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The Final Piece – Gena Showalter’s UNRAVELED Hunt

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Well folks, the hunt ends here. Now it’s time to put on your thinking caps. If you’ve been following Gena Showalter’s online scavenger hunt, then you’ve collected seven letters already from Gena and her young adult author pals Rachel Caine, PC Cast, Marley Gibson, Rosemary Clement-Moore and Tina Ferraro. If you late to the game, then you can still go back to these authors’ blogs and grab the letters.

You have until Monday, September 6th at midnight ET to put it all together and email us the answer at Contests( The prize for those not “in the know” — three $100 Visa Gift Cards and five signed copies of UNRAVELED to randomly drawn winners (well who got the answer right, of course!). That’s EIGHT prizes. Sounds like you’ve got a good chance to win big to me. :-)

So let’s get on with it. For those who need to start at the beginning, the contest road map and rules are posted here. For those that are at the end of the journey, here is your last letter:

Good luck!

This contest runs from Monday, August 30th to Thursday, September 2nd. All entries must be emailed to Contests(AT) by Monday, September 6th at midnight ET.

Take Home Tuesday Part Deux

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
UPDATE: The winner of UNRAVELED is Tetewa! Congrats! Remember, the scavenger hunt is still ongoing — so there are more chances out there to win a copy of UNRAVELED as well as three chances to win a $100 Visa Gift Card. Good luck! Tetewa, please send your physical addy to contests(AT)
So, last week we gave away a bright and shiny new copy of INTERTWINED, the first book in Gena Showalter’s teen paranormal series. Today we are giving away a copy of the second book, UNRAVELED, which releases today. Now that’s pretty cool, right? Well hold onto your hats. We’ve got something way cooler to tell you about…
From August 30th through September 2nd, Gena and several of her young adult author buds are hosting a scavenger hunt on their blogs to help celebrate the release of UNRAVELED. They include Rachel Caine, PC Cast, Marley Gibson, Linda Gerber, Rosemary Clement-Moore and Tina Ferraro. Three grand prize winners will each recieve a $100 Visa gift card. How does it work, you ask? Visit the authors’ blogs, pick up the letters, unscramble the word, and email the answer to Contests(at)knightagency(dot)net. The last two letters will go up on September 2nd, and you have FOUR whole days to figure out the answer while your chilling beside the pool this Labor Day weekend. 😉 Entries must be recieved by midnight ET on Monday, September 6th. Click here to get the road map and rules.

Oh yeah, back to today’s giveaway. You know the deal. Comment and enter to win a copy of UNRAVELED. We’ll announce the winner in this post tomorrow afternoon.

The 411: Since coming to Crossroads, Oklahoma, former outcast Aden Stone has been living the good life. Never mind that one of his best friends is a werewolf, his girlfriend is a vampire princess who hungers for his blood, and he’s supposed to be crowned Vampire King—while still a human! Well, kind of.

With four—oops, three now—human souls living inside his head, Aden has always been “different” himself. These souls can time-travel, raise the dead, possess another’s mind and, his least favorite these days, tell the future.

The forecast for Aden? A knife through the heart.

Because a war is brewing between the creatures of the dark, and Aden is somehow at the center of it all. But he isn’t about to lie down and accept his destiny without a fight. Not when his new friends have his back, not when Victoria has risked her own future to be with him, and not when he has a reason to live for the first time in his life….
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Marley Gibson’s GHOST HUNTRESS is Back on the Case

Monday, August 30th, 2010

GHOST HUNTRESS: THE COUNSELING – in this fourth installment of Marley Gibson’s popular GHOST HUNTRESS series, THE COUNSELING finds heroine, Kendall Moorehead at a crossroads in her life. Kendall has just discovered who her spirit guide really is, lost her boyfriend, and nearly died doing the thing she loves most–ghost hunting. It’s time to take a break and try to reconcile all the changes she’s going through. So Kendall heads to the Sierra Mountains, where there’s a camp especially for young people with gifts such as hers. It’s a time for reflection and self-discovery. But when she gets to California, she once again finds restless spirits–and the boy in her last vision. It may be the end of one chapter of her life and the beginning of a new one.

Check out Marley’s awesome giveaway for GHOST HUNTRESS: THE COUNSELING on her website. The prize pack includes an autographed copy of THE COUNSELING, a one-of-a-kind ghost hunting blanket, a pendulum, and a signed copy of THE OTHER SIDE: A TEEN’S GUIDE TO GHOST HUNTING AND THE PARANORMAL, autographed by Marley.

What people are saying about GHOST HUNTRESS:

“Real life ghost huntress, Marley Gibson, pulls no punches in this series.” – Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, SyFy’s GHOST HUNTERS

“Every young woman needs to read this!” – Steve Gonsalves, SyFy’s GHOST HUNTERS and GHOST HUNTERS ACADEMY

Marley Gibson is the author of the hit young adult paranormal fiction series, “Ghost Huntress,” from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Graphia line.

Gibson has been a lifelong paranormal enthusiast. She started conducting paranormal investigations in August 2007 as research for her “Ghost Huntress” teen fiction series and has captured some very compelling pictures, videos, and sound files. Gibson was featured on the premiere episode of The Biography Channel’s “My Ghost Story,” as well as being interviewed by for a Halloween feature on ghost hunting in 2008.
Gibson’s publishing credits include “Ghost Huntress: The Awakening,” “Ghost Huntress: The Guidance,” and “Ghost Huntress: The Reason.” The next titles in the series “Ghost Huntress: The Counseling” and “Ghost Huntress: The Discovery” will be released in September of 2010 and May 2011 respectively. She has also co-authored a teen ghost hunting how-to guide entitled “The Other Side: A Teen’s Guide to Ghost Hunting and the Paranormal” with Patrick Burns and Dave Schrader. Gibson is also the co-author of the wildly successful “Christmas Miracles,” written with Cecil Murphey, from St. Martin’s Press. The sequel, “Christmas Spirit” will be published in the Fall of 2011.

Gibson has investigated haunts throughout the USA, including Rolling Hills Sanitarium, Waverly Hills Sanatorium, The Sprague Mansion, The Houghton Mansion, The Stanley Hotel, and the Queen Mary alongside well known paranormal celebrities like Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, Patrick Burns, Chris Fleming, John Zaffis, Shannon Sylvia, Chip Coffey, Stacey Jones, Mark and Debby Constantino, Tiffany Johnson, and many others.

Gibson holds a Bachelors of Arts in Communication with an emphasis in Advertising and a double minor in Political Science and Speech Communications from The University of Alabama. She has worked on several political campaigns, as a United States Congressional intern, and has been a marketing events manager in the medical, higher education, financial, and technology sectors. She travels extensively with her partner-in-crime, paranormal investigator Patrick Burns, and the two call Boston, Massachusetts home. She can be found online at and and via her group blog at

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Kate Pearce is giving away a basket of signed books from her backlist, a signed copy of her latest release, KISS OF THE ROSE, a bag of Hershey’s Kisses and spa goodies, including her exclusively blended KISS OF THE ROSE perfume and infused soap to one lucky winner! How do you win this awesome prize? Answer the question “What makes the perfect first kiss?” in the comment section of this blog, the contest post on Kate’s blog, Twitter, Kate’s Facebook Fan Page or emailing contests(AT) You can enter multiple times. See details below, but first check out the cover blurb for KISS OF THE ROSE:

Desperate to defeat King Richard III and gain the crown, Henry Tudor made a pact with the Druids binding him and his heirs to the Druids’ struggle against vampires. Ever since, the Llewellyns, a vampire- slaying family, have been in the king’s employ. Now Henry VIII reigns, and his father’s bargain has been almost forgotten-until bloodless corpses turn up in the king’s bedchamber. To save the king, Vampire hunter Rosalind Llewellyn must form an uneasy alliance with Druid slayer Sir Christopher Ellis. But soon, Rosalind must face an unthinkable truth: that her sworn enemy may be her soulmate…

Prize: Gift basket featuring signed books from Kate Pearce’s backlist, as well as a signed copy of KISS OF THE ROSE. Plus, a bag of Hershey’s Kisses and spa goodies including Kate’s exclusively blended KISS OF THE ROSE perfume and infused soap.

How to Enter: Answer the question, “What makes the perfect first kiss?”

1. Via Twitter, answer the question, “What makes the perfect first kiss?” in 140 characters or less. Use the hash tag #KissoftheRose.

2. Via Kate’s author blog OR The Knight Agency blog, answer the question “What makes the perfect first kiss?” by commenting on
Kate Pearce’s blog in the contest post or in the comment section of this contest post on The Knight Agency blog.

3. Via Facebook, reply to the contest post on
Kate’s Facebook Fan page answering the question prompt.
4. Email your answer to Contests(AT)

1. The winner will be chosen randomly. This contest runs from Monday, August 9th thru Thursday, August 12th at midnight ET.
2. Mutiple entries are accepted. Meaning you can enter up to five times by posting an answer on Twitter, FB, Blogger (TKA and Kate’s blog) and emailing your answer. However, the entries MUST be different. For instance, you cannot answer the question the same way on both Twitter and Facebook. Also, please be sure to comment within the contest post whether on Blogger or Facebook to ensure your entry is counted.
3. The winner will be announced on Friday, August 13th on Kate’s author blog, The Knight Agency blog and via both Kate and TKA’s Twitter accounts (@KnightAgency and @Kate4Queen). If the winner does not claim their prize within two weeks of the announcement, another winner will be selected. If the second winner chosen does not respond within two weeks, the prize will be declared void.

B-I-G Knight Agency Contest Planned for Next Week

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open because next week The Knight Agency is sponsoring a contest to celebrate the release of THE BODYGUARD by Gena Showalter, as well as Cherry Adair and Lorie O’Clare. The Grand Prize is winner’s choice of a first chapter critique by a top TKA agent (hint: the very top) OR 25+ assorted books. Stay tuned to this blog and our Twitter account (@knightagency) for details on how to enter. Details will be avaialble first thing Monday morning. You must have your own Twitter account to participate, so sign up now!

Also, we’re having a chat next Thursday at 9pm ET featuring all three authors of THE BODYGUARD, so make sure to put that on your calendars also!
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Win a Signed ARC from Gena Showalter

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

To celebrate the recent release of THE BODYGUARD anthology, Gena Showalter is giving away a signed ARC of UNRAVELED, the follow-up to her YA novel, INTERTWINED. Here are the contest deets from Gena’s blog:

My story in THE BODYGUARD is called “Temptation in Shadows.”

I am so so proud of this story. It’s one of those that filled my head and just had to be told. Here’s a little about it:

Tall, lean and muscular — and definitely rough around the edges — Sean Walker is not your typical nightclub bodyguard. He’s a controller of shadows, able to wield darkness at will. But when a mysterious woman at the club turns out to have powers greater than his own, he has no choice but seduction…

Now for the contest! Help me spread the word about THE BODYGUARD — could be an honest review, a nod on Twitter, your blog, whatever! Come back here (here is Gena’s blog, NOT the Knight Agency blog. Update: Leaving a comment on this blog will not enter you in the contest. You must visit Gena’s blog.) and give me a link or tell me what you did, and you’ll be entered to win a signed ARC of UNRAVELED. (Or, if there’s a backlist book you’d prefer, I’ll send you that instead. Your choice!)

Contest will run for one week from today!

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Bryan Anderson: A Real Life Hero

Monday, May 17th, 2010
UPDATE: The winner of the Real Life Hero Contest is traveler!!!! Congrats!!! Please email your physical addy to contests(AT)
**Don’t forget to check out the Real Life Hero Contest! Win up to 15 TKA books featuring real and fictional heroes! Details below.**

In the world of romance writing, heroes can morph into werewolves, glamour unwitting victims with their sparkly skin and battle nefarious dukes in dawn-lit sword fights. But, with the turn of the final page, reality comes calling. Though the castle in the Scottish highlands might not have translated to suburbia and shapeshifters aren’t shopping at the local Wal-mart, there is something both the world of romance and the real world possess – heroes. One of those real life heroes is Iraq War veteran Bryan Anderson, a triple amputee and Purple Heart recipient who is working on adding the title of “author” to his resume.

Bryan’s story begins in his hometown of Rolling Meadows, Ill. As a teenager, he was a gymnast competing at the state level and excelled academically. He went on to work as Ground Crew Chief at O’Hare airport for American Airlines before enlisting in the Army. It was during his second tour of duty in October 2005 that an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) caused a catastrophic injury, severing both his legs and left hand.

After returning from Iraq, the soldier spent 13 months undergoing more than 40 surgeries. As he recovered, his mind was on more than just figuring out how to walk again. “I wanted to figure out what I could and could not do, and in doing that – I figured out there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot that I can’t do,” he says. “I mean, I can still climb trees if I want to.”

True to his word, Bryan can still climb trees along with a whole other host of activities many full-bodied people—as Bryan calls them—find daunting, including; snowboarding, wakeboarding, driving race cars, rock climbing and riding a bicycle 110 miles using hand cranks.

As the national spokesman for Quantum Rehab, a division of Pride Mobility Corp., Bryan travels the country to deliver his message of perseverance and self determination. Last year, Bryan made over 35 appearances at various rehab centers and events. He’s also managed to add a budding acting career to his busy schedule. His credits include the CSI: NY episode, “DOA for a DAY,” and an appearance in the Golden Globe award-winning film, The Wrestler. He was also immortalized in his own Marvel comic book, featured in Esquire Magazine twice, including a cover story, and was one of ten soldiers profiled on the HBO special, Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq.

Bryan relishes life, and greets each new day as a gift, and a challenge. He receives emails from people all over the world who have been moved by his story. It’s his desire to continue to inspire people to live to their fullest potential that led him to finally putting his story in printed form. “I hope that the kind of message [I send] is just because something happens doesn’t mean life is over,” he says. “I hope by [giving my all] that people can take something from that and apply it to their own life.”

So, though Bryan doesn’t grow fangs and avoid sunlight at all costs, he does have something important in common with his romance hero counterparts. He makes the impossible possible. He pledged to safeguard his country, and in carrying out that promise survived and thrived through an injury that would have easily devastated many for life. Though we will always love our Alpha heroes and hold fast to our dog-eared Quinns, Showalters, Roberts, Wards and Coles – a real life hero like Bryan shows us how to create magic in our everyday lives.

Message from TKA: We are sponsoring a “Real Life Hero” contest on our blog for the next four days. In the comments, tell us about a real life hero who has inspired you, and we will enter you in a mega-book giveaway, including up to 15 books featuring both real and fictional heroes. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced Friday morning, May 21st.

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UPDATE: The winner of a signed copy of THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE is Chelsea B.! Congrats! Please send your physical address to contests(AT)

It’s that magical time of the year again! This past Friday marked the first night of Chanukah, and since I was a kid I’ve had eight nights of latke-eating, dreidl-spinning, chocolate-nomming, and present-opening – and, best of all, candle-lighting. I’ve always loved the candles the best, always and forever.
However, the Chanukah presents I got as a kid did not inspire shock and awe – Chanukah is traditionally a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar. One year I got a peanut – a peanut! It was part of a biology kit where you could sprout the peanut and see the root growth or something – I never learned the details because, I am sorry to say, I ate it.

Another year I got Mexican jumping beans, and I had the sense to at least not eat them. But they were dud beans and didn’t even wiggle. A sad, sad little present, that one…

But I honestly didn’t really care, because for me Chanukah has always been all about the lights. Chanukah is about the victory of a tiny, fragile flame over the forces that seek to snuff it out.

It is therefore the perfect holiday for writers, no matter what their background – our dreams are sparks, and writing itself is a way of shining light into the world. The best presents I’ve ever gotten were in the spirit of that little flame shining in the night.

My sixth grade teacher, Mr. Brady, once gave me a magical Chanukah present – he disguised it as a prize for my writing, and it was one of the most wonderful presents I’ve ever received. He gave me the book BLACK BEAUTY, and called my parents in to the school to tell them I was a born writer. He was the first person to insist I was meant to be a writer, and to this day I am in Mr. Brady’s debt.

That gift has stayed with me forever, not only the book itself, but the generous, loving spirit of its giver, my teacher. My passion for writing was a fitful little ember in those days, and Mr. Brady gave me the gift of seeing that light in me, and encouraging it to shine.

If you have a writer in your life, the best present you could give them is one that fans the flame inside of them to write. Time to write, books, chocolate…anything that celebrates that light’s desire to dance.

I want to pass on that giving spirit. I have a special present for you – a contest! One person will win a copy of the newly-released MAMMOTH BOOK OF TIME-TRAVEL ROMANCE, with not eight, or even twelve, but over *twenty* stories of love, powerful enough to defy time and space. I have a story in this collection, “The Walled Garden,” that considers the precious gifts we sometimes give each other without realizing. May you be inspired by these stories to write your own…

All you have to do to win is share in the comments – if you are a writer, what are you hoping to get this holiday season? Or, what was the best present you ever got? Think of it as a public service – there are only four days of Chanukah left, but there’s still plenty of time to get these presents, for yourself or from somebody you love… If you are all out of ideas, just leave a comment and we’ll throw your name in the magic hat.

Thank you for sharing your ideas, and may your holidays be filled with generosity, warmth, laughter, and light!

CHRISTMAS WEEK CONTESTS: Remember, there are TWO ways to win! Each day this week (December 14th – 18th) a guest blogger will give away a signed book to one person randomly chosen from the comment section. Today’s prize is THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE, featuring a story by author Michele Lang! Check back in this post tomorrow morning to find out if you are the winner! Look for Michele’s upcoming release LADY LAZURUS in 2010.
Also, at the bottom of each post there is a scavenger hunt question. The answer can be located somewhere on the author’s website. Send in all 5 correct answers* to the scavenger hunt questions, and you will be entered in a drawing to win a TKA Surprise Christmas Stocking filled with books and holiday treats!!!
SCAVENGER HUNT QUESTION (2 of 5): What is the name of the literary character that Michele says mirrors her own writing style? Visit to find the answer!

*Please note, that the correct answers to the scavenger hunt questions must be sent in at one time. You must collect all 5 answers and send them in one email. Entries for the scavenger hunt will be accepted from Friday, December 18th thru Sunday, December 20th at midnight. The winner will be announed on this blog Monday, December 21st, 2009. If you have any questions about this contest, please contact contests(AT)

UPDATE: The winner of a signed copy of FLESH AND SPIRIT by Carol Berg is Sandy Shin! Congrats! Please send your physical address to contests(AT)

First a little bit of introduction, and then onto Carol Berg’s awesome post! This week we’re celebrating the holidays with a line-up of guest bloggers, including Carol, Michele Lang, Michelle Celmer, Twila Belk and a very special mega-blog on Friday featuring New York TImes bestselling authors Marjorie M. Liu, Rachel Caine, Christie Golden and Nalini Singh! As part of the celebration ALL of the authors are giving away signed copies of their books and TKA is hosting a special scavenger hunt!

There are TWO ways to win. Each day this week (Dec. 14 – Dec. 18) a guest blogger will give away a signed book to one person randomly chosen from the comment section. Also, at the bottom of the post there will be a scavenger hunt question. The answer can be located somewhere on the author’s website. Send in all 5 correct answers* to the scavenger hunt questions, and you will be entered in a drawing to win the TKA Suprise Christmas Stocking overflowing with books and holiday treats!!!

Magic on a Winter’s Night
People often ask me when I became a storyteller, and I tell them I didn’t even begin writing until halfway through my software engineering career, when my kids needed less of my off time. But a few nights ago when the moon was full, bright enough to cast shadows, and I stood at my bedroom window looking out on the foothills of the Rockies, I realized that the roots of storytelling went back a lot farther, back to when I was a kid. It wasn’t something that happened during the day. That was time for school and playing outside, family business, and reading, reading, reading – my favorite pastime. No, this other thing happened at night.

Nighttime always had a magical feel to it back then. In a Texas summer when the weather was hot, my sisters and I would lie out on quilts in the back yard to catch the breeze and watch the stars, wondering what it was like “up there.” And we’d watch the planes go over and wonder who got to ride on them, where they were going, and what it was like.
Autumn brought Halloween, the night we could take off down the street on our own, wading through the dry leaves. We’d scare ourselves with ghost and goblin sightings as we raced between porch lights.
In the spring, it would rain at night, and I’d raise the bedroom window as far as I could, because nothing smelled better. I’d breathe in the rain smell, along with the scent of gardenias and roses, and I’d feel the breeze and think about how it would be to live out there in the wet with nowhere to go. Rain changed things. Rain was like a magical curtain. I felt adventurous on those nights, because the house was dark and everyone else asleep. Sometimes I would get my doll and play with her beside the window because that was the time when she seemed almost real.
Winter nights were the best, especially clear nights with the moon so bright the trees cast shadows. Those nights were so bright and so quiet, and our street was so deserted that I could imagine fae creatures who came out only when the rest of the world was sleeping. Maybe they were people who lived with wild animals or who had the power to keep themselves warm on such cold nights.

Everything changed in the moonlight. Our yard – the big oak trees and the shrubs – looked so different at night. I was sure that if I were to venture out into the neighbor’s back yard it would be an entirely different place than I saw in the sunlight. A long time later, when I first read Susan Cooper’s “The Dark is Rising”, I understood immediately what Will Stanton felt when he opened his front door and looked out on a world entirely changed.
By far the most exciting of those winter nights came at Christmas time, when I was half scared I would SEE fantastical creatures (because I had several years’ solid evidence that they came) and I was half scared I wouldn’t. So I pulled up the quilts and cracked open the window so I could smell the cold air. . .and listen. I imagined I heard sleigh bells. I imagined I heard whispers. I imagined I heard footsteps on the roof. I imagined. . .

That was the beginning, of course. Storytelling is not the process of setting words on paper.

Storytelling is wondering. It is asking how would it be if. . .? It is opening the window and imagining people who not oneself and who inhabit places that are strange and unfamiliar. It is seeing people and events in a light that makes them look real. Storytelling is heeding the scents and smells and sounds of the world, and allowing them to whisper a story in your ear. Imagine. . .

Author’s Note: Mythopoeic Award-winning book BREATH AND BONE featured a race who danced in the moonlight on the winter solstice.
SCAVENGER HUNT QUESTION (1 of 5): What is the name of the main character in THE LIGHTHOUSE DUET series? Click here to visit Carol’s website.

Also remember that you can win twice! Collect the scavenger hunt answers, and also leave a comment to enter a random drawing for a signed copy of FLESH AND SPIRIT! The winner of Carol’s book will be announced in this post tomorrow morning.

*Please note, that the correct answers to the scavenger hunt questions must be sent in at one time. You must collect all 5 answers and send them in one email. Entries for the scavenger hunt will be accepted from Friday, December 18th thru Sunday, December 20th at midnight ET. The winner will be announed on this blog Monday, December 21st, 2009. If you have any questions about this contest, please contact contests(AT)

Are you a Kitty? A Shea? Or maybe even a Pilar? Find out which Bunco Babe you most resemble and enter to win a chance for an autographed copy of BUNCO BABES TELL ALL and a $50 gift certificate to Borders.

I’m excited to announce that my second Bunco Babes book, BUNCO BABES GONE WILD, is just a few weeks away from release!

Here’s the cover blurb: Georgia Meyer needs some time to think-and what better place to get her head on straight than Whispering Bay, Florida, in the company of her sister Frida and her sister’s Bunco-playing friends, aka the Bunco Babes? Georgia’s boyfriend-and boss-Spencer Moody made a slight miscalculation in the romance department and gave her a calculator instead of an engagement ring. So she needs some sisterly advice, in between rolling dice and drinking frozen margaritas, as to her next move. While considering subtracting Spencer from her life, Georgia meets the very handsome Dave Hernandez. Unfortunately when a Bunco night gets a little out of hand, Georgia reveals more of herself to Dave than she intended. Now, as she helps the Babes prepare for a Bunco Black Tie fundraiser, she needs to search her heart-and keep her shirt on-long enough to decide if a love affair with Dave might be a dream come true.

“This light escapist fare continues the adventures that began with Bunco Babes Tell All. It’s entertaining, amusing, and conveys the idea that whatever else is going on in a woman’s life, good or bad, it’s wonderful to have a group of friends to share it all with.” 4 stars, Romantic Times Book Club Reviews

“Geraci’s sexy, funny debut is an emotionally satisfying story of love, friendship, family and community.” The Chicago Tribune on BUNCO BABES TELL ALL

In order to celebrate my new release, I’m a running a contest on my website. All you have to do is take the quiz then follow the instructions at the bottom of the page. It’s simple. And fun! Plus, I know you’re dying to find out whether (as Steve, my hero from BUNCO BABES TELL ALL, says) you’re the nice one, the hot one or the sharp one!

Guest Blogger Jessica Andersen: Who Scares You?

Thursday, August 13th, 2009
UPDATE: The winner of SKYKEEPERS by Jessica Andersen is maered! Congrats! Please email your physical addy to contests @ (remove spaces from email addy). Thanks for hanging out with us Jessica! Fab post! And thanks to everyone who participated. BTW, we have another great guest blog and giveaway planned for next week with a wonderful new mystery writer — so stay tuned!
Hello, and thanks to the awesome Knight Agency for inviting me to visit and talk about SKYKEEPERS: A NOVEL OF THE FINAL PROPHECY!

One randomly selected commenter will win a signed copy of NIGHTKEEPERS or DAWNKEEPERS, which are the first two books in this sexy series of paranormal thrillers. And, of course, SKYKEEPERS is in a bookstore near you!

Here’s the blurb:

Ancient prophecy holds that 12/21/2012 will bring a global cataclysm. Mankind’s only hope lies with the Nightkeepers, modern magic-wielding warriors who must find their destined mates and fulfill the legends to defeat the rise of terrible Mayan demons in the last few years leading up to 2012.

In SKYKEEPERS, Michael Stone is a man with a dark secret that has skewed his magical abilities dangerously toward the underworld. Seeking redemption, he sets out on a perilous mission to save the daughter of Ambrose Ledbetter, a renowned Mayanist who died before he could reveal the location of a hidden library. The Nightkeepers must find the library before their enemies gain access to its valuable cache of spells and prophecies.

Sasha Ledbetter grew up hearing heroic tales of an ancient group of powerful magi who were destined to save the world from destruction. She never expected that her bedtime stories would come to life in the form of Nightkeeper Michael Stone, or that she’d hold the key to the warrior’s survival. As Sasha and Michael join forces to prevent the imminent battle, sparks of attraction ignite between them, and they’re forced to confront the unexpected passion that brings them together … and also tears them apart.

This series (and particularly this book) often looks at what makes people afraid. In the largest sense, the overall arc is about the fear of death and endings: The Nightkeepers are fighting to keep the world from ending, and to keep themselves (and future generations) alive. But more, it’s about the fear of failure: The Nightkeepers’ parents sacrificed themselves in an effort to short-circuit the 12/21/2012 countdown, but it continued and their children grew up orphans, in many cases not realizing their true natures. Now reunited, the modern magi are struggling to find their footing amidst new magic, ancient prophecies, and things that go bump in the night.

Within each story, the hero and heroine must deal with more personal fears. In SKYKEEPERS, Michael fears the loss of control—of his temper, his soul, the situation around him … and his heart. Likewise, Sasha fears change, growth, and learning the truth about her father and herself.

I think we can all relate to these fears, some of which might reflect back on our own lives. The concept of a relatable fear is in part what makes us (as readers) connect with a story, even if it’s about something that might not be part of our daily lives, such as Mayan magi, or vampires, or aliens … The world of the story might interest us, but without a relatable character, it’s just a world. It’s the characters that help us connect.

Beyond the ‘big picture’ stuff, smaller fears can become important details that help bring characters to life. In the fourth book in this series (DEMONKEEPERS, April ’10), the hero is recovering from a demonic possession that kept him trapped inside his own skull for nearly a year. As such, he emerges badly claustrophobic, to the point that he avoids his own couch because its soft, enfolding cushions and high arms make him feel trapped.

Most often, these small details about a character emerge as I’m writing the story. Sometimes I don’t even know why someone has a certain phobia at first, only to see it later and think, “Duh. Of course!” But by the same token, (as a writer) don’t be afraid to think about your characters’ phobias and use them as quirks, or clues into that person’s backstory. As part of this, I’ve always thought that it’s interesting to look at the wide variety of phobias out there, and think about where they might stem from, and what interesting behaviors those fears might create.

Me? I’m afraid of spiders … specifically, of big brown spiders crawling into my ears (this stems from a baaad incident with a pair of earmuffs). I’m also not a big fan of heights or bridges.

So tell me … what small, strange thing scares you (or one of your characters) and if you’re willing to share … why???

Remember, all commenters are entered to win! The winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon. For more info on Skykeepers and the rest of the Keepers books, check out

Take Home Tuesday with Janet Mullany

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
UPDATE: The winner of A MOST LAMENTABLE COMEDY by Janet Mullany is elnice. Please send your physical addy to contests @ Thanks to all participants!
Reheating the Comic Omelette

This month my second Regency chick-lit,
A MOST LAMENTABLE COMEDY, was released and this is how I came to write it.

When I was seriously whipping into shape my 2007 book THE RULES OF GENTILITY I realized that it might be a good idea to prove to an editor that it wasn’t a one-off book. Instant panic ensued. My first reaction was Oh no, I’ve used up all my jokes!

The editor at Little Black Dress (UK) who bought Comedy wanted a similar style (hero/heroine first person, present tense, funny), so I’d established the formula but for my own entertainment and peace of mind I had to do something different.

I made a list of all the devices I’d used in RULES:

–A character who spoke without punctuation
–A fart joke (a first for the Regency historical, I’m proud to say)
–Funny acronyms (e.g. The Association for the Rescue and Succor of those in Extremis = ARSE)
–Most of the usual Regency tropes, such as the fake engagement, the fall from horseback in the Park, the Big Misunderstanding, high adventures in low places, the bluestocking identical twins, and the gay friend (probably not one of the usual Regency tropes but certainly a staple of chicklit).
–Letters between characters

I could reuse the devices of lists and letters (although there aren’t so many as in RULES) but I didn’t want to repeat myself or write about another fashion-obsessed, naïve babbler. As much as I liked Philomena Wellesley-Clegg, the heroine of RULES, she was a bit overwhelming (which is incidentally why I came up with the idea of also writing the hero in first person; it cleared my literary palate). Although I thought initially I might write about the twins (I even had a title, THE WEIRD SISTERS OF BERKELEY SQUARE) I looked around for a character who was not at all like Philomena and found Lady Caroline, caught in intimate circumstances with the hero early on in Rules and quite definitely a Bad Girl.

Caroline Elmhurst, in Mrs. Giggles words, is a gloriously flirtatious hussy with a PhD in gold digging. The hero, Nicolas Congrevance, has had a disgraceful career as a gigolo; a good-hearted and sympathetic one, but still a gigolo. I was so appalled at his behavior that I invented a few other professions for him such as ratcatcher, music teacher, and cabinetmaker (he’s good with his hands in more ways than one). Interestingly, no one yet has complained about his anti-heroic qualities.

Furthermore, taking a suggestion made by Bob Mayer in one of his workshops, I started off with both characters in trouble (she’s escaping creditors and he nearly drowns while evading a jealous husband)—people with real problems, and I think it made for a stronger, dare I say it, more serious book. Ahem. Don’t for a moment think this is a book about repentance, forgiveness and transformation—no knitting clubs or cottages full of rosy-cheeked children here (only those belonging to minor characters)—but Caroline and Nick discover what they really need: friendship and community as well as love (and money).

So that’s how it happened. I have two more books coming out from Little Black Dress, and the next, tentatively titled IMPROPER RELATIONS (2010), takes another new direction. Visit my website, for more information about me and my books, and thanks for having me visit today!

CONTEST: To win a signed copy of A MOST LAMENTABLE COMEDY by Janet Mullany, leave your name in the comments section. The winner will be announced tomorrow morning!

Eppie Awards Open for Registration!

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009
Registration opened today for the 2010 EPIC Awards, which will be awarded in New Orleans at EPICon next March. So, if you are an e-book author — make haste! The closing date for entries is August 15th. Find out more details on specific rules and regulations here. Good luck!!
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Take Home Tuesday Hosted by Author David Mack!

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

UPDATE: The winner of an autographed copy of THE CALLING by David Mack is heidi2524! Please send your physical addy to contests @ knightagenc (remove spaces). Big thanks to everyone who participated and especially David for writing such a fabulous post!

At first glance, my new urban fantasy THE CALLING might look like yet another “good vs. evil” showdown of super-powered people. I don’t deny it has those elements, but this isn’t merely a book (and, I hope, a series) about mystical heroes and villains who face off just to put the hurt on each other. THE CALLING is about a need I think many of us share: a desire to find something good in ourselves and in other people.

Several years ago when I first began working on THE CALLING, I knew I wanted to write a supernatural thriller about a protagonist whose “job” involves helping people in dire need. The challenge I faced was how to involve my main character in people’s lives. I thought about some mainstream TV series that had solved this problem in simple ways. Should my hero, Tom Nash, place classified ads as on The A-Team or The Equalizer? Should he wander from place to place getting into adventures, as on The Incredible Hulk or Kung Fu? How was my hero to know who really needed his assistance? Then the answer came to me: he hears them pray for help. Once that “hook” was in place, I realized this needed to be the story of people who are called to take action in the world, to get involved when others turn away.
As peculiar a notion as my hero’s “calling” might have seemed at first, I soon saw it as not all that different from the way some people feel their purpose in life is to put themselves at risk for others by serving as police officers, firefighters, or soldiers; or the way some people are drawn to professions in which they care for others, such as doctors, nurses, paramedics, psychologists, or the clergy. That became my touchstone as I considered my tale’s “big picture.” Behind its action, grit, and mystery, THE CALLING is about people struggling to bring out the best in each other as well as in themselves. So how about it, readers? Do you feel your profession is your calling? Or is your calling one you have yet to answer? Share your thoughts in the comments and leave your name for a chance to win a free copy of THE CALLING, personalized and autographed by yours truly! (U.S. and Canada residents only) Thanks for reading!

David Mack (Want a sneak peek at THE CALLING? Read Chapter One and Chapters Two & Three on my official site!)

Book In A Nutshell Contest Reminder

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
We are thrilled about all the amazing feedback our Book In A Nutshell Contest has generated! For all of you still hacking away at those all-important three sentences (or for those who don’t yet know about the contest), we wanted to remind you that April 20th @ midnight is the deadline to get them in!! Please find the reposted rules below. To see the questions and answers from the previous comment thread, click here.
Get noticed, get feedback, get an agent.

Here’s a chance to have your project reviewed by one of the agents at The Knight Agency. Submit three compelling sentences (150 words max) about your completed, unpublished manuscript to submissions @ (delete spaces). Write BOOK IN A NUTSHELL in the subject line or it will not be deemed eligible. One submission per project, please. Twenty of the best submissions will be chosen and requested by various agents who will then give feedback on your work…and it may even lead to possible representation. Hurry, the deadline is April 20, 2009. Winners will be notified by May 1, 2009.
Attention Book In A Nutshell Contestants! Due to the tremendous response we’ve received for this contest, we decided to post rules for some of the commonly asked questions that have come up. From this point forward, if you leave a question in the comment section we will address it by updating the FAQ document each Friday until the contest is complete! Thank you for your interest!!!
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