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Guest Post: Does Love Still Exist? #LoveComesLater #Romance

Lovecomeslaterflowers

Does Love Still Exist?

By Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar author of Love Comes Later

St. Valentine may be horrified by the cherubs touting candy, flowers or jewelry. The overemphasis of eros, or romantic love, may have merged out of rampant marketeering. Between Christmas and Easter, after all, is a lot of retail silence. In modern society, with women marrying later, and partners divorcing earlier – not waiting for children to grow up – does love still exist?

I had a great idea in 2009; I would write a book about how a modern person with traditional values would find love. I didn’t think this would be so difficult. After all, I’d managed to resist the pressures of my own South Asian culture until the spinsterly age of 26, when, as my father put it, “to find a good man who would make a commitment to me” even if he wasn’t Indian.

Fresh from an unlikely, whirlwind romance in the desert, I sat down to explore in fiction the difficult choices facing young Qatari men and women amongst the myriad dilemmas of love, choice, honor, and duty.

The Qatari characters were based on a meld of dozens of stories I knew of real people; but the insertion of a South Asian girl into the love triangle was all my own.

I put Abdulla, the male protagonist, and Sangita, the unexpected loved interest, in a small London apartment. And waited for sparks to fly. In a Disneyesque-romantic genre, move, they were on a countdown; three days.

But nothing was happening. There they were; young, attractive, in close proximity, and I couldn’t believe that they were falling in love. All the elements were there but the emotions were missing.

I started asking everyone: “How do people fall in love?”

My older Indian friends were surprised.

“Didn’t you have a love marriage?” They asked me, products of the arranged marriage system. “Don’t you know?”

“Seems so long ago,” I muttered, well out of earshot of my husband.

“I loved your book,” another friend said. “I’ve never known what love is…” she said, with a dreamy look in her, having been arranged to her husband.

“It’s all the same after a while,” I said to her dryly, watching our husbands on their mobile phones while we mothers ran after our children.

“But how can they fall in love,” I asked my Qatari friends, growing desperate for realism as the book entered a seemingly endless cycle of revisions.

“She has to be hot,” one of my male beta readers said, in all honesty.

Chemistry. Right. I forgot that part, somehow, settling into comfortable domesticity.

Abdulla and Sangita did eventually find their way in the story. The sequel to the book is in progress and explores an equally murky area: what happens after the spark? Are the chances for survival of ‘falling into’ love greater?

I grew up with the idea that no, falling in love did not guarantee romantic success; making allegiances between well researched partners was stacking the cards in your favor. My parents’ anti-falling in love argument was the 50% divorce rate in America.

We’ll see what happens for Abdulla and Sangita as they try to grow their spark into a fire to heat their home.

What do you think? Do you fall in and out of love? Or do you choose to love?

lovecomeslater(1)Love Comes Later
By Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

Winner of Best Indie Book Award, Romance, 2013
Semi Finalist, Best Novel, eFestival of Words, 2013
Finalist, New Talent Award, Festival of Romance, 2013

“…a deliciously tangled plot and insight into life on the Persian Gulf.”
Kirkus Review

Blurb: When newlywed Abdulla loses his wife and unborn child in a car accident, the world seems to crumble beneath his feet. Thrust back into living in the family compound, he goes through the motions—work, eat, sleep, repeat. Blaming himself for their deaths, he decides to never marry again but knows that culturally, this is not an option. Three years later, he’s faced with an arranged marriage to his cousin Hind, whom he hasn’t seen in years. Hard-pressed to find a way out, he consents to a yearlong engagement and tries to find a way to end it. What he doesn’t count on, and is unaware of, is Hind’s own reluctance to marry.

Longing for independence, she insists on being allowed to complete a master’s degree in England, a condition Abdulla readily accepts. When she finds an unlikely friend in Indian-American Sangita, she starts down a path that will ultimately place her future in jeopardy.

The greatest success of Rajakumar’s novel is the emotional journey the reader takes via her rich characters. One cannot help but feel the pressure of the culturally mandated marriage set before Hind and Abdulla. He’s not a real Muslim man if he remains single, and she will never be allowed freedoms without the bondage of a potentially loveless marriage. It’s an impossible situation dictated by a culture that they still deeply respect.

Rajakumar pulls back the veil on life in Qatar to reveal a glimpse of Muslim life rarely seen by Westerners.

2013authorphotoAbout the Author: Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005. Moving to the Arabian Desert was fortuitous in many ways since this is where she met her husband, had a baby, and made the transition from writing as a hobby to a full time passion.  She has since published seven e-books including a mom-ior for first time mothers, Mommy But Still Me, a guide for aspiring writers, So You Want to Sell a Million Copies, a short story collection, Coloured and Other Stories, and a novel about women’s friendships, Saving Peace.

Her recent books have focused on various aspects of life in Qatar. From Dunes to Dior, named as a Best Indie book in 2013, is a collection of essays related to her experiences as a female South Asian American living in the Arabian Gulf. Love Comes Later was the winner of the Best Indie Book Award for Romance in 2013 and is a literary romance set in Qatar and London. The Dohmestics is an inside look into compound life, the day to day dynamics between housemaids and their employers.

After she joined the e-book revolution, Mohana dreams in plotlines. Learn more about her work on her website at www.mohanalakshmi.com or follow her latest on Twitter: @moha_doha.

LINKS:

Author Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Mohanalakshmi-Rajakumar/e/B002PMRI1U
Author website: http://www.mohanalakshmi.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@moha_doha
Facebook: www.facebook.com/themohadoha

Youtube:www.youtube.com/themohadoha

Pinterest:www.pinterest.com/mohadoha

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Bears and Sex and Bad Boys, Oh My! – The Bear Project by Doris O’Connor (mamad8) #erotic #romance #shifters

Due to my extreme awesomeness and the fact the author has a closet love for me, I managed to convince the irrepressible, Doris O’Connor to stop by my blog to talk a bit about her latest erotic release with Evernight Publishing, The Bear Project.

The cover alone has me beyond intrigued…as if the story being written by Ms’ O’Connor wasn’t enough to convince me I have to read it…

Anyway, before I gush all over myself and give Doris a fat head, here she is…

Thanks so much for having me here today.  🙂 

We all love a bad boy, right? That cocksure attitude, the swagger, the single minded determination to get the heroine into his bed. That element of danger that surrounds them is like the cake you know you shouldn’t eat, but you can’t but help and indulge anyway.

Now, imagine you’re stranded in a little hicky town, with no means of getting away, a town full of rumors and strange happenings, and one of those sex-on-legs bad boys comes up to you and claims you’re his.

What would you do? Would you tell him to take a hike, or would you give into that instant and explosive chemistry between you?

Such is the dilemma Emmi faces when she meets Cole. Never in all her life has she been this attracted to a guy, and she does need a place to crash for the night, so why not take advantage of what he offers. It’s simply a case of scratching an itch, right? What could possibly go wrong?

Well… when you’re chosen bedmate is a Bear shifter intent on claiming you for his mate, a hell of a lot can and does go wrong. Especially, when it looks as though this particular bad boy is some sort of assassin too…

Emmi does what any reasonable person would do. She runs after their night of passion, determined to forget all about Cole. However, Cole is a hard person to forget, not least because she is left with a permanent reminder that throws her right into the world and blood line politics of shifters.

Shifters in London, blood lines, council, rules, mating bond – say what?

It’s enough to leave you dizzy. Add in the return of Cole, who isn’t at all what he seems to be and Emmi is in for the ride of her life.

Works for me!! How bout you guys? (yeah, thought so…YUM)

here are all the juicy details:

TBPTHE BEAR PROJECT
by Doris O’Connor

Genre: Erotic Romance (Shifters)

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Release Date: Jan. 9, 2014

Blurb: When Animal conservationist Emmi Layne meets bad boy Cole Jackson there is no denying the instant lust between them. She has a thing for bears, after all.  However, you cannot build a relationship on awesome sex alone, especially when you live on different continents, and have nothing in common.

Everything changes, when Emmi discovers that their night of passion has left her with more than erotic memories. She has no means of contacting him, even if she wanted to, but she hasn’t counted on this bear shifter’s determination.

Cole is not what he seems, and he will stop at nothing to claim what’s his—even if that means breaking all the rules.

Can he trust the mating bond to deliver, or will it spell the end of an ancient blood line?

With the odds stacked against them, can this unlikely duo find happiness together?

Excerpt: (Mature Audiences ONLY)

A moan slipped out from Emmi, and his balls drew tight in anticipation, as she, too, lost what cover his old shirt afforded her.  She licked her lips, her gaze riveted on his erection, and he grinned. A primitive sense of ownership grabbed him, and he bent down, and grabbing her ankles, pulled her down the bed until her ass was half hanging off it and he could step right between her legs.

This position opened her cunt for his inspection, and her scent grew in potency as her juices coated her pussy lips. Cole stroked himself harder in response to that sight, and she whimpered. That tiny sound pitched his need to claim her to new heights, but he wanted her begging for his cock and so wet and ready that she couldn’t stand it anymore.

A vision of keeping her like this, naked and at his mercy, filled his vision. Her curves would look so beautiful bound by Shibari rope, as she begged him for her orgasm.

His dick jumped at the thought, and he used the natural lubrication of his pre-cum to aid the ever faster up and downward glide of his hand.

“Cole, let me…”

Emmi looked up at him, her eyes so dark with her own need it took his breath away.

“No, I want to watch you come for me.” A fierce blush spread all over her skin at his husky words, and she bit her lips hard enough to draw blood. The metallic smell filled his nostrils, and his bear roared. “Use your fingers to spread yourself wider, so that I can see what you’re doing. Tell me what it feels like, and how much you want my cock, sugar.”

Emmi shivered and closed her eyes, but her hands did slowly slide down to the apex of her thighs.

“Use your words, baby. I want to hear you.”

“Oh God.” Her groan matched his when she spread her labia wide and circled her clit with one finger. The little nubbin swelled under her ministrations as all the blood rushed to the surface.

“That’s my girl. Fill your hole with your fingers, and imagine it’s my cock, sugar.”

Emmi complied, and the little needy sounds she made at the back of her throat were pure music to his ears.

“Words, Emmi, use them.”

“I … I can’t. I just … I want to come so badly. My fingers are not enough. I’m gripping them imagining they’re your cock filling me, thrusting in. I want you so badly.”

He growled, and she pumped her fingers faster until the wet sounds of her greedy pussy filled the room. The trembles started as her orgasm took hold, and Cole grabbed her thighs and took over.

Emmi screamed when his tongue replaced her fingers, and her essence flowed freely into his waiting mouth. His bear grunted his approval, and Cole blew against her slit and then bit down on her clit. The action sent Emmi over the edge, and he pushed two of his fingers into her clenching pussy hole. She rode those fingers as her whole body bowed off the bed and tightened before she slumped back down, moaning and writhing under his fingers and tongue.

Cole kept up his assault until the last tremors stopped and then crawled up her limp and sweat slicked body to kiss her.

“You’re not playing fair.” She mumbled the words and ran her hands over his chest, up to his shoulders and then down his back until she could reach his ass. With his body cocooned between her thighs, his cock slid up and down her wet slit and he indulged himself by thrusting into her just once.

Her cunt closed around him like a velvet fist, and Emmi pushed her feet into his calves and lifted up to meet his thrust. Their gazes locked when he pulled out and then pushed into her wet heat again.

“Oh, God, Cole, you’re driving me insane.”

His little human bucked against him, and her vaginal muscles clenched and released around his dick in an effort to hurry him along. It took all of Cole’s willpower and self-control to not simply give her what she wanted, but he withdrew again until just the tip of his dick remained inside her entrance.

Emmi shook and groaned and pleaded, and he ground his teeth to stop himself form coming.

“No, we’ll do this my way. Stop trying to hurry me, sugar, or I’ll tie you to this bed and leave you hanging.”

Her sharp intake of breath made him smile, and he paused half in half out of her sweet cunt, until he could nudge her sweet spot with short, shallow thrusts that had her luscious body climbing again. He could see it in the way her eyes clouded over, and her breathing quickened. Her fingernails scored his skin hard enough to draw blood, and Cole welcomed the slight pain, as he pushed her over that edge again.

“That’s my girl. Come for me again. Beautiful.”

He withdrew and flipped her over, so that she was bent over the side off the bed. With her knees on the floor, and her legs spread wide, her ass was there for him to play with, and Cole smacked one cheek and then pushed his fingers back into her vagina.

A rush of air escaped Emmi’s lungs, and she groaned into the bed covers and lifted her ass up to give him better access.

Cole rubbed his stubble along her shoulder blades and kissed her spine. A shudder went through her body, and she sighed his name when he withdrew.

“What, baby? Do you want me to spank you again?”

He delivered another open handed swat to her other cheek with enough force to leave a bright mark on her pale flesh as the blood rushed to the surface. His possessive bear urged him to do it again, to mark her body with his hands and claws and teeth, but the man needed to be sure she was on board with this.

“Yes, God, yes, please, Cole, anything. That feels so fucking good.”

BUY LINKS
Evernight  Amazon  Amazon UK  ARe  Bookstrand

****

Author Bio: Glutton for punishment would be a good description for Doris… at least that’s what she hears on an almost daily basis when people find out that she has a brood of nine children, ranging from adult to toddler and lives happily in a far too small house, cluttered with children, pets, dust bunnies, and one very understanding and supportive husband. Domestic goddess she is not.

There is always something better to do after all, like working on the latest manuscript and trying not to scare the locals even more than usual by talking out loud to the voices in her head. Her characters tend to be pretty insistent to get their stories told, and you will find Doris burning the midnight oil on a regular basis. Only time to get any peace and quiet and besides, sleep is for wimps.

She likes to spin sensual, sassy, and sexy tales involving alpha heroes to die for, and heroines who give as good as they get. From contemporary to paranormal, BDSM to F/F, and Ménage, haunting love stories are guaranteed.

Stalking Links

Website Blog Twitter  Facebook Pinterest  Evernight Publishing

Amazon All Romance E-Books BookStrand Barnes&Noble

Talking Wine Pairings and Erotic Romance with Eileen Griffin #Romance #RotG @Evernightpub

Welcome back, readers.

Today I have a special treat for you all. Fellow Evernight Publishing author, Eileen Griffin has agreed to stop in and share her wine knowledge with us. I can tell you all quite honestly, despite years as a bartender, I am completely hopeless when it comes to wine and wine pairings, so I am quite chuffed to have Eileen over today.

Here she is….

A huge thanks to Rebecca for hosting me on her blog today 🙂

Although Tony and Sonia only get to enjoy a little bit of their wine and dinner in my newest release, Dinner For Two, it would have been a travesty for me not to include them sharing a glass of a good red wine after a frantic day in Tony’s kitchen. A glass of wine at night is integral to helping me unwind after a particularly stressful day.

I’m not an oenophile, just a lover of wines. I have to admit that when I was younger and in college, the extent of my wine knowledge basically began and ended with White Zinfandel. I cannot tell you how much that makes me shudder thinking back on it today. Not because I’m a wine snob (really, I’m not!) but because I’ve discovered that there are so many other amazing wines out there that have so much more to offer than just a simple wine that’s easy to drink. I was introduced to “real” wine during my first backpacking trip across Europe in a small café in Avignon, France. Avignon is a region known for their Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, which are WAY out of my price range but Oh-So-Delicious! The wine I had that day was local (to this day I have no idea what it was) and it was delicious. This one meal started me on my journey of seeking out new wines and trying to discover what I could about the different varietals.

So even though I’m not a certified oenophile, here are some suggestions I have to make a newbie’s introduction into the world of wine (past White Zinfandel) with some of the recipes I’ve blogged about this week for an easier transition:

Wine and Food Pairings:

Puttanesca or any spicy dish:  To hold up against the spiciness, you need a wine that’s not going to overpower the flavor of the spices. I highly recommend either a Pinor Noir (which is only lightly fruity and usually allows the spices of a dish to come through) or a Sangiovese blend (I recommend a blend because for me, a true Sangiovese is too harsh and dry).

Italian Wedding Soup:  Because this is made with white meat (chicken or turkey), I’d suggest a lighter, crisper white wine. My personal favorite is Sauvignon Blanc rather than a Chardonnay, only because a Chardonnay tends to be more “buttery” and heavy and can easily overpower the subtle flavors of the soup. This soup can also be served with a Pinot Noir since it’s one of the lighter, fruitier red wines.

Pasta Salad:  This salad screams for Sauvignon Blanc but can also easily be served with a Chardonnay.

Cheeses or my Baked Brie:  For me, fancy cheese is a personal preference and should be served with whatever the person’s personal choice of wine is. I love drinking a heavier red wine like Zinfandel with cheeses because I feel like the cheese helps bring out the smokiness and berry undertones of the wine.

However, the bottom line for any wine lover is this: Drink what you love whenever you enjoy good food. It’s your palate and your dining experience. No one has a better idea what you’ll enjoy than you do! Salute 🙂

~Eileen

Now that we all know a bit more about wines (or at least I do, which is really what matters :P), let’s have a closer look at Eileen’s latest release:

Dinner For Two MdDinner For Two
by: Eileen Griffin

Genre: Erotic Romance

Length: Romance On The Go – Short Story

Published: December 17, 2013

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

BLURB: Sonia Davenport has dreams of coordinating and planning special events. When she’s given the opportunity to plan a dinner for her boss and his shareholders, she jumps at the chance to make everything perfect. Helping her plan the special night is the head chef of the restaurant, Tony Mancinni, who is not only charming but goes out of his way to make Sonia feel special during the entire planning process.

The dinner party almost turns disastrous when an employee mixes up the orders and sets out the wrong food. In a mad rush to save the dinner, Sonia and Tony realize their attraction to each other when things heat up in the kitchen. However, Tony has to convince Sonia that he wants more than just an extra set of hands in his restaurant – he wants her to stay the night so he can convince her to stay for good.

* * * *

EXCERPT:

Tony gently rubbed his finger along her bottom lip. “I had hoped everything would be perfect tonight because I wanted to impress you. When you came in for brunch that first Sunday and laid out your plans, not only were you beautiful, but you had a detailed description of what you wanted. On the catering side of things, you have no idea how attractive that is. Then, when you came in for your tasting, I didn’t think I was going to make it through the afternoon without asking you out. But I have a strict rule: Don’t date the clients until after the function is over. So I waited. Do you have any idea how hard it was to wait?”
Sonia shook her head slightly, then let her lips part. Instead of replying to him, she slid her tongue out to meet his finger, gently caressing the tip. He hissed in a breath, his eyes fixated on her tongue and lips. Feeling emboldened by his words, she leaned closer and drew his finger deeper inside her mouth, wrapping her lips around it as she laved it with her tongue.
“Sonia,” he whispered. “You’re so beautiful. But I didn’t ask you up here for this.”
She leaned back, his finger sliding out of her mouth. All the nerves and doubts she’d felt earlier were replaced by a heat that was coursing through her. She’d felt it all night in the kitchen with him and it was stronger now that she knew he wanted her as badly as she wanted him.
“I’m glad you asked me up here, Tony. But if we’re being honest with each other, I think dinner can wait. You see, I’ve lost my appetite. For food, that is.”

 

BUY LINKS:

EILEEN GRIFFIN BIO:

Eileen Griffin lives in the Southwest but loves to travel and has spent many summers crossing Europe with nothing but a backpack on her back. She enjoys TexMex, lives for good wine, and has a certain penchant for purple unicorns. She loves reading all genres of books, but her current obsession is writing M/M with lots of boykissing.

Blog: http://www.eileengriffin.wordpress.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/eileengriffin77 @eileengriffin77
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/eileen.griffin
Evernight: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/eileen-griffin/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7231778.Eileen_Griffin

Happy Release Day to Raven McAllan and Nash’s Niche #GuestPost #Historical #Romance #erotic

I’m happy to have the chance to share a new release with you today. New, is in TODAY! So, first off, big congrats to the author, Raven McAllan on the release of her latest historical with Evernight Publishing, NASH’S NICHE. Even as busy as she is with all the new release buzz, Raven has been kind enough to swing by today to tell you a little bit about the story. 

So without further ado, here’s Raven:

Thanks so much for inviting me over. Oh you invited Raven not me? Ah, then please accept my apologies. When Raven told me this opportunity was on the cards, I decided to hijack this and give you an insight about me. After all I know me better than anyone. Even Raven, and she’s privy to most of my secrets.

Oh I forgot, you don’t know who I am. I’m Nash Gretton, third son of The Earl of Brigstock, and the hero *blush* of Nash’s niche. Well *reflective* I hope I’m the hero, however that’s up to you to judge.

So where was I? Oh yes, little known or unknown facts about Nash. Well I never ever admitted it, not with a sister like Cecilia, but how I never threw up when she waved worms in my face I don’t know. I hate them, horrible, wriggly, slimy, Argh. *Shudder* And don’t think I mean only when we were children. She’s still not adverse to playing tricks like that. Mind you I do have my ways of getting back at her. Sadly, Felicity is all for women’s rights and individuality, and says it’s my sister role in life to keep me grounded and not to get too big for my boots. But you know with a woman like Felicity in my life not to feel I’m the luckiest man alive is very difficult.

And let’s see? Oh yes I can touch my nose with my tongue. So useful *laugh*,  I hate eggs, love homemade hedgerow jam and can beat Perry at Croquet. Randall can drink me under the table, and Harry was put on this earth to make me worry.

How’s that?

Oh and without Felicity my life would be an empty shell. It wasn’t an easy courtship or well, no. No more. Here’s Raven’s blurb for our story, and a little excerpt for you.

nachs-niche1s

Nash’s Niche
by Raven McAllan

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Genre: Historical Erotic Romance

Blurb:

A chance meeting at a masked ball leads to explosive and unforgettable sex for both Nash and Felicity.

Reunited under dangerous circumstances, they realize they may have to fight for their love, especially when Felicity is promised to Nash’s brother.

With the future of the country at stake and unsure who to trust, can there be a future for the star stuck lovers?

And a wee tease… (Mature Audiences Only)

He wriggled his nose. The chair was all fine and dandy, but he needed his bed. With a sigh Nash toed his house shoes off, and looked at his pantaloons. They were knitted and stretched to fit the contours of his body. Therefore in theory they should pull down even over his still hard cock. It was no good; once he was able to rest in comfort he would have to take himself in hand. However, before then…

He struggled to his feet and with one hand to anchor him steady, he used his other to pull the garment over his cock and arse and thence down his legs. Once they gathered around his ankles, Nash used his feet to tug the pantaloons off and stepped over them. His shirt could stay. That was one effort too much. He measured the distance to the bed. Two strides should do it.

The first stride worked. The second was slightly longer and had him wobbling, but it brought him to the edge of the mattress. He let his body fall forward.

Not onto the mattress, on to…

A body? He tried to see clearly. Two bodies? Surely not, not in his bed. He squinted, put his hand into the direction of where he thought one of the bodies could be, and patted flesh. Soft warm female flesh. His vision wavered and cleared enough to know it was one body…

It stirred. Nash levered himself to stand on the floor one more, loath to leave the soft comfort he’d found, but aware enough to know he needed to. He let his hand move to the left and drift up what he decided was a damn curvaceous thigh. If only he could see clearly just who had offered herself as his plaything. It would be best to have a face on the body he was about to fuck.

The body jerked as his fingers circled damp curls and he nipped her soft nub until it hardened in a beautiful mimicry of his cock. Then he let his fingers delve into the warm channel under them. The body tried to pull back even as a soft mewl showed him his ministrations were appreciated. Then he heard a scream, one that most certainly wasn’t a sound of pleasure.

“Do not move,” he said in a rough voice. He felt it only fair to warn whoever he was now filling with his fingers, and who he noted was writhing in time to his thrusts, that, “I have a weapon, and I will use it.”

* * * * *

Nash’s Niche is available from www.evernighpublishing.com

Amazon, All Romance EBooks, and Bookstrand (links to come soon)

If you want to know more about Raven, here’s her nosy links,

raven avatarRaven lives in Scotland, along with her husband and their two cats—their children having flown the nest—surrounded by beautiful scenery, which inspires a lot of the settings in her books.

She is used to sharing her life with the occasional deer, red squirrel, and lost tourist, to say nothing of the scourge of Scotland—the midge.

A lover of reading, she appreciates the history inside a book, and the chance to peek into the lives of those from years ago. Raven admits that she enjoys the research for her books almost as much as the writing; so much so, that sometimes she realizes she’s strayed way past the information she needs to know, and not a paragraph has been added to her WIP.

Her lovely long-suffering husband is learning to love the dust bunnies, work the Aga, and be on stand-by with a glass of wine.

You can find out more about Raven here…

http://www.ravenmcallan.com

http:/ /www.ravenmcallan.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/rmcallan        (my page)

https://www.facebook.com/ravenmcallan            (author page)

https://twitter.com/RavenMcAllan

A Visit from Iyana Jenna: Let’s Talk POV. What works for you? #writing #GuestPost

TodayI have a special treat for you all. I have fenagled a visit and guest post from fellow Evernight author, Iyana Jenna. She’s going to talk a bit about Point of View in a story, as well as give you a peak at her latest release, RELEASE ME.

Without further ado, here’s Iyana 🙂

* * * * *

Hi everyone! First off, I would like to thank Rebecca for the chance to do a guest post on her blog. Today I want to talk a bit about he and I.

No, no. It’s not a mistake that should have read him and me. 🙂 What I want to talk about is point in views in stories, third person (he) or first person (I).

So far I like third person better, whether to read or write. Reading a story in the first person sometimes makes me difficult to remember who I am, which character it is supposed to be. And writing with third person style makes me feel freer to develop the characters. Besides those reasons, as I perused the publishing websites, most of them prefer third person stories.

Having said that, now I began to falter. Lately the stories that I read and that are considered to be favorites among the readers and become bestsellers are the ones with first person point of view. It makes me wonder and I begin to re-think the way I write. Are first person stories better than the third person? Do they make readers feel closer to the characters? I still find it a bit confusing to read in the first person but in writing, I’m willing to try out any styles. If it makes me improve, why not?

How about you, do you prefer first person or third person?

* * * * *

ReleaseMe_IMGRelease Me
by Iyana Jenna

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Genre: M/M Erotic Romance

Blurb: 

Taking a break from dealing with his father’s clients on legal matters, Nicholas Haynes went out to the sea on his yacht—only to find a man floating in the water. The man was still alive, much to Nicholas’s relief.

Gregory Phillips was a private investigator and his last job almost turned him into fish food if not for Nicholas. Little did he know that the main suspect in his case was one of Nicholas’ father’s clients. When Nicholas insisted on taking care of Gregory after the incident that almost killed him, can he trust Nicholas enough with his life?

Be Warned: M/M Sex

 

Excerpt (Mature Audiences Only):

Stanley Haynes threw the newspaper, and it landed with a slap on Nicholas’s plate. The headlines blared at Nicholas as though his father had shouted at him.

Heir to US Banking Chain Wedded?

“You ever plan to tell us about this, Nicholas?”

Nicholas glanced briefly at his mother sitting across from him, but she kept stirring the cooling coffee in her cup. Nicholas could see a smile flicker in her eyes. He shrugged.

“Come on, Dad. You know it was impossible for me to talk about it before everything was done.”

“Are you saying you don’t trust me, or your mom—” Stanley threw a glance at his wife, and his eyes widened. “You knew about this?”

She threw her hands up.

“God, no, honey. I wouldn’t lie to you.”

“All right, all right.” Stanley took a deep breath, trying to calm himself. “Is it that Phillips guy?”

“Of course. Who else?” Nicholas grinned.

His mother went back to stirring her coffee. Her voice was calm when she asked, “When was it, Nicholas? How come both of us didn’t know anything about it?”

“A moment after Greg was released from the hospital.”

“Wow. That fast?”

Nicholas chuckled. “Yeah. Now you can’t accuse me of being a playboy anymore.”

“That’s good, dear.” His mother took his hand, and Nicholas squeezed hers gently. “So those journalists—they just found out the other day?”

“They’ve just seen this ring, that’s all.” Nicholas lifted his left hand and eyed the simple platinum band around his ring finger.  Gregory had exactly the same kind of ring around his finger.

****

A month earlier

It was the lulling sounds of the waves and the gentle breeze above the vast, boundless ocean that Nicholas loved most. He could spend days, even weeks, drifting seemingly without any course and purpose on his boat, all by himself. After months dealing with his father’s clients about legal matters, he was always desperate for some time alone. Sometimes he just couldn’t understand why he had to work twice as hard as the other employees in his father’s bank when he was his only son. However, most of the time, he just couldn’t see it any other way. His father was not the type to want to spoil his family. Everyone had to earn what life had given to them. Nobody was allowed to simply ask and receive.

Today, though, he ended up not alone.

 

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About the Author: Iyana lives in Jakarta, a city famous for its traffic jams, a lot of cars and motorcycles, and people selling stuff on the roads. You can spend two hours on the road going to a place you can reach in half an hour in a normal situation. Thanks to the traffic jams, though, Iyana can come up with a lot of stories, mostly shorties, as she prefers to spend the time during her trips writing into her cell phone rather than sleeping.

Iyana loves kitties. Right now she has five of them. Their names are Larva, Nyil, Cil, Mermood, and Horus. When she doesn’t write, she plays with them, or they would play with her when she writes.

Iyana loves teaching. She teaches English and her students range from elementary school kids to college students to employees. She enjoys working with them all. Teaching is so much fun for her.

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Guest Post: Combining Genres by AmyBeth Iverness #ANA2012

Today we have a guest post from AmyBeth Iverness, an author I met through Tiffany Reisz and the Felt Tips anthology due out in December. A big thank you to Amy for stopping in to spend a little time with us today.

AmyBeth’s short story The Peanut Gallery Rebellion is entered in the America’s Next Author competition!

Please read it, and if you like it, click VOTE. It does not require a log in to do either. If you are feeling especially generous, leaving a review is also greatly appreciated. (as all you authors out there can attest)

http://www.ebookmall.com/author/amybeth-inverness

Combining Genres by AmyBeth Inverness

Fledgling writers are inundated with advice of what not to do. One of the biggies is “Thou Shalt Not Combine Genres.” This advice makes sense from the perspective of an agent looking at a query that describes the story as “an action-adventure with a western theme in space with strong romantic elements and a bisexual cast of characters.” Agents, and publishers, want to be able to categorize the story. When there are elements of many genres, that is almost impossible to do.

The first author I ever interviewed was Sara Creasy, author of Song of Scarabaeus and Children of Scarabaeus. The books were listed as Sci-Fi/Romance. Since those are my two favorite genres, and I most frequently write them combined, I was eager to read them. They were great SciFi stories with lots of action, and there was a strong romantic element. I enjoyed them both, but Sara herself agreed she wasn’t sure why they had received the Romance label. Fortunately, the book stores seemed to understand, and shelved the book in the Sci-Fi section.

It is the bookstore that is the driving force behind the mantra “Do not combine genres.” Shelf space is valuable. Writers should consider themselves fortunate (or highly successful) if they have physical books on real shelves at all. Putting a book on two different shelves only happens for the best sellers.

But what about the emerging dominance of electronic retail? Even if the reader is purchasing a hard cover or paperback, more and more people are doing their book-buying online instead of in brick-and-mortar stores. It is easy for an on-line store to list a book in as many different virtual bookshelves as desired.

The reality is still that agents and publishers still want to know how to categorize your book. If a writer self-publishes, they may choose to ignore that rule. But they might not want to… marketing requires some kind of focus. If the story crosses too many genres, a potential reader might just gloss over that choice in favor of others.

After NaNoWriMo 2010, I researched agents who might accept my story. In that case, it was a Romance novel with homosexual and polyandrous relationships in a Sci-Fi setting. I didn’t find many agents who were willing to represent all of those. If I tried to consider that I also had some faith-based stories, my choices of agents quickly fell to zilch.

Like Song of Scarabaeus, though, just because a story has a “strong romantic element” doesn’t mean it is a romance novel. Likewise, there are many advocates for categorizing GLBT Romances right in with heterosexual Romances. If a story has a secondary character who is gay, that shouldn’t automatically change the way the story is categorized.

The best advice, and the most often repeated, is “Write the Best Story You Can.” That remains true. However there are some very basic guidelines that writers should follow. A typical novel is between 50 and 100 thousand words. Shorter than 50,000 means it is a novella or short story. Longer than 100,000 means the author needs a very good reason as to why their story is so long. It should have a beginning, middle, and an ending. You should know what age group you’re writing for. Trying to claim that your series will appeal to kids from ages 8 to 18 is too broad a range (although the Harry Potter novels proved that this really can work.)

There is both hopelessness and hopefulness in combining genres. Hopeless, because multiple genres set off huge warning flags, and an agent or publisher might reject the story on that fact alone. Hopeful, because in writing the best story you can, it is very possible that you will include elements of romance, adventure, mystery, fantasy or dozens of other possibilities. Hopefully, even though many of these elements show up, your story can still be identified with just one or two.

About Amy Beth Iverness: 

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice, and an outcast of Colorado by temporary necessity, AmyBeth Inverness is a prolific creator of Science Fiction and Romance.  With short stories coming out in two different anthologies in 2012, she can usually be found tapping away at her laptop, writing the next novel or procrastinating by posting a SciFi Question of the Day on Facebook. When she’s not writing, she’s kept very busy making aluminum foil hats and raising two energetic kids and many pets with her husband in their New England home.

Amy’s website:  http://amybethinverness.com/

Could You Give Up Your Independence For Love? Guest Post by Julie Belfield (@Jabelfield) #blogtour #Eternal

In celebration of Independence Day here in America, I thought it would be sorta fun to lasso UK native author, Julie Belfield for a guest post on the basic theme of Independence. Ms. Belfield, always a good sport, readily agreed to stop in and share her thoughts on independence as it relates to her upcoming release, Eternal.

Without further ado and delays, I present you with Ms. Julie Belfield.

COULD YOU GIVE UP YOUR INDEPENDENCE FOR LOVE?

Well, could you?

How about if that loss of independence was what kept you safe?

I’m talking about paranormal romance, of course.

I mean, a human woman meets a supernatural dude and suddenly finds herself thrust into a world where she’s seriously weaker than most she encounters … it would a dangerous situation to find yourself in.

Right?

And if said supernatural dude is worth his salt, he’d do his damnedest to keep you safe.

Right?

But just how much of the reins would you be willing to hand over to him when it came to protection? To lay that amount of your trust in one person would undoubtedly strip away a little of your independence, right?

But what if that was your best chance of staying alive?

What if that was the only way you could stay with the one you love?

It wouldn’t have to mean flinging yourself into his arms like a damsel in distress at every sign of danger. It wouldn’t have to mean being locked in a padded cell to avoid all possible self-damaging situations. Nor would it mean never seeing the light of day again, or being denied the right to pick up heavy boxes, or being refused time in the kitchen lest you break a nail, or answering the front door should somebody call, or getting to go shopping and spending quality time with friends or family …

However … just supposing you’d become the only female, living within pack of male werewolves who would go to the ends of the earth to protect you like the prized gem you are?

Meet Jem Stonehouse. I’ve just described her life. Yet, somehow, she’s still happy.

Could you be?

Or would living by rules you didn’t get to make drive you nuts?

Happy (belated) Independence Day to all the American folks, by the way.

~J

Makes you want to add the book to your Goodreads TBR pile right this second, doesn’t it? Well, what are you waiting for? Here’s the LINK — DO EET!

Thanks for visiting with us, Julie, and much success with the new novel in the Holloway Pack series.

You can learn more about Julie Belfield, and her fabulous books on her website.

Guest Post by Stephanie Lawton: “What a snob!”—How I got the idea for Want #WANT_SLawton #YA

ImageBook ideas come from any number of sources: TV shows, a song, a dream. Mine came from a snobby lady at a Mardi Gras parade in Mobile, Alabama.

It was our first Mardi Gras since moving to the Deep South from Ohio, and I was in the midst of an epic case of culture shock. I couldn’t understand why-oh-why the wives of the parading mystic society members wore hats, heels, pearls and fur coats to a parade. It was seventy degrees outside!

We’d been to a number of parades and had a great time mingling with other average Mobilians, but on this day, one of the older, more prestigious societies was rolling. Usually the wives sit in the grandstands provided for them. We ended up next to a group who chose to watch from the street, for whatever reason.

Our kids were quite young—our daughter was one and our son was four—and very cute, which means they got a crap-ton of stuffed animals and other throws tossed their way. When we got too much stuff, we made sure to share with the other people around us. It’s an unwritten rule in Mobile that you take care of the kids near you so everyone has a good time.

The fur-coated ladies next to us had apparently not gotten the memo. They hogged all the throws and when one suggested they share, I overheard the other tell her, “No way!”

Now, what on earth does a wealthy, middle-aged woman need with several pounds of beads and trinkets that are clearly meant for children? She was so rude that I took a picture of her from the back so I could remember that moment.

She stayed with me and I began to ask myself questions: How insecure is she that she flaunts her fur coat in tank-top weather? How bitter must you be to refuse to share with a bunch of little kids? What secrets is she hiding under that coat and big hair? What is her husband like? Her poor children?

And this is where my character Julianne was born. Her mother is so preoccupied with keeping up appearances that she can’t see how dysfunctional she is and that she’s transferring it to her children, especially her gifted seventeen-year-old daughter. Add in a father who’s unplugged, a brother who’s left the nest for college, and a mentor/grandfather-type whose sudden illness turns Julianne’s world upside down, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster … or a YA book.

Image

Back of the Book: Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche to help her.
She can’t understand why he suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it. Julianne must face down madness from without, just as it threatens from within. Isaac must resist an inappropriate attraction, but an indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball-the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite-forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.

Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?

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