Meet Elodie Parkes and Romance with a twist

How far away from Cinderella is modern romance?

I write romance, contemporary romance, erotic romance, with sometimes a twist of suspense, mystery, or the paranormal.

The reason I write romance is because I like happy endings. I know lots of authors who do. Somehow for me, the harshness of modern life has the edge dulled by my writing romance. Perhaps readers can identify with that feeling? Maybe that is why romance novels are some of the most popular books around.

What is nicer than when the guy gets the girl or the girl gets the guy?



In my book ‘Millie Reinvented I actually have a group of women friends who love the central male character August, and they want him to have the woman he loves. They even say it.

‘We have to help him. August has to get the girl just like in the movies. I want him to be happy; he’s so bloody gorgeous and kind. Who’s in it with me?”

They all nodded. “What’s the plan?” Samantha said.’

I write love stories. They are sometimes based on real people I have noticed in everyday life and something about them has sparked a story idea in my mind.

I sometimes see an unhappy situation and in my story I give it a happy ending.




I give lonely people someone who loves them and within my stories I explore the human condition. Loneliness, the need for companionship, the need to belong, are often themes within my stories.

When I was a teenager we had to study various genres in high school. I fell in love with the romance genre where the happy ending was used. At the risk of offending the staunch fans of Jane AustenI have always thought her stories were like Cinderella. There at the end of the trials and worries, against all odds in her most famous novels comes the happy ending. The lovers unite, or failing that they are loved by someone who they suddenly find themselves in love with.

When it came to Shakespeare  the play we studied was Romeo and Juliet.  I loved the play but was constantly re-writing the ending in my mind so that it had a happy ending. I am constantly saving the lonely and careworn in books and movies I read or watch. Why is that?

Many modern romance novels could easily be compared with Cinderella. The deserving lover is united with the one they love. It might take a little while to get there but in the end that little buzz of satisfaction that someone has love never fails to warm my heart.




Elodie’s author page on FB


Elodie’s Blog

  Elodie on FB

Elodie on Amazon



I can’t believe it . . . and don’t get none of this twisted with the Lil Wayne and T-Pain song. I couldn’t believe how things changed on such a lovely and warm sunny mid-May morning—Saturday to be exact. I was feeling wonderfully blessed. My day was full. I had a girlfriend’s brunch to go to with Chelsea. It was given by the Women’s Department at her church, Acts Full Gospel. After that, it was Kalena’s graduation from Holy Names College that afternoon. I lay in the bed with my blackberry in hand checking my Facebook page. I called my cell my “crackberry”.


After I updated my status, letting all 281 of my friends know what I was doing for the day, it read, Journee “Nee” Faith Bell is looking forward to this blessed day of fellowship and celebrations. Congratulations Kalena, you “smart” diva.


I checked out what everyone’s status read.


Nothing too exciting. People were either complaining about how hot it was going to be or praising the Lord for their blessings. I could always find some encouraging words from my Facebook friends. That was when I remembered that I put my crackberry before my daily prayer. Lord, forgive me.


I jumped up and starting praying on my way to the shower, thanking God for another day and asking Him to protect me. Then I prayed for everyone else like I always do. I was fresh out of the shower and listening to the quiet storm, 102.9 FM KBLX, and Sterling James was announcing the next song. It was Oakland’s own, Ledisi.


I loved her new hit song Alright. I turned my Bose speakers up just a little trying to get my groove on. I didn’t know, but it was something about being clean and butt naked that just made me wanna dance; especially, when I got the house to myself.


My male best friend, Derrick, moved in after his divorce and was the best roommate a sista could ask for. He was rarely here, knew how to fix things around the house, and gave that good manly advice.


Derrick must have spent the night at one of his many chicks’ house. I told him about that. I said, “if you are just having a fling, don’t spend the night ’cause when the two of you finish up, one falls asleep and the other one falls in love.”


I had just got off the phone chopping it up with mama. My parents were doing fine. My pop and twin sister, Jordyn, went fishing last night and mama was lounging, getting ready to watch The Cosby Show marathon. Jordyn and I bought her the whole eight seasons on DVD for her birthday last year and we hadn’t seen her since. Pops didn’t mind. He enjoyed watching the Huxtables with her. Calling to check in with my parents was the first thing I did on Saturday mornings.


Ok, the second thing, since I joined Facebook. Checking on my parents determined how I was going to be doing that weekend.


I was two-stepping and shaking my naked behind all the way into my walk-in closet to pick the right outfit for the day. A chocolate and turquoise sleeveless dress was my choice. It had jewels on the V-neck so I didn’t need to pick out a necklace for today. Even though I bought a new turquoise necklace from Macy’s the other day. I picked out my turquoise chandelier earrings and two albacore bracelets in two different shades of turquoise. One was darker than the other so they both served a purpose. I then paired my “Ross Special” dress with my Marc Fisher turquoise and brown strap-up sandals. These sandals made my French tip pedi pop.



Michelle Robinson was born and raised in Oakland, CA. Oakland’s rich culture has laid the fabric for this story. She’s been doing hair for two decades. As a hairstylist, it’s safe to say she has also served as a therapist to her clients. She has heard and witnessed it all right behind her styling chair. From her experiences, she’s given advice to many and has watched people’s lives transition. With this driving force, she has finally penned her first novel.

Contact Michelle:





Jenny Twist and Tara Fox Hall’s BEDTIME SHADOWS with giveaway














Have you ever woken frantically in the blackness, fumbling for the light switch and hoping that the illumination will not reveal a hovering killer? I do…on a regular basis! My subconscious knows what I fear, however illogical, and stress, momentous events, or other triggers conspire on a regular basis to take me places in dreams that I don’t want to go. Further, if I voice a request for dark inspiration before closing my eyes at night, I am always rewarded with a horrific nightmare that is some new premise or scenario. When I confessed this to a good friend, she suggested that perhaps there was a dark entity haunting me, influencing my dreams. A crazy notion? Perhaps. But why then do my requests for other sort of “nice” dreams, such as a nocturnal visit by a vampiric Johnny Depp, produce nada? Why is the inspiration that comes to me in dreams always terrifying?

What I find scariest about some dreams is revisiting locations I recognize from previous nightmares. These settings are all fictional, yet I know at once where I am, and that something very bad is going to happen shortly. There is a library—which I call The Library—which is 12 story building full of floors stuffed with shelves and bins of all types of books, and something haunts the stacks. There is The Chalet, a mansion deep in the woods with a seductive spirit that prowls the shadows within. Lastly, there is Latham’s Landing, the partly submerged island house that harbors every kind of supernatural evil imaginable. It is to this last place I go most often. The island and mansion are spooky, but also beautiful, especially the Sea Room, a room made of glass at the end of a long raised bridge butting out from the island. But it’s never long in these locations before I meet someone in the dream bent on harming me. As soon as their gaze meets mine, I know they are evil, and a feeling of menace and impending doom crashes down on me. That feeling builds to a crescendo throughout the nightmare, often culminating in me waking, gasping for breath.

My talented coauthor Jenny Twist has her own haunted inspiration.

I have to say my inspiration is nothing like as horrific as Tara’s. I am an aware dreamer. If anything in my dream gets nasty I just say to myself, “This is my dream,” and change it. I do, however feel as if there are a lot of little men beavering about in my subconscious while I sleep, sorting out ideas, occasionally coming up with new ones. I regularly wake up with the vague notion I had for a plot all properly worked out, including the ending.

“The Man With No Face”, for example, started from a discussion I had with some friends about early memories. I and my friend, Billy, both had memories of being babies. The others agreed this was highly unusual. My own memory is of sitting in my pram looking down the street at a boy playing in the road. Heaven knows what was so special about that scene that made it memorable. You would think you would be more likely to remember something rather more dramatic, wouldn’t you? I thought, “What if the baby had seen something really important, something it was too young to understand?”

I woke up the next morning with the story more or less fully-formed, including the (I hope) shocking ending. Excerpt from “All That Remains,” from Bedtime Shadows:

We went back to the car, me shoving her and her protesting. When we were on route back, I told her. “You can’t have found a filling, Tina. The windows in there were soldered together, some of them. It must have been a bit of lead—” “I know solder and lead, and this was neither, this was silver. And there was a little tooth chunk stuck to it!” “So some kids were fighting, and one of them got in a lucky punch. It’s nothing.” “I don’t care!” I shot back. “I’m leaving!” We rode the next few minutes in silence back to the landing, relief washing through me when the little house of glass faded from view. I began untying the raft, asSandyparked the car and shut the garage door. She was just walking down the granite steps to me, and I was imagining how good a hamburger was going to taste when she stopped. “I heard something,” she said, turning to look back at the main house. “I heard nothing,Sandy. Let’s get going.” “Hey, what if some of those kids are here, Tina? That soda bottle wasn’t that old. This is a historical site.” “They can wander around then!” I shouted. “I’m not going to chase after them!” “We left the door open yesterday, Tina!” she shouted back. “What if the kids light the house on fire, or something? It’ll be my fault! I had to sign a paper to get the key!” “We’ll go back and get Fred! He can come look for them!” “He’s gone until tonight! He won’t be able to look until morning! And we’re right here!” “Fuck it, I’m leaving! You can stay here if you want!” “After all Fred’s done for us, I’m not going to leave here without checking it out!” She turned and bolted up the stairs, running for the entrance. Fuck! I retied the boat, and ran after her. When I got to the entrance,Sandywas nowhere in sight. I got inside, and let my eyes adjust to the gloom. By my watch, either we’d lost time again, or the time we’d spent at the sea house had taken longer than I’d thought. It was about two p.m. I walked the first floor, the second floor, and the third floor, followingSandy’s steps and my own from yesterday. I didn’t see anyone, or any signs of anyone being there but us. I walked back downstairs, wondering if I should check outside, when I heard a noise. I turned, and out of the corned of my eye, reflected in a broken hall mirror, I swore I got a glimpse of a young man in a red plaid shirt and jeans, his arms flailing wildly as he shouted soundlessly. But when I whipped around, there was no one there. Darting a look back at the mirror, I expected to see nothing. Instead, I saw the man there, looking back at me from the mirror, grinning at me, his eyes tinted yellow. I let out a shriek and ran for the front door. I got as far as the stairs, and then stopped with a whimper. There was a young boy on the stairs in front of me. “Father, I’m so glad to see you,” he said gratefully, his innocent face breaking into a smile. “I looked for you, and couldn’t find you!” “I’m not your father,” I whispered. The boy came closer, his light blue eyes shining. “I’m so glad you’re here. It seemed like such a long time I’ve been looking for you.” “Where is my friend?” I grated out, making myself get closer. “What are you?” The boy tilted his head and studied me, but didn’t reply. I took another step closer. “Get out of my way.” “Stay,” the boy said, his voice no longer grateful. I lost it. I grabbed hold of him, expecting him to fade into smoke or disappear, but instead it was like reaching into ice water. I gasped in shock as my hands clasped onto bony arms, and the boy let loose a snarl, his eyes narrowing to red pinpricks as he bared his teeth and tried to sink them into my hand.

Excerpt from “The Man With No Face,” from Bedtime Shadows:

I read somewhere that most people have no memory before the age of five and that very few indeed can remember anything before the age of two. It’s not that babies can’t think. It’s that they haven’t learnt how to save their thoughts as memories. But I have a memory much earlier than that. I am sitting in my pram. I know I am in a pram because the hood is up and the view in front of me is framed by the edge of the hood. I can see this very clearly. It has a trim of elasticated material, black with a white pattern. The pattern may be writing. I can’t tell because I am too young to read. Through the hood, in front of me, is a garden, bounded by a high brick wall. The wall is covered in a riot of red flowers. I know now the plant is Japonica but in the memory I have no words for anything. In the middle of the garden there are two people locked in a clumsy embrace. Either they are standing very still or the memory is a still picture – a snapshot in time. I can see the woman very clearly. She is wearing a white cotton frock with a pattern of tiny blue flowers. Her face is turned towards me and it bears an expression of anguish. I think she is my mother. But I can’t see the man clearly at all. I’m not even sure it is a man. But I think it is. He is a shadowy figure, one hand gripping my mother, if she is my mother, the other held over his head. He is holding something aloft, something long and thin – a stick perhaps. I can’t see it clearly at all. Everything about the man is out of focus. I have always believed that if I could just see his face, if I could identify him, I would understand everything.

Buy on Amazon


Bedtime Shadowsstories:

The Man With No Face Jenny Twist

All her life Deborah has been haunted by the memory of a couple locked in a deadly embrace. She thinks the woman may be the mother that abandoned her but she cannot see the man’s face. Who is he?

All That Remains Tara Fox Hall

This thrilling sequel to The Origin of Fear (Spellbound 2011) takes us back to Latham’s Landing. Will Tina and Sandra survive their encounter with the ghosts that inhabit the haunted isle?

The Children of Hope Jenny Twist

It is 1963 and Ginny is unmarried and pregnant. Her parents consign her to one of the infamous Mother and Baby Homes which  are little more than prisons and workhouses. Will she be able to escape before they come to take her baby away?

 The Bull-Dancer Jenny Twist

The twelve chosen bull-dancers are sailing out of the harbour under a black sail, bound for Crete and the deadly Minotaur, while a mother looks on in anger.

Take the ChanceTara Fox Hall

A young girl growing up in post-apocalyptic America is determined that she and her sister will survive – whatever it takes!

A Victorian Dolls’ House Jenny Twist

When Violet sees the dolls’ house in the antique shop she has to have it. But the Delacorte House is no ordinary dolls’ house – and it is definitely not a toy!

Heart’s BellsTara Fox Hall

Theo and Casey are in love, but so many things stand in their way. They suffer separation and heartbreak but still remain true – until something happens to Theo that changes everything.

Doppelganger Jenny Twist

When Christine wakes up in a sumptuous white room with silken hangings, she assumes she is in heaven. But she soon finds out she is not in heaven. And before too long she begins to wonder if she is even still Christine.

VoicesJenny Twist

Olivia and Aidan are telepathic twins. Olivia is used to hearing Aidan in her head, but she is terrified when she hears a new and sinister voice.

Return to MeTara Fox Hall

Determined to find the source of the nightly creaking she alone can hear, Sam Reading discovers Harrison Benning, a ghost who becomes corporeal for one night of the year; the summer solstice. Their warm friendship soon becomes powerful love that lasts through decades, tragedies, and even beyond death.

Catch Me If You Can Jenny Twist

Willy prowls the streets at night, listening to all the sounds of the old town. But does he have a more sinister purpose?

Shades of GreyTara Fox Hall

Throughout history there has always been a Seer making sure that the world follows its proper course, keeping the world in balance. Yet when the old Seer prepares to hand over the burden to his apprentice Tim, he realizes too late that Tim has his own ideas of how things should go.


Tara and Jenny are giving away a print copy of BEDTIME SHADOWS to one (1) lucky commenter. What sends shivers down your spine making you check the closet, corners & under the bed?  Giveaway ends @12am est 10-30-12.  Good luck! 

To find out more about the authors.



Jenny Twist  

Jenny’s Website


Facebook Author Page

Jenny’s Goodreads Blog

Amazon Author Page

Jenny on Twitter        





Tara Fox Hall

Tara’s Website

Email: tarafoxhallATgmailDOTcom

Tara’s Facebook Page

Tara on Twitter

Vampire vs Werecougar? Sar defends her choice and a giveaway



Hello. Sar here, of the Promise Me series. I’m here today to talk about Broken Promise, Book #2 of the sereis, and the choice I made within its pages to be with Theo instead of Danial. For those of you who are not familiar with the series, let me add that Theo is a werecougar, and Danial is a vampire. They’ve worked together and been best friends for the last ten years, while Danial oversaw the state of New York and also worked with Theo at Solutions, Inc., Danial’s problem solving company that does everything from corporate espionage to settling scores outside the law. Sound complex? I certainly found it so, when I first met Danial around Halloween. I never thought helping save his life would lead to so many changes in my own. But I’d only seen the supernatural in fiction and film. The real thing was far more seductive. I knew Danial was dangerous, that being with him would put me in danger. I never expected our relationship to move so fast, or that it would end the way it did.

First off, I didn’t want to break up with Danial. I just wanted some time to come to terms with the lies he’d told me. Yes, him being a vampire was part of it, but it wasn’t that I couldn’t accept that he was going to live forever and I’m going to die one day. What upset me was he used that difference between us as his basis for his lies, as if he had no other choice. He had another option: to tell me the truth, and let us decide as a couple if a baby was something we wanted right now. Instead, he took the easier option of hiding his real plans.

Finding out he’d taken up with my hated rival Angelica still pisses me off. Sorry for the swearing, but I really hated her from the first, and I’m sure the feeling was mutual. She was ecstatic that night she surprised me with the information Danial and she were lovers, probably hoping I’d go all to pieces. I know she’s dead—maybe the one good thing Devlin ever did in his immortal life—but it doesn’t make me feel any better.

I also never meant to get involved with Theo. Looking back, I can see that the chemistry was always there, like when I removed his splinter, or the time he was poisoned and I helped him get to an antidote in time. But I’d never have made a move if he hadn’t made one first, and we hadn’t dreamed together. That was also an accident. Terian had dosed me with a spell, hoping that I’d reveal I desired him the way he desired me. Theo arrived after Terian had left, we got into a fight, and he started to change to his animal form. In the book, I said I kissed him to stop the change. But I’m not sure that was the truth. Maybe even then the spell was making me reveal my true feelings about how I cared about Theo. It certainly was the catalyst that brought us together.

Confronting Danial about my relationship with Theo was not high on my agenda. I knew he would be livid, even if he had moved on. I never expected things to go where they did, or that Danial would deliberately hurt me, no matter how angry he was. Yet looking back, all the signs were there that he could be violent. I’m glad that he’s getting help with that, just sad that it had to go that far before he saw he had a problem.

Theo is a wonderful lover, partner, and friend. He hides nothing from me, helps me, and his loyalty is never in question. I can’t believe it took me this long to see that he was the better man. I’m sure we’ll have our share of problems, but we’ll face them together.

Blurb: Shocked at Danial’s betrayal, Sarelle returns to her old home to consider her options. Yet even as Sar plans a reconciliation with Danial, Terian arrives, confessing his desire. When Theo witnesses Terian and Sar kiss, he angrily confronts Sar, leading to startling consequences. Will Sar’s heart choose Danial, Terian,…or Theo?

“Why didn’t you tell me you wanted children?” I asked searchingly.

“I already told you—”

“Sure, that’s part of it, Danial, but I want to know the rest of it. You didn’t let me know you were even thinking about this, or that it was even possible. Tell me the reason why.”

“Why?” Danial said exasperatedly. “I already told you: out of fear.”

“This was more than you being afraid I might want a baby and you wouldn’t be able to give me one. Tell me the truth.”

Danial sat down and put his head in his hands, all the fight leaving him in one long breath. “I was afraid I’d be able to give you one and you wouldn’t want one,” he murmured.

Our eyes met. The despair in his eyes mirrored my own.

“I was afraid you’d act like you did when I asked you to stay with me the first time you visited. I thought you’d be happy when I offered you a home here, but you reacted as if I’d told you that you had to give up your dogs or something drastic like that.”

“You were asking me to give up something significant,” I replied coolly. “My life, Danial. My life as it was up until I met you. I had a home of my own—”

“I offered you the world,” Danial said bitterly. “You hemmed and hawed, making it seem as if you were giving up a rich life to live in squalor with me, when the exact opposite was true.”

“Life isn’t all about being rich,” I said angrily. “I had to do what was right for me.”

“And I did what was right for me,” Danial shot back. “I know you, Sar. You leap forward for something in the heat of the moment and in the next second, you draw yourself back into your shell. What is this, if not your attempt to run at the first sign of trouble in our relationship?”

“You lied to me, and tried to get me pregnant. Worse, now you’re admitting it was to trap me. What kind of relationship is that?”

“That’s not it at all,” Danial said angrily. “I just didn’t want to be put off by you. I do want a child, our child. I would want it no matter what. We have a chance, Sar. I don’t want to lose it.”

“We have time, Danial.”

His words tore out of him. “No, we don’t, my love. Do you know how short ten years seems to me? Twenty years? It goes by so quickly, Sar. I don’t want to lose you. I can’t make you vampire, can’t keep you with me against the flow of time. I don’t think you’d agree anyway, even if I wanted that. Devlin would have to do it, and then he’d have power over you.” He stepped toward me “I would never give him that, Sar, never.”

I backed away. “I don’t want to be vampire. I told you that from the first.”

“I don’t want you to be, either. But our child, he or she would be part vampire. They would live a long life, maybe even have my immortality, if what the legends say is true. They would be part of you and part of me. I could hold onto you, onto what we had—”

The world I’d built with him was rocking on its foundations. The grey boxes that Danial kept, containing all his mementos and memories from his long immortal life. Pictures and tokens weren’t enough for him to remember us. He was looking to make a living memory, something that wouldn’t fit in a box. We weren’t the same; I was going to die and he was going to live forever. In that split second, I understood that difference more completely than I ever had before.

“—I can’t lose you, Sar.”

“Danial, it’s over between us,” I said tearfully. “We’re over.”

Tara is giving away a print copy of BROKEN PROMISE to one (1) lucky commenter!  What’s your preference, shifter or vampire?  Giveaway ends @12am est 10-26-12.  Winner announced shortly thereafter.


Visit Tara



Tara’s Blog 

Tara’s Facebook Page 


For info on my recently published book The Chalet,  All other works are listed on Amazon as well!


NAUGHTY & NICE HOLIDAY HOP with prizes from Sue at R@R

Romance @ Random’s NAUGHTY & NICE Holiday Hop!
10/22 – 10/29 with some great prizes.


15 Net Galley Preview copies of NAUGHTY & NICE (18 or older only)

5 ABOUT LAST NIGHT paper giveaways (US only please)

Grand Prize is a $15 gift certificate to the etailer of choice!

Aren’t those some awesome prizes?




Here’s a bit about NAUGHTY & NICE from RandomHouse’s site.

’Tis the season for romance with three original holiday-themed novellas! Unwrap this festive eBook bundle and discover why these authors are quickly becoming the biggest names in the genre. Ruthie Knox tells a heartwarming contemporary story of first loves given the gift of a second chance; Molly O’Keefe releases the ghosts of Christmas past with a prequel to her novel Crazy Thing Called Love; and Stefanie Sloane weaves an irresistible Regency tale of fiery passion that burns deep on a cold winter’s night.

ROOM AT THE INN by Ruthie Knox

Carson Vance couldn’t wait to get out of Potter Falls, but now that he’s back to spend Christmas with his ailing father, he must face all the people he left behind . . . like Julie Long, whose heart he broke once upon a time. Now the proprietor of the local inn, Julie is a successful, seductive, independent woman—everything that Carson’s looking for. But despite several steamy encounters under the mistletoe, Julie refuses to believe in happily ever after. Now Carson must prove to Julie that he’s back for good—and that he wants her in his life for all the holidays to come.


Maddy Baumgarten and Billy Wilkins are spontaneous, in love, and prepared to elope the day after Christmas—that is, if Maddy’s family doesn’t throw a wrench in their plans. After all, Maddy’s barely out of high school and Billy’s a notorious bad boy. Maddy doesn’t care about Billy’s rough past—all she cares about is living in the here and now. But after Maddy’s mother stops speaking to her in protest, and a Christmas Eve heart-to-heart with her father leaves her with butterflies, Maddy starts to get cold feet. She loves Billy, but is she taking this big step too soon?


After being jilted by her fiancé, Jane Merriweather turns to her dear childhood friend, the Honorable Lucas Cavanaugh, for support—and unlocks the smoldering desire simmering in the man’s troubled heart. Frightened by his newfound feelings, Lucas flees to Scotland. But when the Christmas season brings them together again, one glance is all that’s needed to reignite his yearning. If Lucas can convince Jane that his intentions are as pure as the falling snow, they’ll turn a dreary December into a joyous Yuletide affair.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks for taking the time to visit with me and Manic Readers, Gene.

With all the types of writing you’ve done, essayist, screenwriting, playwright, humor columnist and now novelist, do you think you’ve finally found a home or will you continue to spread yourself around?

I will, but probably not as thin as that. And really, all of that sounds more impressive until you see it as a series of “and then” statements. I was a playwright, and then a humor columnist, and then an essayist and so on. I expect I’ll spend most of my time in novels and screenplays when I’m not blogging.

Can you tell us a bit about IMMORTAL and HELLENIC IMMORTAL?  (I’m looking forward to reading both of these.)













Both are first-person narratives told by a rather quick-witted, sarcastic, possibly alcoholic immortal man. They’re kind of a mix of contemporary fantasy, historical fiction, sci-fi, and a few other things muddled together in a world that is more or less the one we live in now. It has its share of identifiably “magical” beings in it (I mean aside from the narrator) such as vampires and what-have-you, but without any of the magic.

Is IMMORTAL the book you set out to write or did it change as you progressed?

I don’t know what I set out to write, because I don’t do any outlining and very little pre-planning. I think I figured out what the ending was going to be once I was 1/3 of the way through the first draft, and that ending isn’t the one in the book right now.

I’m kind of a high-risk writer when it comes to novels. I like to start at the beginning and work my way through to the end. I don’t take notes or do character sketches, and I don’t write anything that isn’t going to be part of the book. Most of the time what happens as I go is as big a surprise to me as anyone. Unless I find I don’t have enough of a story to finish the book. That’s happened a few times.

Do you have a finite number of books featuring Adam or are the possibilities endless?

I think three books will end up feeling about right, but we’ll see if that’s still true after I’ve finished the third book.

The problem I’m expecting to run into is Adam—that’s the narrator—repeating himself, which I really don’t want. There is also the matter of how many times I can revisit the past. There are a lot of past-tense stories being told in these books, and I’m going to eventually run out of historical periods for him to talk about. Granted, sixty-thousand years is a lot of time to cover, but the majority of that transpired before anything we might recognize as civilization, and “I ran around and hunted things” doesn’t make for a particularly engaging story.

How did it feel to make history with your publisher, selling more copies of IMMORTAL than any of their other books, in the first five months of release? And what’s this about outselling Fifty Shades of Grey?

The exact wording is that IMMORTAL sold more copies in its first five months with The Writer’s Coffee Shop than any of their previous titles had sold in their respective first five months. That includes the first five months of Fifty Shades of Grey.

And of course it’s cool. How awesome is that?

What do you think about readers comparing you to Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams, among others?

It’s equal parts flattering and mystifying. Actually, the most interesting thing about comparisons isn’t so much that they exist, it’s that everyone seems to pull out a different name. Gaiman and Adams are two very different kinds of writers, and I’ve also seen names like Palahniuk and Chandler, who are even further apart. I think what it says is, nobody can figure out exactly whom I’m like, and I think that’s a good thing.

What do you like to read?

I read far more non-fiction than fiction, partly because I can’t write fiction while I’m in the middle of reading it. I end up spending time plotting the book I’m reading instead of the one I’m writing, and I’m an instinctive style thief. I also need non-fiction for research purposes a lot of the time.

Do you have a favorite book?

Do I have a favorite? I can’t even imagine how that’s possible. I could list a long series of books that are among my favorites—Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, King’s It, Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World, Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay are the first four that spring to mind—but given ten minutes I could list ten more. And it’s the same with movies, multiplied by ten.

Is there anything specific your Muse requires?

My Muse requires only that I write semi-regularly, inasmuch as I get nightmares when I go without for too long. We’re kind of frenemies, my Muse and I.

Who’s in charge, you or the characters?

When I write in first person, as I did in IMMORTAL and HELLENIC, Adam is very much in charge of things. It’s to the point now where we have arguments that can last for weeks, and it’s worse when I make the mistake of giving him too much beer.

But my third-person characters are much more reasonable, in general. Nobody in FIXER—my next novel, due in 2013—is quite so annoying as Adam can be.

What’s your favorite part of writing?

Getting something right. I remember reading once that Hendrix was constantly experimenting with distortion effects to try and make his guitar mimic the sound in his head. Writing can be much the same. Sometimes we know exactly what we want to convey as a whole, and figuring out how to make individual words aggregate in a way that approximates that is deeply rewarding. It’s also incredibly rare and difficult, and has only happened to me a few times.

What do you like the least?

First chapters. I absolutely hate first chapters and will rewrite them mercilessly until both the chapter and I are crying. If I were a pitcher I’d be the guy who gives up three runs in the first inning and then is untouchable for eight.

Do you currently have a WIP? IF so are you able to share any details about it?

I am working on the third IMMORTAL book right now, and it’s terrifying. I’ve left some things unanswered in the first two books that will require resolution—and I do know what the answers are, but I’m not sure I want to tell them, and I’m also not sure how to go about it. And as I said above, I don’t outline or preplan, so while I know many of the things that are going to be in the book, I don’t know what else will be in the book, or how the overarching themes and information will resolve themselves into a cohesive plot.

That said, I’m about 8,000 words in, and I hope to have a draft finished by the Spring.

Anything else to look forward to from you?

Well—and here’s why I can afford to take a little time to get IMMORTAL 3 right—FIXER will be debuting next year. This is a very different kind of book from what I’ve written before, somewhat more serious, with less of an emphasis on fantasy elements and more on sci-fi and horror. It’s about a man named Corrigan Bain who can see a rolling five seconds of the future, and about what happens when something in the future doesn’t want to be seen. In my biased opinion, you’ll love it.

Visit Gene                                                 

Beverley Oakley asks readers, what makes a hero sexy, with giveaway

Hi Ivy and everyone at Manic Readers,

It’s great to be back though I feel I’m always racing to keep up with this crazy double life I’m leading. I had no idea that writing under a pseudonym in addition to my original writing name would actually mean that I almost doubled my workload in so many areas. It’s been fun but it’s been hectic. And if writing and promo aren’t enough, my latest venture is costuming.

Yes, it’s huge fun as I prepare for my forthcoming series of library and author talks wearing my 1760s court gown, which I’ve constructed from old raw silk scarlet curtains and brocade using genuine patterns taken from gowns of the era. I’ve also made the genuine corset and panniers of the era, which I’m detailing with construction tips and photographs in my newsletter (so if anyone’s interested in costume and its related history, you might want to subscribe) and I’m wearing – and revealing – everything costume-related during my talks.

On the writing side, recent exciting developments include the cover art I received two days ago for my new 10K short story Saving Grace (under my Beverley Oakley name) that Pan Macmillan Momentum will release in January. I’m also told by my Ellora’s Cave editor that I can expect the cover art from my upcoming erotic Regency novella, Her Gilded Prison, any day now – hopefully with a release date. The series is about a viscount and his legitimate two daughters by his wife, and his illegitimate son and daughter by his mistress. As you can imagine, in the early nineteenth century the stigma of being a bastard was huge, so each of these children gets their own story with their lives intertwining between polite society, the demimonde and the hardships of genteel poverty and being a governess.


My most current news is the release of my Regency Historical Intrigue – A Little Deception – under my Beverley Eikli name. It was nominated Favourite Historical in 2011 by ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association). In the original version I had to cut 15,000 words in order to fit the requisite 224 pages without making the font too small. It came out in hardcover but a couple of months ago my rights reverted to me and I was thrilled to have the benefit of time  – plus reviews – to tweak, add and restructure in order to maximize the potential of the subplots.

So if you love subplots, intrigue, villains – or in this case, villainesses – with lashings of romance, then you might like A Little Deception.

A one-night charade to save the family sugar plantation wins loyal and determined Rose Chesterfield more than she bargained for – marriage to the deliciously notorious rake, Viscount Rampton.  

“A love match!” proclaims London’s catch of the season who happily admits he has been hoist on his own petard.  


But when his new wife is implicated in the theft of several diamond necklaces Rampton wonders if her deception goes beyond trapping him into marriage. Is she the innocent she claims, or a scheming fortune hunter with a penchant for money, mischief and men?  

This extract takes place when Viscount Rampton visits Rose for the first time, alone.

His eyes held hers and a smile curled the corners of his lips. This time Rose had no response. Her heart thudded so painfully she wondered whether he could hear it. She schooled herself to remain still, not to squirm with embarrassment or appear too eager. Nor to turn him away with a lack of enthusiasm.

‘I looked in at Almack’s briefly.’ He remained standing a few feet from her, his hands clasped behind his back. ‘In case you had chosen to accompany your family, after all. When I saw you had not I was concerned …’ His voice trailed away and his intensely blue eyes bored into hers before he added softly, ‘that you might be lonely.’

Still Rose made no rejoinder. It was hard enough just forcing herself to breathe. Every nerve ending was like a taut violin string, heat prickled the surface of her skin and the most unbearable longing threatened to turn her into a fool. No, she had no choice but to wait, then act accordingly.

‘Come here,’ he said, softly, and Rose felt her body answer the summons before her mind had time to fully comprehend. Without conscious thought she’d closed the distance between them and was abandoning good sense with the breath that left her body in a whoosh as she raised her lips to meet his.

There were no gentle preliminaries. Hot and demanding, his mouth covered hers as he cupped her face, almost drinking her in and she, seemingly boneless, wilted in his embrace.

His lips burned hers as he growled against them, ‘I’ve looked forward to this moment since I first laid eyes on you,’ before resuming his passionate assault, his hands roaming over her body, cupping her bottom as he drew her against him.

Dear Lord, it was terrifying, and it was wicked and oh, so exhilarating. She was an innocent. Inexperienced. She knew she should be shocked by the liberties and the jutting angles of his masculinity but her body answered with equal ardour as her hands twined behind his neck and her tongue tangled with his in a dance of seduction that could have no happy resolution – but she could take what he offered, now, and she’d have that to sustain her for the rest of her days.

She squirmed at the disconcerting feeling of molten liquid pooling in her lower belly but she only pressed herself closer for in the drawing room she was still mistress of her own destiny and her reputation was preserved. She could show him how much she desired him but when he released her, here it would end.

‘You are wicked, my lord,’ she told him, kissing his ear, running her palms over the roughness of his angular cheekbones and reveling in his caresses, arching into him as he contoured her body without shame, knowing that he would realise it could go no further since she was, in his eyes, a married woman, and that she was due to leave the country in a few short weeks.

‘And you are a minx,’ he muttered against her throat, drawing back at the sound of heavy footsteps in the passage, and adding, just before Edith made her presence known, ‘but don’t you think you’ve got the better of me.’

Rose widened her eyes and smiled into his face, still only inches from hers. ‘Time will tell, my lord,’ she said, with emphasised coquetry. She sighed as she stepped backwards and out of his embrace. ‘I am mindful of the fact I am deeply in your debt.’

He reached out one hand to stroke her jawline. ‘Yes, you’d do well to remember that,’ he murmured.

Now, A Little Deception doesn’t venture too much into the bedroom, however if you like the idea of a happily married couple struggling with the issue of repeated conceptions yet being victims of their times (the Regency era) you might enjoy Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma, which is published by Total-e-Bound and now, together with my other Beverley Oakley erotic historicals, available on Amazon.

Wind whipped the branches of the tree against her bedchamber window. A storm was brewing, said Tom, the footman. He should know, for he was a farmer’s son.

But Cressida was a parson’s daughter and she knew nothing about anything except what was required of her to be a good wife.

She drew the counterpane up to her chin and shivered, wishing it were with anticipation at the same time that she wished Justin were cuddled warmly against her. But that was not to be, not tonight.

At first, the limpid look in Justin’s eye when he’d held her hand in that tawdry sitting room at Mrs Plumb’s had sliced away at her soul. She’d seen the hunter in him size up his quarry. At eighteen she’d been easy prey, falling into his arms during their first waltz. There’d been no chase on Justin’s part, for their hearts and minds had been as one from the start.

He’d quickly realised it was Cressida, though, in that shabby little sitting room in that wicked house. She knew Justin too well. His sudden stillness and the change in his tone had alerted her to the fact that he knew exactly who she was.

Without missing a beat he’d continued the charade while her brain had been in a whirl as to whether to admit her identity. Yet when Justin so willingly endorsed their play-acting, the exciting possibilities had quickly taken on a life of their own.

He’d agreed to an assignation a week hence. Her body pulsed at the thought before fear intruded that he’d come to her too soon. How could she hold him at bay? In a week she’d have all the tools and knowledge she needed to be everything Justin could desire.

She didn’t have them now. She was as ignorant of the practicalities as she’d ever been, but she knew now that precautions were possible.

Of course, her kindly friend at Mrs Plumb’s would advise her to explain everything to Justin. But how could Cressida tell him everything? Panic banished reason. All she wanted was one more week—then she’d be all-powerful in her knowledge. Miss Mariah could help her with the words she needed. Cressida had not the vocabulary, much less the knowledge, to say what she needed to.

A familiar step sounded just outside her room. With a start of horror she jerked upright, drawing the counterpane up to her neck as the door opened slowly, faint light spilling in from the corridor.

Her breath caught, the words she might have used—should have used—dying in her throat.














If you’d like to be in the draw for a give-away of an ecopy of either my historical intrigue – Lady Farquhar’s Butterfly – or my erotic Regency, Rake’s Honour, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what makes a hero sexy.  Ends @12 am est 10-20-12. Winners will be announced shortly thereafter.  Good Luck!


Thanks so much for dropping by.


Manic Readers Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma

Manic Readers Rake’s Honour Review

 A Little Deception

Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma

And visit me here:

 Beverley Oakley

Beverley Eikli

Beverley Oakley on FB

Beverley Eikli’s blog

Beverley Oakley on Twitter

Beverley Eikli                               Beverley Oakley

Amazon Release -A Little Deception       Coming soon from Momentum: Saving Grace                           

Adventures and book writing with Jianne Carlo

Thanks for taking the time to stop by, Jianne.

Thank you for having me, Ivy.

Could you share a bit about growing up on Trinidad?

Trinidad, back then, was your idyllic island paradise. As kids we played in our neighborhood, and wherever we were at lunchtime, some mother fed us, made sure our cuts and bruises were clean (we were four girls to twenty boys), and then sent us home to rest. A three-hour ‘rest’ period was enforced from one to four every day. Now, I know that the rest period was for the grownups, not the kids. 🙂  Truly, it was much like the ‘Happy Days’, but with kids of all colors and races. I am glad my children were able to experience that before we moved to Florida fourteen years ago.

It sounds delightful and aside from the rest period, very similar to growing up in the army.

Any other exotic locales you can write from personal experience?

You know,Ivy, when you grow up on a 60×40 island – the first thing you want to do is GET OFF. See the world, travel to every continent. While I haven’t quite met that goal, I’ve been in the depths of the Amazon jungle, climbed gorges in Crete, hiked in Basque country, boated on the Dordogne, and become hopelessly lost on some motorway in the UK. Add to that the fact my father believed you must know your corner of the world, there isn’t a Caribbean island I haven’t visited, and I know most of Central America.

Wow, Jianne, what a large time you’ve had!

What was it about the fairytale wedding at the Welsh castle that inspired you?

Actually, it was a combination of the fairytale setting and reading Christina Dodd’s Once a Knight. She made that period come to life for me. The whole weekend I kept picturing scenes from the book. And my dh snorted when I first told him I was going to write a book – you know – the kind of ‘yeah, yeah, it’s the champagne talking’ snort that makes you grit your teeth and show him.

My dh’s snorts can’t be attributed to champagne, but I know which one you mean.  To give the devil his due, if he saw I was determined he’d back me completely.

If your first book was Manacled in Monaco, how did you make the leap from Welsh castle to Monaco?

After my dad died, my mother had been asking me to do a European trip with her for a couple of years. No conditions save two – she wanted to see Monaco and it had to be at least 2 weeks long. Two weeks of twenty-four hours with my mom. I imagined horrible fights, biting sarcasm, the worst. It turned out to be 28 – yep – 28 days of absolute fun. We had a blast and never – not once- quarreled even though I (I drove) managed to get lost every, single day.

Monaco, while lovely, was not what we expected. Fast forward two months, my bff is terminally ill and I take a leave of absence to go and nurse her in London for five weeks. Writing Manacled in Monaco kept me sane during that very difficult time.

I am so sorry about your BFF, but at least you could be there.  I’m sure it meant the world to her.   How wonderful for you and your mom that you could have that experience, especially when you expected to be miserable.  Those times make for amazing memories.

Did you find it difficult to break into writing/get published?

I am truly blessed. I finished Manacled in Monaco, and two other books and submitted them to various publishers. All were accepted.

What about your newest release, MALICE STRIKER, the first in your Viking Vengeance series?  Does this tie into your Viking Warriors or is it separate?

Definitely separate from the Viking Warriors. Malice Striker is a paranormal/fantasy Viking book and it is the first of a trilogy. These books take the Viking gods and goddesses to a different place.

Sounds interesting…love mythology that branches out.You write across genres, can you tell us about your different series?

The White Wolf, Hades Squad, Viking Warriors, Mediterranean Mambo, and Witchy Women?



White Wolf came about because Treva Harte, one of the founders of Loose-Id, invited me to write a book for the fourth anniversary of the company. The theme was red, white, and blue. I chose White and one day woke up with the opening scene in the lake in my head. Things took off after that.






The Hades Squad started with A Paratrooper in a Pear Tree – again a response to a call for books centered on Christmas songs. That line repeated in my brain like a refrain – know what I mean? And then I thought, ah heck, let’s have a paratrooper land in a pear tree and see how things work out. Somehow during the writing of that one, the Hades Squad was born, Sinner,Satan, Lucifer, Devil, and Demon…and they all demanded their own books.

Too funny…





Mediterranean Mambo was my first series and those books were inspired by our mother/daughter 28-day jaunt through Europe.











The Witchy Women were my first-written books. I’ve always loved time travel and everyone advised me – write what you know. I know the Caribbean.











But my first love has always been Viking tales. Probably because I’m married to a man who I think of as my personal Viking and because I believe that the Vikings are responsible for the modern world. No – before you snort your disbelief – think of this – would there have been a William the Conqueror if there weren’t Viking raids? Of course not. And would there have been an America without the British? There you go.

Your stand alones?

I only have one, Valentine Voodoo, and that may not be true for long. 🙂


Do you prefer to write series or standalones?

Series definitely. I love being able to explore the secondary characters who pop up in a book. But, like any good entertainment (TV show, etc.), you must know when to end and leave your audience wanting one more…

What’s your favorite part of writing?

Being able to shut out the world. I’ve begun to wonder if writing isn’t some form of psychotherapy as whenever things become ‘hairy’ in my day job, I immerse myself in a new book.

Makes sense to me and it’s cheaper than a therapist…

Least favorite?

Ending the book. It’s like saying a final farewell to a friend.

Do you have a book or character(s) that are a personal favorite?

You do know that’s like asking – do you have a favorite child? The answer is yes – the characters and books I’m currently writing. And since I always have two manuscripts going, one contemporary and one historical, Konáll of Death Blow, and Torch of Torch Me are my current faves.

Who controls the story, you or the characters?

*snort* as if. They control everything. Sometimes I try to nudge them, but you’d be surprised how stubborn my characters are.

If you had to choose only one genre/sub-genre, what would it be?

 Can warriors be a genre? Warriors…any kind of warrior.

Does your Mom ever make suggestions?

No, but she frequently asks – what’s taking you so long?

Well that sounds like a compliment to me..

What can we look forward to from you? 

The beginning of a new paranormal SEAL series with Torch Me.

Death Blow and Vengeance Hammer, the last two novels of the new Viking Vengeance trilogy.

Sigh, Satan’sAngel, the last of the Hades Squad books.

Two more White Wolf tales, Chad and Lizzie’s story, and one other.

And then there are the six books started, but left hanging because of deadlines…one day…one day I’ll finish everything I’ve started…and if you believe that – there’s a cove in Tobago with your name written in the sand.

If you’re like me you’ll never finish what you’ve got started.  Giving it a good try though!

Thanks for visiting Manic Readers, Jianne.  I’ve enjoyed it.

Thank you Ivy, for taking the time to do the research and make this interesting and enjoyable – from my perspective anyway.

Visit Jianne

Jianne @ Amazon

Meet soldier and author, Jessica Scott with giveaway of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU

Thanks for taking the time to visit Manic Readers.

First things first, how’s your dad?

Thanks so much for having me at Manic Readers! I’m thrilled. My dad is doing just fine, thanks so much for asking!

Why the Army?

Honestly? I’m a product of the 90s army. Economy was doing great but I didn’t really have the grades or the money to go to college so I figured I’d join the army, get out of small town Maine and figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Turned out it was a good fit and it stuck. Best decision I ever made.

I really enjoyed your POV posts.  A bit about your spot on Point of View for those who aren’t familiar with it, please.

Back in 2010 when I first came home from Iraq, I was invited to blog at PBS Point of View Regarding War Women and War. We discussed a couple of opposing view points about women and war and I was the only currently serving active duty female presenting any ideas. It was a great experience getting to see how different women view the military.

What are the main differences between being a company commander and being a Mom?

A romance writer?

Oh the differences are legion. Being a commander is an awesome responsibility, just like being a mom. You’re responsible for everything your team does, good or bad, just like being a parent. I used to think that being a writer was like being a mom in that you raise your kids/book to go out into the world without you but I’ve changed my mind. Writing is in no way like being a parent. You develop a story to be told and you let it go. While others might disagree, identifying a book as your child is only going to set you up for emotional abuse when someone hates your book. So I don’t recommend thinking of your book as your child or using parenting analogies for writing. It’s vastly different but your mileage may vary, you know?

Are you ever teased about your books?

Only when my husband decides to do dramatic interpretation of my books. I laugh my tail off when he reads them out loud. Needless to say, it is somewhat challenging to write a deeply emotional scene with him over my shoulder.

Bet that is a hoot!

Plans to retire at twenty years?

Nope. I love my military career and I get to make a difference in ways I’d never have in the civilian world. I’ll stay as long as the military lets me.

How do you juggle so many balls?

I’m somewhat OCD about my calendar. Seriously, if its not on my calendar, it’s simply not going to get done. I was originally really excited about reminders from apple but they don’t work for me. For some reason, it has to be calendar. I’ve also developed – probably not the best techniques – for managing my to do list. I’m always up for better ideas on work flow improvement though!

Favorite place you’ve been stationed?

Germany, hands down. There was so much history and literally everything in Europe was 6- 8 hours away (except Italy and Spain).

Are your military romances a way of high lighting the special challenges faced by soldiers and their families?

They are but then again, I’m too close to the issues and it ends up being very challenging for me to write about the military in ways that civilians can understand. Just getting the language right can be a challenge, you know?

Please, do tell about UNTIL THERE WAS YOU.

UNTIL THERE WAS YOU is the story of two soldiers coming home from war and starting to unpack their ruck sacks of all the baggage they’ve carried around with them. Combat changes a person and one of the things I love dealing with in my writing is how combat changes you. Not everything is PTSD, you know?

Here’s the official blurb!

He plays by the rules, she’s not afraid to break them. Now these two strong-willed army captains will prove that opposites attract . . .

A by-the-book captain with a West Point background, Captain Evan Loehr refuses to mix business with pleasure—except for an unguarded instance years ago when he succumbed to the deep sensuality of redheaded beauty Claire Montoya. From that moment on, though, Evan has been at odds with her, through two deployments to Iraq and back again. But when he is asked to train a team prepping for combat alongside Claire, battle-worn Evan is in for the fight of his life.

Strong, gutsy, and loyal, Captain Claire Montoya has worked hard to earn the rank on her chest. In Evan, Claire sees a rigid officer who puts the rules before everything else—including his people. When the mission forces them together, Claire soon discovers that there is more to Evan than meets the eye.

He’s more than the rank on his chest; he’s a man with dark secrets and deep longings. For all their differences, Evan and Claire share two crucial passions: their country and each other.


Here’s the Prologue, Chapter One and Chapter Two of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU for your reading pleasure and titillation!

Does it stand independent of Because of You and Back to You?

Yes, UNTIL THERE WAS YOU is not connected to BECAUSE OF YOU and BACK TO YOU.

Here’s the Prologue and Chapter One of BECAUSE OF YOU for your reading pleaure.

How many books do you have planned in your Coming Home series?

 I won’t say I’ve got a number in my head, honestly. There is at least 1 more book under way and well, we’ll see where the story takes me after that.

Why a military romance instead of say “literary” or just plain fiction?

 I have no idea how to answer that question, lol! My books don’t fit neatly into the boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back genre niche but then again, they are focused on the relationship between one man and one woman. I will confess to having a hard time finding a home for these books because when people say military romance, they think romantic suspense and Navy SEALS and these books are not those books.

Is there another genre or sub-genre you’d like to explore?

 It dawned on me today that while I love a good paranormal, I absolutely suck at it. My world building skills are just terrible. So ultimately, I’d like to get better at that and there are several kinds of stories I’d like to explore. Right now, I’m focusing on the Coming Home books, you know?

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

 Getting the opening of the story right. Man openings are so hard for me. After that, it’s revising without ripping the book apart and starting over.


Revising that almost final draft when it’s just layering and tweaking. Favorite part.

Who’s in charge, you or the characters?

My characters. I’m not an instinctive plotter so I have to work on it. I’ll have one idea for the story but I continually end up surprised by how much my story will change once I get a really great feel for my character.

Do you have a writing schedule or is it whenever the mood/opportunity presents itself?

I sit down on my computer usually by about 8-9 pm every night and try to write at least 2000 words. Some nights, this is easy peasy. Other nights I just give up. But I try to stay on target, you know?

Does your muse require music, chocolate, caffeine, chips, or anything at all?

I can really rock when I’ve got a song stuck in my head. I don’t know why but something about having a song on repeat taps into my muse I just start nailing words to the page. It’s really awesome when things flow that way.

Do you have a favorite genre to read? A favorite book?

I read a lot of non fiction, trying to find the answers to the billion questions in my head. I loved the Hunger Games books because they made me think, you know? Plus I was left with an emotional hangover for DAYS at the end of that series. I mean, totally and completely destroyed me. So so good.

For those who don’t know Fluffy, could you share a bit about her with them?

Fluffy is the dark hamster of the apocalypse. She was the pre-k class pet last year who continually kept coming back to our house and moved in at the end of the school year. She is constantly escaping and threatening to kill the cat. She’s a funny little hamster. She has her own facebook page now for all the shenanigans.

What can readers look forward to from you?

I’m not sure what next year will bring. BACK TO YOU is coming out in September and that will close out this portion of the Coming Home series. I’ve got a couple of ideas dancing around in my head so we’ll see what happens. I’m also releasing a book from my blog about my year in Iraq so readers can look for that as soon as I finish cutting through some red tape!

Thanks so much for having me on Manic Readers!

Thank you for taking the time to visit, Jessica.

Y’all are sooo lucky.  Sue at Romance at Random is graciously offering one lucky commenter a print copy of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU.  Giveaway ends @12 am est on 10-15-12.  Sorry, US only.  Meaningful comments only.  Good luck!

Manic Readers Review of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU.


Visit Jessica





Fluffy’s FB

Amazon          B&N

COURTING TROUBLE, Steampunk and Australiana giveaway with Jenny Schwartz

If you scroll down a tad, you’ll see the gorgeous cover for my new steampunk story, “Courting Trouble”. It is such a gorgeous cover that I absolutely have to celebrate Croco Designs amazing and beautifully Australian design by giving away some Australiana.













I have two separate prizes: a magnet & bookmark, and a set of 4 magnets.

Just leave a comment at the bottom of the post for your chance to win. I’ll draw two names on Saturday October 13.




All suffragette Esme Smith wants is respect. Her beau, American inventor Jed Reeve, may be more enlightened than most men, but lately his need to protect her is at odds with her need for independence. Esme begins to wonder if a modern woman can share her life with a man without losing some of herself.

With his courtship of Esme stalled, the last thing Jed needs is the pressure of saving the Prince of Wales. But when blueprints for a sonic destroyer fall into his hands, he uncovers an anarchist plot that could have deadly consequences.

While investigating the threats, Jed is determined to keep Esme out of harm’s way, despite her protests. But when the terrorists capture Jed and demand a priceless emerald in exchange for his life, it’s Esme who must draw on all her strength to save the day.



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Read the reviews.

Jenny Schwartz is an Australian author in love with living in the suburbs. What could be nicer than chatting to your neighbour over the back fence? She’s currently mis-using her history degree to write steampunk and can be bribed with TimTams.

You can catch up with Jenny at her website




I love those magnets & bookmark, just lovely.

NEVER SEDUCE A SCOT by Maya Banks giveaway



#4 in Maya’s historical Highlander series is here.

Click on the widget in the sidebar to read an excerpt.

Courtesy of Sue at Romance at Random Manic Readers & I have 2 (two) copies to giveaway!  So leave a comment letting us know why you love historicals, Highlanders & in particular Maya’s Highlanders.

Giveaway ends 10-12-12!  US only.

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