Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Rules of Engagement is out February 1 and will be my first release for 2008. Woohoo! So check it out and help me escape Cubeville.

The Blurb

After being shot three times in the chest and left for dead by his last lover, Jake Duquesne decides the middle of nowhere is a good place to recuperate. And it’s perfect, until someone decides to sneak up on him, with gun drawn and cocked. Unfortunately for his would-be assailant, Jake is not one to wait around quietly while someone tries to kill him.

Waking up handcuffed to a strange bed is not part of Katarzyna Delaney’s plans after being jilted at the alter for the third time. Looking at Jake, however, makes her realize plans should be flexible. With a few simple rules, she can have her long-awaited honeymoon—and without a battery-operated device.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We cheer, we swarm, all for Ingram's Charm

My coauthorship of Melany Logen saw the release of Ingram's Charm from Loose Id on Tuesday! It's so exciting. Gram and Charm are very neat characters.

The blurb:

When Gram gets another mouth to feed instead of cash as his payment, he's thinking it's going to be a very bad day. But when that mouth turns out to be attached to a gorgeous sex slave, who wants nothing more that to do his bidding and show him the joys of her undeniably perfect body, things start looking up. Pretty soon, he counts her as one of the crew of his starship Bruiser, who he feels he must protect. Only difference is, she's the only one of his mates sharing his bed and his shower.

What Gram doesn't know is that Charm's a spy. She's been sent by her old Master to infiltrate Gram's ship and cripple it, so he can take it over. It should be a simple job. It is a simple job. But for one thing. She finds herself caring for the crew of the Bruiser, and especially her temporary Master. Loyalties torn, she must decide whether to complete her mission or step out into the unfamiliar and become Ingram's lucky Charm.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Dubious consent, light domination.

Mechele Armstrong aka Lany of Melany Logen

Monday, January 21, 2008

Just for someethning a little different-How to share a bed

Okay. You’re writing a novel and at least two of your characters are in bed. The sex is great but beds have not always been just a playground.

When you were growing up, at some time didn’t you share a bed with a sister? A cousin? A friend on a sleepover? And now do you share one with your husband? Partner? Lover? Significant other? But…and here’s the big question…did anyone every teach you how to share a bed?

The biggest source of tension is the comforter or coverlet. Do you wake up in the middle of the night, shivering because all the covers are covering that person? The dirty rotten cover thief? Grabbing it away from you and leaving you cold and shivering? Now here comes the old “I didn’t know what I was doing.” Yeah, right.

Then there’s the person who thinks a bed is not just for sleeping, and sex isn’t the alternative. The bed becomes an extension of your living room. It’s for reading, watching television, eating snacks that crunch and leave crumbs, organizing a DVD or CD collection, practicing karaoke. And of course, all of this with the lights on…while you’re trying to sleep. You could always yank the covers and toss everything to the floor. On the other hand, if you’re the one who’s doing it, get serious and get to the dining room table.

Next up, maybe the lights are off and you’re about to fall asleep, when a sound that reminds you of an earthquake or the abominable snowman shakes you out of your clumber. Is this a national emergency? No, just your partner’s snoring. But it shakes the fillings in your teeth and aggravates your arthritis. Oh, wait. Are you the one who snores?

And then of course there’s the partner who gets up two hours before the other one, flips on the radio and the lights, and sings along while getting dressed. Get out the shotgun, baby.

So, what can you do about all this? Here are some rules you both need to follow, no matter if you’re the offender or offended.

When you lose the covers, yank them back and weight them on your side with a cement block. If your sleeping companion tries to pull them back, a good poke in the ribs usually works. On the other hand, if you ‘re the one hogging the covers, be sure to hold on good and tight.
Set up rules for the bed you both follow: living room work in the living room, sex and sleeping in the bedroom, with a little television thrown in. And lights out at a certain time. If you can’t fall asleep, or he or she can’t, lie in the dark and let your mind produce some creative, sleep-inducing activities.
For the snorers, a loud noise that wakes them often helps. Of course, for those who deny they snore, a video of the noise in progress always helps. But a loud noise, waking them up often enough, might just do the trick. If not, try the drug store. There are some great medications out that might not help the snorer but will knock you out for the night.
And finally, let sleeping dogs lie! If one person is asleep, don’t wake them intentionally unless you just won the Powerball Lottery. Time enough for friskiness when you’re both awake. If your bedmate is the one who insists on lights on until all hours, wait until he or she falls asleep, then wake them and shine a powerful flashlight in their eyes. A few nights of that and they’ll be more than happy to lie in the dark. On the other hand, if it’s you, go to the kitchen, eat your crunchy snack there, make yourself a cup of tea, and remind yourself that the person you love is hidden under all these things and that’s what’s important.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Getaway

I'll be offline for a while, just me, my laptop, my Kindle, and a small town where the sidewalks roll up at 5 on Saturday and the only stores open on Sunday are the Yard & Feed and the local 'department store' (don't ask what departments they have. You'd be surprised). Even the 'downtown' Dollar Store is closed on Sunday although 'the one out on the highway' is open in the afternoon. No WiFI and no chain stores, just the Java Bean Cafe and the Palace Theater (which gets surprisingly good films very quickly). The town was the inspiration for the setting of my upcoming book (obligatory cover art here), which releases at the end of February. I'll be back to hype that book when the time comes.

I need a rejuevnating Veg-Out because I had a bit of a blow-up with a critique partner and I'm not sure how our relationship will pan out. We're still in the tentative stages of 'hmm, where are we?' It's bothersome because we've been together quite a while, but our friendship has hit a rocky patch and I'm not sure where it'll end up. So a getaway feels like a great idea right about now, especially one where I am forced to be {relatively} idle.

I expect to return rested, refreshed, and with new plots for new books. An 8-hour drive gives me plenty of time to think and that Feed Store has a lot of interesting implements to use for murder weapons. Hmm....

Friday, January 18, 2008

Fear is a funny thing

I was talking to my "submission buddy" the other day. A submission buddy, for those who don't have one, is like a diet buddy. They're the person to whom you tell your goal, and who keeps riding you, asking how you're doing on that goal, until you achieve it.

My buddy was supposed to send in a submission by the end of 2007. We discussed the likelihood of an editor being in the office and reading slush between Christmas and New Years, and agreed that a submission the first week of 2008 would still count as having been done by the end of 2007. We even worked out which day to mail the package for optimum chance of it being read.

The day approached. I did my buddy part, asking if everything was in readiness. It was. The manuscript needed only to be printed out, the revisions I'd suggested made to the cover letter, and then the whole thing popped in an envelope. About two hours of effort, my buddy estimated.

The day came. And went. Somehow, despite discussing this for three weeks, my buddy scheduled a business trip for the day when the submission was supposed to occur, completely forgetting about the submission. It was "an accident".

Uh-huh. How many of you believe that? I didn't either.

But, I gave my buddy the benefit of the doubt. If it was mailed the first day my buddy was home, I'd still give credit for having met the 2007 submission goal.

Do I need to tell you what happened? Or rather, what didn't happen?

Clearly, something else was going on. The material was good. I'd read it, and loved it. The cover letter was as good as we could make it. We'd double-checked all the submission protocols. There were no more reasons not to send it out. So my buddy was inventing reasons.

After a lengthy discussion, during which I refused to accept any of the offered excuses (that's the advantage of a submission buddy who's also a writer -- we know which excuses sound good but aren't true, where someone unfamiliar with the industry might fall for it), we eventually got to the crux of the matter. Fear.

"What if I send it to everyone that rejected the first version four years ago, and they still hate it? I'll have wasted all that time and money!" my buddy wailed.

"You'll definitely have wasted those four years if you never send it out at all," I countered. "But if you submit it, there's a chance that you'll be rewarded for your efforts."

When we're in the grips of fear, all we can see is the downside, and what will happen if our fears come true. It's much harder to look for the upside, and take a chance that it might happen. In our heart of hearts, we believe the worst will occur, and we'd rather spend our future years talking about the book that "might have been" published, rather than face that fact that it was never going to be published.

Which would be a reasonable reaction, except for one little thing. Every published author had to sell a first book sometime. Why can't it be you? Why can't it be now?

PS - the story has a happy ending. I just received an email from my submission buddy, telling me that the manuscript is in the mail. :-)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Boomerang Love: My very own first release!

Boomerang Love is now available through Samhain Publishing!

Take a walkabout on the wild side.

When you toss a boomerang, you know it will come back. But all bets are off when it’s a lover you’ve let go.

Cohen Thorn and Hayleigh Davenport shared one night of wild sex neither of them can forget, then went their separate ways half a world apart. But now Hayleigh's back in Australia for one more weekend of passion. If she can't get this Outback rancher out of her system once and for all, she'll at least have memories to last a lifetime.

They've only got three days to steam up Sydney and the Outback, but in the place known as Never-Never, anything can happen. Soon they realize there's a powerful force drawing them together.

Is it simple lust, or lasting love?

For an excerpt:

*Tosses confetti*
Until later~

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Five things I love about being an author; five things I hate about being an author

The five things I love about being an author:

1. The incredible feeling of satisfaction I get when I write the last sentence of the first draft of a novel. I’m not done with the story by any means, but for me, getting the first draft down is the hardest part.

2. The way it feels when a book is really flowing and I can barely type fast enough to keep up with my thoughts.

3. Seeing the cover of my book and getting to hold that baby in my hands.

4. Reading, reading, reading and calling it work.

5. Sitting in a rocking chair, daydreaming, and calling it work.

Five things I hate about being an author:

1. Promotion.

2. The way my hands and back feel at the end of a long day of typing.

3. The feeling when I get stuck on a book and can’t figure out where it’s going next or how I’m going to get my hero from point a to point b.

4. Rejections.

5. Negative reviews.

Posted by Karen McCullough

Monday, January 14, 2008

The year of living dangerously

This year, I've resolved to do a lot of things for myself. See, last year, I used to promise myself rewards for writing and never follow through. It had gotten to the point that I didn't belive myself. No more. I'm going to do things for me and write outside my comfort zone. Those were my New Year's Resolutions.

And I've already started. I'm taking an online class on Ireland. Why? Because I want to. It sounds interesting. I have no idea when I'll use it, but I'm so excited to be taking it.

I'm working on a story that will fulfill a goal that I've had for two years that I haven't had nerve enough to do. Not this year. Even if I get rejected, I'm going to finish this story and submit.

I'm feeling rather happy about these two resolutions and as I just wrote 3 K, well, I think my muse is happy, too. I feel like I'm getting my groove back on.

What are you doing or planning to do these days to get your groove back on?

Mechele Armstrong aka Lany of Melany Logen

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Seduction of Shamus O'Rourke Now Available!

The Seduction of Shamus O’Rourke is now available from Samhain Publishing!

Book 4 of Jamesville.


After her father's death, Cyndi Marks returns to Jamesville, determined to settle here and lay the ghosts of years ago to rest once and for all. But the past has a way of catching up—and hanging on.

When her car breaks down outside of town, a handsome stranger stops to help. He intrigues and attracts her, but then she discovers who he is.

Shamus enjoys his job, his family and small town living. What he’s missing is someone with whom to share it. Immediately drawn to Cyndi, he is determined to get closer to her, even as he senses her pulling away.

But not everyone in Jamesville is happy to see Cyndi. People are hiding secrets. Secrets they would kill to protect. When violence erupts in her home, Cyndi turns to the only person in town she can trust—Shamus.

In a situation where family loyalties are strained, Cyndi's life is threatened and everyone is a suspect, will their emerging love survive?

Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, and violence.

Monday, January 7, 2008



I'm so excited to be the guest author today here at Ladies of The Club. I'm so happy to meet you all!

My name is Lila Duprés and my first book, ALL WORK AND NO PLAY, is available from Ellora’s Cave in their Torrid Tarot line. More about that in a bit.

With the holidays just past, I wonder how many of you made New Year’s resolutions? I'm of the opinion there are two types of resolution makers.

1) The “shoot for the moon” resolution maker who resolves to do things (s)he would like to achieve very much, but are virtually out of reach in the real world. This type of person figures, “If I'm making a resolution, I might as well grab for the brass ring.” This person is often disappointed when they fail to reach their desired goal, but they feel better for having tried.

2) The “cautious” resolution maker who only makes resolutions (s)he knows (s)he can achieve. In this way, no great things are accomplished; but by the same token, there are no heartbreaks when the desired goal cannot be achieved. This person feels there’s safety and comfort in setting small, manageable goals and then achieving them.

So, which type of resolution maker are you?I myself am the showy #1 resolution maker. If I'm going to fail, I want to go down in a blaze of glory. And if I succeed...ah, the praise, the accolades, the triumph! Naturally, I have to steel some small part of my heart for failure each time, but the larger part of me presses ahead, sure of victory. It’s who I am.

And now, as promised, more about ALL WORK AND NO PLAY:Here's where you can find it:

Here’s the blurb:Julie Preston worked hard raising her younger sister Emily after their parents died, and creating a career. She gave up simple pleasures like love and relationships. So when a friend drags her to a singles bar, Julie’s ready for anything. She meets a gorgeous guy and they spend several passionate hours together. There’s real chemistry there, but Julie regretfully sticks to her promise: a one-night stand, no strings.

When Julie hires a tutor to help Emily pass English, she’s shocked to find he’s the man from the bar. Seeing him in her house makes it hard to keep her hands off him, but he isn't looking for a long-term relationship since he’s a singles bar patron. Right? How many miles can Julie jog before she gives in and jumps him?

Copyright © LILA DUPRÉS, 2007
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Julie dropped her purse on a table and her coat over a chair and looked around the room. Clearly, the hotel got much of its business from the singles bar. Even ignoring the desk clerk’s knowing expression and wink, the room decor said it all. The drapes were red velvet, the bedspread red brocade with gold threads shot through it, and the walls covered in red and gold flocked wallpaper. It was schlocky, like something she expected to see in a honeymoon motel in the Poconos. No doubt there was also a heart-shaped tub in the bathroom. Ooh…maybe she could find some bubble bath? Surely a place like this would have it?
“Anne?”Julie jumped at the sound of Stephen’s voice, feeling guilty for her wandering thoughts.
“Sorry. Did you say something?”
“Is something wrong? Are you all right?” He frowned, looking concerned.
Julie felt the heat rise up her neck and into her cheeks. Here she was, standing in the middle of the room and zoning out. Or was she desperately focusing on the furnishings because she was nervous about what was about to take place? After all, though she wasn't a virgin, her experience was limited and several years in the past.
“I'm fine,” she said. “Nothing’s wrong.”
He smiled charmingly, a boyish dimple in his right cheek sending an arrow straight to her heart.
“Although I hope you haven't changed your mind, if you’re having second thoughts, it’s not too late to say so. I can take ‘no’ for an answer. I want that to be perfectly clear—we can stop at any time if you feel uncomfortable.”
“No, I'm not uncomfortable. Thank you, though. It’s just that I’ve…” never done anything like this before. But she couldn't say that. Stephen wouldn't have come to a singles club to find a girl who didn't know the ropes, would he? He probably did this every weekend—that thought sent a vicious stab of jealousy through her gut—and he expected she did also.
“I'm fine,” she repeated. “I was just woolgathering. Don't worry, I haven't changed my mind.”
“Good.” He stepped close to her and trailed the back of his hand lingeringly over her cheek. “Because you’re an amazingly beautiful woman and I don't know how much longer I can keep my distance when I really want to—”
“Shh.” Julie put her index finger on his lips. His soft, warm, sexy lips. “Don't say a word. You don't have to say anything you don't mean. I don't expect any promises from you, any commitments. Let’s just be quiet and enjoy each other. After all, that’s why we’re here. Right?”
Stephen raised his eyebrows, opened his mouth as if to speak, then closed it and nodded.
Julie stepped over to the window and drew the drapes securely shut. Then she turned on the radio, tuning it to a soft jazz station and lowering the volume to create a pleasing whisper of background sound.
She returned to Stephen and spread her hands out on his chest, savoring the feel of his strong pectoral muscles flexing under her fingers. She smiled a bit tremulously but she knew this was right. It felt right. She opened one of the buttons on his shirt, allowing her fingers to gently brush the skin she exposed. Then she opened the next one and the next. Stephen shivered as she ran her fingers through the curly dark hair on his chest, allowing her nails to graze his nipples lightly, then pushing the shirt back and off his shoulders. His broad, masculine shoulders.
Stephen’s blue eyes bored into her as he reached in turn for her shirt, slowly unbuttoning her buttons, kissing each inch of flesh he thus exposed. Now it was Julie’s chance to shiver. She arched her back like a cat, reveling in the feel of his fingers on her skin. She scarcely noticed when her blouse fell to the floor behind her.
He dropped his attention lower, sucking and nibbling on one nipple through the wispy pink bra she wore while gently kneading the other breast. A shuddering stab of desire shot through her and she felt the crotch of her panties grow damp. God, it felt so good to have a man touch her. Why had she denied herself this feeling, this need for so long?

Whatever else you do, please do check out the fabulous cover art. Is he IT not gorgeous? I think I'm in love. Come to me, mon cher...(Sounds of “La Vie En Rose” in the background)

Ah, well. Enough of that. I'll stop drooling if you will. It’s been fun sharing this moment with you all. May 2008 be your happiest year yet!

Till next time,Lila

Friday, January 4, 2008

Beaudry's Ghost now available!!

My paranormal romance Beaudry's Ghost is now available FOR SALE! (Oh, sorry, did I just scream that out loud?)

You may ask, "Why is she so excited about this book?" I'll tell you. (Yes, I'm channeling Tevye.)

Beaudry is the book of my heart. "The One" for which I became a writer. It combines everything I love - romance, history, legends, ghost stories, North Carolina, and the sea. Did I mention romance? Writing it was like an out-of-body experience. I remember staying up until the wee hours writing, then re-reading my work the next day and wondering "My god, who wrote that?" (In a good way!)

Back in its original incarnation as a Dreams Unlimited then an LTDBooks release, the book won some pretty nice awards and garnered a 4-star review and Reviewers Choice nomination from Romantic Times. Still, when Samhain picked it up, I leaped at the chance to revisit the story, revise and expand it, make it an even better book based on the skills I've gained over the years.

For me, words are fluid things that can almost always be improved upon. I'm an editor in real life, but that doesn't mean I don't depend on my Samhain editor Lindsey McGurk when it comes to my stories! I freely acknowledge I'm my own worst editor. LOL

I'm normally pretty calm when a book comes out, but Lindsey can attest I was a near basket case at one point during the editing process. Like I said, this is the book of my heart, and I felt acutely that this is my last chance to get it right and do these amazing characters justice.

Their voices in my head aren't keeping me up at night any more, so I hope that means I accomplished my goal! :)

Beaudry's Ghost was born of my deep North Carolina heritage. I mean, who couldn't grow up hearing stories on your grandmother's darkened front porch, immersed in the history, legends and lore of of a place, and not have something come out of it later in life? It either messes with your head, or you become a writer. LOL

I'm off to get pre-surgery bloodwork. Nothing big, just fixing up my left foot a bit. Great timing, eh? Release a book, have surgery! But I figured if I didn't do it now, I won't be in any kind of shape for RT Pittsburgh in April. I saw my friend Rosemary Laurey once navigate an RT on crutches, and it wasn't fun! On the other hand, I could just set up camp in the bar and let everyone come to ME for a change!

Popping the champagne,

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Preferences and A New Release!

Book Three in my Cascadia Wolves series is now available from Samhain Publishing!

Somewhat on topic, I thought I'd bring up a few things -

Preferences, ah, the meat and potatoes (or the tempeh and potatoes) of the book universe. We all have them and they drive our choices. Sometimes we take a chance and discover something we hadn’t expected (always a wonderful thing).

For instance - true mate storylines. Some people hate them and complain endlessly about them while others love them. I’m always of the “why are you reading these books if you don’t like them?” school. I don’t read capture bondage, I hate it. I don’t read “forced seduction” either and I stay away from other storylines unless an author I really trust is writing them.

But back to true mates and why I like them and why I think other people do as well - there’s a lot of emotional power in the idea of seeing someone an *knowing* they’re meant for you, forever. In the right hands, it’s a storyline I adore. Not because it’s realistic, but because the idea is incredibly appealing to me. And based on the popularity of those titles and the sales of the books I write with mate storylines, they’re appealing to a lot of other people too.

An alpha male, probably a man who loves women and loves to play the field, comes into the story. He meets the heroine and that’s it. There will usually be tension, and why not, who likes to be wrenched out of their habits and into an unfamilar place? It’s scary and no one likes to be scared. At the same time, there’s now a solid bond between the hero and heroine and how they end up together is the device. A smart author can work that dozens of innovative ways and even though you know it’ll end up HEA, the journey is wild.

I love the appeal of the big, bad man brought to his knees by something as powerful as connection to another person. It’s why I love werewolf books so much - the males have a reason to be alpha and dominant and wolves mate for life. The appeal of paranormal and fantasy then, is the ability to take real things and twist them. I love that!

I write contemporaries and paranormal/fantasy. I love both for different reasons and a different skill set is needed to approach each sub-genre. I find that each has cliches that appeal for different reasons. Cliches are part of our subconscious and some of them can be drawn upon for the best kind of wish fulfillment.

I think next time I’ll talk about contemporary cliches and which ones I like the most. In the meantime - what are your absolute loves and dislikes about paranormal storylines and why?

Promo day: my last release of 2007

My fourth book in 2007 came out last Thursday -- snuck in right under the wire!

This book stars Layla Whitford as the heroine. She's the character whom all my critique partners want to be -- as one person said, "I wanna be Layla when I grow up." Why? Because she's confident, self-assured, and independent (and funny. Let's not forget funny.) Even though she knows Max Lerner might break her heart, she's willing to take a chance on him.

And what about Max? At first he dismisses Layla. After all, he's the CEO of a software company and she's just a software tester (who are pretty low in the technical class system). Then he meets her and gets to know her and all the so-called rules go out the window. Before you know it, there's some hanky-panky in the Board Room and one night of high-octane sex before all hell breaks loose.

The ending of this one ... I've had people say, "But wait, that's too much of a coincidence." Then I just wait a minute while they work it out in their head. "Oh. I get it. The reason they met was because ... and she didn't think they'd hit it off ... so they ..."

Then I get that Look from the reader, that look I really, really like. "Good job."

Sigh. I think that's why I write, eh?

Here's a link to an excerpt and one to the purchase page. Join Max & Layla for one wild ride....

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Isn't It Ironic?

For some reason, I keep hearing ABBA in my head. Anyway...

A had a long post all set up to go for today... Then I deleted everything and did something rather ironic and it all has to do with my New Year's resolution. Y'all can check it out here.