Wednesday, June 29, 2011

She's A Keeper: Meet Author Monique O'Connor James

Welcome our newest Book Boost author Monique O'Connor James and win a copy of The Keepers!

We recently chatted with her and here's what she had to say...

TBB: Tell us your latest news.

MOJ: My second book will be coming out on September 6, 2011. The name is Jamais Vu and it’s about a girl who believes she has accidentally shot herself. She suffers a near-death experience and is sent back before she fully understands her mission. She dreams of demons and other people who need saving and she had to discern what is real and what is dream.

TBB: When and why did you begin writing?

MOJ: I started writing at about 8 or 9 when my mother gave me a journal as a gift for Christmas.

TBB: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

MOJ: I think the first time I completed a manuscript. Even though it was really raw, I felt like I’d accomplished something that most people only talk about doing.

TBB: What are your current projects?

MOJ: I’m currently writing the follow up to The Keepers and editing the follow up to Jamais Vu. I have a habit of starting more than one project at a time, because I like to switch between editing and writing.

TBB: Do you have any advice for other writers?

MOJ: A lot of writers are trying to decide right now if they should stick it out and try to get an agent or go directly to a publisher who offers e-pub/print. I think each person is different and you have to listen to what you heart tells you. Whatever decision you make, there is the opportunity to be very successful, so once you’ve made up your mind, don’t waste your time second guessing. Also, find a publisher/agent who is as excited as you are about your work. You won’t be happy unless you work with someone who shares your enthusiasm and sees your talent.

TBB: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

MOJ: I write in my garage…which is odd. I call it the dungeon.

TBB: What does your family think of your writing?

MOJ: My family is very supportive. My kids think it’s the greatest thing ever. My husband handles my website, etc, and my dad is my biggest fan.

TBB: What was your first reaction when you found out that you were going to be published?

MOJ: I ran outside and threw my cell phone at my husband because I was crying too hard to read him the email.

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

MOJ: This book was the product of the grief I suffered when my mother died from breast cancer. She also collected angels, and I thought it would be cool if my MC was an angel, to honor her.

TBB: If you had to describe this book using ONLY ONE word, what would it be?

MOJ: Emotional

TBB: What has been your biggest reward as an author thus far in your career?

MOJ: My kids have both started to write. Seeing them express themselves and feel good about it has been the best thing for me.

TBB: If someone wrote a biography about you, what should the title be?

MOJ: Dream Big!

TBB: Any final words for your readers?

MOJ: Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read my interview today. The Keepers is my first published novel and the outpouring of support from fans has been tremendous.

TBB: Thanks for joining us today, Monique. Please share a blurb and excerpt before you go.


Jess denies God. In his infinite wisdom, he’s taken everyone she’s ever loved. Moving to the French Quarter was a ploy to erase the guilt she felt for rebuking her faith. Perhaps, if she hadn’t met Justin, an angel preoccupied with getting back into God’s good graces, and drowning in his hatred for humanity, her plan would have worked.

Justin’s general disdain for the human race makes him difficult to like, but some higher power has appointed him her keeper. Justin’s convinced he can mend her broken relationship with her maker, but in the process he learns a thing or two about his own humanity.

Never mind, falling in love, that’s not supposed to happen. In fact, it may even be forbidden. Jess just wants Justin to understand her plight, and he wants to protect her from a world she doesn’t know.

If neither is equipped to save the other, then whose soul lives and whose will perish?


He hadn’t heard her name - not yet. She'd wandered in from the rain shaking an umbrella and trying to look aloof. It had taken Vi less than ten minutes to engage her in conversation, and once Vi hooked the girl, they sat together for the rest of the evening. Vi had been his friend for years, and she could be counted on in these matters. They often found the same people intriguing, and he knew she would befriend the newcomer.

New Orleans was a sea of appealing women with pleasing accents flowing from pretty lips, but there was something about this girl’s beauty, something that kept Justin’s eyes planted on her. She caught him gawking at her, and he didn’t bother to look away. Humiliation was just another useless human emotion he wouldn't even pretend to possess.

Rory wanted to introduce himself, but Justin vetoed the plan with a look of warning. His brother seemed more interested in Vi, anyway and sat down with an easy grin. Justin was relaxed, until Dawson placed himself at their table begging for a fight. Dawson could always be relied on to kill a good mood. His Mohawk was tapered into precise points atop his head, and that alone made Justin want to punch him.

“What’s the matter Justin? Rory baggin’ all the babes or did someone shoot your dog?” The smell of tobacco and, wet hair gel, clung to Dawson like a disease. Just the fact that he had lost the ability to stave off the odor of humanity, made him less annoying.

Justin didn’t respond. Maybe if he ignored the moron he would take the hint and buzz off. Besides, he couldn’t take his eyes off the beauty with Vi, and Dawson’s gaze followed his.

“Ah, I see. You know she’s off limits.” Dawson leaned in closer, and used his foot to jolt Justin’s boot from the chair next to him.

"Don’t touch me again, Dawson. And drop it. She’s human for God’s sake.”

“A human I bet I’ll take home tonight.” Dawson’s sardonic grin dripped with conceit and punctuated the dramatic wink he granted Justin.

Justin slid his palms together as the skin over his knuckles hardened into stone. He allowed Dawson to gloat long enough to take a sip from his drink, and then laid him out with one colossal blow. He didn’t bend over to say all the things he was thinking; he figured the black eye would say it all. The girl was watching, and Justin nearly felt ashamed, but she was just another human, and he wasn’t going to concern himself with what bothered her, not now anyway.

Want More Monique?

Visit her website here:
Visit her blog here:

Pick up a copy of her book today! Click here.

Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for Monique to be entered to win a copy The Keepers.

**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Number One With A Bullet with Guest Blogger: Leslie Langtry

Welcome author Leslie Langtry
to the Book Boost today!

Here's what she had to say...

"I always wonder what people think of me when they ask me if my first book, 'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy, was the book of my heart. My answer? I think so...

And then they find out that the book of my heart is about a widowed soccer mom/assassin who's starting a girl scout troop for her kindergartner while hunting down bad guys, as assigned by her family off assassins.

Most authors, when they talk about the Book of their Heart - mean that the love story was so moving to them, they fell in love with the characters themselves. My reasons aren't nearly as deep. Neither are my books.

Gin Bombay's book truly was the book of my heart - although it may be for different reasons than most. It was my fourth manuscript - and the first one that came to me in a dream. Instead of the other three books I'd written, this book didn't fit into any categories. When I first started writing, I tried to write what I thought I was supposed to write. But then Gin came along and I just started writing this strange, funny, dark, action romance.

Why is it the book of my heart? Because I wrote the whole thing with giggling glee - laughing at each page and having more fun than I thought any author should. The book came easily - but I have to admit, the following three books were much, much harder. It was the book of my heart because it thrilled me to write every page. I never expected something so weird to sell. But I was so happy to write it and write it exactly how I wanted it.

Maybe that's why it was the first book to sell? I met my publisher at a huge conference and pitched it to her. She was interested and thought it sounded different. In two weeks, she bought it. On the same day, I got a rejection for it from an agent who told me it would never sell (which teaches you that this business is completely insane). I ended up writing three more books for this publisher.

Then, my husband was deployed for 14 months to Iraq and for other reasons, I had to go back to a day job. I took a break from writing to keep up with everything else in my life. Kids DO need food, it turns out. It was a hard time for me, but the fan mail that still came in for the series helped me get through it all. Another reason why the first book was the book of my heart.

I've since moved on and published these back list books myself. I still get a huge kick out of fans who write me saying they laughed throughout these books. It amazes me that I was able to do that. Book of my heart? It could not be any more so.

A Note from the Book Boost: This sounds like something any mother could relate to! LOL Thanks for joining us and sharing your experience with us. Please tell us more about your book.

Excerpt (edited for length):

The phone rang, causing me to jump. That’s right. I was a jumpy assassin.

“Ginny?” My mom’s voice betrayed her urgency.

“Hey, Mom. I got it,” I responded wearily. Carolina Bombay was always convinced I would someday skip the reunion.

“Don’t use that tone with me, Virginia.” Her voice was dead serious. “I just wanted to make sure.”

“Right. Like I’d miss this and run the risk of having my own mother hunt me down.” For some reason, this would be a joke in other families. But in mine, when you strayed, your own family literally hunted you down.

“You know it makes me nervous when you don’t call the day you get the invitation,” Mom said, whispering the words the invitation. It was a sacred thing, and to be honest, we were all more than a little terrified every time we received one. (Did you ever notice that the words sacred and scared differ only by switching two letters?)

“I’m sorry,” I continued lying to my mother. “I just popped the R.S.V.P. into the mailbox on the corner.” And I would too. No point taking any chances with my mail carrier losing it. That would be a stupid way to die.

"Well, I’m calling your brother next. I swear, you kids do this just to torment me!” She hung up before I could say good bye.

So, here I was, thirty-nine years old, single mother of a five-year-old daughter (widowed – by cancer, not by family) and still being treated like a child. Not that my childhood had been normal, by any means. You grew up pretty quick with the ritualistic blood-oath at five and your first professional kill by fifteen.

To be fair, Mom had a right to be nervous. She watched her older sister, also named Virginia, get hunted down by Uncle Lou when she had failed to appear at the 1975 reunion. That really had to suck. I’d been named after her, which kind of jinxed me, I think.

In case you hadn’t noticed, my immediate family members were all named after U.S. states or cities (Lou was short for Louisiana, much to his dismay, and Grandma Mary was short for Maryland). It was a tradition that went back to our first ancestors, who thought it would be a cute idea to name their kids after locations, rather than actual names. My name was Virginia, but as a kid I went by Ginny. Of course, that had changed in college when everyone thought it was a real hoot to shorten my name to Gin. That’s right. Gin Bombay. Yuck it up. I dare you.

Bombay had been the last name of my family since the beginning. Women born into the family weren’t allowed to change their names when they get married. In fact, the husband had to agree to change his name to Bombay. You could guess what happens if they refuse.

Non-blooded Bombays were allowed to miss the reunion, as were children under the age of five. Bombays had to let their spouses in on the “family secret” by the time the first reunion in their marriage rolls around. It wasn’t exactly pillow talk. And of course, you weren’t allowed to leave the family once you know, or well, you knew what happened.

Most of us didn’t even tell our spouses until the first five-year reunion. I guess I’d been lucky, if you could actually call it that. My husband, Eddie, had died of brain cancer four years into our marriage. And even though I’d seen the lab results, I still eyed my cousins suspiciously. And while I’m fairly certain we haven’t figured out a way to cause cancer, with my family, you never know.

Roma, my daughter, had been born one month after Eddie died. I’d given her the traditional place name, but rebelled against the state thing. I called her Romi. I smiled, thinking about picking her up from kindergarten in a few hours. She was my whole life. All arms and legs, skinny as a stick, with straight, brown hair and big blue eyes, Romi had given me back my laughter when Ed passed.

My heart sank with a cartoon boing when it hit my stomach. Romi was five. This would be her first reunion. She would have to be drawn into that nest of vipers that is the Bombay Family. Her training would begin immediately after. And in a couple of weeks, she’d go from playing with Bratz dolls, to “icing” them. Shit.

Want More Leslie?

Visit her website here:

Pick up your copy of her book today! Click here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Meet Paranormal Author Boone Brux and WIN!

Meet Entangled author Boone Brux today at the Boost and win Resurrection Coffee and more!

I recently chatting with my evil twin (ha ha) Boone Brux and here's what she had to say...

TBB: Welcome to the Boost, my lovely. I miss chatting with you every single day but now that you're rich and famous and all that...

BB: Thanks so much for having me on Book Boost, Kerri. It only seems fitting that my first ever author interview should be with you, my first blog partner. *Sniff-sniff* I’m a little sentimental.

TBB: Awe. Well, I knew way back then that you'd be successful. I could feel it. You are super talented and I knew this day was coming. Please tell us your latest news.

BB: My debut novel, Resurrection, comes out August 5th from Entangled Publishing. Yay! So excited. I’m getting ready to head to NYC for the RWA Nationals and will return home to pound out book two of my Bringer and the Bane series.

I signed a three book deal with Entangled Publishing, thank you very much Heather Howland and Liz Pelletier. Now I’m gearing up to start promoting it, which is a new and horrifying experience for me.

You hear all about needing thick skin to be a writer, but they fail to mention that you also need to be a fearless socializer. If the subject is inane, like how Chris Hemsworth, from Thor, is my new imaginary boyfriend, then no problem. But having to sell myself and something personal like a book is tough for me.

TBB: I'm so excited for you! CONGRATS! Wish I could join you in NYC this year--loved spending time with you in Orlando last year. But, alas, I must miss this year's event. Have a little fun for me, won't you? I know you'll do fine with the promotion cause you're just that kind of gal. Tell us, when and why did you begin writing?

BB: Resurrection was the first book I ever wrote—again, and again, and again. I think the story went through four complete story transformations. It started out as a historical. Now it’s a dark paranormal. I don’t recommend doing this. It took me nine years to finish.

I began seriously writing about nine years ago when my twins started moving and talking. I used to be an artist, but they kept touching all my stuff with their freaky gadget hands that extended well beyond their normal reach, so I switched to writing. And they talked—on and on, in stereo, all day long. We also lived in bush Alaska, no roads in or out, so my socializing was limited. To save my sanity, we decided I should locked myself in the bedroom every Sunday and write for four hours.

I still write on Sunday mornings, but now I have a real office.

TBB: LOL. I can so relate on the kid thing. I've had to learn to write to the tune of chatter and Disney playlists. Shiver. Tell us about your current projects.

BB: I’m currently working on Redemption, book two of the series. It’s Luc and Jade’s story. I’m having fun with this one. It’s still dark, but they are definitely funnier than Rhys and Ravyn. Luc and Jade don’t like each other very much. Always interesting for a romance.

I’m also a contributor in a new ezine called Digital Digest, launching in July. We do book reviews, original fiction of all kinds, and a variety of things. We’re still testing the waters with ideas. It’s such a diverse group of writers; I think we’ll have a neat mix.

On my naughty side, I’m a regular contributor to Everything Erotic. I write as Jaxon Vail, with another group of amazing authors.

TBB: I know all about that talent over at Digital Digest and Everything Erotic. Miss you guys. Sniffle. I simply cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of your books. I've read a little taste Resurrection (think I judged it in a contest once). Then you left me hanging. Double sigh.
Just for fun, if you had to pick a celebrity to play you in a movie, who would it be and why?

BB: Goldie Hawn.

I’m like the Mrs. Magoo of life. If I’m eating something there’s a 75% chance I’m going to drop it down the front of my shirt. I will trip over painted lines. Everything’s a joke, which is not always appreciated by my friends. Kate Hudson could play my younger years, though I must admit, I never looked that good.

TBB: Oh, I totally remember a little "wallet" incident last summer in Orlando! Poor Boone. I feel your pain. But as a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

BB: A mermaid. There was never any other career choice for me. Damn these weak lungs.

TBB: I could totally see this. Look out she comes! What is your biggest pet peeve?

BB: Drama and whining. I decided a long time ago to pick mentally healthy friends. I can’t handle energy vampires who drain me of my good mood. I’m too emotionally driven and have a tendency to dive into the pity pool too.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to bitch as much as the next person, but there’s a difference between being pissed about something and living in a world of half empty glasses. I’ve had to break off relationships because of negativity. It was sad at the time, but let’s just say, they will be reoccurring characters in my next series. See, lemonade out of lemons.

TBB: If you had to describe this book using ONLY ONE word, what would it be?

BB: Riveting!!!

TBB: What was your first reaction when you found out that you were going to be published?

BB: “Really? Why?” (Let me again mention my lack of personal promotion skills.)

TBB: What is your favorite breakfast food?

BB: Fettuccini Alfredo and Mountain Dew. Don’t judge.

TBB: I had to read that answer twice. Oy! LOL What author (dead or alive) would you most like to meet & have lunch with?

BB: Hands down, J.K. Rowlings. She was a huge inspiration to me and renewed my love for YA. Plus I’m pretty sure we’d be best friends if she met me.

TBB: I have no doubt. Cause I've had lunch with you and you're just plain awesome. Thanks for joining me today and I'm honored to have conducted your first interview. Hope you'll come back and promote your book here in August and onward. How about a blurb and excerpt before you go?


Protecting humans is the Bringers’ duty. Sending demons to the Shadow World is their pleasure.

In one night, Ravyn’s life plunges from barely tolerable to deadly. Forced to flee the only home she’s ever known, Ravyn stumbles headlong into the clutches of a powerful demon intent on stealing her powers. Unfortunately for him, she has no intention of cooperating.

When Rhys realizes the woman he rescued from the Demon Bane is no mere human, his obligation as a Bringer dictates he protect and train her in the ways of his people. But he’s unprepared for the intense desire he feels for the fiery Ravyn. To surrender to his need may mean her death.

As the Demon Bane threat escalates, igniting terror and chaos across the realm, Rhys and Ravyn must embark on a perilous journey to unite the last of the Bringers–and explore a passion too powerful to ignore.


Blackness bled around the edges of the door, reaching for Ravyn.

The Sisters sealed the chapel after evening prayers, but as she shoved against it, the door yielded to her push. Evil had a way of unlocking what should be locked, or unbinding what should be bound.

She grimaced when the groan of the old hinges announced her entry. The sound echoed through the chapel, leaving her exposed. Her heart raced as it always did when she entered the hallowed chamber. The biting against her arms increased.

Torches burned in their sconces. Odd, considering the Sisters were fanatical about snuffing out the chapel torches before they retired each evening. She started forward and glanced at the altar. The carved and still faces of The Sainted Ones scowled down at her.

“Good evening, gentlemen.”

Unlike the claims of many abbey parishioners, The Saints never spoke to her. Their sightless eyes pierced her insignificant soul, finding her worthiness to live in such a holy place severely lacking. Their condemnatory glares followed her as she drifted deeper into the chapel.

She scanned the shadows and let her senses broaden and seep into the darkest recesses. Madness and the taint of evil seethed at the edges of the light. Her search tracked along the darkness, coming to rest on a crumpled body between the benches.

She gasped. “Angela.”

Sweet and naïve, and ready to believe in the good of others—that was Angela. Ravyn caught up her skirt and ran, the need to protect her friend blotting out the danger.

“Angela.” She dropped to her hands and knees and gathered her friend’s soiled and drenched body in her arms. “Angela!”

Blackness crashed into her, crushing the breath from her. Unable to hold on, she released the body. Her stomach twisted with tight coils of pain. The blackness choked and smothered her as she clawed at the stones of the floor in an attempt to escape.

Air. She needed air.

A brutal hand seized her hair and yanked. She tipped backward, but sharp knees drove deep into her spine. Wetness spattered her face. Please don’t let that be blood. Her hands pawed her cheeks as she frantically brushed the droplets from her face.

Brother Powell towered above her, hair dripping with rain and lips twisted in a contemptuous smile. Before she could scream, he jerked her head at a painful angle and wrapped his hand around her throat.

“Well, well, well. Look who’s come to save the day. I’m afraid you’re too late to be of any help to Angela. And just to let you know,” he whispered in her ear, “she died an incredibly painful death.”

Shadows darkened the edges of her vision as the foul stench of his breath assaulted her. He shouldn’t be this close. He should never be this close.

Want More Boone?

Visit her website here:

Follow her on Twitter here:!/boonebrux

Watch for her debut release coming soon! Click here.

Contest Time:

In honor of her debut release, Boone is giving away two bags of Raven’s Brew coffee. From her home state of Alaska, this company has the grooviest coffee ever made.

Resurrection Coffee – In constant quest for the supreme bean.
Dead Man’s Reach Coffee- Served in bed, Raises the dead.

Plus a beaded leather Resurrection book thong.

Leave a question or comment for Boone to enter!

**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Where Can I Find a Woman Like That? Meet Author Angela Claire

Welcome Siren author Angela Claire to the Boost today!

We chatted with her recently and here's what she had to say...

TBB: Tell us your latest news.

AC: My latest news is that my sequel to Heart of Stone just came out from Siren Bookstrand. It’s called Jesse’s Girl and it follows two of the characters in the earlier book, Regina and Jesse, who were always circling each other and claiming not to notice each other. I’m glad I finally got to write their story.

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

AC: Well, it was funny. I had come up with this minor character in Heart of Stone named Jesse Whelan. He was a lady’s man cowboy who flirts with the heroine and, I thought, was just in the book to cause the hero to get jealous. As I wrote Heart of Stone, though, Jesse developed into more than just a pretty face. I started to get interested in him and his relationship with the town heiress, Regina Winthrop. When I decided to write their story, the name of that old song, Jesse’s Girl, popped into my head. Regina really was Jesse’s girl. I was annoyed when I found out that the song spelled the name differently, though!

TBB: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

AC: I think it’s that I like to write humor into my characters. If I don’t get a couple of chuckles out loud when someone (like my husband or my sister) is reading my books in front of me, I consider myself offended. And I’m the type who, when they do laugh, is obnoxious enough to stop them and ask what part they thought was funny. I had this line in the prologue of Jesse’s Girl that I was extremely proud of when I was writing it. The setting is that Regina is overcome with grief at the death of her father and throws herself at Jesse and he finds himself in the bizarre position of trying to talk her out of going to bed with him because he thinks she’s not in her right mind. I wrote:

She sat on the edge of her bed. She seemed more nervous now. He was glad of it. It would make it easier to talk her out of this wild idea, not that he’d ever imagined he would be trying to talk Regina Winthrop out of going to bed with him. Clearly, this was a world gone mad.

I love that line about a world gone mad! I could just see poor befuddled Jesse acting against all his instincts to be a good guy in that situation.

TBB: What does your family think of your writing?

AC: That’s a hard one. My husband and one of my sisters are both very proud of me and encourage me and read my stuff. My other sisters are a little more hesitant. I think they don’t know what to think. My oldest sister, though, went out and bought a nook so she could read my stories. I was so touched! I told her she better skip over the sex scenes, though, which she apparently did. My other sister sent me flowers on the day my first book, Saving McCade, was published. So all in all, I guess I have to say my family is pretty supportive.

TBB: What was your first reaction when you found out that you were going to be published?

AC: I closed my office door and then, because I’m a lawyer, I read the contract Siren sent, worried I was going to find a clause about me paying them money or some such thing. When I got through the whole contract and it was clear I was going to be published… really published…I jumped up and down and called my husband. I was thrilled!

TBB: What has been your biggest reward as an author thus far in your career?

AC: My biggest reward has been people reading my books and liking them. It sounds ridiculously simple, but I didn’t realize how much of a charge I would get out of seeing what people thought about what I wrote. Really…I hang on every word of every review! God forbid I ever get really famous! I’ll be exhausted.

TBB: Thanks for joining us today, Angela. Do you have a message for your readers?

AC: I hope you’ll give one (or more!) of my books a try and let me know what you think. Thanks!

TBB: Please share a blurb & excerpt with us before you go.


Cowboy Jesse Whelan has dreamt of town princess Regina Winthrop—screwing her brains out anyway—since he first laid eyes on her. But she was too good for him, and too well guarded by that psychopathic father of hers. When Regina throws herself at Jesse on the night of her father's death, he can't bring himself to take advantage of her. Jesse comforts her instead, and then leaves town without a word.

Regina has never forgiven him for it.

A year and a half later, Jesse is back, mysteriously flush with cash and intent on claiming what Regina once offered to him. Regina has taken over her family ranch and learned some hard lessons in Jesse's absence, but she sure as hell doesn't plan on learning what she was begging him to teach her that night.

Will Jesse win Regina's love, or will both their dark family legacies threaten to overwhelm them?

Excerpt (edited for content and length):

“Hey, you’re not thinking straight.”

“I am,” she whispered. “I am thinking straight, and I feel like if I keep thinking right now I’ll go insane and put a shotgun to my own head.”

The admission, coupled with his memory of Old Man Winthrop’s brains spilling out over the rock of that canyon cave and Regina’s face pushed against his shoulder to shield her from the sight, caused a visceral response. He pulled her into his arms, terrified that she could even think of doing something like that to herself even now. “Hush now, honey.”

He held her full against him, her long russet hair soft beneath his fingers as he stroked her scalp soothingly and then her back. She felt so right. He’d always known how right they would be together if they ever got the chance. Now wasn’t the time, though.

Nonetheless, he wouldn’t be leaving her alone tonight, not when she sounded so desperate.

“I’ll stay here with you then. Right outside your bedroom door if you want. When you’ve had some sleep, you’ll feel better.”

She buried her face in his shoulder, and he thought he felt just a touch of moisture on his shirt and with it a touch of his own panic. Jesus, if she started to cry, he didn’t know what he’d do.


“All right then. Let’s go upstairs.”

It was a first step at least to trying to get her to sleep. Regina smiled, took his hand, and led him up the long, ornate staircase to her fancy, white-frilled room at the top.

She sat on the edge of her bed. She seemed more nervous now. He was glad of it. It would make it easier to talk her out of this wild idea, not that he’d ever imagined he would be trying to talk Regina Winthrop out of going to bed with him. Clearly, this was a world gone mad.

Want More Angela?

Visit her website here:

Pick up your copy today. Click here!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Get In the Spirit with Guest Blogger: Paty Jager

Meet author Paty Jager at the Book Boost today!

Here's what she had to say about creating a character's spirit...

Characters are the heart of my books and should be the heart of most books in my opinion. I strive to make my characters different from one another and three dimensional. I not only do that with the main characters, the hero and heroine, but also with the major secondary characters.

In my latest release, Spirit of the Lake, it was pretty easy to make the hero and heroine different. Wewukiye (Way-woo-key-ya) the hero is a Nimiipuu(Nez Perce) spirit. When not in his man form he is a bull elk who lives in Wallowa Lake. He is the antlered creature of the lake that is in the Nez Perce legends. He and his brother and sister were made spirits to watch over the Lake Nimiipuu after their father listened to coyote and followed greed and selfishness. His actions killed many of their band and to keep the children safe the Creator took them and made them spirits. For hundreds of years the siblings have watched over the Lake Nimiipuu band and as the Whiteman is encroaching on the Nimiipuu's land there is conflict.

Dove is a Nimiipuu maiden who was raped by a Whiteman who the leaders believe is their friend. They refuse to listen to Dove's challenges that he violated her and ask her to not cause trouble for the band or the army could make them leave their home. After Dove tries to take her life feeling no one believes her and loathing the child growing inside her, Wewukiye takes her to live with his niece. The crazy old woman from Dove's village is the daughter of Wewukiye's older brother who turned mortal and the mortal daughter of a chief.

Crazy One is a secondary character and is the mentor for the two. She talks in questions, sees invisible objects she brushes off people, and can speak with her uncle in her mind as well as know things. When Dove first lives with the woman she finds her hard to understand and wonders about the woman's intelligence. But she soon learns though the woman talks in questions her wisdom and allegiance is greater than any other.

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for joining us today, Paty. What a rich and unique world of characters you've created here. Please tell us more about your book.


Two generations after his brother became mortal, Wewukiye, the lake spirit, prevents a Nimiipuu maiden from drowning and becomes caught up in her sorrow and her heart. Her tribe ignores Dove's shameful accusations—a White man took her body, leaving her pregnant, and he plans to take their land.Wewukiye vows to care for her until she gives birth, to help her prove the White man is deceitful and restore her place in her tribe.

As they travel on their quest for justice, Dove reveals spiritual abilities yet unknown in her people, ensnaring Wewukiye’s respect and awe. But can love between a mortal and a spirit grow without consequences?


Wewukiye tugged her hand, drawing her closer. His warm breath puffed against her ear.

"You need only think of me and you will have strength."

His soft silky voice floated through her body like a hot drink.

Dove swallowed the lump in her throat and asked, "When will I see you again?" The thought of sleeping on the hard ground next to the fire in Crazy One's dwelling didn't sound near as inviting as using his lap to rest her head.

The days and nights grew colder; to be wrapped in his arms would warm her through and through.

"You will find me at the meadow every day when the sun is directly overhead." He brushed his lips against her ear.

She closed her eyes, relishing the silky feel of his lips and the heat of his touch.

"Think of me," whispered through her head.

Dove opened her eyes. She stood alone. Her palm still warm from their clasped hands, her ear ringing with his whisper.

Want More Paty?

Visit her website here:

Pick up a copy of her book today! Click here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Chat With Author: Chuy Ramirez

Meet author Chuy Ramirez at the Book Boost today!

Here's part of recent interview done with the author...

(Edited for length

Question: Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.

CR: A successful, middle-aged attorney, Mexican American, whose practice is tax work (drudgery) gets a nostalgic urge to revisit an area of Michigan that he visited as an adolescent migrant farm worker. The setting is approximately the year 2000. His initial recollections are of an innocent and jovial time. He recalls the strawberry fields fondly, not for their back-breaking labor conditions.

As he begins his physical journey, his memory becomes more focused. His search for the unresolved source and resolution of a conflict with his father begins to take center stage in his nostalgic remembrance. Then, a violent scene of a young blonde woman keeps recurring in his nighttime and day time dreams.

At some point, the protagonist realizes that a murder must have taken place and that he was at least a witness or perhaps a participant. He wonders whether the memory of that event is at least one of the things drawing him back to Michigan.

When he arrives in Michigan, his nostalgia is converted to a painful reality of what life in the strawberry fields was really like. The daily life of the strawberry picker is illustrated in much original detail through numerous vignettes and stories that can also be read and enjoyed independently of the novel.

Question: Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?

CR: Strawberry Fields is a novel told in stories & vignettes. I am attorney so most of what I write is legal essays and articles. I published a legal article on immigration reform in 1983. I am currently finishing two longer stories and working on a second novel.

Question: When did you start writing toward publication?

CR: With fiction, about 10 years ago. As a college student I wrote for the newspaper. And in law school, more than 30 years ago, I wrote and published a legal article on immigration.

Question: Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?

CR: No. Unlike writers who have sold their manuscripts, my book is closer in concept to the self-published writer. We looked around for small publishers and saw the printing quality, very limited units on first edition, and virtually no distribution. We decided to create a publishing company and use my manuscript as the guinea pig.

Question: Why have you become a published author?

CR: At this point, I have the unfair advantage of owning the publisher. Whether a larger, successful publisher will be interested in my work remains to be seen.

Question: What is your writing routine like?

CR: Prefer small quiet areas such as my law office on weekends, or picking a room at home or during traveling longer distance away from home. My writing is very slow. Many, many drafts and rewrites. My best work comes off of a computer once I have a third or fourth draft. I return to the beginning often and redraft.

Question: What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?

CR:A lot of internet messages, e-mail, blogs, twitter, networking sites, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, newspaper releases, libraries, museums, writer’s groups, book festivals, other Hispanic organizations, book stores, reading clubs.

Question: Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?

CR: A good review by a sincere, published author is for me the most rewarding. They know the difficulty of writing and know when you are at your best.

Question: Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?

CR: Read, read, read. Save your manuscripts regardless of how crappy you feel. There are usually gems you will find later in your work. Often times, a short story published here and there will give you some credibility.

Question: What’s next for you?

CR: Keep reading and reading. Continue to learn to write.

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for joining us today. Your book sounds very interesting and I'm sure our readers will look forward to checking it out.

Want More Chuy?

Chuy Ramirez is an attorney who practices law in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas and is a partner in the firm Ramirez & Guerrero, LLP. He grew up in the Rio Grande Valley and is no stranger to the strawberry fields, to which he traveled over the years with his family and thousands of families from South Texas. Ramirez attended Pan American University at Edinburg, Texas and is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. At the law school, he served as Articles Editor for the International Law Journal and published a note entitled, “Altering the Policy of Neglect of Undocumented Immigration from South of the Border, Vol. 18 in 1983.

Strawberry Fields is his first fictional work. Ramirez lives in Texas with his wife of 39 years Aida, who is a retired public school teacher. He has two children and five grandchildren.

Visit his blog here:

Pick up a copy of his book today! Click here!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Do You Wanna Know A Secret? With Guest Blogger: Starla Kaye

Meet author Starla Kaye today at the Book Boost and read a diary page from Maggie’s Secret Wish:

Dear Mind-numbing Diary,

Have I mentioned in the last, oh day or so, how absolutely boring my life has become? If not, I’m mentioning it now.

Today—like every other day for what seems like forever—I put on my cow-printed lounge pants and KU T-shirt. They’re comfortable. Who needs more than that if you’re only going to hang out in your apartment all day? Well, my best friend (on most days anyway) popped in this morning to harass me, which she excels at.

She had the gall to mention that I might want to consider changing outfits. And then she went on to suggest maybe I should wash my hair sometime soon. (Heavy sigh here.) Why would I bother with any of that? I’m only going to work here on websites I create for website-challenged clients. I’m not going out into the world or anything.

Next Samantha got into some very personal stuff, determined to do an intervention for my own good. She seems to think I need to experience the world beyond the walls of my apartment. She thinks I need fun, maybe a date, for certain I need sex. (Another heavy sigh)

Unfortunately, she’s right. I need—want—all of that. Ever since slimebucket Eric and I parted ways… well, my romantic life has been limited to my Badboy with batteries. At least I don’t have to feed his ego.

Anyway… Samantha’s starting to get pretty darn pushy about getting me out of here. She keeps singing the praises of Madame Evangeline and her matching service. A one-night stand thing. Some friend of a friend of a friend of her belovedly perfect husband had used the service and evidently is living happily-ever-after. Sure I want a HEA, too. But really, do I need to try out this service? Is there something wrong with remaining dateless, loveless, and alone for eternity?

Absolutely! I’ve become a desperate woman.

Dearest Samantha made me promise to send an email to this Madame Evangeline. A message that includes my name (acceptable), my age (possibly acceptable), a brief listing of my relationship history (that won’t take long), and what I want in a potential lover. Hmmm, let me think. He needs to be alive and breathing, hopefully under 60 with most of his hair, good teeth (okay, good dentures are okay), have decent stamina in bed (even if he gets a little help in pill form), and at least a small idea of how to give a woman pleasure.

Note to self: NOTHING LIKE ERIC.

Now, if I could get the fantasy man of my dreams, he’d be suck-the-breath-from-me handsome, have a hot and sexy Scottish burr (that might be negotiable), taller than me, in better physical condition than me (Another Note to self: Get your ass to the gym!), and know some serious tricks in bed. I’m talking about how to drive a woman crazy. After all, this is all about me.

Oh, did I mention that Samantha thought she needed to help me write the message to Madame Evangeline. As if! I write for a living. I know how to make a good impression. Okay, evidently other than with the right men.

That’s it for now. I’m off to dream land. And stupid Eric better not show up in my dreams again! No, please, Whoever Is In Charge of Dream Guys, send me a hunky Scot…in a kilt and nothing else. I’ll take my time unwrapping him.

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for joining us today Starla and for introducing us to Maggie. She sounds like a blast! It was nice to meet both of you. Please tell us more about your book.


Maggie’s boring workaholic life and focus on her obnoxious ex is grinding her down. A friend’s advice sends her to Madame Evangeline’s high-end dating service 1 Night Stand. She hopes to find some fun, a date, and va-va-voom sex…not necessarily in that order. At least she will get out of her apartment for one hot night! Because, yes, she is just that desperate for a change, and there is that secret fantasy she’s been wanting to try out….

As Ian turns forty, his day job as writer of steamy erotica and night job as part-time Dom has him worried he will never have a “normal” relationship. With his particular kinky quirks, what woman would consider him husband material? Madame Eve is pretty good at her own job, are these two a match in a million or just a one night flash in the pan?


She gaped in horror. Five emails from Madame Evangeline. Five! What about her message had captured the matchmaker’s attention enough to have her keep trying to contact Maggie? The spanking stuff! Oh, jeez. That had to be it. Nothing else about her basic info could possibly draw a stranger’s interest.

Fingers shaking, she opened the first message.

I’m so pleased you contacted me, Ms. Malone. I’m sure that I can find someone perfect for you. Please email me back so we can discuss this further.

Palms sweating, she opened the next message.

I’ve done a basic background check on you, Maggie, as I’m sure you’re aware I do for all my clients. Your websites are quite well done, unique. I could see your special imaginative flare. I noticed it in your query message as well. I’m positive I can find the perfect match for you. Please contact me as soon as possible.

Maggie drew in a nervous breath. Madame Evangeline had mentioned imaginative things in her original email, certainly meaning the fantasies. How embarrassing. Yet she opened the third message.

I know exactly what you need, my dear Maggie. You need time away from your work, time to satisfy your secret desires, time to let a very special man attend to your every wish. I eagerly await your response.

Satisfy her secret desires? Let a special man attend to her every wish? Oh, yes! Need thrummed through her, making her squirm in her desk chair.

Heart racing, she opened the fourth message.

What you need, dearest Maggie, is a special night at one of the Castillo Resorts and Hotels. I’m thinking the one in Maui would please you most. The more I study the websites you design, the more sure I am of your sensuality, of the type of man who could please you. I look forward to you contacting me soon.

How could the other woman know about her preference for Maui? How could this unknown woman sense so much about her? See how much of herself she put into each of the website designs? It was eerie…exciting, too.

She gathered her courage and opened the final email, one sent only an hour ago.

Want More Starla?

Visit her website here:

Pick up a copy of her book today! Click here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Keep Your Heart on the Goal with Guest Blogger: Erin Quinn

Win your choice of an autographed copy of either Haunting Beauty or Haunting Warrior and chat with author Erin Quinn.

Here's what she had to say...

Know the Goal

In a market as competitive and fast paced as ours, it’s very easy to lose sight of the goal. In fact, it’s easy to forget there ever was a goal beyond writing THE END.

The churn of deadlines, lists, sales numbers, marketing, social media and endless email is enough to make any writer struggle—and sometimes it’s enough to keep the writer so buried in the busy work she forgets to . . . write. Or, just as bad, she forgets why she writes.

I started my first book twenty some years ago because I wanted to tell a story. It was a simple as that. It never occurred to me in those early years that I wouldn’t be able to sell my book once I finished it. It never occurred to me that it wouldn’t be a bestseller once it was sold. I just knew that I had a tale to tell and tell it I would.

I had been reading the novels of two major bestselling authors at the time (Stephen King and Janet Dailey) and after each Stephen King book, I’d think: I would have loved that if it had a little smut in it. And after each Janet Dailey: I would have loved that if it had a few thrills. Back then, you either wrote one of the other. No cross pollinating was allowed.

But hearing “no” never stopped me from doing anything, so when I started my story, I was determined to put both elements in it. That was my goal. Write a story that I wanted to read. I look back at that, 7 published novels later and realize that it’s still my goal. However, there have been times in my career that I became so overwhelmed by all the busyness of the writing business, that I lost sight of it.

I learned the hard way how detrimental fear of failure can be and what a bitch the voice of doubt is—especially when she sits on your shoulder and whispers in your ear. Couple that with all the other pressures of being a published writer and it’s easy to drive yourself insane.

I wish I could back to the innocence and ignorance of that first novel and approach every new book I write with the same unflagging faith in myself that I had then. The advice I give all new authors I meet is to put blinders on while you’re creating that masterpiece. Treat your muse with respect and tenderness. Don’t worry about the market, the editors and agents, the business.

Just write the book.

Write it for yourself because in the end, it’s your name on the cover. And remember . . . keep your eye on the goal and know what that goal is.

A Note from the Book Boost: Erin, your advice couldn't have come at a better time for me. On the precipice of a new book deal and yet it is just out of reach as I suddenly doubt my skills. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone. I'm sure your words will touch others as well. Thanks for joining us today and sharing your thoughts with us. Please tell us more about your latest book.


A woman lost in a nightmare

Shealy O’Leary thought the ancient Book of Fennore a myth until she and her father are sucked into the past—and into the cursed no-man’s land called Fennore. There Shealy learns that she has a rare power that their enemy seeks. Aided by the dangerous and compelling warrior, Tiarnan, Shealy must find her father and learn how to wield her gift to save those she loves or die in this waking nightmare...

A man desperate to regain his honor

After failing both his land and people, Tiarnan was damned to spend eternity in the black heart of Fennore. His only hope comes in the shape of a beautiful, frightened woman from the future. For she possesses a gift she is unaware of. A gift with the power to save ...or destroy them all.

A desire that drives their destiny

Together, Shealy and Tiarnan begin their perilous quest—a mission that draws them closer and closer together. And as the odds against them mount, so does their passion. The intensity of their bond electrifies the couple, their love powering Shealy’s gift and Tiarnan’s strength. But their newfound connection threatens to ruin them both—and bring to life a long ago prophecy of devastation and betrayal...


The heat of Tiarnan’s body blazed down Shealy’s back, silken and hot through the thin fabric of her dress. He was aroused. She felt the weight and pressure of his erection against her, knew instinctively that he held onto his self-control by a very thin thread.

They’d both almost died last night . . . or today . . . or last year, if Tiarnan could be believed—and she thought he could. On a very visceral level, she sensed that Tiarnan was a man of truth and honor. If he said the sky was yellow, then yellow it would be. But right now, he wasn’t saying anything. His breathing was strained, coming in short, hot bursts against her ear. The muscles in his arms bunched tight, but his hands were gentle where they held her, almost apologetic as they stroked.

Shealy didn’t let herself dwell on anything that tried to crowd into her overloaded brain. At that moment, she needed to feel. She needed to know that however terrifying this place was, she, at least, was real.

Before she could change her mind, she turned in his arms, feeling him resist for just an instant as he tried to hold her still. Then she pressed against him, her dress twisted at her hips, her face level with his. For a long moment they stared at one another, searching the shadows that concealed their expressions, each seeking mercy, absolution perhaps.

He spoke with a deep murmur. “I don’t think—”

“Don’t think,” she said against his mouth.

She caught a glimpse of pain in his golden brown eyes and for a panicked moment she thought he might reject her and pressed closer, letting him feel her body.

“Don’t think, Tiarnan.”

She ran her hands up his bare chest, reveling in the feel of him. He was hard, slabbed muscle beneath hot, silken skin. Every inch of him, strong and hewn. Her fingers slid up the column of his throat then back to tangle in his dark brown hair, twisting in it to bring his lips closer to hers. He made a sound in his throat that lit a fire deep inside her and then he pulled her tight against him with a groan, and that, too, fanned the inferno, as if her having him against his will made the forbidden moment that much sweeter.

His reluctance didn’t extend to his body though, and he rolled, pulling her beneath the satisfying weight of him, crushing her in a way that screamed sex through every nerve ending. One massive thigh slid between her legs and she arched up, rubbing against it, thrilling in the friction. He brushed his lips against hers, the kiss soft, and she opened to him, letting him know he was welcome wherever he might want to venture.

Want More Erin?

Erin Quinn (also known as Erin Grady) is an award winning author. Writing as Quinn, her titles include the Berkley Mists of Ireland series. Book four, Haunting Embrace, will be out in October 2011. Her books have been called “riveting,” “brilliantly plotted” and “beautifully written” and have won, placed or showed in the WILLA Award for Historical fiction, Reader Crown, Orange Rose, Golden Quill, Best Books, Booksellers Best, and Award of Excellence

She lives in Arizona with her husband, two daughters and three dogs (all of whom have made debuts in her stories—the dogs, that is, not the husband and kids.)

Visit her website here:

Pick up your copy of her books today! Click here.

Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for Erin and be entered to win your choice of an autographed copy of either Haunting Beauty or Haunting Warrior.

**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Love Thine Self Publishing with Guest Blogger: Debra Holland

Win a copy of Wild Montana Sky and meet author Debra Holland today at the Book Boost!

Here's what she had to say...

Three years ago, my boyfriend, Don, told me he intended to self-publish the book he was writing because he wanted compete control over it.

Also, he’d watched me go through the rejection process (and heard stories about what happened before we were dating) and he didn’t want to join me in that experience.

I told Don I didn’t think self-publishing was a good idea, explaining that writers, agents, and editors assumed indie fiction books weren’t any good. Self-publishing has worked for a few nonfiction authors, such as James Redfield who wrote The Celestine Prophesy, selling 20,000 books on his own before New York scooped him up and made him a best seller. However, for a work of fiction, self-publishing was a death knell. Now three years later, I’m six weeks into my own self-publishing experience. How the publishing world (and my opinion) has changed!

So what happened?

In 2001, my first book, Wild Montana Sky, a “sweet” historical Western won the RWA Golden Heart award. From that win, I signed with my first agent. Everyone I knew thought that selling WMS was only a short step away. But that didn’t happen. The historical market at the time had tanked, especially for Westerns. When it did come back, “sweet” books weren’t popular, unless they were inspirationals. I had a second agent try to sell the series to New York publishers, as well as the first book in my second series--a fantasy romance. That book, Sower of Dreams, was a Golden Heart finalist.

I didn’t want to go with a small press, mostly because I didn’t like most of the covers. By the time (most) small press covers improved, I’d set aside my fiction and was concentrating on nonfiction. Recently while in the middle of a five month deadline writing The Essential Guide to Grief and Grieving for Alpha Books (publishers of the Complete Idiots Guides) I started hearing about self-publishing.

It started with my friends from The Wet Noodle Posse, a group of the Golden Heart 2003 finalists. The first to self-publish was Delle Jacobs, and she started having amazing success. Theresa Regan, Norah Wilson, and Colleen Gleason followed, also with great results. (Check out their books, they’re great!)

I couldn’t wait to jump into the self-publishing waters. But I was too consumed by the grief book. As soon as I turned it in, I did a read-through of both Wild Montana Sky, and the next in the series, Starry Montana Sky. Delle Jacobs designed beautiful covers to my specifications.

I paid the vast sum of $20 a book to have the books converted to ebook formatting. (You can do it yourself if you’re not tech challenged like me. There’s a guide on the Smashwords site.)

I put the books on Kindle on April 28, Nook and Smashwords on April 29. By June 8th, I’d sold my 1000th book! Less than 6 weeks!

The sales of my books and the feedback I’ve received (some of which brought tears of joy to my eyes) have vindicated my decision to become an independent publisher. It has also proved what I’ve felt all along--that there IS a market for traditional romances. I’ve always thought that there were a lot of readers like me who will read (almost) any type of romance as long as the stories are good.

I’ve also thought that there were readers who (uncomfortable with more sexual books) were searching for traditional stories that weren’t inspirationals. I’d even had a few women tell me that they’d stopped reading romance because of the sexual content. Whenever I spoke to an agent or editor about the topic of “sweet” books, it came back to the same point--how to find readers who like traditional stories--especially if they’ve stopped reading most romance. Well, that’s no longer a problem. Those readers are finding me. :)

I’ve turned into a fanatical convert for self-publishing because I know SO many people who’ve written good books, but couldn’t sell them. Maybe they’re unpublished. Or maybe they’re multi-published, and they have an unusual book that was rejected by everyone. As I read the books written by my self-published friends. I’m amazed--not at how wonderful the books are--but that THEY DIDN’T SELL! Wow! New York’s loss!

I’m now in the process of preparing my fantasy romance series for self-publishing. I’m aiming toward mid June. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with a whole different subgenre of romance.

If you’re thinking of self-publishing, the first thing you need to do is make sure your manuscript is professionally edited. (Luckily mine were done many years ago, so I only had to do another read-through.) It’s good if you’ve received positive feedback from editors--for example, they like the book, but just bought something similar, or it doesn’t fit their line. If you’re only receiving form letters, your book probably still needs work.

A book that you love but couldn’t sell shouldn’t languish on your computer. Toss it into the epublishing waters and let it swim away. Then sit back and enjoy the ride.

A Note from the Book Boost: I enjoyed your post, Debra and thanks for sharing your journey to self publication with us. I've heard so many similar stories recently and am even considering some projects being self pubbed myself. I wish you much success and good for you for loving thine self! Please tell us more about your books.


Wild Montana Sky
With the tragic death of her fiancé, Elizabeth Hamilton believed she’d never love again. The comfortable life she’s settled into with her brother in Boston, is upset when he abruptly marries. Displaced by her spiteful new sister-in-law, and hoping to find a home for herself, Elizabeth allows handsome cowboy Nick Sanders to escort her from Boston to her friend’s Montana ranch.

In Montana, Elizabeth meets attractive Caleb Livingston, a wealthy banker who strongly resembles her beloved fiancé, and believes she has a second chance at love. Yet, she has to fight a growing attraction to Nick. In braving the dangers and hardships of the West, Elizabeth discovers unexpected strengths within herself--strengths tested when an influenza epidemic ravages the town. As a child’s life hangs in the balance, Elizabeth must choose between the man who has everything, and the one with nothing but his heart to offer.

Starry Montana Sky

When widowed Samantha Sawyers Rodriguez inherits her Uncle Ezra’s Montana ranch, she believes she finally has a chance to put down roots, fulfilling her dream of running an orphanage for wayward children and raising miniature horses. Prosperous rancher, Wyatt Thompson, has coveted Ezra’s river property to expand his spread and fulfill his goal to overcome his poverty-stricken turbulent past. Samantha’s arrival throws his careful plans into chaos, and her boys awaken memories he’s struggled to forget. When an arsonist sets fires in town, and the people turn against Samantha and her boys, Wyatt risks exposing his shameful secret in order to save the woman he loves.

Excerpt from Wild Montana Sky:

Boston, 1893

Laurence married!

Elizabeth Hamilton leaned against the blue and gold papered wall of the entry hall and stared in shock at the telegram from her brother. Her vision blurred into dark whirls. She tried to breathe deeply lest she faint into a heap on the tiled floor, but with her lungs constricted by more than the tight lacings of her corset; she could only gasp for air.

Katie, the parlor maid, rushed forward, putting a steadying hand under Elizabeth’s elbow.

“Are you all right, Miss Hamilton?”

Elizabeth glanced at the anxious face of the maid and tried to pull herself together enough to dredge normal words from the maelstrom of her feelings. “I’m fine. Just a little faint.” She strove for a semblance of calm. “I need to sit down.”

Leaning on Katie, Elizabeth crossed the hall into the parlor. She sank into her favorite blue velvet wing chair, slumped against the cushions and closed her eyes.

“Should I bring your smelling salts, Miss Hamilton?”

Opening her eyes, Elizabeth shook her head. “I don’t have smelling salts. I’ve never needed them.”

“I could borrow Cook’s?”

“No, thank you.” Elizabeth tried to smile. “I’ll be fine.”

Katie’s indecision flickered in her brown eyes. She twisted her hands in her white ruffled apron. “I know it’s not my place to ask, Miss Hamilton, but is it bad news about Mr. Hamilton? Should I send for anyone?”

“Actually, it’s good news. I was just taken by surprise.” Elizabeth was too shaken to care if she broke protocol by not first sharing the news with the housekeeper. “My brother has married.”
Katie drew in a hissing breath through her teeth. “Mr. Hamilton married?” The puzzled look on the maid’s face reflected Elizabeth’s own confused feelings. She looked again at the telegram in her hand.


“We’ll have a new mistress.” The girl covered her mouth, then dropped her hand. “Everything’s going to change,” she whispered.

Yes, everything.

Elizabeth tried to give her a reassuring smile. “We have a well-run household, Katie. I’m sure the new Mrs. Hamilton will make very few changes.” She waved her hand at the door. “I’m feeling better, thank you. You may go.”

The lump of pain lodged in Elizabeth’s throat belied her casual words to the maid. She’d no idea her brother had been courting anyone. Now suddenly he was married! And without inviting his own sister to the wedding. Hurt and betrayal burned through her chest. She stood up, balled her hands into fists, crushing the telegram, then threw it into the fireplace.

Unable to sit still, Elizabeth paced the room, trailing her fingers across the blue and silver striped wallpaper. When she had redecorated the parlor, she’d resisted the current fashion for darker shades of red. Instead, she’d spent many hours searching for soothing blues, which were a more personal statement of her tastes.

She had deluded herself into thinking this day would never come--that her brother would never marry, and she’d always serve as the mistress of his house and hostess for his business affairs. Yet at times she’d sensed the emptiness in his heart, hidden beneath a stiff exterior and busy business and social life, and wished he could find a congenial life companion.

She glanced up at the portrait of Laurence and herself painted twelve years ago, at the start of her first season. Callers always admired the picture of the tall, blond-haired, blue-eyed siblings. A much younger Elizabeth, dressed in the white silk and lace gown she’d worn to her debutante ball, sat in front of her brother. Laurence, in formal evening clothes, stood behind Elizabeth with his hand protectively on her shoulder.

Hope threaded through her hurt. Perhaps in Laurence’s bride she’d find a true sister--filling the empty place in her heart caused by her best friend’s marriage and move to Montana. Even though they’d been separated for ten years, she missed Pamela so much. How wonderful to have a close confidant once again--someone to help banish the loneliness trailing after her like a phantom.

A vision of her personal ghost slipped into Elizabeth’s mind. Tall and handsome, with laughing brown eyes and a playful grin--Richard, her beloved fiancé.... The fingers of her right hand crept up to her chest--a familiar gesture--to clasp the gold locket containing his picture. If Richard had lived, he’d be teasing her now with outrageous descriptions of Laurence’s wife. In her laughter, she’d forget her pain. Of course, if he’d lived, this wouldn’t be an issue.

Somehow, after his death, eleven years had slipped by. Although she’d had offers, no one had measured up to Richard, and she’d refused to marry any man she didn’t love. Besides, her brother had always said he needed her.

Tears welled in her eyes. “I hope, Laurence--” she told the portrait “--you’ve found the kind of love Richard and I had.”

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Monday, June 13, 2011

R.I.P. to Romance with Guest Blogger Jaime Samms

Welcome author Jaime Samms to the Book Boost today!

Here's what she had to say...

Some people say romance is dead. It might be. I wouldn't know. I've been married going on fifteen years. If there was ever romance in the world, I've forgotten what it looks like. Not that my husband isn't attentive and kind, just that he doesn't go in for the big, romantic gestures.

Like, for instance, one partner I had way back in the age of dinosaurs used to do some really outrageous stuff. If I was late getting picked up, it was likely because my date had stopped somewhere to buy wine or chocolates, or, once, to shop for a CD of a play we had just gone to see, and they wanted to relive the romantic night as we drove to...wherever it was we were going that night. An event that we missed, as I recall, because of the time it took to find this obscure CD.

Sweet, but really? Didn't we have plans?

Or another time, after I'd complained about the expense of all the purchased gifts, I remember sitting on the porch waiting and here comes my date, having stopped on the roadway to pick a bouquet of fresh flowers for me. Bugs and dirt, it turns out, are also free.

Not that I don't appreciate the grand gestures every once in a while, but it is also nice to know my husband realizes my idiosyncrasies don't really allow for me to deal with sudden changes of plans very gracefully. So his version of romance for me is to plan a weekend where I know what's going to happen, even if it's a trip to the mall with the kids, I feel the love when we leave on time and actually make all the planned purchses. No stress, no muss, no fuss, just straightforward awareness of what I need. That's romance.

And that's what my character, Steven in As Advertised is so very good at: seeing what Tyler needs in his life and providing it. The love is in the small things, baby. Like a pair of sunglasses for a migraine.

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Jaime. I think we can all relate. Glad you found a hubby that understands the appeal of subtle seductions. Please tell us more about your latest book.


Tyler's life perked up when he met Jake. So what if long-time friend Marty can't stand him and his landlady has no use for his new beau. Tyler's determined not to see the dark side of his lover. It's his own fault for believing people don't go around keeping secrets and lying.

Tyler should know better. He's an ad executive. He knows the packaging is what sells, and Jake is quite a package. His lover is no slouch when it comes to false advertising, either, and when Tyler finds out the truth, It hurts. Weathering Jake's lies and secrets gets easier with the help of new friends, Libby and Steven. In fact, Tyler figures that maybe a lot of things would get easier with Steven.

Tyler should have known better. Not even someone as seemingly perfect as Steven Jessop is completely as advertised. This time, though, Tyler has to make a decision. After all, sometimes, even if what you see is not what you get, what Tyler's uncovered in Steven might just be what he's always wanted.


Steven reached over and put a hand over his. “What is it?”

“It’s nothing.” Tyler would have rubbed at his temple, but for Steven’s hand lightly pinning his to the table, and the fact that so much movement seemed suddenly beyond him.

“Not nothing. Talk to me.”

Tyler sighed. “Headache. I should have skipped the coffee.”



“Can you wait here? I’ll pay the bill and bring the car over. It’s just down the street. I’ll be less than ten minutes.”

“You don’t have to.”

Steven beamed at him, a vibrant expression Tyler would have enjoyed more if his head hurt less.“Remember?” Steven prompted. “I like this role.” He stood. “Just sit tight. I’ll have someone bring you water, and I’ll be right back.” He leaned down and placed a light-as-air kiss on Tyler’s forehead. “Don’t worry. I’ll take good care of you.”

Remaining as still as possible, Tyler let Steven talk to the waiter, pay the bill, and hurry out the door. He’d focused on the dark tablecloth when a glass of water entered his field of vision, placed gently at his elbow. He reached for it, but the hand that placed it there didn’t let go. It took a minute to recognize the thick, square hand, and he dragged his gaze up.


“You look like shit.”

“Fuck off.” He wanted to put his head down in his arms on the table, but he wouldn’t show that kind of weakness now.

“I just came in for lunch and saw Jessop going out. He left you here?” Jake crouched beside him. “Ty? Come on.” He took Tyler’s elbow in a proprietary grip and stood. “I’ll take you home.”

“No. I’m fine. Steven’s just getting the car.” Tyler pulled his arm free.

“Let me help you.” Jake took his arm and put a hand on the back of his chair, ready to pull it out.

“No!” Tyler stood, the motion seeming to force his stomach into his throat and most of his blood down to his feet. He swayed. Jake’s arm went around his waist. “I don’t need your help.” He tried to shove Jake away, staggering a little as he stepped back. His heel hit the leg of his chair, and he might have fallen, but someone gripped his shoulders.

“Is everything all right?” Steven’s warm voice throbbed in his ear. Steady hands grounded him enough for the spinning to ease.

“Everything is fine.” Jake enunciated the words through clenched teeth.

“Thank you for your concern, Jake.” Tyler turned his head, but couldn’t lift it for fear the sun would carve into his brain through his eyes. “Steven?” He’d meant that to sound stronger than it did. “Ready?”

“Well”—Jake cast Steven a surly glare—”as long as your escort is here....” His voice sliced a nasty gash through the atmosphere around the table. He pushed Tyler’s chair in and stood back to let them pass.

Tyler caught the exchange of furious glares between the two men. “Once again I get to be the damsel,” he muttered.

Steven slipped an arm around his waist and guided him to the door. “I’m so sorry. I had no idea he was here.” Steven’s apology was edged with anger.

“Don’t worry about it.” Tyler sighed, unable to figure out where Steven’s anger was coming from.

“He’s got some nerve.”

Tyler made a face. Steven’s words glittered with resentment he hoped was directed at Jake. He just didn’t understand why. “He does.” Gently, he freed himself from Steven’s grip. “You don’t have to coddle me.”


Tyler managed a smile. “Don’t be. I appreciate it. I just—”

“Don’t want Jake to see it.”

Tyler glanced at him, and Steven smiled.“At least put these on before you go outside.” He handed Tyler a pair of large, dark sunglasses.

“Stylish.” Tyler eyed the ugly wrap-arounds dubiously.


Tyler donned the glasses, grateful for Steven’s thoughtfulness, and shuffled through the door he held open. In the back of his aching head nestled the thought that this might be the best date he’d ever had. It was one thing to be swept off his feet with a kiss, danced and dined and doted on. It was something else to be cared for, to have someone think of a little detail like sunglasses for a migraine.

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