Val’s Top Ten Posts of 2012

This is my highlight reel of the past year, thanks to a nifty sorting technique I was able to view my top ten posts of the year and it includes some of my favorite posts and favorite guests!:

10. A Long Sloe Comfortable Screw Up Against A Wall – This post is actually a recipe for the drink that is featured in my short story, A Night at the Wesley.

9. Introducing The Dark Sentinels – Sable – Author Dariel Raye introduced The Dark Sentinels series and the rare breed of wolf shifters.

8. Sunday Snippet With Deneice Tarbox – Deneice stopped by the blog to talk about her two novels, Healing Inc. and Finding Love For A Cynic. I didn’t know it then but Finding Love For A Cynic would become one of my favorite reads this summer.

7. Passionate Cook Sharon Kleve Shares a Romantic Menu – Sharon shared a great menu for a special date night and a little about her book, Klutzy Love.

6. Sunday Morning Chat Hosted by Anne Ashby – Anne came over from New Zealand to interview her heroine, Jodie Mathieson, from Wilderness Liason and got a surprise. She had to chase the woman down and her questions weren’t ever answered. LOL! One of the funniest posts!

5. An Interview with Marla Malone by Jason Jaxx – A big thank you to Jason for stopping by the blog and convincing Marla to come along with him. His erotic works can be found in the Fantasies4U series starting with Ashley’s Craving.

4. interracial desire and passionate sex hand on assAfter Party A New Sensual Short – This post talks about a short story of mine available on Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. If you haven’t seen the cover, it’s a little much. But I figured the couple was married so in my mind it’s okay.

3. Today’s Hero Dalton Beck with Yvonne Harriot – The lovely Yvonne Harriot visited the blog and interviewed her hero, Dalton Beck, from Hide ‘N Seek and got a little more than she bargained for when she met the handsome man. I’m glad I’m not the only one who loses it when confronted with our own creations.

2. Today’s Hero Clark Pinot with Nevea Lane – Oh hotness, Clark Pinot from Falling Leaves in Autumn a violet eyed hero who doesn’t chase but pursues! Nevea did a wonderful job of interviewing this man and keeping her cool at the same time.

1. The Color of Inspiration – This is one of my favorite posts of the year. It continues to get hits and comments even though it was posted in May. This is a statistical analysis of interracial marriages in the US. Want to know how many African American women marry outside of their race? Only about 9%!

Thank you so much for following my blog throughout the year! I truly appreciate every visitor and every comment.

Happy New Year!

The New Year Approaches – 2013

I hope your holiday went well. Mine was spent in South Carolina with my brother and his family and we had a great time. I often complain that my three kids are too loud. However after spending a week with five excited children, there’ll be no complaining from me for a while!

Because there were the grandparents who wanted to spend time with their grandkids, I also got some time alone to write and reflect.

I enjoying writing – bringing characters to life from a snippet of an overheard conversation or song verse and creating a world for them to inhabit. I enjoy working on my craft so that someday I can become a very good (dare I say great?) writer.

I’ve come to enjoy marketing. It has lead me to some very good reads and I’ve virtually met some awesome writers! That has been so cool for me.

HMMM?

HUH?

Publishing? Lately, that has left a sour taste in my mouth. I don’t mind criticism. As I said, I want to be good at this. But I’ve seen some things that my gut tells me don’t fall into constructive criticism. And as a published writer, I can’t call people on their suspected BS even here in my own little corner of the blogosphere.

So I’m seriously considering not publishing beyond my 2013 commitments. While I complete my projects in the next four to six months, I won’t be around much. But know that you can always drop me a line at t(dot)mailhes(at)yahoo(dot)com, I’m still an avid reader and honest feedback good or bad is always appreciated about my writing!

Happy New Year ~Val

Book Spotlight: Dangerous Embrace by Dana Mason

Dangerous Embrace is $0.99 on Amazon from Christmas Day until New Year’s Day. Regular price $3.99.

Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Embrace-The-Series-ebook/dp/B009KVHBQG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355800415&sr=8-1&keywords=Dangerous+Embrace

 

DangerousEmbrace.inddSarah Jennings wants nothing more than a quiet life—alone.

Raised by an eccentric mother, their life on the road only taught her how to run away from hard times. But when she finds herself in an abusive relationship, this lesson serves her well.

Now, back in her hometown, she’s found a place she loves. She’s a first grade teacher, and with few friends and less family around, she has what she wants, a quiet life under the radar where she can be free of her past and live quietly. Finally comfortable in her own skin, she’s settled, and less fearful than she’s ever been in her life.

But it only takes one night and one act of violence for everything to change. Injured and afraid, Sarah wants to run again, but Mark Summors refuses to let her go.

Just when Sarah thinks she can have Mark and the life he promises, her past comes back to haunt her.

Mark Summors was born and raised in Santa Rosa. He married his high school sweetheart and never questioned his life, until he found his wife with another man.

Now divorced, he wants something more. He’s passionate about his job, he wants to protect people, and he devotes his life to it.

This time he’s protecting more than just another client, he’s protecting his future; at least, Sarah Jennings will be his future, once he convinces her she loves him.

 

Excerpt:

Sarah pried open her heavy eyelids and turned, trying to focus on the clock. “Ow, dammit!” She clenched her teeth and looked down at the sling tied to her arm. The smothering realization pressed on her chest. When the nausea hit, she flung the covers off and rushed to the bathroom, fighting to get to the toilet before her stomach heaved.

When the painful dry heaving stopped, she lay back on the cold tile floor, exhausted, and waited for the room to stop spinning. Her ragged breaths roared in her ears and seemed to echo in the quiet room. When her breathing slowed, the silence ebbed around her in waves, but when footsteps approached the bathroom door, she tensed again.

A bead of sweat dripped down her scalp and at the same time someone tapped at the door. Her pulse spiked and she fought like hell to remember who brought her home from the hospital.

She closed her eyes. “Who’s there?” The waver in her voice pissed her off. Gawd—please don’t let me be pathetic in front of whoever this is.

A hesitant and completely unfamiliar man’s voice said, “Are you all right? Do you need something?”

Sarah sucked in a hard breath. “Um…” She exhaled slowly. “Who are you?”

“Mark Summors.”

She stiffened and tried to sit up. “Do I know you?” she asked her voice pitching.

“I can explain if you open the door.”

She steadied herself against the bathtub. The sling had slipped up her arm, exposing the trail of bruises. She swallowed another wave of nausea and tried to put the pieces together. Mark Summors? She glanced around for something to use as a weapon just in case, then she wanted to laugh—and cry. Who the hell was she kidding? She rolled her eyes. Good plan, Sarah, take on a strange guy with a toilet brush.

“Can I come in?”  His voice was muffled as if he was resting his face against the door.

“Go ahead.” She clamped her mouth closed to suppress a shiver, then said, “It’s unlocked.”

The door eased open and a cup of water shot out at her.

“Oh, thank you,” she cried out, relieved to wash the disgusting film out of her mouth. She snatched the cup out of his hand and gulped it, letting her eyes lift above the rim to see his face.

“Ah.” Sarah choked and inhaled the water. She set the cup down, almost upending it as she dropped it. “Oh my God!” She would never forget those intense blue eyes, just like she would never forget the smell of her attacker’s breath. They were all thrown together in the same horrifying memory.

 

IMG_6853_f_4x6[1]About Dana Mason:

Dana Mason started writing to prove to her computer geek husband and her math & science geek kids that she actually has a brain; it’s just a right functioning brain instead of a left. She’s lived all over the country and uses that experience in her writing and character studies. Her debut novel, Dangerous Embrace, is the first in a contemporary romance series about a group of friends from Northern California who learn just how short life can be when you don’t hold on to what’s important. Second chances don’t come easy…but sometimes love is worth the risk.

When not writing, Dana specializes in professional development and training. She’s also a board member on the local Art’s Council and does what she can to support the art community.

As an avid reader and movie watcher, she always requires a happily ever after ending.

Dana Mason links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danamasonromance

Twitter: https://twitter.com/danamason06 or @danamason06

Website: http://danamasonromance.com/

Blog: http://danamasonromance.com/blog/

Sapphire Star Publishing Author page: http://www.sapphirestarpublishing.com/danamason/

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6440793.Dana_Mason

***GIVEAWAY***

To enter you must leave a comment on both blogs. Visit me at Dana’s blog here.

One winner will be picked from each blog and the winner will win an ecopy of Dangerous Embrace by Dana Mason and Cheers by Vallory Vance. That’s two blogs, two books, over two days, with two winners.”

 

Cover Spotlight – The Modesty Diaries

The woman behind the Modesty Diaries

Katie Ellison is a 40-something housewife, mother, lover . . . along with her husband of 30 years she currently lives in London.

Over the past few years her personal life has exploded from a wonderfully liberated, but monogamous, marriage . . . into an amazing journey of occasional lovers and, most recently, to experiencing a full “swinging” lifestyle.

She has always enjoyed a loving, open and sexually adventurous relationship with her husband. Their love for each other was complete and never in question.

And yet, she still strayed. Un-expected, un-planned . . . something she never thought she (of all people) would, or could, ever do. And yet it happened. Lunchtime coffees with a work colleague, turned into evening meals, turned into . . .

Someone else liked her! Wanted her! Aroused her! Excited her! She couldn’t help herself . . . even the complete feelings of guilt and shame in the aftermath, couldn’t stop her. She enjoyed it, wanted it, needed it.

Her husband insists he suspected / knew right from the start . . . but for several months said nothing. Their sex (after her “meetings”) was passionate and more fulfilling than ever. And with pangs of guilt the next morning, she would tell herself she would stop the affair, she didn’t need it, it was wrong, it was immoral.

But she couldn’t stop, she couldn’t say no, she couldn’t refuse, she couldn’t deny it . . .

. . . just as she couldn’t deny it the day her husband confronted her with “the question”.

She thought it would shatter their world and be the end of their marriage, that there would be an explosive argument, floods of tears and abuse. But INSTEAD her husband told her he LOVED it . . . he LOVED the fact that she could experience the excitement and thrills of sexual adventure and pleasure with another man.

That day changed their lives . . . and, in Katie’s view, made them each better people . . . and it made their relationship EVEN stronger and more loving and more fulfilling than either could ever have imagined.

That day was over 20 years ago!!! The different months and years (and yes different lovers) for Katie, since have been a wonderful and incredible adventure . . .

“The Modesty Diaries” began as Katie’s secret release. Typing out brief accounts of her affairs . . . they grew into extended accounts for her and her husband to relive her adventures, together after the event.

Now, in 2012, Katie is turning them into published diaries of many of the most memorable of her meetings and liaisons over the past decade

These diaries are autobiographical accounts, not fictional, only the names and locations have been changed to protect the “not so innocent”

***

ArrivalCoverFINAL300The Modesty Diaries Pt 2: Arrivals & Departures
Vince was the unlikeliest of all her lovers. Almost half her age, and seconded to her department on a temporary placement from the Paris office.

The CEO had asked that he be made welcome and helped to settle in to develop a higher European profile for the company.

Her initial upset at being given this unwanted responsibility, was soon swayed by the young Frenchman’s wit and charm . . . and, of course, that lovely accent!!

For Katie and her husband James, this latest affair was yet another catalyst to add further passion and sexcitement to their wonderful ‘open-marriage’.

But is the eight weeks of lust and adventure with Vince fated to end with a months separation and then just a few hours shared between Heathrow arrivals and departures? 

You can pick up your copy with free extras for only $0.99 at Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/206165) through 12/27/2012 with coupon code: AC48V
OR
At Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008QOZ3C2

Balcony600FinalThe Modesty Diaries Pt 3: The Balcony
Vince is Katie’s most recent lover. New in the office, and 20 years her junior.

Their affair is in it’s second month and just beginning to blossom. They have already shared several evenings in his Docklands apartment, knowing that due to his imminent return to the Paris office, every indulgent moment has to be cherished and enjoyed.

His candour and youthful charm has already taken Katie into new levels of excitement and passion. But tonight’s embrace on the balcony overlooking the river, is just the start of an even wilder evening than she could have ever imagined herself embarking upon.

An evening that ends in her giving herself even more completely than ever to her young Frenchman . . . and an exciting confession to make to husband James when she returns home.

You can pick up your copy with free extras for only $0.99 at Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/205134) with coupon code: WU88U

OR
At Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008EDGJYG

Connect with Katie online:

Why I’m not the Next Big Thing…I Can’t Remember Anything

So here was my shot at redemption and I forgot. In case you didn’t know, I was once tagged in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop and forget to get someone to come after me. So when I was tagged again, I thought here’s my shot at redemption. And you know what? I failed. I didn’t send out enough requests and here we are in the same boat.

This is it readers…I am for certain not The Next Big Thing. However in an interest to hawk my work already out there (insert shameless plug here)…

What is the working title of your book?

I don’t have a title yet. It is called WIP – The Conclusion

Amber Meets Her Cowboy3Where did the idea come from for the book?

I have had the characters of Amber Grayson and Kevin Miller on my mind for more than a year now. They have two flash fiction works and a novella, but won’t leave me alone. So I’m giving them a novel and then the three of us are done.

What genre does your book fall under?

This book is a contemporary romance with an element of kink. Kevin likes to use toys. He wouldn’t necessarily define himself as living the BDSM lifestyle but he is sure glad that Amber bends over accepts her paddling when he wants her too.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

Gabrielle Union would play the heroine. I like the lines of her face and her complexion is perfect for Amber Grayson. The male lead was hard to choose. Kevin Miller is two years (eighteen months if you ask Amber) younger than Amber. With the 30ish actors available, I was hard pressed to find one rugged enough to play Kevin, until I came across a photo of Channing Tatum. Click here for the photo. I think it’s the buckle on his jeans!

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

Just as Amber, a self-assured woman, and her fun loving cowboy are about to settle into blissful harmony, LIFE interrupts with its problems that need to be solved.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency/publisher?

This will be self-published ( and professionally edited). On my soapbox for a moment, I don’t think that the general public realizes that there are self published works that go through the same critiquing and editing processes as traditionally published works. Here’s the difference, indie authors pay for it from the proceeds of their day jobs!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

This work is in its outline form and is currently at 13,000 words which is the length of the novella.  This portion has taken two months to write.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 

I don’t know. Email me (t.mailhes(at)yahoo(dot)com) for a copy of any of my works between now and December 31, 2012 and you tell me so I can be prepared for this question next time. I hate to think that some author was dismayed at my work being compared to his or hers. But if a reader says it, that’s a whole different animal!

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Let’s call it coercion. I couldn’t get Amber and Kevin out of my head. Maybe it’s because they were my first foray into the writing world.

What else about your book might interest the reader?

This book will act as a stand alone with enough information so that you don’t have to read the novella, In the Moment, or the flash fiction pieces, Rainy Day Surprise or A Miller Tradition. But why wouldn’t you? It’ll only cost you $.0.99 plus tax!

~Val

Thank you Kassanna for inviting me to be a part of the Next Big Thing!

Congrats – Holiday Gifts of Love Winners!

C

Thanks to all who stopped by my little section of the wonderful blog hop. I hope your wishes come true this holiday season! I’ve had the opportunity to realize a dream of mine – to become a published writer this year. So I guess Santa has overfilled my stocking, making up for all those years of funny socks from my aunt!

Cheers (1)Now on to the winners – A $5.00 Amazon electronic gift card and electronic copy of Cheers!

  • Shadow
  • Deanna
  • Lynn

And the grand prize winners were:

Aimee F. – Kindle Fire

Laura T. – $200.00 Amazon Gift Card

Debbie G. – Swag Pack

Congrats and Yuletide Felicitations!

~Val