Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Tour: The Viscount's Vow by Collette Cameron Interview & Giveaway



BLURB:
Amidst murder and betrayal, destiny and hearts collide when scandal forces a nobleman and a  gypsy to marry in this Regency Romance.

Half Romani, half English noblewoman, Evangeline Caruthers is the last woman in England Ian Hamilton, the Viscount Warrick, could ever love—an immoral wanton responsible for his brother’s and father’s deaths. She thinks he’s a foul-tempered blackguard, who after setting out to cause her downfall, finds himself forced to marry her—snared in the trap of his own making.

When Vangie learns the marriage ceremony itself may have been a ruse, she flees to her gypsy relatives, declaring herself divorced from Ian under Romani law. He pursues her to the gypsy encampment, and when the handsome gypsy king offers to take Ian’s place in Vangie’s bed, jealousy stirs hot and dangerous.

At last, under a balmy starlit sky, Ian and Vangie breech the chasm separating them. Peril lurks though. Ian’s the last in his line, and his stepmother intends to dispose of the newlyweds so her daughter can inherit his estate. Only by trusting each other can they overcome scandal and murderous betrayal.

EXCERPT:
Armstrong’s Ball Scene

Noticing the numerous pairs of eyes watching him escort Miss Caruthers onto the polished floor, a wry smile touched Ian's lips. “I haven't danced with any other ladies this evening. No doubt the rumormongers are hissing envious conjectures as to why I've asked you.”

She shot him a startled look before glancing around the ballroom. “Why did you?”

“To see if what I'd heard was true.”

Ian watched for a reaction.

She opened her mouth then closed it. They waltzed around the dance floor for a few moments in silence. The string quartet was quite satisfactory. Ian allowed the lilting strains to soothe his troubled spirit. 

“What did you hear?” Miss Caruthers’ soft question reminded him of his purpose. 

“That you are an excellent dancer.”

 It was true. She moved with natural grace, following his lead, all the while holding herself in a most proper stance. He had to acknowledge she was a superb actress. Her gaze remained fixated on a spot above his left shoulder, except for one brief instance when she'd flicked her cobalt-blue gaze upward, and unintentionally met his eyes.

“Is that all?” she asked softly.

He'd never seen eyes that dark blue before. “All?”

“You've heard nothing else about me?”

Her eyes held the perfect combination of trust and innocent curiosity. So convincing was she, that when their gazes fused, a peculiar jolt stabbed the center of his being. What was it? Something foreign, tantalizing, rousing from dormancy and flickering to awareness.

Startled by his train of thought, he stiffened. Good God, now he was waxing sentimental poppycock. Even so, he continued to stare into her seemingly guileless eyes. How could someone so jaded appear so innocent? He couldn't very well tell her what he knew, now could he?

“Is there something else you would have me know?”

Furrowing her smooth brow, she stared at him. “No.”

Was that confusion in her eyes? She looked away first. That irked him.

Man, control yourself. She's not even flirting with you.

He could better understand Geoff's fascination now. Miss Caruthers was skilled in her art. Most skilled. He would have to guard himself well. He sensed her siren's allure, the tentacles of desire winding their way about his reasoning, holding him in an imperceptible, yet impenetrable grip. It was almost as if she'd cast a spell, bewitching him.

What drivel. He was having difficulty concentrating, though, too aware of the voluptuous woman in his arms, their bodies moving as one to the music. No wonder the young blades were lined up, waiting for the smallest morsel of attention from her. Ian could almost believe she was as diffident and unsure of herself as she pretended. Both qualities were designed to stir the primitive male.

He tamped down the protective response she roused in him with her seductress's wiles. “You truly are an exceptionally graceful dancer,” he murmured in her ear.

“Thank you, my lord.”

His nostrils flared at her intoxicating perfume. He tilted his head a bit closer to hers and drew in a deep breath. Something citrusy. Maybe orange blossom? And lightly floral. Lily of the Valley. He recognized the scent. A myriad of the graceful, nodding white flowers blanketed the grounds near Somersfield's pond.

Ian ignored good sense and drew her lush form closer. Her d├ęcolletage and his height advantage gave him an excellent view of her ample cleavage. A diamond pendant was nestled in the valley between her creamy breasts. It gently caressed the sloping mounds as she swayed in time to the music. He imagined his finger doing the same.

Blood rushed to his loins. He'd been too long without a woman. Not since

Amelia. . . . Damn, had it really been eight months? He caressed Miss Caruthers’ spine with his thumb. One slow stroke. She shuddered. Was that a gasp? Perhaps she wasn't as poised as she affected.

Excellent.

It was better to catch her off guard if he was to succeed with his plan. Why then, didn't his scheme of vengeance fill him with the same sense of satisfaction it had before meeting her?

INTERVIEW:
  1. Where did you get the idea for the novel?
Vangie and Ian’s story actually started to demand to be written while I was writing Highlander’s Hope. Vangie and Yvette, the heroine in Highlander’s Hope, are cousins. As I wrote the first book, the second story just came to me. I had to keep telling Vangie and Ian to wait their turn!

  1. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
I knew the title for this book even before I started writing it. I’m sure that’s because I already knew so much of the story, and I knew I had a viscount vowing vengeance.
Gee, a bit of alliteration in that last bit there. Sorry.  

  1. Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?
I love historical romances; they’ve always been my genre of choice, especially Regency. So when I decided to write a romance, it was only natural I’d choose the genre I love the most. I’m also a history buff, so while I enjoy a good contemporary, my heart and mind prefer historicals.

  1. Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
Hmm, I guess getting my first royalty check.  What’ I’m really looking forward to in having a print novel of my book in my hand. That’s supposed to happen in November.


  1. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
I just finished Something About Her by Jeannie Reusch.  I wonderful Regency, of course!

  1. What is your writing process?
Before I start a book, I complete a goal, motivation, and conflict chart for my heroine and hero. Then I fill out a questionnaire for each of them that I created. It has over 50 questions. It’s how I really get to know my characters. I also make notes of any major plot points or specific things I want to include in the novel. I’m a pantser, so I don’t know exactly what the entire story looks like, but I have a general idea.

I have a writing room in my house where nearly all my writing occurs. I have to have quite when I write and one of my doxies, Ayva, is usually on my lap or sleeping on a nearby chair.

  1. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? 
I haven’t  had a book signing yet, darn it.

I’m planning on one just as soon as I get the print novels for Highlander’s  Hope this fall. I plan on having a couple of short phrases to include with my signature. I think it’s more personal and more meaningful.

  1. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I sleep with my dachshunds! Okay, not exciting enough?

I collect thimbles. Ridiculous I know. It’s my sister’s fault. She gave me six for Christmas over thirty years ago and the blasted collection has grown to over two hundred.

That’s just embarrassing to admit.
  
  1. How do you react to a bad review?
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. If there’s something in the review I can use to help me become a better writer, I’ll use it, but if the review is just bullying, I ignore it.

  1. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
Well, I didn’t actually celebrate the first sale, but I did go buy some lovely boots and a new purse with part of my first royalty check.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A life-long Oregonian, Collette Cameron was born and raised in a small town along the northern Oregon coast. Today she makes her home in a rural community, 30 minutes west of Portland. Her Victorian farmhouse sits on a one-acre certified wildlife habit, interspersed with a plethora of gardens: English, rose, butterfly, rock, water, and of course, vegetable.

A voracious reader of romance since her teens, she even named her daughter after a heroine in her favorite romance novel. An enthusiast of times gone by, and anything related to romance, she writes Historical Romance, with a dash of inspiration, a pinch of humor, and a liberal portion of suspense.

Having dabbled in interior decorating in her youth, Collette returned to school, graduating summa cum laude from Oregon State University, and went on to obtain her Master's Degree in Teaching. She is member of Romance Writers of America, Rose City Romance Writers, The Beau Monde, and Love Faith and Hope, Inc., and a whole slew of other author/writer groups.
Some of Collette's favorite things include unique blends of coffees and teas, trivia, Cadbury Milk Chocolate, inspirational quotes, and scented candles. Her Christian faith, husband, three adult children, and five miniature dachshunds round out her life quite nicely! When she's not teaching or writing, she enjoys amateur photography, bird watching, gardening, interior decorating, rock-hunting, boating or fishing on the Columbia River, and reading of course.

To connect with Collette, please visit www.collettecameron.com or http://blueroseromance.com/

She can also be found on:






Buy Link:



GIVEAWAY:
Collette will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon gift card and an ecopy of Highlander's Hope, the first book in the series, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
The more they comment, the better their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Tour: Twilight Over Moldavia by Stephanie Burkhart Excerpt & Giveaway


BLURB:
Romanian unification is on the horizon and the spirited Crown Princess of Carpathia, Caroline, would prefer to ride horses and archery to embroidery and dancing. Complicating her life is her recent discovery that she's a witch.

Prince Stefan Sigmaringen travels to Carpathia to meet Caroline. He discovers he has much in common with her. He also learns that a strange man, Timon, has an unnatural interest in him.

Upon Stefan's engagement, he overhears his mother confessing to a horrible secret – she cursed him in order to conceive him and Stefan will become a werewolf when he turns eighteen. There is a condition to overcome the curse, but it will require Stefan to draw on all his inner strength and Caroline, her courage. Can they break the foul enchantment and secure their future or will Stefan give himself over to the lupine curse that haunts his family?

EXCERPT:
Stefan stepped into the grand room and came face-to-face with the Carpathian royal family.

"King Mircea, Queen Aurora, and their children, Crown Princess Caroline and Princess Helena, welcome you to Carpathia."

Stefan took one look at Caroline, and his heart rate accelerated. She was Aurora -- the beautiful outdoorswoman he'd met only hours earlier. She had used her mother's name.

Her cheeks colored fiercely, and satisfaction filled him. Even from this distance, he could feel the same magnetic heat from her he had in the forest.

How different she looked -- how regal. The dress accentuated her curves and made her look decidedly feminine, yet despite her outward beauty, her eyes betrayed not only surprise, but also unease.

Queen Aurora nudged her. "Caroline."

She stepped forward, along with her sister, and both curtsied. Stefan bowed.

King Mircea spoke up. "We hope your travel to Ploiesti went well."

"It was a delight to travel by rail," Stefan's father replied.

"Come. Dinner is served." Mircea gestured toward the table along the wall. Caroline stood tall next to her father, a spark of pride in her eyes. Stefan quickly assessed her parents and determined she was a unique blend of both, though she slightly favored her father. They shared the same thick chestnut-brown hair.

"Your Highness, Princess Caroline, I have something that might be yours," Stefan said. She raised an eyebrow.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out her scarf. He'd had the dirt and grime removed so the golden parts of the embroidery glistened in the light from the chandelier.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD.  She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire.  She served 11 years in the US Army and currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate and is addicted to coffee.  She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children's books published with 4RV Publishing.

FIND ME ON THE WEB AT:

WEBSITE:

TWITTER:

FACEBOOK:

GOOD READS:

YOU TUBE CHANNEL:

PINTEREST:

BUY LINK:





GIVEAWAY:
Stephanie will be awarding a Coffee & Chocolate bag: a coffee mug, Starbucks gift Card, Andes Chocolates, magnets, and a Lori Powell original book bag (US only) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.


The more they comment, the better their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Tour: Hers To Cherish by Patricia A. Knight


Futuristic Romance
Date Published: 8/27/13

When Ramsey DeKieran, disgraced nobleman and accused murderer, was offered a pardon Ram knew there'd be a catch. The High Lord of Verdantia offered him a clean slate in exchange for the off-world rescue of a Verdantian noblewoman – a suicide mission that had already cost the lives of good men. The one redeeming feature was the assistance of the stunning captain of Verdantia’s elite mercenary team.
For Captain Steffania Rickard, assisting DeKieran in the rescue of a woman critical to the future of Verdantia would be difficult enough. The rouge tripped all her triggers – good and bad. Infinitely worse, to fit into the culture of Vxloncia, she must pose as Ram's sex slave. The sexually dominant Ramsey was nothing if not perceptive and Steffania doubts her carefully disguised and deeply hidden desires will remain concealed.
Their mission takes on new meaning when they unmask a heinous program of enslavement, long cloaked in secrecy. Together they must find a way to overcome their initial animosity and recover a woman vital to the future of their race. Together, they would have to bring a malicious entity to justice. 
In the maelstrom of sex, savagery, domination and submission, Ram and Steffania will need all their wits and strength to survive.
Patricia A. Knight
Patricia A. Knight is the pen name for an eternal romantic who lives in Dallas, Texas surrounded by her horses, dogs and the best man on the face of the earth – oh yeah, and the most enormous bullfrogs you will ever see. Word to the wise: don’t swim in the pool after I love to hear from my readers and can be reached at http://www.trollriverpub.com/ or  http://www.patriciaaknight.com . Or send me an email at patriciaknight190@gmail.com . Check out my latest “Hunk of the Day,” book releases, contests and other fun stuff on my face book page: https://www.facebook.com/patricia.knight.71619

Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Tour: BirthMarked by Maria Violante Interview & Excerpt



Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Taliesin Publishing
Date of Publication:  10/03/2013
ISBN: 978-1-62916-008-5
Word Count:  ~60,000
BN     Omnilit

Book Description:
Charlie Kale knows life isn't easy. But for the first time, this truck driver might have finally found her little piece of happiness. She's got it all—her big rig, friends, a great mentor, and a man about to join her on the road.

That is, until the good things in Charlie's life all fall apart, and she finds herself at the mercy of a sexy but mysterious gunman who claims to be a member of a secret order dedicated to fighting the supernatural monsters that filter over into our world.

She's given a choice—join up or die, and while the gunman might be insane, Charlie’s hell-bent on not dying.

Too bad it looks like that might not be an option.

Excerpt:
By three in the morning, I’d already been on the road for hours. My eyes were starting to droop, the lights of passing cars playing hypnotist in the dark.
Now I remember why I don’t run nights. Running nights was like childbirth—or so I’ve heard—you suffered through, and then a few trips later, you’d already forgotten how tired you felt, how each mile was a struggle of will to keep your eyes open.
In driving school, they always told you to never drive tired. They didn’t mention that everybody did it, or it was impossible not to.
Just one more hour. If I can just get another hour—maybe hour and half—the sun will come up, and I’ll get a nice boost, and then it’s not too far after that.
I yawned and took another swig of my coffee, trying to suck the lukewarm mixture down in a single gulp. I grimaced at the candy-bar mixture. I preferred it black, but there were only so many cups of mud a person could drink before it started to feel like your stomach lining was about to peel off. In my case, that number was six.
Jeff was the one who had shown me how vital it was to load the mixture with enough cream and sugar to turn it into slurry. And he still hasn’t answered my text. It wasn’t like him. Maybe he didn’t get it? Should I send it again?
I made a note to call him when I got the chance, and then I rounded a bend and went blind. The driver coming from the opposite direction—a jeep, or maybe a lifted truck, I couldn’t tell—had his high beams misaimed, and they were blasting me straight in the face. Grateful for the low traffic, I stared down at the white line and tried to keep my truck straight.
And then, the lights started flickering and dancing in the lane. The glow alternately brightened and dimmed as the car moved, and I realized the driver was swerving. He or she was either drunk or having a heart attack, and neither one of those was very good.
Like so many other times in my short career, I did the only thing I could do. I eased off the fuel and prayed to whoever might be up there. Please keep this truck safe.
Finally, the headlights whizzed past me. I had enough time for a quick second of relief as the sudden darkness made spots dance across my vision—and then I heard it, an awful, thumping groan, and I felt the truck shudder. I glanced in my mirror and saw the trailer swing. I whipped the steering wheel to correct the motion, but it had already gone too far. Fifty-three feet of aluminum bucked like a sidewinder crossing the desert. I steered right, trying to take myself off of the road, but by then, the trailer had started to tip.
If a trailer rolls, the truck goes with it. Jeff had told me that a thousand times. Now I’d get the chance to find out if it was true.
The trailer turned in slow motion, with a groan I could feel all the way to my bones. Gravity shifted, and the world swiveled through my dash as the entire cab filled with the sounds of every item I owned falling at once.
Over the crashes, I heard Diesel’s whine, and there was just enough time for a ping of regret.
I’m sorry, boy. I didn’t know it was going to be this way.
And then the side of my head exploded into a cascade of pain and fire, and everything went dark.

Interview:
.    Where did you get the idea for the novel?
.    I was actually living on a semi-truck at the time.  We would do a lot of runs at night, and for long stretches of the highway, the only vehicles you’d see were semis.  Most of them are marked with the names of different companies, but some of them would have blank trucks and trailers, and I’d just think--I wonder what’s in there? They’re so much inspiration for the brain--truckers are mobile, isolated, discreet, and mostly travel at night--and it helps that they’ve long been called “knights of the road”.  A secret order of monster-fighters could totally blend into that culture and not even be noticed.

        I knew I wanted to write about a female protagonist, and one that was human, that I could actually relate to--and I really love Charlie for that reason.  She’s normal--a little chubby, she’s had her share of man problems, and she doesn’t have her life all figured out yet, even though she’s in her late twenties.  It’s a story about finding herself and her spine in the middle of an environment that is just choking with rigid rules and testosterone.

BirthMarked is also a homage to Jeff Malone, a real guy that went out of his way to make me feel welcome as soon as we met at a truckstop in Ontario.  Right after I got off the truck and returned to “normal” life, I tried working on a few manuscripts that just weren’t working and just getting really frustrated.  I was broke and had just gotten this job waitressing for this boss that was just really rude--and then I found out that my friend Jeff had had a heart attack and died behind the wheel, and I wasn’t going to able to go to his funeral.  I just went into the kitchen, and I was trying to fill these peanut butter cups with this ice cream scoop, only I started crying--and they fired me on the spot.

I went home, and the book just stopped swirling around in thinky-space and settled into my fingers, and I knew I was ready.  There are parts when I was writing it where I cried so hard--and then after it was done, I had to contact his widow for permission to use his name, and I was just petrified, but she was really touched and gave me her blessing and we cried for a while together.  I think that’s why there’s so much feeling in the manuscript--tears and love and all sort of things that just seep out of the page, because they were real while I was writing them.

.    Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
.    I did.  I’m sure I changed it a hundred times--I always do.  And when I don’t, I look back and wish I hadn’t been so lazy.  The title seemed to just fit--but the series title, that changed like four times with the publisher, because the original, Order of Brothers, was just too generic.

.    Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
.    Hmm--I had a Kickstarter for an audiobook that earned out.  Your first professional sale is always a biggie--although at the time, I was on a truck, so I couldn’t really celebrate.  New covers are always great.  I think the biggest thing, day in and day out, is just getting those little letters and tweets that say, “hey, I love your stuff.”  That always makes my day.  There are a few times where I was close to giving up, only to get a letter saying, “I need the next one!” and that really kept me going.  I remember that after my Kickstarter, one of my fans took a picture of himself with a signed poster and posted it up on twitter.  I just about died.

.    What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
.    Last thing I read for pleasure was “A Flight of Thieves” by David Bridger.  My current publisher gives out copies of books for free to authors and editors so we get a “feel” for the company standards and culture.  I had it lying around and was bored and I really didn’t expect to like it--instead I loved it--steampunk with robots and airships and ah!  It was just so great.

.    What was your first book that you ever wrote (very first one you wrote, not published)?

.    Ha ha ha--Um, to be honest, it was an incredibly meandering unreliable narrator experiment about a mechaniphile--a woman that falls in love with her car.  She gets into an accident, and she’s not sure if the car is a murderer or jealous or what, and goes on the lam.  Somehow, it becomes a love story between her roommate and her ex-boyfriend that go to find her, with a bumbling good-hearted cop and an Amish guy that saves everybody in the end.  
                
                Yeah, that will never see the light of day again.

.    What is your writing process?
.    When I first started out, I pantsed stuff completely.  I didn’t even know if it was going to become a book.  I had just been in this horrible car accident and that combined with some other crappy things in my life led to me having this panic disorder that got me fired from my job.  It was horribly debilitating, and then I had a friend that owned a house and said, “hey, why don’t you come sleep on my couch.”  It was kind of out in the country, and both her and her husband worked a lot, and they didn’t have cable or internet.  So I’d wake up with the sun streaming in and make some coffee and think--what will I do today?  And I guess that car accident kind of wound around in my mind and I said, hey, I’ll do this short story, just to kind of pass the time--only it got longer and longer, and one day I woke up and I had finished a novel--and my anxiety disorder was mostly under control.  It was like I had my life back.  And I guess I didn’t stop.  
                
                After that, I plotted for a while, but it started to feel like work and I got to hate it.  So I went back to pantsing.  The most important thing is to wake up first thing in the morning and make my coffee.  I sit down and bang out a thousand words.  If I can do that part, then it will be a good day.

.    Who are your favorite authors of all time?
.    I love Philip Pullman, just love him to pieces.  If I could write that way, my life would be complete.  But honestly, as a kid, I read voraciously, like every genre--I’d just go through entire sections of the library, row by row, and clean them out--a lot of stuff that I probably was too young to read and gave me nightmares but I did.  I’m still that way, too--if I had a choice, I’d just stay home and read every day.

.    At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? 
.    I’ll let you know when I do my first signing.

.    What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
.    Wow, this is a really hard question.  Um . . . let me think.  I am obsessed with Bones and Buffy.  I love sleep and decent beer.  I’ve lived in Argentina and Korea.  I’m an Army brat that loves her dog.

.    How do you react to a bad review?
.    I haven’t had that many yet.  :)  I really don’t, though, because you know, you can’t please everybody.  A lot of times, though, bad reviews have some great points in them--and they’ve made me a better writer, so I’m grateful.

.    How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I was on a semi-truck, and I actually sold two manuscripts at the same time, so while it was awesome, they kind of stole each other’s thunder.  I’ll celebrate the tenth one.  Or maybe the hundredth.  

About the Author:
Well-traveled and uncoordinated, Maria Violante is the best-selling author of several books in the realm of speculative fiction--all of them crossovers that require hyphens in the genre description (see:
gladiator-dystopia-rom-sci-fi, shifter-western-historical, or gunslinger-mercenary-urban fantasy.)

She enjoys a well-roasted coffee, Bell's Winter White Ale, and lives in Michigan with her Chihuahua, Beau, also known as “Piggy Wiggy”.


@violanteauthor