Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Unwrapped Cover Reveal

I'm so exited to reveal this cover today, not only because I love it so much (it's the same designer who did Speak Easy and Speak Low!) but because it's the first official collaboration between me and my five dearest writing friends.

We each provided a short story for this book, so you're getting six novellas PLUS the hot little story we co-wrote last summer, The Boy Next Door. The stories in Unwrapped are a little of everything but a whole lot of sexy and fun. 

What's my contribution about? Well, it's called Three to Tango, and it's about a shy, romance novel-obsessed girl named Caroline who learns to channel her inner smut goddess after a sexy tango lesson with Nicolas, a hot foreign instructor--and his gorgeous partner, Valentina.

More about that later! For now...

A New Adult Romance
Six different novellas
by the NAturals

Laurelin Paige, Gennifer Albin, Melanie Harlow, 
Sierra Simone, Kayti McGee Downey, and Tamara Mataya

Release: December 23, 2013

Cover designed by Tom Barnes Design

Six romance authors present six very different novellas in this anthology of new stories: Ménage a tango lessons. A bride DYING to say, 'I don't.' A horny college boy at a purity rally. Time-traveling graduate students meet Victorian playboys. A rugby player who's as dirty off the field as on. And kissing under the mistletoe with a Scottish exchange student. Something for everyone, the NAturals present sweet, funny, and erotic tales of new adults meant to be Unwrapped all year long and not just at Christmas.  photo goodreads-badge-add-38px11_zps1ae6e47f.jpg   About the Authors Laurelin Paige, Gennifer Albin, Melanie Harlow, Sierra Simone, Kayti McGee Downey, and Tamara Mataya are the six authors who blog for TheNaturalAuthors.blogspot.com. They each write romance and adore pushing the boundaries of the genre. Above all, they love reading smut, looking at pictures of hot men, and making up names for the band they’re always talking about forming. Blog | Facebook | Twitter  
 photo AToMRToursC66a-A00aT03a-Z_mdm_zpsa3cc6896.jpg
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Monday, November 4, 2013

I Wanted to Hate Night Owl

I'm ashamed of myself.

On Saturday I started Night Owl, hoping it would be bad. Really bad.

You see, I had something against the author.

I didn't know the author personally. In fact, I had never even heard of M. Pierce or Night Owl. But I was aggravated by something Pierce said in a blog post about the way authors price their ebooks.

And I was fist-clenching, teeth-gritting jealous.

This was an author who came out of nowhere with a debut novel that rocketed to the top ten in the Kindle store pretty fast. Reviews of Night Owl are amazing.

I was convinced M. Pierce was a pen name for an established author or an agent. One who had connections. One who had a built-in fan base. Or maybe a Big Name to blurb the book. In other words, M. Pierce wasn't starting at the bottom, like me.

So I got the free sample on Kindle (yes, I'm cheap) and started reading, hoping that the writing would be bad, the editing shoddy, the smut recycled from every other alpha male book out there right now. Then, I reasoned, I would not feel so bad that I do not sell a million books a day. Because at least I know how to use punctuation.

I poured a glass of wine, gave a final harrumph, and started to read.

Two pages in, I was hooked. And furious.

How DARE Night Owl be so fucking good? How DARE M. Pierce write so well? How DARE the characters be so interesting, the setup so intriguing, the smut so hot?

Take that, Night Owl!

I bought the book (99 cents on Amazon) and poured more wine.

As I read on, I was even more convinced that M. Pierce was a fake name for a big author who wanted to write erotica anonymously. The writing was too confident, too sharp, too unapologetic. Cocky, even--but in a good way. No fumbling, frilly prose or shifts in verb tense. No misuse of apostrophes. No excessive dialog tags choking the characters' conversations.

I. Was. So. Mad.

The next morning, I stalked M. Pierce's blog like a hawk, determined to figure out if he or she was really Stephen King. (Not gonna lie, that's really what I thought.)

Imagine my surprise to discover it's really just a fantastic, hard-working writer who wrote a good book that took off. And that M. Pierce is funny, honest, self-deprecating, and generous with advice to other indie authors.

Damn, that's annoying.

I felt horrible. And guilty. So I wrote Pierce an email saying how much I was enjoying Night Owl and admitting that I'd hoped it wouldn't be as good as everyone said it was. I even confessed my stalkerish behavior.

And then, AND THEN, to make me feel even worse, I get an awesome email back, and we've since struck up a nice conversation about writing and publishing and other random things.

I can't wait to finish Night Owl, and if you like well-written erotic romance, I urge you to pick it up--you'll love the fresh twists on the genre, and the sexytimes are just as hot as anything I've read. Matt, one of the two main characters, is completely under my skin today. He's actually not all that likable in many ways, and it's a credit to Pierce that I kind of can't get enough of him.

I wanted to dislike the author and the book. Serves me right that they are both amazing.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Masked Love by Nicole Zoltack

Today I'm chatting with my friend Nicole Zoltack, whose holiday-themed historical romance Masked Love released this week. Cheers to historical!!

Title: Masked Love
Author: Nicole Zoltack
Genre: Holiday/Christmas Regency Novella
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Publication Date: November 1, 2013
Formats: eBook (mobi and ePub)

Book Description...
Isabelle is content being a maid, and will do anything for her lady, even accompany her to a masquerade ball. Lady Theodosia needs extra support and encouragement on this night, for tomorrow she will meet the man her parents have pledged her to.
Isabelle has never had occasion to attend such an event, and is at first ill at ease. But meeting an enchanting young man during the course of the evening makes her wish for a life she can never have. Thinking she will never see him again, she returns his flirtation and even reveals her face. Imagine her shock when he shows up the next morning, announcing his claim on Lady Thedosia.
Isabelle does all she can to avoid Lord Adrian Wingave, but then he not only sees her, he recognizes her. To make matters worse, Isabelle fears her feelings are not one-sided. Torn between duty and desire, Isabelle hopes for something more this Christmas.

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1) Nicole, what inspired you to write Masked Love?
I've always thought of Christmas as a magical time, just perfect for falling in love. I'd been wanting to write a Christmas romance for awhile. I had just finished writing a steampunk romance (which is in the middle of a rewrite) and that was my first venture into the Victorian era. I decided I wanted to try yet another time period, since I love research, and picked Regency. From there, I added a masquerade ball and I was off to the keyboard.

2) Do you have a Masked Love playlist? If Isabelle and Lord Adrian had a song, what would it be?
Since I wrote Masked Love not even close to the Christmas season, I actually listen to a lot of Christmas music to get me into the mood. Hark the Harold Angles Sing, Here We Go A-Wassailing, and the like.
Isabelle and Lord Adrian's song would be "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz. The beginning is fitting for their first meeting: When I look into your eyes, it's like watching the night sky or a beautiful sunrise.
And the chorus for the rest of the story: Well, I won't give up on us even if the skies get rough. I'm giving you all my love. I'm still looking up.
*sigh* Such a good song!

3) What do you like best about setting books during the Regency period? What other historical periods intrigue you?
This is my first Regency and it definitely won't be my last. I enjoy this time period because of how different it is from today. It's more strict and rigid and the division between the different classes makes for plenty of conflict between characters. So many sources of drama and tension exist within the Regency era and makes for perfect story fodder.
I've written a lot of medieval-inspired fantasy romances. I've always been fascinated with the idea of knights and chivalry and love. I already mentioned the Victorian era with my steampunk WIP. I'm not opposed to trying a different time period either. Who knows what I'll try next?

4) Who did you envision as you wrote Isabelle and Lord Adrian? 
Henry Cavill with green eyes a la Tudors would be a perfect Lord Adrian. Yum! As for Isabelle, she looks like Jaimie Alexander, but with brown eyes. Very good-looking couple! ;)

Love me some Henry Cavill! (OK, she's beautiful too.)

Thanks, Nicole!



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