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Monday, 22 April 2013

Spotlight on... The Last Gladiatrix by Eva Scott PLUS GIVEAWAY

In the dust and death of the Coliseum, a slave fights for freedom, a soldier fights for his life, and they both fight for the love that has been forbidden.


The Book...



Captured and enslaved by a Roman legion, Xanthe never expects to end up training for the Coliseum floor, but every night after the day’s march, she is put through her paces by a Roman solider who challenges her, tests her, and excites her.
Titus is drawn to Xanthe, her fire and her spirit, so he breaks one of his rules and brings notice on himself, offering to train her as a gladiatrix to spare her a courtesan’s role. But training her, working with her, soon becomes too much. Titus knows the penalty for taking property that does not belong to him, but how long can he resist?

Giveaway...


One lucky reader could be walking away with a copy of The Last Gladiatrix, just leave a comment to enter.

Good luck!

Excerpt...


The flash of her green eyes in the candlelight reminded Titus of the verdant wild forests of Northern Italy, which they had recently left. He rubbed a smear of dirt from her cheek with his thumb, and then taking her hand, he raised Xanthe up to stand. With deliberate, slow movements he unfastened her tunic, letting it fall from her shoulders to pool on the ground at her feet.

Xanthe made no move to stop him, their eyes locked, her fear and trust clear to see. He slid his fingers beneath the waist of her leggings and tugged them down over her hips, leaving her naked, standing there before him.

Titus took a sponge and dipped it into a bowl of warm water, letting it soak before applying it to Xanthe’s flesh. He washed her with firm yet gentle strokes, and as the water ran over her skin it dripped deliciously from her breasts. The centurion bent his head and licked at a droplet, pleased to feel her shudder in response. Her nipple hardened, inviting him to explore further. He needed no invitation. Xanthe had to summon all her self-discipline to stand still while Titus explored the curves of her body. His touch turned her core to molten fire; she could barely contain her need.


Buy it now...


   Category: Historical Romance
   Released: April 2013
   eISBN: 9780857990396

   Amazon
   Amazon UK
   Escape Publishing


The author...


I live on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland Australia with my fabulous husband and gorgeous little boy. When I'm not writing romance you can find me out on the water kayaking, fishing or swimming. When on dry land it’s all about the shoes and the coffee.

Connect with Eva Scott:


Website     Facebook     Twitter


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Twenty Questions with... Jacqui Jacoby

I am delighted to welcome Jacqui Jacoby onto my blog today, author of With A Vengeance, which was released April 9th by Samhain Publishing.

Jacqui is new to me as a writer, but appears to have been living in the writing world for a fair old while now, including being a Golden Heart Award Finalist with the RWA in 2009. So without further ado, let’s get to know Jacqui that little bit better, with a round of twenty questions…

ACT ONE – all about you…


Award winning author, Jacqui Jacoby lives and writes in the beauty of the Valley of the Sun. Currently adjusting to her new digs, Jacqui is a self proclaimed, self-defense hobbyist. Having studied martial arts for numerous years she retired in 2006 from the sport. She is a working Mom, whose career includes writing books, teaching online and live workshops and penning short non-fiction. She can be reached via her web site at www.JacquiJacoby.com


1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I’ve always made up stories. I didn’t start writing them down until I got out of college.

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

I try to write every day, that is pretty much my ritual. I am used to having to account to a family’s schedule and interruptions so that I am programmed to just jump in and write when I can as opposed to a set time table. Writing daily keeps the story and characters fresh. If I have to miss I never so more than two of three days before I am back at the computer.

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?

Clive Cussler. I know, I know. I write romance and he doesn’t. But I have been reading him since I was fifteen years old and he was a huge influence on me. He’s why I got into action adventure.

4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?

Never give up. No matter how long it is taking you have no way of knowing how close you are to your big break. To stop now might mean you never get to cross that finish line so just keep going.

5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

I’m a vegetarian.

I collect Fossil watches, buying a new one for each writing milestone.

I never go anywhere – even to bed – without lipstick and perfume.


6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

My iPhone.

Pedicures.

My Channel #5.

My Ray Bans.

The Yankee Candle I keep burning on my stove, scent determined by season.



ACT TWO – all about your new release…



The more she wanted out, the more they dragged her back in! 
Daughter to murdered CIA officers, niece to a deputy director, Jaime Walsh has never known life outside the world of espionage. Until a high-action case in Buenos Aires leaves her gutted. Physically, emotionally…and professionally. 
She’d planned for her long-overdue vacation to be a time to rest and reassess. With her longtime partner Stephen not far behind, it’s a tropical paradise away from work. A paradise where boundaries will be tested. 
From their training days, Stephen Reid has watched Jaime kick ass while performing what has become his second job—watching her back. But now his feelings have grown.

As best friends look at each other in a new light, they like what they see. And Jaime dreams of a new life outside “the company”.

Except someone from their past won’t be satisfied until Jaime and the man she loves are hunted to the brink of death. Now Jaime must find the strength to trust her heart and let go of her fear. Before she loses everything…

7) Congratulations on your recent release of With A Vengeance, what was your inspiration for writing Jaime and Stephen’s story?

I had a very tough chick come into my head from out of the blue and dictate her story to me. I didn’t have a choice but to type it out.

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

When I did the first draft, I couldn’t write it fast enough. With each rewrite, and there were many, I slowed down.

9) From what I can see, With A Vengeance appears to be your debut novel—is that right?—so how long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

I wrote the first draft of this story in 1994 in under three months. I had a long, long journey from inspiration to publication.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?

Yes, but I can’t. It would give away the villain!! J

11) Over to you, what can you tell us about With A Vengeance, to make us rush out and buy it? 

It’s an “E” ticket ride, taking you all over the world with two of the hottest new characters to come to life.

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

I am currently editing another suspense novel, one with a Russian hero who just wants the chance to be left alone and the heroine who stumbles onto his secret.


QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…


13) Plotter or pantser?

Both. Depends on the book I am working on. Some I plan out, others I just start typing. Both end up being fun.

14) Secret Seven or Famous Five? (please tell me you know them!?)

Neither? LOL When I was a teenager I was reading Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series.

15) Digital books or print books?

I’m switching to digital, though I still have a library full of print. I just as few minutes ago ordered a hard back biography on the life of Rod Serling so I still do both.

16) Tea or coffee?

Tea. Earl Grey with milk. Daily.

17) Cats or dogs?

Cats. More precisely, my cat Gomez. He lives in my office with me.

18) Extrovert or introvert?

I think I used to be more of an extrovert, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve switched over to introvert.

19) Save or spend?

I try to do a little of both.

20) Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook @ Jacqui Jax Jacoby; Twitter JaxJacoby. I am much more active on Facebook.

And that’s a wrap! 

Thank you so much for taking part, Jacqui, I wish you every success with your new release.

To follow Jacqui, and to keep up with her latest projects, you can visit her at:

Website     Facebook
Twitter     Author Page


Buy it now…



Samhain
Amazon
B&N
PowellsBooks

Read an Excerpt
Read Reviews


Friday, 12 April 2013

What is 'The Call'?

Anybody who has been following me for a while, will know that I have been writing a Young Adult story this year, called Popping the Cherry, and even have a follow-up story planned called A Girl Called Malice.



Alas, there aren't many options for YA authors without an agent when it comes to potential publishers, especially British ones - I love the idea of a British publisher so that I don't have to keep Americanising my stories - so with Mira Ink only taking agented submissions, I was very interested when a new British publisher opened its doors.

Carina UK, a subsidiary of Harlequin (Mills & Boon), is a new digital first publisher. After a couple of emails and tweets, Carina UK went straight to the top of my hit-list, so a few weeks ago I submitted a standard proposal, comprising the opening three chapters of Popping the Cherry and a synopsis, for consideration.

And then I had to wait...

Thankfully I had a family holiday abroad and a never-ending stack of books in my to-read pile to pass the time.

There is a thing in the romance writing business referred to as 'The Call' and it is synonymous with publishers like Harlequin and Mills & Boon in particular, where an editor prefers to speak to an author directly rather, than via email. Seeing as it usually involves an offer, 'The Call' is a momentous occasion and can be the start of an author's career or heralding a new venture.

Well, today...


I got 'The Call'!!




It turns out my YA voice really "pops" - although perhaps, it isn't all that surprising, when you consider YA fiction is where my heart is, and the genre I absolutely love to read - and this 'voice' of mine has landed me a two book deal with Carina UK.

The good news doesn't end there though - oh no, siree - it transpires the editor also works for Mira Ink so is the perfect person to progress my fledgling YA career.

As usual, I am jumping the gun by writing this post because this isn't a done deal by any means. The only reason I am 'coming clean' now, is because the majority of you have been with me every step of the way, supporting me and sharing in my journey.

Eighteen months ago, I wasn't even a writer - Aurelia B Rowl didn't exist - yet this week alone has heralded FOUR books either contracted or under offer. It all feels somewhat surreal still to be honest, so I'm glad I have a few days to make my decision. This isn't even supposed to be my job until September when my daughter starts school full-time.

I now have to consider the offer carefully and decide whether to proceed or not. Admittedly my heart is already signing the dotted line but there are a number of tight deadlines I would have to meet, which will push me to the limit and potentially impact my family. Naturally, there will be an announcement if and when I sign any contracts.

I do know one thing though, my writing future would appear to be shaping up very nicely indeed...

Cover Reveal: Heating Up Hawaii by Carmen Falcone

My lovely friend and critique partner, Carmen Falcone, stopped by to share the cover for Heating Up Hawaii, releasing on May 3rd.

Get ready ladies, summer is coming early this year!


There is just one person standing between Penny Ashbrook’s dream of opening her own PR business or being stuck at her job–the formidable Luc Leoni–her first lover, and the man who lets nothing and no-one get in his way. Seeing him after so long brings all the hidden emotions after a life altering break-up to surface. Pain, denial and…lust.

Luc has made many sacrifices for his career, including Penny Ashbrook, the woman who set his aspirations back a year, but now she has returned and is more alluring than ever. After all these years, he thought a self-made billionaire as himself could master everything, but to resist the strong pull toward the one woman he can't have is an impossible task.

When this unlikely pair is reunited they will have to face the many challenges set in their way, especially an attraction that has only heightened with time and a deadline quickly approaching. Can their new bond surpass old—and new—fears?

About Carmen 


Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters and places beat doing Math homework any day. She traveled the world, achieved a B.A. in Tourism in her hometown in Brazil and was soon invited to work in the USA, where she met her Swiss husband. She’d always dreamed of becoming a published writer, and after her daughter was born, she revisited that dream of writing – this time, unwilling to give it up. She lives in Austin and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family and three high energy pugs.

Connect with Carmen


Website     Blog     Twitter

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

New Contract Signed!


Did somebody mention signing a contract for a SERIES?

Three books, including a PRINT version?

You may just want to pop by my website for the big announcement :-D

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Twenty Questions with... Victoria James

I am delighted to welcome Victoria James onto my blog today, author of A Risk Worth Taking, recently released by Entangled Publishing, as well as The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby, also from Entangled, with both accruing excellent reviews.

As an author, Victoria James is new to me, so I am quite excited by the prospect of getting to know Victoria a little better, as she climbs elegantly into the hot seat for a round of twenty questions…

Thanks so much for having me, Aurelia!

Oh, and if you're in the US or Canada, make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom. You do not want to miss out on the chance of winning an awesome prize!

ACT ONE – all about you…


Victoria James is a romance writer living near Toronto, Canada. Victoria is a mother to two young children, and one very disorderly feline. Victoria attended Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and graduated with a degree in English Literature, where she met and then later married, her own hero. After Queen's, Victoria earned a degree in Interior Design. After the birth of her first child she began pursuing her life-long passion of writing. Her dream of being a published romance author was realized last February, 2012, when Entangled Publishing bought her manuscript. Victoria is living her dream-staying home with her children and conjuring up happy endings for her characters. 


1) I see that you have always known you wanted to be a writer, even at a very young age, but how did you go about turning your dream into a reality?

I just started writing! I joined some different online writing communities, and read up on what to do/not to do. Then I wrote (some really horrible manuscripts) submitted them, got rejected. But I was fortunate enough to receive feedback on what wasn’t working. I’d apply that feedback to the next manuscript and then pursued acquiring an agent. I was lucky and signed with a great agent not too long later. Shortly after I signed with Entangled.

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

Coffee must be present. Playlist must be on-I have a unique playlist for each book. That’s it! Then, just write.

3) Is there a book or an author that has particularly influenced you in your writing?

The first romance I ever read was by Judith McNaught. I devoured all her historical romances.

4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?

Never give up! I know that has been said so many times, but it’s true-you never know if that next manuscript is going to be ‘the’ one. Also-don’t take critiscim personally. You have to get used to it at every stage-as an unpublished and published author.

5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

My parents immigrated to Canada from Italy in the 1950’s.

My zodiac sign is Cancer.

I’m a total sap, yet I rarely cry.


6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

My iPhone, laptop, eReader, coffee maker…those are the important ones!


ACT TWO – all about your new release…


Scroll down for an excerpt and buy links
When tragedy strikes, high-powered designer Holly Carrington steps up to raise her orphaned niece. But to secure the baby's future she must return to her hometown and face the memories of all she has lost. Can small-town bachelor Quinn convince Holly to give up her big-city dreams and risk her heart, or will they set themselves up for heartbreak...again?

7) Congratulations on your recent release of A Risk Worth Taking, what was your inspiration for writing Holly and Quinn’s story?

Thank you! I wrote this book a few years ago and I’ve re-written it once before it was bought by Entangled. Someone very close to me had suffered through many losses and I was in awe of her and her husband’s strength and faith. People who go through really traumatic losses and go on to live life to the fullest really inspire and humble me. I find that kind of strength of character admirable, and I’m desperate to see people who’ve gone through so much receive the best possible happily ever after-in real life and in fiction.

Small-town settings are always my favourite to read and write. We have a place we go to regularly to that is on Lake Erie, Ontario, it’s in a small town, and every time I go I’m inspired. We take the country roads to get there and I find it so scenic and so relaxing (well, if the kids are sleeping in the backseat. If they’re awake, it’s not really a relaxing ride). Red River is loosely based on this town-including the old lift bridge that Holly mentions in the book. 

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling? 

This one flowed, for sure.

9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

This book had a bit of an evolution. I can’t remember how long it took me to write it the first time around-I’m guessing around two months. Then when it was rejected, I re-wrote it. Then sold it to Entangled.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?
"Holly, do you know what I want to do right now?" Holly swallowed. Hard.
"Take a hot bath?" He shook his head and took a step closer. She could barely breathe.
"A hot shower?" He shook his head again and his eyes dropped to her mouth. Her lips parted involuntarily.
"Coffee?" she managed to whisper as she heard the beep signaling the brew cycle had finished. He shook his head again and stood a few inches away from her.
"I want to kiss you," he said, his voice deep, and then he gently took her wrist and tugged her toward him."I want to kiss you and taste you and never stop."

11) Over to you, what can you tell us about A Risk Worth Taking, to make us rush out and buy it? 

If you love emotional, passionate romance with a sexy hero who has a heart of gold then this is the book for you ;-)

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

My next book in the Red River series is out in July-this will be Jake’s story. I’m working on the third book in the Red River Series-tentatively scheduled for November, 2013.


QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time… 


13) Plotter or pantser? 

Panster!

14) Secret Seven or Famous Five? (please tell me you know them!?) 

Never read them!

15) Digital books or print books?

It’s a tie!

16) Tea or coffee?

Coffee, coffee, coffee.

17) Cats or dogs?

Both, but we have a cat.

18) Extrovert or introvert?

In between. If I had to pick, I’d lean toward introvert.

19) Save or spend?

Depends on my mood!

20) Facebook or Twitter?

Twitter!

And that’s a wrap! 

Thank you so much for taking part, Victoria, I wish you every success with your new release. A Risk Worth Taking is already queued on my Kindle, and I cannot wait to get stuck into it.

Thanks so much for having me here, Aurelia! 

To follow Victoria, and to keep up with her latest projects, you can visit her at:

Website     Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads


Excerpt…


“You were eighteen years old, for crying out loud. Forgive me if I had a policy against kissing teenagers.” 

“You were chicken.” 

Quinn’s eyes were burning as he stared at her. “Chicken?” 

She nodded vigorously. And then had the utter nerve to flap her arms. “As in Bok, Bok.” 

“First you make me feel bad for everything you went through. And you know what? I do. And you know what else? I think you’re the bravest damn woman I’ve ever met. You’re the sexiest, hottest woman I’ve ever known and, hell, if you want me to kiss you, Holly, just ask.” 

He did get a bit of satisfaction when her mouth dropped open. But Ella stirred in his arms and Holly reached to get her. Conversation over. 

“I think it’s time I get her to bed,” Holly whispered, looking flushed. 

Quinn turned, ready to leave, but then paused. “I never kissed you the way I wanted to because I knew that if I did I wouldn’t be able to stop. I wouldn’t be able to get enough of you. And if I had thought for one second that you meant what you said that night, I would have come after you,” he said. He turned, opened the door, and stepped out onto the porch, the damp night air cooling his hot skin. He took a deep breath and made a decision. 

He wasn’t going to lose Holly a second time.


Buy it now… 



ISBN-13: 9781622660728
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 3/11/2013




Blog Tour Giveaway...



Victoria James is currently on tour with A Risk Worth Taking and one lucky winner will walk away with $100 Coach gift card, to be given away at the end of the tour to one U.S. or Canadian winner.