My first contract!

I finally sold a book! My editor at The Wild Rose Press, Karen Welwyn, recently offered me a contract for Full Disclosure (formerly Type Dirty To Me) my Scarlet Miniature Rose. We're just beginning edits, so it will be awhile before it's available for purchase. Still, I've been waiting for this day a LONG time!

I'm also working on several other stories. Ideas are still spinning faster than my fingers can type, but I'm trying!

Wondering what Full Disclosure is about? Here's the blurb:

Thirty-eight-year-old divorcee Holly Burrows has had enough of battery-operated love. Prompted by an ad left on her chair at her law office, she decides to investigate a website designed to foster “adult connections” called Hunk Du Jour. Holly finds a hunk there, all right, and after weeks of sexy emails and phone calls with Kent, she's ready to test their chemistry in person. First, she has to get through lunch with her much younger colleague, Alex, a man with a brain as agile as his body. But when their lunch consultation ends with a quickie on the side of the road, she barely remembers the man she'd hoped to enjoy as dessert. All of a sudden, she's juggling two hot young guys. How to choose? And even more importantly, why do her two gorgeous cubs remind her of each other?


The winner of a signed copy of Michelle Rowen's Tall, Dark & Fangsome...

is Vanessa! Congratulations! Please email me at cari.m.quinn (at) gmail dot com with your snail mail address, which I will forward to Michelle.

Thank you all for stopping by and commenting!


Six Questions with Michelle Rowen...Part Deux

This is my second interview with Michelle, but honestly, I could probably keep asking her questions for oh, the next five years or so. ;) She's fun, witty and a great writer, AND she's got a boatload of upcoming releases that she'll be talking about with us today. Not only that, she's generously offered to give away a copy of Tall, Dark & Fangsome to a lucky commenter! In case you didn't know, T, D & F releases tomorrow, Tues. Aug. 25th, but comment for a chance to win your very own copy! Winner will be picked Tues. night.

Want to know a little more about Tall, Dark & Fangsome, the 5th and final book in Michelle's Immortality Bites series?

Immortality Bites.

Sarah Dearly’s vampire life is not all B-positive cocktails. A curse made her a nightwalker, the most vicious vamp there is; the charm she wears to curb her deadly tendencies is losing its juice; and a hunter from hell is turning up the heat. Gideon Chase will kill the ones she loves most if she doesn’t obey his orders – that includes breaking up with master vampire Thierry and turning Gideon into an immortal vamp via her bite so he can escape a doom of eternal hellfire.

Making things worse are Sarah’s growing feelings for Gideon, a bad boy who keeps showing a vulnerable side…but is it for real? Will Sarah’s dark side take over? Or can she cure herself of the nightwalker curse in time to stop Gideon and finally get the chance to live happily ever after with Thierry…forever?

Sounds delish, doesn't it? I've been following this series for two years now and still haven't come to terms with the loss of Thierry, but Michelle assures me that her demon, Darrak, in The Demon In Me will soothe my wounded spirit. I'm sure she's right. ;)

Onto the questions!

1.) Tall, Dark & Fangsome is the last book in your Immortality Bites series. (sob) Did you always envision this story wrapping up in a 5 book arc and plan it that way from the beginning? And for those of us dying to Sarah and Thierry get the happy ending we've all been waiting for?

Yep, it’s the last, I’m afraid! (sob indeed!) You know, when I first got the idea for Bitten & Smitten -- sparked from the thought of ‘what if Bridget Jones was a vampire?’ back in 2002, I figured it would be one book. Then when I finished writing it, I enjoyed the characters so much I felt it might have the legs to be a trilogy (and, in fact, mentioned this in my agent query letter). The ideas I originally jotted down for what would potentially befall my fledgling vampire were very different from what actually happened in the series. My characters had minds of their own (specifically about the love triangle in the first two books). New ideas started sparking and catching fire. However, I knew at book three that it would be a five book series and planned the last two books accordingly so all ends could be tied up as neatly as possible.

Do Sarah and Thierry get an HEA? Nice try, Cari! You’ll have to read TD&F yourself and see how it all turns out. I’m very anti-spoiler. ;)

Yes, I can admit it. I tried to trick Michelle into a spoiler. Foiled again. LOL

2.) Hot Spell, your November Harlequin Blaze, is about paranormal investigators that discover more than ghosts during their overnight in a haunted house. ;) Can you tell us a little about it, and do you have plans to write another Blaze?

I’ve always enjoyed Blazes: fun, sexy stories that seem to focus very tightly on the hero and heroine’s burgeoning relationship. My vampire series is definitely PG as far as the steamy stuff, so I wanted to test myself and see if I could write something hotter if I chose to. Turns out that I’m quite comfortable spicing things up, as long as the plot specifically calls for it.

HOT SPELL is about Amanda and Jacob, paranormal investigators at the same agency who are fairly convinced that they hate each other—despite that annoying attraction that’s always been between them. Just as Amanda’s about to quit her job and leave town, they’re partnered together on one last job—assessing a haunted house that contains an enchanted clock that, at the stroke of midnight, makes it impossible for them to resist that attraction they’ve always felt for each other. It’s an out of control desire that continues to burn long enough for them to think that maybe they haven’t just been enchanted, but cursed as well. I like curses. They seem to turn up frequently in my books. LOL

I had so much fun writing this book that I’m more than ready to write another one sometime soon. We’ll have to wait and see what the future brings!

3.) You're now working on three serieses at once. Whew! Just typing that makes me tired. For the writers among us, how do you juggle them? Do you do complicated story bibles, or are you more of a pantser?

Gosh, when you put it that way, it kinda makes me tired too! I’m lucky enough to be able to write full-time right now, and you’d be surprised how many pages you can produce if you’re not doing anything else! So that definitely helps in my multi-book production levels.

Right now I’m working on a new paranormal romance series, a YA fantasy series, and just started an urban fantasy duology. A duology is only two books. That’s hardly a series! LOL. I just have a hard time thinking of ideas that are totally standalone. My characters, more often than not, desperately want more than one book to stretch their legs.

I have a story bible for my YA series that keeps track of characters traits and locations, etc., but find that rereading the previous book will help get me back into that world. When I’m writing, I only focus on one project at a time, so I’m not really juggling everything in my head—I’m immersed in the world of my current characters.

Do I know where my series are going -- like, did I know how TALL, DARK & FANGSOME was going to end when I was writing Bitten & Smitten? Nope. I find when I write a book it often turns out differently than my original outline (I am, most certainly, NOT a pantser in this respect), and will naturally lead the way to an idea for the next book I never would have thought of beforehand. For example, when I introduced Gideon Chase, the leader of the vampire hunters, in the second book of my Immortality Bites series, I had no idea he’d play a growing role in each of the books that followed it. He was just supposed to be a distant threat—one of many Sarah has to deal with. But opportunity presented itself and I went with it because it felt right. Plus the fact he happened to be a gorgeous billionaire definitely helped. ;) I guess I’m a “trust your gut” kind of writer, which is kind of funny since that’s one of the main story themes I explore in my books.

So long story short: I carefully outline each book before I start writing, but I have no idea where the series will eventually lead down the road. That’s as scary as it is exhilarating!

4.) And one more writing question - what do you wish you'd been told before you sold your first book?

That JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer are the exceptions to the rule? Ha. No, seriously, (although that is a valid point), let me think...

You know, it’s funny, but absolutely nothing comes to mind. I’d researched the crappola out of this industry as I was aiming toward getting an agent. There weren’t a whole lot of surprises for me along the way.

I guess I can say that it was a difficult, albeit obvious realization that not everybody is going to like my books. Bad reviews happen to every author and it’s not personal, yada yada. In fact, the most popular authors have some of the worst reviews (check Amazon if you doubt that!). If 1000 people review your book, a good 100, at least, are going to hate it. This is why there are so many choices in fiction—to cover so many different tastes!

I guess a good piece of info to have going into publication is write what you love. Not just because it makes the path to publication easier on you, but because once you’re published that is what, more than likely, you’ll be expected to produce on a regular basis. Don’t write a paranormal just because it’s the hot genre if you secretly hate paranormals. Because if you get published, your editor is going to want more paranormals in a very similar vein (no pun intended). It sounds simple, but it’s not. You can very easily paint yourself into a corner time-wise writing things that you’re not totally gung-ho about—and then have zero time to focus on what you really want to write.

Luckily for me, I am writing exactly what I love, plus, because I’m fairly prolific (able to write 4 books a year without freaking out...well, much), I’ve had the opportunity to explore my darker side a bit (with my Michelle Maddox book, Countdown, and my new urban fantasy duology which will be written under another pen name) as well as keep writing the lighter books that have become my Michelle Rowen “brand.”

5.) What can we look forward to next from you? After Thierry...I mean, Tall, Dark & Fangsome, and Hot Spell, that is.

Well, I have a new paranormal series starting up next year with Berkley Sensation. It’s a romantic look at demonic possession. :) The first book is titled THE DEMON IN ME (May 2010). My heroine, a psychic who has recently inherited half-ownership in a detective agency, is possessed by a sexy demon who needs her help to break the curse he’s had for 300 years. (See? Curses rock!) Luckily, he’s able to draw on her psychic energy in order to take form during the day, but is bound to her body at night.

I’m beyond excited about this fun new series and believe that the hero, Darrak, is my favorite so far. Don’t tell the others, though. They’re very sensitive. ;)

I also have a YA series, DEMON PRINCESS, starting up this October about a sixteen-year-old girl named Nikki who finds out the father she’s never met before is a demon king from another dimension. This also has a hero to die for, Michael, but since he’s only seventeen, I won’t admit any major authorial lust for him. *whistles innocently*

6.) And just for you think they were right in not recasting Jacob for New Moon? I know you were Team Jacob in the books, but it seems as if you've crossed over to the other side for the movies. (For those that don't know, Michelle is a wee bit of a Twilight fan. ;))

A Twilight fan? Who, meee? *more innocent whistling*

Yes, I was all for replacing Taylor Lautner as Jacob in New Moon with someone older and taller and super-sexy-hot. I have since decided that Taylor is perfect for the role, he has fought like a wolf for it, and despite his baby face, has a killer bod and seems to have great chemistry with Kristen Stewart, according to the trailers which I’ve seen...oh, a few (hundred) times. However, this casting decision has forced me to officially shift to Team Edward (for the movies, anyhow), since seventeen is just...too...darn...young. Robert Pattinson is 23. Which is perfectly acceptable to me. ;)

To order Tall, Dark & Fangsome (you know you want to!)

Want more of Michelle? You can find her at

Thanks for stopping by, Michelle! And don't forget to comment for a chance to win!


Do You NaNo?

I'm referring to NaNoWriMo, of course, that yearly madness that occurs in the month of November where writers across the globe write madly to complete a 50K ms in a month. Some don't make it - I didn't last year - but you always get more words down than you would have normally, and you usually have a lot of fun. Okay, and spend a fair amount of time pulling out your hair, too. ;)

Since September is bearing down on us pretty fast, I'm thinking of how close November really is. I already know what my NaNo project will be, a Blaze I've been thinking about doing for about a year and a half. My hero survived a death by lightning strike, only to come back to life missing some of his memories - and his sex drive - and possessing some freaky new abilities. And the only woman who can bring him out of his sexual cold spell is the chubby girl he teased when they were in elementary school, a girl who is now a sexy, confident woman who has sworn off anything but committed relationships. Should be fun! And a little crazy, but that's what NaNo is all about.

Do you NaNo? If so, do you know yet what your project will be this year? If you don't do NaNo or similar timed writing challenges, why not?


Jumping Tracks

I had a very nice post here about all my current projects...that I very nicely deleted. Yeah, heat must be getting to my brain. ;) At any rate, I didn't want to lose all the encouraging comments, so I'll just say ...I have three current projects to finish, and will soon be posting word meters in the sidebar to show my progress on them.

Wow, this was my shortest post ever! LOL


Welcome bestselling Samhain author Dee Tenorio!

Dee has generously agreed to answer a few questions about writing, juggling life and adorable kids *g* and her sexy new Samhain release, Love Me Knots, available August 4th here.

Dee has also offered to send an ARC of Love Me Knots to a random commenter! So comment away! :)

First, the good stuff about Love Me Knots.... and isn't that cover gorgeous?

Genre: ,

ISBN: 978-1-60504-666-2
Length: Category
Price: 4.50
Publication Date: August 4, 2009
Cover art by Scott Carpenter

Nothing twists you up quite like love…

When she interrupts what looks like a tryst in her fiancé’s office, former heiress Krista James has only one thought: “It’s over!” True, they both signed a marriage contract that didn’t include a love clause. But she’ll be damned if she gives the two-timer the satisfaction of knowing she gave up her heart along with her hand.

How to say goodbye to a man who makes her forget her own name in bed, and all her principles everywhere else? Simple. Run.

CPA-on-the-rise David Ellison thinks everything is perfect. Perfectly planned, perfectly ordered, perfectly moving forward. Until he arrives late—again—for a lunch date. Suddenly he has a broken engagement, a guilty receptionist and a missing fiancée.

Tracking her down is easy. She’s traded their honeymoon tickets for a luxury holiday for one. Reasoning with her? Impossible. Especially since they always seem to end up in bed, in the shower, on the floor…everywhere but at an understanding.

David didn’t follow his woman all the way to Tahiti to return home empty-handed. To get her back, he’s even prepared to empty his heart of all his secrets.

Question is…is he prepared for hers?

Warning: Emotionally repressed, sexually gifted accountant on the loose in Tahiti, intent on seducing his lady back into his life and completely redefining the phrase “awesome lei”. Mai Tais and fresh ice recommended to counter the extreme sexual heat.

Want more? For the tantalizing trailer and excerpt...

1) First of all, tell us about Love Me Knots, your August '09 release with Samhain. Give us the "inside scoop", if you would. I love hearing juicy details! ;)

Well, the short story is, it's about a marriage of convenience contract with a man who personifies still waters running deep. Raised by an autistic single parent, David's really not good with all those communication things most people take for granted--understanding tones, facial expressions, tact. He REALLY doesn't grasp tact. Now imagine being the woman who loves him, but signed the contract because she thought she was in love alone. Yeaaaaaaah, Krista hasn't had it so easy. So...when she walks into his office and discovers a couple having sex, it's the last straw. Even after discovering the clandestine affair wasn't him, she can't bring herself to stay with a man that doesn't love her back. But David's finally got a few words to say on the subject...

As for the inside scoop, David's situation is actually based on a distant cousin of mine. Autistic at a time when they were considered "slow" or just not all their, he had an arranged marriage. It didn't last long--the wife took off (the cow)--but because of it, he did have kids. The kids are fiercely protective of their father and very loving with him. They know they're loved by him, too. Having an autistic child of my own, I began thinking about if the roles were reversed and the child had to learn to adapt to the parent...and what that might mean for him in his own life. And that's how David was born.

His love life, he messed up all on his own, lol.

2) You're building quite a backlist. Have you found the pros to epublishing far outnumber the cons? What are some of them?

LOL, wow, now that's a question!

I've never been published by a print first publisher, so it's a little difficult to compare the two. But there are some definite positives to ePublishing that I really like.

1) It's a great way to learn about the publishing business--contracts, publicity, reviews--and how to handle it. But it's also flexible, to a degree, in that your editor--even your publisher--is very hands on and direct.

2) I know my publisher gives the authors a degree of say on the covers. (I know for a fact that doesn't happen with print pubs on the regular.)

3) Turn around is MUCH faster. You'll generally hear from your e-pub editor much faster on submissions and if you contract, you'll see your book within a 12 month period. Print first publishers are usually set out 2 years.

4) Hands down, you're not going to beat a 35-40% royalty rate in print, which is usually more a 6-8% royalty for the first run. True, distribution is an issue that can level the playing field, but if you become a name in eBook, believe me, eBook has the advantage for earning.

There are more, definitely, but those are the ones that really stand out to me.

3) I love hearing about an author's journey. Were you always a writer? How many books did you write before your first sale?

Oh, yeah, I've always been a writer. I don't remember a day in my life that I wasn't reading or writing--my family says they realized what I was up to slowly, when I seemed to know way too much about what was in the TV Guide. (What, a gal's gotta start somewhere!) I was about 3. If I don't count the books that are too horrible to be counted, lol... I'd probably written around 10 books before my first sale. I'd been trying to sell for about eight years when Angela James contacted me and asked me if I had more of the stories I'd posted on my website. Turns out, she'd been directed to me from a friend of mine, Shannon Stacey and then also by Heather Rae Scott. She'd liked the samples so I sent her "Betting Hearts". And she's been unable to get rid of me ever since. (So have Shannon and Heather, for that matter)

4) You have adorable twin daughters and a son under the age of 12, yet you're also a prolific author. How do you juggle it all? Any tips for those of us trying to prioritize around our writing, whether we're managing a day job, kids and a husband, or just life in general?

Awww, thank you. I'd take credit for the adorability, but they all look like their father, lol.

Well, as anyone with twins can tell you, you don't sleep much, lol. I have a day job too, so I know what it is to feel totally behind the eight ball. I tend to look at my life as a sliding tile puzzle game. You know, slide the tiles to create the image? Well, I usually wake up, work for 2-4 hours, work on writing for 2-4, put the girls to nap (often knock out with them cause they're awful warm and cuddly), work on house stuff for a few hours--bills, errands, etc--then try to do a little more online as needed. Of course, the most important thing is to NOT be tied to a schedule. Kids derail plans like ants on a dead bug. Flexibility is the name of the game, because you're not going to get to everything each day no matter how hard you try. My house pays the price during deadline time. (At the moment, I have like 8 loads of laundry to put away). Oh, and a very forgiving family. I slide the puzzle pieces to fit everyone's needs and worse comes to worse, I'm up at night while it's quiet to get a little writing done.

Oh, and I eat a LOT of sugar.

5) What can we look forward to from you next?

Well, let's see. Love Me Knots is out on the 4th of August. Then I have a full novel out in November, entitled "Burn For Me", which is a Rancho Del Cielo romance. If you've read "Love Me Tomorrow", then you'll be familiar with the hero, Raul Montenga. Sexy Mexican firefighter who's come back to his hometown and is in for a little surprise. Maybe not SO little. She's about eleven years old, actually.... Though, I should warn, despite the girl, this is a steamer. Bring oven mitts.

After that, I have a slightly darker romance, "All Or Nothing" in 2010, about a couple that have loved each other all their lives but have never been able to make it work. A "What do you do when Love isn't enough?" story. I'd bring tissues if I were you. This might hurt a little.

6) And for many writers seem to have a "seekrit project," one they're not sure they will ever sell but that is a true labor of love. Do you have one? If so, can you tell us anything about it?

Yes *sheepish* I'm a secret paranormal writer. I am trying to sell a series currently--fingers crossed--about a wolf shifter, his extremely deadly mate and the killer they need to catch before everything they hold dear is destroyed. That's an absolute labor of love, not just in that the story possessed me, but it also helped me to get back on my feet after my sister's death last winter. I have another paranormal series in mind, but that's a six book monster I'm a little afraid of. I can see that one swallowing me whole if I don't watch it. But that's a deep DARK seekrit!

Thanks for stopping by, Dee!

Now it's your turn! Leave a comment or question for Dee to be entered into a random drawing for an ARC of Love Me Knots! Winner will be drawn Monday, August 3rd at 9 PM EST, so please check back!