Monday, June 27, 2011

Anne Rainey's New Release: So Sensitive

I've gotten to know author Anne Rainey since participating in her email chat list Reading After Dark. She is a kind and generous writer, always willing to share with others. Her family needs her now as she helps her mother through an illness, and many of us want to spread the word about her new release since she'll be hard pressed to do much herself. If you can spread the word, please do. Feel free to use any of the information below or pass along this blog link, whatever is more convenient.

So Sensitive
By Anne Rainey
Release Date: June 28, 2011
From Kensington Aphrodisia
Available in Trade Paperback & Ebook
(Amazon carries both here )
Hard to Get Series — Book 1
Wade Harrison and Gracie Baron’s Story

Gracie Baron isn’t one to jump at shadows. After a car accident lands her in the hospital bruised and aching, she knows it’s time to face the truth. She has an enemy and they aren’t going to stop until she’s six feet under. Gracie is forced to turn to the only man she knows capable of handling such a deadly situation, the totally irresistible Wade Harrison.

You can find all the purchase links here:

You can read an excerpt of So Sensitive here:

Queen of the Night Reviews is giving away a copy of Anne's book. Enter here before Wednesday, June 29th.

Anne Rainey sold her first category length novel to Samhain Publishing in 2007. Since then she's sold several more stories to Samhain and three stories to Red Sage Publishing. In addition, Anne recently sold a novella and several single titles to Kensington Aphrodisia.

Anne grew up in a small town in central Ohio the only girl with three rowdy, older brothers. When she wasn't playing tackle football with them she could be found tucked away in her mother's book room getting lost in mysterious worlds created by authors such as Martha Grimes and Andrew M. Greeley. She's had a variety of odd jobs including Chiropractic Assistant, Frame Stylist, Restaurant Hostess, and Nail Technician. Anne now lives with her fabulous husband, two gorgeous teenage daughters, two ornery dogs and three snooty cats.

Visit Anne's website:


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Author Interview: Robin DeJarnett

I won a copy of Robin DeJarnett's new release Whirlwind, and read it after receiving it in the mail. It's a contemporary romance with an element of suspense. I found the relationship between Jason and Melissa to be charming and magical. I also loved the interaction between Melissa and Jason's brother as their friendship is tested. The emotional elements in the story are wonderful. After finishing Whirlwind, I emailed Robin a few questions, which she so graciously answered for me to share with you.

Love at first sight is a myth to aspiring journalist Melissa Williams, but when she meets Jason McAlister at a friend’s wedding, a Cinderella-like fantasy turns her no-nonsense world upside down. She sees in his penetrating blue eyes not just an evening, but a lifetime together that includes much more than a glass slipper and a kiss.

Realizing she shared a few salacious emails with Jason months ago, a humiliated Melissa loses herself in the crowd, thankful he doesn’t know who she is. But he does know—and with a gentle touch and a steamy kiss, he soon picks up their flirtation right where it left off.

As midnight strikes, Melissa succumbs to Jason’s sexy pull, unaware that a woman’s body has been discovered in the wake of the party. When evidence points to Melissa as the killer’s next target, the lines between fantasy and reality blur. She goes into hiding, charmed by one mysterious man and hunted by another.

Cinderella lost a shoe—Melissa could lose both her handsome prince and her life.


Brenda: Do you think guys like Jason that are tired of superficial beautiful women and want something more are really out there?

ROBIN: I really do think they're out there. Yes, there's plenty of guys who only are interested in women of a certain body type, but there are many others who will take the time to get to know a woman and want someone who can carry on an intelligent conversation, no matter what she looks like. I think guys who are serious about having a long term relationship are looking for (and more satisfied by) a woman with brains. Intelligence is sexy - in both women and men.

BRENDA: I am always intimidated by the idea of writing a mystery/crime plot because I'm afraid it won't come off realistic. You did a great job with Whirlwind. Did you do research before writing? Also, did you have to make changes to the plot as it moved along, or did it pretty much go as you planned?

ROBIN: Thank you! I love reading mysteries and watching crime dramas on TV, so the skeleton of the crime came pretty easily. I did do some research as I went. When I sketch out a scene, I have an idea of what needs to happen. As it unfolds, if there's something I question, I'll dig into Google or contact an expert I know. I have a wonderful group of friends with experience in all kinds of occupations, and they are happy to tell me if what I'm writing makes sense or not. Once the first draft was done, though, a few things did change during editing. The crime remained pretty much intact. The bulk of the revisions involved fine tuning the villain's character and making him more creepy.

BRENDA: Be honest, did you know someone that was like "Tricia"? I swear there is always one person in each wedding party like her, so I had to laugh at her character.

ROBIN: I'm sure I've encountered several Tricia's, but no one that was of exactly this Tricia's particular...ilk. There was one particularly mean girl back in seventh grade who might qualify - I haven't thought about her in years! Tricia is a combination of a lot of undesirable traits I've seen in people. And I'll admit it's fun to write someone like her. She does have some pretty good lines!
BRENDA: What part of the story was the most difficult to write?

ROBIN: Probably the "morning after" - rather the "midnight after" - scene. Both Melissa and Jason share some intense feelings in that scene, and understanding Jason's reaction took a couple tries. That chapter was rewritten several times before it was right.

BRENDA: Are you working on your next story, or has promotion been keeping you too busy?

ROBIN: Recently, promotion has been claiming a lot of my attention, but I am working on book 2, tentatively titled Quicksand. I have an awesome critique partner who's also working on her own book, and every week we get together on Skype and hold each other accountable for getting our writing done. The "I got my chapter done, did you?" challenge works pretty well - I'm a little competitive. But knowing she's waiting for the next chapter is also great incentive. Being able to bounce ideas off someone who knows my characters as well as I do is a blessing I don't take for granted.

I just completed the editing on a short story, Concessions, that will be part of Omnific Publishing's Summer Lovin' Anthology: Heat Wave, coming July 5th. It's a very special project because all the proceeds from this book and it's sweeter romance twin, the Summer Lovin' Anthology: Summer Breeze will be donated to the cancer-fighting organization Save the Ta-tas. Concessions is my first paranormal romance, so it's a little different. But it involves a very sexy vampire named Devon, and a snarky girl named Lindsey. Vampires in Vegas? Who knew?

To learn more about Whirlwind, and Robin's new story in the anthology Heat Wave visit her website at

This is a fun interview with Jason, the romantic interest and hunk in Whirlwind:


Friday, June 17, 2011

Interview With Author Sarah McNeal

I met Sarah McNeal on an online writers and readers email list last month and loved her wit and her dedication to research and plotting. She's given me some excellant tips on reforming my nonplotting ways. Her newest release has one of the best titles I've run across for a story: Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride. Isn't that amazing? It made me ask:

Who is Harmonica Joe?
Why is he called that?
Why does he have a reluctant bride?
Did he force her into marriage?

Without reading a blurb or excerpt she had me wanting to buy the book JUST with the title. That's a truly creative author.

I finished Sarah's book last week and loved it. She is a wonderful writer who pays attention to details, yet she conveys emotion that reaches out and grabs the reader. I sent her a few questions, and wanted to share her answers.

Hello Sarah:) I finished your new release and loved it. I have a few questions for you if you don't mind my picking your brain.

Brenda: I loved the time travel aspect to your story, and the fact that you added twists that were unlike other time travel stories I've read. Did you have that plotted out ahead of time, and was it hard to figure out what you wanted to happen?

Sarah: First, let me thank you for that tremendous compliment. I love to write time travel but I like to make the story more about the characters and giving the time travel a real purpose in the story line. I’m happy that you got that.

I’m a plotter and a planner. I write the synopsis to a story first and use it as my outline. Sometimes I get an epiphany along the way and then I go back and tweak up my synopsis. I know exactly where the story is headed when I begin to write it.

Brenda: I know you love research, so how much research did you do to get the details down for your story? I thought you did a wonderful job with the details.

Sarah: Thanks again for that compliment. It means a lot to me to get the details right. Without the details, no one would get that the story takes place in 1910.

I did extensive research for Harmonica Joe’s Reluctant Bride. I love research because it’s just fun and sometimes I get lost in it. I found a great book called Remember When that is a detailed account of American history, culture and growth from 1900-1930 that had pictures on every page. I also used The Timetables of History by Grun and Domestic Technology by Nell Du Vall that tells when a new technology came into being and then when most households had it. Then there are my personal experiences. My grandmother had a coal burning stove in her old Victorian farm house that basically heated the whole house upstairs and down. She cooked on it and I watched how she set it up and what she did to cook on it. She had an outhouse, a huge garden (everyone in my family had a garden) and a big barn with all kinds of farm animals including horses.

Brenda: Your story was a cross between sweet and sensual, at least in my mind. How did you decide how detailed to get with the sex scenes? There's been a lot of talk about how readers really seem to want the detailed erotic scenes, but I thought your story was sexy without going over the top. How did you decide on what to write when it came to the sex scenes?

Sarah: I am not an erotic author. I prefer to write about the sexual tension and the build-up rather than a detailed description of each sexual act, put it under a microscope and show it on You-Tube with a scoreboard. I love it when a kiss becomes exciting and eye contact between the couple send sparks off the page. It’s important to me, whether I read a story or write one, to get the emotional involvement between the hero and heroine into the act of lovemaking.

Brenda: I highly recommend Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride to fans of time travel stories, cowboys, historicals and happily ever afters.

Sarah: Thank you, Brenda, for reading my book and I am happy as a clam that you liked it.

Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride
from Western Trail Blazer

Lola Barton discovers a warp in time in an old trunk when she falls into 1910. She finds herself married to Joseph Wilding, a stranger shadowed by secrets. Mistaken for Callie McGraw, a thief and a woman of ill repute, Lola is threatened by a scoundrel. Joe stands between her and certain death.With danger threatening all around and secrets keeping them apart, can Joe and Lola find their destiny

You can visit Sarah at her website,, for more information on her writing, her blog and links to buy her books.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Summer of Ilona Andrews

The last two weeks has been an amazing Ilona Andrews Read Festival for me. It started with the release of Magic Slays, which came out May 31st and I gobbled it up at the speed of light. It was amazing. I then felt the need to read Magic Bleeds, the book released last year, again because it had a been awhile since I read it, and I wanted to connect some of the plot points in my mind.

Next was Magic Mourns, a short story featuring Andrea and Raphael, that was in Must Love Hellhounds, which I somehow missed along the way. This is an amazing story and gives a cool little tidbit about Kate and Curran, which fans will love. This quote from Andrea was my favorite:

"If I weren't a trained professional, I'd have fainted from the sheer overload of his badassness."

I then ran out and bought Hexed, an anthology that also includes stories by Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James, and Jeanne Steine. Ilona's story features Jim, the alpha of the Clan Cat, and Dali, the mystic vegetarian weretiger. Not only is the lore used in the story fascinating but Dali is an amazing character. Having read all of the Kate books, I've loved Jim for a long time, and wondered what kind of person would capture his attention. Dali is unique and powerful in an unexpected way.

I haven't done any teaser words in a long time but I'm going to do a list that combines one word goodness from all three stories. You'll have to read them to understand why:)

Ass fire
Big gun
ice spider
roll over
tall bed
undead knitting
rocks fall
love rodeo

If you want to learn more about the books, the authors and the goodness you can visit their website here:

By the way, the ending in Magic Slays? BEST EVER.