CUBAN MOON is out

Cuban MoonI’m very excited to announce that the second book in my Resort Romances series is out!

CUBAN MOON is out exclusively on Amazon. Everybody can check out a free sample of the story there. As part of the Amazon exclusive, Prime members can read it for free.

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the free Kindle Reading App – the link is at the top of the Amazon page. It makes Kindle e-books readable on your computer (Mac or PC), iPad or iPhone, and other devices.

Here’s a short excerpt from CUBAN MOON:

Hank wasn’t asleep. He’d heard Lisa the first time she’d said his name, but he wanted to hear her say it again in that sweet voice of hers. He’d fallen asleep briefly during the drive, but the first stop where passengers disembarked woke him. He figured if she knew he was awake, she would realize her leg had been pressed against his while she twisted to see everything passing outside her window.

He wasn’t surprised he’d dozed off. The direct flight had been hellacious. He’d been stuck next to the maid-of-honor the entire time. His brother was definitely going to pay for pre-booking that seat for him. With her mouth closed, Tiffany was pretty enough, but as soon as it opened… She could have been the most gorgeous woman on the planet and it wouldn’t have mattered. During the wedding preparations back home, she’d made it more than clear she was interesting in seeing if they were compatible in more than a wedding party relationship, preferably heading toward something long-term. He appeared to be someone who could support her high-maintenance lifestyle. Before they left the ground this morning, she’d hinted she’d be more than happy to hook up with him for the week if that’s all he were interested in. Hank might have been tempted for a quick fling if she’d held off her advances long enough for him to make a move, but she was on him like the last life preserver on the Titanic.

Lisa Kleyson had just been a name on the guest list until he saw her for the first time. The bride and her posse spoke of her like a buck-toothed, acne-scarred, geeky misfit who had to be invited to play with the popular kids because she was related. At the airport, he’d spotted a quiet, pretty brunette smiling at the departure screen and he’d been instantly smitten. She could have been going to any resort in Cuba, but when his brother’s future in-laws stopped to talk to her, he noticed the resemblance between the females. Since the sole Taylor-side relative who was coming was the cousin, he realized the woman must be Lisa. All of a sudden, the pity date he’d been assigned as a groomsman turned into a potentially agreeable assignation.

Finding out Lisa was as sweet as she looked was icing on the cake. It would be a relaxing option to hang out with someone who was not one of Amber’s cronies. Hank loved his brother, but Bobby’s choice in wives left much to be desired—especially considering this was his third attempt. The wedding party and guests were arriving on a Saturday and would be leaving in a week’s time. The wedding itself was scheduled for Tuesday. She could be a pleasant distraction the rest of the time.

Hank hauled Lisa’s suitcase into the lobby. He’d told her he’d help her take it upstairs, but his plan of attack got sidetracked when Amber and Tiffany pulled him over to the concierge desk dealing specifically with the wedding party. Amber informed Lisa that “regular guests” needed to wait in line with the other passengers from their flight to check in.

“What’s the plan for tonight?” he asked Bobby. He heard Amber and Tiffany trying to determine which suitcases held the wedding and bridesmaids’ dresses so Bobby wouldn’t see them. Considering the fact Amber and Bobby were booked into the same room for the whole time, Hank thought it was ridiculous to follow that particular tradition, but it wasn’t his wedding.

“Tonight? Nothing that I know of. We might try to find a bar, since it’s practically supper time. Sunday, the girls have something planned for everyone in the afternoon. Monday’s the rehearsal dinner. Then Tuesday—”

“Christ, I have to hang out with you on Tuesday too?” Hank interrupted.

“Shut up, you dumb shit.”

“Speaking of… Thanks so much for my seat assignment on the flight down.”

Bobby blushed. “Yeah, sorry. Amber arranged it.”

“How about you handle arrangements from now on, little brother?” Hank requested.

Bobby wasn’t a complete idiot. “Will do. Should I make arrangements with anyone in particular?”

Hank nodded at Lisa, who was handing her passport to the man on the other side of the reception desk.

“Are you sure? Amber says she’s a little boring, with no sense of humor.”

“No offense to your bride, but Amber thought Tiffany and me was a great idea.”

Hank winced. “Sorry. But Tiffany and I spoke on the plane and Lisa and I chatted on the bus and I would much rather do the latter than the former again.”

Bobby punched him in the arm, slightly harder than necessary. “I’ll see what I can do.”

*****

Happy reading! And happy Labour Day weekend!

Screen Idol Book Trailer

Greetings from Hollywood! I have a book trailer for Screen Idol, to tempt you into reading Chris and Sydney’s story if you haven’t already. Give it a watch and let me know what you think.

Link to YouTube since it’s too large a file to upload here

If you haven’t read SCREEN IDOL yet, find it at Liquid Silver Books, Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, or ARe/All Romance e-Books.

Fast Five: Lynn Rae and “First Choice, Second Chance”

FirstChoiceSecondChanceLynn Rae is over today to answer some questions and talk about her romance First Choice, Second Chance. I’m a sucker for second chance romances so I am all over this one.

1. Red or white?

I prefer red wine to white. Lately I’ve been sampling lots of blends and find them much more interesting to my palate than straight up single varieties. If I had to pick one particular grape, it would be a Cabernet Sauvignon.

2. What did you do on your summer vacation?

This summer my family and I went on a cruise to Bermuda. It had been over two years since we’d taken a vacation, so we were due. The ship was great and Bermuda is a beautiful country, but right in the middle of our cruise my husband came down with norovirus, so by the time he recovered, we needed another vacation.

The cruise (aside from the virus) sounds great. You should try again next year. I hope he’s feeling better.

3. What part of writing a book do you enjoy the most?

My favorite part of the writing process is having time to sit down and pound out a scene after I’ve had an ‘ah-ha’ moment. I love the exhilaration of the words pouring out, the plot pulling together, and my characters coming to life on the page.

4. How do you pick your characters’ names? Do they have any special significance?

I don’t know if I have a method of picking my character’s names. I usually have at least one character come right out and tell me his or her name. I write a lot of backstory before I start a book, and I jot down any name that sounds good in the margins, so by the time I open up that Word file with a blank page one, I have a lot of choices. I tend to like old-fashioned names and have collected a few yearbooks from the 1950s and 1960s to mine for good ones.

I love the yearbook idea!

5. What is your favourite non-writing related website?

I have a lot of favorite sites I check every day, like Gawker, iO9, and Tom and Lorenzo. I like getting the news online, and have a lot of fun reading the comments on some stories when I know they won’t be inflammatory. For other topics, I completely avoid reading the comments because people say crazy stuff on the Internet!

Never read the comments!

Tell us about your book.

Conscientious Emily Fontaine is on a mission to prove her marketing and public relations skills. When she volunteers to restore a historic statue, she isn’t prepared for her attraction to one of her fellow committee members.

Paul Ellison has stayed out of circulation since his wife’s death, but once he meets Emily, he can’t resist her quiet allure, despite the difference in their age.

When the statue which brought them together is vandalized, and both Paul’s daughter and sister strenuously object to their burgeoning relationship, Paul and Emily realize the sacrifices they’ll have to make for each other. Will Paul have a second chance at love?

 

You can find it at Amazon, ARe, and Liquid Silver Books.

Bio:

Lynn Rae makes her home in land-locked central Ohio after time spent in the former Great Black Swamp, beside the Ohio River, and along the Miami and Erie Canal.  With professional experience in fields ranging from contract archaeology to librarianship along with making donuts and teaching museum studies, Lynn enjoys incorporating her quirky sense of humor and real-life adventures into her writing (except the naughty bits).  She writes sci-fi, contemporary, and historical romances.

Five-year plan

I am at the end of year 4 of my current 5-year plan when it comes to my writing career. (I can’t believe I started writing romance four years ago already.) My original plan went something like this:

Year 1/2011 – Write 2 romances, sell 1
Year 2/2012 – Write 4 romances, sell 2
Year 3/2013 – Write 6 romances, sell 4
Year 4/2014 – Write 6 romances, sell 6
Year 5/2015 – Write 6 romances, sell 6, be making enough to quit my job and write full-time

I published one romance in 2012, one in 2013,and 4 so far in 2014. And I quit my job to write full-time. That’s a pretty decent success rate.

But now my goals have changed. Now that I’m doing this as a career, not as an extra part-time job, I need to approach it in a different way.

The plan has two parts: what do you want, and how are going to make it happen. I can’t make people buy my books. I can’t choose to be on a best-seller list. I can’t even make a publisher offer me a contract. My part of the deal is to write and market my books as best I can.

In the event that I do become a best-selling writer, people told me to dream big. So I wrote a number on a piece of paper that had a lot of zeros after the dollar sign, and then I looked at it. What the hell am I going to do with $500,000 a year in royalties? More importantly, did I realize how hard I’d have to work to earn that kind of money?

I am incredibly lucky in my life. I have a nice home, reliable car, good health, and low expenses. I don’t need a lot. More importantly, I’m happy and I don’t want a lot. So what are my dreams for the future?

I’d like to travel more. See Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and all the little tropical islands I can find in the Pacific and Caribbean. (Winnipeg winters are long, people.) I’d like to update my electronics. Get a new kitchen. Splurge on some clothes. But if I’m being honest, I don’t want to upgrade from my Mazda to a Mercedes. I don’t want to buy a five-bedroom, three-car mansion in a gated community. I just want to continue to write and be happy.

I’m taking another pass at my five-year plan to see if I can dream a little bigger. But there’s not much bigger than happiness. And I’ve already got that.

Don’t call me Mike Holmes

Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor, maybe. He screwed things up, right?

So, I tried a home renovation project this week. Here’s a picture of my results:

I’m not a complete idiot. I know I’m a rookie at this type of thing. That’s why I’ve got two different handymen and a plumber on speed dial. But I was painting a shelf! How hard could it be?

Two years ago (yes, two, I was busy) I had a small bay window in my kitchen replaced and the bottom board which formed the “shelf” and the top piece that made the “ceiling” were both untreated plywood. I knew they had to be painted and I thought that white would look nice. Each area was about five square feet. I figured I could paint that myself. Since I intend to paint my bedroom later this fall, this would be good practice. Besides, it’s painting. How hard could it be?

I went out and bought a small tin of white trim paint for kitchens and bathrooms. Because, really, all the shelf and the ceiling are is trim. Then I got to work.

It didn’t work. In fact, the entire coat of paint was sucked into the plywood until nothing was left but a faint shine. Since I was pretty sure paint is supposed to go ON wood and not IN it, I picked up the paint can and read the instructions again. This time, I read the entire label, and found a line I missed.

“Apply to primer.”

Primer? Undercoat? Hmm. That sounds like it was an important step. Unfortunately, I’ve been told that I can’t simply apply another layer of paint to the wood. I have to sand off my first layer, put on a coat of primer, and then paint it again.

Tune in next week where I’ll learn how to sand!

“Cuban Nights” has a cover

Cuban MoonI’d like you to meet Lisa Kleyson and Dr. Hank Anderson, the heroine and hero from my upcoming Resort Romance. “Cuban Moon” is set in Varadero, which was one of my favourite tropical trips ever.

Lisa Kleyson, representing the bride, didn’t intend to hook up with anybody while on her first Caribbean vacation ever, but when she lays eyes on the groom’s brother, her best laid plans go out the window. She knows she’s not doctor’s wife material … but he’s not on duty.

Dr. Hank Anderson, representing the groom, will do his duty to his brother but he’d much rather be spending time with the music teacher who’s caught his eye. It’s nice to be the one doing the chasing instead of fending off women who want to take advantage of his position.

Hank’s pursuit is booby-trapped with a stalking maid-of-honor, a Gilligan-worthy boat tour and bad crab cakes but he is determined to catch Lisa and convince her to start a romance under the Cuban moon.

It’s coming this month from Books To Go Now.

Fast Five with Daisy Banks and “A Perfect Match”

A_Perfect_Match-Daisy_Banks-500x800I’m very pleased to have Daisy Banks back for another visit. This time she is talking about her new futuristic fantasy, “A Perfect Match”.

1. Wine: red or white?

Red, I enjoy a good Cabernet Sauvignon. I prefer it served at the right temperature and accompanied by cheese and crackers.

I’m a white wine girl, myself, but I agree about the cheese and crackers. Also, grapes.

2. Do you have a song or playlist that you associate with this book? What is it and why?

I don’t have a song specific to this book. I often listen to classical music when I write, but I think the one song I associate with my writing is ‘Don’t stop me now’ from the band Queen. I love writing and usually I have a very good time when I am writing.

3. What are you doing for your summer vacation?

I went down to Pembrokeshire in the early summer. I had a fabulous lazy week there just chilling and relaxing, strolling on the beach, and sleeping undisturbed by traffic noise. I love the Pembrokeshire coastline and the quality of the light. The place I stayed at, a small cottage, is one of the few places I’ve visited more than once. I’m going to go back again next year.

Sounds lovely – I didn’t get out of the city this year.

4. How did you pick your characters’ names?

I try to find names with meanings that reflect a character’s personality or something to do with them. Usually I look the name meaning up. Varon, has the meaning, man, the linked name Varen means excellent, another linked name Varun, means god of the sea. All those name meanings seemed right Varon. Anwell, is a made up name I liked and it seemed to fit well.

5. What is your least favourite chore to do around the house?

Any of them! LOL. I am not enamoured of housework in any way. I do what I have to but I would much prefer not to have to spend time on such things. I’m lucky that DH helps so much.

I do enjoy cooking and I cook every day. We don’t eat much in the way of prepared things like pizza etc., as I’d rather make things freshly. Living in a rural part of the country means there is no shortage of ingredients to make interesting meals. I am looking forward to the new game season when fresh pheasant and partridge will be available again. I tend to shop locally as much as possible and don’t visit big stores unless I absolutely must. I think the quality of produce is better from the local environment and I prefer to eat things in the right season. The locally grown asparagus is the best I have tasted anywhere, it is only available for a short time in spring and early summer and it is delicious. I can buy asparagus at any time of the year if I wish from a bigger chain of stores, but that has to be imported and it doesn’t taste as good. I look forward to when the local variety is in season.

Blurb:

Passion and politics ripple through A Perfect Match where the enmity between the government leader, Lord Chardel and Commander Varon, head of the Astan water acquirement fleet, is at flashpoint. The enforced marriage of Anwell Nastor, a young Temple adept, to Commander Varon, not only breaks Astan religious rules, but could break untried hearts. This cruel ploy meant to silence Varon’s opposition to current circumstances in the city-state brings unexpected results. Through careful manipulation of the news links, Varon and his bride become the city’s most adored couple, but danger shadows their steps.

amazon.com/author/daisybanks  Barnes and Noble Taliesin Publishing 

Daisy Banks writes sensual and spicy romance in the Historical, Paranormal and Fantasy genres. An obsessive writer Daisy is passionate about her stories. Her focus is to offer the best tale she can to readers. Daisy is married, with two grown up sons. She lives with her husband in a converted chapel in Shropshire, England. Antiques and collecting entertain Daisy when she isn’t writing.

Links

Blog    http://daisybanks.wordpress.com/

Website http://daisybanksnovels.yolasite.com/

Twitter @DaisyBanks12

Facebook http://on.fb.me/18iRC35

Pinterest http://bit.ly/16sF1XG

amazon.com/author/daisybanks  

Fast Five with Tami Lund

intothelight_CoverI invited my fellow romance writer Tami Lund over for a quick meet-and-greet and to talk about her new book Into the Light. Here’s what happened.

1. Wine: red or white?
Both?

Cheat answer, but since I agree with you I’ll let this one go :)

2. What are you doing for your summer vacation?
Going back to the area where we vacationed in 2009, which inspired me to write The Resort series. A bunch of gorgeous, sandy bottom lakes, all connected by rivers large enough to cruise on in pontoon boats. I wish I could live there, but since I can’t, my characters do.

Sounds like a heavenly summer retreat. Wish I were there now.

3. What is your favourite part of the writing process?
Having the time to actually do it, for more than half an hour at a time. By this I mean, free of distractions such as children, a dirty house, and the husband. The dog and wine can stay.

4. What is your favourite non-writing/author blog or website? http://www.downwithdetroit.com – it’s my Pinterest. Besides my urge to purchase something every time I visit, they have hilarious Facebook posts. Even if you don’t live in Detroit. Although, if you live in Ohio, probably not so much.

5. If you could co-write a story with any author (living or dead) who would you pick?

Katie MacAlister. She probably already thinks I stalk her, so it’s okay to say this. Although she did follow me back on Twitter recently, so it’s her own fault.

Tell us about your book, Into the Light:

Shifters dominate the human world, while Lightbearers stay hidden away in their magically protected coterie. That is, until Olivia Bennett, princess of the Lightbearers, is captured by the most powerful shifter of them all—Quentin Lyons, who believes that to kill a Lightbearer is to inherit her magic.

His son, Tanner, doesn’t believe his father’s theory. In the ultimate betrayal, Tanner rescues Olivia and vows to return her to her home. Along the way, he discovers two other Lightbearers who have left the safety of the coterie, not to mention an attraction to the Lightbearer princess that becomes increasingly more difficult to ignore with each hour he spends in her company.

The attraction makes no sense. Lightbearers and shifters have been mortal enemies since the dawn of time. He’s supposed to feel the urge to kill her, not … well, you know.

Despite shifters who are out to kill them and Lightbearers who don’t trust them, Tanner and Olivia decide to take the chance and give in to their mutual attraction, only to discover that Olivia’s destiny has been predetermined, and it doesn’t include her shifter lover. They must decide if they are willing to risk it all, or if they can walk away from true love for the sake of the Lightbearer species.

Where can we find it?

Buy Links:

Liquid Silver Books , Amazon , Barnes & Noble , Goodreads 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014Bio:

Tami Lund is a romance author with an obsession. Books are her obsession. Writing them, reading them, sharing them. She can’t get enough. She reads just about anything, even books without happy endings. She writes contemporary and paranormal romance because, in whichever world she is writing about, she believes the good guys deserve a happily ever after.
Tami has published multiple books, which can be found on her website, www.tamilund.com. A couple of those books have won awards, including The Resort, which won third place in the Great Expectations Contest hosted by the North Texas Romance Writers of America. The paranormal romance just released through Liquid Silver Books, Into the Light, won first place in the On The Far Side Contest, which is hosted by the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA.
Tami loves it when fans stalk her through social media. She’s there, just about everywhere. Simply search Tami Lund Author and follow/tweet/fan/friend her to keep up with the latest news.

Thanks for having me today! This was loads of fun!

Love is… an amazing collection of romance stories

Love Is coverIt’s out!  I am thrilled to be part of the Love Is…” collection. forty stories of first loves, friends to lovers, and the heat of the moment. Join forty authors, including multiple New York Times and USA Today bestsellers, as they take you on a romantic ride through time and space.

From the dazzling ballrooms of Regency historical romance to contemporary love from sweet n’ dreamy to kinky n’ steamy, to the wide open frontier of science fiction romance and magical worlds of far away fantasy realms, sample the best that romance has to offer! Every short story is the perfect candy-sized nugget to read over a cup of coffee or before falling asleep at night.

What I really love about this collection is that all proceeds are going to “Reach Out And Read“, a literacy charity which helps bring books to children and encourages kids and parents to read together. My first memories are of books and I believe every child should have the opportunity to read.

My contribution to Love Is… is “The Hollywood Gambit”, a short story in my Hollywood to Olympus world. Rookie studio photographer Benny Duarte is used to women falling at his feet but Rita Morales isn’t playing that game. If Benny wants a date, he’s going to have to work for it. And when he does, he finds she is more than worth the effort.  (Benny appears in both Screen Idol and Drama Queen.)

Love Is… is available at Amazon, iTunesBarnes & Noble/Nook, and Kobo. For $0.99, you can’t say no. I’ve had a sneak peak and between the contemporary, paranormal and historical writers, you will definitely find something to love.

 

I did hot yoga and I didn’t die

I am not an athletic person. When I was in school, I used to say my primary forms of exercise were running late and skipping class. I’ve since learned to be prompt and have improved my attendance record but not much else has changed.

Since I started writing full-time, I knew the dangers of being sedentary so I bought a treadmill and a Trekdesk (for the record, it’s awesome.) I now walk for 2 hours every day. Surprisingly, it’s also helped my back. But I know I need to do more, and I figured that yoga would be a non-competitive, low-impact activity unlike, say, dodgeball. Also, I don’t have the patience for competitive sports. In yoga, there is no “winning”, and if there is, you’re definitely doing it wrong.

Why hot yoga? It was the only class that fit into my schedule. Truly.

So I bought the pass and the yoga mat and the super-huge re-useable water bottle since I’d basically be working out in a sauna and I headed to class. My first attempt at yoga had been ten years earlier and I found it very relaxing. The other students didn’t. Apparently snoring is frowned upon. They didn’t say that at the start of the class.

This class wasn’t horrible. It was hot, yes, about 110F/44C. It was a beginner’s class, so it was mostly stretching and only a few real yoga poses. At least, according to Hollywood there weren’t many poses. I didn’t have to stand on one leg or anything. Fortunately I had a really good instructor and I took it all slow and when the sixty minutes was up, I wasn’t dead. They haven’t yet invented a word for that level of sweaty though. An unexpected but interesting side effect? My skin felt fabulous. Over all, I’m calling the class a success but it will be a lot of work – I’m going to be washing clothes after every class.

I was definitely dehydrated by the end of class. I drank about 400 ml of water in the hot room, and finished the other 600 ml in the change room. Then I came home and showered to cool off and drank another 500 ml and I still had a headache. I hope this isn’t a regular thing. I don’t handle full sun well (I’m always in a hat) but heat itself shouldn’t be a problem, I hope. If it is, I only bought a 10-class pass.

So, take it from somebody who went in a complete newbie. You too can do hot yoga and survive. Your water bill – not so much