Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Romance Bundle Coming at a Book Seller Near Your Pinky Finger!

FEBRUARY 1, 2016

Containing 5 full-length novels: 

MIDNIGHT HEAT by Sarah Grimm
THE DRAKE HOUSE by Kelly Moran
GIFT OF THE REALM by Mackenzie Crowne
For some of us, this is our first foray into self-publishing and we're excited...and scared...and hopeful. STORM'S INTERLUDE was the first book I ever had published. That was nearly five years ago. Since then I've gotten the rights back. I've revamped it, taken out some poorly written parts, and removed errors. Somehow in all that "deleting process," I added two-thousand words. Don't ask. You know how I am.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Pain and the Ecstasy of Book Reviews

I keep a close track of my book reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I check the numbers every day and if they change, I go read the new review. That would mean I have the numbers memorized for each book, wouldn't it?  *Looks around nervously*  Well, doesn't everyone? Please tell me I'm not the only author obsessed by what people have to say about his or her literary children.

I try to use my reviews as learning tools. Not easy to do when some make me cry or mad as hell--and some do. Like the reader who said my heroine cried 65 times in the book. What did she do? Keep a tally? Wouldn't my editors at Random House have noticed such active waterworks? Even I, an emotional ninny, have to admit 65 crying spells is excessive. The reviewer also said "the author ruined the book." Well, yes, I wrote it, so if it stunk...stank...smelled, then I am to blame. For that I'm sorry. But as I read over the rest of the reviews for this book, I noticed a few other readers noted the heroine was too weepy. So, there was a problem. Maybe not 65 problems, but enough for others to notice, too.

Note to self: Watch how many times my heroine cries.

So I tried writing stronger heroines. Less tears, more sass. A few reviewers said my heroine was bitchy. *Beats head on keyboard*

Note to self: Work on female characterization and work doubly hard at it!

Many readers love a tortured hero. I do, too. So, I took a giant leap and tried writing one, revealing bit by bit why he was the way he was. My critique partners said their hearts went out to him, that I'd captured his pain well. Some reviewers said the book was a mish-mash of emotions with the hero flip-flopping about what he wanted.

Note to self: Explain up front why the hero is tortured which goes against the "no backstory for the first chapter" rule. Work hard on doing both.

I enjoy a quick, crisp beginning and ending as a reader. Obviously I'm the exception. Several have said my endings are too abrupt. And--gasp--there is NO Epilogue.

Note to self: Develop a longer, stronger, more emotional ending.

Boy, do I have a lot to work on!!!

Now, I know I can't please everyone. If I could, I'd be a best seller. Heavens, I'm barely a blip on the romance writers' list.

I do take offense when the reviewer says I write on the third grade level. I wore myself down working nights in a factory and going to college fulltime during the day, while my sons were in college. It was the best time of my life. I slept when I could. I made the Dean's List. I loved the learning process. So, yeah, I took great offense to that remark. Sometimes a very small number of reviewers are just plain cruel. And I don't get that. We can all say we didn't enjoy a book because of X and Y, without a personal attack on the author.

Thank goodness for those who review with kindness, whether negatively or positively. I've had some lovely reviews. Many, in fact. My smile lasts all day on those. Odd how we seem to focus on the one or two bad ones and gloss over the good ones. That is so totally unfair, for they carry more value.

It takes time to take an idea and characters, develop both, write a rough draft, edit it, smooth out the rough edges, pound the story into shape, and rewrite chapters. Then read over it again. Delete portions. Add more. Fill in holes. Add a deeper layer of emotion and validation. Edit. Polish with a final edit and send it off, knowing you'll be editing that puppy at least two more times with your editor. Respect a writer's time with kindness. Point out something you liked about the story before you mention the book's shortcomings.

Have I ever read books I hated? Yes. Have I ever deleted a book from my Kindle before finishing it? Indeed I have. Have I reviewed them? No. I refuse to trash another writer's literary baby. I simply add the author's name to a list of writers not to buy.

To all of you who have reviewed my books with kindness and appreciation. Hugs!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Fireman Titles on Sale for a Short Time

Everyone loves a sale, especially around Christmas when there are so many extra expenses.  That's why I was so pleased when Amazon chose my Christmas novella, Santa Wore Leathers, for part of their special holiday sale during December. In conjunction, HarperImpulse placed my "Wild Heat" series on sale, too. I was especially glad since each of the three books sold for a different price. I could never figure that out. All three were roughly the same word count--75 to 78,000 words.


In Santa Wore Leathers, a fireman and marine rescue commander moves next door to a man-shy reporter, who owns a German shepherd, Einstein. Now, Einstein takes an instant liking to Dan Wolford, known as Wolf. His owner does not. She thinks he's a player, like her ex, with all these women coming and going from his townhouse. Women who, unbeknownst to her, are his sisters and sister-in-law. Meanwhile her dog tries to entice Wolf by leaving pairs of his owner's thongs at Wolf's door or on his Harley. Hey, they don't call the match-making dog Einstein for nothing.

This novella introduces the reader to Fire and Marine Rescue Station 32 in Clearwater, Florida. The reader gets to meet some of the hunks who fight fires and save lives.

In book one, How to Seduce a Fireman, Wolf's baby sister, Cassie, has just turned 21. She's crushed on Quinn Gallagher ever since he moved to Clearwater three years ago. There’s just one problem: he’s always made it clear dating is out of the question. But once a Wolford sets their sights on someone, that person doesn’t stand a chance! Cassie decides it’s time for Quinn to get a dose of his own medicine… and sets out to show him what he’s missing!

Quinn knows only too well what Cassie’s up to but he can’t give her what she wants. He isn’t good for anyone, much less someone as sweet as his angel. Fighting her off hurts like hell, but giving her false hope of a happy ever after would be damn cruel. That’s why he has to leave Clearwater.

Unfortunately, someone from his past has different ideas and when Cassie’s life is threatened this former CIA operative is staying put, prepared to crawl through hell and back to keep her safe. And it looks like he might just have to.

Molly Devon, a website designer, and her absent-minded father travel to Florida for two months of sun and sand. She wants to nurse a broken heart, and both need to scatter her mother’s ashes—if only her father can recall where he put them!

Grey Barclay, fireman and diver for the Marine Rescue Unit, is slowly remodeling Barclay Beach Bungalows, five little rental cottages he inherited from his uncle. It’s just his luck the first cabin he rents is to a prickly female and her daffy dad! Still, the money looks good in his bank account… that is until Molly’s ex-fiancĂ© turns up dead on Grey’s beach.


Graci-ella Santana is hired to photograph and produce a calendar of the hunky firemen of Station Thirty-two. Gossip flourishes about the sexy lady behind the camera… and her hands on approach to bring out every man’s best assets! Why, the firemen are practically falling over each other to be the next one posed to her satisfaction.

Boyd Calloway’s having none of it. He’s in the midst of a bitter custody battle with his ex-wife. The last thing he needs is to provide the drug-dealing ex’s unsavory lawyer with a calendar filled with suggestive photographs that might prove Boyd an unfit example to his son.

When the Captain at the station insists Boyd participate in the shoot, passion explodes between him and Graci-ella to a degree neither is ready or equipped to handle. She can’t commit. He can’t trust. Yet, neither can walk away from the other.

$1.99 EACH

Sunday, November 29, 2015

DIVINE by Cait Jarrod is Utterly Divine

DIVINE, Montana Dreams Book 1 November 23, 2015

Divine for headhunter
On sale until November 30, 2015

Divine's Blurb: Matt Carson and Trina Lovett befriend each other during turbulent times at a young age. Over the years, their friendship strengthens building a strong, unbreakable bond. At least that is what they believe. Life choices put an ocean between them, and the depth of their bond is tested. Under the stress of being apart, heart-wrenching events leave them plagued with doubt. Danger forces them to make irrefutable decisions about what they want from life.

Divine’s Book Trailer:

Divine Excerpt: “Hi, Trina!” The low, seductive voice came from beside her. Her muscles tensed. Excitement and dread each fought for a stance. Matt’s voice zinged her body, excited her nipples to beads, and caused her to squeeze her thighs together. “Matt,” she breathed. He looked good, too good. His worn jeans clung to his muscular thighs. The navy blue pullover brightened his heavenly eyes. Dreamy. His tanned face and five-o’clock shadow sent her gotta-have-it alarm screaming off the rails. Gorgeous, more striking than she remembered. She sucked in a hard, deep breath, and tried to reign in the excitement of seeing him, while battling the fear Cal would arrive any minute. “I owe you,” she whispered, instead of yelling into the phone, and ended the call. “You’re a sight.” Matt’s face brightened, his grin infectious. She wanted to rush into his arms but refrained, afraid any moment Cal would show. “Man, you’re beautiful,” he said, his tone left no room to doubt his sincerity. Her mouth watered and her head whirred. Matt was hot. He’d always been, but he’d filled out even more. His youthful features hardened into a man, a warrior, one that could protect and would do so at any moment. She drooled. He sent her the kind of appreciative glance a guy gave a woman he held in admiration, not necessarily by her beauty but for what he felt. Tingles raced over her body and forced her feet to move. He engulfed her into a bear hug. A hug so tight she didn’t think he’d let go. “I’ve missed you,” he said, his whispered voice tight. Ohmygod! Her pebbled nipples relished against his hardened chest. He didn’t just have a body that would do any poster justice. No, it wasn’t just that exiting her. It was him. He was her Matt. She slid her hands around him further, squeezed tighter. “I’ve missed you so much!” His chuckle vibrated her breasts, her hands. The smart move would be to step back before they became any more of a spectacle. She brushed a kiss to his jaw, ready to accept it may have to be enough, when his lips captured hers.

Reviews: “I love this book!! I absolutely could not put this book down!!! WOW!!! its so much like you are in this story you can actually feel these characters!! .” ~Ruby Compton Hammarstedt

“Divine by Cait Jarrod was the first book of hers I read. Needless to say, I’ve added all of her titles to my TBR list. Normally with a shorter book you feel rushed and that the story doesn’t foster a natural character development but that is not the case with Matt and Trina. This is a very well written book and it left me wanting to experience every up and down with Matt and Trina. You even feel attached to the secondary characters and I am hoping they all get their own book” ~Amy, The Book Boyfriend Addict To read the rest of Amy's review, click The Boyfriend Addict.

More reviews can be found on Goodreads.

The Montana Dreams Series:

Divine, #1: November 23, 2015 Destiny, #2: December 14, 2015 Desire, #3: January 18, 2016 Desire-Customdesign-JayAheer2015-banner3-mountain Giveaway-2 $25.00 gift cards. This giveaway will be running through all three releases. Two winners will be picked January 19, 2016. a Rafflecopter giveaway Stay in touch: If you would like reading pre-released excerpts, helping to decide characters’ names, voting on which picture to use, and winning prizes, my street team is open to new members. Click the join button >>> Cait’s Classy Chicks Street Team My newsletter comes out about once a month. To subscribe >>> News from Cait Newsletter Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google+ Goodreads Buy Cait Jarrod's books >>>Amazon. To learn about the author >>> check out Cait's website.  

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Bare Facts on Bears by Vonnie Davis

I was never one to read shifter romances. Odd, wouldn’t you say, now that I’m writing them? You see, I had an underlying fear that bestiality would come into play. Yeah, what did I know?
Nothing could be further from the truth; shifting typically happens when a danger of some type is present, not for sexual reasons. The animals are attracted to other animals of the same species. Humans are drawn to other humans. No mixing; only matching. At least in the books I’ve read and enjoyed the last couple of years to see how shifters are handled.
In fact, with an open mind, anyone can read and adore shifter romances—even me. I’ve read about wolves, lions, jaguars and tigers that change into humans. However, I write about bear shifters. Who knows why. Perhaps it stems from my childhood beloved raggedy Benny Bear, who’s been re-stuffed, sewn and carefully hand-washed many times.
As a topic to write about, I didn’t choose bears. They chose me. An alpha bear meandered into a dream, shifted into this sexy hunk of Highlander hotness, and told me the history of how his bear ancestors came to be shifters. He shared Viking mythology that happened in the 900’s along the shores of the Scottish Highlands. My chore was to write it all in a believable way that you intelligent romance readers would accept (enter copious amounts of coffee and chocolate).
Bear shifter romances are very hot right now. I think part of it reverts back to our childhood when many of us had a cherished teddy bear. Now, as grown women, we are often attracted to tall men. Romantic heroes are almost always six feet or more. Think how tall a man who shifts into a bear would be? No matter how independent and trained you are in self-defense, there’s a deep-seated attraction to a man one can rely on when the going gets tough, like an attack of demons or rogue CIA agents. Sometimes, we just want to snuggle and be cuddled in return.

Every paranormal writer creates her own world for her stories. Authors have to make sure the boundaries, laws, and routines of our paranormal world stay consistent throughout the book or series. Various authors use the same laws. I tend to make mine up, because I love the creative process.
Some authors don't have the human and animal speak to each other. Since I talk to myself all the time, I felt a human would speak to his bear and his bear would respond. At times, they'd argue. Express an opinion the other would not care for.
For example, in my books, it is the bear who selects the mate for his human. After all, who knows the man better than his animal counterpart? The shifters do mate other shifters, but not always. Sometimes the bear picks a non-shifting woman his male half would never choose for himself, and it’s fun to listen in on the private conversations between bear and man.
Oh, I like her. She’s ours.
“Her? But she’s nay me type.”
Aye, she is. Look at her bonny soul and how spunky she is. She’s ours. Claim. Protect.
But what of their personalities? Would the man and his bear be alike or opposite? I chose to make them different. After all, their souls are two jagged pieces of a strange puzzle—part man with hopes, desires and passions and part animal with a need to protect both his human and the physical world around him. On one hand, we get a picture of tranquility with the bear and, on the other, the bear is a dominant warrior.
As a totem animal, the bear carries many messages for us; profoundly meaningful messages that guide us through some tough times in our lives. In addition, there is an unfathomable power surging just beneath the surface of the bear. It has eminent domain and is fully prepared to defend. In this powerful impressive display of security and aggression, we pick up bear meanings of sovereignty, courage, and themes of the warrior as defined in ancient Celtic deities. Artio and Thor are often depicted with the bear. Our nature-savvy ancestors recognized the dual nature of the bear—caring, yet ferocious. Warning, yet curious. Loving, yet loyal.