Let's Give a Great Big Shout Out to my Guest Blogger, Lena Coburn!

“You Don’t Know Me”
By Lena Writes a Romance

I deeply appreciate the happy, spicy wonderfulness I feel whenever I read anything written by Jenny Gilliam. I don’t think there is anything better than happy, spicy wonderfulness. Do you? I didn’t think so. Therefore, I am honored to introduce myself to the many fans who celebrate those very qualities in Jenny’s blog land. Thank you for this opportunity, Jenny. You rock.
You don’t know me so let me introduce myself. My name is Lena and I'm pretending to write a romance novel. I mean, I'm not really pretending, but it really feels like I am pretending. Sometimes I even feel like I'm pretending to pretend to write a romance novel. Good grief, it may be that I’m not actually doing anything. Is it all pretend?

As you might suspect, this pretending thing concerns me. It concerns me because I quit my day job last December with the adamant intention of finishing a full length novel by early spring 2009. So far I've written about half of a novel that - I swear to you - quite suddenly stopped making sense. And, to my horror, it seemed to take a rather dark and gloomy turn. Considering that I am known, almost universally, as the most horribly cheerful and fun-loving person you could ever meet I began to worry. This was when I started to realize that - gasp - I don't know me either! Or, at least, I don’t know all of me. Who am I and what am I doing?

This question is alarming, depressing, agitating, exciting and significantly uncomfortable. It is also my loyal companion on this labyrinth-like journey of writing a book. It’s not as scary as it initially seemed however because, as it turns out, it is also the fodder of my trade. Not knowing me – or what I’m doing - sparks my imagination. If I can’t achieve the answers through the use of reason and logic (and trust me, I can’t), than I simply must shift out of my head and into my heart. And then it comes. The story, the plot points, the characters….they simply come right out of my heart. And through these things I catch a glimpse of who I am and what I’m doing.

Maybe someday I won’t have to torture myself with this dark and gloomy process of fear-doubt-surrender before I arrive at the answers. But, then again, maybe I won’t. And maybe I don’t want to. Maybe I don’t want to end my daily journey of casting off the smallness of my mind in order to delve into the deep well of universal experience that is the birthplace of all Story? The place where I know me and you know me and we recognize one another because we understand things in this place. In that place we are all embracing love and joy and celebrating - without shame – the beauty of our bodies, our feelings, our very natures. There we are free. Whoa. I am getting all this from the process of writing a romance novel. Awesome.

So, I suppose, whether or not I ever find my book on the shelf at a bookstore or the NYT Best Sellers List I can feel confident that I am not pretending to write a romance and that I am, in fact, learning who I am and what I’m doing at every cross in the road. And I can rest assured that you do recognize me even though you’ve never seen my face or read my book. You understand me because you’ve been to that very same cross in the road yourself. It’s even possible that you are there with me right now.

See you around,
Lena Writes a Romance

Ava James Stops by for a Visit! Come have a look-see!

Coming Dec 2nd to Freya's Bower!

The Eagle At Midnight
by Ava James

For Deryn Philips life has hit a record low. After losing her parents in a car crash, she follows their last request and takes a trip to Wales. But this is no ordinary trip, and there is more to her new mysterious male friend than she can believe. Then again, if you are in a medieval castle in a foreign country, what's wrong with meeting a knight in shinning Armani?


The tour group milled around on the lower floors and the castle grounds out of consideration to the group members of an advanced age. Craving solitude, Deryn decided to see the view from one of the towers. The gaggle of widows departed, and she turned back to the gravel paths in the inner bailey. Each path led to a different tower.

“So which tower is it going to be? Black, Chamberlain, Eagle, or Queen?”

“I suggest Eagle’s Tower,” a male’s voice recommended from behind her.

The smooth timbre and Welsh accent generated tingles down her spine.

Turning around, Deryn met stunning cerulean eyes set in chiseled features, paired with heart-stopping good looks. Hot didn’t even begin to cover the essence of this man. Her jaw slackened at the sight. Raw desire shot down her body. Her eyes wide, she drank him in inch by tailored inch. He wore his light grey suit with confidence, and his honey locks, pulled back from his face into a short ponytail, brushed the collar of his black shirt. A seductive grin crept across his sensual lips, and a sigh almost escaped Deryn’s lips.

Holy David Beckham! This man could be his long lost, even hotter brother. His tawny skin, muscular frame, and blond locks were a triple threat. It was too much…. He was too much.

“I….” I want you…. No, too forward. Damn, what was I saying?

Her mind turned to mush with one grin from him. She didn’t recognize this man from their tour group. There was no way he’d been in the group—she would have seen him.

“There’s a breathtaking view from the Eagle Tower . You can see clear across the sea.” The handsome stranger’s voice enchanted her. She stood stunned. “Oh, sorry. Llaw Gyffes.” He extended his hand. She didn’t immediately take it, so he reached down and took her hand into his gentle grip.

Every nerve in her body pulsed with excitement. When his hand made contact with hers, Deryn swore the air sizzled with heat. She watched in utter fascination as he brought her hand up to his mouth, his lips inches from her skin. The whole world stopped in that moment. She held her breath while he turned her hand. His satin lips made contact with the sensitive flesh of her wrist, and her knees nearly gave way. His eyes met hers, and she couldn’t restrain the sigh that rolled off her tongue.

“And you are?” His eyes sparkled with mischievous curiosity.

Wake up, Sleeping Beauty! He’s talking to you…answer him!

Coming to Freya's Bower Dec. 9th!

Waking Up

by Ava James

In Iraq , Jaysen has treated many wounded men, but none touch her heart like Sergeant Tiberius. Will she touch his heart too?


He listened while the petite nurse placed some items beside him. He heard the tug and scrape of metal rings on a rail from above. The air about him stirred, and he realized that pretending to be asleep was about to get much, much harder.

And hard was exactly what he didn’t want to be. Just thoughts about what was going to happen began to bring his formerly limp member to attention.

Giant, hairy, brown moles. Cellulite, chucky cottage cheese thighs. Winter in the Ukraine ! He tried frantically to distract himself.

Fingers brushed across his chest and rounded the edge of his sheet to fold it down his torso.

Maggot eaten sheep’s intestines!

Her gentle hands grasped his arm, lifted it, and placed it back onto what he assumed was a towel. She walked around the bed and did the same to his other side. The next thing he heard was the splish-splash of water. She must have wrung out a sponge.

Breathe, he reminded himself as he waited for the wet sponge to make contact with his skin. His pulse surged out of control in anticipation. Where would she start? He wanted to open his eyes so badly. The apprehension and anxiety knotted his gut.

She began to hum. A warm, wet object that he identified as a sponge, slid smoothly across his collarbone. Left to right, lower and lower, a few inches lower with each pass until she pulled it away. The languid heat of the sponge fired his skin. With his eyes held firmly shut, all of his other senses heightened. He heard her every breath. The sterile smell of the hospital ward was methodically replaced with a lemon soap aroma that mingled with her minty breath. He felt each intake and release of air from her.

Returning the sponge to his skin, she started in tight circular strokes on his chest and upper abdomen. Warm tingles broke out over his body. Every nerve stood alert to her merciless ministrations. Her cool breath blew across his wet skin, and he nearly lost it. A shiver shot straight down his spine to curl his toes.

Rotten eggs! Uri’s stinking boots!

He bit down on his tongue to try to lessen the impact of her attentions. The nurse thankfully removed her instrument of torture. She dipped the sponge into the water basin; the familiar splash-splosh noises filled the air. Demetri tried to calm his blood and breathing. He fought for four years in this bloody war to keep peace, so he could do this.

You can do this. He chanted in his mind while waiting for her next tactical maneuver.

Visit Eve Summers at www.evesummers.weebly.com

Guess the Release! "The Seventh Taboo" by Yvonne Eve Wallus

The Seventh Taboo - Guess the release date!

The Kudos:

"A brilliant story! I want more!" - Nalini Singh, New York Times Bestselling Author of Hostage to Pleasure

The Seventh Taboo by Yvonne Walus hooked me from the first paragraph, drawing me into a world of virtual reality and beyond, where the reader begins to wonder if this too could be our future. ~ Jane Beckenham, author of Love in Waiting,

"In a world where connection is forbidden, human interaction is predominantly virtual, and clones are formatted for their future, the only unplanned, unprogrammed, and unexpected outcome…is true love." ~ N. D. Hansen-Hill, author of Gilded Folly.

The Blurb:

You know he is out there - somewhere. Your soul mate. Your other self. All you need to do is find him and you'll feel complete the way you've never felt complete before.

Except that finding him is strictly forbidden.
Finding him would break the Seventh Taboo.

And then, one night, you meet him. Every hormone and every cell in your body shouts that he's the lost half of yourself you've been searching for. Your logic disagrees. Which are you going to believe? The primeval instinct or your training? Your heart or your mind?

To what lengths will you go, what risks will you take, to prove to yourself that he is the one?

Enter the world of cloning, scientific experiments and toying with people's lives. Enter the world in which your every movement, online as well as offline, is scrutinised by your live-in Monitor. Enter the future which could well be ours one day.

The contest:

“The Seventh Taboo” by Yvonne Eve Walus is going to be published by The Wild Rose Press. When? I don’t know yet. I do know it’s “in the bag”, with final edits and the cover all done, but other than that, your guess is as good as mine.

So here is a contest for you. Email me on yve at xtra dot co dot nz with your pot shot at the release date (the time zone is that of the Wild Rose Press website). The person who comes up with the closest guess will receive the book free. In case of a tie, I’ll spin a coin. J

Okay, after reading that last post with Debby Allen, I think I'm here because Jenny wants to prove she's not prejudiced against writers published in New York. //tongue firmly in cheek//

Actually, Jenny and I are RWA chapter mates, though I live so far from the chapter I never attend meetings. However, thanks to electrons and internets and emails and such, we've actually managed to get acquainted. Besides sheer distance, the even more remarkable part of this acquaintance is the age difference (I'm *old* and I don't have any tats or piercings beyond one boring one in each ear). That's the fun of the net and RWA, though -- we all do get to know each other, trade visits, support each other's efforts, and generally expand our horizons. Definitely a good thing. I've gotten to watch Jenny's excitement over her release this month, share in her pleasure over THE TRUTH ABOUT ROXY being the #1 Bestseller at Wild Rose Press, and see how she handles 2 releases in one month (quite well, thank you).

At the same time, I've been finishing the second book in a series while trying to promo the first, and of course that's why I'm here.
IMMORTAL WARRIOR is the first in my new series about a crew of Viking raiders cursed to live for eternity as weres of their fylgjur, their spirit companions. (Some beasts aren't meant to be tamed...) And here's the blurb to pique your interest:


He came to England in search of treasure. Two hundred years later, he’s found her…
Ivar Graycloak is a brave warrior, a man known for his strength and integrity. He is also a man with a terrible secret. Long ago he was part of a Viking crew cursed by an evil sorceress to live for eternity as were-creatures. An eagle by day and a man by night, Ivar has lived a solitary existence for over two centuries. Then the king orders him to marry.
Lady Alaida is everything a man could want in a bride—intelligent, spirited, and beautiful—and their wedding night is a balm to Ivar’s lonely spirit. Then a seer brings him word of a dark vision, one that makes Ivar vow to stay away from his lovely wife forever. But now that Ivar has sampled Alaida’s passion, her humor and warmth, he is enthralled. His traitorous body-his very heart-longs for that which he
can never possess.
Lady Alaida may surprise him yet, though, for she has a power of her own-a power that will either destroy everything they hold dear or ultimately set them free…
Buy from Amazon.com now:


Lisa Hendrix is the author of IMMORTAL WARRIOR, the first book in an all-new paranormal historical romance series, The Immortal Brotherhood. Please visit her website, http://lisahendrix.com for excerpts, contests, and more information about Lisa and her books. Lisa can also be found on MySpace ( myspace.com/lisa_hendrix ), Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Hendrix/18625590885 ) and Goodreads ( http://www.goodreads.com/profile/LisaHendrix )

Please welcome, author, promoter, and all around awesome person, Debby Allen

One of the greatest gifts I've discovered in this electronic writing world is the wonderful friendships that come about. This proves that you don't have to be published with the large houses in New York (and no offense to those who are) to make good friends. With that in mind, please welcome a dear friend of mine, Debby Allen. She's a romance novelist, runs the Romance E-Books sites, and is responsible for MUCH of my promotion (tee-hee). So, without further ado....
Debby Allen – Author of Romance

I’d like to say I’m just an author of romance for The Wild Rose Press, but I’m not. I’m also a promoter - of other authors and publishers. To say I don’t feel any satisfaction when I receive an email thanking me for an interview or an author/publisher spotlight would be bending the truth a little. I love it!
I first began promoting when I set up The Romance eBooks Myspace profile in February 2008. I had my 1st ebook release from The Wild Rose Press the following month and discovered just how difficult promoting could be. So I thought, why not get together with some other authors and we’ll promote each other. However, I never expected the profile to be so popular! Word got around pretty quick and before I knew it I had befriended a few hundred authors, readers and publishers – just over seven hundred up to now!
The promotion process is very simple - I promote your book on the profile and a direct link to your purchasing details are literally at the end of the potential buyer’s fingertips! Once your book is on the profile, all you have to do is sit back and reap the rewards.
On November 1st, I released the 1st Romance eBooks Newsletter. Just like the myspace profile, the promotion is just the same, but on a more personal level with interviews and spotlights. I call it The Pink Link – you’ll see why if you check it out. It was fun to create and the response for contributions was fantastic! If I’m honest, it’s more like a mini eMag than a newsletter. I’m very proud of it and very grateful to its contributors. At the moment, I promote free of charge, even though I have been offered payment. But my response to that offer is, just please promote me in return. That’s all I ask.

If you would like to check out The Romance eBooks Myspace Profile, here is the link:

If you would like to check out The Romance eBooks Newsletter Blog, here is the link:

I hope you’ll check out both. And if you would like to appear in the New Year Newsletter or any other after that, then contact me at romanceebooks@yahoo.co.uk

Writing Romance:

When I first began writing novels and novellas, it was mainly to practice my writing skills, but I also wanted to create stories that I would really enjoy reading myself. In those early days, I never expected to be published (but I do hope those books will be published one day when I have polished them off).
I love reading Harlequin Mills & Boon and desperately wanted to create such a romantic fantasy of my own. So after years of educating myself at home and reading lots of romantic novels, I submitted a short story to The Wild Rose Press, a publisher who publishes books in electronic and print format. And that’s where my dream began.
In March 2008, ‘Hibiscus Bay’ was released in electronic format and I received some fabulous reviews. Here’s a quick preview:

‘Hibiscus bay’ available from The Wild Rose Press NOW!
‘If blue skies, hunky foreign guys and glistening seas float your boat, then you’ll love this romp on the beach romance that will leave you searching for your Passport to Paradise!’


Exhilarating sex with an Arabian millionaire is the last thing Ashleigh Brennan expects after an illicit affair with her boss leaves her unemployed and without dignity. She vows never to be misled by first impressions again—until she meets wealthy, handsome Remmao Kamal. He’s full of passion and eastern promise—but for how long?
It’s hard to believe that this wealthy bachelor isn’t married, but his playboy lifestyle aboard his yacht has had its repercussions. After a succession of harbor pickups, his misjudgement of a lover’s intention put his life at risk. Since then, he has been determined to put his womanising days behind him—until Ashleigh walks into his life. Their sexual attraction is immediate and the temptation for Remmao to break his vow of harbor celibacy is as strong as Ashleigh’s desire to protect her heart. But will a one-night stand with no commitments be enough for them?'


Simply Romance Reviews GRADE: A 'I can honestly say, while reading Hibiscus Bay, I was touched by the beautiful twist of fate for Ashleigh and Remmao. This is the kind of romance we all dream of. Debby Allen captured so many heart-warming emotions of both her characters... wonderful job Debby!!'Cocktail Reviews: 'Like a short version of a M&B/Harlequin title, Hibiscus Bay delivers on all fronts with an exotic locale, wealthy foreign hunk, a good dose of angst, enjoyable love scenes and a HEA. I’d recommend this to any fan of the genre.'

The Long And Short Of It Reviews: “Hibiscus Bay,” set in a lush harbor town, is an emotional roller coaster of a romance between Remmao and Ashleigh… The setting of gorgeous Hibiscus Bay is a perfect place for Remmao and Ashleigh to explore their feelings further, and those descriptive details are nicely presented. (On a side note, this novella’s cover is beautifully designed and paints an idyllic picture of the paradise where these characters fall in love.)

New Releases:
My next release is a Christmas story, titled ‘Mistletoe and Ouzo Kisses’ due for release on 17th December 2008 from The Wild Rose Press. The storyline is set in Athens, Greece. Here’s a quick preview:

‘Mistletoe and Ouzo Kisses’ Release date - 17th December 2008 from The Wild Rose Press.
‘If a Greek Adonis found his way into your Christmas stocking, wouldn’t you want to unwrap him?’


A man is for life and not just for Christmas – or so the saying goes. When Leah Stamford accepts the offer to spend the festive season in Greece with her co-worker, Marcus Savakis, the last thing she expects to be unwrapping, is him. But after one ouzo too many, and with a voluptuous ex-girlfriend tempting Marcus back into her ample bosom, Leah will stop at nothing to win her colleague’s affections — though seduction isn't one of her talents. Leah's frigidness was the reason she lost her last boyfriend. Now it’s time to prove to herself that she can be daring and sexy. But has she got what it takes to seduce Marcus away from the desires of his ex-girlfriend? And can her timidness compete with this erotic Greek goddess?

For those of you who haven’t noticed, Chris Winters, who was crowned Mr. Romance 2008 at the Romantic Times Convention, is my cover model - and at special request! I feel very honoured and very privileged!

Unfortunately, there are no reviews for ‘Mistletoe and Ouzo Kisses’ to date.

Due for release in 2009 ‘An Outlaw’s Honor’ by Debby Allen.

Look out for ‘The New Year Romance eBooks Newsletter’! If you have a new release, new review or a competition that you would like to contribute to the newsletter, then contact me, Debby, at romanceebooks@yahoo.co.uk

I hope to hear from you soon.

Please Welcome Laurean Brooks!

And her fantastic-looking novel, Journey To Forgiveness, available TODAY at The Wild Rose Press. I'm pleased to have such a fine author as a guest! Read on for more....

May 1938
When Southern-born Jenny Hinson's abusive father deserts his family, the brunt of running a fifty-acre farm falls to Jenny and her mother. Twelve acres of cotton are the family's mainstay. When the crop is infested with boll weevils, Jenny has no option but to accept an invitation from an aunt in Chicago, to move north to seek employment. Her mother and younger siblings are depending on her.
Her first unfamiliar jolt of electricity pales in comparison to the jolt that shakes Jenny when she encounters the charming, but dubious, Austin Grant at a train depot in Kankakee. When Jenny spies Austin running away with her vanity case, she yells for the guard to apprehend him. Why did he want a young woman's luggage?
Imagine Jenny's shock when Austin appears behind the podium at her aunt's church, begging for money for a tornado-stricken town. Jenny determines not to give one cent to this shyster! And furthermore she will join the mission trip to the rural town, to keep an eye on Austin. She will expose him whateve it takes.
But Jenny has other issues. Recurring nightmares from the beatings she endured at her father's hand. Beatings that have left her with anger toward men. Especially men like Austin Grant.
So why can't Jenny report Austin when she spies him removing a roll of money from the mission strongbox? Has she fallen for this thief?
Is it possible for a victim to forgive her abuser? Will Jenny hold onto hurt and forfeit her chance for a future with the man she loves? Or will she face her abuser and let go of her bitterness?

"Well, this is a pleasant surprise." Jenny looked up to lock eyes with the thief she had encountered in Kankakee. His blue eyes danced with mischief. "I never did get your name."
To avoid drawing attention, Jenny hissed just above a whisper, "Get away from me!"
"Sorry, we got off to a bad start. Do you think we could begin again?" He chuckled.
"Over my dead body!" Jenny spat, and glanced toward the ladies' room. Where was her aunt when she needed her?
"I would want that. You are much too cute. You don't really believe I wanted that vanity case?" His brows rose when she didn't respond. "How long will you be in Chicago?"
A "drop dead" glare, but still no response.
"Are you ready?" A stout middle-aged man nodded at the man hovering near her table.
"Be right with you," Jenny's unwelcome guest replied before turning back to her. "Who knows, we could meet again," he crooned. "I've heard that good things come in threes." He winked, then swaggered out the door.
Available in e-book at www.thewildrosepress.com on November 14, 2008 and in print on February 20, 2009.

For more on this author go to Laurean's Lore at http://laureanslore.blogspot.com


Ever since Laurean Brooks' fifth grade teacher announced, "Some day Laurie will become an author," Laurean has loved to read and write. But as sometimes happens, life got in the way. Several decades passed. Then 2002 Laurean submitted a story to a local magazine, it was published, and the writing bug bit. Since that day, Laurean has written a collection of stories from childhood to pass on to her grandchildren (if she ever has any. Hint-hint.)
She believes that so much is lost down through the generations. And personality can leap off a page. Forty years from now when her great-grandchildren ask their grandfather to, "Tell me about Grandmother Laurie," her son can dust off a green, nylon-covered binder, pull the little ones onto his lap, and read the hilarious, though sometimes serious accounts of a spirited woman who laughed, cried, and loved life--once upon a time.
Today, she is the author of JOURNEY TO FORGIVENESS, a novel that deals with the struggle to overcome the after-effects of abuse. Check it out on The Wild Rose press site at www.thewildrosepress.com.

Please Welcome Laurean Brooks!

For as simplistic as a book, article, or piece of writing appears to the person who reading it, writing is a ridiculously difficult activity. I don't mean difficult, as in "I can't lift this pen." I mean difficult, as in "Oh, I really should wash the drapes, walk the dog, call my mom, and polish Aunt Sally's silver before I start writing." Mental blocks sometimes serve a purpose when we're waiting for the words to come or the next plot event to fall into place, but what about when we just use good, old-fashioned procrastination itself as an excuse not to write?

I start each and every day with writing. Up at 4:30 for a walk with the dog, then I settle into my routine of morning pages for a few minutes before moving on to whatever story or article I'm working on. I work until 6:30, when it's time to hop in the shower and leave for another day of teaching middle school ESL. My corner of the world is not as happy as it can be if I don't get my time alone with words each morning, but on occasion, I run head-on into a wall of procrastination and find stringing words together a more difficult task than teaching 7th graders how to conjugate verbs.

When I feel words clogging up inside and unable to come out, one trick I've learned is to put the pen to the paper and write out the problem itself. I know it sounds too easy, too simple, too good to be true---and I felt that way when I first heard the idea. But time and again, writing out the problem gets things moving in a way that continual procrastination (and subsequent waiting for enlightenment/inspiration/the muse) cannot.

I was on deadline for a magazine article and knew my subject matter well—everything except the introduction. I put off writing the article until a week before it was due (which is my personal due date). I was so frustrated that when I sat to work on the article, I just poured my agitation onto the page. The more I wrote about how I didn't have the perfect introduction, the more my brain responded by giving me possible phrases and sentences to start my piece. I scratched these down furiously in the margin. By the time I finished venting, I had enough bits and pieces of possible beginnings to choose from that one of them just "clicked". (You writers know what I mean!).

This works with fiction, too. I just finished a short story and couldn't figure out the hero's line of work. I saw him crystal-clear in my mind, knew his job was a key to his interaction with the heroine...even if I didn't know what his job was. I journaled that his job was so important to the story I needed to know before I went on and found all kinds of questions brewing in my mind. After a few minutes, I discovered he was a small business owner with lots of connections, which was crucial to my heroine's conflict.

I don't know what makes writing down the block itself such a powerful trigger in unleashing the words, but I do know that I'm not questioning it. Maybe it's the physical act of writing or how naming a problem can help generate a solution that gets things moving. Of course, it doesn't work all the time—sometimes there are blocks and issues that go way deeper in the writer's psyche that affect the ability to write. But the next time you're creatively stuck, why not try taking the power away from the block by naming it? It sure beats finding yourself sitting at the dining room table polishing a pile of Aunt Sally's heirloom forks when you really wish you were writing....

I'm so thrilled you stopped by Jenny's blog to read my post. To get you started in writing about your blocks, I'll be giving away a writer's journal this week to one lucky blog reader who posts a comment here. I really appreciate you reading...there are so many blogs to visit and so little time! Thanks for reading :)

Happy Writing!


Blog: www.writer-in-progress.blogspot.com
Website: www.bethmorrow.com
Mandi's Lucky Day from The Wild Rose Press

A Writer's Sacred Space

So I recently bought a laptop. Way to go, you say. For a writer, it’s certainly a good investment. And I’m pretty sure I’m in love with a machine. I know it’s strange and unusual to have such intense feelings for an inanimate object, but there it is.
I’m also a multi-published author. I don’t say this to toot my own horn (toot), but to bring you to the next, most obvious question: Why didn’t I have one until now?
Well, I did. And it died. Horribly.
Actually, it was murdered and I’m the guilty party. I’m quite embarrassed to admit that while goofing off on the Internet (not writing—bad Jenny!), I spilled pop all over the keyboard and fried the hard drive. “No!” I screamed in a moment of high drama. “Not my laptop!”
Back to the original point. I didn’t use my laptop as much as I do Frankie (that’s my beloved, new laptop’s name). In fact, I’m pretty much physically attached to good ol’ Frankie. Literally. I take it wherever I go, use it for the Web, writing, blogging, etc., when in fact I have perfectly usable and new desktop PC at home. Which raises another question for me: What about my sacred writing space?
I’m Wiccan. For those of you who don’t really know what that is, I’ll give an easy to understand explanation. I’m basically a white witch with a little neo-paganism to back me up. No, I don’t sacrifice small children to the devil (although I am tempted to when my kids drive me crazy, which, I’ll tell you, is quite often), use a Ouija board to conjure the dead, or make concoctions that include frog eyes for ingredients. My concoctions consist of herbs and essential oils, I’m not a gifted medium, and we already covered the bit about small children.
The reason I tell you this is because I look for and create sacred space wherever I go. What is sacred space, you ask? Well, besides the obvious, it’s any area that is cleansed (usually by the smoke of a smudge—made from herbs—stick), blessed by the love and wisdom of the god and the goddess, and brought together by the elements—North, East, South, West.
I have little altars everywhere. On my window sill, in my bedroom, in the dining room, at both my desks (home and work). These altars—the ones on my desk(s)—all have semi-precious stones such as orange calcite (for breaking through writer’s block), green aventurine (for creativity), various small statues (I’m currently looking for one of the Three Muses), and some herbs conducive to production, communication, creativity, and avoiding blocks.
Now I have this laptop, but no sacred space. Or so you think. A-ha! I have an “altar on the go” in my purse (which is the size of a small country—the purse, not the altar). Wherever I am, I pull out my little bag o’ tricks and place them near me.
And yes, I get funny looks all the time. However, I live in Portland, Oregon, also known as Land of the Weird.
These sacred spaces may seem strange to you, but to me they’re a perfect blend of two of the most important things in my life: writing and religion (well, my husband and kids come first, of course).
So, the next time you’re having trouble with a writing block. Go to your local metaphysical shop and pick up some orange calcite. Clean it by soaking it in a cup of water for twenty minutes, dry it, then rub it between your hands for some inspiration. It may not work, but at least you’re trying.

Creatures of The Night....by Denyse Bridger, Author

Creatures of the night… the timeless mystery…

One of the most popular genres around is the paranormal, with heroes who are not quite human many times. We are taking traditional monsters, and turning them into seductive and alluring beings who appeal and touch forbidden desires. Why the need to extend being mortal men and women? To reach for a timeless creature who will never age, or who possesses power beyond the power to love?

I enjoy writing vampires as heroes, oddly, I’m not wild about reading them. How strange does that make me, I wonder??? Never mind, don’t need to know! *lol* I think for me, a lot of the “magic” was spoiled when the trend toward changing the lost creature of the night back into a mere mortal began. It’s the mystique of the unknown, the taming of the wild, inhuman spirit by the overwhelming force of pure love that is really the appeal in all this for me. Also, how many times have you read a story where the long-suffering vampire is noble and hates himself? This is a nice plot device, and serves well for some stories, but realistically would anyone who’d been around for hundreds of years really be noble, self-sacrificing, or all that moral? We’re talking again about beings who exist outside of the realms and constraints of our laws and day to day rituals of life. Isn’t it more “realistic” to assume time itself would teach them they can operate “above the law” and then some!

There is an ageless allure to taming the beast, be it real or mythical, and it works well in fiction, films, and television. It elevates our baser instincts into something a little more noble and honourable in many ways and appeals to the nurturer in all people, most especially women.

I have a number of vampire titles in my catalogue, so drop by my website and have a look. My vampires are not always nice, but they are always compelling and powerful, and very sexy. The book I am currently working on is a vampire romance, set in Sicily, with an ancient Prince as the hero… It’s called “A Perfect Beauty” and I think it will be one of the best things I’ve ever written!

Thanks for chatting today, I am really looking forward to your thoughts about this topic, and in a few days, we’ll pull a name and you can select one of the vampire tales on my site as a prize!! Talk to you soon, and watch the shadows… you never know what might be waiting there to steal your heart, your life, and your will to resist!!!


Website: http://www.denysebridger.com
Blog: http://fantasy-pages.blogspot.com
Amore Senza Confini: http://amoresenzaconfini.blogspot.com

Acquisitions Manager/Editor-in-Chief
Absolute X-Press, Romance Division

Bad Luck? Check out THE JINX by Jennifer Johnson!

Talk about a house call! All Ellen wanted was to get her ring out of the bathtub drain; what she got was a rude plumber who made her clean out her closet, bled all over her bedroom carpet and fainted, then refused to let her pay her bill! What’s with this guy?
This guy – Rick Braswell – is having a midlife crisis at thirty. Ever since making a house call for that crazy Ellen Anderson, Rick’s crisis has turned into crises. He’s having the worst luck of his life, and every accident and injury involves Ellen. And yet there is something about her that makes Rick want to beat the jinx so he can love the woman.

The Jinx Excerpt:

Rick stalked back toward his desk and sat down on the chair, took a few deep breaths, and waited. He had been doing a lot of that lately. Another minute or so wasn’t going to kill him. The door opened just wide enough for Denise to slip inside. She pushed it shut behind her and sprinted to him.

“She wants to see you.”

“By all means, show her in. And then go home.”

“It’s not five o’clock yet.”

“It is somewhere. Go home.” Rick emphasized the last two words.

“Maybe I should…” Denise shifted from one foot to the other.

Rick gave her a look, which shut her up. She was a good secretary, a caring person, his right hand here. But he wanted her gone. Rick wasn’t sure what was going to happen when Ellen walked through that door, but he anticipated it could get ugly. He’d rather not have a witness here to see his downfall. He had been humiliated enough already in front of too many people. He was sure he was the laughing stock at the hospital. Everybody was getting to know him on a first name basis. Heck. He should get some kind of discount for all the business he had been giving them. He hoped his health insurance didn’t drop him.

Without another word, Denise opened the door and exited. In Richard’s head, the theme from “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” began to play. On cue, Ellen appeared.

She turned and faced him. She had the stance of a gunfighter down pat—legs braced, back straight, and stiff posture. And those eyes—those gorgeous blue eyes—were boring into him. He felt like an ant being incinerated by a sun ray through a magnifying glass. The music got louder. She was a heck of a lot prettier than Clint Eastwood.

Dressed in a white sleeveless dress, Ellen was showing a good portion of leg. Her hair was pulled up showing the smooth line of her neck. Rick remembered kissing the soft skin there. He broke out in a sweat. Oh, man. Get thecoffin ready. Rick didn’t think he was going to be the one standing when the smoke cleared.

What are the reviewers saying?

Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction gave The Jinx their “Fanstastic. Stays of the Shelf” Button. In their review, WRDF wrote, Jennifer Johnson’s book, The Jinx, is a hilarious read. Following the “courtship” of Ellen and Rick is a study in mishaps at a graduate level.”

The Long and Short of it said, “The author’s skillful writing and slightly warped sense of humor make this a thoroughly delightful read…. Jennifer Johnson is a romantic comedy author to watch.” LASR readers voted The Jinx the Best Book of the Week.

Simply Romance Reviews had this to say: "Written with a flowing style with lots of visual imagery, The Jinx was a hysterical read. The bantering about of the fee for retrieving her ring out of the sink was awe inspiring. Truly entertaining, I kept finding myself wondering what new, horrible ways the author would come up with to torment poor Rick. I started reading this late evening, and really had to force myself to put it down and go to bed. Then I was up first thing the next morning to finish it. Love conquers all, including high insurance rates. Give this lighthearted read a try."

Midnight Rose quipped “Hey! Get your butt out of that chair and give me some cat food.”

Oh, excuse me. That last comment is not a reviewer, but my cat.


I grew up as a flower girl named Francesca in Uruguay, making my first “B” movie at fourteen. I was a sensation locally, but, tragically, the world did not appreciate my talents. My lover, Bruno, intent on killing me because of my infidelity, forced me into fleeing to the United States, the land of new beginnings and redemption. I have a dream that I am a North American woman from Alabama, USA. I go to Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia and later to Columbia Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. I am called to serve in the church as a minister. My dream continues that I marry a man who teaches math and that we have two children who share with us in our happy existence in Kentucky, far away from Uruguay and my checkered past. In my dream, my name is Jennifer Johnson. It is a common, yet lovely name, which allows me to be free from the clutches of Bruno.

Oh, wait. Maybe my dream is my life. Yes, it is! I do, however, love to create other worlds to dream in and fall in love with. I wrote my first love story in seventh grade. It was about two teenagers who meet at beach camp. They get stranded on a top bunk of a bed by a wolf. I kept this epic novel in a bright pink notebook and carried it with me everywhere. It disappeared one day and; alas, the young lovers’ story was never resolved. If I had finished it, it would have been a happy ending because I’m a big believer in happy endings! And I’m still hoping that pink notebook will show up somewhere. P.S. I can’t take credit for Francesca – she’s from an old Kids in the Hall comedy sketch.

Buy THE JINX at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=936&zenid=4de0c508d5ec10afead9eaaca86f9ca8

Visit Jennifer at: http://jennfrancesca.blogspot.com/