Elisabeth Naughton Guest Blogs…

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thanks everyone for the kind words on my last post…it means a lot.  Anyway, today I am thrilled to welcome author Elisabeth Naughton, whose latest release, STOLEN HEAT, is in stores now! 

Elisabeth NaughtonHere’s a little bio on Elisabeth:
A previous junior-high science teacher, Elisabeth Naughton now writes sexy romantic suspense and paranormal novels full time from her home in western Oregon where she lives with her husband and three children. Her debut release, Stolen Fury, was a 2007 Golden Heart Finalist and has been heralded by Publisher’s Weekly as “A rock-solid debut.” When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ball park or dreaming up new and exciting adventures. Visit the author’s website at www.elisabethnaughton.com

And here’s the blurb for her latest release:

STOLEN_HEAT_MECHBook Two in the Stolen Trilogy
On Sale: July 28, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-505-52794-3

His past tore them apart. Her lies thrust them back together. Now a killer’s out for revenge, but the biggest threat for both may just be the heat they thought they’d already lost…

Antiquities dealer Peter Kauffman walked a fine line between clean and corrupt for years. And then he met the woman who changed his life—Egyptologist Katherine Meyer. Their love affair burned white-hot in Egypt, until the day Pete’s lies and half-truths caught up with him. After that, their relationship imploded, Kat walked out, and before Pete could find her to make things right, he heard she’d died in a car bomb.

Six years later, the woman Pete thought he’d lost for good is suddenly back. The lies this time aren’t just his, though. The only way he and Kat will find the truth and evade a killer out for revenge is to work together—as long as they don’t find themselves burned by the heat each thought was stolen long ago…

“Exciting, action-packed and fast moving, this story seamlessly alternates from the present to the past. A first-rate mystery, it has well-developed characters and a suspenseful and satisfying climax. A fine romantic thread winds through it all.”
–RT BOOKReviews

“STOLEN HEAT is an awesome combination of deadly suspense, edgy action and a wonderful romance with characters that you’ll laugh, cry and yell with. I had a great time reading it and I’m definitely looking forward to more of Ms. Naughton’s books.”
–Wendy, Night Owl Romance

And now here’s Elisabeth…

 Thanks so much to Jennifer for having me here today!

Today wraps up my two week blog tour for the release of STOLEN HEAT, the second book in my Stolen Trilogy from Dorchester LoveSpell. I often wonder if readers think I’m just rambling about random topics, but I love talking books, so I’m thrilled to be here and everywhere spreading the word about this fun book.

I am an adventure lover at heart, so it makes sense all my books have some adventure element to them. Indiana Jones, Romancing the Stone, The Mummy, Goonies, National Treasure, Lord of the Rings…these are the kind of movies you’ll find in my movie closet and they’re the movies my family tends to watch over and over. (I’m slowly turning my kids into adventure lovers as well). When I read, I gravitate toward action/adventure books that are fast paced and emotionally satisfying. Since the release of my Stolen books, I’ve been thrilled to hear of other romance authors who are writing romantic adventure books and growing this subgenre of romantic suspense.

So what, really, is the difference between romantic adventure and romantic suspense? I get asked this a lot, and though the two genres tend to blend together, there are a few distinct differences.

1) 1st Difference:

  • In a romantic suspense, the main characters are intent on solving a crime, and as a result, generally involve law enforcement of some kind, and spend the entire book chasing a bad guy.
  • In a romantic adventure, the characters may still be intent on solving a crime, but they’re often the target, not the other way around. They’re on the run from some dark force and don’t necessarily have to be law enforcement personnel (in fact, they’re often not).

2) 2nd Difference:

  • In a romantic suspense, the focus is on the whodunit aspect. These books are often dark, intense, and often scary.
  • In a romantic adventure, the focus is on the adventure. The tone is often lighter, less intense, and the entire book opens itself to more lighthearted moments.

3) 3rd Difference:

  • In a romantic suspense, the plot is the central aspect of the book, and the characters are there to enhance a complex plot.
  • In a romantic adventure, the characters are the central aspect of the book, and the adventure is there to enhance the characters.

Both types of books – romantic suspense and adventure – can seem similar, and both genres can blend together easily, which is why they’re shelved together. Both can be fast-paced, both can have whodunit elements, both can be intense in places. The difference is where the writes shifts the focus and how the story plays out. What’s driving the story? Is it the characters and their experiences, or is it the plot and the characters’ reactions?

My first book – STOLEN FURY – was very much a romantic adventure in every way, shape and form. STOLEN HEAT has more of the traditional romantic suspense elements – complex plot, whodunit aspect, it’s darker and more intense – but at the root it’s still an adventure. The characters are still looking for a treasure, they’re still on the run, and they’re still very much the focus of the book. I write the type of books I want to read, so it makes sense no matter what I write, there’ll always be a sense of adventure in there somewhere.

How about you? Are you a fan of romantic adventure? What was the last adventure book or movie you enjoyed?

To be entered into Elisabeth’s BIG STOLEN HEAT Release Contest go to www.elisabethnaughton.com/stolen_heat_contest.html. You could win a $100 VISA gift card and a whole host of other daily prizes!

Thanks Elisabeth for being my guest!

Readers, be sure to check out her website and her books!

And feel free to answer her questions…any adventure lovers out there?



Sunday, July 26, 2009

This is one of the toughest posts I have ever had to write.  So as you have noticed, things haven’t quite been the same here on the blog.  My health hasn’t been the best and it has been a rough time for me.  Things are quite stressful as I try to catch up and keep things going both here and in “real” life.

Which brings me to my announcement…starting in September, there are going to be some changes here (I’ll post another reminder closer to September).  Mainly, I won’t be having as many guests and I might not be posting daily, but will try to post at least a couple of times a week.  The posts will mostly just be from me and will be…as the blog title says…my random musings (but still with a book slant…probably)…and I’ll still do the occassional giveaway.  I’ll still welcome guests, but it probably won’t be as frequently as I have in the past (so if you are already scheduled, don’t worry)…it will probably be weekly rather than daily. 

When I first started the blog I thought it would just be me rambling to no one about books and whatnot and I’d kind of like to try to get back to that a bit…well, not the “to no one” part.  There are several reasons for this decision…one is my health and the stress that daily blogging, getting posts together, contacting authors, and coordinating contests, etc. adds.  I think it might be best to cut back some.  Life is getting more and more complicated for me and blogging, while something I love, is not as much of a priority as other things.  This was a hard decision for me to make as I don’t want to let anyone down.

Another reason is that I want to focus on my review site (which I know needs updating)…PLEASE be sure to check it out in the coming weeks as I post reviews of some of my reads.   My reviews will include reviews of books from my TBR or that I pick up and want to share my thoughts on as well as review requests from authors  (Oh, and if you are an author waiting for a review, I appreciate your patience…my recent illness has me behind on a lot of things including getting reviews posted, but I am working now to get things organized and up-to-date).  Also, if any reader has a book suggestion for me feel free to suggest it.  I’ll also do an occassional giveaway over there (the link is in the side and I’ll post more details later).

This is tough for me to say as I truly enjoy keeping this blog up-to-date and having guests and it has been great over the last couple of years.  Through my little hobby, I have met so many fabulous readers and authors.  When I started the blog, I never thought it would turn into what it has become, but I have loved it.  Things just seemed to become a bit too much for just one person (especially one with my current health problems) and I would really like to put some of my focus on the other site for right now as it has been sadly neglected.  Things may change in the future (which is why I am not eliminating the blog completely and still plan on posting here so don’t worry), but for now I think it is best that I cut back on the number of guests and events.

I thank you all for your support, patience and understanding over the last few months and hope that you will continue to visit both sites.  I have some fun stuff planned for August before the changes take effect so be sure to check back often.

P.S. And if any of you have any ideas or suggestions for my “random musings” blog topics for the future…anything you’d like to know my opinion on or want to ask me, feel free to let me know.

Week of Secrets Winner…

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The winner of this Week of Secrets giveaway is:  Armenia

 Please send me your mailing info to claim your prize!

If you didn’t win, don’t worry you can pick up your own copies of the books at the links below.

 Secrets Vol. 27 can be found here, here and here.

Object of Desire can be found here and here.

And check out this video trailer for Secrets Vol. 27.


Our last day of secrets…

Friday, July 24, 2009

Today is the final day of the Week of Secrets and today we have Calista Fox…

object of desirePsssttt… I’ve Got a Secret, too!

Well, actually, this girl has more than one secret!

I have five.

No, wait. Six. I have six secrets.

My “secrets” started back in July 2005 with my first novella that appeared in Secrets Volume 13, titled In the Heat of the Night. That was followed by another secret. Intimate Rendezvous in Volume 17. Followed by Midnight Rendezvous in Volume 22. Then there was my sexy vampire/witch secret in Volume 23, Forever My Love. To be followed—surprise!—by the last of the Rendezvous trilogy in Volume 26, Secret Rendezvous.

Now for my biggest secret yet. I know… my July 15 single title release, Object of Desire, isn’t a big secret given its current buzz, but this is still a very exciting time for me!

So, about my sixth secret. I feel incredibly lucky to have the second single title release from Red Sage Publishing. It’s interesting, really, in that I picked up Secrets Volume 6 at a Barnes and Noble completely on a whim and that’s when I fell in love with Red Sage and erotic romance and Angela Knight. After I’d blazed through each of the wonderfully sexy novellas in the volume, my muse perked up and screamed WRITE YOUR OWN STORY, CALISTA!!

I’d literally stumbled upon a publisher that welcomed unrestricted creativity and sensuality. After my first novella was published by Red Sage, my Big Goal became writing a novel that I could pitch to Red Sage as their next single title book. I knew the characters would have to be bold and daring, and the plot would have to be fast-paced, complex and dynamic. And the romance sizzling hot!

I love the larger-than-life hero and heroine—Devon Mallory and Laurel Blackwood—and I hope readers find them to be memorable characters as well. And since I’m a perpetual student of character development, I hope you’ll leave a comment and tell me your favorite fictitious character and what earned them the distinction.

And please visit my website (www.calistafox.com) and blog (www.calistafox.blogspot.com) for more contests and fun stuff!

About Object of Desire by Calista Fox (on sale July 15!)

When treasure hunter and spy Laurel Blackwood raids Victoria Peak in Belize to recover a rare Mexican fire opal rumored to evoke dark desires and passions, she unwittingly sets off a sequence of dangerous events—and finds herself in the midst of a battle between good and evil… and lust and love. Laurel must keep the opal from falling into the hands of a deadly terrorist cell, a greedy Belizean dignitary, and one particularly hot and scandalous treasure hunter named Devon Mallory.

For ten years, Devon has had his eye on the $30 million prized opal and his heart set on winning Laurel for keeps. But her web of secrecy and now her betrayal over recovering the legendary stone without him has Devon hell-bent on stealing the opal from her and collecting on the massive payout. But Devon will have to make a choice soon, and decide which gem is his true object of desire…


 Thanks Calista and all of the authors for a great week!

Readers, today is your last chance to enter this week’s great giveaway…details can be found here.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see if you won!

More Secrets…

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Today our party continues and this time Liane Gentry Skye is revealing some secrets…

secrets27My Secrets, Volume 27, Untamed Pleasures novella, Heart Storm, began when I saw my very first manatee during a kayaking trip in Sanibel Island’s stunning Tarpon Bay.  Trust me when I say it’s a miracle I ever saw such a majestic beast up close and personal at all.  If you knew me, you’d be rolling on the floor laughing at the mention of my name and kayak in the same sentence. Let’s just say that me, outdoors, bugs, vermin—not friends.  But in spite of a few near drowning episodes as a child, I do, and always have, loved anything to do with the water. Maybe that’s why my daughter didn’t have too much trouble talking me into taking her on a guided kayak trip through the mangrove forests surrounding Tarpon Bay. Pretty water, pretty boat, lush island location, great weather—what could possibly go wrong? I figured a bit of bug repellant, and I was good to go.

Or not.

We were paddling (translation, slapping madly at the water with our oars trying to get the damn thing to move) when my paddle got caught in a tangle of prop roots. As I leaned over to try and free it, something fleshy rolled over in the water behind a thatch of woody growth. Being the un-outdoorsy and somewhat dramatic sort, my first assumption was that some fool (like me) had gone overboard and was in the process of being devoured by an alligator. So I did what any well meaning philanthropist would have done. I screamed to the top of my lungs for help, because, as it turned out, cell phones and water don’t mix.

About the same time I called out, I realized that what I’d taken for a person thrashing in the muddy water was actually a manatee sunning himself in the mud. Talk about feeling stupid.

When the guide circled back to determine the source of the noise that had triggered a mass evacuation of wildlife, she told me not to feel too bad. Even the most seasoned ancient sailors had often mistaken manatees for mermaids.

Hello! Did she say mermaids

That’s all it took to captivate my imagination. I don’t remember much else about the details of the kayaking debacle. My mind was too busy playing with the idea that there could be real, live mermaids hiding out in the mangroves.

I’ve always had a thing for mermaids. So much so that when I was a kid, I’d tell anyone who’d listen that wanted to be one when I grew up. It didn’t matter that I was human and the adults in my world insisted that there was no such thing as mer-folk. They were wrong, plain and simple.  I was clearly some sort of mer-changeling, and somehow, I aimed to prove it. 

Decades later, I’m still working on verifiable proof that I am, indeed a displaced mermaid, but I have discovered that the best way to meet my dream of becoming a mermaid was to create a fictional world where mer-folk did live and breathe. Here, mermaids were not only real, they were also endangered.  Which explains why we rarely seen them. J

As my mer-folk’s threatened world came to life in my imagination, I learned that many of Florida’s precious mangrove forests were mowed down by real estate developers in a quest for beach front property.  It didn’t take much of a reach to decide that there was an enzyme in the mangroves that my mermaids depended on in order to shift from their finned state to their landlocked one.

As building a mermaid world raised more questions, I also read that an enzyme in certain species of mangroves is responsible for the luminescent bio-bays in Puerto Rico. Phosphorescent water?  Too cool! Suddenly, my mermaid glowed in the dark, particularly when she was feeling frisky.

A frisky mermaid?  Where did that come from?

When Sirenia, my heroine in Heart Storm, rescued a wounded Navy Seal, she developed an insatiable urge to have his baby. That pretty much destroyed my original concept of a children’s book featuring endangered mermaids.  By the time Heart Storm was done, I realized that I was not a children’s book author, and that Secrets was the perfect home for Heart Storm

Fortunately, my editor agreed!

 Thanks Liane!

Readers, be sure to leave a comment to be entered for the great giveaway this week.  Details can be found here.

And be sure to check back tomorrow for our final secrets with Calista Fox.

The Secrets continue…

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Today our party continues as Hannah Murray shares some more secrets…

secrets27So this post is supposed to reveal “the secret” behind The Boy Next Door, my contribution to Secrets 27, Untamed Pleasures. The trouble is, it’s not really much of a secret.

In the fall of 2005 I had the following conversation with my roommate John over dinner:

Hannah: “I’m going to a bondage convention in a few weeks.”

John: “You’re such a perv.”

Hannah: “It’s for research!”

John: “Honey, try telling that to someone who doesn’t see what kind of mail you get.”

Okay, I’ll admit that I had some personal interest in the subject. It was well known among my friends and associates that reading kinky romances was a favorite past time of mine, and at that stage of my career I had also written one. It was also well known that I tend to gear my stories to things I’m personally interested in, so his assumption that I was going to this convention to do more than take notes wasn’t exactly a shot in the dark. But I really did have a greater purpose – to learn more about rope bondage. Oh, I’d heard of it of course, and seen it in photographs, and had on a few occasions experienced the joy that a set of standard issue handcuffs can bring to a romantic encounter. But I’d never been in contact with actual bondage rope before – rope created and intended for the express purpose of tying up a lover – and that’s what I was looking for.

And boy howdy, did I find it! It was all over the place that weekend – tied up in neat little bundles, strewn across the floor in a discarded heap, and more often than not wrapped around the hands, feet, arms, legs or torso of one of my fellow conventioneers. It didn’t take long for me to find someone who was willing to wrap some of it around me (in a mostly PG-13 fashion) so I could find the answer to my one big question: What’s so special about rope?

The answer? It’s impossible to tie someone up without touching them.  You can handcuff someone with a bare minimum of flesh on flesh contact, but you can’t use rope without becoming intimately acquainted with your partner’s body. When someone is tying you up, whether they’re just tying your wrists to the headboard or doing something much more intricate and restraining, their hands are all over you. Testing the tightness of the tie, gauging how your flesh is being compressed, judging the amount of tension necessary to keep you where they want you. The rope becomes an extension of your lover’s hands, so a caress that would last mere seconds is extended through the length of rope laid across a breast, or wrapped around a thigh. It stays with you, snug around you like the arms of a second lover – and it frees the first lover up to do all sorts of fun things.

THAT is what’s so special about rope, and learning that, boys and girls, was like a lightning bolt to the brain. I knew then that The Boy Next Door would be my next project….but first I went to the vendor area and bought some rope of my own.

Hey, research is important!


 An excerpt of The Boy Next Door is available at Hannah’s website (www.hannahmurray.net), as well as a chance to win some bondage rope of your own! Check out her contest (www.hannahmurray.net/contest.html)  for a chance to win a Curiosity Kit from TwistedMonk.com, maker of the world’s finest hemp bondage rope.

 Thanks Hannah!

Readers, be sure to leave a comment to win this week’s fabulous prize.  Details are here.

And be sure to check back tomorrow as Liane Gentry Skye reveals her secrets.

More Secrets Revealed as our party continues…

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Today, our Week of Secrets continues with author Nicole North who has a special guest who will share…

Secret Confessions of a Time-traveling Diva

secrets27Nicole North: Today I have here with me Shauna the heroine of Devil in a Kilt in Secrets Volume 27 Untamed Pleasures. Welcome, Shauna! Thanks for taking the time out of your day to allow us to know you better.

Shauna: Thanks for inviting me! But your title is wrong. I’m not a diva.

Nicole: Okay, sorry about that. How would you describe yourself?

Shauna: I’m a psychology professor… or at least I was before I time-traveled to 1621, Scotland.

Nicole: What was it like to travel through time?

Shauna: Painful and confusing. One second I was in a clan tent at the Highland Games, midday. The next second I was surrounded by pitch darkness. That second in between, I experienced a sharp pain in my head. I thought I’d gone blind and a man’s voice reached me in the darkness. He wasn’t speaking English. Finally he lit a candle and I saw I was inside a room with stone walls… a castle. Talk about confused. I didn’t know what the hell had happened. But I figured out pretty soon I wasn’t in Kansas anymore… well not Kansas, literally. Modern day North Carolina. And standing in front of me was a large naked Highlander with lots of muscles and an accent so thick I could hardly understand him.

Nicole: What did you think of Gavin MacTavish?

Shauna: Well… he’s gorgeous and very intense. I’d had dreams about him. (blush) Very hot, sexy dreams and fantasies.

Nicole: Sounds like fun!

Shauna: Yes, it was… if I had the dreams at home in my bed. But when the “dreams” started distracting me at work, while I was teaching or driving or in faculty meetings, it became impossible to concentrate and get things done. Or else the fantasies caused me to act like a daydreaming fool. The erotic dreams took over my life, and I just couldn’t have that.

Nicole: What did you do about it?

Shauna: I went to the local Highland Games to either find this kilted hottie or a not-so-hot-kilt-wearer to dispel my fantasies. But this turned out NOT to be the answer to solving the problem. Instead, I ended up time-traveling when I picked up Gavin’s sword.

Nicole: When you saw Gavin in the flesh, what went through your head?

Shauna: OMG, hot!! But I couldn’t let him know that. He was extremely surly and in a bad mood… to find a woman in his bedroom. He thought I was there to kill him. Just because I happen to show up in his bedroom in the middle of the night with his sword. The thing was so heavy I could barely lift it. I don’t know how he thought I was doing to kill him with it. Men and their illogical reasoning! Argh! He had the gall to search me for knives… which I didn’t handle too well.

Nicole: What happened?

Shauna: Well, as you might imagine… if a hot, muscular, naked man who smells good enough to eat and has a dreamy Scottish accent runs his hands all over your body… I became aroused. I didn’t want to be, because he was being such a jerk, but I was nevertheless.

Nicole: What did he do about it?

Shauna: Nothing. He had me thrown in the dungeon. I should have kicked him hard, right where it hurts.

Nicole: Dungeon? How horrible.

Shauna: It was. He kept me in there all day. Worse day of my life. Then when he let me out, he immediately thinks I’m going to marry him. I mean, helloooo, wake up and smell the Starbucks, you barbaric beefcake. You treat me worse than crap and then expect me to marry you?

Nicole: But you did marry him soon after that, right?

Shauna: Well… yes. (shrug) He can be slightly persuasive when he wants to be, and I sure as hell wasn’t spending another night in that deplorable dungeon. I assumed I could go back to the future soon, if only I could find that sword.

Nicole: Gavin has some unique abilities, right? Can you tell us more about those?

Shauna: He’s very skilled in bed… oh, you mean the curse. (blush) Yes, he shape-shifts into a hawk at dawn. The first time I saw him do that I almost freaked. And then he turns back into a man at dusk. Speaking of which, it’s dusk here in Scotland and I just heard him call my name from the bedchamber. Must go see what he wants.

Nicole: I can imagine what he wants.

Shauna: Yes, he is kinda insatiable. But I don’t mind. (wink)

Nicole: Thanks for being here to talk with us today, Shauna.

Shauna: Sure thing. Thank you, too! If you guys have any questions about Gavin or what it’s like to live in seventeenth century Scotland, let me know. I’ll be back later to answer.

Nicole: Here is the blurb for Shauna and Gavin’s story.

Devil in a Kilt: A trip to the Highland Games turns into a trip to the past when modern day psychology professor Shauna MacRae touches Gavin MacTavish’s four-hundred-year-old claymore. What she finds is a Devil In a Kilt she’s had erotic fantasies about for months. Can Shauna break the curse imprisoning this shape shifting laird and his clan before an evil witch sends Shauna back to her time?

Thanks Nicole…and Shauna.

Readers, be sure to leave a comment to be eligible to win this week’s prize.
Details can be found here.

 And be sure to check back tomorrow for more secrets with Hannah Murray.