Monday, October 24, 2011

It’s Amazing Where Writing Has Taken Me - Tina Donahue

I'm really pleased today to have a guest on my blog today, author Tina Donahue. Tina writes fantastic erotic romances and I'm really honored to have her visit. She's running a contest in concert with her blog tour so check out her post!

* * * * *

When I first began writing romances, I went with what I knew and liked – romantic comedies. Mercy, they came easily to me. I have an irreverent sense of humor – think Seinfeld – and I used it quite liberally in my early releases, all contemporary.

Next, I tried historicals just because I liked them, especially those by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Shanna is one of my all time favorites.

My editor then suggested I try erotic romances. I’ll admit, I have very vivid fantasies about sex, but putting them on paper was another thing entirely. I sweated through those first couple of stories wondering if it was too much, too little, too kinky. It was enough to drive any writer batty. However, from my fans and reviewers’ perspectives, I’d scored a home run.

And now, I’ve stretched myself a bit more. This month I’m delighted to have two releases from two different publishing houses. SiNN, a contemporary ménage (my first ménage) and Unending Desire, an erotic paranormal, Book One of my Outlawed Realm series (my first series BTW).

Here’s the cover art and blurbs to give you a taste of where my writing has now taken me. Enjoy!
 


SiNN – contemporary erotic romance (ménage) from Ellora’s cave – releasing October 14


She’s every man’s carnal fantasy…and the target of one’s revenge

At a Phoenix gentleman’s club, Lea dances as SiNN, her body bared and vulnerable to her male partner, her features hidden behind a feathered mask. To the men watching, she’s a sensual enigma, submissive and seductive with no face, name or history. Not even Lea knows her real origins.

A man from the past does and wants her dead.

Not on the watch of U.S. Marshals Jake Gabriel and Toby Quinn. Commanding and decisive, Jake not only wants Lea’s safety but to have her naked and yielding beneath him. To Toby, she’s all he should resist but cannot.

Protected by them at a secluded estate, Lea’s drawn to their potent masculinity and the raw male lust in their eyes. Inviting desire and an emotional connection, she submits to both at once, surrendering to their most shameless hunger along with her own wanton needs.

All while a killer edges closer…





 
UNENDING DESIRE – erotic paranormal romance from Samhain – coming October 18



His hunger for one woman will make him a traitor to his world…

Outlawed Realm, Book 1

From a portal in his lab on E2, one of the five dimensions of Earth, quantum physicist Nikoli Zorr gazes on everything forbidden to him. Passion. Desire. The exquisite pleasure of running his hands over the lush curves of a young woman he should have stopped watching weeks ago.

His duty is to close the portals that keep the monsters out of E2—and never interfere with the inevitable fate of those on the other side. Yet he can’t bring himself to abandon the woman who has captured his soul.

Psychologist Regina Page is trying to keep her mind on her client, and off the mysterious, unbearable sexual cravings that consume her when she’s alone in her bedroom. The next moment she’s attacked by vampires, then swept into another realm by a stranger whose touch awakens that same raw desire. Whose eyes are already filled with farewell.

Yet beneath their undeniable carnal lust, something else stirs. The beginnings of illicit love. The unexpected need to protect him. Even if it means risking body, blood and soul to defeat the merciless horde…for a future that was never meant to be. 

_______________________________________


Product Warnings

Contains a repressed scientist who likes to look, and the woman who delights in unleashing his inner caveman. And sex hot enough to burn a hole in all three dimensions…and maybe create a whole new one. 



Tina Donahue is an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work; she has reached finals and/or placed in numerous RWA–sponsored contests. Three of her erotic novels were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. Sensual Stranger, her erotic romance, was chosen Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category) at the French review site, Blue Moon reviews. The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for her erotic romance Lush Velvet Nights; and Deep, Dark, Delicious (erotic romance) recently received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011). She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.


Website/blog: www.tinadonahue.com



  

*** CONTEST ***



To celebrate the release of SiNN and Unending Desire, I’m offering a contest. One lucky commenter on this blog will have her choice of one of my following ebooks**:



1.            Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT

2.            Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit

3.            Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award

4.            In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT

5.            Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT

6.            The Yearning – Top Ten Bestseller

7.            Take Me Away - #1 Pick, Miz Love Loves Books





** Winner chosen at random. Winner chosen October 27.




Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Alpha vs. Alpha releases TODAY! 10/12/2011

Boy, the date really snuck up on me!  But I'm so excited, because Alpha vs. Alpha (Serena and Damien's story) releases from Ellora's Cave TODAY - October 12, 2011.

When I originally wrote this story, the idea just popped into my head and the story almost wrote itself. I was thrilled when Rida Allen from Draumr Publishing liked it enough to publish it. When my rights came back to me, I looked forward to doing a bit of editing and revision of the story. I sent it to my editor Mary Moran at EC and she liked it! I was doing a major happy dance.

Even more thrilling was getting this gorgeous cover featuring Jimmy Thomas and designed by the fabulous Syneca. This cover is smokin' hot and it fits the story well, because Damien and Serena strike sparks off one another from the moment that they meet!

Check it out:

Alpha female Serena Goldwolf has spent a lifetime vowing never to be a submissive mate to any Alpha male. But all it takes is one surprisingly sexual meeting with Damien Blackwolf, a dissatisfied client of her shapeshifter dating site Predator-Match.com, and she’s down on all fours, wanting to be mounted by the hottest male on two legs—or four—whom she’s ever met.

Damien Blackwolf doesn’t understand why the voluptuous Serena won’t admit they’re True Mates. To convince her, he decides to bring out her baser desires by dragging her off to someplace private to get to know her…intimately. But how can he convince her of their destiny when she runs away from him? Guess he’ll just have to hunt her down and persuade her.

In a passionate battle of wills, there most definitely can be two winners.

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.
An Excerpt From: ALPHA VS. ALPHA
Copyright © FRANCESCA HAWLEY, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Chapter One

“What the hell kind of outfit is this?”

Serena Goldwolf’s head shot up at the irate shout coming from the outer office of her shapeshifter matchmaking business, Predator-Match.com. She brushed her bangs off her forehead with a sigh. Damn it, couldn’t anyone in this office take care of stuff without her intervention?

The male voice continued to roar out there, and she knew her secretary wouldn’t be able to handle him because Kara was such an omega even omega males dominated her. Serena sighed again, saved her database update and headed out to confront the wolf male jerk. Serena took in the male outrage with a shake of her head. Asshole. He shook his head as if he’d heard her. Yeah right. She wished.

“I’m sorry, sir. Really.” Kara huddled in her chair, her head dipped and her eyes on her desktop. Submission in her posture and her voice.

“You people set me up with some stalker bitch! I want to talk to one of the owners, now.” A tall black-haired man with dark-brown eyes leaned on the desk, his large hands flat on the wood.

Serena took him in, her body responding immediately. Damn it. She didn’t need this shit, but she couldn’t take her eyes off him. He wore a very expensive, black Italian suit, Italian black leather loafers, a crisp white shirt and red tie. The ultimate in power wear for the busy executive. And he was so good-looking he resembled an escapee from Fashion Week. She shook her head to remind herself that he wasn’t all that…he was just a wolf like any other.

Heads hung out of office doors, watching the confrontation with enjoyment, yet no one came to Kara’s rescue. Probably glad to be out of firing range themselves…that’s what she got for hiring betas. The females all wanted him and the males would jump to follow his orders.

Female musk clogged the air. Especially from Lea Redcat, one of her business partners. Predator-Match.com was damn successful. To the outside world, their site looked like a zoo animal match service. To the shapeshifter community, it was a way to find a lover or a life partner. Since Lea was allowing this thing to escalate, it looked like Serena to the rescue. Again.

“I’m really sorry, sir. We do our best to match our clients up with the best fit for them.” Kara cringed lower behind her desk and wouldn’t meet the man’s eyes. Typical omega posture. The male frowned.

“Are you saying you think I deserve a psycho bitch as my Mate?” His quiet voice seemed to scare Kara more than his shouting had because she backed up. It wouldn’t be long before she crawled under her desk.

“No s-s-sir,” Kara stammered.

Damn that bastard. He was done scaring Kara. Unable to suppress her temper, Serena growled. His gaze flashed to her and she felt it all the way to her womb. Damn but he was hot. Life was just not fair.

She challenged him—head up, shoulders back—inspecting him from top to bottom and allowing her gaze to linger, as if she were checking for fleas. His shoulders were broad and filled his Italian suit to perfection. His broad chest narrowed to athletic hips, and she would bet money that his belly sported a six-pack, and not of the beer variety. He had the kind of face that artists wanted to sculpt and women wanted to sit on. His eyes were the piece de resistance—large, dark brown and thick-lashed beneath perfectly arched brows.

In short, he was a god—or a male model. This was the kind of male who never looked twice at Serena because she wasn’t tall and thin, or tiny and doll-like. She had yet to meet a male wolf who wanted a woman with curves, but this kind of wolf was the worst. These wolves wanted trophy bitches.

Who are you?” His voice cut the air like a knife.

She lifted her chin when the bastard stared her down. How dare he try to intimidate her? She was an alpha female, damn it!

“I’m Serena Goldwolf and one of the co-owners of Predator-Match.com. Who are you?” No way would she back down from this one. The man needed to be taken down a peg.

He scowled at her and his eyes narrowed at her temerity in confronting him. The bastard was an Alpha from the tips of his perfect black hair to the bottom of his highly polished Italian loafers.

“Damien Blackwolf. A fucking unhappy customer.”

He straightened to face off against her, obviously waiting for his pronouncement to have some effect. He said it as if she were supposed to curtsey to him. Not only was he an alpha, but a Blackwolf Alpha. An alpha was a dominant male, but an Alpha was the heir of a clan, or the leader of one. This male had or definitely would found his own clan group one day.

“What seems to be your problem?”

On the whole, Serena was not fond of Blackwolf males—they were too arrogant by half, and this one seemed to think he was God’s gift. She had to admit he was a beautiful specimen who made her wet just to look at him, but she wasn’t about to admit that to him.

He smiled the smile of the male who knew a female was reacting to him. Shit. Her scent must be broadcasting. He licked his perfect full lips. Males were not supposed to have lips like that. Double shit.

“Your much-acclaimed psychology matching service paired me with the psycho bitch from hell!”

“Well, considering your obnoxious attitude with my secretary, it would seem our ‘much-acclaimed psychological matching service’ did just dandy,” Serena countered with a smile.

He growled and took a step toward her. She tensed but stayed where she was. The worst thing to do when a predator challenged was cringe or run, and this man was definitely a predator. If the bastard thought she was that easily intimated, he was in for a rude awakening.

She raised her brow and crossed her arms over her chest. He paused, dumbfounded, looking as perplexed as a pup trying to figure out why he tripped over his tail. Damn it, that made him adorable. Serena shook her head in disgust at herself. Alpha males were not adorable. They were royal pains, emphasis on both royal and pain.

She might be an alpha female, but she was damned if she was going to take an Alpha male like him as her Mate. When she did date, she dated betas because they were easier to manage. Serena blinked. Why was she using the permanent possessive with this one? A Mate was a partner for life, and a mate was good for a tumble. This male didn’t come close to fulfilling her needs for either role.

“Miss Goldwolf…”

“Ms.”

“What?”

Ms. Goldwolf. I’m not some untried adolescent, Mr. Blackwolf, and I would appreciate if you would acknowledge it.”

Ms. Goldwolf…” His sarcastic voice was deep and made her nipples harden. She pretended it didn’t affect her, but she knew he realized it did. Why did he show up here today? She didn’t need the aggravation.

“Yes?”

He glared down at her. “This is a business, Ms. Goldwolf, and I am a very dissatisfied customer. I have friends who I’ve told about this company who could very easily withdraw their business at my request. I suggest you moderate your tone.”

That was it. Serena saw red. She stalked over to him and poked him in the chest with her finger while she scowled up into his black eyes.

“Listen to me, you arrogant wolf! You come in here, guns blazing, and abuse my secretary then threaten me. Pull your business if you want. Tell your friends to take a hike too. I don’t give a flying fuck! I will not be treated this way by you or anyone!”

Serena felt as if she were outside herself, and she watched herself in horror. She was never like this, even when she was fully in heat. Oh, she snarled and clawed at males, but she’d never attacked anyone before. She sure wanted to attack this one though. He smiled grimly, and only then did Serena realize his last speech had been a deliberate taunt. Damn it to hell. Damn him to hell…

He grabbed her waist and lifted her easily. He took two strides to the nearest wall, pushing her against it while wrapping her thighs around his hips. He pressed his erection against her wet pussy. She moaned and her head dropped back. She heard him snarl and realized she’d closed her eyes—when she opened them she saw triumph in his.

“Oh fuck.”



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Where have I been? Coming out of hiding...

"Where have you been, Francesca?"


Well you should ask! 2011 has been a "dealing with my health" year so far. In April, I was out sick for a week. I thought it was the flu, but it didn't get any better. I tried going back to work after a week and realized that I'd be far better off visiting a doctor. When I went to the doc, he told me I was having gallbladder issues. Apparently, I was as yellow as Tweety Bird. I've gotta tell ya, jaundice does nothing for my looks.

Because of complications, they had to do an open surgery to remove my gall bladder and clean out my common bile duct. Then after I started healing, I had a few other issues come up too. Overall, I was in and out of the hospital from April through most of July. I lost 40+ pounds, but this is NOT a weight loss method I would encourage anyone to embark on. Oh, no. No way!

I went back to work, but I haven't had the opportunity to do a lot of writing this year. I just didn't have the stamina for it. In fact, I wasn't even sure I'd make it to Romanticon this year. I am happy to say that I got to go to the best party anywhere again this year. I'll share more about Romanticon in an upcoming blog post.

 In the meantime, I am slowly getting back on target with my day job (as a librarian) and with my writing. I still often want to go and crawl in bed to sleep, but there are times my computer calls to me too. I'm working on a story featuring Andy Larson - Minnesota sugar beet farmer and hot Dom. He's the younger brother of Erika from Whirlwind Affair. I just have to tell you...Andy is a very interesting guy. Major understatement - picture a big grin here. I hope you enjoy him as much as I do once I finish his story and get it sent to my editor!