Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!



From sunny and warm Florida, wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season!

And best wishes for a peaceful, happy New Year and a wonderful 2012!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Empath and new website

The Empath has been released by Mills and Boon in the UK!  Enemy Lover will be released next month by Mills & Boon.

In other news, I finally have a new website. You can check it out here. I wanted a darker look to reflect the dark paranormals I'm writing.

My wonderful designer organized the books page to make it easier to access all the books, and there's a new releases page and a page for international editions. This will make it much more user friendly. If you want to know the latest books, you need only click on the new releases page.

In other news, I'm busy trying to finish the Nocturne due the end of this month, getting ready for Christmas and sorting through a lot of projects at the day job. The book is close. Almost there. Almost. Speaking of which, I'd better get back to work because if I make the rum balls first and then write... not a good idea!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My mom


She was a very special person, a best friend as well as my mother. Mom enjoyed reading romance novels. It's because of her love of the genre that I started reading them as well.

We took many wonderful vacations together. Sometimes we visited states like Montana, where she would sit on a bench reading a book while I went hiking in Glacier National Park.

This photo is from our last vacation together, the year before DH and I got married, and the year before she died from cancer.

It was a dream trip for both of us. I'm very thankful we were able to take this vacation, and I feel blessed with all the memories I'll always cherish of our times together. This weekend  it will be 16 years since we lost her. Some days, it feels like yesterday. Mom adored Christmas. It was her favorite holiday. She'd spend weeks getting ready, from making cookie press cookies, to decorating the house and shopping. She created a wonderful tradition. We had to give away some of our toys to poor children before Christmas, because before we could get new toys for Christmas, we had to share what we had with children who had nothing.

When she was dying from cancer, my brother bought her a little Christmas tree with lights, so she could look at it from her bed. I still have the tree, and when I put it out, I remember my mother and the joy she brought to us all during the holiday season. We buried her 3 days before Christmas, three months after Dh and I married. She hid her illness from the family, along with her pain. It was only after we returned from our honeymoon and she collapsed that we discovered she didn't have long to live.

I think she wanted to make sure I was settled, and happy, before passing on. That was the type of woman she was - always putting others before herself.

Miss you mom, always. Thank you for everything you did for all of us.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Technology and the holidays

Confession time. I'm tech-challenged. Can't keep up with all the changes. Just when I was comfortable with Blogger, they changed the template and the browser settings. I'm finally learning FB. And my phone is hooked up to Twitter, but sometimes when I message a friend, I almost end up tweeting. Um, hello world, I did NOT mean to tell everyone that I was so tired that I brushed my teeth with hemorrhoid cream instead of toothpaste...

Dolce also prefers books and toys to computer wires

So if you want to send me a message either through Twitter, Facebook, send a direct message through the Networked blogs (I still am trying to figure that one out, I think I pressed a button and now I'm networked), or Goodreads (I'm not signed up on Goodreads and don't always go to that site) or send up a smoke signal, and I don't always answer, it's because I'm tangled in a wired world and don't know how to find my way out. The best way to contact me is email. Bonnievanak@aol.com






Busy with the holidays, trying to finish the new Nocturne due the end of this month and working at the day job. I am also working with a terrific designer and hope to launch my NEW website by January 1.


Happy holidays, and may the stress of the season stay far from you!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

In memory of our Tia





Tia, our beloved Shih Tzu, died Dec. 7, 2006. She had liver cancer. She was a wonderful dog and a friend as well. Miss you, sweetie. I hope all dogs do go to heaven, because you sure deserve to be there. 

Tia, Christmas 2004

Thursday, December 01, 2011

New release, new contest



Today is the release day for HUNTED BY THE JAGUAR, the third novella in The Ancients!




Stranded miles from home, Ariana Fuller has few ways to protect herself from the enemy hunting her—except to let her demon side take control over the angelic half of her soul. The last man she wants to come to her rescue is jaguar shifter Daimon Nelson, the man who claimed her virginity and still tempts her like no other.

Though Ariana fears giving in to erotic abandonment will free her inner demon, Daimon's scorching kisses and wicked aura of sensuality make her forget all common sense. She tries to resist his allure, but Daimon is equally resolved to complete his mission of seduction. He must mate with Ariana to absorb her dark powers before they are unleashed—and before the enemy can claim her for himself....


Click here to order HUNTED BY THE JAGUAR on Kindle.

To celebrate, I'm giving away a copy of MATED TO THE WOLF, my second novella in The Ancients series.



Just leave a comment on this blog to enter, or email me at bonnievanak@aol.com. Contest ends Dec. 30. Good luck and happy holidays!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Back from Honduras, thankful I live in the USA. I'm thankful for my home, that has real walls and a roof and solid floor, running water and a low enough mortgage. I'm thankful for DH, friends and family, and our dogs.

I'm thankful for a new book contract, the chance to put my imagination on paper to hopefully provide readers with much-needed escapes.

I'm thankful for my readers, and my writing buddies.

And I'm thankful for the chance to be able to help the poor through my writing, and my day job, which I've done now for 18 years. Eighteen years of traveling to poor countries has given me the chance to meet some amazing, wonderful people who give true meaning to the ideals of faith and trust in God, and the compassionate, generous people who help them.

And last, but not least, I am very thankful to all who serve in our armed forces. To all the US troops, at home and overseas, who put their lives on the line each day. A very special thank you, and blessings for the holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Contest next month!

Watch this blog for details. I'll be giving away an electronic copy of one of my novellas in my new series, The Ancients!

Still busy writing the Nocturne that is slated for release next August. I really love how these characters have taken on a life of their own. Matt is very sexy, very handsome and very dangerous, more so than the average Draicon werewolf. He's courageous and loyal and would die for the woman he loves. And at this point in the book, he's ready to make that ultimate sacrifice, if necessary.

Next week I'll be offline and in Honduras for the day job. Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hunted by the Jaguar

Now available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle.


Stranded miles from home, Ariana Fuller has few ways to protect herself from the enemy hunting her—except to let her demon side take control over the angelic half of her soul. The last man she wants to come to her rescue is jaguar shifter Daimon Nelson, the man who claimed her virginity and still tempts her like no other.

Though Ariana fears giving in to erotic abandonment will free her inner demon, Daimon’ s scorching kisses and wicked aura of sensuality make her forget all common sense. She tries to resist his allure, but Daimon is equally resolved to complete his mission of seduction. He must mate with Ariana to absorb her dark powers before they are unleashed—and before the enemy can claim her for himself….

This is the third story in my series, The Ancients, for Harlequin's Nocturne Cravings line. Another novella, Seduced by the Wolf, is a sequel to this story and will be released in March, 2012.

In other news, I'm hard at work writing the Nocturne that will be an August 2012 release. Nearly halfway there!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mated to the Wolf cover!



MATED TO THE WOLF is my November release from Nocturne Cravings. It's the second in The Ancients series. Maybe it's because I enjoy writing werewolves, or because the hero is scarred emotionally and physically, but this story was the most fun to write out of all three.

I love this cover. The colors are sultry and evocative, and having his face cast partly in shadow is reflection of his inner torment.

Here's the blurb:

Grayson Adler—lone werewolf, powerful Ancient and empath Healer—has never lusted after prey before. As a paranormal bounty hunter, he's duty bound to capture Samantha Fuller. She's half demon and half angel, with deadly powers emerging and a vendetta against the hunter who killed her parents. Yet Grayson aches to touch her and let her angelic half soothe his hurts, his longing for a connection as powerful as his sexual need. Then he gets a new assignment: to absorb her evil powers and tame her by becoming her mate before she turns demon…

I got the idea for the opening scene of this book when DH and I were dining at a neighborhood bar. It was a unique place, because the dining room was separated from the bar area by a wall and several windows. It was a cool place to go after work and grab a meal and have a glass of wine or a beer. We'd slide into one of the wooden booths, order and talk about our day. That night, I was gazing at the bar and the scene suddenly came to me. I always carry a small journal with me should ideas strike, and I jotted down the images I had for Grayson and Samantha's story.

Sadly, that bar/restaurant closed a few months ago. Like other businesses struggling to make it in this economy, they had to shut down for lack of sales. But for me, they'll live on in this story.

You can pre-order MATED TO THE WOLF on Kindle here on Amazon.

Or here on Nook.

Happy reading!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

In memory of Steve Jobs

Thank you for all you did. The world has not only lost a true genius, but a man who truly understood the importance of creative vision.


“Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” - Steve Jobs

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

New release!



Bitten by the Vampire is the first novella in The Ancients series by Harlequin's Nocturne Cravings line.

Vampire Lucian Marcello knows it's his destiny to claim Mara Fuller as his own. She is a Darklighter, half-demon and half-angel, and has sworn to destroy the man who almost killed her. If she succeeds, her demon side will take over and she will turn evil. The only way to save Mara is for Lucien to mate with her and absorb her dark powers. But though tempted by a shared erotic vision, Mara is resistant to his charms. It will take all Lucien's powers of seduction to make her surrender to his dominance and desire. For if he fails, her life will be forfeit…






Next month is Mated to the Wolf, followed by Hunted by the Jaguar. And in March of 2012, look for Seduced by the Wolf!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Advice to authors

This November marks the 9th year I've been a published author. So, for debut authors out there, I have a little advice for when you're faced with a bad review and want to say something to the reviewer.

Don't.

Bad review, snarky email, it comes with the business. Some people will love your books. Others will scratch their heads and think, "WTH?" And the public criticism of your books will come. It might be a small suggestion, or something large and very snarky on a popular romance blog. You'll want to fire off a response about your book, the one you sweated blood and tears over.

Don't.

Here's the best advice I can give you, and it applies to the corporate world as well. Don't ever write an email when you are upset/angry/want to hold the critic's head under water until you hear a gurgling sound. Write a letter to yourself instead.

Get on your computer and fire off everything you feel inside. Get out all those feelings, frustrations, etc.

Keep that letter in a safe, password protected file. Wait 48 hours and cool down.

Then delete it.

Time and again it's been shown that authors, even superstar ones, who take on their online critics, pay for it. The payment may not be lost sales. But it can be something everyone needs these days..something very precious...

Time.

Why waste time responding to online criticism of your books, unless you are correcting a misconception about your book? (For example, if you wrote a romantic comedy about pigs and included the fact that a pig's orgasm lasts 30 minutes and the reviewer said, "She is ridiculous! Whoever heard of a half-hour orgasm?" Then you can send a polite email to the reviewer and point out your research. You were not pulling this out of thin air, or your butt. You know the facts. BTW, pigs DO have 30 minute orgasms. Seriously. Lucky pigs!)

You'd be better off spending your time writing another book and therefore, collecting another advance and more money! If the criticism really gets to you, get together with friends, have a drink and commiserate. Then get back to what you do best...writing!

Criticism comes with this business. Readers also change their taste. So someone who loved your books a year ago may be snarking about them tomorrow with their online friends. It happens. It does NOT mean you are a poor writer. Remember, you got published. Your book resonated with an editor! Be proud of that.

And keep all your positive reader emails in a file. When you feel a little down about a bad review, pull them out and read them for reinforcement.

Be proud of yourself and your work. You're an author. Congratulations! You persevered and you made it.

Now go out and show the world what a professional you can be.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Now available from Ellora's Cave...




From author Blair Valentine...




When Nicolas Hoffman wakes up naked, chained to a wall and ordered to give three orgasms in a row to a rival pack’s heiress, the sexy werewolf thinks his worst nightmare has come true. He vowed he’d never again be used for sex, but he is the last resort for the lovely and emotionally cold Jessenia Drake. She needs Nicolas’ hot touch and passionate lovemaking to break the curse that keeps her frozen.




The sex is sizzling and intense and Nicolas suspects someone wants to keep the heiress on ice in order to seize her power. But Jessenia has an additional concern. As her emotions return, her greatest fear isn’t remaining encased in a world of emotionless ice, but losing her heart forever to her handsome werewolf lover. Reader Advisory: Contains brief m/m and group-sex scenes.




Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why I love werewolves



Need I say more? Howl!!!!!!!!!!

They run hot. Very hot.

My newest Nocturne, THE SHADOW WOLF, is now in stores! And I have news about a new release.

On the run from authorities, gutsy Megan Moraine knows shadow wolves like herself have no place in this world. But she's still prepared to do anything to protect her young charges. That resolve is tested when the trio is captured by Gabriel Robichaux. Everyone knows that Gabriel is a ruthless bounty hunter, a member of an elite group called the Enforcers. Why then is Megan so attracted to her enemy—a wolf who hunts his own people? A wolf whose languid, sexy drawl makes her dream the impossible?

You can purchase it from Barnes and Noble
by clicking here.

It looks like Hurricane Irene will miss us here in Florida. While I'm breathing a sigh of relief, I am keeping those further north on the east coast in my thoughts. Nineteen years ago today, Hurricane Andrew came on shore. My friends and I volunteered in Homestead, helping to clean up. It was horrific.

Stay safe, everyone.

In other news, my evil twin, Blair Valentine, has an upcoming release. Blair writes erotic romance for Ellora's Cave. Her newest book, The Ice Queen Cometh, will be out Sept. 16! Details to come.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Shadow Wolf and Hurricane Irene




Tomorrow The Shadow Wolf is out! Yay!




Thursday we here in S. Florida are supposed to get Hurricane Irene! Boo!




My heart is beating fast, but it's not because The Shadow Wolf will be in bookstores tomorrow. It's because Irene, a Cat. 3 hurricane, is supposed to either brush our coast or have a direct impact.




I haven't gone toe to toe with a hurricane since Wilma in 2005. Score on that one? Wilma: 1, Bonnie, oh, about $50,000 in damages. Wilma dropped a tree on our roof and two others in the yard. I've posted a photo of what Wilma did to our back yard here... one of the trees crashed through the Florida room, where I had been, stupidly, standing 5 minutes earlier watching the winds pick up.




I've never taken hurricanes for granted after that.




So as excited as I am about The Shadow Wolf, I'm too focused on Hurricane Irene and what we have to do to protect ourselves from the storm.



Ironically, there is a hurricane in The Shadow Wolf. Gabe and Megan and the twins ride one out that's barely a Cat. 1. And Gabriel has a built-in generator that automatically transfers power when the electricity goes out.




Gabriel, can I move into your cottage with DH and the dogs?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trains!




Earlier this month we were on vacation and missed the train meet at the park. DH is a member of the Tradewinds and Atlantic RR club. They have riding trains for children and adults and DH and his friends built a model railroad track to run their G-scale trains. The new layout was a lot of work, and the results are gorgeous. Kids love seeing the trains, like this one, which is called a Triplex. Many of DH's trains have sound systems. He even has cattle and sheep cars that feature animal sounds!




It's a great hobby.




Our vacations are usually spent at locations that offer old-fashioned steam train rides. One of our favorites is Chama, New Mexico. They have a narrow gauge railroad, one of the last remaining ones in the country, and the railroad yard is an open train museum. We spent a few delightful hours combing through the yard, looking at locomotives, parts, tankers, you name it.




One of my favorite ways to relax when I get home from the day job, when the weather gets cooler, is to sit outside on our patio with a glass of wine and watch DH run the trains in our back yard. Our layout runs the length of the patio. On holidays, when his dad came over, we'd have dessert in the backyard or his dad would sit and watch Frank run the trains. I miss my FIL...the holidays are going to be a little rough this year without him. But at least we have lots of good memories to keep him in our hearts.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Great review of The Shadow Wolf



This review is by Xeranthemum from The Long and Short of It Reviews. Five books! Yay! The Shadow Wolf is out August 23, but available for pre-order on Amazon, B&N and eHarlequin.

"On the run from authorities, gutsy Megan Moraine knows shadow wolves like herself have no place in this world. But she's still prepared to do anything to protect her young charges. That resolve is tested when the trio is captured by Gabriel Robichaux. Everyone knows that Gabriel is a ruthless bounty hunter, a member of an elite group called the Enforcers. Why then is Megan so attracted to her enemy—a wolf who hunts his own people? A wolf whose languid, sexy drawl makes her dream the impossible?

I bit my nails, ground my teeth and flipped through the pages at a furious clip because I never knew what was going to happen next and the suspense kept me glued to my chair. The Shadow Wolf has the emotional punch to make what happens to the hero and heroine matter to a reader.

Right off the bat, Ms. Vanak introduced characters that would appeal to a reader. She painted a scene of despair, hopelessness and fear while showcasing the heroine’s determination, strength and loyalty. The first chapter presented the main players who have the most to lose and gain during the course of this story and sets up the initial conflict between the hero and heroine. And wouldn’t you know, just as I’m writing this I realized something about one of the characters that I read about early on. I’m in shock. Oh, my gosh! I didn’t catch it on the first read through. That really twists the knife. And now I understand all the ramifications. I’m officially blown away. Oh poor, Gabriel.

Yes, Ms. Vanak created characters I cared about. Once the hero, Gabriel bared his heart, there was only one option open to me and that was to fall in love with him too. I wanted to hug him, care for him and wanted him to be happy. He eventually gets all those things from Megan, the heroine but not without some seriously suspenseful and heartbreaking moments along the way.

Megan has had to fight tooth and nail to get where she is and to get where she’s going. She has been hurt so much and so badly, trusting someone else is a huge stumbling block for her. And yet, for all her doubts and fears, she tentatively reaches out to Gabriel and the action begins.

The twins are adorable and important. They are little kids who’ve seen too much and yet still retain some of their innocence and charm. They are the glue that holds the little group together initially until the bigger picture gets painted for a reader and the scope with which they’re up against is revealed.

The suspense of not knowing who to trust, why what is happening is happening and will they get away and survive intact is a constant. Not knowing if both Gabriel and Megan can get beyond their own fears and reach out to the other is another effective hook in this story. What is really going on and why everything is so perverted is another question to be answered. So many threads weave through this book and Ms. Vanak didn’t let one dangle. Eventually everything comes to light in a spectacular confrontation.

There are different levels of secondary characters and some are more important than others. The most fascinating for me was Tristan. He can be a cool dude one second and the other, he’s popping footballs. Amazing man with a hint of omniscience, I’d love to know more about him. The others have supporting roles or shed light on the hero. The heroine doesn’t really have any friends so that’s an emotion tugger.

The conflicts are many but the solution comes down to a decision that only Megan and Gabriel can make. Once they do, it was thrilling to see the intense and volatile scenes that followed. And it was a WOW! moment when it was revealed just what Gabriel really was. Never saw that coming and it made me wonder why they were hunted in the first place. Something tells me it was the other nasties that arranged it all those many years ago. Interesting thought and it makes sense.

The happily ever after is tender, sweet and well earned. In fact it was the icing on the cake. Right before the charming part, their coming together was its own happy ever after and it was sensual, poignant and well written. If a reader is looking for well written physical expressions of love, they’ll find it here.

The Shadow Wolf is one heck of a ride that will leave a reader breathless. I think my TMJ got a workout from all the teeth clenching I did during the suspenseful parts Рof which there were many. At one point I thought the heroine was spiraling down into a clich̩ but no, she dodged that one with style and true grit. This story has dark depths and a meaty plot sure to appeal to paranormal romantic suspense readers who look for a quality written story. The editing is perfect, the characters extremely well formed and the dynamics between the hero and heroine are wonderful. I was thoroughly entertained and can say with all confidence that readers are in for a treat and a great read when they pick up their own copy of The Shadow Wolf."

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Rest in peace, LA Banks

I'm just back from vacation and heard the news this morning. The talented, awesome and all-together wonderful human being and author LA Banks has died.

She had late stage adrenal cancer. A group of friends and authors had held fundraisers to help pay for her medical bills.

To celebrate her life, and her talent, I'm providing a link here to her latest book.

Rest in peace, Leslie, you were an amazing person.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Panther and the Pyramid now on KINDLE




Graham Tristan has been tormented too long. He is physically strong: during his childhood exile, he rode with the Khamsin - Egyptian Warriors of the Wind. He has learned their code, is called The Panther. Now he has returned to his rightful place as the Duke of Caldwell. And there is a new face - that of a woman - that haunts his dreams.

Hair the color of blood. Eyes the color of emeralds. The memory threatens to consume him. In his dreams, this woman threatens all he seeks to protect, all he thinks to hide. She is more perilous even than the ancient treasure that draws him back to Egypt. This woman will uncover his heart.

Click here to buy on Amazon Kindle.

In other news, I've accepted an offer to write two more Nocturne Cravings, which hopefully will be out next year, and my evil twin Blair will be publishing another erotic romance with Ellora's Cave. I'm very grateful to both my editors for being so understanding with the recent illness and death of my beloved father-in-law, Frank. It's been a very emotional time for my husband and myself, but we are slowly healing. Thank you everyone who sent condolences and expressed sympathy.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Taken by the Alpha Wolf now available



On Kindle and Smashwords, a new, original Draicon werewolf story for only 99 cents. This is Etienne's story, the eldest Draicon brother.

From the moment he saw the pale-haired beauty, Draicon werewolf Etienne Robichaux vowed to claim Cindy Parker as his mate. Nothing will stand in his way. After learning she’s targeted by a Columbian drug mob, the former Navy SEAL will do everything in his power to protect her.

His touch ignites her passion and his tender concern touches her soul. But Cindy has a deadly secret she hides from Etienne, one that not only risks losing her heart to handsome shifter, but her very life.












Friday, June 17, 2011

How to plan for RWA in NY



RWA is a week away and what have I done to prepare? I've printed business cards with the cover to The Shadow Wolf. That's it.

And then I look at the calendar and realize I have one week left to get my act together before leaving for RWA. I have a blizzard of meetings at the day job next week, and two ART fact sheets to fill out for Harlequin for my upcoming stories, Hunted by the Jaguar and Mated to the Wolf. I need to get organized. Now.

So this blog post is devoted to advice on planning for national.

First, take a deep breath. Breathe. Just breathe. You can do this.

Now, budget a few minutes to make a list of things you must take care of before you leave your family/responsibilities. Children, husband, pets, etc.

Make another list of essentials for the conference to pack (here's a little trick I learned from traveling internationally...take a backpack to carry on and pack with essentials such as a change of clothing, business shoes, etc. you'll need if your checked luggage gets lost.)

Comfortable shoes
Business attire and some casual outfits for lounging
List of nearby restaurants that are affordable
Granola bars or snacks (come in handy for quick energy in pricey NY city)
Print out of RWA schedule
Airline tickets, car rental info, etc.
Other personal essentials (such as laptop, if you are bringing one)

Next, preprogram important cell numbers into your phone: ie: agent, editor, roommate, friends, etc.

Now for the schedule. It looks daunting. So much to do and so little time. Here is where you narrow down your choices.

Set your priorities for this conference. Ask yourself, "What do I need to get out of this?"

If your goal is to meet with a particular agent or editor, make that the Number One priority and schedule that accordingly. If your goal is meeting friends or critique partners to discuss the market and upcoming projects you have, make that your Number One priority. It's your conference.

For myself, my priorities are always meeting with my agent and my editor. Business first. Then I schedule workshops and time for lunches/meetings with friends/fellow authors. I look at the RWA schedule of workshops.
To access, click here.


Pick workshops that feature areas you wish to hone. Are you weak on plotting? Select a plotting workshop. Need to learn to write a stronger heroine? Look for those. Yes, there are lots of booksignings where authors give away free books. But what will serve your writing goals more...getting autographed books or attending a workshop?

You can buy the workshops on tape, but let's say you don't have any time when you return home to listen, because your editor appointment resulted in a request for a full manuscript. Now you have to polish that book. And if you get such a request early on in the conference? Look for a workshop that can aid you in polishing your book. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge before you.

It all comes down to prioritizing. You are the only one who can pick and choose goals for yourself at this conference. Align your schedule according to those goals. And don't forget to make time for friends at the bar. The bar is always where the action is at; where news is exchanged, market updates are provided, where you learn the real nitty gritty of what is going on.

When you have the list of workshops and appointments, program them into your phone for quick reference.

If you're shy and don't know many people, remember there are probably a lot of conference attendees who are the same. You are not alone. Force yourself to pick a table at a luncheon filled with strangers. Start a conversation about how they are enjoying themselves, if this is their first visit to NY. You never know who you'll meet.


Now, go take another deep breath, relax and say to yourself, "I can do this!"

And have fun in NY!

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Shadow Wolf



Here's the cover. This book includes Darkness of the Wolf, my Nocturne Bite that was previously released in ebook form.






The cover is the scene where they first make love by the lake.






In writing news, my muse has awoken (yay!) and I'm coming down the home stretch with a new short story. Details to follow!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Reflections



This week, I've been thinking about the day job. I guess it stems from meeting new people at work and having their eyes nearly pop out of their head when they discover I've been doing this kind of work, traveling to poor countries and writing about poverty, for more than 17 years.


One country that I frequently travel to is Haiti. Haiti and I have a love/hate relationship. One guy I know said it best. "Haiti's she's a bitch, but you have to love her. "


One of the love aspects is getting to help children who are in dire need. A girl from one of our orphanages recently graduated from college in the US. She's a success story that always makes me smile. Smart kid, I know she will go far.


And then there are the girls who were rescued off the street, and were in desperate need of hope. Merline, featured in these photos, was one of them.


I met Merline on a trip to our girls orphanage in 2002. It was the first year I got published. I remember seeing her expression. As if she'd lost all hope. She was skinny, had suffered from parasites and was starving. The home's administrator told me she'd been found wandering the streets of Cite Soleil, a huge and grim slum.

Cite Soleil is rough, violent and no place for an innocent orphan. Merline was hungry, homeless and afraid. She was unresponsive to questions, to smiles, to coaxing a smile from her. Still, I sat next to her, chatting in English, hoping for some kind of response from this girl who had already, at 7, experienced far too much pain.




I remember how she didn't say anything, didn't react and then all the sudden, she rested against me and slipped her hand into mine.


It broke my heart. Without words, she told me, "I need to know someone cares."


The rest of our visit, I held her in my lap, chatting with her. She never did smile. But I had hope.


Two years later, I was visiting our girls orphanage and asked about Merline. I found her. This time she was dressed in a pretty gingham school uniform. And she was smiling. A big, beautiful smile from a lovely girl who received a chance to start over in life.


The kids in Haiti, they are the ones who always tug at my heart. They are a reason I keep returning to Haiti, hoping that the future will be brighter, and better for them.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Sex with Oded Fehr...



To mark the first day of the 2011 hurricane season, I'm reposting a blog from 2005, the year my house got clobbered by Hurricane Wilma and a tree punched through our roof. This post still makes me laugh, and these days, while we are currently "weathering" a family crisis, all laughs are much appreciated. It's titled, "Sex with Oded Fehr."

Last night I dreamed I had sex with Oded Fehr. (See photo at right. He's begging me, "Please, Bonnie, have sex with me now!")

We were married and he came home from work in this funky red jacket, dark trousers, white starched shirt and red silk tie. He threw down his briefcase and said, “I can’t wait to make love to you, right now.”

Oh. Okay.

But trouble was, it was … meh. I couldn’t climax. He asked me what was wrong and I told him I was tense.

Then all the sudden, he shapeshifts. Changes before my eyes… and changes to…

Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel. Complete in his raingear, talking about hurricanes. I screamed, “noooooooo!”

It’s not a deep dream, I know what it means, See, Jim Cantore has the knack of picking areas to broadcast from that get slammed by hurricanes.
So what does all this, and my dream mean? Simple.

If Jim Cantore shows up anywhere near you, you’re f**ked.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Haiti




People frequently ask me, especially after I return from a trip for work, "Has Haiti improved any since the earthquake?"








Good question. My quick answer is, "Yes, the rubble is mostly gone."





And the long answer is, "The people are still suffering, but there is hope."





But last week I visited an area that I saw days after everything collapsed and killed more than 250,000 people, and it's like a knife to my heart.


It was in downtown Port-au-Prince.




Downtown is where much of the colossal damage took place. By that I mean, five-story buildings pancaked, entire government buildings destroyed. The presidential palace with its pretty wedding cake cupolas.




And the nearly 100-year-old cathedral, with its beautiful pink stone and soaring arches. I was there, long ago, for a prayer service. The cathedral was a peaceful place in a heavily populated city, a landmark for all who lived in PAP and a stronghold of religion for many. I remember seeing the elderly homeless on the steps. I also remember how my NGO built them a village where they can live out their last days with dignity and comfort.


I've been traveling to Haiti for nearly 18 years. I visited the cathedral days after the earthquake, and saw the bodies crushed by falling debris.




I was there a few days ago, and except for the fact the rubble is now gone, the structure is still the same. Still standing as an eerie skeletal frame, a pink scar on the downtown cityscape.




It was painful for me to see the church still standing as if the earthquake were last month, not last year. I can't imagine how heartbreaking it is for Haitians. A constant reminder of that horrific day.


How can you push on and forge a future when the wreckage of your past still stands like a tragic moment suspended in time?


Haiti has a new president now. I am cautiously hopeful. Not because of the new government, but because I have seen the resilience and courage of a beleaguered people who have suffered much, and keep going.


And enduring.


Again.


And again, against all odds.



Monday, May 16, 2011

The Cobra and the Concubine now on Kindle



I uploaded THE COBRA AND THE CONCUBINE to Kindle this weekend. This is the third book in my Khamsin Egyptian romance series.




Last week I was in Haiti and offline. I'll be posting an update on my trip, soon as I catch up.


Saturday, May 07, 2011

Nook, Kindle book updates



The Sword and the Sheath is now available on Kindle. This is the romance between Jabari's son, Tarik, and Ramses's daughter, Fatima. Fatima is psychic and assigned to guard Tarik, the sheikh's proud heir. Tarik wants her removed and in a different position... in his bed.




Also, The Falcon and the Dove, my first Khamsin Egyptian romance, is now available on the Nook! Click here.


I was hoping to finish formatting The Cobra and the Concubine and upload that to Kindle, but too much happened this week. Now I'm packing for Haiti, another day job trip. I'll be offline all next week as there is limited internet access where I will be traveling.



Have a great week! I post if I can.


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Tiger and the Tomb now available on KINDLE!



Click here to order.

Next up is THE SWORD AND THE SHEATH. This is the love story between Jabari's son, Tarik, and Ramses' daughter, Fatima.

Hoping to format and upload THE COBRA AND THE CONCUBINE by the time I leave for Haiti next week.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Would you care if his mom wrote erotic romance?


This is Edgar. He's three months old, weighs 6.5 pounds, lives in Guatemala and as I rocked him in my arms today, realized he may die.



Edgar's mother is very poor. She lives in a mud house with a dirt floor. Her husband used to get drunk and beat her with his fists. She has no job. No hope. She came to the nutritional center hoping for help or milk for her baby as she could not breast feed.



As I held Edgar in my arms, thinking of all the starving babies I've met in my travels, some who have died, some who made it, I got pretty upset.



And angry. I got angry thinking about how some people chose to get upset over things that aren't worth getting angry about, how it is none of their business.



I thought about the whole Judy Mays craziness, over a woman who is said to be a great teacher and yet, is lambasted for writing erotic romance in her spare time. I don't know Judy, only that she is a fellow romance author and like me, she works a full-time job in addition to writing romance. She's a high school teacher. Unless you have lived under a rock, you must know how challenging it is these days to teach high school kids.



Judy writes erotic romance under another name. Some of those parents found out, started going a little nuts and suddenly, there is a hue and cry.



As I sat rocking Edgar in my arms, wondering if he would live or die, I wondered why there isn't a hue and cry over things like babies starving to death in other countries.



Do we care? I know Americans do, we are very generous. I'm always humbled and hopeful when I find out how very generous Americans are when it comes to helping the poor.



Yet when I hear of parents complaining about things like Judy writing erotic romance, under ANOTHER NAME, and teaching their children, I wonder.



Edgar's mother is poor. She has no job, bruises from her abusive husband, no money, a starving baby and little hope.



And I wonder... would you care if his mother wrote erotic romance? Would you care if she did and it saved his life?

Monday, April 25, 2011

On the road again...

Looks like I'll be in Guatemala this week on a last minute work trip to visit starving children in a clinic. Thus this quick catch-up...

The price of Falcon and the Dove is back up to $2.99 on Kindle. The sale is over. Sorry! However, I do plan to discount my books once I get more backlist books uploaded, hopefully in the next 4 weeks.

I'll be making up ARC's of The Shadow Wolf, my August Nocturne, in PDF form. If you are a reviewer or a book blogger and would like one, please email me at bonnievanak@aol.com I hope to get these done by the end of next month to email out.

Although my schedule has been hectic lately, one of my goals is to complete a short story I want to self-publish in the next 6 weeks. Soon as it's completed, I'll announce it here.

That's it for now... I'll be going offline so if you email me and I don't get back to you right away, please be patient. When I travel to these countries, I seldom have internet. Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Contest winner and new cover



Hi all, due to some unexpected, last minute issues that popped up this week, I'm announcing the contest winner early.

It's Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews! Please email me at bonnievanak@aol.com with your snail mail so I can mail you IMMORTAL WOLF.


Also, here is the new cover for THE TIGER AND THE TOMB, which I hope to upload to Smashwords and Kindle in the next two weeks. This week, I'm running a special 99 cent Kindle sale on the first Khamsin book, The Falcon and the Dove. Click here.


That's it for now... I'm a bit swamped and need to get things done before my birthday, so I can spend the day, at last, having a little fun! If you email me and I don't respond right away, please be patient. I'll get back to you as soon as possible.


Have a great week!

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Lady and the Libertine now on Kindle



The seventh book in my Khamsin Warriors of the Wind series is now on Kindle!
Click here.

My next project is to upload the other five books onto Kindle, and to upload all seven of the books onto Smashwords.


My goal is to do this by RWA the end of June.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

New contest!

April! The month of my birthday and the first month THE SHADOW WOLF, my August 23 Nocturne, is available for pre-order on Amazon. Click here.

DARKNESS OF THE WOLF
, my Nocturne Bite, will be an added feature to this print book. In other book news, I've been informed that BITTEN BY THE VAMPIRE, the first short story in my trilogy of sexy Nocturne Cravings, will be released in October.

It's due to be followed in November by MATED TO THE WOLF and in December by HUNTED BY THE JAGUAR. All three Cravings are about three triplet sisters who are half-demon, half-angel. Ancient warriors, a vampire, a werewolf and a jaguar, are assigned to mate with them to tame their dark halves... or they will be forced to destroy them.

To celebrate, I'm holding a contest and giving away a copy of my last Nocturne, IMMORTAL WOLF. Gabriel, the hero of THE SHADOW WOLF, makes an appearance in this book.

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post or
pop on over to my Facebook fan page to say hello. Or if you wish, you can email me at bonnievanak@aol.com

The contest will end on my birthday, April 23.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pre-order The Shadow Wolf

Now available for pre-order on Amazon! Click here.

And here's some cool news... DARKNESS OF THE WOLF, my Nocturne Bite that was released in 2009, will be an added feature to this print book! Nice bonus!


In other book news, I've been informed that BITTEN BY THE VAMPIRE, the first short story in my trilogy of sexy Nocturne Cravings, will be released in October. It's due to be followed in November by MATED TO THE WOLF and in December by HUNTED BY THE JAGUAR.


All three Cravings are about three triplet sisters who are half-demon, half-angel. Ancient warriors, a vampire, a werewolf and a jaguar, are assigned to mate with them to tame their dark halves... or they will be forced to destroy them.


The Shadow Wolf
will be available on August 23. I've posted an excerpt below. Happy reading!


THE SHADOW WOLF. (copyright 2011 by Bonnie Vanak)


"The roar of a powerful motorcycle drew her attention to the hotel entrance. A man parked the Harley, drew off a black helmet and swung a muscled leg over the saddle. Megan’s heart raced. The rider’s face was permanently stamped into memory from the photos circulated among Shadows of their worst enemies.

Black liquid sloshed as she slammed down her coffee cup. Her mouth opened and closed like a fish gasping for oxygen. Gabriel Robichaux. Oh God. She’d walked straight into a trap.

Immobilized, she searched for an exit as he entered the garden’s stone pathway leading to the terrace. Megan looked around, desperate to escape, but it was too late. If they left now, surely he’d see them. She slid down her seat.

The power and raw charisma he exuded felt like a tornado as he ambled onto the terrace. Tight black leather pants hugged each inch of his rock hard thighs and taut buttocks. A Harley Davidson T-shirt and steel-toed scuffed boots gave him a dangerous air. Stubble shadowing his angular jaw contrasted with his classical good looks, like a biker with the face of an angel. Dark brown hair curled down to his wide shoulders. His mouth was sultry and mobile.

Four women sitting at a nearby table gave him the twice-over. If they only knew what exactly he was, they’d run away screaming. Draicon, like her. Only not like her. Not Shadow, outcast and shunned. He was an Enforcer, who returned escaped Shadow Wolves to their island prison. "

To read the entire excerpt, click here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

New contest in April


April, ah April, month of my birthday! To celebrate, I'm going to hold a new contest and give away one of my backlist Nocturne books.


I'm thinking it just may be IMMORTAL WOLF.
This contest will be a little different.


To enter, you'll post a comment on my Facebook fan page.
Click here to access.


I am trying to get more FB people to "like" my fan page.


If you are not on Facebook, it's okay. I'll be running the contest here on my blogl


And all you need to do is leave a comment.
The contest will start April 1 and run through the entire month. I will be posting that blog for contest entries soon.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Photos from Honduras





A little about our journey there... this is the second most dangerous airport in the world to land, according to the History Channel's program, Most Extreme Airports. Tegucipgalpa, Honduras. One runway, surrounded by mountains, and a very short runway. To land, the pilot does a corkscrew, dips and suddenly drops. There had been a plane crash there just a few weeks before we arrived. It's an "interesting" landing...










This is a fruit stand we stopped at on the way back from San Lorenzo to Tegus. There's a certain type of mango that grows in that area that is very popular.



















This is a shop wall in Valle de Angeles, a tourist destination. We stopped there on the way back to Tegus, since we could not make it into the city. There was a teacher's strike in the city that turned violent. One person was killed. It was only later, when the military came in, that we were able to make it back to the hotel.








This is a happy dad with his son, who lives in one of the houses we built in Valle de Angeles. The people there love their new homes. The houses are built on the side of a mountain and the climate is cooler up there.



The restaurant where the team ate lunch. We seldom eat lunch while working in the field, as it takes up too much time. Our usual method is to get on the road around 7 - 7:30 and work through lunch. We bring snacks in the car and eat in the field. So lunch is a rare treat.






This is the boat we took to cross the Gulf of Fonseca to get to El Tigre island. The Gulf is surrounded by El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras.







Fishermen in the gulf.








El Tigre island, Amapala. Very pretty, and quite poor. Population of about 2,400, they see about 200 cases of malnutrition a month.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Honduras trip


Still in Honduras. It's been a successful trip, with good stories and very sad cases, like this child here, whose parents had a cup of rice in the house to eat for the week.





Yesterday we went to an island to see some cases and how we can get food there, as there is a high rate of malnutrition. It was a lovely boat ride across the Gulf of Fonseca, a bay shared with El Salvador and Nicaragua. The turquoise water sparkled, the sun beat down hot as a breeze from the Pacific rippled across the waters.



And on the island, I got sick. Oh boy. Not fun.
I'm a little better, taking it easy and not eating during the day just in case. Being sick on an island in the middle of nowhere when the only nearby bano is a latrine is not fun...

We also met this mother, who could not stop crying because her little girl, whom she is holding, is very malnourished and ill. She needs an operation to save her as she keeps losing weight, but she's been on a waiting list for free surgery from the state since she was born. In the meantime, she keeps getting thinner and thinner and her mother keeps crying and praying.


There were some uplifting moments as well, such as seeing Naomi again. We met her last year when she was 2 months old and in danger of starving to death. We got her enrolled in a nutritional program, got her milk and this is Naomi today, nice and chubby! I didn't even recognize her! It was quite gratifying to see her and her mom so happy.


All week we have been south in San Lorenzo and Choluteca. Today we headed back to Tegucigalpa to fly out tomorrow, but there was another strike by cab drivers and this one started turning violent. They were throwing rocks at cars.
Police advised people to avoid the area near our hotel.

So while the military was moving into place to quell the violence and open the roads, we spent part of the morning at Valle de Angels, which is a tourist spot. We did some shopping, had a lovely lunch (well, the rest of the team did!) of pizza. I took my slice of pizza, cut it up and fed one of the many stray dogs in town. I usually never do that, but today I just felt like it.

Now I am waiting for a ride by our guide's friend to the local church, where I am having a Mass said for my cousin, Margi. She was buried today and because of this trip, I didn't have a chance to attend the funeral. So I'm having a Mass said this afternoon for her. It was so sweet of our hostess, she made a few calls and the arrangements. It's a little comforting for me since I couldn't be at Margi's funeral Mass.

Flying back tomorrow, hopefully no more cab strikes and good weather and I'll be feeling better. Until then, adios!