Saturday, January 3, 2009

Nominations and Accolades, Oh My!

It's that time of year when sites start accepting nominations and votes for the best reads of 2008. How much they do to help promote a writer, I'm not sure, but it is most flattering when reviewers and readers make the nominations. Sometimes it's hard to tell if the authors have nominated themselves. It's really hard to tell who has the most readers or the most friends. I suppose in part, these are popularity contests. But in a way they're fun and a refreshing way to get your name out there. And if you win, it's a new entry on your email sig line, right?

So, without further ado, some nominations for The Morgans and a few of our Friends.

Preditors and Editors (Voting is open through Jan 14):

Print/Electronic Romance Novel published in 2008
All Fore Revenge - Piper Denna
Chinook Wine and Sink Her - MorganO
Frozen - MorganO

Print/Electronic Science Fiction & Fantasy Novel published in 2008
Bright Star - Grayson Reyes-Cole
Frozen - MorganO

Print/Electronic Erotica Novel published in 2008
The Merry Widow - Adriana Kraft
Bid for Love - Savannah Chase
The Arrangement - Cat Grant
Giving Thanks - Maura Anderson
The Werewolf Whisperer - Ericka Scott

Romance Short Story published in 2008
Elfing Around - J. Morgan (Jmo to y'all)
Mayan Secrets - Ciar Cullen

Book/e-book Cover Artwork published in 2008
All Fore Revenge - Renee Rocco/Piper Denna
Frozen - Renee Rocco/MorganO
Halo In Her Pocket - Tuesday Dube/MorganO
Taming the Beast - Renee Rocco

Authors Page
A bazillion names here, including mine. Good luck chosing!

There are several other sections to vote, including editor (we like Emma Wayne Porter of Lyrical), Publisher (Hmm, Lyrical looks good), and Bookstore (Once Upon a Bookstore - Lyrical again). Have fun perusing the lists and making your choices!

Love Romances Cafe and More

If you're a member of their Yahoo Group, you can vote. Chinook Wine and Sink Her is up for best contemporary of 2008. Voting starts at Noon on January 5.

So many many wonderful authors/books to vote for. We hope you take a look and make your mark for your favorites. And if your favorites happen to be us, well then, we'll be pleased as punch, tickled pink, drooling with joy... I think you get the idea. The point being, it's time to excercise your right to vote and let your voice be heard. Support your favorite authors!!

And if you belong to GoodReads, be sure to Friend Me! Just look for Frozen or Chinook and you'll be able to connect.

Morgan O'Reilly

Friday, January 2, 2009

Interview: Adriana Kraft

logo small ADRI Logo Sm

Talk about your split personalities. Today we welcome into our offices Adriana Kraft, two people trapped in the same author. This duo has been dealing sizzling hot stories all over the place, and we are honored to have them with us today. It's like the best twofer in the history of Blogs.

TMD: Adriana welcome to the diaries. Kraft welcome to the diaries. Well, it's not like we know which is which, and it'd be impolite to only say hello to one of them.

AK: Actually, a long time ago (it seems), TwoLips dubbed us “Adri” (him) and “Ana” (her) - that works! Mostly on line it’s just been “Ana” with my hot legs logo created by Cassidy McKay - but in January we’re rolling out a new signature logo for “Adri” and he’ll actually start participating in chats, too - watch for us together at Midnight Seductions on January 4th!

TMD: Before we get into your fantastic books, we just got to ask. How many fist fights have broken out during the course of a story? And who usually takes lead in the writing?

AK: Nope, no fist fights. Don’t believe in violence. Some tough disagreements, sometimes - we just have to wait it out and see what the characters tell us. We plot together, then one of us puts the “don’t look down” draft on the page, and we read each day’s production out loud and process it before moving ahead to the next segment. Then when it’s done we both edit madly. Over and over.

TMD: Has writing together strengthened your relationship as a couple or given you any narsty ideas that we'll never see in print?

AK: Yes, to both! We’ve worked together lots across our professional careers - co-facilitated groups, taught classes, conducted social science research projects together, stuff like that - but co-writing has really made us dig deep and figure out how to handle conflict better. We have to be respectful but clear about what we think doesn’t work and why and it’s brought us lots closer. Narsty ideas? Sure, lots of fun and naughty ones! But will you see them in print??? Hmm, the line between fantasy and reality is always a thin one...

TMD: Every author experiences writer's block. Do you find it easier to deal with since you're two brains sharing the same page?

AK: Absolutely! Every step of our writing process involves both of us, so when the plot gets stuck, we talk it out and generate ideas (or let the characters in both our heads set us straight). Even so, there are times in everyone’s life when writing has to take a back seat. A member of our family went into hospice care this past August and died in November, and we had to ask our publisher to readjust some release dates because we needed a break from writing and meeting deadlines.

TMD: Now that we've got our curiosities satisfied, tell us about your newest release?

AK: Mistress of Purgatory Point is available from Extasy as of yesterday. It features an older heroine who finds the fabulous love she deserves and has a lot of fun along the way. Like nearly all our heroines, she discovers she’s easy playing with either gender, so there are some hot f/f scenes as well as m/f and f/m/f. Not to mention the two ghosts...Here’s the blurb:

Not quite fifty, recently widowed Martha Richards has just purchased the old sturdy house at the tip of Purgatory Point overlooking Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. She and her pastor husband often dreamed of retiring there on their summer canoe trips. Now, she welcomes the solitude and time to hone her jewelry making craft.

Forest Ranger Dan Ford, her reticent neighbor to the south, thinks the aloof newcomer has no clue what it takes to survive North Woods winters. Reluctantly, he volunteers to help her prepare the place for the inevitable blizzards.

Martha is shocked when local shop owner Natalie Bjorg says her jewelry exudes erotic passion. Natalie doesn’t stop there, but explains that as the new Mistress of Purgatory Point, Martha now holds the key to release its two ghosts: Ben and Stella have been trapped between worlds for nearly a century, waiting for an owner of their home to discover a love that matches their own and set them free.

One man, two women and two ghosts keep love’s fires burning through the deep chill of a North Woods winter—but which love will hold the key?

We set this story in one of our longtime favorite summer haunts - the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota; and there’s one character left out of the book’s happy ending, so the sequel Return to Purgatory Point is due out in March. Not gonna say which one, though!

TMD: Who comes up with the basic plots, or do you have long plotting sessions over small tables with coffee and perfectly sculpted petit fours?

AK: No petit fours at our house! Hot coffee and bagels, more likely! And yes, long plotting sessions, at every stage of production. Ideas get started with either of us - something we’ve seen, an image that’s surfaced, a place we’ve travelled. We keep lists of potential plots and characters. Then once we’ve figured out which one to write next we spend long hours developing the background of the characters, identifying what they care about, devising obstacles to throw in their way, doing on-line research (like gypsy history, for our Holiday special Santa’s Boss), stuff like that. It can take weeks of work at this level before a word even goes on the page. Lots of this back-story never appears in front of the reader, but it shapes our characters and drives their reactions. We think it knits the stories together and helps make them real.

TMD: What inspired your first book, the one where you decided you could do this and needed to launch it out into the world?

AK: Oh my! I think we toyed with the idea for a long time before deciding to take the plunge, taking workshops, writing a range of types of stories and getting feedback from writers groups and contests, starting in 2000. Lots of submissions to NY agents and print publishers, lots of nibbles and close calls but no sales. None of those books were erotic romance, but we got consistent feedback that we wrote great sex and handled sexual tension well. That’s about when erotic romance really burst onto the scene in the e-pub world, and that seemed a natural place for us to try to land. We haven’t looked back!

Our very first erotic romance sale was almost three years ago, a love story called Colors of the Night, to one of many now-defunct e-pubs. It debuted to a perfect score from TwoLips, not bad for our first outing! We’re thrilled that Extasy has contracted with us to re-release it now that our rights have reverted to us. It’s scheduled for July, 2009.

TMD: Many writers called their books, their babies. How large a family do you plan to grace us with?

AK: There’s no limit! We love doing this and plan to keep doing it as long as we’re able and the stories flow. We have nine books contracted for 2009, lots still on the back burner to polish and pitch, and we hope to keep writing long into the future.

TMD: Okay, we got to throw you guys for a loop. If you were the stars of a romance novel, who'd be the swashbuckling pirate and who would be the damsel, or damsmale, in distress? And who looks better in the pirate costume? We know you got one handy

AK: That’s a funny question. Me, I love pirates (Orlando Bloom, Johnny Depp) and I promise Adri loves wenches and damsels in distress - but we never write heroines who actually need to be rescued. We like strong women who have resources to save themselves, and men who are strong enough to deserve them. Costumes? Not gonna say, but there’s lots of inspiration in our closet for the fantasy scenes we create in our fiction...

TMD: This doesn’t have anything to do with writing but inquiring minds—Morgan O’s—want to know. Who controls the remote?

AK: Adri. ‘Nuff said.

TMD: if you had the chance to write another genre, what would you like to try your hands at the most?

AK: We’d love to do more historical erotic romance - even in our contemporary books, we do lots of historical research and sometimes send characters back in time-travel mode. We just finished a short story set in Wales about 400 a.d. that’s now contracted at Extasy. Adri’s part Welsh so that’s been some very interesting research!

TMD: As long as we got you firmly entrenched in the romance genre, what new bits of hotness do you have coming up?

AK: So glad you asked! Our quintessential Bi heroine Meghan Keenan is coming out with her five book series at Whiskey Creek Torrid starting in April. The series is called “Meghan’s Playhouse” and will be available in both print and e-book form. Here’s more about that series:

We like to think we’re the ones who create our characters, but sometimes we wonder! When the two of us began writing our erotic romance novella Seducing Cat we envisioned a lighthearted sexy romp, so we invented Meghan Keenan: a young, energetic and playful small town actress with Broadway dreams. Turns out she’s a modern day Aphrodite - sharing love in the most up close and personal way, and bringing other couples together in the process.

Because both of us are academics who somehow never learned how to be stuffy, we love creating characters who are college professors and throwing challenges at them. One of us comes from four generations of academicians, and the other from a longer string of farmers and blue collar workers, so we thought it would fun to make a pair of characters struggle with such differences. On top of that we added an age difference, so thirty-four year old English Professor Caitlin Shanahan has to overcome a double set of prejudices to fall in love with her brawny mid-twenties carpenter, Kurt Davis - actually Meg’s carpenter, when the book opens. Not that he doesn’t have some biases too, especially against stuffy professors!

What we didn’t foresee was that once launched, Meg has a trajectory all her own. The world is her apple, and she’s going to taste every bit of it and maybe spread some pleasure on the way. We’re grateful she’s willing to share her adventures with us so we can get them on the page - we think readers will be grateful, too!

TMD: Thanks for putting up with our silliness today. Didn’t know what you let yourself in for, did you? But before you run screaming out the door, let our readers know where they can find you on the web? I’m sure after this, they’ll be dying to know. If for nothing else to give you the numbers of some great therapists.

AK: LOL! Here’s the scoop:
Yahoo Newsletter Group:
Midnight Seductions Authors:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! Guest Blogger Adriana Kraft

Adriana Kraft is our guest blogger today and they've given us a great excerpt to celebrate the New Year. As for Jmo and myself, we wish you Peace, Love, Health, Happiness, and Prosperity in the coming months. Sort of like a warm blanket and a hot body beside you (or on top of you) on a cold winter night.

2009 01 01 The Morgan Diaries Blog

It’s a quiet and mellow New Year’s Eve at our house this year ~ a little time off from the day job, some wine and cheese and crackers, a fire in the fireplace and a split of champagne awaiting the moment the new Waterford Crystal Ball drops at Times Square. Just the two of us. Our son, on the other hand, lives in New York and will be among the revelers in the square to see it drop ~ hope he keeps warm!

How do you like to spend New Year’s Eve ~ out partying madly with a huge crowd? Home by yourself reading a hot book (we hope it’s ours!)? Cuddled up with your honey reminiscing? Cuddled up with your honey on the dance floor at a party? That’s the New Year’s Eve we gave our latest heroine, Evie Strand, in A Gift for Adam. Here’s a peek at her ~ enjoy!


What happens when the wrong Christmas present gets into the hands of the office rake? Adam Grant is holding high the suggestive thongs Evie Strand meant for her best friend. Aware that Evie’s deeply embarrassed, Adam resolves to make it up to her. Who knew where a simple dinner date would lead?


Nestling against Adam’s broad chest, Evie swayed to the slow beat of the music. Midnight approached. The ballroom floor was crowded with couples getting ready to welcome in the New Year. She hugged Adam tighter. It had been a splendid evening and she knew it was only going to get better.

His knee grazed her thighs and his hands on her butt pulled her closer until she could feel his full hardness. “Have I told you what a beautiful ass you have?” he whispered into her ear.

Evie chuckled softly. “I believe you’ve mentioned that several times tonight. You do have wonderful hands. I must’ve selected the proper dress.”

“Your ass,” he said, squeezing it lightly, “is stunning whether you’re in this sexy black dress or in a pair of jeans. There’s no way you could hide that rear bumper.”

“I’m glad you like it,” she murmured against his throat.

“I’m planning on getting to know it much better very soon.”

Evie grinned, not missing a beat. “I hope so. I’m looking forward to making a proper introduction.”

Adam pivoted to miss an older couple who seemed intent on crossing the dance floor as they waltzed. Evie huddled closer to Adam. Content to hold each other in anticipation, neither one of them moved much at all.

Inhaling his scent, Evie doubted she could remember all the sexual innuendo she’d heard exchanged among the classic car club members. Everything from blowing pipes, to tune-ups, to cherry pickers, to checking her timing, to polishing knobs, to stylish rear bumpers, to jacking her up, to revving her up, to waxing her ass, to grinding drive shafts, to reaming valves, to stripping layers and of course relying on a good pair of nipple pliers. They’d laughed so hard tears had come to her eyes.

She snickered. The older couples were at least as ribald as the younger ones. The entire group seemed intent on enjoying themselves. Many had known each other for decades. And most, while they competed with each other at shows, seemed quite willing to help each other and share experiences.

Apparently Adam was no different. Carolyn Bailey, probably in her sixties, who had sat next to her during dinner, claimed she’d known Adam since he was in his teens working on junk cars trying to make them run. Her husband had taken a liking to him, helped turn his passion for cars into a long term investment, and recommended him for the job at Grafton’s.

Carolyn’s voice turned to pride when she’d explained how Adam had helped them when her husband had broken both legs in an accident. Adam had been by their side providing back up transportation for their kids and attending their games and working in their garage to get an old model T in shape for a spring show.

Carolyn’s strangest observation was more personal. Evie had the woman’s words memorized. They thrilled and chilled. “You must be real special,” Carolyn said. Evie had remained silent, not sure she wanted to hear more. “I’ve never seen him look with such pride at a woman as he looks at you.”

- - - -

Happy New Year!