Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Leigh Ellwood has a new release! #RHACafe


Deals and Steals From Leigh Ellwood!

Happy Autumn! Hope you're as excited as I am to see two of my books discounted to 99 CENTS at Amazon Kindle. Both are on sale this week only, so if you haven't read either/both this is a great time to get them. Truth or Dare was my first erotic romance and it spawned a nice series for me. It's usually $4.99 so this is a great deal! Love is Bliss is a duology of two paranormal romances in a newer series. Normally $2.99, it's a great deal, especially with a third story due soon.

New Releases Coming Soon

If you enjoyed my first Decadent Publishing 1Night Stand story, A Different Class, keep an eye out for A Class Act (M/M), which is newly contracted. A third story in the Love is Bliss series, Holiday Bliss (M/F), is due out this winter as part of a box set, and another M/M short (title TBA) is also coming at the end of the year. I'm excited to share these new stories with you!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Newest Guest: J. Hughey!

I want to welcome J. Hughey and her new release Eruption. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Thanks, Barbara, for the opportunity to visit with you today. I’m an author of five historical romances who is branching out into contemporary fiction. My day-to-day life is pretty normal, with my husband and two teenaged boys and a day job. Right now we’re busy with high school football.

Tell us about your latest release.

Eruption: Yellowblown™ Book One is being released today, September 13!
The perfect semester for Violet Perch starts with an awesome roomie and a freshman crush intent on becoming a sophomore reality. Yay! With everything going right, it only makes sense for the Yellowstone caldera to erupt for the first time in 630,000 years.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?
The Sheriff of Nottingham as played by Alan Rickman in the 1991 movie “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” comes to mind first. He was horrible, funny, and understandable in a sick way. Also, more recent would be Andrew Scott as Moriarty on the BBC series “Sherlock.” His performance of that character is downright creepy.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?
This is an impossible question, like picking your favorite child. Right now I’m in love with my Yellowblown™ hero, Boone Ramer. He’s a Nebraska cattle rancher, super nice, level headed, All-American guy. He wears plaid shirts and doesn’t swear (much) and holds the door for girls. Sounds like a total nerd but so, so not. Violet and her roommate refer to him as Hotness!

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?
Right now I’m writing New Adult contemporary romance. In case you haven’t heard of the New Adult genre, it fits in the gap between young adult and adult, and generally deals with coming of age themes. Often racier than would be appropriate for a young adult read because the lead characters are in their late teens and early twenties. I also have my historical romances titles available, written under the name Jill Hughey. There will be a new novella coming out in a Love Historicals anthology this fall.

4.) What are you working on now?
I’m working on book two of the Yellowblown™ series. The title is Rhyolite Drifts, and it follows Violet and her family through some difficult challenges and heartbreaks caused by the Yellowstone eruptions, while she deals with the interrupted romance with Boone.

5.) What got you to start writing?
My first book started in my head with a very distinct scene between the hero and heroine. Those two would not quit, and I found it relaxing to escape into their world. When I had a pile of scenes trapped in my head, replaying over and over, I decided I needed to get them out, and I did. That’s how it started. The most odd thing is the original scene didn’t survive into the final manuscript. Such are the cruelties of editing!

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?
The story idea for the Yellowblown™ series in particular built really slowly for me. Originally, I was probably thinking about how my family would survive an eruption. (And why would a sane person be thinking about that? Because I majored in geology in college, and the Yellowstone/Wydaho region is my absolutely favorite place in the world, so I think about this stuff.) Anyway, originally the scenario used a family like mine, but I don’t personally enjoy reading stories about middle-aged people muddling along with their teenagers so I certainly didn’t want to devote a lot of time to writing something like that. Instead, I created a young heroine whose world should be expanding into adulthood yet begins to retract.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?
I’m sort of a conservative person. Letting my mom read my first book—with sex scenes—was really hard for me.

8.) Do you have any special talents?
My most unusual talent is singing. I started taking voice lessons about eight years ago and discovered I have an honest-to-God respectable soprano voice. I’ve tackled some difficult classical pieces and shock the heck out of people who know me only as a middle-aged mom when I open my mouth to sing.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?
Write the next book. Like most authors, I don’t have the luxury to pursue this career full time, so I have to be careful to protect writing time, and sprinkle in promoting and hanging out on Facebook as little as possible.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?
I’m not particularly religious, but I think I’d like to meet Jesus, or his mother Mary, mainly because I want to ask what parts of his life story actually happened the way portrayed in The Bible.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?
This will sound sappy, but I pick “The Sound of Music”—the song, not the entire musical. “I go to the hills when my heart is lonely. I know I will hear what I’ve heard before. My heart will be blessed with the sound of music, and I’ll sing once more.” Those words are sung by a character who knows herself, knows she has to recharge her batteries, and tries to do her best to share her gifts with the world. I’m sort of an introvert, so I think that describes how I approach my life.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?
I would be a sloth. They are so placid, I have no idea how they have survived. I recently saw a video where one was trying to cross a busy road. A man picked it up by its back and it just spread its legs out, sort of like a baby’s startle reflex in super slow motion. No aggression whatsoever. Nothing done in a hurry. I want to come back as something or someone really relaxed.



EXCERPT
I saw him holding Hoag Hall’s front door open for some girls who’d dressed for success the first day of class. My armpits got really sweaty, like they did every time I’d thought about him this summer, which had been pretty often.

Pathetic, since I’d intended to forget him after realizing his words in February had been kindness, not truth.

Six months of rejection didn’t stop me from smoothing my hands down the legs of my shorts when Boone, irresistible as always in a dark green T-shirt with a little V at the neck and faded plaid shorts, walked in the classroom carrying a stack of stapled papers. My first syllabus of the year, no doubt. Why geology, why, why, why, with him as TA and Mom’s college degree in it? And why did I sit in the second row like a geek? No one sat in the front row so I was a total, total geek.

With his papers delivered to the lecturer’s table up front, he walked directly to me, as if he’d known I was there. Like, maybe, he’d been watching for me like I’d been for him. My face felt hot as I sat up in my seat.

“Hi Violet,” he said with the awesome smile that showed off his blunt jaw.

“Hey,” I managed.

“How was your summer?”

“It sucked,” I blurted.

He laughed, and I thought I heard some chick behind me sigh at the throaty sound.

“Whoa,” he said. “There must be a story there.”

“Not much of one. My mom. Remind me to never spend another summer at home,” I said, quickly rediscovering the easy banter that always made me want to spend more time with him.

“Maybe I’ll do that.” His eyes flicked down the front of my sleeveless floral blouse, feminine and flowy over the form-fitting tank top beneath it. His glance wasn’t sex-predator freaky, but appreciative, like a guy checking out a girl he wanted to know better.

Dr. Potter cleared his throat. “Duty calls,” Boone said, turning away.

“Doesn’t it always?”

He stopped mid-stride to look over his shoulder at me, mouth lifted in a half smile. I’d struck the mark with my little barb, and I lifted my eyebrows to acknowledge the hit.

When Boone handed out the syllabuses or syllabi—or whatever the plural form was—he made a point to give me the bottom one.

A Western Case Copperheads football sticky note fluttered on it. Blocky handwriting, from a pen about to run out of ink said, “Pregame party on Saturday? Text me.” And his cell number.

I tried to act like senior guys I’d been crushing on asked me out every day, while inside, July 4th fireworks zinged through me until my fingers went numb. With my best “whatever” expression, I fumbled to move the sticky from the first page to the fourth page of the syllabus (four pages!).
I hardly heard a word the prof said.

Eruption is available at the special price of 99 cents for a short time. Grab your copy now, before it goes up to $2.99.   http://www.amazon.com/Eruption-YellowblownTM-Book-J-Hughey-ebook/dp/B00MRHAIRO
Where to find J. Hughey
Website:  www.jillhughey.com
Newsletter Subscribe: http://www.jillhughey.com/contact



Thank you so much for welcoming me here today, Barbara

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Random thoughts: Where dd our readers go? #MFRWAuthor #RHACafe

I hemmed and hawed over this one. Wasn't sure if I should broach the subject because I don't want to come across as a whiner, but I am curious.

Before Barnes and Noble bought out Fictionwise (and then killed it in my opinion) I had lots of readers. My books were one of their best sellers. Then they ended up closing their doors (Fictionwise not Barnes and Noble). I never saw a large boost at any other electronic book store so where did those readers migrate to?

I never looked at Barnes and Noble as be big proponent of romance. Even though romance novels take up a large section of the book market (it's been a few years since I've seen the stats so I can't give you exacts). They always seemed to ignore that pretended romance wasn't that big a deal.

Then there is Amazon. One of the biggest electronic booksellers out there and I get advertisements from them every day but most of their posts are for all kinds of things I have no interest in. The only time I see books for sale through Amazon's daily e-mail is their Kindle Direct books. Regular romance books? Nope. Erotic Romance books? Heaven forbid....

ARe is about the only one who supports the erotic writer.

There seems to be a void - what happened to the readers?

I miss the day of Waldenbooks. They embraced romance and the romance writer. And fictionwise who didn't judge your story or genre.

Barb:)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Nancy Corrigan has a New Release! #RHACafe

Hunter Betrayed
Nancy Corrigan

Wild Hunt, Book 1

Tainted from birth, Harley lives a life cloaked in darkness and temptation. She resists the lure of her evil legacy by holding the memory of her ghostly savior close. Every night without him is agony. She fantasizes about him and yearns for his body, but he’s not the protector or lover she’s envisioned. He’s a Hunter bred to eliminate her kind. He’s also her only hope of salvation.
Calan, the leader of the Wild Hunt, was created to protect mankind from the Unseelie Court. For a millennium, he’s sacrificed to ensure the horrid creatures remain in the Underworld, but his strength wanes. He must rely on his enemy’s daughter to save him, but he doesn’t expect the intensity of their lust or love. Her touch calms his wild nature and ignites his carnal desires. He’ll risk all to save her, but doing so forces him to make the ultimate sacrifice, one that’ll damn him to suffer forever in his own living hell.



A Romantica® Paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Excerpt

“You.” She swallowed hard. “It’s you.”
“Yes. It is.” A long moment passed where they held each other’s gazes. Finally, he released a shaky breath she felt skim over her cheek. She pressed her palm to the sensitive skin to hold the warmth close. “You never returned to me.”
She’d tried. Raul had stopped her. She’d escaped a near rape at his hands by stabbing him but afterwards she hadn’t been quite…right. It was as if his touch had dirtied her.
She wrapped her arms tight around her chest and pushed the memory away. “I ran just like you told me to.”
“I also told you to come back. You promised you would.”
Guilt choked her for breaking her vow too. She looked away.  “Yes, I did.”
The feather light stroke of his fingertips along her cheek quickened her breaths. Her body reacted to the simple caress as if he’d touched her intimately. Her breasts pebbled and warmth pooled low.
“No matter. I’m glad you finally did. I need your help.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You remember all the knowledge I shared with you, correct?”
She remembered. He’d forced information into her brain she hadn’t known what to do with. Within one heartbeat and the next, she’d learned everything she’d needed to know about how to avoid falling victim to the redcaps and sluaghs. He’d also implanted a compulsion to have an obsidian blade made that had become her constant accessory. She never left the house without it. It was the only thing that could kill the fairies’ creatures.
She forced herself to nod. “Yeah, you saved my life.”
“I thank the gods for that, little female. I was right about you. You are the key.”
“The key to what?”
“You will be the one who will unlock me from my prison and allow the Wild Hunt to ride again.”



Purchase Links***/

Add to your Goodreads TBR list! Hunter Betrayed



Author Bio
Nancy Corrigan believes in unending love and epic tales with a paranormal flare. She enjoys transcending the boundaries of reality to take her readers on an erotic, emotional and romantic journey.
She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children. When she’s not weaving sizzling fantasies, she works as a chemist in a pharmaceutical lab.

Social Media links


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Writing Down the Bones: Scene Analysis

I found another great tip sheet to tell you about. This one is done by Casey Kelly and it was part of a film seminar. I find it helpful to learn from all areas of the writing world - you never know what you can learn.

I love what Casey says about that rough draft. "Writer beware! Don't analyze a scene before you write it - the gut is much smarter than the brain during early drafts." So true! I know I have gotten bogged down in trying to pick the perfect word with my first draft when I know it will grow and change as I edit. Now I just write and not worry about that perfect word. It will come later.

Casey tells us to ask questions when we're ready to edit (and I have totally rewritten the questions to give them a bit of an update. I also combined a few):

1.)  Does your scene show the world you have created? Does it draw your reader in? Does is show when it is happening and where it is happening?

2.) Are you starting the scene in middle of the action?

3.)  Have you introduced your characters in a way that will make your readers want to bond with them?

4.) Does your character grow as your book moves along? Can your reader see that growth?

5.) Does that action reveal new character traits?

6.) What issues come about from that action? How does your character react to what is happening in the scene?

7.) How does the scene move your plot forward?

8.) Does it reflect the tone and moods of your MS?

9.) Have you given the information needed to your readers without data dumping?

10.) Is your dialogue strong? Does it move the plot along?

11,) Have you done the proper foreshadowing? Leaving the proper hints for your readers throughout your MS?

12.) Does the scene make sense? Does it do its job without being obvious?

13.) (this is the only one that is close to word per word and we've all heard this) Does your scene have a beginning, middle and end?

14.) Have you made the goal hard to reach for your characters? In your scene have you shown how difficult it will be to achieve this goal?

15.) When the scene ends will it make your reader want to turn the page?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Meet my Newest Guest: Rayme Michaels!

I want to welcome Rayme Michaels. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.
Tell us about your latest release.

It’s called Screw the Devil’s Daiquiri, and it’s a dark, urban comedy meets psychological drama. It’s a novel that deals with things such as narcissism, childhood trauma, PTSD, the loss of innocence, feelings of emptiness, avarice, death, sex and the trap and pitfalls of living a self-absorbed life. It’s also a very surreal and absurdist book, very Rabelaisian in nature – like me. It’s for any fan of the show Californication.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

My favourite villain is the Joker, namely the Joker of Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel, The Killing Joke. I think it’s such a brilliant masterpiece. The Joker sees the human predicament for what it is, every second of his life, that is, as being completely and utterly absurd. He’s a character that has reached Heidegger’s call to consciousness, just like the protagonist in my new book, and wants to completely consummate himself and the entire world with the chaos of this reality that is so potent to him. The dispersing of his perspective into the world, no matter how horrific the means, gives him nothing but sheer elation, and from this joy comes that iconic laugh of his, a laugh which stands completely antipodal to Batman’s solemn, austere demeanor. Both characters are dark, but in completely antithetical ways, and I love the dynamics that can forever be played out by that Ying-Yang dichotomy.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

That’s a really hard question. I’ve written three books now, and I loved writing all my characters. I guess the character I’ve enjoyed writing the most is Jackie in my new book: an insane maniac of a co-worker, mistress and office tramp, all-too-eager to get whatever she wants out of life and ready to do whatever it takes to get it. And she relishes in destroying and devouring anyone whom she is paranoid might be stepping on her toes and getting in her way. In the case of my new book, that poor new victim of hers is my lead character, John Hazel. I love that which is outrageous and over-the-top, and that’s exactly what Jackie is.

3.) What genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

My first and third books are comedies (though very different types of comedies and very different in style), but my second book, Red Love, is a dark, gory, romantic vampire thriller. I don’t feel that I chose any of my books’ genres, however. I feel they chose me. I always loved comedies, yet, when I was a kid, from age 9 to 12, I was obsessed with horror movies. Then, when I was 21, I read Vittorio the Vampire by Anne Rice, and I was blown away by it. The impact it had on me always stuck, I think. And, at the same time, being a philosophy graduate, Red Love (which, like my first book, Incorrigibility, is a novella), was a great way for me to express my thoughts on the human race and vent out my disdain for it. But Red Love is a warning that if you let your misanthropy get the better of you, you can go insane, just like my lead character, Paul. I have him express my disgust for the severely stupid side of humanity, but, being an immortal vampire drunk with power, he goes too, too far. As for writing comedies, I’ve always had a knack for making people both laugh and think, and I really enjoy doing both of those two things with my writing.

4.) What are you working on now?

It’s a secret.

5.) What got you to start writing?

I loved writing wacky short stories when I was in grade three, which is when creative writing was introduced to me. I have always had a wild imagination and always greatly enjoyed exploring and reveling in it. I remember, from then on, my short stories and even poems making people laugh. I wrote my first poem when I was nine (in grade four), but it wasn’t one of humor; it was about having a crush. I was pretty much just happy to make words rhyme. But I’ve always been a hopeless romantic, so you’ll find elements of that in my books as well. When I was ten, in grade five, I wrote this insanely long 27-page short story (single spaced) called Animals of the Fire for a creative writing unit we were doing over the course of a few months. Everybody else in the class had only written a few pages. I just couldn’t stop writing; I kept wanting to add more and more to the story. It became an obsession.

I got serious about writing when I was 22. I started writing screenplays. My first book, Incorrigibility, was my third screenplay, written on and off between, I think, ages 22 and 24. I decided to turn it into a short novel, years later, in late 2011, when I was 30. My screenwriting was heavily influenced by Kevin Smith. I’ve always been fascinated by contentious characters and bawdy, dialog-driven humor, so Incorrigibility is fueled by just that kind of style, with barely any narrative. My newest book, Screw the Devil’s Daiquiri, has a lot of both dialog and narration. I highly enjoyed writing it from the moment I sat down to begin writing its first scene. 

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

From people, movies, philosophy, and generally from my hyperactive mind.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

Well, my newest book is autobiographical in many ways. I pretty much put myself out there in my writing. I think I’d be the person a lot of them would expect to meet.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

Impersonations. I used to play the electric guitar too.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

I never got advice about being an author. I just kept at it.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

That would have to be my favorite philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. I would show him my Master’s major research project, which was on his first essay of On the Genealogy of Morals, a book which hastened me on my path of academic study and opened my mind to so much. I would also try to convince him that his views on women as expressed in Chapter Seven of Beyond Good and Evil, from aphorism 232 to the end of that chapter, are completely wrong and inane. I would also tell him about my books, of course, and thank him for the incredible influence he had on my life.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

Wow! Now that’s a tough question! Songs that have always spoken to me are Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix, Rain by The Beatles, The Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel, Tired of Waiting for You by The Kinks, Dazed and Confused by Led Zeppelin, Time and Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd, Runnin’ With the Devil by Van Halen, Simply Irresistible by Robert Palmer, Love Buzz by Nirvana (a cover song, actually), Alive and Release by Pearl Jam, Basket Case by Green Day, Common People by Pulp, Sick and Beautiful by Artificial Joy Club, Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve and Got You Where I Want You by The Flies. Sorry, there’s no way a music lover and rocker like myself can narrow it down to only one song.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

A bald eagle. I’ve always wanted to be able to fly.


Excerpt:

He looked all around, and all he could see were fools dancing on the pulse-beat of nothingness as they plummeted towards death on a giant ball of dirt that would eventually be swallowed up by a black hole that was once our sun. All he saw was people utterly desperate for an escape from a reality that to him was even more potent inside that hole called a nightclub than in the outside world, far away from that shelter and stomping ground of showoffs, prima donnas, fashion junkies, phonies, drunks, skanks, snobs, cock-teasers, posers, bullshitters, alpha males, pimp and gangster wannabes, etc., etc., ad nauseam. That reality being, of course, that none of them mattered, and that if God did exist, he didn’t give a damn about any of them or any of this. Our inner need to touch eternity was just a futile desire, and not even the power of love, as great as it was, could assist us in fulfilling it. The meaninglessness of it all was far too potent for John to be able to drink or dance away. Eventually, we are all forgotten, and that was something that no amount of booze or shitty music could ever make him forget. Sure a hot she-demon followed him around, but he was still a realist, after all. He just assumed he was schizophrenic.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lynda Bailey Has a New Release! #mfrwauthor #rhacafe

Shattered Trust is the first in the Trustworthy Texas Trilogy.

Blurb:
Learning to love is the easy part…

As a young woman, Kate Landry trusted the wrong man, and she paid dearly for her naiveté. Alone, pregnant and destitute, she survived by the sheer force of her will. Now forty-two, Kate has made a good living for herself and her daughter as the owner of the Bluebird Saloon. But she’s forgotten how to live. That is until he comes into her bar…

Liam St. James loved a girl once. And only once. After an accident paralyzed her, she didn’t trust he would continue to love her. Brokenhearted, Liam left and soon discovered a world where women did trust him—to be their sexual Dominant. He plays out the scenes masterfully, but the unexpected request from the stoic bar owner will pose his greatest challenge yet…

Kate and Liam embark on a journey to uncover repressed urges and, in the process, they discover new desires. They also fall in love with one another. But when you’ve been shattered as badly as they have by mistrust, deceit and abuse, loving is easy. Trusting is harder, if not impossible, especially when the heart is involved…

Shattered Trust is a BDSM romance. It contains explicit language and graphic love scenes, including bondage, domination, spanking, whipping and multiple partners. It is intended for mature readers only.



Excerpt:
Kate fortified her backbone and doggedly clung to some semblance of control. But with Liam, that was a tall order.
She realized she’d been pushing him, goading him by insisting he work extra shifts then insulting him in front of those girls, all with the hope he’d just quit.
With a sniff, she presented her back to him. “And what things do you believe need to be settled?” She infused as much coolness as she could into her tone.
“Oh, lots of things.”
The nearness of his voice whipped her around. He stood close—very close—to her. So close she could see the dove gray flecks swimming in his sea-green eyes. She wanted to be strong, to stand up to him, but his presence gobbled up all the oxygen, and she couldn’t breathe.
She gulped for air and spun away, but his arm rifled out, cutting off her escape. He stood right behind her, trapping her. The metal edge of the sink dug into her hip.
Her pulse rapped out an erratic beat. She hunched her shoulders to make herself smaller, to make sure he didn’t touch her, and stared at his hand. It looked burly, with a light dusting of hair on his knuckles, and able to inflict damage. A lot of damage. “Move back.” She hated that her voice shook.
“But you asked me a question.” His voice, so low and so hard, roiled her stomach. “And it’d be rude not to answer it, right?” His breath wafted over the nape of her neck. “Right?”
His steel-edged voice weakened her knees. Tears gathered in her eyes. Her chest constricted as her breaths came faster. “I said to move back.”
“Make me move,” he purred into her ear.
She pressed her lips together to keep from crying out. Her entire body trembled.
“What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?”
Stars crowded her vision. Her mouth dried up.
“You’re all about ordering me around like I’m your little bitch. So order me now. Go on. I dare you. Make. Me. Move.”
Blackness swallowed her, and she was falling…down…down. Into an endless abyss.

“Red light…”

Buy Links…



About Lynda…

I’ve always loved stories, especially romances. For me the only thing better than reading a romance is writing one. That and drinking red wine while eating dark chocolate.

My romances are full of passion, with heat levels that range from hot to sizzling! I'm proud to have been a 2010 finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart®. Please join me for laughter and love, and where the good guys always win in the end.

I live in Reno with my husband of thirty+ years and our two pampered pooches.

Stalker Links…

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Meet my Guest Tina Donahue!

I want to welcome Tina Donahue.! First I’d love you to introduce yourself.
Hey everyone! It’s a pleasure to be here. The best way to tell you about me is to share my bio. J
Tina Donahue is an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic romances (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. The French review site, Blue Moon reviews, chose her erotic romance Sensual Stranger as their Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category). The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for Lush Velvet Nights, and two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011 and 2012). Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.

Tell us about your latest release.
Taking Eve is one of the hottest books I’ve written and the first in which I explore BDSM. The story has a paranormal element – reincarnation – and takes place in the present (Seattle, Washington) and the past (Victorian England 1838). Here’s the blurb:
A willing slave to possession, punishment, pleasure…

Dreams of a manor where submission and dominance once ruled draws Faith to hypnotherapist Colin Danes. Potently virile, he looks remarkably like her most cherished master from a past life. Desire smolders in his eyes, proving he’s never forgotten her.
Their carnal dance continues in the present and leads to their past when she was known as Eve. Through hypnotherapy, Colin brings her back to the Victorian era, a hidden estate where she eagerly submits to whatever he and her other noble masters crave. The exquisite discipline of the strap. Being bid on and mounted each night. Displayed and used for the enjoyment of all.
Most will take her. One will try to imprison her. Only he will be her true master in that life and this.


Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?
I loved the Millennium trilogy -  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Salander’s father was the villain in that, along with the people who were destroying her to protect him. I was so freaking glad when Salander came out on top and the rest of them got what was coming to them.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?
Wow. That’s hard to say. I really love them all. I guess if I had to choose one, it would be Zach in Sensual Stranger. When Toni comes into his life, he’s lost everything. So has she. Two wounded souls who find each other and happiness. The end, their HEA, still makes me cry.

3.) What genre do you write? What made you pick that one?
I write contemporary, historical, paranormal, suspense, ménage, erotic, romantic comedy, sci-fi. I’ve done just about everything except for a Western. I don’t confine myself to one genre. I like to explore ideas. That keeps my writing fresh.

4.)What are you working on now?
My WIP is about a young woman who inherits a business she has no idea how to run and the hot guy who’s managing it. Although she’s practical to a fault and cautious, he’s more laid back and a Dom by nature. When they get together, the scenes combust!

5.) What got you to start writing?
I’ve always written. I can’t remember when I didn’t. When I was nine, I wrote my first book and illustrated it. We didn’t have a copier in the house, so I made extra copies by hand and went around the neighborhood selling them to my friends’ parents. It was my first book tour.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?
They just pop into my head while I’m watching the news, a film, a TV show, driving around, listening to a song, talking to friends. Someone might say something that’s pretty mundane, but I’ll start thinking “What if…?” My imagination starts to take off.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?
I’m basically a very shy person. You wouldn’t know it by what I write.

8.) Do you have any special talents?
Art, graphics, dancing.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?
Don’t give up. Keep reading. Keep writing. Anyone who thinks writing is easy, hasn’t really tried it. Anyone who gives up after rejection isn’t really a writer. A true writer, IMO, has to write, no matter what. It’s in the blood. It’s a need as much as breathing and eating.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?
Probably Margaret Atwood.  I’d want to talk about The Handmaid’s Tale. Wow, what a book. I’ve read it dozens of times and it continues to amaze me.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?
Katy Perry’s Roar. It really speaks to me.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?
A pampered cat. I adore cats. Never met one I didn’t want to bring home.




Blurb:

During the day, she’s in charge—at night, he’ll take command of her body, their desires…

Dominance and discipline. Alexandra hungers for both from Daniel, the lead engineer on her Alaskan energy project. She imagines him punishing then mounting her while his team watches. Full-figured, Alexandra hasn’t had much luck with guys, especially ones so potently male. To change that, she invites Daniel to teach her submission to his most carnal needs. She also invites his men.
For too long, Daniel’s craved Alexandra’s lush figure and smarts. However, she’s his boss, it’s not wise to mix business with pleasure, and no damn way does he intend to share her. After one lusty night of her submitting to him and his men, Daniel claims Alexandra as his sub. On his terms. No regrets. No strings.
Yeah, right.
Tell that to their hearts.

Inside scoop: Alexandra and Daniel set things on fire with a brief ménage. Lucky girl has several men to fulfill her needs!

Excerpt:

Nat closed the door. The wind pulled it shut with a loud bang. She jerked. Daniel didn’t seem to notice the noise. He moved into her.
Stunned, Alexandra couldn’t budge. He was closer than he’d ever been. She caught his scent, a woodsy, masculine fragrance, clean and inviting. It mingled with the crisp aroma of snow on his parka and the fabric softener he’d used on his brown-and-cream flannel shirt. Several strands of his wind-tousled hair caressed his forehead and bristly cheeks. God love him, he hadn’t shaved.
She ached to run her fingers over his upper lip and chin.
Daniel didn’t give her the chance. With surprising ease, he slung his arm over her shoulder and drew her into him, their bodies touching. A jolt of desire hit Alexandra so hard she had to bite back a moan. His heat was incredible, chasing away the chill of his coat and the air she’d let inside. Nearly a head taller than her, he seemed enormous, virile, dangerous, and seductive.
Her heart beat out of time. They were near enough to kiss. His mouth rich and full, the stuff of her most salacious fantasies.
“You still want to do this?” he asked, low enough so the others wouldn’t hear.
Surprised by his question, she nodded. To have him leave now would be unthinkable.
“You feel safe?” he added.
His casual embrace ensured it, as though they were dating, comfortable with each other. “Yes, of course.”
Even though he didn’t have feelings for her, other than what appeared to be lust, he was a good man. He wouldn’t deliberately hurt her. Why was he asking?
He didn’t seem convinced of her answer. “You need to be certain,” he said. “This ends now unless you explicitly trust what’s going to happen.”
Alexandra started to perspire. “I do…what did you have in mind?”
Daniel studied her for a long moment, his expression unreadable, though there was a hint of indecency in his eyes. Heat prickled Alexandra’s cheeks and forehead, nourished by excitement not fear. Whatever he’d planned, she was definitely all for it. Downright eager.
“Everything,” he answered, parroting what she’d said yesterday. “I’m in charge. Not you. Not any of the other guys. Me, alone. If you can’t accept that, then this is over right—”
She interrupted, “I accept it.” He’d honored his part of their bargain by showing up and taking over in the best possible way. Now, Alexandra would honor hers. “You’re the boss.”
Delight danced in his eyes. “Yes, I am.”
He cupped the back of her head and pulled her into him, their thighs and bellies snuggled together. Alexandra inhaled sharply. Before she could release her breath on a wanting sigh, he slanted his mouth over hers and slipped his tongue between her lips.
God. She sagged against him, shocking need tearing through her, rendering Alexandra helpless and weak. If not for Daniel’s solid body, she would have dropped to the floor.
Tightening his hold, he deepened their kiss, his mouth greedy and demanding, hers loose and impassioned beneath his. She nestled closer. He ground his hips into hers, his opened parka allowing her to feel his erection, rock solid, long as freaking hell. Alexandra dug her fingers into his coat, wanting it off and them naked, him inside her.
Despite her wayward lust, Daniel didn’t stop and strip. He enjoyed her leisurely, fully, his tongue dancing with hers, then sweeping over her teeth. He tasted of minty toothpaste and a flavor that was unique to him which spoke of good health, a male at the height of his power. Alexandra finally moaned, unable to help herself. Daniel offered a faint growl in return, then broke their kiss and rested his forehead against hers.
As a lover and friend might do.
His behavior was so unexpected and enchanting, she lost all reserve and breathed, “I like you being in charge.”
He made a noise that sounded of contentment and amusement, then traced her jawline with his finger. “We’ll see.”



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Release: Suz deMello's Sherlock's Scandal #RHACafe #MFRWAuthor

Why do people love Holmes? by Suz deMello
(tags: #sherlock #erotica #victoriana @AllRomance)

I will readily admit that I am a Sherlock Holmes fan. No, a fanatic.

Taken the Goodreads quiz on Holmes? Try it—I got 100% (grinning). I thought it was (ahem) elementary.

But why do people love Holmes?



The character wasn’t initially popular. According to Wikipedia, A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four (its first title) didn’t sell well. The short stories, initially published by The Strand Magazine, were the works that ignited the public’s imagination. The first, A Scandal in Bohemia, was published in 1891.

I know why I love Holmes—I’m a sapiensexual. I’m turned on by brains. I’m literally repelled by men who mix up well and good or who don’t hold their cutlery correctly. (A great face, cute smile and buffed bod are also important, along with a sweet soul).

These days, we love hot heroes with brains as well as flaws. Sherlock is complex. He has a lightning-fast wit but the emotional I.Q. of a boulder. He’s interesting. The reigning Holmes, BBC’s Sherlock, describes himself as a “high-functioning sociopath.” I’d add, with a touch of Asperger’s.

Upon publication, however, Sherlock appeared in a very different world.

In 1888, a serial killer started a rampage in an area of London still called Whitechapel. We do not know the number of murders committed by Jack the Ripper. Five brutal killings are apparently linked, but as many as six more could have been the work of the same slayer.

The number, frequency, and brutality of the homicides terrorized London even after they ended in 1891. Unhappy with official efforts to catch the killer, citizens formed the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee and walked the streets searching for suspects.  Police received hundreds of letters purporting to contain leads, most of which were useless. Though serial killers have appeared throughout human history, the Ripper was the first to ignite a media frenzy (Wikipedia).

People cling to certainty in an uncertain world. To a city gripped by dread, the cool, calm, logical Holmes, a detective who unerringly solved every case, was an inspirational hero bringing comfort in a frightening world.

My version of Holmes, from Sherlock’s Scandal, isn’t so cool, calm, and logical. Here’s a snippet to pique your interest:




After the performance, I purchased a bouquet of red roses from one of Covent Garden’s ever-present flower-sellers and posted myself at the stage door to see if I could meet the lady. When she finally emerged, she had cleaned her face of stage makeup and changed out of her costume into a stunning gown of midnight velvet. I am no connoisseur of women’s fashions, but I will never forget the sight. Her décolletage was fetchingly displayed by a lace-trimmed bodice cut so low it exposed her admirable bosom almost all the way down to the nipples, which I promised myself I’d lick that night. She must have bound her breasts for the role, I realized hazily, trying not to stare.
I cleared my throat. “Good evening, Miss Adler.” I offered her the flowers.
She took them and buried her face in the petals to inhale their scent.  I hoped her open enjoyment of the fragrance betokened a sensual nature. She looked up, saying, “Thank you, Mr. Holmes.”
I lifted my brows, fixing on her full lips and large, sparkling eyes in order to avoid crudely ogling her breasts.
“Of course I know who you are.” Off-stage, her American accent was pronounced but not unpleasant.
“I am most flattered.” I offered her my arm. She took it, and we strolled to the kerb, where a hansom waited.
In the intimate interior of the cab, I could scent her perfume, a flowery aroma that blended delightfully with the roses she still clasped. “May I invite you to a late supper?”
“Thank you.” She daintily arranged her skirts, favoring me with a glimpse of one neat ankle.
My member hardened, and I blessed my dinner suit’s loose, comfortable trousers. I drew a deep breath, hoping to calm my hot blood and racing pulse. “Uh, uhm, Sampson’s?”
“Beefsteaks? A fortifying meal for so late in the evening. Will I be in need of fortification, Mr. Holmes?” she asked. Her eyes were partially shadowed by lowered lids.
“Yes,” I said. “You will.”
She raised her gaze, boldly meeting mine. I leaned closer and put a finger beneath her chin. Her skin was soft over a strong jaw, testimony of a determined character.
My chest clenched in a most peculiar manner. Had I met my match?
It was rude, and crude, and forward, but I could not resist. I had to taste her mouth.

All Romance Ebooks has the best price for this short story—here’s a link:

Hope you enjoy it! I truly loved writing it.

Here’s a little about me:

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Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms Total-E-Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.


find Suzie’s books here:


http://www.tinyurl.com/SuzDeMello (publisher’s site)


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Meet My Guest - Toni V. Sweeney!

I want to welcome Toni V. Sweeney. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Thanks, Barbara.  Let’s see…what to say?  I had my first novel published in 1989. It was re-released again this year by Class Act Books.  So far, I’ve had around 40 novels published.  I’ve lived 30 years in the South, 10 in California, and around 30 in the Midwest and am now trying for my third set of 30 there.

Tell us about your latest release.

Variation on the Theme of Man is a science fiction romance concerning the relationship between Gabriel Marsh and Aleksander Karanov, two Federation agents. I like to take clichéd plot and give them a twist. Marsh and Lexei are immediate antagonists to each other.  Marsh is an Angelus, a race considered the most moral in the galaxy. Lexei is a Variant, a mutant who can change sex at will, a deadly assassin and a fantastic womanizer when in male form. They tolerate each other because they have to but…here’s the kicker…then Marsh falls in love with Deirdre, Lexei’s female phase. Now the trouble begins because he has to reconcile himself to the fact that their love is impossible since Deirdre doesn’t really exist.
Contrary to the blurb, it isn’t an m/m romance.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain? It can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

That’s a good question and one I had to think about.  In Linda Nightingale’s vampire series Obsession, there’s a specific vampire, Lucian St Albans. He’s an ancient Roman who’s appointed Enforcer for Les Elus, the vampire council headquartered in London.  Lucian keeps everything on an even keel, dispatching vampires who break their laws, etc. He’s cold, aloof, has a dark sense of humor, is calculating and Machiavellian in the extreme, and lives up to his nickname The Dark Prince…until he’s laid low by falling in love. Although he isn’t the main character in that series, he’s a prominent one and his evolution through the books is interesting to watch.  He’s kind of the Man You Love to Hate.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your own books? Why?

Oh that’s easy. Sinbad sh’en Singh from the Adventures of Sinbad series.  Why? Sin’s handsome, sexy, got a wicked sense of humor, and he’d madly in love with Andrea Talltress, his Terran wife. He’s a faithful husband and a loving father. He’s a former smuggler who became a law-abiding citizen for the woman he loves and now he’s a billionaire thanks to her.  He’s been known to travel light-years to get to his wife and you can’t help but love any man who’d do that.

3.) What genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

Generally I write SF/fantasy with a heavy dose of romance. I don’t know whether I picked that genre or it picked me.  It just seemed to fit the stories I’m most interested in.

4.)What are you working on now?

Currently I’m putting the final touches on a paranormal romance called The Irish Lady’s Spanish Lover which will be released under my pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone. It’s set (surprise!) in Ireland and concerns an ill-fated Elizabethan romance, a dearg-dul (an Irish vampire) and an American girl who proves a catalyst for reawakening the past.

5.) What got you to start writing?

I’ve had a vivid imagination from the very beginning, probably aided and abetted by the fact that my mother took me to the movies several times a week as soon as I was able to walk. No matter what the movie, I was there with her…Gone with the Wind, King Kong, Singing in the Rain…I was exposed to a great many film genres both good and bad at a very young age and they’ve all stuck with me…and then television came along…

6.) Where do you get your ideas?

Anywhere! It can be something someone says, the fact that I didn’t like the ending of a movie and decide to rewrite it, a suggestion from someone…even a dream. My novel Serpent’s Tooth, my version of the Faust legend, was inspired by a fragment of a dream I had.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

That I’m a 71-year-old grandmother? That I have a 32-year-old lover? Really, what I think might be surprising might not be to anyone who meets me.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I used to be a dancer. Unfortunately that went when I was in an automobile accident. I was also a fairly good horsewoman. That also went after the accident. I can play the piano, have two degrees in art, used to raise poodles as well as tropical fish. I’m also a pretty good gardener, specializing in rescuing abandoned plants and reviving them.

 9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

Truthfully, I didn’t get any advice because I didn’t tell anyone I was going to be a writer until I was well into it.  My family has a tendency to ridicule people when they do something different and I was determined I wasn’t going to have them laugh at what I was attempting. Some good advice I give, by the way, is: Be persistent. If you want to write. Do it and don’t let people talk you out of it…but be sure and learn grammar and how to spell.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

I Did it My Way… Doing What Comes Naturally… I Ain’t Gonna Take it Sitting Down… I Will Survive…  It depends on which phase of my life you’re talking about.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

A poodle. They’re intelligent, cute, and they get babied, plus they get free haircuts and get to wear cute outfits.




 A Passing Thanks to Quark

Does anyone remember Quark?  It was a one season SF satire created by Buck Henry in 1977.  Starring Richard Benjamin and Tim Tommerson, it chronicled the adventures of Adam Quark, captain of a garbage scow which was part of the United Galactic Sanitation patrol (and secretly a galactic agent).  One of his crew members was Gene/Jean (played by Tommerson), a Transmute with characteristics of both sexes.   Gene could change to Jean at the flick of an eyelash, leading to some hilarious situations.

When I started writing “Variation,” I decided to take a leaf from Captain Quark’s log.  My “second” hero was also going to be a mutation, but I was going to go about it in a more serious way. He was going to be a shapeshifter of a different color…he can change sex at will.  However, it isn’t, in spite of its subject matter, a M/M or ménage novel. Instead, it’s the story of what happens when a very strict, prudish man is partnered with someone whose life is diametrically opposed to his own.

Gabriel Marsh is an Angelus, native of a planet where everyone is so upright and moral they squeak when they walk.  They’re called the “Angels of the Galaxy” because they judge everyone by their own high—and totally hypocritical—standards, and like most hypocrites, they have no idea they’re doing this.  Marsh is also a Federation assassin, and needless to say, this is also wholly in opposition to his upbringing and has earned him another nickname, the “Dark Angel.”  Marsh doesn’t consider himself much to look at…he’s 6’9”, with amber eyes and a granite-chiseled face matching his libido.  His mother considers him handsome and is continually harping on why he hasn’t married and given her grandchildren.  A hit man with a mother!  Right.

Needless to say, Marsh doesn’t consider himself much of a hit with the ladies and usually pays for whatever affection he gets, and considers it the best way for those things to happen.

And then, he’s assigned a new partner…

…and what a partner he is!  Called to a notorious dive by his handler, Marsh is told he’s to see the “new boy” but won’t be introduced to him at that specific time.  Gabriel Marsh is in for a shock. Aleksandr Karanov…

…an angel—delicate, blond, a Pocket Apollo, looking even smaller and more fragile in comparison to the two blue-spined Advarians between whom he stood… Exquisite. That was it. Delicately but perfectly formed, like one of those antique Cybis figurines he’d seen in that museum when he’d been stationed on Antilla.

The fact that he’s kissing everyone in sight—both men and women—and then whirling onto the dance floor in a curl-bouncing butt-shaking jazz waltz doesn’t raise Marsh’s opinion much higher than zero. 

And this fragile butterfly who stands barely 5’3” is going to his new partner?

Aleksandr Karanov’s a Terran—and that’s a mark against him sight unseen, because Earthmen are notorious womanizers.  They’ll lay anything female and remotely humanoid.  He’s an orphan, having lost his parents in a Russian nuclear meltdown when he was four.  That left him a Federation ward as well as activating the so-called V-gene, enabling him to change sex at will.  Now, Lexei’s a Fed assassin, as deadly as he is pretty.   As Marsh thinks:

If he’d been about a foot taller, Karanov would have been someone to be afraid of.  As it was, he was more likely to be cooed over by women, scorned by men, and not taken seriously by anyone.

Marsh makes the mistake of following this line of thinking and finds himself on the floor, the imprint of Lexei’s fist in his belly while he rapidly re-assesses their relationship.

So here they are, a prudish giant with hypocritical morals and a diminutive womanizer who’ll shag anything in a skirt, then drop her before she can finish her orgasm, while he loads his rifle to make a hit.  The oddest odd couple in the galaxy, and destined for a tumultuous relationship—and probably an explosive, and terminal, parting. 

But wait!—there’s more.

Now, Marsh meets Deirdre, Lexei’s Other, his Secondary Persona, the female self into which the little Terran transmutes…and the Angel falls…hard and fast.  The man with the morals as unyielding as his granite exterior falls in love…with a woman who doesn’t exist…a woman who’s in fact his very male partner…

What’s a poor assassin to do?  If you’re Gabriel Marsh, you stay awake re-thinking your life, and asking the question: What do you do when the woman of your dreams is also the man of your waking days? Marsh doesn’t really like the answer he gets, but he can’t change it...or can he?



EXCERPT:

The music led him up two flights of non-escalating stairs to a door in the center of the hallway, a door which, when he tapped the inter-com pad, slowly swung open.  Inside, the music was blasting at near eardrum-puncturing pitch.  How can anyone be inside with that noise and survive? He touched the pad again but there was no sound other than that cacophony.  Suspecting a trick, he stepped to one side, carefully pulled the Winchester TR-27 out of its shoulder holster and pushed the door completely open.
Cautiously, Marsh looked in.  What he saw was unexpected but totally enjoyable.
A pair of softly rounded buttocks and slender white legs. A young woman, back to the door, doing some type of calisthenics. Bemidjian aerobics, if her gyrations were any indication. She appeared to be wearing nothing more than a towel and Marsh wondered how long it would be before her movements caused the tucked velourcloth rectangle to dislodge and end up on the carpet.  He felt a flick of latent lust, wondering if he had enough time to wait and see. There was a headset over her ears and the way she was pausing slightly between each movement told him she was listening to a physical fitness lecture, and that, combined with the loudness of the music, was the reason she hadn’t heard his knock.
Karanov’s girlfriend, he supposed. Okay, so I’m wrong about the kid. Maybe.
Damp curls bobbing, she was in the middle of a deep stretch making the breasts under the towel rise dangerously, when she saw Marsh standing there, gun in hand.  Immediately, she squealed and fell against the counter.  Scrambling behind it, she stood with arms crossed over her breasts, which were still pretty well covered as far as he could tell.
For just a minute, they stared at each other.
She recovered fast.  Jerking the headset away from her ears, she tossed it on the counter, then touched a button on the control panel set into it. As the music died away, she said, without a quaver, “You must be Marsh, Lexei’s new partner. Come in, shut the door, and put away the hardware. We’re friendly here.”
For a moment, Marsh didn’t understand her.  It wasn’t just the Terro-Russe accent; she was speaking Inglaterre, a form of Terran-English the Federation had declared the official language of the galaxy.  It was something he himself seldom used.  Marsh’s usual locales spoke a diversity of languages and Inglaterre wasn’t one of them.  As he silently obeyed, being careful to duck so he wouldn’t strike his forehead on the doorframe, his opinion of Karanov dropped again. Not only was the little twig questionable, but he was obviously very loose-lipped to his girlfriend. He slid his tall body onto one of the stools at the counter, noting ruefully it was definitely not constructed for someone with a normal height of six-foot-nine. He felt as if he were sitting with his knees under his chin.  If either Karanov or the girl were in his place, neither’s feet would touch the floor.

Variation was released by Class Act Books on August 15, 2014, www.classactbooks.com.

About the Author:

Toni V. Sweeney has lived 30 years in the South, a score in the Middle West, and a decade on the Pacific Coast and now she’s trying for her second 30 on the Great Plains. Since the publication of her first novel in 1989, Toni divides her time between writing SF/Fantasy under her own name and romances often set in the South under her pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone.   In March, 2013, she became publicity manager for Class Act Books (US) and also Double Dragon Publishing (Canada). She is also on the review staff of the New York Journal of Books.

You can find out more about Toni at: