Readers, as you know by now a bunch of us went to the RWA conference in San Diego last week. First stop was the multi-author signing, which benefits literacy programs. Here we are together.
I also got a shot of Theresa signing and my signing buddy Tina Gabrielle took one of me.
The signing had a few interesting characters too. This guy was promoting his wife’s book. What a great husband. It was hot in the ballroom.
Theresa, Kristan, and I met up again at the Rita awards reception. Theresa and I were celebrating, an Kristan took this shot of us in sunny San Diego.
We didn’t just drink and schmooze. We went to workshops and we discussed issues affecting our world. Julia Quinn was taking pictures of authors for the #whatireallyreallywant campaign.
And then it was time for the Rita awards. I can’t even explain how surreal it is to see your photo, name, and book on the big screen.
Neither Theresa or I won, but we sure had a fun night.
What do you really, really want? I have a bag of assorted books to send to one reader who comments. (Winner chosen randomly, announced Sunday, and contacted Sunday).
The Jaunty Quills are excited to welcome Lark Brennan, author of two fabulous (I know because I’ve read them!) paranormal romantic suspense novels—Dangerously Yours and Irresistible Yours.
Keep reading to find out how to win copies of both of these books.
Shana: Welcome, Lark! Tell us about Dangerously Yours and Irresistibly Yours.
Lark Brennan: Dangerously Yours is the first book of the Durand Chronicles and Irresistibly Yours is the second. The series is about the Durands, a rich, powerful, famous and psychic family whose extraordinary abilities are genetic, enhanced by training and the power beneath their ancient home in Paris.
In Dangerously Yours, Lex Durand—a marine biologist and animal telepath—blackmails genius-on-the-lam Bodie Flynn to help her find whales who have vanished off the British Virgin Islands. Although each has their own agenda, they soon discover the whales were just a test and there’s a much more deadly threat in the Caribbean that only they can stop. There’s lots of action, dolphins gone crazy, a seaplane called Silverbelle, a powerful enemy, and, of course, a sizzling romance.
Adrien Durand, head of the Durand family and one of the most powerful telepaths in the world, is the hero of Irresistibly Yours. After years of action and intrigue, he’s forced to return to Paris to take over the family’s international business empire and to guard the Source of their power as only he can. When Tate shows up in his establishment, he doesn’t know if she’s a “wild” talent or a spy sent by his enemies. And when he touches her, there’s a psychic connection he doesn’t want and can’t break.
Tate has always hidden her telepathic abilities and kept to herself, until the chance to visit Paris on business throws her into Adrien’s glamourous and dangerous world. Forced to accept his protection, she discovers she’s not the only person with psychic abilities and for the first time feels accepted.
Adrien’s life begins to unravel when an unknown enemy targets Tate, and threatens his family and his freedom. Just as it seems Adrien and Tate might have a chance for a future together, the danger gets up close and personal—and deadly.
Shana: Where did you get the ideas for these books? The concept is so clever and fresh.
Lark Brennan: The idea for the Durands started with Adrien.
I was in Paris with my husband when we discovered Deyrolle, a wonderful townhouse filled with whimsically staged taxidermy animals—lions, tigers, horse, zebras, goats, rabbits, almost anything you can think of even parakeets.
I knew I should be grossed out, but I wasn’t at all. It felt as though someone loved them. I said to my husband, “Wouldn’t it be cool if whoever owned this place could bring the animals to life and they just froze in place when visitors arrived?”
That man became Adrien Durand. Although the story could have gone comedic like Night at the Museum meets Dr. Doolittle, the “animals” are much more than that– they are a key to who the Durand are and where they get their psychic power.
For Dangerously Yours I drew on my seven years diving and sailing in the Virgin Islands. Lex is a modern female Jacques Cousteau with the ability to communicate with the whales and dolphins she studies. It was a lot of fun revisiting that life—this time with Lex’s money, seaplane and really fun abilities!
Shana: You’re quite the world traveler. Where’s your favorite place to travel?
Lark Brennan: I love France and would move there in a heartbeat if I could. We often rent an apartment in Paris near Deyrolle and pretend we’re locals. I also love the South of France and the Bordeaux area. Life is so lovely there—the food, wine, countryside and, yes, the people. We’ve made a lot of French friends over the years and always feel welcome.
Readers, now it’s your turn. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? One reader who comments will be randomly chosen to win copies of both Dangerously Yours and Irresistible Yours—any format for a US winner or e-book for international.
**Winner announced and contacted Sunday. Winner chosen randomly.
Last year my friends Theresa Romain, Vanessa Kelly, Kate Noble, and I got together to write an anthology. We’d never worked together before, but we enjoyed each other’s books and thought our writing styles complemented each other. The great thing was that our personalities clicked too. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to work with these ladies. Even when we aren’t working on a project together, we like to email back and forth and keep in touch.
It’s been extra exciting to keep in touch lately because Theresa, Kate, and I are each releasing our novellas separately this summer, while Vanessa’s will be released in the fall. Theresa’s novella, Those Autumn Nights, came out on Tuesday. I love the cover, and it’s kind of cool to see Theresa’s vision for her story.
My own novella, The Summer of Wine and Scandal, releases singly next week on June 29. Here’s my cover.
I hope it looks suitably summery. Funny story about this novella. I didn’t have an idea for the plot. The anthology follows the village of Hemshawe and the Gage family through all four seasons of the year. My season was summer. So I thought about what I liked about summer. On those sultry nights, I do like to settle back with a good book and a chilled glass of wine. And what goes with wine (besides books—but then everything goes with books!)?
Scandal, of course.
So the title became The Summer of Wine and Scandal, and the plot evolved from the title. In the story, Peregrine Lochley is a wine connoisseur who gets roped into judging the wine at the local fair. There are just two problems. First of all, he has a distinct dislike for British wines. Secondly, the woman he’s falling for is part of a family who makes wine.
There’s scandal in the story too. Caroline Martin has a dark secret. She can hardly forgive herself for her mistakes much less expect anyone else to.
The novella is up for pre-order now, and it’s only 99 cents through the July 4th holiday. Theresa’s novella is only 99 cents as well. If you’re looking for a quick read while you’re at the pool or on a plane to that sunny beach, grab your copy.
I think I’ve blogged before about running. I’ve done a number of races, most recently a half marathon, which was on top of a 10K, so I earned my 19.3 badge. I like to do things fast, and that includes moving, writing, cooking (I don’t recommend this), and occasionally driving (if my daughter isn’t in the car).
But last year my family fostered a two-year-old dachshund/pug mix for a week, and that week turned into forever. Princess Galen named her Sparkles, but I shortened it to Sparky. So this was supposed to be Princess Galen’s dog, but all of you moms know how that goes. I ended up being the one walking the pup at 6 in the morning and 9 a night. Sparky had some medical issues when we first got her, so she didn’t walk very well, and when she ran, she ran on three legs. She’s since had surgery and does much better. She’s pretty fast when she has some extra energy to burn. But for a long time, Sparky liked to walk slowly and sniff. Everything. Really well.
Initially all the starting and stopping and the moseying along really annoyed me. I would talk to Sparky as we walked. “Come on! Let’s go, Sparky. You’ve smelled that tree three times already. Yep. That’s a leaf. And that’s a rock. Let’s walk!”
But gradually I started to enjoy the slower pace of the walks. I noticed changes in the flowers blooming or the presence of tadpoles in large puddles. I spotted birds’ nests and squirrel nests and met other dogs and their owners. I also started making use of my time. When I walked, I would think about the book I was working on and plot the next scene.
I’m not a plotter, and I’m perfectly happy with my process, but my writing does go faster (there I am, going fast again!) when I have an idea what I’m writing about that day. Strangely enough, my slow walking has made my writing faster!
I guess its true what they say about stopping and smelling the roses (or the leaves or the rock or the grass). We need to slow down and take our time some days.
How do you slow down and take your time?
The winners of the digital copies of Earls Just Want to Have Fun and The Rogue You Know are Beth B and Amy. Check your inboxes for an email from me!