Saturday, 29 December 2012

Not much longer now...

I miss you guys, and it's all my own fault.

Life has kept me busy lately, so busy that keeping up my blog took too much energy. It's the middle of the holidays now, almost time to ring in the new year, and I'm just plain tired. There's so much going on right now, so many plans, so many things that need doing, blogging has been far down on my list of priorities.

I hope you forgive me, and I'm not even going to promise to do better next year. That was one of my resolutions last year, and I failed, so maybe if I make no plans it will work out.

See me crossing my fingers? See me? Well I am.

Because I really do miss you guys, miss the feedback, the idle chatter, seeing what others are up to in terms of writing, and I hope to get back into the swing of things in the new year.

So, I hope you celebrate properly and show the new year that it's welcome - I plan on doing just that!

Have fun,


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Insecure Writers Support Group, Nov 2012

Dearest Insecurists,

welcome to my blog! I'm sorry this is going to be a short post, because I'm actually busy taking out my insecurities and flogging them through a 50,000 word power march you may have heard of... you see, I'm NANOING again this year... any of you doing this, too?

If yes, buddy me! (I'm Tessa C over there)

C U next month (if I survive NaNo, that is),


Saturday, 20 October 2012

Happy Sweetest Day!

For those of you who have yet to be informed, let me tell you...


Yes, that's right - today is the Sweetest Day, which means you go and do something nice for a loved one! Go on, make someone happy, share the love. 

Speaking of loved ones... (great lead, I know)... 


You're supportive, you're there, you give me a platform to moan and groan about trying to become a writer. Thank you. 

Have a lovely weekend,


Sunday, 14 October 2012

Welcome, Kerry!

Hello my dearies!

Today, I have a special treat for you... an interview with fellow Book Bunny and published author...(insert drumroll, please)...


Here's what Kerry says about herself... 

The Short Version
Author. Southerner. Geek. Writer of romance, believer in HEA. Positive there's nothing better than shrimp & grits and red velvet cake.
*At this point I absolutely have to add: I love Red Velvet Cake...*
The Longer Version
Kerry was born and raised in Alabama, and she grew up swearing she was going to get the hell out of Dodge the instant she could. Turns out Dodge ain’t so bad, and she never left. Alabama’s version of a city girl, she married a country boy, and the adorkable couple lives in a small town with their two socially awkward dogs.
Kerry loves to write about love, and it turns out most of the voices in her head are men. She also loves to write about the South, so most of her stories end up there, one way or another.
A tomboy and a geek from way back, Kerry has a day job but dreams she will one day write full time. She has a weakness for yaoi, Japanese stationery, YA, and ginger-haired singers from Britain. She owns an impressive t-shirt collection. Nowaki & Hiroki are her homeboys.

In short, Kerry writes romance of the m/m kind, fell-good stories at the rainbow end of the spectrum, and her newest work of genius, 

has just been published by Loose Id. To celebrate, she's off on a blog tour and today I get to welcome her here, on Tessa's Blurb. 

First, let me tell you a little something about her book, and then I'll be asking Kerry five questions for your amusement and enlightenment ; P

So without further ado, here's the Blurb for Pine Tar and Sweet Tea:

After playing eleven years in the Minor Leagues, Coach Matt Hawley has returned to his tiny Alabama hometown to lead his old high school baseball team to their first state championship. At the other end of the state, René Días, who left the Major League after one season, is getting his team ready to defend their state title for the second straight year. One is in the closet. The other is between relationships. Neither has any intention of hooking up at the state tournament. 
Then they see each other. 
Pre-game lust turns into an intense one-night stand neither man can forget, and when their best friends embark on a romance, Matt and René are thrown together again. This time they decide it won't be for just a single night. But the fear of disappointing his minister father and shaming his family forces Matt to keep one foot in the closet, even as he and René find their lust is maybe something more. He's going to have to make a choice between between his family and his freedom.
Sounds good, no? I'm lucky enough to have read it already and I can attest to its awesomeness. Romance comes in all colours and flavours and this story celebrates love. Right in time for Thursday's Coming Out Day, too! Did you celebrate? I hope you did, our world can do with more tolerance. 

Speaking of colourful (and what a great lead is that, huh? Huh?), here comes Kerry! 

Hello Kerry, welcome to my blog. Let me get right in there with my five comes number one....

I love the title of the new book - bur as someone from the other side of the great pond, can you tell me what exactly it means and what kind of picture you want to invoke for your reader? 

Ah, yes, the title. Pine tar is a sticky substance that is used for a number of purposes but most notably by baseball players. They put it on the handle on the bat to help keep the bat in their hands when they swing hard. Pitchers sometimes use it, but if they put it directly on the ball, they get suspended. 
Sweet tea is the quintessential Southern drink. You can order it anywhere. If I go to a restaurant that only has unsweet tea, I know it's run by a yankee ;) 
So basically I'm hoping the title will invoke images of baseball and the South (US).
Are you a baseball fan or did you need to do research? Does your family fall ona particular side of the baseball-football divide or do you like/play both?

I LOVE baseball! I used to watch it all the time until I got married. My husband thinks baseball is boring to watch on TV. He will go to games with me, though, and we have a great time. Our favorite team is the Atlanta Braves... who totally got robbed in the playoffs last week *booooo* *hissssss*

My husband's side of the family are all huge football fans, and they've got me hooked on it too. Especially college football. Our favorite team is the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, which were the national champions last year.

I never played sports. I'm too clumsy :)

*grins* I'm not particularly sporty, either. Unless keyboard surfing counts....

As a writer, I know from experience that stories are born in many, many different ways. Did this one start with an idea or with a character? 

This story was inspired by two friends from high school who both came out in college. One went on to be a teacher. She came home for a visit with a girlfriend, and we all went to the only gay bar in town. She wouldn't go to one where she lived in fear it would get back to her school and she'd lose her job. My other friend went through a religious process to make her "not gay," and we didn't see her again. I often wonder where she is now and how she's lived her life. I only hope she's happy.

It's really sad that people are still so ignorant and intolerant. I sincerely hope we're on our way to a better society than that. I hope your friend is ok, wherever she is. 

Now a really, really important do you take your tea?

Asked like someone who ain't from around here ;) In the South, we drink our tea over ice, and you can only get it one of two ways: sweet (with sugar) or unsweet.

I take my tea straight up unsweet. Some people add artificial sweeteners, but since the tea’s already cold, the sweetener doesn’t dissolve completely. I’d rather drink it plain than have a mouth full of gritty powder.
Heh. As a person who lived in the UK for a long time, I take my tea in a mug, with a spot of milk and a lump or two... not the done thing in the South, I guess! ; ) 

Now, I don't know if you read that post, but I've recently talked about the wonderful(ly difficult) thing that is dialogue... heaven or hell for a writer, and oh so important to get your story across. Do you have a favourite line of dialogue from your new book that you'd like to share? Or maybe there's a particular scene you like best? 

My favorite passage is René talking about what his devout grandmother told him when he came out to her.
“My grandmother was devout. Rosary, hair covering, the whole thing. When I told her I was gay, she sat me down and told me to remember one thing: God is love. He wants me to love and be loved in return. She didn’t believe that he would put me on earth only able to feel true love for a man if he didn’t mean for me to love that way.”
You're right, that's a powerful bit of dialogue you have there, and the sentiment is one I think everyone should take to heart. Thank you for joining me today, and I wish you all the best for your new book!!! 

If you like the sound of Kerry's story, go check it out on Loose Id or on Amazon, and do pop in on her website and say hi! You can also find her here:

Monthly Newsletter:


Friday, 12 October 2012

Friday? That means only two working days left this week....

Ever feel like time speeds up when you're not looking? I'm really busy with work right now, my writing is mostly non-existent, I won't be able to do NaNoWriMo this week and the weather is starting to get grey....

I'd like to read a real cheer-me-up book...anyone have a recommendation for me? Something that's easy going and has a HEA ending.... I need some paper-bound cheer, pretty pretty please...


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Insecure Writers, welcome to my Blurb

Well, it's that time of the month again... you know... the time when we talk about all the things we're


about. So welcome to the Insecure Writers, headed by Ninja Captain Alex, blogger and writer extraordinaire! 

This month, I'm feeling insecure about the fact that my very favourite character has abandoned me. Merle has been with me for many, many years - his is one of the first stories I ever started with the idea of actually finishing it. 

Suffice to say I never did finish it. One of the reasons for this is that Merle, well, he just isn't turning out to be who I thought he'd be. He's grown, become his own person, and now the plot no longer fits. Which means Tessa back to the drawing board, I guess. 

And let me tell you, I suck at plotting. World building, fine. Plotting...not so fine. I'm mostly a pantser at heart, but through trial and error (lots of the latter) I've come to the conclusion that pure pantsing is not the thing for me because if I have no pot, the story gets out of control sooner or later. 

How do you deal with the whole pantsing-plotting issue? What side of the divide do you fall on? 


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

You know what? (concerning Dialogue)

Dialogue is - for me, at least - one of the most fun and yet most difficult things to write. It's very easy to slip into a repetitive, boring, he-said-she-said exchange, and just as easy to sound like you're lecturing your reader on one subject or another. Soap boxes have their place, but that place doesn't tend to be where "it just happens" while I'm writing.

I find my characters have this disturbing tendency to go off on a tangent when I'm desperately trying to push my plot, and developing new plot lines when I'm going for a certain atmosphere or attempting to reveal more about said character. Do your characters do that? Hijack dialogue, I mean?

That said, character interviews are one of my favourite get-to-know-your-MC exercises. So it's not like they don't talk - they just don't say what they're supposed to, and they usually like talking to me better than talking to each other.

Another thing about dialogue - you can't be realistic, can you? What reader wants to slough through page upon page of "uhms" and "ehms" and "really?"s? Real conversations don't usually translate well to paper, they need judicious editing.

How about you? Do you like writing dialogue? Do your characters say what they're supposed to say? Any pet peeves when you read dialogue?


Monday, 24 September 2012

Bared To You by Sylvia Day

Hello my dearies!

I hope the changing season is treating you well and you have as nice a mixture of morning fog and daytime sun as I'm having at the moment. It's kind of inspiring, actually (horror story, anyone?). But that's not what I want to write about today.

Today, I want to share with you my views of a particular, not the one with the grey. This one...

(ps. I'm an Amazon Associate so if you buy this book via this link you may earn me money)

(A Crossfire Novel)
Silvia Day

I picked it up as a travel read, mainly (and yes, I'm one of those gullible consumers) because it basically said on the cover "this is the book Shades of xyz could have been" if it had been well written. Seeing as the quality of writing in the Shades books is up for debate, I was curious. Curious enough to shell out hard-earned money for an erotic romance that might well turn out to be a waste of the paper it was written on. 

Long story short: Not a waste of paper. I was happily surprised, in fact. 

What it's about....

Meet Eva, female MC and the girl who just moved to Manhattan for a new job. She's sharing a flat with her (gay/bisexual) picture-perfect best friend Cary. It's when she first visits the building she'll be working at, that's when she meets Gideon for the first time. It's only later that she finds out he's in fact Gideon Cross, owner of said building (The Crossfire), control freak, male MC and uber-handsome sexy beast. Cue sexual attraction....

What I liked and what not... 

This book is worlds above That Other Trilogy everyone is talking about. The narrative is fluent, Ms Day knows how to write, the characters are convincing (up to a point) and the story is sufficiently coherent. 

Keeping in mind that this is an erotic romance, as opposed to a plain old romance or, say, a romantic comedy, it's not surprising that there's a lot of sex going on. Orgasms and erections abound. I've read some other reviews of the book and heard that this was a surprise and a bother for some people, but let me tell you, I've read a lot of erotic romances and this is par for the course (duh). Sylvia Day pulls it off fairly well, too - there's some repetition, but hey, it's still well written and easy to read. 

Eva and Gideon are both interesting characters, both with surprising depths, even if some creepiness comes into it on occasion (Gideon is a little obsessive and Eva has her own problems). That Gideon is a  bit of a stalker feeds into the whole control-freak thing, which probably has its roots in the alluded-to but not explained trauma he experienced as a child (there's two more books to come, after all, so no wonder not everything is resolved in the first one). Eva herself has issues with control, though it's unclear which side of the question she falls on - does she want to have control, or give it up? In this book, at least, I don't think she knows herself, even if she insists on needing control over her own life. Eva's lack of extreme reaction to Gideon's more - radical - stalkery actions is easy enough to understand given that her own mother tracks her every move. 

At least they take the (in my eyes) very american way of going to therapy to resolve their issues, so there's some hope that by the end of the series, they'll be slightly less...damaged? Neurotic? Creepy? 

I like them anyway, and I've already pre-ordered the second Crossfire book. 

You should consider this book if...

I'm not going to say "consider it if you liked Shades", because really, did you like Shades? Really? Other than congratulating Ms James on her lottery win of a publishing feat? You should, however, consider this book if you like tormented and conflicted characters with serious and somewhat worrying issues, high heat levels and lots of sex scenes, date-the-millionaire stories and tendencies towards BDSM. 


Friday, 7 September 2012

Insecure to the max...sorry I'm late!!!

My dear insecure writerly friends!

I missed the first Wednesday of the month.... I'm so sorry! There's no excuse, really. Well, there's a couple, including a jogging injury, hospital, ultrasound, blood tests and several work emergencies. Let's just say it's been one of those weeks.

Anyhow, as for my writing, there hasn't been much of it going on at all. And when I say not much, I mean basically nothing.

I really really really need to find my groove again. Anyone have some tips for me?


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Thrilling Thursday of Talking to Tessa's Characters - Taren

(ok so I meant to schedule this for THURSDAY but that didn't work out, now, did it?)

Tessa Conte (sits down on her comfy interview chair, notepad at the ready, pen poised)

Enter stage left an impressive-looking figure, a young man, head covered in unruly black hair, eyes a light brown closer to gold than anything else. He's dressed in chainmail covered in a blue-and-yellow checked tunic, somewhat faded in colour and a bit dirty at the edges. He bows to Tessa, then puts a hand on the hilt of his sword to push it aside so he can sit. His armour creeks a bit, and the sharp scent of metal and oil and man tickle Tessa's nose. 

TC: Good morning. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Taren: My pleasure, my lady. What better way to spend a day than in your company?

TC (smiling): Why don't we start with you telling me your full name?

Taren: I am Taren Amberdux Serenson, Heir to the Kingdom of the Crescent Moon.

TC: Amberdux? That is a title, also, is it not?

Taren (nods curtly): It is. Some say Duke of Amber, instead.

TC: Does it mean anything? Is Amber your home, your castle or something?

Taren (shifts on his chair, rattling his chainmail): It is a courtesy title. (pauses, rubs his hands together and stares at the floor) It appears to have something to do with my Quest, though neither Luce nor I have found out what exactly it means. The Purge was thorough in such matters.

TC(pen paused above the paper): Luce? The Purge?


; )

Magic and miracles

A little conversation with my muse about just how things work in Merle's world...

Tessa: What is magic?

Muse: Magic is everything and nothing.

T: Great. That helps.

M: (mysterious smile) 

T: I always thought that magic is somethings that stops the normal rules of the world from working. Something along the lines of chaos.

M: (shakes his head, still with that mysterious and admittedly somewhat sexy smile of his) Magic is an absence of chaos.

T: But...then how does it work?

M: Magic has its own rules, honey.

T: (smiles; her muse just called her honey, that can only be a good thing) It does? What are they?

M: (grins) Wouldn't make much sense to you right now. You'll figure it out.

T: (rolls her eyes at him) So what do you call something that doesn't follow the rules?

M: That would be a miracle.

I've been remiss...

It occured to me today that it's been ABSOLUTELY AGES since I said THANK YOU to YOU!


A big, huge, humongous hug to all my followers, old and new! Blogging, for me, is all about the sense of community, the affirmation of not being alone out here with my problems and joys (writerly or otherwise).

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Dear Fellow Insecure Writers

Dear Fellow Insecure-ists,

Sorry I missed yesterday - I was actually about to post when.... ba-da-bum... a power-cut. Which meant that yes, my laptop was working, but no internet...

Isn't it just slightly worrying how dependent we are on such things as electricity? I mean, I was just suddenly cut off from the world! No phone, no internet, no television, no radio...nada. Now, I do enjoy the odd bit of self-imposed isolation, but...well...yesterday was really annoying.

So I just wanted to say sorry for the no-post yesterday and I'll soon be done with the whole refurbishment thing.

Bye for now,


Wednesday, 25 July 2012


I'll be back soon, as will my posts, but for now I'm refurbishing....


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

And there she goes again...

Hello my dearies!

Welcome (back) to my Blurb. I hope you've all been well in the past few months of my sporadic blogging. I'm sorry I haven't been around much! I was busy, but that's not really an excuse.

But I'm SO GOOD with excuses! To myself, mostly. That's also known as


as a writer, you may have come across that word before. Maybe you've experienced it personally, physically, made its acquaintance, argued about which side of the bed you want it to sleep on. 

On that note, I tidied my desk today - dusted everything, even the pens (...I know...), then I sorted through the stacks of paper holding up the air above the desk, put them into boxes or the bin, depending, and then...then I went for a run...then I tried to decide what I'm going to wear to this wedding I'm going to this weekend...oh, and I had to do some work, too. 

Yep, Procrastination, thy name is Tessa. Or the other way round, as the case may be. 



I've already told you about the Writing Diary thingy I started. I'm determined to make good use of it!!! My goal for tomorrow: make an actual schedule for writing that involves some measure of written word per day. What I really need to do, you see, is get into the habit...because I'm scarily far away from that right now. 

I promise I'll let you know tomorrow how I'm doing with the goal-setting.....


Sunday, 8 July 2012

Sunday Update - Organisation Station

Good morning everyone!

I hope you're having a good weekend so far. Mine's been rather....sluggish...due to the heat wave we have going on over here at the moment. It's so hot my brain has melted (either that or it's on holiday along with Mr Muse). The minute thunderstorms that crop up now and then make it even more sauna-like rather than cooling things off a bit, and it's starting to get to the plants all around, too, so they're more brown than green at the moment.

On the plus side, I've used this I-can't-think-properly time to get myself a writing diary.

Yes, a writing diary.

I went out and bought an academic diary (one of those colourful ones they make for school kids, with sections for marks and for courses you're taking and so on - SEE HERE) and it is now officially my writing diary!

So far, I've managed to add all relevant birthdays and those submission deadlines I'm interested in. I intend to add my writing accomplishments, too - and my blog posts! I did consider adding all that to my normal calender, but that one's already overflowing with stuff for work.

For those of you who read my post for the Insecure Writers' Support Group - I also plan to keep track of my Shiny New Ideas in that writing journal, and the progress I'm making on my current WIP.

What do you think of this new idea or mine? Do you have a "writing diary"? Or some other way you organize your writing life and keep track of things? A pinboard, maybe? (I have one of those, too, but it doesn't fit my handbag...) Post-its? (whoever invented those deserves a Nobel Prize)

What works for you and what totally doesn't?


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Insecure Writers, let's get going!

Hello my dearies and welcome to Tessa's Blurb!

Today's the day for July's Insecure Writers' Support Group post, and I'm writing it with a biiiiiig smile on my face, because I've finally finished (nope not my book) my university studies!!! In spite of my job conspiring against me, I've sat the last exam, passed and am now officially done with that stage of my life.

Which means...guess what...



Now all I need to do is decide on which of my numerous WIPs I'll be focusing on...uhm...yea...that's been an ongoing problem for years now. I have so many ideas, so little time, and even less of an attention span. 

Does that happen to you guys? Do you have characters clamouring for attention in your head, desperate to have THEIR story told, and noone elses? Do they interrupt each other and stop you from finishing anything? Well, that's what happens to me. I'll be in the middle of one story, and then, BHAM!!, there's that Shiny New Idea that wants to come out and play. 

Right now. 

Let's just say my Muse and I don't always see eye to eye on these things, and he delights in distracting me when the going is good and abandoning me when I could do with an idea or two. 

I'm thinking I'm not the only one with this sort of problem - does it ring a bell with anyone else out there? Any suggestions as to how you decide on what story to follow? Or what story NOT to follow? 

I could really do with some advice! Or maybe a multi-sided dice or a deck of tarot cards. You never know......


INFO ON THE INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP or the tab up in the menu bar right on this blog....

Here's the rest of the hop, do go visit some of the other insecure writers out there!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Insecure Writers, Welcome...

Welcome to May's Insecure Writers' Support Group post!

It'll be a short one, I'm afraid. I'm really, really, really busy with work right now, I have a presentation to do next Friday, AND a HUGE exam end of June.

THEN I'll have time to write. *sigh*


ps. I did post a drabble over at The Book Bunnies the other day ; )

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Accidentally Married to... a CBLS special promo

This is a special post to celebrate Ms Pamfiloff's book reaching 34th place on no less than the NYTimes Best Seller List for Fiction eBooks, as well as RAISE BREAST-CANCER AWARENESS (see below for how she's doing that...)...brought to you via CBLS...

Mimi Jean Pamfiloff's Accidentally Married to... a Vampire, Book 2 in her popular "Accidentally Yours Series", recently hit #34 on the NYTimes Best Seller List (Fiction eBooks)!! "Vampire" has also earned a well-deserved spot on both the Amazon and USA Today Top/Best Seller lists! To celebrate, Mimi Jean is giving away an eBook copy of not only Accidenatlly Married to...a Vampire?, but Accidentally Married to...a God?, Book 1 in the "Accidentally Yours Series", as well, to 20 - yes, you read that right, 20 - lucky winners! Accidentally in Love With...a God? (Book 1, Accidentally Yours) is a Contemporary Paranormal Romance by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff  and reached 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. 


Twenty-two-year-old Emma Keane has a secret friend. He’s powerful, mysterious, and devastatingly handsome. In her dreams, anyway. In real life, he’s an enigma. Maybe just a teensie jealous. Definitely overbearing. He’s also a voice only she can hear. So who or what is he? He won’t say. But if she wants to be free, to be normal, Emma will have to trek to the jungles once ruled by the Mayans and find the forgotten ruin holding the answers. However, the ruthless deity she’s about to unknowingly unleash on the modern world might not be so easily extracted from her life. Bottom line, he’s got enemies, and now, so does she. 

And if that caught your fancy, here's an 


With his golden face beaming, the man smiled as he stroked my sopping wet hair and cradled me against his warm, smooth chest. “I love this dream,” I said with a breathy voice, then stretched my arms above my head, gazing happily into the most striking set of luminescent, turquoise green eyes I’d ever seen. To boot, they belonged to a breathtaking, masculine face, a face one would expect to see on the cover of a magazine named something like, I’m Way Too Hot to Be Your Man, or In Your Dreams, Honey. Oh, yeah. Without a doubt, I’d topped myself this time. Sculpted cheekbones, thick dark lashes, chiseled jaw, and lips so full they simply had to be meant for kissing or eating something really juicy. He was way hotter than the specimen of perfection from my last dream, and bonus, he didn’t have that scary vibe. I reached up and ran my fingertip along the ridge of his hard-lined warrior nose. “Emma, what in the name of the gods’ creation are you doing?” he scorned. “We really don’t have time for your immature little fantasies. We’re in the middle of a crisis. Do you not remember?” I blinked and slowly moved my eyes from side to side. Jungle? I was in the jungle. And my clothes were wet. Come to think of it, for a dream, I didn’t feel so hot. My lungs burned, my body felt like it’d been chewed up, and my head was throbbing. So, aside from the perfect man with long, damp, wavy black hair holding me in his arms, none of this felt like a dream. It felt… “Holy Mother!” I pushed myself away and rolled into the dirt, pointing in disbelief. “Wha—you—you—?” “Aaah. So eloquent as always, my sweet. It is astounding; you actually have a college degree, yet cannot find better words.” He pushed himself up off the ground. As he rose, my heart stopped, started, then went into overdrive. His legs and spine straightened into a towering mass of unforgiving muscles. With shoulders like a lumberjack and thick, powerful thighs, I didn’t know if I wanted to run away or climb him like a tree. He was utterly enormous. Jolly Green Giant enormous. Except, obviously, not green. More golden brown. He was a gorgeous, towering mass of golden brown perfection. No. Definitely not a cave-dwelling, wart-infested troll. Great. Just great. Now I knew I wasn’t crazy—Guy was definitely real—but now I also knew I was way over my head. He was gorgeous. I stood in awe, my mouth gaping as my eyes attempted to register every rope of muscle, every capacious curve packed with power. Christ, he had to be at least seven feet tall. “Six nine, actually,” he said, guessing my thoughts. “This can’t be possible,” I whispered, my eyes continuing to dart up and down the length of his body, stopping right on dark trail of hair that started just below his navel and continued down, down, down to his enormous beast of a—“Oh! You’re naked.” I turned sharply, but only to stop myself from reaching out to touch it; no man could be that…that…endowed. Wow. “This can’t be happening.” I covered my face. “Emma,” he moved behind me, placing his powerful hands on my shoulders. A jolt shivered its way through my body. I was wrong about the vibe. Way wrong. This man, or whatever he was, radiated hazard. He should come equipped with a set of blinking lights or flares. He was…“Bad. Very, very, bad,” I mumbled, pinching the bridge of my nose. And pathetically, after everything that had happened, all I could think about was this naked, hard-bodied, glorious “man” who’d just permanently seared his image inside the storage compartments of my female DNA. All men from this day forward would have to survive a mental side-by-side comparison against him. They’d all lose.

Available for ONLY $0.99 at: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

And here's her second book....

Accidentally Married to...a Vampire? 
(Book 2, Accidentally Yours) 

(which also received 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon)


“If you love her, set her free. If she comes back, she’s yours. If she doesn’t...Christ! Stubborn woman! Hunt her down, and bring her the hell back; she’s still yours according to vampire law.”--Niccolo DiConti, General of the Vampire Queen’s Army. 
The Determined Vampire: Niccolo DiConti has faithfully served as leader of Her Majesty’s army for over a millennium, but he’d rather sunbathe in the Sahara than spend another grueling day under his demented queen’s command. However, no one has ever left her side and lived to tell. So when a powerful goddess prophesizes he will meet his salvation—a human woman he must turn into a vampire with her consent—he eagerly rises to the challenge. After all, how hard could it be to seduce a human female into taking the immortal plunge? Harder than he thinks. Because his mate won’t be born for another three centuries, and when he wakes up in the goddess’ tomb, not only is his life a mess, but his destined female isn’t about to settle for a coldhearted vampire. Can he win her over before it’s too late? Not if his enemies have anything to do with it. 
An Unwilling Bride: On the night Helena Strauss meets the fierce, devastatingly handsome vampire who saves her life in the jungles of Mexico, she knows her world will be forever changed. Because an attraction this mind blowing only comes along once in a lifetime—or existence. And when he claims she is his one true mate, destined to be his for all eternity, it’s a fairytale come true. So what if her knight in shining armor is a vampire? Nobody’s perfect. But discovering the powerful, overbearing immortal doesn’t “do love”? Deal breaker. Helena will flee and set out to accomplish the impossible…sever the otherworldly bond between them. And it turns out, Helena is just the leverage Niccolo’s enemies need to break the mighty warrior and wipe out his people. 

 Interested? Here's a taste:


What the hell is this place? Then Helena’s eyes focused on something else she couldn’t quite grasp. In the middle of the room, lying across a stone altar, was a naked man with dark symbols tattooed down the length of one arm. But he was not just any man. He was a male so perfect that words would catfight each other just for the honor of describing him. He was a god. A bona fide deity. He had to be. Because a normal man wouldn’t give her the urge to fall to her knees and worship at his feet. Or drool. The torchlight licked his sculpted cheekbones, angular jaw, and full, sensual lips. Every capacious curve and ripple of hard muscle looked to be packed with raw power, and his size left no doubt that he’d been built in another time. A time when giant warriors roamed the earth, looking to rescue lame tourists wandering the Mexican jungle at night. In my dreams. Wait...this is a dream! It has to be. “Move closer my sweet, delicious woman.” The deep voice radiated from every direction, filling the room. Helena’s blood pressure crashed to the floor. She gasped as the weight of her body slammed back against the cold chamber wall to keep from falling. “Hel-hello? Can you hear me?” Fists clenched, Helena waited for a response, her eyes continuing to soak him in. Every inch of him. Was he real? No, he must be a statue. Too perfect. His full lips were built to nuzzle a woman’s neck. Specifically, her neck. And that hair—thick, long waves of black satin—was the kind a woman could grab fistfuls of while being driven insane by those lips. Then there were the diamond-cut grooves of his abs, his perfectly shaped navel, the fine dark hair adorning his lower belly that trailed down to his awe-inspiring man-gear. The size and thickness, even in its slumbering state, was something women dreamed of and scores of artists throughout history attempted to immortalize in marble. He was every woman’s fantasy, she thought. And by every woman, she meant hers…’Cause I’m not gonna share. “Kiss me, Helena,” the seductive voice rumbled. Had the man said her name? No. Clearly, his lips hadn’t moved. The margarita amoebas were attacking her brain and she was losing her mind. “Kiss me, woman. I command you,” the voice echoed, this time compelling her to obey. Helena’s survival instincts gave her a hard kick, jarring her back into the horrific reality of the situation. But as she tried to regain control of her body, her tongue slipped from her mouth and wet her lips. Traitorous tongue. Backstabbing lips. What the hell are you doing? Her body inched closer. “Sì, that is it, my love. I can smell your blood.” Blood? What the...? Every nerve in her body fired on all cylinders, but she couldn’t run even if her hair had been on fire. It seemed the harder she fought, the stronger the force controlling her became. “Brush it against my lips, my love. I want to taste you when you kiss me.” Without realizing it, her hand stretched down to coat her fingertips with the thick, nearly dried blood from her knee. Trembling, she smeared it over his lips. “Now, kiss me, my love. Awaken me, my bride.” “No! No! Let me go!” Helena struggled, but her body’s betrayal persisted. Her head dipped, and her lips rested on his sensuous mouth. In that instant, the compelling force dissipated and her entire body lit up into one glorious pyre of life. Had she been asleep the last twenty-four years? Because she could swear she’d just taken her first breath. Ever. Holy hell, what was that? The torches flickered, and the wind kicked up around her. The altar was empty. She crumbled to the cold, dusty floor. A pair of strong hands gripped her shoulders from behind. “Oh, Christ.’re behind me, aren’t you?” she whispered. The deep dark voice replied, “, my love. Stand, and let me see my mate.” Helena slowly rose to face the naked god behind her. 

Available for ONLY $0.99 at: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

And here's the clue....

One hundred percent (100%) of all royalties received from the sale of Accidentally Married to a...Vampire from both B&N and Amazon THIS SUNDAY will be donated to The Breast Cancer Foundation. 


Sun God Seeks... Surrogate? 
(Book 3, Accidentally Yours) 


Twenty-four-year-old Penelope finds herself in all sorts of hot water, vaporous and otherwise, after agreeing to become a surrogate mother for an eccentric, wealthy, and devastatingly handsome man who isn’t exactly a man. 

About the Author: 

Before taking up a permanent residence in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mimi spent time living near NYC (became a shopaholic), in Mexico City (developed a taste for very spicy food), and Arizona (now hates jumping chollas, but pines for sherbet sunsets). Her love of pre-Hispanic culture, big cities, and romance inspires her to write when she’s not busy with kids, work, and life…or getting sucked into a juicy novel. She hopes that someday, leather pants for men will make a big comeback and that her writing might make you laugh when you need it most.


Thursday, 12 April 2012

K is for Knowledgeable


That's what I'd like to be - knowledgeable. About a whole range of topics, but, speaking of writing, these here in particular: 
  • Grammar - I constantly get bogged down trying to figure out if I'm using correct grammar or not.
  • Synonyms - I wish I were a walking Thesaurus (I love that word)
  • Psychology - because sometimes it's hard to figure out what's going on in my characters' heads
  • Latin - yes, I'd like to speak latin. Just because. 
  • History - (warfare and strategy in particular) because I'd like to be more realistic in my writing and some topics are rather heavy-going in terms of research
  • Astrophysics - so I can write a proper sci-fi novel without feeling like an idiot 
How about you? Any topic you'd like to be more knowledgeable about? 


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Illusions by Kacey Hammell - A CBLS Review

This post is part of the Coffee Beans & Love Scenes Virtual E-Book Tour Mar 5-24th 2012

(In the Arms of the Law) 
Kacey Hammell

Genre: Contemporary Urban Fantasy/Suspense/Erotica

Published by:   Decadent Publishing

Source:  VBT eBook Review Copy

Blurb (as per VBT Media Pack):

Protection. Adventure. Love.

It's all found within The Arms of the Law...

Detective Isabella Knowles, a tough-as-nails cop, lives by the law, and knows what she wants out of life. And it doesn't include marriage or all that comes with it. Everything Isabella has ever known seems like an illusion when a new relationship makes her feel more alive than ever before.  She isn’t happy about it and fights it every step of the way.
Burned by his fiancé years ago, seer and P.I., Brady Jacobs never wants another commitment in his life.  But his bachelorhood and heart are threatened when he has one of his visions and see a killer striking too close to the woman he has recently come to love.
Danger lurks close to home and neither Brady nor Isabella like that they can’t control every situation…especially matters of the heart.

Favourite Quote: 

“You taste like M&Ms, babe.”    

What I thought (no spoilers, promise): 

As if it isn't hard enough to be a woman in what is still a man's world - Detective Isabella has to struggle with a precinct full of relatives/friends/acquaintances who involve themselves in her private affairs. Everybody and their cousin wants her to settle down (ok it's her father, mostly), but Isabella likes her job, likes being a detective, and has no intention on giving it up for a white picket fence and anklebiters (her words)

She isn't exactly making things easy on herself, though. Her cousin's partner, Ethan, has a major crush on her - but she only has eyes for Brady. To put it in Isabella's words, he looked good enough to eat. Top that off with being Trenton's favourite psychic P.I. and daddy-approved, and what more could you want? Even the press thinks they're in love. But they're just friends, right? Friends with benefits, maybe...but more? Isabella isn't ready for more. Is she?

Brady, meanwhile, has his own problems. His visions are helpful and thankfully accepted by his immediate surroundings, but you can't save everyone and one case in particular haunts his thoughts. His affair with Isabella - or Bella, as he calls her - is steaming hot and a much-needed release, but it isn't at all like him to be so focused on just one babe...

I think we all know where that's going....and it would, too, but things aren't that easy if you're a seer PI and a detective. Work interferes, and then Brady has that vision that strikes all to close to home... I'm going to refrain from going into more details - don't want to spoil it for you! 

What You Should Consider: 

It took me a little longer to get into this story than it usually does - the rythm of the storytelling took some getting used to, but I do believe that's just me. I've included an excerpt at the end of this post - have a read and see what you think! 

If you don't like characters who dance around each other in an effort to hide their true feelings (mostly from themselves), this isn't the book for you. Both Brady and Isabella know there's more to their relationship than just sex, but it takes time before they admit it to themselves or each other. 

The sex scenes are steamy - so remember that this is erotica, not 'plain' romance. Sex is a major theme (and an enjoyable one, too... ; P ). 

I should probably mention that the epilogue sets up the next novel, so we have a series to look forward to! 


About the Author: 

Canadian-born author, Kacey Hammell is a self-proclaimed book-a-holic, who began reading romances at a young age and became easily addicted.  As a Mom of three, Kacey has made certain that each of her children know the value of the written word and the adventures they could escape on by becoming book-a-holics in their own right.

A decade ago, while working for multiple review sites, Kacey quickly discovered that she was developing the writing bug. Thanks to the encouragement of her own beloved hero husband, she decided to try her hand at writing. 
With a love of contemporary settings, modern day romances and the happily ever after, as well as the excitement of suspense, Kacey creates stories in genres she’s familiar with and that she loves most. She also loves vampires who nibble the necks of the heroines, ghosts who can't leave a loved one, shape-shifters who are sexier than hell and the thought of her very own werewolf or were-cat to tame makes her tremble!

You can find her on her Blog, on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and at

Where You Can Get It: 

Amazon (Kindle Edition)
Decadent Publishing


Knowing she would soon run out of time before his arrival, and getting more aroused by the second, Isabella hurriedly reached for her bath sponge. Soaping it up, she cleansed her body with an eagerness she was growing accustomed to feeling whenever she had plans to see him.
Sponging all suds from her clean body, Isabella pulled the plug in the drain, and stood in the tub, reaching for a thick, blue towel from the shelf. 
She rubbed vigorously at her body, drying it, and reached for the strawberry body lotion that went with her bubble bath. She poured a generous amount into her palm, rubbing her hands together to coat them in the sweet smell. Then she smoothed it over her arms, her breasts, stomach, and legs. The scent of strawberries made her smile.
Humming Destiny’s Child’s ancient hit Soldier to herself, Isabella wondered how many more minutes she’d have to wait before her soldier made an appearance.
She recapped the body lotion and tucked the towel loosely around her once again. Her heart skipped a beat when she heard the sound of the front door closing. 
She hazarded a glance in the mirror. With the mussed, damp tendrils of hair around her shoulders, the towel haphazardly wrapped around her, she looked like a woman eager for a man’s—her man’s—touch.
The sound of a boot hitting the floor with a thud caused her to smile, and she moved to the doorway of the bathroom.
Hearing another boot drop and the sound of heavy breathing, Isabella peered into the hallway. When he finally came into view, she was already breathless, even though she had been expecting him.
Dressed in his usual black denim, form-fitting jeans, and dark hair damp as if he too had taken a few moments to clean up, he was a sight to behold.
Isabella’s heart thudded rapidly and her legs threatened to give out. She noticed his leather jacket, undone, over a naked torso. Obviously his zealousness to be with her had him forgetting a few things.
There they were. The abs, the washboard stomach had her literally teetering on the edge of orgasm already—and he hadn’t even touched her.
Finally lifting her gaze to his face, his smoldering silver-gray eyes captured hers. She had to lean against the doorjamb for support.
He always made her speechless. His beauty, his charm oozed from him with no effort at all. How she had gone so long, so many years as friends with him and never really noticed him in such a way before? Some detective she was, not seeing what was directly in front of her.
As he moved toward her, his pace slowed, as if he knew the effect he was having on her and wanted her to crave him more desperately than ever. His face broke into a sinful grin, telling her he knew exactly what he was playing at.
Never one to let anyone, least of all this man, have the upper hand, Isabella let go of the towel she was still holding around her. It slithered downed her body, pooling at her feet. Noting his small stumble mid-stride, she relished the power she had over him.
Naked and confident, she smiled at the man she needed to feel against her. Desperate to have his hands on her, she called to him.


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Insecure Writers' Support Group, Post #2

(a bit late in the day, sorry, I forgot to schedule the post in advance)

Hello and welcome to my second post for Alex J Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. Before I tell you about my writerly (non)progress,

Congratulations, Alex! 


 his second novel!!!

I haven't read it yet, but I do have it on my Kindle and it will be read as soon as I have a free minute. 

Which brings me to my writerly post...time is a strange animal, always there when you don't need it, never sufficiently present when you do. I'm currently in a definite time warp - there doesn't seem to be enough time for ANYTHING, never mind anything actually FUN. 

Like writing. 

And I'm missing it like crazy. My fingers itch to start a story, I twiddle with every pen I come across, and plot bunnies are breeding like crazy in the dusty recesses of my mind. 

So why don't I write, you ask? 

I will as soon as I get my act together. Things have been a bit chaotic with my (paying) job, and I need to sort that out before I lose myself in a story or two. And I will lose myself, I can feel it. 

So for now, I jot down notes and bits of dialogue on every scrap of paper I find, and tell my muse to come back next week, please. Well, I would if my muse were around but he's on holiday again. 

How are you guys doing in your writerly endeavours? I hope better than me....


Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Insecure Writers' Support Group, #1

Hello everybody!

Welcome to my Blurb. This is my first post for the wonderful Alex J Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group....

This is a blog hop where we (insecure writers everywhere - or at least those that were lucky enough to come across Alex' Blog) share our thoughts, problems, hopes, dreams, and whatever else occurs to us in our writerly endeavours. It's about having a peer group, getting support, and maybe that all-important little "Go on, you can do it" that we all need at some point or another. 

For me, my writerly life has been put on hold at the moment. This is a recurring theme for me - so much so that I never seem to finish anything - but right now, I have a huge project in the works in my money-paying job (I won't say real life job, because writing is real life, too, isn't it?). I also have a humongous exam I need to pass beginning of March, so I'll probably be offline for most of February. I hate studying, my concentration is rubbish, and I have no time to go to the lectures that may help me along (the day job again). 

So. I have several (countless) WIPs at various stages of (un)development. My "pet", Merle's story (you can read bits about him in my past posts), is about this far *holding up thumb and forefinger* from being done, but...but....there's something wrong with it and I've read and re-read, written and re-written bits and pieces of it so often I've decided to put it aside for a while. It's stewing in my desk drawer right now. 

I also have a cast of favourite characters that always seem to try to pop up in each others' (totally unrelated) stories. They hang around at the back of my mind and try to shout me down on occasion, preferably when I'm in the middle of studying. 


Do you have a couple of favourite characters that don't leave you alone, even if you've put aside the story? Or am I just weird? Or maybe it's my subconscious trying to mess with my studying... 



Here's the rest of the Support Group - this is a blog hop, remember? Go on, say a word to some of the others! 


Friday, 27 January 2012

With This Kiss eBook Tour - a Fiction Friday Review

by Victoria Lynne

Published: Amazon, July 2010 (eBook) and Dell, July 1999 (Paperback)

Source:  ebook review copy from CBLS Promotions

The Blurb (as per tour info): 

Beauty and the beast: they were the scandal of the ton.  All eyes feasted on the beautiful flame-haired gambler in London’s most infamous club.  But Julia Prentisse was interested only in the rake-turned-recluse whom they now called “The Beast.”  She lured him out of the crowded club to a deserted warehouse, where she made her scandalous offer: If he married her and protected her from her uncle, she would help him capture the arsonist who had ruined his life.

An act of heroism had left Morgan St. James burned, scarred for life, but Julia’s bold gaze lit other fires he had long suppressed.  And now this glorious stranger was his bride.  But when he tried to claim his husbandly rights, she demanded three months grace—three months to know a stranger’s mind, to touch a stranger’s soul, to go where no woman had ever gone before.  Into his heart…

Favourite quote: 
"And as your wife, it is my duty to accommodate your wishes. I will attempt to do so—within reason."
"Whose determination is it if my requests are reasonable?"
"Mine, of course."
What I thought: 

I spent most of my early twenties devouring Regency romance novels right alongside my perpetual favourite fantasy novels, so believe me when I say I've read a lot of them. 

Ms Lynn's With this Kiss covers much of the traditional regency romance ground - handsome, rich has-it-all aristocrat and beautiful, not quite so fortunate heroine, love at once reluctant and sizzling. It's also the beauty-and-the-beast story the blurb refers to. Morgan St James is injured, scarred, made ugly in his own eyes and in the ton's, in a fire set by the ominously named Lazarus. Julia Prentiss, the beauty, has suffered at Lazarus' hands, too - and suffers still, for he will not leave her alone. 

Let me start by saying that I love the names Ms Lynn gave her characters - nomen est omen, after all. "Morgan St James" - classic regency name, that. Morgan made me think of pirates, a bad boy, ruthless and successful. St James lends it respectability. Julia is a sensual name, smooth and almost lyrical. Prentiss brings her back down to earth. She's not sensual on the outside, she wants to be thoroughly governed by reason, be independent and proper all at once. She goes her own way as much as is possible in those times. 

Ahem. Sorry, that's my inner writer. 

So, as you can see, I started out reading the story with my writerly parts all expectant and happy. Well, they weren't dissappointed... while this is a regency story that does, as I said, cover much of the traditional ground, that's not all it is. The tragedy that cost Morgan so much comes back to haunt them both as Lazarus reemerges from the shadows, but the danger also pushes the two of them together...and the hunt is on. Out comes Morgan's inner pirate while Julia discoveres her sensual side! Nothing too surprising in that respect, but thoroughly satisfying. The ending is, too, but I'm not going to go into that because I don't want to spoil it for you. 

Suffice to say that this is a smoothly written, easily read regency romance with strong murder mystery elements to heat up the action. The main characters - our beauty and beast - are likeable, loveable and easy to let yourself fall into. And isn't that what we're looking for, when we pick up a romance of any sort?

What you should consider: 

If you've never read a regency romance, do give them a try. This book is certainly a good place to start - it has many modern-life elements (starting with a rather very socially minded and independent heroine) that appealed to me as a modern reader, but Ms Lynne still kept the style of storytelling (especially language-wise) well within the regency frame of things. If you're an old hand at regency romance and like mysteries too, give this a try!

My Rating: 

(8 out of 10 cupcakes)

Where you can get this book: 

Amazon Kindle Edition
Amazon Paperback Edition

Barnes & Noble Paperback

About the Author: 

Victoria Lynne is the author of five historical romance novels.  She’s received two RITA Award nominations, and has consistently earned Romantic Times’ “Top Pick” award.  Called “A Fabulous Storyteller!” by Rendezvous Magazine, her work consistently draws rave reviews and continues to attract new readers.  Her books have been translated into German, Italian, and Spanish, and are currently available online through Kindle and Nook.   

Ms. Lynne lives in Vermont with her husband and two children.  When she’s not plotting her next novel, she loves to get away from her keyboard to ski and hike.

Find her on Facebook, too!


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