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Nov 4, 2011

Blog Tour:Awakening by Scarlett Valentine Guest Post and $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Hey my adorable readers! I am here for another blog tour! Today we have the author of the book 'Awakening', she's no other than Ms. Scarlett Valentine. She's here to tell us more about herself and her journey to becoming a great author. So let's give her the space to say what she wants to share with us..

 Krishna from Journey with Books
Meeting Scarlett Valentine

Thanks for having me here today. I’ve really been looking forward to this. And thanks for letting me talk about my favorite subject— me!

I’m just kidding! I *really* don’t like talking about myself, but as an author, it’s part of introducing ourselves and our books to potential readers.

I’m Scarlett Valentine and I’m originally from Northern California. I don’t know at what point Ireland entered my mind. I just remember talking to my grandfather one day, telling him I wanted to learn Irish because I was going to Ireland one day and wanted to speak the language. I was heartbroken when he told me Irish was an extinct language, but something in the back of my mind said I was going to marry an Irishman and the only way that was going to happen was to go to Ireland.

So here I am, living in Ireland for nearly fifteen years, married to an Irishman, and while I discovered that the Irish language is not extinct, I still have only learned a cupla focal . . . a few words. I think I know naughty words in about five languages now!

I’ve been asked at what point did I knew I wanted to be a writer. Honestly, I don’t know. I think being a writer is as much part of a person as wanting to be a fireman, painter or stock car driver. Yes, there are skills one must learn for all those jobs, but the desire is inside us. It’s in our blood.

One of my earliest writing memories was getting picture books from the library. I’d bring them home and write stories to go with the pictures. By the fifth grade, I was writing little stories for extra credit. And sometime in junior high school I heard the Beatles song Paperback Writer and thought, ‘Yeah, that’s what I’m going to do.’ I remember writing a high school romance not long after. Years later I reread it and wondered just what the heck I’d been thinking LOL

I’ve read romance novels since I was about twelve. I thought they were adventure stories! And who wouldn’t with swashbuckling tales of the high sea and swarthy heroes? But it wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I finally said, ‘Right! I’m going to try it.’ I bought a yellow legal pad, a box of pencils and a sharpener, and wrote the bones of my first book in longhand. I borrowed mom’s electric typewriter about midway through, typed up what I’d handwritten, and continued to finish the story. I was quite proud of myself. I still have that book, though it’s been retyped and saved on disc to follow me from one computer to the next. It was a great story, one I’d like to break out again someday and rewrite with all of the knowledge and skill I’ve learned over the years.

Once I’d typed THE END on my first book, I couldn’t wait to start the next, and so it went for a few years until I got up the nerve to share some of my writing. Encouraged, I started submitting.

Meanwhile, my ‘day jobs’ have been varied over my life. I’ve done a little of everything, or so it seems: I pumped gasoline in my family’s service station and rebuilt a car motor or two; I received a diploma in pet nutrition, worked in the pet business and ran a canine obedience business; I worked in specialty hotels; and I even worked for Clint Eastwood (true story!). While I loved all the jobs I’ve had in my life, none of them led to a writing career until I moved to Ireland.

I’m a bit trigger happy with a camera and I’m an avid castle huntress, and I love research. Put those things together and I started publishing articles for a travel site. I’ve learned so much about Irish history since I moved here, but writing those articles taught me even more. There’s something satisfying about being on a historical site, knowing what happened there, knowing about the people and walking in the same places they did, or being in the same rooms where they lived, or died. And one of the best things that came out of writing those articles, aside from honing my writing skills, was seeing a story develop in my head with every new fact I gleaned from the internet and text books. Fun stuff.

I also started reviewing books around 1995. It, too, helped me develop as a writer. Writing the dreaded synopsis is a lot like writing a review. A review includes a very succinct breakdown of the book—the hero and heroine, their conflict and hint of the resolution. That’s basically what a synopsis is, and when I get frustrated trying to write one, I always make myself sit back and remember what I learned reviewing. I don’t review as much as I used to, but occasionally if I find an exceptional read, I’ll write up a review and put it on my blog. It helps me stay in practice for both reviewing and the dreaded synopsis.

My personal path to publishing seems to have been fraught with inexperience, timing and, Okay, I’ll admit it . . . laziness. (I really dislike the submission process—I just want to write!) Even though I was publishing travel articles, I was still unsuccessful in fiction.

Then a friend asked me to contribute a couple romantic short stories to a new publisher who was compiling an anthology for charity. I’d never written short stories before and gave it a go. The publisher loved them. I ended up writing a handful of short stories for a few romance anthologies, and because they were so well received with readers, my publisher then asked to submit a novel length romance, which I did. It was published the following year. It also received great feedback.

I’ve attempted writing erotica before, but the story always got in the way. But as I read more erotica I realized the story didn’t have to suffer just because there was more sex than in a romance novel. So I did some research and wrote Awakening. To my surprise, when it was completed, I was invited to submit to another publisher who accepted it right away. Normally, a book goes from acceptance to publication in twelve to eighteen months so I was very surprised when Awakening was slated for publication within three months! I shouldn’t have been surprised though. Tirgearr Publishing published one of my romance short stories last year and they turned it around quickly. I just didn’t expect this soon.

I’m very grateful to have had so many great writing experiences in my life. My ‘voice’ has grown with each new lesson I’ve learned along the way. I’ve met some wonderful people on my writing journey and made some lifelong friends. And I’m hoping I’ve met a few more of them here today.

Thanks for letting me prattle along!

~ Scarlett
“What’s a little bondage between friends?”
Available now – Awakening, book one of The ABCs of S-E-X: Love by the Letter series

Krishna says:

Thanks Ms. Scarlett for being here today. Thank you for sharing your journey to being the author that you are right now. I don't know about the readers of my blog, but I really enjoyed reading your post. It's fascinating and amazing how your hard work and love for writing paid off in the end. And now, you're full fledged author! And not just an author but a great one! I hope your post inspired a lot of writers/authors who wants their books to be published.


Ysbail of Ellesmere is a pawn in her guardian's war. For decades there has been unrest between the marcher lords and Owain Gwynedd ap Gruffydd, King of Gwynedd. The most recent war had been the bloodiest she could remember in her eighteen years. Madog ap Maredudd, Prince of Powys, and his allies lost untold numbers of men at the hands of Owain's soldiers. When a settlement of truce is presented to Madog, it's at Ysbail's expense. She is to marry Bedwyr ap Owain, one of King Owain’s bastard sons, and his most notorious henchman. If all the rumors and stories she's heard are true, she knows her marriage will be rife with horror and fear.

Since proving himself worthy with his sword, Bedwyr fights at his king's side. He's shed oceans of blood and sent untold numbers of men to their graves. He's become what his name foretold—the grave-knower. He's afraid of nothing, least of all death. All men fear him, including those who fight at his side, and sometimes even his own king. Terror of him lives within women's hearts; only the bravest of whores accept him into their beds. And children weave their own tales of the monster they hear him to be, embellishing the details to their own gruesome degrees.

When King Owain informs Bedwyr that he's to marry Ysbail of Ellesmere as part of a peace settlement with Madog, Bedwyr is furious. A man such as Bedwyr can only survive on the battlefield. For without love, hatred will send a man like him to the edge of insanity. Then push him over. But when Bedwyr sees Ysbail for the first time, blood-thirst turns to blood-lust, and he vows to show her that she should have no fear of him.

More About the Author:

Scarlett Valentine is the alter ego of award-winning romance author, Kemberlee Shortland. Together they write Erotomance -- Erotic Romance.

Originally from Northern California, Scarlett has spent the last fourteen years living in Ireland. She's traveled extensively through Ireland and Wales. When she's not writing, she can often be found castle hunting.

Scarlett's stories cross subgenres to explore hetero, gay and bisexual relationships in a series of stories that include time periods from historicals and contemporaries, futuristics and science fiction, paranormal and suspense, and more.

Awakening is the first book in The ABCs of S-E-X: Love by the Letter series and is available 2 November 2011 though Highland Press.


Good News my loves.. Ms. Scarlett Valentine is giving away $25 Amazon Gift Card and plus she will occasionally give surprise prizes to other lucky commenters on the tour! For more chances of winning just follow this tour. The more you comment, the more chances you'll have. You can check out more about this in here.

Follow the tour in here:

Thanks everyone!  Happy reading!


  1. Thank you for hosting me today. I'm looking forward to meeting your readers and spending my Friday with you all.

  2. Thank you for sharing today. I understand, would it be Gaelic???, is very hard to learn. I love book blog tours because you learn so much along the way.


  3. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for stopping by.

    Gaelic . . . I could go on for hours about this ;-)

    Here in Ireland, and most of Europe, Gaelic is Scottish or Scots Gaelic. Irish is called Irish, or in Irish it's called Gaeilge and pronounced gwel-guh or gel-guh depending on the regional dialect.

    Years ago, a friend of mine wanted to learn the Irish language and bought a language tape in Gaelic. When she came over she tried to use what she'd learned and it turned out she was learning Scottish! Irish and Scottish/Scots Gaelic are cousin languages. Some words and phrases can still be deciphered, but the languages have really changed enough to be totally separate.

    Irish, Scottish and Manx (from the Isle of Man) make up one of the Celtic languages called Q Celtic. If you're interested in languages, this site might help you --

    And yes, Irish, and other Celtic languages, can be difficult to learn. It depends on your propensity for learning languages though. I personally find these languages to have either too many vowels or too many consonants ;-)

    An example of too many vowels in Irish would be like the town Dun Laoghaire, which is in south County Dublin. Dun is pretty easy. Sounds like 'fun.' Laoghaire on the other hand is a bit more difficult. It's origins actually aren't even Irish, but Norse! You see, the town Dun Laoghaire translates to Laoghaire's Fort (dun means fort), and is the oldest established town in Ireland, dating back to a charter of 498AD! Laoghaire was a king in his own right and a pirate, aka Viking. He established a fort in this location to rest his men before returning to Scandinavia. However, it wasn't long before the town of Diff Linn was established, which is in the city center of today's Dublin City (the settlement is in an area off Wood Quay where ships were once built).

    Anyway, Laoghaire is pronounced Leery, and roughly translates to Larry in English. So Dun Laoghaire is Larry's Fort.

    Welsh is a whole other kettle of fish, with double lettering in their words, such as the town of Llangollen. LL is pronounced like trying to say L while clearing a lot of phlegm from your throat. It comes out like HL with a cough behind it. Thus, Llangollen sounds like Hlan-gok-hlin.

    Pontcysyllte is a more difficult one because C sounds like K, Y sounds like I and then you have the LL and a TE on the end. As a result, you get a word pronounced as Pont-keh-seh-hl-teh. BTW, Pontcysyllte is an amazing work of architecture. It's one of the aqueducts now open to visitors with canal boat trips every hour.

    See what I mean? Nothing is every straight forward here with languages. I *could* go on for hours! ;-)

    At least some Irish spellings have been incorporated into the English language, such as Leigh (Lee, as in Vivien Leigh), Lough (or Loch, a lake), Quay (Key, a dockside), etc. Welsh too, but I bet you didn't know that. W in the Welsh language is a vowel pronounced like OO . . . Pwl is pronounced Pool. And we all know Gwynedd Paltrow and that she pronounces it as Gwyneth . . . DD is pronounced like TH. Looking for little nuances like this can really help when learning the original languages they came from.

    I hope this helped though. Let me know if you have any other questions about the language, or anything else.

    Thanks for stopping by! And I hope you enjoy Awakening. Some of the Welsh language is included in the story for flavor (with translations), but for pronunciations, there's a glossary on my website --

  4. You're revealing much about yourself here, Scarlett. Fab to learn about your background. Thank you for sharing.

    Loved your note about Irish/Gaelic. I took Scottish Gaelic classes some years ago. I soon recognised many modern words which derived from Gaelic and Norse (I did a bit of Swedish too). Utterly fascinating!

    I stayed in Dun Laoghaire for a week during a trip to Ireland in '96. Nearly got lost driving from the airport and only learnt how to pronounce it when I stopped at a petrol station for help. I just said 'I need to get THERE!' and pointed on the map. The guy grinned and told me how to pronounce it - and the way to get there. ;-)

    Edinburgh is of similar origin - it's Dun Eideann in Gaelic (the NZ city of Dunedin was clearly named by former inhabitants). Love exploring place names.

    I've downloaded Awakening and can't wait to read it. Good luck with the rest of the tour! :-)

  5. Hi Cathie,
    Thanks for stopping by. The first time I came to Ireland I stayed in Dun Laoghaire in a small hotel overlooking the twin piers. Really lovely view. Sadly, there's no indication of the fort anymore, but it's been disputed if there was actually a single structure, like Laoghaire's castle. The fort was probably a wider enclosed barracks of sorts, which was probably at the heart of the current day town.

    For 100 years from 1821, Dun Laoghaire was renamed Kingstown to honor British kings. Similarly, Cobh (Cove) in County Cork was renamed Queenstown in honor of Queen Victoria. Fortunately, both towns took back their original names.

    I didn't know that about Dun Eideann/Edinburgh/Dunedin. I know there are several Dunedin's in Ireland. I wonder if they were settled by the Scots. Scots landlords were brought over during the Plantation era.

    You can always tell who settled a region by the areas name . . . such as Munster (an Irish province) which is the town name in three US states (PA, IN and IL), Limerick in PA and ME, Dublin OH, GA and CA, Galway NY, Waterford MI, WI, CT, CA and Ontario Canada, Donegal PA, etc.

    I love names. The more interesting the more I like them. Their translations and origins are always fascinating. Another topic I can talk at length about ;-)

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Note to readers - Anyone looking for another great historical read should check out Highland Arms by Cathie Dunn :-)

  6. I would love to visit Ireland. From everything I've read, it sounds so beautiful & who doesn't love the musical quality of an Irish accent.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at

  7. I was interested in your first book...still packed away in the drawer someplace (or wherever you keep it). Many authors today are considering the self-publishing route for the books that were never accepted by publishers or to reissue some of their backlist books. Is that something you will ever consider?

  8. Kathryn,
    There are SO many Irish accents, I can't begin to count them all. Every region has its own accent and dialect. I remember one time sitting with my now husband and two of his friends, one from Dublin and one from Limerick. My DH is from Cork. It was interesting enough to hear three distinct accents, but when they started speaking Irish . . . OMG it was so funny. Neither of them understood the next one.

    The Cork accent is probably the one you'd associate with the most as being lyrical. Dublin accents are used mostly in Hollywood, ala Colin Farrell. Dublin probably has the most varied collection of accents though, from the posh southside which is very flat, to the throwback from the English accent, to the real deep innercity northside accent. They're all pretty cool in their own way. You can always tell how much research an author has done if she sets her story in a particular part of the country and nails the accent right, and the slang. :-)

    Thanks for visiting, and let me know if you ever decide to make the journey to Ireland. You'll love it.

  9. Hi Karen,

    I have two 'drawered' novels. They're the first two I ever wrote. I do have a desire to take them out one day and give them a good going over. I've learned so much in the writing process over the years I can apply to these two books to make them salable. I just need the time!

    I don't see anything wrong with self-publishing. I know a lot of authors who do it. What I DO have a problem with is self-publishing without proper editing.

    These days, anyone can publish. It doesn't mean they should. Without proper editing, the market is flooding with a lot of stories not ready for readers. Sometimes authors are in too much of a rush to get their work out there that they're willing to let it 'go' before it's ready. Waiting is hard, but if the book is properly edited (and time has been taken on the cover, because we all know the cover is the first thing that attracts us to a story) there's no reason why it can't do well on the market. Very few get rich writing anymore, but for books that are well presented and have a good story, the author will gain a decent readership. And at least keep them in chocolate for a while :-)

    As for me, I recently regained the rights to some of my short stories and was going to self-publish them. But my current publisher asked for them. I really love my publisher and we've worked out a good royalty split so I'm happy to have these stories republished there. I know they'll undergo a fresh edit and new covers to freshen them up before they're re-released next year.

    I know a lot of authors are republishing their backlists themselves. What I also see are collections of authors (usually very close friends) who incorporate together to create a small press, then republish their books under that name. This small press is set up solely to republish their backlist, not to publish their fresh stuff or anyone outside the corporation. I don't know about re-editing, but I know they're all getting new covers because the original covers are copyrighted to the original publisher.

    Times are changing. Quickly. I think the traditional side of the business is having a hard time keeping up. They're trying to rewrite the rules already set down by digital publishers in the last 15 years. In the end, some of them are coming over to digital, like Dorchester Publishing. And industry officials are now being employed by digital publishers . . . one or two from Dorchester are now with Samhain Publishing.

    See? Give me a topic and I can talk for days! ;-)

    Thanks for your question and for stopping by.

  10. Great piece, Scarlett! Writing is hard work... but it's definitely worth it!

    Looking forward to hosting you on Erotica For All next week!

  11. I'm really looking forward to it, CW. Looks like a great place to spend Hump Day ;-)

  12. I enjoyed reading the post; it was quite interesting. I look forward in reading Awakening.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  13. Hi, Lady Krishna and Scarlett/Kemberlee! “What’s a little bondage between friends?” - Love this! And guess what, I hail from Northern CA as well, specifically the Bay Area. Living in Ireland must be very inspirational for your work.

    New follower~

    Stephanie ~Misfit Salon~

  14. Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks for stopping by. I grew up on the Monterey Peninsula. Really missing the weather these days!
    Yeah, friends are good like that -- bondage and all ;-)
    And yes, living here can be inspirational. So much history and tradition. I love castle hunting (no castles in Cali!) and researching their history. A castle down the road from where I live is the inspiration behind the next book, Beguiler!

  15. Tracey,

    Thanks for stopping in today. Much appreciated. Would love to hear your comments on Awakening.

  16. I want to extend my sincere thanks to everyone here at Journey with Books for helping me close out the first week of my virtual book tour for Awakening. I had a great time visiting with you all--the craic was mighty! (as they say in Ireland . . . ie: it was great fun)

    I've just posted this week's spot prize winners on my website --

    Karen H of NC shared her best Halloween memory with us on Monday, and yesterday Marypres kicked off a great day of wonderful conversation on languages and place name origins. Please get in touch with me ladies through my website, Facebook or email As a token of my appreciation, I'll be sending you each a $5 Amazon gift card.

    I also wanted to say a hearty thank you to Goddess Fish Promotions for setting up my virtual book tour. They've introduced me to some fabulous host sites. Once I'll definitely keep coming back to!

    Everyone, please join me next week for the second week on my virtual book tour. Monday I will be starting the week at Asian Cocoa's Secret Garden!

    Remember, there are more prizes to be had -- at least one more spot prize, the stalker prize and the grand prize! See you there :-)

    ~ Scarlett
    'What's a little bondage between friends?'

  17. wo ilike the blog and gif you are giveing away
    have amny more

  18. Thanks you so much for dropping by and letting me take part on your tour. And I do love your book! I'll be posting a review soon! Also, I'm sorry for being MIA for the past few days, my internet connection just acted up on me for quite a few days and I can't get online.. I'm just sooo happy and relieved that I had this post scheduled and I wasn't late for this tour!

    Thanks again!


  19. Thanks for stopping by Tracy! I'm sure you'll enjoy the book as much as I did!

  20. What a great post this sounds really good love what I read would love to read more! Thank you for the great giveaway!
    Latisha D

  21. I'd love to see your comments when you have time to post them. Let me know when you have a link. And thanks again for hosting me. Glad you got your internet connection back!

  22. Hi, I'd like to invite you to post your giveaways on our giveaway directory: Giveaway Scout ( Please submit your blog here: Once you receive our confirmation email you can post your giveaways on our site. Thanks.

  23. Yes! I'll be posting the review soon and I'll send you a link. Thanks again for letting me be a part of your blog tour.


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