Saturday, October 30, 2010
So, I've known about NaNoWriMo for... eightish years now and have never done it. Yeah, this year isn't the year I'll be doing it either. Last year I didn't do it because I was in the middle of a novel I wanted to finish up. I think that's pretty much my excuse every year. Maybe I have commitment issues? Nah! (Yeah.)
This year, I found I wasn't really in the middle of anything, except an ugly battle to get the rights back from my (ex-ish) publisher on the book that I'd finished in the previous year. Long ass story, and one I can't really tell (though I'd really like to, but it would be petty, and beneath me... and maybe I'll do it next Saturday. Nah).
So why am I not doing it this year. Laziness. You know how hard it is to do 1,667 words every day? Impossible, for me. In fact, hats off to anyone who manages it! You deserve some chocolate or money or something. I also have school, which blows, and is quite enough of an excuse for me.
While I'm full of laziness I do plan to finish a novella during November. I want it to be a maximum of 20k. We'll see how that works out. This will probably be the only time I go OVER my goal. I always fall short. Anyway, at 20k I only need to do 667 words a day, which is much more manageable. Lol, but still might be beyond me. We'll see how it goes.
Okay, that's freaking annoying. Because I'm signed into blogger I can't get on my Acquisitions account without signing out of my blogger account. Guess I'll have to come back and add to this blog if I forgot something.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
1. What’s your current project? My latest project title is Tunnel. I started working on it months ago but due to work on my books’ promotions I stopped. I am too busy to write right now. I have about 30K words done. Finalized 30K? Not yet.
2. What’s your genre and how did you choose it or have it chosen for you? I get my ideas from the everyday news, from the everyday events. My novel Crossroads was based on a a sentence I read in a local newspaper, in 92. The Raven Affair was based on the TV news about a court case/court proceedings in California, in the 90s, I believe. So my genre was dictated by the events. However, I do like suspense.
3. What advice would you give writers about rejection letters? One cannnot give a good advice. It’s a big struggle for most of us, it is so very hard to get published these days. I believe that some writers do succeed quicker because of their writing style. They get noticed. But I am not sure that they are better than others who have to struggle on. However, it is most important to have the MS professionally edited before submission.
4. Tell us about your writing place. Which is your favorite? What would you change about it if you could? Do you always write in the same spot all the time, or do you roam from room to room, area to area as the mood strikes? I don’t have a specific writing place. I write where my laptop is. It could be here or there. Once I have a good idea, I can sit down almost anywhere and write.
5. Whose writing do you admire most? I like all good writers. I admire Mark Twain. I liked Hemingway in some of his novels. I admired Dostoyevsky, and Gogol in his short stories.
6. What kind of activities do you do to clear your head? I believe that the best way to clear my mind is through exercise. Like riding a bike, anything physical seems to help. Just getting away from writing, if possible.
7. What’s the worst piece of writing advice you ever got? To self-publish.
8. Was there a special moment that told you “I’m a writer”? I don’t think so. I read a lot in the past because I started reading fairly early. And so I began writing in my teens. Together with a few friends of mine. I knew then that I could write.
9. What books would you recommend on writing? Any good novel, any good short story should be a good guide for a writer. One learns by reading quality writing, by reading different authors.
10. Which character was the most difficult for you to write? Why?
My novels are in suspense, at least I try to write suspense, though I do go much deeper than simple action. And so I develop my characters through events. I try to fashion them, mold them according to various situations. I didn’t have that much difficulty in creating any of my characters in the past.
11. Welcome to the shameless promo part of the interview. Please tell readers about your latest release and where they can find out more about your work.
My last published novel is titled The Raven Affair. It was based on the hunt for an exceptionally sadistic mass murderer, Anton, who committed indescribable atrocities. The story also involves two priests living in San Francisco, Father Dominic and Father Joe, who had never heard of this criminal, and the Interpol agents who are hunting Anton, unaware that one of them is leading a double life and operating clandestinely as a high priced hit-man ‘Raven.’ Then there are Mick and Lynnie, living in San Fran too. Mick, ostensibly the well liked maitre d’ at the Westin St. Francis’ Michael Mina Restaurant, yet—unknown to Lynnie and his employers—also the dreaded underworld figure known as ‘Clerk.’ Thus, there’s a romance with a very questionable character and much, much more to read, wonder about and discover. Based on this blurb, some might conclude that The Raven Affair is no more than a thriller. But they’d be dead wrong. For the novel was called ‘frighteningly good’ by one reviewer and ‘a superb instant classic’ by another. There was a reason for that. To find out why, one has to read it. All information about my books is available on the web site, www.suspense.web.officelive.com, or, www.snedelton.com.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
I have also just finished reading Kresley Cole's newest edition to her IAD series, Demon from the Dark. I am close to nearly worshipping her, lol. She is my favorite author and never fails to leave me inspired by her writing. Here is the trailer for Demon from the Dark. I hope this inspires to pick up one of her books. Who knows, maybe she will inspire you too? :)
Friday, August 6, 2010
Buy it here.
"It held my interest from the first word to the last..." -Violet Harper of The Pagan & The Pen
"If you want to read something very short, something hot, and something fun, then this story is for you." -S. K. Fero of Got Erotic Romance
Suffering from heartache over her broken engagement due to disapproval from her ex-fiance's parents, Nadia has sworn off men. Elisheba, who has been a good friend throughout the break-up has always stood by Nadia—but somehow her friend wants more.
She blew her bangs out of her face with a frustrated breath and shook her head. "You need to get back out there. Plastic toys are no substitute for human contact."
I grinned. "They’re not plastic."
She rolled her eyes. "You miss my point."
"No, I ignored it. I’m not ready to deal with a man yet."
"Then you should be with a woman."
I choked on my tequila shot. My eyes watered as it burned down my throat.
When I stopped coughing, she asked, "What is so funny?"
"I’m straight. In other words: I heart cock."
It was her turn to choke on her drink. "I’m going to have that put on a T-shirt for you, and I’m going to force you to wear it."
"I don’t swing that way. And I don’t know anyone who does."
Her brown eyes sparkled with mischief. "Occasionally I do." She brushed the back of her soft hand down my cheek. "For you I would. You have soft, expressive eyes, and a body with curves in all the right places."
I could feel the flush creeping into my cheeks. Thomas had never given me such a compliment. A little thrill of excitement curled through my belly. I cleared my throat and sat back in my chair. I wasn’t really surprised that she was bisexual. She was the kind of beauty that made everybody’s head turn. Her laughter would make guys cross the bar to talk to her.
But she was hitting on me? This was new territory. Now how to solve this tactfully so I still had a friend in the morning…
Buy it here.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Lol, I love how we never post here. I’m going to try and post more often. No guarantees though. I’ve been covered under a mountain of work as I judged the Breathless Press (LINK) Halloween contest. *Sigh of relief* It’s over now, and we’ve got some great stories coming to you in the month of October.
Oh oh! In the August edition of RT Book Reviews, on page 12, is the cover of my book Strapless. Strapless is coming out August 6th, I believe. But I’m so excited to see my over in a magazine. It’s in an add for All Romance eBooks. Too cool. I bought a copy because I just had to, and now I’m sure I’ll show it to anyone who will sit still for five seconds to let me.
I need to set up some promo for Strapless. I hate to promote, and I really do suck at it.
I haven’t accomplished much on the writing front, being all busy with the Halloween contest aka: practicing my procrastinating skills. (Not that I need the practice. I’ve turned procrastinating into a brilliant art form.) You always have time to write at least a hundred words. So…As soon as I finish this blog, I will be off to go write.
One thing I actually have been doing is exercising every day. I started a belly dance blog at my old blogspot address. Here's the link if you'd like to check it out: Snake Charmer
I’ll leave you with this awesome interview from J.R. Ward where she talks a little bit about her writing process and how much she writes per day. I just think she’s great. I’d worship at her feet, but she’d probably just tell me to get my ass off the ground and go write something.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I'm sure your thinking... 'Just tell me already!' lol, so I will end the suspense... The official title of my manuscript is Lost in Moonlight. It's simple, fun and I feel that it really fits my manuscript well.
I'm curious how all of you come up with the titles to your manuscripts? I know that some of you are far more experienced at this then I am, so I would love to hear tips or ideas about how you name the precious words you put so much thought into.
That's all I've got for today. :) See ya.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Pfft, and lets see if I can find seven bloggers to pass this to. As it is, I'll never find they're email addresses.
Writer's Gone Wild
Wicked Lil Pixie
The Many Shades of Life and Love
Here are 7 things about me. Guess which one is the truth/lie – Remember it could be 6 truths/1 lie or 6 lies/1 truth!
1. I'm the dictator of Fiji.
2. I also used to be a top prostitute in Hong Kong.
3. I love sports. Football in particular.
4. I wrote the first draft of my last WIP in seven weeks.
5. I went to Australia for 20 days in 2005.
6. I'm pregnant with my first child.
7. I own my own home.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Woo! I've hit summer break. Well, not yet I guess. I do have one more final. But it should be easy, and I'll just study Tuesday. Anyway, since school is ending I can actually get some writing done. *Hops up and down* It's been so long! I might have to re-read my story to know what the heck I'm doing. I plan to start this writing tonight at seven. But later this summer I plan to write all freaking day. I want to try for at least 8 hours. Overly ambitious, I know, but I have GOT to finish this novel before school starts in the fall. I hope to finish this one and start another.
I did finish the second round of edits on my f/f story, Strapless. You can read an excerpt here: Strapless Excerpt. It should come out sometime in August.
Hmm...What else was I going to say...I can't remember now. Besides, it's time to make tea, get my ass up, and go write.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
College is beneficial.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
And this fall, two other two new lines will also be added to its already exciting mix of top notch romance and erotic romances.
Launching in November 2010, author Kaye Spencer (A.L.Debran) will kick off the new series of Branded books which are sure to put the sizzle in the Wild, Wild West. The publisher is currently seeking Western themed erotic and romance stories. Submissions should follow Breathless Press guidelines, but writers should put Branded in the subject line of their submission.
And in January 2011, Breathless Press will be launching a new line called Cyber and is currently looking for futuristic (or Science Fiction themed) erotic stories of between 2.5k and 15k. Stories of up to 20k will be considered on a submission to submission basis. Submissions should follow Breathless Press guidelines but writers should put CYBER in the subject line of their submission.
And Breathless Press is also currently looking for the following stories-
For October-Witches and Demons (stories must contain a demon or witch element).
For December-Naughty or Nice (stories must contain the themed element of being naughty or nice).
All stories must be erotic or be in the category of a 2+ heat rating (please see the Breathless Press site for details), must be under 35k but above 1k, (no flirt lengths). Both categories are open to unpublished and published writers. There will be ten winners in each category. Stories must be original and not have been published elsewhere. Stories will be treated like any other one published by Breathless Press. They will be available from the time they are live to the time the contract expires upon which it may be renewed. Each story will get their own, unique cover with a graphic that sets them apart from regular Breathless Press stories. The author will receive the standard Breathless Press royalty of 35% of net sales. In addition each winner will receive the following-
A $10 gift card for the book or books of their choice on the All Romance Ebook Web site www.allromanceebooks.com .
A $10 gift card redeemable at Breathlesspress.com
Deadline for the Witches and Demon stories is June 30th, 2010 at 12.00 a.m. Eastern Time
Deadline for the Naughty or Nice stories is September 30th, 2010 at 12.00 a.m. Eastern Time
For all lines and contests, both new and established authors are invited to submit their work.
Stories for all the new lines and contests should be e-mailed to acquisitions@ breathlesspress.com
Please visit the Breathless Press Website www.breathlesspress.com for submission format requirements and/or to view a sample contract.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Okay, SOOO maybe not perfection, but I would like to lose my 'winter weight'. Apparently I was determined to pack on the pounds this winter (well it didn't really start with winter, but whatever). Now, if there's anything I'm good at, its eating bad for me foods. I have a sweet tooth that is constantly craving sugary goodness, and I tend to give in. By the way, don't you just hate her? >>>
I also really hate to diet. Life is too short to only eat salads. Also I have this incredible aversion to vegetables. I HATE salads, I hate broccoli, I don't really like spinach unless its cooked in this special Korean way with the garlic and soy sauce. I don't like corn, but that's okay, because corn isn't really a vegetable, or food for that matter. I like peas, but I'm told those are also a starch, and won't do me much good. But I like fruit (again, that sweet tooth calls me). I can make really awesome green smoothies, which are a banana, frozen fruit, cranberry juice and raw spinach (for those of you that are cringing, you can't taste the spinach).
Now, when I get to working out, I work out every day of the week, but when I fall off the wagon I crash hard. Like I won't exercise for MONTHS. I've been working out with Naomi this past week though, and trying to convince myself to get my butt off the couch on other days. However, I haven't exactly chosen a profession that is full of go go go. Reading submissions and writing novels isn't exactly high impact. How many calories does typing burn anyway? I can do 70 words a minute, surely that has to be worth something!
So how about everyone else? Are you looking to lose weight? Have you got any yummy vegetable recipes I could try? Or workout secrets to keep me motivated?
Monday, March 22, 2010
I am currently an unpublished author working on my first manuscript. My interests fair along the same lines as Honoria. Paranormal Romance. I also like Historical Romance. My current manuscript is a paranormal romance about a Vampire and his human mate. I have had the most fun writing it. I've always loved to read, but it wasn't until early last year that I decided to try and write my own story. I've always felt like I have a lot to say. I worked on it for awhile and then stopped. I felt like my writing was wrong and I got stuck on a part I thought would be easy to be move through. No such luck.
This January, spring semester of college started and I managed to get into the worst history class I've ever been in. I love the subject, not the teacher. I would rather poke my eye with a needle repeatedly, then go to his class. (Not a pleasant feeling.)
Fate wasn't as cruel as I thought though. I ended up sitting next to a girl I went to high school with. I'd known her since I was in first grade, but we'd never really been close. We ran in different circles throughout high school. We started talking and found that not only do we have the same graduation gown, but we both have an infinite love for reading and writing paranormal romance. It is because of her that I began writing my manuscript again. She helped me push through my writers block and onto bigger and better things.
I'm sure you're wondering who this inspiring person is, so I'll end the suspense...
It's none other then the wonderful Honoria Ravena.
Suprised? ha ha, I know you didn't see that one coming. :)
I thought I would also attach an excerpt from my current unnamed, unedited manuscript to give everyone a taste of what I'm all about.
Krispin could feel his heart beating in every inch of his body. Rage intermingled with intense fury coursed through his veins.
He found her, his mate, but she wasn’t snuggled away in some comfortable apartment. She was being attacked by some low life gang, their intentions clear and no where near honorable. When he came around the corner of the alley and saw the scene that was about to play out, he lost all control. It had been a very long time since that had happened to him.
He didn’t even think twice about killing them, in fact once he had ripped each head from its body, he still didn’t feel satisfaction. He continued to tear each one limb for limb. Right in front of her eyes. It was not something that he wanted or planned to do. Once he finished destroying them he approached her in the corner of the alley. He knew what he must look like, but he didn’t care. She was his and he was going to have her one way or another.
She was beautiful, even in the mix of chaos and horror, he could see that she was perfect. Her slim tanned hands were holding up the shredded remains of her delicate dress, seeing this made him want to kill them all over again. They had already begun to violate her.
She was small, no taller than 5’1 with a naturally tan skin, she appeared to be Indian, or at least part. Her bright blue eyes shown in the night like sparkling crystals against her darker complexion and yet her lips were light pink, plump and perfect. Her black hair flowed down her back in luscious curls.
She was bleeding and sweating he could see it mingling together as it tricked down her chest. He had a great desire to lean forward and lick it away. He knew she would taste exquisite. He needed to touch her. Her small body trembled with fear, but he was so enraged, he could find no words to comfort her. If he could only touch her, he could show her with his hands that everything would be okay. As he reached his hand out to caress her pinkened cheek, her blue eyes shot even wider with fear and she collapsed into his arms.
As he caught her, something within his madness was screaming at him, though he couldn’t hear what it was saying. He shook his head trying to end the noise within. He looked down at her again, her beautiful body clearing the madness ever so slightly and it hit him.
She had been in a dark alley, captured by a bunch of grungy men, she had been defenseless, alone and most of all, human.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
One of my main concerns was that I wanted it to be pretty. I also wanted it to stick out. I wanted people to think "That's a pretty name." or "How the heck do you pronounce that?" So maybe they'd be more likely to remember it.
While my real name Miranda Elizabeth is a beautiful name, but 'Miranda' is fairly common, as is 'Elizabeth', and so is my last name.
Since I love Gilmore Girls, and love the name Lorelai, I thought about that. Then I saw a lot of pen names that were either the same, or similar so I decided not to use it. I still love the name, and if I have a daughter that will probably be her name, but its just too wide spread for my pen name.
While I wanted it to be unique, I didn't want it to be so far out there that it sounded like something out of science fiction, or a preservative in a Twinkie.
I also wanted my pen name to be mysterious and sexy, without being stripper sounding ( please welcome our guest blogger, Trixie McBimbo), and I needed it to be flexible enough that if I decided to branch out of the romance genre, it would still fit.
I first heard Honoria on M.A.S.H. and I thought it was gorgeous. I'd never heard it anywhere else. Ravena comes from my favorite character in the YA paranormal, Shattered Mirror by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (I'm still in love with Nikolas). This is the novel that inspired me to write when I was twelve. I still re-read it if I have writer's block. So Ravena seemed like a fitting tribute to it.
Now, after all this thought, I still wasn't sure if I wanted a pen name. I mean, wasn't the whole point to see MY name on the cover? But the first time I saw it on the cover of Fear of Darkness I knew it was perfect (which is a damned good thing considering it was already on the cover). I get the same perfect feeling every time I look at one of my covers. I think I've made the right choice.
Friday, March 19, 2010
We'll be doing blog posts, the occasional interview or guest poster, and possibly book reviews.
I'll be changing the title of the blog, as well as the look, so when you hear cursing, and things being thrown, that's just me trying to do website stuff. Though I actually designed a decent looking website header without any pain, or even swearing, so maybe I won't kill anything while redesigning this blog.
Testing a signature:
Thursday, February 18, 2010
1. 1. Chocolate covered cherries - My mother only makes these once a year at Christmas, and they are SOOO good. All my friends wait for them. I've suggested she start an online business selling them, but she says no.
2. Cheesecake pie - Check out my website, and download a free Red Rose author cookbook to get the recipe. This is the best thing ever, and unlike regular cheesecake it requires no baking, and very little prep-time: http://honoriaravena.com/free-reads
3. Lemon Meringue pie
4. Russian Tea Cakes - These have a lot of different names, but they're round cookies, with pecans in them, and they're covered in powdered sugar.
5. Peanut butter cookies
6. Coconut cream pie
7. Banana cream pie with a coconut crust
8. Pumpkin pie - Wow, a lot of pies make the list.
9. Oatmeal cookies
10. Sugar cookies - A classic. The only thing I don't like now is mom won't let me put frosting and sprinkles on them anymore. When I was little she let me decorate them, but not now. She says frosting is gross. *Sigh* Lol, and now I'm feeling inspired. I'm going to make sugar cookies with frosting some time soon.
11. Rice pudding
12. Eggnog cookies - another Christmas favorite. Basically sugar cookies with eggnog.
13. Chocolate chip cookies - another classic.
Gees, looking through mother's recipe book to do this Thursday 13 has made me even hungrier than I was. We're having turkey for dinner, and so that's all I've smelled for the last 3 hours. That's the terrible thing about turkey dinners. They smell good as soon as you sauté the onions and celery.
Maybe one day I'll put some of these recipes up on my website.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010
I don’t know if that makes since, so, let me try to explain.
Like so many other African-Americans born in the seventies. I was bused from my urban neighborhood to attend school in neighborhoods that were different from mine in every way: economically, racially, and at times culturally. And, even though you were in such foreign surroundings, no one told you how to ‘fit in’. So, I didn’t. Don’t worry; I had friends, but not many. It’s weird how that also affected my life in my neighborhood. I didn’t get to hang out in the lunchroom with the kids from my neighborhood because we weren’t in the same place. It’s kind of like going to work every day for years with the same people, and then you change jobs. How do those ‘work’ friendships fair? Well, it was the same for me. So, books became my best friends. Back then, Reading is Fundamental was incredibly strong in schools. One day, I came across Judy Blume’s, Are You There God It’s Me, Margaret? Could I have picked a more appropriate book? Aside from a crazy connection with Margaret, I connected with Judy Blume. I wanted to write!
I took that little pink and white diary, and I wrote everything I could. I didn’t know what to do with it, but I wrote. In my mom’s magazines, I saw stuff about contests and short stories. So, I entered. Nothing happened. So, I asked her for my own magazines. I entered their contests. Nothing happened. Over the past twenty years, I’ve written and submitted. February 11th, 2010, my first novella—Love’s Chance—will be released by Red Rose Publishing.
So, when I say relief, I don’t know how else to explain finding your calling. Even if Love’s Chance wasn’t being released, I’d still be writing and submitting. No matter what, I’d still write: poetry, women’s fiction, romance, and more.
So, it’s funny, as I type this, the other half of my brain is working on a scene from a manuscript I’m working on. I can’t turn it off. No, not voices in my head…well, maybe a few. I don’t think I could stop writing even if I were forced. Writing allows me to cry, laugh, explore, share, and so much more. Free therapy, who could ask for more!
Bio: I am an author of contemporary romance novels. My books feature strong African-American women whose love can not be bound by race, bank accounts, age, religion or gender.
Additionally, I write for www.eHOW.com, and www.Examiner.com/dc. My first novella, Love’s Chance, will be released in 2010 by Red Rose Publishing.
Book blurb: To pay back her parents and prevent the loss of their family business, Sinclair Mosley leaves her family and friends behind. Pennsylvania doesn’t welcome her with open arms, but Chance O’Malley does. At the risk of losing everything that brought her to Pennsylvania, including her family’s restaurant, Sinclair must decide if she’s willing to take a chance on love.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Every day I sit down and write but it isn’t every day that I start a book. A book’s beginning is something that can make or break a writer. It is very important to the book as a whole. Even when my mother read me fairy tales growing up, I realized books had to have an incredible beginning or people just wouldn’t read the rest.
Since I started to learn about writing, I understood the power of a great hook. And I went to every hook class I could find whether it be at a local or national convention, I went to workshops discussing a book’s very first line for many years. Apparently, something must have sunk in because I’ve been told more than once I have good hooks.
Here are some great hooks from other people’s books. Now the thought isn’t to try and recognize the book...if you do...great, I’m sure the authors would be ecstatic. What I want you to see if just how compelling each of the listed hooks are. Here’s my top ten list of best hooks in the world. The answers are listed below. They are in no particular order:
1. Hunting vampires was a bitch.
2. He was running for his life.
3. It was a dark and stormy night.
4. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
5. Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.
6. Marley was dead: to begin with.
7. When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.
8. It wasn’t a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.
9. Somewhere in the world, time no doubt whistled by on taut and widespread wings, but here in the English countryside it plodded slowly, painfully, as if it trod the rutted road that stretched across the moors on blistered feet.
10. The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane.
Each one of those have special meaning for me as I read each of those books at a different time in my life. Realize that this list ebbs and flows like a river, changing with time and never standing still. Notice there is a mix of classic and contemporary pieces. Some are romance and some are not. But each of them have something so compelling which makes me want to read more. And read them I did, some more than once and a few of them I still read yearly if I can remember just where I left my latest copy. LOL!
So what comprises a good hook? Notice that with the ones I listed, there is not one standard theme. Some come from a character’s point of view and some don’t, some involve something personal and some don’t. So just what is it?
There are some constant elements each and every hook must have. They are:
·It must be compelling
·Should be a beginning – The reason I say should here is because some books have started with the ending and been quite successful.
·It can start with dialogue.
·It can start with action.
·It could be a contrast or something totally unexpected.
·It could be a character description or a description of a setting.
·It could be a humorous question or exclamation or even a regular question or exclamation.
Let’s look at some of mine now and see just what I do. The first is from a WIP called “Where’s My Underwear Anyway?” and it is a fun romp. It’s direct, to the point and immediately brings you into the action.
“So…you really don’t know where your underwear might be?”
There are groups out that who say never start your novel with a question. But this question just begged for an answer. It puts the reader immediately on a quest for the missing underwear. It also brings to mind other questions: who has the underwear? how was the underwear lost? was the underwear misplaced? I could go on forever.
Suddenly, a reader wants to know the answer to those questions.
Here’s another of my first lines. This is from a completed book which is part of the Blue Moon Magic world.
He had always been in this cage in one way or another. It was only recently they had decided to make it his permanent room.
Again, this one takes you immediately into a dilemma. You know someone is in a cage. You don’t know the how’s or the why’s but it just begs those questions.
Here’s another from my Santa’s Elves series. This is from one of my Christmas books, The Thing About Elves.
That human woman drove him crazy.
From just this first line, you know the person thinking is a man and that he isn’t human. Still, you wonder just what the human woman is doing to drive him crazy. It must be something good or he wouldn’t be thinking about it.
This last one is from another WIP called “Avenging Aingeal” and is a story of elemental magic with just a twinge of science.
No one knows where we came from really. We just…are. And there are so very few of us, roaming the earth, protecting the inhabitants these days.
This is from an omniscient POV but is still interesting in its own way. We want to know just who ‘they’ are and why we need protecting. Then one might want to know just how long have ‘they’ been protecting us because the way the sentence is constructed, it is implied that ‘they’ have been here for a long, long time. But one must read the story to know the all answers.
And this one has always been one of my personal favorites as it won quite a few contests with the most notable being at the Hawaii RWA conference. Leslie Wanger picked it as one of five from the whole room full of people.
“Damn, I’m going to lose another one.”
This from my complete book, Midnight Run about a woman off-road racer. It was my first book ever, all 72K of it. It has a great hook but a saggy middle with a kick-ass end. But that’s left for another blog. LOL!
Here’s the books those fabulous first lines came from and if you haven’t read these, you should if you want to learn about great fiction. Each of them starts with a wonderful hook and keeps you entertained until the last line.
1.Hunting vampires was a bitch. – Minion – L.A. Banks
2.He was running for his life. – Hot Ice – Nora Roberts
3.It was a dark and stormy night. – Paul Clifford – Edward Bulwer-Lytton
4.It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. - Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
5.Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. - Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
6.Marley was dead: to begin with. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
7.When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkein
8.It wasn’t a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance - Outlander – Diana Galbadon
9.Somewhere in the world, time no doubt whistled by on taut and widespread wings, but here in the English countryside it plodded slowly, painfully, as if it trod the rutted road that stretched across the moors on blistered feet. - The Flame and the Flower – Kathleen Woodiweiss
10.The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane. - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
After all, isn’t that what a hook is meant to do? Make you as the reader want to read the book?
Thursday, January 28, 2010
1. Gilmore Girls
3. Stargate: SG1
4. Stargate: Atlantis
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
6. That 70's Show
8. Two and a Half Men
9. Dead Zone
11. I Dream of Jeannie
12. America's Next Top Model
13. Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I started my spring semester at school on the 19th. I have to second half of US History and World History. I actually have a friend from high school in my US History class, and she wants to be a writer, so I've been talking to her a lot.
I've started a FaceBook and a Twitter for my characters. Specifically Nyx, and the other people who work in his vampire bar.
Here are the links:
Twitter - Of the Night Bar
FaceBook - Of the Night
Also, I have plenty of character profiles up on my website. They're really fun to do and I hope you'll check them out.
And tomorrow (January 28th) I'm going to be interviewed on Fang-tastic Books.
I've been writing almost everyday for the past few weeks. The WIP is going so well! I'm happy. And speaking of writing, I've got to get to it.
Friday, January 22, 2010
I'm currently working on two books, both erotic romance book titled.
The first one is: His For the Weekend. Cassie Adams makes a deal with Marcus De Luca, she'll spend one weekend with him on his terms, but then it's over. Opening herself to her sensual side and giving up control is not easy for Cassie, is she repeating history and headed for a fall or could Marcus be the right man for her. Marcus has made his intentions toward Cassie quite clear, this weekend is the first step in showing her they belong together forever, but can he get past her issues around control to make both their dreams come true.
The second is: Cowboy Up – Becca Dalton needs time to recuperate after finding her fiancé in bed with another woman. Her best friend has given Becca an all expensed paid trip to Quick Silver Ranch, a dude ranch. Becca escapes to the ranch only to come face to face with temptation in the body of cowboy Jack Carson. And what a temptation he is, especially when Becca realizes that her ex didn't break her heart, only her pride. Having a good time with Jack seems perfect, after all its only for eight nights, how much trouble could she get into?
Jack Carson is one of the co-owners of Quick Silver Ranch. When he meets Becca, Jack realizes this is a different woman than he's used to. Over dinner he finds that Becca is alone, he knows that could be an issue. Quick Silver Ranch is a dude ranch, but it is also an adult fantasy ranch, that usually only caters to couples, and apparently Becca didn't know this. Escorting her back to her room, Jack tells her she really needs to read the brochure and if she wants to stay that's fine, if not they'll fully refund her money. What he doesn't expect is Becca tells him she wants to stay and if he'll be her partner, they can have some fun. Jack agrees even though he's breaking his own rules in getting involved with a guest, besides its only for eight nights, it's not like he's going to fall in love.
2.I noticed your bio says you like to travel. What countries have you been to? Which was your favorite?
I've been to Germany, Holland, England, France, Mexico, Panama, Canada, Curacao, and at least 30 of the 50 US states. My favorite so far is England.
3.When did you attempt your first novel? What's become of it?
I attempted my first novel when I was 19, I knew I wanted to write a romance novel, so I started one. I received a form rejection letter for that book. It is currently filed away in my file cabinet.
4.How many novels did you complete before you sold your first?
I finished ten novels before I sold. In Plain Sight was actually the seventh novel I'd written.
5.What’s the worst piece of writing advice you ever got?
Persistence. Never give up on your dream.
6.What inspired you to become a writer?
I'd had an active imagination as a child, and I would make up plays in my head and act them out with my stuffed animals for my family. Then I would start to re-write books they way I wanted to read them. When I discovered romance novels, I liked what I read and realized I also wanted to write them.
7.What kind of activities do you do to clear your head?
Sometimes I'll walk, play on-line computer games, go do the dishes piling up in the sink, or pick up a book and read for a while.
8.What books would you recommend on writing?
Anything by Donald Maass
9.What is your favorite "comfort food"?
10.What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?
I have just finished Christine Feehan's Dark Slayer
11.It’s plug time. Where can people find out more about your books? Got an excerpt you’d like to share?
You can find out more about me and my books at my website: www.marietuhart.com Feel free to stop by and enter my contest.
You can also find me on my blog: www.escapetoaneroticfantasy.com
And on Facebook: www.facebook.com/marietuhart
Here's blurb for In Plain Sight on-sale today at www.thewilderroses.com
Bad boy businessman Joe Bradshaw has achieved almost everything he’s wanted in life, but his strait-laced colleague Victoria Collins is proving an elusive challenge. A steamy encounter in the elevator begins a wild journey of sensual discovery. Joe’s determined to break through Vicki’s barriers to reveal the red-hot woman hiding inside. But Vicki is stalked by her past—her ex-fiancé will stop at nothing to get her back. Falling in love and keeping Vicki safe could be the biggest challenges of Joe’s life.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
*Gasp* A rare post from the woman who owns this blog!
Not long ago I blogged about my characters yelling at me (read Rude Characters), but this week I’m talking about my muse. She introduces me to my characters and does her own fair share of shouting.
My muse is everything I’m not. Blonde, thin, leggy, and a royal bitch. She looks like you’d think a muse would look. Hair up in a chignon, sporting the whole white toga thing.
Not all of us have a muse. Some just have imaginations. There’s no problem with either, though I imagine not having a muse would make writing rather lonely. At least if you don’t have one it makes you seem less crazy. You won’t wake up at five in the morning, muttering “Not now…I was asleep.”
Between her and my shouting characters I'm surprised people don't think I'm a nut. I'm also surprised that I get any sleep.
I wonder if any other writers don’t get along with their muses. I know I don’t. She picks the most inopportune moments to want me to write. She’ll take off on long vacations when we have a spat, or she doesn’t want to work on a project anymore. She’ll leave me all alone to finish a project by myself. She skipped off to Bora Bora for SIX MONTHS to work on her tan. B*tch...
So, do you have a muse? What does he/she/it look like? Do you get along with your muse?
Monday, January 18, 2010
First a word of warning. I’m not going to get into sterile discussions regarding the existence of God. He may or may not be, but that’s a very personal matter between a person and his or her beliefs. And if to me something exists, which you might call God, Brahma, Allah, Zeus or whatever other name one chooses, that again is my personal conviction and means to influence no one.
What I do like to explore however, and have frequently done in my writing, is the search for this Divine in whatever form one perceives it. And the questions, often unanswerable, the doubts, the curiosity have prompted a variety of solutions, not just in religions, but in writing, too. Let’s not forget that the most ancient written text is the Indian Mahabharata, which tells of a spiritual journey.
In my own small way, I’ve contributed to raise questions, make comparisons, challenge conventional religious beliefs in order to get to a greater truth, which is never self-evident, as you can see from my little story below.
“So how does the story begin?”
“Once upon a time—“
“Come on! That’s for fairytales not epics.”
“What do you think an epic is if not a fairytale with a lot more sex, blood and violence? Not to mention word count. Just Homer’s Iliad weighs 1.8 pounds while a fairytale is roughly— “
“OK, I’m convincing. Let’s move on.”
“Once upon a time, there was a king who had a beautiful daughter—“
“They all do!”
“Of course, if they didn’t, it wouldn’t be an epic, would it?”
“I suppose not.”
“Glad you agree. Can I continue?”
“In face of all human sufferings, our king wondered whether god existed at all so he offered his daughter’s hand to whoever would bring proof either way.”
“I doubt many met the challenge.”
“You’re right. The only one was a brave and handsome knight—“
“What’s his name?”
“Uh…let’s see. I’d call him…Devlin. And the king, before you ask, is…Roy. Devlin went to Roy and said he had no interest for his daughter, he rather liked men, but—“
“I knew you’d include your gay tendencies!”
“Give me a break, will you? I’m gay and so are my characters.”
“I’ve never heard of a gay knight.”
“Think again! Achilles and the Greek soldiers were ambivalent at best. As for the English knights…who can really tell?“
“If Devlin was gay, why would he take on the challenge? And what did the king have to say to that?”
“Devlin—who wasn’t just gay but a smart fellow, too—had also wondered about gods, not to mention he liked the king…a lot and asked to spend a night with him as a reward. Roy was flattered naturally. A good-looking widower with a powerful body that wouldn’t quit, he had spent the last five years alone, looking only after his daughter. He figured she was beautiful, and high-ranking, enough to find a husband on her own while Devlin was handsome enough to give it a try, even if he’d never been with a man. So he accepted and our knight started on his quest, traveling around aimlessly at first until he came upon a lonely castle. The count was glad to welcome him and when he heard of Devlin’s strange quest, he offered to give proof the next day that god didn’t exist. After a sleepless night, the nobleman took him to a battlefield. Without time for thinking, Devlin chose to support the weaker side and took arms against an unknown enemy to defend a nameless territory. The battle raged on all day, massacring men, sweat and dust clogging his nose and throat, pouring down his forehead to sting his eyes. His arm felt heavy from swinging heavy blows, but he never stopped until a thousand bodies littered the soil.
* * * *
“See?” the count asked when it ended. “This should prove god doesn’t exist for if he did, why would he allow wars? They’re a waste of time, energy and precious lives.”
Sure, Devlin thought, but is it proof enough? Too tired to answer, the knight nodded not entirely convinced. Continuing on his journey, he arrived at a small town where the Chief welcomed him warmly.
“If you’d like, tomorrow I’ll give you proof god exists,” he offered on learning of the mission.
* * * *
Readily agreeing, Devlin was brought to the local brothel. After asking what was his pleasure, the Chief installed him in the best room of the house and sent him a steady stream of handsome young men to have sex with—“
“Yeeah, gotta admit it’s one of my fantasies. But my knight really had the best time of his life, at least until his energy lasted. According to the Chief that was proof God existed or men wouldn’t feel so much pleasure. Too exhausted to reply, Devlin nodded, but again he wasn’t convinced. Resuming his travel, he met a Druid who claimed he could summon Higher Beings if Devlin had sex with him. Intrigued, Devlin complied also because the Druid had a long, thick—“
“Hey, I’m not interested in details.”
“OK, bit the sex felt different from the start, more powerful, and what do you know? Brahma, Odin, Zeus, Buddha, Yahweh, Allah and whoever else you care to add, all appeared before him.”
“Wow! Talk about sexual energy.”
“Devlin was impressed, too.”
* * * *
“You exist!” he exclaimed.
They shifted their feet nervously. “We do, but only because humans make us real,” Allah finally confessed.
“You mean…without us, you’d be nothing?” Devlin asked incredulously.
“Well, maybe we would anyway,” Yahweh argued, “only in a different form. We’re really One—“
“But I see six of you.”
“We take different names and shapes according to the humans inventing us,” Zeus explained. “When they thought of me, men were enjoying sensual pleasures.”
“They were more interested in wars and power when they created me,” Odin jumped in.
“So you represent our vices?”
“We embody your worst fears and noblest aspirations,” Buddha argued. “But don’t get us wrong. Although we’re a product of religion, we express what’s holiest in humans. Everyone has the potential to rise above hatred, violence, pettiness and selfishness, but some used this knowledge to create religion.”
“Which is not necessarily a bad thing,” Brahma continued, “only it needed images and myths to make people believe in that higher spirit. And that’s where we come from.”
“With time though, religion became more important than what it strove to accomplish,” they all considered. “Not only does it portray us as separate entities, but even enemies when in fact, we’re One and the Same.”
* * * *
“Seems to me, there’s no clear answer. What did Devlin tell Roy?
“The truth. Human-shaped gods didn’t exist except as figments of religious creativity. What did exist was a Higher Spirit, but men didn’t need religious symbols to make it real because it’s in every soul.”
“But was the king satisfied? I mean enough to give Devlin his prize?”
The malicious smile left no doubt as to the answer.
On a more serious note, my book Divinitas takes a spiritual journey, using reincarnation to egg the characters into a quest through various religious beliefs until they come to a turning point and the discussion rages. What is Divinitas? It’s a conventional name to indicate the Divine Spirit in all its forms and transformations. What my characters they discover in the end is religious beliefs tend to be alike in their basic teachings, so much that one takes from the other, varying only the figure head to fit the changing time.
This is an excerpt from a conversation between Halifax, an ardent missionary, trying to spread the Word in 1st Century AD Celtic Britain, and Shaun, a Druid, a believer in the old faith.
“But Divinitas did not exist until the Savior walked the Earth,” Halifax stated.
“Divinitas has always existed, though He has been called different names throughout time and space. He has also taken many forms and faces, but He’s never changed His nature for He is the One.”
“If that were true, why did He need so many changes?”
Shaun shrugged. “Humans are fickle creatures. What they believe the day before is no longer true the day after. They need continuous reminders to keep their faith alive.”
“My Savior is sure to keep their faith. His teachings are unique,” Halifax objected.
“Are you sure, devil?”
“Of course, I am. Why, our Savior—“
“Stole his birth date from an ancient Persian god named Mitra.”
“Never heard of him,” Halifax scoffed. “Besides, He died and came back to life after three days.”
“The Persian god did the same and so did an Egyptian god before him, Us-Yri also known as Osiris. People considered them gods of rebirth for they defeated death after having sacrificed their lives to cleanse humanity of its sins. And they sat in judgment of the dead souls. Unfortunately, after centuries of worship, people didn’t believe in them anymore and those ancient gods ceased to be Divinitas.” He gazed at the fire’s bright flames for a moment as if searching for inspiration. “Or perhaps those Divinitas didn’t appeal to the people anymore…who knows?” Shaun shrugged. “Either way, He was forgotten, just like Osiris and Mitra before Him.”
Halifax opened his mouth to protest again, then closed it. Something in Shaun’s words rang true.
“Humans adored the ancient Divinitas,” the Druid continued, “at least for the first few centuries. Just think of how powerful they became. When the Romans learned of Mitra after their conquest of the Persian Empire, not only did they adopt him as a divinity, but also turned him into an invincible Sun god. Sol Invictus they called him, to symbolize its power. Both the Egyptian and the Persian Divinitas had a male oriented religion, where women were not considered worthy disciples.”
“My Savior values women—“
Shaun raised an eyebrow. “As disciples? Can they bring His Word to the farthest reaches of the world like you’re doing?”
“Can they act as priests?”
Angry at Shaun’s relentless prodding, the missionary spat, “You Celts aren’t much better in the way you value your women. I believe only men can become Druid.”
“True, but the women handle the higher mysteries, the ones no man can understand because he’s unable to give life.”
“So, our religion will find a way to integrate women in—“
“Only as second class believers. To us, the Goddess is at the top of the hierarchy and men only play to Her greater awareness.”
“Well,” Halifax said uncomfortably, “our Savior’s mother is an integral part of our faith.”
Shaun grinned. “Your believers borrowed this as well. Did you know Mitra had a virgin mother, too?”
AUTHOR: Laura Tolomei
GENRE: Gay, M/M, Lesbian, Ménage, Paranormal, Deities, Historical, Dark Fantasy, god, gods**
HEAT LEVEL: 5 flames
RELEASEE DATE: January 1st, 2009
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
1.What are you working on now?
I’m finishing up the third book in my alternate history trilogy, which supposes that if a key battle in Ireland’s past had a different outcome, kings and queens would still rule the Emerald Isle. In the first book, A Band of Roses, the present king’s daughter, Princess Talty, joins a military mission that explores parallel worlds in which she finds danger and romance. Her “otherworld” adventures continue in Fiery Roses, just released by Red Rose Publishing. I’m polishing the third book now. Salty Roses is a rollicking good pirate story, one I’ve had a fabulous time creating.
2.What inspired you to be a writer?
Hearing and reading fairy tales and poetry as a child. Falling under the spell of a story made me want to be a magician who could create similar spells for others. I’ve been writing short stories for as long as I can remember. One of my tales received an honorable mention for children’s fiction, an award that gave me the boost I needed to write and finish my first novel.
3.How many rejection letters did you get before you got an acceptance? What advice do you give the writers about dealing with rejection letters?
I have a drawer full of rejection letters from agents and publishers. A writing teacher warned me to expect them, though I still found the initial batch of barely legible form letters discouraging. The nicer rejections, more personal and actually signed, stated that my book wasn’t for them but encouraged perseverance.
Authors shouldn’t take rejections personally. Perhaps that particular agent/publisher has met their monthly quota for new submissions when a new query arrives, or the agent is going on leave. Keep at it, attend writing classes and workshops to hone your craft, never stop reading, and read a wide variety of books to learn what makes good writing. Above all, persevere in your quest to become a published author.
4.How did you celebrate your first contract?
I opened a good French burgundy and shared it with my writers’ group.
5.What's your favorite way to advertise?
Through blogs, online interviews, and any internet sites that allow interaction with readers. The whole promotional aspect of writing befuddles me, I’m afraid. I’m still learning about it. While I realize marketing is important, I’m happier creating stories. I’ve attended book marketing seminars and did a couple of book signings, and I loved that a local readers’ group chose A Band of Roses as their book-of-the-month and invited me to be their guest author. Great fun. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the marketing process.
6.What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
Cooking is one of my favorite pastimes, and I enjoy exploring various ethnic cuisines. I’ve recently mastered some delicious Turkish, Spanish, and Irish dishes, and I make a mean risotto. I also love to travel, especially to Ireland.
7.Where do you see your writing going in five years? In ten?
That depends on how well readers receive my stories. I’ll always write, even as a hobby, and I’d love to live in Ireland doing it, at least for a while.
8.What is your favorite "comfort food"?
In the middle of winter in frigid New Hampshire, Guinness Beef Stew and Mashed Potatoes.
9.You've been to Ireland many times. What is your favorite place there?
If I’m going over to write, the Beara Peninsula. I visit a gorgeous writing retreat where all you can hear are cows mooing and the roar of ocean waves. Otherwise, I’m a city kid who loves Dublin. It’s a great base of operations. I’ve also spent time in County Mayo’s Westport, a pretty little market town on Ireland’s west coast. Oh wait, you only asked for one favorite place . . .
10.Who are your favorite authors?
That’s a tough one. With so many wonderful authors out there, how can anyone have a favorite? Simon Winchester conveys facts in an easygoing manner that seems more like fiction that nonfiction, very helpful for research. For fiction, Edward Rutherford and Diana Gabaldon draw me into their historical worlds, John Sanford and John Connolly into their modern day crime scenes. I admire William Trevor’s ability to create vivid images and complex characters from succinct phrases. Overall, I read a wide range of genres, from Dean Koontz to Roddy Doyle to Norah Roberts and Sarah Addison Allen, and I’m not done finding “new” authors yet.
11.It’s plug time. Where can people find out more about your books? Got an excerpt you’d like to share?
I’d be happy to share an excerpt. Before I do, I want to thank you, Honoria, for your gracious hospitality today. Good luck to you and your own writing!
The best to learn about me and my books is my website, www.patmcdermott.net. I also have a blog called Put the Kettle On, at http://www.patmcdermott.net/blog/blog.html
See the Fiery Roses Trailer.
A Band of Roses
A Band of Roses On Kindle
The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance (Anthology Featuring my Novella “By the Light of My Heart” - Release Date January 26, 2010)
In this excerpt, Irish Princess Talty Boru and her husband, Neil, have unexpectedly arrived in a place called Velavesnia. They've accepted the hospitality of Baron Anza Lucini, who thinks Talty is Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire and volcanoes. We join her, as will Neil, in a luxurious outdoor bath heated by volcanic springs.
Water rushed over the ledge to the bathing pool below. Rainbows danced in and out of the spray, adding a magical feel to the hot, sultry springs. A serving woman had left clothing and towels nearby, though Talty was in no hurry to use them.
The cascade's gentle roar blocked all sound. She forgot the Peregrine Portal—and her disturbing anger toward Neil—and luxuriated in the refreshing shower pouring from the shadowy rocks above her. Wearing only her wedding and engagement rings, she worked a third lathering of rosemary-scented soap over her hair and skin to remove the last traces of sticky soot.
When Talty lived in Japan, her then husband, Eric Yamada, took her to bathe in onsen, volcanic hot springs that soothed both body and spirit. The bubbling mineral waters behind Anza Lucini's hunting lodge were similar: steamy, salty and mildly sulphuric. Anza had said his ancestors discovered the springs generations earlier.
Today, a wall of hewn black stone and cypress trees surrounded the thigh-deep pool. Beyond it stood a terra cotta hunting lodge, Anza's base while he and his men scoured the forest to supply his small domain with meat.
Squeaky clean and dry at last, Talty wiggled her way into the Velavesnian garments. The woolen top, a knee-length tunic embroidered with colorful designs, was more finely woven than those Anza's two serving women wore.
"It belonged to the baroness," Renen, the younger of the women, had said. "Her clothing is still here. I think it will fit you well, ma'am."
The tunic fit incredibly well, as did the soft leather boots. Renen had also left a bronze comb wrought with leaves and tiny horse-drawn chariots. Dressed and rejuvenated, Talty sat on a seat carved from stone and worked the tangles from her hair. Suspecting that the comb, too, had belonged to the baroness, she wondered who the woman was and what had happened to her.
"I was afraid you'd melted away, you were out here so long."
Smiling at the sound of Neil's gentle baritone, Talty twisted her head. He stood at the arched entrance to the baths looking delicious in his Velavesnian attire. The well-cut wool and leather emphasized his brawny arms and shoulders. Her approving gaze trailed downward, lingering over his trim waist and the muscular thighs stretching his gray leggings. Waves of pleasure rippled through her. How could she have been angry with him?
She glanced up at his handsome face. His raven hair, still damp from his bath, set off his fair skin. His familiar smile was absent, however. Uncertainty clouded his keen blue eyes.
Some reconciliation seemed in order. "I don't believe I've ever been so filthy."
He circled the pool and sat beside her. The pleasant scent of rosemary soap hovered between them. "Why didn't you let the women help you? They seemed miffed when you sent them away."
"There are only two of them, and they had enough to do to prepare the meal. Besides, I didn't know how to explain why a goddess would have such awful scars."
His fingers brushed the top of her tunic. "Nick is helping them fix the food. Richard told Anza that Nick is sworn to feed your mortal body, while I'm sworn to see to that mortal body's more amorous requirements."
Smothering a grin, Talty cocked her head. "Oh?"
A corner of Neil's mouth turned up in the tiniest smile. "I thought it was ingenious of him. Nick will see that we're fed well, and I am your husband." He tugged her tangled hair. "Even if you are angry with me."
"I am not!"
"Come on, Tal. I know you too well. I suspect we're about to have our first real quarrel."
She opened her mouth to deny it; the truth in his eyes drew a sigh of resignation from her lips instead. "I don't want to argue, but you can't keep being so protective of me. At home I try to ignore it, but in a place like this, your interference could get someone hurt, or even killed."
"I'm your Shivail, Tal. All my life I've learned it's my duty to protect you." He reached for her left hand and rubbed his thumb over her rings. "Even if I weren't in love with you, I'd still be your Shivail. I try not to be overbearing about it, but I can't forget how badly you were hurt. I never want to see that again."
Neither did Talty. The memory of Roger Wessex's assault put an edge in her voice not meant for Neil. "That was a long time ago. I'm a warrior now. Don't treat me like some useless prima donna. We all have to do our share if we're to survive here, and I can do my share very well. You know that. You're my training partner, and you've read those reports."
Sighing silently, he took the comb from her and studied its intricate design. "A pretty thing," he said, and shifted to sit behind her. He ran the comb and the fingers of his free hand through her hair, a very unfair tactic during an argument, she thought. His gentle strokes were wonderfully soothing—and distracting.
So was his intimate tone: "I was just getting used to you being Crown Princess again. Now you're a goddess—and a fierce one at that. I've had a bad day, Tal. I've gone from crossing Ireland in the Morrigan to crossing your portal into who knows where. I thought we were all going to die in that lab, and then I thought I'd die from being sick. You and Richard and Nick have done this before. I haven't. I don't know the rules."
He was right. While they were alone together, she should give him a crash course, teach him how the Peregrine Team worked . . . but his stroking fingers felt so good.
"We should talk about the rules, Neily."
He set the comb down and pushed her hair away to kiss the spot where her neck and shoulders met. Taking his time, he embedded a string of nuzzling kisses up to her ear. "Don't be angry with me, Tal. I can't bear it."
Her eyes closed. She savored the thrills shooting down her back. The strange clothing she'd just put on suddenly grew warm. "I'm sorry. I don't mean to be angry.
He seized her chin and twisted her head to his. The intimacy of his kiss cut short any further lecturing. Sorry for the rift between them, she kissed him back, an utmost kiss that sought to reassure and reconcile.
When at last they broke apart, the confidence had returned to his eyes. "I'll let you go round trouncing whoever you like if it'll get me kisses like that. I'm sorry, Tal. I'll try my best not to be such a ninny-hammer." He stood and pulled her to her feet.
She squeezed his hands. "You're no such thing. You're a fine man, and I love you well. I only wish we were in a more private place just now."
"So do I. First chance we have, I'm going to give you a proper bedding. Right now we'd best get back to the house."
Monday, January 11, 2010
I’m currently juggling a couple of projects, most notably the final book in the Bad Angels trilogy. I’m also working on Belle Starr: The Nameless, which the second book in the Belle Starr series.
2.When did you attempt your first novel? What's become of it?
My first novel attempt was Soul Keeper, which I began about 3 years ago. It’s an urban fantasy/romance about mythical creatures living in today’s world. It’s available at New Concepts Publishing.
3.How many novels did you complete before you sold your first?
I was actually pretty lucky, almost everything I’ve written and submitted has sold. Imperative: Missing You was initially rejected because I missed the deadline that it was supposed to be submitted by. I expanded it and sold it to Changeling Press.
4.What’s the worst piece of writing advice you ever got?
This goes back a ways, I was an English major in college, and when I went to meet my advisor the first time, I told her I wanted to be a writer. She laughed at me and said, “Everyone wants to be a writer.” Not advice, but hugely discouraging. Since I sat down and really started writing seriously, I don’t think I’ve received any bad advice. Of course, not everything works for everyone, so you just have to take it for what it’s worth.
5.What inspired you to become a writer?
I was a voracious and precocious reader from the time I was little, and my grandma once said, “Honey, you love to read so much, you really should be a writer.” That’s always lived in the back of my mind. The event that inspired me to really take it seriously was when I bought and read some truly atrocious books. I thought, “I can do better than that,” and figured it couldn’t hurt to at least try.
6.What kind of activities do you do to clear your head?
When my brain is really whirling around, I’ll take a hot shower or a bath. I’ll also lie down not to sleep, but to let my mind just go where it wants. A walk or work-out is good, it helps to get out of the house.
7.What books would you recommend on writing?
I really liked Morgan Hawke’s ‘Cheater’s Guide to Writing Erotic Romance. There’s also a load of good writing information on her website. Beyond that, I don’t really have too many books on writing. Oh…the Chicago Manual of Style. That’s pretty important. I also like the Snowflake Method.
8.What is your favorite "comfort food"?
Ah, that would be chocolate. LOL!
9.What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?
I am currently reading Nalini Singh’s Blaze of Memory. I really enjoy her Psy/Changeling series. I’m eagerly anticipating Laurell K Hamilton’s Divine Misdemeanors. And I just finished Patricia Brigg’s Cry Wolf. I loved that one.
10.If you could live in any time or place–where and when would you choose?
Well, I’m a historian, so knowing what I do, I’m pretty happy with the here and now. However, Imperial Rome and Golden Age Greece would be pretty amazing to visit.
11.It’s plug time. Where can people find out more about your books? Got an excerpt you’d like to share?
The best place to find out about my books is at my website.
And my blog.
And here’s an excerpt from An Uncommon Whore, a m/m space opera which releases at Loose Id on January 26:
I continued to evaluate the room, when my attention was caught by a long, lean figure sprawled negligently at a table near the back exit. Even seated, it was plain that he was taller than the average humanoid. He was hard muscled and battle worn. His black hair was overlong and tumbled in a wavy mass down his neck. The profile he gave me was hard as a blade. An arched nose accentuated cruel, sensuous lips. He wore a black leather patch over one eye, and a scar bisected his high, hard cheekbone. Since he was blind on my side, I took the occasion to watch him openly. He couldn’t possibly see me behind the veil, but I was certain that he felt my stare.
He surveyed the room slowly, stopping to watch a whore take position between a gambler’s knees. After a few moments, the pirate reached down and readjusted his cock, and then turned his attention elsewhere. He might be interested, but he was here for a reason other than sex.
But God! His head turned slowly in our direction, and my mouth grew dry. My head spun at the impact of that gaze. His remaining eye was black as night and as fierce as flame. I felt the weight of his gaze from behind the veil, where my eyes were covered by a mesh panel. He looked at me for a few heartbeats and then moved on.
I shifted uncomfortably; my cock had grown long and heavy beneath the sheer gauzy robes that covered me from head to foot. Pain lanced through me as it reached the limits allowed by the chastity ring that shackled me. Every instinct urged me to cross the room, to take his arms and look into that dark face…to make him see me.
Sadly I could only go where summoned, and not far from the dark man, a nervous-looking human was gesturing to U’shma. My chest went tight as my owner rose to begin negotiations with the john. They whispered and they argued, and finally U’shma signaled defeat. Not really defeat; the twitch of his blunt fingers told me that he’d negotiated a higher-than-expected price.
Rising smoothly to my feet, I carefully manipulated the folds of fabric that shrouded my body and face. There were perhaps three seconds for me to decide on a course of action. An erupting fight in my path held me steady in place, buying a few more seconds and ultimately, the opportunity to act. I’d paused within a few paces of the dark man when a body inevitably slammed into mine, throwing me in his direction. My hand lashed out, knocking over the goblet of sweet wine that sat on the table.
“I’m so sorry,” I whispered as the bloodred fluid soaked into his shirt and beaded off the battered black leather of his pants. He growled in annoyance and stood, hands brushing at the wet stains. I was tall, but he towered over me. His shoulders were nearly as wide as U’shma’s blockish form, and the black eye was as fierce as I’d imagined it would be.
Once again my lust surged, my heart pounded, and I knew that this man could not be allowed to walk away.
Monday, January 4, 2010
1.What are you working on now?
Raine says: I am currently working on a short novella set in the Devon Falls world called Moonlight & Magic. It is around the annual bachelor auction, a young woman giving up on finding love and a rare white tiger shifter. Let’s just say some Chocolate and scarves were not harmed in the writing of this story. *grins* I hope to get into my editor by 12/15 and release is tentative for February 2010.
Next will be anew series called Club Fantasy. It is my paranormal BDSM series centered around three fantasy rooms. In book 1, Desires Unleashed, we meet the owners of Club Fantasy, a half demon of lust and his lover/partner and the woman they find is their mate. In Book 2 and 3 we continue to explore Club Fantasy with these two stories centered on some really kinky rooms. J I hope to have book 1 in to my editor in March 2010.
2.How many rejection letters did you get before you got an acceptance? And what advice do you have for writers about rejection letters?
Raine says: I think I got three and that was good according to some authors I talked to. I got lucky with a few places interested in my work and asking for more.
I think to deal with the rejection I got I made sure to see if they had any constructive criticism and work with it to make the manuscript better. Each time I got one of these letters, I would work on what they told me.
3.What's your idea of the "perfect" hero?
Rane says: I love flawed heroes. I think they have the most interest to me. The ones who are wounded in some way emotionally, the ones who keep you rooting for them even as they play the bad guy. Those guys are always a turn on for me because the reader is drawn to the imperfect ones over the perfect heroes.
4.Who are your favorite authors?
Raine says: I have so many I would literally be here for days on end just mentioning them. LOL
Bertrice Small, JD Robb/Nora Roberts, Maggie Shayne, Sherrilyn Kenyon, JK Rawling, JR Ward, Celina Summers, Selena Illyria, Kate Hill, Michelle Hasker, Cynnara Tregarth, and so many more.
5.What books do you recommend on writing?
Raine says: I actually have two. One is for writing M/M fiction by Josh Lanyon. It is a really good help guide especially if you never wrote this before. It’s called “Man, Oh Man” Writing M/M Fiction for kinks & cash”.
The other is called “The First Five Pages” by Noel Lukeman. This has helped me immensely as I struggled with some problem areas and it helped me identify what I need to do to fix them. Both of these are very informative and I highly recommend them to any writer.
6.What's your favorite thing about writing? Least favorite thing?
Raine says: I love creating new characters and storylines. I find I love creating a twist to things like if a gamma ray blast hits Earth. What would happen to us and end up creating something very new.
Least favorite thing- I hate editing…maybe because I am so close to the project that I sometimes have to force myself to see what my editor is saying through their eyes and not my own.
7.Do you talk to your characters, your muse, or both?
Raine says: If I did that, my family would drop me off at the nearest mental hospital. *laughs*
I do sit here and mumble under my breath and pray the gods of writing keep the muse in line…though lately it has been quite a chore in that department. *sighs*
8.How did you celebrate your first contract?
Raine says: I screamed then called everyone or emailed everyone I knew and danced my happy snoopy dance then got to work writing the next book. J
9.Where do you see your writing going in five years? In ten?
Raine says: I hope to be at a few more publishers and creating more stories and possibly within ten years, be with a NY house.
10.If you could meet any paranormal creature, what would it be and why?
Raine says: ooohhh right now I would love to meet a tiger shifter….maybe because I am writing one right now. LOL Besides I love the big cats. So graceful and full of strength.
11.Okay, it's plug time. Where can people find out more about your books? Got an excerpt you'd like to share?
Raine says: Oh man…I just had my fourth Devon Falls book, Haunting Magic, release from Aspen Mountain Press. It is my best selling to date in the entire series which has me dancing on air. You can find it at the following places along with my book trailer I had done for it:
Devon Falls 4: Haunting Magic
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Click here to purchase at AMP.
Purchase at Amazon Kindle here.
Purchase at All Romance E-books here.
Purchase at 1romance e-books here.
Watch the Trailer Here.
Blazing Trailers- click here
Rodrick Dracon is the twin heir to the Dragon Inn. When he finds himself longing for a mate after being footloose and fancy free, he finds himself drawn to the most obnoxious, brassy woman he has ever met: Jaxon Sinclair. She is the one woman who doesn't melt when he goes by or hangs on his every word. She is just aggravating and down right sexy as sin! Soon the sparks fly, passion goes into boiling and Halloween approaches. Can a wolf shifter get this woman to heel before the full moon? Or can Jax turn the tables on this ladies man and tame the wolf?
Jax was stunned by the clenching of her pussy as he traced his finger down her nose. If she didn’t know better, she could have sworn there was a flare of interest in his eyes; though it could have been that she was moon mazed or something. Jax tried to still the weak kneed response to him touching her as she tried to form an annoying response.
“You can boil water? Oh My God!” Jax looked up at the darkening sky then back at Rod. “Wow the sky hasn’t fallen yet. Did you pay off Heaven or something? Has Hell frozen over and no one told the Devil?”
The smile that played on her lips had him growling low in his throat. Jax didn’t know what to think when Rod yanked her to him and said, “You have a death wish don’t you Jax? You really don’t want me to show you that I can do that and so much more.” The last was said so low and as he nipped her ear, Jax felt her bones turn to mush. He turned her on, no two ways about it and damn it, why him? He has to be the most annoying man on this planet yet he also was sexy as sin and damn it to hell and back, he made her want him with every inch of her being. Trying to shove away from him was like trying to hit a rock with an open palm. He was an immovable object and his eyes, she could have sworn, glowed faintly.
“Will you please let me go, you ass?” Jax tried to keep her voice strong and pissed off but dang it, he was making her stomach do flips every time he nipped her ear. “If you really want to prove to me you can cook, fine. I swear it is like your male ego got in a snit or something.” She huffed and blew her breath out when nothing else seemed to make him let go, though if she was honest with herself, she liked his hands on her body, not like she was going to tell this idiot that. No telling what else he would do with that information.
“Is it possible that I can go grab some food before I die of starvation? I swear if that was your goal tonight, Rod, you are not doing a very good job.” Jax said as she felt his hands glide down her arms then let go, the lack of his touch almost had her keening for more. This attraction she had for him was getting out of hand, especially as she and Rod rub against each other like oil and water.
Her treacherous body leaned into him before she caught herself and as she glared at him, she didn’t know what the hell was going on tonight but for some reason tonight he was determined to drive her insane.
“Go get your take out, Jax, but tomorrow, make no plans for the evening. I got something to prove and frankly, I am more than happy to show you what else I can do besides what you may perceive all I can do.”
More information can be found at my website (http://authorrainedelight.com) plus other excerpts and news from me.