Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Welcome Back Guest Author Milly Taiden!

We are thrilled to have our good friend, Guest Author Milly Taiden back with us again!  Milly's Latest book, Wolf Protector, sounds fabulous and today she will tell us all about it along with quite a bit about the recent Birthday-Girl-Author herself...AND her awesome Birthday Bash Blog Hop and Contest featuring fantastic prizes such as a Kindle Paper White, Swag and more!!!  But the Birthday Bash Blog Hop and Contest ends on 4/30, so don't sure to scroll down and enter today!

Take it away, Milly...

My Hobbies

A lot of people ask me when I find the time to write. I have a full time job, a family and a very demanding social life. Yes, shoe shopping can be a full time job too! When I’m not writing, working or being mommy, I am usually out with my sister. We take part in various charitable walks each year. One of my favorite is the Central Park Walk for Autism. We fundraise through the month of May and in June we do the walk. We always include our kids and family. It’s an annual event and we have been doing it for almost eight years. I’ve also taken part in the Breast Cancer fundraising. My favorites are children’s charities: March of Dimes and I’ve also done Light The Night. I LOVE to read. I am the world’s biggest book worm. My kindle has over 1500 books and I have read most more than once. I tend to stick to Erotic Romance, but have a love for the horror/suspense. You will find anything from Thomas Harris and Stephen King to Julie Garwood and Nora Roberts. Another passion is watching scary movies. I’m such a horror buff. I love watching anything scary and creepy. My all time favorite is Aliens. My other passion is as mentioned above. Shoe shopping. I am a closet shoe addict. I have bought so many shoes and don’t even wear most more than once. I have very picky feet and end up having to give some away. I don’t mind. There’s so many less fortunate that I just pass them down.

Why I love romance

My parents had a very strange marriage. They weren’t the most romantic couple, but my mom loved reading romances. I think it was her way of filling the missing romance in her life. She loved reading Harlequin presents and the other tamer romances. Once she was done with them, she’d let me read them. She knew I loved reading and I guess since I went through books like they were chocolate bars, she figured I’d read through them in no time. With each romance, I fell in love with the idea of a couple having a happy life at the end of each book. I was a very icy teen. Not very emotional outwards, but when I read a book? I would smile, laugh, cry and lived in the fantasy of the story. I felt the same way when I made up stories and wrote them down. At first, they were kid stories, but as I grew up they resembled some of those romances I read with the Alpha man and the corageous heroine. I turned into an absolute romance-a-holic. I love all things romance and one of them is romantic comedies. So I try to make my books romantic, funny and interesting. Romances have been a part of my life since I can remember. They made me smile when nothing else would and they helped me realize what I want out of my writing. 

Animal Appeal: Why I Love Shifters

The biggest reason I love shifters is because they are human but also have that wildness about them. Come on you know it’s true. The entire growling, snarling and danger is oh so sexy. I admit I may have issues, I do love me some shifters, the more dangerous the better.  I also like the fact that a shifter can be a regular human on the outside, hiding a wild beast inside. To me, that’s just hot. I like that they fight to protect their mates and their families. My werewolf shifters mate for life and are so sexy that any woman would want one. Shifters have this aura of sexy danger. It calls to the animal inside every woman. Makes us want to be bad with them. Plus, each one of us wants to know if sex really is as wild as we think. Is there biting? Is there snarling? Is there growling? LOL. In my books there is. So I make shifters my own and turn them into my fantasy come to life.


A woman with a secret…
The Federal Paranormal Unit is an elite squad of supernaturals dedicated to solving missing persons cases. Erica’s gift allows her a special connection with the crime, but it comes at a deep personal cost… Until now, she’s kept her gift a secret, even from the other members of the team. But this case will throw her together with Agent Trent Buchanan. He’s the object of her secret desires, but he’s also a cocky womanizer. She’d rather swim in shark-infested waters with a paper cut than admit she has feelings for him.

A man with one desire…
Wolf Shifter Trent wants Erica more than he’s ever wanted any woman. He’s spent years patiently waiting for her to admit that she wants him too. Working one-on-one in a race to find a serial killer, Trent’s patience and Erica’s resolve wear thin. When Trent discovers the truth about Erica, will he accept her for who she is? And can he protect her from the horrors that her gift brings?

A case that pushes them to the edge…
Erica will have to risk it all if she wants to stop the killer, and when she does, Trent may have to put his own life on the line to make sure his mate is protected…

Click here to enter Milly's Contest!   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Short Excerpt:
“Brock, he’s doing it again!” Erica glared at the Casanova walking beside her, hating how good he looked in his black T-shirt and ass-hugging jeans. Trent Buchanan. He was her daily temptation and ultimate fantasy. And she’d rather wax her nipples in public than admit it to him. Butterflies swarmed her stomach, twisting and twirling her into one giant, aroused mess.
“What’s Buchanan done this time, Villa?” Brock, their team leader, asked without looking up from the papers on his desk.
“He’s staring at me.” She growled and dropped in one of the empty chairs, huffing out a breath.
Buchanan, The Bastard, as she liked to refer to his cute ass, grinned at her. His full, sexy lips caught her immediate attention. “Excuse me, I can’t help it if it’s a beautiful day, and I’m glad it’s Friday. You’re a grump, Villa.”
It was so unfair that she had to keep pushing him away when her body wanted to curl around his big frame. But if she ever did that she’d turn into another Trent groupie, and that was not her thing. She’d seen the other women in the department walk after him, ogling and almost drooling, as if he were the lead singer in a rock band. Pathetic.
Buchanan folded his arms over his massive chest. Erica’s entire body throbbed every time she looked at him. She drank in the inciting vision and argued with her lust for dominance. Disgusted with her body’s responses, she glared at him again. Her eyes strayed to the scar on his upper lip. She gulped and curled her fingers into her palms, digging her nails deep. Whenever she glanced at the tiny scar, she wanted to nibble and run her tongue over it. It was driving her insane. Thankfully he couldn’t read her mind, or he’d be having a hell of a time making fun of her tough talk.
“Villa, just look at me.” He opened his muscled arms wide and did a full circle for her. Once he was facing her again, he leaned on the wall. He winked at her. “If you didn’t have a stick the size of Texas up your ass, you’d realize what a catch I am.”

Buy Links:

Author Bio:
Want to know about me? Milly Taiden (aka April Angel) was born in the prettiest part of the Caribbean known as the Dominican Republic. She grew up between New York, Florida and Massachusetts. Currently, she resides in New York City with her husband, bossy young son and their little dog Speedy.
She’s addicted to shopping for shoes, chocolate (but who isn’t?) and Dunkin Donuts coffee.

Contact Milly:

As Milly Taiden
Wolf Protector – Federal Paranormal Unit – Book 1
Wynter’s Captive
Halloween Heat III – Mate Event
Fate’s Wish
Sharp Change – Black Meadow – Book 1

Coming Soon:
Caged Heat – Black Meadow – Book 2 (New)

As April Angel:
Party Crasher
Wicked Valentine – Sizzling Encounters – Book 2
Stranded Temptation
Mr. Buff – Sizzling Encounters – Book 1

Coming Soon:
Lucky Break – Sizzling Encounters – Book 3
A Hero’s Pride

Thanks so much for joining us today, Milly.  Happy Birthday and come back and see us again soon!!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Contributing Editor, Dan Matlaga: Astronomy Event 4/13 And Other Cool Stuff!

Welcome back Contributing Editor, Dan Matlaga!  You may recall from  Dan's first post that in addition to his degrees in Astronomy and Geology, Dan recently retired from a 36 year career teaching Astronomy at Arizona State University via their planetarium - which was very interactive and "hands-on" at the planetarium itself.  Dan will continue to educate us on the subject of astronomy, including keeping us informed on current "happenings in the sky", such as the event that begins tomorrow, Saturday, 4/13.

Of course, Dan was also one of Joe's closest friends from their teen years.

So now, here is Dan with not only the info. on the Saturday event, but several other cool treats as well.  Take it away, Dan...

Just last week on PBS, the Nova program was an excellent treatment of the Greek Antikythera machine. The machine, about the size of a laptop, was billed as the world’s first computer.  It was found as part of a shipwreck in 1901.  The mechanism is at least 2,000 years old. The encrusted gears remained as an interesting museum piece until the late 1950’s when an English physicist examined it and discovered it was capable of predicting the positions of the sun and moon on a kind of clock face.  

Clearly there were more gears to the device, so one could conclude the machine was capable of more than positions of the sun and moon.  The PBS show demonstrated how the mechanism was capable of illustrating the positions of the sun, moon and five naked eye planets.  It was capable of predicting lunar and solar eclipses as well. 

The history books dedicated to the path of western technology will have to be rewritten as a result of this machine!

                                      Watch Ancient Computer on PBS. See more from NOVA.

I recall David Van Pelt bringing up the subject of this machine early in the 1960's.  He'd read an article about it in an old issue of Scientific American.  Joe Egles and I listened intently, athough we were not as familiar with computers.  Our discussions on the subject centered on the classic Orrery, a geared model of the solar system on the ceiling in a circular room at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City.  We agreed if we ever made it to Athens, the Antikythera machine would be tops on our list. 

The three of us had a great respect for the sheer pleasure of knowing things.  Though I don’t ever recall a discussion on sports or the latest cars, our minds drifted through the fields of science and technology. If we three were together this Saturday evening, April 13th, our thoughts would be skyward, specifically toward the west just after sunset.

Immediately after sunset, look above where the sun sets for the 12% illuminated crescent moon.  When the first stars appear, you will be able to find the bright “star” above the moon.  That is not a star but the planet Jupiter.  Between the moon and Jupiter, but slightly to the left, is the fainter red star Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus the Bull.  When it gets darker there will be an unmistakable letter “V” formed by dim stars.  The “V” represents the face of Taurus with Aldebaran forming the upper left part of the “V”.  A line drawn from Aldebaran through the moon, continued on the other side of the moon at a little more than the Aldebaran moon distance, is a faint group of seven stars known as the Pleiades. You can hold your thumb with extended arm up to the sky; your thumb will cover the Pleiades. 

How easy is it to locate these objects? The moon and Jupiter should be easy.  Aldebaran is fainter than the moon and Jupiter, but the close proximity of the moon and Jupiter should pose no problem provided the sky is dark enough and you have a clear western horizon, uninterrupted by trees or houses.  Chances are you may be able to locate only five or so Pleiades due to their low altitude. It helps if your local sky is reasonably dark and you are experiencing low humidity.  Just a few weeks ago here in Tempe, Arizona the humidity was 2%, with an increase of 3% after sunset. If you can find these objects, the stage is set.

Various Sky Viewing Conditions

The Pleiades are called the Seven Sisters.  To some Greeks they were known as the Seven Doves.  In our modern world, as well as millennia ago, the dove can be the symbol of the human spirit.  In an article for submission next winter, I’ll explain how the “V” in Taurus represents the physical.

So there you have it.  Early this Saturday evening the moon is between the symbols of the physical, the ”V” of Taurus the bull, and the spirit, the Pleiades. 

We learn in grade school the earth orbits the sun. The effect of this motion is to make the sun appear to travel two solar diameters across the sky each day in front of the far more distant stars.  Like the moon this Saturday, the Sun will appear to travel between the “V” of Taurus and the Pleiades.  In fact the position of the moon Saturday is about the same position the Sun will occupy on May 20th. 

A return to chaos occurs in classical mythology whenever a symbol disappears.  In this case the very bright sun forces the star symbols of the physical and spirit to disappear from our view; chaos between the physical and the spirit ensues.

How long will the chaos of physical and spirit last?  According to the Greek historian Hesiod in his “Works and Days", the Pleiades disappear from view forty days and nights.  This is an interesting number. Not only are there many references in the old and new testament of the number forty, we find it in relatively modern literature.  It is Ahab’s fortieth year at sea since becoming a boy harpooner that is described in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. The hunchback of Notre Dame brings the princess into the church, climbs up to the tower and shouts: “Sanctuary,” to the crowd below.  By declaring sanctuary the police cannot enter the church to rescue the princess for forty days.  We have the stories of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves as well as the traditional period of quarantine lasting for forty days.

If you watch the Pleiades, you will notice with each passing evening they will appear lower and lower in the sky until they will no longer be visible on May 1st.  They will reappear about June 9th; when the Pleiades will emerge from the bright sunlight in the East, just before sunrise.

With so much riding on the observation of the Pleiades and other celestial bodies, is there any wonder why the Greeks would try to bring celestial observations down to earth to better predict the motions of the heavens in the Antikythera machine? 

You can stand out in the evening twilight over the next few weeks and watch as the Pleiades slide into the light of the sun and appreciate how this view inspired societies throughout time and place.

We have made great progress in representing the sky.  An excellent free download to your computer is the program Stellarium.  It is free and can recreate the skies from your backyard.  I hope to present more submissions that will be easier to follow if you have Stellarium on your computer.  It can create, among other things, this Saturday’s evening sky.

Here is a video about the Stellarium software.  Click on this link to download it for free!

Thank you so much, Dan - that was awesome!  Hope to see you again soon.  Can't wait to see what you have planned for us next.  We will download the  Stellarium software (I already have) and be ready to follow along!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Welcome Guest Author, Katya Armock!

Today we give a warm WELCOME to our Guest Author, Katya Armock!  

Katya, please tell us anything you'd like for us to know about you, your writing style and of course, your new novel, To Hiss Or To Kiss.

People often wonder where I and other authors get their inspiration. For me, the question is where don’t I get inspiration? Writers are observers of the world, and I’m always tucking away random things in my brain. Like a weird conversation overheard at a restaurant, a funny thing my husband said or did, or the antics of the cats and dogs in my life.

I also find inspiration in what I read. At RT last year, an editor gave the advice to writers to always “read up.” In other words, always read authors that are as good as or better than you because it will make you a better writer.

It got me thinking about what I admire about my favorite authors. So here’s a bit about three authors I love and how they inspired aspects of my own writing:

  1.  Nalini Singh: I love her Psy-Changeling series. Not only are they highly imaginative, but they are touching and funny. I am always smiling and still left wanting more at the end of every story. I try to capture some of everyday life into a gripping story the way she does because we live life in every moment—not just the big ones.
  2.  Ilona Andrews: I doubt I’ll ever be able to write a fight scene they way Gordon and Ilona do, but I aspire to have my own version of wonderful, witty, hilarious dialogue.
  3.  Larissa Ione: I adore the way Larissa writes the most beautiful love scenes. Yes, there’s crazy good sex, but there’s also a lot more going on. When I write a sex scene, I try to keep in mind how this scene moves the story and the hero/heroine’s relationship forward.

If you’re a writer, which authors inspire you to be better at your craft? Readers, who do you love to read and why?

Readers, please chime in with your comments.  Notice I will let others go

Jorge and I are fast asleep after our antics in bed, when I feel a wetness on my hand and I hear Ringo calling out to me.
“Chloe, wake up. I really, really, really need to pee.”
I moan and sink deeper into Jorge’s arms, pulling my hand back.
“Chloe, wake up. I’m dying here. I have to pee.”
Ugh, why won’t that voice go away? I crack my eyes open and see Ringo by the bed, prancing around, doing the doggy version of a potty dance.
Ringo starts hotfooting toward the bedroom door. “Thank goodness. I’ve got to go.”
With a sigh, I extricate myself from Jorge, which causes him to groan in his sleep. I get out of bed and throw on one of his T-shirts.
His voice is groggy. “Where are you going?”
“Ringo’s got to pee.”
He nods and closes his eyes.
Gee, thanks for the assistance. I roll my eyes as I head to the front door.
The other dogs all crowd around as I near the door. Guess Ringo was just the messenger. They all go flying out when I open the door. I send out a telepathic reminder to stay close to the house.
Suddenly I see headlights flip on, and a van pulls into the end of the driveway. Ringo, who is closest, starts to bark and lunges toward the van.
“Ringo, no, come back!” I yell at him aloud, but he keeps on going. I mentally tap him, but he is in the zone and doesn’t respond.
I watch in horror as the van door slides open and a man catches Ringo with a rabies pole and then hauls him into the back. I scream as the door shuts and the van tears out of the driveway. It peels away, dust flying in its wake.
The van is still in sight when Jorge rushes up behind me. His hair is mussed, and he’s wearing only a pair of jeans, which under other circumstances would have been a treat for me. “What happened?”
“Ringo just got pulled into the van, and they sped off.” I don’t know if I’m more pissed off or worried.

Now we MUST find out what happened to Ringo!  You can't do that to a dog lover!  Alright, I'll forgive you IF you tell me Ringo will be O.K....or at least, where I can get To Hiss Or To Kiss right away so I can find out for myself!

Buy Links:
 Chloe can “talk” to animals…so why can she hear the thoughts of this hot, green-eyed man?

Abandoned by her mother and raised by a father who’d given up on life, Chloe doesn’t let anyone get close. Lucky for her, she can communicate with animals—telepathically. Animals are the only people she needs. When a suspected dogfighting ring comes to her attention, Chloe decides to do a little spying. In her rush to win the dogs’ trust, she almost gets caught.

Until a sexy stranger intervenes, and she finds she can overhear his thoughts. She’s never been able to hear people, and this man’s about as sexy as she’s ever seen. It’s more than intellectual curiosity that drives her to discover his secret: he’s a jaguar shape-shifter, and the presence of this cat among the dogs might be a bit too much to handle. But the animal attraction is just too hot to resist, and the passion between them makes both the sparks—and the fur—fly…

Author Bio:
I like books that are funny and fun to read (and hot!) but also make me think or look at the world in a new way. I am influenced by magic realism, comparative mythology, and esoteric spiritual practices from around the world.

I spent too many years chasing someone else’s definition of success. My life simplified, I returned to my first love of writing.

These days you’ll find me writing, pet sitting, juggling a number of freelance gigs, and reigning as my home’s domestic goddess. I live in the Midwestern U.S. with my husband, dog and cats. Alas, I have, as of yet, been unable to teach my husband how to purr.

Thank you so much for joining us today, Katya.   Best of luck with To Hiss Or To Kiss (which sounds fabulous!) as well as everything else you have going on in your busy life!  Please tell us how to stay in touch and follow your latest adventures and creations.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Welcome Guest Author, Kelly Samarah With New Novel, Thorns of Glass!

This week we welcome Guest Author, Kelly Samarah, whose debut novel, Thorns of Glass was recently published.  

Here is a brief Author Bio on Kelly:

Kelly Samarah grew up in a small town located in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. When she isn't busy working on a new story to share with her readers she enjoys cooking, music, painting and of course, reading. She also enjoys spending time with her dog, cat and two children.

Congratulations Kelly!  Please tell us a little about Thorns of Glass.

Thorns Of Glass is my first novel. It's the story of a boy, Sam, who falls victim to the physical and emotional abuse of his stepfather who eventually murders him. This story is about domestic abuse, but also delves into what happens to us when we die. It's told from the interesting angle of two ghost's perspectives. Many of the domestic and abusive elements are taken from personal experience. I pulled from things I have been through and poured it into this family. I became so deeply involved with the characters while writing, I would find myself tearing up and would have to stop and catch my breath.

What has the experience of bringing Thorns of Glass to publication been like?

Although writing is not new to me, publishing is. It's scary and exciting. It pushes you and opens up doors within yourself you never knew were there. Having other people besides those closest to you read your work, and actually like it? That is the ultimate award.

So now that your dreams of publishing Thorns of Glass have come true, what's next for you?

I have plans for a trilogy and hope to have book 1 released sometime after Christmas. The story takes a step away from the paranormal (my preferred theme) and delves into sci-fi/fantasy. The fun thing about this book is readers can read along as I'm writing it as I post my rough draft chapters on my blog. I have gotten some good feedback which has been awesome, and readers get to fall in love with a story before it's published.

Where can we follow you and keep in touch?

You can visit me on my blog or facebook to learn more about me and my work.

Thank you so much for joining us today, Kelly.  Best of luck with Thorns of Glass and the new trilogy!  We will look for Book One after Christmas and in the meantime, will check out Thorns of Glass right now!