ROBYN ROZE

The Sassy Summer Book Party

I’m going to keep this short and sweet.  There’s a great giveaway going on at The Sassy Summer Book Party.  Lots of great prizes from 61 authors.  You can’t win anything if you don’t enter.  So, what do you have to lose!  You can enter from now until August 17th.  Check out the link and select the Prize Packs you’re interested in winning.  Of course, the more you enter, the more chances you have to win.  Good luck!  :)

http://www.melissapetreshock.com/sassy-sisters-event-zone/

Coming Distractions

I’ve neglected my blog for a while.  I should feel bad, but I don’t have time for that.  My life is so full of distractions right now, I feel lucky to squeeze in any writing time on HellKat, let alone maintain my blog.  Actually, I put HellKat aside for a few months while I reworked my first book, Keeper, and then republished it on July 4th.  Okay, so some of my distractions are obviously of my own making.  I didn’t have to rework and republish my first book.  I just felt I could do it better.  So, that recognition alone sent my brain in an obsessive loop I had to address in order to be able to progress with my current work in process.  Yes, I can be my own worst enemy and create unnecessary work for myself.  Trust me.  It’s too late to change now.

822c2e300260c6e4eafd2b9278779aa9[1]And without warning, my family life is changing at a dizzying speed with my teenage son who is suddenly brandishing a Learner’s Permit.  Where’d that come from?  Wasn’t I just sending him to time-out and dropping him off at preschool last week?  My son is the oldest, the first born, the test case, the guinea pig, the one who broke me in, made me a better mother, and made the road ahead smoother for his sister.  Although if her eye rolling and deep sighs are any indication, I have a lot of room for improvement.  But back to my reality and his driving:  there’s nothing like your life flashing before your eyes to get your creative juices flowing, and your affairs in order.  I tried my best not to look like the guy in the photo on the left the first time my son drove wild and free on our city streets.  He did a good job, but that didn’t stop me from earning a few more gray hairs and pushing on my imaginary brakes like Fred Flintstone.  Any parent who has handed over their car keys to a person whose diapers they once changed knows the feeling.

Add to this already bustling mix my job as an accountant with a company that has just transitioned their operating and accounting systems.  Don’t get me wrong, I love change.  Out with the old in with the new keeps my mind flexible and out of the deep ditch of mundane routine.  It’s just that I thought I was almost at the point where I could switch to autopilot for a bit.  I glimpsed an opening to finally get my head back into the story and characters in HellKat.  But since I work from home, which has advantages and disadvantages, I know much of my time in the near future is going to be spent learning new software and procedures.  See that’s the thing about working from home–I’m ALWAYS at work!  It stares me in the face and taunts me like a playground bully until I put it out of my misery.

8f94426ebb6e44cca0184986370fcf1c[1]Then there’s my husband who still wants to spend time with me, even after knowing me for thirty-five years.  Maybe he’s a glutton for punishment, or got kicked in the head by a horse as a kid…  Anyway, we just got back from a wonderful distraction-filled vacation to San Francisco.  We did it all:  Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, Lombard Street, Muir Woods, Ghirardelli Square, wine country and even biked across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito.  Don’t know that I’ll revisit Fog City.  It was a bit cold and windy for my liking; not to mention getting knocked off my bicycle by a rude biker trying to make room where there was none between me and the guardrail on that big, not-so-golden, windy bridge.  And to think I could’ve been home writing instead of now feeling twice my age with scrapes, bruises, and a bit of a hitch in my step.

But that’s life:  dealing with the distractions, the scrapes, the bruises, and the hitches along the way; and somehow knitting them all together, learning to enjoy the moments, the time I have right now.  Instead of pining for the past or yearning for a future where I believe I’m going to be distraction free and finally able to do that ‘thing’ I want to do–whatever it is.  Here’s the deal:  it’s not going to happen.  After almost fifty years, I’ve learned that life is short, that there will never be enough time, and that distractions are a good thing, because that’s when life happens.  Distractions keep me from wasting too much time worrying about the future, and instead keep me present, keep me awake, and keep me interested in what’s coming next.  After all, I’ll have plenty of distraction-free time when my ashes are blowing in the wind.

So, here’s the deal:  HellKat may or may not be released in 2014.  It depends on the coming distractions.  I’ll keep you posted.  Also, I’m going to do my best to pay more attention to my blog, review more books, surprise you with a teaser or two from HellKat, and along the way spotlight some indie authors I enjoy.  And I’ll let you know if I’ve eased up on my Fred Flintstone brakes in time to give ‘em a rest before my daughter’s behind the wheel rolling her eyes and honking the horn at me.

However, if none of that happens, you’ll now know why:  I’m enjoying all the distractions life has to offer…while I’m lucky enough to have the time.

HOT-BLOODED Cover Reveal (Kendall Grey)

If Robert Rodriquez (Sin City), Tony Soprano, and David Lynch (Twin Peaks) made sweet love to a Hawaiian version of The Bride (Uma Thurman’s character from Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill), the resulting spawn might look like Kendall Grey’s upcoming mystery/suspense/supernatural thriller, HOT-BLOODED.

The first installment in the Ohana series, HOT-BLOODED is set on the island of Maui and is wrapped in the light and dark watercolors of Hawaiian culture, history, and mythology. It’s about guns, drugs, surfing, and tiki monsters. HOT-BLOODED tells the tale of a ballsy, half-Hawaiian angel-turned-demon, the duplicitous assassin who falls for her, and the blessings and curses of family—all wrapped up in freaky, supernatural gift paper.

Here’s the description:

WARNING: HOT-BLOODED does NOT end with a happily ever after. It contains drug use and graphic sex, language, and violence. The story is intended to entertain, not to condone or glorify illegal or immoral activities. This book is unsuitable for sensitive readers and those under the age of 18.

*Written in 3rd person. Contains a massive cliffhanger and multiple POVs.

Ohana is everything…

When an accident claims her mother’s life, Keahilani Alana must take charge of her ohana (family) or risk losing what little they have. With an underage brother to care for and no education, she has few options. The door to a heavenly hellish opportunity opens when she stumbles upon a valuable secret her mother left behind on the slopes of an extinct volcano—a legacy that tempts the family with riches beyond their wildest dreams. But the secret is much bigger and more sinister than they realize. As reality unravels and exposes eerie truths about the ohana that should have remained deep under the mountain, Keahilani must either resist the call of her blood or risk being consumed by its darkness.

Blake Murphy is an assassin working to infiltrate a new Hawaiian cartel. His investigation reveals that Keahilani, the sexy surfing instructor he pegged as an informant, is much closer to the drug ring than he thought. Passion ignites between them in the bedroom, but their ironclad ties to opposing interests pit them against each other everywhere else.

When tensions reach the breaking point and her ohana is threatened, the only cure for Keahilani’s hot-blooded fury is a loaded clip with a body bag chaser.

They don’t call her Pele for nothing.

Here’s the cover, designed by Renee Coffey:

So, are you up for a steamy, violent descent into tropical-island madness with a supernatural twist? If so, you can add HOT-BLOODED to your Goodreads TBR here. The release date hasn’t been announced yet, but Kendall is shooting for the end of June or early July. Stay tuned!

You can stalk Kendall on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, or her web site.

Review of Red & Wolfe, Part II

Red & Wolfe, Part II (Red & Wolfe, #2)Red & Wolfe, Part II by Ella James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Part II was a steam machine and takes us farther down the path to grandma’s house. ;)  I can see where this is headed, had my suspicions after Part I and am hoping there will be a pre-order for Part III. :)

The writing is sharp and the chemistry between Red and Wolfe is off the charts scorching hot.  I’m a realist and enjoy reading a variety of genres.  And when it comes to erotica, what I enjoy most is a writer who can create a story that enables me to completely suspend my disbelief; that’s not as easy to do as it may sound–in any genre.  I want to be pulled into the story to the point where I forget to remind myself that I would never do ‘that’ in real life with a complete stranger–it’s creepy.  Right?

Well, for me, Ella James has sucked me into this erotic fairy tale and put me on that dim pebbled path in the woods. Red’s my girl and I’m backing her all the way!  What choice do I have?  I’m living a fairy tale fantasy through her with the big, bad Wolfe…  And, OMG, he is SO big and bad! *swoon*

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Review of Red & Wolfe

Red & Wolfe, Part I (Red & Wolfe, #1; Bend Anthology)Red & Wolfe, Part I by Ella James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holy WOW an erotic fairy tale! Loved it and what a cliffhanger! I actually shrieked, “NO!!!” when it ended so suddenly.

In such a short story, the author did a bang up job of developing Red and Wolfe. I really like Red and am looking forward to learning more about her grandmother, and the dark, dangerous Wolfe. I am totally hooked! Reel me in NOW! I want more of this story and these characters. It’s going to be hard waiting for the next one (just pre-ordered it–I’ll get my fix on May 21st!!).

I’m concerned, however, that Part 2 in this series will be so hot that my kindle will melt. ;)

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Promotional Opportunity for Authors

We are all on a budget and looking for ways to promote our books.  Well, here’s one from Mallory Rock.  She’s a graphic artist, interior formatter and so much more.  I’ve worked with her on my last two book covers and cannot speak highly enough of her.  So, check out this link and enter for a chance to be The Featured Book of the Week.  It won’t cost you a dime, but could earn you a few. :)

http://www.malloryrock.com/index-5.html

 

Review of Stuck in Between

Stuck in Between (Bound by Your Love, #1)Stuck in Between by Blakely Bennett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What’s a girl to do when she finds herself in love with two men? How about a threesome? That sounds like a great way to work it out to me! :D

Poor Jacqs finds herself Stuck in Between two hot alphas. Oh, the nightmare!! ;) One, Bond, a man she’s loved and dated for years, all while he’s continued to break her heart. However, he has no intention of keeping ‘it’ in his pants. He wants her to be exclusive with him, but doesn’t want her with anyone else. Yeah, that sounds like a man. ;)

And then there is Red. He’s Bond’s best friend and, for years now, Jacqs has had the impression that Red could not stand her. She couldn’t have been more wrong. He’s been in love with her for a long time, keeping her at a distance and waiting in the wings certain that at some point she would end it for good with his two-timing best friend.

There’s drama, discussion, and lots of emotion all around. I’ve come to expect this in Blakely Bennett’s books. She deals with her characters relationship choices, in this book and her others, with honesty and integrity. There were numerous times that I wanted to slap Jacqs because of her feelings for Bond, the way she still felt drawn to him, loved him. But you know what? I’ve seen this same thing happen in real life. We can’t help who we love, but we can decide not to let them hurt us anymore.

Jacqs, through dialogue with both men, works out a solution that makes HER happy. She finally puts herself ahead of Bond. I can’t help but wonder if it’s only a short-term solution to aid them all in letting go of the past they’ve been mired in together for so long. Who knows, maybe it will work out for the long-term. And maybe Blakely Bennett will revisit this trio at some point to let us know. *hint, hint* ;)

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Writing Process Blog Hop Tour

pizap.com10.395710184238851071394319330155[1]First of all, a big thank you to Blakely Bennett for inviting me to participate in this Writing Process Blog Hop.  I’ve read all of her books and am anxiously awaiting the release of Stuck In Between.  Which by the way, is today, March 24th!  If you enjoy stories that take an in-depth, honest look at different relationship choices and styles, I highly recommend her My Body Trilogy and also The Demarcation of Jack, co-authored with her husband, Dana Bennett.

So, let’s get this blog hop started with my answers to four questions:

1.)     What am I working on?

I am currently working on HellKat.  A contemporary romantic suspense novel.  It may also end up with some elements of a thriller, too, as my last novel did.  The story is about Kat James, a New York entrepreneur, and Tucker Williams a Montana horse rancher.  They certainly seem at odds, if not polar opposites, at the beginning of the story; but they find out they are more alike than different.

Kat is an independent woman with some control issues that are exacerbated by a well-to-do family that has always been at odds with her free-spirited, free-thinking ways.  She committed a cardinal sin years earlier by turning her back on the family business and her trust fund so she could start her own company, free of family entanglements and control.

Tucker Williams seems like a laid back kind of guy but don’t be fooled.  Life dealt him a tough hand and he’s played his cards better than anybody would’ve expected.  He has people in his past and present who would love to see him fail, but he’s never been a man to walk away from anything without a fight.  And the fight that’s brewing, could be his biggest challenge yet.

I’m having a blast writing HellKat and already know that saying goodbye to Kat and Tucker is going to be difficult for me to do.  I find it hard to let go of the characters after I’ve spent so much time writing their story and getting to know them.  It’s hard for me to wave them off and commit to new ones.  I always require some time, almost like after a break up, before I can move on and seriously entertain new characters.  I can only write one story at a time.  I know other authors who can work on several stories in a parallel fashion, but, so far, my brain doesn’t work that way.

2.)      How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I always feel a bit challenged when categorizing my stories.  I’ve had readers tell me they like my books because they aren’t the typical romance style.  So far, there’s no option for that category on Amazon when I upload my books. ;)  My stories are a blend of women’s fiction, romance, suspense and some thriller elements, too.

Even though romance is certainly an element of the stories I’ve written, and am currently writing, I enjoy creating female protagonists who are facing struggles that go beyond the relationship with the men in their lives.  It could be family, career, divorce, or any combination of external events.  The heroines that I write about are on some kind of journey to self-discovery.  The romance and suspense are merely vehicles that help them along the journey to their final destination in the story.

I also like to keep my dialogue as realistic as possible.  And this is especially true of the romantic scenes.  If I can’t read it, in my head or out loud, without rolling my eyes and snickering, then I rework it.

3.)      Why do I write what I do?

I came late to the romance reading party.  Maybe that’s one reason my books don’t fit an easily identifiable category.  I’ve always loved reading suspense and thriller novels.  One of my favorites is The Sigma Force Series by James Rollins.  As much as I love his writing and those stories, I don’t see myself writing those particular kind.  However, I enjoy reading romance that borrows from a variety of genres and blends them into one cohesive storyline.

However, that blending of genres is the source of my frustration when it comes to picking a category and also makes marketing a bit more difficult.  It’s already hard work to find my readers, my target audience, and I’ve managed to add to my workload.  But I don’t plan on changing anything, because I’m writing the kind of stories I want to read.

And that’s the real reason I write what I do.

4.)      How does my writing process work?

My writing process is completely organic.  I usually hear some dialogue in my head with a nebulous image of the characters and a loose outline of a general story.  Often that dialogue I hear, that starts the whole writing process, doesn’t even make it into the final draft.  It’s simply the spark that wakes up my imagination.

I really go with the flow of the characters I develop, what they tell me to do, what’s authentic to their lives and the world around them.  I never know the ending when I start or even most of the way through while I’m writing.  I truly let it unfold naturally; that’s my favorite part about the entire writing process.

Readers don’t know what’s going to happen until they read it.

I don’t know what’s going to happen until I write it.  I LOVE THAT!

Now I have the pleasure of introducing you to three more authors that will continue this blog hop tour.

Fi Phillips, a literature graduate, spent many years toiling in an office to support her habit – writing.  In 1997, she penned her first murder mystery play for a fundraising evening and Murdering The Text was born.  She also blogs and is working on a children’s fantasy novel.  You can find out more about her here.

Her blog is http://fionajphillips.blogspot.co.uk which is titled Fi’s Magical Writing Haven.

Georgie Summer, jokes that she is the accidental author of the 5-star reviewed Steps series, Flip-Flops in France and Man On!  In just over nine months she has released eight erotic romance novels and, considering she never intended to publish at all, she says it’s been quite a journey.

You can find more information about Georgie at http://georgiesummer.com/MY_BLOG.php

Sharon Kay, writes adult paranormal romance and lives near Chicago with her husband and son. Wicked Wind and the Solsti series formed in her head one weekend and refused to stay quiet until she put pen to paper.  Her characters tend to keep her up at night, as they banter, fall in love, and slay endless varieties of power-hungry demons.

You can find out more about Sharon on her Goodreads blog at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7114860.Sharon_Kay/blog

 

Review of Sex at Dawn

Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern SexualitySex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Marriage is on the decline worldwide. Divorce is on the rise worldwide. Why? Are we forcing men AND women into an inflexible monogamous mold that is simply unnatural? The answer is: YES. And there is a mountain of science to back it up. Humans (men AND women) are not naturally monogamous, never have been, and our bodies prove it.

Ten thousand years ago humans changed from living in nomadic groups to becoming farmers that settled in one area, owned land, owned material goods, and owned people, too. Agriculture changed EVERYTHING and our species is still trying to catch up to this head-spinning change even to this day. We can only thwart Mother Nature for so long and then there are always consequences and pushback. The decline in marriage and the rise in divorce are that pushback.

Our ancestors not only had more diverse nutrient rich diets than we do TODAY, but they also had parallel sexual relationships with several people at a time in their egalitarian groups of 100 – 150 people. Children were raised by the group, paternity was not an issue and sex was as natural as breathing, viewed as important to group cohesiveness and stability. There are still nomadic communal groups that exist to this day that have not been influenced by modernity.

Am I, or the authors, suggesting that our ancestors were nobler and that we need to revert back to the nomadic lifestyle? No. But we might want to give some thought to the fact that polyamory comes more natural to our species than monogamy.

So, what do we do? Run into to the streets naked copulating at will? Of course not. But we do need to start cutting each other, and ourselves, some slack. We need to stop insisting on sexual ideals and ‘appropriate’ relationship configurations that are simply outmoded and proven not to be suitable for the vast majority of humans. We have to give each other the freedom to figure out what works best in our lives and our communities. We need to establish our own boundaries rather than thoughtlessly conforming to monolithic standards. And above all, we need to respect the boundaries chosen by others even when those choices leave us scratching our heads.

Sex at Dawn doesn’t pretend to give answers to the question of what’s next for our species with regard to traditional marriage and sex. The authors simply, concisely, and with humor, lay out why monogamy is such a struggle for so many people. They leave the answers to us, because there is no one-size-fits-all answer. That’s the bottom line that we all need to accept at some point.

We live in an ever-changing world where relationships and family are already being redefined. What works for one person, or one couple, or one family, doesn’t work for others. There is no magic pill and life is far too short to pretend that there is.

We all have to bend to the one constant in life: change.

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Review of Parallax View

Parallax ViewParallax View by Allan Leverone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Parallax View is a fast paced thriller with a romantic twist that I absolutely loved. Let me start with Tracie Tanner. She is a CIA field operative that is tough, smart and can crack a joke. One minute she can seem like the girl-next-door and the next–she’s holding a hot iron against the jowls of a KGB spook. She’s back on US soil after what seems, to her, like a simple mission that turns into all kinds of bad–a plotted presidential assassination, the KGB trying to incite World War III and a grievous personal betrayal.

Enter Shane Rowley–a Maine air traffic controller who has received devastating news prior in the day before pulling Tracie from a fiery plane crash later that night. Over the course of the next three days, he does everything in his power to help Tracie complete her dangerous mission–deliver a sealed letter from Mikhail Gorbachev to President Ronald Reagan. Shane is the best kind of hero: kind-hearted, smart, modest and a sense of humor. Oh, I wanted the ending to be so different…even though I knew from the outset that it couldn’t be.

Parallax View is a thriller, and a very good one, but my favorite aspect of the story was the unexpected romance, the humanity, between Tracie and Shane that develops during the high adrenaline mission they are on together. It’s one of those crossroads in life that comes upon them and they just act on it, because there really is no time to think, to be cautious, to take things slow–it could end badly for both of them at any minute and they are under no delusions otherwise. Tracie and Shane are truly living in the moment and living more in those three days than most people live in a lifetime. We should all be so lucky.

Thank you Allan Leverone for not only investing my mind in Tracie and Shane’s story, but also my heart. Tracie Tanner wasn’t the only one that fell in love with Shane Rowley.

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