Friday, October 28, 2011

FRIDAY FIRSTS with Cynthia MacGregor

The first five sentences of... LOST LOVES REUNITED

Star-crossed lovers, separated by time, by fate, by their families, by circumstances … only to be reunited years later. It’s the stuff of Hollywood tear-jerkers.
            It’s also the stuff of real life … as this book proves.
            All the stories in here are true to the best of my knowledge. They were sent to me by people responding to requests I disseminated in online publications, in old-fashioned “snail mail” mailings, and by word of mouth.

Readers can purchase Cynthia's book here.


1. What’s the first thing you do after you wake up in the morning (other than using the restroom LOL)?
My days all begin the same: I get out of bed by or before 5 AM—sometimes very much before—and after a quick “pit stop” in the bathroom, where I also put on my clothes (because I don’t want to get dressed in the dark of the bedroom, and the light would waken my sleeping S.O., who does not keep my hours!), I grab a cup of iced coffee (black, no sugar) and head to the computer. Email takes the better part of an hour, by which time the newspaper has arrived, and that takes another hour. Then there are certain websites I check each morning, and after that I’m ready to start work.

Depending on what I have going on, “work” might mean a paying writing or editing assignment for a client, working on a book I’m writing, reading an edited copy of one of my books or what I still think of as “galleys,” though they aren’t called that anymore, doing publicity for one of my books, editing the ezine that I publish every Friday, lining up guests for my TV show, or some other task.

2. What was your first date with your significant other?
My first date with my S.O. was pretty much standard for me: I cooked him dinner. We’d been talking after services at church, where he’d been the guest speaker, and he said he wanted to sit down with me and talk about writing. Intrigued with him and hoping the evening would evolve into something more than a professional discussion, I offered to cook dinner for him one evening. (I love to cook—it’s my hobby.) Well, needless to say (since we’re living together now), the evening didn’t remain on a professional plane, though the convo ranged far and wide before it became personal.

3. What’s the first thing you notice on an attractive member of the opposite sex?
Voice and personality. Though I’ve been turned off by looks, I’ve never been turned on by looks. But then, I’m not a visual person. A wise friend explained this about myself to me decades ago: Just as most people are right-handed but a few are lefties, most people are visual but a few are audial (or aural). Those of us in this minority relate more to what we hear than what we see, learn more by hearing than reading, remember better what we heard than what we saw, and so on.

Because I am not a visual person, I have never been attracted to a man based on his looks. On the other hand, being an audial person, it just figures that a guy’s voice can do a serious number on me.

And personality? Definitely!

But looks? Nah-ah. In fact, a long time ago, when I was married, I was filling out some kind of form or another that asked the color of my husband’s eyes and I had to ask him. I honestly did not know! (He told me they were brown.) I had never noticed. But I bet that if hypothetically he were to call me up today, I’d recognize his voice!

More About Cynthia:
“There’s no one in the world I’d want to trade lives with.” So says Cynthia MacGregor, prolific author of 54 conventionally published books and over 50 e-books…and that’s not counting the books she’s ghostwritten for others. When she’s not crafting another self-help book, cookbook, novel, general non-fiction work, or children’s book, she offers her writing and editing services to “anyone who needs me…and will pay me.” Besides ghostwriting books and blogs, she’s written web copy, catalog copy, two scripts for promotional videos, press releases and flyers, and “just about anything else…except for grant proposals and college papers. I won’t do either of those.” Cynthia has edited both books and magazines, as well as web copy, and loves editing almost as much as she loves writing.
            For the last year and a half, she has also hosted and produced Solo Parenting, a weekly TV show that airs in South Florida, and as of this writing she is waiting with bated breath to see whether the show will be renewed for another season, a decision that supposedly is imminent. As well, she is siteowner of Her professional website is
            Cynthia has lived in South Florida since 1984, before which she was a New Yorker. You can reach her at

Friday, October 21, 2011

FRIDAY FIRSTS with Laurie London

First five sentences of...
Enchanted By Blood
from the anthology A Vampire for Christmas

“So who are you planning to kill?”

Trace Westfalen didn’t glance over at the sound of his friend’s voice. Instead, he shoved his phone into an inner pocket of his suit, strode to the wet bar in the corner of the conference room and poured himself a straight shot of Jack. Without waiting for his fangs to retract, he drained it in one swallow.

“I wish,” he said, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “That would improve my mood substantially.”
(Becky here: Okay, so that's six sentences, but I liked that sixth one... )

Laurie will give away a signed copy of her book to one lucky commenter this weekend! We will draw a name on Sunday.


Q: What was the first Rated R movie you saw?
My first R rated movie was Saturday Night Fever. I saw it with a bunch of my horse-riding friends and our instructor. But the one I remember the most was seeing Body Heat with my dad. OMG, I was mortified watching all those sex scenes with him right next to me.
Q: What was the first romance novel you read?
I don’t remember the title or many of the details, only that I loved it! It was a Harlequin (I think) and the cover had a woman wearing a beautiful, flowing purple dress and the man had an unbuttoned, ruffled white shirt. He was a pirate ship captain who was secretly an aristocrat, and she was a woman who’d stowed aboard his ship. My sister (yes, Becky, you!) thinks I got it from my boyfriend’s mom, but I think a shirttail relative who lived with us for a couple of weeks left it at our house a few years earlier. (I was 15 when I was “going with” that boy, but I think I started reading romance before that.) Every month, Becky and I would buy several romances and swap them. I liked the daring ones about pirates and women in danger, while Becky liked family stories.  It’s funny, because our reading tastes are the same as they were back then.
Q: What’s the first thing you do when you start reading a new book?
I’m pretty methodical when I’m considering reading a new book. First, the cover and title need to catch my eye either online or in the bookstore. An uninspiring title is a turn off to me. Next, I read the back cover blurb to see if it sounds interesting. Then I read the first page of the book and then a random page inside to see if I like the writer’s style. And finally, I read the dedication and acknowledgments to see what the author has to say in his/her own voice. In fact, my love for reading this often overlooked part a book prompted me to create a weekly feature on my blog called Thank You Thursday, where authors talk about their book’s dedications and acknowledgments.
You can buy A Vampire For Christmas at Amazon, B&N, most online bookstores and on the shelves of your favorite stores.
About Laurie: A graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and a former tester/programmer for a Fortune 500 company, Laurie London writes from her home near Seattle where she lives with her husband and two children.

When not writing, she can be found running, reading, or riding and showing her horse. Someday she hopes to qualify for the Quarter Horse World Show – that is, if her horse doesn’t get hurt again.

Friday, October 14, 2011

FRIDAY FIRSTS with Nicki Greenwood

The first five sentences of...WATER

“Son of a...” Trent Williams dropped his wallet and cell phone in front of the paneled door of the Seaglass Inn’s Clipper Room. By some miracle, he managed to save his bottle of Dom PĂ©rignon from crashing to the floor beside them. He breathed a sigh of relief. The ancient owner of the inn wouldn’t appreciate him staining her immaculately polished hardwood flooring.


1. What was your first date with your significant other?
We went to an amusement park. It was a blind date (well, I had seen a picture of him ... in a kilt, which is what got my attention *g*). I spent most of the day staring at him and trying not to stare at him. At the end of the night, we got to ride the roller coaster three times in a row. He was so psyched up with adrenaline afterward that he lifted the back end of my friend’s four-door sedan, just because he could. That got my attention again. Eventually, I married him!

2. What’s the first thing you notice on an attractive member of the opposite sex?
Definitely the eyes. A person’s eyes tell a lot about him, and while the whole package is important, it all starts there for me.

3. If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you’d buy?
A horse! My first love was horses, and I keep telling myself that someday, I’ll have one of my own. The world just looks right from horseback, no matter what kind of mood you were in before you got up there.

About Nicki:
Nicki Greenwood graduated SUNY Morrisville with a degree in Natural Resources. She found her passion in writing stories of romantic adventure, and combines that with her love of the environment. Her works have won several awards, including the Rebecca Eddy Memorial Contest. Her first book, “Earth,” debuted in 2010 through The Wild Rose Press.

Nicki lives in upstate New York with her husband, son, and assorted pets. When she's not writing, she enjoys the arts, gardening, interior decorating, and trips to the local Renaissance Faire.

To order your own copy of WATER, visit The Wild Rose Press. Visit Nicki at for news, reviews, excerpts, contests, and book trailers!

Friday, October 7, 2011

FRIDAY FIRSTS with Melissa Jarvis

First five sentences of...PAST HER TIME

Paris, 1793
 Alex sprawled on the ground, her breath escaping in a rush, skirts tangled around her as the man landed on top of her with a grunt. One of his large hands groped at her bodice, the other fumbled with his breeches. She arched her back, drew up one leg and shoved her knee against his groin.

“S’en aller,” she hissed in French, her meaning clear.

The man rolled off her with a loud curse and lay on the dirt road, holding tight to his treasured privates.  


1. What was the first Rated R movie you ever saw?
House.  You know, the one that starred William Katt as a novelist who moves into a haunted house?  It was from the eighties, and my parents had a party going on, so they agreed to rent a movie for me.  I was only 13 and chose that one—they didn’t know it was rated R! Great fodder for the imagination though.  I suppose that’s why my first published short story was a twist on the Headless Horseman legend.  Alas, my house is not haunted. 
2. What’s the first thing you do when you sit down each day to write?
Sit?  What do you mean sit?  Half the time I don’t sit down to write; I’ve got the laptop on the table while trying to keep my five year old from chasing the dogs, creating art with his juice, tearing apart his legos which then need fixing…I do a lot of writing standing up.  In five minute increments.  I find it especially hard to write love scenes when my child informs me proudly he’s going poopy in the potty.  I just pray none of this winds up in a scene, can you imagine?  The soiree was already in full swing, with gowns rustling and wary glances at the Committee Agents.  The guests weren’t worried about losing their heads to champagne, but rather to Madame La Guillotine.  Gabriel turned to Alex.  “May I get you a sippy cup of apple juice?” 
3. What was your first date with your significant other?
It was so romantic.  The lights were low, the stars were shining, he held my hand tightly… and then snorted Coke out of his nose at Jim Carrey’s elephant butt scene in Ace Ventura Pet Detective When Nature Calls.  I suppose that should have warned me about what was to come—but we’re still married 11 years later. 

About Melissa: A mild-mannered Public Relations executive by day, and action-packed writer by night, Melissa Jarvis lives in celebrity-friendly Southern California with her husband and son.  For over 14 years, she has worked in the public relations industry, doing press releases, bios, newsletters, media campaigns and more for clients ranging from the Playboy Jazz Festival to the Los Angeles Mission to JVS.  And she’s survived with most of her mind intact!  An active member of RWA, she writes both paranormal romance and urban fantasy, as well as spicy paranormal under the name Melissa L. Robert.  She is currently working on the sequel to Past Her Time, featuring agent Banderan’s story.