Monday, December 31, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR!








Friday, December 21, 2012

Leader of the Pack - available for Kindle

Leader of the Pack is available for:




Happy Release Day to me!

Leader of the Pack is finally available for purchase on the Ellora's Cave web site! Woo Hoo!

I'm super excited because last year was a pretty dry year for me - writing wise. But I feel much more confident about where I'm going with my writing and in my life.

Syneca designed a beautiful cover for me and I'm so happy to introduce new characters to my shapeshifter world. I'm filled with a lot of hope.

And on top of all that - the end of the world did NOT arrive today. So I'll go with the view that the Mayans were predicting a new age rather than the destruction of the world. And I'm down with that. I feel like I'm beginning a new chapter in my life now.

I'm visiting Jocelyn Dex today on her blog where she interviews me about life and writing and I'm also participating in the TRS Christmas party.

At the TRS Christmas Party I've posted an excerpt today. You can read it here...

So, just to refresh your memory, here's the blurb...

Leader of the Pack

Surgeon Dr. Per Goldwolf needs a mate to make partner in a prestigious practice. Predator-Match.com—a matchmaking service for shapeshifters—not only finds him a mate, they match him with his True Mate. Yohana’s long legs and fair flesh make him lick his lips and her scent makes him rock-hard.

New packleader Yohana Whitewolf’s life goal is to follow in her sire’s pawprints and lead her pack. Leadership demands sacrifices. To calm her people, Yohana needs a mate. But finding an Alpha male who won’t take over is a tall order. Yohana doesn’t want the complication of a True Mate, but Per is a sexy, intelligent Alpha male and she wants to shred his clothes every time she touches him.

Everything should be perfect—except she’s a packleader, and the Whitewolf pack is nervous.

Excerpt



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: LEADER OF THE PACK
Copyright © FRANCESCA HAWLEY, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

            Per looked up from his coffee to see Yohana striding confidently across the room. Two steps behind her was the young waiter, looking dazed and horny. What the fuck? Per had been on edge ever since she left the table, envisioning her in the bathroom stall with her legs spread and himself on his knees on the floor plowing into her. Now, here she was sashaying back to their table looking satisfied. He stood to hold out her chair. As Yohana stepped close to him, he was enveloped in the scent of her recent arousal…and orgasm. His bitch screwed someone else then walked back to the table as if nothing had happened. Fuck that! Per caught the worshipful gaze of the wet-behind-the-ears pup and growled.
            The pup blinked and stammered, gulping in terror. “I’ll bring your check,” he squeaked.
            “Like hell you will, you whelp. You just mounted my Mate. We’re going for a walk. Now.
            The boy yipped, flying off for the kitchen at a run. Per was after him in a shot, ready to kill.
            “Per!”
            He ignored Yohana’s cry of command, looking back once, rage filling his vision. “I’ll handle this.”
            The boy weaved between tables before slamming headlong into someone exiting the kitchen with a tray full of pasta dinners. Per caught the boy before he hit the floor, lifting him up by the collar of his shirt. A firm female hand grasped his wrist, while her arm encircled his waist.
            Yohana pressed against his back to whisper in his ear, “I masturbated in the bathroom. The pup was nowhere near me. Let him go…” She sighed as he turned to look into her eyes. “Please, Per.”
            He took a deep breath and nodded. The scent of his Mate wasn’t on the boy, so he released the whelp, watching as the boy ran hell for leather through the kitchen doors. Per closed his eyes, mortified at his stupidity. He had never claimed a female this publicly in his entire life, not even when he was in Sweden before his sire threw him out of their pack.
            Yohana eased away from him, turning to the man, who happened to be Stefano Blackwolf the restaurant manager and son of the owner, Roberto. “I’m sorry, Stef. This is my fault. I’ll pay for the meals. Please allow me to buy the diners whatever else they would like to apologize for their wait.”
            Per shook his head. “No. My fault. I’ll pay for it.”
            Yohana frowned at Per. “I will pay. It’s my responsibility.”
            Per’s blue eyes blazed, then he paused. “We’ll split it. Fair?”
            Yohana patted his arm. “Yes. That’s fair.”
            Per blushed as Stefano lips twitched, fighting to control his amusement. Per looked into Yohana’s eyes then he started to chuckle, drawing giggles from her. She blushed, looking down at her toes. He reached over, lifting her chin with a fingertip barely brushing her lips with his.
            “Dessert, Yohana? Would you like some cannoli?”
            “That sounds wonderful.”
            “Two, Stefano?” Per inquired of the manager.
            Stef nodded, directing the busboys to clean up the mess while he went to inform the waiting diners of the delay with their meals. Per set his hand at the small of her back, escorting her to their table. He seated her and reseated himself.
            “I’m sorry for setting this mess in motion. I didn’t consider you might imagine me having sex with Marcello. He’s a baby.” Yohana took his hand, meeting his eyes.
            Per clasped her hand before lifting it to his lips to kiss. He froze, taking a deep breath. She’d washed her hand, but he knew it had been inside her…recently. Per looked into her startled gray eyes, breathing deeply so she’d know he smelled her sex. He opened his mouth engulfing her thumb, sucking and licking it. In spite of the soap, her taste lingered faintly on her skin bringing his body rigidly to attention.
            Yohana gasped, color rising in her cheeks as she licked her lips. He could see her pebbled nipples tight against the silk of her dress. This was no frigid bitch and he was in big, big trouble because his mind rejoiced to discover it. Per wanted to mount her now. He wanted to grab her, throw her face down on the table, rip off her panties, and sink into her to make her his while everyone in the room watched…then cheered. What scared him the most was the expression evident in her eyes. She wanted the same damn thing!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Warm soup for a cold day

View from outside my office window today. Central Iowa has had it's first snow of the season, just in time for Christmas. The wind has picked up though and we now have a blizzard out there. I'm snug in my house and happily, I have power and heat. So I'm okay.

But on a day like today, I want something warm and comforting to eat. I made a taco soup. Here's the recipe I used, if you're interested.




TACO Soup

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 15 oz  can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of whole corn, drained
  • 2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 8 oz cans of beef broth
  • 1 pkg dry ranch seasoning mix (like Hidden Valley)
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning (I used Ortega)
  • Salt, pepper to taste

Brown the ground beef and onions, drain. Combine the cooked beef with all the other ingredients and simmer approximately 30 minutes.  Serve with tortilla chips, shredded Mexican cheese, and sour cream, if desired.  Variations: You can add chili, black or kidney beans if you like beans. You could also use salsa and/or chipotle if you like a spicy taco. I go mild all the way, but you can make this as hot or mild as you prefer! This is really great on a cold day...or any day really.

And here it is - ready to eat and yummy as can be! 
Warm. Soothing. Tasty. 
Yes, the ultimate in comfort food on a cold winter's day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What is plus-size?

I write plus-size heroines. Always have. Always will. That's what "Romance with Dangerous Curves" actually means to me. It means a big girl. A girl with curves.

In modern parlance, plus-size seems to mean anyone who isn't a size 0-2 or 4. By modern standards, Marilyn Monroe is plus size. That just seems whacked out to me. Marilyn was a round, healthy girl. But times have changed, and not always for the better.

The modeling world classifies models who are size 12 and above to be full figure models. I personally think that's crazy but the modeling industry worships a size 0, so I suppose I shouldn't expect anything different there. Sad but true.

My view is that any woman size 16 and over regardless of how the weight was distributed is a plus-size woman.

That's what I have in mind when I write my heroines. Tall or short - it doesn't matter. They are size 16 (US) or above. I haven't written any really large heroines, but I should. Women deserve love regardless of size and we aren't just a number...we're people. With hearts and minds and souls who yearn for happiness and partnership.

Beauty comes in all sizes. Love comes in all sizes. And I just want to write about women who look like me who get their happily ever after with the partner of their dreams. I also like to write about heroes who love those curves. Men who like big butts. Full breasts. Who dig a woman's jiggly bits. Who see dangerous curves and want to explore every inch of them...more than once.

So what the hell is plus-size? And what qualifies as a plus-size romance? I really want to know. Does the story have to focus on the woman's weight to be a plus-size romance? Or is it enough that the heroine is plus-size? Will that make the story a plus-size romance?

Oh, and would you want to see a plus size woman (like one of the ladies above) on the cover of your romance? I've had that fight too. Various folks telling me that if you put a big girl on the cover the book won't sell. What do you think?

Please post in the comments and share your views.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Plot Poll...forgetting an anniversary...

So.... 

What if your husband forgot your anniversary? How much groveling is needed?

What if the anniversary he forgot was your 25th anniversary? Forgivable? Ever?


Share your thoughts. I'd like to know!

Release week schedule!

Hi folks,
   I'm blogging with Shelley Munro today. I'll be back here tomorrow with another blog about size and I'll be giving away a book from my back list. On Wednesday, I'll be visiting Kathy Kulig on her blog for an interview. Thursday, you can find me at Sidney Bristol's blog discussing shapeshifter hook-ups. And on Friday - RELEASE DAY - Jocelyn Dex will be interviewing me. I'll also be at the TRS Christmas Party from Dec. 19 to Dec. 23!

 Hope to see you at any and all of the above!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sidney Bristol - Let's Talk About Kink


I recently had the chance to meet my lovely host, Francesca, at the Ellora’s Cave RomantiCon conference in October. This last year has been my first, true year as an author. My first book, a novella called Flirting with Rescue, released in January and it’s been a wild ride since. Part of what’s made it so wonderful is the community of authors and readers and bloggers who have been there to cheer me on. RomantiCon was my second big convention, but the first one that I really felt like I contributed to. No, I wasn’t on a panel, I didn’t present a session, but I can’t count the number of times I sat down and hung out with authors and readers alike.

At an event like RomantiCon, the conversation inevitably turns to the question, “What do you write?”

Considering the sheer number of authors and readers in attendance, it’s an honest question. No one can know every single author’s backlist by heart, and it gives a really fun opportunity to talk about your babies. Er, I mean, backlist. Yes, backlist. Up until the book that releases tomorrow, Bound with Pearls, I’ve been writing contemporary romances. Tomorrow marks my first day as a kink author, and man has it been a fun beginning! I all ready have plans in the works to write more, and a follow up book coming out in February.

With the sudden popularity of several books with heavy kink content, everyone wants to talk about what goes on in the bedroom, or if kink is involved. Especially the kink. At RomantiCon alone it was the topic at each meal for at least a few minutes. Why does it interest people? Who wants to do that? How can someone want a person to do that to them? How do you get started? Where can I learn more? Can I get someone to do that to me?

The answers to all of those questions differ on a person’s interests. There is no one answer. No one right way. But it’s a hell of a lot of fun to talk about, and that’s what I love about the reader-blogger-author community. We might all be different, but we’ll talk about it. It’s a safe place to talk, ask questions, bring up that thing you read about in that one book. Because do people really do that? The answer is probably yes.

There’s been a handful of books discussed more than others over the last year. Some people have no love for those books, others think they’re to die for. Me? I don’t care one way or another, what I love is that we’ve begun a dialogue with a new crop of readers about female sexuality. Kink and BDSM isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. What I’ve loved is the discussion, the questions, the conversations I’ve had since announcing the sale of Bound with Pearls.

Bound with Pearls is by no means a book about people just beginning their foray into kink. What I wrote is more of a slice of life view about how kink isn’t all that makes up these two individual’s lives. They have parents, siblings, friends and co-workers who are either kinky or not. Their lives don’t revolve around the bedroom (or not bedroom) antics. I hope the dialogue doesn’t end, because I’ve loved every minute of talking about this book and kink with people.





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It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life.  She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Bound with Pearls, purchase December 12th from Ellora’s Cave!

The last thing Christine wants to do is another favor for her sister, but Lucy always gets what she wants. This time it’s Chris playing sub to a demanding Dom. Their relationship begins with a power exchange and progresses to time spent between the sheets. Now emotions are getting complicated and the Dom isn’t just a hunky guy in black.

Daniel’s expectations are turned upside down when he meets Chris. She’s more than a well-trained submissive. She’s a woman with a body he wants to memorize. He’s willing to spend as much time as it takes to learn her, because she might be his match and his muse. He’ll make her come so hard he’s imprinted on every inch, and then he’ll offer her the most precious thing he can, himself.

---

Excerpt

Christine’s mouth closed with a snap. Her jaw hurt from clenching. Her hands ached from gripping her wrists. Blinking rapidly, she looked at the Dom’s broad back. He was getting ready to leave.

She’d failed, completely blown it, and he was right. Her attitude sucked. This wasn’t like her. She’d hit a low point and didn’t know how to dig herself out of this one.

Pinpricks of pain stabbing the backs of her eyes heralded tears. Screwing things up seemed to be her specialty today, from the reports at work to forgetting her entry fee for the charity race, and now it was going to cost her. Lucy wouldn’t give her the pearls when she found out the Dom had left, rightfully disgusted with her.

The muscles in her chest constricted until she was panting for breath. Her vision blurred with tears she had to dash away.

“Wait,” she said, her voice sounding strained and too high to her own ears.

The Dom glanced over his shoulder, unmoved. It shouldn’t get her off, but the idea of a man with such control was a turn-on. She’d been ready for someone big and scary or maybe on the scrawny side with a penchant for pain. Finding him a fairly normal guy unsettled her.

Fairly normal was an understatement. Sure, most women might not notice him. He had nondescript brown hair and his features were handsome enough. It was something else about him that drew her.

“Why should I?”

She took a deep breath to calm herself. “You’re right. My attitude sucks.” Another deep breath. She couldn’t think of a good reason to give him, except the truth. Her shoulders slumped. She hated airing the dirty laundry between Lucy and her. Sisters should be close, they should have a bond. All she and Lucy shared was a last name and some DNA.

“I’m not involved with Nate. Lucy’s my sister and she—she’s afraid of you, so she probably whined to Nathan until he suggested trading me for her.” She could feel her cheeks burning. “I wasn’t going to do it. I-I don’t know you, I’m not entirely comfortable with this, and Lucy knew that. When I said no, and I meant it, she—”

Her throat constricted around her words, cutting them off. Squeezing her eyes shut, she balled her hands into fists and let the wave of emotion wash over her. She was angry and upset, hurt that her sister cared so little, but it was no different than any other time Lucy had conned her. The only person she could blame for this situation was herself. She drew in another slow, deep breath. “She told me if I’d come here, she’d give me our mother’s pearls. She’s dead, and they’re one of the only things we have left of hers.”

Her gaze locked on the floor. She knew she should stop talking. This man was as disgusted with her as she was, but her mouth kept working. “I loved them. I wore them to prom and graduation. I’d borrowed them for luck every now and then. Lucy never wanted them. They didn’t sparkle enough, they weren’t flashy. But when I wore them to her funeral, Lucy started yelling and crying about how I got everything. I gave them to her to shut her up and I’ve never seen them since.”

She hiccupped around her words. No doubt her face was red and splotchy. She didn’t cry delicately. No, when Christine cried her nose turned red, her eyes got big and puffy and she turned into a fountain. She hated crying and dumping ugly family business on a stranger. She couldn’t wait for him to leave. She could curl up on the bed, cry herself out and slink home where she could camp out on the couch with a pint of ice cream.

“Shhh.”

Hands gripped her shoulders from behind. Her stomach dropped right before the ground disappeared from under her. The Dom picked her up effortlessly.

“What are you doing?” She gripped his shoulders, expecting to land on her ass any second.

He crossed to the chaise and sat down with her cradled in his lap. She tried to slip onto the bench, but his hand clamped on her thigh. It was natural to obey the unspoken command. This close she could see the deep blue of his eyes, the strength of his jaw and feel the power of him. There was no doubt under the black t-shirt and jeans he was every bit as strong as he looked.

“What are—?”

“I’m the one who gets to ask the questions here.” His voice was stern, but unlike his reprimand from before there was a warm quality.

She relaxed against the curved arm of the chaise, comforted by his commanding nature. Let someone else call the shots for now, she was too tired of it all.

“Here.” He handed her tissues from an unknown source and she snatched them up.

Bowing her head to let her curls fall over her face was as much privacy as she could get to clean herself up. The Dom didn’t touch her except where their bodies nestled together, which was one small relief.

She hated crying, but she was better for getting it out. It felt good to be honest, even if the recipient of her words didn’t care what she said.

Tossing her head back, Christine met his gaze. Her breathing was shaky and her eyes and nose raw.

“Feel better?” His voice was the deep, rumbling kind that spoke directly to her pussy. The whole situation would have been easier to write off as one huge mistake if he hadn’t been attractive. Now it was salt to a wound.

She nodded.

He quirked a brow and her blush became more intense.

“Yes Sir,” she mumbled. How could she already be blushing on command for the man?

“You agreed to take your sister’s place because she has something of sentimental value you want, correct?” He looped his arms around her waist, settling his hands at her hip and thigh.

“Yes Sir.”

“I’m going to be frank with you. Would you prefer I wasn’t?”

“No Sir. I’d prefer the truth.” She braced herself for a pat on the head and a goodbye.

“I don’t care for your sister. She’s spoiled. I was, and still am, a little apprehensive you’re too much like her—”

“I’m nothing like my sister.” Memories of cold Thanksgiving meals and waiting for Lucy to show up at Christmas with their father stabbed her. All the times when Lucy should have been there but never was. Their father made excuse after excuse for her—she was busy, being young and carefree. Christine knew better.

The Dom quirked a brow at her again. Her blush felt as bad as a sunburn, stretching across her cheeks, down her neck and gripping her chest.

“Sorry, Sir.” The urge to lean into him and kiss his jaw in supplication was strong.

“I don’t think you’re sorry about that admission.”

She shook her head. “No Sir, I’m sorry for interrupting you.”

“That, I believe.” The hand at her hip swept down to her knee, treating her to the first sensual skin-to-skin contact.

“Sir?” Christine bit her lip and focused on the collar of his shirt.

“Yes?”

“I don’t know your name. I just—”

He squeezed her thigh and she shut her mouth. Another unspoken command she read perfectly.

“Daniel,” he growled. “Christ, she didn’t even tell you?”

She shook her head, curls sweeping over her shoulders. His anger didn’t scare her, though she would be lying to herself if she said some part of her wasn’t pleased someone recognized her sister for who she truly was.

Daniel. Dom, Master, Sir Daniel. It fit him—understated and powerful.

He swept her hair over her shoulder and pressed a kiss to her neck, not quite in the sweet spot, but close enough to make her shiver.

He wound a stubborn curl around his finger and leaned back against the cushions, pulling her against him. She wasn’t accustomed to being handled, but in comparison to him she was small, which didn’t happen often.

“So how did your sister and you get involved in the scene?” The hand at her knee stroked up her thigh and back down, distracting her from his question.

She had to marvel at how well he managed her. She probably wasn’t what he’d expected, and still he pulled pertinent information from her. Something about him put her at ease, which, considering his size and what she wanted him to do to her, was a questionable assessment.

“Um, I had a boyfriend in college who, who liked to tie me up. It was fun.” She lifted a shoulder. “After we broke up I did some research and decided I would try to meet someone new who could—could teach me.”

“How does your sister fit in?”

She wrinkled her nose, wishing he would drop that particular line of conversation. She looked down at his tanned arm. The muscles and veins she could trace with her fingers made such a stark contrast to her pale skin.

“Lucy has always done what I do. Same schools, degrees, even where I used to work. She has to do what I did and try to do it better. When she found out I was into BDSM, she got into it.”

“Did you mentor her?”

Her gaze leveled with his. “Have you met my sister? She showed up one night in a slutty cocktail dress, whined her way through the orientation meeting and attached herself to my Dom.”

“What did he do?”

“Brandon and I were not in an emotional relationship, so he was free to do whatever he wanted. He tried to help her for about a week before he washed his hands of her.” It had been one small victory following many losses. “Lucy attached herself to someone new, and here she is today.”

Nodding, he continued to stroke her leg, his fingers edging higher, disappearing below the hemline of the romper.

“So what happened to you? I’ve never seen you here before.”

She took a deep breath and fought the urge to open her legs and push his hand against her pussy. Any man could be attractive but it took a special man to dominate a woman with a look.

“I’ve been busy between work and our father, and it hasn’t been worth it to compete with her here. I know how people look at me when they know I’m her sister.”

“Are you seeing someone?” His question was casual but his hold on her knee was not.

“Of course not. I wouldn’t be here if I was.”

His hand continued its lazy caress of her leg. Her stomach fluttered. How could she be embarrassed and turned-on at the same time?

“Relax,” he said, jostling her with his legs.

“I’m heavy—”

“What did you say?”

“Uh, that—that I was—um,” she continued to sputter, her mind going blank.

He sighed, his hand rubbing against her knee in a circle. “I’m going to have to punish you for that. I’ve been generous, but I’m not your therapist. Stand up, take off your—” He pinched the hem of the romper. “Take this off and lie over my lap.”

Heat flooded her body, emanating from her pussy. She loved her figure, but baring all in front of a man she’d met fifteen minutes ago wasn’t normal for her. But he wasn’t sending her away. She’d willingly take whatever punishment he wanted to give her.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Rockin' Little Christmas - update

Well, bummer. I didn't get this story submitted early enough in the year for it to make it as a Christmas story. That's the bad news. The good news is that my editor liked it enough to reconsider it if I wanted to do some edits to remove the Christmas elements. I thought about her suggestions and decided, yeah, I could do it. So Rockin' Little Christmas has morphed into Cupid Rocks. It still involves rock musicians and family angst, but now the setting is Valentine's Day. I'll let you know when I hear anything about the status of this one. I sure hope she wants to contract it!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Leader of the Pack

Well, I got my wish. RYAN is on my cover! Woo-hoo! I'm thrilled and isn't it beautiful? It was designed by the multi-talented Syneca!

What's even cooler is that the image is almost like a scene from near the end of my book. What scene? Well, you have to read the book to find out. Grin and wink.

I'm a very happy camper today. Leader of the Pack releases on December 21 - just in time for some holiday gift giving!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Next Big Thing

How this works: There are ten interview questions. I'll answer those for my current book, Leader of the Pack and then tag authors. They'll each tag additional authors, and so on.

Here are the interview questions as applied to my book. Special thanks to Dana Roquet who tagged me—check out to see her Next Big Thing  here.



Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

Q-What is the working title of your book?

A-Leader of the Pack

Q-Where did the idea come from for the book?

A-I'd written Alpha v. Alpha with a strong female lead, but the male was the packleader. In Protect and Defend, I'd indicated that females could be packleaders too. I wondered what that would look like and Yohana came to me.

Q-What genre does your book fall under?

A-It's a paranormal shapeshifter erotic romance.

Q-Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

A-Yohana is a combination of the big strapping fierceness of Lucy Lawless (in her Xena Warrior Princess role) with the kick ass personality and short white hair of reality star Tabatha Coffey (of Tabatha's Salon Takeover).

I wrote Per with the EC caveman Ryan in mind. Big, blond, beautiful with killer blue eyes and a smokin' body.

Q-What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A-Female pack leader, Yohana Whitewolf hires a matchmaking service to find her a mate and ease the fears of her pack but she gets more than she bargained for when they match her with her True Mate, Per Goldwolf.

Q-Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

A-Leader of the Pack will be published by Ellora's Cave Publishing. Check their site for an upcoming release date.

Q-How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

A-The book sat on my computer half-finished for a couple of years and then inspiration struck me again early this fall and I finished it then submitted it to my EC editor.

Q-What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

A-This is a sequel to Alpha vs. Alpha using the Predator-Match.com date site for shapeshifters. It's also set in the same universe as Protect and Defend.

Q-Who or What inspired you to write this book?

A-Yohana was the inspiration. The idea for a kick ass female packleader who was Mayor/City Manager of a small all-shapeshifter town in Colorado. She wanted to lead her people, but her father, the former packleader, was recently deceased and Yohana's pack is nervous about a female leader - especially one without a mate or pups.

Q-What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

A-That my hero Per is loving and sexy. Funny and dedicated. He's a healer not a fighter and an all around excellent lover.

Here's the blurb for Leader of the Pack:

Surgeon Dr. Per Goldwolf needs a mate to make partner in a prestigious practice. Predator-Match.com—a matchmaking service for shapeshifters—not only finds him a mate, they match him with his True Mate. Yohana’s long legs and fair flesh make him lick his lips and her scent makes him rock-hard.

New packleader Yohana Whitewolf’s life goal is to follow in her sire’s pawprints and lead her pack. Leadership demands sacrifices. To calm her people, Yohana needs a mate. But finding an Alpha male who won’t take over is a tall order. Yohana doesn’t want the complication of a True Mate, but Per is a sexy, intelligent Alpha male and she wants to shred his clothes every time she touches him.

Everything should be perfect—except she’s a packleader, and the Whitewolf pack is nervous.




List of my tagged blog hop buds for next week.  Check out their blogs next Wednesday to read about their WIPs and New Releases:





Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Let's get serious for a moment...weight in America



I was on Facebook recently and someone posted this "funny":





I have to admit I took offense and I'm not really easy to offend. The person in the picture is NOT offensive to me. Let me be really clear about that. I actually think he is brave as hell because he is out and about in spite of the weight. But it seemed to me that whoever initially posted the image and included this captioning - and I don't know where the image started cause Facebook images go viral pretty fast - but the first poster intended to make fun of the individual in the picture.

When I indicated my displeasure I was encouraged to "lighten up." It was just a joke. Just a funny. And if the person in the pic hadn't wanted to be made fun of maybe they shouldn't dress up like Batman. The poster also made some astute comments about being fat in America.  So there was an interesting dialog there. But I did respond.

This was my response (edited a bit to remove reference to personal info posted by the other person):



I don't disagree with you about weight in America. The only reason I lost weight was a VBG (vertical banded gastroplasty) in 1995. Otherwise I'd be dead now. My genetic makeup is such that with two fat parents I got both fat genes. I didn't (and don't) help myself with the way I eat. No doubt about it. But that's no reason to make fun of someone.

And why the hell shouldn't he dress up as batman if he wants to? What? Only skinny people can get dressed in costume without being made fun of? Bullshit.

Being fat is one of the few conditions/life situations that people still consider okay to make fun of people about but it's still bullying. I don't use the N word to talk about black people. I don't make fun of gay people cause they're gay. I don't use the R word to describe individuals with Downs, and I do not make fun of fat people cause they are fat. I've been there. I'm still there. It hurts. Lord and Lady, didn't it hurt YOU when people made fun of you when you were fat?


I know that if I hadn't had the VBG I never would have maintained a weight loss because I'd tried the diet thing before and lost a LOT of weight but didn't keep it off. Maybe there are some people that can do it with diet and exercise alone. More power to them.

But, back to my original point, being fat isn't funny. It's complex medical/genetic issue. People often say that fat people choose to be fat. Believe me, with the bullying I endured as a kid, I did not CHOOSE to be fat. If I could have sliced it off with a knife I would have. If I had money now, I'd go get lipo done to get rid of my excess weight.

I didn't choose to be fat any more than a person chooses to be gay. It's hard wired. To be something else requires consistent effort. You can do it but your body and soul fights you every step of the way. So no, I won't lighten up. Lighten up - interesting turn of phrase there. Bullying is bullying no matter who the victim is. But hey, I still like you and your posts. But this one didn't tickle my funny bone.

* * * * *

Too much bullying happens around body image and I'd like it to stop. Sure we could all diet madly, exercise insanely, and have surgery. Then yes, everyone could be thin.

But why should fat people have to do all of that to prevent bullying and ridicule. Why can't the bullies just shut the f*ck up? And why the hell is extreme obesity funny anyway? It's not.

And we talk about teen suicide a lot now. When I was a teen I considered suicide - because I was fat and bullied. Thank god I didn't. The old saw about sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me is crap. Calling people names does hurt them.

So what do you think? Was I too "sensitive" and should I "lighten up" or is weight a serious issue as I feel it is. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

A little good news

A number of years ago, Anne Murray released a song called "A Little Good News". Nickelback did something similar with their release of "If Everyone Cared." For everyone that would like a little good news today! Here it is and this video is freaking awesome!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rockin' Little Christmas

I've been kicking ass lately with my writing. Not only did I finish, submit and contract Leader of the Pack, I finished and submitted a Christmas shapeshifter story to EC called Rockin' Little Christmas. I'll let you know when I have a cover and release date for Leader of the Pack.

Rockin' Little Christmas - hmmm. What shall I tell you about this one? It's fun. Family. Holiday. Maybe I should just show you my inspiration for the book...





I've loved this song for YEARS and Deborah Allen is so damn cute in this video. Yes, it IS an oldie. You should be able to tell just from what she's wearing what an oldie it is. Grin. But I knew that I wanted to write a story about a rock guitarist and the girl he falls in love with.

So here's the working blurb for the story - hope you like it:

Rockin' Little Christmas

When her parents' rock band, The Pack, performs at Zach's bar, Mandy discovers her True Mate, Joe Blackwolf, the band's lead singer and guitarist. All she has to do now is convince Joe that she told a little white lie to make her mom happy, her father that rock musician's aren't all alike, and her new mate's family that rockers aren't all that different from classical musicians.

Joe Blackwolf is celebrating his 40th birthday. And what he wishes for when he blows out the candles is to find his True Mate. He succeeds when he meets Mandy Goldwolf. Problem is...she belongs to someone else. Finding out the truth leaves him free to explore every inch of her smokin' hot curves, but now, Joe and Mandy are neck deep in overbearing relatives and everyone is in for a Rockin' Little Christmas!


* * * * *


I'll keep you posted about any contract info so keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Military Heroes - Happy Veteran's Day


Whether a military hero is a soldier, a sailor, a pilot, or a navy seal, those warriors are sure to capture a readers heart. I know they capture mine. Why? Because they risk it all for the greater good and what is sexier than that?

I've written before about how I love the warrior archetype when I write heroes and it still goes.  Warriors give up their freedom, their families and even their lives to serve their country. They face hardship, terror, danger and injury every day of their lives and they do it for honor. To stand in the way of a foe who seeks to damage everything that they hold dear. It's a noble profession and those that serve aren't given their due by the rest of us. They serve so we don't have to. They give so that we are safe. They're poorly paid and they and their families sacrifice a great deal.


To quote Wikipedia, "Veterans Day is an official United States holiday honoring armed service veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11th. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, with the German signing of the Armistice.)

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while while serving." 

Veteran's Day is about the sacrifice, not the loss. The risk, but not the grief. It's about giving thanks to those face tough odds everyday but persevere in the face of those odds.

So today, especially, I want to say thank you to those who serve. Whether they served long ago or are currently serving. Whether they are at home or on deployment. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your service.




Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Shocked and thrilled!

http://t.co/q7LhAK6f 
OMG! I can NOT believe this. RT announced their award nominees for 2012 today and I'm one of them. ME! You can knock me over with a feather!

This is exciting and really affirming at a time when I needed to hear some praise for my work. Wow. I'm over the moon! Woot! Doin' the happy dance.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Who you gonna call? Darcie McGrath and the Quantum Psi Group

Happy Halloween everyone!

In honor of this most excellent holiday, my guest today is Paranormal Researcher Darcie McGrath! Darcie is the founder of the Quantum Psi Group, whose mission is to provide educational opportunities - scientific and metaphysical - to assist the public with knowledge of, paranormal events, concentrating on the survival of consciousness outside of the physical realm. Both elements will work together, as one, in validating and exploring this field.

Welcome and thanks so much for being here, Darcie and thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. So let's get on with the questions!

Were you ever a skeptic or did you always believe in the paranormal? What drew you to paranormal investigations?

I got into the paranormal by getting in trouble with the assistant librarian. I was 8 years old, and it was storytelling time in the library. I ended up monkeying around in the back of the group, trying not to be bored, when the assistant librarian came up and asked what I was doing. It was Halloween. It was ghost story time. Why wasn’t I excited by that?

 I put on a practiced face that had been taught to me by my parents and told her, “There’s no such things as ghosts. This is kid’s stuff!”


“Really,” she said. “Come with me.” She took me over to what was, to my surprise, the non-fiction section.


Handed me Larry Kettlekamp’s Haunted Houses. I read it. I was hooked.
 

I read everything the school library’s had to offer. When I got my first library card, I read all that, too. You couldn’t go to the book store to buy books there. They were in the occult section. You didn’t dare get caught there. And in all honesty, they really didn’t have much to choose from. No matter what phase in my life I was in, my interest always came back to that, somehow.

Do you have to have any kind of degree to become involved in paranormal investigations? If so, what kind?

People come from every walk of life to do this. Some are engineers, IT specialists, maintenance people, and plumbers. Some are MIT graduates with degrees in Quantum Thermodynamics. Some go as far as building a degree in parapsychology – but in my experience, the only degree you need is one of curiosity.

How does an investigation come to you - how do you get a case?  Do you seek them out? Do people call you?
When I first started investigating – and that wasn’t until I was about 19 – I looked for them.  Now that I’ve been doing this awhile, and more people know me from discussions and my work at Kirkwood College, they come to me.
That’s still not to say I don’t  check out documented haunted locations out there when in between cases (Farrar School, Lemp Mansion, Pythian Castle).



What do you look for in an investigation?

The number one thing, before we even start, is to sit down and have a thorough interview with each affected person at the location. We can’t always sit down with all of them, but we get as many as we can. Sometimes that gives you more information about what’s going on than any other tool in our arsenal. Many times, based on that, we can decide how deep we need to look. Many times, not that far.

We also use our digital and video equipment to search for video anomalies and audio anomalies that might be considered instrumental transcommunication (ITC). Entities can communicate through almost any form of electronics by manipulating the electromagnetic field (EMF). Sometimes this can be in the form of electronic voice phenomenon (EVP), or visual manifestation on film or digital image.


If we can combine two to three different pieces of evidence to document an occurrence, then there is a high likelihood that we’ve encountered something paranormal.


What tools do you use?

Interviewing is our number one tool. It costs nothing, and it doesn’t need batteries. Our second most useful device is the digital audio recorder. It’s from these that we capture electronic voice phenomenon (EVP).  Digital camcorders are also useful to help capture who was in the room when EVPs occur, and of course, any visual anomalies that cannot be explained.

Another tool that is not used by all ghost hunters, are the impressions of a psychic or medium. It has been the opinion of many notable parapsychologists, such as Dr. William Roll and Dr. Hans Holzer, that if you want to get to the bottom of a case, you must use a psychic. I tend to agree with that assessment. Many times we find that the energy will manifest faster when we have them present, than if we didn’t. It saves us many days and nights of sitting in the dark, hoping the activity will engage us. We confer with them on a regular basis. Their input is combined and weighed equally with all of the other evidence collected to help us form a case.


Our group chooses to balance the metaphysical with the scientific. We find them mutually beneficial in the field, and I have hopes that, some day, the science will help validate the metaphysical, also.


Is ghost hunting an adrenaline rush or are there a lot of boring nights?

I like to say that ghost hunting is hours of complete boredom, followed by 10 to 15 seconds of sheer excitement. Many places do not have a plethora of physical manifestations (slamming doors, moving objects, full figure apparitions). Most of the evidence we find is usually after the fact – after we take the equipment home and compare notes.

Have you ever had a really active location and how did you deal with that?

There was a very active private residence that we were requested to check out, when the owner was in between renters. On our second trip out, we found all of our electrical devices being drained one by one. We’d turn the camera on, and that would die. We turned the recorder on, and that would die. We’d turn the cell phone on, and that would die.

The theory is when energy is drained from multiple items that quickly, activity is present and attempting to manifest. This is a time that we make sure that no one person is on their own. Not only is it a good safety precaution, but if anyone is likely to have an experience, they’ll have a partner witnessing it with them. We also make sure to have a good supply of batteries outside the premise, and plug in any devices that have DC power.


Have you ever been in a situation that really scared you?

My first demonic experience was probably the scariest. I ended up bringing something home from a rather dark location we had just investigated. A psychic friend was the first to recognize it. I didn’t know what to do. I learned very quickly that networking is very important in this field, as is developing your own sense of personal protection.

They often say that there are “no atheists in foxholes” – and I often tell my students – this field is one big foxhole.


What are the biggest misconceptions about ghost hunting?

That you are required to bring a truckfull of investigative equipment on every client trip. Many are eager to do that, however, you can learn just as much by sitting down and interviewing the client. Sometimes anxiety and stress can often manifest in people’s minds as a paranormal experience. Oftentimes, once they have a second pair of eyes examining the situation, it’s not like that at all.

Many people often have latent psychic abilities that they are not conscious off. The interview process helps screen for this. If they are psychic, they are much more likely to experience ghosts and spirits in the immediate vicinity, than other people are. It doesn’t mean that there house is haunted; it means that they are capable of attracting activity to them since other spirits and ghosts can realize this, even when they cannot. I’ve witnessed many times that homes not having any reported activity before, now have it because a different group of people have moved in.


These account for roughly 90% of our cases, and do not require one iota of equipment to be brought in.


What do you think of the reality tv shows about paranormal investigations?

I spend a lot of time in my classes clarifying the difference between television and the realities of the field.

Provoking - a method of exciting paranormal activity by aggressively laying down a challenge or insult – is something I often have to speak out against. Not only is it inherently dangerous since most of the time you don’t know what you’re going up against – many times this stuff can follow you home.  We encourage our children and teenagers not to do this to the living – what gives us any right to do this to the dead.


What’s also not well known is that not all of them are paranormal experts. Some simply have good camera appeal. If they're creating their own fashion line, or launching their own music album – they’re rockstars, not researchers.


The most important thing is that despite what you see on camera, 95% of all television personalities practice some form of personal protection. You wouldn’t believe how many times I get people shaking their heads at the idea of saying a prayer, or calling down a guide before an investigation. Their macho idols on TV don’t do that. I oftentimes have to remind them that the shows are edited for content and time. If you go up and ask these people personally, they tell you they do practice some form of protection. They don’t want to take this stuff home to their families. Many have kids at home. Most have been doing this for awhile. They know the score.



Anything else you'd like to share?

It is often easy to forget that many of these beings out there used to be people just like us. They’re not trophies or tickets to fame; they are intelligent, feeling entities like you and me. Treat them with respect. Even if they’ve done wrong in life, they’re putting themselves through more of a Hell than you could possibly dream of by sentencing themselves to a self-imposed purgatory. They are afraid of judgment, so many of them stay here in this endless existence. They don’t deserve bullying.

On the opposite side of the darkness that gets so much press in this field, I have many intelligent entities that follow me from place to place that help me in my work. I’ve formed relationships – alliances, if you will. Nothing on paper. These are powerful beings. They know my heart is in the right place. I have psychics and mediums tell me this all the time. I catch their voices on recorders constantly, talking to other energies, trying to prompt wayward entities to listen to me when I try to help the unfortunate trapped souls transition to the Other Side.

The majority of the students walking through my door are not only there for what they see on TV. They have questions. Serious spiritual questions. You’d think it strange that they’d come to a paranormal class for answers, but this can be a very rewarding spiritual  experience if done correctly. Would I trade that for money and fame? Never.



Darcie's bio: 

More than 170 students have explored the spirit world with instructor Darcie McGrath since she started teaching Haunting and Investigations 101 and 201 since September 2011. Darcie has 33 years of experience studying the paranormal, with an emphasis in haunting and haunting activity. She also has 20 years of field experience in investigating both private and commercial properties. Her investigative technique includes blending the metaphysical with science.
When not working her full time job in aerospace engineering, and teaching, she is also the case manager of the paranormal research team, Quantum Psi Group.


Paranormal Researcher Darcie McGrath - find her on Facebook
Quantum Psi Group - locate them at their web site: www.quantumpsigroup.org
   -Or click here to visit their Facebook page.

Darcie, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and knowledge with us today. I really appreciate it! If you have questions for Darcie, please post them in the comments section!

And Happy Halloween everyone!