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Friday, August 13, 2010


Addendum: Sorry for the delay. Friday the 13th hit me with a vengeance and I had to retype the entire blog post then reload all the photos because it didn't want to show the Comment icon. I need to find a four leaf clover, stat.

Thanks to Jennifer Shirk who let me know of the oncoming catastrophe.


Welcome ladies and gentlemen, sit back while I amaze and astound you with all the readerly goodness of my book and contest stash.

As promised, I have for you a wide variety of fiction, and one super contest you won't want to miss. Step up. Don't be shy. Browse my shelves while I go tend to this customer over here.

Looky what we got.

Compromising Prudence by Marguerite Butler
Two misfits find love in Regency England. Prudence Wemberly is desperate. Her reputation has been damaged by a cowardly suitor and her overbearing father will disown her when he finds out about it. She musters her courage and flees to the house of the most notorious courtesan in London. If she's ruined, why not become a courtesan herself and have a little fun for a change? It sounds like a reasonable idea--after she has her third glass of sherry.

Blue Lady by Shelley Munro Saber is desperate. Emily has shut him out, wallowing in depression. They inhabit the same house but his loving mate has withdrawn, and he wants his happy, matchmaking woman back. It's time to up the ante. Armed with a bag of sex toys from his wild twin brothers and a tropical island setting, Saber is determined to seduce his mate to his way of thinking, to drive the blues away, and he won't take no for an answer.

The Bloodgate Guardian by Joely Sue Burkhart Dr. Jaid Merritt doesn't do digs. The last time she ventured into the jungle, someone died. Now she's content to decipher Maya glyphs from pictures sent to her by her famous archaeologist father. But when he goes missing while trying to perform a ritual based on her translations of an ancient codex, Jaid must put aside her fears and travel to Guatemala to find him.

Also a fre
e read on Maya mythology. Well Of Sky

Forsaken By
Shadow by Kait Nolan
Banished from their world with his memory wiped, Ultimate Fighter Cade Sheph
erd doesn't remember his life as Gage Dempsey, not even the woman he nearly died for. But when Embry Hollister's father is kidnapped by military scientists, the only one she can turn to for help is the love from her past. Will Gage remember the Shadow Walker skills he learned from her father, and if they survive, will Embry be able to walk away a second time? Addendum: Here's a 50% off coupon for Smashwords: WX96V. Get it for $0.99 through next Friday!

Hush M
oney by Susan Bischoff
Be normal, inv
isible. Get close to nobody. Kids with psychic abilities tend to mysteriously disappear when they're noticed. Joss has spent years hiding. Now she has an unasked-for friend, who is the victim of blackmail by the school bully, who used to like Joss, who's friends with her crush, who's actually talking to her. Life just got complicated.

Looking For Anita by Wendy Ramer
An orphan loses her best friend and struggles to accept her past while searching for a place in her pr

Enzo's Mama by Wendy Ramer
The saga of a mother's struggle to rebuild her life while never losing hope for a future with her lost son.

Kitchen M
atches by Marianne Arkins
A feisty auto mechanic and a hunky chef cook up chaos!

Warning: This story contains flying poultry, annoying older brothers, the occasional quote from S
hakespeare, and enough sexual tension to overheat ovens--and engines.

A Clash Of Innocents by Sue Guiney
Against the b
ackdrop of Cambodia's violent past and the beginnings of its new Tribunal for "justice", a story of displaced souls unfolds. In Cambodia, innocents are everywhere. Everyone is innocent, or so they would like to believe--everyone, except the few who, for their own private reasons, take on the guilt of the many.

Captive Spirit by Liz Fichera
Captive Spirit takes place in the Sonoran Desert at the dawn of the sixteenth century. It's the epic story of a young Hohokam Indian woman who's captured by Spanish raiders and the Hohoka
m warrior who chases after them.

In Enemy Han
ds by KS Augustin
The Republic had taken everything from Moon--her research partner, her privacy, her illusions. They thought they had her under control. They were wrong. (Hard SF Romance)

The Amazing Transformation of Wicca Dog by Krista D. Ball
For the month
of August, Krista is giving away this lighthearted short story for FREE. Addendum: There's a link that asks you to set your own price. PLEASE set the price to be $0 dollars. So "purchase" it for $0.

When Robert is bitten by his nephew, he's convinced that he isn't really going to turn into a werewolf. After all, werewolves aren't real. Unfortunately for Robert, mischievous Pan is nearby, lamenting that there aren't enough shapeshifters in the world.

Book and Winner will be announced Monday, 8-16-10


The Long and the Short of It is celebrating its third anniversary
in style--by giving away THREE Nook 3G eBook Readers that come with $50 gift certificates AND are already pre-loaded with dozens of romance and juvenile fiction eBooks. We're having a scavenger hunt that runs from August 2 - August 29.

Our anniversary party culminates in a two day chat that final weekend in o
ur Yahoo groups during which every post earns an entry AND we'll be announcing the winners in the final hour.

That's all, folks. I've given you plenty to browse and perhaps buy.

Here's my question for today. Without naming titles or authors, what kind of story
would you like to read? I'm not talking about genre. I'm talking about specific story lines. What haven't you seen lately (or seen enough of) that you wish someone would write?

There will be an expanded post on this next week, but I thought we'd start the conversation early.

One lucky commenter will win a book from today's bazaar. Both book and commenter will be randomly selected.


A big thank you to everyone who came by to visit me over at Nadia Lee's blog the other day. You sure do make me feel special. I haven't done a guest blog in a while. It was fun!


Jennifer Shirk said...

What are friends for?
I forgot today was Friday the 13th!

Great book selections!

Maria Zannini said...

You're a lifesaver, Jennifer!

Krista D. Ball said...

I like stories with strong female characters. Bottom line. I don't want whining, fussing, damsels in distress. I want to see women like the kinds that I grew up with - women who did the same work as the men and did it well, where there were no gendered roles in the house, just work that had to be done.

I don't want books that make me think about the existence of humanity. I'm not that bright and I generally get bored. I want to sit down with a book and forget that there is a world outside. I want to put myself in the heroine's or hero's shoes and take over the world with her/him.

Krista D. Ball said...


I was unable to change the price for free (as it would mess up its listing at Kobo and Barnes and Noble this week). So, I switched it to "Set your own price."

PLEASE set the price to be $0 dollars. So "purchase" it for $0. I'm sorry for the mix up (I forgot to tell Maria).

Dru said...

I like books with strong characters, strong plot and leaves with a "feel good" attitude.

I also like a bit of humor, fun or entertainment in my stories.

Kait Nolan said...

So many great books to try!

I would really love to see something along the lines of Firefly (you know, the Joss Whedon show) but in book form. I haven't see anything like that.

Oh, and for anybody who wants to try Forsaken By Shadow, here's a 50% off coupon for Smashwords: WX96V. Get it for $0.99 through next Friday!

Wendy Ramer said...

I love a good forbidden romance, especially if the lovers somehow manage to come together. I'm a sucker for that stuff.

Maria Zannini said...

Krista: I am so with you about witless damsels. I want them to be just as capable as the hero.

Dru: That is interesting about you.
I like to feel good, but I'm not opposed to a bittersweet ending either, as long as the good guys still win.

Kait: Firefly. Oh man! You said it. I LOVE that show. Maybe it's time for another space opera.

Wendy: Ref: forbidden romance
You naughty girl. LOL I knew there was something we had in common.

Linda Leszczuk said...

I like a female lead character who has always been seen/seen herself as pretty ordinary but when faced with an extraordinary challenge, rises to the occasion and kicks ass. Mix that into a fast moving plot and sprinkle with humor and you've got me.

Sherri said...

I'm an emotional reader so it's hard to pick one or even two story lines I'd like to see.

Twists on fairy tales always pull me in. I'm a sucker for friends to lovers. Forbidden romance...yum.

Strong characters, ones I could see myself meeting in real life, are key for me.

Charlie said...

Wow! What a smorgasbord of good stuff.

I can never get enough reunited sweethearts stories. Not the one where adults go their own way and reunite, rather the ones where childhood friends are torn apart then find each other later in life. I have no idea why these stories do it for me, but they do.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I also like strong female characters but wan to seem more who wear pretty dresses (when they feel like it) and can also kick butt, possibly with swords. Too many badasses feel compelled to wear head-to-toe leather. I want sequins!

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: I love a little humor in all my stories. Even when things are at their worst, I want the MCs to be able to lighten up.

I've never read entirely humorous stories though. I'm not sure if I'd like an entire story being funny.

Maria Zannini said...

Sherri: Have I got an author for you.

Tia Nevitt is doing an entire series on twists on fairy tales. Her first book comes out this fall, called "The Sevenfold Spell".

Maria Zannini said...

Charlie: Aw, you sound like a softie.
There's something fulfilling about reuniting lovers though. Like it was meant to be.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: Sequins!

Ho boy. I'm imagining all sorts scenarios.

Is this what you're writing?

Marguerite Butler said...

Ooh, so much shopping to do. Today was pay day! I'm a sucker for gentle humor. If you can make me laugh, I'm yours. If you can manage humor and romance? You'll never be rid of me.

Shelley Munro said...

I love humor in stories too and, yet, editors/agents seem to always want dark stories.

Let me see, I always enjoy friends to lovers stories and I'm looking for a marriage of convenience story to read. Can you tell I'm on a historical binge?

Thanks for including me in your post.

Marianne Arkins said...

I'm with Shelley -- I love humor in stories. It doesn't have to be Three Stooges slapstick, but fun is good. Though -- one of the best books I've read in a LONG time was rather dark: "Tempting the Enemy" by Dee Tenorio, so hmmm.

I guess I'll try anything once!

Maria Zannini said...

Marguerite, Shelley, Marianne:

Humor seems to be a binding thread. I'll admit I am not much for dark stories. They depress me unless there is a clear hope.

My favorite humor comes from banter between the two MCs. It's kinda like being married, but they don't fix my plumbing.

Sue Guiney said...

A great idea! And thanks for including my new book! I like stories with strong characters in unusual places -- I guess what I try to write, too.

Maria Zannini said...

Glad you could join us, Sue.

I read across all genres and literary, but give me a unique setting and I'm glued to the book. It's like going on vacation without leaving home. :)

catie james said...

There are so many books with the woman-at-a-disadvantage theme (i.e. enslaved, bewitched/seduced by an older/more powerful/wealthier man). I'd love to see more stories where the tables are turned with the females, if not in the power positions over their male counterparts, at the very least as their equals. It's the 21st century for gawd's sake! Stop giving us these TSTL, damsels in distress!

I also want to see more minorities (characters of color/with disabilities/glbt/etc.) in leading (or more significant) roles. If I read one more line about a hero's obsession with his love interest's creamy pale skin, I think I'll barf!

Tia Nevitt said...

I like stories that transplant me into a different world. But I don't necessarily like books that overdo the worldbuilding. For this reason, I like historical fiction. If you add a sense of wonder and make it a bit of a fish out of water story, I'll think I found the perfect novel.

Maria Zannini said...

Catie: I wonder if I instinctively avoid the pale skinned heroine. I haven't read too many of them. Actually, the last one I remember--she was a minor bad guy.

Maria Zannini said...

Tia: That sounds like a time travel story. :)

The thing I like about fish out of water stories is that I can see the world through the 'fish's' eyes. I learn along with him/her.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I'm sort of writing pretty dresses/clothes paired with swords. Alas, no sequins, but plenty of bling.

Tia Nevitt said...

Any story where a character is out of his or her comfort zone is great--not just time travel stories. For example, I'm reading Susanna Fraser's THE SERGEANT'S LADY, where a nobleborn lady is traveling with an army. Love it!

Shamsa xo said...

I want to read a love story. Not the average, boy meets girl - all is well after some trouble love story. The kind that makes you cry for weeks. Where someone dies, maybe from war? maybe from disease? A triumphant sort of love that rips out all hope while implanting new hope in the reader! I haven't read a book like that (won't name any names) for a good couple of years now!