Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

Behind The Scenes With Merline Lovelace

As a mentor to the both of us, Merline had EXACTING standards.  I’m not really sure what that means, but Gena and I share them!

When not correcting me on the proper way to perform a sit-up, Merline is a USA Today Bestselling Author.  Her new book, The Hello Girl, hits bookstands April.

the-hello-girlAll that’s standing in the way of the Dunbars’ divorce is Brian Dunbar’s unwillingness to sign the papers. And though his wife, Lieutenant Colonel Anne Dunbar, loves him as madly as she did on their wedding day eleven years ago, their differences—intensified by the pressures of career and family—are irreconcilable. Or so she thinks.

When a long-lost file lands on Anne’s desk, she learns some unexpected lessons about love and trust from the remarkable story of a World War I “Hello Girl” telephone operator. Marie Reynaud fought valiantly for love—a love immortalized in diary entries that transcended war and time. A love inspiring enough to save Anne’s marriage? 

You can visit Merline on the web here and buy The Hello Girl here.

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Candace Havens Behind The Scenes

I have been noticing for awhile something just seemed to be off about the last few Author Talks.  A strange pattern was forming…you can see it here in the Roxanne St. Claire video as well as the Deidre Knight interview.

Then it hit me – Gena Showalter never left.  It’s like we’re performing an author sandwich!  No wonder Gena has begun to think of Author Talk as her show.  Glad we could clear that up with Candace’s interview.  Gena is mostly off stage where she belongs does her best work.

Candace should be a familiar face around Author Talk.  She often does our camera work, and has even fixed the tripod.  She was also featured in our Romance Novel Crime segments.

Of course we repay her efforts by making her do the camera work on her own video, and interviewing her in bed (we’re taking names hotel chain that we choose not to blame even though it was most likely our fault).

The Demon King And IThe Caruthers sisters are heiresses with privilege, wealth, beauty, and brains. But these party girls have something extra. As the Guardian Keys, possessors of an ancient family secret, they hold the fate of the world in their hands.

Gillian (great name by the way), the eldest, is a sensation in the art world— this world, that is. In her other world she’s the Assassin, a knockout who snuffs out dimension-jumpers who foul up her personal space. She never expected to join forces with one. But when a plague of murderous demons plunges the earth in darkness, she has no choice but to get a little help from a being who knows his stuff. 

You can buy The Demon King and I here, and visit Candace on the web here

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Deidre Knight Behind The Scenes

Gena and I have two words from this Author Talk: Prop Wine

Normally I have around 15 minutes of video after shooting an Author Talk that we whittle down to about 7 minutes.  For Deidre Knight, we had nearly 30!  But yes, the video is still under 8 minutes.  Which means there is A LOT of unusable footage, most of which we decided to ad lib on the spot.  Things that HAD to be in this Author Talk.

While editing, I couldn’t figure out why we were doing what we were doing or just what was so funny.

Of course I could be lying.  After all, in such a short time with Author Talk, we seem to have surprisingly generated a lot of comments.  One or two have mentioned our acting ability.  I’d like to think we address that here.  Real wine or prop wine…you decide.

Several said they wished Gena had asked Deidre the burning question every reader wants to know.  Take heart that she answered her own question after the credits.  According to Gena Showalter, Red Fire is the best book she’s ever writ eyn!

Eternity has become a prison for Ajax Petrakos. Centuries after he and his Spartan brothers made their bargain for immortality, Ajax struggles to maintain his warrior’s discipline. His only source of strength is his hope that he will soon meet the woman once foretold to him–the other half of his soul, Shay Angel. 

Ajax searches for his destined mate on the haunted streets of modern-day Savannah, but he isn’t the first to find her. Shay, the youngest of a powerful demon-hunting clan, can see the monsters that stalk the steamy Southern nights–an ability that draws the deadly attention of Ajax’s worst enemy. As Shay and Ajax race to solve a chilling prophecy–one that could spell Ajax’s death if they don’t succeed–a fated passion arises, threating to sweep away everything in its path.

You can buy Red Fire (beginning Oct. 7, 2008) by clicking here.  Stop by Deidre’s website here or go to the website entirely devoted to her Gods of Midnight series here.

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Roxanne St. Claire Behind The Scenes

Gena has only ever written one post for Author Talk – here’s her second:

When Jill and I decided to take our shenanigans on the road create a new segment, Author Talk on Tour, we stopped in Alabama (Jill whined until we stopped had never been), Georgia and Florida.  Idiots Smart girls that we are, we traveled during hurricane season while the airline had discounted tickets.  We couldn’t wait to finally begin the shenanigans hang out with some of our favorite authors. 

First up was the gorgeous and talented Roxanne St. Claire and the beautiful Gulf Coast.  Her jaunt along the beach to perform First You Run was lacking only cornrows more memorable than Bo Derek’s.  Crouching behind the chair for Then You Hide was very shenaniganie brilliant.   Her ability to catch a marshmallow with her teeth, as well as her death scene were very VERY shenaniganie magnificent.  Jill and I aren’t jealous of her skills.  Really. 

Former Bullet Catcher and lone wolf investigator Jack Culver is on a mission. Thirty years ago, an innocent woman was convicted of murder. Jack believes he’s found the real killer — but to take down one of the highest legal authorities in the land, he needs access. Serious access. Unfortunately, the one person he knows with that kind of power is his ex-boss and ex-lover, the woman who still haunts his dreams.

Bullet Catchers owner Lucy Sharpe realizes she’s being used for her connections, and she intends to use Jack Culver right back. She’s determined to see justice served, even if that means partnering with the man who once found his way past her iron shields. This time, she’ll be strong enough to avoid Jack’s persuasive touch.

But when passion flares, and they become the killer’s target, Lucy and Jack don’t just break some rules — they shatter them. And that means risking everything: their jobs, their hearts…and their lives. 

You can visit Roxanne at her website here, and buy Now You Die here


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Crystal Jordan Behind The Scenes

Crystal Jordan was a first for us here at Author Talk – she writes erotic romance.  While I was working on uploading some of the pictures for her video, I had things like this on my screen:

And this:

My husband is pretty used to seeing some unusual pictures on my computer, but even he (apparently) has a limit on the amount (and it was a lot) of man candy parading across the screen.

This is my work, honey.  My work.  I HAVE to look at pictures like this.

It seems it was only a few days ago that Crystal knocked us down in Dallas to tell us she’d sold to Kensington, and now her books are on the shelves.  Congrats, Crystal! 

Sexy Beast V

They’re primed and primal, untamed and unstoppable, always ready to go further, harder, longer to bring a woman pleasure that’s wild, fiery, and out of this world.

“Chanku Wild” by Kate Douglas

They are the Chanku-an ancient race of shapeshifters, gifted with extraordinary sexual appetites. Now the pack-mates, plus new arrivals AJ, Mik, and Tala, are preparing for Oliver and his beloved Mei Chen to finally bond in a mating ritual that will take each to the peak of ecstasy, and prove as erotic as it is dangerous.

“Night Scream” by Vonna Harper

To the Walapai Apache of Arizona, a puma’s cry has always been a dangerous omen. Amy Murphy, practical to the core, scorns such legends, until she attends a pow-wow near Flagstaff, where she’s immediately drawn to a powerful, dark-eyed man. Her attraction is intense, inexplicable, irresistible-leading her into a wildly carnal encounter that awakens the animal within.

“In Ice” by Crystal Jordan

When Jain Roberts’ ship crashes on a distant, futuristic planet, she’s rescued by Kesuk, the lusty clan leader of the Arctic Bears. This magnificent creature with white-blond hair and a potent masculinity haunts her dreams-dreams he intends to make deliciously real, as he draws her into a realm of complete sexual abandon.

You can buy Sexy Beast V here.


Carnal Desires

Centuries after the destruction of the earth, several species of altered humans still survive. These shape-shifters are exciting and exotic creatures, and their human forms do little to mask their most primitive and passionate instincts.

In Heat

Mahlia is a snow tigress in heat and now that her tiger king has returned to rule the planet Vesperi, she can no longer deny her desperate need to mate. She greets him as a woman, but their desire for sex is uncontrollable as they come together with a primal passion.

In Smoke

When Lady Katryn is called back to her home world to join Lord Nadir’s harim, she is curious to learn more about her weredragon nature. What she discovers is a scorching eroticism that consumes her all over.

In Mist

Dr. Sera Gibbons is one of only two human survivors after a five hundred year cryogenic freeze. Saved by the merman Bretton Hahn, she savors the way he caresses her and makes her live out her wildest fantasies. 

Carnal Desires hits the bookstores November 25, you can pre-order it here.

You can visit Crystal at her website here, and her main blog here.


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Jackie Kessler Behind The Scenes

You know, looking back over the raw footage I see now that Gena lied to me about Jackie.  Apparently Jackie DOES know that I’m an author and HAS read me.  Gena is due for a stern talking to.

When I look at this video, I remember that we’d gotten up at 4 that morning to catch a flight to California – only for all three of us to arrive in time for the worst earthquake in the LA area since 1994.  My friend Kassia did tell me the earthquake was my fault, but I was only defending Oklahoma.  She mentioned something about deadly tornadoes, but really – you can run away from those!  Five minutes later…the earth moved.  And not in a good way.

Luckily Jackie survived, only to be with us here at Author Talk.  Two words: LUCKY GIRL!

The only complaint we’ve received about this video – people needed more sprayed water.

Hotter Than Hell

Hell on Earth, Book 3

The incubus Daunuan loves his job: seduce a lot of mortals, bring their souls to Hell, party at the best interdimensional pub this side of the Astral Plane. But when the King of Lust makes him an offer he can’t refuse, Daun has to give up all the tricks of his trade to properly befriend—and bed—Virginia Reed, a woman who’s meant for Heaven.

If he can get her to love him for the incubus he really is, and if he can avoid the rogue demons that are hell-bent on destroying him for reasons unknown, Daun will become the First Principal of Lust, second in line to the King. But Daun learns that love is more than a four-letter word, and that maybe, just maybe, demons really do have feelings after all…

Hotter Than Hell here – it’s already in bookstores.


Hell’s Belles
Hell on Earth, Book 1

Jezebel’s not your average exotic dancer. For one thing, she’s a 4,000-year-old succubus. For another, she’s on the run from Hell (which isn’t easy to do in high heels). Hiding on the mortal coil as a human doesn’t protect her from muggers, lactose intolerance…or having feelings for Paul Hamilton, a man haunted by his past. Demons are closing in, which is enough to make Jezebel shiver in her G-string. But it’s her love for Paul that’s going to have deadly consequences. (Humans, she laments, really should come with instruction manuals.)

Hell’s Belles arrives in bookstores September 2.  You can pre-order it here.

You can visit Jackie’s website here, and the latest news on Jackie on her blog here.

Love Your Inner Demon!

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Nora Roberts Behind The Scenes

If the writing thing doesn’t pan out for Nora Roberts, she definitely has a second career in home repair.  The toilet worked perfectly the rest of the week.  It was just too bad she left before she could check the light.

Looking back now at the interview we did with Vicki Lewis Thompson (which you can see here), there is a slight resemblance between the actress we “hired” to play Nora and the real Nora.  I should have been more supportive to the actress JD because she really did try her best.  It’s not her fault she didn’t sound or act like Nora.

The fact that Gena and I were interviewing Nora Roberts was truly the worst kept secret of my life, and believe me, I have spilled the beans on a lot of secrets, so this being the worst kept is saying A LOT. Normally, Gena and I do shroud the identity of our guests until the videos go live.  I mean let’s face it, I could screw up so many things before making the video a reality on youtube.  There’s the uploading, and the editing and a million other details…

But how can you keep Nora Roberts a secret?  Our typical conversations about the subject went like this.  “I can’t tell you who it is, but her initials are NORA ROBERTS!!!”

And like her skills with a wrench, or a pen, Nora was a pro at acting as well.  She never flubbed a line or missed a cue.  A way better actress than Gena or I could be.  Not that that’s saying much, but Nora deserves her props.

In her book Tribute, Cilla McGowan, a former child star, has come to her grandmother’s farmhouse, tools at her side, to rescue it from ruin. Sadly, no one was able to save her grandmother, the legendary Janet Hardy. An actress with a tumultuous life, Janet entertained glamorous guests and engaged in decadent affairs—but died of an overdose in this very house more than thirty years earlier. To this day, Janet haunts Cilla’s dreams.

Plunging into the project with gusto, she’s almost too busy to notice her neighbor, graphic novelist Ford Sawyer—but his lanky form, green eyes, and easy, unflappable humor are hard to ignore. Determined not to perpetuate the family tradition of ill-fated romances, Cilla steels herself against Ford’s quirky charm, but she can’t help indulging in a little fantasy.

But love and a peaceful life may not be in the cards for Cilla. In the attic, she has found a cache of unsigned letters suggesting that Janet Hardy was pregnant when she died—and that the father was a local married man. Cilla can’t help but wonder what really happened all those years ago. The mystery only deepens with a series of intimidating acts and a frightening, violent assault. And if Cilla and Ford are unable to sort out who is targeting her and why, she may—like her world-famous grandmother— be cut down in the prime of her life.

You can learn more about Nora Roberts by visiting her website here, and look the actress we hired writes, too!  You can visit her here.  To discuss all things Nora, visit the adwoff message board here.

After the interview, Gena confided that Nora told her she liked Gena way better than me.  Being my best friend, she just couldn’t keep that burden to herself.  Did Nora Roberts really say that?  She DID give a quote for Gena:

“I have read Gena Showalter.”

                          Nora Roberts

Later I ran into Nora and asked her casually about it.  Nora just shook her head, and I knew.  I knew.


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Vicki Lewis Thompson Behind The Scenes

After interviewing tens of tens of authors, my original premise that authors are difficult still stands.  Only now I can add a new element…actresses are difficult, too.  They don’t want to play their assigned roles or even wear their nametags (as seen at the end of the Vicki Lewis Thompson interview here).  

A few years ago, I purchased my very first Blaze novel.  It was Notorious by none other than Vicki Lewis Thompson.  I was hooked, and knew immediately THIS was the kind of book I wanted to write.  Of course, I paid Vicki Lewis Thompson back by asking her inappropriate questions in our interview, and sort of kind of promising Nora Roberts would show up during our interview.  Maybe it was a good thing she walked out before the interrogation was complete since all we had to give her was the bottle of water Gena was holding.

Vicki is not only a New York Times Bestselling author she is also one class act!!!  

Vicki’s newest series is her Hex Series – stories about matchmaking witches and wizards.  And trust me, you don’t want to ask if t hey went to Hogwarts.  Over Hexed kicked it all off just last year.  Banished. Until their unconventional techniques landed them in hot water, Dorcas and Ambrose were thematchmaking sex therapists for lovelorn witches and wizards. The Grand High Wizard has exiled them to the very conventional and unmagical town of Big Knob, Indiana, Pop. 947. But that doesn’t mean they’ve given up matchmaking…

Now they’re doing it for mere mortals—although all agree: Sean Madigan is something of a god. Because he’s tired of being the town sex object, Dorcas and Ambrose strip him of his appeal and then introduce him to his destiny, Maggie Grady. This time winning a girl’s heart won’t be so easy for Sean. It means rediscovering the charms buried beneath a gorgeous surface.  You can purchase Over Hexed by going here.


Wild and Hexy hit bookstands in June.  Vicki describes the story line beautifully in the video, but here’s a quick synopsis.  

After gaining twenty pounds, former Dairy Festival Queen Annie Winston dreads going back to Big Knob, Indiana. But Annie hasn’t changed half as much as her home town ever since Dorcas and Ambrose Lowell moved in. Former matchmakers for witches and wizards, they’re now plying their unconventional trade for humans—and they have the perfect match for Annie: shy computer whiz Jeremy Dunstan, who’s always lusted after Annie. Now he’s got a second chance—if only something could help him unleash his wild side.

You can purchase Wild & Hexy here.

Next up in March 2009 is Casual Hex.  And believe me, this is hard to say, even for a seasoned, professional journalist like myself.  Go on – say it.  

Wallflower Gwen Dubois is shocked to find herself desired by two men — a bad-boy fairy prince (Leo) and a gorgeous French botanist (Marc).  Matchmaking witch and wizard Dorcas and Ambrose Lowell pit their magic powers against Prince Leo’s to make sure Gwen’s soul mate Marc wins the day.  Even George the Dragon gets into the fight.  You can pre-order Casual Hex (say it fast) by going here.  

A computer screen doesn’t due this cover justice – it’s gorgeous!

You can visit Vicki Lewis Thompson’s website here.  Vicki also blogs!  Join her along with Rhonda Nelson and Jennifer LaBrecque at The Soapbox Queens.

Turns out the actress we hired is kind of a big deal…go figure.  Sometimes you just luck out.  To learn more about our actress go here


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An End To The Chastisement

Gena and I recently attended the annual conference of Romance Writer’s of America in San Francisco.  I’m not afraid to tell you that several people came up to me to chastise me for the lack of posts for the last few weeks.  Greatly.  

I quickly fell into a shame spiral, which Gena made worse, but to help me back out of it…here’s an actual post.  With information, a pretty picture and an announcement.  FIRST, we filmed 4 author interviews while at conference, and an Author Talk Extra.  

We’ll be posting the first interview this Friday, and follow it up with an interview every Friday for the rest of August.  This will be in sharp contrast to our every other Friday schedule of posting or the no posting at all, which brought on the angry words.  And really, they were angry. 

When we first began Author Talk, it was just two girls and a video camera.  But we quickly realized we needed some extra help.  Beth Wilson (who does our scheduling, but mainly works for Gena) was the first to join us.  Next was Candace Havens.  As seasoned radio personality this makes her perfect for camera work.  She’s also an amazing author, and Charmed & Ready comes out TODAY! 

Now here’s the part with the pretty picture.  

 A witch’s work is never done!

Bronwyn’s finally found someone to love—and almost gotten him killed. But before she can nurse him—maybe just a little bit naughtily—back to health, she’s got to guard a rock star from some creepy warlocks. 

You can read more about Candy at her website here, and buy her book here.


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Linda Goodnight and Jordan Dane Behind The Scenes

This is the first post Gena has made at Author Talk.  I’m wondering how much of a mistake this will be…


First, I think it bears mentioning (again) that I wasn’t given enough scenes.  A travesty, I know.  Several videos back I realized my true calling: more camera time.  I thought, what better time to go for it than in front of witnesses?  Wrong!  After hearing rumors about sticks and murders, I decided not to push my luck and just took the measly bits I was offered.

From the very beginning of this shoot, one thing became very clear: Jill Monroe was right, authors are difficult.  (Would that actually qualify as two things?)   They leave before filming is over, demand water while I’m busy curling my hair, and become angry when my research about them and their books proves to be a teeeeny bit wrong.   (Who knew the name Jordan Dane would be given to a woman?  And really, I feel very strongly that Linda Goodnight wanted her true RITA feelings revealed.)

No, to be honest, filming with Jill was a blast.  Jordan and Linda were amazing sports, allowing us to insult and harass include them with smiles on their faces.  The audience, too, was top notch.  We didn’t have to pay them (much) to laugh at our jokes.   Next time, though, I’m paying extra asking the crowd to cheer for me and boo Monroe.  If I’m still alive, that is. . . 

Once again, thanks to Linda Goodnight, whose Winning The Single Mom’s Heart hits bookstores July 8, 2008.

Single mom Natalie juggles creating fantastic cakes for the Wedding Belles with raising her troublesome twins. But her hard-won independence means she won’t be decorating her own cake anytime soon….

Cooper Sullivan is a winner. He’s competitive and at the top of his career. A new job leads him back to Natalie’s door. Seeing her again after so many years makes Cooper realize that the only thing he never won—and the only thing that really matters—is Natalie’s heart…. 

You can visit Linda’s website here, her blog here, and buy her book here.

Jordan Dane’s latest, No One Lives Forever is already on bookshelves.

Born to a life pitted by violence, a man desperately seeks peace to move on. He’s fallen in love with a Chicago homicide detective, but just when he embarks on a new life, his old one comes calling. A mysterious and beautiful assassin barges into his downtown Chicago flat, attempting to collect on an old marker. She confesses the true identity of his crime boss father—a name kept secret by his mother—and begs his help to free the man kidnapped in Brazil. The ransom note gives him only ten days to attempt an impossible rescue. Will he risk his future to discover his past? 

You can visit her website here, her blog here and buy No One Lives Forever here.

To learn more about the Red River Romance Writers, visit their site here.

Posted by: Gena Showalter


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