Tag Archive: Giveaway

R.C. Murphy spends her nights writing urban fantasy novels and a slew of short stories for her blog, The Path of a Struggling Writer. By day she is a not so mild-mannered housewife, wrangling vampires, demons, and various other nasty creatures. R.C. has joined forces with fellow writers, artists, and actors to form the Zombie Survival Crew where she reviews movies, TV shows, as well as penning articles on important survival skills. Her articles on survival in the zombie apocalypse are featured in the ZSC anthology Undead is Not an Option. Readers can find visit her at her web site, her Facebook Fan Page, and Twitter.

Let’s Talk About Sex

Lately there’s been a rash of authors throwing up their hands and staring in wonder as their fans tear into them about their newest books. Not because the writing is shoddy or lacking in any substantial way. Oh no. It’d be understandable if authors were being called onto the carpet for releasing a half-thought-out book. Instead, they’re being shamed for not turning their novels into literary porn. (If you just imagined two novels humping, you’re my new best friend.)

Yes, sex in books is often something wonderful, thrilling, and gives the reader’s day a little extra oomph when they’re done reading. However, sex cannot and will never be the entire plot of a book. A sex scene is one moment in the lives of these people/creatures the author created. If a book was nothing but sex, then readers assume the character has no job, no responsibilities beyond a good shag. That’s not how life works, and even in the most fantastical, sex-driven books, it isn’t how a character would live their life.

I’m one of those weirdos who thinks a character (and heck, even the guy at the end of the bar who’s been sending me drinks all night) has to earn the right to have sex. Sex is never a guarantee. There’s nothing thrilling about opening a romance novel and knowing when, where, and how hard a couple are going to go at it. Romance novels are stories of how these two people build a relationship. How they learn to trust each other enough to be nude and vulnerable in front of a virtual stranger. There’s no magic wand you wave in real life that’ll tell you if the cute chick checking you out at the party is sane enough to sleep with, because at some point she may snap and you’re missing important parts of your body. You. Never. Know.

Also, it is hard to write sex, guys. Okay, rephrase that . . . it is hard to write good, inventive sex scenes that aren’t a rehash of everything else already committed to paper. Think of it like a dance, not everything is going to be Thriller. Sometimes you end up with a limping, off-beat tango and your partner has broken your big toe from stepping on it repeatedly. It is like trying to reinvent the wheel. Sex has been around, literally, forever. It is why we’re all here. Finding new, exciting ways to describe something we all will do at some point in our lives sucks. And not in a good way. Authors are banking on their talent to keep the reader from stopping mid-fictional-hump and saying, “That’s not how it works.” I’m not immune to this. Every time I think I have something cool to offer, my editor shakes her head and I realize she’s right. There are physical limitations to what a normal person can do. Remembering those in an effort to write the New Best Sex Thing Ever is a trial.

Not every sex scene works in the context of the story plot, either. An author may come up with the Hamlet of sex scenes, but if it stalls the flow of the plot, it’ll have to go. Maybe the scene will move to later in the book. Maybe it’ll be dumped in a “For Later Use” file and put into another story. Just depends on where the characters are mentally, physically, and if the flow of the story calls for a little time out. Unlike real life, sex for the sake of having sex doesn’t often fit into a story.

The next time you feel like grabbing a pitchfork and torch over an author’s lack of sex scenes in a book, stop and think what you’d do in their shoes. We try our best to titillate readers while telling a good story, but sometimes we can’t make Fetch happen. And we shouldn’t. When you force something on a story, it falls apart. I’d much rather read a sexless romance story than a forced sex scene. Focus on good writing, not cheap thrills. There’s an entire internet full of porn for that.


Thank you R.C. for coming to PonyTails today! I am doing a giveaway of 1 ebook of Enslaved. This is open to everyone. The winner will be selected using Random.org and will be announced around September 24, 2013. Please fill out the form below.

About Enslaved:

The gods are flawed . . . and they make awful parents.

Deryck knows first-hand the cruelty of the gods. Three thousand years after his birth, he is still trapped, forced to service humans as an Incubus—unable to choose whom he sleeps with, and living a life completely devoid of love. There is no out for him. No hope. Or so he thought.

Shayla McIntire spent five years getting her life back on track after the accident claiming her husband’s life. She is content to a nice, boring, subdued life free of the abuse she suffered before. Her friends are worried. They want her to find the man of her dreams and move on.

Little do they know, the Powers That Be have decided the man of Shayla’s dreams for her. There’s just one hitch, he’s enslaved to the gods and it will take power she doesn’t know she has to free him. Deryck isn’t the only one hoping Shayla will free him, though.

Enslaved is available from Amazon and from Barnes and Noble.


This was our largest giveaway ever here at PonyTails! We had 179 entries!  Thank you to everyone who entered.

I used Random.org to choose the lucky person to receive the print editions of If I Were You and .   The winner is….

T.J. – I emailed BookTrib your information.  You should receive your books soon!

This Giveaway will run until June 29, 2013. It is only open to U.S. and Canadian Residents. The winner will receive a print copy of both If I Were You and Being Me. To enter the giveaway, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page. Incomplete entries will not be considered for the giveaway. The winner will be announced by July 6, 2013.

Lisa Renee Jones started her publishing career in 2007. Since then, she has published over 30 books with 8 different publishers and has created a successful indie book career. She is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author who’s Inside Out Trilogy has been optioned by the cable channel STARZ. She currently lives with her husband and adorable cat in Colorado. Please visit her at her website, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

About If I Were You:

When Sara McMillan finds a stack of journals in a storage unit, she’s shocked and enthralled by the erotic life the writer led. Unable to stop reading, she vicariously lives out dark fantasies through Rebecca, the writer—until the terrifying final entry.

Certain something sinister has happened, Sara sets out to discover the facts, immersing herself in Rebecca’s life. Soon she’s working at the art gallery Rebecca worked at and meeting Rebecca’s friends. Finding herself drawn to two dangerously sexy men, the manager of the gallery and a famed artist, Sara realizes she’s going down the same path Rebecca took. But with the promise of her dark needs being met by a man with confident good looks and a desire for control, she’s not sure anything else matters. Just the burn for more.

If I Were You is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions.

If I Were You is also available from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions.

About Being Me:

Fascinated by the dark fantasies in the journals she’s discovered, and the two men who have now found a place in her life, Sara McMillan finds herself torn between her new life and her past. Now, more than ever, Sara identifies with the missing journal writer, Rebecca, and is certain that something sinister has happened.

In the arms of the sexy, tormented artist Chris Merit, Sara seeks answers about Rebecca and ends up discovering things about herself she never knew existed. Chris forces Sara to reconsider who she is and what she truly wants from life, but his dark desires threaten to tear them apart. Her boss, Mark Compton, offers her the shelter to understand just what those needs mean to her, and what they might have meant to Rebecca—but can she trust him to lead her to a final conclusion to Rebecca’s story?

Being Me is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions.

Being Me is also available from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions.

Lisa has also written 4 novellas meant to be read between If I Were You and Being Me. Rebecca’s Lost Journals, Volume 1 – 4 are available in Kindle and Nookicon editions.

Once a week through June and July, Lisa will be releasing installments of a serialized mystery Behind Closed Doors: An Inside Out Novella on the Storage Treasures website.



The Assassins Hockey Blog Hop


This blog hop is sponsored by Romance at Random.  Click the above the image to enter to win and see a list of all participating blogs!

About the books:
Taking Shots

In Toni Aleo’s exhilarating debut, the first in a series featuring the hockey hunks of the Nashville Assassins, a reformed bad boy helps a charming, willful woman face off against the demons of her past.

No matter how hard she tries, Eleanor Fisher never thinks she’s good enough, from her job to her weight to her love life. After enduring years of abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Elli has been drifting through life in a daze. Until, that is, she meets Shea Adler on a promotional shoot for the NHL’s Nashville Assassins. Before Elli knows what’s happening, the gorgeous Shea breaks the ice and shatters her world.

A brilliant athlete inside the rink, Shea Adler is tired of the life he’s living outside of it: the girls, the money, the drinking. But everything changes when he meets Elli. After laying eyes on this feisty, witty, beautiful woman, he feels like he’s just taken the hardest hit of his life. No matter how skeptical she is, Shea knows they are meant to be together—if only he can convince Elli to put her insecurities aside throw her insecurities out the window before she misses out on a shot at love.

Trying to Score

In a captivating novel of hockey and healing hearts, the newest member of the Nashville Assassins pulls a power play to make things right with the one that got away.

Fallon Parker’s dream has always been to turn her family’s wine company into a runaway success and eventually to start a cellar of her own. Since graduating from college, she has worked relentlessly to make that dream a reality, especially after taking a chance on love—and losing. By the time Fallon becomes an official sponsor of the Nashville Assassins, she feels like all her hard work is finally paying off. And then the man who broke her heart skates back into her life.

On the ice, Lucas Brooks is the NHL’s leading scorer—at least when he’s not in the box. Off the ice, he’s a mess, with all his anger and misery bottled up inside. He threw away the most important person in his life and has regretted it ever since. But when Lucas returns to Nashville in a trade, he’s determined to convince Fallon that he’s a changed man. The attraction is still there. The tension is electrifying. But the odds are stacked against them—especially after Lucas finds out that Fallon has been keeping a devastating secret.

Empty Net

The chiseled men of the Nashville Assassins can make anything happen when they go all-out for the women they want—even turn a one-night stand into a happily ever after.

Audrey Parker is up against the boards. She’s stuck in a job she hates and pining for a total jerk. Meanwhile, her sister Fallon is moving out and getting married to hockey star Lucas Brooks. Where is Audrey’s Prince Charming? Nothing she does has ever seemed to be good enough for any of the men in her life. Audrey’s about to hit rock bottom . . . until she wakes up next to Tate Odder.

The thrill of moving up from the minors to the Nashville Assassins was a welcome distraction. But not even becoming the first rookie goalie to tally three shutouts in the Stanley Cup Finals alleviates the pain. With the loss of his parents and sister weighing as heavily on his soul as ever, Tate Odder can’t keep pretending he’s okay. That’s when he meets smart, sexy Audrey. Her gentle warmth and quirky sense of humor make him feel whole for the first time in too long. But to stay that way forever, Tate must find a way to accept his past and learn to live for love.

Deep in the heart of the Windy City, three things can be found at Julie Ann Walker’s fingertips: a keyboard, a carafe of coffee, and a sleepy yellow Labrador retriever. They, along with her ever-patient husband, keep her grounded as her imagination flies high. Look for the next two books in her fast-paced series: In Rides Trouble (September 2012) and Rev It Up (October 2012). Readers can find visit her at her web site, her Facebook Fan Page, and on Twitter.

PonyTails (PT): Hell On Wheels is your debut novel and the first in the Black Knights Inc. series. What was it like to get the call that Sourcebooks Casablanca wanted the entire trilogy?

Julie Ann Walker (JAW): Oh, I hope my agent doesn’t read this, because it’s still a sore subject between the two of us. You see, I got “the call” while I was out cycling. Now let me set the stage for you… Imagine me fifteen miles down the road from my condo, peddling my little heart out, trying to burn off at least some of the calories from the fettuccine I shouldn’t have eaten for lunch – I have very little willpower when it comes to pasta – when, suddenly, there’s a sea of broken glass in front of me. I slam on my brakes, but it’s too late. I run over the glass – which, of course, results in two blown tires. So, long story short – too late! – I finish changing both tires, but now I’m hot and sweaty, covered in grease from my bicycle chain, bleeding from where I scraped my knuckles on the pavement, and severely ticked-off about the fact that I still have to cycle all the way back home, when, suddenly, my cellular rings. Gingerly, with greasy, bloody fingers, I dig the phone from my pocket to hear my lovely agent squealing that she’s sold my books. And my response? In that moment? “Oh, good. But can I call you back in about half an hour?” *wince* She says it was the most underwhelming reaction she’s ever had.

But I’ll tell you this, those fifteen miles home went by in a flash, and I completely forgot about being hot and sweaty, bleeding and covered in grease.

PT: What drew you to the military romantic suspense genre?

JAW: Really? Have you ever seen a serviceman in full dress uniform? Hubba-hubba! The better question is why isn’t everyone drawn to military romantic suspense? No, but seriously, I volunteer at the USO and I can tell you, there isn’t another group of individuals out there more heroic than our fighting men and women. I’m always awed but their grit, determination, and sacrifice.

PT: Why do you write about these modern day warriors?

JAW: It’s a very small way for me to express my admiration for all that they do..

PT: Do you plan your stories or do you just put pen to paper and see what happens?

JAW: Aw, yes, the writing process… What a mystical and… harrowing?… thing it is. You see, for me, the stories usually manifest themselves all in one fell swoop. I’ll know my hero and heroine, all the secondary characters, and the major plot points before I ever sit down to put my fingers on the keyboard. So the actual sitting down to put my fingers on the keyboard is a bit of a… um… let’s call it struggle. Since I already know how the story ends, I find it very difficult to take the time to put the words on the page – mostly because I’m ready to start dreaming up something new. Of course, there are days when the story goes off in a direction I didn’t expect and then… bliss!

PT: What are your go to resources when you write? Favorite books, websites, technology, etc.

JAW: I absolutely love military internet message boards. Everything from talks on weaponry to gear to simple military terms is there at the tips of my fingers. Message boards are also phenomenal resources for discovering how service men and women speak to one another. Because, you know, they really do have their own language, one that, as a civilian, I can’t possibly hope to fake simply from watching a few movies.

PT: Being a debut novelist, what advice would you give aspiring authors?

JAW: Write, write, and write some more. Like everything else, practice really does make perfect. My favorite quote is from Ernest Hemingway. It goes something like this, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Amen, Ernie. Amen.

Thank you to Julie Ann for visiting PonyTails.

The wonderful Danielle Jackson at Sourcebooks Casablanca has agreed to sponsor a giveaway of 1 copy of Hell On Wheels . It is open to US and Canadian residents only. I will close the sign up on Friday, September 7, 2012 at 11:59pm EDT. I will use Random.org to select the winner and will announce the winner here on Monday, September 10, 2012. To enter, please fill out the form at the end of the post.

About Hell On Wheels:

Black Knights Inc.—Behind the facade of their tricked–out motorcycle shop is an elite special ops team assigned the jobs too hot for anyone else to handle.

Hold On Tight…

Ex–Marine Nate “Ghost” Weller is an expert at keeping his cool—and his distance—which makes him one hell of a sniper. It’s also how he keeps his feelings for Ali Morgan in check. Sweet, sexy Ali has always revved his engine, but she’s his best friend’s baby sister…and totally off limits.

Rough Road Ahead…

Ali’s never seen anything sexier than Nate Weller straddling his custom Harley—or the flash of danger in his eyes when she tells him she’s in trouble. First something happened to her brother, and now she’s become the target of a nasty international organization. With Nate, her life is in the most capable hands possible—but her heart is another story altogether.

Hell On Wheels is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions.


Linda Lael Miller is a multiple New York Times #1 Best Selling author for her westerns, contemporary and historical. Her first book was published in 1983 by Pocket Books. Since then, she has published over 100 books. She has written paranormal, suspense, and regular contemporary, but her love is western romance. In 2007, the Romance Writers of America awarded her the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. You can find visit her at her website, her Facebook Fan Page, and on Twitter.

Would you ever revisit some of the other genres you have written (paranormal, thriller, contemporary, historical)? 


I would definitely revisit those other genres—on one condition.  I would have to have a really, REALLY good idea.  I still write historicals—my Christmas books, “A Lawman’s Christmas”, “A McKettrick Christmas”, etc., are always set in the late 19th or early 20th century.  Time travel has always intrigued me, and I’m asked virtually every day when and if there will be a new Mojo book.  The answer: Yes.  Eventually.  I enjoy reading short stories and novellas by my favorite authors as ebooks, and I’m considering doing more vampire and Mojo stories in that format, though right now, I’m truthfully too busy with current projects.  Also, it’s important to mention that I LOVE writing about sexy contemporary cowboys and their smart, spirited women.




Thank you to Ms Miller for coming to PonyTails today!

I am sponsoring a giveaway of 1 copy of the first book in this trilogy Big Sky Country. It is open to US and Canadian residents only. I will do a random selection from the entries for the one winner on August 10, 2012. To enter, please fill out the form at the end of the post.

BookTrib is the host for this wonderful blog tour.  Be sure to check out their website for beautiful western jewelry you can win during the blog tour!

About Big Sky Mountain:

With his rugged good looks, vast wealth and family name, hell-raiser Hutch Carmody is still the golden boy of Parable, Montana. But he’s done some growing up—making peace with his illegitimate half brother and inheriting half of Whisper Creek Ranch, which should have been all his. These days, Hutch knows there are some things money can’t buy: like the heart of loving, ladylike divorcée Kendra Shepherd.

Kendra’s quiet mansion reminds her of what she wants most—a devoted husband and the pitter-patter of little feet. She can’t get Hutch Carmody out of her mind. But a rough-and-tumble cowboy like Hutch, coming home for family dinner? Seems crazy! Then again, crazier dreams have become reality under the vast Montana sky.

Big Sky Mountain is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions.



Random House’s romance blog is hosting a blog hop in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. There will be 26 winners selected. Be sure to go over and check it out!

I used Random.org to choose the two lucky people to receive The Lord Of Illusion.   The winners are….




Ladies, Sourcebooks Casablanca will mail you those books later this week.

Thank you to everyone who entered!

Kathryne Kennedy has won awards from the Arizona Author Association and the Colorado Romance Writers for her magical romances. She has lived in Guam, Okinawa, and several states in the U.S., and currently lives with her wonderful family in Arizona, where she is working on the next book in her Relics of Merlin series, Everlasting Enchantment. She welcomes readers to visit her her website where she has ongoing contests.

Meet My Dragons by Kathryne Kennedy

A big hello Jenn and all your readers! It’s a pleasure to be a guest at your blog today, and to meet another serious book and animal lover! After visiting your blog I knew right away which character I would be introducing from my book today. The dragon. Although many of my books feature animals—from Chihuahuas to monkeys to shape-shifting stallions—my current release features an intelligent, sometimes sarcastic, golden-scaled dragon.

I can’t help including an animal or two in my stories. They often provide that touch of whimsy or charm that make the book fun and engaging for me, and hopefully for my readers as well. When I was younger, I had a passion for horses. Although I couldn’t have one of my own, I had several friends who were kind enough to share theirs. Over the years I’ve had rabbits, dogs, cats, fish, snakes, tadpoles, geckos, birds and a crawdad or two. I currently have two little Chihuahuas that bring more joy and pleasure to my life than their 16 combined pounds should. And because I think they’re the most darling girls in the world, I had to share some of their pictures with you and your readers. The fluffy one is Precious, and the short-hair is Baggins…and they weren’t really into ‘modeling’ with one of my books. :}

In The Elven Lords series, the seven mad elven who invaded England flew through the barrier between worlds on their dragon-steeds. Each dragon is the color of the magical scepters of the elven lords, and carries a form of each particular power. Here is a glimpse at each of them:

Ador of the black scepter spouts fire.
Kalah of the blue scepter breathes lightning.
Mi’cal of the green scepter exhales a mist that creates thorny vines, a grove of trees, meadows of flowers.
Grimor’ee of the golden scepter puffs a misty smoke of illusion.
Midaz of the violet scepter can expel a fog that can turn anything to stone.
Grendl of the silver scepter spews molten metal.
Kiz’rah of the brown scepter has a roar that can cause the earth to split.

In The Lord of Illusion, we meet Grimor’ee, the golden dragon of glamour and illusion. In this scene, we see him through my hero’s point of view:

Drystan watched in amazement as a rosy hue flushed the dragon’s golden scales from snout to tail. Great wings rose and covered Camille for a moment, apparently the version of a dragon’s hug.

“You humans,” he rumbled, “have such capacity for greatness within your concept of love.” His golden eyes glanced at Drystan, who stood with arms crossed, watching the beast with as much obvious distrust and skepticism as he could display with a raised brow and a sneer.

“And weakness,” added Grimor’ee, removing his wings from around her and pointing them skyward. “We will speak again, Camille. You must promise to visit me tomorrow evening. Will you do so?”

“Yes. Yes, of course, if you wish it.”

Grimor’ee gazed at her silently, the smaller scales covering his forehead folding together as if contemplating a serious and disturbing matter. “I do so wish it.” He stretched out his wings to their full length, easily twice his height. “Now get the man from my sight before I turn him into a frog. He annoys the human hell out of me.”
She backed up as the dragon stroked the air with his wings, the cozy fireplace Grimor’ee had conjured disappearing as if washed away by the breeze he created. Drystan leaped forward and shielded her body with his as the dragon took to the air, his golden scales shining against the night sky as brilliantly as the stars twinkling above.

“You hurt his feelings,” said Camille.

Drystan sighed. “Dragons have no feelings, Camille. At least, none that remotely resemble a human’s. It is a grave mistake for you to think so.”

“Is it?” She pulled away from him, heading back toward the bridge between castle and tower. “He has never lied to me.”
Drystan scowled, trudging after her through the freshly fallen snow.

Devil take it. Could he be jealous of a dragon?

My dragons became more pivotal to the plot than I had first intended. Their interactions with humans gave them empathy and emotion that developed over the course of the series, until they fought the enchantment the elven lords had put on them, and became actively involved in the fight for England’s freedom.

Thank you so much for having me here today, Jenn! I hope you and your readers enjoyed the sneak peek into the dragons of THE ELVEN LORDS series. Do any of you have a favorite fantasy creature? Or a favorite pet? I would love to hear about it!

My Magical Best,


Thank you to Ms. Kennedy for coming to PonyTails today to talk about your fur-babies and dragons!

The wonderful Danielle Jackson at Sourcebooks Casablanca has agreed to sponsor a giveaway of 2 copies of THE LORD OF ILLUSION . It is open to US and Canadian residents only. I will do a random selection from the entries for the two winners on March 1, 2012. To enter, please fill out the form at the end of the post.

About The Lord Of Illusion:

He’ll do anything to save her…

Rebel Lord Drystan Hawkes dreams of fighting for England’s freedom from the endless evils of the Elven Lords. He gets his chance when he finds a clue to opening the magic portal to Elfhame, and he must race to find the slave girl who holds the key to the mystery. But even as Drystan rescues Camille Ashton from Dreamhame Palace, it becomes unclear exactly who is saving whom.

For the fate of humankind lies with Camille…

Enslaved for years in a realm where illusion and glamour reign, Camille has learned to trust nothing and no one. But she’s truly spellbound when she meets Drystan–a man different from any she’s ever known, and the force of their passion may yet be strong enough to banish the Elven Lords from this world forever.

M. L. Buchman has worked in fast food, theater, computers, publishing, and light manufacturing. It’s amazing what you can do with a degree in geophysics. At one point he sold everything and spent 18-months riding a bicycle around the world. In 11,000 miles, he touched 15 countries and hundreds of amazing people. Since then, he has acquired a loving lady, the coolest kid on the planet, and lives in Portland, Oregon. For more information, please visit his website.

Cross-genre Madness by M.L. Buchman

First, Jenn, thank you so much for having me aboard to chat about writing, my favorite topic (big surprise, huh?). I was totally caught by your “about you” comment regarding your own reading tastes: romance, SF/F, and suspense. I love the variety of reading across genres and across time periods, I’m currently in Westerfeld’s Leviathan, there’s a Lee Child on my night stand, and my Kindle for commuting is presently loaded with the six novels of Jane Austen.

The thing I found so amusing about your note: what’s happened to your reading tastes has happened to my writing.

I set out to be an SF/F writer and made an immediate sale to a small press. The publisher decided that the Romance Writer’s of America needed to be shown that men were interested in romance as well and dragged four of us to the 1996 RWA National Conference, even though none of us wrote romance at that time. Seven guys and eighteen hundred women, a serious wakeup call I can tell you. I read my first romance while there, actually my first 3 (didn’t sleep much), and was completely hooked.

But the more I read, the more challenging it became. Romance is not as easy to write as it might first appear, especially not to an over-confident sf writer. Let’s just say that my first two romances went in the trash can, after they were finished, and my next two went through several complete redrafts before I had learned enough. Learned enough to craft an engaging story about a happily ever after love, that is a given fact from the first scene, but can’t actually work until the last scene… That’s the biggest fun of writing. Learning how to tell a story.

But how did my first national sale end up being a military romantic suspense? Well, while I was exploring romance, I was also exploring suspense. I liked the tension, the conflict that a suspense plot naturally brings to the story. So there I am, taking a break from my most recent failed romance manuscript, happily writing away on a foodie thriller. The U.S. Special Forces are hunting America’s top television chef (eventually published as Swap Out!) and a woman flies in to the rescue. She flying a helicopter, which I know little about; a secret helicopter, which I know less about; and she’s a warrior’s warrior, which I know nothing about. And military, about which I know even less than that if possible.

Now I love writing about strong women, they fascinate me endlessly. Sure, I’m male, that’s part of it. But I look at the inner strength of the woman who foolishly agreed to marry me some years ago and I can’t help but be daunted by her strength. Stuff I know for a fact I would never survive, and I’m not just talking about childbirth, she’s the most amazing person I’ve ever met. (And still she was foolish enough to say, “Yes!” when I asked. Go figure.) Actually every book I’ve ever written, except Swap Out!, is centered on a strong woman, no matter what genre it’s in.

So, with no military background of any kind, I began to research what drove the people who fight for our country, not as a tour, but as a career. And especially for the Special Forces. For them, there’s no glory, because a job well done is the one never talked about. The more I learned of them, the more I came to respect them. And the more I wanted to honor the passion they bring to their lives and their country.
So there I was, having to learn about military helicopters and warrior thinking in order to write this strong woman who was only a secondary character in my thriller. And eventually, not being too much denser than the average brick, I put the pieces together, my new-found study of the warrior spirit, my fascination with the deep strength of women, and my desire to tell a romance, and hopefully tell it well, all came together. Warrior women flying secret military helicopters falling in love with the men they deserve.

I sold the four-book series, “The Night Stalkers,” to Sourcebooks/Casablanca on a letter and a sample chapter. Then went through two massive redrafts working with the amazing editor Deb Werksman before I finally was able to tell the story I’d set out to find three years earlier.

The Night is Mine is about the first woman to fly with the U.S. Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR). The real-life Night Stalkers were the first over the horizon in Grenada, Panama, and Bin Laden’s compound among a thousand other exploits. They’ve died for their country on Takur Ghar, the streets of Somali and places we’ve never heard of, and never will.

And it is about the men they deserve, men who are as dedicated, stubborn, and tough as they are.
They fly together out of my desire to write in two genres landing in one, suspense and romance into military romantic suspense. My deepest hopes are that I did honor them as I intended and that you enjoy reading this book even half as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Thanks again for having me aboard.

M.L. Buchman


Thank you to Mr Buchman for coming to PonyTails today! I love learning about the evolutionary writing process every author goes through.

The wonderful Danielle Jackson at Sourcebooks Casablanca has agreed to sponsor a giveaway of 2 copies of THE NIGHT IS MINE . It is open to US and Canadian residents only. I will do a random selection from the entries for the two winners on February 10, 2012. To enter, please fill out the form at the end of the post.

About The Night Is Mine:

NAME: Emily Beale
RANK: Captain
MISSION: Fly undercover to prevent the assassination of the First Lady, posing as her executive pilot.

NAME: Mark Henderson, code name Viper
RANK: Major
MISSION: Undercover role of wealthy, ex-mercenary boyfriend to Emily

Their jobs are high risk, high reward:

Protect the lives of the powerful and the elite at all cost. Neither expected that one kiss could distract them from their mission. But as the passion mounts between them, their lives and their hearts will both be risked…and the reward this time may well be worth it.

If you click the book image it will take you to my review of The Night Is Mine.

The Night Is Mine is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. From Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions.