Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Author Roast and Toast

If you're looking for my blog, I am now posting at lillygayle.com/blog. But, you can also find me at http://authorroastandtoast.blogspot.com/ every Friday. I am one of three new hostesses on the Author Roast and Toast. Stop by and join the fun!

Monday, May 6, 2013

New Blog Address

Hi,
If you've landed here and you're looking for Lilly Gayle's blog, then you have the old blog address. You can now find her blog on her website: http://lillygayle.com  Just click the link, go to the site, and open the blog tab.

Hope to see you there!
Lilly

Saturday, May 4, 2013

ETD is on sale until June!

If you missed your chance to get a free copy of Embrace the Darkness from Amazon, it's not too late to get it at a discount. From now until its official release on June 21, 2013 Amazon is selling Embrace the Darkness
for only $2.99. After June 21, the price goes up to $5.99.


And while you're checking out ETD, why not pick up a copy of the first book in my Darkness Series? Out of the Darkness is on sale now for $2.99 as well. So check it out on Amazon and own the two book set. Hoping there's a third or even a fourth book in the future. :)

Friday, April 26, 2013

I Got Dibs on David Brenner!

So excited to be doing another Character Interview with another fictional character. I love doing these, and today's character is Dibs--David Brenner--from the novel She's Got Dibs by author AJ Nuest.

So, David, where were you born?

In Martha's Vineyard Hospital, right off the cape. My parents were just finishing out the season at their summer estate when I came a couple of weeks early.  I'm happy to say, I've been causing them grief ever since.

Mmm. Handsome and rich. lol!  Where do you live now and what do you do for a living?

I have a lakefront home in Chicago and am currently the CEO of The Brenner Foundation. We're a charitable organization that works with big money making firms to ensure they declare enough in write offs each year to off-set their taxable income -- sorta my way of giving back for the privileged life I was born into. This past year most of those funds went toward a new school the foundation is building in Botswana, South Africa. I'm pretty proud of what we've accomplished over there, so far. Even though the travel did take me away from another, more personal, goal of mine.

Okay, I'm about to swoon here. Rich, handsome, and generous? You sound too good to be true. But maybe not. So, tell me, what's going on in your life right now?

Pretty much the usual. Arguing with my dad over the direction my life has taken, fighting my mother's interference in my personal life. Status quo for those two, although I can't really blame them. It's what they were born into, so controlling the lives of their children is normal for them. I can't stand it, though. Never could. It's the reason we don't get along. I'm not really one for letting people tell me what to do.

I understand that. Family can drive you crazy if you let them. lol! But seriously, is there a special person in your life?

Why yes, there is. Tessa Adams. She's…well, she's unlike any woman I've ever met. Which is probably why she drives me so crazy--both in and out of the bedroom. She's my best friend, knows more about me than anyone else. But I guess the most important thing is the way she accepts me for who I am, regardless of the money. That's unusual for me. Most folks I know…it's hard to determine if their attempts at friendship are genuine. Tessa's the exact opposite. She's completely transparent and I love that about her. She couldn't care less if I'm impressed with her, and that right there impresses me more than any false attempts at trying to earn my attention.

How did you meet her?

*Dibs chuckles and glances around Lilly's living room* That's a funny story, actually. Our plane from New York to Chicago was grounded because of an ice storm that hit the Midwest. With a little devious interaction on my part, I made sure we were booked at the same hotel. What happened after that? Well, that's a little personal. I'm not sure Tessa would appreciate me sharing the details. Perhaps you should ask her. She's got carte blanche to explain what happened between us however she wants.

Hmm. I think I need to have a chat with Tessa. Sounds like y'all got to know each other pretty well that night. So, what's keeping you two apart?

As far as I'm concerned, nothing. I was fairly certain the moment I saw Tessa, she was the one for me. After our first night together, I wasn't left any doubts. The chemistry between us is…*Dibs lifts a devilish eyebrow*…highly explosive? She's harboring a big hurt, though. One that can't be fixed until she's ready to let go of the past. Until then, I'm happy to wait. She's too special to let go.

OMG! That is just too sweet. I'm really rooting for you two. But I got to know...How would you like to see this situation resolved?

Ideally, I'd like to see Tessa believe in love again, but I also know that might be asking a lot. In her line of work as an event coordinator, she's seen a lot of relationships fail. This, coupled with what that jackass did to her, I'm not surprised she's a little gun shy. Who wouldn't be?

Sounds like some jackass needs an ass-whooping. lol! But you seem ready to take the next step. So, what's standing in your way?

I admit, there are a few obstacles, but it's nothing we can't handle. Admittedly, if my family wasn't so intrusive that would certainly be a big help. Foremost is probably Tessa's insistence to control everything. But, again, I can't say I blame her. She doesn't trust easy. Then again, neither do I. It's just one of many things we have in common.

Sounds like a match made in heaven to me. The question is, do you believe there's a happily ever after in the future?

I sure hope so, but that's sorta up to her. Once she gives me the green light, I'm all in. 

I hope you guys can make this relationship work. It sounds as if you were made for one another.

I'd love to talk some more, but AJ has some information she'd like to share. So, before we wrap this up, is there anything you'd like to add?

Only that it was a pleasure visiting with you today. Thanks for having me and I know AJ sends her thanks along as well. 

Any time, David.

Thanks AJ for sharing David with us. And now, I'd like to share some information and buy links from sister rose, AJ Nuest, author of She's Got Dibbs and creator of the very sexy, David Brenner.

Author bio:
Award-winning author and editor, AJ Nuest, lives in a small farming community in NW Indiana with her loving husband, two beautiful children, and a bevy of spoiled pets. She and the cat are currently vying for dictatorship.

Book blurb:

True love does not exist…or so event planner Tessa Adams learns the day she gets jilted--twenty-four hours prior to walking down the aisle. One-night stands are much easier, and with sexy philanthropists like David Brenner, how can she resist? Now if she could just get rid of him. Had she known the biggest event of her career would be working for David's father, she would have cut and run. Instead, she's unwittingly become a part of his parents' plan to destroy his life-long dreams. Will sacrificing her love protect him or be the ultimate betrayal? Wealthy and gorgeous, David Brenner seemingly holds the world in the palm of his hand--his generous heart and infectious smile are just two in an endless stream of attractive qualities. But the one thing he wants, he can't have--a repeat of the passionate night he spent in the arms of a skittish Tessa Adams. His family's far-reaching power threatens to crush their dreams. To prove his love, he would risk everything…but will the return of her ex-fiancĂ© be their final undoing?

Excerpt:

"Dibs." He extended his hand.
Frowning, she accepted his greeting. "Dibs on what?
"No." He chuckled. "That's my name. Or well, actually, my nickname. Either way, it's what everyone calls me."
"O-o-okay..." The guy definitely had the smolder covered...and those incredible ice-blue eyes. Yikes!
"And you are?"
"Oh, Tessa Adams." She laughed.
"And everyone calls you...?"
Her frown returned. "Tessa."
"Oh." He scanned her face. "No nickname, huh?"
"Not that I recall at the moment."
He pressed his full lips together as if restraining a smile, eyes twinkling with merriment, and handed her the notepad. "Here's your confirmation number. The room's at the Waldorf Towers over on Park."
Two suites at the Waldorf? In this mess? What was he, a wizard? "Wow, great. Thanks so much for the help."
"Glad to be of service." He retrieved his briefcase and started down the corridor, abruptly stopped, and peered at her over the perfect slant of his shoulder. "And don't worry, Tessa, I'll think of a good nickname for you."
She offered him a blank stare. "Hey, knock yourself out."
Mischief danced along his lips before a grin broke free and he continued down the hallway.
"What a whack job," she muttered.

Author links, webpages, fan pages, and book trailers.
She's Got Dibs, won 1st Place in the Contemporary Category, Heartland Romance Authors, Show Me the Spark! Contest, 2010.
Website:  http://ajnuest.com
Twitter:  @AJNuest
She's Got Dibs Pinterest Page:  http://pinterest.com/ajnuest/shes-got-dibs/

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Snippet Sunday

Snippet Sunday

Well, don't know how long I'll stick to this, lol! But I'm participating in a Facebook/Twitter project. Snippet Sunday. Writer's post an eight sentence snippet from a book or WIP on his/her blog, add the blog link to the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/401643826588474/ and then Tweet the link and/or post it on his/her author Facebook page.

Got the idea?

If you're in the market for a new author or exciting book and mine doesn't appeal to you, go to the Facebook link above, check out the other author's pages, and see if you can find a snippet that sounds like a book you'd like to read.

The snippet below is from my paranormal romance, Embrace the Darkness, the second book in my Darkness Series.

Blurb: An experimental vaccine gives vampire Gerard Delaroche hope for the first time in two centuries--until two people are brutally murdered, and he suspects a conspiracy between vampires and mortals. To solve the crime, he must put his trust in a beautiful detective. But is former soldier and MP turned detective, Amber Buckley, a threat to his existence? Or the answer to his prayers?

Amber Buckley and her partner are assigned to do follow up interviews in the Lifeblood of America slayings. Amber believes she and Reid are just new eyes on a cold case. That is, until she meets Gerard Delaroche. Something about him teases long-buried memories Amber would rather not chase. However, the two join together, falling into more than resolution of a murder case. It seems Amber has some dark secrets of her own.

To find their way into the light, Amber and Gerard must first EMBRACE THE DARKNESS.
Setup: Gerard is about to confess he's a vampire.



“Go home, Delaroche. Let the police handle this. If
you have information you’d like to share, Detective
Sheridan and I will talk to you tomorrow.”

“But I need to talk to you now. Alone. Tonight.”
He stepped forward.

She slipped her hand back inside her jacket. Her
fingers never touched her Glock. Fear—or something
else—held her immobile.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Down Under Character Interview


As part of an on-going feature of my blog, I'll sometimes interview characters in a Character Corner post. These interviews are uniquely different from my author interviews because they involve make-believe people who exist only in the pages of a novel and in the mind of the author who created them.  So, I'll have to interview the author rather than the actual character--since he or she doesn't really exist.  I only ask that the author dig deep to find that character and answer from his/her perspective.


My character today is Nick Hawke from the novel Affinity by New Zealand author LaVerne Clark. And trust me, this is a great book. I read it and fell in love with the characters and the concept of this paranormal love story. But be patient with LaVerne. It's almost midnight in her country when it's nearing 8:00 a.m. in NC.

And if anyone is interested, I'm also on LaVerne's blog today. Stop by if you get a chance. http://laverneclark.blogspot.com/


And now for the interview...

1. Love the new haircut, Nick. But I liked your curls too. *wink* So, where were you born?

I'm a Kiwi born and bred.

Definitely on my bucket list of places I want to visit some day.

2. Where do you live now and what do you do for a living?

I live in Auckland. I've heard it described as “The big little city” and I reckon that's spot-on. As a cop, I get my fair share of dealing with scum and low-lives, but the city is small enough that most of the citizens care about and look out for each other. I just need to remind myself of that fact some days. *Shakes head and scowls*

3. What's going on in your life right now?

*Straightens in chair, sighs heavily* I've been dealing with a domestic abuse situation at work, but it's not the first time I've dealt with this particular family. It drives me nuts. I just want to wipe the smirk off that asshole's face so bad, my palms sweat. *Quickly glances up and cringes* Ack, I'm sorry, Lilly. My mother taught me never to swear in front of a lady. She'd paddle my behind something good if she'd heard that.

No problem. Nick. Sometimes, a man just needs to swear. A woman too. lol!

4. Is there a special person in your life?

*Eyes soften* Special…good word. Yeah, I suppose you could call Jenna that.

5. How did you meet her?

Now that was an amazing story. *Leans forward, elbows to knees* It was the weirdest thing, impossible really. *Wry grin* Actually, I'm learning when it comes to Jenna, nothing is impossible. I was running off some frustrated energy when I came across an accident. A car had gone off the bridge over the estuary and a woman had dived in to save a boy trapped in it. She hadn't resurfaced. I thought I'd be bringing up bodies. I mean, who could survive being underwater for over ten minutes? Turns out, Jenna can. She captivated me from the first moment. She was all slicked back hair and whisky-colored eyes. She was all I could see, all I wanted to see.

She sounds amazing!

6. So, what's keeping you two apart?

She's hiding something from me. I can see the fear in her eyes and her reluctance to trust anyone and how she shuns the limelight. Little does she know that only makes me more determined to find out all her secrets.

7. How would you like to see this situation resolved?

I've no idea. I'm a man. But one thing for sure, I don't give up easily and a little bit of seduction never hurt anyone.

8. What obstacles stand in your way?

I'm pleased to say her dog loves me, so that's one obstacle out of the way. I just need to get her to trust me, but if she won't, I'll find a way to get her to open up. I'm looking forward to it.

9. Is there a happily ever after in your future?

God. I really hope so, but I don't know how yet. *grins* Watch this space - I'm working on it.

10. Any last comments before I turn this interview over to LaVerne.

Actually, yeah, I do. I'd love to know your readers' top tips in winning a woman's heart. I could do with all the help I can get! *Grin*

A man who helps with the laundry and dishes, and can make me laugh will win my heart every time. lol!

Author bio: I'm a Kiwi (New Zealander - not the flight-less bird or strange, hairy fruit!) writing stories of romance, fantasy and suspense. I'm a keen reader and love to relax with a good book when I'm not plotting murder and mayhem; or running around after my two children, rescued greyhound and husband. I love to hear from readers or writers alike, so feel free to drop me a line anytime.

Book blurb:
In the wrong hands, Jenna Thomas's legacy could be a curse--in her mind it already is.

As a child, a routine x-ray awakened an abnormality in Jenna's DNA giving her the ability to “call” creatures and take on their attributes. Labeled a freak since then, Jenna's learned to keep everyone at a distance. But all that changes the day she saves a young boy from drowning, and the story goes viral.

Nick Hawke, an off-duty policeman, witnesses part of the drama. Captivated by Jenna's exotic beauty, he decides to investigate, not sure what to believe. Jenna puts his cynicism to the test--even as the attraction between them grows.

As word of her extraordinary rescue spreads, a dangerous man who will stop at nothing to control Jenna's abilities draws near. With her feelings for Nick putting him in danger too, can Jenna risk everything to protect them both?

Excerpt:

“Back off everyone, give us room,” boomed Nick with authority. Everyone took a step back. An attractive woman holding a microphone stepped into the created space. Her phony smile flashed teeth like a shark. Circling, she came in for the kill, her cameraman capturing the moment.
“Are you the lady who jumped in to save the boy? What made you do something so heroic? Witnesses say you were under for over ten minutes. How is this possible?”
The questions fired at her like a volley of bullets. Jenna flinched as each one hit its mark. She couldn't answer honestly without sounding like a freak. So she said nothing, burying her head into Nick's chest. His arms tightened around her. The subtle turning of his body shielded her from all those eyes.
He pitched his voice to address the crowd. “It's been a traumatic event for everyone involved, and as you can imagine, it's not over for us yet. We've no comment to make at this stage, so please, give us some time to come to terms with what's happened. Thank you.”
“Could you at least give me a little snippet, Sergeant Hawke?” pouted the reporter, pushing her chest out and fluttering her lashes.
Jenna's spine went rigid. A sick feeling of dread settled in the pit of her belly.
Police. Nick is a policeman. Dear God, I'm in trouble.
 Her head pounded and her hands shook. His arm tightened when she tried to pull away, holding her firmly in place. Any other person she could have fobbed off. Now she understood his aura of authority, his all-seeing gaze and concern at the thought of a child left alone in her car. He would be relentless uncovering the truth.

Author links, webpages, fan pages, and book trailers.

Novel Natterings - my blog
Facebook
Twitter

Friday, April 12, 2013

Loch Ness Monster and Karen Nutt

I've always been fascinated with the Loch Ness Monster and so has my guest today, Karen Nutt. So, I'm just going to turn my blog over to her.

Karen?

I’ve always been fascinated with the folklore regarding the Loch Ness Monster and the legend of the Great Glen. I combined the two and added my own twist to create my story.

The Loch Ness Monster is not considered a mystical creature, but one of the most famous cryptid in the world. For a beast to be qualified as a cryptid, there must be some sort of evidence either in folklore or sightings. The first sighting of the Loch Ness Monster dates back to 565 AD by St. Columba. It wasn’t until 1975 that the beast had a more scientific name: Nessiteras Rhombopteryx. The public shortened the named to Nessie. So for those who didn’t know, the Loch Ness Monster was not always thought of as female. This gave me an idea. What if the Loch Ness Monster was actually male?

One legend of Loch Ness is recorded that the loch was once a Great Glen of rich pasture, plenty of corn, fish, deer and game. In the Glen there was a well that was blessed by the Druid Daly, who stated whoever drew water from the well must always replace its cover. A woman drawing the water from the well was told her child had fallen into the fire. She rushed home, forgetting to cover the well. The water from the well overflowed and flooded the whole glen. The people named the lake “The loch nis ann”, which means there is a lake now. I took this legend and ran with it, adding a curse, and a wee bit of magic to it. Whala… Magic
of the Loch was born.

So if you like tragic, powerful, and dangerous immortals, that are oddly civilized and romantic, you’ll fall in love with Alan MacLachlin.

Lilly, I want to thank you for having me here today and sharing a behind the scene look of Magic of the Loch.

One lucky commentor will receive a digital copy of Magic of the Loch.

Thanks so much for being here, Karen! And if anyone is interested, I'm over on Karen's blog today. Come visit at: http://kmnbooks.blogspot.com/

You can also visit Karen at:
https://www.facebook.com/authorkarenmichellenutt
http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Michelle-Nutt/e/B002BLLBPE/
https://twitter.com/KMNbooks
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13556132-magic-of-the-loch

About the Author:
Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband, three fascinating children, and houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.
When she’s not fighting demons, vampires or shape shifters, she creates book covers for Western Trail Blazers and Rebecca J. Vickery Publishing.
Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.

Visit the author at: http://www.kmnbooks.com
Stop by her blog for Monday interviews, chats and contests at:
http://kmnbooks.blogspot.com





Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday


On the day Jesus was crucified, darkness covered the land for hours—symbolic of the dark deed committed
against Christ. Christians believe the darkness was a miracle, fulfilling a prophecy. Non-believers and the scientific world believe an eclipse is responsible for the darkness. But why can't it be both?

God doesn't perform magic. He uses the science and laws of physics he created to perform miracles. Otherwise, it would be an almost unbelievable coincidence that an eclipse just happened to occur on the day Jesus was crucified, thus fulfilling a prophecy.

God created science and He can manipulate it. And scientist and astronomers can use science to help solve biblical mysteries.

If the crucifixion eclipse was either, a solar or a lunar eclipse, then based on details of the gospel, the Crucifixion of Jesus occurred on  a Friday. "There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand." KJV: John 19:42.

Two different groups estimate the year of the Crucifixion as AD 33,  although, Sir Isaac Newton—a scientist—estimated the date to be  AD 34 based on the differences between the Biblical and Julian calendars and the crescent of the moon. Using an astronomical approach based on a lunar eclipse model consistent with Apostle Peter: "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come" KJV Acts 2:20, then, Friday, April 3, AD 33 is the date of the Crucifixion.

Give or take a year in either direction, Christ died around the age of 33 on a Friday—a day Christians call Good Friday to commemorate His sacrifice. Good Friday precedes Easter Sunday, the day Christians commemorate His resurrection and God's promise of eternal life. Good Friday is observed during Holy Week and often coincides with the Jewish observance of Passover.

Passover commemorates the liberation of Jewish slaves in ancient Egypt and their birth as a nation under Moses's leadership. The book of Exodus tells how God helped the Children of Israel escape from slavery by inflicting ten plagues on Egypt, which forced the Pharaoh to release them. The tenth plague was the death of the first-born.

So that the plague would pass over Jewish homes, the Israelites were instructed to mark their doorframes with the blood of a slaughtered lamb. No firstborn in any home with this mark died. Today, the event is celebrated on Passover.

Although it's traditionally a Jewish holiday, Christians remember this day as well as Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter—all dates of significance during Holy Week.  And Easter is celebrated each year in the spring.

An explanation as to why we celebrate Easter on different days each year can be found on a previous blog post. http://lillygayleromance.blogspot.com/2011/04/when-is-easter-again.html

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Secret Revealed

Embrace the Darkness, my paranormal romantic suspense and the sequel to Out of the Darkness is now available exclusively on Amazon until June 21, when the book will officially be released in both print and digital formats to ALL on-line retailers, including Barnes & Noble and my publisher, The Wild Rose Press.
In the meantime, I hope to offer excerpts from the book to entice readers into ordering it. Each of these excerpts (see previous two posts) include lines I borrowed from people I know in real life.

Today's "quote from real people" comes from friend, co-worker, and summertime beach buddy, Jennifer. Jennifer's "catch phrase" is the bold print in the excerpt below.

Set up: The heroine is ex-soldier turned detective Amber Buckley. She and her partner are investigating the Lifeblood of America murders. Two employees of the blood and tissue bank turned research facility were brutally murdered and another employee is missing. During the course of the investigation, Amber meets Gerard Delaroche, assistant CEO of the company--a vampire posing as a mortal with a light sensitivity disorder so he can more easily pass as human.

In this excerpt, Amber has already learned Gerard's dark secret and she's soon going to discover some hidden secrets in her own past when she meets a vampire, Nicolas, who's either protecting her or stalking her. But which is it?

Excerpt:

Her pulse quickened. “That’s how Timmons found
out. Isn’t it?”

“He wasn’t a colonel then,” Nicolas said, “but it
was the beginning of his obsession with vampires.”

Gerard had been kidnapped because of her mother.
She’d started this chain of events when she ignited
Timmons’ compulsion to create the perfect soldier. And
a vampire killed her to stop her from telling anyone
else. So much tragedy because her mother tried to do the right thing.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Lines from Folks I Know

As part of my short promo posts for Embrace the Darkness, I'd like to add another line used by one of my characters taken directly from someone I know in "real" life.

Set up: Amber Buckley and her partner, Reid are investigating the Lifeblood of America murders. Reid thinks he has a lead, but Amber fears there's something darker and more sinister behind the brutal murders.

 Reid was on a roll. She could see the
excitement in his eyes—hear the exhilaration in his
voice. He was vibrating with it. If she didn’t say or do
something to slow him down, he’d leap before seeing
where the evidence led.
“Don’t worry,” he said. “I’m not going to espouse
my theories to Captain Stratford or anyone else. I don’t
want this case going to the Feds or to narcotics. This is
our baby and we’re going to rock it.
The knot in her stomach tightened. This case was
going to end badly. She sensed it as surely as she’d
sensed impending disaster in Iraq.


I hope you enjoyed this brief excerpt from Embrace the Darkness, my paranormal romantic suspense available now on Amazon.  This line was brought to you by GMC imaging co-worker and friend, Selena. Thanks, Selena!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Early Release Day!

Embrace the Darkness, my paranormal romantic suspense and sequel to my 2010 release, Out of the Darkness will release on June 21, 2013. But today, I got an awesome surprise in my email box. Embrace the Darkness is part of Amazon's KDP promotional program. So from now until June, Embrace the Darkness will be available excursively through Amazon!

As part of my planned, promotional posts, I'm going to be posting excerpts. But not just any excerpts. These excerpts are things people I know in real life say. And what fun I had "quoting" them.

I've never based a character off of real people, but my characters in ETD sometimes quote people I know. So, here's the first excerpt:

Setup: My heroine, Amber, and her partner, Reid, are searching for a suspected vampire, a mad scientist (Dr. Steve Weldon from the first book) and a kidnapped victim.


Reid looked at Amber as if daring her to disagree.“She has a point. We can’t just show up in another town, flash our badges, and enter a privately owned facility without a warrant. Even if your vampire buddies can manufacture the paper work we need to cover our asses later, we can’t just storm the facility with guns drawn and stakes poised. We’d look insane.”

Amber didn’t have an argument, but she wasn’t backing down.
It is what it is.


Today's line comes from my oldest daughter and a co-worker who use the highlighted phrase quite frequently.

Hope you enjoyed this brief excerpt. More to come later!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine’s Day – The Morning After


Belated Happy Valentine's Day! I hope it was a day filled with love and romance. Or at the very least, a good romance novel.


My guest blogger today is Sandra Dailey. Welcome, Sandy!


Did everyone wake up this morning to the sweet, rich aroma of roses and chocolate?

You may have had a date night or just a romantic dinner at home. Be honest, is that little black dress still lying on the floor? However you celebrated Valentine’s Day, I hope it met your expectations.

Now it’s time to get up, stretch and return to your daily routine. That’s right, it’s the morning after. Bizarre things will happen to off-set the magic.

I offer you an excerpt of a morning after from my newly released story, TWICE THE TROUBLE:

Looking in the bathroom mirror, she saw that her eyes were still a little swollen. She pressed a cold, wet cloth to them. She’d just started brushing her teeth when sounds came from downstairs loud enough to be a herd of buffalo in her kitchen. They were accompanied by a chorus of howls and laughter. What were those kids doing?

With toothbrush in hand, she raced down the stairs and into the kitchen. Sliding to a stop in the doorway, Lacey found Jerrod lying on his back in the middle of the floor. Alex was over the top of him with Jenna on his back. It was an Alex sandwich. They were all laughing hysterically.

Lacey nearly choked on her toothpaste when she saw Jerrod’s face covered in peanut butter. All three offenders froze in place and turned looks of wide-eyed innocence her way. They slowly got to their feet and faced her.

“We really screwed up this time, kids,” Alex mumbled. “She’s so mad, she frothing at the mouth.”

Both kids turned red and covered their mouths. Their eyes watered from the effort it took not to laugh.

Lacey rinsed her mouth, and then picked up the overturned peanut butter jar. “Would someone please tell me, what’s going on?”

Alex cleared his throat and squared his shoulders. He gave her a serious expression. “I’m sorry. I had no choice. Your son called me a sissy. He had to be punished.”

Jerrod scraped a finger down his cheek and into his mouth, looking unrepentant. “I stand by what I said, Mom. The man wears hair gel.”

Perhaps the blurb will explain:
Lacey Carlyle has worked for years to create the perfect blend of home, business and family. Now she risks losing everything when the land she farms is bought by the man who abandoned her thirteen years ago.

Alex has never understood why Lacey walked away from him. Now, he holds the deed to her farm and intends to make her pay. The only problem – two kids weren’t part of the plan.

Jenna and Jerrod may not see eye-to-eye but they are both determined to find happiness for their mom and keep their home safe.

Can Lacey and Alex put their pasts behind them and embrace a future together?

Still confused? That’s okay, I know it’s early. Perhaps you should read TWICE THE TROUBLE. It’s currently available on Amazon. http://amzn.to/Wrxm6B

If you’d like to leave a comment I’ll be hanging around today. I’d love to hear about your morning after or answer your questions about TWICE THE TROUBLE.

About me:
I’m an avid reader and lifelong story teller.  I caught the writing bug after winning a short story contest.  The Chief’s Proposal was my first published work and now I’ve added Twice the Trouble, but I have many more stories to tell.

I currently live with my husband and house plants in north Florida.
http://www.sandradailey.com
http://www.sandradailey.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/sandradailey.author
http://www.twitter.com/sdaileyauthor



Friday, February 8, 2013

Sequel Secrets

When I first began writing the sequel to Out of the Darkness, I thought it would be easy. I already had my hero and heroine. Gerard and Tina were great secondary characters in the first book. They even had a budding romance. What could be better? It took about ten chapters for me to realize their story wasn't going to work. Tina had a daughter. And Gerard was a vampire.

Why did that bother me so much? Because as the mother of two daughters, I realized a good mother would never put romance ahead of her children. No matter how much Tina was attracted to Gerard, he was a vampire living in a dangerous world between worlds. Would a good mother risk falling in love with a man who's very existence could put her child at risk? Maybe. But would readers respect or even like a woman who did that? I had a hard time respecting her as I wrote their story. In my opinion, if Tina really cared more for her daughter than herself (which is how I feel about my own children) I figured she'd avoid getting involved with Gerard and she'd be upfront with her reasons. And if Gerard was as honorable as I wanted him to be, he'd respect that. So, I had to find another love interest for Gerard. And that's when I came up with what I hope is a gripping opening to the sequel, Embrace the Darkness.

The prologue practically wrote itself. I was on fire. I thought I could just keep typing away until the book was finished. But as soon as I sent a rough draft of the first few chapters to my critique partners, authors Andris Bear and Amy Corwin, I realized writing a sequel wasn't just a matter of picking up where the first story left off. As Amy pointed out, Embrace the Darkness wasn't Vincent and Megan's story. It was Gerard and Amber's story and Vincent and Megan had to take a back seat. And Andris informed me that although I needed to give readers enough information from the first book so the second book would make sense, I couldn't just dump it all in the first few chapters because it would still be backstory dump, which is a big no-no. So, I had to filter in the elements of the first book that would be crucial in the second book the same way I'd filtered backstory into the first book--a little at a time.

Easier said than done!

A lot happened in the first book. There were good vampires, villains, military operatives, a questionably bad vampire, a potential cure...How did I filter the information in without backstory dump? I figured I had to tell the first of the story from Amber's point of view. Amber is a new character. She knew nothing about vampires. So after the prologue, I began writing book two in her POV, and things seemed to click...for awhile. Then my characters took over and changed my plot, which left a lot of holes that needed to be filled.

To fill those plot holes, I had to do more research. And I found the answers I was seeking by researching some little known vampire myths. I finally finished the book in July and submitted it in August. And now I'm happy to report, Embrace the Darkness will be released on June 21, 2013.

For those who haven't read Out of the Darkness, here's what happened:


And for those interested in Embrace the Darkness, this is what you can expect:

Saturday, February 2, 2013

It's Ground Hog Day!


The Pennsylvania German call Groundhog Day Grundsaudaag Murmeltiertag celebrated on February 2 each year. According to folklore, the groundhog is a predictor of weather. If it's cloudy when the groundhog comes out of his burrow, spring will come early. If it's sunny and the groundhog sees his shadow, he'll run back into his hole and winter weather will continue for six more weeks.

In southeastern Pennsylvania, Groundhog Day is a celebrated event and Punxsutawney Phil is the most famous ground hog in the world....altough, I don't imagine the Punxsutawney Phill who comes out of his burrow today is the same Phil whose been "forecasting" spring all these years.



Here in north central North Carolina, groundhogs are more adventurous  The one who lives in my drainage ditch has been around all winter, just hanging out.

In fact, he's been hanging around since 2006. My daughters have even named him.
One suggested Butner Bill--after Punxsutawney Phill and Bill Murray from the movie, Groundhog Day. The other suggested Phill Murray--after the same. After much debate, we settled on Bill Phill Murray. And I just saw him yesterday. He was across the road, running through the pasture.

According to the news, Punxsutaney Phil saw his shadow and predicted an early spring. I haven't seen Bill Phil Murray yet, but if I do, I'll let you know what he says about the weather.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Welcome Kelly Moran



Thanks so much, Lilly, for having me. I'll give away a FREE eBook to one commenter.

BIO:
Kelly's been known to say that she gets her ideas from everyone and everything around her, and that there's always a book playing out in her head. No one who knows her bats an eyelash when she talks to herself.
She began her writing career in the Indie market, becoming the recipient of an Editor's Choice Award, a Finalist in the 2008 Best Book Awards, and a Finalist in the 2009 Indie
Excellence Awards before moving into traditional publishing. Her books not only have honors from the top review sites, but from NY Times bestsellers too. She is a respected reviewer and a Romance Writers of America member.
Kelly's interests include: sappy movies, MLB, NFL, driving others insane, and sleeping when she can. She is a closet caffeine junkie and chocoholic, but don't tell anyone. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband, Darren, three sons, Logan, Evan, & Ethan, and her black lab, Willow. Most of her family lives in the Carolinas, so she spends a lot of time there as well.

BLURB:
In her dreams, a ghost demands to be heard...
Once plagued by mysterious nightmares, Trisha Eaton always chalked them up to childish nuisances--until they return with a vengeance. Something about the Drake house next door haunts her, and now her night terrors and sleepwalking seem to be luring her to something dark. After a series of strange events, Trisha turns to Nick Mackey. As the new deputy in town, Nick wants to forget his traumatic past. His undeniable attraction for Trisha has him wondering if a shot at a normal life is possible. But Trisha has somehow struck a nerve in their small, superstitious town, and a long-buried secret threatens to surface again. A secret that someone will kill to keep veiled. Answers only lead to more questions in a case where nothing makes sense, but one chilling fact remains...some nightmares are all too real.

EXCERPT:
Her voice was inviting when she wasn’t mad at him. Like hot cocoa on a frigid day.
“You should smile more often,” he claimed quietly, glancing ahead at the orchard approaching.
She halted abruptly and tilted her head as if contemplating how to respond. “I smile all the time,” she said. No hint of irritation now.
Clearing his throat, he said, “I meant at me. You should smile like that more often at me.”
He couldn’t believe he said it. There was a very long awkward silence as she studied him, brown eyes widened. Talk about feeling like an idiot. Finally, she let out a laugh, smooth and rich from someone so small. She wove her arm through his affectionately like he’d seen her do with others and kept walking.
“Give me a reason to smile and I just might.”
“I’ll take it into consideration,” he mumbled. He already had. From the first moment he walked into her house tonight, he’d been considering her. Before,
really, but why argue semantics.

PURCHASE AT:
Amazon or The Wild Rose Press

FIND KELLY AT:
Web: www.authorkellymoran.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorkellymoran
Twitter: www.twitter.com/authorkmoran

Friday, January 18, 2013

Love: Roman Style


I'm not just an author, I'm a reader. As long as there's a good story, a good romance, or preferably both, I'll probably read the book. And the idea of a historical romance set in Rome intrigues me.

I loved the movie Gladiator, but the ending made me cry. Wouldn't it have been a better movie if it had ended with a happily ever after?

Christine Elaine Black is my guest today and her new novel, Maximus, is set in ancient Rome.

Christine?

Hi Lilly!
As a writer of historically-themed romance, the most thrilling part for me is to create a situation for the characters and see how they deal with it. Sometimes I don’t exactly know the road my hero/heroine will take but I know the final result that I’m looking for.

Boy, do I love conflict and secondary characters to add spice and tension to the tale. In Maximus, book I of the Imperial Desire series, there is plenty going on.

Maximus is an imperial bad-boy who has defied the emperor of Rome and as an exile, he’s staying at an abandoned estate. The neighboring family intrigues him and even though his presence is not welcome, he begins a tentative friendship with a woman, her father and her young son.

Carissa recognizes the soldier from years ago and tries to avoid him but her young son is enthralled by the man and pursues a friendship. Carissa’s father, Milo, plays a significant role in the story. He’s convinced he holds information vital to the emperor but no one has taken him seriously in years and it’s not until Maximus realizes Milo’s true identity that events take a surprising twist, throwing Carissa into danger.

Ah, true love. The road is never easy but it’s so worthwhile once we reach the destination.

It was too difficult to say goodbye to my Roman family so I wrote the next installment, Taurus, to tell the story of Kallie, another member of the family. Taurus, book II of the Imperial Desire series is due out in 2013.

Thanks for hosting me as a guest on your blog, Lilly.

Here's a blurb from Maximus:


Carissa Valeria distrusts the handsome soldier who rescues her reckless son from plunging to an early death. Recalling the man's heartless treatment of her from years ago, she itches to even the score, but her son hails the rescuer as a hero. When he becomes her neighbor, her son's friendship with the soldier threatens to uncover old secrets and place her family and her heart in danger.

Exiled to the countryside by the Roman emperor, Maximus Octavius is confounded by the brittle countenance of the woman he's willing to befriend. She's afraid, and he's determined to find out why. But helping Carissa and her son means confronting the guilt of his long-forgotten past and stirring the silenced passion in his heart.

Can Maximus win Carissa before fear and revenge tear them apart forever?

Wow! Sounds great, Christine. And I bet it does have that happily ever after I crave in novels.
Readers can find Maximus on Amazon, The Wild Rose Press' website, and Barnes and Noble.

Find Christine on Facebook, her blog, or on her website.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Thanks to my adorable but snarky critique partner, Andris Bear, I've been "tagged" in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. And this thing is BIG. Big as the moon big! I'm not sure how long it's been going on, but you can back track through the blogs and see what all your favorite authors have been up to lately. And maybe even meet some new authors.

But be warned, this thing is exponential. Because whoever started it, tagged more than one author, who in turn, tagged several others.

Each author answers ten questions about their latest project, whether it's a new release, a work in progress, or in my case, a soon-to-be released paranormal romance from The Black Rose line of The Wild Rose Press.

Simple. Huh? And loads of fun. So here goes!

1. What is the working title of your book? Embrace the Darkness. It's more than a "working" title. The book just went to galley, which means a proof copy is being created to send to review sites. It means, I'll soon have a release date. It means, I already have a fabulous cover by the wonderful and talented Angela Anderson.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

Embrace the Darkness is the sequel to my 2010 paranormal vampire romance, Out of the Darkness. As soon as I introduced Gerard Delaroche in OTD, I knew he'd have to have his own book. So, this is his story. There also some new characters as well as several "appearances" from old characters.

3. What is the genre of the book?

Both ETD and OTD are paranormal romances.

4.Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Easy. Wrestler/actor, John Cena would be perfect for Gerard Delaroche. I even mention his name in my book. And Jessica Biel could play former MP turned detective Amber Buckley. Yea, having even one of my books turned into a movie would definitely be a dream come true!

5.What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

 To find their way into the light, Amber and Gerard must first EMBRACE THE DARKNESS.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency/publisher?

It's being published by The Wild Rose Press.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

 It took a little over three years from start to finish. I received the offer to publish Out of The Darkness on Mother's Day 2009. The book came out almost exactly a year to the date in May 2010. I started writing Embrace the Darkness (which was originally called Into the Light--thanks Andris Bear for suggesting the new title!) as soon as I completed the galleys for OTD. It was the first book in which I used a plot chart. But, when I got to chapter 10, I realized the story wasn't going to work. There were major plot holes and I had a problem with the heroine. So, I gave Gerard a different love interest and started over. From scratch. But I couldn't give the manuscript the attention it needed because between OTD and ETD, I published 3 other books. So, it's taken a bit longer than I'd planned.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I'd like to think I have an original voice and there's no comparison. lol! To be honest, the last vampire series I read was Jenna Black's Guardians of the Night series. Jenna was my critique partner for Out of the Darkness, but we have different styles/voices. But being compared to her would totally make my day.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I thought about doing a sequel to Out of the Darkness while writing it. But family, friends, and my co-workers at Granville Medical Center kept after me to "just do it." So, I did. And while researching ancient vampire legends, I came up with a working plot for Embrace the Darkness.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Vampirsm is a virus--a possibly curable virus. But will a cure for the condition lead to a war between mortals and immortals? I guess I'll have to write book three in the series to find out. lol!

Next author up? None other than Brenda Gayle. And no, we're not related, but don't you just love her last name? lol! Check back to see when Brenda's blog goes live and follow the tour!