It's a Birthday Bash with Splash

I'm very excited that I now get to share a Book Birthday with an author and wonderful person whom I feel very fortunate to have met through our mutual publisher. I speak of psycho author, Jennifer Lane. 

Streamline turns one-year-old this week! We're celebrating with a giveaway.

Seems like Leo Scott has it all: looks, brains, and athletic talent. He's captain of his high school swim team with a bright future in college and beyond. But Leo has secrets. His mother's crippling car accident has devastated his family and left Leo to deal with his father's abuse, battered and alone.

Leo's girlfriend Audrey Rose is poised for her own share of success. As one of Florida's top high school swimmers, Audrey dreams of college swimming stardom. But there's an obstacle to her glorious rise to the top. Her number one supporter--her father--is in prison for murder.

Part murder mystery, part tale of young love in a military family, this gripping story takes readers on a journey from Pensacola to Annapolis. Leo and Audrey must band together to rise above the adversity they encounter and find their true selves in the process. When everything's on the line...streamline.

"What an emotional journey! I don't think I have ever cried over a character so much in my life."
~Dani from Paulette's Papers

"The issues that are touched upon in the story: family, substance abuse, teen relationships, trust, honor...they are dealt with in an amazingly realistic, unglossed manner."
~Andrea from The Bookish Babe

"Overall, Streamline is a wonderfully, emotionally complex story about the ones we love, the ones we hurt, the mistakes that break the human heart, and the unconditional love that puts the pieces back together."
~Dani from Refracted Light Reviews

Streamline at Amazon for $2.99
Streamline at Barnes & Noble for $2.99

Author Jennifer Lane is giving away one signed print copy of Streamline to a US winner and three ebooks to international winners. To enter, complete the Rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To learn even more about Jennifer and this story, visit more Birthday Bashers for reviews & interviews. 


Release Day Blog Crawl

Today I'm popping the bubbly at:
Cover Girls (a bit of insight into Divine Temptation's Cover + Giveaway)
Angela Felsted (her thoughts as she reads the blurb)
Bouquet of Books (Book Trailer + Giveaway)
Entertaining Interests (Book Trailer + Giveaway)
Omnific Publishing (Interview)
Jen Lane Books (Blurb & Three Daves review)
Talk Supe (Excerpt...um, not sure if it's today or later in the week)
M.Pax (Friday shoutout)

I'm also celebrating at Twitter with 24 hours of #angel quotes. Feel free to pop over & add your own  or simply reTweet your faves. 

Divine Temptation is now available in Paperback, Kindle and Nook.


My answer to the final question in The Next Big Thing piqued the interest of at least one reader---Arlee Bird, Mr. Controversy himself.  And so he's invited me to his Tossing it Out blog today to talk a bit more about one of the sticky wickets in Divine Temptation (to release tomorrow!).  I'd love to get your two cents on the issue.


She Puts the Edge in Edgy: Michelle Sutton

In a publishing world that likes to stick everything in neat little boxes, it’s easy to feel like a misfit. Especially when your books crossover between genres that are thought to be incompatible. With the impending release of my steamy romance featuring lots of spiritual elements (see the countdown on the sidebar. Ah! Is getting close!!), I’ve gone searching for others who like to push genres beyond their limits.

Did you know that there’s a whole sub-genre out there known as Edgy Inspirational? Everywhere I looked to find more information about this genre, I came across mentions of author Michelle Sutton. She’s not only got a full catalog of books that push Christian fiction to the edge, she founded the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers group and has been instrumental in gaining more exposure for this genre.

Well, who do you go to when you have questions? The expert, right? So I was thrilled when Michelle agreed to answer a few questions for me to share here:

Me: What qualifies as “edgy” in Christian fiction? I’m sure there are still lines that shouldn’t be crossed—what are they?

Michelle: For me it's about the heart of the message. I think the only lines that shouldn't be crossed are offensive language (like the f bomb) and glorifying sin. You can write about sinful situations (I sure do) but the consequences have to be shown as well as the spiritual struggle for the story to have a Christian message of redemption and forgiveness.

Me: Ooh, I like that answer. The characters' inner struggle between what they want to do and what they should do is what I usually find most interesting about any story. What are some examples of the edgy parts of your books?

Michelle: Well, in regards to topics there is nothing I don't cover (such as sexual intimacy before marriage and the consequences of promiscuity, rape - including date rape, abortion, adoption, foster care, homosexuality, child abuse, incest, pornography, addiction, death, deception, unforgiveness, slander, etc. etc.)

Me: Sounds like you’ve got the edgy covered for sure. Would The Red Tent or The DaVinci Code qualify as Edgy Christian Fiction?

Michelle: Never read either book, so I can't say one way or the other. I have heard from people who have read The DaVinci Code that it firmed up their belief that Jesus swooned and didn't raise from the dead. That's disconcerting, but again, I am only reporting what I heard. I haven't read it.

Me: I think a lot of people forget that The DaVinci Code is a work of fiction and should only be taken as such. What's funny about that book is that although it puts forth theories that are in opposition to my faith, even after all those years of CCD and listening to sermons and looking at statues, paintings, and crucifixes, reading this story was the first thing that actually made me feel the humanity of Jesus in addition to his divinity, and that spark sent me along a path that has brought me closer to him. He does indeed work in mysterious ways.

Still Me: Okay, next question: how did you get started writing Edgy Christian Fiction?

Michelle: The stories just came out that way. I was told my ideas were good, but the content was too edgy, so I ended up adopting the term by default to describe fiction that wasn't of the softer variety when it comes to novels with Christian themes and a Christian worldview. Some people call it realistic fiction. I just think it's honest. I don't write about what characters should think, do and feel. I write about what they really would think, do and feel. We're all sinners saved by grace.

Me: Exactly---how can we possibly relate to characters who always make good choices? Even Jesus’ parables were chock full of sinners. Hey! I guess in a way he was the first author of Edgy Christian Fiction, eh?

Thank you so much, Michelle, for giving us more insight into this genre---and thanks for all you do to give Edgy Christian Fiction more exposure.

Below are just a few of Michelle’s inspirational books with an edge
Each book cover links to its Amazon page so you can read more about it.



Top 10 Movie Countdown Blogfest

Yay, today's the day for another of Alex. J. Cavannaugh's famous blogfests. I'd like to thank him not only for hosting, but for keeping it simple & fun---coming up with this list and looking at posters of my most favorite movies turned out to be quite a cathartic exercise. I hope you found it to be the same (assuming you were in need of catharting). Thanks, Big Al.

These are in the order of my affection for them:

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

2. Raiders of the Lost Ark

3. Star Wars: A New Hope

4. When Harry Met Sally

5. Return of the Jedi

6. The Empire Strikes Back

7. Toy Story

8. Mystic Pizza

9. Goodfellas

10. Jaws 

I'm allowing myself two more because I think it was really good of me to count the original Star Wars Trilogy as three separate entries:

11. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

12. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Oh wait, now I've included two Pirate's movies as two entries soooo....

13. Pulp Fiction

Come now, you can't expect me to end on an unlucky number like 13:

14. Chocolat

Are any of these in your top 10?


What Would You Do with a Wormhole?

First: Happy Birthday, Albert!

Second: Thank you Stephen,  Luanne, and Laura for imagining and organizing this clever hop: What would you do or where would you go if you could traverse a wormhole through space or time just once? One safe round trip passage. 

Third: What am I gonna do with my wormhole?

Since it's only one trip, I'd go to the time and place that would best prepare me for the long haul once I returned to here and now. So I'd go to Galilee about 28 A.D. I'd jimmy the wormhole to put me near the crowd that listened to Jesus deliver the Sermon on the Mount. I wouldn't understand the language he was speaking, though he might make it so I could, but even if he didn't, I think just hearing his voice speak those crucial lessons and watching the early Christians drink them up for the very first time would drive them into my heart in a deeper, more indelible way than they ever have been before. And that would be pretty cool. :)

Visit here for more wormholers

But before you go!  Look to the left and down just a bit. See the Blog Blitz? It's a brand new concept in blogging and it's all about suprising someone with kindness. The brainchild of D.L. Hammons, Mr. Kindness himself. Please read what it's all about and consider joining. 


Want to Know What Angels Look Like?

In case you don't already know this, Michael Di Gesu is amazing. Incredibly kind-hearted and talented. When I was handed the reins to arrange for my own cover reveal, I didn't even have to think to know that I wanted Michael to write up one of his unique, customized intros, and because I have such faith in his abilities, I wanted everyone to be introduced to the cover via his words, and so today his In Time... blog is the ONLY place you can see the Divine Temptation cover. 

He gave me a sneak peek at the intro over the weekend, and as I told him, I'm stunned at how well he nailed it given only the cover and the back cover blurb to work from. Like I said, he's amazing. Please stop by his place for the Divine Temptation Cover Reveal, and help me spread the word via Twitter, Facebook or a mention on your blog. 

Here are some pre-fab Tweetables to make it easier:

Book cover challenge: Sexy + Angelic. The solution: http://ow.ly/iJXpl

Nobody does cover reveals like Michael Di Gesu. It's an adventure all in itself: http://ow.ly/iJXpl

I'm not sure which is more beautiful, the cover or the intro. Let's call it a tie: http://ow.ly/iJXpl

Thank you!

If you like what you read & see, you can add Divine Temptation to your to-read list at Goodreads and enter to win a paperback copy.


Regency Vs. Victorian

Despite my long-time crush on one Mr. Abraham Lincoln and my fondness for classic literature, I'm not terribly interested in history (unless of course we're counting the 1980s). And so all this time I thought I was a fan of Victorian Romance, when it turns out I'm not. What I like is Regency Romance.

The reason I know this is because Anne Gallagher, author of my favorite new series---the Reluctant Grooms, a series of Regency Romance books---was kind enough to pardon my ignorance and explain to me the difference between the Victorian and Regency periods in a way that just might actually stick. In the hopes that I'm not the only one who has trouble making the distinction, I asked Anne if I could share her patient and very helpful response, and she gave me this awesome post. Enjoy & you're welcome. 

The Difference Between the Regency Period and the Victorian Period in English History
Anne Gallagher (c) 2013

Regency is a term used for the Regency period 1811- 1820, when in 1811 Prince George (or Prinny as some called him) ascended to the throne after his father, King George III, went mad from a hereditary disease called porphyria. Because KING George III wasn't dead, PRINCE George couldn't actually be KING, so Parliament declared him REGENT in (Feb. 1811). He acted as Regent until 1820 when his father finally died and then Prinny became KING George IV.  

Now some people ascribe the reign of the two George's (1760 - 1830) as the GEORGIAN era. And the Regency was only PART of that. However, I am a Regency purist. I look upon the Regency as a separate era during the nine years Prinny spent as Regent. 

During Prinny's reign as Regent, he became a Renaissance man, issuing demands for new buildings (The Pavillions at Brighton) the refurbishing of Carlton House (his private home), Windsor Castle. Prinny was also responsible for designing Regent's Park, and continuing with his mother's (Queen Charlotte) love of gardening and the remodeling of Kew Gardens. He was also a patron of the arts, mainly architecture. Unfortunately, all that spending, not to mention the lavish parties and outrageous clothing, brought about a decline in his popularity with the people, and when he ascended the throne in 1820 when his father finally died, Prinny was not beloved.

Now, after George IV (Prinny) died (1830), his brother Edward took the throne for 7 years, and then, because there were no more male heirs to be found (they all died and there were no other male children of those heirs) VICTORIA became Queen at age 18 in 1837. She reigned until 1901 when she died. (She was the longest reigning monarch in England up until Queen Elizabeth surpasses that reign. She only has a few more years to go.)

The Victorian Era is when all sorts of things really started happening in Britain with the invention of the steam engine. Railroads, factories, modern conveniences. It was also the downfall of the aristocracy and the boom of the middle/merchant class, which is when the aristocracy started marrying into the merchant class. Men who had a title, would marry a rich merchant's daughter for the money. She would become a "Lady" and the "Lord" could save his estate. (Kind of like what's happening on Downton Abbey, only about 60 years earlier.) The Victorian era is also popular for the "steampunk" genre because of all the inventions that happened back then. 

So to recap -- Regency is 1811- 1820
                       Victorian is 1837 - 1901

Hope this helps to differentiate the time periods.

I recently finished reading the latest book in the series, the Earl's Engagement, and you can read my review on Goodreads.

Thanks so much, Anne!


Who You Callin' Insecure?

As I stated in the post below, my next book is going to be released very, very soon. 'Nuff said, right? My list of insecurities this month is too long to even think about much less put into words here. So I'm not going to acknowledge them on any level. I'll simply focus on the tasks I've laid out for myself in the post below until the insecurities have been zapped from existence. ...is it just me, or does anyone else get the distinct impression that I want them to visit the post below??

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a monthly bloghop hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Visit his blog for the full list of fellow insecurists.



Some of you may have noticed that I was all chit-chatty here for a while about my upcoming novel, Divine Temptation, and then...siiiiilence.  That's because we hit a snag in the editing process, and I convinced myself that I'd jinxed the book by talking about it too publicly. But I'm happy to report that it has passed on to the last phase of the pre-publication process (tentative release date of March 26), and things are moving along well enough that I'm emerging from my vow of silence.

The first exciting news is that my publisher has approved Michael Di Gesu as the exclusive host of my cover reveal! The reveal will be NEXT Monday, March 11. Michael has begun writing the most clever and fun cover intro's so I'm absolutely thrilled about this development.

The next piece of news is that I'm finally going to answer the last question in The Next Big Thing...and then I'm gonna celebrate with a giveaway! 

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I don't know about you, but I find it interesting that my little story has already stirred up a bit of controversy among the staff at my publisher. I've always wanted to write books that incited debate and pushed buttons, and I can now definitively say that Divine Temptation does that. What's really fun is that, like Three Daves, it has the potential to fluster readers at polar opposite ends of a spectrum. What can I say---I'm an equal opportunity offender.

Divine Temptation goodies should come rolling in fast & furious, and as I explain at the Divine Temptation Launch page, I'd love some help in spreading the word once these items are available---I've devised a plan that I hope can fit into the busiest of schedules. One small way for me to say THANK YOU is through the giveaway below. It's open to anyone who signs up for my e-mail list.

Zee Prizes:
I've cleared it with my publisher to give away to one winner an Advanced Reader Copy of Divine TemptationIt should be ready within a couple of weeks. And I just know you all have a lot of other books on your wishlist, so I'm also giving away a $15 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble or Amazon, winner's choice. Lastly  I'm giving away one pdf copy of the premiere issue of Insatiable: The Magazine of Paranormal Desires, which includes my short story "Impressionism 101." 

(If you're already on my e-mail list, go ahead and check off the first box in the Rafflecopter. You can sign in either with Facebook or your e-mail, which only I will see). 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Back From the Future

(First paragraph modified to first person from Suze's lovely words)

I'm up before dawn on a Saturday when the doorbell rings. I haven't brewed my coffee so I wonder if I imagined the sound. Plonking the half-filled carafe in the sink, I go to the front door and cautiously swing it open. No one there. As I cast my eyes to the ground, I see a parcel addressed to me ... from me. I scoop it up and haul it inside, sensing something legitimate despite the extreme oddness of the situation. Carefully, I pry it open. Inside is a shoebox -- sent from ten years in the future -- and it's filled with items I have sent myself.

Each item is contained in an envelope. Two envelopes are blank, but scrawled across one, in the eerily familiar penmanship that only I can accurately decipher, are the words: "The solution to the thing you're worrying about right now." I don't want to think about the thing I'm worrying about right now, so I put that one at the bottom of the stack and finish making the coffee.

After my first warm sip, I'm ready to tear open the first blank envelope. I find a package of dental flossers, along with a short note that reads: "Stop screwing around and listen to the dentist already. Every day. You'll thank yourself in ten years. Thank you. (see?)" I smile, happy to see I've retained my goofiness...and determined to maintain a diligent tooth-flossing regiment. 

I move on to the other blank envelope. Inside is a photograph of a handsome young man and a pretty young woman. My kids in ten years. On the back I've written: "This is going to happen; there's nothing you can do about it. Don't take all the time you have with them now for granted."

Once the tears are wiped away, I confront the final envelope, ripping into it because I'm now anxious to discover the solution to my worry du jour. Inside is a small bit of paper with the simple words: "Stop Worrying!" I flip it over, hoping for just a bit more guidance, and read: "Matthew 6:26-27." I already know what it says. I've read it a hundred times, but apparently future me thinks I need a refresher. She's right. So I  go to my Bible and read the verses yet again:
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Thanks everyone for playing along with Suze, Mary & me!  Can't wait to hop around and see what y'all have packed. If you're not in the hop, pretty please tell me in the comments at least one item you'd pack.