Friday, March 30, 2012

Welcome Janice Seagraves and her new book!

Hi, my name is Janice Seagraves. I’m the author of Windswept Shores.
Today I would like to talk to you about “setting the scene” in your stories. Some people call it backdrop, background or setting. 
I set my story on a deserted island in the Bahamas.
“How did you do that?” you might ask.
Easy, by finding out all that I could about the Bahamas, but not using all of it.
I can imagine your reaction, “Huh?”
Well, yes, we don’t want to over whelm our readers now do we?
I broke it down to this: 
1. Color of sea—teal 
          2. Soil—sandy loam, sand, lots and lots of sand
          3. I also had a cliff make entirely of sand stone, more sand!    
          4. What grows in the Bahamas?—anything that grows in a tropical area, including lots of fruit trees.
          5. Fruit trees+fruit=food
          6. Birds—sea birds including sea gulls
          7. bird+eggs=food (just the eggs, mate)
          8. Fish—tropical fish like what you’d see at your local pet store—puffer, lion fish, clown fish.
         9. I used the name of a local sport fish—tarpon, it can get to be five feet in length. Fish=food
        10. Shellfish—mussels, scallops, and conk=food
        11. Dolphin (the mammal kind)—this is fun, they’re spotted!
        12. Weather—wet+rain+windy=tropical!
        13. I used descriptive words for the sea: ocean, waves, swells, and surf.
You get the idea. I mention the weather a lot in my story, until it becomes almost a secondary character.
Here’s how I set the scene in the first chapter:  
Breathing hard, she flicked a glance at the teal-colored sea. She'd thought a vacation to the Bahamas would be the perfect getaway, would be a solution to the problems she and Jonathan had faced. She'd been wrong—dead wrong. Tears of grief filled her eyes. The never-ending crash of the waves on the beach and the cries of the seagulls seemed to mock her with the reminder she was utterly alone.
Here’s a bit about the weather: 
She frowned at her small tent. I don’t really know him well enough to let him sleep in there with me, but what else am I going to do with him? “There’s enough room in my tent for two.”
“Megz, if you’re that uncomfortable I can sleep out here by the fire with the mossies,” he offered. Right on cue, it started to rain. “I don’t suppose you have another tent?”
“That’s the only one that won’t shred in a stiff breeze. I had to make an A-frame around it to make sure it held together. We’ll just have to make do. Give me a moment.” Kicking off her sandals, she slipped inside the tent. 

And more with the weather: 
The pelting rain filled the silence between them. The tent sides heaved in the stiff breeze. Megan stretched-out on her own small pallet. 
He asked, “Ready to catch some Z's?”
Megan turned her small pillow over several times, trying to find the perfect position for sleeping. There never was one. She finally settled. “Yes, unless you want to talk or tell stories?”
“Shall I tell you a yarn?” 
“What kind of story would you like to tell?” she asked, turning to face him.
“It’s something we did at home. I’ll tell a story that may be true or it might not be. That's for you to work out.”
“Kind of like truth or dare?” She tucked her arm under her head. The pillow still didn’t feel comfortable. “Can you tell me about Australia?” 
Thunder boomed outside. 
Megan jumped.  That sounded really close, I hate lightning storms. Maybe Seth's story will take my mind off of it.
Okay, now I’ve set the scene. The rest of the story is basically camping out. Growing up my dad really-really liked to fish, so I’ve been literally camping since I was a baby. In fact I almost born at a camp site, but that’s another story.
But it does give me the experience of living out of doors, which is what my characters do in Windswept Shores.
Camp excerpt:
“Great. Follow me.” She pushed aside a bush as she continued up a rise. 
Seth followed, leaning heavily on the stick while he watched the sway of her behind. Her meager campsite was neatly laid out; the paths lined with large shells and stones. To one side a tiny fire blazed, a pot with a fitted lid peeked out from a nest of coals giving a delicious aroma that teased his nose. 
“A camp-oven? I haven’t seen one of those in years. What’s ever ya got in there has to be tasty.” He salivated. His gaze settled on a small A-frame made from lashed palm logs. Then he noticed a zippered closure. “That’s not a tent is it?”
She glanced at the shelter. “We had a few scientists on the plane with us. They had intended to transverse the cays, camping on the beaches while they studied the flora and fauna. Lucky for me their supplies washed ashore. That’s what has helped me survive these past two weeks.” 
“Megz, you’re amazing.”
After the scene is set then we can write our story.
Windswept Shores+couple=romance
Janice’s website:
Janice’s main blog:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shut Up and Kiss Me! OUT NOW!

Shut Up and Kiss Me! Out Now!
Being the bad girl has been Carrie’s gig since childhood but being good for a certain drummer boy promises a beautiful future.
Brought up in a traditional family Carrie Stevens fights the bounds of propriety and flaunts her deviance with no regard to personal consequences. With one exception…her big brother’s wishes where his band is concerned. The sparks that fly when she’s around the one taboo she’d love to date are only a tempting siren’s song, until she sees there’s more to Shea than she’d originally thought. The sexy drummer might just make her lose her heart, if he can put her past to rest.
Shea McNamara has been in love with Carrie Stevens for years. Running in the same circle as her isn't easy. Her choice in men irks him but she's in his blood as much as the drums he loves to beat. All he has to do is convince her there’s more to life than the fast lane. With her flirty attitude he refuses to allow her to call the shots.

She ducked to the table, opening the crates to set out the shirts, posters, stickers, hoodies and underwear with Crimson Rage’s logo on them. Carrie smiled greeting fans that came up to buy from her. When the area cleared, she stuck her head under the table to pull out more pieces. A shadow eclipsed the light she needed to search through the tubs. Agitated, she looked up, ill prepared to see her ex, Ty hovering over her. “I’m working.”
“Come on now, sexy. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen each other.”
Some things never changed. Apparently he thought coming onto her with a weak ass line would get him somewhere. Ty looked good, immaculate, matter of fact too perfect, from his kohl-lined eyes to his professionally groomed hair. An opportunist if ever there was one, he never missed a chance to climb higher using others to help him get there. Too bad she didn’t see the signs before dating him for half a year. “You’re wasting your time. I never go backward.”
“Not even a good fuck for ole time’s sake. You know the spot we always nabbed, against the wall.”
“What are you really here for? I was nineteen when I let you bang me behind the stage after you played a really horrible set.” Blunt to no end, she slapped the handful of packed T-shirts on the table.
“Who says I want something?” Ty’s eyes darkened. If he wasn’t such a beanpole in skinny jeans she’d be afraid he’d lay a hand on her.
“Whatever you want Ty, I don’t. Please leave me alone.” Instead of leaving he bent down to the table, trailing a finger down the side of her face, his eyes drifted to her breasts. She shuddered in revulsion and leaned back, slapping his hand away. “Fuck off.” To her horror, the song ended at the precise moment she screamed the words. A hush fell over the on-lookers, keen on the drama playing out in front of them.
“Fine. When I make the big time don’t come crawling on your knees back to me.” Ty sauntered off to the bar to get a drink.
Carrie fumed in utter humiliation. With a fake tight-lipped smile pasted on her face, she sold out of merchandise.
“Hey, carebear.” Shea’s voice broke the monologue running through her brain, screaming murder, murder, murder. He held out a fresh drink for her. She snatched the plastic glass from his hands quickly to avoid the zing of excitement his brief touch left her wanting.
The blessed taste of grape vodka and lemon lime soda soothed her parched throat while giving her a moment to compose herself.
Shea tipped back a bottle of domestic beer and leaned on the edge of the table regarding her.
“Tryin’ to figure you out, carebear.” The way her pet name rolled off his tongue in a thick whiskey tenor sent lava through her veins.
She wondered what he was up to when he set his empty bottle down. Kneeling, he grabbed a bag, rummaged through it and withdrew a black T-shirt. Shit. He planned on switching out from his sweaty one right in front of her. She played nonchalant by taking a swig of her drink.
He edged the shirt up his sweat-incased body over his head. Who said sweat on a man wasn’t sexy? Not her. He mopped his chest with his damp shirt and stuffed the soiled garment in his shoulder bag. Nice. Her gaze roved from his abs of steel, up to his pierced nipple and across the tribal artwork on his shoulder wanting to devour every inch of him.
Suddenly Kiss Me Deadly played in her mind. Great time for 80’s rock music to enter her brain.
“Nice humming voice.” When Shea chuckled, she realized she’d begun humming the Lita Ford song. Gah…She sucked down the rest of her drink and choked on a small bit of ice. Shea pounded on her back.
“The ice melted. I’m good.”
“Heard you were back in town. Plan on staying long?”
“I’m here to stay for a while.” Disappointment hit when he shrugged into the new T-shirt. Damn he looked even better with the shirt stretched over his muscles, she thought as she tilted back in her chair. He would never wear skinny jeans or kohl on his eyes. The prospect of making him her new lover rammed into her for the briefest of seconds again.
“Penny for your thoughts.”
Where the new beer in his hand came from, she didn’t have the slightest clue. So she said the words currently on the tip of her tongue. “Wanna fuck?”
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

100 Top Bestseller in Amazon, Best Books of the Year!

Oh, boy. Is this a great time in my life!
A LONG TIME COMIN' has been in Amazon's Top 100 Best Seller list for weeks now!
This was one of the Sassy Seven's Toys-4-US tales that still sell so very well.  (Do go see our new website:  My gal pals and I are just tickled this series has done so well.
We were even invited by Decadent Publishing to debut their new line, The Edge, with our Valentine's Day series, called--what else--VALENTINO's!  This was named for the guy from whom each of the 7 purchased their chocolate wine.  Yep. That's our fave.  We drink it often when together.  And that togetherness becomes more and more frequent as we now go to each others' homes for "retreats" (yeah, right.) and conferences (to promote but also to schmooze.)
And of course, we also do on line pr together.
The way to succeed in this business is to have a posse you love.
Back to BIZ!
I also have a book nominated for BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR over at The Romance Reviews.
STRONG ARMS OF THE LAW is up for Best Erotic Western of 2011!
Confetti! Balloons. Hysteria as I revel in my Texas Ranger who falls for the sassy little crime writer sought by a nasty gun-running cartel!
Just finished the second in my new western series, Knights in Black Leather about a town with few women and loads of hot men. This is for EC and debuts...soon.
First one is ROPE ME IN.
Third one...soon afterward.
You won't want to miss any of these which will be a series of BDSM, menage and more and lots of hot Texas lovin'!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

WHEN HE JUST CAN't WAIT! A novel for you!

Welcome my pal, Tina Donahue with a book about an impatient man. YUM.
When He Just Can’t Wait

Although it’s politically correct for heroes in romance novels to wait for the lady to be totally ready, we all know that many of those hunks are trembling with a need so fierce they can barely control themselves. And when they let go…

That’s the kind of sexual tension I wanted to convey in The Yearning, my erotic paranormal romance. Mike wants Jasmine badly. They both know it, they both crave it, and at the last moment his Alpha nature comes out and he’s just gotta have it. J

To show you what I mean, here’s the blurb and an excerpt:


To break this curse, they’ll have to turn the heat up. Way up.

Jasmine Dante prowls Key West’s nightlife, fighting a losing battle against a jealous rival’s curse that forces her to seek carnal pleasure, no matter the danger. Weakened from lack of sleep, driven by insatiable lust, she spots a man who stirs her desperate craving, and begins yet another dance of seduction.

Except the dark stranger who returns her direct stare is no ordinary lover. Inside his powerful body lies a raw sexuality that just might be enough to break her curse. There’s only one way to find out: imprison him in her bed and feed on his passion.

Former U.S. Marshal Mike Stearn is many things, but he’s no woman’s sex slave. The deadly telekinetic power he ruthlessly suppresses comes alive again at Jasmine’s touch. Beneath her bold, potent sensuality he senses vulnerability and desperation. He may be in handcuffs, but she’s the one who’s enslaved.

As Mike resurrects his power to free himself so he can find the curse’s source and defeat it, Jasmine revels in his masterful rule. Her ravenous yearning evolves into rapture as she surrenders to his hunger, her darkest needs—and the emotional connection that lies beyond. Unless the curse takes her life first…

Warning: Tons of steamy sex, smoldering passion and a to-die-for love story with a hot Alpha hero who finds himself imprisoned by one sultry and desperate babe.

EXCERPT: (Copyright 2012, Tina Donahue. All rights reserved.)
Mike knew seduction when he saw it, though he couldn’t figure out why Jasmine considered it necessary, given his obvious attraction to her. If his interest went up another notch, he’d be drooling.
Maybe being alone in this house gave her lots of time to read romance novels and dream about heroes who didn’t take meth or beat up on women.
He followed her into the hall. Ornate nightlights—one a fairy, another a stylized sun, the next a hummingbird—created circles of colored light on the shiny hardwood floor.
Her feet slapped the wood. He slowed his pace, watching her ass bounce with each step. The dainty dimples above her cheeks baited him shamelessly, as they would any sane man. His testosterone spiked to a dangerous level, sending his heart rate into triple overdrive. Not willing to risk a stroke, he pulled her toward him, facing him, then backed her into the rose-colored wall, imprisoning her with his body.
“Not upstairs. Here. Now,” he insisted.
He kissed her objections away, his hands roughly fondling her luscious breasts chilled from the air-conditioning. As he warmed them with his palms, his fingers tugged her long nipples, sensing she’d like it.
She did. Smothered moans punctuated her heightened breathing. Knee lifted to his groin, she prodded his balls and cock.
Arousal surged through him. Every hair on his body seemed to stand on end. He responded with an indulgent grunt and kept her pinned to the wall with his kiss as his hands went to his belt.
Jasmine gripped his wrists as best she could and tore her mouth free. “No.” Her breasts heaved against his chest. “I want to strip you.”
His swallow interrupted his gasp. “Then for God’s sake, do it now or I will.”
She released his wrists and sidled away from the wall. “Please, let me.” Fingers grabbing the hem of his tee, she eased it up his torso and arms, off his head, and flung it aside. A soft, feminine growl purred from her as she ran her hands over his chest. Her warm, caring fingers traced his muscles and flat nipples. Pleasure, shocking and deep, shot to the top of his head. He trembled.
Encouraged, she licked his right nipple and his tattoo as her fingers gently tugged the hair peeking from beneath his arms.
Torn between laughing and groaning in appreciation, he settled on another grunt, this one coarser.
Her fingers slid down him as she went to her knees. She gifted his body with hot, openmouthed kisses. His toes splayed within his mocs.
Tongue sweeping over his navel, she unbuckled his belt, pushed his jeans’ metal button through its slit and lowered his fly. His rigid cock twitched within the stretchy cotton of his navy briefs, sensitive to all contact. In no hurry, she ran her tongue across the underwear’s elastic edge as her fingers glided down the front placket.
She was fucking killing him. His chin lifted on a new groan that barely got past his clenched jaw. Her fingers negotiated the underwear’s opening. Once inside, she caressed his rod and searched for his balls.
He ground his teeth so hard they hurt. One more stroke and he’d be making love to his Jockeys. No damn way. He demanded her wet, snug heat. His strangled voice betrayed his agony. “If you don’t take my clothes off now, I swear I will.”
“I’ll do it.”
He hoped.
She hooked her thumbs beneath the band, lowering his briefs and jeans. His cock jumped out of its prison, plumped by blood, dusky with lust. A whimpering sigh escaped her, but she didn’t touch his sex. Puffing like a long-distance runner, she pushed his briefs and jeans down his legs, stopping at his ankle holster.

What happens next? Let’s just say it’s deliciously shameless and precisely what they both desire.

The Yearning is now in ebook AND print!!!!

Buy Link for ebook:


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Beheaded by bad research! The perils of writing historicals

Losing one's head to historically savvy readers and reviewers when writing historical fiction is always a possibility if your research is sloppy.
Anachronisms can behead you.
Bad chronology can destroy your theme, premise and moral, to say nothing of your heroes' and heroines' motivations.
So what has gone wrong in novels of yesteryear?
A woman turning a faucet of running water in the 17th century. (Where was the copy editor?)
Dialogue that hums with Kardashian-Speak. Ex: "She did what?" Or: "And that means what?"
Drawers, underthings in the wrong century.  In particular, bras.
People doing odd things in odd settings. For ex: The frontier woman who never works a plow. A medieval woman who does not do some sort of work in her castle, domain or cottage/shack.
Having taught history in high school and college, I am a firm believer in suggesting and even assigning the reading of historical fiction to my students to interest them and make the period come ALIVE.
Good research means an author does more than entertain. They inform, they inspire, they educate, they foster critical thinking.
My latest Great Historical Read is NOT BETWEEN BROTHERS by David Marion Wilkinson.