31 July 2009

The plan is: Play it Forward.

Recently, I've been reconnecting with old friends. A random email from a friend, Raven Hart, sparked a "wonder what he/she's doing now?" moment and I've set about reconnecting lost threads in my pattern. Old school friends have been a fascinating walk down memory lane, but there's more to it than that.

You know what I've found? We live in a small world, but people never really change. During the email exchange, I realized three things: 1) No matter where we are in our writing careers, we've all experienced similar stories when we were first starting out; 2) You only get one chance to make a first impression; and 3) That brief moment of contact can make a huge difference in someone's life, no matter which side of it you're on.

Talking to Roxanne St. Claire via email last week after that initial email reaffirmed my "play it forward" philosophy. As authors and readers, a brief contact may be all we get in person, but it may last a lifetime.

In the spirit of that, I wanted to celebrate the success of someone I had the priviledge of spending some time with at the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference in Atlanta in 2007. Her debut release is August 4th. BEYOND THE RAIN is a Berkley release and available in your local bookstore Tuesday!

Jess Granger is a truly wonderful person. And a gifted author. BEYOND THE RAIN is a must read if you like action-oriented romances that happen to be futuristic. While I haven't read the final version, the original was an absolutely brilliant display of vivid characters, heart-stopping action, and beautiful romance.

Here's a bit of a teaser blurb taken from her website:

In a universe torn apart by civil war, a warrior and a slave must fight for their freedom, for their lives, and for a love that may destroy them both…

After five years behind enemy lines, Captain Cyani is ready to retire to her homeworld of Azra as one of the Elite — the celibate warrior sisterhood that rules the planet. But first she must complete one final mission to rescue her fellow Union soldiers. The last thing she expects to find is a prisoner, chained and beaten — but radiating feral power and an unbroken spirit…

Soren is a Byralen, an enigmatic people who possess a unique hormone that they use to bond with their mates — and that is sold as a sexual narcotic in the shadow trade. For years, he has endured torture at the hands of his captors as they leeched his very essence. The last thing he expects is to be freed from slavery by a beautiful warrior woman with radiant blue eyes.

Driven by her rigid sense of honor, Cyani frees Soren even though her life hinges upon the success of her mission. But after so many years in bondage, his hormones are so unbalanced that he will die if he does not bond with a woman. Can the lovely but distant warrior be the woman he needs to survive, or will the forbidden bond destroy them?

Go, read this book. You won't be disappointed.

If you've got a moment today, do one more thing: reach out by telephone, email, text, or a more direct hug, and thank someone who has made a difference in your life lately. That small thanks may be just the thing to brighten their day and make them feel loved.

Have a wonderful weekend!
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