Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Release Day Feature - The Earl's Enticement by Collette Cameron


Published by:
Soulmate Publishing

Get it at: Amazon

Blurb:
She won’t be tamed.

A fiery, unconventional Scot, Adaira Ferguson wears breeches, swears, and has no more desire to marry than she does to follow society’s dictates of appropriate behavior. She trusts no man  with the secret she desperately protects.

He can’t forget.

Haunted by his past, Roark, The Earl of Clarendon, rigidly adheres to propriety, holding himself and those around him to the highest standards, no matter the cost. Betrayed once, he’s guarded and leery of all women.

Mistaking Roark for a known spy, Adaira imprisons him. Infuriated, he vows vengeance. Realizing her error, she’s appalled and releases him, but he’s not satisfied with his freedom. Roark is determined to transform Adaira from an ill-mannered hoyden to a lady of refinement. He succeeds only to discover, he preferred the free-spirited Scottish lass who first captured his heart.

Excerpt:
Under the blessed shade of the large oak grove, Roark hopped to the ground. The gentlest of breezes tickled the tree’s leaves, their soft rustling filling the glen with a soothing refrain. He swiftly followed Miss Ferguson across the picnic area. She’d snapped her parasol closed, then unceremoniously clambered from the landau, before dashing toward Helene’s carriage. He didn’t like the way she wielded the parasol or the look of outraged determination on her face.

Even infuriated, and stamping in her haste, Miss Ferguson’s hips swayed enticingly. Others had begun to take note of her, and conversations dwindled before stopping altogether. His guests stepped aside, opening a pathway for her as she bustled toward the barouche.

If the situation wasn’t so dire, he’d permit the laugh tickling his lips. It was ridiculous. Her petite figure stampeding to rescue the pup, or ring Freidrick a peal, and everyone edging away, was chuckle-worthy.

Where was her family? Ah, they too were moving as a unit to intercept her; the women from the left, the men from the right. They wouldn’t make it in time. And neither, by God, would he.

How could she move so fast in that gown? Its ruffled hem didn’t allow long strides. Light blue stockings, embroidered ivory clocks at the heels, peeped out each time she took a hurried step.She raised her closed parasol over her shoulder, like a knight with a sword.

Oh hell. He didn’t like the looks of this. Her first public jaunt, and she was going to make a bloody scene, Devil seize it. He picked up his pace, covering the ground with long strides just short of a trot, hoping to avert a disaster before it occurred.

About the author:
Award winning, Amazon best-selling, and multi-published historical romance author, Collette  Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master's in Teaching. A Pacific Northwest Native, Collette’s been married for thirty years, has three amazing adult children, and five dachshunds.

Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, the beach, trivia, birds, shabby chic, and Cadbury Chocolate. You'll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.

Website Blue Rose Romance Blog Twitter Facebook
You can connect with Collette on Goodreads, LinkedIn, and Google+ too. Go to her website for the links, her email address, and mailing address.


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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Recovery

It is Tuesday. I am exhausted. Please enjoy this photograph of two white ducks fleeing from my camera.

Silly ducks.

Let's recap why I'm exhausted. Number 1--two words: line edits. That's all I have to say about that.

Number 2--Let's go on a picnic to Wilson's Creek. It'll be fun, I said. And it was fun, until on the way back from a long hike, a hill tried to murder me. It seemed so easy on the way down. I'm pretty sure it rose to mountain-like proportions on the way up. I had to stop twice because my lungs were rebelling and my legs were screaming in protest. When you consider I haven't been on a long walk in a couple of years, I did marvelous. But that hill was inclined to murder. Get it, inclined? Ha! At least I still have my sense of humor. I've eaten a generic toaster pastry and a half and feel almost human again this morning except for the really bad pain in my right hip.

It was Memorial Day weekend, as you may well know, so we spent a little time cemetery hopping. We went to the cemetery where my dad and grandma (and many other family members) are buried. We went to two other cemeteries were other family members are buried. We went to my husband's side of the family's cemeteries.

You know I love names. Names make you who you are, at least partially, so I was thrilled to find horrendous names on tombstones like:

Mintamae
Innah
Elector (this is a woman's name)
Ulyian
Mydrith
Exie
Arnia
Orbie
Mosses

Wow. Old timey people sure seemed to dislike their children. Look for some of these names in historicals I may write in the future. Oh, a heroine named Mintamae. Yeah...

But the kicker is this:

I hear you saying, "Yeah, it's a cemetery, so what? Is someone famous buried there? Is there treasure?"

No, 'fraid not. It's a cemetery inside a cemetery where (gasp, no!) some of my relatives are buried. They had it raised and fenced off so others (translate: people who aren't good enough) couldn't walk on their graves. My mom said my great-grandma used to have fits because the people who did that thought they were so much better than everyone else.

Also this week, I'm touring The Wrong Brother's Bride with Book Promotions by Literary Nook. Here's the list so you can visit the blog stops, enter the giveaway, read the excerpts, and the reviews.

5/26- Some Like It Hotter - Promo
5/27- Queen of All She Reads - Promo
        Literary Nook- Promo
5/28- My Nook, Books & More - Promo
        Inspire to Read - Promo
5/29- Mythical Books - Promo
5/30- Books & Needlepoint - Review

6/2- Imagine a World - Review
       XOXO Book Blog - Promo
6/4- Crystal's Many Reviewers - Review
6/5- Crazy Four Books- Review
       Rhythempoets- Review
       Harlie's Books - Review

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Book Feature & Giveaway - Twelfth Sun by Mae Clair


The hunky young PhD knows all about seduction, but what does he know about love?
Reagan Cassidy is settled in her life. She has a thriving interior design firm, an upscale condo, two cats, and a goldfish. As a favor to her uncle, she agrees to team up with his marine archeologist friend to validate and retrieve a nineteenth-century journal, reputedly that of a passenger aboard the doomed schooner Twelfth Sun. Finding a hunky twenty-five-year-old coming out of the shower in her hotel room wasn’t part of the deal, but it’s hard to complain…
Dr. Elijah Cross is cocky and he knows it. He enjoys trading barbs with the lovely Reagan. Barbs, and some innuendo. He can tell she’d rather get back home to her business than stick around for the extended treasure hunt they’ve been talked into, but he’s fine with the situation. At least, until the “clues” start getting personal.
Reagan finds Dr. Gorgeous is as skilled in matters of the heart as he is behind the lectern. Throw in a series of clues which mean more to Elijah than he’ll explain, several odd-ball competitors out to win the journal, a saboteur, and a lavish seaside mansion, and Reagan has enough trouble keeping her head straight, let alone her heart.

WARNING: Younger man, older woman, nautical riddles and romance.

Excerpt:
“My dad’s father was part gypsy. Besides, the sea is in my blood.” Elijah turned onto his side, locking his good leg over hers, holding her in place. Pushing up on one elbow, he stared down at her, abruptly serious. “Did you know a good marine archaeologist could spend his entire life studying a single wreck and never be bored? Never feel the need to move onto something else?” He stroked her cheek, brushing her hair aside. “That’s what I want to do with you, Reagan. I want to spend my days and nights learning about you. Everything about you. What you think. The way you smell…” He leaned forward, inhaling the light scent of the honeysuckle oil she’d used in her bath.

Ping! Warning claxons flared in her head. Elijah, playful and teasing she could control. Elijah, serious and romantic meant trouble.

“The way you feel.” His fingers tracked down her arm and hooked into the flimsy belt holding her robe shut. “The way you taste.” His mouth closed over hers at precisely the moment he tugged open her robe.

Get it at: Amazon || Barnes and Noble |Kobo

Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back.  Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars. She snagged the tail of a comet, hitched a ride, and discovered her writer’s Muse on the journey.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.

Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at www.MaeClair.com

Social media:
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Visit Mae's other stops (including reviews) at

Monday, May 19, 2014

Weekend Wanderings

My writing has been sporadic at best, I'm ashamed to say. I finally crossed the 100,000 word mark late Saturday night. I'm going to try to pit myself for JuNoWriMo because Camp NaNo was a spectacular failure. I need the words, I need to get my contemporary romance finished, I need...four weeks on the beach with a bottle of Xanax. Unfortunately, that's unlikely to happen. I just have to hold out until I get my week's vacation in the yurt. Yes, a yurt. I'm thrilled stupid over the impending yurt trip in mid-June.

Yesterday, despite our late night (okay, hubby fell asleep in front of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour DVD he's only seen 27+ times), we meandered toward Branson just for the fun of it. After discovering one of our favorite pizza places was closed on Sundays, we headed to the only other one like it that we know of, which delivered us to Hollister, right across the road from my alma mater. So I said, "Let's drive down to CofO and look around."

Which delivered us to: Edwards Mill, where they grind corn (or something)
and weave rugs (or something). It's only open Mon-Sat though.

Then we went to the schoolhouse (it has a name, I forget what it is)
at the Ralph Foster Museum. I used to love sitting out there in the
quiet, usually reading a book.

Then we took a selfie at the Point. Back in the college days,
we used to sit out there and watch fireworks go off all around
Branson at the 4th of July.

Then we we ended up back in Branson at Grand Village where
this luna moth was sleeping on a bush. It didn't fool me.

And we went to the State Park Marina, where they have really
awesome hats that are totally outrageously priced. They
wanted almost $29 for this straw hat. Sheesh!
Yeah, we managed all of that in one day. I was a sleepy little traveler when we reached home, but I still managed to bake muffins (they are ridiculously easy to make from a mix. Who knew?), wash dishes, wash laundry, and bake pizza for lunch this week while hubby mowed the lawn. I also got another 500 words in. Whew!

This morning, I was thinking, really thinking, about what will happen next in my historical. Thank heavens, it wasn't more, need to get it done, but real plotting.

Oh, also, One Day in D.C. is FREE for a limited time on Kindle, so go grab that! Nothing graphic in there, it's PG-13.
Read me! Read me!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

United We Stand

“Why can't people just sit and read books and be nice to each other?” 
― David Baldacci, The Camel Club

I don't venture into this territory often, but as I've been neglecting the blog-o-sphere lately, I figured this is as good a time to tackle a tough topic as any (say that sentence five times fast).

If you follow my Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts, you may know I've been posting chapters of Wildwood Spring and The Wrong Brother's Bride on Wattpad to promote them. The Convict & the Cattleman and the Legends & Lovers series are up there as well. I'll be the first to admit, I'm not really sure what Wattpad is/does. People read stories and there are forums. That's pretty much all I've got. My postings are sloppy and inconsistent. Someday I hope to have time to clean them up and make them uniform. Clearly I'm old and the technology easily confuses me.

The reason for my sudden jump over there is a couple of weeks ago the publicist for Kensington sent an email that stated she'd been talking to the publisher relations person on Wattpad and they were happy to promote our work. So I started posting Bride, one chapter for the last four Fridays, and I'll have the third chapter of Wildwood up this Wednesday. I'll also do the same with Convict once I get six chapters done on Bride. I'm glad they felt good enough to let us authors work with them. They've also hosted a contest for Harlequin during So You Think You Can Write, and I think some of the finalists posted chapters on Wattpad as well. Clearly Wattpad is happy to work with publishers. They seem to want to bring the writing world together. I'm happy to participate, because without the talented writers I've met in life and online, I wouldn't be the writer I am today.

Here's what baffles me:
Apparently on Sunday, I got a message on my board there. It's a rant, not a random plea for me (or basically anybody) to read their work. FYI, I usually don't read those pleas. Sorry. This is different. This is a full-on rant, although it did come complete with an un-heartfelt apology. Terms of Services state I'm not allowed to distribute any medium from the site, so I'll have to paraphrase it for you.

It starts with an apology, which is just a fancy way of saying that my presence on the site irritates the ever-loving snot out of her. She proceeds to imply there are too many "famous writers" on Wattpad and that it's a place where "literary artists" can go to get a start in publishing. Because of the famous writers, there's a decline in reading and voting on the "normal peoples'" stories. Then another sarcastic apology.

First, I'm really pleased that your rant includes mostly proper grammatical structure. There's just one little typo, and that's hard to accomplish when you're angry. Way to go!

Second, I'm not famous. My 9 to 5 pays way more bills than my books ever have, although they occasionally buy me a steak dinner. It's not Fergie's Glamorous, that's for sure. I have been mistaken for someone famous when I told a Walmart clerk I was going to a writer's conference. He shook my hand and said I would be famous someday. I don't think I'm quite there yet, though, 'cause if this is fame, it looks strangely like blue collar life.

Third, I really, truly don't know what Wattpad does. The more I try to find out, the more confused I feel.

Fourth, I posted some chapters from my self-published Legends & Lover series right after I joined Wattpad, but I never tried hard to promote them and they had very few reads. I was invited by the staff to post the chapters from my contracted books. I live in fear of violating my contract terms by posting too much of the books. They asked for this, I didn't do it to take away from other writers, published or unpublished.

Fifth, I don't have to explain myself. I didn't have to reply (in fact, maybe I shouldn't have, but I don't like conflict) or write this post, but I wanted to bring it up because I have an important point to make. I'll get to that after I post my reply which was this:

"The offer to post on Wattpad was extended from the publisher relations person for the company. The point of published authors posting along with unpublished authors isn't to root you guys out (believe me, it wasn't long ago I was in  your shoes), but to give readers on the internet the gift of words. It's not a competition, [I used her name here]. God willing, there's enough time in each person's life that they can read all the words their brains will hold and then some."

First (part B), I could start off by assuming she's had a bad day and I'm the lucky person who broke the camel's back. It happens. We're human and we have bad days.

Second (part B), I'm trying desperately hard not to take her attitude personally. She doesn't know me and doesn't know that some words are sticky burrs that get under my saddle and chaff my soul (dramatic, yes, but sadly true). I didn't intend to horn in one anyone's glory or take time away from readers who might pick me over her. In all honesty, I don't have very many votes either, and I'm not sure why it matters. I'm  not going to post the whole book there, so if there's some sort of award you get for the most votes, don't worry, I'm not going to get it.

Third (part B), after I read that message and calmed the 15-year-old girl who lives inside my head's fears about why people hate me when all I wanted to do was make readers happy, I read the story she had posted. I didn't vote for it or comment, but I can honestly say it was good. It needed some tightening to take out the filler, but (I'm going out on a limb here based on her profile) for a young person's writing, it was better than a lot of stuff I was doing as a teenager. So if I offended you, Wattpad user, just by being on the site and posting words that I struggled to write, I apologize.

Fourth (part B--and the most important part), in 2012, I wrote a post called Five Reasons My Back Is Up Over One Interview. It was about Sue Grafton complaining that indie and self-published authors take away her readers. She had zero nice things to say about indies and SP. It made me a little bit ashamed to tell people I was self-publishing because she's the author with the agent and Big 5 publisher, and I'm a nobody. That's why I wrote that post. Maybe my books aren't selling like the proverbial hot cakes, but I never once said I was glad I was taking away from "real" authors. A lot of indies and self-publishers will tell you they wish the contracted authors didn't view them or their writing as garbage. There's more than one road to take on the publishing path. Some of us SP, some of us pitch to agents/editors, some of us choose social media sites to try and gain an agent/editor's eye. I spent two years on Authonomy trying to peddle The Convict and the Cattleman, and from what I gather, that's sort of the point of Wattpad too.

What I'm getting at is that we're all writers or artists or musicians or dreamers. We're all trying to make sense of this world and fighting for a place in it, but we don't have to fight each other. The Wattpad user who posted that message on my board doesn't even write the same genre I do. So how am I taking votes or readers or whatever away from her?

Chances are, she didn't read The Wrong Brother's Bride, but felt angry simply because it was featured. I only know what the publicist at Kensington tells me, and that was that the publisher relations lady was going to put my story up as featured when I worked out a posting schedule. I wasn't even really sure what it meant. The sad thing is, I did fan fiction for Star Trek Into Darkness on fanfiction.net, and everyone there was super nice. They didn't mind when I talked about my published writing, because the fan fiction was for fun and no one was accusing anyone of taking anything away from anyone. For me, writing in general was always fun and the only thing I wanted was to make readers happy. If it was one or a million and one, if they like it, I'm happy.

If you write, you are an author. You love the characters, you love the places, you love the situations. Criticism is necessary, whether or not it hurts. Being "famous" does not magically entitle authors not to struggle over their work. We all put in the effort, we laugh and cry with other authors over our "babies". We should be cheerleaders for one another, not naysayers. I've been one and it didn't earn me any points or help me gain any fame. I'm done with it.

So I say this to fledgling writers and veterans alike--let's be champions together. Let's celebrate victories and commiserate loses. Let's learn from one another, because we all have something to teach, we all have strengths and weaknesses. Let's be a community of writing enablers. Let's hold each other's hands--although that might get awkward while we try to type. You know what I mean.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Dear Interwebz users,

Thank you for your patience as I didn't get y'all a guest today. I know, bad blogger, who ignores you more often than not these days. I'm very nearly caught up with my edits/beta reading/life (ha!), I promise.

Let me tell you a story. It goes like this...

Once upon a time, there was a writer. She entered a contest called the Weta Nichols Writing Contest. She waited patiently for the results (okay, she doesn't have a patient bone in her body). The finalists were announced and lo, and behold, her name was on the list! She waited very impatiently (at least she's willing to admit it now) for the final results. To her surprise, she won the first place certificate for her novel! And then she submitted the novel to the final judge who requested it and a couple of months later, signed a contract to have the novel published!

That writer was me.

It's a true story, and one that hopefully tells you that dreams do come true. Wystan (The Heckmasters) is coming out from Samhain Publishing in October. I fully intended to self-publish the series, but when I met with my editor the first time, she loved it and the rest is history. I've love working with her and I was way less nervous about sending Eban's book to her. So...

Now I'm one of those people who say, yes, contests work to get you in editors' and agents' eyes. You should try it. In fact, the 2014 Weta Nichols Writing Contest is now open for submissions!

Here are the deets:

Submit the first chapter (up to 2,500 words) of your unpublished novel to win prizes and a chance to be read by one of the agents or editors serving as our final judges.

Contest is open to both published and unpublished authors, but the piece submitted must be unpublished (traditional, self-pub, or e-pub) and not under contract to be published.

Categories in which entries may be judged are: Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal/Sci-Fi and Young Adult/Middle Grade. Entries are open genre and not required to contain romantic tones.

Membership in Ozarks Romance Authors is not required in order to enter. There will be three prizes awarded in each category: 1st place $75 and a 1-Year ORA Membership, 2nd place $50 and 3rd place $25.

FINAL ROUND JUDGES:

Contemporary–Liz Pelletier, Publisher and Co-founder of Entangled Publishing and Savvy Media Services, which owns Savvy Authors.
Historical–Nicole Resciniti, Literary Agent with The Seymour Agency.
Paranormal/Sci-Fi–Holly Atkinson, Acquiring Editor with Samhain Publishing.
Young Adult/Middle Grade–Nicole Resciniti, Literary Agent with The Seymour Agency

Just click HERE to go to the page and get your first chapter submission ready. You could be the next big winner!


Friday, May 2, 2014

More Officialality

Maybe I should have come up with a new word to celebrate the new blurb, but this one will do. If I use it more, maybe it'll catch on.
humusak2

I got an email Wednesday morning from my new editor at Lyrical Press. It contained the official blurb for Reclaimng Her Heart. Oh, you could've read the old one, sure, but why not read the new, real, great one that will adorn ebook retailers' websites? Well, let's have it.

When a broken heart heals, the love grows stronger.
Ben Darling is infuriating, arrogant and though he may look like every woman's dream, he's no better than a common thief for stealing Paralee Blake's childhood home. She stopped trusting Ben the moment he broke her heart, and nothing is going to sway her opinion of him. Not her father's insistence that that Ben is a good man, not his mother's matchmaking attempts, and certainly not the way his kisses make her heart pound.

Paralee is so stubborn and short-sighted, she can't see Ben only wants one thing since his return to Wilson townshipher happiness. He never intended to hurt her when he left on a personal mission to right a wrong. The trouble is, there's no walking back into Paralee's life and pretending the past didn't happen. She's never forgiven him for breaking off their courtship, an action he deeply regrets. From the moment he crosses paths with her again, it's clear it's going to take more than his usual charm to reclaim her heart.


It's a great deal like the old one. Also, I totally wrote that tagline. Go me!

I can't wait to show you all a cover for it.

Happy Friday, go, be, do! And maybe someday soon I'll blog regularly again.