Award of Excellence for Published Romance Writers!

2012 Award of Excellence Open now!

Sponsor:  Colorado Romance Writers

Fee:  $20.00

Receipt Deadline:  January 13, 2012

Eligibility:  Books published in 2011. Bound hard copies of e-books also eligible.

Categories:  Short Contemporary (60,000 words or less), Long Contemporary (over 60,000 words),
Historical, Romantic Suspense, Single Title, P/TT/F/F, Inspirational, Mainstream w/Romantic Elements, Erotic Romance.
Judges:  Readers, booksellers, published authors
Top Prize:  Award of Excellence Trophy and certificate; letter congratulating the editor.
FMI: For more information contact: Jessica Aspen (aoecoordinator1@yahoo.com). For entry forms and rules see: www.coloradoromancewriters.com

Permission to forward granted and appreciated.

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Writer with Sizzle: M.L. Guida!

Please welcome paranormal romance author M.L. Guida!! M.L. would like to give an e-copy of her upcoming release to one commenter, so be sure to leave your email address so she can get ahold of you!
Lia: Great to have you here, M.L.!! Please tell us about your upcoming release (available 11/15/2011).
ML: Finding Ms. Wright is anthology about three men, each on a crucial mission to save their way of life, seek their true mates – woman who unknowingly hold the key to their very survival. My story is Cassandra. Prince Eric Wyvern of the Dragon Demons kidnaps Cassandra and brings her to the Underworld. They must mate and then Cassandra must touch the Golden Tree to keep Eric’s people from going completely feral. If Cassandra refuses, then once the demons turn feral, they’ll enter our world and conquer us.

Lia: Exciting premise! What is your favorite thing about being a romance writer?

ML: I love creating my characters. When I write, I see a movie in my head and try to get it down on paper as fast as I can.

Lia: What physical aspect does your heroine love most about your hero? Details, please!

ML: His mouth and what he does with his mouth. Cassandra likes the feel of Eric’s mouth on her naked skin and all the wicked antics he can do with his mouth.

Lia: What does your heroine love most about your hero? Least?

ML: His arrogance. Eric does not like taking no for an answer – demon, prince. What a combination!

Lia: Sounds like the ultimate sexy alpha male. 🙂 Have you ever cried or laughed out loud while writing a scene?

ML: Yes, I have. Cassandra can be funny when she is poking fun at Eric. Sometimes she regrets it, because he does get even with her – usually in the bedroom. The torture scenes bring tears to my eyes. What happens to Eric’s nephew, Toby, is sad. I try to bring out how I would feel during those times and capture it on paper.

Lia: How would you describe your heroine?

ML: Cassandra is a champion. She wants to protect people because she knows what is like to be bullied all your life. As a child, she stuttered and could see ghosts, specifically the Wraith. She made the mistake of telling her classmates and they made fun of her. Calling her C-C-C-razy C-C-C-Cassandra. Unfortunately, Eric uses this to manipulate Cassandra into mating with him.

Lia: I’m cheering for her already. How would you describe the world you’ve built?

ML: Dark. My world is filled with dungeons, torture devices and demons. The Underworld can be a beautiful, but scary people. A feral demon is a dangerous one. However, my characters are able to overcome these obstacles. Their determination is what allows them to win. My tagline is “In a world of darkness, true love survives.”

Lia: Great tagline! What makes you want to write about things that go bump in the night?

ML: I have thought about this and came up with two conclusions: being a social worker and being Catholic. As a social worker, I have seen the worst kind of abuse and this is my outlet to release this. Catholicism is filled with mysticism and things that go bump in the night. I love supernatural shows. In fact, one of my favorite shows is Supernatural. Eric Klipke produced the show. I love the storylines, but more the relationship between the two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester.

Lia: Love your answer. Do you have a common theme in the books you write?

ML: Yes. I believe the most common theme is healing. Once again this reverts back to social work, but my characters need to learn to heal from their past and some of them need to learn to forgive before they can move forward.

Lia: What is your theme for Cassandra?

ML: Cassandra’s theme is self-sacrifice. Both Cassandra and Eric have to sacrifice themselves in order to reach their goals of saving their worlds and each other.

Lia: Intriguing theme! Does your hero have any scars or tattoos? Where are they? Is there a story behind them?

ML: Cassandra does not have any scars or tattoos, but when she gets nervous or scared, she reverts back to stuttering, which drives her crazy. Eric has a tiny tattooed black heart above his right breast. To be honest, the tattoo does not mean anything.

Lia: Which scene in your book do you think will leave the reading squirming in their seat?

ML: The first time he convinces her to sleep with her. Cassandra is a virgin and thinks sleeping with a demon would be aligned to rape rather than a rapturous experience. She learns she is dead wrong. Come on – a sexy demon.
Lia: LOL! What’s your secret to writing a steamy scene?

ML: My favorite authors who write sex scenes are Christine Feehan and Marsha Canham, but it’s not insert slot A into slot B. What makes a great love scene is the emotional reaction to the physical touch. I try to capture my character’s emotional response and thoughts. I want the reader to identify with what they are experiencing.

Lia: Definitely. Those are my favorite sex scenes, as well. Do you have a favorite writer you’ve read over and over?

ML: Marsha Canham. She writes historical, especially the ones during the Jacobite War in Scotland.

Lia: What was your hero’s (or heroine’s) lowest moment? His (or her) best moment?

ML: Eric’s worst moment is when his father arrests him and hands him over to Gryffin Drake the Torturer. His best moment is when he sacrifices himself for Cassandra and his nephew, Toby – I don’t want to give away what he does.

Lia: Have you ever lived out any of your scenes?

ML: I have lived out the ski scenes. Cassandra skis like I do. She’s an intermediate skier. I also have skied Copper Mountain many times and I stayed at the Galena Mountain Street Inn. I love to ski and I like the feeling of flying down a mountain with the wind running around you, snow flying in the air. It’s exhilarating. Unfortunately, I tore my ACL and MCL and was out of commission for one year. I hope to go back this year. I miss it.

Lia: Very cool that our local chapter, Colorado Romance Writers, had its fall retreat at that inn. I hope you feel good enough to ski again soon! Where do you get your inspiration?

ML: About a year ago on the internet, there was a huge sink hole in South America and I thought what if it went to hell or in this case, the Underworld. I picture something crawling out or flying out of the sinkhole. I let my imagination go and saw Eric flying out of the sink hole, but in South America, but in Frisco, Colorado. Frisco is my second home. My grandparents own a cabin there and have been going up there during the summers since I was a kid.

Lia: Do you have any advice for the budding romance writer?

ML: Write, write, write. I encourage you to take writing classes. One of the best classes I ever took is with Lori Wilde through Savvy Authors. Lori propelled my writing. I landed a contract with Featherweight Press as a young adult writer under the pen name J.L. Bowen. I also received a contract with an independent press, 5 Prince Publishing, which will publish Cassandra and the sequel, Ravaged Soul which focuses on Eric’s nephew, Toby.

Lia: Great advice! Thanks so much for being a Writer with Sizzle, ML! I’m looking forward to reading Finding Ms. Wright, and especially your story Cassandra. Where can readers find your book?

ML: My books can be obtained through Amazon, Barnes and Noble or All Romance E books.

To find out more about M.L. Guida, visit her website: http://www.mlguida.com/

Writer with Sizzle Guest Blogger: Natalie Acres

Where to Begin…
A woman’s life is hectic. Between family and career, it’s often difficult to juggle day-to-day activities much less squeeze in something extra. As a writer, I often find myself in a crunch for time. My muse pulls one way and readers guide me in another direction altogether. Lately, I’ve discovered my muse shouldn’t have a dog in the race. When readers ask for a certain book, the excitement and energy they have for a particular series is a great source of inspiration when I finally sit down to write a new book.

Cowboy Boots and Untamed Hearts kicked off the Cowboy Boots series in April of 2009. The book captured the #1 spot at Siren-Bookstrand and went on to become the #1 bestselling erotica and western title at Amazon. A bestselling title at All Romance Ebooks and Mobipocket, Cowboy Boots and Untamed Hearts was soon followed by Cowboy Boots and Unfinished Business which was also received well by readers who supported the series.
I’m thrilled and excited about the new Cowboy Boots release, but must admit Cowboy Boots and Unfinished Business remains my favorite book in the series due to the unusual bond formed between sisters as one woman courageously faces her death while asking another woman to take care of the men she’ll soon leave behind.
The reader support for the Cowboy Boots series is one I can’t describe. Readers write and ask about continuing the series and I can promise there’s more in store. While writing Cowboy Boots and Unsettled Debts, book three, the idea for the fourth installment materialized as well. Cowboy Boots and Undesirable Characters will soon be submitted for consideration.
In the meantime, more books are in the pipeline for the Cowboy Sex series. Sex Party was my first western ménage romance. If you enjoy family sagas, come on over to the ranch and meet the Cartwell family. While you’re there, stop by and say hello to the McKay brothers, too.
The Cowboy Sex books tend to write themselves. The stories unfold quicker than I can put them down on paper. The Cowboy Boots books were a little more difficult to write. Driven by the hot romance and fast action, the characters in the Cowboy Boots books tend to ‘get carried away’ with their toys and props.
With several series to complete and numerous manuscripts stored on my desktop, there’s the ever-present daily question—Where to begin?
As readers, we ask the same question. It’s not easy locating the order in which series books were written. Today, as we celebrate the release day of Cowboy Boots and Unsettled Debts, I invite you to check out the entire series.
Start with Cowboy Boots and Untamed Hearts and meet the Donovan brothers from Southwest Virginia. Then, meet the Remington men and the women they love in Cowboy Boots and Unfinished Business. As they cope with tremendous loss, they find strength and hope in the arms of a woman they never expected to love. Finally, I invite you to pick up your copy of Cowboy Boots and Unsettled Debts, on sale today at Siren-Bookstrand.  

Releasing November 7th
Cowboy Boots and Unsettled Debts
Book Three in the Cowboy Boots Series

Blurb:


Seduction turns deadly when Abby Rose, an agent with the Underground Unit, decides to put a provocative spin on revenge. Her plan to sleep with a cartel leader backfires when fellow operatives refuse Abby the opportunity to face her enemy alone.
Abby’s fellow agents begin the fight of their lives. After discovering Abby will use her body to lure in the man who killed her father, and their command leader, seven highly trained operatives cope with high tensions as each man comes to terms with feelings never previously acknowledged.
This team isn’t fighting for another cause or plotting the best way to take out their mark. The stakes are much higher. These men will take up arms and meet their greatest challenge as they work together to protect the woman they admire and love.


Other books in the series available now:
Cowboy Boots and Untamed Hearts
Book One in the Cowboy Boots Series
Previous Milestones for Cowboy Boots and Untamed Hearts:

#1 Bestseller Bookstrand for Several Weeks
#1 Bestselling Erotica Amazon
#1 Bestselling Western Amazon
Bestselling Western ARE
Mobipocket Bestselling Title