The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Author Spotlights Toni V Sweeney and 3 Books to Choose From!

I'm happy to present a delightful talent and
A choice of a download from 3 of her novels: Blood Bay, Wizard’s Wife, The King’s Swordswoman. These are, in order, a thriller, a fantasy, and medieval romance, so there’s a good variety to choose from.
Leave a comment and she will be choosing one lucky reader with a personal email to you.

Blurb of The Rose and the Dragon (to be released June 15):

What would you do if you read this ad in your local paper:  NANNY WANTED.  MUST HAVE ABILITY TO FACE ADVENTURE, EXCITEMENT, DANGER.

When Miranda Wilson answers just such an advertisement, she doesn’t realize what she’s walking into.  It could’ve been the plot of a Gothic novel, with a handsome widower, three orphaned children,  and herself as the innocent governess…but that’s before she meets her boss’ younger brother, a knock-out hunk by the name of Kitten. 

There are odd undercurrents in the Andrus household, however, and before she knows it, Miranda Wilson, Nanny, finds herself Miranda Wilson, Alien Abductee, as she’s whisked to the planet Gataeus where Dominic Andrus is the head of the planet’s largest crime family and Kit is his chief hitman.

Now, she’s in the middle of an interplanetary war with her three charges as the prize.  What’s an Earthwoman to do?


The Observation Room in Kit’s yacht was a miniaturized version of Dominic’s office aboard the Alexa. The desktop was startling. Not a desk at all but a gigantic computer terminal, with no keyboard, mouse, or speakers in sight. Now that she thought about it, the computer screen on the other yacht hadn’t had any of those things, either, but it hadn’t registered at the time, just tucked itself away in the back of her mind until now. Okay, so it’s a really highly  evolved model, voice-responsive or something. Dominic would have the very latest in electronics, of course. So naturally, his brother would, also. Men and their toys…
She wondered how the unit was activated. Another question for Master Kit to explain.
Miranda turned her attention to the rest of the room. It was long and narrow and, with the exception of the desk, had very little furniture. A narrow wall covered with shelves filled with items resembling CD jewel cases except they were a quarter of the size of a CD. Between each set of shelves, large photographs decorated the walls. The sliding panel serving as a door filled the third wall, and the fourth
 It curved in a slight arc, broken by the insertion of long, narrow windows. Several chairs had been placed before them.
Slowly, Miranda sank into one of the chairs. When several minutes passed and Kit didn’t appear, she began to fidget. More minutes passed. The impatience turned to anxiety, then to anger.
Unable to sit still any longer, Miranda jumped to her feet and began to wander around the room, looking at the pictures on the walls. She forced herself to concentrate on them and not the absent Kit and the aftermath of whatever had happened while they were cowering in the cabin.
The pictures were beautiful, though rather odd. Not photographs as she’d first thought, but images etched onto thin metal plates, similar to laser drawings. They were attached to the walls in a way making them seem a part of it. There were three of them, astronomical scenes. A star bursting into supernova, scattering bright splinters of light through the blackness, a brilliant red planet lit like a quarter-moon, reflecting the sun along its edges, a comet trailing through the dark. All beautiful, filling her with a sense of awe and curiosity as to how the pictures had been made.
On one shelf, she saw a model of a spaceship similar to the one in Dominic Andrus’ office. This one had a different set of curving letters on its bow. She studied it a moment, then, quite naturally, her gaze moved from the little model to the windows in the curved wall.
There were two of them, long, narrow openings fitted close together, and she stood before the first, staring in amazement at the outside darkness. By some visual trick, the ocean seemed to have disappeared, sky and horizon blending together so it looked as if the yacht was floating directly toward the stars.
Miranda stared, fascinated, as the door slid open and Kit came in. He didn’t speak, just walked over to stand beside her.
She turned to look at him. “What a fantastic optical illusion. It looks as if we’re flying!”
“It’s not an illusion, Randa.” To her surprise, he sounded strangely solemn.
“What do you mean?” She looked back at the window, then at him again.
He didn’t answer her question. Instead, he said, “Open inner shields.”
Panels on either side of the windows slid apart, revealing a transparent wall, and beyond it...
Miranda stared, refusing to believe what she saw.
A blue globe. Continents, oceans partially covered by cotton-wisps of clouds. She knew and recognized a sight she’d never seen except from photographs taken by astronauts as they watched the Earth from their vantage point on the Moon.
“T-that looks like the Earth.” Miranda looked at Kit again. He was scowling slightly.
“It is.”
No. She didn’t want to hear that, wanted him to say it was some kind of photograph, a video image or hologram...another optical illusion...
“But…” In her own ears, her voice sounded so stupid. “I-if the Earth’s down there, a-and we’re up here, that mean’s we’re in…” She didn’t finished the sentence, barely heard his soft affirmation.
“We are.”
Miranda took a quick breath just short of being a gasp. She felt her insides flinch and spasm as if someone had just struck her in the stomach. Her mouth fell open and she tried to scream but the sound wouldn’t come. It stayed inside her, spinning around and around in her chest, so the only sound she could make was a sickly strangled whimper, barely heard through the hands she pressed to her mouth as she turned her disbelieving gaze on Kit again.
“Randa?”  Kit appeared startled, as if he hadn’t expected this reaction.
“I don’t understand.” Suddenly, her confusion seemed replaced by absolute terror. Her eyes were so wide, the irises seemed bare more than blue pinpoints in a vast whiteness. Miranda took another deep, stricken breath. When Kit reached for her, she dodged and backed away, bumping against the shelves behind her. Jostled by the impact, the little model wobbled, toppled over, and fell to the floor. Both ignored it.
“Who are you? What are you?”
“You said you knew.” His confusion mirrored her own., the words came out as an accusation. “About us...about Gataeus.”
“I know Mr. Andrus is from Gataeus. Ardala told me, but that’s all she said.”
Oh, sweet gods, I thought she knew everything! Now, Kit looked shocked and the expression on his handsome face shook Miranda even more.
“Who are you?” she repeated.
“Isn’t it obvious?” He shrugged and smiled slightly, trying not to look so serious.  He forced himself to relax.  I’ll treat the whole thing as a joke, get her to laugh...anything to get that frozen fear off her face. “I’m the bug-eyed monster, the Thing from Outer Space... I’m ET.”

Twitter: @tonivsweeney

Do you do anything to get you into the zone to write?

I’m always In the Zone!   I just plop myself in front of the computer, raise my fingers and start typing!  (Well, I always have a cup of coffee handy and lots of fingerfoods, and sometimes some music playing that goes along with whatever genre I’m writing.)

 Which authors inspire your writing?

I guess it depends on the genre…I like JD Robb, JR Ward, Jim Butcher, and Margaret Mitchell.  Is that an eclectic group or what?

What is your favorite book, character and why?

The favorite character of my own creation, you mean?  I guess I’d have to say Sinbad sh’en Singh, from my series, The Adventures of Sinbad.  Sin’s the perfect “bad boy.”  He’s handsome, rude, crude, and in a dangerous occupation, but he’s also true to friends and family, and when he finds the right woman, a faithful lover and a one-woman man who’ll do whatever it takes to protect her  (and later his children) from harm.  The fact that he eventually becomes the 8th richest man in the galaxy doesn’t hurt, either!

I’ve had several reviewers go absolutely ga-ga over Sin (who tried to live up to his nickname) and they keep asking when the next book will be out.  There are 8 novels (including a prequel) in the series and I was really a little sad when I wrote the final one a few weeks ago, but I decided it was time to let Sin retire and enjoy his wealth and his family.

Do you prefer to write erotic or sweet?

I like to have it start out sweet and at just the right moment, turn erotic.

Which famous person, living or dead,  are you drawn to?

Vincent Price.  I’ve always thought he was a most erudite man.  He was an art lover, a great cook, an actor (he made a most charming villain), a writer (he wrote several very entertaining books), and he also had an unexpected flair for comedy.  Plus he wasn’t all that bad-looking either, and he was TALL.  I like tall men.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Still alive, I hope!  After all, I’m 70 now and going uphill’s becoming a little difficult.

Finish this sentence: I know I’ve made it when I see someone flaming one of my books on Amazon.

What advice would you give aspiring writers?

  1. Study up on proper grammar and spelling
  2. Find a writer-mentor to advise and critique
  3. Develop a thick skin
  4. Don’t give up

What do you see yourself writing in the future?

I’ve a list of 28 novels I need to either finish or write.  I’m going through them one-by-one.  So far, I’ve  finished 5.

If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?

There are so many to choose from, I haven’t the foggiest.  Perhaps the ability to type 500 wpm so I could write stories faster?  Guess I’d go through a lot of keyboards and need a faster computer, wouldn’t I?

What time of the day are you at your best to write?

Since I’m “retired” now, any time of the day, but usually I start about 10:00 AM and work until around 5:00 PM.  Then, it’s dinner, and a netflix movie.

And now for something completely different…

What do you look at first with an attractive man or woman, face, body or smile?

I’m a shallow person.  The face.

Explain your perfect day.

Any day it doesn’t snow in Nebraska.

What is the most decadent desert you can’t say no to?

Chocolate pie a la Mode.  Chocolate on chocolate.  Can’t beat that!  I remember the waiter blanched as I ordered it.  “You want chocolate ice cream on chocolate pie?”

Do you have a favorite holiday, what is it and what makes it special to you?

Christmas, I suppose, because my birthday’s 2 days afterward and I always cash in on the gifts!
What key words describe you best?

Always in the background thinking.


  1. Hi, Toni! You're a new to me author but after this excerpt you won't be for long! Ok, Chocolate Pie al la Mode??? Sounds too good to be true!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Hi Toni: I'm looking forward to your book coming out. I actually tried applying to be a nanny many, many, many moons ago. When I talked with him, all he wanted was a wife with some benefits. His pay scale, for what he expected, was really cheap. I wanted to tell him he was nuts and just get himself a wife but I held my tongue.
    The job in your story seems much more interesting. I have never read any of your work but I look forward to changing that. Thank you for the giveaway.


  3. Well, Susan, I've had to give up most things chocolate nowadays, but I still manage a handful of M&Ms occasionally to keep the memories intact!

    I've' never been a nanny, Lynn, being a full-time mother was enough for me. Though I have had some excitement and adventure with that son of mine! No Andruses, unfortunately.


  5. Congratulations, Toni! I enjoyed The Rose and the Dragon so much. And who wouldn't love a man named Kitten??? :D