Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop May 26th thru May 31st

I'm giving away to US residents one copy of Kathryn Ross's Interview with a Playboy.  A UK edition of a Mills and Boon Modern.  To win a copy, please follow this blog and/or share with us what are your summer plans.  Don't forget to leave your email address.  Winner will be announced June 1st.

What money can’t buy… Lucas Vieira needs a translator to seal a high-profile business deal, and also a woman to pose as his girlfriend to fend off a colleague’s over-eager wife – so why not kill two birds with one stone? Translator Caroline Hamilton jumps at the chance to earn some decent money. But when she meets her client she realises she may be out of her depth. The powerful Brazilian seems to be interested in more than her brains… But is the price of passion just too high?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Meet Lori Foster and Giveaway (US residents only)

Lori, welcome to Romance Author Buzz.  Much of WHEN YOU DARE is set in Kentucky. What part? Why this setting? Does the area have special meaning for you? For your family?

I rarely specify a “real” area when writing books, because I find that too limiting. However, when I set stories in Kentucky, I’m usually thinking of Williamstown because that’s where I spent most of my summers growing up. Being on the lake, boating, skiing, swimming, sunning myself and just plain having a great time, are some of my best memories. My parents had a fishing cabin there—one bedroom, small but open space for eating and sitting—and I loved it. No air conditioning, no heat, but who cared? I learned to ski when I was six, and our routine was to put on our jammies for bed, and in the morning we changed back into bathing suits. Not much else was needed.

Being on a lake makes everything better—especially coffee in the morning. You stand on the deck and watch the fog rise off the lake, and peace just settles around you. It’s perfect.

Where have you lived? How long?

I’ve lived in Ohio all my life. My husband and I grew up here, went to school here, got jobs here, and now we’ve raised our sons here. Actually, though hubby and I didn’t meet until the 3rd day of our sophomore year of high school, we always lived near each other. I love Ohio, especially the suburbs with the small town vibe. I can’t imagine ever moving away from my family. We’re all pretty close—and I like it that way!

Did you enjoy school?

I was not a great student. That is, I got good grades, but never, ever enjoyed school. As an energetic daydreamer, it was an almost painful thing to have to sit still during class. When I hit high school and could pick most of my own classes, I had several writing courses like horror fiction, humor literature, and composition. And I went nuts on art class. Every study hall or free period was spent in the art room. I had an amazing art teacher– a wonderful artist and an eclectic teacher, which was perfect for me.

Have you had other jobs in addition to your writing?

I’ve worked as a cashier at Kroger where one of my jobs was also to clean the break room and bring in carts from the lot—through rain and snow and blistering heat. I worked on an assembly line at Procter & Gamble. I’ve also been a babysitter and house cleaner. In comparison, writing is a dream come true! Sure it’s difficult at times, and it really soaks up the hours, but always, with past jobs as a comparison, I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love, to share it with others, and to be compensated too!

Motherhood—you were able to stay home with your children. How important was it to be able to do that?

I’m one of those women who would have gone stark raving mad if I’d had to turn my kids over to someone else. I’m the supreme mother hen and a world-class worrier. When I think of what other mothers have gone through—many who didn’t have the same opportunity to stay home with their children—it breaks my heart and again, makes me feel so fortunate and blessed. When the kids were younger—before I’d ever published—my husband and I lived on a very tight budget to make it possible for me to be home, but I’ve never regretted that.

Do you ever “steal” attributes from your boys or your husband and give them to your characters? What, if anything, have your learned from living in a houseful of men that has helped you develop your male protagonists?

My kids are hilarious—they get that from their dad. They’re also very physical guys, athletic and protective and outspoken. Alphas for sure. So yes, I’ve often stolen lines, actions, or attitudes from them to use in books.

Living with all guys...well, our house drips testosterone, but it’s so fun! They’re forever amusing, and give me the perfect opportunity to witness “guyness” and to appreciate male traits for how they differ from mine.

The family you grew up with—do you have brothers, sisters? If so, are you close? Do they live nearby?

I have an assorted family—which maybe helps explain the less-typical families I write about. I have a sister, step-sister, and a half brother, but none of us thinks in those terms. My stepfather—who passed away recently—was my Dad in every sense of the word. I miss him terribly.

Hubby and I are all about keeping family together and close, so most of the family gatherings happen at our house. We get both sides of the family together as often as we can, which is usually four or five times a year. Depending on nieces and nephews, who has a date and who doesn’t, we can get upwards of 60 people at a time. And we love it! You can never have too much family.

What attributes do you share with Dare and Molly? Of course, Molly is a successful writer, so you have that in common. Anything else?

Molly actually came about because of some reader mail I’d gotten—threatening me. I know readers get very invested in stories, and I’m thrilled that they care so much. Occasionally they write me with their frustrations over something that didn’t go quite how they wanted it to, or because they want a character to have a book, but I don’t have a book for that character. That’s fine—I enjoy hearing from them. But threats? Well, I’ve had a few that crossed the line. That’s not the typical reader, and it can be worrisome.

After one particular threat, the idea for Molly and the elements of the storyline dealing with one of her readers as a suspect took shape in my mind.

I love hearing from readers, whether they liked a book or not. But, just like Molly, I think my privacy is important, too.

How did the first Reader and Author Get Together come about?

Dianne Castell and I wanted to do a “thank you” to the community of readers and writers, and we envisioned it as being very small. We thought if we got a dozen people, we’d be happy—but our first year, we got around 100 attendees.

From there, it’s grown like crazy! We love to visit with other readers and authors, and we know they enjoy it too, so we’ve worked hard to keep the laid-back, easy atmosphere of the event so that lots of chit chat is possible, while at the same time doing something really worthwhile—like donating our raffle money to great local charities and bringing in agents and editors so newer authors can pitch their work to them in person, and longtime readers can get questions answered.

By dipping into our own pockets, and thanks to donations from publishers and agencies, we’ve kept the price a very affordable $50. This year is our seventh Get Together here in the Cincinnati and Dayton metro area and it will benefit One Way Farm’s Children’s Home. Information is on my site and registration ends May 19th. If you’re reading this in time and want to attend, hurry! And Saturday’s big book signing is open to the public. Come by and see us!

What is your professional schedule moving forward?

Currently I’m hard at work on another single title, but ask me in a week or so and that answer could be different. 2011 has been wonderful so far with an anthology in March titled, The Guy Next Door, and then a new single title series out May, June and July—When Your Dare, Trace of Fever, and Savor the Danger, with some part of the hero’s name in each title. (P.S. There’s a bit of a link between The Guy Next Door and my three new novels. Although the books tie together by characters, each can be read alone.)

Also in June is another “benefit anthology,” which is a pet project of mine where proceeds from the anthology go to a local charity. In 2011 the anthology is The Promise of Love and, as do the proceeds from the Seventh Annual Reader & Author Get Together, it will benefit One Way Farm, a home for abused and abandoned children.

Lori Foster website
Lori Foster on Facebook
Lori Foster on Twitter
Lori's Bio

When You Dare, May 2011 (Now on sale!)

Trace of Fever, June 2011 ● Savor the Danger, July 2011

CONTEST  (US residents only)

Thanks to Lori's publisher, she is offering (2) lucky US residents an opportunity to win a copy of When you Dare and a Trace of Fever.  To win a copy, please follow Lori on Facebook and Twitter.  Tell her what you enjoyed about this interview and come back here, post a comments and your email as well.  Winner will be announced JULY 5TH.

7/5/11  Lori's publisher sent me a copy of Savor The Danger, so (3) of you will win!  Wha Hoo

I hope you'll also stop by Lori's website and see all of the wonderful causes she helps to sponsor, ie children, animals, soldiers, etc.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Love

Her love is like

an island in life's ocean,

vast and wide

A peaceful, quiet shelter

From the wind, the rain, the tide.

'Tis bound on the north by Hope,

By Patience on the West,

By tender Counsel on the South

And on the East by Rest.

Above it like a beacon light

Shine Faith, and Truth, and Prayer;

And thro' the changing scenes of life

I find a haven there.

Author Unknown

(my daughter Keri and my mom)

And Grandma's too...

While we honor all our mothers

with words of love and praise.

While we tell about their goodness

and their kind and loving ways.

We should also think of Grandma,

she's a mother too, you see....

For she mothered my dear mother

as my mother mothers me.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Interview with Barbara White Daille and Giveaway

Meet Barbara White Daille:

Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. As a toddler, Barbara was fascinated by those things her mom called "books." Once she learned the words between the covers held the magic of storytelling, she wanted to see her words in print so she could weave that spell for others.

Barbara hopes you will enjoy her books and will find your own storytelling magic in them. Book Description: Sam Robertson's life just changed. In one short day, he found out that he's a daddy; that his beautiful little girl, Becky, is deaf; and that her aunt, sign language teacher Kayla Ward, intends to fight him for custody. There are plenty of reasons Sam shouldn't fall for Kayla. A city girl like her has no place on his ranch, particularly when she's his ex-wife's gorgeous sister. But thanks to the judge's orders, Sam's spending a lot of time with Kayla, trying to give Becky the stable home she's never known. Despite their ongoing custody battle, Sam and Kayla's love for Becky brings them closer than they ever expected, and Sam knows that no matter who wins in court, he could still lose—Kayla or his daughter.

Book Description:

Sam Robertson's life just changed. In one short day, he found out that he's a daddy; that his beautiful little girl, Becky, is deaf; and that her aunt, sign language teacher Kayla Ward, intends to fight him for custody.

There are plenty of reasons Sam shouldn't fall for Kayla. A city girl like her has no place on his ranch, particularly when she's his ex-wife's gorgeous sister. But thanks to the judge's orders, Sam's spending a lot of time with Kayla, trying to give Becky the stable home she's never known.

Despite their ongoing custody battle, Sam and Kayla's love for Becky brings them closer than they ever expected, and Sam knows that no matter who wins in court, he could still lose—Kayla or his daughter.

Barbara, welcome to Romance Author Buzz.

Thanks, Marilyn! I’m very glad to be here.

Is there a back story to A Rancher’s Pride?

Yes, there’s a story-behind-the-story as far as the idea for the book. I wanted to take a well-loved plot (a character who suddenly “inherits” a child) and put a different spin on it.

In this case, a man who has never even known he was a father is suddenly given custody of a four-year-old. And to complicate matters for him, he has no way of communicating with her because she speaks another language.

With all my books, I try to add something a little different, so the idea of searching for a twist came first. The thought of using a deaf character came about because, in my “other” life, I’m a certified American Sign Language interpreter.

Also, as some who loves working with words, I loved the challenge of weaving a visual language into the story!

What is one thing in your history that has influenced your writing?

Probably, the fact that I became an avid reader when I was very young. Naturally, I started with children’s books, which I think influenced me in several ways.

My introduction to reading through Dr. Seuss and other authors who use rhyme and non-traditional structure and vocabulary made me take notice of rhythm and pacing, which I hope helps me write better books.

Also, I think children’s books taught me to “write tight.” I’m a character-driven writer, but I like to keep the story moving through action and dialogue. And because knowing what the hero and heroine are feeling in a romance is important, I’ll focus more on showing their emotions than describing their physical characteristics.

The other thing is, growing up reading every children’s mystery in sight gave me a love for genre fiction. Though I also read and enjoy literary books, I’m proud to be an author of “popular fiction.”

Of all of your characters, do you have a favorite you identify with and why?

That’s a tough question for me because as I said above, I write from character, which makes me relate to all my story people. Not only that, I like to put them in situations that tug at their emotions. As a result, I feel sympathy for them, too.

In answer, I’d have to say I identify with all my heroines in one way or another—and I hope my readers do, also. We may not share the same hopes and dreams or fight to overcome the same problems and conflicts, but we’re all women—real or fictional—and if there’s one thing I think we can do, it’s step into another woman’s shoes.

Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you?

Both. I create a full outline for the book and usually know where I’m going. Sometimes a character refuses to do what I had planned. At that point, I’ll let him or her take the lead for a little while just to see what happens.

When the plot starts to change, I can tell quickly whether it’s going in a bad direction or a good one. Normally, these aren’t huge turns that put me onto another road entirely. They’re more like S-curves on the main road that get me to the same destination but make the trip a little more interesting.

Thing your heroine would never be caught dead doing/saying:

In A RANCHER’S PRIDE, my heroine, Kayla, loves her four-year-old niece as though she were her own child. While Kayla might be a little overprotective of Becky at times when she’s feeling out of her element, she knows Becky’s deafness doesn’t make her different from any other child her age.

One thing Kayla would never say is: “Becky can’t do that.”

Scene in the book that moved you the most as you wrote it, or made you the most happy?

To recap the story idea: the hero, Sam, has “inherited” a four-year-old child he’s never met—and never even knew he’d fathered. It’s a tough situation for anyone to encounter, and it’s made even more heart-wrenching by the fact that Sam can’t communicate with his own child.

The scene in the book when he first attempts to make a connection with Becky—when he waits, heart in his throat, to see how she will respond—made me cry. I recently re-read the book and cried again.

Okay, I’ll confess! I’m tearing up just thinking about it. ;-)

What’s next?

I’m currently working on two more stories that will be published by Harlequin American Romance, both of which are stand-alone books set in the same small town as A RANCHER’S PRIDE.

The first is the story of an injured rodeo cowboy who returns to his hometown seeking to right some old wrongs. There, he encounters his former high-school sweetheart, now a single mom struggling to survive financially and having trouble with her preteen daughter. She’s the woman he most needs to get square with. But he’s the one man she has to avoid.

The second book is the story of a young, widowed business owner who lost her Army hero husband and is determined to make a life for herself and her three kids. The rancher hero is just as single-minded in his goal to keep a promise he made—a promise that will once again turn the heroine’s world upside down.

What is something you definitely want readers to know about you?

With every book I write, I’m trying to keep a promise to them.

I’ve been a reader since before I can remember and a writer since the age of nine. Even then, when I’d only written one story, I knew without doubt what my goal as an author would be: to bring the same enjoyment to my readers that I receive when I read other authors’ books.

Before I let you go is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?

If they read any of my books, I’d love to hear what they thought about them! All my contact info is below.

Also, I’ve just begun a blog tour to celebrate the release of A RANCHER’S PRIDE, and I hope to see them along the way. They can find the tour schedule on my website/blog.

Where Barbara can be found:

Barbara's Website:
Barbara at Facebook Page:
Author Blog:
Barbara on Twitter:

Barbara will offer a book from her backlist for North America residents only.  To win a copy, comment here, follow Barbara on Facebook.  Come back here and leave your email address.  The Winner will be announced June 3rd.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Vampire Relationship Guide, Volume 1: Meeting and Mating - Evelyn Lafont Blog Tour Stop # 16

Evelyn LaFont is a full time writer living in Florida with her perfect orange kitties and totally alpha hubby. Her debut paranormal romance series, The Vampire Relationship Guide, is a four-novella series that takes a satirical look at what it would be like if a clueless human chick really dated a vampire.

Book Description:

Josie wants what she’s never been able to have—sex with a vampire. When she receives an invitation to a party thrown by one of the world’s richest vamps, she doesn’t stop to question her luck; she just jumps into her favorite stilettos and heads out to the event of a lifetime, secretly hoping that she’ll come home with a party favor in the shape of a sexy coffin dweller.

But the great undead, much to Josie’s chagrin, aren’t just pale sexbots with pointy teeth waiting to satisfy her carnal desires—they are dangerous…and sometimes cranky. With a single-minded focus on fulfilling her sole sexual longing, Josie unwittingly entrenches herself in the twisted and sometimes antagonistic world of vampire relationships with no one to guide her, but herself.

Evelyn, selcome to Romance Author Buzz. How long have you been writing and what was your call story?

Thanks for having me Marilyn! I’ve written professionally in the corporate world for many years. In 2009 I became a full time freelance writer. Fiction, I’ve dabbled in here and there doing some script writing and some short fictional essays but this was my first work of fiction over 1,500 words.

I don’t have a call story. Initially, I wanted to try traditional publishing but the more I read about self-publishing, the more I thought it would be a better fit for me considering my entrepreneurial background.

What are you currently working on?

Right now I’m working on book two of the Vampire Relationship Guide series. I also have another (more traditional) PNR series in the works as well as a potential zombie novella.

Is there a back story to The Vampire Relationship Guide?

I love the PNR genre, but some of the tropes and assumptions get funny after you’ve read enough of them. I wanted to create a series that made light of PNR while still providing a solid story for those who love the genre. I also wanted to create something that would be funny to people who don’t like the genre.

Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you.

I generally have an idea of where I’m going, visualized scenes written down and a loose outline but for the most part, writing is about exploration for me so the characters really drive the story.

Of all of your characters, do you have a favorite you identify with and why?

I can identify a little bit with almost every character, for different reasons. In this particular book, I think Gregory is the only one I don’t identify with on any level. Although I have identified that he is hot.

What is the best thing about your job as an author? What is the hardest thing?

There is nothing better than spending your day living in your fantasies. The hardest part is probably trying to make sure that you create a story that others will enjoy, not just you.

Describe a day in the life of Evelyn.

Feed cats, get coffee, answer emails, blog, social network, write for clients, love on cats, write fiction, fit eating in there somewhere, take a walk or play Wii games (2 out of 7 days I hit this one), play with cats, read, feed cats again, maybe some TV, read, sleep.

What is something you definitely want readers to know about you?

Wow, that’s a good question and a hard one. I guess that I really just want them to have a good time when they read my books, and I hope they do!

Scene you like most and would never cut?

I love the post-sex scene that just shows how clueless Josie is. It really illustrates how much of her vampire education she gets from pop culture over educational books and other reference material, even though it abounds in her world.

Thing your heroine would never be caught dead doing/saying?

This particular heroine, Josie, faces each situation with a good amount of openness. I think she’d handle anything coming at her with a smart-ass remark, naiveté and a smile.

Scene in the book that moved you the most as you wrote it, or made you the most happy?

Throughout the book there are excerpts from articles etc. about vampires that Josie has, or should have, read. In one of them (a Dear Vampy column excerpt, I believe) the “columnist” talks about getting a happy ever after. I found that both funny and moving.

Have you learned or found any bizarre facts while doing research?

I did some sciencey research for my world building and the most interesting thing was learning the reason why cats can’t eat garlic or onions.

What is one thing in your history that has influenced your writing, whether it’s a character, your work habits, or your favorite plot conflict?

Being laughed at—no, wait, the good kind of being laughed at! Whether it was making my parents and grandparents laugh, or a crowd laugh when I did community theater, making people laugh is a frickin’ high that I cannot get enough of. I think that, no matter what I write, it will always have a comedic bent.

What’s next?

I’m trying to finish and publish all three remaining novellas in Josie’s series this year.

What are you currently reading?

Nothing really—I just don’t have time. But I plan to start the Karen Moening Fever series as soon as I have a chance.

Before I let you go is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?


Twitter: @keyboardhussy

To win an Ebook of Vampire Relationship Guide, simply post something about the interview you enjoyed on Evelyn's Facebook page and/or follow her on Twitter.  Come back and post your email so that you can be notified.



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