Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
You can often find her on Facebook. Join her fan page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jacquelyn-Frank/371620872548 or visit her website at www.jacquelynfrank.com.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
As with all fiction books, it’s make-believe; still, a writer can’t help but put bits and pieces from his or her own experience. That’s what makes every story different despite common themes, because we bring pieces of ourselves into everything we write. In this book, you’ll meet a character named Marbury, an awful man. And here’s where I blended fiction with personal experience. Marbury is patterned after a boss I had several years ago. The incident I remember most from my brief time working for my personal “Marbury” concerned a raise. I felt I deserved one. Don’t we all!? So I practiced what I wanted to say, enumerating all the reasons why I deserved it. I, of course, thought they were all very valid. I was as polite as could be, too, when I sat in the chair opposite him. Oh my God! He went ballistic. He called me a prostitute and some other names which I can’t repeat because this is a G-rated blog. It was traumatic. But despite his blustering, I stuck to my guns, so to speak. And I did get that raise. I was quite proud of myself for remaining steady in the face of his tirade. It had an added benefit, too! That experience helped me create Denton Marbury in Bree’s story. I hope you hate him as much as I did, LOL!
Here’s a blurb on What Happens After Dark, A DeKnight Novel, Book 2.
By day she’s a mild-mannered accountant.
After dark, she’s a willing slave to his wildest fantasies.
Bree Mason longs to be a successful career woman, but secrets keep her chained to the past, afraid to take that next step. And at night, her frustrations are released by the domineering Luke Raven, who gives her what she asks for and more in a sensuous game of master and slave…
But to take control of her life, Bree will have to look within and face the demons of her past. Luke knows the ins and outs of Bree’s body, knows what makes her gasp and sigh and beg. But now he’s willing to push their relationship to the limit—to stand by her side in the light of day and take the greatest risk of all…for love.
You can find an excerpt of the prologue on my website. But I also invite you to visit my blog starting Mon 10/31, where I will give readers an excerpt featuring the above-mentioned Denton Marbury! And don’t forget that through the end of November, I’m offering a free erotic on the blog, too, Beauty or the Bitch.
Here’s a complete list of The DeKnight Novels in order:
What Happens After Dark
The Principal's Office
Friday, October 28, 2011
I love this trailer! It's so moody and sexy and I think Harlequin did a fabulous job with it. I'm thrilled to be a part of the series! The fifth book in the series, The Man with the Money, is in stores now! This book is about Jack Wolfe, the hot loner who gets his thrills from high-stakes games, whether it's cards or the financial markets. Jack has cut himself off from his family for the most part -- and he's definitely not ready to forgive his eldest brother, Jacob, who returns in the first book, A Night of Scandal, that kicks the whole series off.
Cara Taylor is a heroine I could relate to. She's not wealthy like Jack, and she works hard for everything she has. She's also from New Orleans, which holds a special place in my heart as I have family who live there. I've visited the city several times, and I've always loved the distinctly European vibe.
But, as cool as I think New Orleans is, Cara wants to escape her hometown. She's always wanted to see the big wide world, so when she ends up dealing cards in a casino on the French Riviera, life should be perfect. Of course it isn't--and then she meets Jack.
Oh, she doesn't think life is perfect then either. But she will, just as soon as she realizes how utterly addictive a man like Jack can be.
I hope you enjoy reading about Jack and Cara! For a red-hot excerpt, click here. RT Book Reviews magazine gave this story 4 Stars and said it has, "intense emotional turmoil, a tortured hero and toe-curling intimate encounters." Rawr!
Jack…Red-Hot. Renegade. Restless.
Notorious gambler Jack no longer gets a buzz from the risks he takes at the card table. In fact it bores him. Until one night he wins more than he ever bargained for…
His prize is stunning Cara Taylor – she might be down on her luck but she certainly doesn’t need rescuing by a card-shark like Jack! Now she’s stuck with him she doesn’t know whether to love him or loathe him.
For a chance to win a signed copy, tell me where you'd choose to visit if you could go anyplace you wanted. (I may have trouble commenting today, as I'm on vacation and might not have internet access. But leave me comments anyway, and I'll catch up when I get home!)
Lynn Raye Harris is a USA Today bestselling author who writes glamorous, sexy romance for Harlequin Presents. You can learn more about Lynn and her books at http://www.lynnrayeharris.com/. You can also follow Lynn on Twitter @LynnRayeHarris or visit her author page on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLynnRayeHarris
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Every time I go into a certain store, I want to grab a shopping bag before I begin shopping (if I'm shopping green and wisely, I could use my canvas bag). The reason I want this bag is so that I can put it on my head in order to avoid looking at the employees stocking cans and boxes or working behind the meat counter or sweeping the floor. I don't want to say "Hi." I don't want to answer the question, "Are you finding everything okay?"
Trust me, if I don't find what I need, I'll hunt someone down until I do, but I don't want to be asked the same question five times while in the store. And I don't want to smile and say "Hi." I'm busy, I'm an isolated, 21st C person in her rushed life trying to find ketchup and milk, so just let me be.
And no. No thank you very much. I don't need help out to the car with my toothbrush. I think I can make it. If I fall when halfway there, I'll let you know. You'll hear me screaming! But for today, I think I'm going to give it a go. Yes, it's brave of me, but I'm strong.
Stop being so damn nice, okay?
Once when I went into the back of one of the stores, I saw a sign posted above the door that said "Smile!"
It's worth frowning to think that people needed to be reminded to smile.
At my gym, the young people at the desk have been instructed to greet us warmly and to tell us all upon leaving to have a great day. To "Take Care." Or to at least say "Goodnight" or "Goodbye."
Once in a while, I wish someone would just say "Ciao." Or what about "Don't ever darken this doorstep again." More interesting would be, "Get the heck out of here, varmint!"
It is sad that manners and niceties such as greetings have gone by the wayside, but to bring them back (business in social clothes) for the sake of customer retention is slightly sick. Does anyone believe that the stock people at the store give a rat's rear about the people rushing down the aisles? If you do, I'm sorry to bust your bubble. The kid with the acne and the bright blue eyes will get reprimanded if a supervisor doesn't hear him him say hello to you. In fact, a couple of my students have told me that there are "secret shoppers" who come into the store to seek out those employees who don't ask all the nice questions.
So the employees aren't saying hi to us--they are trying to keep their jobs.
So let's just go back to our normal, unobtrusive rudeness. It's a lot easier to take, and I can get out of the store much more quickly that way.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
I have some lovely messages from fans from all over the world. Those messages have nearly always come at just the right moment. Usually on a day when my writing has stalled for some reason or I'm having back troubles and wonder why I put myself through the torture of long hours of sitting. And then in my inbox comes a gorgeous message that lifts my spirits and reminds me that someone out there loves what I do.
But there is a downside. Yes, there always is in life. It doesn't happen often but occasionally I get an email from an unhappy reader. Something has upset them in one of my books. Perhaps they didn't like the way a certain character behaved or they thought the heroine was too weak or too strong, or the hero too alpha or not alpha enough.
When this happens I remind myself that reading is a subjective enterprise. No two readers read a book in the same way. We all come to a book (or a movie) and view or read it through the lens of our life and experiences. That lens colours how we interpret things and make sense of our world. We have expectations when we come to a book or an author and we feel let down if they don't deliver. I've experienced it myself, but I would never dream of contacting the author and telling him or her I hated their book.
It is a reviewer's job to offer an opinion of a book and they usually do it without any sense of malice. I appreciate the time and effort it takes to read a book and then write a review. They have to really understand the controlling idea of the story and the nature of the conflict between the characters.
But what is the etiquette for fans in this digital age when everyone has an opinion on everything at the click of a mouse?
I have five suggestions on this and I would love to hear yours. I will send a signed copy of my latest release His Poor Little Rich Girl to a random poster.
1. Be polite
2. Tell the author what you liked about the book/s or their writing. If you can't think of anything then perhaps you shouldn't be reading their work at all.
3. Remember that your opinion is just your opinion. Many authors have huge fan bases and you might be the only one who doesn't like their book.
4. Give the author another chance. The publisher/editor or both might have pushed for a particular story line and the author did the best they could do with it.
5. Try writing your own story. Often when a reader is increasingly frustrated within a genre they are reading in it is a sign (in my opinion) that they are developing a writer's mindset. That's what happened to me and the rest as they say is history!
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Last Monday despite a couple of important meetings I simply could not miss, I stayed home, sick in bed. Lucky me!
I slept the morning away, woke up a few times just to turn over and cover my head with a pillow. It wasn't till 1:30 in the afternoon, when one of my dogs got tired of being stuck in my dark bedroom with me and kept nudging me with her nose that I finally dragged myself out of bed and went downstairs.
I went to my computer to check on what happened at the meetings I missed, and saw a slew of emails with multiple exclamation points. Always a good thing! (!!!!)
And that's when I found out that Amazon had selected my novel SLIM TO NONE as the Kindle Daily Deal, and that my novel had shot up to #1 on the Kindle Bestsellers list! What a perfect day to be home sick, right?! I mean no way to still feel awful when such a great thing happens. It's been a nice boost for all of my novels on Amazon, and I'm so grateful to Amazon for giving me such a fabulous opportunity. And am especially grateful to so many readers who have continued to support me! So I just wanted to share my fun news and say thank you!
Quick reminders of some new releases, these two both romances I've written under the name Erin Delany:
In Accidentally on Purpose, Washington, DC, photographer Lucy McSweeney has given up on men. Her timeclock ticking, she's decided there's no point in waiting for the man of her dreams when she's perfectly capable of starting that family without him---all she needs is a turkey-baster. Well, sort of. Doesn't it figure she finally stumbles upon that perfect guy in Andrew Madigan, only by then she's months into her turkey-baster pregnancy. And, she's just been hired to be the photographer at his upcoming society nuptials to the shrew of all shrews...
In Compromising Positions, Mercedes Fortunato just wanted the Capitol Hill job she was totally qualified for. Except the snooty press secretary refused to hire her, clearly objecting to hiring a woman for the position. That is until his boss, a horny Viagra-addicted U.S. Senator who's never met a woman he didn't want to bed, sets his sites on Mercedes as she's leaving the interview, and forces Mike Garrity to have to swallow his pride and hire Mercedes against his better judgment. Soon Mercedes finds she's fending off the advances of her boss, the Senator, while encouraging the advances of her boss, the press secretary, and finding that she is neck-deep in scandal and danger that could spell trouble for all.
Don't forget to check out Wade Rouse's humorous dog anthology I'm Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship, in which I am a contributor and which features a top-notch list of contributing authors (Jen Lancaster, Jane Green, Jill Connor Browne, Sarah Pekkanen, Caprice Crane, W. Bruce Cameron, Rita Mae Brown, and many more, with a foreword by Chelsea Handler's dog Chunk). Half the royalties go to the Humane Society of the United States. It got a nice mention in People.com this week!
Also Sleeping with Ward Cleaver is enjoying a wonderful revival as an e-book, so if you haven't read that, please do! And while you're at it, check out House of Cards and Over the Falls.
Jenny Gardiner is the author of the award-winning novel Sleeping with Ward Cleaver, as well as the novels Slim to None and Over the Falls, the novel House of Cards, and the humorous memoir Winging It: A Memoir of Caring for a Vengeful Parrot Who's Determined to Kill Me. She also has a story in Wade Rouse's upcoming humorous dog anthology I'm Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship (NAL/Sept '11), a fundraiser for the Humane Society of the US and selected animal charities.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
When our youngest son knew he was about to become an ‘only child’ – when his next elder brother went off to college – he basked in anticipation of his ‘onliness’ for about two days and then said, “We need a dog.”
My husband, The Prof, no push-over, said, “Take care of the cat for a year and we’ll think about it,” believing firmly that Son Number Three would do no such thing. In fact, though, he did.
So when Son Number Two departed for university the next fall, I said, “We need to find a dog.”
Not a puppy because Son Number Three didn’t think he wanted a puppy. He was eleven, and he wanted a dog to “do things with.”
So I got a book about second-hand dogs which was very informative about social adjustment and how to fit a ‘pre-owned’ canine into an already established family. It gave good advice. It also helped us settle on the sort of dog we wanted – big, cheerful, easy-going, unhyper, not given to barking needlessly, able to keep up with an energetic eleven-year-old, capable of dealing with small children if required to do so – a perfect dog, in other words.
And we found one.
A three-year-old golden retriever, he had spent his first years in the kennel of a breeder. He was a stud dog, very handsome, but more than that – he was all of the long list of things we had been looking for. And he was delighted to have a boy of his own.
He gave us – and especially Number Three Son – six wonderful years. He died much too soon, at age nine, the week after ‘his boy’ graduated from high school.
We had, because of him, already become a three dog family – two rescued golden girls had joined us by that time. But even with them already in our family, we knew we would continue to make a home for other second-hand dogs. We owed AJ that for the joy he’d given us.
Not many months after AJ died, Gunnar, a flatcoat retriever of sorts, came to stay. Our vet tech said, “He reminds me of AJ. And he needs a home.” All he really had in common with AJ was four feet and an ability to worm his way into our hearts. A more hyper, moody, temperamental, barking, opinionated dog would have been hard to find.
But his fur, a glossy boot black, felt like AJ’s when I stroked it. And after he jumped through the dining room window (which was closed, by the way) the first day he came “to visit,” I realized he wasn’t going to immediately endear himself to anyone else. So yes, he did need a home. He brought as much joy to our lives, in his way, as AJ and the golden girls did.
And when he found the girls boring (they were LOTS older and not given to rough-housing. It was like a teenage boy living with two elderly aunts), we ended up adopting Jake – an eight year old golden who also needed a home. Jake kept Gunnar in line. He charmed Kate Walker. He charmed everyone who came his way from crawling babies to my unhappy-to-be-in-Iowa mother. He never met a sentient being – dog, cat, rabbit, skunk (don’t ask), frog or person – he didn’t like. The feeling was mutual (except for the skunk).
And now there are Micah and Mitch – the trouble twins. More goldens. Mitch came to us a three months – the youngest dog we’ve ever had – because his breeder who had intended to keep him, couldn’t. Micah was fourteen months when his owner had to move into a multi-story apartment building and could no longer get him out to play.
Today – this very day – there will be Duke. He’s Number One Son’s dog right now, rescued from a home that no longer wanted him. Number One Son struggles to make time for him. So this week he will be ours. And next week, if everything goes well, he will be on his way to Montana to become the forever dog for Number Three Son’s family who recently lost a beloved golden far too young.
There have been others – dogs we’ve rescued and taken into our homes and into our hearts – since the day AJ came into our lives. They have all been distinct personalities. They’ve all had baggage of one kind or another. But they have made our lives infinitely richer. They have given us furry bodies to hug, enthusiastic friends to walk and run with, cheerful grins to make us smile, empty plates where the chicken we intended to cook for dinner had been left too close to the counter’s edge (thanks for that, Jake!), and more joy than we ever believed possible.
Puppies are great. Puppies can bring love into lives from the very start. But I wouldn’t trade the second-hand dogs we’ve known and loved for anything on earth.
If you’ve never considered bringing a ‘grown-up’ dog into your life, think about it. There are dogs beyond counting who need forever homes. AJ – and Number Three Son and I – would be happy to tell you that it’s a simply superb idea.
Wherever you live there is likely an animal rescue shelter near you. If you are interested in a particular breed, check the internet for “rescue” and then add the breed of dog you’re looking for. These rescue programs are usually staffed by volunteers who work very very hard to make sure that the dogs in their charge are people-friendly and that the homes they let them go to are a good fit.
Have you opened your home and heart to a ‘rescue dog?’ I’d love to hear about it. I’ll bet others would, too.
AJ thanks you! I do, too.