Thursday, February 24, 2011

Congratulations to the lucky winners!!!

Congratulations to Cathy M. She won the signed ARC of FATED from Rebecca Zanetti's blog.  Rebecca has already contacted her for more information regarding her prize.


Congratulations to Ruth for winning the digital copy of BEYOND A HIGHLAND WHISPER from Happily Ever After Thoughts blog.  If Ruth will go to my website at and use the contact button to let me know her email address, I'll get her copy to her right away!

Thank you both for taking the time to visit the posts and commenting on the blogs! Rebecca and I both hope you enjoy your new reads. :-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Creating Memorable Characters with Jill James

It's the FINAL week of the month-long blog tour. Commenters this week are up for a weekly prize worth $40 and/or a Grand Prize worth over $50! Topic this week - Developing Unique Characters. My wonderful guest is contemporary and paranormal romance author, Jill James. Don't forget! The more blogs you hit and the more comments you make: the BETTER your chances to win!  Here's the rest of the stops on the tour:

Find me at
Meet author AJ Nuest at
Meet author Lynne Roberts at
Meet author Amy Corwin at
Meet romantic suspense author Kat Duncan at
Meet contemporary YA an adult romance author Linda Kage at
Meet paranormal, and historical romance author Caroline Clemmons at
Meet historical and paranormal romance writer Lilly Gayle at
Meet Amie Louellen, author of fun and whimsical contemporary romance at
Meet erotic western historical author Jennifer Jakes at 
And's Jill! 
Memorable characters are a necessity for a memorable story. Think Gone with the Wind, and Scarlett and Rhett come instantly to mind. Think of the Harry Potter series and each of those children is a full-fleshed person.

When I start a story, I always begin with the hero and heroine. What they want in life and their flaws are what make them real to me.

Their wishes, their dreams, and their method of getting them are what make them memorable. What are they willing to do to get their fondest wish? What are they willing to give up reaching for their dreams?

Their flaws make them human, make them seem real. Will they step on people in their climb up the ladder of success? Are they willing to risk everything to get what they want? Is there a step they won’t take, a risk they aren’t willing to take? Are they strong or hardheaded? Are they smart or a smartass?

When I started Tempting Adam, I knew that Yvette Giardino would be a hard-hearted businesswoman, that she would do anything in the name of corporate raiding. But why she needed to do this; for the care of a loved one, is what made her real to me. Anyone can understand how far someone will go for his or her loved one. It is a universal need.

To me, that is what makes memorable characters.

Jill's latest release TEMPTING ADAM is available NOW:

They both want the same thing – St. Eden Studios.

Corporate raider Yvette Giardino intends to bring St. Eden Studios to its knees. It’s a job. One her grandmother’s health depends on. That Adam St. Eden will suffer isn’t personal. Until he awakens her sympathy and stirs her body in ways she can’t explain.

Adam wants one thing and one thing only – to protect the dream his grandfather began. But when the board demands he work with stunning Yvette, a woman he’d mistakenly indulged with in a little after-hours play, his world turns upside down. Missed meetings, unhappy clients, and nights of intense pleasure – he can blame one person. Yvette.

With his corporation crumbling around him, can Adam rise above the fallout and see his sexy temptress for what she really is – a victim of manipulation and a woman who desperately needs his love?


Yvette pulled herself together with a jolt.

It’s a job. It’s a job.

She repeated the mantra in her head in an endless loop, gazing into deep, blue eyes. This close, she noticed the subtle lines near his eyes from his outdoor living. If he had grown up in Hollywood, he would have had a facelift or two by now, instead of the natural look he pulled off quite well.

Adam helped her rise, his warm hand cupping her elbow. A tingle shot from her arm, to her chest, and to regions much farther south. A sexual moan almost escaped her lips. Yvette shook her head to clear the mental images of her and him and the hotel room. It didn’t help. Memories of that night still had the power to stir her senses. They hit Yvette in a place she didn’t think existed—her emotions.

His eyes darkened to indigo, and he leaned nearer. His fresh, evergreen scent enveloped her. Her head swam, and she tilted on the heels of her shoes. She berated herself for her juvenile behavior, unable to believe the She-shark of business might have met her match. At least in the sexual arena.

Adam wrapped an arm around her shoulders, led her to the bench outside the door, and sat beside her. “I hope you’re doing okay. I would’ve found you a seat inside, but they were getting back to work. I didn’t want anything else to delay the work schedule.”

Disbelief flooded Yvette while she replayed what had just happened. She needed to get a grip on herself and this job. Adam was nice enough overall, and was great—make that fantastic—in bed.  However, he was no ruthless businessman and knew next to nothing about Hollywood. He wasn’t the first CEO she’d taken down, and he wouldn’t be the last.

It wasn’t personal.

Find out more about Jill and her books here:

Group Blog:  

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tomorrow is the big day!

I'm thrilled to have Kensington Brava author, Rebecca Zanetti visit my cyber home. She's a pretty busy lady these days because her much anticipated release day is almost here. Tomorrow, FATED hits the shelves. You'll be able to get your hands on her fresh new twist to a sexy vampire read.

Poor Rebecca. She's kind of my guinea pig with this interview. I've never really done one before. But I figured it would be all right. You see...she's my AWESOME mentor in the Writing With the Stars Contest. Without Rebecca's great advice, guidance, and understanding, I would never have made it to the Final Round.  But enough about that - on to the interview:

Maeve:  Tomorrow's the big release day for FATED, Rebecca. How have you been holding up as you get closer to the big day?

Rebecca: Thanks so much for having me here today! I’m so excited for the release! A wonderful specialty wine and gourmet food store called the Gourmet Way has offered to throw a launching party with a wine tasting and several giveaways. The press will be there and a local radio station is doing an interview the day before. Though I need to get back to work afterwards. I’ve been really busy with guest blogging and promoting FATED, so I need to buckle down soon and work on HUNTED, which is book three in the series.

Maeve:  I love following a series. I'll look forward to collecting them all. Okay, Rebecca. You're not only a talented author for Kensington Brava but you're also a lawyer and a college professor. (The wife and mother roles are no less important but I'm trying to stay focused here.) How did a professional in what some would consider a quite somber field end up writing sizzling hot vampire romances?

Rebecca: Great question! (And thanks for all the kind words!) You know, the most successful lawyers and professors I know are the most creative. Linear, logical thinking needs some very creative tweaking to appeal to anyone listening to you, whether it’s a jury or a class full of college students. And to be honest, I’ve always been a bit on the fringe of anything sober…vampires are a good fit.

Maeve:  There's sometimes a certain stigma attached to the romance genre. I believe the term "trashy romance novels" is one phrase that tends to follow us around. Do you attempt to keep your roles separated for those who don't realize how much talent it takes to spin a delicious tale that entertains your readers?

Rebecca:  Nope, no way, not a bit and no how. I don’t feel the stigma. If it’s out there, I either don’t see it or subconsciously disregard it. I love romances. I’m fine with people who don’t. But this is what I write, and facts are facts. And yes, I’m sure my students will be giggling next month after reading FATED because hey, it’s a bit steamy. Though I bet they’ll buy book 2, CLAIMED, when it comes out in November. ;-) 

Maeve: A giggling student is a happy student. You're making their lives more pleasant. So, tell us...what triggers your plot bunnies to start wiggling their ears? Music? Art? People-watching?

Rebecca:  Yes. All of the above. I also live in my head a lot, and stuff percolates there. Sometimes I have to remind myself to get out of there and interact…but now at least people think…hey, she’s a writer. She can be eccentric. That’s better than people getting irritated because they think you’re not paying attention.

Maeve: I'm going to be sure my husband reads this. Now, he'll know "part" of the reasons why he's sometimes ignored.  Tell us a little bit about FATED. Everyone's anxious to hear more about your book.

Rebecca:  Like any romance, FATED is about two people falling in love and figuring out a way to stay together. It just so happens that one is a vampire and the other a single mother trying to protect her daughter from a multitude of dangerous destinies. Throw in a virus created to specifically harm the vampires, a whole lot of steamy sex and genuine emotion, and I think you have a fast paced, breathtaking read.

Maeve: FATED sounds like a MUST READ to me. Is there anything else you'd like to add? Do you have any words of wisdom or questions for your readers?

Rebecca:  I’ve been asked the magical formula for selling a book to NY from people who have great ideas for books. There isn’t a formula. But without question, the first thing you have to do is sit down and write until you have a finished book. There’s no way around that. Sure, classes and workshops and books are great in preparing you…but they’re also a way to put off writing because hey, you’re working on your writing career. If I could give anyone advice, it’d be to start WRITING now.

Maeve:  I think that's excellent advice, Rebecca and thank you so much for visiting my blog today. Now guess what, folks? Rebecca has agreed to give away a signed copy of FATED to one lucky commentor who correctly answers the following riddle:

Since Rebecca is my interview guinea pig today, I asked her if she likes carrots. She said yes but she liked this food item better.  It's green. It's often found in martini's. It's sometimes stuffed with pimentos and it's actually a fruit.  What does Rebecca like to gnosh on better than a carrot?

To learn more about Rebecca Zanetti - visit her website here:
For all you folks who love to shop online (like me!) here's a couple of links to find FATED:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Don't get caught up in the "what if" game

February 18, 2011. Friday. A BIG day for me. I’ll always remember it. You see, on this wonderful day in my little world, I became “real”. My paranormal romance with The Wild Rose Press, BEYOND A HIGHLAND WHISPER launched into the world. Yay! It is released!

*Happy Sigh*

And then I start playing the “what if” game. I hope most of you aren't like me. I hope you’re so self-assured that nothing ever shakes you. But if you're not, then you know exactly how the game goes.

A wicked little voice whispers in your ear and nibbles away at any amount of self-esteem you ever thought about having. The voice plows through your fields of imagination, sowing noxious, stinging weeds.

1. What if nobody buys my story?
2. What if somebody DOES buy my story but doesn't like it?
3. What if I don’t get any reviews?
4. What if I DO get reviews but they’re bad ones?
5. What if I don’t do enough promo?
6. What if I do so much promo everyone cringes when they see my name?

You get the idea. I honestly believe in a previous life, I was a little dog who raced in circles snapping at his own tail. What will I do if I ever catch it?

Luckily, my husband and two daughters are all accustomed to this behavior. They shake their heads, roll up a newspaper and swat me. “Snap out of it! Look at everything you’ve accomplished. When are you going to start believing in yourself?” You should hear them.  The way they harmonize this mantra is very impressive.

I tell them I'll probably always be this way. Childhood demons and old habits die hard. Besides. Believing in me is THEIR job. I'm lucky they do it so well.

And since they are so very supportive, for their sakes, I will do my best to stop playing the "what if" game. I'm going to trade up and don a new and improved "whatever will be...will be" mindset. 

So. If you’d like a wee taste of my new story, here’s a bit for you to enjoy:

Beyond a Highland Whisper excerpt:

However, tonight Latharn was different. He didn’t go any further then the hungry possession of her mouth or the desperate, crushing embrace. Nessa sensed he needed this night to be different. His body tensed beneath her touch, he restrained his caress as if he wanted her to reason rather than just shatter into mindless bliss.

He raised his head and gazed into her eyes. Nessa flinched at the depths of pain and frustration etched in his face. He struggled, trying to communicate, to connect with her deepest emotions without the use of words. He took his palm, flattened it against his heart then placed it upon her chest. His brows drawn together in a questioning frown, he tilted his head and waited for a sign that she understood.

Her lower lip quivered at the very obvious gesture. Nessa whispered and covered his hand with hers. “Are you telling me you love me?” Her whisper caught in her throat.

One corner of his mouth pulled up into a relieved smile as Latharn nodded and brushed his lips across hers. He took a deep breath as though steeling himself against his own deepest fears. He took her hand and repeated the heart touching gesture from her chest to his. Then he raised a brow and awaited her answer, anxiety filling his eyes.

A lone tear escaped down her cheek as Nessa stared at her hand splayed upon his broad chest. “You know I love you,” she murmured with a moan. “I just wish that you were real.”

He squeezed his eyes shut, pulling her into his arms to cradle her against his chest. Holding her close, he stroked her hair as she gave way to tears.

Enjoy your days, my friends, and remember - whatever will be...will be! :-)

Buy Links:
The Wild Rose Press:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How to Wine and Dine a Mermaid!

Guess what folks? We’re in for a double treat today. Author Marsha A. Moore is not only giving us a glimpse of her great new release but she’s also sharing a tempting recipe. So, welcome Marsha to my little corner of cyberspace. I’m so glad you could be here today.

Thanks lots for having me on your blog today, Maeve! It’s one of my favorite places!

During the winter of 2008-9, I moved my mother from NW Ohio to Tampa. It didn’t take much to convince me to stay through the winter to help her get settled before I moved my own household the following summer. My first Florida winter inspired me to write my fantasy erotic romance book, Tears on a Tranquil Lake, which just released February 1st.

I was delighted to feel the tropical vibe seeping into the local atmosphere, and it inspired my writing. From my first visit to the Caribbean, I was hooked. I love the culture, the sway of steel drum bands, the colorful cottages, the turquoise waters, soft sand, sun, rum beverages, spine-chilling voodoo …and mouth-watering seafood dishes.

My heroine in Tears on a Tranquil Lake, a mermaid named Ciel, learns to appreciate a variety of different seaweeds and kelps, but also loves dining on shrimp. The pirate captain who attempts to woo her away from her merman, wines and dines her with candlelight dinners of gourmet-prepared fresh fish like amberjack. The pirate ship’s head galley cook, Dogbone, is certainly talented!

Recently, my husband and I enjoyed our first vacation in three years—a week in the Florida Keys. The move had kept us way too busy for vacations, so this was a real treat. We discovered a great fresh fish dive in Key Largo called The Fish House, which was recommended by a Florida travel magazine. The décor was 1970s tacky, but the fish was to die for. When we came home, we were thrilled to find our favorite recipe from that restaurant online, Fish Matecumbe. Then, my husband and I recreated the magic of our vacation in our own kitchen, which I’m happy to share today with you all. May it bring you a taste of the Keys, its warmth and happiness.

Fish Matecumbe

1/2 Spanish onion, chopped
1 (8-ounce) jar capers
5 shallots, peeled and chopped
5 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 lemons, juiced
1 cup olive oil
8 individual Mahi Mahi fillets
Salt and pepper
Serving suggestion: rice

To a medium bowl, add all ingredients except fish and stir to thoroughly combine. Refrigerate until ready to use; it is best to let flavors blend for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Preheat the broiler and position the oven rack so that it is at least 4 inches from the broiler, but no more than 6 inches.

Place fish fillets on a baking sheet and then season fish with salt and pepper. Place under the broiler and cook until done on 1 side. Watch carefully, as it may only take a couple minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish fillets and the proximity to the broiler. Remove from broiler and turn each fish over. Top each fillet with about 1/2 cup sauce. Return to the broiler and cook until fish is done on the other side and fully cooked through in the middle. If you are unsure about doneness, cut into the center of 1 fillet; it should be opaque. (You can cover up the cut with the sauce.) Serve with rice, if desired.

Recipe from The Fish House
Key Largo

I’d love to have more good fish recipes and so would Ciel! Please tell me about your favorites.

Tears on a Tranquil Lake


What a surprise for a young woman, to find herself suddenly transformed into a mermaid.

Ciel’s first thought – track down the merman who changed her and make him reverse his magic.

Unable to find him, survival in her new world becomes paramount. She eagerly accepts help from a dashing pirate captain who takes a fancy to her, lavishing her with finery. When her merman does show up, he competes for her affection. One look into his eyes makes her life more complex -- he is her soul mate.

Which man will she choose – pirate captain or merman? Which life – human or mermaid? Caribbean adventures and dangers chase Ciel as she searches for decisions and the key to her happiness.

Warning: This book contains Haitian vodou, sultry wenches, foul-mouthed scalliwag pirates, overindulgence of fine Caribbean rum, and amorous encounters on deserted beaches.


On deck, a conga drummer joined the musicians from two nights ago, entertaining us with some lively salsa tunes. The deck hands sang and shouted, rhythmically pulling at the rigging on the halyards, raising and lowering sails that propelled the ship out of the Bay.

With so many distractions onboard I failed to pay attention to sights the ship passed. Only when a large rock formation came astern on the portside did I see Meris seated on its peak, level with the schooner’s deck. He looked regal with his muscular flipper draped across the rocks and his emerald green tail fin fanned out wide, glistening in the sunlight.

I held out an arm and he lifted his open palm up to me. I bent far over the gunwale, wanting desperately to bridge the short distance. Forgetting everything except my desire to be with him I leaned farther, somehow believing I could swim through the air to reach him.

“No, Ciel! Stop!” Meris shouted.

Immediately, arms grasped me tight at my waist and pulled me back behind the railing, and then I perceived the dangers below. I would have fallen perilously near the hull, or crashed upon rocks in the narrow passageway. I glanced behind to see Black Sam holding me.

“No, lass, ye can’t dive here.”

Undaunted, I turned my attention back to Meris, whose position passed away from me as the schooner progressed. I squirmed free from Sam, and moved aft as quickly as I could, using the gunwale for support. Our bond throbbed within my heart.

For more about Marsha follow these links:

ISBN: 978-1-926931-29-6
Purchase Link

Monday, February 14, 2011

There can be only one...

There can be only one…No. I’m not talking about the Highlander movies –although I was a fan of both the movies and the TV series when it was still on. I’m referring to a much more personal “quest”. One I’ve been chasing since July 2010.

Wow. That sounds like forever-ago. And judging by the obstacles I've tackled over the past few months: WIP's, promoting, and networking…it was forever-ago.

I’m talking about the Kensington Brava / RT Book Reviews Writing with the Stars contest. Yep. You guessed it or may have already heard me yodeling from the woods in the tip of Kentucky.

ETERNITY’S MARK made it to the FINAL ROUND. Voting starts today and on February 27th, the round will end, the votes will be counted and it will all be over. Finally.

LOL! I hear many of you muttering Thank gawd! She’s finally going to be done with that persistent vote begging. Trust me, my friends; if you know me at all, you know that’s been the most difficult part of this contest.

And guess what? There’s a twist! Instead of two of us vying for that coveted brass ring –there was a tie for second place at the end of Round Four. So, I’ll be battling against not one talented author –but two.

We’re down to the wire and it’s almost over. Thanks to all of you. Thanks to your votes, comments, support, and most of all –your patience, ETERNITY’S MARK made it to this level. Whatever happens, I hope you all know how much your help has meant to me.

But now is not the time to rest. I need your help one more round. Please go to the link below and cast your vote for ETERNITY’S MARK. I must warn you, this round is the love scene…and yes, my entry is sizzling hot. It’s not erotic romance but it is explicit and I would definitely rate it somewhere in the gray area between PG-13 and R. If you’d prefer not to read such a love scene, I completely understand. Your friendship means more to me than a “vote”. That’s why I wanted you to know up front and not be surprised when you went to the link. Thanks again for all your help and support! Here’s the link to help me bring home the win:

There can be only one...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Simple Life? Bring it on!

Please join me in welcoming the very talented Nancy Lee Badger today.  I'll not "hog the floor" a moment longer because I know you're going to love her post just as much as I did when I first read it. Take it away, Nancy!

The Simple Life?   Bring it on!

The simple life. It is a lifestyle I have wanted ever since graduating college. No more class schedules, no more homework assignments, no more missing fun adventures because of a lack of money. Little did I know what hardships lay ahead.

I married Richard, a man I met in college, and we honeymooned on Prince Edward Island. Getting there was a struggle. We left our reception in Plymouth, New Hampshire and headed toward Bangor, Maine. Part way there, a horrific rainstorm made us pull into a restaurant parking lot. We could not see enough to drive safely through sheets of rain, in the growing darkness. The restaurant was empty and the server was talkative. When she found out were just married, the entire staff appeared. We enjoyed fine food, congratulations, and a cherry farewell once the storm eased.

We had not planned to stop there. I am glad we enjoyed the simple, but heartfelt Maine welcome in that small restaurant. A simple sidetrack on a momentous day meant more than the uneasy, sleepless wedding night spent in a hotel filled with conventioneers and cops. (That is another story)

I think about that day often, though my husband of thirty-four years might not believe me. It was a simple day, spent with family and close friends, and I could not wait to start our life together. Simply planning our future as man and wife took on a completely new light. We were legally joined, worked at low-paying jobs, lived in a tiny apartment, but we followed our hearts’ desires.

After buying a house, raising two fantastic sons, and moving to the warmer climate of North Carolina, I have found my dream job: writing full-time. I am older, wiser, no richer—money-wise—yet I look forward everyday to the simple life. I write, edit, pet my cat, and plan vacations my husband and I can enjoy while I gather ideas for another book. With my camera and notebook packed alongside medications, eyeglasses, and dry shoes, we venture here and there.

One such annual trip is to the New Hampshire Highland Games held each September in Lincoln, NH. We volunteer under the Information tent, sell raffle tickets to raise scholarship funds, and greet thousands of visitors. But, I find time to take photos, interview visitors and other volunteers, and make notes. When I walk in the midst of men and women in full Scottish dress, I snap photos. I always take a break to visit the sheepherding trials, the military encampment, and the historic village. As I watch the re-enactors and photograph their paraphernalia, my mind is busy churning out ideas. DRAGON’S CURSE came about by watching these people. It is a historical paranormal set on a Scottish island. DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN, my romantic suspense, takes place in the mountains of New Hampshire. Autumn leaves begin to show themselves while we are at the games, and I used the surrounding White Mountains as backdrop for that story.
Simple pleasures and new sights give authors ideas. Why not keep a notebook handy? Carry your camera and watch for things that you might want to recall when fleshing out that next plot. Yes, the internet and library are great tools when you need to gather research for a story, but real life experience can’t be beat, even if it’s only a walk in a park or a hike through the mountains.

The simple life? Bring it on!


Nancy grew up on New York’s Long Island, then attended college in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire. She volunteered as an EMT/firefighter on their small fire department then worked for the State of New Hampshire as a 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatcher. Retired from public service, Nancy now writes full time, lives in North Carolina, and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Celtic Heart Romance Writers, and Sisters-in-Crime. She also writes as Nancy Lennea.

DRAGON’S CURSE buy link:


These and her other titles are also available at
Visit Nancy’s Website:
And her blog

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Birth of a Creative Idea

Welcome to one of the stops on our Valentine's Blog Tour. I'm so pleased to have the awesome Lilly Gayle as my guest, discussing the birth of creative ideas.

Don't forget to leave a comment to enter the prize contest. One winner each week plus a grand prize winner. The more blogs you leave comments on the better your chances of winning. Prizes begin at $20 value, increasing each week to a grand prize of over $50. At the end of this post, I'll list the other stops on the tour so you'll have even MORE chances to win. Now, here's Lilly!

Inspiration can strike at any time and from any direction. I know a writer who’s inspired by country music. She claims there’s a story in every song. I prefer top 40 and rock, but there are some country songs that you can’t help but love. So, I can understand exactly what she means.

I get ideas from movies, books, pictures, and surfing the net. I’ve also gotten ideas for stories while taking a bath or watching the news. Every news story that ends in tragedy has the potential for a happy ending. And I like happy endings.

The inspiration for Out of the Darkness came from reading Dean Koontz’s Moonlight Bay trilogy and from watching the movie Universal Soldier. And I got the idea to write Slightly Tarnished while researching information on nineteenth century plumbing!

Sometimes, all it takes is a single spark to ignite an idea for a book. I’m currently writing the sequel to Out of the Darkness, tentatively entitled Into the Light. The basic idea for the story picks up where Out of the Darkness left off. But I didn’t want this book to be one of those sequels where a reader had to read the first book to understand the second one. I want it to be a sequel, but I want it to stand alone

Check out this link from Abandoned NC and tell me if the video doesn’t give you cold chills…and ideas for a paranormal or horror story:  It gave me an idea on how to conclude Into the Light.

So, what ideas does this video give you? Any you’d like to share?

About Lilly:

Lilly Gayle lives in North Carolina with her husband of thirty years, her youngest daughter who's still in college, a dog, a cat, and various critters both dead and alive the cat occasionally drags through the doggie door. When not writing or working as a mammogapher, she spends time with her husband at the beach. Out of the Darkness, a paranormal romance is her first published novel.  A historical, Slightly Tarnished should be released sometime next year.

More places Lilly can be found:

Blog address:
Buy link for Out of the Darkness:  

Blurb for Out of the Darkness:

Her research could cure his dark hunger if a covert government agent doesn't get to her first.

Vincent Maxwell is a vampire with a conscience seeking a cure to his dark hunger. But when a scientist looking to create vampire soldiers captures and kills a fellow vampire, Vincent seeks out Dr. Megan Harper, a research scientist who discovered a link between a genetic light sensitivity disorder and vampirism. Dr. Harper could hold a key to a cure and the answers to Gerard’s death. But getting close to the beautiful scientist could endanger both their lives.

When Megan meets Vincent she believes he suffers from xeroderma pigmentosum, the genetic disease that killed her sister. Sensing a deep loneliness within the handsome man, she offers friendship and access to her research files. But she and Vincent soon become more than friends and Megan learns the horrifying truth. She's entered the dark and unseen world of vampires and Vincent is her only hope of survival.


Vincent didn’t spare her a second glance as he opened the basement door and stepped down. The sound of his boot heel striking wood echoed up the steps as he disappeared into the darkness.

“But—” Megan switched on the light and hurried after him.

“The first thing you need down here is a table and some chairs,” he said when he saw the stacks of unorganized data and reams of paper scattered across the floor. “Do you mind if I bring the ones down from the kitchen?”

“No.” She turned back toward the stairs. “I’ll help you bring them down.” It would give her something to do while she sorted through the confused thoughts and emotions tumbling around inside her head.

Vincent touched her arm and heat shot straight to her belly, turning her insides all warm and fuzzy.Warm and fuzzy was not good. Warm and fuzzy made her think of more than just heated sex. It made her think of cozy evenings snuggled up under a blanket and shared feelings. It made her long for an emotional connection she couldn’t risk. Not with Vincent. Not with a man who could potentially die a slow, lingering death.

“I’ll get it.” He let go of her arm and stepped back. “You start going through those papers and find that report you wrote comparing XP to vampire myths and legends. I’d be interested in seeing if you still have it.”

He turned to go back up the stairs and Megan shivered. Why had Steve mentioned the vampire report to Vincent? And why was Vincent so interested in seeing it?

Vincent the Vampire.

Wow! Doesn't THAT sound like a must read? I know I'm hooked. Now here's those other links I promised so you can leave comments and increase your chances of winning those lovely prizes:

Meet contemporary and paranormal romance author Jill James at
Meet romantic suspense author Kat Duncan at
Meet contemporary YA an adult romance author Linda Kage at
Meet paranormal, and historical romance author Caroline Clemmons at
Meet Amie Louellen, author of fun and whimsical contemporary romance at
Meet erotic western historical author Jennifer Jakes at
Meet author AJ Nuest at
Meet author Lynne Roberts at
Meet paranormal romance author Maeve Greyson at
Meet author Amy Corwin at

Friday, February 4, 2011

And the winner is...

MARCI!!! Congratulations to Marci. The lucky commenter from February 2nd's blog that kicked off The Wild Rose Press author's Valentine's Blog tour. Marci wins a $15 Wild Rose Press gift card AND a $5 Samhain gift card.

The following commenters were also drawn to be entered into the pot for the Grand Prize drawing at the end of the month:

1. Chantale Williams
2. Maria Yerton
3. Stephanie Suesan Smith
4. Ruby CRNA
5. Barb H
6. Emma Lai (Will be entered twice - she was drawn as the winning commentor on 2 blogs!)
7. Jordan Rose
8. Clancy
9. Stephanie Faris

Mark your calendars. Wednesday, February 9th will be your next chance to comment on all the blogs and vie for another weekly drawing or win a chance for the Grand Prize!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Servant and the Sailor

Are you ready for a story filled with eerie little twists and turns that will make the goosebumps tingle on your skin? I hope so! Because my friend, Rachel Lynne has shared another installment on her Paige Stewart series. And if that wasn't AWESOME enough, Rachel has also agreed to bestow a copy of her great new release from The Wild Rose Press, RING OF LIES to one lucky commentor. Be sure to read all the way to the end of the post to find out how to increase your odds to win. But for now, here's what you've been waiting for...more of Rachel's spine-tingling story: 

Paige Stewart and the 17 Hundred 90 Inn

Paige Stewart ran under the 17 Hundred 90 Inn’s awning and caught a glimpse of herself in the glass door. She grimaced. Thanks to a careless trolley driver and an unexpected downpour, her hair hung like wet noodles down her back and her white shirt was plastered to her skin; nothing was left to the imagination. Perfect. I get to imitate Lady Godiva in a full lobby.

Paige opened the door then crossed her arms in front of her chest and ran up the stairs. To her relief, the hallway outside her room was deserted. She dug in her purse for the key, and then cursed as her trembling hands struggled with the lock. Finally, she heard the tumblers click. Dreaming of a hot shower, Paige turned the knob and walked straight into the door.

“Umph.” She shoved on the door and rattled the knob; it didn’t budge. “Ah, what the …”

Paige huffed and turned the key back and forth, hearing the lock roll over each time. There was no doubt it was unlocked. Why isn’t the damn thing opening? Paige shoved on the door again and kicked it for good measure.

She frowned. In an old building like the 1790, the damp day had probably caused the wood to swell. Wonderful, now she’d be forced to go back downstairs, in her soaking wet and totally transparent shirt.

She glared at the door. “Come on, give a girl a break.”

Determined to exhaust all avenues before resorting to the lobby, Paige laid her shoulder against the door and put all of her weight into one last shove. The door opened without a hitch.

“Ahh!” Paige tumbled into the room, landing face down on the carpet.

Sighing, she got to her feet and closed the door. Can my day get any better? The alarm on her phone went off, signifying there were only fifteen minutes remaining until her interview. Guess I answered that question!

She rushed to the shower. Minutes later, Paige hurried to the wardrobe and pulled a pair of black slacks and a lime green sweater out before crossing to the dresser for underwear and socks. She jerked open the drawer … and stared.

It was empty. Paige frowned. She distinctly remembered unpacking her suitcase and placing her things in the drawer. She shrugged and pulled open another drawer and then another. Nothing; they were all empty. Paige pulled her suitcase from the rack; no undies.

This is not happening. Paige drew a deep breath. The logical assumption was that someone had been in her room. But that made no sense. The 1790 was a prestigious Inn; hardly the kind of place she’d need to worry about theft. Besides, who in hell would want her underwear?

Irritated, she stomped over to the pile of wet clothes she’d left beside the bed and began to dress. The clammy silk made her skin crawl. Oh, but I’m going to give that manager an earful; after the interview.

Paige slung her camera bag over her shoulder, tucked the tape recorder into her pocket and pulled the door open. She paused as something by the window caught her eye. She had the strangest sensation that someone was watching her. A chill ran up her spine and the hair at the back of her neck stood on end.

She snorted. Writing these ghost stories is affecting my brain! Paige shook her head and stepped into the hall. As she reached for the knob, the door slammed in her face.

Paige shrieked. She drew a deep breath and stared at the door. What the hell was that about? A hand fell upon her shoulder. Paige gasped and whirled to find the manager standing behind her.

“Ms. Stewart? Are you all right?”

“Huh? Yes, I, um, I’m fine Mr. Laramie, I was just coming to meet you when …“

The wizened old man glanced at the door to her room and then back at her. A smile tugged at his lips. “Won’t you tell me what’s wrong, Ms. Stewart?”

Paige shook her head. “Nothing is wrong Mr. Laramie, I’m just a bit frazzled because I’m running late—“

“My dear, your face is as white as a gho—oh! You haven’t by chance had a run-in with our Anna, have you?”

Paige frowned. “Anna? I’m not sure what you mean.”

He chuckled and patted her hand. “Why I’m referring to Anna Powers of course. She lives in room 204.”

Paige frowned and wondered if the elderly man was a bit senile. “Mr. Laramie, 204 is my room.”

A twinkle appeared in his rheumy blue eyes. “Well of course you’re staying in room 204, dear, but it’s Anna’s room.” He walked over to the door. “No one has ever been able to convince Anna to leave, though I must confess with the current popularity for paranormal oddities we haven’t tried very hard.” He laughed and gave her a wink. “Shall we go in and see if Anna is about?”

Paige’s scattered wits finally settled enough for her to comprehend what the manager was telling her. A ghost, apparently named Anna Powers, occupied room 204; at least he wanted her to think so. The problems with the door now made sense. The 17 Hundred 90 staff must have decided to give the Paranormal Post reporter a ghostly encounter to spice up her article.

Her lips pursed. The haunted room routine might have worked on the amateur ghost hunters the Inn attracted but she was a seasoned investigative journalist; of real news. A haunted hotel, verified by a respected paranormal magazine no less, was very good for business. Her annoyance turned to curiosity. How far would they go? Paige smiled and opened her door.

“So my dear, shall we sit over hear by the windows?”

Paige nodded and chose one of the wing chairs standing opposite the fireplace. She unpacked her camera and recorder, and prepared to be entertained.

“Mr. Laramie, I gathered basic information on the 1790 but, to avoid any preconceived notions I don’t read any articles on a location’s paranormal incidents. I’d appreciate your confirming the basics and then tell me about Anna.”

The old man nodded. “Certainly. Let’s see, the Inn is comprised of two houses built, of course, during the year 1790. We are Savannah’s oldest Inn and the only one with a full service restaurant and lounge. We have fourteen rooms, all with restored fireplaces, and the brick floors in the public areas are original to the houses.” Mr. Laramie paused, “Wouldn’t you like to hear about our ghost, Ms. Stewart? She’s so much more interesting …”

She laughed at his wistful look and gave in to his plea. “Alright, Mr. Laramie, you can tell me about your ghost.”

His smiled. “There are several versions of her story but we tend to think ours is most accurate. From what we can gather, Anna Powers was a servant here back in the mid 1800’s. It seems she fell in love with a sailor and, well, found herself in the ‘family way’, if you know what I mean? “

Paige nodded and fought the urge to laugh.

The humor faded from Mr. Laramie’s face. “Her sailor promised to make a respectable woman out of Anna.” He pointed to the window behind them. “On the day of the wedding, Anna, dressed in her wedding finery, stood at this window, waiting for her tardy groom. Anna’s perch presented a perfect view of the river and afforded her the opportunity to see her lover’s ship sail out of the harbor.” He shook his head and sighed. “Poor Anna was brokenhearted and, in a fit of despondency, she plunged from the window and died upon the bricks below.”

Paige’s mouth dropped open. “She killed herself? How terrible! I assume she’s an unfriendly ghost?”

Mr. Laramie’s eyes widened. “Oh my heavens no! Anna is charming, though a bit mischievous. She seems to have a fascination with our modern gadgets. Guests have reported finding their cameras, phones, even jewelry, moved or hidden. She’s also been known to flicker the lights and turn on the clock radio in the middle of the night. One couple even claimed she jerked the covers off of the bed!” He leaned closer to Paige and lowered his voice. “Anna also seems to enjoy our female guests’ unmentionables.”

Paige’s eyes narrowed. “What do you mean by, enjoys?”

The old man began to fidget under her gaze. “Um, well, she means no harm you understand, and things are always returned, er almost always, –“

“Mr. Laramie, what happens to women’s underwear in this room?”

He wrung his hands, obviously unnerved by her changed demeanor. “It doesn’t happen to all of our guests but there have been a few incidents of women’s lingerie disappearing. We think Anna must be fascinated by the um, vast differences in today’s intimate apparel. She seems to borrow the items for a short while and then returns them; though not usually to the original location. Once, we found a guest’s undergarments hanging on the Christmas tree in the lobby!”

Paige spoke through gritted teeth. “Mr. Laramie, this has gone far enough. As I think you know very well, I returned to my room this morning to find all of my underclothes missing. If you think for one minute that I’m going to buy the explanation that a ghost came into my room and removed them you are sadly mistaken. Furthermore, I am not inclined to write favorably about any establishment that wastes my time with such obvious hoaxes.” She rolled her eyes. “I come closer to believing you are employing a pervert!”

“Oh Ms. Stewart, please, please watch what you say!” He gulped and glanced around the room. “Anna is a sweet spirit most of the time but she has taken a severe dislike to several people, especially those that scoff at her!” He straightened in his chair. “And as for your missing items, I apologize, but I assure you that the 17 Hundred 90 Inn does not encourage our staff to construct paranormal encounters for our guests; there is no need. And all of our people are highly qualified professionals.”

Paige smirked. Professional pranksters anyway. She set her recorder down on the table and rose. “I’m sorry if I’ve offended you, but I think I’ve heard enough about the Inn’s so-called spirit.” She crossed the room and opened the door, motioning for him to precede her. “Perhaps we should take a tour of the Inn.”

Paige pulled the door closed and followed the manager to the stairs. “I won’t hold this against the Inn when I write my article, however I expect my clothes to be in their drawer when I return.”

He looked at Paige. She had to hand it to the man. His look of fear would fool most people; unfortunately for him she wasn’t most people.

“I can’t promise your items will be returned because no one on my staff took them.” He bit his lip. “In fact, I fear you may have angered Anna enough that she won’t give them back.”

Paige gasped. The man was still sticking with his story. She could take a joke but this … someone had gone into her room and pawed through her things! She drew a deep breath and fought the urge to shout. “Perhaps you’d better have a chat with ‘Anna’ then because my patience is wearing thin.” Paige slipped her hand into her pocket and found it empty. She sighed. “I’ll be right back Mr. Laramie, I’ve forgotten my tape recorder.”

Paige unlocked the door, wondering if it was still rigged. The door swung open without a hitch. Seems they got the message! She walked through the door and slammed into an invisible and icy barrier. Frigid cold enveloped her and unbearable pressure built around her chest. She opened her mouth to scream, but the air was forced from her lungs. The room began to spin and spots formed in front of her eyes. Everything went dark.

“Ms. Stewart, are you all right?”

Paige blinked. She was standing in front of the fireplace. “How did I … what am I doing in here?”

The old man frowned. “My dear you came back to retrieve your tape recorder. Don’t you remember?”

Paige gulped and sank down onto the chair. She stared at the tape recorder in her trembling hand. “Mr. Laramie? How did I get into this room?”

The manager sat next to her and took her hand. “Ms. Stewart, are you feeling well? Forgive me, but you don’t look good. Shall I call the –“

“No!” Paige softened her tone when the elderly man jumped. She forced a smile. “No, Mr. Laramie, I’m fine. I just … I felt dizzy a moment ago and I must have stumbled ….” She willed her legs to stop shaking and rose to her feet. “I’m probably just in need of food, no need to worry.”

He nodded. “Well … if you’re sure.” He walked to the door. “Why don’t we go downstairs and have lunch?”

Paige shook her head and retrieved her suitcase from the luggage rack. “Thank you for offering, Mr. Laramie, but I’m going to check out.”

“Today? But you have two nights reserved.”

“I know I’m booked for another night but I’m afraid my plans have changed.” Paige shuddered and began piling her things into the suitcase, trying to convince herself that what she’d felt moments ago was indeed caused by a lack of food. That has to be it. Any other explanation was ridiculous. Still, there was no way she’d spend another night in room 204, or any other room at the Inn.

“Would you see to my checkout please? I really need to leave; immediately.”

Without thought, Paige pulled the dresser drawer open. She gasped as her gaze took in the neatly folded stacks of lingerie. “When did you … how did my things get here?”

The manager looked over and shrugged. “It’s not of my doing, Ms. Stewart.”

She glared. “Mr. Laramie, I know these clothes were not here earlier.”

A gentle smile curved his lips. “I believe you, Ms. Stewart. As I said, Anna often takes—“

“Stop.” Paige shook her head. “Please just stop. I don’t believe—I’m going to finish packing. Please have my bill ready, I’ll be down in a few minutes.”

“As you wish, Ms. Stewart.” He started to pull the door closed.

“Leave it open!” She took a deep breath and lowered her voice. “Please leave the door open, Mr. Laramie.”

He smiled and Paige cringed at the knowing look in his eyes. “It’s gloomy in here, I need the extra light.” It sounded weak, even to her, but the old man merely nodded.

Paige waved her hand in response to the manager’s good-bye and then ran around the room, gathering her things; everything but her underclothes. She stared at the bras and panties, willing herself to touch them. A rustling from across the room propelled her into action. Hands shaking, she threw the clothes into the case, and zipped it closed.

Shoving her luggage into the hall, Paige scanned the room for anything she’d missed. Her heart sank as she spotted her camera lying on the floor beside the fireplace. There was no hope for it; she couldn’t leave the magazine’s camera. Common sense said nothing was going to harm her and nothing had tried, but she wasn’t interested in what common sense had to say at the moment. Focusing on the camera, Paige willed her legs to take one step, and then another. It was a lack of food! Bolstered, she took two more steps and reached the end of the bed.

The camera lay a few feet away. She took a deep breath, rushed over to the fireplace, and grabbed it. She hugged the camera to her chest and laughed at her nonsensical fears.

“There is no such thing as a ghost!

Paige crossed to the door and leaned over to secure the camera. As she zipped the bag closed, a cold wind ruffled her hair. She straightened and slowly turned around.

The door slammed in her face.


“Welcome to the Kehoe House, Ms. Stewart, we hope you enjoy your stay with us!”

“I’m sure I will.” Paige laughed and jingled her room key. “As long as this isn’t Anna’s room!”

Maeve, thank you so much for allowing me, er Paige, to visit your blog! Intrepid reporter Paige Stewart may be fictitious but the legends and lore of Savannah’s 17 Hundred 90 Inn are all true … to one degree or another. Paige should learn to do her research. I’ve heard the Kehoe House is a lively place!

Rachel Lynne

You can find me, and my books, at my website 

If you want to see what happens to Paige at the Kehoe House, visit my Blog; the link and date of the next adventure will be posted in the News column.

And, if you can’t wait for another suspenseful tale set amidst the beautiful and historic city of Savannah, may I suggest my romantic suspense novel Ring of Lies?

Secrets, Lies, and Murder surround Ivy Michaels amidst the backdrop of Savannah’s annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities!

Book Trailer for Ring of Lies ( )

A café owner and an ex-cop must solve the mystery of a hot blue diamond in order to catch a stone cold killer!

Excerpt (  )

One lucky commenter will win a pdf of Ring of Lies. Want to increase your odds of winning? You’ll get an extra entry in the prize drawing if you indicate in your comment that you’ve joined my newsletter, (link to newsletter subscription

or FaceBook Fan Page (link to fan page:

(No worries about email overload, I’ve yet to send out an issue! What can I say, I live a boring life? But Paige might be persuaded to give my newsletter readers the inside scoop on some of her wilder assignments!)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Set that HOOK!

Welcome to one of the stops on our Valentine's Blog Tour. Don't forget to leave a comment to enter the prize contest. One winner each week plus a grand prize winner. The more blogs you leave comments on the better your chances of winning. Prizes begin at $20 value, increasing each week to a grand prize of over $50. At the end of this post, I'll list the other stops on the tour so you'll have even MORE chances to win!

I'm so pleased to have author Jennifer Jakes as my guest.  We're kicking off our blog tour discussing that oh so important first line and how it's so significant.  Jennifer: what are YOUR thoughts?

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I have ADHD. Or maybe it’s just the “give-it-to-me-now” world we live in. Whatever the reason, I have the attention span of a hummingbird jacked-up on Mtn. Dew. If something doesn’t grab my interest immediately, chances are I’m moving on to something that does. This applies to First Lines too.

Oh, no! An author might think – I know I do – how can I accomplish this in one line? Let’s be realistic. It’s not probable that every story ever written will hook the reader with the first line. But with a little luck and a lot of work, I think it’s possible to interest the reader after the first page. At least I hope.

I will spend hours, days, coming up with a first line, then the first page, trying to find the perfect combination of words to “set” the entire story. That’s how important I feel they are. First lines or pages should draw a reader into the world, into a problem or make us need to answer a question. What kind of question? I think that depends on the genre. If it’s Romantic Suspense, then it might be a life or death question; if it’s Category Romance, then it might be a more common problem but with devastating effects on the heroine’s world. And if it’s erotica, then it might be a sexual question, one that the heroine must explore with a hero. Or two . :-)

Think of first lines like a first meeting, a first date. You’re looking for a promise of something great. So for now I’m going to leave you with a few first lines that I think are great.

“I should warn you about my cousin.” From ROMEO by Gail Faulkner

“Oh, my God, what have I done?” From BOUNTY HUNTER’S BRIDE by Carol Finch

“Unhand her this instant!” From A REPUTABLE RAKE by Diane Gaston

“Father must protect me or I am dead.” From HER ONE DESIRE by Kimberly Killion

“I’m going to have to shorten his willie.” From DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS by Emily Bryan

Love that last one! What reader doesn’t want to know why the hero’s “willie” has to shortened? Please share some of your favorite lines with us! If you do, you’ll be entered into a drawing for some great gifts!

Thanks so much for having me here today, Maeve!

About Jennifer:

After trying several careers—everything from a beautician to a dump truck driver—Jennifer finally returned to her first love, writing. Maybe it was all those Clint Eastwood movies she watched growing up, but in her opinion there is no better read than a steamy western historical.

Married to her very own hero, she lives on fifteen acres along with two beautiful daughters, two elderly horses, two spoiled cats and two hyper dogs.

During the summer she does Civil War re-enacting and has found it a great research tool, not to mention she has continued appreciation for her microwave and hot water heater.

You can also find Jennifer at these places:
FB: Jennifer Jakes
Twitter: @erotichistory

And check out her upcoming release RAFE'S REDEMPTION - available from The Wild Rose Press on February 25th.

He rode into town to buy supplies, not a woman.

For hunted recluse Rafe McBride, the raven-haired beauty on the auction block is exactly what he doesn't need. A dependant woman will be another clue his vengeful stepbrother can use to find and kill him. But Rafe's conscience won't let him leave another innocent's virginity to the riff-raff bidding. He buys her, promising to return her to St. Louis untouched. He only prays the impending blizzard holds off before her sultry beauty breaks his willpower.

She wanted freedom, not a lover.

Whisked to the auction block by her devious, gambling cousin, and then sold into the arms of a gorgeous stranger, outspoken artist Maggie Monroe isn't about to go meekly. Especially when the rugged mountain man looks like sin and danger rolled into one. But a blizzard and temptation thrust them together, and Maggie yearns to explore her smoldering passion for Rafe.

But when the snow clears, will the danger and secrets that surround Rafe and Maggie tear them apart?


Maggie wanted freedom, not a lover…Oh, Lord. He was going to kiss her. She shouldn’t want this. She was confused enough. Respectable women didn’t kiss men they barely knew, certainly not men who made them have wild, exotic dreams.

It was crazy. He was making her want crazy things. Making her not give a damn about her reputation or her virginity. Or her long-awaited freedom. All she could think about was that dream, and the way his sinful mouth had felt. The table was only a step away, and honey was just as sweet as peach juice…

She swallowed hard and looked up into his hooded eyes.

“Maggie,” he groaned. “Don’t be scared. I’d never hurt you.”

Her mouth parted to object, but firm lips covered hers, hungry, demanding. She gasped, shocked at his hunger, but even more at the illicit response coursing through her. An aching heat unfurled low in her stomach, pulsed between her legs. Oh, yes. It started just like in the dream.

He deepened the kiss, coaxed her lips with his warm tongue. Long, languid strokes teased the inside of her mouth, encouraging, tempting before he pulled back to nibble the corners of her lips.

Oh, God. Is this what all kisses felt like? Hot, lethargic? Melting her like molasses over warm bread?

“Kiss me, Maggie,” he breathed.

Whew! Wasn't THAT an awesome excerpt? Thanks for sharing it with us, Jennifer. Okay, folks. Here's those other links I promised so you can leave comments and increase your chances of winning those lovely prizes:

Meet contemporary YA an adult romance author Linda Kage at
Meet contemporary, paranormal, and historical romance author Caroline Clemmons at
Meet historical and paranormal romance writer Lilly Gayle at
Meet Amie Louellen, author of fun and whimsical contemporary romance at
Meet author AJ Nuest at
Meet author Lynne Roberts at
Meet paranormal romance author Maeve Greyson at
Meet author Amy Corwin at
Meet contemporary and paranormal romance author Jill James at
Meet romantic suspense author Kat Duncan at