Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wild Rose Press is having a Birthday!

As one of the first authors with Wild Rose Press I'm excited to say they are celebrating their third birthday today- May 1st! If you go to their Behind the Garden Gate blog today all the lines are commenting and giving away a book an hour. Post a comment and your name could be chosen!

Next month, June 12th to be exact, my fifth book, Miner in Petticoats, published by the Wild Rose Press will be released. It's a book that I didn't want to end because I'd grown so attached to the characters. I hope when you read it you become attached as well. ;)

Here's the blurb-
Shouldering the burdens of his family and the mining community, Ethan Halsey devotes himself to providing for his brother’s growing families.

However, Aileen Miller, a widow, also looking out for her family’s interests, refuses to part with the land he needs. As they battle- one to push his dream to reality and the other to prove no man will hurt her again- their lives become enmeshed and their hearts collide.

Interview With Hero, Highland Warrior Ian MacDuff

I have been extremely remiss in my interviews…Ian, who’s story, Lady In A Box was released in February is a little perturbed at me. I tried to explain that I’d been swamped with other obligations, but never the less, he has promised me I won’t regret interviewing him today, and I hope he’s right, lol.

Eliza: Welcome Ian! Thank you so much for joining me this morning! Would you care for some coffee? I think I can dig up a little Scottish whiskey if you like. I here Lawson’s is really good *giggle*

Ian: *pretends to pout* The Lawson’s have nothing on me, me dear Eliza. *breaks out into a sexy grin as he struts his stuff*

E: Oh, no, you are definitely top notch, Ian. So can you tell the readers a little about yourself?

I: Oh, aye. What do ye want to ken?

E: Hmm…anything!

I: Me twin, Donell, left me as laird of the clan. I’m just a wee bit over 6’5, with dark brown hair and green eyes. Since I spend a lot of time outdoors, I’ve always got a tan—and the ladies are quite surprised to see me bum is just as tan as the rest of me.

E: *Wishes she could ask to see his, um, bum.* What do you like to do for fun?

I: I love to hunt, to train with the men, ride me horse, and of course, I used to love the ladies—but now that I have me own true love, I only have eyes for her. *winks*

E: *Nearly melts from that sexy little gesture* I suppose all those activities are what keep you in such fabulous shape?

I: Exactly.

E: What is your favorite color?

I: I love the color green. It reminds me of the rolling hills of the highlands in spring.

E: Mmm…sounds beautiful.

I: Oh ‘tis. And is most pleasing to the eyes when a bonny young lass lays upon its dewy softness, her eyes filled with passion.

E: *Opens mouth, then shuts again* I’ve heard you are quite the entertainer in that arena.

I: *Laughs, and stretches arms across the back of the couch*

E: So, Ian. *Shifting in seat* Do you have a question for our readers?

I: Aye, I do. What is yer favorite color and why?

E: Very interesting question! I can’t wait to see what people say.

I: Ye don’t get off that easy, Ms. Eliza. What is yer favorite color?

E: Actually it is green, and for partly the same reason you gave. I love the way green shows up all over the place in spring, bringing with it soft breezes and clean fresh air. It’s calming, refreshing and gets my imagination really flowing.

I: Ever been with a lover on the soft green grass? *slow grin spreads on his face*

E: Uh-uh bad boy, this is my interview! Thanks for being here with us today!

I: ‘Twas a pleasure, lassy.

Answer Ian’s question and I’ll pick names next week for a winner to receive an e-book copy of his story, Lady In A Box, book two in my Highland Jewel Series.


Read it first!

I wanted you guys to be the first to know that my debut novel Stranded is OUT NOW!

It's released in e-format, which means you can download and read it instantly. Only $4.95, which will get you multiple formats to enjoy over and over on your PC, laptop, iPhone or Blackberry.

You can find out more about Stranded and get your copy here.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Day at the Dentist's

Yes, it was that dreaded day...the one that follows your regular checkup, at the end of which the dentist walks in, looks in your mouth, glances at your x-rays and sort of grunts. In my case, the grunt meant a double root canal a week later. That's what I was doing today--sitting in a waiting room and the dental chair for three hours, at the end of which I forked out more money than I even want to think about. A double root canal. Who knew?

I'm happy to say they're far less painful than they were thirty years ago, when I last had one. Still, it was no picnic.

I had to take the day off without pay. That was painful, too, so I decided to get my money's worth. I acquainted the dentist and the four assistants who managed to wander in and out of the room with e-books. They had never heard of them. Never heard of Kindle, never heard of Sony E-Reader, surely never heard of a book you could read on iPod.

They did hear me when I said you could get a book for as little as $3.50. I don't know what my dentist is paying his assistants, but they heard that loud and clear. Of course, I didn't mention the cost of a Kindle, but it confirmed my notion that when that price drops there should be a lot more folks interested in a book for $3.50. Price does matter in these hard economic times.

My contribution for the day (aside from donating to my dentist's college fund for his children) was to acquaint another handful of people with the concept of reading green. Not much, you say? In and of itself, no. But, like water dripping on a rock, we are going to wear our way into the consciousness of readers.

Besides, as I told my publisher after writing my first sci-fi romance, books are too heavy for space ships!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fang-Tastic Fiction

This seems to follow on nicely from Susan's post.

My current work in progress is a sweet/sensual vampire romance. I've been brushing up on my vampire fiction for research (and for fun!) and here are my top four from my studies so far...

1. The Undead Next Door by Kerrlyn Sparks

This was the first Kerrlyn Sparks book I read, and I fell in love. She's created a whole new Vampire world. They have their own TV, careers, fashions... you get the idea. Not to mention her Vamp men are adorable.

In this book, you'll become quickly infatuated with hero Jean-Luc and shy but feisty heroine Heather. Sparks has a flair for comedy and a tender touch when it comes to love scenes. A must.

2. Vampires are Forever by Lynsay Sands

Also my first foray into Sands' books, this didn't disappoint. She provides a cool new twist on how vampires came into being. You'll be surprised. You'll laugh. And you'll get hot flushes from the sexy bedroom scenes.

3. Her Hungers by Mary Winter

This is hot, hot, hot. Half vampire, half werewolf, where does Lilah fit in? Maybe between her ex-lover Roarke and her new lover Adrian, one a werewolf, one a vampire, both fascinated by Lilah, both pulled towards her irrevocably...

The spicy sex scenes are interspersed with action that'll have you turning pages furiously until the end.

4. One with the Shadows by Susan Squires

Again, this is a slightly unusual take on Vampirism. I've alays liked the idea of "the companion" who lives inside the host and aong with him/her. Squires makes this theme her own. Warm, relatable characters and snappy dialogue makes this a treat.

Particularly good if you like regency-era stories.

On my nightcreature waiting list to read are:

- Secret Life of a Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks
- The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer (the film is on my list too)
- Curse the Dawn by Karen Chance
- Accustomed to his Fangs by December Quinn

Review Request & A Note !

I want to thank everyone who has made The Pen & Muse such a great blog!
Right now I am still inundated with books to review. It's mainly due to family issues and just
life in general.
I ask all the authors/publishers who have sent a request to be patient.
You will also see some great articles and blog postings to the P&M soon,
so please stay tuned !
Thank you for all your business!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Being Undead--A Period of Adjustment

Can life become more complicated? As if being a newlywed weren't enough of an adjustment, try doing it UNDEAD. Yep, as a new vampire, I've got my share of challenges. Growing up in sunny Florida, worshiping the blaring rays, I now am praying for overcast days. Sunscreen in 75 strength is my moisturizer. I just picked up a new pair of Chanel sunglasses (courtesy of my best friend, Meredith) with ultra UV protection, so my eyes are protected, and luckily, my office is windowless.

Oh, did I mention I'm a dentist? My long-time patients are remarking about how translucent my skin has become and how svelte I am. They have no idea the new me is courtesy of being undead. Yes, no more struggling with weight. As soon as my transformation to vampire was complete, I dropped those last 10 pounds I'd been struggling to shed. I was worried my husband (that would be John Wright, the vampire vigilante), would miss my love handles, but he's still smitten.

Currently, my biggest challenge is a jealous vampire in London who was my husband's first wife's partner-in-crime. Amy's been cropping up on a regular basis to threaten me, and John's planning a visit to London to annihilate her and her nasty coven of teenage vampires. I shudder to think of the confrontation with that nasty female, but John assures me that he can handle her. Once she's out of the picture, John promises we can start a family. Just in case you were wondering, vampires beget vampires. There's something oddly comforting about that.

We're just back from our honeymoon in Venice, where we assisted John's friend Lucianno in breaking up a Mafia drug ring. I'd been looking forward to the excitement of hot and heavy vampire lovemaking, so I was a bit peeved with the Mafia's intrusion. That said, it was good experience for me. I got to sharpen my fangs on some crime work, which I'll be doing soon enough in Orlando. John still isn't ready for me to join him on the streets of Central Florida, putting a bite on crime, but I'm learning the ropes. I can happily announce that I now can move at the speed of light and my peripheral vision is 360 degrees. Haven't mastered the art of morphing to bat form, but I'll keep you posted.

If you want to follow my antics, pick up Fang Shui, now available from DCL Publishing. And for the story of how John and I met, start with Love Fang, a current TOP 5 best-seller from DCL ( Happy reading, and please don't hesitate to offer your suggestions. I need all the help I can get.

Dr. Lauren Marsh Wright, DDS

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Revisions of a first novel: scaling the peak of Mount Edit

Hi! I’m Jasmine. I write contemporary romance, with a sweet & sensual slant. Think modern day damsels and prince charming in a tool belt. My first three novels are due out this year, and I’m delighted to be contributing to the Pen & Muse!

I’d like to talk about editing. Oh yes. When I was younger, much younger, I think I imagined that an author wrote a novel, touted it around a bit, and then it got accepted and everyone was happy. Magical fairies made copies of the book, painted a pretty cover, and it appeared it shops via teleportation.

Obviously, this isn’t the case. Once a novel is accepted, the author works closely with an editor to revise all the little niggly things that can make or break a book. Plot holes. Punctuation errors. Grammatical mistakes. Boring dialogue. Etc.

For example, when I started to work on my first published novel, Stranded (click here for more info), I had no idea how much passive voice I used. Passive voice = was, were, etc.

Loads. Truthfully, bucketloads. My wonderful editor Mary used a firm but encouraging hand with my work. She highlighted all the “was” and “were” in my raw manuscript and asked me to look at them closely. Some pages seemed so full of highlights that quite, frankly, I’m surprised she had the strength to continue! However, once the passive voice had been revised out, you would not believe how much better it read. I felt part of the action, and now so would the readers.

An editor is invaluable. An editor guides you through the revision process, improving your work. Sometimes this means shortening it. I deleted the whole first chapter from Stranded. I actually wanted to cry a little bit when it was suggested, but you know what? It helped. Massively. The story now begins where it should, where the action happens. So, when you find yourself worrying about cutting, don’t. Listen to your editor. She knows what sells and what won’t. She knows what’ll hook readers. Don’t fret. Go with the flow. If you really feel very strongly about something, it can be discussed and maybe put back in later.

It’s a scary process. You write and rewrite, over and over, fret, get stressed, shout at your partner and your pet cat (or in my case, pet python), and then when you finally submit the revisions to your editor, you worry about what she’ll think.

In short, I think editing is sort of like having a child. It’s never truly over. You’re always editing current work, post-contracted work, or friends’ work.

But it’s all worth it when it’s done. When your editor emails you and tells you how impressed she is. THEN you relax. Or do you? Of course not! Then the dreaded muse is on your back again, chucking characters and plots through your mind, gnawing away until you write.

But I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Thanks for listening, and I hope to talk to you all again soon! ♥
Stranded: released May 09 -
Between the Lines: released June 09 -
Uprooted: released Nov 09 -

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Welcome to Our New Contributors!

I just wanted to thank the people who responded to the call to help make The Pen & Muse better!
Welcome to Minnette, Paty, Lisa, Hywela, Susan, & Jasmine!
I can't wait to see all the magic you will bring!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Show you care , Donate Today!

I found this out through one of my favorite Twilight sites and donated. I recently lost a Uncle a week ago due to cancer. I promised Laura whom is fund raising that I would put this on the blog to share with our readers. This fund raiser is for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (blood cancers). Please donate to fight a disease that has many forms. Even better is that you help and get to enter yourself in a raffle if you'd like for some Twilight merchandise.

Up For Raffle:

* A framed Twilight movie poster signed by: Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen), Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan), Peter Facinelli (Carlisle Cullen), Cam Gigandet (James) and Edi Gathegi (Laurent) Donated by Summit Entertainment
* One Special Edition two-disc Twilight DVD Donated by Laura
* One Special Edition two-disc Twilight DVD Donated by Nick Thompson at the Rocky Mount Books-A-Million
* Eight Twilight charm bracelets with wolf and crystal heart charms Donated by yolanda7392
* Nine black Twilight T-shirts
* Six crystal heart and copper wolf bookmarks Donated by yolanda7392
* One crystal heart and copper wolf keychain Donated by yolanda7392
* One 3-pack of Twilight door hangers Donated by Nick Thompson at the Rocky Mount Books-A-Million
* Two Twilight slap bracelets Donated by Nick Thompson at the Rocky Mount Books-A-Million

Interested? Each raffle ticket costs $3.00 and Laura says your chances of winning are really good! Also, however many tickets you buy equals the number of times your name gets entered into the drawing. The raffle ends April 25th. For more information visit The Fundrasing Page


Hi, everyone. ~waves~ My name is Minnette Meador and I’m very happy to be here. I have a schizophrenic muse so I write in multiple genres: historical romance, paranormal romance, epic fantasy, children’s books, sci-fi, personal essays, just to name a few.

When Pen & Muse approached me about contributing to this blog, I was thrilled about the opportunity. This is one of my favorites and I really appreciate the talent here. I thought what better article to contribute than one about the muse…it’s an oldie, but a goodie. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know if you’d like to see more installments.

KILL ME – KILL ME, NOW – The Life of a Writer (or How to Resuscitate the Artist)
by Minnette Meador

Interestingly enough, it’s not the sex I miss, the sound of the voice of another human being, the mind-numbing chatter of America’s favorite past time, or even the time I used to have to myself. What I miss the most -- is silence; that exquisite delight for just one moment, one precious second in time where your mind just shuts the f*** up and leaves you alone. It’s not thinking about plots, characters, blogging, email, websites, networking, editing, reviewing, your next novel, your next review, or your editor’s next tirade (not that mine has any, but that’s what I heard – ~I’ll send chocolates tomorrow, sweetheart~). That’s all you’ll ever ask for -- just a moment of peace. My friend, don’t hold your breath. If you are dedicated to this life choice (and believe me, it is a life choice), then expect sixteen to twenty hour days, blinding headaches from the glare of your computer screen, rejection letters/emails, disappointment, and really, really upset relatives (of course, it’s amazing how much they settle down when you actually publish something). You will also experience the most exquisite ecstasy possible without having your heart explode; the first sentence that you know is absolutely PERFECT. Ahhhhh....

These are the journals of what it truly means to be a writer and it is not for the faint of heart...if you scare easy, you might want to turn away now.

Introduction: I am not an expert – I’m not a psychiatrist, a doctor, a priest or a nun, a publisher, a hooker or any other kind of professional. The only credentials I have is a little experience – so consider this the “novice’s” point of view (oh, mah gawd! POV – somebody kill me). I’m certain it will change from day to day and even minute to minute. Just the ramblings of someone who has worked non-stop on nine books for the last two years and decided to spread the torture around a little. Please take this for what it is – ALL IN FUN. But, if something of this touches you a bit, makes you feel like you are not alone out there (although, you --- ARE), and maybe tickles you some, please read on.

Phase I: The Decision (or What Am I Doing? Am I insane?)

I think I started my career as a writer by reading – How many of you devour books (or did before you started writing)? Did you read anything you could get your hands on? Romance? Historicals? Fantasy? Sci-Fi? Mainstream? Cereal boxes? Stereo instructions? Billboards? Then you probably understand about this particular addiction – if you don’t think you’re addicted, get a clue. When was the last time you read the back of the toothpaste tube? This is how that little voice gets into your head to begin with – other writers. At some point in your reading life you suddenly say to yourself, “I can do this! This is so simple – any fool can write a book!” That’s when it happens – that’s when she sneaks into your life – that’s when she takes her black leather clad body and wraps it around your brain, implants her 8” spiked heels into your soul and extends her long, vicious whip. That voice has a name, too. She’s called The Muse:

Phase II: The Muse (or How to Use Cosmetics to Cover Those Unsightly Whip Marks)

Now that you are out of the reading phase and into the writing phase, you have a new friend...

Don’t you?

She’s a real cast iron, ball busting bitch, isn’t she?

When I first starting hitting the writing full time, I had this little creature standing on my shoulder, shouting, “More! More!! I want more! Gimme, gimme, gimme! can do it! More!” A crack dealer is a nun compared to this little pusher. I couldn’t get enough...I’d write on the bus...I’d write in the car (hard to do when you’re driving)...I’d write in the grocery store...I’d even write in the bathroom (toilet paper is not paper, by the way).

It was when I started writing 40-80 hours a week that I began to notice a slight change in my behavior (of course, this was on top of the 40-50 hours I was putting into my “real” job). When I spoke (which was seldom anymore) my voice was kind of high pitched and shaky. The entire world seemed a bit distorted to me, as if it wasn’t quite real, and for some reason the guilty pleasure of being creative for that many hours began to feel...well, kind of sexy. It was like being on some wonderful drug. The problem was my poor husband, who of course had to live with me, was getting a little worried. It’s hard to watch as your wife twitches at you and can only talk about her novel – even harder when you’re not entirely certain if she’s even talking to you: What? What? Shut up, I wasn’t talking to you... I’m sorry, honey, you were saying...

I don’t know about your muse, but mine was 14” tall (in her shoes), completely leather clad, from her 8” stiletto heels to the top of her spiky lopsided head and had a bull whip just long enough to go around my throat. Her teeth – well, let’s just say the edge of my ear got pretty ragged after a while. She loved to sit on my shoulder, play with my earring, and either scream bloody murder at me or sit on her ass and do her nails. Those nails really hurt, too (especially in the middle of the night), and the whip marks were leaving stains on my blouse. I realized one of us just had to settle down – and guess what, it wasn’t her.

Phase III: Taming the Monster (or Down, Bad Monkey, Down!)

2008 Releases: Starsight, Vol. I, Starsight, Vol. II, The Centurion & The Queen
The Edge of Honor, A Cup of Comfort for Single Mothers
2009 Releases: A Boy & His Wizard
2010 Releases:
Starsight III: The Restless Seed, Starsight Prequel: The God Wars,
A Boy & His Lizard
Other Releases:The Gladiator Prince - TBA, Keenan's Dilemma - TBA

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Pen & Muse Needs You!

If you love to blog about writing, want to promote your work and those of other authors, join us @ The Pen & Muse!
I am looking to add a writer or two to join us at the blog to jump start it. We offer book reviews, book recommendations, writing articles, technology reviews, and of course contests! I am also looking for guest bloggers. Anything writing related is welcome. Please e-mail me off the loop @

Be on the look out for Our Blog Tour and prizes every week coming soon!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Personal Book Recommendations for the Week

Hi All! I just wanted to share some book recommendations with you all that I happen to read this week. You will love these!

The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyers

Why you will love reading it?

Great characters, amazing dialouge, and plot! Need I add that there are vampires, werewolves, and romance?! Once you read the books check out the movie! I read these books in four days (Yeah, I speed read!)

The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

Why you should read it?

Hey it's teen fiction, but its an amazing read. My favorite part of these books were that they took place in New York, it dealt with magical/fantasy elements, there are still nephlim, vampires, and werewolves involved, lies, mystery, and of course love! My favorite character? Jace! He is beautiful, strong, and very funny. I loved these books so much it took me 3 days to read! I really hope the author does more with these books with the current characters. I know there is a sequel coming so I can't wait for that!

Love in a Box by Eliza Knight

Colin MacDuff has grown up learning the ways of Highland warriors from his father Donell--but he's never believed his parent's faniciful stories of time travel, true love and a brooch known as the Highland Jewel. Until…he lands on his butt, literally, in the year 1648. Before him is the most beautiful, not to mention sexy as hell, woman he's ever seen. The only thing is, she refuses to be his, or to believe in the power of the brooch.

Sera wishes she'd been able to escape the Highlands like her sister did, and vows she won't marry for anything less than love, and refuses to be a pawn in a marriage deal. Until…Colin shows her what she's missing. He takes her body to the heights of heaven and back, all while proving to her that true love is possible.

Now everything and everyone, depends on the future of these two lovers. Will Colin stay in the past to save the future, and will Sera succumb to passion and love?

Why you should read it?

Amazing plot, it's part of a series and of course it's HOT HOT HOT! If you love romance and smoking loving scenes, this is the read for you! I also love the dialogue and the characters Eliza creates.

The Pen Review: The Nude by Dorothy McFalls

Welcome to Easter Edition of The Pen Review! Sorry about the delay in reviews and articles as it has been hard to keep up and being ill doesn't help. I also want to try a new feature call why you should read it. I hope you all like it! I had the privilege to read the work of Dorothy McFalls. I have to say this is a book you will want to pick up to enjoy time and time again.

The Nude by Dorothy McFalls

Genre: Regency/Romance
Publisher: Five Star Expressions
Author Site:
Price/Purchase: To be released in May
Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Why Should You Read it?

The Nude by Dorothy McFalls is a tale of romance, intrigue, mystery, and about going on a journey to find oneself through the most powerful emotion, love. If you love regency, romance, and want to travel back in time to another era then you will certainly want to pick up this read. It was my favorite because it was a page turner, I enjoyed the dialogue and characters especially that of Elsbeth. Elsbeth is a strong, caring, and loving character whom you see grow in this story.


After Elsbeth, Countess Mercer's husband died fighting the French on
the Peninsula, the young widow hoped to quietly spend the rest of her days
with her uncle and his two spirited daughters. A painfully public exhibition
of a nude painting of her ruins her plans. This isn't the first time the
painter, Dionysus, has caused havoc in her life. But she vows it will be the

Nigel, the Marquess of Edgeware, a reclusive but powerful figure in the ton
has connections with Dionysus and reasons to protect the artist's true
identity. He hopes that seducing the lady will be the swiftest and most
effective means of diverting her attentions away from that blasted painting.

But together they must risk their hearts and their lives in order to uncover
the secret behind THE NUDE.


He'd finally lost his sanity. There was simply no other way to explain it.
His breathing quickened as a lone tallow taper sputtered, the bright orange
flame turning smoky. Dionysus tore his gaze from his work long enough to
search the cluttered workshop-the floor littered with discarded brushes and
paints-for a replacement.

"Sir?" a servant called after tapping on the door. "Sir? Please, will you
eat today?"

Dionysus, too absorbed in his work, lit a new taper and returned his
attentions to the canvas. His heart thundered in his chest. He lifted his
brush and pulled it slowly across the canvas-tracing the gentle curve of a

Her thigh.

He'd only seen her briefly at the Baneshire's ball. She was a widow, one of
the grand matrons of the ton had whispered, after taking notice of his
overlong stare. He could not, no matter how hard he tried, lift his eyes
from the beautiful creature dancing-nay-floating like a gossamer faery
across the glassy ballroom floor.

"She's my niece," the Earl of Baneshire had told him when asked. "Her
husband died on a battlefield in France, poor thing. Left her without a sou.
It appears his estate was mortgaged to the hilt." The earl paused to watch
his niece curtsy to the man she'd been dancing with as the set came to a
close. "She's just now out of mourning clothes. It warms my heart to see her
in something other than widow's weeds. I could introduce her to you."

Dionysus's heart had been hammering, like now. His palms had grown moist and
his mouth dry.

Could it be her? Could it really be her?

"No, no, thank you," he'd said with a bow. He didn't even ask her name
before finding a footman, before demanding his carriage sought and his cloak
retrieved. No matter what, he could not stay.

He could not.

That very evening he'd locked himself in his workshop, trying desperately to
exorcise the demon that had stolen his sanity. He'd tossed aside six
canvases before finally finding the right strokes and the right shades of
pigment to create a portrait of the woman.

He held his breath, lightly tinting the tips of her breasts with a delicate
paint prepared from powdered garnets. Her deep eyes from crushed sapphires.
Her full lips from the dust of rubies.

As he stepped back, a wave of dizziness overtook him. He reached out to
steady himself against a small worktable. He'd missed too many meals, lost
too many nights of sleep. Pulling a shaky hand through his hair, he stared
at the image in front of him.

It was perfect.

She was perfect.

Now that the work was finally finished and his obsession drained away, he
could see what he'd done for what it was-madness.

Unable to lift his eyes from the painting, he sank to his knees. What had he
been thinking? What had he created?

No one could ever see it.

No one.

But to destroy it, to deface the perfect image of her, would surely be
echoed by the destruction of his soul.

His strength gone, Dionysus curled up at the base of his easel and fell
asleep with her perfect ruby lips smiling down on him.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from The Pen & Muse Blog!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Celtic Hearts Romance Writers Chapter contest The Golden Claddaugh!

***Permission to forward granted and encouraged!* **

Enter Celtic Hearts Romance Writers Chapter contest The Golden Claddaugh! Don't let our chapter name dissuade you, your entry does not have to be Celtic based to enter, unless you enter our Celtic Category. We have six categories, Historical, FF & P, Romantic Suspense, Celtic, Contemporary & Erotic Romance.

Our contest due date is May 15, 2009. Finalists will be notified by July 1, 2009 and winners notified by September 1, 2009.

Eligibility: The competition is open to RWA members and non-members who have not accepted a publishing offer from a non-Subsidy, non-Vanity Publisher (self-published) for any length of fiction in the past five years. Entrant must retain all rights to the entry and not have granted any of them to a publisher or any other party by the contest entry deadline. If your manuscript is accepted for publication during the time of our contest (dates will be specified) you must notify the contest coordinator; your submission(s) will be withdrawn from consideration and your entry fee(s) returned.

Please Note:

Previously entered manuscripts may be entered again, but no previous winning manuscript shall be re-entered, even if revised.
You may submit multiple entries so long as you pay an entry fee and submit a completed entry form for each submission.
You may not enter the same manuscript in more than one category. *Entry fee per entry: $20.00 CHRW member and $25.00 non-member.

Entries are 30 pages maximum with a synopsis no longer than 5 pages, for a total of 35 pages max. All entries are electronic. Entry fee is $20 for CHRW members and $25 for non-members.

Entries should be submitted to Eliza Knight – writer@elizaknight. com.

CHRW reserves the right to discard all electronic entries and return fees if a minimum number of three (3) entries is not received in any category. Entrants will be contacted before the entries are returned and given the option to place their entry in another category. We may also refuse an entry that does not follow the rules stated here in the guidelines.

Pay by Check:

CHRW Treasurer

c/o Ericka Benayad

175 Loring Avenue

Salem , MA 01970

By Paypal: treasurer@celtichea

(You can do this by logging into your Paypal acct. Clicking on "Send Money" Pasting in the below email, and the amount you owe.)

All entries will be read and scored for the first round by two trained judges and one published author. The three entries with the highest total scores in each category will move to the final round. An editor/agent will judge the final round and select a winner from the finalists in each category.

New this year!!! We have a new category: Celtic – Romantic fiction set in any time period and in any location, but MUST have a Celtic theme (Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish, Bretons, Isle of Man ). Please specify your time period and setting in your entry.

Final Round Judges:
FF&P: Laura Bradford – Bradford Literary Agency

Contemporary: Lois Winston - Ashley Grayson Literary Agency

Romantic Suspense: Leis Pederson - Berkley/Jove

Historical: Esi Sogah - Avon/Harper Collins

Celtic: Deb Werksman - Sourcebooks

Erotic: Diana Carlisle – TWRP

Entry Composition: Your entry must have the following:

A separate cover page which includes the author's real name, address, telephone number(s), e-mail address, submission title, category and manuscript word count should be submitted in text of the e-mail. Do not include the cover page in the same attachment as your manuscript and synopsis. The manuscript and synopsis will be sent together as one document as an attachment.
The beginning of your manuscript, including prologue, cannot exceed thirty(30)pages. Standard manuscript format must be followed: 1รข€� margins, double spaced in a standard font and size that gives 24-26 lines per page. We will not accept entries that have italicized, colored, or designer fonts. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME ON THE MANUSCRIPT. See ENTRY FORMAT.
The synopsis must be included with the same file attachment as the manuscript, must be double spaced and is not to exceed five (5) pages. Do not send the synopsis in a separate attachment. Whether the synopsis is at the beginning or the end of your entry, it should start and end as though it were separate from your manuscript. Any entry that contains a single spaced synopsis and/or begins or ends on the same page as the manuscript will be refused and sent back for correction. The synopsis will be scored.

NOTE: Your entry, which includes the synopsis must not exceed thirty- five (35) pages total. ANY MANUSCRIPT, OR SYNOPSIS THAT DOES NOT FOLLOW THE RULES SET DOWN HERE WILL BE REFUSED AND YOUR ENTRY WILL BE RETURNED SO THAT YOU CAN CORRECT IT. However, our deadline still stands; corrected manuscripts will need to be returned by the midnight deadline on May 1, 2009 to be valid.

Entry Format: Standard manuscript and synopsis format, double-spaced, 12-point readable font, twenty-six (26) lines maximum per page, minimum 1" margins all around. Only the TITLE of the manuscript, the category, and any subcategory should be placed on the top left hand side of the entry. The PAGE NUMBER should be on the top right hand side. IF THE NAME OF THE AUTHOR(S) APPEARS ANYWHERE ON THE MANUSCRIPT OR SYNOPSIS, THE ENTRY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED AND THE ENTRY FEE WILL NOT BE RETURNED.

Important: Manuscript and synopsis must be in a .doc or .rtf file.


The FIRST PLACE winner in each category will receive a golden Claddaugh pin.
The SECOND PLACE winner in each category will receive a silver Claddaugh pin.
The THIRD PLACE winner in each category will receive a bronze Claddaugh pin.
All winners will receive certificates and icons to place on their websites.

For questions please contact the contest chair, Eliza Knight at: writer@elizaknight. com

Friday, April 3, 2009

New Release Love in a Box by Eliza Knight

Welcome today's release from one of authors, Eliza Knight.
A steamy, sexy, and romantic read everyone can enjoy!



Colin MacDuff has grown up learning the ways of Highland warriors from his father, Donell--but he's never believed his parent's fanciful stories of time travel, true love and a brooch known as the Highland Jewel. Until…he lands on his butt, literally, in the year 1648. Before him is the most beautiful, not to mention sexy as hell, woman he's ever seen. The only thing is, she refuses to be his or to believe in the power of the brooch.

Sera MacRae wishes she'd been able to escape the Highlands like her sister and vows she won't marry for anything less than love, refusing to be a pawn in a marriage deal. Until…Colin shows her what she's missing. He takes her body to the heights of heaven and back, all while proving to her that true love is possible.

Now, everything and everyone depends on the future of these two lovers. Will Colin stay in the past to save the future, and will Sera succumb to passion and love?

He couldn’t believe it. The stories his parents told him about time travel had been true. Shit, shit, shit...

There was no other explanation for the woman’s outfit, the horse and the fact he disappeared from dinner in the blink an eye. He had traveled through time.

Was Colin now in his father’s time? What was that? 1647? 1648? Oh, Lord. Who was the chick?

He took a deep breath trying to calm his erratically beating heart. He held his hands in front of himself and mentally made them stop shaking.

Get a hold of yourself man! If his father could do it, so could he. Hell, the man taught him everything he knew.

Colin bent down on one knee beside the woman. He brushed her long auburn waves from her face and then recoiled his hand in shock. She was the most breathtaking woman he’d ever seen. Her skin was the color of milk and honey. Well-defined cheekbones, a straight slender nose, and dainty chin framed her face. Her eyes were closed, leaving a thick brush of lashes lying against her creamy cheeks. Her full pouty lips were partially opened. He leaned down to listen. Her even breaths tickled his ear. At least she was breathing. And damned if he wasn’t turned on by the feel of it against his skin.

Gently he placed two fingers against her graceful neck. Her heartbeat was strong. Colin straightened out her limbs. Arms that were long and sculpted and legs that went on forever. He gritted his teeth against the desire simmering inside him. Whoever this chick was, she was hot.