Monday, January 31, 2011

Whence Cometh That Grand Movie? or Great Movies Often Start With Books!

Hello to All! I'm Dr. J and am one of the "newbie" Dik ladies that will be posting here from time to time. I have had my own blog--Dr. J's Book Place--for some time now and have been delighted to become a part of the blogging community, especially with all the great people I have met that are involved in book blogs. I have been following DIK for some time and am in awe when I see some of the creative and witty postings. Not sure I can measure up, but I have some ideas that might spark some interest and perhaps set your minds to think along the same lines.

Some years ago Steven Spielberg was asked why some of the classic movies were so great and he never hesitated when he replied, "Because they come from great books!" I know that when I was first introduced to movies and through the years following, I knew that most of the blockbuster movies and those that were most popular came from novels. The original screen play was much more rare in those days. Today, probably because it costs a lot more to pay an author for their work, then hire someone to turn a book into a screen play, and then on and on, there are far fewer books that make it to the movie screens and when they do, they are somehow changed to make them funnier, sexier, more acceptable to the stars to whom they are paying millions to show up every day. So I have been thinking about some of the classic movies that are out there, most of which are faithful for the most part to the text of the novels.

Of course, the quintessential classic movie made from a novel is Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I believe that was the only novel she ever wrote and the entire movie was shot on a sound stage including the scenes showing the burning of Atlanta during the Civil War. It was made in Technicolor which was a very expensive process--sort of layering the color over each scene, but because it was a very precise process, more movies made in Technicolor have had their beautiful colors survive the ravages of time than those made in the cheaper color processes since. Curiously, in 1939 when the movie was released, book sales skyrocketed. That was the way for decades following. Every girl in America fantasized about Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and envisioned themselves being forcefully carried up that grand staircase to be ravaged by him. It was sex 1939 style, but without nudity and raw language, it caused proper maidens of every social strata to take out their hankerchiefs and fan their blushing cheeks.

There were, of course, the movies that were made to showcase the careers of particular stars. Movie studios looked for books whose stories were taylor made for a particular actor who happened to be "big boxoffice" at that particular time. Sometimes those screen plays weren't as good as they could have been, and perhaps the actors didn't fit the role as well as could some other actor, but they got made anyway. Of course, there were movies that just simply pulled at one's heart strings and seemed to tunnel into the emotions better than others. Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights was one of those kinds of movies. With Lawrence Olivier, one of Hollywood's great actors and Merle Oberon who had the fluttering, fainting, wilting lily kind of character down to a tee, who wouldn't like that movie. I know I still love to watch it on Turner Classic Movies channel and wonder that our present generation hasn't experienced such intensity

Emily Bronte's sister, Charlotte, along with their sister Anne and brother Branwell lived in their home in Yorkshire, children of a minister. I don't think any of them married but all had a literary career. The sisters started out writing under pseudonyms because of the prejudice against women authors at the time. You may remember that the author George Sand, contemporary of Chopin, wrote under this masculine name because of the same prejudice against female authors. Charlotte's novel Jane Eyre was emmensely popular both in Britain and in the U. S. where it was made into a very popular movie in 1944, starring Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles. It was dark andGothic in tone, didn't contain nearly as much of the story as versions made in the later decades, but it still stands as one of the classics of its time. Perhaps it would be interesting to note that the movie poster came out in color but the movie was made in black and white. It is still one of my favorites--I think I had a crush on Orson Welles in those days. Such a marvelous voice!

Last, but not least, one of my favorite authors and whose books I have read for many years was Anya Seton, known best for her historical novels mostly because they were so well researched that they could easily have passed for history texts. But a couple of her books were made into movies that were quite popular. One was Dragonwyk, a film noir with a very dark plot and almost bordering on the fantastic--as in fantasy literature. But my favorite was Foxfire starring Jeff Chandler and Jane Russell, and I might add, who in American wasn't in lust with Jeff Chandler? Tall, muscular, with a gravelly voice that drove women wild, and a full head of platinum blonde hair that looked almost white against his tanned skin. Yum!! I think I saw this film about 25 times, but remember that was back in the days of "continuous run" at the theaters so you could pay your $2 in the morning and stay all day, watching your favorites over and over.
So there you have it . . . some of the movies that have wowed us through the years. I am sure you all can think of others -- The World According To Garp comes to mind that is a book-related movie made in recent decades. Would love to get your thoughts on this and see what you all can come up with. Until next time . . .

Friday, January 28, 2011

Desert Island Vaca

It's dead winter here in Connecticut and it's no secret that I love snow and ice and wind--but when I'm tracking salt and sand into my house for the 30th day in a row? Well it may be time to revisit my holiday photos. That's right--my Desert Island Christmas memories.

Take a peek and tell me where in the freak you think we were, and I'll select one random person to win a $10 gift certificate from Samhain!

(You could use it to buy LB Gregg's Trust Me If You Dare--or Catch Me If You Can in print. Just sayin'.)

Clue # 1

Clue #2
The pace is slow--and the snorkeling is divine.

Clue #3 
Famous for Pirates (and rum)

Clue #4 
Driving in the middle of on the 'wrong' side of the road.

Clue # 5
Not in the US but English is spoken here.
And bikinis are worn.
No-- that's not me.

Let the guessing begin! I'll select a winner on Sunday by midnight.
And now? Back to shoveling the sidewalk.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ladies & Gents...Delilah Marvelle!

Yay! Here she is. :)

THE NOT SO SEXY SIDE OF Delilah Marvelle

Venereal Disease is not really a subject that's usually touched upon in historical romance novels. In ONCE UPON A SCANDAL, my current release, the heroine’s father is dying from syphilis. It’s not pretty and it’s utterly heartbreaking. Because we’re dealing with romance novels, many people don’t want to see the ugly side of the reality most of these women (and men) faced. Which is why I wrote the story. My own editor squirmed and asked me to tone down all the descriptions. Needless to say, I had to do a balancing act.

Except for AIDS, every sexual disease imaginable was passed around in history. And because there was no understanding that REUSING condoms could in fact transfer disease to both sides…there was a false sense of security for men back in the day. An example of what a rake’s life was REALLY like was Casanova himself. The man bed hundreds of women, dined with the finest and the lowest, fought several duels (and lived to tell about it) and suffered from 11 venereal diseases (including gonorrhea, soft chancre, herpes, and, eh?). In the beginning, he was getting it from the women (because obviously he wasn’t born with it). Toward the end, he was giving it to the women. Despite the long list of diseases he had…believe it or not, he lived well into old age. What killed him was his inability to piss when his urethra finally closed up on him. Eck. I know. Hey, these were the REAL rakes of the day.

When it came to trying to cure these diseases, these people tried everything. Some claimed eating peacock would cure it, (I joke about this in ONCE UPON A SCANDAL) while some claimed sleeping with virgins would cure it (don’t you just want to KILL these people?). Believe it or not, the whole sleeping with virgins superstition lasted well into the 1900’s. There were actually brothels who specialized in ‘curing’. (Shaking head here…)

Though drinking mercury was the most popular form of cure, although applying mercury in a form of a salve onto the lesions was also done. Most often it was the mercury itself that ended up killing them. For chaffing and lesions linen bandages soaked in narcissus water was used. There were also people who created their own versions of ‘the cure’ (quacks) and tried to sell it and make a profit (of course it never worked).

Syphilis, depending on which region of Europe you were from went by many names. The British Called it ‘French Disease’, The French called it ‘Italian Disease’, The Russians called it ‘Polish disease’ (see a pattern here?). Everyone was freakin calling it according to their ‘enemy’ The reality was, they all had it, British, French, Italian, Russian, Polish, you name it. Because everyone was having sex.

Once a prostitute (or courtesan) contracted any detectable disease, her career was over. For who would pay any good price for tainted goods? Although sadly, that did not stop many of these women from spreading it around (or being in denial). It simply meant they would no longer be in ‘demand’ for they were ‘poxed.’

In respectable society, gentlemen gave it to their wives all the time because of their dalliances. It was a dirty, horrible secret. And once it was diagnosed, respectable society had a tendency to ‘disappear’ as quietly as they could. They ‘took in waters’, they ‘toured Europe’ and called it hundreds of other things it really wasn’t. Which is why when looking over documentation, it’s hard to dig up a lot of facts. People just didn’t want to talk about it. Think of how everyone in the 1980’s reacted to AIDS. It was amazing to see the reaction, the freaking out, the misunderstandings, and the whispers…can you imagine THEN? And yes, if you haven't already figured it out, I like to write about the not so sexy side of history...

PS. She's giving away a copy of her book, Once Upon a Scandal.  Please comment for a chance to win. Contest ends Sunday 1/30/11 (pacific) at 7:00pm Thank you! And thank you, Delilah. I *heart* you, woman. :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Eep Part 2!

Since I got screwed up on the dates, Delilah will have a post tonight. I feel like such a dunce.

Anyhoodles, I thought I would post today about books. Shocker, right? But when you're moving, it's amazing what books you're willing to get rid of and which ones you want to keep. :)

I gave away ALL of my Nora & JD Robb books. I still have a bazillion books, but those ones took up quite a bit of space. I've gotten rid of books I knew I didn't want to keep and wasn't sure why I still had them. lol. I still need to go through all of the ones I still have and decide which ones I can't live without.

What makes something a keeper? For me it's a book that I know I'll read over and over and over again. Years by LaVyrle Spencer is a perfect example. I've read that book at least twenty times (might even be more) and I know I'll read it again.

Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook, Ilona Andrews, Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas? All keepers.

My ultimate goal with this move is to take no more than ten boxes with me. I know, TEN!!!! But when you consider that I have well over 1000 books, that kind of makes my head anyway. :)

Once I get back there and settled in my own place, I want to turn one of the rooms into a dedicated office/library. Books EVERYWHERE! *sigh* My bibliophile heart just skipped a beat.

What is your all-time favorite keeper? What could you not give up if you had to get rid of all of your books except one? Curious minds would like to know. :)

PS. Delilah will be giving away a copy of Once Upon a Scandal. It was a great book!!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm a Mental-Case

Obviously I forgot I'm supposed to post. I can only blame the fact that my life is in absolute chaos right now. My family's moving to Livonia, Michigan from Portland, Oregon. I know, I's cold back there (I've heard it a billion times. LOL!), but it's an amazing opportunity and I'm looking forward to it.

I'm a native Northwesterner, so moving across the country to a completely different area is kind of scary. It's also very exciting. :) It's the opportunity for me to be 100% independent, which is almost impossible here in Portland. The cost of living in Livonia is about half of what it is here, so I might actually be able to buy my own place back there. Wow, what a concept!

In the meantime, while I'm waiting for all of this to transpire, I've been reading and writing a lot. Mostly rereads because they're comforting to me. I've also been able to read some great new books too (Shadowfever comes to mind. What was up with that book?!?).

I've had so many things happen to me that I can't seem to get my mind wrapped around it all. People who move on a regular basis? I salute you. :)

My friend Delilah will be on here tomorrow (she should be anyway). Her books are great! Funny and dark at the same time. I hope you'll enjoy her blog entry. She's always got something great to say.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Winners & yet more chances to win!

Thank you all who commented on my interview with Daniel Halstrom from Anchored: Belonging Book 1 yesterday.  I have two winners:

Amy Lane wins a copy of Counterpoint: Book 1 of Song of the Fallen
Lea wins a swagbag from the author

You both should be hearing from Rachel very soon - congratulations!

HOWEVER, there is still a chance to win as Rachel is offering further prizes on her blog HERE in the finale of the blog tour.  Pop over there and see if you can answer her questions about the blog tour to win some great prize packages.

Good luck!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Anchored Blog Tour - Interview with Daniel Halstrom

We interrupt usual proceedings at DIK to take part in a blog tour to promote the release of Anchored: Belonging by Rachel Haimowitz:

Rachel is an M/M erotic romance author and a freelance writer and editor. She originally dipped her toes into cable news and book publishing, decided the water was cold and smelled kinda funny, and moved on to help would-be authors polish and publish, write for websites and magazines, and ghostwrite nonfiction. Her first novel, Counterpoint: Book One of Song of the Fallen, released in August of 2010 with Guiltless Pleasure Publishing. Her second novel, Anchored: Belonging Book One, is out now with Noble Romance. Her third, the Counterpoint sequel, will release in the Fall of 2011. Visit for more info.

During the last few days on the tour there have been character interviews, author interviews, question and answer sessions and lots of reviews. The last two days have been particularly busy with character interviews with the secondary characters at Amara's Place; reader questions and answers at Rick R Reed's blog; a review and author interview at Aleksandr Voinov's blog and book related questions and answers, plus a whole deleted scene from Anchored at Brita Addams' blog.

I have to say that I loved the book myself and thought it "Fantastic, gripping and emotionally compelling". You can read the rest of my review at Good Reads here and here's the blurb for those who are interested:

Network news anchor Daniel Halstrom is at the top of his field, but being at the bottom of the social ladder—being a slave—makes that hard to enjoy. Especially when NewWorld Media, the company who's owned him since childhood, decides to lease him on evenings and weekends to boost their flagging profits.

Daniel's not stupid; he knows there's only one reason a man would pay so much for what little free time he has, and it's got nothing to do with his knowledge of current events. But he's never been made to serve like that before, and he fears he won't survive the experience with his sanity intact.

He finds himself in the home of Carl Whitman, a talk show host whose words fail him time and again when it comes to ordering Daniel to bed. Daniel knows what Carl wants, but it seems as if Carl isn't willing to take it, and Daniel's not willing to give it freely. His recalcitrance costs him dearly, but with patience and some hard-won understanding, love just might flourish where once there'd been only fear and pain. Can Carl become the anchor in Daniel's turbulent life, or will he end up the weight that sinks his slave for good?

(WARNING: This book contains potentially triggering subject matter, including a violent on-screen rape. Please take heed.)

What I particularly liked about the book was the 1st person narrator, Daniel Halstrom. He makes a number of ill advised mistakes in the story and suffers so much as a result, and yet remains a sympathetic character. I wanted to know more about what makes him tick, so I asked Rachel if she would don the mantle of Daniel and answer some of my nosy questions from his point of view:

Tell us how you were born into slavery and how you are different from the so called freemen.
It’s interesting—and I mean no disrespect, ma’am—that you asked how I was born into slavery. Most people assume I must have done something, that I was a criminal, or maybe a debtor, or at least that my mother was. That’s easier for them, I guess. But no. I mean, I’m sure there was a criminal or debtor in my ancestry somewhere, but I can’t trace it back that far. I only know my mother. Don’t know who my father was, but my mother was a real beauty in her day, I’m told, so they bred her. Could’ve been—Are you sure you’re not taping this? You’re not?—could’ve even been her master. But in the end, it didn’t work out too well; she only ever had two children. Good thing she could sew, I guess.

What were your early years as a slave like?
I, uh . . . It was okay, I guess? I was about the same age as my mistress’s son, so when I was very little, my only job was to play with him, keep him happy. Mostly I just watched a lot; he had no reason to share his toys with me, after all. I was working the shop by the time I was four or five, I think, though it’s hard to remember that far back. Simple stuff, you know? Sorting buttons, fetching pins and thread, sweeping up, that kind of thing. I learned how to sew a couple years later, the math I needed for the work, how to wait on clients. Mistress always used to say I was a difficult child, that my head was always in the clouds; I went hungry a lot, had a lot of bruises. But she wasn’t— I mean, surely it was my fault, you know?

How did that change when you were bought by New World Media.
It was all really kind of scary at first, I must admit. They were so big, and it seemed like everyone knew what they were supposed to do but me. There was this dorm full of slaves and Supervisors—more people than I think I’d probably ever seen in one place before. Rooms full of bunk beds, and rooms full of books, and TVs tuned to news we were actually supposed to watch. I wasn’t used to having no one person to please, and I didn’t know how to please all these new people, all the teachers and supervisors. I also couldn’t read, which put me years behind the other kids at NewWorld, but this one boy . . . he was in Companion training, a couple years older than me. He sort of mentored me, helped me learn, made it a lot less scary.

And really, I had nothing to be scared of. I just didn’t realize it at the time. But all my difficult behaviour, all that curiosity, all the questions I wanted to ask . . . they liked that at NewWorld. Encouraged me. Gave me textbooks to study and newspapers to read. We even had a couple hours of free time every day, could go play in the park behind the dorm—“Fit bodies make fit minds,” they’d always say. I hardly ever went hungry anymore. Didn’t get so many bruises. They even bought my mother, put her to work in Wardrobe, and I could spend four hours with her every Saturday if I’d been good. I studied very hard; I was as good as I knew how to be. I wanted to show them how much I appreciated everything they’d given me.

Do you like your life with New World Media?
Oh yes, very much. They gave me the whole world, you know? They’re very fair, and they’ve treated me very well, and my handler is probably the nicest freeman in the world. All they ask in return is that I work hard for them, and since I’m doing work that I love—freemen’s work, by the way, and how amazing is that, that they promoted me despite the bracelets on my wrists?—it’s no hardship at all to give it everything I can.

Rumour has it that you are being loaned out as a companion to the very successful Carl Whitman for a large fee for New World Media. How do you feel about that?
Well, to be honest, I— Wait, are you sure you’re not taping this? Because I mean, surely you know we’re not supposed to talk about our masters, and I shouldn’t be breaking the rules. I feel bad enough as it is answering your other questions, but if they find out . . . What’s that? Yeah, I’m okay, just . . . *laughs nervously* Yeah, you’re right, Tim said I should tell the truth. So, here goes.

I was angry. I mean really, really angry. It was terrible and spoiled of me, I know that now, but when I first found out? Every morning I spend a couple hours catching up on the overnight news, and then another hour in the gym, and then I put in twelve, fourteen hours a day on the newsfloor. By the time I get back to my dorm, all I want to do is sleep, you know? I couldn’t imagine where I’d fit my new master into that life, and I foolishly neglected to trust NewWorld to fit it in for me. Plus, I’m not a Companion, never was. I didn’t know how . . . how to do that, you know? And yes, it terrified me. I’d heard . . . stories. So, yeah, not happy.
But I was wrong about all that, Mr. Foster helped me to see that. And the master helped me to see that too. I should have known better than to second-guess my owners. Things are fine now. Good, even. I like Master Whitman. He’s very kind to me. Too kind sometimes, I think. I don’t deserve that.

Thank you Daniel for that honest interview.

If this interview has caught your interest and you want to know more about how Daniel copes with being leased to Carl, then you can buy Anchored from Noble Publishing here.

You can also continue the blog tour today at Kari Greg's blog where you can watch a trailer for the book and for the next two days at Rachel's blog where she's running a big prize give-away of Anchored, Counterpoint:  Book 1 of Song of the Fallen and her book of short stories Sublime.

And as a further incentive, Rachel has kindly offered to give a way a copy of her first book Counterpoint: Book 1 of Song of the Fallen to one lucky person who leaves a comment in this post.  The book is also available at Guiltless Pleasure Publishing here.  Good Luck!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Why it's "fun" living with 3 men....

Tori and I were invited unexpectedly to fly over and stay the night on the island and we jumped at the chance because it is cold enough to “freeze the balls off a brass monkey” where we live in Canada right now. Being as our visit was spare of the moment I started looking for my list of DIK Post possibilities that I write on a post-it-note with a palm tree and surf board design saved specifically for Island ideas. However, the note is no where to be found, (surprise, surprise) one of my men likely found it and thought it was trash!

I got to thinking while lounging on the DIK jet about what it’s been like to live with 3 men over the years. I mean, my one son is only home on holidays but over the three week Christmas break I discovered living with 3 big guys, 3 dogs and 1 geriatric cat does present it’s challenges.

  • No matter how well you have trained your men there will be occasions when you get up at 2 or 3 am to use the facility and fall in to the toilet bowl because the seat has been left up.
  • After you drag your wet posterior out of said toilet bowl, which hopefully contains water, you will reach for the toilet paper and only the cardboard roll will be left.
  • Or, (ewwww) "someone" has left the seat down while doing their thing and aimed poorly. The wet stuff you are sitting in is NOT water ladies!!
  • As with the toilet paper roll, the paper towel roll in the the kitchen and laundry room will always be empty.
  • You will, without question, go to the refrigerator to pour yourself a glass of milk and the plastic milk sleeve will be empty. Which is equally true of the fresh fruit and vegetable keeper.
  • The interesting thing is that no one is EVER responsible for the above noted annoyances.
  • Restocking of the refrigerator will be required every second day because 3 big men Hoover food just like the vacuum cleaner of the same name. Further, they are all on different diets!
  • You will NEVER see the bottom of the laundry basket.
  • No matter how well your sons get along after they are together for any length of time they will start to argue like cats, usually over something trivial.
  • Folks will be coming and going at all hours and the dogs will be barking at all hours because they like to keep track of everyone.
  • It is INEVITABLE that as soon as you sit down to read a good book someone will have a question or want something. OR they decide that precise moment is the time for a serious discussion.
  • There will be so many shoes and boots at the front door you will be navigating an obstacle course when you come in the house.
  • The cat will sneak out in the cold when someone is coming in during the wee hours and then immediately start squealing to come back in and no one else hears him!
Then your guys will will completely surprise you by giving you an Apple iPad for Christmas and all is forgiven. *g*

I’m back to living with only 2 of my men now and the house is a little quieter. Before leaving for the Island, I replaced all the empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls. The milk sleeve was 1/2 full. ;) Tori & I are now kicking back on a comfortable lounge chair, checking out all the new heroes playing on the Island. Big welcome to all the new DIK ladies and their menz!

Any little tidbits you’d like to share with respect to living with men, ladies, or family of the four legged variety for that matter? I would love to trade stories. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my fancy drink with the little umbrella poking out of the top and read my latest book in peace! *sigh* It’s always good to be here on the island. ;) Cheers!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Twisted Series and Panties

Organization or chaos, what's your flavor?

As far as book series are concerned... *cue the music*
Let's start at the very beginning, its a very good place to start...
*I'll give you super bonus points if you tell me what movie that song is from.*

I like to start at the beginning and work my way through.
I'm not a big fan of cliffhangers either. *coughfeverseriescough*

But just recently my panties got all in a twist when I realized I had started at the END of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

That's right, kiddies and folks!

I, the lover of all things organized,
the seductress of straight and tidy,


have been thrown into book series chaos... and I kinda like it!

My convoluted trip started with book number 7, Lover Avenged. Rehvenge's story plunged me into the murky depths of deception within the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

And totally fed my hunger for this super DARK urban fantasy. I had to know what happened next in Book 8, Lover Mine. John Matthew's story was more twisted tales and eerie recollections.

Pretty much hooked, I bought a beautiful box set of Books 1 through 6 and proceeded to travel backwards in time. Starting with Dark Lover, I learned all about the unspoken traditions that were left out of the end books.

Moving through the series on the proper course, I cried for Rhage, was tickled black to see John Matthew as a pretrans, and terrified as I felt akin to V with my visions of the future.

Though I never would have set out to ruin a series with spoilers by reading the last book first, it was an awesome thrill ride to figure out how all the pieces would ultimately fit.

Now I'm on to the Fallen Angel Novels. The Brothers pass in and out of Ms. Ward's new series like a haunting reminder of that parallel world, adding another layer on the evil Caldwell cake.

Hop on the Chaos train, my pretties, and ditch the panties. ;)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Hear Voices

I’m sure I’ve read a blog post about this before somewhere…it might have even been on this blog. My memory’s not what it used to be.

Anyway, last week I read a book called The Larton Chronicles by James Anson. It was a great book about two men, their relationship, their lives, the lives of the people of the town they lived in, Larton, and various family members and friends of theirs. For the most part the book took place in the English countryside and while I was reading I heard the British accents – or Irish accents as they came along – of the characters. It really seemed odd to me that I was reading yet hearing them speak in an accent.

Normally when I read a book, if the characters are from a different country I never hear their accents in my head. Ok, I hear their voices in my head but it’s always in American accent – whatever that may be. I hear twangs if the person is from the South and I hear the New York in their voice if their from that area of the US but I rarely hear British accents - or any others. What causes this strange phenomenon…or doesn’t cause it as the case may be?

Do you hear voices?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Zodiac is Killing Me

Yesterday was a major upset in my world.  I found out the mysterious “they” were introducing a thirteenth zodiac sign.  Now everyone’s sign would be shifted.  For most of us, we would end up being whatever sign used to come before us, unless you were the new sign Ophiuchus, in which case your friends were probably laughing.  Here’s a chart of what your sign would have been:

Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16.
Feb. 16-March 11.
March 11-April 18.
April 18-May 13.
May 13-June 21.
June 21-July 20.
July 20-Aug. 10.
Aug. 10-Sept. 16.
Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30.
Oct. 30-Nov. 23.
Scorpio: Nov. 23-29.
Nov. 29-Dec. 17.
Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20.

All of this was debunked today, so don’t worry too much about it.  To my knowledge none of my friends felt a sudden personality shift and I doubt any couples got divorced because out of the blue they were incompatible.  I don’t actually believe in astrology.  I only check my horoscope occasionally when the mood strikes me.  I’ve never sat in a bar sipping cosmos asking men “what’s your sign?”, but this still would have shattered my world view.  Why is that?

Because I don’t date Scorpios.

I also don’t date pianists, poli-sci majors, and guys who are 6’1”, though under certain circumstances all of those are forgivable.  Being a Scorpio is not.

It’s not that weird when you think about it.  Some women don’t date accountants.  Others won’t date men who are close to their mothers.  And most women automatically rule out a guy who wears socks with sandals.

I just don’t date Scorpios.

This didn’t come out of thin air of course.  I tried it.  Several times.  Enough times to finally save myself the trouble and finally come up with The Rule.  For some reason I’m drawn to Scorpios the way some women are drawn to bad boys in leather who ride motorcycles.  Half the time I didn’t know they were Scorpios until I was too late, (that’s not why I was attracted to them), but I always unfailingly got stung.  Apparently Aquarius and Scorpio are incompatible signs and I can believe it.

A lot of people blogged/tweeted/facebooked about the change, either to complain, or say how ridiculous it is, or to muse whether or not they felt different about themselves.  But I was upset for much more practical reasons.  If all the signs were shifted, who don’t I date?

Do I not date all the former Scorpios?  Do I not date all the current Scorpios?  Do I not date both former and current Scorpios?  How much of the male population was off limits to me?!

In my mild state of panic I jumped on the interwebs and began my research, so here’s my breakdown of how the situation went, from Ophiuchus’ “discovery” to its debunking.

For any of you who don’t know the reason for Ophiuchus being introduced into the Zodiac, let me give a brief explanation.  The ecliptic (i.e. the apparent path the sun takes around the Earth) passes through all twelve signs of the Zodiac.  But if you look between Scorpio and Sagittarius, it also clips the constellation Ophiuchus.  It didn’t always do this, but the Earth wobbles on its axis, so the apparent path of the sun changes.  Now in today’s day and age the ecliptic crosses thirteen constellations instead of just twelve.  (Wow, I never thought taking astronomy last semester would come in handy!)  Just so everyone clear, the whole fuss over Ophiuchus has been caused by a Minneapolis Community and Technical College Professor named Parke Kunkle, who kept calling it the “13th sign of the Zodiac” until he made some headlines, but he’s not an astrologer.  Anyone with a star chart can see the ecliptic crosses it though.

So why didn’t astrologers “see” this coming?  Especially since the ecliptic has been crossing Ophiuchus for a while…  According to them, they did.

One astrologer, Lawrence Grecco, when interviewed over at the Global Grind, claims trying to discuss the new chart is like, “discuss what it’s like now that New York is its own country.”

“My earliest teachers from the 80’s were aware of this, and telling us about this and preparing us for these questions that sometime come up. But western astrology as it’s practiced is not based on literally where the consolations appear in the sky but it’s based on time.”

In other words, it doesn’t matter what constellations the elliptic crosses or where they are literally in the sky.

Astrologer Georgia Nicols gave a similar explanation on the Calgary Herald.

“‘Most astrologers use what we call the tropical zodiac,’ she said. ‘We're using the same system for thousands of years. It's based on math. A producer just called and said, so basically this is just (an issue of) math versus the sky? I said yeah. You could call it that.’”  She did note that there are astrologers that already include Ophiuchus in their signs, including Vedic astrologers in India and Sidereal astrologers in North America.

With Ophiuchus out of the way, my prediction it that someone is going to object to the use of Pluto in predictions since it’s not a planet anymore!

Despite my skepticism about astrology as a whole, I have to say debunking the shift was a relief to me.  The Rule still stands.  I don’t date Scorpios.

Friday, January 14, 2011

John Matthew Is My Hero

A couple days ago Tracy posted the list of the heroes the newbies chose. Just so you don’t have to go back and check, here are the ones I picked:

Marc “Hunt” Hunter from Unlawful Contact- Pamela Clare
Hardy Cates from Blue-Eyed Devil- Lisa Kleypas
Kev Merripen from Seduce Me at Sunrise- Lisa Kleypas
David Masters from Wed Him Before You Bed Him- Sabrina Jeffries
Spike from A Man in a Million- Jessica Bird
Nick Romeo from Romeo Romeo- Robin Kaye
Julian Sinclair from The Duke of Shadows- Meredith Duran
Devin Freedman from What the Librarian Did- Karina Bliss

Let me say this was not an easy task. Take all of the heroes of all the books you’ve ever read and narrow your favorites down to eight? Is that even possible?! Apparently it is because all of us managed to do it.

Complicating matters was the fact that we could not pick a hero that was already on the Island. And there are a lot of darn good heroes on the Island. In particular, my problem was John Matthew from the BDB. You see, if I could have only taken one hero to the Island with me it would have been him. He’s my hero.

(Sorry LesleyW if I’m putting you on the spot since he is in your hut!)

I don’t mean my in a possessive way, but I can be a little… er… obsessive, and now that I’ve started the story I might as well come out with it.

I am so in love with John Matthew that I took an ASL course last spring. (Phew! That’s a load off my chest).

Of course, when people asked me why I was taking the course I always said it was because I couldn’t stand to take one more year of Spanish, but really that’s just because “I’m in this course because I’m in love with a mute ass-kicking fictional vampire from a romance novel” was an awkward conversation starter.

But besides finding out I’m actually pretty decent at ASL, some pretty good stuff came out of that class. Like I met a guy… a really great guy… let’s just call him John ;)

Somehow early on John and I had managed to get stuck in the friend zone. We were in what seemed like an endless cycle of fruitless flirting, tutoring sessions where no studying got done, a dinner that couldn’t be called a date and still neither of us could seem to work up the courage to make a move. I was starting to go a little crazy.

After our final exam he invites me over to his apartment. Finally, I think, one of us is making a move. Yes!

Um, no.

What do we do? We watch TV. Well, he watches TV, and I get bored and play with his cat. Two hours later, frustrated beyond belief, he drops me off at my house.

I may not have made a move before then, but I am not one to take things lying down! I marched over to his side of the car and stood there until he opened the window.

“John, this is finals week and this could be the last time I ever see you, so are you ever going to kiss me or not?”

A bit dramatic maybe. I was probably a sight, all 5’4” standing on a street corner, hands on my hips demanding to be kissed.

Pause. I’m sure my face is red now. Maybe I should have done this where there was an escape route?

Finally he gives me a sheepish look. “I didn’t want to take things too fast.”

Heart melting… though at that pace we probably would have gotten together in 2012 just in time for the world to end.

And then we kissed.

It was one of those kisses that throws you for a loop. The kind that reminds you of when you were sixteen and every first kiss was new and amazing. It sinks to your toes and you float home on cloud nine. The kind of kiss that reminds you of how amazing just kissing and being around someone can be.

In the end I was right- that was the last time I ever saw him. But that was a great note for us to end on.

Now, if it hadn’t been for John Matthew, I wouldn’t have taken that class. And if I hadn’t taken that class I wouldn’t have meet John. And if I hadn’t meet John, I wouldn’t have had that kiss.

Thank you, John Matthew. You are my hero.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Reactions to Romance Readers

I was incredibly excited to be accepted as one of the new members of DIK. Three days of everyone having to listen to me? Awesome! But really I was nervous as heck too. I can barely manage to keep up my own blog sometimes. What on earth possessed me to sign up for this?!

For a while I had no idea what to post about. But then something happened to me recently that got me thinking. A friend of mine who didn’t know I read romance discovered I have a blog. The whole encounter went a little something like this:

Me: Um, yea, so I have a blog.

Friend: Cool! So what do you blog about?

Me: Mostly romance novels. I write reviews, talk about the genre, that sort of thing.

Friend: *skeptical look* You read romance novels?

Me: *getting ready to defend the genre* Yea I do. Have a problem with that?

Friend: No, but it’s… you.

Me: *confused, and slightly indignant* What’s that supposed to mean?

Friend: Nothing… except you’re like the least romantic person I know.

Me: *getting grumpy* Am not.

Friend: You hate romantic gestures.

Me: They’re overrated.

Friend: You hate being tied down.

Me: I’m not at a good point in my life for a relationship. (It’s true!)

Friend: You think men are interchangeable.

Me: Ouch?

Well, at least I have some street cred as a player, I guess.

The point of the anecdote is that for some reason being a romance reader comes with a lot of assumptions. Apparently my friend thought that since I read romance I should like flowers and candlelit dinners and would be looking for “the One”, when really I’d probably be annoyed by those things.

I’ve gotten a lot of interesting reactions when people find out I read romance, so I’ve started sorting them into categories. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

1. The new prude. Oh, you read those kinds of books? I’m sure you can all imagine the person I am describing. They wrinkle their nose slightly in disgust. I think this can mostly be attributed to the “bodice ripper” covers of the eighties: Fabio’s hair streaming in the wind, shirts unbuttoned, and a dress mysteriously falling off. They would never be caught dead reading “porn for women”. Yes, I read those kinds of books. Books with sex in them. Shocking! Have a problem with it?

2. The literary snob. I always find these the most annoying. They’re the most easy to spot. Their bookshelves are lined with Shakespeare, Homer, Tolstoy, and Nietzsche. If it doesn’t have a Cliff Notes written for it, they won’t read it. I usually find that the literary snob is the quickest to make assumptions and judgments about romance readers as a whole. We’re less educated. We’re bored housewives. We live alone with our twelve cats. Clearly if only I had read Kafka instead of Kleypas I would have been saved!

3. The closet reader. You read romance too! Every now and again you meet someone who reads romance, but hasn’t quite “come out of the closet” about it (usually because of the new prudes or literary snobs). They’re happy to finally meet someone else who reads romance too.

4. The avid reader. They probably were never in the closet, and are happy to meet another reader. They hound you about your favorite authors, ask you if you have a blog, and are already arranging a book swap.

5. The shocked friend. This one is a bit of a wild card. It’s usually a friend or family member who has known you for a while, but just didn’t know you read romance. Their reaction could be anything really. Like my interaction above.

What was the most WTF reaction you’ve ever gotten? Prude, snob, shocked friend? Something I couldn’t even imagine? Love to know!

When I’m not fretting about what to post on DIK, I’m occasionally posting on my blog, The Romance Girl’s Guide to Fiction.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Newbies Have Been Hard at Work

While you all have been out having fun the newbie DIK Islander's have been hard at work choosing who and what they want to bring to the island with them. While I think it's fitting that they share their own books with you and explain to you why they chose them I thought I'd share their heroes with you.

Each newbie got to choose 8 heroes and they were some lucky ladies. The huts are filled with a ton of great heroes! Here's who the newbies chose:

Marc “Hunt” Hunter (Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare)
Hardy Cates (Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas)
Kev Merripen (Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas)
David Masters (Wed Him Before You Bed Him by Sabrina Jeffries)
Spike (A Man in a Million by Jessica Bird)
Nick Romeo (Romeo, Romeo by Robin Kaye)
Julian Sinclair (The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran)
Devin Freedman (What the Librarian Did- Karina Bliss)

Dr J
Dax McCall (Aftershock by Jill Shalvis)
Cameron McKay (Rough Rider series by Lorelei James)
Eli Wolf (Her Gentle Giant by Heather Rainier)
Rhett Butler (Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell)
Mike Hammer (Mickey Spillane Novels)
Kyran Black (Quarterback Blitz by Frances Stockton)
Zachary Grayson (Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair)
Ari Ben Canaan (Exodus by Leon Uris)

Samwise Gamgee, (Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien)
Zorro aka Don Diego de la Vega (Johnston McCulley)
Alec Kincaid (The Bride by Julie Garwood)
Sir Ross Cannon (Lady Sophia's Lover by Lisa Kleypas)
Galeran of Heywood (The Shattered Rose by Jo Beverley)
Gervase Frant (The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer)
Ruan, Duke of Cynnsyr, Lord Ruin by Carolyn Jewel
Deverill Fairfax (The Last Rogue by Deborah Simmons)

Bones (Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost)
Adam Hauptman (Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs)
Terrible (Downside series by Stacia Kane)
Packard (Dillislusionists series by Carolyn Crane)
Marcus Worth (Revealed by Kate Noble)
Dan Albright (Romano & Albright series by LB Gregg)
Qhuinn (Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward)
Bran (Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs)

Sweet Vernal Zephyr
Acheron (Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon)
V’lane (Fever series by Karen Marie Moning)
Jed (the Virtual Series by Gennita Low)
Jim (Fallen Angels series by JR Ward)
Kane (Shadowfae by Erica Hayes)
Zane (Eternal Flame by Cynthia Eden)
Carter from the Georgina Kincaid Series by Richelle Mead
Olaf (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series by Laurell K. Hamilton)

Brett Hennessey (Here Comes Trouble by Donna Kauffman)
Nikos (The Greek Billionaire's Lovechild by Sarah Morgan
Sodapop Curtis (The Outsiders by SE Hinton)
James Christian (A Season of Eden by JM Warwick)
Dex (Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin)
Breandan Mac Liam (Raeliksen by Renee Vincent)
Ryan Piccoli (Prey by Lurlene McDaniel)
Mick (Stormwalker by Allyson James)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

And the Winners Are...

The winners of the DIK Winter Giveaway Grand Finale are:

M/M Package: Cryselle

M/F/ Package: Heather D


I have your email addresses so expect to hear from me (Tracy) very soon!

I'd like to, once again, thank all of the authors, and the publisher, that participated in the giveaway and made it so wonderful!

Penny Watson
Julie James
LB Gregg
Blind Eye Books
Christa Paige
Devyn Quinn
Cate Masters
Savannah Stuart
Josh Lanyon
Jaci Burton
Stephanie Julian
Anne Rainey
Juliana Stone
Luisa Prieto
Carolyn Crane
Dakota Flint
Lori Brighton
Wynter Daniels
Tara Taylor Quinn
Carrie Lofty
Fiona Jayde
Becky Moore
Zoe Archer
Nicole Kimberling
Stephanie Tyler
Kaylea Cross
Jill Myles
Katie Reus
KB Alan
AC Katt
Tracy Wolff
Astrid Amara
Tracy Cooper-Posey
Clare London
KZ Snow
Jill Sorenson
Nalini Singh
Sean Kennedy
Jeri Smith-Ready
ZA Maxfield 
Amy Lane
Tessa Dare
Ava Gray

You guys are the best!  Thank you!

2010 DIK Reading Challenge Review and winner

Well it's now 2011 and that means that the 2010 DIK Reading Challenge is over.  It was a ton of fun and I know personally that I read quite a few books that I may not have gotten around to reading otherwise.

We had 24 people sign up for the challenge and 6 that were regular participants.  However when all was said and done only 4 finished the challenge.  

Now there was a prize attached to this challenge - a $50.00 gc to any online bookseller of the winners choice -  and since we had 4 finishers I put them into and the winner ended up being:

Lesley W


Thank you to all of the participants.  I hope you all had a great time and found some new favorite books as well.  

Happy 2011!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Excerpt - Night Betrayed by Joss Ware

Excerpt from NIGHT BETRAYED, by Joss Ware
Then all at once, Selena realized the significance of what she’d somehow ignored, and her brain refocused. “You really know how to work these?” She waved her hand to encompass the old machines called computers.

“Yes.” Theo looked sidewise at her.

“How?” she asked, mystified.

“I’ve been working on them for longer than you can imagine. I’m kind of a genius with computers and electronics.” The flicker of a smile returned to his lips and eyes. “My twin brother and I both are.”

“There are two of you?” The horrified words slipped out before she realized it. Then she laughed a little at the delighted expression on his face. “You must have turned your mother’s hair white by the time you were ten.”

“Somehow Lou doesn’t come across as reckless as people seem to think I am.”

“You don’t think you’re reckless?” she asked incredulously.

“I’m still alive aren’t I?” he replied. Then he raised his gaze and their eyes locked. “Thanks to you,” he added, his voice pitching lower.

Her throat dried and all she could remember was being pulled up against his solid, body last night. She was suddenly very aware of the fact that they were alone. Again. And he was looking at her in a certain way.

No more pity-kisses.

“Last night was definitely not a pity-kiss,” he said. “Selena.”

“Did I say that out loud?” she said, then clamped her mouth closed.

“Yes,” Theo replied, that smile playing about his lips. He stood now, shoving the wheeled chair away behind him. He seemed taller than she remembered. And broader. And whatever annoyance he might have had about her disappearing last night seemed also to have evaporated. “I can’t stop thinking about you.”

He shook his head, folding his arms over his torso, continuing conversationally—as if they were talking about the weather and he didn’t quite understand why it was raining when the sun had been shining all day. “I find I’m fascinated by you, about what you’re sneaking out for at night, what you’re wearing around your neck that you don’t want anyone to see...what it’s like being the Death Lady and holding the hands of people dying, and how you do it every day without fail.” He nodded, his eyes holding hers. “How you got to be so strong, and why you do what you do. And other things, like the fact that you don’t eat very much and that you like to run in the morning. And where in the hell you got red toenail polish.”

“Um,” Selena said, trying to tamp down the warmth that was flushing through her. She was trembly all of a sudden and her stomach was all aflutter. Good grief.

And then...He’s fricking serious. He really wants to know about me. Both delight and terror rushed through her.

“And,” he stepped closer to her, “how I’m going to make it clear to you that I don’t give pity kisses. Not even for women who bring me back to life.” His hands landed gently on her shoulders and she felt his shoe bump against her bare toes.

“How many of them do you have?” she managed to say, realizing belatedly that her hands had risen and settled flat onto his broad, warm chest. Wow. Solid as a brick wall.

“How many of what?”

“Women who bring you back to life.”

“Only one.” He started to lean in, then stopped and pulled back. Selena released the breath she’d been holding, startled out of the warmth he’d lulled her into. “Make that two.”

“What?” she asked, her voice rising—partly in surprise and partly to hide her disappointment. “You’ve been brought back to life before?”

His lips curved and one of his hands shifted to flick a heavy lock of hair off her shoulder, then slide along its length. “Well, technically, yes. When I was a baby, the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck and I came out blue everywhere, limp as a wet noodle. Heart stopped and everything. There was a nurse who did CPR—she breathed inside my mouth—and brought me back to life.”

“A nurse?”

“But don’t worry,” he added quickly. “I don’t remember the incident at for all intents and purposes,” he said, slipping his hand around the back of her neck, lifting her hair, cupping her skull, “you’re the only woman who brought me back to life. And this is most definitely not a pity kiss.”

She met him halfway as his lips moved to add, “ least on my end.”

Selena’s laugh was smothered by his mouth. She closed her eyes as their lips met, softly at first and then hungrily. He held her head with strong fingers as the kiss turned deep and sleek. Beneath her own palms, the planes of his chest shifted and his heart bumped fiercely.

He didn’t feel too young to her, not now, not with this demand and confidence, not with the solid muscle and strength against her. Her body had turned warm and liquid, awakening from a dormancy due to neglect. Selena stopped questioning, stopped resisting, and when his hands moved down along her back, following the line of her torso, she eased into him, molding her body into his.

Theo gave a soft little groan and shifted, pushing her back against something solid, holding her there so their bodies lined up, imprinting every curve and every rise into the other. If she had any lingering doubt about pity kisses, it was effectively erased at that point. His desire was blatant, and the gentle, insistent pressure as their hips ground together had her pressing just as hard back into him.

“Jeeezz...uzz,” he muttered, disentangling their mouths and burying his face into the hair by her ear. “Selena....” He breathed roughly, nipping and sucking along the line of her neck so that she twitched and shuddered against him.

She murmured her pleasure, sliding her hands under his shirt, feeling the flat slabs of his pecs and skimming over the tight nipples, aware of the faint trembling beneath her fingers, deep in his muscles. He was warm and sleek and her world had turned hot and much that she hardly realized it when he pulled back, tugging her with him.

The next thing she knew, he pulled her onto his lap, her toes bumping the base of the chair as she straddled him. Theo grinned briefly up at her, but his mouth was tight and his eyes hot as he slipped his hands beneath her loose shirt. She resisted instinctively when he tried to lift it—no, no, not in the light!—and he seemed to get the message, instead moving to her spine.

As her bra loosened and sagged, Selena arched toward him, half aware of the hot sun streaming through the window on behind her and the way his hands moved around to cover her breasts. Ahhh. His thumbs were firm and his palms warm as he lifted, pressed, stroked.

Now she had her hands on his shoulders for stability, her eyes closed, allowing the pleasure to grow and roll, unfurling from belly to chest to between her legs, where she pressed against him. His hair was warm and soft, thick beneath her fingers...his shoulders wide and square.

Theo moved beneath her as he bent and pulled the vee of her tunic to the side, finding one of her nipples and covering it with his warm, sleek mouth.

Selena jolted at the spike of sensation, then gasped as it didn’t stop, didn’t relent...but became a long, slick tug, a sensual dance of tongue and lips sucking, swirling, stroking. The hot shaft of pleasure arced through her, from her belly down south. She shifted on his lap, her fingers digging into his shoulders, heat and pressure building and throbbing between them.

Suddenly, he released her with a soft groan, leaving her nipple wet and throbbing, chafing back beneath her tunic. Pulling her up against him, his arms bundling her close, he slammed his mouth over hers once more. The kiss burned, deep and fierce, as his hands shifted down to her hips and jerked her close, into him, settling her legs wide against him. She felt the throbbing settle between them, his erection hard and waiting, she herself full and wet, the seams of their jeans meeting and intensifying the sensation.

And then, once again, he was shifting her, and once again, she moved at his direction—hazy, full, aroused—her legs coming together, sliding to one side of him. Before she knew it, he’d jammed his fingers down beneath the loosened fly of her jeans, down beneath the hot cotton of her panties, and into the sleek warmth that pulsed there.

They both groaned and sighed at the same time, and Selena’s eyes flew open when he first touched her. She nearly jolted off his lap, but he held her steady, safely, his fingers so long and easy, sliding and stroking where she was full and ready.

Oh God... She held on to him, lifted her hips as her jeans opened wider, feeling the stream of hot sun blasting through the window over her head and shoulders. His fingers...a wide, determined plane, curling and and slipping, coaxing smoothly and evenly, as his own breath hitched and roughened against her ear.

“Yes,” he whispered into her skin. “That’”

As she released herself, sliding wholly, into the pleasure, it took a moment before the sound registered in the depths of her lust-fogged mind. But then, all of a sudden, she heard it.


Night Betrayed will be available on January 25, 2011.
Buy it!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Guest Author - Joss Ware

KATI: Joss Ware's Envy Chronicles feature a host of hot men, an eerie post-apocalyptic world, and an intriguing mystery. We're thrilled to have her visit us here at DIK today. Please help us raise a fruity drink to Joss Ware!


So, I know you ladies here are big-time romance novel experts, and maybe you might be wondering how anyone could think that a post-apocalyptic romance is a good idea. I mean…people dying, buildings collapsing, earthquakes, tsunamis—The Day After Tomorrow meets I Am Legend—where’s the Happy Ever After in that?

Even His Hotness Will Smith didn’t get it on during his zombie movie. And if he couldn’t find a happy ending, looking like he does…. (Can we just pause for a moment to recall That Scene where he does pull-ups in the doorway?)

(Okay. I’m back. You? All right…I’ll give you a bit longer. Ready?)

That sort of skepticism was my first reaction when someone suggested that I think about writing a post-apocalyptic romance. And that’s why when I decided to actually write one (which turned out to be the Envy Chronicles, also known as the Awakening Heroes series), I decided that my guys and gals were going to have to exist far after the catastrophic events that decimated the earth on June 10, 2010 so I didn’t have to deal with messy stuff like that—at least in real time.

In my world, the world of Envy, it’s fifty years after the catastrophe. Five men wake up in a cave in Sedona, Arizona, to find out that somehow they were either transported to the future or suspended in time, or something. And that the world has horrifically changed.

The series is about how each man adapts to this new environment, how he finds the woman who can help him feel as if he’s come “home”…and how he deals with the paranormal ability that he has (or hasn’t) acquired during the fifty-year sleep.

The fourth book in the series, Night Betrayed, is Theo’s book, and it will be released on January 25 (so you have time to catch up!). Theo actually wasn’t one of the five men trapped in the cave in Sedona—his story is different because he actually lived through the catastrophic events. Yes, he’s eighty years old…but he hasn’t aged past thirty and he is hawt: a dragon-tattooed, totally ripped, computer geek.

But if you don’t particularly care for muscular, inked nerds (why wouldn’t you?), there are three other heroes to choose from in previous books:

Elliott, the hero of Beyond the Night, is a sensitive, charming Emergency Room surgeon who has to deal with the fact that he no longer has the ability to treat injury and illness in this stark, new world. He meets up with a lounge singer from Envy who goes on secret missions from settlement to settlement.

Simon, from Embrace the Night Eternal, is the strong, silent, brooding type who leaves behind a bloody, dangerous past in East LA when he wakes up to find himself in this post-apocalyptic world. One thing he brings with him is his honor…but when he falls for another man’s woman, and then has to go on a mission with her under pretense of being her husband, that honor is stretched to the limits.

And in Abandon the Night, Quent is a rich playboy who had everything he ever wanted—but not everything he needed—in our world, and who now has to accept the fact that he doesn’t have any skills or worth in this much simpler one. Money and power are worth nothing anymore. When he falls for a sharp-tongued zombie hunter named ZoĆ«, things really heat up.

And the zombies? Well, yes, there are zombies in the books, but they’re more like the Orcs in Lord of the Rings or the Stormtroopers in Star Wars than the Walking Dead creatures…so, Kati, they aren’t too scary. ;-) [KATI: *shudder* Zombies skeer me!]

I’d love to answer any questions about the World of Envy or the heroes…so ask away!

And thanks to the DIK Ladies for having me back here!

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