Friday, April 20, 2012

Romeo and Juliet— Happily Ever After

Paranormal Romance and NYT bestselling author, Caridad Piñeiro, is my guest today. Her topic is about her fascination with the story of Romeo and Juliet and her new Sin Hunters series, and The Claimed. 

                When I wrote THE LOST, I knew it was intended to be a story about two people who were both coming to terms with who they were.  For Adam Bruno, it was about finding out why he had unusual powers and what to do with them.  For Bobbie Carrera, it was about finding her place in life now that she’s come home wounded from Iraq.

                As I was putting the finishing touches on THE LOST, I had no doubt who would be the hero of the next book in the series – THE CLAIMED.  I loved Christopher Sombrosa and knew that even though he was a Shadow Hunter, there was goodness within him.  I also knew that his role as the leader of the Shadows would not be an easy one.  In fact, it would be life threatening.

                But I also knew that the woman Christopher would come to love would also present a major challenge.  Why?  Because as I let the story ideas for THE CLAIMED percolate in my head, it occurred to me that this story had to be a paranormal, modern-day version of Romeo and Juliet.

                I guess that makes sense since over the years, I’ve loved multiple versions of Shakespeare’s tragedy.  My first love of it was Zefferilli’s Romeo and Juliet with Len Whiting (one of my first crushes).  Len could really fill out those tights nicely.

Then there was West Side Story, a more modern tale of based on the Bard’s famous play.  I loved the Sharks and the Jets and all that singing, even if there was no happily-ever-after.
Last but not least, Shakespeare in Love.  So funny and sexy and smart.  More love for men in tights since John Fiennes was sooooo sexy.

With all those sad tales of woe in my brain, I had no doubt that Shadow Hunter Christopher could only fall in love with the absolute worst woman for him – Light Huntress Victoria Johnson – a woman who is supposed to be Christopher’s mortal enemy.

There’s just one big difference between all those other tragedies and THE CLAIMED – a happily-ever-after.  But that happily-ever-after doesn’t come without a lot of war, death and huge sacrifices by many Light and Shadow Hunters.

I hope you’ll enjoy the tender and emotional scenes between two enemies who come to love one another, as well as the action-packed fight scenes between the Light and Shadow Hunters.  I had a blast of a time, literally, showing you all the different powers that the Hunters possess, including some very sexy powers!

Thanks for coming by.
  • Since I’ve shared some of my favorite movies, take a moment to share with me some of yours.

THE CLAIMED (Sin Hunters)

Victoria Johnson loves her life. She's her own boss in a quaint beachside town, and has great friends who keep her grounded. If only they knew who she really is: an heiress to an ancient race who possesses astonishing superhuman powers. It's Victoria's duty to restore her clan of Light Hunters to their former glory by choosing the perfect mate. In Christopher Sombrosa, she just may have found him. Strong, smart, and successful, Christopher exudes a powerful energy. Their connection is sensual, irresistible-and forbidden. 

A member of the Shadow Hunter clan, Christopher has defied his own father to lead his people away from affliction and violence. Yet he cannot ignore his duty to carry on his ancient bloodline. Stunningly beautiful and brimming with an erotic life force, Victoria is everything Christopher ever hoped for in a mate . . . but as a Light Hunter, she's his mortal enemy. Together, they could unite their warring tribes. But murderous factions on both sides don't want peace-and they'll stop at nothing to keep light and darkness apart forever . . . EXCERPT

Caridad Piñeiro is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Look for STRONGER THAN SIN, the second book in an exciting new paranormal romance series, on November 1 2010 from Grand Central Publishing. In 2007, a year marked by six releases from Harlequin and Pocket Books, Caridad was selected as the 2007 Golden Apple Author of the Year by the New York City Romance Writers. Caridad's novels have been lauded as the Best Short Contemporary Romance of 2001 in the NJ Romance Writers Golden Leaf Contest, Top Fantasy Books of 2005 and 2006 by CATALINA Magazine and Top Nocturne of 2006 by Cataromance. Caridad has appeared on various television shows, such as the FOX News Early Edition in New York, and articles featuring her novels have been published in several leading newspapers and magazines, such as CATALINA, the New York Daily News, NJ Monthly and the Star Ledger. For more information on Caridad, please visit or Facebook Fan Page

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Plenty interesting topics to read today: A-Z Blogfest. Today's letter is P. You can find a list of participants Here.

Occasionally, when I can persuade her, author Kat Sheridan—lover of lush historicals—will contribute something for my readers. I love reading her reviews, articles, short stories, and I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.

           In the interest of my almost pathological honesty, I should say I’m not the target audience for this book. Well, it IS romance (which I love), and every page is rich with historical detail and lush writing (which I also love), and it’s a tale of loss and redemption and yearning and passion and all those other sorts of things I ALSO adore in a book.

So why is The Irish Healer, the stunningly beautiful debut novel from NancyHerriman, not a novel I’d ordinarily read? Because it’s billed as “inspirational/Christian romance”. To the uneducated (like I was), that meant this book would be filled with the Bible, and Christian values, and I would be preached at on every page. Although I’m a spiritual person, I’m not a Christian. I’m also a published author of erotic romance. How much more “NOTD” (Not Our Type, Darling) could this book be? Therefore, this book was not for me.

            And I couldn't have been more wrong

Rachel Dunne—the Irish healer of the title—is running away. Although acquitted of murdering a child under her care, she’s come to London to escape the scandal of her past, vowing to give up her gift of healing, believing it’s really a curse. She finds work with Dr. James Edmunds, a man with tragedies of his own in his past, a physician who is also in the process of giving up his medical practice. Rachel vows only to work as a sort of secretary for him. She will not help him in medical matters, will not sit at the bedside of patients, will not trust or use her own special gifts.

James and Rachel have each in their own way given up on God, as they believe God has abandoned them. Here is one of my favorite scenes:

BUY:Amazon, B&N, Powells 
“I understand loss and trials and difficulties, Dr. Edmunds. I understand struggling to hold onto hope that tomorrow will be better than today. I understand how hard it is to watch a child suffer and feel powerless to help her. I understand wanting to believe that God will perform a miracle and feeling lost and disillusioned when He does not.” Old, sad bitterness tainted her words. “That is what I understand, Dr. Edmunds.”

His gaze searched her face, looked directly into her eyes, straight into her soul. “So what do we do now?”

Confused by his question, Rachel answered the only way she could. “We go forward.”

“But what if you don’t have the strength to go forward? What if you don’t have the courage?”

“Somehow, you have to find it.” (you can read an excerpt of Chapter one.)

Note the subtle way inspirational reference is woven in, without browbeating the reader with it (which was what I had feared from an inspirational romance. Again, I could not have been more wrong.) This is a book about the universal themes of loss and forgiveness, about finding redemption, and most powerfully, about finding love. It transcends a specific, single belief system. It’s about learning to forgive yourself, and love yourself; about accepting love and forgiveness from others. It is also about understanding—accepting—the always-present love and forgiveness of something—someone—greater than you.

The thing is, you don’t have to subscribe to certain beliefs in order to become immersed in a beautiful story. I can read about dragons and genies and mermaids, witches and voodoo priestesses and shamans, and if the story is well done, the characters believable and right for the tale, that writing a feast for the senses, that’s all that really matters. The Irish Healer is that kind of book.

And make no mistake, this is first and foremost, a romance, as sweet and delicious and sexy and yummy as you could ever want. There is no overt sex in this book; there’s barely a single kiss. But oh, the yearning! The longing! Ms. Herriman beautifully, powerfully builds the tension, page by page, a glance, a touch, a sigh at a time, until the reader is as wound up as Rachel and James, an ember about to burst into a conflagration. This is a truly romantic romance.

The power of faith is the backbone of this feast of a novel, but love—God’s and man’s—is the heart and soul of it. I’ve never been happier to have been wrong about something. Missing out on this wonderful book would have been a tragedy indeed.


  • Inspirational romance is way outside my usual comfort zone of reading. Have you ever read outside your comfort zone? 
  • Did you find something new and wonderful?

Kat Sheridan is a recovering project manager and business analyst whose hard-bitten persona has always hidden a secret romantic. She likes her stories with a dark and dangerous flavor, so long as the villains are vanquished and true love triumphs in the end. She is inordinately fond of glitter nail polish, shiny things, bourbon, and any comestibles on which frosting can be placed. Kat splits her time between the Midwest in the summer and the South in the winter. Her peripatetic life is shared with her own real-life hero who shows her every day what happily ever after means. Connect to her on Facebook at or visit her website: Kat Sheridan 

Monday, April 16, 2012

MONDAY’S MUSINGS: Nuances Of Labradorite

I love nuances. The subtle layers of meanings or even alternate meanings of things. Like Labradorite.


Is that a dog or something? 

Oops, wrong visual.

It falls into a something category. It’s a gemstone. An unusual one. 

Once upon a time, as legend has it, a northern hunter was stalking game on St. Paul Island, when he came upon a stone and earth bank. In it was a multitude of dazzling colors. He stabbed it with his spear and was amazed at the flow of beautiful colors escaping from the dull bank. Try as he might, he couldn’t release all the colors and that made him sad. Still, he rejoiced for those brilliant colors that did escape. The colors were grateful and forever more show their gratitude by decorating the night sky with radiant displays of color. 
And that, my friends, is the tale of how we got the aurora borealis.
Joshua Strang

And Labradorite.

Labradorite in the rough.

Labradorite is a spectrum or or translucent feldspar and falls into the category of what is known as iridescent gemstones. It means a gem displaying rainbow-like colors. The iridescence is caused by the reflection of light from the gem. Opals are and iridescent stone. Mother of Pearl is another example of iridescence.

Finnish Spectrolite
Another name for Labradorite is Spectrolite. The Finnish have dibs on the most brilliant and sought after forms of Labradorite. The gem takes its name from where it was found in the 1700s in Labrador. But it can be found in India, Madagascar, Newfoundland, and Russia.

Why am I interested in Labradorite?

Because it is also thought to be a stone of power (just as last week’s Heliotrope was), which is of particular interest to me for a series of stories I’m writing. It just so happens one of my main characters wears a pair of favorite earrings and they’re made from Labradorite.

didn't even realize she wore earrings and I’m writing the story (Don't you just love it when characters do that to you?). I happen to take a nap and in that between state of sleep and awake, I saw her with a pair of earrings and knew her mother gave them to her. I went searching through my research and bingo! There they were. Funny how things work out, isn’t it? And it made me chuckle when I realized another facet of mystical meaning for Labradorite. 

It’s called a stone of destiny.

Labradorite is supposed to allow you to see through illusions and determine the actual form of your dreams. Its power gives the holder perseverance, strength, and enhanced intuition when experiencing conflict and change. 

I love it when research plays out.

Gemstones come with many layers of meaning beyond the obvious and Labradorite is no different. Now you know some of the mystical nuances of the stone beyond what it is and where it's found. J