Archive | August 2015

Special Guest: Olivia Night, Author of Seduction in Sierra Leone

Seduction in Sierra LeoneThanks to J.C. Conway for hosting me today! I am so excited to share with you my new book, Seduction in Sierra Leone. The book centers around two people who meet in quite unusual circumstances and then soon find themselves on the run from a man set on vengeance.

I fell in love with the characters the more I discovered about them. Brandt, although tough guy, is actually really vulnerable. Aislinn (pronounced Ashling) is a bit fearful of letting people close and has been on her own for quite some time. It would seem that they would not be compatible, but somehow they work. They work really well.

When starting to write their stories I had to take a step back and learn about their pasts. Why was Brandt the way he was? Why was Aislinn afraid to let people in.

I ended up writing pretty long backstories for them. A very large portion of their backstories did not show up in the book. But, rather, it served to help me write their reactions, action and personalities.

Its interesting to think about how much our pasts influence our present and future. Brandt and Aislinn are no different. They are flawed, like we are and those flaws make their story much more real to me. Who wants people to be perfect? Its not realistic. So when reading their story you will go on the journey with them. Sometimes they have to do things that make them uncomfortable. They have to give a little to make things work. But isn’t that the way it is in real life?

This is why I love them so much. They are very real to me. You can relate to them and their struggles. And as you go through the journey with them you find yourself routing for them to let go, to let each other in and for them to have a happy ending.

About Seduction in Sierra Leone

In the mangroves of Sierra Leone, two strangers raised a world apart find themselves inextricably connected. Seduction in Sierra Leone, the first in a series of three novels, is a fast-paced tale of murder, lust, and love that transports the reader to a foreign and mysterious world of danger.

Aislinn Salameh, an American relief worker, is searching for purpose in her self- imposed lonely world. The stranger who enters her village on a blistering hot day looks more animal than man. She knows she should stay far away but can’t stop herself from being drawn to the mysterious man.

Brandt Fairlane is a man haunted by the sins of his past. Detached from others, Brandt has spent his life alone. His line of work is too dangerous for the luxuries of love and family.

When Brandt sees Aislinn and her haunting eyes, he knows he must possess her. But when Brandt’s past comes back from the dead and Aislinn is caught in the crossfire, it is up to him to keep her safe. In order to survive, they must learn to rely on one another. As they run for their lives, the heat between them becomes undeniable. Now, Brandt must not only protect Aislinn from a madman committed to stealing her away but he also must protect her from himself. Because if Brandt steals her body and her heart, he’ll never let her go.


As he got closer to her, he realized there was something different about her eyes. He was a few feet away when he realized what it was. With the realization all oxygen left his body in a rush. It felt as if he had been punched in the gut. His heart stuttered. Shit, it did something weird at the sight of her. The woman’s eyes were…? He couldn’t think of word that would fit. And then it struck him. They were haunting, the color of a cucumber slice. Not the skin of the cucumber but inside. A pale, shivering light green. Her eyes widened as she realized he was looking at her. He could see, even from the distance, a small blush creeping up her cheeks at being caught staring. She was beautiful. All smooth pale skin and green eyes. He felt his dick jump. He almost looked down. It had been a long time since he had thought about his dick. And it was another man’s woman who was making him all too aware of it.

He felt heat course through him. Her tiny body had been placed purposefully behind the taller man. But Brandt could still make out her smooth legs and accommodating hips, accommodating as in she could spread those lush legs and accommodate his body between them. She was no doubt the man’s girlfriend, and here Brandt was thinking things that only a boyfriend should be allowed to think. Shocked at his own thoughts, he attempted to look away, but in the end, it was like pulling strips of Velcro away from each other. He wanted to close the distance between them, place his hands on the other man’s neck, twist, feel the snap, and watch the man drop to the ground. Then he would curl his fingers around the women’s neck, bring her to him, and angle her head so that he could kiss her. He shook his head like a man in a proverbial cartoon trying to expel the foreign thoughts and images. Envious. He was feeling envious of a man he didn’t know and a woman he had barely glimpsed. It was wholly inappropriate. He’d kill another man for thinking of his woman that way. Well, if he had a woman. Like the one he was staring at.

Fuck, he had to get a grip. For Christ’s sake, he was mooning over her like a teenage boy. Giving himself a mental ass-kicking, he averted his eyes and greeted Brima. He began to walk up the path to Brima’s home. But, as he walked, a magical sound floated over to his ears. She was laughing. His skin tingled at the musical note. His body tightened. Fury rose inside of him, a feeling he wasn’t expecting, a feeling that surprised him. She was laughing at the man who had been standing in front of her. Hatred for the unknown man charged through him like a herd of wild horses. Was he screwing her? His stance had been clear; it had said mine. Brandt wanted to eliminate the man, the threat. Bile rose at the idea of her lying beneath that man. Brandt realized he wasn’t envious. He was jealous. He had never been jealous. It was a useless emotion, and it got people killed in his line of work. If you wanted what someone else had, you simply took it. Jealousy could slow a man down. But he was. He was jealous. It screamed inside of him to move quickly, to take her from the man who was really just a baby. To make her his. To tie her to him in every way possible until she admitted that she was his. He wanted to mark her as his, use his teeth to mark her neck, her breasts, her stomach, the insides of her thighs. His. Fuck.

He had to stay far away from this woman. No woman needed a man like him. No woman deserved a man like him, one who would want to own her. He wasn’t one for laughter and cuddling. Puppy shit. Women wanted puppy shit. This woman, whoever she was, deserved more than Brandt could ever give. Brandt had to stay the fuck away from her. Because he didn’t give up what he made his.


About the Author

Olivia Night, a fictional character herself, has always been an avid read and writer. She found the romance genre in college and has never been able to get enough. One sleepless night, the main characters of Book One in her Seduction series sprang from her head fully formed. They demanded she tell their story; so she did. As they revealed themselves, so did two other intriguing characters. Those characters convinced her to give them their own books because their stories were worth telling too. And so Olivia suddenly became a romance author. When Olivia is not writing, she has the best job in the world, which, too, will remain a secret. In her free time, she reads, writes, runs, or is, most likely, out emulating Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Olivia lives in one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in the U.S.—Baltimore. She lives with her cat, which she is convinced was a gladiator in his past life. Olivia plans to continue being awesome at this thing called life. Really, that’s her only goal.



Online workshop in September sponsored by Yosemite Romance Writers


Are We There Yet?

Instructor: Susan Palmquist
Dates: September 4-29

From the Instructor

“Are you just about ready to send out that manuscript to an editor or agent? This course will cover a basic checklist for getting your manuscript in tip-top shape. I’ll cover some of the biggest problems found in manuscripts, everything from head-hopping to flat sounding dialogue. How to look at your work with a new set of eyes. The workshop will also touch upon getting a synopsis and cover letter together.”

About Susan Palmquist

Susan Palmquist is a freelance writer, author and also writes under the pen name Vanessa Devereaux. She’s the author of 42 books including mysteries, romances and erotica. She’s also the author of the bestselling e-book, How To Write A Romance Novel…getting it written and getting it published. When she’s not writing she’s teaching workshops and tutoring students. Prior to her writing career, Susan worked in public relations and was a book publicist for three years. Find out more about her and her workshops at, and

About Yosemite Romance Writers

“Our chapter encompasses a number of creative writers working in various stages of their writing careers. A variety of subgenres of romance are represented, including paranormal, historical, romantic suspense, young adult, western, and many others.

“Our goals are to support our authors by offering multiple opportunities to hone their craft, such as speakers, workshops, conferences, and writer resources. We strive to advance our authors’ careers by seeking out editors, publishers, agents, and published novelists to guide us in our journey.

“Lastly, we promise to encourage each other, sharing in the joys and disappointments as a fellowship of friends. Please join us.”

Workshop Details

Heart to Heart Contest for Unpublished Writers

The San Francisco Area Romance Writers of America chapter has announced that it is open to entries for its 2015 Heart To Heart Contest for unpublished writers. Entries are to be made electronically only. The top three finalists in each category will have their entries read by a literary agent, a traditional publishing house editor and an e-publishing editor. SFA-RWA will announce the winners, and certificates will be awarded to the top winner in each category.


  • CONTEMPORARY — Novels set in the present
  • EROTIC — Novels in which sensuality constitutes a strong element in the romance
  • HISTORICAL — Novels featuring romance in time periods other than the present. Most editors consider as historical books set prior to WWI
  • PARANORMAL – Novels that mix the elements of paranormal, time travel, futuristic or fantasy
  • YOUNG ADULT — Novels with a strong romantic theme geared toward the young adult reader — may contain paranormal, time travel, futuristic, or fantasy elements


“Open to all writers unpublished by an RWA-approved publisher as of the entry deadline. Prospective entrants may be published with a non RWA-recognized publisher. However, they may not enter books/manuscripts that have been professionally edited or have ISBN numbers.”


  • August 31, 2015 — Deadline for submissions (electronic only)
  • October 5, 2015 — First-Round Finalists Notification
  • November 6, 2015 — Final Round Winners Announced


“Enter the scene(s) in which the hero and heroine meet for the first time or for the first time in the book, if previously acquainted, up to a maximum of 15 pages. Each entry may only be entered in one category. However, you may submit as many different entries as you wish. Each new entry must have a contest entry form and payment.”

More Information

Go to the Heart to Heart Contest Web Page for important additional information.

Deadline Next Week: Hot Prospects Contest

The HOT PROSPECTS contest, sponsored by Valley of the Sun Romance Writers, is still open and there is plenty of room in the categories for additional entries, so long as they are received by the deadline. It’s open for unpublished works by published or unpublished writers.

“it is still relatively low on entries entries Looking to
sign your first book contract, switch from a small press to
a large publisher or simply explore another genre of romantic fiction?
Turn up the heat on your writing career with the Hot Prospects Contest.”

The Deadline is Approaching:

  • Postmark Deadline: September 1st, 2015
  • E-Submit Deadline: September 1st, 2015


  • The grand prize winner of the contest will have their entire Romance manuscript (400 pages, Courier, 12pt, Double spaced) reviewed by two professional editors at Novel Needs


  • All finalists in each category will receive a certificate, a graphic for their website and an acknowledgement in the Romance Writers Report. Approximate date of winner notification is December 15th, 2015.


The Hot Prospects Contest is open to any Romance work uncontracted and unpublished at the time of entry.


  • Single Title Contemporary
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Historical/Regency
  • Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal

For more information, see Valley of the Sun Romance Writers

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False ~ Kirsten King & Alex Kasprak

Live Your Life Inspired

This is Helen Fisher, the chief science adviser for and an anthropologist who specializes in ~love~.

This is Helen Fisher, the chief science adviser for and an anthropologist who specializes in ~love~.


Every year, Helen Fisher, Ph.D., conducts a comprehensive study of singles’ attitudes toward dating and sex that surveys over 5,000 Americans. The people surveyed are NOT members, but are representative of the U.S. population at large. “We queried a representative sample of blacks, whites, Asians and Latinos, young and older, and gays, lesbians and straights from every part of the country and every walk of life,” she told BuzzFeed Science.

The data reveal a number of myths about dating, love, and sex. Here are some common myths about love that could use some debunking:

1. Myth: If you initially don’t find someone attractive, you will never fall in love with them.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False

Reality: 43% of singles have fallen in love with someone they did not initially find attractive.

2. Myth:…

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When Love Flies In – Coming August 26th!

Chrys N. Jay

When Love Flies InComing Soon – Release date August 26th —


Here’s an excerpt to get you started ….


Kelly heard it before she saw it. The rumbling in the sky told of an approaching plane. She stood up from her perch on the park bench and shielded her eyes, scanning the open blue skies. A smile broke across her face when she finally spotted the target.

The plane grew larger as it got closer, dropping in elevation as it lined up to approach the runway. Kelly’s head swiveled as she watched the landing, giving a little chuckle as the small aircraft bounced before settling back down on the hot asphalt.

She looked at her watch as she sat back down. Five more minutes. Then she’d have to head back to work. She hoped for one more take off before she had to leave. Those where her favorites…

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