Monday, October 31, 2011

Welcome! If You're Looking for Clues to The Romance Reviews Year End Splash, Read On!

Hey there!  The authors of A CLOCKWORK CHRISTMAS are proud to be a part of TRR's Year End Splash (YES!) Party.  Jenny Schwartz, PG Forte, JK Coi and I have some pretty obvious clues placed in our blurbs and excerpts, so if you're playing TRR's game, read on (and don't forget to enjoy the excerpts while you're at it, mkay? ;) ).  Good luck!


Title: Crime Wave In a Corset
Published By: Carina Press
Category: Steampunk, Holiday, Caper, Anthology
ebook/Audio Book Release Date: December 5, 2011
Coming Soon To: Amazon, Carina Press
Length: Novella, 34K
Type: Ebook, audio book


Roderick Coddington is on a mission to make Cornelia Peabody pay. After identifying her as the thief who stole a priceless Faberge egg from his dying sister, he finds her and shackles a deadly timepiece to her arm. If she doesn’t return the egg by Christmas morning, she will die.

Normally seven days is more than enough time for Cornelia to carry out the perfect crime, but Roderick’s intrusion into her life is beyond distracting. He challenges her mind, and ignites her body with desire she’s never felt before. But worst of all, he threatens the independence she values above all else…

As Roderick spends time with Cornelia, he realizes there’s a lonely soul hidden beneath her beautiful but criminal veneer. Falling for a thief wasn’t part of Roderick’s plan, but plans can change and he has no intention of letting another priceless treasure get away from him.

Her quick intake of breath was audible, but she couldn’t help it. In a night full of surprises, that was a lulu. “You want me to steal something for you?”

“Steal something back,” he stressed, his tone so cold it would have made the North Pole seem balmy. “An egg, to be precise. A very special, very rare egg. Now do you remember?”

Of course she did. It wasn’t every day she came across a magnificent FabergĂ© egg with a surprise of a solid gold cherub hidden inside. It had been so heart-stoppingly beautiful she had almost kept it for herself.

He made a sound of impatience. “No need to answer, I can see you do. Which means we’re making progress.” With brisk efficiency he did something with the clockwork, then turned to pull her back. “Now that you know what I want, you need to understand what will happen to you if I don’t have the egg back by midnight, Christmas morning.”

Before she could ask what he meant, a sickening odor of ozone and smoke billowed out along with a harsh electric buzzing that made her eardrums quiver in protest. Right before her horrified eyes, the dressmaker’s dummy shuddered and jived while sparks flew in every direction. It toppled over even as it burst into flame before the buzzing slowly growled to a sullen end. Roderick was there in an instant with a pail of water, dousing it with motions both unsurprised and repetitive, and in the part of her brain that still worked Cornelia now grasped why the dummy was so scorched. Before locking his timepiece on her wrist, the ever-meticulous Roderick Coddington had tested his electrocution device over and over, just to make sure it worked. Just to make sure it could kill.

Just to make sure it could kill her.

“So there you have it.” Roderick turned to her with a vicious simile of a smile while smoke hung about them in a poisonous haze. “Tick-tock goes the clock, Peabody. You have seven days to right a terrible wrong. Or barring that, seven days to live. Either way I’ll be satisfied.”

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's Review Round-Up!

Well, it's that time again.  It's Sunday night, the last weekend before the release of my too-spicy-to-be-sweet contemporary romance, BEST MAN, WORST MAN from Samhain Publishing, and I have another review to share on it!

From SensualReads:

Wedding coordinator Claire Pomeroy has seen it all, when planning events, and ready with a remedy for every problem until she meets Best Man Ryder Price who is trying to derail the groom into calling off the wedding she is working on. Not only does the man not believe in true love or marriage, the chemistry between them is off the charts. Claire tries to convince Ryder that there is more to marriage than just sex, while Ryder is trying to prove to her that you can have all of that without marriage and be just as happy.
Entertaining quick read, Ryder is a handful as he comes up with a few plans to knock Claire off her game, but Claire is equally determined to prove him wrong. You could easily imagine this story with the descriptive details Stacy Gail has brought to life in Best Man, Worst Man.

I'm so excited to share Ryder and Claire's bumpy road to romance with people who believe that opposite do attract -- and wow, do they ever attract here!  I'm so thankful my editor, Imogen Howson, plucked this story out of the slush pile and gave it a chance.  Immi, you were right to get rid of the opening "car crash and groping" scene! :D  (Fellow writers, please remember to ALWAYS trust your editors -- they really do know best.)

And in other news...

Remember how Harlequin Books put A CLOCKWORK CHRISTMAS up on NetGalley for early review?  Believe it or not, two reviews have already come in!  The first one shook my antho sister, JK Coi and me up in exactly the same way -- we couldn't look.  We had to wait until someone else read the review on Twitter to let us know we were "safe".

Thoughts Of A Scot was the first reviewer across the finish line, and this was what she had to say about my contribution to this steampunk anthology, CRIME WAVE IN A CORSET:

First thing's first, I loved the title of this story. Don't know why, but I did.
The story was interesting and the characters likeable. And, as for any Carina Press story, the sex scenes are always heat inducing!

Here's what she said about JK Coi's FAR FROM BROKEN:

Instant pity for Callie and love for Jasper. A slightly different take on other steampunks I've read in that the woman is the one given all the power.

And Jenny Schwartz's WANTED: ONE SCOUNDREL:

Again, a good story with likeable characters. This time I loved the male lead first, he was sexy! Esme was strong hearted and independent, a must (I think) for any steampunk book.


An enjoyable story with a very likeable female lead and a bastard-come-nice-guy of a male lead. I liked Ophelia from the get go and Dario was a meanie to start but soon realised how much he loved his wife.

Please look into what else she had to say about the stories from the amazing JK CoiJenny Schwartz, and PG Forte.  I'm crazy about my anthology sisters, and honored beyond words to be included amongst them.  They're extraordinary! <3

The second review comes from Paula at The Phantom Paragrapher, who gave us her equivalent of a 5-star review -- in this case, 5 P's!  For the full story, feel free to visit Paula's review here.  Thank you for reading, Paula!

So, the countdown continues for the releases of BEST MAN, WORST MAN this October 25th, and CRIME WAVE IN A CORSET on December 5th.  Let the excitement begin!

Monday, October 17, 2011

TOO SPICY TO BE SWEET -- Yup, that's Best Man, Worst Man

Guess what?  BEST MAN, WORST MAN from SamhainPublishing has been reviewed.  Guess what again?  People LIKE it! *faints*

Confession time—I’ll admit I was concerned about how this project was going to be received, since the powers-that-be at Samhain decided to market this fun little project as a “contemporary” romance, rather than a “sweet” romance.  What’s the difference?  As I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs, a sweet romance is one without sex–the story focuses on the true romance of romance, rather than, erm, getting busy in the bedroom.  Or shower.  Or trampoline.  Whatever.

A contemporary romance, though, definitely lets the inhibitions drop, right along with the panties.  So when they labeled BEST MAN, WORST MAN as a contemporary romance, I was a tad worried.  Would people get it, even if the main characters weren’t, y’know, getting any?

This is was what Library Journal had to say:

Claire Pomeroy is a highly sought-after wedding planner with a reputation for professionalism and going above and beyond the call of duty. She is well on the way to sending her latest couple on to wedded bliss when a blip in the form of a best man comes onto her radar. Ryder Price is dead set on stopping his best friend from walking down the aisle, and a wedding planner is not about to mess up his plan-no matter how perfect she appears. Claire must convince Ryder that a lifetime of happiness is possible in order to keep the wedding on and her heart intact.

Verdict Gail's (Zero Factor) latest novella moves quickly, with only a few uneven parts, and is a fun, sexy read. Although the action never moves beyond some ultra-heavy petting, romance is everywhere as wedding planning abounds. Fans of Nora Roberts's "Bride Quartet" will find alluring the blending of intense passion with detailed discussions of wedded bliss.—Kellie Tilton, Univ. of Alaska–Fairbanks Lib.

So… YIPPEEEEEEEE!!!!  I. Am. SO. Happy!  My ultimate goal for BEST MAN, WORST MAN was to focus on the purest form of romance—the magic of falling in love.  This story is a bit too passionate to be labeled as “sweet”, but what can I say?  Even when it comes to the sweetness of romance, I do like things spicy. *wink*

Where to buy BEST MAN, WORST MAN: Samhain,  AmazonBarnes and Noble
In Other News...

Harlequin Books gave the authors of "A CLOCKWORK CHRISTMAS" a wonderful surprise the week of New York ComicCon (which is what next week's blog is all about).  From @HarlequinBooks on Twitter:
In honor of , we've put 's Steampunk holiday anthology A CLOCKWORK CHRISTMAS is on early!

That's right, folks!  CRIME WAVE IN A CORSET, my holiday steampunk sensual romance for Carina Press's A CLOCKWORK CHRISTMAS is now available for review on NetGalley.  So if you're a reviewer, please consider giving it a look -- thanks!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Take A Peek At BEST MAN, WORST MAN, Coming October 25th!

My Chocolate-Covered Cover! <3

It's getting to be that time again -- release day for BEST MAN, WORST MAN is almost here!

Oh, what to say about this fun little project...  BEST MAN, WORST MAN was the first project to be published, despite the fact that it is now my second release from Samhain.  (Confused yet?:) ) BEST MAN, WORST MAN was pushed back thanks to my publisher's release schedule of the cyberpunk anthology, of which my novella ZERO FACTOR was a part.

Is this too sexy to be sweet? Hmmm.
I wrote BEST MAN, WORST MAN for one of Samhain's anthology calls.  This particular call was for a contemporary "sweet" romance -- focusing on the falling-in-love magic of romance without actual sex scenes.  Since I grew up reading this type of romance, I thought this sounded like a great opportunity to get my foot in the door.  BEST MAN, WORST MAN took less than a month to write, almost like my brain had just been waiting for me to tell Ryder and Claire's story.  Eighteen days after sending it in, I received an email from Imogen Howson, the editor in charge of the sweet romance anthology call, and informed me that while my project wasn't being accepted for the anthology, they were interested in publishing it as a stand-alone book. YAY!  (Only much later I found out that despite my characters not having sex, my work was way too hot for it to be categorized as a "sweet" romance.  Apparently I don't know how to write those *is baffled but happy*)

So, without further ado, here's the blurb for BEST MAN, WORST MAN, the steamiest-but-no-sex-scenes novella around!

*     *     *

He’s the one problem she can’t solve.

From hysterical bridezillas to grooms with sub-zero feet, renowned wedding planner Claire Pomeroy has never met a disaster she couldn’t handle. Then she runs afoul of her client’s not-so-best man, a devilishly flirtatious rogue with a killer smile and a chest as solid as a concrete roadblock. Yet their sparks of attraction only highlight his obvious quest—to make sure this wedding knot never gets tied.

Confirmed bachelor Ryder Price knows one unshakable truth: marriage is nothing but a fairy tale. No way is he going to stand idly by while his wingman face-plants into the dreaded marital trap. But there’s a problem. A dark-eyed, dangerously curvaceous problem who’s bound and determined to pull this wedding off.

As her suddenly skittish clients teeter on the edge of cancellation, Claire challenges her nemesis to imagine long-term as something more than a quickie and a vague promise to call. Ryder counters with a challenge of his own. Let him give her a taste of just how fulfilling a little no-strings-attached passion can be.

And hey, since we're at it, why not a teeny excerpt of when Claire and Ryder meet? :)


Claire sighed and followed Rachel into the living room, only to have her vision filled with Rachel’s houseguest sitting on a sofa, coffee mug in hand as he chatted with Matt. He was impossible to miss. Even though he was seated it was obvious the man was built like a warrior of old, with wide shoulders and a chest you could play handball on, narrow hips and long legs that filled out his jeans in all the right places. His dark hair was as black as a raven’s wing, and the sweep of his shoulders was so breathtaking she couldn’t help but suffer the innately feminine desire to explore the muscular terrain with curious, wanting-to-squeeze fingers. The smile he gave Matt was a devilish white slash against bronzed, sun-kissed skin, made that much darker with a hint of a five-o’clock shadow. Then he looked up at their approach, and Claire found herself freezing solid, from the tips of her toes all the way to the orderly movement of her lungs.
He had silver eyes. God help her, silver eyes.
“Ryder, I’d like you to meet wedding planner extraordinaire, Claire Pomeroy. Claire, this is Matt’s best friend, Ryder Price. Since he and Matt are settled in so nicely here, why don’t you and I have our consult in the kitchen while the boys do whatever it is they do?”
Matt shrugged. “Sounds good to me.”
“Absolutely not.” To Claire’s surprise, the man named Ryder pushed to his feet and crossed to them, and for no fathomable reason Claire’s heart decided to do its best impersonation of an 808 drum machine. “Please Rachel, I insist you go about your usual routine and just pretend I’m not even here. Remember, you swore I wouldn’t be a bother, so don’t let me get in your way now.”
“My goodness,” Rachel said through a tight smile that made her look like she wanted to bite something. “How considerate of you, Ryder.”
“And I wouldn’t want to inconvenience your wedding planner.” Ryder turned the full brunt of his smile on Claire as he took her hand in his. “Claire, is it?”
It took most of her strength to get her tongue unglued from the roof of her mouth, mainly because the heat of his hand was branding her nerve endings with the glorious feel of him. “That’s correct.” What wasn’t correct was how her brain slipped its gears to plunge her into the heart of fantasyland the moment he touched her. With shocking ease she imagined how the glide of his hands, as big as baseball mitts, might feel against other, more intimate parts of her body. With one glance at his made-for-sin lips, she could almost feel them molding against hers, seducing her with the promise of dark pleasures. She had no doubt he would be a reckless lover. This modern-day gladiator looked as though he lived to conquer his intended target inch by tantalizing inch, unveiling her as he would a piece of fine art to revel in a slow, sensual exploration first by his gaze, then his hands, then his mouth…
A flush of heat rolled through Claire until she thought she glowed with it, and to her dismay sensual warmth bloomed between her thighs. Way to be professional, she thought, horrified. Apparently her little voice of reason was suffering an epic case of laryngitis. And the worst part of it—all he’d done was touch her hand.