Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Loribelle Hunt Spotlight

Loribelle Hunt is a born storyteller. She exploded on the publishing scene in June of this year and already has five books on the virtual shelves with e-publishers Cobblestone Press and Freya’s Bower, including her latest release Bad Moon Rising, second in a shape-shifter series. Ms. Hunt is not only prolific, she’s versatile, too, dividing her time between military, paranormal, and erotic romance.

Words Used to Describe Her Books: Hot, as in, set-the-pate-on-fire hot; touchingly tender; anxiously awaited.

Join me today for a question and answer with this exciting new author.

If you had to live out one of your stories, which would it be? Why?
Probably one of the werewolf books. They are so sexy and who wouldn't
like a walk on the wild side? *g*

Share with me how you came up with the ideas for a few of your books. I get ideas from everywhere. Dreams, overheard conversations, what-if
scenarios. My upcoming futuristic idea came from a movie title, an old
Julia Roberts flick, "Sleeping With the Enemy." I wanted to explore the
concept and the story was born.

Do you have a weakness for certain themes, storylines, settings, or
such in your reading and/or writing? What are they?
I love
werewolves. I also tend to write about very strong willed women who
come to learn that relationships are about partnership not giving up a
part of themselves.

Ah, yes. Your Lunar Mates series is about werewolves. Yum! If you could be a werewolf, would you? I think it would be a blast to try a few times,
but in the long run probably not so fun. LOL. For one you'd have to be
very careful about who you trusted with that secret, and you'd also
always have to have your guard up with your own people. It's fun to
explore in books, but I think it would be a very hard life to actually

Name your top five favorite authors. This is hard. Suzanne Brockmann, Christine Feehan, Christine Warren, Nevada Barr, and Guy Gavriel Kay
probably are the top five on my 'must buy' list.

Can Hollywood make a good romantic movie? I think so, but I couldn't really name a recent one. I loved "The Upside of Anger," and it's about
love, but I doubt most people would call it a romantic movie.

Tell me something about you that very few people know. I really am an open book lol. There can't be much y'all don't know about me. LOL!

What's your favorite animal at the zoo? I love wolves. *g* I also love the big cats-tigers, lions, leopards, etc.

Is there a skill you don't have, but wish you did? I've wanted to jump out of an airplane for years. I had a broken leg when the chance came up in the Army, so that was definitely out lol. I'll do it one of these days. ;)

If you could do the nasty with anyone, living or dead, who would it
be? Why?
How 'bout fictional? Cassanova would be nice. *g* You have
to wonder if would live up to the reputation. Or living, I'd have to say Vin. He's not traditionally good looking, but very sexy.

I want to thank Loribelle for her time and encourage you all to visit her website.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Time For A Review

It's been over a month since I've reviewed a Woman's World story. I am long overdue!

"Friends and Neighbors" by Patricia Parkinson, from the September 5th issue of Woman's World

Tagline: Michael lived right next door: Was he so close by that Holly had missed all the signals?

This was a sweet story. We have a matchmaker friend who motivates the heroine to break free of her shyness and take the next step with her hunky and helpful neighbor.

Best Part: Ann, the matchmaking friend says, "Polish up those glasses of yours, Holly. There's a romantic opportunity sitting right under your nose." So, Holly pulls off her glasses and looks for smudges. LOL.

Just My Humble Opinion: "Feeling strangely unsure of herself, Holly went out the back door." She's on her way to ask her neighbor to come over for dinner and it seemed perfectly normal, based on what we know of her character, for her to be unsure of herself.

Grade: B

Four Angels!

My first official review is in from Fallen Angel Reviews. Elizabeth, obviously an astute, discerning reader/reviewer, gave Leap of Faith 4 angels! Here's snippet of what she said:

"Leap of Faith is a highly unusual novella, the like of which I have not come across before. [It] mixes exploration on the part of the characters with lovemaking, thus this novella becomes more than a short piece of erotic fiction...a tale without coarse or crude language, steeped in an old culture that I found rather intriguing."

I think it's terrific to have come across as unique to a reviewer who must have read who-knows-how-many novels. If you'd like to read the full review, click here .

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

H.A. Fowler Spotlight

H.A. Fowler's writing is the stuff of "nightmares, fantasies and dark desires." Reviewers have used words like action-packed, fascinating, vivid, and WOW to describe her books. To date, she has published Sword of Regret with Freya's Bower, and The Veil is due in October from Cobblestone Press. And coming soon from Lady Aibell Press is Positive Encounter, in the Vamprotica '06 Anthology.

I hope you enjoy this closer look at an up and coming author.

Kate Willoughby: Which of your characters would you like to meet? Why?

H.A. Fowler: LOL! What a cool question. But a difficult one to answer, because as awesome as my characters are and as much as I love them, I think a lot of them would be mighty scary in real life. I'd say it's a tie between three of my unpublished characters. Brian MacMillan, the actor from my first novel (and only contemporary) HEMINGWAY'S HEART--he's smart, sweet, sexy, and loves the Grateful Dead--like me. *G* Second, Faron Kai, the antagonist from my unpublished dark fantasy THE BLACK SUN CHRONICLES VOLUME I--he's dark, dangerous, brilliant, and a terminally sexy vampire with a smart mouth. Are you noticing the pattern here yet? *G* And finally, Handsome Jack Sharpe, the cowboy ghost from my unfinished paranormal western manuscript. He is... say it with me now, smart, sexy, more than a little snarky, and hard on the outside with a mushy heart on the inside. My favorite kinds of characters are tortured, reluctant heroes and heroines.

Of my heroines, I can't pick a favorite--they're all strong, sexy, independent and determined. Powerful in one way or another. I can't stand a TSTL (too stupid to live) or TWTL (too weak to live) heroine, and there are far too many of them out there these days, even in paranormals. I love an alpha male (boy howdy do I!), and adore seeing a fierce heroine find her softer side... maybe get a little dominated in the bedroom. But I think some popular authors and series walk the wrong side of the thin line between sexy power games and barely-consensual sex hidden behind variations on the concept of "soulmate." In other words, that couples are "meant to be," beyond their will or control. It allows for lazy writing when the author isn't required to develop the relationship, or show us why these people/creatures should be together. They're like modern day bodice rippers, and they drive me crazy. I mean, if you know anything about the BDSM lifestyle, for example, it is all about safety and explicit consent, no matter how rough the games get. Without that consent, it's just torture and rape.

Sorry for the tangent. It's a pet peeve.

KW: How did you come up with the idea for Sword of Regret?

HF: I didn't! LOL! My first contract with Freya's Bower included writing based on a prompt they gave me and a genre of my choosing. I chose vampires, of course. The prompt was a sword that, when touched, overwhelms the person with feelings of guilt and remorse. I created the characters and built scenarios based on that prompt. It was much more clinical than my process usually is, but I tried to explore both sides of the coin--a vampire who touches the sword, and a vampire hunter.

KW: Looking at your own books, what would be your favorite line of dialogue?

HF: Heh. Well, one of my favorite exchanges comes from THE BLACK SUN CHRONICLES VOLUME I, but I can't share it because of the language factor. *G* I'm a huge fan of snarky, punny lines. I also love sweeping, romantic dialogue.

Oh, I thought of one! There's a line in OTHERWORLD, the sequel to THE VEIL, that makes me snicker. I can't set it up too much because it gives some things away, but Harrigan is in a place that reminds him of the cantina in Star Wars. He meets up with his guide, who's a 6'4" hunky male model type whose attitude gets right on Harrigan's naturally frayed last good nerve. Harrigan needles the guy a bit, as is his wont, and the guide loses his temper, leaps to his feet, and snaps out a pair of wings with a span of over 10'. Harrigan goggles at him for a minute and then says, "There weren't any of you in Star Wars." Hee.

I love Harrigan. I should have mentioned him in my favorite character list.

KW: Do you have an core theme that appears in all your books?

HF: I like to think it's "love is the most powerful force in the universe." I mean, that's essentially what comes out of romance as a genre, don't you think? The HEA or HFN ending--hope for the characters, and often the world, comes from that love and happiness. But within those stories of two becoming one, I like to weave themes of developing individual strength, and emphasize that pair bonding should make you stronger, better, more, not be the end all and be all of your existence. You can be complete as an individual. You should be able to stand on your own. But it's nice to have company.

Also, there's the very central, "Vampires are hot. Naked vampries are hotter. " *G*

KW: What was your favorite book when you were 12?

HF: Wow, that was a long time ago. It's hard to remember. I think I had a few! INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE is one that stands out-- I read it the year it was released, when I was 9, and it remained my favorite until I was older and came to appreciate Lestat more than Louis. ;) GONE WITH THE WIND was another favorite. FOREVER by Judy Blume was a hot read for my age group, and I was no exception. I think it was the first "steamy" book I ever read. Also, back then I was a freak about horses--especially black Arabians, so I was way into books like BLACK BEAUTY and THE BLACK STALLION. I also couldn't get enough of biographies of famous women like Florence Nightengale, Betsy Ross and others. Finally, SE Hinton's books were on the top shelf and remain so. THE OUTSIDERS, RUMBLE FISH, THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW. Finally, I remember being crazy about Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.

I had, and still have, eclectic taste in books!

KW: What's your favorite book now?

HF: I swear, that could change from one minute to the next, depending on my mood. Right this particular second... and actually, a lot of the past 10 years or so, it's OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon. Jamie Fraser is my all time favorite hero, too. Running a very close second is Jude Devereaux's A KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR. I'm also deeply in love with the entirety of LKH's Anita Blake series, Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series, Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series, La Nora's In Death series, and Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, but you couldn't possibly force me to choose one book that's a favorite. I'm a freak for ongoing series, because you get to know the characters so deeply. I'm dedicated to reaching the point in my own career where I'm lucky enough to get to develop a single couple over time, ala Eve/Roarke (In Death), Jamie/Claire (OUTLANDER series), Stephanie/Morelli (Stephanie Plum) and the like.

KW: What was the last novel you bought?

HF: I usually buy them in stacks, so it's hard to pinpoint exactly! I think the last "paper" book I bought was DANSE MACABRE by Laurell K. Hamilton, who I love beyond all reason. The last ebook I purchased was DOUBLE TROUBLE by Allyson James, which I haven't gotten to read yet because my TBR is about four million volumes long right now! LOL!

KW: What did you want to be when you grew up?

HW: I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was really small, but then I realized I was too tenderhearted to deal with animals in pain or dying. Still am. I diligently avoid children's movies because it seems like an animal always dies in them! When I worked on my first bachelor's degree, I wanted to be a Psychologist, but I loathed the politics and backstabbing in graduate school, so I lasted only a couple of semesters before I got fed up and quit. For a while after that, I knew I wanted to teach and write, but I didn't have any real focus or goals. It wasn't until I started writing fiction about eight years ago that I knew I'd found my calling! Good thing, too, because as I've often said, I'm utterly unemployable otherwise.

Now I'm finishing up my second bachelor's in English Lit, with an aim to get my MFA starting winter 2008. My ultimate goal is to write full time and teach part time. I want more than anything to share the joy of the written word with others. Learning to write, to express myself in fiction, was the best thing that ever happened to me. I know it sounds corny, but I want to help other people get in touch with that same joy.

KW: You write paranormal, one of the genres I tend towards, as well. Do you believe in the paranormal? Have you ever had any first-hand experience?

HF: I don't not believe. I think there's a great deal more to reality than what our very limited, linear human minds can comprehend or experience directly. I know too many people who've had paranormal experiences to dismiss them out of hand. I grew up in New England, and ghost stories are part of the history there. I guess they're in my blood as a result! I personally have seen some wild things in my life, but nothing that couldn't be explained in some scientific way. I believe, at the very least, that there are vast parts of our human minds that we have yet to tap into, and their function sometimes asserts themselves in incredible ways. Whether that means we actually *see* ghosts, or whether we are simply projecting some need for a world beyond? I have no idea. I guess I'm a paranormal agnostic. *G*

I also believe that many things we see in paranormal stories, like vampires, are actually metaphorical representations of human psychology--experiences, deepest desires, worst nightmares, etc. Another one of our fun ways of dealing with the unknown or the unattainable. Part of what I want to study as a scholar of literature is what the vampire does represent, and how those representations change with the human experience over time. How and why did the vampire go from a terrifying, bloodthirsty monster in folk tales to a sexy, sympathetic hero in modern romance? Examining those kinds of questions fascinates me!

KW: Tell me something about you that very few people know.

HF: I'm addicted to cheese. No seriously, I have a dire cheese monkey on my back. I get very cranky if I don't have some kind of cheese every day. Extra sharp Vermont cheddar is my favorite, followed closely by pepper jack, but I'll eat pretty much any kind (except the especially stinky cheeses. Blargh.). I think that I could, quite literally, eat everything with cheese on it. I am currently in the process of testing that theory. *G*

*sigh* Now I really want some cheese. I have to go grocery shopping.

I'd like to thank Heather very much for answering my wacky questions. It was a pleasure!

Visit Heather at her website, blog, or MySpace.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Secret Vice

I am addicted to the Iced Caramel Macchiato. I admit it. Luckily, it's not that fattening if I get it with sugar free vanilla syrup and non-fat milk. I tell myself I'm getting more calcium. My bones are thanking me. :) What's your favorite Starbucks drink?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

New Spotlight Feature

I've decided to begin a new feature on my blog. I love reading interviews with people and find that I like interviewing people myself even more! So, starting next Wednesday, I'll be featuring questions and answers by my fellow authors. First on the list is H.A. Fowler, author of nightmares, fantasies, and dark desires. Oooh! I'm getting the shivers!


Monday, August 14, 2006

At Last, The Big Day!

Leap of Faith is now available! Go to to check it out. Buy it if it sounds good. To commemorate the sale of this--my third book--I’m holding a contest. The prize is a small hand-painted Peruvian jewelry box with llamas on it. Entering is easy. You can even increase your chances of winning! Join my YahooGroup for one chance to win (click on the button on the lower right.) If you email me the answers to my Leap of Faith trivia quiz, you can get another chance to win. And if you email me a copy of your receipt for the purchase of Leap of Faith, I’ll give you two more chances! Deadline to enter is October 13, 2006. Good luck!

Leap of Faith Quiz

Here is the Leap of Faith trivia quiz. Email me your answers for a chance to win the Peruvian llama jewelry box. Deadline is October 13, 2006. Good luck!

1. Kira’s first Incan meal consists of a) stew, b) tortillas and soft cheese, c) a sandwich, d) roast venison.

2. What does Kira name the baby llama? a) Popcorn, b) Furball, c) Tikka, d) Inti.

3. At dawn each and every morning, Amaru a) washes in the stream, b) performs a magic ritual, c) practices the Incan equivalent of Tai Chi, d) prays to the sun god.

4. To let Amaru know that he was to come to her at the cottage, Kira had to a) leave the door ajar, b) put a lit candle in the windowsill, c) send him a note, d) remove the flowers from the doorstep.

Leap of Faith

Stranded by her guide in the mountains of Peru, Kira is grateful for the company of the enigmatic Amaru, who tends to her aching muscles with tender, masterful care. She is instantly attracted to his handsome looks and knowledge of ancient Incan ways, and very curious to know more about the man himself.

Cursed to an eternity of loneliness, Amaru may only find peace in the love true of a woman, a woman who can accept him and forgive the wrongs he committed in his youth. One look at Kira and Amaru believes she is the one to break the curse, but is Kira willing to take the leap?

Excerpt/Buy It

ISBN 1-59426-603-4

Responses to Leap of Faith
"I loved it!!!! I don't think I can ever write anything as romantic as that, honestly."
--Maeve Beckham, author of The Taste Tester

4.5 Kisses from Romance Divas
"At only 28 pages, Leap of Faith packs a dramatic punch. The characters are rich...the romance that unfolds is haunting. Kate Willoughby delivers a tense and satisfying ending. Leap of Faith is a compelling love story not to be missed."
--Cora Zane of Romance Divas

4 Angels from Fallen Angels Reviews
"Leap of Faith is a highly unusual novella, the like of which I have not come across before. [It] mixes exploration on the part of the characters with lovemaking, thus this novella becomes more than a short piece of erotic fiction…a tale without coarse or crude language, steeped in an old culture that I found rather intriguing."
--Elizabeth of Fallen Angels Reviews

5 Magical Wands from Enchanted Ramblings
"This is a short steamy romance with a touch of enjoyable read perfect for when you don't have a lot of time but want a quick pick me up."
--Astraea of Enchanted Ramblings

RRT Erotic Rating: Multiple O's!
Kate Willoughby manages to inject humor, romance and hot sex into a very tight read. The characters' ...interaction feels surprisingly natural considering the length of time they’ve known each other. I would certainly recommend this story for those moments when you just don’t have the time for a longer read.
--Lori Ann of Romance Reviews Today


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sex Stats for Leap of Faith

Just for fun, I did some calculations. I was surprised by how much actual active sex there was in Leap of Faith.

Number of Sex Scenes: 3
Shortest Sex Scene: 161 words
Longest Sex Scene: 1,380 words
Total Sex Percentage: 34%

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Samba Cover Unveiled

My newest book, Leap of Faith, is coming out on August 13th. Here is the exciting cover. I've never had a cover with a human being on it before! This is--literally--a novel experience. They say that naked male chests sell books, so we'll have to see.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Mark Your Calendar

Hola, amigos y amigas. I just got word that Phaze will be releasing Leap of Faith on August 13th. Ole! It will be available for an affordable $2. You can't even buy yourself a frappucino for that, and my story will last longer!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Mirror, mirror

The collage workshop went very well, except for the fact that I forgot the glue sticks at home! Ha ha. It worked out in the end, though, because the first step in the process is to rip out pictures, so while the ripping commenced, I dashed to a nearby Staples and got glue.

My collage process was mystifying and intriguing! I followed Jenny Crusie's directions and ripped out anything that caught my eye for more than an instant. I trusted my "Girls in the Basement" to choose pictures that were relevant for my work-in-progress, even when they chose a picture of Ed McMahon, a bottle of 409, a collection of antique nutcrackers, an American colonial officer, and a dozen pix of mirrors. (No, this story is not an historical!) I ended up with far more pictures than would fit on my posterboard, so I junked some pix of one of the heroes and used both sides of the board.

Looking at it now, I feel excited about starting the story, but won't be able to until mid-September.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Secret Father

My good friend, Lynne Marshall, has published her first book! It's only available online, since it's being released in the U.K. I haven't read it yet, but the first chapter is fabulous and I can't wait to get my copy from overseas.

Title: Her Baby's Secret Father
Buy it HERE.

Here is a short excerpt:

The nurses gathered around a huge panoramic window like they always did at six-thirty each Monday morning. For a moment they’d put aside any last-minute shift-change bustle or patient charting to enjoy what nature offered. Excited, expectant, they gabbed and giggled while their eyes fixed on the Chinese Elm-lined streets that led to the back of Mercy Hospital in northeast Los Angeles.

Jaynie Winchester didn’t approve of their gawking, but who was she to tell them to stop? As charge nurse for the small pulmonary ward, she knew when to crack the whip and when to let her co-workers enjoy a moment’s reprieve from their hectic schedules. She’d studied the statistics, and knew mutual respect boosted morale on any difficult hospital ward. And their heavily burdened floor catered to ventilator patients and every imaginable respiratory ailment. Bottom line, the nurses deserved their thirty-second fantasy break.

Any other day she’d pretend to be preoccupied with nursing duties while the scrub-clad ladies gaped—-and from the corner of her eye watch right along with them.

Today though, she was distracted with annoying, moderately painful Braxton Hicks cramping. False labor. What else could you call it at less than seven months gestation? She’d felt so energetic on Sunday. Perhaps she’d overdone it stenciling the butter yellow nursery walls with plump, fuzzy ducklings wearing cute blue bonnets and vests.

Jaynie blamed the Mexican food she’d eaten for dinner as the cause of her little one’s spurt of activity throughout the night. The baby had rolled and tumbled, she’d cramped on and off, and because of it had gotten little sleep.

A sudden rise in the nurses’ chatter, followed by awestruck silence, alerted Jaynie that the moment they’d been waiting for had arrived. She rubbed her abdomen, adjusted her small, wire-framed glasses, and wandered toward the early morning light that poured through the huge window. Heck, she deserved a treat too.

Without fail at six-thirty, sinewy Terrance Zanderson jogged up the sidewalk, his scant shorts revealing magnificent, masculine legs. With thigh muscles tight and bulging, he ran like an Olympic gold medallist. His long, tanned torso met with
the nurses’ overwhelming approval, if their sighs were any indication. Taut abdominal muscles could be seen even from the second story distance. Strong, shapely deltoids rippled with each swing of his arm.

A pleasant memory came to mind of the month she’d actually dated Terrance last year. She’d been well set on her plans for motherhood by then, and hadn’t wanted anything to get in the way. And besides, his life was way too hectic with his pursuit of medical school, while being the day supervisor of the Respiratory Therapy department, and all his sports activities on top of that. After her last disastrous relationship, she expected more from a man than he’d been ready or able to give, and they’d parted amicably.

Aside from being a work of art, what moved Jaynie the most was Terrance’s flowing, auburn-colored hair that barely kissed his shoulders. The clean-shaven, chiseled face, square jaw and predominant nose weren’t half bad either. She tamped down a warm, visceral response in her gut.

Why hadn’t she slept with him when she’d had the chance?

For a longer excerpt go here.