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DEIRDRE MARTIN DOUBLE THE HEAT AND STRAIGHT UP

Please welcome Deirdre Martin who’s joined us to talk about her story in DOUBLE THE HEAT and her new novel STRAIGHT UP

Tell us about Breaking the Ice, your novella that’s part of the DOUBLE THE HEAT anthology:

It’s a story that combines my two series, the Wild Hart Saga and the New York Blades. The heroine, Lennie Buckley, is an aspiring fashion designer who hangs our with her friends at the Wild Hart, an Irish pub in Manhattan where my last novel, WITH A TWIST, was set. The Hart has become the new watering hole for New York’s hometown hockey team, the New York Blades The latest addition to the Blades, a sexy Russian player named Sebastian Ivanov, notices Lennie immediately, and the rest, as they say, is romance history.

I really loved intertwining the two series, since it allowed me to re visit favorite characters from both worlds. This is why I enjoy writing interconnected books; they allow me to spend time with old favorites who, crazily enough, start to feel like family. (Though unlike family, none of them wrecked my Barbie Doll mansion when I was eight!).

DOUBLE HEAT.

Double the Heat

Do you have a new novel coming out soon?

My next novel, STRAIGHT UP, will be out in May 2010. The hero is Liam O’Brien, the youngest of the O’Brien clan around whom the Wild Hart Saga is based.

It has an element of the thrill of the chase to it.  After getting on the bad side of New York’s Irish mob, Liam is trying to weather the storm in Ireland. Working as a bartender in his parent’s old village of Ballycraig, he’s not looking for any trouble. But he could use a bit of fun.

The heroine, Aislinn McCafferty, has already been scorned by a man once at the wedding altar. Now, any man who tries to woo her is quickly and coldly dispatched. The unknowing Liam soon learns this the hard way–and is immediately intrigued.

Eagerly accepting a wager from the pub’s owner, Liam begins a determined pursuit of the stubborn and beautiful Aislinn, who in turn uses all of her wiles to rid herself of the charmingly determined Yank. But neither of them expects this donnybrook of the sexes to turn into an unlikely love…

It was wonderful being able to set a book in rural Ireland, which is a place I love. I was also able to incorporate a couple of incidents from my Irish grandmother’s childhood in the book. Family stories are the best, aren’t they? The fact I could preserve and share some of mine with readers makes me very, very happy.

STRAIGHT UP.

Straight Up

Every author has his/her own daily rituals. What is your day like?

I’m an insanely early riser: I’m usually up by five thirty in the morning, whereupon I drag my sorry butt to work out. I’m one of those people who has to exercise first thing in the morning or I won’t exercise at all. After breakfast with my husband (who is also a writer who works at home), I hit my office. I like to check and respond to my emails first thing, and then I start writing. I usually write (or stare at the computer screen cursing) from nine until one, when my husband and I break for lunch. Then it’s back to the office to edit what I wrote in the morning, and make some notes about what I want to write the next day.

What would you say is the one thing you MUST have while you’re writing?

I actually need two things: coffee and quiet. I’m not one of those writers who can have the TV on in the background or uses music for inspiration. I need to be able to hear the voices in my head loud and clear!

What would you say is the hardest aspect of writing your books?

The writing itself. When the words flow, it’s like flying; but when they don’t, I alternate between panic (“What if I’ve forgotten HOW to write a book?!”) and depression (“It’s not going well today because I suck.”). You’d think by now I would have figured out that’s not a very productive way to think, but I do it with every single book. Drives my husband nuts.

How much time do you put into research before you actually start writing?

I like to allow myself a month, if possible. I tend to over research, but my feeling is that it’s better to have too much info than not enough. I love doing research, especially hands on stuff. To date, my favorite book to research was TOTAL RUSH: I got to spend time at a firehouse in Manhattan, and it was a real eye opener. I think you need to do hands on research whenever you can to make things as real as possible. Verisimilitude is very, very important to me.

Let’s say we take a peek at your TBR pile. What would we find?

The new Nick Hornby book, Karen Kendall’s latest, the Hungry Girl recipe book, and one thousand back issues of the New Yorker.

What’s next for you?

I just started work on my next novel, which also combines the world of the Wild Hart with that of the New York Blades. I can’t help it: I’m addicted to writing about sexy hockey players! Readers can find out more about both series at my website, www.deirdremartin.com.

Thanks for asking me to blog, and I hope everyone out there has a great Holiday season!

Thanks for taking the time to blog for us and I hope your Holidays are lovely.

Dark Curse by Christine Feehan

by Christine  Feehan Lara Calladine is haunted by childhood memories of being held prisoner in an ice cave and kept sane by the whispered stories told to her by her imprisoned aunts. They instilled mage and Carpathian magic deep within her and then helped her escape. She has spent years searching for the cave in hopes of finding the answers to the riddle of her past as well as finding her aunts who may have given their lives saving her. Nicolas De La Cruz has returned to the Carpathian Mountains–his homeland–on orders from his eldest brother, Zacarias, to bring news of a conspiracy to the prince of their people. He is weary of his long existence and plans to end it away from his brothers where they will be unable to stop him once he has fulfilled his duty. Lara and Nicolas paths collide in an explosive adventure that rocks the Carpathian world.

Lara Calladine knows evil when she feels it. Held by the Mage Xavier as a child, tortured and used as a source of blood, saved by her Dragonseeker aunts at their own expense, Lara surviv… Read More

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

by Nora  Roberts Bride Quartet Series, book 2

Love blooms in the second novel in Nora Roberts’s celebrated Bride Quartet series.

As little girls MacKensie, Emma, Laurel, and Parker spent hours acting out their perfect make believe "I do" moments. Years later their fantasies become reality when they start their own wedding planning company to make every woman’s dream day come true. With perfect flowers, delicious desserts, and joyful moments captured on film, Nora Roberts’s Bride Quartet shares each woman’s emotionally magical journey to romance.

In Bed of Roses, florist Emma Grant is finding career success with her friends at Vows wedding planning company, and her love life appears to be thriving. Though men swarm around her, she still hasn’t found Mr. Right. And the last place she’s looking is right under her nose.

But that’s just where Jack Cooke is. He’s so close to the women of Vows that he’s practically family, but the architect has begun to admit to himself that his feelings for Emma have developed into much more than friendship. When Emma returns his passion-kiss for blistering kiss-they must trust in their history…and in their hearts.

To Emma Grant romance is everything. All her life she has dreamed of moonlight dances, candlelight dinners, soft music and flowers. As a matter of fact, she earns a living as a florist with her closest … Read More

Summer's Wolf by Rebecca Royce

by Rebecca  Royce Three years ago, Summer Morrison’s happy, normal life was thrown into upheaval. Forced to discover, before she was ready, that she was half-wolf shifter and mated to the pack’s enforcer Cullen Murphy has left Summer moody, shaken, and resentful. When tragedy strikes her family, Summer is forced pack into the arms of the Westervelt Wolves and the control of her sister’s husband and Alpha of the pack, Tristan Kane. Cullen has waited three years for Summer, having promised her mother he would give her time to grow up. But, he’s never forgotten his mate and craved her presence since he first saw her on the battlefield three years earlier. The trouble is, now that Cullen has Summer, he has no idea what to do with her. Three hundred years of being alone has left Cullen socially inept and more lonesome than he would ever admit. He lives with the guilt and shame of his deeds, while knowing his role is pivotal to the pack’s survival. Together, Cullen and Summer will heal each other’s wounds and discover that life is worth living as long as they are together. Now there’s just the little matter of Kendrick, Claudius, ‘The Missionaries of God,’ and the demons that keep attacking. If they can survive, there love will be everlasting, But failure would mean not only their destruction but the end of the Westervelt Wolves. When love is eternal, failure is not an option.

Summer Morrison has essentially been on the run from herself for the past three years. Three years ago she was forced to acknowledge the wolf insider her. She’s finally come ho… Read More

Forbidden Falls by Robyn Carr

by Robyn  Carr Reverend Noah Kincaid moved to Virgin River to re-open an abandoned church he bought on eBay. Like Noah, the place is a little empty inside and needs some loving care.

The young widower arrives ready to roll up his sleeves and build a place of worship and welcome, but he needs some help. And the Lord works in mysterious ways….

With her tight shirts and short skirts, “Pastor’s assistant” is not a phrase that springs to mind when Noah meets brassy, beautiful Ellie Baldwin. The former exotic dancer needs a respectable job so she can regain custody of her children. And Noah can’t help but admire her spunk and motherly determination.

The pastor and the stripper: an unlikely team to revitalize a church, much less build a future. The couple has so many differences, but in Virgin River anything is possible, and happiness is never out of the question.

Pastor Noah Kincaid lost his wife a year ago. He doesn’t know what to do with his life now. When he sees a church on Ebay, Noah feels that this is a calling from God. Noah buys the church and heads to Virgin R… Read More

Candlelight Wish by Janice Bennett

by Janice  Bennett When Phoebe Caldicot loses her much-needed job as an instructress at a select Bath seminary, she knows exactly whom to blame. Sir Miles Saunderton, the elder brother of one of her pupils, is managing, infuriating and the last man she ever wants to see again. As she gazes into a candle flame, she wishes for security. Marriage seems her only option, but where can a penniless ex-schoolmistress find a suitable husband?

The rippling water in a silver bowl stills, and Lady Xanthe Simms and her huge white cat Titus see the image of the desperate young lady. But desperation and wishes are what keep life busy and entertaining for the resourceful fairy godmother. With a melodic hum—and the fluttering to the floor of one of her gold-tipped wing feathers—Lady Xanthe sets forth to grant Phoebe the opportunity to make her wish come true. But opportunities are never certainties…

Publisher’s Note: Previously published elsewhere.

Phoebe Caldicot is a gently bred young woman teaching young ladies music and writing at the Bath seminary when she is fired because of the antics of one of her students. Pheobe desperately needs her job to keep her yo… Read More

The Summoner by Alisha Steele

by Alisha  Steele The enemy may be his only hope…

Fallen angel Kasdeya hates all mortals. They’re little more than playthings, as far as he’s concerned. But when he finds himself facing a thousand-year prison sentence, he has no choice but to call on the one woman who might set him free: the Summoner.

His plan is simple…seduce her for his own purposes, then throw her away. If only she weren’t so argumentative, so intelligent. If only she weren’t so damned sexy!

Alexandra has bought a gorgeous two-story Queen Anne with a slight problem. In the dark, whispered voices call to her, shadowy figures move in the mirrors and she’s dreaming again. A dream she has… Read More

Kylie Brant

 

The Business of Murder

 

I think the worst writing advice I’ve ever heard is that old adage “write what you know”. What I know is not all that interesting. Oh sure, I’ve got some good material based on experience that might make an entertaining short story. If someone wants to know how to make dinner for seven with only a jar of salsa, three chicken breasts and a box of Cheerios, I’m your gal. Or for those wondering what happens when the kids decide to put the dog in the dryer (on air fluff, thank God) so I wouldn’t figure out they’d let her outside after I’d told them not to…again, I know that sort of thing.

 

It’s just not the kind of experience that lends itself to writing dark romantic thrillers.

 

How can I write what I know when my business is murder? Writing about it that is. It’s an area where one usually isn’t encouraged to go out and get some first hand experience!

 

Luckily, the Internet makes research easy. Before I start each book I usually buy two or three non-fiction titles online (if I don’t have subject appropriate ones in my own research library). I read these as I’m writing. I search the Internet for valid information. And very early in each book I start reaching out to experts in the area.

 

My books tend to have a law enforcement / forensics slant. Most police departments and FBI field offices have Public Affairs numbers staffed with veteran officers. That always provides me a good place to start. I approach them with a list of questions and invariably they refer me on to another detective who has specific experience in the subject matter I’m interested in. My November release, Waking the Dead, features a forensic anthropologist heroine. I’m not quite sure what made me think it was a good idea to write about cleaning skeletal remains, extracting DNA from bone and the feeding habits of dermestid beetles. But searching online I discovered several forensic organizations and some have searchable members lists. I made several contacts, a couple of whom helped quite a bit over the course of a book.

 

Expert contacts lend credibility to the story and give me information specific to the plot lines that I often can’t find in books. I know I’m not going to get everything right, but I certainly strive to!

 

I don’t often travel to the place I set the book first, but I did for Waking the Dead. I have a sister in Oregon who’s very outdoorsy and she and her husband drove me to McKenzie Bridge, where we hiked the Willamette Forest and crawled through caves. She also introduced me to a friend of hers who told me about the perfect cave for my villain to dump seven sets of skeletal remains in. When I was walking through the forest the entire final scene of the book just unfolded in my mind. It was a wonderful thing!

 

Over the years I’ve talked to FBI agents, ex-CIA agents, SWAT officers, police detectives, forensic lab technicians, forensic anthropologists. . .the list grows with every story. I’m consistently amazed at how generous people can be with their time.  As a matter of fact, I just spent an hour and a half on the phone today with a forensic linguist.  The heroine of my current story is a forensic linguist, so the conversation was absolutely fascinating.  It’ll come in handy as I build my heroine’s credibility in her chosen field. 

 

Although once again, I’m left wondering where I was at on career day in high school!

 

Kylie Brant is the author of twenty-eight romantic suspense novels for Silhouette and Berkley.  Her latest release, WAKING THE DEAD is on the shelves this month.  WAKING NIGHTMARE and WAKING EVIL were September and October releases, respectively.

Walking the Dead: The Mindhunters

Walking the Dead: The Mindhunters

Visit Kylie’s website.

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Pelican Point by Douglas Quinn

by Douglas  Quinn

Life is good for Webb Sawyer. Until he gets hit over the head in the Nags Head Pier parking lot. Until a mercenary from Columbia, and three of the Columbian’s friends try to kill him and burn down his house at Blue Heron Marsh. Until his son goes missing while trying to track down the killer of a university professor, a murder for which his son Preston is under suspicion.
When Webb and Preston’s girlfriend, Sunshine Bledsoe, work together to discover what happened to Preston, what they discover goes far beyond the professor’s murder.

 Living in Nags Head, Webb has the uncomplicated life he has always wanted. No telephones, just relaxation from day to day. When his son finds himself in trouble, Webb steps in to help. When his son g… Read More  

Kat Bryan - Ten Things I Am Thankful For

 

Clean slates

Around Thanksgiving we start to think about saying goodbye to the old year and hello to the new. The New Year ushers in clean slates—an opportunity for us to change, add positive elements to our lives or remove negative energy that surrounds us daily.  What if we lived in a world where change was forbidden or you could never wipe the slate clean?

 

I’m thankful for clean slates.

 

Little things

I look around and see unspeakable tragedy, a teen beaten to death in New York, a hate crime in Pennsylvania, the shooting of a priest in a small town. Big things. And then I realize how truly fragile life is. I have a place to live, cars that run, heat, and electricity—little things we take for granted.

 

I’m thankful for little things.

 

 

Groaning Tables

My cupboards are full and so is my refrigerator. On Thanksgiving my table groans with platters of food, laughter of children and smiles from elderly members of our family. Did you know that one out of eight children in the US go to bed hungry?

 

I’m thankful for groaning tables.

 

 

Sweet Visits

I love that my children still like hang out with me, truly want my company. Tell them you love them every time you see them on a sweet visit, hug them, show them how blessed you are they were sent to journey through life with you.

 

I am thankful for sweet visits.

 

Meows and Barks

irish-setter

Cats have saved owners from burning buildings, dogs have rescued drowning children. Your pet in most cases will always choose you over anyone else in the world. Your pet gives you unconditional love, friendship, and loyalty. Give it back and you’ll never be sorry.

 

I am thankful for meows and barks.

 

The joy of writing 

write-hard-die-free-wm-spear-design

I’m horrible at math, not very good at biology or science either. But someone gave me a gift I’m sure I’m not worthy of. If you open a dictionary and choose a word, 90 percent of the time I can tell you the meaning. One thing I can always count on is the ability to string words together. I’m gonna ride this one out for as long and as far as it will take me.

 

I am thankful for the joy of writing.

 

Random acts of kindness

A random act of kindness is a selfless act performed by a person wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual or in some cases an animal. There will generally be no reason other than to make people smile, or be happy. An oft-cited example of a random act of kindness is when paying the toll at a toll booth; pay the toll for the car behind you as well.

 

I am thankful for random acts of kindness.

 

Freedom

support out troops

4,355 US soldiers have died in the Iraq war and 909 in Afghanistan. I realize giving one’s life is the ultimate sacrifice. This Thanksgiving, thank them/pray for them for surrendering all they ever were or could ever hope to be to ensure our freedom.

 

I am thankful for freedom. 

 

 

Friends and family

friends

I saved the best for last. I have made wonderful friends over the years and have been blessed with the most wonderful family. On Thanksgiving and every day of the year I will remember to be thankful for friends and family.

 

I am thankful for friends and family.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Kat Bryan writes for New Concepts Publishing, The Wild Rose Press and has several books listed at Celestrial Books.

 

You can find Where The Rain Is Made here: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/where-the-rain-is-made-p-987.html

 

Sojourn With A Stranger here: http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/sojournwithastranger.htm

 

Blood Lust here: http://www.celestrialbooks.com/apps/webstore/products/show/910100

 

 

Follow Kat at Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kcelestebryan

Follow Kat’s Blog: Kat’s Kwips and Rants: http://katskwipsandrants.blogspot.com

Kat’s Author Home: http://kcelestebryan.blogspot.com