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Come meet #NYT’s most awesome #RomanticSuspense Authoress @CindyGerard and her edgy, sexy men…. #giveaway #RomSus #THEWAYHOME #BOI #ONEEYEDJACKS

Okay everyone, breathe with me as I try not to hyperventilate from my squees of delight. Today I’m so honored to host the most awesome Cindy Gerard.  If you haven’t discovered her, you must add her to your TBR piles. Not only does she have the fantastic Black Ops, Inc. Series, but her latest group of hotties belong to the One Eyed Jacks. You don’t want to miss out on these great romantic suspense titles!  

And because of how truly fantastic she is, Cindy will be giving away THREE e-book copies of her title WHEN SOMEBODY LOVES YOU to our wonderful audience of commenters! All you have to do is leave a comment here (or over at 7 Evil Dwarves site) sharing your favorite heart pounding moment ( a proposal, your first trip to a haunted house, an interview, first day at school/work), whatever got your pulse rate up!  Will announce our winners on both sites on Nov. 15th!

Put your hands together for Ms. Cindy Gerard!

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If you were to hold a dinner party for six, who would you invite and share at least one question you would have for each? Your guests don’t have to be alive and if you really want to make it fun, you can use favorite fictional characters. 

I would really love to have dinner with all the BOI characters – especially Johnny Reed – and from the One Eyed Jacks series, Mike Primetime Brown.  These guys make me laugh.  And the question I would have for them is:  What do you think of cougars???  :o)

–*giggle*, let me know what their answer is, I might have to stop by at an opportune moment!

As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten.  Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?

I was sure I would be a nurse or a veterinarian or an actress, or a singer, or wait … a playwrite.  As you can see, I wanted the whole ball of wax. 

–been there and so cool to see it happen all over again with the boys in my home…

If your character(s) came with a warning label, what would it say?

Warning: anyone tampering with this man (men) are subject to getting caught in the middle of dangerous situations, apt to lose their heart, and will never be the same again.

–sign me up!

If you turned your laptop/computer/pen/typewriter (yes, some of still use these!) over to your character(s), how would they describe you?

Oh dear.  I’m almost afraid to explore that one.  Hopefully they’d say I’m kind and patient and generous but I suspect they’d say I’m bossy, impatient and determined to have my own way.

–yeah, but our characters would get bored if we were nice to them…

Personally, I tend to be a bit on the introverted side so the thought of being in the actual presence of one of my favorite writers makes my heart race, my knees shake and tangles my tongue (yes classic fan girl behavior).  Who could reduce you to such a level and how do you imagine your initial meeting?

There are many who could prompt an “I’m not worthy” moment.  Lee Child would be one.  LaVryle Spencer would be another.  I would imagine I’d pretty much stand there, starry eyed and stiff as a post, willing some pearl of wisdom to come out of my mouth but stuck, instead with a tongue tied hello.  I suck at hero worship.

–does this mean if I get a chance to meet you in actual person, you’ll forgive me for not being able to provide some witty repartee beyond “Errrppp!”?

Whether we’re plotters or pantsers (outlines not needed), creating our stories takes us on very memorable journeys.  Sometimes we may be part way through before we realize some major aspect of our story is just not working (plot, character, setting).  Have you ever hit this sharp, pointy snag and if so, how did you escape? We’re you battered and bruised or a bloody mess?

Frankly, it’s rare that I don’t hit a snag and I always feel battered and bruised when I finish a book.  There are days when I feel like I’m crawling over broken glass naked just to get a scene right.  I think all authors experience it.  Unfortunately, I think it’s also called: The Creative Process.  It’s unavoidable.  Let’s face it.  If it was easy, anyone could do it. 

–*wipes forehead free of sweat* So guess it doesn’t ever go away, uh? Oh well…

Share one uniquely strange experience you’ve had that remains crystal clear to this day.

A few years ago I visited the Korean War monument in D.C.  I’ve never had such an experience as the sense of reality, pain, cold, and fear that our military men had in that battle field depiction.  The statues were larger than life yet so lifelike in expression I literally felt all of those things as well as the loss they experienced.  Very chilling and very moving.  I stood and cried like a baby.

—I did the same at Pearl Harbor a few years back, so I get it. So hard to stand in the midst of such history and not be impacted…

What is some of the best advice you were ever given?

Be kind to people

What is the best advice you can share with others? 

Be kind to people

—  :0)

Share if you dare, one of your favorite research experiences. Did you join a ghost hunters group? Did you step outside your comfort zone and into the wild world of your characters?

I jumped off a 40 foot cliff into the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon so I could experience what it might feel like if you were running for your life and ran out of room.  And no, I’d never do it again. :o)

–Ok, you win this one, Cindy. No way will I ever be able to top that. I get dizzy at the top of buildings, much less the Grand Canyon…

Now our favorite part–our BULLET LIST…

Blades, guns, fists or feet? 

Food.  It’s a great weapon J

Favorite Fairy Tale of all time? 

Rapunzel

Greatest one liner of all time? 

“Did you ever feel like the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?”  Old lonesome George Gobel

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain? 

Sarcastic Witticism.  For sure :o)

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

 A 90 gallon fresh water aquarium.

Favorite supernatural creature?

I’m holding out for the Lac Ness Monster to be real.

Want a peek into THE WAY HOME! I know you do, so here you go…

the way home9781476735207

THE WAY HOME – EXCERPT

PROLOGUE

Afghanistan – July

It wasn’t the memory he would have chosen – not when he couldn’t even remember his own name – but he knew that he used to have nightmares about vampires.  Hiding under his bed and in dark closets.  Swooping down on their Dracula wings, sinking their fangs into his neck and sucking out his blood.

How ironic, then, that he’d become a vampire of sorts: a creature who lived in the night, hid from the light, and sucked sustenance as though it were blood from a young Afghani woman who despised him but wouldn’t let him die.  She brought him food, water and medicine.  And opiates that she liberally laced in all three.

He watched her now through an opiate induced haze,  physically incapacitated and totally dependent on her. He knew that her name was Rabia and that shecould ill afford the things she brought for him. He also knew that if he were caught while she harbored the escaped American soldier a horde of Taliban warlords were searching for, not only would he be tortured, interrogated and finally executed, so would she.

So he didn’t know why she continued to help him, but he had no option but to accept it.  Just as he had no choice but to believe what she’d told him in heavily accented English about who he was … because he didn’t remember.  He didn’t remember being an American soldier, or what had happened to him, or how he’d escaped from the Taliban and ended up here.

The panic and anguish that stalked him whenever the opiates wore off were as huge and dark as the cave where she hid him. So he gladly relinquished both to the apathy induced by the poppy. Apathy was painless. Apathy made it tolerable to know that weeks, maybe months of his life were gone. His memories … gone.

Only the vampire dreams remained of who he’d been. And only the woman kept him alive.

He studied her now as she prepared his meal in the dim light of an oil lamp, in a silence that embodied their uneasy and unnatural bond as shifting shadows danced along the curved rock wall and dust swept into the cave on a wind that never quit blowing. He knew scattered words in Pashtu but didn’t know why he knew them. She had a passing command of English but rarely chose to use it. More irony that she represented the one constant in a life that had been reduced to pain, fear and the vertigo that crippled him even more than the opiates.  And he didn’t know whether to thank her for keeping him alive, or hate her.

Moving his head slowly to avoid triggering another vertigo attack, he pulled the ragged blanket around him against the chill of the cave floor.

Because he was too weak to feed himself, he watched her eyes as she offered spoonfuls of lukewarm soup.  He couldn’t see her features beneath the dark scarf she wore over her head and wrapped around her neck to cover her face. He could only see those eyes, onyx black, winter cold and void of any emotion but weary disdain.

It had been the same thing every day for twenty-three days. He’d used a small pebble to scratch a mark on the rock wall every day since he’d regained consciousness.  She would appear wearing dark, baggy trousers beneath an encompassing scarf or burqa that covered her from head to knees completely hiding her body beneath yards of coarse, draping cotton.  The scent of the summer heat and the scorch of the sun that she brought with her were reminders that a world existed outside this cave.  A world that wasn’t dank and dark and cold.  A world that was hostile and foreign and where, she assured him, he was not safe.

For twenty-three days she had been the only soul he’d seen and she had yet to look him directly in the eye.  He wouldn’t recognize her if he saw her on the street.  Not that he would ever leave here. If the pain and the vertigo didn’t keep him flat on his back, the ankle shackle that chained him to the rock wall would. And then there was the poppy.  Who knew how deeply he’d been dragged down that rabbit hole?

Some days – the lucid ones, when he couldn’t fight the fear – he would lie here shivering and wish for death.  When pain ripped through his head, when the dizziness became so crippling it reduced him to lying rigidly still, hugging the rock floor in a desperate and futile attempt to stop the nausea, that’s when despair crushed him. And he would beg her to let him die.

Always, she refused.  She continued to risk all to make certain he stayed alive and he had no idea why.

He knew only that every time she appeared on quiet feet and condemning silence, he felt both shame and gratitude because she hadn’t forgotten him … the way he’d forgotten everything but the need to leave this place that even God had forsaken and find his way back home.

If only he knew where home was.

CHAPTER 1

Northern Minnesota – July

Today, of all days, Jess Albert needed routine. Most days she got it. Shop keeping wasn’t exactly a glamorous, high profile or lucrative occupation. In fact, every day was pretty much a repeat of the day before and the day before that. Little mini ground hogs days stacked up like cord wood one on top of the other.  All that was about to change, however, to the tune of the old bell fixed above the Crossroads General Store’s front door.

“Until tomorrow my little lotus blossom.  Dream of me.”

Jess grinned as one of her regulars, Boots England, delivered his standard good bye, tucked his newspaper under his arm and limped toward the door on his recently replaced knee.

“One of these days Marcia’s going to show up with a shovel and bash one of us over the head if you keep flirting with me like that.”

“Ah, but what’s life without a little danger?”  He wiggled his bushy white eye brows, blew her a kiss and let himself outside on a hot rush of July air to get in his Saab and drive the four miles back to his lakeside cabin for his afternoon nap and his wife of almost fifty years.

The bell above the store’s front door dinged softly behind the irrepressible old flirt, sounding the same as it had since Jess’s father had first set up shop almost fifty years ago. Jess loved the sound of that bell. It was comforting and comfortable, the bedrock of her childhood, as ingrained in her psyche as the scent of sunscreen, bug spray and the cherry nut ice cream she’d already scooped gallons of this summer.

She’d spent her youth playing on the scarred pine floors, eventually working behind the counter and after burning out as an ER trauma nurse, finally taking over the store when her parents had retired and moved to Arizona three years ago. So yeah, she loved the sound of that old bell. She especially loved it because every time it rang it meant business which was good because her quarterly taxes were due soon and, as always, she was a little short on cash.

She also loved it because it meant she had another customer to help keep her mind off the fact that this particular day would be a tough one to get through. She glanced at the framed 8 X 10 photo of her and J.R. that hung on the wall behind the cash register. Suntanned and smiling, their whole lives ahead of them.  And then it wasn’t.  At least it wasn’t for J.R.

He would have been thirty-five today. If he’d been home and not deployed, she would have baked him a cake and some of his buddies on the base would have stopped by and they would have drank a little beer.

But the last birthday J.R. celebrated had been thousands of miles from home.  He’d been thirty-two.  Eight months later, he’d been dead.

“Too late to add these to the bill?”

She looked up at the young father making some last minute purchases before he and his son headed out onto the lake for a week of camping and fishing.  He’d added a map and two black ball caps with Lake Kabetogama embroidered across the bill in red to their growing stack of supplies.

“Not a problem.” She gave him a bright smile and harnessed her attention back to the business at hand.  “Anything else?”

The Crossroads Store was a North woods version of a Wal-mart – on a much smaller and less state of the art scale.  The store had been supplying locals and travelers alike for over eighty years.  You needed boots?  Whiskey?  Bait?  Groceries?  DVD rentals?  Anything you could think of the Crossroads provided.

“Yeah, throw in half a dozen C batteries and we’ll call it good, right, son?”

The boy looked to be around ten with flashing brown eyes and buzz cut blond hair.  He was the image of his father and antsy to start their grand ‘just guys’ adventure.

“Do you think we’ll see a bear?” Equal measures of hope and trepidation peppered the boy’s question.

“It’s a good possibility,” she said, feeding his excitement.  “Last DNR count, over a hundred and fifty black bears called Lake Kabetogama and this part of Voyagers National Park home. Where’re you camping?”

The dad dug into his breast pocket and quickly checked his camping permit. “Blue Fin Bay.”

“Ah.  Then there’s a pretty good chance you might spot one.”

The boy’s eyes grew as big as bobbers.

She couldn’t help but laugh as she continued ringing up their sale.  “Make sure to police your camp site every day and store your food in the bear proof lockers the park service provides.  You’ll be fine.”

The bell rang again in the background.  Jess glanced up from the cash register in time to see a pair of broad shoulders and the back of a baseball cap disappear down the center aisle toward the live bait tanks.

It was a sight she saw dozens of times a day during the summer season.  Another fisherman burning with fishing fever, hoping to get lucky and needing some bait.  Since she was on her own for a while until Kayla Burke, her mainstay summer help, got back from a bank run, she left the newcomer alone to figure out what he wanted while she finished ringing up twenty gallons of gas, a mocha cappuccino, a root beer and the rest of the groceries for the father and son campers.  She gave them directions to Wooden Frog Landing where they could put their boat in and wished them good luck.  Once they’d headed out the door, she decided she’d better check on Mr. Ball Cap.

Wiping her hands on a paper towel and heading out from behind the counter, she nearly tripped over Bear, her twelve week old Labrador pup. The dog was a mass of sleek, glossy black fur, big clumsy feet, and happily thumping tail.  Still fully spent from their run early this morning, Bear had ‘assumed the position’ and napped soundly by her feet.

“No, don’t get up.” She grinned at the oblivious dog and headed down a row of shelves stocked neatly with everything from canned goods to marshmallows to fishing lures, and walked toward the last place she’d seen the top of the ball cap disappear.

“Sorry for the wait.  What can I get you?”

“Not sure.  What do I need to catch the big ones?”

The voice stopped her cold.  And routine, mundane and comfortable shifted to excitement and chaos in one long, heavy heartbeat.  It didn’t matter that the row of stocked shelves hid him.  She knew exactly who was back there.

Tyler Brown.

Holy, holy cow. 

Talk about a blind side.  It had been a year ago February since she’d met this man and exchanged a very few words him.  No way should she have remembered the timber and the pitch of his voice so clearly after … what?  Eighteen months?  Yet she was one hundred percent certain it was him before she hesitantly made the final turn to face him.

“Surprise.”  He smiled, hopeful and expectant and even a little shy.  Coupled with his very large, very striking, and very unexpected presence, it set off a handspring of emotions in her stomach.

“Yeah,” she finally managed, along with a return smile that felt as forced as it felt necessary.  “You could definitely say this is a surprise.  Hello, Ty.”

She started to extend her hand, thought better of it and stuffed it into the back pocket of her shorts.  “Wow.  You’re a long way from home.”

A very long way.  Not merely a long way from Florida.  A long way from his life.  A heck of a long way from a cold winter night when he’d swooped in and out of her life like the storm he’d blown in on. And now here he was, back again.  One of the men who had been in the thick of a dangerous rescue.  A man who had made enough of an initial impression on her that she’d opened up her gun safe to him and three other virtual strangers based on his word alone.

Unable to stop herself, she started at Tyler Brown who looked nothing like J.R. but who she suspected was like him in every other way.  Every way but one.  Ty Brown was alive. J.R. wasn’t.  Her husband had died thousands of miles from home, fighting a war she’d never quite understood, hadn’t truly sanctioned and that she hadn’t been able to keep him from fighting.  Looking at Ty – who’d made her think of J.R. the first time she’d seen him – unsettled her as much as it confused her.  And yes, unfortunately, excited her.

Yup. Her day had gone from mundane to totally bonkers to the tune of a bell above the door.

“So.”  He looked expectant when she stood there. Guess he finally decided one of them needed to say something and since he’d brought this game into play, she was fine with it being him. “Thought I’d do some fishing.”

Florida was no longer surrounded by an ocean full of fish?

Because he had this little ‘if you buy that, I’ve got some farm land in the Sahara desert I’d love to sell you’ smile, she avoided the obvious questions like: What was he really doing here?  And the most damaging one: Why did it seem to matter so much?

“Early July’s not the best time of year.”  Two could play this game. “But I’m told fishing started to pick up a bit this week.”  She pasted on her shopkeeper smile and pretended her world hadn’t been tipped on end.  “You want live bait?”

His grinned, looking both thoughtful and amused, like he knew that she knew he hadn’t come all this way to fish but was willing to play it that way until she got used to the idea. “Live bait.  Yeah, sure.  Why not?  Live bait would be good.”

She moved behind the bubbling minnow tanks, hoping she didn’t appear as off balanced as she felt.  “Got a sale on flathead chubs.”

That spurred a soft chuckle.  “My lucky day.”

She could not look at him because for God sake, live bait had not brought him back to Kabetogama.  Neither had fishing but she wasn’t ready to process that yet.  Head down, she started scooping up minnows.  “Couple dozen do you?”

“I don’t know.  Will a couple dozen do me?”

He was laughing at her now … not unkindly but like he found her entertaining which meant he saw right through her.

Lord, she hoped he didn’t have her figured out.  Or maybe she did.  Then he could tell her exactly what was going on in her head because she didn’t have one solid clue.  Well, maybe one.  There hadn’t been a man in her life since J.R.  And there’d never been a man who triggered the physical reactions this man had at first sight all those months ago.  Reactions he triggered again today.

It had both unsettled and puzzled her that she had experienced such an instant and strong physical reaction to Ty Brown on that very brief first meeting.  But she’d chalked it up to a cold, isolating storm, the threat of imminent danger and a lot of long lonely nights alone in her bed.

But then he’d disappeared from her life as quickly as he’d come in to it.  Which had been good.  Which had been fine.  She’d actually been relieved when he hadn’t called even though he’d said he would – at least that’s what she’d told herself several times since.  She didn’t want to get involved with anyone.  She especially didn’t want to get involved with a man like Tyler Brown who was just like J.R.  Special Ops soldiers, whether active duty or retired, were always warriors.  They would always be the man leading the charge, putting themselves in danger, living for the adrenaline rush and dying for God and country and the guy next to him in the trenches.

She’d lived with that man.  She’d loved and tried to understand that man.  But neither love nor understanding had been enough to keep him home, keep him happy, or keep him alive.

CAN’T WAIT AND WANT TO GET IT NOW? GOOD, LET US LINK YOU…

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Fall into Fantasy Giveaway #FallIntoFantasy #Giveaway #NewReads

Fall into Fantasy Giveaway…all with a little help from Ash Krafton!

So your To Be Read pile has shrunk since summer? Then here’s your chance to regrow it. 

Ash Krafton is joining forces with tons of Fantasy and Paranormal authors (including yours truly) to give you a chance to get your hands on some new titles.

Excited to roll the dice? Try out the Rafflecopter giveaway below for your chance to win some fantastic swag from a whole plethora of authors, like: 

The Swag List…
Readers can win one of several swag baskets from our authors, including:

Ash Krafton
Rhonda Parrish
Niteblade Fantasy and Horror Magazine
Jane Lebak
Sharon Saracino
Cathrina Constantine
The Jeep Diva book review blog
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Thomas Winship
Angela Brown
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Time to dip your toes into something steamy and meet #Erotica author @kallypsomasters! #giveaway #romance #rescueme

Welcome back my loyal Swamp followers. Did you all make it through the whirlwind of new authors and add layers to your To Be Read piles?

You did? Great!

We’re not quite done yet, my friends. Today we have to leave the kids with Dreamer to take some well deserved Adult Time and walk the edge of our desires with the wonderfully lovely and fantastic Erotica author, Kallypso Masters.  We managed to waylay her on  her way to Authors After Dark where she and some of our past guests like Jennifer Estep, and Lynn Rush will all be appearing! If you can make it, you MUST GO!

Now I realize we’re stepping outside our comfort zone a bit here, but what’s life without a few heart-pounding moments?  Besides, for those who haven’t tried this particular genre, Kally’s Rescue Me series is a great introduction. Her characters are so real they’ll reach out, rope you into their world and make it so you don’t ever want to leave.

Without further ado, I present Kallypso Masters!

Thanks so much for having me here, Jami and friends! I am knee-deep in alligators right now and love to answer questions, so I opted to choose some of your very unique questions and answer them, hoping to reveal something new to some of my long-term fans, as well as have some new readers discover me and my books.

If your character(s) came with a warning label, what would it say?

Wounded, but not broken.

—and oh so real, I have to add!

If you turned your laptop/computer/pen/typewriter (yes, some of still use these!) over to your character(s), how would they describe you?

IF I turned it over? Master Adam has often commandeered my keyboard. One of my favorite times was when he came to speak to my readers about how to survive the holidays about the time his book, Nobody’s Hero, was released, Christmas 2011. (Read Master Adam’s message here!)

Hmmm, I think Adam would say…

Oh, Sir. Good morning! Um, yes, Sir. You most certainly can have the keyboard.

*Kally gets up to get dressed for breakfast*

Adam here. You want to know what I’d say about Kally? She doesn’t realize what a great talent she has at capturing stories, even from the most reluctant people, like Marc and me, and getting at what makes them tick. She doesn’t write sugary-sweet fantasy romances with gazillionaires and virgins. Okay, sometimes she tells a virgin’s story, well, she was a virgin until… Anyway, Kally focuses on true-to-life people and tells it like it is for so many of my brothers and sisters who have served their country. We aren’t rich. We’re sometimes fucked up. But she can make even the most fucked up of them all, me, come across as a hero, which takes a lot of talent and perseverance.

I appreciate how she spends hours and hours talking with and writing to people in the lifestyle and in the military to make sure she gets her facts straight. And that she won’t release a book early for a quick buck. When you get the book, you know she’s satisfied with it, which can take some doing. Yeah, sometimes she can overthink things and needs to learn to trust when she’s nailed the story, even with its imperfections, and let it go. But her attention to detail and that she brings in a team of people to help make her books the best they can be, are both admirable. I’ve learned in the Corps and beyond that none of us can do it alone.

And Kally genuinely cares about her readers, her family, and those who have been sucker-punched by life, as many of you already know. She keeps many of her engagements with readers private, but enough comes out when readers share with others that you know she cares. One of my Navy brothers and a fellow rope enthusiast, Kinbaku Gardener, recently described her in her discussion group on Facebook as “the salt of the earth,” and I think that pretty much sums Kally up. No pretense, no filters—just a woman who’s got her own healing to do, but wants to share that journey with others and help them get there, too. When you meet her face to face for the first time, you know you’ve found a new friend.

—*politely nodding* I have to agree since I found myself sharing things with her, I hadn’t shared with very many…

Personally, I tend to be a bit on the introverted side so the thought of being in the actual presence of one of my favorite writers makes my heart race, my knees shake and tangles my tongue (yes classic fan girl behavior).  Who could reduce you to such a level and how do you imagine your initial meeting?

Well, once upon a time, it would have been Cherise Sinclair. Hers was my first erotic romance and first BDSM romance I ever read, and I followed her for a couple years before deciding to pursue writing in this genre myself. Imagine my reaction when she e-mailed me a couple months before my first book came out (after I’d engaged with her on Facebook for only a few weeks) and she said, “I can’t wait to read your book.” I totally screamed out loud (and, yes, my heart raced, I was tongue-tied, and my knees shook).

I’ve been fortunate to have met her twice now. The first time was at my hotel in San Francisco last year when she picked me up to go to a BDSM club for a lecture. I was nervous, but she put me at ease right away. I think she may have even been more nervous than I was, but she’s not as extroverted as I am. This past May (a year after our first encounter), she and I shared a room while attending a leather celebration for research. I now consider my idol a friend. But I still idolize her books!

–I love Cherise’s books! I discovered hers after yours.

Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere?  Inquiring minds want to know: what was your first attempt at writing and how old were you?

I have at least 8 full or partial manuscripts that I kept and that are stashed away, including a short story from high school. The first thing I ever sold was a short story I wrote as a sophomore and sold to my 8th-grader sister for her English class. The teacher wanted to submit it to an anthology, but she quickly got shy and said, “Oh, no. I don’t want to do that!” She never confessed that it wasn’t her work. (I think I made $2.50—sure beat what I got for babysitting and dish washing at the time.) Most of these 8 manuscripts will remain hidden, although I did pull one out and sent it to one of my editors who lives the lifestyle and asked her to just beta read (not edit) it and tell me if it could be salvaged as a stand-alone novella or short novel. But I’d only put it out if it was of the same quality as the Rescue Me books—and I’m not sure that could be achieved without a lot of work. I don’t want to waste time fixing old books. I want to keep writing new ones using the skills I’ve learned in the process of writing new books.

–I’m with you, some of my older ideas are fun, but the amount of work and revamping required *shudder*, yea no, I think I’ll pass…

Whether we’re plotters or pantsers (outlines not needed), creating our stories takes us on very memorable journeys.  Sometimes we may be part way through before we realize some major aspect of our story is just not working (plot, character, setting).  Have you ever hit this sharp, pointy snag and if so, how did you escape? We’re you battered and bruised or a bloody mess?

I’m a pantser of the truest sense. (And in English classes in high school and college, I always wrote the outline after the paper.) To me, writing a book to an outline would just be too boring. I love the surprises and blindsides my characters present me with as I write. Usually I discover things just the way my readers do—as the story unfolds.

The one that left me most bloodied (SPOILER ALERT!!!) was in Nobody’s Angel. I’d written the book two years before, then decided to join the indie publishing revolution and publish it. It needed a lot of work and my editors helped me fix the original version—twice. Then Master Marc came to me one morning three weeks before the book was to be published and said, “I don’t want to share anymore.” Um, but Sir, this is a ménage and you ALWAYS shared before. “Angelina’s different. Mine.” So, I had three weeks to dump 55,000 words and write 85,000 new ones, only keeping about 35,000 words of the original. I kept the story in tact up to the sofa scene. (Good thing—that’s a fan-favorite threesome scene). But it was there that Marc began to realize Angelina was unlike any woman before her. She was truly THE ONE.

Mind you, I still have issues with this book—and Marc—but I hope readers will understand that he is very much a work in progress. I discovered (another BAM moment) why Marc is the way he is while writing Nobody’s Perfect. At that point, I realized he needed (and was finally ready) for a book to help him face things that have shaped who he is, but that did so on a subconscious level. I think that mirrors real life. We having coping mechanisms born of past hurts, and continue to screw up without understanding why, until it no longer works for us and we make a conscious decision to change our behaviors if we don’t want to remain lonely and disconnected from others, as Marc has been his entire life. I think after the revelations about Marc in the upcoming Somebody’s Angel (Rescue Me #5, due out in September) readers will be able to connect with Marc in a new way. I know he surprised me—yet again.

–*trying not to jump up and down in excitement* I soooo can’t wait for Somebody’s Angel…

Now for everyone’s favorite! Our bullet list, ready…set…go!

  • Blades, guns, fists or feet?

Feet (as in feet running away—I’m not very confrontational)

  • Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

Sleeping Beauty—because so many of us remain asleep most of our lives, until that one special person wakes us up. For some of us, it’s a true love who awakens us. For others, it’s a friend, even a book, that gets us to see ourselves and our lives in a new way. But I also love how the fairies and other forces in Sleeping Beauty help the awakening along. We can’t always get through life alone.

  •  Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?

Most of my print books now are research ones. “Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns” is on my nightstand—research for BDSM elements in my books. “Courage After Fire: Coping Strategies for Troops Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and Their Families” is on my desk. And I can’t give you the third title, because it would give away an important secret from Somebody’s Angel that I want readers to discover on their own.

  • Greatest one liner of all time?

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” (Second favorite of mine—“What the fuck are you doing in my bed?” *Snark*)

  • Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Sarcastic witticism

  • Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

Just found my son’s sketchbook on the desk I recently commandeered as my own. Um, he is quite talented at capturing sensual nudes, but seeing the use of the Triskelion (BDSM) emblem in a couple of the sketches. I guess that explains the police-grade handcuffs we found under the bed after he moved out.

  • Favorite supernatural creature?

Unicorns—so graceful, but able to get their point across when need be.

–Nicely put!

Now that you’ve had a chance to meet with Kally, read on for more….

new masters BandNnew nobody's angel only BandNnew nobody's hero cover BandNnew nobody's perfect BandN

 

USA Today bestselling author Kallypso Masters writes emotional, realistic Romance novels with dominant men and the women who bring them to their knees. She also has brought many readers to their knees—having them experience the stories right along with her characters in the Rescue Me series. Kally knows that Happily Ever After takes maintenance, so her couples don’t solve all their problems and disappear at “the end” of their Romance, but will continue to work on real issues in their relationships in later books in the series. Kally also loves showing how there is never anyone so wounded that he or she can’t find true love. Readers often write to tell her how the books have changed their lives or their perceptions of what matters in life.

Kally’s four e-book titles are available in three trade paperbacks (the first two books combined into one volume), as well. Next up will be the e-book edition of Somebody’s Angel, due out in September 2013.

Because so much of the above focuses on Master Adam, and that’s the first non-free book in the series that needs to be read in order (because Adam makes progress in his relationship in every book in the series), here’s more about Nobody’s Hero:

NOBODY’S HERO is the continuing romantic journey of Adam and Karla, which began in MASTERS AT ARMS and continued in NOBODY’S ANGEL, which ended in a dramatic cliffhanger that sets up the opening scene of NOBODY’S HERO.

Retired Marine Master Sergeant Adam Montague has battled through four combat zones, but now finds himself running from Karla Paxton, who has declared war on his heart. With a twenty-five-year age difference, he feels he should be her guardian and protector, not her lover. But Karla’s knack for turning up in his bed at inopportune times is killing his resolve to do the right thing. Karla isn’t a little girl anymore—something his body reminds him of every chance it gets.

But their age difference is only part of the problem. Fifty-year-old Adam has been a guardian and protector for lost and vulnerable souls most of his life, but a secret he has run from for more than three decades has kept him emotionally unable to admit he can love anyone. Will she be able to lower his guard long enough to break down the defenses around his heart and help him put the ghosts from his past to rest? In her all-out war to get Adam to surrender his heart, can the strong-willed Goth singer offer herself as his submissive—and at what cost to herself?

SPECIFIC ADULT CONTENT WARNING: This book contains very erotic scenes that include BDSM (bondage-discipline-domination-submission-sadism-masochism-master-slave)—but these ALWAYS will be safe, sane, and consensual (SSC) acts told in a more realistic approach to the BDSM genre. Includes rough sex, Shibari (rope bondage and suspension), anal play, cunnilingus, fellatio, flogging, nipple bondage and torture, sex toys, and intensely erotic “vanilla” sexual acts. Epic novel length of approximately 140,000 words.

For links to all of Kally’s books, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Smashwords, and All Romance eBooks, go to http://kallypsomasters.blogspot.com/p/books-by-kallypso-masters.html.

If you’ve read the first four books and want to join Kally’s secret Facebook group Rescue Me Series Open Discussion, please send a friend request to Karla Montague and she will open the door for you, but you can only get there from here:  https://www.facebook.com/karla.montague.1. Must be 18 to join.

And if you’d like to find Rescue Me and Kallypso Masters merchandise, such as t-shirts and aprons inspired by a scene in Nobody’s Angel that read: “Master Marc can put me in culinary bondage anytime” OR a beaded evil stick similar to the one used in Nobody’s Perfect, as well as signed paperbacks, check out my Kally Swag Store. With each order, you will receive a bag filled with free swag items, as well, including a 3-inch pin-back button that reads “I’m a Masters Brat,” two purple pens, bookmarks, and trading cards. Kally ships internationally. To browse my shop, go to http://kallypsomasters.com/kally_swag.

Kally will give away one e-book in the series (the first two are free, so choose from Nobody’s Hero, Nobody’s Perfect, or the upcoming Somebody’s Angel) AND a culinary bondage t-shirt (sizes Small to 4XL avail.) or apron from her Kally Swag Store, plus the swag bag from the store mentioned above.

apron closeup

Your options, should you choose to use them, are to leave a comment for Kally or click on the link below to enter our Rafflecopter giveaway.  Will announce out winner on Tuesday, Aug. 6th, so check back!

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY CLICK HERE!

 

Did I Notice Your Book Blogfest!

Today’s post is a little early because we are taking part in Ciara Knight and Ninja Captain Alex’s “Did I Notice  Your Book” Blogfest.  Yes, my loyal Swamp followers, I’m here to share my discovering with you.  The coolest part of this blogfest, I’m not the only one sharing awesome new writers.  In fact, there are over 80 of us doing the same thing today, so if you need to add to your towering “TO BE READ” pile, stay tune at the end of this post for a link to a list of all participating authors where you can discover your next favorite writer!

Choices, choices, choices…you would not believe how many really great stories are sitting out there, all by themselves, trying to be heard over the roar of the masses.  So today I chose…

Yes, that’s right, Bloodstorm-Heart of a Vampire is Amber Kallyn’s introduction into an entertaining world of vamps, shamans, shifters and castles in the desert.  It all starts out with our lovely vamp, Nikki, doing what vamps do best, hunting for blood.  Not just any blood, mind you, but the one flowing in the veins of the monster who slaughtered her family and turned her.  Unfortunately, she’s tracked her Maker into a small desert town where the ruggedly handsome sheriff and the Magic Council’s Keeper of the Peace, Shane calls home.  When the two meet, Nikki’s desire for revenge is soon eclipsed by her desire for Shane.   Problem is, her mad sire has been creating a few newbie vamps–in someone else’s territory and Nikki’s sudden appearance puts her front and center for the local supernatural community’s suspicions, leaving Shane caught between his heart and his duty.

This is an awesome read and a great start to Ms. Kallyn’s series (the second book, Hungerstorm is also out!) and the best part–right now it’s free in e-book format, so what are you waiting for? Go check it out!  Here’s the link for her author page at Amazon so you can see all her titles!  

http://www.amazon.com/Amber-Kallyn/e/B006HAOP3U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

And if you’re eager for more, swing over to Alex J. Cavanaugh’s place for a complete list of participants in today’s Blogfest, I promise you’ll discover new favorite reads! Don’t forget to spread the word!

Did I Notice Your Book Blogfest’s list of participants

–Wicked

New Release~Woot! and other news

I’ve written everything from urban fantasy, to paranormal, to erotic romance, and I’ve enjoyed each story.

Recently, the whole 50 shades of you know what, has plopped erotic and BDSM stories in the news seemingly all over the place.

I think that’s awesome for authors, because in my mind, it’s just one more thing getting headlines and therefore getting people thinking about books and reading.

Okay, so I may be a bit optimistic, but I’m okay with that 😉

It also helped me to take the plunge and publish the first of a short story series I’ve had in mind for a couple years, based on Red Riding Hood… adult style, LOL.

So enjoy a PG peek of Red’s Wolf: Beginnings

Available at Amazon     Smashwords     Kobo

Most know of me, or at least have heard my tale.

Certainly you would recognize my crimson cloak, perhaps you have even been regaled by tales of my battles against the wolves.

But as with most stories, that is only part of my life.
Once I was the belle of my village. Men came from miles around to try to win my heart, and my hand.
Only one succeeded.
Yet, the story of my beloved Jonah remains shrouded in the mists of time. Nothing is mentioned of all we meant to each other, of the family we created, raised and sent out into the world.
If you are truly curious, then sit for a while. Join me and discover for yourself the truth about the woman with the dark red riding hood.
***
Samantha Grant headed down the wide, dirt path along the edge of the dark forest, swinging a basket of food. The late afternoon sun shone brightly. The air was cool and scents of pine trees and wild flowers filled the autumn air. It helped calm the butterflies fluttering in her stomach.
Brushing back a strand of long red hair from her face, she tried to soothe her nerves by whistling a simple tune.
Today she was to meet Jonah at the edge of the forest, for a picnic lunch. Her stomach quivered with a girl-like giddiness as she anticipated the tryst with her newly found love.
She was of marrying age. Her childhood friends were long attached, some already with babies. Men travelled from villages near and far, hoping to convince her to accept their proposals. Yet no one had managed to capture her attention like Jonah.
He reminded her of a pirate from one of the countless old tales Gran used to tell, late at night in front of the fireplace. From monsters to heroes, She’d known of a story for everything. A pang touched Samantha’s heart from thoughts of her beloved Gran, gone now for nearly a year.
The sun dipped behind some clouds as a chill wind blew over her from the forest. Scents of something she couldn’t name, almost irresistibly sweet, yet underlain by an odor of rot, swept through the air. Her steps faltered. Shivers crawled over her skin as the urge to turn and enter the thick, deep shadows between the trees beckoned.
Gran had warned her to always stay away from the frightening forest. Strange beasts roamed there, creeping out during the dark of night to steal children or rip townsfolk to pieces. Samantha backed up a step, ready to turn and flee back home.
But nearby, just a little further, was where Jonah wanted to meet. Her nerves thrummed, her pulse raced faster. For today, she and Jonah would consummate their love.
She ignored her feelings of trepidation and continued on, if a bit faster.
Finally, she rounded a large rock jutting up from the earth.
Jonah stood in shadow, his back to her as he stared into the forest.
She took a moment to watch him, enjoying how the wind pushed his shirt taut against the muscles of his back. Dark trousers encased thick legs, full of strength. His very presence was commanding, and comforting. This was a man who would always keep her protected and well cared for.
She tugged her bodice down a bit, adjusting her chemise to reveal more cleavage. She wasn’t quite indecent, but a thrill swept through her blood as Jonah turned. His gaze swept over her face, dropped to the swell of her breasts.
Strapping, strong, he towered over her slight form. His dark hair and strange golden eyes enhanced the image.
And when he touched her, she felt like a woman.
“Sami,” he whispered, his voice deep, husky.
The sound slid down her spine like silk. “I’m here.”

~Enjoy 🙂

And other News

Bloodstorm (Heart of a Vampire, Book 1) is now FREE at most major E-tailers. Check out the links on my personal blog : )

Take care and hope your weather is turning into fall. Ours is not ~ we’ve still been in the 110 range, with high humidity. *Steps outside and literally melts*

~Enjoy 🙂

Summer Kick Off Hoppity

The CataNetwork sites are co-hosting a Summer Kick Off Blog Hop and we hope you’ll join in the fun. We’ll be giving away Big ‘Ol Boxes of books. One box per site. Pictures coming soon.

Summertime is definitely here. Warm weather, kids home from school.

Family vacations 🙂

How about a trip to the beach? And what’s a great way to hang out with the wind in your hair and the sounds of waves crashing in the background?

Reading!

In honor of summer and SensualReads.com re-opening, I’ll be giving away 2 $5 Amazon gift cards to lucky commenters on my personal blog. Just head over there and answer the following question (and make sure you leave an email where I can contact you 🙂

Q4U: What is your dream summer destination? Why?

The giveaway ends on June 10th at Midnight, winners will be drawn on the 11th. Good luck and have a great summer!

And don’t forget to check the blogs of the other participating authors 🙂

Free Book for Halloween

Ha! Gotcha to look. But I am giving away a free copy of Dragos: Burned tomorrow, Tuesday, 10/26. This will be an E-Book, format the winner’s choice

and

I will also mail you a personalized autographed cover card : )

Okay, first, maybe I should apolgize for the picture of the flashers, but it was so great, I had to share. Isn’t this what Halloween is about — having fun?

I love Halloween. Heck, I still dress up every single year, sometimes more than once if I include all the kids activities.

So, Ya’ll have a HAPPY, HAPPY HALLOWEEN and good luck on winning a free copy of my book tomorrow!

And if you’re in the area, tomorrow I will also be blogging at Got Romance Reviews.

AND

This Friday I’m having a RELEASE PARTY!!!!

Friday 10/29, from 4pm to Midnight EST, I’ll be blogging and sharing excerpts HERE.

I will choose winners from those who leave comments to win personalized prizes. If you’d like to see some, check out my Amber Kallyn Blog.

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