After waking earlier than usual yesterday morning, I decided to tackle all household duties first. That way I’d have a solid block of time left in the day for plotting and writing. Dust and dirty laundry were my enemies. Harsh realities determined to put a good deal of distance between my latest fiction project and me. But it takes more than them to daunt this woman and keep her from the pleasurable pursuit of writing. Once I took aim with my cleaner of choice, dust didn’t stand a chance. I wiped every visible speck from surfaces it dared cover. Buffed tabletops and whatnots as though they were my rough drafts. The vacuum whirred to life and I showed no mercy. I preened the carpet and pondered the black moment, as yet unwritten. But what was the matter? Usually my creativity flourished once I trotted out the cleaning routine. Not a single idea sprang to mind. Trips to the laundry room to load and unload the washer and dryer didn’t work. Neither did my spur of the moment cupboard cleaning. None of these activities brought the slightest scene details. Suffice it to say, I never got a chance to return to some extra hours at the keyboard and plotting board. Life interrupted in more ways, and I somehow found myself at the bedtime hour with nothing else accomplished on my manuscript. Putting off sleep until a later time wasn’t wise. After a short period of lights-out pondering, I drifted off thinking of the build-up to the story’s black moment and what my characters were doing. On waking to a sunshine-filled morning, I grabbed the tablet from the bedside table and jotted the details of my dream. Robins chirping beyond the bedroom window had nothing on my giggling as I inked the storyline details that had eluded me prior to Morpheus’ arrival. A good morning? Without a doubt? I got out of bed, toted the tablet to the kitchen, started the coffee and booted up the writing computer. Once again, my dreams had delivered me a solution to my plotting dilemma. Life was good, no matter how much dust had settled while I slept.
Have dreams ever delivered you answers to questions or solutions to problems?
Feel the heat in erotic fiction,
ROUGHRIDER – Ellora’s Cave
HELLE IN HEELS – Ellora’s Cave
TORMENTED – TBD Ellora’s Cave
I'll be starting my first cyber blogging tour next week and will be posting words of brilliance all over the place-- :) ....from hot and spicy recipes to heat up the night with that special loved one, or craft tips for the crafty, or tidbits on writing and how Heart of the Wolf came to be.
April 1, blogging at about Creating Memorable Characters: http://jhthomas.blogspot.com/
April 2 Chat, Long and Short Romance Reviews
I'll also be at a book signing at:
DARA Conference 2008
Dreamin' in Dallas
Plano, TX Southfork Hotel
The booksigning is April 4, 2008 at 7 pm. It is open to the public and admission is free. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Southern Collin County Habit for Humanity Women’s Build.
And West Texas A & M Alumni Magazine and Monmouth University Alumni Magazines are including Heart of the Wolf in their April issues! Now, if I could only get into Texas Monthly--sigh. :)
And more news!!! I received THE CALL from my editor at Sourcebooks!!! for both Betrayal of the Wolf and Allure of the Wolf!
Heart of the Wolf, Don't Cry Wolf, Betrayal of the Wolf, Allure of the Wolf
The Vampire...In My Dreams, Winning the Highlander's Heart
Calista: Midnight Rendezvous is the second story in the Rendezvous trilogy (Intimate Rendezvous is the first, and it’s in Secrets Volume 17). Midnight is a whirlwind romance! I came up with the idea because I travel so much and I thought about how difficult it would be to date seriously when you’re flitting about from country to country. Then I realized how exotic it would be to meet your lover in whatever beautiful city you happened to be in that week. But I also peppered in a suspense plot—I just couldn’t help myself! This story is particularly special to me because the heroine, Cat, has lost a mentor to cardio vascular disease and it deeply affects her. That’s a personal experience I wove into the story. I also consulted with a very close friend who’s a pulmonologist. He was also close to my mentor who passed away, and he answered all of my questions about CVD (so any inconsistencies or inaccuracies are strictly my fault!). It is a very serious disease and I wanted to make a point about that in the story. Be good to your hearts, ladies!
Nicole: How wonderful to weave such an important and meaningful issue into your story. Who was your favorite character in this story and why?
Calista: That’s tough! I love Cat because she’s quirky and free-spirited. I also like David (the hero) because he’s grounded and steady. But one of my favorite characters from the trilogy is McCarthy Portman, Rendezvous’ dating guru. She gets her own story in Secrets Volume 26! It’s titled Secret Rendezvous. And if you like bad boys, you will LOVE my hero, Josh Kensington!
Nicole: I do definitely love bad boys!! ;-) Please tell us about your other published works.
Calista: I started writing fiction for publication in 2004 and sold my first story to Red Sage (In the Heat of the Night in Secrets Volume 13). I’m in volumes 13, 17, 22, 23 and 26—which haven’t all been released yet. I’ve also got another ebook out now from eRedsage titled High Voltage. It’s an electrically charged paranormal! My biggest news is that I will have the next single title release by Red Sage (Angela Knight had the first, of course!) My novel is titled Object of Desire and it’s a very high-adventure, erotic paranormal romance. Sort of a Lara Croft meets Mission Impossible story! I had the absolute best time writing it and I can’t wait to start promoting it!
Aside from Red Sage, I write for Ellora’s Cave—my first stories will be out in 2008—and I’m also working on several novels. In addition, I write as Ava McKnight. That keeps me busy! I’ve won a Reviewer’s Choice award and have recently contracted my 25th book (mostly novellas), so I’ve got stories slated for release well into 2009.
Nicole: Wow, Calista, that's a lot of books! And congratulations on the Red Sage single title! What's next for you?
Calista: That changes every other day! I have a new single-title anthology I’m working on, which consists of four volumes. I’m also writing a political paranormal thriller and two contemporary erotic romance novels. I generally have 10-12 works in progress at one time, but when I looked last, I was up to 19! I have a very short attention span, so working on a bunch of projects at once keeps my mind from wandering. I also travel a great deal and I’ve always got my laptop in tow, so ideas spring to mind several times a day. I hope to just keep learning the craft and getting better at it!
I have two contests on my website right now. Please stop by and enter! http://www.calistafox.com/. Good luck!
Erotic romances take the heat to the next level and beyond, but at the heart of every erotic romance is the story of a couple who must overcome their internal barriers to find love and happiness (great Al Green song, by the way) and ever after. And that calls for character development.
When writing erotic romance, I don't sketch my characters any differently than I do for my Intrigues. They still need an inciting incident, a short- and long-range goal, a character flaw, a relationship barrier, a black moment, a realization. They need families and histories and neuroses, and every other thing that gives a character depth and life. They just have more sex.
Which brings me to plot and setting. In erotic romance, I do try to set the story in an environment or plop the characters down in situations that are going to naturally lead to some sensual encounters. And that's half the fun of writing hot - putting my characters in positions where they just can't resist that sexual magnetism.
And the best part of all? Women have a large variety of heat levels from which to choose. There are still sweet romances out there, ones that have love scenes that stop at the bedroom door, ones with delicious, maddening temptations without the culminations, ones where the characters can smolder with a look or a wink.
Let's celebrate it all and make room for everyone under the big, pink Romance tent.
"Ms. Spear has built a fascinatingly complex world that fans of Kelley Armstrong or Susan Krinnard will feel right at home visiting. It is nice to see a beta hero get a starring role as well, since not all guys can be Superman, but still be strong. Though she is a new author to me, Terry Spear is definitely a name I will now be aware of."~~ review by Amanda Killgore
Nicole: Oohh! Sounds delicious. I have this book on my TBR stack and it just moved to the top. Do you have a review or two you could share with us? What about awards?
"THE DISCIPLINARIAN is a historical journey that will leave readers breathless... Hot is not the word for the love scenes in this story, inferno is a better one...!" -- Romance Junkies
"...if this is discipline, I want what Clarissa Babcock is having!" -- Romance Reviews Today
"This was one of the most unique twists on a historical romance that I have ever read..." -- Fallen Angel
"Beautifully written...so sensual... This is truly one of my favorite erotic stories ever." -- Romance Divas
Nicole: Wow, very inpressive reviews! And congratulations on the award! Please tell us about your favorite character in this book and why is he/she your favorite?
Nicole: I can't wait to get to know him better. ;-) Where do you find inspiration?
Nicole: What do you feel is the most important element of an erotic romance which makes it memorable?
Nicole: I agree completely! Do you have any advice for those who are still unpublished?
Leigh: Keep writing! Even once you're published there are still rejections in the mailbox, so the only difference between a published author and an unpublished writer is one word from an editor: Yes.
Nicole: What's next for you?
Leigh: My sexy Victorian romance, called THE BET, will be in Secrets, Volume 27, coming out in July 2009! Here's a blurb:
I can make a woman come using just my words…
That outrageous claim by a very drunk Damian Hunt, Viscount Atherton, somehow escalates into a high stakes wager between two best friends. Damian bets his prized racehorse that he can do it… George Beringer gambles his London townhouse that Damian can’t.
And the surprising woman George chooses for the bet is not only a virgin, she’s also George’s very respectable sister, Claire. And to complicate matters even more, once Damian lays eyes on her, the stakes escalate in the most unpredictable way…
Nicole: Yum! I can't wait to read this one! Would you like to ask blog readers a question?
Leigh: If you could have any male celebrity star in your erotic romance, who would it be and why?
Or click here to read more about the book and the other stories in it on Amazon.
Spring and sunshine. A perfect combination for days spent outside, especially on this Easter Sunday. Many fond memories have resulted from my Easters of years past. Pastel dresses trimmed in lace, some featuring crinolines in their skirts. When I was eight I was so proud of my sparkling white patent leather Easter purse and matching shoes. My white gloves sported delicate rosettes fashioned from seed pearls on the cuffs. And how I laugh now at recalling the way my leotards never failed at working themselves into a position that prevented me from straightening them in public. After worship services my parents and I would head back home and find a couple lovely Easter baskets displayed on our dining room buffet. Green or pink grass sprang up from the bottom and cradled the colorful foil-wrapped chocolates and yellow marshmallow peeps. Always a delectable chocolate bunny standing in the center. Near the baskets rested a bowl of multi-colored dyed eggs wearing wax designs or the imprints from seasonal decals. After I changed into traveling clothes, Mom and Dad would host the first of my many egg hunts that day. No matter where they chose to hide those eggs, I found them pretty quickly. Of course, that only prompted me to ask if we could hide the eggs “just once more” before going to my grandmother’s home for Easter dinner. But my favorite parts of Easter Sunday were always the loving gestures, hugs and kisses from parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Family togetherness meant the world to me on those Easter Sundays and remains my most cherished memory. Over the past week I’ve received holiday emails and messages from my dear friends that have brought smiles and turned themselves into more fond memories.
There are a couple dark-chocolate truffles in the cupboard. I might become tempted to sample one before this Easter Sunday is done. Funny thing about those chocolate goodies during my childhood. I never ate hardly any chocolate until much later in life. Sure I snacked on those chocolate bunny ears and worked my way to their feet, but most of the remaining candy was shared with friends or put in the family fridge where it lasted many months until finally disappearing.
Today I wish you all the sunshine and happiness of the season and hope your day results in many fond memories. Share your fondest Easter memories with us before the Easter bunny hops out of sight.
Smiles across the miles,
ROUGHRIDER – Ellora’s Cave
HELLE IN HEELS – Ellora’s Cave
For the next few weeks, those of us at Wickedly Romantic, all paranormal Sourcebooks Casablanca authors, will be discussing paranormals from movies to real-life paranormal experiences. http://www.wickedlyromantic.blogspot.com/
And yes! I’ve had my own real honest-to-goodness ghostly experience in the Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo, Texas while bivouacking with my fellow Army ROTC cadets years ago. I’ll talk more about that in our second week on paranormal happenings.
This coming week, we’ll talk about paranormal movies, what fascinates us about them, why they’re our favorites, and why we seek them out. Please join us and let us know what yours are too!
But what makes paranormals sexy? Real life can be the same-o—same-o. But fantasy takes us into something really different. We meet characters who are larger than life, semi-immortals, immortals, shapeshifters, witches, vampires, demons, angels, selkies, the fae, werewolves, the list goes on and on. And in most cases, the fantasy character is sexier than real life, different than the norm, not someone we’d meet in our usual wanderings. Urban fantasy or traditional fantasy draws us into a world away from the drudgery of our every day immortal lives.
So what’s not sexy about a semi-immortal who has enhanced abilities, who’s protective and caring about the woman he targets for his own, and wants her for always? Sure, there can be drawbacks, just like in any relationship, but give me a seductive hunk who’s got some, uhm, unique traits, and I’m hooked.
What are your favorite paranormal kinds of characters?
~~~~~~~~~~~ Heart of the Wolf now at Amazon.com and Books-A-Million.com in stock. Should be hitting the stores April 1!
Need a class to strengthen your characters? Win a chance at a free autographed copy of Heart of the Wolf!Class runs from April 1-28, 2008
What a Character!!! Jump from Cookie Cutter to Great 3-Dimensional Characters in Your Writing!
How many times have you heard how important it is to have 3-dimensional characters? That the publisher wants character-driven stories, not plot-driven? To show, not tell? But how easy is it to really write characters that come alive on the page? Some writers have a natural ability to concoct terrific characters who are full of life. Then there are the rest of us who need some help. In this workshop, Terry Spear will show the difference between average characterizations and those that will get noticed! In this online class, which features lectures, discussion, practical exercises, and handouts, she'll teach students how to captivate readers with engaging characters.
To Register for Class at HHRW: www.heartsthroughhistory.com Just click on "Mall" then "Online Campus"
Terry Spear, http://www.terryspear.com/
Heart of the Wolf, The Vampire...In My Dreams
I get these interesting, sometimes funny cat photos everyday. I couldn't resist sharing. Writing exercise: can you think of a blurb to go with the one above?
Is there anything cuter than a baby bunny?? :-)
So how do you escape its gnarly hold on your mind and get back to the business of creating?
A few of the ways I battle the Bummer (my name for writer's block and a product of living in a beach town) are:
- Attend an RWA chapter meeting and feed off the energy of a roomful of writers
- List your goals, starting with itty bitty ones like writing a dialogue or doing a character sketch
- Give yourself a reward for meeting a goal at the end of the day or week (and it doesn't have to be huge or expensive)
- Read a good book, preferably a Romance!
- Chat with other writers via blogs, online groups, email or even in person
I could go on and on, but enough about me, what are some of the ways you get inspired and refill the well?
Heart of the Wolf embed html
Vonda Sinclair: Welcome, Pat! Congratulations on your new release from Tiger Publications! What a beautiful cover! Please tell us about your book, A Band of Roses.
Pat McDermott: A Band of Roses is an alternate history set in modern day Ireland. The story’s “what if” premise supposes what Ireland would be like today if King Brian Boru hadn’t perished at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 AD. I’ve created an Ireland that’s still a monarchy, one where the present King Brian is a descendant of the first Brian Boru, and his daughter Talty is a princess in trouble.
Talty Boru becomes a pawn not only in the high-stakes gamble for offshore oil, but in a scheme to seize the throne of England that escalates into murder and treason. From Japan to California to an eleventh century Ireland preparing for the Battle of Clontarf, she finds romance and adventure and brings back a discovery worth more than any oil well. Yet all she wants is to return to her family and her lifelong friend and protector, Neil Boru, the adoptive cousin she secretly loves but can’t have—or so she thinks. Talty’s warrior cousin has a secret of his own, one that emerges as the Boru clan scrambles to thwart an invasion of Ireland and bring Talty home..
VS: Sounds exciting, full of adventure and action! What is the story behind the story?
PM: I’m blessed to have two wonderful aunts who happen to be devotees of Irish history. When I was a little girl, they entertained me with all sorts of legends and assured me that we were descended from Irish royalty. (Isn’t everyone who’s Irish?) From one of their trips to Ireland, they brought me a gift of a copper statue of Brian Boru, and I wanted to know more about him than I already did. Everything I found said how sad it was that Brian didn’t survive Clontarf, as Ireland would be a very different place today. So, I started thinking . . . what if he had survived?
VS: How fascinating! Isn't it amazing how things like this from our childhood can influence our adult lives so much. What element of this story was hardest for you?
PM: Writing the chapter where Talty visited the aftermath of the Battle of Clontarf. Weaving the historical details around the characters without bogging down the story was a challenge.
VS: That does sound difficult. Please tell us about your favorite character in this book.
PM: “Roses” has quite a cast of characters, and I love them all, even the villains. To answer the question, I’ll choose Neil Boru. Being an adopted member of the royal Boru clan causes Neil to feel less than worthy of his noble station in life. He’s an Air Corps pilot and a warrior sworn to protect his cousin, Princess Talty. When she comes to harm, he feels a failure. He loathes himself for falling in love with her, as she is his adoptive cousin and such feelings are forbidden. Neil’s struggle to choose the honorable path shows a nobility that transcends bloodlines.
VS: Forbidden love is one of my favorite elements. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
PM: Getting stories on paper has always been a sporadic hobby for me. For years, those pesky ideas and characters made me drive by my exit on the highway. My kids were away at college when I finally enrolled in writing classes to deal with my imaginary friends, and I made some wonderful flesh-and-blood friends along the way.
VS: I'm glad you decided to pursue writing seriously. What's next for you?
PM: I’m currently finalizing a sequel to A Band of Roses, and the third book in the “Roses” trilogy is in the works. For me, the sound of a fiddle in a real Irish pub often helps the writing process along. A trip or two to Ireland may be in order . . .
VS: Wonderful idea! That would inspire me too. Would you like to ask blog readers a question?
PM: Yes! Does knowing too many personal details about an author interfere with your enjoyment of a story?
VS: Interesting question. Thanks again, Pat, for being here to talk to us today! Everyone, please visit Pat's website
To purchase A Band of Roses please visit:
Barnes and Noble
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
And for those who wanted to see more...
Today Shawna is guest blogging at Novelspot about heroines in romance fiction. Please check it out and leave a comment.
I’ll admit likeable and memorable characters are the prime reason I’ll put an author on my auto-buy list. And while characters are involved in a fair amount of action throughout those tales, it’s also what they say that remains with me long after I close the pdf file or paper/hardback cover. My favorite lines of dialogue were spoken by the fictional man I consider the perfect hero prototype—Atticus Finch. My next favorite line is from a completely different prototype—Forrest Gump. Many will recall him sitting on the park bench and uttering the famous words comparing life to a box of chocolates. Dialogue was perfectly tailored to both of these characters. Fit them as well as their own fictional skin. No other words would have worked as well, in my opinion.
Share your favorite line(s) of dialogue with us, readers. Let us know what makes them memorable.
Feel the heat in erotic fiction,
ROUGHRIDER – Ellora’s Cave
HELLE IN HEELS – Ellora’s Cave
Simply Romance Reviews GRADE: A Heart of the Wolf is an outstanding read! Loaded with steamy, naughty sex its hot enough to scorch the pages and make you hot all over! Keep something cool nearby because you’re going to need it! Like a freezer maybe. Devlyn is a werewolf any woman would want, and if she didn’t—she’s dead. He also learns the truth about redheads—the hair is a warning—things could get too hot to handle. ~Reviewed by Melisahttp://www.simplyromancereviews.com/srrreviews/heartofthewolf.aspx
And Romantic Times Magazine (4 Stars!!) had this to say:
HEART OF THE WOLF Terry Spear •••• HOT A solidly crafted werewolf story, this tale centers on pack problems in a refreshingly straightforward way. The characters are well drawn and believable, which makes the contemporary plotline of this story of love and life among the lupus garou seem, well, realistic. (SOURCEBOOKS, Apr.,417pp.,S6.99) Bunny Callahan
FOR WRITERS: I'm offering my 3-D Characterization online workshop again...details at: http://www.terryspear.com/id14.html Sign up now for the course that will begin April 1-28. I give 3 lessons per week, plus mini-lessons in between. :)
Workshop Title: The Castles of England & France 1100 - 1500
Presenter: Sharron Gunn
Date: April 3 - May 13
Description: Castles! Romantic? Yes! Shrouded in mystery? Yes, but this course will help you lift the veil a bit and take a peek at medieval life. Castles still dominate the landscape of England and France from the magnificent ruins of Chinon to the more humble Hever Castle. The number of people in a medieval household varied from about a 100 to over 500 for the monarch. The kings and the most powerful nobles had several residences and moved through the medieval countryside from one to the other to eat up their food rents and impress all with their wealth and power. Castles were centres of government and justice, but also the good life. Learn about their evolution and the people who lived in them; learn how knights, originally not free or noble, improved their status until knighthood became the epitome of chivalry. Enrich your writing with detailed descriptions of castles and biographies of the Middle Ages.
Discussion and questions are encouraged, and there will be handouts and assignments.
1. Kings and Magnates
2. Queens and Ladies
4. Daily Life: Hunts, Tournaments, Feasts & War
5. Daily Life: Servers, Attendants & Artisans
6. The Norman Tradition: The Motte and Bailey
7. The Great Age of Castles - 13th & 14th centuries
8. Tower Houses & Fortified Manors
9. Castles in a Changing World: Gunpowder
About the Presenter:
Sharron Gunn lives in British Columbia, and teaches Gaelic as a non-credit university course, and French in high school. Of Scottish, French and Irish origin, she was born on the east coast of Canada where there are many people of the same background. Some knowledge of the Gaelic and French languages and cultures was inevitable.
While living over eight years in Europe, she studied the languages and history of Great Britain and France. She has a diplôme from the University of Nancy, France, a B.A. in French and a masters degree (2nd first degree) in Scottish History and Celtic Studies from the University of Glasgow. She has just finished her first novel, an historical fantasy set in Scotland.
Deadline to register: March 31
Fee: $10 CHRW members; $15 non-members. RWA Membership isn't required; anyone can take our courses. Celtic Hearts members receive 2 free workshops a year.
Where to sign up: http://www.celtichearts.org/chwksp.html
Please fill out the online form.
Thank you for considering our workshops!!
VP & Education Coordinator
She was valedictorian of her high school class and graduated cum laude from Longwood College. She has been a teacher of three languages, a lead singer, a lobster flipper, and a bagel maker. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English, and in Modern Languages, along with a minor in anthropology. Catherine lives in Virginia with her wonderful husband and two fantastic children. In her spare time she teaches at a local high school, hides from the lawn mower, reads voraciously, and critiques manuscripts.
Nicole North: Welcome Catherine! I'm so glad you're here! Please tell us about The Doctor Next Door, out now from Red Sage.
Catherine Berlin: The Doctor Next Door is a sexy little story about Gen Downey, a romance writer who uses her fantasy man--neighbor and ER doc Brandon Dalton--as a model for the hero in her Scottish historicals. Their connection is all just fantasy for Gen until their mail gets mixed together and she finds her real life hero at her door.
NN: Sounds like a fun situation! Hot cover too! (If my doctor looked like that, I'd go for more checkups!) Do you have some reviews you could share with us?
CB: "The Doctor Next Door by Catherine Berlin is a delicious read. The plot is a mixture of passion with a touch of humor. The innocence of Gen and the maleness of Brandon make for a hot steamy relationship. Every damsel wants someone that will protect her. Berlin has a winner! Fans of romance will not want to miss The Doctor Next Door." ~Reviewed by Anne Boling for ReviewYourBook.com
“I enjoyed this short-but-sweet story from the first page to the last. In fact, I wouldn’t even wish for it to be longer, because Ms. Berlin gave me everything I needed to know about the characters, along with a well-developed storyline told with humor and sincerity. It was fast-paced, warm, funny, and spiced with danger. Brandon was a refreshing and endearing change from the over-achieving, deadly serious, God-complex doctor; he was dedicated, but not blind to the outside world. The chemistry between the two main characters rang true, and I felt their affection as well as their attraction for each other. This was a great read, uncomplicated without being simplistic, and told with plenty of heart. I may not have needed this book to be longer, but I wouldn’t mind re-visiting these two!” --Julia C. Manicreaders.com
“Catherine Berlin gives every historical romance reader their fantasy--the hero come to life. OK so maybe not ‘come to life’ per se, but certainly having the man the character is modeled after voluntarily dress and act the part is enough to give me tingles. THE DOCTOR NEXT DOOR is more than just a simple fantasy being played out, it’s a wonderful story about next door neighbors who are attracted to each other but believe that a long-term relationship isn’t feasible. Gen thinks that the sort of hero she wants only lives in fantasies and books. Brandon can prove otherwise. Wonderful story Ms. Berlin! I’ll hope to see many more like this in the near future.” --Chrissy Dionne, Romance Junkies
NN: What fantastic reviews! What inspired you to write this story?
CB: My stories usually come to me in my dreams. My big task is to get them written down before they fade into daylight! Like Gen, I write both contemporary and historical novels, and I almost always have a face in mind for the hero. What I love about this story is that Gen's "face" is a living breathing man and he's right next door!
NN: That would be incredibly inspiring to any writer. Who is your favorite character in the story and why?
CB: Brandon, of course! I love the alpha hero. Takes charge, saves the day... but he's thrown by his feelings for the heroine. Brandon, who is so very sure of himself, ends up completely befuddled by this young woman he sees as sweet and innocent, and red hot at the same time.
NN: You have some other books published. Please tell us about them.
CB: RETURN TO ME was published by www.cerridwenpress.com in December 2007. Return to Me, sort of a "CSI meets Braveheart," takes place mainly in modern day Richmond and Scotland, but through the story the reader sees the hero and heroine as they were in medieval Scotland. It is a story of lovers who have been reincarnated over and over, only to have their lives end in tragedy. In this life, the heroine is determined not to let that happen. Her problem? The hero has forgotten her. She has to remind him of their connection before their enemy murders them once again.
OUTSIDE THE FIRE was published by LionHearted.com in 2005. Outside the Fire is a sweet novel about Nick and Brandy. As a boy, Nicholas Walford set a fire that nearly killed a little girl. Now a ruthless businessman, he discovers she is an employee in one of his factories. Out of guilt he offers her a dream job in his office. But he never expects to fall in love. Brandy accepts the mysterious job offered by her new boss, and wants to accept his love, but when she learns he is responsible for all of the misery in her life, will her love be strong enough for forgiveness? Outside the Fire was an Romantic Times Award nominee in 2005.
NN: Wow, those both sound fascinating! What are you working on now and what upcoming projects do you have?
CB: I'm working on quite a few projects right now. I have a few manuscripts out under consideration- a Scottish historical, a few sexy novellas, and a romantic suspense, plus I have a sweet novel coming out from Moonlit Romance in June 2008.
NN: You are very busy. And congratulations on your latest sale! Would you like to ask blog readers a question?
CB: Oo! Try to think of the most unlikely pairing of a hero and heroine. Whether it's a "type", like a female CEO of a major company and ... the produce guy at the grocery store, or already established characters, like Willie Wonka and... Lara Croft. What "out there" pairing would you love to read about between the covers of a book?
NN: Now that's an interesting question! Thanks again Catherine for visiting with us today and telling us about your books!
Please visit Catherine's website at http://www.catherineberlin.com/
Click to read an excerpt and learn more about THE DOCTOR NEXT DOOR
The only work involved is cleaning out the dust bin and filter after each one hour cleaning session. My work in this takes from 1 - 5 minutes. Since I have a long-haired indoor cat, I also clean out the brushes and front wheel after each session. If you don't have a long-haired pet, then the brushes only need to be cleaned ever 2 - 3 sessions. It is also helpful to pick up things off the floor. If you leave socks lying around, the Roomba will likely eat one and turn itself off. The model I have is designed to not tangle on cords or rug fringes, but it still does at times, so I lift all cords from it's path. It will go from hard floor surfaces to carpet with no problems.
Mine is a model 530, which doesn't schedule, but some of the models above that do have a scheduling feature, which means if you want, you can set it to vacuum every Tuesday at 2 pm or whenever. Since I like to be present when it's cleaning, I didn't need that feature. It also comes with 2 virtual walls. These are like invisible walls that force the Roomba to stay in one area until it's clean. Once the Roomba detects the floors are clean, it sends a signal to the virtual wall, which allows the Roomba through to the next area.
Two cute things it does are, 1) when I push the clean button, it beeps and backs away from the charger dock much like a big truck. 2) when the battery is growing weak and Roomba needs to recharge, it searches for its home. The base sends out a signal and leads Roomba home where it drives right up on the base. It then plays the well known music tones for "charge". Cute!
Additional nice things about Roomba are that it cleans better than my regular vacuum. It isn't as loud as my regular vacuum. And it will also go back under the sofa, chairs, bed and dresser to suck up all that hidden dust and lint we'd have a hard time getting to without moving heavy pieces of furniture.
iRobot also makes a Scooba, a floor washing robot which mops for you. I'm saving my pennies!
Over the years, many fabulous novels have been adapted for made-for-television movies and big-screen presentations. Rare are the times when a book’s author also writes the movie’s script and the movie version often differs from the novel to some degree. My favorite novel-to-movie adaptation is REBECCA by the gifted storyteller, Dame Daphne du Maurier. I read the novel a year or so before seeing the movie starring the stellar acting talents of Sir Lawrence Olivier, Vivian Leigh and Dame Judith Anderson. Mrs. Danvers, the story’s villain, is the epitome of evil and will always remain my favorite novel and movie villain—followed closely by another superbly-written villain, Hannibal Lecter in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. Both of these novels translated well on screen, and my kudos to the screenwriters who made this happen.
What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation? How does this adaptation compare with what you, as a reader, visualized for the story line, setting and cast of characters?
Feel the heat in erotic fiction,
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora’s Cave
HELLE IN HEELS – Ellora’s Cave
The authors at Sourcebooks Casablanca from all genres are joining together to provide a news group for fans. If you'd like to join us and find out about our latest releases, contests, reviews, or just ask us questions, please sign up! Not all of us have joined the group yet, but we're working on it!
Click to join Discovering_Romance_with_Sourcebooks
Hmm, from sexy shapeshifters, to guys who definitely need a good soak in a hot tub to remove the dirt and uncover those hunky muscles in 10,000 BC, there's nothing like an alpha male to stir up a girl's heart.
So what do you like? The hero who is all confident, secure, alpha through and through, or a little bit beta--with definite reservations about his hero qualities--like our reluctant hero in 10,000 BC.
Well, Devlyn Greystoke in Heart of the Wolf is not a reluctant hero, quite the contrary, but he does have issues with his ability to best the devil alpha pack leader! But to win Bella Wilder's love, he'll have to fight to the death. And what's not to like about a hero like that?
So what can the "early man" hero do but rescue his blue-eyed goddess against insurmountable odds in 10,000 BC? Love will conquer all, right? At least we hope so!
Terry Spear, Heart of the Wolf (Coming April 1!), Don't Cry Wolf, http://www.terryspear.com/
For me, the answer is YES. After selling two novellas to Red Sage for their Secrets volumes, once I discovered Red Sage was launching e-books, I really wanted to join the fun. So I set out to write a couple of stories for eRed Sage and sold both of them, Sex and the Single Pearl, due in August, and Aphrodite's Fire, due in the fall. I think the single biggest difference between my Secrets novellas and my e-stories is length. Although eRed Sage is publishing all lengths, I prefer to download something short. And once I decided to write shorter, that changed other aspects of the story. The sexual chemistry and actual sexual encounters had to occur almost immediately. Character motivations and backgrounds had to be revealed succintly. The number of sexual encounters had to be reduced as well. So that means I concentrated on making the sex scenes hotter - giving readers more bang for their buck (all puns intended).
So I'm curious to find out whether or not writers approach an e-story differently than they would approach a story that will appear on the printed page, or is it all about the length? Also, do you find you write hotter in e-books? Let's face it. I think one of the reasons why erotic romance does so well as e-books is that it's much more comfortable for women to buy their erotica in the privacy of their own homes. I still remember nonchalantly putting Anne Rice's Beauty series of erotica on the counter in a bookstore in New York, hoping nobody would see me!
Nicole North: Wow that's very impressive, Calista! Welcome to Fierce Romance. Please tell us about High Voltage, just out from Red Sage. (And may I say, what a beautiful cover!)
Calista Fox: Thanks for having me again! I’m really excited about High Voltage because it’s one of those stories that literally wrote itself, and every writer knows that doesn’t happen often! Here’s what the story is about:
Lightning crackles all around Serena Lamond in the worst electrical storm she’s ever seen. If only she’d stayed in town instead of braving the dark country roads back to her isolated home. It seems as though the lightning is aiming for her, taunting her, making her trek home even more treacherous.
Suddenly, a flash of green pierces the darkness just moments before Serena hits the animal that jumps in front of her truck. In the torrential downpour and inky blackness surrounding her, it’s difficult for her to see what she believes is her neighbor’s dog. Serena is compelled to save the animal and manages to get it into the back of her pickup and make it safely home.
But when she pulls back the tarp she’d used to cover the hurt dog, Serena gets the surprise of her life. The dog is gone.
In its place is a man.
A naked man!
The air between them crackles like the lightning, but Garrett Slater’s dark secrets and shape-shifting existence put Serena’s life in grave danger, unless he can convince her to trust him. Can he save her from the mysterious perils of life in Silver, Wyoming, or will Serena shun the protection and the love he offers her?
By the way, the reviews have been AWESOME!!! 5 stars!! I’m so excited!!
NN: Congratulations on the fantastic reviews! The above description definitely peaks my interest. What inspired you to write this story?
CF: I love fiction because you get to create your own world with its own rules. I’ve always loved vampire stories, but after reading wolf stories by the likes of Kate Douglas, Mary Janice Davidson and Cynthia Eden, I fell in love with this particular shapeshifting character as a hero. I wrote a short story a couple of years ago that featured a vampire as the hero and a wolf as the nemesis, and it was so much fun to write the story that I decided to take the concept to the next level. Adding in the electrically charged environment just seemed apropos for an erotic romance tale and suddenly, I had a story with really likable characters and a somewhat unique, sexually charged plot.
NN: Yes, I love the idea of an "electrically charged environment." It adds a new element to the mix. What did you like best about writing a shapeshifter/werewolf story? What did you find most challenging about it?
CF: The fun part is the same as the challenging part: You have to build a world and rules that the reader understands and accepts—I think Cynthia Eden told me that. It’s not always an easy feat. But as long as you let the reader know what the rules are in your world, they can follow you down the creative path. The funny thing is that I never really thought of myself as an “outside the box” writer until I started writing professionally. Now, I find it incredibly liberating to push the boundaries or step outside them.
What’s most fascinating about writing paranormal or shapeshifter stories is writing something that’s compelling, but also believable. I honestly didn’t think I was capable of that until I tried it. But, as I’ve mentioned a lot recently, the heart of High Voltage is the characters. They’re pretty solid, despite their own personal quirks and secrets.
NN: Trying new things is fun, especially in writing. I loved your excerpt on the Red Sage site . This hero is definitely hot! Please tell us more about him?
CF: I’m so glad you love him! I love him, too! Not only is he hot-hot-HOT, but he’s got a huge heart. He’s an interesting mix, really. Garrett sort of runs the gamut as far as heroes go. He’s a bit of a bad boy, a bit of a rake, a bit of your guy next door, a bit of an ultra-hunky businessman. He’s an alpha male, to be sure, but he takes such great care with Serena’s heart and her feelings, that I think it’s impossible not to fall in love with the guy.
Sure, he’s a figment of my imagination, but I have known men who are possessive and territorial, yet hopelessly devoted and dedicated to the women they love. It’s an interesting balance. Garrett strikes it perfectly, I think, because he’s waited so long for Serena, and vice versa. And again, these characters literally took over the story. They were so exciting to write because the chemistry sizzled and the love scenes came so easily. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have “discovered” Garrett and Serena!
NN: He sounds like a hero I could easily fall in love with! I can't wait to get to know him better. I'm curious; what is your writing process like?
CF: I’m not a routine person at all, so I have to continually change my scenery and ambience. I’ll write in my home office or on the patio of the golf club down the street or at restaurant or hotel on the water in San Diego or Cabo. I’m inspired and motivated by water, so I try to stick close to it. I also have to have the right music while I’m working on a story. It has to fit the mood of the story. Once I find the right CD, I’ll play it over and over and over as I work on the story. I generally end up needing to buy a replacement afterward!
For High Voltage, my music selection was incredibly different than my usual match up. I typically pick a CD that goes with the feel of the story, but for some reason, I latched onto AC/DC’s Back in Black and I have no idea why! It must have been the fast-driving beat that got me going, because I was typing so darn fast, I needed music that kept up with me!
NN: Interesting! High Voltage and AC/DC sound like a good match. Electricity! You have some inspiring places in which to write. Would you like to ask blog readers a question?
CF: Being a bit of a strategist and statistically minded girl, I am always interested to know what readers think about a specific subgenre. It’s interesting to hear what the industry folks have to say, but it’s more important to hear directly from the readers what they’re into these days. So my question would be: What is your favorite subgenre of romance and is there anything that you feel is just so overdone you can’t stand the thought of one more story being written in this subgenre? :-)
NN: Thanks for being our guest, Calista! Interviewing you is always a pleasure!
CF: Thank you! And please don’t forget that I have some great contests on my website, so check them out! CalistaFox.com
Also please check out Calista's Myspace Page and Calista's blog
What was the first novel to pique your reading interest? A novel whose plot, setting and characters remain vivid memories?
Wishing you all a terrific week,
ROUGHRIDER – Ellora’s Cave
HELLE IN HEELS – Ellora’s Cave
TORMENTED – Erotic historical romance coming to Ellora’s Cave
My parents used to make doll carriages for doll collectors. They often found this to be true. But don’t you have….? What about…? I’ve found the same with my teddy bears. Even to the point of…but I don’t like that color ribbon! Easily remedied! :) I like easy solutions!
So recently I’ve been receiving fan mail for my books~~~I want “The Vampire…In My Dreams,” but in print copy. It’s coming August 26, 2008…woohoo!!! I can’t wait. But I wish it was out in print already as many requests as I’ve had for it. Not to mention having it in my hot little hands will be the ultimate thrill.
Then I’ve received requests for “Winning the Highlander’s Heart” in ebook format. It was on Fictionwise for a short while, but my publisher removed our books from the listings. Argh. So now, it’s print only. Now I’m getting requests for “Heart of the Wolf” as an ebook. It’s print only.
Having choices is wonderful! Truly! I think it’s great that we can have ebooks to read if we want, but if we choose to read the books in print, we can have those instead. I think it’s super to have the choice.
But when is too much choice….too much? I remember reading a comment from a marketer who said if you give customers too much of a choice, they can’t make a decision. :) Look at the early Ford cars—all black, no choice…easy choice. Sometimes when I go to the grocery store, I wish we had less to choose from---there must be sixty brands of spaghetti noodles, alone!
Do I wish my books were in all formats? You bet. I love to accommodate...unfortunately, it’s not always up to me!
Terry Spear, The Vampire…In My Dreams (ebook now, print book, August 26, 2008), Heart of the Wolf (print book, April 1, 2008), Winning the Highlander’s Heart (print book available now) http://www.terryspear.com/