Tag Archives: Romance

Yeti in the Mist is on sale!

For a limited time, this Victorian Secret Romance is available for only $.99!


Yeti in the MistCatherine Denton loves her ailing husband and is taken aback when he encourages her to take a lover. Reginald, formerly a colonel in the East India Company Army, wants his young wife to have what he cannot give her: children―and his titled brother, Cedric, has offered to oblige. However, her brother-in-law is not the man Catherine desires. The male who makes her pulse race is Reginald’s good friend Yolann, the Yeti who served with him in India―and who sleeps just down the hall.
Neither wants to betray their loyalty to a man they both respect and love. Neither can deny their desire.
Get your copy today before the price goes back up!


I also want to let you know that I’m about two thirds of the way through the 1st draft of FrankieRobertson_Lightbringer_200pxGUARDIAN, the sequel to LIGHTBRINGER in the Celestial Affairs series. I’m quite happy with the way it’s coming along, and I think you’ll like it just as much when you see the finished book!

Happy Reading!

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An Accidental Series

I’m guest blogging over at Secrets of 7 Scribes today thanks to an invitation from Casey Wyatt, the author of MYSTIC INK and THE UNDEAD SPACE INITIATIVE. I’m talking about why I’m writing not one, not two, but three different series. Come over and say hello!

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FORBIDDEN TALENTS Is Available on Amazon!

The Kindle version of FORBIDDEN TALENTS,  book two of the Vinlanders’ Saga, is now available on Amazon!

This is Ragni and Saeun’s story, but the hero and heroine from the first book, Dahleven and Celia, are significant characters.

Here’s the “back cover copy”:
As the second son of the Kon of Nuvinland, and a priest of Baldur, Lord Ragni understands the demands of politics. He’s not surprised when his father arranges a marriage for him to the daughter of another Jarl. Unfortunately, Ragni has just fallen hard for Saeun.

Saeun never expected to fall in love with Lord Ragni, but what began as a casual dalliance with a ladies’ man blossomed into a deep passion. But her hopes for the future are dashed when her tools of forbidden magic are discovered. To save herself, and Ragni’s reputation, Saeun escapes into a deadly blizzard—leaving behind everything, and everyone, she loves.

Ragni faces an agonizing choice: enforce the law he’s sworn to uphold, or save the woman he loves.

And while the lovers’ hearts are breaking, a dark and ancient threat to all of Nuvinland is gaining strength.

FORBIDDEN TALENTS will stand alone, but you’ll enjoy it even more if you’ve read DANGEROUS TALENTS.


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Review: DYING WISH by Shannon K. Butcher

I just finished Shannon K. Butcher’s DYING WISH, the sixth novel in the Sentinel Wars series. I think it may be the best so far. (I can’t say for sure, since I haven’t read Paul and Andra’s story.) Butcher pulled me into the story with the first sentence and didn’t let me go until the last.

Previously, I reviewed the first book in the series, BURNING ALIVE. While I enjoyed that book a lot (obviously, since I’ve since read most of the series), I wasn’t entirely happy with the emotional blackmail that results from the way the world is structured. (Theronai women must siphon off the energy their bonded mates automatically accumulate, or the men will eventually die. They’re faced with a “choice” of bond with the man that is their physical match, or sentence him to an agonizing death.)


This is an amplification of two old, and effective tropes. Romance novels have long featured relationships where the woman must surrender to a more powerful force, whether it’s a dominating man, or economic compulsion. That’s one of the aspects of paranormal romances that is so effective: non-human characters often have biological compulsions that override choice, or raise the stakes on the choice of whom to love and when. The characters are drawn together against their will. It’s a new take on the arranged/forced marriage plot.

The second trope, an essential one, is that of the healing power of love. In the best romances the couple doesn’t just learn to love each other. Their love brings about their transformation and healing. The individuals give up their self-focused perspective, and the whole of their union becomes greater than the sum of their individual desires.

All of this comes together to make DYING WISH a smashing good read. Butcher does a fantastic job of creating characters (both of whom were introduced in previous books) who are broken but unbowed. They’re both strong, but they’ve been holding it together by themselves for so long that they can’t see they need the other to be whole again. They don’t even think it’s possible to be whole again.

Butcher forces her characters to deal with a horrendous dilemma. She did such a great job of writing her protagonists into a corner that despite the genre demands for a “happily ever after” ending, I doubted the outcome. The solution made an interesting kind of sense, and I’m looking forward to the fallout in subsequent books in the series.


Shannon K. Butcher was a guest of honor two years ago at TusCon Science-Fiction Convention in Tucson, AZ. This year’s guest of honor is S.M. Stirling.


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Review: A Bed of Thorns and Roses by Sondra Allan Carr

I happened to notice a book a few weeks ago among the “alsobots” (those books people also bought that Amazon tells you about) on the product page for my novelette With Heart To Hear. My story is a Victorian era adaptation of the beauty and the beast tale, and so is A BED OF THORNS AND ROSES. But where my story has a lot of sensual, even erotic content, Carr draws the curtain on her lovers.

The hero and the heroine in Carr’s story are both scarred, one more obviously than the other. Both keep secrets for reasons that are completely understandable. Both are afraid to hope for what they believe is unattainable: the love of the other.

It’s often said in romance circles, that the strength of the genre lies in the transforming power of love. That love can heal both the characters, and our readers. I believe this is true. And I believe that few authors have done a better job of demonstrating that power than Ms. Carr.

A BED OF THORNS AND ROSES proceeds at a measured pace, but it isn’t slow. Carr takes only as much time as necessary to show the emotional growth of the characters. (This is a welcome change from the common practice of compressing what would normally be a months long process into a few days.) Despite this, the book doesn’t drag, and I was always anxious to get back to it at the end of the day. The story is exquisitely, beautifully, emotional. Her prose is smooth and lyrical, but never purple.

I hope that Carr will soon be releasing her promised WORLD OF PANGAEA fantasy novel, because she is truly a talented and skilled author.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I highly recommend this book.

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Arizona Dreamin’ 2012

I spoke at Arizona Dreamin’ 2012 last Saturday, and let me tell you, Kris Tualla and her team put together a a day rich in activity and interest for readers of all kinds of romance.

First there was the “speed dating” hour, where all the authors got three minutes to share what they write with small groups of readers. Then readers got to visit in small groups with the authors of their choice. Many authors gave away books and chocolate. Lots of chocolate! 🙂 There was also an onsite store hosted by Dog Eared Pages.

At dinner (which was delicious) several cover worthy young men competed for the  Man of Our Dreams title with a great deal of good humor, and afterward they posed for pictures along with cover model Jimmy Thomas. (I had a chance to chat with Jimmy when he signed a poster of the cover for WITH HEART TO HEAR. He’s a really nice guy, and he’s planning a store for authors to list their books for sale on his site.) Donations for the photos went to benefit the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, Arizona chapter.

Everyone I talked to had a great time, and Arizona Dreamin’ 2013 is going to be bigger and better than ever. Make sure you bookmark the website and friend them on facebook so you get the updates.

UPDATE: If you have had trouble finding WITH HEART TO HEAR on Smashwords to use the coupon I handed out at Arizona Dreamin’, please make sure you have the adult filter turned off.


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Is Spock the Ultimate Alpha?

A lot of you responded to my last post saying that Spock was the man for you. Tall, dark, and brainy, he played second fiddle to Kirk, but does that mean that he wasn’t an alpha male?

What is an alpha? According to AlphaMen, the characteristics of an alpha are leadership, confidence, inner-directed, humor, consideration of others, protective . They left out integrity, but I’d include that on the list as well.

Spock hits on most of these. He knows who he is (confidence), he does what he thinks is necessary (inner-directed),  he does what must be done to protect the ship (“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one,”) and a case could be made that he even has a sense of humor (his ongoing debates with McCoy).

But he’s not a true leader. While Spock’s integrity and ability earned the respect of the crew, he doesn’t have the charisma necessary to inspire people to follow him–nor does he particularly want to. And that more than anything else is why Spock is a beta.

How does a beta differ from an alpha? He’s not a wimp, but he’s no pushover, either. He doesn’t need to be in charge, but he can be when he has to. He’s perfectly happy doing what he’s good at, but he’s able to step up and take command when necessary–and to relinquish that control when he’s no longer needed.

If alphas are the most popular romance hero trope, why is Spock so appealing? I think it’s because he’s the ultimate challenge. He doesn’t give his attention to every woman that comes along (unlike a certain alpha we could name). Only a rare and very special woman can attain his regard, and many of us, who are drawn to the brainy type, like that. We don’t want to be one of many. We want to be the One. (That’s one of the reasons I married my brainy beta. It didn’t hurt that he was pretty darn cute, too. :-))

So why does Spock do it for you? Or not?


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DANGEROUS TALENTS will be featured on Kindle Romance Novels at 5 pm (EST) today. Check it out!


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DANGEROUS TALENTS Is Now Available on Amazon

DANGEROUS TALENTS, a romantic fantasy novel, is now available on Amazon.

I really enjoyed writing this story, and I hope you enjoy reading it. It combines my love of fantasy (with magic, swords, and elves) with my love of a good romance. Like tales told by C.S. Lewis, Diana Gabaldon, and Joy Chant, the heroine is a contemporary woman who has to cope with an unexpected change in circumstances:

Celia Montrose has been trained to deal with any emergency—except being thrust into another world. Crisis management training hasn’t prepared her for meeting the descendants of the lost Vinland colony, or coping with kidnapping, murder, and magic.

Lord Dahleven is trying to avert a war when he rescues a strange and beautiful woman in the drylands. Though he fears Celia may be Fey-marked, Dahleven can’t resist the powerful attraction he feels for her. But is Celia in league with the enemy, or will she provide the key to saving his people?

Alone and off-balance, Celia finds herself falling for Lord Dahleven. But dangerous forces are at work, and one of them is offering Celia a way home—for a price.


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What’s In A Name? (Or A Title?)

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

I’m a little over a third of the way through the first draft of FIRSTBORN. As I wrote in an earlier post, I’m trying out Rachel Aaron’s suggestions to improve my productivity. Now that the holidays are past, and my tree is finally down, I’ve been working on FIRSTBORN. My output has improved, but it still wouldn’t impress anyone. My progress has been good enough though, that I’ve been thinking about what comes after I finish: publication. And I think I ought to change the title.

I surveyed Amazon, and there are a ton of books already with “Firstborn” in the title. “Scion,” too (the sequel to FIRSTBORN). I want titles that convey suspense and romance. We did some brainstorming, and the favorites of my critique group were: BETRAYED BY TRUST, and BOUND BY TRUST. The only problem: when I checked them out on Amazon, there were several similar titles. An alternate, SEDUCED BY TRUST, has no overlap, but doesn’t have the lovely alliteration.

This is a dilemma faced by every author and publisher with books sold online. It’s important to title a book so that it will be easy to find, and will entice the reader to look a little closer. You don’t want your book to be #18  on page three of twenty identically titled books. Ideally, the title will also have something to do with what the story is about. And, of course, even if you come up with an original title, there’s no guarantee that a book published next week won’t duplicate it. Titles can’t be copyrighted, after all.

Here’s a very rough blurb for the first book:

It’s 1979. To save an Elemental Spirit from slavery, Marianne seduces the scion of the powerful family he’s bound to. But the Trust she works for wants more than her loyalty. They want her son. And they won’t let Marianne, or the man who loves her, get in their way.

And for the second book:

Thirty years ago, Evan was conceived through seduction and betrayal. Now he’s inherited what was meant for another man: an Elemental Guardian. Two powerful organizations are in pursuit, and the woman he loves works for one of them.

So I invite you to make suggestions. If you come up with a title different from those above, that I decide to use, I’ll send you a free copy of the book when it comes out.


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