Sunday, June 24, 2012

An (Almost) Tale-Less Dragon

I was pleasantly surprised to learn A Dragon’s Seduction received the coveted Night Owl Top Pick Reviews stamp and a rating of (gasp) 5 stars from Night Owl Reviews. First, I’d like to give a HUGE thank-you shout out to Angibabi4 for the wonderful review of my novella. You can read it here if you like.

Now, this story is the one I like to think of as the (almost) Tale-less Dragon. It has had a bit of a journey before finding a home with Steel Magnolia Press. I’ve always enjoyed writing and reading paranormal novels. I’ve written a few short stories with shifters before and quite enjoyed the process. Werewolves and jaguars, I understood. But this story is a little different. The idea came after an editor (from another publisher I was submitting to a few years ago before I signed on with Steel Magnolia Press) mentioned she want to see dragons in her paranormal series. Of course, my first thought was, “Okay ... there’s a call for submissions, get after it before someone else does.”

Then my second thought was “Dragons? Huh? Are you kidding me?" You see, I’d never read (and actually still haven’t) a dragonshifter story before, and really, let’s face it, a dragon is a reptile. Ewww … scales and claws and just … eww!

My next thought was, “How in the world does one make a reptile sexy, loveable and perfect for the heroine?” Not very easily I found out.

Now, I’m one of those who’ll try (almost) anything once, so I began plotting. Thus, the Gatekeepers were born. Honorable, ultra-sexy, and very worthy of their heroines' love. And yes, at times a bit scaly. But hey, what man doesn’t have his flaws? The first novella, A Dragon’s Seduction, came easily enough. The hero is a water dragon and what better way to put his extraordinary skills to use than to make him a hot fireman? Of course, his heroine has a few skills of her own. One of which will kill him if he’s not careful.

During the time I was writing this story and contemplating making it a series, there was a medical emergency in my family, so the story, completed only in its first draft, sat on my hard drive collecting dust for the next two years or so. Writing was placed on the backburner, so to speak, as my family dealt with the situation at hand. The Gatekeepers series became a distant memory and the opportunity to “get after it before someone else did” passed. Edits were not finished. The story was not tightened and polished, and it did not get submitted as I had planned. My water dragon’s story was … well, dead in the water I supposed, and I just assumed my dragonshifter would be without a tale.

After joining Steel Magnolia Press, I began to work on my contemporary romance and really didn’t give much thought to the little novella still collecting dust on my hard drive until Jennifer Blake mentioned releasing her backlist. Hmmm … that gave me an idea. I had a nice, completed novella ready to edit and polish. But, was there still a market for it? Would readers even be interested? Who, if anybody, reads dragonshifter romances? So I tossed the idea of releasing the finished story around with the other Magnolias and, after a bit of encouragement from the other authors, I decided to go for it. Being the logical girl that I am, I thought, “What have I got to lose? The story is finished. If it doesn’t sell or there isn’t a market for the genre anymore then that would be okay too.” No harm, no foul.

At the time I still hadn’t decided to finish the other three Gatekeepers' stories. After all, I didn’t even know if there would be any interest in the first one. But, after seeing some very lovely reviews from readers and since several readers have asked when the next Gatekeeper story is coming out, I decided it was time to give each of my other dragonshifters a tale as well.

So to answer the readers' question, I’m hoping to release the second Gatekeeper story by August or September 2012.

Now that you’ve heard the trials my first Gatekeeper novella went through before publication, I’m sure you can see why the 5-star review and Night Owl Top Pick stamp is very special to me. After all, A Dragon’s Seduction was nearly a Tale-less Dragon.

Tamelia Tumlin has worked with several online publishers, but is now writing exclusively for Steel Magnolia Press. Juggling motherhood, teaching and writing is a challenge, but one she welcomes to pursue her passion. Her romance novels range from sweet and sassy to dark and dangerous.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June Bride Celebration - June 20-21

You're invited -- save up to 80% on 8 Bridal Romance titles!
99 cents each
June 20-21

Wedding bells, bouquets, dresses and quilts! What's more romantic than a wedding? And we know these weddings will all go off without a hitch. Right?

Participating authors include Jennifer Blake, Pat McLinn, Sandra Edwards, Shadonna Richards, and Geralyn Dawson. Check their pages for steep discounts on other titles.

Pieces of Dreams
by Jennifer Blake

(REG $2.99)

Amelia "Melly" Bennington's dream of married bliss comes undone when she mistakenly kisses the wrong man -- not her staid, hard-working bridegroom but the dashing sea captain who is his twin brother.

As the wedding draws near, she is torn by long-held affection for one man and sensual attraction to the other. Animosity between the two men reaches such a fever pitch that a tragic break seems inevitable -- unless Melly can force her unruly heart to decide which brother to favor and which to send away forever.

Novella. 30,000 words -- about 100 pages. 

Originally published by Berkley in THE QUILTING CIRCLE anthology and by Jove in the WITH LOVE anthology.


The Rent-A-Groom
by Jennifer Blake
(REG $2.99)

Even though Gina cancels her wedding mere days before the ceremony, she's determined to keep her reservation for a famous honeymoon suite in Dallas.

Enter Race, a Texas cowboy who cleans up rather well, and who declares himself her substitute groom for the week.

Thinking her best friend hired Race, Gina goes along with the fun - at first. But is Race really who he seems? Why is Gina's ex-fiance staying at the same hotel? And just how far is Gina prepared to go with Race and that model-worthy face of his on their "honeymoon"?

The Wedding Series

Prelude to a Wedding (Book 1)
by Patricia McLinn
(REG $2.99) 

The Wedding Series
You are cordially invited ... to join the celebration as college friends embark on the greatest education of all -- falling in love.

Charming Paul Monroe has the Peter Pan thing down pat. As an antique toy appraiser, even his work involves play. Which is fine, unless your job is to keep his Chicago business running smoothly . . . and all that charm -- and sexiness -- is aimed at you.

Organization and reliability are Bette Wharton's hallmarks. She handles the toughest clients with aplomb, until Paul provides a challenge that goes way beyond the office. She has a plan and a timetable. How can she let herself fall for Mr. Live-for-the-Moment when all he offers is Love-for-the-Moment?

Wedding Party (Book 2)
by Patricia McLinn
(REG $3.79)

Michael Dickinson is delighted to be best man at his friend's wedding - but there's one complication. Tris Donlin is a bridesmaid. He's wanted her for longer than he cares to remember, but to her, he's just good old Michael - college pal, confidant, best buddy ... Would a few days of wedding celebration let him finally get her out of his system once and for all?

Her cousin Paul's wedding party has Tris's head and heart full of memories of college days with him, Michael and their friend Grady. Grady was her college crush and Michael was her buddy. Now that they're all grown up, my how things have changed.

She's certain she's found the best man for her . . . if only she can convince him.


The Marriage Bargain
by Sandra Edwards
(REG $4.99)

Camille Chandler is a tabloid journalist whose career is right on track--until her boss sees a curious ad in the L.A. Trades.

Wanted: Single actress for an extended gig abroad.

France's mega-rich playboy Julian de Laurent is up to something and Camille's boss expects her to find out what. Who knew the eccentric gazillionaire was looking to hire a temporary wife?

When Camille refuses to accept Julian's proposal--and secretly write a juicy tell-all about the de Laurent family--she's fired and left financially destitute, forcing her to entertain Julian's proposal for real.

But what'll happen at the end of the contract period, after Camille has spent six months as the wife of a man she learns is capable of stealing her heart?

Approximately 60,000 words. About 236 pages.

This is a re-release of The Marriage Bargain, originally published in August, 2010. This version has an ALL NEW ending.

The Bride Series

The Bride Series (5 Bestselling Novels in 1 Volume)
by Shadonna Richards
(REG $4.99) 

Over 87,000 copies of the individual titles sold in 9 months!

Emma Wiggins is about to marry her heart-stopping gorgeous boss, CEO Evan Fletcher, in seven days--too bad he doesn't know it yet! Desperate to fulfill her ailing grandfather's last wish to see her settle down, she tells him a little white lie on his deathbed about being engaged to her secret crush--commitment-phobic Evan. Can love blossom in the most unlikely situation? 

Jody Anders' adoptive grandparents surprised her with a short one-day visit from New York and they can't wait to meet Gregory, her wonderful new husband with whom she eloped. Trouble is, she forgot to mention that he jilted her at the altar and is no longer in the picture. Will her gorgeous neighbour, Jake help her out? 

What happens when a lonely matchmaker unexpectedly falls in love with a forbidden client-- a gorgeous, high-flying CEO with a secret past? Read the story of Sophie Wilson and Carlos Bradley III. 

Jessica Mills wasn't looking for love, but love found her...while vacationing on the sunny island of Jamaica. Undercover billionaire, James Carrington thought he was through with serious relationships...that was until he met darling Jessica. 

Getting a man is one thing...keeping him is a whole different story!

Recently wed to her hot boss, CEO Evan Fletcher, Emma Wiggins-Fletcher thinks her sizzling hubby is avoiding spending quality time with her...that is until Emma discovers that her pregnancy test is positive.

A baby changes everything. Jetsetter Evan discovers his new wife is pregnant and cancels an important business trip and prepares to rearrange his workaholic life to pamper his newlywed princess. Emma is over the moon about the new special affection from her spouse and her ill grandfather. Gramps has been given six more months to live, and he is so delighted about the baby news, he plans a surprise for the couple.

Too bad her world is turned upside down when she discovers the pregnancy test was false. Emma has been enjoying Evan's renewed attention and he's already shifted his life around to be daddy to their unborn. How could she possibly break the news to her husband and to her ailing grandfather without breaking their hearts? Still, pretending to be pregnant is a whole different story and can only last so long before they find out the truth.

The Bad Luck Wedding Series -
Books 3-7 Also on Sale!

The Bad Luck Wedding Dress (Book 1)
by Geralyn Dawson
(REG $3.99) 

Finalist for Romance Writers of America's RITA award!

They call it the Bad Luck Wedding Dress, and now Jenny Fortune's dressmaking clientele has begun staying away in droves. Yet, Jenny is sure that she can turn her luck around if she wears the dress herself at her very own wedding--all she needs is a groom.

Trace McBride is an attractive widower raising three little girls--or outlaws--and he badly needs a woman's loving touch. Jenny isn't sure she knows how to win a marriage proposal, but she is willing to take off her spectacles, let down her golden hair, and even give flirtation a try. When seduction turns to passion, Jenny risks everything--even her life--in the hope that she'll be lucky in love.

by Geralyn Dawson
(REG $4.99) 

Finalist for Romance Writers of America's RITA Award!

Sexy Tye McBride steers clear of marriage hungry females, but when the McBride Menaces, his three incorrigible nieces, need protecting, he's willing to do just about anything to save them--even take a bride in name only.

Bakery owner Claire Donovan is dead-set against marriage, but when Tye makes her a proposal she can't refuse, the marriage of convenience is on.

It's their bad luck that sometimes, convenience isn't very convenient.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Appeal of Romance

Ah, romance, it’s everywhere. It shows up in ancient plays and troubadour tales, in grand opera, in thrillers and suspense stories, in western and sci-fi adventures, paranormal epics and even hard-boiled mysteries. It is an important element in thousands upon thousands of movies, giving light to the darkest of dramas and sanity to the zaniest of comedies. If romance lurks in nearly every story, why shouldn't novels dedicated to the subject be wildly popular?

And yet, just what is their appeal? It’s not the love scenes -- the sex -- alone, though romances have been labeled “soft porn for women.” Unfortunately, those making this claim can’t recognize the eternal theme of romance novels for concentrating on the emotions which drive them.

The purpose of love and its accompanying desire is to forge a pair bond that will lead to successful procreation. The eternal question -- the one which animates romance novels -- is whether any particular pair bond will prove strong enough, permanent enough, to insure the wellbeing of the children born of it. Romance novels, then, are about the human relationships which allow survival of our species. Is it any wonder that women, the gender most intimately concerned with childbearing and rearing the next generation, should be enthralled by stories which help point the way to this essential happy ending?

It’s as simple, and as life-affirming, as that.

Since publishing her first book at age 27, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jennifer Blake has gone on to write over 65 historical and contemporary novels in multiple genres. She brings the story-telling power and seductive passion of the South to her stories, reflecting her 8th-generation Louisiana heritage. Jennifer lives with her husband in northern Louisiana.