Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Smokelong Pushcarts

Smokelong Quarterly has announced its list of Pushcart nominees for the year. If you're not familiar with Smokelong, do check them out, as they regularly feature not only great flash fiction, but also incredible artwork. You can stop by their archives to check out any of these marvelous stories:

"He Wrote Sixteen Pencils Empty" by Daphne Buter

"Running Water" by Tiff Holland

"Five Fat Men in a Hot Tub" by Jeff Landon

"The Arrival" by Nathan Leslie

"Outer Space" by Tom Saunders

"In the Dust" by Joseph Young

Congrats and good luck to all the nominees!

Monday, November 28, 2005

New Look

I got a little makeover on the blog here, and I'm digging it. I got the new template from Cazza. Any glitches with it, or ickiness in appearance, is my own fault, because I modified it a little bit. So if you're thinking of a new look for your blog, check out Caz.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Kick off your holiday shopping season! Mutual Holdings available for pre-order

I see that Barnes & Noble now has my new book available for pre-order! Yay! I posted the cover here earlier, but here it is again:

It's available for pre-order now, and it will start shipping on November 28th, which is very soon. I guess it's also right around the 28th that you should be able to find it on the shelves of your local B&N. The book is published by Magic Carpet Books, and they usually have their own section/display at most B&N stores these days. If you don't find it there and don't wish to buy online, by all means, ask them for it, and they can order it in for you. It is a Barnes & Noble exclusive though, so you won't be able to find it in other bookstores, or even Amazon. (they don't have my name or the cover pic yet list on the B&N site, but this is the correct book, as you can see from the description.)

Ok, you say. Nice cover. I've got the info on where to get it. But what's this new book about? Well, it's an erotic romance, but I also tried to infuse it with some comedic overtones. I don't have any official reviews to post yet because they haven't been published, but I did get one review back from a very busy reviewer and she enjoyed it muchly. (I'll post it when I can.) Here's the gist of the book's storyline:

Mutual Holdings

A successful New York accountant, Lisa Russo is happily single. At thirty she has a growing career, a nice home, and her nights are rarely lonely. It doesn't hurt that her business partner and ex-flame, Tony Mancuso, is always nearby to offer advice, and more, whenever she desires it.

But Lisa's pleasantly structured life gets thrown into chaos when handsome and sophisticated businessman Gianni Loren hires her to reconcile some of his foreign holdings. Gianni, however, is quickly smitten with much more than just Lisa's business sense. As the vibes between them progress from savvy to sultry, he asks her to join him back in Italy as a permanent member of his company, and his life.

But Lisa is not sure she's willing to give up her thriving career at home to risk it all on this one enigmatic foreigner, especially now that Tony, suddenly faced with the possibility of a life without her, is turning up the heat to keep her in the business, and with him.

Available for pre-ordering now!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tripp Reade in 42 Opus

I am consumed with jealousy -- almost. One of my BIG writing dreams is to be published in 42 Opus. If you don't know that 'zine, do check it out. It's classy with a cool design and pubs wonderful stuff. The extremely talented Tripp Reade has a story live in the new issue. So here's your chance to check out Tripp and 42 O, with his story, Darryl's 1890. Congrats on a wonderful story, Tripp, and a prime publication!

Thanksgiving Quiction

Quiction has a new issue up, including some Thanksgiving Cajun cheer from GC Smith. Check it out!

Friday, November 18, 2005

The quiet time

So after a small flurry of posting there, I fell a bit silent again. I do have some interesting interviews coming up though, so please check it out here every once in a while.

In the meantime, you'll be hearing plenty more (from me, if no one else) about my latest upcoming release, Mutual Holdings, which is due to be in Barnes & Noble stores very soon. (for starters, you can see the cover below, and I can tell you it's a steamy erotic romance, with lots of good scenery in Italy.)

I've also been keeping myself busy writing another book, and I'm hitting the final stages of the first draft. I'm really excited about this book, but also anxious. It's different for me. It's reverting back to the pulp influences I used slightly in 24/7, except this one is much more pulpy, and oh-so-Vegas. (though, I will say that Marina and Miguel from 24/7 are supporting players in this book as well.) My working title is HOUSE MONEY, and to give you the flavor it's sorta like if GOODFELLAS crossed with OCEAN'S ELEVEN, but with smart, badass chicks. In fact, it's not a romance or relationship book at all, but it might still be chick lit -- if chick lit had more guns.

But, because of this whole new genre, I think I'm at about ground zero when it comes to publication. I'd very much like to get an agent on board and try to sell this book, because I think it's my favorite one so far. But I'm out of my element with the market. I'm also not sure what small presses are available for a work like this. So, if anyone drops by and reads this message and has any words of advice, I'd be much obliged, for sure. Thanks, and I'll be back with more soon! In case I lag behind again though, I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Loving it!

I have a new book coming out soon. Its called Mutual Holdings and it's from Magic Carpet Books. The book is an erotic romance, and will be available through Barnes & Noble exclusively -- both online and in stores. So, I'm very excited about this release. The editing was a dream, and I got my first peek at the cover the other day. I love it! I'll have more info about the book soon, but here's a looky at the cover:

Do you love it too?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Paul A. Toth

PAUL A. TOTH is a writer on the rise. He's currently got two published novels: Fizz and Fishnet. You can find him online in multiple places: his website, his blog, and he also hosts podcasts which feature interesting online readings, music, and even interviews. (One of his interviews was with Matthew St. Amand, who you might recall from a previous interview here.)

Paul's short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best American Mystery Stories. He received honorable mention in the Year's Best Fantasy & Horror 2003, and it can be found extensively on the web.

Both Fizz and Fishnet earned high critical acclaim for their offbeat characters, skewed humor, and unexpected choices.

Fishnet is described as a comically dark fairy tale for adults
more Brothers Grimm than grim. What it's about:
Maurice Melnick's imagination has forever painted an underwater world more exotic yet safer than the one above. Meanwhile, his strange town of Mercy, California heads toward a fateful day. In the ruins of his life, Maurice finds a way back to the world he left behind... but not before losing everything.

Here's Paul A. Toth:

1) Who are some of your favorite writers, and how do you think they've influenced you?

I'm going to skip the usual names I mention, as I've mentioned them so often that it's getting on my own nerves. I'll start with Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, which I finally read last month. This is a near template for what I see as the writer's role. Everything is contained within this book. I would go so far as to say that had politicians taken this novel seriously, read it as though it were some policy tract written by CIA operatives, they might have better guessed what was coming to the world. Yet Rushdie never forsakes his humor, nor is this novel tied to specific current events. Nevertheless, it comments upon our times. How does he do it? Well, if I were Rushdie, I wouldn't give away my secrets, and since I'm not, I can't do it for him. The novel influenced me by supporting my belief that main characters need not be wholly sympathetic, no matter what agents and publishers claim. It signified to me that no matter how serious one's intentions -- and Rushdie's are clearly serious -- humor remains a viable tactic. It's only the kind of whipped-cream humor that has begun to aggravate me. That's not even a dessert, only a topping. For many of these reasons, I also enjoy David Mitchell's work. Finally, I will repeat Haruki Murakami as a living influence. All tell me that the market will bear novels about something other than rehabilitation memoirs and glorified romance novels. It takes courage to write them. It takes another kind of courage to publish them. I'm trying to hang on to that courage, and these writers inspire me. I don't claim to possess their talents, only their motivations.

2) What do you think is your greatest strength or asset in your writing? Your biggest weakness or flaw?

I think the quality of the writing itself has strengthened. Certain events in my life have clarified my purpose and enlarged my themes, yet simultaneously tightened my focus. My weaknesses and flaws are probably tied to the market. I can't quite -- I don't want to sound like Madonna trying to sound British -- suss what they want. An "edgy" publisher suddenly reveals it really wants mass-market women's novels. Nothing against mass-market women's novels, but, er, what? Again, sympathy arises as a fortress, though to me, my characters are sympathetic. They share traits with all of us. Now that I think of it, perhaps that's the weakness: Readers don't want to be reminded of themselves and their world but rather anything EXCEPT that. I've been thinking about this a lot. If there is a wall that prevents my proceeding to some next level, that would be it, but if I "succeeded," would I only vault into a landfill? I think I will keep doing what I do and hope this trend (whatever one calls it, though "combination tent revival/circus" comes to mind) abates.

3) Your novels are generally populated with eccentric/troubled and imperfect characters. Do you start with strange, flawed prototypes or do you sort of build the flaws/quirks out of the individual characters?

I usually start with the voice, and that tells me the flaws and quirks. In Ray's case -- Fizz began as a short story -- I just wanted to portray a man who had almost literally become a cartoon character, who sees and lives in an animated world. When I decided to expand the story into a short novel, I sensed vulnerability in his voice, and so I constructed his back story and motivations from that. For me, the voice comes first, even if provided by a third-person narrator.

4) Of Fizz and Fishnet, which one are you most proud of/pleased with?

Good question. Fishnet ran a gauntlet of agents whose advice was, at best, contradictory. I'm still happy with it, but on second thought, I would have taken one more break, one more long, deep breath, and revised it. Fizz was meant to be raw and "unsophisticated." Part of the pride I take is that its sophistication is buried. There's more going on than meets the eye, what I would call almost subliminal effects. Some readers like one of my styles more than the other; I suppose it depends on which side of my nature a reader prefers. However, Fishnet was written with a wider audience in mind. I considered it a novel that would especially appeal to women, but this has not translated to sales. For that reason, in some ways I regret having bothered trying. So, in short, I would say Fizz suffered the least compromise. But there are better things to come.

5) What do you find to be the most difficult part of writing and/or publishing? What's the greatest reward? Is it worth it? Or is writing something you'd do even if there was zero payoff?

I'll work backwards. If book purchasing were outlawed, I would still write. For instance, my blog is pure release. It may or may not serve promotional concerns; if anything, the content is guaranteed to infuriate nearly anyone. Writing is certainly worth the trance state in which I sometimes find myself. Like a piano player, I would enjoy running the keys even if I were banned from concert performances. The greatest reward? The stray email: "I really enjoyed your book." The second greatest reward is a check. It's a distant second if only due to the spacing of the checks. As for the first question, the most difficult part is the market analysis used to shut out anyone who wouldn't inspire Oprah's Angel Network.

6) Stock question: Dinner with anyone, dead or alive. Who is it?

Charles Darwin.

7) One CD, one book, one DVD and a desert island. What book, CD, and DVD do you take?

Book: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
CD: Possible Musics by Jon Hassell
DVD: 2001

8) When did you first get the feeling not that you wanted to write, but that you could be so successful at it? What are you working on now?

Third grade. The principal came to class and read my story; he was probably drunk. It wasn't very good, but, you know, in comparison, I suppose it was okay. I've yet to have the feeling that I'm successful. There are a couple goals I've set for myself before peace can reign in TothWorld. However, I suspect I'll change the goals, should I ever reach them. I'm not built for contentment. It's overrated.

Right now, the third novel is enduring the sadomasochistic streets of New York's publishing "industry," and I'm working on the fourth. The third is, I think, my best, and the fourth will far surpass it. I've added this tool called "patience," and I think it will assist in strengthening the writing, if not its "marketability."

9) Suppose you can't have both: Would you rather have respect from your peers and critical acclaim (but not making cash from writing), or would you rather be a bestselling author with the fat coin?

I would rather have respect from my peers and critical acclaim. Most bestsellers fall off the charts and turn yellow in used bookstores, and the money doesn't last, either. At the end of my remaining years, I want to die with what little self-respect I can regain.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Coincidence? Or Stolen?

I find this whole thing entirely too suspicious. Check out Don Capone's blog to get the full story. But it appears as though someone out there in Hollywood land is making a movie with Lindsay Lohan that is grotesquely similar to one of Don's books. This book of his, he'd talked about it on his blog and had a description of it on his Publisher's Marketplace page, along with having queried some agents. I could see if a similar idea was floating around. But with even the exact same aged female protagonist? What do you think of this? Coincidence? Or was he totally ripped off? By Linday Lohan no less??

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Cathryn Fox

Today I give you Allure Author Cathryn Fox. Cathryn has also recently struck gold with her upcoming releases from Avon. She loves to write paranormal, and also has a disturbing love for Adam Sandler (just like me!)

Excerpt from Cathryn's Unleashed

“I’m Skylar Bray. It’s nice to meet you, Agent Garrett.”

Her sultry voice was as bewitching as the woman herself, and he felt himself being pulled under by her spell. He shuddered involuntarily and blinked his mind back into focus.

“Call me Jace,” he mumbled and tried not the think about the way his entire body tightened at the sound of her voice.

He took a moment to note his physical reaction to her then fought to clear his arousal-fogged brain and gain control over the situation.

He wanted to step back, to break away from her delectable aroma as it perfumed the air, but something compelled him to remain close. His legs wouldn’t carry him away from this intoxicating woman.

How was he supposed to concentrate on anything when his senses were overcome with her hypnotizing scent? He somehow had to find a way, because he needed his wits about him in order to gauge the strength of her powers.

Would she be able to sense the wolf stirring within him?

He watched the play of emotions cross her face and wondered what she was thinking. Was she trying to reach into the depths of his mind, to glimpse the area that he’d kept suppressed for so many years?

“I guess we’re going to be partners for the next couple of days,” she said. There was something about the lilt in her voice that drew him in. It got under his skin and warmed his body like the buzz of a fine wine.

“Guess so,” he mumbled. Did she have any idea what she was getting herself into? Tracking a werewolf was a far cry from a day at the beach. She could get hurt, or even worse, killed.

“Don’t worry, Jace. I know what I’m doing.” She folded her arms across her chest and met his gaze unflinchingly.

Great. Now fate had tossed in a little mind reading to really fuck things up. He frowned and shook his head.

She flung her wavy curls off her shoulders and quirked a small smile. “No, I can’t read your mind. Captain Sanders warned me you’d be leery.”

He cocked one brow in the Cap’s direction. Leery? That wasn’t the word he’d choose. More like downright opposed.

His Captain stood and moved to the front of his desk. Arms folded across his barrel chest, his gaze darted between Jace and Skylar. “You two play nice.” With that, he made his way out into the hall. “And keep safe,” he tossed over his shoulder as he disappeared from their line of vision.

Jace turned his attention back to Skylar. He studied the petite woman before him. The first woman in a long time to rouse such a primal reaction in him.

The one woman he had to keep his distance from.

God dammit!


For more info on Cathryn, please visit her website or her blog. And to order Unleashed, please see here!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Julie Riso's SHINE, Pushcart nominated!

A very fine writer pal of mine, Julie Riso has had her story Shine nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Congrats Julie! And good luck!

Delilah Devlin

Today I give you Allure Author Delilah Devlin. She's lived in Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Ireland, but calls Texas home for now. Always a risk taker, she lived in the Saudi Peninsula during the Gulf War, thwarted an attempted abduction by white slave traders, and survived her children's juvenile delinquency. In addition to writing erotica, she enjoys creating romantic comedies and suspense novels.

Excerpt from Delilah's "Warlord's Destiny", now features in the Ellora's Cave anthology, Fated Mates.

So, that's what Kronaki warriors look like!

Every story ever whispered about the fearsome warriors came rushing back to set Mora's body trembling. How they fought like ravaging beasts, cutting bloody swaths through Graktilian mercenaries during the war. How they lived in rough stone fortresses made of blocks carved from their frozen mountains. How they fostered their children to rival clans so they would be raised without gentleness.

How they fucked with such fury their women's screams echoed throughout their valleys.

Mora felt a tremor rumble beneath the polished, marble floor of the great hall, so explosive was the swell of conversation that arose at the warriors' arrival.

They were seven, dressed in furs and leather, armed with bows slung across their shoulders and scabbards at their sides.

She couldn't drag her gaze from the man at the head of their formation, striding toward her-her husband in name, if not yet by deed. Although she had never seen him before this day, she knew it must be him, for he looked the fiercest, the strongest-only one such as he would be chosen to rule from amongst their ranks.

He was from a race of barbarians, seemingly as proud of their reputation for brutal warfare as their orgiastic sexuality. The latter Mora could well believe for the man stalking her now looked every inch a sensual marauder.

A shiver of awe bit the base of her spine and trembled upward until the fine hairs on the back of her neck stood erect.

Taller by a head than any Mellusian, his broad shoulders nearly blocked out the sight of the two heralds dogging his steps as they attempted to halt him. He seemed not the slightest bit interested in following protocol by waiting for his name to be addressed to the assemblage. As if anyone attending the ceremony hadn't already guessed who he was!

He'd also eschewed the fine wedding tunic Mora's mother had personally designed-an embroidered silk affair that would have stretched absurdly across his bulging chest and arms.

No, he wore a vest of gray animal pelts that parted at the front, no doubt to tempt a woman's gaze to ogle his obscenely muscled chest and follow the dark arrow of hair down his hewn abdomen. The black sueded leather that encased his legs strained over thickly corded thighs and the alarming swell of his manhood.

Mora's heart tripped and then fluttered like the wings of an aradil .

Her mouth dry, she forced her gaze upward to look at his face but found no comfort there.

Lord Tetrik of Kronak-his name was as harsh as the angles of his square jaw and the sharp blade of his nose. His hair was dark like a moonless sky and worn like the old warriors in the paintings in History Hall-hanging past his shoulders with small braids on either side of his inflexible face. But his eyes frightened her most of all-chips of blue ice froze her in place as his gaze found hers across the noisy hall.

He would have to know she was his bride. She wore her wealth and importance in the weighty jewels studding her hair and gown and encircling her neck. She saw fury in that first glance. Had he already guessed he'd been cheated of the true prize? That her rich adornment was a ruse?

Her mother moaned behind her. "His ambassador said he was too busy to attend such an insignificant event. You should have worn the pink gown!" her mother hissed.

"It was covered in dirt, mother," Mora whispered, keeping her gaze pinned on the man walking straight toward her. "It's too late now, anyway. The ceremony is over."

"He may still repudiate you. Oh, what were you thinking, digging in the garden on your wedding day?"

"I wanted a tuber rose to take with me to my new home."

"As if a rose will grow in their rocky soil," her mother said, her voice becoming thin and breathy the closer the warrior drew.

Mora hoped her mother didn't choose this moment to faint. She suspected the Kronaki leader would scorn a woman frightened by the mere sight of him.

"That green makes your cheeks sallow," her mother lamented, working herself into a high state of agitation. "You look as though you're attending your own funeral."

Mora couldn't resist delivering a little dig. "Am I not? What do you think he'll do once he finds himself wed to the wrong sister?"

"You should have worn the pink! It would have shown you to advantage." She sounded on the verge of tears.

Her mother's diatribe wore on Mora's nerves. "Mother, it doesn't matter if I wear the pink or the green, I'm no beauty. He will know. And by the look of that scowl he wears, he already does."

"May the Goddess save us!"

"Hush, Hespha!" Her father finally intervened. "You frighten our daughter."

Only that wasn't quite true. Her mother's words had the opposite effect, reminding Mora that by rights, her older sister should have been the one sacrificed to honor The Promise. But her sister had been deemed too delicate and hidden away when the day came to repay the decade-old debt owed the Kronaki. "She'd never survive the rigors of life on that harsh planet," her father had said.

Her mother had been only too eager to agree to the substitution. Her delicate, slender little flower wouldn't be surrendered to the barbarian. Instead, Mora stood in her place. She was anything but delicate-a fact that had pained and embarrassed her parents to no end all her life.

A flush of anger heated Mora's cheeks. Try as she might, she couldn't suppress the primitive emotion. Her parents thought so little of her they were willing to marry her to a beast. A black-haired beast that grew more enormous and intimidating as he approached the dais upon which most of the members of the Mellusian royal family stood.

Mora straightened her shoulders. Jewels and a fine gown would not deceive the man. She was dull quartz against the bright, blonde diamonds glittering inside the hall.

He stopped in front of the dais. The room fell silent while all in the assemblage strained to hear what he might say. His cold gaze raked her from head to toe. Even standing on the raised platform, she had to tilt her head to meet his glance.

Panic had her body tightening. Mora raised her chin another notch, unwilling to let him see her fear.

He lifted one dark brow, and his gaze swept her face, lingering over her lips. "What is your name?"

He knew! "Mora. I am Mora," she said, surprised the words escaped her tight throat. Would he reject her? Strangely, she wasn't certain she'd feel relief if he deemed her unfit. Humiliation at his hands would be the harder emotion to swallow.

His gaze cut to her father, and he nodded once. "It is done," he said, his deep voice terse. Then he turned and offered her his hand.

As Mora realized his curt statement meant he would accept her as his bride, emotion pricked her eyes. He would have her. Although she wasn't the beauty he'd been promised, he accepted her as wife. She blinked and drew in a deep breath. She'd not shame herself by giving way to tears. Although she might be the least favored daughter, she was wed now-and to the fiercest warrior of the covenant worlds. She placed her hand inside his and stepped down beside him.

Immediately, she felt swamped by his tall, broad body, a sensation foreign to her, living all her life among the slender elegance of her people. She lifted her startled gaze.

"You're short." A frown drew his dark brows together in a daunting scowl.

Mora drew back. "I am tall for a Mellusian woman."

He snorted and glanced down her body again. "We leave now," he said, letting go of her hand.

"But we've prepared a banquet," her mother's voice quavered behind her.

"We're leaving now," he said again as though grinding his teeth, his ice-cold gaze never leaving Mora.

She sensed a question in his statement and nodded her assent. Best not to annoy him so soon in their marriage. That would doubtless come later.

He raised his arm, and she placed her hand atop his forearm. His skin was warm, the hairs dusting his arm crisp-the muscle beneath felt hard as stone.

"But her trousseau!" her mother cried. "Her things must be packed."

"I will see to her clothing." To Mora, he asked, "Is there anything else you would bring with you?"

She thought of the small bundle containing her personal treasures and the bundled roots of her tuber rose. "There's a package on my bed."

He turned then to her mother. "Fetch it. Bring it to the mage's chamber."

Her mother was so startled, she didn't question his authority to command her. She swept up the train of her gown and rushed from the hall.

Lord Tetrik strode out of the room, past the glittering assemblage without so much as a sideways glance.

Mora found herself enclosed at the center of the formation of tall warriors and lengthened her stride to keep apace. So tall were they, she was denied her last glimpse of her home, only catching a glimmer of gold leaf from the panels in the ceiling. Too soon, she was descending the steps to the mage's chamber in the dark, ancient dungeon beneath the golden keep.

As they stepped inside, the shadowy cavern seemed, for once, cramped. Her escorts fanned out around the perimeter of the room, their legs braced as if for battle.

Gwimmel, the castle's mage, turned from the cooking pot suspended above a crude wood hearth. His gaze darted to Mora's, and he raised his bushy, white brows. "That was rather quick. I had thought there would be celebrations above."

"Lord Tetrik desired to depart immediately," she murmured to her one true friend, aware of her husband's scrutiny. "And since the ceremony took place before his arrival."

"Ahhh." Gwimmel nodded. He straightened as far as his hunched back would permit. "Lord Tetrik, it will only take a moment to reopen the passage."

Mora glanced to her husband, whose scowl grew darker by the moment. If Gwimmel doesn't hurry, he'll change his mind! Disaster has not yet been averted.

Suddenly, her mother rushed into the room, halting to catch her breath as she spied the warriors. She stepped timidly into their midst and thrust the bundle into Mora's arms and hugged her. "Despite how it may seem," she whispered into her ear, "I wish you well, daughter." She squeezed her and stood back. Then she smoothed a hand over her perfectly coiffed hair before turning to her new son-in-law. "We have your promise you will return her if she so desires?"

"I keep my bargains," he said, the words spoken so slowly his true meaning could not be misinterpreted. He had kept his bargain-the Mellusians had not! "She may return after spring comes to the mountains if she so desires-and if she does not carry my child."

Although her mother strove for a regal nod, her hands pressed her stomach, betraying her unease. "Well, I wish you good journey." Her liquid gaze met Mora's one last time before she turned and departed the chamber.

Mora let out the breath she'd been holding and tried not to shiver at the chill encasing her heart at her husband's words. If she does not carry my child. With a husband so virile, how would she not?

"Mage!" Lord Tetrik spat the word, impatience apparent in his tone.

"Oh, yes, yes. Just a moment." Gwimmel bent and lifted a stone from a basket of magical stones beside the hearth.

He opened his palm and a rough-cut yellow diamond caught the flickering light from the hearth, bending and fracturing it until rays spread in a fiery prism-yellows, reds and oranges bursting like a tiny sun. Then he closed his eyes and murmured an incantation that sounded more like the gurgling of a river than any spoken tongue. The slivers of fiery light curved into a shimmering circle, becoming liquid, the radiance dimming at the center.

"Come, it is time," her husband said, gripping her elbow. He led her to the circle and ducked inside, pulling her along.

For more info on Delilah, please visit her website or her blog. And to order Fated Mates, please see here!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Vivi Anna

Self proclaimed bad girl of writing, Vivi Anna is set to be a break-out star in 2006. She's inked a three book deal with Kensington. Vivi Anna likes to burn up the pages with her original unique brand of fantasy fiction. Whether it's in ancient Egypt, or in an apocalyptic future, Vivi Anna always writes fast paced action-adventure with strong independent women that can kick some butt, and dark delicious heroes to kill for.


Garrick sat down on the offered chair, Tommy and Smith stood on either side, while Puck leaned on the railing, ready for trouble.

“What do you want?”

Fisher put a cigarette in his mouth, and lit it. As he blew the smoke up, he gestured to Garrick. “I want what you want, man. Peace between our packs.”

“There is peace, or haven’t you noticed no one has been gunned down in nineteen months?”

Fisher chuckled. “True. Corin was an egotistical bore. He ran the pack like his own personal war machine.” He ran a hand through his long blond hair. “But what I speak off is eternal peace, a union of our two packs. One pack, one law.”

Garrick sat back in the chair and casually spread his legs. It was meant as a gesture of boredom, an insult. “And who will lead this pack?”

Fisher grinned around his cigarette and leaned forward. “Well, it would be obvious I thought. I’ve been alpha of my pack for many years, Garrick. You’ve only recently acquired yours. If it’s a matter of experience, then I think there is no question who should lead.”

Garrick nodded as if considering Fisher’s words. He glanced up at Tommy and shrugged his shoulders.

“Of course, you would become my second in command. You’ve proven yourself a fierce fighter, a cunning negotiator as a regulator and the Keeper of Secrets. Your talents would not go to waste, I assure you.”

Garrick gazed at Fisher and nodded. “Sounds like a real good offer Fisher, but why would I agree to be second when I’m already first?”

Leaning back on the sofa, he smirked. “I have many things to offer, Garrick. We have an abundance of women in the pack; something I hear is dwindling in yours. One day, you might want to find your mate, make babies, live eternally…and all that shit. I could help you with that ambition.”

Garrick didn’t like the way the conversation was going. Fisher had too much information on the status of his pack and evidently someone was bitching. The familiar odor floated to his nose again, this time it was stronger, more compelling. He flinched, shook his head, and glanced toward the metal ladder.

A gorgeous tall, lithe woman stood at the top of the steps. She didn’t look at Garrick as she passed his chair. Fisher held out his hand to her and she took it, allowing him to bring her down to his lap. He ran his hand up and down her back and smiled.

“You see, I have lots to offer a man like you.”

Garrick nearly swallowed his tongue as he eyed her. She was still the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. Her body was svelte and toned and her skin glowed as if it had been kissed by the sun. Completely different from before, her auburn hair was short and spiky, accentuating a perfectly tanned angular face.

He remembered her eyes the most. Emerald green…and flashing like polished gems. She was just as he remembered her.

“Hello Garrick.” Her voice, cool and cultured, sent delicious shivers up and down his body.

“Hello Olivia.”

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