Monday, July 26, 2010

RWA Nationals & Win a Nook!

RWA Nationals are almost here. It's funny. I've been waiting for this conference for over six months and it comes down to the wire to get ready. Why does it always happen that way? Nails to get done tomorrow and I still have to pack. I'm driving, so I better make sure I know where I'm going. I need to download my camera of photos from my vacation at the beginning of the summer and I need to back up the laptop. I also bought new shoes for the Rita & Golden Heart awards ceremony that I KNOW are going to rub my feet. Sigh. There are probably a million little things to remember. OK, probably not that many but I already feel like I've forgotten something. This will be the first year I'll be putting something in the Goody Room at the event. It's exciting and nerve-wracking. What if no-one takes my stuff LOL? Not sure I want to lug it all the way back home. Maybe it's best not knowing. I'll be attending as a RWA-PRO this year, so I'm really looking forward to the PRO Retreat. Really, I'm just excited overall to be among so many other people who think hearing voices in your head is NORMAL! I'll plan to post some pictures next week!

During the month of August, I'll also be participating in the Long and the Short of It's 3rd Anniversary Party. What does this mean? Well, firstly, there's a chance to win a Nook. Actually, they're giving away THREE Nook eBook Readers that come with $50 gift certificates AND are already pre-loaded with dozens of romance and juvenile fiction eBooks. My book, Picture This will be one of them! It's a scavenger hunt and you can find all the details here. Sounds like fun!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh my...

It's one week to the RWA Nationals conference in Orlando and...oh my! I've been excited for a long time, but just recently the nerves have started to kick in. Why? I'm not exactly sure. I'm pitching to an agent, but I did the same with an editor last year, and while it's nerve wracking, I don't think that accounts for the anxiety I have. It's not like it's my first conference. I did attend the event in DC last year and it was so valuable and awesome I can't describe it. I think the biggest thing I came away with was inspiration. I was incredibly motivated after the event last year and filled with the certainty that I was going to be a published author. Well, here I am, going into the conference this year and I'm just...nervous. Perhaps it's because I've made that first step. I've stepped up onto that first rung of my publishing journey and I have more at stake now, I'm more invested, I've had a small taste of success, I'm not just on the sidelines wishing and hoping. Back to the fear of success thing again? Maybe. Regardless, I'm looking forward to spending 4 days with like minded people, who understand what it's like to be a writer and a romance writer at that. I'm looking forward to the educational sessions to improve my craft, to learn more about the business side of publishing, the opportunities to meet and mix with published authors and to meet people face to face I've only 'talked' to online. I'm also looking forward to coming away with that renewed enthusiasm, the strengthened drive to succeed, the inspiration to write the next best book that I can! For THAT, I can hardly wait!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just Published - Rebecca Leigh

Please join me in welcoming Rebecca Leigh to Just Published today! Rebecca and I 'met' on a forum online and I've had the opportunity to read some of her work. It's original, diverse and hot, hot, HOT. Trust me, you'd never guess she was a straightlaced attorney by day! Congratulations on your first full length novel, Rebecca!!

Here are the details:

Title: Have Stake, Will Travel
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Words: 55,000
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Date Published: May 24, 2010 

Orion Masters is no ordinary slayer, she's a dhampir—half vampire—and she uses her superhuman abilities to her advantage.

After all, a girl's gotta make a living.

But her life takes a dramatic u-turn on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The balmy nights of paradise hold a forbidden temptation. Hot, steamy sex with Julian Hunter.

Like Orion, Julian is a slayer. Unlike Orion, Julian is a pure blood. Their paths cross on the hunt and Orion finds herself unable to control the allure of Julian's seductive powers. Yielding to her body's instinctive, passionate reaction to Julian, she discovers the erotic lure of heritage, shared blood, and destiny.

He's tall and dark. His midnight hair, all one length, hangs as straight as a board down to his shoulders and sweeps across his face. He is powerfully built, his muscles rippling beneath his faux, dark blue turtleneck. The black jeans hug his legs and leave little to the imagination. I try not to stare at the bulge between his thighs.

He's a vamp, I remind myself. This is the first time I can ever remember having to do that.

He strolls to the bar and orders a drink. His eyes scan the room, and then lock on me. Yeah, this is what you're here for, bloodsucker; come and get me. I'm ready for a fight.

Kinau notices I'm no longer dancing and I'm staring at the new arrival. "Orion, are you all right?" His gaze darts from me to the stranger then back again.

"Sure, Kinau. Why don't you go wait by the car?" My voice sounds harsh, ordering him out like that, especially after I invited him to come in with me. But just because the Corporation pays his tab doesn't mean he's been told why I'm here. That kind of information is strictly on a need to know basis, and Kinau does not need to know.

"Yes, Ms. Masters." From the slightly sarcastic tone of his voice, it's obvious I've offended him. Well, I guess that's life.

The vamp waits until Kinau leaves the club, then strolls, sinuously, to my side.

"Hello." His voice is unexpectedly warm, drifting across the short distance between us and settling like fire on my skin. The warmth creates a sensation I've never felt before, at least not for the undead. Passion. No fucking kidding. A craving washes over me, a need to feel his breath skate over every inch of my body.

What the fuck is going on? I take a step back, then another, trying to get a grip on my senses. The pain in my chest subsides. Instead of ice pulsing in my veins, heat rolls down my spine and nestles between my thighs.

I look past his breathlessly handsome features and I can see his aura. But the light surrounding him is not red like the aura of other vamps. Instead, he's draped in a light blue veil. Almost like a star, shining in the night. The light pulses in short, rhythmic bursts that create an irresistible tempo of lust.

I'm sure my dhampir powers have gone haywire. But if my senses are somehow broken, it's never happened to me before.

His smoldering gray eyes catch mine, hold them, and fill me with darkness. I try to look away, but I can't. I take another step back. Why am I trying to escape? I should be running toward him, ready to attack. He grabs my arm.

"Don't be afraid; I won't hurt you."

He's kidding, right? I need to get a hold of myself. I need to remember who I am, why I'm here. I try to reply, but my breath catches in my throat as his fingertips move gently up my right arm. He grabs the strap of my blouse, situating it back on my shoulder. His hand lingers.

His mouth twitches, twisting his luscious lips into a smirk. When his mouth opens, slightly, I hear a low, seductive laugh. What's so funny? I realize I'm shaking and my teeth are chattering. But the tremors aren't because I'm cold. I think my body is quivering because I might be in shock.

He pulls me roughly to him and my breasts crush against his stone chest. The fire is an inferno now, eating me from the inside out. I'm having a hard time thinking straight. All I can do is yield to his advance. This is not like me at all.

"You're shaking. Let me warm you up."

His hands move down my sides and over my hips. Even through the leather, the flames ignite and burn mercilessly. There's an area of exposed skin near my navel and he rests his hands there, slowly stroking my skin with his fingertips. The flames smolder in my stomach with scalding heat.

He grips my hips and moves them toward his swiveling pelvis, our two bodies together in rhythm with the native beat. The vibrations of the song travel from the floor of the club up my legs and tickle my pussy, mixing with the hunger growing there for the fucking vamp. This dance is much different than the one I shared with Kinau. The moves are erotic, too erotic, given the undead status of my dance partner.

His cock throbs, pulsing against my pelvis. My sex tingles in anticipation, building to a feverous pitch. I'm on the verge of exploding.

All the while, his breath drifts across my neck, my cheek, my ear. I can't remember the last time I was close enough to a vampire to feel its breath on my skin. Surely his breath isn't supposed to be so hot. Or smell so sweet.

His lips brush over my temple in a long, flaming line.

This must be what it's like to be the victim. This is how a vamp enthralls, seduces its victim before biting. The calm before the storm. This is something I've saved others from, but never experienced myself. Not in twelve years of slaying.

I've never been dazzled by a damn bloodsucker.

I've never felt so aroused. He's a vamp, I tell myself again. But my feeble attempts at rationalization don't matter. My body has a mind of its own—ignoring truth, seeking fantasy.

"Who are you?" My words are almost breathless. I need to know the name of the fucker that has captivated me.

"Julian Hunter." He whispers his name into my ear and the tingle in my sex shoots straight up my spine. "Who are you?"

"Orion Masters." I say my name, but I want to also tell him I am a vampire slayer. I want to tell him I know what he is. My mind screams, but the commands do not reach my lips.

If they did, I wouldn't be kissing his chin. What the fuck?

"Orion." The word spills erotically past his lips. Wow. I never thought my name could sound so passionate. "What a unique name. Where are you from, Orion."

Please, I think. Please, say my name again.

"Not here." A short, vague answer. A slight feeling of relief washes over me. Maybe part of me is not so paralyzed after all. I'm starting to regain some of my control. Thank god.

"Hmm. Me neither."

Not from here either? I wonder if he's one of the vamps the witches sent me here to dust. Then I wonder why the fuck it matters whether he is or not. I should dust him regardless. He's a vamp; I'm a slayer.

But, I don't want to kill him. I want to do something else. Something much more dangerous than fighting, more perilous than staking. Something naughty. I want to fuck him. I want his thick shaft plunging deep inside my pussy, thrusting and driving until I see the fucking stars.

So, Rebecca, how would you describe what you write?
I write erotic romance, everything from paranormal to gay and lesbian. My current works in progress include a zombie romance, vampire romance, and a lesbian retelling of The Graduate.

Wow, that's a pretty diverse line-up! What's your writing process in a nutshell?
I’ve been told recently that my writing style is that of a painter rather than a plotter. For the most part, I think that sums up my writing process. I do some outlining (the amount varies on the length of the story and the number of characters I need to keep up with), but I generally let the words flow and then go back and revise as necessary later.

What has your submission history looked like? Rejections? Manuscripts written? Number of years ‘seriously writing’, etc?
I have been writing erotic romance for about a year and a half. My first novel had a good premise, but was certainly a drawer novel. I wrote my first erotic short story in late 2009. It was rejected by the publisher for whom it was specifically directed. Around the same time, I unofficially participated in NaNoWriMo. My debut novel is the product of that endeavor.

How did you pick your publisher?
For my short stories, I generally pick particular publishers based on whether I think what I have written would be suitable. I often submit stories for specific publisher calls too. For my novels, I’m probably much more likely to send several queries. My zombie romance and f/f graduate novel, however, are being written with a particular publisher in mind.

Tell us about you ‘call’ story.
I’ve never received a phone call per se in epublishing, so for me it’s the “email story.” When I sold my first short story “Tight End” to Ravenous Romance I nearly fainted when I received the email from Lori telling me she liked my story so it was going in the anthology. I’d been following Ravenous Romance for a while and had set my 2010 goal as getting something published with them. That goal was accomplished by mid-January!

When Jill from Noble Romance Publishing emailed me that she was interested in Have Stake, Will Travel I bubbled with so much excitement I ran around my house jumping for joy. I don’t think I came down from the high created by either acceptance for days!!

I’m still sending queries and still getting rejections, but getting THE EMAIL makes it all worthwhile!

Yeah, I can relate to that! Did you have an agent when you sold? Now?
No. I have an epub agent now for a couple particular stories I am trying to sell, but I also still submit solo.

What’s it been like for you working with a publisher and editor? Are revisions really as bad as you hear?
I have had a great experience working with the editors are my current publishers. The edits are, not surprisingly, always necessary and definitely make my stories better. Editing for me feels different when it’s on my own (or with a crit buddy) or at the behest of an editor. There’s a lot more pressure (self-induced I’m sure) when the edits occur after a work is accepted for publication. But, I thank the heavens for editors and edits.

You've got an awesome cover. How did you feel the first time you saw it? How much input did you have?
When I first saw the cover for Have Stake, Will Travel I was amazed at how much it looked like the description I gave on my cover art request form. The cover artist did a fabulous job!!

I have given input into one of my covers, but I leave the work up to the people who enjoy the gift of art. That is not me. I’ve been very fortunate so far to have wonderful covers!!

What was release day like?
Interestingly similar to an orgasm!

It was? Then I need to have whatever it is that you're having :). How did you market your book?
I’m still learning the ropes on this. Currently, I use facebook, twitter, my blog ( ) , and my website ( ) to market my work. I am also a member of  and

My heroine for Have Stake, Will Travel also has her own blog (she writes when she’s not slaying vamps) at

I know there are many ways to market and I’m looking forward to doing much more!

The character blog is a really interesting idea. What’s the most surprising thing you learned during the publishing process?
Honestly, that I had what it takes to be a published erotic romance author! That was a surprise.

What do you think were the factors that got you published?
Writing. Writing and finishing what I’m writing. There are a lot of people out there who want to be writers but who have trouble finishing what they’re writing. The only way to get published is to write and finish what you write – so that you can sub it!

What’s your 5 year plan look like?
In five years I’d like to be living in paradise, writing romance, and getting published. Wait . . . that’s my life right now. Okay, I just want to do more of the same in five years, ten years, always.

So, what’s next for you?
I have a couple short stories and novellas that have recently been accepted by publishers in the m/m arena.

One of my favorites is The Outlaw: Damian Junter is a Bringer, an employee of the eastern aristocracy who doles out justice against those that break the law. Kell Laughlin, an outlander, is the leader of the western resistance whose stronghold is Terra Noir in Death Valley, California. Damian travels to Terra Noir to kill Kell, but instead encounters a man who sparks a deep sexual desire in him. After learning of Kell’s innocence to the crime for which he is charged, Damian works with Kell to spark a revolution against the east. He also gives in to his desires and has hot, steamy sex with Kell. In the end, the two ride off together into the badlands of the west to evade capture, intent not only on surviving but continuing to sate their sexual needs.

Only a few weeks ago I finished my novel No Brainer, a zombie romance. In No Brainer, government employed zombie killer Grace finds herself drawn to her new partner, zombie Ethan. In addition to having super hot sex, the two work together to defeat the zombie mafia and its red brain project. I know zombies and romance seems like an oxymoron – but my zombies are different (or at least some of them are). Trust me, Ethan is super sexy!

What’s the best advice you can impart to writers aspiring to be published?
Write, finish what you write, be persistent, don’t let rejections get you down, and write. Did I say that twice? That’s because writing is the most important thing for an aspiring writer to do.

Rebecca thanks so much for being here and sharing your journey to date with us. Best wishes for the future and for you continued success. If anyone would like to reach out to Rebecca or learn more about her or her stories, her links are all above.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Where's Kaily Today?

I'm over with Jamie DeBree today at The Variety Pages.  Jamie asked me a bunch of questions about my writing, specifically the HOW of it. Sheesh! Explain how I write? That was an interesting one...

Remember, my mystery (fun and funky) prize is still out there through the end of the month. A comment over at Jamie's on my post will give you 1 entry!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Blog is 1!

It's hard to believe I started this blog a year ago this month. I have to admit I literally forced myself to do it. I decided it was important for an aspiring author to have a presence on the web and I didn't want to have to create and maintain a web site at that point. A blog was easy to get established and best of all - it was free!! I didn't think I'd like blogging because I wasn't really into the whole social networking scene and chatting to people online? Well, they were all weirdos or possible serial killers, right? Wow, how things change. After about 4 posts, I realized I loved the blog. Even if no-one was looking at it or commenting, it became fun to think about what to post on. I also used it as a mental break from the writing and it became a good discipline to get into. When I started to see people visit and actually comment, I was ecstatic. Perhaps someone out there really was interested in something I might have to say? It also eventually gave me the opportunity to profile others and I created Just Published, my monthly feature on newly published authors. I'm still fascinated by each author's individual road to publication and I think there's something there that everyone can take away from it. Especially me! Now, this whole blogging thing really is second nature. It's been a stepping stone for me to the big wide world of the social web. I can't imagine how difficult it would have been to get it established after I'd sold as well as taking care of all the other things you need to worry about. I now have a Facebook account and I'm on Twitter. I'm a regular on several forums out there. Each has it's pluses, but I still love to blog. I've developed a lot of contacts and friendships through these mechanisms as well. People I've never met in person and probably won't. People who have been incredibly supportive and encouraging. And you know what? They're not weirdos either!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Where's Kaily Today?

I'm over at the wonderful and unique blog of fellow writer and good friend, Rula Sinara. Her blog is called A Writer's Rush. A comment on the interview over there gives you 1 entry into my mystery prize draw, which I'll be wrapping up at the end of July.

An excerpt of Picture This is also up at Excerpt Monday today, along with some other great books. There's a chance to win a group of books, if you're interested.

Picture This was also voted Best Book of the Week at Long and Short of it Reviews (Whipped Cream). Happy dancing aplenty today!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Vote for me? Please? Please!!

OK, I know it's unseemly to beg, but Picture This is up for Best Book of the Week at Long and Short of it Reviews!! Who could have imagined? It's got some stiff competition and the other authors and books are probably amazing. Actually, I know they are!! Check it out. I hope you'll vote for me, but vote with your heart and just vote!!


Also, I'm going to be at the wonderful Rula Sinara's blog on Monday. Rula asked me some very interesting and thought provoking questions. I'll be popping over there on and off on Monday so if you have any comments or questions, I'll do my best to answer them!

Happy 4th Every(US)one!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Reviews & Feedback on Picture This

Quite simply, the reaction so far has been amazing and I've been so surprised and pleased. I'm not really a 'toot my own horn' type of person, but I guess it's a part of being an author and being able to promote your work. I'll just have to suck it up and get used to it LOL. The reviews I've received so far have been great. I don't know if a good review sells books or not, but I figure it can't hurt! I thought I'd share a range of comments I've received to date. Each word of feedback is precious because you hope when you write a story, someone will read it and you'll be able to touch them in some way. I like to think when I write, the stories I create will generate some reaction or emotion in the reader, that they'll feel connected to the characters and invested in their happiness, that they'll be routing for them. I think I may have done just that! So, what are people saying?

Whipped Cream Reviews:
If you want a story that packs an emotional punch, steams the computer screen, and is one you won’t soon forget, then you need to read Picture This. I give it 4.5 cherries. - Tiger Lily

Cata Network Reviews
A quick page turner that charms readers from the first pages. An intriguing plot line only adds to the dynamic chemistry between Sam and Jillian. Picture This is perfect for a bit of escapism during your busy day. - Emily

Reader Reviews
Sexy and unique, this story sucked me in from the first page and didn't let go! A deliciously hot read. - Cari, Ellora's Cave website

Sigh... an absolute must read. A quick, sexy story which was very well written. Highly recommend. - Bobbi, Ellora's Cave Website

Hi, just wanted to let you know that I just finished Picture This.... It was fabulous. Since it was first posted on the Ellora's Cave website, I have been patiently waiting for it. I hoped that I would love the story as much as I loved the blurb. It was better than I had hoped for.... The characters were fantastic!!! The story beyond hot!! Congratulations on your first book!! Can't wait for your next one. - Rita, email

Disclaimer: I don't know any of these people and none of them were bribed in the creation of these comments. I swear LOL!