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Friday, January 27, 2012


Good morning, Ima Slutz here, sitting in for my cousin, Adora Smutz, who is on vacation. She's in the Caribbean this week, trying to find a man. *Sighs*, some people don't know when to quit. 

I am interviewing the lovely and charming Carrie Tucker, heroine from "The Marriage List". Yes, that's her on the cover:

 Ima: Welcome, Carrie. Tell me, Carrie, how does it feel to be the heroine in Jean's best selling book, The Marriage List?
Carrie: It feels great, Ima. Grey Andrews, my boyfriend, and I are thrilled. And she's got two more books with us in them, too. Did you know that?

Ima:  Oh, really? Adora didn't tell me that! Hmm. And I suppose you want to tell me the titles for those also *under her breath* shameless,self-promoting slut.
Carrie: If you don't mind, Jean asked me to mention them: The Love List, which is out now and The Dating List, which she is currently writing. Of course in that last one we are supporting characters.
Ima: You can't be the princess ALL the time, you know! And you are sleeping with one of the most attractive heroes Jean has written, aren't you.
Carrie (blushes): You could say that.
Ima (leans in closer): So how is Grey in bed?
Carrie (blushes deeper red): Ima! How can you ask me that?
Ima: That's what everyone wants to know, dearie. So give...and don't leave out any details.
Carrie (flustered): I'm not going to...Grey would kill...Jean! Jean! This was not part of the deal.
Ima: I bet he's a dreamy kisser...
Carrie: You wouldn't believe...hey! Wait a minute.
Ima: Come on, Carrie, share a little with us. You know we're all panting to be with Grey. He's!
Carrie: Yes, he is. I suppose one little detail...but I shouldn't...
Ima: Awww go on, girl. *leans closer to Carrie*.
Carrie: You know what he loves...what he really loves...most of the bedroom?
Ima (wipes drool from chin): No, no...tell me...we're all anxious to hear.
Carrie: WOMEN WHO DON'T KISS AND TELL!  *clamps her mouth shut*.
Ima: Adora said you'd be a hard nut to crack. I guess if you want to know about Grey in the bedroom, you're going to have to read The Marriage List to find out. This is Ima Slutz, thanking our guest, Carrie Tucker -- sort of -- and signing off...Carrie, you can unclamp your lips now...yes...breathe, girl, breathe.

A bit about the book

Can happily ever after start with a list? Grey Andrews thinks so. After ten years of working, saving and investing, Grey finally achieved a level of wealth that allows him to do what he wants with his life. He needs a woman to share it with, but not any woman, the perfect woman. A woman who has the three essential qualities on his marriage list. But after three years of searching he isn’t any closer to finding her than he was when he started out.
 Carrie Tucker, an aspiring mystery writer and divorcĂ©e struggling to make it in the world of advertising, turned her focus from men to her career after dating too many creeps and losers. She’s finally earned her big break, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become the first female creative director in a hot New York ad agency. So what if it means working nights and weekends? It’s not like she has a social life anyway.
Is the marriage list a failure or will a chance meeting at a fiction-writing conference prove the list to be the key to Grey’s happiness after all?

Short Excerpt
“Miss Tucker…Carrie, I’m sorry but we’re going to have to reschedule this pitch. I have a meeting with an investor I can’t put off,” he said, looking down at the papers in his hand, “I have your contact info here. I’ll get in touch to reschedule.”
With that, Paul marched out of the room with the man he called “Grey” right behind him. Carrie stood up and put her hand on Grey’s arm.
“Hey! You ruined my opportunity to get my novel published! I’ve been waiting six months for the chance to see Paul Marcel,” she shot at him.
Grey turned. His gaze swept over her hair, eyes and figure making her feel slightly naked and yet warm at the same time. She stared back boldly at the handsome man with a dazzling smile and an impeccable gray suit, noticing how snugly his suit fitted his trim physique
“Give it to me,” he said, reaching for her manuscript, “I’ll make sure he reads it.”
Before she could move, he snatched the manuscript out of her hand and walked quickly out of the room. She trailed along behind him, trying to speak, but soon he was lost in the crowd.
What happened here? Where’s my manuscript and who was that guy?


ONLY $.99 AT:


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Interview with Sherry Gloag, author of "From Now Until Forever"

Hello, Sherry, don't be nervous now, this is easy as pie. 
 1)    How old were you when you knew you wanted to become a writer?
I was in my teens the first time I tied writing a story.  Unfortunately I was in school at the time and the teacher confiscated it and I never saw it again.  Her comment about it?  “Why can’t you write as clearly when you do your homework?”
  2) What did you do for a living in your “previous” life?
Many things.  I have worked in the dress department of a large retail department store.  I qualified as a social worker for the blind and loved every moment of that job.  My son’s arrival ended that job. J I have been a school secretary, classroom assistant, and owned our own retail business.   
    3)     Do you have a family?
Yes, my son currently works for the BBC 
    4)     What genre do you write?
I thought I wrote mainstream contemporary romances, but have been told they are also suspenseful.  I am experimenting with a regency story which I keep putting to one side, mainly because I didn’t know the ending, now I have that I hope to finish it sometime soon. 
    5)     Are you a plotter or a pantser?
For my sins, I am a ‘panster’ which is why it has taken so long to discover the ending of my regency romance!
6)     Do your characters ever take over when you’re writing?
From start to finish, is the short answer!  If I try to deviate, it usually ‘ends up in tears’!! 
    7) Do you get inspiration from real people or places?
Sometimes, but mostly one or both of my main characters turn up pretty well fully formed and with opinions to match! 
    8)     Have you ever gotten a story idea from a news story?
Not in the sense you ask, but I have turned news clips round and turned them into scenes in a story.  For instance, there was a story about a family coming home from holiday to find their house had been burgled.  I turned that round and had my heroine discover a stalker had infiltrated her security and gained access to her garden when she returned home after returning from a business trip.  
    9) Would you like to be any of your heroines?
Since a lot of my heroines seem to have endured fairly dark pasts, no, I don’t think so.  
    10) Would you marry any of your heroes?
Difficult decision, but if I had to choose one, it would have to be Ben Kouvaris from Duty Calls.  He has massive lessons to learn, but when he ‘gets it’ he’s amazing. 
   11) Do you do a lot of editing before you submit a manuscript?
(My editor may not believe me. LOL) But yes, I do.  I used to write several chapters without going back and editing, now I have to edit almost as I go along.  Sometimes it does my head in, as I find it breaks the ‘flow’ or writing.  I’m not sure how the changes came about!
   Now some personal questions 
   1)     Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla in ice cream 
   2)     Do you listen to music when you write? What do you listen to?
Very rarely, but classical or alternative music if I do.  Sometimes I may put on a Jazz disc.
   3)     Favorite color?
Depends on my mood.  I love red because it is a ‘cheerful’ colour          
   4)Favorite line of description from one of your books.
“Liam Fitzwilliam Gasquet stared in amazement at the blooming patch of red milliseconds before the pain exploded in his arm.”
This is the opening line of the first book, From Now Until Forever, in my series The Gasquet Lads. Published by Astraea Press in December 2011.  Prince Liam Thought he’d managed to evade those who might want to harm him, and discovers his mistake the hard way.

5) Favorite dialogue from one of your books.
This is taken from my 2011 Valentine novella, The Wrong Target.  The hero, business tycoon, Ryan Thomas, has had the heroine, headmistress, Tina Blackberry, dismissed from the job she loves, and discovering he was wrong follows her to Rome to try and make amends.
“Goddamit,” he exploded, “Can’t you stand still for one second? I have something to say, but I can’t while you’re jogging round the room.”
She halted toe to toe in front of him. “You have me dismissed from a job I loved, because I upheld the safety of my pupils, and still have the audacity to stalk me to my holiday destination and demand I listen to you because you have something to say?” Flapping her hands at her sides, she spun away and back again, planting her hands on the chair arms, she pinned him in his place and snarled, “Let me tell you something. I’ve come here to enjoy myself and your presence isn’t part of my plan.”
 “What is your plan?” he demanded.
“To get laid!”  Astonishment pushed her away from the chair, her eyes wide, her lips curved up in a defiant sneer. “I intend to find myself a man and screw the living daylights out of him. And,” she paused deliberately, “I don’t need you for that.”
Favorite minor character from your book.
Liz, a special friend to my heroine, Gina, in my debut novel, The Brat, published by the Wild Rose Press, who knows almost all Gina’s secrets, and will go out of her way to protect her friend when she is threatened on several fronts at once.
    6)     Dog or cat?
Both, but cats are special for me.
    7)     Country or city?
    8)     Beach or mountains?
    9)     Skirts or pants?
   10) Early morning or late night?
Late night

   A Little Bit About the Book 
For Prince Liam, families meant bad news, unwanted commitments, and the loss of his personal freedom.  Love spawned white picket fences, slippers at the hearth with a wife and kids making demands, so why did those images disappear when he met Melanie Babcot?

Melanie Babcot fought hard to escape the horrors of her youth and vowed to remain single and free, so when paid to protect Prince Liam from insurgents why did her personal pledge fly out the window?
 Short Excerpt
For Prince Liam, families meant bad news, unwanted commitments, and the loss of his personal freedom.  Love spawned white picket fences, slippers at the hearth with a wife and kids making demands, so why did those images disappear when he met Melanie Babcot?

Melanie Babcot fought hard to escape the horrors of her youth and vowed to remain single and free, so when paid to protect Prince Liam from insurgents why did her personal pledge fly out the window?


Monday, January 23, 2012


My Tuesday Tale comes from my WIP, "The Dating List", the next in the List series of New York Nights books. We are at Grey and Carrie's NYC townhouse. They are still engaged and Grey's brother, Colin, has come to visit for a week.

     “Maybe we need a fire,” Grey said approaching the fireplace in the living room.
      As Colin turned to head upstairs to change his pants as Grey knelt in front of the cold fireplace to lay a fire, the doorbell rang.
     “Get it, will ya, Col? Must be Delia. Carrie, Delia's here!” He called out as he crumpled newspaper and shoved it under the grate.
     “Who is Delia?”
     “You haven’t met the famous…or should I say “infamous”, Delia Tucker yet?. She’s Carrie’s aunt…”
     Colin unlocked the deadbolt lock and opened the door. His hazel eyes stared at a beautiful woman wearing a rose-colored, slim, quilted down jacket with the hood lined in white ermine. The white of the ermine emphasized the rich mahogany color of her hair and the subtle red highlights. The dark hair framing her delicate oval face made her light brown eyes turn the color of honey. They glowed as they looked up at him.  His lips parted but no sound came out as he stood stock still. She stared into his eyes and smiled.
     “I’d know those eyes anywhere. You must be related to Grey.”
     He squeaked out, “his brother,” while his gaze wandered over the rest of her lovely face. He noted a delicate jaw with a full lower lip, perfect for pouting, led up past a small straight nose to those luminous eyes that were laughing at him now. Glowing skin with an attractive blush from either cosmetics or the cold, he couldn’t tell which, on the apple of her cheeks and the hint of tiny laugh lines topped off her perfection. 
     “Name?” She asked, her eyes, trimmed in artfully smudged black liner and fringed with black lashes, crinkled a bit at the corners.

     "Name?" She repeated.
     "Oh, oh...Colin.”

     “It’s cold out here, Colin. Do you think I could come in?” She raised her eyebrows as she deepened her smile.

     Her words snapped him out of his reverie and he looked down to see a large red suitcase standing next to the diminutive woman. By instinct, he picked up the suitcase, placed it inside next to the door and stepped back.

     “Delia,” she said, offering her small, white leather gloved hand to him after she stepped across the threshold of the house and closed the door behind her.

     He took her hand, squeezed it a touch too hard, causing her to wince, then let go. He watched her gaze move down from his dark brown hair to his hazel eyes, and lower until it rested on his bare chest. The deepening of the blush on her cheeks made him aware he was half naked. He crossed his arms over his chest.

     “Excuse me,” he mumbled as he made a hasty exit, taking the stairs two at a time to the second floor landing. The last thing he heard before he closed the door to his room was Delia’s tinkling laugh.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

You want to be a romance writer? What are you, nuts?

Do you really want to be a romance writer?
Here’s a checklist of possible hurdles you’ll have to face:
1)    Own a laptop so you can leave the house when writing or editing. Folks at home don't think twice about interrupting you and your “hobby” whenever they damn well feel like it.
2)     You family may either disown you or sign you up for a course in auto mechanics so you can earn a living.
3)     Be prepared for questions like, “so you write those trashy novels,” said to me by a friend, who’s never read my books.
4)     Be prepared to say “no” when friends ask you to take in their deliveries, run their errands, take care of their kids after school…lord knows, you’re not doing anything important and you’re home, right?
5)     Be prepared to leave the phone unanswered because your friends will call to unload their problems, looking for a sympathetic ear, because…lord knows, you’re not doing anything important, right? 
6)     Be prepared to have male colleagues, family friends and total strangers sidle up to you asking about sex, because, after all, you write about it, that makes you an expert.
7)    Be ready for men asking you for sex, texting, PM’ing,  or emailing you for sex. Especially men from love-starved places like Iran.
8)     Don’t get rattled if you hear dear old dad lean over and say to a friend, “I have no idea what the hell she does.”
9) You’ll hear “Hey, what do you really do for a living?”
10) Be prepared to have any idiot on the Internet who’s having a bad day rip you and your book to shreds in front of hundreds of thousands of people.
11) Take it (#11) in total silence. Grind your teeth, but don’t dare open your mouth…or the whole world will bash you in the biggest pile on you’ve ever seen, making a professional sports pile on looking like a kid’s game.
12) Promoting – are you ready to do all the promotion for your book yourself and then get slammed by Nasty Nancy’s for self-promoting? Haven’t they heard of Catch-22?
13) Then…welcome to the club! NOW YOU WILL…. 
14)  Bask in the glow of rave reviews from readers who “get” your book and love your writing.

15) Spend your days immersed in a world of love, romance, conflicts, resolutions…and yes, sex!

16) Work harder than you thought possible to obtain a fabulous book you’re proud of and readers love.

17) Sign a contract with a publisher, someone who believes in you and your work as much as you do.

18) Feel the giddy excitement when you receive a beautiful, new book cover created by your loving publisher.
19) Feel the thrill of the release of your new book.

20) Be the envy of others who slave away at jobs they hate.

21) Be the envy of women whose men think you’re super sexy because you write about sex. (Even if they're wrong!)

22) Receive email from readers who were touched by your work or fell in love with your heroes or read all your books.

23) Be doing the one thing in the world you want to do more than anything else.

Contemporary romance, 3 flames.