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Oh, you guys are in luck, two giveaways at once! Welcome to Melissa Schroeder!
Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Of course as soon as I hit ‘send’ on my post, Melissa sent me her stuff, so we have TWO giveaways today…Melissa Schroeder’s here and mine below. Woo Hoo!

Melissa is a lovely lady that I recently met through Samhain (We both are lucky enough to have Laurie Rauch as our editor.) I’m very happy to welcome her here today. Melissa has generously offered to give away one copy of HER MOTHER’S KILLER to one comenter on her post–Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone.

motherskiller72

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone by Melissa Schroeder

As some of my readers know, I have recently started writing a new series that is in a new genre for me. It came about after some hard thinking on what to send to my agent next. Granted, I took her advice on what was looking good in the market—which unfortunately doesn’t include action adventure futuristics which I truly love to write. What was gaining a lot of steam was vampires. Which was odd because a year ago you couldn’t say the word vampire without making an editor run away screaming. The success of True Blood on HBO and the Twilight series, not to mention several things on the horizon, publishers saw a new uptick in interest.

I wanted to write in vampires, but, let’s be honest, there has been a lot done in that realm in the last few years. So, I knew I needed to do something different, something unique. Historical has a few vampires, but I went a completely different direction, melding together what I knew about historicals, vampires and world building and came up with a unique concept. Granted, still not sure if NY is going to take a bite of it, but I am hopeful. What I took away from the experience was a renewed excitement.

When I started planning By Blood, I was at a tough place. I had three proposals out, all of them sort of seemed stalled, and I was having problems writing my contracted work. There were various reasons for that, stress, work issues, family…other writers know what I am talking about. I wasn’t sure I could pull it off because I will be truthful, 2009 has been a tough year for me. Thankfully, not as bad as the dreaded hospital year of 2007, but I kept getting knocked down metaphorically by problems mostly related to my work. So, taking a chance on a different genre, melding two genres together in a way I had never attempted was daunting.

I was pretty lucky thought. Shayla Black, aka Shelley Bradley, and Kris Cook helped me through the concept. Still, when I sat down to write the proposal, I was a little worried. This was going to take a chunk out of my time, where I could be writing things for my publishers now, and it was going to make me take a hit in royalties because my releases would be spread out. I had also been through 9 months of disappointments with projects I sent to NY. Was it worth the risk?

I found out the answer to that was a resounding YES. I loved delving into a world of my own creation. I know some readers will say that I can do that every day I write. But, when you build the world, you can break the rules, and recreate the kind of rules you like. I got my creative juices going, and gave me a renewed optimism about my writing on a whole. Don’t get me wrong, I always have my down days, but for the first time in a long time, I feel a real energy about writing, ideas that just keep coming to me.

I think we can all learn that a comfort zone is just that. Some place warm and cuddly, where we are never challenged, and if we are, we know we can beat that challenge without much effort. A person can get complacent, lazy. You can still succeed there, but for someone like me, I need a challenge. That challenge presented itself in a Victorian vampire world, one that tested not only my writing skills but also my plotting abilities. Rising to confront the new genre has given me a new outlook on my writing and has me looking toward the future again. That is something I could have never had without it.

Melissa Schroeder is the author of over 25 short stories, novellas and novels spanning from historical to futuristic and sensual to erotic. She loves to laugh and always believes that everyone deserves a happy ending. Her most recent release was Turning Paige from Ellora’s Cave. She finally lives with her AF Major husband and two military brats where the bugs die in the winter. She can be reached via her website.

And your guest author today is
Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

ME!! EEK, I just realized that I don’t have Melissa S’s information. I have a plea out to her, so if she sends me her stuff, I’ll put it up as well. Sorry, but you’ll have to put up with me! Here’s a bit about the reason for all the hoopla for the past few weeks–an excerpt from Paradise Rules. I’ll give away a signed copy of Paradise to one commenter tomorrow morning. Good luck!

paradiserules.booklook
PARADISE RULES
Publisher: Berkley Heat
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Format: Trade Paperback

She didn’t believe in paradise…

To most people Hawaii’s crystal blue shores are an inviting opportunity to escape reality. But for Lana Rodriguez who grew up there, the picture-perfect vacation getaway disguises the bitter truths she escaped years ago, and not without some emotional scars. Now a successful blues singer, Lana’s returning to Waikiki with a different outlook on the past, and a bold defiance when it comes to men, romance, and sex. This time, it’s on her terms.

Until she found it in him.

Local celebrity, businessman and island god, Jason Koa, may be every woman’s dream. For Lana, it’s not exactly love at first sight. Though their start is rocky, they can’t deny the passions they arouse in each other. Jason refuses to become Lana’s pawn. It’s time to show her who makes the rules on this island—and in the bedroom. But will Jason’s attempt at breaking Lana’s shell reveal secrets that neither are prepared to face, or will they allow themselves to get swept away by a tidal wave of desire?

Excerpt

Five minutes later, after he was satisfied that Melanie had the basics of paddling, kneeling, positioning herself in a standing position in the center of the board, and falling in the safest way, he suggested that she go and pick out a board from the beginner rack he kept on the beach.

He gave Melanie’s silent friend a bland look. “You’re up.”

“I don’t need instruction on the basics.”

“Is that right?” he asked mockingly.

He glanced down over her. He had to admit she had the body of an athlete. It wouldn’t surprise him if she knew exactly what she was doing. He’d immediately taken note of the casual manner in which she took off her sundress earlier in his shop. She was as used to bearing her body as the female swimmers he knew—as most native Hawaiians, for that matter.

He hated to admit it, but she had excellent reason to be comfortable stripping down in public. She had a jaw-dropping body—strong and supple, but soft and feminine, too. And even though she wasn’t tanned, her smooth skin held a golden hue that promised to soak up the sun thirstily. If she stayed on the island for two weeks, she’d probably be ready to contend in a Miss Hawaiian Tropic contest.

“I’ll be the one to decide whether or not you need instruction. Get up on the board, and show me the basics.”

Her muscles stiffened. For a second, he thought she’d refuse, which would be fine by him. He’d be more than happy to leave her on the beach.

She surprised him by stepping up on the board, however. He stopped her with a hand on her elbow when she started to go lie down on her belly.

“Take off the hat and glasses.”

She started. Despite her frigid nature, her skin felt warm and satiny beneath his appreciative fingers.

“Why? What difference does it make?”

“I like to be able to look into the eyes of my students. Got a problem with that?”
He felt her stare on him from behind the dark glasses.

“Look, Waikiki isn’t Waimea in March—or even Sandy for that matter,” he said, referring to a few Oahu advanced surfer beaches. “But it ain’t the wave pool at the water park, either, lady. Those waves can pound the hell out of you. If you don’t do what I say, it can be dangerous. Call me an ass, but I tend to like to know what I’m dealing with before I take responsibility for you out there. If I can’t look into your eyes, it makes it a little difficult for me to know what you’re made of. Play by my rules, or don’t play at all.”

He realized he’d tightened his grip on her firm biceps. Without speaking she removed the straw hat and tossed it on the grass. Brown hair with golden highlights spilled around her shoulders. The glasses landed on top of the hat. Exotically tilted hazel eyes studied him coldly through thick, long lashes.

He knew those eyes. He knew that face. So did half the population.

He dropped his hand.

Okay, so half the population wouldn’t recognize her. She wasn’t pop-star famous by any means, but she did have a loyal following, not to mention the fact that her work commanded the respect of blues and jazz aficionados across the globe.

“Show me what you got,” he said grimly. He watched her as she gracefully came up into a surfing stance.

“I told you,” she said coldly over her left shoulder.

Jason spread his hand on the back of her thigh. “You know the actions, but you need to loosen up. You’re too tight. Relax” He almost broke out in a huge smile when he slapped her thigh lightly. Her eyes widened in disbelief.

“Get your hand off me.”

“Give me a break, lady,” he muttered as he slid his hand down to her ankle, urging her to widen her stance an inch or two. “You saw me touching your friend as well. You need to relax more than just your body. Your attitude could use a Hawaiian adjustment as well.”

“Think I should just hang loose, dude?”

He paused with his hand on her firm calf and glanced up at her. Her face was livid with fury.

“You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you wear that particular expression on the front cover of a magazine. I guess that’s for the best, considering the publisher wants people to buy their magazine, not be repulsed by it.”

She clamped her jaw shut. He watched in fascination as her face smoothed into a beautiful mask of impassivity. He stroked her satiny skin ever so lightly, preferring her fury for some reason. Must be turning into a masochist in his old age. When she tensed even further, he knew she’d noticed his subtle groping. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Melanie approaching with a short board under her arm.

“Lana.” Her name lingered on his tongue. “That wouldn’t be short for ‘Ailana now, would it?”

This was interesting, Jason thought when he saw her cheek muscle twitch. He rose slowly until he looked down at her, holding her gaze all the while.

“It means loving in Hawaiian. Of course without the okina, the word ailana refers to raw, fuck-me-till-I’m-blind sexual intercourse,” he said softly, referring to the punctuation mark before the name. He saw the fury return to her expression and smiled insolently. “Ah—I see you already knew that, ‘Ailana.”

“There isn’t a damn thing you can teach me that I don’t already know and wish I didn’t, Mr. Koa.”

He leaned closer, catching her fresh, floral fragrance combined with healthy, sweet sweat. Onaona, he thought, instinctively using his admittedly primitive knowledge of the Hawaiian language to describe her scent. She even smelled like the islands.

“I beg to differ.”

He saw her nostrils flare. His eyes fastened on her lush mouth.

“Is this board okay, Jason?” Melanie called out. He stepped back, glad for the interruption. He was only too happy to consider something else beside the fact that his cock had just stiffened to a lead pipe as he verbally sparred with a prima dona who clearly had some serious issues.

Not his problem.

So what if her personality was a far stretch from what he’d thought it would be given her low, sultry singing voice. Her voice, face, and body had thrilled many a male before him. He didn’t need to be a fan of the entertainment industry to know that most famous people were whacked. Why should it surprise him that Lana Rodriguez was no different?

Still, Jason acknowledged he was disappointed. Her voice and bluesy arrangements brought out the pensive, moody side of him—the side he rarely showed others, certainly not in his role as an athlete or as an extroverted businessman in the Hawaiian tourist industry. In truth, he’d always been a little haunted by her songs.

He suppressed a frown when he fully registered his thoughts and gave an easy grin instead.

“Yeah, that’s perfect, Melanie. Why don’t you go and pick a board, Lana, and we’ll catch a wave.”

“Bitchin’,” he heard Lana mutter scathingly under her breath before she walked away.

Pre-order Paradise Rules

What people are saying about Paradise…

–Love scenes that are so hot they set the pages on fire…a must add to your forever bookshelf! ParanormalRomanceReviews

–4 stars from Romantic Times”“Kery creates tension by weaving together a mystery and a happily-ever-after love story.

–5 Stars from Genre Go Round Reviews–hot enough to melt the polar cap

–A “Desert Island Keeper” from Lea Closetwriter–these two are volcanic together

The Winner of Shaylas Contest is
Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

#31 Lisa F!! Congrats, Lisa. Write me at bethkery@aol.com with your address, and I’ll pass on the information to Shayla. Thanks to Shayla for stopping by and telling us about her new book!

Neither of the two people who won Laurie Rauch’s contest have contacted me with the information to give out the prizes. I’ll give you another 24 hours to contact me at bethkery@aol.com. If I don’t hear from you, I’ll draw two more names out of Laurie’s commenters.

The Paradise Rules big contest winner will be chosen next Monday, so make sure your entry is in!

Up next, meet author Melissa Schroeder and another book giveaway!

Shayla is back, talking about her newest book! (and a giveaway of Seduce Me in Shadow)
Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Shayla’s at the Paradise Rules Contest, and she’s got another hot, hot book coming out…today!! And you just might win it. Leave Shayla a comment, and qualify to win a copy of Seduce Me in Shadow tomorrow morning!

Shayla

Seduce Me in Shadow

Ex-Marine Caden MacTavish has shunned his magical heritage all his life, but he will do anything to heal his desperately ill brother, a Doomsday Brethren warrior in mourning for his missing mate. Posing as a photographer, Caden must convince firecracker tabloid reporter Sydney Blair to reveal the source of her recent exposé on a supernatural power clash. Unfortunately, keeping his hands off the sizzling redhead proves as hard as getting them onto the potent and mystical Doomsday Diary he discovers at her bedside. A bloody rebellion led by an evil, power-hungry wizard is imminent. If Sydney divulges the book’s existence, she will jeopardize magickind’s most deeply guarded secrets and become the ruthless wizard’s number one target. Caden has never trusted magic’s cruel and dangerous powers, but he will protect Sydney with his life and magic—even if it means risking his heart.

Reviews

Rated HOT! “Dramatic… A page turner!” ~ RT Bookclub

Recommended Read! “Emotionally charged conflict and sizzling sexual tension add to the page-turning quality of this paranormal suspense. Once again, Black delivers!” ~ Fallen Angel Reviews

5 out of 5! “SEDUCE ME IN SHADOW is highly addicting and emotionally gripping. The plot sizzles with twists and turns that kept me engrossed long after I finished reading. Highly recommend…” ~ Romance Junkies

“…full of excitement, sensuality, and suspense…Seduce Me in Shadow is engrossing. The Doomsday Brethren is an intriguing series and I look forward to the next installment.” ~ Joyfully Reviewed

“Ms. Black blends magic, mystery and romance into a suspenseful tale. Her masterful storytelling comes through on every page.” ~ Paranormal Romance Writers

“I really enjoyed this book. Seduce Me in Shadow hints at the next book, teasing the reader into wanting more. I cannot wait!” ~ ParaNormal Romance Reviews

“This book is chock full of action…and twists and turns that leave you craving more. How many days do I have to wait until “Posses Me At Midnight” comes out?” ~ Naughty Editions Books

“Captivating… SEDUCE ME IN SHADOW should not be missed.” ~ Romance Reviews Today

Interview:

Q. What is the concept behind the Doomsday Brethren and the order of the releases?

A. In today’s world of technology, science and logic, few people realize that magic lives and breathes-and walks on two legs-among mortals. Or that magickind possesses a weapon that can hurt, heal, comfort, destroy, grant fantasies, bring peace. Or, in the hands of someone terrible and strong enough to call forth its power, the weapon can bring about doomsday.

Created during the days of the Round Table, it resurfaces in modern-day London and is sought by a wizard of evil brilliance with one goal: dominion over human and magical worlds alike. Only a band of wizards, enemies who must learn to become friends and accept love, can save the world from destruction.

To learn more about the wizard warriors who defend magickind from evil, Meet the Doomsday Brethren.

Books are:

TEMPT ME WITH DARKNESS ““ Available now

SEDUCE ME IN SHADOW ““ Releases 9/29

POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT ““ Releases 10/27

Plus two additional titles currently scheduled for late 2010!

Q. What inspired the idea behind the Doomsday Brethren?

A couple of things, actually. I’d had the idea for TEMPT ME WITH DARKNESS back in 1996. Two of my heroes, Marrok and Bram, were running around my head with Olivia, the heroine of TEMPT ME WITH DARKNESS and the Doomsday Diary. But I was unable to come up with a whole plot I liked. I always felt like something was missing. Then over Christmas in 2006, my grandmother said that she really liked books about magic, and I started talking about my idea. Other characters had popped into my head by then. Sydney, for one. I frequently have lunch with an author friend, and he and I chatted about the series. From there, I started piecing the ideas together in my head, and soon, the rest of the Doomsday Brethren were born.

Q. Your new book, SEDUCE ME IN SHADOW, releases on September 29th. It features Caden and Sydney. Tell us a bit about them. What makes them the perfect couple?

A. Opposites attract for a reason. Our job as romance authors is, of course, to convince the reader that the hero and heroine are in love and will be forever. Part of what makes a relationship really work is finding the person that balances you, gives you qualities and points of view that you may not have yourself. In this case, Sydney is his “firecracker,” a brash, opinionated heroine who helps him open his eyes to magic. In turn, Caden helps Sydney accept that she is perfect as she is, regardless of what she’s been told in the past. She loves her for who she is and wouldn’t want her to change a bit. They comfort, reassure, balance each other.

Q. If you had to put together a playlist to the series what songs/music would be on the list?

A. TEMPT ME WITH DARKNESS, the first in the series, I wrote largely to Celtic/New Age music. Marrok being fifteen hundred years old influenced my musical choices. SEDUCE ME IN SHADOW and POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT were both written to music I grabbed onto from the now-cancelled “Moonlight” TV show, like “Look After You” by The Fray, “Drowning” by The Stereophonics, “All Over You” by the Spill Canvass, “Together” by The Kin, “Love Remains The Same” by Gavin Rossdale, “Your Guardian Angel” by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, plus some other faves like “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence and “Broken” by Amy Lee and Seether. I’m very auditory and I love to write to music.

Q. Recently, you released “Fated,” a free Doomsday Brethren e-novella. Where can we find it?

A. It’s available for FREE download here. It’s for a limited time, and I hope everyone downloads and enjoys it. Kari and Ronan are a special couple. Ronan and his bad boy twin, Raiden, also make appearances in future installments of the Doomsday Brethren series.

Q. What can we look forward to in future installments in the Doomsday Brethren series?

A. POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT releases next month, and I’m SO excited about Ice’s book. He was a gift from my imagination and a pure joy to write about. I can’t wait to share this story about him and Sabelle! You’ll also see forward motion of several outstanding plots, like Lucan’s journey. I’ll introduce new characters and hopefully provide twists you didn’t see coming. I’m currently writing the fourth book in the series. As a writer, this world and these people just seem to get more interesting as time passes.

Q. Switching to your erotic Wicked Lovers series, will Luc from DECADENT ever get his own book?

A. Yes! DELICIOUS is all about Luc and bad girl strip club owner Alyssa Devereaux. Look for it on bookshelves in March 2010.

Q. Where can readers find you on the web?

A. My sites are:

Shayla

Doomsday Brethren

Facebook:

· Shayla Fan page

· Doomsday Brethren page

The Winners of Laceys Contest and a Few Announcements
Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

For the $15.00 Amazon gift certificate, Emmanuelle!
For picture giveaway–a print copy of one of Lacey’s books, Sarah!

Ladies, write me at bethkery@aol.com with your addresses. Emmanuelle, better give me a physical addy and a preferred email addy, because I’m not sure which kind of certificate Lacey has. Sarah, go to www.laceysavage.com to choose a book, and tell me that, as well.

Thanks, Lacey, for the fun contest and to everyone for making it lively!

Just a few announcements and free books, books, books. The wonderful Lea did a review of Paradise Rules and is doing some giveaways this week, including two copies of Paradise Rules, so stop by her Closetwriter blog to enter for a chance to win my October 6 erotic romance.

ALSO, Casee from The Book Binge interviewed me and has a giveaway going on for two Paradise Rules books! Read the interview and enter for the contest here.

Up next…Shayla Black is back!

So Many Books! by Lacey Savage
Monday, September 28th, 2009

A big hug and welcome to fellow author and friend, Lacey Savage. If you’ve never read Lacey’s books, you don’t know what your’re missing. You’ll never guess what’s she’s talking about today: BOOKS! And she’s giving you a chance to add to your library, nice lady that she is.

I’ve Never SEEN So Many Books! by Lacey Savage

Lacey's Library

Lacey's Library

That’s a reaction I’ve been getting a lot lately. My husband and I recently bought a new house, so we’ve been showing off the place. It’s a 2,500 square foot monster ““ a mighty big place for just the two of us. Well, in truth, it’s not just the two of us. There’s a cat. And a whole lot of books. So many books, in fact, that they need their own room.

You’re probably thinking… what’s “a lot” of books? 100? 200? Heck, 1,000?

You’re close.
2,146.

All softcover ““ paperbacks and trade paperbacks. I don’t buy hardcovers. I can’t afford them!

And… did I mention that’s just my To-Be-Read pile?

I’ve been a compulsive book buyer for as long as I can remember. I have this absurd fear of running out of reading material, so I’ve made sure to have enough to read to last me several lifetimes. And I keep buying. And buying. And… yeah, you guessed it. Buying even more.

My husband flinches every time I bring a new armful of books into the house, but he lets me get away with it because frankly, I don’t buy anything else. I own one pair of shoes, one pair of sandals, one pair of sneakers, and one pair of boots. See? I’ve got all my seasons covered. I can’t remember the last time I bought new clothes. I buy a piece of jewelry to celebrate each book sale, but I keep it under $20. (I’m in no danger of being robbed for my jewels, I assure you.)

Books are my only indulgence.
In the month of August, I bought:
“¢ 12 books from Amazon
“¢ 3 books from a brick-and-mortar store (Chapters, Canada’s equivalent of Barnes and Noble)
“¢ 18 books through Harlequin’s subscription program
“¢ 2 books through Leisure’s subscription program

If my math is right, that’s 35 new books… in one month. In the same month, I read 7. Hubby tells our friends that at this rate, he’ll have to buy the books their own house soon. Sadly, I don’t think he’s joking.

Want to win a $15 gift certificate to Amazon and indulge your own book buying impulses? Leave me a comment and tell me about your TBR pile! If you share a picture, you’ll be entered in a separate draw for any one of my paperback books. (If you’d like to share a picture, send it to bethkery@aol.com).

Lacey's Cozy Spot for Reading

Lacey's Cozy Spot for Reading

Find out more about Lacey and her books here.

Update:

Blanche's Keeper One Shelf (Yes, there is a Keeper Two)

Blanche's Keeper One Shelf (Yes, there is a Keeper Two)

Blanche's To Be Read, Sample A (Yes, there were other TBR's. LOL).

Blanche's To Be Read, Sample A (Yes, there were other TBR's. LOL).

Sarah S--she says she's allowed "two measely shelves". :)

Sarah S’s shelves: she’s only allowed ‘two measely shelves” according to Sarah. :)

bookshelf

(I couldn’t resize!)

Patti’s Plentiful Shelves

(From Beth–remember to send me a photo at bethkery@aol.com if you want to be included in a drawing for one of Lacey’s print books. If not, comment to qualify to win a $15 Amazon card generously donated by Lace).

The Winners of Laurie Rauchs Contests are
Monday, September 28th, 2009

For the three Samhain downloads of choice: #20 Laura K.!!

For the three Samhain print books (titles listed in original contest): #51 Virginia C!!

Congrats, ladies. Write me at bethkery@aol.com and I’ll get you taken care of. (Laura, give me your three choices and preferred email, Virginia, your mail addy).

Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful comments and of course Laurie Rauch herself for taking time out of her busy schedule to join us here.

I also wanted to mention that Lea from the Closetwriter blog is having her own contest going on this week to celebrate the first anniversary of her site. Go check out her contest, and then be sure to come back here to check out the next Paradise Rule author and contest.

Up next, the Paradise Rules Contest continues. We’re coming up on one week until release date…Whoop!Today, Lacey Savage asks you what’s on the top of your to be bought list for books, and provides the means of getting that book for one lucky commenter.

Laurie M. Rauch Interview and a Mega-Samhain-Book-Giveaway!
Saturday, September 26th, 2009

samhainPlease join me in welcoming Samhain Publishing Executive Editor Laurie Rauch! Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed at my blog.

LMR: Thank you so much for having me, Beth. I’m excited to be here.

BK: First off, big congratulations on your new position as Executive Editor at Samhain! What has been the biggest challenge during the first month of your new job?

LMR: Thank you, I’m pretty darn excited about the whole thing. I really love working at Samhain, so having the opportunity to be more involved with the company and the direction of the editorial department as a whole is so cool.

As for challenges, my biggest has been all the extra emails, because I seem to spend a lot of my time answering emails. Really, the whole new job is a bit of a challenge, but I’m loving every minute of it because I’m learning so much.

BK: Tell us about your vision for Samhain. In what areas do you think you can make a significant impact in your capacity as Executive Editor?

LMR: I have a few big ideas, none of which I can talk about just yet, but expect announcements of some really exciting things we’re going to be doing in the near future. A lot of the changes I’ve made so far have been more from an internal perspective, so they may not be immediately noticeable to our readers, but I’m hoping they’re making a positive effect on both our staff and our processes.

As far as making an impact goes, I’m hoping to renew our focus of providing high-quality, well-edited stories for our readers. Our motto has always been and will always be “it’s all about the story”, so that’s really where my attention will be moving forward.

BK: How is Samhain different? If you were at a conference and trying to convince Rising Star Author to submit, what would you say?

LMR: I just think we’re awesome, so that’s my best reason. *grin* Really, though, one of the things that drew me to Samhain as an editor was how quickly the company made its mark on the industry. The company hit the ground running and has really grown and established itself as a force to be reckoned with. I like to think we have a reputation of putting out great stories, our editors are wonderful to work with, and we are constantly looking at ways of expanding our distribution to get our books in front of as many readers as possible.

I think digital publishing as a whole is really about to explode, so not only does Rising Star Author have a chance to get in on something that’s going to be really big, but also a chance to work with a company with a solid plan in place for growth and wider exposure.

BK: Tell us a bit about you and your career path? Have you always wanted to be an editor? Did you have a moment when you realized—Wow, this editing thing is awesome?

LMR: I did my bachelor’s in Theatre, with a focus on playwriting and production, so I was very much a backstage geek. But, I’d been a bookworm since I learned to read when I was four, so I knew my career path would take me somewhere that involved writing, no matter where I ended up. I always say my big revelation came one night as I was standing in an empty theatre hanging a light, and that’s when I fully realized that theatre wasn’t where I saw my career going (although I still do the odd community theatre production, because I’m never going to get theatre out of my blood), but I’d been thinking of my future for a while at that point. It was the book “˜Careers for Bookworms’ that made me realize being an editor was where I should be focusing, and as soon as I made the decision, I set myself on that path, and I’ve been going down it ever since.

My first wow this is awesome moment came the first time I saw a book I edited in Chapters (big Canadian bookstore). Up ’til that point, most of what I’d done was corporate and technical editing, so my work wasn’t out for the world at large to see. But when my first book, Internet Law: A Practical Guide for Legal and Business Professionals, hit the stores, and I got to see my book in print, that just made the whole thing a bit more awesome.

BK: You’ve been an editor at Samhain for quite a while. What is your biggest pet peeve in a submission, aside from grammar issues? (We all know you’re a Grammar Geek.)

LMR: Yep, I’m definitely a grammar geek (and I totally didn’t fix your grammar in one of the later questions. ;) ), but I’m actually seeing a lot of stories that are light on plot and conflict, which I confess I find incredibly frustrating. I’m all for hot and plentiful sex in a romance, but that can’t be the only thing carrying a story. Without the conflict, the whole “˜how are they ever going to get past this big thing and realize they’re meant for each other’, the story just isn’t going to have the wowie zowie that’s going to keep readers reading.

BK: (Oh, groan about my grammar mistake. Unfortunately, Laurie knows I am not much of a grammar geek and need her editing desperately).
I know it’s a cliché question, but I know I’m curious as to your answer, so others might be too—What genres do you see as being hot in the market in the next few years?

LMR: I think erotic romance is here to stay, although I suspect it may evolve into more of a focus on the story than the position du jour as readers become more discriminating. I’m hopeful that romantic comedy will make a resurgence, but I despair I may be in the minority on that one. Futuristics, steampunk, cyberpunk, I think will get hotter, and paranormal will continue its popularity. I’m also hopeful for both the contemporary and the historical romance. And I’d love to see more suspense and whodunits.

BK: Can you give us a few short samples (a couple lines or a paragraph) of writing that just blew you away it was so good?

LMR: This is one of the few quotes that I loved so much I wrote it out and hung it on a wall when I was in University. It’s such an eloquent declaration of love:
Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet, for those who are wondering.

BK: Perfect choice, Laurie.
Do you have any idols in the publishing industry? Anyone who has really influenced your work and career mission?

LMR: I did an internship in Harlequin’s Editorial department in Toronto while I was in school, and the editors I worked with there were so incredibly helpful and sharing of their knowledge. I think their passion for the industry and their willingness to help a student who flitted into their lives for a few months really inspired the kind of editor I wanted to be. And I hope I get the chance to pay it forward someday.

BK: Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself here today, Laurie, and best of luck to you.
Leave Laurie a comment and two lucky people will win EITHER three Samhain e-books of choice (generously donated by Laurie) OR three Samhain print books (Snowbound by Larissa Ione, Checkmate by Annmarie McKenna and Beautiful Girl by Shiloh Walker). Prizes will be rewarded Monday morning, September 28.

Snowbound

The Winner of Lucys Contest Is
Saturday, September 26th, 2009

#2 Mary G! Woot, Mary! Write me at bethkery@aol.com, and I’ll forward your address information to Lucy. Thanks to Lucy for joining us and sharing about herself and her wonderful books, as well.

Psstt…have you entered the Paradise Rules Contest? Go to the top of my blog and get in an entry if you haven’t yet. The $100 Amazon GC giveaway is creeping up, right along with the release of Paradise Rules!

Up next, Samhain Executive Editor Laurie M. Rauch joins us…and a mega-Samhain-book-giveaway!

The Winner of Julie James contest (and a scheduling change)
Friday, September 25th, 2009

#6 Amy M! Congrats Amy! Write me at bethkery@aol.com with your address and JJ book choice. Thanks to Julie for such a terrific article and taking the time to be with us here.

Now, originally the Executive Editor at Samhain, Laurie Rauch was scheduled to be here today. However, she’s gotten snagged up with business and travel, so she’s going to be here tomorrow instead. You don’t want to miss this informative interview, by the way. And because Laurie felt bad about having to postpone, she’s offering three Samhain book downloads in addition to the three print Samhain books I’m giving away! Spread the word about Laurie’s guest spot tomorrow and Sunday.

Up next, talented author Lucy Monroe visits!



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