I am at SF Signal today!

I am being wise ( hopefully) at SF Signal in this week’s Mind Meld about re-reads. I had a lot of fun to write down the thoughts I have had about why some books sucks and some doesn’t when you re-read them.  I have been thinking about this for a long time, so I am grateful for the opportunity to write them down.

And then the chance to wave at people and say ” Hi! Here I am” doesn’t hurt. 🙂

Launch day blitz(+Giveaway) : I’ll be home for Christmas by Jessica Scott


November 5, 2013; Forever Yours/E-Novella; $0.99; 978-1-4555-5424-9

There’s nothing in the world Army Sergeant Vic Carponti loves more than his wife and his country. Smart-mouthed and easy tempered, he takes everything as a joke . . . except his promise to come home to his wife, Nicole, for Christmas. As he prepares to leave for his latest deployment into Iraq, Vic will do everything he can to shield his beautiful, supportive wife from the realities of war . . . and from his own darkest fears.

As a career army wife, Nicole Carponti knows just what to expect from her husband’s tour of duty: loneliness, relentless worry, and a seemingly endless countdown until the moment Vic walks through the door again. But when the unthinkable happens, Nicole and Vic’s bond is tested like never before and changes everything they believe to be true about the power of love and the simple beauty of being home for the holidays.

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“You’re not serious.”

Carponti turned around, his shoulders covered in flecks of red hair. “What?”

Nicole grinned as she leaned against the door. “Garrison is going to kill you.”

“Garrison is going to love my new hair cut. It looks just like his.”

Nicole arched one blond eyebrow. “Except for the bright red fuzzy patch in the center of your head.”

Carponti shrugged and rubbed his hands over his freshly shorn scalp. “I can’t wait to see what the sergeant major says.”

“Isn’t he going to be mad?”

Carponti brushed the hair off his neck. “We’re going to war. My hair isn’t on the list of things he’s going to worry about.”

Nicole looked down at the pile of hair on the floor and sighed. “Then why do it?”

Carponti smirked. “Because it’ll get a rise out of him and I live to make his blood pressure go up.”

She laughed. “You need a hobby. Other than blowing things up.”

He sidled across the room and hooked his thumb into the waist of her jeans and tugged her close until their hips met. “I have a hobby. Keeping you well satisfied.”

She sniffed but her lips curled at the edges. “You’re going to be derelict in your duties for a while.”

“But I’ll be home soon enough and then I’ll make up for it.”

“I think I’m going to need a deployment boyfriend.”

He grinned wickedly. “Did you already get one?” He backed her up against the wall, his body hard against hers. God but she loved this man. “Can I see it?”

A slow flush crept over her face and she tried to look away. He threaded his fingers with hers and lifted her arms over her head. Her back arched with the movement.

“Please?” he whispered against her lips. “That would be an awesome memory to take with me downrange. Just think of me, alone in the middle of the desert. One visual of you with your deployment boyfriend and it could make a lonely night go by so much faster.”

Nicole giggled until the laugh overwhelmed her and she was gasping for air. He released her hands and she threaded them around his neck. She buried her face against his throat and laughed.

“There’s something really wrong with you,” she said when she could breathe again. “I’ll send you a video.”

He brightened instantly. “Really?”

“Yes. And dirty letters.”

“Promise?” He nibbled along the edge of her jaw, guiding her slowly backward toward their bed, stacked high with his two duffle bags and all the crap he still hadn’t packed.

But he didn’t care.

“I promise. And you’re going to be late.” Her voice caught in her throat.

“Screw it,” he whispered. “This is the last chance to make love to my beautiful wife before I have to go traipsing across the desert like Lawrence of Arabia.” He nibbled at her earlobe while his hand slipped down her belly to the moist head between her thighs. “Tell you what. You send me a picture of yours and I’ll send you a picture of mine. Maybe I can get him a little horse and saddle and send you a picture. Maybe a Barbie camel. I can put him in a little man dress.”

She laughed and Carponti’s heart swelled in his chest at the sound of it.

“I’m going to hold you to that.” She traced her fingers over his scalp, her body soft and warm against his erection. “I want a picture of him in a man dress in exchange for a video of the deployment boyfriend.”

Her legs bumped into the back of the bed and he followed her down. Tangled between the duffle bags and his uniforms, he made love to her one last time before he got on a plane and headed to war.



Jessica ScottAuthor Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs; wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well-adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.

She’s written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas.


She’s pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine‘s Americans of the Year for 2012.

Author Social Media links:


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Guest Post(+Giveaway): The World of Art by Kat Martin

AgainsttheMark(300x450)The perfect murder is a work of art 

In one catastrophic instant, Haley Warren’s estranged father was taken from her. She never got the chance to reconnect with him, so now she’s doing it the only way she’s got left: by proving the explosion that killed him was no accident.

When Tyler Brodie, the provocative and handsome P.I. hired by Haley, discovers that her father was investigating a suspected art theft, he knows his death is no coincidence. After all, tens of millions of dollars worth of stolen art could motivate a thief to go to any lengths-including getting rid of anyone poking around where they don’t belong.

As Haley and Ty get closer to the truth, the truth gets ugly: Did Haley’s dad know too much…or was he in on the take? And although Ty’s a consummate professional, he’s having trouble focusing on the facts of the case, and not the figure of his gorgeous client. The two are determined to get to the bottom of the case, even if it means they die trying.

The World of Art

The intriguing world of art is the setting for my newest book, AGAINST THE MARK. When private investigator Tyler Brodie agrees to help hot little blond, Haley Warren, find out the truth about her father’s death, he doesn’t realize the danger he and Haley are going to find themselves in. After all, tens of millions of dollars worth of stolen art is plenty of motive for murder.

Art is a world I know something about. In the mid-nineteen eighties, my husband and I owned a gallery called Wildfire. The gallery specialized in Western art, from impressionist landscapes, to more realistic pieces: scenes of ranch life, cattle drives, winter in the mountains or any of a dozen other western subjects.

We didn’t handle hundred million dollar Rembrandt’s but we visited dozens of galleries all over the world and got to see paintings by all sorts of different artists.

As with everything a writer experiences, the knowledge I gained was invaluable in writing AGAINST THE MARK. In the book, Ty Brodie’s investigation leads him to the discovery of the theft of millions of dollars worth of valuable art.

Was Haley’s late father involved? Or before he died, was he about to make the same discovery Ty and Haley have made–a discovery that might get them killed.

I loved writing this book. In the story, Haley is the child of a broken home, a young woman who doesn’t believe in romance, marriage, or happy endings.

But Ty is a hard man to resist. Carefree and fun-loving on the surface, Ty is ex-military, a man who knows how to handle himself in a tough situation. A man nearly irresistible to women. Ty wants Haley, and it doesn’t take long for her to realize that she wants him.

But Haley is afraid to risk her heart. It takes nearly getting killed before Haley realizes love is worth the risk.

I hope you’ll watch for AGAINST THE MARK, the ninth book in my AGAINST Series. And that next year, you’ll look for Ty’s cousins, the Brodie brothers, starting with sexy, ruggedly handsome Dylan Brodie in AGAINST THE WILD.


Tell me, who is one of your favorite artists and/or one of your favorite art museums?

Till then happy reading and have a great summer. Kat


P.S. Visit my website www.katmartin.com. Or join my Facebook page.




Excerpt #1


Against the Mark, by Kat Martin



I’ve got another client for you. Tyler Brodie, I’d like you to meet my grandniece, Haley Warren. Haley’s out here from Chicago. Her grandmother was my sister.”


Just to regain a little of his dignity, Ty let his gaze roam over her, starting at the frosted-pink toenails peeking out of strappy high-heeled, open-toed sandals, sliding up a pair of long legs in snug fitting jeans, across that bare midriff with its glittering bellybutton ring over a set of nicely rounded breasts to a pretty face framed by long, softly curling honey blond hair.


She had big blue eyes, and an Angelina Jolie mouth that made him think of dirty sex. Maybe she read his thoughts for a faint blush rose in her cheeks.


Good. A little payback only seemed fair.


Besides, she was a real pleasure to look at. Not beautiful in the classic sense like some of the women he knew, but with those dimples and big blue eyes, she was way beyond cute.


Nice to meet you, Ms. Warren.”


The smile was gone and she assessed him coolly. “Aunt Ellie tells me you’re a friend, as well as an investigator.”


I like to think that’s true.”


Of course it’s true,” Ellie said. “That’s why I know we can count on Ty to help us.”


Wariness slid through him. Ellie had a way of bringing him clients who were nothing but trouble. “How’s that?”


Well, you see, three months ago Haley’s father died when his power boat exploded.”


I’m sorry for your loss,” he said to her.


Grief flashed in her eyes an instant before she glanced away. “Thank you.”


At the time everyone thought it was an accident,” Ellie continued, “a gas leak of some kind that turned deadly. Haley’s stepmother doesn’t believe it. About a month ago, Betty Jean started emailing Haley, trying to convince her to come to Los Angeles and help her find out the truth.”


Ty focused on the leggy blonde. “And you think she’s right because…?”


I don’t know if she’s right or not. I’ve never met her. Before he died, my father and I had been estranged for nearly five years, ever since he left my mother and ran off with another woman.”


Betty Jean,” he said, just to make sure he was getting this straight.


That’s right. After he moved to L.A., Dad tried to mend our relationship, but I just…I couldn’t get past his desertion.” She glanced down and her eyes misted. “Now my father’s gone.”


Ty nodded, beginning to get the picture. “So your dad’s dead and you regret not mending your fences.”


Yes, I do. Very much. But the thing is, some of the things Betty Jean says make sense. I owe it to my father to find out what really happened.”


He flicked a glance at Ellie, whose features looked a little too bland to suit him. “I take it you’re here to convince me to help her.”


That’s right. You know how good you are at these things, Tyler. Johnnie’s out of town on some case or other. And Haley will be helping you. That’ll save you from having to do everything by yourself.”


Haley would be helping him. He could think of any number of things he’d like her to do for him, but none of them had anything to do with business. The fact was Haley Warren was Ellie’s niece. Seducing her probably wasn’t a good idea.


Have you talked to the police?”


Betty Jean has,” Haley answered. “The police said there was nothing to indicate any sort of foul play. But my stepmother isn’t convinced and if she’s right–“


I’ll tell you what. I’ll look into the circumstances of the accident, see if anything looks suspicious. I’ve got friends in the department. If something’s not right, I’ll talk to them myself.”


Haley reached over and caught his arm. He felt a little zing of awareness and figured she must have felt it too since she stepped back as if she’d been burned.


She glanced away, took a deep breath and forced her eyes back to his face. “I want to be involved in this, Mr. Brodie. I need to find out for myself. I owe it to my father to find out the truth.”




katB&W2013(web)About the author:


New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Before she started writing in 1985, Kat was a real estate broker.  During that time she met her husband, L.J. Martin, author of thirty western, non-fiction, historical, and suspense novels.  A resident of Missoula, Montana, Kat and her husband spend their winters in Ventura, California. She is a currently writing her next Romantic Suspense.


With fifty five novels to her credit and more than fifteen million copies of her books in print, Ms. Martin has been published in twenty-one foreign countries including France, Japan, Greece, Argentina, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, China, and Spain.

For a chance to win a copy of Against the mark ( digital or print),  just leave a comment with your name. 

The giveaway is sponsored by Kat Martin and is US only.

Guest post: Best Friends Are Like Mushrooms by R.L Naquin

Best Friends Are Like Mushrooms
Most urban fantasy worlds have a built-in requirement that the general population is not allowed to know what’s going on. This rule often leads to all sorts of hiding-it-from-the-best-friend shenanigans.
Will the best friend believe in the ghosts/vampires/werewolves/gremlins if she accidentally finds out? Will she be angry with our heroine for not trusting her enough to tell her about the upcoming zombie apocalypse/escaped souls looking for vengeance/nest of baby aliens in the basement/sea serpent giving birth in the swimming pool? Will she demand our heroine stop sleeping with vamps/running with were-panthers/using her own blood as an offering to the old gods/refusing to share the delicious pastries made by the new closet monster who just moved in?
Being the clueless best friend has to suck. You’re constantly catching the heroine in stupid little lies. The heroine borrows your clothes and keeps returning them with mysterious stains or holes in them. Plans get cancelled all the time, sometimes when you’re already somewhere waiting for the heroine to get there. Sometimes, she stands you up and doesn’t even bother to call.
In the Monster Haven series, this poor, left-out-of-the-loop best friend is Zoey’s business partner, Sara. In the first book, Monster in My Closet, Sara is ignored, lied to, left to do extra work, pushed around, abused, and memory-wiped. Still, Sara’s back for round two in Pooka in My Pantry.
How can Zoey possibly keep Sara in the dark with an invisible, pants-less pooka wreaking havoc in the office, the Leprechaun Mafia leaning on them for protection money, and Zoey’s bad-luck curse causing a car accident in Sara’s own bedroom?
But there are rules. The best friend isn’t supposed to know. Unless she does. But if Sara finds out, will that be the end of the friendship? Sara’s pretty tough, and she runs a tight ship. She probably irons her underwear. The supernatural might not fit very well into her world view.
It might be best if Zoey tried to keep her secret for a little longer.
Or not. You’ll have to read Pooka in My Pantry to find out. And if you haven’t read Monster in My Closet yet, you might want to start there.
And just for fun, tell your best friend you’ve been slaying demons in your spare time and tell us what she said.
Or better yet, you be the clueless one and follow your best friend around in case she’s been hiding a gargoyle in the shed behind her house. Accuse her of not trusting you. Demand answers (be sure to have your hands on your hips and give her the stink-eye). Tell her you’re tired of the lies! Be dramatic and loud.
Then report back to us how it went. It’s for science.
For a free short story set in the Monster Haven world (with a bonus peek at the first chapter of Pooka in My Pantry), visit here: Ill-Conceived Magic 


About the Author:

Rachel’s head is packed with an outrageous amount of useless Disney trivia. She is terrified of thunder, but not of lightning, and tends to recite the Disneyland dedication speech during storms to keep herself calm. She finds it appalling that nobody from Disney has called yet with her castle move-in date.
Originally from Northern California, she has a tendency to move every few years, resulting in a total of seven different states and a six-year stint in England. Currently, she’s planning her next grand adventure. Rachel has one heroic husband, two genius kids, several annoyed cats, and an imaginary dog named Waffles.

She doesn’t have time for a real dog.

Ten Days of Yule: Guestpost by Robin D Owens

 Please welcome Robin D Owens, she is here to tell us about her latest release in her Mystic Circle series.

Thank you so much for having me!  Now a little bit about the Mystic Circle Series:

A dwarf at the door, brownies in the garden, and a merman in the koi pond…strange things are happening in the magical cul-de-sac of Mystic Circle in Denver, Colorado…

Enchanted Ever After is the third in the Mystic Circle series.  In book one, Enchanted No More, I had a half-human, half-Lightfolk djinn (magical fire person) as a heroine, Jenni Weaver.  She was also a game designer.

In book two, Enchanted Again, I focused on people who were descended from Lightfolk and humans and had personal magic, particularly Amber Sarga, a cursebreaker…and for every curse she lifted, she aged.

With Enchanted Ever After, I have a completely human heroine, Kiri Palger, who wants to leave her tough computer help-desk job to write games.  So gaming is an element.  This really came about due to, of course, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, and the movie The Last Starfighter. 

Writing about a game (Transformation) that could physically change a person has intrigued me for a long time and finally gelled for me in Enchanted Ever After.  In this case it changes Kiri from human to Lightfolk…to Waterfolk.

Of course she has a man – unbeknownst to her, a merman – in her life.  Lathyr Tricurrent can sense the potential of full humans to become magical Lightfolk beings.

A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to write something contemporary, and set in Denver, but with fantasy components – thus Mystic Circle and the Lightfolk were born.  The Lightfolk are magical beings, four major groups and four minor groups according to elemental magic: Djinn (genies)/Firesprites for Air; Dwarves/Brownies for Earth; Elves/Airsprites for Air; and Merfolk/Naiads for Water.  I wanted magical creatures limited, so there are only these eight groups – and a few crossbreeds :).  Humans with a touch of Lightfolk in their family trees can be more diverse.

Oh, and these Lightfolk are not “native” to Earth, but came through a dimensional portal that closed millennia ago, their magic has diminished…until an unusual event in Enchanted No More. 
I DO have “native” magical beings, Treefolk and Dryads.  Aric, my first hero, is one of these.

I’ve always been a sucker for architecture and houses.  My first manuscript (which will forever remain in the drawer) had a sentient house, as does my Celta series.  For Mystic Circle, I have a cul-de-sac of nine different styles of houses with a park – and a koi pond – in the middle.

I’ve enjoyed writing the books, toying with magic and brownies who love embroidered shoes and CHOCOLATE, and I hope you thoroughly enjoy the time you spend in Mystic Circle – watch out  for firesprites!