29 August 2007

Lynsay Sands - a class act

As of late I have been seeing the downside of being a romance writer. Few would believe how cutthroat this business can be, how a "friend" can turn on a friend because of jealousy. It's very disheartening, that when a writer should be happiest, so much negative comes along and tries to spoil that joy. It makes those special people, true friends, all the more precious. I have been very lucky to have some special friends, Dawn Thompson, Leanne Burroughs, Diane D. White, Victoria Bromley, Monika Wolmarans, Maggie Davis, Carol Anne Applegate are just a few of the wondeful people who have touched my life, supported me.

There are none more special that Lynsay Sands. Lynsay came into my life when I face a dark moment, that point where you are ready to give up because you see only rejection and futility. She is a very good friend, and I have proudly watched as this talented lady has climbed the ladder to be a big name in romance books, a consistent bestseller with both her historical romances and her vampire series. That is simply amazing. I do a happy dance each time I see her make the NYTimes bestsller list--often with 2 and 3 titles at the same time.
Only, that isn't why she is special to me. It's the many kindness she does straight from her heart. Like the time, when she spent nearly 12 hours helping me fix my computer because no one else could do it. She encouraged me to push to get published at a point when I was ready to give up. I doubt very seriously I would be print now had it not been for her truths and prods.

She just proved how wonderful she is, yet again, by her latest backing. Barnes and Noble is doing a promotion for her upcoming book, Holidays Are Hell anthology with Kim Harrison, Vicki Petterssen and Marjorie Liu. Each writer had to answer a series of questions for them to be posted on their website.

Here is an excerpt from Lynsay's questions. I have to admit I am humbled, once more, by her kindess, continued support, and most importantly, for just knowing this caring lady.

What are your ten favorite books, and what makes them special to you?

This is a hard question for me. I am horrible at recalling names and titles. Aside from that, when it comes to books I’m kind of like a cheap tart dropped amongst a boat load of sailors. I love them all. While I keep every book I read, I’ve never read a book more than once (there’s always another one to read.) However, regarding favorites . . . For me the first book that stands out in my mind isn’t one but many. The Nancy Drew series. I adored those books when young and am pretty sure I read every one. I don’t think they have a single author but various. Either way, I couldn’t tell you names of authors or even book titles, just that I loved the books and that if I couldn’t grow up to be Nancy Drew and have the adventure and mystery in life that she had, then growing up to write such things is a lovely alternative.

Another early influence was Julie Garwood’s early works. I’m afraid when I was young I was completely turned off historical romance by some pretty horrid bodice rippers owned by my grandmother on my father’s side. Stories from the day when the “hero” could be completely horrid to the female; abuse her verbally, treat her cruelly and even rape her and yet the heroine “loved him” and understood he was just “wounded” and that – with the love of a good woman – he could be tamed, changed, healed. Ugh! Bleck! Yuck! I mean geeeeeeez, how could any woman fall in love with a man who starts out by being beastly? Puhleeeeze!! So, I was totally anti-romance, and then, while I was in University, my sister brought me a Julie Garwood book. I’m afraid I can’t remember which one, but she brought it around and said I should read it. I wasn’t interested. She pestered me to read it. I just kept shaking my head with disgust and muttering “Historical romance! No thanks!” She assured me it wasn’t “like that” and begged me to read it. Nope, not me. This went on for months. I forget now how she actually convinced me to read it. It might have been sheer determination and that I read it just to get her off my back. Certainly, I read it expecting to toss it aside after a chapter or so and inform her – with some vindication – that historicals were utter crap. Instead, I had to admit it was good, and fun, and the hero was actually worthy of the title. It was the first time I saw historicals as something that could be fun and entertaining.

If I’m going to list favorites, I also have to mention anything by Dean Koontz. I’ve been reading him FOREVER. Okay, that makes us both sound ancient, but you know what I mean. Dean Koontz just somehow manages to grab you with the first paragraph and hold onto you until the end. And while he’s listed as a horror writer, really his books usually have everything in them; suspense, adventure, action, romance and even mystery. I’ve never read a Dean Koontz I haven’t liked.

And then, of course, there’s J. K. Rowling. Few people have managed to avoid getting drawn into her Harry and Hogwarts world, and I’m afraid I was in the first wave of converts. How could you help but love a story that was like a fairy tale. There’s poor Harry a male Cinderella being treated so shabbily and forced to live under the stairs until along comes Hagrid to inform him he’s special. He taken away to an amazing world, an incredible and fascinating alternate reality where he’s famous and where he finds a family of his own as well as people who care about him. It’s classic!

The most recent favorite I’ve found is Deborah MacGillvray. I read her first book Restless Knight before it was published and gave a quote for the cover. I don’t often experience envy of other author’s skills, but will admit that I did while reading Restless Knight. This author is very, very talented. I am not big on books that spend thirty or forty pages describing a room or scene. They bore me. I’ve always felt self-conscious about admitting that because someone once said that it was a sign of the MTV age and immaturity and a short attention span. Basically, they made me feel a complete idiot with “immature and unrefined” tastes for not enjoying a three page description of a leaf on the ground. Well, my answer to that will now be that it’s a shame to waste so much space on such descriptions when a really gifted writer can give you enough description with just a few deft words that you can feel the warmth of a fire on your cheek and hear the crackle and hiss of it as it burns. Ms MacGillvray can do that. That first book was exceptional and I have since purchased her second historical as well as her two contemps that have followed . . . now I just have to find the time to read them. That’s something I’m looking forward to. If they’re half as good as her first book, I know I’ll enjoy them. I guess I’d best stop there. Each favorite author or series I’ve mentioned has anywhere from 4 to 60 books so I’ve definitely done the ten.

If you could choose one new writer to be “discovered,” who would it be -- and why?

Deborah MacGillvray – The woman can write. Everything of hers I’ve read so far is great, but her historicals are especially powerful. Her plots are solid, characters are loveable and she has a way with description that draws you in and puts you right there with the characters amongst the heather and mist.

28 August 2007

Win 1 of 16 copies of IN HER BED at SingleTitle.com

Dear Reader,

I don't want you to miss this! We're having a huge contest at SingleTitles.com and thanks to Deborah MacGillivray we're giving away 16 (yes, sixteen!) copies of her book IN HER BED, available now!

Seriously, don't miss this one! IN HER BED is filled with fey lassies, brawny lads and Scots lore as is Deborah MacGillivray’s website.

Here's a direct link: http://singletitles.com/?p=97

How do you enter?

Leave a comment telling us what tidbit of interesting information you found on Deborah’s website?

Contest rules:

Contest begins Aug. 25 and ends Aug. 31. Winners will be selected and announced on Sept 1.

Entrants may not have won a contest at singletitles.com within the past 30 days.

Winners will be chosen randomly and must respond to a notification e-mail by Sept 10.

And here's a bit of history behind the book!

"In Her Bed, was originally started in 1996 and was called Ravenhawke. I actually made it to the book being posted on pre-release with that title, until Kate Duffy, an editor with Kensington, saw the cover and made the statement, “Every woman would want him in her bed.” Suddenly, I had a new title! Often authors have little say in titles or covers. Kensington has been very good to me, so I trust they know what they are doing.

Ravenhawke started out as being a part of A Restless Knight. The idea of Damian being carried away and used by a woman to get her with a baby was inspired by the great Romance writer Katherine Deauxville. She did a book called The Crystal Heart (also for Kensington). Totally different premise, but her wonderful story made me ask myself the question, why would a woman have sex with a man she didn’t know, and had never even seen before? As I began working with A Restless Knight, the seeds of Ravenhawke were sprouted. At first, Damian and Aithinne were supposed to be just secondary characters, but those seeds had been planted, and I kept trying to picture the situation, which brought Damian and Aithinne together. So after a year into A Restless Knight, I had to pull the story of Damian and Aithinne out and put them into their own book, because these characters were trying to take over Tamlyn and Challon’s tale! Once I finished the first book’s draft, I started on Ravenhawke in earnest. Oh, my! Written in LONG HAND! This was before I got my first computer. My poor friend in California, her mother and brother died during this period, and I used to read her what I had written each night, trying to cheer her depression. Read some nights until I was hoarse. I finally got my computer, found MSN Groups, began a writing group, and in 1999 really started to push to get published.

Then life hit. It was a rough period. I was having serious health issues, and couldn’t sit at the computer. For Christmas I received my first laptop and was able to write in bed. Still, life didn’t improve. My husband nearly died; all sorts of problems with mother nature…lol. I nearly gave up. Lynsay Sands happened to join my writers group, and angel that she is, she encouraged me to get published. It was another two years after that. Also, Katherine Deauxville became a good friend. I felt like my book had come full circle! The idea was inspired by her, now she was a friend. Both gave me so much encouragement. I often wonder if I would ever have had the courage had it not been for them both there supporting me.

Ten years―but my Challon and Damian were finally getting to make their bow! A long road, and is a lesson to never give up.

In Her Bed is set in Medieval Scotland, a period familiar to many of you if you’ve watched the movie Braveheart. Same king, same war between Scotland and England, it was a time when Scotland was broken into clan loyalties, often with a clan chief holding power similar to a small king. There was no united spirit, which allowed Edward I, known as Longshanks (because of his long legs) to conquer Scotland. I use history, pagan lore and beliefs that still lingered in the pockets of Scotland, despite Christianity’s spread throughout the land, hopefully to carry the reader back to a time when knights and ladies battled emotions, customs and politics ultimately to find happiness.

I just accepted a contract from Kensington books for Guillaume and Rowanne’s story, Yield for the Knight, and a Christmas Historical coming out October 2008, called A Snowy Knight. It’s connected to the Dragons of Challon series, but not actually part of the “dragons”. Keep in mind, the titles are subject to change…lol"

Well, we're glad that titles change and books make it to the shelves, no matter how long after they're written. If you haven't read this one, check out our review! http://www.singletitles.com/index.php?p=94

We'll see you bright and early tomorrow!

Ally, Donna & the SingleTitles Team

SingleTitles.com 5 star review for IN HER BED

IN HER BED by Deborah MacGillivray
Reviews Zebra Books August 2007
Genre: historicalISBN: 0821780379
Page Count: 353Price: $4.99
Reviewer: Donna Zapf
Sensuality Rating: SultryStar
Rating: 5 StarsAuthor's

IN HER BED, the second in The Dragons of Challon series, written by award winning author Deborah MacGillivray is an experience you must not miss.

Damian St. Giles has ridden forth to Scotland with his cousin, the Dragon of Challon, to claim their holdings agreed on by Edward, King of England. During Lord Challon's wedding celebrations, Damian is drugged, taken prisoner, chained to a bed and seduced by a vaguely familiar ethereal beauty. When he wakes to find himself back with Challon, he has been missing several days. Slowly his mind begins to clear when he meets Lady Aithinne, the woman haunting his dreams.

Lady Aithinne Ogilvie, cousin to Lord Challon's bride, has taken drastic measures to insure the safety of her land and people from the warring clans and the English King. Because of her guardian Baron Lyonglen's death, Aithinne devises a plan to get herself pregnant with an heir, hoping this will appease the nobles clamoring to claim her lands. To this end her nitwit brothers captured a man for her use. Little did she know that the man is Damian St. Giles, Baron Lyonglen's grandson, nor did she anticipate that she would fall in love with him.

Seeped in Scots lore, visions and ancient charms, IN HER BED cast its spell over me. Inspired storyteller Deborah MacGillivray immerses her readers in the sounds, smells, and sights of medieval Scotland during the take over of King Edward. Her research and creativity combine to give depth and reality to her words and we readers reap the rewards of a well told tale. Ms. MacGillivray's characters are bold and defined with witty and often bawdy dialog that induces laughter and exclamation. The sexual tension runs high in this story and when Aithinne and Damian finally consummate their relationship fireworks explode!

IN HER BED is a most excellent sequel to A RESTLESS KNIGHT and I fervently hope another Challon Dragon will soon be released.

Written by - Cata-Romance Single Titles

Read first chapters of my historical romance novels

Read First Chapter of IN HER BED

KISS Award for Damian!Romantic Times Magazine for July gave the KISS Award to my hero Damian St. Giles. Each month they pick the sexy bad boys we love. And my Damian was one of the KISS AWARDS this month!!

"Deborah MacGillivray's heroine has Damien St. Giles In Her Bed, and you'd trade places with her in an instant."

In Her Bed - Night Owl Romance Review

In Her Bed by Deborah MacGillivray
Reviewer: Tammie King
Score: 4.5

Online at: http://www.nightowlromance.com/nightowlromance/reviews/Review.asp?ReviewId=618

When you find a book that makes you weep, you know you have found a winning author. Deborah Macgillivray will make you feel many highs, but also many lows. Ms. Macgillivray will wring emotion not just out of her characters, but out of you too. So, hold on for an emotional ride as you take a trip back in history to Scotland 1296.

In the book In Her Bed I felt how Lady Aithinne Ogilvie felt. She was lost, she loved and she felt despair. She had so much placed on her shoulders from a young age. She had to raise three boys when her parents died and now she has to protect a whole clan from being taken over by the English. Scotland is going through many changes. The English have toppled Scotland and the Scots have to bow down to an invading army. Will Aithinne be able to protect her clan or will a warrior take her place?

Damien St. Giles, a warrior and lord of the English king has had dreams for many years. He sees a woman's face and knows that she is the woman for him. When he gets to Scotland he sees Tamlyn, he knows she is the woman from his dreams. There is one problem, she is betrothed to his cousin Julian Challon and they are much in love. Damien drowns himself in mead one night and wakes chained and drugged to a bed. Who is this woman who visits him? They have much passion between them and he thinks it's Tamlyn, but it can't be?

Lady Aithinne is the cousin of Tamlyn. They look very much alike with a few differences. Aithinne has a red tint to her hair, freckles and speaks of green in her eyes. To save her clan she must produce an heir and pretend that the babe is the heir to her recently deceast husband. Aithinne comes to love Damien, but when he calls her Tamlyn will she be able to ever forgive him?

In Her Bed has risen to the top of my favorite historical novels and I've already went and ordered a copy of A Restless Knight. I really felt for the characters in this book and can't wait to meet more of Ms. Macgillivray's characters. The only thing I wish the book had was a longer ending, as I wanted to continue being a part of the world that Deborah created. I guess I'll just have to wait for the next book :0).

Riding the Thunder Review

Riding the Thunder (The Sisters of Colford Hall, Book 2) (Mass Market Paperback) by Deborah Macgillivray (Author)
List Price:

Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Love Spell (October 2, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0505526921
ISBN-13: 978-0505526922

A beautiful and stunning novel driven by the strength, compassion and humor of its hero and heroine.
-- Amy Wolff Sorter, author, Soul Obsession

Though a sequel to Deborah Macgillivray's wonderful first novel "Invasion of Falgannon Isle," "Riding The Thunder" is one of those terrific and well-plotted stand-alones which gives the reader a wonderful taste of Clans Mershan and Montgomerie without going into direct repetition of what happened in the first novel.

This time it is urbane, elegant, good-hearted and loyal Jago Mershan who finds himself confounded by and attracted to the personality, charm and strength of one Asha Montgomerie. Jago is sent to the middle of Kentucky by his brother and head of Trident Industries, Desmond Mershan, to try to convince Clan Montgomerie in Kentucky to part with various assets -- to whit, one horse farm run by brother Liam Montgomerie and The Windmill, an old-fashioned diner under the direction of the sensible yet sexy Asha Montgomerie.

But The Windmill isn't just a quaint old diner in Nowheresville Kentucky. It's a Diner with a Past, featuring a jukebox that plays tunes on a whim even when unplugged, dancing spirits when the diner is closed and empty, and a booth that steps out of scene of "The Amityville Horror" whenever patrons sit in it after dark. Then there is the mysterious cat, "Whats-His-Name" who shows up and claims Jago as his own, worming into the masculine heart of that shrewd and urband businessman.

If those things aren't crazy enough, Asha begins having weird visions when Jago enters the picture, and not all are the sexy, wanting-to-be-taken-by-Jago kind. Rather, Asha's visions center around two lovers, Tommy and Laura, who lived during the 1960s and were tragically killed in an auto accident. As she and Jago are drawn together, the visions become stronger, more intense -- and more frightening to both Asha, who experiences them, and Jago, who fears them.

The great thing about Macgillivray's "series" novels is they get better with each release. When it comes to the backdrop, she made a brilliant decision moving the story across the Atlantic from Scotland to middle America. Within that scenario, the reader is treated to a wonderful blending of past and present, with both coming together in a moving climax.

As for the characters, I fell in love with Jago, who struggles between his loyalty to brother Desmond and his growing love for Asha and her way of life. His motivations are crystal clear and his personality so well-drawn, he almost steps out of the book as a living human being. Asha, too, benefits from the careful touch of the author's imagination and writing style. She is a terrifically well-rounded character, applying her wry humor and common sense to many of the situations that occur throughout the book. As this is a Macgillivray tale, there are many interesting situations, many of which are good for laughter on the one hand and contemplation on the other.

Furthermore, Asha and Jago together create sparks. The physical nature of their relationship is highly combustible, making their coming together intensely satisfying. But they share much more than a hankering to get into each others' pants. On the superficial level, both hail from the "Right Side of the Pond," aka the United Kingdom. Yet Asha's love for Kentucky (stemming from her mother's bond with the soil), and Jago's growing appreciation for the surroundings in which he finds himself are simply another link in the chain that brings them together. Mix all of it up with deeply emotional attachment and you have a man and woman that thankfully don't take too long to figure out that they belong together.

"Riding The Thunder" is also held together by a terrific cast of characters including the sexy Liam, whose bumbling attempts at playing "big brother" to the headstrong Asha are good for a chuckle or two. Then there's Netta, one of the waitresses in The Windmill, whose perky and brassy attitude hides deeper emotions. Macgillivray beautifully sets the spark for a romance between Liam and Netta, and this reviewer is looking forward to seeing what comes of it in a future novel.

With "Riding the Thunder," Deborah Macgillivray does what she does best, putting well-developed characters into extraordinary situations and letting their actions speak for themselves. This one was a page-turner that was hard to put down.

Hurricanes and contracts....

I have noticed a very odd phenomena. When I agree to a contact for my books, it's always during a hurricane!

On August 2005, I agreed to my first contract for Kensington Zebra Books--Hurricane Katrina hit as I was saying yes.

Two weeks later, the Dorchester offer came for my Contemporary Paranormal Romances. Talks stalled for a week. Hurricane Ophelia threatened. Would be a hurricane, then a tropical storm, then a hurricane. It came into shore, went out, even turned in circles. This so reflected the contact talks.

Finally a week later I accepted their offer--and Hurricane Rita hit Florida.

So both contracts are up this years. This past week I agreed to the sale of two historicals -
I agree to a two book contract, two more Scottish Medievals for Hilary Sares at Kensington books. The 3rd in the Dragons of Challon series, Yield to the Knight, to be slotted presently, and they asked me to do a Christmas book for October 2008 release. It's called A Snowy Knight.

Was there a hurricane? You bet - two of them.

Contract talks started and then my editor had to do some figures. While it dragged on Hurricane Erin hit Texas. The day I sold Hurricane Dean hit!

Beware...I have a proposal before Dorchester for the third book in the series.