I wanted to show off the cover for Counterpoint, to be released on July 29th from Crimson Romance:
Blog ScheduleShay Lacy blogs every Tuesday and Thursday.
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Sacrificed to Ecstasy is officially released from Ellora’s Cave! I’m sharing my drool-worthy cover here, on Rue Allyn’s blog and over at Susana Ellis’s Susana’s Morning Room. Take a moment to savor, and then read tidbits about the story on other blogs.
I’m over at Jillian Chantal’s blog talking about the stories that stalk you (in a good way). CLICK HERE.
I’m so happy to host the awesome Jillian Chantal on her release day. Jillian befriended me on the airport shuttle and it was one of the luckiest rides of my life.
Thanks to Shay, my dear friend, who makes me laugh always, for inviting me over to visit. I love, love this lady and am thrilled she asked me to pop in. I have a new book out today called Venetian Masks.
It’s a romantic adventure that takes place in Venice, Italy and Bangkok, Thailand. The heroine is an American oil painter who visits the city of Venice in order to take advantage of all the wonderful architecture of the city as well as the canals. She’s dying to paint the scenery there. She meets an Italian man almost the first minute after she arrives. He’s the driver of the water taxi she takes to her hotel, but he’s so much more than that. He has secrets and so does she.
This story was inspired by my own most recent visit to Italy in the summer of 2011. I adore Europe and Venice is a particular favorite for me. There’s nothing there that doesn’t capture the imagination. The buildings are wonderful and have so much character. Bridges are everywhere since the water is all around. This is definitely a city to get lost in. The alleys and plazas are fun to explore and if you get tired, chances are, there’s a gelato place around the corner.
Now, how about an excerpt?
She turned her head to see if she could find where the line was for the vaporetto, the waterbus service she’d read about on-line before she left home. When she saw a mass of people standing in one spot, she headed that way. The vessel pulling up to the pier seemed to be pretty large but with the number of riders waiting, she knew she’d never get on the thing with her bags. She sighed and moved toward the line. Nothing to do but wait for the next one unless she wanted to hoof it the long way around that she’d also heard about.
Before she could get far, a man in a navy-blue windbreaker approached her. He held his hand out for her suitcase. The jacket had a patch on it with gold lettering that said Canal Taxi. “Signorina, I work for a private water taxi company. Perhaps you’d prefer to travel in comfort instead of on the vaporetto?”
“Is the price the same?”
“Only a little more. A little.” He held his thumb and index finger close together to indicate how small the difference was and reached for her bags again.
Exhausted, she let him take them and followed him as he led the way to a different dock. She smiled when she saw that there were only two others waiting for the next taxi. She liked that there would be more people than her on the vessel but she also was glad that it wouldn’t be massively crowded.
The vessel itself was gorgeous, made of what she thought was teak wood in a beautiful light brown color. Charlotte could see down inside the cabin. There was a deep-brown leather banquette for the passengers to sit on. There were also a lot of half-open windows spattered with water drops. They should let in a nice sea breeze once they got underway. She relaxed the tension in her shoulders and took a deep breath.
The man with her bags handed them over to another man in an identical windbreaker. When all the bags were loaded, the man turned his attention to the passengers. He assisted each one onto the boat and then leapt off. Charlotte was amazed that he didn’t fall on his ass. She knew she would have if she tried that trick. Hell, she still might when she had to get off the thing.
The other two people on the boat were together and chatted to each other all the way across the basin. The ride was soothing and Charlotte caught herself almost dozing off. Startled when the vessel stopped, her head jerked to the side and, wide-awake now, she watched as the driver assisted the other two passengers off the boat and handed their baggage to them.
For the first time, Charlotte actually paid attention to the man who’d been piloting the boat. She almost gasped at his handsomeness but restrained herself in time. When he looked down into the cabin at her, she stood. “Is this where I get off?”
He stuck his head inside the passenger area and addressed her. “No, signorina. Vito told me where you’re staying. Your pension is closer to St. Mark’s Square. These people,” he shrugged, “they chose the wrong travel agent. They’re not going to be happy at the long walk to the tourist area. You, on the other hand, even though you’re at a small place, are close to the middle of everywhere important.”
“Thanks. I’m not really a tourist, but I’m glad to be near the action.”
“You will be for sure since this really is a walking city. We don’t have vehicles in the streets since they are too narrow to navigate on anything but foot. Now, let me get you to your destination.” He turned away and went back out of the cabin and up to the steering wheel.
Charlotte peered up at him under her lashes. He was very attractive with his olive complexion and dark hair. She watched his arms as he moved the wheel. Perfection. She loved a man who had sexy forearms. His short-sleeved shirt emphasized the strength of them as he twisted and turned to maneuver the boat through the smaller canals. Mesmerized, she finally realized she was being an idiot again by gaping at this man’s arms instead of the amazing architecture she’d come to Venice for in the first place.
With an effort, she pulled her gaze away and forced herself to focus on the passing façades of the houses and palazzos. She almost giggled. The scenery she really wanted to ogle was the man. At least for the moment. After all, who knew when or if she’d see him again? The buildings had been here for centuries, they weren’t going anywhere. She did giggle then.
Venetian Masks trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LHfpKFPWbg&feature=youtu.be
Contact Jillian at:
Today I’m thrilled to host friend, fellow MVRWA member and fellow Crimson Romance author, Rue Allyn, who is celebrating the release of One Moment’s Pleasure from Crimson Romance. Rue is having a bodacious year with all the books she’s contracted. I’m so glad I could share in her release week!
The Music of the Pen
Shay, thank you for inviting me to share with you and your followers today. I’d like to give the readers a sense of what the writing experience is like with a small comparison to music. The music of the pen extends way beyond answers to questions like what do you listen to while you write or what’s your character’s favorite song?
My metaphorical pen’s music springs to life with the first letters typed on my computer screen. I do have my MP3 player on, but that more traditional music is quickly joined by the clackety rhythm of my keyboard as I type. As they appear on the page, the words I type form a silent counterpoint (like Beethoven—one of my favorite composers—I hear the words in my head) to the harmony of ‘music’ and keyboard. As sentences and paragraphs build they add variations in pacing, timber and pitch. All factors combine—character, dialogue, tension, plot, etc. The story rolls out like a soaring hymn, great symphony or sometimes, a simple and pure melody.
That’s the music of the pen. That’s the music I hear when I write. I invite you to partake of the music and read my latest release, One Moment’s Pleasure ~ Wildfire Love # 1, available now from Crimson Romance Publishing. You can find One Moment’s Pleasure at http://www.amazon.com/author/RueAllyn. Please leave a comment and let me know what music you hear when you read. Your comments are my greatest reward.
One Moment’s Pleasure will become a lifetime’s passion when spinster, Edith Alden, embarks on a search for her missing sister. Pretending to be a rich bored woman looking for an interlude with an anonymous male Edith enters the San Francisco bordello where her sister was last seen. She escapes the bordello almost too easily, but she can’t escape the passion ignited by a stranger’s kiss.
Born and raised in the brothels of the California gold rush, Dutch Trahern worked for years to erase a childhood spent committing petty crimes and worse in order to survive. That past comes back to haunt him in the form of a woman he rescues from prostitution. Now his hard won respectability is threatened by an irresistible desire for a woman he shouldn’t want.
Author of historical, contemporary, and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. She is deliriously married to her sweetheart of many years and loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real life adventures. Learn more about Rue at http://RueAllyn.com
Touchpoint released today from Crimson Romance! It joins many other wonderful Crimson stories from talented authors, including my own Hero Needed, released last October. Happy release day to four of my Crimson sisters!
She learns secrets with a touch. He has secrets to hide.
Insurance investigator Gabrielle Healey uses her touch clairvoyance to learn the truth about disasters. But when the crippled Densmore building can’t provide the answers she needs to deny the claim, surely the man who designed it can. The evidence points to a flawed design. A touch will confirm his guilt.
Brilliant architect Christian Ziko has secrets he can’t reveal, and not that he caused the building he created to collapse. With the victims’ families howling for justice and a Grand Jury poised to indict him, he must uncover what happened so he can clear his name and his conscience. Yet his brother and business partner discourage him. When a clue unearths terrible truths about the people he trusts, Christian is forced to ask beautiful Gabrielle for help. But someone wants their investigation terminated…and is willing to kill to keep their secrets hidden.
I’m thrilled to host my friend and fellow MVRWA member, Constance Phillips, on the release day for her second novel, angel paranormal, Resurrecting Harry. I asked her about writing Harry.
The Life Lesson I Learned While Writing Resurrecting Harry
Like most of the stories I begin to write, Resurrecting Harry started with a “what if.”
What if Harry Houdini had been able to escape death? Not communicate from the other side, but really escape death. He was, after all, the greatest escape artist of all time.
I let the idea simmer in my brain for a day or so, and then I sat down at the computer, opened a new Word document and began typing (as I usually do). The place my mind went, where this story opened, was very different from anything I’d ever written, and I quickly discovered that the book would be about so much more than the Houdini (both Bess’s and Harry’s) history. It would be about more than a hero making up for past mistakes and overcoming his ego. It would be about more than giving a great romantic couple a happily ever after.
Resurrecting Harry is about valuing every day we are given and treasuring those moments.
Only fifty-two when he passed away, I want to believe he didn’t expect death to come to him so soon. While it’s normal for a widow to grieve, I wonder if her obligation to her husband’s legacy didn’t keep her in a state of mourning longer than would be considered healthy. The romantic in me wanted her to have the happily-ever-after we all long for in life.
I’m willing to guess that most of us will not get a second chance at life like Harry gets in this book. We have been given this one life to live. And whether or not your personal beliefs about an afterlife line up with what is suggested in Resurrecting Harry, I would hope those who read it would walk away feeling that each day is a gift and should not be squandered.
Can the greatest escape artist ever known break the grim reaper’s chains to save the only woman he’s ever loved?
In order to save Bess from self-destruction, Harry Houdini puts his afterlife on the line by entering a wager with purgatory’s keeper. He gives Harry a younger face and body, and a new name: Erich Welch.
Bess clings to his promise to deliver a coded message from beyond the grave, determined to provide the bridge for him to cross, even if that means befriending her husband’s sworn enemy.
Erich needs to help Bess over her loss and put her on the road to healing, but will any good come from resurrecting Harry?
It’s here at last! The print-on-demand version of Hero Needed is at Amazon.
Sharing some cover love for my March 11, 2013 release from Crimson Romance. It’s a romantic suspense with paranormal elements.
Thanks for hopping to my blog during the Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop. I have a $5 gift card to award one lucky commenter. Enter using the Rafflecopter below. EACH blog in the hop is doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.
But that’s not all….
We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!
Now what are those prizes?
1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains 10+ paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!
Everything but the swag prize is international. COMMENT WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!!!! Click here for a list of all participating blogs.
My favorite Christmas romance story is O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.” If you’ve never read it or seen it on TV, here’s the link to the entire text. It’s the story of a poor young couple, madly in love, facing Christmas with no money for gifts. Each has one thing of value—she has beautiful long tresses and he has an heirloom watch. He wants to buy her combs for her hair. She wants to buy him a watch fob/chain. She sells her hair to buy a fob/chain. He sells his watch to buy her combs. Each makes the ultimate sacrifice for the one they love. There can be no greater or more romantic gift than to know the one you love thinks of your happiness above all else.