Thursday, April 30, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine - Day 2

So we've seen Logan/Wolverine...but how about the actual hero I took to the island with me?

I'm talking about none other than my card-charging main man...


As I talked about yesterday over at my usual casa, I got my start with the X-Men through the Saturday morning cartoons. And my two favorite men were Wolverine and this guy:

Although he was slated to make a cameo in X-3: The Last Stand, the role was eventually cut. Which is a shame because Josh Holloway read for the part. My head would explode if he was cast as the Cajun. Just imagine Josh Holloway saying "Chere."

(Clearly, I'm not the only one who felt strongly about this)

So, when Ana and I learned that Gambit would be in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it was a joyous day indeed. He's never been portrayed in film, but he has always been one of my favorite leading men. For those who might not be familiar with Gambit here's the basic rundown. Remy LeBeau, aka Gambit, from New Orleans and was a thief before joining the X-Men. He has the ability to kinetically charge objects, which then explode when they come into contact with anything - his trademark is charging cards then throwing them at a target, projectile style. His other weapon? A staff that he also can charge. Not to mention, he's a badass at savate and other forms of combat.

Now that you know a little bit about the Cajun, I give you...

The Ballad of Gambit and Rogue

Remy: This is how I've wanted it t'be since I FIRST looked at you, Roguie. Beyond all the flirtin' an' teasin'- past all the games an' all the uncertainty - I KNOW we can be hurt, girl. Physically as well as emotionally - I know one kiss from you - one touch, flesh to flesh - might give me some serious hurtin' - but I'm willin' t'take the RISK for willin' t'do the same for me?

Rogue: ah...ah can't....ah want to - but ah can't. Ah'm so afraid - ah might hurt you -' if ah kiss you an' if ah hurt you - ah know - ah JUST KNOW - ah'd want to DIE.

Enough said.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine - Day 1

Well, it's here. My turn again on the DIK Ladies Blog. Which means a break from the regular programming while I (aka Skeletor!Thea) hijack the posts for three days.

In all honesty, I had completely forgot that I had another turn coming up until Tracy kindly nudged me (thank you Tracy!). So I started my normal head-scratching routine. What could I write about, and for three days no less? I was at a complete loss and having a bit of a panic attack (like, getting ready to post random youtube clips...wait, I still might do that!).

And then...sweet, sweet inspiration.

In the form of a trailer.

Picture this: Me, lost and alone, pitifully drowning in a morass of panic. Grasping at lame non-idea after lame non-idea. And then, as the rushing sound of chaos threatens to choke any creative instinct I might have, I hear it.


The sound of ruthless adamantium, breaking through flesh, cutting through steel. And just like that, I'm saved.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine comes out in theaters this Friday, and what better way to celebrate the first bonafide blockbuster film of the Summer than to take a look at some of the leading dudes?

Especially considering, Remy Le Beau, aka Gambit, is one of my heroes living with me on the island.

Without further ado, I give you a look at the guys that put the X in Men. Starting with the gruffest badass of them all...


X-Men Origins: Wolverine is, after all, Wolverine's solo shot. Really playing fast and loose with the X-continuity but basically deriving from the Origin and Weapon X stories.

James Howlett, aka Logan, aka Wolverine, was born on a plantation in Canada in the late 1800s. After a traumatic event in his childhood resulting in his father's murder and his mother's suicide, James's healing factor kicked in, protecting him from the trauma of his prior memories, and he refused Rose (his childhood companion and the only person who could tell him the truth)'s offer to tell him about his past. Over the ensuing years, Logan fought in wars, eventually teaming up with Captain America in WWII, eventually leading him to Team X, and then the dreaded Weapon X, where he had the adamantium grafted to his skeleton. And, the rest, as they say, is history.

So, replacing the geek hat with the fangirl hat, what am I really looking forward to from the movie (when by all accounts it seems like it will be light on substance and high and style)?

How's about some of this:

Even if the movie is terrible, which it might well be, I still get to sit and stare at Hughverine for two hours on a big screen. What? If guys can do this with Transformers and Megan Fox, what's wrong with us chicas enjoying a little mancandy?



Interview with Ginn Hale

Well, here we are on the final day of my DIK posting. Blogging in which I did very little, other than have several pistols at dawn moments with the dastardly blogger blog thing. Not as easy as wordpress and obviously I am little challenged in the area of html. meh. So, thank you very much Astrid, Nicole and Ginn, you're marvy! And, RomanceBot2000? Inspired. heh.

Thank you lovely DIK posters and I hope you all enjoy Ginn's interview!

RomanceBot2000 Meltdown with Ginn Hale

Hello. I’m Ginn. My novel, Wicked Gentlemen is available from Blind Eye Books and my story “Shy Hunter” has just been published in the QueerWolf anthology. My novella, “Feral Machines”, appears in the Tangle anthology, and of course I’m one third of the hellish heat that is Hell Cop ...what ever that means. I’m currently working on two sequels; one for Hell Cop, (cleverly titled Hell Cop2) and the other for Wicked Gentlemen,(Lord Foster’s Devils).
Two Desert Island Books
1. Anything that has a water filter and radio included.
2. A blank book to write in.
Ginn Hale: I’m Ginn Hale, like the attribution says. What should I call you--
Ginn Hale: Uhm… they’re books--
Ginn Hale: Well, it wasn’t really inspired--
Ginn Hale: I can’t think of anything not to have against tyranny of any kind. Just because it’s clothed in mysticism--
Ginn Hale: There was--
Ginn Hale: I haven’t completed it yet but--
Ginn Hale: When I’m done, which should be--
Ginn Hale: I’m getting a little sick of being cut off before I can--
Ginn Hale: You suck. Seriously.

ROMANCEBOT2000: Error.
Ginn Hale: No, really, this sucks.
Ginn Hale: I’m thinking of re-dedicating my time to destroying robots--
Ginn Hale: No.
Ginn Hale: Right back at you.

Ginn Hale: Well, that could have gone better… Uhm, so if anyone has a real question they are always welcome to contact me on
livejournal or at :

DON’T FORGET YOUR CHANCE FOR A FREE EBOOKThis is the last day to try your hand at our competition. What publication, apart from Hell Cop and Hell Cop 2, have we all three (Astrid Amara, Nicole Kimberling, and Ginn Hale) collaborated on? E-mail
Astrid with the correct answer to be in the running for a free copy of Hell Cop!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Interview with Nicole Kimberling

Today we have the lovely Nicole Kimberling up on the blog getting interviewed via the ROMANCEBOT2000. Not sure I am ready for round two as I nearly broke myself laughing yesterday!! Thank you Nikki!

I’m Nicole Kimberling. Romancebot 2000 has demanded that I submit to an interview and I have complied with her fascist evil dictatorial arrogations.
I’ve also included an excerpt of Ghost Star Night, which will be coming from Samhain Publishing in August. I’ve included an excerpt below.

Questions for Nikki:

Nicole Kimberling
Turnskin (Blind Eye Books, 2008)Hell Cop: Red Sands (Loose Id, 2008)Primal Red (Loose Id, 2008)Hell Cop 2: Dark Waters (Loose Id, TBR June 2009)Ghost Star Night (Samhain, TBR August 2009)
My books are mostly quirky fantasy with a romantic edge. Except Primal Red—that one is a quirky mystery with a romantic edge.
No, it’s about a reporter falling in love with an artist while trying to solve a murder.
Because fascist robot overlords are not inherently sexy, in my opinion. No matter how many cool “attachments” they have, they are still just big metal bullies.
My stories arise from thoughts about the relatedness of people. In the case of Primal Red, I wanted to write about how artists sharing the same space influence each other.
I would not only be an overlord, I would be YOUR overlord, ROMANCEBOT2000. I’m just the overlord type. (Hey, if it’s true, I might as well own it, right?)
Are you sure…
I haven’t actually written much speculum fiction. I find hard, cold metal and plastic items hard to sympathize with—no offense to robots. You can’t help being made out of that stuff. It’s just not that attractive to me personally.
Now, I do write speculative fiction, which is fiction that has a fantastical element of some kind. I write it because being able to introduce magicians and aliens really expands my options for exploring the vast rainbow of human existence.
Turnskin is the title of one of my novels. It’s about shapeshifters (creatively called “shifters”) who can change their appearance to look like other people. Before you ask, yes, contains intercourse.
Sadly, no. But I’m sure at least one of them can do the robot—the dance I mean.
Ghost Star Night is a fantasy novel set in a contemporary royal court. Grand Magician Zachary Drake discovers a magical plot that threatens to destroy his beloved city. He and Lord Adam Wexley must take action to save the city or die trying.
(Ghost Star Night also has lots of cool stuff like people having their souls transferred into the bodies of animals and magical rings and sacred pacts and books written on human skin… And there’s also sex.)
Yes, I just said that.
Yes, in fact, they can. They don’t in the course of the story, since it’s not actually a story about robots. But Grand Magician Zachary Drake does, in fact, put the soul of a guy into a ring, which is like a less complex sort of robot.
Only if you like hanging around in flooded trailer parks more than you like sexy guys who can’t stop being on fire.
Probably hers… But mine would get the promotion, cause he’s just so damn camera-friendly.
Between our Hell Cops? No, I can’t imagine Dion Argent doing it with Jay Yervant. Ever. But my Hell Cop gets down with his steady beau, Professor Michael Gold.
Always a pleasure, ROMANCEBOT2000.


Three Books Nicole Kimberling Likes A Lot

1.Collected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca, bilingual edition
(I’m not bilingual, but I’d have a lot of time to teach myself Catalan on the island probably.)

2.The Fiction Editor, the Novel and the Novelist by Thomas McCormack
(A book so deep it verges on philosophy.)

3.The SAS Survival Handbook by John “Lofty” Wiseman.
(Those lizards aren’t going to trap, skin and cook themselves.)


Prizes!To celebrate the fact that Astrid, Ginn and myself are writing a sequel to Hell Cop, we’ve decided to have a contest. What publication, apart from Hell Cop and Hell Cop 2, have we all three (Astrid Amara, Nicole Kimberling, and Ginn Hale) collaborated on? The first TWO to e-mail Astrid with the correct answer will get a free copy of Hell Cop!


Adam loved the music. And the red and amber lights flashing up from the luminous floor. And the crush of dancing bodies. And the strong, sophisticated cocktails. In short, he loved this club.

Pulsing electronic beats throbbed through the smoky air so loud and so low that he felt it deep in his chest. The scenery wasn’t bad either. Although the club was mixed, both gay and straight, noble and common, the dark-haired man eyeing him from the neon-lit bar had to be a courtier. Not from Adam’s own West Court, but maybe from the North Court. He had that academic look that men from the North Court had. Adam smiled, his signature move. Normally, smiling could not be called a signature move, but Adam fully understood the power of his full lips and straight, white teeth. Smiling elevated him from good-looking blond to sexy hunk.

The lord from North Court, sitting at the bar, sat up straight and motioned Adam closer.

From deep within his pocket, Adam’s phone vibrated. He decided to ignore it, then it pulsed again, in that special rhythm. Lady Langdon, his godmother, needed him. With regret he shook his head at Lord North Court and bounded up the staircase that led to street level. He rushed up to the big gorilla doorman who controlled the line of well-dressed hopefuls waiting to get inside. The gorilla bared his teeth and his black fur bristled as Adam jostled past him and out into the humid summer night.

“How may I serve you, my lady?” he answered, slightly out of breath.

“You need to get Drake now!” Lady Langdon shouted so loudly that Adam had to pull the phone from his ear.

“Drake?” Adam squinted down the dark street, feeling too dazed with nightlife to immediately understand what she wanted from him at this hour. “The Magician of the Black Tower?”

“Is there another?” Lady Langdon snapped. “Go and bring him! Promise him whatever is necessary, with the exception of your soul. You’ll need that later.”

“I would think that mere cash would be enough to encourage him.” As far as Adam knew, Drake was among the last of the freelancers. A gun for hire in a city where almost every other magician was allied to one of the four courts.

“That’s why thinking is not one of the attributes for which you are best known,” Lady Langdon said. “Don’t fail me.”

Adam rounded the corner and found his car and driver waiting. His driver, an elderly orangutan called Karl, had been lightly dozing in the front seat, and started awake when Adam rapped on the hood. He straightened his hat and scrambled out to open the door for Adam, who tumbled into the car’s backseat with the lax grace of the practically unconscious. He waited for his driver to resettle himself behind the wheel and said, “To the Black Tower.”

Karl nodded and signed, “Did you have a good night, boss?”

“Not as good as I’d hoped.”

Karl pulled onto the downtown street and started for Tower Heights. Adam stared out the window at the sidewalk, still vibrant with life, even though sunrise was quickly approaching.

Their route took them right alongside the heavily mosaicked walls of royal palace.

At this time of morning the figure of King Simon Columbain slaying the great serpent-demon seemed like it might almost spring to life. Soon the first morning rays would fall across the gilded tiles that comprised King Simon’s sorcerous sword, Demonslayer. Adam admired the strength and courage of his forbearers in their historic deeds, but tried not to think about them too long. Ruminations of that sort would only lead him to fret over his own lack of heroic achievement. Better to admire King Simon and leave it at that.

As an attendant to his godmother, Lady Langdon, Adam’s importance barely surpassed that of furniture. He looked good dressed in the West Court gold. He had a nice voice. He could hold Lady Langdon’s fur coat, handbag and hat simultaneously. He could play guitar and piano, but wouldn’t unless asked. Other attendants had skills. Bankers. Accountants. Armies of lawyers to oversee the formal transfer of souls. Lady Langdon called upon them constantly. Him, she never needed for anything but to fetch and carry. This time, Grand Magician Drake of the Black Tower. Next time, maybe her umbrella.

Outside the downtown core, few cars moved, mostly delivery trucks entering the palace grounds, their square, dirty forms shabby against the polished rose marble walls.

Three soulless custodians, a thin, gray-haired man and two doughy women, finished polishing their section of wall and plodded across the entryway in a slow, silent procession. A truck driver didn’t brake as he entered the palace gates, barely missing the last man. The soulless resumed polishing the wall, carefully scratching grime from the grout, sweeping the sidewalk and picking up cigarette butts from the gutter.

He saw Karl glance over at the soulless in the same searching way that inhabited animals seemed to.

“Looking for your old body out there?” Adam asked.

Karl shook his shaggy head and expelled a snort that Adam thought was much like laughter, then lifted one long-fingered hand and signed, “My body’s dead, boss. Why do you think I’m inside of this monkey?”

“You could be a convict,” Adam pointed out.

“Not with a palace chauffeur’s license.” Karl made a left up the hill toward the Tower Heights neighborhood, and then eased to a stop in the loading zone in front of a dark monolith of a building. He turned and pulled a huge orangutan grin. “Here you go, boss, good luck in there.”

It was not Drake’s custom to be awake for any part of the morning, but on this occasion he happened to be observing the flowering of a new star low on the western horizon, and he was in a foul temper because of it. New stars, though rare, were a bother to the astrologically inclined, changing the whole meaning of the sky. They were also known to be harbingers of disaster so Drake examined it closely, speaking spells and taking measurements. He’d neither showered nor shaved for three days when his doorbell rang. His hair hung over his shoulders in greasy black strings. He stank.

Drake’s servant, Nancy, appeared in his study doorway, dressed in her bathrobe and slippers. Her normally neat brown page-cut hair was so knotted and askew that it resembled a poorly kept and inexpensive wig.

“You have a gentleman caller from the West Court, sir. Lord—” She broke off, stifling a yawn. “Lord Adam Wexley.”

“I’m not at home to guests,” Drake snapped, then, turning away, murmured, “Nobles…they think they can ring your bell at any time of day they like.”

“He says it an emergency.”

“Everything is an emergency for them. Send him away.”

“He’s got a nice smile,” Nancy said. “And nice legs.”

Drake left his telescope and crossed to the fishbowl that he used as a scrying device. On the water’s surface, he conjured the image of his gentleman caller.

Lord Wexley was a tall rectangular man with very square shoulders and a casual looseness of his limbs that lent him a marionette-like appearance. He wore tight yellow and black club wear that looked tawdry in normal light. Drake could see Adam’s small nipples through the sheer fabric. His eyes were blue.

“You say he said his business was of the utmost urgency?”

“No, I said he said he was here because of an emergency,” Nancy corrected.

Drake waved the difference aside with an impatient hand.

“Bring our guest coffee. Tell him I will be with him as soon as I am able.”

Drake showered and shaved and found a clean black shirt and a pair of jeans and put on his rings, malingering in the bath for as long as he could before joining his guest in the living room approximately an hour later.

Adam hadn’t touched the coffee tray, apparently because he had fallen asleep.

He lay sprawled across Drake’s bone-colored sofa like he owned it, smelling of whiskey, sweat and cigarettes. His short blond hair looked sticky with spent product. Drake sat in his armchair and poured himself some coffee. Drake expected Adam to wake, but he didn’t. So Drake set the coffee pot down on its silver tray with an unnecessary clang. Nothing. Not even a snore. The grand magician leaned close to his ear.

“Lord Wexley, do you intend to spend the whole day asleep on my couch? I will expect you to pay me rent for it, I promise you.”

Adam’s bloodshot eyes popped open and he sat up, confused.


“Yes, Lord Wexley?”

“Please call me Adam.”

Drake nodded and Adam continued, “Grand Magician Zachary Drake, I wish to—”

“You wish to summon me to attend Lady Langdon, Minister of the West Court?”

“Yes, Lady Langdon—” he began, but Drake cut him off again.

“Certainly she must have told you that I prefer not to work for the Courts of the Four Directions,” Drake said. Adam looked like a confused little boy who had just been told that the world is not flat after all, but can’t quite grasp the information. His eyes roamed over Drake, as if he’d just noticed Drake had a physical presence.

Drake caught Adam’s eyes lingering on his ostentatious and obviously magical rings. Drake sensed that he was rating them, deciding which ring looked most evil. Was it the blood diamond? The talon? The fat silver spider?

Drake wanted to reach out and smooth Adam’s hair and straighten his collar. He restrained himself. He suspected that days spent doing nothing but mathematics had rendered him impulsive and delirious.

“But the astrologers have decreed that Lady Langdon’s daughter Carolyn will be in labor before noon,” Adam said as if this explained everything.

“I don’t see how I could be of any use. I’m not well practiced in midwifery.” Drake dropped a cube of cinnamon-sugar into his coffee.

“The Medallion of Rayner has been stolen. You must help get it back. Now do you understand?”

Drake understood immediately. Without Lady Langdon’s holy medallion, the protective barrier surrounding her daughter would be incomplete, leaving mother and child vulnerable to curses and possession.

“That is unfortunate, but I must regretfully decline. Because of the appearance of a strange new star, I am currently engaged with remapping the night sky. It’s a big project involving tricky mathematics that only I understand. I have no time to spare for finding Lady Langdon’s lost jewelry.” As Drake stood to leave, Adam caught him by the arm. Adam’s hand felt warm from sleep.

“She knows where the medallion is, she just can’t get it.” Adam’s cell phone rang again. He glanced at the display and looked pained. “Lady Langdon said that I must return with you at any cost, so name your price.”

Drake considered asking Adam for either a kiss or his immortal soul but decided that the former gave his hand away and the latter… He had no use for a soul as pure as Adam’s. But his earnest, guileless expression moved Drake. He thought that it was no wonder Lady Langdon had sent him. Adam fell well within Drake’s tastes and usual strike range.

Crafty old biddy knows me too well, he thought. Aloud, he said, “Is that any way to beg my favor?”

Adam flushed deep red then bowed his deepest and most formal bow.

“I, Adam Wexley of the West Court, humbly request the honor of your presence in the court this morning, Grand Magician Drake. Would you please accompany me on this matter of great urgency?”

Drake smiled. “It would be my singular pleasure.”

More information coming soon at:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Interview with Astrid Amara

For my DIK days I thought it would be a cool idea to ask Astrid, Nicole and Ginn if they'd like to share stuff. I am a serious fan girl of their books and was super pleased when they agreed. Tomorrow we have Nicole Kimberling and on Wednesday it's Ginn Hale's turn.
So, enjoy!

Hello from the Unusual Mind of Astrid Amara.

Dear Desert Island Keepers Readers,
The wonderful
Sarah requested that I come play, and invite along a couple friends.
Being an author who sucks at self-promotion and usually spends way too much time making fun of her own cover art (see adorable Drowning Tetanus boy on my current cover), I tend to stay away from the internet’s public eye.
I’m generally incapable of being serious about anything, which includes blogging, promoting, bloating, or promogging. I mean, let’s face it: “serious” scifi-porn does not make. I like my stories to take place in wild settings. I like there to be romance. And angst. I especially like the combination of abs with angst.
So, inexperienced interviewee/blogger that I am, I was naturally worried when faced with the prospect of three days worth of entertaining you fine ladies. I said to myself, “Self, no one wants to hear about your boring life as a civil servant, the fact that you look like all the “before” pictures on What Not to Wear, and you have a deep-rooted phobia of butterflies that makes you cry when you see them.”
So what do readers want?
Story. Sex. Humor. And maybe some pictures of humorous sex? No, wait, scratch that.
So I invited along the two funniest people I know, who happen to also be great amazing authors and whose stuff I love to read. The venerable Nicole Kimberling [] and the inestimable Ginn Hale [], both of whom are better at this whole writing-about-writing business.
So I’m thinking we play this way: every day one of us will share with you what we’ve got out there for your reading pleasure.
And we’ll answer a few questions generated by the “Interview RomanceBot 2000” (introductions coming at the bottom of the post).
Hope you enjoy. And feel free to write in with any questions, snarky feedback, or “virtual RomanceBot viruses.”
**Access Authorized**
Welcome to the exciting world of Auto-Content Interviews! In this day and age, asking questions – who has time for it? And why bother? Now that RomanceBot 2000 knows what it is in your heart, you can be sure to get the answers you need without all that pesky questioning!

ASTRID: Astrid.
ASTRID: Astrid. Astrid.
ASTRID: I write predominantly science fiction / fantasy gay romance. I occasionally dabble in contemporary humor. I seem to send characters to prison a lot.
ASTRID: I have one trade paperback fantasy called The Archer’s Heart [], which is a finalist for the 2009 Lambda Literary award and is published by Blind Eye Books []. It’s a sweeping epic that—
ASTRID: Uh, yes. Yes there is. But the story is about a prince, who falls in love with a revolutionary in a tropical nation where his brother is fighting for the crown, and—
ASTRID: Oh, lots of intercourse. Verbal, anal, you name it. Jeez. Getting kind of personal right out of the starting gate, aren’t—
ASTRID: Well, I like to have strong story elements, but if you must focus on that, then—
ASTRID: I’m not telling you. You have to read the whole book.
ASTRID: Well, if the size of the book is intimidating you, then maybe you’d like to try one of my novellas or e-books? I have five titles available through Loose Id [], including a new title this week, The Valde: Water. []. This is a supernatural thriller where a man must come to terms with the fact that his dead lover has come back to life, and doesn’t remember him. Oh, and is also a now murdering people with his bare hands.
ASTRID: Oh! Well, okay, want tense, imprisoned love and undercover torturer angst porn? Try Intimate Traitors! [] Or want futuristic-genocide-victim meets unnaturally-virile-doctor-in-space porn? Try A Policy of Lies! [] or want—
ASTRID: Yes. They are erotica.
ASTRID: Well, one of my characters is a cyborg, does that count?
ASTRID: No. Holiday Outing [] is my contemporary humor romance piece, about a family trapped inside the house over Chanukah, and a man who must come to terms with the crush he has on the boy who humiliated him in high school and who---
ASTRID: No. Not Jewish robot. He’s a man.
ASTRID: Pardon me?
ROMANCEBOT2000: Nothing.
ASTRID: What? What do you mean?
ASTRID: Are you still the beta version of this hardware, or—
ASTRID: It’s just Hell Cop.
ASTRID: Hell Cop [] is an anthology of novellas written by myself, Nicole Kimberling, and Ginn Hale. It was really fun to write three interconnected stories all set in the same fantastical setting, an urban city called Parmas where sorcerers and demons live among human beings, and the Hell Cops must protect them all. The sequel to Hell Cop is being written now and will be available this summer.
ASTRID: *sigh* Yes.
ASTRID: Nicole’s story has a half-demon, half-human man who falls in love with a hell cop.
ASTRID: Look, this interview is supposed to be about my publications, and what these novels are ABOUT. I want to tell you about their plots, about their weird settings and the complex emotional issues that my characters must deal with before they find true love, and…. Oh never mind. The sex starts on Page 164 of The Archer’s Heart.

Surprise! Prize!
What publication, apart from Hell Cop and Hell Cop 2, have we all three (Astrid Amara, Nicole Kimberling, and Ginn Hale) collaborated on? The first TWO to e-mail me with the correct answer will get a free copy of Hell Cop!

Feeling like learning more about my books but not feeling interested enough to read the whole blurb? I’ve made you a handy guide to the *real* content below!

1. The Archer’s Heart – epic fantasy of warriors fighting battles, claiming thrones, secretly having sex with each other, and starting a cultural revolution. Think chutney, chariots, jungle romance, and supernatural explosions.
2. Intimate Traitors – future dystopic prison romance where the prisoner has to convince the torturer to let him go by using his special (lucky?) charms
3. A Policy of Lies – genocide-surviving mystery-solving reporter in space! Too bad he’s falling in love with the bad guy…
4. Hell Cop, “Next of Kin” – 30 year old virgin man on fire finally gets laid. And solves a crime while he’s at it.
5. Holiday Outing – The only thing worse than bunking with the guy who outed and humiliated you in high school, is trying to have sex with him in your mother’s house.
6. The Valde: Water – Supernatural chase scene, running only temporarily stopped by hot hot sex.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac – I’m a nerd. I like facts. And if I memorized it all, I’d be smarty-poo!
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell – Because nothing says “relax” like a book about tortured priests in space.
The Jeeves Omnibus by PG Wodehouse – There isn’t a page in this book that I don’t laugh out loud at. It’s the funniest book ever. Plus I like to imagine that Jeeves and Wooster had a *wink wink* *toggle toggle * happening behind the scenes, if you know what I mean.
4.Any old Russian Text Book – I know from experience that these pages make the best toilet paper in a pinch.
The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle – I love Holmes, and I confess, there are a few mysteries I still haven’t read. Now’s my chance. Plus I like to imagine that Watson and Holmes had a *squint squint* *winkle winkle* happening behind the scenes if you know what I mean.
Where There is No Doctor by David Werner et al– okay, most of you won’t know this book. But seriously? It kills me. Its like the most entertaining and useful book ever. I got my copy when serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer and have often wanted to tattoo the artwork on my body. See, all the pictures of diseases were drawn by this doctor, and they’re TERRIBLE. But the information in it is REALLY HANDY.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Where is the romance genre going???

I recently went to a conference in Spokane, Washington (great job, IECRWA!!!!) and one of the topics that kept coming up was trying to define the "romance" genre. Of course, we all know the traditional romance stereotypes... I still love reading very traditional romances, and I'll always have a soft place in my heart for those super-alpha heroes.

But every time I talk to romance readers, they're talking about authors who aren't writing entirely typical romances. So many big authors -- Linda Howard, Suzanne Brockmann, etc -- have gone toward romantic suspense that isn't true romance, and it seems like a lot of new stars popular with romance readers are doing urban fantasy. In my own writing career, I've seen great sales of urban fantasy, romantic suspense and now a WESTERN, which I thought were all but dead.

So -- What do you think? What's the next big step for romance, and do you think the "genre" should be stretching to call these new authors romance writers? Are they something else? As readers, what do you want to read, and what makes a book a keeper for you? Does a "romance" still need to follow the formula to appeal to romance readers? I know that many writers groups are struggling with this idea, but I'm not seeing a lot of people actually asking READERS.

What's your opinion?

Joanna Wylde

One last contest!!!!

Congratulations to Tetewa, who won yesterday's contest :) Just drop me a line at joannawylde (AT) to claim your prize! You can pick any one of my books in electronic form, or you can get "The Price of Pleasure" or "The Price of Freedom" in trade paperback :)

So today is my last day as your guest blogger, and I want to give away one more book. Just go ahead and reply to this post to enter the contest...

Happy playing!

Joanna Wylde

Friday, April 24, 2009

What are your hottest authors this year???

Yesterday I posted my "formative" authors, and it was fun to see how many of us share the same favorites! Today I want to hear about who you're loving in the past six months or so. Not just what you're reading right at this minute, but who your "automatic buys" are these days... Just a warning, a lot of mine are urban fantasy. Romantic, but not necessarily romance.

Joanna Wylde's List:

"Any Given Doomsday" by Lori Handeland (I can't wait for the sequel!!!!)
Keri Arthur -- an amazing writer, and the coolest thing about her is she writes her heroine like she's a man. Not too often you get to see a woman who isn't defined by her sexuality... It's not as romantic as some authors, but very fun to read!
Karen Chance -- I have yet to pick up a stinker by her ;)
Ann Aguirre -- Got one of her books from the library and then I had to go and buy up her whole backlist...
Jes Battis -- CSI for the supernatural set! This guy's writing is really a step above, although not traditional romance at all.
Charlaine Harris
Jennifer Armintrout
Karen Marie Moning (LOVING her Fae series!)
Jeaniene Frost (loved her first, by the third not so much)
Kelley Armstrong (both her women of the otherword series and her hit-woman series)
Lisa Kleypas (Kinda tired of her Regency stuff, but loving the contemporary books)

That's just a small sample, of course. I'm a junkie, I have a serious book problem... They know me all too well a Borders, LOL.

So, what are you reading? What author will you buy without thinking twice? Does your list look like mine at all???

A new contest, and thanks to those who played yesterday!

Hi everyone,

I had fun playing yesterday -- what a great group of readers! I'm pleased to announce that my two contest winners are Rachael (who won a copy of "Catherine's Awakening") and Sarah, who won a copy of "The Price of Pleasure" in trade paperback. If either of you want a different book, just let me know ;)

Today I'd like to give away another book, because what's the fun of being a guest if you can't offer good swag? To enter, just reply to this post and I'll put you in the drawing!

Joanna Wylde

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Romances/romantic books that knocked me on my ass...

I started reading romance under the covers with a flashlight when I was about twelve years old... My parents were not exactly liberal, and considered all romance trashy, even pornographic, so I got very, very sneaky about it. But you simply can't keep a true romance genre addict away from the books, and I've been reading them for more than 20 years now!

I thought I'd start the day off by telling you about some of those books that I truly loved, books that shaped how I write and think about the genre. The funny thing I've found is that some of them don't really "hold up" to my memories. They aren't necessarily what I'd read now, and when I go back to look at them again some just don't hit me the same way. Others are as great now as they were the first time I saw them ;)

So, I'll show you mine if you show me yours! What books have you loved over the years? What books really caught you and brought you into the genre???

Joanna Wylde's list:

"Flowers from the Storm" by Laura Kinsale
"Shield's Lady" by Jayne Ann Krentz
"After the Night" by Linda Howard (hell, just pick ANY Linda Howard, especially her earlier stuff before she went more mainstream romantic suspense!)
"Dreaming of You" by Lisa Kleypas
"One Summer" by Karen Robards
"Wild Swan" by Celeste de Blasis
"The Duke" by Gaelen Foley
"Dark Prince" by Christine Feehan

Oh, and can any "formative" romance list be complete without "Sweet Savage Love" by Rosemary Rogers??? It's a scary old book on soooooo many levels, but it was the first book I ever read with explicit sex scenes! I babysat for a woman who had a copy on her bookshelf. Damn, I couldn't WAIT for those kids to go to sleep ;)

So, what books touched you as an early reader, for better or worse? I want to hear about them!

Thanks so much for a great welcome!

Hi everyone,

I'm really thrilled to be a guest blogger here at Desert Island Keepers, and I hope to make the time fun for all of us. First thing first... Free books!!!

In the interests of blatant self promotion, I've got a little challenge for people interested in entering a drawing for a free copy of my newest novella, "Catherine's Awakening." Here's the blurb:

Wade Masters has always wanted Catherine. The sight of her sends slow fire burning through him. At night his dreams twist his body with need, stoking his desire beyond control or rational thought. In Wade’s eyes, Catherine has always been his woman. But she was too young when he left for war, and when he returned he found her married to his brother.

Wade did the right thing. He honored her marriage, and when his brother died he gave Cat protection and a place to live. But now she’s leaving. It’s too much. It’s time for Catherine to wake up and see Wade for who he is—the man who will complete her. She just needs to give him a chance.

So, if you want to enter yourself in the contest, go to my website and read the "Catherine's Awakening" excerpt. Then email me at joannawylde AT with the answer to this question: "What kind of job is Catherine trying to get?"

I'll pick a winner at the end of the day, and send off a free copy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Interview with Joanna Wylde

Please help me give a warm DIK welcome to Joanna Wylde. She'll be with us until Saturday and there'll be gifties so keep you eyes peeled!

Joanna Wylde is a freelance writer who worked as both a journalist and a fundraiser before finding her niche in erotic romance. In April 2002, "The Price of Pleasure" was released as an e-book and quickly found a receptive audience. Jo is married and lives in north Idaho with her husband, David.

So your first published book was the Price of Pleasure. Was this the first book you wrote or just the first one published?

"The Price of Pleasure" was my first book, although I've always been interested in writing -- I just hadn't finished anything before. When I started talking to the folks at Ellora's Cave I got really excited about the story and finished it in a very short time. I did have a great deal of writing experience in journalism and tech writing before I got serious about fiction.

What led you to write erotic romances in general?

In all honesty, I had never considered writing erotic romances before I learned about Ellora's Cave. One of my friends from the Linda Howard bulletin board posted about this new publisher, which was doing books unlike anything I'd ever read before. I decided to try writing one, just as a challenge, and things just took off from there.

You seem to write a lot of Urban Fantasy, Futuristic and mythological erotic romances. Which of these is your favorite to write? And what led you to these sub-genre's originally?

I have always loved fantasy and science fiction, but I really started writing futuristics because that seemed to be what Ellora's Cave was looking for. I had such a positive response from readers that I kept writing them, although I like to experiment with other genres every chance I get. I love so many different kinds of romance that it's hard to imagine being stuck writing just one -- I just finished my first western, and that was tons of fun to write. Each type of romance carries so many challenges and opportunities, and the readers have been great about not trying to box me into just one kind of writing!

What is your favorite genre to read?

Right now I really enjoy reading urban fantasy the most, although I have a weakness for Regencies and romantic suspense. I love alpha heroes, and the darker the plots, the better.

Do you have a favorite book that you've written? If so, which one and why?

I don't know that I have a favorite book, but I do have a favorite project. Recently, one of the editors at Elloras Cave lost her teenage daughter to smoke inhalation under horrific circumstances. A large group of EC authors has banded together to write a series of stories as a fundraiser for the family, with the proceeds going to pay off her final expenses. To say I'm honored to be a part of this project is an understatement, and it is my hope that people will buy as many of these stories as possible -- not only will you be getting great reads, but you'll be helping a truly wonderful family in a time of need. When I have more information I'll pass it along to you (publication dates, titles, etc.)

In her honor, I ask all your readers to check and make sure that their smoke alarms are functional, and that they have dual sensors. Here's a link to Consumer Reports that gives more information on smoke alarm safety and what kind of alarms you should have installed in your home: Fire Safety For Your Home.

You worked as a journalist prior to penning erotic romance, correct? Although they are both writing they are worlds apart. Was making that transition hard...trying to write a story instead of an article?

Well, I think that writing is writing. A novel is very different from articles in terms of preparation, plotting, etc., but both kinds of writing are ultimately about sitting your butt down in a chair and typing. Otherwise, they're far more similar than you'd think. It's about getting words onto a page, and then cleaning them up enough that people can understand them. It all requires commitment, creativity and research.

Of course, there's nothing like a writing deadline to get me serious about cleaning my bathroom... I'm a terrible procrastinator!

Who is your favorite author and why?

I don't have one favorite author, but there are a few whose books I buy automatically. They include Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Charlaine Harris, Kelley Armstrong and Kim Harrison (can you tell I'm reading urban fantasy these days???). Some of my all-time favorite romance authors are Lisa Kleypas and Linda Howard. I also love non-fiction, and read lots of history. That's what my degree is in -- specifically, the education of upper-class Tudor women, which has got to be the least-practical thing on earth to study!

What's up next (release-wise) for you?

I recently signed a contract for a novella called "Gladiator's Price," which is the latest in my futuristic series. There will be more details about that one on my website ( as soon as I've got the all-clear to start sharing them. I'd love to tell you about the most recent historical I've written, but the contract is still pending on that one. I'm looking to write another western in the near future, and am also working on a Regency. There are just so many stories I want to write, but it seems like I will never have time to do even half of them. It's a good problem to have!

Leave a comment on this post to be in the running for one of Joanna's books!

Joanna thank you again for joining us here one DIK .

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fantasy Island

When Tracy asked me to guest blog, I knew exactly what I wanted to post about. You see, last year when the DIK ladies were doing their hero picks, I was playing right along with them. I even made my own list of heroes along side their list. (Yes, I'm a geek like that!) Because I was doing it all on my own, I didn't have to worry about others "stealing" my guys. However, I mostly played along until my guys were "taken."

You see, books are my main form of entertainment. Since my kid came along, we don't go to movies the way we used to (unless it's rated G.) I love movies and movie stars, and some of the most fun I've had on my blog, Renee's Book Addiction, is doing some hero fantasy casting.

I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite heroes/actors from that post, and add a couple of new ones to the mix:

Russell Crowe as Nate Hawkins from My Fair Captain by JL Langley
OK, I've said this more than once, but RC honestly doesn't "do it" for me (sorry, LB!) except when I think of him as Nate.

Russell Crowe's commanding presence captures Nate Hawkins' masculine physicality and take-no-prisoners attitude.

Gabriel Byrne (from the 80's) as Cam Rohan from Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas
His looks just scream Roma to me, AND he's Irish. He's also got that devil-may-care charm and intensity that I love about Cam.

The picture in my head of Cam has always been very like GB when he was in movies like Gothic or Miller's Crossing.

Montgomery Clift as Adrien English from the Adrien English Mysteries by Josh Lanyon
OK, this one was a gimme.

Adrien is one of my favorite series characters. In the series, people often tell Adrien how much he looks like the actor, whom I think was one of the most beautiful of classic Hollywood's actors.

Montgomery Clift was good at conveying vulnerability and restrained intensity that sometimes boiled over with catastrophic consequences. Hmm . . . sound familiar?
Here are some new casting additions I'd like to make:

Javier Bardem as Japhrimel from the Dante Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow

Japhrimel is not just any demon, but Lucifer’s right-hand and enforcer. He’s the guy who all the other demons are afraid of. Yet, when he is given the job of assisting Dante, he falls so deeply in love that he rejects Lucifer to stay with her.

Javier Bardem has that slightly dangerous quality that Japh has. Man, I just love this pic of him. Talk about a smoldering look!

My favorite Japh quote: "You shall not leave me to wander the earth alone." ::melt::

Rick Yune as Chance from Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre

I just finished reading this great new uf last week, and I loved how Chance's intensity of emotion for Corine was so tightly controlled, and then it would just bleed through.

Like Chance, Rick Yune is of Korean descent. Also (as evidenced by the above picture,) like Chance, he wears fashionable clothes really well. Rick Yune also has that smooth sophistication that Chance has.

Jensen Ackles as Elec Monroe from Flat Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy

I love Elec's sexy confidence that never comes across as arrogant. He's emotionally honest, and once he realizes the depth of his feelings for Tamara, he is single-minded in his pursuit of her.

I think Jensen Ackles really conveys that confidence, and while he's often smirky and arrogant on Supernatural, he's somehow never comes across as obnoxious.

Moses Brings Plenty as Charles from the Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs

This Lakota Sioux actor and musician seems perfect to me for the traditional Charles.

I love how Charles is such a great combination of nurturer and alpha male. All the weres fear him, yet he is so gentle with Anna. I'm really looking forward to seeing how their relationship progress in book 2, Hunting Ground, which will be released in August.

Jude Law as Sebastian St Vincent from The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

I think Jude Law is almost criminally beautiful. Which sounds like St Vincent to a "T".
He's edgy and dark enough to abduct with his best friend's fiancé, yet charming enough to come back to be a hero in his own book (after taking a pounding by Marcus, of course!)

There's something about the redemptive quality of a great heroine, and the hero who needs redemption. St Vincent and Evie are one of my favorite romance couples!

Here are a few others I'd like to try casting, but haven't found the right man for the part:
  • Clay from the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong
  • Ranger from the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich
  • Hardy Cates from Blue Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
  • Max Pesaro from The Gardella Vampire Chronicles by Colleen Gleason
Any suggestions? Any hero you'd like to cast?

Thanks, ladies, for letting me visit the island. I had a lot of fun! I'm throwing a goodbye party out on the beach. Bring your heroes, Chance, Charles, Elec, Japh and I will be there with the blender, mixing up some amaretto sours!

Cheers! Renee
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