Saturday, August 30, 2008
So, Carlee, tell me how you liked the book. Did it grab you right off?
Carlee: It certainly did! What woman hasn't fantasized at least once about the cable guy, or the plumber or the... It grabbed me right off and led to great sex scenes but with great plot too.
MorganO: LOL, and how often do they NOT live up to the fantasy? But then, there was this one heating guy who was darn cute... but I must agree with you, the book caught me from the get-go and held me to the end. Piper's writing style draws me right in and I feel as if I'm in the room with the characters. Their thoughts and actions so closely relate to things I've thought of, or done and it makes you never want to put the book down. Later on she brings the reader to great empathy with her characters - sometimes even the bad guys!
Wait...You did the cable guy on the floor of the family room??? And I missed it? Sheesh.
Carlee: Nice try - I speak of no secrets like that, but... hmmm.
MorganO: Okay, I’ll let you off the hook…this time. You say you felt some empathy with the "bad guy" and I have to agree. I couldn't completely hate the husband, despite his sleazy cheating ways.
Carlee: Exactly. He just seems, well, human, with human foibles - though perhaps a bit more advanced than I'd let my husband get away with... and Ali doesn't let him get away with it either. She just reacts in, again, a perfectly human way.
MorganO: How did you feel about the side story of Shurre and her uncle?
Carlee: I was pleased with the way Piper handled that. The situation can be very daunting to the reader as well as the characters. Piper handled it with grace and understanding and let Ali's emotions come through as well. I thought too that the scenes with Ali and Shurre were handled with excellent taste and added greatly to the plot line. It’s a great book with a lot of great sexual undertones (and explicitness) that draws in all types of readers.
MorganO: Oh, the sex scenes. And I’m not just talking about the heat wave out here. Whew! Got me fanning my face a couple of times. That Cam sure is a hottie. I also liked how he grounded Ali and really encouraged her to learn to listen to her instincts.
Carlee: The story wasn't all about him, or his ego. A nice change to so many men out there! Cam really wanted Ali in the end but had great instinct about how to get her. Piper did a great job with that as well.
MorganO: No kidding. Not all alpha. I like my alphas, but give me a sweet supportive beta now and again and I melt. Not to say Cam wasn’t strong, ‘cuz whoo-boy, he sure was, but he didn’t rush in with all the solutions to her problems.
Carlee: Sometimes the best alphas know how to be beta too.
MorganO: True. Men. I think we had a discussion about alphas last week… Anyhow, Cam was a great hero. He even understood that Bill would still be a part of their lives and kudos to Ali for keeping Bill active in the lives of their kids
Carlee: Cam also seems to relish the whole extended family scene - he wouldn't expect to have his ex-wife disappear either, and neither would Ali. The whole new blended family concept is today's reality.
MorganO: …And how it can work with a little understanding and tolerance for some issues and holding a hard line on others. So far you've had lots of good things to say about the book. Were there any points which slowed you down a bit?
Carlee: I struggled a bit trying to understand where the relationships would go between a fling with Cam and a marriage to Bill. At first I wasn't too sure. But frankly, Piper brought me back to the characters quickly and handled my questions/thoughts with great style, almost as if she anticipated the concerns of the reader. Again, a good dose of reality!
MorganO: Okay, so it sounds like you liked the book as much as I did, so here's the big finale. How many stouts do you give it? And since we don't do halves, you have to pick whole numbers between 1 and 5 - 5 being the best, as who doesn't want more drinks?
Carlee: Oh man, I hate when you do this to me!! I guess I'd have to go with 4 because it really was a great read, but I'd only give 5 to my top 10. This would make my top 20! (For those who don't know me much, it really is a rare month I don't read 20 books or more!)
MorganO: No kidding, Carlee reads more than I do, but only because she isn't writing too.
Carlee: Ah hem... but some books I seem to read about 20 times, and all before they hit the publishers shelf...
MorganO: Yeah, well, you get input which few readers get.
Carlee: I am really looking forward to Piper's next book - she's definitely an author I'll track down again.
MorganO: I’ll be sure to let you know when her next one comes out! And while we've been chatting I've been mulling over my own choice of score. This is where I wish Jmo and I had agreed on half points, because I'm a bit torn. So... I'm also going to say 4, but only because there were points where dialect-type dialogue pulled me out a tiny bit. Otherwise, over all I'd give this book a 4.75, but we don't do that, so I'm giving it a good, solid, golden 4, which is still very high praise from TMD and I, too, am ready for the next book. Piper is one to watch.
Carlee: Maybe 4 stouts and a shot of tequila to go with??
MorganO: Hey, now there's a thought! I agree, a shot of tequila too! So that makes it a 4+
MorganO: Now it's time for us to go find a pitcher of frozen 'ritas. Thanks for joining us this week and please be sure to post any comments you have about All Fore Revenge!
Carlee: Oh honey, and that waiter up at a certain restaurant???
MorganO: uh, yeah, him too -LOL. And since I haven’t been at altitude for awhile now, I’m going to be a cheap date. Now where’s my sombrero?
Friday, August 29, 2008
TMD: Piper thanks for allowing us to join you on the green today and please ignore Jmo. I have no idea why he brought a hockey stick to a golf course. Please tell our readers a little about your book?
PD: Hi! Thanks so much for meeting me here. I’ve heard a few former presidents live in the area. Maybe we’ll get lucky and see one.
All Fore Revenge starts out with a common – if unpleasant – scenario: Ali Smyth discovers her Phoenix golf-pro husband is cheating. Once her initial shock wears off, she goes for revenge in the form of an affair (insert gasp here!) with Cam, the hunky cable guy. With two sons to think of, she intends to take her time deciding what to do about her marriage. When she realizes Cam has fallen for her (and the feeling is mutual), she retreats to her childhood hometown in Colorado for the summer. She’s got to figure out how to survive betrayal, her sons’ fear and anger, her husband’s pleas for reconciliation, and Cam’s growing feelings. Then there’s the mystery of what’s driving her best friend to act even more crazy than usual…
I’ll share the trailer link: http://www.youtube.com/v/n9-hItyspCY&hl=en&fs=1
TMD: As the title indicates, golf plays a large role in this unusual romance. So, what’s your handicap?
PD: You know, I love golf. Truly. Unfortunately, up until today, my Wilson “Pink Ribbon” golf set has languished in the garage this season. (Feel free to sniffle on my behalf.) In order for me to determine my handicap, two things need to happen:
1- my life has to slow down so I have leisure time
2- I’ve got to sell lots of books! (especially to afford the green fees up here)
TMD: Cheating. How did the romance publishers first react to the subject?
PD: My uncle used to have a saying something like, “That went over like a lead balloon.” In other words, it didn’t fly. I got lots of rejection letters which started with “We really love your writing...” or “Your writing is very strong…” but…The publishers were determined their readers would never accept a story about infidelity.
I’d love to prove them wrong. The shelves at Barnes & Noble always have books about adultery, so I know it’s not an entirely taboo subject to the women of today. Tune in to the latest dramedy during primetime, or even the nightly news, and you’ll see women dealing with the issue of adultery from both sides.
TMD: Did you think the subject was controversial when you were writing the story?
PD: I once did an exercise from a book on writing. The author suggested you sit undisturbed for five minutes (yeah, I know, how many writers are not disturbed!) and brainstorm words, ideas, images that move you. Could invoke good feelings or bad. Adultery happened to be one of these topics for me.
Ali and Cam’s story came to me and I felt compelled to write it. Sure, I thought Ali’s actions would be controversial. But I never imagined it would be such a hard sell in the erotica market.
If I had it to do over, would I change it? Not a chance.
TMD: Why do you think the publishers you approached were so resistant to the idea? It is, after all, real life.
PD: Most romance publishers cater to what the majority of their readers have wanted in the past. What I needed was a publisher willing to take a risk, one who’d bet on a newer generation of readers. I believe Lyrical Press is the perfect fit.
TMD: How much reality do you think is important for a novel to be believable to a reader? Or do you think most readers approach a book for escapism?
PD: Traditional romance readers seem to gravitate toward escapism: Prince Charming falls head-over-heels for a virgin/widow, with little more than a few cross words from a friend (or the possibility of losing her) to help him overcome fear of commitment. A reader of women’s fiction tends to want a stronger dose of reality. She wants a heroine she can relate to.
My aim is to write books women like me would like. Most of the women I know have had more than one romantic relationship, possibly with a rough beginning or end. Seems like they’ll relate to a heroine who has made a mistake or two along the way. No matter the problems my hero and heroine encounter, I promise you can always count on me for a Happily Ever After!
TMD: When you were writing Fore did you think a lot of women would empathize with your heroine’s plight and her way of dealing with the situation?
PD: Have you ever mused about what you’d do if you caught your significant other cheating?
There are knee-jerk responses: Kick him out, file for divorce, pick up the kids and leave.
Then there are extreme reactions: Go crazy with rage and do bodily harm to him and or/his cheating accomplice.
But what if you were shocked and pulled away until you’d had time to think? “Perfect justice” just might feel, well…perfect.
TMD: It does bring out the question of what do you do when the old magic has changed or gone away. How hard to you try to fix things before you realize they can't be fixed?
PD: It would take tons of soul-searching to make such a decision, particularly when kids are involved. Ali’s decision effectively channels her anger into action – revenge – in order to avoid hurting. As we learn from her example, adultery isn’t a solution, but another problem.
TMD: Crazy question time. Thought you were immune did you? Sorry, it has to be done. If you could play a couples tourney with anyone from a famous golf movie, would you pick Bill Murray, Chevy Chase or Happy Gilmore? No JMo we’re not calling you Happy Jmo!
PD: God. You’ve gotta love Bill Murray’s philosophy as the groundskeeper in Caddy Shack.
Chevy Chase. Hmmm. He was quite suave on the course, but I’d have a hard time forgetting he’s also the dope in the National Lampoon movies, making eyes at every set of D-cups he sees. Besides, if he bet thousands on one of my shots, I’d miss for sure!
I’d have to say Happy Gilmore would be my choice. His colorful language would entertain me (who else in the world could call Bob Barker “bitch” and make us laugh?). And with those wild temper-strokes, I might finish with a better score than him!
Er. Speaking of wild strokes…
TMD: Oh Lord! JMo, you’re supposed to yell fore before you hit the ball into a crowd. I think you just killed a secret service agent. Piper before we’re hauled away for murder, could you please tell us about any other books you've got looming on the 18th hole and where we can find them?
PD: This fall from Sinful Moments Press, comes my book about Fantasy Mountain, the resort where no want is too wacky, no urge to unusual, no passion too peculiar.
Meet the owners:
On her remote ranch, Victoria has built a world-renowned business with her ability to create any sexual scenario requested. She has it all; power, money, independence. The only other thing she wants is the one she knows she’ll never have, and he works just down the hall.
Brett has all but given up hope of breaching the wall around Victoria’s heart. In fact, he’s engaged to be married back in London in only two months. But he knows Victoria has desires; he’s seen them firsthand. When one night of passion rekindles old feelings, can he finally fulfill the ultimate fantasy of the woman who’s made it her mission to satisfy everyone’s desires but her own?
Whatever the erotic dream, it can come true at Fantasy Mountain.
TMD: Thanks again for letting us join you today and let our readers know where they can find you on the net? Jmo stop running, that’ll only make them shoot to kill!
PD: Thanks for the interview, I really appreciate…wow, those two Morgans really have wheels! Guess they can’t hear me anymore.
All Fore Revenge is currently available as an ebook from
Fantasy Mountain will also be available November 15th from Sinful Moments Press in print and ebook format.
My website is http://www.piperdenna.com/ and I’m also at www.myspace.com/piperdenna .
Email me at email@example.com
Thursday, August 28, 2008
by Piper Denna
Print ISBN: 978-0-9818905-5-5
Price Digital: $5.50
Digital Publication: August 18, 2008
Print Publication: February 2, 2009
Cover art by Renee Rocco
Excerpt: Copyright Piper Denna 2008
Appreciating the technician’s punctuality, I stirred from my window seat in the family room. I’d spent the better part of the day curled up there, contemplating my life while staring out at the pool. My introspection would have to go on hold. The cable guy was here to install my husband’s latest-upgrade, high-def boxes.
Rather than being thankful we could afford the best picture quality available, I was simply annoyed. I needed time to myself to solve a dilemma, and didn’t appreciate the interruption Bill’s demanding taste had imposed. Actually, he’d imposed the dilemma as well, and four days of concentrating on it had brought me no solutions. Well, I was married to a man who knew what he wanted and got it. That’s how he got me, and how I’d ended up soul-searching for the last few days.
Out of habit, I fingered my wedding ring on the way to answer the door, still wondering what the hell to do about my discovery of four nights ago. With a defeated sigh I opened my front door and pasted on what I hoped would pass for a smile.
“Hi. Are you, um…” The tall blonde technician, seeming a bit flustered, had to peek at his clipboard. “…Alison Smyth?”
I nodded my head. “Ali.” It was what my friends called me, but why was I telling the cable guy to call me that, when he should be calling me Mrs. Smyth?
“Ali. Okay.” He seemed a little surprised by my familiarity, but he smiled, and oh, what a smile he had! All dimples and sparkly blue eyes. “I’m with the cable company, here to install your new box.” A name badge on his wide chest read Moreton.
Tension over my problem began melting as I opened the door wider and he brushed past me, giving me a whiff of warm, woodsy cologne. He was tall—over six feet—and not one of those gangly, tall guys, either. I could tell this guy worked out by the way his muscles rippled and strained against his clothes. Below his standard-issue khaki uniform shorts, nicely tanned, ripped quads gave me the impression he was a serious bicyclist.
He asked, “How many sets do you have?”
I was still thinking about his legs, and the set of glutes surely hiding above them. “Um, sets?” I asked, feeling dopey (and, frankly, pretty turned-on).
“TVs?” he prompted. He’d looked the living room over and turned back to face me.
“Oh. Yeah, TV sets. Sorry.” I smiled up at him, already knowing I’d like him to be the solution to my problem. “Four. But only two are getting HD boxes.”
He followed me back to the family room, where I’d been sulking before he came. His lowered brows told me the heap of crumpled tissues must have betrayed my previous activity, though I hadn’t actually been crying since right after dropping my kids off at school. I’d given myself fifteen minutes of “breakdown time” before my daily power-yoga routine and swim. Since then I’d been thoughtful, but not distraught.
Too bad I hadn’t had the sense to destroy the evidence.
He set his bag of tools down next to the TV, then turned to look me over. I could see he wanted to ask me something (probably whether I was okay), but professional courtesy stopped him.
“So, Mr. Moreton…”
“CJ.” His sympathetic smile didn’t include dimples.
“CJ,” I repeated. “Would you like something cold to drink?” He looked interested, so I began listing what I had to offer. “Water, soda, iced tea…”
His eyes returned to the window seat, where my own tumbler of tea still sat.
“It’s sweetened. The tea.”
“I like it sweet. I’ll take that, thanks.”
I felt his eyes follow me to the kitchen, where I had to reach on tiptoe for the tall glasses in my cupboard. I hadn’t given much thought to what I put on that morning after my shower. It was just my most comfy cotton shorts and a cami. Dammit, I should have spent more time putting on makeup. This guy was hot, and flirting with him would have been very therapeutic. Hell, even seeing him was therapeutic.
Maybe I’d have to spend some time on the net later, checking out hot guys, possibly unearth the old vibrator. If I had a picture of this CJ, I could probably do the job without the vibrator.
I was out of breath from anticipating my solo encounter when the icy tumbler left my hand for his.
“Thanks,” he said, before he drank. “You swim a lot.” It wasn’t a question—he just knew. I wondered how he’d figured that out, staring at my legs like he was, then the reflection of waves on the pool outside the window flashed over his face.
“Every day. One of the few benefits of living in Phoenix, right? Year-round swimming without freezing your butt off.” Since he was still looking at my legs, and it was making my heart race, I kept talking. “And year-round golf, too. That’s how we ended up here. I mean, my husband…” Shit. Why did I have to bring up being married? That’s not usually the best way to start a flirting jag.
CJ closed his eyes, then turned to the huge LCD screen on the wall and began unhooking the cable from our old digital box. Damn, lost him.
Might as well keep talking. “He’s a golf pro. We came from Colorado. Well, I did. But he can’t really work there in the winter, so we moved here.”
“I’ll go get the boxes. Be right back.” He hustled out to his truck.
Good going. He can’t get out of here fast enough now. Like he really wanted to hear my life story.
CJ’s eyes went to the window seat as soon as he came back in.
I’d disposed of all the mascara-smeared tissues and put the box away under a table.
Now here was dilemma. Should I play my biggest card and tell him why I’d been crying earlier? It was a shortcut, but if it got me to the destination I suddenly wanted to reach, so what? “Thursday night, I found out my husband’s been banging his personal assistant.”
CJ sucked in his breath. “Musta been tough.” He set one receiver on the carpet and asked, “Uh, where’s the other box go?”
“Master bedroom. I’ll show you.”
He followed me up the stairs without a word. When I turned to face him in front of the bedroom TV, he observed, with raised brows, “Thursday. That’s four days ago, but his stuff’s still here.”
Indeed it was. Bill’s usual string of dirty socks and pricey collared shirts had accumulated on his side of the bed, since I hadn’t felt inclined to pick up after his cheating ass.
With a shrug, I said, “It’s his house, technically. I haven’t brought it up with him, because I haven’t decided what to do. For sure.”
I knew by then what I wanted to do, but it didn’t mean I would, or could. I wanted to do CJ. Repeatedly, and in every way possible. My breath was coming faster again, so I put some distance between us, closing my bedroom shades against the blinding mid-day April sun.
“How’d you find out?” he asked, his head inside the armoire where the old box sat.
I took a moment to check out his rear end before answering. Taut biker buns. Perfect. Thankful he couldn’t see my face, I told him what I hadn’t yet told another soul.
“I was, um,”—there was no delicate way to phrase it—“going down on him…” CJ’s head smacked the shelf above it, “…and the smell of latex was incredible. You know, lubricated latex. So I started kind of looking around, and found lipstick smeared on lots of places I hadn’t been yet.”
“How’d you know it was his P.A. and not some lunch-time hooker, or a rich bitch at the country club trading lessons for lovin’?” He sounded not only curious, but maybe a bit angry on my behalf. I liked that.
“Oh, I’d know that lipstick color anywhere. A friend of mine sells that lipstick to her, and she’s the only person I’ve ever known who buys Berryluscious. It’s a hideous color.” It was supposed to be the longwearing, non-smearing kind of lipstick, but it obviously fell short of its advertised promises.
After pulling his head and shoulders out of the cabinet, he wrapped coaxial cable around the old box. “I guess the latex was a good thing. It’s better than no latex.” He started hooking up the new receiver as he asked, “Got any idea what you’re gonna do?”
Boy, do I.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
If you’ve watched the trailer for my new book, All Fore Revenge, or heard about it all, you probably know it’s about adultery. And ultimately, the demise of a marriage.
We’ve all heard the statistics about marriage and divorce. They’re sobering. Every day, we see headlines about celebrities and their fly-by-night marriages. But what about the famous folks who’ve spent decades upholding their wedding vows? Here are some couples who prove true love is forever:
- Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have been married all of 22 years. Hey, it’s not an eternity, but to survive Hollywood hype and politics, they’ve got my admiration!
- Bono and his wife Ali have been married since 1982, which means they’ll be celebrating 26 years, along with music’s most revered (insert grin here) couple – Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.
- Jay and Mavis Leno are celebrating 28 years together, Dr. Phil and Robin have hit the 32 year mark, and one of my all time favorites – Mr. George Forever-the-Cowboy-Next-Door Strait and his wife have managed over 37 years.
- America’s most famous dad based his TV show on his own family and marriage. If he handles himself like he did on his show, Mr. Bill Cosby has been a real handful for his wife of 44 years.
We’re getting up there…
- Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward celebrated their golden anniversary this January. Yep. 50 years. In Hollywood!
- George and Barbara Bush had an anniversary in January, too. They’ve made it to 63. Lots of people don’t even live that long. Way to go, “41”!
- Last – but not least – for our celebrity marriage attaboys (and attagirls), Bob Hope was married nearly 70 years when he died. Wow. 70 years. What’s the gift for that anniversary, anyhow? Space dust and moon rocks? Most houses don’t even last that long.
A few numbers I found heartening:
82% of marriages make it to 5 years
52% make it to 15 years
and a whopping 5% make it to their 50th anniversary. For those of you who aren’t impressed, just think: one out of 20 couples survives the seven-year-itch more than 7 times!
The longest marriage on record? 86 years. And it lasted “til death did them part”.
So the next time you’re reading a romance, believe the couple stays together forever. Some do!
Romance is sexy!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
You can find All Fore Revenge at http://www.lyricalpress.com/ Get your copy today!
Monday, August 25, 2008
The Paper Marriage by Susan Kay Law
Released March 4, 2008
The life of Ann McCrary was turning out exactly as she'd imagined since she was a young girl. She was on the verge of getting everything she ever wanted until a shocking tragedy left her young and vibrant husband in an irreversible coma.
Now, twelve years later, Ann is still in stasis herself, unable to move forward, unable to move back. Until a famous ex-ballplayer and the troubled teenage daughter he barely knows move in next door, jolting her out of her frozen state.
Ms. Law plays all the emotions, and yet, she brings in great bits of humor too, which keeps the tone from being depressing. I fell in love with this book and am kicking myself for not getting an autographed copy at the RWA book signing. I was there, but sticking close to a budget. This was the first book I’ve read by this author and I guarantee I’ll be looking for more.
Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas
St. Martin's Press St. Martin's Press
ISBN-13: 9780312351649 Pub. Date: March 04, 2007
Pub. Date: March 25, 2008 ISBN-13: 9780312351632
When Hardy leaves town to pursue his plans, Liberty finds herself alone with a young sister to raise. Soon Liberty is under the spell of a billionaire tycoon—a Sugar Daddy, one might say. But the relationship goes deeper than people think, and Liberty begins to discover secrets about her own family's past.
Blaze by Susan Johnson
Publisher: Bantam Books
Pub. Date: August 1992
This book was my one trip into the past these past few weeks. Going through a used bookstore that was closing, a friend pulled this off the shelf and told me it was a must for any romance collection. She said it broke all the rules and stirred up controversy when it first came out, sixteen years ago. I’m not much a student of such things, but I shrugged and bought the book. It sat on my shelf for a couple months, until one day I was in the mood for something from the past. Not just the historical time period, but an older book as well. Based on what editors are telling authors today, it was eye opening how much standards have changed. I’m used to reading books written by a different benchmark and at times found it a little hard to keep up with, but as soon as I got in the rhythm, so to speak, I was hooked.
I think what impressed me most, was the depth of research the author put into the story, complete with end notes to back up certain aspects of the story. Now if only history classes in college had been taught this way, we’d have more historians running around. In fact, I felt as if I learned quite a bit about the Westward Expansion of the 19th century. I appreciate the effort. In fact, one friend told me that’s how she studied history. By reading historical romances. Now there’s a burden to historical authors! Better be accurate.
If you can get past the old style of writing, this is an enjoyable read. Sexy from the first page, it was hot enough to fuel a few Cowgirl and Indian Chief fantasies!
Heartbreaker by Julie Garwood
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Pub. Date: September 2001
I started out as a Julie Garwood historical fan, but now find myself becoming a fan of her contemporaries. In fact, I need to go to the bookstore and get the rest of the series and then tackle them in order. I actually read Killjoy first, many years ago and again recently, but since Heartbreaker comes first in the series I’m starting here.
As far as suspense goes, well, Ms. Garwood kept me on the edge of my seat. Her villain is oh so very twisted and I didn’t see the ultimate connection at all. It was as much a surprise to me as it was to Nick. Once the pieces began falling, it was as if I heard the pieces of a stained glass window tinkling as they fell into the proper pattern to complete the picture.
After a several year hiatus, I’m now scrambling to get caught up again. Ms. Garwood continues to display her talent as a bestseller.
Killjoy by Julie Garwood
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Pub. Date: July 2003
FBI Analyst Avery Delany finds herself running against the clock to solve a mystery that hits far too close to home. She’s supposed to meet her Aunt Carolyn at an exclusive resort, only Carolyn never shows. She did, however, leave a phone message with clues and the ball starts rolling when. Enter the hero who’s looking for a killer named Monk.
I love almost any book set in Colorado. This one takes the reader on a breathless journey through the Rocky Mountains near Aspen. A hard driving hero, a killer in love with a psychopath, and a few twists along the way make this a thrilling read.
I do recommend starting at the beginning with Heartbreaker, followed by Mercy then Killjoy. The rest of the books, in order, are – Murder List, Slow Burn and Shadow Dance.
Now, what did I say about getting back to Noah Clayborne? Yeah, Shadow Dance is his story. Be fair and read them in order, but I think he’s Ms. Garwood’s favorite. I’ve read Shadow Dance and Noah, well, as heroes go, they don’t get much better than Noah. Completely drool-worthy. Keep a towel handy.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Book One - Traveling Circus
by Sutton Fox
Length: Short Novel
Digital Price: $4.50
Digital Publication Date: August 4, 2008
Print Publication Date: February 2, 2009
Cover art by Renee Rocco
Morgan O: Kinda like good sex, eh? Yea!! I’m so glad I was able to convert you! I absolutely adore this book and I don't care how many times I've read it, I still love it.
Jmo: What’s not to love? The entire premise of the book hooks you from the first page. Sutton has complete control of her characters and uses them like weapons to make you care about them. You can tell she knows her way around the racing world. Her scenes at the race track made you believe you were smelling the exhaust.
Morgan O: *Jumps with glee* Jmo gets it! I usually have more feelings for one character over another, but in this one, I love both of them. I'm rooting for both of them which makes it all the more satisfying in the end. I love the way she writes the settings. Yes, they are very real. She has a talent for getting the reader into the scenery without using too many words… unlike me.
Jmo: I rarely get this emotionally involved with characters but I couldn’t help myself. I’m not ashamed to say I fought back a severe case of the sniffles on a scene here and there. When you’re reading an author as in touch with her characters as Sutton is you’ve got no choice. From the first line you’re invested and you can’t stop yourself from loving them.
Morgan O: Since we're going Alpha this week I think it's plain to see these two characters are alphas, which does cause some problems, but when they work those out.... watch out babeeee.
Jmo: Whenever you get two dominate personalities together you’re in for some major sparks. Sutton balances it with such tenderness. I was amazed at the depth of her portrayal.
Morgan O: Damn, all I can do is agree with you. You're doing a fine job of heaping on the praise here! They also have little girls in common which pulls them even closer. Annie is absolutely adorable.
Jmo: I think that’s what got me the most. Both Morgan and Tyler had a strong sense of family. I could relate to them. They weren’t cardboard cutouts wanting nothing more than meaningless sex. Lion Tamers was pure romance!
Morgan O: And high octane action from the very start.
Jmo: It was action packed but she didn’t let the action overpower the story.
MorganO: How she balances it all, was just amazing - high speeds and hot romance - the action keeps the pages turning the romance and emotion makes you slow down just a little so you don't miss a thing but tight writing makes it all work.
Jmo: All I can say is this. Lion Tamers has got to be one of the top ten books I’ve read this year. I’d easily push it past some of the books I’ve been waiting a year to read!
Morgan O: I'd put it in the top ten best I've EVER read. I hope to see this one heading for the national bestseller charts
Jmo: I think the only way to sum this review up is, if you haven’t been TAMED you’re definitely missing one of the best books of this year, I include the big print houses in this statement. If you want romance, action and the best hanky read you’ll ever find, Lion Tamers is the book for you.
Can we say a solid 5 because we don’t go up to 5 million?
Morgan O: I agree, a solid 5 stouts! Might have to add some clovers too...
Jmo: You're not getting me Lucky Charms.
Morgan O: Those are for Jenna, I won't touch those. I don't wanna get hurt.
JMo: That sums it up for this review but I’m not alone in saying when book 2 comes out we’ll be racing to the review.
Morgan O: I get it first!!
Jmo: Guess we see who gets the checkered flag in this duo!
Friday, August 22, 2008
Jmo: Right, MorganO, dirt track equals dust. Glad you figured that one out. The smell of nitrous oxide is making us higher than a kite but who are we to complain.
MorganO: Exactly and wait until we get to the Rocky Mountains to interview Piper, woohoo! We’re going to be oxygen deprived. Anyhow, after promising Jenna to keep Jmo away from the trophy girls, she let me snag him away for this special interview. And no, Jmo, we won't be setting Sutton on fire to see if the fire retardant suit really works. Now before he goes in search of Ricky Bobby, let's get Sutton off to a quiet corner where we can have a little chat away from the squealing tires and more importantly, before Jmo tries to join a pit crew. Jmo, put down that wrench.
Jmo: Only if you stop trying to lure Jeff Gordon into the backseat.
MorganO: Damn. You weren’t supposed to see that. Ahem. Sutton thanks for allowing us to interrupt your high speed endeavors. First of all explain the difference between dirt track and stock car?
Jmo: Obviously MorganO is more interested in the drivers than what they’re driving, otherwise she’d know the answer to that question.
SF: Thank you for traveling all this way just to interview me, I really appreciate it. It’s tough to get away from the track on race days.
The difference between dirt track and stock car is like the difference between apples and oranges. They’re both fruit...well, you get the idea. The technical version of a stock car, is a race car that conforms externally to a commercial model. For example, the Chevrolet, Impala SS you see Jeff Gordon race at the track on Sunday should resemble the same car you can purchase in the dealer showroom on Monday. Hence the term ‘stock’. They have been modified for safety purposes. These types of cars are usually raced on oval, asphalt surfaced tracks. They do race on road courses as well, but I believe that’s another interview.
The car Morgan Blade drives in Lion Tamers is a winged sprint car. It’s not stock. It’s what is known as ‘purpose built’. It’s made for one thing, racing. It has a shorter wheelbase, bigger tires and way more horsepower than your average street car. And let’s not forget about the wing. It’s there to provide down force or pressure on the car to keep all that horsepower on the track. If you’d like to see a picture of a sprint car, the book trailer for Lion Tamers features a picture of one. You can find the trailer on my website.
A dirt track used for auto racing is an oval or ‘D’ shape with a clay or ‘dirt’ surface. The sizes range from one-quarter mile to a big half-mile with three-eighths mile being the most common.
TMD: Can you tell our readers how you became a fan of racing and how it inspired you to write Lion Tamers?
SF: I’ve been a fan of racing all my life. I remember going to the local asphalt track with my older sister when I was eight years old. It thrilled me to watch those shiny cars speed around the track making all that noise. It still does today. Racers are some of the most dedicated and passionate people I’ve ever met. They don’t quit, they don’t give up, they just keep after that win, no matter what life throws at them. Being fortunate enough to know a few racers personally, and know the sacrifices they’ve made to pursue their sport really inspired me. I wanted to capture their intensity and valor for people who may not be able to get to the track for whatever reason. I want them to be able to know what it’s like here, inside the oval.
TMD: There's a strong sense of reality in this one. You draw the reader right into the world. We can almost smell the dust. *Achoo!* Well, with it blowing around the way it is, can't miss that part. You've reached a pleasing balance between the reality of the world you've created and the emotional tug of Morgan's (That would be Morgan the heroine and not MorganO) reasons for entering the contest. What made you combine the racing world with reality TV?
SF: Remember when reality TV first hit the airwaves in a big way? Here I am, watching all of these reality shows, and couldn’t find a single one about racing. I have since found one, but it wasn’t as exciting as I’d hoped it would be. In the way of writers, I wondered how it would be from the inside out. I wondered what would motivate someone to want to be on a show and do whatever they had to in front of the world. Just to win some money. What would that mean to them? I wanted the ‘why’ of it.
TMD: what came first your love of racing or romance?
SF: I guess it would have to be racing. I didn’t read my first romance until I was seventeen. Who could forget Ruark Beauchamp from Shanna, by the incomparable Kathleen Woodiwiss? Upon finishing her story I was well and truly hooked. I always have a book or my e-reader at the track.
TMD: How many years have you been part of the racing world? Only one so enmeshed in the sport could catch the essence so realistically.
SF: I’ve only been actively involved in the sport for about ten years.
TMD: Why do you think so many female readers are entranced by the thrill of racing? Besides the sight of hot men in jumpsuits. Down MorganO.
SF: Because it is a thrill. The horsepower makes you shiver, right along with the element of danger and risk. People who take risks are viewed as powerful and attractive, and that holds a special kind of appeal.
TMD: We understand that Lion Tamers is the first book in a series set in the racing world. Can you give us a brief outline of books to follow? And when does book 2 come out?
SF: The series is called Traveling Circus. Book two, Center Ring, will be released by Lyrical Press on November 2, 2008. It focuses more on the team ownership aspect of racing with little romantic suspense thrown in for good measure. The third book, High Wire, is back to grass roots racing, featuring dirt late models. It will be released February 2, 2009. There are two more books in the series for a total of five, but the last two are still works in progress.
TMD: This is an old tradition but we are all about tradition here. If you were asked to partake in a world's weirdest race, would you ride the goat or the lama?
SF: The llama, no question. They spit, and I think that’s funny.
TMD: With so many romance authors setting their books in the sports world, do you think this is a movement to empower women past the role of bring-me-a-beer-during-the-half-time-show?
SF: Honestly, I’m usually the one saying that at my house. I hate to let that go. Really, I believe today’s women have moved beyond the ‘movement’. They aren’t restricted by the narrow and sometimes myopic view of whoever may be leading the current society. They are empowered internally to do whatever they want to do. And that gives them the freedom to make any choice they please and follow it through.
TMD: How does it feel as an author to be able to combine two of your loves?
SF: Unbelievable. I know it sounds trite, but it really is a dream come true.
TMD: Who was the inspiration for Tyler??? MorganO is still drooling over him.
SF: Well, I can tell you personality wise, he’s an amalgamation of several racers that I know. I’m not sure their wives would like the names listed here. This will date me, but in the looks category it would have to be Robert Redford from his Butch Cassidy days.
MorganO: RR? Hubba-hubba! I just knew Tyler was hot for a good reason!
TMD: As someone who's followed both of her dreams, what advice do you have for women who want to follow their dreams, be it racing or writing?
SF: Set goals, believe you can achieve them. Don’t quit, ever. Don’t give up. And for heavens sake, stop worrying about what other people think. They are only thinking about you in reference to themselves anyway. It’s very rare you will find someone who will support your dreams. Most people will definitely tell you why you shouldn’t do something. Especially those who claim to love you the most. So be strong and follow your heart in spite of them.
TMD: Do you think feeling passionate about what you love, in this case racing, makes you a better author when you're writing?
SF: I hope so. I hope when people read my stories they can feel the passion I have for the sport. And I hope they enjoy it just as much as I do.
TMD: Uh, Sutton, Morgan wants to know if she can go vroom-vroom in your car. She's always wanted to go zero to sixty-nine in less than five seconds. Well, looks like you don't have much of say in it. Morgan, watch out for Jeff Gordon... too late! I'm sure when the ambulance gets here, he'll be okay. Sutton, thanks again for letting us experience the thrill of race day with you. Before you go chasing her, could you let our readers know where to find you on web and if you have anything coming out we should be racing to buy?
SF: Thank you again for sharing your time with me. Lion Tamers is available now from Lyrical Press. You can buy it at Lyrical Press.
If you like to know more about me, you can check out my website: http://suttonfox.com or friend me on myspace: www.myspace.com/suttonfox
I love to hear from readers. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks Jmo. MorganO! Morgan, come back with my car!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Sweat gathered on his brow in a light film. His hands held the edges of his chair in a death grip. He almost stuttered when he asked, “Is there something else you need at this late hour?”
She stopped at the edge of his chair and looked him almost eye to eye. “Just the answer to a question.”
“Okay. Shoot.” Good, great. He’d give her the answer and she’d go.
“Why didn’t you want to kiss me the other night?”
Oh, God. He could swear she almost purred it. Honesty. Honesty was the best policy. She had him so wrapped up, if he lied he’d never remember it anyway. “It...it…” He took a deep breath to steady himself. “It wasn’t that I didn’t want to. I’m just not a one night stand kind of guy.”
She actually laughed at him. Again. When his blood found its way back to his brain, he might be insulted.
“Really.” She grabbed his hands from their hold on the chair. She swung one leg over one side of the seat and did the same with the other so she straddled him.
Of their own accord his arms closed around her. He could feel her heat through the thin shorts she wore.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed herself against him, crotch to crotch, cheek to cheek. Heat sizzled between them. His whole body flared to life as if he’d been held apart from feeling anything, until now.
“Well, what if I’m a one night stand kind of girl?” she murmured in his ear.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Alpha female check list: smart, independent - to the extreme, feisty, can hold her own in any situation, tender but doesn't let it show, doesn't take shit off anybody including the hero, especially the hero, and, according to Cousin Kennedy, if you disobey, she will pee on you.
Research on the net has added – High levels of confidence, knows what she wants and looks for those things which challenge and provide meaning to her. When it she seeks a mate, she looks for a man who is equal, provides intellectual stimulation and brings out the best qualities in her. High self-esteem allows her the safety to surrender to the man worthy of her.
So how does all this translate to the modern heroine? She makes for a layered character you can’t help admiring, even if she isn’t always loveable.
What? A heroine be not loveable? Seriously, the world has spent centuries teaching us that strong women are essentially, well, bitches. And not in a good way.
Romance takes on that subject time after time. The tough exterior, almost without exception, covers a soft, very loveable interior. The reasons for the tough shell vary, but invariably are a protective coating.
Therein lays the fun in writing an Alpha female. The layers must be peeled away like an onion, slowly, and tantalizingly revealing each increasingly tender layer. This is why alpha females drive males to tears….
So, am I an Alpha? Let’s start with Smart. According to IQ tests, yes. On the street? Hmm, certainly not a fast intellect. I have to stop and think things through. Which would probably get me killed were I to meet vampires in a dark alley. Intelligence depends on where you’re standing at the moment. In a dark alley? Dumb. In the grocery store? Brilliant at finding the best bargains. In the kitchen, when I cook, I do pretty fabulous at improvising and inventing. Hey, you gotta work with what you got.
Independent to the extreme? Ah well… again, in context, the answer is yes and no. I really like being at home. Not because I’m a domestic diva, no, I gave up that crown years ago. The smell of bleach does not turn me on like one or two of my relatives by marriage. But try to tell me how to spend my day? Think again. I don’t need my husband telling me how to write or how to promote my writing. As I told him recently, I don’t wander into his office and tell him how to engineer his projects. That led to the silence I was seeking, so I guess I won that round.
Feisty. Um, may I plead the Fifth on that? I’m almost afraid of what my friends - or family *shudder* - would say if asked to supply their opinions.
Can hold her own in any situation? Mostly. But there are times I let my hero do it for me. After all, he needs to feel needed. Which is where the tender emotion comes in. Yeah, I let my tender side show when I feel like it or when my son does something so adorable I just can’t stand it. Or when my husband dropped $500 on my laptop and told me to have some fun at RWA. That melted me… for a day.
Doesn't take shit off anybody including the hero, especially the hero, and, according to Cousin Kennedy, if you disobey, she will pee on you. Okay, so I don’t actually squat and pee on the being offending my command, but I can come up with a deadly list of horrifying chores. Clean the bathroom is right on top. BTW, Cousin Kennedy doesn’t really pee...but if you look like you are going to squat on her turf, watch out.
As for the rest, my confidence has highs and lows, just like anybody else. Do I let them know it? Only if I think letting it show will gain me sympathy and less opposition. I do know what I want and I do seek out things which have meaning and will enrich my life. I don’t waste time on fools, unless I’m feeling foolish. I generally have low tolerance for anyone who cannot make a choice and will step in with a command decision when I see we’re not making progress. I leave room for discussion, but when it becomes stalling, I cut it off. There is always time for apologies later on; a nice bottle of tequila can sooth ruffled feathers.
So, I guess I am an alpha female. There are times people would call me a bitch, but my friends and family know the real me, the deep down, melt into goo, tender-hearted me. Even when they get the rough side of my tongue and temper, in the end they know there’s a good reason for me going off. Usually because they didn’t hold up their end of the bargain and I have to call them into line – again. And yet, stroke my soft belly with love and tenderness, and I’ll roll over and play loving woman to the hilt.
After all, isn’t it a woman’s prerogative to be strong and yet soft? Alpha and bitch? Alpha does not equal bitch and bitch does not equal alpha, but neither are they mutually exclusive. Sometimes we can do both and still be loveable in the end.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
First off, today we have Sutton's trailer for her book The Traveling Circus: Book One - Lion Tamers. It's as fast and exciting as the book and she provided most of the images. See if you can spot her in the trailer!
Then on Friday, we'll post the interview. We learned some fun new things about racing. We wrap up everthing on Saturday with the review and you won't want to miss that!
If you want to read the book so you can add your comments when we post our signature double-team review, get yourself over to Lyrical Press and get the e-copy today! You won't regret it.
Monday, August 18, 2008
That said, let’s discuss the aspects of an Alpha Male. What turns your average man on the street into a raging tower of musculated Alpha-ness? I really have no idea, so I went to my friend Val, a noted expert on all things Alpha and Butler and asked her to outline the attributes of an alpha male. Per her definition, these are the things that make an Alpha Alpha.
Val’s Alpha Male defined: Alphas are arrogant, bossy, confidant, somewhat over confidant. They need to be in control. They are usually over-protective. It's also cool when in the romance, the alpha male goes to mush when he's around his woman!!
Just to make sure I got them all, I consulted with Morgan to make sure we weren’t missing anything and she added these.
Morgan O’s addendum to Alpha-ness:
"A good alpha won't quail in the face of PMS. In fact, he'll ignore it all together possibly with the exception of tossing chocolate at his mate if he knows what's good for him because he won't hesitate to do the things to bring his woman around to a loving frame of mind, because he does love lovin'. (PS: he also won’t ever mention aforementioned PMS as a possible cause of her irritability, for that would mean certain death.)"
Now that we more or less have a guideline by which to judge manliness, let’s see if the man slumped into your couch watching TV is an alpha or just part of the furniture in need of a good dusting. So, I’m going to run down the list.
Arrogant/bossy: True you might find it endearing in a Romance novel, but let the guy bent over, digging around in the fridge, scratching his butt, try to get all domineering and you’ll hand him his ass in very small pieces. Yet in a book, it’s okay. I’m a bit confused over this one, but too scared to try this bit of alphaness on the love of my life. So I guess I take a first strike on the Alpha Chart on this one. Maybe some man out there makes the grade on this one but I’ll check the Emergency Room records to see if any one was stupid enough to try it out.
Confident/overly so: Okay, all men are a bit confident. It may not be about the total package but somewhere in each man’s pitiful lives there is one thing without a doubt they are extremely confident about. Me, I’m confident about a few things. The number one being that my wife loves me. I figure after that, anything else isn’t important. Or least that’s what she tells me and I’m not crossing her on it. Looks like I can mark down a big X on the Alpha checklist. I’m on the board. Yah!
Alpha’s need to be in control: I got this one. Men are control freaks. I don’t know one guy who doesn’t need to have total control of the remote control to the TV. We may not have much power in this world, but I DARE any woman to come between us and our remotes. We might not fight for bathroom space or time. We might not even fight for more covers on a cold winter night, but we’ll be damned if we’ll let a woman come between us and our TV. That’s two on the alpha list for me. Looks like I need to buy that leather duster and those shit kickers. Before this thing is over I might be able to stomp a hole in Rambo’s butt.
Overprotective: This is a given. As a father of a teenage daughter, overprotective is my middle name. How many men out there haven’t turned into a crazed, foaming-at-the-mouth, madman the minute his one and only baby girl goes out on that first date? Same thing applies to our wives when we’re at the mall shopping and some jerkoff takes a gander at our wife when they think we’re not watching. Well, let me tell you, you look at my wife and I’m watching, you’re gonna get a stern stare from me. If you’re twice my size, I might wait til your back is turned but, buddy, you’re getting the look. On the flip side, if I catching you checking my daughter, you’ll be lucky to make it to the door with both kneecaps still attached. It isn’t that I love my daughter more than my wife but I know how scary my wife is. She can take care of herself. Another alpha moment marked and noted.
Alpha males go to mush when he's around his woman: I can’t think of one guy who doesn’t go to pieces around his woman. Around our friends we’re all Chuck Norris talking smack from every orifice we got. I won’t go into detail on that one, but we do it. The minute we’re alone with our lady, it’s like some mystical switch is thrown. We go from, My old lady don’t tell me what to do to Can I get you something baby? Tragic, I know, but it’s true. Other guys might not admit it, but I know they ALL do it. You with husbands know it’s true. I know y’all watch us out in the yard scratching and laughing with our buddies, talking so much crap it’s a wonder you don’t have to hose us down before we come through the door. Yet, when they’re gone, we’d do just about anything to make you happy. Maybe not a manly Alpha moment but it’s on Val’s list so it counts.
I’m not even going into Morgan O’s addendum. The true sign of being an Alpha male is never and I mean NEVER getting into a debate about PMS or anything else that might get us sent to the Health and Beauty aisle of the local department store.
So, am I Alpha? Maybe. I’m not taking any chances on coming out and saying so. At least not without consulting my wife first. Is your man Alpha? You’ve seen the list. What do you think? If I’m not willing to commit myself to Alphadom, I’m not about to speak for all men. In closing, if you love him, there must have been an Alpha moment in his life that let him sweep you off your feet. The secret is, let him read a good romance every once in awhile to recharge his engines. If that doesn’t work, you might need to read up on some alternatives. Maybe a nice rubber suit and order him to call you Mistress Darque.
Be sure to join us Wednesday for the 2nd half of our Alpha Blog with MorganO's opinion of what makes an Alpha Female all that she can be.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Starting next week, we get a preview of author Sutton Fox when her trailer for Lion Tamers debuts on Trailer Trash Tuesday. It's roaring hot! I'm not sure if we've talked her into guest blogging on Wednesday, but on Friday we have a brand new, TMD exclusive interview. Then, if Jmo finishes reading Lion Tamers in time, we'll do one of our signature double reviews. And if he doesn't, then I'll do a review because I LOVE this book! Oh, wait... Jmo says he's almost done! So we have that to look forward to on Saturday.
Other bloggers/interviewees we have scheduled include: Piper Denna, Savannah Chase, Michelle Buonfiglio, Alysha Ellis, Melanie Atkins, Jenna Petersen, and Cindy Jacks. We're working on Karen McInerney, Annette Blair and some other fabulous authors. If you have someone you'd like to see given The Morgan Treatment, just send us their email and tell us why! We'll do our best to lasso them just for you and find out all their secrets.
We'll also try to get back to the Weekly Ten Second Reviews, but would love to have some guest bloggers give us their opinions on recently read books. Yes, YOU can be the guest star reviewer and let us know what you like to read.
Get your motors revvin', cuz we're going to have a good time this Fall and you won't want to miss a moment!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Ever get that feeling where you're sad to go, but long to leave? Home is calling. My own bed, my comfortable niche where I write, my own food, my own schedule.
I was fortunate to attend RWA in SF, essentially my old home town. Not quite, but I spent the first 12 years of my life in the East Bay. Came back for College and met the friends of my youth who stuck with me. Three of them live in the Bay Area now and I stayed with one after the conference. Another drove from the far side of the SF peninsula to have dinner with us last night. We're all so different. Had different majors, different outlooks and ambitions. And yet, this small core sticks together. One flew to Alaska for my wedding while the others were having children or getting married themselves. But always, in one way or another, they were there.
And twenty-something years later, we still get excited at seeing one another. How grateful I am for them. And yes, one or two of their mannerisms show up in my books. That's for us to know and you to guess about.
So, what do you do for those long time friends? The ones you talk to one or two times a year but may not see more than once every few years? When was the last time you sent them a short, hey-there-how-are-you, note written on pretty paper? Something not a forwarded joke? A short phone call? Or even better yet, write up a scene with details only they will get and send it to them with a note that it's going in your current book! Yup, I have new material for my books! Including the 5yo that said just this morning, "you knew my dad when he had hair???"
Yup, memories are precious. Hang on to all that you can.