Today is release day for my friend Larissa Ione (USA Today Best Selling Author)! Her third Demonica book is out!

If you haven't added Larissa to your to be bought list, you must. She's fabulous!

In other pal Sylvia Day aka SJ Day aka Livia Dare is dominating RT Magazine this month and I am so proud. She has a gorgeous ad on the cover of the magazine for her rocking new series and they did a great spread/interview with her on pages 8 & 9. Check it out, and don't miss the Eve books when they release in a couple of short months. You will not be disappointed!

Naughty Nikki D
Tuesday, March 31!
I've spent the last week building websites, re-designing, name it, I've been doing it with a bonus of 2-3 hours sleep a night. It's taking a toll on me, but I can't help being motivated. As a way to earn a few extra bucks, I've decided to clean up my own graphics website Jaxadora Design. It's in the final stages where I'm adding all my portfolio. Let me tell you, it's fun and it's terribly dull at the same time. Repetitive motion that doesn't require much work. My latest geekfest is learning how to build websites in Wordpress. With the rise in Wordpress substitute for websites, I figured I needed to brush up on those skills. I come from the old school world of design. Sure, it takes five extra steps to get it up and I have to be in control of Wordpress is an easy way to have the authors be self-sufficient in their own updates.

All this work has left me a bit cranky....

I promise next week I'll have something pertaining to writing and not my latest obsession! :)

Randomly selected from the 19 entries, Barb will win a signed copy of MASTER OF TORMENT! Congratulations Barb!!

Naughty Nikki

Don't you just love these covers?

I'm posting Karin's interview below. We're starting with some excitement first! Karin is doing a giveaway here today. Swing by her website at and find the answer to this question: Name the hero and heroine in Master of Surrender. Email your answer to me at and put "Karin Tabke Contest" in the subject. We will announce the winner in tomorrow's blog post. The winner will receive a signed copy of Master of Torment.

And now, HOR Blog Readers....KARIN TABKE!!!!

How tumultuous was your writing journey, or where you one of those lucky writers who got picked up on the first attempt? Hah! I worked my ass off!!! To begin with I had to go back and take online grammar courses. My writing sucked. Hugely. I had to learn how to query, who to query, and oh, what a GMC and black moment was. As with most things I am passionate about, I dove in headfirst and just did it. But the rules were always there hovering and dragging me down. When I finally flung them off my shoulder and wrote how I wanted and what I wanted, I sold. Screw the rules!

How many books do you write a year and what have you seen the most results in doing promotions? I’ve written a lot of books these past three years and several of them twice. Last year I had 4 single title releases and one novella. It’s a lot of work, but a true labor of love. I love what I do. As far as the promo goes, I really dislike most aspects. What I enjoy most is doing exactly what I’m doing right now, chatting with fellow readers and writers. I love to blog, twitter and gab on the loops. But at the end of the day the most advantageous promo is what my publisher does for me. Distribution and co op. Getting my books on the shelves, so readers can find me or discover me. There is nothing else, in my opinion that can top that for promo.

What is your favorite book to write and why? This is not an easy question for me to answer. I love my hot cops. LOVE. THEM! I write what I know, and it comes easy to me. The medievals take more out of me mentally, and they are different. Voice, style and depth. Each book I write is my favorite until I type The End on the next one. J

If you were a nail polish, what would it be called and why? Lol, now that is a question I have never been asked! I used to wear Heartbreaker Red, but now I go with the classic French manicure look. Red is good for certain occasions but the classic French never goes out of style.

Tell us about your book MASTER OF CRAVING. When does it come out and can you give us an excerpt for our readers? MASTER OF CRAVING, book three in the Blood Sword Legacy releases the last Tuesday in May. I am VERY excited about this story. It’s a twist on the David and Bathsheba love triangle. Oh, the extents a man will go to claim the woman he caves above all others! I really love this series. Men were men and women were women and there was no PC quagmire to slog through.

Here’s a blurb:

MASTER of CRAVING, book three in the Blood Sword Legacy

Eight mercenary knights, each of them base born, each of them bound by unspeakable torture in a Saracen prison, each of them branded with the mark of the sword for life. Each of their destinies marked by a woman.

‘Twas whispered along the Marches the demon knights who rode upon black horses donned in black mail wielding black swords would slay any man, woman or child who dared look upon them. ‘Twas whispered their loyalty was only to the other and no man could split them asunder, nor was there enough gold or silver in the kingdom to buy their oath. ‘Twas well known each of them was touched not by the hand of God but by Lucifer himself.

‘Twas also whispered, but only by the bravest of souls, that each Blood Sword was destined to find only one woman in all of Christendom who would bear him and only him sons, and until that one woman was found, he would battle and ravage the land...

…but the darkest secret whispered was that there was one among them whose violent craving for the one woman he could not have would be the spark that would set an entire region on fire, and nearly bring down a kingdom, with the aftermath to be felt for the next thousand years.

An excerpt should be up on my web site by the time this blog posts. Check it out and follow the link, and also feel free to hang out at The Write Life, my bloggy blog.

Great answers, Karin and thank you for being here! I'm going to go check out that excerpt. :)
So.... I totally stole this from my friend Kelley Nyrae's blog. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I interviewed my eleven year old son and here are the results!


2. WHAT MAKES MOM HAPPY? When I kiss her without being asked.

3. WHAT MAKES MOM SAD? When I don't behave.

4. HOW DOES YOUR MOM DO TO MAKE YOU LAUGH? Dance (She tries really hard!)


6. HOW TALL IS YOUR MOM? She is really short. I'm almost taller than she is


8. WHAT DOES YOUR MOM DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT AROUND? She writes or talks to Miss Jax.


10. WHAT IS YOUR MOM REALLY GOOD AT? Cooking and Writing.

11. WHAT IS YOUR MOM NOT VERY GOOD AT? She's pretty good at everything.

12. WHAT DOES YOUR MOM DO FOR HER JOB? She is a writer.


14. WHAT MAKES YOUR MOM PROUD OF YOU? She tells me she is always proud of me.


16. WHAT DO YOU AND YOUR MOM DO TOGETHER? Golf and watch television.

17. HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR MOM THE SAME? We love to eat.

18. HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR MOM DIFFERENT? She likes dogs and I like cats.

19. HOW DO YOU KNOW YOUR MOM LOVES YOU? She does everything for me and is class mom and spends a lot of time with me. She also tells me that she loves me all the time.

But my mood is still high! I've spent the last several years learning about the business so that when my time came I would be ready. Prepared.

Well, it's been a little over a week since I sold to Samhain Publishing and it just occurred to me last night that I'm more excited than I thought I was. And that sounds funny. What I mean is that while I was thrilled to have Samhain pick up my book, I immediately started thinking about the business end of things. Once the contract was out of the way I dove head first into the additional paperwork from my editor, spending as much time on the blurb worksheet as on the Marketing Plan.

With those turned in, I started designing some promo materials, because even though I do not have a book cover yet I didn't want to wait until I did to spread the word about my book release. Fortunately, I'm able to use the graphics from my website for now, which I hope helps cement my "brand" into people's minds early on.

A few things I've done so far, in addition to continuing to chat in my regular yahoo groups, is to chat a little more frequently in a couple more. Keeping my name in front of people now will help later. But more, it's a matter of building friendships with people so they CARE enough to buy your book later.

I've printed up some excerpt booklets to carry with me. I can hand these out at writer's meetings and possibly at bookstores. I will include these in anything I mail out and will send some to reader conferences.

I am blogging, friending and chatting with people through MySpace and Facebook, and am tracking my website stats to see if I am increasing traffic. Yes, the goal is to sell books when it releases, but I'm just flat out having a good time getting into the promo of my first book.

I also had some new headshots done. My good pal Jenius Jax brought her camera when we got together last weekend and took some AWESOME shots for me. I love the pictures she took and was amazed to not feel like a complete dork in front of the camera - there's a reason my previous pictures were always NOT AWESOME. Thank you, Jax!

I do have some questions for you though. From and author and/or reader standpoint, what kind of promotion gets your attention? As a reader, how much interaction do you want to have with authors? If you were going to sign up for a contest, what kinds of prizes would entice you the most?

Naughty NIkki D
I have been developing, plotting, writing, drawing, editing....on this new project and it's going to be a rather large undertaking. I've been pretty inspired lately but to feel inspiration and to funnel that enthusiasm are two different things. Being an overachiever, it's hard for me to keep focused because I go for the high concept visions. I'm a visionary! There, I've said it out loud. For every story idea, I have a hundred different ideas for marketing. The cart before the horse, some would say. This reaction has always been a part of my psyche that I can't shut down.

As I thought about this, I realized that it isn't necessarily a bad thing. If my vision for the future drives my creativity, it shouldn't be smothered. Yes, I know I have to finish the proposal. Yes, I know I have a zillion things to do before I may ever see the ideas become reality...but, as writers, we should embrace the eagerness. We should bottle up these emotions because when you hit a slump, you will need to remember this feeling...otherwise, you may not be able to climb out of the hole. It's easy for me to get fired up about writing. All I have to do is tell people about my current idea and BAM! I'm eager to jump back in. I won't lie, there are days where I'd like nothing better to do than sleep but we make our own success. If we give into the complacent, if we don't work hard at our goals, we won't see the end result.

Why delay the inevitable? GET TO WORK, SLACKERS!
Congratulations GAIL! You've won an autographed Cathryn Fox book or eBook. Please email and let me know where we can send you the print book or ebook. Thanks for playing everyone! More freebies to come...

Hope you all had a great weekend. I've been mostly bed ridden with the stomach bug!

How tumultuous was your writing journey, or were you one of those lucky writers who got picked up on the first attempt?

I wrote my first book about 16 years ago, then tucked it under the bed and went on with life. After my kids hit school age, I dusted off that ‘horrendous’ book and decided it was time to try again. I joined RWA, and my local writer’s chapter. I bought numerous research books, joined critique groups, both on and off line, and six years later, after working steadily, I sold my first book to Ellora’s cave. Even though I wasn’t one of those that sold on the first attempt, it was a long, but very rewarding journey.

How different is it to write for such diverse publishers from Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Avon Red, to NAL? Who do you most enjoy writing for?

No matter what I write or who I write for I always try to create compelling sexy stories that readers will love. I currently write full length novels for NAL, and because I still love to write novellas, I enjoy creating them for the epublishing houses. I enjoy writing for all these places because the editors are different, the experience is different, and it keeps things interesting.

What’s the best part of being an author?

There are so many great things about his job. Because I’m a mom of two busy teenagers, I get to set my own hours, and I’m always here when the kids get home from school and that’s important to me. I also get to be creative, and escape into my own little world each day. Oh, and did I mention I get to work in my pajamas!

Do you ever run out of ideas and are you ever afraid that you will?

I’m absolutely terrified that I will run out of ‘good’ ideas. I have lots of ideas but they’re not always good. LOL I always like to have my next idea/plot lined up before I finish a book.

What is the most extreme sport you’ve ever done, or adventure you’ve ever taken, and what did you learn about yourself?

Hmmm, this one made me think. I’m a real homebody, and I’m not that adventurous, but a few years back, on a whim, my sister and I decided to jump on a plane and go to Boston. We had no idea where we were going, what we were going to do, or where we were going to stay. Why Boston you ask? Honestly, I’m still not sure why we picked it. At one point during the trip we ended up in a park, around nine in the morning, and a bunch of guys who were ‘hanging out’ spotted us. They approached, and circled us. I was terrified. They started taunting us, and I ‘pretended’ I wasn’t scared, pushed past one of them and we continued on our way. What did I learn? Keep out of the parks early in the morning!

I’ve noticed that several of your books involve Firemen. Is this a fetish or do you have firsthand experience?

I’d have to say fetish. LOL. There is just something about those firemen. Last summer my niece was in New York and made a special trip to get me a signed calendar. I’m quite enjoying the month of March. J

How did you come up with the concept for HOTLINE?

Have you ever heard of the Kitty Line? (my original title) Years ago, when I was in university, I heard of the Kitty Line. Women call a special number at the firehouse and men come to extinguish their fires. I never knew if it was true or not, but the idea always fascinated me. Years later when I mentioned this story idea to my hubby, he was seriously wondering how I knew about the kitty line, since he’d never heard of it.

Tell us about your book INSTINCTIVE. When does it come out and can you give us an excerpt for our readers?

Instinctive is my first Dark Paranormal for NAL HEAT which comes out October 2009. I’m so excited about this series, and I’m absolutely in love with my hero, Slyck!


Serene looks like a normal town, but behind the white picket fences is an adult playground where a bad girl can indulge her wild side…

Free-spirited Jaclyn Vasenty is about to inherit a cosmetic empire, yet her scandalous personal history may ruin her chances for a clean, corporate take-over. It’s time she says goodbye to her naughty ways. Her first step is moving into a quaint gated community in Serene, New Hampshire. But these gates are locked at sunset for reasons Jaclyn is soon to discover. And if she wants to stay, it may be forever…

No matter how excitingly dangerous…

The town's dark sensuality rocks Jaclyn’s insatiable appetite to the core—and stirs desires that are…inhuman. That’s because Serene is home to demons, witches, vampires, lycans, and panthers, for whom primal exploration comes naturally. Especially for shape shifter Slyck, the dangerous, cunning panther who’s pushing Jaclyn to the brink of erotic possibilities and making her feel wildly…feral. But as tension between the species rises, Jaclyn learns she must draw on all her feminine wiles and join forces with Slyck if she wants to make it out alive.


In a move that took her off guard, he caught hold of her hand and hauled her into the dark alley way between buildings. Breathing ragged, and body tense, he pinned his arms on either side of her head, caging her between him and the wall. The clean scent of his freshly showered skin reached her nostrils and she pulled it into her lungs. His seductive aroma curled through her blood, reminding her she was a libidinous woman – a libidinous woman with so very many unsated needs. Slyck touched a damp lock of her hair and searched her face.

His gaze was so dark and intense it took two locked knees to keep herself upright. The air grew ripe with the scent of her arousal. She watched the way Slyck’s nostrils flared when he caught her excited tang as it saturated the narrow alley way. His eyes closed for the briefest of seconds.

She touched his face. “What-”

He cut her off and brought his mouth closer and she could have sworn she heard him purring. “You need to get out of here.”


He pulled her against him. Turmoil flashed in his green eyes. “Because if you don’t, I’m going to ravish you. And I don’t think it’s in your best interest,” he said with quiet certainty.

She gulped air. “What is in my best interest?”

His lips hovered over hers, and she got a heady whiff of aged scotch. “Leave town.”

That took her by surprise, especially after the sexy voyeur game he’d played with her. She crinkled her nose, wondering what was going on. Why was he suddenly pushing her away? “You want me to leave?”

“Yes. It’s for your own good.” He pulled her in tighter, his actions contradicting his words.

“It doesn’t seem like it’s for your good,” she said, stating the obvious as his hard cock pressed into her stomach.

His nostrils flared and he growled into her mouth. “Tonight, Jaclyn. Leave tonight.”

God, the way he held her, and touched her made her feel so edgy, so out of control. She wanted him more than she ever wanted a man, which gave credence to her logic to stay away, because sleeping with him wasn’t conducive to her new image. Then again, the phone sex hadn’t helped either. But the fire that brewed between her legs, and the way her birthmark began to burn and sizzle urged her to answer the demands of her body.

Just once.

Just tonight.

Then tomorrow she’d get back on track.

She had no idea what possessed her to say it, but without censoring her thoughts she said, “But you haven’t been properly punished yet.”

His hands fisted. His jaw clenched. She could feel his heart pounding so hard against his ribcage she was sure it was going to burst wide open.

“And I’m just the girl to do it,” she added.

“Oh, fuck, Jaclyn. You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.”

She thrust her pelvis forward. “Maybe we should be thinking about what you could be getting into yourself.”

The invitation in her voice seemed to unleash something wild inside him. His hardened expression changed and took on a resigned look. Gone was his will to push her away.

“Come with me.” He roughly shackled her arms and pulled her deeper into the alley way. A moment later she found herself cutting through the deserted park with him, taking a shortcut back to his place.

Silence hovered in the air as he guided her through his back door. They entered into the kitchen, where he reached into his cupboard and poured them both a stiff drink of scotch. Jaclyn definitely wanted something stiff. But it wasn’t scotch.

A sliver of moonlight outside the window provided sufficient light for her to see him in the dimly lit room. She shook almost uncontrollably as she watched him recap the bottle and put it away. There was something very sensual in the way he moved, she decided. He turned back to face her and pushed the glass into her hand.

“Drink,” he said.

“Thanks.” She took a small sip. As the liquid burned a path down her throat, she watched him, noting how he never once took his dark, seductive gaze from hers as he downed his shot in one gulp.

“Thirsty?” she questioned, barely able to keep her voice from shaking and her body from quaking as she hungered for him with an intensity that both scared the hell out of her, and excited her just the same.

“Yup.” He put his glass down and stalked closer. He took her glass from her and put it aside, then he grabbed her firmly by the hips and backed her up against the wall. Slyck breathed a kiss over her mouth, and surfed his lips over her cheek. “But the only thing that is going to quench my thirst is your sweet cream, Jaclyn.”

Any parting words for our readers?

Thanks for stopping by today, and keep on reading!

As is becoming our tradition, we'll be having another contest. It will end at midnight tonight (Thursday), so the winner will be announced tomorrow. Here's what you do. Go to Cathryn's site - - and find out how many books she has sold (including those yet to be released). From those books which looks like something you would love to read and why? Or if you've read Cathryn, which is your favorite and why? Be sure to check her entire site to get an accurate count of books. :)

Once selected, the winner will have their choice of a backlisted book from Cathryn's bookshelf. She has eBooks and print books to offer. Now, I have the memory of a rock these days and I can't find my email where she and I talked about this contest, so I'm going to trust Cathryn to tell us if there's a particular book not available.

I hope you enjoyed the interview with Cathryn and have fun on her site. :)

Naughty Nikki D

St. Patrick’s Day was a great one spent in the company of family and friends. For a few precious hours, I was able to get my mind off my current WIP and allow myself to live in the moment and not in the latest fantasy world I’ve been trying to create.

When I last posted here at HoR, I was a writing fool, jabbing away at my keyboard as though I were a woman possessed. Joy quickly lead to confusion when I soon found myself in a slump with a scratched cornea and unable to create.

Last night however, surrounded by friends and loved ones, everything clicked for me and, suddenly all the plot holes I’d been trying fix, mended themselves. I left the celebration early and fueled by new wisdom (or maybe alcohol) proceeded to come home and write into the wee hours of the night.

I guess I just needed a brief moment away in order to come back with much better material.

Before I go, I’d like to congratulate Naughty Nikki on her sale to Samhain Publishing. Sounds To Die By will be released in October and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Until next time,

Amusing Abi
At the risk of getting my rear kicked the next time she sees me, I would like to have Jenius Jax the Asian Leprechaun wish you all a Happy St Patrick's Day!

We were together the other day and a friend was describing Jax and said she was Asian, Jax said she was Irish, and it turned into a joke about her being and Asian Leprechaun. It may have been funnier if you were there.

Anyway, I have some exciting news!

I just made my first book sale! In October, Samhain Publishing will be releasing SOUNDS TO DIE BY. It's a romantic suspense with a blind NSA listener and a rookie FBI agent. They are working to stop a kidnapping/human slavery trafficking ring. The real hook? My hero is the blind listener and he's still very alpha. There's this one scene where he does some hand to hand fighting...And he has this talent for noticing details around him that even the sighted FBI agent misses...He drives her crazy.

I loved writing them. It is one of my favorite books so far, and I am beyond thrilled that it will be published by Samhain. I'll be bringing more news of it as we get closer to release. Oh, and I guess I should be thinking of some really tough questions for when Samhain's Executive Editor Angela James is guest blogging with us in a couple of weeks.

Until then, have a happy day with all things green!
Naughty Nikki D
It's always amazing to me how much goes into writing paranormal. I've been working on this project, off and on, for about 4 years..however, I've been plotting and piecing info on this world for at least a dozen years. First off, this is a world that encompasses Eastern mythology and integrated into Western life which I hope will be believable in the paranormal way. I'm not going to lie--It's very challenging and in order to get it just right, I have to know when to see it as 'campy' and when it's 'bland' or too close to someone else's worldbuilding.

This creation of a new world is absolutely amazing when you're on a role...and you can make it whatever you want it to be. You can have your own set of rules or you can break them, and it's all up to the writer. That's the fun part, writing a world in which you can visualize in your head. For me, I see my storyline as if it where a live action movie. I walk through the scenes and figure out if it may be too far out there, or not far out enough. Often, I re-read my chapters and realize that what I find is believable may not be for my readers. It doesn't hurt me to scrap pages anymore and I think when the puzzles just click, you'll know.

Wanna know a secret? It took me a while to figure out the difference between Paranormal or Urban Fantasy. I'll gladly wear the Dunce cap. To me, I see only a slight difference, but there are a lot more similarities. In the world of Paranormal romance, there's a HEA (happily-ever-after). From what I've gathered from Urban Fantasy, there is no need for a HEA and often there aren't. Which is a shame. Maybe it's me but I don't like the main characters to be with another love interest in every new book in the series. Some people are fine with that but that's when I realized what I wrote is paranormal. Yes, I write paranormal and I'm darn proud of it! In a way, I compared it to the distinction between the Contemporary romance genre versus the Chick Lit. I think a lot of readers were disappointed that Chick Lit didn't have, for one. IMHO, I love the Chick Lit voice, don't get me wrong, but when you've invested time on 400 pages, you want the happy ending!! Not to say some of them didn't have HEA, they did...just more of them didn't. Personally, I'm a sucker for the hero and heroine to get together. And I still enjoy those books because I've gotten smart, I flip to the last page and if it looks like they're getting together...I'll buy it.

Sorry for the rambling....I've been drinking too much coffee to jump start my week!

Thank you Wikipedia for the clarification:

Urban fantasy is a subset of contemporary fantasy, consisting of magical novels and stories set in contemporary, real-world, urban settings--as opposed to 'traditional' fantasy set in wholly imaginary landscapes, even ones containing imaginary cities, or having most of their action take place in them. The modern urban fantasy protagonist faces extraordinary circumstances as plots unfold in either open (where magic or paranormal events are commonly accepted to exist) or closed (where magical powers or creatures are concealed) worlds.

Paranormal romance is a sub-genre of the romance novel. A type of speculative fiction, paranormal romance focuses on romance and included elements beyond the range of scientific explanation, blending together themes from the genres of traditional fantasy, science fiction, or horror.

Paranormal romance may range from traditional category romances, such as those published by Harlequin Mills & Boon, with a paranormal setting to stories where the main emphasis is on a science fiction or fantasy based plot with a romantic subplot included. Common hallmarks are romantic relationships between humans and vampires, shapeshifters, or fantastical beings (the Fae, Elves, etc.).

Beyond the more prevalent themes involving vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, or time travel, paranormal romances can also include books featuring characters with psychic abilities, like telekinesis or telepathy.

Paranormal romance has its roots in Gothic fiction. Its most recent revival has been spurred by turn of the century technology, e.g. the internet and electronic publishing. Paranormal romances are one of the fastest growing trends in the romance genre.
To kick off Fabulous Friday, the winner from yesterday's guest blog and contest is Rena! Rena wins her choice of Larissa Ione or Sydney Croft books. Congratulations Rena and thank you for stopping by Hooked on Romance.

In other news, it's a gray, cold, and rainy day where I am, but I'm still thinking it's a Fabulous Friday. My back yard is weeded, I know where I want to go with my WIP and am looking forward to settling in with that a little later this afternoon, and I have a fabulous day planned tomorrow that includes lunch with the great Candace Havens, Jenius Jax and the love of her life. And after lunch we'll be hitting Barnes and Noble for a release party to celebrate Rosemary Clement Moore's latest addition to her Hell series! Check her out because I promise her books are a hell of a read!

Larissa, thank you so much for joining us at Hooked On Romance! We are so excited to have you here as our first USA Today Bestselling Author. Congratulations on hitting that list so recently!

Can you tell us a little about your journey? How long did it take you from the sale of your first book to now?

Thanks for the welcome and the congratulations! I’m happy to be here! Let’s answer your question, well, I sold my first story to Red Sage almost 3 years ago, so...almost three years! Sales to Bantam Dell and then Warner Books (now Grand Central Publishing) followed months after that. The first book in my Demonica series sold 2 1/2 years ago.

WOW! 10 books sales and releases and making it to the USA Today Bestseller list, where you’ve been for 2 weeks now, in 3 years is astonishing and inspirational to all authors!

You have such sexy covers for your books. How much input does your publisher ask you for before they work on the cover concepts?

I have to say, Grand Central Publishing is FABULOUS when it comes to asking for input! They ask for character descriptions, of course, and for special touches...for example, the chains on DESIRE UNCHAINED, and the necklace on the heroine of PASSION UNLEASHED. They even asked about clothes. I just love them!

I have both of your Demonica books, PLEASURE UNBOUND and DESIRE UNCHAINED sitting here on my desk begging for me to read them. I will be digging into them as soon as I strike off a few more tasks on the To Do List. Can you give everyone some insight into how these books came to be? Where did you get the idea and inspiration for them?

Well, one day while I was watching an episode of Angel, I was struck by an idea when Angel (a vampire, for anyone unfamiliar with the brilliant Joss Whedon show,) was badly injured. He needed to go to a hospital, but, well, he was a vampire. I’ve always had a love of the paranormal and of emergency medicine — in fact, I actually went to school to become an emergency medical technician — so an intriguing idea came to me. What if there was a hospital created just for supernatural beings who need help? And what if it was run by other supernatural beings? I immediately started working up the idea, populating the world and building the medical center, and within a week, Underworld General Hospital, and the Demonica series, was born!

You also write as Sydney Croft (and) with Stephanie Tyler. Can you tell us what it’s like for you to manage the demands of different personalities? What made you choose to take multiple names and what can readers expect from your different personalities?

You know strangely, managing the different personalities isn’t all that difficult as far as writing goes. It’s easy to switch “voices.” My Ione voice/writing is rather dark and detailed, while the Croft voice is lighter, less detailed, and a little more over-the-top.

The reason we took multiple names is that when Stephanie and I sold the Croft ACRO series, our publisher, Random House, wanted one unifying name instead of two. So we agonized for days over names until we finally came up with Sydney Croft, which is a combination of Sydney Bristow (Alias) and Lara Croft (Tomb Raider). A perfect name, since our Sydney Croft books are action-adventure mixed with suspense, paranormal, and science-fiction. Oh, and a liberal helping of erotic romance.

The Ione personality is just as bold, but much darker and grittier. The bad guys are REALLY bad, and the good guys can be pretty bad too. *g*

Now for fun, and this may be a tough question, if you were a color of nail polish what would you be? What would your color say about you?

I’d be dried-blood red. Doesn’t that sound nice? *g* No idea what it says about me, except that I’m incapable of coming up with a pleasant-sounding name for it, like Burgundy Dreams or something frilly. Oh, no, tell it like it is: dried-blood red.

And finally, do you have an excerpt from your next book that you can share with us? I hear that it’s going to be fabulous!!

You totally know how to butter me up! :) Okay, here’s a brief excerpt from PASSION UNLEASHED, which is Wraith’s book, and the third in the Demonica series:

As Wraith watched Serena flee down the hall, his body buzzed like he'd eaten a junkie, only this was way better. This was the really good shit running through a Wall Street executive or Hollywood star's veins. So, yeah, better...and worse. Because he wasn't going to be able to satisfy his body's needs. Not yet. What he'd assumed would be a smash and grab with Serena was turning out to be anything but. Although she sure as hell seemed to be affected by the incubus fuck-me pheromones that came standard-issue in his species, he had a feeling the poison was affecting their potency. Which sucked.

On the other hand, the toxin was also allowing him to get turned on without feeling the irreversible, driving need to have sex or suffer, which was always a concern for his breed. Seminus demons couldn't relieve their lust by their own hand, and once they were aroused, their lust must be slaked, or they'd suffer intense agony or even death.

Gods, she had fire. Fire and fight and she might very well be his match in every way. But his life was on the line, and he was going to fight until he won. Her resolve was strong, but with the Grim Reaper -- or one of his griminions -- on his heels, Wraith's resolve was just as strong. And right now, he had to make sure she believed he could be with her because he wanted to be with her, not because he wanted to pop her cherry.

Still, it was becoming clear that being sweet and charming wasn't going to work, not only because it just wasn't him, but because she didn't believe he was a choir boy. He'd have to be himself as much as possible if this had a shot in hell of working.

He just had to get through this without letting himself get attached, which shouldn't be a problem. The ability to care about anyone or anything had been tortured out of him long ago.

Sure, he'd reluctantly admit to caring for his brothers, and his mates-in-law weren't total wenches. And then there was Gem, who was pretty cool for being half human, but to say he actually cared about her...that would be an exaggeration. He continued to watch Serena as she let herself into her room. Wraith had no idea what was going through her head, but he knew what was pinging around in his. He'd enjoyed that kiss, and he wanted to kiss her again. He tried to tell himself the desire to do so came from necessity, the need to seduce her, but if that was true, why did his breath come a little faster and hotter in his throat when she turned to glare at him one last time?

He held her gaze, and even across the distance she got the message, the flare of her eyes giving her away as she caught his silent declaration of intent. Tomorrow, she was his.

I’ve read the Wraith excerpts you dole out and can hardly wait to sink into the book.

DESIRE UNCHAINED rocked the sales, and I’ll cross my fingers for PASSION UNLEASHED to do the same. I know that I’ll be doing my part to contribute to the sales. As a tip for our readers wanting to know how an author hits a bestselling list and what they can do to help, here is information on how USA Today compiles their best seller list.

From their website: "
USA Today calculates a list of 300 best-selling books each week. The first 50 are published in the newspaper, and the top 150 are available online. USA TODAY's list is based on a computer analysis of retail sales nationwide last week. Included are more than 1.5 million volumes from about 4,700 independent, chain, discount and online booksellers.

Reporting stores include:, B. Dalton Bookseller, Barnes &, Barnes & Noble Inc.,, Books-A-Million and Bookland, Borders Books & Music, Bookstar, Bookstop, Brentano's, Davis Kidd Booksellers (Nashville, Jackson, Memphis in Tenn.), Doubleday Book Shops, Hudson Booksellers, Joseph-Beth Booksellers (Lexington, Ky.; Cincinnati, Cleveland), Powell's Books (Portland, Ore.),, R.J. Julia Booksellers (Madison, Conn.), Schuler Books & Music (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Target, Tattered Cover Book Store (Denver), Waldenbooks."

Note: USA Today ranks books in order of sales regardless of whether they are fiction or non-fiction, hardcover or paperback. If you can wait to buy a new book after its official release date then it does help that author’s chances of making the list.

So with that in mind, mark you calendars for TUESDAY, MARCH 31ST as the day to hit your local bookstores for Larissa’s latest book PASSION UNLEASHED!

For some fun, we’re doing a contest! The prize will be an autographed, winner’s choice of any Larissa Ione or Sydney Croft back listed book. The winner will be announced here on tomorrow’s blog (and yes, I’ll even notify them by email.)

To be entered in the contest, email the answer to this question to me at “What names did Larissa want her dogs to have?” I’ll give you a hint:

In the meantime, Larissa will be with us throughout the day so chat it up! Pick her brain if you dare, but beware that she could go places others may not. I mean come on, you read her nail polish color. LOL

Larissa, thanks again for being here! I can’t begin to say how much fun it’s been getting to know you.

Naughty Nikki

It is about ten in the morning here in sunny Orlando and I have yet to go to bed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining at all. In fact, I’m so excited I could sing.

Last night I settled down to bed at 12:00 A.M. as I always do, right after two back-to-back episodes of Seinfeld. (Yes…I know I’m a dork :0)) Normally, I fall asleep right afterwards and don’t rise until its time to get my son up for school. Instead, I found myself up at 2:00 A.M. writing in the notebook I keep on my bedside table. When I realized that I had almost three hand-written pages of a new story and, propelled by the grumblings of a very cranky husband, I got up and went to my office to make some sense of my new idea.

I’m happy to report that I now have fifteen pages of a new romantic suspense novel and they are pretty darn good too! Words can’t describe the shock, awe and ultimate pleasure I’m feeling right now.

In other news, I’ve been busy getting St. Patrick’s Day crafts done for my son’s fifth grade class. I’m knee deep in shamrock’s and gnomes.

Have a great day everyone!

Until next time…

Amusing Abi
A few weekends ago I sat through a workshop where the speaker talked some about books being character driven or plot driven. I've always thought mine were a combination as I always try to use both to develop each other as the story progresses. With that said, in most cases the plot seems to come more easily for me and this current WIP is no exception.

I know what happens in the story but I've been struggling to get going with the actual writing of it. As I've thought about it over the past few days and worked on what I do know of the story it's become clear to me that I don't know my characters well enough. I knew they were cool and I liked who they are now, but how did they turn into the people they are? What has happened to them in the past and what decisions did it lead them to make?

Well, these needed answers.

So I've been working on it. I have the heroine figured out, but the hero is a little trickier. I got most of him figured out including things that happened to him as a child that helped mold him into the man he is now. However, I was still struggling with the way he deals with the heroine. She rubs him the wrong way, but I was struggling with why. That is my least favorite question as a writer by the way. Why.

Well, it occurred to me last night as I was laying in bed unable to sleep yet again. Everything I thought I knew about him and his way with women was wrong. So, now that I'm pretty certain I know more about this evasive hero of mine, wish me luck as I tackle his parts of the story. I know that I'm going to have more fun now as I use the new developments to torment him.

So, as a writer, what is your biggest struggle? As a reader, do you have a preference between books that make a bigger impact with the characters or with the plot?

Naughty Nikki
In my quest to discover the right career during my life journey, I had once desired to become an actress and filmmaker. Of course, it didn't work out for me but my love of filmmaking has never truly died. This weekend I picked up a few movies and one of them was MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS. Sure, the title seems silly but it's in reference to the blueberry pies in the diner, and the blurb may not be the most enticing one, but--boy, am I glad I rented it!

I'm a big Wong Kar Wai fan and this movie is so artistically, stylistically, and beautifully shot that I kept holding my breath throughout the movie. When I mean beautiful, I'm talking about the mood of the storytelling, the way in which the director focuses on elements in the story that says so much in just one shot. Believe it or not, Norah Jones was really good in this film...including the rest of the cast: Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, David Strathairn, and Natalie Portman. I felt it was a well-balanced romance. I was sucked into this fictitious world--like some voyeur--and I actually related to the emotions of the characters. At one time or another we've all been through the heartbreak and desperation of wanting to give love, and receiving love.

This story touched me because all the characters are broken and they're all looking for the same thing: love. It's got a nostalgic feel and makes for a compelling reason to look inside ourselves. Understanding our weaknesses and staying positive that we could overcome any obstacle. There's a scene where Norah Jone's character, Elizabeth, explains to Jeremy (Jude Law) why she didn't say goodbye to him the day she left town. Basically she didn't want him to remember her as the heartbroken girl or the one who liked blueberry pies. In the context of the scene, it showed the growth of the character and her desire to meet him again when she was healed, could be herself.

I totally recommend this movie and since this is Wong Kar Wai's debut English-language feature, the internationally acclaimed director has managed to amaze me even more. If I ever have the privilege of working on a film in the future, I hope it's with him...

directed by Wong Kar Wai

Oscar nominee Jude Law and Grammy Award-winning singer Norah Jones star in this "ravishing triumph...(of) pure romantic sensibility" (Armond White, New York Press). Jude Law (Jeremy) plays a big-hearted owner of a small New York diner who tries to soothe Jones' jilted heart with this blueberry pie. But only after going on a year-long cross-country odyssey does she realize love was right at her doorstep all along.

Both Naughty and I are artists...well, we think we are. The past three days we've doing personal projects and Naughty totally re-vamped her website. It's AWESOME and more in line of what she's writing...but those little itty bitty kinks were killing us. I am lazy about wordpress even if it's supposed to be a quick one-two. To be honest, I come from the old school techniques of graphic arts...I do everything manually on Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and a FTP loader program...I don't mind doing the changeouts when it suits me. I really should focus more on Wordpress, but just trying to sift through the coding can drive a writer NUTSO!

I think between the two of us, we've spent about 90 hours on our websites. Well, it's a new persona that I am not launching yet--however, it's never too early to get the preliminaries down... :) Yes, you can call us geeks, dorks, what-eva--but we are too proud to give up. Which translates to something writers, we are both working toward a dream of hitting the list and although I may be slightly further along than Naughty and's not much...and they still have time to kick my butt...

So, through the dark gray clouds of Coding Hell, we have risen and I'm certain that in a few weeks we'll want to scrap what we did and re-do but I've never been more inspired than when I looked at the final product. It's a good feeling regardless of all the hardships we endured the last three days...I hope when we make the LIST, we can look back and laugh about it.

This post is for you NAUGHTY! You ROCK!
We are chatting today with Melissa and Joy from Joyfully Reviewed.These women are hooked on romances and have devoted their lives to spreading the word about the books that many of us write for the masses of readers.

If you're an author wanting to know how book reviews happen or a reader curious to know what goes on behind the scenes of a review site, today's the day. Melissa and Joy will be in and out to ask any questions you may have.

~ For those who don’t know, what is Joyfully Reviewed about? How are you different from other review sites?

Joyfully Reviewed is a review site that is all about the reader. We try to do our reviews as honestly as possible because we genuinely love romance books and as readers ourselves, know what it's like to find that great book that you read over and over again or to read something that disappoints you and go "I wish I'd never picked that up". So we try to inform our readers of what we'd liked to know if we were looking for a book to read. I think that's also the difference with JR, we are all about the fun in reading romance!

~ How did JR come to be?

I'm going to be honest here. Joy and I both reviewed for other sites, they no longer exist now, however we weren't happy and I said, "Joy let's make a review site" and she said "What should we call it?" to which I replied "I KNOW! JOYFULLY REVIEWED" Because Joy is the original author stalker and is out on all of the loops, I mean who doesn't know JOY!!

~ What is the process for getting a book reviewed? Or submitting one for a possible review? Do they come to you from publishers or from authors?

Many publishers do automatically send us their books. However if an author wants a review and they're not sure if their publisher sent us a request, they are welcome to go to the Joyfully Reviewed website and click on the link to Request a Review :)

~ How does an author know if their book has been chosen for a review or when the review is posted?

Whenever we do a review and it's posted to the site, Joy sends out emails notifying the publisher and the author

~ How many reviewers do you have? On average, how many reviews does your site post a month?

At last count we had 30 reviewers. Last month we had over 300 reviews posted.

Joyfully Reviewed has a great reputation among readers and authors alike, and like Melissa said, pretty much everyone knows who Joy is. I've never found a mean review at Joyfully Reviewed, but it's obvious to me the reviewers work to be fair and honest in every review. As an writer going through the submission process right now, I can say their honesty is a valuable commodity.

Authors are always invited to advertise their coming books on Joyfully Reviewed. Just email Melissa at for more details.

I've already thought of some more questions from reading your answers. I can't wait to see what comes from today. :)

Ready? Set? Fire when ready with your questions!
Naughty Nikki

February was a hard month for me. I battled with the flu twice and then fought with my ulcer that was aggravated by all the medicine I had to take when I had the flu. I know what you’re thinking. Sucks to be me… I don’t blame you one bit. I thought the very same thing.

I’m happy to report that I am officially off prescription medication and all illness is now behind me. For the last two days, I’ve been a writing machine. It was as though my muse took me by the shoulders, sat me powerfully in my chair, put my hands on the keyboard and forced me to type.

On Monday, I doubled my goal and yesterday I still managed to make my page count even though I had to volunteer in my son’s classroom for two hours.

I’m going to go and write, but before I do, I’d like to thank my amazing friend Jax for hijacking my blog last week when I could barely see straight. MUAH! I love you girl!

Happy writing…

Until next week,
Amusing Abi (Who is feeling pretty AMAZING)