Thursday, June 25, 2009

Remembering Farrah

I just heard that Farrah Fawcett passed away today. I admire her courage in her battle with cancer, and know she's in a much better place. Heaven has a special 'angel.' My thoughts and prayers are with Farrah's family.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Guest Author Emily Bryan Today, June 23

Today I'm hosting wickedly witty historical romance author Emily Bryan.
Her latest release, Vexing the Viscount, is on sale now.
Lucian Beaumont has to be the most stubborn man in England, but he's met his match in Daisy Drake. When they join forces to search for a lost Roman treasure, they learn you only vex the one you love . . .

Emily Bryan, Light-hearted historical romance

My guest today is Emily Bryan. According to Booklist, she writes “Wickedly witty historical romance!” First published in May 2006, her 6th title, VEXING THE VISCOUNT, is on the shelves now. For the interview today, my words will be in bold and Emily in italics.

Tell us more about yourself, Emily! Readers love to know about the authors, and this would give you the chance to make them feel close to you!

First, thanks for having me here today, Diana. I’m very much like everyone else. I have a DH and family I love, two dogs who act as my writing assistants (you can see us in action at, a mortgage, a ravenous reading habit, and a work history as varied as a patchwork quilt. The thing that makes me different is the answer to your second question.

If you have 2 hours free time tonight, what would you rather do? Given two hours of free time, I will sit down with my laptop and make things up.
Why? Because I’m a writer and that’s how I make sense of the world.

What kind of books do you love to read? My reading tastes are very eclectic. I read romance of almost all sub-genres, plus thrillers, mysteries, historicals and Christian fiction.
Why? Because I’m terminally curious and always looking for a good story.

What type of music do you enjoy relaxing to? I hold a vocal music degree, so classical music is a serious passion of mine, especially opera. But I also enjoy Santana, Josh Groban and Alicia Keys.

What is your stress buster? Cruising. I’d rather be on a cruise ship, or remembering being on one, than just about anywhere.

What is your favorite food? Ice cream. If there was no ice cream in the world, I would be a size 6!

Describe yourself in one word. Curious

What’s your biggest regret in life? I wish I’d started writing sooner.

What is the most adventurous thing you've ever done? Wow, it’s hard to choose because I’ve had so many wonderful experiences.
I have
~ sung at Carnegie Hall.
~ driven a snowmachine across Yellowstone Park without freezing anything important off.
~ flown in a Cessna 182 from Seattle to Kansas City and lived to tell the tale.
~ been surprised by a barracuda while snorkeling in the Caribbean.
~ lost track of how many times I’ve been to Europe.
~ ridden an elephant. (not recommended. Very bony spine!)
~ worked one summer on an archeological dig in Greenland.
~ learned to surf in Honolulu.
Ok, now one of those things is a bald-faced lie. (Told you I like to make things up!) If you want to make a guess about which one I haven’t done in a comment, I’ll ‘fess up if you’re right.
How would readers find out more about you? Please visit my website at and my blog

When did you write your first book? I started writing in 2001. After several fits and starts, I finished my first marketable manuscript in 2003. It was MAIDENSONG, a Viking romance, and was published by Leisure Books in May 2006 under the name Diana Groe.

How long did it take you to write it? I wrote it in about 6 months, but if you consider that I had to write two other 400 page manuscripts in order to learn how to write, it took about 2 ½ years.

Did you encounter any obstacles in writing? I had to understand reader expectations for the romance genre. Joining RWA put me on the right path in that regard. If you are an aspiring writer, joining that fine organization and attending the local meetings are the best advice I can give you.

What do you think about editing?
I’m very grateful for my editor’s input. Frequently I’m too close to the work. My editor can see things I’d miss. That said, the last manuscript I turned in (MY LADY BELOW STAIRS, a novella in the upcoming holiday anthology A CHRISTMAS BALL due out September 29th!) had virtually no revisions. I love it when a story comes together!

Where and when do you write? If you checked the pic of my dog assistants on my website, you already know I write in a recliner with my computer on my lap and a puppy at each hip. Sounds lazy, but it gets the job done.

How do you write? I’m a quasi-plotting pantser. My characters come to me first. They spend about a month whispering their secrets to me. Then I put together a working synopsis and stick it in a drawer. At that point, I’m off to the races. I write linearly from beginning to end. If I get stuck, I consult the roadmap (the synopsis).

Maybe you can give us an example with one of your books. Oh, boy! You caught me. I’m going off the reservation for my current WIP, STROKE OF GENIUS. I sold this one on the basis of the title and a two paragraph blurb. I don’t have a synopsis. I’m experimenting with free pantsing again. I think it’s important to mix things up and try new things to keep the process fresh.

What books can you recommend to aspiring writers to improve on style, character development, plot, structure, dialogue, etc? I have a bibliography listed on my website at Write Stuff .

What is your must-have book for writing? The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

What is your advice to aspiring writers? Creativity is a muscle. Write every day.

What genre(s) do you write? I write light-hearted, sexy historical romance because that’s my favorite type to read.

Among those that you've written, which is your favorite book and why?
That’s like asking a mother which is her favorite child. I love them all. They all gave me fits. Now that they’re out on their own in the big bad world, I’m proud of each one.

Where do you get your ideas? Do you jot them down in a notebook, in case you forgot? Ideas are everywhere. You can pluck them out of the air. But if I get stuck, just getting out and about, observing people and how they interact, will often jumpstart me. Writers are keenly observant. We watch for not only what’s happening, but why.

I wish I was organized enough to jot ideas down. I guess I figure if the idea is a good one, it will come again. When I studied music history, I learned that the composer Verdi was so lazy if he dropped a sheet of manuscript music, he’d rewrite it rather than bend over to pick it up. Guess I’m a little like that with ideas.

Which of your books feature your family/friends, etc? What characters are modeled after them? Why? I’ve never modeled any characters completely on a single person. Making things up is the fun part, you know. However, some of the things that have come out my hero’s mouths first came out of my DH’s or my dad’s. The secondary character Isabella, an aging courtesan, who appears in both PLEASURING THE PIRATE and VEXING THE VISCOUNT reminds me a little of my mother. (Stop that! I mean it in a good way!) Isabella is clever and entertaining, like my mother, and has my mom’s bone-deep beauty. (Of course, my mother was never a courtesan, but if she had been, she’d have been a top-tier high flyer!)

Which of your heroes/heroines is most similar to you? Why? I guess they all have a little piece of me, or of what I’d like to be, since they all came from my imagination. None of them spend their days wedged into a recliner between two dogs with a laptop computer, so I can’t say I’ve written one terribly like me.

Who is your strongest/sexiest/most lovable/hottest hero/heroine? Why? I love them all, but I had great fun writing Lucian Beaumont, the hero in VEXING THE VISCOUNT. Lucian is a virgin at the beginning of the story, but he’s eager to learn and a very quick study. When Daisy, the heroine, masquerades as a French courtesan and offers to teach him, well, those scenes were a riot because all Daisy knew was what she’d read in a real courtesan’s memoirs.

They have a wonderful time trying to figure it all out together. Well, actually, several wonderful times.

Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters are moving it in another direction? What did you do in such a situation?
Absolutely, you must follow your characters. Romance is character-driven fiction. If they are forced into a plot, the writer becomes a puppeteer. Romance is more about ‘why’ than ‘what’, more concerned with ‘who’ than ‘how.’

Tell us more about your current release VEXING THE VISCOUNT (Leisure Books

Vexing the Viscount is part treasure hunt, part mystery, part naughty discovery of some pretty steamy sexuality and part comedy routine. But mostly it’s the journey from one heart to another. It’s how Daisy and Lucian fall in love and commit to each other—while uncovering an ancient Roman treasure, undoing a Jacobite plot, and making very practical use of a courtesan’s memoirs.

Any new projects, work in progress?
Oh, yes! My next release is coming September 29th! It’s a novella, my first foray into this shorter format, as part of A CHRISTMAS BALL—an anthology with USA Today BestSeller Jennifer Ashley and Alissa Johnson.
All our characters are in attendance at the same Christmas ball, and YOU are invited too. There is an excerpt on my website of this story and all my others. A CHRISTMAS BALL (Leisure Books 09/09) is available for pre-order now at

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my current love, my new WIP- STROKE OF GENIUS (Leisure Books, summer 2010). A Bostonian heiress takes romantic advice from a brilliant, though cynical, artist on how best to snag a titled husband. Sparks fly when he realizes he’d rather be the object of her affection than her tutor.

I’m doing a really fun contest right now that will allow one of my readers to name an important character in this story. The winner of the contest will receive my entire backlist, plus a thank you in the acknowledgment page of STROKE OF GENIUS. For complete details on how to enter please visit

Thank you for having me today, Diana. I’d like to offer a signed copy of PLEASURING THE PIRATE (I’ve been told it’s a great beach read!) to one lucky person who leaves a comment or question here on your blog today. Good luck and I hope to hear from YOU!

Be sure to enter my STROKE OF GENIUS Name a Character Contest This lovely badge is courtesy of BookReviewsByBobbie

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Welcome Roxanne Rhoads!

Today I’m hosting story strumpet, tome loving tart, eccentric night owl...these are all words that can describe freelance writer and erotic romance author Roxanne Rhoads.

Her newest release is Torrid Teasers Volume 59, featuring The Questioning Concubine and Renata to be released June 15 through Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. Here's the direct link to the sales info:

Here’s Roxanne’s bio and interview below, with links:

When not fulfilling one of her many roles as wife and mother of three, Roxanne's world revolves around words...reading them, writing them, editing them, talking about them. In addition to writing her own stories she loves to read and review what others write and operates a site, Fang-tastic Books, dedicated to her favorite type of book- anything paranormal. Her favorite genre is paranormal romance but she'll read just about anything featuring vampires, ghosts, witches and whatnot.

Roxanne writes everything from articles to web content as a freelance writer and poet. Her erotic and romance stories and poems have appeared in Playgirl Magazine, several print anthologies, in ebooks and on numerous Web sites including:,,,,,,,, and

Currently two of her short paranormal pieces appear in the anthology Sexy Paranormal Bedtime Stories available at, Her Christmas erotica e-book, Tasty Christmas Treats, is also available at Eternal and both Eternal Press releases are available in print at

Her story "The First Brick" appears in Lasting Lust: An Anthology of Kinky Couples in Love available at

Later this year two more of her erotic paranormal novellas will be released through, Insatiable and Eternal Passion.

When not reading or writing, Roxanne loves to hang out with her family, play with her cats, craft, garden and search for unique vintage finds.

You can visit her at and

1.First of all, people love to hear publishing stories. Can you tell us how your first sale(s) came about?

I have always been a writer but never tried to actually publish. After returning to the world of writing grew frustrated after I kept receiving rejection after rejection for my work. I said to my husband half joking that I should start writing about something I really know he said go for it. After thinking it over I did just that. My first erotica story was written and sent out and accepted by Playgirl Magazine. Since then every story that I have written has been published on a website, in an ebook or in print.

2.What is your favorite genre to write in?

Paranormal erotica. There is something about the world of the paranormal that can add extra sizzle to a steamy story.

3. Please tell us a little about your new book.

In Torrid Teasers Volume 59 there are actually two short paranormal erotica pieces.

The Questioning Concubine features a witch that has come home to find out who killed her parents. After exhausting all traditional and some paranormal methods of discovery she does the one thing a good witch should never do...summon a demon. All she wants is answers but the demon wants something else...the pleasure of her body.

Renata is the story of a vampire named Renata who lives a quiet life in a small town because she fears being caught by vampire hunters. She is no ordinary vampire and needs sex as much as she needs blood. One night while out hunting she comes a cross a canie that intrigues her. She knows she should leave him alone but can't. Tony is exactly what she fears most, a vampire hunter. But he's not out to kill least not after he realizes he is as attracted to her as she is to him.

4. How do you devise your plots/characters?

They usually come to me. I can be in the shower, watching a movie, eating lunch or anything and it's like they tap me on the shoulder and say "Hello, here we are! Go type."

Most stories I sit down and write and I just let it flow. There have been a few that I plot and plan ahead of time but mostly it all comes as I write. I don't pre-plan my fiction.

5. What does your writing schedule consist of? A certain amount of words/hours per day? When the muse strikes?

I work every day, whether I actually get any of my fiction writing done...

Some days it is all about scheduling blog posts and interviews, marketing and working on promoting myself and my web sites. Plus I review other people's books so I work on that a lot as well, plus I write non-fiction articles and poetry so I have to work on querries and submissions with those. So my fiction actually gets put off most of the time, I squeeze it in after every thing else gets done. I wish I could focus on it more but I have to keep money coming in.

6. How can people keep up with your new releases? By visiting my sites and

7. Can you give any advice to authors who are struggling to be published?

Don't give up. Make connections with other writers, learn the world, learn the way things work and be able to accept rejection and criticism.

8. How long were you writing before you got your first publishing contract?
I have been writing since I could hold a pen in my hand but professionally I didn't get a real paid writing job until 2005. I received my first ebook contract also in 2005, my first print book deal in 2007.

9. Do you write full-time or do you have another job/career?

I wear several job hats but the one I focus on most is writing, so pretty much yes I am a full time writer along with being a wife and mother of three.

10. Finally, what are your favorite books or authors, and what kind of music do you listen to?

I have so many favorite books and authors (check out my site dedicated to them

Most of my favorite books and authors are in the paranormal romance/ urban fantasy genre: Kim Harrison, Laurell K Hamilton, Colleen Gleason, Jenna Maclaine, Madeline Alt, Annette Blair, Kresley Cole, Anne Rice, Vicki Lewis Thompson, J.R. Ward, etc

Music...I listen to a little bit of just about anything and everything depending on my mood. I have everything in my playlist: classical, heavy metal, country, bluegrass, hip hop R&B, rap, pop, and fun eighties tunes from my childhood (Cyndi Lauper anyone?).

Roxanne Rhoads
Freelance Writer, Author, Poet

Check Out My Erotica Stories

Tasty Christmas Treats now in ebook and print

Paranormal Bedtime Stories now in ebook and print
Contains my stories Halloween Surprise and Sea of Blood

Lasting Lust: An Anthology of Kinky Couples in Love
Contains my story The First Brick available at

Torrid Teasers Volume 59 available June 15 Whiskey Creek Press Torrid
Featuring Renata and The Questioning Concubine

Justus Roux's Erotic Tales 2
Contains my poem Waiting Patiently

The Mammoth Book of Erotic Confessions Available Soon
Contains two of my erotic confessions

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Erotic Romance Author Guest Tomorrow, June 18

Erotic romance author, story strumpet, tome loving tart, and eccentric night owl Roxanne Rhoads will be a guest here all day tomorrow. Check out my interview with her and find out more about her sizzling books!

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Review of Traveling Light

Reviewed by Martha E.
In the present, Leigh Halliday sleeps in the bed once owned by King Richard III, and wakes up in Richard's bed, but in Richard's time, 1485.In 1485, Guy Blakamour, trusted knight of King Richard, believes Leigh is Sandrissa, the wife he'd never met, having arrived for the wedding planned by the king.Leigh knows that Guy was recorded in history as having been executed for treason and drowning his first wife. She discovers that Guy's 'treason' and 'drowning' of his wife was a setup by a Welsh clan who's hated Guy's family for centuries. She puts her life on the line to clear his name and attempts to return home--with Guy, whom she's grown to love.Review: This is a nice Time Travel filled with rich detail of the historic time period. The characters are very likeable with interesting conflicts. Leigh is a modern, educated young woman who is struggling to recover from the pain associated with the death of her husband. Suddenly she finds herself in Medieval England married by proxy, with the groom looking forward to consummating the marriage! Based on what she has read about her “husband”, Guy, she is distrustful and wary. Although there is no denying that he is a really good looking knight and she is drawn to him.Guy is really a very honorable man and faithful to King Richard. Guy has lost all those he has loved - his parents, a brother and sister and his first wife and son. He blames a curse by the Llanwddyns, who have long been feuding with his family. He was willing to marry Sandrissa to gain lands and men, as ordered by his King. He hadn’t planned to wait to consummate the union until the actual church wedding, but he finds he is willing to compromise and try to woo the lovely, intelligent lady he finds in the king’s bed! The story focuses on Leigh’s efforts to avoid consummating the marriage and getting back to her own time. She is able to earn money in an interesting enterprise. When that money is taken, she realizes she must stay and help Guy, whom she has begun to love. Finally she realizes how to get back and she tries to convince Guy to walk away from a losing battle and go with her instead.The story moved along well with interesting glimpses of the medieval lifestyle in dress, customs, surroundings and brutal intrigues and politics. However, because of the blurb, I kept anticipating Leigh trying to save Guy and getting him to return to the future with her. I kept waiting and waiting and that didn’t happen till very near the end of the book so it was a bit of a distraction! Also, there were parts of the story that seemed rushed and missing some depth that could have been there. But all in all it was an engaging read. I recommend that you get the book, ignore the blurb (or don’t get distracted by it like I did) and enjoy the story!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vampire Romance Novel Giveaway Friday, June 12

Dear Vamp Lovers,
I'm giving away a copy of A Bloody Good Cruise on the blog of erotic author Roxanne Rhoads on Friday.
Go to
Also check out her blog at
Have fun!

Monday, June 8, 2009


My fellow romance and paranormal author Margaret West interviewed me on her blog today. Check it out at
She has a great blog, too!

Monday, June 1, 2009

New Review of A Bloody Good Cruise

Another great review of my vamp romance, A Bloody Good Cruise, from Patricia's Vampire Notes.

[Reviewed by Patricia]
Mona Rossi is a romance writer whose recent books haven't been selling like they used to. What to do? Perhaps a luxury cruise for romance writers. Mona knows she can easily put something like this together, and she does.
Being with so many talented writers is certain to give her ideas for a new dynamite series. Also a cruise will be a way to have some fun time with Fausto, the special, gorgeous vampire guy in her life. It just so happens Fausto works as a ship's doctor for the cruise line. With this perfect setup what could go wrong? Plenty of course.
A band of vampire hunters have Fausto on their radar. This particularly nasty group, referred to by the vamps as Vampire Ball Busters, believe all such beings are the essence of evil and should be eradicated. To further complicate matters Fausto's former wife, the infamous Lucrezia Borgia, is onboard. She insists that their divorce was never legal therefore he should leave that human, Mona, and return to Italy to live with her, Lucrezia.
Many more complications arise in this lively, comic adventure cum romance. A fun treat for a lazy afternoon.
Go to Patricia's Vampire Notes for reviews and more.