Sunday, February 28, 2010

Blood Revelation, Book One: Blood Curse




Three sets of immortal mates...One warrior born to save the world from Satan's wrath.
Vampires. Witches. Shifters. All will band together to stop the darkness from winning. Fury ignites, love blooms, and relationships are put to the test, all with a passion thatproves hotter than the flames of hell. The battle to save the world doesn't get any sexier.




When Aria Michaels sets out to find the vampire who took her mother’s life, she’s stunned when she finds Rialto Renaldi, the vampire who has been haunting her dreams, instead. She hadn’t believed he was real, and she knows she should run from Rialto as fast as she can. But who better to help her find her mother’s killer?

Rialto is reluctant to help the mortal woman who has invaded his dreams, even though he’s curious about who she is and why she has this strange connection to him. He isn’t, however, about to satisfy his curiosity. The last time he became involved with a mortal, he ended up destroying her. But he knows that if Aria searches for the killer on her own, she’ll join her mother in death.

Finally, Rialto agrees to help Aria, but the pair soon learns that fate brought them together for a much larger purpose, and fate has every intention of destroying them if they don't fulfill their roles in the Blood Revelation Prophecy . . .

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She thinks I’m a repulsive monster? I’ll show her a repulsive
monster, Rialto thought, as he ducked under a rickety set of
fire escape stairs, positioning Aria with him among the shadows
so they could see the alley without being seen themselves.
“What are we doing here?”
“Hunting,” he answered irritably, and again asked himself
why. He wasn’t in dire need of blood. He could go another
night or two if need be, but here he was, hiding among the
shadows with the woman he’d dreamed about for over two
decades yet was still a stranger. So why hunt at all tonight?
Because you saw the desire in her eyes, he reminded
himself. She’d tried to chase it away, but not before he’d seen
the heat of it blazing in those eyes of pure green. It was the
same look he saw in her eyes when he dreamed of her, right
before she scratched her own throat to offer him her blood.
He would not allow the dream to become real.
She tensed before him, and he realized he was squeezing
her wrist too tight. He released his grip and brought his other
arm around her waist, holding her so that her back was firmly
pressed against his chest. She let out a soft, barely audible
whimper, reminding him of a kitten trapped by a pit bull, and
her fear spiked another degree. He could sense it rolling off of
her in fervent waves as blood pumped harder through her veins,
calling to him like a siren’s song. He dipped his head, smelling
the skin of her neck peeking out from the collar of her jacket.
Coconut and leather fused together, combining with the fragrant
aroma of blood and fear, begging him to taste the droplets of
sweat glistening along her collarbone.
“Try it and die,” Aria warned, and he felt the unmistakable
point of a sharpened stake pushing against his throat.

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I'll announce the winner of the signed copy of Blood Curse in the comments once I've drawn. Once I get my author copies I'll sign one and it'll be on its way to the winner ( - ;

If you leave a comment today, don't forget to include #CRLwin in your comment so you can gain more entries for the grand prize giveaway. Tomorrow I'll draw a winner to win any 3 of my published books. All will be signed (the e-books will be on signed CD)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Favorite Vampire Book


With the upcoming release of my first book featuring vampires, I thought we'd discuss favorite vampire books. Mine just happens to be the first vampire romance I ever read. Twilight Hunger, by Maggie Shayne.
Dante was the ultimate vampire hero. He had the whole attitude going on. Dark, mysterious, somewhat tortured. He acted like a man who'd lived way too damn long. He was one tough SOB, too.
If I'm being honest, the heroine of the book was a little too weak for my liking, but she had a medical condition and was dying so hullo... she was allowed to be a little weak.
I loved their story, and how they instantly fell for each other.
I see a little of Dante in Rialto, the hero of Blood Curse. The long dark hair, the protectiveness. Dante was turned by his aunt. Rialto was turned by his mother. They both have that still-clinging-to-the-old-world feel about them.
*sigh* Maggie Shayne writes some kick-ass vampires.
I'm honestly surprised Shayne isn't more known than she is. The Wings In The Night series (I call it the Twilight series because the majority of the titles have Twilight in the name...and before anyone says anything she was writing these gems looooooooooong before Edward and Bella came out) has done really well. She's a best-selling author. Yet, when I mention her books I always get a "never heard of her." Maybe I'm just not hanging around the right people...
Anyway. Twilight Hunger is my favorite vampire book of all time, and the book that started my love of the genre. What's yours?
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Remember to include #CRLwin in your comments. I'll be announcing a winner of Blood Curse on the 28th (I think I said 27th in an earlier post. That was incorrect. Sorry).
Come back on 3/1 to see who wins the grand prize of any 3 of my books. All comments featuring #CRLwin in them are automatically entered. get some more in while time allows!


Friday, February 26, 2010

Meet the Dream Teller

With the Blood Revelation series soon kicking off with the release of Blood Curse, I thought I'd introduce you to whom is probably the most major minor character in the series.

THE DREAM TELLER

In the realm of dreams, an old wise witch roams, watching over the chosen. She sees them through sightless eyes, knows what they will do before they do it, and puts them back on the right path when they veer away.


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Hello, Dream Teller. Is that what you go by or is there another name you use?

Dream Teller is fine.

OK. Thank you for joining us today. I should explain to our guests that I've actually joined you today, as you never leave this realm. It's pretty cold here.

The dream realm has been known to amplify one's fears, chilling them. It is a normal reaction.

Did Rialto and Aria have this reaction?

Yes. Aria, especially.

Why did you bring them here?

I had an important message. From time to time I must bring very special people here to deliver urgent messages or guide them on their way.

Of all the people you've brought here, who did you like the most? And the least?

All I have brought here have been chosen for a greater purpose. They are all special in some way and I enjoy them all. Seta, though, amuses me the most. Jacob can be the most... trying, but I am very fond of him.

I've certainly heard Jake described as trying before, but I don't think many people would use the word amusing to describe Seta.

No one else would be brave enough. Seta is very fiery, but we understand each other, I suspect.

Hmmm. I drew a picture of you for our guests. What do you think ab... Oh. I mean...

It's all right, dear. I may be blind, but I see far more than most. I'm sure your picture is bea... well, I'm sure it represents my appearance well.

How old are you, if I may ask? I've heard you've been around quite a long time.

Many, many centuries.

You've always lived in this realm?

Not always, but... It feels like it.

I thought witches weren't immortal unless they're part vampire. Are you a hybrid?

No.

So how have you lived for so long? Does it have something to do with this realm?

I'm very special, as are the chosen. I believe we were to discuss them today.

Oh yeah. Right. So you've seen the actual Blood Revelation prophesy in its entirety and know it well? You're not just going off the stories passed down through generations?

The prophesy is carefully protected in this realm. I know exactly who the chosen are and what their duty is.

Can you share this with us?

The Blood Revelation prophesy states that three sets of chosen immortals will mate, creating powerful soldiers, one of which will save the human race from Satan's wrath.

So... Is that one child to each pair of chosen immortals? How will they know which one is the one who'll save us?

They'll know. They'll know before the child is even born.

So why do more have to be born? Why not just the special child who's going to save us?

You'll see. There is a reason to everything.

Will the child be a boy or a girl?

For the protection of the child, I'd better not say.

The special child will be hunted, correct?

All of the chosen will be hunted. The parents and the children will never be able to quit looking over their shoulders until the prophesy is fulfilled.

Why were immortals chosen? Why vampires? Aren't they suppsoed to be born of evil?

Some are. Some aren't. Just as with humans, there are bad and good in all lifeforms. Oh, believe me, there are some very evil vampires, some of which the chosen will have to go against, but there are others even more evil than them. And there are some good vampires, braver and more caring than any human you have ever met. You must judge by the heart, never by the genetic makeup. The immortals chosen for this prophesy were chosen because of what lies in their hearts. They are strong fighters, yes, but more than that. They will die for what is right.

That sounds ominous. Will they have to die to complete this prophesy?

Some will, and some won't, but death is not what you think it is. It is not what you fear.

Oooh-kay. I'll take your word for it. Is tehre anything else you can tell the readers?

Just to open their minds and enjoy the story, safely assured the Blood Revelation prophesy will be fulfilled, even if I have to prod some stubborn immortals in the right direction from time to time.

Ok, then. Thank you, Dream Teller, for uh, having me over. Now please beam me back down. I'm freezing my ta ta's off and I didn't have much to begin with.


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The Blood REvelation, Book One: Blood Curse (Rialto and Aria's story) will be released soon and I'll be drawing a winner on the 27th to receive a signed copy. To enter, just continue leaving comments on my blog and don't forget to use #CRLwin in your comment to be entered!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Greatest TV Shows

Just thought I'd share some of my fave shows with you today. Who else is a fan?



Supernatural funny scenes:


NCIS :



Burn Notice:


Legend of the Seeker:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Release Day - GUARDIAN COWBOY is now available!!!!

It's out! It's out! You can now get your copy of Guardian Cowboy!

Oh, and of course some lucky winner is going to get one for free today. I'll announce in the comments after I choose the winner. In the meantime, here's the salespitch ( - ; :


Guardian Cowboy

After a failed bodyguarding assignment, the last thing Presley West wants is to save a damsel in distress, but the spunky woman he finds standing on the side of the interstate in the pouring rain brings out his protective instincts.
Amber Barlow ran from the clutches of a demon, and into the arms of an angel. But the closer she gets to her guardian cowboy, the more her fear grows, because a southern gentleman like Presley could never want a woman with a past as soiled as hers.


Excerpt:


Amber walked forward until she could see the gun. The cowboy hadn’t set it on the hood like she’d thought, but had placed it under a windshield wiper to keep it from sliding off under the onslaught of rain. Staring at the weapon, she felt stupid holding the rock and let it fall to the ground. There were four miles between her and the next town, and she had no working vehicle. No shelter. No food. No water. Her clothes were soaked through, and her only protection from the elements was a Stetson. “What do I do?”
As if answering, lightning streaked across the sky followed by a deep roll of thunder, then rain came crashing down harder. Amber grabbed the gun, double-checked it was in firing condition, and trudged toward the passenger side of the truck.
She jerked the door open and aimed the gun at the cowboy, who looked at her with raised eyebrows. “I will shoot you, cowboy.”
He nodded his head, still looking at her sideways. “Fine, but can you get in and close the door first before you let all the rain in?”
Amber let out a huff of breath, irritation from his lack of fear easing back a little of her own. She could feel the warmth coming from the vents in the dashboard and craved more. She swung inside the truck and closed the door, keeping the gun steadily pointed on the large man next to her. “I mean it, cowboy. One wrong move and there goes a testicle.”


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The Fangs, Claws, and Stetsons contest is still in full effect. The next drawing will be on 2/27 for a signed print copy of Blood Revelation, Book One: Blood Curse so don't get upset if you don't win the Guardian Cowboy drawing ( - ; Keep leaving those #CRLwin comments!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Guardian Angels

Since today's the last day for entries for the Guardian Cowboy giveaway (It's coming out tomorrow!!!!!! SQUEEEEEEEEAAAALLLLL! Ok, excitement has been purged.) I thought I'd make this post about guardian angels.

I recently (I think it was recently. The way my days and weeks and months run together it coulda been last Juvember...) commented on another blog where guardian angels were the topic and was amazed by all the stories of guardian angels.

In a way I think I've had one. When I was very young, somewhere between 4 and 6, I was sitting on the swingset at my memmaw's when my aunt lost control of her car and came straight at me. I was paralyzed with fear and just sat there watching the car barreling down on me. I could see my aunt's face and she was stunned & terrified too. My oldest brother jumped in the car (right on her lap) and stomped on the break, but not in time. They hit the swingset and it was a mangled mess.

I wasn't in it. Something moved me to the tree in the middle of the yard and dropped me. My legs moved, but I wasn't running. It was the weirdest thing.

I also remember during second or third grade, we stood outside to wait for the schoolbusses at the end of the day and I was a little bitty thing. These two big boys came up and started picking on me. My brother wasn't anywhere near to see so I was on my own and basicly defenseless. Some other big kid walked over and told them to leave me alone. They took one look at the kid and scrammed. I turned to thank the kid and there was no one there. I looked all over. There was absolutely nowhere that kid could have escaped to that fast and I never saw him again.

Things have happened in my life that made me wonder if I had a guardian angel. I remember the day my daddy died, earlier in the day I'd looked up and saw the bright white outline of what had to be a kid standing in the hall looking in the window to his hospital room. I wondered who it could have been, and later on my mother and brother went to a psychic who told my brother our sister was watching over us. My mom had never told him about the child she lost between him and me (miscarriage). There was no way the psychic could have known this, but he did. It really makes you wonder, doesn't it?

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Last day for entries for the Guardian Cowboy giveaway. Remember to leave #CRLwin in your comments to enter! (And if you don't win this time, don't worry. I'll be giving away a copy of Blood Curse next.)
Winner of Guardian Cowboy announced tomorrow!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Goals

Late with today's post/ sorry. I guess it goes with today's theme anyway. I'm talking about goals. Namely. my goals. I've been slacking off. Blame it on depression. Blame it on being unemployed and stressed to the max, but whatever you call it, it's still just laziness. I can't keep being sluggish all the time, staying up all night & sleeping all day. Sure, I say "I can get a 3rd shift job and everything'll be great" but it's been 6 months and I have had no job offers. I'll take what I get and chances are it's gonna be a day job so.....

No more naps. I don't care how bad my eyes burn , I am not napping. I will do frigging jumping jacks to wake myself up.

No more scarfing Zingers. I used to eat whole large pizzas for dinner and follow up with a ten-pack of Taco Bell soft tacos for lunch and it never went anywhere. Since I hit 30 last year, this stuff has been sticking to my thighs. Not good. So no more high-sugar low-anything good junk food fests.

I will start eating breakfast instead of going all day without anything then shoveling in a huge dinner and finding myself hungry at 10p.m. and raiding the kitchen for fast junk like Zingers, pie, ice cream, and Little Debbies.

No more late night runs to McDonalds or Burger King.

No more 4 cans of Cherry Coke a day. It's just not good for me. 2 cans, tops.

I will write every single day, no matter what.

I will learn to say no when people ask me to do things I know I don't have time for (like the cake I'm making today).

No more sulking and procrastinating. It's feeding my laziness.

No More Laziness. Seriously, I'm too young to feel this old. Time to start walking at the zoo on good weather days. Exercising at home on bad days. Gotta get UP.

Set a daily plan and stick to it. Yup. I'm gonna have a plan for every single day, a list of daily tasks that I must complete. Or no Cheesecake Factory. Ever again. ) - :

So those are my goals to get my butt in gear. What's yours?

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Remember to leave #CRLwin in your comment to be entered to win a copy of Guardian Cowboy that I'll be giving away 2/24 ( - ;

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Latest Creations

Today I thought I'd share some of my latest creations with you, because in case you didn't know, writing isn't my only talent. Neither is chocolate Zinger Inhalation (I believe I hold the record for that). I also make some cute cakes. Here's some of my latest works of art:



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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Getting To Know Wayback, Texas

Since my contribution to the Wayback series will be released this coming Wednesday (whoo hoo!!!!!!) I thought I'd introduce y'all to Wayback, Texas by giving you a little peek at some of the great stories in the series. For even more follow this link:

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/books-in-series-wayback-texas-c-172_173.html?zenid=3e51742d0e9cbf43f3ce904510aec8d7

Here's just a few, some with covers (I'd provide covers for all but I'm doing this at 1:00 a.m. and I'm so tired my eyes are burning so I'm trying to do this quickly), to whet your appetite. I love the entire series, but Blackest Heart, and the anthology, Finding Their Way Back, are probably my favorites. They're all worth reading so check 'em out and then go grab 'em ( - ;
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BLUEST HEART
The Wayback bachelor is a dying breed, but that doesn't stop Casey Ridge from wanting to settle down. For this cowboy anyone but Josie Brusky would be an easy wrangle. Unfortunately for him, the Blue Bug singer and owner of Josie's Treasures doesn't believe in commitment much less marriage.
Years ago, Josie lost her heart to Casey's charm and dimpled smile. Since then she has done everything she knows to forget him. After all, she’s known as the local harlot and the daughter of the town’s biggest bigot. Casey could have any girl he wanted. Why would he saddle himself with her? In the wake of a shattering past, she refuses to give up her independence.
Casey digs down deep to win her over, but does he have what it takes to win Wayback's bluest heart?
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SHOWDOWN IN SOUTHFORK
Marla Ellington inherits an abandoned town on ranchland near Wayback, Texas. When she arrives to claim her property, and finds Cody Matheson sitting on the porch of the dilapidated honky-tonk, her temper flares hotter than her pistol. Anger blazing, she settles in for a showdown.
Cody’s only goal for the week is to win the bull-riding event at the Saturday night rodeo. But when Marla receives an anonymous threat that forces her to leave town, Cody finds himself smack-dab in the middle of a mystery. ’Course, catching a criminal and lasting eight seconds on a bull are easy compared to winning the love of the feisty, strawberry-blonde beauty who wants nothing to do with him. Now it's his turn for a showdown.

BLACKEST HEART
America's Sweetheart, Stella Ridge has been away from Wayback for fifteen years paving her way to the top of the acting business. When a car accident leaves her physically and emotionally scarred, the only place she wants to go is home to Texas and her family's ranch.
The changes that have taken place since her departure are enough to rock her world again. She uncovers a buried tragedy, struggles with the penetrating stares and questions from townsfolk, and comes up against an intriguing and unexpected spark with the silent cowboy and champion bull rider, Judd Black. Their wounded souls draw them together and Stella begins to realize that only in him can she find the solace she sought by leaving the bright lights of Hollywood.

RE-RIDE AT THE RODEO
Saddle bronc rider Clay Tanner is looking for a good time and the tempting little blonde who’s working the beer concession at the rodeo looks like she could use one—except she turns him down. Feeling like he’s been bucked off his bronc before the eight second buzzer, Clay’s betting he can score if she’ll give him a re-ride. But qualifying may call for more than he’s prepared to give.
Dusty Morgan’s nonplussed when hard-bodied cowboy Clay Tanner hits on her. She doesn’t exactly have the kind of figure that attracts Texas cowboys. Besides, even though Clay’s deep timbred voice sends tingles clear to her toes, he’s an undependable rough stock rider and a player to boot. Though he may be what she desires, Dusty knows from experience he isn’t what she needs—or is he?

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SHADOW OF THE HAWK
Hawk Riley’s life was in a downward spiral until his truck fell on him and he met Maggie Devereaux. And Maggie had problems. Lots of them. A stranger was out to destroy her. She was on the verge of losing her famous cutting horse ranch, Mercy Creek. And she needed help to prepare for the Wayback Grand Rodeo, her make-it-or-break-it moment. Pursued by a red tailed hawk and haunted by a persistent nightmare, could Hawk help Maggie save Mercy Creek and in doing so save himself?
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HOT NIGHT AT THE BLUE BUG SALOON
Her friends call her the Intimidator. All the fellas in Wayback, Texas are overwhelmed by her outrageous curves and sassy personality. But sexy as sin cowboy Nash Logan isn’t afraid of anything. Eight seconds on a crazy-mad bull? No problem. Taming a bucking bronco? A snap. When Gina Ballew saunters up to him one night at the Blue Bug Saloon, he knows its going to take an easy hand to tame this sweet Texas lady. It’s going to be a Hot Night at the Blue Bug Saloon.
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FINDING THEIR WAY BACK
When Elizabeth O'Leary meets up with the cowboy she's been avoiding for over two years, she doesn't know whether to trust her heart or her head. One tells her Grey Wulfsen just might be The One, the other tells her it doesn’t matter because he'll never forgive her when he finds out what she took away with her on that one starlit night.
Free Wulfsen learned early on that rodeo relationships never last. After one wild weekend, the barrel racer finds herself married to bull rider Zane Malone. She’s all set to ask him for a divorce when she takes a fall—and finds out she’ll have more to remember him by than a ring. Now it’s up to Zane to convince her that love can last after the rodeo’s over.
Bull rider Dusty Wulfsen has been thrown to the ground by more bulls than he can remember, yet nothing caused as much pain as losing Carrie Montgomery. When she shows up in Wayback determined to have a second ride at his heart, he knows he'd be a fool to let her near him. But memories of those nights under a rodeo moon have him coming back for more.

***********************************************************************Don't forget to leave comments with #CRLwin at the end to enter to win a copy of the newest Wayback story, my very own new release, Guardian Cowboy. I'll draw a winner on 2/24 so get those entries in!

Friday, February 19, 2010

What's So Hot About Cowboys?



Hey, peoples. With the approach of Guardian Cowboy I'm trying to be more cowboy-centric with my posts ( I know. So hard to do, right?) so I thought we'd discuss cowboys today. Particularly, what makes them so hot. (The photo I chose to use is the cover of Linda Warren's Once A Cowboy. Great book. Highly recommend.)



It's gotta be more than the Stetsons, tight jeans, and boots, right? I mean, not just anyone can wear them and still earn the title of "cowboy." Trust me, I know. I've been to therodeo. Some guys really do bring shame to the Stetson... But anyway, I'm rambling off.

So... What makes cowboys so hot? Hell-o. They ride bulls and broncs. What's not hot about a man brave enough to get up on the back of such wild animals and ride them for eight seconds? I'd pee myself just being in the arena with a bull. They crack ribs, bruise just about everything that can be bruised, break all sorts of bones, and get better just to do it again. Some would argue that's evidence of stupidity but I consider it rather gutsy.

As for the cowboys in romance novels (a particular favorite genre of mine), they are perfection. Hard-working, well-built thanks to the hard work on their ranches, a little rough (hullo. They're cowboys) but as gentlemanly as they come when it comes right down to it because their mamas taught them good.

Yup. The clothes do not make the cowboy. They're just bonuses. Cowboys are born and bred, raised on the ranch and brought up with the right values. At least the ones in books.

What do you think it is about cowboys that make them so hot in the romance genre?

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Don't forget to leave #CRLwin with your comment to be entered to win a copy of GuardianCowboy on 2/24

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

'Mater Chops

Y'all know I love to stuff my face so I thought we'd exchange recipes today. I'm really not much of a cook. People always look surprised when I say that because I bake the best cake in the world (and that's just the truth. If it sounds conceited, whateva. People who hate cake ask for seconds and thirds of mine. I'd call that scientific proof of my awesomeness, but anyways....) but I'm just not that great at cooking food-food.

However, I've been making these pork chops, which I call " 'Mater Chops" 'cause I'm all hickified like that for a while now and they're pretty darn good. Give 'em a try:


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'Mater Chops

6-8 Pork Chops (bone-in or boneless, whatever you want)
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 can cream of (onion, mushroom, chicken, whatever you like) soup
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TSP garlic powder
1 TSP salt
2 TBS flour
1/2 cup water
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 green pepper. diced (optional)
You can also feel free to season your chops up with some meat tenderizer, chicken seasoning, oregano, basil, and pepper.

In skillet, brown the chops in the oil and transfer to 13x9 inch baking dish.

Combine flour, soup, sauce, powder, water & salt (and any other seasoning you like) in the same skillet which should still have a little oil in it. Stir it until it's gravy.

Pour gravy over chops in the dish, Add tomatoes and optional green pepper. Sprinkle with pepper, and any other spices (I use every one I've mentioned) you like.

Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

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Got a good recipe? Feel free to share. Also, don't forget to leave a comment with #CRLwin in it to enter to win a copy of Guardian Cowboy.

Book Trailers with The Sims 2

My brother is finally bringing over my computer taht he's had (fixing it) for ever now and FINALLY I can play Sims 2 again. This excites me very much as I'm kind of a Sims addict. In celebration of this occasion, I thought I'd share the book trailers I made for Moonlit Dream and The Fire Still Burns using The Sims 2 :





Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Meet Miranda West

Hello, everyone. Today we're chatting with Miranda West, the mother of Presley West, the hero of Guardian Cowboy.


Me: Hi, Miranda. Thanks again for joining us today.

Miranda: No problem, sweetie-pie. I just finished watching the Elvis marathon on tv and there wasn't much else I had going on today.

Me: You really like Elvis, don't you?

Miranda: What's not to like?

Me: Well, I know a lot of people like Elvis Presley, but you even named your son after him.

Miranda: Nothing wrong with that. Elvis Presley was a fine role model.

Me: I guess he was. There's a rumor you've had six hound dogs named Elvis?

Miranda: That's just a rumor. I've only had four.

Me: Oh. Glad you cleared that up. So tell us about Presley. I hear he's a talented man.

Miranda: Sure is. Smart, tough as nails, and has a heart of gold just like his daddy, may he rest in peace. Presley used to be in the military and was offered a job in the secret service but turned it down to work as a bodyguard.

Me: Wow. An offer from the secret service is pretty special. I heard he was pretty good in the rodeo arena too?

Miranda: Best bareback bronc-buster you'll ever know. It's a dangerous sport, though, so he doesn't participate very often. He runs a retirement home for horses now. That's my Presley, always watching out for those who can't watch out for themselves.

Me: Speaking of that, I hear he's been watching out for a very special young lady...

Miranda: Who, Amber? Ain't she a cutie? Such a good girl, though she doesn't seem to know it, the poor thing.

Me: What exactly is she needing protection from?

Miranda: Well, now... I can't say. Presley wouldn't like for me to spill the beans about that. She's under his protection and I don't want the wrong people to know anything.

Me: I gotcha. So, do you like Amber?

Miranda: Love her to pieces.

Me: Do you think anything will come of her and Presley?

Miranda: Provided he yanks his head out of his butt, I sure do. In fact, I've already got baby names picked out. What do you think of Aaron and Garon?

Me: Aaron and... Aren't those the middle names of Elvis and his stillborn brother?

Miranda: Sure are. Oh goodness, speaking of my man, you would not believe the dream I had of him last night. I was in this humongous bathtub just filled with fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches and in walks Elvis in this tiny little gold lamé towel. It looked more like a handkerchief, really, and as he stepped closer to the tub it got smaller and smaller, and...

Me: Um, okay, Miranda. I think I know where this is going. Actually, I heard Charro is coming on in a few so I'll let you go.

Miranda: Charro? Ooh, I love Elvis with a beard. Gotta go!


So... That was Presley's cooky mama. She's always fun. What do you think of her?


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Remember to leave #CRLwin in your comments to enter the contests I'm holding this month. The next drawing is on 2/24 for a copy of Guardian Cowboy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Funniest Commercials

Mondays are always so stressful so today I thought I'd skip the promo and just share some chuckles with you. These are some of my favorite commercials:









Sunday, February 14, 2010

Best & Worst Valentine's Day Gifts

Happy Valentine's Day! Thought I'd share my worst & best V-day memories with you.

I was one of those late bloomers. I spent the majority of my school-year Valentines Days sulking while watching all the girls around me get candy, flowers and gifts. In fact, only once during my entire 13 years of school did I have a boyfriend on Valentine's Day. That was my junior year. I was so excited. Finally, I wouldn't be the pathetic girl watching everyone else enjoy the holiday. I'd been going out with this guy about a week or two, but he'd been my friend for over a year. We should have known each otehr pretty well enough to pick th eperfect presents for one another, but I still dropped hints. Hey, it was the first time I'd get a present. It had to be good. He kept telling me about these rings at the jewelry store that he was going to get me (sterling silver, which I loved. Nothing expensive. We were just kids). I was so excited. I was going to get a ring. ( -; Maybe even more than one ( - ; He knew my tastes in jewelry. Knew I loved silver and onyx. Knew that I hated stud earrings. I wore big hoops or long, dangly earrings. He KNEW this. I was so psyched for Valentine's Day. I got him a flannel shirt at the Gap. (Hey, this was in the height of the grunge fad and it was a $50 shirt, a big deal for a 16-yr old). I couldn't wait to exchange gifts. Well.... I overslept. Didn't get to school until 2nd or 3rd period, the class we had together. I found a single rose in my locker. Yay! Went to our class. As soon as it ended, we left school (I was a bit of a class-skipper back then) to hang out at his house. I never got any chocolate ) - : which he knew I loved. I gave him the shirt which he LOVED. He gave me my gift. Sapphire STUD earrings. I tried my best to plaster a smile on my face. Then he insisted I wear them. I put them in for him despite loathing the things. He'd told me he was getting me a ring, a ring that I'd seen & knew cost the same as the earrings. But he'd given me the earrings because HE liked them. Ok. Fine. Whatever. I got V-Day presents and spent th eday with my boyfriend. I wasn't a miserable loser. But then he came to school th enext day wearing the shirt I got him. And the next day. And the next day. And the next day. By this time he kind of smelled, too and I just couldn't handle it. I'd suggested at Day #2 taht he take the shirt off, but nooooo. For some reason he'd decided he needed to be filthy. We broke up. WORST VALENTINE"S GIFT EVER. Worst V-day week, actually.

The 2nd time I had a boyfriend on V-Day I didn't get squat. Needless to say, that sucked. I'd gotten him a gift but never gave it to him. He obviously didn't deserve it.


Now for the good memories...

My 1st Valentine's Day with Mr. Man. He got me a stuffed teddybear and a big box of chocolates. Perfect gift for a first Valentine's Day together. See. I'm not demanding. I don't require expensive gifts, just thoughtful ones.

But... the best Valentine's Day gift... was this year's. MR. MAN BOUGHT ME A CAR!!!!!!!
Yeah, top that ( - ; LOL! It's not a brand new car. I've never owned a brand new car in my life & doubt I ever will. Way too expensive. But it's a nice car. A 2006 Malibu, and it runs great (my other car was falling apart). Surprised the heck out of me. I knew I needed one and he'd mentioned helping me get one when we got our tax refunds back but instead he went ahead and spent his tax refund on it and declared it my V-day gift. Yup. Greatest gift ever ( - ;


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Hey, while you're celebrating the holiday don't forget to comment and include #CRLwin to enter to win a copy of Guardian Cowboy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Meet Seta

Today we have the pleasure of meeting Seta, one of the vampires who play an important role in the Blood Revelation, the prophesy which foretells of pre-destined immortals mating to create powerful warriors, one of which who will save the world from Satan's wrath.

Like most vampires, Seta is careful about letting people see her. She doesn't allow photographs of herself, but was kind enough to allow me this little interview. Since I can't show you her picture, I'll just describe her for you. I'd call her petite going off her height, but with those curves... voluptous is a more fitting word. She's Spanish, brunette (her hair is raven-black, actually, and very long) with dark brown eyes, and really likes the color black. She has a tendency to dress in long, flowing skirts or skin-tight jeans and rib-knit tops. Today she's wearing black leather pants, a tight black T-shirt,and black knee-high boots with a heel that could pierce a person's heart right through their chest.

Seta: Can we get this little interview over, please? I'm famished.

Me: Oh, sure thing. (Mama didn't raise no fool. I'm not keeping a hungry vampire longer than I have to, especially when she keeps looking at my throat...Yikes.)

Seta: Good. Ask your questions.

Me: So, um, Seta. Thanks for stopping by tonight to answer some questions for the readers. Can you explain why vampires don't generally like to have their pictures taken?

Seta: It's dangerous. Mortals fear those they have no chance of defeating in a fair fight. One individual mortal may be able to come to grips with what we are, but humans as a whole are stupid, and only see the dark side of vampires. If we allow the world to know of our presence the mortals will wage an all-out war against us, convinced we're here to kill them all. Thus, we don't allow record of our existence.

Me: But some mortals know of your existence. Otherwise, there'd be no stories about your kind.

Seta: Yes. Some do, and some have capitalized by writing books or screenplays, but they are smart enough to claim they created vampires in their head. Many of the newer writers may very well write from imagination, going off books and movies, but the early writers... They knew of us and thanks to them, the whole world knows what the word Vampire means. However, they think we're pretend. Works for us.

Me: So why are you doing this interview if you don't want the world to know about you?

Seta: Do you really think anyone will believe this is real? One or two people may, but the majority will think it's all a scheme to help you sell books. (She shrugs a shoulder) I really do need to find a drink, if you could move this along...

Me: Oh, yeah. Ok. What is the Blood Revelation?

Seta: A prophesy that's been around since... forever, I imagine. According to it three sets of vampires will be chosen to mate and create warriors, one of which will save the world from Satan's wrath.

Me: What's that mean, save the world from Satan's wrath?

Seta: I don't know. Maybe it means the warrior will kill the bastard.

Me: Is that possible?

Seta: Anything is possible.

Me: Speaking of anything being possible, you're not just your regular vampire, are you?

Seta: No. I am a born witch, which in other words means I was born into my power as all true witches are. That didn't change when I became a vampire.

Me: When and how were you changed into a vampire?

Seta: I was changed shortly after weaning my son. He was a year old, and I had recently turned nineteen. I was changed over the same way as any other vampire. A vampire drank my blood until I hovered over death, and fed me from his veins.

Me: He? Who changed you into a vampire? The father of your child?

Seta: No. (Her eyes darken into black orbs) The father of my child tried to kill me after taking my son away. Eron changed me over.

Me: Is Eron your mate?

Seta: Next question.

Me: Er, ok. Um... So... all vampires are created the same way?

Seta: Yes. Well... Nyla was created differently, but let's not go into that since your readers won't meet her until the second book.

Me: Good idea. Can you tell the readers who they will meet in Blood Curse, the first book in the series you so graciously allowed me to write (Seta rolls her eyes at my obvious brown-nosing), and what you think of them?

Seta: In addition to me, the readers will meet Rialto, my son, a handsome devil if I say so myself. He gets it from me, of course. I would kill for him, have killed for him. They will meet Christian, an old friend of ours and the only vampire I know who has never killed. I like him, consider him family, though he grates my nerves sometimes. A person can only be so good. They'll meet Eron, though he's not at his best, and Aria, of course.

Me: Do you like Aria? Most mothers don't like the women their sons fall for.

Seta: I like her enough. We have our moments, but if I thought she was bad for my son I would have killed her.

Me: Ohhh-kay. Anyone else?

Seta: The Porters. (Seta rolls her eyes) Jonah is alright for a human, and Jacob... He's growing on me. Some might say like a fungus, but we can stand together in a room now and not try to kill each other. Progress has been made.

Me: Hmm. Ok. So... how many people have you killed?

Seta: Not as many as one would think. I've been told I have a volatile temper. Rip a few heads off and suddenly everyone's a critic. However, I don't kill good people. If I kill someone, they more than deserve it.

Me: Well, that's good, I suppose. Seeing as how you're a witch, what kinds of tricks can you do?

Seta: I'm a witch, not a magician.

Me: Oh. Sorry. I meant what kind of powers and abilities do you have?

Seta: The usual. I can call upon the elements, create witch's fire, teleport, probe psyches, etc.

Me: Can you turn people into toads? (I briefly turn into a toad, let out a croak, then change back.) I'll take that as a rrrib-yes.

Seta: Did I mention magic uses up my power which makes me hungry?

Me: Ok, a few more questions and then you can go find someone to, um, donate... dinner for you. What was your favorite decade?

Seta: I like this one. I'm not a very timid woman so the more power women have, the more I like a particular era. The 1800's were absolutely dreadful, even after I was changed into a vampire.

Me: I can imagine. What's your musical taste?

Seta: I like opera. I absolutely detest rap. All that fast talking... It's pitiful what people consider music these days.

Me: I'm a big David Cook fan. Do you like him?

Seta: He's good. That song, Lie? Beautiful.

Me: I agree. So... Why do you think people should read the Blood Revelation series?

Seta: Well, I'm a bit biased, but I think it's a wonderful story. Granted, when I read over the draft I had to approve I of course had to skip over all those love scenes featuring my son (she shudders) but there's lots of action and drama. However, the bottom line is that you need the money.

Me: Ain't that the truth. Well, thank you for talking with us today, Seta. If you're still hungry, you can... She disappeared. Ok, end of interview since our guest just vanished. Hope you enjoyed meeting Seta! Look for her in Blood Curse!


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To enter to win a copy of Blood Curse or Guardian Cowboy (or the grand prize of any 3 of my books) leave a comment with the tag #CRLwin
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, full contest details are in the 2/1/2010 blog post or at www.crystalrainlove.com/contests.htm

What You Should Never Say...

You know how sometimes you're reading a book or watching a movie/show and the hero or heroine says something and you just want to smack them upside the head and say "No!!!! You never say that!"

Well, today I thought we'd discuss things you should never say. No matter how mad you are, whether you think it's funny (because not everyone gets your joke) or even if its deserved.

Here's a few Things You Should Never Say ...

When your significant (or unsignificant, as the case may be) walks in the door and immediately starts ranting about the house being unkempt just because the sheets aren't folded as perfectly as he likes or something like that, and he yells at you, "What do you do all day while I'm at work?!"
Do not, I repeat, do NOT scream back at him, "$%#& the poolboy!"

He won't find it funny. Not even a little bit. It doesn't matter that you don't have a poolboy. You've admitted to infidelity. Doesn't matter it was just a smart response to his jerkish comment. He will totally overlook that and focus on the part where you "admitted infidelity" and your little spat is going to be a huge drag out fight. Trust me. I know ( - ;

When your sweetie asks you "Are we going to do it tonight?" do not, again, do NOT respond with, "With each other?"
Even if it drives you crazy that a grown man asks if you're going to "do it" like you're a couple of teenagers or something. Don't say it. Men just don't find the humor in these things.

And no matter how bad an argument gets, how crazy your man drives you, no matter what he says to rile you up or no matter how tired you are of arguing and he.just.won't.let.it.go. and walk away... do NOT growl at him, "You have no idea how hard it is for me not to smother you with your pillow while you're sleeping!" Then again, it will shut him up for a minute or two while he's standing there slack-jawed trying to wrap his mind around what you've just said. Don't ask me how I know... ( - ;

Ok, so those are my pearls of wisdom. Got any to share?

Hey peoples, don't forget to put #CRLwin in your comment to be entered for the drawings later this month. Guardian Cowboy will be the next prize up for grabs.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Who Is Jennifer Santiago?

I remember reading a storybook to one of my kids when they were very little and noticing a note the author/illustrator had put into the front. She'd noted that in every illustration, she had managed to hide each of her grandchildren's initials. I thought... Cool. What an awesome idea.

It stuck with me.

I love little stuff like that, like how when you go see a horror movie based on a Stephen King novel you know he'll be somewhere in it. If you blink you just might miss him, but he's there somewhere in some very minor role. It's just one of those "extras" thrown in.

I was reading a romance novel by Meryl Sawyer and had a nice little chuckle when the heroine "picked up her latest Meryl Sawyer romance novel..." That was cute.

Then there's Supernatural. Everyone knows I'm a huge fan of the show. One of the reasons why is because they totally make fun of themselves. In the episode where they go to prison and Dean asks Sam, "What? All of a sudden you're from Texas?" (Not sure on the EXACT quote but that was at least close) The funny thing about that line was that both actors ARE from Texas, and the show's writers know the fangirls know this. They know all about the fangirls, which is why they've poked fun at us in several episodes. And they poke fun at the guys, referencing names of other shows and/or movies they've been in.

So... What could I do as something a little "extra" in my books? I could have my characters read my books, but with a name like mine... I think it's more distracting than cute. I don't have illustrations to hide initials in, but I do have stories to hide a whole name in!

My very first real fan (by real fan I mean someone I totally did not know, who read my book, then gushed over it in a review and showed fan-like qualities) was a lovely young lady by the name of Jennifer Santiago.

To honor my first official fan, and add in a little "extra" something to my books, I've decided to insert her name in each book (or a book in each series) I write.

The Fire Still Burns and Moonlit Dreams were already published by the time I got my first official fan. I was working on the 3rd book in the Blood Revelation series at that time so I inserted her name into it.

That book won't be released for a while yet so the first book you'll have the opportunity to locate her name in will be Guardian Cowboy, the book I'm giving away a copy of in the next drawing.

So... What do you think? Can you think of any authors/screenwriters/etc. that do this little stuff? What do you think of it? Super cool? Or lame and I'm a dork for doing it? ( - ;

Remember... Write #CRLwin by your comments in order to be entered for the prize drawings this month! Go back to the 2/1/2010 post if you need further detail about the contest ( - :

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"True" Ghost Story ????

Yesterday we talked about TRUE ghost stories. Today, let's talk about those stories you just know can't be true... Or can they?

Let's start with Bloody Mary. You say her name 3 times in a mirror and she comes out to kill you. True? I don't see how it's possible. First of all, no spirit has that power. A demon, maybe, but a ghost? Puh-leese. It is kind of puzzling how you can never come across someone who has said her name 3 times in front of a mirror and lived to tell the tale... Hmmm.... Will I ever try and see what happens? Nope.

Then there's the lady on the road that you pick up at night but she disappears after you pass a certain point... My great-uncle supposedly did this. Is it true? Wouldn't everyone in the world know about it if it was? Wouldn't ghost-groupies flock to the road for a chance at picking her up?

Don't you ever wonder where these stories get their origin? One of the things I love about the show, Supernatural, is how they take these urban myths and give them a plausible backstory then kill the ghost in the episode.

But don't you wonder where these stories REALLY came from? Were a group of kids sitting around thinking up scary stories to pass off as true or did something really happen that made them believe there were ghosts who did these things?

Let me share with you a hilarious account of a "True Ghost Story."

When my mom was a little girl, my granny made my uncle take her along everywhere he went. Well, he didn't always want his bratty little sister tagging along with him and his friends so one day he grabbed up a bunch of scary comics and went off with my mother right on his heels.
On his way to his friend's house he passed the cemetery where a grave had been dug up for a burial the next day. He figured my mom couldn't possibly get in trouble if he left her there.

He actually put my mother in the grave, told her to be quiet and read (SCARY comics, mind you) while he went to his friend's house and he'd be right back for her.

Well, my mom was just a little girl and reading scary comics while sitting in a grave in the middle of a cemetery is of course not much fun for a little girl. As the sky started to darken, she got more scared. She just wanted to go home but she couldn't get out by herself.

She heard footsteps, then a man's voice saying "Hi, honey. I brought you some flowers" as he apparently visited a nearby grave.

My mom said "Hey!"

She heard the guy give a startled cry. "Who's there?"

My mom: "I'm down here!"

The man: "Down where?"

My mom: "I'm in the grave! Help me!"

The man: "Oh shit!!!"

Then she heard the sound of him running like hell and when her brother finally came and got her out she saw the flowers strewn all over the ground where he'd flung them before running for his life.

I guarantee you that to this day that man, his family, and his friends and all they've told are telling the story of when he went to the cemetery and a real ghost talked to him.

TRUE STORY ( - ;

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

True Ghost Stories

I've always been into paranormal stuff, whether it be movies, shows, or... of course... BOOKS. It was only natural I would write a lot of paranormal. I grew up with ghosts, as in I know they are real because I've lived in a haunted house. Call me crazy. Don't care. I know what I've witnessed.

One of my earliest run-ins with ghosts was with my first pet. I had a beautiful white german shepherd that died when I was 9 years old. For two weeks after his death, he still greeted my brother and I at the door when we got home from school. I kid you not. We'd walk in and there he'd be standing there waiting on us. Then he'd disappear, but during dinner his dog bowl would move and at night you could hear the creak at the foot of my brother's bed where he'd sleep.

My dad never believed in such things until he happened to move into a haunted house. Nothing happened in the house until he decided to add on. Apparently, whoever lived there before did not like it because suddenly we were haunted. My dad found a coin in the hallway right where he'd added on and put it on his nightstand. The next morning the coin was where he'd found it. This went on and on and on.
While sitting downstairs you could hear someone walking upstairs... when no one was there.
Once while home alone I left the living room to go to the bathroom. When I came back, the furniture was turned around.
The ghost didn't care for my taste in music, as he constantly changed the radio station over to the oldies.
Oh. Remember those old cable boxes that you had to change the channel by pushing in the button? Imagine sitting in front of the TV and all of a sudden that button is being pushed and someone you can't see is channel-surfing. Yeah. Creepy.
There were knocks on the door and no one there, things falling over that just couldn't have fallen without being pushed, and shadows crossing doorways.
I think what took the cake was the day I was getting something out of the microwave and turned to see a man walk right through the kitchen... and disappear.


So... How many of you have seen a real spirit? Care to share your true ghost stories?

Monday, February 8, 2010

In Loving Memory

Daddy's Girl

Raymond Lee Love
02/08/1949 - 04/28/2005

No big discussion today. Just posting my daddy's pic and wishing him a happy birthday. He should have been here celebrating his 61st birthday today. Instead, cancer took him away far too soon. I used to get him U of K stuff. He was a huge Wildcat fan. Now I donate to Stand Up To Cancer in place of a present. I really hate that disease.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Whatcha Reading?







For today's blog I thought I'd share what I've been reading and ask for recommendations for my To Be Read pile.






I've been reading a lot of Joan Johnston and Linda Warren lately. Both ladies have wonderful, heartfelt stories featuring scorching hot cowboys, the kind of men you dream about: Rough, sexy and rugged, yet gentler than a lamb with children and the women they love.






My first Joan Johnston book was The Virgin Groom, which featured a virgin hero, a virgin by choice. That was a first for me in the romance genre, and I lurved that story. I immediately purchased more in the Hawk's Way series.






My first Linda Warren book was Once A Cowboy, which was a free read at All Romance eBooks. I loved it so much that I did something I rarely do and contacted the suthor directly through her website to praise the book. Imagine my surprise when she sent me two more books for free! How awesome is she? I read those two and immediately bought more. The really awesome thing about Ms/Mrs(?) Warren is that she doesn't write the same cookie cutter books often found in the romance genre. I love the issues she tackles in her books as well. Once a Cowboy features a hero who was switched at birth and how he deals with discovering this and coming to grips with the family who raised him & the family he was stolen from. Skylar's Outlaw had a wonderful hero, who is an ex-con and has to deal with living under that title.






I also must highly recommend the Calamity Jayne series by Kathleen Bacus. I just finished book 2 and can't wait to get the rest. These books literally make you LOL. Take one disaster prone blond, a crazy pair of old coots, a hot park ranger, a crazy family, and loads of trouble, then mix them all up and you have Calamity. Tressa Jayne (Calamity Jayne) Turner keeps finding herself mixed up in one big batch of trouble after another, all starting when she accidentally drives the wrong car home from work and finds a body in the trunk. Kathleen writes comedy better than anyone.






Speaking of comedy, I've got to get the rest of Virginia Brown's Harley Davidson series. I'm not sure if that's the series name but that's what I call it since the heroine is named Harley Davidson. It's another mystery/chick-lit that had me cracking up. One of the funniest parts in the book involves Harley knocking a man out with the penis that broke off of a statue. When asked what she hit the man with, she smirks and replies, "My dick." I don't care who you are, that's funny.









I just recently read Amber Leigh Williams's Bluest Heart and highly recommend it along with her previous novella in the Wayback series, Blackest Heart. Heck, I recommend the whole Wayback series, but Blackest Heart is probably my all-time favorite. It featured a silent hero. I don't know if I could pull off a silent hero like Williams did. I mean, the man showed more emotion in an expression than most heros do in five paragraphs of dialogue. Amazing.






I recently stepped into the science-fictiony romance genre with Wither by Yolanda Sfetsos. very cool. Did you know there were space cowboys? They're pretty hawt.






So... That's what I've been reading. As far as what's in my TBR pile, here's a few:






Intertwined by Gena Showalter



Flirt by Laurell K. Hamilton



Salvaged by J.S. Marlo



Bridesmaid Blues by Lainey Bancroft



Odd Stuff by Virginia Nelson



Death, The Vamp, and His Brother by Lexxie Couper



One Dependable Man by Rita Thedford



Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis



Hot Stuff by Carly Phillips



Shattered by Joan Johnston



The rest of the Calamity Jayne series



The rest of the Harley Davidson series



The rest of Lilith Saintcrow's Watcher series



Bound By Shadows by Keri Arthur









So... What's on your list and what have you read lately?



Saturday, February 6, 2010

I'm A Gamer, Baby!

Who here likes to play computer games? I love them, especially The Sims. I used to play Sims 2 constantly until my main PC went kerplunk. And I have Sims3 but can't play it until I get a DVD-rom installed on said kerplunked PC which my brother has taken hostage. He fixed the kerplunk but now he's waiting on the DVD-rom I ordered to arrive so he can install it and *hopefully* he'll quit holding my PC hostage & bring it back to me so I can play again.

In the meantime I entertain myself with Facebook games, and this, my peoples, is where you can gain extra contest entries! That's right. If you haven't already, friend me over at www.facebook.com/crystalrainlove and send me neighbor requests & gifts (using the #CRLwin tag in your messages) for the following games:

Farmville
(Gift me cows! And trees)

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Farm Town
(Gift me fuel)
The coolest thing about Farm Town is I can write stuff by strategically planting the crops:


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YoVille :


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Cafe World
(one of my fave games on FB)

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Jungle Extreme

Jungle Extreme is pretty new & I haven't taken any pics of it but please join me there. I'm lonely.



Soooooo... What do you like to play?


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Remember to keep commenting on all blog posts using the tag #CRLwin to gain entries for the drawings! All month long through the 27th!

Friday, February 5, 2010

CHARITY

Today's blog post is dedicated to charity. Yesterday, a dream of mine was fulfilled. A book that I wrote exclusively for charity was released. Though I won't receive a dime for Moonlit Watcher, I'm just as--if not more--excited about its release as I am my other releases because the money raised from its sales will go to the American Heart Association. More money than I could afford to give to them myself.
I'd like to thank All Romance eBooks for this opportunity, and I hope this is the beginning of something huge. If they continue to do this campaign through the years, there just may be many more stories in the Moonlit series.


But AHA isn't the only charity out there in need of help, whether that help be monetary or comprised of your time and/or talents.
Do you have a homeless shelter near you with a food kitchen? They may need your help serving.
Does your child/grandchild/niece/etc.'s school need your help?
The local animal shelter may need blankets.

There's always a way to help, even if you don't have the funds to donate money.

Today I thought we should all highlight a charity or two, hopefully helping one another learn of new opportunities to give.

I'll start with:

Stand Up To Cancer - This is one of my favorite charities. I am always willing to give to any charity that seeks the cure for cancer or helps those diagnosed with this horrid disease. I lost my father to cancer in 2005 and now on his birthdays I can go to http://www.standup2cancer.org/custom/?c=profile&a=index&id=22956 and donate in his honor. I launched a star in his name and can add a birthday message each year to help me get through such a sad day.

American Heart Association - I give through Jump-Rope For Heart, something that is done through schools to not only raise money for AHA but to teach children about the importance of healthy activity in combatting heart disease. You can join ARe's team or just go here to see how much money is being raised with the release of the books in the 28 Days of Heart campaign:
http://bit.ly/6rEbdA

Libraries - Did you know the library will accept your gently used books? Done reading that romance novel? Take it on over to your local library. It saves them the cost of purchasing new books for their shelves, and sometimes they even sell those donated books to raise funds.

eBay - Did you know you can auction off your old stuff on eBay and designate a charity to receive the money earned?

And, of course, you can donate to aid in the Haiti relief fund through the Red Cross by texting HAITI to 90999. $10 will be charged to your cell bill, all of which is your donation.

iTunes - There are regularly downloads available for charity, from the American Idol songs which go to their charity, David Cook released a live performance of Permanent to benefit a cancer charity, and there are currently songs available to benefit Haiti.

iWon - Go to www.iwon.com and join the team challenge! Help your team rank in the top 3 each month and iWon will donate money to YOUR team's charity!

So... Anyone else care to share some charity ideas?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Moonlit Watcher is out NOW!!! Who Won A Copy?


Moonlit Watcher is officially available for download from www.allromanceebooks.com

All proceeds from the sale of this book go to the American Heart Association so go grab one. Buy a few for your friends too and support a great cause ( - ;

Need more incentive? Ok. Here's a sneak-peek (in case you haven't checked out this info over at ARe):

He watches her, until watching is no longer enough…Juliana Van Alder has fled the bright lights of New York, leaving the Broadway stage behind to discover the source of what's been drawing her to the North Carolina woods.What she discovers is unexpected danger, and a gorgeous, powerful man who just happens to be a wolf. She's found her soulmate, but there's one little problem...Derek Kingston is a wolf determined to protect her, and he can’t be tamed.


Excerpt:

Leaning forward, she reached down to lay her hand on his forehead and check for a temperature. Did werewolves get fever? His head was hotter than she would have liked to have found it. Guilt gnawed at her. She’d cut him with a silver knife in order to get the bullet out of him.
“Idiot,” she chastised herself, and felt the base of his neck. He was warm there as well. She thought of going into the bathroom and wetting a rag to lay across his forehead, but couldn’t pull her hand away from all that muscled perfection. Sitting beside him on the bed she allowed her hand to travel over his pecs, reveling in the feel of cotton stretched over hard muscle.
His hand snared her wrist and she was flipped onto her back, the man pinning her to the bed with his larger body. She gasped, but didn’t speak, lost in the predatory gleam of his dark brown eyes.
“Where am I?” His deep voice came out as a growl. It sent chills down Juliana’s spine and she struggled not to let him see the effect.
“You’re in my home, in my bedroom.” She lightly pulled on her hand and found he wouldn’t let go. “You were shot outside.”
“I remember being shot.” His dark eyes narrowed. “Who is here helping you?”
“No one is here with me.”
“Don’t lie to me, woman.” His eyes glowed red for a second before he brought them back under control. “I did not walk in here.”
“I dragged you inside.” She licked her lips, nervous but not scared. She still didn’t think he’d hurt her, but he was clearly agitated. “I didn’t want to leave you out there in case the hunters came back.”
His eyes widened but for only a brief moment before a veil seemed to fall over them, hiding any emotion he might feel. “You are very strong for such a small woman.” He lowered his head and sniffed along her neck. It was all Juliana could do not to moan. “I do not smell fear on you.”
“I’m not afraid of you.” She met his gaze as he raised his head to stare down at her, letting his eyes bleed back to that red color. He was doing it to intimidate her, but she didn’t understand why. Loneliness seemed to spill from his pores, but he acted as if he wished to chase her away. “You saw what I am.”
“Yes, and I’m sorry.” His eyes changed back to brown and she saw the confusion in them. “If I’d known you were a…” geez, it sounded crazy saying it out loud, “a werewolf, I wouldn’t have used a silver knife to get the bullet out. I’m sorry if I hurt you further.”
He blinked, and the confusion turned into raw anger as he smashed his mouth down onto hers. Juliana gasped, the involuntary action opening her to his invasion. His tongue broke through and he tasted every inch of her mouth, greedily and without softness. He was testing her, she realized with clarity. He wanted to frighten her, to send her running. Well, she wouldn’t do it. Juliana kissed him back, felt it the moment he figured out what she was doing, and reveled in the fact she’d turned the tables on him, surprising him with her boldness. She broke free from his grasp and dug her fingers into his shoulders, holding him tight against her as she raised her pelvis, grinding against him. He moaned against her mouth, enjoying what she was doing. Encouraged by his response, she trailed her fingers down his broad back, and slid them into the back of his waistband.
He abruptly ended the kiss, raising himself onto his elbows to stare down at her. His eyes were red again, but she sensed no danger there. They seemed hungry this time. She knew with certainty the werewolf wanted to devour her, would bet her right leg on it, and she’d gladly allow him to do it.

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So... who won the copy of Moonlit Watcher? This post is being written ahead of time so I'll announce the winner on the 4th in the comments. Be watching... I'll post when I wake up and draw the name ( - ;

And remember... You can still comment on today's post, using the tag #CRLwin to add to your entries for the other drawings this month! A copy of Guardian Cowboy will be the next prize given away!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Going Back To Where It All Began - Moonlit Dream

Moonlit Watcher will be released tomorrow. It would have never been written if not for Moonlit Dream, my first foray into the world of werewolves. Honestly, I never thought I'd feature werewolves in any of my books. I just didn't care for them, most likely due to all the gross scenes I've read in other books featuring werewolves. The whole totally controlled by the moon thing, the disgusting shapeshifts (I'm referencing Anita Blake here), and the whole Alpha thing. They're people, even if tehy take on the shape of the wolf. Is it absolutely necessary to have an Alpha? For some reason it all just bugged me. I found werewolves to just not be human enough for my liking.

But then I was hit with this image of a man (who looked a whole lot like Wentworth Miller) running through the woods chased by a pack of huge, red-eyed, blood-thirsty wolves...

So I wrote a werewolf story, and I loved it because it was MINE with my own rules. Yes, the wolves travel in packs and they have a packleader but they do not call this packleader Alpha. They don't leave a mess when they shift or lose their clothes through the transition. Their shape-shifting is a thing of magic, not science. They are very much human even though they take on wolf form, and although the moon does not "control" them, it will guide them to their soulmate and force a moon vow out of them, binding them together for eternity once they find the one destined for them. Though they have the rage and sexual appetite of the wolf, they have the same desires and insecurities as any human... which I think makes them a little bit more believable.

Before Moonlit Watcher releases tomorrow, I thought I'd treat you to a chapter from the book that started the Moonlit series; Moonlit Dream:


Moonlit Dream-small


Chapter 1

He would die tonight.
Jason ran at breakneck speed through the woods. Wind whipped across his face so hard it stung his flesh. Blood oozed from his chest wound. If the wolves didn't get him first, he would bleed to death. He pushed on, ignoring the pain ricocheting through his body. He refused to make it easy for them to get him. He'd survived being beaten by his stepfather as a kid, held at gunpoint in a convenience store as a teen, and hell, he'd survived prison. He had to survive this. “I will survive this.” He rounded a bend, then slid to a stop to avoid running straight into a huge rock formation. A wolf bayed in the distance, the sound eerie in the misty night. A cold chill ran the length of his spine as more of them howled in response, the sound closer. The beasts were nearly upon him. They would eat him alive…like the others.
“God, help me.” His plea a desperate whisper as he tightened his grip around the handle of the blade he'd used against one of the beasts earlier, narrowly escaping the massive snapping jaws. He crouched with his back against the rock, ready to spring, ready to fight until he drew his last breath. If he was to die tonight, he would take as many of the red-eyed monsters with him as he could. The sound of underbrush being trampled beneath the weight of their paws rang inside his ears as they crept forward. Heart hammering in his throat, Jason began to make out their forms. Three gray wolves stalked him, their heads low, ready to attack. They assessed him as he studied them. Two medium sized beasts flanked the larger one in the center and fanned out to cover him in three directions. His hand tightened around the blade. He didn't have a chance in hell of getting all three, but a little relief washed over him knowing these were not the same wolves he'd seen eating people earlier tonight. Those beasts had been huge, with red, glowing eyes. Demon dogs. He'd take on three normal wolves any day over the chance of going toe-to-toe with one of those monsters.
The wolf in the middle lowered itself, ready to lunge forward and rip him to shreds, but suddenly stilled, cocking its head to the side. The hair on the back of Jason's neck stood on end and he felt it too...the sense that something far more powerful than these beasts approached. He'd no more than finished the thought when a dark shadow flew over his head.A large black wolf landed before him. It lowered its sleek head and issued a warning snarl to the three gray predators. The gray wolves had the advantage. They outnumbered the black wolf three to one and had the creature surrounded. Jason’s jaw dropped open in surprise when instead of charging, they tucked tail and ran.
The remaining wolf turned and stared him down with eyes that faded from red to a smoky topaz. The animal tilted its head and whined. Though it looked as big as the wolves that’d attacked the people he'd been traveling with and had the same red eyes, he sensed no evil. Instinctively, he knew the animal wouldn't hurt him.
Run. Hide yourself.
He started, twisting his head around to discern where the voice he'd heard so clearly had come from. Was there another person in the woods running from the wild beasts? A woman? Had one survived?
Run, you foolish human. Go! The wolf butted against him with its head, staggered, then fell.
“No way.” He stared at the wolf and, an odd sense of déjà vu washed over him. He'd seen this animal before. He'd dreamed of running through the woods, these woods, with a beautiful black wolf just like her. He'd woken to find the gorgeous creature staring at him from across his prison cell. No way. No possible way. “I am not out here in the woods hearing animals like freaking Doctor Doolittle.”
You can hear me?
Jason’s eyes widened in disbelief. He tried to back away but the large rock formation blocked his escape route; even the jagged heap of stone looked vaguely familiar. This couldn't be happening. He was just having trouble adapting to the outside world. He'd been in prison too long. That had to be it.“No freaking way,” he whispered as he studied the animal.She could only be described as beautiful. Strong, sleek, with fur like black silk shining in the moonlight. He narrowed his eyes as the moon showed something wet glinting off her side. Tentative and slow, so he wouldn’t startle her, Jason reached out with two fingers and touched the spot. He pulled back bloody fingertips. “What happened to you, girl?”
I‘ve been shot, and quit talking to me like I'm some mangy mutt.
He jerked his head up to meet her gaze. The wolf stared at him with eyes so human he could be having a conversation with some woman in a bar, not squatting in the forest, talking to a wolf and hearing her respond in his mind.Jason glanced around, sensing for imminent danger. Those deadly wolves were out there and he sat crouched between a rock wall and an injured animal. The scent of their blood alone would draw all manner of beasts, but he couldn't leave her. She'd saved his life, and he had an affinity for animals. “Come on, girl, let's get you to a vet and then maybe I can have my head shrunk.” He bent forward to scoop up the black beauty when a threatening growl stopped him.
The bullet was silver. I don't have much longer. Run while you can. They'll kill you! Her eyes burned red, then slowly shifted back to amber.
“Silver? What the hell are you, a Werewolf?” He laughed at the ridiculous notion, but quickly sobered when the wolf didn’t even blink. Realization caused his stomach to bottom out. The wolves that’d attacked his fellow travelers were much larger than normal, and their eyes had glowed red, too. “I have seriously lost my mind. Or maybe it's all a dream,” he added, liking that explanation a lot better. “Yeah, this is all a dream and I'm supposed to save you. You'll turn out to be a real hot woman and we'll get freaky in the woods while danger surrounds us. I can handle that.”
She growled again, the sound weaker than before. Leave, you fool. They'll kill you!
“Yeah, sure. I'm going to be killed by Werewolves.” He laughed, his muscles relaxing. “Go ahead and shift for me then. You've gotta be fine as hell since this is my dream.”
Run, you idiot! I can't shift with silver in my body and I'm too weak to protect you!
“Well, that's all you had to say.” He studied her wound, squinting to see it clearly in the dark. “I'll just get this out of you.”
Her eyes blazed red again then quickly flickered out. If you so much as attempt to stick that knife in me--
“Relax, darlin'.” He chuckled. “I happen to have a few cool tricks of my own.” He focused on the wound, and the prickly sparks of warm energy came alive inside his body as he held his hand over the wolf, sensing for the bullet. Once detected, he trained his power on the piece of silver and quickly extracted it, catching the bullet in his hand with ease. “All set.”
How did you do that? The wolf's eyes were wide, and a sense of satisfaction warmed him from the inside.
“I told you I had a few cool tricks. Now let me see what you can do.”
They're coming. The wolf swiveled her head around and attempted to rise, whimpering in pain when the feat proved too much.
Jason’s heart went out to the animal’s pain. “I can't heal you. Will the wound be there when you shift?”
No, but I'll be weak from the exertion.
“Then I'll carry you.”
Why are you helping me? The wolf cocked her head to the side, and Jason swore the animal’s brows furrowed.
“Because I just got out of prison and wouldn't mind getting laid, even if it's just a crazy dream,” he answered with a devilish grin, growing more amused with each passing second.
Fool. She actually shook her head at him.He frowned and started to respond, but words caught in his throat as a kaleidoscope of colors shimmered over the wolf's body. Before his eyes, the animal metamorphosed into a beautiful Asian woman with long dark hair, pale skin and lips red as rubies.
“Hey!” He took in her tight jeans and black rib-knit sweater. “If this is my dream you should be naked.”
“This isn't a dream, you stupid human.” She sat up with much effort spent on the move. “They're coming. They'll kill us both.”
“Why would your own people, or whatever they are, kill you?”
“Just run, fool!” The irritation in her tone came through strong.
“You know, you're starting to annoy me with the name-calling.” Jason scooped the petite beauty into his arms, winced as pain ricocheted through his body from his own wounds, and straightened to a stand. “So what's your name, darlin'?”
“Ming.”
“Well, Ming, do you know a safe place I can take you?” He shifted her more securely in his hold which pressed her firmly against his chest while he tried to place where he'd heard the name before.
“Follow the hawk. He’s my friend,” she whispered before she passed out in his arms.
“Follow the hawk? What the—” A loud screech sounded over his head and he peered up to see the outline of a large hawk circling above him in the night sky. “Okay,” he muttered, “I'll follow the hawk through a dark forest while Werewolves are on the prowl and see how this crazy dream ends.”

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Don't forget to include #CRLwin in your comments! The 1st winner in the Fangs, Claws, and Stetsons contest will be chosen tonight and announced during tomorrow's blog post! The 1st winner receives an e-book copy of Moonlit Watcher, the story that picks up where Moonlit Dream left off. Proceeds from Moonlit Watcher go to the American Heart Association ( - :

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Moonlit Watcher- Meet Juliana & Derek

When it came time to "cast" the character of Juliana Van Alder, a beautiful, blond ballerina, it seemed only natural to imagine Amanda Schull, star of Center Stage, in the role.


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Juliana is tired of her uppity family pushing her to forever be a prima ballerina. The bright lights of Broadway have lost their thrill. Tired of the men who come calling only to have a pretty ornament dangling from their arm--or her family's money--she escapes, following her gut which insists something big is waiting for her in the woods of North Carolina. Could it be the mystical wolf she sees in her dreams? The one who shares the same lonely eyes as the man she also dreams about?


Derek Kingston wasn't meant for taming. Tall, muscular, and fine as hell, this Morris Chestnut look-alike refuses to give in to the call of the moon.

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Derek watches the ballerina through her sliding glass door, aching to shift from wolf to man and do the things he's fantasized about with her. But she's human. Derek doesn't fool around with humans. He's all wolf, and likes his women rough and ready. He doesn't do soft touches and sweet words. He's as animalistic as his beast and this dainty little ballerina couldn't possibly survive a night with him despite whatever the moon has to say differently.

Or can she?


It's Day #2 of the Fangs, Claws, and Stetsons contest. Be sure to leave a comment using the hashtag #CRLwin to enter to win a prize. Don't forget to include the hashtag in your tweets!

EXTRA WAY TO ENTER:
Send me a friend request at Facebook using the hashtag #CRLwin in your invite! If you're already a Facebook friend, just write #CRLwin on my wall ( - ;

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fangs,Claws, & Stetsons Contest



Well, I knew this was going to be a good year for me with three releases... but I had no idea they'd all be released within the same month! To celebrate my month of triple releases I'm holding the Fangs, Claws, and Stetsons contest. Want to win a copy of one (or more) of my new releases?

Here's how:

Keep coming right back here. There will be a new post on this blog every single day and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment with #CRLwin tacked on to the end.

You can also follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/crystalrainlove) and use the #CRLwin hashtag any time you send a tweet. I will randomly do searches for the hashtag and all tweets drawn up will be entered.

You can comment on ANY post within this blog, even if it's dated back to 2008. Just use the #CRLwin hashtag and it's an entry.

PRIZES TO BE WON:

2/4 One winner will be drawn from all entries dated 2/1 through 2/3 to win an e-book copy of Moonlit Watcher, an interracial werewolf romance written for ARe's 28 Days of Heart campaign to benefit the American Heart Association. This will be purchased by myself and gifted to you through the ARe site.

2/24 One winner will be drawn from all entries dated 2/1 through 2/23 to win an e-book copy of Guardian Cowboy, a contemporary romance. Like cowboys? You'll love the Wayback, Texas series. This will be sent to you via email.

2/27 One winner will be drawn from all entries dated 2/1 through 2/26 to win a signed print copy of Blood Revelation, Book One: Blood Curse.

2/28 One winner will be drawn from all entries dated 2/1 through 2/27 to receive their choice of ANY three of my published works. Winner's choice may include any of my new releases or my backlist.

It's going to be a fun month here at the blog, full of excerpts, character profiles, and more. If you like vampires, shapeshifters, or cowboys... You're gonna have a good time.

The contest starts... NOW! Start leaving those comments, spreading the word on Twitter... and don't forget the hashtag #CRLwin. It's the only way to make your entries count.