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Susan Squires gets set for new vamp book; re-issuing historical romance April 27, 2009

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Susan Squires is getting set for her next vamp book. Here’s an update she sent out from her email to fans:  timeforeternity

I have been on deadline for my next book. You’ll see some updates to my website in the next few days, so stop back by. I am excited about the re-issue of DANEGELD, one of my favorite books and the very first I published. It’s something of a collector’s item nowadays. Dorchester has given it a spiffy new cover, and it’s out in May.

I’m gearing up for the release of TIME FOR ETERNITY in September, the first in a new time travel series for St. Martin’s Press. Time travel has always been one of my favorite genres. I found myself dabbling in it in the last of my vampire series, ONE WITH THE DARKNESS and decided…. you know? It’s just time for time travel to come round again. So I gave my favorite character from ONE WITH THE SHADOWS a chance to go back and try to correct the mistake that ruined her life. And now the wonderful machine built by Leonardo DaVinci, has taken on a life of its own, and will affect the lives of many characters to come. In TIME FOR ETERNITY I get to visit Revolutionary France, and in TWIST OF TIME, which I’m just completing this week, I get to bring a real, live Viking forward into modern day San Francisco. Fun or what?

Keep an eye out for my interview with Susan. I  will post Part 2 of Linda O. Johnston’s interview — writer’s tips – shortly. CLICK HERE to read Part 1 on why her shapeshifters practice safe sex!

Evan Rachel Wood bites at ‘True Blood’ role April 25, 2009

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Entertainment Weekly

reports that True Blood creator Alan Ball has tapped Evan Rachel Wood to play the pivotal role of Sophie-Anne, the vampire Queen of Louisiana.

More on Sophie Anne from EW:

She’s a  “a 500-year-old vampire from France who is charming, wily, ruthless and wise. She’s a consummate diplomat who has (or had) many of history’s most famous people on speed dial. Short story shorter: It’s a major frakkin’ part, and landing Wood (whose last significant TV gig was Once and Again) is a major frakkin’ coup.”

EW says that Wood is booked for two episodes, both of which will air at  the end of the show’s upcoming second season. The second season starts in June.

For more on Sophie Anne’s character CLICK HERE.

To get the latest on casting news and on the Charlaine Harris book, check out the Last Bites Podcast at their Sookie Stackhouse Website HERE.

Twilight: David Slade to direct 3rd movie, ‘Eclipse’ April 23, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Entertainment.
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Entertainment Weekly is reporting that David Slade will direct The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the third movie based on the wildly popular teen vamp books by Stephenie Meyer. It is expected to be released June 30, 2010. Slade, who directed “30 david_slade_001Days of Night” takes over after Chris Weitz finishes with this year’s second Twilight installment — New Moon, expected to debut Nov. 20, 2009.

Earlier this year, other names had popped up for the directing spot, including Drew Barrymore .

“I am thrilled that David Slade will be directing ‘Eclipse,'” “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer said in a statement announcing the director’s appointment, reports MTV. “He’s a visionary filmmaker who has so much to offer this franchise. From the beginning, we’ve been blessed with wonderful directorial talent for the Twilight Saga, and I’m so happy that ‘Eclipse’ will be carrying on with that tradition.”

Princeton conference looks at why romance novels are so hot!!!! April 22, 2009

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OK — well, the academics at Princeton University’s first conference on romance fiction don’t put it that way. But several panels of academics and those in the romance-writing biz are going to talk about all things lovey-dovey/hot and heavy at “Love as a Practice of Freedom? Romance Fiction and American Culture” on Thursday and Friday. CLICK HERE for conference bosomsdetails.

I’d love to go but cannot. However, if you’re attending, let me know. I’d love a post. I did check with conference organizers and they are not podcasting/Webcasting or Twittering. However, I was told that organizers might print the proceedings of the conference in a conference journal. (Hummmmm. Wonder what that journal cover will look like …..)

For a schedule of the panels CLICK HERE.

Check out the last panel: “Romance Reads the Academy” — love to be at that one!

For a super fun read on the conference, check out Michelle Buonfiglio’s blog entry HERE.

Also. Smart Bitches Trashy Books blogger Sarah Wendell (and Candy Tan) just came out with a book: “Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels.”

A sample blurb that caught attention of Silhouette Nocturne Bites April 18, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors.
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Here’s one happy author from  Silhouette Nocturne Bites’ live online pitch with Associate Senior Editor Ann Leslie Tuttle. Robin (one of 7 who were selected to make their pitches on April 15)  says she received a request for a complete manuscript.branding_nocturnebites1

To recap: Each writer had to send in a 2-paragraph blurb on their manuscript by April 6. Entries for the online pitch were chosen April 10. ( Ann; Aileen H.; Michaela; Nicola; Amy; Robin; Melissa D.) And the online pitches were held April 15.

Robin  was kind enough to post her sample blurb so other authors could see what the editors were looking for etc: (A big congrats and thanks to her for sharing.)

Night of the Jaguar

In the mystical jungles of Belize , home of the ancient Maya, tracker Caleb Pierce embraces his destiny as an elite member of the centuries-old Order of the Jaguar. His mission: to exterminate all vampires–those soulless, amoral beasts who prey on humans. Gifted with the ability to absorb a vampire’s power and wield it as his own against his prey, Caleb has become the Order’s most successful soldier while waging his private war for revenge against the beings who murdered his brother. He refuses to acknowledge, that with each battle, he and the other Jaguars become darker, more vicious…more like those they hunt.

Aiyana believed the Order of the Jaguar to be extinct, until a powerful warrior erupts from the jungle at the site of the devastating massacre she failed to prevent. Since becoming a vampire, she has vowed to resist the lure of human blood, so as not to activate the soul-destroying virus that has infected her kind. Instead, she protects the innocent. Now, her sworn enemy has tracked her to her sanctuary where a forbidden attraction flares and tempts her beyond endurance. Will their passion lead them to destruction or will their defiant love fulfill an ancient Mayan prophecy and usher in the promised era of peace?

If I see any more blurbs, I’ll post. Again — congrats!!!

‘Twilight’ director: The movie wasn’t exactly like the book April 18, 2009

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It’s not easy to take a popular book and bring it to life on film. “You could not just make a book on tape,” “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke told a packed audience at Chapman University on Friday. Hardwicke, part of a panel of women directors who spoke to the public about their movies and careers, said she knew her vision of Stephenie Meyer’s tale of  twilightpicsupernatural love would be filled with amazing visuals and lots of action.

And Hardwicke’s vision wasn’t a carbon copy of Meyer’s novel. “I could go through each scene that was different from the book, but the feeling was the same.”

Two scenes in the movie that are not in the book? Hardwicke said in the trailer there is a fight sequence that she created as well as the tree-top scene.

Hardwicke was joined by other top women directors, who discussed how tough it is to nab directing jobs in a field that is dominated by men.

“It’s even harder now after ‘Twilight,'” Hardwicke said.

Read more: The ocregister.com has photos and more comments from the event. CLICK HERE to read.

Update: C.L. Wilson on ‘Queen of Song and Souls’ April 15, 2009

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C.L. Wilson has this update on her Web site about QUEEN OF SONG AND SOULS, her ending to Rain and Ellysetta’s tale. Shequeen won’t be announcing a new release date until she’s done with her revised manuscript. Originally, the book was set to be released June 2.

Here’s more from her site:

“QUEEN has proven to be an extremely difficult book to write. I was late finishing KING OF SWORD AND SKY, which threw off my schedule, and the first draft of QUEEN did not meet my personal standards of excellence. After major revisions — and a complete rewrite of the entire first half of the book — I am finally on the right track. QUEEN should be out this year, but to avoid disappointing anyone again, I won’t be announcing the release date until I turn in the fully revised manuscript to my editor. I do sincerely apologize for the delay, but Rain and Ellie’s story means too much to me to risk ruining it with a bad ending. I hope you understand and will be patient a little while longer. I am truly sorry for the delay.”

Cheryl has kindly promised an interview when she’s done, so email me any questions you might have for her. Up next for author interviews: Susan Squires, who emailed me  that she’s “just about to turn in a book I really like … that’s always nice.” So she has a little time to talk! (Again — send me any questions you’d like me to ask.) Her TIME FOR ETERNITY is scheduled to be released in September.

Also: Look for Part 2 of Linda O. Johnston’s — ALPHA WOLF — Q&A later in the week!!!!

7 making online pitch to Silhouette Nocturne Bites April 14, 2009

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Well — These lucky 7 (just have screen names) get a live online pitch session with Silhouette Nocturne Bites’ Associate Senior Editor Ann Leslie Tuttle on Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET: Ann; Aileen H.; Michaela; Nicola; Amy; Robin; Melissa D. (Hey — if you’re one of the 7, or know one, holler.)branding_nocturnebites1

Each had to send in a 2-paragraph blurb on their manuscript to Community board host Rae by April 6.

Entries were chosen April 10 (they were only going to pick 5 but wound up with 7) by Tuttle. (CLICK HERE to read the guidelines.)

The online pitches begin Wednesday at 10 a.m. Eastern. Each author must be on the chat board. (Doesn’t appear that this is a public event. Each author will chat with Tuttle in a private chat room.)

According to posts on the board, authors will gather in the “Green Room.”  Each will then be directed to the editor chat room. Only the author, the editor and board host Rae will be inside the pitch room. Authors are reminded to save the transcript to their pitch session before leaving.  Other advice from the board: Authors have a time limit. They are encouraged to let the editor lead the discussion. At the end, the editor will let the author know if she wants to see more of the project.

Silhouette Nocturne Bites was created about a year ago. CLICK HERE to read the news release.

If anyone hears more about the Lucky 7 and how they did, let me know. I’ll be checking the boards for info and will try and update. (Good luck!)

Q&A: Her Alpha wolves practice safe sex April 14, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors.

Yup — you can tell that Linda O. Johnston is a mystery writer without even looking at her credentials. Her latest novel alphawolf200ALPHA WOLF is a mix of shapeshifter lore, Military macho, romance and whodunit! Her first story was published in “Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine,” and she has won awards for her mystery stories. And she’s written many romance novels. ALPHA WOLF (also available as an ebook) is not her first paranormal, though. She’s penned novels about time travel and romance.

I asked Linda about moving back into the paranormal romance genre — and why she chose shapeshifters! And why her weres practice safe sex … (Look for part 2 of the interview, which is geared at aspiring writers, toward the end of the week.)

Q. For the last couple of years, you’ve successfully written the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series. What made you switch back to paranormal romance?

A. It’s not really a switch, since I’m doing both! I adore Kendra and her adventures, but her love life isn’t a true romance, and I enjoy the romance genre, too. As I do in the Pet-Sitter mysteries, I also incorporate animals into my Silhouette Nocturnes. Many are about Alpha Force, my covert military unit of shapeshifters, including ALPHA WOLF and the Nocturne Bites that was also released in January, CLAWS OF THE LYNX. My upcoming Nocturne BACK TO LIFE is about a woman with Valkyrie powers who can bring the dying back to life, and she happens to be a K-9 cop.

Q. There are so many shapeshifter novels out there, so why did you decide to dive into their world?

lindalexieA. Because I love animals! In fact, I think I’m becoming more obsessed with them the older I get. Right now, as I respond to this question, my younger Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Mystie has levitated onto my lap and her head is on my arm, bouncing around as I type. I don’t actually know any shapeshifters, though. On the other hand, I used to own some property that once belonged to Lon Chaney Jr., the original movie Wolfman, and it’s just down the street from where I live now. Maybe he’s somehow communicating with me…

Q. Your werewolves are different than what we might read in other novels. There was no fighting among the shifters for supremacy. They seem almost like normal people. Why did you take that route?

A. I love stories of the paranormal, and my favorites are those that take place in the real world — as close to real as possible, considering the paranormal elements. As a result, my characters are in many ways normal and live their lives more or less like regular people, except when they shift or otherwise do something that most people don’t think of as being real.

Q. Is there an Alpha wolf among the squad (because I know there is more than one book!) or will that change depending on the situation?

A. In some ways the hero of ALPHA WOLF, Major Drew Connell, is the Alpha-est of the group, since Alpha Force is a military organization and he is the commanding officer, although he reports to a general who knows all about Alpha Force but is not himself a shapeshifter. Other Alpha Force members often report directly to Drew in upcoming stories.

Q. You weave town lore into your story — much as any small town might have its own legends. What was the inspiration for that?

A. To me, location can become almost like a character in a story. It at least helps to set the mood and that’s what I wanted with Mary Glen, Maryland. It needed to be remote, out of the mainstream, a place where legends can come true. I’ve visited Maryland’s Eastern Shore and thought a fictionalized version was a good fit.

Q. Why did you pair the shifters with a companion animal?

A. Since Alpha Force is a covert military unit, I figured its members would need additional cover in the event they were spotted while they were shifted form. As a result, they each have an animal as a pet and cover animal that they can point to if someone sees them while shifted and claim that the spotter saw the real animal instead of them.

Q. Melanie is the brainy woman who is immediately attracted to Drew. I thought they’d get physically involved fast but you really draw out the romance. (In fact, I thought they’d never get together!) Did you and your editor discuss how to pace the romance or did you want to write it this way first?

A. The pacing of the romance is my own. I like to have as much sexual tension as possible, as long as it fits with the rest of the story. And then when they finally get together I want them really together–despite whatever conflict remains between them.

Q. Ummmm — Drew practices safe sex. That was a pretty funny scene. How did you arrive at that?

A. As I said, I like stories that mirror the real world as much as possible. Safe sex is a way of life today, or at least it should be! Plus, in my world shifters and regular people sometimes mate for life and have kids, and Drew wouldn’t want to have an accidental little shifter out there…

Q. Do you know how many novels you might write about the unit? (And will we see Drew and Melanie in any of them?)

A. I’m not sure now how many sequels there will be to ALPHA WOLF but there will be at least one–the story about Patrick, who is introduced in ALPHA WOLF. Drew is Patrick’s commanding officer, and Melanie might drop in sometime, too.

Q. What’s the next book and can you give us a hint about the story? backtolife

A. My next Silhouette Nocturne is BACK TO LIFE. It’s not a sequel to ALPHA WOLF, but is about a K-9 cop who has limited Valkyrie powers, including bringing some dying people back to life. Near the beginning, the hero is badly wounded… that’s enough of a hint!

Q. OK — and tell us about the Alpha Wolf cover. Everyone on the boards loves it. Was he the first pick?

A. I adore the cover, too! Although I had input into the cover copy, the hero just appeared there… and I think he’s perfect!

For more on Linda O and ALPHA WOLF, check out her Web site HERE

Also, check back here at the end of the week for Linda’s tips for writers!!!!

LIKE THIS FEATURE? I have more authors coming. Go to ASK AN AUTHOR at the top of the page for the list and let me know who you’d like me to interview next or what questions you have for them. Also — suggestions for the Web site? You can simply leave requests and suggestions as a comment. Thanks! — Diana

Book deal: Vamps in the White House? Clive Owen?? April 13, 2009

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This is cool. Former Register business writer Chris Farnsworth has a three-book deal for his paranormal action thriller BLOOD OATH. The first book is expected out next year. CLICK HERE FOR THE DETAILS. cliveowen

The hero vampire protects the U.S. President and America from “supernatural enemies.” Uhhhhh — will there be a little romance in there somewhere, Chris???? I’ll have to pester him later because in another interview, Chris envisions hunky Clive Owen in the hero’s role. (C’mon Chris — there’s gotta be a little romance or sex in the book now that we all have Clive in our head!!!!)

Check out this WASHINGTON POST interview with Chris on his vamp/Oval Office concept. And comments on Clive Owen.

Chris has a blog that you can check out HERE.

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