“When had his life turned into a porn version of a James Bond movie?”
— Ryker in Circle of Danger
“When had his life turned into a porn version of a James Bond movie?”
— Ryker in Circle of Danger
Readers are really benefiting from all of the independent publishing. You like dark romance, you have your choice of how dark. Want a romantic comedy? Yep, you bet your sweet bippy they’re out there. How about erotica? What type? BDSM? Of course, sir. Age play? Yes, Papa. Have a fetish? There’s a book out there for you. Historical or paranormal? Or both? Or everything above? Goodness, yes.
I love all kinds of romances, but I’m still old fashioned about one thing. My heroine or hero (read or write) cannot be married to another when the relationship is starting up or going on. Oh, yes, there are romances out there like that. Crazy, heh?
I love marriages of convenience (historical or contemporary), male – female spy teams, cowboys (historical or contemporary), and reverse roles (like my book Circle of Desire, the heroine was the dangerous assassin). Most of my reading and writing is dark, though I do enjoy reading romantic comedy on occasion. But the hero or heroine cannot be or act stupid. Bad or dumb luck is okay.
As I like to do every once in a while, here are some recommendations.
Lucas: A Cold Fury Hockey Novel By Sawyer Bennett: I do love this series. This book is one of her best. Such an unusual heroine. She has issues I can relate to. A great guy hero. Sweet story. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hot. Just lots of feels.
Alien Slave Master series by Samantha Cayto (The Captain’s Pet, The Rebellious Pet, The Untamed Pet, The Captive Pet, The Inconvenient Pet, The Undercover Pet.) Now be aware, these are not for everyone. So go with caution. Be sure to read the excerpts the on-line booksellers provide. The author did a great job on the emotions, and there was a wide spectrum.
I’m presently listening to the audio of Louise Bay’s The Empire State Series: A Week in New York, Autumn in London, and New Year in Manhattan. Lots of sex, but it doesn’t get monotonous. Good narrators and just an enjoyable story. Ms. Bay continues to make me happy.
I have mixed feelings about the dark romance (audio) Echo: A Dark Billionaire Romance (Bleeding Hearts Book 1) by A. Zavarelli. In one of my earlier recommendations, I mentioned some of her books. (Love Ghost.) This one . . . I liked but it went off in left field a few times. Still I enjoy this author’s unusual characters. I might get the second book’s audio. Still debating.
Her book, The Beast, no. It was too much of everything — too dark — and I read some crazy stuff. If you decide to check it out, be aware the male lead rapes the female. Multiple times. I just can’t call him a hero. Then again that might be your thing. You’ve been warned. I feel this is one of her older books she released after some/a lot success from her newer ones. Then again, what do I know. By the way, I listened to the audio and wasn’t too happy with the narrator.
Speaking of the narrator, for the last two books mentioned, she had a lilt at the end of every sentence. Bug the crap out of me. I guess I’ll stick to reading A. Zavarelli’s books, instead of listening to them.
Entertainment Weekly magazine had an interesting article this week. They announced the on-line version will have a “roundup” (reviews) of the latest romance novels. I was so proud that in the short article they hadn’t said the two words I hate (initials are B. R.). Then I pulled up the column on-line. There were those hated words. Oh, well, hopefully they won’t use them again. Anyway, I’m just glad they are giving all of our hard work some recognition. Be sure to check it out.
And by the way, CIRCLE OF DANGER is only 99 cents. Not sure how long HarperCollins will price it that low, but be sure to go and buy it now. Links below.
REMEMBER TO READ IT SOON! If you’ve been following my blog for long, you know how I feel about LARGE to-be-read piles (ebook or paperback). TBR piles kill authors’ careers.
In a follow-up to Carla Swafford’s sexy Circle of Desire, the agents of The Circle—a top-secret group of assassins—are back and on the hunt for a dangerous drug lord capable of bringing women to the brink of pleasure . . . and devastation.
Marie Beltane, a lowly data entry specialist for The Circle, resents being treated like a little girl and wants to help by proving she’s worthy of being a full-fledged operative. Disobeying Arthur Ryker’s orders to stay out of the way, she accepts a simple fact-finding assignment—only to have everything go horribly wrong. Now she’s been injected with the drug responsible for the deaths of four local women, a drug that puts her sex drive into overdrive.
Ryker wants nothing more than to keep Marie safe from the world. He’s already killed to protect her from one madman, and he may have to do it again. While on a search for an antidote to her mysterious drug, he falls into a trap and must fight a new evil. Now he must become the monster he’s always feared to save the woman he’s always loved.
Some years ago, another author interviewed me and asked for a haiku about my debut book, Circle of Desire. So here it is.
Even wintry men
Find women to be a test
In their heated beds
That was fun. I’m not saying I’m good at it, but I do believe I found something new.
She also asked, what makes the hero and heroine in Circle of Desire so perfect for each other?
At first glance, Olivia and Collin appear to be cut from the same cloth, deadly killers pushing their own agendas. But as you get to know them, you realize Collin sees through Olivia’s sultry pretense to the abused little girl inside. In turn, she sees through his coldness to a leader who worries that he may not be man enough for the job he inherited. They soon discover in each other what they each need. Olivia finds a man she can trust, and he finds a woman who believes in him. Besides, two strong-willed people clashing in and out of bed make some interesting reading.
Some years ago, I had an interviewer to ask me, how does it feel to compete with established writers? I thought you might like to see my answer.
Wow! That’s really a good question. I guess I’ve never really thought of my becoming published as a competition with other authors. Maybe because I’m aware of the vast opportunities to take one story and turn it into a hundred directions. Over the years, I’ve heard we basically have a certain number of plots to write. Seven to ten are the most common quantities given. A good link to go to that explains this is HERE.
With those basic plots, we have an indefinite number of stories to tell. Since everyone has their own way of speaking, in this case, writing a story, we can have thousands, even millions of authors and never hear the same story, especially word for word. Plus each reader has their own special need inside that drives them to purchase certain type of stories. I personally love forced marriage plots, contemporary or historical, along with anything involving spies and assassins. The last two are why I wrote CIRCLE OF DESIRE, my debut book. Most authors do write what they want to read. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Readers want their need fulfilled more than once a year. Some have a monthly, weekly, and for those fast readers, a daily addiction. My addiction can be seen in the stack of novels waiting in my shelves to be read and the same number downloaded on my iPad.
What I’m getting at is there’s room for many authors. Some who will be an instantaneous best-selling author (al la Stephenie Myer) and others who’ll take a few years to reach that same point of success (the fabulously talented Sherrilyn Kenyon). Of course, the publishing world has room for all of us in between authors.
Recently, I read an interesting article about how readers enjoy seeing the relationships in an author’s books spelled out on her website or blog. So here you go. Be careful. There are some spoilers.
THE CIRCLE NOVELS (Circle of: Desire, Danger, Deception, Dishonor, Defiance)
Olivia St.Vincent (DESIRE) – trained by Theodore Palmer (leader of The Circle) to be an assassin, kidnapped by the hero, Collin Ryker. Shows up also in minor roles in DANGER, DECEPTION, and DISHONOR.
Collin Ryker (DESIRE) – leader of the OS, he’ll do anything to protect his people, even hand over the woman he’s fallen for to his enemy. He believed his brother (Arthur Ryker) was dead. Loves to fight with Olivia.
Marie Beltane (DANGER)- slave to Theodore Palmer, set free when hero, Ryker, kills Theodore. As a child, she was protected by Ryker from Theo. Shows up also in DESIRE and DECEPTION.
Arthur Ryker (DANGER) – brother to Collin Ryker; leader of The Circle after Theo’s death, scarred on one side of face and body from a fire when he was a preteen, wears a patch over one eye. Shows up also in DESIRE, DECEPTION, DISHONOR, and DEFIANCE.
Abigail “Abby” Rodriguez (DECEPTION) – operative in the OS, thought to be dead by former fiancé, Rex Drago, and was the security officer called A.J. with The Circle. Growing up, she always felt out of place with an passive aggressive mom and overachieving brother. Shows up in DESIRE and DANGER.
Rex Drago (DECEPTION) – second in command at the OS, tallest of the heroes at six-five; a thin scar in “v” shape from cheek to mouth to eye. He’s determined to find out why Abby disappeared before their wedding. He hates Olivia and thought she’d been involved in Abby’s death. And he dislikes his brother, rumors are that his brother and Abby are lovers. Shows up in DESIRE, DANGER, and DEFIANCE.
Lena Matthews (DISHONOR) – a widow with no connections to The Circle or OS. She is fascinated by the instructor of tae kwon do, Master J (John). After a stale marriage, she’s really for adventure, and she gets that and more. She’s only in this story.
John “Ice” Takahashi (DISHONOR) – assassin for The Circle, had long blue hair until his book. He killed his yakuza father for dishonoring his American mother. Protective of his half sister. He wants to leave The Circle. An expert in Shibari. Shows up also in DANGER and DECEPTION.
Katerina Savalas (DEFIANCE) – daughter to Mikolas Savalas, crime lord (mentioned in DANGER and DECEPTION); has four brothers. Overprotected by the males in her family, she wants to be independent. Shows up also in DANGER.
Jack Drago (DEFIANCE) – second in command at The Circle, a womanizer who has slept with his brother’s wife-to-be and another operative’s wife, and he gave up the OS to be near Olivia in The Circle. His only friend is Marie (Ryker’s love). He loves cats and tattoos, and of course his heroine, Katerina. When he’s turned on he recites poetry. Being a romantic, in Danger, he’d returned Katerina to her father rolled up in a rug (like Cleopatra). Shows up also in DESIRE, DANGER, and DECEPTION.
A Secondary character in The Circle novels
One character I want to mention here is Ty Roman. He’s a fascinating man. A spy and assassin in disguise. Some readers have mentioned him, but I wonder how many know he’s in Desire along with Danger, Deception and Defiance. He’s mentioned by name in all of those books, except for Desire. In that one, he’s the prisoner of Theo’s that was moved at the time A.J. was imprisoned before Olivia shows up in the cell next to her. If you read them, I bet you didn’t know that. And here’s a little secret, he’s the one trying to take over or destroy The Circle. Maybe one day, I’ll write his book. He’s a very bad man who needs redemption and maybe a kick ass heroine.
THE BROTHERS OF MAYHEM NOVELS (Hidden Heat, Full Heat, Naked Heat)
Cassidy Ryder (HIDDEN) – daughter to former president of Brothers of Mayhem Motorcycle Club. All she wants is to keep her brother (Storm) away from the club. Shows up also in FULL HEAT.
Thorn Savalas (HIDDEN) – Brother to Wolf, undercover cop, and nephew of Trick Savalas, local crime lord. Great nephew to Mikolas Savalas (CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE). He protects his heroine (Cassidy) from the president of the local Mayhem chapter. Has a sleeve of tattoos. Shows up also in FULL and NAKED.
Mary Jane Parker (FULL) – co-owner of Marcus-Parker Motorcycle Repair Shops. Brought up in an eclectic commune. She needs help from the Brothers of Mayhem to protect her partner from the Thirty-second, but they are too late when her partner turns up dead and they come after her. She’s only in the this story.
Storm Ryder (FULL) – Brother to Cassidy. Served a term in prison with time extended due to fighting. Friend to Wolf Savalas. Elected as youngest president of local Mayhem chapter. Shows up also in HIDDEN.
Sofia Cruz (NAKED) – cousin to Toro (enemy of the Brothers of Mayhem and leader of the Thirty-second gang). Sent ex-husband to jail and he wants her back. She never imagined falling in love with a Mayhem Brother. She shows up only in this story.
Wolf Savalas (NAKED) – Brother to Thorn, nephew of Trick Savalas, local crime lord. Great nephew to Mikolas Savalas (CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE). Friend to Storm Ryder. Former VP of the Brothers of Mayhem. Must protect his heroine from nearly everyone. HA! He feels abandoned by his brother. Shows up in HIDDEN and FULL.
Sand City in Sand County: A fictional city and county in Alabama. Really, no way did I want to hear from some city or county official about how terrible I was making the place sound. So I made one up. Mentioned in Circle of Deception, Circle of Defiance, Hidden Heat, Full Heat, and Naked Heat. And will show up in one of the books from my new Southern Crime Family (Whitfield family) series to be released in a few months or so. The Whitfields are mentioned in Full Heat and Naked Heat. And Sand City/ County is the setting for another book to come out in a couple years.