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Mar
27

Author Guest Post: Judy Serrano

Author Guest Post: Judy Serrano The Escape by Judy Serrano So, I’m standing in front of my sweet little students … okay, so maybe they are not little, and not always sweet, but they are mine just the same. I am talking about Macbeth, as I normally do this time of year, and one of my sweet little babies, remember what I said about them – yawns. Yes, I said it. She yawned. I teach 12th graders. Although, you would think that all of my 35 students may be sitting there before me, waiting with baited breath for my next words, that is not the case. Truth be told, only five make it on time in the mornings, and only three of them really like me. One by one, the class arrives, late, later, and latest, and the last one carries in on her back an ENORMOUS attitude. Like, it’s my fault she is so late. Now, I’m sure that you are now wondering why I write what I write. I mean, my life is so fulfilling, what more could I want? The answer is simple. I travel in my books. I live in exotic mansions with beautiful men feeding me on a daily basis.  They cook, housekeepers clean, and, I have a Chauffeur most of the time. I am tall and thin with radiant hair and eyes, and my life is full of drama as the men continuously fight over my virtue. Writing is my escape from the life I live to a life of wealth and fortitude. And if I don’t have time to write, my soul gets squishy, and I feel stifled. As a teacher, I often don’t have time to write, and as a result, my sunny disposition may possibly suffer a bit. Perhaps I might not get as upset if the whole class is late as I did today, or maybe I might have a little more tolerance as “senioritis” kicks in. Even so, my adorable little chitlins are counting on me to make a difference in their lives, and that is what I plan to do. I joke about my students from time to time, but I really do adore them all. Well, most of them. But my lesson learned is to always find your joy. Do not deprive yourself of gladness because you become too busy, and remember that when you are unhappy it spreads like a disease to those around you. So write the right story...
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Mar
12

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Jeffe Kennedy

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Jeffe Kennedy Please help me welcome back one of my favorite people, Jeffe Kennedy, who is answering my question about what was was like to write the guy’s perspective for The Snows of Windroven… Getting the Guy’s Perspective Thanks, Jen, for having me visit! Today sees the release of the standalone version of The Snows of Windroven, which previously appeared in the anthology, Amid the Winter Snow. (The anthology is disappearing today. It might be gone now, but if you hurry, you might be able to grab it still.) Many of you have already read this novella in the anthology—and a whole bunch of you have preordered the standalone! It’s for the cover, right? Yeah, I thought so. The cover was fun to put together because it’s my first with the hero taking front and center. And the story is much the same way: this is the first time one of the heroes of the Twelve Kingdoms and Uncharted Realms books has had the exclusive first-person point of view (POV). I’ve done some bits and pieces. In Negotiation we get a young Uorsin’s POV in third person. And Heart’s Blood has both Nix and Cavan’s POVs in alternating third person. Otherwise, it’s all about what the heroines see, think and do—and we learn about the heroes through them. So, why for this novella did I decide to continue Ash and Ami’s story from The Tears of the Rose (the second novel in the overall arc) and why in Ash’s POV? Many reasons! Ami’s story was the most difficult, not only because she is not at all admirable or likable to begin with. Her arc goes from having the fairy tale happy-ever-after (HEA) to deep grief to finding love again, which is not at all the usual storyline. Ash is possibly the most enigmatic of all my heroes. He retreats into brooding silence, even without his monk’s vow to enforce it, and he has a dark and tortured past that he doesn’t like to talk about. Though Ash and Ami are mirrors of each other under the skin, they’re very unlike on the surface. They have the most uneven rank and station in life. Their HEA ends up being the most uncertain, mostly because they have so many unresolved issues. Because of the overall arc, I couldn’t pursue Ash and Ami’s relationship past their reunion at the end of The Tears of the Rose. The story had to be handed off to...
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Dec
5

Author Guest Post: Mia Mae Lynne

Author Guest Post: Mia Mae Lynne Hello readers. My name is Mia Mae Lynne, author of the contemporary multicultural romance series Southern Men Don’t Fall in Love. I would love to tell you about my journey of bringing this series to life. I started writing the books in 2008 and named the series The Chronicles of Fate. Life events happened and I had to put away the series; death of my father, 20 year marriage dissolved, unemployment, health issues, and a host of other life changing events. Up until that time, I had eight books written. The first book was titled Tempting Fate and the series was copyrighted in 2010. In 2015, the first release was published. The series was renamed to Southern Men Don’t Fall In Love, and the first book was retitled to Atlanta’s Most Eligible Bachelor.  I currently have five releases in English and two releases in Spanish. El Soltero Mas Codiciado de Atlanta is in European Spanish and Spanish of the America’s. My son Carlos translated the first book into Spanish and called two of his friends to edit the books. All three books released November 4, 2015 which is Carlos’ birthday. I’m not versed in the Spanish language but  both of my children are bilingual. I’m planning to have more of the series translated so if you or someone you know reads Spanish language romance books, more releases are coming at a date to be determined in the future. I am self-published through Book & Spirit, LLC, and I release twice a year. The second release date is April 26th, which is my youngest son Marcus’ birthday. I may add additional dates in the future. During the release of my first book, I met my current editor, Lex Hupertz. She designed my covers and edited my books. I could not stress enough the importance of an excellent editor and specifically one that understands your writing style as well as assists you with the development of your work. It makes a difference in a decent book to a great reading. I’m working on the next book in the series. My main characters are Terri and Carter. Both of them were introduced in the Atlanta’s Most Eligible Bachelor trilogy. My series is about family connections, trials and tribulations, love and loss. It’s also about six degrees of separation. As the series progresses, my readers will see how the characters relate to their families beyond the romance. Immediate families have a major influence on our romantic relationships...
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Sep
13

Author Guest Post: Tamsen Parker (In Her Court)

Author Guest Post: Tamsen Parker (In Her Court) Please welcome Tamsen Parker, who is here to talk about her new title, In Her Court, and the Camp Firefly Falls continuity. Sound interesting? Reading on… School’s back in session and leaves are starting to turn. Technically it’s not autumn yet, but let’s face it. Fall is here. But if you feel like some instant nostalgia for warmer and more carefree days, or if you’ve always loved Dirty Dancing, have I got a series for you. Plus, you can even start reading it for free with Winning Back His Wife. Gwen Hayes and Zoe York came up with the idea for a continuity set at a grown-up summer camp. Who hasn’t wanted to go back to their childhood camp as a grown-up? All the fun, none of the rules, and this time the girls’ and boys’ camps wouldn’t be on opposite sides of the lake. And so Camp Firefly Falls was born, with tennis courts, a luxe dining lodge, arts & crafts, canoeing, basically anything you could ask for in a summer getaway. Set at a fictional camp in the Berkshires, the stories can be read as standalones, but reading the whole series is a great way to discover new authors. You know you’ll get the super fun setting of a grown-up summer camp, but every book will have a different theme like theater week, Scout Wars, eighties week, or an entire camp session based on the movie Grease. A few of the background characters will remain constant (like Michael and Heather Tully from Winning Back His Wife), but mostly the couples are all new so you won’t miss much if you start in the middle, skip around, or only pick out the books that look like the most fun to read. But trust me, these books are kind of like potato chips, and I bet you can’t read just one! As an author, writing in a continuity is like getting to play in a sandbox someone’s already built, which is both fun because there’s less work to do in terms of world building, but also challenging—you need to work within certain constraints because someone else has already set the boundaries. When Zoe and Gwen put out a call for the 2017 season, I knew I wanted to write in this universe. I was super excited when they accepted my pitch, especially because it’s the first f/f romance to happen at Camp Firefly Falls—on page, anyway. Van and Willa are...
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Aug
15

Author Guest Post: Jeffe Kennedy

Author Guest Post: Jeffe Kennedy I am so excited one of my favorite people, and RITA® Award winner, Jeffe Kennedy is back with us on the blog. Today she’s celebrating her upcoming title The Shift of the Tide by sharing with us what it was like to be a RITA® Award finalist and winner. Please help me welcome Jeffe… From Jeffe… If I can’t visit my friend, Jen Twimom, in person – I can at least visit her blog! Yay! And because she and I live on opposite ends of the country and can’t sit down over margaritas to catch up, she’s asked me to talk about what it was like to win the RITA® Award. Well, I have to tell you – it was pretty damn awesome. First, let me tell you about getting the call that I was a finalist. See, I’d totally forgotten the calls were going out that morning, which is healthy for me. I’ve spent a lot of years knowing it was The Day and checking my phone every ten minutes to make sure it was working. And I’d refresh the website, watching the list of notified finalists mount up in my categories, feeling my chances slipping away with each new name added. Then I’d be depressed for the rest of the day. See? So not healthy. So, I’d deliberately forgotten what day it would be. Didn’t mark it on my calendar or anything. I write in the mornings and that goes best if I don’t log onto the Internet at all before I get my words in. I don’t open email, either. And I turn off the sound on my phone. I had my cell on my desk, though, because my husband David was out of town and I’d feel the buzz if he tried to call. The phone buzzed and I turned it over to look at who was calling. It was a San Diego number. I nearly didn’t answer, but we’d been out in San Diego the week before with my mom, celebrating her birthday. I figured it could be the hotel calling about a problem or forgotten item. I answered, and it was only static. I said hello a few times, then hung up in disgust. The phone buzzed again. Same number. I answered, sounding pretty annoyed, I think, and this time a woman said, “Hi Jeffe, this is Helen Kay Dimon from the Romance Writers of America Board of Directors.” Now, Helen Kay and I are friends....
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Jul
17

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Kristi Charish

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Kristi Charish Today, urban fantasy author Kristi Charish, creator of the wonderful Adventures of Owl series, is here to share with us her recommended summer titles. She’s also giving away a copy of any of her back issues. Please help me welcome Kristi to That’s What I’m Talking About. Kristi’s Summer Book Reads Now that summer holidays are here many of us hit the bookstores and Amazon looking for reads to fill our vacation slot- the problem I’m so often faced with is which one? With the shear volume of books out there readily available at the touch of the ever-tempting Amazon buy button, the selection can be overwhelming. The list below are some of my favorite recent reads, and while no where near exhaustive – reading lists abound out there for that – but what I hope it will be is a place to find something new that otherwise might not be on your radar. (Note: being a Canadian author myself, I’ve included two Canuck reads!) 1. We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis Taylor (Canadian!) Genre: Sci-Fi/Geek Culture Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it’s a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. Recommended consumption format: Go for the audiobook – the narrator really adds something and the prose lends itself nicely to narration. For: Pop culture and Star Trek fans. John Scalzi fans will also find something to really like here. As a bonus, those who grew up in the 90s will appreciate the odd Simpsons reference. This was a summer evening read and as a bonus the third book is out soon! 2. The Water Rat of Wanchai (Ava Lee Series) by Ian Hamilton (Canadian) Genre: Mystery/Crime Ava Lee is a young Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant who works for an elderly Hong Kong–based “Uncle,” who may or may not have ties to the Triads. At 115 lbs., she hardly seems a threat. But her razorsharp intellect and resourcefulness allows her to succeed where traditional methods have failed. In The Water Rat of...
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Mar
14

Author Guest Post: Lea Griffith (Flash of Fury)

Author Guest Post: Lea Griffith (Flash of Fury) Dear That’s What I’m Talking About readers… Do I have a special treat for you! One of my favorite people, Lea Griffith, is here today to share a bit about her new title, Flash of Fury (Sourcebooks, March 7, 2017), and talk about her new series and writing romantic suspense. Oh… and she’s celebrating with an awesome giveaway! So please help me welcome Leah to the blog… Thank you so much Jen for hosting me today. You know I think the world of you, your site and your reviews and I’m honored you’re letting me chat with your readers and give stuff away. I really love giving stuff away, lol! I also really love romantic suspense. I cut my teeth on some of the greats—Iris Johansen, Linda Howard, Julie Garwood—and began sneaking into my moms stash of romance novels when I was about thirteen (don’t tell her, ‘k?). From that point on I began creating stories in my head. Those stories followed me until I finally broke down about six years ago and started writing them down. And let me tell you that’s a long span of time, lol! From those stories in my head, all these years later, comes my brand new series, Endgame Ops. I’m a big fan of multi-layered series—the type of series that you uncover secrets one book at a time ultimately leading you to a conclusion that rocks your world and wraps everything up in nice, tight bow. Though each story has a satisfactory conclusion as far as the hero and heroine go, each story is also a piece of a much larger puzzle. A puzzle you think you have figured out until BAM, you’re turning another corner, riding the edge of another knife. These are the series I love and what I hope, I’m bringing you in Endgame Ops. You are first introduced to Endgame Ops in an anthology I was blessed enough to participate in with Suzanne Brockman, Julie Ann Walker, Catherine Mann, Kate Serine, Tina Wainscott, M L Buchman, and Ann Elizabeth. All proceeds went to the Wounded Warrior Project. The first story, War Games, is a novella in this anthology. You meet Anthony “Rook” Granger and Vivi Benton and they take you on a wild ride that starts in a maximum security prison and ends with both of them locked in Endgame Ops and each other. My current release, Flash of Fury, is my first full-length offering in the Endgame Ops series....
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Feb
14

Author Guest Post: Tiffany Shand (Amaranthine Chronicles Boxed Set)

Author Guest Post: Tiffany Shand (Amaranthine Chronicles Boxed Set) Please welcome Tiffany Shand back to That’s What I’m Talking About. She’s here celebrating the release of her Amaranthine Chronicles Boxed Set with a special Valentine’s Day treat. Kaylan and Elijah’s Valentine’s Day Kaylan landed on the bridge. Elijah’s message had been urgent. She scanned the rest of the bridge but there was no sign of anything. No drone of transpos, no sign of any golden eyes shifters stalking about. She let out a breath, sheathed her knives and brushed her long red hair off her face. It’d been a long night already. Elijah, where are you? she asked in thought. Strange, she couldn’t sense him. Her heart started to be faster. What if he couldn’t hear her? What if one of the shifters had – no, she wouldn’t think about that. You’ll have to come and find me, he called back. She frowned. Why? It’s a secret. Elijah, now is not the night to play games, she warned. Come on, I just want to go home. Not that they had a real home right now. Kaylan cost her senses out but didn’t detect anything. He had to be somewhere. She swooped down, using her flying ability to land on the road. Something blew across the tarmac. She thought it was leaves but there were no trees on the great bridge. Kaylan looked up and saw whatever it was had fallen from the sky. Drawing her knife again and preparing for a possible attack, she bent down and saw it was petals. Rose petals. What the hell? She looked up and saw a silhouette standing on the pillar above. Elijah. She had no that’s strong muscular body anywhere. Kicking off the ground, she floated up to him. He grinned when he saw her. His short curly brown hair was slicked back and he wore a black shirt and jeans. A blanket was spread across the pillar with a bottle of wine and some sandwiches. “What are you doing?” Kaylan asked. “I thought you were in trouble!” Quick kiss. “I wanted it to be a surprise. Happy Valentine’s Day. I know it’s not much but…” “It’s everything.” She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him again. About the Books: Betrayed By Blood Blurb In a city of lies and deception, only one thing stands between chaos and justice. For centuries, a band of outlaws called the Amaranthine has kept the peace in Ormere and hidden in plain sight...
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Jan
10

Author Guest Post: Kathryn Hills (Haunting Highland House)

Author Guest Post: Kathryn Hills (Haunting Highland House) Kathryn Hills is here today to share a bit about her paranormal romance title, Haunting Highland House (Wild Rose Press, October 19, 2016). She’s brought along main character Samantha Merrill to tell us more. Please welcome Kathryn and Samantha! Hey there, Samantha Merrill here from Haunting Highland House, Kathryn Hills’ debut novel in the Time Traveler’s Journey series. I’m a time traveler on a mission, yet at first I was reluctant to go. More of an accidental time crasher, I feel like I’m driving without a license or catching the red-eye from LaGuardia to who knows where. Is anyone ready to travel if they don’t know when or where they’re going? Can I pack? Each new year has most of us dreaming of a fresh start. I walked away from the glitz of Manhattan, taking a less than stellar job as the property manager of Highland House. It seemed like a good idea, some much needed R&R at a beautiful historic estate. What could go wrong? It’s Cape Cod for heaven’s sake! But nobody warned me about the hunky ghost OR the time portal waiting to suck me back to 1883. Turns out, the ghost is a time traveler, too. Robert Pennington a.k.a. the love of my life. He’s the head of a rich and powerful family with an overbearing mother and a pushy girlfriend. My arrival on the scene caused serious commotion. Let’s just say, if a stranger from the future showed up in your mansion wearing sexy pajamas or crashed your sister’s birthday ball in a stolen museum gown… You get the point. I’m a “frequent flyer” now, so I pack for unexpected trips. Once I was that woman in the airport. Cart laden with suitcases, looking like I stepped from the pages of a magazine. Today I’m stuffing a backpack with essential no twenty-first-century woman would want to do without. Makeup, pain relievers, tampons… Honestly, you have no idea what those poor women endured back then! No more sky-high heels for this fashionista. I’ve traded in my wardrobe for a whalebone corset and a bustle. Did I mention Robert’s mother tried to kill me with a hideous green ballgown? It’s a difficult fit to squeeze into the stiff Victorian lifestyle, but I’m doing my best. Robert is worth every hard-earned minute I spend back then. You see, he’s got this killer smile…sort of tilted and subtle. And his dark hair is just a bit unruly, especially when he...
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Jan
4

Author Guest Post: Jeffe Kennedy

Author Guest Post: Jeffe Kennedy Please help me welcome Jeffe Kennedy to That’s What I’m Talking About. She’s here today celebrating her newest release, The Edge of the Blade (The Uncharted Realms #2, Kensington Publishing, December 27, 2016). If you haven’t picked up her amazing fantasy romance books, I strongly urge you to right away! From Jeffe: Hi Jen and everyone! It’s always a treat to visit one of my favorite blogs and I particularly enjoy popping in to answer Jen’s questions. Today, as I’m talking about the just released THE EDGE OF THE BLADE, she asked me how my heroine Jepp, became a leading lady. Amusingly enough, in the same way she became a spy – totally by accident. When secondary characters emerge in my stories – which is usually by walking onto the page and starting to yak about something – I rarely ever think of them as becoming eventual heroes of their own stories. Indeed, some characters come and go, their lives glancing off the major players and then continuing off on their own paths again. Sometimes I think a new minor character might end up with a significant role, but they… just don’t. Other times a character might hang around in the periphery for a number of books, and then suddenly step forward. Jepp did the latter. I mean, she’s always been an amusing character to me, what with her mouth and her attitude. But it wasn’t until the final throes of THE TALON OF THE HAWK that I realized she might have her own tale in the future. In fact, my editor saw it before I did, stepping in to save Jepp from certain death at Uorsin’s hand at the very last moment. When I went to think about next books in the series, I knew that the librarian, Dafne, would have to be the heroine of the next story. Not only because so many readers wrote to me *asking* for her to be next. The story thread led naturally in that direction. Also, in an interesting, unplanned turn – where the initial trilogy was all about the three princesses, each more beautiful than the last – the next phase in the story of this world and era fell to the non-royals. Dafne and Jepp both are basically support staff to the princesses. They don’t expect to rule anything. Really they don’t expect much in the way of adventuring at all. Heroic tales are not for the likes of...
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