Archive for April, 2006

Erin McCarthy, author extraordinaire and very dear person, consented to answering questions from readers on the Vamps, Scamps & Spicy Romance loop. Here are the questions and her answers. Erin will drop in tomorrow (the 30th) to visit and comment on your comments. 🙂

Which of your books would you like to see made into a movie and who would you cast? – Jennifer Y

Since my books are character drive and a bit thin on plot, I have a hard time picturing any of them as movies. 😉 But I think Heiress For Hire would work on ABC Family or something like that, and Houston, We Have a Problem could be done in an ER sort of way. We did have brief interest in A Date With The Other Side from a network, but alas it came to nothing. As for actors for the starring roles? I’d love to hear what you all think!

Which of your heroes is most resembles your husband and why do you feel this way? Also are you like any or your heroines and if so which one are you most like? – Barbara

Well, my husband is very loyal, very hard working, a perfectionist, a wonderful father, loving, has a slightly strange sense of humor, and evokes strong emotions in people, both negative and positive. 🙂 I’d say Damien from The Pregnancy Test is most like Heath, though I didn’t base Damien on him at all. Damien just has more similarities than any other hero. I finally put a picture of Heath and I up on my website on my fun page, though we’re about a speck tall in it. ::g:: Mostly the pic is meant to be the scenery behind us.

What is the strangest thing a reader has ever asked you? The scariest? The funniest? – Laurie

The woman who insisted I had based a hero on her ex-boyfriend, and accused me of sleeping with him. How else would I know *exactly* what he always said in bed? Umm… because men aren’t all that unique? LOL. I can’t remember which hero she was talking about though. The funniest thing a reader said to me was how she found my book in the bargain bin at the used book store. It was fifty cents, the cheapest one in the whole store, but she just decided to take a chance on it even though obviously no one else wanted it, and she loved it. That absolutely cracked me up. I don’t think she realized quite how that sounded.

If you could…which one of your heroines would you trade places with and why? – Cindy

If we’re talking for like a few hours or a day, I would take Amanda’s credit card and go shopping. Or be Reese and have the privilige of saying *exactly* what I’m thinkin, but in real life can’t. ::g:: Or I’d be Mandy, just so people would think my British accent was cool. But if we’re talking a permanent thing, not just for fun, I wouldn’t trade with anyone. I’ve got a great hubby, wonderful kids, and a career I adore. Life is good. 🙂

If you had to make a choice from all the books you’ve published and/or written, which story did you most enjoy writing and why? – Joni

Two books and a novella come to mind. “Hard Drive” from Bad Boys Online was written in a sort of glorious frenzy right before I was published, when I felt so close I could taste it, and I just closed my eyes and wrote that story completely on faith, exactly the way I wanted to. The first book is Heiress For Hire, because I love those characters, and the story came so easily to me, it was just all there, writing magic, and I enjoyed weaving both humor and a deeper emotion together.

The other book is one that I just finished writing and sold to Berkley. It’s called The Seduction of Sin (unless they change the title) and will hopefully be out in mid to late 2007. This is the most complex book I’ve ever written and is something I started about four years ago and abandoned when I sold my first book. It’s a darker paranormal with an immortal hero and it bounces back and forth between the past and the present. It was a personal triumph for me to come back to something I still loved and make time to write it, with no guarantee of a sale. This one’s not comedy, but I do hope readers will find it an intriguing and sensual story.

Where would you go for the “perfect” vacation? – Jodi

Jodi, this is such as easy question… anywhere it’s warm and sunny! But preferably the Carribean, where there is no glass in the windows, no air conditioning, no doors in the hallways, just warm tropical breezes blowing over me, a big fat sun overhead, a beach chair, and some fruity drink in my hand. Totally paradise! Second to sitting on my behind in the sun would be any large city. I love New York, Chicago, New Orleans. I like the pulse and crowds of the city and exploring all the nooks and crannies.

What was the strangest thing you did in the name of research for a book? – Judy F

This wasn’t strange as much as humorous… I did have to have a home party for research purposes when Ashley became a Pleasure Party consultant. 🙂 And for those of you who know my friend Eddie, the two of us together while romance enhancing products are being discussed is not a quiet thing. We tend to egg each other on. We once got separated at an RWA chapter meeting when the prison expert guest kept saying things that sounded suggestive to Eddie and I. ::g:: For Heiress for Hire, I went to two different farms and it just wasn’t pretty. I am such a city girl, and for those of you who’ve met me, you might have noticed I don’t wear flat shoes. Ever. So I thought wedge sandals would work for the farm. I was wrong. Enough said. ::g::

As a writer do you have any other artistic talents…painting…playing musical instruments, etc.? – Emma

Can you hear me laughing? I have no artistic talent. None whatsoever. I did dance when I was younger, does that count for anything? I did ballet and then was on the dance team in high school (it was like being a Laker girl, but with more clothes).

Your last book that you wrote “An Heiress to Hire” was so funny, I was wondering were do you get your ideas from? – Danielle

My ideas tend to come from characters. I had written both Danny and Amanda into A Date With The Other Side with no intention of giving them their own story, but they both just leaped off the page for me. So once I have a character and want to do something with them, I play the What If? game. What If Amanda had to stay in town? What If Danny had a daughter he didn’t know about? And the idea grows from there.

What is one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you? – Jenny

That I’m not funny at all in person. 😀 Thanks for such great questions!! I had a lot of fun answering them.

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My husband and I were invited by some friends to go to a six week wine tasting class at a local college. I resisted at first thinking that it would be formal and stuffy but the thought of learning something new and interesting sold me in the end. To my delight the professor (who actually teaches math) comes in jeans and is a regular kind of guy even though he knows wine inside out. The class is something that I look forward to each week and I will be sad to have it come to an end. I’ve enjoyed it so much so that I’m seeking similar things to do. A local store called the Party Source teaches cooking classes and I’m thinking of signing up.

So my question to you is: what have you done lately to expand your horizons? Perhaps a cooking class… dancing, karate, horseback riding, sewing…. whatever? Do you have suggestions? I had forgotten how much fun it is to learn something new! Share your thoughts!

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Which one is the most painful… having a root canal or shopping for a new bathing suit??? Okay, maybe it’s not a fate worse than death, but most women I know HATE the ritual of trying on potential swimsuits, especially in front of those awful flourescent dressing room lights! The Today Show has done two segments in two weeks about choosing the correct suit for your body type, so clearly, I am not the only one bemoaning this esteem-shriveling activity! I haven’t had a new bathing suit in about six years. The one buried in my bottom drawer is still good, but I decided to bite the bullet this year. I am going to be in Florida twice in May, once for a wedding and once for the Romantic Times convention. So… I’ve ordered a new suit from L. L. Bean. It’s one of those where you can mix and match the style of top and bottom you want. It hasn’t come yet, but I’ll let you know what I think when it arrives. And to make the whole situation worse… I have pale, untanned skin. Eek. Whoever said that tanned fat looks better than pasty white fat was right. Unfortunately, even before all the educational stuff about the dangers of skin cancer, I was never able to tan. After some bad burns as a preteen, I pretty much gave up on the whole beach bunny thing. But I am here to announce some amazing news… I have discovered a wonder product. Really… all kidding aside. I have tried several self-tanners over the years from the cheap stuff to the more expensive products like Clinique. Some work better than others, but you always have to worry about streaking and blotching. And sometimes you come out looking more like the great pumpkin than a sleek, golden brown goddess. But all that has changed (well – at least the color part… the shape thing is another story!). 🙂 I heard about a product that many women are snapping up like the latest Scamps and Vamps novel… it’s called “Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer”. It comes in three shades (I use the “fair”, of course), and I’m not kidding when I say that some stores are having trouble keeping it in stock. You simply put it on after your shower or bath just like you would any other lotion. There is no streaking or blotching, and gradually, you get a great tan. The tube said that after seven nights you would see the results, but even after two, I could tell a difference. My two “twenty-something” daughters were amazed and envious of the natural-looking tan on my legs. They both went out and bought some ASAP. I swear I don’t own stock in Jergens, but something this good has to be shared!! Stayed tuned for the next segment of “A Fate Worse Than Death” when you will see a photograph of me in my new L. L. Bean swimsuit….NOT! If you are involved in the Amazing Swimsuit Shopping Race this year – good luck and happy hunting!!

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Good Lines….

Inspired by a rerun of Law & Order. Admittedly…I’m addicted to this series. I like SVU best, but the original and Criminal Intent are good, as well.

So last night, I was watching one I hadn’t seen before. I think it was Criminal Intent but can’t remember. There was one line that just made me grin. An excellent insult.

No good, ungrateful, biscuit eatin’ sonovbitch. I don’t know why, maybe it’s the biscuit eatin part, but I just like that line.

I think the writer in me appreciates words, whether it’s a weird name ~or strikes me as weird~ or a funny one liner. Or two liners.

A few years ago, the DH and I were going through Ohio on our way to Akron and I saw the name of a town. Wooster. I don’t know why, but it struck me as hilarious. Kept thinking of Elmer Fudd and the Wascally Wabbit. And whoever the big rooster, Foghorn, maybe? I kept seeing Elmer chasing after the rooster, shouting at the Wascally Wooster instead of Wabbit. Then there was the name of a seafood dish at the restuarant the DH and I ate at for our anniversary. The fish used was named Wahu. Sounds like WAHOOO…. and I kept cracking up every time I thought of it. The DH thinks I’m beyond strange, by the way.

But I just loves words.

Memorable quotes from movies and books, they make me jealous, cuz I wish I had thought of them. There’s a ton of them in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

One of my faves~

Gimli: I never thought I’d die fighting side by side with an elf.
Legolas: How about side by side with a friend?
Gimli: Aye. I could do that.

Or when Nightcrawler is talking to Storm in X Men 2.
Storm: Sometimes anger can help you survive.
Nightcrawler: So can faith.

From books…

I love the JD Robb books. They are full of good one liners. One of my fave books in that series was Vengeance in Death. Roarke seemed a little less than perfect in that one. As much as I adore his character, I think I had a chance of hooking up with a real life Roarke…I’d pass. There can be TOO much perfection. Oh, yeah, the lines…

From Vengeance, when Eve is talking to one of the cops while she was in Ireland
Eve: We hardly ever kick widows around the morgue anymore. It’s bad for public relations.

From Endurance, one of the Stardoc books, by SL Viehl aka Lynn Viehl and several others. My fave series. I adore Cherijo. She’s my all time fave heroine,
Cherijo: Keep talking. I always yawn like this when I’m riveted.

There’s been a couple of lines from my own books that I’m pretty happy with. But I think the one that stands out the most is from The Dragon’s Warrior. It will be released in print with the two other books in the series sometime this summer, I hope. Title is Fated.

Eilrah is by far my favorite character out of the books I’ve written. I just love dragons.

The lines from Eilrah I love the most? *yes, i edited this a little…*

“Mortals. Hopeless, the whole XXXXing lot of them….Damnation, it is contagious! Now I’m talking like him.”

You probably noticed that I have an appreciation for sarcasm… *G*

So what are some of your favorite lines?

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As an author, I enjoy having contests as my way of giving something back to readers, but I also like having them because they’re fun. I swear I could’ve been a professional shopper! I love hunting for bargains and getting stuff on sale. And too, I feel like I’m getting to connect with readers.

I’m curious. What do readers think of contests? What would you rather get if you won a contest: a book or books, gift cards, bling-bling or something else?

Do you enter contests?

Tell me about your favorite contest win or if you’ve never won a contest in your life.

Karen Kelley
09/06 Texas Bad Boys/Brava

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Everyone please welcome Scamps and Vamps guest blogger and bestselling author, Sylvia Day! She’s answered some of the questions you asked last week. Please feel free to ask more, though!

1) Who is your favorite bad boy (does not have to be one you have written)?

The Rock. Yum. *licks lips*

2) If you could turn any of your books into a film which one would it be and why and who would you like to play the lead roles and why………

I would turn SAPPHIRE’S WORTH into a film. It’s a futuristic with heavy historical elements, so visually, it would translate beautifully onscreen. It also has a lot of action, and those are my favorite movies–action/adventures with lots of special effects. The Rock would play my hero. I’m not sure about my heroine. She’s brunette and extremely kick-ass, but very voluptuous. Angelina and Charlize are too tall. Jennifer Garner isn’t buxom enough. Salma Hayek would be closest to perfect, but her accent isn’t right for the setting.

It’s extremely rare that I base my characters on actual personalities. Some authors use photographs or clippings, but I don’t, so it’s hard for me to cast the roles. 🙂

3) Which is your favorite genre?

As a writer, I love futuristics, but think I write historicals best. As a reader, 90% of the books I read are historicals.

Who is your favorite hero?

That I’ve written–it’s a tie between Wulfric in SAPPHIRE’S WORTH and Gerard in THE STRANGER I MARRIED.

That I’ve read–I’ve got a ton. Christopher Antoli (from Shelby Reed’s THE FIFTH FAVOR), Ruark Beauchamp (from KEW’s SHANNA), Jack Devlin (from LK’s SUDDENLY YOU), Rhett Butler (from Margaret Mitchell’s GONE WITH THE WIND) and Remington Carr (from Betina Krahn’s THE LAST BACHELOR) That’s only a few of the many. *g*

In real life–my mom, for being a single parent to two wild daughters with no support at all from anyone.

With which heroine would you like to swap the place? Oh man… Any of the heroines from the stories I listed above.

If you could travel back in time, which historical person would you like to meet and why? Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. What a character she was! A trendsetter and renowned great beauty, she gambled and partied like mad, had a famous ménage relationship with her husband and another woman, was an intimate of Marie-Antoinette’s, had a child not her husband’s, and countless other goings-on. Never a dull moment.

4) How do you manage to juggle a family and writing for different publishers?

I’m blessed with children who have a variety of interests and don’t require me to entertain them. In fact, they often tell me to leave them alone because they’re busy. *g* I’m also blessed with editors who work with my agents to schedule my releases and due dates to maximize my time and distribution. I still end up at my computer about 16 hours a day, with no days off.

What is your typical writing day like?

I get up, turn on the computer, and while it’s downloading mail, I start a fresh pot of coffee. I read email while waking up, then I start work. I work until bed usually, which is around 1-2 am. It’s not all writing though. There’s Passionate Ink business that needs attending, and a host of writing-related items that need to be managed everyday.

Tell us about you next book and when it will be out. – Karen

My next book is DREAMS OF THE OASIS II with Ellora’s Cave. My futuristic short story “Treasure Hunters” is in there, along with six others from various fabulous authors. That releases June 21st. Then in August, I have DECLASSIFIED: DARK KISSES (the print anthology of my Ellora’s Cave vampire series) and my next Brava ASK FOR IT. It’s the story of a popular rake who falls in love and is jilted by his fiancé. Four years later they meet again when secrets from her late husband’s past come back to haunt her. It’s the first book I ever wrote, so I have a soft spot for it.

ASK FOR IT – Brava
England, 1770. Beneath the silk and lace of London society lies a secret, elite organization of spies. Protecting the Crown from its enemies is hazardous, but for Marcus Ashford, protecting his heart from an unyielding passion is the far greater peril…


As an agent to the Crown, Marcus Ashford, the Earl of Westfield, has fought numerous sword fights, been shot twice, and dodged more than any man’s fair share of cannon fire. And yet nothing excites him more than the primitive hunger his former fiancé, Elizabeth, arouses. Years ago, she’d jilted him for the boyishly charming Lord Hawthorne. But now, the elegant widow is his to defend, and he will do so while tending to her other, more carnal needs, showing her the depth of a real man’s desire…


Dangerous secrets led to the murder of Lady Hawthorne’s husband, secrets she now holds in a diary many would kill to obtain. But to entrust herself to the protection of the most seductive man she’s ever known? Outrageous. Unthinkable. Irresistible. For it was Marcus’s strong passions and burning desire that frightened her into abandoning him years ago—and her answering craving has never waned. Now he means to be at her service, in every sense. And perhaps the only sensible course isn’t to resist temptation, but to surrender to it completely…

Excerpts and covers are on my site, if you want to check them out. 🙂

5) How did you feel the first time you walked into a bookstore and saw your book on the shelf with your name on it?

Relief. Borders and Barnes & Noble both had issues with getting BAD BOYS AHOY! out of the box and on the shelf. So the first time I actually saw the book on the shelves was when a reader emailed a photo she took when she went to buy a copy. When I finally saw it on shelves in my town, it was mostly relief I felt. *g*

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Baring it all!

Ha! Did I grab you with that title? 🙂 Writers spend a lot of time “dressing” their characters, not only out on the street, but in the bedroom. Today’s blog asks the question – What do men really want in the boudoir?… (speaking only about wardrobe, ladies!). Think back to all the guys you have known both in real life and in the movies… did they have a preference? I think the possibilities can be boiled down to 4 basic styles…. a) romantic/feminine lingerie, b) sexy/bold/in your face duds, i.e. leather bustier, etc. c) comfy, natural, i.e. football jerseys, t-shirts, etc., 4) bare skin – thank you, ma’am!). In my own books I try to dress my heroines in accordance with their character, but if guys were the only ones reading our books, what do you think they would choose? I’ll reveal my take on this later in the day. 🙂 And if you want to weigh in on a second topic – what percentage of men are comfortable shopping in Victoria’s Secret – either with or without their sweeties? Can’t wait to hear what you have to say!!! Janice

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Okay…maybe I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t like Disneyland, but I’m glad we’ve done our obligatory trip for the kids and I’m never going back. It wasn’t awful, it was just boring and annoying. The Disney magic was there and I liked it, but I don’t like standing in line for every little thing from the bathroom to gettting a table to eat and the stores were all stocked with the same stuff and there were lots and lots of people everywhere. The kids did enjoy it and that’s what matters. At least the girls did. My son’s not into rides, so he was happy to go to hobby shops with his dad one day when my b-i-l took my oldest daughter with him and I stayed at the hotel with my daughter who was sick.

Sea World is another thing entirely. I love it and frankly, I could spend a week in San Diego and still want more time for museums, etc. when I leave. My eldest sister and her family love Disneyland and so do my daughters. That’s cool. We’re just different.

I’m a museum and art gallery nut and my dh and I and our kids (when they were little) loved D.C. so much we went twice even though it’s a cross country flight. We also love foreign travel…usually. And the kids have seen parts of the world I only dreamed of when I was young. How about you, are you a Disneyland lover? Have you had a vacation that everyone else says is the “cat’s meow” but does very little for you? Have you ever loved something everyone else thinks is boring?


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Almost every romance reader is familiar with the TSTL heroine.

The one who is going to go outside at night to investigate the weird sound, wearing nothing by a scanty nightshirt, carrying no weapon, no phone, nothing… nada. Along comes the hero who seems to be loved by all. And every body wants to know why he ended up with that twit who can’t take care of herself.

A lot of the times, though, the heroine that some people describe as too stupid to love aka TSTL doesn’t really striked me as stupid. She’s a softer heroine. Not the strong, bold, brave female that seems to dominate the market these days. I definitely write more of the kick ass female than the softer one, but I do love reading about the softer heroines. The ones who don’t mind if a guy opens the door, the ones who aren’t humiliated if somebody realizes they are scared.

The kind of heroine that annoys me is the kind who thinks she’s so brave, so independent and hell no there’s nothing that a man can do that I can’t. The one who never asks for help, even if it means she’s going to get her throat ripped open by the menacing stalker. The kind who is so intent on being the alpha female that she ends up getting hurt. Or causing somebody else to be hurt.

I’d rather see my favorite heroes end up with a woman who has no problems admitting she can’t do it completely alone, than to see him teemed up with a heroine who is so shortsighted and so closed off, she’ll bring the house down around her just to spite him.

There are times in life when we all need help, and to write a heroine in the book who just can’t ask for help…no matter how bad she needs it, well, not only is it annoying, it’s unbelievable as well.

Things I like to see in when I’m reading a book with a kick butt heroine:

* a good right hook
* witty remarks
* independence
* AND MOST IMPORTANT…the ability to know when she needs to stop being so independent and let somebody help.

An awesome wardrobe doesn’t hurt either… *G*

I’m pretty independent, always have been. But you know what? I love it when the DH opens a door for me. I love it when he hauls out the trash so I don’t have to, or when I’m trying to move something heavy around and tells me he’ll take care of it. Yes, I can do it. But he can do it easier. So why not let him?

What is something you don’t like to see in a heroine?

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Have you ever been to a fortune teller? Had Tarot cards read for you? Ever had a psychic experience? Had a visit from someone who has crossed over? Ever had the hairs on the back of your neck tickle?

I love the paranormal. I, by no means, claim to be psychic but I have had premonitions where something has actually happened. I started listening to the tingles. Some times I know when something good is about to happen. If it’s just a ripple, then something nice happens. If it’s really strong, then something really good happens within a couple of days. You have to stay alert for these little ripples or whatever out of the ordinary feeling you might have. I had a few ripples yesterday so we’ll see.

One time my cover flats came in. That time they were really light tingles. Once when I had these strange and really strong ripples for about three days my editor called to offer me a contract. Nearly every time it pertains to my writing. Once I was walking through the kitchen and I stumbled. I knew my rejected manuscript was in the mailbox. This was before I published. Sure enough, it was there and rejected.

I’ve also had people who have crossed over visit me. Just a few times, but it’s nice to know they’re around.

So if you or someone you know has had something paranormal happen, tell me. I love hearing about other people’s experiences.
Karen Kelley
09/06 Texas Bad Boys/Brava

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