Sunday, November 28, 2010

Contest! Contest!

Don't you just love contests? Here's a biggie with lots of wonderful prizes.

Kris Kringle's Kindle (& More) Kontest! Contest starts 1 Dec. and ends midnight ET 31 December. Sorry, but we only ship to US and Canadian residents. We're giving away a new Kindle and other goodies from Santa's bag of surprises! Totes, hats, tee-shirts, ornaments and more could be yours! To enter, you need to do TWO things:

1. Join "Romance Books R Us" at If you're already a member, great! PLEASE NOTE: WE'RE NOT ACCEPTING MORE PUBLISHED AUTHORS FOR MEMBERSHIP AT THIS TIME. The contest is open to ALL our current RBRU members and any readers/industry reps/unpublished writers who join NOW.

2. Visit the the participating authors and their URLs listed on our blog under the Kris Kringle KINDLE (and more) Kontest message at: , and answer their questions. SEND A LIST OF ALL PARTICIPATING AUTHORS AND ANSWERS TO THEIR QUESTIONS IN ONE EMAIL TO: _contests.rbrus@gmail.com_
Here's my question: What does Melanie Dubois detest? Hint: Books
Thanks for visiting today. Remember you can't until the 1st, or your answers will be deleted. Be sure to get your answers in by December 31st. Have a great day and see you next Sunday.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Interview With New Author, Amy Atwell

Hi Everyone,

Today, I want to introduce you to a dear friend, Amy Atwell. We have shared the journey to publication together, and I'm so happy for her because her first published ebook, Lying Eyes, was released from Carina Press this month. This wonderful woman has more energy than ten people, and I'm so jealous of her. lol I belong to one of her GIAM groups and it's a fantastic place to be if you're a serious writer.

Amy's Bio:

Amy Atwell worked in professional theater for 15 years before turning from the stage to the page to write fiction. She wrote non-fiction projects for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the National Park Service, Virginia Tech and Georgia Shakespeare Festival and has had two plays commissioned and produced. She now gives her imagination free rein in both contemporary and historical stories that combine adventure and romance. An Ohio native, Amy has lived all across the country and now resides on a barrier island in Florida with her husband and two Russian Blues. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Lying Eyes, is available at Carina Press.

Briefly take us on the journey with you – when did you start writing and what hurdles did you have to overcome to get published?

I wrote stories, songs and poetry from a very young age. In high school, I took creative writing instead of composition. But I started seriously contemplating writing with an eye on publication in graduate school. Of course, thinking it and doing it were very different things. In 2000, I finished my first manuscript. By 2005, I’d written two more and had a dozen others started. My mom died very suddenly that year, and that set my writing back. I finished a book a few months later, but then all but stopped writing for nearly 18 months. It wasn’t until late in 2007 that I got serious about it again.

What’s been the greatest contributing factor to achieving your goal of publication?

Honestly, knowing I was never alone in this quest to be published. I’m so fortunate to have made dozens of friends with other writers around the globe. So many have helped me, and I’ve been proud to do what I can to pay it forward. In 2004 I started a writing community for goal-oriented writers. ( Not only have I watched many others (including Sandy here!) sell, but the group helped hold me together during the dark times.

What has surprised you the most about being a published author?

How much time everything takes! Many authors who are print-published have a year or more between when they sell the story and when the book comes out. I’ve had a 5-month turnaround. Suddenly, my website seemed old-school, and I’ve been engulfed in “social networking.” Add in three rounds of edits, extra scenes to be written for the book, cover art and copy for marketing, and I realize I’m not just an author, I’m an entrepreneur. I can only hope one day I’ll have a staff, but so far, the cats don’t seem willing to help.

How do you come up with your story ideas?

That’s the easy part for me. I come up with ideas all the time. I keep a document saved on my computer with character names, situations, locations, impressions of anything I’ve seen or heard and general conflicts. I love all types of stories, so I’ve written historicals and contemporary comedies as well as suspense. I got the idea for Lying Eyes from the Eagles’ song title. I thought it would make a fun name for a high end costume jewelry shop. Then I added a jewelry designer, a thief with a secret, set it in Las Vegas, and then Cosmo the magician showed up and, well, you get the idea.
Do you have a favorite author?

I have a bunch. Georgette Heyer, Dick Francis, Tom Clancy, E.B. White, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, Alexandre Dumas, Jules Verne, Susan Wiggs, Jill Barnett and Elswyth Thane.

What did you want to be when you grew up at the ages of 6, 13 and 24?

Hmmm, at the age of 6 I probably wanted to be a veterinarian. At 13 I longed to own a horse farm and train horses. At 24, I was planning a career in professional theater stage and production management. I can safely say I never aspired to “grow up.”

Tell us a little bit about your next book? Will it be a romantic suspense or some other genre?

I’m working on another Vegas romantic suspense/comedy titled Cheating Hearts, which is the sequel to Lying Eyes. I even have a trip to Las Vegas planned to attend the National Finals Rodeo as part of my research for Stealing Kisses, which will wrap up the trilogy. But my other project is a mainstream historical set during the Wars of the Roses. It borders on “creative nonfiction” since it features mostly real characters and events from history.

What did you do when you got the call? You know the one saying they wanted it. Grin.

I have the dullest Call Story imaginable. My agent called to let me know we had the offer. I was thrilled to know that Carina wanted the story, but we also still had two other submissions out. Eventually, we opted not to wait on both those responses before accepting the Carina Press offer. But it always felt like there was another step in the process. The contract, the edits, the marketing questionnaire. Honestly, the day it all came together for me was the day I saw my cover art for the first time. I cried tears of joy. It’s a great cover.

I can certainly see why you love this cover, it's gorgeous.

Would you like to tell us about your release, Lying Eyes? How did you come up with the idea?

In Lying Eyes, a Las Vegas costume jewelry designer discovers her illusions of a satisfying life can't hold a candle to true love when she forges a dangerous alliance with a hot thief to try and rescue her aging father Cosmo, a tricky magician who's disappeared and left behind nothing but a mystery of stolen gems, a carload of Russian relatives, an overfed rabbit, a hired gunman, and two sisters she never knew she had. You can also check out the full back cover “blurb” on my Facebook Fan Page: under the Discussions tab.

I mentioned some of the ideas above, but once I settled on the notion of the title, and then came up with the other two titles, and then Cosmo the crazy magician appeared, I started threading it all together into one trilogy. The original concept was based loosely on Charlie’s Angels. I wanted three women characters who didn’t know each other that well to have to work together to find Cosmo. Like Charlie, Cosmo wasn’t intended to be seen “onstage.” Well, Cosmo changed that theory when he showed up in the first scene.

Here is a blurb from Amy's story, Lying Eyes:

Her jewels were real, but her life was fake.

No-nonsense jewelry designer Iris Fortune yearns for a normal life. But life as Vegas magician Cosmo Fortune’s daughter is anything but normal, especially since dear old Dad is also a scam artist. When Cosmo’s latest scheme goes awry and he pulls a real-life disappearing act, Iris is left holding the bag.

Now Iris must be a master of illusion—play the poised partner to her politician fiancĂ© while trying to save her father and stay out of reach of Mickey Kincaid, the sexy thief who claims he's only after her jewels.

Detective Kincaid is deep undercover and seeks Iris out because of her connection to Cosmo—he never expected to be so drawn to her. While working with Iris to find the elusive conman, Mickey learns a killer has Iris in his sights, and he must do everything he can to save her, without blowing his cover.

Mickey's put his life on the line before, but never his heart—and now he’s not sure which is more dangerous…

Could you give us an excerpt of Lying Eyes? I'm sure my readers would love to read a little of your story.

from Chapter Two

Releasing a frustrated huff, Iris pushed her work lamp out of the way and climbed off her stool. Her fingers ached as she slid the magnifying goggles from her face and blinked a few times to bring her vision back to real-world size. Wow, she’d been at it for over an hour. Usually focusing her energy on her work relaxed her, took her to another place. Today was a lost cause—this latest Cosmo crisis was a nightmare.
Worst of all, she couldn’t reach him. Cosmo always answered his calls or returned them as soon as possible. She’d left a message last night when she got home and another this morning after that detective had left the store.
“Iris, telephone!” Ginny, her perpetually cute assistant, stuck her head in the doorway of the store’s design studio. Seeing Iris free, she brought the cordless phone, her hand over the mouthpiece. “Someone named Mickey, and he sounds positively sinful.”
“Give me that.”
Ginny handed over the phone and waited until Iris pointed her to the door. With a laugh like some invisible fairy tickled her, she shot back out to the sales floor.
Iris waited until she was sure she was alone. Not that she had anything to hide. “Iris Fortune.”
“I hear the police visited you this morning. Guess your dad’s really MIA, huh?”
Her heart fluttered at the rich timbre of his voice. “What do you want?”
“What did he say when he called you last night?”
“Don’t play dumb. Cosmo called you on your cell at the party last night.”
She recalled the glass of red wine and Mickey’s intense dark eyes watching her from the shadows. Squaring her shoulders, she perched on her stool. “You were spying on me.”
He laughed. “Don’t sound so outraged. Every guy in town would be spying on you if he had the chance. Now, what did he tell you?”
“He didn’t call, and I have no idea where he is. And if you keep harassing me, I’m going to tell the police about our little conversation last night.”
“No chance. If you were going to spill it about me, you would have done it already.” He sounded too cocksure of himself for her taste.
“How do you know I haven’t?”
“You wouldn’t be threatening to if you’d already done it.”
She pursed her lips, but said nothing.
“And you won’t give me up because—” Mickey’s voice dropped low. “Because, Iris Fortune, deep down, you’re worried about your dad. He may not be much, but he’s all the family you’ve got. You want him back, but you’re afraid he’s gotten himself into something so bad, the police won’t help him. You’re already thinking you might need ol’ Mickey here to help you out.”
“I am not.”
“No? Then think about it some more. I’ll look in on you later.”
“Later? Like tonight? I don’t know where I’ll be.” Recognizing the quickening of her pulse, Iris aligned her design tools into a neat row on the worktable.
“Doesn’t matter. I’ll find you.” The phone clicked and went dead.
“Damn.” Iris set the phone down with more force than she intended. She wasn’t sure whether her frustration stemmed from his threat to ruin her evening again or that he’d ended their conversation so abruptly. Neither reason was a good sign.

Amy, your blurb and excerpt sounds great. I'm dying to read Lying Eyes and the whole trilogy. I bought it the first day it was released. I haven't time to read it yet, but I've moved it to the top of my to read list. I wish you huge success in your writing career. Thank you for coming to visit me on my blog today.

Thanks so much for all your help--and inspiration along the way. Truly, it's been a joy watching other GIAMers get published. I'm pleased to be joining the ranks.

If you would like to learn more about Amy feel free to visit MWF every week at her blog, What's the Story?: and every other Tuesday at Magical Musings:

Here are the buy links:
Carina Press

Barnes & Noble


I hope you voracious readers out there read Amy's book, Lying Eyes, and add her to your list of favorite authors. Smile.

Until next Sunday, have a great week and a Happy Thanksgiving.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Interview With Melanie Dubois

Hi Everyone,

Today, I'm interviewing Melanie Dubois, the heroine in my latest release, The Deceived.

Question: Melanie, you are a 5' 4" blonde with blue eyes, is there anything you wish different about yourself?

Answer: Yes, I would like to be more like my sister, Jolene, especially her height (6 feet) with brown hair and eyes. I hate being short.

Question: But your sister is a recovering alcoholic why would you want to be like her?

Answer: I just want her appearance and her mellow temperament not her addictions.

Question: What is all this mess with your mother?

Answer: I'm trying to figure it all out. Not sure where it will lead.

Question: Is it true that your mother had an affair, and you are a product of that liaison?

Answer: I don't know, but I'm going to have a DNA test to find out the truth of the matter.

Question: Didn't your father tell you that your mother had an affair?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Do you believe he told you the truth?

Answer: I did when he told me as a teenager, but I don't know anymore.

Question: How will you feel if your father lied to you?

Answer: Hurt! Very hurt.

Question: How did you get involved with the group picketing the casinos?

Answer: I talked to the leader and decided their goals matched mine, so I asked to join.

Question: Are you afraid of the scar faced man?

Answer: I wouldn't want to be caught alone with him.

Question: What do think of that hunky board member, Mike Mercer?

Answer: Hmm. I wouldn't mind losing my virginity to him. Laughs! He's so hot.

Melanie, thank you for letting me interview you today. I hope everything turns out well between you and your mother now that your father is gone. It would be nice to see you find some happiness.

Thank you. I hope so, too.

If you wish to learn more about Melanie visit my website, Buy link for The Deceived

Until next Sunday have a great week.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Factor V Leiden: Blood Clots

Hi Everyone,

You may think there isn’t a problem discovering blood clots, but you’re wrong. If you don’t read my story someone in your family or a friend could develop this problem and the doctor’s might never find out what caused it.

Here’s my story: I was in my late fifties when I started having blackouts or drop attacks as many doctors call it. What would happen is that I would black out hitting the floor, and come to a few seconds later. I went to my primary care doctor, the one who’d found out I had fibromyalgia and peripheral neuropathy, and didn’t think I was crazy every time I had some new health issue develop.

The very first thing she thought of was blood clots, and I was sent to a cardiologist, who ran the usual tests on me. You know the ones, EKG, Stress test, checked my arteries, blood tests, etc. Nothing showed up. Everything was just fine. My doctor didn’t give up. She kept trying other things, but nothing was found.

A bit of time went by, and I had three blackouts in one night. I had gotten up in the middle of the night and coming back into the bedroom I dropped like a ton of bricks and scared my husband to death. I thought I had just bumped into the door and fell because I came to so fast.

Hubby didn’t have time to get back into bed before I hit the floor again. This time he made me lie still for a few minutes before getting up, and then he helped me up. We went into the bathroom to see if anything was bruised or broken. While looking me over I dropped again, but he caught me before I hit the floor this time and laid me down gently.

It didn’t happen again that night. The next morning I got into my primary care doctor and my husband was able to give her more details about what happened. All along she’d been thinking it had something to do with clots, but she wanted me to see an eye specialist at K.U. Med Center to eliminate one more thing. They both decided I should have a test for Factor V Leiden.

Factor V Leiden is inherited from your parents, it can come from both or just one. There are two forms of Factor V Leiden, one is Heterozygous factor V Leiden and it’s found in 5 % of the white population and is most common in people of Northern European descent and in some Middle Eastern populations. The homozygous form is found in fewer than 1%. Factor V Leiden is less common in the Hispanic population and is rare in Asian, African, and Native American populations. However, remember rare doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Factor V Leiden is treated with blood thinners or anticoagulants but not for long periods of time. In my case, I take three milligrams of folic acid and one aspirin a day, which was decided by both my primary care doctor and the blood specialist she sent me to. Since I started that regimen I haven’t had one black out.

I wasn’t the first person in my family who had these blackouts; my mom’s sister, Aunt Lucille, had these, and her doctor never found out what caused the problem. It took away her independence. Even I wasn’t able to drive for one year because of the fear of blacking out at the wheel.

What was happening to me is that little pieces of blood would form together in the artery blocking the blood flow to the brain, and I drop to the floor. It only lasted a few minutes because the blood flow coming behind it would force those pieces through.

The reason I’m blogging about this issue is because I have learned of another person outside of my family who is having blackouts and her doctor has not been able to find the reason for it. I believe this is a common occurrence. I was lucky that my doctor was a true detective, and she never gave up looking for the cause. I'm hoping with all my heart that this blog will help someone.

My information has come from the American Heart Association and my own experiences. I not only want to thank my doctor, Dr. Karladine Graves, but I want to thank my hubby for helping me so much during that time.

Thank you for reading. Have a great week, and I’ll see you next Sunday.