Melisa Hamling, author of Twenty Weeks
This super lady was the first one to plow through all fifty-odd chapters of Michal's Window, not just once, but as many times as I revised it. She knows every ditched chapter, love scene and plot twist that ended on the cutting room floor. It's no wonder she's my firstie and my bestie. She plowed through Broken Build ahead of the regular weekly queue and is the first to tell me when I've gone too far as well as pick me up from the floor when I've been beaten up. Melisa is an awesomely imaginative author whose works range from fantasy to young adult to hot and steamy. Twenty Weeks, a story about a teenager's pregnancy and struggles with abortion was a big hit this summer, and Melisa's new release, Of Love and Deception, is sure to be full of steamy twists and cliffhangers. I can't wait!
Chantel Rhondeau, author of Always & Forever
I oftentimes wonder if Chantel and I were not long-lost twin souls. We met this January on Critique Circle with our drafts of Always & Forever and Broken Build, both written before we knew each other's existence. As each week passed by, we marveled at the similarities of our stories. Both involve a woman with a shady past, a man who has suffered loss [no details, you have to read both books], a gimpy leg, a cabin scene, a shower scene, gosh, even a dance scene with, of all things, the same song! As a matter of fact, I issue a challenge. The reader of both books who can e-mail me the most similarities (more than five) between my book and Chantel's wins a paper copy of Broken Build [once it is released].
Helen Elliston, author of Tick-Tock Run, Think Fast Die Last, and Shiver Sweet
This fine author may not inhabit the Romance queue, but her suspenseful mysteries always include a element of romance. Helen's books are fast paced and full of action, fun and exciting. I can always count on Helen to choreograph a fight scene for me. Her characters rarely make the right decision and are always getting in way too deep, but she spices up the story with funny scenes that could have come right out of a movie. Warning: watch for that shower scene in Shiver Sweet. It's not what you expect!
Christina McKnight, author of Only in Her Dreams
Christina is a real sweetie. She's always cheerful even after being hit with double-barreled crits. Her story contrasts the heroism and self-sacrifice of one set of characters with the selfishness and venality of the other set. Week after week, Christina refined her work and taught me the value of a beta male hero. Once I saw how masterfully she did hers, I began writing my new novel, Hidden Under Her Heart, with a hero who is a supportive sweetheart. Only in Her Dreams is sure to capture your fancy and make you wonder if the guy in your dreams is around the corner at a coffee shop near you.
Melissa Mayberry, author of Mellifica
Melissa and I had a lot of fun comparing the characters between Michal's Window and Mellifica. We both had a female protag who was obsessed with one man while having two other men hanging on the wings. While I deleted my female cat fight scene, Mellifica's stayed in the book. Another scene involved a male character playing with a model of a building, complete with tiny figures. But similarities or differences aside, I learned that sad stories do not have to end tragically. Mellifica: Disastrous First Love is a book that will yank at your heart and remind you that love does not always come easily.
Terry Long, author of The Notorious Proposal
If anyone knows how to write hot scenes, it's Terry Long. The steam in her book is positively volcanic. I shudder to think how I blushed when I first critted preliminary chapters of The Notorious Proposal. I'll never forget the one when Michael storms up to the tower where he had locked Ally up. But more than heat, Terry's characters are personable and quirky in their own way. She can drag out the misunderstandings and hurt feelings, dish out the dirt, and make gravy out of groveling. Terry encourages me to show a softer side of my male characters in their admiration for my female protag. Terry's next book is in the works and features an explosive combination of a spoiled tomboy and a servant who betrays her while marrying her.
Stefanie Pristavu, author of Hunters
My eardrums are deafened by Stefanie's screams. She is vocal about emotions and she makes sure my characters don't come across as cardboard, unfeeling crash dummies. Stefanie favors strong female characters, and oftentimes my characters are mushy little powder puffs. I can count on Stefanie to put a bit of backbone in them, but I get a kick out of her comments when they don't meet her expectations. And believe me, she will make her opinion known, loud and clear. I value Stefanie's crits because even though they are oftentimes over 1000 words long, I know she will shake those characters thoroughly until their ragdoll stuffing is trailed all over the kitchen floor. Stefanie's paranormal adventures are rugged, full of blood, fights and action scenes with sweaty love scenes thrown in for good measure. Be sure to watch for Stefanie's next book about a fallen angel! It's cataclysmic action with a super stubborn and gritty female heroine.
Lucie Ulrich, author of Broken Vessels
Okay, maybe it's not fair to include Lucie here in the "hot" ladies' post. She is a Christian author and her books are definitely not the least bit suggestive. But she dutifully critted every chapter of Broken Build and did not hold back her honest feedback. I appreciate her sticking with me from week to week and hope that she will enjoy my upcoming book since it will hopefully be more palatable to the average Christian. Lucie is working on an inspirational romance set on a working ranch. It is a heartwarming story about love and acceptance.
Lauren Stewart, author of Hyde
No list would be complete without the scintillating Lauren Stewart. While Lauren was not the most plodding of all critters, she'd jump in and out when the spirit moved her. She is the owner of "The Idylle" forum where a bunch of us hang out, encourage each other, fight and bite and whine. Hyde is an unique story that pushes the boundaries between good and evil. It is already a hit and I can fondly say, "I knew Lauren before!"
Thanks also to my other Crit Partners: Aminah, Baker, Carla, Sobril, Applejack, Ckingragg, Dawnwich, Mooderino, Flatlander, Midevil, Mimiwriter, Cecilylori, Plange, Kissmecate, Brandip73, Brandi_fey, Wondering0, Selsworth, Wjoeyl, Cms1171, Col0rize, Borodin and many more.
Be sure to check out the books on The Hot Ladies from Critique Circle's Romance Queue Listmania