We Have Winners!!

We have lots of winners from our Rock*It Reads mega-giveaway earlier in the week.  Here’s the list:

Love’s Portrait by Monica Burns: Landin

Skin Deep by Pamela Clare (Available May 2012): DeborahR

Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare: Fedora

Sweet Release by Pamela Clare: Betty Hamilton

Undone by Lila DiPasqua (Available May 2012): Savannah Miller

Hot Number by VK Sykes (aka Vanessa Kelly): Tonya

Fastball by VK Sykes (aka Vanessa Kelly): Mary Doherty

Hardball by VK Sykes (aka Vanessa Kelly): Mina DeCaro-Petril

His Wicked Revenge by Vanessa Kelly: bn100

Claiming Her by Kris Kennedy (Available May 2012): donna ann

Stolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton: Megan G

Fever by Joan Swan (print copy): Cate Sparks

Intimate Enemies by Joan Swan: Tina Rucci

And the winner of Kate Noble’s book is Shannon.  Congratulations to all the winners!  We’ll be in touch.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the blog this week – it was great fun!  Kate Noble will be back next week for an interview, and historical romance author Bronwen Evans will also be stopping by.  Please join us!

 

 

 


Guest blogging today!

I’m guest blogging today with paranormal romance author, Laurie London.  We’re talking about my VK Sykes books, the sexy contemporary romances I write with my hubby.  Stop on by to find out about our writing partnership – and how we manage to not kill each other – and post a comment for a chance to win HOT NUMBER or FASTBALL.

See you there!


A New Era In Publishing & Lots Of Prizes, Too!

I have a fabulous author guest blogging with  me today.  She’s Joan Swan, and she writes romantic suspense for Kensington Brava.  Her debut book, Fever, has gotten great reviews and received tons of attention.  Trust me – if you like gritty romantic suspense, you will love this book.

But like many authors, Joan is also branching out into self-publishing or, as it’s often called, indie publishing.  In fact, she’ll be releasing her first indie book in May.  You can check out all the details on her website.

Joan and I have something in common.  We’re both members of Rock*It Reads, a collective of print authors who are also indie publishing.  I blogged about it a few weeks ago, and Joan is here to give you the latest update, which includes a very exciting announcement.

Over to you, my friend!

The publishing industry has turned the corner into a fast and furious new era.  The changes are undeniably exciting…and daunting.

For authors a whole new area of choices await—how your cover will look, which editor you’ll choose, what story you’ll write next and in what genre.  But there are also more worrisome concerns, like how you can make your work stand out in this overflowing market.

For readers, this new era gives you an amazing body of work to choose from that would not have been available even just a year ago.  Many talented authors, both previously unpublished and traditionally published, have a new outlet for their work—both new and backlist titles.  The low prices associated with most epublished books certainly helps out in tough economic times as well.  Add to that the portability and flexibility of ereaders and you’ve got a near-heavenly situation.

Why just near-heavenly?  Because you, the reader, have to wade through the millions of books available to narrow down your choices.  Might sound easy, but it only takes a few duds to the tune of $3-$5 to make those “off” choices add up pretty quick.  And I have to admit that’s one of my pet peeves – taking a chance on a book — spending the money, investing my time, my hope…and being let down.  For a romance reader, there is not much less disappointing than this.

This is a conundrum that the authors at Rock*It Reads also found troubling.  Rock*It Reads is a group of NY traditionally publishing authors who are also venturing out into indie epublishing.  The coop we’ve created supports a group of authors who get not only goes into a quality read—editing, design, proofreading, etc., but what it takes to stand out in an ocean of unknown titles.

So when you see the RIR, Rock*It Reads logo on a book cover, you’ll know each book has been professionally handled from cover to cover, by authors who have done this many time before in the professional realm of New York publishers.

As authors who appreciate amazing writing and long for an awesome story as much as the next reader,  we have partnered with Barnes and Noble to bring outstanding self published titles to readers’ attention through a brand new review column: Love Rocks.  At Love Rocks, Rock*It Reads authors will showcase a fabulous Indie read they’ve discovered and review the book.  We’ll be focusing on the lesser known authors and titles whose brilliance has yet to be recognized, which I personally find thrilling.  What reader doesn’t love to find a talented new author to read?

Our very first column launches today!  So, swing by Barnes and Noble Review.com, catch Love Rocks and stay to chat!  We look forward to seeing you there.

Come back here and leave a comment on your thoughts about the Love Rocks column and you could win one of the following fantastic prizes – donated by many of the RIR authors.

Love’s Portrait by Monica Burns

Skin Deep by Pamela Clare (Available May 2012)

Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare

Sweet Release by Pamela Clare

Undone by Lila DiPasqua (Available May 2012)

Hot Number by VK Sykes (aka Vanessa Kelly)

Fastball by VK Sykes (aka Vanessa Kelly)

Hardball by VK Sykes (aka Vanessa Kelly)

His Wicked Revenge by Vanessa Kelly

Claiming Her by Kris Kennedy (Available May 2012)

Stolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton

Fever by Joan Swan (print copy)

Intimate Enemies by Joan Swan (Available May 2012)

Vanessa, here.  I have to tell you, I’m very excited about LOVE ROCKS.  So what do you think, readers?  Do you like this new world of indie publishing?  What do you think about this leap into the future?  Leave a comment for a chance to win one of these great books!


#SampleSunday: Hot Number

Here’s an excerpt from my latest VK Sykes book, one of the sexy contemporary romances co-written with my husband.  Hot Number is set in Las Vegas and it features Sadie Bligh, a geeky math professor from Chicago, and Nick Saxon, the assistant chief of security at a large casino.  Sadie is having a really bad year–her work life has flat-lined and her social life…well, that’s pretty much non-existent.  Desperate to shake things up, she heads to Sin City with a friend for a wild week of fun.

And Sadie does shake things up, but not in the way she intended.  After causing a scene in the casino, Security Chief Nick hauls her off for an interrogation.

Nick stared at the little bombshell who sat quietly before him. He had to deal with drunken bimbos every single day. It sure as hell wasn’t one of the more interesting parts of casino security work, but it came with the territory.

When he’d hauled this one’s tantalizing ass off the poker table, he’d pegged her as the usual single girl tourist on the make, too excited by Vegas to know her booze limits. But it hadn’t taken him long to figure out that with Ms. Sadie Bligh—and that was a name for the books—he had an entirely different animal on his hands. How many bimbos used the word contretemps, for Christ’s sake?

But the Desert Oasis had strict security policies and procedures, and Nick was a professional. People who caused disturbances didn’t get a free pass. With rare exceptions, they were taken to a room like this one so he or other security personnel could scare the living hell out of them. No way would he have abandoned that policy and let this woman off without a trip downstairs. Not even though her luscious, jiggling body gave him a hard-on that would only temporarily obey his mental commands to subside. During the long walk to the interview room, he’d had to focus his mind on the worst firefight he’d ever been in, just to make sure she wouldn’t see him pitching a tent.

Still, he couldn’t bring himself to really scare the crap out of her. She was harmless and she was cute, and he should just let her go back to her hotel room and sleep it off. But some instinct kept pulling him back. Though still a little tipsy, she’d had no trouble stringing together some of the most articulate sentences he’d ever heard in a casino. Or anywhere else, for that matter. With her around, you’d never need a dictionary. For some reason he couldn’t quite put his finger on, she wasn’t adding up.

She began to fidget, offering him a vulnerable smile that made her look even more adorable.

He wouldn’t call Sadie Bligh a model-perfect beauty. Her face was sweet and pretty, not stunning, or particularly beautiful. Her hair—a color his mother referred to as auburn but he called reddish-brown—fell to her shoulders in soft curls. He figured if she hadn’t dressed so provocatively, she wouldn’t have attracted a whole lot of notice on the casino floor. Legions of hot young women with skimpy outfits and pounds of expensive makeup easily overshadowed her.

She did, however, have a killer body, one which Nick couldn’t help taking the time to appreciate.

Ms. Bligh moved uncomfortably in her seat. “Sheriff…Mr. Saxon, there’s really no need to give me the silent treatment. I’m more than willing to admit you make a very good point. Truly, I should have exercised better judgment. I’m thoroughly embarrassed. I came to Las Vegas intending to have a really good time, but I seem to have started out badly, indeed.”

Nick was glad she’d ditched her faked-up brassy attitude in favor of an apparently sincere mea culpa. She’d tried her damnedest to make him believe he didn’t intimidate her. But while she could keep her words under tight control, she hadn’t been able to rein in the nervous hands and shifting feet that gave her away to a professional like him. “Where are you from, ma’am?”

She stopped fidgeting, probably glad he’d shifted the discussion away from her behavior in the casino. “Massachusetts, originally. Now I work in Chicago. It’s a nice city, but I absolutely hate the weather there. Boston was bad enough, really, but when you’re trying to walk down Michigan Avenue with sleet flying—”

“Right.” He interrupted her. As much as he enjoyed hearing her talk, he didn’t need a Weather Channel special on life in the Windy City. “And how long will you be staying in Las Vegas?”

She smiled. “I was babbling, wasn’t I? Sorry about that. I seem to do that a lot when I’m nervous. As to your question, I’ll be here for just a few days. Less than a week.”

As much as he would have liked to have studied that hot little body some more, it was time to cut her loose. “All right, Ms. Bligh,” he said. “We can leave it at that for now. I’ll escort you to the hotel. I assume you’ll want to return to your room for a change of footwear.”

Her sigh of relief was both visible and audible. “Thank you. I do want to go back to my room, but I won’t be putting on new shoes. I think I’ve had enough excitement for this evening. So, I intend to crawl into bed with a book.”

Wouldn’t you rather crawl into bed with a security officer? He almost had to bite his tongue to keep the insane and unwelcome thought from transforming into words. Fraternizing with guests was strictly verboten. “That sounds like a good plan, ma’am,” he said in a gruff voice. “I hope you’ll continue to enjoy the Desert Oasis casino for the rest of your stay. But with a little less emphasis on the mojitos.”

Her lips curved into an effortlessly sexy smile—the first genuine one she’d given him since he’d hauled her off that poker table. Her mouth was on the small side, but her lips, tinted a bright pink that kind of matched her filmy top, were full. Lush, even. He couldn’t stop from thinking how much he’d like to crush those lips against his own, and then trail a string of wet kisses down into that soft, creamy, and very generous cleavage.

Nick frowned, disconcerted by his reaction to her. It didn’t make sense. Maybe that was because she didn’t make sense. Not to him. Or at least she didn’t fit into any of the neat categories he’d always used to classify women. Though sexy, she was odd, to say the least.

She tilted her head and stared at him, clearly puzzled. Her soft green eyes shone with an intelligence and perception that belied the trashy outfit she had poured herself into. Yep. Something just didn’t add up.

And right then, Nick decided to keep an eye—a very watchful eye—on Ms. Sadie Bligh for as long as she remained in his hotel.

Hot Number is currently available on Amazon and Smashwords for only $2.99.  Within a few weeks, it will also be available on Barnes & Noble, and at other e-tailers.  And don’t forget to check out our other books, CaddyGirls, Fastball, and Hardball.

Have a great Sunday!

 


We Have Winners!

The winners of my new VK Sykes contemporary romance, Hot Number, are Tina B., Andie Wardlow, and Stella.  And the winner of Kate Douglas’ new book, CrystalFire, is Jen. B.  Congratulations!  I’ll be in touch.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the blog.  My guest author on Wednesday will be paranormal romance writer Gabi Stevens.  Stop on by!


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