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Halloween Giveaway: The Sweetest Kiss

The Sweetest KissLove sexy stories?  Love vampires?

I have a copy of The Sweetest Kiss, Ravishing Vampire Erotica up for grabs containing wonderful stories by my very own beloved sister, Molly Burkhart, aka G. B. Kensington, and my fabulous writing accountability partner, Jenna Reynolds, aka Anna Black.  The book will be signed by both authors (but not by all authors in the anthology).  To enter the giveaway, simply comment on this post and tell me something about your favorite vampires (or you can throw your name in the hat via e-mail at joely AT joelysueburkhart DOT com).  I’ll accept comments through midnight (CST) this Halloween, Oct. 31st  and announce the winner sometime on Nov. 1st (but NaNoWriMo will be going full steam, so be patient with me).

This giveaway is open to anyone on the planet, even if you’ve won something from me before.  I do not retain your names or addresses (e-mail or snail) after the contest is over.

Who’s your favorite vampire?  Which movie?  Why do you like them?

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LB&LI: The Ten Commandments


(Click the image to visit PBW for more great workshops!)

As a writer, I hate rules, especially Romancelandia Rules, like:

“The heroine and hero must meet in chapter one!” or “The heroine must be a virgin, a virgin widow, or has experienced nothing but horrid sex with any man except the hero!”

But let’s face it — as readers, we all have lines that we don’t want an author to cross, else their book may very well end up denting the wall. 

Here are a few commandments, either based on my personal reading tastes or something I’ve learned from my lovely talented evil editors!


  1. Thou shalt not lie to the reader and call it “a plot twist.”  Grrr, there’s a highly popular author to this day whom I refuse to read because of a little lie she told in a novella I happened to pick up.  I can’t stand “surprise twists” that are basically lies.  I feel totally betrayed when this happens.  (Not talking Sixth Sense sort of plot points here — which I loved — but deliberate lies told through the POV character and only revealed at the end with a flourish.)  For a twist, the little hints should be there for me to follow like a trail of bread crumbs.
  2. Thou shalt not beat the reader over the head with “foreshadowing.”  Personal taste, but I hate “Little did she know…” or “Unbeknownst to her…”  These are author intrusions and pull me immediately out of the story.
  3. Thou shalt not make the reader dizzy by headhopping.  As my dear friend Wanda said once, headhopping makes my skull crack open.  I just can’t tolerate blatant hops back and forth, paragraph to paragraph.  (Straightfoward shifts once or twice in a scene don’t bother me as much.)
  4. Thou shalt NEVER be kind and gentle to the characters.  Torture them!  Throw more rocks!  Put them in an untenable position, not once but over and over!
  5. Thou shalt not “lathe” any tender body parts.  See the Smart Bitches’ Crimes Against Woodworking for some laughs.
  6. Thy hero shalt not flex his “bicep.”  It’s biceps, even if the heroine is looking at a specific arm.
  7. Thou shalt not rely on “fateful” to describe a character’s day.  Lazy!  (I was guilty of this in Dear Sir, I’m Yours, until Angie got ahold of it.)
  8. Thou shalt not use the word “sag” anywhere near a sentence mentioning the heroine’s breasts.  This one was caught by the copyeditor.  I said her dress “sagged past her breasts” and this was his comment.  Totally cracked me up!  Changed it to “slid.”
  9. Thou shalt NEVER take the easy way out, especially in the climax!  And I mean that both ways.  *winks*
  10. No Romancelandia hero ever need Viagra. Obviously.  He’s also got the biggest tool in the shed, but that goes without saying, right?  :mrgreen:

So what are some of your commandments or readers’ peeves? 

Share them in comments (or simply throw your name in the hat) to be entered to win Patti O’Shea’s three Light Warriors books (unsigned), including In the Midnight Hour, In Twilight’s Shadow, and Edge of Dawn, and winner’s choice of any book from my backlist. 

As Lynn always says, anyone on the planet can enter, even if you’ve won something from me before.  I’ll accept comment entries through midnight CST Friday night, July 17th, on this post, or you can e-mail me ONCE (joely AT joelysueburkhart DOT com).  One of the monsters (my kids) will draw names on Sat. and I’ll post all winners then.


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Left Behind & Loving It Next Week

Don’t miss PBW’s awesome virtual workshop next week.  RWA Nationals may be in full swing, but those of us left behind will be having a blast, too.  I don’t know what I’ll talk about yet — if anyone has requests, please shout them out in comments or drop me an e-mail — but I do know what I’ll be giving away.

Patti O’Shea’s Light Warrior series, including: In the Midnight Hour, In Twilight’s Shadow, and Edge of Dawn.

Victoria Dahl’s Talk Me Down and Start Me Up.

A $30 gift certificate to any online book retailer of the winner’s choice.

I’ll probably break this up into three separate giveaways, with winner’s choice book from my backlist on each day included.  Now if I can only find three topics to talk about…

No geographical limits on shipping the dead tree books — I’ll ship them anywhere on the planet.  So spread the word and plan to stop by next week!

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Demonica Winner

A huge thank you to everyone who commented and e-mailed me to enter.  What a great crowd!  I hope you all will pick up one of Larissa’s books and give this series a chance!

The winner of Pleasure Unbound, Desire Unchained, and Passion Unleashed is:



I’ll e-mail you for your snail mail address!

Thanks again, everyone.  Now go read a really good book!

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Demonica Series Giveaway


As promised, I’m giving away the complete Demonica Series by Larissa Ione, including Pleasure Unbound, Desire Unchained, and Passion Unleashed. 

Desire Unchained was my reward book for finishing Revision Xibalba, and boy, do I feel rewarded!  The book was so good that I made the monsters sit in the van and wait at the Dixie Stampede (while we were on Spring Break vacation) until I finished the last 10 pages!!


  • Anyone on the planet may enter, even if you’ve won something from me before.
  • If your snail mail address doesn’t qualify for Amazon Prime shipping of the paperback versions, then I’ll supply a gift certificate of $20 to any online book retailer of your choice.
  • To enter, simply comment on this blog entry, or drop me a note with subject LARISSA IONE GIVEAWAY to joely AT joelysueburkhart DOT com.
  • Entries will be accepted through midnight CST Monday, April 6th.
  • Winner will be announced Tuesday, April 7th.

Spread the word!

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Freebies, Contests, and More

I’ve already blogged about how much I loved Larissa Ione’s Pleasure Unbound — and how I can’t wait to earn my reward by finishing Revision Xibalba so I can read Desire Unchained!  I even picked Pleasure Unbound to win it all in DABWAHA and was thrilled to see my first author blurb in Desire Unchained!  How cool is that?  Here’s your chance to win some freebies from Larissa by spreading the word.

I plan to give away the entire Demonica series when Shade’s book is out, so stay tuned!

Smart Bitches and Dear Author are sponsoring Save the Contemporary.  Spread the word to win a copy of the latest Lisa Kleypas release.

For more blogosphere contests, check out Paperback Writer’s post.