Friday, April 13, 2012


It's our love of reading that has us visiting (or haunting) libraries, bookstores, book blogs, and online bookstores. Personally, for me, I would add visiting their websites because you can find amazing deals, excerpts, contests, and all sorts of extra goodies. If you're a writer, you first learned to love reading before you even considered writing.

What can we, readers, do to show love of our favorite author's work? Elisabeth Naughton shares some ways we can make a difference and ensure we're able to continue reading more from our favorites.

First of all, thanks so much for inviting me to stop by during my blog tour for ENRAPTURED. ENRAPTURED is the fourth book in my Eternal Guardians series and recently garnered a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and was named a Top Ten Romance for Spring 2012.

One of the things authors struggle with is how to get their books into the hands of readers who want to read them. There are so many books out there right now to choose from–especially with the boom in the Indie market. Does online advertising work? Do blog tours work? Do giveaways work? We’re constantly asking ourselves this question because all of these things—as fun as they can be—take away from what writers love and want to do, which is write that next book. For me the hardest part of being a published author is balancing the promotion side of writing with the actual writing. It’s so easy to use up a whole day (like today!) doing promo for my most recent book when what I need to be doing is writing the next book in the series.

I get a lot of fan mail from readers telling me how much they love my books, and while I truly enjoy hearing from them and appreciate the fact they’ve taken the time to email me, I’ve started passing on information telling them what they can do to help me out. Whether readers want to “see” it or not, publishing is a business. Publishers don’t buy and publish books, series and authors that aren’t selling. And the only way for an author to increase her readership and guarantee there will be additional books down the line is to sell more books.

If you’re a reader (or a writer who also loves to read…which we all are), there are a number of things you can do to help your favorite author sell more books, thereby guaranteeing he/she will continue to write the stories you love.
1. Post a Review! Reviews help new readers find and buy books. If you love a series and want to see it continue, write a review so NEW readers can find the book too. Then publish your review at Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, etc. to guarantee it will be seen.
2. "Like" books on retail sites like Amazon. Overall rankings are based on a combination of "likes" and sales. The higher the ranking, the better odds new readers have to find the book and author.
3. Tell your friends! Give them a book to borrow, tell them about an amazing story or series. Talk about it via social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and your own blog (if you have one).
4.  Sign up for the Author's newsletter so you can find out when the next great book is released. If you already get an author's newsletter, forward it to a friend you think might be interested. 
5. Like the Author's Facebook page. Follow the author on Twitter. Get involved in their online community and spread your interest to your friends.
6. Join the Author's readers group - if the Author has one.
7. Form a street team – a group of readers who spread promo materials like bookmarks and trading cards to readers they think will love an author’s work.

Any and all of these things help authors spread the word about books AND guarantee those authors will keep writing the books you love. They also help cut down on the amount of promo authors have to do from one book to the next so they can focus on writing that next story you’re so eagerly waiting for.  If you’re a reader who wants to help an author continue writing, you can pick and choose from the list. All efforts are appreciated on the author’s side. Trust me!

Thank you so much to all the readers who have found my books, loved them and spread the word! And thanks to all the readers who have bought ENRAPTURED so far! For those who haven’t…what are you waiting for? Run out and buy it today!

Sourcebooks is giving away two copies of my latest release, ENRAPTURED, to two lucky commenters today. 
  • Simply tell me what you've done lately to help spread the word about your favorite author or series.


Orpheus—To most he's an enigma, a devil-may-care rogue who does whatever he pleases whenever he wants. Now this loose cannon is part of the Eternal Guardians—elite warriors assigned to protect the human realm—whether he likes it or not.

Orpheus has just one goal: to rescue his brother from the Underworld. He's not expecting a woman to get in the way. Especially not a Siren as gorgeous as Skyla. He has no idea she's an assassin sent by Zeus to seduce, entrap, and ultimately destroy him.

Yet Skyla herself might have the most to lose. There's a reason Orpheus feels so familiar to her, a reason her body seems to crave him. Perhaps he's not the man everyone thinks... The truth could reveal a deadly secret as old as the Eternal Guardians themselves. EXCERPT


A former junior high science teacher, Elisabeth Naughton traded in her red pen and test-tube set for a laptop and research books. She now writes sexy romantic adventure and paranormal novels full-time from her home in western Oregon, where she lives with her husband and three children. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the prestigious RITA Awards of Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, the Golden Leaf, and the Golden Heart. When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ball park, or dreaming up new and exciting adventures.
Visit her: to learn more about her and her books. Her next book in the Eternal Guardians series, Enslaved, will be in stores in November 2012.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


JUDI Fennell is my guest today, Over Coffee. She's here to talk about her newest romance and how it came to be. Considering her topic I've decided to add Iced Coffee to today's coffee bar.

There’s a naked man in my kitchen.
(Don’t I wish!)

Sadly, there is no naked man in my kitchen at the moment. Which is probably a good thing, given all the teenagers milling about my first floor with their, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” “Is the laundry done?” “Can I have money for lunch tomorrow”-isms. Imagine their looks if there was a naked man in my kitchen. Especially one who looks like the cover model on my latest release.
Go ahead. Imagine. I’ll wait.

(You sooooooooo weren’t imagining the teenagers looking at him, now, were you? J)
Ladies, you were just perusing the fine form of Todd Best. Otherwise known as The Best. Name fits, doesn’t it?
So how does the naked man sentence above relate to Todd Best? Well, other than the fact that you probably wouldn’t mind seeing him naked… Todd is the hero of Beauty and The Best, the first release in my Once-Upon-A-Time Romance series. (And for the record, I came up with that title long before ABC put the show on the air. But of course I’m watching that show. It practically has Judi Fennell written all over it!)
Ahem, where was I? Oh, yes. Todd. He’s the hunky hero in the story, but when we first meet him, well, he’s not so heroic. He is however, hunky.
Naked and hunky.
Naked and hung over but still hunky.
Yeah, hung over. “What kind of romance novel hero is that?” you ask.
I’m hoping he’s one you’ll feel for. (No, not feel period, but feel for.) There’s a reason for his nudity and it’s a doozy. So please forgive him the hangover. Our heroine, Jolie, does.
Jolie Gardener is Todd’s new personal chef. The reason he has a personal chef is tied in with the hangover thing, but for the moment let’s just go with it. Jolie’s there, all ready to prepare his breakfast when Naked Guy walks in and gets her all flustered. Things start burning (read all the double entendres into that that you want) and breakfast is shot. So is Jolie’s composure. But from this, um, interesting beginning, a romance is born.

Beauty And The Best

Jolie Gardener, personal chef by day, aspiring romance writer by night,

likes to talk and does it a lot. She has to because if she stops, all the pain, disillusionment, and abandonment of her AWOL mother, question-mark father, and foster-care childhood will rise up like a chocolate soufflé on steroids, sweeping away the fragile infrastructure of her life.

But she's fine. Really. She is.
Or so she thinks. 

Todd Best isn't fine. He knows it. And doesn't care.

After his wife died—the woman who believed in him when he was a struggling artist—he put painting aside, moved from their home, and lost himself in the minutiae of daily life. 
Alone. Private. The way he likes it.
The last thing he needs is some chatty cook seeping into the perfectly bland canvas of his life.
Or so he thinks. 

So when Jonathan, a guardian-angel-in-training, turns himself into a kitten to help these two lonely souls find a happily ever after together, it ought to be a piece of cake.

Or so he thinks… Excerpt

Pick up Beauty and The Best at:

This story holds a special place in my heart. I can’t say it’s my favorite story because, like my kids and my dogs (I’d say husbands, but since I have and only have had one, there’s no contest there), I don’t have favorites. But just as you like your kids for different reasons, so, too, do I have a special reason for liking this story.
It was in Romantic Times Magazine’s American Title contest. Then it went on to be the only romance in the Top 20 finalists of 2700 entries in the & Schuster First Chapters contest. My writing got a lot of exposure (pun not intended, but I giggled, so you might as well, too) to the reading public, so much so that people have been emailing me for years asking me when this story would be published.
I can finally answer, “Now!”
Below is an excerpt from the story that you can’t get on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or any other online retailer, but if you want to check out the naked man in my kitchen scene, the links below will take you to the Look Inside/Sample feature on the sites.
What you won’t find out is why Todd’s naked. For that, you’ll have to read page—
Nah. You’ll have to read the whole thing because just like love scenes shouldn’t be read out of context, Big Reveal scenes shouldn’t be either. And, yes, I meant that pun.
Bon appétit!

CONTEST: JUDI FENNELL and DANA MARTON are doing a drawing for signed original manuscripts, tote bags, and a few other goodies for readers who LIKE both their FB pages. 

PRISM Award and Golden Leaf Award-winning author, Judi Fennell, has had her nose in a book and her head in some celestial realm all her life, including those early years when her mom would exhort her to “get outside!” instead of watching Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie on television. So she did—right into Dad’s hammock with her Nancy Drew books.
These days she’s more likely to have her nose in her laptop and her head (and the rest of her body) at her favorite writing spot, but she’s still reading, whether it be her latest manuscript or friends’ books.
Author of “fairy tales with a twist,” pun-filled, tongue-in-cheek, contemporary paranormal romances, starting with the Tritone Trilogy about Mermen and the Humans who love them, her Bottled Magic Series about genies and magic and falling in love, and now her Once-Upon-A-Time Romances, those twisted fairy tales that were the inspiration for her tagline.

Dive into the romance on her website,, for excerpts, deleted scenes, reviews, contests, and pictures from reader and writer conferences, or check her out on Facebook:

Monday, April 9, 2012

MONDAY MUSINGS—Heliotrope's Mystical Power

I was doing some research for a story I’m writing and in the process found all sorts of interesting tidbits about the word heliotrope.

It’s a color, it’s a flower (I have some), and it’s also a gemstone. 

Bloodstone Hill, Isle of Rum 
It’s the gemstone I was interested in and the fact that one of the places it can be found is in the Hebrides of Scotland, on the Isle of Rhum or Rum.

Heliotrope also has another name—Bloodstone.

What the heck is a Bloodstone? Glad you asked. J

It’s a variety of the chalcedony, or quartz gemstones.

In the ancient world, Chalcedony was widely used for various purposes. Archaeology verifies it was a common material used in artwork, such as cameos, utensil decorations, inkstands and seals. Jewelry was another popular use for quartz gemstones, ornaments such as pins, amulets, and brooches. Heliotrope also has qualities similar to flint and was used for axe heads and tools knife blades, and for metaphysical properties in healing.

The bloodstone is unique from other quartz gemstones. It’s a deep green in color with distinctive markings of red jasper. It’s the bright red that gives it the name Bloodstone.

There was another reason is was a highly prized stone in ancient times—Heliotrope or Bloodstone is a stone of mystical power.

For ancient Christians, it represented the power of Christ through his blood—the bright red markings was thought to be as a result of Christ’s blood dripping onto the green earth at his death. But even before Christ, the bloodstone was considered special.

Goddess Athena carved in Bloodstone
The Greeks called it Heliotrope (Sun-turner) and felt the stone would ward off evil and wore the gemstone in amulets as well placing them on door lintels. It was also regarded as a stone of change and justice. Probably having to do with the unfortunate spilling of blood to bring forth change and justice.

Bloodstone was also considered a stone of courage. It was once believed to overcome enemies, to open locked doors and break down blockages. Soldiers carried bloodstone as protection against being wounded and to stop bleeding. In ancient times, women wore bloodstones to ensure a safe pregnancy and easy childbirth. Bloodstone was used to facilitate a communication with the spiritual realms. There is legend that says heliotrope could, in certain circumstances, render the carrier invisible.

Bloodstone pendant from the Isle of Rum
Today, Bloodstone is still considered a mystical stone of power and used as a health talisman to heal illnesses related to the blood and circulatory system. It is worn by athletes to increase power and strength and for victory, to secure success in physical battles, competition and on a personal level. Among the properties attributed to the stone, good luck, courage, the power of clear thinking, increases the flow of life energy, and helps to remove energy blocks. Bloodstone gems are mostly used in making pendant, necklaces, and other pieces of jewelry.

Heliotrope or Bloodstone has had an interesting history through the years. Many of its magical properties are still believed in and used. But I still haven’t found any secret military labs, in modern times, exploring it’s mystical property of invisibility. 

Yet. J