Friday, May 28, 2010

You're a Character! Guest Blog with Linda Rettstatt

Today we are joined by author Linda Rettstatt to discuss the Character Driven Plot!

Here's what she had to say:

It's the Character of the Character

I write character-driven fiction. What does that mean? Hopefully, it means my characters are three-dimensional and make the reader want to know them better. Rather than the character playing a role in the story, the character is the story. Does that mean the story has no plot? Of course not. But in character-driven fiction, the plot serves as a vehicle for the character. By way of example, I would cite the work of Janet Evanovich in her Stephanie Plum series. Each novel has its own story line, but the story is carried by the character of Stephanie Plum. I read all of those books, and not because of the plot. I read them because I love the characters and want to know what will happen to her and how she will react. What mess will Stephanie get into next? How will she get out of it? And will she ever marry Joe Morelli?

Characters like Evanovich's Stephanie Plum or Lisa Scottoline's Bennie Rosato and Company make us want to be a part of their lives, to cheer their successes, smile at their faux pas, and cry at their losses. I don't know about you, but I would love to have lunch with Stephanie or a glass of wine with Bennie.

Think of the kind of person with whom you enjoy spending time. Most of us like to be in the company of people who are interesting, intelligent, funny, and real. I'm sure we've all read a book at some point in which the characters fell flat. If the protagonist is no more distinct that the doorman who has one line in the whole story, how can the reader develop a relationship with him or her? Why would you care? It's about more than describing the character in physical detail, though that helps. As a reader, I always want to be able to picture the characters. Before I start to write a new book, I do a brief character sketch. (I'm not one of those writers who write a detailed synopsis up front. I fly by the seat of my pants.) I've learned, however, that having a sketch of each character, including their physical description and a few personality traits helps to flesh out the character as I write. I then find a photo that most closely captures my image of the character and save it in a file.

For example, in order to connect with the characters in one of my works in progress, I saved photos of Evangeline Lilly who stars in Lost and Carter Oosterhouse a hunky carpenter formerly on the TLC program Trading Spaces. These two capture the image in my head of my characters, Jenny and Patrick. Having a visual image of the characters makes them more real to me and, hence, makes my writing of them more real to the reader.

Giving characters a quirk or habit can make them more memorable, even more likable. This can be a gesture, a flaw, or a style of speech. Think of the character of Lt. Col. Frank Slade played by Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. His quirk was the word, "Whoo-ha." This one word made the character both memorable and distinct.

I like to get inside my characters, see what makes them tick, look at the world from their viewpoint. Writing a character from the inside out gives him or her more depth and takes the reader into the character's mind and heart. And isn't that what writing is about—connecting our characters with the reader in mind and heart?

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for a great post, Linda. I love those Stephanie Plum books! Can you tell us more about your book, Shooting Into the Sun?


Nature photographer Rylee Morgan has created an orderly, settled life for herself.

When she finds an advertisement that might lead to her estranged father, she takes a photo assignment to the west coast to investigate.

With her younger sister, Lexie, in tow following the breakup with her fiancé, Rylee is focused on two things: finding the man who may be her father and doing her job.

Lexie lives life by her own set of rules, or lack of rules, and Rylee's plans are further unsettled when Lexie invites a hitchhiker to join them on their journey.


When people know they’re about to do the wrong thing, they don’t look you in the eye. Parents were no different.

~ * ~

“Never shoot into the sun.” Her father repositioned himself to pose for the photograph.

“Why not?” Rylee Morgan lowered the camera and squinted at him.

“Because it’s a rule. If you follow the rules, you’ll avoid trouble, and you’ll create beautiful pictures.” He stood in the back yard, the white aluminum siding of their house providing a backdrop.

She wanted to believe him. Rylee snapped the photograph, capturing his image.

He motioned to the camera bag he’d set on the ground beside her. “You remember how to switch the lenses?”

She nodded.

“How about one more picture of us?” He pulled the camera from her hand and drew her close to his side. At twelve years of age, she was nearly his height. Extending his arm, the camera lens reflecting their images, he pressed the shutter release.

He handed her the camera, then hugged her against him. “I love you, angel. Don’t ever forget that.”

She choked on her words. “You don’t have to leave, Daddy.”

“Yes, honey, I do. I’ll talk to you soon, though.”

“Take me with you.” She knotted her fingers in his sleeve.

A muscle twitched along his jaw. “I can’t.” He held her for another moment, and then pried her hands free. Bolting to the car without a backward glance, he pulled from the drive.

“Daddy!” Rylee chased after him. At the curb, she raised the camera and clicked the shutter frantically until she heard the whirr of rewinding film. Tears blurred her last glimpse. His car turned and disappeared from her view.

She hugged the Nikon against her chest and cried.

~ * ~

Never shoot into the sun--the voice played in her head. The rules she had learned early in her career never failed to produce flawless photographs. The rules she had developed for life had not served her as well. In the sixteen years since her father’s departure, Rylee had kept herself busy, focused on her career, and safe inside her well-constructed boundaries.

Rylee resituated the tripod and checked the sun’s position. She stepped behind the camera, looked once again through the lens and waited, watching the slight movement of the leaves. Water bubbled over rocks. Slowing the shutter speed, she could create a smooth cascade effect. Blue sky and white clouds reflected on the stream’s surface. This stretch of the rapids where the Youghiogheny River ran through Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania was her favorite spot for shooting.

Her thumb rested on the shutter release, prepared for just the right moment. The breeze subsided and the shadows shifted. Then, just as she pressed the button, some jerk decided to walk on water.

Rylee lifted her head and stared. A hiker made his way across the exposed rocks and into the middle of the narrow river--directly into the center of her view. She walked to the water’s edge and, with hands on hips, shouted, “Excuse me! You’re ruining my shot.”

Want more Linda?

Visit her Website here:
Or her Blog here:

Pick up your copy of Shooting Into the Sun Today! Click here!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fight or Flight? Face your Fears with Guest Blogger: Donna Grant

Today the Book Boost is thrilled to present Guest Blogger DONNA GRANT!

Win a copy of Dangerous Highlander!

Now, let's see what Donna has to share about FEARS...


We all have something we fear whether it’s a monster we saw in a movie or something we face every day like…oh, I don’t know…spiders. (yes, I’m deathly afraid of the little buggers. It’s all those legs. :shudder:).

Having those fears is what makes us humans. When creating characters, authors want readers to connect to those characters, to laugh with them, to cry with them, to love with them, and even to fear with them.

So, I like to give my characters fears. Little Man (my 7 year old son) thinks I’m being mean by doing this, but I like to think of it as doing what comes naturally. :) After all, if I’ve got to deal with my fears daily, so do my characters.

In FORBIDDEN HIGHLANDER the heroine, Larena, fears she will always be alone. After all, everyone she has ever loved has been taken from her.

They either died from natural causes, or were murdered. So, she keeps to herself, trusting no one, and getting close to no one so she can’t be hurt like that again.

That is until she meets Fallon MacLeod.

How each of us face our fears is what, ultimately, shapes us into the person we are. Some run from their fears. Others face them head on. Which type are you?

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of DANGEROUS HIGHLANDER to a commenter so talk to me. :)

A Note from the Book Boost: Donna, thanks for sharing your fears with us--both your own and your character's fears! I'm terrified of mimes! LOL Now, won't you please give us all the details on the delicious...Forbidden Highlander?


Fallon MacLeod has gifts any warrior would covet - fierce strength, unmatched skill, even immortality. But those gifts come at a price that puts everyone he loves at risk. Only when his brother, Quinn, is taken captive does Fallon leave the seclusion of his Highland home to seek the king's aid. And though every women at court would gladly be his for the asking, one alone causes desire to roar to life within him: beautiful, mysterious Larena Monroe.


Rumors swirl around the castle about "The McLeod" but Larena knows the truth. Like Fallon, Larena is searching for a way to vanquish the evil Druid who wants to wreak havoc on earth. Drawn to Fallon in spite of her fear, she surrenders to a passion that shocks them both with its raw intensity. But Larena dares not hope for more - not when she holds a secret that could turn her fiery Highland love against her forever…

Want more DONNA?

To read more about the Dark Sword series visit:

Pick up your Copy of Forbidden Highlander Today! Click here!

Contest Time:

Win a copy of Dangerous Highlander today by leaving a question or comment here for Donna. Please check back on Friday to see if you've won. All winners are posted on Friday in the right hand column of the blog entitled "Recent Winners @ the Boost". All winners must contact the Book Boost at to claim your prize!

Scoring A Homerun With Readers with Guest Blogger Gary Morgenstein

Today we have radio host and author Guest Blogger Gary Morgenstein who joins us from his current Pump Up Your Book Blog Tour!

Let's hear what Gary has to say about Scoring a Homerun with Readers and
then we'll learn more about Gary and his book!


Once upon a time, it was all about telling a story. Long before the Gutenberg Press, writers would sit around a campfire, telling tales. In a way, our world of writing has returned to its most basic roots thanks to the proliferation of multi-media platforms. Not so long ago, writers had no alternative but to go through an agent who went through an editor who went through the marketing and sales teams, forcing you to wait a year or more for the cherished words to hit the Universe.

Not anymore. While I celebrate the foundations of traditional publishing (my first two novels were with mainstream houses) writers now have more options. Recently I’ve published through Amazon, who’ve been terrific and supportive.

I think at the end of the day for all writers, it’s about reaching your readers. Telling them your story. Opening your heart and your mind. How you go about it, whether you get a big advance or no advance, the size of the royalty, those things are nice, but bottom line: we are artists. Whether we’re talking to two people in some forest or thousands (or millions), the basics of writing doesn’t change. You imagine a world. You create it. You want to share it and you want to move people.

Heck, even one person. So don’t get bogged down on who your agent is or publisher or which online publishing platform you’re using. Any way you bring your story to your public is all that matters. What’s important is not to let anyone say you can’t publish. Who are they to judge? If you have to set up a blog and publish the whole bloody book that way, it is your right as an artist. It is up to the public to decide. That is the beauty of our new world, that middlemen don’t interfere between writer and reader. That is the true meaning of artist.

A Note from the Book Boost: Wow, thanks Gary! That puts a great perspective on things... particularly for those folks who are considering the route of self-publication. Now, can you tell us more about your political baseball thriller, Take Me Out to the Ballgame?


Baseball and bailouts, as American as apple pie. Weaving today’s economic malaise with the powerful magic of a Cinderella baseball team, Take Me Out to the Ballgame is a political baseball novel for our times.

The Buffalo Matadors haven’t won a world championship in 37 years, a dying franchise. Until flamboyant Harry Witowsky, a 21st Century George Steinbrenner, buys them, vowing to do whatever is necessary to change the fortunes of the “Door Mats.”

Victories and attendance climb as Witowsky creates an Us versus Them mentality at the Stadium. The rally cry of “Where’s My Bailout” replaces “Let’s Go Mats.” Buffalo’s surprising surge resonates with a nation afraid of losing jobs and homes, shaken by terrorist threats, frightened for the future.

The Matadors become America’s Team.

Book Excerpt:

“Single and we win, that so much to ask?” Cal Fleisher pleaded, half-rising off the bar stool at Kellogg’s Bar in East Lackawanna.

“We’ve loaded the bases, none out in the last of the ninth, trailing Philly by one run,” Buffalo Matadors announcer Hal McCoy said somberly. “The Phillies have brought in the lefty Lerch to face the lefty Nate Jackson, a percentage move. Cy Trattora is going to leave the youngster in, oh brother, the wheels are spinning here in War Memorial Stadium against the defending world champions and we’re only in the season opener.”

“Come on Nate, get a piece of it.” Cal shoved his legs under his flabby rear, elevating himself sphinx-like.

“And so this broad comes in, biggest pair you’ve ever seen, and she says…” At a table several feet away beneath a Willie Nelson poster, stocky Mickey O’Brien paused theatrically, spreading his hands a little wider. “Nothin.’ Nothin’ at all.” His two friends laughted. Cal tossed them a shy glare.

“…popped up in foul territory. Perez moving over, looking for a play, near the stands, reaches in and…makes the catch,” McCoy groaned. “One down, big big out of Lerch. He jammed Jackson with a fastball on the…”

“Get outta here, Mickey.” The olive-skinned Nino jokingly pushed Mickey on the shoulder. “like I’d ever lie?” That drew skeptical chuckles. “She kind of sauntered a little here and there.” Mickey swayed in his seat.

Tossing another brief scowl at the noise, Cal leaned forward. “Please turn it up, Tim.”

The bartender grinned sympathetically, upping the sound on the small color set above the bar. “Stop torturing yourself, Cal. Why should this year be any different than any other?

Author Bio:

Gary Morgenstein is co-host of the Purple Haze radio show, Thursdays at 9PM/ET at In addition to his dating and relationship book How to Find a Woman…Or Not, Morgenstein’s novels include Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman, about a divorced man who falls in love with a beautiful woman rabbi; Jesse’s Girl, a powerful story about a father’s search for his adopted teenage son, and Take Me Out to the Ballgame, a political baseball thriller, as well as the baseball Rocky The Man Who Wanted to Play Center Field for the New York Yankees. His prophetic play Ponzi Man played to sell-out crowds at the New York Fringe Festival. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, surrounded by lots of books and rock and roll CDs. He is Director, Communications, for the Syfy Channel.

Want more Gary?

Visit his website here:

Want to pick up your copy of Take Me Out to the Ballgame today?
Click here!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Making the Grade With Guest Blogger: Valerie Mann

The Book Boost Welcomes Author Valerie Mann! Stay tuned for a chance to win an Gift Card!

Now, let's hear what Valerie had to say about Making the Grade...

I was not an exceptional child. There aren’t many things that stand out in my mind (or probably anybody else’s) that tell me I was. I know I was a really good swimmer, I could jump a pogo stick like nobody’s business and I liked Alice Cooper and Elton John before anyone else on my block, which made me cool. But the one thing I could do better than anybody else—I could write a good story.

When my English class got a writing assignment, everyone else groaned—I rubbed my hands with glee because it was my time to shine. And when the teacher called on somebody to come up to the front of the class and read their literary treasure, everyone pointed at me and asked me to tell my tale. I was that good.

Then, in ninth grade, I had what my dad likes to call, the "Rude Awakening". Mr. Leavenworth, my English teacher, assigned a creative writing topic. I wrote my story and waited for the big, beautiful “A” to grace the top of the page. The “C minus” shocked and angered me. What did he mean, I didn’t know how to use commas? I do too know how to use the plural possessive correctly! And for some reason, I continued to believe I was right and he was wrong, all the way through high school until I got to college and my Written Expression instructor told me the same lies. But a humble part of me believed her because she was…well, a college instructor. I barely passed her class, tail between my legs, and gave up on writing. Who needs it anyway?

Many years passed with life experiences piling up and scores of romance novels read and digested. And suddenly I needed to write again. This time, I picked up my pen, joined writing groups, made friends with real authors and slept with the Chicago Manual of Style under my pillow. And I wrote. And I sold a romance novella. And now I’m an author. Am I exceptional yet? No. But I’m exceptionally happy with what I’m doing and that’s all I care about.

Do you have a Mr. Leavenworth in your past? Did you have a writing fan club when you were a kid? Did you like loud rock music? Did you wait until you were an adult to write? I’d love to hear your writing stories, funny or sad! (Music preferences are optional.)

A Note from The Book Boost: Thanks for joining us today, Valerie. That was too funny! Now, won't you tell us a little more about your book Hide & Seek?


When Kelly Donovan meets firefighter Nick Barrantes at her sister’s annual summer party, the sparks fly. Famous for its games, this year’s party includes Hide and Seek and Kelly is determined to find a cozy place to hide with Nick.

Trapped in a closet together during the game, neither anticipates the sizzling passion that flares between them. But after the smoke clears and the party ends, Kelly begins to have second thoughts about their encounter. And when she leaves the party without saying goodbye, Nick lets her know exactly how he feels. About the hot sex and about her!


I looked around for Nick. We were so going to play this game together if I had anything to say about it but after several precious seconds, I couldn’t find him. I was on my own. Bodies scattered in every direction while I stood still and assessed the lay of the land. I knew it better than anyone else in the game. Where to hide?

My dad’s workshop.

I took off, tripping around people who kept changing direction. The door of the small shed faced sideways and by the time I got to it, I could hear Marshall counting in the forties. I burst through the door and paused, making sure I was alone. Two of the walls had a small window that let in just enough light for me to see I’d made it there first. At the far end of the tiny workshop was the perfect hideout—a small closet my father had used to lock up his dangerous tools.

Running feet thumped nearby, spurring me into action. I raced to the closet and yanked on the knob. Locked. Fortunately, it had a simple push-button mechanism and I knew my dad had always kept a thin nail above the door to unlock it. I stood on my tiptoes and scraped my fingers across the top of the frame.

A second later, I had the door open, scooted inside and clicked it shut quietly behind me. Dust floated down from the ceiling and I batted at something stringy brushing against my cheek. A vertical half-inch crack ran the length of the wood door and I twisted around in the small space to peer out. One of the windows was directly across the room in my line of sight.

In the moonlight, I saw a shadow pass by and I held my breath.

“I guess I found one of the prizes,” a man whispered behind me.

Want more Valerie?

Visit her website here:

Want to pick up your copy of Hide & Seek today?

Click here!

Contest Time:

Valerie is giving away an gift card to one lucky and creative person in a random drawing. Please check back on Friday in the Recent Winners box (in the right hand column of the blog) to see if you've won! Good luck!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Confession Time & 5 Random Acts of Kindness Winners!

A couple of weeks ago, I was nominated for the Creative Blogger Award. If you didn't get to read my post you can check it out here.

Basically, I was supposed to tell either 6 outrageous lies and 1 outrageous truth or 6 outrageous truths and 1 outrageous lie!

Today is revelation day! I'm sad to say that no one guessed 100% correctly. That being said, the good new is that I'm NOT in fact a good liar! All the statements except for 1 were all the TRUTH. And here's my story:

1. I once locked lips with a famous musician.

TRUTH: This is the truth but I only have a guitar pick as proof. Wish I had a photo but alas only the vision in my mind to sustain me. I became a BIG Def Leppard fan in the late 80's and finally got the see the sexy rocker Brits in 1997 during their Slang tour in Birmingham, Alabama. It was at an outdoor amphitheater and I was a single girl just a few years out of college. I scored a front row screaming fan girl kiss and a souvenir autographed guitar pick from the newest member of the group at the time one Vivian Patrick Campbell (who just so happens to be Irish and you know how I feel about Irishmen). Sigh.

2. I once spent the night with a famous actor.

TRUTH: But not in the dirty minded way you all assumed I meant here! LOL I might write some erotic romance but I therein lies my creative writing ability. By "spent the night", I simply mean I attended an evening event wherein one of the guests was movie star Tom Berenger with whom I was lucky enough to spend some time. Yep, Tom Berenger as in The Big Chill, Major League, Sliver, Platoon and many others! AND I DO have a pic to prove it.

Check it out>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

3. I once was the personal chef to a high ranking military officer.

TRUTH: During the 2 years that I lived in Japan, I was the personal chef and nanny to a Marine Corps Colonel and his family. It was the best job I've ever had--that is--until I became a Mommy myself.

4. I once broke my butt.

TRUTH: In the 10th grade, a boy pushed me down in his insane attempt to flirt with me and I landed on my tailbone on a hard wood floor in just the wrong way. I cracked (no pun intended) my tail bone and fractured it. It was extremely painful and just so you know--there's no cast available for this! P.S. Don't tell Tom!

5. I once dated a guy just because he had the same name as a celebrity.

TRUTH: Well, he was a little bit cute too. I once had a big thing for the 60's group the Monkees' Davy Jones. So when I met a guy that was almost as cute as the real thing with the same name. I couldn't resist a date or two.

6. I once gave my underwear to a complete stranger.

FALSE: This was my one true lie. I've never done this and although Sixteen Candles is in fact one of my top 10 movies of ALL TIME...alas...this is not true!

7. I once shook hands with a leprechaun.

TRUE: Just ask my husband, he was there and a witness.

What is a leprechaun? Wikipedia defines a leprechaun as is a type of fairy in Irish folklore, usually taking the form of an old man, clad in a red or green coat, who enjoys partaking in mischief.

Now, folklore it may be but I met one in Ireland on my honeymoon and he was taking customer surveys at the Tesco near Castlebar, Ireland. He was an old man with a red and green checkered wool coat and was incredibly mischievous. In fact, he insisted that we complete the survey before he would let us leave the store even though we told him were were just passing through.

He had some kind of weird fungus looking stuff growing on his hands and he kept trying to shake my hand. I kept trying to avoid it and gesture to the two huge sacks that I was carrying as a plausible excuse for not wanting to touch the icky hands.

He wouldn't give up on that hand shake. So, I finally relented. Then, fearing that I might have contracted some mythical skin condition for which there would be no cure...I used up half a bottle of Purell in the car.

So, there you have it folks. I'm as honest as the day is long! And you thought you knew me!

Since no one was the clear winner, I've chosen the person who came the closest and I believe that to be Rebecca because she guessed the complete opposite to the correct answer! She guessed they were all lies EXCEPT the one that was actually a lie. Bless you for thinking that I'm such a good liar. I think.

And since I happen to know that she already has the book that was to be the prize for this contest, I'll send her an autographed copy of my YA romantic suspense entitled Surviving Truth instead. After all, the title seems most fitting to this contest anyway.

Enough about ME...let's talk about YOU....

5 Random Acts of Kindness

Earlier this week, I asked you to just ASK for something you wanted or needed and I'd choose 5 people at random to grant your wish. Well, the choices have been made and the deeds have been done (or are in the process of being done, at least). Before I reveal the wish grantees, let me encourage you to pay it forward. Doing something nice for someone else with no other motive is its own reward. I promise you that.

Random Act #1: Andrea S.

Asked for: Thoughts and prayers concerning her breast biopsy. I'm happy to report that she's healthy and well! Hooray!

She received: In honor of my Celtic Sister I've done one better than just my thoughts and prayers. I've made a donation in her honor to the Breast Cancer Prevention Fund who helps to pay for mammograms for women who cannot afford them otherwise. Here's their site if you want to check out all the ways you can practice breast cancer prevention and help the cause.

Random Act #2: Vicky B.

Asked for: Prayers for her daughter-in-law Nean who's having a rough time right now.

She received: My thoughts and prayers and one better. I put in a prayer request through Apparently, they'll pray for you too. I say, the more the better. Best of luck to your daughter-in-law.

Random Act #3: CJ Ellisson

Asked for: One of my paranormal books that I thought she might like.

She will receive: A Free copy of my Paranormal shifter story Soul Searcher. Hope you enjoy!

Random Act #4: Sarah H.

Asked for: A review of her Synopsis

She will receive: Send it to me, Sarah at ( and I'll be happy to review it for you. Hope I can help!

Random Act #5: Tami

Asked for: Thoughts for her daughter and for something chocolate to help her cope.

She will receive: I puzzled over this one because I live in the hot south. Anything I could possibly send that is chocolate would be a hot mess by the time it reached you. So, I'll be shipping to you a set of Fudge Brownie Bath Truffles! Take a relaxing bath in chocolate! How bout that? Just send me your snail mail address (to and I'll have it sent directly to you.

Thank you to all for the well wishes and lovely comments this week. See you next week at the Boost!

P.S. For prize drawings from other authors who have appeared on the blog--the winners will always be listed in the right hand column under "Recent Winners at the Boost".

Are You Talkin' to Me? With Guest Blogger: Margaret West

Let's Talk about Dialogue Today with our Featured Book of The Month Author Margaret West!

Stay tuned for a chance to win a FREE book from Margaret!

Earlier this month, we met Margaret West during a fascinating Author Interview segment. If you didn't get a chance to check it out, click here to view.

Now, let's hear what she has to say about dialogue...

Writing Dialogue

If I could write a book on the amount of questions that I’ve been asked with regards to dialogue – it would be an epic!

Realistic dialogue doesn’t always come easily to everyone. But I can’t tell you how important it is. Dialogue advances a story and fleshes out the characters while providing a break from straight exposition. But, nothing pulls the reader out of a story faster than bad dialogue. It takes time to develop a good technique, but here’s a few guidelines I use that might help.

Listen to how people talk. Don’t become a stalker or anything, lol But eavesdrop and scribble down phrases you like. The right words can bring a character to life. Likewise, the wrong word/phrase can destroy the reader’s belief in the character.

For instance, it’s unlikely that a builder is going to use the word “goodness me” or that a solicitor would say “blimey." Dialogue should read like real speech. But, in saying that, real speech has words and sounds that would be distracting if included on a page. New writers sometimes think that including words like “uh” and “oh” makes their dialogue sound more realistic. The truth is, these kinds of extraneous words look unprofessional. Alfred Hitchcock once wrote that a good story was “life, with the dull parts taken out.” It’s good to keep this in mind.

Now comes the tricky part. Cut words and phrases out that don’t serve the conversation’s purpose. What I mean by that is, any dialogue should move the story forward while bringing your characters to life. If it doesn’t, cut it out altogether.

The mistake I noticed whilst I was an editor, was writers sometimes provide too much information at once through dialogue. It should never be obvious that you’re communicating information; otherwise you run the risk of info dumping. Give no character more than three uninterrupted sentences at once. You can trust the reader to remember details from earlier in the story. Make sure you break up dialogue with action, because physical details help to break up the words on the page.

Tag lines can be the bane of writers' lives to write and read. Don’t try too hard to vary them. Veering too much beyond “he said/she said” draws attention to the tags. Readers tend to skim over them anyway. If you write “interjected,” or “he sighed,” you’ve now drawn the reader out of the action you’re trying to create. If your dialogue is working, you won’t have to say any of these words in the tag line.

Most of all, the most important thing of all is to punctuate dialogue correctly. Nothing, to an editor/publisher/agent is more distracting than a writer who doesn’t know how to use punctuation. A polished MS is no good if it’s covered in punctuation errors.

A Note from the Book Boost: This is all excellent advice, Margaret. I'm sure all of us writers have made a few of these mistakes from time to time (I know I sure have--gulp). Thanks for sharing your pointers with us! How about an excerpt from your amazing book The Heart of a Warrior?


“What’s making you frown so deeply,” Yuma asked, jolting Belinda from her thoughts.

Belinda propped herself up on an elbow and stared at him. He was a handsome man, even weathered by the sun, his skin still held a silky, smoothness that she never tired of staring at.

Dark eyes, framed in long silky lashes, stared thoughtfully back at her as he traced the line of her jaw with his finger. “You’re so beautiful, Ayiana.” He pulled her head towards him and gently touched his lips to her forehead. He laid feather light kisses on her neck and cheeks, which
sent quivering sensations down her arms and thighs. The tips of her breasts tingled with anticipation as pinpoints of pleasure swirled, spread and compounded through every part of her body.

Yuma folded her into his arms and Belinda felt his desire instantly press against her, as he flipped her onto her back. His lips captured her mouth with a fervent urgency and hers parted, pulsing with the inflow of warm, sensual blood. When his warm hand cupped her breast
through her nightshirt she almost wished he would tear it from her. She needed to feel his naked skin against hers.

Want more?

Contest Time!

Want to win a FREE copy of Margaret's coffee break read, Two Faces One Life? Just visit Margaret's website to find the answer to this question...What are the names of the two main characters in this book?

We will draw a winner from all correct answers on FRIDAY and post the winner here on the blog in the Recent Winners box on the right hand side of the blog page. Good Luck!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Just Fitting In With Guest Blogger: CJ Ellisson

Does Your Book Fit the Romance Mold?

What happens if you don't follow the traditional romance guidelines when writing a book these days? What if there is not enough tangible relationship conflict within your story? What if your characters are happily married? What if you don't have a happily ever after ending? Does it even qualify as romance if the relationship is not the central focus?

I've been an avid reader for over three decades. I've read every genre and book classification out there, and yes, for a time in the 1980's I devoured anything remotely related to romance. But my tastes as a reader grew as I aged. In life, I found my own "hero" and we married.

I still enjoy reading the sex and relationship aspects inherent in many well-written romance stories, but they do not have to be the sole focus for me anymore. Taking an escape from my own hectic life, even briefly, was what I enjoyed most about books. To suspend reality for just a moment and be transported into the world my favorite authors had created was incredible.

The romance end of the book industry has, in my mind, been a trailblazer. From the old standards that required virgins and mandatory forced sex scenes where the heroine received no pleasure, to the modern day urban fantasies with strong protagonists who have a take-charge attitude and enjoy sex.

Does she solve crimes? Does she uncover a mystery and work to find the answer? Does she battle evil and help good to prevail? Does she somehow protect those she loves from danger? Or does she have lots of hot sex throughout the course of the loosely connected plot?

Hey, erotica is selling because sex sells. You can compare it to the male equivalent of the adult film industry. Yes, they have a small percentage of female customers, but primarily their target audience is men. Can't the same be said for romance books and most specifically the growing trend the romance industry has seen with erotica? I'm not sure if it's because our brains are wired differently or women have better imaginations, or maybe it's just that we don't like to look at silicone-filled barbies who barely look old enough to drink legally.

The romance industry as a whole has paid attention to the growing needs of its readership. It has listened to the readers and has encouraged all writers to follow their dreams and write the story within them. It has helped steampunk, space opera, erotica, urban fantasy and everything paranormal become the cutting edge of what is leading the industry in sales.

It's an interesting time we live in right now. Ebooks and new publishing models are changing the very course of the industry. It's exciting to see where things will go. Print will never die, at least not in our lives, but who knows what the future holds?

I've written a story that doesn't fit the traditional romance guidelines. It has hot sex, a loose mystery, intrigue, suspense and a funny relationship between a happily married couple-—where the wife is a powerful vampire. It's not your average story, but it's no Twilight either. It does not fit neatly into a category.

But the romance readers and writers have welcomed me anyway. And for that I'm eternally grateful. In the end it doesn't come down to labels and categories. It comes down to trying to tell a good story and hoping others will enjoy it as well. Don't despair if your book doesn't "fit". If you've done your job people will want to read it.

A Note from the Book Boost:

Meet the new and incredibly talented author, CJ Ellisson! Who has written a sexy romp into the paranormal wild side that will leave you panting for more. Trust me, because I've just finished reading the manuscript myself!

Want to know more about it? Want to pick up an ADVANCED bound proof of the novel? Keep reading on how to win it for yourself!
Thank you for joining us today, CJ and I know that this book is going to be flying off the shelves for you in short order. Trust me on that.

Here's a little taste (pun intended) of Vampire Vacation by CJ Ellisson:

Meet Vivian. She’s a 580-year-old vampire who exudes sex, has a talent for drama, and is passionate about two things: her human husband, Rafe, and their resort for the undead. Her ability to project physical illusions has created the perfect vacation spot—a dark, isolated Alaskan hideaway where visitors can have their wildest fantasies come true.

Vivian knows the best performance requires perfect timing, but the powerful vamp is put to the test when she discovers a corpse in a locked guestroom minutes before the next arrivals. Always cool-headed, Rafe hides the body, convinced that he and Vivian can find the culprit without disturbing their guests.

Juggling the increasingly outrageous demands of their customers while tracking a killer isn’t easy. Will their poking and prodding give them the answers they need, or will it uncover secrets that Vivian would kill to protect?

A Quick Excerpt for your feeding (I mean reading) pleasure:

I open the door to find a body at my feet. The rich smell of blood causes my canines to lengthen. Reaching out in the darkness, I flip on the switches. Light comes on across the room, illuminating the dead guy lying face down in front of me. The whole scene makes me wish I’d stayed in bed today, curled up next to my warm husband.

“Crap, look at the rug.”

Okay, out loud that sounds rather dispassionate. Whoever this poor stiff is, he’s dead. I’m the one left with a huge mess on my hands and guests arriving within the hour. Good thing I caught this before one of the maids did. Their screams from the last time were a devil to calm down.

Reaching out with my mind, I connect with my husband in a soft electrical tingle of sensation. Rafe?

There’s a dead guy in suite six. We’ve got to move fast before the next group arrives.
Rafe’s rugged face appears in my head. My extended consciousness lets me see the room around him as well as hear his thoughts. He’s leaning against the sink in our private kitchen, wearing a robe, a steaming mug of coffee in his hand.

Does it look like an accidental overfeeding? His mental voice sounds incredulous. We haven’t had one of those in years.

No, there’s way too much blood. Can you come up here and help me?
Sure, Dria. I’m fresh out of the shower—give me a couple minutes.
I step over the body and into the room, closing the door behind me with a soft snick of the catch. I’d rather not have the guests get a whiff of this mess. Some of them would probably think we did it on purpose for “ambience”. But others might not.

Walking over to the bench at the end of the bed, I sit then look around the suite. A king-size bed, neatly made, gleaming dark furniture and lush brocade fabrics greet me. Nothing but the corpse looks out of place. The stark white face turned toward me doesn’t look familiar. I’m sure he isn’t a mate of one of the vampire masters staying here; I make it a point to meet all of them when they arrive.

Examining his brown hair and twenty-something face, I don’t recognize him as a vampire servant either. Not many have come to stay with the current crop of undead we’ve got right now. Who else?

The blood arouses my basic vampire needs while confusing my train of thought. I concentrate, trying to clear my head. Think, dammit, think!

Could he be a companion? A lot of masters bring “food” with them. Being a full-service hotel we can provide all the needs of our guests, but some still insist on BYOB.

Want more CJ?

Visit her website here:

Or her Author blog here:

Or one of her Group blogs here:

Contest Time!

To win a bound un-proofed ADVANCED copy of Vampire Vacation, just leave a question or comment for CJ! We'll draw the winner on Friday and post your name in the Recent Winners block on the right side of the blog. Good Luck!

Random Acts of Kindness & Guest Blogger: Brenda Novak

A Special Message from Kerri (@thebookboost):

Lately, I've been feeling the strain of every day life. Too many obligations plus too much stress equals too little time to enjoy and appreciate the best things in life. Those things are family and friends and taking a moment just to be thankful for your many blessings.

This morning I woke up feeling a bit down and disheartened about life in general and then I realized that I needed to do something just because I can. What do I mean by this?

Today, I'd like to hear from readers and authors and I'd like you to tell me something you want or need. It can be anything. From a prayer for someone to a critique of your work in progress to a free book. Just something that you want or need that would make your day a little bit better right now.

I'm going to choose 5 requests and do my best to make them come true. Today, I will pursue 5 random acts of kindness for those who simply ask! All I ask is that you spread the word to someone you know who might need some random kindness.

You can leave your comment here OR you can e-mail it to me privately at: TODAY ONLY, please! :-)

NOW...I'm honored and thrilled to announce that we have a special guest blogger today...the Bestselling Author Brenda Novak and she is one of my own personal heroes!

If you don't know by now, my 9 year old daughter Brooke suffers from Juvenile Diabetes (check her out on my homepage this month as does Brenda's son.

Every year Brenda runs an amazing auction to help benefit research for a cure of this terrible disease. Let's hear what Brenda has to say about the auction which is hitting its mid-month stride right now. Then stay tuned below for details on my special auction for today only!

Take it away, Brenda!


I’m SO excited! My 6th Annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research began May 1st (at With over 2,200 fabulous items, many of which you can’t get anywhere else, it's going to be a blast.

I started this fundraiser in 2005 and have made it an annual event in an attempt to help my thirteen-year-old son (diagnosed at 5) and the many, many others who struggle with diabetes--like Kerri's daughter. The need is there. Anyone who lives with a diabetic will tell you about the constant fingertip pricks, the shots, the pump insertions, the danger that comes with blood sugars that are too high or too low or swinging wildly from one side to the other.

It’s almost impossible to avoid the fluctuations, no matter how hard you try. But you rarely hear about that, or about the tragic side affects. Diabetes affects every part of the body—the heart, the liver, the kidneys, the skin, the nerves, the eyes, everything. But...thanks to my many, many generous donors--and shoppers--we’re doing what we can to help!

Last year we managed to raise $280,000, which brings us to over three-quarters of a million so far. In 2010, we should break the $1 million mark! Judging by the increase in donations and web traffic, I think we’ll get there. Not only does the auction offer fabulous items like original paintings, handmade quilts, trips and stays and autographed books and baskets from Big Name authors, it offers fabulous opportunities for readers and writers. How would you like to have lunch with one of your favorite authors—authors like Barry Eisler, Diana Gabaldon, Linda Howard, Beverly Barton or Catherine Coulter?

Kerri Nelson, John Lescroart and Christine Feehan are offering you an opportunity to name a character in one of their novels. Jane Porter is donating a trip to Hawaii! Heather Graham has donated a trip to New Orleans, which includes her Writers For New Orleans Conference. Nora Roberts is offering a stay at her inn. And Anna DeStefano has put up a whole category of Coach purses.

For aspiring writers, we have more agent and editor evaluations and author critiques than ever before. There are too many items to list here, so hop over and check it out.
For those of you who have never participated in an online auction, don’t worry--it’s easy. This auction runs just like E-Bay. You shop the entire month of May (there are also one-day auctions so be sure to check the schedule), bid on whatever you like and pay for what you win via credit card or Paypal when it’s all over, at which point it will be shipped to you (in most cases, the shipping is free).

The person who places the highest number of bids each week will be awarded a fabulous prize (the first week it's an iPad as well as an Advanced Reading Copy of my new book, WHITE HEAT, due out July 27th). There will also be lots of other prizes given away via random drawings.
And we have something new this year for aspiring writers. It's a writing contest that will be judged by New York Times Bestselling Authors. The winner will receive a 6-month mentorship from me and guaranteed reads from my agent and editor.

One other thing I should mention. To help promote the auction, I’m currently holding a drawing for a fabulous Trip for two to Curacao. This trip includes airfare and hotel stay at the Hyatt Regency. To enter, visit and click on the Contest link.

Here’s hoping I see you at the auction!

Note from Kerri (@theBookBoost): Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to stop by and share more details about this important auction with us! Everyone, please see the details below about how to access the auction AND if you are a YA writer or YA fan, I have a special one day auction today for my YA novel Surviving Truth! Don't miss it!

Monday, May 17, 2010

History is No Mystery With Guest Blogger: Maeve Alpin

Join Us Today to discuss the Steampunk Romance As Timeless As Stone by Maeve Alpin!

Enter to win a Steampunk Necklace! (ooh! aah!)

In a day dream I had, a missing head was placed back on the neck of a statue which then came to life. I thought now there’s the beginning of a story and As Timeless As Stone was born.

I love history and I often include historical figures in my work, As Timeless As Stone is no exception. The key secondary character is none other than the founder of Scientific Egyptology, Jean François Champollion, who is best known for his work on deciphering the Rosetta stone. He was also a loving father and husband and I included his wife Rosine Blanc and his daughter Zoraide as well. I am thrilled to bring them from the pages of history and place them in my story. Of course I love my handsome Parisian, Egyptologist hero and my ancient Egyptian priestess heroine even more. The purpose of this fun filled fantasy is to sweep you away from the cares and woes of the real world as you share Seshat and Ricard’s rousing adventure spanning Ancient Egypt to 1830’s Parris.

Here is the blurb for my first Steampunk Romance, As Timeless as Stone, which will be released TODAY May 17th:

Though society stands in their way, can love transcend time with the aid of robotics and ritual?

In peril for her life, the Priestess Seshat turns herself to stone in ancient Egypt. Centuries later, Ricard, a dashing nineteenth century Frenchman, repairs a broken statue and reads its incantation--unprepared for the gorgeous flesh and blood woman who steps forth.

Seshat is drawn to the brass robots Ricard creates and the glamour of the Victorian age, and most of all to Ricard himself. But the society of his day cannot accept a woman like her.

How far will Ricard go to secure her happiness? Is their love strong enough to transcend time itself?

And here's and Excerpt

Ricard stepped back as his gaze devoured the entire woman, though stiff and lifeless. The stone looked like lush, sun-warmed skin. Her oval face was dark and delicate, with full, rosy lips. He admired her long lithe body, clad in a sheer, white, sleeveless dress, held up only by two delicate linen shoulder straps. He longed to roam his fingers and lips over her high perched breast and the thin waist which flared into curved hips and lithe thighs. Then, down to her pretty legs and her slender feet garbed in white papyrus sandals, of the station she depicted, an Egyptian priestess of the Middle Kingdom. He drank in her beauty, then he noticed the ornament lying in the valley between her breasts, a thick ankh of gold hung from a chain. His fingers absently tried to grab hold of the necklace but it was only part of the statue, no matter how real it seemed.

"What is this?" He looked at the plaque in the statue's stone hands, held beneath the ankh. The last hieroglyphic depicted the symbol for life, an ankh, held up to the woman's nose. Ricard read it silently, sounding it out, Nce xarp wt pwwne Ab etoot abrem... Toujo Abrem etoot pwwne ab... xarp wt au ai ankh qe, and translated it under his breath. "God Horus, as you turned my flesh to stone... God Horus, save me, make me whole...change my stone to flesh...give me the nose breath of life, once more."

The room vibrated and an unnatural wind swirled within. Ricard's hair stood on end, but he could not tear his eyes away from the statue. He grabbed the ankh, and this time it gave way, lifting from the statue's chest. The curiosity that drove him as a scientist, as an Egyptologist, caught hold and as strange as this all seemed, he felt he had come this far, he had to see it through. Laying the ankh against the statue's small nose, Ricard acted out the last hieroglyphic on the plaque.

He shuddered at the sound of a gush of breath. A flash of light struck inside the room. The shock knocked the breath out of him. The statue moved, but she wasn't stone anymore.

Jean François gasped and stepped back.

Ricard couldn't move. It's a living, breathing woman. He dropped the ankh and it fell against her chest, which now rose and fell with heaving breaths. Ricard managed to step back on shaky legs. He gaped at her, unable to think or speak.


The priestess shrieked. Her brown eyes glowed with anger. "Come near me you Hyksos cobra, and you will die!" she warned in Old Egyptian.

Note from the Book Boost: Maeve, this sounds absolutely amazing. I'm going to have to pick up a copy of this myself. Thank you so much for joining us. Everyone, please find the contest details below and find out where you can pick up your copy TODAY!

Be Sure to Visit Maeve here!


To be eligible to win the gorgeous Steampunk necklace from Maeve, just leave a question or comment for her here. All winners will be selected on Friday and posted in the Recent Winners block on the right hand column of the blog! Good Luck!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Let's go Shopping! With Guest Blogger: Sandra Cox

***A Note from Kerri & the Book Boost: Last week's True Lies contest results will be announced Friday, May 21st here at the Blog. Thanks to all who participated!***

Now back to our regularly scheduled program...


Win A Copy of a Free Book from Sandra Cox TODAY ONLY!

I approach shopping the way some folks do hunting--which I'm not that in favor of by the way:) But like hunters for me its the thrill of the hunt. Unless my back is against the wall I never buy clothes if they aren't on sale. The kind term for one such as myself is 'power shopper'. But in actuality I'm a bit of a bottom feeder. I try not to buy until a big sign is posted on the rack that says '50-75% off last marked down price' and then I move in for the kill, err, swoop in for the sale.

Like the hunter, after my purchases are 'bagged' I proudly carry my sacks around the mall like trophies, swept along on a shopper's high.

For those of you who are new to this type of hunting a few words of caution and suggestions:

  • There will always be sales. If you can't use it don't buy it.
  • Buy at the end of the season. You will get your clothes at a fraction of the cost and will have a brand new wardrobe to pull out of the closet in about six months.
  • Check the adds: Often time there's a 20% coupon that can be applied to the 50-75% clearance rack.
  • Pace yourself. Don't get so caught up in the thrill of the hunt that you spend more than you normally would have. I allow myself X amount of dollars per month. When its gone its gone and I sit tight until the beginning of the next month when my allowance kicks in again.
Okay ladies, are you ready? Take your vitamins, do some stretching exercises and wear comfortable clothes, this could be all day event. Its time to shop!


Click the cover to pick up your copy TODAY!

For a chance to win a PDF copy of Sandra's book GROUNDED just leave a comment. The drawing will be held Sunday.

Want more Sandra?

Visit her website:
Or her YA Blog:
Or her Author Blog:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Feeling Spacey? With Guest Blogger: K.M. Tolan

Space Opera, anyone?

Join us today as guest author K.M. Tolan discusses the science fiction genre!

Space Opera. Why did I end up writing in this secluded little niche? It is a fair question for me to ask myself as I wrap up a fourth book. From a marketing perspective, science fiction lags well behind romance and fantasy when it comes to e-books. Then you have the sub-genre of space opera – a little sister to those stories dealing with speculation and hardware.

I guess I fell in love with characters – the staple of space opera. I love putting characters into settings that do not yet exist, but are plausible just the same. Being a hopeless geek, I also love gadgets and the “Gee, what if?” stuff, but not to excess. No, don’t ask me to write out painfully detailed schematics of how this or that ship manages to cheat physics – just accept that it does. I may test your credibility, but not break it.

What interests me is that pre-teen girl staring through the window on the second deck of my ship. Her eyes are wide, the blue arc of a new world filling her vision. What is she thinking? What change will evoke the march of a child into young womanhood on a world where plants sing and the rain kills?

There you have it – the mix of a familiar coming of age theme with something quite different. Her name is Helen Cresly, by the way. Oh, she will be known as Hanya (She who sings back) when her parents finally find her after the crash. She won’t be their little Helen anymore. She also won’t be human...not quite. Hanya will still seek love, and an understanding of her place within an all but forgotten life. She will also hear the singing...and the beckoning.

This is space opera. If the images come to your mind as they have to mine, and you can see a young girl running through an alien forest trying to find herself, then you will understand why I write this stuff. The ideas are timeless, and they can be applied to settings of so infinite a variety as to defy one’s expectations of an outcome.

Writing about Helen will have to wait, though. I only thought her up a few moments ago.

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for joining us today at the Boost! I'm a fan of Sci-Fi and enjoyed reading about the genre today. Will you share some details with us about Rogue Dancer which I understand is the second in a series?

Here's an Excerpt from Rogue Dancer:

After a hot evening meal, she stood outside the fort watching an orange sun sink beneath waves of grass. In its place, the sky filled with the flowing purple majesty of the Curtain, the swirl of stars and gossamer filaments casting its own hues across the land. “Didn’t think I’d be seeing Kioranna so soon.”

“Didn’t think I would be out here at all,” Paleen added beside her. She rubbed her arms beneath a coat similar to Mikial’s. “Cold wind.”

“Not much to break it out here.”

The Ipper stared toward the darkening village. “Do they really hate us?”

“Care to go over and ask?”

Paleen shook her head. “I’m not going near them.”

“That’s part of why they hate us,” Mikial softly answered, her breath coming in steamy puffs.

“Our Taqurl ancestors fashioned them to be a slave race, and we still call them Servants to this day. They are fading out here, Paleen. Most of the babies they have will be Qurl, and end up given to the nearest Holding like I was. They hate us for that too.” She let out another long breath. “Your sect is actually withholding information. It’s about as unprecedented as my getting replaced.”

Paleen returned an undaunted scowl. “Mikial, when you shoot a dart, that’s it. Say what you want. Do what you want. It doesn’t matter because the dart’s going to go where you aim it. What if that weren’t true? What if you had to watch everything you said and did afterwards for fear you would miss that mark?” Paleen reached up and put a hand on Mikial’s shoulder, turning Mikial to face her. Her ear fans flicked in agitation, some of the fear crossing over to shake Mikial’s own fans and thoughts. “ sect doesn’t dare even breathe right now.”

“Then what are you doing here?”

Paleen’s smile softened the worries. “Swimming beside you, silly. Like I always have and always will.”

“My sect wants me to kill this other Suria.”

Paleen nodded. “You will do what you have to, Mikial. It is as simple as that.”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ten Words Or Less with Guest Blogger: Kari Thomas

Today, author Kari Thomas discusses simplifying your plot and stay tuned for details on how to win a Free Book!


You've got to be kidding!

One of the first things most Editors/Publishers will ask an author is to describe your book in Ten words or less. And if you're like me, you blink rapidly, swallow a gasp of dismay, and then try to make your fuddled, scared mind come up with just the right words at the drop of a hat. HA. Easier said than done! I can truthfully admit I've failed that test every time! So, after too many embarrassing moments like that, I finally came up with those dreaded "Ten Words or Less" for each of my books. Was I successful? You judge for me. Come on, I can take it...!

HUNTED MATE --- A Shapeshifter's debt stands in the way of true love.

HER HEART HIS SOUL --- An Angel Warrior must choose love or his soul's redemption.

SEDUCING THE HERO --- Trust and Seduction go hand in hand, turning into love.

TEMPTATION UNLEASHED --- Tempting the Beast releases a love that is beyond Magical.

PREY FOR THE WOLF --- A game of dangerous love surrounds the Wolf's Prey.

UNDER A SHIFTER'S MOON --- A Jaguar Shifter chooses life or death for his Truemate.

SPELL KISSED --- A witch and her hero fall into a parallel world. (Release forthcoming in July 2010)

After you read these, take a look at the Blurbs of each book. I'm currently holding a CONTEST where this sentence:

"Something wild this way comes..."

Appears somewhere in one of the Blurbs. Send me an Email at and tell me which Book has it. I will choose a Winner at the end of May and the Prize will be a PDF copy of my latest Novella HOLD ONTO THE NIGHT (see info on my web book page at ). Thanks for stopping by!

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks Kari for stopping by we enjoyed hosting your post! (That was 10 words!)

Before you go, tell us a little more about your newest book with that hot cover up there?


Click here to purchase!
View the Trailer here:


He was fated for another, but created to love her …

Decreed by Elders, alpha Jaguar Shifters Lyon Savage and his brother must decide Pride rule in a way not seen for centuries. Under a Shifter’s Moon, a mating can take place with a chosen human to produce a child, and the father of that child will become the one Alpha. Now Lyon must choose the love of his Truemate—or accept the decree to save his Pride and secure his future.

Strong and selfless, Kitlene is a rare woman whose blood, like her niece’s, carries something of the Shifter within its DNA. Willing to sacrifice herself for the sake of family, she offers herself to the Alpha Cat whose very presence pulls at her soul—and whose love brings with it a deadly complication.


She was facing the direction of the stairs so he could see her face clearly. His breath caught. She was incredibly beautiful; an oval face, softly pink-tinged complexion, cupid-bow mouth, small nose. Her long-lashed eyes were large and round. For some reason, her eyes made him instantly think of a Persian cat’s eyes. He grinned at the contradiction; he had the odd thought that her obvious spunk would keep her from being as sweet natured as the Persian breed. Even from his distance he could see the soft, dove-grey color.

They were the most fascinating eyes he’d ever seen on a woman. A man could easily—willingly drown in their mysterious, sultry depths. He could. He frowned at the disturbing thought. He let his gaze roam over her one more time before coming back to rest on her ethereal face. She wasn’t wearing makeup—or she was an expert at making it appear that way—and the look was as much innocence as it was sensual. The odd combination was fascinating and it intrigued him like nothing else had in a long time. He watched her gaze around the room. Her expression was neutral, but even from this distance he could see her eyes mirror her nervous thoughts. What would those expressive, lovely eyes reveal when her gaze first met his? He was suddenly anxious to find out. Lyon found his feet moving before he even had the actual thought. He bounded down the stairs, sending a glance toward the corner where Mason and Beau were talking to the coyote group. His body was tight, his muscles tense and ready to allow his jaguar self to emerge. But this time it wasn’t because of the anticipation of a fight.

No, his jaguar soul had sighted prey. His prey. His. That soul-felt confirmation only proved he was right. This woman was Ariel. Somehow his jaguar self already recognized her.

Whoa. That shocked him. Realization hit him like a hard, breath- stealing punch to the gut and then arrowed straight to his soul. He came to an abrupt standstill yards away from her. He inhaled roughly, taking her sweet, oddly familiar scent deep into him. His entire body immediately went into hard sensual overload. Stark, possessive instincts rose in him for the first time in his life. He’d never felt anything like it. His jaguar self pushed forward. Primal.

Want more Kari?

Visit her website:

Author Interview: Margaret West

Romance Author Margaret West joins us
today at the Book Boost
to discuss her novel
The Heart of a Warrior!

TBB: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

MW: When I completed and published my first book. I think all the little short stories, columns and modules I’d written still didn’t establish me , in my mind, as a writer. I had to do the biggy. Write a book and get it published.

TBB: How did you come up with the title for this book?

The Heart of a Warrior started off an information book about the culture of American natives. However, it changed when a colleague pointed out that facts would be met with a keener eye, if it were put into a storyline. It was that day the book became a romance, but with a difference. It isn’t sweet, it isn’t easy - it’s a reality that’s based on very real obstacles in a lot of different cultures. In this story we delve into Yuma’s Native American traditions as he opens his heart and soul to the reader. He’s a chief, a warrior, who fights for his people politically and emotionally. From his struggle, The Heart of a Warrior, title was born.

TBB: Tell us a little more about the story.

MW: The Heart of a Warrior is a love story, plain and simple. But this love comes at a high price. Yuma, a Native American Chief will soon close his reservation to the outside world. But he has fallen in love with Belinda, a nurse from the UK. Neither have a clue about each others worlds, yet they come together in an explosion of emotion that rocks traditions and beliefs that Yuma's lived by all his life. What happens when two worlds collide? Can cultural differences really be overcome? ? Some romances are sweet, some bittersweet. The Heart of a Warrior is a mixture of the two and will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat with every turn of the page.

TBB: Sounds like an amazing story. What was your first reaction when you found out that you were going to be published?

MW: Now here’s the story. I was in the kitchen mashing potatoes when my daughter (who was 11 at the time) brought me the phone and said there was a lady on the phone with a funny accent. I stuck the phone on my shoulder and began talking as I mashed. When I heard a voice saying she was from a publisher in America, and she loved my book and wanted to take it on, I was so shocked that the phone slid from my shoulder into the sauce pan. I quickly fished it out and had to put the phone, caked in hot potato, to my ear to hear what she was saying. It was the best blister I’d ever earned!!! My ear was red for a week, but my smile remained in place for months.

TBB: Oh, my! That is funny and terrible at the same time. Your poor ear!

TBB: What are your other current projects?

MW: I have a paranormal romance that I’m just editing and a darker paranormal I’m getting ready to submit.

TBB: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

MW: I’m a crystal Therapist, Psychic Development tutor, Angel Therapist and working medium. When I’m not teaching, I work in church giving spiritual messages. Sometimes I’d like time just to breathe.

TBB: That is so fascinating. We'd love to have you back at the Boost to discuss this more one day! I've always been very intrigued by mediums! Hope you'll come back and tell us more about your amazing gifts.

TBB: How can our readers find you on the internet?

MW: I have a writers blog that anyone can be a guest on located at:

My spiritual blog, where I have all things paranormal is located at:

My Website:

TBB: I think you can bet on folks checking out all of the above. I know I'll be checking out your paranormal blog!

Margaret, thanks for joining us and we will see you back here at the Boost on May 20th for a Guest Blog & even more information on your wonderful book.

In the meantime, I'll leave the readers with a few more details about this amazing book!

Want to watch the trailer? Click here.

Want to pick up your copy today? Click here.