To make well rounded characters, even bad guys should have some goodness, to make they real, don't you think? And if they're the good guys, they need flaws that make them real. Sooo, what do you think? Good guy or bad guy?
My beautiful book marks for the conference came in. It has Wolf Fever on one side in a lovely artistic portrait sort of way. Very lovely. Thanks to Sourcebooks marketing department for their lovely book covers and book mark designs. :)And on the other side, the latest 4 titles. :)
Preorders are now available!!!
Per request:Seduced by the Wolf Excerpt
Have a super weekend!!! :)
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."
"Seduced by the Wolf"
was reviewed by us this week and is up for Book of the Week honor this
weekend (voting runs from through ).
You can find the information here :
Last night, I spoke at the From the Heart Greet and Meet affair. We had a lovely time, and it's so much fun meeting other authors and writers who we only meet online, and be able to really picture them.
And I had one of those uh-oh moments when I asked a fellow "writer" where she was from while I was waiting on having an omelet made, and so what do you expect in response? A place, right? Ohio, SF, something like that. Berkley, she said. Ah an editor. And that was it. I was completely thrown off stride. She didn't say anything more, and neither did I, so that was it. :(
This was an interesting ride showing how to grow food in a greenhouse using some unusual techniques. Lots of fun. I love educational exhibits like this. :)
We're off to Disney Downtown in a little bit, but we had fun at the greet and meet with From the Heart members. There was a problem with the location listing on the brochure so some didn't make it, which was a real bummer.
I'm getting together with at least one of my critique partners tomorrow morning for breakfast. It's weird how you envision folks from online photos and everyone looks so different when you actually meet them! :) So I'm looking forward to this.
And in Canada (the world showcase at Epcot) I found my wolf!!! Well, a small stuffed version anyway! So he will be at my signing on Saturday!
Hope you all are having a great Saturday. My daughter is bugging me about going when I'm trying to blog!!!
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."
To do that, of course, I have to blog about death. If you’re wondering how I came to this morbid topic, blame the Romance Writers of America. If not for their conference in Orlando, I wouldn’t have gotten on a plane to join the fun in happiest--and also the most humid and hottest--place on earth.
By the time you read this, I will have been in Orlando, lost among the palm trees, topless Europeans, and throngs of cheerful Disney characters (it is a small world, after all), for two days. Despite my concerns about the plane making it off the runway, I arrived at the Romance Writers of America conference intact. It’s my first RWA conference ever, and I’m enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of hundreds of writers, editors, agents, and publishers as they mingle, network, carouse, connect, interact, pitch, consult, and attend workshops and receptions.
I’m also getting a perverse thrill from watching the spouses of said industry folk come stumbling in after a day at Disney World (or is it Disney Land? Disney Planet?) with a sleeping kid swathed in all the trappings of a fairy princess draped over one shoulder, another wearing Mickey Mouse ears, a Goofy T-shirt, Donald Duck shorts, and Dora the Explorer sneakers dangling from his arm, and a third seemingly hyper-caffeinated child—there’s one in every family—chirping hello to everyone she sees and skipping ahead to open the doors for zombie dad, who is planning a hundred ways to exact payment for his good deed, if he can just make it back to the hotel room.
Speaking of which, let’s get back to death. I always think about death when traveling. What if the plane crashes? What if the car crashes? What if the bus crashes? What if the boat sinks? Hopping the jet to Florida proved to be no different an experience, given we had chosen to go the cheapest way possible on Screamin’ Bebe Airlines. The only thing louder than the screaming babies was the mysterious thumping and screeching coming from under the plane, or possibly the cockpit. It was hard to tell. Before you pass judgment on me here for being too cynical, I’d venture to guess you’d think about the Great Beyond yourself if you’d been in my seat (and for the cost of a rental car to get me home, you can have it on the return flight). Heh heh heh.
It was quite an adventure, my little airplane trip (You can experience turbulence while sitting on the runway? Really?), and actually gave me a brilliant idea. As I clutched Hubby’s hand and tried to ignore the shaking, rattling and rolling of the aircraft, I pondered what my obituary would read like. What details would be included? Should I “come out” as an erotica writer after I’m dead via my obit? Would my husband remember all my family details, or, given his terrible memory for names, would I end up being the offspring of Goofy and Belle from Beauty and the Beast born in Neverland?
The ancient Greeks believed you never truly knew if a person had lived a good life until he/she died. What would the details of my obituary reveal about me? Maybe they’d reveal that I really should have an o-BITCH-uary instead, because of all my naughty behavior, or possibly someone reading it might believe me to be a saint, a wonderful person whose life on earth was to be cherished and whose presence would be missed. This person would also probably believe in a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people-eater.
Saints and purple people-eaters aside, I firmly believe that if you want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself. So I decided to write my own obituary if I survived the plane trip. I’d just gotten started when conference chatter and some exchanges with other writers steered me in another direction.
Why not write an obituary for my characters?
We write character sketches about our characters' lives, but what better way to examine who they are than to write about them as if they’ve passed away? I think the ancient Greeks had something going for them in their philosophy, and now I’m going to write obituaries for the characters in my current WIPs. Well, except for the immortal ones, of course. There’s always a hitch in every giddy up, isn't there?
I guess even though RWA made me think about death, I've gotten something wonderful out of it--a new way to explore my characters. That's what conferences are for, and I think I've gotten my money's worth just for that alone. It doesn't hurt that I've met some great people and gotten to participate in some really neat activities, such as people watching, which is my favorite, and drinking fine wine, which is another favorite. And the adventure continues throughout the weekend!
It took me a bit to get set up, but now that I am I will be tweeting about the conference as time permits (cameobrown, if you're interested in following me on Twitter). Right now, I'm off to review my pitch materials (Guess what my next post will be about? lol).
Being published is an adventure I’m enjoying every moment of. Nothing makes me happier than talking to readers, signing books, and handing out bookmarks. Maybe I’m insane, but I even enjoy edits, revisions and art fact sheets.
I love writing, imagining and creating new worlds. One of my favorite aspects of writing what I do is recreating a paranormal world in Scotland of four hundred years ago. Everything about Scotland fascinates and captivates me, especially the beautiful landscapes. Some of them are so wild and mystical, especially the west coast with the dramatic cliffs, the mists, lochs, mountains and moors. And of course castles. Scotland’s history, culture and folklore are equally captivating and inspiring. I often think of story ideas when I’m doing research and reading a bit of history about a clan, or when I’m reading Celtic legends. The legend of the kelpie inspired Beast in a Kilt.
In my story, the characters travel over some wonderful landscapes from the rugged misty coast to a castle by an inland loch where a mysterious kelpie lives (the hero of course!) :) Aside from their bedchamber adventures, Torr and Catriona experience many other adventures on their journey to love, including being chased by a rival clan, being chased by a witch of the dark arts, a combat of magic, and facing off with a barbarious chief.
I hope you enjoy Beast in a Kilt and the whole anthology!
She moved toward him, this man she’d loved even before she knew what love was. Tentatively, she touched his hair. Silky and soft.
He stiffened but said naught. Her hands shook with reverence and the thirst to explore him. She brushed her fingertips over his ear, the upper part of his cheek, the stubble covering his square masculine jaw.
His breath caught. “Catriona? Nay,” he whispered, but remained still. He would not meet her gaze.
Look at me. She trailed her fingers down to his strong chin, the short whiskers scraping the pads of her fingers. Touching his lips snatched her strength.
Torr, I have loved you—
No, she could not say it. Instead she bent and pressed her lips to his. She knew not how to kiss properly, the way a man would like, but she wished to.
His lips pushed against hers a bit, then parted, his breath warming her. She kissed him again and did what she’d seen others do when kissing. She flicked her tongue against his upper lip. Oh, that feels nice. She yearned to taste him all over.
He groaned. “God’s bones, lass. Ye’re playing with fire.” He tugged her to him and returned the kiss with more force, sliding his tongue between her lips. And then she knew what he’d meant. Her body was on fire, her lower belly, between her legs, an aching burning need. So overwhelming she knew not what to do next except hold onto him. They would become lovers. He would marry her. It had to be.
He surged upward, taking her with him to his tall height, and pinned her to the wall by the window. Her heart raced. He wrapped her legs about his waist and filled her mouth with eager and sinful tongue kisses. Oh good heavens, what would he do next?
Stories in Secrets Volume 29 Indulge Your Fantasies
All warfare is based on deception
—Sun Tzu’s Art of war
From the overcrowded slums of a future Earth, he rose as the perfect tool of lethal justice and deception. Cold and stoical by choice, alone by circumstances, he will neutralize any and all threat to his client then move on. Blunt, direct. Nothing personal. But when his next assignment involves a popular politician who’s as smart as she’s attractive, the greatest betrayal would be to deny his heart.
London-based journalist, Eliza Jameson, is on assignment on a luxurious Rhine river cruiser when she finds the perfect distraction on board — old flame, Marcus Weston. But Eliza came dangerously close to falling for Marcus last time around, and in order to play him at his own game, she decides to call the shots. Meanwhile, Marcus has his own agenda. In the ensuing battle, who will end up on top?
The search for the truth leads to the edge of danger, revenge and love… A beautiful hellion, the first woman trained by the Department of International Intelligence, Catlina Demarco left her life without so much as a goodbye. Deep in Mexico, she’s close to finding the man who can give her the truth of her past, or kill her.
Agent Noah Tyler, Cat’s former partner and lover, is the last man she expects to show up with handcuffs and intent to bring her back to headquarters. No one has ever left the agency alive, Cat’s no exception. Only she refuses to go anywhere with Noah, he betrayed her trust. Forced into the jungle by three armed banderos, Cat finds her and Noah once again working as partners, their thoughts as one, their bodies craving, their goals conflicting.
Hot, angry and infuriated, Catalina must rid herself of Noah Tyler before everything is lost, including her heart.
The trip down will take four days. I've already started a journal of our trip and have filled several pages. I knew I'd get several days worth of blog posts our of this trip. The coming weeks will more than a vacation. More than a writer's conference.
They will be an adventure.
The story starts on Friday evening, when DH and I brought everything down to the camp where we keep our RV. We packed the closets, the cupboards, the refrigerator. The forecast was for severe thunderstorms, so after a nice dinner, we hitched up the trailer to the truck, so that we could pull out first thing in the morning. We relaxed, watched a little TV. The rain started pouring out of the sky like it was coming from buckets. Greatful that we'd already hooked up, we got ready for bed.
My husband's cell phone rings at 10:30. At that time of night, you know it can't be good. It's our son. His car broke down and he and his girlfriend are stranded. They managed to get off the road, thank goodness, but the car is blocking a fast food drive-thru. It's pitch dark, still pouring down rain. "Dad," he asks, "what do I do?"
He's a half hour away. We're in bed, it's still raining. Son had called a couple 24 hour towing companies he found in the phone book but no one would come. Did I mention it is pouring? Truck already hooked up? And of course, our son doesn't have enough money to pay for a tow if he could get one.
So much for planning ahead.
Hubby goes out in the rain, unhitches the trailer in the the dark. He tells the son to call 911 and explain his car broke down, that he's stranded and doesn't know what to do. The 911 dispatcher was very nice and hooked him up with a wrecker who came out within 1/2 an hour. Hubby drove out to pay the tow truck driver, pick up the kids and take them home.
So, aside from the ball joint busting on my son's car, at night, in the middle of a rain storm, and us having to unhook the trailer and bail him out with some of our vacation money...thank God no one was hurt, he got the car off the road, we were close enough to help, and he has the use of his mother's car while his is getting fixed because she's on her way to RWA National in Orlando.
And this was all before we left...As I write this Sunday night, we've had several near accidents and a flat tire. But we arrived safely and I'm now enjoying a glass of wine and checking my emails and writing a blog post.
Two more days before we get to Orlando. I'm sure I'll have more adventure stories to relate later on!
I'll be signing at my first Literacy Signing at National and I hope all of you going will stop by and say hello.
Romance Divas is hosting the
Not Going to Conference Conference...
The Conference You Don't Have to Get Out of Bed For!
From July 28-31, come hang out with some terrific, savvy authors -- and you don't even have to brush your teeth (although, seriously, good dental hygiene gets you extra points.)
We'll be hosting panels on:
The Power of Three: A crit group tell-all (Paranormal)
Dayna Hart/Rowan Larke
The Lolitas of STEAMED! Present Writing the Steampunk Romance -more than leather corsets and brass goggles!
Whips, Chains, Slings, Oh My: It Really Isn’t About the Toys (BDSM Erotica)
The Great Big YA Panel
Register for free at Romance Divas, then come join us on the forums for the discussions, as well as some terrific prizes:
Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin:
1) erotic e-books, THE SEEKING KISS and TEMPT ME TWICE.
2) a synopsis critique in any sub-genre of erotica/erotic romance.
1) erotic e-books, DEVIL'S HEART and BRUSH STROKES.
2) book cover design or banner ad
copy of her e-book, ALL FIRED UP
1) STUPID CUPID YA Book trilogy
2) a proposal critique (1st 3 chapters and synopsis) for any genre of book, romance or not
1) The choice of one of her e-books: PERFECT FORMATION, ALPHA TURNED or BOUND BY SUNLIGHT.
2) A $25 Barnes and Noble gift card.
Robin L. Rotham: Signed copies of BIG TEMPTATION, ALIEN OVERNIGHT, and ENEMY OVERNIGHT
AJ Chase: copies of e-book CAT AND MOUSE
1) e-book package of both MYLA BY MOONLIGHT and SALOME AT SUNRISE
2) The complete Dirty Laundry Series (3 e-novellas) co-written by Ginny Glass aka Wordsugar and Inez Kelley
1) a three chapter ~and~ synopsis critique-any erotic romance, paranormal romance or historical romance.
2) Winners choice, in either print or e-book format (if available), of a set of the Simply series (there are 5) ~or~ a set of the Cowboys (there are 3) ~or~ a copy of KISS OF THE ROSE-readers choice.
Winners choice of any two e-books from her Samhain or Ellora's Cave back list
Critique of 1st chapter & synopsis-paranormal or contemporary romance
Shelley Munro: Winners choice of any one her backlist books from Ellora's Cave or Cerridwen Press
Ciar Cullen: Winner's choice of any one e-book on her website.
Voirey Linger: A copy of her e-book RISKING ETERNITY
1) a submission package critique (letter, synopsis and 3 chapters)
2) e-books! (details TBA)
1) 1st chapter and synopsis critique
2) One copy of any e-book off her Samhain backlist (http://samhainpublishing.com/authors/crystal-jordan)
3) One copy of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (print or electronic, winner's choice)
1) a first chapter critique, any genre
2) an official BUTTERFLY SWORDS souvenir charm
Elise Logan: Winner's choice of any e-book from her backlist
1) A critique of an m/m story
2) Signed copies of her m/m vampire trilogy MY HEART IS WITHIN YOU, HAUNTED BY YOUR SOUL and OUR SACRED BALANCE
One jar of home made body or face scrub, customized to the winner's preferences and skin type.
For example: Orange Spice Oatmeal, Coffee-Cocoa, Citrus Salt, Lavender Mint, Honey and Flax
Sela Carsen: a copy of her e-book CAROLINA WOLF
1) a copy of her sweet fantasy romance ebook, EVERLONG.
2) two five dollar MBaM gift cards
Copy of her two e-books, LOVE TO DECLARE and ROCK STAR'S RETREAT
Cynthia Justlin: (Golden Heart Finalist!) Proposal Critique (3 Chapters and synopsis)-any genre other than erotic
1) signed copies of her contemporary romance, THE TROUBLE WITH TESSA and her chick lit romance COZUMEL KARMA
2) Proposal critique (3 chapters and a synopsis) any genre except Steampunk
Tina Burns-Publisher-Liquid Silver Books:
1) a critique of 1st 3 chapters & synopsis
2) 3 be-book prizes for 3 different winners! Winners choice of any one e-book download from LSB library.
Winner's choice of one e-book from her backlist-see her website for booklist.
Taneasha: handmade jewelry by our own Taneasha-details to come!
1) Winners choice of one e-book from her backlist-see her website for booklist.
2) Critique of up to 20 pages of either M/M, or M/F romance or erotic romance in various subgenres (contemporary, historical, paranormal or suspense/mystery)
A copy of his ebook BEAUTY AND THE BASTARD
3 print books TBA (whatever she finds at the RWA Conference)
Signed copy of SCANDAL SHEET
Jennifer Leeland/Jennifer McKenzie:
1) copy of her e-book MARKED FOR PLEASURE (Kindle version available upon request)
2) copy of her e-book MARKED FOR DESIRE (Releasing June 29th) (Kindle version available upon request)
3) copy of her e-books The Command Series (Trilogy)
4)copy of her BDSM e-book series (3 from TWRP and 1 from Samhain)
1) Critique of novella-length (up to 30k) manuscript; any time period, m/f, menage, f/f (m/m not her area of expertise)
2) signed print copies of her anthology: MATING CALL, DRAGON DANCE and DRAGON BOUND
3) e-book copy of CHANGING THUMBELINA
1) Signed copy of her erotic historical novel, ON THESE SILKEN SHEETS
2) Critique of first thirty pages of any Regency (erotic or non erotic fine, but m/m outside my area of expertise)
1) copy of her e-book The Twilight Deception
2) copy of her e-book The Shadow Unveiled
1) Critique of a synopsis
2) Winner's choice of any e-book from her back list.
1) copy of her e-book SOUL STEALER
2) copy of her e-book CATCH ME IN CASTILE
1 pair of hand made writing mitts or gloves-style and color TBD by the winner
Winner's choice of one copy of any of her books available in e-book format
...a wondrous thing, don't you think?
When I was sent a notice I had jury duty, I fretted about it. Not because I didn't want to do my civil duty. But because we are so short handed at work! Impossibly so. We've been working with only 2 of us for several hours a day and well, no way could one person handle it.
But then, voila, a miracle occurred.
Here is what happened. I went down to the courthouse, mentioned the law courses I'd taken in college, how much I'd love to be in charge, and was ready to stay for weeks to do my duty.
Now the truth of the matter was--my number was too high and I was dismissed before I even had to report to the courthouse. Although I have taken business law courses and I have sat in on court cases because of that.
But what fun is there in the truth? So I'll stick to the much more imaginative story.
Once, I broke two of my fingers while walking my two standard poodles. Charlemagne was the black poodle, and Angelina, the white. Both decided to go different ways while on leashes and my fingers just don't bend that way. So here I am at a teddy bear show, trying to personalize bears by embroidering the paws by hand, with splints on two fingers and so...what do I say?
Everyone asked! So I had to come up with something. One man asked me if the bear bit me for poking him with a needle. And that was my story.
My mother's boyfriend fell off a steep step at a party and he was taking blood thinner so the poor man looked terrible after he fell. But my mother hit her eye with her car door when she was opening it and gave herself a black eye. So between the two of them, they just said they'd had a fight. Everyone laughed, knowing it wasn't so. But it was a lot more fun than telling the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!
What do you think? Ever give a funny version of a situation because it's just too boring to give the truth?
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."
My new Quickie for Ellora's Cave, Getting Naughty, released this past Tuesday. What better way to celebrate than to hang out with my daughter. We decided to spend the day downtown in Chicago. And, it just so happens that they're filming Transformers 3 here!
We started off with a quick snack and beverage at Millennium Park's Plaza at Park Grill restaurant. It's such an odd thing when your baby is old enough to have a drink with you!
Then we moved on, taking a walk down Michigan Ave. As we approached Wacker Drive, we noticed barricades blocking the road, and when we looked down the street, all we saw was chaos. Movie magic chaos, that is. I snapped a few pictures, but we were pretty far down from the actual filming. Some of them turned out pretty good, though.
And of course we had to do a little shopping -- just a little. I got a little bummed at one point, though. We'd gone into the Hershey Store so I could pick up some of this amazing dark chocolate that I'd bought there before, and they don't have it anymore! I think I actually got a little teary eyed. Nah, I'm just kidding.
By that time, it was getting to be near five o'clock. No way were we going to tackle rush hour traffic, so hmmm, what are we to do? I know! Stop at this great little Mexican restaurant and have an early dinner! This is a tiny place, with authentic cooking and really great (strong!) margaritas. We lounge around there for a bit, getting stuffed, then decide it's time to head back to the car. Of course, we have to stop and watch the filming again for a bit on the way. I'm a little sad as we get into the car, but we both agreed it was a great day and that we have to do it again, and soon. Although next time, we're thinking of heading to the beach. Why not, right?
So that's how I celebrated the release of Getting Naughty. If you haven't had a chance yet, stop by my website or Ellora's Cave and check it out. It's a fun, naughty story bursting with heat!
My first was becoming a wife. I moved straight from my mom and dad’s home to live in a small apartment with my future husband. Suddenly I’m no longer a kid, but an adult with adult responsibilities. I was juggling my first “adult” full-time job, coming home cooking dinner, cleaning the apartment and paying real bills. Of course, it took time to adjust, but I made it work. Eventually, I was doing it as if I had done it my entire life.
Next came motherhood. After four years together, it was no longer just me and my husband. We now had two babies (yep twins) waking us up constantly throughout the night. I was no longer working, but now a stay at home mom. My days were no longer filled with invoices and expense reports, but poopy diapers, spit-up and screaming kids. Of course, it took time to adjust, but I made it work. Eventually, I was doing it as if I had done it my entire life.
Writing came next. A huge learning curve for me since I’d never written a day in my life. POV what? Showing verses telling? Huh? You mean I can’t just write words down and you’ll buy it? I’m actually going to have to learn to write? Of course, it took time to adjust, but I made it work. Eventually, I was doing it as if I had done it my entire life.
Now I am going through a new learning curve as a single mother. I no longer have someone to shove awake when something goes bump in the night or someone to bitch to when life is being a complete ass. I’m juggling working, mothering and writing. Of course, it will take time to adjust, but I will make it work. Eventually, I will be doing it as if I had done it my entire life.
Life is full of learning curves. Once you have one perfected, she’s going to throw you another one and the process will start over again. I’ve come to accept this. It doesn’t make it easy when you’re going through one, but just remind yourself, this too will become normal.
1. It's amazing what you can do when you make the effort (also a kissing cousin to the old chestnut: Necessity is the mother of invention.)
This past weekend we had buckets of good strawberries and were having people to dinner. DD wanted to bake something with me so we decided we needed a chocolate pound cake, and here's the kicker: We had to use the ingredients we had on hand. Hubby had already gone across state lines to purchase all the items on my list for the meal.
It is not easy to find a chocolate pound cake recipe when you don't have: Crisco or sour cream, and a bundt or tube pan. Trust me on this. After an hour of searching (alas) we settled on something that looked promising and we baked it up in cute heart-shaped dishes designed for something else.
Then we found the Crisco, hiding sheepishly in the pantry.
Then we discovered the local convenience mart didn't carry whipping cream.
Then hubby went back over the state line, and very graciously, I must add. (It took an hour.)
(The pound cake was delish!!!)
2. I learned what a fox sounds like at night. At the same time, I learned precisely what 'bloodcurdling' sounds like. The foxes are cute during the day. But now I need to figure out how to get them to move. Across state lines would be excellent.
In a weird random occurrence, the two foxes appeared in the back yard while I was writing this post. They are clever. I took some pictures but they didn't come out too well through the window screen. Those foxes came right up on my back deck and sat down. They are skittish creatures, though. They stared at me watching them.
3. I learned where a man can drop trou in public and get away with it. Just this morning I was in my health club and the Tour de France was on the TV. Among the guys who run alongside the bicyclists, a fellow suddenly appeared, with his shorts around his knees (butt naked rear view, running, remember). A bit later, we saw him (from the front) pulling up his shorts. I don't know if he'd lost them accidentally or if someone had told him to clean up his act. The sound was off on the TV. But no one seemed agitated. (Don't know where his undies were.)
Also while watching the race, I learned why we saw a steady stream of bicyclists on a road we took (in a car) up the highest peak in the Austrian Alps last year. None of these guys looked like they were having fun. It was a tough, tough climb. But after watching the Tour in the French Alps this morning, I realized those guys in Austria must have been training for this event. I saw at least a hundred bikers that day, and only one woman and she was struggling.
I learned that you can win a swim race and even qualify for the state meet – without actually swimming in the race. Yes, dd accomplished this feat a few days ago. She told the coach she hadn't swum in that race, and the coach said, "Can't do anything about it now. Here's your blue ribbon for first place." I guess we're not competing in the Olympics, huh?
I learned there are many, many things I want to know, and don't. Why does a fox scream at night? Why do those guys run alongside the bicyclists? Why does a guy dress up in a strange costume to stand alongside the route of the Tour? Why do these guys ride bicycles in mountains, anyway? Why are women not as strong as men?
Join me in welcoming author David Bridger to Fierce Romance today. David and I are members of the awesome Romance Divas forum and I’ve been looking forward to reading his debut romance, Beauty and the Bastard, from Liquid Silver Books since he first talked about it. The cover is great and here’s the blurb:
Saul the Bastard is a fallen angel who works as a bounty hunter for powerful urban demon families. Rebecca Drake, a modern day demon princess, is being hunted by dangerous desert demons. When Rebecca's family hires Saul to protect her, they are both unhappy with the arrangement--but before long sparks fly as they try to resist their strong mutual attraction. For the first time in living memory, Saul has someone to love; someone he is scared of losing; someone the desert demons have marked to be their next sacrifice.
You can check out Beauty and the Bastard here.
David was great enough to agree to answer a few questions today for our readers.
So first, please tell us a little about yourself.
Hi Natasha. Thank you for inviting me here today.
When my seagoing days came to an end, I crawled up onto a Devon beach and settled there with my wife and our three young daughters.
Actually, it was a bit more dramatic than that. I came home quite badly dented and spent two years paralyzed, several more years in a wheelchair, then up (and down) on sticks, before finally standing unaided fifteen years after the original injury. What kept me sane, through all that pain and distress, was learning how to write.
I'd always intended to write novels when I retired from the Royal Navy. Just didn't expect retirement to rear up and smack me down in my early thirties, is all.
But everything turned out well in the end. I love writing as much as I always knew I would. And now, with the publication of my debut novella Beauty and the Bastard, I'm an author.
I know! I don't think that will ever get old. I'm an author!
Wow, I never knew you were a wounded warrior. What else would your readers be surprised to know about you?
Every year I choose a project or two to immerse myself in though the midwinter months. There's always a stack of novels involved, and usually a DVD box set of some treasure I missed when it was on TV – Firefly in 2007/8, Deadwood in 2008/9, Twin Peaks in 2009/10, and I have True Blood series 1 & 2 lined up for 2010/11. Obsessive? Moi?
Next winter's big new project will be: learn to play the Native American flute. I've asked my family to buy me one for Christmas. Come January and February, passers-by will hear haunting notes carried on the wind from the roof garden behind our house. Unless we're being hammered by Atlantic gales, of course, in which case the notes are more likely to emanate from the chimney along with the log fire smoke.
Good luck with your winter project! I love the title, Beauty and the Bastard. Tell us a little about it.
This one is totally down to my editor, Sue Swift, who also writes as Suz deMello. I wrote the story under a different title, but Sue said it wasn't strong enough for a paranormal romance. She warned me titles weren't her strongest suit, but threw out a few suggestions anyway, and her very first one was Beauty and the Bastard. The moment I heard that, I knew it was perfect.
I think that title will attract a lot of readers. What element of story creation is your favorite? (Character? Setting? Plot? Etc.) Why?
No contest. Everything I write is character-driven. I enjoy world building and plotting, but without vibrant characters in the mix everything else is like a theoretical exercise. My characters live in my head before they make it to the page, and only the ones I fall in love with get to appear in public.
Hey, character is my favorite element too! Do you have rituals you follow when writing?
Yoga on the roof. We have a big garden behind the house, but we also have two big slobbery dogs. Those boys and their wet noses get everywhere, but fortunately they've yet to learn how to climb ladders. So I go up on the roof garden, where we have heavy pots filled with shrubs and flowering plants arranged in a vaguely Japanese fashion, and I clear my mind with yoga before my first writing session of the day.
Hmm…maybe I should try yoga. Most people think a writer’s life is really glamorous. What’s the least glamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?
Ten minutes ago I disposed of the steaming great pile of poo that our 90lb Dogue de Bordeaux pup deposited on the path immediately under my study window. Thanks for that, Elvis.
Gotta love those dogs! What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Write. Keep writing. And keep writing.
When it seems as if the road goes on forever without a destination in sight, keep writing. There's a whole world of related activities out there, and some can be valuable, but only writing itself moves us along the road.
What can we look forward from you in the future?
I'm two chapters into writing another Angels and Demons novella. It features new characters and isn't a sequel to Beauty and the Bastard, but it's set in the same world and I love it.
I also have a novel out there on submission: an urban fantasy shifter story with romantic elements. If that gets picked up, it might become the first book in a series.
And waiting patiently on the back burner is a futuristic steampunk romantic sf adventure.
Where can we find out more about you?
My site is www.davidbridger.com
I blog here http://david-bridger.livejournal.com/
Tweet here http://twitter.com/dbridger
Come and say hello!
I’m sure our readers will be checking out you and your book. Is there a question you’d like to ask our readers?
Who are your favorite romantic characters? Are there any new types you would like to see?
...it's really, really important, or at least it seems that way, and you can't find it???
What do you do?
First, I can't find my current car insurance card yesterday morning, so I could send in my car registration. Finally find it filed away in the insurance file, of all things. Then I put the bill in the envelope and all that shows in MY address, not the one I need to send it to. Hmm. Then after I fold it up so that THEIR address shows in the window, and it's all sealed up, I find THEIR envelope. The other was for some other bill.
So then I go to work and can't get in because... can't find my key. So I have to call and hope that the librarian who was there is close enough to see the caller ID and answer the phone and learn that I'm standing out in front, without a key to get in. So of course she thinks I'm calling in sick and she's going to be the only one there. :)
Do you see any similarities here? Nope. In the one case, the item was where it was supposed to be, which is why I couldn't find it. Except it should have also been in my purse, and in another location where I keep a copy for the car registration when it comes several months later.
In the next case, I should have looked around a bit as the other envelope was on a chair right behind me. Why it wasn't on my desk where the other envelope was, I haven't a clue. But if I'd looked, and not assumed the tax collector had sent me the wrong envelope, I would have had it made.
In the last case, I looked in pants pockets, rain jacket pockets, purse pockets. And finally found the key. It had been in the wrong pocket of my purse. And I'd searched through every pocket (it has tons) several times already. But obviously just kept missing that one little pocket.
So that was it. 3 missing things. 3 things found.
In Dreaming of the Wolf, Alicia mentions how a former husband never looked under anything. My kids were the same way. They never looked under anything. If it wasn't right on top, they'd holler for me to look for it.
But see? Now, I look under things...but just not in the right places. :)
What about you? Have you ever had a rash of missing in action items that you HAD to have and were playing hide and seek?
Have a super Wednesday! Yesterday was an absolute madhouse. I finally had to call our manager up to help check in books because there were just two of us trying to take care of helping patrons and were absolutely swamped. Today will be worse. It's kids programs day all day.
Terry, who is tired already!
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male!"
My daughter did ride her first upside down roller coaster this year. (She’s six and very tall for her age, she still can’t ride some of the super duper scary ones, but she is tall enough to graduate to super scary). When I found out she was tall enough to ride this one particular ride, I started trying to convince her to join me on it. It took three weeks, but she finally looked at me and said she’d do it. Now she’d said this before, but it was always with fear in her eyes, so I’d back down. I was waiting for that moment where she was completely confident. Two week ago, I saw it. So I grabbed her little hand, left my son (who is also six, but unfortunately extremely short for his age) with my sister and stood in line. After we buckled ourselves in, that little hand squeezed mine something fierce. I told her if she got too scared, to close her eyes. She just nodded. Not once did she close her eyes. She did scream as loud as her momma does, though. LOL. Afterwards, the smile on her face was priceless. “Momma, that was fun!” I was relieved to hear this. I won’t lie that I didn’t worry about traumatizing her, like my dad did with me. I still won’t ride the swing ride, but she’s has a feisty spirit and roller coasters are going to suit her just fine.
Now I just have to wait until the boy gets tall enough so I can do this first again with him.
I don’t know what it is about an amusement park. The atmosphere, though chaotic with screams in the background, is very peaceful to me. Wow, that sounded just a bit sick, didn’t it? LOL. But I’ve done them all: Carowinds, Busch Gardens, Six Flags, Disney, MGM, and Universal. My favorite amusement park is Islands of Adventure. If you haven’t ridden The Incredible Hulk or Spiderman, then you haven’t experienced a true thrill. My goal is to go back sometime soon to visit the new Harry Potter addition. My favorite book comes to life! How can I resist?
So do any of you have a favorite amusement park or ride?
Beast in a Kilt: Scottish lady Catriona MacCain has loved Torr Blackburn, a fierce Highland warrior, since she was a young lass, but Torr only sees Catriona as his best friend’s little sister. When Catriona’s family promises her in marriage to a detestable chieftain, she desperately needs Torr to save her from a fate worse than death. But Torr is under the spell of a witch of the dark arts and is cursed to spend his nights as a kelpie water demon. He doesn’t believe himself worthy of the virginal Lady Catriona. However, she is determined to seduce Torr and claim him… body, heart and soul, if only they can banish the curse and defeat the enemies who have vowed to possess and enslave them both.
It is hard enough when children come along. Reading baby name books, trying out different options with the surname, deciding on the perfect name for your soon-to-be-born bub and then realising it has just been taken by a family member…or friend… or celebrity…
Then, when you finally have THE name, you find out it doesn’t seem to fit the new little person staring up at you. And it’s back to square one.
I seem to have the same difficulty when it comes to naming the other ‘babies’ in my life, those wonderful characters in my stories that for a time become just as real as the rest of my family (at least to me!).
In naming my characters, I try to reflect the personality and style of my hero and heroine. And the name I choose for them should also sound good and fit with the overall theme and flow of the story. Quite often – because I don’t plot beforehand beyond having a first scene in my head – I am still getting to know my characters as the story progresses and it can be very hard to decide on the perfect name.
So most times, my hero and heroine start with one name but end up with another by the time the story is fully developed.
In Pandora’s Gift, my July erotic romance release from Red Sage Publishing, the story is about the power of love and its promise of hope for the future. So my heroine started life as Hope. But that was just too obvious, and as I got further into the story and her mystical qualities became more apparent, together with a potentially dangerous fascination with the dark, she became Pandora. It is a name with so many different layers, both good and bad, that I felt it better reflected the mystery and complexity of her personality and her promise. And as soon as I gave her that name, she came fully to life in my head and I knew I’d made the right choice:
“She wore a long, figure-hugging dress in a soft shimmery material that changed from a silvery green to blue and back again as she moved. Her black hair hung loose down her back and a hint of red lipstick tantalized on those delicious
lips. When she turned back for a moment, tilting her head to one side as she glanced at him, it felt as if he were looking at a magical, otherworldly creature. Unattainable. Goddess-like.”
My hero, Flint, was easier to name, I must say. He was in my head for quite a while before I began writing this story, and every time I pictured him, I could that sense that cold, hard core. But it is a hardness that comes from cutting yourself off from hope, and I knew that if I gave him Pandora and the chance at redemption, a spark would ignite deep within that stone facade. His name, from that moment on, was never in doubt:
“Flint. It was such an appropriate name, she almost laughed out loud.
There was a hardness to him, both physically and metaphorically, that spoke
of stone. An iceberg, she’d decided only minutes earlier. But that hadn’t been
quite accurate. Ice could be melted. Stone could not.
This man was pure granite.
With stone you could strike a spark to create a fire so bright it could be seen from the heavens, and with fire you could burn away the darkness. But what if she wasn’t strong enough to do this? Playing with fire was dangerous. Would she be burned in the process?
How do others name their characters? Is name the first thing you decide on when developing character? Or, like me, does that happen a little further along in the process? Do you ever change names part way through developing the story – and if so, does that change the essence of your character’s personality? Please leave a comment – I’m fascinated with the writing process and how it seems to be different for each and every one of us!
Melbourne-based author Jennifer Lynne is very thankful to Fierce Romance for having her to visit today! Pandora’s Gift is her second Red Sage erotic romance. The first, Seducing Serena, appeared in the popular anthology, Secrets Volume 28 Sensual Cravings. For more information – and the chance at a giveaway of Pandora’s Gift – you can visit Jen at http://www.jenniferlynne.com.au/
The only bit of advice I would have is this: in order to be effective and actually make the reader laugh, humor needs to be unexpected. It needs to come out of left field. Maybe the reader is expecting one thing to happen and something opposite or off-the-wall happens instead.
I don’t write comedy, but all of my published stories so far have an element of humor that surfaces from time to time, usually in connection with a character that has a sense of humor. I love to create spunky heroines who blurt out whatever pops into their heads. Or sometimes it’s just their thoughts that are funny.
I didn’t set out to write humor; it just sorta happened. My wonderful critique partners would sometimes put smiley faces or LOLs on my pages when they critiqued them. And I thought wow, she thought that was funny? Cool! I often make myself laugh when I’m writing, but I wasn’t sure other people would. And like I said, it wasn’t intentional, just a side benefit as I was entertaining myself.
I have always enjoyed making people snicker and I do tend to have a dry sense of humor sometimes. But again, my focus isn’t humor. I love to mix it up and have everything in my stories including suspense, sexy heat, action and adventure, very romantic moments, emotional (tear jerker) moments, and humor. For me, that balance of elements makes the story more real.
One thing I love doing is combining humor and sensuality. Some people think this is impossible, but sex and humor can go well together if you handle it the right way. I just make sure my humor doesn’t diffuse the tension. I was happy to see that the reviewers for my novella, Kilted Lover, enjoyed my interweaving of sexiness and humor.
The Night Owl Romance reviewer said: Scott was really the perfect male hero and Leslie's actions and words sometimes had me laughing out loud as I read.
The LASR Whipped Cream reviewer said: The novel is filled with comedy (those wild car rides and the friendly advice) as well as snippets of imagined eroticism and finally, wild lust-filled sex that had me switching from a good laugh out loud to biting my nails in anticipation.
BookWenches: In this story, Ms. North gives us a hero and a heroine who are both entertaining and sympathetic. Leslie strikes a humorous chord from the beginning with her reaction to Scott, all but drooling over him at the Scottish Games, wondering if he wears underwear under his kilt, and daydreaming about the correlation between the size of his hands and feet and that of his sexual equipment.
I could talk about amusement parks, especially since RWA's National conference is going to be held in Orlando, at the Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort, in a couple weeks. I could talk about roller coasters and fun houses and cotton candy.
But instead, I'm going to talk about romance novels, because believe it or not, whether it is a romantic comedy, or an emotional tear-jerker, or a paranormal thriller, we're writing for our readers' amusement.
The definition of amuse, according to my Webster's is "to keep pleasantly or enjoyably occupied or interested; entertain." According to the Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian, the meaning "a pastime, play, game, anything which pleasantly diverts the attention" (from duty, work, etc.) is from 1670s, originally depreciative; meaning "pleasurable diversion" attested from 1690s.
Sounds like a romance novel to me!
There's nothing better than to open the pages of a book, or turn on your computer or ereader, and get lost in the story of two people with wants and needs and problems, and experience them overcoming their obstacles and falling in love in the process. Reading a good book pleasantly diverts my attention from the laundry and the bills and any other problems I may have.
I feel the same way when I put on my writing hat. While I spin my characters' stories, I can never forget that I am writing for my readers. I'm writing to entertain them. To take them away from their problems for a little while and let them be enjoyably occupied while they experience my characters falling in love. I'm writing for their amusement.
Can't think of a better job!
And I got an e-mail last night letting me know about a new review for my novella, Bound by Design from Blackraven's Reviews. I was overwhelmed with the wonderful review. In part it said:
This is a great example of how magnificent a short story can be. The characters are easy to relate to and care about, the plot is engaging, the erotic elements certainly are erotic, and the conclusion/HEA ending make perfect sense. What a truly enjoyable story! Excellent!
I'm so glad I was able to keep the reviewer pleasantly or enjoyably occupied or interested!!
Now, when I pitch a proposal, I can't send neat pictures like this, but envision...
The Wolf and the SEAL....And here is the SEAL, only he's a wolf at heart too!!! It sold!!! To Sourcebooks!!!
But that's not all! How about another Highland wolf? This one sold also: Highland Wolf in Paradise. To Sourcebooks!!!
That makes 10 hearty wolf books so far! :)
In other great news, although my Highlander titles might not be included, but then again they might-- some of the Vintage titles are being put on audio. If mine are, I'll be buying my own set--so I can listen to hunky Scottish brogues. *sigh*
And in other great news, some of Vintage titles might be translated into Chinese to sell in China. Again, nothing has been determined, but still it's exciting news!
I'll let you all know what happens. Until then, Happy TGIF!!! Off to work half a day, then I'm getting together with my daughter and then it's back to writing for me!!!
Terry, who is floating on Cloud 9 when she should be writing!
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."
We have two baby spiders! Two!
Yes, Socrates and Plato took a while to show up, but my summer spiders are now hanging tough in the bathroom set for remodeling. I speak to them daily, wishing them well or sometimes asking how their day has been. Little things matter, you know, especially to little things.
Don’t worry. They don’t answer, at least not that I can hear, but my theory is this: Spiders, like humans, talk. They gossip and gab. Word gets around. So, I figure that maybe someday if I get into a situation where a poisonous spider is about to bite me, it’ll suddenly recognize me and think, “Oh wait, that’s Cameo. I can’t bite her. She’s that nice lady who lets spiders live in her old bathroom. Pericles loved her gnat soufflé!” Perhaps they’ll even build a little shrine or even just name the wing of a spider hospital after me.
This is my escape.
Welcome to the place I get away to when the need arises, and sometimes even when not: my mind. Ever since I was a little girl, I daydreamed to my heart’s content, figuring everyone did. I’d make up stories and imagine all kinds of people, places, and things, and I still do. There were the dog superheroes, the psychic teens, and the police who wore yellow sunbonnets. There were also aliens with intergalactic recipes to die for (where do you think I got the gnat soufflé?) and the Yeti-like beasts who played cards and danced the tango in Miami. It never stops.
Don’t get the wrong idea here. I don’t live in my fantastical, escapist world; however, it does come in handy. For example, when I’m sitting in a waiting room and don’t feel like reading the latest issue of Modern Breasts, Glorious Molars, or Eye Doctoring Today, slipping off to an adventure where I heroically cap the Gulf oil spill or engage in a nice little conversation with Antonio Banderas is a pleasant diversion. Also, when I’m watching some inane, completely boring movie and need to remove myself from the bad acting, horrible dialogue, or silly plot, sometimes I take the story where I want it to go. Can you blame me?
As a child, I escaped not only into my imagination to have some fun, but to various places in the house where I grew up. These were not hiding places, mind you, but right out in the open. Not like Alice toppling down the rabbit hole at all, although I did manage to find adventure in my own back yard, or close to it.
Our dining room table sat right by a window, and I would find some crafty thing to do, settle into my chair at the table, and work away for hours. If I wasn’t there, I sat on the stairway by another window and played with my dolls or read. I always had my little spots to “escape” to, places in the house where I could plant my flag and hunker down. If not there, then into the myriad of stories in magazines and books I kept in easy reach.
If I want true physical escape and have enough money saved up, I head to one of the most gorgeous places in the world--the ocean. I enjoy the islands, the beautiful flowers, the breath-taking scenery, and the friendly people, but mostly, I just love watching the water and imagining the world beneath it and all the adventures I could have there. Next on my to do list is learning to snorkel and scuba dive so I can escape under the water and see what really lies beneath its inviting, albeit sometimes temperamental, waves.
Until then, chatting with Socrates, Plato, and Antonio Banderas will have to do. Happy escaping!
"Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon." Winnie the Pooh
No matter how many times I see hot air balloons up in the sky, they do always uplift me. They're so beautiful and peaceful.
The valley in Vermont where these pictures were taken is an excellent balloon-launching spot. Something about the views or wind flow or large open spaces makes it a desirable venue. So we frequently see balloons flying overhead. We can actually hear them pumping up the balloon before it launches.
This balloon festival takes place every year on Father's Day weekend. The balloonists come from all over the US and Canada. Many of the same pilots return every year.
This is my favorite balloon on the left. I love the moon and stars motif.
A new event this year was the "Balloon Glow". Once it gets dark, they light up the balloons to achieve a different look.
“The balloon seems to stand still in the air while the earth flies past underneath.”
~ Alberto Santos Dumont
Our hike meandered through the spruce forests where large boulders covered in moss sit beside the trail. I nicknamed one the old man of Roan (after the “old man” rock formations in Scotland.) ;) (Below)
Roan Mountain is comprised of five mountain peaks divided into two sections. Roan High Bluff and Roan High Knob have spruce forests. The natural Rhododendron Gardens lies between these in Cloudland. Parts of this area are called Cloudland because the clouds are literally down on the ground. It was so foggy when we were on this part of the mountain, we couldn’t see very far. It’s a neat feeling to be up in the clouds. The below pic shows Roan High Knob surrounded by clouds while we were hiking on Round Bald.As for the Catawba Rhododendrons, this is the most massive group of the shrubs growing anywhere in the world. The day we went, the rhododendrons were at their peak, and a week ahead of their Rhododendron Festival. The interesting thing about these bushes is they appear to have been trimmed by someone, but they haven’t. The look is completely natural.
The other section of Roan Mountain is called Grassy Ridge. There are seven miles of grassy bald divided into Round Bald, Jane Bald and Grassy Ridge Bald. We hiked to the top of Round Bald. The elevation here is 5,826 feet. From here, we had an awesome 360 degree view of some amazing scenery.
(Above) A view of Jane Bald (shorter and in front) and Grassy Ridge Bald from Round Bald. And another view of it below.
This area lies in a Canadian temperate zone. The temperature at the top of Roan Mountain feels about twenty degrees cooler than down in the valleys where everyone lives. The wind blows like crazy and the air is fresh and crisp. We had to wear jackets, even in June. Alpine plants, such as rare moss and heather, which are generally found much further north and in Canada reside at the top of the grassy balds of Roan Mountain. The climate, temperature, wind, clouds and scenery here reminds me of Scotland.
“It is the most beautiful of the high mountains… with Carolina at its feet on one side and Tennessee on the other, and green ocean of mountains rising in tremendous billows around her.” ~Dr. Elisha Mitchell