Archive for October, 2009

Beyond the Night

There are times when I just flat-out love this job.


Well, there are a number of reasons but one of them comes with meeting all the cool authors I’ve gotten to meet. Another perk? *G* Getting to know them well enough to beg for early reads.

Like…oh, say… this one…the first in a new series by author Joss Ware. (hmmmm…although now I wonder if I’m supposed to say anything about the goofy new regulations for bloggers and books and whatever put out by the FTC…should I mention this was an e-arc given to me with no strings attached, etc, etc, etc…sigh)

Coming in early 2010: the first three books in the Awakening Heroes series.

Thrust into a post-apocalyptic world, these remarkable men meet up, spar and partner with the just-as-remarkable women who will win their hearts as they fight an immortal enemy determined to crush all humanity.

Joss was kind enough to let me read it early, and it is excellent. I can’t wait for the next ones.

Beyond the Night
Beyond the Night

Blurb (for series):


From the remnants of devastation, five men emerge with extraordinary new powers.

They are humankind’s last hope…but they cannot survive this dark, ravaged world alone.

Blurb for first book:

A man with no future…
When Dr. Elliott Drake wakes from a mysterious fifty-year sleep, the world as he knew it is gone. Cities are now desolate, and civilization is controlled by deadly immortals. Stranger still is Elliott’s extraordinary new “gift” – he has the power to heal, but it comes with fatal consequences.

A woman with a past
Jade barely escaped the immortals and is now hell-bent on revenge. She trusts no one… until Elliott. His piercing gaze and tempting touch shatter her defenses, but the handsome doctor seems to have dangerous secrets of his own. Is it safe to trust him with her heart?

If they are to survive in this dark new world, Jade and Elliott must work together to fight the forces that takes them beyond danger.

Beyond desire.
Beyond the night.

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I’ve finished my current book, and a few days before my deadline.  I worked until 9 last night because I was on a roll 🙂  The elation is still with me this morning.  I’ve been going from room to room smiling and occasionally saying—Yea!  I finished another book.  I can relax, take a deep breath….


Then it hit me.  I don’t need to write today.  I can do other things–like norrmal people.  I can take my time and really give the house a good scrubbing rather than the usual hit and miss.  I can take a nice long bubble bath.  I can….


What?  Did someone just say something?  I know I heard someone talking to me.  There it is again—just a whisper.  I can barely make out the words.  Oh, no!  Goose bumps pop up on my arm.  I can hear the voice clearly now….


“Karen, aren’t you going to write my story?  You promised you would write my story.  You remember me don’t you?  I’m Karinthia.”


“No, you promised to write my story!” Dagar’s voice rings loud (and sexy).  “It’s not fair that I only get to come out at night!”


There’s a swirl of light followed by the sweet smell of jasmine.  “But what about me?” a tiny voice asks.  “I’ll take you to lands you’ve only imagined.”


My hands begin to shake and now I’m wondering why I drank that third cup of coffee.  I want to go with these characters and be swept away.  I really do.  LOL  I’m afraid writing has become an addiction.  Maybe I can just play around with proposals this afternoon.  That might satisfy the voices in my head  🙂


Oh, oh, oh—-I got author copies of Dating Outside Your DNA and if you make a comment I’ll put your name in a drawing to win a copy.  Must be 18 or older 🙂 and the contest ends tonight (Wednesday the 28th) at 9pm central time.


Have a great day!


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Hot and IrresistibleNext week my second book in my Savannah Sizzles series comes out. This is only a two book series of four orphaned girls an old murder that brought them all togehter. 

Hot and Irresistible is Bebe and BrieAnn’s story and the men they fall in love with. Bebe is a detective in Savannah and a friend is accused of an old murder then new murders. Donovan McCabe, a Yank, is called in to solve the case putting Bebe and Donovan in opposite sides of the case during the day but the same side of the bed at night. Bebe was adopted by a woman who hated her…so why did she adopt Bebe? BrieAnn was adopted by judge and when she falls for Beau who’s father is accused of running an illegal gambling casino, the judge is not happy. What’s Brie to do? The heart wants what the heart wants but she loves her dad.


Prissy is back learning the voodoo ways of her grandmother, well she’s trying to learn the ways. Don’t drink and do voodoo it could be hazardous to your health and those around you. Charlotte is helping her fiancée Griff run Magnolia House and is not a fan of the Donovan McCabe but then even Southern women can be wrong once in a while.


Hot and Irresistible is one of those books of the heart. I love, love, love Savannah. I love the people, the speak, the little bit slower way of life and love. I love the food and going to The Pink House for crab cakes and Savannah Bistro for garlic grits that are to die for. And I love this old city and how it’s been restored. The twenty-one squares with the live oaks and dim lights at night, the cobble stone streets, how the whole city is under a canopy of trees protecting it from the summer sun and I especially love the restored mansions and old houses loaded with history and a few ghosts to make it all so interesting.


Hot and Irresistible is especially a book of the heart as I used my brother as a model for one of the characters. My brother’s name is Ray and he lives in Cleveland so I have a character named Ray Cleveland. He’s sixty-something and a terrific guy and the one accused of the murders that are tearing at the relationship between Bebe and Donovan.


I hope you all enjoy reading Hot and Irresistible as much as I loved writing it. I’ll give away a red  Hot and Irresistible T-shirt from the discussions.



Dianne Castell



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On Author Etiquette

(cross-posting from my personal blog…am out of town on vacation so I’m being lazy…)
I’m on vacation…so while you’re reading this, maybe I’m relaxing. Will read comments when I get back.

Sleep|See More LOLcats

Sleep|See More LOLcats

So I saw a tweet to this blog post:

Author Etiquette: Should They Respond to All Reviews?

I started to respond there, but figured hey… I always need blog fodder. So I’ll do it here.

The post stemmed from Malle Vallik’s post @ RTB.

Malle’s tips were: (as copied from Sarah’s blog)

  1. Respond to people who comment on your blog
  2. Authors should thank all reviewers who review their books, even if review not positive
  3. Comment on several blogs per day
  4. Don’t use commenting as an opportunity to self-promote
  5. Think before publishing comment

These tips can definitely help get your name out. I do get hits on my blog from comments made elsewhere, and I know from experience how screwing up with tips 4 & 5 can cause all sorts of hell.

But each author is going to have to decide what works for them.

So here’s my rundown/variation of the tips.

Respond to people who comment on your blog

  • I respond to the questions. I can’t always respond to all comments and many times, if I did, I’d just be repeating myself which is as annoying for readers sometimes as it is for me to do it.
  • Due to my issues with repetitive stress injuries, I don’t spend as much time on my blog, or other blogs. Decided I had to either do what I can, or stop blogging. Figured the do-what-I-can route was the better one.

Authors should thank all reviewers who review their books, even if review not positive

  • If I’m made aware of a review, I will thank the reviewer. But ALL reviewers? That would require setting up google alerts just to keep on top of them and would become very time consuming.
  • When the reviewer/review site shares the link, I do say thanks, whether the review is good or bad.
  • I can a) get lost in the business of writing b) I can write… c) find the middle ground. I choose C. I think I’ve found the right mix for me.

Comment on several blogs per day

  • As I said above, I can either get lost in the business of writing, I can write, or I can find the middle ground. I think I’ve found it-I do the social thing, but I don’t get lost in it. That is never good for an author. It’s amazing how much time can be spent on blogs, and how much more productive that time can be – writing-wise, if you focus on writing.

Don’t use commenting as an opportunity to self-promote

  • Absolutely agree. It’s damned annoying to be involved in a fun discussion, or even just be reading a fun discussion and out pops author Ziora Zobrite from XYUZ Eroticus Publishing to tell you about her wicked, wild and wonderful M/F/M/M romance centered around a centaur, a shapeshifting unicorn, a lost prince and his intended bride. (And if there is a Ziora, and XYUZ Eroticus publishing with that storyline…my apologies. And now I’m gonna go buy a lotto ticket because damn, I must be psychic).
  • If somebody mentions your stuff, or asks about something and you can discuss it without making it a memememME post, I wouldn’t much care, but that’s not as easy as one might think…as evidenced by how many authors do it the complete and utter WRONG way.

Think before publishing comment

  • Absolutely agree.
  • I’ve got no problem being honest and expressing my thoughts, but the method of delivery makes all the difference.
  • If your delivery comes off like a bull in a china shop? You might want to ask yourself what you’re hoping to accomplish.



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I’m helping to raise funds to
#beatcancer, by blogging, tweeting
and posting Facebook status

Click here to join me!



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Dating Outside Your DNA

Good Morning,

Since I’m on a deadline crunch, and we’re going out of town for a couple of days, I thought everyone might enjoy an excerpt of my Nov 24th release, Dating Outside Your DNA:

Roan’s gaze slowly roamed over Lyraka in a way that made her body go from hot to hotter.  He really, really shouldn’t look at her like that. 

“That’s my job from now on,” Roan said.  “Joe said your…abilities were different.  That you needed more control and discipline.”

“My abilities?”

“Joe told me your skills weren’t the same as other Nerakians.”  His gaze moved over her again.  “I can’t see where you could be a national threat or anything.  Most pure bred Nerakians don’t have much power, if you ask me.”

So Mr. Beacon hadn’t mentioned that instead of lessening her abilities because she was half earthling, her skills were greater than anyone could imagine.  It would be interesting to see his reaction.

She sauntered closer to him.  “I think it goes deeper than you not wanting to be stuck training me.  You really don’t like me very much do you?”

His gaze dropped to her lips and she could almost feel the warmth of his brushing across hers, but then he frowned again.  He did that a lot. 

“I don’t have any feelings for you one way or another, lady.”

She could actually accept him not liking her.  She wasn’t that crazy about him—only his body.  It was time she got a little even, though. 

“He was right you know,” she told him.

“Who was right?”

“Mr. Beacon.  My abilities are different.”

“Whatever.  I’ll check the upstairs.  Don’t come up until I give the all clear.”

“I don’t take orders well.”

“It’s time you learned.”  He walked to the steps, stopping halfway, and looking back at her.  “I’m the boss while you’re here.”  He turned and continued up the stairs.

Roan felt a brush of air and looked over his shoulder, his hand automatically reaching inside his jacket, resting on his gun, but the breeze hadn’t come from an opened door.  He turned back around and saw Lyraka at the top of the stairs.  His gaze jerked back to where she’d been standing, then back to the top of the stairs.

“Like I said,” Lyraka began, “I don’t take orders very well.”  She sauntered toward her room.

How the hell had she made it past him!  No one could move that fast.  No one! 

Crap!  He should’ve made Joe explain more about Lyraka.  Roan had assumed she’d be like all the others.  He ran a hand through his hair.  He had a feeling this assignment had just gotten a whole lot harder.


Have a fabulous day!


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Want an excerpt?  of course, if you just want to buy… *G*

Candy Houses
Candy Houses


So you think you know fairy tales? Guess again.

Grimm’s Circle, Book 1

Greta didn’t get her happy ending her first time around. And now that she’s a Grimm—special kind of guardian angel and official ass-kicker in the paranormal world—romance is hard to find. Besides, there’s only ever been one man who made her heart race, and the fact that he did scared her right out of his arms. Now Rip is back. And just in time too, because Greta needs his help.

On a mission he knows is going to test all of his strengths and skills, the last person Rip expected to see is the one woman who broke his heart. Working together seems to be their only hope. But, when faced with a danger neither of them anticipated, the question is, how will they face the danger to their hearts—assuming they survive, of course.


It came at me, a silent rush of death. At the very last second, I spun out of the way and felt the blast of air as it swiped out at where I’d stood only a heartbeat earlier. The thing’s hands ended in claws that measured close to three inches long.

The skin along the back of my neck prickled as I once more started to circle away from the bocan, weaving around it in nonsensical patterns. It made another rush and this time, instead of moving aside, I went down and sliced upward. Black, bitter blood covered me as I managed to break skin. It shuddered, but I figured out very quickly that while I’d hurt the demon, I hadn’t slowed it down. It slashed out as I scrambled away. Those claws got closer that time.

And then again. This time it caught me. I bit my lip to keep from screaming as the claws managed to get me in the belly, slicing me open. Blood flowed.


A hand came out of nowhere and grabbed me, hauling me aside.

Dazed, I fell against the crumbled rock wall at my back and watched. I was in a state of shock, I think. I didn’t recognize the man at first…well, not consciously. My body probably would have, if I hadn’t been losing huge quantities of blood through the gashes in my belly. I whimpered and shrugged out of the blood-soaked jacket I wore and balled it up, pressing it to my wounded stomach.

The flesh was already knitting back together. I could literally feel it, deep, deep inside. It was a bad injury. If I was still wholly human, I’d be dead already. As it was, I was losing a lot of blood. Even us pseudo-immortals get weak when we lose too much blood.

Sinking to the ground, I watched as the man fought the bocan.

He was a lot more equipped to handle the thing than I was, that was for sure. The bocan tried to gut him with those lethal claws but the man moved away, quick as a wish. I saw one hand disappear inside the long coat he wore—something about that coat, the way it stretched over his shoulders, tickled a memory. I wouldn’t look at his face. Thinking about it now, I know why I wouldn’t look, because I knew in my heart who he was, and I needed to prepare myself a little bit more before I actually looked at him.

Instead, I focused on his hands…and on the very awesome weapon he’d drawn from inside that long, black coat. It was a black cylinder, maybe two, two and a half feet long. Yeah, I know, that doesn’t sound too flashy. It would do some serious damage to a human, probably even a number of manifested demons.

But a nine-foot-tall bocan?

Nope. Right up until he twisted it, I wasn’t impressed. But then he twisted it. I heard the whisper of metal as two edged blades appeared, one out either end of the metal cylinder.

Now it was five feet long, and bladed on both ends.

He used it like an artist. He moved like a dancer of death. The silver flashed through the air. His body barely seemed to touch the ground before he was moving off again. Eerie, deadly and oh so lovely to look at. In a rather morbid way, of course.

Black blood stained the metal as he sliced through the bocan’s scales.

The bocan hissed.

The man just laughed. That laugh. I knew that laugh.


Just before I passed out, I finally let myself look at him. I found myself staring at his familiar profile. An ache settled in my heart and it followed me as I went under.


Rip had problems.

He had all sorts of problems. He had one dead demon on his hands. He had one unconscious, young adult female on his hands. He had one unconscious, not-so-young adult female on his hands—and she was injured.

His body screamed at him as he crouched beside Greta. Along his left arm, he had a series of gashes, three of them, each one of them a good seven inches long and deep. Very deep, because they weren’t healing fast. The bocan had managed to tear into his muscle, and the muscles had to knit together before the skin could. So he was still bleeding.

But not as bad as Greta.

She was pale, even paler than normal. That milky, fair complexion was ghostly and even though he knew she couldn’t die from the injury she’d taken, his heart skipped a few beats and then took up residence in his throat. To reassure himself, he laid a hand on her neck, felt the warmth and the life of her.

It didn’t help much.

He was going to relive the night’s events a thousand times over in the years to come—the nightmare of seeing the bocan come this close to gutting her, and he had been too far away to do a damn thing.

What were you thinking?

She had faced down a bocan with pretty much her bare hands. She’d had a knife. A paltry blade in her right fist as she’d circled around the demon. Bocans were too fucking big, too fucking strong, and that hide of theirs was like armor. Knives just didn’t cut it.

He shot the dead creature a nasty look and wondered where in the hell it had come from. Bocans were uncommon in the world because they didn’t have the abilities a lot of other demons had—they couldn’t manifest, couldn’t possess. They just killed.

A bocan. The paraisei he’d faced earlier. Something weird was going on. Demonkind didn’t ever gather together in one place for long—it attracted too much attention, the sort of attention that ended up them being sent back to the netherplains.

What in the hell was going on?

Greta shifted under his hands. Under her breath, she whimpered quietly and Rip, without even thinking about it, bent over her and pressed his lips to her brow. “Hush, angel. You’re safe now…you’re safe. Sleep…heal.”

His heart broke a little as she burrowed close to him.

buy (looks like it’s live at Samhain’s store front now)

If you have an Amazon kindle, you can preorder now.

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