We’re two days passed halfway in the month of February and in the awesome (yes, that’s my favorite word lately) 28 Days of Heart campaign with proceeds going to the American Heart Association.
Today on my blog, I have erotic romance author, Mari Carr here to tell us why she wanted to participate and I believe she’s brought us an excerpt from her book, Mad About Meg! (I am so excited y’all!)
During the month of love, when everyone’s attention is focused on matters of the heart, All Romance eBooks (ARe) is helping to fight the number one killer of women, heart disease, with their 28 Days of Heart campaign.
Beginning February 1, 2010 , ARe, the digital bookseller that owns All Romance (www.allromance.com) and OmniLit (www.omnilit.com), will release one new novella per day for twenty-eight consecutive days. All proceeds from the sale of these shorts will be donated to the American Heart Association.
I was thrilled when my story was selected to be part of this wonderful cause. I lost both my grandfathers to heart attacks, as well as a very close friend of the family. Heart Disease is something that all too often affects everyone and to be able to contribute to this worthy cause in even this small way is quite humbling.
Mad About Meg, my 28 Days of Heart story, features yet another teacher in my Lowell High School series. Other books have included Retreat, Covert Lessons and Scoring—all available at Ellora’s Cave. They say “write what you know” and for me, that’s public education!
Here’s the blurb:
If it weren’t for bad luck, Meg Williams wouldn’t have any luck at all. As if traveling to a tropical island on Valentine’s weekend in a nasty storm isn’t bad enough, she’s doing it alone after finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman. Enduring the trip from hell, she arrives on Eden Isle only to discover that her hotel reservation has been lost and there are no vacancies anywhere on the island. Disheartened, Meg heads for the hotel bar.
Rob Madison is used to being in the limelight due his wealth and power. Used to being pursued by women for his fortune. When he meets Meg in the bar and realizes she doesn’t know who he is, he decides to spend the evening as a regular guy. Discovering she doesn’t have a place to stay, he offers to share his penthouse with her.
As the night progresses and their mutual attraction becomes apparent, Meg wonders if her luck has turned, while Rob wonders if one weekend in each other’s arms will be enough…
Mad About Meg will be released on February 16! To learn more about Mari Carr, please visit www.maricarr.com or join her Yahoo! group to join in the fun with other readers as well as Mari Carr! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Heat_Wave_Readers/join
“So,” he looked at her calmly sitting in the hotel bar and wondered at her poise, “what’s your plan?”
“That’s actually what I was trying to work out when you came in. I thought I’d drink a little courage.” She lifted her drink to her lips again.
“Well, I figure the liquor will serve two purposes. One, it will warm me up on the inside before I have to go back out into the freezing cold rain again. And two, hopefully it will get me drunk enough that it won’t bother me to sleep in my lousy rental car by the side of the road.”
“That’s your brilliant plan?”
“I don’t remember calling it brilliant. Simply a plan.” Her humor in the face of such a dreary and potentially dangerous night began grating on his nerves. “I only have to make it through the next few hours and then I’ll call the car rental place about towing me out of the ditch and I’ll catch the next flight out of here. Guess that will teach me for trying to live like the rich and famous for a few days.”
Rob sat silently for several minutes brooding over the fact he was one of the rich and famous she was referring to and feeling incredibly guilty as he pictured the luxurious penthouse suite awaiting him. One of the perks of owning the hotel.
“You can’t sleep in your car.”
“I don’t think that guy out there,” she pointed toward Pierre at the front desk, “would like it if I sacked out on the couch in the foyer. This place doesn’t exactly strike me as the type that would cater to vagrancy.”
“You’ll stay with me.” The words came without thought, but Rob found himself immediately warming up to the idea of spending more time with this refreshingly pleasant woman.
“Oh, now hang on a minute.” She threw her hands up. “I appreciate the drink, but there’s no way—”
He didn’t let her finish her protests. “Hear me out,” he said quickly. “My company owns the penthouse of this hotel. It’s a two-bedroom suite. You can have the other room for tonight. It even has its own bathroom. You can lock the door and pretend like it’s your own hotel room. There is simply no way I’m going to let you sleep on the side of a busy road in the middle of a storm.”
“There isn’t much traffic out there now with all the rain.”
“I’m serious. You’ve had a hell of a day and an unbelievably long string of bad luck. Why not give yourself a break?”
Rob considered the fact that she was seriously debating turning him down. He’d never had to beg a woman to share a room with him. Hell, most nights he was the one having hotel keys thrust at him. After all, he was Rob Madison, owner of this and a string of other luxury hotels all over the world. He had topped Fortune’s list of most eligible billionaires the last three years running.
He watched as she chewed on her lower lip, clearly nervous about his proposition. He supposed from her perspective he was a stranger and she would be consenting to share a hotel suite with him.
“The bedroom door locks?”
“It locks.” He offered her what he hoped looked like a friendly grin. “If it makes you feel any better, you can ask Pierre to call every hour to make sure I haven’t ravished you.”
Rising slowly, she nodded her agreement. “Well, okay, but just for tonight.”
My thanks to Mari for letting me have her here on the blog. Please go pick up a copy of Mari’s book and any of the other books from All Romance eBooks that have been featured here on my blog and on blogs all across romance and help the AHA.
Have a grand Tuesday!
Welcome again! I hope everyone has had a great week so far. I’ve found for myself that I’ve had too much sleepiness and not enough alertness to get everything done that I needed to do. Thank goodness it’s Friday!
I have the pleasure of having another author from the ARe campaign, 28 Days of Heart, to raise money and awareness for the American Heart Association. If you haven’t checked these books out yet, hop on over to All Romance eBooks. You’ll be glad you did.
So, without further ado, here is today’s guest:
Hi there! Sylvia Shults here, the author of A Slightly Different Perfect. I’ve always been drawn to humorous romance, the goofier the story, the better. I figured this story would be perfect for a fundraiser celebrating the heart and all its quirks. What better way to nurture the heart than to write a story about the goddess of Love?
A Slightly Different Perfect is the story of a mousy fifth grade teacher, Trisha Gillespie, who gets turned into the goddess of love Aphrodite. In her new incarnation, she learns a valuable lesson about the price and the rewards of true love. Let’s take a peek at Trisha as she explores the perks of her new-found goddesshood….
I came through the wide double doors into the Springfield Elementary School gym, which was all decorated for the Spring Carnival. By some divine confluence of events, the Carnival was tonight, the very night I had been asked by Hera to go down to Earth.
Hera’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Here I was, the new goddess of love, smokin’ hot I might add, and I was totally, completely anonymous. Nobody knew me – ha! I could wander the gym all I wanted, eavesdrop on my coworkers (former coworkers!) to my heart’s content – not that I would ever do such a thing, of course, I do have some class – and not one of them would know that the sizzling package of hotness standing next to them was the formerly mousy little Miss Gillespie.
Oh my, this was going to be fun.
I strolled around the gym, giving little finger-waves to everyone who glanced my way. And let me tell you, there were a lot of glances. It was truly gratifying, and fabulous for the ego. I had to remind myself a couple of times that I was the goddess of love – me! And I deserved all this attention, yes I did.
I had gotten about halfway around the gym when I caught sight of Josie, who was manning the bake sale. A shadow fell over my whole “I’m the goddess of love and I rock” groove. I wished desperately that I could go over there and out myself to her, tell her that I really was the same old Trisha underneath my goddess glamour. But something stopped me.
That something, unfortunately, was the sight of Vince Turabian. He had changed out of his gym teacher uniform of t-shirt and shorts just half a size too small. Well, he still had the shorts on, but he had shucked the t-shirt in favor of…oh, I can’t even say it.
Okay, fine. Vince was wearing the most colorful, garish, loud Hawaiian shirt I had ever seen. It was a shirt with the volume turned all the way up. It looked like Don Ho’s bad acid trip. Native girls in grass skirts hid coyly behind palm trees, brandishing ukuleles at anyone unsuspecting enough to look at the shirt for more than three seconds. And did I mention the palm trees? Yeesh!
I blinked. My eyes were actually watering from the sight of that shirt. When I worked up the intestinal fortitude to look back at Vince, I realized he was standing across from Josie at the bake sale table. I watched him hand her money, which she managed quite neatly to take without letting him touch her hand – nice going, girl! Then Vince picked up a cupcake from the table. He unwrapped the plastic from the plate, set it down, and brought the cupcake to his grinning mouth. Before either Josie or I could react, Vince stuck out his tongue and licked a wad of frosting suggestively off the top of the cupcake.
Ewwww! My mind reeled at the sight of Vince’s frosting-covered tongue. I could see Josie’s shudder of revulsion from all the way across the room. I wished desperately that I could go right up to Josie, stand side by side with her, and put that horrible Vince in his place. But I couldn’t blow my cover. Outing myself as the former Trisha Gillespie was sure to have divine repercussions. And at the very least, people here would be awfully confused. I settled for a sympathetic shudder of my own. My lip curled in an involuntary wince of disgust.
That’s when I heard it, from off to my left.
“For the last time, Tyler, no, you cannot have a snow cone! You’ve already had two hotdogs, chips, and a brownie. Are you trying to make yourself sick?”
The frustration in the mother’s voice mirrored the irritation on my own mind. Belatedly, I thought, Oh crud. I’ll bet I did that. I was a goddess. Why wouldn’t my moods spill over and affect the mortals around me? It only made sense. I made an effort to calm myself down. Breathe, Trisha, in through the nose, out through the mouth…in with the good air, out with the bad air… In the middle of my calming mantra, I heard the mom say, in a much nicer voice, “Come on, kiddo. Let’s go find your sister, and then we’ll get in line for the rubber duck prize pool, okay?”
Ha! It worked! I really was an all-powerful goddess with the mojo to screw with – I mean influence people’s emotions. Yay me! I spent the next half an hour or so finding out exactly what my goddess powers could do. Filling my mind with sunny, happy thoughts, I wandered over to the Bozo Buckets. A young couple was at the front of the line, helping their kindergartener with what was probably her first game of Bozo Buckets ever. The parents were positively glowing with encouragement for their little one.
“Come on, Chrissie, you can do it!” the dad coached, while Mom stood by, smiling a bit anxiously. She crossed the fingers on both hands and held them up for her little girl to see. Chrissie, who was a tiny little thing even for kindergarten, leaned over and gently tossed the beanbag. It hit the rim of the fifth bucket with a soft plop, and toppled in.
Both parents just went nuts over this. I have to admit, I was pretty impressed myself. I don’t ever remember getting past Bucket #3. I grinned, and Dad knelt to give Chrissie a big hug. As she turned away to collect her prize, he stood up again, took his wife in his arms, and kissed her deeply.
Whoa! I thought. Betcha I did that too. Goddess juju rocks! After that, it got to be sort of a game. I walked around the gym, trying to guess how hard I would have to “push” a couple to nudge them into a full-blown PDA. It was a total blast, and I was really grooving on my newfound powers. It was like…hmm…it was like wishing for something really hard right before blowing out the candles on your birthday cake. Or like being filled with that warm, yearning feeling you get when you’re wishing on the first evening star in a darkening sky. But your wish comes true right in front of your eyes. It’s totally an instant gratification thing. I was having gobs of fun playing my little kissing games. I was so full of warm fuzzies – I felt like I was the middle scoop of ice cream in a banana split, with butterscotch and hot fudge sauce just oozing all around me.
So I guess what happened next was really my fault, for not taking things more seriously.
I had wandered back over to the bake sale. A couple was standing there, along with a kid. I recognized him as one of my students from a couple of years ago. Brett was looking nowhere in particular, trying not to make eye contact with anyone. He had a look on his face that told the world he was about to pass out and die of sheer embarrassment. His parents stood nearby, feeding each other bites of an oversized chocolate chip cookie and cooing to each other. But that wasn’t what had drawn my attention.
Vince was back on my radar, and I wasn’t happy about it. He was still at the bake sale table. I had to wonder if he’d been here the whole time, just hanging out annoying Josie. As I watched, though, he turned his back on her and headed my way, a predatory grin on his face. Behind the table, Josie was watching him walk away. The look on her face was a complicated mixture of relief and – wait, was that disappointment? Really? Or was I delusional and just imagining things?
Oh, of course it was. It had to be. It wasn’t that I wanted Vince to keep macking on Josie. I wouldn’t wish Vince on my worst enemy, let alone my best friend. But Josie didn’t deserve to be ignored, either, even by a mouth-breathing knuckle-dragger like Vince. It was kind of a “nobody puts Baby in a corner” moment for me.
What can I say? My best friend was getting the brush-off (boo hiss) from a skanky guy (umm – yay her?). I was confused. I was conflicted. That’s my only excuse for what happened next.
Okay. I want you to imagine something. I want you to imagine the righteous indignation you feel when something truly horribly unfair happens, something really outrageous, when you open your mouth and the very first thing that flies out is “Oh no he DIDN’T!” Like, “Oh, Simon did not just tell that poor girl she had a face made for radio!” Or, “Oh no, you did not just spill your chocolate-cherry martini down the front of my favorite white wool scoop-neck sweater!” Feel that incredulous shock, that stunned disbelief that morphs almost immediately into downright pissyness.
Now, turn it up to eleven. Ramp it up to goddess-size, baby. Go go go, full-tilt boogie, bring it ON!
I fixed Vince with my most withering stare, drew myself up to my full height, embraced my divinity, and prepared to let him have it. “Vince Turabian, you are such a SNAKE!”
I really need to think sometimes before I open my mouth.
I hope you enjoy A Slightly Different Perfect, and I do appreciate your support of the American Heart Association. See, my mom’s got heart disease – she had a heart attack a couple of years ago and had to have a stent put in – so this really is a cause that I support for personal reasons. Enjoy the story, support the AHA, and Goddess bless.
You can find Sylvia on her facebook fan page, Sparkleheart. Become a fan.
Thank you, Sylvia for being here.
Today I have the pleasure of having author Cornelia Amiri here to tell us why she wanted to submit her book, Timeless Voyage to the ARe 28 Days of Heart campaign. Here’s what she had to say:
As I have been struggling with weight and high blood pressure since my mid-forties, I am personally grateful to the American Heart Associations’ commitment to save lives everyday. They encourage me and others to realize the importance of heart-healthy habits such as eating better and getting more exercise. In fact they have a wonderful website on high blood pressure that has been very helpful to me. http://www.amhrt.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=2114 The AHA also funds research for advances in curing heart disease, which is the number one killer of women in the U.S.
Therefore, when All Romance Ebooks offered this wonderful opportunity for me to contribute a romance to benefit the American Heart Association I was thrilled. With the purchase of Timeless Voyage and any of the 28 Days of Heart Ebooks, all proceeds benefit the American Heart Association. As you read about the strong hearted warrior woman, Anwen, remember you are a warrior also as your purchase helps the AHA battle heart disease.
He set the brass horn down on the table with a clank. Grinning at her boldness, he wondered why a druidess from Ynys Mon would protect him. Yet when he gazed into her green eyes he felt as if he knew her. He trusted her with his very life. A gentle warmth flowed though him. He felt close to her, as if she’d always been by his side. Like she knew him better than anyone. “M’lady, you spared my life. How shall I reward such valiant service?”
“I ask no reward of you.”
He stepped closer. “My ship?” His gaze fell onto the ripe pink plums that were her lips. “My cargo?” He watched, breathless, as they parted slightly. “Ah, lady I shall offer you my kiss.” He licked his lips.
Her throat bobbed as she swallowed. Kaeso took her face in his hands and leaned forward until their lips met. The sensation of licking flames overcame him. His lips pressed harder against the hot, wet flesh of hers. Smothering her mouth, he devoured its softness. As he suckled its sweetness, his lips parted hers. He thrust his tongue into her mouth. The savage music of her soft mews boiled his blood. His erection swelled at the warmth of her kiss and the fulfillment it gave him. These were the lips he remembered, the taste, the softness of them. The warm, full, honeyed lips he had searched for ever since he began turning his head to take a second glance at maidens walking down the streets of Rome. He tore his mouth away from her swollen lips. His mouth still burned. His heart pounded. His mind swirled with thoughts. How could it be? I’ve kissed those lips before, I know I have. But I haven’t.
His blood soared and his mind burned with a vivid image, a daydream, of flames, a blazing bonfire dancing before him. It seemed so real. He stood nude, with woad symbols adorning his muscular arms and she was there. Standing at his side. How can it be?
He recalled, she wore three daisies in her flame red hair, which fell loose, unbraided. A chain of the spring flowers, with white petals and bright yellow centers, dangled from her slender neck, down to her jutting, pink-tipped breasts. He remembered her gleaming eyes, full of hunger, gazing at him. She stood nude before him. A blue woad symbol of the sun was painted on her shoulder. He recalled the moans and panting sounds of coupling from all the Beltane partners making love before the fire. But he had eyes only for her.
Thank you for taking the time to read Cornelia’s story and excerpt. I hope all of you are enjoying all the titles that have so far been released and will continue to support this worthy cause.
Have a wonderful Wednesday.
Looks good, huh? Yep, there will be cupcake baking this week. Margarita cupcakes, too. Seems a challenge was thrown my way on Twitter at the end of last week to make these and well, I’ll be doing so. I’ll also be posting a ooey, gooey chocolate/marshmallow brownie over on the Romance in the Backseat blog just in time for Valentine’s Day. Here’s the link to my last post at RITBS from my Loose Id release, Sugar Rush, titled Chocolate Chili Truffles and a Cowboy Surfer.
I’m not all that worried about Valentine’s myself. I am gonna be on the couch watching the Daytona 500. For those that care, I’ll be posting a special Daytona 500 blog on Sunday morning. For those that don’t care, well, your loss! Grins…
I have been writing a lot this week, rather for the last 6 weeks and I am nowhere near being at a place where I can stop and take a break. I am trying to write a few new pieces for Samhain, Ellora’s Cave, and I’ll be working on one or two new things for Loose Id. I’ll also be writing a couple short short Wicked titles for Cobblestone Press.
I made the transition and am still making the transition to full time writer/crazy person. I had been an editor but that was taking so much of my time and energy that I wasn’t writing. I was becoming a very not nice person, so I made the choice. And it’s a hard one to make. I had to sit down with myself and have a talk. I told myself I’d give it a year. If I couldn’t make any money beyond $30 here, $50 there with my writing, then I would go get myself a job. This is the first time since I turned 14 that I haven’t had a job working for someone else, even while pursuing something on my own. It’s scary. It’s hard. I’m addicted to a lot of things that I need to be able to afford…coffee shop trips, ebooks, office supplies, coffee and supplies to make at home, baking habits, love to cook, rock concerts, and Nascar races. These are things I’m not willing to live without and I’m a much happier person when I can do and have them. Therefore, I need to make money writing. Or make money somehow. I am also the one in charge of the extras of the family…kids clothing, shoes, school supplies, birthdays, Christmas, etc… Writing needs to pay for all of that, too. Sounds rather daunting when put down in words.
These are just a few, very big reasons I write full time. The other reasons are much more selfish, but not any less important. Those are the HAVE to for my own sanity reasons. Other authors will understand this.
They will also understand:
I’ve seen a little talk lately on blogs and author loops about the desire to write more female/female stories. There isn’t a huge market for it and I have to wonder why. Yes, we all love the hot yummy men, but there are hot yummy women too. Why don’t the readers like it as well? It’s a curious thing to me, but then, I like women. This is a topic I’m going to pursue at a later date. I have been seeing more and more female/female erotic romance lately and that makes me smile. I have an idea for a book that centers around 2 women friends that become lovers. There’s nothing wrong with it, nothing taboo about it. It’s more widely accepted in the media than two men together, yet, we women, and most definitely myself included, will buy up the male/male books. We crave them.
I am dying to read the book to the right, Beyond Curious by Paisley Smith. I would actually love to read a lot more female/female erotic romance, so if you know of any that you’d recommend, please do…
Now, I really must get back to writing…
Have a wonderful day!
I have the pleasure of having the lovely Jackie Kessler guesting on my blog today with her entry into the 28 Days of Heart campaign to benefit the American Heart Association.
I have asked her why she wanted to participate and submit a book. This what she had to say:
Hi! I’m Jackie Kessler, and I like to write about demons and angels, among other things. When I heard about the 28 Days of Heart, and that all proceeds would be going to the American Heart Association, I knew I wanted to write a Hell story for it, one that was about connection, and possibly even redemption.
The angel called Angel first appears in my second book, THE ROAD TO HELL, but you don’t need to read it to understand why Angel is alone outside the gates of Paradise…or why she feels so horribly alone. And you don’t need to read the first book, HELL’S BELLES, to know who the archangel is that she meets. (But of course, I hope you **will** read the books!)
“Hell’s Angel” is somewhat of a departure from the Hell on Earth series in that it’s not humorous, it’s not written in first person, and it’s not about the former succubus Jezebel. Whether you’re new to Hell on Earth or if you’ve read all the books and novellas, I think you’ll enjoy the story.
Blurb: Where can an angel find comfort? A lonely banished angel sits outside the gates of Paradise, lamenting the joy she has lost. When she is joined by a fallen archangel, she learns that one doesn’t need to be in Heaven to experience bliss.
Books and stories by Jackie Kessler:
Hell on Earth series:
The Road to Hell
“A Hell of a Time,” Eternal Lover
Hotter than Hell (mass-market reissue coming September 2010)
“When Hell Comes Calling,” Lilith Unbound
“Hell Is Where the Heart Is,” A Red Hot Valentine’s Day
“Hell’s Angel,” 28 Days of Heart
“Hell Bound,” Those Who Fight Monsters (coming fall 2010)
Hell to Pay (date TBA)
“Hell’s Fury,” Mammoth Book of Hot Romance (date TBA)
The Icarus Project series (with Caitlin Kittredge):
Black and White
Shades of Gray (coming June 2010)
Young Adult novels (by Jackie Morse Kessler):
Hunger (coming October 2010)
Rage (coming spring 2011)
Jackie Kessler on the Internet:
Deadline Dames: http://www.deadlinedames.com
League of Reluctant Adults: http://reluctantadults.blogspot.com
Twitter: @JackieKessler, @JackieMorseKess
Y’all can’t imagine how very thrilled I was when Jackie said she’d talk up her book a bit. So, thank you, Jackie!
I hope all of you are picking up a copy of each of these books that have been featured so far…and there are many more to come!