Sunday, March 20, 2011

Taking a break.

I am just writing to let everyone know that I am taking a break from blogging until April as my Grandfather passed away. I have two great authors who will have posts up at the beginning of April, so I hope you'll stop by. It's also my blog's first birthday in April too, so hopefully while I'm away I can think of some cool stuff for it. I'll try and get some authors who would like to participate too!

Before I sign off the winner of the signed copy of Etched in Bone is (drum roll) Lisa R/alterlisa! I have emailed Lisa, so hopefully I can pass along her details to Adrian.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vampire Dating Tips by Adrian Phoenix & giveaway!

Thanks so much, Jo-Anne, for letting me hang out with you and your readers. To celebrate the release of the fourth Maker’s Song book, Etched in Bone, I thought a few dating guidelines for vampires might be fun. Actually, it’s two sets of guidelines—one set for the vampire (nightkind) and one set for the mortal who dates them.
Dating can be awkward at best, but going out with nightkind offers whole new kinds of awkward moments—from the first date to the ones that (hopefully) follow when you really start getting to know each other. Here’s a quick guide to avoid blunders and faux pas while dating that sexy bit of nightkind.
Dating Tips for Mortals:
1. Don’t make any daytime plans. Unless your date happens to sparkle in sunshine or has a special ring/potion/enchanted sunglasses or whatever, figure that all activity will be taking place after sunset. Any dates before sunset might require a fire extinguisher. They are called nightkind for a reason.
2. Be very sparing with perfume, cologne, and scented soaps. A vampire’s nose is sensitive and you could easily block your own natural scent, the sexy fragrance that is all you. You know the date is on the wrong foot when he/she is fanning a hand in front of their face, eyes tearing, and you’re still three feet away.
3. When other people stare at your date or cast lustful and lingering looks at him or her, don’t engage in possessive or jealous behavior. Nightkind tend to be beautiful and alluring (all the better to entice a quick meal into striking range), so you should expect this kind of attention and overlook it with grace. After all, you are the one going out with this beautiful creature. Those staring are not. (Though they might eventually become meals.)
4. And speaking of meals, if dining out, be aware that you will need to choose the restaurant since your nightkind date’s appetite doesn’t include regular food and they tend to be poor judges of which restaurants offer excellent fare and those that don’t—just as you wouldn’t know whose veins held a rare and delicious vintage as opposed to the vascular version of ghetto wine.
5. When being intimate with your nightkind date, you can expect intense passion, biting, growling, some drinking of your blood (feel free to bite back), and your date will be able to perform with breath-stealing intensity all night. One caveat: make sure you have finished before dawn. If not, you run the risk of Sleep claiming your nightkind partner in the middle of even the most intimate of actions.
Please feel free to post a comment about your own vampire/nightkind dating advice.

To celebrate the release of Etched in Bone, we’ve decided to add a little to the prize—the winner not only gets a signed copy of EIB, but a signed copy of any other book from The Maker’s Song series: A Rush of Wings (Book One), In the Blood (Book Two), or Beneath the Skin (Book Three).

You can read a chapter from the book that started it all. Here’s a link to a sample chapter of A Rush of Wings.

With Book Four, Etched in Bone, Dante faces his destiny and searches for a way to accept it on his own terms. To make his life, his own, at long last, and with Heather at his side. The former FBI agent is more than his partner and lover, she is also his anchor, his beacon, guiding him back from the edge of madness when his shattered past rises up and swallows him. But in Heather’s human family awaits an unexpected enemy. One who could force Dante to choose his darkest destiny—as the Great Destroyer.

Here’s a link to the first two chapters of Etched in Bone.

Etched in Bone is also a featured read for March on’s Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Book Club – which I’m very excited about.

Thanks so much for having me! It’s been a blast. You can also find me at:
Dante’s Club Hell Forum:
Dante’s Club Hell Yahoo Group:

Do you have any tips for dating vampires? You could win a singed copy of Etched in Bone, PLUS a signed copy of any of the other Maker's Song books! Don't forget to leave your email in case you win. Giveaway ends Friday 18th of March.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Look forward to?

It is my One Year bloggoversary next month and I was thinking about some ideas. In a comment leave two books you are desperately waiting to be released and I will tally the results to see which three books get the most votes. Then I may use them as prizes in a giveaway! So, what are you dying to read?
I am waiting on Lover Unleashed by J.R Ward and Deeper Than Midnight by Lara Adrian. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: The Last Watcher by Misty Burke

Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Heat Level: 2 
Word Count: 27, 953 
Purchase from: Evernight Publishing

Sarah Thompson knows what it's like to have a midlife crisis at twenty nine.  She has spent the last several years running her own yoga studio and trying to survive being single in a small gossipy town. And if that were not enough, she decides it is the perfect time to go back to school. So you see, Sarah's world was already spinning when she learns that her hunky professor has teeth … as in Vampire teeth!
This undead hero, aka Charles Underwood, introduces her to a fantastic world filled with good and evil. It is a world where Sarah learns that she is a Watcher. Her birthmark foretells a prophecy that throws her into the middle of a magical conflict where battle lines have already been drawn. Does Sarah trust this new found hero or is she just a pawn in his plans to win the war?

The Last Watcher is a little slow and sometimes drags along. Although the story was interesting enough to keep me reading to the end. There are a few spelling mistakes and a couple of sentences where the narrative switched to first person and I had to change it in my head to keep reading. I really liked the idea of the story, and think it maybe could have been carried out a little better, but as a shorter story at 94 pages it was okay. 

Sarah is Native American and is coming into powers she knows nothing about, when she meets Charles Underwood, her sexy professor. She gets thrown into an unbelievable new world and has to deal with her role in this new life. Sarah was a spunky character, and I did like her. She was independent and liked to do things her own way. Charles is a vampire and vows to protect her. He’s the leader of a faction that doesn’t believe in their Councils pandering to the enemy. Charles is a strong character too, but I found their romance a little lacking. For me, it just didn’t sizzle like I expected or wanted it to. There is a war brewing and Sarah is pivotal to it’s success. Because the story is short, it did jump around a bit and you miss out on a lot of the action. There are a few things I also would have liked explained or just that they had a bit more back-story. 

In all the story was a little flat for me and the characters just didn't quite mesh. I can see promise in the author though and look forward to her next releases. I give it 3 out of 5.

I received this copy for review from the author.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Interview & giveaway with Anna Campbell

Hi Anna, can you give us a little run down on what your books are about?

Hi Jo-Anne! Thanks for having me as your guest today. I have to laugh. What are my books about? How long have you got? Just something general – all my books are set in the 1820s in England or Scotland. They’re intense, dramatic Regency historicals. I tend to gravitate toward gutsy women and tortured heroes and the books are pretty sexy and emotionally complex. I’d say most of my stories are various takes on Beauty and the Beast – CLAIMING THE COURTESAN, UNTOUCHED, TEMPT THE DEVIL, CAPTIVE OF SIN and MY RECKLESS SURRENDER. My sixth book, MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION, comes out in May. It’s my first Cinderella story! They’re all stand-alone stories although there’s a very loose linking between CLAIMING THE COURTESAN, TEMPT THE DEVIL and MY RECKLESS SURRENDER.

You can read about the books on my website:

Why did you choose to write historical romance?

I’ve always been in love with the drama and romance of the past. I love to be swept away into that larger-than-life world that a great historical romance offers. And hey, they wear great clothes!

If you ever have have more than one idea floating around in your head, how do you decide which idea is going to be an actual story?

Great question! Actually I tend to have one idea that will obsess me to the exclusion of all else. I’ll get the germ of a story and let it sit in the back of my brain (usually while I’m working on the current story). It’s strangely magnetic – all these elements coalesce around it while it’s stewing in the back there. Hmm, this is turning into quite a stew of mixed metaphors. Then once I’ve finished the current story, I’ve got the bones of the new one ready for a beginning.

Which out of your books do you feel was the hardest to write?

Actually I can tell you the easiest book to write – MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION seemed to come from somewhere else so that I felt I was just taking dictation for a lot of the story. That’s never happened to me before. The other books have all been really hard slog.

Do you ever think about actors when writing your characters?

I often start with a real-life model for my characters but as I write the story, the characters become individuals and the original model becomes less important. Some examples of jumping off points for characters include Daniel Day-Lewis (especially in his Last of the Mohican gear!) for CLAIMING THE COURTESAN and Bryan Ferry in the 80s for the Earl of Erith in TEMPT THE DEVIL. My heroine in MY RECKLESS SURRENDER was definitely an Ingrid Bergman type. In the story I’m currently writing, the heroine Sidonie is in the young Sophia Loren mold (lucky girl!).

Do you have to do much research for your books? If so, what is the most interesting or unusual thing you have discovered.

After writing six books set in the 1820s, I’ve got a fairly good general knowledge of the period. Often a book will cover an area where I have to delve more deeply into some particular aspect. With CAPTIVE OF SIN, my hero Gideon Trevithick works for the East India Company before he comes home to England. I had to read up a lot on Indian history to make sure I had him right although like most research, very little of it actually ends up in the story. I think the writer needs to know, though! Unusual and interesting stuff turns up all the time but something a bit uncanny happened when I was researching my first book, CLAIMING THE COURTESAN. After I’d written the first draft, I was reading a book called COURTESANS by Katie Hickman. It detailed the lives of a number of famous courtesans in the 18th and 19th centuries and one of the women, Elizabeth Armistead, was the mirror image of my Verity, even to the point of a love match marriage with her protector, a powerful man from an aristocratic family.

Are you working on any new ideas at the moment?

I’m in the middle of a gothic take on Beauty and the Beast. It’s great that it’s such a rich source of themes!

Would you consider writing another genre? If, which would it be and why?

Actually I ADORE writing historicals. I’d love to write them forever!

What do you think it is that we find so appealing about the tortured hero?

Oh, what an interesting question. I think it’s something to do with gold purified through fire. You know, he emerges at the end of the story a better, wiser and stronger person than he is at the start because he’s suffered trials and tribulations and he’s come out the other side having proven his character. I also think readers are automatically onside with a tortured hero. We all like to see someone win through against trouble.

I had never read a historical/regency romance until about a year ago when my Aunt told me about her favourite authors Rosemary Rodgers and Kathleen Woodiwiss. Do you have a favourite romance author?

Jo-Anne, you’ve got so many wonderful books ahead of you! Picking one favourite would be impossible. Try Liz Carlyle or Loretta Chase or Laura Kinsale or Madeline Hunter or Christine Wells. A couple of favourite books from last year are Emily May’s THE UNMASKING OF A LADY and Miranda Neville’s THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT.

Do you get many requests from friends/fans for their own brooding, tortured hero? Because, you know, I'd like one......

Haha! Yeah, lots of people seem to want to take the heroes home. They all have their particular fans but I'd say the two who particularly hit the spot with readers were Gideon from CAPTIVE OF SIN and Matthew from UNTOUCHED.  

Always a voracious reader, ANNA CAMPBELL decided when she was a child that she wanted to be a writer. Once she discovered the wonderful world of romance novels, she knew exactly what she wanted to write. Anna has won numerous awards for her Avon historical romances includingRomantic Times Reviewers Choice, the Booksellers Best, the Golden Quill, the Heart of Excellence, the Aspen Gold and the Australian Romance Readers Association's most popular historical romance (twice). Her books have twice been nominated for Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA Award and twice for Australia's Romantic Book of the Year.

When she's not writing passionate, intense stories featuring gorgeous Regency heroes and the women who are their destiny, Anna loves to travel, especially in the United Kingdom, and listen to all kinds of music. She lives near the sea on the east coast of Australia, where she's losing her battle with an overgrown subtropical garden.

To win a signed copy of MY RECKLESS SURRENDER, just answer this question from Anna:
What is your favorite Regency historical?
Don't forget to leave you email. Giveaway is international & ends 11th March.