Monday, November 30, 2009

Diane Craver's Tiki Hut Winner

Thanks to all who stopped by to celebrate Diane Craver's new release with her and congrats to s7anna - Diane's daughter drew your name and Diane will get your prize out to you soon.

Monday, November 23, 2009

This Week's Special Guest Is Diane Craver

As the youngest in the family growing up on a farm outside of Findlay, Ohio, Diane Craver often acted out characters from her own stories in the backyard. In high school she was the student sitting in class with a novel hidden in front of her propped up textbook. Her passion for reading novels had to be put on hold during her college years at Ohio State University with working part-time on campus and being a full-time student. Before embarking on her writing career, she was a school teacher and play director.

Diane is a member of Romance Writers of America. Several non-fiction articles have been published in Woman’s World Weekly, The Catholic Telegraph, Virtue, Down Syndrome Today,, and several other publications. Her book, The Christmas of 1957, received 5 stars from the Midwest Book Review. She writes contemporary romance, inspirational mainstream, chick-lit mystery, and non-fiction books.

After watching the original movie, Cheaper by the Dozen, young Diane decided then and there, she someday wanted a large family. By the time she married Tom, the love of her life, she decided maybe six children was a better number than twelve. She enjoys her life in southwestern Ohio with her husband and six children. Two daughters, Christina and April, live away from home with successful careers. Another two children, Bartholomew and Emily, are attending college. Life is never boring with two daughters, Sara and Amanda, born with Down syndrome living at home. Diane’s husband of thirty-one years is very supportive of her writing career, as well as her awesome children.

Visit Diane's Website *** Visit Diane's Blog

Welcome to the Tiki Hut, Diane!


Using Life Experiences in My Writing

As a writer, I have to admit that my stories are influenced by my many life experiences. Hey, I've lived life fully! LOL Even though I might use some real-life situations and interesting features from actual people for my characters, I create fictional stories for the reader's enjoyment.

When I wrote my newest release, WHITNEY IN CHARGE, I wanted to write a story about sisters and their family bond. The focus had to be on the youngest sister, Whitney, since I'm the little sis in my family. I could easily write how the older sisters like to mother the youngest. In Whitney's case, her sisters Shannon and Regan want Whitney to get back into dating after her husband's death. Unfortunately, they think they know best and sign her up for skydiving so that she can meet hot guys. Whitney hates heights and flying! I also enjoyed writing about Whitney falling in love again.

In my chick-lit mystery, book, A FIERY SECRET, the main character is a feisty investigative reporter, Catherine Steel. The inspiration for her came from my daughter Christina. I stole a few of her amusing dating stories for a bit of the storyline. There's a secondary character Miranda born with Down syndrome. She was fun to write. I think it's important to show people with disabilities in a positive light. Miranda is actually based on my youngest daughter Amanda. She is a vivacious 19-year-old and brings great joy to our family.

Luke Brunsman, a character in my inspirational romance, NO GREATER LOSS, was inspired by my husband, Tom. I also like my heroines to be strong women with athletic abilities. Psychologist Jennifer Hunter is a great tennis player (I'm not) and Tori Moorhead in my women's fiction, NEVER THE SAME, is awesome in sports. After watching our daughters, April and Emily, excel in sports, I like to include athletic abilities in some of my female characters. I admire athletic talent, especially since I have none in that area. Hey, I started out on the varsity girls' basketball team but was moved to the reserve team.

But I don't just get creative ideas from my own family and life. TV has been a big influence. One idea actually came from a news report about a plane crash. When I heard of a woman walking away from this crash and wanting to change her life, my imagination took this compelling idea to develop the story for NEVER THE SAME. The same thing happened with A FIERY SECRET. On TV they mentioned Prince Charles and Camilla Bowles getting married, and an idea popped into my head how cool it’d be for the main character to have a fantasy related to Buckingham Palace.

I will continue writing some real-life situations for my characters, but I will also use imagination to mold them into unique people.

: Leave a comment or question for Diane this week and you're entered in her drawing. The winner will get to choose a free download from her Samhain backlist. The titles are NO GREATER LOSS, A FIERY SECRET, or NEVER THE SAME.

Monday, October 26, 2009

This Week At The Tiki Hut - An X Rated Halloween

Thanks for such a fun post and thanks for sharing you Halloween interview with us!

We had five winners this week - each will receive a free ebook from one this week's talented authors!!!

Andrea - Judy - Joey - Estella - Booklover0226 - if we drew you name, email me at with your info so we can get you out your free ebooks!!

Extasy Book at Halloween - Vampires, Shifters and Sex - A Match Made in Hell itself!

Halloween’s right around the corner and I’ve a great book coming out by eXtasy Books, Bloody Passion, genre M/M, ménage, horror, dark fantasy—The Druid, the hunter, the apprentice: sex, power and transformation…what else?

But this is not the news I wanted to give you. No, the real excitement is I’ve joined forces with 4 other wonderful writers, Courtney Breazile; Angela Caperton, Jamboree Jones and C.R. Moss to promote our upcoming releases. Until Angela launched the idea, few had tried a group promo adventure which is not the cost sharing of an ad, but a collective brainstorming to plan and plot new strategies on a group level, rather the usual individual one. And I must admit what we came up so far is incredible, to say the least. But first a word about our 5 books, which are:

Reincarnated Death Wish by Courtney Breazile – Release date Oct. 15th
Green Flash by Angela Caperton – Release date Oct. 31st
Unseen Path by Jambrea Jones – Release date Oct. 31st
In the Spirit by C.R. Moss – Release date Oct. 15th
Bloody Passion by Laura Tolomei – Release date Oct. 31st

One of our best achievements is a great trailer, available on YouTube:

Another promo idea was to devise a mini-interview where each of us asked and answered 3 questions, concerning Halloween. Here are my questions and the answers I received.

1. What Halloween creature would you bring on a deserted island?

Angela: I think a black cat familiar. A magical one, of course, that can change into a rakish lover.

Courtney: Werewolf, one of my favorite beasts.

CR: A witch so we could manifest things

Jambrea: A werewolf...hoping he would change into a hunky man. heehee

Laura: Frankenstein with John Holmes’s equipment.

2. What Halloween creature would you choose to become?

Angela: An owl! I live in the woods and I see them and hear them this time of year. We have a mating pair of Barred Owls that live on our property and every fall I love listening to them call to each other. I think it would be wonderful to fly and hunt by moonlight.

Courtney: I would be a sexy witch, no green skin and warts.

CR: A witch ;)

Jambrea: I think I'll go with the same answer...werewolf. :)

Laura: Vampire’s wife.

3. What would be the perfect Halloween soundtrack?

Angela: I’m a Loreena McKennitt fan, and her albums are some of the most beautiful and haunting songs and music I have heard. Mysterious, atmospheric, light and dark, she is the slice of frozen time that is Samhain – that is Halloween.

Courtney: Deep breathing.

CR: IMHO the perfect soundtrack for Halloween is the soundtrack from the movie Halloween. The first one, not the remake... Though I do like Rob Zombie's music and his ideas for the remakes...

Jambrea: Wow...this hard. Little Red Ridding Hood. There is a song out by Sam the Sham and the Pharaoh's that would be a great theme. Here is the song...

Laura: Howling wolves.

Read the more Q&A on the other author’s blogs:

Well, what do you know…it’s been great fun and for the future, we’re scheduling chats all across the web. And however things turn out, it has been a great experience, very instructive in learning to cooperate with fellow authors and great ladies like my co-partners have proved to be. So thank you and look for us on the Internet. Ciao from Rome,

Laura Tolomei

WIN - This week, you have FIVE chances to win!!! To get your name in the hat for one of the five free downloads by this week's guests, simply leave a comment or a question here at the Tiki Hut Blog this week, our FIVE winners will be chosen next Monday, so stop by next week to see who our five lucky readers are - you just may be one!

Monday, October 19, 2009

This Week's Special Guest Cherish D'Angelo/Cheryl Kaye Tardif

The Birth of Cherish D’Angelo, aka Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Call me Cheryl; I prefer first names. You could also call me Cherish, since that’s the name I’ve adopted as my pseudonym so that I can detour from writing mainly suspense and venture into the romance genre. Cherish D’Angelo is my flowery, romantic pen name. I selected it a few years ago when I started writing my first romance novel. Since my real first name is Cheryl, which means “dear one” or “beloved”, I wanted something similar, and “Cherish” came to mind. Finding a last name to go with it proved to be trickier. After all, when I make it big in romance, I’ll have to sign that name on thousands of books. Hundreds of thousands, hopefully.

I started an angel collection years ago as a memorial for my son, who died at birth. Prior to his birth and death, I’d ordered two angels from a friend who made ceramics. She wasn’t sure if I’d want them after he died, but I did, and this started a collection that grew every year around his birthday and at Christmas. Angels…hmmm…Cherish Angel? No. Cherish D’Angelo. YES! I’d found my new name. It means: “Beloved angel.” Yeah, that’s me.

After Cherish D’Angelo was “born”, she went to work on her first contemporary romance―Reflections. It was a story of a woman stranded on a tropical island with a reclusive rich guy, who had a deaf daughter. Cherish wrote about half of it, then hid it away on my computer. I’d realized that I had other stories that were demanding my attention―darker, more suspenseful stories. It wasn’t the right time for Cherish. So she slipped into a kind of coma, though every now and then she opened her eyes and said, “What about me?” before slipping back to sleep.

In June, I heard about a contest over at Now I’m really not much of a contest person. I love giving them and awarding prizes, but I don’t usually like entering them. I’d been a member on Textnovel ever since the CEO Stan Soper emailed me and invited me to check out the relatively new website.

What drew me to Textnovel’s newest contest was the fact that Dorchester Publishing, the oldest independent mass-market publisher in the US, had paired with Textnovel and was offering a small advance and a book contract. I’m very familiar with Dorchester. I’ve been hooked on their books since I was a teen, and my agent recently submitted my new thriller Children of the Fog to Dorchester. Plus, one of my author friends, thriller author Jeff Buick, is published with them, and I recently connected with one of their romance authors, Colleen Thompson, who is absolutely wonderful and writes awesome romantic suspense. Both told me that being at Dorchester was like being a part of a family. I want that! I want a publishing partner.

The Dorchester/Textnovel “Next Best Celler” contest is looking for the “New Voice in Romance”, and I want to be that voice. Cherish D’Angelo wants to be that voice. She’s ready now! She woke up from that virtual coma and dug out the file for Reflections. The old chapters were used as guidelines, but to date, about 80% of it is new material. Cherish has been on a roll with this novel and it’ll be finished by the end of October.

The Birth of Lancelot’s Lady

Reflections has grown into something far bigger and better than the original. A few days in, I changed the name to Lancelot’s Lady. It’s still the story of Rhianna, a young woman stranded on a tropical island with a rich recluse, but she has far more back story and Jonathan is far angrier, making for a complicated relationship and some humorous scenes. Then there’s Misty, Jonathan’s young, deaf daughter who can’t seem to keep a tutor; not to mention the development of JT Lance, Rhianna’s dying patient, and his butler Higginson, plus the inclusion of the Atkinsons, Jonathan’s caretakers.

As with my other novels, I have come to love these characters. I can picture them, right down to their flaws. And believe, me, they’re all flawed. Rhianna has survived a terrible past filled with horror and death, and Jonathan has cut himself off from family, friends and the world.

Since Lancelot’s Lady is a romantic suspense, both Cherish and Cheryl get to work on this story. I know that sounds weird, and truly, I haven’t lost it. Well, not completely. I think Lancelot’s Lady is a potpourri of sexual chemistry, sizzling tension, spicy passion, illusive danger and triumphant love. But in the end, it doesn’t matter so much what I think. I want to know what YOU think.

This leads me back to the “Next Best Celler” contest and how YOU can be involved. I really need your help to have a chance at winning this contest and to win that publishing contract. Even more, I want to know what YOU think about my newest venture and I’m willing to reward you for your time. For the months of October and November, I’ll be holding Giveaways. Right now you can visit my contest page to see how to enter this month’s Giveaway contest. You’ll have a chance to win signed novels and a $75 Starbucks gift card.

To have a chance at winning Dorchester’s contest, I really need votes and subscribers. I can’t do this without your support. Lancelot’s Lady must stay in the top 10 Most Popular, preferably the top 3. It’ll take about 5 minutes of your time to vote, but I truly hope you’ll check out Lancelot’s Lady and read it for free. And please leave me a comment there. Judges are also reading them. I truly hope you enjoy the debut of Cherish D’Angelo and Lancelot’s Lady.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, aka Cherish D’Angelo

Read & vote for Lancelot’s Lady, a Dorchester “Next Best Celler” entry, at

Enter my October & November Giveaways

Visit my website at and follow me on Twitter at

WIN - Special AuthorIsland contest: enter to win a signed copy of Cheryl’s paranormal suspense thriller Divine Intervention. Simply leave a comment here and one lucky winner will be selected. Good luck!

Monday, August 17, 2009

This Week At The Tiki Hut - Laura Tolomei

If you really want to know, I was born in 1965 in Rome, Italy, but soon started my travelling career. At the age of five, my parents took me to Lagos, Nigeria, where I grew up free and hot like I've never been since. I loved it there and still think of it with nostalgia. Anyway, it was also where I learned English.

After my African experience, I was ready to tackle the US. I lived in Atlanta, GA, five teen-age years, attending the Crestwood High School, where I started my writing career by publishing a short story Nostalgia on the Crestwood Journal. Very thrilled about discovering my new talent, I went ahead during college, writing for the Emory University journal The Phoenix. Three articles mark my first-and last-steps in journalism, "The peace Corps", "WAMM, Women Against Military Madness," and "Lesbism".

After my American experience, I moved back to Rome, but still kept living from time to time abroad, spending several months in Mumbay India, a country I always felt very close to me in more ways than one.

Today, I write both in Italian and English, mostly fiction of various genres, from fantasy erotica, to mysteries up to plain ordinary life stories.

For those of you who read Italian, you can simply visit the Italian sections of my website, but if you feel particularly lazy, here's a short summary:

I have a short story on line Incontro Metropolitano (Meeting at the Subway) and two books: PICCOLO CROCEVIA A CINQUE (Little Five Points, for those who know Atlanta it's a spot near Emory University), printed by Editing Edizioni and released in December 2008, and L'INVESTIGATTO (loosely translated The Cat Detective), publisher Ennepil Libri to release in 2009.

In English, I write erotica in various genres, mostly fantasy, sci-fi and paranormal, sometimes trespassing into contemporary. Feel free to look over my current and future projects by clicking here.

Visit her Facebook page *** Visit her Website *** Visit her Myspace Page

Laura talks about her new release SPYING THE ALCOVE

When my editor wrote me she’d gone through edits on only some of Spying the Alcove chapters, but I needed to change POV on chapters 3, 5, 7 and 9 from first to third person because she’d never seen something like that before, my stomach caved in just like Valerio’s when he saw Andrea’s glistening naked torso under the sun. True, Spying the Alcove has the unusual trait of combining two different narrative styles, one in third and the other in first person, but the mere thought I should rewrite one part to fit the other seemed wrong.

Pardon me, I don’t mean to sound snobbish nor did I plan to write something so unique. Apparently, the e-world does not have many examples of multiple POVs within the same book, but if Spying the Alcove does, it’s because it fits the storyline to a Tee, proving once again the characters make the story, never the author.

But let’s start at the beginning. The story centers around two Italian University teachers, the Professor and his assistant, digging for buried memories on the ancient city of Selimos, an archeological site located in southwestern Sicily. Long-time friends, the two men work amiably together until Andrea, the assistant, finds a Roman medallion, intact despite the centuries or the crumbling ruins littering the place. Intrigued, Valerio pockets it and that same night the medallion will begin to narrate a Roman matron’s erotic adventures in the privacy of her alcove, talking to the Professor as if it were the woman herself telling of her exciting adventures. Of course, it never entered my mind that this narration was anything but personal, which necessarily implied the use of first person, even if the story so far had been told in third person.

To a closer analysis, the novel’s own structure justifies the use of two different POVs. The medallion is in fact someone talking from a distant past, a time our protagonists know only from stuffy old books and boring researches. To bring such past truly alive, the narration needed to be as personal as possible, thus preserving the full enchantment that the printed words of sterile history books have trouble recreating.

If we also consider the book’s internal logic, it makes even more sense to have two different narrating styles because centuries of history separate the stories themselves, which never actually touch in either time or space if not in Valerio’s imagination.

Well, I guess I did a good job at arguing my point so in the end, both my editor and publisher decided to go ahead with it—more as a gamble, than because they were completely convinced—and for that, I thank them from the bottom of my heart. I know it’s not easy to take chances when you’re running a business, however creative it might turn out to be, and to try new paths is always risky. But I personally have a lot of faith in our readers.

Setting aside all logical arguments, I think readers need new inputs to keep their minds alert. I know it’s a trait of mine to challenge them, have done it before with Divinitas, a novel that mixes sex and religion in its own unique way—I like to think of it as a Laura Tolomei style—but Spying the Alcove didn’t seem to be very original at first. I mean, if you boil the Alcove’s contents down to their basic ingredients, they’re nothing different from the usual erotic book with a whole lot of sex and not much of a storyline. Allowing the two narrative POVs, however, gives the readers something more, a new way to enjoy a story and understand its characters, perhaps even with a greater emotional power than I’ve managed so far. And emotions are what my books are all about, whether written in first or third person.

WIN- To get your name in the hat for a free download of Laura's latest release, SPYING THE ALCOVE, leave Laura a question or a comment this week here on the AuthorIsland Tiki Hut Blog. A winner will be drawn Monday, August 24th - Good luck!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This Tuesday At The Tiki Hut - Nina Pierce

This week's winner is Kytaira!!! Thanks to everyone who stopped by to keep Nina company!

Nina Pierce grew up in a house of readers. So falling in love with books was only natural. In her teen years she found her mother's romance books and became forever hooked on the journey of finding one's true love. Now, if you throw in a dead body and some mayhem, Nina is in reader nirvana.

A few years ago, reading about love wasn't enough. She is now driven to write stories of alpha-males with a chink in their armor and the kick-ass women who fall in love with them. And true to what she loves, more often than not, you'll find some suspense thread running through her plots, hopefully with enough twists to keep her readers turning the pages, staying up late, and burning dinner.

A native of Maine, Nina lives in what she affectionately calls "the great white North". She is fortunate to have married her high school sweetheart and true love twenty-five years ago. They share their lives with three grown children and a menagerie of pets.

Visit Website *** Visit Myspace *** Visit Blog
Welcome to the Tiki Hut Nina!
Out of the Realm of Normalcy
by Nina Pierce

I’ll admit it. I love science fiction. I always have. When my peers were reading Judy Blume I was engrossed in the stories by Anne McCaffrey (Pern Series) and Madeline L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time). I watched Star Trek with rapt fascination. My imagination soared with the idea of aliens and prickled with the thought of ghosts living in our attic. I hated to think of monsters under my bed, but couldn’t keep myself from watching Frankenstein movies. (I know … I’m totally aging myself here … just pretend you’re not thinking I’m ancient. *wink*) I still enjoy the fantasy. The idea that the world is bigger than my senses can detect. And from the surge of paranormal books being devoured by the reading public … I don’t think I’m alone.

So what is it? What is the allure with everything paranormal? Did this recent flood start again with the Harry Potter craze and move into Twilight or has something always fascinated us about this fantasy world? A place in our imagination where vampires stalk the night and succubi invade our dreams and everything fanciful comes to life.

For me, it’s the stretching of my imagination, the possibility that there’s another dimension that exists around me. Losing myself in a story about a band of werewolf rebels fighting unseen dark forces or a faery realm where wars are fought and babies are borne, well, it just makes me sigh. Now add a love story, a broken heart, a mended relationship and I am in reader nirvana.

This has now carried over to my writing. Paranormal stories give me the opportunity to let my muse play in a world of make believe … to fantasize what it would be like to be saved by a vampire just as I’m about to be mugged on my way home from work … or meet a lion shifter on the plains of Africa … or discover that an alien species is attracted to human females. Oh, the places I can go! And I’ve just dipped my toe in the endless sea of possibilities!

My latest release Shadows of Fire in the Hearts Afire-May anthology (Liquid Silver Books May 2009) is about a military faction of vampires known as RISEN. Their job is to seek out and eliminate rogue vampires who choose not to live complacently with humans. Reese Colton is assigned to a fire station in Northern California with his partner in hopes of discovering why humans and vampires are being burned in mysterious fires. Of course the vampire he’s falling in love with appears to be wrapped up in the crimes and Reese has no idea whether to follow the clues or his heart. The book was a blast to write. The possibilities that opened to me were just plain fun to explore. I hadn’t expected the twists and turns and quite frankly … hated to leave that world. (Pssst … between you and me … I’m thinking I may go back there some day.)

My latest project is a wolf/cougar shifter series that will include at least three books. For those of you familiar with Blue Moon Rising in the Furry, Fluffy & Wild anthology (Liquid Silver Books Sept 2008), I am using the polymorphic shifter premise of Jayda Kynslan and her heart throb of a wolf shifter, Cole Takoda, to create this erotic suspense series. I just love playing in a world unlike my own.

So what is it that fascinates you about these creatures? Or are you one to avoid the paranormal craze? I’m very curious.

Visit Nina Pierce on the web at or follow her regular blog She’s also found her way to twitter and would love to have you follow her very chatty posts

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This Tuesday At The Tiki Hut - Jean Hart Stewart

This week's winner was Flchen1!!! Congrats! You get a free download of your choice from Jean's backlist. Please email me at AuthorIsland at with your email address so Jean can get with you as to which of her books you'd like. And thanks to all who stopped by to visit with Jean and keep her company!

Jean Hart Stewart feels she's very much a Californian although she was born in Ohio. California has been home for a good many years. Life changed drastically for her when she was six and her father died incredibly from an errant golf ball. A dishonest insurance agent forced her sheltered mother to seek work, and she became a teacher. Her hours required Jean to be alone in the house in the afternoon, and since she was forbidden to leave till her mother got home, she became an avid reader. The local library supplied most of the books and she developed early her two of main interests, Jane Austen and King Arthur.

Reading is still one of her favorite activities, although she sometimes has to push it aside to make room for her enduring love of writing. Her journalism degree was used infrequently until recently. Marriage and raising two children pleasantly got in the way. After twenty years of being a real estate broker and with the kids raised she finally could devote her time to writing, her first love.

Jean's enchantment with the lore and legends of Druids and, therefore, delving into their history led to fascinating research that inspired her popular Garland of Druids Series for Cerridwen Press.

Few things in her life have been so satisfying, especially when all her books have a happy ending. Wonderful to make happen. It only gets more interesting when a secondary character demands his very own book. Who would want to deny him? Not Jean!

Visit Jean's Website *** Visit Jean at Myspace

Welcome to the Tiki Hut Jean!

Magic Musings by Jean Hart Stewart

Wiritng has been my first love since I was a child. I put in quite a few years as a real estate agent after marrying the man of my dreams (he still is, incidentally) While I enjoyed working at the time I finally reached the point where I knew I had to quit and just write. Have an eight book series called Garland of Druids from Cerridwen Press, which can be bought on line from them and several other e-book sources. They are all coming out in print now, two at a time, at Amazon, B & N, Borders, etc. Titles so far are Druid Desires and Druid Duet. The entire series is (in order) Druids’ Daughter, My Darling Druid, Song of a Druid Princess, Kiss of a Druid Bard, Druid Redeemed, Druid Triumphant, Druid Disdained, and Druid in Flight. Each is a stand alone book, so dive in at any title that appeals to you. Excerpts are on my website,

I’m very excited about a new series about a family of mages. Go ahead and look up the word, or I’ll give you a hint. Merlin was a mage. This series has just been named, Song of the Mages, and the first, Damien’s Destiny, was just released! The first four are written and in line to come out. Try out Damien, he’s a doll of a hunk.

Jean Hart Stewart's New Release Kicks Off Her New Song Of Mages Series
Book One in Jean Hart Stewart's new Song of Mages Series.

Damien is a mage, inheriting from Merlin the potential for enchantment and wizardry. When he rescues Toria from drowning herself, Damien knows she claims a special place in his heart. He will need all his abilities to help Toria overcome her fear of being touched by any man after she was raped by her guardian. He hides her in a school for girls until she is of age, and then brings her to Tregaron, his home as Earl of Sinclair.

Toria's lecherous guardian, Baron Heath, continues to stalk her. Damien must summon all his capabilities to protect her. As he tries to safeguard her life, the battle to conquer her fear of men looms ever more difficult. Damien refuses to influence her thinking with his extraordinary powers. Will he be able to triumph, save her from the wicked baron and finally claim Toria as his destiny?
Buy the Book *** Read the Excerpt

Win - read the excerpt for Jean's new release DAMIEN'S DESTINY and tell Jean what you think and your name goes in the hat to win a free download of one of her books! A winner will be chosen from all those who leave a message today.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This Tuesday At The Tiki Hut - Cheryl Dragon

The winner of a free download of one of Cheryl Dragon's books is Marcy! Marcy, email me at AuthorIsland at with your contact information so Cheryl can get with you about which of her books you'd like to try out!
Thanks to everyone for stopping by to keep Cheryl company at the Tiki Hut!
A lover of unusual things, Cheryl Dragon enjoys writing unique stories with sinfully hot erotic romance or suspenseful mainstream paranormals. Never at a loss for ideas, there are plenty of stories in her brain waiting to be written. Her two favorites book settings are Las Vegas and New Orleans...where anything can happen!

Cheryl lives in the Chicagoland area with her deaf albino cat. By day she crunches & analyzes numbers as an Assistant Controller for a division of a large international conglomerate which leaves the creative juices free for her erotic romance and paranormal suspense novels.

Welcome to the Tiki Hut, Cheryl!


Escape for Summer….One way or another!

Some days I wish I had become a teacher. Some profession where I get the summers off. But no such luck here. Day job, writing, and life continue year round.

We all need to escape reality for a little while. Some of us can go on vacation. I went on a mini-working vacation in early June to the Lori Foster Weekend. Not a big vacation but affordable and fun. I got to see my writer friends and my slave labor promoters (like DeNita!).

Another way I personally escape is TV. I love my shows…like The Closer, Leverage, The Office, Family Guy, and more. I blog about the new stuff or a great rerun weely at my new blog: You’ll also find info on my releases as they come out so there is a little promo there as well.

My other way of escaping is writing and I’ve got a lot of stuff coming out this summer. Ménage, m/m, paranormal, and all of it really really HOT!

Cheryl Dragon Summer Releases for your Escape Pleasure!!

May: Her Boyfriend’s Boyfriend
Available Now in Ebook at Loose Id

Genre: Ménage

Cassie has found the man of her dreams. Neil’s rich and smart and hotter than hell! He's perfect. Except for one small thing. Their sex life is cooling off and he’s not talking. It's not her, she's almost sure, and she's not giving up. She's determined to get to the bottom of it. And fix it.

What Cassie doesn't know is that Neil used to have a boyfriend. Lou. They used to pick up women together, have sex with them, enjoy them, but they never found one they wanted to keep. Then Lou moved on. Neil tried. He tried to go straight for Cassie and for his career, but he never stopped loving Lou and without that man in his bed, he's never going to have everything he needs, no matter how much he loves Cassie.

Once Cassie starts digging around, the truth can't be denied. And neither can the chemistry between Cassie and Lou. Is she the one they needed all along? Cassie's never had two men before. Not even just in bed. The idea of a ménage life scares her a little, honestly. But now that she knows how to please her boyfriend, she's not letting him go. Even if it means learning to love her boyfriend's boyfriend.

Out of Body Sexy
Paranormal Rubenesque Erotic Romance
Available: Now at Ellora’s Cave
Length: Quickie
Excerpt Link:


Plus-size psychic Kim Vennon doesn’t know how to get sexy Matt Rayne but she can’t resist using her skills to get close. Going out of her body is freeing and she can play with his hard, sexy form anonymously. But it goes farther than planned. When he calls her name, she flees to her body but Matt follows, determined to get the full experience and no more games. Matt has wanted the voluptuous woman but fate kept them apart. Now he’s going to have his way with her, in and out of their bodies.

Psychic Rebels
Available TODAY at Loose Id
Excerpt Link:


On again off again lovers Colin and Dennis, a psychic and a healer, know they are meant to be together, but the world is against them. They have the power to destroy evil before it happens, if only they can survive their lust for each other.

I also have two more releases coming out in August…keep an eye on my blog or my website for that info. Of course it’ll be on Author Island as well.

Let the Tiki gods sweep you away for summer fun! Enjoy and mix some margaritas to keep cool and check out my current contest up at Author Island to win some goodies!
Cheryl Dragon
A chance to win - one winner will be drawn tomorrow morning from all those leaving comments for Cheryl today to win a free download of one of Cheryl's books - good luck!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This Tuesday and Wednesday At The Tiki Hut - Marie Treanor

The winner of a free download from Marie's backlist is ANNE - please email me at AuthorIsland at with your contact information, so Marie can find out which of her books you'd like to try!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to keep Marie company at the Tiki Hut!

This week's guest is Marie Treanor. Marie was born and bred in Scotland, but for some years moved around the UK working and studying. Now she's back home and happily married with three young children.

Having grown bored with city life, her family lives in a picturesque village by the sea where, instead of working for a living, Marie is lucky enough to be able to enjoy herself writing stories of romance and fantasy.

She draws the inspiration for her books mainly from the people around her and from Scotland's rich history and culture - with, of course, large helpings of fun and imagination!

Visit Website *** Visit Myspace *** Visit Blog *** Get Newsletter

**A CHANCE TO WIN** One person from all who leave Marie a comment will win a free download from Marie's backlist (anything except her two new releases).

Welcome Marie!


Putting the gothic in Gothic Dragon

This week, I’ve been celebrating two releases: my quirky but passionate ghost story, Requiem for Rab, and, perhaps even more excitingly, my first print release at Samhain Publishing - Gothic Dragon.

Finally seeing this book in print, and holding it in my awed little hands, got me thinking about why I wrote that particular story at that particular time.

I couldn't remember :)

Well, the old memory's not what it was! I did recall getting up at five every morning during one summer and dementedly writing until the kids woke up, so I knew I was desperate to write it.

Then I re-read the blurb, and Samhain's humorous warning which says:

"As well as explicit and delicious sex, this book contains the secret of ultimate escapism which could be highly dangerous in the wrong hands. The reader experiments at her/his own risk."

And the metaphorical light bulb snapped on in my head. Escapism!

Admittedly most of my reading and writing is to achieve and provide escapism, but Gothic Dragon is all about it. Probably because I wrote it during a difficult phase of my life. Nothing very tragic, just frustrating - the bankruptcy of one of my publishers which effectively froze several of my books in legal limbo.

So books and escapism were on my mind...

Perhaps I should say at this point that Gothic Dragon is about a young, bored woman who falls into the pages of a book and lives among the characters in this Renaissance-like world which was created by a nineteenth century gothic romance writer. And naturally, my heroine falls in love with the sexy villain of the piece. (Well, who wouldn't? Have you seen his picture on the cover?)

Gothic Dragon has lots of the elements that made gothic romances so popular, particularly with women, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: a dangerous medieval setting, foreign location, sorcery, an insane and brooding villain and a Byronic hero (who are, in my story the same man!) And my helpless heroine, flung into this terrifying world with no control over her life.

Of course, my modern-day heroine learns to control as much as she can. She chooses to re-enter the world of the book and she discovers the truth behind its existence. She takes control of her "real" life, in which she has been passively drifting, and makes her own choice as to where and with whom to spend her life. Early gothic heroines didn't usually have such luxuries.

It's a little bit of a paradox that gothic romances were written largely to provide escapism for educated, middle class women trapped in the inferior role society had prescribed for them. They had very little control over their own destinies and were largely restricted to looking after home and children. Through gothic literature, they could identify with the heroine and be swept away to wildly exciting worlds of terror and romance. It must have been liberating and exhilarating. And yet, to be socially acceptable and therefore popular, the heroines of these books had to behave impeccably and keep their social place under the superiority of men. Which is where our readers started out!

So the heroines of these romances didn't cry out for independence or recognition as the intellectual equal of men. In fact, they were often stupid, and any hankerings after romance were shown to be a Bad Thing leading to disaster. Supernatural happenings were explained rationally, and the heroines found happiness by conforming. Like the readers.

But the excitement remained. And gothic novels retained huge popularity for decades, from Walpole's "original" and critically condemned "Castle of Otranto" published in 1764, through Anne Radcliffe's more "acceptable" creations and all the immitations which followed her. These ideas burgeoned in romantic poetry, including some by Keats and Coleridge, and even in architecture where it became fashionable to build neo-gothic piles with fake medieval ruins in the grounds.

Even when its popularity faded, the genre lingered on in other, changing forms, like the still much loved Bronte novels, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft... I grew up devouring the gothic novels of Daphne du Maurier, Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart and others, which come from similar roots. I loved the dark, brooding heroes with their mysterious and/or tragic pasts, and the whole delicious atmosphere of danger.

Gothic Dragon is my humble tribute to all of these great authors, and if you read it, I hope it gives you all the escape you want :)

Just be careful what you do with your books. And be doubly careful what you imagine...

Gothic Dragon by Marie Treanor is now available in print from Samhain Publishing: .

It is also still available in ebook formats:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This Tuesday At The Tiki Hut - Sandy Lender

This week's winner is Jerry B - Jerry gets an autographed copy of WHAT CHOICES WE MADE!!! Congrats! Please send me your full name and address to AuthorIsland at and Sandy will get you out your prize!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the Tiki Hut to keep Sandy company!

Today's guest at the Tiki Hut is fantasy romance author Sandy Lender.

Sandy Lender began writing stories as soon as she learned to string words together on the page. As a child she entertained the folks in her great grandmother's apartment building in Southern Illinois with tales of squeaky spiders and mice picking berries, and then won awards with writing projects as she moved through the elementary and high school systems in the St. Louis area. It was apparent that a career in journalism was her calling, and she found herself proofreading, editing, and (finally) writing for trade publications after she graduated from Truman State University in Missouri. Those publications may have honed her skills in editing and writing about cattle husbandry, road construction, community management, and zealous forms of religious oppression, as well as developing her skills in public relations and marketing, but her desire to write fiction stayed with her throughout the career-building day jobs.

From her early memories of junior high, Sandy harbored the story of Amanda Chariss and the struggles of the continent of Onweald. It wasn't until the year 2000 that Sandy sat down at the computer and started typing out the words that would form her first fantasy novel, Choices Meant for Gods. By June of 2003 she had the creation that no literary agent had any interest in. But Sandy is pro-active and doesn't give up easily. She got Publisher Bob Gelinas to show interest in the story in January 2006, and the dream has since become reality.

Sandy now writes in Southwest Florida where her love of sea turtles and all things related to the Gulf waters keeps her imagination growing. Her epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods is now available as is her recent release What Choices We Made. She shares a home with a demanding but lovable sun conure, a 19-year-old water turtle who dances to the songs in her extensive Duran Duran collection, and a muse who often misplaces the key to the shackles at the computer desk. You can get information about grammar and writing from her 15-year-journalism and PR career at her main blog Today The Dragon Wins.
Leave Sandy a comment or question today and get your name in the hat for an autographed copy of WHAT CHOICES WE MADE.


Sneaky Writers
By Sandy Lender

Terry Brooks says of writers in his book SOMETIMES THE MAGIC WORKS: “Much of what happens around us goes into a storage bin in our minds for future consideration and possible use in a book down the line. What we observe is as important to us in determining what we write as what we know.”

You’ve got to watch out for writers. We’re sneaky. We use everyday stuff that you might not think is intriguing and turn it into a plot device or bit of dialogue. That’s right—if it happens in front of us, it’s fair game. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the presence of a non-fiction memoir-writer or a sci-fi/fantasy geek like me who makes up worlds that you could never envision a simple grocery store conversation ending up in. Oh, yes. Imagine my poor mom’s surprise to learn that a certain embarrassing moment from the early ’80s ended up in print in my latest release, WHAT CHOICES WE MADE.

Here’s how it happened. I was probably 12 or 13. Innocent. Naïve. We were in the check-out lane at the grocery store and I stared mindlessly at the tabloids. The headline on one about discussing a sensitive topic with your teens struck me as odd, so I turned to Mom at the other end of the buggy and asked, loudly, “Mom, what’s virginity?” Of course I mispronounced it. Long “I” on the “jine.” Virjinety.

Some people around us snickered, hiding their faces from my blushing mother. She leaned forward and said, lowly, “I’ll tell you in the car.”


Years later, that recalled scene struck me as funny, and I knew the young, precocious version of Amanda Chariss, the heroine in the CHOICES MEANT FOR GODS trilogy, had to pull some such stunt on her wizard guardian Hrazon. (I figured Hrazon would forgive me for it.) But the scene would have to be a flashback because my lovely Chariss is 20 years old when we meet her in CHOICES MEANT FOR GODS. She knows what virginity is. And that’s not really the right word to embarrass Hrazon with. I needed something else. Something less contrived, perhaps. So I wrote a scene from their travels laced with a little danger due to Chariss’s age and the condition of Onweald’s social system, but it just didn’t fit in the novel. There wasn’t a place to put it. Yet it was so charming that I wasn’t content to delete and forget it. I wanted to share it with the readers who had fallen in love with Chariss. I pulled it into a short story called “Joveran Border Crossing” for WHAT CHOICES WE MADE.

That’s how an embarrassing moment for my mom ended up in print in a fantasy story more than two decades later. Seems so easy, doesn’t it? These situations happen daily for writers. We see something that may seem ordinary or mundane to everybody else, but it’s story fodder for us. When you see one of us whip out a notepad and start scribbling like mad, you know something’s going in the storage bin for a future book.


Here's a trailer for Sandy's latest WHAT CHOICES WE MADE

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This Tuesday At The Tiki Hut - Jean Hart Stewart

This Tuesday we welcome historical and fantasy romance author Jean Hart Stewart.

Jean Hart Stewart feels she's very much a Californian although she was born in Ohio. California has been home for a good many years. Life changed drastically for her when she was six and her father died incredibly from an errant golf ball. A dishonest insurance agent forced her sheltered mother to seek work, and she became a teacher. Her hours required Jean to be alone in the house in the afternoon, and since she was forbidden to leave till her mother got home, she became an avid reader. The local library supplied most of the books and she developed early her two of main interests, Jane Austen and King Arthur.

Reading is still one of her favorite activities, although she sometimes has to push it aside to make room for her enduring love of writing. Her journalism degree was used infrequently until recently. Marriage and raising two children pleasantly got in the way. After twenty years of being a real estate broker and with the kids raised she finally could devote her time to writing, her first love.

Jean's enchantment with the lore and legends of Druids and, therefore, delving into their history led to fascinating research that inspired her popular Garland of Druids Series for Cerridwen Press and her upcoming series about Mages that kicks off with her June 22nd release DAMIEN'S DESTINY.

Few things in her life have been so satisfying, especially when all her books have a happy ending. Wonderful to make happen. It only gets more interesting when a secondary character demands his very own book. Who would want to deny him? Not Jean!

Welcome to the Tiki Hut Jean and thanks for your article on How to Make a Reader.


How to make a reader?????

I’ve been obsessed lately with wondering why some children turn into avid readers and some never learn to like that is one of my life’s greatest joys. It’s not intelligence, as I was blessed with two bright kids, one how now reads much deeper subjects that I can even tackle. (He’s a mathematician, way over my head!) The other child never even would sit still to listen to me read. She’s just as smart, although not a mathematician. So it’s not a matter of reading to them, which you often hear, as I did with both. Or tried!

I polled some good friends, but found little consensus. One, a child development teacher, found what worked for her four children was limiting TV and reading to them extensively. Been there, done that. She’s raised four bright successful adults who are all readers. Another, mother of five, states it’s exposure to books and following up any clue if they seem to like a certain book or author. Very good points, and with today’s libraries so well stocked fairly easy if a child gets a fix on a certain author. Her daughter fell in love with the Nancy Drew series, which my granddaughter did last year. A third friend has one reader and one non-reader like me, both bright but simply with different inclinations. She’s thinks it’s like so many other traits. A parent gets what he’s dealt.

I’ve mentioned in various biographies and chat talks how my father’s early death forced my mother back to teaching and how I wasn’t allowed out of the house until she came home. I was six years old. With no TV and lots of library books I became a compulsive reader. I’ll fixate on cereal boxes if nothing else is handy. Incidentally, some of their blurbs are pretty funny, although they may not mean to be.

Certainly if you don’t do anything as a parent, let the TV be unlimited, don’t provide them with books, and don’t read to them you cut down the chances. Yet I think some children simply can’t be stopped from becoming readers. They’ll find books on their own no matter what.

Conclusion? Draw your own. I’m baffled!!!


Learn more about Jean and her fabulous books about Druids and Mages at .

Here's a video taste of her upcoming June 22nd release DAMIEN'S DESTINY.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This Tuesday At The Tiki Hut - Renee Reeves

Today's special guest at the Tiki Hut is Renee Reeves.

Renee Reeves was born in Stuttgart, Germany but raised in the US. On her mother's side, she is Irish and English and on her father's side, she is German and Irish. Ever since she was a little girl she has loved to read. Her mother, always supportive, made it a point to take her to the library as often as she wished and to get her to each and every school book fair. She would come home with bags of books and would gobble them up in only a few days. She would sit against her pony’s stomach when she was lying down in the pasture and read a book while her pony napped.

Reading, along with horses, was and still is one of the great loves in her life and that love turned into a desire to write. Renee is now married and her husband told her if she wanted to write a book then do it. So she did and is now a published author.

Her first book, NIGHT ANGEL, was just recently released. It is a contemporary about an ex-con, Nick Evanoff, who has turned his life around and now owns a horse sanctuary. He meets Morgan, an abused widow, who has moved to Montana for seclusion and things go from there....;) Renee is now working on 2 paranormals.

Leave Renee a comment today and your name goes in the hat for a copy of NIGHT ANGEL!


Motivation…Finding it and keeping it.

By Renee Reeves

I don’t know about anyone else but I can find story motivation just about anywhere. A walk out to the barn can spark scenes and images galore. A day trip can immerse me in my own imaginative world, or motivation can hit me when I’m doing nothing more than sitting in a chair gazing out of the window. Most of the time that motivation comes from me wondering, ‘what would I like to be doing now if I were someone else?’

A day trip to a SC church ruin (yes, I know Night Angel is set in Montana!) and staring at a boring hotel wall was how the characters in Night Angel came about. The scene in Night Angel when Nick first sees Morgan is very quiet and peaceful—straight from the SC church ruins. But after that scene I wondered, ‘what now? Now that he’s seen her and wants her, what should their story be?’ I decided both Nick and Morgan just had to have extremely traumatic and horrific previous lives in order to fit together and it took me a while to decide on what those lives should be.

So, finding motivation is simple for me, but keeping it is another matter entirely. I am one of those highly emotional people. My emotions dictate how I am going to feel every single day and right now my emotions are in an uproar because my mother is fighting advanced cervical cancer. Being her fulltime caregiver is physically and emotionally exhausting, not to mention extremely stressful, and really leaves no time for me to manage those characters and scenes bouncing around in my head. At times I am even too tired, or, if I really want to be honest, too depressed to get on the computer and type. During those times I find the storylines in my head to be an annoyance because I know I have to get them out and on paper, or the computer, before they disappear…and, at times, the motivation to do that is NOT there. But, if I ignore them and do nothing I give nasty ole guilt the ability to worm it’s way into me because I know I am wasting not only time, but also talent, scenes, imagery, and what may be a story and characters that some reader out there might really love.

So, how do I handle difficult writing/motivation times like those? I guess I can say at times I get mad and take it out on my characters, putting forth my own depth of emotions in their fictional lives. At times it works and at other times I read over what I wrote and think, ‘ugh…what in the world was I doing to them? They don’t deserve this!’ I also try to use writing as an escape and handle it little by little, maybe one word or one line at a time, and eventually, for a short period of time, I am able to lose myself in the lives of my characters, or at least use them for an emotional outlet.

So, my question to readers is, how do you handle stress or lack of motivation in your own life?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This Tuesday and Wednesday At The Tiki Hut - C. Fern Cook

Joining us at the Tiki Hut today is author C. Fern Cook. Fern started out as a freelance writer in the late 90's doing articles for how-to and inspirational markets. Followed by a few short stories and poem published in 2002. "Wild Evolution" is her second novel, "South Dakota Way", an inspirational romance, was published in 2008. Fern worked as a police officer for many years, something that has helped her a great deal in her writing, and she stopped by the Tiki Hut today to tell us a bit about it.

Anyone leaving Fern a comment or a question today (4/15/09) will be put in a drawing for an autographed copy of her first novel - SOUTH DAKOTA WAY.

A Cop Story.
C. Fern Cook

When I became a cop, I was the first in the department to have a husband and kids. Back then there was a push to hire females. So no matter how good I was, some of my fellow officers believed I was only hired because I was a female not because I deserved the job.

That didn't stop me. I received several commendations for a job well done. One arrest for a crime in progress was particularly funny. Two high school kids set out to steal x-rated movies from a movie rental place to sell at school.

The girl friend was waiting in the car a few stores down with the parking lights on eating potato chips in the driver's seat. It was past midnight and all the stores were closed. So I stopped to see what she was doing there. About then the alarm went off for the movie rental store. I handcuffed the girl to the steering wheel and told her not to leave.

The boyfriend came running around the corner from the back of the stores with an arm load of videos. He saw the cop car, dropped the videos and ran. I simply chased him with cop car until he was too tired to run anymore. When I came back to store, the girlfriend was still waiting in the car handcuffed to the steering wheel. I was amazed she didn't drive away.

The thing I liked most about being a cop was the stuff you would run into a daily basis. There is no way you could make up the stories people told you for excuses for the crimes they had done.

There are many reasons people become cops. Mine was because when I was arrested as a juvenile I felt the officer really cared about what would happen to me. You can't change the world, but you can help one person at a time. That is what I tried to do when I was a cop.

After seven years on the force I started to get burnout. I was angry because I would arrest people for burglary or breaking into cars or assault and they would get probation. But if I wrote someone a traffic ticket for speeding they would be fined and have their car insurance go up or maybe even lose their license. The people getting traffic tickets usually received more punishment than real criminals. I decided that was not justice and no longer wanted to be a part of that system. I don't regret quitting, but I do wish the system worked better.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

This Tuesday At The Tiki Hut - Catherine Stang

Today's special guest is Catherine Stang. Catherine is a hopeless romantic, who has been reading and writing romances for as long as she can remember. She writes romantic suspense, historical romance, paranormal romance and mainstream romance.

Cathy lives in a small town in Kansas with her husband, teenage son and three very active Papillons, and a tiny Yorkie who are therapy dogs. She and the dogs enjoy their weekly visits to the nursing home.


When I began working on the background for The Bargain I soon knew that I had too much story for one book. Although Cassandra’s brothers were gone during most of story, I could image what would happen to them when the war was over. So I pitched the series to Debra at Whiskey Creek and was thrilled when she liked the idea and gave the go ahead to write it.

I had written connected books before, but I had written each one as a single, hoping they would be picked up together. It has been freeing creatively to know to be able to plot these books together.

The series starts out during the war with Cassandra, her sister-in-law and younger sister, who are trying to hold things together while the men are gone.

Here’s a blurb about The Bargain:

In the midst of war two enemies will make a bargain that will change their lives forever.

Major Joel Bradshaw is the Chief Medical Officer in charge of setting up a new front line hospital for the Union Army. Unfortunately, his first task is to evict the women who live in the big plantation house he must commandeer.

Strong-willed Cassandra Beaumont is determined not to allow the Yankees take her home. But when her sister-in-law develops complications during labor, Cassie is forced to swallow her pride and ask the Yankee doctor she just threatened for his help. All she has to barter with are her nursing skills and so she proposes a trade that will bring her loyalties into question.

Joel, however, soon finds himself wanting much more than a business arrangement. Torn between his orders as an officer and his desire to protect Cassie, Joel finds a way to ensure the safety of all the Beaumont women – if only Cassie will say yes!

It’s available now in print & e book from Visit my website for excerpts

The second book in my Finding Home Series, Dare To Love, was just released.

Here’s a blurb: Be careful what you wish for….

Jessica Monroe is up to her neck in problems when her father dies leaving her with a house full of orphans, a widow and her twins, and an ex-madam, plus a horse farm to run. She wants her brother, Caleb, to come home from the war to help her. She should have been careful for what she wished for because Caleb didn’t come back alone. With him is his band of ex-raiders turned mercenary.

Now they expect her to look the other way while they use the edge of her land as a base to commit their crimes. Well, she won’t do it. While trying to help a neighbor fend off the raiders, she ends up bringing home a wounded stranger who appeared out of nowhere to help them. Just her luck, handsome Tyler Beaumont is a marshal intent on bringing down her brother and his outlaw friends.

Finding Home Series, Book 2
Sometimes home is where you least expect it.

I have excerpts on my website DARE TO LOVE is the book of the day over at Author Island, so be sure to comment today for your chance to win a copy.

Have a great week!

Dare To Love - in print & ebook from
The Bargain – in print & e book from
More Than A Wife – Regency – available from
Secret Wishes – paranormal regency – available from

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This Tuesday At The Tiki Hut - Nina Pierce

Today's special guest at the Tiki Hut is author Nina Pierce. Nina grew up in a house of readers. So falling in love with books was only natural. In her teen years she found her mother's romance books and became forever hooked on the journey of finding one's true love. Now, if you throw in a dead body and some mayhem, Nina is in reader nirvana.

A few years ago, reading about love wasn't enough. She is now driven to write stories of alpha-males with a chink in their armor and the kick-ass women who fall in love with them. And true to what she loves, more often than not, you'll find some suspense thread running through her plots, hopefully with enough twists to keep her readers turning the pages, staying up late, and burning dinner.

A native of Maine, Nina lives in what she affectionately calls "the great white North". She is fortunate to have married her high school sweetheart and true love twenty-five years ago. They share their lives with three grown children and a menagerie of pets.
To learn how you can win a free download of Nina's BLIND LOVE, head to today and check out today's Book of the Day!

Say That Again
by Nina Pierce

Like most authors, I was a voracious reader long before I decided to write my first novel. There is nothing I enjoy more than losing myself in a great story. Sometimes the writing is so vivid and the journey of the characters so compelling that I hate to get to the last page. I don’t want to read those two little words “The End”. NOOO! Tell me more! I want to find out what happens to the hero’s brother and the pregnant wife who left him for all the wrong reasons.

Enter series writing.

The first series I remember losing myself in was the science fiction Freedom series by Anne McCaffrey. I love those books. I picked up the first one at the local library, not knowing it was a series until I was half way through. I immediately went to the library and signed out the second, only to discover (argh!) the library didn’t have the third. I drove to the local bookstore and picked up the third book in the series that day! Anne McCaffrey had pulled me into her world and I had no desire to leave until everyone got their happy-ever-after!

James Patterson also hooked me into his “Alex Cross” series. I diligently read each book as they came out, excited to find out what Mr. Patterson would do next to this poor man. Then of course, there were all the families Nora Roberts wrote about, each brother, sister, and grandparent with their own journeys of love to catalogue and enjoy. So many authors I love to read have wonderful series. I can’t name them all, but suffice it to say … I just love series books!

Hmmm … maybe there’s something to this.

When I sat down to write my first novel I decided I too would like to eventually hook readers into a world and keep them there. My first erotic suspense book “The Healer’s Garden” (published by Liquid Silver Books in December 2007) stands alone, but it is purposefully open-ended and I already have outlines for books two and three.

There are many types of series writing, but the one I enjoy reading and writing the most are trilogies. There is a major plot running through the series, but the hero and heroine of each novel resolve a minor plot and find their happy-ever-after and the major plot isn’t resolved until the end of the third book. Usually the characters in this type of series are related in some way, either by friendship, a curse, location or blood bonds. (Nora Roberts’ “Three Sisters Island Trilogy” or Michelle Bardsley’s “Broken Heart” series) It is a challenge to keep the major plot line woven into the minor plot of each book, but the payoff is worth the work! I can’t put this type of series down until I’ve read all three books and I can’t stop writing them until I’ve given each character their happy ending.

But trilogies aren’t the only type of series available to a reader or an author. There are also the series where the author uses the same hero/ine in each novel. Each story resolves a major plot, but the arc of the main character is a slow progression. At the end of these books, you understand our hero/ine has much to learn and there is still so much more growth potential. (Janet Evanovich’s “Stephanie Plum” stories or Tess Gerritsen’s “Jane Rizzoli” series) In that same vein are the series where each book highlights a different character, the major plot is resolved, but new and old characters continue to pop up. (Sally MacKenzie’s “Naked” series or Suzanne Brockman’s “Troubleshooter” series)

These authors have all figured out how to hook their readers and keep them waiting on tenterhooks until the next book is released.

So, when you sit down to plot your next novel--consider writing a series. Your readers could be just one book away from falling in love with a whole new world of characters and waiting with baited breath for your next book!

Nina Pierce writes erotic suspense novels. Blind Love, the first novella in her Tilling Passions series was a liquid erotic release in April 2008 from Liquid Silver Books ( The second and third books released in the summer of 2008. Visit her on the web at

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This Tuesday At The Tiki Hut - Joanna Waugh

Once again it’s guest blogger day at the Tiki Hut. Joining us beneath the beach umbrella is Regency author, Joanna Waugh. Her debut novel, BLIND FORTUNE, released last July from Cerridwen Press and is now in trade paperback. It was chosen as one of Romance Lists’ top ten notable historical romance debuts for 2008 , and the music room love scene from it won Midnight Seductions’ 2008 Endless Romance Contest
For a chance to win an autographed copy of her debut, head to today and check out the Book of the Day!

Welcome to the Tiki Hut, Joanna!

Thanks for inviting me to your island, DeNita! It’s great to lounge in the warm sun while everyone back home is shivering.

A little about me -- I live in Northwest Indiana, just a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan and the beautiful Indiana Dunes. BLIND FORTUNE is my first published novel. Here the blurb:

They say love is blind, but Lady Fortuna Morley doesn’t believe it. Sightless since birth, she can think of only one reason a gentleman would wed her—for the dowry and three thousand pounds a year her father will provide. She’s in London the spring of 1814 to help launch her younger cousin into society, but prefers living quietly in the country with her music. The last thing Fortuna wishes is to cross swords with the arrogant Marquess of Granville.

Charles Lowden, Lord Granville, has decided to take a wife. The bride he’s chosen is thirteen years his junior, but meets all criteria. What he won’t abide is interference from the girl’s impertinent cousin, the outspoken and opinionated Lady Fortuna Morley. The woman is determined to thwart the match. Charles is just as determined to charm Fortuna out of her disdain for him.

What neither expects in the ensuing battle of wills is to fall in love.

The question I’m most often asked about BLIND FORTUNE is -- why a blind heroine? As many readers already know, I wrote the story based on personal experience with my husband who lost his sight to diabetes. But I also was fascinated by pre-21st century attitudes about people with disabilities.

During the Regency, the principle cause of blindness was conjunctivitis contracted by newborns. Remember, this was a time before the concept of germs and sterilization. In addition, people lost their vision to small pox, scarlet fever, measles, and whooping cough. By 1851, one person out of every 979 was blind in England and Wales.

Some folks believed physical disabilities were a mark of the devil or God’s punishment. Sightless people were thought to be mentally inhibited and uneducable. Blind women especially were vulnerable to unscrupulous men. In BLIND FORTUNE, Lady Fortuna fears that if she marries, her husband will lock her away in an asylum once he gets his hands on her money.

Not until the late eighteenth century did notions about the blind begin to change. In 1784, the first European school for the blind was founded in Paris. Once a week students enjoyed an outing to the local botanical gardens. Their teacher led them there by a rope onto which each of them held. I used this idea in BLIND FORTUNE when Lord Granville creates a ropewalk on his estate for Lady Fortuna.

A young boy named Louis Braille attended the Paris school. In 1824, at the age of fifteen, he invented a system of six raised dots that, when arranged in combination, represented letters of the alphabet. Unfortunately this revolutionary reading method came too late for Lady Fortuna. But, by the middle of the nineteenth century, it was the world-wide standard.

So what are some of the things you are passionate about as a reader or writer? What life experiences have effected the way you view the world?

To read excerpts from and reviews about BLIND FORTUNE, go to my website at

Be sure to friend me on Myspace
and Facebook
and check out my blog about British customs and holidays at

BLIND FORTUNE is available in ebook format and trade paperback at
Look for it soon at and Barnes and Noble