Guest Author: Cd Brennan

Today I am welcoming my friend and wonderful author, Cd Brennan. I met Cd as an editor, rather than author, and she is a wealth of information and always good for a laugh. I am thrilled to help her spread the word on her new release A World Apart.

Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Cd, and congratulations on the release of ‘A World Apart ’ the second book in your ‘Love Where You Roam’ series!  Could you tell us a little about it please?

Originally, the series was inspired by my own backpacking adventures when I was (much) younger. The heroines travel out into the world, looking to find themselves, to figure out who they are and what they want from life. (U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” comes to mind). And along the way, they fall in love when they least expect it.

The stories revel in those “first days” of falling in love, the wonderment and confusion, especially when it comes to individuals from very different cultures. They are sweet romances, humorous and light-hearted. Not too much angst or drama, but plenty of characterization and action and watching what happens when worlds collide. Put two very different individuals into an intense environment, equals the perfect formula for a great story.

aworldapart

You write series with a difference. Could you explain it to the readers?

Yep! Each book can stand alone, you don’t need to read the one before to be a part of it. You can jump right into the middle and work your way around the series in any direction you’d like.  :) The series is connected through concept and characters; a secondary female character in the previous book will get her own chance at love in the next one.

What sort of plotting is involved in this kind of series? How do you tie all the loose ends together?

In Watershed, Irish Maggie travels to the Australian Outback where she falls in love with Gray. A secondary character in this story, the Aussie jillaroo Lizzy, then stars in the next book of the series. She travels to Scotland where she falls in love with Hamish in A World Apart, my most recent release. The third book of the series, Dusting of Light, has Scottish Sophie (secondary in A World Apart) travelling to Alaska and is still a WIP. (Man, I need more time to write!) And the last book has an Alaskan woman travelling to Ireland. So the series comes full circle where Maggie is a secondary in the last story.

Your books are all based in different countries. Have you travelled to all these places?

I have! I totally believe in writing what you know. Because without that intimate experience, I couldn’t portray the environment and setting in an accurate or dramatic way. And the setting is so important to the books, used to propel the conflict forward. If I hadn’t lived in those places, the vivid imagery – the smells, the sounds, the culture – all the description that I believe adds to the voice of the narratives would be lacking.

I lived in Scotland for two years when I got my MPHIL in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling. A World Apart is set in Bridge of Allan where I lived, like Lizzy, in the Queen’s Hotel, working for reduced rates on my rent. There, I fell in love with an Irishman and moved to Dublin. The Irish fella didn’t work out but Ireland did and I ended up living there for 7 great years of my life. Living it up in Dublin, travelling the Emerald Isle and Europe and just plain enjoying myself! There, I met my Australian husband (okay, I sound like a nutcase, but I couldn’t have made this shit up if I tried) and we moved to Australia. We were married and both of my sons were born in Queensland. After five years, we just recently moved back to Michigan where I grew up and are now waist-deep in snow!

As for Alaska? Gutted fish at a fish-processing plant just outside Anchorage one summer when I was at university. All of my travels have touched my heart in some way, and in another way some of my heart still remains there – so I use my writing to keep those memories alive.

Your books in the ‘Rugby, Love and Other Stuff’ series are written from the male point of view. What challenges did you face in doing this?

I actually love writing in all male POV. It’s different and that’s what makes it unique. My Love Where You Roam series has a very lyrical voice, descriptive and often poetic. The Rugby, Love & Other Stuff (I love this series title but depending on who and where it is published, this might change) was straight out LAD voice. I got to cut out what the girls were wearing and just stare at her boobs. I didn’t have to think about things too much, my introspection sometimes didn’t wander too far from “I’m feeling hungry and horny” or “I’m pissed off”. In all seriousness, I found the challenge delicious, so tired of the same ol’ voices in romance. There’s more action and less I-wonder-what-he’s-thinking. There’s more cuss words and less crying. More locker scenes (hot!) and less shopping. LOL Unlike LWYR, this series is quite saucy. Maybe I’ll contract it to Hustler in instalments.

But really, what woman doesn’t want to know what a man is thinking? What compels their actions? That are often so foreign to us ladies. I had to pull teeth to get info out of my husband, who is a total Aussie bloke, so perfect for misinterpretation and confusion. J

Do you have a male beta reader to check for authenticity?

Yes, and he is doubling as my subject matter expert as well. Current president of the Traverse Bay Blues Rugby Club, Anthony Dell’Acqua, ex-player and coach has been so kind to talk to me for hours about the rugby in the US and the clubs over here, which are very different than those in Australia and the other large rugby nations. Both him and his wife will beta read for me – they both know rugby and I get both perspectives. Because really the book is for both men and women.

watershed

What would we find on your shelves or e-reader?

Submissions! LOL. Since I am also an Editor (Acquisitions and Content) for Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing, my Kindle is always full of subs to read. Please don’t critique my grammar now in this post. Ha ha.

But on my bedside table, I have Dan Brown’s latest, The Inferno. Because when I’m not reading romance (mostly subs at the moment), I like the variation of other genres. And also, “Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions” as I have a five-year old with special needs and life is a challenge with him every day.

Can you share with us one thing your readers wouldn’t know about you?

I’m missing the tip of my right ring finger so typing is awkward sometimes. That’s why I had to give up the clarinet when I was in middle school. Couldn’t cover the hole. Lost it in a freak accident with a foldable lawn chair, Mother’s Day picnic, when I was 3-years-old.

Could you give us a sneaky peek at one of your favourite parts of ‘A World Apart’, please?

Hamish squeezed the steering wheel repeatedly as if it was a soother ball. At least he refrained from grinding his teeth. He turned to Lizzy. “And how do you find this funny?”

“I don’t find it funny, ha ha,” Lizzy stressed. “More funny as in fun.”

“This is fun to you?”

“Sure! Why not? It’s an adventure! Out here on the side of a beautiful mountain under the stars. So we sleep in the car. Sounds good to me. There can only be a few hours until light, anyhoo, right? Not to mention, my adventure is with a fine and handsome Scotsman.” She playfully punched Hamish in the arm, an exaggerated smile on her face. “That’s you, Hamish.”

Luckily the darkness hid the blush that rose from his neck. Even now, he found it hard to believe women found him attractive. Too many embarrassing and awkward moments with girls when he was younger made him think otherwise.

He cleared his throat. He could tell her now about his interview tomorrow, but it wouldn’t help the situation. “I’m worried about Rennie.”

Barely the words were out when Lizzy had hopped over the center console of the front seat and launched herself into the backseat. The jacket she wore caught on his travel coffee mug, spilling the contents onto Lizzy as she landed with a hmph.

“No worries,” she said, smearing the cold coffee into her jeans.

Lizzy peered over the seats, then reached over to stroke each dog’s head.

“Both are sound asleep. Charlie is even snoring–” Lizzy broke off suddenly, turning around to face front. She pulled her knees to her chest. Her teeth were chattering.

“Lizzy, get in with the dogs.”

“Wh-wh-what?” She looked at him as if he was a complete tosser.

Her body had begun to convulse to counterbalance her heat loss.

He drew in a deep breath through his nose and tried again. “Please, get in the back.”

“You wa-wa-want me to go sit with the dogs?”

“Aye.”

“You’re a real shit, ya know. I don’t deserve this. Sure, I know I was out with them all day, but it was ba-ba-better than waiting on your girlfriend.”

“Eh? What are you talking about?” Maybe she had already reached delirium. He needed to get her body temperature up as quickly as possible.

“That princess Marie at your house this morning, she said you said I would cook her breakfast. And there I was serving her food like a ser-ser-servant girl. It wasn’t gourmet cuisine or anything, but I still cooked it for her!”

“Marie?”

“You’re telling me you don’t even remember her name? And here you came across as such a refined gentleman on Sunday. I should have listened to the rumors. They are obviously all true.”

Hamish hadn’t the slightest idea what Lizzy was going on about. Unless she meant his colleague’s daughter who had spent the night. He had barely said two words to her before he excused himself to prepare for his interview. His brother Alasdair had taken her to the Crooked Arm for the pub quiz night.

“I was hired to clean your house and cook some tea for you, not to wait on your shags. You never said anything about cooking for the girls you brought home–”

“I’m going to fold down the seats.” Hamish interrupted her before she got herself worked up any further.

“What the bloody hell for?”

“Lizzy, please! You’re having a delayed hypothermic reaction.”

A confused look passed over Lizzy’s face. “From the cold coffee?”

Author Pic 1

Web links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Lyrical Press

 

**This interview was provided by Cd Brennan and first appeared on Romance Writers of Australia.
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New Age by Robin Danner

On the eve of my birthday celebration, I am posting from my first ever smartphone! That is right. My new phone arrived today and I am learning how to enter the world’s android market. I was probably the world’s last hold out, but I finally did it. I got it.

So this post is to celebrate another year and increased multitasking from the queen of multitasking herself. Forgive any typos. This chick is in love with Swype. Coolest invention ever!

And more good news. After many delays, Straightlaced is coming Sept 15th! Happy Friday!

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Bound to be Tamed!

BoundToBeTamed300The second book in my Emergence series releases next week, July 29. Bound to be Tamed continues the story of our two heroes and one heroine from book one, Bound to be Taken. Aiden, Dane, and Stephanie continue on their journey toward a life of dominance and submission. This book, like the first one, is mmf. It’s super steamy! Not for the faint of heart… :)

Blurb:

Stephanie Parkins has decided to take a chance.

After a whirlwind week under the tutelage of two hot Doms who make her feel more than she’s ever experienced, she’s taking up the ultimate exercise in trust: quitting her job to put herself completely in their capable hands. Even when it pushes her way beyond her comfort zone.

Aiden Collins and Dane Whitman have fallen hard and fast.

Their unexpected submissive presents them with a challenge of their own: to train her to embrace her new lifestyle in an atmosphere of security and safety. Even when it means hiding a shocking secret until the right moment presents itself.

Her Doms push, and sometimes Stephanie pushes back, with deliciously wicked consequences. But just as her red-hot learning curve reaches its peak, secrets from her past come to searing light. Threatening to send her running back to familiar territory—alone.

Warning: This book contains intense bondage scenes, hot masturbation, man-on-man action, restraints, explicit use of sex toys, spanking, flogging, public nudity, and a photo shoot that gives a whole new meaning to “exposure”.

Excerpt:

The snick of Dane and Aiden’s apartment door behind Stephanie’s back resonated like a gunshot in her mind. She leaned into the solid wood and stared at her feet. Her heart pounded so hard and so fast her ears rang.

Had she made the right decision coming to this penthouse apartment this morning, giving herself over to two sexy men who proposed training her to be their full-time sub?

After the toughest weekend of her life, she now stood before her two Doms with fear traveling up her spine until her body shook. And man, did the two of them ever look hot. They were dressed in worn jeans and T-shirts, but since she usually only saw them ready for work, they were mouthwatering this morning.

Dane spoke first. “Are you sure? You can still leave.”

She shook her head. She couldn’t leave. In fact, she had no idea why she’d spent the weekend fretting over the decision. There was only one choice.

The nail-biting, pacing and exasperating struggle to quit her job and choose these two men over her previous life had all been a result of preconceived notions that there was something inherently wrong with this choice.

Who in their right mind gives up their free will to another human being, or two?

The answer? Someone who recognizes the amazing freedom total submission brings to her life.

“Please, come sit down,” Aiden said. “You look petrified.”

Stephanie released her grip on the door behind her. She’d flattened her hands against the wood as though she could hold on to the outside world for one more minute with physical contact to the barrier. Or perhaps her molecules could seep through the thick door and back out into the corridor where she’d previously stood for twenty minutes, building up the courage to knock.

Gaze still lowered, Stephanie slid her purse from her shoulder and set it on the small table next to the door. She then stepped farther into the room, shuffled really. Her feet barely registered the commands from her brain.

She knew enough about what this arrangement would entail to be both confident and terrified.

After the weirdest week of her life, she was well-versed in the world of submission. However, no amount of research could possibly prepare her for the day-to-day experience she would encounter.

Stephanie sat on the edge of a leather armchair, perched with her hands on her knees. She wasn’t following any rules yet. Would they give her some leeway for the first few minutes?

Neither man said a word about her stance. She breathed easy, in and out of her mouth, a desperate attempt to slow her pounding heart.

Dane strolled out of the room and returned moments later with a clinking glass. He handed it to her. “Water. You look faint.” He knelt in front of her and met her gaze.

She sipped the cool liquid, the glass shaking in her hand and threatening to spill over the sides. Dane took the precarious water from her and set it on the coffee table.

Aiden crouched next to Dane, his hand resting on Dane’s shoulder. “Tell us what you’ve decided, Steph. We don’t want you to feel pressured.”

She cleared her throat, but her voice still squeaked when she spoke. “I’d like to be your sub, Sir.” She glanced at Aiden. “And yours, Sir.” She turned her gaze toward Dane.

“You’ve read the letter we left and thought about our requests then?” Dane asked.

“Yes, Sir.” She gripped her knees together, something they would certainly not allow in the future. They were extreme sticklers about her thighs being open. But for now, she was safe. No one reprimanded her…yet. She clenched her pussy against the onslaught of arousal pulsing in her lower lips from the declaration of her submission.

Aiden continued, “We didn’t come to this decision lightly. We consulted Lori Polluck, our sponsor, and came up with a plan we feel is the best fit for all of us.” Aiden set his hand on her knee, stilling her bouncing leg.

Dane gripped her other knee. “Just so we’re clear. We’ll use this morning to negotiate a plan for your training. Lori is coming over to meet with the three of us. We want you to get to know her and use her as a resource for any questions you might have.

“Life as a full-time sexual submissive is intense at first. There is so much for you to learn. Aiden and I will be learning at the same time. What we know for sure after spending the week with you is that we adore you and can’t think of anything we’d rather do than include you in our lives as our submissive.” Dane gripped her leg tighter.

There was only one viable choice. Submit.

As she’d spent the last forty-eight hours attempting to list all the reasons she shouldn’t do this, she’d been bombarded with that one word over and over. Submit. Submit. Submit.

The sexual energy she felt when those two syllables were uttered or thought was palpable. She’d never felt more alive than this past week under the care of Aiden and Dane. When they commanded, her body responded physically. A low ball of tight need lodged in her belly. Her pussy pulsed and squeezed with want. Her nipples hardened and abraded against whatever she wore.

Hell, when she even watched the two men interact with each other, her mouth watered. She’d never been so turned on in her life as she had seeing them fuck or suck each other off.

She would forever regret any other choice than the one to give herself to them completely and comply with their requests.

“I’m yours, Sirs.”

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Prymal Lust Trailer

Ok. I am a confirmed Bookchick Reviews fan. Nita, of The Bookchick Reviews, is incredibly talented. Check out this trailer she did for my upcoming release, Prymal Lust!!!!!

Have a Merry Monday!

Jianne

P.S. I think Nita’s my first girl crush!

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Your Friday Laugh by Emilia Mancini

We editors are a peculiar bunch. We get our laughs in ways that a lot of people simply can’t understand… No, really, a lot of people simply can not understand our jokes.

Things like:

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And what about this one?

grammar_geeks_will_totally_get_these_jokes_640_08

 

Hahaha!  Get it?

A friend even made a grammar joke cake for my graduation. Seriously, check it out:

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And people say word nerds have no sense of humor.

But this week, someone took grammar humor to an epic level. I’m not ashamed to admit my funny bone has a new love for “Weird Al” Yankovic.

That’s right my fellow grammar lovers, if you haven’t seen his video for the amazing and wonderful Word Crimes, beautifully set to Blurred Lines, you are missing out.

With lines like, “You’ll learn the definitions of nouns and prepositions” and “You’d better slow down and use the right pronoun” it will make your inner editor laugh, cry, and nod in agreement.

So, take a few minutes to check it out. Kick off your weekend by having a laugh on those who can’t appreciate a good grammar joke.

 

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Stardate: October 6, 2014 — Prime Imperative

MM_TPC3_PrimeImperativeMy editor has just informed me that Book Three in the Prime Chronicles series, Prime Imperative, will be out October 6th.That was the first available date and I snatched at it.  So, it’s official.

The book is with my editor, the fabulous Terri Schaefer, now.  I am still wracking my brain to craft an appropriate blurb (AARGH!) — God help me.

But I’m happy to share a little bit of the beginning with y’all as long as you understand this is unedited and might look a tad bit different when it comes out.

Set up for this scene:  At the end of Prime Selection, we see Iolyn Caradoc and Prime Ambassador Tor Maren coming to tell the other Caradoc brothers (Wulf and Huw) and their mates that Dr. Brianna Martin, the medical researcher whom they were not able to pick up in book two because of events in that storyline, is in danger — and that she is Iolyn’s mate, a Lost One. This scene follows a transition scene that replays the end of Book Two from Iolyn’s point of view  and takes us back to 36 hours earlier to set up  the danger Brianna (Bria) is in and which will lead to the call at the end of Book Two and back to real time.

*****

36 Standard Hours earlier
Galactic Alliance Astrobiological Research Lab
Planet Oz, Tau Ceti system

Dr. Brianna Martin eyed her target and took careful aim. She nailed the male figure right between the eyes.

“Yay! See if you can beat that, my friend.” Bria happy-danced her way toward the life-sized, pseudo-reptilian male anatomy chart and pulled her scalpel from the kill zone in the frontal lobe. “Did I forget to mention I was med school scalpel-throwing champion three years in a row? Looks like you get to buy dinner.”

There was no response from her research assistant Cheri Stafford. Instead she heard a gasp and the sound of Cheri moving quickly away from their impromptu contest venue.

Primordial instincts Bria rarely had to rely upon in the medical world went on alert, sharpening her empathic abilities. Something dangerous headed their way. It smelled like a hot, fierce wind off a desert. She tasted the dustiness of it on her tongue and felt it flaying her skin.

Bria turned and walked toward her friend who stood in the entrance to the lab. “Cheri? What’s wrong?”

“Red alert!” Her friend growled the words as she made a move to cut off whoever approached.

Bria peered around her friend and saw her nemesis, Jotak M’tali.

Jotak, the chief of security for the research facility, strode down the long corridor in his ruler-of-the-planet, owner-of-all-he-surveyed mode.

“Really? Now? Doesn’t that … that…” freaking, scary, creep-a-zoid “…man understand the meaning of the word no?” As in never, no way, no how, ever in the infinite future of possibilities.

Cheri paused outside the doorway and threw a commiserating grimace over her shoulder. “I’ll venture a guess and say not. He hasn’t seen you yet. So hide. I’ll get rid of the slime-sucking bottom-feeder. He won’t get a chance to touch you again.”

“No!” Bria grabbed the arm of her loyal and well-meaning friend, the sister Bria had never had because she’d been adopted into a family with six boys. She pulled Cheri back and whispered, “He can smell me. He knows I’m here. Go … get help. Preferably someone who isn’t susceptible to his Dornian hypnotic abilities.”

“But … but … he hurt you last time.” Cheri’s eyes filled with angry tears. “And no one did anything about it.”

The incident Cheri referred to had occurred about a standard week ago. Jotak, tired of her holding him at arm’s length, had become more aggressive in his pursuit. He’d cornered her in the research facility’s storeroom, forced a kiss on her … then attempted to rape her.

Bria shuddered and swallowed hard against the sickness threatening to erupt. She still bore bruises and claw marks from his rough handling. If a janitor hadn’t happened by, Jotak would’ve succeeded in assaulting her. Her rudimentary self-defense skills hadn’t even made a dent against Jotak’s superior strength and training.

The janitor had backed her story when she’d filed the complaint with local authorities, but then the poor man had gone missing. Using his mesmeric abilities, Jotak had persuaded the local law officers that the alleged attack had been a mere lover’s tiff. Her bruises were ignored.

So … until she had security footage of an attack or eye witnesses who couldn’t be persuaded to say otherwise … or she was severely injured enough for medical treatment, no one would believe the Chief of Security was stalking and threatening her.

“If he smells you, he smells both of us,” Cheri hissed as she reversed Bria’s grip and held onto Bria’s arm. “Come with me. We both can get away.”

“No, he’ll hunt us down.” And he’d hurt Cheri, because he had no use for her. “Dornians love nothing more than to chase prey.” And to kill them. Killing and hiding a body were as easy for a Dornian as putting on clothing in the morning. “It’s me he wants.”

And he wouldn’t kill Bria. He wanted to breed with her.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

Bria gave her friend an urgent shove. “Go out the back. Now.” Her friend hesitated. “Cheri, please go … and hurry! Bring back help.”

Cheri cast one last angry, fear-filled glance at the six-and-a-half-foot pseudo-reptilian stalking toward the lab and then ran out the back exit.

Copyright, Monette Michaels, 2014

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With A Little Help From Friends – Okay, a LOT of help

On my first blog as the newest member of LL&L, I thought this topic was appropriate in many ways.

LL&L wasExplosiveCobination150x200 one of the first places I blogged introducing Explosive Combination which launched my career as a romance writer. I couldn’t have done it without the assistance of the most wonderful, kind-hearted women in the world…published romance writers.

Three years ago, I stepped out of the role of corporate public relations writer and to my amazement I was enveloped into the truly caring arms of romance writers. They unhesitatingly encouraged me and guided me through the quagmire of the publishing world and continue to do so. Some are critique partners, others good friends, all showed me the light in their hearts that shines through their characters.

But my Romance debut didn’t happen overnight and I didn’t get there alone. Nor will I ever succeed by myself.

The last is a reality that came to me at a conference recently. I wandered around chatting with several authors I knew, met some wonderful new ones, had a fan girl moment with a few NYT Bestsellers who took the time to actually talk to me, author to author.

Yes, I was socializing. But more importantly, I was networking.

That face-to-face time is equally as essential as everything else we authors do on the Internet. We can spend hours on Facebook hitting that “Like” button and commenting, retweeting a friend’s newest release and hitting the “Favorite” star, posting pictures of half-naked men on Pintrest, but it’s the personal connections we make face-to-face that bring us the greatest return on invested time.

Since I teach Social Media workshops regularly at conferences, I’ll tell you that an Internet presence is essential. Two of the NYT authors at that conference recognized me (it’s all the blonde hair I’m sure) from commenting on Facebook and retweeting. But the minuscule amount of time it takes to make that physical connection is invaluable.

But it’s not easy. Authors, simply by the way our brains are made, are introverts. We prefer to sit alone behind our computer screens, bleed out our hearts through keyboards and let those voices in our heads channel through our fingers to become stories that we hope someone will someday read and like enough to buy our next book.

We are NOT social beings.

As authors, we have to force ourselves to step out of that comfortable computer bubble and actually speak to another human being. At reader/author conferences, you have an instant connection…books. Yours, the one you are reading, those you’ve read. Making a real life contact can change your life and the future of your book sales.

If it weren’t for a conference three years ago when I met LL&L author Monette Michaels, I would not be a published author nor blogging here today.

So my point is this, making connections in person with other authors is equally as important as anything else we do from behind the computer.

Put yourself out there. You never know where a drink in bar may lead.

My sincere “Thank you!” goes to all romance writers who are willing to help others and to the ladies of LL&L for inviting me to join them.

LINKS

Website: www.KaLynCooper.com

Email: KaLyn@KaLynCooper.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kalyn.cooper.52

Blog: http://kalyncooper.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @KaLynCooperbooks

Pintrest: http://www.pinterest.com/kalyncooper/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20958755-explosive-combination?ac=1

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/kalyncooper

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