Guest Author: Linda Poitevin!


I’m happy to be hosting a very talented author on the blog today.  She’s Linda Poitevin and she writes dark urban fantasy books that have received a lot of critical acclaim.  Recently, she’s made an interesting switch, which she’ll tell us about in her interview with us.  Let’s find out what it is!

You were a civilian dispatcher for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, although your original goal was to be a police officer.  How has that background influenced your writing?

In several ways, I think, because I tend to favor police storylines. I actually wanted to be a cop myself (but was turned down because of a faulty height measurement), so I tend to live vicariously through my heroine, Alex, in my Grigori Legacy series. Working as a dispatcher also gave me the chance to get to know a number of outstanding female police officers — little bits of whom have definitely made it into Alex as well — and having worked in the police environment has enabled me to give my setting a definite authenticity. And, of course, having married a cop has kept me ‘in the loop,’ so to speak. 🙂


Your first published novels were urban fantasy, with a homicide detective as the heroine.  Why the switch to contemporary romance for your current book?

It’s not as much of a switch as you might think, because I started out writing romance and there is a definite romantic element to all of my stories. To be honest, my Grigori Legacy series was actually intended to be a paranormal romance single title — that whole dark side of me that emerged (and the series idea) was a complete surprise! Despite that, I’m still a firm believer in happy-ever-afters. 🙂

Tell us about Gwynneth Ever After.

Gwynneth Ever After is a contemporary romance that is best described as Notting Hill with a role reversal and kids thrown in. It was originally published by Wild Rose Press as A Fairy Tale for Gwyn and has been given a fresh edit (because I’ve learned SUCH a lot in the last couple of years!), a new cover, and of course, a new title. The story is about a single mom who is neither looking for nor interested in a relationship until she meets her very own Hollywood hero — who won’t take no for an answer!

What’s next in your writing life?

I’m currently waiting for edits from my editor on book 3 of the Grigori Legacy, Sins of the Lost, and I’ve begun work on book 4, Sins of the Warrior. The series will be complete after book 4. After that, I have a romantic suspense that I’m considering dusting off and polishing, and I have a new urban fantasy series in mind as well.

Thanks for being with us today, Linda!  Readers, check out the blurb Gwynneth Ever After:

Gwyn Jacobs doesn’t believe in fairy tales. Ever since her ex-husband walked out four years  before, leaving her with three small children, Gwyn has been mother, father, and bread-winner all rolled into one. Her own scarred heart aside, she refuses to open up her children’s lives to the possibility of another heartbreak — so she has an unbending policy of no dating and no unattached men in their lives.

Until her very own fairy tale falls into her lap…and the hero won’t take no for an answer.

You can read an excerpt from Gwynneth and Linda’s other books on her website!

Guest Author: Isis Rushdan & Giveaway!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I have a real treat here on the blog in celebration–I’m hosting Isis Rushdan, a debut author who writes wonderful paranormal romance.  She’s also a very cool lady, as you’ll find out when we speak to her and find out about her brand new book, Kindred of the Fallen, out from Samhain Publishing.

Kindred of the Fallen is the first book in your Kindred Chronicles, and also your debut book. How did the idea for this book and the series evolve?

This might sound crazy, but I promise I’m sane. The characters started talking to me one day while I was in the shower. They’d reached a major turning point in their lives and demanded I listen to their problems. I asked if it could wait until I was dressed, but they’re pretty strong-willed. LOL!

The series developed naturally. The overall story arc simply wasn’t finished after the first book. My main characters, Serenity and Cyrus, are on a journey. The ultimate goal of redemption for all Kindred isn’t supposed to be an easy feat that can be accomplished in 350 pages.

I love that your heroine is a soul-reading tattoo artist named Serenity. What is it about Serenity that you love? Was she an easy or difficult character to write?

I love the way Serenity evolves as a character, not only in the first book, but through the series as well. She’s a beautiful, extraordinary individual who has the potential to be one of the deadliest Kindred to have ever lived.

Writing her was tough because she’s also flawed. I didn’t want readers to be turned off by her short-comings such as selfishness. There had to be the right balance so that readers would want Serenity to get her happily ever after.

You’re an officer in the Air Force Reserves, and you’re also a wife and mother. How do you juggle all the different responsibilities in your life with your writing career?

Yes, I’m a Major in the Air Force Reserves. Juggling everything since my son arrived last June has been nearly impossible. I had to drop a few balls to keep the most important ones up in the air, especially since my husband is deployed. I’m no longer doing full time military orders and I’ve pulled back on my participation in writing groups. Right now my priorities are—son, husband, and writing— in that order.

What’s up next in your writing life?

Book 2 of Kindred is finished and I’m waiting for the contract. Now I need to get the third book finished. It’s completely outlined. I just need to write it and revise, which as you know is the hard part.

Looking forward to reading both books, Isis!

For my readers today, Isis is graciously giving away a $10 gift card to either Amazon or B & N.  And to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I’ll also give away a copy of one of my VK Sykes contemporary romances, reader’s choice.  Just tell me if you have anything planned for Valentine’s Day (I don’t!) for a chance to win the gift card and my book!



Guest Author: Colleen Gleason & Giveaway!

One of the really cool things about many writers today is how capable they are of moving between genres. Used to be that authors who wrote historical romance only wrote historical romance, and authors who wrote romantic suspense stuck to romantic suspense. Not anymore. Authors have kicked down the genre barriers, moving easily from historical to paranormal to urban fantasy, and back again, all while building loyal audiences of readers and crafting wonderful books.

I’m featuring someone today who excels at blasting through the genre barriers. She’s international bestselling author Colleen Gleason, and she writes luscious medieval historical romance, Regency vampire romances, and futuristic urban fantasy as Joss Ware. And in all three of those genres she’s gotten great reviews, including this one from Smart Bitches Read Trashy Books:

“Above all, the writing is what recommends this book most. Gleason’s writing is sharp and taut, which makes for excellent action sequences, and a plot that travels quickly from the start. The writing strength alone gives me ample reassurance that this potentially plot-heavy series is in the right hands. I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment.”

Today, we’re looking at A Lily on the Heath, book four in Colleen’s Medieval Herb Garden Series.

This series is all about passionate romance and court intrigue, lords and ladies, and knights and castles. Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Here’s the blurb for A Lily on the Heath.

Passion and deception in the turbulent court of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II.

An honorable man: Malcolm de Monde, Lord of Warwick needs a wife. He reluctantly journeys to the royal court where his plan is simple: find a dutiful woman, gain the king’s approval for his choice and return to Warwick with his chosen lady wedded, bedded, and carrying his heir—all before winter.

An independent woman: Judith of Kentworth, Royal Falconer and lady-in-waiting, is a woman from Malcolm’s past. Although she is a confidante of the queen, Judith’s beauty and vivacity attract the unwanted attentions of the king—and thus the woman who commands winged predators becomes prey herself.

A simple plan that goes awry when Malcolm is reacquainted with Judith, once betrothed to his friend—and a woman who is nothing like the meek wife he seeks…but who may be exactly the type of woman he needs.

An impossible choice: Malcolm offers Judith a chance to escape her predicament…But can she risk entangling her own personal white knight in a dangerous web of royal intrigue?

Yum! I love a meaty historical romance, set in an era where the stakes were very high. If you haven’t tried Colleen’s books yet, this is the place to start. You won’t regret it!

For my readers today, Colleen is giving away a copy of A Whisper of Rosemary, book three in her series.

Since these books are in the Medeival Herb Garden series, let’s talk flowers and herbs. What’s your favorite herb to cook with, or flower to pick from a garden? One person who comments will win a copy of A Whisper of Rosemary. And be sure to check out Colleen’s website for the latest news on all her books.


We Have Winners!

We have lots of winners on the blog today.  The winners of the grand prizes for the St. Patrick’s Day Blog Hop are Melissa L. and Shadow.  And the winner of my portion of the blog hop is Barbara Cunningham Vogel.  Finally, the winner of Jessa Slade’s great prize package from the other day is Barbara Elness.

Congratulations to all the winners!  The organizers of the blog hop and I will be in touch.  Thanks to everyone for stopping by the blog these last few days, and participating in all the fun.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Guest Author: Jessa Slade & Giveaway!

I have an awesome guest blogger with me today–acclaimed Urban Fantasy romance writer, Jessa Slade.  Jessa writes the Marked Souls Series, which has received many wonderful accolades from heavy-weight reviewers like Publisher’s Weekly and RT Book Reviews.  I’m turning the blog right over to Jessa, so she can tell us about her latest book in the series.

First off, thank you, Vanessa, for giving me a chance to share my new story. My usual haunts have had enough of me 😉

Even though I write urban fantasy romance, which might seem like a far cry from Vanessa’s sizzling historical romances, EVERY character has a history. Moody broody bad boy wounded alpha male heroes often have more of a history than most. And since my heroes are immortal warriors whose long-ago sins left them vulnerable to possession by repentant demons… Yeah, they have a LOT of history.

In my first Marked Souls novel, SEDUCED BY SHADOWS, the hero, Archer, was possessed during the Civil War. In FORGED OF SHADOWS, Liam (no relation to Liam Neeson, except for the accent) fell to his dark burden shortly after the Irish Potato Famine. And in VOWED IN SHADOWS, ex-missionary Jonah walked out of early 20th century Africa minus his faith and plus one demon. In every time period, these men fought their darkness…and lost. Now they are battling for their chance at redemption.

In my latest Marked Souls novel, DARKNESS UNDONE, Sidney Westerbrook is a modern-day man, but as a demon researcher, he knows all about the history of evil, maybe even more than the men who lived it. The half-feral demon-possessed waif he finds wandering Chicago, however, has forgotten everything about her past. It’s a match made in… well, heaven or hell, pick one 🙂

As I research all the different time periods, looking for good times for men to fall prey to bad things, I bet you’re not surprised that every epoch has its darkness. What I find interesting, though, is that different times tend to have different flavors of darkness, and yet somehow the overall patina is very similar. It’s sort of like adding soy sauce to a stir fry; at first the tofu was white, the peapods were crispy, and the broccoli was stinky. After you add the soy sauce, then the disparate elements become one dish: demonic stir fry.

Maybe it’s because, really, despite the passing of centuries, men don’t change. And by “men,” of course, I mean “men.” 🙂 Pesky testosterone hasn’t altered its biochemical signature in a very long time. A moody broody bad boy is the same whether he is a duke or demon-ridden!

On the positive side, the struggle against darkness also continues unabated, and I’ll make sure my heroes never, ever give up the fight.

If you had to pick a time period to live in, which would it be? Medieval might eliminate hot showers (definitely an evil) but you do get real knights in shining armor. If you jumped forward, you’d have to battle death stars, but you’d do it with a hot spaceship captain at your side!

*          *          *

Leave a comment for your chance to win a signed copy of DARKNESS UNDONE, a set of Marked Souls Romance Trading Cards, a music download card with the album containing the Marked Souls theme song, and a pair of earrings inspired by the storyworld. And everyone who stops by today can download a free copy of my science fiction romance novella, “Enslaved By Starlight,” in the HOTTER ON THE EDGE anthology. Just go to Smashwords and use coupon code UW37U, or download at Amazon, and other ebook retailers for 99¢. Thank you for reading!

 *          *          *

 The war between good and evil has raged for millennia,

and as a powerful new enemy ascends,

the Marked Souls are pushed to the ragged edge…

Sidney Westerbrook has always studied darkness and damnation from a sensible distance. Now, to earn his place as a league Bookkeeper, he must discover why Chicago is such a battleground of soul-linked warriors. But the research becomes personal when he finds himself over his head and under attack — and at the mercy of a waif with demon-lit eyes and a deep yearning in her heart.

Alyce Carver has been alone longer than she can remember, battered by the living nightmares that haunt her city. Cornered by yet another gang of demons, she unwittingly joins forces with a handsome scholar who can salvage her past, and she in turn may be the key to his investigations. But she won’t let him go until he shows her everything she’s been missing.

What begins as an experiment in possession becomes a trial by desire so powerful it threatens both their lives, even as it binds their souls.

“Slade’s plot packs plenty of action…in a group of forceful personalities.”– Publishers Weekly

“[A] fish-out-of-water story that keeps a rapid pace, delivering a strong plot, enjoyable characters and a stunning world.” –RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

Read Chapter 1 of DARKNESS UNDONE and find links to favorite bookstores.

Read the first chapters of all the Marked Souls novels at

You can find Jessa online at:

Vanessa, here.  Wonderful post, Jessa!  And readers, talk about generous–great prizes Jessa is handing out today!  So be sure to answer her question, and also check out the free download for her novella or find it at other e-tailers for only 99 cents!