Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Love In Bloom Blog Hop!


I LOVE Spring! It's my favorite season because after a long cold winter everything blooms again. Book publishing used to be (before e- and self-pubbing) a lot like that. Your title enjoyed a fresh run on the shelves (a month, if you were lucky!) then went into hibernation until you were able to get the rights back 3-10 years later, to either sell to another publisher or, these days, indie pub it, yourself.

My first published romance, SWEET TEMPEST, a sexy Regency-set historical, was released under my first pen name, Lauren Giddings in a time where Regencies were still almost exclusively sweet. It bloomed and flourished with nice enough sales to get a second printing. But then, seasons changed, and my book went into a looooong hibernation, until 30 years, two more pen names (plus my own) on 65 more books later, SWEET TEMPEST was able to see print again (and e-book!) with a new house, Tell-Tale Publishing, a gorgeous new cover, and even a book trailer! It came a long way, baby! 




To help celebrate Love in Bloom, I'm giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky Hop participant, chosen at random! I'll be announcing the name of the winner here on my blog on June 3, as well as sending out an e-mail confirmation. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to follow along with the HOP to see what other participants are celebrating! Happy Spring!!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

WeWriWa: Dark and Deliciously Deadly - MIDNIGHT GAMBLE Sale!


Why do readers find vampires so seductive? They're technically deceased, blood-drinking ghouls. Nothing in that description screams "Hot!", yet romance fiction and films have portrayed them as such forever. Is it an illusion they cast, a shadow of what they were when they moved among the living? Or is it a carefully crafted, beautiful snare, like those deadly plants and predators in nature, to draw their meal in so close they can't escape the truth when it's upon them. My heroine is in such a dangerous position in today's excerpt:

Who was this man who could move her emotions as easily as the moon did the tides? 

He was all that was dangerous and desirable, that much she intuited at first sight, but what else was he? When she tried to see deeper, something clouded her perceptions, making her unable to read him clearly. Was it the sheer force of powerful vibrations within the room or something finely focused from the man himself? She couldn’t tell and because she couldn’t, her confusion held her helpless. 

Was he quixotic mortal, or all dark and unnatural malevolence? 

She could hear his heartbeat, and when he extended his hand, she did the unthinkable, placing her own within it, needing to know even at the risk of exposing what she was. 

His palm was warm, smooth, his fingers strong yet gentle as they enfolded hers for a firm press. 

“Miss Lavoy, how good of you to join us,” he murmured, his subtly accented voice hinting at evening breezes and the smoldering heat of a smoky fire, enveloping, intangible, assaulting all the senses at once. And undeniably erotic.

Probably a little backstory would level the playing field a bit more, because Rica Lavoy is hardly a helpless victim. In fact, our suave vamp better be on his guard because he's just become her prey.


Will the hunter . . .

Against the uninhibited decadence of 1920’s New York, where bootleg liquor flows until dawn to the sound of hot jazz and rolling dice, day-walking vampire, Frederica Lavoy stalks those of her kind to bring them to her father’s court for crimes against humankind. A series of careless murders leads her to an exclusive club where patrons drink more than champagne from unsuspecting guests. Drawn to the club’s owner, the enigmatic Darcy Edwards, Rica’s loyalty is torn when she suspects he’s the man her father has sent her to find.

. . . become the hunted?

Tricked into embracing the night during the time of Pharaohs, Eduard D’Arcy struggles to bring peace to those who are damned by what they must do to survive. Yet he’s found no forgiveness for himself - until he’s captivated by the unique and spirited Rica. But in this game of cat and mouse they’re playing, the stakes are not just heart and soul, but life and death itself . . .

"4 1/2 Star Top Pick: Readers will want to sink their teeth into this hypnotic and compelling tale." — Kathe Robin, Romantic Times

"Nancy Gideon is one of the best supernatural writers on the market today." — BookBrowser

"Fun, entertaining vampire romance that makes the supernatural seem natural." — Under the Covers Book Review

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MIDNIGHT GAMBLE is still on sale until Tuesday so if you like hot supernatural heroes out to save their kind, strong heroines with something to prove, ruthlessly clever villains who hold one heck of a grudge, all in a rocking 1920's setting, this is a great place to jump right into the middle of my "Touched by Midnight" vampire romance series! It's one heck of a suspenseful ride!

Next week, I'll be back with snippets from my shapeshifter WIP, PRINCE OF DREAMS which has final reached the 60k milestone! Love it when things start coming together!!

Happy Mother's Day to those who are them and those who are thankful for them!!


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

WeWriWa: It’s a Dead Man’s Party for my MIDNIGHT GAMBLE Sale!


I love a party and I LOVE a sale. So, when my vampires throw a party when their books go on sale . . . Dead Man’s Party time!!

That’s where the heroine of MIDNIGHT GAMBLE finds herself when half human, half vampire Daywalker, Nicole Lavoy is tracking down the undead murderer plaguing 1920’s New York to bring him to her father’s tribunal to be tried for his crimes against humanity. Her hunt leads her to a club where the guest are . . . unusual.


Time flowed toward dawn on a seemingly endless supply of champagne and Crème de Menthe, the bouncy strains of “Ain’t We Got Fun,” blending into the steady hum of conversation as Frederica listened on an entirely different level. As she moved between the elegant fox trotting couples, she wasn’t hearing the scuffle of their feet flying across the lighted dance floor, she was focused on a more basic rhythm, one that beckoned to her on a subliminal level in a hot, hurried tempo.

Heartbeats, fast, flurried, human, the blood of their existence pumping in time to the flinging elbows and twitching hips. The unmistakable tune of life.

But as she wove through the crowd of close to eighty bodies pressed tightly together in the artificial moon-drenched glow, not all greeted her with that resounding pulse of the living. Some met her mild queries with another force so strong and fierce it was almost physical.

Hunger.

That relentless surging need to feed pounded as purposefully beneath an Ivy League jacket or within a shimmering panel of pastel silk as the human heart did within the normal breast.

Vampires. The glittering room was filled with them.


Revisiting this scene, I can’t get this song out of my head:


Okay, so I adore “Back to School” with Rodney Dangerfield and a very young Robert Downey. But it was Oingo Boingo’s tune that really caught me, especially when I discovered lead singer, Danny Elfman is the music guy behind most of the biggest movies in Hollywood, including MEN IN BLACK, all things Tim Burton, The Simpson and SPIDER MAN 3. Who knew?


MIDNIGHT GAMBLE will be on sale for $.99 until May 15 so it’s a great time to sink your teeth in for a taste of vampire romance. I’ll be sharing another tease next week.

Looking forward to seeing what the rest of my Warrior pals are up to now that I have a weekend at home.


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

IWSG: Spring Ahead . . . in Your Writing


"It's Spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?" That is the Insecure Writers Support Group question for May. This month's topic has been a looooooong time coming for this author in the Never-ending Winter state of Michigan. No way I should STILL be scraping my car windows during the last week of April! But then Spring arrived on May Day at 81 whooping and long-awaited degrees. Yes! I feel renewed!

As a self-proclaimed member of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), I spend at least half the year yearning for my hit of Vitamin D. Then, like a grizzly bear emerging from its den, I tip my groggy creative mind toward those first warm rays (my windows open when it hits 55!) to feel that rush of spring-spiration. With my gravity recliner facing the light, headphones on, I bask in its comforting embrace, feeling my thoughts begin to stir and stretch toward the heat, pushing through the dark sluggishness of my winter plots to push through with bright new twists and turns of dialogue. Spring has sprung and I'm in imaginative full bloom at last.



The only thing better than enjoying a spring day is enjoying it with writer friends at a weekend retreat on the water. Even though it was only in the 40s-50s, I found myself on the balcony of my room, warming my hands on my coffee cup to watch the sunrise. Ahhh. It just doesn't get any better. I turn back to the keyboard reluctantly, but with new vigor, as my pages fly and word count soars during a morning break alone.


That burst of energy followed me home and even impatiently waits for my lunch hour at work so I can get back to my WIP. So, yes. Spring is all about revitalization of the writer's soul in my book, and on my ever increasing number of pages. Soak it up (and don't forget sunscreen!)!



Another good thing has popped up this month: MIDNIGHT GAMBLE, from my vampire series "Touched by Midnight" is on SALE for just $.99 through the 15th. Sink your teeth in and wear those sunglasses at (mid)night.

Can't wait to find out what my fellow IWSG pals think of my favorite growing season. Bloom where you're planted!


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the May 2nd posting of the IWSG will be E.M.A. Timar, J. Q. Rose, C.Lee McKenzie, and Raimey Gallant!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, April 29, 2018

WeWriWa: Opposites Attract

The rescue of a damsel in distress followed by awkward conversation, moving to sparking attraction between an unlikely pair . . . and last week’s first homecooked meal . . . Next step, sharing intimate details. Hard to do when you both harbor secrets that will ruin everything once they’re told.


He’s from a warrior shapeshifter clan planted in her father’s household to find information to destroy her family. She’s . . . much, much more than the empathetic fortune teller who intuits more than she should. But opposites still attract . . .


"I wish I could meet them."

He drew up so suddenly, she almost upended the rest of the leftovers onto his very deliciously shaped rear end when he glanced over his shoulder, his expression one of almost comical surprise as he blurted out, "Really, you would?"

"Well," she amended, "I've gotten a pretty good look at your brothers." She grinned at her recall of their R-rated dance moves, then, her smile growing wistful, she added, "But I think I'd really like your family, your mom." That came out a lot more poignantly sappy than she intended, waking a tender light in his eyes that made her laugh uncomfortably. "I didn't mean that in a needy, poor little orphan way."

"That's not how I took it."

Guys didn't want to think about their mom and sex in the same calendar year. What had she been thinking to bring up such a thing?

She'd been thinking she wanted to get to know more about him than just how he was between the sheets.

Home to meet his mother? Whoa! That’s a big step . . . especially when she doesn’t know what she’s stepping into.

Hopefully, by the time you read this, I’ll have finished this portion of the book during our RWA chapter’s weekend Retreat from Harsh Reality with its hours upon hours dedicated to getting words on the page.



As PRINCE OF DREAMS revs up in its second half, here’s a reminder of what’s led up to it. There’s still time to catch up.


    

Prince of Honor: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Goodreads
Prince of Power: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Goodreads
Prince of Fools: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Goodreads

Happy Spring and Happy Writing, fellow Warriors!



Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

WeWriWa: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?


That first meal cooked for your hopefully soon to be significant other. Lights low. Anticipation high . . . That's where today's excerpt finds my hero and heroine from PRINCE OF DREAMS. Bon Appetit!

The kitchen was dark, a faint flicker of light leading him through an equally silent dining room to a bumped out private nook lit by candles . . . and by Ophelia Brady's tempting gaze. 

"I bet you're hungry," she purred, pulling out one of the two tapestry chairs for him to settle into. 

"Starved," he assured taking the seat, inhaling in anticipation, drawing in the rich flavors of the meal and the more appealing aroma of the female whose fingertips traced along his shoulders as she moved to sit opposite. Muted shadows played over her features in a caress as tempting and mysterious as her small smile. 

"I hope you'll find everything worth the wait." 

"Oh, I have no doubts whatsoever." 

They ate in silence, his low moans of pleasure and gratified glances as he devoured the meal conveying everything Phe needed to hear as she kept their glasses refilled with a very nice wine. The decadent spiced food, the tickling bouquet of spirits, the visual feast her dinner companion presented combined to overwhelm her senses. If Saint Peter snatched her out of her chair at that very instant, she'd have no regrets. Except one. The one promised in his simmering stare.

We’ll find out where this intimate dinner takes them next week . . .

FINALLY! With my new “Fridays are writing days” schedule in place (down to a 4-day work week), I'm past the halfway point in PRINCE OF DREAMS. After spending last weekend doing a complicated time line, because the events from all four books in the House of Terriot series overlap (Whose brilliant idea was it for THAT to happen?), things are really on a roll. Now, I’m looking forward to our Mid-Michigan Chapter of Romance Writers of America's annual Retreat next weekend. Because I'm job free on Fridays, I can attend the all-day Write-In that day and sneak off to my favorite inspirational window on the world for some snatches at the keyboard time on Saturday. Writer nirvana!


Now that it's FINALLY spring here in Michigan (Hope I didn't speak prematurely!), I'm looking forward to writing with windows cracked open to invigorate the ole brain pan. Hope all my WeWriWa pals are ready to bloom where their stories are planted!

Happy (finally/hopefully) Spring, fellow Warriors!


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

WeWriWa: PRINCE OF DREAMS – Meet the Family . . .


One of the least anticipated and anxious moments of a new relationship is that first meet and greet with their family. Will you like them? Will they like you? Will you fit in comfortably or wish you could run screaming in the opposite direction at first sight? Those first impressions can make or break a budding romance. Since I’m returning to my WIP, PRINCE OF DREAMS, it’s time for Ophelia to meet the family . . . who aren’t quite what she expected. They’re . . . more. But what, exactly?

Kip’s brothers shared the same brutally handsome looks. A powerful air of danger swirled about them like an exotic cologne. With the unblinking intensity of their stares and almost predatory body postures, their unnatural stillness produced a violent energy rippling from them with the force of an approaching tsunami. The uncomfortable press of a foreign presence closed in around her, creating an almost suffocating threat. 

What was wrong with these people? The diamonds in their ears, the flash, the suits, the eddies of danger. Illegal commodities dealers? Blackwaterish thugs? Her father’s profession gave her a foolproof underworld detector, and readings were jumping all over the place. Her intuitive nature urged her to run for her life . . . while she could.

Family seems an appropriate theme as I’m hosting my 10-year-old grandguy for his Spring Break. First you notice while most things are the same, some are subtly different. But what exactly has changed? It takes a while to pick up on the differences (and hey, kids are strange, foreign little creatures at their best!) as they evolve from cute, cuddly youngsters to opinionated near teens. But after an awkward adjustment, it’s like no time has passed at all.

At least I didn’t discover he’s from a family of powerful shapeshifters! (Or maybe that would explain a lot!).

It’s off to the mall to see if the little guy is more Toys R Us or Game Stop these days. The fun is in the discovery. I hope after a few chapters my heroine will agree . . .

Happy Writing, fellow Warriors and Happy Where the Heck Is Spring?


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

IWSG: Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling . . .

The OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question for April is, appropriately enough: When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?


We all have those gloomy days . . . the words won't come, and those that do, are awful at best. There's distracting drama on the publishing or family front. You've hit a plot snag or, like me, find out you're being downsized on your day job to the tune of 30% of your hours. Talk about a thunder storm! Sometimes, it's more a monsoon than just a passing shower and your brain gets too waterlogged to spin a creative phrase.

If I can't (and sometimes, I just can't!) power through it just to get those words onto the page so I'll have something to edit later, I give myself permission to step away. We're not talking a major Walkabout, just some breathing room until the juices start to flow again and the fickle Muses are appeased. I don't like to venture far from the keyboard on work time. Sometimes, all it takes is a brief read-through of what I've already done to get momentum going in the right direction. Sometimes, it's some research I skipped over or have on the horizon. When I bumped up against a puddle too deep and wide to jump over this past weekend with my WIP, I took advantage of the break in inspiration to use some perspiration instead to create a much-needed timeline to knit PRINCE OF DREAMS, the fourth and final book in my "House of Terriot" dark paranormal shapeshifter series, together with overlapping earlier books. And found some REAL potholes! They were much easier to fill now rather than later, once I'd completed the entire book upon a fault line.

Sometimes, a little rain is a good thing. Good for washing away grimy stuff that's built up to present a fresh new look. Good for making things grow and bloom. Good for encouraging roots to sink deep. Excellent for coaxing a rainbow!


Sink those roots, fellow IWSG friends, and let your creativity blossom!


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the April 4th posting of the IWSG will be Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Renee Scattergood, and Tamara Narayan!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, March 18, 2018

WeWriWa: Return of the Traveler . . .


Absence provides a step back, bringing the calm assessment one can't always achieve when in the thick of things. Having just returned from seven days in Arizona, a mini-retreat of mind and body from daily toil and frantic busyness, I can appreciate that zen of hindsight just as my hero, Connor Amberson does in this excerpt from my new re-release, SWEET TEMPEST.

None of this was as he'd planned. His stay in London was torture, so sure he'd been that she'd relent and beg him to come home to her. But as weeks went by and no word came, he grew more and more agitated, beginning to fear he'd made a terrible error. And when the missive came, its contents were not what he'd wished for, but was the excuse he needed for his pride to bend.

He'd prepared for two kinds of welcome: The fierce anger of a wronged wife, which he planned to quell after an exciting match of wills or, one of passionate apology, which he'd have accepted without reserve, but she'd outflanked him with this cool, indifferent demeanor, holding him at bay without giving him reason to protest. And then there was the matter of the closed door between their rooms. He rolled onto his stomach, eyeing that offensive portal with a jaundiced eye. He could demand she move into his room, he had the right, but his pride rebelled against resorting to force, and more truthfully, he had no wish to push her into something she found disagreeable.

If one good thing had come from his hermitage in London, it was the realization that Tempest Swift Amberson was permanent, the only woman he would want or need for the rest of his life, sharing his home, bringing his children into the world, growing old beside him. 

He knew how to seduce a mistress, but how did one woo his own wife?



Has he truly learned his lesson, discovering the jewel within his grasp instead of being blinded by the dazzle of greed and jealousy? We shall see.

As for me, my trip was part awe-inspiring research in Sedona. . .


. . . hurried hand-selling at the Tucson Festival of Books . . .


. . . and finally Vitamin D R&R poolside. I didn't get all the writing done that I wanted to but I found that clarity of vision I'd been searching for to pull my book together and re-establish my long-game writing plan. Worth the delays in Chicago O'Hare (both going and coming home!) and cursing daylight savings time. Now, to get back into the rhythm of my working and writing and resting life. And back into my shunning cats' good graces (Ed's Efffing cat would be proud of their snubbery!).

How's spring treating you, fellow Warriors?


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

WeWriWa: New (Re)Release! Regency-Set SWEET TEMPEST!

  

30 (!) years ago, I celebrated the release of my very first book, SWEET TEMPEST, a historical romance set in the Regency era, written under the pen name Lauren Giddings. There were balloons and chocolates at signings at Barnes & Noble and B.Dalton (RIP!) with my Mom and family (the youngest of my two sons I delivered on the same day I got to see my cover flats for the first time in the hospital!) and a reporter from the local paper. It was a BIG deal. After 72 more releases . . . it still doesn't get old!!

SWEET TEMPEST is Baaaack! With a fresh edit, a gorgeous cover and a new publisher, Tell-Tale Publishing, and I couldn't be more excited by the chance to re-visit and (re)introduce the characters.



I'm sharing an excerpt that lays out the hero and heroine's relationship through her younger brother's disapproving eyes. Not much slips by that boy . . .


Eddie remained, silent and disapproving at her side, feigning resistance when she put an arm about his shoulders.

"I don't like this, Este," he said in a rush, "and I don’t trust him to keep his word.” 


"Eddie, I've nothing to fear from Mr. Amberson." 

"He ain't no gentleman!" 

"I didn't say he was, but I do trust him and know he'd do me no harm, so please don't worry so," she pleaded, holding tightly to him. "If he can keep us from having to steal to stay alive, then you should thank him, not curse him." 

"I don't like how he looks at you," he grumbled, "all hungry-like, the way the coves ogle the fancy women . . . I don't think he's . . . safe." 

She laughed to ease his fears, though she knew he had cause. "Little brother, you don't like any man to look at me, but I can't hide in britches all my life." 

"Well, you don't have to look back," he muttered, "'cause he ain't the only one who looks hungry."




Nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make something old new again and bring it back to life!



Happy Writing fellow Warriors! I'm off for the Tucson Festival of Books and some vacay (with my WIP, of course!)


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.