Love Makes the World Go...


Despite other events happening in the world, when one is in love everything else takes a back seat at times. After a busy day at the office, we all need some time to slough off the stress and slip into something more comfortable. My favorite place is the arms of a hero. Not one of those sexy guys I’ve written into a story but a hot-blooded man whose heart holds a lock on mine. What makes my pulse thrum so wildly? The wave of a lover’s hand as he welcomes me home. The billowing of his breath against my neck. How his words tickle as they tease my earlobe. But what really ignites me from head to heels is the contact of his skin against mine. My fingers tangling with his as we pull each other closer. Each rise and fall of his chest against my cheek. His hot breath skimming over the top of my head and stirring my hair. His warm lips pushing against mine as our embrace deepens. The tracing of his tongue over my upper palate. His strong arms carrying me to safety or a special place where our passion will prevail. And, most importantly, the meaningful way he's always there by my side, no matter what.

One of my favorite easy-listening tunes has always been “Close to You” by The Carpenters. Any foul mood melts whenever that song plays on a stereo or the car radio. Mental images of cherished moments flit past, and I’m caught up in the magic of love. Another tune that captures the truth about love and romance is Peter and Gordon’s classic “A World Without Love”. Indeed, I couldn’t bear to take another breath if there wasn’t love in my world.

As this holiday weekend comes to a close, I thankful for all the love present in my life and the love yet to come. Friends and family make all the difference. And when it comes to that special someone, quite simply put, ROMANCE ROCKS! Love definitely makes the world go round.


Wishing you all love and happiness,

Shawna Moore
TORMENTED -- Available now at Ellora's Cave
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave Exotika
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave Exotika

Shawna's Myspace
Helle's Myspace
A Romance Writer's Thanksgiving List

I'm thankful for:

1. Computers and word processing software -- because, man, I hated typing my college papers on a typewriter and using white-out or those little correction papers when I made a typo or wanted to change something.

2. Self-service at the post office – now I don’t have to wait in line to mail contest entries, partials to agents, partials to my editor, fulls to my editor, books to contest winners, etc.

3. Email – now I can get rejections within 24-hours! OK, that’s the downside. Whenever I open my email, it’s with an expectation of getting some wonderful news.

4. Libraries – which fostered my love of reading.

5. Bookstores – which carry and sell my books.

6. Books – well, because I LOVE them.

7. My editors at Harlequin and Red Sage – because they like me, they really, really like me!

8. Online communities – because blogs, chats, and message boards keep me connected to other romance writers.

9. My husband – so I have someone with whom to practice my erotic romance scenes.

10. Readers!

There's really so much more, and I'm sure you all have your own lists, but I have to get to bed. My husband signed us all up for a 5K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. So I have to run a 5K and then go home and cook!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!



Cynthia Eden indulges in Midnight Sins

Cynthia Eden primarily writes tales of paranormal suspense and erotic romance. She’s always loved writing (don’t most authors say that?), and particularly enjoys creating stories about monsters–vampires, werewolves, all of those creatures that haunt the imagination.

Cynthia’s publishers include Kensington Brava, Avon Red, Red Sage, and ImaJinn Books.

Cynthia graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Alabama where she studied Sociology (because people interest her) and Communication (because she likes to write about said people). She worked as a journalist on her university’s paper (yes, she’s admitted to a not-so-secret desire to be Lois Lane). Later, as she traveled the long and bumpy road to romance publication, Cynthia was employed as a college counselor and as a teacher.

Nicole: Welcome Cynthia and congratulations on your latest releases! Please tell us about Midnight Sins. (I loved the excerpt on your site by the way!)

Cynthia: Hi, Nicole! Thank you very much for inviting me to Fierce Romance today. Always love coming here! And I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

I’ll be happy to tell you about Midnight Sins—it’s the second book in my Midnight trilogy for Kensington Brava, and the hero of the story is Todd Brooks (he was Colin’s partner in Hotter After Midnight). In Hotter After Midnight, Todd had no idea that the paranormals were real. I thought it was time the guy had a wake-up call. In Midnight Sins, he’s tracking a killer and he finds himself falling for his chief suspect…a woman who happens to be a succubus.

Nicole: Sounds fascinating! Do you have a review you could share with us?

Cynthia: I do! This review was written by Amelia of Sensual: ““Intensely depicted scenes, insightful dialogue and memorable characters are a given in any book by Cynthia Eden. The clever writing in MIDNIGHT SINS takes the reader to new levels of imagination…MIDNIGHT SINS is an exhilarating adventure where magic, passionate feelings and danger constantly collide.” 5 Stars

Nicole: Wow! Wonderful review. Who is your favorite character in this story and why?

Cynthia: My hero was my favorite. I liked him because he was so—normal. A normal guy trying to deal with some really unusual situations. Todd doesn’t have super strength; he’s not immortal. He’s just a guy. A guy who is in over his head, but fighting to survive.

Nicole: Sounds like you had some fun with him. Which element of this story was hardest for you?

Cynthia: Well, a succubus isn’t usually a very sympathetic character (in legends, a succubus was a psychic vampire of sorts, stealing the sensual energy from men while they slept). My challenge was to make Cara likeable. So, I gave Cara her major flaw. Sure, she’s super sexy and can pretty much crook her finger and get any guy she wants, but Cara doesn’t want any guy. She wants love and that’s not something a succubus gets to experience.

Nicole: I love that! I think it makes her instantly sympathetic. Please also tell us about "Blood Hunt" in Secrets Volume 25 Wicked Delights.

Cynthia: Thanks for asking about Blood Hunt! I loved, loved writing that novella. This story actually reawakened my love for vampires (and inspired more books). My heroine, Nema, is a recently turned vampire and she literally has a taste for bad boys. A bounty hunter is on her trail, and he’s vowed to catch her. And she’s vowed, to well, take him.

Nicole: Hmm... Sounds hot!! What do you like best about writing paranormals?

Cynthia: Anything goes in paranormals. They are full of possibilities. The only limit is the writer’s imagination.

Nicole: So true! Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?

Cynthia: I’ve said this before, and I’ll probably always say this. Don’t give up. Yes, rejections will come and they will hurt like hell, but don’t give up. Even published writers get rejected. Everyone will not always love your work—that’s a fact of life, but you don’t have to please everyone. You have to please yourself and you have to write the best story that you possibly can. Ignore your doubts. Write through the fear, and submit, submit, submit! (Because if you don’t submit, you won’t ever sell.)

Nicole: Great advice! Would you like to ask blog readers a question?

Cynthia: Sure! Nicole, you asked me why I liked writing paranormals, and I’d like to ask the blog readers…Why do you like reading paranormals? And thank you for the wonderful interview!

Cynthia will be giving away an autographed book from her backlist to one lucky commenter!!
You're welcome, Cynthia! And thank you for being here. It's been a pleasure. Please come back to visit soon!
Let's Talk Turkey, Trimmings and Hot Men
This coming Thursday millions will enjoy the company of family and friends as they celebrate a beloved national holiday. But after the dishes are cleared, the day shifts into a lower gear and dining yields to discussion. We catch up on everything and anything that’s happened over the past year and often times the topics broached tend to be downright hilarious, bizarre and/or thought-provoking.

Once you’ve indulged in the last bite of pumpkin pie and you’re sipping a beverage of choice, here are a few interesting facts for sharing:

Cranberries were originally called “craneberries” by the Puritans because of the way the cranberry plant drooped and resembled a crane’s neck.

Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey declared our national bird.

Fifty percent of Americans put their stuffing inside the turkey (I’m among the 50 percent who don’t)

Turkeys roamed the land colonized as “The Americas” ten million years ago

Southerners tend to make their stuffing from cornbread.

Turducken originated in Louisiana as an alternative to the holiday staples of roasted turkey, roasted duck and roasted chicken.

President Lincoln decreed a Thanksgiving holiday in 1863. In 1941 Congress passed the bill choosing the fourth Thursday in October as our nation’s day of Thanksgiving, and FDR signed the bill.

Turkeys can suffer heart attacks

In only a few seconds, frightened turkeys can accomplish a speed of 50-55 mph while in flight.

Okay, enough of the facts. Now for a special dessert sans calories. Before you ladies head out to the kitchen to tackle the dirty dishes and wrap the leftovers, remember to access the Fierce Romance blog again and sample the sexylicious sweets below.

One thing is certain—with eye candy like this around, I wouldn’t take flight. Chances are you’ll soon want to be tackling something other than the after-meal mess.


MySpace-Comments



MySpace-Comments



MySpace-Comments


Oh, and I couldn’t let the blog end without including a sexy cowboy (my favorite, by far, of all four pics).


have a great weekend


Blessings and bounty,

Shawna Moore
TORMENTED -- Available now at Ellora's Cave
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave Exotika
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave Exotika

Shawna's Myspace
Helle's Myspace
The Sexiest Man Alive
OK, it’s official. People magazine has chosen its Sexiest Man Alive and the winner is...Hugh Jackman. Not a bad choice at all as evidenced by his pictures. However, I would suggest that Hugh is not your typical hunk. Yeah, he’s got the muscles (did he always have those or are they a recent acquisition?), but he has a goofy quality about him as well. I guess goofy can be sexy.


I’m sure women around the country are debating Hugh’s elevation to Sexiest Man Alive (yeah, well we need something to take our minds off of the plunging stock market and auto company bail-outs), and wondering how their favorites didn't achieve this pinnacle of sexiness. Daniel Craig, anyone?

What do you think makes a man sexy? And I mean at first glance in the first visceral moment of “oh, wow!” - none of this “he has a great sense of humor” crap!

And while you’re thinking on it, enjoy People’s 100 Sexy Men in a Minute.
Can you spot your favorite man candy? Maybe not, but it's sure fun trying.
Visit to Isle of Skye
Today I want to take you on a visit to Isle of Skye, Scotland, one of the most beautiful places on earth. You can see the breathtaking scenery from the air and learn a bit of the history.









Thanks Giving
As Thanksgiving nears and I sit here sipping my morning coffee, I realize there are many people and things for which I’m truly grateful. With the good times come the bad, but when all is said and done, the following precious items on my list increase in value with the passage of time.


PARENTS – my greatest gift for their love, caring, guidance and steadfast support







FRIENDS – without whom the world would be a lonelier and less enjoyable place


Friends and Best Friends MySpace Comments and Graphics
Friends and Best Friends MySpace Layouts


GOOD HEALTH – two words that say it all


Pink MySpace Comments and Graphics
Pink MySpace Layouts


LIFE –


Quotes and Sayings MySpace Comments and Graphics
Quotes and Sayings MySpace Layouts


JOBS – one of which employs my left brain, the other which indulges my right


Myspace Graphics







BOOKS – especially my latest release at Ellora's Cave. Turning their paper and e-pages has brought me so much happiness since childhood




LOVE – good for the heart, mind and soul





NATURE’S BEAUTY – takes my breath away much as would a lover’s kiss






BELIEF SYSTEM AND FAITH – instilled at a young age and continuously nurtured to remain strong



Quotes and Sayings MySpace Comments and Graphics
Quotes and Sayings MySpace Layouts

FOND MEMORIES - of seasons past




KISSES – guaranteed to warm me on the coldest winter day








GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP - to recharge and renew





TIME – for spending with every item on my list




SHOES - these feet of mine were made for walking and being covered for all occasions




IMAGINATION – without which I couldn’t create my characters and their fantasy worlds


Quotes and Sayings MySpace Comments and Graphics
Quotes and Sayings MySpace Layouts


CHOCOLATE – decadent, delightful and a must-have in my daily routine









SEXY MEN – my favorite example is the cover of my Exotika release, ROUGHRIDER. Eye candy that feeds me in the most delicious way






ENDLESS PAMPERING POSSIBILITIES – working hard means relaxing in special ways





I’m sure if I mulled my list long enough, it would exponentially expand. But these are the ones that quickly come to mind. Readers, share some of the things for which you’re thankful.



Wishing you all blessings and bounty,

Shawna Moore
TORMENTED – Available now at Ellora’s Cave
ROUGHRIDER – Ellora’s Cave Exotika
HELLE IN HEELS – Ellora’s Cave Exotika

Shawna’s Myspace
Helle’s Myspace
Settings for Erotic Romance
Some other Red Sage authors and I are working on a connected series of menage stories, starring the same character who's destined to float through time reconciling couples. My story is a contemporary romance/adventure, of course, because that's what I mostly write. However, our stories take place in different times and places, which got me thinking about how settings affect the different attributes of erotic romance.

I think futuristic or paranormal stories give a writer a lot of freedom in writing erotic romance. You can let your imagination run a little wild and let the sex run a little wilder (after all, it's all fantasy, right?).

Historicals can lead to certain restrictions, but if the premise works (i.e. Leigh Court's The Disciplinarian) historical erotica is delicious.

There's nothing like a good dose of laughter with your sex, which is why I also enjoy erotic romance with elements of comedy (Kate St. James' Good Vibrations). I think the most humorous erotic romance I've written is Virgin of the Amazon - even had some fun with the title.

And finally, contemporaries are harder than they might seem because you really have to give the story a twist to make it stand out. You almost have to build the eroticism into the premise of the story to make it more than just a love story with a lot of sex.

The very first erotica (definitely erotica, not erotic romance) I got published was a novella titled Wager of Desire. It's a historical - and not terribly well written, has lots of head-hopping and it's very kinky ;) - but I absolutely loved the cover (see above) and I just got another royalty check for it (three years after the publication date).

So what's your favorite setting - time or place - for erotic romance? And does the setting affect the story?
HIGHLAND REBEL is FINISHED!
scotland, romance, hunk, kilts, time travel


Greetings Fierce Friends!


Well, I got the good word from my editor last week that Highland Rebel is a better, stronger, book and that she liked all the rewrites! Whew!! It's very strange to me that after writing romance novels for fifteen years I'm still paralyzed with fear when waiting for my editor to approve or disapprove my writing! But I think most writers have experienced some variety of this, whether published or not. The inner dialogue in our heads goes something like this : "My book is terrible." "Why did I ever think I could do this?" "What if this is the time she sends it back and says 'No way!'" and the inevitable "I don't think I can take one more rejection!"

As a writer I have threatened to stop writing and 1) take up knitting 2) get a real job 3) give up. Believe me, my life would be much easier if I did any of these choices. Writing is hard, hard work, and the hardest part of it is that Life doesn't cooperate. It doesn't matter that you have the flu when you get your rewrites. They have to be in within a week, or if you're lucky, two. It doesn't matter if your family has a major crisis, or death, and you're still only halfway finished with your book and suddenly feel unable to keep writing. Well, of course it matters, editors are human after all, but they also answer to bosses who are pretty much all about business most of the time. Being able to 'go with the flow' is a big part of being a full-time writer. and the keywords are adapt, persevere, and endure!

So why don't I hang it up? Well, because I'm a writer. It isn't what I do, it's what I am. There are all of these stories knocking around inside my head, demanding to be given life and I have to give them all their chance! There's just this true and earnest need inside of me to create, to weave words into the best story I possibly can. To take the glimmer of an idea and develop it into something fun or poignant or romantic or all of the above.

Sure, there are pitfalls and frustrations and at times I feel like this is going to be the time when I say "I quit!" But then I'll be sitting outside just thinking and suddenly I'll get this incredible idea for a new book and I'm caught up again in the whole crazy process. And what about those ideas I haven't had time to write about yet? I can't just let them languish and die. They're like old friends, just waiting in the wings for their chance to come outside and play.

So I may grouse and groan and complain about the writing life, and especially dealing with the publishing world, but the truth is that I'm a writer, and I can't imagine my life without the joy and challenge of using words to paint the pictures inside my head. And if it hurts sometimes, well, a little pain just comes with the territory. But it's worth it.

Keep Writing Fierce Friends, and Don't Give Up!
hugs,
Tess


Highland Games & Kilt Competition
A special Thanks to all the US Veterans out there!!! I so appreciate your service and all you've done for our country.


Last weekend I went with a friend to a nearby Highland Games in NC. Here we see all the important flags, those of the US and Scotland. One reason I love Highland Games is they inspire story ideas for me and... I love all the kilts of course. Caber tossing is one of my favorite events. I don't see how these guys pick up and throw the equivalent of a small telephone pole.

How is the caber toss done?
"A long tapered pine pole or log is stood upright and hoisted by the competitor who balances it vertically holding the smaller end in his hands (see photo). Then the competitor runs forward attempting to toss it in such a way that it turns end over end with the upper (larger) end striking the ground first. The smaller end that was originally held by the athlete then hits the ground in the 12 o'clock position measured relative to the direction of the run. If successful, the athlete is said to have turned the caber. Cabers vary greatly in length, weight, taper, and balance, all of which affect the degree of difficulty in making a successful toss. Competitors are judged on how closely their throws approximate the ideal 12 o'clock toss on an imaginary clock. "
~Info from Wikipedia.com

This is another event, the Weight over the Bar. "Also known as weight for height. The athletes attempt to toss a 56 pound (4 stone) weight with an attached handle over a horizontal bar using only one hand. Each athlete is allowed three attempts at each height. Successful clearance of the height allows the athlete to advance into the next round at a greater height. The competition is determined by the highest successful toss with fewest misses being used to break tie scores. " Info from Wikipedia.com


Sheep herding or Herding Dog Trials. This shows the trainer's and dog's skills.


Two live bands, dressed in kilts, played a blend of modern rock and traditional Scottish or Celtic music. Coyote Run (pictured) and The Hooligans.

Kilt Competition
You know how I love men in kilts, right? So here I was at the Games snapping pics of all kinds of unsuspecting men in kilts. I keep their faces and identities hidden. But I think they're used to being stared at and, at times, lusted after. :-) They even have a competition at the Highland Games called Bonny Knees, where men enter and judges decide who has the most attractive knees. Wish I could be a judge! We won't call ours Bonny Knees because I see very few knees here.
Which do you think is the best looking kilt?
1.
2.a & 2b(red)

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