Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Have a Not-So-Blue Christmas with Guest Blogger: Blair McDowell

Win a copy of Memory of Roses and
meet author Blair McDowell
today at the Boost!

She's here to chat about the approaching holiday season...

There is no lonelier time of the year than Christmas for someone away from home and alone. It seems that the rest of the world is composed of couples or family groups. Restaurants are filled with party revelers, shoppers in happy clutches hurry from store to store chatting and laughing, their arms filled with bags and boxes. Recorded carols spill out onto the sidewalk adding to the joyous cacophony.

You weave your way through all this. Isolated. Unseen. You think this is what it must be like to be invisible. This is what it is to be alone and far from home at Christmas.

The reasons for your aloneness could be one of many. You may have chosen to take a job in a distant city. Perhaps there has been a recent divorce, or even a death in your family that has left you alone. You survive. That’s all anyone can do. The rest of the year, being alone is bearable.

At times even pleasant. But at Christmas time survival somehow is much harder. At Christmas, aloneness is almost intolerable. No one to laugh with. No one to trim a tree or share an eggnog with. One feels a bit like the proverbial boy with his face pressed against the window of the candy shop.

What to do? Go back to the lonely apartment and eat a dinner of scrambled eggs? Stop in a restaurant and sit at a table for one, watching other tables of twos, fours and sixes eating and laughing together?

I remember one Christmas like that in my life. In my case it wasn’t because friends didn’t invite me to join them. It was because in the depth of despair over my husband’s death I didn’t want to be around happy people celebrating new beginnings. I didn’t want anything to intrude on my misery.

Looking back, I realize that wasn’t a very healthy or productive way to handle things.

Last Christmas, when I had long ago shaken off the shackles of grief and rejoined the human race, I started thinking about how a young woman might cope with being alone on Christmas Eve in a city far from friends and family. What would she do instead of isolating herself from the human race as I had? I started writing. The result was the short story, Abigail’s Christmas.

Abigail was much smarter than I was. She knew that it was important in life to keep going. And to accept the unexpected as a gift.

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for joining us today. Glad to hear that you are back in the holiday spirit. Please tell us more about your book.


When her father dies, Brit McQuaid inherits a villa on the beautiful island of Corfu, a villa she knew nothing about. He also left a cryptic note asking that she deliver a package to a woman on Corfu with whom he was once in love, while married to Brit’s mother.

This launches a journey for Brit, taking her from San Francisco to Greece and Italy. Along the way she meets a sizzling Greek archaeologist who not only helps her unravel a powerful secret from the past, but shows her the path to her own future. After this adventure, Brit’s life will be changed forever.


From the distance there was an ominous rumbling. Andreas went to the door. Great thunder clouds were blotting out the horizon, moving rapidly toward them. The sky was almost black. A streak of lightening illuminated the sky, followed closely by a loud clap of thunder. Then the rain came in great sheets.

He turned back to Brit to discover that she had turned quite white.

“I’ve never liked thunder storms,” she confessed. “When I was little, my father told me that Zeus was angry, and was throwing thunderbolts. He always assured me they were not being thrown at me, but, to this day,” she gave a small mirthless laugh, “to this day, I always want to run and hide when I hear thunder close by.”

Andreas pulled her close. “I’ve done nothing that could anger Zeus. Just stay here safe in my arms until the storm passes.” He kissed the top of her head. “Brit, I love you so. Why do you keep resisting me?”

Brit nestled her head against Andreas’ chest. “After what happened last night between us, how can you possibly say I resist you. You are without a doubt the most irresistible man I’ve ever known.”

He shook his head in frustration. “That’s not what I mean, and you know it. I’m not looking for a short affair, however sexually satisfying. I want marriage. I want a home, a wife, children.”

Brit pushed him away with a short, sarcastic laugh. “That’s the woman’s line, Andreas. That’s what the woman always says, isn’t it? I want a home, a husband, children. But I’m not saying that to you. You have never heard me say those words to you.”

Her voice took on a harsh, angry edge. “You’re too young to even know what you want. You think you’re in love with me? What will you think when I’m forty and you’re only thirty-four? When I’m sixty and you’re still a man in his prime?”

Andreas looked at her, shock written on his face.

With a sob, Brit turned and ran outside into the storm. Swearing, Andreas ran after her. By the time he reached her they were both soaking wet. He scooped her up effortlessly into his arms and walked swiftly with her the rest of the way back to the villa. There he stripped off her wet clothes, dried her body and her hair roughly with towels as her teeth chattered, and dumped her unceremoniously onto their bed, covering her shivering body with a thick down duvet. Then he stripped off his own wet clothing and joined her. Wordlessly he made love to her, bringing her body quickly to the heat only passion can create.

When they lay, exhausted and still, he murmured, “I will want you when I am eighty-five and you are ninety-one. I will go to my grave wanting you.”

Want More Blair?

Visit her website here:

Follow her blog here:

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

Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for Blair and be entered to win a PDF copy of The Memory of Roses.

**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, November 29, 2011

Working for a Living with Guest Blogger: Natalie Damschroder

Welcome paranormal author Natalie Damschroder to the Boost!

She's here to discuss the work that her characters do and here's what she had to say...

So, What Do You Do?

One of the hardest things to decide for my characters is what they do for a living. Except when it's the easiest.

Sometimes, a character's occupation is central to the idea. In my November release, Under the Moon, my goddess was clearly going to work as a goddess. But she also needed a regular day job. I knew she got her power from the full moon and the title had popped into my head with the whole story idea, and "Under the Moon" seemed like a great name for a bar. So her other job is running a bar. Of course, doing all that meant she needed an assistant, so that became Sam's job. And Nick was always going to be her protector. At least, that's the way I remember it.

For my October release, Behind the Scenes, the hero's job was easiest because I really wanted to write about an actor, and set part of the book on a movie set. The book was originally targeting Silhouette Bombshell, their romantic adventure line, so the heroine had to be kick-ass. But I already had a spy heroine in another book, so I made her a security expert, focusing on protection for humanitarian groups overseas.

When a character's job doesn't fit directly into the adventure plot, it can be trickier to decide what they do. It kind of turns into a cheesy pick-up interview. "So, what do you do? Besides haunt my dreams." In Fight or Flight, the heroine had to have a job that would keep her off the radar. Something she could maybe be paid under the table for, to minimize her public record. Since she also wanted to keep in shape and hone her self-defense skills, she ended up working at a gym.

The heroine in my second Goddesses Rising book, Heavy Metal, didn't know she was a goddess, and she needed a regular job that a regular person would have. I'm not sure why, but I picked marketing. It seems like a lot of people go into marketing when they don't know what they want to do with their lives. (No offense to the people who choose it because they love it and are good at it—I'm not one of them, so you have my utmost respect!)

I'd have to say most of the occupations that aren't directly related to the plot grow out of the characters as I write them. In a book releasing next spring (title to be determined), the heroine is a botanist who analyzes plant properties for their potential as medical treatments. Her mother died of simple illness, and that's her motivation. Her occupation feeds directly into the main story conflict, but I'm honestly not sure which came first, and when!

I'm always looking for interesting occupations for my characters. If you work a unique job, or if there are occupations you'd love to read about, please post them in the comments!

A Note from the Book Boost: I love coming up with careers for my characters, although, I admit to having a particular fondness for law enforcement careers. Thanks for joining us today. Please tell us more about your latest book.


Their power gives them strength…and makes them targets.

Quinn Caldwell is the epitome of a modern goddess. Her power source is the moon, her abilities restricted only by physical resources and lunar phase. She runs a consulting business and her father’s bar, serves on the board of the ancient Society for Goddess Education and Defense, and yearns for Nick Jarrett, professional goddess protector and the soul mate she can never have.

But someone has developed the rare and difficult ability to drain a goddess of her powers, and Quinn is a target. With the world thinking Nick has gone rogue (whatever that means) and that Quinn is influenced by “family ties” she didn’t know she had, keeping themselves safe while working to find the enemy proves harder each day.

But not as hard as denying their hearts…

Want More Natalie?

Visit her website here:

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Stylish Pants or Strictly Plots with Guest Blogger: Nina Croft

Win a copy of Deadly Pursuit and welcome
back author Nina Croft to the Boost!

She's here to chat about her view of the old "Plotter verses Pantser" debate and here's what she had to say...

I’m going to start this post with a quote from Stephen King’s excellent book, On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft, which is one of my favorite writing books. So here goes:

“Plot is, I think, the good writer’s last resort and the dullard’s first choice. The story that results is apt to feel artificial and labored.”

Now after that damning condemnation of plotting, I going to have to admit something—I’m a plotter. There I’ve said it. I’m a plotter, and I’m proud.

Well, maybe not proud. The truth is, I always wanted to be a pantser—one of those people who just sit down, start writing, and fabulous stories tumble from their minds onto the keyboard, fully formed. But I’m not.

I’ve been writing for a few years now, and I’ve tried a lot of different methods. I probably started out doing a hybrid of the two, a bit of plotting, then a bit of pantsing. I’d usually begin with some characters and a starting incident, and I’d know where I wanted to end up (I write romance so the happy ever after is a given). In between, I’d move toward the conclusion, sometimes with purpose, sometimes weaving around as though I’d drunk way too much red wine (which might actually have been the case), but I’d get there in the end.

Then I read Stephen King, and I thought—I don’t want to be a dullard. Let’s go for this. I had a couple of characters, and I knew they had to fall in love, but other than that, I had no clue. I started writing, and soon found myself stuck in the middle, unable to see how to get to the end without totally rewriting what I had done so far. Which I did. Numerous times.

So for my next story, I decided to embrace my dullardness. And I plotted. Not just the beginning and the end, but the middle as well. I did character interviews, and a scene by scene breakdown of the whole book. And I enjoyed it. Not only that, but I enjoyed writing the first draft as well—it just whizzed out of my fingertips. I found I could concentrate on the characters reactions and emotions during the scenes rather than on what they were actually doing and why.

I now like to think I do my pantsing during the plotting process. That’s the time when let my imagination run free and spend just about every waking moment asking—what if? I go riding, and I’ll be asking Gencianna (my horse), what if people could live forever? Or I’ll be walking the dogs and asking, I know we’re plotting a sci-fi, but what if the pilot of the space ship is actually a vampire? Or…

I believe everybody has to find the way that works best for them. Only by trying different methods are you going to do that. Don’t ever believe just because someone tells you “that’s the way things should be done” that you have to follow them blindly (even if that person is Stephen King).

My next project is plotting books 4, 5 and 6 of my Blood Hunter series. I’ve never tried to plot more than one book at a time, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

So what do you think—plotting or pantsing? Is there a definitive way, or does every writer have to come up with their own unique method of getting their stories from their minds to the keyboard. Let me know what you think for the chance to win an e-copy of Deadly Pursuit (a book I admit, unashamedly, was plotted!)

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for coming back again, Nina. We always enjoy hearing from you here at the Boost. I'm a pantser but secretly I sometimes wish I could be more of a plotter. I find it very boring to plot but I wonder if I'd have to do less editing if I worked that way instead? Very interesting food for thought. Please tell us more about your book.


Breaking assassin Jonathon Decker out of a maximum security prison on Trakis One seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, pursued across space by the two most powerful factions in the universe, the crew of El Cazador are having second thoughts. They’d like to give him back. Unfortunately, that no longer seems an option.

Jon is used to working alone. Now, he’s stuck on the space cruiser El Cazador until he can work out just what he’s supposed to know that puts him on everybody’s most-wanted-dead list. He’s not happy that the crew includes a runaway priestess with designs on his virtue—such as it is. Jon likes women, but he gave up the role of protector a long time ago, and Alexia, High Priestess of the Church of Everlasting Life, is an accident waiting to happen.

After twenty-four excruciatingly boring years of doing her duty, Alex is finally having some fun. She never meant to run away—it was a rash impulse—and she means to go back—eventually. But first, she’s going to squeeze enough excitement out of the situation to last her a lifetime. And what could be more exciting than a stunningly gorgeous werewolf?

Meanwhile, the Church are chasing their missing priestess, and the Collective are pursuing their escaped assassin. Being hunted has never been more deadly…or more fun.

Want More Nina?

Learn more about her and check out her latest release!
Click here.

Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for Nina and be entered to win an e-copy of Deadly Pursuit.

**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, November 16, 2011

National Relax & Read Day with Guest Blogger: Jordan K. Rose

Meet debut paranormal author
Jordan K. Rose today at the Book Boost!

She's getting into the holiday spirit already and here's what she had to say...

Jingle Bells (Romance All the Way)

"Dashing through the store, reading on my mind, to the romance isle, giggling all the way. Books on shelves await, making my mind spin. What fun it is to read or write a romance book tonight.


Jingle bells, jingle bells, romance all the way. Nora Roberts, Brenda Novak, Christine Feehan,


Jingle bells, jingle bells, romance all the way! Kristan Higgans, Mia Marlowe, Ashlyn Chase.


Well, it’s getting to that time again. The most wonderful time of the year. No, not back to school. The after-Christmas-relax-and-read-a-book-season, of course.

Christmas is a beautiful and romantic holiday with lights, decorations, music, and shoppers scurrying to get those last minute gifts. I love it all. But more than that, more than savoring the smell of ginger and nutmeg wafting from cookies cooling on baking racks, more than watching light reflect off the antique Christmas ornaments dangling from evergreen boughs while pretty packages with hand-crafted bows rest beneath my tree I love the Day After Christmas.

The Day After Christmas has become a traditional relax and read day for me. In fact, I think it should be called National Relax and Read Day. The moment my eyes open on Day After Christmas morning I’m focused on one single thing. “Where’s my book?” I head toward the love seat, ready to curl up with my new book, sometimes on my Kindle, sometimes in print and I stay there all day, reading by Christmas tree light.

One year I read Charlaine Harris’ entire Sookie Stackhouse series the week between Christmas and New Years. It was wonderful. That same year I read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series in November followed by Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles in December.

Then I decided to write my own book. I sat down at my keyboard in January and finished the first draft of Perpetual Light in May. Two years, many revisions, workshops, and rejections later I sold Perpetual Light to Crescent Moon Press. And I’m anxiously awaiting my release day in Winter 2012.

I’m currently writing on my first Eva Prim novel. She’s a snarky little vampire whose entire focus is having friends. Well, that and keeping them alive and willing to be her friend. It’s a struggle, but she working on it.

Even though I’m hard at work with a goal of wrapping this first draft up in January, I will still celebrate National Relax and Read Day. This year I’ve acquired quite a TBR pile from the numerous conferences I attended. I have some Annette Blair books, some Jacquelyn Frank, a few Victoria Dahl, an Eloisa James, one from Sharon Sala and my list goes on.

Decisions, decisions. Who will I read first? I haven’t decided and probably won’t until Day-After-Christmas morning. I’ll go to bed Christmas night with visions of romance novels dancing in my head. I may even have a hard to falling asleep!

Once I finish enjoying my latest treasure I’ll get back to Eva and then I’ll begin the second book in the Perpetual Light series. But on December 26th I’ll be reading. All day. By Christmas tree light. In my new pajamas. I can’t wait!

What about you? What book will you be reading for National Relax and Read Day?

"A day or two ago I thought I’d stop to read. One good romance book was all I’d really need. A hero – tall and dark. A heroine to be his lot. They’ll fight then fall in love and it will be so hot.

Jingle bells, jingle bells, romance all the way. Nora Roberts, Brenda Novak, Christine Feehan,


Jingle bells, jingle bells, romance all the way! Kristan Higgans, Mia Marlowe, Ashlyn Chase.


A Note from the Book Boost: I love your rendition of Jingle Bells as it is right up my alley! I miss the days of being able to read all day but I have too many kids now requiring too much "put this together for me, Momma" chanting going on the day after Christmas. I wish you much fun and happy reading, though. Also, congrats on your big debut! Tell us more about it.


Fate is cruel. Especially when the one you've sworn to love for all eternity, the very soul who changed your destiny, is the last person you should trust.

After more than three hundred years of running, Lucia Dicomano must make a choice.

Forced to take her place as a Pharo of Redemption, the divine slayer needs to master her forgotten powers. Lucia turns to Vittorio, the one vampire she's failed to deliver from eternal damnation. But overcoming smoldering remnants of love, lust and anger aren't their only obstacles.

Samuel, who may know Lucia better than she knows herself, hunts her with a fervor stoked by a thousand years of vengeful hatred. His plan-capture and enslave the weakened Pharo then take control of her elusive power.

Can Lucia trust Vittorio long enough to reclaim her powers? Or will she have no choice but to kill him and battle Samuel alone?

Want More Jordan?

Visit her website here:

Follow her on Twitter here:!/jordankrose

Stay tuned for her debut release. Click here for details.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Get Your Buzz On with Guest Blogger: Liz Crowe

Meet author Liz Crowe today at the Book Boost!

Here's what she had to say...

I have a pretty interesting day job.

I own a craft microbrewery, and handle all sales and marketing for it plus supervise the Tap Room a 100-person beer bar open 7 nights a week. We’ve been open as a commercial microbrewery for a year now and things are going better than we ever thought they would.

When I write, I like for my heroes and heroines to have interesting (read: unique) day jobs too.

I know and I totally get the fascination/fixation with:

Military dudes
Random CEOs/stock brokers
Rock stars
Race Car drivers
Pro sports players
Weres of all make and form

It’s obvious why. There is nothing that screams “Alpha Male” louder than a successful guy who’s Out There making huge amounts of dough, in the public eye, or a “hero” type, saving lives and breaking hearts. And nothing is more “alpha male” jonesin’ than a romance reader (I know I am). I want my men large and in charge, even a little bossy if need be, flawed, perhaps hiding a long-buried hurt that won’t let him open up…at first. Only to be saved by the redeeming power of love.

For my recent very romantic ménage story from Rebel Ink I went in a slightly different direction for my men—career-wise. My two heroes work in the service industry, like me. Ryan Sullivan is a very driven and successful hotel and resort consultant. He’s lived all around the world, travels constantly and is a genius when it comes to successful exclusive resort openings.

He is married to Grace Irwin. She is a writer. A struggling one. Who finally hits it big.

Ryan is a difficult man, although he loves his wife to distraction and would do anything to make her happy. Her suspicions about his manipulation of her career, and his sudden distance that is more than simply physical are making her crazy however.

Then she meets Henri Christophe. He is a celebrity chef who opened his first American-based restaurant at one of Ryan’s most successful Las Vegas resorts.

These folks are not perfect. But they are perfect for each other.

I loved doing my research on large resorts and the ways they market and position themselves against others. And I’m a huge fan of cooking shows. Although I personally despise cooking and avoid it all costs. Somehow watching others (especially men) do it is sort of pornographic for me. Turns me on, I guess. So I wrote myself a guy who soothes ruffled feathers with a quick turn of the skillet, the grill or the mixing bowl. Henri is the calmest of these three, providing a perfect foil for their sometimes volatile relationship.

And of course we can ALL related to a struggling writer, can we not?

I hope you enjoy reading Vegas Miracle as much as I enjoyed creating it. I think Ryan, Grace and Henri’s story is amazingly romantic and realistic.

A Note from the Book Boost: Your job sounds mega cool and I'll bet you're a hit with the fellas! Thanks for joining us today, please share more about your book.


Ryan and Grace Sullivan have all the outward indications of a happy life: money, success, an undeniable physical attraction that quickly evolved from whirlwind relationship to marriage. But lately, Ryan's become moody and distant. As their relationship starts to crumble, Ryan discovers something about himself he can't admit just as Grace realizes the young man she encounters at an invitation only party, Henri Christophe, a celebrity chef with the most successful restaurant in Las Vegas, is her husband's lover. But Henri holds a secret himself. He wants to be more to both of them.

Trying to make their unconventional arrangement work, Ryan's deep-seated fear of relationship failure continues to thwart everyone's happiness. When he finally walks away instead of confronting the emotional connection the trio share, he returns to find their lives flipped inside out. A sought after hotel and resort consultant, Ryan has yet to meet a problem he couldn't solve. But when it comes to his own heart, Ryan may be too late.


Ryan has just walked away from a potential confrontation that will force him to bring everything out in the open with Grace. He had taken her to a “lifestyle” party, ostensibly to help her “research” her new book but also for her to meet Henri. Henri meets her all right, in the bedroom.

Slumped down in the lounge chair, he brooded about his predicament, holding his phone in one hand and toying with the idea of just calling his wife and bringing her to the condo – mere blocks from the one he shared with her—and laying it all out on the table. She wasn’t stupid. The intense moment back at the party was pretty telling, Ryan realized. It wouldn’t take her long to put the pieces together and God only knows what Henri told her after Ryan stomped out instead of facing them together.

Visions of Grace, her sleeping face, her body hunched over a keyboard as she entered her writing zone, biting her lip while she picked out the right bottle of wine for dinner, all flitted through his head. He knew damn good and well he was cheating her. Not just cheating ON her, but cheating her out of his whole self. He was only truly realizing it after several recent arguments over his "emotional constipation" and "aloof, bullshit attitude" about things that mattered to her, like kids. That and Henri’s constant harping about how he should open up to her more.

What he couldn’t tell her or Henri was that he was terrified. Down deep he was petrified at the thought of failing at marriage. But also of her finding out about Henri, and about his own need for the man. She was going to be crushed but he had hoped to ease her into it. To convince her he could love them equally somehow.

"Right," he scoffed to himself. He couldn’t even effectively convince her he felt anything beyond the drive to succeed. She reminded him of this repeatedly. And she was right, on one level. He was driven and successful and enjoyed the trappings and rewards and tried to share them with her. He stood up and leaned on the balcony railing, taking deep breaths of cool night air, trying like hell to calm his wildly spinning brain.

Ryan closed his eyes at the sound of the key in the lock. He didn’t move as Henri entered, made a tsk-tsk sound over the mess in the foyer, grabbed a glass and the bourbon decanter and joined him on the balcony. The sound of liquid splashing into the glass and the hiss of the fabric as Henri eased back into his chair brought no response from Ryan. He remained standing, staring at the night sky, unable to form words as his lover of nearly two years sat and watched him in silence.

"Just what, exactly were you hoping to accomplish by fucking my wife?" He finally asked, keeping his eyes trained on the horizon.

Want More Liz?

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Shop Smarter Not Harder with Guest Blogger: Jus Accardo

Meet our November featured author...
Jus Accardo, today at the Book Boost!

Here's what she had to say...

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Holiday Shopping

Turkey day is approaching. Yay! I’m a sucker for stuffing and gravy, and don’t get me started on the pie…(Mmmm now I want pie!) It’s a time for families to gather and reflect on all the good in their lives. To be thankful for all the things they have. But it also means something else.

Something darker.

It means the start of the Christmas shopping season.

If this doesn’t make you run screaming like a Six being chased by Denazen, then I don’t know what will. When else can you walk into a store and see adults fighting over toys? A trip to the mall can result in bodily injury—or at least a headache the size of China. Here’s my take on the
good, the bad, and the ugly of the holiday shopping.

The Good:

The atmosphere. There’s really nothing like walking through the mall in December. Bright, twinkling Christmas decorations, cheerful holiday music… It can really put you in the spirit of the season (or the spirit to murder someone depending on the crowd).

The Bad:

The lines. I’m an impatient person on a normal day. Stick me in a thirty person line behind a woman who soaked her clothing in cheap perfume before leaving the house and I’m an unhappy puppy. I can buy that blender from the comfort (and pleasant smell) of my own home.

The Ugly:

The bathrooms. I’m the only one willing to say it? Fine. You’re out there shopping and you stop for a drink. Several, in fact. A cup of hot chocolate here, a soda there. Inevitably, you have to use the restrooms. This is a nightmare in a league all its own. There’s a line out the door to get in and it’s full of complaining Moms and screaming children. When you finally do make it inside, what you find is enough to scare the likes of Stephan King and Clive Barker. Plus, there’s never any TP.

I’m mainly an internet shopper. Several years ago there was an incident with a mall Santa that left me disturbed for life. Let’s just say there was Santa, a really creepy looking elf, and a messy cheeseburger…

What about you? Mall or Internet shopper?

A Note from the Book Boost: Too funny. I'm totally an online shopper. Can't take the crowds and frustrations. Thanks for joining us today. Please share more about your book.


When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.

Except there's something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she'll turn to dust if he touches her. It's not until Dez's father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there's more to this boy - and her father's "law firm" - than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation - an organization devoted to collecting "special" kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons - his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. Dez and Kale team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they're caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect.

Want More Jus?

Visit her website here:

Follow her blog here:

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

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sign of the Times with Guest Blogger: John Banks

Meet author John Banks
today at the Book Boost!

Here's what he had to say about his book signing experience...

It was the best of book signings, it was the worst of book signings. The “best” part of this scenario was the fact that the book store was packed, holding more customers within its walls this evening than perhaps it had ever before. The “worst” part was that I knew the store’s standing-room-onlyness had absolutely nothing to do with either the presence of me or my novel. The fact was, the store was in the last throes of its gigantic going-out-of-business sale. Everything must go! Up to 80% off!

While I welcomed all the extra foot-traffic flowing past my little set-up off to the side of the check-out queue, its most conspicuous result was my having to spend most of my narrow window of opportunity for sales explaining to everyone that, no, my book was not 80% off – it wasn’t even 1% off, at least not yet. Trying to sell at full retail in the midst of a liquidation blowout was perhaps not the best marketing strategy I could have come up with. It was actually quite uncomfortable. Despite all the people in the store and the long lines at the checkout, the mood of the place was really rather gloomy, especially among the employees, many of whom had no doubt worked there for many years. It’s never a happy time when a bookstore closes its doors. While I smiled from behind my table, acting all authorial and happy to be here, I felt like someone who had decided to open up a hotdog stand right outside of a funeral parlor, bellowing, “Get yer footlongs! Get yer footlongs here!” as a parade of weeping widows shuffled past.

It’s never a good idea for me to have too much time to think. My thoughts usually become quite rude. Tonight, as I sat behind a stack of my books, with -- more often than not – nothing much to do, I started thinking about the ironic fact that the night that this once-thriving bastion of middle-brow culture was shutting its doors was the night of its greatest sales success. “So where have all you people been for the past ten years?” I snarled, sarcastically but silently. “Too cheap to buy retail? Too lazy to get off your butts and come downtown? Order everything from Amazon and let every local merchant go to hell! Like a bunch of vultures – waiting for the victim to die a slow, painful death and then swooping down to pick at its bones.” And, continuing, “Why don’t you do this with all your other precious commodities? Refuse to drive your cars – walk, bike, ride the bus, whatever it takes – until all the gas stations start to go belly-up and start selling their petrol for 25 cents a gallon just to get rid of it. Then you can all fill ‘er up and drive to California and back like a flock of damn bats out of hell!” Like I said, it’s not good when I have too much time to think.

Anyway, back to the book signing. Let’s just say that my sales were not brisk. I knew that I had shot myself in the foot, merchandizing-wise, when I made the artistic decision to name my novel Glorify Each Day – a title that was sure to make people who would love my book hate it and make people who thought they would like it hate it. Writers don’t make the best publicists. When I wasn’t busy explaining to people that I wasn’t having a personal going-out-of business sale, but rather, a trying-to drum-up-business sale, I was busy trying to explain the novel’s title. Again, with too much time to think, I gave serious thought to the idea of reprinting the book jacket as Glorify Each Day (Not a Religious Book) as its new title. Not as catchy, perhaps, but certainly time-saving in situations such as these.

One strategy that I did hit upon that I thought might work was to lie through my teeth to every pretty young female who happened to stop by. It’s important for readers to identify with a book’s characters, and while I made no effort whatsoever to help the young male readers identify with the novel’s main male character, Tommy, I tried like hell to convince the young ladies that the character of Cait was "Just Like You!" Admittedly, it’s possible that I could have had an ulterior motive or two for speaking in such a way to only the college-age girls in the store, but I will stick by my assertion that my primary motive was financial. “You know, the way I describe Cait in the book, I think she looks a lot like you,” I said to four brunettes, five blondes, two redheads, and one chick who was either recovering from chemotherapy or was playing the lead in an all-girl production of The King And I. At any rate, my smooth-operator approach wasn’t as effective as I had hoped.

The other highlight of the evening was the scruffy kid who grabbed a copy of my book and, rather than thumbing through it while standing in front of me, whisked it away and stopped several yards distant, but still within my line of sight, and began slowly skimming its pages. This kid, I immediately decided, was up to no good. He was a teenager, maybe a local college kid. I kept my eyes on him the best I could. I expected him, at any moment, to stuff my 6x9 perfect-bound paperback right down his pants and head for the exit. (My wife, upon reading a couple of sections of Glorify Each Day, once commented, “You really have a thing for people sticking things down their pants, don’t you?”) Anyway, I wasn’t about to let this joker out of my sight.

As my book signing wound down, with only a couple of sales to two elderly ladies whom I suspect are in for big surprises, I started to pack my unsold books away, all the while keeping one eye on the kid who, by now, had had time to read half the damn book, or, as I imagined, to somehow portably scan a PDF-version into his cell phone for pirating on the internet.

Soon, as I tried to decide how to confront this young goon, he sheepishly came back to my table and handed me his copy. “Great book, man,” he said. “Sorry I can’t buy it – I’m a little short right now. My mom works here. I’m just hanging out till closing time. She’s worked here a long time, man. This whole thing sucks.”

“Do want to do me a favor, young man?” I asked him. “If you’ll grab that other box and carry it out to my car for me, I’ll give you a free copy – on the house. I’ll even sign it for you – so, you really liked it, huh?”

(Not really. I just make this stuff up.)

A Note from the Book Boost: I have so "been there done that". Well, not at a book store closing but at a book signing where I had to work really hard to sell a precious few copies. But I'd really like to know what those little old ladies thought about your book after they had a chance to read it! LOL Thanks for stopping by!


Teach first became Teach during his first year at Toxononomonee Middle School. He was the new sixth-grade Language Arts/Social Studies teacher. During his first two months in class, he had tried to follow the advice given to him by every veteran teacher he had talked to: Be mean as hell. Brook no resistance. Give no quarter. The other teachers he observed never smiled, were always gruff to the point of nastiness and tolerated nothing that could be construed as a challenge to their authority. If he had to treat children like hardened criminals to be a good teacher, then he would at least try. But it was an extremely difficult performance to pull off, all day, every day. It was never his natural inclination to treat these kids as anything other than his friends.

This implacable façade crumbled one October morning. After he dismissed his homeroom and his first period class silently filed in under his stern supervision and took their seats, it had become his custom to address the class with a not unfriendly yet unenthusiastic, “Good morning.” The class then dutifully echoed back his greeting in unison. This morning, a young man named Arthur decided to upset the status quo. After a sufficient interval of silence, but before Teach began speaking, Arthur said loudly from the back row, “Mornin’, Teach!” Some in class laughed, but cautiously. The others glared at Arthur, stunned and no doubt fearful his reckless gambit would result in punishment for all (this being the standard form of classroom management recommended to Teach – atonement in reverse: it is all who must suffer to expiate the sins of one). Teach, indeed, did seem to be on the verge of a Talmudic meting of justice; but as he glowered at Arthur he slowly softened his gaze and said, after much tense silence, “I like that.”

Two months of military order-barking, stern task-mastering, insincere sullenness and false, soul-straining misanthropy evaporated with those three words. The class was awestruck, as if they had just witnessed some sort of miracle or religious conversion. Teach smiled in front of his class, probably for the first time. “I tell you what, Arthur. If you can go the rest of the month without my having to call you down for disrupting class; if you turn in all your homework assignments; and if you pass all of your tests – not just in here, but in all of your classes – if you can do all of that, Arthur, for the rest of this month – then you can call me Teach. No more Mr. Morrison. Do you think you can do that?” The class was incredulous. They started murmuring and turning around in their seats, smiling across the classroom to their friends. “And that goes for the rest of you, too. Everybody who does everything that’s expected of you – everything I just explained to Arthur – will have my permission to call me Teach.”

“For how long?” One forward-thinking student asked.

“For as long as you continue to meet expectations. If not, then I will revoke the privilege and you’ll be the only person who has to call me Mr. Morrison. . . . Is that a deal?”

The class erupted into a brief celebration.

Not unexpectedly, Arthur and several others were soon unable to hold up their end of the bargain, but most of Teach’s students were good kids and he didn’t have the heart, or the resolve, to revoke anyone’s “Teach” privileges (even Arthur’s, who was undoubtedly proud to have pulled one over on his teacher).

His name change earned him immediate comradery with his classes. During the first day of the new Teach era, his students ran excitedly to their friends in the lunchroom or at the bus lineup and said, “We get to call our teacher Teach!”

The other teachers and the administration, however, saw this development in a different light.

His more traditional colleagues – that is, everyone else – were aghast Teach would not only condone such behavior, but accept – nay, endorse, embrace – it. Well, Teach was nothing if not an iconoclast. After about a month of Teach’s perversion of the conventional teacher-student relationship, his principal said, “I’m sorry, Mr. Morrison, but the policy of the school is that all staff members must be called by the proper salutation – either Mr. or Ms. – followed by your last name. First names, or nicknames, especially, are not appropriate. Especially derogatory nicknames.”

“I don’t think it’s derogatory at all,” Teach responded. “It’s a wonderful action verb, a call to duty, the imperative of our chosen profession – Teach.”

“Well, at any rate, Mr. Morrison, you will not be allowed to be addressed in that manner. Is that understood?”

Today, Teach would have been more inclined to stand on principle and to defy authority, but as someone coming off two years of self-imposed exile, without teaching experience, needing a job to pay off student loans, lonely, a little unsure of himself, he was willing to stand down. Most people became more accommodating and less idealistic with age; however, Teach’s life was playing out in the opposite direction.

Putting this particular genie back into its bottle resulted in the worst month Teach ever had as a teacher – even worse than the month in which he was fired. Sixth-graders, like adults, do not like to return gifts. Teach explained to them patiently, in detail, why they now had to call him Mr. Morrison again. Not having any children himself, and not having taught before, he saw no reason why they wouldn’t calmly accept his explanations and return to the pre-Teach status quo. When many continued to call him Teach, he was flummoxed. He didn’t want to punish them for not complying with a policy change he didn’t agree with any more than they, but after a few days of gently reminding them of the name re-change he was left with no choice. He wrote up and sent to detention several students who stubbornly continued to call him by a name he had recently encouraged them to use.

He found himself retreating into the pre-Teach bunker mentality he abhorred, of treating children like inmates and displaying an attitude of distrust and menace. It was his first lesson in the perverseness of both sixth-graders and public school administrators.

So he reverted to the role of Mr. Morrison while at the middle school – but as soon as he accepted the job as a GED instructor and realized to his enormous pleasure how much freedom he would have to teach in the manner he wanted, it signaled the triumphant return of Teach. His more elderly students balked at the idea of being so informal with a man of such high authority, but he insisted anyone else he came into contact with call him Teach. His mom and Robbie were willing to make an effort at the name change (though their success rate was about fifty-fifty – twenty-five years of Tommy was hard to overcome). Only his dad, out of whatever unknown motivation he had, refused to call him by his chosen name.

Want More John?

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Be A-Mused with Guest Blogger: Melissa Bourbon

Meet author Melissa Bourbon today at the Book Boost!

Here's what she had to say about muses...

It wasn’t until recently when I was writing the first book in A Magical Dressmaking mystery series that I began to think of my muse, or muses as the case may be, as something really tangible that I could summon at will, or that would betray me by being absent when I needed her/them most.

In fact, I can’t say that I thought about my muses --because as I’m writing this, I’ve had an epiphany and do believe that I have more than one-- much at all.

But they’ve shown their true colors. I’d begun to think of them as fickle girls, but I’ve changed my tune. I’ll never look at them in quite the same way or take for granted the beauty of having them on the job, fully engaged in my creative process, or the power of their insight.

I have new respect for my muses and what they offer through song, practice, and memory.

It often takes a big shake up and the absence of something to really appreciate what you have. That’s how it happened for me. You know what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder and all that? It worked. They left, I was melancholy, and they returned with a new light for me to follow.

How very poetic, I know.

I’m not a metaphysical girl. My feet are firmly planted on the ground. Let me be clear, I don’t, like, sit around thinking about cliches and how they apply to my life. But cliches are cliches because there is truth in them and sometimes that truth is more palatable when taken in a pithy dose. The absence of my muses is what helped me recognize them in the first place. It also helped me appreciate the creative energy they bring into the my writing equation.

They deserted me several times while I was writing Pleating for Mercy, but it was through that desertion that I came to appreciate what they are to me and what they do. I can pinpoint exactly when they left, almost down to the very minute. My creativity had dried up. I had writer’s block. I was panicking, thinking I’d never finish this book, and if I did, it would suck.

But I can also look back and see when them returning--after I’d taken much needed time away from my project, had recharged, and had allowed my mind to open up, let fresh idea in, and see things in a new way.

What I realized was that those clever girls didn’t abandon me, I’d temporarily shut them out. I was on overload and completely unable to feel their creative energy flow into me. And so they stepped aside and led me away from my writing and back into reality where I could and did regain perspective on my characters and plot by doing the opposite of what I always think I should do.

I always think I should keep going, push through the writing pain, persevere and give myself permission to write crap and revise later (which I do whether I give myself permission or not). I never think that stopping and taking precious time away from my writing is the answer.

But it is! I’ve completely changed my thought process on this idea and it’s been so freeing. If only I’d listened to the girls in my head sooner I might have staved off some gray hairs and wrinkles and the divot in my forehead from banging it against the wall.

Better late than never, right?

So my muses, yet to be named (though Lola and Harlow come to mind), are alive and well, ever-present, and an important part of my creativity. Thank God I realized it!

How about you? Have you ever felt that your muse(s) has abandoned you? Did you have an epiphany like I did?

A Note from the Book Boost: This sounds very familiar, Melissa. I've been exactly in that same lost place before. Glad you found your way back and this book sounds excellent. Love the title! Please share more with us.


Rumors about the Cassidy women and their magic swirled through Bliss, Texas like a gathering tornado. For 150 years, the family had managed to dodge most of the rumors, brushing off the idea that magic infused their handwork, and chalking up any unusual goings-on to coincidence.

But we all knew that the magic started the very day Butch Cassidy, my great-great-great grandfather, had turned his back to an ancient Argentinean fountain, dropped a gold coin into it, and made a wish. The Cassidy family legend says he asked for his firstborn child, and all who came after, to live a charmed life, the threads of good fortune, talent, and history flowing like magic from their fingertips.

That magic spilled from the Cassidy women’s hands into handmade tapestries and homespun wool, crewel embroidery and perfectly pieced and stitched quilts. And into my dressmaking. It connected us to our history, and to one another.

Butch hadn’t wanted his family to be outcasts as he and Cressida had been, and so his Argentinean wish also gifted his descendants with their own special charms. Whatever Meemaw, my great-grandmother, wanted, she got. My Grandmother, Nana, was a goat-whisperer. Mama’s green thumb could make anything grow.

None of understood how these charms were supposed to endear us to our neighbors. No matter how hard we tried to keep our magic on the down-low--so we wouldn’t wind up in our own contemporary Texas version of the Salem Witch Trials--people saw. And they talked.

The townsfolk came to Mama when their crops wouldn’t grow. They came to Nana when their goats wouldn’t mind. And they came to Meemaw when they wanted something so badly, they couldn’t see straight. I was seventeen when I finally realized that what Butch had really given the women in my family was a thread that connected them with others.

But Butch’s wish had apparently exhausted itself before I was born. I had no special charm, and I’d always felt as if a part of me was missing because of it.

Being back home in Bliss made the feeling stronger.

Meemaw had been gone five months now, but the old red farmhouse just off the square at 2112 Mockingbird Lane looked the same as it had when I was a girl. The steep pitch of the roof, the shuttered windows, the old pecan tree shading the left side of the house--it all sent me reeling back to my childhood and all the time I’d spent here with her.

I’d been back for five weeks and had worked nonstop, converting the downstairs of the house into my own designer dressmaking shop, calling it Buttons & Bows in honor of my great-great grandmother, Loretta Mae, but Bliss was not the same without her. Maybe that’s the part of me that was really missing.

What had been Loretta Mae’s dining room was now my cutting and work space. My five year old state of the art digital Pfaff sewing machine and Meemaw’s old Singer sat side by side on their respective sewing tables. An 8 foot long white-topped cutting table was in the center of the room, unused as of yet. Meemaw had one old dress form which I’d dragged down from the attic. I’d splurged and bought two more, anticipating a brisk dressmaking business which had yet to materialize.

I’d taken to talking to her during the dull spots in my days. “Meemaw,” I said now, sitting in my workroom, hemming a pair of pants, “it’s lonesome without you. I sure wish you were here.”

A breeze suddenly blew in through the screen, fluttering the butter yellow sheers that hung on either side of the window as if Meemaw could hear me from the spirit world. It was no secret that she’d wanted me back in Bliss. Was it so farfetched to think she’d be hanging around now that she’d finally gotten what she’d wanted?

I adjusted my square-framed glasses before pulling a needle through the pant leg. Gripping the thick synthetic fabric sent a shiver through me akin to fingernails scraping down a chalkboard. Bliss was not a mecca of fashion; so far I’d been asked to hem polyester pants, shorten the sleeves of polyester jackets, and repair countless other polyester garments. No one had hired me to design matching mother and daughter couture frocks, create a slinky dress for a night out on the town in Dallas, or anything else remotely challenging or interesting.

I kept the faith, though. Meemaw wouldn’t have brought me back home just to watch me fail.

As I finished the last stitch and tied off the thread, a flash of something outside caught my eye. I looked past the french doors that separated my work space from what had been Meemaw’s gathering room and was now the boutique portion of Buttons & Bows. The window gave a clear view of the front yard, the wisteria climbing up the sturdy trellis archway, and the street beyond. Just as I was about to dismiss it as my imagination, the bells I’d attached to a ribbon and hung from the knob danced in a jingling frenzy and the front door flung open. I jumped, startled, dropping the slacks, but clutching the needle.

A woman sidled into the boutique. Her dark hair was pulled up in the back into a messy, but trendy, bun and I noticed that her eyes were red and tired looking despite the heavy makeup she wore. She had on jean shorts, a snap front top that she’d gathered and tied in a knot below her breastbone, and wedge-heeled shoes. With her thumbs crooked in her back pockets and the way she jiggled one foot back and forth, she reminded me of Daisy Duke--with a muffin top.

Except for the Gucci bag slung over her shoulder. That purse was the real deal and had cost more than two thousand dollars, or I wasn’t Harlow Jane Cassidy.

A deep frown tugged at the corners of her shimmering pink lips as she scanned the room. “Huh, this isn’t at all what I pictured.”

Not knowing what she’d pictured, I said, “Can I help you?”

“Just browsing,” she said with a dismissive wave. She sauntered over to the opposite side of the room where a matching olive green and gold paisley damask sofa and love seat snuggled in one corner. They’d been the nicest pieces of furniture Loretta Mae had owned and some of the few I’d kept. I’d added a plush red velvet settee and a coffee table to the grouping. It was the consultation area of the boutique--though I’d yet to use it.

The woman bypassed the sitting area and went straight for the one-of-a-kind Harlow Cassidy creations that hung on a portable garment rack. She gave a low whistle as she ran her hand from one side to the other, fanning the sleeves of the pieces. “Did you make all of these?”

“I sure did,” I said, preening just a tad. Buttons & Bows was a custom boutique, but I had a handful of items leftover from my time in L.A. and New York to display and I’d scrambled to create samples to showcase.

She turned, peering over her shoulder and giving me a once over. “You don’t look like a fashion designer.”

I pushed my glasses onto the top of my head so I could peer at her, which served to hold my curls away from my face. Well, she didn’t look like she could afford a real Gucci, I thought, but I didn’t say it. Meemaw had always taught me not to judge a book by its cover. If this woman dragged around an expensive designer purse in little ol’ Bliss, she very well might need a fancy gown for something, and be able to pay for it.

I balled my fists, jerking when I accidentally pricked my palm with the needle I still held. My smile tightened--from her attitude as well as from the lingering sting on my hand--as I caught a quick glimpse of myself in the freestanding oval mirror next to the garment rack. I looked comfortable and stylish, not an easy accomplishment. Designer jeans. White blouse and color-blocked black and white jacket--made by me. Two inch heeled sandals which probably cost more than this woman’s entire wardrobe. Not that I’d had to pay for them, mind you. Even a bottom-of-the-ladder fashion designer with Maximilian got to shop at the company’s end-of-season sales, which meant fabulous clothes and accessories at a steal, a perk I was going to sorely miss.

I kept my voice pleasant despite the bristling I felt creep up inside me. “Sorry to disappoint. What does a fashion designer look like?”

She shrugged, a new strand of hair falling from the clip at the back of her head and framing her face. “Guess I thought you’d look all done up, ya know? Or be a gay man,” she tittered.

Huh. She had a point about the gay man thing. “Are you looking for anything in particular? Buttons & Bows is a custom boutique. I design garments specifically for the customer. Other than those items,” I said, gesturing to the dresses she was flipping through, “it’s not an off-the-rack shop.”

Before she could respond, the bells on the front door jingled again and the door banged open, hitting the wall. I made a mental note to get a spring or doorstop. There were a million things to fix around the old farmhouse. The list was already as long as my arm.

A woman stood in the doorway, the bright light from outside sneaking in around her, creating her silhouette. “Harlow Cassidy,” she cried out. “I didn’t believe it could really be true, but it is! Oh, thank God! I need your help!”

Want More Melissa?

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Is Eight Really Enough? With Guest Blogger: Erin Jamison

Meet erotica author Erin Jamison today at the Book Boost!

Here's what she had to say...

What If?

Have you asked yourself this question in the past? Of course you have, we all have. It is human nature to ponder the ramifications of that one question.

Do you ever think about a conversation that you had and wished you could have it over again? This time, I would do this, and I would say that and he's got another thing coming if he thinks I'm gonna .... you get the picture. We all do it.What is really great about being an author is that you actually get to plot out what would happen if the what ifs could come true.

Take for example my current book, Better Than 8 Fantasy. The themes that play out are what if there was a site where a woman could actually put in the criteria that she was looking for, hmmm...umm ... down there. What would happen if she could really actually meet a decent guy that ticks off all the proverbial boxes? Would your girlfriends support you or try to deter you? What if you were faced with a choice and a chance at happiness? Would you do it?

Better Than 8 Fantasy is the first of eight books. Each book will deal with a theme and each girlfriend featured in the book will have her own story. I hope that these stories will remind you of women you know whether they be sister, mother, aunt, or girlfriend. I hope that these women inspire the you to pursue what you want, even if its a little unorthodox. I hope that the relationship between the women and the men who love them inspire you to take a chance on love. What if was a real site? Would you log on?

A Note from the Book Boost: I think any grown woman who has experienced the trials and tribulations of single life--not to mention the overwhelming drama of online dating--would be more than willing to give a site like this a try. Thanks for joining us today. Please share more details about your book.


Amara Simmons has always fantasized about having two lovers but believes it is just that: a fantasy.

She likes her men “gifted”, if you know what I mean. At the suggestion of a friend she registers for an online dating website for well-endowed men called She believes nothing will come of her site membership but after months of flirting online via email and instant messaging, she’s shocked to discover that she’s fallen for a gorgeous Latin man that has the potential to be her everything – except he never calls and she has no idea why.

Nursing a broken heart she is totally unprepared to meet her would-be Latin lover in person much less at the negotiation table of a multi million-dollar real estate deal. In Puerto Rico, passion ignites. Promises are finally fulfilled and the lines of reality blur when her fantasy finally blooms to life.

Can Amara have it all: the deal, the man, and the fantasy?

Want More Erin?

Visit her blog site here:

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Need A Hero with Guest Blogger: Mary Corrales

Welcome paranormal erotica author Mary Corrales to the Book Boost!

Here's what she had to say...

How Romance Heroes Are Real

I love reading romances that have heroes that display a dual nature. What do I mean by dual nature? The males are both civilized and at times wild. The civilized side is controlled, composed, and consists mainly of the mind. While the wild side is dangerous, hungry, and ventures forth through instinct; much like real men, if you think about it. Hence, why men don't ask for directions. Ah, a secret revealed.

The two natures of men battle, though they actually need to work together. When they don't work as one, a hero can be mild mannered, but overreact at the slightest silly provocation. For instance, when the heroine dresses sexy, the hero often thinks it's to attract other men. Not so, as the heroine has often already set her sights on the hero. Am I right, ladies?

Speaking of heroines, the female can temper the wild side of the hero easily through recognition and acceptance. This occurs when she accepts the wise words of her own instinctively wild self that tells her that he is worth fighting for and being patient for. She must shed her old, destructive patterns of self-deprecation in order to embrace the love the waits to blossom. Gena Showalter is a master at showing this sort of character development.

This is why no matter the naysayers when it comes to romance novels, we as readers know that love truly does exist just like in books. It is the connection of two wild souls, come together to cherish, protect, and partner one another through a lifetime.

A Note from the Book Boost: Nicely put, Mary. Thanks for joining us today. Please tell us more about your book.


Alexine Coridan is lonely and unlucky in love. Vowing to live her life with no more regrets, she decides to have a one-night stand with the Nightfall Art Gallery’s reclusive owner, Ren Aloysius, but is he more than she is looking for? What forces will be unleashed when she sheds her inhibitions for a man who promises ecstasy with just one touch?

Showcasing his darkest erotic artwork and needing to feed his sex-demon counterpart, Ren is intrigued by Alexine's passion. After his demonic side decides to assert itself into their sexual interlude and claim her as his soul mate, he's forced to let her walk out of his life.

Fate returns Alexine to Ren's side, but will her feelings for him be enough to tame his demon within?


The scent of females drew him, testing his limits and causing his gut to cramp. The unique power of his demonic blood pulsed in his veins, reminding him with every night that drew nearer to the full moon that he was less than human. He might mingle with the innocent, but he was not one of them.

As a Cambion demon, the offspring of a Succubus demon mother and mortal male, he possessed the dark abilities of his demonic side along with the flaw of mortality even if his lifespan was longer than most. That was why his paintings were so special to him. His paintings allowed him to express his dark sexual needs without actually acting upon them.

How long that might last, he didn’t know. Every year more and more of his control over his demonic abilities slipped from his grasp like something itching to escape and take control.

He made his way through the crowd to his most prized painting, The Unquenchable Goddess. The painting depicted a woman floating in a lake surrounded by pine trees, while a man with a penis of fire stood between her legs, holding her hips in preparation of his first thrust.

Domination and death.

Want More Mary?

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Penning the Perfect Plot with Guest Blogger: Dianne Venetta

Win a copy of Lust on the Rocks and meet author Dianne Venetta today at the Book Boost!

Here's what she had to say...

When a writer sits down to pen a novel (an outdated notion in this age of computers?), a variety of things come to mind, not the least of which are goal, motivation and conflict; the who, what, where and why that comprises the meat of any novel. But each individual works through these points in their own way, from allowing the story to flow in and through the author of its own accord (pantser) to building a framework around an idea from which to build the details and description.

I myself am a combination. While the characters occur to me in random fashion through bits and pieces of conversation or imagery of action-packed drama, I like to know where we’re going. I mean, I’m all about adventure and spontaneity but I don’t like to waste my time, either and let me tell you—these characters will take you down all sorts of paths if you let them!

“Well, it sounded like fun at the time, didn’t it?” Sure did, you think, wiping the sweat from your brow, tamping down the angst in your gut against the pound of your heart.

But as the mother of two with a 4000 sq. ft. organic garden, active volunteer schedule and busy writing career—I don’t have time to spare for pointless thrill! Which is why I like to plot where these gals plan to gallivant before we take the first step out the door. I like to know what we’re going to learn from this adventure and I must have an inkling we will see that HEA. Why else write?

Works the same for me as a reader. Don’t scare me into nightmare mode but do make me think twice about the things I’ve taken for granted all my life. Give me a fun-filled ride and by all means leave me with the glorious hope of happy-ever-after. Real life is hard enough as it is not to believe everything will work out for the best, right?

However, crafting this kind of emotional punch takes time. It takes thought and effort and while I admire those who can fly through their stories on the wings of their characters, I cannot. (Did I mention I’m not real fond of heights?) I prefer to brainstorm, jot down fleeting thoughts and full-blown visions that occur to me (usually while I’m in the shower) and then file them away in folders until needed.

And I LOVE the use of colorful sticky notes for my storyboard. I’m very visual in my creativity, so glancing at a board covered in pink, blue, yellow, purple and green really gives me a good idea as to the “balance” of my novel. Is the romance evenly distributed throughout? Is the conflict hitting my heroine at every turn? How about my character’s motivation? Are we keeping it in mind as we cruise chapter to chapter?

These are the elements that make a story work, that keep a reader reading—and the only way I know how to make it all work. But the best part about writing a novel?

I love every minute of it. I love writing, coming up with the drama and conflict and then throwing it at my characters just to see how they’ll respond. Does that make me a bad person? The fact that I enjoy testing my heroine scene after scene? :)

Nope. It makes for a solid read. My current novel is Lust On The Rocks featuring one feisty Samantha Rawlings. She’s a lady lawyer in Miami who wants nothing of love and commitment and in fact, savors her sexual freedom. Her heart is pure gold though, a power she wields on behalf of her clients, her friends and family—but not her lovers.

Until Victor Marin. He’s a man with a fire and passion that matches her own, yet his need for love and commitment drives everything he does. When the two come together, the expected fireworks are tremendous, but it’s what happens when he’s gone that becomes explosive for Sam—and her biggest challenge to date.

I hope you all enjoy reading Lust On The Rocks as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. It’s the second in a connected series, following Jennifer's Garden.


She has what he needs, and he won't stop until he gets it. Trouble is, what begins as a matter of death, becomes a matter of life.

One case away from partnership, Samantha Rawlings is forced to share her high-profile case with a sexy younger man, whose eyes are on a different prize. In the best interests of her client, Sam opens the door to his strategy. Turns out, a little too far...

Victor Marin has ulterior motives. The defendant in her case holds the key to his revenge, and his last chance for justice. But as he chases old demons, he uncovers a powerful woman with no inhibitions, one he wants to possess for himself. But decidedly single, Sam wants no part.

Until Vic walks away.

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