Thursday, April 30, 2009

GUEST: Marci Baun, Publisher, Wild Child Publishing/Freya's Bower

Last week, the nation honored both children and volunteers. This week, we turn our eyes toward stewardship and what it means to take care of the earth and our environment. All of these fit together like gears in an engine. When we neglect one of these, everything suffers. A neglected child often turns to crime and comes to harm, harms others, or harms its surroundings. Without volunteers, much of the good done in the world would not happen. The neglected children saved from the streets, the nature trails we hike, the homes built by Habitat for Humanity, and so on. This is what volunteers do. And, of course, the earth is what sustains us. So, each has its place. Each is important. Each affects the other.

Yet, society tends to forget how everything relates to one another, that when a section of society is falling apart, the rest will eventually follow. We can only prop it for so long. What we allow to happen, whether right or wrong, is a reflection of our society as a whole and what it deems as important.

One particular area that society has ignored for a long time is domestic violence. While it may seem like only the family in question is affected, that is an illusion. Just as children, volunteers and stewardship are related, so is our tolerance of domestic violence and the state of our society. That any portion of society deems domestic violence okay shows where we have failed as a whole. This doesn’t mean it has to stay this way. It gives us a starting point. We must focus on our final destination as far as what we want to happen with this issue. For me, I’d like to see it eradicated completely.

So, how does domestic violence affect society as a whole? Here are some statistics:

* Eighty-five percent of all domestic violence victims are women

* Seventy-four percent of the populace knows someone who has been abused. That’s nearly 3 out of 4 people who know someone.

* One in every four women have experienced some form of it in their lifetime.

* Children exposed to it, estimated any where from 3.3 - 15.5 million a year just in the US alone, are more likely to have health issues such as obesity, heart disease and cancer, to participate in substance abuse, crime, and/or date an abusive partner. (It’s estimated that world wide some 275 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year.)

* Thirty percent of all women murders were by their intimate partners (5% for men).

Financial costs:

* Domestic violence costs exceed $5.8 billion dollars each year. $4.1 billion is for medical costs alone. $1.8 billion are for missed work and lower job productivity.

* Unknown costs for the children, their physical and mental health.

What can we do?

* It is shown that 60-70% of those who seek assistance from shelters will stay safe for at least three to twelves months after leaving the abusive partner. This gives them a good chance to escape it completely.

* Educate our children. Teach them what the signs of an abuser are and what to do if they find themselves in that situation. (

* Support battered women shelters, whether donating money, time, clothes, expertise, and so on. Call them to find out what you can do.

* You can also purchase any of our charity volumes, Dreams & Desires, volumes 1-3, with all the net proceeds benefiting specified women shelters throughout the nation. (Volume three benefits St. Bernard’s Battered Women’s Shelter in Louisiana.) All of the stories, editing, cover art, and proofreading were donated to make this possible. The books are in both print and ebook format and can purchased at our site or at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (More money goes to the shelters if purchased directly from Freya’s Bower.)

Links to our books:
Volume 1
* ebook
* print
* Amazon

Volume 2
* ebook
* print
* Amazon

Volume 3
* ebook
* print
* Amazon

Everything is interconnected. If we work together, we can make a difference and change our world.

Links about domestic violence and statistics:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fast Draft

My blog today is over at Happy Endings, so come on over!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I’m on a Roll

I don’t know if it was the threat of Candy Havens’ Fast Draft that got me going, or just that I was tired of being a loser who couldn’t step up and focus—but my writing is definitely beginning to pick up and it feels good.

I officially begin Fast Draft on Monday, and the goal is 2000 words per day, which is 8 pages per day. I’m hoping that will give me a solid rough first draft by the end of two weeks that I can really work on refining when I leave to go on my vacation—and of course I’m bringing the laptop on vacation.

I leave you with a small snippet of Absolute Justice (I’m really getting into Mira’s voice, she’s got a smart mouth on her that ROCKS ! ):

“Mira, stop. This is no game, and I don’t intend to fight you.”

“Good.” She pulled a deadly-looking knife from a sheath at her waist. “That will make the slicing and dicing even easier.”

As she moved to attack, Justice sighed, lifting a hand and using his psychic powers to freeze her where she stood. She cried out, infuriation evident in every straining muscle of her body. Her strength, as she fought against his power, was phenomenal, but he’d known that it would be since she’d been able to thrust him out of her mind earlier.

“Let me go.”

“Promise you won’t try and hack me to pieces, and I might.”

“Not a chance.”

That, at least, hadn’t changed. The old Mira would never have given in either, or made promises she had no intention of keeping, just to make things easier on herself. “Then I guess you’re stuck, aren’t you?”

She snorted, and even with his power holding her body immobile, she still managed to give him a look of such disdain he almost smiled at the woman’s audacity. She either had no idea who she was dealing with, or she was the most reckless, foolhardy creature on the planet. “You think I won’t break free of this, especially if it means getting to kick your ass all over town?”

“I’m only asking for five minutes.”

“Five minutes that I’ll never get back.”

Justice took a step toward her, noting how wide and round her eyes got at his approach. Did she think he was going to hurt her, or could it be something else? Could she be afraid of having him close, afraid of what he made her feel? “I think you can make the time for an old friend,” he murmured, lifting a finger to trail down the line of her cheek.

She flinched and hissed as if his touch burned her, but Justice didn’t back down. Although he would have said that he was centuries beyond being able to feel anything even remotely akin to emotion, there was a small tug within the otherwise emptiness of his chest that felt suspiciously like desperation as he realized that she really would fight him to the death here and now—if he gave her just half a chance.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Absolute Justice

I hope everyone has had a marvelous week. I haven't made much headway on my book, and it's driving me nuts. So in order to ensure that I get it done--at least put something on the page--I've accepted the Candy Havens Fast Draft challenge!

A book in 14 days.

Nobody says it's going to be a good book, but that's the part I can do later.

So, after sharing my inspiration for the heroine, Miranda, with you all, I wanted to also share the inspiration for Justice as well. In terms of his image, I think of Vin Diesel.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

GUEST AUTHOR: JoAnn Ainsworth

You must have been struck—the way I was—with the courage it took for Susan Boyle to stand alone on a stage and face a large TV audience on the Britain’s Got Talent show. She stood there calmly despite the ridicule directed at her before she sang.

I was struck by how much her experience—her vulnerability—parallels that of authors. When our books are released to the reading public, we bare our egos to whatever opinions our readers have of our novels. Of course, we believe in ourselves and our work, but there is always uncertainty—did our stories get to the right market, to readers who will appreciate them? And—like Susan—what joy we feel when our work is fully accepted and praised.

Courage is the theme that runs through all my novels. My characters find themselves in new and unexpected situations. They must reach inside themselves to find the strength and determination to resolve the problems facing them—hopefully, to a good ending. During their struggles, my characters are transformed. They learn life lessons such as ethics matter, sometimes you have to fight and rewards come with risk.

I recently found that having a book released in trade paperback can be hazardous to my health. My first-sale book, OUT OF THE DARK, which features a sight-impaired heroine, was released 3/31. I had scheduled a number of marketing events—including being guest author here—to bring the novel to the attention of you readers. Little did I know that preparation for blogs, chats, radio and video interviews, postings of excerpts, and responding to email would eat up so much time and energy. I found myself scrambling to meet deadlines—especially when several were changed—and to keep up with the household chores that go along with daily living.

Thursday, just before suppertime, I was matching up receipts with my credit card invoices when suddenly my heart started frantically pounding. Mark wanted to drive me to the hospital, but I had no strength to walk. Next thing I knew, I was being carried down the porch steps by paramedics and transported by ambulance to the Emergency Room. I spent the night in a hospital bed for overnight monitoring of my heart. Fortunately, there was no major damage and all but one of my tests were normal for most of the night. One showed the heart under stress. Eventually it came back to normal as the stress level was reduced. I was released Friday with a bottle of pills and no restrictions on my activities.

The life lesson learned was to spread out my speaking engagements, book signings and the rest of what it takes to get our novels to your attention. I will schedule more time to sit in the sun and read someone else’s book.

Every day—like the characters in novels—we face challenges to our health, within our families, on the job, and in our community that can leave us vulnerable and exposed. As we face and resolve each challenge, we grow as human beings. We become stronger as we absorb and learn life’s lessons.

Like Susan Boyle, we have our own stage and spotlight trained on us. Like Susan, when we sing our heart out and pour our passion into life, we rise to new heights and are rewarded.

I invite you to learn more about me and my novels at Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

JoAnn Ainsworth


JK Coi: Thanks to JoAnn for visiting and congrats on your release!

This image is the inspiration for my new heroine. Meet Miranda Solomon. She's the woman who's going to give Justice a serious run for his money in--

Absolute Justice

My post today at the Pleasure Gardens is about her, so come on by after you've left your questions for JoAnn here!

Monday, April 20, 2009

GUEST AUTHOR: Darrell Bain

A little over ten years ago I very nearly gave up writing. I had spent about five years turning out book after book and sending them to my "agent". I was (and am) very naïve and trusting and tend to believe what anyone tells me. In this case I believed this "agent" when I was told "co-publishing" contracts were the way to go and also believed my books were being sent to publishers. It both cases it was a scam, of course, and I wound up wasting eight or nine thousand dollars before the FBI busted up that gang of crooks and sent them to prison. Knowing they were sitting in federal prison was about my only consolation. That, and having a half dozen completed manuscripts sitting on my desk I didn't know what to do with. I just about lost faith in agents and when I did send manuscripts to legitimate publishers they came back. It wasn't long after that it seemed all the real agents were too busy to bother with unpublished writers. With the advent of cheap computers, the supply of writers outstripped demand even more than was already the case.

As I said I was on the verge of giving up. Then one day while I was idly surfing the web I ran across a site called Rose Dog that offered to post manuscripts for prospective publishers to read. Having nothing left to lose I did post a couple. A few days later I was pleasantly surprised when I received an email message from an e-book publisher who wanted one of my manuscripts. Heck, I didn't even know what an "e-book" was until they told me. I was a little dubious but figured being published with an e-book company was better than nothing and at least they weren't asking me for money.

Over the next couple of weeks all the manuscripts I posted were taken and sure 'nuff, they were published—on CDs or as downloads. Still better than nothing, but no great shakes because my first royalty checks were for less than ten dollars per book. However, I liked to write and kept at it and eventually a couple of my books caught on. I won't go over the whole story here, including a number of setbacks with companies going bust, non-payment of royalties and so forth but there is something to be said for persistence. I kept writing and from e-books ventured into POD (print on demand) book publishers. Few of them even offered editing at the time and a couple of those unedited books are still around but as before I eventually found some legitimate publishers.

There were more trials and tribulations, all of which make up a latter part of my published autobiography, Darrell Bain's World of Books. Eventually I settled on two promising e-book publishers which also did trade paperback books simultaneously. I can't help it. I'm old fashioned, or was. I still like print books but I may change my mind. I recently bought a Kindle and am pretty well pleased with it.

As I sit here today writing this, I'm wondering what it is about my writing that made me fairly popular with those who read e-books, enough that I've earned about $40,000.00 from them over the last six or seven years. My first books contained a fair amount of sex, so maybe that's part of it but my latter ones don't include very much and they still sell so that can't be all of it. My wife says my writing is "spare" but she tells me I write a good story. I personally think it's that I try to write unusual stories. It's hard to come up with a completely new plot in any genre, and especially in science fiction but I do try to put new and unusual twists into my novels. And I never string them out with unnecessary detail just to get a page count. I guess that helps, but still…I have to say it. I believe a lot of success in writing depends on luck and sometimes who you know (although you have to have a minimal amount of talent no matter how lucky you are or what personages you're acquainted with). If that's true, perhaps I had all my bad luck to begin with and enough good luck with the e-book market to stay popular, even though it gets harder and harder these days for a writer to stay separated from the pack.

Here's a good example of what I mean by staying separated from the pack. At the ebook stores such as fictionwise and Sony where I first became a popular writer, my books still regularly appear on the best seller lists. Not so with Kindle. Kindle readers are not only a new breed of ebook readers for the most part, but Kindle emphasizes the print best sellers that are also available as e-books with Kindle. I'm not a best selling author at the Kindle store because for the most part those readers have never heard of me and they are going to buy books by authors they know. And how would they find one of my books out of 250,000 others except by accident if they don't know me? See? The only solution for that is either luck or promotion or being a genius of a writer and I'm not a great promoter nor am I as able as some of those great writers I admire.

Or perhaps I am, or at least a few people believe I am according to some fan mail I get. If you'd like to decide for yourself try my next book. It's called Quanty and is about a quantum computer that wakes up and decides its prime mission in life is to protect its creators—even if they don't want protection! It will be published by Double Dragon Books the latter part of April and should be in the ebook stores a couple of weeks after that and in print a month or so later.

Oh, yes. I've had one hard cover published. And who knows? Maybe I'll get lucky again with the Kindle readers!

Darrell Bain

A starship on a circuit to service earth's colonies is sabotaged and winds up irrevocably lost in space. The only option is to find a habitable planet to live on. Aboard the ship is a contingent of convicts bound for a prison planet, an army company rotating to one of the colony worlds, government officials and scientists going or coming from the colonies, a contingent of prospective colonists going out to pioneer and a miscellany of other passengers. A crew of two hundred fifty is now responsible for a thousand people after they finally find a new world to settle on. Add in a mad captain, combative convicts and some unworldly aliens and it becomes all that acting Captain Travis Callahan can handle-and then some!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Words Words Words...And Reviews!

I'm struggling with my WIP. It's been very difficult to focus due to various personal issues that nobody really wants to know about, but needless to say I'm not fit for any meaningful blogging.

That having been said...I had an awesome online brainstorming session that's put me on a whole new path for my book, and I'm very excited about it!

Also, I'm very happy to say that I've been inundated with new reviews lately. The latest for Immortal Kiss is from April at Fallen Angel Reviews, who gave the book 5 Angels and a RECOMMENDED READ!

"Immortal Kiss has it all! The story is an action adventure tale with equal amounts of drama and romance thrown in. When the story first starts out the main Character, Baron, is fighting a demon. Then just a few pages later he’s fighting a vampire, which leads him to all kinds of trouble. And romance! Truthfully I was hooked at the prologue, which shows Maxine, Baron, and his brother as teenagers. Maxine is a strong, likeable character right from the start. This was my first experience reading J. K. Coi’s work and it will not be my last!"

Ashley from FAR has also given me my first official review for Dark Immortal...another 5 Angel Review!

"The third book in the Immortals series, Dark Immortal is a great addition. I have loved Alric since we were first introduced to him, and I was excited when I learned he had his book coming...I didn't expect things to turn out the way they did; it was refreshing to read a story that wasn't predictable. Dark Immortal by J. K. Coi is emotional, thrilling, sexy, and a page-turner. I didn't want it to end, and I absolutely cannot wait for the next book."

Thank you FAR, and thanks to all of you for your amazing support to date!

I'm going to keep plugging away and might not be posting as regularly as normal, but keep popping by. I have some great author interviews and guest bloggers scheduled that you don't want to miss!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Hello, all! I’m so honored to be on this blog. J.K. writes some brilliant, lovely things, and I’ve been trying to think of something worthy for this blog.

I’ve been thinking a lot, of late, about how characters are created, how they are born.

The hardest thing, sometimes, is making sure that your character is a truly different person. Every person you put down on the page is a piece of you…the evils ones, the dumb ones, the beautiful ones…they all come out of the compost pile in the back of your head, they grow out of your thoughts and experiences. So how do you make sure that the people that you create don’t become carbon copies of each other?

I study people. I think it’s in part because I love them…once, a friend called me a people person, and I, going through my lone wolf stage in life, yelled at him to take it back. The last thing I wanted to be was a people person…they seemed so peppy and shiny and weak, who could possibly like someone like that?

But the fact of the matter is, being a people person has really helped me learn about them. I spend a lot of time listening to strangers tell me stories…I have that kind of face, I guess, and I also take as much time as I can to study the faces and expressions and actions of the people around me. Granted, I don’t do it with a mental note pad in my head, rather, I try to open myself up to the people around me and absorb what I can. Because I know it’ll go into the back of my mind, into the compost pile, and this person’s nervous tick, and that person’s oddly colored gold-brown eyes and all the other bits and pieces of the people I’ve seen will combine, like magic, into someone new, someone with the right recipe of flaws and talents, good and bad, to be interesting, to be someone you can live with for the two hundred or so pages of the book.

What do you think about that? If you write, how do you find characters? If you’re a reader, have you read an author whose characters, especially the main ones, all seem the same? Who are your favorite authors who seem to make the most real people?

The Chocolatier's Wife by Cindy Lynn Speer

Tasmin, William’s wife to be, was chosen by a spell, as all wives and husbands are chosen. It’s a nice, tidy way to find a reasonable mate for almost everyone. Unfortunately, Tasmin is from the North, a place of magic and strange ritual, and William is from the South, where people pride themselves on being above the kind of insanity practiced by the Northerners, which has nothing to do with the fact that most people in the South have lost their ability to practice magic.

William doesn’t seem in a hurry to send for Tasmin, for which none of his family blame him. After all, she’s a barbarian. She, on the other hand, would like to know what’s keeping him. When he’s framed for murdering his patron, Tasmin takes matters into her own hands, harnessing the wind to bring her to William’s side. She’s gotten to know Wiliam from his letters. He’s not a murderer and she’s going to help him prove it.

William, incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit is shunned by his family for the embarrassment, and for giving up the family shipping business for foolishness, and for saddling them with a Hag for a wife, which means he can’t protect Tasmin from his family’s cold dislike of his barbiaran wife-to-be–but that’s not the worst of it.

Someone out there doesn’t like him and is beginning to dislike Tasmin almost as much, and that someone isn’t at all averse to making sure William and Tasmin aren’t around long enough to celebrate their wedding.

Tasmin, of course, has other plans.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

National Poetry Month

In Honour of National Poetry Month

In silence you came to me
A twinge that speaks softly
Of the link we will forever share

In innocence you smile at me
Joy and fear entwine
Into a stole that I forever wear

In sorrow you cling to me
Seeking guidance and light
And I whisper a forever prayer

In anger you rail at me
Pulling at my heart
A hurt that I forever bear

In love you give to me
All the reasons why
My spirit shall live forever there

by KC

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


J.K.: Hello and welcome! Can you tell us a little bit about your current release and what inspired you to write it?

KETA: Land of Falling Stars is my most current release in male/female erotica. The novel was the brain-child of an article I read about two cousins who fought on opposite sides during the Civil War. A true story, ironically, the county border ran between their properties. One county was partial to the North, the other to the South. That launched a tiny seed and sent me down a thinking path of “what-ifs”. What if two men who loved the same woman fought for opposite sides; and what if one was killed on a smoke-filled battlefield by the other. And what if the man who shot his best friend had to deliver the horrific news to the woman they loved? So you can see where there is going. Of course, there are numerous subplots and external conflicts that also arise in Land of Falling stars because without those, I wouldn’t have much of a story.

J.K.: What do you feel is the most important thing that a first-time author should know?

KETA: The basic rules of writing; point of view, sentence structure, overuse of any word, proper grammar and a host of other rules we are taught to abide by. I’m truly amazed at the number of authors who have never learned them, and yet have been published. I think first-time authors should know all future writing is hard, hard work, as is promoting and marketing it after it’s released.

J.K.: What do you hope for your writing career in the next few years? Any goals that you have yet to obtain that you have set for yourself?

KETA: I try not to set goals; they generally don’t pan out. Publishing is a fickle arena, and I sort of just plug along; write the best books I’m capable of and then enjoy the accomplishments if they come my way. I think so much of it has to do with timing, being in the right place at the right time, whether that’s with a publisher or an agent. I don’t like that aspect of it. I think writers should be rewarded by the hard work they’ve put into their novels, and not by the fickle finger of fate.

J.K.: Sometimes people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. I like to set them straight, so tell us what’s the most unglamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?

KETA: I’m with you, J.K. Many readers think we ride around in limos and eat bonbons every day. Not me; that’s for sure. Writing for me is a very solitude existence, generally it’s me and my computer day after day, unless you count the fat cat curled up on my desk or the Sheltie at my feet. The most unglamorous thing I do three times a week is empty “Emma’s” litter box. How’s that for unglamorous?

J.K.: What are you currently reading or watching on television?

KETA: I seldom watch television – no time. I do, however, catch American Idol every week. I don’t have much time for reading either, but I try to read a chapter each night of the current book I’m into. Right now that’s Red Fire by Deidre Knight.

J.K.: Do you have a pesky day job?

KETA: I’m very fortunate that I don’t, however, that has only recently come about. I can’t imagine working full-time and keeping up with the writing, marketing, and e-mails. I write for four publishers under Keta Diablo and two others under a pen name; so you can see what my life consists of.

J.K.: If you were to write yourself as a superhero, what kind of superhero would you be? What would you be named?

KETA: I’m quite a feminist and therefore have paid attention throughout the years to women’s issues. One thing that greatly concerns me is the violence against women and children. So in this vein, if I could be a superhero, I’d have the power to ignite objects with my fingers. I think it would a relief to know that when you walk to your car at night in a darkened parking lot or enter an elevator in a secluded ramp, you have protection. If anyone messes with you, you start them on fire. Lord, maybe I should write horror instead of erotica.

J.K.: If you were a world ruler and you were given a choice of 3 laws to redact because you thought they were just stupid, which ones would they be and how would you want them changed?

KETA: Oh-oh, now you’re asking me for some political views. I’m not for freedom of choice, despite my slant toward feminism. I have too much respect for human life in any form, so that law would change.

I’d make certain the enormous amount of money flowing to other countries would stop until we’ve taken care of all the homeless people in this country.

And finally, I’d redact any type of law that withheld health insurance from women and children, mostly children. Every child in the US would automatically be enrolled in an optimal health care plan without restrictions.

J.K.: You’re the HEROINE of your book, why do you fall in love with the HERO?

KETA: Because he makes me laugh. Of course, he’s handsome and dashing and can slay dragons and villains without batting on eye. But when he falls off his horse, I want him to be able to laugh at himself. He can be the most gorgeous creature God ever breathed life into, but if he’s missing a sense of humor; he’ll soon by missing me.

J.K.: If you were the HERO of your book, why would you fall in love with the HEROINE?

KETA: Because she’s not only beautiful, but she’s self-reliant and can hold her own against a scoundrel like me.

J.K.: Keta, thank you so much for being here, and before we go, let us know what’s coming next for you.

KETA: Thank you for asking me, J.K. What author doesn’t like to talk about their future books? Due to the popularity of Land of Falling Stars (which was just selected by the publisher for print) Ravenous Romance has asked me to write a full-length sequel. They have also asked me to write another Civil War based on two male characters. In the interim, I write novellas for Phaze Publishing and the Dark Roast Press and full-length novels for Noble Romance.

Thank you again for inviting me. I really enjoyed your questions.

Author Bio:

Keta Diablo writes erotic historicals for Ravenous Romance and Noble Romance. She also writes gay fiction for Phaze and the Dark Roast Press. You can find her on the web at the following places.

Please stop by and enter her contest to win free books or sign one of her guest books.

Blurb from Land of Falling Stars

From Crave More Romance (Five-Star review)
Land Of The Falling Stars is a five star time warp back to civil war era. From the first few pages of Diablo’s novel, I knew her heroine was one I would enjoy following. Sophia reminded me of Scarlett O’Hara in all the right ways. I loved watching her fight for what was important to her and loved watching her discover the depth of her feelings for Gavin Langdale, her childhood friend.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Review for Immortal Kiss!

I'm so glad to be able to share this fabulous new review of Immortal Kiss from the great folks at LASR:

"A fantastic story with characters and a plot that will draw the reader in, Immortal Kiss is not one to miss... With this book and series, the author has created a fascinating paranormal concept that I couldn’t help but enjoy. Demons, vampires, immortals, psychic abilities…this story has a little bit of everything and is sure to please any paranormal fan looking for something a bit different. Immortal Kiss is a great read and I can’t wait to read the next in the series!"
5 Cherries!!

In addition, Immortal Kiss is up for "Best Book of the Week" (YAY!). You can read the complete review and place your vote (Saturday and Sunday) here. Have a great weekend!

Oh, it's about 10:15 pm on Sunday evening. I'm pretty ticked at all the shit from Amazon this weekend, so here's my google bomb: Amazon Rank (provided by the Smart Bitches)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

GUEST AUTHOR: Vivian Arend

JK Coi: Everyone welcome my guest today! Vivien's first book from Samhain Publishing is doing awesome!...and well it should, it's a fabulous story that I can highly recommend!

Writing stories—not for the timid of heart.

I’m not sure what kind of research I thought was involved. When I heard authors mention that phrase I always pictured them sitting by the Thames sipping tea. Strolling along the Champs Elysees, following a breakfast at a quaint little French bakery. All the while taking notes about what the sun setting behind the Eiffel Tower looked like and how tasty the crumpets were. Perhaps other authors do get to have those kinds of research experiences, but not me. No sir. Instead of ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous,’ I’ve gone the ‘Grizzly Adams takes a holiday’ route.

Over the past twenty-five years my husband and I have hiked up mountainsides and skied down them, occasionally on the same day. We’ve camped across North America, through Hawaii, and several European countries. We’ve paddled the Pacific Ocean in kayaks, floated down the Yukon river in canoes, and explored a remote wilderness lake for ten days. Many of these trips have included our children, and let me explain there is nothing tougher than trying to get a child to go to sleep so you can get a little one-on-one time with your sweetie when there’s a campfire blazing and stars twinkling overhead …

But all this research has now come to the forefront as I’ve begun to write. Wolf Signs, set in the Granite Lake area of the Yukon, was released three years after we made the trek with the family. Yes, there is a cabin set 16K back in the bush off the Alaskan Highway, just south of Haines Junction. There is a sauna, there is a pass you can ski to. There are lake trout in the lake. Only the hand cracked ice auger isn’t there, and here’s the reason why.

Granite Lake cabin is a ‘leave it better than you found it’ place. We got to stay for free, and so decided to splurge and take a helicopter in. Instead of slogging, I mean, enjoying a five hour ski, we would arrive at the cabin in under fifteen minutes. There was room for the four of us, and up to a certain amount of weight. We went wild. We brought in loaves of French bread and Brie. Fresh fruit and bottles of wine. Chocolate ice cream bars! And then it happened, my hubby realized there was fish in the lake…and the ice auger joined the list of contents flown in that day.

The holiday week was fabulous. Fresh fish, nightly saunas, endless hands of cards with the kids, who were at the time ten and thirteen. When it came time to leave my daughter and I packed up our bags and headed out at nine am, leaving the boys to clean up the cabin, giving us slower skiers a head start. Three hours later, when they finally caught up, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Strapped to the outside of my son’s pack was the ice auger.

“He refused to leave it,” my hubby said. “So I told him the only way it was coming out was if he carried it.”

Thirteen years old and stubborn as a mule, that boy skied 16K with a full backpack and an ice auger on his back. I knew then that the unfaltering spirit of the north had not died out with the end of the Gold Rush. It lives on.

Vivian Arend’s first book, Wolf Signs is available from Samhain Publishing. And she's just sold book two in the Granite Lake Wolves series--Wolf Flight--And it should be released from Samhain in the fall.

Robyn Maxwell doesn’t care that her brother has to cancel out on their backcountry ski trip. She can do it alone. The fact she’s deaf doesn’t make her survival skills any weaker. The chance to get away from it all and relax in the Yukon wilderness is just what she’s been craving.

Meeting wilderness guide Keil at the cabin starts cravings of another kind. Keil’s one hot hunk of ripped, tasty male. Now she has to deal with raging hormones as well as strange questions about wolves and mates and challenges to the death.

Keil was trying for a nice reflective retreat before challenging for the Alpha position of his Alaskan pack. He wasn’t planning on meeting the woman destined to be his mate, or finding out she’s not aware she has the genes of a wolf.

Between dealing with his accident-prone younger brother, a deaf mate with an attitude and an impending duel to the death, his week—and his bed—is suddenly full.

Far from the relaxing getaway any of them had in mind…

Warning: Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'talking with your hands.' Includes dangerous use of sarcasm and hot nookie in a remote wilderness sauna.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Hello friends! Unfortunately, it's that time again...
I'm needing to focus on the new book, so I'm taking a bit of a break

Break Dance

(By Paralingua (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

Coffee Break

(By Peter Merholz (originally posted to Flickr as pretty cappuccino!) [CC-BY-SA-2.0
(], via Wikimedia Commons)

Prison Break

(By Maarten1995 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (],
via Wikimedia Commons)

But don't stay away, I have a few fabulous guests lined up the next week or two that you don't want to miss...starting on Thursday with Vivian Arend whose book Wolf Signs is new from Samhain Publishing!

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Music I'm Movin' To These Days

What are you listening to for motivation, inspiration and enjoyment?

Thursday, April 02, 2009


J.K.: Hi Ann, welcome to the blog. So, your first book with Linden Bay Romance is out...finally! (And what a sexy cover!) I’ve been looking forward to this one for quite a while. Bait and Switch sounds great. How did you come up with the idea of doing a book about a male escort and a female attorney?

ANN: Thanks so much for letting me participate, J.K. I’m excited for the opportunity.

Well, to start with, the original title was A Platinum Purchase, but when this evolved into a five book series, I needed to change the name so that they were all connected. This is where the Frisky Business series and the title Bait and Switch came to be. Linden Bay and I brainstormed and it worked out great.

I was surfing the web and saw a picture of a breathtaking man online. I get a lot of inspiration from pictures, or from driving and listening to music. I remember seeing this picture and thinking, “This guy has a story.”

He was tall with long, dark hair, a sculpted face that said, “Hi, I’m sensuality incarnate”, and these pale blue eyes that jumped off the paper at me. So, I got to thinking…in real life this guy’s in Vegas on occasion then I thought about what this man actually did for a living and the plot just kind of fell into my lap. The personality of Devon McGuire does not match the personality of the man in the photo, but I’ll use his body. *sigh*

At that time I was working at Ameritrade. My cubical was graced with pictures of men all over the back wall. I even went so far as to have a huge poster of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) on the side wall. A bit juvenile to be sure, but I was constantly seeking inspiration for that next story. They were all my inspiration. Each one had a story to tell. A dripping wet dream for every woman to delve into.

Disclaimer: We (Ann Lory) would like the readers to know that no sexual harassment charges were issued during the inspiration and/or making of this book.

J.K.: Well, I can understand the male escort as inspiration, but why in God’s name would you want to write about lawyers? :)

ANN: That’s a good question. We don’t like lawyers. They’re uptight and slimy. Not all of them, but that’s the stereotype society has labeled them. Each one of the women in the Frisky Business series has been burned somehow, be it by a boyfriend, a friend, or father, and each one has to deal with their past in their own way. It’s why they and I have chosen this profession. To help those that were wronged and that the good guy can come out on top.

J.K.: What was your very first published book, and knowing what you do now about writing and publishing is there anything about it that you’d change?

ANN: Eternal Embrace was my first published book. It’s actually due for re-release with Linden Bay Romance in June of this year. So, I guess I should say I’m currently changing: Passive Voices, and weepy heroines. When I started writing this book several years ago I read mostly under one writer and she was the old style writer from 20-25 years ago. The heroine needed to be rescued and she cried a lot and all that jazz. In these re-writes I’m fixing a lot of the passive voice and I’m trying to make my heroine stronger. Okay, she not a super hero, vampire slaying minx, but an everyday girl. She’s getting a lot thrown at her, but I hope she deals with it better this time around.

J.K.: What do you feel is the most important thing that a first-time author should know?

ANN: Get into a knowledgeable critique group that will be honest with you. Not one that will tear you down, but one that will offer helpful suggestions to help you become a stronger and better writer. There are some publication companies out there that offer a list on egroups to help you find critique partners.

J.K.: You’re the HEROINE of your book, why do you fall in love with the HERO?

ANN: He’s strong both physically and personally, handsome of course, and funny too. I love a man with a sense of humor, not a clown mind you. A man that can make a woman laugh, yet still make her feel like she’s the most beautiful woman in his world, that can make all the difference. Guess it’s why I love my hubby so much…

J.K.: If you were the HERO of your book, why would you fall in love with the HEROINE?

ANN: She’s not clingy, but still needs me. She’s smart, witty and I can sit in companionable silence with her and its okay, or we can talk about everything into the wee hours of the morning.

J.K.: What do you hope for your writing career in the next few years? Any goals that you have yet to obtain that you have set for yourself?

ANN: It seems every couple years I advance on that ladder of goals where my writing is concerned. My ULTIMATE goal is to write for a living. My day job is that I get up in the morning after sending the kids off to school, the hubby to work and just write to meet those deadlines.

J.K.: So, now for the important questions. Sometimes people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. I like to set them straight, so tell us what’s the most unglamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?

ANN: Everyday for the last several weeks hubby, son, and I are cleaning up after our dog, Molly. Molly is going on 14 years old and is slowly becoming paralyzed. She’s not in pain, but is unable to control her back legs, and losing her ability to wait until she can go outside. I’m thinking in the next couple weeks she will no longer be with us. That makes us all sad, my son especially since he’s claimed her as his since he was two.

J.K.: What hobby do you have that has nothing to do with reading or writing?

ANN: Bicycling. In the spring, summer and part of fall you’ll find me out on the roads training for the MS150. I got my new road bike at the end of 2008 and I’m so ready to ride her. It’s great fun and helps me to continue to shed weight and keep it off. It gives me time to meditate, and to think of those stories.

J.K.: You have a pesky day job, what is it like?

ANN: I do. I love my job, but it’s starting to interfere with my writing. It’s been so busy lately that by the time I get home all creative juices are gone. Since it’s starting to slow down a bit (until May rolls around) I’m hoping to get quite a bit done. I work in fundraising, writing appeal letters, newsletters, articles, among many other things. It’s a great job being able to help others.

J.K.: If you were to write yourself as a superhero, what kind of superhero would you be? What would you be named?

ANN: I like Storms powers from the X-Men, so I’d be the leather-wearing good guy who could call on the weather to get the bad guys. My name would be, Fury. Ha!

J.K.: If you were a world ruler and you were given a choice of 3 laws to enact, what would they be and why?

ANN: Equal rights for all, food for all, and as cliché as it sounds I’d end the wars. When you turn on the news it’s so depressing. It seems these are but a few of the hot topic issues the world has to offer us these days. It’s sad.

J.K.: Ann, thank you so much for being here, and before we go, let us know what’s coming next for you.

ANN: Thank you, J.K. for having me on your blog. This was a lot of fun.
I have several things coming this year from Linden Bay:
Eternal Book 1: Eternal Embrace June 2009
Frisky Business Book 2: Confession July 2009
Eternal Book 2: Eternal Obsession October 2009
Frisky Business Book 3: Crime of Passion December 2009

And more coming in 2010, but I don’t want to overwhelm everybody. 

Author Bio:
I'm a Missouri native, although I did live ten years in Nebraska, where I began writing in hopes of one day being published. I have been married to the same wonderful man for the last twelve years, and we have a son who is the spitting image of his father, and a two year old daughter who she looks like me.
We also have our furry babies -- two cats, and one dog. Our poor Lab still gets pushed around by our hissing felines.
Besides my love for writing, I enjoy spending my spare time with my family, watching movies, reading, bike riding on one of the local trails, and of course college football. I love football season and my Missouri Tigers! I hope other fans don't hate me, but it's like our significant others...we can't help who we love.

One workaholic. One gigolo. One week in Sin City. You do the math…

Anna Jackson’s ex-boyfriend may have stolen her promotion, but she’s not mad. Not anymore. She’s getting even—by beating him at his own game. So what if she has to give up all her free time and any semblance of a personal life? With a partnership in a law firm as prestigious as Beckam, Beckam and Leland on the line, she’s willing to pay the price.

Las Vegas escort Devon McGuire is charming, sexy, and damn good at pleasing women. He’d better be, it’s what he gets paid for. Always up for a challenge, he’s looking forward to his newest job. Who wouldn’t enjoy a week as the companion of a smart, sultry, high-powered attorney—no strings attached?

Devon’s used to pushing boundaries, but there’s
something about Anna that makes him want to turn up the steam. And when she learns to let go and unexpectedly opens to him, he finds himself falling
right in.

Whoa, hold it. Love was never part of the plan…

Warning: This book contains a sizzling, drop-dead gorgeous, sex-on-a-stick gigolo who wants to make women’s fantasies come true, and a woman who won’t cooperate and let him do his job.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April Fool!

We're very big on April Fool's Day in my family. "The Prank" has been a long-held, much revered tradition that goes back before I was born--especially between my Grandfather and my Uncle. My Grandfather pulled something every year, and almost always got my Uncle but good. Like the year he drove up into the driveway in a brand new Caddy and said he'd won the lottery! (He'd borrowed the car from a friend)

And my Uncle tried for many years to pull one over on my Grandpa without success...until the year that he convinced the radio station my Grandfather listens to in the morning to run a sham story about how the local golf course had flooded in a freak, localized rain storm--resulting in massive trout flopping around on the green.

At the office, there's always at least one person who pulls a prank on April Fool's Day--What? Me? No...never.

Are you one for trying to fool your friends? Had any pranks pulled on you?

Have a great day! Don't let any Conficker worms wreak havoc with your computer!