other teenagers, I wrote dark, soul-searching poetry. When I showed my literary jewels to an editor at the local newspaper, the erudite critic shattered my dreams and put my writing career on hold for over 20 years. In the interim, I bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses. My magnificent stallion Bonito was twice national champion and won countless under saddle classes. I've seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a Dodge Ram truck towing my horse trailer.

I have two marvelous sons. I'm a legal assistant, love fast cars, pianos and men with long blonde hair!

My work has won several unpublished awards including the Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award, and Cardinal Desires was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.

Me on the half shell.

Please answer the following question to win a customized Black Swan mug: Who stars as the Earl of Rochester in the wonderful movie The Libertine? First correct answer in the comments wins. Be sure to leave your email address so that I can contact the winner.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Callie Lynn's Back! With the info you've all been waiting for!

Just how do we win the Black Rose Got Wolf? T-Shirt?
Hello again, everyone:)

Here's what we're going to do. I've got one T-Shirt, and I am willing to offer it up for a prize. And after considering this all day long, I've got the perfect plan. We are going to have a Wolf Trivia Contest which seems fitting for the season and the wolf theme of the Black Rose Got Wolf? Contest and will consist of questions posted to the "October Events Update" sideboard of this blog randomly through out the next week. I will post the first question here at the end of this post. Email the answers to me at callielynnwrp@aol.com. Please do not post the answers here on the blog. If anyone does it will disqualify the question. Place Wolf Trivia and the quesion number in the subject line of your email(ex. Wolf Trivia Q#1) All those who answer the questions correctly will be placed in a drawing. I will pick the winner on Halloween which is next Friday. The winner will be posted on this blog on Halloween night at midnight.

Here's question number one:

Wolves are most active during what times of the day and what is it they most often do at these times?

Good luck! I look forward to your answers.


Callie Lynn Wolfe
Senior Editor
The Wild Rose Press, Black Rose

A new day upon us and Great News!

Good morning, everyone:)

Callie will be giving away a Black Rose Got Wolf? T-Shirt here this month. She will drop in sometime today and tell you how you can win the shirt.

Meanwhile, don't forget about the other contests running this month. The Halloween mini story contest-for more detail view my website at www.romawolftales.com and of course, we have the prompt story I posted the other day which needs a clever ending. For a new twist on that one why not work the prompt yourselves with a fresh story as well? I will also offer a surprise treat for the best story you can come up with using, "Three days passed before." Looking forward to seeing what you all come up with.

To recap: Halloween Mini Tales contest, finish my 'Three days passed' prompt or create your own prompt. Happy writing and good luck!

Watch for Callie some time today. She will pop in and give you the details on how you can win a Black Rose Tee.

Have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Please welcome the Mistress of the Darkness herself, Callie Lynn Wolfe, Senior Editor of the Black Rose Line, The Wild Rose Press!

Good October Morning, Everyone. I will say this blog is really a busy one. Great job, Dayana! We are proud to have you sponsoring Paranormal Month at The Wild Rose Press and appreciate all the hard work you've put into getting this together.

Yes, I am the Mistress it seems of the darker side of the Garden. And I am surrounded by wonderful Dark Goddesses who know their stuff. We are hungry to get our teeth and nails into your 'edge of the seat' submissions.

Got Wolf? was a great success, and we have obtained many fabulous submissions of which I plan to offer a chance of publication through the regular submissions process. Yes, I do have the winners, but no, I can't share them at the moment. You'll just have to tune in on Halloween to see if YOU won:)

Thank you to everyone that participated. Your stories were exceptional, and I will say from the editor standpoint, extremely well written.

A bit about our line...

We encourage sexy, sensual vamps and weres-the hotter the better-though we like to see submissions containing other mystic entities such as withches, warlocks, demons, etc. We love the different twist on the same old lore. Vampires don't have to be invisible in mirrors. Shifters don't have to turn on the full moon. Sure the moon may drive the magic but we like to see that unique twist to the stories that only your imaginations can develop and run with. Maybe your vampire is truly evil but has a soft spot for your heroine and she calms the beast within. The Hero can be evil and dark but the reader has to still love him, get it? The Hero or Heroine doesn't always have to suffer remorse for what they are. They can thrive yet still be lovable. My point here is think unique. Give you stories different twists. Give them humor, give me the totally unexpected plotline.

I am very happy to be here today. Thank you for inviting me, Dayana. I'll drop by later. Right now I've got to run.

Callie Lynn Wolfe

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Let's have a bit of fun today. Shall we?

Here's a little teaser that I wrote back in 2004 for a prompting exercise where you are given a line to begin and you take it from there. This particular story seems to fit the season, so what I'd like you to do is finish it. The best ending will receive a free download of Skhye Moncrief's, He of the Fiery Sword! Now that's a prize worth writing for:) Thank you, Skhye for donating such an enticing prize.

This contest will run through the end of the month, winner to be announced on October 31st under the 'October Events Update' section of this blog.

Here you go. Have fun!

"Three days passed before they found the body..."of water described by the old Indian woman. The morning was crisp and a dense fog floated eerily above the flat surface of the small pond. Wispy fingers of ghostly white stretched into the surrounding trees obscuring visibility past twenty feet of the surrounding area. A frigid burst of air lifted Dina’s coattails and a tremble of gooseflesh spread over her arms, fear spiked a cold trail up her spine.

“Do you think this is the place?” She turned to find Vince several feet away examining some artifact lying on the ground at his feet. “What’s that?”

He bent to retrieve the object. “It’s a broken tooth. I think canine, maybe a wolf or coyote. As far as being the place, it meets the description. See the tree over there?” He pointed to a split pine to the left. “It’s been struck by lightning and looks exactly as the woman described.”

Vince walked over to the pine with Dina close behind. She watched as he rooted through the brush behind the tree. “Be careful. You don’t know what’s hiding in those bushes,” she warned.

The eerie feeling she’d had before returned. She shivered but not from the cold dampness that surrounded them this time. Something was making her increasingly edgy. She remembered the old woman’s warning.

‘Beware the guardian of the ancient pine.’ She’d crooned but, gave no explanation.

“What exactly are you looking for, Vince?”

“A cairn. It’s an Indian burial marker sort of the equivalent of our tombstones. According to my great-grandfather’s journal something of great value was buried within the cairn of Chief Spotted Wing, a distant relative. It’s something that will make a major difference in the historic information regarding the Blackfoot Tribe.”

He moved a few feet to the right of the pine and stepped behind a large holly bush. “Dina! I think I’ve found it.”

That was the last thing she heard before her world shattered into a multitude of lights and pain then, everything went black.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Good Morning! Please welcome the award winning erotic author, Helen Hardt, author of Seduction in Seoul

Halloween – the Perfect Time to Unleash your Fantasies!

Dayana, thanks for having me today! I’m thrilled to be here, and I’ve enjoyed hearing from all of your other guest bloggers.
This is my favorite time of the year. I love the fall, with all its vibrant colors and woodsy fragrances. And smack dab in the middle of beautiful Autumn comes the mysterious Halloween. On this night, we dress up and masquerade as someone or something else. Who can resist playing along? For just a little while, our fantasies take over and... Well, ahem, Dayana does have a PG rated blog.

In my Scarlet Rose release, Seduced in Seoul, the hero, Dylan, engages in a masquerade with the heroine, Allison. Though he doesn’t wear a mask, he plays a naughty little game with her, pretending to be something he’s not. His pretense encourages Alli to play a game of her own, and she reaches inside herself to explore her secret fantasy – to be a sexy-talking seductress. Here’s the blurb:

The last thing Allison Sanchez expects when she arrives in Seoul is the Asian god waiting for her at the airport. Right away it's obvious he can't understand a word she says. But body language is universal, and Allison soon casts aside her inhibitions in favor of engaging in one of her secret fantasies with the hot chauffeur. Talking dirty during sex takes Allison to an all new high until she discovers her exotic lover is only half Korean--and her brother's American roommate.

What happens when Alli discovers Dylan’s deception? You’ll have to read the story to find out ;)

Halloween gives us the perfect excuse to play a little. Back when my wonderful husband and I were dating, we went to a Halloween party. When I found out he was dressing as a 1920s gangster, I decided to play along. I found a short, flapper-style sheath, some fishnet thigh highs, a sequined headband, and I morphed into a gun-toting speakeasy showgirl. Underneath I wore...oops, PG blog again. Suffice it to say, it was a memorable evening.

Have you ever engaged in some lighthearted masquerade fun? Or had a particularly memorable Halloween costume? Tell us about it in a comment. Tomorrow, I’ll draw a name from those who commented and send a download of Seduced in Seoul to the winner.

Thanks again, Dayana, for having me, and an early Happy Halloween to you all!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Now for a little editor time: Please welcome Ms. Amanda Barnett, Senior Editor of the Faery Line at TWRP

Hello everyone,

I'm Amanda Barnett, Senior editor for the Faery Rose line at The Wild Rose Press. I've been with the company for almost a year and a half. I have some wonderful authors, met some awesome editors and feel like TWRP is a company that stands on its word.

I have a background in the publishing world that includes, reviews, columns, interviews and my own work being put under a microscope and then published. For me you have to be willing to put it all out there in relation to your work in order to get anywhere.

I would like to tell you a bit about what I'm looking for in the way of manuscripts for the Faery Rose line. Heroes and heroines who are sensual, plots that are edgy and filled with some of the elements that make up our guidelines. Ghosts, witches, dragons, faeries, time travels, science fiction. These are the basis for our line, and I would love to see characters that readers remember long after they read
the last page.

A good way for any author be they a newbie or already pubbed, is to make sure you read the guidelines for whichever line you are targeting. That gives you an insight as to what we editors are looking for. The elements of writing should be adhered to and I will tell you now, I do not care for point of view that is all over the place.

We have some of the best editors, cover artists, production and public relations folks in the business at The Wild Rose Press, who will be more than happy to guide you from start to finish with your work.

Happy writing,

Amanda Barnett

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Welcome Sheri Lewis Wohl! Yet another wonderful TRWP paranormal author. So glad to have you with me today:)

Vampires, witches, spirits, and ghosts…

Hey Dayana! Thank you much for having me here today. As a paranormal author, it’s no surprise to anyone October is my favorite month! Who can resist All Hallows Eve when the veil between this world and the next fades away? My fascination with the dark side began very early. I recall clearly watching The House on Haunted Hill one Saturday morning when I was quite young. Everyone else was busy around the house and didn’t realize what kept me so riveted to the television. Oh, but they did that night when I had them all awake because I was afraid to go to sleep. That was just the beginning!

When I learned to read and could pick out my own books, the fun crept up a notch. There was no more “see Spot run” for me. Instead, I devoured all the classics: Stoker’s Dracula, Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Poe’s The Telltale Heart. Would it surprise you to find out, I still have all of the above on my bookshelf, including the complete works of Poe?

Of course, the fun didn’t stop there. Popular media might not have fed my addiction to the level I would have liked, but they still provided enough fare to keep me happy. From Dark Shadows to Nighstalker to Salem’s Lot, the vampires, witches, spirits, and ghosts were there to nurture my curious imagination.

I dabbled and dabbled with writing. I even had quite a few encouraging rejection letters from big New York publishers that said they felt my writing held promise but wondered if it would be possible to eliminate the paranormal elements. Sure, I thought about it and no, I couldn’t do it. All the things that go bump in the night simply called too strongly to be ignored. I had little choice but to wait for the rest of the publishing world to catch up with me. In my office resplendent horror movie posters and a fine collection of ceramic skulls, I wrote and wrote.

Patience is a wonderful thing--when you can manage it. Low and behold, one day the first offer came. My book was wanted, paranormal elements and all. And who says life on the dark side isn’t rewarding? The moral of the story? Simple…read what you love, write what you love, love what you love and someday when you least expect it, the world lines right up beside you.
So, if you’re now in the mood for a bit of the paranormal, check out SALEM’S FIRE a Faery Rose at The Wild Rose Press or if you crave a bit more—the vampire side, check out BLOOD SECRETS, the third book in the NECURATUL series at Loose Id. Just to keep things going, coming soon from The Wild Rose Press will be BRIDGE OF SOULS and FULL MOON RISING. Lots of vampires, witches, spirits, and ghosts…

Thank you so much for having me here today. If you’re game to leave a comment, I’ll draw one name on Sunday, October 19th for a spooky gift just in time for Halloween.

Sheri Lewis Wohl

Friday, October 17, 2008

Please Welcome today's guest, Erotic Author, Cari Quinn!

To Be or Not To Be...Published

Thanks so much, Dayana, for allowing me to blog today. It's been a great month of posts so far and October still has two weeks left!

Most authors come to another author's blog to talk about their latest release, but I don't have a release yet. I'm still waiting for "The Call" or "The Email" or however that special moment should arrive. Not only that, I can't claim a whole slew of rejections to prove how hard I'm working to change that fact because I've yet to submit anywhere. That's right - two and a half years since I started "writing seriously" and I still haven't swallowed my nerve enough to submit.

I've entered two contests, though: the romance industry's biggie for the unpublished masses, the Golden Heart, and the Virginia Romance Writers' Fool For Love contest, which I won in the Short Contemporary category with my manuscript, Virgin Territory. Winning my first (and only) chapter contest was a terrific experience in a lot of ways. For not much money, I got two detailed critiques from published authors, then a third when my manuscript ended up needing a discrepancy judge because of the wide variance between my scores. I got some positive feedback, and some not so positive. But it taught me something any writer who has battled in the trenches knows. Writing ain't for the faint of heart. It's just not. If you can't stand the idea of your "baby" being dissected by strangers, it's going to hit you pretty hard to know not everyone will get your jokes, or think your hero's as wonderful as you know he is. It hit me hard after I got the judges' scores back. I even stopped writing for a few days. But I started again - hey, nothing can keep me from writing too long, because it's in my blood - and I'm still going.

Actually, I think that contest was the perfect microcosm of a book's reception by the public. Sometimes people get your voice and your characters. Your book resonates with them and they eagerly anticipate your next release. Someone else can read the same book and have an entirely different response. And that's okay. I heard a piece of advice once that a writer wants to have a voice that incites great love and yes, maybe even strong dislike, because that voice means you're different and being different is what will get you sold.

That's MY theory, anyhoo, and I'm sticking to it.

I'm still learning. Still struggling. Still enjoying writing the kind of stories I like to read. Still waiting for that moment when my Call or Email comes, so that I can start fretting about a whole new set of problems: contracts, actual deadlines, pleasing my editor, thrilling my fans...

Having fans. Whew. There's a heady thought.

Next week, I'll be submitting my baby to my dream publisher. Okay, one of my babies to one of my dream publishers (I have a lot of dreams!) But regardless of what happens, I'll have joined the ranks of those fearless enough to put their work out there, and I'm proud of that. I just started a new blog-cariquinn.blogspot-where I'll be posting book reviews and chronicling my journey to publication. Hope you'll stop by to say hi. I love to meet fellow writers and readers.

Before I go, I want to give a shout out to someone else who won a contest recently: The Wild Rose Press's bestselling author of the Scarlet rosette Seduced In Seoul, Helen Hardt. She took first place in the Colorado Romance Writers' Heart of the Rockies contest in the erotic category and second AND third place in the short contemporary category. Congratulations, Helen! She'll be blogging here on Monday, October 20th.

Thanks again for having me, Dayana. It's been a blast! And thank you to YOU for reading.

Cari Quinn

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Werewolves, Gypsies, and Curses, oh my!!!

Curse of the Marhime is my first book in a planned series of Shifter tales that cross the normal realm of werewolf stories. I wanted to created a different world for my shifters. They are every bit beast but have a tighter hold on their human traits as they mature their furrier side. In the first book, we watch Pita Sedgwick grow in many ways. She must jump many hurtles after discovering many new facets of herself.

Being a first book, I worked very hard on the set up and imagery which I feel is so very important for a reader. Readers must feel as if they are interacting within the story. I utilizes scene setting and a strong battery of senses in my writing as well as characterization. My goal has always been to place my reader in the scenes. Make them feel, see, smell, stress over the unknown, get claustophobic in tight places, LOL, feel fear or anxiety at the proper moments. All this is so important in our writing.

World building in paranormal is an important thing as well. These creatures of legend and lore must be accepted within the tale's world as bona fide entities among humans. I spent many hours on the internet reseaching my settings, Romania and Montana, particularly the Northern Rockies. I researched the Roma people, otherwise known as Gypsies, so extensively that I found many interesting things I'd never known about the Roma peoples. One such fact is that the term 'gypsy' is frowned upon in present times. The politically correct references are Roma, Rom, or Romani.

I was also fortunate enough to find that a good friend, David Hayes, Author of The Bratwurst Kidnapping, spent several years working in Romania and was able to give me details and the flavor of the place from personal experience. I also stumbled upon other sources that actually live in Romania.

Writing paranormal romance is wonderful in the fact that it is so much less demanding because you use your imagination more that fact. That is why it is called fiction, but never think that you don't have to research and make the story as close to the realms of true life and accountably as possible. Because readers want to feel these stories are 'real.' They read to lose themselves in fantasy. They read to get away from the stresses of life. So it important to always make sure your stories border reality yet tempt the reader to step into a new realm of magic, mystery, seduction, and mayhem.

More later, time for this author to get ready for the day job, LOL

Have a wonderful day everyone.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

And now please welcome the talented Judith Gilbert, author of Blood Hunt, newly released at TWRP


If there’s one thing life has taught me, it is that life is anything but fair, but then whoever told us it has to be fair?

The last four months have been tough. One of the sweetest men I’ve ever known, my younger brother, had a massive heart attack. During surgery, the heart surgeon accidentally nicked a vein in my brother’s neck and he almost bleed to death. They had to call in a cardio-vascular surgeon to repair the vein. In the meantime, my brother used every pint of blood the hospital had that matched his blood type. Thank, God, my brother survived. He’s still in rehab, back working part time, but I had no idea that if a blood donor contracted AIDS ten days before they gave blood, it will not show up in the tests, so he had to undergo AIDS testing, another scary ordeal.

My brother is two years younger than me. This scare reminded me of the times we were left alone as kids and I was told by my parents to look after my brother. I made sure nothing happened to him as we were growing up. But when this entire thing happened, all I could do was call and send e-mails to ask friends to add my baby brother to their prayer lists. Deep within my heart I know there’s very little we actually do control in our lives. As Martha Stewart would say, “That’s a good thing.” I know that when I kneel and pray each night that God will do what I can’t, keep my baby brother in the palm of His hand and protect him, just as God did during that terrible heart surgery.

My brother, who served in Vietnam, was one of the research sources for my bestselling vampire/witch paranormal, BLOOD HUNT: THE LEGEND under J Gilbert. I had spent a lot of time on the Internet researching the Army—uniforms, ranks, vehicles, weapons. You name it—I studied it because I had scenes where the Army Special Forces go up against a vampire. I wanted to make sure how the scenes unfolded and played out were accurate. Who did I call? My brother, of course.

When I called my brother and told him I needed help with some battle scenes involving the Army Special Forces, which is right up his alley, he asked, “Who are we fighting?”

“Vampires,” I answered.

He laughed for several minutes. “Give me a second. I need to put on my imaginary hat.”

He helped me with everything from how many men would go on the mission, how they would divide up, how to search a building, surprise the enemy and answered my question about what weapons to use on the vampire. When I wrote those scenes I had confidence that they were accurate because my baby brother had helped me with them.

I would like to invite you to visit both my websites, www.authorjudithgilbert.com OR
www.authorjgilbert.com. Both websites have $15.00 Gift Certificates from The Wild Rose Press that I’ll be drawing lucky winners from on October 31. Go to either website, double click on the Judith Gilbert button or J Gilbert button and fill out the Contest. Once you complete that contest, double click on GATEWAY button to get back to the double doors, enter the other one and complete that contest. Good luck in the drawing.

Thank you so much for reading my blog. For those of you who leave a response, I’ll draw one name for the following prize: Vanilla Cream 8 Pack Scented Tea Light Candles.

Judith Gilbert, J Gilbert, the dark side of Judith
A PERFECT AFFAIR by Judith Gilbert Buy paperback at http://tinyurl.com/4qal75
E-book at The Wild Rose Press
Paperback coming January 09, 2009

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Look out! Here comes Bronwyn... Step aside, please. Move over, would ya?

Why I Write

I think every writer is asked the question, “Why do you write?” or “What made you get into writing?” Answers are long and varied, and usually prompt other questions such as “How much do you make?” “Can I be a character?” and “Please stop talking to me. All I wanted was combo number seven with cola. Am I going to have to call your manager?”

So. Why do I write? The usual reasons. I wanted to work in a creative profession, I had stories to tell, and I felt the writing industry was severely understaffed with highly-neurotic, over-achieving perfectionists who are convinced their latest book would be their last. But I also had another, more pressing reason for writing.
I suffer from TNTLS, a debilitating disease that affects over 80% of the population. 80%. That’s a huge number, but true. This statistic is based on years of scientific research, thousands of case studies, and the fact that 75% of all statistics are made up.

TNTLS, otherwise known as Talk First Think Later Syndrome has plagued me all my life. It was an early onset disease—y’know, like from the moment I could speak. I blame genetics (not naming any names here, but let’s all pause and glance at the parent with the double-X chromosomes). As I’ve gotten older, it’s worsened—so much so that it’s a little like Russian roulette when I go out.

The attacks come out of nowhere, hit any time, and are best left to the discussions I have with my psychiatrist (who assures me that I will conveniently be cured at the precise moment my bills have paid for his five-bedroom home in the Swiss Alps).

The aftermath of the attacks can be so distressing, it’s just better I stay home. I’ve found two triggers: when I’m relaxed and when I’m stressed. So basically, if I’m breathing, I’m liable to have an attack (true to my over-achieving nature, I’ve been known to have a TNTLS attack in my sleep). You’ll agree, I think, that “as long as you’re alive,” just isn’t the best pre-warning symptom for knowing when an attack will happen.

For example, a few years ago I was out of town (trigger alert: stressor) visiting a friend, Lee. We went to her friend’s house where a party—full of people I don’t know (trigger alert: stressor)—was in full swing. Lee stayed with me for about 2.3 milliseconds. She claims it was much longer. Pfft. Who are you going to believe? The stable one or me? Sane people never keep proper track of time. I, on the other hand, am constantly counting “one Mississippi, two Mississippi,” and not just because saying “Mississippi” is darn fun. Nope, I’m keeping time and counting down to the moment I can leave the situation without looking like a Dash and Run guest.

So, all alone, counting the Mississippis, I’m roaming. Thankfully, most people take pity and talk to me. I think because in stressful situations, I give off the same pheromones as lost, frightened puppies. Everything’s going well, so I breathe easy and stop counting (trigger alert: relaxation). And into this expansive space, enters a man big enough to fill it.

At first, realizing that my height stops somewhere around his kneecap, I’m just thrilled he doesn’t step on me (trigger alert: stress...and yeah, it all goes downhill from here, so I’ll stop recording the stressors).

He’s not as wide as he is tall, but, BUT, the man has biceps bigger than my head. Bigger. Than. My. Head. And when he looks down at me, I suddenly feel a close kinship to Jack and truly, for the first time, understand how terrified he must have been when he heard those fateful words, “Fi, Fie, Fo, Fum...”

So this giant looks down at me and says, “Hi. How are you?”

And I say, “My bones are brittle and would probably stick in your throat.”

To which he replies, “Huh?”

Ah, TNTLS, my nemesis. We meet again.

The conversation, mercifully, takes a turn for the better and soon we’re chatting about life, liberty, and the pursuit of smooth-tasting, easy-drinking beer. At this point (or shortly after. We just weren’t talking about the pursuit of beer, but in true, hardy, Canadian fashion, pursuing the pursuit), we start talking about post secondary education.

And we’re chatting about the mandatory classes you’re forced to take, even though they have nothing to do with your degree, or y’know, real life. Those Just-Give-Me-a-Lobotomy-Because-It-Would-Be-Kinder boring classes full of pretentious professors who miss the irony of their jobs and education.

So, we’re commiserating over Statistics (seven years of therapy and I can finally type that word without stuttering), and a bunch of other classes, including introductory Archaeology. And I say (y’know, because I suffer from TNTLS), “Why is it that if you dig up a grave of a man buried last week and take his possessions, you’re a grave robber, but, if you dig up a grave of a man buried in the last century and take his possessions, suddenly, you’re an academic and an archaeologist?”

He kinda looks at me, in that “I think you’d be tasty with ketchup and a dry white wine,” way and says, “Actually, I am an archaeologist.”

Great, Bronwyn, just great. You’ve now called a friend of Lee a grave robber, impugned his education and job, AND you’ve done it with a man big enough to use your scrawny, little body as a toothpick.

Damn you, TNTLS, damn you!

Of course, in a situation like that, there’s only one thing to do. I puff myself up as big as I can, glare at him, and say (in my most stern, authoritative voice), “Well?!”

And I learned something that day—besides the fact that mint chocolate and beer make a terrible taste combination. I learned a big man will capitulate to a tiny Brown girl, if she looks psychotic enough.

Is it any wonder then, that I so identify with Aggie, the heroine in my story, The Genie’s Curse? Poor Aggie, who loves Dillon and finds a genie’s lamp. Well-meaning Aggie, who tries to rescue the kitten genie, Ebony, from a life of enslavement. Silly Aggie, who—in getting completely caught up in a conversation with Ebony and forgetting the lamp is cursed—utters those TNTLS words, “I just wish I was in his [Dillon’s] arms.”

Did I mention the lamp is cursed?

She ends up in Dillon’s arms, all right, as a stray dog. Now she’s got to rescue the cat, get the guy, and save herself, and all because of a TNTLS moment.
I wonder if she had to take archaeology, too...

© 2008 Bronwyn Storm. All rights reserved.

If you’d like to purchase The Genie’s Curse, head to right on over to The Wild Rose Press.

Reprinted with permission.

Bronwyn Storm is a super-hero in training—hey, one day being a klutz will be a superpower…if she doesn’t break anything vital in the meantime. When not tripping over her feet, she writes for The Wild Rose Press and plays butler and cuddler to her four furry boys. Check out her website www.bronwynstorm.com and drop her a line, she could use the excuse to stop petting the dogs and cats.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Please welcome Michele Flagg, author of Retribution! Book I, The Champion Chronicles.

Hi Dayana! Thanks for inviting me as a guest blogger. I’m a Black Rose author with The Wild Rose Press. My first series, The Champion Chronicles includes Book 1: Retribution! and Book 2: Consequences. Book 3: Inheritance is still wrapping up. Please visit my web site, www.Mflagg-author.com to learn more. Since it is paranormal peak season, I’ll offer some words about “good” vampires who leave a lasting impression. So it’s back to the 1960s. We can certainly time-travel, right? If you weren’t around then, think of this as a previous life experience!

I went to a strict, all-girls Catholic high school. Imagine the surprise when one of our assignments was Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Required reading!? Good literature aside, it’s a demon! I’ll be saying Hail Marys until 1970! Well, Stoker’s words sent chills down my spine. So much so that I closed the book at page 10 with my heart racing and took a failing grade. Unthinkable if you know me, but true!

A year later, enter Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows. That vamp had mystery, as well as a bit of good in him. Hmmm… After conning my sister Linda into taking me and my best friend into Manhattan, we met the actor who played him, not once but quite a few times. Maybe that’s where the fascination with good vampires starts.

During a particular low point in my life, I stood in a bookstore searching for something to take me away from hideous reality. A woman approached, saying “Read any Anne Rice?” A blank stare and a slow shake of my head was the answer. She thrust a book in my hand, which was over a decade old, whispering, “Trust me…it’s really good.” While watching my children swim like crazy fish in the pool, I devoured Interview with a Vampire. Thank goodness for the pizza delivery man!

Louis intrigued me. That vamp had passion, mystery, and sorrowful good in him. Did the desire to create my own vampire begin here? Nope. Keep reading.

In 1999, my teenage son introduced me to another vampire. Wait a minute? Don’t vamps lose their souls? Zoom to 2005. Laboring through completing a second masters in two years while teaching full-time, I vowed that as soon as this was over, I’d do something different. Call it a whim, but I decided to create my own vampire…and maybe I’d redeem him, just for the heck of it!

My son and I discussed vampire lore. “Write it, Mom,” he said. Okay, I thought, maybe ten pages of run-on sentences. But I had my own surreal drama churning. Linda listened to depressed ramblings as only a loving sister would. “Forget it all…just write,” she said. I did. My daughter echoed the mantra. I got so involved with my paranormal love story that I didn’t even realize I’d given my parents’ names to my main characters. Embarrassing, but totally true! Other people from my life morphed onto the pages. When I stopped, 120,000 words filled a file on my laptop entitled, Retribution!

Michael Malone, my good vampire, is mystically enhanced (Hey…it’s my paranormal world and I can do what I want). He reclaimed his soul in 1890. In 1990, the vampire sees a girl with her father just before dawn. Years later, he realizes that she is his salvation. But Alana’s now a Guardian of Souls who destroys demons that lurk in the night. To further complicate Michael’s undead life, he has fathered a human son, tricked by a dark seer. The newborn is taken away from Michael and raised in safety. Alana turns 21, and Michael cannot contain love for her anymore. He sleeps with the innocent woman, who breaks a timeless vow. But more importantly, the beast within Michael resurfaces. They never speak again until… Michael’s road to redemption turns bumpy. His son is made to pay for the sins of the father. Lukas, at 13, hunts his undead parent. Alana moves to Portofino. Michael makes a deal with Evil on earth to save Lukas. He calculates revenge. When vengeance is served, Michael is thrown into the depths of near-insanity and begins to weave a tale of redemption with the angel Helena. Only Alana can save him. Thus, Retribution! begins.

Why did I write about a vampire? It’s fun! The creation of a paranormal world offers plenty of wiggle room for interesting characters and supernatural twists rooted in reality. Of course, I can also guarantee the happy ending. Book 2: Consequences takes up Michael’s quest for redemption. Book 3: Inheritance reveals Lukas’s destiny. I love a “good” vampire story. Let’s hear it for the vamps that take us out of this world and into theirs!

I am eternally grateful to my editor, Callie Lynn Wolfe, for her guidance and belief in this new writer, and to The Wild Rose Press, for allowing me the chance to share my stories.

So if you know a “good” vamp, let’s hear from you! Leave a comment and it may entitle you to a Wild Rose Gift Certificate, which you can use now—or for the release of Retribution! The Champion Book Chronicles: Book 1. I know…shameless self promotion! Thanks again for having me, Dayana.

It’s been an interesting new “first” for me!

Mickey Flagg

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Week in Recap and a chance to win a FREE download of Curse of the Marhime:)

Good Sunday Morning All!

Hope everyone is well and anticipating next week's array of interesting guests after the very informative week we've had this past week. I don't know about you, but I've had an absolute ball.
To recap:
We've reminisced about what has influenced the paranormal genre through the years and one of the main things we've discovered universally is that Dark Shadows has played a large part in most author's motivations towards the paranormal. Other movies and shows, such as, Dracula, Forever Knight, UnderWorld, Moonlight-which is a recent show that no one has mentioned but I think belongs here on the list. Books like Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and for me the Witch Series-The Witching Hour, Lasher, etc. have gone a long way to locking my muse in the Paranormal mode.

We've learned that the Alpha males are very important and desirous of the female psyche. Whether it be the motorcycle bad boy or a dark-hearted, sexy man who turns furry at the full moon, or dons fangs at will, women get all moist between—well, you get the picture:) To tame the beast within is every woman's desire and to bring him to his knees quivering with the need to own her heart, mind, body and soul the ultimate reward.

We’ve met new authors excited about their first releases, and we’ve met seasoned ones who continue to hone the muse and share their knowledge with the newbies so that they may enjoy the sensation of publication. We’ve seen how family and friends play such a large part in our motivation to get our stories down on paper and then all the support and encouragement from our loved ones for us to actually get those stories out there for others to enjoy.

We’ve met Rhonda Penders, Editor-in-Chief/Owner of The Wild Rose Press and learned what makes her tick.

Some of you have won prizes and will continue to have chances at other great prizes. Please let me know what you thought of all the activities over the last week. I would love to know if you’ve had as much fun as I have.

And speaking of prizes, who’s up for a chance at winning a free download of Curse of the Marhime? I do think a little scavenger hunt is in order. Take a little trip over to my website, Roma Wolf Tales, and take a gander at the sample story, “A Mid Autumn’s Nightmare,” then tell me what Darius does that Aliese really “hates.” Place your answers as a comment to this post. I will take all the correct answers and enter them into a drawing to announce the winner next Sunday, October 19th.

Happy Hunting and good Luck!

Hey, while you’re there, take a look around. You never know what question I might ask next for a great prize:)

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Please Welcome, Jaclyn Tracey, Author of Eden's Black Rose, coming soon at The Wild Rose Press

Good Morning!
I would like to begin by thanking my friend and gracious host, Dayana Knight for inviting me to this forum. This is my first official blog so please excuse any shortcomings. I would like to do a quick shout out to my editor, for without her, I would not be here at all. Callie Lynn, if you’re out there get a glass of wine and cheers with me. I don’t care that you haven’t had your coffee yet or that it’s only 8 am. No time like the present. Third, I would like thank the Wild Rose Press for mediating the month long celebration of All Hallow’s Eve. There really are spookier things out in the world other than werewolves, vampires and witches. An author with a virgin sheet of paper and a pen in a rotten mood can be lethal. In a romantic mood, she/he can be your date on a lonely Friday night. In a quirky mood, they can leave your cheeks hurting and your heart filled with laughter. They can make your one-room apartment feel like the Taj Mahal or steal you away from your job at lunch when you’d love nothing more than to have a piñata with your boss’s name tag pinned to it. Trust me… been there! It’s why I love to read. I recently read an article in one of the Romance Writers of America’s journals that stated most writers are depressed people. If this is true, I should be on a cocktail of hefty medications, but instead, I find humor works the best magic to healing one’s soul.

In case you’re wondering who I am, my name is Jaclyn Tracey, author of Eden’s Black Rose, a paranormal romance that takes place in London 1896. The story is about Dr. Serina Spencer, a young woman with hidden talents that she’d like kept that way. While walking home from the morgue, she inadvertently wishes for a man to show up on her door stoop, alive, in one bloody piece, betrothed to no one and interested in anyone other than himself for a change.
Serina finds out the hard way it’s not so much what you wish for, but more importantly, how you wish for it, when a young man gets delivered to her door ravaged and left for dead from a vampire attack. After years of hiding her powers from the world Serina is faced with a choice—use them or lose the one man that can make her dreams come true.
Lucian St. James is not your typical royal heir to the throne, wanting nothing to do with his heritage until that option is stolen from him. Awakening in a bloody carriage with a gorgeous green-eyed beauty buried within his loins, he finds out fast, all things are not as they seem. Lies have been told, family members murdered and now Lucian and Serina find themselves in the centre of a macabre plot to knock out all heirs to the throne beginning with him on his honeymoon.

In November ’04 after my team went home without another ring in the World Series, I began reading to take up my spare time. Television was taboo. I’d had it with reality shows. I have enough drama in my life.
Soooooo… after 2 months of doing absolutely nothing other than reading all of my favorite author’s books, (Laurell K Hamilton’s—Anita Blake Vampire series; Karen Marie Moning’s—Highlander series, Christine Feehan’s—Carpathian’s and Kim Harrison’s—Hollow’s series) I sat down and picked up a pen, yes a pen, because I seriously can’t type and my editor will attest to this and began writing the great American novel. A few months into this my husband bought me a computer and with it, himself some headaches.
I spent 365 days secluded (more or less) with my computer. 1120 pages later, I emerged triumphant. I wrote a book! Then the fun/fear began. I went in search of publishing houses. As every author has their list of “Dear John” rejection letters, my first one dragged me down into the pit of despair. The piñata would have come in handy then. How could that man not see that he had a best selling novel in his grasp and he let her go? He didn’t deserve her. He wrote one word on the first page of my MS—Etymology Book. All right two words!
I learned a great deal from that and sent my baby out into the world smarter, better prepared, and 700 pages thinner. My editor found Serina and gave her a home. And while she whittles away further at her, I have the sequels Eden’s Cross, near completion and the third book, Eden’s Charms, completely finished collecting dust as Savanah awaits her departure time. My web site will be up and running in a few weeks so you can log on to read an excerpt from the book. Let me know what you think.
*I need a name for a hawk in my fourth book. If someone comes up with a crafty name, I’ll give you a free download of my first book just as soon as it is released.
Again, thank you, Dayana for this and Wild Rose Press for hosting the month long event.

Happy Halloween!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Tamelia Tumlin, Take a Walk on the Wild Side

He’s dark. He’s dangerous. And he’s irresistible.
What makes women swoon over bad boys who possess that dark dangerous edge that can take us to the point of no return and back again? That one layer of taboo we just can’t seem to resist no matter how hard we try. Whether he is a vampire, a werewolf or simply the lone biker who lives by his own set of rules, it doesn’t really matter. Our legs turn to noodles and our hearts beat erratically just at the mere thought of him.
Women claim they want a man who is sensitive, a man who understands them and a man who promises security. But, do we really? If given a choice between the dependable sexy guy next door and the mysterious sensual stranger with a hint of darkness bubbling just below the surface, who would you choose?
I think it boils down to a woman’s need to feel safe, secure and protected. Certainly, the guy next door can provide this. And on most occasions he does. However, with the guy next door, the thrill of the unknown doesn’t exist. There is no real chance of not getting what we want. We know exactly what he’s all about and though we may sometimes love him for it, taming the guy next door doesn’t create the same shiver of excitement and euphoria as taming the mysterious bad boy does. Bringing a dark, dangerous man to his knees gives a woman a sense of power. To know that she and she alone has the ability to make or break him is a rush like no other. It is also his ultimate declaration of true love.
Obviously this sounds callous and calculating-almost as if we are toying with them-but, in reality these are the men whom we fall for the hardest and these are the men whom we will fight for the most. Why? Is it because we are vindictive and just want what we can’t have? Of course not! It simply the fact these are men who are our true soul mates and our equals. For if we are going to give our hearts to a man-any man paranormal or not-then we want to make positively sure he is worthy of it. And who could be more worthy than the arrogant, sexy hero who just realized he can’t possibly live without us?
You can find many examples of this logic in the romances we read. No matter who or what the hero is, underneath his cool exterior lurks something dangerous and irresistible. Something we just can’t help fall in love with each and every time we pick up a romance book. So, for a chance to take your own walk on the dark side, pick up some of the Black Rose’s from The Wild Rose Press and fall in love over and over again. I guarantee you shivers, thrills and a sense of victory everytime.

Romance Author, Tamelia Tumlin
For Better or for Worse
Blind Love