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Friday, March 25, 2011

Sizzling Chats with J. Ellen Smith

I am thrilled to welcome J. Ellen Smith, Publisher, Champagne Books. Ms. Smith, if that is your real name…LOL, I just had to say that! First off, tell me a little about yourself?

Yes indeedily-do, that is my real name. I inherited it by marriage, and when I got divorced, it was the only thing I got to keep besides my daughter. Besides, it was easier to spell.

I started out as an author, so I'm very aware of author concerns and problems. I wrote for a good 20 years before breaking into the publishing end of things. Sometimes I wonder if that was smart! Lol   But as an author and publisher, I'm also an avid reader. I go through spurts of what I like best, and right now it's a suspense/thriller thing. I was enjoying science fiction a couple of months ago, and before that I was reading romantic comedy. I like so much that it's hard to pick any particular genre for too long.  When I'm not reading and working, I also like to watch the occasional tv program. My favorite right now is NCIS Los Angeles, 'cause I rather love LL Cool J's dimples.

When I'm not hard at work at my desk, I'm still a nurse a couple days a month. I'm not quite ready to completely give up that aspect of my life yet although I know it's coming. I've also been an army reservist, so weapons are not foreign to me. Bandages and rifles… go figure, eh? 

As an author, what genre did/do you write, and where can I find your work?

As an author, I write romantic comedy. Probably because I'm pretty much a smart ass in real life, and I was taught to go with what I knew. You might have picked up on that smart ass angle already… My pen name is Jennifer Lynn, and I've got a couple of books out at Champagne, with another coming soon. I have a couple of older backlist titles that may eventually see the light of day again, but it's hard to make time to write when I'm already working a kazillion hours a day with the publishing end of things. But I did create a new blog the other day since my old domain went by the way of the dodo bird. 

From being an author, you became an editor. Which position do you like best and why?

Oh heck, being an author is SO much easier! No stress, you can actually turn off the computer and leave email alone. (sigh) Why did I start publishing again??

What made you decide to make the leap to becoming a publisher?

Oh, I knew you were going to ask that! One day, while having vanilla latt├ęs with a friend, we sat and complained about the latest thing we'd read. Same plot, same formula... ho hum boring. We chatted a while about the types of books we'd like to read. It was around that time that the idea that would become Champagne was born. Several more months of research ensued, and then it was time to either put up or shut up. I'd been saying for two years that I could do it, and I decided that the time had come.

Champagne Books came into being in early 2005, initially as a romance only publishing house, and has since moved into acquiring other genres. It's been fun adding a whole new mix to our author loop because we now have some very creative guys that come to our chats and take part terrorizing... er... chatting with the readers.

Please, explain a little about Champagne Books and your goals for the company.

Champagne Books started out as a romance-only publishing house. While we still have a strong romance focus, it's exciting to see other genres added to the mix now. We have a fantastic sci fi/fantasy department that does quite well with the fans. We have a fabulous editorial/artistic staff that works hard to produce those great books that you see on our cyber shelves.

As for our goals, they're really quite simple: to continue to produce the best books in the industry. My personal goal is to continue to seek out new markets and exploit the hell out of them!

As I'm sure you are well aware, piracy of e-books is a huge problem on the internet. As a publisher, how do you handle this and do you have any suggestions on how to curb the problem?

You have to remember, this happened exactly the same way with the advent of MP3’s. They were pirated widely for a long while (and sometimes still are), until the industry caught up to the digital age. Making them easier to get at (a single MP3 versus the whole album) changed things for artists. Education was a huge factor as a lot of people didn’t realize that what they were doing was wrong.  All this is now playing out with ebooks.

While ebooks are being pirated, I don’t believe it’s to the extent that people think. Yes, there are some sites where they are ‘shared’ illegally. But most of the downloaders are collectors who don’t even bother to read, simply want to have whatever they can get for free in their collection. Those people aren’t near as numerous as the loyal ebook readers who do go out and purchase their copies legally.

It’s a slow process, but education is key.

For authors, should they discover their books pirated, I always suggest that 1) they notify their publisher, and 2) send a cease and desist letter to the website where the book is being downloaded. The author MUST send a letter as the registered copyright holder. The publisher backs them up. I also strongly believe that authors need to address the issue of illegal copies whenever the subject arises, again to educate. Most individuals don’t realize that what they’re doing is illegal and are under the assumption that because it’s on the internet, it’s free. Authors can also join an organization, such as EPIC, where they have strength in numbers for those times when multiple emails are necessary.

It’s love at first sight for Blaine Everett, and he’ll let nothing stop him from marrying Beth. He begins a relentless pursuit of her by promoting her to his executive assistant at Starling Productions. Before Beth knows what’s happening, Blaine moves into the apartment across the hall from hers and he’s telling everyone they are engaged.

Beth has had enough bad relationships to last a lifetime, so getting involved with her new boss is not high on her agenda of things to do. With Beth fighting tooth and nail to remain coolly aloof, Blaine’s only options are deceit and trickery. Aided by two matchmaking friends and a wily cat named Houdini, Blaine puts a plan in motion to woo the woman of his dreams, using every dirty trick in the book!

Starting out as an author, JEllen Smith, of Champagne Books developed an interest in the publishing end of things and soon worked her way through several positions, apprenticing at a small local press before venturing out with her own company. With practical experience combined with a strong business sense, she is proud of the accomplishments made by Champagne Books, its staff and authors.

A native Calgarian, Ellen loves all kinds of mystery/suspense tv programs as well as the occasional sci fi flick. Her favourite thing though, is getting out and meeting with writers (both published and unpublished). Just don't pitch your book to her while she's in a bathroom stall please—It's hard to take notes on those little squares of paper!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Freedom by Julian Adorney

Title: Freedom
Release Date: February 14, 2011
Authors: Julian Adorney
Publisher: Gypsy Shadow Publishing
Genre: Fantasy Romance

Blurb: When Brian fell in love with the sorceress Gloria, he thought she was the perfect girl. But when she risks his life without a second thought, he realizes that she’s something else entirely. Her violent possessiveness and Machiavellian control of his life make him wonder who–or what–he’s in love with. Can Brian break free from Gloria, and find true love, before she steals that possibility forever?

Welcome Julian, it’s nice to have you here. What is your Sizzling Release?
It’s called Freedom, a romance about a young adventurous man who has to choose between his lover and his dreams. In the course of his struggle he finds true love, but not where he expects it.

What is Freedom all about?
It’s about a young man and his struggle to live the life of his dreams.  It’s about living your own life, not someone else’s; breaking free from the people who want to control you; and finding true love where you least expect it.

What was your inspiration?
I was thinking about how we get trapped in routines, and a lot of the time we stay with people we know are wrong for us. We live for others instead of ourselves.  If you cast away routine and embraced life, with all its uncertainty and all its freedom, what sort of wondrous things could happen?

Why fantasy romance? What’s the draw?
I’ve always loved fantasy, because it lets you do things realistic fiction doesn’t. You can write dragons and elves and magic, and I think that’s very freeing. Why romance?  A variety of reasons. Mainly, I’m a hopeless romantic, and I know a lot of readers are too.  I can’t resist a good love story.

As you know it’s March and time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Are you a pub crawler?
I’m not a huge fan, its always loud and insane. I’ll drink, but I usually just relax with friends.

Green beer?
Never tried it but I’m always up for new things.

I’m really into genealogy and have traced several lines of my family back to Ireland. How ‘bout you—got any Irish in you?
 A little, my mom’s actually half Irish. I’ve heard I have an Irish temper, so maybe that’s where I get it from. Unfortunately, I can’t hold my whiskey.

I heard on TV that one of the most germy places in the world is the Blarney Stone. Knowing that, would you still kiss it?
Of course. A few germs is a small price to pay for an experience like that!

Have you ever thought of going to Ireland? If so, what would be on your itinerary?
Its always an option, I’d like to tour most of the world one day. I would definitely visit the Giant’s Causeway, I’ve heard it’s magical. And maybe meet a girl and fall in love, you never know.

Thank you so much for joining me today, but before we go, do you have anything else you’d like to let the readers in on? 
This month, I’m fighting hard to get Freedom on the Amazon Top 1000 list. I’m pretty new at writing, but my editor loved Freedom and said it could be a bestseller so I’m going for it!  I’ve only ever seen famous, aloof writers on those lists, and the idea of being there myself is a dream.  Of course, it all comes down to readers; if you guys like Freedom, than I’m in.  Tell your friends!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Life And Times of Delila by Lindsay Klug

Title: The Life And Times of Delila
Release Date: March 19, 2011
Authors: Lindsay Klug
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Buy Link:
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Blurb: Delila has roamed the Earth for over one thousand years with her maker, Alaric. She has everything a vampire could want: beauty, brains, a booming business, and an ability to read human emotions.
When a werewolf makes an imprint in her life, Delila feels she may have finally found the soul mate she has been seeking. But when everything goes terribly wrong Delila finds herself burdened with a young half breed child to protect from the evil forces of her world.

Welcome Lindsay, it’s nice to have you here. What is your Sizzling Release?
Thanks for having me! The Life And Times of Delila is releasing March 19th with Silver Publishing and I couldn’t be happier!

What is The Life And Times of Delila all about?
Delila is just your regular, everyday vampire until a violent werewolf attack. When a wolf named Eli comes to investigate, she suddenly finds him intricately woven into her life. But everything goes terribly wrong, and Delila flees with a half werewolf/half human child under her arm. The wolves want Ana for her ability to read vampires' minds, and the vampires want her for her wolf side. It’s up to Delila to protect her.

What was your inspiration?
Actually, she came to me on a walk one day. I was strolling to the school to pick up one of my kids, thinking about a completely unrelated matter when Delila came running in, shouting.

Why paranormal? What’s the draw?
When I was nine, I read Stoker’s Dracula. That book ignited a curiosity which has never died down. But sometimes it’s not enough to read everyone else’s depictions. So I made my own world up.

As you know it’s March and time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Are you a pub crawler?
Not anymore. I have bipolar disorder, and alcohol interferes with my medication. Plus, there’s not any good pubs nearby.

Green beer?
I do not like it, Sam I Am.

I’m really into genealogy and have traced several lines of my family back to Ireland. How ‘bout you—got any Irish in you?
What a coincidence! I love genealogy. My lines trace to England and Germany.

I heard on TV that one of the most germy places in the world is the Blarney Stone. Knowing that, would you still kiss it?
Would it count if there was a protective barrier between me and the stone?

Have you ever thought of going to Ireland? If so, what would be on your itinerary?
I thought about it while my husband and I were in Germany, but due to two deployments, and various extenuating circumstances, we were never able to make it. I’m hoping to make a trip to visit my half brother in Germany sometime in the next five years. If that happens, I’ll fly through Ireland with a three day or so layover.

Thank you so much for joining me today, but before we go, do you have anything else you’d like to let the readers in on? 
Well, sure thing! I have a release in late summer called What I’ve Learned. You can find a blurb and excerpt on my website. Feel free to check out my blog as well. I do random flash fiction and a bit called Six Sentence Sunday every week. Any questions, comments, or general conversation can be sent to I do my absolute best to reply. Thanks again for having me!

Lindsay's Links:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Passions Bite by Chastity Bush

Title: Passions Bite
Release Date: 03/01/11
Author: Chastity Bush
Publisher: Muse It Hot Publishing
Genre: Paranormal romance (Short)

When demon Derek Blain and his partner, Max, are sent to hunt down a vampire notorious for killing for fun, the last thing Derek expects to find is a vampire set on killing herself. Even worse, he feels a duty to save her. But there’s something about the beautiful woman who looks so tormented that pulls at his very soul.
Turned against her will and forced to kill, Caroline Montgomery has decided the only way to end her torment, and save the lives of innocent people, is to take her own. Only the pleading of a handsome stranger changes her mind. Now, Caroline is learning how to live without killing and, thanks to sexy Derek Blaine, is loving every minute of it!
            When Caroline discovers the rogue Derek is hunting is not only her maker, but the man responsible for killing her family, she decides to help bring the monster down, whether Derek likes it or not.
            But what neither of them knows is that the rogue vampire has set his sights on her for his mate…and he’s coming after her.
            Can Derek take down the murderous rogue, and claim Caroline as his own before it is too late?

Welcome Chastity, it’s nice to have you back again. What is your Sizzling Release?
Hi, Rie! Thanks for having me! My latest release is a short paranormal romance titled, Passions Bite.
What is Passions Bite all about?
Passions Bite is the first story I’ve ever written about a demon.
Derek Blaine and his partner Max have been sent in search of a rogue vampire who gets his kicks out of killing mortals.
But when the rogue leaves one not only alive, but newly turned, Caroline quickly decides to end her existence to keep from hurting others.
But Derek can’t let that happen and quickly, but gentlemanlyJ, kidnaps her in an attempt to save her life and teach her how to live as the vampire she’s become.
But when the rogue starts lurking about, the team quickly discovers that Derek isn’t the only one who aches to claim Caroline as his mate, the rogue does as well.
What was your inspiration?
My family is always my inspiration. My husband and our girls are so understanding when it comes to my odd love of the paranormal/supernatural. So, when this story popped into my head, they were right there behind me.
Why paranormal? What’s the draw?
I have this odd love for the paranormal/supernatural. I love writing this genre because you can make your characters anything you want them to be. They have a funny quirk? You can pass it off as something completely normal for their species. I think most of the draw is being able to create your own world full of whatever you want.
As you know its March and time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Are you a pub crawler?
If it weren’t for our daughters, I would be such a pub crawler! I don’t have a lot of dependable options when it comes to sitters for them, so even though I’m not right there with you, I’m there in spirit!
Green beer?
I’ve heard of Green beer, but have never tried it.
I’m really into genealogy and have traced several lines of my family back to Ireland. How ‘bout you—got any Irish in you?
Sure do! Along with some Dutch, Apache and French.
I heard on TV that one of the germiest places in the world is the Blarney Stone. Knowing that, would you still kiss it?
Sure! Of course I’d probably be the one person in the world who came down with some weird disease from it, but still, I couldn’t pass up the chance!
Have you ever thought of going to Ireland? If so, what would be on your itinerary?
I would love to visit Ireland. I hear it’s so beautiful. If I ever got the chance to go, I think I would have to see everything there is to see!
Thank you so much for joining me today, but before we go, do you have anything else you’d like to let the readers in on? 
My next release is a historical/western romance titled, Tumbleweeds. I don’t have an exact release date for that yet, but I do have a very pretty cover that can be found on my website.

I’m also working on a new paranormal and the third book in the Guard My Heart Series. I’ve had several people ask me when I was going to write Meecham’s story, so I’ve finally started.
Thanks for having me here today, Rie! It was a blast!

“It’s been two weeks. I should be able to do this by now.”
Groaning, Derek walked to where Caroline stood. “It takes time,” he said again for what felt like the millionth time over the last two weeks.
            He and Max were doing their best to teach Caroline how to defend herself but, much to their surprise, Caroline wouldn’t fight. 
            “I have to learn this.” She sighed, leaning against the heavy bag swinging from Derek's basement ceiling. 
I have to be ready…
            “I know you don’t want to hurt anyone.” Derek placed a hand on her bare shoulder, the warmth of her dampened skin sent blood racing to his groin. Stifling a groan, he continued, “But this is important.”
            Derek's mind ran in circles. How could he get her to actually attack, which is what she would have to do, if Christian wanted her as a mate and came after her? She would have to fight him, or risk Christian teleporting her to an unknown destination.
After only two weeks, he couldn’t imagine losing Caroline. Gazing at her from beneath his lashes, Derek admired her delicate beauty; something he never thought could be found in a vampire. Her sassy smile etched itself in his memory, her sweet scent lingered upon his skin. Her sass always amazed him and at times shocked him, but he couldn’t imagine her without it.
The more time he spent with her, the more he wanted her, needed her.
            “Where’s Max?”
            Snapping back to reality, he answered, “Went to the grocery store. He should be  back in just a bit and you two can spar. Until then, I’ll take his place.”
            Coming to stand before her, Derek smiled as she took a step back.
She looked so delectable in her tight black shorts and pink t-shirt that hugged her pert breasts perfectly. He would have to thank Max for his choice in clothing.
            “Now, come at me.”
            Caroline blinked. “What do you mean, ‘come at me’?”
            Groaning, Derek replied, “I mean, come at me. Attack me.”
            Perching her hands on her hips she cocked a brow. “Now why on earth would I do that?”
            This time Derek cocked a brow. “You have to learn to fight.”
“Yes, I’m aware of that but I don’t plan on attacking anybody. Shouldn’t you be attacking me?”
What?” Derek breathed with exasperation.
“You know, so I can learn to defend myself?”
“Is this really happening?” Derek asked with irritation, waving his hands in the
No wonder Max has found a reason to shirk helping teach her to fight these last few days.
Laughing, Derek took another step toward her. No matter how annoying she was, he found it impossible to stay irritated.
            “Okay.” He relented. “I’m going to come at you. I want you to do the move
Max showed you yesterday. Do you remember it?”
            Nodding, she smiled. “Yes.”
            Against his better judgment, Derek charged forward.
In an instant, just as he expected, they both toppled to the floor.  Clutching Caroline to his chest, Derek turned to take the brunt of the fall.
“I thought you said you remembered the move,” he said.
“You’re bigger than Max.”
Taking a deep breath, Derek suppressed a shiver at the feel of her soft body lying atop his.
His control strung tight, he fought his rising need. Sliding his hand over her shoulder, he smiled.
Breathless, she murmured, “Are you going to let me go?”
            Shaking his head, he tightened his arm around her waist.

Chief Tall Bear is shocked when he learns of the stolen lady in his teepee but cannot overcome the pull she has on him once he meets her. He knows her presence will bring trouble to his peaceful village but cannot keep himself from her. From her long dark hair, to her deep blue eyes, he is pulled to her like a bear to honey. He is determined to have her. Both in his bed and in his life.
After a lifetime of beatings at the hands of her father and his ranch hands, Cecily Smith has been rescued, or kidnapped. Either way, she is grateful. Especially when the man they called Chief Tall Bear presents himself to her. Unable to explain or contain the odd rush of emotions flooding her, Cecily finds herself aching to learn all that Bear has to teach.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Shortcomings by Ginger Simpson

Title: Shortcomings
 Release Date: March 1, 2011
Authors: Ginger Simpson 
Publisher: Muse It Up Publishing
Genre: Young Adult
Blurb: Our shortcomings don't define who we are, unless we let them. Cindy Johnson needs to learn that. Born with one leg shorter than the other, she has no self-esteem because of the cruel comments and cold stares she receives from her classmates. When Cory Neil, the football quarterback asks her to Homecoming, she's quite sure he's asked her on a dare and refuses. It takes more than just her mother's assurances that Cindy's beautiful before she realizes she may have made a mistake in turning him down. 

Welcome Ginger, it’s nice to have you here. What is your Sizzling Release?
I’m not sure my story is a sizzler, but it does deliver a message that I hope will help those who feel isolated because of their differences.
What is Shortcomings all about?
Cindy Johnson is beautiful, but she won’t accept anyone’s word for that because she only sees her deformity.  Even when the most sought-after boy in school tries to date her, she only assumes the worst.  She’s not going to be the butt of anyone’s joke; she’s been there, done that and she’d rather lose herself in romance novels than be hurt even more than she already has.
What was your inspiration?
My stories are all character driven, and Cindy came to me with a proposal.  Once she started talking and I identified with her feelings of isolation, I couldn’t refuse to finish her story.  Although I was fortunate not to be born with a noticeable defect, I’ve battled my weight my entire life and I know what it feels like to be on the outside looking in.
Why Young Adult? What’s the draw?
Writing for the teen audience has become quite popular.  The draw for me was to deliver an important message about bullying and being downright rude.  I hope to visit our local schools when the print copies are available and see if I might use the study guide I’ve created to entice teachers to use my book as an aid.
As you know it’s March and time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Are you a pub crawler?
Nope…I used to be a party girl, but now I’m a card carrying senior citizen with bad knees and acid reflux. J 
Green beer?
No beer at all.  Several of my drug bottles warn about mixing with alcohol and I’d like to stay around for a while longer. 
I’m really into genealogy and have traced several lines of my family back to Ireland. How ‘bout you—got any Irish in you?
I did do a family tree because I didn’t know much about my father’s side of the family.  My mother’s roots run deeply southern and my father’s genealogy dead-ended with his grandparents emigrating from Russia.  I ran out of steam on my husband’s family when I discovered he’s related to John Wilkes Booth.
I heard on TV that one of the most germy places in the world is the Blarney Stone. Knowing that, would you still kiss it?
I’m not a superstitious person and I believe in the blarney, but not the stone.  Nope…I’m not kissing a rock.
Have you ever thought of going to Ireland? If so, what would be on your itinerary?
 A very dear co-worker went to Ireland and came back with tons of pictures.  I have no desire to leave the United States, but I was very impressed with the beauty of the plush country sides, landmarks, and the darkest shades of green I’ve ever seen. They stayed in local hostels to save money, and that only contributed to the memories of her travels.   Were I a vagabond, I would definitely put Ireland on the top of my list.
 Thank you so much for joining me today, but before we go, do you have anything else you’d like to let the readers in on? 
I invite everyone to stop by my newly-designed website where I’ve listed all my new and upcoming releases as well as my backlist.  Please do drop in Dishin’ It Out, my blog at and appreciate the array of talent I’ve hosted there over these past months.  Anyone who stops by and leaves a comment will receive a little something special from me.  Be sure and mention that you came from Rie’s blog!

The wagon carrying Odessa Clay and her father overturns, killing him.  Alone and scared in the middle of the desert, she faces finding her way to Phoenix and Aunt Susan. Food and water run out, and Odessa is near death when Zach Johnson finds her.  Squinting up into his tanned and handsome face, Dessie believes she’s died and gone to heaven.

Would-be-outlaw, Zach Johnson finds an unconscious woman alone in the middle of nowhere.  Where did she come from?  First glance: she appears young, but the curves beneath the dusty gingham say otherwise.  He didn’t plan to become someone’s hero, but how can he leave her stranded?

Will the promise of Odessa’s sweet lips lure Zach from the secret mission that has his gut twisted into a knot?  His father’s ranch isn’t the only thing at stake—now it’s his heart.

Olivia Wilson faces life alone after her divorce.  She's packed on a few pounds and has avoided dating because of her low self-esteem.  Sleepless nights lead her to the doctor, and she's appalled when the diagnosis is sleep apnea.  It's hard enough to imagine any man wanting to date a plump woman who has passed her prime, let alone sleep with one who looks like Jacques Cousteau. 

A simple, yet beautiful heart-shaped locket becomes the focus of appreciative and unsuspecting women.  Someone should warn them of the danger of owning the cursed piece.  But who?  Sadly, the previous owners are no longer around…nor are the loved ones they killed in a fit of unexplained rage.