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Archive for April, 2014

Great post on the origins of fashion during the Regency!

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Great post from WITS!

Writers In The Storm Blog

Janice Hardy RGB 72By Janice Hardy

Theme is an often misunderstood and underused aspect of a novel. Years of English classes have made us think that theme is something reserved for literary novels or stories with deep, meaningful messages, not for commercial fiction and good old fashioned stories.

Total bunk.

Theme is a highly useful part of any novel, be it a light-hearted romp or a nail-biting adventure. It’s an element that gives greater meaning to the story and turns background fluff into substance. Basically, it gives a story street cred.

That’s because theme can tie individual pieces of a story together so they work on multiple levels. Descriptive details resonate with a character’s mood, or a plot point becomes a mirror to a internal struggle. Theme makes everything in the story matter.

Unsure what your theme is? Ask yourself…

What larger concepts do you want to explore with your novel?

Odds are…

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I’m on Lyn Horner’s blog today where I’ll giveaway another copy of Desiring Lady Caro. If you have the book, I’ll substitute Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret. I hope to see you there!!

Monday Excerpts returns next week!! I can’t wait!

CARO

Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret

Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Sunday! Let’s begin with book winners.

Congratulations to: Tarenn98 who won Gina Danna’s book Love and Vengeance!
Raquel M, who won a copy of Desiring Lady Caro for commenting on The Literary Shed!
And Monica Perry who won a copy of Desiring Lady Caro for commenting on RomCom! Monica, please contact me. I don’t have your email address.

Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret

Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret

On my Facebook page, I have an ongoing contest. Be the first to post a buy link for Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret, and win a copy of the book. (Hint: Amazon has sites in the UK, France, and Germany to name a few)

The week has been busy as I got back into work. I will have book #6 finished today, and my editor very helpfully sent me the copy edits for Madeleine’s Christmas Wish, and the galleys for Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret.

The winners so far are:

Linda Thum:  iTunes

Christina Evenson:  Amazon US

Nicole Laverdure:  Amazon Canada

Lisa Schmidt-Ringsby:  Barnes and Noble

Since I was able to walk again, I took these pictures for you.

Sand turtle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sailboar in Bay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hubby took this one of me working.

Ella Working

 

Have a wonderful Sunday and rest of the week!

Ella

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I’m on Harlequin Junkies today with an interview and a two book giveaway!!

Desiring Lady Caro

Desiring Lady Caro

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I’m so pleased to have Gina Danna with me today. She is not only one of my critique partners, but a good friend as well. Gina is here today to show off her new book, Love and Vengeance! A romance set in ancient Rome. She’ll also be giving away a copy to one lucky commenter who says they want the book.

As always we begin with the cover!

Love and Vengeance

Love and Vengeance

 

Next the blurb:

Rome 108 A.D., under the Emperor Trajan, is the center of the civilized world. It is a time of sophistication and decadence, a brutal world to their conquered.
 
Marcus, a Roman citizen sentenced to die as a gladiator, accused by his wife and brother for a crime he did not commit. Yet death eludes him and he rises to become champion of the sands. The title he does not want. He seeks revenge but his victories in the Colosseum bestow monetary rewards he can use to save a beautiful slave, Gustina, from certain death by the beasts. She gives him a taste of love in a world full of lies, betrayal and murder.
 
But his overwhelming desire for vengeance, for blood and the kill, brings a higher price tag – can he satisfy the demon inside him and face the truth? A truth that will kill the woman he loves?
And if that hasn’t convinced you, here is an excerpt.

“I brought you something to ease the pain,” the slave said, but his voice wasn’t in front of Marcus. It still lingered to the side, where he stood before the opened door. The gladiator frowned and looked up.

Before him, Gustina stood, barefoot. No wonder he didn’t hear her enter.

“Gustina,” he whispered, struggling to stand, his gaze drinking her in.

She raced to him, her arms encircling his bare waist, but he winced as her wrist hit his side. Quickly, she stepped back, a worried look on her face. “I’m sorry.”

He gave her a smile as his good hand reached for her. The chain had barely any slack to get her but he did manage to get a hold on her and pulled her to him. Snaking the arm around her, he buried his head in her hair and neck, inhaling her sweet almond and lemon scent. He felt her tremble, pressed against his naked chest.

“I’m so sorry,” she whispered softly, her lips brushing his skin. The scent that was her, simply her, filled his pores down to his bones.

“Don’t be,” he returned, moving his hand up her back. Damn cuff and chain stopped him from totally engulfing her and the other hand was useless now. As he twisted to get her closer, he knocked the injured arm and flinched.

She stilled and then pushed back. With a glance at the injured arm, she shot a look at him. “You need that attended.”

“I will. Dominus will not let it be.”

“Tevia,” she called over her shoulder. Marcus didn’t like the horrified look on her face.

“Gustina….”

“Here,” Tevia said, placing a dish of water and a rag at her feet.

She bent and wet the rag. The first wipe nearly undid him. The wound burned as she slowly, methodically cleaned it, without uttering a word. He stood, mesmerized by her motions. She looked like a nymph, quietly taking care of him. Afraid to even blink for fear she’d be gone, he planted his feet to not move, even if the rock under them stabbed his soles.

The pain subsided as she finished. She wrapped the damp rag around his arm, splitting the ends to tie it. He noticed she hadn’t looked up at him and it puzzled him. Her shoulders straightened and her head raised as she turned, taking a step back.

He frowned. Why wasn’t she next to him? He opened his mouth but she cut him off with a glare.

“You almost were killed because of me. What a foolish thought, that you could save me. We are slaves, you and me. There is no freedom for the likes of us. No denial of demands, regardless how distasteful they are.” She spat the words at him, lashing him like Ludo’s whip. He felt it deeply, the bitterness of her tone turned his blood sour. “You do not own me. Buying me with coin only stopped them from ending my life that day. But I’ve been dying for years. Slavery is just that, dying, more and more, each and every day. The only way the gods will set us free. Dominus can order me to suck the cocks of any man he wants and I cannot, ever, say no. You know this.” The strong woman he first met at the Colosseum, the one who steeled herself against impending doom, had returned.

Unfortunately, she was correct. Slaves were expendable. Workers and playthings. A life with no meaning. Damn, but he knew another life. He had tasted freedom, squandered it, only to have it removed. And yes, placed in the same position as her, Tevia, Farina, Iduma and all the rest. At the command of their masters. As if Romans were really any better than they, any more chosen by the gods to reign supreme. To speak those words could also condemn him but that had never mattered to him, not in the last three years. Nor, really, before then when he was a stupid man, thinking everything was his for the taking.

“Gustina,” he started but her hand raised to silence him.

“They might’ve killed you for what you did. I could not live with that. As it stands, I’m here only because Tevia snuck me past the guards. I pray to the gods we might return to before, so I ask, no, beg of you, to remember our place. As slaves.”

He saw the corner of her mouth quiver and moved toward her. Shaking her head, she stepped back and the chains kept him from reaching her. “You will remember and not risk your life for me?”

How could he do that? Even the demon inside whimpered. He sighed with resignation, inside admitting defeat and he didn’t like it. For her, his head fell in admission. Instantly, her hands took his wrists and she turned the key in the locks, freeing him. As the metal crashed back against the wall, he went to touch her but she twisted out of his grasp and flipped her head, the wild mane of brown locks swung to the side and she marched out of the cell, never turning back.

Buy Links (so far): Amazon Smashwords

Gina Danna

Gina Danna

Author bio:

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Gina Danna has spent the better part of her life reading. History has been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, dreaming of writing one of her own. Years later, after receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, writing academic research papers and writing for museum programs and events, she finally found the time to write her own stories of historical romantic fiction.
 
Now, under the supervision of her three dogs and three cats, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other life long dream – her Arabian horse – with him, her muse can play.

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I’m visiting The Literary Shed today, and I’d really appreciate it if you stopped by! Because they are not hosting a giveaway, I’ll do it here. Make a comment on the Literary Shed site, and I’ll enter you for a copy of your choice of Desiring Lady Caro, or my next book, Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret.

Desiring Lady Caro

Desiring Lady Caro

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