This blog is for those 18 and older.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Guest Author: Jillian Chantal

I want to thank Alexis for having me here today to talk about my book that was released on July 15, 2011.It's called Redemption for the Devil and is a historical set in 1920.

The devil in the title refers to the hero, Liam Cormac, a member of the Irish Republican Army fighting for freedom for Ireland from the oppression of the English. He's done some things in the fight for his country that he regrets. He's a soldier, though, and as such, he follows orders. His family has disowned him as they don't believe in his cause. He agrees to a suicide mission. A mission that will cause great harm to the English side.

Peg, the heroine, is an Irish Catholic lass who leaves home when her father is missing and presumed dead. Her odious cousin appears to take over the family business and decides he'll take her, too. She flees and boards a ship to a new life in America.

Peg and Liam meet on the ship and the sparks fly.  Liam is torn between his duty and his desire.


The two men Rena talked about noticed them and crossed the floor to where Peg and Rena stood. The taller one said, "I'm Devlin Cosgrove and this is me mate, Liam Cormac. And you ladies are..."

"Ooh, Peg, they's from your homeland. Hear that accent?" Rena said with glee.

Peg made eye contact with the two men. "Where do ye live?"

Devlin sketched a bow. "We hail from Dublin, Miss Peg. You?"

She said, "Cork."

Liam lifted one eyebrow and said, with a leer, "Let me guess. Your friend called you Peg. But you're really Miss Mary Margaret Whatever, nice Irish Catholic girl, go by Peg to seem informal but wouldn't open your legs for a man without a wedding ring, right? That sum it up?"

Peg gasped, stunned that a man she'd just met made such a statement. She wasn't so shocked as to be paralyzed, though, and she smacked him across the mouth, the sound carrying a bit even in the loud room. "How rude you are. You're not a nice man."

"Never said I was, did I ma'am? I can tell by the dress you have on, the thick stockings and the long hair braided on top of your head that you're wound tighter than the ropes holding this ship to its berth. I've been around the Catholics enough to know how rigid the women can be. Good luck to the man that tries to pull your dress over your head." With that last comment, Liam bowed at them, stalked off across the room and straight to a girl with bobbed hair and in a flapper-style dress.

"Well, Gor! What an ass your friend is," Rena said to Devlin.

Devlin said, "Ignore him, he's a bit uncouth. He's back in society after a three or four year break. Forgot how to talk to women. Especially the Catholic ones, Protestant yob that he is."

"Was he in prison?" Rena asked in a whisper.

"Not for me to say," Devlin replied with a shrug. "Now, what's your name?"

"I'm Rena Comstock."

"Rena, will you dance with me?" asked Devlin.

"Sure I'll dance. I love the Charleston." She turned to Peg. "You don't mind, do ye?"

"No," Peg said. "Go, have fun."

Peg headed to the bar and ordered a straight Paddy's Irish whisky, neat. She leaned on the wall near the bar to enjoy the drink. Taking a deep breath, she savored the smell of the liquor. Her da's favorite brand.

As she savored her first sip of the elixir, Liam walked over. "You must really be from Cork to be drinking Paddy Flaherty's whisky. Straight." He indicated her glass. "It'll grow hair on your chest."

"Did ya think I was lying about where I lived?" Peg snarled at the man she'd smacked just a few minutes prior, stunned at his audacity in approaching her again. Her hand itched to make contact with his face again.

"Can't trust many folks these days, Mary Margaret."

"Why are you here? You dismissed me as not worth your time. Why are you talking to me now?"

"I merely came over for a refill, Mary Margaret. Can't I be neighborly while I wait for my drink?" He leaned his elbows on the bar.


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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What's in a Title?

For me, the title of a book is important. After all, it’s what makes me pick up a bookin the first place. The title must strike me and make me wonder about the story between the covers. Is it a serious romance? Or one with a touch of humor? Will it scare me or make me laugh? Or make me cry? 

Some titles don’t give a hint of what the story is about. The Notebook, for one. Paint the Wind, for another. I had no idea what either book was about until the title struck me and I picked them up for closer inspection (both made me cry, by the way).  

 I love these titles from Cheyenne McCray: Zombies Sold Separately, Vampires Dead Ahead, and Demons Not Included. Aren’t these fabulous? What do they conjure up in your mind? 

What about Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley? Doesn’t that sound like a fun story to read? You know there’s going to be humor involved. And romance.  

            What titles do you find fun? Curious? Scary? Romantic?    

Happy Reading!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How Do You Choose Your Next ebook?

With the popularity of the Kindle, the Nook, the iPad and other various e-reading devices, the electronic book as become easier than ever to obtain.  And there are literally millions of them available. But how do you decide what your next ebook purchase will be?

I'm curious, as I will soon be in the market for ebooks. I know they are easy to download, but how do you decide what to download?   

In the store, when buying a book, I browse through the shelves, looking at covers, reading the blurbs on the back, and checking out the cover quotes. But where do I begin with an ebook when searching for a new author to read?

Any advice you can give this novice ebook reader would be greatly appreciated. The amount of ebooks on any one site feels overwhelming.  How do you decide?


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review: Split Second by Catherine Coulter

Split Second by Catherine Coulter is a landslide of suspense and heart stopping complications.  Program 911 into your speed-dial as Coulter reveals an astounding and frightening FBI thriller where the action may be right outside your door.

Scattered over the U.S. women are getting murdered.  Ted Bundy did it before and the FBI came out the winner.  Agents Cooper McKnight and Lucy Carlyle have their doubts on who will win this new game.

Ted Bundy has a daughter, Kerstin.  She murders women and enjoys it.  And she does little to hide her identity.  After she follows a pattern of killings and gets the attention of the FBI, she tosses her common procedure and kills anyone in her way.  In any manner.

Lucy inherits a deadly chunk of jewelry.  She has a split second to think and use it to save lives.  Which lives does she save?  Which lives can’t she or won’t she save?  It’s all in the timing.

Lucy and Cooper are partners in this deadly game and honesty is integral in staying alive.  Yet Lucy won’t reveal the special quality of the ugly jewelry, which may cause a rift in the simmering romance Cooper provokes.  

And Kerstin keeps killing.

The characters came to life and I urged them to get ahead of the incessant killer as I watched them pursue her in the United States capital and surrounding areas.  Numerous subplots tangle the clues and the clock winds down as the clues need to be tied in order to stop the murders. 

The seventeenth addition to Coulter’s series of FBI thrillers is a masterpiece of chills.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Guest Author Interview: Josee Renard

Alexis: Hi Josee. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts.  Thank you so much for coming.  Wow, you've had 8 books published in the last two years!  Are you a very disciplined writer or do you write nonstop when the muse takes you?

Josee: I’m a little bit of both – when I have a deadline I can (and notice I emphasize the can) be very disciplined but I actually never write non-stop and I try not to wait for the muse. I’m lucky that when I’m about two-thirds or three-quarters finished a book, the first line or title of the next one simply appears in my head. That’s the muse for me – that moment when I know the beginning of the next book. But with deadlines to meet, you really can’t wait for the muse. As for writing non-stop, when I first started writing, I was working full-time and going to university full-time so I wrote in half hour blocks. I left for work 30 minutes early and wrote in a coffee shop; at lunch I wrote for another 30 minutes; after work I either stayed at work or went to a coffee shop and wrote for another 30 minutes. Because of that, I still tend to write in half hour blocks – and I use a kitchen timer. I often stop in the middle of a sentence!

Alexis: What a unique writing habit, 30 minute blocks. I don’t think I could stop in the middle of a sentence.  That is discipline! 

Your newest release is What’s New, Pussycat? which I admit is one of my favorite old Tom Jones’ songs :-) Can you tell us a little about it?

Josee: It’s one of my favorite Tom Jones’ songs as well and of course, every single time I read the title I’m singing that song. So I’ve been singing it a whole lot in the last while. This book is about one of my favorite fantasies – the RenoGuy. I think I must watch a little too much Home and Garden TV!

Theo the RenoGuy has been renovating the house next door to Versa for most of the summer but now the work was almost done. Versa lives next door and she’s been watching him – and drooling over him – the whole time he’s been there. She doesn’t see as much of him now that he’s doing the finishing inside and she misses his great smile and the wave he sends when he sees her on the back porch. She misses watching him turn on the hose, take off his shirt and spray himself down, the cold water running down his chest. God, she wanted to get her hands on that body in the worst way. But she’d spent the past two years in a relationship that had bored her to tears and the previous two getting out of a miserable marriage. Theo has plans for the girl next door. In one more week the renovation would be done and he’ll move on to another project. He’d spent all summer dreaming about her creamy skin and voluptuous body. He’d spent all summer with a hard on. Time to make his move.

Alexis: Okay, I’m drooling over Theo already :-) Where did you get the idea for this story?

Josee: It started, as my stories often do, with a song title. I’m not sure why that is but I heard What’s New, Pussycat? on the radio, started singing it and combined it with all those hot shirtless RenoGuys on TV. What can I say? They’re gorgeous!

Alexis: Yes, and they make for some great inspiration! What are your favorite character traits of Theo and Versa?

Josee: I especially like Versa’s willingness to open herself up to the possibility of another relationship after she’d been in two such bad relationships before this summer. I like the courage it took her to wander over to RenoGuy and take a chance. Theo? He’s patient and he’s smart. He spends all summer singing What’s New, Pussycat? to her – tempting her, serenading her, showing off for her. He doesn’t push, he just waits her out.

Alexis: What a nice guy. He wouldn’t have to wait long if it was me. ;-) Why did you choose to write erotic romance as opposed to another sub-genre?

Josee: Actually, I write a whole bunch of genres (women’s fiction, paranormal romance, historical fiction amongst others) but I chose to write erotic romance (or erotica) because I love the sensuality of it. I’m always conscious of using all five sentences in my writing and so erotica or erotic romance made a lot of sense for me because sex is about way more than sight. 

Alexis: I’ll second that! Now, you also write as Kate Austin.  How are the stories you write under that name different?

Josee: The stories I write as Kate Austin tend to be more what I like to call coming of age stories. I think women tend to come of age twice – once in their teens or early twenties and again, and more importantly, in their forties or fifties or sixties. That second coming of age is when women really come into their own – she becomes the woman she was always made to be. So I love to write about the transition.

Alexis: Those sound fascinating. Hmm, maybe I’m showing my age here. What can we expect next from you? Do you have any new releases coming or works in progress?

Josee: I’m so glad you asked me this because I’ve got this exciting project coming in August – a project that makes me feel like Dickens. I’m writing a serial – ten linked stories being released every second Friday between the middle of August and the middle of December. The overall series is called Part Time Lovers and it’s about friends – Jules and Mercy – who basically grew up together. Jules and Mercy are part-time lovers and full-time business partners. Their website– Part Time Lovers – isn’t meant to be the equivalent of all those relationship websites, it’s really all about finding the right person (or persons) for right now. It’s a whole lot of fun to write because I can do ten different types of relationships. 

Alexis: Wow, that is exciting!  I haven’t heard of a serial romance before.  Ten relationships should be fun and your fans will be so happy :-)   

Thank you for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. We really enjoyed learning more about you and your work.

Josee: Thanks so much, Alexis, for having me. I love writing about writing and thinking about writing, so doing this interview allows me to do one of the things I love.

Alexis: For a chance to win Josee’s Working It be sure to leave a comment for her.  Winner will be announced on Wednesday. Check the side column for your name.

To learn more about Josee and her books, go to