Saturday, March 28, 2009

And the winner of the "I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS" gift basket is...



Can I have a cinnamon roll, please? (Not as healthy as a drum roll, but much tastier):

Raven99!

Congratulations! You are the winner of March’s “I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS” gift basket filled with historical romances by Kim Lenox, Lisa Marie Wilkinson, Victoria Dahl, Stacey Kayne, and yours truly, TJ Bennett! Not to mention the $20 gift certificate from Amazon.com and even a book light by which to read your collection of new books. Raven99, you have until April 1st to contact me at my e-mail, tjb @ tjbennett . com (no spaces). If I don't hear from you by then, I'll select another winner from all eligible participants.

This has been a great contest, folks. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. If you loved this contest but didn't win, I'll have another one starting up on April 8. In the meantime, if you are interested in hearing about events here, be sure to sign up for my newsletter at the top of the page. I'll notify you of contests, new releases, reviews, or booksignings that might be of interest to you.

The winner of April’s contest will get a “COFFEE, CHOCOLATE & ROMANCE” gift basket filled with a $25 gift certificate for his or her choice of See’s Candy chocolates and a one-pound bag of coffee beans for a delightful “coffee and chocolate” buzz while reading one’s favorite romance novels. Confirmed guests are listed below.

April 8 Unusual Historicals blog founder Carrie Lofty, the Kensington Zebra Debut author of What a Scoundrel Wants, an intriguing tale of Will Scarlett and his lady love.

April 15 Madeline Hunter, best-selling (New York Times, Publishers Weekly, USA Today), multi-published, and RITA-award winning author of historical romance.

April 22 Anna Louise Lucia, Romantic Times BOOKReview top pick (4.5 stars) and Medallion Press author of romantic suspense.

April 29 Emily Bryan, multi-published author of light-hearted historical romance.

(Deanna Raybourn has already confirmed for May 6th).

One of my goals is to introduce you to not only established authors, but rising stars and debut authors as well. I'll keep brainstorming and see what other combinations I can come up with in the future. Until next time, this is your humble servant, TJ Bennett, signing off.

TJB
http://www.tjbennett.com/
http://myspace.com/tjbennettauthor (friend me!)
The Legacy (available now) When secrets destroy, can love live on?
The Promise (May 2009) In a dangerous world, sometimes the greatest risk is love....

Friday, March 27, 2009

TODAY last official day to comment for the "I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS" gift basket!

Okay, folks, this is it. The last official comment date for the gift basket. Tomorrow, I'll be pulling the name from all eligible entries and awarding the "I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS" gift basket! See a picture of the basket here. See our guest hosts for the month of March here: Kim Lenox, Lisa Marie Wilkinson, Victoria Dahl, and Stacey Kayne. See something to make you snort soda through your nose here (not for the contest, but just for a laugh).

Leave a comment for at least TWO authors on the list (the more authors you leave comments for, the better your odds of winning) and come back March 28. The winner's name should be posted by the evening (Saturdays are a bit hectic at my house, but I guarantee unless the Internet goes down, I'll get that winner's name up by that evening). The winner will have until April 1st to contact me through my website address (www.tjbennett.com) and let me know where to send the basket or I will have to pull another name. (Visit my contest page for all the details.)

Good luck!

And be sure to check back frequently as I work feverishly on booking other guests for my blog.

News Flash!: I've just confirmed the incredible Deanna Raybourn, RITA winner and author of the Julia Grey mystery series, as my guest host for May 6th. Something to look forward to, and don't you just love that Nicholas Brisbane? Sighhhh....

TJB

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Celebrate the RITA with Colleen Thompson!


Here is a special message from my friend, Colleen Thompson, who is celebrating her wonderful RWA RITA nomination. Don't miss out on this one if you love free books!

TJB

FROM COLLEEN THOMPSON:

Dear friends and readers,

This year, more than 1200 romance novels of all sorts were entered in the RITA competition, the premier, peer-judged contest of the Romance Writers of America. Yesterday, I was thrilled to get the call telling me that my book TRIPLE EXPOSURE has finaled in the romantic suspense category.

I'm honored to be listed among some of my favorite authors (many of them friends), and more than that, I'm in the mood to celebrate with a big, fat Share the News Contest. All you need to do is visit my website at www.colleen-thompson.com and say hello via e-mail *or* stop by my blog at http://tinyurl.com/dmbkjy and post a comment beneath the RITA announcement, and you can win a matched, autographed pair of any Colleen Thompson book of your choosing, one for you and another signed for a friend or family member you feel might enjoy sharing the reading of a romantic thriller with you. Contest closes on April 15th, and you're welcome to share this announcement with a reader buddy.

I'm also excited to announce that some time in 2010, I'll be appearing in a special 2 in 1 edition for Silhouette Romantic Suspense with one of my all-time favorite authors, New York Times bestseller (and fellow RITA finalist) Sharon Sala. I'll let you know more about that and an upcoming full-length release when the time comes.

Have a wonderful spring, and I hope to hear from you!

Colleen Thompson
BENEATH BONE LAKE, Love Spell Romantic Suspense, Coming June 2009
www.colleen- thompson. com

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

RT Book review gives THE PROMISE 4 Stars!


Hey, today is hoppin', folks. Just found out RT BOOKReviews just gave my second novel, THE PROMISE, a 4 star review! Woot woot!

Here's what they said: "Passion, intrigue and romance distinguish this wonderful tale. The well-defined characters and fast pace will keep your attention from the first page to the last. Passion and humor are seamlessly inserted into this tale of love and adventure, and the emotional conclusion is very satisfying."

Well, yay! I'll take it!

TJB

Colleen Thompson a RITA nominee!


I'm thrilled to announce that my good friend and critique partner, Colleen Thompson, has nabbed a nomination in the Best 2009 Romantic Suspense category of the Romance Writers of America RITA awards for her book Triple Exposure!

Go, Colleen! If you'll remember, last month Colleen was a guest on IMHO telling us what romance means to her. Several other chapter mates from West Houston RWA have snagged awards as well. If you are interested in seeing the whole list, go here.

Congratulations, all!

TJB

IMHO welcomes western romance author Stacey Kayne!




Stacey Kayne brings her love of American history to vivid life with stories set in the wild west, featuring heroic women and the stubborn men strong enough to love them. Stacey’s unpublished works garnered four Golden Heart finals and over sixty regional contest wins. Her debut Harlequin novels Mustang Wild and Bride of Shadow Canyon kicked off her Wild and Bride series in 2007. Mustang Wild took second place to Linda Lael Miller for "Best Western Historical of 2007" in Love Western Romances’ reader poll. The second book in both series, Maverick Wild and The Gunslinger's Untamed Bride (which is Stacey’s contribution to the “I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS” basket), were released in 2008. The hero of Maverick Wild , Chance Morgan, is currently a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award nominee for "Best Historical KISS Hero." RT BOOKreviews says, "Kayne's series is fast-paced and laced with humor and action as it rushes headlong to an exciting conclusion."

The final book in her Wild Trilogy, Mountain Wild, will be released this July. The third installment of her Bride series arrives this June as part of an anthology, Stetsons, Spring & Wedding Rings. Residing on her California ranch near the base of the Sierra Mountains with her husband of twenty years and their two teenage sons, Stacey is fast at work on a new western historical series for 2010.

IMHO: Did I say the woman was prolific, or what? Stacey, welcome to IMHO, and please tell us your “story behind the story.”

SK: Hi TJ! Thanks so much for inviting me to share my story behind the story. The initial premise of my upcoming novella, "Courted by the Cowboy," part of the Stetsons, Spring & Wedding Rings anthology, was inspired by a true story. I had just begun to dabble in writing when I heard about a local woman who’d ended up in California as the result of a house fire in Montana in the early 1900’s. Eighteen years old and working as a housekeeper in a boardinghouse, she’d accidentally knocked a kerosene lamp into a basket of linens. No fire-retardant fabrics back then, the room was quickly ablaze and she suffered burns to her legs and hands.

The rural Montana community didn’t have a physician capable of treating such burns—not without the loss of her legs. The town sent out a wire asking for help. The nearest hospital willing to treat her was in San Francisco, and arrangements were made to send her to California by train. Back then a caboose was coupled at the back of each train and the only doors on the standard cars were on the ends, the passage too narrow for a stretcher to get through. Bound to the stretcher with blankets, she was hoisted up by a number of men and slid in through a window. Her treatment was a success and after her release from the hospital she found a teaching job outside of San Francisco. She met and married a farmer and eventually found her way to our small agricultural town where she taught school until she retired.

I was fascinated by the imagery of this young woman being bound to a stretcher and the fear she must have felt as that window swallowed her up into the belly of the train, transporting her hundred of miles from her home. Those images started the manuscript originally titled Morning Star. The moment my hero stepped onto the scene, he took over the plot line (as you can see in my website excerpt), adding new twists and turns to the story line. When I was asked for my next Bride story to be part of the spring anthology, I did some drastic down-sizing, and wouldn’t you know—the loading scene at the train station was the first to go… *sniffle*. I hated to lose the scenes that sparked the story. I’ve thought about offering those lost pages as “Deleted Scenes” on my website.

IMHO: Stacey, I think that would be a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing this. What a fascinating “story behind the story.” Okay, folks, be sure to leave a comment for Stacey and at least one other March guest author to be eligible to win the “I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS” gift basket. Let Stacey know if you like reading deleted scenes on an author’s website or knowing what happens to the characters after the book is over. The contest ends March 27, and the gift basket filled with fabulous autographed historical romances from our guest hosts and a $20 gift card from Amazon.com (to feed your addiction) will be awarded to one lucky winner on March 28! You’re just days away from literary bliss, gentle readers, so comment away!

Stacey has brought up a great point about scenes that wind up on the cutting room floor. As it happens, authors rarely know which idea will spark a book—and sometimes the instigation for the whole story gets cut from the final version. I know it has happened to me. That’s why next month's theme is going to be "The scene/story/book you (the reader) almost didn't read." Every author has that story which sometimes proves difficult to write or has a bumpy road to publication. I’ll share my story over at PASIC’s To Be Read blog on April 3. It involves a scene in the first draft of my May 2009 release, The Promise, which turned out had to go…until I found a way to rescue it. I’ve already confirmed veteran historical romance author Madeline Hunter, and Medallion Press author Anna Louise Lucia, as two of my guests here at IMHO in April who will tell us about their near-misses. I’ll let you know the rest of the lineup as soon as I have confirmations. So be sure to come back soon for more details, and don’t forget to leave a comment for Stacey Kayne!


TJB

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A picture of the "I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS" Basket!


Just wanted to remind you that our final guest host on IMHO, Stacey Kayne, will be up on March 25, 2009. Keep leaving comments for all of March's guests, and here's a picture of what you're playing for: The "I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS" Basket in all it's glory. All this, and a $20 gift card from Amazon.com, too! And the lucky winner will get a sneak peak at Kim Lenox's So Still the Night. Yep, you'll get an uncorrected proof and a chance to read the book before it hits the streets, warts and all. These often turn out to be collector's items, folks.

And just confirmed: I'm thrilled to announce that one of my absolute favorite historical romance authors, Madeline Hunter, will be a guest host for April's giveaway contest. Madeline's wonderful BY DESIGN series actually inspired me to start writing historical romance. Still confirming my other guests, but I'll announce them as I get them signed up. We'll have a good mix of historical and contemporary, and an interesting theme: "The scene/story/book you almost didn't read." (Every writer has that story that sometimes proves difficult to write, or has a bumpy road to publication).

See you Wednesday!

TJB

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

IMHO welcomes Victoria Dahl!



IMHO is delighted to welcome one of my favorite new historical authors, Victoria Dahl. Victoria exploded onto the romance scene to rave reviews with her first book, To Tempt a Scotsman, her Golden Heart winning historical, in 2007, followed by her next historical, A Rake’s Guide to Pleasure, in 2008. In the interim, she also sold two contemporary romances (Talk Me Down and Start Me Up) and contributed to a historical anthology, Lords of Desire, featuring Virginia Henley, which she’ll be placing in the “I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS” basket today. Her fifth book, One Week as Lovers, will be released in July 2009, and she’s got several others simmering on the fire as well (lord knows when the woman sleeps). One thing both publishers and readers know about Victoria: this self-professed “naughty girl” can write (and write fast)!

Eloisa James and Connie Brockway sing her praises, while Romantic Times BOOKReviews says "Dahl brings a highly sensual, emotional and moving story to the pages with aplomb. Her clever plotting and engaging characters drive the story forward at a fast clip, and the depth of emotions will keep you enthralled."

IMHO: Right on. If you haven’t read Victoria’s sexy, emotional, heart-wrenching and laugh-out-loud funny books, now is your chance. I can’t recommend her enough. Welcome, Victoria, and tell us the story behind one of your bazillion stories!

ViD: Thanks, TJ, for giving me this chance to tell the story behind the story. I’ve chosen to talk about my anthology contribution to Lords of Desire, “Lessons in Pleasure.”

Some of you may have seen me online in the past, arguing with people about female sexuality in previous centuries. This is one of my hot-button issues. I love naughty girls, and I firmly reject the notion that a woman needs to find true love to feel desire. I also reject the argument that all Victorian or Regency women would have been blind to sexual desire until offered enlightenment by their husbands (in the form of the magical phallus of true love, of course). Ridiculous.

Female bodies were the same two hundred years ago as they are now. Some women had very healthy sex drives long before they ever married, just as they do now. And really, there wasn’t much to do at night back then. I expect there was plenty of “self-pleasuring” going on.

But I wholeheartedly acknowledge that there were many, many women who entered into marriage with no clue what to expect. In fact, the thought kind of haunts me. How terrifying it must have been to lose your virginity when you’d never even seen a man’s bare arms. Can you imagine? Eek! It makes me shudder (and not in the good way). Seriously, when you really think about it, the whole idea of sex is bizarre and slightly disgusting, even when you’re thoroughly enjoying it. I’d hate to have it sneak up on me unawares.

Before I wrote “Lessons in Pleasure,” the story had been on my mind for a long time. What would it have been like for an innocent Victorian woman to marry? Even assuming the husband was a wonderful man, how would a newlywed couple begin to work through this? Even if they loved each other, could she ever learn to be comfortable with a naked – and very aroused – man?

It could’ve been funny (and someday I might write that story too!), but all I could think of was the heartache of it. The mortification of the wife. The worry of the husband. And the guilt they’d both feel. I decided to put my heroine in this situation—with a true hero, of course—and find out if love could turn an imperfect start into a beautiful happy ending.

So I hope you’ll consider reading my first, honest-to-God, innocent heroine. It probably won’t happen again soon, so get this story while you can! I have four more releases in the next year, and not one of those girls is pure of heart or body. Write what you know, after all. But if you’ve read “Lessons in Pleasure,” please let me know if I managed to pull it off!

IMHO: You definitely pulled it off in my humble opinion, Victoria, and thanks for sharing your story with us. We’ll look forward to many more, but for goodness’ sake, try to get some rest! In the meantime, fangirls (and boys), leave a comment for Victoria. Do you prefer reading about the innocent heroine, or the heroine who knows what she wants and how to get it, too? Remember to leave a comment for at least one other author during the contest period as well—the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. That basket is looking mighty healthy, and I’m hoping to get a picture up of it this week.

TJB

Monday, March 16, 2009

Visit with Vicki (Victoria Dahl) on March 18th!

Just a reminder that IMHO's "I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS" gift basket contest continues on Wednesday, March 18, 2009, with that wonderful rising star of romance, naughty girl Victoria Dahl! If you haven't read Victoria's hot, sexy, funny books, you are in for a treat. Be sure to come back and visit with Vicki on Wednesday.

TJB

Oh, where or where has the distribution gone...

If you're an author, you'll want to know about this.

One of my critique partners, Colleen Thompson, has posted an informative interview over on her blog with Joni Rodgers (another of my critique partners) at Boxing the Octopus with Dorchester Publishing's marketing manager, Erin Galloway. Erin gives her honest, informative perspective regarding the impact of the current economic climate on marketing efforts, sales, and distribution (including the impact of the Anderson News collapse).

Check it out.

TJB

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Don't drink a soda while reading this one...

...because you will surely shoot it through your nose onto the keyboard, and that will not only hurt like the dickens, but will cost you in replacement computer parts.

You may have read these already, but they bear repeating. I'm passing this on from one of my Yahoo e-mail lists. Enjoy!

TJB
________

Once again, "The Washington Post" has published the winning submissions
to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to
supply alternative meanings for common words.


The winners are:

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you
absentmindedly answer the door in yo ur nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n), olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are
run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by
proctologists.

13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that,
when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by
Jewish men.

The Washington Post's Style Invitational also asked readers to take any
word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing
one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are this year's winners:

1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that
stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately,
shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of
getting laid.

3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the
subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and
the person who doesn't get it.

6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

9. Karmageddon (n): its like, when everybody is sending off all these
really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's
like, a serious bummer.

10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day
consuming only things that are good for you.

11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter
when they come at you rapidly..

13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after
you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your
bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

15. Caterpallor (n ..): The color you turn after finding half a grub in
the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature:

16. Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an a--hole.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

THE LEGACY a Gayle Wilson finalist!


And the good news for The Legacy just keeps coming. I was honored to learn the novel is a finalist in the historical category of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence contest. This is a prestigious bookseller/librarian judged contest. Winners will be notified in April.

Ya HOO!

TJB

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

IMHO welcomes debut author Lisa Marie Wilkinson!



IMHO is pleased to welcome a fellow Medallion Press debut author, Lisa Marie Wilkinson. Lisa Marie began her writing career as a lyricist, working in collaboration with composer Marti Schwartz and receiving a number of awards for songwriting. Lisa Marie also acted as a music critic and reviewer, all the while devoting her “spare time” to working on the idea that became her first completed novel, Fire At Midnight, an historical romance set on the Cornish coast in 1703 and featuring a brooding hero, a windswept lighthouse, and lots and lots of atmosphere and sensual tension. She'll be putting Fire at Midnight in our giveaway basket. Her second historical romance, Stolen Promise, will be available from Medallion Press in March 2010.

Lisa Marie's fiction has been honored with awards from over 60 (!) writing contests, including the Maryland Writer's Association Novel Contest, the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest, and the Daphne du Maurier award for unpublished writers.

A native of Ohio, she grew up in California and now lives in Tennessee. And, apparently, not only were our heroines separated at birth (despite not having read each other’s work before publication, we were both amused to discover how our heroines found themselves in remarkably similar circumstances in the beginning chapter of our books), Lisa and I were also separated at birth, as I spent many years in California and my family hails from Tennessee. Convinced that great minds think alike, I knew I had to have Lisa join us at IMHO for our “I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS” gift basket giveaway this month.

IMHO: Welcome, Lisa, and tell us what the “story behind the story” is for this wonderful book.

LMW: Thanks, TJ! It is my pleasure to share the “story behind the story” as it applies to my debut historical romance novel, Fire at Midnight.

The setting of my book is 1703 England—the Southern coast of England to be specific—where smugglers match wits with Custom authorities and evil doers known as ship wreckers use a variety of methods to lure unsuspecting ships to their doom upon the Eddystone Rocks. The hero of Fire at Midnight is smuggler SebastiĆ©n Falconer, a Frenchman with a chip on his shoulder whose burning desire for vengeance against the informant responsible for the seizure of his ship places him on the path toward a fateful confrontation with Rachael Penrose, the woman wrongly credited with being the informant.

The “story behind the story” is that the fate of the Eddystone Lighthouse as depicted in Fire at Midnight is a true event. A climactic scene in the book features a violent windstorm that imperils the lives of the lead characters and sweeps the lighthouse from its rock perch, leaving only the iron rods that once anchored the beacon affixed to the rock.

In the story, Henry Winstanley, the designer and inventor of the structure, journeys to the lighthouse on the night of the fateful storm and is swept into the sea with his creation. Winstanley’s fate and that of his lighthouse as depicted in Fire at Midnight are recorded history, but the scenes featuring SebastiĆ©n and Rachael are wholly fictional and resulted after I asked myself the question, “what could be happening to my characters inside the lighthouse as the storm outside is building that would rival the drama and danger of the Great Storm itself?”

The scenes featuring Winstanley interacting with other characters within in the novel are fictional, of course, but my idea to use the destruction of the lighthouse as a featured scene in my novel occurred to me after extensive research on the Eddystone lighthouse and The Great Storm of 1703. The unusual structure not only made a perfect sanctuary for my hero and heroine, it also provided the perfect setting for scenes of romance and suspense. The history of the Eddystone Lighthouse is the fascinating “story behind the story” of Fire at Midnight.

IMHO: Thanks, Lisa Marie! It's always so interesting to hear what inspired an author to write a particular story. Thanks for being our guest today. Folks, be sure to leave a comment for Lisa Marie. Do you enjoy novels that feature real historical events as a central theme? Let her know for a chance to be entered into our contest this month for the "I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS" gift basket giveaway.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Wednesday with Lisa Marie

Just a quick reminder to come back on Wednesday when Lisa Marie Wilkinson, debut author with Medallion Press, will be with us and discussing the true life event that sparked her historical romance set on the windy, dramatic, storm-tossed Cornish coast of 1703. Think lighthouses and brooding heroes. Yum. Be sure to join us then!

TJB

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

IMHO welcomes Kim Lenox!



IMHO is pleased to kick off our March gift basket giveaway full of historical romances autographed by their authors with today's lovely and talented (and genuinely nice) guest host, historical paranormal author Kim Lenox . Our theme for this month is the “Story Behind the Story.”

Kim writes heroes worth waiting (forever) for. Her Shadow Guards series features immortal heroes who have existed from the beginning of time and lived a thousand “lives” already — and the women who can make time stand still for them. Her richly detailed Victorian-set romances feature elements of “steampunk” (which she explains is “a sort of a funky re-imagined Victorian era, with a high emphasis on quirk and gadgets” ala H. G. Wells or THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN).

NIGHT FALLS DARKLY, her debut novel, has been nominated by Romantic Times Booklover’s Magazine for Best First Historical Romance of 2008-2009 and was a featured alternate selection with both the Doubleday Book Club and Rhapsody Book Clubs. Kim will put an autographed copy of Night Falls Darkly AND an ARC (advance reader copy) of her second novel, So Still the Night, into the “I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS” basket. Her third book in the Shadow Guard series will be released in 2010.

IMHO: Welcome, Kim. So tell us, what’s the “story behind the story”?

KL: Thanks, TJ. Hello all! Well as TJ mentioned, I’m Kim Lenox, and I write historical paranormal romance. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? Try saying it fast, five times in a row.

The title of my debut release with Signet Eclipse is NIGHT FALLS DARKLY, and my upcoming May release is titled SO STILL THE NIGHT. The titles convey what you’ll find between the covers of my books. The stories run a bit dark, and have common themes. As a reader, you’ll be introduced to my immortal Shadow Guards, who hunt down the most evil and most morally deteriorated of society’s mortal souls. There are murders—true to life, historical murders. There are cameos by famous personages like Queen Victoria and Bram Stoker. There’s fog and “spooky”! Best of all, each of the books follow unlikely, against-all-odds love stories.

Both novels are set in 1880s Victorian London, which was an amazing kaleidoscope of industry, wealth, color and opulence. On the opposite end of life’s spectrum, the city was also a place of crime, unimaginable poverty and misery. I’ve always been fascinated by the contrast of light and dark, by the beautiful superficiality of status and wealth—and what lies beneath. I wanted to create characters that could maneuver in both of those worlds, characters who could take my reader from the well-lit and luxuriously appointed drawing rooms of Mayfair, into the darker paths and dangerous alleyways of the East End. I needed strong characters. Brave characters. Characters who could face the darkness they would find in those streets, and the evil that to this day defies rational explanation. Specifically, Jack the Ripper (NIGHT FALLS DARKLY) and the Thames Torso Murderer (SO STILL THE NIGHT).

Why would I even want to go down those dark roads? Those who know me will tell you I’m no morbid soul. But still…I was drawn to that shadowy place.

The “why” question is an easy one to answer. It’s because I believe, wholeheartedly, in redemption and in the Happily Ever After. No, not for Jack—for him, I wanted justice. But where does light shine most brightly? Most brilliantly? In the dark.

It’s in the worst of circumstances where true heroes are revealed. And that’s why you’ll find me, most happily, writing in the dark.

IMHO: Thanks, Kim, for telling us the story behind the story. Fascinating stuff! And, dear readers, be sure to leave a message for Kim. Do you like going dark places in your books (as long as you get a Happily Ever After)? Let Kim know for a chance to be entered into our contest this month for the "I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS" gift basket giveaway.

TJB

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Google vs. Authors Guild Settlement

I just wanted to pass along some information I think may affect many of the authors who visit my blog. One of my well-informed critique partners, Joni Rodgers, has posted a link on her and Colleen Thompson's blog Boxing the Octopus regarding the Google settlement with Authors Guild that provides info on the settlement and a claim form authors and publishers can file to claim any works copied by Google. Authors cannot be paid any resulting use fees unless they first file the claim, and there is a deadline.

The post contains a link to the claim form, and it is really easy to do. I knew Google had scanned THE LEGACY, so I went in and claimed it. You can do a search once you register for any of your works.

Anyone interested in protecting their rights should probably go take a look.

TJB