Saturday, March 30, 2013

Imprints - New Release from Natalie Acres

Coffee with ColetteHappy Saturday, dear readers! With this being a holiday weekend, I have a special Saturday edition of Coffee with Colette! Natalie Acres has just dropped by to tell you about the hottest new release from Siren Publishing, Imprints! This book has everything: Westerns, romance, werewolves - and are those sex toys from a bygone era? They just may be! Come check it out... 
 ~Colette

Imprints - A brand new wolf-shifter series debuts today from Siren-Bookstrand and Natalie Acres:


Two pack masters discover an unyielding love in one woman by altering customs and forming new traditions destined to change the Wyoming Territory forever. Imprinting upon and sharing a lover, the Alphas realize their packs must join together, but they will face great opposition when their chosen mate is confronted with a wrenching decision.
Pack masters Frank Smith and Jock Corrigan aren't enemies, but they aren't exactly friends. Still, their similar fates have been altered by an unusual union they cannot deny. Their relationship with Carla Cassidy forces several wolves to make their independent choices. One will stand with the newly formed pack, but another will fall victim to his own selfish needs and motives. A group of new shifters will emerge and change the course of history, but not before the expanding pack's goals are tested and tried.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Desires from Holly J. Gill

Coffee with ColetteGood morning, my dear readers! Here's hoping this week is proceeding more smoothly than last. Although Friday night did end on a high note for me: I signed my second contract with Secret Cravings Publishing for a new release this July! But that is a topic for another time.
This week on Coffee with Colette, I am joined by fellow Secret Cravings Publishing author Holly Jody Gill, and with what she and Nikki Blaise have cooked up, the coffee isn't the only thing that's steaming! In fact, she has two excerpts for you—one  scorcher I've included at the end that should come with a warning: Read at your own risk! 
 ~Colette

Desires—a place where fantasies are made flesh and dreams become real. From bondage and dominance to being a pampered pet, Desires can provide it with bells on, if that’s your kink.

Stacie Clifford’s only desire is to regain her sexual confidence after her recent escape from an abusive marriage. She joins Desires looking for re-education in the joys of her body. There is only one condition; her contract states emotional attraction between tutor and student is forbidden. Stacie is fine with that; her heart is so battered she has no desire to give it to anyone else.
   
Then she meets her instructor, Dan. Instantly attracted, at first Stacie thinks it will help to make her sexually comfortable with him. But when she realises she is falling in love, she can’t tear herself away, contract or no. Stacie knows that, no matter how kind and caring Dan appears, he’s just doing his job. Can Stacie overcome her own Desires and walk away?

Excerpt from Chapter 1

 

     Stacie walked up the three wide steps leading to the large entrance porch of the imposing Georgian building. The bitter winter air made her nose hairs cringe and seemed to batter its way in between the buttons of her thick wool coat. She took a deep anxious breath wondering, not for the first time, why on earth she was there. She glanced back at the car park, overhung by snow-clad trees. Her little car glimmered in the pale light of the winter moon. She could just walk back to the still-warm haven and drive away. But her feet wouldn’t obey the sensible part of her brain that told her to go, and go now! The snappy wind blew her hair into her face. She brushed it away and turned her attention back to the innocent-looking door.
     There was an intercom situated on the right hand side of the old oak double doors. Her life had to change—she knew that. She had to try, or she’d be forever wondering.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Authors After Dark Spotlight Interview

I have to say, I couldn't have been more thrilled when I was offered the chance to be a Featured Author at this year's Authors After Dark Convention! I attended the event last year in New Orleans - quite convenient for me! - and had a blast, but I am so looking forward to going to Savannah this year! It's such a beautiful city, so I hope you will be able to come as well.


Recently, the lovely Sophia Rose contacted me on behalf of Delighted Reader, one of the Official Blogs for Authors After Dark, and asked to interview me for their Author Spotlight  feature about writing and researching Pulse and Prejudice and how I used deep point of view (almost too well!). I confess, sometimes it was more like being under an interrogation lamp!

You can read the complete interview here or below.

(Also - on a completely different topic - I am visiting  Sydney Aaliyah's blog for Tattoo Tuesday telling the stories behind my own ink, in case you want to check that out.)

Here is Sophia's Authors After Dark Spotlight Interview with me....


Hello Colette!

Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for our Delighted Reader blog.


I am a huge fan of Jane Austen and Pride & Prejudice is my second favorite of her novels. I was tickled to discover that you wrote a book mashing this famous classic love story with the paranormal since I am a big fan of the paranormal romance genre.

Why a Pride & Prejudice paranormal? And in particular, why vampires?

Over the years, I had become something of an authority on Pride and Prejudice, having studied it extensively and reading several literary analyses, as well as annotated editions, and I had even done a term paper in college comparing Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy to Beatrice and Benedict from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (which I reference several times in Pulse and Prejudice). Until a few years ago, I would have identified myself as a complete Austen purist. I didn’t even like most screen adaptations because they changed so much, and – believe it or not – I had never even heard of Jane Austen Fan Fiction.

That all changed with the success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. My daughter had a copy, and I forced myself to read it, but I found it appalling. I had hoped it might be a parody along the lines of the film Shawn of the Dead. Instead, the “co-author” had just taken Austen’s complete text and stuck zombies and ninjas here and there with no respect to the language and style of the original. When I returned that book to my daughter’s shelf,

Thursday, March 21, 2013

How Did YOU Meet Miss Jane Austen?

Last week, the incredible Marilyn Brant (who joined me for coffee a few weeks ago to tell us about her new release, Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match) asked all of her fellow Austen Authors how they were first introduced to the works of Jane Austen for a feature she was doing on Magical Musings.

If you are an Austen lover like the rest of us, how were you first introduced? Which of her novels first resonated with you? Did you first come across her in a film adaptation or the famous Colin Firth BBC production of Pride and Prejudice? Or maybe you came across her in a round about way through modern adaptations like Clueless or Bridget Jones's Diary?

Here is what I told Marilyn about my introduction to Austen:

My Mr. Knightley
“The oldest, meanest nun who ever lived introduced me to Austen. Unlike the other sisters at the school post-Vatican II, she still wore the traditional habit with a veil and wimple framing her shriveled face – like an old potato forgotten in the pantry. Of course I had heard of Pride and Prejudice; but being from the South, I stupidly thought it was about desegregation!
Then the “holy terror” we all despised assigned Emma. I fell madly in love with Mr. Knightley, a man who saw a deeply flawed woman yet loved her anyway. An enduring gift from the unlikeliest of sources.”
~sigh~

Be sure to click over to Magical Musings to find out how some of the other Austen Authors fell in love with Jane - you might be surprised! - and tell us your story!
~Colette

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Changing Tracks with Sarah Cass

Coffee with ColetteGood morning, dear readers! I hope this week finds you all happy and highly caffeinated! This week on Coffee with Colette, I am joined by fellow Secret Cravings Publishing author Sarah Cass; but I warn you, she loves to tease us with her prose and leave us hanging! She has a special knack for keeping us in suspense and wanting more. Once you begin her Dominion Falls Series, you'll be dying to get your hands on the next one!                                          ~Colette

 

Right Off The Cliff…Hanger


I have a sickness. 

I’m a hopeless tease.

I play with your emotions.

I leave you hanging.

For my Dominion Falls Series – at the end of Book 1 (Changing Tracks) you are left with not one, but at least three cliffhangers. 

I wanted to leave my readers with more – including a possible tragic one – but my publisher said "No dice!" and I had to wrap up at least one of the cliffhangers.  Apparently I take my desire to leave readers wanting more just a little bit too far.  Once I realized that, I had to change the ending of Book 2 (Derailed) as well.  As much as it physically pained me, I had to leave the shocker of an ending behind and add it to the original start of Book 3 (Dark Territory).

One thing I can, and always do, promise—is that I’m a sucker for the Happily Ever After. I may put my characters through hell, and drag your emotions right along with them, but I always will get you to the happy ending . . . eventually. 

Blurb:


There’s nothing simple about forgetting your past.

Cole Mitchell runs the busiest saloon and brothel in Dominion Falls. He keeps his women at a distance, unwilling to relive a past he worked hard to forget.

Until the night Jane Doe falls into his saloon bleeding and near death.  She wakes with no memory, only the firm belief someone tried to kill her. In the strange world of amnesia she manages to find solace in Cole’s arms and he finds home in hers.

While they work together to solve the mystery of her appearance, their pasts – her lack of, and his buried – build a barrier between them.

To make matters worse, Jane’s past isn’t willing to let her go. A stranger proves he’ll kill to keep his secrets safe. With those she loves in danger, Jane’s errant memory is all that stands between them and death.  Cole can only do so much to protect her, will it be enough?

Buy Links:
Secret Cravings Website
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
All Romance Ebooks
Bookstrand

 Excerpt:

  “Whatever happened to you, you were still bleedin’.” He crouched down, waiting for her to follow suit before pointing to a blood-splattered rock. “Common sense says it might’ve been an animal, but this is the same trail we been following, so I’m guessing it was you.”
     “Guess it’s good it’s been dry. This would all be gone, wouldn’t it?”
     Cole stood and helped her to her feet. He pointed through the trees. “Trail ain’t moved. You came due west. I ain’t gonna be far behind. Take your time.”
     Despite wanting his assistance, she’d hoped for some time alone. A bit breathless, she shook her head. “How did you-,”
     “Just figured I’d wanna be alone if it were me. We ain’t got much time ‘til we need to eat. Guess I can let you have it. I’m staying close just in case. Renegades and all.”
     “Thank you, Cole.” At his nod, she turned, heading in the direction he’d indicated. Moving through the trees, her throat closed up as the fear and confusion started to fill her again. Without the distraction of conversation, reality became suffocating.
     She pushed on through, hoping it would lead her to the answers. Every step felt weighed down until she sank to her knees half an hour later. Her head dropped, her shoulders sagged, and she found herself whispering a quiet prayer.
     Cole’s hands closed around her arms. “Up you go. Let’s get some food.”
     “Just a little farther. I feel like I’m so close.”
     “Do ya really?”
     “No.” Her shoulders dropped as she let him lead her away. One last glance over her shoulder made her stop. “Wait. What’s that?”

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Return to Longbourn - Pride and Prejudice Continues

Coffee with Colette
Good morning, dear readers.  I hope your week has not been as hellacious as mine! Due to crazy technical snafus, I am reposting this week's Coffee with Colette because I want to be sure you don't this one!
Joining me for coffee this week is another Austen Author, the lovely and talented Shannon Winslow! She empathizes with all lovers of Pride and Prejudice. Although "(h)appy for all her maternal feelings was the day on which Mrs. Bennet got rid of her two most deserving daughters" (I believe Miss Austen had a modifier dangling there, as I doubt "the day" had maternal feelings!), we readers, on the other hand, were not so eager to see the story end! Shannon has taken pity on us - first with her sequel The Darcys of Pemberley, and now with her newest release Return to Longbourn. I know I can't wait to go back as the Darcys' and Bennets' tale continues, and I'm sure you'll agree. So grab a cup of coffee, get an ample serving of Baked Apple Betty; and sit back, relax, and enjoy this time with Shannon!
~Colette


My third novel just debuted, and I’m on blog tour to get the word out. So thanks, Colette, for inviting me to share my story with your readers!

Years ago, when I started writing novels, I was given two excellent pieces of advice: 1) Write, not necessarily what you know (as the popular saying goes), but what you love. You can always learn what you don’t know, but you can’t fake a passion you don’t feel. 2) Find out what you do best and then do it.

That’s why I write historical fiction in the vein of Jane Austen – because I love it and because I seem to have a natural flare for her language and style. That means no red-hot sex scenes in my books. Sorry. No vampires or zombies either. I’ll leave those things to the authors who do them so well. For me, it’s a more traditional approach. I write what I most wanted to read – more of the kind of stories Jane Austen penned herself.

I began with a sequel to my favorite of her books (Pride and Prejudice) called The Darcys of Pemberley. What a treat it was to live in that world again as I continued Darcy and Elizabeth’s story into marriage, as well as portraying the courtship of Miss Georgiana Darcy. Next, I took on the new challenge of creating an Austenesque novel from scratch. For Myself Alone is my idea of the story our dear Jane might have written next.

Then, I was irresistibly drawn back to Pride and Prejudice as the basis for my newest book, Return to Longbourn. Mary Bennet had been on my mind, you see. Although Jane Austen doesn’t paint a very flattering portrait of her, I thought there might be more to Mary than first meets the eye. I wondered what made her tick. I wondered if she might be redeemable, if she might even have the hidden makings of a heroine.

Yes, Elizabeth is the lively, pert, popular, and beautiful one. She’s the Homecoming queen type, and it’s easy to see how she wins over the handsome and aloof Mr. Darcy. But does that mean there isn’t any hope for those of us more like Mary – socially awkward, somewhat plain, and bookish? “Nonsense!” I say. “Plain girls unite!” I say. “We too deserve our day in the sun!”

Okay, so I’ve gotten carried away again. Over dramatizing is an occupational hazard. As for Mary, though, I thought she deserved at least

I STILL Haven't Adjusted to Time Change! Want Starbucks Bucks?

My puppy can sleep anywhere...
This week has been a nightmare. First of all, I never adjust to the time change well. Then on Monday morning - on very little sleep - I could not get into the network for my day job for over 90 minutes. I was convinced I had been fired! Having signed the authorization for a background check about 10 days before, I thought I must have failed. (Would I get unemployment for failing a background check?) Eventually, I DID get in, but as the week progressed, I wished I had been fired!

Monday was also National Napping Day! To help commemorate this important date - no doubt set to coincide with Daylight Savings Time -  I am having a contest over on my Facebook Page.  To help my fellow sleepyheads stay awake, I am giving away a $12 Gift Card to Starbucks! Please "Like" my new Author Page and leave a comment telling me the craziest place you have ever fallen asleep. Please note, due to Facebook rules, you are not required to "Like" my Author Page to participate, but it would be nice if you did. (Don't worry - I won't fill up your timeline with a bunch of promos.) Just leave a comment! Besides, wouldn't a cup of coffee go well with Baked Apple Betty?

Because we have been having all kinds of technical difficulties all week, I am extending the contest through the weekend and will draw for a winner on  SUNDAY NIGHT!

Sweet dreams!

~Colette


P.S. My craziest place: a Metallica concert. Long, boring guitar solo.

Above photo is of the inspiration for the character Amadeus in Pulse and Prejudice.

UPDATE:  Thank you all for your interesting stories!  The winner of the Starbucks Gift Card (as selected by random.org) is Molly Daniels! Congratulations!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Happy National Napping Day!

My puppy can sleep anywhere...
Yes, I love coffee and wine, but I also love naps! That's why I am thrilled to commemorate National Napping Day! I bet it's no coincidence that it falls right after we switch to Daylight Savings Time.

To help celebrate - and stay awake! -  I am even having a contest over on my Facebook Page.  To help my fellow sleepyheads stay awake, I am giving away a $12 Gift Card to Starbucks! Please "Like" my Author Page and leave a comment telling me the craziest place you have ever fallen asleep! I will draw for a winner FRIDAY NIGHT!

Sweet dreams!

~Colette


P.S. My craziest place: a Metallica concert. Long, boring guitar solo.

Above photo is of the inspiration for the character Amadeus in Pulse and Prejudice.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Just Desserts Delicious Blog Hop - Baked Apple Betty

Greetings and felicitations! Welcome to the Secret Cravings Publishing Just Desserts Delicious Blog Hop, with 34 authors to delight you with delectable offerings! Be sure to visit them all.

PLUS leave a comment below for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card, which you can use toward both my novels  Pulse and Prejudice and All My Tomorrows or, in case you've already read both of those, your favourite dessert cookbook!  UPDATE:  The Winner of the Amazon Gift Card, as chosen by Random.org is Beckey from York Haven, PA.

When I signed up for this blog hop, I knew exactly what recipe I would offer: my grandmother’s famous chocolate cake. Well, that didn’t happen. Instead, I have a recipe for Baked Apple Betty from my childhood. All forms of Apple Cobbler, Brown Betty, Dumplings, etc., have always been my favourite dessert after bread pudding; so it seems fitting that I would offer an apple dessert for you today. Perhaps I like this particular recipe because it is almost like an apple bread pudding.

Now every cook has a unique process, and I will share mine. The original recipe is actually quite simple, but I have tried to make it as complicated as possible. This includes several optional steps as well (steps 1 through 5 and a few others along the way), but I think it will make sense....


Baked Apple Betty in Only 19 Steps 



Required Ingredients (I only used 3 apples) 
Ingredients:

10 slices stale, thin white bread
3 cups apple slices
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter plus a little      more for dotting
1 cup boiling water


Directions:

1. Tear your house apart going through every recipe anyone ever gave you since the Reagan administration searching for the recipe for your grandmother's chocolate cake. (Optional)


Where the hell is that £¥©%!*#! recipe?!?!?!?2. Give up and decide to make your friend's "famous" rum cake recipe only to find out it was actually made famous by Bacardi. (Optional)

3. Check several other friends' "original" recipes given to you over the years and find all of them on the Internet as well! (Optional)


I chose Tickled Pink: 1/2 Kinky Liqueur, 1/2 bubbly pink moscata

4. Fix a cocktail.  (Optional but recommended)

5. Locate a recipe scrawled in your own sixth grade penmanship for Baked Apple Betty, check Internet, rejoice when matching recipe isn't found. Go into apoplexy upon realization that ALL ingredients are in the house! (Optional but, at this point, unavoidable)

7. Mix together apple slices, raisins, and brown sugar.6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

7. Since the recipe calls for 3 cups of "apple slices," slice the apples and mix them together with the raisins and brown sugar.

8. Cut crusts off of bread.

9. Toss bread crusts onto floor for dogs.

Steps 8, 9, and 10.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Regina Jeffers: "I Admit It!"

Coffee with Colette
Good morning!  My guest this week for Coffee with Colette is fellow Austen Author Regina Jeffers. She is one of the most popular and prolific authors of Pride and Prejudice variations I have ever met (and this JAFF fanatic is thrilled to say that I have had the pleasure of meeting her in the flesh!).  I must admit, the title of her new release - The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy - has had me worried, but she has certainly piqued my curiosity! Another one for the top of the TBR list!
~Colette



I admit it! I am a historical junkie. In college, I was that girl sitting on the floor of the research area, surrounded by open books and making notes. Sometimes the information was for whatever research paper I had due. Sometimes I was on a self-imposed scavenger hunt. I would spend hours searching for nuggets of information. In those days, we went to the shelves for books. Now, with the Internet, the search is quicker, but not necessarily as accurate.

I recall as a reader of historical fiction, I was one of “those” readers who would rush off to find an encyclopedia to verify facts I found in my reading. Now, as an author, research is still my passion, as well as my curse. Those of us who write fiction based in history must check facts or have one of “those” readers call us on our mistakes. I thought today to share some of the more “unusual” facts I have discovered and have incorporated in my novels.

For example, Captain Sir Thomas, Lord Cochrane, detailed the Prince Regent (the future George IV) with two innovative weapons systems, the “temporary mortar,” or explosive ship, and the “sulphur ship” or stink vessel. This early plan for saturation bombing and chemical warfare plays a part of my Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sneak Peek Sunday for Read an eBook Week!

Welcome to Sneak Peek Sunday for March 3rd, 2013, which also kicks off Read an eBook Week! Hence, in the spirit of the season, I will present a tiny taste of two novels, both of which are published in all eBook formats.


Pulse and Prejudice


This first snippet is from Pulse and Prejudice, the paranormal adaptation that retells Jane Austen's classic love story from Mr. Darcy's point of view - and he is a vampire. This certainly explains his dark brooding! Pulse and Prejudice was the featured selection for the Dark Jane Austen Book Club last month, and they invited me to write a guest post - Darcy, Byron, and Vampires - describing my inspiration, in case you want to check it out. By the way, Pulse and Prejudice is a Readers' Choice, Top 5 Austen-inspired Book of 2012!


Excerpt:    
     Darcy should have despised himself for this act, for taking this stranger and feeding upon him, etiolating him; but he had long since reached the pinnacle of self-loathing. Indeed, he had chosen his quarry in hopes of drowning his agony in this blood.
     His teeth sank easily into the thick skin of his victim’s throat, and he consumed the blood in a frenzy, not to sate a hunger but to quell an ache. Pain diminished any satisfaction in feeling the man’s pulse beat through his limbs, but he did not drink for pleasure. He drank to forget. To forget himself. To forget Elizabeth.

For "Read an eBook Week" the Secret Cravings Publishing Store is offering a 25% Discount on all eBook formats this week only - that's only $4.88! (Use Coupon Code EBook25 from March 3rd through 9th.)  PLUS you can find it on  Amazon for Kindle, Barnes and Noble for Nook at the regular price of only $6.50. (Click here for everywhere else you can find all other eBook and print formats.)


All My Tomorrows


The reception All My Tomorrows has received has been overwhelming! Earlier this year, it was voted a Top 10 Romance Novel of 2012 in the P&E Readers' Poll, and last month, not only did it advance to the second round in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition, but also Austenprose named me "Debut Author of 2012" for All My Tomorrows! Now the March issue of InD'Tale Magazine has a review that calls it “A thoroughly entertaining read – full of snappy dialogue. When the sparks fly, these two light up the room!”

Excerpt:
     He wrapped his arms around her, brought her tight against his body, and covered her mouth with his. A sensation she could only identify as relief flooded through her, relief in finally getting something she didn’t even know she had been needing. Her arms crawled up around his neck, and he walked her back against a brick wall, providing him leverage to deepen the kiss even more. His hands roamed over her body then made their way up her shirt, flesh to flesh, as their tongues continued to tangle.

And you can find this eBook for only $2.99 on Amazon for Kindle, Barnes and Noble for Nook! Plus click here for everywhere else you can find all other eBook (and print!) formats.


I hope you have enjoyed this 2-for-1 Special Read an eBook Week Edition of the Sunday Snippet, and be sure to check out the Sunday snippets from other amazing authors and their incredible eBooks by clicking here or using the Twitter hashtag #SneakPeekSunday.

Also, come back by on Tuesday for Coffee with Colette when I will be joined by fellow Austen Author Regina Jeffers talking about The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy.


 And don't forget to click on the Pulse and Prejudice Pop Culture Challenge for your chance to win an iPad4 PLUS a Cash Jackpot!