December 29, 2013

Cover Love: Zoastra Affair @VictoriaPinder #RLFblog #SciFi

The Zoastra Affair 
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is The Zoastra Affair by Victoria Pinder.
A hundred years from now, Earth has trading partners with alien beings, mostly humanoid. However, going into space brought forth an unknown enemy who attacks Earth at will.
The Zoastra is part of the Earthseekers, an organization originally designed to go into space. Its new mission is to find Earth's enemies.
Ariel is stuck on a Victorian planet and steals Grace's body and life to get off the planet. Grace must get her body back before Ariel bonds with Grace's husband, Peter. Then there is Cross, the man on a mission to find those who killed his family. Ariel is attracted to Cross, but she's stolen someone's life.

Buy Links:

Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Length: 85000 words

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December 28, 2013

Character Interview: Zak from My Boyfriend's an Alien @LMBrownAuthor #RLFblog #lgbt

LM Brown, welcome back to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to interview your character, Zak from the book, My Boyfriend's an Alien.
Genre: SciFi
Publisher: Totally Bound
Cover artist: Emmy and Angelique of Totally Bound
Length: 227 pages
Heat rating: Sizzling
Tagline: Can an alien find love with a human being?
Blurb: Zak, an alien from the planet Trimmeron, is a member of a race of beings who transform into other species during their years of puberty. It's customary for the youngsters to be fostered to the worlds native to their new forms, to study and learn about the races who will play an important part in their lives.
When Zak turns into a human it comes as a surprise to everyone, for only one other before him has ever done so. Nevertheless he is sent to Earth, a world he views as primitive and barbaric. He arrives with a chip on his shoulder and attitude to spare. He does not believe anyone on Earth can have anything to teach him.
When Zak meets college student Sam he soon discovers he has a lot to learn, not only about humans, but also about himself.
Trapped on an unfamiliar world and in a strange body that seems to have a mind of its own, Zak has no idea what is happening to him, only that Sam seems to be the key to the strange afflictions he is suffering from.
But can an alien find love with a human being?
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Sam, age 19, college student
Zak, age 19 (in Earth years), college student

Interview with Zak

Tell us about yourself.
My name is Zakrynious, though here on Earth I go by the name Zak Johnson. I'm what you humans would call an alien, although I don't look it. Actually, in my regular form I look like nothing you've ever seen before. I have blue fur all over me and a tail like a monkey for balance. My people are like chameleons and all through puberty we change into other creatures. Right now I'm a human, which came as a shock to pretty much everyone, me included. It's customary for us to be fostered to the worlds where our new forms are native and so here I am on Earth. I got sent here to stay with Darren, the only other person from Trimmeron to turn human. Lucky for me he decided to stay here on Earth so I could be fostered into his care while I'm learning all about what it means to be human.
Tell us about Sam.
Unlike me, Sam is a regular human being. He's smart and has such great inner strength it amazes me. He goes to the local college where Darren has enrolled me too. He talks about how he'd like to have gone to university like his friends, but he doesn't let it get him down too much. I get the feeling there's something else going on that he hasn't told me. Sometimes I think Sam's best friend, Lucy, is about to let something slip to me about what he's hiding, but each time she starts to say something Sam gives her a look, or a swift kick, to stop her from saying too much. I hope one day Sam will tell me what it is he's hiding. In the meantime, it just makes him more mysterious.
What do you think is your strongest point?
My ability to adapt. I've taken a number of different forms over the years of my puberty and mostly I find it easy to adapt to the new climate, body and customs of different worlds. At least I did until I came to Earth. This place is nothing like anywhere I've ever been before and certain parts of my human body seems to have a mind of their own. I hope I can manage to figure this out before my time here on Earth is up.
What was it like where you grew up?
Trimmeron is another world, literally. There's no pollution on my world and no disease either. No one goes hungry and the last war took place so long ago even the oldest of my people can't remember it, and since we can live to be 10,000 years old, that's a very long time we've been at peace. Trimmeron is very advanced compared to Earth, but things aren't necessarily better. My people aren't big on showing emotions. Our genetic makeup doesn't really allow for strong feelings. We're born in laboratories to parents who are paired up because their genes are likely to produce healthy and smart children. I grew up in my father's household at the base of a mountain range with lots of siblings and half siblings. It was always busy with lots happening. I guess compared to how Sam grew up, with two parents who raised him together and doted on him, it seems pretty lonely, although it didn't seem like it at the time.
What do you wish was different about your life?
The only thing I wish were different about my life is having my biological parents take a more active part in it. I didn't realise until I came to live with Darren and Eleanor how much I had missed out on having real parents looking out for me. It's not like my natural parents didn't love me, or I them, but I'm finally starting to realise that there's more to being a parent than simply donating your DNA.
If you were given your fondest wish, what would it be?
I would like to show Sam the universe, all the worlds I have been to and all those I have yet to visit. There's so much out there to see, so much to learn, and Sam has such a thirst for knowledge I'm sure he would love it. As soon as my period of fostering is over I intend to take Sam to Trimmeron with me. Of course, I'll have to tell him I'm an alien first and even though he's a total astronomy geek, he's not likely to believe me just like that. Like I said, Sam is really smart and it'll take something huge to convince him I'm telling the truth. Lucky for me our spaceships are enormous.
Describe a place of perfect refuge.
My mother's home in the mountains. She's a healer who lives near the Sacred Pool, which is where my people go to join their life forces together. It's a dangerous thing to do so she lives nearby just in case she is needed in a hurry. Her home is high up in the trees and even though her house is just as crowded as my father's it's out of the way of the rest of the community. There are lots of mountain streams, hidden glens and quiet spots around the area and I loved exploring them when I was growing up. The only thing even more perfect than the mountains would be being there with Sam. The mountains were my refuge as a child, but I think maybe Sam will be my refuge as an adult.

About the Author

LM Brown lives in England, in a quaint little village that time doesn't seem to have touched. No, wait a minute—that's the retirement biography. Right now she is in England in a medium sized town that no one has ever heard of, so she won't bore you with the details. Keeping her company are numerous sexy men. She just wishes that they weren't all inside her head.
L.M. Brown loves hearing from readers so don't be shy.

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December 27, 2013

Cover Love: The Troubles @triciaandersen #RLFblog #contemporary

The Troubles 
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is The Troubles by Tricia Andersen.
While Sloan and Abbey are in Las Vegas to celebrate Gordon and Mary’s wedding, a enemy from Sloan’s past nearly kills her. Sloan is forced to do the unthinkable – he files for divorce. He moves Sloan Enterprises to Switzerland far away from the woman he loves to save her.
Three years pass. When Sloan invites Robert to Switzerland to celebrate his fortieth birthday, he learns shocking news – Robert is living with Abbey. Refusing to lose Abbey, Sloan relocates the company to Minneapolis, Minnesota where Abbey is living and makes her the Chief Operating Officer. He fights against his desire for her as he contends with her two new beaus, his own new girlfriend, her hostile family and Amelia, his four-year-old daughter.
When his enemy makes another attempt on Abbey’s life, will Sloan be able to save her – or is this a war he just can’t win?
Buy links:

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December 26, 2013

Cover Love: A Christmas Soul Mate @pawf1067 #RLFblog

All I Want For Christmas
is a Soul Mate 
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is All I Want For Christmas is a Soul Mate by Patricia W Fischer, et al.

This year's delightful collection of Christmas short stories features a multitude of romantic genres all with one common theme: during the holiday season, nothing's better than spending it with the one you love.

Twenty talented Soul Mate authors have put together an anthology that's sure to please any reader who enjoys their romance with a splash of Christmas cheer:
A time-traveling Highlander brings comfort and joy to a young woman grieving her lost family.
Best friends, both widowed, suddenly see each other through new eyes during a snowed-in Christmas Eve;
A royal prince and a commoner fall in love despite their differences and a handful of untruths, thanks to a wreath that grants wishes.
An alien race understands the simple reward of giving, when their human captive does not.
Young lovers planning a Christmas wedding find their promise to each other is put to the ultimate test.
A ghostly groom refuses to stay away from the woman he loves.
For two modern believers, a magical, mystical visit to Bethlehem on the night of the Christ Child's birth is both a joy and a responsibility.
And many more heartwarming, romantic stories celebrating 'The Season To Be Jolly.'
Please join us as we tell a few tales, raise a glass of holiday cheer, and deck the halls with romance as well as boughs of holly!

Buy Links:

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December 23, 2013

Lovelight Gleams #GayRomance @keiraandrews #RLFblog

Where the Lovelight Gleams 
Keira Andrews, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Where the Lovelight Gleams.
Genre: M/M contemporary holiday
Publisher: Loose Id
Cover artist: April Martinez
Length: 22,000 words
Heat rating: Explicit
Tagline: Can these Hollywood actors take their romance offscreen?
Blurb: This Christmas, actor Ryan Drake is pining. He may get to kiss gorgeous Cary Holloway on the set of their hit TV show, Space Academy, but he knows it'll never happen in real life. Charming Cary–the son of Hollywood royalty–is straight, as evidenced by his starlet girlfriend. But Christmas is a time for unexpected gifts, and Cary accepts Ryan's invitation to leave the palm trees behind and spend the holiday with his family at their cabin in the Great White North.
Amid the snow and mistletoe, Ryan struggles to keep his longing under wraps. Little does he know, Cary wrestles with his own unspoken desires and his very identity. Surrounded by family and holiday joy, their warm friendship deepens. Will these two co-stars have the courage to brave Hollywood pressures and take their romance offscreen–or will it be only in their dreams?

Buy links:

What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Ryan and Cary are both twenty-five-year-old actors. They are co-stars on a CW-esque sci-fi show called Space Academy.

Interview

What inspired you to write this book?
I've always loved the holidays and I thought it was high time I wrote a Christmas romance. I have fond memories of Christmases at my family's cottage on Georgian Bay in rural Ontario, and it was the perfect setting to convey the cozy warmth of the holiday. I've long wanted to write about actors, and it was the perfect opportunity to juxtapose Hollywood with this peaceful setting far away from the glitz. I love the snow and mistletoe, family and friends--and of course food!
When you write, what things do you want close at hand? (Coffee, water, chocolate... pictures of gorgeous hunks for inspiration...?)
Water or Diet Coke if I need some caffeine. Also my white noise machine if my neighbour is belting out Britney, as she is wont to do from time to time. (I give her an A+ for effort, but it's not so fun to listen to!)
When you're not writing, what would we find you doing?
You'd find me catching up on my favourite TV shows and movies, at yoga class, or curled up with a good book.
Are you a plotter, or do you prefer to make it up on the spur of the moment?
I'm a mix of plotter and pantser. I always know where the story will end up, and I have a general idea of how to get there. But I need the characters to come to life and fill in the details and twists and turns.
What's your writing schedule like?
I aim for 3,000 words per day, five days a week. I get up by eight a.m. and work for a few hours before going to the gym for a class at noon. Then shower, lunch, and back to work until around seven p.m. Although sometimes I'll keep going if I'm on a roll! I usually work through the weekend so I can take some time off mid-week to run errands or perhaps sneak in a cheap Tuesday matinee.
What other jobs have you held besides writing?
I was a waitress from the end of high school through university and post-degree studies and travel. Until recently I worked as a marketing copywriter before becoming a full-time novelist.
Which of your books was the hardest to write and why?
Semper Fi, my upcoming WWII-era drama/romance. It's the most ambitious book I've written, and I did a lot of research on Marines in the Pacific and post-war life in America. It's not an easy era in which to set a realistic gay romance. Some people shy away from the war, which I understand. But I loved writing it and I hope readers will respond to it.
What are you currently reading for fun? Anything for research?
For fun I'm rereading K.A. Mitchell's An Improper Holiday (how I love an M/M historical at the holidays!). I'm also reading The Naked Truth About Self Publishing, which obviously isn't research for a particular book, but general career research.
Do you believe in luck?
Definitely. Some of the best things in life are due to sheer dumb luck! For example, I feel very fortunate to know some of my closest friends because we happened to like the same TV shows and started talking about them online in the same forum.
What kind of music do you listen to while driving? Same question when writing?
When driving I listen to pop music or Broadway show tunes. I generally never listen to music while writing since I find it distracting.
What's your favorite movie?
It's hard to choose, but I have to go with Strictly Ballroom. It makes me grin like a fool every time. A life lived in fear is a life half lived!
Are you the eldest, middle, baby, or only child?
I'm the baby and I have an older sister named Wendy. As a child I couldn't say her name and called her "Girl" for years, much to her chagrin!

Please complete the sentence

I love pizza with ham, bacon and pineapple.
I'm always ready for an HGTV marathon.
When I'm alone, I talk to myself an awful lot.
You'd never be able to tell, but I'm a geek. (Actually, I don't hide that well at all!)
If I had a halo it would be sparkly, of course.
If I could do a headstand in yoga I'd probably pass out in shock that I actually kept my balance. And you should never pass out while doing headstands!
I can never go bungee jumping because I'm too paranoid something will go wrong.

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December 22, 2013

Cover Love: A Christmas Fling @beth_barany #RLFblog

A Christmas Fling 
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is A Christmas Fling by Beth Barany.
What if falling in love put the life you cherished in jeopardy?
Dahlia, a Santa's Elf, has 21 days left before Christmas to create the best toy in the world without using magic or revealing her true identity. Stuck on how to complete the prototype, and working as a temp in San Francisco's financial district, with no time for love, will her innocent Christmas fling get her unstuck, or will she turn her back on her beloved career for her heart?
Liam, an up-and-coming financial analyst, swore off women after getting dumped by the love of his life. He just found out his ex is going to the company Christmas party with his rival Michael Hendricks. Up for promotion against Hendricks, Liam has to win the favor of his boss. His best bet is to invite the vivacious secretary Dahlia to the party. Will Dahlia be a welcome distraction, or will she turn his life upside down?
Beth Barany writes magical tales of romance and adventure to transport readers to new worlds where anything is possible.

Buy links:

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December 21, 2013

Reflection, a novel by @kimcresswell #RLFblog #suspense

Reflection 
Today's featured book is Reflection by Kim Cresswell.

Florida investigative reporter, Whitney Steel, has lived in the shadow of her legendary father long enough. To prove herself she needs to find the "Big" story.
She found it. Now it may kill her.
After receiving a lead pointing to the world's first cloned human, now a small child, Whitney vows to unravel the truth. However, sifting through the facts proves to have dangerous results, including death threats and murder.
When she's nearly killed, but is saved by undercover FBI Special Agent, Blake Neely, he refuses to let her get in the way of his own objective--at least not right away.
Caught in a lethal game between a billionaire obsessed with genetic perfection, his hit man's thirst for retribution, and a Colombian drug lord fresh out of prison determined to make Blake pay for his twin brother's death over a decade ago...
Can they save an innocent child before it's too late?
Faced with tough choices, with deadly consequences for many--Whitney soon realizes that sometimes a story becomes more than just a story.

Buy Link

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Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kim-Cresswell/e/B00B5LKAXA/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

December 19, 2013

Writing Tips: Tickle Your Nose @VickiBatman #RLFblog #authortips

Great Fruitcake Bake Off 
Welcome Vicki Batman back to Romance Lives Forever for a few writing tips.

In church this past winter-almost-spring, I sat behind a couple with granddaughters. The woman removed her fur scarf and set it around a blonde cutie's neck. The little one gathered the ends and rubbed them across her face and pressed them to her nose.
I wanted to do that. I wanted to buy a fur collar and do what she'd done in the worst way. Just by watching her, I could feel the softness brushing my mouth and the scent of Chanel No. 5.
I like to buy vintage handbags, and recently when I opened up one, a whiff of perfume teased my nose. Something old and special. Remember when ladies put scent on their hankies and stowed it in their bags? Remember peeking through Grandmother's bath cupboard and seeing the cobalt blue perfume bottle with a silver label inscribed Evening in Paris?
My cat is twenty years old and doesn't venture outside much. But when she does on a bright summer day, she will park herself in a corner outside my window. I'm so afraid I'll forget and leave her there; so after a while, I retrieve her. I always kiss the top of her head, feeling the velvet of her fur against my mouth. And she smells fresh, as if she had absorbed sunshine.
Evening in Paris 
My malti-poos on the other hand have silky hair which grows into riotous ringlets. When freshly laundered, they are incredibly soft and the hint of apricot from the shampoo lingers. But after a couple of weeks, they cease being adorable and become plain ol' smelly dogs. Dirt-stained paws, gooky eyes, sour scent.
On Sunday, I took the dogs for a long walk. As we turned the last block toward home, I noticed the green pecans on the asphalt from the squirrels' munching. Even lines from gnawing were visible on the hull. The leaves from water-starved trees littered the pavement. Some shaped into long beige cocoons. Others in various stages of disintegration. The tink-tink of the doggies' badges clinking as they marched onward by my side.

When we write, are we taking the time to engage all our senses? Do we really feel? Do we really smell? Do we hear?

Green Pecans 
What does our hero's hair feel like? Long is different from short. What does their skin feel like? Most men have hair on their arms, legs and chest, and that intriguing line which runs below their waistband. And don't forget the scruffy beard and the adorable twinkle in their eye which makes a gal want to twinkle right back and move right into the sexy dance... Whoa. Too much romance writing. LOL
We can enhance our power of sense by observation. Stop rushing through the day. Sit. Listen. Take a lengthy look. A deep inhale and a cleansing exhale. What does the raindrop plopping on the tin roof of a boathouse actually sound like? What kind of caw does a parrot make when he flies overhead? What does gravel crunch like when we walk down a path?
It's hard to put sights, sounds, tastes, and smells into words; yet when we get it right, we transport our readers further into our story and giving them an intimate experience.
Sometimes, we over rely on ourselves to create the sights and sounds.
When I posted a blog about watching rain one morning, several people described the sound of rain. Lesson learned--ask friends what they hear, see, taste, smell. Everyone's experience is a little different from our own, and maybe, just maybe, they might describe it better and the words to take my work to the next level will come to me.
How do you enhance your senses for your writing? What do you recall from reading a good book where the author brought out the senses?

Buy Links

About the Author

Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general "do anything gal" at a financial services firm--the list is endless.
Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to True Love, True Romance, True Confessions, Noble Romance Publishing, Long And Short Reviews, and Museitup Publishing. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010. Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"

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December 18, 2013

Amanda in the Summer @brendawhitesid2 #RLFblog #romance

Amanda in the Summer 
Brenda Whiteside, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Amanda in the Summer.
Genre: Mainstream Women's Fiction, Historical
Buy links:
The Wild Rose Press: http://tinyurl.com/ltatmmf
Worldwide Release date: December 18, 2013
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover artist: Rae Monet
Length: 45,000 words
Heat rating: sweet
Tagline: Three generations of women…and the secret that strengthens their love.
Blurb:
A line of women, all named Amanda, stretches back for generations. Each with her hopes, her joys, her pain—each pouring out her heart in correspondence with a dear family friend who shares their lives, understands their loves, and joins in their sorrows.
But within the correspondence lies a secret. And as the youngest of the Amandas retraces the journey through the years—beginning in post-war America and following through to modern day—the letters reveal, layer by layer, the Amandas who came before her. Soon, the truths and lies hidden in the letters lead her down a path of self-discovery that forges a bond between her past and future.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Amanda is twenty-four in the opening letter written in 1947.The letter is written to Tilly who is the same age. Subsequent letters are written by Amanda's daughter and granddaughter. All of the Amandas are main characters and they all write letters to Tilly from 1947 until 2004.

Interview

How did you get your start in the industry?
My first book was published by The Wild Rose Press in 2010. Prior to that, I had short stories published with some free press both in print and on-line.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I write every day. There are days I get hours of writing in but there are just as many I get twenty minutes for my craft. The most important thing is to keep the creative juices flowing.
What websites do you visit daily?
That varies, but I'm on Facebook every day. There are several blogs I check in on if the subject matter attracts me.
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
I'd give it one more good edit to catch the things we missed. And I might deepen the POV. All in all, it was meant to be a lighthearted suspense for entertainment, and I still see it that way.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
When words come together I find amusing, or when a character pops off the page I get excited. So often, creativity is spontaneous. I'm not the only writer that says this. We all have those moments when characters run away with the story, and we're just a conduit to the page. It's plain old fun!
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
I'd have to have two – Maeve Binchy and Diana Gabaldon. I love the ever day people feel to Binchy's stories. I also think she's a terrific storyteller. Gabaldon is a master at deep POV. You can live through her characters. I'd like to excel to their level in both those talents.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
My younger version didn't know I wanted to be an author. I'd have to tell myself my happiness would be greatest writing – and to get busy and stop wasting time.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
Like I said, I write every day, but I still get distracted by life. You know? So I do have that daily work ethic to keep at it although I wish I could ramp it up more.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
I work harder. And I complain and eat chocolate.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Often.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I managed a swimming pool company years ago. I've worked in a library, flipped hamburgers at a goofy-golf course and trained child care providers in nutrition.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I'd recommend The Morning After because it's short (so they wouldn't feel like they were getting roped in for a long read they might not like), sexy (but not too sexy) and fun (if they get entertained they might come back for more).
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I'm on a suspense kick right now, probably because I'm writing a romantic suspense.
What do you think is the future of traditional publishing?
There will always be a place for it, but not the monopoly of the past.
What do you wish I had asked you? Please ask and answer it now.
Do you have another book in the works for publication? As a matter of fact, I do! The Art of Love and Murder is currently in the editing process at The Wild Rose Press so the release date hasn't been set. This is a romantic suspense I had a great time writing. I've got at least two more novels spinning off from characters in this book.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
My cosmetics would be first, followed by a few sweaters, boots and denim. Love my denim. Then I'd be off to Ireland. One of my grandfathers, a very colorful man, was Irish and I've always wanted to go there.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite. The coming together of family and friends for nothing more than to eat and talk is so enjoyable. No stress of giving and getting in the material sense. It's the one time each year when I'll get to enjoy people I might not see all year long.
What good book have you read recently?
I'm reading Sandford's Prey series about Lucas Davenport. I'm on book four.
Brenda Whiteside

Previous Books

Sleeping with the Lights On
Honey On White Bread
The Morning After
Warm Christmas Wishes (Anthology)
A Holiday to Remember (written with nine other authors)
Just One Wish (Holiday anthology)

Books Coming Soon

The Art of Love and Murder

Find Me Here

Group Blog, The Roses of Prose: http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com/


December 16, 2013

Romance: Be Mine This Christmas Night @LesannSartor #RLFblog #Christmas

Be Mine This Christmas Night 
LA Sartor, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Be Mine This Christmas Night.
Genre: Romance
Publisher: L.A. Sartor
Cover artist: Neringa http://www.dvdezign.com
Length: 288 pages print, apx 40,000 words digital
Heat rating: mild
Tagline: Will Their Wish Come True This Christmas Night?
Blurb:
The Children's Author ...
Annie Hamilton's children's series Star Light~Star Bright is a mega hit. She loves kids and wants nothing more than a family of her own, but twice burned, thrice shy. When a gorgeous man with two young boys moves next door, Annie can't help but dream her impossible dream.
And The Widower Who Moved Next Door ...
Cole Evans is a brilliant scientist, but finds fatherhood a challenge. When his son develops a bond with their enchanting neighbor, the boy's favorite author, Cole discovers just how much he's lost—and how much he needs.
Will Their Wish Come True This Christmas Night?
Can Cole overcome family meddling and alleviate Annie's fears so they can be a ready-made family?
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Annabelle Hamilton (Annie) 30's, Children's book author
Dr. Cole Evans, late 30's, PhD Atmospheric Physicist
Josh Evans, 7
Peter Evans, 9

Interview

If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
I changed the cover to Dare To Believe once and I'd change it again. If you want to see the first cover, go to www.lasartor and scroll down to the bottom of that first page. I'm not sure how I would change it a third time, but I'd love to hear from the readers of the blog. Chime in. What would you change from my current cover...also on the same website.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
I go into my back yard which is an oasis for me. Pond, views of the mountains, peace. I get away from the computer, and if I still want to write, use the ancient tools of pencil and paper. While I love the computer, it can suck you dry. Too many distractions, and too many things I should be doing as well as writing, like promotion, emails, web-surfing...
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Parts of them do and parts of me. I saw a T-shirt once that said, "Be careful what you say or you could end up in my book." True. So watch out J
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I was at a signing recently and was told by some of the readers who'd stopped by that they don't read romance. So I started thinking about my books and really, they are a journey, not only of the main characters, but I try really hard to take you someplace you may not know. My screenwriting comes in as I set the scene, place you there. I'm told I'm good at it. So yes, it's a love story, but so much more. Now how do I tell you that? Thoughts, dear readers?
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
Shorts, bathing suit, sunscreen and my credit cards. Any island where there is sun, sand, palm trees and blue, blue water. Let's go now. Dare To Believe is set both in Hawaii and Colorado. Two of my favorite places.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas is. Which is why I HAD to write Be Mine This Christmas Night. I love the magic, hope, peace and goodwill of the season and wish it could last longer, like all year. Wouldn't peace to all and hope for a better tomorrow be a good thing?
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
Fun question. At home with my husband, waiting for a calamity to befall the bank I was part of. I was on the Y2K team. We were extremely prepared, but YAY, nothing!!
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
Both honestly. But If I had to pick...nope, can't do it.

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with mushrooms, onions, bell peppers-any color and lots of cheese.
I'm always ready for wine and pasta, a good walk and a chat with my best friend.
When I'm alone, I love to read, do cross stitch and play the piano.
You'd never be able to tell, but I can be a very shy person.
If I had a halo it would be gold with diamonds.
If I could win the lotto I'd set up a literacy foundation.
I can never scuba dive again because I'm terrified of drowning, but love to swim.

About the Author

Leslie Ann Sartor (aka L.A. Sartor) began telling stories around the age of 4 when her mother, at Leslie’s insistence, wrote them down and Leslie illustrated them. As an adult she writes suspense and action adventure novels with a dash of romance, and screenplays—she's had a contracted adaptation! She lives in Colorado with her husband whom she met on a blind date. Leslie loves to travel. She thinks life is an adventure and we should embrace the journey.

Find Me Here

Amazon author site: http://amzn.to/VB7ed9

December 15, 2013

All About Street Teams @pendarielraye #RLFblog #MFRWauthor

Kaden's Reprieve 
Dariel Raye and I have worked together on several projects, so when she started a street team recently, I asked if I could tag along. She soon outran me energy-wise, and I dropped back to admire from a distance. I asked her to keep me posted on what was what. This is her report. -- Kayelle Allen

  1. Street teams are all the rage in the book market right now. Ideally, an awesome group of loving fans sacrifice their time and effort to help get the word out about our books. Realistically, though, it's not quite that simple. After contemplating the pros and cons of street teams, I finally started one a couple of months ago. I'd been reading about them and asking questions from more experienced marketers, but since I started working with Raye's Ravers, quite a few more things have been made clear to me. Here's my take, along with a few suggestions.
  2. Ongoing point/reward system is too tedious, and even that doesn't get everyone sharing/tweeting. Also becomes impersonal, IMO. The golden rule for street teams is to find unique ways to show appreciation. Never forget that these awesome individuals are helping you for FREE, so personal thank yous are definitely a requirement. I'll talk more about this later in #6 and #11. Points/rewards for special campaigns/projects works better. You can use Google or some other spreadsheet to help keep up with points for each team member during the campaign. I started with a month long campaign, but I don't recommend that – too LONG. Two weeks is probably a good maximum for special projects and campaigns.
  3. Don't accept people onto the team who are on more than 5 street teams – there are exceptions to every rule, of course, but generally speaking, they simply don't have time to keep up with all the boards, groups, and teams on a regular basis. Unless your team quickly becomes a favorite, they're seldom around to respond to tags or any other messages you post.
  4. Create a private group for sharing and team files.
  5. I'm sure you know this, but very few writers have time to be on street teams. Like you, they need to be writing. Any time they have left needs to be spent marketing their OWN work. Cross promotion is always awesome, but it should never be just about you and your work when working with another author. Enough said.
  6. Team-ONLY parties can be nice incentives for special campaigns, and this is another reason for #7.
  7. Let people go nicely who never share. I call most of them "Friends of Raye's Ravers" because they cared enough to give the team a try, and they still help by sharing occasionally. Occasional "house cleaning" is important though. Unless a team member lets you know why they're not around (vacation, family problems, illness, etc.), set them free if they don't respond to posts and never share.
  8. Chatting with team members as a group helps everyone get to know each other better - strengthens the team and it really is nice to get to know people who like your work.
  9. Another thing I'm planning is choosing a "Raver" of the week or something to help get more consistent sharing. It'll be random.
  10. Playing random games and asking questions helps with team building too.
  11. Create special prizes only given to team members to increase interest and pride.
  12. All in all, if you're planning to start a street team, expect to spend the first few weeks or so just getting your team up and rolling. In other words, don't try to start a street team in the midst of a big writing project. Your goal is to keep the team moving and show appreciation without constant hands-on involvement from you. Let's face it – if your team needs your constant attention, you still don't have time to write! I don't think there's a hard and fast rule as to what works or doesn't work, but the beauty of it is that the sky's the limit in terms of fun things to try, and you get to meet some awesome people along the way.

Heck, you might even get a little more marketing done than you can on your own.

Previous Books

Kaden's Reprieve:
Dark Sentinels Book One: Sable:
Jordan's Wings - The Alerians - Dark Progeny Series:

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December 14, 2013

Cover Love: Forgotten Desire @barbbradley #RLFblog #TimeTravel

Forgotten Desire 
Storm is in the 20th century with no memory. Heather must make him remember and avoid her mimesis before bringing him home.
Heather and Storm's story continues...
When Storm leans against one of Bert's machines and is sent back in time without his memories, Heather has to go after him.
A simple retrieval won't work. She has to make him remember before they can return to their own timeline.
Finding him is easy, getting him to regain his memories isn't. Then she finds out Ialog is there, giving Storm something to keep his memories at bay.
Now she has to find a way to stop her old nemesis and bring her mate home.

Buy Links:

Find Me Here

Barbara Donlon Bradley
Fill your future with Desire

December 13, 2013

Top 10 Reasons to Love a Cowboy @authorkristina #RLFblog

What a Texas Girl Needs 
Today's guest post is by author Kristina Knight.
---
I've been a fan of the Cowboys (the football team and the real-life guys) for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching cowboy movies with my grandfather and reading Louis L'Amour books once my brother was done with them. I was just a leeetle bit of a tom-boy. But the reason I loved those old movies and books were the romantic cowboys themselves – the guys who loved their land and stood up for what they believed in.
I always wanted to meet one of those Old West Cowboys.
Without further ado, here are my Top 10 Reasons to Love Cowboys:
10. They look good in hats. Cowboys don't just wear hats for the fashion statement, hats are a protection from the cold, heat and other weather. But it takes the right guy to look good in a hat.
9. They're honest. Sometimes to a fault. Cowboys don't temper their arguments. Cowboys don't compromise. They see the world as black and white…and that is kind of refreshing.
8. They're committed. Whether it's to the land they love or the women, cowboys are committed.
7. They know how to have fun. Camping under the stars, dancing at a honky-tonk or just watching a movie at home, cowboys know what they like. And what they like is fun.
6. They stand up for what they believe in. This goes back to Reason #8 – cowboys have a strong belief system and they stand up for it every day.
5. Cowboys look good in Wranglers. Or Levis. Enough said.
4. Those grins! Cowboys, in my experience, have a wicked sense of humor. And no one is immune.
3. They know how to drive and ride. Whether it's a big, black truck or a big, black horse, cowboys are in charge.
2. They're romantic. No, they may not bring flowers home every night but a cowboy will never leave his lady wondering where she stands with him.
1. They're a symbol – of what we all want. Cowboys know who they are, what they want and what they're willing to do to get that thing. Isn't that what we all want?

In What a Texas Girl Needs, Mat has a secret that may ruin his life as a cowboy. . .but it's a secret he doesn't know if he can share with Vanessa, even though he loves her. In What a Texas Girl Dreams, Trick knows exactly what he wants – Monica Witte – and he's going to do whatever it takes to win her heart. Both books are on sale for 99 cents for a limited time – grab your copies before its too late!
(buy links/blurbs/excerpts in separate file)
What a Texas Girl Needs
Blurb:
Vanessa Witte is ready to finally claim her life. The middle of three daughters born into the Witte family - a powerful Texas name - she's been content to float through life. Being dumped by her shady ex? A blessing in disguise. Having a one-night-stand with Matias Barnes? Not one of her more stellar moments. But she's back in Lockhardt with a secret and a reason to start fresh: A baby.
Matias Barnes knows all about society women - it's part of the reason he left his wealthy family behind and took a job on a ranch. He doesn't like the endless string of parties, the inane conversation, or the gold-digging tricks those women have perfected. But that doesn't stop him from wanting Vanessa Witte. Mat knows she's so not right for him, but with her back in Lockhardt, can he resist her charms long enough to really let her go?
Buy Links:
What a Texas Girl Dreams
What a Texas Girl Dreams
Monica Witte has life the way she likes it. She comes home to be babied every few months and the rest of the time she has no strings holding her back. But after her horse is injured in a rodeo performance, Monica knows it's time to come home and face her family – warts and all.
Trickett Samuels works best on his own. The large-animal vet likes his quiet life in the Texas countryside. When Monica Witte blows into town, demanding a quick fix to her horse's big issues, his life is turned upside down. Trickett doesn't understand Monica's need to perform before perfect strangers or why she wants to keep the truth of their relationship from her family. And the more he gets to know her, the more he wonders if he can convince this Texas girl that having roots will only help her soar higher.
Buy Links:

About the Author

Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police--no, she wasn't a troublemaker, she was a journalist. When the opportunity to focus a bit of energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it. And she's never looked back. Now she writes magazine articles by day and romance novels with spice by night. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and daughter. Happily ever after.

Find Me Here


December 12, 2013

Gay Historical: A Valet's Duty @HLewisFoster #RLFblog #GLBT

A Valet's Duty 
H Lewis-Foster, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, A Valet's Duty.
Genre: Gay historical
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Cover artist: Reese Dante
Length: 34 pages
Heat rating: Sensual
Tagline: Sexual favors and emotional ties cross the class divide in Edwardian England.
Blurb: At the turn of the twentieth century, Henry Simpkins is a valet at Taverslow, the Earl of Wayshaw's Somerset home. When the Earl's younger brother, Rafe, arrives from his villa in Italy, Henry is given the task of caring for his mischievous dogs, Pepe and Paolo. As part of his valet's duties, he also goes to Rafe's room each night to tidy away his clothes.
One night, Rafe tentatively asks Henry to go beyond his valet's duty to relieve Rafe's sexual tensions. Henry enjoys their increasingly intimate encounters, but he's soon disturbed to find he feels more for Rafe than mere physical attraction. Henry faces a difficult decision, as he knows he cannot remain in the same house as Rafe if his affections are not returned.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Henry Simpkins is 29 and is valet to the Earl of Wayshaw.
The earl's younger brother, Rafe, is a 28-year-old gentleman.

Interview

What do you enjoy most about writing?
Unlike some writers, I really enjoy sitting in front of a blank screen and putting down my initial ideas. I like getting to know the characters and working out where the story is going. While I have a rough idea of plot when I start writing, sometimes a character or a crucial piece of action will completely change, and it's very satisfying to complete that first draft. I must admit, I also enjoy going back over my work, improving it line by line. For that reason, I'll never be the quickest of writers, but I like to make my stories the best they can possibly be.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Start writing sooner! While I always had ideas for stories, I never had the confidence to write them down. It took quite a few years for me to put pen to paper, then to finally send my work to a publisher. I'm just so happy I got around to it eventually.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
I try to spend my mornings writing, before I go to my 'ordinary' job. However, as I've had so many stories published over the last few months, this time has more often been spent checking edits, corresponding with publishers or doing promotional work. I do enjoy that part of the writing process, but I'm really looking forward to doing some actual writing again.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Not consciously, but I suppose the odd phrase or incident might end up in a book without me realizing. I genuinely don't base my characters on people I know, or even famous people. I think you have much more freedom as a writer if your characters come totally from your imagination. Fortunately I have a very vivid imagination!
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I've worked in libraries and archives for a while now, mostly in universities. It's amazing how much libraries have changed in only a few years. They are no longer the silent, dour places they often were, but are more relaxed and welcoming. I'm lucky enough to be able to work part-time, and to spend the rest of my time writing, which is an ideal combination.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I would probably recommend an early story of mine, Counting Parakeets, which is about a doctor, a performance artiste and a pet parakeet named Ollie—an interesting combination, I'm sure you'll agree! While there's plenty of simmering sexual attraction between the two main characters, Counting Parakeets is a sweet and funny story which I think anyone would enjoy, whatever their usual reading tastes.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
I know most people like going to the coast or the country on holiday, but there's nothing I like more than a city break. I had a gorgeous holiday in Paris a little while ago—it is an amazing city. The architecture is stunning and the food is wonderful, of course. I love taking a vacation in London too, as I adore going to the theatre. There's such an array of plays and musicals to see, it's my perfect place to visit.
What good book have you read recently?
I've recently discovered the novels of Mary Renault. She was an English author who started writing gay romances in the 1950s. Most of them are set in Ancient Greece, which means they haven't dated as some books do. They aren't as graphic as some modern gay fiction, but they perfectly combine historical detail and tender love stories. One of her earlier works The Charioteer is a love story about three men during World War II, written only a few years after the end of the war. Considering the social and legal situation at the time, it was an incredibly brave thing to do.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
I honestly can't remember the last time I was bored. Within a matter of months, I've had my debut novel Burning Ashes and three shorter stories published, as well as moving to a new city and a new job. If I do get a spare moment, I like watching a good film. I have very eclectic tastes, but my favorite film of recent years would have to be Weekend, a British film about two young men who spend an intensely romantic weekend together. There are no special effects or big stars, but it's beautifully written and acted.
Counting Parakeets
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with goat's cheese.
I'm always ready for chocolate cake.
When I'm alone, I like listening to music – especially Rufus Wainwright.
You'd never be able to tell, but my first pet was a goldfish called Fred.
If I had a halo it would be glowing all the colors of the rainbow.
If I could cook like Jamie Oliver I'd open a fabulous restaurant.
I can never stop writing because I've got too many stories I want to tell.

Previous Books

Burning Ashes (Dreamspinner Press)
Northern Relations (Amber Allure)
To Protect the Heir (JMS Books)
Ballet Nights (JMS Books)
Betting on Snow (Dreamspinner Press)
Counting Parakeets (JMS Books)
Secret of the Code (JMS Books)
Balancing the Books (JMS Books)

Find Me Here


December 11, 2013

Character Interview: Daisy and Dhruv @ElodieParkes #RLFblog #vampires

A Little Mysterious 
Elodie Parkes, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Tell us about your book, A little Mysterious.
Book: A Little Mysterious
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Vampire Romance
'A Little Mysterious' my November 27 release with Evernight Publishing was inspired black swans and a man I met in my work. I say met, but it was a fleeting meeting. I don't even know his name. The black swan idea has been with me since I went to Australia on holiday and saw them, flocks of them swimming in the edge of the ocean in a place near Melbourne. There was also a tame one that lived on the pond where I was renting a holiday house in Perth.
The man who inspired Dhruv, my alpha male in 'A Little Mysterious' came into the antique shop where I work. He was gorgeous, so polite, and cool, that I went to the window so I could secretly watch him walk away down the street.
A Little Mysterious
He'd been sent off course…he thought he was lost…until he found Daisy.
His vampire abilities were special. He belonged to an elite group. Moving home, they are set off course by a storm that lands Dhruv alone, hungry, and desperate in a strange town.
A story of lust, love, and coincidence.

Interview with Dhruv and Daisy

Daisy, would you like to tell the readers about how you and Dhruv met?
Daisy: We met on the high street in the café I worked in didn't we Dhruv?
Dhruv: We did formally meet then, although I took a while to sat much to Daisy. I liked her as soon as I saw her. That was before we actually met. I'd seen her around shall we say. I don't want to give spoilers.
Daisy: That's true, but I wanted you right away. I could hardly take my eyes off you. When I went up the back of the café and cleared the tables, I used to stare at you.
Dhruv: You did more than stare you sighed over me. I knew it. I could sense it. I could feel your need and it fuelled mine.
He leans across and kisses Daisy, then keeps hold of her hand.
Dhruv, Can you describe when you first knew you were in love with Daisy?
Dhruv: You know, I'm sorry but I can't. It was weird for me. I couldn't admit it to myself. I think Daisy loved me right away. Did you Daisy?
Daisy: I knew I wanted to make love with you, but I felt such a strong attraction to you I think I might have loved you right away. Then I knew the first time we made love, it was sex that turned into making love. For me anyway. Although I liked him the moment I saw him, in the cafe doorway. I wanted those arms around me right away.
She leans across and kisses him this time .I better ask another question since now they are starting to get a little heated.
What's one thing you might have changed about your story?
Daisy: Nothing, since it's the real story. Although I've never been happy with my name, and that I'm not very tall, Dhruv can tuck me under his arm. Although things are a little different now since we really got together, but I can't tell you that. It would be a spoiler.
Dhruv: That's so sexy Daisy, that I can pick you up and cuddle you into my body. You're beautiful the way you are.
As for me changing the story, more sex, although there's loads, I'm addicted to Daisy now and I find it hard to keep my hands off her. I might have said a little more about our lives after we got together, but that might be better in another book.
Dhruv, tell us something about Daisy, how would you describe her in a few words?
Dhruv: She's very pretty, slender, intelligent. I think she's kind and generous, and she treats people really well. She's brave too. She likes the countryside and water. Starts to laugh and hugs Daisy.
Daisy, describe Dhruv in a few words.
Very sexy, giving, clever, thoughtful, a great lover, knows what he wants or needs to do and goes for it. He's very creative, and talented artistically.
So what's hot about the story?
Dhruv: The steam rises from the love scenes. I think the way Daisy responds to me.
Daisy: I think it's the way you talk dirty to me.
Dhruv: Do I?
Now Daisy is stroking his arm, okay time for an excerpt.
How about you both choose your favorite scene from the book.
Daisy: It has to be a love scene for me, what about you Dhruv?
Dhruv: I think so, the hotter the better. (Grins)

Meet Dhruv and Daisy 

Excerpt

"Hi, Dhruv. What can I get you?" She gave him a special look. It said he could ask for anything he wanted.
Dhruv waited for a few seconds before he answered. He leaned on the counter top with his elbows and returned her look. "I think you know, Daisy." There was more said in his tone of voice than the words.
They gazed at each other, and Daisy was mesmerized by his beauty. She gave an involuntary sigh as she looked at him. She wanted him so badly it made her dizzy. Each night she thought about him as she lay in bed waiting for sleep to overtake her. He would kiss her, not waiting long to put his hand inside her panties and feel her. Feel the throb between her legs, as she got wet wanting his fingers in her, wanting his cock in her. It made her needy. Sometimes had to reach her fingers down and stroke her clit for relief.
"Black coffee, please."
Daisy broke into a grin. "One day, Dhruv, you'll surprise me." She left him watching her with his cool stare as she went to get his coffee.
Copyright Elodie Parkes 2013

Buy links:

About the Author

Elodie Parkes is a British author writing romance, erotic, contemporary, and often with a twist of mystery, paranormal or suspense. Her books are always steamy, cool stories and hot love scenes. Elodie lives in Canterbury with her two dogs. She works in an antique shop by day and writes at night, loving the cloak of silent darkness that descends on the rural countryside around her home.
She has also released titles as an individual indie author.

Find Me Here


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