Friday, May 29, 2009

Review: Dark Immortal

I was so excited to get this review! Thanks to Sasha at Two Lips Reviews for the kind words.

Coi's universe is complex and elegant. It is well-structured with no loose ends. The plot is complicated, as is the backstory of Diana and Alric, but it unfolds seamlessly. Because Coi stays on the feeling level, the reader might not realize how complicated the nuances of her story are, particularly the backstory of Diana and Alric. Dark Immortal is a beautifully written book. Coi uses its length to explore her characters in depth and reveal their pain, courage, love, hope, fear, and strengths...

Diana and Alric are strong equals when it comes to virtues. Their relationship is that of a passionate woman and an alpha male who need, respect, and depend on each other. It is very hard to write like this and I have not seen many writers do what Coi can. She is great at emotions and great at lengthy sex scenes. I would read another J.K. Coi book in a minute!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Camel Fic

(By User:Daderot (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

This Camel Fic was posted by me as a comment at The Writers Vineyard on April 23, 2009 and I was asked by Kimber to repost it here on my blog because she liked it so much.

The picture was to act as a writing prompt and a challenge to create the first lines of a story based around the idea of a camel. Well, off I went...

When travelling, you never know when reliable transportation might become an issue, and a smart woman must be prepared for any eventuality.


Even the chic travel guidebook she picked up in New York couldn’t have prepared her for this. Honestly, a camel? And just how was she even supposed to get on that thing?

At her whimper of distress, it looked down its round nose at her, considering her just as carefully as she had been watching it.

“Come on, get up there. It’s a camel, not a T-Rex. You’re perfectly safe.” The voice behind her was deep and masculine. Also condescending, annoying, and impatient.

Gritting her teeth together so hard her jaw ached, Cindy turned to her “escort”, and she used the term very loosely. Despite the fact that he was obviously capable, the man was a ruthless dictator and nobody in their right mind should have ever hired him to be a tour guide. “And just how am I supposed to do that?” she asked.

Jack—Just Jack—smiled at her, showing two rows of brilliant white teeth. He was enjoying this a little too much. “I’m tempted to watch you try and figure it out, lady, but I think we’d be stuck here until doomsday,” he taunted. Nodding to the camel’s handler, who took hold of the animal’s reigns until the creature bent those long legs and settled on the ground, he sighed loudly and shook his head as if she were the silliest creature in all creation—which she very well might be for having agreed to this trip in the first place.

Jack took a step toward her, crowding her until she was forced backward. His hands went to her waist, and he turned her around until she was facing the animal, then lifted her onto its back. She let out a pained oof as he dropped her into the saddle and then climbed up behind her.

Her hand braced against his warm, denim-clad thigh, and she drew it back sharply, craning around to glare at him. He leaned forward, wrapping his arms around her, enveloping her in his rugged strength as he took the reigns from the grinning Bedouin. “Giddy-up,” he whispered in her ear, making her shiver.

Now I'm going to pass the challenge along. Come on, what would you come up with given this picture?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Blog Hopping

I'm blogging today at the Vauxhall Vixens about writing secondary characters, as well as at Happy Endings about promoting yourself via the "Free Read".

AND with that in mind--don't forget to join me and authors Leah Braemel and Kimber Chin tonight at 8:00 pm EST in the Authors' Grill at Romance at Heart for a very special chat.

We'll be talking about our upcoming books and our special project:

(By "Boekrol Esther 18de eeuw uit een sefardische synagoge in Sevilla" (Text from pic website)
( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Authors Leah Braemel, Kimber Chin, and J.K. Coi have joined together to combine the best of all their worlds. Three writing buddies, three romance genres, three to-die-for heroes. Throw in an ancient artifact and the possibility of the end of the world...and you've got one exciting short story put together just for you! Come and meet the sexy security team from Leah Bramel's Hauberk Protection Series, the smart and sassy duo of Kimber Chin's Invisible, and J.K. Coi's devastating immortals and chilling demons--all in one FREE read!

Find Part One on Kimber Chin's blog: June 1, 2009
Find Part Two on J.K. Coi's blog: June 2, 2009
Find Part Three on Leah Braemel's blog: June 3, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Chat and a Free Read

On Tuesday, May 26 at 8:00 pm EST, join me and authors Leah Braemel and Kimber Chin in the Authors' Grill at Romance at Heart for a very special chat.

We'll be talking about our upcoming books and a special project!

Secret Project deets:

Authors Leah Braemel, Kimber Chin, and J.K. Coi have joined together to combine the best of all their worlds. Three writing buddies, three romance genres, three to-die-for heroes. Throw in an ancient artifact and the possibility of the end of the world...and you've got one exciting short story put together just for you! Come and meet the sexy security team from Leah Bramel's Hauberk Protection Series, the smart and sassy duo of Kimber Chin's Invisible, and J.K. Coi's devastating immortals and chilling demons--all in one FREE read!

Find Part One on Kimber Chin's blog: June 1, 2009
Find Part Two on J.K. Coi's blog: June 2, 2009
Find Part Three on Leah Braemel's blog: June 3, 2009

Kimber Chin, author of Breach of Trust and Invisible
--Selling Forever is out in July, 2009


Can Cara close the deal on love?

The Best Sales Plans…

Real estate agent Cara Jones needs a celebrity handyman for her charity auction. Reclusive billionaire Richard Thompson is the perfect choice. All she has to do is find his trigger and trip it, without becoming emotionally attached.

…Sometimes Go Awry

Richard wishes to be valued for himself, not simply for his money. He certainly isn’t going to fall in love with a pushy, pie baking saleswoman, no matter how sweet she tastes.

J.K. Coi, author of the Immortals Series
--book 4, Forever Immortal, is to be released June 16, 2009


Forever becomes a lot more complicated when you’re immortal...

Immortal Series, Book 4

Eight years ago, science and reason ruled Gideon Bennett’s life. Until the death of an Immortal triggered a physical transformation, forcing him out of the laboratory and into a world of violence for which he was ill prepared. Now a seasoned warrior, he is still haunted by his one massive failure—and the face of the woman he couldn’t save.

Lyssa James wasn’t looking for trouble when she set out to enjoy a night on the town away from her dead-end job and obnoxious ex-boyfriend. Instead she got a first-class ticket to a demon hell dimension where she was trapped for eight long years.

Now she’s finally escaped...only to run into the man who failed her. Neither of them are the same people they were eight years ago, but getting reacquainted is the least of their worries.

One of the nastiest demons from the Abyss is on the loose, and it threatens not only their lives…but the future of humanity.

Leah Braemel, author of Private Property
--Her new release, Personal Protection, is now available.


She can cover him with one hand tied behind her back. Maybe two.

Hauberk Protection, Book 2

Sam Watson excels at keeping other people safe. Now a stalker is targeting him, but so what? A few doctored photos and a couple threatening phone calls are no big deal. He can watch his own back. Then again, the view from behind the sexy spitfire assigned to protect him isn’t so bad…

Rosalinda Ramos has managed to keep her attraction to Hauberk Security’s owner tightly under wraps. It’s just as well he doesn’t know. One slip—in the bedroom or on the job—will cost her her heart and her career, so she’s got only one thing on her mind. Protect Sam, whether he wants it or not.

The stakes—and the heat—rise exponentially when she discovers Sam belongs to an exclusive sex club—one she must investigate for potential suspects. Suddenly she finds herself immersed in a world that pushes her boundaries.

Sam delights in leading Rosie deep into his sexual shadows—until they go one game too far. Making him wonder if he can allow the woman he loves to take a bullet for him.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tarot by Arwen

I thought this was really awesome and I hope you'll check it out.

When Arwen Lynch offered to do a Tarot reading, I jumped at the chance, especially when I found out it wasn't going to be for would be for Alric the hero of Dark Immortal.

Anyway, jump on over and see what she had to say about him, and what his responses were to the flip of the card:

(Photo: By Viscontisforzatarot.jpg: Bonifacio Bembo (original) (Viscontisforzatarot.jpg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Vacation...But Not

I've returned from my trip and I had a GREAT time. It was a wonderful week, and although I was able to relax and decompress after a very long and stressful Winter/Spring, I wasn't completely off the clock. I mean, normally I wouldn't choose to go on vacation without my family. I decided to do this mainly because I needed the time, space and quiet to really dig into my WIP.

So while I missed my hubby and son like crazy, I'm glad that I went away because I don't know that I would have had the opportunity to really flesh this out the way it needed to be, or get into Justice and Mira's heads the way I did if I'd stayed at home and been subject to all the same distractions and stressors. I know that life will throw curve balls to us each on occasion and I can't always bury my head in the sand and ignore them all to focus on my writing...but it was nice to do that just this once, for just a little while :)

One thing that I realized while I was working on the book this week is how closely related my vampires are to my immortals. I hadn't planned on it exactly, but now it's so obvious I can't believe I didn't see it before. I also found my theme (ah, the unpredictable life of a pantser). It's not what I expected, but I'm glad that it has come out this way. And oddly enough, the book is both lighter and deeper than I had expected it to be.

Mira and Justice are a wonderful match, each bringing out both the best and the worst in the other. Also, their journey together is going to be one hell of a ride, but I guess it wouldn't be a proper urban fantasy without some uber evil threatening to annihilate the human race, now would it?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm On My Way Home

I'll be seeing you soon. I'm on my way home and although I might need a few days to spend with my husband and son, I'll be sure to pop in to blog about my trip and the progress I made on my WIP--Let's hope that I finished the book!

Leave me comments to let me know what you've been up to!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


As writers, we are all often asked, “why do you write?” As a former dancer, and as a model I ask, “why do we do anything artistic?”

Personally, I create art to express myself. I’m one of those obnoxious people who never shuts up, and whose mind is always going a million miles a second (thank goodness for sleeping pills!). I can express myself through living sculptures (dance), intricate photographs (modeling), and the written word.

I also create art because I love to make people think. I want people to look at things from a different perspective; to challenge society; to go against the grain. There is no greater reward than hearing someone say, “Huh,” as they scratch their head, and walk away. You know they’ll be thinking about that art for days, weeks, maybe even years to come! THAT is the definition of art, in my mind.

As well, I create because if I don’t, I am haunted. My characters will haunt me; I cannot listen to ANY music without seeing dancers and movement(s) in my head; images are constantly flashing in my brain as new ideas to try for a shoot. My “creativity” haunts me. I have to say, though, that the characters I write about are the worst. They’re the ones who won’t let me sleep. If they do, I’m often dreaming of them. They literally infiltrate my life!

I stopped writing fiction for about 15 years, and found reprieve from my fictional hauntings. In 2006, I saw this small, petite blonde girl in a pizza parlor, and thus the stories for Loving Her came about (Liz and Jen had been in my head for years but were homeless until I decided to place them with everyone else in this collection). Although I was extremely busy with other things, the girls from Loving Her reminded me of their presence on occasion. They wanted me to know that they were far from dead. I had best do something with them, else I’d never sleep again! So, I finished the stories, and was EXTREMELY fortunate that Vanilla Heart Publishing agreed to take on such an unusual project, and from a no-name newer author (I’ve been published many times since I was 17, but again, that was all non-fiction).

Then came Imperfect. Battling a dark period in my own life, and using a specific actress as a muse, I came up with this tragic story. It’s still in the works, but will be out later this year. No, I have not been sleeping well thanks to these new characters.

I don’t know what the future holds for me as a writer, dancer, or model. I just like to hope that I have contributed positively to the artistic and creative worlds. Even if I made just one person stop and think, then I did my job well.

L.E. Harvey

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sweet Inspiration

Des'ree - I'm Kissing You - Romeo + Juliet Soundtrack

While I'm gone...inspiration.

So sweet is friendship

1. When you are sad --I will jump on the person who made you sad like a spider monkey jacked up on Mountain Dew!!!!!

2. When you are blue -- I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile -- I will know you are plotting something that I must be involved in.

4. When you're scared -- we will high-tail it out of here.

5. When you are worried -- I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining, ya big baby!!!!

6. When you are confused -- I will use little words.

7. When you are sick --Stay away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever you have.

8. When you fall -- I'll pick you up and dust you off--After I laugh my butt off!!

9. This is my oath...I pledge it to the end. 'Why?' you may ask -- because you are my FRIEND!

Monday, May 11, 2009

GUEST AUTHOR: Leah Braemel

Thanks to JK for inviting me to play on her blog while she’s off on vacation.

I was recently asked if I was a “visual writer.” I started to answer no, because I immediately thought they were asking about putting faces to my characters. Then I remembered a day when I was twelve, and my mother walking into my room and finding me surrounded by drawings. I’d designed the house my heroine lived in and drawn floor plans detailed down to how big each room was, where the furniture was placed and even which way the doors opened. I had maps of the town she lived in and where her house was in relationship to her friends and the shops, etc. I had her entire world planned out through my drawings. And I thought about the pictures and maps that still cover my desk while I’m writing.

Thanks to the internet, I don’t have to draw maps and floor plans by hand anymore, thanks to the internet. For instance, when I was trying to determine what type of place my hero Sam in Personal Protection lived in, I turned to the DC real estate market. I figured a single guy probably wouldn’t have a house, but an apartment. But since he’s rich, it would be a condo he owned, not rented. And since he’s rich, he wouldn’t have a lower floor unit, he’d own the penthouse.

I’ve been to DC before, and I knew the buildings were not supposed to be taller than Congress or the Washington Memorial, I couldn’t remember which. (DC area has an ordinance forbidding the height of a building to be more than twenty higher than the width of the street. So instead of living in a skyscraper on the 85th floor as he would if he lived in Dallas or New York, Sam’s penthouse would probably be no higher than the 16th floor.) Thanks to Google, I found a brand-new upscale condominium site and scoped out the floor plans to its penthouse apartments. In a matter of seconds, I had a ready-made blue print to my hero’s apartment. Of course, I take some liberties along the way: I changed the design of the building so Sam’s penthouse is next to the one Rosie stays in. But getting a ready-made design is definitely better than drawing a floor plan by hand.

Why did I need to go to the trouble? Well, it comes back to being able to visualize things. Okay, and I’m also a little anal about getting details correct. If I had to write "Rosie turned right" when she headed from the living room to a study or a bedroom, having a blue print handy would make sure she would always turn right when leaving the living room.

When I want to scope out what the area where my hero lives is like, I turn to Google Earth. They now have a really neat feature – street level views. Yes, you can get right down to street level and click along the street, turning the camera 360 degrees to see what the neighborhood’s like. It’s a little scary how much detail you can get, (there have been lawsuits laid against Google for invasion of privacy.) But for a writer, it’s a great resource. (No, this picture isn’t where Sam lives, but it is an area in DC where I picture my heroine from my work-in-progress living.)

When I wanted to see where my heroine, Rosie, was walking in the final scenes of Personal Protection, I used Google Earth’s street level feature to “walk” along the actual streets. At one point, I have her reaching “the familiar white wrought-iron fence at the corner.” Unless the reader lived in the area, no one else would know that there really is a white wrought-iron fence at the corner of Zerega and another street. Little touches like that can add depth.

It can also be useful to check the area’s traffic cameras so you’re not having your character driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

Do I need to go to that much trouble? No, I should be able to rely on my imagination. The trouble is these days, if you get a detail wrong, it’s likely someone from that area would challenge me. As I said, I’m anal about details, and that’s why I love that we can use the internet to do our research.

Unfortunately, webcams and Google Earth can only go so far – I won’t be able to hear the birds that populate the forests of Banff National Park if I have a character hiking the Rockies, or smell the pine surrounding them. I won’t get details like how my glasses might steam up when I step out of a store in New Orlean’s French Quarter and get blasted by the heat on a July afternoon, nor would my nose run from the crispness of the air as snow fell … oh, right, I live in Canada. Cold weather I can do. But no camera will let me feel the hero’s as he walks along the street in downtown DC at midnight. (I have walked around in downtown DC. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, but I didn’t feel comfortable. Then again I wouldn’t feel comfortable walking the downtown area of the city where I live at midnight.) So as good as Google is, nothing beats a real life experience.

Then again I could Google all I want but I’d never find a webcam that would help if my story is set on Mars (then again, there are a lot of pictures from the Rover NASA sent up.) I can’t experience warp drive on a space ship or watch a troll battle a dragon. That’s where a writer’s imagination has to kick in.

Leah Braemel’s newest novel, Personal Protection, releases May 12th. For more information about her, check out her webpage.

Personal Protection

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Vacation Reading List

Well, I'm off!! Hasta la vista babes. Arrivederci per ora. Voyez-toi plus tard.

Of course, first on my list of vacation reads is going to be JR Ward’s Lover Avenged. Without going into my disappointment at having to purchase a hardcover copy of this book, I’ll just tell you how excited I am for Rehvenge’s instalment. I have enjoyed this series very much—notwithstanding a few hiccups—and this paperweight is going to be the perfect lounging under the palm tree book! The good thing is, I’m not likely to fall asleep while reading it, which significantly lessens the chances of the book smacking me in the face by dropping out of my hands.

I’m also bringing Suzanne Brockmann’s Into The Fire—what looks to be another action-packed tale in this series of strong, studly Navy Seals. I’ve loved Murphy’s character from the very first few books, and I ached for his loss when his wife died. It will be interesting to see what journey Ms. Brockmann follows him on before he is able to achieve his happy ever after—but whatever form the path takes will not be an easy one, of that I am certain.

On ebook I have Somber Resplendence by Mandy M. Roth. Mainly because I hadn’t read any of her books before, and thought I’d give one a try. This looks to be a very cool fantasy, and I can’t wait to get into it.

Unfortunately, for a week’s vacation, that’s about as much as I’m going to read, since it’s my intention to finish WRITING my book, and I’m looking for as few distractions as possible.

What are you reading this week?
Talk to you soon!

Thursday, May 07, 2009


I have such good news!

I've been sitting on it for a few days, and it was KILLING me!!

First of all--Although the news broke on this one a few weeks ago already, I wanted to send out a super congrats to my friend and critque partner, Maggie Robinson, on her FIRST SALE!!!

Here's the blurb from Publisher's Marketplace: Maggie Robinson's PARADISE, in which an honorable man in the market for a virtuous wife must address the complication of his late Uncle's ward, who he discovers was also his late Uncle's mistress, the subject of an erotic book called The Education of a Young Lady of Doubtful Virtue and the woman who makes him forget all his good intentions, to Kate Seaver at Berkley Heat, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in Summer 2010, by Laura Bradford at Bradford Literary Agency.

But that's not all!!!

Today is the day I can finally share my squees for another FIRST SALE--of my other critique partner, TRW Chapter mate, and friend--Tiffany! YAY!!

From Publisher's Marketplace: Tiffany Chalmer's debut historical romance HIDDEN BEAUTY, in which a gently raised Victorian English beauty is sold by her debtridden husband into a harem, then purchased by the Marquess she's always loved but now must reject for the safety of her young son, to Monique Patterson at St. Martin's, in a pre-empt, in a three-book deal, by Helen Breitwieser at Cornerstone Literary (World).

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Snowball Fight!

I’ve been fleshing out my book. Every time I sit down to write I get a little bit more of it figured out. Which is good—if slow and torturous. But this is the problem with having a “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” approach to writing.

I also liken it to rolling a snowball uphill.

At first it doesn’t matter that you’re going up the hill. The ball is light and fluffy, the white snow dazzles your eyes as the sun hits it and all is good with the world. The snowball grows a little bit and you smile, thinking what great exercise you’re getting.

But then, as the snowball continues to balloon, it gets heavier and you start to puff just a little bit. You can see your breath coming out in longer gasps of steamy air and the sun isn’t so much dazzling as it is a glare and you wish you’d brought a pair of sunglasses.

After a few more steps, the snowball is up to your waist and your arms are burning as you try to keep it from rolling back down and crumbling away to nothing when it bounces off a tree trunk. You have to stop and turn around, anchoring it in place with your back, your heels digging into the ground, snow falling into your boots so that your feet feel like two matching blocks of ice.

But then, after a few deep breaths, you look around and notice that the sun is still shining and its rays are warm on your face. You’ve come quite a long way up that hill, the top isn’t so far away anymore, and your snowball is nice and round and pretty. Pushing it the rest of the way is still a chore and a half and you might have to stop again more than once, but finally—FINALLY—you reach the top of the hill. You can look down at the distance you traveled and sigh happily that it’s over. Here is your snowball!

Now what do you do with it?

Of course, you send it careening back down the hill and hope it knocks everyone in its path right on their a good, awestruck by your brilliance kind of way.

Monday, May 04, 2009

GUEST AUTHOR: N.D. Hansen-Hill

Hi, J.K.! Thank you for inviting me to your blog.

My name is Norah, otherwise known as N. D. Hansen-Hill and Melody Knight. Yes, I'm a writer, author of 43 novels and novellas in the SF/Fantasy/Horror/Romance/Paranormal genres, 42 of which have now been contracted. I've been really lucky in this regard, with 11 lovely publishers, and the opportunity to meet scores of amazing fellow authors.

As I'm sitting here at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning, I can hear the nightclubs roaring outside, remnants of wild evenings out. Karaoke is maybe 2, 3 blocks away, while other people are laughing as they stroll past beneath my balcony. The trucks are going around now, collecting glass for recycling, and judging from the loud tinkle and crash, it was a jolly night. Me? I'm more of a vicarious party animal, who enjoys strutting to the shops late at night, mingling, but not really a part of the action. The richness of the scene stays with me, from the laughs, blaring music, shouts, to the coarse language and staggers. More than once I've been propositioned on this street, which bothers my kids but which I find rather refreshing. The Ladies of the Evening lurk on the opposite corner most fair weather nights. Working girls, just trying to make a living. All genders, including trans-genders, and d*mmit, if most of them don't look better than I do, even at my best. It's one of the reasons it's rather a high when one of their "clients" mistakes me. No thanks—not my scene—but thanks, anyway.

Interesting how our tastes and boundaries change as we do. There were times I would never have considered reading an erotic novella—until I wrote one, of course. My very first sex scene was sooo difficult for me, and I'd always minimize the page when any of my children, even the older ones, came in the room. Their lives have been so much wilder than mine, but I've learned from their experiences, and in my writing I've learned to jump some of those barricades. Don't be afraid to try new things. It's not always important to be "safe."

That doesn't mean I want to share any of this writing with my offspring. I don't need their approval in this regard, which is okay with us both! They're happy thinking that they know more than I do and I'm quite happy not being told what I've done wrong. Surprisingly enough, it's my 16-year-old who brags to her friends that her mother writes erotic romance. It's the shock value, of course, and since I'm so timid about these books, the covers are the only thing she ever sees.

As a parent, I do worry a bit. I still recall, before I began writing romance, a parent refusing to allow his child to play with mine because I was a horror writer! Did he think I kept axes hidden in the broom closet, and bred weird species of man-eating frogs in my swimming pool? That was the first time I ever realized the power authors have to influence and disturb, not always in a good way.

At the moment, I've finished with tons of edits and am now longing to paint. I want to get back to it, but painting is one of those things I'm not confident about. I wish I knew how to view something—anything—as a "hobby". With me, it's 40 books, or 500 paintings. Every time someone says, "nice to have a hobby," I bristle and want to run home and prep for an exhibition. Writers and artists are very strange people, LOL!

So far this year, Artifact, Bane of his Existence, and Gray Beginnings have been released, with A Kiss for Luck, Art & Soul, Relic, A Spirited Exchange, Dink, A La Wolf, Burnt Amethyst, BoneSong, Crystal Dreams, BloodWorks, and Star Fire yet to come.

It's going to be a very busy year!

Thanks again, J.K.!

Regards, and best wishes,
Norah | N. D. Hansen-Hill | Melody Knight |