Saturday, March 31, 2012

MORE ABOUT ALEXA

Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romantic suspense writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She is thrilled to be writing for Decadent Publishing and to have the chance to share her love of Scotland with readers everywhere.

When she’s not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV and thinking about exercising.

To find out more about her, visit www.alexabourne.com, http://alexabourne.blogspot.com,
or follow her on Twitter @AlexaBourne. And if you have the urge to drop her an email, send it to alexa@alexabourne.com!



She is also a regular contributor to Celtic Hearts Blog and Daily Dose of Decadence



Her Highland Champion
An Honor Guard story from
Decadent Publishing
Heather Winchester leads a charming life. With good friends, a beautiful flat in one of the most amazing cities in the world, and a promising future once she finishes her Ph.D, she is finally pursuing her own dreams instead of catering to everyone else’s…except she doesn’t remember any of it.

Malcolm Fraser has returned to his Highland village to forget his failings as a professional bodyguard. Believing he could just lose himself in the mundane activities of running his bed & breakfast, he finds a woman’s lifeless body by the loch instead….

Captivated by Heather as she regains her memory, Malcolm is thrown into the line of duty. As danger comes knocking on their door, will he be strong enough to love her and keep her safe?




Friday, March 30, 2012

Candid Confessions of a Newbie Author

Today is the official release day of my first book, HER HIGHLAND CHAMPION! This day has been coming for a long time. I was not one of the fortunate ones who got published with her first, second or even third manuscript. Nope. This journey for me officially began back in 1999. In the years since, I've written several manuscripts (10, I think!), entered many contests (won/finaled in some), and worked with wonderful industry professionals. I've learned quite a bit over the years, but nothing could prepare me for the roller coaster of activity after I signed the contract from Decadent Publishing back in December.

Without going into all the details of putting a book together, I'll just say I've had LOTS of work in the last few months. I'm confident that my stories are good enough, but every once in a while, doubts did creep in. Half the time I kept waiting for the publisher to contact me and tell me they'd made the offer to the wrong person. However, when I got the cover, I figured I was safe and then began making plans for promotion, which is crazy overwhelming but so much fun! (Sometimes it's more fun than the actual writing!)

Two days ago my book went up my publisher's website under the "Coming Friday" logo. I can't tell you how giggly I got reading that! To know that something I created would soon be available for anyone who wants it...WOW! It's amazing and unbelievable and humbling all at the same time. And I know now this is EXACTLY the career I want. Hopefully HER HIGHLAND CHAMPION will be the first of many books I'll get to share with you!

I started celebrating 2 weeks ago and haven't stopped yet. Here are some pictures of my celebration.

Two of my brothers and me for St. Patrick's Day

Flowers from one of my brothers & sisters-in-law

A celebratory breakfast with my mom & stepdad

Me in a tiara at my dinner with my FANTABULOUS CP group

The cool treats my friends gave me (in addition to my dinner) 
for my book hitting the cyber shelves! 

I've also gotten some great emails, tweets and FB messages from people. I'm a pretty lucky lady! Thanks for letting me share my day with you. Now I MUST get back to writing the next story!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Alexa Bourne Gets Lost In The Highlands

Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romantic suspense writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She is thrilled to be writing for Decadent Publishing and to have the chance to share her love of Scotland with readers everywhere.

When she’s not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV and thinking about exercising. She loves to hear from readers. To find her, visit www.alexabourne.com or http://alexabourne.blogspot.com, or follow her on Twitter @AlexaBourne.


HER HIGHLAND CHAMPION

A Decadent Honor Guard story….

Heather Winchester leads a charming life. With good friends, a beautiful flat in one of the most amazing cities in the world, and a promising future once she finishes her Ph.D, she is finally pursuing her own dreams instead of catering to everyone else’s…except she doesn’t remember any of it.

Malcolm Fraser has returned to his Highland village to forget his failings as a professional bodyguard. Believing he could just lose himself in the mundane activities of running his bed & breakfast, he finds a woman’s lifeless body by the loch instead….

Captivated by Heather as she regains her memory, Malcolm is thrown into the line of duty. As danger comes knocking on their door, will he be strong enough to love her and keep her safe?

Excerpt:

She turned to the bedside. A man stood there dressed in dark green sweats, with both hands clenched around the silver bedside bar. He was handsome, with light eyes, dark hair cropped close to his head, and a firm jaw. It was his hands, though. They drew her attention. Clean skin, defined knuckles, large fingers. Hands rough from a hard day’s physical labor, and yet, she imagined, gentle enough to caress the afternoon’s sufferings away.

“It’s good to see you awake.” He smiled. “You gave us all quite a fright.”

Okay, the Scottish accent drew her attention, too. At once, it both melted away some of her fears and sparked a whirlwind of questions.

“Where am I?” Her throat scratched like sandpaper.

“St. Catherine’s Hospital.”

She swallowed hard. “Where is that?”

“Fort William.” He reached for something on the table by her bed and brought back a plastic cup with a straw. “Here.”

“Thank you.” The warm water coated her sore vocal cords. She handed the cup back to him.

Wait a minute. Fort William? The only Fort William she knew was in Scotland. “I don’t understand. How did I get here?” Ignoring the aches in her body, she pressed both palms to the sheets on each side of her and pushed herself up. The blanket fell away from her chest and a new chill surrounded her. “What’s going on?”

Her arms shook, and she collapsed back to the bed.

“Relax.” The man set his palm on her shoulder, as if to keep her flat against the mattress. The heat of his fingers seeped through her hospital gown and into her skin. “I found you unconscious on the beach in Glenhalish. I called for an ambulance, and they brought you here.”

“I was in Glenhalish?”

“Aye, on a three day tour of the Highlands. Do you not remember being there?”

“No.” She squinted and studied him. No memories surfaced. “Do I know you?”

He shook his head. “Only from the beach. I’m Malcolm Fraser.”

She opened her mouth and then closed it again. Her gaze drifted to her lap as tears burned in the corners of her eyes. Panic swelled in her chest and into her throat.

“What is it, lass?” he asked with such tenderness.

“Can you tell me my name?”


HER HIGHLAND CHAMPION is available March 30th from Decadent Publishing

I’m very excited to announce that Alexa will be joining the GLIAS team.  She and I have been friends for five years ever since we both finaled in the same contest in 2007.  After three years of hanging out on-line, we decided to room together at the RWA National Conference in Washington, D.C.  Having never met, I wasn’t exactly sure how it would go.  To sum it up, it was the best conference I’d ever had.  So, I’m happy to introduce  Alexa Bourne.


CAT:  What’s your favorite cartoon character?
ALEXA:  Marvin the Martian

CAT:  What turns you off like nothing else?
ALEXA:  People stuck on themselves.

CAT:  Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?
ALEXA:  LOL! Anything Celtic or bagpipes.

CAT:  What was the first story you remember writing?
ALEXA:  I know I wrote stories as an elementary school student, but I can’t remember them. The 1st one I remember writing and finishing was a 100+ page of fan fiction for The A-Team when I was in middle school.

CAT:  Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
ALEXA:  I often listen to music while I’m writing. The type of music depends on the scene.

CAT:  If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
ALEXA:  Well, in my day job I’m a teacher. So, I’d just focus more on that.

CAT:  What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
ALEXA:  I celebrate with a cocktail and chocolate!

CAT:  If you could interview one person (and it doesn’t have to be a writer) who would it be?
ALEXA:  Matt Damon. I love him!

CAT:  What is your favorite tradition from your childhood that you would love to pass on or did pass on to your children?
ALEXA:  When I was little I spent an overnight with my aunt and uncle (and later my cousin) to help them decorate their house for Christmas every year. When I bought my own house, I continued the tradition with my youngest nephew and niece.

CAT:  Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
ALEXA:  Tea with milk.

GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?
What would you do if you knew you could not fail? (Like I would jump out of an airplane if I knew I would definitely survive with no injuries.)

Alexa is going to give away a copy of HER HIGHLAND CHAMPTION to one commentor

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The World of FINAL PROPHECY

MAGIC UNCHAINED
A Novel of the Nightkeepers

FINAL PROPHECY Book 7
Signet
ISBN: 0451236424
Cara Liu must earn her place as the leader of the winikin, but her powerful feelings for Nightkeeper Sven could jeopardize the balance right when the winikin must become warriors to help the magi fight their increasingly powerful enemies. Sven tries to keep his distance given their troubled past, but when they are betrayed by one of their own, he can no longer deny the attraction. Their searing chemistry—and the danger—increases as they race to locate a hidden cave that could hold the key to resurrecting the Nightkeepers’ strongest ancestor. But their growing feelings face the ultimate test when the winikin army faces an unimaginable threat and Sven is called on to make the hardest choice of his life.
~ ~ ~
Cara saw Zane shove Lora to safety and turn back for her, but the beast was too close, too fast. She could hear it right behind her, could feel the jarring thud of its feet through the worn soles of her boots and smell its rotting stench. Her body tensed for pain, and incredulity flared at the knowledge that she wasn’t going to make it. She glanced back just in time to see the huge creature rock onto its haunches, preparing to spring, and— 
“Cara, get down!” The words came from the other side of her, in a deep voice that jolted her like lightning. 
Before she could react, a gray-and-buff blur raced past with a bloodcurdling howl of rage, and the hard, heavy weight of a man’s body slammed into her, knocking her out of the demon’s path and taking her to the ground. Her rescuer wrapped his arms around her and rolled them as they hit, so he took the brunt and cushioned her fall. 
There was sudden warmth, solid muscle, and the yielding press of a man’s body. And not just any man: She caught rapid-fire impressions of sun-bleached hair against deeply tanned skin, stormy blue eyes, and an air of wildness that defied the high-tech armband and warrior’s garb. Their legs tangled, and when they stopped rolling, he was on top of her with his hips planted firmly between her thighs. Instead of untangling himself, he reared up over her on one arm and lifted the other to summon first a shield and then a huge fireball, and although her brain was struggling to catch up, her soul already knew exactly what was going on. 
“Sven,” she whispered, frozen with the shock of seeing him again after so long. 
He looked grimmer and more tired than he had a few months earlier, when he’d taken off for the south. There were new stress lines cut alongside his aristocratic nose and wide, slashing cheekbones, and his old trademark surfer’s ponytail was a grown-out military brush cut now, gone shaggy and adding to the sense of some wild creature contained within human form. He wore close-fitting armor and the Kevlar-impregnated black-on-black of a Nightkeeper, and he was all warrior as his eyes went to where an enormous gray-and-buff coyote—his bonded familiar, Mac—was fighting with the huge black demon. 
“Leave it!” he ordered. Mac quickly tore away and leaped back, and Sven unleashed his deadly fireball. 
Hiss-boom! Instantly engulfed in flames, the demon-dog reared back with a horrible, unearthly howl. A terrible stench filled the air as it struggled in its death throes. The other animals too were dead and dying, making Cara suddenly aware that the rest of the magi had arrived, and were tightening around the winikin in a protective ring as the creatures melted to stinking black puddles. After a moment, even those faded and disappeared, leaving silence behind. 
Dead. Silence. 
As her pulse pounded in her ears, she thought crazily that it was the kind of utter quiet that came in the aftermath of a disaster that didn’t cause any actual casualties but had come damn close, to the point where everyone sort of sat there for a second, thinking, What the hell just happened?  
But although that was the question that ought to be going through her head, her mind had blanked. All she could do was stare at Sven as he levered himself off her and rose to his feet with a loose-limbed grace that sharply defined the muscles under his tight black clothing, making her entirely aware of his body, and the imprint it had left on her own. 
There was a low whine and the scuff of paws on dirt as Mac trotted over to stand beside him, then looked at her with his pale green, human-seeming eyes gleaming, his ears pricked and his plumed tail wagging in wide sweeps. Sven and the coyote made a formidable pair, and the sight tightened her throat. It had been a long six months since they had gone down to Mexico to head up the Nightkeepers’ efforts to contain the spread of the xombi virus—an infection that was part magic, part disease, and thoroughly vile. She had worried about them, especially when the reports from the southern front had grown increasingly grim. But her relief that they were home safe caromed off resentment that she hadn’t gotten any word beyond the official reports, nothing personal, nothing that acknowledged her and Sven’s connection. He’d promised to help her . . . and then he’d taken off without a word. Which was just Sven, and shouldn’t have surprised her. 
It had, though, and that was why, as irritation won out over relief, she summoned a flip smile she knew would annoy him, and said, “Hey, welcome back. Did you miss me?” 
That was a laugh, of course, because Sven made it his business never to miss anyone.

ABOUT JESSICA
A lifelong New Englander, Jessica Andersen received a PhD in genetics from Tufts, but when the committee head said her thesis “read like a mystery novel,” she admitted she was also writing romance. She now writes full time, and has penned more than thirty science-themed intrigues and paranormal thrillers that have hit the bestseller lists and been nominated for numerous awards. She lives in CT with her beloved husband, and is hard at work on her next novel!



THE ANSWERS to the QUESTIONS

ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading? 
JESSICA: I can’t really remember my first actual book, as I cut my reading teeth pretty early, and graduated to the adult section of the library at a young age, with my mom steering me to Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart. But the romance novel that really opened my eyes and made me go “WOW!” was Nora Roberts’ Sacred Sins. It wasn’t just a romance, it was a mystery too! I loved that there was action, suspense, sexiness, and all the things I loved in stories wrapped up together. I think that’s probably why I started in romantic suspense, and still keep a lot of suspense and action in all of my stories today. 

ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
JESSICA: I love Flounder from The Little Mermaid. I toyed with the idea of being a marine biologist, so I love underwater cartoons. And Flounder is one of my favorite sidekicks of all time, right up there with Indy’s Short Round.  

ANGI: What turns you off like nothing else?
JESSICA: Unprovoked rudeness, especially to waiters/waitresses and other service professionals. Oh, and cooked zucchini. There’s nothing sexy about cooked zucchini. 

ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
JESSICA: The sound of the ferry near my house blasting its horn as it leaves the dock, especially in the fog. It not only feels very Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, it reminds me of when my hubby and I met, and he would come across the sound to visit me. Our first date lasted two days … but in my defense, there was a storm and they canceled the last ferry. J

ANGI: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
JESSICA: I used to be an action adventure girl all the way—my motto was: when in doubt, blow stuff up. However, in the past couple of years I’ve discovered the beauty in fairy tales, too. (Newlywed gushing omitted for fear of inducing sugar comas.) So can I say that I love a fairytale that’s got some swashbuckling in it?  

ANGI: What is your biggest vice?
JESSICA: Hm. Well, it used to be caffeine, but I kicked the Red Bull habit last year. And I’d say ‘chocolate’, but how can chocolate possibly be a vice? (Snicker.) So how about we go with mountain biking … if I don’t get my bike fix on the weekends, I am not a happy camper! 

ANGI: Is there a “Blooper” in your story (it may have been changed before printing)?
JESSICA: Always! Well, hopefully they don’t make it into the final book, but I’m notorious for my typos, which I post to my Facebook page and on my website. One memorable one from MAGIC UNCHAINED was “He was the moist irritating person she’d ever had the misfortune of meeting.”  

ANGI: How is it working with hot guys and sexy women all day?
JESSICA: If I could just sit there and look at the pretty pictures in my head, it would be amazing! Problem is, I have to deal with their quirks and conflicts, too, which complicates the heck out of things sometimes. But when I get to the end of the story, and know they’re going to be okay together, and that I can come back and visit them in rereads or subsequent books … yeah, that’s pretty awesome. 

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK:  In all the Mayan (or other culture) research that you’ve done for your NIGHTKEEPERS FINAL PROPHECY series, what’s the most unusual thing that’s stuck with you?
JESSICA’S GOTTA ANSWER: I did a bunch of research on the origins of chocolate in the Mayan empire (where the whole wonderful tradition began), and discovered that chocolate wasn’t originally used for savories, not sweets, and that you could buy a goat for ten cacao beans, which were used as currency. Which I thought was way cool … but I’m a geek that way ;-)

FIND JESSICA

UP NEXT
BEAR CLAW LAWMAN            SPELLFIRE
Harlequin Intrigue                            Signet
July 2012                                             November 2012

PREVIOUS RELEASES
The NIGHTKEEPERS FINAL PROPHECY Series

BEAR CLAW BODYGUARD
Harlequin Intrigue, Nov 2011 
Complete List of Intrigues


LORD OF THE WOLFYN
Harlequin Nocturn, Nov 2011
Complete List of the Wolfyn


JESSICA'S DRAWING
I’d love to give away signed copies of MAGIC UNCHAINED to two randomly drawn commenters.

Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.  

DON’T FORGET to FOLLOW us on Twitter (#GetLostStories) or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Join GLIAS next week as we host DESIRE WEEK in honor of CAT'S TWO (yes 2) book releases! And come back tomorrow when Cat hosts Alexa Borne. ~Angi

?? TODAY'S FAN QUESTION ??
Okay, since I seem to have a bit of a chocolate theme going on in this interview (yep, sweet tooth here), tell me … what’s your favorite chocolate? Or if you’re not a chocolate buff, what’s your favorite sweet indulgence?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Getting Lost with Vannetta Chapman

A PERFECT SQUARE
Zondervan
ISBN: 0310330440
There’s more to the quaint northern Indiana town of Shipshewana than handcrafted quilts, Amish-made furniture, immaculate farms and close-knit families. When a dead girl is found floating in a local pond, murder is also afoot. And Reuben, brother of Deborah’s best friend’s fiancé, is in jail as the suspect! Reuben refuses to divulge any information, even to clear himself of a crime Deborah is certain he didn’t commit. So, with her English friend, Callie—fellow sleuth and owner of Daisy’s Quilt Shop—Deborah sets out to uncover the truth. But the mystery deepens when an elderly man seeks Callie’s help in finding his long-lost daughter, missing since the days of the 1965 Palm Sunday Tornadoes. An old man who has lost his past. A young man who may lose his future. Once again Deborah and Callie find themselves trying to piece together a crazy quilt of lives and events—one that can bring unexpected touches of God’s grace and resolve the tragedy that has shaken this quiet Amish community.

FALLING TO PIECES
Zondervan
ISBN: 0310330432

When two women---one Amish, one English---each with different motives, join forces to organize a successful on-line quilt auction, neither expects nor wants a friendship. As different as night and day, Deborah and Callie are uneasy partners who simply want to make the best of a temporary situation. But a murder, a surprising prime suspect, a stubborn detective, and the town's reaction throw the two women together, and they form an unlikely alliance to solve a mystery and catch a killer. Set in the well-known Amish community of Shipshewana, Falling to Pieces will attract both devoted fans of the rapidly-growing Amish fiction genre, as well as those who are captivated by the Amish way of life.
WHO IS VANNETTA CHAPMAN?
Vannetta Chapman has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather's birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her first novel, A Simple Amish Christmas, quickly became a bestseller. Vannetta lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.
THE Q&A
ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
VANNETTA: Honestly, if I don't get lost in a story, I give up on it after the first 50 pages. There are a lot of good books out there, so read the ones that make you feel like you've had a cup of coffee with the characters! 

ANGI: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met?
VANNETTA: You're going to roll your eyes if I say my husband, but it's true. I didn't believe there were any men like him left. I didn't believe he was "for real." I was a single mom at the time, and it took over a year for him to convince me . . . 

ANGI: Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?
VANNETTA: She's Country (Jason Aldean), If I Knew Then (Lady Antebellum), This Kind of Love (Sister Hazel), Grace Like Rain (Todd Agnew), LaBoeuf Takes Leave (Carter Burwell).

ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
VANNETTA: I read a lot ... like even when I'm sitting in the car waiting on a train or at the post office waiting for my turn. I read all the time. Keeps me from growing impatient. : )

ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
VANNETTA: Snoopy

ANGI:Fairy Tle or Action Adventure?
VANNETTA: Action fairy tale. 

ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?
VANNETTA: When Denzel is bad, he's very bad. : ) 

ANGI: What is your biggest vice?
VANNETTA: doing too much. 

ANGI: How is it working with hot guys and sexy women all day?
VANNETTA: Well. I'm glad you asked. Folks laugh when you tell them you write Amish romance or Amish murder mystery, but in MY mind, Officer Gavin from my Shipshe series is Matt Damon, so you know ... 

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: Hey girl, Congratulations on your series. I’ve seen you around the contest circuit for a long time and was so pleased with your three book series !!  So, I’ve been poking around your website and noticed you have a PINTEREST page. I have been forbidden to get onto Pinterest account by my daughters. (I love crafts and they’re afraid it will take over my writing time.) My real question: How do you work Pinterest into your writing?
VANNETTA’S GOTTA ANSWER:  Ha! My marketing person at Zondervan suggested I join Pinterest and I literally rolled my eyes at her--NOT another thing to do! But I always do what Alicia Mey tells me to, so I joined. What fun it has been, especially for murder mysteries. I have a clue board for each book. Doesn't that sound like a hoot? Now it's leaked over into my Amish romances. As I edit a book, I keep a pad and paper close by and make a list of images I want to post on my board. I'm telling you, it's a hoot.
FINDING VANNETTA & MORE RELEASES

A Promise for Miriam (Amish romance, Harvest House)
July 2012

Material Witness (book 3 in my Shipshewana Series, Zondervan) 
August 2012

And I recently signed another 3 book contract with Zondervan for an Amish Artisan Mystery series. Plus I'll be writing a follow-up to A Simple Amish Christmas (Abingdon).
Website  Facebook  Goodreads  Pinterest  Blog
A SIMPLE AMISH CHRISTMAS
Abington Press
ISBN: 1426710666

A FREE BOOK? YES !!
Vannetta is choosing two winners today: one for Falling to Pieces and another for A Perfect Square.
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America (US & CANADA) addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

DON’T FORGET to FOLLOW us on Twitter (#GetLostStories) or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Join me tomorrow when I host RITA finalist Jessica Andersen. And come back Thursday when Cat hosts Alexa Borne. ~Angi
 
VANNETTA'S QUESTION FOR TODAY
Where is your favorite place to read once the weather turns warmer?