Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Nook? Kindle? What should I get?

Happy birthday to me...well, almost. It's coming up and my husband just asked the dreaded question: what do you want? I never know. Books? More books? I think he gets tired of that. So this year, I'm thinking about asking for an e-reader. But I have no idea what kind to get.

I've been on the Nook website. Loved the Nook color. But then started wondering if it would be too hard for a tech phobe like me to update and whether it does a lot of the same things as my iPhone. So I looked at regular Nook. That was really cool. Then I looked at the Kindle Touch. But I'm used to turning pages, so would the regular Kindle be better? Or maybe back to the Nook. And Sony has an e-reader too. I haven't even looked at that.

Then again, I literally have nine bookshelves in the house, all full of books I love. When is enough enough? Ha! Okay, that's funny. Totally disregard that.

So those of you with e-readers: What do you have? What do you like about it? And what would you ask for if you had a birthday around the corner?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Three Winners Monday

Happy Monday, all!

It's a gorgeous day here in St. Louis. I'll take a sunny sky and a nice wind any day over the chilly weather we've had lately. It's so nice outside that I've opened the windows and let some of that fresh air inside.

So how was everyone's weekend? Mine was productive. I'm working on a new project and it's been keeping me on my toes as of late.

So, now to the fun part! I have some winners to announce. If you're a winner and I don't have your contact information, shoot me an email here:




Thanks for your kind comments on my trading cards. I'll be giving them away at the RT Convention in Chicago and I'll have several more contests coming up. Stay tuned.


Everyone have a great week!

Friday, January 27, 2012

ICE Winners!

Thank you for all your entries and excitment about the ICE contest! We had 34 entries, which meant 3 prizes! YAY!  The winners are:

Skyla11377
Princessrose
Rosean

If you three winners could email me from my website, www.stephanierowe.com or on facebook with your email addresses and let me know whether you want the Nook version or the Kindle version, I will send you your prize!

For all those who didn't win, I have a bunch of books coming out over the next few months, and I'll be hosting lots of giveaways for those books, so there will be plenty more chances to win! Plus, ICE was just discounted by 40% (save $2), so now is a good time to treat yourself until the next chance to win rolls around!

Happy Friday!

Stephanie

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Conference Season

I’m still in the grip of the winter doldrums that I mentioned last week. However there is a glimmer of excitement beginning to glow. Why? Conference season is coming up! Personally, I love going to them and if I had unlimited resources, I would attend far more than I do. It’s always a hard decision to decide which ones to attend and which ones to pass by. As it stands right now, I’m booked for two—the first annual Romfest in Gatlinburg, TN and sponsored by author Trista Michaels; and the second is back to Louisville, KY for Fandom Fest.

Romfest is going to be a blast. Sherrilyn Kenyon is the keynote speaker and a special guest is forensic anthropologist, Dr. Bill Bass, founder of “The Body Farm” located at the University of Tennessee. (Note on Dr. Bass—I attended one of his presentations a few years ago and it was fascinating. He walked the crowd through two of his cases and explained how he came to his conclusions. Since “Bones” is one of my favorite shows, it was right up my alley!)

Fandom Fest was great fun last year and I expect the same this year. In addition to the literary track, they also have guests from the world of gaming, film and media, and comic books. The guest of honor this year is Bruce Campbell from “Burn Notice”. (Anyone remember “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.”? Loved that show, too!) Since the conference covers a lot of pop culture, the attendance is huge—around 4,000 last year and I expect they’ll have more this year.

But setting aside all the razzle-dazzle, the special guests, my favorite part of these conferences is still meeting the readers and catching up with some of my author buds! It’s wonderful seeing old friends, making new friends, and just generally getting charged up about this crazy profession in which I’m involved. I always come home exhausted, but thrilled that I’ve had the opportunity to meet and know such great people.

How about you? Has anyone else started making their plans to attend conferences this year? There’s a lot of great ones out there—Malice, Bouchercon, Murder and Mayhem in Muskego, Festival of Mystery, etc.—how many are you attending?

That's all for this week--see you next Thursday!

Best,
Shirley

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

And the Winner Is . . .

A couple weeks ago I posted a message about a contest. I now have a winner! It's

Lori Y

Lori, send me an email:

casey@caseydaniels.com

And let me know which of the Pepper Martin books you'd like. There's a blurb about each on my website:

www.caseydaniels.com

Since I'm also Kylie Logan, author of "Button Holed," you can also choose that book.

Thanks, everyone, for playing along!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Zombieland comes to town

Something happened last week that still has me grinning every time I think about it. "The Run for Your Lives" Zombie-infested 5K is coming to St. Louis.

Now I've been stalking this race for awhile. They've been doing it in lots of other cities for the past few years. And the website cracks me up.

Basically, this is a 5K obstacle course where zombies try to "eat" you. Now this not being the actual end of civilization as we know it, the zombie threat is more to your ego. Each runner is given a race belt with flags. And similar to flag football, the flags can be torn off until none are left. At that point, you are a zombie. You can still run the race because, you know, it takes a bit for the virus to transform you. But you have to admit, it will call for a lifestyle change.

Someone took a chest-camera video of the race in Alexandrea, Virginia last year. Cracks me up every time I watch it (which is too much according to my daughter).

So if you're a runner or if you think you might be chased by zombies some day, check it out. And if anybody wants to run from zombies with me, we're getting a team together for the 3:00 p.m. wave on August 18 in St. Louis. Sign up for Team Fox. We'll be plotting our survival strategy and getting some cool t-shirts. I'll also bring a box of Twinkies for the end (Zombieland fans will know we need them).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Shawntelle's Swag

Happy Monday, everyone!

It's been a busy week so far. I've been glued to the computer working on new projects and barely had time to come up for air. In addition, I've had other fun projects cooking in the pot. Swag for COVETED! It took me a few months to finish the designs and then get everything printed and made. But I finally got them done and now I can show them off to you.

First of all, my Romance Trading Cards:






And here is all of them with the backs and the front shown.




Next, I'd like to thank everyone who has taken the time out to read an excerpt of my book and pre-ordered it. As a debut I've appreciated your support and hope you love COVETED as much as I do. <3

To celebrate finishing my swag, I'm having a giveaway of two great books I snagged from a book signing this weekend. Jeannie Lin's THE DRAGON AND THE PEARL and Eileen Dreyer's BARELY A LADY. I think I'll even add in a third e-book into the mix, a new release from last month from contemporary author Kristi Lea, THE PARIS AFFAIR. For the three winners I'll toss in the COVETED goodies you see above.

I'll pick the winners next week. Just leave a comment!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

E-Release Day for ICE (and a book giveaway!)


(I'm giving away at least one copy of ICE and maybe even the complete set of SOULFIRE books so read on to find out how to enter! The more entries, the more prizes so pass the word! Contest closes 1/26 midnight. Winner(s) announced here Friday 1/27!)



What do you see when you look at Alaskan bush pilot Cort McClaine? A hunk-o-burnin' love? A rugged man who thrives on danger and adrenaline? A resourceful survivor who has been on his own since his parents crashed and burned when he was seventeen?

Yeah, Cort has all the goods, pretty much. He'll take off in the worst weather to go rescue someone who needs saving. He'll fly all night to search for a missing climber. He'll do whatever it takes to support his business partner, or anyone else who matters to him.

Cort is entirely under control.

Except that he's not. In truth, he's a man on the edge. An adrenaline junkie who's been cruising through life, trying to fly fast enough to stay ahead of the nightmares haunting him. Things are closing down on him, though, and he's headed for a crash and burn if he doesn't get himself together.

The last thing he needs is for his worst nightmare, the personification of his haunted past, to climb into his cockpit and force him to face everything that's been ripping him apart for so long.

Too bad for Cort, that's exactly what he gets when Kaylie Fletcher hops into his plane.

Unfortunately for Kaylie, Cort is everything she can't afford. With his high-risk life, he's exactly what she has been running from since she was sixteen. All she wants is to be back in Seattle, in the safe life she carved out for herself, a life where no one else that she loves has to die.

When she gets a call that the last of her family has gone missing on Denali, Kaylie must head to Alaska to find out what happened to them, a trip that forces her to face the life that nearly broke her ten years ago. With her ruggedly sexy pilot tempting her with long looks and devastating kisses, and a dangerous stalker tracking them, Kaylie's safe little existence is shattered in an instant.  Suddenly, she's on the run, she's fighting for her life and for answers about her missing family, and she's struggling desperately to hold onto her heart before Cort can shatter it forever.

Join Cort and Kaylie as they fight for their lives with a passion that will either destroy them both forever, or give them each a chance to finally live the life they were meant to live.


Interested to read more about Cort and Kaylie? Here's a brief excerpt from ICE:

Kaylie's hands were shaking as she rifled through her bag, searching for her yoga pants. She needed the low-slung black ones with a light pink stripe down the side. The cuffs were frayed from too many wearings to the grocery store late at night for comfort food, and they were her go-to clothes when she couldn't cope. Like now.
She couldn't find them.
"Come on!" Kaylie grabbed her other suitcase and dug through it, but they weren't there. "Stupid pants! I can't—" A sob caught at her throat and she pressed her palms to her eyes, trying to stifle the swell of grief. "Sara—"
Her voice was a raw moan of pain, and she sank to the thick shag carpet. She bent over as waves of pain, of loneliness, of utter grief shackled her. For her parents, her brother, her family and now Sara—
Dear God, she was all alone.
"Dammit, Kaylie! Get up!" she chided herself. She wrenched herself to her feet. "I can do this." She grabbed a pair of jeans and a silk blouse off the top of her bag and turned toward the bathroom. One step at a time. A shower would make her feel better.
She walked into the tiny bathroom, barely noticing the heavy wood door as she stepped inside and flicked the light switch. Two bare light bulbs flared over her head, showing a rustic bathroom with an ancient footed tub and a raw wood vanity with a battered porcelain sink. A tiny round window was on her right. It was small enough to keep out the worst of the cold, but big enough to let in some light and breeze in the summer.
She was in Alaska, for sure. God, what was she doing here?
Kaylie tossed the clean clothes on the sink and unzipped her jacket, dropping it on the floor. She tugged all her layers off, including the light blue sweater that had felt so safe this morning when she'd put it on. She stared grimly at her black lace bra, so utterly feminine, exactly the kind of bra that her mother had always considered frivolous and completely impractical. Which it was. Which was why that was the only style Kaylie ever wore.
She should never have come to Alaska. She didn't belong here. She couldn't handle this. Kaylie gripped the edge of the sink. Her hands dug into the wood as she fought against the urge to curl into a ball and cry.
After a minute, Kaylie lifted her head and looked at herself in the mirror. Her eyes were wide and scared, with dark circles beneath. Her hair was tangled and flattened from her wool hat. There was dirt caked on her cheeks.
Kaylie rubbed her hand over her chin, and the streaks of mud didn't come off.
She tried again, then realized she had smudges all over her neck. She turned on the water, and wet her hands...and saw her hands were covered as well.
Stunned, Kaylie stared as the water ran over her hands, turning pink as it swirled in the basin.
Not dirt.
Sara's blood.
"Oh, God." Kaylie grabbed a bar of soap and began to scrub her hands. But the blood was dried, stuck to her skin. "Get off!" She rubbed frantically, but the blackened crust wouldn't come off. Her lungs constricted and she couldn't breathe. "I can't—"
The door slammed open, and Cort stood behind her, wearing a T-shirt and jeans.
The tears burst free at the sight of Cort, and Kaylie held up her hands to him. "I can't get it off—"
"I got it." Cort took her hands and held them under the water, his grip warm and strong. "Take a deep breath, Kaylie. It's okay."
"It's not. It won't be." She leaned her head against his shoulder, closing her eyes as he washed her hands roughly and efficiently. His muscles flexed beneath her cheek, his skin hot through his shirt. Warm. Alive. "Sara's dead," she whispered. "My parents. My brother. They're all gone. The blood—" Sobs broke free again, and she couldn't stop the trembling.
"I know. I know, babe." He pulled her hands out from under the water and grabbed a washcloth. He turned her toward him and began to wash her face and neck.
His eyes were troubled, his mouth grim. But his hands were gentle where he touched her, gently holding her face still while he scrubbed. His gaze flicked toward hers, and he held contact for a moment, making her want to fall into those brown depths and forget everything. To simply disappear into the energy that was him. "You have to let them go," he said. "There's nothing you can do to bring them back—"
"No." A deep ache pounded at Kaylie's chest and her legs felt like they were too weak to support her. "I can't. Did you see Sara? And Jackson? His throat—" She bent over, clutching her stomach. "I—"
Cort's arms were suddenly around her, warm and strong, pulling her against his solid body. Kaylie fell into him, the sobs coming hard, the memories—
"I know." Cort's whisper was soft, his hand in her hair, crushing her against him. "It sucks. Goddamn, it sucks."
Kaylie heard his grief in the raw tone of his voice and realized his body was shaking as well. She looked up and saw a rim of red around his eyes, shadows in the hollows of his whiskered cheeks. "You know," she whispered, knowing with absolute certainty that he did. He understood the grief consuming her.
"Yeah." He cupped her face, staring down at her, his grip so tight it was almost as desperate as she felt. She could feel his heart beating against her nearly bare breasts, the rise of his chest as he breathed, the heat of his body warming the deathly chill from hers.
For the first time in forever, she suddenly didn't feel quite as alone.
In her suffering, she had company. Someone who knew. Who understood. Who shared her pain. It had been so long since the dark cavern surrounding her heart had lessened, since she hadn't felt consumed by the loneliness, but with Cort holding her...there was a flicker of light in the darkness trying to take her. "Cort—"
He cleared his throat. "I gotta go check the chili." He dropped his hands from her face and stood up to go, pulling away from her.
Without his touch, the air felt cold and the anguish returned full force. Kaylie caught his arm. "Don't go—" She stopped, not sure what to say, what to ask for. All she knew was that she didn't want him to leave, and she didn't want him to stop holding her.
Cort turned back to her, and a muscle ticked in his cheek.
For a moment, they simply stared at each other. She raised her arms. "Hold me," she whispered. "Please."
He hesitated for a second, and then his hand snaked out and he shackled her wrist. He yanked once, and she tumbled into him. Their bodies smacked hard as he caught her around the waist, his hands hot on her bare back.
She threw her arms around his neck and sagged into him. He wrapped his arms around her, holding her tightly against him. With only her bra and his T-shirt between them, the heat of his body was like a furnace, numbing her pain. His name slipped out in a whisper, and she pressed her cheek against his chest. She focused on his masculine scent. She took solace in the feel of another human's touch, in the safety of being held in arms powerful enough to ward off the grief trying to overtake her.
His hand tunneled in her hair, and he buried his face in the curve of her neck, his body shaking against hers.
"Cort—" She started to lift her head to look at him, to see if he was crying, but he tightened his grip on her head, forcing her face back to his chest, refusing to allow her to look at him.
Keeping her out.
Isolating her.
She realized he wasn't a partner in her grief. She was alone, still alone, always alone.
All the anguish came cascading back. Raw loneliness surged again, and she shoved away from him as sobs tore at her throat. She couldn't deal with being held by him when the sense of intimacy was nothing but an illusion. "Leave me alone."
Kaylie whirled away from him, keeping her head ducked. She didn't want to look at him. She needed space to find her equilibrium again and rebuild her foundation.
"Damn it, Kaylie." Cort grabbed her arm and spun her back toward him.
She held up her hands to block him, her vision blurred by the tears streaming down her face. "Don't—"
His arms snapped around her and he hauled her against him even as she fought his grip. "No! Leave me alone—"
His mouth descended on hers.
Not a gentle kiss.
A kiss of desperation and grief and need. Of the need to control something. Of raw human passion for life, for death, for the touch of another human being.
And it broke her.

Cort and Kaylie must both overcome their haunted pasts in order to survive, something that many of us must do.  What have you had to overcome to get where you are today? Or what are you still working on? Leave a comment, and be entered to win one a copy of ICE in either Kindle or Nook format (your choice). For every 15 comments, I will add another copy of ICE to the pot, up to five books, so spread the word to increase your chances! How cool is that? And if I get 100 comments, I will also give away the whole set of SOULFIRE BOOKS to a grand prize winner (ebook or hard copy).

Check out the original cover of ICE from the paperback version and compare it to the new one. Which do you like better?
ICE was originally published in 2009 in mass market paperback by Dorchester Publishing. This it its first publication in electronic format, and it has updated content and fantastic new cover art.

BIO: Four-time RITA® Award nominee and Golden Heart® Award winner Stephanie Rowe is the nationally bestselling author of more than twenty published books with major New York publishers, including HarperCollins, Grand Central and Harlequin. Stephanie has received starred reviews from Booklist and high praise from Publisher's Weekly. Stephanie writes romance (paranormal, contemporary and suspense), teen fiction, middle grade fiction and inspirational non-fiction. A former attorney, Stephanie lives in Boston where she is actively working on her next projects, which include CHILL, the second book in her Alaska Heat romantic suspense series (Feb 2012), and the launch of her new dark paranormal series The Order of the Blade, which will be launching in February and March with a trilogy. The next Soulfire book, SEIZE WITH YOUR KISS, will be out in Summer 2012. For more information on Stephanie, visit www.stephanierowe.com.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winter Blahs

I’ve got the January blahs. I can’t even blame the weather. It’s not been too bad—no subzero temperatures; no major storms to keep me shut inside—but never the less, it still seems like my “get up and go” has got up and went! So many things that I could (should?) be doing, but I can’t get motivated.

What have I been doing while in my slug mode? A LOT of reading! In fact I’ve been averaging two to three books a week all month. Since I live 40 miles from the nearest bookstore and going to our local library would require wearing something other than sweat pants, they’ve been e-books—mostly of the $2.99 or less variety. (I did spend over $10 on one, but to tell the truth, I’ve been a little disappointed in it. I’ve also learned to try a sample first to see if the book is to my taste.) On the plus side, I’ve discovered several authors whose work I’ve really enjoyed.

So just in case there are any other fellow slugs out there, I’ve decided to share some of my favorites with the caveat that these are the ones that appeal to my taste, but maybe not all.

Here’s a few on my list:

THE VAMPIRE FOR HIRE series—J.R. Rain
A young mother is bitten by a vampire and must learn to cope with her altered state. (No, she doesn’t sparkle, but does discover some unusual talents.)

THE LAURA CARDINAL series—J. Carson Black
Thrillers with a bit of the paranormal thrown in for good measure.

OUT OF TIME—Deborah Truscott
A time travel romance with endearingly quirky characters and snappy dialogue.

THE CAPTAIN LACEY series—Ashley Gardner (Jennifer Ashley)
A set of Regency mysteries featuring Captain Gabriel Lacey.

THE BARBRA MARR series—Karen Cantwell
Mobsters, monkeys, and murder plague suburban housewife Barbra Marr.

THE DULCIE O’NEIL series—H. P. Mallory
Creatures from the Netherworld exist side by side with humans and it’s up to Regulator Dulcie O’Neil (who happens to be a fairy) to keep them in line.

THE STACY JUSTICE series—Barbra Annino
Murder, magic, and a little romance—need I say more?

How about you? Anyone want to add to the list? I expect to have about two more weeks of “slugdom” left and I’m always looking for a good read!

That’s it for this week—have a good one and see you next Thursday.

Best,
Shirley

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Woe is Me...Or at Least My Computer

Having computer problems again. Won't even try to explain. Let's just say it's like something out of a 21st century "Gaslight." Is someone trying to drive me crazy by deleting files? Making my screen blip and having my manuscript disappear when it comes back on?

It's been a long week!

In the meantime, found out that the email link on my website isn't working. That's right, the one I told you all to use last week to zip me an email from the new site. If you sent one, sorry, it never arrived. You can try again by emailing:

casey@caseydaniels.com

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New and Improved . . . Finally!



Who said it would be easy to get a new website up and running?

Well, actually, that’s exactly what a lot of people told me when I announced that my old website (as much fun as it was) was getting stale and needed updating.


"No problem," so many of my friends said. "Piece of cake. Web designers are everywhere."


Oh yeah?


Nearly a year into the search for someone who could re-design the site at a price that didn’t make me scream, I am happy to say I finally have a new, updated website.


Hurray!


Stop by:



There’s a button there for sending an email to me, and if you do that before next Saturday, January 21, you’ll be entered in a contest to win one of my Pepper Martin mysteries. In your email, just let me know which of the books you’d like. You can check them all out.

On my new website.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Real life writing


I know TV is not real life. Rarely do 20-something "Friends" live in expensive New York apartments. Forensic teams don't usually drive Hummers. And most families don't have a Fonzie living in an apartment above the garage (yeah, yeah, I'm dating myself).

So why do I expect a show about a writer to be true to life? I don't. I shouldn't. Yet every Monday night, when my husband and I sit down and watch Castle, I say the same thing, "He's never going to hit his book deadline if he keeps trapsing around like that. He's not even worried about it."

To which Jim replies, "It's a TV show."

Of course, I ignore him.

Sure, Castle is researching by following the police, but that doesn't get a book finished. They did sort of address it once last season when Castle was behind on a deadline. His editor's response was to whisk him away to a house in the Hamptons for the summer. There, the editor doted on him for three months while he wrote his book.

Come to think of it, maybe Castle is not so crazy to ignore those deadlines.

"It's just a TV show," Jim says again, well aware of my deadline-induced chocolate habit. And the fact that he had to resist the urge to re-locate any of the yellow post-it notes that papered the house a few weeks ago. He also ended up fixing dinners for the weeks leading up to my recent Jan 1 deadline. Being a smart man, he tends to let those things slide.

Still, I look forward to Castle every week. It's a lot of fun. The characters (to me, the most important part) are great. And it makes me wonder - who else has a job that's not quite the same as TV? Dish. I'd love to know.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Guilty Pleasures

I'm gonna reveal a guilty pleasure of mine. If you've seen a few of my tweets, you might already know about it...

If I could watch great drama for hours on end, I'd do it. I hate to admit it, but I love a good cry from a great well written television drama. In the past, I grew up watching Young and the Restless and watched it until a few years ago. (I even faithfully watched it in college.) That's until I got turned on to watching Asian dramas. In particular south Korean dramas. It started a while ago--maybe a year, but I watched one show on dramafever.com and after that I was hooked. I loved how well-written the shows were. It was so different compared to what I watched in America. The differences were obvious but they added to the appeal: different language, different settings, different culture and so much more. But the one obvious thing that never changed was family relationships, friendships--even love between two people who just could get their act together to stay together. It was in those shows that I watched and watched--and then shortly afterward got in a good cry. It was awe-some! I was so tired of the same plotlines on American daytime television. I hate to say it, but on most days I felt like I'd seen it all before. Oh wow, gal A is now hooking up with guy B since she's already married guy B's brother before. I guess that isn't awkward during family dinners... ;)

Not too long ago I even found a k-drama based on the movie Overboard with Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. That is one of my favorite movies ever and to see it as a k-drama was even more fun! It was fresh, it was different! (I only cried once, but that's okay!) If you'd like to see it, search for Couple or Trouble k-drama.

So, now that I've revealed one of my guilty pleasure, do any of you have things you love to do to de-stress or enjoy yourself? I've always wondered if I'd enjoy something like knitting or sewing as well.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hold Me If You Can Launch Day!


I am so excited to announce that third book in the Soulfire series, HOLD ME IF YOU CAN, is officially on the shelves! It's a darkly funny paranormal series with plenty of sexy moments, hunk-a-licious tortured warriors, and some added bonuses that you will just NOT be expecting…

 For those of you not familiar with the series, here's a quick intro!

The Series:

The Soulfire series is about a team of immortal warriors who have recently escaped from the Den of Womanly Pursuits, after 150 of torture and sensitivity training by Death's grandma. These hardened survivors can, much to their dismay, wield a pair of knitting needles as well as they can vanquish a demon with a sword. Not that they will admit that. Ever. Denial only goes so far, however… If a man's got a talent with a curling iron, he can hide it for only so long…

KISS AT YOUR OWN RISK (BOOK 1)


In KISS AT YOUR OWN RISK, an intractable warrior teams up with a cursed spitfire to rescue his best friend from Death's hot-blooded Grandma, in a high-octane and deliciously sexy romance, in which Death takes on a whole new meaning. It's the launch book for my new Soulfire series, in which tortured, refined and highly dangerous warriors tap into their sensitive side to save themselves, the world, and if they're lucky, the women they team up with.

TOUCH IF YOU DARE (BOOK 2)



In Touch if You Dare, Jarvis Swain is an immortal warrior with a talent for French braiding, who is also the Guardian of Hate.  He's on the fast track toward succumbing to the hate in an explosion that will be not-so-good for the world at large. His only chance to save the world? Get some love from his wayward brother, Cupid, who is more interested in his new future as a Death's premiere assassin than spreading love and goodwill. Jarvis's only chance? Teaming up with Reina Fleming, Death's tender-hearted assistant, who will either bring him to his knees or save him forever.

HOLD ME IF YOU CAN (BOOK 3)


Nigel Aquarian is the only warrior who is entirely at peace with his softer side. Give him a sketch pad and some markers, and he's happy. But those that giveth taketh away, and Nigel suddenly finds that his art has become deadly to those he loves. Without his art, Nigel has no outlet for his darker side. He has to find a way to regain control before he kills everyone he loves, and the only woman who can help him is Natalie Fleming, a passionate woman with a talent for chocolate, demons and maybe, just maybe, his salvation. If, of course, they don't kill each other first.

          
We're giving away free copies of HOLD ME IF YOU CAN to commentators on two different blogs today! Stop by Book Monster Reviews or the Casablanca Authors blog and win! 

Looking for more Stephanie Rowe? It's going to be a big year! Late January will include the re-release of the first two books in my Alaska Heat series, ICE and CHILL. Late February will showcase the launch of my new dark paranormal series, The Order of the Blade, which will be released as a trilogy throughout 2012. Summer will bring book #4 in the Soulfire series, SEIZE WITH YOUR KISS. Later in 2012 I'm so excited to announce that a new Immortally Sexy book will be released! To keep track of all the new books coming out, hop on over to my website and sign up for my newsletter.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Unresolutions

So…how’s everyone doing with those pesky New Year’s resolutions??? Or did you make any this year? Personally I decided to do something different this year for two reasons—1. I very seldom follow through with my resolutions, and 2. I thought of a friend’s favorite saying…”it’s never a mistake as long as you learn something.” As a result instead of making a list of what I will do, I’ve made a list of what I won’t do! Things that taught me a lesson or mistakes that I don't want to repeat.

Here’s some of the top ones:

1. I will not pressure wash my house. (If you remember the post about it, that cleaning project led to repainting my entire house!)

2. I will not attempt to make petit fours and decorate them two days before Christmas. (Don’t ask!)

3. I won’t waste my time thinking about “if only’s" (ie. “if only this would happen”; “if only that would happen”).

4. I won’t offer advice to my grown children unless solicited. (It seems this past year, I’ve started out a lot of my sentences with the words, “if I were you.” They haven’t complained, but they’ve got to be getting sick of it by now—I know I am! *g*)

5. Along with #3, I won’t ignore the small things that make me happy. (Favorite quote: “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”—Robert Brault)

And last but not least,

6. I won’t wait until the middle of May to finish the next “Jess” book!!! (the deadline is July!)

I don’t know—maybe following through with a list of “things I won’t do” is going to be just as hard as following through with a list of “things I will do”! Maybe 2013’s will contain only one entry…”I won’t make lists!”

One last thing—I need to announce the winners of the SHADOW TALES gift certificates! Diane P. and Barbara E.! Let me know 1. If you have a Nook or a Kindle; and 2. Your email address. Send that information to me at Shirley@shirleydamsgaard.com and I’ll send your gift certificates.

That’s all for this week—I hope 2012 brings much joy and success to everyone! See you next week.

Best,
Shirley

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year, New Book!



Happy New Year!


I can’t think of a better way to kick off a new year than with a new book. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce the publication of "Wild, Wild Death," book #8 in the Pepper Martin mystery series.

I’m always excited about sharing one of Pepper’s adventures with readers. After all, she’s the world’s only private investigator for the dead. That means there’s always something interesting (and possibly dangerous) happening in Pepper’s life, and always a ghost tagging along for the fun.


This time, it’s a trip to the great Southwest with long-dead Wild West star Chester Goodshot Gomez along for the ride. You see, Pepper’s been downsized from her job as a tour guide in a historic Cleveland cemetery, and she’s got some time on her hands and is looking for a little excitement. It’s a perfect example of Be Careful What You Wish For, when an odd package arrives along with a ransom note. Cute and scruffy paranormal investigator, Dan Callaghan, has been kidnapped and if Pepper doesn’t bring Goodshot’s bones to New Mexico–and fast–the kidnappers say he’ll be killed.


Of course, in Pepper’s world, kidnappers are the least of her problems. Figuring out what to wear to a body-snatching is the first. After all, she’s convinced she’s going to end up getting caught, and she wants to look good for her mugshots.


"Wild, Wild Death" takes Pepper to New Mexico and southern Colorado, a part of the country where I’ve spent some time. Like me, she’s bowled over by the beauty of the area, and intimidated by its wildness. If that was all she had to think about, it wouldn’t be a bad little get-away, but once she arrives, the bones gets stolen, and bodies start dropping like the desert temperature once the sun goes down.

Pepper has to deal with kidnappers disguised as aliens, a too-hot-to-handle Pueblo police chief and one clever murderer–one whose idea of boot hill has nothing to do with Jimmy Choo.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Life on Ice

Yesterday, I took my daughter ice skating. Now there is nothing remarkable about that unless you consider that she has never been on ice skates and I have not been in the last 10+ years. It may be closer to 15 years since I tried to get on the ice. And when I did it last time, I was not good.

I remember the laughing of my friends, the polite smiles of those who had to skate around me when I wiped out and was laying there, spread-eagled on the ice. I remember those jerky little kids who would skirt around me, effortlessly, as they missed my head by about two inches and sprayed that fine icy snow.

Yes, I remembered.

So I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea to stop by the ice rink yesterday. We were out to see the Science Center and it's in the middle of this big park. There are ball fields, archery ranges, tennis courts and, yes, an outdoor rink.

In all fairness, it was a good idea. The air was crisp, they had a big fire going outside the rink and it smelled amazing. Steinberg Rink is this 1920's-era building in the middle of this wide, old copse of trees.

We laced up with confidence. We headed out to watch the zamboni as it finished. My daughter was excited and so was I.

Then we stepped onto the ice. Boy, is that stuff slick. We both wiped out almost immediately, right where everyone else was getting on. I had flashbacks of the ice skating trips of my youth. We scrambled up as the little kids did swoopy things around us, leaving us in their ice dust. We made it half-way around, half-clinging to the rail, before my daughter realized. "We're really not good at this. Both of us." She seemed fairly surprised, as I have been in the past, when these type of things don't always work out. I was glad she'd gone in confident, and tried to talk her off the wall.

She was not so keen on that. She'd seen what happened to me most of the time I got too far from the side - wipeout. She asked me if she'd fall and I wanted to lie. But I told her: Yes, if you get off the wall, you will fall. But you don't get off the wall, you won't be able to skate.

She thought about that. And watched me wipe out shortly after. We made it the rest of the way around the rink. She never did get off the wall and that was okay. But on the way home, she had a thought that made the whole trip worth it. She said, "Skating is kind of like everything, right?" I wasn't sure what she'd meant, but said, yes, it was kind of like life. She agreed and said, "Next time, I'm going to get off the wall."

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

How was everyone's New Year's celebrations? Fun I hope! I spent New Year's eve with family friends. We had a great dinner and played card games and such. Would you believe I played Zombie Fluxx? It was hard to get at first, but after a few hands it was rather fun! You basically have a deck with action, goals, and lots of zombies. Some cards give you goals in order to win. Other cards tell you actions you must do for every turn like pick a certain number of cards, swap cards with others, and more. I personally like the keeper cards! Naturally you have the can of gasoline, the bat, sandwiches, and a chainsaw! (I mean what else would you need during the zombie apocalypse--other than a sandwich?)

When the clock struck midnight we toasted the New Year with champagne and had french silk pie for dessert. (OMG I heart French silk pie.) Overall, it was a great night.

For those interested, I do have a giveaway going on over at Magic & Mayhem Writers for Nadia Lee's THE LAST SLAYER. I'm picking a winner on Wednesday if you're interested. Just leave a comment there.

So, I'd love to know what everyone did for New Year's. On most years I hung out at home and watched The Twilight Zone marathon on the SyFy channel with my family.