Friday, December 31, 2010

End of year, pondering life choices

I know this is the tome of year when we all ponder our lives. In honor of this reflective time, I have posted a blog to contemplate the time old question: The pros and cons of being a vampire. I've posted my list, pleae drop by and let me know your ideas! and have a very Happy and Productive New Year!!!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Three Releases this Month for RHASTs

We have three authors with three books being released this month!

Wow can you believe it?

Lorelei Confer has her romantic suspense, "Deadly Deceptions", is available from Siren Bookstrand 

Eliza March's first full length book, a sequel to her paranormal erotic romance, "The Lion, The Leopard, and The Wolf", named "The Moon, The Madness, and The Magic" is also available from Siren Bookstrand.

Sharron Riddle writing as Julianna Sage will have her paranormal romance, "To Kill A Vampire" released from The Wild Rose Press this month.

It's been a busy year for all our authors, and we're looking forward to more - coming soon. 

Monday, October 25, 2010


Hi Ladies!

Please come join me at my house for Halloween Fun and Plotting and just catching up!!!! Please let me know. I'd love to see you!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Going Where Your Story Takes You

I grew up smack dab in the middle of the Sunshine state, surrounded by orange groves, woods, and swamps. The perfect setting for a book, right? Why then, you might ask, does my recently published book, Bloodsworn: Bound by Magic, start out in northern California and end up on another world half way across the galaxy? One word: Plot.

     We, as writers, sometime have no control over where the story takes us. The setting has to fit the plot. For instance, Stephanie Myers’ Twilight series would have been another story altogether if set in sunny Florida instead of Forks, Washington. Edward might never have been allowed to sparkle in sunlight since it’s sunny here most every day. Another plot-line would be needed for him to be able to attend school—or maybe he might not have gone to school at all. He would have had to meet Bella on a dark and stormy night, making Twilight more like Midnight. See what I mean?
     Going where your story takes you means being a bit flexible, too. You might want to write about New Orleans, but if the plot calls for snow, you’re out of luck. Sure, you can change the plot line to fit the location, but again we’re talking about changing the whole aspect of the story. Instead of a snowball fight between your main characters ending in a sweet first kiss, they’re tossing sugar-coated beignets at one another and ending up...
     Hmmm. Well maybe that’s not such a bad plot change after all. (LOL) Okay, time to shelve the first story and head off to New Orleans’ Café Du Monde for a hot-blooded beignet battle. Powdered sugar anyone?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My post at Black Rose

I meant to add the link: Come check it out! Thanks!

Please come read my post

I posted a blog about Halloween on the Black Rose blog at Wild Rose Press. Please come check it out!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sultry Santorini Sunsets & Romance

It was this time of year when I traveled to Santorini. The season was over and the tourists were gone, all except us. I don't think I can ever think of that place filled with college students and northern Europeans seeking the sun, since I rather enjoyed owning the place to ourselves, exploring uninterrupted. Fall, cool, windy, beautiful in its stark barren slopes, and empty streets, the romance of Santorini doesn't end with the tourist season or the summer sun -- it is something you find there all year long in the rising or setting sun, the cerulean blue sea, the steam venting from the volcanic cone, the mystery of the origins of the island.

It's not hard to believe  six warrior gods once gave up everything to save this place or that one woman could be their salvation.

Eliza March
Sultry Santorini Sunsets

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hot off the Press

WOW! My book is here BLOODSWORN; BOUND BY MAGIC It’s actually here, in my house, in my hands. My son laughed as I picked the book up out of the box for the first time. I held the darn thing so tight that if it had been alive I would have choked it. Laying it down for any length of time has been hard. And yes, while I thought I’d read and re-read it enough during the writing and editing phases, I immediately opened it up and started reading it again.

Foolish? Maybe. A bit narcissistic? Who cares? I will say it’s a whole different feeling reading it in finished book form than reading it on the computer. There’s definitely a sense of accomplishment involved. And yes, a sense of pride. Not only did I take an idea and build a 100,000 word story around it, but I managed to find a publisher (read incredibly insightful and intelligent editor) who felt the story was one other people might enjoy reading. The very prospect is humbling.

Release date is September 24th, but you can pre-order your print copy now by going to Print copies are $15.99 and digital copes are $7.00.

The cover, by Tamra Westberry, is great. The back cover—which I’d never seen before—is cool. And if you’ll pardon me tooting my own horn, the inside is freaking awesome! But don’t take my word for it. Get a copy for yourself and let me know what you think. I welcome informed opinions.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Writing: Just One Hot Romance After Another

I was recently on a flight out to Las Vegas. Yeah, Vegas, baby. Sin City, land of the evil slot machines. Thank God it only took one session to cure me of my urge to gamble. But that's another story.

While on the plane, (Delta, flight something-or-other) I started looking through the Sky magazine they stash in the seat pocket. You know, something to pass the four hours from Atlanta to Vegas. Anyway, I got to the very last page and what do you know, there's an article about writing. The article is called "Writing, a Romance" and it's by author Libba Bray. Ms. Bray writes novels for young adults, including A Great and Terrible Beauty, The Sweet Far Thing, and Going Bovine. In the article, she compares the process of writing and publishing a novel to that of a romance. Very insightful.

For instance, in the early stages, an author is star-struck by how clever and special her new bow, I mean, book, is. The romance blossoms, lasting all the way through the first draft as they see each other every day. "My book is so easy to talk to. I'm seeing my book again tomorrow. I can't wait." *SIGH*

Unfortunately, that first rush of infatuation begins to fade when the revisions start. That time in a romance when you realize you've done everything together and you start repeating yourself. The lines of communication blur and the author begins to see a flaw here and there in her book. Nothing major...yet. But as the months pass, things get pretty rough. Phrases like, "I hate you!" and "I wish I'd never met you" start to crop up more and more when author and book are together. Friends become concerned, wondering if they should step in and stop the word abuse.

By the third draft, the author has become completely disillusioned and just wants the difficult relationship to end. With the encouragement of friends (and her editor), she pulls herself together and breaks it off with the demanding book, realizing that there are definitely other fish in the sea.

Days of copy edits pass--brief exchanges of polite small talk that get further and further apart until the author wakes up one morning and realizes she hasn't seen her book for months. She's finally able to put the whole emotional episode behind her with a feeling that she's come out of it a stronger writer. Even when she runs into her finished book in a book store one day, she's able to smile. She might feel a twinge of excitement at first, a touch of pride that she had something to do with transforming a mild-mannered plot-bunny into such a polished book-about-town. They might even spend a nostalgic afternoon reminiscing about the good times, recalling the creation of funny phrases and plot twists that just fell into place. But both know it's time to move on. He has a date with a reader down the street and she's been seeing a cute plot that kept her up half the night last Wednesday whispering sweet prose in her ear. Ah, L`Amore.

Thank you Libba Bray for giving me a fresh perspective on an author's life. Now if you'll excuse me, I also have a date with this really hot story that has the most gorgeous phrases and cutest metaphors you've ever seen. *SIGH* We were made for each other. Really.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lords of Desire

Hello, fellow tarts. Today I am going to review Virginia Henley's novella Smuggler's Lair in the anthology Lords of Desire.

Virginia starts her journey in stuffy Victorian England with a maiden, Tory, tolerating her stifling existence by skinny dipping instead of attending church with her brother. Tory is obsessed with history and the abandoned castle, Bodiam, where she takes her illicit swims.

An invitation for herself and her family to Bodiam by the current heir, Sir Peregrine Palmer Fuller, ignites her curiosity and gives her the opportunity to get inside the mysterious castle. What follows are some wild adventures for Tory to a hundred years in the past. In Georgian England things are far different from the repressive Victorian society that Tory has been raised in. She finds that the current Lord of Bodiam is Falcon Hawkhurst, his given name Peregrine Palmer but you can imagine why he changed it to Falcon.

Tory stays in Georgian times falling in love with Falcon, but when he is killed by a bullet to the back she plunges herself from the ramparts and finds herself back in her own time. Pulled from the River by Falcon's ancestor, Fuller, she is deliriously happy believing him to be Falcon alive and well, before she realizes she is back in her own time. She is convinced that Fuller is the reincarnation of Falcon and seeks to prove it to him. Fuller's intuitions begin to coalesce into memories and the thought that her grand accusations might be true.

The Smuggler's Lair is a poignant and touching journey teaching Tory, as well as, the reader, to be true to themselves, as well, as fighting for what they believe in. I am new to Virginia's writing, although she has been writing historical romances for decades, but this was a wonderfully sweet and sensual introduction to her outstanding writing.

Follow a 3 part interview with the wonderful author herself. Part one begins at Pixie has her way on June 8th. Part two continues at Cat's place for writing on June 15th. The interview wraps up back here, at Romantic Hearts and Sexy Tarts on June 22nd. So join us for a glimpse into the talented Virginia Henley and pick up your copy of Lords of Desire at your local bookstore.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Everlasting Kiss

I am currently reading one of Amanda Ashley's delicious vampire novels. I tell you she never ceases to amaze me. She keeps creating hotter, darker characters who deep down just want to share their lives-or eternities together. This one is about Daisy a Blood Thief, she steals blood from young vampires to sell on the Black Market. Then she meets a very powerful- and of course HOT- vampire named Erik who is searching for the infamous Blood Thief believing they are responsible for destroying one of his friends. However Erik has no idea that Daisy is the Blood Thief and wants to protect her purity and keep her safe.

So if you are one of those, like me, who loves a sweet love story of the undead don't miss Amanda Ashley's vampire books. She has at least 12 of these delectable vampire's out there. They all stand alone but are connected as well. Wonderfully fun reads.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What Are You Reading...

What are you reading right now? I'm reading JORDAN  by Susan Kearney. It's the third book in her Pendragon Legacy trilogy. The books are totally stand alone because I don't feel like I'm missing anything by starting with this one. This is a compelling sexy futuristic romantic thrill ride through space. I'm really enjoying it. I'm in love with the cover model too. GRIN
Eliza March

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What’s in a name?

The answer to that question is – a Hero.

Specially one who loves chocolate as much as we do.

In writing a romance novel, names are very important. A hero has to be strong to overcome all the obstacles and overwhelming emotions you’re going to be putting into his path. So everything about him has to SHOW his strength….even his name.

You want to know why I wouldn’t recommend a hero with a name like Albert, Floyd or Poindexter. Exactly, what images did you see in your mind when you read those names? Was Poindexter tall in your mind?
No, huh? Mine either.

Did you see a tanned God like man with muscles that didn’t stop when you read the name Albert?

O.K., how about a hot sexy pirate with a flowing head of hair? What? You saw my pirate Floyd was bald and FAT? Teheheehe ….
So, you see my point. You can’t name a sex pirate Floyd.

So tell me now, what do you see when I say the name … Dallas, Drake, Thor.

Do you see something like these guys?

How about Brett or Finn?

Is this closer to the image these names bring to mind?

Do you see sexy, strong minded men with sexy bodies? Men ready to sweep you off your feet and make passionate love to you on a moonlit beach?

Yeah, now this is what I’m talking about!

Strong names that give a stronger image to your reader. Names that will allow your hero to become what he needs by the end of your story.

The same goes for your heroines…Bertha, Clementine or Prudence isn’t going to make it in the minds of the reader. But a Meara, Priscilla and a Chantal will step off the page as a delicate yet strong woman who will make her goal.

Even if you’re not into the more unusually names like the ones I’ve suggested above there is still strength in some of the more common names over others.

Alex is stronger than Andy. Bob over Ben. Eric is more powerful than Elmer….see what I mean?

Another thing to think about when picking your hero’s name is matching his name to his nationality.
What do you see when you look at this picture? What kind of hero comes to mine?

Is this guy a BAD BOY hero? Is he Italian? Is he a tough guy that can be tamed by the right Heroine? Is he the lover you seek in your bed? When your story's hero is named this the guy you see in your mind as you read about Vinny's sexy seduction of Angie?

If your hero is Irish, don’t give him an English name like Scott. If he’s Irish your hero needs a strong Irish name like Sean or Kendrick. Be sure to know the history and where a name comes from before you tag your hero with a name that doesn’t fit his image.

It's all in the name.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Writing Queries

Hi everyone. I've seen a lot flying around the writing loops I'm on about writing queries. I know it's hard to condense 60-100K words into one or two paragraphs. My queries have consistantly gotten interest from agents (though still haven't gotten past that stage!) and editors (doing better on that end) - but getting your query noticed out of the hundreds they receive every week is a challenge. Your query must stand out if you want to get your foot in the door.

The best advice I ever received for writing queries was this: Imagine the paragraph on the back of a book. The one that hooks you in and makes you want to read the story. Every sentence is filled with intrigue. Your query should introduce your hero (and heroine if a romance), give a brief outline of the GMC - Goal, Motivation and Conflict and leave the reader dying for more.

Here is a copy of one of my queries that has resulted in several requests:

It's hard enough being seventeen, but when your boyfriend's an Egyptian Demigod and your mom's dating a soul sucker, things can get a lot worse. Pandora has seen ghosts since she was a kid but now she finds out she’s a Veil Walker. She can bring back the spirits of the dead, but why would she want to do that? She has enough trouble getting rid of the ones stuck on this side. One annoyingly perky ghost wants Pandora to find her killer. Joseph, her super-hot sometimes-panther boyfriend doesn't like the idea, and soon enough she finds herself in way over her head. When the killer captures her, she must escape him or her soul will be trapped forever in her own Pandora’s Jar.

In this paragraph, I have introduced my character, outlined her problems, and led up to the story's climax.

Good luck to everyone with your queries!!!

Until next time.... Julianna

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Andrew Gross Book Review

Book Review:

The Dark Tide by Andrew Gross

Andrew Gross is a #1 bestselling co-author of Lifeguard and Judge & Jury and author of the Blue Zone

On the morning Karen Friedman learns that her husband, a hedge fund manager, has been tragically killed, Detective Ty Hauck begins his investigation of another man’s death in a suspicious hit-and-run in Karen’s hometown. The two seemingly unrelated tragedies are about to plunge a beautiful widow and a determined investigator into a maelstrom of murder, vast sums of money, and international conspiracy.

I love this book! Romantic Suspense at it best from a man’s perspective. It caught me from the beginning and kept me reading, I couldn’t put the book down. Definitely a page turner.

I highly recommend it for anyone looking for an exciting weekend read.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

YA author friend places in two contests!

The first year I discovered RWA, I decided to attend the national convention. Atlanta was close enough to drive from here and I was desperate to be around like minds. So desperate in fact, I was willing to drive the ten hours and venture into an unknown world alone. (As it turned out a friend made the trip with me for fun but I would have done this even if I had to do it alone.)

The first person I met at Nationals,while standing in line, was a newby too, young adult author, Laurel Wanrow. We hit it off right from the start and shared information whenever we bumped into each other during the three day conference. Through the years we occassionally critiqued each others' work (BTW- she only did my romantic suspense manuscripts, not my erotic ones).

Now I'm proud to say, two of Laurel's wonderful tales have been recognized in contests over the last two months. Wild Flowers and Winged Boys took first place  in the Northwest Houston RWA - Lone Star Writing Competition and Seaside Sorcery placed third in the Indianna RWA Golden Opportunity contest.

I'm anxiously waiting for the day these stories are available to the public as books. Her characters are endearing and the concept is truly unique. These fantasy stories are wonderful. Until I can get them in print, I wanted to congratulate Laurel on this wonderful accomplishment. I'm cheering from the sidelines!

~~ Eliza March

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Celebrate - Seven Days of Valentines

Come celebrate Seven Days of Valentines with us on the SirenBookstrand Readers Group.
Please join the authors of Siren-BookStrand Publishing and share your funny, romantic, embarrassing and disastrous Valentine's stories this week.

Starting Sunday 7th February, loads of Siren Bookstrand authors will be dropping in to share their own Valentine's experiences and offer heaps of competitions and prizes.*

Here are list of authors and the genres:

Sunday 7th is Contemporary day with authors Barbra Novac, Jan Bowles,
Karenna Colcroft, & Sandy James

Monday 8th Romantic Suspense day authors visiting are Jane Leopold Quinn, Lavada Dee, Regan Taylor, & Laurie Ryan

Tuesday 9th don't miss Futuristic/Sci-fi day authors Jenika Snow, Julia Rachel Barrett, Raina James, & Scarlet Hyacinth

Wednesday 10th Fantasy/Paranormal day features Savanna Kougar, Kara Wills, Missy Martine, & Cassandra Pierce

Thursday 11th is Menage/GBLT day with authors J Rose Allister, Rachel Clark, Eliza March, Lesli Richardson, & Corinne Davies

Friday 12th Western/Historical day join Barbara Starmer, Lindsay Townsend, & Sandy Sullivan

On Saturday 13th join us, we'll be "talking about romance" in a wild free-for-all.

:-) Eliza

*maximum prize wins of 1 ebook and $5.00 Strandbucks per entrant for Seven Days of Valentines competitions applies.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Where do you find your stories from?

This is a question I get all the time from young writers and even non-writers. I’m not sure how to answer this question because I’m an Irish girl who lives with stories in me head. Where they come from … only the Gods know.

But for starting authors who need a little help, there are many ways to find a story. Look at this photo

The mind can see so many story just by this one picture…when I first looked at it I saw a pirate ship that had discovered this woman aboard – it’s very bad luck to have a woman on a ship – so they toss her overboard and she dies only to return as a ghost to haunt each and every one of them.

The second story I saw was a woman attempting to seduce a man she knows belongs to another…he belongs to her life long nemesis (a girl who use to taunt her in school) revenge!

The third tale to come to mind was a mermaid attempting to mate with a human to save her father’s kingdom of the sea. She’s been watching this human man for some time and has fallen in love with him from afar. When troubles stir below the sea she realizes if she can join the human’s with the mermaid kingdom her people can survive.

Now what tale do you see when you look at this picture?

Alright, let the fantasy of it draw you in and tell you its story…then tell us….

What stories were you told to write when you looked at it?

Now I don’t want to hear any excuses…I can hear you saying “Oh, you picked the easy picture…this one’s hard,” not so….Just look at it and add all those little gossip tidbits or articles you’ve read in the paper or in a mag...all those odd “things” you’ve heard throughout your life, put them to the picture.

When I saw this picture I instantly put the rumors of the 2012 into play. Supposedly in the month of December of that year (2 years from now) the planets are suppose to align and when they do the world will tilt causing major plate shifting …and we all die….It’s supposedly happened to the Earth before and is what killed the dinosaurs.

But I have to ask -- WHAT IF???

So, when I look at this photo I see a story…the alignment happens but what the human’s didn’t expect is that their planet remains whole and instead of crashing into the planets next to them, the Earth floats down to settle on a passing gigantic meteor that’s really a planet in its forming stages. Now, the challenge…how do they survive?

Now look at this picture again. Let your mind travel into a fantasy land and tell me what you see. Are there alien’s living on this forming meteor? Do they look human or are they flesh eaters? What kind of air do they breath? How are the human's breathing? What will be the travel between these two planets now sitting on one another? How are the humans affected by their world floating in the waters of this strange planet? Is that water drinkable or does it burn like acid? What kind of creatures live in those surrounding waters…can the humans survive?

So, I guess my answer to this question is this. When trying to come up with a story…start with a picture and then just allow the mind to fly free and create.

But I am wondering...when asked, how do you answer this question?


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Book Review - Dark Fever by Karen Marie Moning

I know my dear friend Eliza already gave a review of this series, but I'm so pleasantly surprised, I thought they were worth mentioning again.
After the Twilight incident, where I was found reading under blankets with a flashlight at 3 AM, I SWORE to all my friends and family that I would never get hooked on another series.  I've always been a vamp girl, so I figured I was safe with the Fae Fever book. Just one taste and I could walk away, no problem.
Sure. Right.
As soon as I met Jericho Barrens and V'Lane, the death by sex fae, I knew I'd been reeled in like a dumb fish. So all I can say is, if you like vulnerable kick ass heroines and sexy sexy bad maybe good and good maybe bad guys and plots that move fives miles a minute, with more twists and turns than an Irish back road, then you have to give this book a try. And see if you're any luckier than me - I'm already on book three and I just started last week - listening to the audio books on my way to and from work. And now you'll find me at my desk at work with a bud in one ear, anxious to find out what's happening next. These guys are so hot, I'm surprised my Ipod hasn't melted.
So I guess you could say, I'm as addicted to the fae as any silly mortal. Check out Dark Fever, and we'll see you under the blankets at 3 AM!
Don't forget extra batteries for your flashlight - or whatever else you might need batteries for under those blankets with two of the hottest guys between any pages. Did I say that? I'm blushing...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jayne Ann Krentz and Christina Dodd's writing tips

All writers are constantly looking to improve on their writing knowledge, whether they are unpublished and greener than Kermit the frog or New York Times Best selling authors. Today I have two well known authors sharing their tips for writers.

First I have Jayne Ann Krentz:


1) VOICE: Your writing voice is what sets you apart from every other writer out there. Give the same plot to ten different writers and you will get ten different stories. Why? The reason is that each writer has a unique story-telling voice and this voice is part of who you are. Discover your voice and hone it.

2) CORE STORY: Analyze your core story – every writer has one. Identify the themes and conflicts that compel you. It is the first step toward finding your place in today’s market.

3) KNOW THE MARKET: The only way to do this is by reading widely in the genre that compels you as a writer. Each genre is divided into a number of sub-genres. Find out where your core story fits. There is probably more than a single sub-genre for you.

4) PROPOSAL: The only thing that matters in a proposal package is your story. Keep all other materials brief. The cover letter should be no more than a couple of lines. It should tell the editor very clearly where your book fits into the market. The synopsis should be only one page and should read like back-cover copy, not like a traditional outline. Add the first 30 – 40 pages of your book to the package and send it out to specific editors and agents (i.e. put their names on the envelopes! Don’t just send the package to: Dear Editor. Get names!)

5) ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA: I highly recommend that you join this organization, even if your novel is not a romance. It is the best genre writers’ organization on the planet. You will learn more in six months -- thanks to the journal, local chapter meetings and the annual conference -- than you will learn on your own in six years in this business. You can check out RWA online at

Next we have Christina Dodd:

Christina Dodd's Five Tips:

Write the book you want to read.

Motivate your hero/heroine with big things from the past (torture, murder, betrayal, abandonment) and give him/her a big goal, one that means the difference between life and death, honor or dishonor.

If your heroine starts the book being a timid, bookish librarian in glasses, she had better become a wild, passionate, smart adventurer by THE END.

Torture your hero early & often; it develops his character, sort of like roasting nuts brings out the flavor.

Promo is not writing. Blogging is not writing. Tweeting and Facebook are not writing. Writing is producing pages on your book with the (self-imposed) deadline. Turn off the internet!

Thank you ladies for the insightful and informative tips for us writers. Now writers, you know who you are, get to it! :)


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Eliza asks an Editor...

(E) I'm going to ask Frances Sevilla, Faery Rose Editor with The Wild Rose Press to elaborate on "Showing vs Telling."
(F) ...Thanks, Eliza. I recently went into great detail with an author friend of mine, on the subject of 'showing' action in a story rather than 'telling' action. I've read three books lately by well-known authors who got lazy with their writing and fell into the 'telling' trap.

What do I mean by 'lazy'?  Well, you can TELL me, he was scared. But it's more exciting and satisfying for you to SHOW me how he felt. He trembled, the chill ran up his spine, and his heart pounded in his chest so loud he could hear it in his head. 

The one word 'scared' says it all. But as a reader, I want to know what scared felt like. I want to experience the action as if I was the one in the story feeling the fear.

Every time I see a single word describing an action or a feeling, I wonder if there's a more definitive way of getting the reader to experience it for him/herself.

Show me the pan is hot, show me the ice is cold, show me the sun is bright, the hero is bold, the heroine is angry.

The water dripped into the pan and sizzled to steam. That ice should be sharp, hard, and crystalline. The sun has to blind the reader, force his/her hand to shade his/her eyes. The hero should walk into the room and sit down without invitation. The heroine should glare at him and walk out.

That's showing...

That's a simplistic example, but I hope it helps define the difference between SHOWING and TELLING a story.
(E) Frances, great examples. Thanks for sharing that. Maybe you can return and discuss another writing topic for our readers.
(F) I'd love to. Thanks for inviting me today.