Sunday, July 26, 2009

Welcome Blog Guest and friend, Author Helen Hardt!

Hi everyone! In my continuing series of wonderful Guest Authors on my blog, please say hello to Helen Hardt!

Helen Hardt is an attorney and stay-at-home mom turned award-winning romance author. She met her real-life hero in law school, and they live in Colorado with their two teenage sons. Helen writes contemporary, historical, paranormal, and erotic romance. She is currently contracted with The Wild Rose Press and Ellora’s Cave. Her non-writing interests include Harley rides with her husband, attending her sons’ sports and music performances, traveling, and Taekwondo (she’s a blackbelt.)

1.Welcome, Helen! My first question is always the same because I have my own list of wonderful author role models. Which writers inspired you on your writing journey?
Too many to count! Nora Roberts got me interested in writing romance, but the author who has probably inspired me the most is Lisa Kleypas. Emotion drips off every page of her books.
2. Nora has inspired many of us! Tell us a little about how your books go from idea to manuscript.
I'm a pantser by nature, so I usually start with a premise. Sometimes it's a character, sometimes an idea. I mull it over. If it stays with me, occupying my thoughts, I begin to write. The first few chapters tend to come pretty easily. After that, it gets tougher. I use the W plot technique when I hit a rough spot (see for more on this plotting device) or I brainstorm with a CP. Once the manuscript is complete, I go through it once and revise, tightening the prose and adding depth where necessary. Then it's off to CPs for review. When they're done, I then incorporate their suggestions into a final revision. And it's off on submission!

3. Your Scarlet Rose Destination Pleasure series is hot! Why do you think 'vacation flings' are so easy for some women to have?
Thank you! I enjoy writing for that series. Hmm, why do vacation flings appeal to women? There's nothing more delicious than a gorgeous hunk from another country, is there? A sultry accent, a whispered foreign endearment... Being in an exotic location opens a woman up to new experiences and fuels her passion. It's the perfect fantasy!

Here's the blurb for my most recent Destination Pleasure story, Thai'd Up:

Visiting Bangkok to do an interview for her employer, Heidi Clarke is intrigued by the wild and raucous nightlife. When a handsome and engaging stranger, dressed as the Phantom of the Opera, offers to escort her into a BDSM club, she's too curious to refuse. As the man behind the mask introduces Heidi to new and exciting pleasures of the flesh, she can't help but wonder who he is. Or if she really wants to know.

4. What are some of your upcoming projects/releases?
I've had three releases so far this year: Passion in Paris, Thai'd Up (both erotic romance), and The Outlaw's Angel (a western historical novella in Lawmen and Outlaws, an anthology.) These are all available at The Wild Rose Press.

I have two more releases scheduled for this year. Blood Wolf, a dark paranormal, is coming in October to The Wild Rose Press. Slow and Wet, an erotic western menage, is coming November 24 to Ellora's Cave. Montego Lay, another Destination Pleasure story, will probably release in late 2009 or early 2010.

I'm currently working on two more stories for Ellora's Cave and two more novellas for The Wild Rose Press. I have several longer projects in the works that I'm itching to get back to: a series of award-winning contemporary westerns and a series of erotic Regencies.

5.You are a very busy woman, Helen, but I am glad to hear we have so much to look forward to from you! How can your readers contact you on the web?
Visit my website, my blog,

Thanks so much, Helen! It has been a pleasure to welcome you to my blog! Readers, please comment and ask questions as Helen will be stopping by to meet you all!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lovely Blog Award...How Cool!

My dear friend and fellow author Catherine Bybee was kind enough to give my blog the One Lovely Blog Award.
THANK YOU, Catherine!

Now, there are some rules that go along with receiving this award!

1. Accept the award, along with the person's name who gave it to you and their blog link.
2. Pass the award to other blogs.
3. Remember to contact the other bloggers to let them know they've been chosen for the award.

My choices for the One Lovely Blog are two of my favorites!
Helen Hardt for all of the delicious eye candy she posts!
And Emily Bryan because she is so fun!

THANK YOU once again Catherine for this great honor!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Welcome Guest Author Susan Blexrud

Hi everyone! Please extend a warm welcome to my fellow DCL Publications author, Susan Blexrud.
Her Writing motto: Alpha males should have a sense of humor.

Susan Blexrud grew up in Orlando, Florida, and now lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband of 23 years, John, who proposed to her on New Year’s Eve 1985 on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, halfway between Paris and Vienna. Their son Chris is a college senior, and daughter Allison is college freshman. Susan has a Chihuahua named Baby (who figures prominently in her stories) and a cockatiel named Romeo. She is an avid reader, particularly of romance and anything about Tudor England. She is a walker, biker, swimmer, and Yoga and Pilates enthusiast. She enjoys sewing and bird watching (loves hummingbirds), and most of all, writing her next story.

Susan holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Central Florida, and a master’s degree in Media Studies from Webster University, St. Louis.

For the past twenty-five years, she has been a public relations professional. During her tenure as Director of Communications for the City of Orlando, she served as primary media contact for the city and as the mayor’s spokesperson.

She is active in Asheville Writing Enthusiasts and a member of the Pink Fire Writers critique group.

Her advice for aspiring romance fiction writers:

“Hang in there. Take classes in fiction process and fiction critique. When I began writing, I didn’t know the first thing about point of view or character development. You want your characters to leap off the page. Join a writing group, and most of all, write the book you want to read.”

Susan currently has three books available from DCL Publications:
Love Fang
Love Fang is the tale of a sexy vampire with an infected fang who falls in love with his dentist. Dental drills whir and hearts pound as this unlikely pair struggles to find happiness. Will he come to terms with his 500-year-old guilt and grief? Will she trade her fear for a set of fangs?

Delora’s Necklace
Delora’s ancient Mayan necklace has a mind of its own. Drawn by a primordial force she can’t deny, this spunky college student books a weekend trip to the Yucatan Peninsula to reconnect with her Hispanic heritage. She gets more than she bargained for when she steps back in time 900 years to a husband she didn’t know she had and a culture intent on sacrificing her to the gods.

Fang Shui
Can life become more complicated for Dr. Lauren Marsh? As a new vampire, she’s dealing with the learning curve of being undead while adjusting to marriage, avoiding a jealous vampire hell-bent on killing her, sidestepping the Italian Mafia, and sustaining her dental practice. In the meantime, she’d love to get pregnant if her life can just settle down a bit.

1. Welcome Susan! This question is my favorite: Which writers inspired you on your writing journey?

Hi Rachel! Thanks again for spotlighting me! Many writers have inspired me on my journey, but I'd have to credit Susan Elizabeth Phillips for her wacky sense of humor and Charlaine Harris for her setting and vampire world-building.

2. I am interested in how other authors work their craft. Tell us a little about how your books go from idea to manuscript.
I chew on an idea for awhile, mulling over the characters, and then I do character charts to flesh-out my h/h. I swing the idea by my critique group, and it they like it, I do a chapter-by-chapter outline.

3. Vampires are a popular theme in books today. Why do you think vampires have so many women's hearts fluttering?
Vampires are quintessential alpha male. They're not much for words, and it takes a very special female to get them to admit their feelings. They're uber sexy, of course, and they'd put their own life at risk for their women. What's not to love?

4. I must agree with your thoughts on vampires! What are some of your upcoming projects/releases?
I'm a touch more than 1/2-way through writing the third novella in my vampire series, Real Men Have Fangs. After that, I'll probably go in a completely different vein (no pun intended). Something upbeat and contemporary, no doubt. I loved writing the story for DCL's upcoming print anthology, 7 Deadly Sins, and I may revisit those characters. I was quite fond of them.

5. How can your readers contact you on the web?

I love, love, love to hear from readers. My website is:, and I welcome comments through FaceBook and MySpace, as well as my e-mail address:

Thanks again, Susan! And readers, feel free to comment and ask questions, Susan will be stopping in frequently!