Friday, May 29, 2009

Blogging at PASIC, and THE LEGACY a HOLT Medallion Top Five Nominee!

Hey, just wanted to let you all know I'm over at PASIC's To Be Read blog today, talking about some of my favorite movies that are both entertaining and thought-provoking. Stop by and tell me some of yours.

Also, just heard I'm a Top Five finalist in the Best First Book category of the prestigious HOLT Medallion contest with my debut novel, THE LEGACY. Yay, me!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

IMHO Welcomes Scottish Historical Author Monica McCarty!

IMHO is pleased to welcome Monica McCarty to IMHO today. Monica burst onto the romance scene in 2007 with the release of her debut back-to-back trilogy featuring Clan MacLeod—hitting both the USA Today and NY Times extended lists. HIGHLAND SCOUNDREL, the third book in Monica’s latest back-to-back trilogy from Ballantine (this time featuring Clan Campbell), was released last month and debuted at #23 on the NYT (as well as hitting the USA Today and top ten Borders list). Monica, a fellow “Wild Card” (RWA Golden Heart 2005 nominee), is a former litigator married to a former Major League baseball player who was part of the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox team.

Monica’s HIGHLAND WARRIOR, the first book in her Campbell trilogy (look for the second book HIGHLAND OUTLAW as well), is the final book in our “Mother May I?” gift basket this month. Romantic Times Magazine gave HIGHLAND WARRIOR a 4½ Star TOP PICK review.

IMHO: Welcome, Monica, and tell us a “wee bit” about your Dark Knight in Shining Armor.

MM: Thanks for having me, TJ! I was so excited when I saw the topic this month because "Dark Knights in Shining Armor" is actually something I was thinking about when I was developing the character of Patrick MacGregor for HIGHLAND OUTLAW.

Patrick is everything a Highland chieftain and “Knight in Shining Armor” should be: he’s honorable to the core, proud, strong, brave, tough and—of course!—handsome as sin. But he’s also an outlaw. Dispossessed of his lands and hunted like a dog for years, by the time Patrick meets Lizzie Campbell, there’s more black on his armor than shine. He’s a man living on the edge of civilized, who’s just about lost hope, until Lizzie pulls him back in.

The very first time they meet, Patrick witnesses a humiliating event at which Lizzie is at the unfortunate center. At great risk to himself and his clansmen—and much to his surprise—he comes to her aid. Lizzie is shocked to discover that the man who she thought of as her “knight in shining armor” was actually an outlaw. Is it possible to be both? That’s the question she needs to answer.

These two tensions: the honorable/knightly core and the dark, hardened “outlaw,” were things I really had fun playing with and—I hope—made for a much more interesting story. Readers have seemed to agree. From the number of emails I’ve received, Patrick is probably the favorite hero of mine to date. I think the dark edge—and the gallant knight inside—is what really makes him intriguing. What’s better than Lancelot? How about a “bad boy” Lancelot, LOL.

I’ve always been drawn to the dark and dangerous heroes—especially in romance. I think it has a lot to do with the idea of love as a taming and redeeming force. Nice guys are supposed to fall in love. But bad boys...they fight it ever step of the way, making the “fall” all the more satisfying. The same reasoning applies to “Dark Knights.” It’s the darkness and danger that makes their journey to love feel even more powerful. It’s also probably explains why I’ve always preferred Batman to Superman!

IMHO: Thanks, Monica. Patrick is an intriguing Dark Knight, indeed! So, IMHO readers, Monica wants to know: do you have a favorite “Dark Knight” in movies or books? Leave a comment for Monica for a chance to win the “Mother May I?” gift basket.

Remember May’s basket will contain signed books by Deanna Raybourn, Catherine Kean, Tera Lynn Childs, Monica McCarty, TJ Bennett, a $20 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble, and a unique handcrafted “Charmed” jewelry set by BlackDogWhiteDogJewelry, local Houston artisans. To be eligible, leave a comment on our May guests’ posts (the more posts you comment on, the more chances to win) during the contest period. Sorry, US and Canada residents only, please. Further details are on my contest page.

And be sure to join us in June as we celebrate “the wedding month” with our new theme, “Weddings and Beginnings.” On board will be bestselling RITA® nominated inspirational author Deeanne Gist; Harlequin Historical author Kathryn Albright; bestselling author of the Spying in High Heels romantic mystery series Gemma Halliday; and award winning Medallion Press author and humorist Kathy Carmichael. We also have a special bonus for June: Eppie Award-winning paranormal/romantic suspense author Teri Thackston. It promises to be a wonderful month, so stop on by! And don't forget to comment on Monica's post.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Winners of Random Freebies!

And the winners of the Random Freebies are:

jcp and Babyblues22!

Folks, you have until Wednesday, May 27, to claim your prizes. First come, first serve--whoever e-mails me first at tjb @ tjbennett . com and lets me know which book you prefer (Madeline Hunter's Sins or Eloisa James' Duchesses) will get first choice.

Stay tuned for more Random Freebies, as I just got another hot one in my hands (authors are so generous). And come back on Wednesday to welcome NYT and USA Today bestselling author Monica McCarty, whose "Dark Knight" Scottish heroes will leave you breathless.

Take care,

A picture of the "Mother May I?" gift basket!

Okay, so I think I've got this picture-taking basket thing down now. Here is a reminder of what you all are playing for this month, the "Mother May I?" gift basket filled with books from our guest hosts in May: Deanna Raybourn, Catherine Kean, Tera Lynn Childs, Monica McCarty, your host, TJ Bennett, a $20 gift card from Barnes and Noble, and a "Charmed" earring and necklace gift set from BlackDogWhiteDogJewelry.

Slurplishious, isn't it? I love giving away good stuff. FYI, the OMG book the winner will receive is the paperback edition (the hardback is pictured here). Remember to read the contest rules on my contest page and comment on the guests' posts to win.

I'll announce the winner of this week's Random Freebies later today, around 6pm. Never a dull moment here at IMHO, eh wot?


Colleen Thompson's BENEATH BONE LAKE is out!

Hey, folks, one of my favorite authors and a dear friend, 2009 RITA nominated romantic suspense author Colleen Thompson, has a new book out. Join in the blitz and shower over at Boxing the Octopus and buy Beneath Bone Lake today!

I got an early glimpse of this book, and folks, I will tell you it is her best yet. If you love chilling suspense, thrill rides that will make your eyes bleed, hot romance, and twisty twists at the end of a tightly-knit mystery the ending of which you will not be able to predict, this is the book for you. In Colleen's own words:

"Stretched along the East Texas and Louisiana border, there lies a lake populated by old cypress trees cobwebbed with thick strands of Spanish moss. Inhabited by the ghostly calls of great birds and huge alligators that lurk just beneath the surface, the lake is also home to the sun-bleached, standing skeletons of huge trees drowned as the area first flooded. It's an eerie world, lonely and primordial and beautiful and sometimes frightening. It is also the setting of my next romantic thriller, Beneath Bone Lake..."

Oh, yeah! Go get it! Now!


Friday, May 22, 2009

Another Random Freebie!

On another note, I happen to have lucked into copies of signed books by two of historical romance's best, Madeline Hunter and Eloisa James! And they are yours for the winning, if you happen to be one of the two lucky commenters chosen randomly from this post, this post right here, between now and oh, say, gorsh, Monday, May 25. Happy Memorial Day!

Up for the taking: Hunter's The Sins of Lord Easterbrook and the UK edition of James' Desperate Duchesses! (Sorry for the "click to look inside" image; it's the only one I could find online of this edition.)

One person, one book, just so there is no confusion. Once I announce the names of the chosen two, whoever responds first gets to pick the title they want. You may begin the commenting now!


Marie Burton?

Hello, folks! Don't know if Marie Burton follows this blog, or if any of you folks know her, but she won a copy of THE LEGACY over at Unusual Historicals that she hasn't yet claimed. So, if you know her, tell her she needs to scurry over there to claim her prize. Tell her to send the blog owner, Carrie Lofty, a shout out and Carrie will send her name to Medallion Press, who will forward her the book.

Take care,

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

IMHO Welcomes Tera Lynn Childs!

IMHO is absolutely delighted to welcome Tera Lynn Childs to chat with us today. Tera is the author of the Greek mythology-based young adult novels OH. MY. GODS. and GODDESS BOOT CAMP, as well as the forthcoming mermaid book, FORGIVE MY FINS (summer 2010 from Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins). Her first (yet unpublished) manuscript was a finalist in the 2004 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Golden Heart contest for unpublished romantic works.

In 2009, OH.MY.GODS. was nominated in two RWA RITA categories for published work, Best Young Adult and Best First Book. Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review and said it is "an effervescent, fast-paced read.” Tera will put an autographed copy of the brand new shiny paperback edition of OMG (check out the new cover) in the “Mother May I?” gift basket.

Tera was born in Minnesota, but only lived there a month before beginning her nomadic lifestyle. Over the years she has lived in many places, including Colorado (three times), Missouri (twice), New York City (twice), Texas (twice), California (twice), and a bunch of other places only once.

She graduated from Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Missouri (alma mater of Brad Pitt) and went on to earn a BA in Theatre from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University. Tera currently lives in her adopted hometown of Houston, Texas.

IMHO: Welcome to IMHO, Tera! So, what's the dish on your Dark Knight in Shining Armor?

TLC: Let me tell you, TJ, all my life, I've had a true weakness for bad boys. Although I'd like to blame my ill-fated attraction on Mr. Darcy, I think it all started long before I read Pride and Prejudice. There was my crush on the scooter-riding skater boy in sixth grade, the soccer-playing rebel in seventh, and a dizzying array of arrogant, egotistical, or downright delinquent bad boys throughout high school and college. Relationships with any of them were doomed to failure from the start.

Not that I've learned my lesson. I still have a major soft spot for guys who act like they own the world and could care less about following the rules. But the best thing about being a writer is that I can make them the heroes in my books ... and I get to redeem them!

I think a huge part of the allure of the bad boy—at least for me—is the (usually misguided) belief that, “Underneath his gruff, abrasive, or criminal exterior is a sensitive soft-hearted guy just waiting for the right girl to come along.” And don't we all dream of being that girl? Even if that scenario doesn't play out in the real world, in the fantasy world of a novel dreams really can come true.

Take Griffin Blake, the hero of my first book. When Phoebe first meets him, running on the beach with no one else around, he's aloof but nice. Later, surrounded by his buddies at the cross-country try-outs, he turns on his jerk self and is completely obnoxious to her. He even sabotages her race. Over the course of the book, we learn why Griffin acted that way and (although some readers—cough Steph cough—never quite forgive him) we see him show Phoebe a softer side he would never expose to anyone else.

And that's the fantasy, isn't it? We all want to believe that the jerk next door is secretly Prince Charming, that his bad attitude is just a shell to protect his vulnerable core. Too bad it doesn't play out the same way in the real world ... or does it?

IMHO: Thanks, Tera. Gotta love those bad boys. So, folks, what do you think about Tera’s Dark Knight? Leave a comment for Tera and answer this (for a chance to win the “Mother May I?” gift basket and to find out if you can forgive Griffin's bad attitude): Have you ever had the fantasy come true? Do you have any experience with a real life bad boy who turned out to be a sweetheart just for you? Or is this just an urban legend? Inquiring (and delusional) minds want to know.

Remember May’s gift basket will contain signed books by Deanna Raybourn, Catherine Kean, Tera Lynn Childs, Monica McCarty, TJ Bennett, a $20 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble, and a unique handcrafted “Charmed” jewelry set by BlackDogWhiteDogJewelry, local Houston artisans. For a chance to win the whole she-bang, leave a comment on our guests posts (the more comments, the more chances to win) during the contest period. Sorry, US and Canada residents only, please. Further details are on my contest page.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A reminder: Tera Lynn Childs visits IMHO on Wednesday!

Just popping in to give a quick reminder that Tera Lynn Childs,(OH.MY.GODS.), author of YA romance, will be the guest host on IMHO for Wednesday, May 20, 2009. Tell your teenage daughters to stop on by.

Also, be sure to sign up for my newsletter at the top of the blog. I rarely send out more than one a month, but when I do it is for an event you'll likely want to know more about. I also will let you know of each month's lineup for the gift basket ahead of time. May is turning out swell, June will be a peach, but you REALLY REALLY want to be here in July. I've got something big brewing, and I'm not saying what 'til I get it all locked down, heh heh heh. Be the first to know by signing up for my newsletter now. Now. NOW. And I won't share your address with nobody.

See you on Wednesday!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Another great review of THE PROMISE!

All About Romance, the reader review site, gave THE PROMISE a great review. While it didn't earn a Desert Isle Keeper status like its predecessor, THE LEGACY, it did garner a B+ (tough to earn at this site) and wonderful praise like this:

“[F]ull of ups and downs and tears and joys… Humor, dry wit, outrageous hero sexiness, intricate plotting, and shedding a few tears all make for a winning combination in my world.”

You can read the full review right here. So, Alonsa isn't for everyone--I knew that when I wrote her, but I wouldn't change a word. And heck, yes, I'll take a B+. Even if it's like eating chocolate cake without the frosting...dang, it's still chocolate cake, you know? Hey, pass the milk! LOL!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Winner of Random Freebies! (Tell them Catherine Kean says, "Hello...")

Catherine Kean had so much fun at IMHO this week, she has offered to reward IMHO's friendly commenters with a Random Freebie of her newest release, A Knight's Temptation. The recipient of her largesse shall be chosen from the list of commenters on her post as of this post.

So, in honor of Catherine, the winner of today's Random Freebie just for showing up is ...

Carol L.!!!

Carol L., you have until May 18, 2009 to contact me at my e-mail address at tjb @ tjbennett . com or I will draw another name from all eligible entries. Send me your mailing address in the e-mail, and I will forward it to Catherine, who will send you a signed book.

Stay tuned for more random giveaways and for May 20, when our next guest will be RITA nominee Tera Lynn Childs, author of Young Adult romances!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Other Goodies" Defined

Well, folks, I’ve been telling you about the fabulous prizes that are in store for the lucky winner of my “Mother May I?” gift basket this month—signed books by Deanna Raybourn, Catherine Kean, Tera Lynn Childs, Monica McCarty, and me, TJ Bennett, as well as a $20 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble and “other goodies.” I can finally tell you what those “other goodies” are about. I’ve negotiated with one of my favorite local Houston artisans, BlackDogWhiteDogJewelry, to provide an absolutely wonderful earring and necklace gift set for this month’s basket!

This set, called “Charmed," is fit for a princess—or a mom! It includes a necklace made of rose quartz, freshwater pearls, moonstone, and pink glass flowers strung on a hammered, 2-inch sterling circle dangling from a sterling chain with a pearl-and-silver extension. Pearls and flowers make up the fairy tale earrings [enlarged to show detail—the earrings are tiny and delicate].

These are handcrafted by the artisan sisters at BlackDogWhiteDogJewelry. Be sure to visit their online retail shop at for other unique pieces I just know you will adore.

And if you want a chance to win the gift basket containing the "Charmed" set, be sure to comment on our two hosts’ posts so far, Deanna Raybourn and Catherine Kean, and come back next Wednesday, May 20, 2009 for Tera Lynn Childs, a RITA nominee for Best Young Adult book and Best First Book.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

IMHO Welcomes Medieval Romance Author Catherine Kean!

Catherine Kean, a fellow Medallion Press author, writes medieval historical romances featuring headstrong heroines and emotionally-tormented alpha male heroes. She penned her first novella at age twelve, and first full-length manuscript at sixteen, not long after she graduated from Alberni District Secondary School in Port Alberni, B.C., Canada. After completing a B.A., Double Major (First Class), in English and History from the University of Victoria, B.C., she was accepted into the prestigious, post-graduate Works of Art Course run by Sotheby’s auctioneers in London, England, where she studied centuries of history, antiques and fine art, no doubt preparing for her eventual career as a writer. She worked in Canada for several years as an antique and fine art appraiser, which inspired some unique ideas for her novels.

Prior to her first publishing contract with Medallion Press, her manuscripts finaled in thirty contests, including Georgia Romance Writers’ 2003 and 2004 Unpublished Maggie Awards. The fifth novel she wrote, Dance of Desire, was the first book she sold. It was released by Medallion Press in March 2005. Her latest is A Knight’s Temptation, the third book in her Knights series. Catherine will put a signed copy of A Knight’s Temptation in the “Mother May I?” gift basket today.

Romantic Times BOOKreviews rated Temptation 4 Stars, and said, “Kean presents plenty of romance, adventure and action . . .” Coffeetime Romance says “filled with stunning descriptions, hilarious events, remarkable emotions, and unforgettable characters, this novel will have you pleading for more . . .”

Catherine’s published novels have won numerous awards and she’s been named a "Rising Star of Publishing" by She lives in Florida with her Knight-in-Shining-Armor husband and daughter.

IMHO: Welcome, Catherine, and tell us about your “Dark Knight in Shining Armor.”

CK: I adore creating heroes. The leading men in my medieval romances don chain mail armor, wield swords, and live by the code of chivalry. While my handsome heroes like to appear to be in control of every situation, inwardly, they’re seething with torment. They’re men with flaws and emotional bruises. Not just because I, as Lady Author, can dish about their angst. :-) But because the more darkly complex my heroes are, the more conflict I can evoke between them and my heroines. That makes for unique characters and interesting plots.
One such man is aspiring knight Aldwin Treynarde, hero of my current release A Knight’s Temptation, Book 3 of my Knight’s Series. Readers of the first book, A Knight’s Vengeance, met Aldwin as an idealistic squire. He was manipulated into shooting Geoffrey de Lanceau with a crossbow bolt (a climactic moment in Vengeance). When Aldwin learned he’d almost murdered a man who deserved to be Moydenshire’s lord, he was mortified. Shame has haunted Aldwin ever since, especially as his parents, resenting the dishonor brought upon their noble family, told him never to return home. As penance for the shooting, Aldwin swore allegiance to de Lanceau for the rest of his life and strives to excel for his lord.

Aldwin, however, hates himself for his misdeed. That self-loathing runs deep, for it roots back to a childhood game in which he almost caused the death of a friend’s eight-year-old sister. The girl—my book’s heroine Lady Leona Ransley—survived. Aldwin believes she perished, and all because of his stupidity.

As A Knight’s Temptation opens, Aldwin’s determined to complete the mission de Lanceau assigned him—to retrieve a valuable stolen pendant before de Lanceau’s enemies get hold of it, sell it, and use the money to start a rebellion. He’s proud to be given the important duty. Part of him, though, hopes that by succeeding, he’ll achieve his lifelong dream: knighthood. Then, his name will be spoken with honor. Then, he’ll respect himself.

He steps into a tavern’s back room for a prearranged meeting, expecting a trap. He doesn’t anticipate Leona, who has the pendant to exchange for the reward. Aldwin doesn’t recognize the secretive beauty before him, but Leona definitely recalls him. Anger and hatred boil inside her, even as she sees he’s very different to the reckless, grinning boy she knew. What forged him into a man who raises goose bumps on her arms, but still, she finds so intriguing?

When Aldwin takes her captive to take her to de Lanceau for questioning, and they must outwit murderous enemies, she learns all that’s wounded him. When, despite the painful past between them, they fall in love, Aldwin is forced to confront the anguish in his soul. He finds not only forgiveness, but the honor he has always craved. It’s a dramatic, exciting journey that, I hope, will leave my readers cheering. Because to me, there’s nothing more romantic than when a dark hero is redeemed by his lady’s love.

IMHO: Sigh…so romantic…

Thank you so much for telling us about your dark knight in shining armor, Catherine! And readers, be sure to leave a comment for Catherine in order to be eligible to win the “Mother May I?” gift basket (remember, you’ll need to visit our guests’ posts this month each Wednesday and leave a comment for at least two of the authors in order to be eligible to win the basket. The more comments you leave, the better the chance of winning). Tell Catherine if you believe a past tragedy can make a dark hero stronger, and why?


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The winner of THE PROMISE is...

And the winner of a signed copy of THE PROMISE is...


Congratulations, chey! You've won a copy of my May 2009 release of THE PROMISE, Günter's story. Please contact me at my e-mail: tjb @ tjbennett . com and let me know where you want me to send your book. Be sure to contact me before May 15 or I will have to chose an alternate winner.

Hope you like the book!

And be sure to come back on May 13 for my next guest host, Catherine Kean!


Saturday, May 09, 2009

I'm a Booksellers Best contest finalist, so you win!

Just found out THE LEGACY finalled in the Greater Detroit RWA 2009 Booksellers Best Award in Long Historical and is also up for the Best First Book award. :-) I'm thrilled!

So you know what's coming, right? RIGHT?

Yep--I'm giving away an autographed book. Everyone who leaves a comment on this post (this post right here) from now through Monday will be eligible to win a copy of THE PROMISE. Let's celebrate together because you're my friends...and I like you best....



Wednesday, May 06, 2009

IMHO welcomes Deanna Raybourn!

This week I’m thrilled to welcome mystery novelist Deanna Raybourn. She’ll kick off a month of posts from our guest authors, including Catherine Kean, Tera Lynn Childs, and Monica McCarty. This month, in addition to our guests’ autographed copies of their books and a $20 gift certificate from Barnes and Nobles, I’ll be putting a signed copy of my newest release, The Promise, in the gift basket, too. The Promise was a Night Owl Romance Top Pick and rated Four Stars by Romantic Times. So let’s start the fun!

The theme this month is “Dark Knights in Shining Armor,” and this is something Deanna Raybourn knows a lot about. “Sex, lies and awesome clothing descriptions” is how one reader described Deanna’s debut novel, Silent in the Grave, published in January 2007. The first in the Silent series, the book follows Lady Julia Grey as she investigates the mysterious death of her husband with the help of the enigmatic private inquiry agent Nicholas Brisbane. From the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to a Gypsy camp on Hampstead Heath, Silent in the Grave deftly captures the lush ambience of Victorian London.

The series continues with the second book, Silent in the Sanctuary (January 2008), a classic English country house murder mystery with a few twists and turns for Brisbane and Lady Julia along the way. It culminates, for now, with Silent on the Moor (March 2009).

I have to say, this is an incredibly captivating series written by an exceptional author. Personally, I knew I was in good hands when I opened Silent in the Grave and read this first line:

To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.
I settled in for a delicious read at the hands of a master, and never looked back. Deanna will put an autographed copy of Silent on the Moor in the “Mother May I?” gift basket.

So tell us, Deanna, about your “Dark Knight in Shining Armor.”

DR: Oh, the dark knight in shining armor! Is there any character as forbidding or as delicious? Any character more enjoyable to read or to write? I certainly don’t think so, and I believe it is the masquerade of good boy in bad boy’s clothing that makes him so appealing. In history and in literature, the most seductive men are the ones who are “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” Who but Lord Byron could have inspired Lady Caroline Lamb to have penned that description and then embark upon a career as a stalker, forsaking friends, family, and dignity for the hope of one of his smiles? And who but Heathcliff could make us wish we were Cathy’s restless ghost, roaming the moors with him and spurning the milquetoast Edgar Linton?

The dark knight begs for a woman to find the good in him, to polish that tarnished armor and make him better than he was, a task we are more than happy to take on. We overlook their social gaffes (Darcy’s churlishness), their willingness to bend the law (Rochester’s ease with adultery and bigamy), and even their occasional bouts of cruelty (Heathcliff hanging his wife’s dog on their wedding day). We see past all of these things to the bruised heart beneath that craves tenderness and warmth, and we identify deeply with heroines who place themselves at the mercy of such men.

My own series hero, Nicholas Brisbane, is fashioned after the dark knight model, although he would scowl at the description and probably soothe his sulks by playing the violin or engaging in a bout of vigorous fencing. He is mysterious, with a past that is hinted at, but never entirely explained. He is wounded--in ways the reader has not even begun to imagine--and he brings to his relationship with the heroine, Lady Julia Grey, a mismatched set of exotic baggage in the shape of second-sight visions, a discarded mistress, and some very questionable associations. The son of a Gypsy fortuneteller and an aristocratic black sheep, he stands with a foot in each world, not quite fitting either into polite society or the travelers’ life, and content to be different. As a private enquiry agent, he values justice above the law, and is perfectly happy not only to bend the law but shatter it if he feels the necessity. He is stubborn, enigmatic, arrogant, and upon occasion, he displays a rather magnificent temper. But he is also unfailingly loyal, unflinching in his duty, and where he loves, he loves with the whole of himself. And perhaps that is the greatest lure of the dark knights: they live, where other characters only seem to exist.

IMHO: Thanks, Deanna. I find Nicholas to be an absolutely riveting character, and because I’m very old school, whenever I see him in my head I picture a young Laurence Olivier, all dark and brooding the way he was in the noir film Rebecca. Yum. I’m glad to report that Deanna will be continuing the series and is currently at work on the fourth installment. In the meantime we can look forward to enjoying her next release slated for March 2010, a stand alone historical entitled The Dead Travel Fast.

So, readers, be sure to leave a comment for Deanna to start your eligibility for our contest gift basket (remember, you’ll need to visit our guests’ posts this month each Wednesday and leave a comment for at least two of the authors in order to be eligible to win the basket). Tell us: what is it about Dark Knights that makes women go gaa-gaa over them?

Monday, May 04, 2009

TJ Bennett's May news and events

Well, my second novel, THE PROMISE, is officially in book stores now. I’ve got a busy month ahead promoting the book, and thought I’d let you know some key dates on my schedule. (BTW, if any of you spot the book in your local bookstore, I'd love to know where you found it. Distribution was spotty for THE LEGACY, but I'm hearing more people are able to find copies of THE PROMISE on book store shelves).

On May 4, I’ll be visiting with the Jaunty Quills and talking about what inspired me to write Günter’s story in THE PROMISE. You might be very surprised to learn what former soap star and pop singer had an impact on my decision. Come leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of my debut novel, THE LEGACY, from Medallion Press.

On May 10, I’m heading over to the Unusual Historicals blog, where I discuss THE PROMISE again and post an excerpt of the book. Here, too, you’ll have a chance to win a copy of THE LEGACY, so be sure to leave a comment.

On May 29, I’m at PASIC’s To Be Read blog, giving my thoughts and musings on the state of the romance industry. You’ll be competing for a copy of THE PROMISE, so if you haven’t bought it by then, leave a comment for a chance to win.

On May 30, I’ll be at Houston’s Read It Again & Again independent bookstore where I’ll be signing my books alongside two other wonderful historical romance authors, Sophie Jordan and Kim Lenox. Come join us May 30th, 2009, 2 - 4 pm, at 38 Braeswood Square, Houston, TX 77096, Ph: 713-283-9188.You can even call to reserve your books ahead of time, and Grace the bookseller will ship them to you personally if you aren’t in the local area but would like to get a signed book.

New contest for May!
“Mother May I?”
If all this isn’t enough to keep you busy, on May 6 I’m beginning a new monthly gift basket contest here at IMHO featuring four guest hosts extraordinaire. I’m calling this one the “Mother May I?” gift basket in honor of Mother’s Day. Check out the schedule below and remember to visit during the entire month of May (guest posts go up on Wednesdays) and leave a comment for at least two of my hosts (the more comments you leave, the more chances to win) to be eligible to win this month’s wonderful gift basket. The basket will include autographed books by Deanna Raybourn, Catherine Kean, Tera Lynn Childs, Monica McCarty, and me, TJ Bennett, as well as a $20 gift certificate to Barnes & Nobles and other goodies. (This time I'll put a copy of THE PROMISE in the basket.) Details of how to win will be up on my website contest page soon.

The theme at IMHO for May is “Dark Knights in Shining Armor,” so the guests will be discussing the darker side of their heroes and how that makes them so much more interesting and complex. Not to be missed! Here is the lineup:

May 6 Deanna Raybourn, RITA (Strong Romantic Elements category) award-winning author of the Julia Grey mystery series (Silent on the Moor).

May 13 Catherine Kean, award-winning Medallion Press author of medieval romances (A Knight’s Temptation).

May 20 Tera Lynn Childs, RITA nominated debut author of YA romantic fiction (Oh.My.Gods.).

May 26 Monica McCarty, NYT and USA Today bestselling author of Scottish historical romances (Highland Scoundrel).

That’s it for now. Whew!

Take care,

TJ Bennett

Saturday, May 02, 2009

And the winner is...!

The winner of the "Coffee, Chocolate & Romance" gift basket is none other than. . .

housemouse88! Congratulations!

Congratulations, housemouse88!! You are the winner of April's gift basket filled with historical romances by Carrie Lofty, Madeline Hunter, Anna Lousie Lucia, Emily Bryan, and TJ Bennett! Not only that, but you'll take home the $25 gift certificate to See's Chocolate Candies and a one pound bag of roasted coffee beans to get your buzz on. Housemouse88, you have until May 6th to contact me at my e-mail, tjb @ tjbennett . com (no spaces). If I don't hear from you by then, I'll select another winner from all eligible participants.

This has been a great contest, folks. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. If you loved this contest but didn't win, I'll have another one starting up on May 6. In the meantime, if you are interested in hearing about events here, be sure to sign up for my newsletter at the top of the page. I'll notify you of contests, new releases, reviews, or booksignings that might be of interest to you.

The winner of May's contest will receive a gift basket (haven't thought of a catchy name yet, darn it) filled with a $20 gift certificate to Barnes & Nobles and five autographed novels from May's guest hosts, including Deanna Raybourn (May 6), Catherine Kean (May 13), Tera Lynn Childs (May 20), and Monic McCarty (May 27). More details later, with links to each of their websites to come. Deanna will kick off the month by putting the latest in her Julia Grey series, Silent on the Moor, in May's basket. Our theme this month will be "Dark Knights in Shining Armor," so if you love heroes with a dark side (and her hero Nicholas Brisbane certainly qualifies as that), be sure to come back then.

Ta for now!


Friday, May 01, 2009

Reminder--Saturday's the day!

Just a quick reminder that I will announce the winner of the April "Coffee, Chocolate & Romance" Gift basket tomorrow, May 2, 2009, right here! Stay tuned.

In the meantime, for your amusement, thought I'd pass this link on to Medallion Press' website. I am the featured author in their spotlight this month, talking about THE PROMISE. Enjoy!