October 31, 2013

E-Book Giveaway, by Author Elle Hill

Heroines Need Not Apply

A blog post by Elle Hill

My novels are heroine-free. Seriously. They always feature a strong supporting cast and a drool-worthy hero, but look as you may, you will never find a heroine.

Sheroes, however, are another story.

I write straight romance, which means there’s a girl main character and a boy main character. In most of my stories, the girl protagonist is pretty clearly the main-er character, but in some of them, like Hunted Dreams, my scenes are divided pretty equally between the sexes. When speaking about these two character staples, most folks I know use the terms “main characters” or, if they’re, like me, a fan of melodrama, heroes and heroines.

I won’t use the term “heroine,” and not just because it sounds like a narcotic substance. (Creepy, right?) Words ending with “ine,” “ina,” “ita,” “ette,” and “ess” annoy the heck outta me. See, these words have one thing in common: added at the end of a word, they all represent it in a feminine and/or diminutive form. “Señorita” means “little señora,” “waitress” means “female waiter,” and “bachelorette” means “female bachelor.” As my old friend, dictionary.com, says of “ette,” “English nouns in which the suffix ETTE designates a feminine role or identity have been perceived by many people as implying inferiority or insignificance.” Word, dictionary.com. Word.

My women main characters are neither illegal substances nor inferior. Thus, I will not use “heroine.” I’m fine with calling her a hero; what’s good for the gander, and all that. But a few years ago, I heard someone – I think it might have been the indomitable fat lib activist, Marilyn Wann – use the term “shero,” and I was hooked. See, I’m not against specifying sex via words; I’m opposed to using suffixes that imply smallness and insignificance.

My partner’s ex once grumped that “shero” shouldn’t exist because “hero” isn’t an inherently gendered term. She thought I was using it in the same way some feminists change “his-story” to “her-story.” Don’t get me wrong – I think such wordplay is thought-provoking and useful. However, while my decision is mired in gender politics, my goal is a slightly different one. I don’t hate “hero” for having the dreaded “he” in it; I simply don’t want to use a diminutive form of any word to describe the greatness of my women characters.

Author name: Elle Hill

Book: Hunted Dreams

Number of books I’m giving away: Two of Hunted Dreams

Twitter: @ellehillauthor


“The Leeches got their nickname from the way they eat.” Reed’s voice was even.

“They drink blood?” she breathed.

He shook his head. “A little less literal. The Broschi are empathic. They can feel and even evoke other people’s feelings, negative ones like fear, pain, horror.”

“Sun and stars,” she breathed. She got it.

She got it.

“They’re eating me,” she said, and laughed, but not humorously. “These superhuman, psychic Leech people are keeping me trapped in nightmares, eating my feelings.” Her chest felt heavy. She pressed her left hand against it and felt its gentle rise and fall.

None of this is real. All this drama, all this fear, all the pain and anger and malice. None of it exists except in the form of juicy brainwaves that these beings sip like mint juleps. No wonder she couldn’t die, couldn’t escape, couldn’t ever wake up.

Reed’s face was flushed, his nostrils wide. Her handsome hero. For a minute, she hated him, hated that he got to wake up, hated this situation, hated everything boxing her in this narrow world.

Katana glared at him for a moment. “I’m trapped in here,” she grated.

His face relaxed into compassion. Hers hardened.

“I know,” he said.

She stared at him for a moment longer. Finally, with a sigh, she leaned her head against the glass. “Who are you, Reed?”

“I’m a Leech, too, Katana.”

October 24, 2013

E-Book Giveaway, by Author Joan Baier

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 Welcome to Cheryl’s place! I’m thrilled to have you here.
Thanks, Cheryl. It’s great to be here.
 Please tell us a little about yourself.
Just a little?? J Okay, I’m a mom, grandmother, great-grandmother for starters. I began writing on stone tablets and have been writing ever since. My first acclaim for my writing happened in my senior year in high school when my short story was voted the favorite of all my fellow classmates’. 

After/during marriage and four kids, I started writing seriously and my first short story for children was published by the now defunct, I believe, Pilgrim Publishing Company. That was generated, by the way, on my electric Olivetti typewriter. Now, after having had published several short stories for kids, essays, memoirs and two books, I’m working at selling two YA novels and will soon begin an adult novel. And of course, I’ve long since graduated to using a computer.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
I guess I’d have to say dancing—as in ballroom dancing. Not the DWTS variety, but the real stuff.
When did you first get the writing bug?

As so many writers say, when I was a child, about 10 or 12. My best friend and I used to work on stories together and sometimes each worked on her own. 

Any advice for new writers just starting out?
Read! Also, attend writing workshops/conferences and join active writing groups, especially those who work in your genre.

What genre or genres do you write?
I’ve always written for children or young adults, but lately I’ve ventured into adult light romance and suspense.

Tell us about your latest release(s)
Roar of Revenge, released in December 2012 is my latest. Based on events in my life and a bizarre perpetrator, this novella is a quick, can’t-put-it-down read. As one reviewer said, Don't start to read this little novella until you have the time to finish it. I was captured by the first paragraph. Good story line and well written.
Please share an excerpt of your book!
Okay, here it is:
What’s wrong with me? Why am I here? And my kids—without their mother.
She felt a tear slide down to pool in her ear and then she slipped into oblivion. She didn’t realize she had been sleeping until she heard something with wheels being pulled… or pushed into her room.
         Suddenly, the sound of the wheels magnified to explosive waves of noise. Other sounds echoed and reverberated:  the trumpet of an elephant, the roar of a tiger. She was in this dark nether world. She could see herself standing, her mouth open wide and distorted in a silent scream. Huge tires rolled toward her, looming larger as they closed in. Gravel crunched and spit under the spinning tires, under the car’s roaring engine. Help me! Oh, please, somebody help me!

What’s your current WIP?
Well, I’m revising my latest YA novel and thinking, thinking, thinking on my new adult romance/suspense novel.

Do you prefer your men in boxers, briefs, or commando?
Hmmmm. I only prefer one man (other than my sons)—in whatever he’s wearing at the moment.

And finally, where can we stalk you?

October 21, 2013

E-Book Giveaway, by Author Emelle Gamble

Enter the Rafflecopter contest below for a chance to win - Good Luck!

Welcome to Cheryl’s place! I’m thrilled to have you here.

Please tell us a little about yourself. I’ve been a professional writer for over twenty years. First contracted with Harlequin Intrigue, now with Soul Mate publishing. I live in the Washington DC area, but am a California girl, born and raised. My two children are out doing great things in the world on their own, and hubby, known as ‘Phil the fist’, is running a small company from our home. We’ve been married 33 years next April, so, as you can, I’ve been blessed. 

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing? Reading. Thinking about writing. Critique group where I talk about writing. Or HGTV, where I dream about moving to Tuscany or Greece.

Any advice for new writers just starting out? All my advice is totally clichéd, but the thing about clichés is that they’re true. Write every day. Read a lot. Accept all criticism with an open mind. I’m not saying accept it, but listen to it. Sometimes people will say something, “I don’t like your heroine, she’s too self-obsessed,” and what they are really talking about is you’re not doing a good job of helping the reader empathize with the character. I mean, who is a more self-obsessed character in literature than Scarlett O’Hara, yet readers love her and root for her because Margaret Mitchell did so many things right with her characterization.  And for indie or small press writers, let me say up front that you must prepare yourself and budget time and resources to promote your book. If you don’t, you will be disappointed that no one is reading it. In this new world of publishing, it is a requirement for writers.

Tell us about your latest release(s)

My first new book in over a decade is Secret Sister, released this past July. One of the main reasons I found Soul Mate Publishing such a great fit to contract this book is that Debby Gilbert, the publisher, expresses a goal for the company to promote ‘blended genre’ books. Secret Sister is that kind of animal. A women’s romantic fiction novel with a paranormal plot device that sets up the story. A story about Nick and Cathy and Roxanne. Two best friends, one husband, and an extraordinary twist of fate.

I shopped this book around for awhile and was told by more than one editor that I would never sell it because it had that paranormal set-up, and that readers wouldn’t like that in an emotional women’s fiction novel. I had a lot more faith in readers of romantic women’s fiction. So far, the marketplace has reacted as I hoped it would and has embraced the book. Here’s a couple of reviewer’s reactions…

“…Along with being a very unique and captivating plot, SECRET SISTER offers a shocking turn of the paranormal kind. So if you are the type of person that wants ordinary romance in a book, you won't find that here. This is a story of friendship, family, and most of all, true love and what those things can mean. I cannot recommend SECRET SISTER strongly enough for those of you that enjoy a book that not only touches your heart but has you tingling in anticipation for whatever comes next.” Fresh Fiction, Fresh Reviews

"…If you're looking for a typical women's fiction/romance, don't look here... Secret Sister has a twist of the paranormal that will have you willingly stretching your belief in order to enjoy the plot. Emelle Gamble has created a story that will tear your heart out."   Long and Short Reviews 
And a new favorite, from a reader (Kay) a 5 Star rating on Amazon (not my Mom, I promise!) “Words fail me. Does unexpected and exciting and sad and touching fit?You must read this book. You won't be sorry.”

Please share an excerpt of your book!

“May I sit down, Nick?”
I nodded. Roxanne sat at the table in the kitchen. Despite her appearance, she seemed in control. I felt her eyes on me as I poured myself a glass of water.
The kitchen was a mess. For a second I was embarrassed by the dirty dishes, the soured milk on the counter. Then I got a grip. This wasn’t a social call and Roxanne wasn’t someone I was trying to impress. Every time she walked into the room, she did so with an agenda.
I turned around. “Do you want something to drink?”
She shook her head.
I sat across from her. She was pinching the back of her hand, like Cathy used to do.
“What’s going on? What do you want from me?” I sounded angrier than I thought I was.
“What do you mean?”
“You’re fooling around with your hands exactly like Cathy always did. You never had that habit. Why are you doing stuff like that?”
“What else am I doing?”
“You’re wearing your hair pulled back in a ribbon, and clothes like my wife wore.” I pointed at her blouse. “And you’re acting weird with the cat, like she’s your cat, among other things. It’s freaking my sister out.”
Roxanne fidgeted. “That’s ridiculous,” she said, but her face revealed I’d hit a nerve...
What’s your current WIP?
My next release is a novella collection. This is a joint project with my Critique Group called Once and Forever. “From five compelling authors, five original novellas which will make you laugh and cry, and believe in a love that once found will last forever. Meet a duke, a psychic, a bodyguard and a professor…and one "guardian fairy" in absorbing stories ranging from regency and contemporary romance to paranormal and women's fiction.” Mary Blayney and Elaine Fox are NY Times best selling writers, Lavinia Kent a well-known and much loved hothothot Regency author, and Evie Owens, an amazing and edgy paranormal writer, is a newcomer we’re honored to be introducing to the marketplace. We have high hopes that this buffet of stories will be appealing to a wide swath of readers.

Do you prefer your men in boxers, briefs, or commando?  (Smiling here.) I prefer men in or out of anything.

And finally, where can we stalk you? (Include all your social links: blogs, facebook, twitter, goodreads, pinterest, or any other social link you want included.

Stalking points…
Author Emelle Gamble on Facebook
@EmelleGamble on Twitter
Emelle Gamble on Goodreads

Check out a great contest to win TW $100 gift cards by liking my Facebook page and signing up for my newsletter before December 15, 2013.  https://www.facebook.com/Emelle.Gamble/app_237202476309340

Also, if you’re a book club member, you could WIN 6 Free eCopies of Secret Sister and a RED VELVET CAKE from Oprah’s favorite baker! Just leave you email at Fresh Fiction!

Thank you so very much, Cheryl Yeko, for hosting this blog post and contest giveaway.

October 17, 2013

E-Book Giveaway, by Author Collette Cameron

Enter the Rafflecopter contest below for a chance to win - Good Luck! 

Welcome to Cheryl’s place! I’m thrilled to have you here.

Please tell us a little about yourself.
Cheryl, I’m so thrilled to be here!

I’ve lived my entire life in the Pacific Northwest, so I love the beach. I’m also a part-time teacher, though I’m weaning myself away from teaching to spend more time writing. I adore dachshunds (I have five) and a good cup of coffee or tea.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
I enjoy gardening on my acre plot. I’m also a bit of a bird nut. I get almost eighty species of birds visiting my yard and feeders
Let’s see...what else? Oh, I like hiking, interior decorating, and baking.  

When did you first get the writing bug?
The urge to actually write a novel snagged me in February 2011. I literally sat at my computer one day and started writing Highlander’s Hope.

I’d toyed with the idea of writing a book for years, but the timing was never right before.

Any advice for new writers just starting out?
Critique partners and beta readers are a must, but make sure they’re a good fit.

Attending writing conferences and workshops,  networking with other authors, and continually learning about the craft are equally important.

Stay true to your writing and your voice. You don’t have to look and sound like everyone else in your genre. Find something unique, just a small thing, and integrate it into your work.

Oh, and when the reviews start coming in, remember, not everyone has the same taste. If you choose to read your reviews, take what you can from them that can help you become a better writer and ignore the rest.

What genre or genres do you write?
Right now I write historical suspense romance (Regency) though I have a Highland Saga I’m about to start. I also have ideas for some medievals, a historical paranormal trilogy, and even a contemporary. Historicals remain my favorite genre to write though.  

Tell us about your latest release(s).

Highlander’s Hope: Regency propriety clashes with Scot’s boldness in this historical liberally dosed with humor and suspense.

“This story has wonderful imagery, characters you will enjoy and enough suspense to make for an exciting read.”  ~My Reading Obsession

“There’s a lot to love about this book.” ~The Book Breeze

“I rate it five stars but wish I could make it more. It is a wonderful book.” ~The Romance Reviews 

The Viscount’s Vow: Amidst murder and betrayal, destiny and hearts collide when scandal forces a viscount and a gypsy noblewoman to marry in this Regency romance, sprinkled with suspense and humor.

“With highwaymen, gypsies and an evil-stepmother -- heartache, betrayal and smoldering romance, The Viscount’s Vow is fast paced and action packed all the way to the end!”  ~Candy’s Blog Spot

“This wonderful crafted story has all the good parts; romance, mystery, comedy, kindness and something that I haven’t encountered but really liked, the Roma culture.” ~Romance Reader Girl 

“A very enjoyable and riveting read by Ms. Cameron!  I simply loved both the hero and the heroine in this novel!” ~My Book Addiction Reviews

Please share an excerpt of your book!
Here’s an excerpt from Highlander’s Hope. 

Peeking at the nobleman from beneath her lashes, Yvette reached to straighten her bonnet. It hung askew off the side of her head, like a giant drooping peony. She shoved it back into place but the moment she removed her hand, it flopped over once more.

The stranger's unrestrained laughter filled the carriage.

“Oh, bother it all.” Yvette’s patience with both her rescuer and the silly bonnet were at an end. She had no choice but to remove the dratted thing to reaffix it. Several strands of hair tumbled to her shoulders when she removed the cap from her head. Suppressing a shriek of annoyance, she placed the hat beside her. She then set about securing the wayward curls. Pinning the last strand in place, her eyes met those of her companion.

She stilled, as did the world around her. The air hung suspended in her lungs. Her eyes widened in disbelief, her stunned gaze riveted on his face. “You exist?” Her voice was husky with awe.

Raising an ebony eyebrow, a flicker of humor softened the nobleman’s features. “So it would appear.”

A voice, deep and dark, caressed Yvette’s heightened senses. She stared. Her gaze roved across his handsome features returning, as if compelled by some unseen force, to his eyes.

Those eyes. Fringed by thick lashes, the mesmerizing turquoise pools gazing back at her sent her senses reeling in recognition. Her mouth dropped open. No, it couldn’t be.

“Am I dreaming?” Giving a quick shake of her head, she lowered her eyelids for a moment. Lud, but she was befuddled. "Who are you?

Here’s an excerpt from The Viscount’s Vow.

Noticing the numerous pairs of eyes watching him escort Miss Caruthers onto the polished floor, a wry smile touched Ian’s lips.

“I haven’t danced with any other ladies this evening. No doubt the rumormongers are hissing envious conjectures as to why I’ve asked you.”

She shot him a startled look before glancing around the ballroom.

“Why did you?”

“To see if what I’d heard was true.”

Ian watched for a reaction.

She opened her mouth then closed it. They waltzed around the dance floor for a few moments in silence. The string quartet was quite satisfactory. Ian allowed the lilting strains to soothe his troubled spirit. 

“What did you hear?”

Miss Caruthers’s soft question reminded him of his purpose. 

“That you are an excellent dancer.” 

It was true. She moved with natural grace, following his lead, all the while holding herself in a most proper stance. He had to acknowledge she was a superb actress. Her gaze remained fixated on a spot above his left shoulder, except for one brief instance when she’d flicked her cobalt-blue gaze upward and unintentionally met his eyes.

“Is that all?” she asked softly.

He’d never seen eyes such a dark blue before. “All?”

“You’ve heard nothing else about me?

Her eyes held the perfect combination of trust and innocent curiosity. So convincing was she, that when their gazes fused, a peculiar jolt stabbed the center of his being.

What was it?
What’s your current WIP?
I just finished The Earl’s Enticement. It wraps up the trilogy.

Do you prefer your men in boxers, briefs, or commando?
Hmm, it depends on the man.  Well-built hunks...commando is always nice.

But my neighbor who keeps parading naked in front of his upstairs windows...long underwear please! 

And finally, where can we stalk you? (Include all your social links: blogs, facebook, twitter, goodreads, pinterest, or any other social link you want included.


Highlander’s Hope:  http://amzn.com/B00CW1TTIO/

The Viscount’s Vow: http://amzn.com/B00EZ8RBN2/