Archive for the ‘Guest Blogs’ Category

EDITED TO ADD… A winner’s name has been chosen…contest is now closed!

Hey folks…we’ve got a guest with us today! Author Linda Wisdom, and she’s going to be giving away a prize…we’ll draw a winning name and get it posted here early next week. Now I’m going to let Linda have the floor…Shiloh


First off, thank you so much Vamps and Scamps for having me here to talk about Hex Appeal!

Take one snarky witch, add a cup of sexy vampire, a tablespoon of disgruntled ghost and add a dash of troublesome bunny slippers and you have a recipe for magick disaster. Or maybe not. After all, we are talking Jazz Tremaine, curse eliminator, 700 year young witch and attitude with a capital A.

Jazz is used to multi-tasking. She has a successful curse eliminating business – especially since LA is filled with a variety of curses — and working as a driver for Dweezil, a creature who can make Scrooge look like a philanthropist.

But her world is shaken up – again. It was bad enough when a past evil intruded into her life again and she had to work hard on getting rid of all it meant. No, this time, it’s struck even closer to home. Namely, Jazz isn’t getting any quality sleep and a sleep-deprived witch is a cranky witch.

It’s not so much that Jazz is missing sleep, she’s have terrorizing nightmares to boot. But then, who wouldn’t be freaked out if the nightmare involved your vampire lover tearing your throat out? Add to that Fluff and Puff accused of eating a Wereweasel carnie and now incarcerated in bunny slipper jail, Irma wanting Jazz to find a way to give her an updated look and Dweezil demanding his share of her time.

The only good thing is Jazz’s latest order of bath products and a pair of sexy crocodile stilettos named Croc and Delilah from fellow witch Thea. It’s just a shame they like to get into her make up.

Jazz is in a stew of magick problems that could easily overflow her cauldron. Especially when a dash of a sexy female vampire who was Nick’s ex is tossed in for some bitter flavoring and Jazz ends up with the worst 48 hours of her life that no witch should endure.

The problem is figuring out what ingredients will work for this witchy stew and which ones are outdated and need to be tossed out.

Who’s behind her nightmares? Who wants to unsettle Nick so badly with nightmares of his own that he might abandon her? Who’s setting up booby traps if she tries to track down the source and did Fluff and Puff really eat a Wereweasel even if there’s no way the bunny slippers would eat something that disgusting?

It’s all answered in Hex Appeal, which is out now and book two of my Hex series.

I hope you’ll pick the book up and enjoy Jazz’s new adventures.

I’ll also be giving a book away to a lucky commenter!

There’s also a fan fiction contest going on!

Give us your best HEX!

A Fan Fiction Contest with Linda Wisdom

Ever wondered why Jazz and Nick argue so much? Have you imagined a hilarious scenario with Irma? And I’m sure you’ve thought up a ton of escapades with Fluff and Puff! Why not write your very own Hex Fan Fiction piece?

Linda Wisdom and Sourcebooks Casablanca are pleased to present an exciting contest—Tell us your own short story starring the characters from 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover and October 1 release, Hex Appeal!

Rules (follow them or we might kick you out of the Witches Academy!)

  1. Choose any character you like and give them an original story!
  2. 1500 words maximum, sent in a Word Document or in the body of the email
    Erotica is ok, but nothing too scary (no bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia; no slander of public people; no black magic; no Wiccan or black magic spells, cursing in the regular sense is okay—we just want to have as much fun as possible!)
  1. Send your story to Linda’s publicist, Danielle Jackson at danielle.jackson@sourcebooks.com, no later than 5:00pm CST on October 25, 2008.
  2. The Winner, chosen by Linda, will be announced on her Myspace page the morning of Halloween!

So what do you get if you win? 2 runners up with received autographed copies of the first two books in the series, 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover and Hex Appeal.

The Grand prize winner will also receive the autographed copies, AND their name will be used as a character in the fourth book in Linda’s Hexy series, out in October 2009!

We look forward to your stories! Good Luck!


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On Friday, 10/3/08, Linda Wisdom is going to be guestblogging for us here at Vamps and Scamps.  And I do believe giveaways were mentioned in her email.

Here’s some info about Linda’s upcoming book, Hex Appeal, and you can check out her myspace page or her blog.


Hex Appeal

By Linda Wisdom


November 2008

ISBN: 978-1402214004

Lullaby and good night…NOT!

It should be a good time for witchy Jazz. Her curse elimination work is going well, Nick’s back in her life, and Irma’s happy now that she has the pet she’s wanted for the last fifty-odd years. Even if the dog’s been dead for some time, is as big as a house, and leaves ecto-plasmic drool and poop everywhere.

But then her life takes a swift turn. Jazz starts having the kind of nightmares that even bad Thai food couldn’t produce. Dreams that she is stalked by a Jack the Ripper type. That she and Nick didn’t survive that last battle with Clive Reeves. That her magick is gone and she’s mortal with a soccer mom lifestyle. A life without Nick.

To boot she’s cleaning up Dweezil’s messes, Nick is acting strange, Fluff and Puff are accused of eating one of the carnies at the boardwalk and tossed into bunny jail, an evil spawn of a vampire, who also happens to be one of Nick’s exes, has come to town and Jazz is soo not happy! The only good thing are the pair of magickal crocodile stilettos aptly named Croc and Delilah who make her legs look a mile long.

In the end, Jazz wants a good night’s sleep. Even if it kills her. The trouble is, it just might.

To find out more about Hex Appeal and Jazz’s first book, 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover check out http://www.myspace.com/lindawisdombooks and be on the lookout for a fan fiction contest for Hex Appeal going into Target.

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Hey guys…Kay’s back with us today…


Discovering our traveling spirits

My husband and I are homebodies. We like sitting at home, watching TV and generally hanging out here. Since we’ve been married (17 years!), we’ve gone to the beach a few times but we’ve never taken any major trips or traveled out of the country. Being poor students when we got married, we barely had rent money, much less extra for a honeymoon. Then we had a family, a house. Year after year we promised ourselves that one of these days we were going to take a honeymoon, was going to travel.

This year we got to do just that. After a canceled trip for a family member’s wedding, we found ourselves with nonrefundable airfare and no destination in mind. Put on the spot by the airlines, my husband needed to choose a destination and he blurted out Hawaii because of the similar cost value.

Ten hours on a plane? I get antsy after two in a car.

But Hawaii it was. Alone. No kids, no family. Just us.

A honeymoon!

We left for Hawaii at the end of May and spent eight glorious days there. And we discovered something about ourselves. While it’s always wonderful to come home, we both possess a traveling spirit. We liked being able to go and see and do.

We saw Pearl Harbor and walked the memorial above the Arizona.


We toured Kauai and saw the majestic mountains and valleys. Isn’t it gorgeous?

I didn’t know pineapples grew on plants and not in trees. Even better, I’ve never been a pineapple eater—until I ate it fresh-cut. It’s fabulous!


We ate in nice restaurants, window-shopped on Luxury Row. And watched the waves roll in from our balcony. It was, truly, a dream vacation come true. (More pics are posted on my website if you’re interested.)

Which makes me wonder what other destinations we’ve missed in our homebody-ness. Did you have a honeymoon? Where? Do you take vacations? Where do you go? I’d love to gather a file folder full of recommendations for years to come. With gas prices what they are we won’t be taking another trip like that for quite a while, but a girl can dream and I’d love to hear your recommendations. Shiloh will choose a winner from those who respond to this blog as well as those who commented on the interview posted earlier in the week. The winner will receive an autographed copy of their choice of MONTANA SKIES, HIS PERFECT WOMAN, A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER, or ANOTHER MAN’S BABY, and a pair of my one-of-a-kind beaded earrings (created by moi).

Do you have a traveling spirit? Where have you traveled? Where would you like to travel?

Kay Stockham hit #7 on Waldenbooks’ bestseller list and is a former RITA Finalist. When she isn’t writing, she avoids housework by reading and spending quality time with her family. Her current release, HIS SON’S TEACHER, was RT’s Top Pick and scored 4.5 Stars. For excerpts, contest news and more visit www.kaystockham.com.

Update-added 7/14- Contest is now over! Thank you!

Update again… 8/15 Winner was notified by email back in July. Thank you!

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And the winner is…

The winner of Anne Rainey’s contest is…


Joni’s comment started:

Yes, I had several crushes throughout gradeschool, none in highschool because once I found out they were either taken or too arrogant for me, my crush never fully bloomed and a couple co-workers over the years I worked as a secretary…haha. But the one I had a crush on for what seemed like forever started in the second grade when I attended parochial school and continued on until I moved away to another state after I married my hubby.

Joni, if you’ll email me @ shilohwalker at gmail.com  – I’ll get you hooked up with Anne.

Anne, thanks for guest-blogging and thanks to all the commenters!

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While some of us are away playing at RT, Anne’s graciously agreed to do a guest blog for us and guys, she came bearing a prize for one of you. To win, all you need to do is post a comment down below~I’ll draw a winner and post it here. Just a reminder, you do need to check back to see if you’ve won!


Secret Crushes

Thanks so much for allowing me to hijack your blog for the day. It’s quite an honor!

I’m giving away a free copy of FORBIDDEN FRUIT at the end of the day, and will choose a winner from those who post a comment.

The interesting thing about writing romance is you can sort of change your own ending through your characters. It’s so much fun to take a situation in my own life, twist it around, dramatize it a bit and make it into the story I never had, but secretly wanted.

As a teenager, I always had my head in the clouds. I was a daydreamer. I grew up with three brothers and zero sisters. Plus, I’m the youngest. It’s a little like being an only child, with the exception of getting nuggies and teased on a regular basis. LOL I tended to go off on my own a lot and either dream about my future husband, or just imagine what it’d be like to actually meet Matt Dillon from The Outsiders.

Still, I wasn’t so much a daydreamer that I didn’t notice Rick B. He was so cute and oh so oblivious to my existence. The only time I ever spent with Rick was in my own imagination. And I did a lot of imagining let me tell you! Then one day I talked a friend into asking Rick if he’d go out with me. He said no. My heart was crushed! I had carved his name in the bench outside school. I’d scribbled his name all over my notebooks. I went to bed thinking of him and woke thinking of him. He was always in my head. Alas, it wasn’t to be. I graduated high school, found my real true love and moved on to better things.

From time to time, I do wonder what Rick might be up to. Did he age well? Did he get married and have kids? Did he go on to be a billionaire rock star or did he maybe end up in jail (he was sort of the bad boy of the school, lol). I’ll probably never know and that’s okay with me. Those girlish crushes are a thing of the past. I guess that’s why I find it so hilarious that my two recent releases, TOUCHING LACE with Samhain Publishing and FORBIDDEN FRUIT with Red Sage Publishing have a plot that’s some variation on secret crushes. I think my heart still wants revenge or something. LOL

I must confess it’s fun to play out those old wishes from my youth. It’s exciting to see the girl with the crush, get the bad boy who never noticed her. In my opinion, the best part of being a romance author is giving my characters a very happy ending!

So, confess! Did you have a secret crush and did you marry him? Or did he turn out to be the boy you never kissed?

You can check out Anne’s site here.

Anne’s going to give away one download of her ebook Forbidden Fruit

The blurbs for the stories mentioned up above are below…


Taking friendship to a whole new level…

Lacey Vaughn is tired of being dumped on by men. It’s clear she needs help in the ways of seduction. Over cappuccinos, Lacey shares her worries with pal Nick Stone. Being the good friend that he is, Nick offers to give Lacey a few pointers in the ways of sexual pleasure. From his first touch, Lacey forgets all about lessons. Now all she wants is more of his luscious body and skillful touches.

Nick’s craved Lacey for months. He’s done watching her waste herself on losers. It’s time she saw him as more than the dreaded good friend. He’ll do nearly anything to have the little spitfire all for himself.

But in order to get Lacey past her insecurities, Nick will have to put it all on the line—including his heart—and pray he doesn’t lose her forever.


Veterinarian assistant Ava Sweet has lusted in secret after bad boy Luke McGiffin since high school. Years pass, but she never loses hope that he will come to see her as a desirable woman.

Then one day she overhears Luke scorning her. “Dr. Doolittle? Sexy? How can you tell when every piece of clothing she owns is big and baggy and ugly as sin?”

That’s it. No more of him treating her like a kid sister. It’s time to show the hunky roofer her feminine side. The plan? Step One: arrange a fake date right under Luke’s nose to drum up some jealousy. Step Two: let her best friend Jen give her a seductive, innocent-vixen, miniskirt makeover. Step Three: tempt Luke right out of his sexy jeans.

But can Ava handle a man with such strong appetites, or is she in over her head?

Thank you for guest-blogging, Anne!

**edited on Wednesday 4/23-contest is now closed.  The winner’s name has been drawn and will be posted tomorrow.  At this time, comments are now closed to prevent confusion and future spam attacks by stupid spam bots that love to spam the blog.  (Gee, I love spambots, can you tell?) – Shiloh

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markvamp.jpgHer romances aren’t for the faint of heart. Just a word of warning. 😉 But man oh man, can she tell a romance. Joey Hill is guestblogging today and one of the commenters will get a signed copy of either The Vampire Queen’s Servant or The Mark of the Vampire Queen.

Entering is easy…just comment or ask a question. From those who participate, their name will go into the drawing one time and I’ll draw one winner’s name…reader gets their choice of the two offered prizes.

Below is the blurb for Joey’s latest, The Mark of the Vampire Queen

When he becomes Lady Lyssa’s full servant, Jacob crosses the threshold into a darker relationship with her than he’s known before. His time as a vampire hunter certainly hadn’t prepared him to embrace a world where humans are sexual commodities, but he adapted. Now he finds the integrity of his soul challenged as he serves his Mistress’s needs as fully as he services her desires.
The vampire world believes human servants are inferior, a vital source for their varying appetites. Jacob knows a human servant is far more than that. His Mistress needs a warrior, a friend and a lover. A man who will serve her in all ways, even if he has to betray the priceless treasure of her love.

And now, onto to Joey’s guest blog…


At the moment, “Let it Whip” is bouncing around in the empty space between my ears, with the result that my body is bouncing with it. Fortunately, that image of erratically jumping notes gave me the idea for a blog topic. Plot and romance. Or rather, plot and love stories. Romance is a catchier marketing term, but if we do our job right, we’re writing love stories. A love story is a relationship. And the relationship has a beginning, or development phase, which evolves into a spiraling seesaw of learning about one another and ever-deepening feelings. At some point, two beings make that final step toward true commitment, willing to spend a life on that spiraling seesaw together.  

When you write most genres, there’s a straight line between plot point A to plot point Z. Some deviation, certainly, but not a lot of latitude for it. However, a relationship isn’t a straight line, and that’s why I love writing love stories. I’m going to credit Nora Roberts for this. As I lost patience with the “misunderstanding” romance–where the characters never really get to know or enjoy one another until the very end–I discovered Mrs. Roberts. In her books, while the characters usually did have some significant emotional roadblock, there were a plethora of scenes devoted primarily to them falling in love, in the myriad ways we all fall in love – with romantic and fun memories, some painful ones, as well as turning points and revelations about ourselves and the other person. Until finally, their separate lives slowly align, and they walk hand-in-hand right past The End, toward the next book of their lives, committed to one another.  

Reaching that alignment is the plot, but an author can follow it like a toddler let loose with a crayon. You can even leave the paper entirely and come back to it, so your characters can explore the waterfall they’ve found along a deer trail, attend the carnival that’s come to town or decide to take a spontaneous overnight drive through the desert and wake up to a brilliant sunset over the ocean, while lying on the hood of the car and sharing the last lukewarm soda.  

My latest book, Mark of the Vampire Queen, is the sequel to Vampire Queen’s Servant. Initially it was one book, but since it was paranormal and did have a fairly complicated plot related to vampire society, it grew to encompass two books. That’s because it doesn’t matter if there are a greater number of outside factors impacting the relationship, the romance can’t be sacrificed. There has to be sufficient room for it to remain the main story. So Jacob deals with a complex world of vampire politics that force him into the role of a sexual submissive, challenging his ability to protect his lady in the way he knows he must. And Lyssa walks a dangerous tightrope to safeguard the territory and vampires under her protection. But while all that is going on, their relationship evolves. They are given time to find their love, not just through the trials, but through leisure time. For example, here’s a little snippet, where Jacob, tuning up Lyssa’s Mercedes, has been trying to extract a kitten hiding in the undercarriage… 

      “What are you doing under there?”

      Speak of the devil. Or perhaps—at least for the moment—an angel. Tilting his head, Jacob saw a pair of pretty bare feet planted on either side of his left leg. At the same moment, his fingers brushed his goal. An unhappy mewl greeted his triumph.

      “Come here, little mite. Sshh…it’s okay.” He managed to hold onto the squirming thing, only because it was too young to be strong, and the mouth too tiny to do any damage. “Can you tell Bran to go sit a few feet away, my lady?”

      She bade the dog move back and he heard the dog chuff, pad away as Jacob wriggled out from beneath, holding the tiny kitten to his chest to keep it from streaking away.

      “How on earth did that get here?”

      “Without the dogs eating her, on top of that. She’s not more than about eight weeks old. Mother probably got hit by a car and the kittens scattered.”

      As he came out, his lady changed her stance so she was straddling his waist, standing above him, her brow raised. She was holding her strappy high-heeled sandals in one hand and wore a tailored suit with a short skirt, suggesting she was heading out on one of her business errands.

      Now she stepped to his side so she could squat beside him.

      *Now see, you little rat, if not for you I could have run my hands up those beautiful legs and…*

      “Think again.” His vampire mistress picked up his thoughts easily enough. “Not with that grease all over you.” Reaching out, she touched the kitten with a finger. The animal was cowering under the cup of his hands, quivering so she appeared to be a faceless ball of matted, oily fur. “Oh, goodness, what are we going to do with you? The dogs won’t tolerate you, that’s for certain.”

      “I thought I could take her over to Elijah’s. He’s had to take his grandson in. Even if his son or the kid’s mother comes back to get him, he could likely use some company.”

      Lyssa raised a brow. “You’ve been male bonding.”

      Jacob gave a mock shudder. “You make it sound so sordid.”

      Smiling, she came down to him, catching his lips in a kiss, stroking her fingers through his hair. “How do you know it’s a she?”

      Too late, he couldn’t cover the thought that came into his mind. With a smothered laugh, she gave him a sharp nip.

      “Men tend to be pains in the ass, too, Jacob. Quite frequently. In fact, they’re probably the main reason women don’t always have a sweet disposition.”

      “I bow to your great wisdom, my lady.”

      “Only because you know I could stomp on your groin with my heel.”

      “There’s that sweet disposition showing itself now.”

       He grunted as she drew blood this time, but the tip of her tongue flicked at it, took it off his lip, her green eyes meeting his, glowing with sensual intent. His body stirred. If he hadn’t spent so much time retrieving the feline, he would have let her toddle back under the car and see if he couldn’t coax his lady into getting dirty. 

I love these types of segues – In Vampire Queen’s Servant, there’s a great scene where Lyssa disguises herself and they spend an evening at a mall, window shopping together. I have characters who have enjoyed a tennis match, attended a Renaissance Faire, planned a tea party for a little girl’s birthday party, gone shopping at a classy erotica shop, watched a film festival, etc… One more snippet, from the aforementioned Renaissance Faire, where Jacob and Lyssa are looking at a booth where rings are being sold. 

      As she looked at the designs, he reached out to touch one he liked. A simple and delicate thing with a sapphire center stone. The stone rested in a fairy’s lap, her tiny metal-etched hand resting atop it. She lay reclined in the clasp of her lover who appeared to be human. The sinuous intertwining of their bodies made up the top half of the band and the setting for the stone.

      Lyssa pressed closer to his shoulder, examining it. “It’s quite deft, isn’t it?”

      He nodded, glanced at the jeweler. “How much?”

      To him, it was expensive. He knew to Lyssa it was a paltry sum. The night he’d met her she’d been wearing a necklace the equal of which he’d only seen on movie stars and fashion models. So he wasn’t sure what made him nod and dig the money out of his pocket. It constituted about a week of the salary he accepted from Lyssa.

      “For an admirer of yours?” she asked in a neutral tone. Jacob lifted his shoulder in an uncomfortable shrug. “A token, my lady. You may keep it or gift it, if it’s not to your liking. I just…” He’d never given her a gift, and today he wanted to do so. “I thought it would please you.”

      She was giving him that arch look she did so well, and he wouldn’t be baited. She’d never struck him as the type who wanted slavish devotion, preferring Bran’s dignified and unquestionable loyalty to slobbering affection. But she knew full well how much Jacob felt when it came to her, so it would do no good to hide it. He couldn’t bear her laughing at him, though. So he shrugged and began to pocket the ring. “I’ll give it to someone else, and not trouble you.”

      Clasping his wrist, she stopped him. Extended her left hand. “Let’s see if it fits.”

      Nodding, he tried her middle finger first. The ring was too tight. “If you’d prefer the right hand, my lady, we can put it—”

      “I prefer the left hand, Jacob.”

      He thought her dark green eyes could rearrange all the shadows of his soul into the shape of herself. “After all” —her voice was soft as their gazes held— “you did promise me forever, didn’t you?”

      She put his heart in his throat so easily he wondered she didn’t just pull it out completely. If she didn’t, he was sure he’d choke on it one day. When he slid the ring over her ring finger it fit perfectly, snugly at the base as it should. 

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I hope you’ll have time and opportunity to enjoy your own spiraling seesaw of learning and deepening love for another. Thanks for letting me visit.

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We love contests, right? Just a reminder, you do need to check back to see if you win if you’d like to claim the prize. 😉
Sunny will be giving away a signed copy of her latest, Mona Lisa Craving, to one commenter…. so comment!

Every commenter will get their name entered into the drawing once and a winner will be drawn for the prize.

The blurb for Mona Lisa Craving

From the time she was an orphan child, Mona Lisa knew she was different—but she never knew how different. As daughter of the Mixed-Blood of the Monère, she has arrived to rule a new domain in the Louisiana Bayou. Now, under the full moon, she’s feeling a new and uncontrollable surge—and an instinctive new craving…

Dante, the warrior son of a healer, was cursed by the high priestess to endure a never-ending cycle of life and death, born and reborn into an ever-diminishing bloodline. Someone shares one of his past lives. Her name was Mona Lyria. Back then, on the moon in another world, she was his victim. Today, she is Mona Lisa. This time, she is his savior. Dante’s wish is to die by her hands to end his cursed existence. But she feels fate has given them both a second chance. For even stronger than her craving for blood is her craving for what every Monère female desires, and needs…to bear life. Now she has found her mate. But with this blessing could come a new curse under the shadow of a new moon.

You can read more about Sunny’s books here…

And now onto Sunny!


I’m giving away a free signed copy of MONA LISA CRAVING at the end of the day, and will choose a winner from those who post a response. I’d love to hear from other readers on how you got started reading romance.

Before becoming a writer and discovering Romance Writers of America, I was an oddity, a freak—the only one in my family and circle of friends who was a reader. And not just a reader, but a romance reader.

I got my library card in third grade, at the age of eight, when we moved from Brooklyn to Poughkeepsie, New York. Adriance Memorial library was about a mile away from my home, and I would walk there a couple of times a week, loaded down with a pile of books that stretched my arms longer each trip. When I hit my teens, I discovered the romance novel. My mother, a pastor’s daughter, used to rip those mild love stories (Silhouettes and Harlequins then) out of my hands and call them a sin—this was in the early eighties, during the era of bodice-ripping covers. But I was hooked on the rich love and emotion I found in those stories, and couldn’t give them up.

Even now, several decades later, I remain a voracious reader, averaging about five books a week. It’s my favorite way to unwind. Thankfully the covers have gotten more refined. Over the years, my reading tastes have broadened to include sci-fi and fantasy, women’s fiction, mystery, and general fiction, in addition to my mainstay—romance—and my taste in romance itself slowly grew darker, edgier, and much more hotter as I discovered authors like Linda Howard, Laura Kleypas, Emma Holly, and Laurell K. Hamilton.

Interestingly enough, I’ve found that reading has a real impact on my writing. A good story gets my creative juices going, not only with ideas but with words and actual phrasing. It helps in editing, too, I’ve found. The other day, I sat down to do the final editing revision on my husband’s new young adult fiction, The Sword, coming out this fall by HarperCollins/Laura Geringer Books. It went awfully. I had a hard time making the necessary changes in grammar and sentence structures, and finally stopped after a frustrating two hours. I hadn’t done any reading for a week, a rare event, and had been watching movies each night instead, after discovering Redbox, a $1 per night movie/dvd rental machine at my local supermarket. Part of the reason was that I’d read all of the January book titles I had wanted to read and was waiting for February’s offerings.

Nalini Singh’s new book, Mine to Possess, finally came out yesterday and I devoured it, staying up late into the night to finish it. Today, when I sat down to edit my husband’s manuscript, it was a piece of cake, different as night was from day. The changes and corrections came to me easily, effortlessly. It was really surprising to me, that reading the words of a well-written story makes working with words so much easier.

MONA LISA CRAVING, National bestseller
LUCINDA, DARKLY, 2007 RT Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee

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Fate, Kismet, Destiny…we all call the phrase “meant to be” by many different names, but as much as I like to believe I’m in control, I wonder if sometimes things do happen on their own and for reasons beyond our understanding. 🙂 I’ve written and published eleven books with a small publisher (including a vampire series and a cowboy series). Many things inspired each book: from songs to people to a ring, and yes, even secondary characters, who wouldn’t leave me alone until they got their own books. LOL!

But one story I wrote started out very different from my other novels. You see, I dreamed many parts that I included in the second chapter. A woman had been kidnapped by a man carrying a gun. They were being chased and shot at by other men. She knew the man who took her was very dark natured and could do things a normal man couldn’t do. Even though he’d taken her, he appeared to be trying to protect her as well. It was an intense, action-filled scene and as soon as I woke up, I started writing. In my dream, she intuitively knew he was a vampire. In the book I wrote, she didn’t, not right away. The entire world I wrote about, the characters, their wants, their dreams, their desires, their secrets, even the prophesy that leads them…was all inspired by a snippet of a dream, my wild imagination and my pen moving non-stop as I scribbled a story outline. From that story, two others were born.

So back to that fate thing…the story that was inspired by a dream? That’s the book I sold to a NY publisher. I’m so excited to see Scions: Resurrection finally on the shelves! I hope you’ll check it out if you’re in the mood for an action-adventure novel that features a dark, seductive vampire hero and a heroine who can hold her own. Excerpts and advance reviews are posted on my website.

What about you? Is there some event that happened in your life, even something seemingly small that made you stop for just a moment and wonder…do things sometimes happen for a reason?

I’ll give away a signed copy of Scions: Resurrection to be picked at random. Come on and share some stories. 🙂


~From Shi…. Contest winner’s name will be drawn and posted here in the next few days.  You do need to check back to win!

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Ladies, today’s post comes courtesy of Patrice Michelle. And not only did Patrice bring a post, she brought a prize. One lucky reader is going to win a copy of her book, Scions: Resurrection.

Everyone believed vampires were extinct.

Everyone was wrong.

When Ariel Swanson wrote a novel about vampires, she hoped it would exorcise her fear of the creatures that had, not so long ago, terrorized the human population.Instead, it brought her to their attention.

And to the attention of Jachin Black—a man banished from the Sanguinas, a vampire clan, and forced to hunt among the despised humans. For he clung to the prophecy given years ago, of a better way for his kind to live… a prophecy Ariel unknowingly used as the basis of her novel.

Ariel hates and fears vampires. Jachin despises humanity. But the prophesy—and passion—bind them in ways they could never have imagined. Ways that may heal the past, and change the future…

Hmmmmm…. can I win? 😉

– Shi

Patrice Michelle’s Comfort Reads and Holiday Gift Ideas

Thanks so much to Shi for asking me to Guest Blog on Vamps and Scamps!

I’ve had a lot of fun around blog land lately. Many fun discussions were had, from subjects like “my favorite top twelve romances” to “why I think historicals and paranormals aren’t that different from each other”. :o)

One of the things that came out of those topics is a subject I wanted to explore more—all time favorite books. So I thought back to the very first time I fell in love with reading. I was in the fifth grade and wanted to win a prize in my elementary school’s reading contest. I read the twenty books and won the prize, but the biggest surprise to me was that in the process of reading all those books…I fell in love with reading.

With the holidays fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to talk about some of our favorite reads, those authors or books that we would recommend to friends looking for something new or maybe even a classic. Here are some of my favs. I’ve listed them in order of age reading level in case you’re looking for gift ideas (and linked to the ones I thought you might have a harder time finding).



Children (early age)

Balloonia – Imagine an entire world where everything, even the people were made of balloons. Children LOVE this book!

The Kissing Hand – Great book for preschoolers about to go to kindergarten.

Elementary to Middle Grade

The Box Car Children series

The Borrowers

Judy Blume books

Encyclopedia Brown series

Chronicles of Narnia

A Wrinkle in Time/ Swiftly Tilting Planet/A Wind in the Door – Madeleine L’Engle

Spiderwick Series – If you liked Harry Potter, young kids will like these books about children discovering faeries are real.

Older Young Adult

Twilight – Stephanie Meyer
Wicked Lovely – Melissa Marr
Tithe – Holly Black

Adult Romance

Historical Romance

Jude Deveraux – Remembrance – A reincarnation story that made me cry, not once but three times!
Judith McNaught – Kingdom of Dreams – The kind of story that stays with you forever!

Contemporary Romance
Linda Howard – After the Night, Mr. Perfect, Sun of the Morning
Sandra Brown – Slow Heat in Heaven, Where There’s Smoke

Paranormal Romance
Marjorie M Liu – All books
Christine Feehan – Carpathian books

Urban Fantasy
Patricia Briggs – Mercy series (Moon Called, Blood Bound)

OT from books, but a MUST recommend!

Secret of Roan Inish DVD – For anyone who loves the Selkie legend. A beautiful sound track of traditional Irish music and a great movie for the whole family!

Come on, join in the fun and share. Name a couple of great books to give everyone some cool and unique Holiday shopping ideas!

I’ll draw one name from those commenting for a signed copy of my upcoming Silhouette Nocturne January 1, 2008 release, SCIONS: RESURRECTION!



You can visit Patrice’s site here to read more about her books. Go ahead, toss out some suggestions. Just a reminder, you can comment and discuss as much as you want (and please do) but contest entries are done by IP addy and get entered only once.

The winner’s name will be posted here on the blog in a few days, so check back to see if you won. You do have to check back in order to claim your prize!


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dn150.jpg***Edited to add… I’ll draw a winner either Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. Winner’s name will be posted here.***

Meljean Brook
is joining us today!

And she brought a prize to give away. One lucky commenter is going to win an ARC of Demon Night. Details on how to win down below… but make sure you read the contest disclaimer here on the blog. Remember, we want to keep it fair for all.

And onto Meljean’s guestblog…


Thank you so much to Shiloh and the rest of the Vamps & Scamps crew for inviting me to talk with you all today! It’s been one of those crazy months, with my little girl coming down with one cold, fever, and earache after another, and needing Mommy to snuggle with her. Which means that most of my writing is getting done late at night (and not much sleeping!) because I can’t manage a laptop and a little girl at the same time. But the upside is that I can read most of my research sources while she’s cuddling with me, and sneak in a category romance now and then.

There’s been some discussion of research and romances around the web lately, but this isn’t meant to bring up that debate. What struck me while I was stuck on the sofa (aside from realizing how easy kids pick up bugs from one another, and at one point: “oh my God, it’s December?!”) was how much I’ve actually picked up because of romances.

One of those categories I re-read was an early-80s Harlequin Presents. I’m not sure if anyone else remembers these, but the Presents line used to have an “Extra” at the end, which was usually a page-long note about something within the story: an item of history, a bit of trivia regarding the setting (usually an exotic one), a quick biography of an historical figure or artist.

I loved those Extras, and many times they sent me to the library, to look up and research more about the topic.

Now, it’s easier to hop online and look up something that catches my interest while I’m reading–it might only be a passing mention of a minor historical event, but chances are that if I don’t have any idea about it, I’ll go look it up when I’ve finished the book.

Over the years, I’ve picked up a lot this way–researching some items deeper than others. And when I’m writing, the same things crop up. For DEMON ANGEL, looking through the history of Rome, I ran across the fate of Dionysus I of Syracuse, who–after some poetry he’d written won an award–engaged in a “debauch that proved fatal” (from Wikipedia).

Now, that wasn’t something that ever showed up in the novel, but just the fun kind of information that I run across and file away for everyday conversations. For DEMON NIGHT, a throwaway description in the prologue like “He’d seen rolls of barbed wire less tightly wound” requires checking that in 1886, barbed wire had a) been invented and b) came in rolls — but it was also something that I was already pretty sure of before I wrote it (thanks to plenty of westerns and western historical romances).

So I’m wondering: what have you learned from romances, and have you been driven to find out them in more depth? Do you have a favorite bit of trivia, something that you’ve used at party conversation, or have you run across anything that surprised you?

And if you’re a writer, do you have any fun items from your research to share that might never have made it into your novels?

Everyone who comments has a chance to win an ARC of my February release, DEMON NIGHT. It’s the third single-title in my Guardians series, and it features Drifter, an outlaw from the Old West turned Guardian–and Charlie, who has been through her own personal hell, worked her way back, and is completely unprepared for the vampires who are determined to transform her.

~From Meljean Brook



It’s me (shiloh) again. All you have to do is join in the discussion below. From those who join in, I’ll draw one name to win the ARC.

Remember, I draw by the IP addy and every IP gets tossed into the hat one time.

Discuss as much as you like, wander off topic…and make sure you admire the cover. It’s a good one.

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