Friday, July 31, 2009

Contest Winner

Current Read: Dark Needs at Night's Edge by Kresley Cole (I'm on a paranormal kick!)

Congratulations to...


Chiron won the copy of The Trouble with Moonlight by Donna MacMeans. Chiron, I know how to get a hold of you so we'll connect, and I'll get TTWM winging its way to you!

Thank you to all of you who joined in the conversation, and a special thanks to Donna for taking time to sit down and *chat* with us!

Have a wonderful weekend. Here's a little fun and happy to get it started:

This always makes me smile! We should all break out into spontaneous dancing (maybe even singing) everyonce in awhile! :0)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Featured Author: Donna MacMeans

Current Read: Atlantis Unleashed by Alyssa Day

Please welcome today's featured author, Donna MacMeans!

I just read The Trouble with Moonlight and loved it! Could you tell us a little about it (for those
of us who haven't read it)?

First, let me thank you for having me here today, Tiffany. You may regret it as you can see, short answers are not my thing J

Hahaha! Are you kidding? We're perfect for each other - short questions and short answers aren't my thing, either! :0)

The Trouble with Moonlight is my second Victorian romance and my one and only historical paranormal. It involves an invisible heroine – she turns invisible in moonlight, she can’t help it, and it’s just her, not her clothes. She’s a bit of a thief, so if your husband is so foolish as to gamble away your jewelry – my heroine will get it back for you…but it has to be during a full moon and she has to be naked.

BTW, The Trouble with Moonlight won the 2008 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Historical Love and Laughter and received third place in Light Paranormal category for the Prism Award. It’s a finalist in the paranormal category for the Book Buyers Best contest. (winners announced in August).

I have to tell you – I loved writing this book. The idea came to me as I was despairing of ever publishing. I had just received another rejection on my first Victorian historical, The Education of Mrs. Brimley, this one complaining about the striptease premise. Okay, I figured. I’ll show them. I’m going to write something so fresh, it’ll be rejection proof. I look ed around at what was popular…Heroes on TV, super hero movies on the big screen, and I thought – that’s what I’ll do. I’ll give my Victorian heroine a super power. Flying wouldn’t work – all those clothes? No way! Then I thought of invisibility and everything fell into place. I started working on the story and was so wrapped up in it, I sort of forgot that The Education of Mrs. Brimley was still making the rounds. Then it won the Golden Heart for best long historical manuscript. A month later it sold in auction! 2006 was an amazing year.

Congratulations! It reminds me of the Elaine Paige song "A Perfect Year". The Trouble with Moonlight involves the Nevidimi. Do they really "exist" or did you invent them for the story?

Well gee, Tiffany, it’s not like I’ve seen them (grin) but they cou ld be out there.

OK, that was a dumb question - they are invisible! :0)

One of the things that sold me on the book was the story of the headle
ss horseman. In my world, he was one of the Nevidimi. He was there. You just couldn’t see him because he only rode in public during a full moon. You could see his clothes, but not his head – loved it.

I came up with the name Nevidimi after I’d come up with the concept. I wanted something Russian sounding as the hero had a problem with Russians and this would add to the conflict. Nevidimi is part of a Russian word for invisible. It just rolls off the tongue…Nevidimi. I was hooked.

Brilliant! You had a new book come out in April. Tell us about it.

Seduction of a Duke came out in April and it’s the sequel to The Education of Mrs. Brimley. It’s a straight historical – no woo-woo in that one, but lots of yummy sexual tension.

It’s loosely (very loosely) based on the story of Consuelo Vanderbilt. The duke who is the brother to Nicholas, the hero of Mrs. Brimley, needs cash . So he marries – sight unseen – an American heiress. The heiress, of course, isn’t fond of the idea and doesn’t want to move to England. The hero is shocked at how quickly the marriage is put together. He figures the heroine must be pregnant. This doesn’t bother him too much as he’s getting a ton of money out of the deal – but he wants to know if the child – if there is one – is his. Only one way to find out – don’t consummate the marriage. That way he should know in just a month or two if his bride starts to show. The heroine, on the other hand, discovers a loophole in the marriage contract that says she can return to America if she gets pregnant. So she’s trying to seduce the duke to
get pregnant as soon as possible while he tries to hold her off at arm’s length. Fun!

Sounds wonderful! I've heard of Consuelo Vanderbilt. I love how you connect everything to up the conflict - that's something I struggle with in my own writing. What are you working on now?

I’m working on the final story of the Mrs. Brimley set. This one I’m calling The Redemption of the Rogue. It involves the sister of the two other heroes, Arianne. This is a kidnap story and I’m having a lot of fun with it.

Another one to put on my "must buy" list. :0) I hear you have a
bit of a reputation regarding choclate and alcohol (two of my favorite things, I might add). Can you elaborate?

Ah, Tiffany, we’re obviously two of a kind (grin). I have a reputation for many rather ornate desserts that must include chocolate and copious amounts of alcohol. A group of friends have met every couple of months for years and I always bring the dessert. The two most requested desserts are my Fuzzy Naval Cake ( peach schnapps) and Mississippi Mud Pie (Jack Daniels and Kahlua). Must say, I have a very well stocked liquor cabinet for someone who doesn’t really drink…much.

That's awesome! Thanks for humoring me with an answer to suc
h an impertinent question. :0) Maybe you should write a book about a Victorian baker and include some yummy recipes? (Hint, hint!) OK, back to business: You just returned from the big Romance Writers of America National Conference (I'm jealous, by the way). How was it? What were the highlights for you?

I had a great time! The internet allows us to have so many close friends amazing distances away. It’s so cool to meet these people face to face! I blog with the Romance Bandits which is a group of twenty authors – eleven published – that originally met as finalists for the Golden Heart back in 2006. Two of the authors are from Australia, one from Eng land, one from Canada, the rest spread all across the country. We only get to meet once a year at National – so that was fun. Plus I get to meet with my agent and editor – that’s important. Plus I attended a workshop with Susan Elizabeth Philips – my hero! Next year the conference is in Nashville. Can’t wait.

I'm saving my pennies so I'll see you next year in Nashville! Your stories take place in Victorian times. What draws you to that era?

Before I wrote The Education of Mrs. Brimley, I wrote contemporary romantic suspense. About that time, I learned that Lori Foster had a contest requiring a scene with great sexual tension. Her editor, who read the finalists, had a reputation for picking up the winners for a novella. Sounded good to me!

I thought of an idea involving a reluctant striptease – but didn’t think it would work as a contemporary. We wear too few clothes! So I decided to set the story in a historic period when the women not only wore a ton of clothes, but the morals of the time made the concept of a forced strip tease especially emotional. As I researched the Victorian period I loved it. Unlike the regency period there’s hot water and indoor plumbing (grin), and the women wore those sexy form fitted corsets. .

I love hearing how inspiration hits you. Have you read any great books lately

Most of the books I read are research related to add authenticity to my stories. Plus I get the best ideas from the actual events found in the research. Right now I’m researching sailing vessels of the 1880s. Not exciting stuff.

Oh, I don't know - I imagine you'll make it very exciting! :0) Besides writing, you work as an accountant. How do you balance your time? When do you write - certainly not during tax time?

Yes, I’m a CPA – fortunately a self-employed CPA so that gives me some flexibility. I try to write every day even during tax season. It’s harder then and I don’t get to spend as much time as I like at my laptop. I try to write like crazy in the months leading up to tax time – but that can be hard as well. It seems there’s always something…

Do you like to listen to music when you write?

Sometimes…and sometimes not. I don’t have any special mus
ic (although I’ve always found the soundtrack to The Last of the Mohicians great for romance ). If the environment is noisy or distracting then I slip on noise reduction earphones and plug in my ipod. I might have to pause in my writing to belt out a favored song, but otherwise it works for me (not sure the other people around me would agree ).

Hehe, great visual! What is your favorite thing about summer?

It used to be water aerobics, but I didn’t sign up th is year L. I think being able to write on my porch outdoors is a biggie. It’s where I’m most productive. (Doesn’t work so well when there’s snow outside J). Ice cream tastes especially great in summer – but that doesn’t stop me from indulging the rest of the year. I love being able to open windows in good weather, (I’m not a fan of the recycled air inside a house in winter.) and barbeque – loved the smell and taste of barbeque anything!

I agree! Thanks so much for joining us today, Donna! This interview was a kick. :0)

AH readers be sure to check out Donna's website at Donna also has a story in the Tails of Love anthology so check it out.

I have a signed copy of The Trouble with Moonlight to give away so share your thoughts and aske some questions. Donna is all yours today!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Featured Author: Sara Taney Humphreys

Current Read: Atlantis Unleashed by Alyssa Day

Please welcome today's feature author, Sara Taney Humphreys! Some of you may recognize Sara from the Happily Ever After group interview from February.

Tell us about your first book, The Amoveo Legacy.

I'm really excited about it. I've always loved vampires but shape-shifters are particularly interesting to me. I had the idea for the series for a long time but finally sat down to write it last year. It's set in Westerly, RI, which is where my family has a summer home. There's something so beautiful and mysterious about the beach and it just felt right to set the first book there. I'm actually doing a book signing in Westerly at Paddy's Beach Side Restaurant, which is highlighted in the book.

Here's a little burb about The Amoveo Legacy:
What if everything you knew turned out to be a lie? You find out that you aren't even human - at least not entirely. What if, one day, you realize your world will never be the same again? These are the questions that Samantha Logan must face in The Amoveo Legacy. A dream on her thirtieth birthday compels her to leave her artists loft in New York City and move back to the beach with her grandmother, Nonie. However, the instant Samantha steps foot on the salty shores of her childhood home, she realizes the landscape has changed.

The moment she encounters the mysterious, arrogant neighbor Malcolm Drew, her life is never the same. Through a seductive courtship, he introduces her to the magical, mystical world of the Amoveo: the dream walking, telepathic, shape-shifters that he claims are her true heritage. However, Malcolm holds back a secret that could destroy them both. Will he be able to protect Samantha and convince her of the secret legacy buried deep inside her?

I'm hooked! Is this book part of a series? Tell us more about it.

This series is about The Amoveo people; they are an ancient race of shape-shifters who have lived secretly among humans for thousands of years. The Amoveo are made up of ten different animal clans; Eagle, Lion, Panther, Tiger, Bear, Wolf, Falcon, Fox, Cheetah and Coyote. They are telepathic, dream walking, shape-shifters that are born with a pre-destined soul mate. If an Amoveo does not find their mate by the time they reach the age of thirty they begin to lose their abilites and eventually die. They can only have children with their life mates. They are physically beautiful, incredibly strong and once they are mated have considerably longer life spans than humans. However, the limitations with their breeding patterns, makes their race extremely fragile.

Only two branches of humans know of the Amoveo's existence; the Caedo family and the Vasullus family. For generations, the Caedo family has dedicated their lives to the annihilation of the Amoveo. Like so many others, they are driven by fear and ignorance. They have hunted the Amoveo to the brink of extinction. When an Amoveo is killed, their mate eventually dies and any children they would have had are lost. The Vasullus family, however, serve as protectors for the Amoveo.

The first book which is set on the misty, summer shores of Rhode Island, focuses on the courtship of Malcolm Drew of the Eagle Clan and his mate, Samantha Logan. Sam is the first of her kind. She's a hybrid; half human and half Amoveo. Her very existence challenges everything that the Amoveo have known. Her parents were killed in an accident when she was an infant, and she was raised by her human grandparents. As a result, Sam was never taught any of the Amoveo ways and her abilites have lay dormant all of her life. At least until she meets Malcolm. A dream on her thirtieth birthday compels her to leave her life in NYC and move back home with her grandmother, Nonie. The novel focuses on the quickly evolving, passionate coupling of Malcolm and Samantha. He introduces her to the magical, mystical world of The Amoveo people and her newfound legacy. Their courtship is complicated by the looming threat of the Caedo that are hunting them. Can Malcolm convince Samantha before it is too late?

Very creative and unique - I can't wait to read it! What has surprised you most about being a published author?

The incredibly small amount of marketing that is done by the publisher. All of it falls on the author.

I've heard that from several other authors as well. You have four children - four boys. How in the world do you find time to write?

That is a consistent challenge! I do most of my writing at night after they're settled. I have a very patient husband.

Thanks goodness for sleeping children and patient husbands! Do you listen to musci while you write? If so, what are some of your faves?

I love Billy Joel, Maroon 5 and Nickelback. I used to be an actress so I have a lot of show tunes on my IPod...much to my hubby's dismay. Currently my absolute favorite artists are Amy Petty and The Strike Nineteens. Amy is an incredible musician! Her music really speaks to me and wakes up my muse. Amy is actually playing with me at several of my book signings. You can find her musci at her site: . My faves are "Honey On the Skin" (which she and her label let me use for Book 2's trailer) and "Long Way Down".

I'm definitely going to check her out. That's so cool that you got to use her song on your trailer! Do you ever get "writer's block"? If so, how do you deal with it?

Two ways. First, I'll talk out possible directions of the story with my husband. He really is such an incredible sport! He has patiently listened to all of the Amoveo adventures (or possible adventures). Also music. Amy Petty's music in particular.

Good strategies. Read any good books lately?

I just finished Christine Feehan's new novel in her Carpathian Series, Dark Posession. It was great! I love her work.

I'll have to add that one to my "to be read" list. If a book club was discussing your book, what would drive the conversation?

Interesting question. Probably the twist to the story...who's the real bad guy.

Now I'm really intrigued. What's next for Sara Taney Humphreys?

Book 2: An Amoveo Heart is in the works now and will hopefully be out in September. I'm also working on a vampire series. It's kind of "Sex and the City" with vampire chicks.

You're running a very special contest right now as well as donating proceeds of your book to a special cause. Tell us more about that.


As a special thank you to our service members and their families I am running a very special contest for Military Wives ONLY. This contest will run from June 1st to August 31st, and during the contest months a portion of the proceeds from ALL of my book sales will be donated to the ASMBA STAR Foundation. The mission of the ASMBA STAR Foundation, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is to improve the quality of life of the military service member, veterans and their families, by contributing to the financial, educational, social, employment and medical needs unmet by the U.S. government. The Foundation has awarded grants to organizations such as the National Military Family Association, Helping our Veterans, Operation Stand Down, and many others.

How to enter:

Send an email to with a picture of you with your spouse in uniform and a little bit about what branch he serves in, where you've been stationed, challenges you've been presented with, etc., for two entries into the contest. If you purchase The Amoveo Legacy, email the receipt along with your photo for eight more entries in the contest.

Please put "Military Wives Contest" in the subject line.


Once a week, one entrant will be chosen and featured on her blog. These weekly entrants are the semi-finalists. Over the Labor Day weekend, one winner will be selected by Sara from the semi-finalists. The Grand Prize Winner is to have her name used as a character in one of her books and a $100 Amazon gift certificate.

First Prize is a $50 Amazon gift certificate.

Second Prize is a $25 Amazon gift certificate.

Thank you to all of our military for their service!

You can see the weekly Semi-Finalists on my blog .

What a wonderful way to give back, Sara! What is your favorite thing about summer or favorite thing to do in summer?

Definitely family BBQs. No doubt. Those Rockwellian moments that we remember forever will color our memories of the entire season. I just try to make sure I stop and recognize them when they happen.

Sara is running a contest for Armchair Heroines readers. If you sign up for Sara's newsletter, you get 10 entries into a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift certificate. If you purchase Sara's book, email proof of purchase to her and you'll get an additional 100 entries into the drawing. Be sure to comment below and let us know what you did so she knows to include you in the Armchair Heroines contest.

Thanks and have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just For Fun: Sand Castles

Current Read: Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon

It's overcast and a bit gloomy today in Colorado so to bring some sunny, beach fun to Armchair Heroines, here are some sand castles from the annual sand castle contest at Cannon Beach in Oregon. It takes place in June. To see even more amazing creations you can visit the contest site at:

Have fun, and don't forget to join me tomorrow for Sara Humphreys' feature!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Why do you love romance?

Current Read: Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole

Why do you love romance? I blogged about why I love it over at the Mamawriters blog. Stop by and let me know why you do!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Book Trailers to Kick Off the Week

Current Read: