Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

I want to take a moment and wish you all a very safe and Happy HALLOWEEN!

May your treats be plenty and the tricks be few!!!!


Friday, October 28, 2011

I attended my first writers conference!

Last week, I attended the New Jersey Romance Writers "Put Your Heart In A Book" conference. It was my first ever and I have to tell you that I was a little nervous.  I wasn't sure what to expect.

It had been a long time since I had been on a plane too, so I was a little nervous about that also. But, thank goodness, my flights went well and even had the chance to fly into Philly with one of my CP's, Melissa. That made it easier and more fun. We flew into Philly because our other CP, Lizzie, works there and she picked us up at the airport. It was great to see these two ladies again.

The conference was packed with workshops, authors, and women vying for the same dream as I have. To learn what we can, meet new people and the chance to pitch our work to agents and editors. Everyone I met was friendly and had wonderful stories to share about their lives and their journeys as a writer.

For instance, while in line to pitch, there was a woman standing across from me. She was half my size and held a cane in her hand. Her smile lit up the room and we couldn't help but talk to her. One lady asked her what she wrote.
"Sweet, contemporary romance," she said, beaming with pride.
Another lady asked her her age and with a sparkle in her eye, she answered, "I'm 91."

We were amazed. I would have never guessed her age. She looked at us ladies and said, "I am published eight times with Avon and my first book was published when I was 80, so you girls keep writing. It's never to late."

I thought about her often and the words she said to us. It made my goal and dreams even more reachable because I know there is no deadline. When I was sitting in a class and looked around, I saw her again and I wanted to thank her for her words of wisdom. I didn't have the opportunity since class began, but I can tell you she will never be forgotten by me. Just goes to show you that you are never to old to follow your dreams!!!!
Jacquelyn Franks and I

My other experiences in the conference are just as memorable. I took classes taught by Brenda Novak, Jacquelyn Franks, and Cara Elliot. Amazing women!!!I also met one of my favorite Authors, Hannah Howell. Suzanne Brockmann gave us a wonderful speech at one of our meals and it left a few of us in tears. Words of wisdom to be sure! I also have to say that the women I mentioned were very down to earth and so friendly! Lizzie, Melissa, and I had the best time getting to know Jackie and I can tell you.... she can dance!!!

The classes I took were very helpful. How to make your hero sound more like a man, How to make your historical come to life, How to get the most our of your CP's, contests, and workshops, World Building, etc. The choices were many and I had a hard time choosing.

Hannah Howell and I
On Saturday, I pitched to agent, Jennifer Didik, and editor, Latoya Smith. Wonderful ladies and they made me feel very comfortable which was very helpful since I was excited and only had ten minutes with each lady to do what needed to be done. In the end, one asked for a partial and the other for the full manuscript. SUCCESS!!!!! My goal had been accomplished.

I also  had the chance to meet some of the women from my Celtic Hearts group. After having these ladies live within my computer for a year or two, it was great to finally get to meet them in person. I want to thank Terri Brisbin, Eliza Knight, and Kim Killion for making me not feel like a first timer and for being so warm and friendly in person as they have always been on line!

Brenda Novak and I
So, now as my life gets back to normal and I begin the process of sending the requested work to Ms. Didik and Ms. Smith, I sit back and relish the experiences I had. I am lucky to have been able to go and thankful for the opportunity. I look forward to the RT conference in April and can't wait to see what might happen there. If you have never attended a conference before, I highly recommend it. The experience is unbelievable. If you have attended one, then you will know what I am talking about.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my first time conference experience with me and I hope to meet you at the next one!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


My children were watching the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie and as I stole glances at it, I noticed this handsome young fellow tied to a pole on the Queen Anne's Revenge. He played the preacher. I won't say anymore, just in case you haven't seen the movie!

Please, let me introduce you to:

NAME- Samuel George Claflin
BIRTH- June 27, 1986
PLACE- Ipswich, Suffolk, UK

There wasn't a whole lot of information on this gentleman, I am sorry! BUT I loved him in his roll as Philip Swift in Pirates and I think he is way too cute for words! I hope you enjoyed today's post.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


‎50% OFF Sale going on NOW! We’ve designed our 400th cover which is a huge milestone! We have over 200 clients to date and are working with multiple agents in NY as well as publishers. We continue to grow due to the support of people like you!

To thank you all for your support, we are having a 2 day sale (Oct. 26 and 27). All stock images on is now 50% off.

Enjoy and happy shopping!!!
Hot Damn Stock - Selling the latest in romance novel stock images.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Totally HOT Thursdays

Today's Totally HOT Thursday is brought to you by the lovely Lizzie Walker. My friend and critique partner sent me an email with this man's picture in it and said he needed to be my next THT. And boy was she right!!!

Let me introduce you to:
Christopher Douglas

HEIGHT- 6 foot
EYES- Green
HAIR- Brown
MARITAL STATUS- Married to Darcy
HONORS- Selected as one of YM Magazines most beautiful guys.
BIRTHDATE- 8/26/1969
HOMETOWN- Knoxville, TN

Christopher lives in Montana with his wife on a farm where they raise horses. He enjoys performing in rodeos riding saddle bronc in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. In August of 2008, while tending to a sick horse, Christopher was kicked in the face and suffered a broken jaw.

He attended the University of Tennessee where he studied medicine.

He started his modeling career doing photo shoots with Gianna Versace and famed photographer, Bruce Weber.

From there, he went on to star in movies 'Assualt on  Devil's Island' (1997) (TV) and 'Playing Mona Lisa' (2000).  He then starred in The Young and the Restless for 7 months (2001). Afterwards, he went to play the role of Antonio Lopez Fitzgerald on Passions for three years.

Christopher has a deep respect for and fascination with his Native American heritage. His mother's family is Eastern Cherokee.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Was war paint worn in battle in Scotland?

In June of this year, I went to Michigan for a Writer's Weekend with my two critique partners. We spent a week writing, editing, plotting, and having fun too! While we were there, we went to the St. Andrews Society of Detriot's Kilgour Scottish Center. They were very generous with their time and knowledge. One of the things they gave to us was a pamphlet of their upcoming Scottish Highland Games. On the cover was a man's face painted white and blue to look like the Scottish flag. This got me to thinking.

When we think of Scotland, many images come to our minds and one of those images is the man with the blue face. Mel Gibson brought to life the painted face in the movie Braveheart and even thought the movie was historically incorrect on somethings, was it incorrect on the face painting? The blue man in synonymous with Scotland, but when men went to war, did they wear war paint?

In researching, it was discovered that war paint was not used in the High Middle Ages (1000-1300) or in the Late Middle Ages (1300-1500). The Wallace/Murray uprisings took place during the Wars of Independence (1290s). At that time, the Anglo-Normans formed a very powerful part of the aristocracy of not only England, but also Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Their manners of dressing and their armour, weapons, and war tactics were the norm for this period. So, there would have been no war paint.

No poetry that had been read mentioned war paint, though they did mention the naming of their weapons and the bravery of their people. Now, if we are talking about the Picts, than this could be a different scenario. The Picts are a historical people recorded from A.D. 300-900, the Early Middle Ages. It is believed they were separated from the British speaking people since 2nd century A.D. They may have been tattooed or painted blue.

We have to remember that legends are built off of some facts. So, even though I don't believe that men in Scotland wore war paint into battle, I do think there could be something to this story. Tell me what you think of this idea.

With war comes injuries, and we know that they would have had some sort of medical supplies with them, even if they were homemade. We know that Indigo was used as a blue dye and an antiseptic. Blueberries or blaeberries (aka bilberries) also have antiseptic properties because of their tannins. So, I think it is safe to say that if a man had had an injury, they may have used one one these items to sop infection and therefore giving the man the appearance of wearing war paint.

And, when one day in the future, a Grandpa is sitting in front of the fire with his grandson on his knee telling a story of his days in the wars, he may have said something like this.  "And there I am, creeping up the hill on my belly and just as I am peeking over the top, I come face to face with a man who had blue paint on his face. Nearly scared me to death!"

***I would like to thank Sharon Gunn for her help in the research of this subject.***

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Novellas Need Love Too! contest

I promised to write back and bring to you the names of the finalists in the Novellas Need Love Too! Contest. I am still very excited to have finaled and knowing that my manuscript is now in the hands of an Editor is even more exciting.

I loved writing HEAVEN SENT. It was fun and endearing and it flowed easily from my mind. I never had to struggle to figure out what to write next. Hopefully one day you all will be able to read my little piece if heaven.

Now, with out taking any more of your time, here are your finalists in the NOVELLAS NEED LOVE TOO! Contest.

*** Permission to Forward Granted ***

Celtic Hearts Romance Writers is proud to announce the finalists for our Novellas Need Love, Too! Contest. As this was our first novella contest, we were thrilled that all the categories filled and were so excellent. We look forward to final results on November 12th. Finalists are in alphabetical order by first name and/or entry title. This order does not reflect scoring. Congratulations to ALL our finalists!

Barbara Heintz: Chocolate On Her Sleeve
Sarah Hoss: Heaven Sent
Valerie Clarizio: Cookies for Santa
Final Judge - Grace Bradley (Ellora's Cave)

Karen Dobbins: An Honorable Seduction
Kathleen Bittner Roth: The Seduction of Sarah Banks
Melinda B. Pierce: A Shocking Proposal
Final Judge - Mary Hamilton (Samhain)

EROTIC (tie for second place)
Jayme LeClair: Hurricane Winds
Sabrina York: Going Up
Sabrina York: Wildfire
Sabrina York: Wildkat
Final Judge - Kelli Collins (Ellora's Cave)

Alisa Walker: The Ghost Who Came To Supper
Amity Grays: Savage Protector
Amity Grays: Unlikely Protector
Final Judge - Imogen Howson (Samhain)

Camryn Rhys: The Sword of Elements
Liz Talley: A Little Bit Wicked
Mary A. Behre: Picture Me Hot
Final Judge - Gina Bernal (Carina Press)

For our Distinguished Novella Award, judges were asked to place each entry in a rubric against every novella they'd ever read. Every novella entered in the contest was equally eligible for this award. And the finalists are:

Karen Dobbins: An Honorable Seduction
Kathleen Bittner Roth: The Seduction of Sarah Banks
Melinda B. Pierce: A Shocking Proposal
Sabrina York: Going Up
Sabrina York: Wildfire
Final Judge - Heather Osborn (Samhain)
Rebecca Lynn and Clancy Metzger, Coordinators - Novellas Need Love, Too! Contest - Where Love and Legends Come Together

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I received good news!

A month ago, I entered my novella, HEAVEN SENT, in a contest. It is called Novellas Need Love Too! and it was hosted by Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.  Mine was entered in the Contemporary category.

Yesterday, I got the call I had been waiting on. My story had finaled in the contest! I am still so excited!!! The next stage for the others and I who finaled is that our entries get sent on to Grace Bradley of Ellora's Cave for a final judging. On Nov. 13, we will find out who the winner is.

Good luck to all the finalists!! Tomorrow, once they have announced all of the names, I will post all of the finalists. BUT- since today is supposed to be TOTALLY HOT THURSDAYS and I am in a really good mood, I am going to leave you with a plethera of beautiful men. ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

INTERVIEW with Author Kerri Nelson!

Book Title:  Courting Demons

Paisley Barton was already having a bad day before she turned her husband into a rat.

First, she was fired by her boss and then came home to find hubby in the shower with a naked blonde chick. They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned but this break-up may just unleash hell on Earth when Paisley casts a spell of vengeance against her philandering husband.

After her spell casting inadvertently opens a portal between dimensions, Paisley finds her family home transformed into a nightly courtroom for settling disputes between demons of the underworld and she’s the judge! If that’s not enough, she’s got to deal with a charming, ancient demon named Camden who wants to be her personal bodyguard while trying to explain her husband’s sudden, mysterious disappearance to sexy police Detective Dalton Briggs.

But Paisley will show them all that an everyday working mom is better equipped than most to deal with the mystical mayhem…and with a tempting demon hottie and a flirtatious young detective vying for her affection, she soon learns that being single again isn’t so bad after all.

“When a wronged wife turns her cheating husband into a rat, you know you have to keep reading! Kerri Nelson offers up a lot of fun and wild magic in Courting Demons!” --Bestselling author, Linda Wisdom, Demons are a Girl’s Best Friend

Read more about Kerri’s books at her website:

Follow her on Twitter here:

Visit her industry blog here:

Buy Links (print and e-book versions available 9/15 wherever books are sold but here’s the publisher link—free gift available with purchase of print copy—while supplies last):


Giveaway for the day:

Leave a question or comment to be entered to win today’s prize: A Custom made Momwitch Bread Bag Clip and a Witch Broom Pen Prize Pack!

 Then, enter to win my book tour Grand Prize Kindle by following me on tour and e-mailing me the answers to each question of the day at the end of tour.  The more questions you answer, the more entries you gain.

Question of the Day: 

What is the name of my author promotions blog?

Details on how to enter to win the GRAND PRIZE Kindle at the end of my “Dark Days of Demons Tour” located here:

Excerpt link for Courting Demons:

Today, I’m interviewing author Kerri Nelson.  Her book Courting Demons is an Urban Fantasy/Romance and was released on September 15, 2011.

 Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in? 

KN:  This book is a cross between an Urban Fantasy and a Paranormal Romance.  The reason the blend is so unique is because the book is mostly about the main character’s journey and the new directions her life is moving in.  She experiences these changes via wild action and unbelievable chaos that disrupts nearly every aspect of her normal life as a wife and mother.  So, in that respect, it is very much an Urban Fantasy novel.  But I find it very difficult to write a book without some romance in it—so you will see her falling for someone as well.  Romance is my typical genre and it plays through here but UF is a new genre for me.

 When did you start writing toward publication? 

KN: I really became serious about it in the last decade.  But I’ve always been a writer of something or another.  I love to write and find it very therapeutic. 

Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?

KN: Yes, in fact, I have three complete manuscripts that have never been published that I wrote and completed before I ever sold my first novella.  But I’ve returned to one of them and I’ve revised it and hope to publish it soon. 

I send out all my manuscripts myself.  I’m a big advocate of submitting and submitting and then submitting some more.  You can’t ever get a “yes” if you’re too afraid of getting a “no”.

Why have you become a published author?   

KN: Through sheer stubborn persistence and blatant determination.  Also, via submitting, submitting, and then submitting some more!

Do you have any rejection stories to share?

KN: I have way too many rejection stories.  In fact, I’ve recently received quite a few rejections as I’ve attempted to switch genres away from romance an into more mainstream mystery fiction.  Very difficult to get accepted in a totally new genre.  But one of my fave stories is a rejection letter that I received which told me to “keep on reading”.  I wasn’t sure if this was a misprint and they meant “keep on writing”.  Or if they really wanted me to give up on writing and just stick with reading.  LOL

 What is your writing routine like?

KN: I don’t have a set routine because I have so many at home responsibilities with the kids and other commitments.  But the one routine I do have is to make time to write every day.  Even if it is only for 15 minutes—I make time to write something.  It is important to me and good for me.  Always make time for your writing if you want to succeed.

 What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?

KN: I do all sorts of promotions.  I even own my own promotions company that will celebrate its second anniversary in November this year.  I’m particularly fond of blogging and attending any sort of reader/writer event where I can meet new people (and potential new readers). 

The help I have comes from my other author friends and acquaintances in the business.  Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today—it is as simple as that.  Make connections whenever and wherever you can.

 Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?   

KN: Holding that completed and printed book in my hand and smiling down at it feels pretty good.  But to get a letter or e-mail from a reader who has really enjoyed your book or been personally touched by it in some way—well, you can’t beat that.

 Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped ?

KN: Yes and yes.  I’m a member of both Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.  I’m also active members of various chapters with both of these organizations.  They’ve all helped by providing me with emotional support during the ups and downs of this volatile career.  They’ve provided valuable critique partners and promotional opportunities.  And mostly they’ve given me the encouragement to keep going and keep improving.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

 Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? 

KN: If you want it—if you really want it—get it out there for people to see.  Don’t be afraid to send your work to publishers.  Skip the agent route if it is not getting you a response that you’d like to see.  Go for smaller publishers or mid-size houses who will be eager to work with you and help you build a platform.  Decide if your goal is to share your work with others and if it is…get it out there and get it published.  Don’t wait around for someone to come knocking at your door. 

There may never be that “perfect golden” deal that you’ve been waiting on.  You may have to make it happen a little differently than you’ve dreamt of but you can get published if/when you decide you’re ready to make it happen.

 What’s next for you?

KN:  I’ve almost completed revisions and edits on my first mainstream mystery/thriller and I’ll be sending it out the first week of October.  I’m very excited to see if I can sell it in that genre. 

I’m also wrapping up several other smaller projects and there may be a sequel to Courting Demons just around the corner (wink, wink).

Thanks for hosting today, Sarah.   

A little bit about the author:

Kerri Nelson discovered her love of writing at an early age and soon became a columnist for her local newspaper winning the Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year Award for her efforts.

After a fifteen year career in the legal field, Kerri fulfilled her lifelong dream of publication and is now an award winning multi-published author of nearly every genre under the sun (and moon) and also writes young adult fiction under the penname K.G. Summers.

A true southern belle, she comes complete with a dashing southern gentleman and three adorable children for whom she often bakes many homemade treats.

Kerri is an active member of Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America as well as numerous chapters including Futuristic Fantasy & Paranormal Writers and her Presidency of Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.

©  Kerri Nelson 2011