Friday, May 23, 2014

Diane Burton and The Chameleon

I’m so happy to once again host fellow MMRWA member Diane Burton! I’ve read several of Diane’s books, because they always offer great adventures and loveable, believable characters – even though they often live in other worlds! Diane has a brand new release to share with us today – it’s the second in her Outer Rim series, and it’s called The Chameleon. Let’s see what Diane has to say about one of the issues prevalent in this book:


Are people who they seem to be? Remember when you were a child and Mom said to be on your best behavior? Or there was your “church” behavior and recess behavior. A friend of mine and I often talk about the behavior of her five-year-old son and my four-year-old grandson. So similar. On the Friday of the first week of school, her boy came home, drop his backpack, and started screaming at her. He was so wound from being good in school, he had to let it out. My husband and I know better than to take our grandkids out to dinner on a Friday night. They’ve behaved so well in school that they can’t be “good” anymore.
When I taught elementary school, I was amazed when I told parents how well behaved their children were and the parents didn’t believe me. According to them, their kids were hellions at home. Then there was the reverse—kids being raised in such a restrictive atmosphere at home, let it all out at school. It wasn’t until I had my own kids that I understood the phenomenon.
The face some people show the world is not who they really are. In a small way, we all do that. It’s part of getting along in society. Think about Star Trek’s Spock, especially in the latest movie, Into Darkness. When Kirk is mad at him for revealing all in his report to the superiors, Spock says as a Vulcan he can’t lie. He doesn’t get the difference between being truthful and protecting his captain and friend. Most of our husbands when ask that dreaded question “does this make me look fat” evade or outright lie. The life he saves may be his own.
Then there are the criminals who hide women in their attic, abusing them, and the neighbors say he was such a nice man. Serial killers like sweet Norman Bates or pedophiles who are such great coaches are other examples. The person they present to the world is not who they are.
In The Chameleon, Jileena Winslott is not who she appears to be. She hates this dual personality and just wants to be herself. More importantly, she wants the man who has haunted her dreams since she was twelve to see the real her—not the fluff-brain Baby Winslott. What will she have to do to convince him she’s intelligent and capable without revealing her secret mission?

Blurb for The Chameleon:

Legally Blond meets Mata Hari

Socialite Jileena Winslott has perfected the image of the spoiled, rich, bubble-headed daughter of an industrial magnate. In reality, she’s a smart, savvy aide to her father in social situations where she is his eyes and ears. She yearns to be her true self and run the family business. When her father sends her on a covert mission to the Outer Rim, she has the chance to prove herself. Big problem. He insists she take along a fake fiancĂ©—the man she’s secretly loved for years.

Security Officer Laning Servary has better things to do than babysit a spoiled rich girl on a tour of the Frontier. If he refuses, he can kiss his career good-by. Then Jileena’s father sweetens the pot. If Laning keeps her safe, his family will receive the land they share-crop. He can’t refuse.

In the close quarters of her ship, Laning and Jileena discover they aren’t who they seem. Pirates, weather, and her recklessness threaten to derail the mission. As Laning and Jileena revise their impressions of each other, they’ll have to make hard choices about their goals. Can their budding love survive?

Excerpt from The Chameleon:

“The company belongs in the family,” Jileena said.
“You have to accept that your brother is dead.”
Despite her heartache, she stood in front of her father, hands on her hips, determined to bring this to a head. She’d danced around the subject long enough, dropping hints that he ignored. He may have groomed her older brother to take over, but she wasn’t going down without a fight. “I am family.”
With his trademark stare—one that made competitors back off and employees quake—he pinned her in place. “You don’t have what it takes to replace me.”
His remark sent such an arrow of hurt through her she snapped, “Neither did Konner.” The moment the words left her mouth, she wanted to retract them.
Father slumped back in his chair. The desolation in his expression broke her heart.
Immediately, she dropped to her knees in front of him. “I’m so sorry, Daddy. I shouldn’t have—”
In a gesture she remembered from childhood, he smoothed her hair away from her forehead then tipped up her chin. “What you say is true. He had no stomach for this cutthroat business. And neither do you, thank the Divine One.” He patted her head twice. “You don’t have to worry about that. Now get up. We have work to do. Plans to make.”
“Baby, I’m sending you to Galeria 7 to check out this discovery.”
“To the Outer Rim?” Jileena’s jaw dropped. While her father had sent her on discreet missions before, he’d never sent her that far from the Central Planets—especially since Konner had died out on the Frontier.
“You will check the site and do your own analysis. Put that geology degree of yours into practice. If, indeed, it is high-grade lambidium, you will negotiate mining rights with the local tribe.”
He’d done it again and seemed to enjoy surprising her. He couldn’t mean it. He wasn’t sending her. He had to be teasing. Yet he’d never been intentionally cruel. At least, not to her.
“I certainly can’t send Sindaro. As soon as reporters learn he left for the Rim, rumors would fly and negotiations would fail.”
He was right about that. If secrecy was paramount, Father had to send someone whose presence was innocuous. Someone like his fluff-brained daughter.
“Discretion is imperative. No one will suspect you are going out to the Rim for anything other than a vacation.”
Hope began to trickle through her. He’d never had her negotiate anything as important as mining rights. He was giving her a chance. A chance to prove herself.

The Chameleon is available at Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

About the Author:

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website:

Connect with Diane Burton online at her Blog and on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Books by Diane Burton:
         Switched, Too
         Switched Resolution
         The Pilot: An Outer Rim Novel
         The Chameleon: An Outer Rim Novel
         One Red Shoe
         How I Met My Husband (contributor)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Author Highlight: Melissa Keir

I am so pleased to have Melissa Keir as my guest today! Melissa is a fellow member of the Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America. She’s also a busy mom, teacher, and publisher as well as an author.  Today she’s here to share with us about her newest release, Protecting His Wolfe.

Betsie Wolfe is a small-town girl who leaves her cozy little life for a job in the big city, never expecting to become a witness to a murder or face vicious threats.
Detective Jonah Pigg is attracted to Betsie’s green eyes and small frame when he arrives on the scene of the murder.
When the threats begin, he takes her into his home under the protection of the three Piggs who own the Pigg Detective Agency. It will take all his detective work to keep her safe from the killer.
Passion has a way of igniting when people are under stressful situations, and lust leads Betsie and Jonah into each other’s arms. But is their relationship a matter of desire, or is it something more?

Late one October evening, after most of the staff had left, Betsie chose to get the last of the filing done before heading out, hoping to earn some bonus points from Miss Hildebrand, the imperious clerical supervisor at Anderson. After all, nobody waited at home for her.
She kicked off her shoes and wiggled her toes, glad to be free of the fashionable toe-pinchers after a long day. Grabbing the stack of papers, she walked over to the tall filing cabinet. She sniffed and sneezed. “Julie must have worn the whole bottle of Chanel this morning.” Her co-worker’s “more is better” perfume policy made their close quarters trying at times. Juggling the folders in one arm, she pushed the window open for fresh air then sat on the floor to sort the files. Perhaps Mrs. Hildebrand, the old dragon who ran the secretarial pool, would appreciate her efficiency and lay off her for once.
Few, if any, other staff members remained so late in the day. Only the soft hum of the fluorescent lights broke the quiet, and she was able to work quickly without all the interruptions of the business day.
As she finished alphabetizing A-L, harsh voices echoed from outside, startling her.
Who could that be? She crept closer to the window, but found it too high to see the people below. Perhaps she shouldn’t have stayed alone at night, no matter how it might benefit her career.
“Do you have the stuff?” The voice sounded familiar. She scrunched her eyes, trying to envision the person behind the sound.
“Yes, I do, but the drugs are hidden until you pay me twice the amount we agreed on.”
She held her breath and crouched behind the file cabinet, afraid to make a sound. Is that Mr. Anderson? Why is my boss talking about drugs?
“That’s not the way to do business. We agreed on a fee. I did the loading and driving. I had all the risk.” The rough voice took on a menacing tone with a rasp that sounded like he—and it was clearly a man— had smoked three packs of cigarettes a day for twenty years.
“But it’s my company and my name on those trucks, which means I’m taking the biggest risk if we get caught moving your drugs. So the amount is double.”
Betsie’s heart raced. She’d never known anyone who’d been involved in dirty business, and now she was working for one. I wish I hadn’t worked late. Her leg hurt from her cramped posture, and she rubbed her calf to try to ease the pain. Closing her eyes, she retraced in her mind the office layout and an escape route. Just in case.

Buy Links:
Protecting His Wolfe is available at Amazon, All Romance EBooks, Barnes and Noble,  and Kobo.

Book Trailer URL:

More About Melissa:
Melissa Keir has always wanted to be an author when she wasn’t hoping for a career as a race car driver. Her love of books was instilled by her mother and grandparents who were avid readers. She’d often sneak books away from them so that she could fantasize about those strong alpha males and plucky heroines. In middle school and high school, Melissa used to write sappy love poems and shared them with her friends and still has those poems today! In college, her writing changed to sarcastic musings on life as well as poems with a modern twist on fairy tales and won awards for her writing and books. You can find many of these musings along with her latest releases on her website and blog.
As a writer, Melissa likes to keep current on topics of interest in the world of writing. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America, Mid-Michigan RWA Chapter, and EPIC. She is always interested in improving her writing through classes and seminars.
Melissa doesn’t believe in down time. She’s always keeping busy. Melissa is a wife and mother, an elementary school teacher, a book reviewer, owner of a publishing company as well as an author. Her home blends two families and is a lot like the Brady Bunch, without Alice- a large grocery bill, tons of dirty dishes and a mound of laundry. She loves to write stories that feature happy endings and is often seen plotting her next story.

Author Links: You can find Melissa at her website, blog, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Understanding Men

While writing, I often have to ask my husband how he would react in certain situations. But there are times when he can't (or won't) explain things to me. Sascha Illyvich is here to tell us a little bit about the Male Mind. He's the author of books in several different genres, including his soon-to-be-released Kisses Fall.

Deep POV in the Male Mind

Going deep into a hero's POV includes not just during the plot and main part of the story but during sex too.  Especially if we're writing romance, the deep point of view of the hero is important.  Showing how he feels while doing the deed and linking it to both the thoughts he's having (remember from my course) and the emotions he's hiding because of said thoughts is important in any romance novel, but especially in erotic romance. 

By going deeper into his point of view, we the reader can connect better with him, making him more memorable.  During sex scenes, make sure you emphasize sensations.  Men are sensual creatures, truly.  Most of us are just too dumb to realize it.  Case in point, Lori Foster's Drew from Back in Black was a total ass and alpha male who objectified women left and right, until he met his match in Gillian Noode, his PR expert.  We get the sense from Foster drawing out his behavior that Drew is an ass, until he beds Gillian.  He's still an ass while bedding her but we get the sense that not only does sex feel good but it feels good BECAUSE of her.  Her smell, her hands, her responses, her feel around him in all aspects of the word, he notices. 

Remember that while you're in his deep POV, the world looks as it does through his eyes.  If he's having sex on a desk but would fuck on it, then say it.  If he's a sweeter hero, it's okay to use the softer language to describe the world. I will say the caveat here has to do with genitals.  I don't know a single man outside medical fetishists or professionals who call it a Penis.

That's just a personal note however ;)

The reason for looking at the world through his eyes is obvious to the writer but to the reader, when you can draw the reader in deeper because the males are thinking in a very logical manner.  Note this doesn't apply to all of the archetypes both in reality or fiction but that's another  blog post for another date!

For more on how to write the male POV, join us at Savvy Authors June 16-22nd for Male POV – How to Create Better Heroes.  And be sure to stop by here to learn about Jaded Males – My Speciality!

Sascha Illyvich