5 Great Lines – Alyxandra Harvey, Blood Feud


It’s been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix barely survived the French Revolution. Now she’s made her way back to the living and she must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who left her for dead the day she turned into a vampire. That’s if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks.
The clans are gathering for Helena’s royal coronation as the next vampire queen, and new alliances are beginning to form now that the old rifts of Lady Natasha’s reign have started to heal. But with a new common enemy, Leander Montmarte—a vicious leader who hopes to force Solange to marry him and usurp the power of the throne for himself—the clans must stand together to preserve the peace he threatens to destroy.
This second adventure in the Drake Chronicles—told from both Logan’s and Isabeau’s perspectives—has all the same butt-kicking action, heart-pounding romances and snarky humor that readers loved in Hearts at Stake, as well as exciting new revelations about the vampire dynasties to keep readers coming back for more.

5 Great Lines from Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey

1

“Love is the best revenge”

2

“My parents want to do things differently. Dad’s big on treaties.”
“And your mother?” Isabeau inquired.
“She’s big on making grown men cry.”

3

“You are precious” I insisted. “Stubborn and secretive and independent to a fault, but precious.”

4

I might have been more worried if I hadn’t been defending myself against six brothers my whole life. And if I didn’t have a mother who thought she was a ninja.

5

“You’re like a runaway train,” Logan groaned at her. “Can’t you shut her up?” he asked his brother pleadingly.
“How?” Nicholas said somewhat helplessly.
“Kiss her, you idiot.”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.- on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.
Look for my newest release- Dark Daze – Out now

JEALOUS PERSONS NEED NOT APPLY


Hey guys- how is your week this week? It has been a hectic two weeks for us in my neck of the woods. We had both Hurricane Sandy and the Nor-Easter. Needless to say, the cable and internet just came back on today and i am frantically trying to get all of the posts up that I missed the last two weeks. Hope you guys are doing well and I hope that it is a beautiful week where you are.

You ever read a really good romance novel- and it says to you: Jealous Persons Need Not Apply. I have read such a novel and I have to say it was damn good. First off, it was male/male sex and a story of lost virginity. The story line itself was a very good story. Far better than the last one I read. I am not a fan of erotica per se but I happened to think this was a good novel. See link to book review. http://yougottaread.com/review-geisha-for-hire-by-shawn-bailey/
Now another novel that may also fit this bill is one about a strip joint dancer trying to make a living and stay alive while fending off the groping hands of the patrons. See link to book review. This story though is a little closer to home because I met a woman who tried out for a dancer position at the bar on Route 1 in Elizabeth. If you know the establishment then I need not name it. Anyway, what I liked about this story is how it actually does show some jealousy in the writing just as the above story does as well. They both manifest themselves in different ways but always due to some romantic and protective inclinations.
Here is why I say jealous persons need not apply-because in every romance novel they either die or go to prison for their feelings of jealousy. The other party involved in that threesome, being a cop, a bodyguard, a business man or just a neighbor, has these big feelings of protecting their women and so they have to rid their women of that problem- hence the jealous person goes away.
But doesn’t jealousy make the novel go `round? If not for the jealous person on either side there may be no conflict in the novel. In other words you have a nice, easygoing read with no major stress except for that of a relationship learning itself until marriage. But who wants to read a novel like that all the time? Not even I want to read a novel like that all the time. As I have gotten older, I move more towards romantic suspense and thrillers as well as contemporary romance and young adult romance. All have in common, conflict- jealousy, money and other problems. These take my mind and yours I am sure off of your own daily problems and into their problems. I wouldn’t change the stories for the world. But maybe a little written differently but it is because I would prefer the story to go a different way.
Recently, I had a guy try to talk to me and he thought I had said to him that I didn’t know him. The reason for me relating this will be apparent shortly. At the same time, since I have no television and no internet I am watching the remainder of the Beauty and the Beast DVD set that I had gotten as a present from a friend. And it’s because of this guy who had the main protagonist/heroine kidnapped to steal her child after it’s born. Later I found out his name was Pope. Meanwhile it took me three to four episodes to figure this out. It would have been a lot easier just to have his name on a plate at the door but that would defeat the secrecy of his actions. Back to the beginning, the guy must have thought I said it about him but I hadn’t. Now take it further, had it been a romance novel and we were in a relationship or the beginning of the relationship would you consider that jealousy on my part because he is a man who has many women or because I was inadequate or just plain angriness on his part because I denied knowing him? Jealous persons need not apply in some relationships they cause more problems than anything else and the other party doesn’t want a lot to do with them. Because they are forever looking over their shoulder waiting for the other shoe to drop. This you see in a lot of true life stories that end up in murder and they always start out romantic and end up a nightmare.
To sum up, jealous persons need not apply is my motto when it comes to reading some novels. But the stories that show their actions and reactions to the jealousy make for a very interesting and tasty read.
So fellow readers and authors, all you fans out there, whether romance or not, I entice you to pick up a romance novel this weekend or the rest of the week you are unable to do anything due to Hurricane Sandy, and pour a glass of your favorite drink, pull up an afghan on your lap in your favorite chair and read. Oh, and you might want to do the same for your little one.
A Bientôt Mes Amies!

5 Great Lines – Lia Habel, Dearly, Departed


Love can never die.Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

5 Great Lines from Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

1

“Real ladies can give orders, Real gentlemen can take them, and Real zombies don’t eat brains.”

2

The fact that she made this beeline for me both warmed my soul and made me want to turn around, walk out the door, and find a cliff to fling myself off of.

3

I ran this through my “girl talk” translator and said, “I could eat him, if either of you’d like. Seems like it might be the easiest thing to do.”

4

“Seriously,let me talk to her when she wakes up. Girl-to-girl.”
“No offense, Chas, but you’d scare the crap out of her.”
“Want to say that to my face, Coalhouse?”
“What’s left of it.”

5

I wondered if there was a crazy person’s license you had to apply for, some seminar you had to attend, or if you could just walk out of the house one day and get started.

 


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.- on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.
Look for my newest release- Dark Daze – Out now

5 Great Lines – Deanna Raybourn, Silent in the Grave


These ominous words, slashed from the pages of a book of Psalms, are the last threat that the darling of London society, Sir Edward Grey, receives from his killer. Before he can show them to Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent he has retained for his protection, Sir Edward collapses and dies at his London home, in the presence of his wife, Julia, and a roomful of dinner guests.

Prepared to accept that Edward’s death was due to a long-standing physical infirmity, Julia is outraged when Brisbane visits and suggests that Sir Edward has been murdered. It is a reaction she comes to regret when she discovers the damning paper for herself, and realizes the truth.

Determined to bring her husband’s murderer to justice, Julia engages the enigmatic Brisbane to help her investigate Edward’s demise. Dismissing his warnings that the investigation will be difficult, if not impossible, Julia presses forward, following a trail of clues that lead her to even more unpleasant truths, and ever closer to a killer who waits expectantly for her arrival.

5 Great Lines from Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn

1

To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.

2

Fate is by far the greatest mystery of all.

3

“I adored history, not the dry dates and boring battles, but the stories and the people who populated them.”

4

“Apparently, he uses disguises sometimes in the course of his investigations. In his liaison with Mariah, he used them for discretion. He came to her once dressed as a chimney sweep. Quite invigorating, don’t you think?”

5

“If you were a man, your ladyship, I would cordially horsewhip you for that remark. As you are not, I will simply bid you farewell and leave you to your fresh and obviously debilitating grief.”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.- on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.
Look for my newest release- Dark Daze – Out now

5 Great Lines – Sherry Gammon, Unlovable


Seventeen year-old Maggie Brown is truly the poster child for Heroin Chic, complete with jutting bones and dark-ringed eyes. But drugs are not Maggie’s problem… her mother is.
Maggie’s struggling with her growing feelings for the new guy at school, Seth Prescott, and fears he is just another person who will let her down, like everyone in her life has done thus far.
Seth Prescott is an undercover cop assigned to Port Fare High, and despite his job, he’s developed strong feelings for Maggie.
Seth’s working tirelessly to flush out the sadistic drug peddlers that have invaded the small town of Port Fare, New York, while Maggie fights to stay alive as the search turns deadly.
Seth and Maggie’s romantic journey is one of humor, heartbreak and self-discovery as their world is about to change forever.

5 Great Lines from Unlovable by Sherry Gammon

1

“When I said I loved you, I didn’t mean for a week, or maybe a year, I meant always, in the good times and the bad, through thick and thin. I’m playing for keeps here, Mags.”

2

“You know how important trust is to me, yet you’ve done nothing but deceive me.”

3

“Please don’t hurt me. When you’re tired of me, just let me know.”

4

“Come here my fattin’ up girlfriend and give me some kissin’.”

5

“I’m a mean, cruel person who doesn’t deserve love.”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.- on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.
Look for my newest release- Dark Daze – Out now

IT’S A SCARY PROPOSITION


Hey ladies-its Halloween. Are you and your kids ready? This year my Mother decided not to hand out candy so instead we are eating it here. But that doesn’t mean we are not participating. Dress up I believe I still will do. I do read some horror novels and paranormal romance or suspense romance. They remind me of the horror movies where the love occurs as a result from the event or is the reason for the event. Hence the Halloween theme wedding.
In my elementary school our music teacher and gifted and talented teacher got married on Halloween. A television show called Four Weddings has a Halloween themed wedding and A Wedding Story has the same themed wedding. Horror stories develop romances along the way and they also show you how the two people develop romance in the midst of terror. But do you really feel that marriage- that scary proposition- should be done on the date of Halloween?

Although I haven’t read anything in a romance novel about a Halloween wedding except for parties and rendevous’ it doesn’t mean that they cannot happen. It just takes some ingenuity.

So to keep the post short this week before Halloween and the day of All Hallows Eve- I am requesting your presence on this the 31st day of October 2012, to enjoy a Happy Wedded Halloween. Blessed to you all.

5 Great Lines – Jennifer Crusie, Bet Me


Minerva Dobbs knows all about risk management, which is why it’s such a shock when David, her extremely logical choice for a boyfriend, dumps her three weeks before her perfect sister’s wedding: David was not supposed to be a wild card. So when Min overhears David make a bet with his old nemesis—the gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey—that Cal can’t get Min into bed in a month, she decides that fate has just handed her a stacked deck: she can make Cal sweat his sex appeal and get a date to the wedding, if she plays along and doesn’t fold. What follows is a novel of destiny, chaos theory, Krispy Kreme donuts, the spirit of Elvis, Chicken Marsala, and a gamble for the highest stake of all: true love.

5 Great Lines from Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

1

“Nobody in my life has ever known me the way you do. Nobody in my life has ever made me feel as good as you do. You know me, you know everything about me, and when you leave me, you’re going to be leaving the real me, the me nobody else has ever seen, that’s who you’re going to be rejecting.”

2

She slid out from under his arm, and picked up his shirt from the floor. When she put it on, it failed to meet in the middle over her chest. That always worked in the movies, she thought, disgusted, and dropped it on the floor.

3

“Can we go to work now? Because we’re about a minute away from breaking out the ice cream and talking about our feelings, and I don’t think we can come back from that.”

4

“Look, Mother, I am never going to be thin.
I’m Norwegian. If you wanted a thin daughter, you should not have married a man whose female ancestors carried cows home from the pasture”

5

“I’m Min’s fairy godmother, Charm Boy,’ Liza said, frowning down at him. ‘And if you don’t give her a happily ever after, I’m going to come back and beat you to death with a snow globe.’


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.- on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.
Look for my newest release- Dark Daze – Out now

Guest post – Karen Frisch – Lost in Translation


Please help me welcome back Karen Frisch, author of What’s In A Name.

LOST IN TRANSLATION

By Karen Frisch

 

Let’s face it, the heart of writing of revising. The process is about as lonely as walking a narrow path on a mountaintop with steep sides. It’s wide enough for only one—you, the writer, and the characters in your head. No writer knows on Page One every twist the story will take until she writes The End. Some writers don’t even know the end until they get there.

Experienced writers know one thing is certain. If you want to tell a good story, you can’t be too attached to every word. While some writers expand the bare bones of an idea in the editing process, others take the lengthy original version and translate it into crisp, poignant writing. They watch the incredible shrinking paragraph without fear, confident they can improve it.

Our challenge as writers is to find the best possible expression of our ideas. When we first write them, they’re spur of the moment thoughts that won’t necessarily work once the novel is complete. We write, then we rewrite.

The biggest challenge is to keep extra words from muddling what we want to say. The process of rewriting adds precision by deleting extraneous words. Compare the following paragraphs.

Early Version: “Sophy spent the late afternoon hours putting decorative touches in the drawing room. While she set candles about the room and edged the sideboard with strands of ivy to add to the festive appearance, the activity failed to improve her mood. On the far side of the room her sisters-in-law moved about, discussing tomorrow’s dinner in low tones, deciding who should sit where as they contemplated a seating arrangement that would please everyone present. Glad they were busy with their own concerns, Sophy sat gazing out the window when she had finished decorating, trying to bring the turmoil she felt under control.”

Revision: “Sophy filled the late afternoon setting candles about the drawing room and edging the sideboard with strands of ivy for tomorrow’s festivities, but her heart remained a leaden weight. Across the room her sisters-in-law quietly discussed tomorrow’s dinner, trying to organize a seating arrangement to satisfy everyone. Relieved they were preoccupied, Sophy paused to gaze out the window, trying to quell the pain that had stolen her joy.”

You can hear the difference. To paraphrase the Beatles, it’s getting better over time. That’s what editing is—the willingness to get rid of something you love to make it stronger. Some writers feel a book is only finished when an editor demands it from them. Even then, we know we’ll see our darling manuscript again when it’s time for a line edit!

What we lose in translation we gain in strength. Our writing improves when we listen to our own inner voice. And whose voice is it anyway? We’ll save that conversation for another day.

 

Karen Frisch’s historical romance What’s in a Name is now available as an e-book and in paperback from Amazon. She has also written a Victorian mystery, Murder Most Civil, and a Regency romance, Lady Delphinia’s Deception. All are available on Amazon, as are her two genealogy books, Unlocking the Secrets in Old Photographs and Creating Junior Genealogists.

 

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Thanks for visiting us here at Let’s Talk Romance.
—-

April Dawn
Author of Crushing Desire and Bound By Love

NaNoWriMo Preparation for My Story This Year


Reblogged from http://www.yasminejameson.wordpress.com on October 17, 2012 //

Hey fellow writers. I am prepping for NaNoWriMo this year. Last year I tried it and flubbed out way early. But this year I am not planning to do it. I have had a good group this year. The group is online and also in person but you have to travel. Looking for transportation. The website address: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/sign_in National Novel Writing Month and the group is actually located in the state I reside in right now. So that is cool. There are a lot of articles out there about the month of November. I will repost from my another author’s blog which is prep for NaNoWriMo. The author is Alexandra Sokoloff and the title of the article is: http://www.screenwritingtricks.com/ Screenwriting Tricks. Even though it is for a person who writes for theatre or who may write for the stage- the author is a novel writer, and she has given some good tips. Another article comes off of Writer Unboxed called http://writerunboxed.com/2012/10/13/pre-plot-for-nanowrimo/ Pre-Plot for NaNoWriMo. The guest author has written three books to help you with your plotting for your novel. Another good article I had found was on writing dialogue called http://writerunboxed.com/2012/10/16/10-tips-for-writing-impactful-dialogue/. If I find some more I will let you all know.

5 Great Lines – Eloisa James, When Beauty Tamed the Beast


Miss Linnet Berry Thrynne is a Beauty . . . Naturally, she’s betrothed to a Beast. Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumored, his bad temper flays everyone he crosses. And rumor also has it that a wound has left the earl immune to the charms of any woman. Linnet is not just any woman. She is more than merely lovely: her wit and charm brought a prince to his knees. She estimates the earl will fall madly in love—in just two weeks. Yet Linnet has no idea of the danger posed to her own heart by a man who may never love her in return. If she decides to be very wicked indeed . . . what price will she pay for taming his wild heart?

5 Great Lines from When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

1

“I love you,” he said, his voice catching. “When I thought you were going to die, I wanted to die.”

2

“God Almighty, your ruined, and you didn’t even eat the gingerbread.”

3

“There’s nothing I like more than meeting velvet clad peers while wrapped in a towel.”

4

“If you throw me out of this house, I shall sleep on the path outside. If you return to the Continent without me, I shall follow you. I will build a willow hut at your gate; I will sleep under your window; I will be waiting for you at your own front door.”

5

“I didn’t realize you needed a response. When Hamlet is giving a monologue, he just goes on and on by himself.”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.- on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.
Look for my newest release- Dark Daze – Out now

5 Great Lines – Sarah Mayberry, Her Best Friend


What’s a girl to do when she’s secretly in love with a friend and he’s married to someone else? She gets over it. That’s what Amy Parker has done. Rather than lose her best bud Quinn Whitfield with an ill-timed, crazy confession of affection, she’s taken the smart route. She’s eased away from him. Just enough to get past the unrequited bits. And you know, it’s working.

Until the day Quinn announces he’s now single. That’s right. “He’s single.” And he wants to hang out. “With her.” Get reconnected the way they used to be.

Oh, this is so not good for Amy’s equilibrium. Daily doses of Quinn remind her of everything she loves about him. But if he’s free…and she’s free…well, maybe the time has come for one of those crazy confessions.

5 Great Lines from Her Best Friend by Sarah Mayberry

1

She was an idiot. An adorable, gorgeous, feisty, funny, sweet, sexy idiot.

2

“Will you calm down for a minute, you psycho chicken, and tell me what the hell is going on?”

3

“If I let you go are you going to hit me again?”
“What do you think?”
“Then I’m not going to let you go.”

4

Three Denises wobbled in front of her, all of them watching her with fond concern. “You’re a sweetie. I appreciate you cheering me on from the sidelines. But I think I need to go to the bathroom now and throw up.”

5

“Is there somebody out there? Amy, is that you?” her mother called.
“No. Tell me this isn’t happening.” Quinn rested his forehead against hers. “Has she got a wiretap on you or something? I swear, she’s like a walking hard-on detector.”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.- on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.
Look for my newest release- Dark Daze – Out now

NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH AND MY NEW MYSTERY WITH A TOUCH OF ROMANCE


Suzannah time is coming around this year and hopefully within one week I will be receiving the contest entries. Just so you know I have been participating as an unpublished judge for the last two years. But this year I come as a published author outside of the internet. I think that is cool. Now- the idea I had for this week’s entry hadn’t so much to deal with romance as it had to do with going to conferences and the advance of National Novel Writing Month which happens in November.
I found a website for this year and I signed up for it. I am hoping to gain some new friends and some good critique from it. And the story I want to use is my new novel that I want to publish. There is a little romance and a lot of mystery. The romance comes in with the persons working the case. Not with each other but with other persons. But it will bring some spice into the story.
For the reader who enjoys romance and mysteries- what is it that you search for? What do you want to have your character show you? How is the dream supposed to flow in your brain as you read? I am still finding that out because my characters drive me crazy. I have decided that Darwin- she is the private investigator/paralegal who is the main character/investigator for the novel- will have a romantic relationship with someone that has as of yet not appeared. But do I want that to happen? I am not sure.
I use the contest as a barometer for where I stand in my journey of learning how to write. So this year, I am looking for elements of romance within the traditional story. And I am hoping to find some.
By the way of updates, if you happen to like the Facebook program (I am a fan) then I have something to share with you. Most of my followers on my blog come from Facebook. For that I am extremely grateful. I kept losing my followers and couldn’t figure out how WordPress could lose them. And then when I went to check out my Facebook I found out it was because I actually hadn’t uploaded my blogs to Facebook. I just sent them the entries. But now, the blogs are actually loaded to the Facebook page. You can access it through Networked Blogs. And the followers will now be part of that websites statistics as well as the WordPress statistics. Why am I telling you this? Because it is good information to have and a way for you to monitor the readers and get a feel for what your readers would like to see on your blog.
Well I think part of what I like about Suzannah is that I have the opportunity to judge unpublished authors. And this year, I am going to actually purchase one or two of the books (when I have the funds) of previous winners who now have published novels. And this way I can read some of what I had a part in the making.
Also check your feeds for your subscriptions on blogs. I have read that some or all are going away. They are going to be replacing them soon but they I don’t know when exactly-if you check your Google account I believe you can find out that information.
In closing, I want say to you have a nice day and a nice October.

Guest post – Anthony Diesso


Please welcome Anthony Diesso, author of The Haunted Spring. (AKA our old friend and blog-hacker Feebil E Willie.)

—-

Hello, everybody!

As my novel, The Haunted Spring, is just now floating in on the e-book ether, like a huge conversation bubble let loose from the cartoon head that made it, I thought I might say a few things about it in way of an introduction.

It’s a pretty straightforward story, actually: a young man, a young woman, love, new life, then loss, and finally life again. There’s also a ghost. But as for what “type” of story it is, I wish I could tell you. Maybe I should have asked someone while writing it, but it’s probably too late now. The whole dilemma might have also made for a good contest, a sort of sideshow, “Guess what the thing is” type of promotion, but I didn’t rent out the booth in time.The Haunted Spring could be, in one way or another, a serious comedy, a slice of life in which impossible things happen, or, perhaps most accurately, a ghost story that wants to be about something else.
It may also have the soul of a toddler, carefully building things up for the sheer joy of knocking them down. Ruins and people are an endless curiosity (to me at least), which could mean that ruins of people pretty much top the list. In describing the relationship of Jay and Anna, I went through a lot of trouble to walk through the door (so to speak), carefully spread my blanket of objects, stomp and break each one, heap them all together, then back out the way I came. I don’t think I have a mean streak: I’m sort of fond of my imaginary friends. But I guess I thought it was my job to set them down with a degree ofsadistic compassion, to sympathize with them as I put them through so much hell and trouble.Much of the story is based upon my wife’s and my experience in an NICU ward after our son was born about three months premature.  The book scarcely does justice to the parents I met there and what they endured: in many cases, months of agonizing hope, the daily watch, the updates by doctors and nurses, their pinning everything to words similar to those told me by the doctor on the night my son was born: “He’s stable, and we expect him to survive.” My boy is four now, and so spunky that it’s sometimes easy to forget how he fought his way into  the world and how he fought to stay there.  But opening an old box and picking up an extra pair of diapers we had but never used, seeing how they fit snugly around three of my fingers, reminds me of where my son was, where my wife and I were, and where so many fine people–parents, doctors, nurses–were fighting and are still fighting.The ending of The Haunted Spring is, I think, a happy one, although one involving sacrifice. I hope the reader doesn’t consider reaching the book’s conclusion a sacrifice as well. I put in as much wit and mystery and humor as I could. It’s devoid of social “insights”, and there doesn’t seem to be a lesson in it, either: I did my very best to keep one out.  I’m not didactic by nature (and if I had the chance, why, I’d sit you down and prove it), and I never learn from my mistakes: at best, I simply learn new and curious ways to repeat them.
Anyway, Death Valley Scotty, a man whom I’ve never met, and about whom I know very little (which is to say, someone I can put my absolute faith in), once said, “Don’t complain; don’t explain”. He’s dead now, but not from that philosophy; and to keep from pushing my book so hard that I send it over a cliff, I think I’d better respect his sound advice and break off here. By the way, I’ve dedicated The Haunted Spring to my wife, who certainly deserves it. If it wasn’t for her endless…wait, that last sentence doesn’t sound quite right. But rather than explain, I guess now’s a pretty good place to sneak out.
Best,
Anthony Diesso
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  • Excerpt
We sat down, poked through the menu, and when the waiter arrived, we ordered an Aztec tortilla soup. I ate having only a vague idea of how it tasted: warm and salty. Anna must have noticed my distraction, as I rolled the paper wrapping off a straw around my thumb and index finger.
“Well, how do you like your mummy?” she asked, referring to the crisp, tortilla strips that floated in the broth,
I looked down, snorted as I laughed. “Fine. The wrappings are done just right.”
“I wasn’t sure. You seemed to be lost in deep reflection.”
“Uh-huh. I’m staring at my face in the soup.”
“Oh. Anything interesting?”
“I have wobbly skin, and my complexion is awful.”
“Hmm…I suppose you never can tell what people are thinking when they’re quiet.”
“Actually, I was quiet but not all that thoughtful. It’s just a habit. Sit still and don’t think of anything. People will read thoughts into your face, and they think you’re profound.”
“That’s quite a system, Jay.”
“It’s worked pretty well. I’ve got a steady job, and friends, and not too many enemies, and parents who still love me, and aunts and uncles who send cards on Christmas.” I smiled widely, without showing teeth. That was the first time she’d said my name, and the intimacy of it lingered in my thoughts.
The hours blurred by. Daylight from the window peripherally thinned as I focused on the woman in front of me: her shy though earnest glances, the way something I said could touch her face, its candle-lit and lustrous, although delicately shaded moods. And without sounding like a prospective employer—or a nag—I was also able to piece together a bit of her personal history. It did become, for some unreasonable reason, sort of a mission, rather than a simple curiosity. I don’t know why it’s like that. How many men admire a woman for her mystery while trying to pluck out all her secrets? I suppose there’s almost something religious about it.
Gradually the peculiar knick-knacks on the walls, the slits of twilight through the window blinds began to seep into our talk. We never mentioned them directly, but they quieted our speech, and shadowed innocuous topics like our childhoods and older family members.
“Oh, by the way,” I asked, “what was the story that you mentioned on our walk?”
“That’s right,” she muttered after a pause, rubbing her first and middle fingers against an eyebrow. “I, uh… at the age of eight, I lost my grandmother. She was older… you know. We’d spent a lot of time together during her final illness. She had to stay indoors, because of the late summer chill, so I’d go outside, collect garden flowers in my skirt and bring them in to her. I’d lay them on her lap, upon the blanket, and her eyes would grow this wide. Then she’d reach out a shaky arm to touch my shoulder. She’d try to lean forward, out of the chair, but I’d step nearer, and she’d plant a wobbly kiss—mwah! Then I’d step back, and she’d just look at me and give me this sort of puckered smile, without any teeth.
“She died quietly during the night, in bed, and, in the morning, before she was removed, my mother brought me in to say goodbye and to touch her hand. I was taught the soul stays until the body’s placed into the ground, so I began to look about, in the room, the yard, before the slowly bleeding autumn trees. I kept wiping my eyes and looking very hard, but still I couldn’t find it.
“That night I dreamt. My grandmother came to me in my bedroom, distressed over a bruise on her forehead. And pointing with twitchy fingers to the wound, she cried, ‘Anna, look! You see? My head—there’s blood.’
“And I reminded her, “But…but Grandma, you’re dead.”
“’Dead?’ she asked.”
I lowered eyes away from Anna. And for a moment I stalled, hoping to come up with a reply better than “Oh, how sad—,” or “Isn’t life strange—,” or “We shouldn’t dwell on such events—.” The silence grew worse, so that I finally blurted out, “Would you like a drink?”
“No, thank you. But don’t let me stop you.” She was about to add something; yet with her lips just parted, having breathed out a starting vowel, she stopped, and released her thought as a gentle exhalation.
Walking back to the apartments, in that dusk of broadening dark and sour light, we spoke less frequently. There was a quiet that had settled over both of us, over the fronts of houses, doors and windows painted with the hour. The road and sidewalk glowed rosily, with a trim of rusty shadow, and above, the clouded twilight, like a basket of ripened peaches, shone all puffs of swollen orange, red and blue. I was going to comment on it, but I looked at Anna looking at me and smiling rosily. And working up my nerve to not say anything, I simply nodded and smiled back.

5 Great Lines – Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games


 

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games.” The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat’s sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

5 Great Lines from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

1

“Remember, we’re madly in love, so it’s all right to kiss me anytime you feel like it.”

2

And then he gives me a smile that just seems so genuinely sweet with just the right touch of shyness that unexpected warmth rushes through me.

3

I can feel Peeta press his forehead into my temple and he asks, “So now that you’ve got me, what are you going to do with me?” I turn into him. “Put you somewhere you can’t get hurt.”

4

Stupid people are dangerous.

5

I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.- on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.
Look for my newest release- Dark Daze – Out now

Wanna Write A Book Review


I am a fledgling book reviewer. I have just started this past year in 2011 to write for online magazines book reviews. There are a lot of book review websites on the internet and some start up on their own. I think the first thing to do is to decide whether or not you fit that website. For this website she has it split- one for her columnist/contributors and the other website is for book reviews. The two addresses are: http://www.letstalkromance.wordpress.com and http://www.letstalkromancereviews.wordpress.com. How it works is that you pick from a list provided by her of up and coming novels about to be released and already released novels. You give her the title, author name, publisher and publisher date- she will then send you a copy of the novel. Please be advised that for most of the sites, they are eBooks or epublished books. Very rarely have I gotten a copy of the actual book to read but some do provide that for you. Your reward or payment for the most part, is a copy of the novel that is yours to keep unless otherwise noted and maybe a gift card or certificate.
When you do the book review the format for most is the same. You have the title of the book or it says “Book Review of (Title of Novel) by (Author). And then you have next the book blurb which is basically what I call the “eye candy” of the novel. It is what you may catch the very next person who reads your novel by the phrase or sentence there. And I think for each book reviewer it is different. I try to make it a part of the novel that makes it click for me or what may make it click for the reader-oh I understand now. The body of the review is the review itself now. And here is where your opinion is on the novel for better or for worse. Following the body and at the end of the review is what I call the disclosure statement required by book reviewers to put in which basically states that we are either being paid or not paid by the author or publisher to write this review for this website. And it also requires that we also notify you the reader whether or not we paid for the novel. The actual reasoning for this escapes me but I do what is required.
What you may also want to note is that the score that you choose for rating will not necessarily dictate who will read the novel but it may get you a nice note from the author thanking you or asking you questions for themselves so they can make changes or not.
Here is a list of some of the book review websites that you can read from and/or join as a reviewer:
Geeky Girl Reviews
Preternatura
Book, Line and Sinker
Manic Readers
You Gotta Read
Lets Talk Romance Reviews
Urban Reviews
Bookreporter
Book Chick City
And there are a lot of others. I find them all the time, and some will actually review television shows, movies and restaurants. I actually like to review whatever I think is interesting for the blog I contribute too. And it’s a good conversational tool.
What started this was I just joined a blog from an introduction in the writers chat room (www.writerschatroom.com) and from there found a lot of new blogs to read. So I hope for you guys this gives you another outlet of entertainment, information and new ways to make friends.
Chat ya laterz guyz and galz.