Tag Archives: Larissa Ione

Publishing Secrets Revealed! (A Post from Larissa Ione)

This topic has been playing -swirling around- in the back of my mind for a while now. I generally consider myself as someone with a bit of publishing knowledge. Definitely more than your average Joe off the street. But there are still things of course that I as solely a reader don’t know. Some things I prefer that way. (And even think it should be thus.) Others… I think it’s good to know.

And obviously these aren’t really secrets – but give me a break here – I have fun with the subjects (if/when I can), and the tags. Cuz that’s how I roll here at ALBTALBS. And… it’s more interesting. We all know that matters, so there’s no point in being disingenuous and pretending otherwise. It’s almost like a secret though, much of this list, considering the lack of awareness/knowledge out there.

For example, it wasn’t until 2010 I learned the switch from paperback (trade or mass market) to hardcover was a publisher decision. It makes sense when you look at it from a business perspective, but prior to a conversation with Shiloh Walker I thought the author decided or at least had a say. (It was the time when a number of big series were going hard cover – the Psy/Changeling books, Shannon McKenna, JR Ward… I know I’m missing some.) I have to mention that because this was something I knew before other people who do have a lot of publishing savvy. My one gold star. 

Anyway, Larissa Ione also seems to get … well, a lot of interesting characters from real life who make assumptions about publishing. And her part in it. So… I figured this would be a good place to start and hopefully clear some things up. She’s really nice about it and speaks in general terms. That’s because she’s a professional. (I don’t have to be like that. ;))

Who knows. It might become a sort of feature here. (Wouldn’t that be fun?) 😀 And uh – if it wasn’t clear, the purple text is always me. And the black is from the guests. Because… black is professional, and… purple isn’t?

People are always asking me what authors and publishers have control over when it comes to all aspects of publishing, so when my buddy Limecello asked me to write a post about it, I happily agreed. So if you’ve ever wondered how much input authors have over their covers or how much control we have over release dates, this post is for you!

Here we go…

PEN NAMES: I’m often asked if authors have to take a pen name/change their name. The answer is…sometimes. My Demonica/LOD publisher didn’t ask me to take a pen name, but my ACRO publisher did because I was writing with Stephanie Tyler, and they wanted a single name to publish us under. There are a lot of reasons a publisher might ask an author to take a new name. For example, an author is going to publish books in another genre, the author isn’t doing well under their current name, or a publishing house wants a name that’s more genre-centric.

COVERS: The amount of input an author has in regards to their cover varies from publisher to publisher and author to author. Some publishers ask for art sheets, and then the author doesn’t see the finished product until it’s up on Amazon. Other publishers will show the author the mockup and get an opinion before finalizing. Ultimately though, the publisher gets the final say in the cover.

RELEASE DATES: Most authors have absolutely no say in when a book releases. You can ask for a certain timeframe, but for the most part, the publisher will schedule a book for when they think the timing is best.

EDITING: I have to admit, I sometimes get frustrated when I see comments about a book that amounts to, “Where was her editor????” Because here’s the thing; some authors don’t get edited. Yup, it’s true. There are authors who actually demand no editing in their contracts or who simply won’t do them. Personally, I don’t understand that, because I freely admit that I need it. Not only that, but I’m nowhere near big enough as an author to demand something like that. My publisher would laugh at me. Also, some publishing houses are notorious for light or no edits, and others are known to be heavy on edits. Others sit in the middle. Same with editors.

AUDIO BOOKS: People often ask me if I’m going to have any/all of my books made into audiobooks (and who I’m going to get to do the voice.) The truth is that my publishers own the audio rights, so it’s up to them to decide if putting my books into audio format will be worthwhile. It’s a financial decision on their part, and I have no say in the matter. In some circumstances, authors own the rights, and they can then sell or contract out the rights in order to have their books made in audio. Mind you, this isn’t exactly easy. If done on your own, it’s expensive. If you want an audio publisher to do it, they must want it. They won’t take just anything.

SIMULTANEOUS DIGITAL/PRINT RELEASE DATES: This is an issue that has given me the most grief in my publishing career. Why? Because for a long time, my print books released on the last Tuesday of a month, while the digital book released on the first day of the following month. Generally, that meant a 2-3 day lag between the print and digital editions of the same book. But when the print book was released on a special, earlier Tuesday, there could be up to two weeks delay before the digital edition released. The hate mail and harassment from readers was, shall we say, soul-sucking. Okay, so why does this happen? I can tell you that it’s not because publishers want readers to buy the print books instead of digital books. Publishers and authors make slightly more money on the digital books, so why would they want to discourage readers from buying them? They don’t. The problem has been with legalities within the company — internal contracts that need (and may still need) to be changed. Publishing is slow, and every change has to go through multiple channels, multiple lawyers, and multiple countries if the publisher is international. So yes, publishers are working on this, and some have already made the change. Yay!

PRICING: This is another one of those things that authors have extremely little control over unless they are self-published. Behind the scenes, we do have conversations with our publishers over special offers, ebook pricing, etc., but what it comes down to is that the publisher makes the final decision. And please don’t think that pricing isn’t a concern for authors. We need to make a living off our work, but we also want to reach readers with reasonably priced books. Stephanie Tyler and I recently were able to convince our Sydney Croft publisher to decrease the price of our ACRO ebooks to less than the print price, which, at some retailers, was lower than the digital price. Our print books are now trade paperback priced (around $15) and our ebook editions are now between $7.99 and $8.99). We’d have liked to go lower, but it’s better than nothing. (*I didn’t know that! Awesome – and go you and Stephanie! This reader thanks you!)

NAME SIZE ON COVERS: Yes, people actually criticize authors for having big heads if the authors “are now making their names bigger than the title.” Trust me, while seeing your name grow larger and larger on book covers makes you giddy, authors don’t make that decision. The publisher does, based on sales.

GEO-RESTRICTION: This issue is a close second when it comes to the amount of angry email I’ve gotten over the years (right behind the simultaneous digital/print release dates.) First of all, what is geo-restriction? It’s when digital versions of books aren’t available in certain countries. Now, contrary to popular belief, publishers aren’t the ones doing the restricting. Publishers want to sell books. They aren’t conspiring to keep anyone from reading ebooks. So…why does this happen? To summarize: International Trade Laws. Publishers can’t sell ebooks in countries where they have not been able to sell the rights to particular books. Why? Because if a country has a physical book publisher, most likely that publisher needs to buy the rights to produce and distribute the books so that they are the ones making the money instead of the U.S. publisher. This is why ebook-exclusive publishers can sell their books internationally — they don’t have the publisher-equivalent in other countries, and if they do, the publisher popped up after the internet legalities were all in place. So, you ask, why doesn’t an author keep the foreign rights and make the books available herself? Good question. But the answer is complicated. First of all, it’s not always easy to keep the rights. The publisher will fight HARD, and it can be a deal-breaker. But let’s say that an author does manage to keep the foreign rights. Now the author herself has to sell the rights to publishers in other countries. He or she can’t just snap her fingers and put books into bookstores or into ebook format in other countries. Not unless he/she self-publishes, which you can’t do with a book whose domestic rights belong to a publisher (though I suppose it’s possible to wrangle the digital rights away from a publisher, but we’re talking a major deal-breaker here, most likely.) So, in short, this is a complicated issue, and it’s going to take time to work out as the world adjusts to an internet marketplace.

THE MOVE TO HARDCOVER: Moving to hardcover from mass-market paperback is the dream of many authors…or at least, it used to be. Now the move is full of more uncertainty than ever, and authors who move to hardcover run the risk of losing readers who either can’t afford to buy the more expensive book or who think the author is trying to screw the reader. The truth is that authors have absolutely no say in whether or not their books are printed in hardcover. The publisher makes the decision based on sales, marketing plans, author popularity with a worldwide audience, etc.

TITLES: In my experience, the author has a lot of input into book titles. Oh, the publisher might not like anything you suggest because you suck at titles (I might be talking about me here,) but titles tend to be a team effort. Lots of brainstorming happens until everyone agrees on a title. At least, this has been my experience, and most authors I know have had the same. (*Interjecting here, I think this has to do with publisher – or… I knowhear that that at Harlequin author input isn’t as imperative/key to titles.)

MOVIES/TV SHOWS: The question I think I get most is, “Are you going to make your books into movies?” Man, I WISH! But the thing is, authors can’t just “make movies.” A Hollywood-type person with lots of contacts and money has to be interested. Then they have to acquire the rights to the books, and at that point, lots of negotiation happens. VERY rarely does the author have any say in the script, casting, etc.  So yes, I’d love for my books to be made into movies or a TV show, but I just can’t seem to get Spielberg on the line! *g* (*Also, I want to say/I believe that, even if a book is optioned it doesn’t mean it definitely will be made into a movie. Still, just being optioned is a big deal!)

Okay, I think that’s it for now. Hope that answers some questions for you, and thanks to Lime for having me!

Teaser Tuesday: Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione

Dear friends today we’re in for a treat! The lovely, wonderful, and basically all around awesome Larissa Ione is here with us today! (Erm… the fact that I like her so much is why I give her such a hard time and razz her. All that name calling etc on twitter is out of love. >.> That’s right. Love and affection. <.<) Anyway she’s sharing an exclusive excerpt of her upcoming June 1 release! That’s right – we’re getting a special sneak peek of Lethal Rider. And isn’t that cover something? 😀

They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Thanatos, the most deadly Horseman of the Apocalypse, has endured thousands of years of celibacy to prevent the end of days. But just one night with the wickedly sexy Aegis Guardian, Regan Cooper, shatters centuries of resolve. Yet their passion comes with a price. And Thanatos must face a truth more terrifying than an apocalypse-he’s about to become a father.

Demon-slayer Regan Cooper never imagined herself the maternal type, but with the fate of the world hanging in the balance she had no choice but to seduce Thanatos and bear his child. Now, as the final battle draws closer and his rage at being betrayed is overshadowed by an undeniable passion for the mother of his child, Thanatos has a life-shattering realization: To save the world, he must sacrifice the only thing he’s ever wanted-a family.

Thanatos had lived during the days when being poleaxed wasn’t just an expression. He’d managed to avoid it…until now.

Now he knew exactly how it felt as he stood there like a dolt, staring numbly at Regan’s belly.  He dragged his gaze upward, to breasts that seemed larger than before, to her slender throat, and finally, he met her hazel eyes.  They were as beautiful as he remembered, bright, with a warrior’s hard ice behind fire.  But they were also tinged with fear, proving she wasn’t stupid.

When he’d first entered the auditorium, he’d been prepared to kill her.  Now he just wanted a stiff drink.

He was going to be a father.

From virgin to dad in zero to sixty.

The door burst open, and both Kynan and Decker were there, pistols trained on Than.  Bullets wouldn’t penetrate his armor or kill him, but they’d hurt like hell if they struck exposed body parts.  Like his head.

“Fire those guns,” Than said quietly, “and every Aegi in the building will pay for it.”

“We don’t want any trouble,” Kynan said. “Leave now.”

“Leave?”  Than laughed even as the souls in his armor spun like thousands of little tornadoes. Thousands? Why would be there be so many? Didn’t matter. Not right now. He took Regan’s arm before she could scoot away.  “I’ll leave. But she’s coming with me.”

Decker’s finger slipped from his pistol’s trigger guard to the trigger.  “No way in hell.”

“It’s all right,” Regan said quickly.  “I’ll be fine.”

“Presumptuous, don’t you think?” Than said, and then felt like an asshole when she paled.

“Regan, you don’t have to protect us.”  Kynan stepped closer, and Decker moved with him, their bodies in practiced sync.  “Let’s talk about this, Horseman.”

“Stall until you can summon my brother and sister?  I don’t think so.”  He dragged Regan to the door at the other end of the auditorium, and when he slammed it open he wasn’t surprised to find over a dozen Guardians, all armed to the teeth, waiting for him. Well, one female held a dagger and a menacing-looking glass of chocolate milk.

“First person who moves against me dies,” he told them. “Second person gets you all killed.”

Regan remained stiffly at his side. “Stay back, everyone. I’m going willingly.”

All but one obeyed, and the one, the idiot who dared to swing a skinny blade at him, found out how fast Thanatos could launch a soul from his armor. The other slayers found out how loudly someone screamed when they were having their souls ripped from their bodies.

“Stop it,” Regan yelled, but it was too late.

“I warned them,” he said, as he hauled her out of the building. “And I’m not in the mood for second chances, Regan. Keep that in mind.”

So what’d you think? This is the third Lords of Deliverance book. Have you read any of the previous ones? Or any of Larissa’s Demonica books? Did you know she’s also half of the writing duo Sydney Croft? 

… It’s okay if you didn’t like it too. You can tell me. Larissa’s a skinny bitch so it’s ok if not every adores her across the board – she doesn’t need the extra validation. 😉 All joking aside – how do you feel about series? Paranormals, etc. With the “nontraditional” characters?

Most Anticipated Books of 2012

Hi friends! I … well, I had played with posting this in early January, but then life was OMGWTF. And then I wanted to post it at the end of January. Because that’s what somehow made sense to me. So here we are. Anyway, I’m going with the post date and sticking to it!

This is a “tradition” I started way back in 2009. When everyone else was posting their “best books of the previous year” lists… I wanted to do something different. So I did. Now, we see more such lists as this one. I’m going to take credit. Because I can. And I’m feeling grouchy. [No seriously though – when I googled it in 2009 and wrote my first one I found not a thing. So you’re welcome, okay?!]

It’s also a bit flawed because some books, there simply is no information out there, other than the title and author, and I’m not willing to make it a top 10 want/recommended book based only on that. Um, this system works, you know, cuz it’s a bit quirky, a bit flawed, and yet exciting. Like me! >.> … yeah.


This year… I’m also making a tentative pledge to not only read but also review all ten books on this list. You’ll notice then there are no extras. Because… I want to set a goal I can actually accomplish. And now you guys can keep me accountable. (I’m already starting to think I might’ve made a mistake…)

Listed in nothing but chronological order… the books!

1. My Wicked Little Lies by Victoria Alexander

Evelyn Hadley-Attwater has it all—a genteel Victoria life replete with loving husband, ball gowns and elegant parties. No one, including the man she married, suspects that she was once “Eve”, a spy for England’s most enigmatic intelligence agency. Summoned for one final assignment, the excitement of her former life and memories of her mysterious, flirtatious boss “Sir” prove too tempting . . .

Adrian Hadley Attwater is a respectable, dignified gentleman. But even the most proper gentlemen have secrets of their own. Secrets from the rest of the world, from their families, from their wives. Secrets that have a price. Now, as the veil of secrecy frays, a tantalizing game of cat and mouse will test the bounds of unfailing love . . .

What really won me over was the book excerpt. I also bought the book. Especially because the kindle cost wasn’t the same as the print!

 2. Secrets of an Accidental Duchess by Jennifer Haymore

With her pale hair and slim figure, Olivia Donovan looks as fragile as fine china, and has been treated as such by her sisters ever since a childhood bout with malaria. But beneath her delicate facade, Olivia guards a bold, independent spirit and the kind of passionate desires proper young ladies must never confess…

It was a reckless wager, and one Max couldn’t resist: seduce the alluring Olivia or forfeit part of his fortune. Yet the wild, soon-to-be Duke never imagined he’d fall in love with this innocent beauty. Nor could he have guessed that a dangerously unpredictable rival would set out to destroy them both. Now, Max must beat a Madman at his own twisted game-or forever lose the only woman to have ever won his heart.

I mean… a duchess! And then how Olivia “surprises” them all and… yeah. Much want. I mean, read the excerpt. I dare you to finish it and not have some sort of “!!!” reaction. Mine was “Oh. My. God!” and a giggle. <3

 3. Taking a Shot by Jaci Burton

If you want to score, you have to get in the game…

The last thing Jenna Riley needs is more sports in her life. While her brothers are off being athletic superstars, she’s stuck running the family’s sports bar, whether she likes it or not. Then in walks pro hockey stud Tyler Anderson. As much as Jenna would like to go to the boards with him, she’s vowed to never fall for a jock—even one as hot as Ty.

Ty, intrigued by the beautiful bar owner, becomes a regular. He senses that Jenna wants to do something more with her life. And as he gains her trust, the passion between them grows, as does Ty’s insistence that Jenna should start living for herself. With his encouragement, Jenna starts to believe it, too…

But first, Jenna has to figure out what she wants, what she needs, who she loves, and if she has the passion and pride to take a shot at having it all—including Ty…

You can also read an excerpt here. Which is what won me over over the football book. You have to love a hero who just is a good guy, right? Especially when he’s a sports star. I don’t know why we give famous people so much more leeway (we can discuss that later) – but it’s still refreshing, especially in romances – to see them as “the good guy.”

 4. Taming an Impossible Rogue by Suzanne Enoch

One year ago, Lady Camille Pryce left her haughty fiancé at the altar—for good reason. Not only was the marriage arranged before she could even walk, her betrothed was too smug to exert himself to meet her! Now, disowned, with no husband or family to support her, she’s left with one option: go to work in the notorious Tantalus Club…

A gentleman’s gaming house run by a woman, the Tantalus is no place for a proper lady; so, to save face, her jilted fiancé must retrieve her. But banned from the club, he’s forced to employ his ne’er-do-well cousin instead. A handsome, experienced rogue, Keating Blackwood is the perfect man to lure Camille away. But the moment they meet, Keating instead wants to save her…for himself. Impossible? Perhaps. But if Camille can make the ultimate player lay his cards on the table—and risk his heart—all bets are off…

It’s just… we all have read the “bad boy” hero, yes? And even sometimes the “bad girl” heroine – but here, she appears to be something of a bad girl, yet… not. I like that interesting premise. And you know, it’s always nice to see a rake brought to his knees through love. I also enjoyed how the guys talked to each other based on what I read.

 5. No Longer a Gentleman by Mary Jo Putney

Grey Sommers, Lord Wyndham, never met a predicament he couldn’t charm his way out of. Then a tryst with a government official’s wife during a bit of casual espionage in France condemns him a decade in a dungeon, leaving him a shadow of his former self. Yet his greatest challenge may be the enigmatic spy sent to free his body—the only woman who might heal his soul.

Half English and half French, Cassie Fox lost everything in the chaos of revolution, leaving only a determination to help destroy Napoleon’s empire through her perilous calling. Rescuing Grey is merely one more mission.  She hadn’t counted on a man with the stark beauty of a ravaged angel, whose desperate courage and vulnerability touch her frozen heart as no one ever has.  With Grey, she can become the passionate woman she has long denied.  But a spy and a lord are divided by an impassable gulf even if they manage to survive one last, terrifying mission….

I found this excerpt here, and it’s nice to see even damaged, the hero is still kind. Even in the beginning. Not to mention the fascinating premise! For me it was a pdf that opened in my browser, just an fyi.

 6. Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione

They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Thanatos, the most deadly Horseman of the Apocalypse, has endured thousands of years of celibacy to prevent the end of days. But just one night with the wickedly sexy Aegis Guardian, Regan Cooper, shatters centuries of resolve. Yet their passion comes with a price. And Thanatos must face a truth more terrifying than an apocalypse-he’s about to become a father.

Demon-slayer Regan Cooper never imagined herself the maternal type, but with the fate of the world hanging in the balance she had no choice but to seduce Thanatos and bear his child. Now, as the final battle draws closer and his rage at being betrayed is overshadowed by an undeniable passion for the mother of his child, Thanatos has a life-shattering realization: To save the world, he must sacrifice the only thing he’s ever wanted-a family.

The blurb, the start of the excerpt, I mean this isn’t even normally my thing. But come on here. And even the cover! I guess it appeals to my teenage self, because you know it’ll be Angsty McAngst-town. And sometimes? You just want a little of that. In fiction.

 7. Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt

Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he’s the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night brings out a darker side of Winter. As the moon rises, so does the Ghost of St. Giles—protector, judge, fugitive. When the Ghost, beaten and wounded, is rescued by a beautiful aristocrat, Winter has no idea that his two worlds are about to collide.

Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge. Yet when she’s asked to tutor the Home’s dour manager in the ways of society—flirtation, double entendres, and scandalous liaisons—Isabel can’t help wondering why his eyes seem so familiar—and his lips so tempting.

During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed . . . But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything—the Home, Isabel . . . and his life.

I mean even the blurb just makes you [or at least me!] think “scandalous!” in a good way, of course. And I like how things just jump right in at the beginning. Always nice to find a half dead man on your doorstep… right?!

8. Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas

Millicent understands the terms of her arranged marriage all too well. She gets to be a Countess by marrying an impoverished Earl. And in return, the Earl

Fitzhugh receives the benefit of her vast wealth, saving his family from bankruptcy. Because of her youth, they have agreed to wait eight years before consummating the marriage—and then, only to beget an heir. After which, they will lead separate lives.

It is a most sensible arrangement. Except for one little thing. Somehow Millie has fallen head over heels in love with her husband. Her husband, who has become her very best friend, but nothing more… Her husband, who plans to reunite with his childhood sweetheart, the beautiful and newly widowed Isabelle, as soon as he has honored the pact with his wife…

As the hour they truly become husband-and-wife draws near, both Millie and Fitzhugh must face the truth in their hearts. Has their pact bred only a great friendship—or has it, without either of them quite noticing, given rise to a great love?

This one was hard. Like. Really. I was so torn between this and Beguiling the Beauty but… the premise of this one intrigued me more. Just watch me love the non-listed one more. It happened last year… But the whole “love at first sight” line at the beginning gets me. When they’re kids it’s just so aaaaawwwweeeee. In books.

 9. Tart by Lauren Dane

Juliet Lamprey is having the time of her life running her successful bakery, TART, when Gideon Carter comes back into her life. Returning home to help his grandfather run the family on the farm, Gideon is back for good. When they meet again, the spark between them is immediate, and it isn’t long before the former childhood friends play catch up in bed.

That’s not good news for local lawyer Cal Whaley. Though the sexually open but strictly monogamous Cal has loved Jules for a long time, he’s hardly ever taken it further than friendship. When he sees her start to fall for Gideon, he knows he has to make his move or risk losing her forever.

Who would have anticipated that all three of them would connect on such an intimate level? The trio’s scalding liaisons take them places they’ve never dreamed. But such an intensely passionate and unusual relationship comes with equally as complicated emotions, and when Jules must suddenly leave town, she wonders if she’ll have a choice to make when she returns

Every so often, you just want a spicier book. I’ve enjoyed Lauren Dane’s contemporary novels, and she writes ménages so very well. Also, hello! Bakery. Also, Cal! Love it! Want! There’s no excerpt yet… but I’m [pretty sure] Ms. Dane has been tweeting random lines from it. And… yeah. That’s enough for me. Also, I’m not going to link where the excerpt will go because it’s this weird pop-up-ey type and it like kills the website. Yeah I don’t know.

 10. Exposed to You by Bethany Kane

HOLD UP. I know, you’re all thinking “Lime! That cover isn’t Exposed to You … that’s Addicted to You! Your citrus brain has… fermented!” Well, no, it hasn’t actually. That’s a place holder, because Exposed to You isn’t even up on Amazon yet. There’s no cover of course. (For the previous two I had to snatch and grab from author websites, so … thank you, Picasa!)

It’s not often you’re hired to paint a body tattoo—and what a body—on a total stranger at a Hollywood film set. A reserved and careful art teacher, Joy would never forget it. In a rare fit of raw desire she gave herself completely, knowing she’d never see him again, or ever repeat such a shameless, naked impulse.

Little did she know, the man with whom she shared that lightning bolt of lust was star Everett Hughes. For Everett, women and sex came as easily as fame. But how could he hope to convince the guarded Joy that beneath the hard body and sexy façade of celebrity was a real man who wanted only one, real woman?

In the heat of an intoxicating affair, Everett endeavors to break down her barriers, gain her trust, and expose himself as the real deal. But can Joy do the same, and reveal to him the vulnerable woman who longs to be loved, wanted, and desired forever?

I loved Addicted to You. And guess what? It’s only six dollars right now. I also loved Everett. And/so, if his book is anything like Rill and Katie’s? Yeah. I know it’ll be on my “favorites of the year” list.

There was a short list of about 16 books… with Sophia Nash, Manda Collins, Vicky Dreiling, Samantha Grace, Sarah MacLean, Jill Shalvis, Lisa Klyepas, Eloisa James and you know, others. Some didn’t make the list because they didn’t have book information up, so I couldn’t in good conscience put up a book I didn’t know enough about. Those authors I didn’t mention. Because, well, I’m not trying to call anyone out here.

There was a longer list of books to consider – about 30 or 40 of them. And… the way I did this? I did an advanced search at amazon looking at each month’s romance listings for 2012. I scrolled through about 5,000 titles. Yeah – that’s dedication. I also found some eye-bleachingly traumatic titles and covers, that in no way belonged in romance. I suffered for you.

So – what’s not here that is on your list? Generally I do an “honorable mentions” and all, but gotta keep it strictly to ten so I can reach my goal. 🙂

Guest Author & A Giveaway: Larissa Ione

Today we have one of my most favorite people visiting with us – Larissa Ione! I think Larissa is all kinds of awesome, but shh – don’t tell her. It’ll go to her head. And then she’ll be all mean and insulting. 😀 Actually, no, Larissa is super nice and has a great sense of humor. You might have noticed we totally like needling each other as well. Between the two of us, it actually is joking and friendly. The fact that we can do that only makes her more fun. >.> Maybe. I keep forgetting I shouldn’t be nice to her. 😛

Larissa is also swamped so instead of her coming up with a creative post to entertain all of you, she opted for the interview feature in my GA&AG series. More fool her. 😉

Which “place” would you most like to go to? Ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, Mesopotamia, Africa, or South America? Why? Ooh, tough one! I’d love to visit pretty much any of them, but ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, and China would be my first choices. If I have to pick just one…Egypt, I guess. Or Greece. Gah…I don’t know! I’ve been to Greece and absolutely fell in love with it. Egypt would be fascinating, though. Okay, let’s go with Greece. Because it’s gorgeous, I love the food, and the ancient architecture is amazing. I’d love to see it when it was new.

Which fairy tale would you most like to be in? Least? Why? Which character would you want to be? (You can change the tale if you want… if so, how?) Um…I guess Little Red Riding Hood. I’d be the wolf. A werewolf. Who eats bad guys. I have no doubt grandma was a bad guy…

Did you ever imagine your stuffed animals might come to life as a child? Or that they had their own adventures? Can’t say that I did. I grew up on a farm, so I had lots and lots and LOTS of real animals to play and go on adventures with. And when I wasn’t doing that, I was writing about animals having adventures!

Who is your favorite artist? [painter/scuptor, singer/composer, dancer/choreographer?] George Strait. I love almost everything he does. Plus, he’s just a good guy.

What was your favorite book as a child? The Call of the Wild, by Jack London

What kind of toothbrush and toothpaste is on your bathroom counter right now? I have a Sonicare electric toothbrush and Crest cinnamon toothpaste. I hate mint, so I always go for the other flavors. LOVE cinnamon.

What’s the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you in school? What about your adult life? I honestly can’t narrow any of this down. I have done so many stupid things in my life, and for some reason, stupid things just happen to me even when I don’t do them, that there have been a lot of embarrassing moments. In my adult life, a big one sticks out, though — I was 21, standing in line to get into a nightclub, and my drunk friend fell. As she was falling, she grabbed my dress — which was strapless. She tugged it down to my waist…and naturally, I wasn’t wearing a bra. Yeah…that was a bit humiliating.

If you had to become a bear, which type would you choose? Gummy. (OMG hahah I love that answer!) What? Not an option? Fine then…grizzly. If you’re going to be a bear, might as well go big!

What would you put in your ideal candy bar? What’s your favorite candy bar in existence? Along those lines, what’s your favorite dessert? What about the *best* dessert you’ve ever had? My ideal candy bar would be milk chocolate with caramel and marshmallow inside. YUM. Love marshmallow and caramel. I’d say my favorite candy bars are probably Marathon bars (just chocolate and caramel,) and when I’m in the mood Reece’s Peanut Butter cups. They used to have my VERY fave…Reece’s PB cups with caramel. OMG, I loved those. I think they stopped making them because I can’t find them anymore. Favorite dessert? Honestly, I’m not a dessert person. Okay, I love cupcakes, but for the most part, desserts just don’t get me going. I have to really be in the right mood. I will say that when that mood strikes, I LOVE Edwards Key Lime Pie. Holy cow, that’s the best key lime pie ever. So rich and creamy…insanely good for a store-bought frozen pie! (I asked Larissa what her favorite/ideal snack would be then since she’s not so into sweets… and she said something with cheese. Melted cheese. Fitting considering where she lives…)

What is the super power you would most like to have? Least like to have? I think I’d like to fly. Would be cool to get around easily and fast. What would I least like to have? X-ray vision. Because seriously, when would you use it, unless you were a doctor or something?

Would you shave your head for $50,000.00? If yes, would you do it for a lesser amount/what’s your minimum? If no, how much would it take for you to go bald? And then… would you do anything with your hair? I’d do it for 50K. Minimum would probably be 10K. I’d give my hair to charity, though I think it’s too short for the requirements.

Who do you think would be the ultimate deadliest warrior match up? Godzilla vs. Gamera! Oh, wait…that’s been done. I dunno, but I’m seriously looking forward to the episode of zombies vs. vampires!!!

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?  I write romance…but I hate weddings. Seriously. They make no sense to me. All that stress, and then spending all that money…mostly on other people. I’d rather spend it on a luxury honeymoon. One of my characters in the Lords of Deliverance series, Regan, has my same attitude about them. 🙂

What’s your favorite word in the English language? What about your favorite word in any language? Amok! I love amok. Amok, amok, amok! Favorite word in any language? Whatever that language’s word for cheese is!

If you could wake up and become a world class athlete in any sport tomorrow, which would you choose and why? Well, I’m really not a sports person. At all. I LOVE the winter Olympics, but that’s about as sporty as a I get. And the one competitive sport I’d like to do — horse jumping — well, the horse is really the athlete, you know? Though I wouldn’t mind being a world class martial artist. Yeah, let’s go with that! (I have to admit, Larissa in a MMA match is definitely something I’d pay to see…)

Larissa’s giving away a tote bag & swag – so what crazy questions do you want to ask her? I say we open it up to anything, but of course questions about her books are welcome too! So get to commenting!