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Monday, September 29, 2014

SNOW CHEETAH is coming soon - by Vijaya Schartz




Yep! I don't have a cover, yet, but I'm finishing the second edits, and the release date is November 1, 2014 from Desert Breeze Publishing. Yay!


Like in the other books in the series, I picked the hero and the heroine from opposite sides of the controversy. Here is the blurb:

Natalia, future queen of Kassouk, pressured into bonding with a power-hungry prince, yearns to reign and improve her people's lives. She finds the handsome Earth captain a refreshing distraction, despite his five fingers and ridiculous claim of being human, like the lowly workers of her world.

Captain Martial Terrien, nano-enhanced Space Marine from Earth, is on a secret, desperate mission to find his people a new home. The unexpected population on the chosen planet complicates his task, especially since the ruling caste can read minds, levitate, and teleport at will. Furthermore, the lovely princess and her pet cheetah take a shine to him, and beautiful women spelled disaster in his past. Natalia's jilted suitor, determined to reign at any cost, vows to annihilate the Earthlings. When the conflict escalates, can Martial obey Earth Central Command, or will he jeopardize the future of his race to save Natalia?


EXCERPT:

When her arm weakened and her steps grew shaky, he did a somersault over her head, leaving her confused. Then he shoved her sideways, and tackled her. He pinned her to the soft mat, face up, while he held her sword arm to the floor.

He had her.

Her hair came undone around her head, like a bright halo on the soft gray mat, and her luminous green gaze locked with his. Her lips opened slightly, and he couldn’t help but stare. She looked so helpless, so confused, her chest heaving. Her eyes unfocused and her pupils dilated. She was not playing the game anymore... neither was he.

Her breath hitched. He lowered his face to hers and hovered closer to marvel at her beauty. She kept staring at him. He couldn’t resist the temptation to probe her mind. A mistake. She was calling to him, wanting him to kiss her. He lowered his gaze to her mouth and she licked her slightly open lips. How could he possibly resist her sensual call?

Slowly, deliberately, he brushed her pliant lips, enjoying the soft contact. When she tasted him with a lick, he held his fire, afraid she would balk at a fierce response. She had to be a virgin. Then she let go of the sword. He relaxed his hold, and she caressed his hair.

The sensation of her six-fingered hand on his head awakened shored up needs he could no longer contain. Cupping her fiery mane, he claimed her mouth and ravished it with the fervor of a starving man.

She moaned softly and arched under him, as if seeking body contact. Flashes of all the disastrous consequences their relationship could bring barely cooled his lust, but he must stop this now.

He steeled himself against the separation and rose slowly, with great reluctance.

She sat up on the mat, staring at him.

“I’m so sorry.” He turned away. He couldn’t watch her like that. “It won’t happen again. I promise.”

“Why not?” The disappointment in her voice and in her mind sliced him deeper than a sword.

“You are promised to another man.” As good an excuse as any. The truth was too ugly to tell. His mission might require him to annihilate her entire race.

“I do not intend to become Kaylar’s mate.” The indignant tone told much about her dislike for the man.

Martial stiffened, closing his fists, then he faced her again. “I hope we can still be friends.”

“Friends?” Tears welled in her beautiful green eyes.

“Or colleagues... diplomat and future queen.” Martial still needed more information on the Starlings.

She swallowed a sob, quickly wiped a tear, then composed her face. “Maybe when you see more of our culture, you will understand that although our females often take a submissive role, we do have a choice in the matter. We are civilized.”

“Of course, you are.” He certainly felt like the Neanderthal here.

She rose from the floor and tossed her long wavy hair behind the shoulders of her impeccable white body suit. “Then shall we meet again tomorrow?” 


The hope softening her face broke his heart.

“I planned to show you our hydroponic installations.”

“I accept, but I must bring my team.” For his own protection. He didn’t want to repeat past mistakes. And mistakes would certainly be made if he spent too much time alone with her.

*****
Here are the other books in the series if you want to catch up. They can be read in any order, but if you are like me and prefer to read them in the right sequence, here they are:

Prequel - NOAH'S ARK, Book One - WHITE TIGER, Book Two - RED LEOPARD, Book Three - BLACK JAGUAR, Book Four - BLUE LIONESS, Book Five - SNOW CHEETAH (November 1, 2014).




HAPPY READING!


Vijaya Schartz

Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick

http://www.vijayaschartz.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/vijayaschartz 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Channing Tatum Has Pointy Ears and Other Ascending News



Channing Tatum fans who are used to being distracted by his abs will have something new to stare at. 

His ears.

Huh. 

He stars with Mila Kunis in the Wachowski sibs (The Matrix) upcoming space opera film Jupiter Ascending.



According to IMDB

Jupiter Jones was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning toilets and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along - her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos. 


I'm excited that a new sci-fi romance is in the offing, but 

between you and me, I'm not sure I can get past the ears...

Check out the trailer below and let us know what YOU think!



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Here's To Crazy Ass Ideas! by Michele Callahan



How To Amuse Yourself When You’re A Writer...

 So...I was brainstorming scenes for my newest Timewalker novel. The hero is an Immortal King who’s been missing for a few centuries. To say he’s uptight and a real killjoy is an understatement.  Of course, he’s also sexy and honorable and an all around hunk. The heroine is an earth girl, a Timewalker who grew up on another planet to hide her from some really creepy bad guys.  She’s flippant, and fearless, and likes to argue with him because no one else will. I really needed to make a list of possible scenes, but my muse refused to cooperate. To work around that I wrote “Crazy Ass Things That Could Happen In White Fire” at the top of the page on a yellow legal pad, got out my purple pen and waited.

Please bear in mind that it was after midnight, I was tired and feeling a bit punchy. Some of these ideas were pseudo-serious. Most were not. I have laughed out loud at this list several times since, but it got my muse flowing. I hope you enjoy this bizarre glimpse into the twisted musings of an author.

Crazy Ass Things That Could Happen In White Fire:
1 – The king turns into a girl, dresses in drag and moves to Vegas.
2 – The king becomes mortal.
3 – The Gates open and everyone on Earth dies. They all just die. (Showing a little frustration on that one.)
4 – The king gets a pedicure.
5 – Pink bunny slippers.
6 – Foot massage, bubble bath, and chimes.
7 – Chocolate glazed donuts.
8 – They plant a tree.
9 – They read Eat Pray Love aloud to one another while in ‘downward dog’ yoga position.
10 – They turn into fairies.
11 – They eat a Tootsie Pop and count the licks.
12 – They get drunk and dye their hair blue.
13 – They time travel to the past so they can disco dance with the Village People.
14 – Ride an elephant.
15 – Ride the Teacups ride at Six Flags until they puke.
16 – They watch Twilight, the movie.
17 – They sing Somewhere Over The Rainbow and count flying monkeys.
18 – They go rock climbing.
19 – They stare into each other’s eyes and chant like monks.
20 -  They go Bonnie & Clyde and go blow stuff up.

Serious? No. But it did help me start moving forward again, and it made me laugh. And, a couple of them even made it into the book. So, if you’re ever stuck for ideas about anything, whether it’s writing a story or what to do on a Saturday night, just make a “Crazy Ass” list of your own. Have fun, and good luck!


 Red Night, Timewalker Chronicles, Book 1 - Expanded and Revised 9/2014
 Silver Storm, Timewalker Chronicles, Book 2 - Expanded and Revised 9/2014
 Blue Abyss (Book 3) - Release Date October 26
 Black Gate (Book 4) - Releae Date November 2
 White Fire (Book 5) - Release Date November 9
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Wonderful Thing About Conventions

The Wonderful Thing About Conventions
By S. E. Smith


Thank you, Holly N. for the picture, this is from her new bookcase!

I attended the IRC, Indie Romance Convention, this past week and had a lovely time. This convention was much smaller than RomCon, which I attended in Denver in June, yet both held a special magic. That magic was in the people that attended.

First, the Readers:

I love meeting new people, thank you for coming!
These conventions give the readers a chance to come and mingle with their favorite authors and discover new ones. It also gives the author a chance to meet some of the fans they have chatted with via social media or through emails. Some readers live close by while others travel a great distance. For me, I'm just honored to meet them.

Mandy and me




Wonderful time sharing
I thoroughly enjoyed sitting and chatting with Mandy, Beth, Linda, Donna, and others between workshops. Just as it is with the characters in my stories, meeting other people that come from different areas is what enriches my life and keeps me grounded. I listen to their stories and can feel their joy, sorrow, and excitement as I learn a little more about them. Their stories are the ones that need to be told.





Second, the Authors:

S. E. Smith, Eve Langlais, and Donna McDonald at IRC 2014
I can’t begin to say enough about all the authors I’ve met.  I'm just in awe of them. Like  many of the writers I met at RomCon, I was fortunate to meet many great new ones at the IRC. 

J. M. Madden, Donna McDonald, Eve Langlais, Sharon Hamilton, and Jacqueline Rhoades were just a few that took me under their wings and made me feel at home. Eve, Donna and I had a great time putting on our Alien Game Show. 

Every participant received a gift and there was laughter all around. I learned a lot both in the University workshops and out of them. Sharon introduced us to her audiobook narrator, J. D. Hart which had all the women fanning themselves.

New Releases:

Donna, Eve, and I all have new releases coming out this week and are super excited about it, so you can imagine how we chatted! Donna McDonald has her new Cyborg book, Peyton 313, which will be available September 17, 2014. Eve Langlais’ book, Outfoxed by Love, is due out September 16, 2014, and my newest release Twin Dragons: Dragon Lords of Valdier Book 7 was released September 16, 2014. In addition, Choosing Riley: Sarafin Warriors Book 1 is being released in the Captured Box set on September 16, 2014. This box set includes outstanding stories by Opal Carew, Cathryn Fox, Eve Langlais and more. It is a steal at just $.99 for this set of NYT/USAT Bestselling Authors. This is definitely an exciting week for all three of us!

Twin Dragons tells the story of Cree and Calo Aryeh and Melina Franklin. The brothers were introduced in Cornering Carmen. The ultimate alphas, they work together as one to serve and protect the Royal family. They never expect to find a mate capable of handling both them and their dragons. Melina Franklin has spent the last four years pretending to be a deranged boy in the hopes of surviving on the Antrox mining asteroid that both she and her grandfather had been sold to. Life changes for all of them when their destinies collide. I hope you enjoy Cree, Calo, and Melina’s journey as much as I do.




Current Projects:

My story is going to be about Jonathan and Jonah's parents from Touch of Frost!
Discover what happens when a sexy Vampire sets her sights on a Bad-boy Werewolf!
I am currently working on a short story for an anthology with Michelle Pillows, Mandy Roth, and many other great authors, in addition to Spirit Warrior: Spirit Pass Book 2. 

Readers can also expect to see another Dragonlings short story. A Dragonlings’ Haunted Halloween will feature our lovable group of baby dragons from the Dragon Lords of Valdier. Find out what happens when Cara decides to turn the lower dungeons of the palace into a Haunted House ride and a couple of mischievous Goddess’ join in the fun. Laughter, scares, and another Earth holiday will make this one Halloween the men will never forget!

If you haven’t already, please sign up for my newsletter, forum, and Facebook to learn more about what is going on and what is coming up. Also, just a reminder that reviews really do help an author! If you’ve read one or more of my stories and enjoyed it, but haven’t taken the time to write a review on Amazon, BN, Kobo, Lulu, Smashwords or Goodreads, it is now easier than ever since they don’t have a minimum word requirement. Copy and paste, but please take the time to let other readers know that you enjoyed the stories. YOU can make a difference!

Website:         http://sesmithfl.com
Twitter:          https://twitter.com/sesmithfl
Pinterest:       http://www.pinterest.com/sesmithfl/
Blog:                http://sesmithfl.com/blog/
Forum:                        http://www.sesmithromance.com/forum/
Additional Books by S. E. Smith
Paranormal and Science Fiction short stories and novellas
For the Love of Tia (Dragon Lords of Valdier Book 4.1)
A Dragonlings’ Easter (Dragonlings of Valdier Book 1)
A Warrior’s Heart (Marastin Dow Warriors Book 1.1)
Rescuing Mattie (Lords of Kassis: Book 3.1)
Science Fiction/Paranormal Novels
Tink’s Neverland (Cosmo’s Gateway: Book 1)
Hannah’s Warrior (Cosmos’ Gateway: Book 2)
Tansy’s Titan (Cosmos’ Gateway: Book 3)
Cosmos’ Promise (Cosmos’ Gateway: Book 4)
Ha’ven’s Song (Curizan Warrior: Book 1)
Abducting Abby (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 1)
Capturing Cara (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 2)
Tracking Trisha (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 3)
Ambushing Ariel (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 4)
Cornering Carmen (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 5)
Paul’s Pursuit (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 6)
Twin Dragons (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 7)
River’s Run (Lords of Kassis: Book 1)
Star’s Storm (Lords of Kassis: Book 2)
Jo’s Journey (Lords of Kassis: Book 3)
Touch of Frost (Magic, New Mexico Book 1)
Choosing Riley (Sarafin Warriors: Book 1)
Hunter’s Claim (The Alliance: Book 1)
Razor’s Traitorous Heart (The Alliance: Book 2)
Gracie’s Touch (Zion Warriors: Book 1)
Krac’s Firebrand (Zion Warriors: Book 2)
Paranormal and Time Travel Novels
Indiana Wild (Spirit Pass: Book 1)
Lily’s Cowboys (Heaven Sent: Book 1)
Touching Rune (Heaven Sent: Book 2)
            Excerpts of S. E. Smith Books
If you would like to read more S. E. Smith stories, she recommends Abducting Abby, the first in her Dragon Lords of Valdier Series
Or if you prefer a Paranormal or Time Travel with a twist, you can check out Lily’s Cowboys or Indiana Wild


About S. E. Smith

S. E. Smith is a USA TODAY and #1 International Amazon Bestselling author who has always been a romantic and a dreamer. An avid writer, she has spent years writing, although it has usually been technical papers for college. Now, she spends her evenings and weekends writing and her nights dreaming up new stories. An affirmed “geek,” she spends her days working on computers and other peripherals. She enjoys camping and traveling when she is not out on a date with her favorite romantic guy.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

FIRST KISS




From the moment we're conceived our lives are a series of firsts. Most of these firsts pass without notice or are quickly forgotten. Who among us remembers their first word, their first step, their first piece of chocolate? Well, maybe the chocolate.

But certain firsts are etched into our memory like words chiseled in to granite. Our first love. Our first heartbreak. And most memorable our first kiss. Time and circumstance may cause them to fade, but the impression remains.

Though I've seen animals rubbing their faces and snouts together, to me, kissing, the pressing together of lips, seems a very human activity, an intimate connection. The touching of lip to lip or lip to skin is more than a physical action; it expresses a gamut of emotions. Friends kiss in affection. Parent's kiss away a child's pain with love and compassion. Lovers kiss in passion.

While it's said a person's eyes are the window to their soul, our lips are the gatekeepers that expose our souls to the world. With our lips we speak and sing, smile and laugh, scowl and yell. And kiss.
Every little girl wonders and dreams about falling in love, about her first kiss.  Who will he be? The boy next door? A friend of a friend? A stranger?  Where will they meet? How will she know he's the one? The questions, excitement and fear are endless, causing sleepless nights, and long involved discussions with her closest friends about who he might be and what it'll be like. Inevitably the subject turns to kissing. They talk and giggle about the mechanics of kissing, practicing the art on the backs of their hands and occasionally a mirror. A few bolder girls might even experiment by kissing each other. They want that first kiss to be thrilling, wonderful, and special.

For the lucky ones their first kiss is all that and more. But I'm guessing for most of us it wasn't. For those of us who received our first kiss as a teenaged girl it probably came from some pimply-faced, sweaty-handed, teenaged boy with braces, who was more interested in what was below a girl's neck than above.
It's been a long time since those days for me. And fortunately the memories have dimmed, but the emotions remain. 

When I sat down to write about my first kiss I realized that I really don't recall which of the kisses I remember was the first. Was it the boy with braces I met at an outdoor concert and spent a few uncomfortable minutes necking with behind the bushes? Or maybe the "older" man (he had to be at least 20) who was working on his car in the garage and managed to steal a kiss? Or was it my first "boyfriend"? Quite honestly I can't remember if he ever actually kissed me. I think he was homesick and found my family more interesting than me.

All I can really remember is thinking 'Is this what all the fuss is about? Well, that's disappointing.' When I started writing romance I decided that none of my heroines would ever be left dissatisfied by their first kiss or any other firsts.

I hope your first kiss - and your next - was everything you hoped and dreamed it would be. I'd love to hear about them.

Here's the first kiss between the hero and heroine in my contemporary fantasy THE SWORD AND THE PEN.

"You'll enjoy this more." Brandon handed Seri a hotdog smothered with all the fixings.

She took the offering and sniffed it. The aroma of grilled meat, onions, mustard and ketchup must have pleased her, because she took a bite. A look of delight spread over her face. In seconds she had devoured the hotdog and reached for a hamburger.

Fascinated by her appetite, he almost forgot to eat. Most women he'd known-- his mother, Wanda and Hillary-- merely nibbled at their food. They always claimed to be on diets, yet never seemed to lose any weight. His grandmother had been the exception. Until her death, she'd eaten anything and everything and never gained an ounce. She'd claimed magic kept her thin.

Seri ate with gusto and didn't seem interested in counting calories or carbohydrates. Whatever she did in life she kept her body trim and fit. The pile of food diminished. She glanced at him. Her hand paused as she reached for the now melting ice cream.

"Why aren't you eating?"

The sudden suspicion in her tone reminded him to tread carefully. He grabbed a handful of fries.

She relaxed and picked up the dish of ice cream. "What is this?"

"Chocolate ice cream. You'll like it."

"Mmmm," she groaned around a mouthful. "This is astonishing. I think I could easily live on this alone."

"It's full of fat and sugar, and loaded with calories."

"I know fat and sugar. But what are calories? Are they dangerous?" She gave the now empty container a wary glance.

"Only to your waistline."

Understanding spread over her face. She grinned. "Ah, I see. You fear I'll grow obese and lazy."

"No, I didn't mean that… I only meant…well, I…" He stumbled.

She leaned forward and placed her fingers over his lips. "I but tease. Only the very rich and powerful can afford to grow stout and indolent. And those that do so, soon lose their wealth and their power to those who are hungry."

Slick from the fries and cool from the ice cream, the feel of her fingers against his lips sent a jolt of awareness straight to his groin. Without thinking, he sucked one finger into his mouth. The taste of salt and Seri exploded on his tongue.

Her voice trailed away. He pushed aside the tray with the remains of their lunch and leaned across the concrete table. She pulled her hand from his mouth and replaced it with her lips.

She tasted of chocolate, cool chocolate ice cream. The smell of grilled hotdogs and onion rings filled his nostrils. But the hunger inside Brandon wasn't for food. Eager for the taste of the woman he kissed, he ran his tongue over her lips. They parted on a sigh and he delved within.

Hot and tangy, her flavor sucked him in. Heat burned away rational thought as he lost himself in the kiss. Their tongues thrust and parried, the tempo increasing with every breath. Not satisfied with the limited contact of their mouths, he put his hand around the back of her head. Soft red curls twined around his fingers.

Honk! Honk!

"Hey man! Get a room!" a loud voice rang out. Laughter followed, as a car filled with teenagers pulled into the lot.

Brandon jerked away. His elbow cracked against the stone table. Pain ran up his arm. He welcomed the distraction. Seri looked dazed as she settled back on her bench.



 

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