Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Then it was off to chilly Chicago to hang with the Chicago-North ladies. (Love those gals!) After that, I spent the weekend with my own chapter mates and sold out of all but one book!
I’m in Kansas now perfecting a presentation for the Kansas Writers Group. It turned into a long day, since I stopped at 7 books stores along the way and had lunch with an old college friend (who I hadn’t seen in nearly 20 years!)
OK…off to make some edits to my WIP while I’m still awake…
Monday, October 19, 2009
Here's the winning review:
Highland Dragon by Kimberly Killion
Publisher: Zebra Books (Kensington)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (318 pages)
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Queen Anne’s Lace
Scotland 1502. Akira Neish has been raised as a peasant, her belly often empty and her family subject to the cruel whims of her clan's laird. To the clan’s children, the horned shaped birthmark she bears means she is a witch. But she is neither peasant nor witch—and now the man who knows the truth has returned to claim her for his own.
Calin MacLeod has kept Akira's secrets and to avenge his father, the sensual young laird must marry her. He is more than a match for the fiery nature of the woman he adores. Yet the passion they share—and truths that can no longer remain hidden—could rip all of Scotland apart.
Akira Neish can fight like any man, climb trees like a monkey – although getting down is another story – and swear in four languages. The only man who holds her loyalty, besides her family, is her benefactor, the man whom she will marry. But she’s never met him, and after being captured by the enemy, fears she may never.
Calin MacLeod, the laird of clan MacLeod, vowed as he witnessed his father’s murder that he would lead clan MacLeod and get revenge on his enemy. He saves baby Akira, his bride-to-be, but the day he comes to claim her she’s been kidnapped. Will he be able to save Akira and enact his revenge, or will an old secret destroy any chance he and Akira have at love?
Highland Dragon is brisk, fast-paced, witty and completely sexy. The writing is crisp and concise with characters any reader can easily love. The point of view never jumps, and the scenes are well described and packed with delicious adjectives.
Highland Dragon brings medieval Scotland to life better than any other work I’ve ever read, employing authentic language, terminology and imagery while maintaining the story flow and not confusing the reader. I must award the author “A+++” on a fantastic job!
Ms. Killion is a talented story-teller. I plan to read any other novels she writes. Wonderful job for a writer who is definitely a must keep in the business. Don’t miss out on this must-read, fabulous novel.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Go vote if you get a chance. :)
READ THE FULL REVIEW...
Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009
Come save me...
This is my blog topic for the weekend where I'll be guest blogging with the gals at Romance Roundtable.
Grab a cup of java and stop by.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Also, my week long soirée begins today, and I'm giving away lots of books and a first chapter critique, so get thee to my contest page and sign up!
Friday, October 02, 2009
And get thee over to my contest page. I'm hosting a week long soirée.
AMAZON B&N BORDERS
THE HERO & HEROINE:
LAIRD CALIN MACLEOD & AKIRA NEISH
The untamed hiss of the next captive pierced through the drone of bidders. Hair black as midnight framed her porcelain face—a face twisted into a ferocious expression of revulsion. Oaths spewed from her mouth in English, French, Gaelic, and another language Calin didn’t recognize. Two sentries in black hooded robes restrained her, and unlike the other women, her hands were bound tightly behind her.
“Christ, that’s Akira,” Kendrick announced in a loud whisper then started for the dais.
“Nay.” Calin placed a firm hand on Kendrick’s chest. “Dinnae draw attention to us or our interest in her.” Calin spoke calmly enough, but his insides were erupting. If the guards dared to strike her, he was fully prepared to start a war.
She lunged at the men confining her to the platform. The woman certainly didn’t lack for spit and fire. She was a fighter. Though relieved he’d found her safe, Calin worried over their initial meeting. Introducing himself to his bride under these circumstances might prove to be an awkward task.
THE BEAST: LAIRD BAEN KINNON
Laird Baen Kinnon sat at his trestle table and clutched his throbbing skull. Morning always brought the same damned ache. The same frigid cold. Dawn’s light had already cut through the mist and crawled up the tower wall. Gray light cast a shadow over the young girl cowering in the corner of his solar. He pointed to a satchel atop a three-legged cuttie stool. “Fetch me that poke o’ herbs and come fill my cup with ale, wench.”
The girl shuffled across the moldy floor rushes to do his bidding. She’d spent the night curled up with a few orange cats in front of an empty hearth. Had he not been blind drunk, her pathetic bawling would have kept him up half the night. Luckily, the drink had swiftly overcome him.
Her tear-spiked lashes rose just enough for her to peek at him through dirty, pale hair as she handed him the satchel.
He grinned. Just being in his presence terrified her, and he had yet to touch her.
THE BROTHER: KENDRICK NEISH
Kendrick’s color turned red, his nostrils flared, and his pose took on the stance of an angered warrior. Calin suspected he would lose this battle just as Kendrick dove at him. Calin held one hand out as a shield, but Kendrick twisted that arm behind him. Within a blink, Kendrick cradled Calin’s head in the crook of his arm, constricting the air in his throat.
“Ye be on Kinnon soil, mon, and it would take verra little to snap your wee neck between my brawny arms.”
His comment was delivered with such force Calin couldn’t help but laugh at the man.
Kendrick leaned to the side to study him. “Are ye addlebrained, mon? Mayhap a wee bit light in the head?” Kendrick released him with a forceful shove into a bed of prickly pine needles.
THE MISTRESS: CATRIONA
A woman emerging from the woodland caught Akira's eye. Floating over the lush foliage of the knoll, the woman glowed beneath the fading sun. Beauty and grace surrounded her every step. Flowing pale blonde hair bounced at her waist. A slim figure curved neatly into slender hips under a plain ivory gown. No jewels graced her bodice or her neck, nor did she wear a plaid, but the woman carried herself with the dignity of a noble. As she stepped even closer, Akira was mesmerized by the perfection of her face. High cheekbones pointed to a mouth most men would betray their country for. Then Akira looked into a pair of silver eyes. Not a blemish of color hid in the flecks. Foreboding crawled up her spine. Immediately, Akira felt uncomfortable in her presence.
The woman embraced her in a cold hug. When she spoke, her teeth sparkled. “You must be Calin’s new wife. ’Tis such an honor to finally meet you.”
“I am Akira. And ye are?”
The woman’s smile broadened when she brushed her long blonde locks over her shoulder. “I am the laird’s mistress, Catriona.”
THE BRAGGART: JAIME MACLEOD
“Aye, M’lady. The name’s Jaime.” He, too, pressed his lips to her knuckles, but didn’t release her hand as Alec had. “I have nay wife, but if ye’ve any sisters as bonnie as ye, I’m sure to be lookin’.”
A blush heated her cheeks beneath Jaime’s flattery. Calin’s kin certainly excelled in the art of wooing. She fell into a trance under the dreamy hue of aqua-blue eyes. Jaime had a hint more blonde streaked through his beard, and she knew he would be strikingly handsome beneath his whiskers. Certainly, he would have no trouble finding a wife with his face.
THE SISTER: ISOBEL NEISH
Jaime held Akira's sister, Isobel, in his arms, and she looked as irritated as he looked happy.
“Put me down, ye heathen.” Isobel slapped Jaime’s chest while he twirled her into the chamber. “I swear ye are a swine, Jaime MacLeod. The mon tried to kiss me the whole way here.”
Although Isobel spoke to Akira, her stormy eyes never left Jaime’s face. He set her in a high-backed chair.
“Why did ye not ride with Kendrick?” Akira couldn’t contain her smile. Jaime was a devil, and she didn’t have to guess why he was clean-shaven.
“The brute insisted I ride with him.” Isobel’s flame-kissed locks fell in disarray over angry green eyes when she scowled at Jaime standing possessively overtop her.
THE AUNT & UNCLE: WANDA & KERK
“Ye should be ashamed o’ yourselves.” Calin’s Aunt Wanda rounded the entranceway and seated every man with a piercing gaze. Dark-red fiery tresses framed the ire burning in her cheeks. Calin sensed the wrath she was about to unleash would topple the Devil’s battalion. Though unaware of how long she’d listened to their deliberations, he could only hope she sided with him. He needed an ally.
Wanda filled her lungs with air, glared at Uncle Kerk, and directed her long finger at him. “It galls me to call ye husband. Ye may as weel have branded her a whore. I’ve the mind to take a blade to your bollocks and have Mattie cook them slowly over the spit. Ye’ve nay use for them. Ye have displayed nay courage in the titles ye bear. Nay loyalty to your kinswomen.”
Uncle Kerk’s adam’s apple slid up and down while his eyes rounded. “Darling, ye—”
“Dinnae darling me, ye addleheaded arse. Think ye King James is a force to be reckoned with. Wait till your women hear o’ your decision.” Her eyes narrowed yet further. “Ye are worthless men. Ye think with your cocks and not with your minds. Weel, I hope your cocks keep ye warm at night, for your kinswomen will not.”
THE ADVERSARY: GORDON MACLEOD
Gordon, who was easily the oldest, wore a surly frown. The skin beneath his eyes weighed heavily downward, which told her laughter didn’t find his face often. He would undoubtedly be the hardest to befriend. She stood before him, matching his scowl. “That is assuming ye have wives. One might think it a difficult task to find a wife when one does not speak.”
Gordon didn’t respond, as she expected, nor did he return her look. Crossing her arms defiantly over her chest, she spoke to Calin, but never once removed her stare from Gordon. “M’laird, when I am your lady wife, will I have the authority to give your men permission to speak?”
“For the nonce, I’d like ye to give them permission to speak to me.” Akira thought she caught the hint of a smile threatening Gordon’s face, but she doubted he would crack so easily.
“Just because I give them permission does not mean they will exchange pleasantries with ye.”
She spun around to glare at Calin, her long tresses whipped over her shoulder with the sharp action. Pain stabbed her temples. This did nothing to improve her temper. “Then order them to converse with me.”
AKIRA'S CONFIDANT & HER WEAKNESS:
AILEEN MACLEOD & ANDREW MACLEOD
Alec, and a woman Akira guessed was Alec’s wife, Aileen, scurried after their children. Red-gold locks fell over her face when Aileen bowed. “A thousand pardons, M’lady. They dinnae know their manners.” Aileen attempted to peel the boy from Akira’s neck.
He wouldn’t let go. Wrinkling his nose, he gave his mother a sour expression and tightened his grasp.
Aileen apologized repeatedly. “Andrew, release M’lady this instant.”
“I cannae, Mammie. I love her.”
That did it.
Akira laughed outright while a blush burned her face to the tips of her ears.
Aileen forcefully pulled Andrew off and dropped him to his feet beside her. “Ye can love her from a distance.”
The boy snuggled into his mother’s skirts then gave Akira a tiny wave before sticking his thumb in his mouth. The boy had far too many teeth for such a habit and Akira knew, with nary a doubt, lil’ Andrew was coddled.
THE SUPPORTER: ELSBETH
Holding her hand, Akira noticed the bloodstains speckling her fingertips from multiple pinpricks. But what intrigued her more, were the faint remnants of bruises on her wrists and forearms, and the yellow tint of an aged bruise alongside her high cheekbones. Why would such a timid woman carry such marks? And especially one with child?
“Elsbeth, do ye stay in the keep or have ye a family?” Akira queried nonchalantly, wanting to know more about her.
“I live outside the bailey with my husband, Ian, and my son.”
“So ye already have one child. Ye and your husband must be excited about the arrival of your second.” Akira knew she’d overstepped her bounds. Elsbeth really wasn’t showing to the degree anyone might notice, but Akira had seen her hand flatten over her stomach at least twice while the woman had dressed her.
Elsbeth caressed her stomach. “I am not very far along. Ian does not yet know.”
Of course, there are many more characters;
Lena Kinnon—The BEAST's wife (Akira's mother)
Darach Kinnon—supposed son of Baen Kinnon
Murrdock and Vanora—Kendrick and Akira’s "parents"
Riona and Fiona—Akira's sisters
Logan Donald—Maggie's husband
Father Harrald—Man of the cloth of the Isle of Skye
Sister Esa—Nun at Beauly Priory.
Evie and Tara—Akira’s Maids
Thursday, October 01, 2009
It's October! I should probably dazzle you with wit or teach you something of value like the importance of action tags over dialogue tags, but I'm not going to...why? Because my second release, HIGHLAND DRAGON, hit the shelves today. (Kinda)
Here's the thing...the publisher said the release date was October 6th, but the street date and the online date are different from what I gather. And what's even more exciting is that HIGHLAND DRAGON went to a second printing before its release date!! Whoot!! I'm so thrilled to have this blog spot today to tell you about the book. You see HIGHLAND DRAGON is the book of my heart. I actually wrote it before my debut, HER ONE DESIRE.
To expand...HIGHLAND DRAGON is the book I put through the ringer on the contest circuit. She brought home more than a dozen finals and seven first place wins. She has made me proud but consumed me for more than a year. Blood, seat, and tears I tell ya!
Now I can hardly go on and on about this book without giving you a little taste, now can I? :)
And get thee over to my contest page. I'm hosting a week long soirée where I'm giving away books and a critique.
Remember...Fall in Love Everyday... ;)
Secrets and lies have a price that must be paid in blood through the generations. In medieval Scotland, Laird Calin MacLeod must choose between avenging his father's death and surrendering to the passion he finds in the arms of his enemy's daughter.
EXCERPT of HIGHLAND DRAGON by Kimberly Killion
"The devil himself could seduce a maiden in this solar."
Calin lifted one brow beneath her fingertips. "I have nay intention of seducing ye."
"If ye dinnae intend to seduce me, how are ye to take my…virginity?"
A rogue's grin curled one side of his mouth, as if he knew something she didn't. "I'll never force ye to do anything ye dinnae want to do. Nor will I touch ye anywhere ye dinnae want to be touched. Tonight, Akira MacLeod. Tonight, ye will take your own virginity. I'll just offer my…assistance."
Akira hooted. "Though I admit to being ignorant to…matters of…coupling, I am certain ye will need to participate in…this."
"I intend to participate fully," he assured then dropped her to her feet. He turned from her and proceeded to disrobe to his plaid. Pale white scars veining his back spoke of the time he'd spent in battle, and she knew he displayed them and the blue battle rings with pride. She wanted to know the depth of his losses, but now wasn't the time to speak of war.
He washed briefly at the basin then turned back to her, exposing the golden ripples of a magnificent chest. He settled casually onto the high-backed bench cushioned with burgundy damask. Careful not to topple the two goblets of wine on the dressing table, he scooped up a handful of rowan berries from a wooden bowl and popped them, one by one, into his mouth.
"Would ye like to start seducing me now or wait 'til the bed has been blessed?"
She knew nothing about seducing a man, but the thought of it made her insides thick and her breasts heavy. Her nerves spiked and she could do little more than banter with him. "I think ye are arrogant, Calin MacLeod. And if ye think I'll be the one ravishing ye, ye are deceiving yourself."
"Tsk, tsk, wife. Ye must conserve your energy. Ye are going to need it." Calin revealed his dimples with this threat while his eyes traveled leisurely over her body.
She remained standing in the middle of the room, hoping Father Harrald would arrive quickly. Calin's heated gaze made her feel naked and vulnerable. How did he do that? The heavy gown she wore suddenly felt as thin as a threadbare shift. Her skin tingled against the silk and she wondered if she'd just married the devil. Only a hex could make her feel this wanton. He chewed slowly on the berry he'd just popped in his mouth, and her body tightened, wanting to know the feel of those lips on her skin. She crossed her arms over her breasts in an effort to subdue the sensations flitting inside her. Closing her eyes, she asked God's forgiveness for her sinful thoughts.
Her prayers were answered when Father Harrald staggered through the open door, bringing with him the smell of burning frankincense. Kendrick, Gordon, and Alec guarded the entranceway behind her as if she might bolt from this duty. Admittedly, the thought had occurred to her.
Silent reverence filled the room as the priest spread a cloth over the tabletop and prepared the oils. Calin remained seated while Father Harrald made the sign of the cross against his forehead. The priest then wavered slightly when he turned to her and did the same. He proceeded to sprinkle the bed with holy water and recite the prayer that would bless their union. Her tension eased when the priest turned and stood before her again. His dark eyes glazed with approval when he opened his mouth to speak.
"Father Harrald," Gordon shouted from behind, "your duty is done. 'Tis time we return to the festivities."
Father Harrald offered her a faraway look and kissed her on the forehead saying nothing more.
Alec stepped forward, his eyes downcast. "Aileen is in the corridor if ye have need of a maid to prepare ye, m'lady."
"She has nay need of a maid. I will prepare her."
Even Father Harrald grinned at Calin's comment, and Akira was sorely tempted to kick all of them. Before she could offer her own barb, the men ushered Father Harrald from the room and left her in silence with her husband.
"The bed has been blessed, and I believe ye were about to seduce me."
OK...so since I'm in PR mode...anyone else have a release out this month? Tell us about it...