The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Monday, May 4, 2015

Pick Me Up Monday- Words are indeed mightier than the sword

Happy Monday Peeps!

Life has been hectic to say the least and for those of you who tune in every Monday for my blog I apologize for missing last weeks offering. 

I have been steadily working on Rogan's book, but much of it ended up deleted. I will only put out a body of work that I feel is my best. After going over it I found it was lacking the intensity I needed to convey, so back to the drawing board I went and reworked it. Such is the way of a writer. You have to go on gut instinct, which turns out to be right nine out of ten times.

As many know I have a Monday internet workshop I have been doing since January. Well, I just put my students through a very intense month and recently heard from one of them. The private thank you touched my heart and lifted my spirits. It put into perspective the reason why I write, and love the printed word. 

The very idea that there is one person I made a difference to is huge to me. The gift of her words filled me with inspiration, love and acceptance. These are precious things to me and will hold them dear to my heart. 

As I stated in my Monday pick me up title, words are indeed more powerful than the sword. They can cut and wound, but they can also inspire, lift someone up to reach heights never dreamed of before. Without those encouraging words we all need, life is so much harder than need be. 

So in closing, I say thank you to my students, my readers, and my friends. May I always remember to tell you, what an important difference each of you make in my life.

Next weeks Monday pick me up will not be posted due to a much needed vacation. I will post again the following week.

So until then, have a wonderful time with your life and remember to thank those who make a difference in your life. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pick Me Up Monday- And the work goes on

Happy Monday Peeps!

Here is something to get you ready for the week ahead.

I spent the weekend closed off in my study doing what I love best. Living in a world I create. Rogan's book, Heart of a Firestorm is a blend of both the history of ancient Pompeii and my world. One unseen by human man, blending the two into a believable tapestry. A place where you can logically see a dragon shifter living in that time. After all, dragons have been in our myths and legends for eons, and all things have a basis in some sort of truth. So why not dragons? 

One of the things I love about being a paranormal writer is the challenge to make the reader suspend their belief and get pulled into a supernatural world. I enjoy tweaking the rules as we know them, to weave a shadow world within what we know.

So back to my dragon, Mt. Vesuvius is about to blow...hum wonder how a fire breathing dragon works with that one? Well we will just have to see what Rogan has up his talon. 

Have a great week

Monday, April 13, 2015

Pick Me Up Monday- The Power of Passion

There are many different types of passions. That of one's work comes foremost to mind, but the one I'm talking of is the most important to a romance writer.

The power of touch can change a life, connect two souls and convey more than words, how one feels.

A single brush of a hand can kindle passion. An embrace, a welcome home in an uncertain world. We are, for the most part, tactile creatures. We show our emotions though our body language, no matter how slight the contact, it registers in our psyche.

Passion is an emotion writers know very well. We are people watchers by nature, drawn to the tell tale signs of interaction between those around us. It can be something as small as leaning toward another as they speak, a tentative hand on a shoulder or arm. These all speak volumes if you know how to hear it.

Passion in romance is our greatest tool, we learn all the nuances inherent to this emotion for without it no great love can grow. It is what keeps you coming back to read more of our work. When done right it carries you along, feeding a need we all have at the most basic level. 

To find, to feel, to love.  

Now go out there and find your passion.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wicked Dragon Writers Solutions

I recently heard of my author friend, Amber Kallyn's new business. Of course I was excited to have her on my blog where she can tell you about Wicked Dragon. I don't normally open my blog for any advertising, but at the same time I love being a resource for new authors or those wishing to self-pub and are not sure who to go to. In addition, knowing what Amber Kallyn brings to the business I have no doubts they will be busy rather quickly.

Does Your Written Gem Need An Editor?

How about Two? #WDWS #editors You've finally typed the two most important words: "THE END", but your precious treasure of words needs one final polish before you usher it out on to the cruel world. Welcome to Wicked Dragon Writer Solutions, where you can get two editing beasts for one smoking price!


Between Amber and I, we have 13 hard-won years of word crafting experience, not just in published work, but in editing for other authors. While we've been doing this without gathering our fees, we decided it was time to put our pens to work for us. We know how vital editors are to Creators of the Written Word, and what's better than one editor? How about two editors putting their eyes to the jewelers loop to examine your precious treasure, and you'll only be out the gold for the price of one. Think of it as an Editorial BOGO (buy-one-get-one-free). Feel free to come on over and check us over at Wicked Dragon Writer Solutions (! In celebration of our grand opening, if you book your adventured during the month of April, we are offering 10% off your hoard of gold, just note code: WDWSOPEN when booking your spot!   If you're anxious to start your epic journey, feel free to reach out to and we'll get you set for your editing adventure.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Pick Me Up Monday-Another Week Promising Week Ahead

For all my Peeps out there who love a tattooed ya go, sealed with a kiss. 

Spring has sprung and my muse is singing. What can be better than that? This is one of my favorite times of the year when the earth wakes from it's dormant state. The delicate pastel wash of colors from flowers to the yellow -greens of new grass.

Time to enjoy the season and my sudden inspiration. Don't forget to stop and enjoy the earth's rebirth while you are out and about. After all what good is being alive if you don't stop once in awhile and savor?

Until next Monday, have a wonderful and productive week.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Pick Me Up Monday- A Precious Gift

This black and white holds an intensity that grabs your attention. What strong emotion is this beautiful man in the grips of? What is the cause? My mind can easily build a story behind this picture. This image calls to me, haunts me and challenges me to look closer, share his emotion and put it on paper. 

And that, dear friends is what art does. It moves you beyond your own life and into another realm. Stirs your emotions and enables you to share in the beauty of creation. What ever the medium, be it photography, painting or words on paper, the end result is the same. It evokes your passion and pleasure. 

What a precious gift to give the world. 

As I work on my latest book, this is what I strive for. To pull you out of the mundane world where bills and stress circle around like vultures, and give you a small amount of escapism, to connect to emotion and live through my words another life and time. 

That is what all artists strive for. A small piece of themselves given to the world in the hopes it offers pleasure and release from the day to day stresses. If my work does this, then I can not complain. To create quite simply, is an obsession, a compulsion to share with the world our imagination. 

And perhaps if we are very lucky, we touch a person and give them an unforgettable moment of enjoyment. 

Until next week, be productive and enjoy springs awakening.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pick Me Up Monday- Getting my feet back under me

This one is for me...all mine, hahaha! Some, go weak in the knees for a cowboy. For me it's a sexy highlander in a kilt. Get's me every damn time.

I learned something very important last week. I had a personal crisis crop up in my life and learned how blessed I am with such good dear friends. They are there, through thick and thin, good and the devastating. It is because of them I am getting myself back together. It's funny how life works, when you are at the lowest level, friends can raise you up.

For this, I will be forever grateful to each of you-you know who you are ;) -  Now back to work before all my dear friends kick my ass lol!

Have a wonderful and productive week ahead.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pick Me Up Monday- Heart felt thank you for all your birthday wishes

What is better than one hot cowboy? Well four hot cowboys of course lol!

Every time I see cowboys there are two awesome authors that come to mind Jodi Olsen and Siobhan Muir. So this is for you two ladies.

Work on Firestorm is still progressing, though I did have a few squirrel moments. There is something about a massive cake with a dancing pole in the middle that can do that to a person. Only in Opensim-a virtual world in which I write - can such a thing be possible. Laughing as I remember so much fun having my avatar dancing on top of my cake.

To all the well wishers out there you humble me. So many of you remembered me, it amazed me. Thank you so very much for remembering me. I loved everyone of your notes and did my best to answer each and every one.

Well that's all I have, the brain is tired and I need some much needed rest. So with that, I wish all of you a very productive week, and reach for your dreams.

Love you all

Monday, March 2, 2015

Pick Me Up Monday- Heart of a Firestorm nears Completion

When looking for a male who would be the perfect visual match to my character Rogan, I only needed to look to Pintrest. There he was staring out at me from my monitor and I knew I found him. What is this models name? I've heard him called Kellen Jamison or Angel. This model is as mysterious as the dragon shifter created after his likeness. Whatever name he goes by, I give him a huge thank you for the inspiration he has given to my work.

With Rogan's book, Heart of a Firestorm nearing completion I am already turning my sights on the third and fourth book in this series. I must admit to feeling a bit sad, like saying goodbye to an old friend. You spend months deep within a characters psyche and once you pull out it takes a bit for you to come back to yourself. A time for a much needed break, before you throw yourself back into the frey once again.

After all, that is in essence what writing is all about. You tend to leave small pieces of yourself within the pages. Sometimes a reader will let you know how well they enjoyed your world, others stay silent. It's the way of writing, the nature of the beast. 
This is a solitary business much of the time, you create in isolation and emerge from your cave to share. Why? Because its the very nature of a creative person to send there work out into the world. So love it, as I hope you will, hate it if you must, but it is still there ready for you to turn the pages and invite you into another existence.

Enough musings for now, I hope for you a creative and productive week.   
I'll chat with you next week.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Pick Me Up Monday- A New Week Full of Promise

Happy Monday Peeps

Here we are with another week full of possibilities. This is a Rogan inspired pic. Getting me in the right frame of mind to delve into the mists of time. Back to ancient Pompeii, where my hero Rogan finds more trouble than he bargained for. All in a small curvy package called Sabine.

In March I will be leading my workshop into Fast Draft, and by the end of the month either they will hate or love me...I'm betting on hate lol! It will be a grueling pace where no matter what they must make a word count of 1000 or more words a day on their WIP. Ah, I can feel my ears already burning as I crack that whip. 

This will free me up to finish this darn book of Rogan's and get a good start of a few others which are waiting in the wings for some TLC. 

So with that, I'm off to write. Remember that whatever you do this week, small or big, strive for your dreams. We will talk again.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Pick Me Up Monday-Playing Catch Up Folks

Happy Monday Peeps!

This soothes the artist in me. Nothing is as inspiring as a fine toned body, male or female...though to be honest I have always preferred the male form. All those hard angles and sharp ridges are fun to sketch out on paper. Unfortunately, I never had such a wonderful specimen to work from in art class, lol!

I have been playing catch up and not much writing the past week. There are times when life throws you curve balls and all you can do is juggle them as best you can. Frankly I'm ready for some positive changes to come my way...and that may be just on the horizon for me. Time and patience will tell and I hope-fingers crossed-to have great news to share with you someday soon.

In other news...I have none lol! With the new week ahead of me I plan on spending as much time as I can writing. After all I have a book to finish and several more waiting in the wings. 

So I wish all of you a productive week and we will talk again. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Pick Me Up Monday-HMK Workshop and HMK Writing Retreat Scheduled

Happy Monday!
I find a crisp white shirt on a man so...yeah.

Shaking my head to get rid of my lecherous thoughts lol! 

I must say nothing kicks my muse into high gear quicker than spending time with other authors. Writing, and talking about the craft we love so much is the best, most productive time I could ever spend. Being a part of such a small community of local writers is much like having a supportive family. One I hold dear in my heart. Seeing them each month, touching base and finding what project they are working on is always such fun.

Saturday we met, wrote and laughed, wrote more and shared our work. Can't get any better than that! The energy in the room lifted up my own flagging spirits, recharging my muse and helped me to continue on with my works in progress. 

And I have news to share! 
On April 25th and 26th, HMK is having a writing retreat at Pahrump Winery. A beautiful little oasis in the middle of a desert with quaint cottages, a restaurant and of course, wonderful wine! Perfect for many of my fellow writers. Look for more information coming on HMK's facebook page and my own under Shannan Albright. 

Well back to work I go, talk to you next week.  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pick Me Up Monday- Another Busy Week Ahead and HMK Workshop on Saturday

Happy Monday!

Dear Lord, I am melting with this one...and I'm not partial to blonds either! The things those eyes of his are saying, well let me just keep it in my books lol!

So far planned for this week is working on Rogan's book, a short story, and a possible collaboration on a very different genre for me. Dieselpunk. Yep, that's right. It's set in the 40's era-one of my favorites-but with futuristic gadgets. Think of the movie Dark City and Rocket Man and you get the idea. It sounds very fascinating to me.

I also have TWO workshops going this week. My normal Monday night workshop "From Start to Finish, Write your Book in a Year" and HMK's writers group is meeting this Saturday. Lot's of writing opportunities this week to keep me on track. 
Well I have work to do, Rogan to get into trouble and a plot to hatch. No rest for the wicked or the weary.

Talk to you next week.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Author Spotlight- Loralynne Summers

Welcome Loralynne Summers to my blog!

It's been a while since I have had the pleasure of hosting another author. This is extra special since she also writes for Evernight, and lives in the same city as me. So without more rambling on my part let's get down to the good stuff. 

As a child, Loralynne was always the student getting in trouble for talking in class and at home for making things up. Combining her ability to go on and on and her flair for storytelling, she naturally grew up to be a writer. Originally planning to write fantasy, her muse had other plans. Once she opened herself up to the whims of her muse, she couldn’t type her first sex scene fast enough and now writes romance. Loralynne lives in Upstate New York with her husband, cats, and growing family. You can friend her on facebook or follow her on twitter under LL_Summers

 How did you come up with the story?

I was mowing the lawn! It was a hot and humid day, and then my neighbor came home on his Harley, and suddenly the story was there in my head! I liked the idea of my hero being a bit unconventional. While a good guy at the core, he’s a biker and a bit rough around the edges.

Do you have any writing habits?

I am a total pantser. I don’t plot, I learned quickly that if I tried to make the characters do what I thought should be done, the story sucked and wouldn’t flow. As soon as I gave my muse carte blanche, things went much more smoothly! So I do what I’m told now. Some stories I need complete silence to write, others I have to have music playing. And the music varies depending on the story, and sometimes even what part of the story I’m writing.

How much real life do you put into or influences your books?

I've noticed that in most of my heroes there is some part of my husband, be it mannerisms or other little quirks. In one story my hero is total freak about a specific car, which is all my husband. There’s a bit of myself in Sarah, and a big part of the start of the relationship between my husband and I in Sarah and Jason’s. I too fell in love with my best friend after leaving an abusive ex. My husband is very much responsible for the sense of self-worth and self-esteem that I now have today. He put me back together emotionally, just as Jason did for Sarah.

Any upcoming projects?
I have a paranormal series of full-length novels that I’m working on, a fantasy of undetermined size that I currently view as my Dark Tower (by Stephen King) – I don’t think it will ever be done, but I keep plugging away at it in bits and pieces here and there, and the story currently screaming the loudest in my head is a contemporary ménage, likely novella length, that I hope to finish soon.

Can you tell us the inspiration for your story?

The story opens to Sarah mowing the lawn on a hot, humid day. And that’s exactly what I was doing when the idea first took root in my brain. My neighbor across the street arrived home on his Harley, and BAM! The whole opening scene was there in my head. I couldn’t type fast enough. There is a large part of my relationship in this story. Jason has some of my husband’s mentality, mostly in how he treats Sarah. I often tell my husband that I don’t deserve him, he is way better to me than I am to him! As for Sarah, I too fell in love with my best friend after leaving an abusive relationship. Thankfully, mine never reached the level of physical abuse, but the signs were all there, and it was only a matter of time. As in the story though, I was quite afraid of my feelings for my husband, because of how close our friendship was and I was terrified to ruin it.

Thanks for giving us a little insight to you. Can you tell us a little bit more about your book? You have my interest perked and I'm sure my readers are interested too.


She fell in love—in self-defense…
            The last thing that Sarah wants in her life is a relationship. Her track record was horrendous, and the last guy she’d dated had beaten her mentally and physically, landing her in the hospital. Almost a year later she’s back on her feet, thanks in no small part to her best friend Jason. Trouble is, lately she wants more than a friendship with Jason, and it scares the hell out of her. And then he kisses her…
His offense may hit a brick wall…
Jason has been in love with Sarah for longer than he’ll willingly admit to. Since bringing her home from the hospital, she’s grown into a strong, secure, confident woman. After seeing how perfect his best friend really is, he can’t get her off his mind. He’s convinced her feelings match his, and decides to go for it, only to scare her away.

Can best friends become something more? Or will she stay hidden behind her defensive wall?


“Why are you carrying me fifty feet?” Sarah asked.
“Because I can. Because I’d be a jerk to make you stumble around on those shoes when you could fall and get hurt. But mostly because it’s my fault they’re broken in the first place.”
“Jason, I’m the one who gave Alex a roundhouse kick to the head in these things.”
“And you have no idea how proud I am of you for that. Doesn’t change the fact that I wasn’t there to protect you when he showed up, and I should have been.”
She sighed, settling her head on his shoulder. “It’s okay,” she whispered. If he could beat the shit out of himself, he would. It had been eating away at him from the moment she’d thrown herself at him and wouldn’t let go.
He wanted to kick the ass of every one of their friends, too. Most of them didn’t know who Alex was. But that knowledge didn’t stop him from wanting to knock their heads off for letting Sarah fight him. Hell, it was a good thing for Alex that Jason had been in the bathroom when it all went down. Otherwise, the police would have pulled him off Alex’s bloody, beaten corpse. He owed that asshole. Not just for the beating that had landed Sarah in the hospital, but also for the months it took to put her back together, physically and emotionally.
“What’s the code for the alarm, Sarah?” He’d never asked her what it was after showing her how to change it. He wanted her to feel completely safe from everyone when she was in the house, including him.
“Sarah?” He tilted his head back to look down at her. In the dark, he couldn’t see her blush, but assumed she had when she turned and buried her face into his chest before mumbling a reply. “I didn’t hear you, baby. Tell me again.”
She cleared her throat and took a deep breath. “I said, it’s your birthday.”
Christ, could he feel more like a dick? If he needed another clue about her feelings, he was a moron. It was a bit ironic, though.
“Wanna know a secret? My alarm is set to your birthday. Kinda funny, huh?” He set her down to dig her keys out of his pocket. “You gonna let all the cold air out, or are you coming inside?” She stood where he’d left her on the porch. Shaking herself, she followed him into the house and he reset the alarm for occupancy, locking the door behind them. “You go ahead and shower. I’ll make popcorn, grab us some beers, and see what I can find to watch.”
“Sure. Can you help me with the boots? My hands still feel all shaky.”
“Yeah, of course. Here.” He fell to the floor in front of her, sitting on his heels and dying a little more inside. This was so not how he’d pictured the night going just a couple of hours ago. He wanted to be peeling these off because she wanted him to, not because she needed him to.
She rested her hands on his shoulders and placed one foot on his thigh. He ran his hands along the supple leather, up and over her calf. He swallowed hard, tamping down his baser emotions. She didn’t need that kind of bullshit from him right now.
Slowly, he pulled the zipper down and slid the boot from her. Lips parted slightly, her breathing grew shallow and rapid. Unable to stop himself, he massaged her foot for a moment before he gently lowered it to the floor. Eyes locked, he pulled her other leg forward and repeated the procedure. Her lids fluttered, a soft moan escaping her when he gently worked his hands up her legs, kneading both calves at the same time.
“Jason…” she whispered, her hands sliding to the back of his neck.
He rose to his knees, conscience be damned. There was no denying the hunger in her eyes, or the tension filling the room. She leaned into him, his hands continuing to massage their way up the backs of her legs until they held her ass firmly. Both breathing hard, they froze, a hair’s breadth separating their lips, hesitating to cross the final line that would end their friendship and start something new.

You can find her latest book at:

Thank you for coming and sharing your latest release with us. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pick Me Up Monday- And Life Goes On

Happy Monday!
Here is my picture for inspiration. Beautiful isn't it?

Well, January is in full swing and so am I. Between writing, the workshop I'm holding and various other projects dealing with virtual worlds and interactive storytelling. I've been crazy busy. Plus juggling a day job and I'm one tired puppy. Happy, but very tired lol!

I have several projects going and still plugging away with Rogans book. Always some project or another that vies for my time. The one thing I have enjoyed very much has been sharing what I've learned about writing. Making a difference to a new or aspiring writer gives me such a sense of rightness. Paying it forward, so to speak and helping others so they don't make the same mistakes I did. Preparing them for what is to come after publication is just as important as learning the craft.

I would have liked to have had someone prepare me for it, so I do what I can to pave the way for new talent. With that said I still have some work to do for tomorrow nights workshop. If you or someone you know is interested in getting that book or idea out then just leave me a message and I'll give you the information on how to get on the forum to enter the workshop. It's free and there are others who are happy to share their expertise.

Have a wonderful week.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Pick Me Up Monday- Back to the Biz of Writing

Just a little inspiration for Rogan's book Heart of a Firestorm. 

Well, finally the holidays are behind us and it's time to concentrate on the WIP's before me. First, A small short story for an upcoming anthology. I'm getting it put down on paper and hope to have this one knocked out before the end of this month. 

Then Rogan will have my complete attention until I deliver it into my editors hands. I also will be laying out the next book in this series along with some very hot and short menage stories coming your way. 

On top of my writing I also have a Monday workshop I have begun on the 5th called, Start to Finish, Write a Book in a Year. The first meeting went very well. I hope to keep the interest of people who dream of getting their stories out there.

Well, off I go back to my study to get this writing done. Have a wonderful weekend.