"If you are looking for a series that keeps you on the edge, wondering what will happen next, wondering how an author created a jaw-dropping, heart-stopping book. Then look no further. Genie has created that with this series." --Bunnies Review

Friday, August 31, 2012

PICTURE PERFECT IS FREE!

The first book of my Legacy Series, PICTURE PERFECT LEGACY, is free exclusively on the Amazon Kindle Select program on August 31, September 1 & 2!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

PLEASE WELCOME LYNDA AICHER!

BIO

Lynda Aicher has always loved to read. It’s a simple fact that has been true since she discovered the words of Judy Blume at the age of ten. After years of weekly travel as a consultant implementing computer software into global companies, she ended her nomadic lifestyle to raise her two children. Now, her imagination is her only limitation on where she can go, and her writing lets her escape from the daily duties of being a mom, wife, chauffeur, scheduler, cook, teacher, volunteer, cleaner and mediator. If writing wasn’t a priority, it wouldn’t get done.

INTERVIEW


What is the name of your series of books? How many books are in the series? 
The series is called Energen. The first book was released in February and the second one is available September 11th.  There are currently six books planned for this series.

What's the genre/subgenre of your series? 

It’s a paranormal romance series with shape-shifting dragons and apocalyptic themes.

What is the premise your series? What ties it together? Are the characters related, have the same career, live in the same town, etc.?

It’s the Chinese Year of the Dragon and the stories are all connected through both characters and the series of events that take place over the year that lead to the coming apocalypse--the time when the veil will be lifted on the hidden battle that has raged over the earth’s energy since life began.

Why write a series? What are the pros and cons?
The main reason I wanted to write a series is because I love to read series. I love digging into worlds and characters and seeing where the stories go. As a reader, I just want more.

As a writer, it’s darn hard writing a series. In some aspects it’s nice that you have an established world and characters that you can keep writing and building from. The down side of that is you have to keep that world interesting and cohesive. Details become even more important because readers remember and they’ll call you on it if you mess something up. I have huge files on characters, world facts, who’s in what book, etc. The bigger your world and the longer your series is, the more facts you have to track.

What's your next project? Is there another series in your writing future? 
Yes, there is another series in my life. I’m currently working on the third book in my erotic romance series for Carina Press. The first book in that series, Bonds of Trust, will be out in November with the next two books coming in March and July of 2013.

This series really digs into the emotional side of BDSM and the struggle that people can go through in accepting that their needs fall outside of the social norm. The books are hot, don’t get me wrong. But they’re about more than just the gymnastics associated with this genre. They’re love stories and you can’t have a good love story without emotion.

I think I’m a series junky. <grin> I can’t seem to write single stories. When I sit down to plot, I always end up with these big worlds that have room to grow.

Any contests or giveaways related to this blog post or that you are running?
I’ll be giving away an ebook of The Dragon Stirs and an ARC of Stone of Ascension to one lucky commenter today.

EXCERPT: Stone of Ascension


Amber closed her eyes, leaned her forehead on the cold wood of the door and inhaled the comforting scents of wood polish and age that assailed her upon entering the backdoor of the antique shop. The smells were a part of her life and brought with them simplicity and routine.

But no matter how safe she felt at that moment, it was time she stopped ignoring events and looked at them for what they were. Related or not, there were too many things piling up for her to continue in her blissful haze of self-denial.

Something was happening.

She might have felt excluded from her tribe for most of her life, but that hadn’t stopped the Native American beliefs from becoming ingrained within her. There was more at play in this world than what could be seen. Joseph and his mystical knowledge of events was proof of that.

Good or bad, it was time Amber prepared herself for whatever was to come. She needed all the facts to do that, and she was certain her aunt had them or at least knew who did.

Acceptance was the first step in moving forward. So forward she would go--just as soon as she could move. A small, mirthless laugh puffed from her chest at the contradiction. Having the will did not bring with it the courage.

Right. She licked her lips, straightened her back and exhaled. Despite the whacked-out events around her, she still needed to open the shop and take care of the responsibilities of the day.

Never ask why, always ask what. Her aunt’s mantra echoed through her thoughts almost as if Aunt Bev stood behind her and whispered the words in her ear. A shudder snaked down Amber’s spine, enticing her to call out. “Aunt Bev, you here?”

Silence. She was still alone.

Amber pushed away from the door and moved down the short hallway to the small office, removing her winter outerwear and hanging her coat on the hooks lining the wall. Rubbing her hands together, she moved to the thermostat and nudged the heat up a tad. Her aunt would probably have a small cow at the extra two degrees of warmth, but to heck with it. Bravery came in small steps, and she would consider this her first one.

She flicked on the light and turned toward the desk to grab the front door keys. Shock froze her in place, comprehension registering as her mind processed the state of the office. It was destroyed. The usually ordered space was now a jumbled mess of tossed papers, broken objects and emptied file drawers. Even the safe had been pried open, the contents emptied onto the floor. Clearly ransacked by someone in a hunt for what?

Panic followed quickly on the heels of the numbed shock. Pinpricks of needles shimmered over her skin, igniting her heart rate and engulfing her in a cold, damp sweat. Her mouth was suddenly parched as her brain fuzzed to one, and only one, thought.

The stone.

Amber tore from the office, careening into the shop, heedless to any danger that might still remain. All thoughts of personal safety, of calling the cops or exiting the building were obliterated by the overriding need to get to the stone.

To ensure its safety and hold it so no one else would ever get it.

Some small part of her brain recognized the insanity of her actions and thoughts. But it wasn’t enough to stop her. Driven by a craze that defied explanation, Amber barreled through the disaster field of the shop. Heedless of the broken glass, blocked aisles or shattered objects that littered her path. Her only thought was to find the stone.

Insane.

She reached the back corner where the sewing trunk sat overturned and open, the top tray tossed to the side, the antique quilts tumbling from the depths. Dropping to her knees, she dove into the contents. Her fingernails scraped over the hard wood of the trunk, her knuckles banging against the sides in her frantic search for her hidden box.

It had to be there.

She couldn’t process the overriding need that assailed her. The bird mark burned, and sweat beaded on her forehead and raced in rivulets down her chest.

The box wasn’t there. No. It had to be there. It couldn’t be gone. It was hers. She was unwilling to accept defeat. Not that fast.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

PLEASE WELCOME SUZETTE HOLLINGSWORTH!


AUTHOR BIO:
Suzette Hollingsworth grew up in Wyoming and Texas, went to school in Tennessee (Sewanee), lived in Europe two summers, and now resides in beautiful Washington state with her cartoonist husband, four cats, and a dachsie named “Tinkerbelle.” She collaborates on a web-comic with her husband, www.startingfromscratchcomic.com, which has a strange correlation to their life!  (And which has readers in sixty countries.) It’s the story of how financial misfortune transformed their lives.

Suzette’s hobbies are playing the flute and traveling with her husband.  Her favorite music is opera, Little Richard, and bluegrass. She loves tropical vacations and snorkeling: she freely admits that the closer she gets to the equator, the happier she is. She also admits to being a little bit country and a little bit rock-n-roll with a passion for all things Jane Austen. She also loves her Seattle gal pals and Girls’ Beach Parties with her high school graduating class.

INTERVIEW:

What is the name of your series of books? How many books are in the series?
The Daughters of the Empire series, 3 novels

What's the genre/subgenre of your series?
Historical Romance. The best descriptor of the series is “If Jane Austen and Robert Downey Jr. met on the African Queen type of historical romance.”

What is the premise of your series? What ties it together? Are the characters related, have the same career, live in the same town, etc.?
The daughter of each union is the heroine of the sequel novel, encountering along the way a British officer in Egypt (Victorian times), a Spanish prince in Madrid (1902), and a World War II spy in Italy.

Why write a series? What are the pros and cons?
I understand that there are marketing advantages to writing a series, but that’s not why I wrote it. I wrote it because I have a story to tell and it has me in its grip: I couldn’t do anything else. In fact, I would like to carry the Daughters of the Empire series to its natural conclusion and have a futuristic female president.

What's your next project? Is there another series in your writing future?
YES, as a matter of fact! My current project is a young Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in their early thirties with Mrs. Hudson’s niece the love interest. In the first novella, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Sword Princess, seventeen-year-old Mirabella Hudson, hired as a laboratory assistant for Sherlock Holmes, learns that the Great Detective has more in store for her than washing jars, labeling specimens, and indexing criminal fingerprints.

Sherlock Holmes is a great, fun hero to write because he is liked from the get-go despite being a pompous ass (or perhaps because of it!) something which might result in an unsympathetic hero in another narrative. Holmes also lends himself well to Steampunk, blending the “Age of Invention” with something old-fashioned, elegant, and slower-paced. It seems to be a perfect fit for my writer’s voice which involves complex plots and is elegant and witty.

Any contests or giveaways related to this blog post or that you are running?
Yes, I will give away a free book in the Daughters of the Empire series (Kindle, Nook or .pdf version) winner’s choice:
THE PARADOX:  The Soldier and the Mystic
A closet Victorian psychic’s abilities are the key to a British officer’s future, the reason why he can't marry her, and the destruction of her dreams.
THE SERENADE:  The Prince and the Siren
It's the clash of the TITAN EGOS between the crown prince of Spain and a Parisian diva opera singer whose suppressed terrifying secrets unexpectedly escape to the surface when she sings.
THE CONSPIRACY:  The Contessa and the Cartoonist
A World War II spy/Contessa crosses swords quite literally with a dashing British political cartoonist who threatens to blow her cover.

Any other information you would like to add?
I think this is a great time for writers and a great time to write your series.  I believe in writing the story which has always fascinated you--intrigue is contagious!

EXCERPT:

THE SERENADE:  The Prince and the Siren
By Suzette Hollingsworth

Love is a rebellious bird that no one can tame…
--Georges Bizet, Carmen

Paris Opera House, 1903

Oh, for goodness’ sake, who is he and why is approaching me? It was little more than twenty minutes until curtain. Until her life changed forever, until all of her hard work culminated in one perfect moment, until…

She smiled at her own excitement. It was all deliciously true, and there could be no further delays before proceeding backstage. Although she was in full costume, her heavy makeup had not yet been applied.

Nicolette glanced his way, his exquisitely elegant dress catching her interest. Definitely wealthy, or dressed the part if not. For a moment her curiosity overcame her ire. Even in a sea of seemingly identical evening wear, he stood apart.

His dark hair waved over his ears from underneath a black silk top hat, and his dark-brown eyes were…inviting. There was a regal, stiff formality about him.

And he has the most engaging smile I ever beheld. Combine that with the heat in his eyes and…

What am I thinking? I need to leave--now. She admonished herself to hasten out of the Grand Foyer without looking back. And something about him…

This isn’t like me. Especially tonight.

He had the look of a notorious flirt. Dangerously virile. She never succumbed to any courtship by the extremely rich or notoriously handsome and most assuredly not both! They had everything, and nothing pleased them.

Why am I speculating on this man I don’t know? He is nothing to me, and this is the singular most important night of my life.

As he grew closer, Nicolette observed the unmistakable look of desire in his eyes. Well, she certainly was not going to be next on this dark lord’s discard list.

Inexcusable! I allowed him to reach me. No doubt due to the fact that his gait contained much more energy than the elderly bow he was now executing as if he were suffering from gout, despite having the superb physique of a sportsman.

“Mademoiselle, may I beg your acquaintance?” His smile was dazzling. It surprised her that he exerted the effort.

“You may. If it pleases you.” She barely nodded, but she kept her eyes glued to his face, growing increasingly annoyed with his effrontery. She was no man’s student, nor did she wish to engage in any game and call it love. He had best look elsewhere. Love must be love and nothing else. Like music, love must be pure and rich and encompass everything. It must swallow one whole.

Why am I concerning myself with him? Nicolette raised her chin, her forced expression cordial, she was sure, but her mood anything but.

The elegant gentleman appeared startled at her dismissal. Something told her he was not accustomed to begging--or even asking. He would soon gain an education in manners. Why the fact that she was not at all impressed by him should momentarily stun him, Nicolette did not know, but it appeared to be a new experience for him. True, he was exquisite and wealthy, but this did not preclude rejection.

“I would prefer to please you, Mademoiselle,” he remarked slowly, his tone both tempting and bewitching, as if he were wavering between commanding and placating. “And how might that be accomplished?”

Suddenly a little man appeared out of nowhere, clearly intending to announce the gentleman’s presence--how outmoded! She smiled in spite of herself. He displayed a practiced arrogance that implied the announcement was generally not needed but that she, in her unrefined foolishness, required it.

She returned her eyes to the elegant gentleman who had cleared his throat, an apparent signal to her to answer him. She happily obliged him. “That is not information which should be necessary for me to reveal. One who was truly interested would discern it.”

The page observed her lack of deference with an unconcealed desire to correct it as he hovered beside her polished intruder in overt dismay, his moustache bobbing.

This delighted Nicolette all the more.

“Mademoiselle, have I offended you? The very idea pains me. Let us take the first step toward reconciliation and actually meet. It is the greatest wish of my heart.”

Those residing in hell wish for a glass of water, but I should not expect them to get it. She lowered her eyes in an effort to hide her mirth. “And mine, I assure you.”

“Your servant, Mademoiselle.” His manner was polite, but his positioning prevented her from advancing. He reached for her hand to kiss it in a gesture of introduction.

She denied her hand. Simply because she was an opera singer did not mean that she owed men an audience or free access to her body.

He was clearly astonished that she refused him her hand, his practiced demeanor suddenly stupefied. Much to her amusement, this was far more than his companion, the perfumed bull, could endure. The attendant grew red in the face and rushed forward, sputtering, “The crown prince of Spain, Alejandro de Bonif├ício, wishes to make your acquaintance, Mademoiselle.”

Oh, my. This is a most distressing development.

So she had refused to grant the prince of Spain his every wish, had she? Well, not the best thing to do, she supposed, but he couldn’t expect her to know who was demanding her hand.

Why am I still here? The first bell sounded, indicating that patrons should exit the Grand Foyer for their seats. I am Cinderella, and the clock is striking twelve, and still I stand here, staring…

“Are you a lover of music, Your Highness?” she asked, watching for his reaction. He had a pleasing manner now that she observed him more closely.

“I am a devoted patron, Mademoiselle.” He cleared his throat awkwardly. “But I must admit that I prefer the classics both in art and music.”

“The classics?”

“I do not actually understand the new music. Puccini and Verdi are much too modern for me. Forgive me if they are a particular favorite of yours.”

“Very much so.” She giggled.  “And who is your favorite Spanish soprano, if I may ask?”

“I favor the days when men sang all the parts. I admit I am old-fashioned but do not like to see our women on the stage.”

“Oh?” she asked coolly. “And why is that, Your Highness?”

“I would think it would be obvious, Mademoiselle. And, please, call me Prince Alejandro.”

“You consider it degrading for women to be on the stage, Your Highness?” she persisted.

“That is the general view of things. And how could it be otherwise? Women should be cherished, protected, and revered. How can that be the case when they are flaunting themselves on the stage?”

“I beg you will excuse me, Your Highness.” She forced a smile before turning to leave, surprised at the magnitude of her disappointment in this man.

How could she have imagined any other outcome? Why had she wasted her precious time with him? She wanted to kick herself. “I am much honored to make your acquaintance, but I, unfortunately, have a pressing engagement.”

“Mademoiselle, please. When shall I see you again?” he asked, his voice desperate. Clearly he was unaccustomed to being refused information and did not know how to navigate this situation.

“Oh, I should think very soon indeed.” Unless I don’t make haste. She could not resist turning to gaze upon him one last time.

“But I don’t even have your name,” he commanded, his voice now edged with angst.

“You will, Your Highness.” She bestowed a parting glance upon him before turning and gliding quickly across the Grand Foyer, smiling to herself. “You will.”


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TUESDAY TRIVIA

Q. What are the names of Beth's parents?

A. The answer is contained in this excerpt from LIVING THE LEGACY.**



"Mom? Dad? Are you here?" Beth hitched her borrowed backpack containing one change of clothing higher on her shoulder as she entered her parents' house. One of her next tasks would be buying new clothes, since hers were destroyed in the explosions that reduced her house in Halo to scrap wood.

The return to her parents' home wasn't triggered by pleasant circumstances, yet Beth felt the same welcome that always surrounded her in this storybook house. A pleasant cottage with two bedrooms upstairs and two down. Throughout her growing up years, Beth's parents had shared one of the upstairs bedrooms, while Beth occupied the other one. The downstairs rooms had been used for occasional guests and hobbies.

However, today Natalie Boulanger called out to Beth from downstairs. "We're here, darling. In the sitting room."

Beth walked toward the back of the house, and her mother met her partway with a hug. "I was so worried when I heard about the explosions. Thank heavens you're safe. Go say hello to your father while I get iced tea for us."

Howard Boulanger slowly rose from a recliner when Beth entered the room. What had once been a space for her mother's recipe books and decorating supplies had recently been remodeled with wide double doors leading onto a deck overlooking their back yard.

"Hi, Daddy." As she hugged her father, Beth noticed his shoulders weren't as broad and straight as when he used to give her piggyback rides, and his thinning hair barely covered the shiny dome of his head. When had her father become old?


**Excerpt from LIVING THE LEGACY, copyright Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel.

Monday, August 20, 2012

EASY ONLINE SCAVENGER HUNT!


EASY ONLINE SCAVENGER HUNT!
August 20-24, 2012

This week I'm participating with 100 other authors of Erotic Romance, Non-Erotic Romance, YA/Middle Grade, SFF and Mystery/Suspense in an easy online scavenger hunt!

Simply visit the Web sites or blogs of listed at <http://www.longandshortreviews.com/promo.htm>, look for the hidden graphic, then  fill out a form with the URL where you found it. Every correct entry gets you a chance to win a $100 Amazon/BN GC!  Will also award several $5 GCs to randomly drawn winners.

HOPE YOU JOIN THE FUN!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

TUESDAY TRIVIA

Q. What caught fire in Beth's restaurant that Collin replaced?

A. EVOTS (spelled backwards)

Monday, August 13, 2012

I'M CHATTING ONLINE TODAY!


CHAT WITH ME ONLINE! On Monday, August 13, at 5pm Pacific Time, I'll be chatting online with three other author friends. Please join us <http://www.nightowlreviews.com/nor/Pages/Chat.aspx> as we talk about our books, our writing journeys, and anything else that comes up!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A CHILL AT THE REOPENING OF THE BLUE MOON CAFE

**Beth surveyed the perfectly laid out buffet, and her helpers standing at each end ready to greet guests for the grand reopening of the Blue Moon Cafe...

"I'm going to fetch more butter from the walk-in refrigerator."

As she stepped inside the room-sized cooler, the door swung shut and latched behind her. Beth spun to look behind her. That's odd. We always have to push the door closed when we go out.

With a shrug, Beth lifted the butter off the shelf and walked to the door. When she pushed the release handle, the door didn't budge. A flicker of concern flashed through her, though she quickly dismissed it as silly. 

However, when she pushed at the door again, it still didn't open.

A shiver inched up her spine, and not just from the almost freezing temperature in the walk-in. Instinctively, one of her arms cradled her belly. Her pregnancy had been so healthy. She didn't want to catch a chill and endanger her child. 

She jiggled the release handle and leaned against the door. There had never been a problem with the door sticking. She shivered again and leaned all of her weight against the heavy door. 


**Excerpt from LIVING THE LEGACY, copyright Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I'M AT THE TRS RELEASE PARTY TODAY!


LIVING THE LEGACY...
A jaded police sniper cherishes the innocence of a small town woman. 
But what she doesn't know could get them both killed.



All day Thursday, August 9, I'll be at the TRS release party http://trsparties.com with over 15 other authors. Please join me for a chance to win free e-books and gift cards!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

TODAY I'M BLOGGING AT...

Today I'm at the Mid-Willamette Valley Romance Writer's blog <http://mwvrwa.blogspot.com/> talking about trying to turn off my writer's mind...