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Guest Post — Lynn Cahoon

Researching or how to make it to the front of the line at the bookstore.

When I was thinking about The Council series, I wanted to be accurate in my portrayal of a witch out of water. Parris McCall doesn’t know she’s a witch when the story starts. Sure, weird things are more likely to happen to her than to others. And once, when head cheerleader, Brittany the bright, made fun of Parris, one too many times, the queen bee’s hair turned pink.  In English class. In front of the entire junior class.

amemberofthecouncilWhen she got home from school that day, Gran had weaved this fairy tale about her powers and her parents, but even then, Parris had refused to accept or even listen.

So what was an unknowing witch to do?

I didn’t have a clue.

As in most cases, when I’m looking for answers, I visit the information mecca. No, not the internet. I went to the library. There I found all sorts of historical books about the Salem witchcraft trials along with some basic Wiccan handbooks. Not a lot. Most of the how to books were in the area of Tarot reading or horoscopes. I live in a small, conservative town.

After racing through all those books, and probably getting a warning code attached to my library card in case of a plague of locusts or roving witch hunters, I hit the book store.

Visiting the book store actually gave me more options in books. I bought a handbook of spells, one on elementary magic, and one boasting an encyclopedia of spells, castings, and potions.

When I got in line with my treasures, you could see the tension when people around me noticed my choice of reading material. Several stepped aside, mumbling how they’d forgotten something.  And I hadn’t cast even a little spell.

I’m still researching for the last book of the series. Picking up bits and pieces here and there, I’ll use my writer magic to weave together into a story that finishes Ty and Parris’s quest. Or at least that’s my plan today.

What’s the most unusual subject you’ve researched?

 ****

A Member of the Council – The Council #1

A rogue hunter, a clueless witch and a mission to save an unknowing world.

Parris McCall, owner of the dive bar, The Alibi, has finally constructed a life where her

little quirks don’t show or matter to anyone. As for her grandmother’s warnings that she’s different, well, she’ll cross that bridge if she comes to it.

But when Ty walks into her bar, both lives are instantly changed.

Buy Links – http://www.amazon.com/Member-Council-Lynn-Cahoon-ebook/dp/B00IPQX0AI/

****

CahoonBIO – Lynn Cahoon’s a multi-published author. An Idaho native, her stories focus around the depth and experience of small town life and love. Lynn’s published in Chicken Soup anthologies, explored controversial stories for the confessional magazines, short stories in Women’s World, and contemporary romantic fiction. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.

Contact Lynn at her website: www.lynncahoon.wordpress.com

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/LynnCahoonAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LynnCahoon

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

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Things I Love about Category Romance.

OoC_mockupMy first encounters with romance were at the age of eleven when I used to pinch my mother’s Mills and Boons and read them behind the sofa. So started my lifelong love of romance. These days my reading and writing tend to focus on anything speculative: paranormal, sci-fi, or a mixture of both. My heroes tended to be vampires, werewolves, aliens, but I still have a soft spot for my first love—contemporary category romance.

This month, book 2 in my Babysitting a Billionaire series, Out of Control, is released. Out of Control is part of Entangled Publishing’s Brazen imprint—sexy, steamy, contemporary romances.

So what do I love about category romance and why has my love affair lasted so long? Here are a few things that come to mind:

  • I know what I’m going to get. Within a particularly line I can be guaranteed certain things. If I’m in the mood for sweet romance, I know which line to go for. While if I’m in the mood for an alpha male and some sizzling love scenes, then there are lines for that too. Something for every mood.
  • Gorgeous heroes and exotic locations…
  • While the basic stories remain the same, category romances are in fact always evolving, they’re current, and up to date, and actually constantly changing as the readers change.
  • They’re short and can be read at one sitting—I love reading books in one go.
  • They’re pure romance. I love most genres of books, but sometimes I just want the romance! Because of the relatively short word counts of category books, there’s no room in them for complex sub-plots, so the focus always remains on the hero and heroine’s relationship—they can be very intense.
  • Every month there are new stories coming out.
  •  And of course—most important—I always get a happy ever after.

So what do you love best about category romance?

About Nina Croft

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain. Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

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You’re an Author? OMG, You’re Gonna Be Famous!

Shocked woman pointingIf you’re a writer, I’m willing to bet you laughed, didn’t you? That particular statement, or a variation of it, is a classic friends and family response to hearing the big news that you, oh, long lost bestie and all-time favorite cousin, have written a book that, without a doubt, is going to be the book of all books…the next Lord of the Rings or Misery or Montana Sky. The piece of art that will propel you from an ordinary, Cheerios-for-breakfast kind of gal or guy to that of a high-profile celebrity, crepes and strawberries included.

I’ve experienced all sorts of responses from my friends and family since publishing my debut novel in February. The most common is something akin of “YOU wrote a book like THAT? Wow, Mr. McLain must be one lucky guy!” That, of course, meaning there’s lots of sex and four-letter words. I’ll admit that initially…this was embarrassing as heck. I thought my secret was pretty safe until I called in an order to a local restaurant one day and, before I could even the let waitress know my intent, she gushed and congratulated me and told me that everyone was talking about my book. Some of the other staff were even reading it. They wanted to know if I was making a bunch of money. Was I going to quit my day job? Would we (my family) move?

LOL I still laugh at that. Non-writing people truly do not understand that becoming an author do not mean we’ve become instantly famous. Heck, we sometimes never sell more than a handful of books…and even then at least a couple are to ourselves (gifts *wink, wink*) or maybe a few loved ones who feel sorry for us. We definitely don’t become overnight millionaires and we’re really, really lucky to even make a part-time living with writing, let alone garner enough earnings to equate a modest fulltime career. We might be a little famous in our own minds or in our circle of writer friends, but that’s often the extent of it. There can only be so many Tolkiens and Kings and Roberts in the world, after all.

As more and more people find out that I’ve published a book, the more these kinds of responses and questions are coming up. Today, I was all chill in my day job office, doing my thing when a woman from another department came sliding in and shut the door behind herself, all secretive like. “You wrote an effing book? Are you kidding me?” she asked, her jaw dragging on the carpet. “I am so reading it this weekend,” she went on. I blinked a few times and blurted out my standard warning, “It’s kinda trashy,” because I know that the people I work with, even more so than my family, just don’t see me as being the type of person to swear, much less write a steamy, sometimes vulgar novel. Thankfully, I’ve encountered more big grins and confessions about secretly loving sexy books than I have negativity, but it’s no less daunting when the rich and famous assumptions come into play. Mostly because I fear people will end up thinking I must really suck as an author when I remain living in my same little house and driving my same boring car. I might get my hair highlighted or splurge on a cool new purse, but that’s about the extent of it, ya know?

So, I’m curious…if you’re a writer, what are some of the reactions you receive when people find out you write? If you’re a reader, do you know someone who’s written a book? Were you surprised to find out what they wrote, and did you have any preconceived ideas about what writing/selling/publishing a book would mean for them? Tell me, tell me! I curious!

~Molly

About Molly Mclain

Molly is a talker. Get her chatting about books (or book boyfriends) and she can go for hours. Socializing is her favorite part of blogging with a bunch of like-minded authors. It's like having coffee with your friends at all hours of the day. Molly also likes coffee. A lot. Blogging at HSG? It's a win-win in Molly's book!

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New Life into an Old Book

ALittleBitCupid_cover2 (1)Hey, all!

I can feel spring is getting closer. Easter is coming up and there are little buds of new growth in the ground starting to spring up. It feels like a new beginning.

Which brings me to the title of my post.

My book (novella) A Little Bit Cupid came out a year ago. But my publisher gave a whole new look recently with a fresh and pretty cover just in time for the release of new book Fiancé by Fate coming this Monday.

Best of all? They gave A Little Bit Cupid a fresh new price too. FREE!!!

So load up your kindles! It will be free until April 26th.

Here’s a little bit about it:

Finding love should be easy, but wedding photographer Phoebe Ward knows better. When Cupid shows up on a crazy mission to help her —and save the world in the process—Phoebe realizes love might be even more complicated than she thought. Even with Cupid showing her Mr. Right , she can’t stop thinking about his best friend, Mr. Wrong.

Cal Crawford has never had time for love, but now he’s falling for Phoebe. Which means it’s got to be just plain wrong to set her up with his best friend, right? But even though seeing Phoebe with someone else will break his heart, he can’t walk away from her.

Phoebe can’t afford to choose the wrong guy with the fate of the world at stake. But maybe Cupid has it wrong. Maybe she has to rely just a little bit on Cupid, and a whole lot more on her heart.

Happy Spring!

<3

 

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a sweet romance author for Samhain, Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. Check out her latest release: A LITTLE BIT CUPID at an e-tailer near your computer. :)

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Guest Post — Ashlee Mallory

First connections and why I wanted to become a writer

I would like to thank Through Heart-Shaped Glasses for having me on today! I love your blog and don’t know how you come up with ideas so prolifically! It was actually in reviewing your first month of blog topics of “Firsts” that I came up with my own topic for today. It had me thinking about how and why I am where I am.

We probably all remember the opening scene in Romancing the Stone, where Joan Wilder, A.K.A. Kathleen Turner, finishes her book and goes in search of a tissue but finds her apartment a mess with post-it notes reminding her to pick up tissue? Her only company a hungry cat? Had I known just how spot-on that writing scene was from that scene, where there was no glitz, just Joan and a typewriter, would I still have chosen writing as a profession?

Yeah. Most definitely.

Because despite the sometimes lonely existence even with my family surrounding me and pets vying for attention, there’s still the thrill of putting together a particular scene that has me smiling to myself, and the hope it might even draw a chuckle from readers.  Or writing that one suspenseful scene that will send chills up readers’ spines as they worry and wonder what happens next. Those are the moments that I love about writing.

One of the first romance books that I remember totally loving for the range in emotions it wrought from me—from spurts of laughter after reading a particular witty comment that the heroine threw at the hero, to full tears at the emotional and physical pain the hero endured to show her his love—was Judith McNaught’s A Kingdom of dreams.  When I finished that story and every time I read it afterwards, I knew I wanted to aspire to writing just like Ms. McNaught. To draw readers in to my story, the character’s life, where they experience their joy and pain along with them.

YouAgain (2) (1)I’ve only just debuted my first book and it feels like the dam has broken. Ideas are bubbling and waiting to be let out.  I only hope that I’ll be able to capture all the emotions as capably as Ms. McNaught. And even though the house is in shambles and the laundry is several feet high and the kids are eating cereal for dinner (although that seems to be by their choice, thankfully), I wouldn’t change any of it.

My debut book, YOU AGAIN, is now available for purchase on most major E-retailers as seen here http://www.entangledpublishing.com/you-again/  I also love to connect with readers and fellow authors and you can find me on:

My web page, http://www.ashleemallory.com/

Twitter:  @ashleemallory and

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ashlee.mallory.50

Bio:

AshleeMallory.AuthorPhotoAshlee lives with her husband, two kids, a dog, and cat surrounded by the majestic mountains of her hometown in the greater Salt Lake City area. When she’s not writing the boring legal stuff for her day job, she gets to immerse herself in writing stories about love, life, and the occasional murder.

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

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Romance is Not One Size Fits All

An interesting question came up while I was participating in an online event geared towards readers of sweet romantic fiction last week. During my intro, I asked what drew readers to sweet romances? In turn a question was posed to me and any fellow authors who happened to read it and feel like contributing their two cents and I wanted to delve into it a little further here.

The Query -

How long do you think the kinky erotic craze will last? Ten years from now, readers will be saying, “Fifty shades of what?”

The Response -

Nothing ever truly goes away. Just ebbs and flows. However, much like fashion, it will die down only to return again later. When you look back at what you wore in the 80s or whatever was popular when you were younger, do you see it come back again? I never would have believed in my wildest nightmares that the neon trend of the 80s would have come back with such a vengeance. Or what about the leggings under the miniskirts? I find what is popular in reading to be very similar to fashion in it’s trending.

Let me go a little bit further to say that right now, erotic is a hot and in demand sell. And as someone who definitely prefers to not only read, but write sweeter stories, I can admit there is an appeal to the steamier genres (kink optional ;) for those who enjoy that sort of thing). Books like 50 Shades of Grey and Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series have definitely helped push that genre to the forefront right now. However, erotic is not the new kid on the block any more than sweet romance is. These sub-genres of romance have been around for quite a while and neither is going anywhere. Thankfully, the readers out there are as eclectic as the authors and the result is fabulous! There are stories out there to fit every romantic taste. While erotic books are not my cup of tea, can you imagine how boring the reading world be if books were written with a ‘one size fits all’ mentality?

About Moira J. Keith

Moira is an eclectic personality. Her heritage and her passions collide and often times find their way into her stories. She is a lover of Celtic mythology, cowboys, the ocean, cupcakes, and shoes. The only thing about her that is easy to make heads or tails of is her unyielding love of great friends, family, and great story telling.

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  • OUR LATEST BUZZ!

    Bethanne Strasser LETTERS FROM HOME from Entangled Publishing is available now! *** Out now from Ellora's Cave, HOW TO CAUSE A SCANDAL by Tina Vaughn *** Nina Croft's LOSING CONTROL is out! *** Debora Dennis's holiday novella, CUPCAKES & CUPID is available. *** Congratulations to Julie Jarnagin now represented by Nicole Resciniti of the Seymour Agency!