Friday, August 31, 2012

Diana Layne's Swashbuckling Pirates

KAREN: Golden Heart Award Finalist, Diana Layne's swashbuckling pirate tale comes packed with a pirates and a gypsy curse. Strike yer colors, matey and come aboard! Adventure and treasure awaits ye.

***There will be a giveaway. $10 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble or Amazon. The winner's choice! Just answer her question below and you'll be entered to win. Don't forget to leave your email so she may contact you if you should win. :) CONTEST ENDS SUNDAY AT 12:00 PM PST. DIANA WILL ANNOUNCE THE WINNER ON MONDAY! GOOD LUCK!

DIANA: Pirate Romances. What historical romance reader doesn’t love them? At one time pirate romances were all the rage, who can remember reading Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and The Flower and wishing a handsome sea captain would whisk us away?  So long have pirate romances been out of favor (although they are making a comeback, yay!)  I’d forgotten about them until I first saw Pirates of The Caribbean. That movie awoke the long-dormant pirate love, and I knew I would have to write a pirate book.

Captain Jack, what a sexy rogue! But my heart went to Will Turner, faithful, steadfast, capable, protector of those he loves. My hero in Pirate’s Proposal, Captain Charles the Charmer, is a combination of the two. He can be a sexy rogue, as his name implies, and yet he is a true champion to those he loves.

In reality, pirates are dangerous criminals, but in the world of romance, the biggest danger is usually to the heroine’s heart. Even if the heroine is a tough and capable pirate captain herself such as my heroine, Captain Gina Santini—the heart is always vulnerable.

PIRATE’S PROPOSAL is a novella in the “Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll” series with The Wild Rose Press. The Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll  is a series created by the WildOkies from the Oklahoma Romance Writers of America and spearheaded by author Alicia Dean. Each story has the same cursed gypsy scrimshaw doll appear. Scrimshaw–if you don’t know, and I didn’t know at first–is something that has been carved or engraved out of whalebone or walrus tusks. The stories chronologically begin in 1719 with Pirate’s Proposal and continue through modern day. You can learn the full tale of the “Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll Series” as well as read a letter from Captain Gina’s grandfather on how the curse came to be on the gypsy doll on The Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood site.

Below is an excerpt of Captain Gina and Captain Charles’s first meeting, and below that is a link to a deleted prologue where Gina inherits the doll from her mother. I hope you enjoy!

One pirate often looked like the other, sunburned and scruffy, but she was certain they'd never met. She would have remembered that pretty smile, hidden though it was behind those overgrown whiskers. 

No matter.  She had business at hand.

Flattening her palms on the table, she bent low and said through tight lips, "That was my haul you stole, and I want it back."

His smile didn't waver. Was he going to try to charm his way out of his...his skullduggery? If so, she'd have to inform Captain Charles the Charmer that his rumored talents would not work on her.
He leaned forward on his elbows and brought his face close to hers. She resisted the inclination to back away.

"I can never resist an easy catch," he said in an accent that bore traces of Britain.

Her skin quivered, her nostrils flared. Yet as she met his bold stare, she sucked in a breath. She thought she saw something there she recognized. Did she know him after all?  She searched her memory. To her knowledge, she'd never met him.

She recovered from the moment and continued, "Easy for you to say. The Gypsy Doll had already stopped that merchant ship."

"Aye, your gun-laden frigate does have its uses.  Being fast is not one."

"The advantage will be mine when I blow your dinky little sloop out of the water."

"Captain!  Are you insulting the size...of my ship?"

The obvious sexual overtone felt like a physical caress.  It somehow felt familiar.  Provocative.  She gave herself a mental shake.  "It's not the size of your...ship that’s in question.  You stole what was mine."

***Now for the Question to be entered in the Giveaway:
So tell me, what are YOUR favorite pirate romances?

To read a deleted prologue where Gina inherits the doll, please visit Diana Layne's Historical Romance and click on the link above the book cover.

Diana Layne is an award winning writer. She's an RWA Golden Heart finalist, and has won or finaled in contests such as Romantic Times Follow the New Writer contest. Active in her writing chapters, she's held positions ranging from treasurer to president, and is a member of the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood. Diana is a founding member of their successful blog and regularly contributes. A homeschooling mother of six, she balances her hours between nurturing her children and making up stories.

To learn more about Diana Layne’s books please check out her website and sign up for her newsletter.  Diana's Website

KAREN: Diana, thank you so much for coming by and introducing your Pirate. Your tale sounds fantastic!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bob Jordan Takes the Paragraph Challenge

KAREN: Bob, thank you so much for participating in the Paragraph Challenge. Why don't tell us a little about your story, Treasure Heart.

BOB: Treasure Heart is a true mystery / romance novel based on a real character. If you've gone through a divorce, lost someone you've loved, or looking for a new beginning in your life...this book was written for you !
KAREN: A true mystery and romance—now I'm intrigued.  Okay, are you ready? Let's read the paragraph Bob chose for us.
Jake felt like he was eight years old again and trying to fall asleep on Christmas Eve. As he tossed and turned in bed however, instead of visions of sugar plums, he imagined all sorts of things he might find hidden behind the false wall inside the old lunchroom. The treasure hunter in him was on full alert as he conjured up a variety of scenarios. Staring at the ceiling, his imagination ran wild. He envisioned a picture of himself on the front page of the newspaper with the headline, Local Handyman Finds One Million Dollars Hidden Behind A Wall!
KAREN: SO WHAT DO YOU THINK, READERS? DO YOU WANT MORE? What would you do if you found a false wall inside an old lunchroom? What would you do if you did find One Million Dollars?  

BOB's Favorite Line From Treasure Heart
**Explanation - this takes place as Jake ( main character ) is getting to know Janet ( the first lady in his life since his divorce two years ago. Jake ask Janet what she does for a living and she replies, "I teach angels."
KAREN: If your book was scripted for a movie who would you like to play your hero and heroine?
BOB: I would want Matthew McConaughey to play Jake and Anne Hathaway to play Janet.
KAREN: I like both actors. Did you catch the new Batman Movie where Anne Hathaway starred as Cat Woman? I thought she did a fantastic job!  Readers if you aren't familiar with who the actors are, just click on the names and you'll be directed to Wikepedia and the authors' bio.
Bob, again thank you for participating in the challenge. I have another book added to my To Read Pile. lol 
Bob Jordan was born in 1949 in the midwest. He had a 'Leave It To Beaver' type of childhood. Bob's childhood friends had much to do with his decision to become a writer of books. "I shared the playground with some strange, quirky kids. As I grew older I was never able to leave them behind. Their faces, stories, and laughter hitched a ride into my adult life and have been with me ever since. I had to write about them, they left me no choice!" Bob sums things up this way, "I never grew up, I just got taller." 
You can find Bob at:
Sarah's deep dark secret was safe for forty years. Then one day, quite by accident, everything changed when a treasure hunter dug up a vintage key along with some spent .38 cal bullets in a field close to her home. Will the key unlock Sarah's past? What will she do when she comes face to face with the man she almost married? Will she forgive him for the crime he's accused of committing? Will she tell him... he has a daughter?
Link to purchase Treasure Heart:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: The Stone of Destiny

Grab your favorite drink and pop in for SSS. This is the 1st tidbit from my WIP, The Stone of Destiny. It's been contracted with Highland Press and will be featured in the anthology, Twist of Time. 
Six Sentence Sunday: The Stone of Destiny

Friday, August 24, 2012

Grave Tells Reviews: Magic of the Loch!!

I'm so excited. Grave Tells gives Magic of the Loch --the stamp of approval. A 4.0 Recommended Read!!
"An interesting story with compelling characters and a sweet, slow-building love, Magic of the Loch is a fun mystery that will leave you with a smile on your face. GraveTells recommends it!"
If you're interested, the full review is here. 
Review At Graves Tell

Do Sea Serpents Exist? There May Be Proof…

Come join me for Fun Friday.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Avon Calling!

My Daughter's selling Avon. Halloween themed items are available for this campaign. Spider earrings and necklace. Check out the cool watch, too. $30 or more is free shipping right to your door!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Paragraph Challenge with Andrea Downing

KAREN: Andrea, thank you so much for participating in the Paragraph Challenge. Why don't tell us a little about your story, Loveland.

Andrea: I’m so excited to be here Karen! Thank you for having me. 
Here's a blurb for LOVELAND:
When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society --and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life... 
Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can't seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he's got to keep more than his temper under control. Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order. The question is, will Loveland live up to its name?

  PAGE 98.

     “I really don’t wish to hear about this,” Alex retorted, keeping herself busy. Suddenly she was forced to think about Jesse with another woman, Jesse whoring, Jesse doing what men did. The incident the day of the circus with the soiled dove
had never bothered her; it had been funny if anything, yet hearing it now so plainly put by Bea, she was stunned. Confused, she put her brush down for a moment, then took it back up. One standard for men, another for women, she thought to herself.
Fine, let a man get experience, but I won’t be a virginal spinster, that’s for sure.
KAREN: SO WHAT DO YOU THINK, READERS? DO YOU WANT MORE? I'd like to know what Alex plans and if she's planning it with Jesse.
Andrea's Favorite line:

“Mama?” Sue Ann gave her mother a jab as
Annie filled a plate for her. “Are they kissing or
eating each other?”

KAREN: Andrea, who would like to play your characters in Loveland?

ANDREA: If the book became a film I would have Keira Knightley  as Alex (who I actually had in mind as I wrote) and Ryan Gosling as Jesse.
KAREN: I like the cast. :)  Readers, if you aren't sure who these fabulous actors are, click on the names and take a gander. Andrea, thank you again for being here with us today. I wish you the best success with your new release.

About the Author: 
Andrea Downing has spent most of her life in the UK where she developed a penchant for tea-drinking, a tolerance for rainy days, and a deep knowledge of the London Underground system .  In 2008 she returned to live in the city of her birth, NYC, but frequently exchanges the canyons of city streets for the wide open spaces of the West.  Her love of horses, ranches, rodeo and just about anything else western is reflected in her writing.  Loveland, a western historical romance published by The Wild Rose Press, is her first book.  She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Women Writing the West.
To purchase a copy of Loveland:

Friday, August 17, 2012


KAREN: Let's welcome Sandra Dailey. She's here today to share the 100th page of THE CHIEF'S PROPOSAL. Did it inspire you to pick up the book? Sandra would love to know.
SANDRA: Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Karen. As you can see by this paragraph from page 100 of The Chief’s Proposal, my heroine, Ginny Dearing, has a hard time staying out of trouble.
             “Well, look what we’ve got here.” A tall skinny man with a mullet haircut and holey T-shirt staggered toward them. “It’s an old Indian and his little blonde squaw. We’d better circle the wagons, folks.” He giggled then added, “I don’t think you can handle this young girl, gramps. Maybe I should take her off your hands.”
 KAREN: What is your favorite line from your book?

SANDRA: My favorite line: Ginny’s first look at Brett - Holy smoke he was huge, handsome, and had the personality of Attila the Hun.

If I were to picture The Chief’s Proposal on the silver screen, Ginny would be played by a petite quirky blonde like Reese Witherspoon. Brett is more unique, but Dwayne Johnson’s character in The Scorpion King came real close in appearance.

KAREN: I like both actors! If the readers aren't familiar with who the actors are, feel free to click on their names for a sneak peek.
 I love my character, Ginny, because she’s a lot like me; clumsy, accident prone, domestically challenged, and a human trouble-magnet. However, we always overcome our obstacles. Unlike Ginny, I’m a southern woman to the bone and live on the south side of the Florida/Georgia line with my hero/husband.
To Purchase The Chief’s Proposal visit these sites:
The Wild Rose Press
Barnes & Noble

Monday, August 13, 2012

Maripoza Cruz ROARS with Delight

KAREN: Maripoza Cruz is here today to tell us about her new shifter tale, Roar. Take it away, Maripoza.

Before we left for our first camping trip to Yosemite my dad warned me about bears.  No bears raided our campsite during our trip, but they invaded my dreams and have resided in my imagination ever since.  Lorek Byrnison, the armored white bear from The Golden Compass is one of my favorite bear characters. During the final edits for Howl, I knew my next shifter story would involve bears. 
Fun fact:  Even weighing in at 200 to 600 pounds, Black bears can run up to 30 miles per hour.
Focused on the bottom line, corporate paralegal Linda Underwood answers to no one. Linda’s world is torn apart when a bear shifter turns her romantic weekend rendezvous into a desperate struggle to stay alive.  Now a recently-turned shifter herself, she is determined to beat the affliction by ignoring her newly awakened beastly impulses.
After the accidental death of his wife, shifter Flynn Cromwell finds solace immersed in his computer network security work in a remote mountain cabin.  When he discovers Linda’s ravaged body near the brink of death, he’s compelled to protect her. 
Can Flynn save Linda from her own stubborn nature and defend her from a vicious shifter with a taste for her blood?

 Mariposa Cruz balances writing with her work as a full time paralegal.  As a writer, she has interviewed cowboy crooners and rock divas.  She writes, works and dances salsa in Reno, Nevada.
For more about Mariposa’s musings, check out her blog:
To Purchase a copy of ROAR:
The Wild Rose Press

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

And the Winner of the Print Copy of Magic of the Loch is....

The Winner of the Goodreads Giveaway is: Kara Lepard! Thank you everyone for participating.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Eight Steps To Editing Your Best Seller

You’ve written the next best seller and it’s time to submit it to a publisher. You want your story error free, but let’s face it, no matter how perfect your story reads, the editor still finds ways to improve your work. However, you do want the manuscript as clean of errors as possible. Every writer needs to be an editor and with these easy steps, you’re on your way.
1. Editing is easier if you use a hard copy. If at all possible, print out your story. Mistakes and overused words will jump off the page. 
2. Remove your favorite repetitive words or phrases. If you’re anything like I am, I tend to take one word or phrase and overuse it. In one story, I had my hero running his hand through his hair so many times, he should have been bald by the end of the story. Be ruthless and delete those overused phrases!
3. Use a pen or pencil to cut out long sections that go nowhere and add nothing to forward the momentum of the story. Remember you can always add back anything you cross out if you truly believe you must.
4. Remove adverbs and adjectives. Make those lazy nouns and verbs do most of the work. I hate to tell you this, but there’s no elementary school teacher to give you a gold star for the more adverbs and adjectives you use.
5. Try editing your work from a different location. If you write at your desk, then edit while sitting on your patio sipping a cold iced drink. A different location will stimulate your mind.
6. Check first words of consecutive paragraphs. Try to avoid having every sentence start with he or she. Repetitive use of names is annoying, too. Check for overuse of first names, especially in dialogue. Repetition of names will cause the story to drag.
7. Read your story aloud. This will help you hear mistakes your eyes have missed. I tend to drop words like ‘a’ and ‘the’. I use speech to text on my computer to read the story to me. Make sure your sentences are structurally sound and make sure you use the same verb tense and voice throughout your story.
8. Rest your eyes. Take a break after a section so your eyes can rest. You can’t spot mistakes if your eyes are tired.
I hope these simple steps help you edit your next story. If you have any useful pointers, I’d love to hear them.  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The LOOK Challenge

 I've Been Tagged!
 According to the rules, you're supposed to do a search in your work in progress for the word "look" and then paste the surrounding paragraph(s) and tag as many people as possible. This is Twilight's Eternal Embrace, my vampire tale. I'm still waiting for my first set of edits from my publisher.
So here goes....

He spoke the truth. Worry shadowed his eyes. Then she understood. It was not magic, but her body responding to him in a way she had not thought possible. She found him desirable. “No.” She stumbled back to get away from him and almost fell, but he was quick, lightning quick as he came to her rescue. She thought meeting his gaze was unsettling, but his touch proved more wicked than casual glances. His hands came to rest on her waist, his touch burning through her shirt with raw heat. Don’t look at him. Don’t meet his eyes.
Damn her curiosity. Her eyes opened and she met his gaze. His eyes smoldered with desire, mirroring her own. He pulled her closer. There was no mistaking the hungry sensual growl in the back of his throat as he pressed his lips to hers. He didn’t ravage, but took his time, savoring, tasting…seducing. She groaned beneath his tender assault before her brain registered what she was doing. Fear mixed with passion made her heart thump wildly in her chest. She pushed at his chest, but he held her tight. She had to stop this before it was too late, before she didn’t care her enemy kissed her. Her dagger hand sliced through his shirtsleeve, hitting flesh. He let her go with a startled curse, but it was all she needed. She fled, her feet moving with sure strides as she made her way back into the forest. She knew he could follow her, make her pay for drawing his blood, but he didn’t pursue her. 
Her feet didn’t stop until she reached the safety of her village. Coomkeen lay calm and peaceful as the people slept. “Which you should be doing also instead of kissing a bloodsucker.” Her fingers lightly touched her lips, still tender from the Blue-eyed Devil’s caress. She hated him for what he was, but her body didn’t seem to care. With a touch of his lips, he awakened the woman in her. She didn’t scare easily, but this frightened her. He had not used glamour and yet he still held a power to make her knees weak. She turned, glancing toward the dark forest. The hairs on her arms stood up and she felt a tingle down her back. Had the Blue-eyed Devil followed her after all? The leaves rustled in the wind, but no one emerged from the shadows. 

I hope you enjoyed the look. :)

I'm tagging: 

Cheryl Pierson @Cherokeegirl57 
Maeve Grayson @maevegreyson
Nancy Jardine @nansjar 
Stephanie Burkhart @StephBurkhart 
Martha McBryar @mmcbryar 
Celia Yeary @celiayeary 
Catherine Bybee @catherinebybee 
Linda Moris @LMorrisWriter

Six Sentence Sunday, Magic of the Loch #11 The Reality Check

It's Six Sentence Sunday! This is the eleventh tidbit from Magic of the Loch. It's available for print now. Yeah!! E-book will be available on the 8th!
In this scene: Michaela's condition may cause her to hallucinate. She's just asked Alan if he's real. Come on by and find out what Alan does...

Six Sentence Sunday, Magic of the Loch #11