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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Quarantine by Lisabet Sarai.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved science fiction. In grade
school and high school, I devoured everything I could find by Bradbury, Asimov
and Heinlein, immersing myself in the worlds they created. As I grew older, I
discovered new authors: A.E van Vogt, Robert Silverberg, Neal Stephenson,
Sherri Tupper, Bruce Sterling. My hunger for startling, enlightening future
visions was never sated, though as time went on I became frustrated by the
difficulty of separating the wheat from chaff.
I fantasized about writing my own scifi, but aside from a
few short stories, I never dared. I could visit the worlds of others, but I
wasn’t confident enough to create my own. Then I became Lisabet Sarai, a
published author. Nevertheless, it has taken almost thirteen years for me to
undertake a full length science fiction novel.
Quarantine was
released last week. It’s a dystopic M/M erotic romance, set in a near future America  ravaged by disease and natural disasters and
ruled by a shadowy cabal known as the Guardians of American Greatness. Half the
population is illiterate. American technology is ridiculed the way Japanese
tech was derided in my youth. And homosexuality is a capital crime.
I prefer “soft” scifi to the “hard” rockets-and-robots
stuff. I’m most interested in stories that begin with a simple premise about
future society and then explore the ramifications. I’ve tried to do that in Quarantine.
I have to admit, however, that writing this book was the
toughest thing I’ve attempted since I began publishing. About half way through
the book, I lost faith in my vision. I didn’t write a word for nearly six
months. Mostly it was stubbornness that made me pick it up again – along with
some instructive conversations with my crit partner. I’d already invested so
much time and energy in the darn thing, I couldn’t stand the thought of not
finishing it.
But I still worry – not about the romance or the sex but
about the science fiction backdrop. In writing scifi, there’s a constant
tension between originality and believability. You want to demonstrate radical
changes in technology and their societal impact – but go too far and you’ll tip
over into fantasy, where everything is magic and there are no constraints. (I
view the fantasy genre as quite distinct from science fiction). Actually,
though, in the case of this book, I’m concerned that my view of America thirty
years from now doesn’t show enough change. I really wonder whether my future is
plausible. 
Of course, my readers will likely treat Quarantine first and foremost as a romance. I’m on less shaky
ground there, I think. But the book is still the most serious thing I’ve
written, and the most political, too. I’m hoping that at least some readers
will appreciate more than the tender kisses and the hot sex.

Blurb

When love is forbidden, the whole world’s a prison.
Dylan Moore will do anything for freedom. Seven years ago, a
gay plague spread to heterosexuals, killing millions and sparking brutal
anti-gay riots. The Guardians rounded up men who tested positive for the
homogene and imprisoned them in remote quarantine centres like desolate Camp Malheur.
Since then, Dylan has hacked the camp’s security systems and hoarded spare bits
of electronics, seeking some way to escape. He has concluded the human guards
are the only weakness in the facility’s defences.
Camp guard Rafe Cowell is H-negative. He figures the lust he
feels watching prisoner 3218 masturbate on the surveillance cameras must be due
to his loneliness and isolation. When he finally meets the young queer, he
discovers that Dylan is brilliant, brave, sexy as hell – and claims to be in
love with Rafe. Despite his qualms, Rafe finds he can’t resist the other man’s
charm. By the time Dylan asks for his help in escaping, Rafe cares too much for
Dylan to refuse.
Dylan’s plan goes awry and Rafe comes to his rescue. Soon
they’re both fugitives, fleeing from militant survivalists, murderous androids,
homophobic ideologues and a powerful man who wants Dylan as his sexual toy.
Hiding in the Plague-ravaged city of Sanfran,
Dylan and Rafe learn there’s far more than their own safety at stake. Can they
help prevent the deaths of millions more people? And can Rafe trust the love of
a man who deliberately seduced him in order to escape from quarantine? 
I want to thank Kayelle for having me as her guest here at Romance
Lives Forever. 

Bio

More than a
decade ago LISABET SARAI experienced a serendipitous fusion of her love of
writing and her fascination with sex. Since then she has published four single
author short story collections and seven erotic novels, including the BDSM
classic Raw Silk. Dozens of her
shorter works have been released as ebooks and in print anthologies. She has
also edited several acclaimed anthologies and is currently responsible for the
altruistic erotica series COMING TOGETHER PRESENTS.
Lisabet holds more degrees than anyone needs from
prestigious universities who would no doubt be embarrassed by her chosen genre.
She loves to travel and currently lives in Southeast Asia
with her highly tolerant husband and two cosmopolitan felines. For more
information on Lisabet and her writing visit Lisabet Sarai’s Fantasy Factory (http://www.lisabetsarai.com)
or her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com).
Coffee Time Romance

Romance Junkies

Our sincere thanks to the Friends of Romance – Coffee Time Romance, Romance Junkies, and The Romance Studio for their generous participation in this weekend seminar. Over 1500 signed up for the program, and in one twelve hour period there were well over 1000 messages posted on the site – questions, answers, workshop info, links, reminders, and some hilarity as well. Good thing Karen Cote’ brought her water pistol to guard the camp! Although at one point some filled theirs with cyber-vodka it wasn’t entirely out of control. ^_^

Join us today for another fun event. Here the links.

10:00 – 10:50
Open Forum – General Topics — Kayelle Allen
11:00 – 11:50
Overcoming
F.E.A.R.S. (Finish, Edit, Analyze Market, Research Pubs, Submit)
— Tina
Holland
12:00 – 12:50
Using the
Marketing for Romance Writers Newsletter for Promotion
— Rochelle Weber
1:00 – 1:50
Helping Your
Publisher Promote Your Books
— Mary Caelsto (Jupiter Gardens
Press)
2:00 – 2:50
Niche Marketing
— Marcia James
3:00 – 3:50
Finding Your
Audience
— R. Ann Siracusa
4:00 – 4:50
Preparing for
Interviews
— Kayelle Allen
5:00 – 5:50
Role Playing Your
Way to Good Scenes
– Janet Elizabeth Jones
6:00 – 6:50
Blogging 101
– Rochelle Weber / Lynn Crain
 Coffee Beans and Love Scenes (CBLS)
Promotions
7:00 – 7:50
Open Forum
– Blog Tour Questions
8:00 – 8:50
Romancing your
Audience
— Maryann Reid
9:00 – 9:30
Final Cyber
Campfire – S’mores for Next Year
The Romance Studio

Come check out our camp today. You’ll be glad you did!

This is day one of the MFRW Marketing Summer Camp. Check out the schedule below. Please join us when you get the chance. Membership is open – and F R E E

09:45 – 9:59
Building the
Campfire – Welcome to MFRW!
— Intro and welcome
10:00 – 10:50
Building the
Paranormal Character
— Kay Dee Royal
11:00 – 11:50
QR Codes
Rolynn Anderson
12:00 – 12:50
Dealing With
Online Piracy
— Kayelle Allen
1:00 – 1:50
Where to Find
Readers
— Dawne Prochilo
2:00 – 2:50
Multiple
Submissions
— Julie Eberhart Painter
3:00 – 3:50
Cyber Campfire,
Singalong, and S’mores
– Sharing Opportunities
4:00 – 4:50
Open Forum
– Pinterest Questions
5:00 – 5:50
Triberr
Suzan Butler
6:00 – 6:50
Open Forum
– Twitter Questions
7:00 – 7:50
Open Forum
– Facebook Questions
8:00 – 8:50
Open Forum
– Triberr Questions: Special Guest Dino Dogan, founder of Triberr
All workshops and Classes are held
on the Yahoo Group.
* * * TIMES LISTED ARE EASTERN * * *
Sign up here / Attend here

Book title: Waves Break My Fall
Genre: M/M Erotic Romance
Cover artist: Reese Dante
Length (words): 20,573
Heat rating: NC-17
Blurb: Kage is a Marine, newly returned from Afghanistan and
having difficulty adjusting to being home. He tries to decompress with a quiet
trip to Puerto Vallarta.
Zach is a new college graduate and facing the realities of adulthood. Will
their hot summer fling grow into something more?
What are your main
characters’ names?
Kage and Zach
Ages?
Kage is in his early 30’s.
Zach is in his early to mid-20’s. He’s old enough to be
graduating college.
Occupations?
Kage is a Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps.
Zach has just graduated college and his new occupation is a
spoiler.

Interview

How did you get your
start in the industry?
I started writing. I just started and kept writing. I found
people to give me critical feedback so I got better at it. About two years ago,
I was laid off from my day job, so decided to take advantage of it. I got a
short story and a novella ready and began to submit to e-presses with good
reputations. At the same time, I started writing articles for an online
newsletter for a popular television show. Then, I received an offer from Silver
Publishing three days after I received the offer for my current day job. I
accepted both!
What is the most
important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first
started writing?
Today it’s all about social media, marketing and ME, instead
of being about improving the writing. While getting better at the writing is
always important, now the focus is on putting myself out there as an author. I
have to market myself and the books through social media such as blogs,
Facebook and Twitter.
If you could change
something about your first book, what would it be?
That is a particularly tricky question for me! My first
book, Brothers in Arms, has received two consistent pieces of good natured
criticism. First, is that it’s too short. Second, there’s not enough sex. Part
of me would love to go back and fix both of those things. On the other hand,
fixing either one would make it a completely different story and could
potentially ruin it. Ultimately, it’s a great story just like it is, so I
wouldn’t change a thing, even though I do think about it from time to time!
If you could choose
anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
Sherry Lansing. She was a movie studio executive when women
were still being told their worth was based on their skills as wives and
mothers. Women were told to stop work when they married so they didn’t take
jobs from men who had families. She was a trail blazer and is still producing
movies today.
If you could give the
younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
You don’t have to play it safe. Those things you want to do
but think you shouldn’t because they
aren’t practical and won’t earn you money? Do them. At least try. You’ll be
surprised just what you’ll accomplish when you stop playing it safe.
Do you have a muse?
Describe this person, please.
I have many muses. They take the form of my MCs. Sometimes I
only have one at a time, sometimes both the boys talk to me. They tell me the
story, and they tell me about their fears and their dreams. They point me in
the direction the story needs to go. My muses are right there in the stories
for everyone to get to know.
What are some jobs
you’ve done before (or while) you were a writer?
I worked in one of the first Public Health HIV testing
clinics in the country. That tells you how old I am! I spent almost a decade as
a Police Dispatcher. That was an adventure!
Which of your books would
you recommend to someone who doesn’t normally read your genre, and why?
Brothers In Arms. Because it’s heavy on plot and light on
the sex, I think it would be a great way to give a reader a taste of the genre.
Once they realize they enjoy it, they can seek out all the other wonderful
stories with the heat level they find suits their tastes.
What kind of books do
you read when taking a break from your own writing?
The same kind I write! I love M/M erotic romance. However, I
also like fantasy and sci-fi, contemporary mysteries with strong female lead
characters, and true history.
What do you think is
the future of epublishing?
I think the future is here! Print books may never go
completely away, but e-books are so versatile and well-priced (by e-presses),
they’re here to stay. The technology and the industry are in their infancy, but
once it shakes out, the NY publishers with either get with the program, or go
under. The indie presses will continue to rise. Much like we saw Napster and
iTunes revolutionize the music industry by allowing artists to distribute their
work without being beholden to a label, we’ll continue to see the influence of
agents and legacy presses shrink.
What was the proudest
moment of your life so far?
It’s a very small moment that happened recently. My hubby
was leading his father through the house and I was on the couch doing some
marketing of a book. As he passed by, hubby told his father, “We have to be
quiet, she’s working. She’s a writer.”
Imagine you get to go
on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it
starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and
where will you go?
I would pack jeans, t-shirts and comfortable shoes. My
Kindle, my iPod and my passport. I’d be on my way to New Zealand to take the Lord of the
Rings filming tour! Yes, I’m a geek.
What good book have
you read recently?
I just finished Mercy Celeste’s “Beyond Complicated” and I
highly recommend it.
Where were you at
midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
At a party, hanging off of a balcony with my then
girlfriend, banging pots, pans and lids together while cheering drunkenly.
What do you like to
do when you’re bored?
Read and write. You could have guessed that answer, I’m
sure.
Which statement is
more like you:
“I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and
relaxed.”
“I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation,
because I do things as fast as possible.”
I am laid back and relaxed. I love lying on a warm beach
with a drink, listening to my iPod and reading my Kindle. 

Fill in the Blanks

My favorite type of car is a Mustang.
A perfect date would be coffee in a Barnes & Noble.
My characters would love it if I just let them have sex
without having to examine their feelings
.
I think Coldplay is overrated. I prefer Matchbox
20.
If all the hot men in the world were mine, I’d
like it.
Paying someone else to do it is the best way to clean
my house
.
There is more to writing than typing words.

Find Me Here

Dante’s Flame.
Janine, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Tell us about
your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If
so, what are they?
DANTE’S
FLAME
is a medieval set in Naples, Italy, during the political struggle between the
French and Spanish kings for control over Naples.
Dante Santangelo sides with the French and is watching the Valente family for
signs of Spanish loyalties. Alessandra Podesta is sent to Naples by her parents to get her out of the
“tempting” Venetian environment, hoping it will stop the illicit tales she
writes. She lives with her cousins, the Valentes. Dante thinks she was sent
there to aid the Spanish king. She gets caught up in the politically tense
situation while looking for adventure to write about. Her curious nature
befuddles Dante and nearly gets Alessandra killed. She’s a firecracker, and
he’s very intelligent, serious. Needless to say, they don’t see eye-to-eye.
What is the single most important part of writing for
you?
Research. Because I write historicals, it’s imperative to
know about the location and time of the story. During the research process, I
usually discover reasons for conflict between the hero and heroine. Without
becoming aware of 15th century Naples,
I wouldn’t have known about the political war. Or about the people and their
superstitions. All of which factor into the story.
What do you enjoy most about life?
1) Spending time with my husband of 40 years; 2) Being a
grandma, or Nonna, as my 6 grandkids call me. I enjoy all of them, even the one
who is more stubborn than his mother was, lol. 3) Besides my grandchildren, I
enjoy my dogs and wish I could have more than just three. Dogs are refreshing,
loyal, loving. 4) During the summer, I love getting outside and tending to my
gardens, both floral and vegetable. The string beans, peppers, tomatoes,
zucchini, fingerling potatoes, and everything else I grow tastes a whole lot
better than what I buy in stores. 5) I love watching soccer, particularly the
Serie A, which is Italy’s
top-flight league. And, of course, I love the Italian national team. My
youngest daughter began playing soccer nearly 32 years ago when she was four.
She never looked back, and my husband and I were so proud of her accomplishments
on and off the field. LOL, I had a difficult time watching her play. She’s a
goalkeeper (she still plays), and that always made, and still makes, me
nervous!
What did you learn from writing your first book? 
The first book I wrote was in 1980, or there about. I was so
new to writing and broke every rule in the book. It was such a learning
experience. At the time, I didn’t belong to RWA, which I joined in 1996. That
first book, though, made me realize how difficult writing a novel really is. I
probably would have ended my career there if I hadn’t received good rejections
from editors and agents. Encouraging rejections. And the wonderful support of
RWA.
Would you consider self publishing?
Yes, I’d love to self-publish. I might one day, but I’m so
inept with the tech. side of the computer. I can’t even figure out Facebook or
a blog I started that has only a name to it. It’s mind-boggling to me. I’ve
taken classes, yet I still cannot figure them out! Twitter, too. But
self-publishing will give me a chance to have control over every aspect of my
book. There’s the potential to make a good living selling on my own. Right now,
I don’t have a manuscript ready to self-publish.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice
what would it be?
It would be the same as I give all writers, whether starting
out or advanced: Don’t give up! That was one of the hardest lessons I learned.
Had I given up, I would have never published and likely would have always
wondered if I might have achieved that goal.
Also, read, read, read! Which I did. The only regret I have
is not finding RWA 10 or so years sooner. The organization opened an entire
world of insight to the craft, the one thing a writer should never stop
learning.
Lily and the Falcon
If I was a first time reader of your books, which one
would you recommend I start with and why?
REBEL HEART. There is something about this book and the
hero, Beau Hamilton, that has been my favorite ever since I wrote it in the
80s. He’s irascible, gruff, but underneath it all, there is a man with a soft
heart for the heroine and others who are important to him. But she drags him
kicking and screaming all the way to the end before he finally admits he loves
her. You’ll see his transformation in small degrees, and you’ll understand why
when you learn his backstory.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
I hope they see that love does conquer all, that it can be
quick or slow-building, and with an unlikely person. I think you have to
believe in the power of love, and I hope my stories convey that.
A biography has been written about you. What do you think
the title would be in six words or less?
I posed this question to my family, and they agreed on:
Proud, Passionate…and Italian
If money were not an object, where would you most like to
live?
Italy,
of course! I’m not sure what city, but more than likely Rome
or Milan. My
favorite soccer team is A.C. Milan. Roma is my second favorite. Plus I’d love
to live among the history and the medieval feel of thecities. The one time I
visited Italy,
I fell in love with the atmosphere and the way of life as well as the ancient
and medieval architecture.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality
and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
Books, music, Italian and soccer related things, anything
for and about dogs. I’d also have a café in my store that served Italian drinks
and pastries. It would be very eclectic but it would be warm and inviting.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
I looked forward to writing papers. I think writing novels
stemmed from that early desire.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
“Open carefully. Contents under pressure.” Admittedly, I
have a temper, and it doesn’t take much to set me off, especially if I see an
injustice being done.
Please Fill in the Blanks
I love pizza with cheese and pepperoni.
I’m always ready for watching Italian soccer.
When I’m alone, I listen to music and dance around the
house
.
You’d never be able to tell, but I’m Italian. (blonde
hair and blue eyes fool everyone).
If I had a halo it would be an angel’s halo with the
devil’s horns attached
.
Surrender to Honor
If I could become a billionaire I’d help all the
homeless animals in the world
.
I can never travel far from home because I’m
afraid to fly
.

Character Interview

Tell us about the main character in your current book.
What is he like?
Dante Santangelo is a highly educated, intelligent man with
a secret he hides until the very end. He was born in Naples
but left at an early age and grew up in Provence.
His eyes are a captivating blue/violet. He teaches Latin and French at the University of Naples and speaks four languages. Dante
is fairly easy-going but can get intense over injustices to human or animal. On
the surface he seems to be quiet, agreeable. But beneath the surface, his
seldom lost ire lurks.
If your main character was here today, what would he say
is his strongest point?
His patience.
Does he think he has a weakness? (If so, what does he
think it is? What does his lover think it is? What does his enemy think it is?)
Alessandra is his weakness. She constantly tries his
patience. A man can only take so much!
What drives your hero to do the things he does? What
makes him want to be the “good guy?”
Dante lived a privileged life, but his mother and father
wouldn’t let him forget that their wealth and lifestyle could be taken away in
a heartbeat. He was taught to help others, treat women with respect, and to be
open-minded. His parents had a strong influence in his life. They’re responsible
for the man he became. But don’t let that fool you. He is by no means a Beta
male.
What’s your main character’s favorite guilty pleasure?
Besides the heroine, lol? Sugared almonds from Rome.

Answered as Dante Santangelo:

If you didn’t know how old you were how old would you be?
Judging by my maturity, knowledge and wisdom, I would
probably be in my mid- to late 30s.
A biography has been written about you. What do you think
the title would be in six words or less?
The French-Italian Connection.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to
live?
Most likely Naples or Northern Italy.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
The pranks I pulled. My teachers did not have a sense of
humor.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Do not provoke. Volatile beneath the surface and may cause
physical pain.

Please Fill in the Blanks (as the character)

I love sweet cakes with thick cream filling.
I’m always ready for making love to my wife.
When I’m alone, I’m pensive.
You’d never be able to tell, but I do know how to have
fun. I’m not always so serious
.
If I had a halo it would be fairly
straight because of my kind-hearted nature
.
If I could have the power I’d end the conflict
between countries.
I can never figure out my wife because she lacks
fear and has a strong sense of adventure
.

About the Author

Jannine Corti Petska was born in New
York but raised in Southern California.
Her parents’ first language was Italian, and Jannine was raised in an Old World environment. She began writing romance novels
when her three daughters were young and she was a stay-at-home mom.
In-between writing and caring for her family, she tutored Italian, Spanish,
German, and English as a Second Language at a local college. Although she loves
placing her stories in medieval Italy,
she has also written romantic tales of the cowboy in the American West. Jannine
lives in Southern California with her husband
of 40 years and three high-energy Rat Terriers. To find out more about Jannine,
please visit her website. www.jcortipetska.com

Booklist

Blurb, DANTE’S FLAME

Alessandra Podesta writes illicit tales unsuitable for a
young lady. Exasperated, her father sends her to visit relatives in Naples to curb her wild
imagination. But in her undying need for adventure, she toys with the
affections of her tutor and is forced to marry him. When she unknowingly falls
into a dangerous game of supremacy between two countries, she trusts the wrong
people and endangers her life.
French tutor Dante Santangelo is secretly aiding the French
in maintaining their rule over Naples.
When he is manipulated into marrying the visiting cousin of the Valente Family,
he seizes upon the perfect opportunity to infiltrate the family, who are under
suspicion of helping the Spanish. When Alessandra’s life is in jeopardy Dante
must choose between love and duty. Will he offer up his life to save
Alessandra? Or remain duty-bound to the French?

Buy Links:

The Wild Rose Press
Amazon
REBEL HEART, American western
CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN, book 1 of my medieval psychic
sisters trilogy
CHARLOTTE AND THE GYPSY, book 2 of my medieval psychic
sisters trilogy
LOVE’S SWEET WAGER, love along the California Trail
THE LILY AND THE FALCON, book 1 of my Italian Medieval
series
SURRENDER TO HONOR, book 2 of my Italian Medieval series
DANTE’S FLAME, book 3 of my Italian Medieval series
Short stories, both Medievals set in Italy
KNIGHT’S DESIRE
MINE TO KEEP
Books Coming Soon
MINE TO KEEP, release date Aug. 15, 2012
Janine Corti Petska

Contests

I will give away an e-copy of DANTE’S FLAME to one lucky
commenter.

Find Me Here

Blog: No time for one.

 

Can’t Fake This.
Christmas in July! Thought we’d heat the summer even more
with Can’t Fake This!
Tell us about Can’t
Fake This.
Casey: Can’t Fake This started out on a whim. At the last
minute, I decided to enter this 10,000 word contest. I’d written spicy
mainstream, but this was my first dive into erotic waters. I didn’t win the
contest, but after having what I thought was a good start, I added some more words
and low and behold, this erotic became the first manuscript I sold. It also won
the 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, a JERR Gold Star, the 2011 Best
Contemporary at Love Romances Café, and finaled in the 2011 Golden Claddaugh
book contest. This book definitely has my trademark “Sexy, Sassy &
Southern” flair.
The story is about a divorcee ready to reenter the dating
world. Anna Ryan is determined to be the best “product on the market,” which
requires a lot more experience so she propositions sexy police officer Chase
Harris to teach her how to make hot, passionate love as opposed to just having
sex. He takes it a step further, instructing each lesson based on The Twelve Days of Christmas.
You’ve long been a
fan of romance novels. What prompted you to cross over to the writing side of
things?
Casey: In high school and college, I only read text books so
I didn’t even get started on romance until I was twenty-five. Oddly enough, my
mom, an avid reader of all romance genres first encouraged me to write. About
the time I started thinking, “I could do this,” she said, “You can.” Thank
goodness too, because I love it and turned the hobby turned into a serious
career almost two years ago.
What are your three
major addictions in life?
Casey: Awe, I have to pick just three? Okay, dancing (I used
to own a dance studio) and working out are major passions and they compensate my
Barq’s root beer addiction. I also love pageants. Seriously. I’m not kidding,
but not the Toddlers & Tiara glitz kind. I’ve been an emcee and pageant
coach for over twenty years, and I still get such an adrenaline rush teaching
modeling and interview to girls of all ages. My latest girl just won her Jr.
Miss competition (aka Distinguished Young Woman). It’s incredibly rewarding to
see one’s self-confidence grow with each lesson. Finally, I’m not a huge TV
watcher, but I’m addicted to Castle,
although Revenge is giving my mystery
writer a run for his money.
You spent some time
in pageant life. What was that like?
Casey: As a dancer and gymnast, I was on stage my whole
life, but I began competing in pageants at fifteen to prepare for Jr. Miss (now
Distinguished Young Woman). I’ve done everything from glitz to natural. I
prefer youth development programs where talent is the primary focus. I’ve
competed in the Miss America and Miss Universe systems. I have to say it was
pretty cool being Miss University of Alabama, but my most memorable reign was
Miss Motorsports, where I got to be a NASCAR spokesmodel and hang out with all
the famous drivers.
Pageants typically have a negative connotation, but the
friendships, public speaking skills, and confidence I gained make me a firm
believer in the many positive aspects they provide, so much so that my
eight-year-old daughter has been competing since she was a baby. She has
performed in Branson, MO,
opened a concert for CMA recording artist Ashton Shepherd, and is currently
preparing for America’s
Got Talent. None of that would have been possible without her pageant
experience.
I’ve worked with probably hundreds of girls throughout
twenty years of pageant coaching. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing one’s
self-confident grow.
What is one thing
you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t done?
Casey: Learn to play the violin, or as we say down South, the
fiddle. I’ve about convinced myself it should be my Christmas gift this year.
If you cook, do
crafty stuff, or have a hobby, please share the details with readers.
Casey: I do cook and love crafts, but considering I’m about
four years behind on scrapbooking, I don’t think it counts if it stays in a box
under the bed. I really enjoy playing pool and golf, but since I’m fairly
pitiful at both, I stick mainly to taking dance classes. I’m in a class with a
bunch of other teachers and former dance competitors so it’s not easy by any
means. The best part is that we rock the house during recital time. Old ladies,
apparently, still have it.
What’s next for you?
Casey: I recently signed with a literary agent and we are
busy getting HUSTLER’S DREAM ready. It’s about a southern socialite pool shark
who hustles the wrong guy, or is he? FEELS SO RIGHT is about a country music
agent and her ex-boyfriend songwriter. I’m also half way finished with FAST
DREAM, the sequel to HUSTLER’S DREAM, about a female NASCAR tire changer in
love with the driver.
My other release currently out is DANCE WITH A MILLIONAIRE,
which features a ballerina. In it, the stage heats up when Southern belle and
ballerina Campbell Layne learns more from Rod Carrington than she ever
expected. I especially the Italy
scenes in this book.
I swear these are not autobiographical! But, I’m passionate
about the things I enjoy, and they invariably make their way into my writing.
My tagline is “Sexy, Sass & Southern” and all my heroines are just that.
Casey Crow
Casey Crow is a Summa Cum Laude graduate from the University of Alabama with degrees in Business
Management and Dance. She received her Master of Business Administration from
the University of
Mobile. A resident of the
Deep South, Casey stays busy running her two
children to way too many activities. She also works as a pageant coach of
twenty years, professional emcee and model, dance choreographer, and certified
Miss America
preliminary judge. In fact, she is a former Miss University of Alabama and
NASCAR spokesmodel. She is addicted to Castle & Revenge and works out
constantly to compensate for her addiction to sweets. She enjoys playing pool,
tennis & golf but never has the time and is, therefore, pitiful at all
three. A member of Romance Writers of America, Casey is an award-winning author
of “Sexy, Sassy & Southern” erotic and spicy mainstream contemporary
romances. Her debut, Can’t Fake This, was named 2011 Best Contemporary at Love
Romances Café, winner of the 2012 Gayle Wilson
Award of Excellence, and received a Gold Star from Just Erotic Romance Reviews.
Casey is represented by Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency. Visit her at www.caseycrow.com. Follow her on Twitter –
caseyecrow and Facebook – Casey Crow.
Follow on Twitter: caseyecrow
and Facebook
Action by Liz Borino.

Welcome to Romance Lives Forever, Liz. Tell us about your new
book.

Book title: Action
Author: Liz Borino
Genre: Gay Romance
Buy links: Amazon AllRomance
Publisher: Lazy Day
Length (words): 38,000
Heat rating: R
Blurb: When the bright lights and flashing cameras of Hollywood capture your
every move, how can you fulfill your deepest desires? For Zack Greene, a
formerly out-of-control actor, and Steve Michaels, the director who unearthed
the heart of the man beneath the ego, it’s a constant struggle.
In public, Steve and Zack are the picture of professional
partners. However, behind closed doors, their partnership is taken to a new
level. They engage in a carefully constructed Dom/sub relationship that not
only brings them pleasure, but keeps Zack from slipping back into his wild
ways.
Their delicate balance is thrown askew when a producer on
the show threatens to expose their lifestyle, while taking advantage of Zack in
a moment of vulnerability. Will Steve be able to ease the pain and save the
love they share? Or will they come apart when they need each other most?
Warning: Light
BDSM, D/s relationship, spanking, and hot m/m sex
What are your main
characters’ names?
Zack Greene- 28, lead actor on Ben’s Life sitcom
Steve Michaels- 31, director of Ben’s Life

Interview

Tell us about the
main character in your current book. What is he like?
Steve Michaels is a director on Ben’s Life. He likes good
food, his job, hiking, and his cat, Timmy. However, he loves his family,
including his boyfriend, and sub, Zack Greene.
If your main character
was here today, what would he say is his strongest point?
His ability to exert loving control in all he does.
Does he think he has
a weakness? (If so, what does he think it is? What does his lover think it is?
What does his enemy think it is?)
Steve would say his weakness is the inability to be around
large groups of people for long periods of time, which is problematic in the
entertainment industry. Zack adores Steve and honestly has a difficult time
finding fault with him. He would probably wish Steve felt more comfortable
letting his guard down, oh and put the clean clothes away instead of leaving
them in the dryer. Rich, the producer who tries to screw things up, and Steve’s
enemy, complains that Steve is a weak Dom. He believes Steve needs to be harder
on Zack.
What drives your hero
to do the things he does? What makes him want to be the “good guy?”
Steve was raised in a military household, until his father
died when he was 12. At that young age, Steve had to take control of the house
and help out his mother while she fell apart. This contributed to his sense of
right and wrong—and his dominate nature.
What’s your main
character’s favorite guilty pleasure?
Vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and a cherry.

Answered as the main character:

If you were a tool, what would people use you to do?
Sandpaper. It makes everything smooth, essentially better.
Hopefully.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality
and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
Movie store. I’d make sure to stock indie films as well as
the big names because we all have to start somewhere.
Tell us an
embarrassing story that has to do with a pet. If you have no pets, a story
about a significant other will do. ^_^
How about I combine them? Zack talked about wanting pets
from the moment we moved in together. And I’m a sucker for his blue eyes,
especially when he begs, but I knew we worked too much for a dog. So, one day I
sent him to get something at a store completely out of the way. I made it
absolutely clear the product could only be found there. No, he wasn’t happy
with me. I did it, though, because I found an ad for kittens from a local cat.
The owner of the cat came over and let me pick from the litter. After checking
out medical records for each, I picked chose Timmy, a stubborn and loving
kitten his expressive blue eyes. I really like that combination. Anyway, in the
process of setting him up in the garage to surprise Zack, Timmy peed—all over
the front of my jeans. Wouldn’t be so much of an issue had Zack not been
pulling into the garage at that exact moment. He jumped out of the car and
found me holding Timmy and said, “Where did he come from?”
“I don’t know,” I responded, “I found him here when I came
looking for food in this fridge.”
Zack smiled and pet the cat, then noticed my jeans. “What
happened to you?”
“The cat must be scared.”
My brat of a boyfriend then took the kitten from me and
cuddled him. “Stop blaming this precious kitten for your control issues. Why
don’t you change so we can decide what to do?” I swear that cat laughed at me
as I walked away. Zack still believes I have no idea how Timmy got there. And
that pretty well describes my relationship with both of them.

Please Fill in the Blanks (as the character)

I love pizza* with pineapple.
I’m always ready for cuddling.
When I’m alone, I think too much.
You’d never be able to tell, but I need my boyfriend as
much as he needs me
.
If I had a halo it would be made
of fire and ice
.
If I could fly I’d never drive in LA traffic again.
I can never administer pain without pleasure because
I love Zack too much.

Author Bio

Liz Bornio
Liz Borino is the author of
the Taylor Twins series, including Expectations, What Money Can’t Buy, and
Gifts from the Past and Ben’s Life series, beginning with Action. She lives
behind her computer screen, currently stationed in some irrelevant small town
in Pennsylvania.
When she leaves her computer, Liz loves to spend time in cities around the
world, particularly New York and London.
She’s the quiet one with
Snapple or green tea, at the local Starbucks, until someone threatens human
rights within her earshot. Should you be around when that happens, take a step
back and wait for the storm to pass. Her two pet causes are women and gay
rights. Why? Because contrary to popular opinion, and current legislation, they’re
people, too.
Liz believes her best
training in the craft of fiction came from her Public Relations undergraduate
degree. Now, when she isn’t writing or editing erotic romance novels, she’s applying
literary theories to the classics in pursuit of a master’s in English.

Booklist

Taylor Twins: Expectations,
What Money Can’t Buy, and Gifts from the Past
Ben’s Life: Action

Books Coming Soon

Ben’s Life: Cutaway,
That’s a Wrap and the prequel (only
available in the forthcoming print edition) Casting.

Find Liz Online

Website: http://lizborino.com
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/liz.borino.1

The Guided Tour.
Maggie,
welcome to Romance Lives Forever.
Tell us about your
latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so,
what are they?
My latest book, ‘The Guided Tour’, is an erotic romance but
I am a sucker for causes so it deals, in a light-hearted way, with such issues
as race, social status, misguided youth and the environment.
How do you come up
with ideas?
This is a hard one, actually. I often can’t trace the origin
of an idea but it is a fact that I can’t see a stranger without creating a back
story for him or her. At Tai Chi last week I looked out the open door, across
the lawn to a block of flats and saw an ancient graveyard and a headless corpse
eating cereal on a front porch.
What is the single
most important part of writing for you?
Getting the words right.
What do you enjoy
most about life?
Creating really good back stories for strangers!
Where do you start
when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or…?
Right, I should be so organized! I let an idea fester in my
brain for a few weeks or months and then, one day, I sit down and start
writing. Which mean my story writes itself and I have to work really hard to
bring it in line.
How many hours a day
to you spend writing?
Not enough!
Is your muse
demanding?
Could encourage me to work a little harder, I think.
What are some jobs
you’ve done that would end up in a book?
Waitress, gas station jockey, nurse, midwife, archeologist,
prison warden, mother…
What do you hope
readers take with them after reading your work?
A sense of pleasure.
A biography has been
written about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?
‘An Incredible Woman’s Most Amazing Life’
If money were not an
object, where would you most like to live?
Exactly where I do live– Far North Queensland–where you don’t
need money to live.
As a child, what was
your favorite thing about school?
The nuns; it was such a challenge to create a back story
about them.

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with old wine and young men.
I’m always ready for a night of good lovin’.
When I’m alone, I believe that Matthew Mcconaughey loves
and wants to be with only me
.
You’d never be able to tell, but I like bad boys.
If I had a halo it would
be pure gold (heh, heh, heh)
.
Maggie Brooke
If I could settle down I’d be married.
I can never be Bella because I like hot-blooded lovers.

My Booklist

Find Me Here

 

RLF Gems.
The top bloggers (by page load) for the month of June
resulted in a tie for third place in the top five. This month was unusual in
that the blog was closed for a period due to my illness. The good news is that
I did not have a heart attack. The bad news is that I learned my heart did have
a slight weakness that needed medication. I’ve been on the mend and taking
better care of myself as a result.
In June, we had a few character interviews, which were well
received, and every day that we had a posting saw top numbers. The article I
wrote for the Marketing for Romance Writers blog tour (in preparation for
Marketing Summer Camp) scored nearly twice as many hits as the next in line.
That was gratifying, and a surprise. Model and photographer Cherif Fortin and his
business partner Lynn Sanders hit it out of the park with their interview this
month. I had them on twice because their article was so unique. They helped
pioneer a new media that combines film, ebooks, audio books, and images to make
a new media. You can learn more about it at this URL. http://is.gd/a3oh1m
Top Post – MFRW

Here are the top bloggers for June 2012:

1. Kayelle Allen – Why I Created Marketing for Romance
Writers
2. Cherif Fortin, Lynn
Sanders – New Media for Authors
3. K. D. Grace – Character Interview
3. Lynn Cahoon – Character Interview
4. Jane Wenham-Jones – Author Interview
5. S. A. Garcia – Not Only Angels Fall from the Heavens
My thanks to everyone who took part this month. Guests this
month included (in alpha order by first name, not including myself): Alexandra Stewart, Berengaria
Brown, Cherif Fortin, Cinsearae S, Danita Minnis,
Jane Wenham-Jones, Juliette
Springs,
K. D. Grace, Lynn Cahoon, Lynn Sanders, S. A.
Garcia.