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Monday, August 31, 2009

And the Winner is....

The winner of a PDF of Isabel Roman's latest release is....

Gayle! (

Please contact Isabel Roman at

Congratulations, Gayle!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Friend: Meet Isabel Roman

Wow, did you see that cover? As if August wasn't hot enough already!

Today's Friday Friend is someone I've had the pleasure of getting to know over the past several years, fellow Scandalous Victorian, Isabel Roman. Isabel has promised to give away a free .pdf of her latest release (I'm still drooling over that cover!) if we have ten or more commenters.

Welcome, Isabel, and thanks for spending your Friday here with us!

How long have you been writing?
Serious writing? Maybe 7 years. Seriously serious writing? Where I realized there were rules and reasons and that things were done certain ways in romance that weren’t done elsewhere? About 4 years. Takes a lot to learn the craft…especially now that I know there is a craft to learn!

Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere. A twist on an old story I’ve read. Something I see on the news and think, oh, how can I work that in? Or better, take a modern day something and make it historical? Staring blankly outside a window works, too.

Describe your typical writing day.
I have two: One where I have the entire day, one where I work all day then write. The first involves copious amounts of red licorice and chocolate, pizza (fast and easy to heat and reheat) soda and V8 Splash/iced tea/water. Then I write (or plot the story) with minimal interruption for close to 12 hours. I then crash. The second involves me deliberately shutting off NCIS reruns and forcing myself not to turn the TV back on as I usually work on dialog or edit. This mostly happens during work days.

What was your “Aha!” moment—when you knew you had to be a writer?
I don’t know. I pretty much always knew, I think. I’m not sure it was one of those moments I can remember rather than something that’s always been with me.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
I AM a librarian and business woman, lol. One day, maybe, with planning and work, my only paying profession will be writing, but that isn’t happening. YET.

Tell me your best cure for writer’s block?
NCIS reruns, sleep, cleaning if I’m desperate. (Cleaning lets the mind wander.)

Tell us a little bit about Kiss of Scandal.

It came about when my publisher, Ravenous Romance, asked if I could do something non-paranormal historical. Hmm, sure. I always have ideas bobbing along in my head. I decided on Russia during the Crimean War. Not a time or country often done, so the research was difficult but very enlightening, and ultimately very fun.

In the wreckage of a friend's death, Countess Katria Markova finds her perfectly ordered life, irrevocably altered. Russian politics proves more dangerous than the front lines of war, and when her fiancĂ©’s future is threatened by rumors of treason, their cat-and-mouse game ends. In its place, a political game, where their very lives are at stake, begins.
Count Nikolai Orlov will do anything to clear his brother’s name. Anything except put Katria in harm’s way. Attracted to her from the moment they met, he’s spent their time together breaking the wall that surrounds her heart. He wants the passionate woman beneath, wants to shatter her cool exterior.
With her life in danger, Nikolai’s only course of action is to exact revenge. From the snowy streets of St. Petersburg to the River Neva’s icy depths, they search for the answers to clear Nikolai. But in their search, will they lose each other?
“I expect venom to spew forth momentarily.” The deep voice rumbled from behind her.
She could feel his hot breath tickling her shoulder, skin tingling with awareness. His lips brushed the base of her neck, there and gone in a heartbeat. Scandalous in so public a setting. Heart racing, she forced herself to turn slowly, arching an eyebrow as Count Nikolai Andreiovitch Orlov joined her and Anatoli in front of the Jordan Staircase.
Her need to rush up to the state rooms vanished.
Drinking in his appearance, Katria kicked the hem of her heavy skirt as she faced him. Her focus left his eyes to graze down his tall, muscular frame. As tall as Anatoli, Nikolai towered over her. It was the look, however, the one she now knew he reserved for her, that aroused sinful thoughts whenever they met. She smiled.
“Count Orlov.” She extended her hand, but instead of delicately kissing the back of it, Nikolai raised his dark eyes to meet hers and kissed her gloved palm. Katria tilted her head and offered a cordial nod for the benefit of any who may be watching.
“Countess.” Nikolai offered his arm and they started up the stairs. Closing his other hand over hers, keeping her close by his side. Katria couldn’t say she minded. “The vipers are restless, slithering about the rooms in search of prey.”
The way he’d said prey, the hungry look he slanted in her direction, made her shiver. Her fingers tightened on his arm, and Katria was certain he noticed. Then again, everything about Nikolai elicited a reaction, the strength of his arm, the power in his smooth, deep voice. Now, as they climbed the stairs, his fingers brushed over her wrist, teasing the bare inch of skin between glove and dress.
“I’ve missed you,” Nikolai said. The words were so low, for a moment she wasn’t certain she’d heard them. Then he chuckled, and the sultry sound went straight through her.
Anything else in the works you can share with us?
Oh, lots! So many stories, so little writing time…

I just submitted a zombie romance story to Ravenous…no worries, this isn’t a romance between zombies, but between those killing the zombies. Kick ass all the way! OK, more like Night of the Living Dead meets Scooby Doo.

Currently, I’m working on an 1807 England-set story involving deception, treasure hunting, and mistaken identity. A little suspense with your historical romance and a lot of fun.

I’m also in the midst of plotting a series of stories for The Wild Rose Press that take place at the tail end of World War I. These are short stories with a romantic overall arc that plays out over the 4 (so far) planned shorts. Lots of tension, lots of romance, lots of dead people and deception. I’m picturing it almost like The Thin Man, but with spice.

Thanks for stopping by today! And thank you so much, Nicole, for having me!

You sound like one busy lady! Thanks for spending some time with us today.

To purchase Kiss of Scandal, or any of Isabel's other works, click here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

And the winner is....

The winner of the drawing for a PDF of one of Rebecca's books is....


Martha, since you've already read Rebecca's books, she has kindly arranged for you to receive a free read from Class Acts books instead. (Talk about a Class Act!)

In order to give away one of her books, Rebecca did another drawing and this time the winner is....

EA, or Evie Alexis! Please contact Rebecca at to claim your prize!

Congratulations winners, and Rebecca, thanks again for spending time with us yesterday!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Friend: Meet Rebecca J. Vickery!

Welcome, Rebecca, and thanks for sharing your Friday with me! Good news, if we have ten or more commenters today, Rebecca will be drawing names for a giveaway of one of her books! Please let it be me!! Oh, wait, I don't count, do I? :o(

Rebecca, tell us a bit about yourself and why you write the genre you do.

Hi Everyone. Hope you are having a great day. I’m Rebecca J. Vickery; a wife, mother, grandmother, and an author who loves to write happy ever after romances with a twist of the paranormal, adventure, or suspense along the way. I write HEA romances because I truly believe in them, but I am too adventuresome to settle for just a romance. There has to be some excitement, an element of danger, or an unexpected twist because that is life. You can see some photos and learn more about me at my website:

How long have you been writing?
My serious fictional writing began in 1998 when my sister kept pushing and nudging for me to put my bits of stories and notes onto my computer. Once I finished, with some editing and polish, I actually had a romance novel.

Where do you get your ideas?
I get ideas from the world around me, people I meet, television news, and even my dreams. My debut novel, Surviving With Love, was born from two separate snippets heard on the news. My next book, Looking Through The Mist, was hastily written down after a very realistic dream, and the third one, Following Destiny (coming in October) came from a photo I saw and my vivid imagination. One of my current WIPs came from a few second radio spot I heard in the car on the way to Myrtle Beach. So anything and everything inspires me.

Describe your typical writing day.
My typical writing day actually begins after everyone else is asleep. When the house is quiet and it is just my MUSE and I, the words seem to flow and I can feel the characters telling me their stories. I can’t type fast enough to keep up most times. Soon after dawn, my 3 year-old granddaughter Taylor, who stays with us, hits the floor running. Forget writing after that. My MUSE runs and hides. My husband and my mother watch her for several hours in the morning so I can sleep. Once I’m up I check emails, do promos, visit my groups, and take care of any business with my publisher. I usually do this and edit between helping to entertain Taylor and required household chores. Late evening is supper, bath-time, and bed and then I can finally return to my writing. (ummm....anyone else wondering when she sleeps??? Gosh I envy people who can get by on little to no sleep...)

What was your “Aha!” moment—when you knew you had to be a writer?
I’ve always wanted to write and had a poem published in a children’s magazine when I was in elementary school. I have always written in one fashion or another. Reading Celia Garth while a pre-teen got me hooked on romances for life. But my AHA moment for romance writing was probably when I finally gave in to my sister and put all my notes on the computer. When I saw what resulted, I knew I wanted to be published. I had to share my stories with others and pay back some of the great feelings I’ve enjoyed over the years from my reading.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
SAD. Sincerely, if I couldn’t share my stories and write, I would be one of the unhappiest people on earth. But I would still be a researcher and a technical writer, if not a fictional author.

Tell me your best cure for writer’s block?
My very favorite cure for writer’s block is a long walk on the beach. The sound of the waves and the ocean air always un-block me. But, failing that, doing something physical like chasing grandchildren or my toy poodle usually helps. Also editing the last few chapters will sometimes help me get my characters going through my mind again and wake my MUSE.

Tell us a little bit about your current release.
My current release is Looking Through The Mist and is available from Class Act Books at It is a full length paranormal romance novel. Please visit the site to read the first chapter free.

Rebecca J. Vickery

Psychic Jessica Wilder was a consultant for the FBI until she suffered burnout. The visions leave her alone for several months and she starts to make a peaceful life for herself. Then suddenly, they come back with a vengeance visions of children being kidnapped. How could she not try to save the children?
Detective Jonathon Lansing doesn't believe in psychics, but the young woman in front of him is very convincing. Can she truly help him track down a kidnapper? Or is she involved in the crime?
Another child is taken right from under their noses. As they follow her turbulent visions through several states and into Canada, Jessie and Johnny begin to discover they want more than a working relationship. But will it distract them from finding the children in time?
ISBN 978-1-935048-18-3 1-935048-18-X
Word Count: 84,177
Paranormal Romance

Anything else in the works you can share with us? I have my third novel, Following Destiny, being released by Class Act Books in October. I really enjoyed working on it. A down-on-her-luck young woman inherits a house in Texas and all her grandmother’s possessions including a very special antique ring. There is a handsome sheriff, an extremely large dog, and a serial killer tossed into the mix to make her life interesting. I’m also working on a contemporary western titled Seeking Shelter with a bit of an inspirational twist to it along with a rogue stallion and some bad guys. I hope to have it ready for a New Year’s release. Then another paranormal romance, Healing Rain, about a young woman who has the gift of healing is in the works for release in March of 2010. These will also be with Class Act Books.

I have a video showcasing my 2009 releases for anyone interested at:

And I blog at:

Please drop by and visit anytime. I love company and Taylor and I enjoy reading the comments.
Thanks so much for having me here today, Nicole. It’s been fun.

Thanks for coming, Rebecca and sharing your love of writing with us!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Friend Malfunction!

Today's scheduled Friday Friend had a computer problem and wasn't able to return her interview in time. I considered moving up next week's Friend but didn't want to do that to her last minute.

So instead, you're stuck with me. *G*

In true keeping with summer vacation mode, I can think of nothing to blog about. So I leave you with one of the funniest videos I've seen in a long time (maybe I'm just easily amused?) *G*

Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blogging with the Victorians today...

Hope you're enjoying the summer!

Take some time today to stop by the Slip into Something Victorian blog and read my post on the Confederate Prisoner of War Camp called The Elmira Hellhole.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Friends: Meet Kat Henry Doran

Nic—thanks so much for inviting me to your blog. It's always a treat to talk with you!

LOL Kat, you're my best bud, I love hanging out with you!

Tell us a bit about yourself and why you write the genre you do.

I am a wife, mother, and grandmother, semi-retired nurse-paralegal, and former victim advocate and sexual assault nurse examiner. Over the years, I've been honored to work in several different areas of nursing [though at the time I didn't always consider the 'honors' side of things] which sparked my imagination, forced me to use my brain, and has left me very grateful for the opportunities I've been given.

My husband and I recently celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary—and haven't killed each other! Our youngest child turned 30a the other day. I spent the day feeling quite sorry for myself because, of course, I'm not much older than that myself [at least in spirit] so how did that ugly reality of life rear it's ugly head? It's been an adventure, sometimes quite rocky, staying married and raising three terrific kids. I admit I had help along the way from my mother-in-law and her son.

Now, how many women can say that with a straight face and uncrossed fingers?

Why do you write the genre you do?

I write romantic suspense because it turns me on and it's fun. At this stage of my life, if it ain't fun, I can't be bothered. Since I am basically lazy, I don't have the drive to research historical figures, crucial dates, or modes of dress like you, my friend. I'd much rather slap a pair of tight jeans and a golf shirt on some guy than worry about if zippers or snaps had been invented yet. I also like to curse, so of course my characters do, too. I don't want to worry if a certain phrase was in use at the time of the story. And don't get me going on historical medical practices. It's amazing that people survived even though most didn't wash their hands often, had no refrigeration or indoor plumbing, antibiotics or immunizations. Yech!!!

That doesn't mean I don't do research for my books. I once spent the day making rounds with an equine veterinarian, an afternoon at the Mounted Patrol barn of the local police department, interviewed [read: interrogated] a physician who'd spent months in Central America, working for Doctors Without Borders. Years ago, I spent the entire summer reading every book in my local library branch about the Rom [Gypsies], a much-maligned, often misunderstood culture.

My byline is “romance takes a bite out of social injustice”. So whatever I write, no matter the length, feature at least one medical professional, one from the criminal justice system, and someone[s] who have been abused or misused by the system. Write what you know. I do.

How long have you been writing?

26 years.

Where do you get your ideas?

Often a newspaper or magazine article will stir my imagination. Occasionally song lyrics do it for me. George Gershwin and Cole Porter are particular faves. Recently, while traversing the yellow pages looking for one thing, I came across pages of ads for escort services and the “services” they offer. What an eye-opening experience that was. With that, the idea for a story was conceived. I pattern how my heroes look from movie stars. The escort story features a Daniel Craig look-alike. He's the newest James Bond with the great bod and a fabulous lived-in face. I honestly don't know who I pattern my heroines after.

Describe your typical writing day.

It depends on the time of year. From September 1st through June 30th, I provide child care for my three [soon to be four] grandchildren. Right now I'm on “summer vacation” and have not suffered one second of withdrawal. So . . . after inhaling my usual pot of coffee while ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning debate the latest in sports happenings on ESPN, I complete the two cross-word puzzles from the morning paper. Then, I either head to my sewing room to create the next in a long line of made-to-order tote bags which are masterpieces [not!].

Sewing for long periods of time is not good for people with tricky backs so I don't sew every day. I spend as little time as possible with emails; and admit I don't blog as often as I should. I loathe writers' loops, though I do read the digest titles and will zone in on something that interests me. As a result, I am so far out of the loop, it's pathetic. I had no idea a schism occurred recently within RWA. Whoa!!! Treason, insurrection, and heresy all rolled into one. If someone would email me privately and give me the scoop, I'll make you a tote bag!!

I tend to write at night and on weekends. When September 1st hits, beats me when I'll have time, or the strength, to do anything beyond breathing.

What was your “Aha!” moment—when you knew you had to be a writer?

It was 1983; I received a card from someone I'd worked with in the Operating Room. We'd not seen or talked in probably 5 years. I sat down at the dining room table to catch her up on what I'd been doing with my life. After a while I robbed my kids' school supplies for ruled paper. Before I knew it, I had twenty pages written. I couldn't believe it!! And I knew I had to be a writer.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

A baseball groupie or a nun.

Tell me your best cure for writer’s block?

I review what I last wrote, even if it's 50-100 pages. Never fails for me.

Tell us a little bit about your latest release.

Try Just Once More will be out in re-release through the Wild Rose Press in May of 2010, one of the Last Rose of Summer line. It's a contemporary romantic suspense, set in the Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York State.

After being cleared of murder charges, Maggie McGuire escaped back to her childhood home to rebuild her shattered life. Now, three years later, the past has returned with a vengeance and it's aimed directly at her kids.

The nosy Chief of Police is relentless about uncovering her sordid past in order to deal with the present. She once paid a very high price for trusting a cop. Is Michael Brandt for real—or another uniformed bully disguised as a smooth-talking hunk? He'll have to walk a very long road before Maggie puts the lives of her precious children in his hands.

No innocent when it comes to personal betrayal, Mike will have to put aside personal resentments in order to convince Maggie to try just once more.

Anything else in the works you can share with us?

I'm in the process of strengthening the goals, motivation and conflict[s] for the male escort story I mentioned before. The “escort” is a cop [what a new and interesting concept for me!] on the trail of tag team serial killers and an investigative reporter or photojournalist with one Pulitzer Prize under her belt and is a nominee for a second for her work in the Middle East on behalf of the plight of women in a misogynist culture. She is in town to attend an important gala where she is to receive a humanitarian award, but needs a date. Guess who's the date? Sparks fly immediately, not all are positive. Her acceptance speech blows him out of the water—and forces him to take a second look at her and all those “bleeding heart liberals” willing to risk their lives to right a wrong.

Wow. Kat, thanks so much for hanging out with me today! It was fun!

The Struggle is Real Week 8: When Life Hits Back

  It’s been nearly two weeks since my last post. Did anyone notice I was missing?   But I have good news/bad news.   The good news. I wr...