Saturday, January 31, 2009

Reviews and Promotions and Quotations, Oh My!

I can't believe it but today is the LAST day of January. Where did the month go?

January 7th was the best of times and the worst of times (to quote Dickens). My book was released and someone dropped by my buy page the same day to say something negative. Talk about getting your bubble burst in a major way. But you know, when I posted here readers took up my challenge to decide for themselves whether they like my book. And you know what?

You like me, you really like me!
(to quote Sally Field)

I've received some wonderful feedback and comments from my web site and I want to thank all of you for taking the time from your lives to share with me that you enjoyed my book. It means SO much. I thank those readers who went to my buy page over at EC and left positive comments too. You folks are the total best. I'll try my hardest to keep you in reading material in the future!

I want to thank the groups who've invited me to blog with them. On January 20th, I was the featured author at The Raven Happy Hour Web site and blog. I had a great time over at the Star-Crossed Romance blog. Be sure to check out my post there from Monday, January 26. I'll keep you posted as my future guest spots and features happen!

I've also been buying in to advertising. One of the first places I bought an ad was an EC shared ad for Realms of Fantasy Magazine. This week, ROF announced that the April/May issue (in which we bought an ad) will be the last issue of the magazine. The Locus Magazine Web site and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. confirmed the news. I'm so incredibly sad. I've read the magazine off and on for years and it's a great vehicle for fantasy authors to get their work published. If you have a Facebook account - there is a "Save Realms of Fantasy Magazine" group there. Please join and offer your support. There is also a group over at LiveJournal as well.

I've bought advertising in Romantic Times too - both the May and July issues of the magazine will feature my cover (along with eleven others) in a full color ad. So keep an eye out for my book. Also, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my book will be reviewed in the May issue. If it is, I'll let you know. Then I'll either be floating in happiness or down in the doldrums. The good news is that regardless of the rating, a whole LOT of people will see the book.

Speaking of reviews... I have two very good ones which I'd like to share with everyone. These two have made me really happy! Yup - they are GOOD reviews. LOL

Tina at TwoLips Reviews gave me Five Kisses. Count 'em...FIVE!

In part Tina says, "Francesca Hawley has a brilliantly crafted novel in Protect and Defend. I loved the blend of the cops and robbers mystery and the hot spicy romance. I truly could not put Protect and Defend down."

Wow. Happy dance.

The Romance Readers Connection also reviewed Protect and Defend. Gloria Gehres rated my book a 4. I looked around the site and I'm REALLY thrilled. There are not a lot of 4 1/2 and 5 ratings, so a 4 is excellent. Yaaaay. More happy dancing. I'm kinda getting tired and my face hurts from the smiling, but I'll survive.

Gloria says, "PROTECT AND DEFEND is a wickedly erotic shape shifter novel. Francesca Hawley gives us strong, lovable characters, and a story line that leaves you believing, that when you least expect it, fate will steps in and give you a helping hand." She says some other very nice stuff too. More wow.

Yeah, I know. Authors aren't supposed to care about reviews, but I guess because this is my first novel length baby, I kinda do care. A lot. I'll get more blase with future ones, I'm sure. Just like second, third and fourth kids have fewer and fewer pictures taken of all their milestones, I'm sure I'll calm down. This is my time to document each little hiccup and grin. To run across the room with the diaper and shout, "Look, baby poohed!" You know...stuff like that.

My baby (book) is taking its first steps and I'm a seriously proud mama. I know it isn't the same as a CHILD, but this is my version. For now. Or as Diarmid would say, "Indulge me."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Guest Blogging at Star Crossed Romance

Be sure to visit the Star-Crossed Romance Blog on Monday, January 26. I'm the featured author for the day. I'm really excited to have the opportunity so please stop by and say hello!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Barack Obama's Inauguration and Address

What an amazing day!
Change has arrived in the United States of America.
Yes, we can. Yes, we did!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Featured on Raven Blog

Please stop by the Raven blog on January 20th to check out my author feature there. It's exciting and scary to promote my book but I've had some good experiences so far.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Never did the course run smooth - Reader challenge...

Greetings all,
My book has been out for a whole week, but it's been a bumpy one. On the very first day, someone posted a comment on my buy page which was less than glowing. Talk about bumping back down to earth. But when the universe gives you lemons, it's time to make some lemonade! I talked to some of my writer friends and they said, you know your editor at Ellora's Cave liked your book enough to contract it. One person didn't like it, but that's just one person's opinion.

So... I have a challenge for my readers. Visit my buy page and check out the comment.
Let me know if you agree or disagree. Did you like Protect and Defend or hate it? Was it too long and have too many ideas or was it just right? If you haven't read it, please consider it. Read the excerpt to see what you think.

I've received several private messages from readers who have enjoyed the book. Thank you so much for writing me. I really appreciate it!

What do you say, folks? Post comments here and on my buy page. I want to know what you think!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Today is the day! Excerpt teaser...

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.


Copyright © FRANCESCA HAWLEY, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

“Just wait there while I come around to help you down,” Diarmid ordered. Miki bristled at the tone of command in his voice.

“I am perfectly capable of getting out of a vehicle myself.”

“Indulge me.” Diarmid grabbed his garbage, shoving the SUV door open.

He stalked around the vehicle where Miki waited for him. She didn’t know why she waited, but she did. He opened her door and lifted her to the ground. He grabbed her garbage along with his and she moved out of the way so he could close the door. He stopped at the back of the SUV to grab his kit then headed for the front entrance. Miki ran to keep up as he crossed the street. He slowed to accommodate her shorter legs and from that moment on, she didn’t have to run anymore.

“Sorry,” he muttered.

“No problem.” She glanced at his kit. “You weren’t kidding about keeping it stocked were you?”

“No, Mikaela, I wasn’t.” Diarmid raised a red-gold brow at her as his lips twisted into a wicked smile. “I keep my weapon clean and ready for use whenever it’s needed too. You’re welcome to inspect it at length if you’d like.”

Miki blushed a fiery red from his suggestive banter, almost tripping up the stairs as they climbed the steps to the entrance.

“Yeah. Um… Right. I’ll take your word for it, Diarmid.” Miki could almost visualize his weapon ready for use and had to look away when he chuckled at her as he pulled open the entry door to allow her to precede him.

“Too bad. I was looking forward to showing it to you.”

His gravelly voice sent chills down her spine making her clit throb in response. Damn him, he was enjoying this. She stopped to slug him in the shoulder before breezing past him through the doors. His laughter echoed behind her.

Half a dozen cops stared at her as if she had two heads when Diarmid followed her inside. He tossed the garbage into a trash can, motioning her toward the elevators. Miki sucked down the last of her shake and threw it away. She glanced around the lobby. Miki had the impression the cops in view wondered how she was still alive after whacking him. She raised her brows at one or two of them. They looked away, pretending they had other business to conduct. She shook her head.

“Do they think you’re a god or something?” Miki asked curiously after the elevator doors closed behind them.

“No, but I do outrank them.”

“Your rank wasn’t the reason they looked at me like I’d just taken my life in my hands by smacking you, though I think you will admit you deserved it.”

Miki turned to him. Diarmid pressed the stop button, set his kit on the floor and stalked her into the corner of the elevator.

“All I did was offer to let you inspect my weapon.”

His grin teased her as his hand went to his waist. He unsnapped his holster and rocked his gun out then he pulled the clip and emptied the remaining shell from the chamber leaving the slide open, then Diarmid handed the unloaded weapon to her for her perusal.

Miki blushed because she’d been thinking about something else and she knew he’d meant something else when he’d said it. She took the gun from him, blinking because it was heavier than she expected. She lifted it in his direction, but he gently, but firmly, pointed the muzzle at the floor.

“I never point my weapon at someone unless I intend to use it.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” She eyed the weapon, deciding two could play this game. “It isn’t as big as I expected, but I suppose it gets the job done. After all, it isn’t the size of the weapon that counts, but how it’s used, so they say.” She lifted her eyes to Diarmid’s, raising her brows tauntingly.

His suggestive grin widened as he leaned closer. “It isn’t the size of the weapon but the caliber of the ammunition that does the job. I can assure you, my shot can do any job you need doing.”

Miki couldn’t stop a flirtatious laugh from escaping. “I’ll let you know if I have any jobs I need you to do for me, Lieutenant.”

“I can think of one or two I’d be happy to volunteer for.” Diarmid took the weapon from her hands, reloaded it and reseated it in his holster.


“Really.” Diarmid leaned toward her to nuzzle her neck, taking a deep breath of her scent. He nibbled her earlobe. “I can show you how to shoot a weapon, how to clean it, and I think we’d both enjoy the process of holstering it deeply and thoroughly. Over and over.”

“You don’t just put it in once and leave it there?”

“Oh no. You have to slide it in and out to make sure it’s seated just right. Do you want me to teach you?”

Miki groaned arching toward him, sliding her hands over his chest and up around his neck. “Yes, I think I might like that part the best,” she whimpered when his hands cupped her bottom lifting her toward his hips.
He slid a leg between her thighs. Miki ground herself against his leg just as he caught her mouth with his. She opened her lips so they could taste one another. His tongue dueled with hers until they were both breathless. Diarmid lifted his head and Miki stroked his cheek softly.

To ease the sexual tension, she joked, “I told you if both of us ate onion rings it would cancel out.”
Diarmid smiled, dropping an affectionate kiss on the tip of her nose. “So you did, but I think we’d better stop now because the security officer on duty is probably tired of staring at the ceiling.”

Miki gasped as she realized there was surveillance in the elevator. “Oh my God.” She found the camera easily and wanted to sink through the floor. She buried her hot face against his shoulder.

Diarmid caught her chin gently in his hand. “Don’t be embarrassed, Mikaela. After all, I’m the one who works here. I can assure you they’ve never seen me seducing a woman in an elevator before.”

Miki giggled. “Poor baby. How will you ever live down the damage to your reputation as a hard-ass?”

Diarmid threw his head back and laughed; Miki felt as if she’d won the lottery. “I’m sure I’ll survive it somehow. You’ll just have to find a way to console me.”

He gave her a wolfish grin, waggling his brows at her then stepped over to the control panel to set the elevator running again. He picked up his kit, winking at her when the doors opened. The reception officer stared at them both, blinking and speechless.

Miki chuckled as Diarmid escorted her down the hall. “So, where are we headed first, Lieutenant?”

“Let’s go visit Vasha in the morgue.”

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Protect and Defend...blurb

Protect and Defend
Francesca Hawley

Mikaela Laughlin discovers a whole new world, and an entirely new species, when she tours the crime lab to meet Lieutenant Diarmid Redwolf while researching her next book. She’s lusted after “Delicious Diarmid” from afar for a long time, but meeting him sets her body on fire. It doesn’t take long for Mikaela to discover there’s more to him than meets the eye. Diarmid is far more delicious up close than she ever dreamed.

Diarmid has bad guys to catch, but one look at the voluptuous writer has him wanting to catch her instead. His shapeshifter blood recognizes his True Mate and he wants her naked body arching beneath his. Now. But with a cold-blooded serial killer on the loose, Diarmid has one shot at his future and he will not fail. Because this time, the killer wants Mikaela.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Two days and counting

I can't believe it but my book comes out in JUST TWO DAYS!

January 7, 2009 is release day!

I can't believe the day is almost here. I started writing Protect and Defend several years ago and it was such an accomplishment to complete it. It was even more amazing when I had a chance to pitch the idea to Raelene Gorlinsky at the RWA National Conference in 2007. When my editor, Mary contacted me and offered me a contract I was over the moon.

It's been a wild couple of years but I hope that the future holds more books.

As you can tell from my cover, this book is about a shapeshifter who is a police lieutenant. When he discovers his True Mate, he has to adjust to a new existence with her while fighting to protect her from a serial killer.

I fell in love with Diarmid Redwolf while I wrote him and trust me...the sex is hot! LOL

More teasing tomorrow!