Saturday, November 28, 2015

Football players, the modern day Gladitors, by Gina Danna, Love & Vengence

Today, I hand my site over to Gina Danna
so she can discuss the many similarities of our historical sports to current sports.
Take it away, Gina!

Football or Gladiator Games?    

So two days ago was Thanksgiving. A day of feasting, drinking and…watching football (or getting ready for Black Friday sales but I digress…). Football is a rather odd sport – two teams of men punt, throw, tactical and dive to get their oblong leather ball to the opposer's end zone for a ‘touchdown.’ A sport that has 4 quarters of fifteen minutes in length can take 3 hours to complete thanks to replays, time outs and the half-time show. And lets not forget the uniforms they wear – big bulky men, padded out to protect their bodies and the helmets – hide most of the players true selves. But this is a sport that at this time of year sends many into serious phobias.

Do you watch football? Have your favorite team? And what about gladiatorial games – would you watch those?

Ancient Rome had it’s own spectacle – the gladiatorial games. Begun as an honorarium to a dead relative during the funeral festivities, the fights of two men sparring for a victory, sometimes to the death, soon took hold in Rome and its Empire and lasted for roughly 500 years! Gladiator games were expensive, like football, but the money made off the victories drove the Romans for more.

In many ways, the 2 sports are similar –

Both are played in stadiums that are of the same shape – oval with long field (or sands for Rome) that the players/gladiators perform on, with the spectators sitting around them and up high for better viewing. Actually, football stadiums are built along the design of The Colosseum in Rome.

Both involve teams. Football teams play against the other. Gladiators were groups of gladiators from a ludius, or gladiatorial school owned by the batista who bought the gladiators (mostly slaves). Sometimes these fighters fought others in their own ludius, many times their opponents were gladiators from another ludi. So many times it was ludius against ludius in a contest of champion.

Both sports had vendors that sold food and drinks during the event. Beer for football, wine for gladiator games. There were vendors outside the stadium/colosseum that sold teams merchandise. Roman vendors often had ‘trinkets’ like drawings of gladiators, vials of their blood (often thought of as magical, especially if he was a champion), etc. These men were rockstars of their age, just like football players like Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys are today.

There are referees in football; in Rome, there was the Editor who schooled the games.

There are half time shows – in football, rockstars (though sometimes we have to watch for clothing-foundation failures LOL) performing. In the Arena, executions at noon were highly entertaining, as criminals sentenced to die were killed as spectators sat in their seats, eating lunch.

Both sports wore helmets; though gladiators might have more interesting designs like a fish on top of theirs…both are padded against injury. While football chases a ‘pig’ (their ball) for scores, gladiators use gladis or swords. Football is won by the number of ‘touchdowns’ made by the ‘pig’ crossing the goal line, gladiator games are won by one man still standing with the other on his back, raising fingers to show missio, or surrender, or dead by the other fighter.

So next time you see a football game, think how gladiators fought on the same turf and the similarities of the two sports. If that doesn’t send a chill down your spine, imagine how well gladiator games would do if reintroduced today, viewable via your TV or in person. I believe the gruffness, the brutality, all built on a thread of football, would attract the nation to watch the games and surpass football’s fans.

To catch a glimpse of the future sport, come visit Marcus & Gustina in Love & Vengeance –


Love & Vengeance

by

Gina Danna


Rome 108 A.D., under the Emperor Trajan, is the center of the civilized world. It is a time of sophistication and decadence, a brutal world to their conquered.

Marcus, a Roman citizen sentenced to die as a gladiator, accused by his wife and brother for a crime he did not commit. Yet death eludes him and he rises to become champion of the sands. The title he does not want. He seeks revenge but his victories in the Colosseum bestow monetary rewards he can use to save a beautiful slave, Gustina, from certain death by the beasts. She gives him a taste of love in a world full of lies, betrayal and murder.

But his overwhelming desire for vengeance, for blood and the kill, brings a higher price tag – can he satisfy the demon inside him and face the truth? A truth that will kill the woman he loves?

Buy links –

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1Y4BzhU (paperback)
                 http://amzn.to/1PCtGgP (Kindle)
iBooks:    http://apple.co/1SKrVhA
Kobo:      http://bit.ly/20NEm1f
Nook:      http://bit.ly/1Snvyt0


Author bio –

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Gina Danna has spent the better part of her life reading. History has been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, dreaming of writing one of her own. Years later, after receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, writing academic research papers and writing for museum programs and events, she finally found the time to write her own stories of historical romantic fiction.

Now, living in Texas, she is under the supervision of her three dogs as she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other life long dream – her Arabian horse – with him, her muse can play.
www.ginadanna.com
FB:  www.facebook.com/GinaDannaAuthor
Twitter:  @GinaDanna1



Sunday, November 22, 2015

Phoenix Rising by Hunter S. Jones.



PHOENIX RISING

Author: Hunter S. Jones
GENRE: Literary Fiction/Historical Fiction
EDITOR: BZ Hercules
ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: May 19, 2015



The last hour of Anne Boleyn's life... 

Court intrigue, revenge and all the secrets of the last hour are revealed as one queen falls and another rises to take her place on destiny's stage. 

A young Anne Boleyn arrives at the court of King Henry VIII. She is to be presented at the Shrovetide pageant, le Ch√Ęteau Vert. The young and ambitious Anne has no idea that a chance encounter before the pageant will lead to her capturing the heart of the king. What begins as a distraction becomes his obsession and leads to her destruction. 

Love, hate, loyalty and betrayal come together in a single dramatic moment... the execution of a queen. The history of England will be changed for ever.




Chattanooga, Tennessee

May 2015


Long ago, when our English ancestress immigrated to the American colonies in the late 17th century, she brought with her a star chart, the stories it revealed, and a golden ring. My grandmother told me this, and her grandmother had explained it to her. This story has remained in our family for generations. The star chart tells the story of the last hour of Anne Boleyn and the rise of Lady Jane Seymour as predicted by an astrologer to the King of England, Henry VIII. The family legend and the chart reveal what happened in the last hour on that English morning of May 19, 1536. 

The star chart is a map of the planetary movement for a particular time. It is divided into twelve segments called houses. Each house represents a different area of life and individuals within a person’s life. Every house literally provides a home for the planets stationed there, giving that planet a place to manifest its energy through various individuals. According to the stars and the twelve houses of the star map, zodiac wheel, or astrology chart, as we call them today, this is how the King, the doomed Queen, and various members of their family and court spent the last hour of one Queen’s life and the beginning of the next Queen’s reign. As the falcon badge of Anne Boleyn began its descent, the phoenix emblem of Jane Seymour began to rise. 

The star map remains in my possession, as does the golden ring. So it was explained to me and now I can reveal to you that which has been a mystery. The mystery of how that one moment in time came to be.








Deb Hunter writes fiction as Hunter S. Jones. She is a member of the prestigious Society of Authors founded by Lord Tennyson, Rivendell Writers Colony, Historical Writers’ Association, Historical Fiction Authors, Historical Novel Society and the Atlanta Writer’s Club. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) PAN Member; and Georgia Romance Writers. Originally from a Chattanooga, Tennessee, she currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her Scottish born husband.

Her Tudor History blog, Fear and Loathing in Tudor England, is a reader’s favorite.

Her best seller, PHOENIX RISING, a fictional story of the last hour of Anne Boleyn is available on Amazon.com and at a bookstore near you.

SECRETS from a DANGEROUS TIME is a multi-dimensional series set in post-Civil War Reconstruction in Chattanooga, Tennessee and the north Georgia. This series is an Amazon Exclusive available via MadeGlobal Publishing.




        




Thursday, November 19, 2015

Aubree Lane's new release: Winter in Waianae



Escaping San Diego and a difficult home life, eighteen-year-old Brittany Sutherland shows up unexpectedly on her sister’s doorstep. Annie Javier and her family welcome the teen with open arms. It is blue skies and fair sailing until tragedy strikes. The young woman suddenly finds it difficult to trust Annie’s pledge of devotion.

~~~

They come in with the dolphins and leave with the Winter Solstice. When Brittany and her new love, Grady, share an ocean adventure with a pod of spinner dolphins, the believers in the family rejoice. The prophesy handed down by the matriarch of each generation is about to unfold, but the longest day of the year is almost upon them. Will the saviors infuse luck and love upon the young couple, or will Brittany and Grady lose everything they worked so hard to achieve?



WINTER IN WAIANAE

Book 2 of the Love in Oahu Series
Romantic Suspense
Cover Designer: The Graphics Shed




Brittany saw the gleam in Grady’s eyes and knew he had something planned. Well, let him try, she thought. Her body had grown strong and quick with all the manual labor she performed, and her mind had never been slow. Just like Annie, Brittany spent as many hours as possible away from her house and the abusive parents who dwelled within its walls. The friends she hung out with were a rowdy bunch whose only interest in life was getting high and having fun.

For the most part, Brittany passed on the highs and focused on the fun. It had been sorely lacking in her life, and she’d been desperate to make up for lost time. Brittany was the jokester of the group. One prank after another was played on her unsuspecting pack of loveable oddballs.

Grady’s ploy to lure her deeper into the warm tropical water was obvious. As a San Diego native, Brittany wasn’t a stranger to surf and sand. A rip current boiled a few feet behind Grady. If she could somehow get him into it, he would be whisked out to sea.

A devious grin formed on her lips. She wanted to keep a poker face, but the smirk wouldn’t go away. Her scheme was probably just as apparent as his, but she didn’t care. Grady wanted to play, and she was prepared to beat him at his own game.

She opened her arms for a hug and Grady stepped willingly into her web. He danced her closer to the churning undercurrent. Brittany threw her head back and laughed. They both had the same thing in mind.




Aubree Lane lives in the beautiful foothills of Northern California with her husband, two wonderful sons, and her super special peek-a-poo, named Tanner.

Her motto: Write Until Your Butt Hurts, And Your Eyes Are Crossed.


         

Monday, November 16, 2015

Liza O'Connor's 2016 book cover efforts.

Liza O'Connor's
WORKS IN PROCESS

Right now I’m working on 2016 books. Here’s my strange thought process when creating book covers. One thing you need to know, I tend to write series in multiple genres. 

After many failed attempts, too awful to share, I came up with this for my new 3 book mafia White Oak series (with room to expand if wanted.)

The White Oak Series


The above shows what I thought to be my final covers. Then I questioned the validity of my choices. Why must my font be stretched in book one? What would it look like if it were the same as the other two books. While I’d admit that book 3 does need the shadow, book 2 surely doesn't. And if we shifted the book cover down, might I be able to put my name down at the bottom so all three books match on location of my name?  Now as far as the title, that goes where it can. In the case of book 2 that means it’s not centered but it works for me. Wait, I’ve one more thing.  Why did I make book two wider than one and three? Jeez!
So I set about fixing stuff, and this is where I am now:

Which covers do you prefer? I like this better, because it doesn’t rile my Liza is an idiot button so much. Still I notice book two’s Series title needs to move to the left one click. There’s a slight issue with my name on book two. I will have to replace the name entirely from one of the other two books to get it exactly the same. (It’s a bit smaller. You can tell by the width of the black space around it.) But generally, I think following the rules on these three improved them.

Next will come my AI series. For this I've two finalist for the cover. Blue and Yellow.



This is a case where my readers like book 2 of Blue and book 1 of yellow, only that match doesn’t work as a series at all.  However, using my advice that you should start book 1 with the best pic possible, I’ll have to go with Yellow version. It was the clear winner in my Facebook survey. The second book I’ve tweeked. I made the typeface black and added a satellite in the corner, because that is how Adam saves himself from annihilation.

I also darkened the image, because the original one seem washed out. In my opinion they now seem closer to resembling one another. I did try putting a yellow shadow behind the title. Oddly, it made it harder to read.  Also, I’m going to remove the ‘The’ and just calling it Birth of Adam. I have to be Twitter conscious. Shorter names work best with Twitter.

To me, the Blue version is clearly the same series. However, book one is weird…who types all over the page? (A sentient computer trying to warn you that a deadly serial killer is after you.)

Sadly, it is far less compelling than book 1 of the yellow series. So Yellow should sell better. While Yellow book 1 tells you nothing about the story, it intrigues.

Next, we'll have two additions to my Late Victorian Series. 
Here is the series thus far. As you can see, it is highly stylized:

(The book that is different is a romantic spin-off, so it's style is different. Consequently, less people read it, even though they are missing vital information by failing to do so.)

Learn from my mistake. Calling a book 2.5 doesn't make it so. If the cover is different, then clearly it's not part of the series.

During the early months of creating covers for Xavier & Vic, I created several beautiful covers that I liked far more than these, but they couldn’t be made into a long lasting series. This cover allows for a character of importance to be highlighted in the magnifying glass while the book remains identifiable with the rest of the series. The connection to the series is, in this case, MORE important than having one beautiful cover that cannot be clearly be tied to the rest of the novels.

The next two books in this series are currently looking like this:

 
Tubs (left) and Samson (right) are two of the secondary characters who work for Xavier and Vic. Tubs knows that Vic is female, Samson does not, but neither will hesitate to give his life for her. Tubs nearly dies while saving Vic in Book 6. In book 5 Xavier had orders to kill the current Crime Lord, but he couldn't find a single lieutenant capable of taking on the job. So he asked Samson to take the position. Samson does, but he and Vic remains friends, and soon, Samson falls in love with her. Only, he is far more likely to act on his feelings than those who have fallen before. In book 7 he gets his chance.

Other contestants for getting published in 2016:
Slammed

This a contemporary Western (Bull Riding story)
I'm a big fan of bull riding. It's the bull sport in which the bull has the advantage and is treated better than the rider.  I have a second book written, so this may end up as a short series.

Also while I've just begun writing it, I want to publish late in 2016 the kick off novel for The Search for Sentient's series. This series spins off from The Multiverses and will be Sci-Fi Romance with real science included, along with my perverse sense of humor, and the Gods will no doubt show up too. This is the most likely contender for the cover of book 1.

Expect to see all your Multiverse friends plus a whole bunch of odd aliens. I cannot wait to start working on this series. 

And on November 1st, I re-released Saving Casey, having gotten it back from its original publisher.
Here are the four covers I created for it.



The first one my readers nixed right off. The second one I nixed because she is listening to music, not being driven insane. (Casey was bullied to death, and the new occupant of her body is getting highly annoyed and frustrated with her parents. Thus, if not for the head phones this would have been a contender.) Cass sitting on a trash can is an eye catcher, but Cass isn’t the type to sit on a trashcan.

So I opted for Casey in a frame. 
For she is literally being framed.

She’s sad and a bit angry, but no way is she giving up. Cass is trying so hard to turn her life around, but NO ONE wants to help her, and the previous occupant has burnt every bridge imaginable. 

And see, I took my designer’s advice and found a cute, but thicker font for this series.  

That’s right, Saving Casey will kick off a new series in which even strong woman require rescue, because the truth is, there are times in life you do need a helping hand.

Which reminds me of another book I wish to publish next year, only I need a better cover first. Darn it, I need more days in our year. Can I live on Saturn?

And thus ends my discussion on DIY covers. 
In case you missed it, I did a three part DIY book covers at Kim Headlee's blog, discussing how to go about the matter, and the rules I've discovered for creating a cover and choosing fonts.

 (Find Parts 1, 2 & 3 (#3 will be available on November 18th)
I would love to hear your comments. I expect all of you to disagree with something I’ve said because I’m a rogue duck if there ever was one. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR/COVER CREATOR

Liza O’Connor writes in several genres including Late Victorian, Regency, Contemporary Romance, Humorous Disaster Romance (which should be a genre), Sci-Fi and Sci-Fi Romance. Liza currently has eighteen novels, fifteen of which have covers designed by her.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Mischief Under the Mistletoe Boxset--19 Contemporary holiday hoties.

MISCHIEF UNDER THE MISTLETOE

Nineteen All New Contemporary holiday hotties, just waiting to be unwrapped from your favorite NY Times, USA Today, Amazon Bestselling, and Award Winning Authors. This anthology won't last long. Grab it while it's HOT!








When lingerie-store owner Cora Brennan plans a getaway at a quaint mountain retreat, she never expects to reunite with the playboy she spent a memorable night with in college. Can they finally admit their true feelings for each other before love is lost to them again?


Claudy Conn - Collide & Burn
Charlie knows when she first sees Wade Devon that he is
trouble. Wade likes to win. It is what he does and he wants her...no strings attached. She has to ask herself, should she, or shouldn't she.



Melanie James - Snowflakes, Exes, and Ohs
With two men vying for her affection, Abbie's heart is torn between the two. One has always been there for her, no matter what. The other left when she needed him the most.


Mindy Klasky - Fly Me to the Moon
Lexi thinks she's recovered from the fire that burned her years ago. But when she falls for PTSD-ridden army veteran Finn, she learns how deep some scars can be.


Van, one of the best players in rugby and the hottest player between the sheets is looking for a holiday miracle. His brother won the girl and Van's heart is broken. Could the gift of a lifetime be his for the taking or will this bad boy ruck it up again?


Stephanie Rowe - Wrapped Up In You
Can the Christmas magic of a coastal Maine island heal two broken souls when a winter storm strands them together?




Diane Rinella - It's A Marshmallow World
One Christmas, Darla was given a mystical gift, along with an ominous message. Years later, meeting Chris puts her head in a spin. Could it be that gift from long ago holds the key to their happiness?


Kate Angell - Snow One Like You
A Vermont Christmas Eve blizzard forces Allie to close Hartley's General Store. Her best friend Rhys arrives by snowmobile, not wanting her to endure the snowstorm alone. A playful kiss under the mistletoe warms more than their hearts.


Sophie Drayton has seen enough of the wild life to know that Emilio Barrett is bad news. But the sexy stripper has secrets of his own. Will Sophie's past come back to haunt her, or will Emilio prove that a bad boy can be also be a good man?

J.D.Tyler - One Last Miracle
After a case gone horribly wrong, FBI Agent Mark McClendon retreats to his late grandfather's isolated cabin, determined to escape his pain. He's completely unprepared to find himself falling for his pretty new neighbor--but when the past comes gunning for him, Mark's newfound love may mean the difference between a second tragedy and a holiday miracle.


Robin Covington - When You Open Your Eyes
War tore Gabe and Ellie apart and three years later, he's almost given up any hope that she'll come back to him. When she returns just before the holidays, he wants nothing more for the damaged, stubborn woman he loves to stay forever but she's ready to run as soon as the gifts are opened. Chased by her nightmares, Gabe's only hope of keeping Ellie is to convince her that he'll be there when she opens her eyes.

Suzanne Ferrell - Close To The Mistletoe
When teacher Holly Murphy walks into Westen's only bar to help her friend celebrate a divorce, she doesn't expect hot carpenter Nick Fisher to save her from an embarrassing situation. His heated kisses awakens something deep inside her, but when someone sets his sights on Holly, will Nick be the one to protect her close to the mistletoe?



Kathy Ivan - Yours For The Holidays
At her hospital's annual Bachelor Auction, event organizer, Dr. Alanna Reeves, is blindsided when the tables are turned and Blake Donovan offers a huge donation--for her! Can a trip to Florida for the holidays help them discover their true feelings or drive them apart forever?


Selena Laurence - Prince of the Press
Marcus Ambrose, the newest face in political media, is one hot ticket. But when he meets his brother's down-to-earth secretary Renee, his own heart takes a knock. Can Marcus's famous 'full-court press' convince the woman of his dreams to take a shot at love?


Jennie Marts - Worth the Shot
Addison Cavanaugh had one rule: Do not date hockey players. So kissing the newest trade to her dad's team
should have been off-limits--even if he is hot enough to melt the ice. Is the new player worth the shot or is she is risking her heart in a game she can't possibly win?


Teri Riggs - Finding True's Love
Six months after True's last boss viciously attacked her, she's ready to take her therapist's advice and go back into the work force. She wants her life to be normal again and working for another man will be a giant step towards that goal.
Nick has been betrayed by a pretty face for the last time and has sworn off relationships. Or so he thought until the day his new assistant, True Kelly, walked into his office.

Jennifer Theriot - Unwrapping Noel
Noel Calabrese hates Christmas as much as she hates her life. While in the Napa Valley on a business trip, she meets Leon Hallas. Could this sexy, silver fox be her ticket to happiness?


Come back to Bluestone, Minnesota for Christmas, where single mom Willow Branson has moved from Texas to make a home with her daughter. But moving from a Texas winter to a Minnesota one is more challenging than she expected, and handsome handyman Chase Granzer is more than happy to help her adapt...and keep her warm.


Deb Julienne - All I Want For Christmas
Rafe Donnelly hates everything to do with the holidays. Ali Sanders is a single mother, juggling two jobs and missing most of her son's childhood. Who knew a little boy's Santa wish could change so many lives?










New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Kristin Miller writes sweet and sassy contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance of all varieties. Kristin has degrees in psychology, English, and education, and taught high school and middle school English before crossing over to a career in writing. She lives in Northern California with her alpha male husband and their two children. You can usually find her in the corner of a coffee shop, laptop in front of her and mocha in hand, using the guests around her as fuel for her next book.

Some may know Claudy Conn as Claudette Williams/Melanie Davis, two names she used when publishing her regency and historical romances, with Random House, Zebra and Doubleday.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes historical and regency romances, has stepped into the world of paranormal romance as well, with her hits such as The Legend Series, Through Time Series and the Shadow Series.

We asked what does she do when she isn't writing and she tells us, she and her hot husband love hiking, swimming, traveling and playing with their variety of animals--wolf Cherokee and her now overgrown hybrid pup, Rocky the Man, included. Her favorite things she says are, chocolate, fries and pizza.

New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author, Melanie James spent 14 years as an IT systems administrator before tiring of the hustle and bustle of the technology world. She's doing what she loves, by writing paranormal comedy, steamy paranormal, and contemporary romance books. Melanie has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in Leadership and Development, with a minor in Women's Studies. She is working on her Master's Degree in Adult Education at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. 

Melanie is married to a wonderful man who supports her dreams and goals. She has two children, three step-children, a beautiful daughter-in-law, and an adorable grand-baby. 

USA Today bestselling author Mindy Klasky learned to read when her parents shoved a book in her hands and told her she could travel anywhere in the world through stories. She never forgot that advice.

Mindy's travels took her through multiple careers - from litigator to librarian to full-time writer. Mindy's travels have also taken her through various literary genres for readers of all ages - from traditional fantasy to paranormal chick-lit to category romance, from middle-grade to young adult to adult. She is a USA Today bestselling author.

In her spare time, Mindy knits, quilts, and tries to tame her endless to-be-read shelf. Her husband and cats do their best to fill the leftover minutes.

USA Today Best-Selling Author Holly S. Roberts is a retired sex crimes and homicide detective who managed to retain her sense of humor. She writes under three pen names dreaming about stories from life on the street as a beat cop in an unflattering blue uniform to erotic romance.

She married her high school sweetheart at the age of eighteen after experiencing love at first sight at age twelve. Her husband took a little longer to realize he couldn't live without her but came along nicely after he stopped fighting fate.

D'Elen McClain is her paranormal romance pen name and Suzie Ivy her tough crime fighting alter ego pen name.

Her two dogs, Dizzy, a Rottweiler with anxiety issues, and Duchess, her overweight Chihuahua, sleep and play at her feet while she writes steamy fantasies at her home high in the Arizona mountains. She also keeps her pen in blue ink as a contributing writer for UniformStories.com, Below The Salt News, and Bad Luck Detective blog.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Stephanie Rowe is the author of more than 40 novels, including her popular Order of the Blade and NightHunter paranormal romance series, and her sizzling new Wyoming Rebels cowboy series about nine rugged brothers. Stephanie is a four-time nominee of the RITA® Award, the highest award in romance fiction. She has won many awards for her novels, including the prestigious Golden Heart® Award. She has received coveted starred reviews from Booklist, and Publishers Weekly has called her work "[a] genre-twister that will make readers...rabid for more." 

In additional to her paranormal romances, Stephanie also writes a thrilling romantic suspense series set in Alaska. Publisher's Weekly praised the series debut, ICE, as a "thrilling entry into romantic suspense," and Fresh Fiction called ICE an "edgy, sexy and gripping thriller." Equally as intense and sexy are Stephanie's contemporary romance novels.

A life-long reader, Stephanie began crafting stories at age ten, but didn't realize it was her dream until she was an adult. Once the light dawned, she immediately left behind "work" as the world defines it and went to "work" as she defines it, which means getting up every morning with a smile in her heart so she can spend the day doing that which makes her spirit sing.

Stephanie believes in learning to listen to your heart in order to figure out what your dreams are, and then opening yourself to the inspiration that will direct you there. She believes we all deserve the right to enjoy life, and for the ride to be as easy as we want it to be, and that we all should accept nothing less than making our dreams come true.

Stephanie lives in New England, and spends every day doing her best to fill it with people, observations and activities that uplift her soul, which include writing, hiking with her rescue dog, friends, and her amazing family.

Enjoying San Francisco as a backdrop, the ghosts in Diane Rinella's one hundred and fifty-year old Victorian home augment the chorus in her head. With insomnia as their catalyst, these voices have become multifarious characters that haunt her well into the sun's crowning hours, refusing to let go until they have manipulated her into succumbing to their whims. Her experiences as an actress, business owner, artisan cake designer, software project manager, Internet radio disc jockey, vintage rock 'n' roll journalist/fan girl, and lover of dark and quirky personalities influence her idiosyncratic writing.

Kate Angell: I live in Beautiful Naples on the Gulf of Mexico, Florida. I love the sunshine, as well as the seasonal summer thunderstorms. I'm a morning person. I enjoy brunch. I'm an animal lover and avid reader. I laugh a lot. My birthday's in March, I'm an Aries. My favorite color is purple. My lucky number is 25. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. My office has lots of plants: bamboo, Elephant Ear, and TickleMe. I buy a fresh bouquet of flowers each week. I enjoy going to the movies. Try to read a book each week. Love museums. Can make popcorn a meal. Love Starbucks. I eat Rice Krispies for the 'snap, crackle, pop'. I spend hours at book stores. Like Saturday morning cartoons. Watch General Hospital. Favorite evening TV shows include: Castle, Supernatural, Big Bang Theory. Reality TV: Dancing With the Stars, Big Brother, Survivor. I've been fortunate to have the same editor throughout my career: the very innovative and savvy Alicia Condon. Authors I read outside romance: Carl Hiaasen, Stuart Woods (Stone Barrington series), and Richard Castle.

MY PHILOSOPHY: Out of chaos comes calmness. Appreciate the peace!

Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she's not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as "The Pleather Bomber", she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to √©clairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2015 RWA RITA© finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Her digital Line series is all about the hot cops and sexy chefs of Brentsville, New York. She is also the author of the Pine Mountain series, which follows small town singles as they find big-time love. Kimberly resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.

National Bestselling Author J.D. Tyler is best known for her dark, sexy paranormal series Alpha Pack, and the popular Firefighters of Station Five and Sugarland Blue series under her pseudonym Jo Davis. PRIMAL LAW, the first book in her Alpha Pack series, is the winner of the National Readers' Choice Award in Paranormal. She's also been a multiple finalist in the National Readers' Choice Awards, Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, a finalist for the Bookseller's Best Award, has captured the HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, has been a two-time nominee for the Australian Romance Readers Award in romantic suspense, and had one book optioned as a major motion picture.

J.D.'s books regularly appear on the Barnes and Noble, Neilson Bookscan, and Amazon bestseller lists, among others.

When she isn't writing, J.D.'s idea of a good time certainly isn't cleaning house (sniff), bungee jumping (not in this lifetime, or the next), or camping (her idea of "roughing it" is a slow bellboy). She enjoys reading, being pampered like the diva she is, and spending time with her awesome family. J.D. lives in Texas with her two grown kids, a cute Boston terrier, and two cats, all of them horribly spoiled.

Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her sexy, bestselling books. When she's not writing sexy, sizzling romance she's collecting tasty man candy pics, hoarding red nail polish, indulging in a little comic book geek love, and obsessing over Dean Winchester. Don't send chocolate . . . send eye candy!

Robin's bestselling books have finaled in the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice, the Book Seller's Best and the National Reader's Choice Awards. 

She lives in Maryland with her handsome husband, her two brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!), and her beloved fur babies - Dixie Joan Wilder and Dutch.

Suzanne Ferrell discovered romance novels in her aunt's hidden stash one summer as a teenager. From that moment on she knew two things: she loved romance stories and someday she'd be writing her own. Her love for romances has only grown over the years. It took her a number of years and a secondary career as a nurse to finally start writing her own stories.

The author of 13 novels and an Amazon best-seller for both her series, the Edgars Family Novels and the Westen series, Suzanne's books have been finalists in the National Reader's Choice Awards--SEIZED (2013) and VANISHED (2014). Suzanne was also a double finalist in the Romance Writer's of America's 2006 Golden Heart with her manuscripts, KIDNAPPED (Long Contemporary Category) and HUNTED (Romantic Suspense), She has also won The Beacon Unpublished and the CTRWA's contests in the erotica categories with her book, The Surrender Of Lacy Morgan.

Currently working on more books for her Edgars Family series (KIDNAPPED, HUNTED, SEIZED, VANISHED and Capitol Danger) and the Westen Series(Close To Home, Close To The Edge, Close To The Fire, and Close To Christmas), Suzanne hopes to bring readers more passionate and suspenseful books to fill your reading moments.

Suzanne's sexy stories, whether they be her on the edge of your seat romantic suspense or the heart warming small town stories, will keep you thinking about her characters long after their Happy Ever After is achieved.

Award winning author, Kathy Ivan, spent most of her life with her nose between the pages of a book. From best-selling authors to just-getting-started writers, as long as it was a good story, she devoured it and happily searched for the next romance novel. It didn't matter if the book was a paranormal romance, romantic suspense, or action and adventure thrillers, sweet & spicy or sexy novella. As long as there was an alpha hero and a feisty heroine who got their happily ever after, she'd gladly spend her time with a psychic in New Orleans, or a mysterious stranger manipulating the fates of lovers. You might find her deep in the woods with her werewolf lover, or being wined and dined by the sexy vampire who loved her, or talking to ghosts. 

Kathy turned her love of reading into the next logical step, writing. Her books transport you to a paranormal lodge in the Colorado Mountains in her Destiny's Desire Series, and to the sultry splendor of the French Quarter in New Orleans in her award winning romantic suspense and mysteries. Kathy tells stories people love from reuniting old loves, betrayal of trust, finding kidnapped children, psychics and even a ghost or two. But one thing they all have in common - love (and some pretty steamy sex scenes too). 

A native of Florida, Kathy has traveled from one set of islands to another, having spent several years in Key West, Florida, and months in Hawaii (Oahu). Happily living in North Texas, she's always on the lookout for a cowboy of her very own. (And if he's a billionaire cowboy, well, she won't say no to that.) 

Selena Laurence is an award-winning and nationally bestselling author in multiple categories, including Multicultural Romance, Hispanic Fiction, Urban Fiction, Military Romance, and Romantic Suspense. In 2014 she was awarded the Reader's Crown Award for Contemporary Romance of the Year.

Selena lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with her kids, Mr. L, "Goldendoodle" and "Demon Cat." When she's not writing she can be found at soccer games and tennis matches, or one of her favorite coffee shops. 

Jennie Marts loves to make readers laugh as she weaves stories filled with love, friendship and intrigue. She writes for Entangled Publishing and is the author of the Kindle Bestselling romantic comedies, Another Saturday Night and I Ain't Got No Body, Easy Like Sunday Mourning, and Just Another Maniac Monday. Reviewers call her books "laugh out loud" funny and full of great characters that are "endearing and relatable." 

She writes from the mountains of Colorado where she lives with her husband, two sons, a parakeet, a golden retriever named Cooper and a Sheltie puppy named Maggie. Jennie enjoys being a member of (RWA) Romance Writers of America, Colorado Indie Authors, and Pikes Peak Writers. 

Jennie is addicted to Diet Coke and adores Cheetos. She loves playing volleyball and believes you can't have too many books, shoes or friends. 

As a child, Teri Riggs made up her own bedtime stories. When her children came along, Teri always tweaked the fairy tales she told her daughters, giving them a bit more punch and better endings when needed.

Now she spends her days turning her ideas into books. She lives in Marietta, GA with her husband.

Jennifer Theriot hails from the Great State of Texas. She is a career woman, working as CFO of a Texas based real estate investment firm. Working in her capacity as CFO, she felt something was missing and discovered her passion for writing novels--mostly at night and on weekends. 

In her limited spare time Jennifer enjoys being outdoors; preferably somewhere on a beach curled up with a good book. Spending time with family and friends, watching a baseball game and enjoying a good bottle of wine are usually on her to-do lists. Jennifer is also 'MiMi' to three (soon to be four) beautiful grandchildren and a mom to three grown children, all of whom she adores. Theriot is an admitted music junkie, loving every type of music, which takes up most of the memory on her iPhone. She listens to music from sun up to sun down and her love of music is reflected a great deal in her books.

Jennifer took a chance that there could be an interest in romance with middle aged couples who are finding themselves at a crossroads and wrote her debut novel Out of the Box Awakening, which centers on the hope of finding happiness and passion through unexpected heartache. It emphasizes the need for family and friends as Jennifer has learned in her own life. Grownup romance from the other side of 30 is how she characterizes her books. The books have also been described as "Mature Sexy" by one reviewer...

MJ Fredrick knows what it takes to chase her dreams. From spirals filled with stories scrawled in pencil to her first computer, a hand-me-down XT, to a used Powerbook, an Alphasmart and finally a shiny laptop of her very own, MJ has used any means she can find to get the stories from her head onto paper. Some are easier than others! 

Now with over twenty five published books set from the early days of Texas to the near future, with stops in Africa, Antarctica and places in between, MJ spends the wee hours of the mornings writing and the rest of the day teaching, and her weekends on road trips around Texas with her husband of almost 30 years, looking for more inspiration.

While some say truth is stranger than fiction, her experiences run more along the lines of a slap-stick comedy. She makes her own Limoncello...enough said.

Joking aside, her dream of being published came true on 3/3/2014 with the release of her first book, SEX, LIES, AND BEAUTY AIDS, a romantic comedy.

Deb Julienne: After the day job, she loves to play in the yard, with her grandkids, and in the kitchen concocting award-winning jams, jellies, preserves, and sauces (with alcohol of course).

Born and raised in San Jose, California, she now resides in her own little bit of heaven in the Sierra Tahoe National Forest Basin, with her husband of 33 years, their three sons and one daughter, and two very precocious grandkids.