Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
‘Exclusive’: Live From the Plano Book Club with Mari Madison
Readers / March 17, 2016

On St. Patrick’s Day Eve our Plano book club hosted author Mari Madison, who many readers will recognize as Mari Mancusi. Her newest book, the first in a trilogy, is a contemporary romance set in the exciting world of a TV newsroom. JUST THIS NIGHT (An Exclusive Romance #1) holds nothing back when it comes to the intense relationships that can evolve between reporters and their photographers, but it also takes the time to develop the character’s love affairs and home lives. It’s a sexy read and it was a genuine thrill to have Mari take the time to call in with us. Mari started by telling us how JUST THIS NIGHT was one of the first books she ever wrote, pulling exclusively from her experiences as a TV news producer. Ultimately the book needed more time to cook and landed in a virtual file cabinet where it hung out for twelve years. We often hear from authors about the manuscripts they keep under their beds, but for Mari, JUST THIS NIGHT actually had a chance of seeing the light. Having a news producer call in also afforded us the opportunity to ask questions about her favorite stories (she won…

Fresh Pick | LORDS OF IRELAND by Kimberly Cates, Anna Markland, Eliza Knight, Kathryn Le Veque, Donna Fletcher, Christi Caldwell
Fresh Pick / March 17, 2016

Fresh Pick for Thursday, March 17th, 2016 is LORDS OF IRELAND by Kimberly Cates, Anna Markland, Eliza Knight, Kathryn Le Veque, Donna Fletcher, Christi Caldwell #StPaticksDay #KissMeImIRISH About LORDS OF IRELAND A Multi Genre collection of passionate Irish tales Le Veque… Knight… Fletcher… Caldwell… Cates… Markland. Welcome to the LORDS OF IRELAND MULTI-GENRE ROMANCE collection! Six of the top names in Historical Romance have come together to bring you these great and passionate tales from Ireland. Where soft winds blow and the green grass of Eire breeds epic heroes and fiery women, you will find tales to sate your passion and warm your heart. This collection includes: Black Sword by Kathryn Le Veque – In this unconventional love story, an Irish rebel and the sister of his English enemy find passion in the midst of a great uprising. My Lady of Deception by Christi Caldwell – A daughter of a traitor falls for her father’s prisoner. When the carefully crafted lies she’s built between them begin to crumble, the lady realizes she will do anything to prove her love and loyalty to her father’s prisoner – even it means at the expense of her own life. A Knight’s Victory by…

Jessica Arnold | The Unexpected Sequel
Author Guest / March 17, 2016

When I started writing THE LOOKING GLASS, a sequel was the furthest thing from my mind. Then I signed a two-book deal with Month9Books, and the yet unwritten book two suddenly became a concern. I’d always thought of THE LOOKING GLASS as a stand-alone story. And here’s the thing about stand-alone stories—they end. Isn’t it nice when a story just ends instead of dragging on forever and ever and on and on …. and making you think about things like consequences and whether the people who were happy at the end of Book 1 could actuallystay happy forever after? Happily ever afters don’t happen if the story doesn’t end. Into the Woods is one of my favorite musicals ever created. You’ve probably seen it or heard of it and if you haven’t seen it or heard of it you should go forth to Google and fix that right now. It’s a fairy-tale mash-up in which all the characters get their happy endings at the end of Act I. Then, in Act II, the characters have to deal with the consequences of getting what they want. They have to deal with uncertainty. They have to venture out into real life, where…

Nicole Luiken | Not Your Everyday Supernatural Creature
Author Guest / March 17, 2016

I read a lot. Like, really a lot, over 200 books a year. The majority of my reading is paranormal, fantasy or SF. Which means I have read a LOT of books about werewolves and vampires. I still love both of those tropes, but every so often it’s fun to leave behind the comfortable tried-and-true in favor of something a little more unique. So when it came time to design my fantasy worlds I deliberately chose some more exotic supernatural beings. Like dragons, sirens and gargoyles. And phantoms. Why those ones? My Otherselves series is one of mirrors and magic and parallel worlds. Each Mirror World has its own elemental magic—Air, Fire, Water and Stone—as well as the mirror magic that joins them. The Mirror Worlds are imperfect copies of each other. Rare people, known as Callers, have otherselves—mirror twins—on each of the Mirror Worlds. The villain of the series is a sorceress named Qeturah who was exiled from the True World to the Fire World for killing her Fire otherself. Qeturah seeks power and uses a magic ritual to bear the child of a fire elemental. Her child is dragon shifter. But because Qeturah has otherselves, they also conceived…

Nina Crespo | Top 5 Office Must-Haves
Author Guest / March 17, 2016

We all have those items we can’t do without during the work day. In some cases, we’re attached to them more than we care to admit. I know it would have been torture to complete my latest book without them. Small comforts can make the difference. I’m up for sharing so I’ll confess to the top 5 on my list. Vanilla or pumpkin flavored protein shake in my coffee. I enjoy my caffeine fix. I don’t always get around to making breakfast, but I will grab a protein shake to support my workouts. This way, I take care of both and get the morning rolling. A spin bike in my office. My workouts keep me sane, but on my non-gym days or when my schedule is full (okay, when I’m too lazy to dress in decent workout clothes), I hop on the bike. It’s also great stress relief in between pages of hard edits. My iMac and iPad in proximity. Music, movies, games, video chats, checking email and social media, and yes, writing, all must happen at some point during the day. I’m usually using both devices at the same time. I have been known to experience withdrawal-like symptoms if…

Sharon Hamilton | It’s a People Thing
Author Guest / March 17, 2016

Romancing The Vines was a wonderful book signing event with fellow authors: Marina Adair, Catherine Bybee, Susan Stoker, Tiffany Snow, Carolyn Jewel, Kathryn LeVeque, Diana Orgain, Lori Ryan, Chris Keniston, Kate Douglas, Pamela Gibson, Lisa Hughey and myself. We hosted this book signing the week after Valentine’s Day at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, California. You can get more information and some awesome pictures about the location and all the movie sets resident in their tasting room by checking it out HERE. Mark your calendars for next year’s event: March 4, 2017. Our site will host prizes and notices as well as ticket sales later this summer. If you are interested as an author, there will still be only 13 slots available, and I’m looking for good promoters with a good fan base! I also was in Tucson for the Tucson Festival of Books. Over 1500 vendors and over 150,000 people attended this event, which gets larger every year. This was my 4th year attending. Got to sit next to Randall Dale, my new cowboy friend, and former Navy SEAL Chris Heben. People ask me all the time if it’s worth it to attend so many events in…

Marie Harte | Paranormal is Back
Author Guest / March 17, 2016

Paranormal is back! Not that it ever really went away, but like everything else in romance-land, trends glut the market. For a while, vampires were everywhere. You couldn’t open a romance without bumping into a demon, a dragon, or a ghost. It became difficult to find regular contemporary romances, and only the historicals had just humans in the mix. Then the tides changed. Contemporary began sweeping back in. Hello Fifty Shades of popularity! Erotic and mainstream contemporary were back. In 2014 in particular, this was good news to me as I had a brand new series I’d released. It was a lot of fun, but I had to adhere to rules. Just because my hero wanted to be right next to the heroine didn’t mean he could teleport there or dematerialize into a bat and fly there. But the challenges involved in sticking to the rules were exciting. So I’ve been writing contemporary a lot lately. Then the opportunity to revisit a favorite group of shapeshifters came my way. Paranormal romance is once again building steam, and I couldn’t be happier. The Mark of Lycos series features shapeshifters who exist on the fringe of everyday society. I didn’t want them…