Friday, June 15, 2012

Gabrielle Evans Give Away

Hi! Welcome to the Topaz Promos blog

What inspired the Gods of Chaos series?
The first book, Devil Did Grin, has often been compared to Beauty and the Beast. I guess I can kind of see it, but not until someone pointed it out to me.
I was sitting on the couch one day, staring blankly at the television, and I hear something about, “reign of chaos.” Then I went off into this internal tangent about chaos and karma. Wouldn’t it be funny if people really did get a dose of their own medicine or were somehow punished accordingly depending on their sins?
From there, I started picturing Karma as a physical being. Oh, but wouldn’t it be great if Karma was actually a cute, mischievous, gay man? But, wait, wait! What if there was more than one? And they each had jurisdiction over specific infractions? Yes! And what if they had infinite power to cause all kinds of hilarious mayhem? Double yes! “That would be brilliant, poppet,” my muse says to me.
And, thus, the Gods of Chaos were born.

Are there a lot of paranormal ties in this series?
Not really so far, other than the fact that the Gods of Chaos really are gods. In The Devil Makes Three, Tucker Ford is a vampire, but he’s the first paranormal I’ve had in the series so far. There may be some werewolves later on in the series, but mostly it’s just average, everyday working men.

How many books do you plan for this series?
Right now, I have 18 books planned. 9 for my sinners and 9 for my meddlesome gods.

Since your characters suffer from one of the seven deadly sins, which deadly sin would you say you have?
Actually, there are 9 different sins in this series: Pride, Lust, Idleness (Sloth), Greed, Wrath, Envy, Gluttony, Deception, and Cruelty.
Hmmm, wow… let’s see. I think everyone is guilty of envy, even in small doses, at some point. I don’t consider myself overly prideful, lustful, greedy, or cruel. I do have a temper, but I’m not sure it qualifies for wrath. I do tend to overindulge when it comes to Famous Dave’s BBQ, however.
So, yes, I’ll go with Envy and Gluttony.

Which sin will be featured next?
Benson Stone will be next, and he suffers from an acute case of envy. He was first introduced in the second book, Dance with the Devil and is the owner of the Silverstone cattle ranch.

Do you plot your books out or write at the seat of your pants?
Usually, I just sit down, put my fingers on the keyboard, and see what happens. It’s more fun for me that way, because it’s almost like I’m living the story. If I run into a roadblock, write myself into a circle or a corner, or have a particularly difficult problem to solve, I might plot a solution, but I’m still not exactly sure how I’ll get there.

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
That I get to wake up every day and know that I’m doing a job I love. There are so many things I like about being a writer. Mostly, for that time while I’m sitting at my computer and lost in my stories, I get to be someone totally new. I get to visit places that I’ve never been. I get to let my imagination run wild with the possibilities of “what if?” It’s a truly amazing thing.

What is an average day like for you?
My schedule changes from day to day. On an easy day, I wake up, check my Facebook, email, and whatnot. Then I write, with interruptions only for things like laundry, cooking, or helping the kids with homework.
Other days, it could be a million and one things. Tutoring for my youngest. Soccer practice for my oldest. A run to the post office, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, and cooking. There are edits to do, cover requests to complete, blurbs to write, website and blog to update, and emails to answer. Then I can finally start writing and will usually be up half the night with my muse yammering away inside my head.

What books are on your keeper shelf?
Too many to name! I have over 700 paperback/hardback books on my shelves and probably near 3000 on my kindle/computer. And each one of them is precious to me.  Right now, however, I’m rereading the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost for the umpteenth time, so I’d have to say that those are definitely keepers!

What was your inspiration to become a published author?
I’ve always loved to write. I published a book of poetry when I was 15, wrote for the school newspaper, and won 3 different awards and the ESA scholarship in high school for essays I wrote. I’d always wanted to write a novel, but between lack of time and my own insecurities, it just never happened.
I also love to read, and I devour books at an alarming rate. The more I read, the more my imagination churned with ideas of my own, until finally one day, I just made myself sit down and write. It took me almost six months to finish my first book, but it was well worth it.

If you were stranded on a deserted island what three things could you not live without?
Coffee. A good book. And lipgloss—hey, gotta look good when I’m rescued!

Where can we find you on the web?
Twitter: @gevans983


Thanks for having me at Topaz!! I love hearing from readers and being able to interact with them.
So, ask me questions you’re dying to know or leave me a comment below for a chance to win the first four ebooks from the Gods of Chaos series!
Be naughty. It’s better than bored!
-- Gabrielle Evans

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Interview with author J.J. Massa

Hi Everyone!

And a big hello to Tina. Thanks for having me here. I think you're my biggest cheerleader. I talk about you all the time--good stuff, of course. But some of the things we've gotten into lately have inspired me to take a good look at what folks do and don't want to read. With that in mind, I did some research. *g*
A while back, I asked a bunch of my friends what crosses their mind when they shop for or read the books they brought home. I know that sounds like a pretty broad question, but we’ve known each other for more than ten years, so they took it and ran with it. I was pretty surprised with what they ended up telling me. Most of my friends are big readers, so I knew they'd all have something to say.

I started it off by saying that I have no problem with closing the book and giving it away if I don't like where the story is going. But I know we all look for different things when we read--different expectations and all that. I know SOME folks read on till the bitter end, complaining all the way.

One of my friends said,  “Used to be, I finished a book no matter how much I didn't care for it. Nowadays, my time for reading is so limited that I give the author a chance, read about a quarter, maybe half of the book...and if I don't like it? Close it up. The thought used to make me crazy, but...once you've done it; it ain't so hard to do again. My mother, on the other hand, will slog along no matter what. AND, she begins by reading the last page. I so hate that.” (Frankly, I hate that, too)

That REALLY started the ball rolling. The next person said that he ALWAYS judges the book by its cover. That surprised me, though I guess a lot of people do, or we would just make all covers the same… Anyway, he went on to say that he always makes sure to finish any book he’s started, no matter how hard it is to read.
One person said that she had no problem skipping chapters, but she was talking about non-fiction and self-help. She then said that if it doesn’t get her in the first two chapters, she tosses it.
I’m like that now, as I said. I used to read to the end no matter what. Now, I toss the book if it doesn’t keep my attention, though I do find myself skimming  sometimes, if I like the story but the descriptions are too wordy. If I find myself skimming too much, I ditch the book.
Someone else said, “When choosing a book I base it on, suggestions from others, the topic, the size of the print (no kidding), and the summary on the jacket or online. I don't do sappy love stories. I like suspense and drama, but nothing too heavy or sad. I don't need any extra burdens in my life. Reading is supposed to be entertaining.” This was a manly-man, so that's what he wants us to think he does, right?
Personally, I love sappy romances as long as they aren’t too crammed with purple prose. (Writing full of ornate or flowery language—best definition I’ve found) I do agree with the extra burdens bit. Most books tell you if they have upsetting content, though that, too, is variable.  
What makes you put a book down? Have your reading habits changed?
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Harem Mistress by Mina Carter

Today I'd like to talk about scarlet women, since in my new release the heroine, Keliana, is a courtesan who must wear scarlet to identify what she is.
The term scarlet woman has often been used to describe prostitutes, and in ancient Greece they were required to wear distinctive garments much like Keliana is in the story, while in later periods of history they were required to either shave their hair or wear veils in public.
However, Keliana is not a prostitute but is instead a courtesan. Originally a courtesan was a female courtier, a person who attended the court of a monarch or other powerful figure. Often in the past, royal couples led separate lives, marrying for the purposes of alliance and because of bloodlines, and would seek companionship from people living at court. The closest, intimate companion of a ruler was called the 'favourite'.  Over time the word evolved from meaning 'to reside at court' and eventually came to mean 'court-mistress'.
At the beginning of the story Keliana herself is the Harem Mistress of the Imperial Prince Sethan, who rules over all over princes, promoted to that position by Sethan's father before his death. Brought to the harem when little more than a child, it's the only home and life she's ever known, but with Sethan's marriage, his new wife has decided to dissolve the harem, leaving Keliana's fate hanging in the balance. She dreams of freedom, and the right to be with the man she loves as a free woman.
However, things do not turn out quite as planned...
 Illicit love, burning hot sex...


Keliana is an imperial harem mistress, but that doesn't stop Jareth Nikolai from wanting her. A colonel in the imperial fleet and the prince's right hand man, Jareth has earned his reputation as a loyal, stone-cold soldier, but thoughts of Keliana heat his blood to boiling--even though she's the property of his prince.

Keliana knows it's forbidden, but she can't get the handsome colonel of out of her mind, nor can she ignore her dreams of one day loving him openly as a free woman. When she's called before her prince and given to Nikolai as a gift, she thinks her dreams have finally come true. Until Nikolai is raised to prince and cannot marry his harem mistress.

And deep within the shadows, enemy machinations work to keep them apart forever...

Available now from: Amazon | | ARe | OmniLit

The Jana Downs Winner is............

Even though he didn't get to say much, Alex sounds like he'd be fun. (I love the name too, cat #3 is named Alex and cat #1 is Drew. Seems like we like the same names.)



Sunday, June 3, 2012

CONTEST by Author Jana Downs

            The Ravyn Warriors have always been my babies. They were my first stories and the first set of people to open up shop in my head. So to say that I have a soft spot for them is a vast understatement. Now we’re up to the fifth book in the series and things are starting to come together in a big way. The end is in sight for the overarching conflict and the most serious and stubborn out of the Ravyns is about to start his own journey on the pages. I’m so freaking excited for them I could do a happy dance (and I totally am. You just can’t see me :P).
SO, to honor Druas’s new mating to his two spicy mates, Cord and Michel, I’m going to give a mini interview with the Ravyns. After the interview, say which Ravyn seems like the guy you’d want to hang out with and why and be entered to win books 1 through 5 of the series. Don’t forget to leave your email address in your reply. Enjoy!

Me: (sitting on my leather sectional while the Allasandro and Dru are digging in my kitchen for snack food, Prince Salvatore and King Destin are sitting adjacent to me on the chaise lounge, Tony is between me and the royals (he’s so bloody overprotective), Damian is chilling out in the arm chair by the fireplace, and Dageus and Alex are sitting on the barstools they’ve dragged into the living room in front of me. Germany, Santiago, and the shifters are running late at the studio as usual. They’ll be joining us later on.) Thanks for coming out, guys. I’ve only got time for a question or two. So let’s get started.

Dageus: (leans back against Alex and nearly falls off the stool.) Um, Yeah. You’re welcome. (He’s looking a little embarrassed. Poor thing) let’s do it.

Me: Cool. So when you guys aren’t saving Demontia, what are you doing?

Alex: (completely straight faced) isn’t this supposed to be a PG13 interview? (lips twitch)

Dageus: Alex! Shut up! Jeez. (Now he’s super embarrassed. His face is reminiscent of a cherry.) Alex and I actually like to do the touristy thing, even locally. I love to take pictures so anything that lets us make a memory, I’m for. (This strikes me as sweet. If I would’ve forgotten the love of my life once, I guess I would want to capture as many moments as possible thereafter).

Me: How about the rest of you? (Allasandro is of course the next one of pipe up, he’s the loud mouth of the group)

Allasandro: Damian and I like to go out dancing. He gets all sexy when we hit the dance floor. He’s not a killer dancer but he looks good doing it. (the sentence ends with a crunch of a potatoe chip. Dang it. They found my stash…)

Damian: (snorts) I’ll remember that, babe.

Dageus: (grimacing) That is not dancing. That is dry humping to a beat.

Allasandro: Yeah, so?

Me: (I’ve got to interrupt here because if I know anything, I know that Dageus and Ally-cat bicker like brothers. So, it’s best to cut them off before they get rolling) How about you Prince Salvatore?

Salvatore: (he looks like he’s really come into his own. His short red hair looks killer and there is a calm confidence that seems to surround him like a cloud. I think it’s safe to say that his marriage is going well. J) Destin and I haven’t really been able to go out lately but we’ve started going horseback riding once a week through Underhill to blow off steam. I wasn’t big on horses before but now it’s kind of cool.

Destin: The people really like seeing us out and about. We can ride around and spend time together as well as see what needs to be done first hand. (the Faery King is sporting dark wash blue jeans and a black mesh shirt that shows off his pierced nipples. It’s a little distracting to be honest but that’s Destin’s style. Nothing about him screams “royalty” and Salvatore loves that about him)

Me: How about you Tony?

Tony: (he looks at me like I’ve lost my mind) I don’t do anything but guard the Prince.

Me: O…k. Um, Druas?

Druas: I— (a knock on the door interrupts whatever Dru would’ve said and he gets a broad smile on his face as he comes around the counter and into the living room with us. Despite the fact that everyone else was closer, he gets to the door first. He swings it open and it immediately engulfed by two very enthusiastic blond-haired shape shifters. Michel is almost a head taller than Dru and Cord is a head shorter. All three of them are blonds. They just look like they go together, like a set of dolls or something. While they are nuzzling and hugging, Germany and Santiago drift into the house and take up residence on the far end of the sectional. Santiago doesn’t even bother sitting on the actual couch. He just climbs into Germany’s lap)

Germany: (looks over at Dru and his mates’ display and offers an apologetic smile) Sorry about that. The newly mated can’t take their hands off of one another.

Me: You all are relatively newly mated.

Germany: Very true. (he gives Santiago a squeeze) Some of us are just better at hiding it than others.

Me: (smiling) So what do you and Santiago do for fun?

Germany: Santiago is used to being around a lot of people so he likes quiet time when he’s home. Sometimes we read to one another or watch Netflix, whichever he’s in the mood for.

Me: What are you guys watching now?

Santiago: We just started Grey’s Anatomy season 2. Germany didn’t want to watch the show at first but I convinced him. Being a surgical intern is a lot like being a dancer. It requires dedication and commitment in a way that most people simply don’t know—

Damian: Grandsire, we all know how much commitment it takes to be in the theater company. (Santiago is another one that tends to drone on. He’s extremely passionate about his job, which makes him a little bit of a pain in the ass to other people who don’t necessarily share his enthusiasm)

(Finally Dru, Michel, and Cord join us in the living room. They don’t bother with furniture. They just sprawl on my carpet in front of the sectional.)

Me: Hi,guys.

Cord: (smiling brightly) Hiya. Are you managing to keep them in line?

Me: They actually haven’t been that bad this time around. It seems mating has mellowed everyone out somewhat. (Back in the day when the unmated warriors outnumbered the mated ones, it was like a frat party when we got together like this) So what do you guys do for fun?

Michel: Can we eat after this? (I imagine it takes a lot to feed the jaguar. Jeez, he’s big)

Me: Sure, honey. I’ll order pizza as soon as we get done here. (I look over at Allasandro who is now perched on Damian’s lap) Since someone didn’t leave any sandwiches or chips for you guys. (he grins unapologetically at me. Butthead)

Druas: We really like hiking and running trails. Shifters and demons are really physical beings, so being outside is a big part of our relaxation time. We’ve taken to running together in the mornings. Sometimes we meditate out by the lake. It’s nice.

Me: Since you guys are the newest couple I’ll give you an extra question. Any regrets?

Druas: (he doesn’t answer me right away but looks at his mates instead, as if pondering the course of what happened between them) None. (Cord and Michel give him a smile and then start the nuzzling and hugging again. The entire room, including me, groans at the abundance of lovey-dovey energy in the room. Yeah…It’s about time for pizza)

Ravyn's Mates (MMM)
Ravyn Warriors 5

AVAILABLE: Monday, June 4th
This title is offered at a 15% discount. Offer ends midnight CST, June 11th.
[Ménage Amour ManLove: Erotic Alternative Fantasy/Paranormal Ménage a Trois Romance, M/M/M, demons, shape-shifters, HEA]
After years of waiting, Michel and Cord have finally found their third mate in the Ravyn warrior Druas. When a demon Prince sends them on a mission that will allow them to grow closer to the object of their mutual affection, both men jump at the offer. The demon’s easy acceptance of their unconventional relationship wasn’t something they were prepared for, but neither is willing to question it.
Druas never dreamed his next mission would result in finding he had not one but two shape-shifting mates. After the initial discomfort and aggression caused by Michel and Cord’s mating pheromones, Druas is happier than he ever thought possible.
But one fateful battle changes everything when Druas is kidnapped and his memories are erased. Can Michel and Cord open their mate’s eyes to the truth, or will the Ravyn be forced to face the loss of more than just his recollections?
A Siren Erotic Romance

 Comment here to this blog post and be entered to win books 1-5 in the  Ravyn Warriors by author Jana Downs.  As her a question or post a comment to start a conversation to win.