Thank you!

On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
The authors thank you for your readership and hope you will come visit them at their personal sites via the links to the left.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Playing on the Heart

By A.J. Llewellyn

In this tough economy, one of the most surprising and durable ways to make money remains the Internet scam. The most effective ones are those that play on the recipients' hearts.
These are cruel scams because they rely on the recipient's basic good nature to help out a friend. It also requires that the recipient has some funds as well...but here's how it works.
I know, because I have received one of these scam emails. I didn't fall for it, but I ALMOST did.
In my case, a boxer I used to be very close friends with emailed me.
In big letters starting with HELP, he told me he was in Las Vegas and had fought in a match. After he was paid and returned to his hotel, he was beaten up and robbed. He was now in serious trouble because he couldn't pay his hotel bill and jail was being threatened.
He needed $3,000 to get home. If I could wire him any part of that money, he would pay me back within a week of returning home.
I was initially furious since it's been two years since I heard from him and my last couple of emails went unanswered.
Retiring is tough for some fighters, especially when it's an enforced retirement [usually for medical reasons such as brain damage, serious injuries resulting in coma and/or brain surgery]by the state Athletic Commission with which they are registered.
After getting past feeling pissed, I was slightly concerned but very suspicious.
It was a detailed and in some ways credible email, but I checked, which lists each and every fight all over the world.
My friend was still listed as inactive and retired.
I then checked which slavishly covers every fight, even backyard brawls. Again nothing.
I was suspicious for other reasons, too. The email clearly stated he couldn't pay his hotel bill. Fighters don't pay for their rooms. Promoters do.
I was concerned enough to want to contact the fighter's parents. However, I first wrote back to the fighter at the email addy from which he contacted me, plus another one I had for him.
I said, "If this is really you, call me."
I received an email a few days later. It wasn't a particularly nice one. In fact he was quite nasty. He wrote from the alternate email addy I had for him and he said, "I hope you know this wasn't me."
We wrote back and forth and apparently the email hacker had swindled quite a bit of money out of people who still loved and cared for the fighter, including one of his aunts who sent him the entire sum. It was money she couldn't afford to send him, but she did it out of love.
The FBI is now involved and the fighter is deeply anguished at the wide net the hacker has thrown. All over the world.
He feels responsible. But he is not. I tried to cheer him up by saying he's obviously still loved and respected and he gets this. But somebody is making a lot of money off this poor guy by hacking his address book.
I hope this crook is caught. I think this is a particularly nasty crime because it relies on trust and love and that underneath it all, the hacker believes that there are still some good people out there.
There are.
Crimes like this however, chip further away at our already damaged humanity. We are a sick race badly in need of a moral overhaul.

Aloha oe,


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Realizing The Dream

I know I haven’t posted for a while I know…but there really is a great reason for this…and I hope you’re all as happy as I am about this.

I posted this message on my critique group loop on Friday, April 16, 2010 while still at the Desert Dreams conference in Scottdale, Arizona. Since that time, I have been working on what I’ve always called my breakout novel. You know it, I’ve been putting the first few chapters up here as my blog the past few times to keep it alive for me. Read this and you’ll see jus how alive it is!

Okay...I've got to tell you a story...and how it made me speechless. I know, I to impossible...LOL!

Part of this trip has been for me and a friend to get away. My friend, Brenda, loves books and has gone to an RT conference with me before. She's also an aspiring writer that I'm trying to get interested in RWA. She's also had a horrible time this year with her husband losing her job and 3 kids under 18. So this was my Christmas and birthday present to her. So today we did some girl things and didn't get back to register for the con until about 4 this afternoon.

I get my registration packet and start looking at everything as we'd found a quiet, out-of-the-way place to discuss where, what and when. I found my Realizing the Dream score sheets and pulled them out. I thought the score terrible, 48 out of 50, and knew I blew it. I put it back in the envelope and found my appointments with an editor and an agent. This is really why I came here and entered the contest. For the contest, you had to be an attendee and not published by a NYC house or represented by a NYC agent.

At the time I entered, I talked extensively with the contest chair as I had so many books epublished and I didn't want to take advantage of the contest. She assured me that the contest was for someone just like me. They wanted entrees from every genre and at every level. I sent off my entry and forgot about it until this week. And when I saw my score, I felt I had blown it because I know people do get perfect scores.

So, we're at the genre dinner tonight and they make some announcements, they do the raffle and then they turn it over to the contest chair. I don't pay attention because I've blown it in my mind. The first finalist was a gal sitting at my table and she jumps right up plus her enthusiasm is contagious. The next name they call is...mine...and I'm blown away. My friend Brenda pushes me out of my chair toward the stage and the gal at my table walks up with me. The third gal is from the middle of the room and we're all on stage.

The contest chair states how close the scores were and still I'm thinking, 'No friggin' way' and 'what am I doing up here?' And she announces the winner...and it was me...and I was speechless. I can barely say thank you to everyone because I am shaking so hard. The whole time back to my seat I'm thinking/saying 'OMG, I can't believe it.' And it took me twenty minutes of people talking to me to get me grounded.

I have an appointment with two editors tomorrow, Laurie Rauch of Samhain and Kate Sevier of Berkley Sensation, and one agent, Miriam Kriss. All these people were on the seven or eight (I'm not sure) judging committee who voted my proposal the best.

And can you all guess which one it was? Sigh. "Where's My Underwear?" garnered the top spot in the Realizing the Dream contest. Another thing, I would not be here if it weren't for each and every one of you. All of you had input to this story and have helped me every step of the way. I owe you all dinner and plan to take you all out when we can do it.

One more thing, I can guarantee they want changes...LOL! I hope you all are up for a final round of Underwear. I'd start now but I don't have everything here.

Thanks for all your support...let's see if I can bring it home!

This was one of the best things to happen in a very, very long time. I’ve been on Cloud 9 since it happened. I’ve also been working my butt off as every editor/agent I saw or described this story to all want a peak. So I’m polishing up the proposal and re-editing the rest of the story.

So see…I haven’t forgotten you…I’ve just been really, really busy. I’ll be back next week with an update on my progress. See you all then!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Road Trip!

I am super stoked because tomorrow morning I leave for a writer's retreat in San Antonio. Four days of writing and workshop and horse back riding. Oh, did I mention the cowboys? Our group is going to the gun range and the rodeo, and I can only imagine how much trouble I could get in to...even if I'm not trying.

The car trip could be as long as twenty (20) hours long which means I'll have many hours to write during the ride. My goal is to have my current manuscript well over 75% complete by the time I get back to town. If my husband were going with me, I would have almost the full 20 hours to write as he hates to be a passenger. Oh well, I'll take what time I can get.

I hope you all have a great week and weekend. I'm sure I'll have plenty of stories to share when I get back.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Message for April 26

Here are some movie quotes...

"Don't think you are, know you are" - Laurence Fishburne, The Matrix
"Nothing is real unless you believe in who you are" - Sylvester Stallone, Rocky III
"It's the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you" - Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby

How do these quotes strike you?

C.R. Moss

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chat at Ethan Day's



Sunday, April 25th is Gay Day at my Yahoo Group.  Gay Day is the one day a month when the best authors in GLBT Romance stop by to post excerpts of their new and upcoming releases. 

Love Grant.jpgZM_FugitiveColor_coverlg.jpgUnexpVin.jpgGardner_200x300Bound_to_Please.jpgmed_HeartAndHome.jpgTrina Lane - perfect union.jpgHeat2.jpgPool Boy Seduction.jpgRetribution.jpg 

The following authors will be generously offering giveaways you can enter to win:

AKM Miles – Love, Grant – Available April 26th
Andrew Gray – An Unexpected Vintage
Trina Lane – The Perfect Union
TC Blue – A Game of Chances
Leiland Dale – A Prophecy of Destiny
Jambrea Jo Jones - Retribution – Available May 3rd
Kimberly Gardner – Bound to Please
Stephani Hecht – Man Down
P.A. Brown – L.A. Heat 
Z.A. Maxfield – Fugitive Color – Available April 27th

The amazing Authors below will be popping in and out to chat & post excerpts from their latest books:

Lynn Lorenz – Pinky Swear
Amanda Young – Pool Boy Seduction
A.J. Llewellyn – The Book and the Rose – Available April 25th
Jamie Samms – Spinning & Life After
Kimberly Gardner – Blush from Red (An MLR Antho edited by Kris Jacen)
P.A. Brown  - L.A. Bytes
Lex Valentine – Where There’s Smoke
Clare London - Heart & Home

LABytesCover.jpgNMan_Down_4bab9a98ef4bb_97x150.jpgspinning_sm.jpgmed_BookRose.jpgWhereSmoke-250.jpgprophecy of Destiny.jpgRed.jpg tnPinkySwear.jpggane of chances.jpg

The day will begin from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST in the Ethan Day Yahoo Group where we’ll be posting excerpts, running contests for free books, and chatting about all the new and upcoming releases from your favorite authors.

From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. CST we’ll be hosting another LIVE Chat which is pretty much a free for all, anything-goes-chat that’ll inevitably have you uttering the phrase, “What the f**k?” : )

***You will need to have Downloaded Skype in order to take part in the Live Chat.***
Once you’ve downloaded the FREE software, simply add me as a contact: ethandayonline -- and I'll be able to add you to the chat room!

I hope everyone will stop by to catch up with your favorite authors and join in all the fun!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Keeping Blood

The second in The Immortal Council Series is now out at Extasy Books. This book is the story of Alexia, daughter of Zyra and Tarquin, hero and heroine of Blood Visions.
Keeping Blood: When your a dangerous hybrid, every immortal is your enemy.
Born into a world of immortal creatures Alexia is a one of a kind hybrid between her vampire mother and werewolf father. Shunned by both species she is alone in her world, wishing only to be human and for once, truly accepted. Ian, a werewolf from another pack, shows up and claims she is his fated mate, much to his own displeasure. When Alexia's parents disappear, she is forced to ask Ian and a very unpleasant vampire, Paxton, for help in finding them. Thrown together in their mission to save her parents will they also find that they share a fate to be mated. Will Alexia finally find acceptance with Ian, or will their differences keep them apart.
Ian was around the table in an instant, his hands grabbing her arms in a brutal grip, his glowing eyes bored into her with barely restrained violence.
Alexia felt her blood start to pound through her veins, she knew if she hadn't drank blood earlier today she would have merged and ripped out his throat to protect herself from him. She had finally pushed him too far, he was going to treat her like she expected, and then she could hurt him back and be satisfied that she was right. There was no chance for a true mating with him or any other were.
"No one deserves the kind of treatment you have been dealt. I am your mate and as is my right I will protect you." He bent his head close to hers and his hot breath fanned her cheek, his mouth whispered so near her ear she could feel his lips brush against her sensitive skin. "I want you, Alexia, because you are strong and you are beautiful. I will have you because you are my mate."
As his words sank into her bruised soul he anger turned to something else, something hotter and so much more unsettling.
Alexia could hear his blood pulsing at his throat, so near her mouth. Her fangs extended and her mouth watered for a taste of him. Desire swirled fast and hot, low in her belly, she couldn't hold back the hungry groan.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Welcome Guest David Pereda!

Today we’re taking a look at David Pereda who writes for Eternal Press. I asked him some quirky questions and received plenty of interesting answers!
Welcome David! Now for the fun Q & A!

Q: What’s your favorite color?
A: Blue

Q: What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
A: Chocolate ice cream mixed with strawberry sherbet on a sugar cone
~ That sounds yummy. I’ll have to try that.

Q: Are you a cat, dog or both kind of person?
A: Both

Q: Would you/have you own(ed) a snake or some other exotic pet?
A: I might, but I haven’t. I once fell in love with a lion cub, but I didn’t have a place to put him.

Q: Which do you prefer: rain or sun & warm weather or cold weather?
A: It depends. On a day-to-day basis, I prefer sunny and warm. But sometimes I like walking out in the rain when the weather is warm; or stay inside when it’s not, reading a good book by the fireplace or making love in a large bed. As for cold, I love nippy mornings in the fall and cold days with plenty of snow when I go skiing. Does that answer your question?
~ Sure does. :)

Q: Are you a morning person or night owl?
A: I’m both. To write, I’m a morning person. My creative juices and writing prowess are better in the morning and tend to fade in the afternoon. To have fun, well, that’s a different story. Can I be an all-day person? Is there such a thing?
~ Why not? Live life to the fullest!

Q: Are they sneakers or tennies?
A: Tennis shoes

Q: Is it soda or pop?
A: Hmmmm. I don’t touch the stuff. I guess I’d call it soda.

Q: What’s your favorite day of the week?
A: It’s a toss up between Friday and Saturday

Q: What’s your favorite number?
A: 19

Q: If you could live anywhere in the universe, where would it be and why?
A: It would be where I live right now. Why? I like Asheville and the people who live here. I have family and friends here. My love is here. If I could magically move everyone with me to any place in the world, I’d consider spending winters in Florida, spring and summer in Asheville, and the fall in Europe – with short trips to Central and South America scattered here and there.

Q: Tell us about one of your books and any interesting details that might concern this story, like you found interesting info when you did research, you wrote it in one night, it was done for a contest, etc.
A: I’d like to tell you a little bit about my latest thriller -- Havana: Killing Castro, winner of four awards including a 2009 Readers Favorite Award.
~ Congrats on the award!
Here’s a brief blurb: When an old fisherman is gunned down on a Mexican beach, prominent Miami surgeon Raymond Peters becomes the prime suspect. The dead fisherman is believed to be Fidel Castro whom Dr. Peters had helped disguise through clandestine plastic surgery on a trip to Cuba two years earlier. But is the body really that of the Cuban leader? In order to save his own life, the beleaguered physician must solve the murder, find the killers and retrieve a mysterious journal. And this has to be done while outwitting a sensual but ruthless assassin named Marcela, sent by Castro’s brother, Raul.
*** And here’s what some reviewers had to say about the book:
"The work is indeed a masterpiece of entertainment…” Gary Sorkin, Pacific Book Review
"The suspense grabs the reader from the beginning and holds it to the end…If you like a good mystery filled with espionage, you will enjoy this book." Readers Favorite
“David Pereda has done it again. In Havana: Killing Castro, he continues intriguing readers with the story begun in Havana: Top Secret.” The Laurel of Asheville ***

The idea for this book came to me one day as I watched my wife – a successful plastic surgeon in her own right who often allowed me to observe her surgeries -- undermining someone’s skin. “What if,” I asked myself, “that person in the operating bed was Fidel Castro being transformed by plastic surgery?” And the Havana Series of thrillers was born.
~ That's an interesting concept and way to receive an idea!

Q: Where can readers learn more about you?
A: They can visit my website – or Google my name on the Internet.
Havana: Killing Castro is available through Eternal Press,, , , and in selected Asheville bookstores.

~ Thank you for visiting us today, David. It was a pleasure having you as our guest.

Here is an intriguing look into Havana: Killing Castro…

“So what did you want to talk to me about, Raymond?” Pepe stretched on his chair to clink glasses and then took a long pull of his mojito, drinking with his pinkie finger straight up. Raymond shook his head in disbelief as he sipped from his own glass. He put his glass on the table as Pepe gazed at him. “You said it was important.”
“It is.”
“You know who killed Fidel?”
“You mean the fisherman shot dead in Mexico?”
“Yes.” Pepe drained the rest of his drink in one mighty gulp and stared at his empty glass. “Ready for another, Raymond?”
“Not yet.”
“Mind if I have another?”
“Go right ahead.”
“Keep talking.” Pepe leaned forward to refill his glass from the pitcher on the table, settled back in his chair, and took another pull of his drink. “I can drink and listen at the same time. You know who killed the fisherman?”
“I think so.”
“And that’s the reason you’re here?”
“Not really, Pepe. I came to confirm information—and to talk to you in person. As you always say, you never know who’s listening on the phone. By the way, where is Raul?”
“He’s going to join us for dinner tonight. Drink up, Raymond. I’m already finishing my second, and you haven’t really started on your first.”
Raymond sipped his drink thoughtfully. “Remember what you said to me a couple of years ago in Miami?”
“I said many things to you in Miami, Raymond.”
Pepe drained his glass and served himself another. This time he didn’t ask for permission.
“True. I mean, do you remember how you convinced me to come to Cuba with you? You told me that story about us as kids and how you had saved my life?”
“Of course I remember.” Pepe gulped greedily from his third drink.
“Do you? Tell it to me again.”
Raymond laughed amiably. “The same old Pepe, testing me out.”
Pepe laughed too.
“Okay, I’ll tell you—so you’ll know I still remember that story. We were in the park, and I got in a fight with Marcelino. He pulled a knife on me and tripped me. He was about to plunge the knife into me when you knocked him out with a punch. I’d never seen someone hit with such force. Marcelino’s head hit the grass so hard he was out cold several minutes. We were so scared you had killed him, remember?”
“Of course I remember,” Pepe said.
Raymond rose slowly, glowering at Pepe.
“That’s not the story. In the real story, you saved me from drowning in the Almendares River—remember? You’re not Pepe Orozco. And you sure as hell are not Fidel Castro either.” He leaned forward and said in a sharp voice, watching the man’s face blanch, “Who are you?”

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Message

Hi all! I know I'm a bit late getting this up and that I've been lax about posting. The past several months I've been dealing with some personal issues and writing and all that. Time slips away and before I know it another day/week/month has passed. Speaking of time, I just had another birthday fly by me. Had a memorable day ~ met up with a couple of great friends and hubby, had dinner then went to a writer's meeting. Hubby gave me some bling for my 40th ~ a beautiful Wittnauer Krystal Ladies watch and on the face it shows the phases of the moon. It's the kind of watch I can wear for special occasions. It's sparkly silver with hand-set European crystal accents around the face and along the band. Some women have an obsession with shoes, for me it's watches. & once I have disposable income, flip-flops... look out DSW!
Which leads me into my Monday Message, another thing I like to collect are quotes. Back in highschool I'd have quotes written all over my brown-bag covers. Now when I see a quote I like, it goes into a file on my computer. So what I'll be doing over the next few weeks is sharing some of the quotes I've collected and looking forward to you sharing any you may have. And if any of the quotes strike a chord with you, feel free to share your thoughts about it.
So to start off, here's one that I thought would be good for us writers to keep in mind when the not so stellar review comes in...

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." THEODORE ROOSEVELT (Paris Sorbonne,1910)

C.R. Moss ~ Worlds of Possibilities ~

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring is here!

I know what you're thinking. It's that dreaded time to open the windows, air out the house, chase down those insidious dust bunnies that hide in the most awful to reach places, clean every inch of your home while running out the stale winter energy and replacing it with new beginnings. Yes. That also includes packing up the winter clothes and pulling out last year's favorite shirt that wouldn't have done more than sat in the closet, looking pretty, while the cold weather encapsulated us. I know the drill, believe me.

As if I don't all ready have enough to do, this year, I've added something else to my list. I am systematically going through all the emails accounts, all the groups, all the contacts, all the everything that has been bogging down my computer and deleting them. Yeah! you heard me right, deleting them!

No. I'm not looking forward to it. However, I realized that as a writer, spring cleaning involves my time as well. Considering that statistics said my genre was not a favorable one, my books have done well and for that I am grateful. There is no greater joy for me to know that my f/f stories have not only entertained, but developed a fan base. A small fan base, but nonetheless, a fan base.

So, instead of spreading myself thin, keeping notebooks of passwords for all the Ning accounts and trying desperately to remember what my username and password are for a specific account, I'm sticking with the ones proven to be successful.

Yeah, this spring cleaning is going to be exhausting and take time, but I'm excited to clear out some of the old baggage and start fresh. What a great way to start the new season.

Speaking of fresh starts, if you get a minute, check out my upcoming release, Session from eXtasy Books. You can read an excerpt and watch the book trailer on my website.

Happy Spring everyone!

Annie :0)

Thursday, April 15, 2010


By A.J. Llewellyn

One of my closest friends Alex got the chance of a lifetime very early last year. One of his business clients and golfing buddies offered Alex his home on the Caribbean island of Anguilla for five days as a thank you for a huge deal.
I was so mad I couldn't go. Alex, bless him, took full advantage of the offer and took his dad and his closest male friends for a few days of drinking, rest, drinking, rest, drinking...well, you get the idea. It's not that I didn't want a knees-up, I just couldn't manage the trip at the time. I was so upset I couldn't even stand calling Alex to ask how it went.
I saw him recently and finally manned-up and asked how it went.
I hadn't seen him for a while and I was surprised by the sour expression on his face. Anguilla is a place I am pining to visit...but I digress.
His lip curled.
"You are so lucky you missed it," he whined.
He told me the wildest and funniest story of being caught in a hurricane in St. Martin. They hid in a hotel bathroom there for days as a storm ripped the islands apart. It's not that the storm and damage were funny.
I loved the idea of all these macho guys huddled in a bathtub!
He gave me a lot of detail and gave me his blessings to use it. And I did!
This gave me the basis of my book Needed, which published at at midnight.
Purchase Link:
It's the sequel to Wanted, my best-selling book about Honolulu forensic accountant Mingo McCloud. I am thrilled Wanted sold so well and I had a blast writing Needed. As an extra thank you to people who buy my book, I am giving away a free copy of Hula, a short store I penned for the Emerald Envisage anthology in which Mingo first appeared.
I am loving this new M/M erotic mystery series.
In this story, Mingo must rescue his missing lover, Francois...and has some fun and pretty hot sex into the bargain. Using a real life adventure in this story gave it added texture I think. But my point is this. Do we writers all use real stuff in our stories? I'm betting more of us do than we care to admit.
Of course, my pal Alex didn't have sex with the men in his tub...that stuff only happens in my books.
I think...
Aloha oe,
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