It's another Eye Candy week at Fierce Romance! Sitting at my desk, looking at the awesome wall of covers my hubby made for me, I thought I should share some of the eye candy I get to look at every day. :)
I've been lucky to get a lot of hot male chests on my covers. Like this cover from my very first release from Ellora's Cave, Nothing to Fear.
And how about this sexy pirate from my eRed Sage release, Quinn's Curse?
And how about the abs on this sexy photographer hero on the cover of another release from eRed Sage, Dark Angel?
Red Sage has given me some excellent eye candy. Here's the big, bad Wolfe from The Better to Eat You With.
And I know this post is titled Backlist Eye Candy, but I couldn't resist including the cover from my upcoming release from Samhain, Flaunt It. You can't get much better than the back view of my bartender hero.
Actually, I'm missing three covers on my wall. I'm going to have to give my hubby a nudge to print, frame and hang my last three covers. It's not only inspiring, it's an awesome dose of daily eye candy.
If you didn't get your copy of Allure of the Wolf last night, just email me and I'll send a copy! And if you just started receiving copies of it and need earlier parts, just email me and I'll send the earlier sections!
I've been scolded numerous times by good-natured fans about leaving them at a cliff hanger. Ah, but what would be the fun in a story if I left you all at a boring sleep scene? Or something else that was equally boring?
Leah Hultenschmidt, Senior Editor, Sourcebooks mentioned this:
Overdone openings to avoid:
- waking up--unless there's something supremely unusual about the process
Granted, our characters must sleep so they can do all the exciting things they must do before the day ends and they must sleep again. My daughter was reading one of my YAs and said, "Mom, they never slept. For 3 days!"
Oh, yeah. Sleep is boring. Yet necessary! In one of the Role Playing Computer Games I played, sleep was required. The problem was when the people slept, sometimes something really bad disturbed their sleep. So sleeping wasn't always a quiet, rejuvenating time. It always made me anxious. If you got caught sleeping...the bad guys get in the first strike. Of course.
So no sleepy endings. Got to leave cliff hangers as best we can. Because you know what happens if we leave sleepy endings? You go to sleep! At least that's what I do. I read late before I go to sleep and I keep reading until I get to a stopping point. A sleepy ending is the perfect stopping point. So I'm cruel. I try not to have perfect stopping points. :)
Truthfully, you don't want them. :) Really! When I can't put a book down because I'm enjoying it so much, I love it! So see, it's really for your own good.
Now, I'm off to work on The Highland Wolf in Paradise! Hoping to get half of the story done. :)
|Are these not the best bookcases ever? Problem is, I have more books that won't fit on here...|
|A close-up of my desk.|
|And this??? THIS is my glass dry-erase board. I have great intentions of storyboarding on here, or maybe just making notes, or... hell, I don't know. But it's cool, huh?|
|A closer pic of my bookcase. Thank you, IKEA... :)|
Hope you enjoyed the tour!
It was so much fun!!!!!
I want to tell you that I am not a trained dancer. I'm not into the kind of music that my Zumba instructor plays (though I have grown to like it). So it wasn't necessarily a natural fit for me. But the routines engage both your body and your mind and the music makes you feel like moving. So what is not to like?
This link is one provided by my instructor. You can't get the total feeling by watching a video, but you can see that it's not as difficult as you might think.
Andrea Rowlee is a wonderful instructor - enthusiastic, talented and funny (and also considerably skinnier than she looks here).
I started dragging some of my friends to the class. Then my daughters decided to join us and they brought their friends. That's how much fun it is. Before long, half the class was there because I'd brought them. But everyone talks to each other between songs, so it doesn't matter if you have all your friends and relations there, or not.
The other thing I like about Zumba is that it's appropriate for people of all ages, and you don't have to be especially fit. There are senior citizens in the class, and some of the kids I've brought are 12-13. The moves can be complicated, but our instructor gives some mini demos at the beginning of class. More importantly, if you can't exactly duplicate the move, that's okay. Just jump around to the music and have fun. In fact, we greatly enjoy laughing at ourselves.
No men have been brave enough to enjoy our class (though they don't mind standing outside and peeking in through the windows!). My sister says she has men in her class, and I've seen them online. Zumba was actually started by a man. His story is that he arrived at a fitness class he was teaching and realized he'd forgotten his music and so he started improvising with the music he had.
Has anyone else tried Zumba? What do you think?
Instructor: Nicole North
Date: Feb. 1 - 28
Though often relegated to the sidelines, description is a vital element of romance writing. Without effective description, the reader won’t experience the characters, the emotion, or the world you’ve created. But how do you know when you have too little description, too much, or the wrong type? How do you craft fresh, vivid setting descriptions that the reader won’t skip? How do you write action scenes that plunge the reader into the midst of a battle, a chase, or a shootout? How do you paint a visual of the hero or heroine that’s different from all others? We’ll explore why it’s important to “show” the reader all the necessary information through strong, specific description and detail.
Showing vs. Telling
How to avoid a static list of setting details.
How to describe characters in unique ways.
How to create dynamic action scenes.
How to make everyday actions interesting.
How to show character emotions the reader will feel.
How to use the five senses appropriately.
How to incorporate historical detail without the history lesson.
This is an interactive online workshop with exercises and critique/ feedback from the instructor. Workshop will be conducted via a Yahoo group. Lessons will arrive at your email inbox.
About the instructor: Nicole North's erotic romance novellas have been described by reviewers as "exciting, high octane, captivating, scintillating, sinfully delicious and pure romance." Her stories contain "heart and heat, killer love scenes, magic and extraordinary characters." Her books from Red Sage include: Beast in a Kilt in Secrets Volume 29, Indulge Your Fantasies (July 2010), Kilted Lover (Nov. 2009) and Devil in a Kilt is in Secrets Volume 27 Untamed Pleasures (July 2009). Laird of Darkness will be her first novella from Carina Press (March 2011.) Scoundrel in a Kilt will be released in a future Secrets volume. Though she has a degree in psychology, writing romance is her first love. Please visit her website to learn more about her workshops and see what past students have said.
One new thing I tried during the last few months was driving in the UK. As you know, they drive on the left or the “wrong side of the road” to us Americans. This was something I was excited about learning, yet also terrified of.
When driving in the Highlands, it’s easy to get distracted by the beautiful scenery or the hairy Highland cows. Sometimes it's better to pull off the road and look your fill. :) Above is Glencoe
In the end, driving wasn’t so bad. Yes, almost everything is reversed to what we’re used to. You have to sit on the right side of the car. You shift the gear with your left hand. Luckily for us, we’d asked for an automatic when reserving the rental car. Fortunately, the gas and brake are in the same place as American cars.
Before you go, I recommend that you study all the UK road signs online, just as if you were going for your license renewal in the US. The UK also has a lot of signage or symbols painted on the pavement itself.
What do you need to know if you’re a beginning driver in the UK? Study the maps of wherever you’ll be driving first. (Or have a companion do it.) In our case, I studied the maps beforehand and my friend did the driving the first day. (I was terrified, remember?) So anytime it wasn’t clear which road, ramp or turn to take, I knew based on what I’d already studied on Google maps, etc.
Use a GPS. It won’t always steer you to the right destination but most of the time it will.
Until you get comfortable, don’t speed or try to keep up with traffic. Yes, you will no doubt make some of those Scots angry, but it’s safer to not drive faster than you’re comfortable with. There is often a lot of fog or the famous Scottish mist and also rain.
Take a deep breath, and don’t worry about it. At some point, you have to gain confidence and just go for it. I didn’t want to drive through the middle of Edinburgh, or any city for that matter. But once we were in the country and small towns, where the pace is slower, I was ready to try driving for the first time. It wasn’t so bad. It was like being in drivers ed again. For one thing, you have to learn where you are in relation to the edge of the road. Most of the two lane roads are narrow and they have a curb right at the edge of the lane (see above). No shoulder, like we usually have here. So the positioning of the car in the lane has to be very precise. This to me was the most difficult thing to learn, and to deal with. Since you’re on the opposite side of the car than you would normally be, the tendency is to get too close to the curb, scrub it, or even hit it with the tire from time to time. My friend did hit it once, but nothing bad happened, just a slight jolt.
Another important thing that’s difficult to remember is which way to look when you’re making a turn from a main road onto a side road. Look in the direction you’re facing. My friend forgot this one time and we almost got smashed. But luckily the other driver slowed down in time. When pulling from a parking lot onto the road, I developed the habit of making sure nothing was coming from either direction. That way I was safe for sure, instead of having to figure out the logistics of everything again. One time I even pulled out onto the wrong side of the road but my friends' screams quickly reminded me which lane I was supposed to be in. :)
Roundabouts (aka traffic circles) are the things that give most new UK drivers nightmares. Yes, they can be scary and intimidating, depending on the size of the roundabout and how much traffic there is. In small towns, they’re not so bad. But some roundabouts are three or four lanes deep. And some roundabouts have traffic lights. No matter the size or amount of traffic, the important thing to remember is: don’t pull out in front of a car already in the roundabout. The cars in the roundabout always have the right of way. If the road approaching the roundabout has only one lane, no problem. You pull up, wait until there’s nothing coming, then you pull out and signal for which turn you’re taking. If you’re turning left, signal left. If you’re going straight, wait until you pass the first exit, then signal left and take the correct exit. If you’re turning right, signal right. Once you pass the other exits, signal left to get off the roundabout. Clear as mud?
Here’s a video that explains it more clearly.
If there are two or more lanes approaching the roundabout then you have to figure out which lane you should be in. If you’re going left, it’s easy, signal left and then take the first exit. I'll let this video explain the rest.
Learning how to navigate 3 or 4 lane roundabouts
Towns or cities are the most difficult to travel through. Two lane roads can also be a pain at times. Wide four lane roads are probably the easiest because, well, they’re wide. If you go slow, people behind you can pass. If someone in front of you is slow, you can pass.
We found two versions of the single track or one lane roads. In places like Isle of Skye (see top picture), the roads have plenty of passing places. You see a car coming in the distance and whoever gets to the passing place first stops so it’s easy to pass. But in places like rural Aberdeenshire, there are more bushes, trees and shrubbery so you can’t see very far around curves. And there are almost no passing places. Luckily we didn’t meet anyone. I really didn’t understand what we were supposed to do if we had. Scrape by and drive half on the grass? Good luck with that if you’re meeting a huge farm tractor.
The terminology is also different at times, for example, overtake means pass. And give way means yield.
After taxes, I'm sure there'll be barely enough to go around...And the truth is...I'm turning it down!!!
Of course, if anyone wants to send me a sexy wolf, I might be more amenable. This is not Duncan MacNeill on the beach before he shifts into a wolf in the Grand Cayman Islands, however. How do I know? The Highland warrior does not sport a tattoo. Which means the guy can't be a wolf. It's a shame. He does look like he could have been a wolf!
After not being able to go back to sleep at 4 AM, I'm up for the day--last day of work this week, and hope to have 1/3 of The Highland Wolf in Paradise written by this weekend. :) Hopefully. The way I feel right now, I'd be lucky to write one word. I think it's because I'm still thinking of giving away the million trillion dollars.
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."
Certainly not I.
Humor is timeless; people laughed in every era. You know as well as I do that some Neanderthal somewhere tripped on a rock, wind-milled his arms frantically, and fell on his arse in the mud. And someone was laughing. Hard.
Humor makes manuscripts more believable. Humor makes characters more real. It can keep a scene from becoming overly maudlin or sappy. Or harsh. It can start - or halt - an argument. Besides that, life is funny.
And it can get an author out of some boring situations. For example, I just finished the draft of a book that has a medieval knight staying on a Scottish border estate. He is assigned a valet as a matter of course. But I got really tired of mentioning when the man came into the room. It simply wasn't interesting.
So I stared having him just appear - and kind of freak out the hero:
The first "odd" reference:
Drew wanted to ask Jamie what specifically had happened. How Eryn could be accused of murder. Who witnessed any part of Geoffrey’s demise. When had she left the estate.
But as he stepped around the maids still scouring the bloody stones, he couldn’t make a coherent sentence.
Jamie led Drew to the room that was once Eryn’s. To the bed where he slept a full, blissful night beside her.
“The Lady moved into the master’s chamber,” Jamie answered Drew’s unspoken confusion. “I’ll have ye in here now.”
Ian began to help him undress, though that was not Drew’s intent.
Where did he come from? Drew mused. That man always seems to materialize out of air.
The second reference:
Drew pulled a deep breath and blew it out. “I believe I ken where she’s gone—”
“Elstow Abbey?” Jamie interrupted.
“Aye. And she’s canny enough to ride low and no’ be noticed. Do ye agree?”
“I do.” The steward looked hopeful.
“So now I must find out what made McDougal so angry.” Drew stood and wiped his mouth. Ian suddenly appeared at his elbow with a clean tunic over his arm. “How do ye do that, man?” Drew sputtered.
Ian looked at the garment in his hands. “Water and a brush. Why?”
The third reference:
“I’m afraid we met with some unfortunate circumstance on our travels, and this sorry apparel is all that I now own,” Drew said to the smiling steward. He pulled at the fabric. “I fear that even Ian might not be able to salvage these.”
“My lord, you do me a disservice,” Ian said.
Drew startled. He looked over his right shoulder. “How long have you been standing there?”
The valet looked puzzled. “I only just arrived, sire.”
It's not slap-your-knees funny. It's just quirky-make-you-smile funny. The key to a running gag is for it to happen three times. Less doesn't cement is as a "thing" and too often can get old. Three or four. Perfect.
Of course, intentionally funny single scenes can happen as well. This scene isn't in my book. But it could have been:
Geoffrey stomped toward his steed, having said his piece brilliantly and given the pompous knight a solid earful. He gripped the saddle's pommel and jammed his boot into the stirrup. One swift toss of his leg and he would gallop away, spitting dust on the man's velvet cloak.
He hopped up, putting all of his weight on his left leg and lifting his right - when the saddle slid under the belly of the gelding and Geoffrey landed flat on his back in a puddle of still-warm horse piss.
In A Matter of Principle I have a running gag between Nicolas Hansen and his adolescent cousin Leif, whom he has adopted. It refers to an offer made by Nicolas's ex-whore to de-flower the teenage boy, and is referred to by Leif on several occasions. His wish to accept the offer is amusing, eases tension at the end of hard scenes, and it reads believably.
I can't help it. My characters have enough of me in them, that they are always finding the ridiculous connection - and they say something barely appropriate or quirky at the oddest times.
So. Isn't it time you found a new brand of hero? Norway IS the new Scotland, after all.
For every 10 people who comment here, I will give away one free e-copy of A Woman of Choice - the beginning of the trilogy. And, yes. Commenter #11 warrants 2 copies! Comment #21? I'll give away three.
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!
In February at the end of my blog tour, I'll give away one SIGNED PAPERBACK SET of the trilogy. Here's how you can get in on that deal:
1. Go to http://www.kristualla.com/ and find the "Secret Word" on my home page.
2. Send an email to email@example.com with "Signed Trilogy Giveaway" in the subject line. Put the secret word in the body.
3. Comment on any blog at any time in the tour to activate your entry. Each day's blog location is listed at http://kristualla.wordpress.com/blog-tour-dates-locations/
A Woman of Choice, A Prince of Norway, and A Matter of Principle are all available at http://www.goodnightpublishing.com/
A Woman of Choice - Missouri Territory, 1819
A woman is viciously betrayed and abandoned by her unfaithful husband. She is rescued by a widower uninterested in love. In desperation, she becomes engaged to his best friend. One woman, three very different men. Life is about choices.
A Prince of Norway - Christiania, Norway, 1820
American-born Nicolas Hansen has been asked to candidate for his great-grandfather's throne. His new wife Sydney isn't about to let him go to Norway and face that possibility alone. The moment they arrive at Akershus Castle, the political intrigue and maneuvering begin. Can Sydney trust anyone? Will Nicolas resist the seduction of power? Or will he claim the throne for himself? Most importantly: will their young marriage survive the malicious mischief of the ambitious royal family?
A Matter of Principle - St. Louis, State of Missouri, 1821
Nicolas Hansen has returned from Norway determined to change the world. But when he runs for State Legislator in the brand-new state of Missouri, the enemies he made over the past two years aren't about to step quietly aside. Sydney has made enemies of her own, both by marrying Nicolas and by practicing midwifery. When a newspaper reporter makes it his goal to destroy them, Nicolas must rethink his path once again. But this time, it's a matter of principle.
Anyway, today is a big day! Why??
Karen Marie Moning’s last book of the Fever series came out today. Shadowfever! Can you tell I am excited?
Unfortunately, I can’t sit down and read it for a few more days, which royally sucks, but I have so much catching up to do from my town being shut down for fives days because of snow and ice. (Yes, you read that correctly. Five. Days. With. Six. Kids.) Plus the crud has run rampant through the house. Stuff like this seems to always happen when I’m days away from finishing a project.
Anyway, back to Shadowfever. It’s been a long wait and if Mrs. Moning can do one thing it’s leave her readers are a major cliffhanger. Do you know how long a year is to wait for answers? It’s a long dang wait, lol.
So anyone with me? Anyone already started or, heck, finished?? (No spoilers, please:)
We have a wonderful new review from Coffeetime Romance!
SECRETS VOL 29 [INDULGE YOUR FANTASIES]
SASKIA WALKER, NATHALIE GRAY, DOMINIQUE SINCLAIR, NICOLE NORTH
ISBN # 978-1-60310-124-0
Red Sage Publishing
Rating: 5 Cups
Sweet Talking the Opposition
Eliza is a celebrity reporter expanding her skills when she signs up to write about Rhine cruises. It is there she sees Marcus, the one who loved and left her.
Marcus is covering the Rhine tour as a favor, but when he sees Eliza, all he wants is another chance with her. The couple may have a chance on the romantic tour, but this time Eliza is making sure she does not get hurt.
This was such a great “second chance” story. I could understand Marcus’s reasons and Eliza’s worry. The sex is exceptional but the romance is always in the forefront. The background adds to the sensuality of the story.
Ms Walker is a genius as bringing the caring into carnal and her use of dialogue to show emotions is nearly perfect.
Mayor Selene Delian is about to announce her planet’s readiness for independence. With numerous forces acting against her, she trusts her guard Agent Corinth to protect her.
Corinth loves Selene, but unknown to him, he has an implant that turned him into a sleeper agent programmed to attack Selene when given the command.
Treachery and treason surround the couple but will Corinth’s love be strong enough to save Selene.
Chimera is an interesting futuristic political sci-fi. The plot is so intriguing that the super-hot and madly enjoyable sex was a secondary aspect of the story. The characters are well developed, the action convincing and the dialogue worked well.
As a lover of politics, getting to read Ms Gray’s sexy thriller was exceptionally wonderful and her thoroughly outlined story was a page-turner from the very beginning.
Catalina has left everything, including the Department of International Intelligence, to find her father, who killed her mother years ago. She misses her old life, including her ex Noah, but nothing will stop her.
Noah knows Catalina will fight him when he accepts the assignment to bring her back. When the two realize more is at stake than finding her father, they work together. As a team, they can face anything, including the cold hard truths that will shake them to their core.
Edge is a very busy and touching story. The action is face-paced with numerous villains. It is a really adventure filled story that is touching in the way it shows how important love and trust are in the world.
Ms Sinclair is a romantic adventure writer that is setting the standard. Her characters are as compelling as her storylines.
Beast in a Kilt
Lady Catriona has loved Torr for years. Now that she has been bartered off to a hideous chieftain, Catriona knows it is time for Torr to save her and find her missing brother, Brodie.
Torr has been cursed but will protect Cat from the danger he has become. The soon realize their love is binding them as much as the witch’s curse is cursing Torr and Brodie.
How can one not love a cursed hottie in a kilt? This is a spine tingling story that has a wonderful romance within. The paranormal abounds as does noble politics. Of course the sex is thrilling as is the plot.
I love Ms North’s work, and it helped knowing her previous Secret story, Devil in a Kilt, but was not completely necessary.
The record of fantastic sensual romantic books in the Secrets series continues. There is not a book I did not enjoy, and each is good on its own. More than just the sex, which is wonderful by the way, the storylines are well developed. This book has everything a romance readers needs and more. All I need now is more room on my bookshelf.
Reviewer or Coffee Time Romance and More
Everyone, please welcome Angela Henry, our special guest for today!
Angela Henry was once told that her past life careers included spy, researcher, and investigator. She stuck with what she knew because today she's a mystery writing library reference specialist, who loves to people watch and eavesdrop on conversations. She's the author of four mysteries featuring equally nosy amateur sleuth Kendra Clayton, and is also the founder of the award-winning MystNoir website, which promotes African-American mystery writers, and was named a "Hot Site" by USA Today.com. When she's not working, writing, or practicing her stealth, she loves to travel, is connoisseur of B horror movies, and an admitted anime addict. She lives in Ohio and is currently hard at work trying to meet her next deadline.
Welcome to Fierce Romance, Angela! Please tell us about The Paris Secret, your new book out from Carina Press.
Here is the official cover copy for The Paris Secret.
Less than twenty-four hours after fleeing to Paris, Maya Sinclair is the prime suspect in a brutal murder—and targeted by the real killer. When she's viciously attacked in the gardens of Versailles, Maya barely escapes with her life thanks to sexy French journalist Simon Girard.
Simon has been investigating the mysterious death of his brother, an art forger with ties to the woman Maya is suspected of killing. Still healing from heartbreak of his own, Simon reluctantly joins forces with Maya, who has awakened feelings within him he thought long dead.
Their search for answers uncovers the existence of a secret society, and puts them on a quest to find a missing crucifix rumored to hold the key to everlasting life. Together, Maya and Simon race through Paris one step ahead of a killer who will do anything to ensure some secrets remain buried forever...
Why did you choose Paris for the setting of this book and how did it play into the plot or characterization?
Well, I'd been dying to go to Paris for years. But I either didn't have the money or couldn't find anyone to go with me. So in 2007 I finally got up the nerve to go by myself. It was love at first sight! It's such an amazing and beautiful city, so full of history. I just knew I had to set a novel there even before I came home. And while I was touring the Palace of Versailles, I heard a story from my tour guide about a French Queen who gave birth in the palace to a child fathered by her African lover, which gave me the idea for the plot.
What an inspiring story! Visiting our favorite places can really spark the story ideas. Please tell us about your other books.
I also write a cozy mystery series featuring amateur sleuth Kendra Clayton. The series consists of four books so far, with a fifth out next year, and is set in the fictional college town of Willow, Ohio. The series is very near and dear to my heart. So much so that when my former publisher changed directions and stopped publishing mysteries, I took over the publication of the series.
A smart idea! What inspires you? What motivates you?
I get inspiration from everything. It's so hard to pin down where it comes from. Sometimes it comes from a real life situation or even from a dream I had. I'm also constantly playing the 'what if' game. For example, I'm a librarian and when I decided to write The Paris Secret my first question was "What if a librarian took a solo trip to Paris, met a hot Frenchman, and had an adventure? That was all it took. I had to answer that question. I'm motivated to write by all the stories swirling around in my brain that I just have to let out.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I knew I wanted to be an author when I was in my teens and writing short stories for English class. But I didn't actually attempt my first novel until I was in my late twenties.
What was the most important thing you learned just before you made your first sale?
I learned patience and perseverance! From the time I typed the words The End on my first novel to the time I was offered a contract for it, ten years had passed. That was ten years worth of rejections and near misses, and good old fashioned waiting. But I believed in that first book enough to hang in there and keep trying.
I agree with you! What do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
That publishing is a business and your work can be rejected for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of your writing. If a publisher can't figure out how to market your novel, or they already have a book on their list simaliar to yours, or the sales of your last book were low, it's likely you'll get rejected.
Unfortunately that's very true. What’s next for you?
I'm working on my very first urban fantasy novel. I'm also working on a proposal for the next Maya and Simon adventure as well putting the finishing touches on my fifth Kendra Clayton novel KillJoy.
These sound fantastic! Thanks so much for being our guest today, Angela! Would you like to ask blog readers a question?
Yes... What is your favorite city and why?
One lucky commenter will win a copy of The Paris Secret!!
Please visit Angela's website, blog and Twitter page.
Some of my favorites are captured in these video bits. Twist, shout and celebrate your passions in life! Cheers!
The Beatles Arriving in America for the First Time --
Super Bowl Champion Colts --
Moon Landing in 1969 --
Wishing you all many happy reading moments,
TO HELLE AND BACK AGAIN -- Ellora's Cave
TORMENTED (Recommended Read) -- Ellora's Cave
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave
A wisp of cloud so close you could nearly touch it in Scotland, like a ribbon of water droplets beckoning for you to slip your fingers through it. And if you did, if you ran your hand into the mist, what would it feel like? Would it just be wet and cool?
Or would it be something so much more? Something that evolved from deep within the earth, made its way to the surface of the rough land, flowed into a river or swirled in a lake or fed a deep bottomless sea? And then made its way to heaven again? Now, it drifts overhead, ancient as any water source, newly birthed just like the water cycle continues to flow unending from heaven to earth to heaven again.
I see a cloud, a sea serpent, a ribbon of life that will reform itself like a shapeshifting wolf. You knew I'd have to mention something about wolves in my post, didn't you? LOL
What do you see?
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."
Let's see... Where to start...
I've been contemplating trying to sell some stories on Amazon Kindle for a long time, and I've finally done it. It was hard, hard work, but it's been worth it and quite a learning experience for me. I'm sure there are mistakes in it, but right now I'm just basking in the glow of having tried something new.
Like most writers, I have a body of work I haven't sold, for one reason or another, that I keep filed away for a rainy day. I love to take out these stories and tweak them, but if they don't fit any publisher's needs, what's a girl writer to do?
Publish them herself!
The result of one such effort is Music Box: Lesbian Erotica, which is comprised of two short stories--each with some kind of music connection--celebrating lesbian love and the wonderful difficulties of finding the woman of your dreams. In The Dance Lesson, Tammy's bad habits and bad taste in bed partners is challenged when her friend Mil drags her to a salsa lesson offered by a world-renowned dance instructor. He's a psychotic little tyrant, but the one saving grace is his assistant, the gorgeous Anna, whose shy innocence captivates Tammy and, if she survives The Dance Lesson, will change her luck in love for the better.
In The Finest Lick, Lea is obsessed with the idea of having oral sex with a woman but figures her fantasy will never come true. She starts dating Dag Werner, a 1980s pop star and comeback artist, and is on the road to marital bliss when he insists she meet his daughter, Dagny. The beautiful gallery owner awakens in Lea a desire that resurrects her dead daydream, and Lea must decide what she truly wants for herself--one night with the woman of her dreams or a lifetime of wondering what it would have been like.
Thanks for sharing my excitement! Until next week...
Despite that, I have on more than one occasion forced myself onto that plane to venture to that new place and I’ve never been disappointed. Scared, surprised and sometimes inspired, but never disappointed because as I said, it’s a blessing to be able to do this.
One of the trips that I took stayed with me and inspired AZTEC GOLD which is set in the Mexican jungle. During a visit to Mexico City, I was able to journey to Teotihuacan, a pre-Columbian city that has some of the world’s largest pyramids.
As soon as I set foot in the Avenue of the Dead, named for what the Aztecs thought were tombs along the sides of the thoroughfare, I knew I had to write a story set in a similar locale.
So I wandered along the avenue and the many paths leading in and out of it and the pyramids of the sun and moon as well as some of the other smaller tableros, ceremonial platforms with small temples atop each one. There were gorgeous murals and I discovered some of the history behind the city, including that ritual sacrifices were likely done there. My writer’s mind immediately pictured the city housing the home of one of the goddesses to whom they might have made such sacrifices.
I continued walking until I reached the Pyramid of the Sun, the taller of the two structures. Here is where I met a real challenge. Stay at ground level or risk a climb to the top to where the ancient inhabitants of this city believed the greatest energy could be felt.
Fear of heights, remember? Well, I forged ahead and climbed to the top which was actually the easier part of the trip.
The view at the top was amazing. I was able to look down on the Avenue of the Dead and the Pyramid of the Moon. Imagine what the ancients must have felt as they, too, did this. Unfortunately, then it was time to head back down, a much harder task. The lines of the pyramid are steep and you feel as if you are falling headlong down the sides. At one point I had to go down on my bum, but I did it.
I DID IT! And because I did, I was able to not only write this book, but understand a little better about the heroine, who has her own fears she has to overcome. Cynthia is a strong woman, but the deaths of her parents while on a scientific expedition have made her fearful of adventure. In AZTEC GOLD, Cynthia has to face those fears to venture out from her safe shell and find her ex-lover, who vanished months earlier while in search of an ancient Mexican temple.
But like me, Cynthia leaves her safe zone and what follows is an adventure she is never going to forget or regret.
What’s the most memorable place you’ve visited?
Thanks for dropping by!
Please check out the book video for Aztec Gold:
Caridad Pineiro is the USA TODAY and NY Times bestselling author of over twenty novels. STRONGER THAN SIN, her November release, is her 25th publication and the second book in the exciting new paranormal suspense SIN HUNTER series from Grand Central Publishing. Also look for AZTEC GOLD, a vampire novella, from Carina Press in January 2011. For more information on Caridad, please visit http://www.caridad.com/ .
Thanks so much for having me here on Fierce Romance!
I was raised reading fairy tales. I fell in love with historical romance at age fourteen. And I took my love of fairy tales, history and passionate love stories, and blended them into my steamy yet romantic Fiery Tales series!
So, why am I so drawn to fairy tales? Probably because they were the first romances I ever read. How could I help but write my own versions of these classic tales? Most are about finding love, involve a handsome hero and a happily ever after.
Now if you’re wondering, do I have a favorite Fiery Tale?
Honestly, I love each fairy tale retelling in AWAKENED BY A KISS and THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED (both out now!) equally, and for different reasons.
For instance, in AWAKENED BY A KISS: In the tale of Sleeping Beau, I just adore bad boy Adrien d’Aspe, a seasoned roué and illegitimate son of the King. Legitimized by His Majesty, he’s treated like royalty. That is until Catherine comes along and rocks his world, in more ways than one. I adore Nicolas and Anne in Little Red Writing. Anne is a writer and passionate about her books. I love how she completely unravels strong and highly ambitious Nicolas and eventually places him in the unenviable position of having to choose between love and duty. As for Bewitching in Boots, Elisabeth is clever – and hopelessly in love with Tristan. Tall, dark and handsome, Tristan. *sighs* The strong silent type. Head of the most prestigious corps in the land. And a man known for his skill at wielding his….er….sword. *winks* Not the kind of woman to sit back and wait for a man to make his moves, Elisabeth relies on wit, seduction and her lucky boots and takes matters into her own hands.
My newly released, THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED, has three more Fiery Tales I just can’t choose a favorite from. The Marquis’ New Clothes features Adam de Vey, Marquis de Nattes. He’s sexy and smart and has been infatuated with Aimee de Miran for a long time. It isn’t going to be easy for Aimee to get close enough to retrieve the important ring her cousin accidentally dropped in his pocket – especially since he has seduction in mind!
In The Lovely Duckling, I didn’t take a heroine who just needed some dressing up. Emilie de Sarron was burned in a fire as an infant. She’s put up with horrible taunts and cruel names. All her life. Worse, at her introduction into society, she was horribly teased and publicly humiliated—the hero, Joseph, regrettably a part of this fiasco. It was the final straw. For ten years, Emilie withdrew from society. Now she’s back and she’s determined to grab a bit of bliss—albeit strictly physical. Believing love and marriage are unattainable, she’s convinced that at least a physical encounter is doable. How? Well, she’s going to use the anonymity of a masquerade—orgiastic—ball in order to find a willing lover, and indulge. She never expected that the very man she gives herself to is none other than Joseph.
Princess Gabrielle is determined to help her half-brother recover his losses at an illegal game recently banned by the King—Basset—in The Princess and the Diamonds. She has no choice but to use diamonds she *borrowed* from the palace. If only the gorgeous man sitting across from her didn’t see through her disguise. If only she knew he was a spy working for the Crown, his mission to enforce the ban the King has placed on the card game and see to the arrest of those who dare to play it. As for our hero, Mathias, Marquis de Montfort, he has no idea that the woman he has thoroughly and deliciously debauched is none other than the King’s own daughter.
In the Fiery Tales series, you can always expect to find sinfully seductive rakes, strong smart heroines who will make them lose their hearts.
And scorching-hot love scenes that will leave you breathless.
I’ve written something that will feel familiar to historical romance readers, yet at the same time offer them something different and fresh! Dare to step into the world of fairy tales? Be prepared to be scandalized!
Once upon a wicked time. . . I hope you enjoy these fun, sensual stories.
Oh, and watch for my first full-length Fiery Tale—A MIDNIGHT DANCE—out August, 2011!! A sexy retelling of Cinderella, as it’s never been done before!
A MIDNIGHT DANCE
Historical Romance/Aug. 2011
Inspired by the tale of Cinderella, Lila DiPasqua weaves a steamy historical romance that offers a glass slipper, a dangerous deception, and an impoverished beauty determined to find her handsome prince...and make him pay.
Matching wits and wiles with a man of Jules de Moutier's seductive skill is not as easy as Sabine Laurent supposed. Soon, she must decide whether her desire for vengeance is greater than her desire for her one and only prince...
Read an excerpt of THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED
Read an excerpt of AWAKENED BY A KISS
About the Author:
Lila DiPasqua writes wicked & witty historical romance for Penguin/Berkley. She lives with her real-life hero husband and three children and is a firm believer in the happily-ever-after. She loves history and enjoys traveling. She has been to four continents so far. Her novels, AWAKENED BY A KISS, and THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED are featured in Doubleday as well as Rhapsody Book Clubs. To learn more about Lila and her books, visit www.LilaDiPasqua.com
You can also find Lila on:
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lila-DiPasqua-Author/138300309541247
Twitter – http://twitter.com/liladipasqua
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3234450.Lila_DiPasqua
QUESTION: Let’s talk about fairy tales! What’s your favorite fairy tale themes? Do you like Ugly Duckling stories? Perhaps a Cinderella, rags to riches tale? Maybe a Beauty and the Beast kind of story? Got any favorite movies or romances novels with these fairy tale themes?
One random commenter will win a copy of AWAKENED BY A KISS or THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED. Winner’s choice. Giveaway open to the US and Canada.
Here's the blurb:
He’ll put her on display, if that’s what it takes to keep her…
Paolo’s Playhouse, Book 1
When it comes to sexy and sassy, Piper, the most popular waitress at Ben’s bar, has it all going on. Now that they’re dating, though, Ben wishes she’d dial down the skimpy clothes and flirty attitude, and her habit of dancing around the bar and flashing to her favorite song. Every teasing peek at her body, every laugh at some customer’s lousy joke, is certainly good for business—but it sends his jealousy meter into the red zone.
Sure, they’re dating, but he’s no muscled, tattooed stud with diamonds in his ears. How can he compete, especially when she refuses to even spend the night at his place?
Desperate, Ben books a room at his friend Paolo’s fantasy club, hoping an erotic night in front of a two-way mirror will get her exhibitionist streak out of her system. Praying it won’t prove his greatest fear—that she lives only to show off. And he’s not that special to her at all…
Flaunt It is the first in the Paolo's Playhouse series and will be released on March 22nd.
Can you tell I'm excited?
While pondering my goals for 2011, I recalled the following video from Kenny Chesney for DON'T BLINK. Both moving and motivational in words and visual content, this Country hit convinced me there's no time like the present to keep my eyes open wide for opportunity and embrace every possible living moment.
Wishing you all many happy reading moments,
TO HELLE AND BACK AGAIN -- Ellora's Cave
TORMENTED (Recommended Read) -- Ellora's Cave
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave
Unveil the secrets to real romance from the masters of the fictional world
According to Romance Writers of America, romance fiction tops the publishing charts with $1.37 billion annual sales.* Now that's sexy.
Clearly, romance is alive and well in the world of publishing. Readers can't get enough, which is why the timing is ripe to unleash a book that goes beyond the fictional bedroom doors…between the story-filled satin sheets…to uncover the intimate secrets behind the real romantic relationships of more than 65 beloved, bestselling romance novelists.
Linda Lael Miller, Mariah Stewart, Robyn Carr, Heather Graham, Joan Johnston, Kat Martin, Pamela Morsi, Sabrina Jeffries, Eloisa James, Rachel Gibson, and many others share what has made their own true romances loving and lasting. At the heart of Fall In Love Like a Romance Writer is the author—bestselling romance writer Amelia Grey. Together, these ladies of luscious language, tell secrets about their own true loves.
Readers will enjoy glimpsing into the exclusive and private world of their favorite romance writers. Humorous, poignant, and entertaining from beginning to end, Fall In Love Like a Romance Writer reveals what it takes to have your own happily ever after, just like the ones your beloved writers are creating…and living.
*Source: Business of Consumer Book Publishing 2009
Bertrice Small, Cathy Maxwell, Robyn Carr, Pamela Morsi, Haywood Smith, Heather Graham, Jill Marie Landis, Linda Lael Miller, Rachel Gibson, Sharon Lathan, Patricia Potter, Deb Stover, Karen White, Joan Johnston, Stella Cameron, Kat Martin, Mary Jo Putney, Meryl Sawyer, Victoria Alexander, Mariah Stewart, Stef Ann Holm, Laura Lee Guhrke, Jasmine Cresswell, Dee Davis, Judi Fennell, Jannine Corti Petska, Terry Spear, Ciji Ware, Nicole Byrd, Stephanie Bond, Geri Buckley Borcz, Teresa Medeiros, Sabrina Jeffries, Mary Balogh, Leigh Greenwood, Eloisa James, Judith Arnold, Karen Robards, Linda Wisdom, Cheryl Brooks, Elizabeth Boyle, Michele Young, Elizabeth Hoyt, Amanda Scott, Jean Brashear, Lorraine Heath, Jade Lee, Elizabeth Grayson, Annette Blair, Christie Ridgway, Jo Ann Ferguson, Jennifer Blake, Kate Austin, Shana Galen, Shirl Henke, Suzanne Forster, Susan Anderson, Nicola Cornick, Gayle Callen, Robin Lee Hatcher, and Kasey Michaels.
It's available for preorders and shipping Jan 7! This kind of sneaked up on me like a wolf might! :)
Off to work on bear orders! :)Here is Penny Bear, reclining, happy to enjoy the new year! :) I have to order the clan fabric for McHenry, so will show him off later. :)
This one sold, and I need to embroider her paws.
Have a terrific weekend! I'm off to sew up bears! :)Terry
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."