Monday, June 30, 2008

Book Trailers

Current Read: Fantasy Lover...still, but I am almost done! It is awesome!

Don't forget to comment in order to be entered into the drawing for a signed copy of Heart Thief by Robin D. Owens. Check out her interview here.

Here are a couple of book trailers for you viewing pleasure. Let me know what you think! I am really curious to learn if trailers affect whether readers purchase the book...

Here is a trailer from Cindi Myers.

Here is the trailer for the new release from Nina Bangs, Eternal Pleasure.

This isn't a book trailer but I thought it was hilarious. It makes me proud to be a member of the romance community...where we don't take ourselves too seriously!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Author Interview & Contest: Robin D. Owens

Current Read: Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Today at Armchair Heroines we have an amazing Word Wizard, prolific writer, Robin D. Owens!

Robin took a few minutes out of her busy week - she is on deadline - to answer a few questions for us. We also have a signed copy of her book Heart Thief up for grabs, so be sure to post your comments. The drawing will be Tuesday, July 1st.

You have created some amazing worlds. How do you go about that? Where do you start and how do you organize all of the information?

I just started writing, then (mostly) kept track of it all, though I have had a couple of glitches. Actually, T'Ash, my hero came first, and he was throwing these divination dice that said he'd meet his HeartMate that day. Soooo, I had to have a world where a manly man would DO that -- throw divination dice and believe what they said. My surname is Owens and that's Welsh and Celta was born.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote on and off as a child, but began seriously writing after a relationship crashed. I roomed with a writer in college, whose father was also a writer, so that pretty much set me on the road.

You have done some acting with an improv group, are you still involved? Does it support your writing? How?

LOL, the improv group imploded. It was very good for me. I don't think fast on my feet, and that helped. Also, I developed different skills and I don't feel as awkward in public speaking situations as I did.

What are you working on now?

I am finishing the last book in my Summoning series. Big battle. Flying horses. Deafeating Evil planet-eating alien Dark. Due next week. Eeeeeeek!

You are a self-confirmed introvert. How does that affect you as an author?

I don't do as much in-person promotion as I feel I should, and sometimes I live in my head too much.

You won a RITA in 2002 for Heart Mate. Can you tell us a little about that experience?

That was very, very cool. Especially since the convention was here in Denver and I was the hometown girl. My Mom and many of my critique buddies came. I think it was because HeartMate was such a completely different book than others in the category.

Your random question: Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire; after saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be and why?

I have no clue...not the mouse ears...not the velvet witch's hat (two items sitting atop my bookcase in plain sight). I'd probably just grab any old thing if I were that crazy. And I have too much stuff. Ok, I'd grab the RITA statue, or maybe one of my prisms, or my RWA badge with all my pins. And a note on validation and writing. Outer validation is great, but you have to have inner validation to continue: knowing you wrote the best book of your heart you could at the time with the resources you had. Actually, if I had time to think, I might grab one of my engagement calendars/journals, probably the one for the year I got published, though later ones are more colorful with collages. I keep track of my word count, etc. in them. And the format is wonderful: The Sacred Journey, A Daily Journal for Your Soul.

I love that idea - keeping a journal of your writing and The Sacred Journey sounds wonderful! Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Well, I'm down to the wire on this deadline, but I'm enjoying the book. I think Iron Man was an excellent movie to show set-ups/pay offs. I like my blog where I talk about writing, and I LOVE my website, especially the WORLDS page where I have character interviews (including Ailim, the heroine of Heart Thief), and maps, and cut scenes and stuff. All excerpts on my website under READS.

Robin's website is amazing. If you can, take a few minutes to visit!

Thank you for being here today, Robin. Can't wait for your next book. Best of luck!

Good luck to all of you commenters as well. Heart Thief is a wonderful read! If you want to pad your chance of winning the contest, click through to my writer's blog, No Rest for the Querying and comment there as well.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Contest Winner - Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn

Current Read: Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I am thrilled to announce the winner of The Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn...


E-mail me your snail mail information and your autographed book will soon be winging its way to you! Congratulations and thanks to everyone who commented. A huge thank you also to Lynda Hilburn for taking time out of her busy schedule to be with us here at AH.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to spend some quality time with Robin D. Owens author of Heart Mate and Heart Thief (just to name a couple)!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Book Blockbusters and Where, Oh Where Have the Book Trailers Gone?

Current Read: Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon...yeah, yeah, I know this is only book #1 of the Dark Hunter series and I am supposed to read all 23 by the end of July...I'm a little slow getting out of the starting gate, but once I get going - look out!

Don't forget that you only have until midnight tonight to enter the contest for a signed copy of Lynda Hilburn's Vampire Shrink!

My intention when I started blogging today was to post more book trailers, but I'm having trouble finding them! Any suggestions? Where can I find them? I know they are out there. I'm just not looking in the right place!

Summer is blockbuster movie season. Is it also blockbuster book time? I've heard a lot of buzz about some beach reads but otherwise I don't feel like this time of year is hyped any differently in the romance novel world than any other. What do you think?

And now, a little preview of what is coming up in the next few weeks...

Wednesdays are looking amazing! This week we have RITA award winning author Robin D. Owens. She is on deadline this week yet she still took a moment to be interviewed! Then starting July 2nd it is going to look like the Scottish Highlands around Armchair Heroines! Melissa Mayhue will be our guest for a progressive interview over three Wednesdays. Each week you can comment to win one of her Highland Guardian books. At the end of July, I am thrilled to announce that we will be featuring our first author from across the pond. Lindsay Townsend is a historical romance author based in England. We will be talking about her book, A Knight's Vow, and of course, giving away a signed copy!

So, as you can see, there is lots happening here at Armchair Heroines. Be sure to add us to your blog reader or subscribe! And don't forget to comment...let your voice be heard.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fiction Friday...excerpts that will have you screaming for more!

Current Read: Soul of a Highlander by Melissa Mayhue...I am almost done!

Here are some excerpts that will leave you screaming for more...

Read an excerpt at Melissa's website!

This is high up on my TBR pile. I loved the excerpt! Check it out at Caroline's website.

This is another one I absolutely had to have, but haven't been able to read yet! Visit Jessica's site for an excerpt.

So that's a start. Let me know what you think of the excerpts or the books, if you've already read them!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Author Interview: Lynda Hilburn

It's Wednesday! I am thrilled to announce that our Word Wizard for today is Lynda Hilburn...

The Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn

This book is an urban fantasy so romance readers be wary – there are a few differences compared to a traditional romance. I still thoroughly enjoyed it, though. And I am left pining for more!

My favorite part? Devereux. Here's a hero I can sink my teeth into…come on, it's a vampire book. You had to know there was going to be at least one bad vampire pun.

Anyway, I love this handsome, fanged devil! You see, I'm the kind of girl who wants it all. I want to be respected as a woman, have lots of choices, and be able to make up my own mind. But there is also something intensely appealing about an 800 year-old vampire complete with a few chauvinistic bents. I'd love for him to want to take care of me, spoil me rotten, even protect me. We might have to talk about that title "Master", though...

I have a signed copy of Lynda Hilburn's The Vampire Shrink for one lucky reader. My other blog is also involved in this contest and I only have one book to give away. So feel free to pop on over to No Rest for the Querying and enter there, too! Post a comment below about your experience with vampires. Like them? Why? Dislike them? Why is that? One random winner will be chosen on Tuesday, June 24th.

And now, without further ado, I am pleased to introduce Lynda Hilburn, today's Armchair Heroines Word Wizard and author of The Vampire Shrink...

*crazy applause*

Thanks so much for having me, Tiffany!

Great to have you here at AH, Lynda. How did you get started writing?

I've written nonfiction for 30 years, mostly articles, columns, humor pieces, workshop/presentation materials and free-form journaling. At the end of 2003, during a hypnosis workshop, one of my students noticed that I had lots of vampire books (of the horror persuasion) on my bookshelves. She asked if I knew about something called "paranormal romance?" Paranormal romance? No, I hadn't ever heard of that. She rattled off names of authors I hadn't read, and enthused about the great books I was missing out on. Armed with the list she provided for me, I headed off to the library and devoured every paranormal I could find. I was in bloodsucking heaven. Also, right about that time, urban fantasy began sticking its dark little toe into the publishing pool as well. Since I'd always loved to write, it didn't take me long to find myself sitting in front of my computer, pounding out my first fiction tales. Of course, those first tales will remain hidden under my bed, never to see the light of day! I couldn't believe how much fun it was to write fiction rather than nonfiction. My imagination exploded. Now I'm addicted.

Where do you find inspiration?

My writing tends to be character-driven. I get inspired by people. Mostly clients, since my series is about a psychologist who becomes embroiled in the vampire underworld. It was a client session that inspired the idea for The Vampire Shrink. I couldn't stop thinking about how fascinating it would be if a real vampire showed up in my waiting room. Especially a gorgeous one. I write about what I know, so that means my stories all contain elements of psychology, metaphysics, occultism, magic, nontraditional spirituality, the intuitive arts and higher consciousness. I can't resist lifting up every rock to see what's underneath.

Who's your favorite, Alan or Devereux? (That is really an unfair question, but I couldn't resist!)

Well, as you might expect, I'll say I love them both. I like Alan's irreverence and his obvious insecurities. But I'm a vampire fan, first and foremost. I adore Devereux. He's a combination of all the vampire qualities I like: great looking, highly intelligent, motivated to continue learning and growing over his vast lifespan -- a vampire who isn't upset about being a vampire. He doesn't hate himself. He enjoys blood and isn't shy about sharing that knowledge with the heroine, Kismet. I'm planning to have Alan make a return appearance in a future book. Right now, he's off chasing a very bad vampire.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

My early goals all centered around music and singing. First, I wanted to be a Broadway star, then -- after I fell in love with the music of the late 60s and early 70s -- I knew I had to be a rock star. I spent 20 years singing in rock and roll bands. I never became a star, but during that time I discovered that I was interested in too many things to simply pick one thing. So, I studied metaphysics, wrote articles for newspapers, gave Tarot readings, went to college (undergraduate and graduate) to study psychology, raised my son as a single mom, and kept adding interests and skills. Now, when I think about what I want to be when I grow up, I just answer "happy."

What's your biggest writing challenge?

Making myself sit in the chair and write. I can always think of several other things I could do. I have plenty of time to write, and lots of reasons to write, so maybe I ought to give myself a therapy session to find out what the problem is!!

What's your favorite way to interact with your readers, besides through your novels?

I enjoy doing presentations, attending conferences and arranging book signings. But, having said that, I'll admit that I'm an introvert -- even painfully shy in situations where I don't have a clear role and I don't know anyone -- so I'm even happier to connect with readers via my blog and through email! I love hearing from readers.

Random question: Given the choice of anyone in the world, living or dead, who would you like to have as a dinner guest?

Well, as long as I'm not dinner, I'd like to have a chat with Dracula. What a twisted, intriguing psyche he must have (I imagine, grin!). Maybe I'd invite Anne Rice's Lestat to join us, just for another extraordinary viewpoint. Think of the case studies my heroine, Kismet Knight, would write! (Of course, I'd have to have Devereux near by, just to keep things under control. After all, he is my hero!)

Thanks again, Tiffany!! I look forward to finding out who wins the copy of The Vampire Shrink! The next book in the Kismet Knight, Ph.D., Vampire Psychologist series comes out this October: Dark Harvest.

Whew-ew! Thank you, Lynda. I can't wait to read Dark Harvest...

Don't forget to post in order to be entered into the contest! Be sure to visit Lynda's website to learn more about her fascinating world.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Going Topless Contest Winner

*Drum Roll, please!*

The winner of the signed copy of Going Topless by Renee Knowles is...


*Confetti flying, horns tooting*

Skhye, email me at with your snail mail address and I will put your prize in the mail. If I don't hear from you by Sunday, June 22nd, I will draw a new winner!

Thanks to everyone who commented and made our first contest a success. Tune in this Wednesday for our Word Wizard, Lynda Hilburn! You could be the winner of a signed copy of her book The Vampire Shrink.

Today, I was supposed to list the top ten vampire romances. I can't do it! I am too new to this unique brand of romance novel. I can give you a few but not ten. So, please comment and give me some suggestions or your top ten!

Dracula (is that considered a romance?)
The Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn
A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
I would put the Anita Blake books on here, although, as of yet, I haven't read any!

Help me out! And congratulations again to our contest winner!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Book Trailers...A Whole New World

Current Read: Soul of a Highlander by Melissa Mayhue

Today is the last day to comment in order to be entered into the contest for Renee Knowles' book Going Topless! The winner will be announced tomorrow.

The gauntlet has been thrown down, battle lines have been drawn...

My friend and fellow Colorado Romance Writer member, Laura, has issued a challenge - actually it was more of an order...She says I have to read the 24 Dark Hunter novels by Sherrilyn Kenyon by August 5th, in order to be properly prepared to read Kenyon's newest release, Acheron.

So, do I say, "Have you seen my June TBR pile?" or "You're talkin' gibberish!" No! Instead I answer with a resounding, "You're on!" (yes, I have been accused of succumbing to peer pressure and being an idiot).

So, in addition to continuing with my other reading, I formally accept Laura's challenge...I'll keep you posted! BTW, I have already read one, Upon the Midnight Clear (and yes, I loved it)!

Meanwhile...back in the realm of reality and possibility:

Check out these enticing book trailers! BTW, patience is a virtue, especially when viewing trailers. These take a few moments to load.

The Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn...Lynda will be joining us Wednesday as our Word Wizard.

Here is the trailer for Sherry Thomas' Private Arrangements. Haven't read this one yet but it is high up on the TBR pile (not in June, though)! Check out Romantic Times' website to sign up to win one of five ARCs (advanced reading copy) for her new novel Delicious.

What do you think of book trailers? Do they influence your decision whether to buy a book or not?

Friday, June 13, 2008

What's coming up...

Current Read: Melissa Mayhue's Soul of a Highlander

Thanks to everyone who visited and commented during our "Winning Wednesday"! Our contest for a signed copy of Going Topless by Renee Knowles is still going strong. Make sure you comment in order to be have until Monday night at midnight!

Here's a little preview of what's coming up at AH next week:

Monday - let's try something new! How about some book trailers? This is going to challenge me technologically. The computer and I don't always see eye-to-eye so hopefully I can figure out how to put some trailers on the blog for Monday.

Tuesday - a top ten about the top ten vampire romances? Post some recommendations because I don't have a ton of experience in this area!

Wednesday - Lynda Hilburn will be our "Winning Wednesday Word Wizard" and we have a copy of her book The Vampire Shrink!

Thursday - I'm still thinking...

Friday - let's call it "Fiction Friday" and I will post a bunch of excerpts or links to excerpts!

It's an ambitious list but I am up for it if you are! Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Author interview: Renee Knowles

Today is Wednesday...and I have decided to declare Wednesdays "Winning Wednesdays, Word Wizards"! Catchy, huh?

So Wednesdays are going to be Armchair Heroines' official contest and author interview days...

A warm welcome and deafening round of applause for Renee Knowles, our inaugural “Winning Wednesdays Word Wizard”! Renee has graciously agreed to answer some questions for us here at Armchair Heroines and we have one signed copy of her first book, Going Topless, up for grabs. (Contest information at the end of the post).

Thanks for being here, Renee!

First off, tell us a little about Going Topless:

There are three women around which the novel is based. Which one do you most identify with and why?

I would say Susannah. She is vulnerable and full of pain over the death of her husband, but she has a certain strength—a steel spine— that keeps her going. I admire her. And, of course, she meets a sizzling younger man who helps her regain her mojo—who wouldn’t want that?

But I think at the essence of Susannah is a woman who is trying to find herself again. Not as a wife or a sister or a business owner, but just as a woman, plain and simple.

Your descriptions of Amsterdam feel very real to me. Have you been there before?

Yes! I lived in Frankfurt for a year and visited Amsterdam twice during that time. I love the city. It’s such an eclectic mix of romance and history and a new, modern way of living and thinking. One of my favorite places to visit was the Rijksmuseum. They have been undergoing a multi-year renovation, which left their very best pieces of Dutch art on display. The art was moving and spectacular.

I included a scene in the book between Susannah and Hagen set in this museum. I wanted to bring the history and feel of the city into the book in a way that wasn’t obtrusive.

Tell us a little about your road to “published author”:

Writing has always been a passion for me. I’ve written since I was just a child, stories always rolling around in my head :) But I didn’t seriously begin writing novels with the intent to publish until maybe 4-5 years ago. I took classes, read A LOT of books—craft books, writing life books, books in my genre, and I attended conferences.

I would have to say that to have the fortune to be mentored by NYT best-selling author, Eloisa James, whose work I adore, was probably the one catalyst for me to being able to write more marketable work.

And I began exploring more in my writing, and writing what I love to read. I’ve learned that sometimes breaking the rules is a good thing…

What are you working on now?

I have two releases this summer that I’m very excited about! First, in July I have my first release with The Wild Rose Press. Courting Trouble is a sizzling and sensual historical romance. My hero in this work, Anthony, was one of my favorites to write. He is strong, sexy and loyal, yet he also has a tenderness about him, which stole my heart.

Also, in August I have a new erotic contemporary romance series coming from Siren Publishing. Pleasures, Inc. is based around a male escort service where the hottest men fulfill your steamiest fantasies, and they are there for your pleasure only… The first book, Guilty Pleasures, will be out in August.

If your readers want to learn more about these books or read an excerpt, they can visit my website at

And your random question: You have the power to go any distance into the future and, after one year, return to the present with any knowledge you gained but with no physical objects. How far would you go and what knowledge would you bring back with you?

Hmm, really great question, Tiffany! I think I would like to go about 50 years into the future. My reason is there is a lot of global warming “warnings” that focus on that time as being key to the loss of water, polar bears and all sorts of marine life. I would like to know if this really comes to pass and bring back the knowledge to our time, and hopefully this knowledge would help us protect the future of our planet.

Thanks so much, Tiffany, for the interview! You have a great blog here. It has been fun!

Thank you, Renee! Loved Going Topless and I can't wait for Courting Trouble (available July 23rd)! You can read an excerpt and reviews as well as purchase your copy of Going Topless here.

Want to win a signed copy of Renee's book, Going Topless? Post a comment and you will be entered into the random drawing which takes place on June 17th!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summer Book Fun...Going Topless by Renee Knowles

Current Read: Highland Guardian by Melissa Mayhue
**Love this series! If you like Scotland and a fun mix of historical and contemporary, this series is for you.

We have some great days of summer reading fun lined up here at Armchair Heroines! Contests, an author interview and a book review! Bring on the umbrella drinks, chaise lounges and cabana boys! Make sure you scroll all the way through this post for contest information!

So, last week I finished reading Going Topless by Renee Knowles and loved it!

For me there is nothing better for summer reading than a girls' weekend/vacation storyline. I can't often get away with my friends, but when I flipped open Going Topless it was as if I was in Amsterdam hanging out with my own sister and friend. I loved watching the characters face their conflicts, grow and have a little fun along the way. I was also pleasantly suprised that the character I liked the least in the beginning (Mattie) ended up being my favorite in the end...maybe she just hit a little too close to home! :0)

This book has a sizzling rating from Siren, so delicate readers beware. There are several erotic, graphic sex scenes and some graphic language.

"I came up with the plot idea for Going Topless while sitting on a canal in Amsterdam looking out at all the history and romance of the city. I figured it would be the perfect setting for a story about two sisters looking for love. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it." ~ Renee ~

Here is the back cover blurb:

What does predictable Susannah Carmack do when confronted with her late husband's infidelity? What any self-respecting widow might. She allows her sister, Chelsie, to drag her on vacation to Amsterdam, where she gets lost in the Red Light District, is pursued by a younger man, and sunbathes on a topless beach. But will going topless help her escape the pain of the past?

Chelsie Joyner has always believed a roll in the hay can cure what ails her. But her free lifestyle never helped her forget Martijn, a married professor with whom she had an affair five years ago while doing graduate work in Amsterdam. She's determined to find closure on this trip.

But when her adulterous affair is made known, can Susannah, still smarting from her husband's betrayal, forgive Chelsie for the ultimate sin?

You can watch the book trailer here!
You can also read an excerpt here.
If you would like to buy Going Topless from Amazon, click here. You can also get GT as an e-book here.

EVEN BETTER? Win a signed copy of Going Topless right here at Armchair Heroines! Just post a comment about your summer reading fun and you will be entered. The winner will be determined by a random drawing on Tuesday, June 17th.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to read an interview with Going Topless author, Renee Knowles!

Romance author Pamela Tyner is also running a great summer reading fun contest on her blog. You have to read a short excerpt and answer a question to enter. And BTW, I really enjoyed the excerpt! But hurry! You only have until June 20th to enter Pamela's contest.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June's To Be Read Pile...A Mile High

Current Read: The Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn


It is a daunting pile. It sits in the corner of my office, calling to me softly. It sways precariously in the breeze created by the fan blowing on high (it is d#$% hot in my office)...

Yes, it is my June "To Be Read" pile and it is growing at an astronomical rate. If I didn't have other responsibilities, other commitments, I would be anxiously anticipating diving in and wittling it down, title by title, until there was nothing left but an empty corner, some dust bunnies and a cobweb or two...As it is, I'll be lucky to get through one-third of it (and two-thirds of the titles are left over from May). A vision of drowning in a sea of paperbacks overwhelms me...


Here it is, my June "To Be Read" pile. Some of these titles are brand-new, others are new to me but have been published for awhile. At this point there are no old favorites and stand-bys. The staggering height of the pile simply won't allow it!

* Letters From A Courtesan, Jenna Petersen
* A Rake's Guide to Seduction, Caroline Linden
* Nightkeepers, Jessica Andersen
* Tall Tales & Wedding Veils, Jane Graves
* Your Scandalous Ways, Loretta Chase
Private Arrangements, Sherry Thomas
Seduction Is Forever, Jenna Petersen
When He Was Wicked, Julia Quinn
Bet Me, Jennifer Crusie
Heart Thief, Robin D. Owens
Thirty Nights With A Highland Husband, Melissa Mayhue
Highland Guardian, Melissa Mayhue
Soul Of A Highlander, Melissa Mayhue
Mine Til Midnight, Lisa Kleypas
The Naked Earl, Sally MacKenzie

* June releases

Have you read any of these? What did you think? What's in your June TBR pile? Any bets on how far I will get?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Resources, new releases and blogrolls, oh my!

Current Read: The Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn
I never really understood the current vampire obsession in the romance genre...until now. I am loving this book! I was draw in right away and I really like the way Ms. Hilburn is approaching, even flouting, long-held stereotypes about vampires. Later this month I will post a full review and offer AH readers a chance to win a signed copy!

Romance Writers of America (RWA) is an organization of over 9,500 authors, both published and aspiring. They sponsor a national convention every year and provide a place for authors to join together. But they also have some great resources for romance readers.

Check out their romance readers page here. Waiting with bated breath for the next all-encompassing, take-you-away-from-it-all novel from your favorite author? Check out RWA’s “Romance Sells” section on their website. It is an alphabetical listing of authors and their current or soon-to-be-arriving projects.

Also, check out our newly arrived Armchair Heroine site link lists. They are chock full of resources, fun, news and review sites! Seriously, I lost an entire day this weekend to surfing the amazing romance sites on the web. There is something for everyone. It makes me proud to be a romance novel toting, hero coveting, heroine emulating, armchair heroine.