Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Ever After's Joyce Lamb

I'm so thrilled to have Joyce Lamb as a guest on my blog. I met Joyce during the Literary Book Signing at RWA National Conference this last July in NY City. We sat next to each other and had a great time chatting. I'm still working on the idea for a dolphin shapeshifter book. (long story) I bought her book, the one she was signing: True Vision and loooved it. And also have the second in the series True Colors. Both amazing and must reads! When you're reading a book and you feel your heart pounding, you know it's a good book. Very sexy too. Paranormal romantic suspense is now one of my new favorite sub-genres.

I remember Joyce telling me about the romance blog she wanted to start up at USA Today and was pretty sure it was going to get approved. I bet the powers that be never had a clue how successful it would be. Go Joyce! If you haven't checked it out, do so:

Joyce will be signing her new release from Berkley TRUE SHOT at Turn the Page Book Store in Boonsboro, Md., December 3 with Nora Roberts, Grace Burrowes, Anita Chenney, Tim Snyder and S.D. Sawyer. For more info. check out her website

-Tell us a little about the book and where did you get the idea to write this story.
True Shot is the third in my True trilogy (True-logy!). This was my favorite of the Trues to write, because I got to flip the hero and heroine roles so that she’s the bad-ass spy and he’s the somewhat nerdy (but very hunky!) journalist. Here’s the plot: Sam Trudeau is part of a secret government agency of psychic spies. Like her sisters in True Vision and True Colors, she has an intense psychic ability in which she can touch another person and experience something that happened to them as if it happened to her. This is a handy psychic ability as a spy because it negates the need for torture to get accurate, important information. Problem for Sam is that the government agency has a rogue element to it, and she’s gotten unwittingly caught up in that. She goes on the run and ends up with Mac Hunter, a journalist holing up in Sam’s family’s cabin to exercise some of his own demons. When Sam loses her memory, Mac’s her only ally. He’s not thrilled to have a hunted and clearly dangerous psychic spy on his hands, but he’s also determined to reunite her with her estranged sisters. All he has to do is survive the onslaught of bad guys and get Sam home to safety. No problem, right? Mac is my favorite hero from my own books. He has a wicked sense of humor and an honorable streak that doesn’t quit. I’d totally marry him. : )
- If you could turn any of your books into a movie which book or series would it be?
My third title with a smaller publisher, Found Wanting, would make an awesome movie. There’s a ton of action and the hero and heroine’s relationship is pretty intense. In that one, private detective Mitch Kane is hired to track down a rich guy’s son who was taken away by his shady mother when he was a newborn. When Mitch finds Alaina, though, lots of stuff doesn’t add up, and he begins to suspect that he’s been duped. Problem is, he’s already led the bad guy to Alaina and her son. When the boy is swiped by his ruthless father (who has a mysterious plan for him), Mitch faces the task of winning Alaina’s trust so he can help her get her son back. But Alaina has been on her own for a long time and doesn’t need anyone’s help, especially that of the man who just helped get her son kidnapped. Lots of great action and angst in this one, which, incidentally is a 99-cent e-book now.
A book that would make a great TV series would be True Shot. Once Mac and Sam get their HEA, there’s still the matter of the secret government agency of psychic spies. There could be lots of episodic TV options there, and the twist would be that the spies would experience whatever happened to others as though it happened to them. Excellent advantage for telling a back story – and putting the characters into all kinds of different of situations.
- Which actor screams SEXY to you?

Gerard Butler. Oh. My. God. That body. That hair. That face. Even when he was just doing a guest spot on The View, I couldn’t tear my gaze away from the gorgeous, raw sex appeal of that man. And that was before he even said anything, cuz, you know, that accent just turns my world upside down. OK, I need to take a little break to cool off. I’ll be right back.
- Are you seat of the pants writer or plotter?
It depends on the book. Some books, like Found Wanting, which has one goal – find the son – and lots of forward momentum, take more of a seat-of-the-pants approach. I knew where I was going, but not sure exactly how I would get there. True Shot was a lot like that, too. Probably because the characters in both books are constantly moving, constantly on the run. I was more of a plotter on True Vision and True Colors (Books 1 and 2 in the True-logy). Since True Vision is the first in the trilogy, I had a lot of groundwork to lay. I was very methodical about how I unfurled the psychic ability, its cause and its limitations. I basically created my own psychic ability for that story (a supercharged kind of empathy), so I had to figure out how it works and how it could be used to further the story. And in True Colors, there are two story tracks: the hero and heroine’s story and the villain’s back story. So I had to carefully plot both of those. One I got to True Shot, I already knew what I needed to know about the psychic ability and I also already knew Sam’s and Mac’s back stories from the previous Trues. So, long story long: I’m a pantser when I need to be and a plotter when I need to be.
- Do you write full time or work outside of the home?
The job that pays the bills is as a copy editor at USA Today in the business section. I get to write lots of creative headlines for the print and online editions: “Dow goes up.” “Dow goes down.” Haven’t gotten to use this one yet, though: How now down Dow. : ) Also, USA Today and I recently launched a blog devoted entirely to romance novels. Happy Ever After ( celebrates romance readers and romance writers, and it’s been a blast. I’ve gotten to talk to some of my idols: Nora Roberts, Cindy Gerard, Iris Johansen, Roxanne St. Claire … and lots of others. Romance authors and readers are the BEST, and I’m psyched that I’m able to help provide a national media platform to get the word out about how much we all rock. I hope everyone will get a chance to stop in and say hey.
- If you could write another genre other than romance what would you write?

I would love to write science fiction. I’ve loved lots of sci-fi shows and one of my favorite elements of the genre is the ability to completely ignore or manipulate the laws of reality to tell a great story. The suspension of disbelief is built into the genre (within reason). I don’t know if I have the patience for the world-building required, though.

- Have any of your titles ever been changed from your original choice?
Yep. My first with Berkley, Cold Midnight, was originally called Break Point. The story is about a tennis player who was attacked a decade ago and the attacker was never caught. New evidence shows up in the present and the case is reopened. Break Point was perfect, to me, because of the tennis term and because the hero and heroine’s relationship plays out a little like a tennis match, until one of them gets to their breaking point. The title had to change, though, because there was another Berkley book with that title. “Cold Midnight” doesn’t mean anything to the story. It takes place in Florida, so it’s not cold. And nothing significant happens at midnight. But it was considered a “cool” title. True Vision was originally called True West, because the heroine’s name was originally Charlie West. But we wanted to get the psychic element into the title, so that’s where “vision” came from. And Charlie’s last name was changed to Trudeau, to connect the True part of the titles – plus, truth-seeking is the overriding theme of the trilogy. The third True was originally called True Calling, but I think maybe that had been overused as a title, and we wanted something a little grittier. Which is where True Shot came from – sort of like the characters have one more true shot at love.
- What books or authors have influenced your writing?
I’ve been heavily influenced by Dean Koontz and Nora Roberts, two of my favorite authors for most of my fiction-reading life. I love, love, love the depth of Koontz’s characters as well as their clever, often playful dialogue. I love the good vs. evil themes in his books and the way that often terribly damaged people prevail in the end. His villains aren’t black and white, either. They have shades of gray, which is something that seems missing to me in some books. I mean, real people are never just plain evil. There’s usually some element to them that at least started out well-meaning. Roberts’ writing in general is awesome. Her characters all just have such good intentions, and I love that the conflicts often arise because the hero and heroine are both right. I love, too, that I can pick up one of her books and it’s like reconnecting with old friends.
Interestingly, I know these writers’ writing so well that I immediately knew when I was reading a book written under a pseudonym. Back in the 1980, Koontz published a couple of books with the pseudonym Leigh Nichols. I was reading one of those books, and I thought, “This has GOT to be written by Dean Koontz.” I could tell because of the way the dialogue was written. It took a couple of years before I found out I was right (no Google back then!). And when the first J.D. Robb book came out, Nora’s name wasn’t on the cover. I started reading it and thought, “This is written by Nora.” I flipped back to the copyright page, and sure enough, there was her name.
Where readers can find me (I love hearing from readers!):
Twitter: @JoyceLamb and @HEAusatoday (for the USA Today blog)
Thank you for having me, Kathy! 
Joyce, Thanks so much for letting me interview you. I love your books and the HEA blog is amazing!! Keep up the good work. Hope to see you again soon.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tattoo Witch - Sneak Peek

The excitement is building. The release for SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES is almost here!!! Some time in December is the tenative date. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have a story included in this anthology along with such amazing authors. When I first heard the title to the series: Something Wicked This Way Comes, I knew I had to come up with a story, because Ray Bradbury wrote a book with that title and it was one of my favorites. He is also one of my favorite authors. Since I was a kid, I've read and continue to re-read Bradbury's books and also Arthur C. Clarke's books. Both authors probably inspiried my love of fantasy, sci fi and the paranormal.
I only had a month to write something so I had to move fast.
I went through my memory of Bradbury stories and tried to come up with a similar theme while sitting on my porch with Dh and a glass of wine and a notebook. We tossed ideas around. The Illustrated Man came to mind. Knowing that tattoos are a Pop Culture thing, I chose that theme and took a different twist on an amazing story.

I'm sharing a sneak peek of a couple excerpts (not final edited). I'll keep you posted on the release date. This book is going to fly off the cyberspace shelves! Especially when you see the headline authors: Jaid Black, Laurann Dohner, Desire Holt, Eliza Knight, Mel Teshco, and Kathy Kulig


Chapter One

“Sam, stop. People will see us.” Anita shoved his chest.

“It was only a kiss,” Sam teased.

“Yeah, sure. You grabbed my breasts.” She rushed passed him, heading toward the beach that overlooked the bay of Ocean City, Maryland. Moonlight glistened on the water and an offshore breeze thrashed at the palm fronds. Maybe he was pushing too hard. This vacation was supposed to stir up a little excitement in their life, especially their sex life. He didn’t need to pressure her.

His girlfriend stood at the shoreline, her arms wrapped tightly around her waist. She swayed to the reggae music playing in the background. Annoyed, but not angry. A year together and he still couldn’t keep his eyes or hands off of her. The wind whipped strands of her long, brown hair against high cheekbones, a petite nose and dimpled chin. Anita always complained that her jawline was too angular, but Sam said it gave her a sexy, brainy look. He was pretty certain she wore the tight skirt for him. She knew it was his favorite. When they first met, he was entranced by her eyes, not her curvy ass. Behind that gaze, he’d sensed an intelligent, kind and affectionate person. Then he’d noticed her hot ass. Many times she flashed those sultry, hazel eyes, trying to work him around her finger. He even played along on occasion.

“Ouch!” Anita hopped on one foot as she kicked off her shoe. “I stepped on a shell or something.”

“Hold onto me.” Sam brushed off her sandal and foot, then slipped the sandal back on. “Better?”

She nodded. Hooking her arms around his neck, she kissed him. Her low–cut tank offered a glimpse of cleavage.

Most of the clientele from Seacrets, the outdoor bar, restaurant and nightclub, were dancing by the band or seated at tables eating dinner. No one was by the beach area. “I thought it’d be romantic here,” he explained, trying to keep his voice light as he stared out over the water.

Several round floats, the size of small mattresses, bobbed in the water. Unlike daytime, the beachside bar was closed. The boat dock, deserted. She gave him that don’t-bull-shit-me look. He knew that look. They’d been together long enough for him to know all her looks and moods. “You wanted to fool around,” she said.

“What’s wrong with that?”

She frowned, then finally smiled and slipped her arm around him, giving in a little. “Nothing. But I don’t care to get groped in public.”

“I didn’t grope you,” he argued.

“You grabbed my breasts.”

“I was checking to see if you wore a bra tonight.”

“Right.” She huffed. “I always wear a bra.”

“I know, just fantasizing.”

She leaned into him. “I love fooling around with you. We can fool around when we get back to the hotel.”

If he kept arguing he wouldn’t get any tonight. “Okay. Ready for a drink?”

“Shhhh.” Anita’s eyes were wide.

Sam felt his cock grow hard. “Change your mind?”

“No, be quiet. Look, on the raft.”


“By the boat dock. The last one in the back row,” she whispered.

Lights from the dock shone on a naked couple lying on one of the rafts and fucking like porn stars. “Cool. At least someone’s getting lucky.”

Anita punched him in the arm…hard.


“Let’s go,” she whispered.

“No, let’s watch. If we leave now, they’ll know we saw them.” A lame excuse, but the only one he could come up with at the moment.

“So? They obviously don’t care.” Anita strained for a closer look. “What’s he wearing? Does he have a shirt on?”

Sam tried to make out the man who was pumping his cock into his woman and somehow managing to keep from tipping the raft over. “No, I think he has tattoos, a lot of them. He’s got great balance. With all that thrusting how does he manage not to flip the raft?”

“It is pretty hot to watch,” Anita said with a raspy voice.

“Yeah.” Was she getting turned on? How cool would that be? With his hand on her waist, Sam slid upward and grazed the underside of her breast. He was rewarded with her sharp intake of breath. Encouraged, he let his hand slide down and underneath her shirt. This time when he grasped her breast, she didn’t protest. Hallelujah.

“Feels good,” she whispered, leaning into him. Her full lips glistened, begging to be kissed. He took the chance and lowered his mouth to her lips. She pressed a hand to his chest.. “Stop. Look, they’ve finished anyway.” The couple had climbed up on the boat dock and was getting dressed.


“You should get one. You and your lady,” Rene said. “We get ours at Sinful Designs on the boardwalk. They do the best work.”

Ah, now he got it. “I suppose you two work there? Or own the business.”

She laughed. “You think we’re trying to drum up sales?”

Sam nodded.

“No, nothing like that. But there is something special about Sinful Designs that you won’t find at any other tattoo parlor.”

“Is that right?” Sam called over the bartender and ordered another beer and a drink for Rene. “Don’t take this the wrong way but are you two hitting on us?”

“Not exactly,” Perry said, looking up from his show-and-tell for Anita. “We saw you watching us earlier—”

“And you thought we’d like to hook up with you two,” Sam finished the sentence, sounding slightly annoyed but intrigued.

“That’s not it,” Rene said. “But I bet you wished you were out there having the most amazing sex with Anita. Am I right?”

“Sure,” Sam said.

Anita smiled nervously, then sipped more of her drink.

“What if I told you there was a way to increase your sexual enjoyment by at least ten times, be more adventurous, have longer hard-ons, and multiple orgasms?” Rene looked at Anita. “Anita, wouldn’t you love to have multiple orgasms whenever you willed them to happen?”

Anita rolled her eyes. “I have orgasms.”

“Four or five in one night, without being touched?”

“I’d say you’re full of shit,” Anita said.

Sam nearly choked on his beer. Anita Brooke never swore in front of strangers. She was getting drunk. Damn, he wasn’t getting any tonight.

“Do you believe in magic, the supernatural?”

“I try to keep an open mind.” Sam didn’t want to discount anything. But more than that, he wanted to see where this was going.

“Try one of these tattoos at Sinful Designs. Just one. I promise you won’t be disappointed,” Rene said. A look of fear flashed across her eyes and sent a shiver down Sam’s spine. She didn’t look the type to scare easily.

“Sounds too good to be true,” Sam said as he briefly fantasized a few possibilities—sex on the raft, sex with this couple, and a few positions Anita wasn’t crazy about trying. His cock throbbed as his heart pounded in his chest. The woman didn’t look like she was lying. Was business that bad that this tattoo parlor would think up this fantastical story to bring in a few customers?

Rene placed a hand on his arm. “Honest, Sam, we don’t make out financially if you get a tattoo. We’re just amazed by this woman. She’s a witch you know. Her name is Cassandra.”

“A witch?” Anita asked.

Rene smiled at Sam. “Trust me. You will have the most scorching sex you could ever imagine.”


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

20 Secrets of Very Fit People

Thanks to Chalene Johnson, creator of TurboFire from Beachbody fitness programs for the fabulous tips.

1.     Keep a water bottle with you at all times and drink from it often. Water should always be your drink of choice. To kick things up every once in a while, try adding lemon, lime, cucumber, or a few berries to liven up the flavor without adding significant calories.

2.     Look at exercise as a pleasure and a privilege, not a burden or chore. Think positively about the changes regular exercise will produce. Rather than obsessing about your next meal, get excited about your next workout!

3.     Eat well-balanced meals and remember that excess calories, even if they're from food that's fat free and high in protein, will turn to excess weight. No matter what the latest fad diet says, extra calories equal extra weight!

4.     Limit caffeine and exposure to even secondhand smoke.

5.     Focus on short-term fitness goals with an emphasis on completing daily exercise.

6.     Keep a daily log of what you're actually eating. This includes every time you grab a handful of chips here or eat the crust of your kid's sandwich there, and ALL of your snacking.

7.     Enjoy an occasional (once a week) "unhealthy" treat, but never an unhealthy week or unhealthy vacation.

8.     Enjoy contributing to the health of others by having a partner or friends to exercise with, as well as recruiting others who want to feel better and have more energy. Have a neighbor who's sitting on the porch every morning when you walk by? Ask him or her to join you on your walk!

9.     Avoid monotony by taking up new forms of exercising, or using things that keep you motivated and inspired, like new shoes or great music.

10.   Subscribe to fitness magazines to keep focused on health as an overall way of life.

11.   Invest in the right tools—good shoes, a portable MP3 player or iPod®, fitness equipment, a new series of tapes, etc.

12.   Make it your goal to do some form of exercise 6 or 7 days a week. If some days you exercise once in the morning and once in the evening, even better! If you're eating right, exercise will fuel your energy level!

13.   Don't compare your body to others'. Instead, work to be your personal best.

14.   If your diet is unbalanced, take daily vitamin and mineral supplements for total health.

15.   Work to take your exercise to new levels of intensity.

16.   Create an exercise schedule the day before instead of leaving it to chance or waiting to "find" the time. If our last three Presidents of the United States can make time to work out every day, you can make time too!

17.   Move beyond the boundaries of weight loss and into total fitness. Measure success by the way your clothes fit, not some number on a scale.

18.   Stick with eating plans you can maintain indefinitely. Remember that no matter how hard you're working out, if you're consuming too many calories, you'll never see the muscles that lie beneath layers of fatty tissue.

19.   Get adequate amounts of sleep, but remember that people who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

20.   Limit alcohol intake to special occasions.
*I have a Beachbody Challenge going on right now through the end of this year. A BB Challenge is a great way to get started with a fitness program and on track in a healthy routine. Beachbody is offering special discounts on Challenge Packs which include the Shakeology nutrition shake, a choice of one of the fitness programs like TurboFire, SlimIn6, P90X, etc. and a 30-trial membership in their online Team Beachbody Club. Check out my Team Beachbody Coach website or the October 31st blog post for details. You can also contact me at FitForBeach(at)rcn(dot)com I can answer questions or give you suggestions.

Dial B for Bondage - CONTEST WINNER!!!

Thanks to everyone who entered this contest to celebrate the release of the print anthology DIAL B FOR BONDAGE And a HUGE thank you to DeNita at Author Island for helping me with this contest.
She does an awesome job over there.

Congratulations to Kathryn Merkel!! Your name was randomly selected as the winner of the signed copy of Dial B for Bondage anthology by four of the 1-800-Dom Help authors. Please email me at: with you address so I can send you your book. If I don't hear from you in two weeks I'll have to offer the book to another reader. 

Thanks to everyone too who commented and gave me some wonderfully hot ideas for future stories in this author series. A number of stories are tossing around in my head. I'll have to give it some thought as to which one(s) to use. My novella Emerald Dungeon was a fun one to write, so I could stay with a similar theme or go with something totally different in the next book.

Happy Reading & Enjoy the Heat!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Romantic Suspence Author Interview with Autumn Jordon

Award winning, multi-published author Autumn Jordon is here to talk about her new book from the Wild Rose Press, 'In The Presence of Evil'. And also where she got the idea and where she did her research (a lot). I hear sales have been great on this book. Way to go! Welcome to the Passion Sense Blog, Autumn.

Thanks, Kathy for hosting me this month. Hi, everyone! 

I live in the Blue Mountains of NE PA with my hubby. We’re now empty-nesters. Yes, we pushed the five kids out and now share the quiet with our Irish Setter and a cat named Blue. 

KK- You have a new release. Tell us a little about the book.

My newest release is a romantic suspense entitled ‘In The Presence Of Evil’ .  I love the cover—don’t you?

In the story, GINA RIZZO’s Christmas holiday turns bloody. She becomes a pawn between two predators rivaling for the head of a Russian mafia family. One wants her alive. The other wants her dead.

When Gina Rizzo is framed for the murder of her boss by a mafia hit-man, her only hope to stay out of jail is to accept the help of, Cole Hanson, the man who disappeared from her life years ago, leaving her with a broken heart.

Staring death down is easier for Marine Cole Hanson than facing the woman who stole his soul and then betrayed him. However, when Cole sees Gina in handcuffs, old feelings flare and even though he doesn’t trust her with his heart, he willingly steps up as her alibi.

Gina’s life is threatened and staying alive while hunting down a murder becomes their objective. Can they learn to trust each other again? And if they do, will their rekindled love be their demise?

KK- What inspired you to write this story?

A germ of an idea came about because of an actual incident concerning a wire transfer at work. I can’t say any more.

I took that idea and played what if with it and what would I do, besides run like hell, and the first chapters of ‘In The Presence Of Evil’ were dashed off.

KK- What kind of research did you specifically do for this book?

I spoke to numerous bank managers on how their wire transfers are handled. I needed to know if I proposed in the book could actually work. I also researched Marine special forces, VA hospitals and law enforcement agencies that would be involved in the story. 

KK- How would you best describe your books?

The first word I thought of while reading this question was ‘fun’, because I enjoyed writing them. But my readers have described my novels as fast paced, thrilling, very sensual, great characters, heroines they identify with and heroes to die for.

KK- What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

I love to read anything. It just depends on my mood.  I love writing both romantic suspense and fun contemporaries.  I’ve published both.


KK- When did you first know you wanted to be an author? What do you most like about writing? Least like?

I wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember.  I wrote my first story in grade story, was a reporter and editor for my junior high and high school paper.  After marrying, I got busy with kids and life and put the idea of writing for publication aside until the much later.

What I like the most about writing are the hours. They’re totally flexible. Some days I spent sixteen hours working and then sometimes I spend just a couple of hours writing and then I’m out the door.  I can work early morning, afternoon, evening and by the moon.  Oh, and the research.  You meet the most interesting people and learn so much while fleshing out an idea.

What I like the least is looking for the elusive perfect word. Sometimes it can take hours to get one line right.  But, you know what? That’s like finding gold, so it’s all good.

KK- Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one?

My path was about average, I guess. I started writing for publication in 2000 and sold in 2009.  I’ve heard some authors say they published in less time and others it took longer to find a publisher to believe in them. The business and technology changed so much in those years, and I think because of the advances more opportunities opened for authors.  They’re still opening.

Evil’s Witness was my fourth full length novel I wrote. It was my 2009 Golden Heart entry which was a finalist and later won the 2010 Golden Leaf for ‘Best First Book.’

KK- What’s your favorite element of ‘In The Presence of Evil’?

My heroine and hero. Gina and Cole are so meant for each other.  They were each other’s first loves and then life got in their way and tore them apart. Years later, Cole comes back to town and passion’s sparks ignite all over again.  This time, when life comes at them, they fight to hold on to each other.  I just love them.  

KK- What would you like to tell my readers?

If you’d like to be the first to hear my news or join my swag team, please jump over to my website and join my newsletter.  You’ll find swag team details under June’s newsletter. I also hold great contests just for my newsletter members, so don’t wait. Sign up.  

KK- For fun. What is your favorite kind of chocolate or chocolate dessert?  Chocolate raisins. Love them!

Thanks for being a guest Autumn, I look forward to reading this one. Luuve the cover! If the readers want to know more about your books, they can check out your website And she has an awesome blog too: